Are the Bless and Bane spells intended to be auras?


Rules Discussion

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Description of Bless:

CRB wrote:
Blessings from beyond help your companions strike true. You and your allies gain a +1 status bonus to attack rolls while within the emanation. Once per turn, starting the turn after you cast bless, you can use a single action, which has the concentrate trait, to increase the emanation's radius by 5 feet. Bless can counteract bane.

The spell lacks the Aura trait (unlike, say, Protective Ward), and the description above states nothing to indicate that casting the spell creates an aura. So it would seem that it's just a standard emanation, staying put when the caster moves. However, the spell list on page 310 of the CRB calls it and Bane auras ("Bless (enc): Strengthen allies’ attacks in

an aura around you."), and there is apparently at least one AP in which an NPC stat block directs the GM to have an enemy cast Bane and then move forward to affect as many of the party members as they can--as though the emanation will move with them.


It probably would be a good idea to add that trait. That is certainly how I have always read the spell as working.

I don't think that the lack of the trait would necessarily indicate that it doesn't work that way. Circle of Protection also doesn't have the Aura trait, and even more strongly indicates that the emanation area moves with the target.

Circle of Protection wrote:
Area: 10-foot emanation centered on the touched creature

Even though it doesn't quite say that explicitly either.

On the other hand, Divine Aura does.

My thought is that this is an effect of having multiple developers writing spells.


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Also on the side of having static locations for Bane and Bless and Circle of Protection, the 3rd printing CRB errata has this:

CRB Errata wrote:
Pages 165, 331, 391, 395, 402, 406, 407: Several auras were missing the aura trait. Add it to monk's Enlightened Presence feat and the divine aura, destructive aura, protector's sphere, angelic halo, dread aura, and protective ward spells.

Since the trait was added to these spells, but not the others, maybe it is deliberate that it isn't there and those should be a fixed position emanation.


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Tarpeius wrote:
there is apparently at least one AP in which an NPC stat block directs the GM to have an enemy cast Bane and then move forward to affect as many of the party members as they can--as though the emanation will move with them.

Conversely, there is another AP in which some NPCs, as suggested, cast Bane and immediately flee.


Megistone wrote:
Tarpeius wrote:
there is apparently at least one AP in which an NPC stat block directs the GM to have an enemy cast Bane and then move forward to affect as many of the party members as they can--as though the emanation will move with them.
Conversely, there is another AP in which some NPCs, as suggested, cast Bane and immediately flee.

What a mess...

But, if it's stationary, the moment you move it stops being an emanation, but when you enlarge it it still should be an emanation by the text. So RAI I think it should still be aura-like.


Good catch. I'd always played Bless as an aura. I'll have to share this with my fellows


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

...huh. I never noticed this. I would have assumed it is intended to act like an aura.


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breithauptclan wrote:

Also on the side of having static locations for Bane and Bless and Circle of Protection, the 3rd printing CRB errata has this:

CRB Errata wrote:
Pages 165, 331, 391, 395, 402, 406, 407: Several auras were missing the aura trait. Add it to monk's Enlightened Presence feat and the divine aura, destructive aura, protector's sphere, angelic halo, dread aura, and protective ward spells.
Since the trait was added to these spells, but not the others, maybe it is deliberate that it isn't there and those should be a fixed position emanation.

Seems like an oversight to me as I can't find any reason why - for example - Enlightened Presence got the aura trait retroactively assigned and feats like Aura of Courage or spells like Cloak of Shadow have not.


Ubertron_X wrote:
Seems like an oversight to me as I can't find any reason why - for example - Enlightened Presence got the aura trait retroactively assigned and feats like Aura of Courage or spells like Cloak of Shadow have not.

Yeah, that is my thought too. The Errata still missed a bunch of things that should have the Aura trait.


breithauptclan wrote:

It probably would be a good idea to add that trait. That is certainly how I have always read the spell as working.

I don't think that the lack of the trait would necessarily indicate that it doesn't work that way. Circle of Protection also doesn't have the Aura trait, and even more strongly indicates that the emanation area moves with the target.

Circle of Protection wrote:
Area: 10-foot emanation centered on the touched creature

Even though it doesn't quite say that explicitly either.

On the other hand, Divine Aura does.

My thought is that this is an effect of having multiple developers writing spells.

The 1e version Magic Circle didn't move I don't think.


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Here's a list of spells that may require errata, as they have an emanation with a long duration yet don't have the Aura trait, and seem kind of intended to move with the user (some of them explicitly say so, some of them include rules about how the effect can move, some encourage you to move, etc):

- Antimagic Field
- Aura of the Unremarkable
- Bane
- Bless
- Circle of Protection
- Cloak of Shadow
- Control Sand
- Detect Scrying
- Entrancing Eyes
- Focusing Hum
- Foul Miasma
- Glimpse the Truth
- Invisibility Sphere
- Pass Without Trace (heighten 4)
- Poltergeist's Fury
- Prying Survey
- Reaper's Lantern
- Show the Way
- Song of Marching
- Spirit Sense

And some feats, of course...
- Curse Maelstrom Dedication
- Marshal Dedication
- Overwatch Dedication
- Resounding Cascade
- Slip into Shadow
- (I stopped researching here)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

EDIT: Well, shoot, my context was Ninja'd.

Guntermench wrote:
The 1e version Magic Circle didn't move I don't think.
PF1e Magic Circle against Evil wrote:
Area 10-ft.-radius emanation from touched creature

...and 3.5, 2e, and 1e AD&D.


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For those who are interested, I compiled a list of all spells I've found with this issue in a reddit post,
"A lot of spells and abilities need to get the Aura trait for their emanations"

Overall, in addition to 10 existing spells with the Aura trait, I have found at least 23 spells that are lacking the Aura trait but really seem like they need it, with about 10 others that could go either way, and only 6 spells that definitely seem like they shouldn't be Auras.


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I'd love a clarification of this.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We don't even worry about it in my game. We do it like 1E. 50 foot burst. Get your +1 and move on.


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We definitely need an official clarification on this by the devs


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ghilteras wrote:
We definitely need an official clarification on this by the devs

Do we though? Was looking up emanations for another reason.

CRB Emanation wrote:
An emanation issues forth from each side of your space, extending out to a specified number of feet in all directions. For instance, the bless spell's emanation radiates 5 or more feet outward from the caster. Because the sides of a creature's space are the starting point for the emanation, an emanation from a Large or larger creature affects a greater overall area than that of a Medium or smaller creature. Unless the text states otherwise, the creature creating an emanation effect chooses whether the creature at its center is affected.

If it is defined to be issuing from your space, it can't exist on its own. The aura trait seems potentially redundant, at least in the context of spells/temporary effects.


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Aura states:

"An aura is an emanation that continually ebbs out from you, affecting creatures within a certain radius"

I feel that contradicts assuming all emanations just pulse out from the caster.

At the same time, Bless and Bane seem really difficult to use without being auras.

I think we do need a clarification on this; it seems like a strange rules bug.


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Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think the intent is that aura's are emanations with a duration. While an non-aura emanation is simply a point-in-time snapshot of an area. They just haven't been consistent in their usage.


Blake's Tiger wrote:


Do we though? Was looking up emanations for another reason.

Yes because it lacks the Aura trait so you would be inclined to not think it moves with you right? Except in the description of Bless it clearly says "aura" albeit with non capital A. It's just confusing.

Furthermore the Emanation says:

Quote:
An emanation issues forth from each side of your space, extending out to a specified number of feet in all directions.

According to this when you increase the Emanation range it increases from each side of your space because that's what an Emanation is right?

So what happens when you cast Bless and walk away? The Emanation would stay where you were when you casted it right? Ok so then you spend one action to increase the range, what happens? It would not be an Emanation anymore because it does not "issue forth from each side of your space" unless we want to entertain the bizarre thought that it resets its position back to you.

So either Bless is an Aura or Bless is not and it's not an Emanation anymore if you increase the range. In either cases we need an Errata, except we JUST had an Errata about Auras a couple of months ago..

This is why I think we really need an official clarification, I really don't understand why nobody from Paizo is chiming in on this, there is this thread here, 3 threads on Reddit, 1 on rpg.stackexchange and countless Facebook posts about this. How many confused GMs we need to make a dev post or tweet an official clarification?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

The point I was pedantically making was that if the definition of an emanation is that it issues forth from your space, a non-instantaneous emanation must, by definition, move with you in order to continue to issue forth from your space.


Blake's Tiger wrote:
The point I was pedantically making was that if the definition of an emanation is that it issues forth from your space, a non-instantaneous emanation must, by definition, move with you in order to continue to issue forth from your space.

It seems we are saved by a technicality.

I like that for some reason.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Blake's Tiger wrote:
The point I was pedantically making was that if the definition of an emanation is that it issues forth from your space, a non-instantaneous emanation must, by definition, move with you in order to continue to issue forth from your space.

Once it issues forth, it's issued. Now it's just there. Some spells have increasing the radius of the area as a sustain effect.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

"Issues" is the present indefinite tense.

It is neither an opinion nor a goal, leaving it either a repeated action or universal truth. In both cases, the emanation ends when it is no longer issuing from your space. Ergo, if it has a duration, it must continue to issue from your space to continue in an existent state.

Again, pedantically.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Blake's Tiger wrote:

"Issues" is the present indefinite tense.

It is neither an opinion nor a goal, leaving it either a repeated action or universal truth. In both cases, the emanation ends when it is no longer issuing from your space. Ergo, if it has a duration, it must continue to issue from your space to continue in an existent state.

Again, pedantically.

Were this the case, then there would be no point to the Aura trait at all. All emanations either resolve immediately or have a duration (some an indefinite duration).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I agree there's no point for the Aura trait on spells.


Tarpeius wrote:
Were this the case, then there would be no point to the Aura trait at all. All emanations either resolve immediately or have a duration (some an indefinite duration).

And this sort of redundancy does occasionally occur.


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Blake's Tiger wrote:
I agree there's no point for the Aura trait on spells.

Not true: you can have things that affect auras but not normal emanations, like how in the playtest you had abilities that boosted the emanation of kinetic auras but not normal emanations. They might be completely redundant on paper but you can trigger things of the trait leaving other things untouched. Now I don't know if that's why some things where changed to auras while others weren't but it's a possibility.

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