Does Symbol of Mirroring require maintaining LOS / LOE?


Rules Questions


A witch casts Symbol of Mirroring on a shield before combat to benefit everyone in the party. Each player now has one mirror image. The text of the "parent" spell, Symbol of Death, says the symbol must be "in plain sight and in a prominent location." Okay, no problem, someone in the party must keep the shield in plain sight.

Here's my question: one of the party members goes around a corner, or he enters a new room and shuts the door, so he can't see the symbol anymore. Does that mean he is no longer affected by the symbol? Would it be treated as if he had left the 60' radius of the spell, and therefore his image would only last 1 round/CL?

The wording is very clear that if the symbol itself is concealed, then it becomes ineffective. But that's for Symbol of Death, which has an instantaneous effect. I'm not so sure how to handle it for an ongoing effect.

Thoughts?


IMO the concealed clause applies only to the trigger.

A spellcasting creature needs line of sight and line of effect to initially affect you with a spell, but not afterwards.* I'd treat a Symbol of Mirroring the same way, the effect remains even around a corner.

* Exceptions exist, but they are listed in the spell description.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:

IMO the concealed clause applies only to the trigger.

A spellcasting creature needs line of sight and line of effect to initially affect you with a spell, but not afterwards.* I'd treat a Symbol of Mirroring the same way, the effect remains even around a corner.

* Exceptions exist, but they are listed in the spell description.

That matches my impression, but I wanted another opinion. Thanks!

Liberty's Edge

@ SheepishEidolon
I disagree. A Symbol effect is triggered when someone sees it and is within the range of the Symbol. Some effect has a duration once triggered and some are instantaneous.
Casting the Symbol doesn't trigger the effect, looking at it, touching it, etc. triggers it. The caster doesn't need at all a LOS to the people affected by the Symbol, the Symbol needs an LOE to the target, or it will not work. If the LOE or LOS between the affected creature and the Symbol is broken, the continuous effect ends, and the duration of 1 round/level starts.

@Kyrwin Estelune
AFAIK, it is not possible to cast a Symbol on a shield. Apparently, it requires an immobile surface. JJ on symbols
That ruling was made by James Jacobs, so it isn't an official FAQ, but it seems logical. Otherwise, a well-protected wizard could ly over an army with a banner with a symbol of insanity and eliminate most of the people in it.

Fun hole in the rules:

Quote:
You are automatically considered attuned to your own symbols of death, and thus always ignore the effects and cannot inadvertently trigger them.

The caster can't benefit from the Symbol of Mirroring as s/he "always ignore the effects".


Diego Rossi wrote:

@ SheepishEidolon

I disagree. A Symbol effect is triggered when someone sees it and is within the range of the Symbol. Some effect has a duration once triggered and some are instantaneous.
Casting the Symbol doesn't trigger the effect, looking at it, touching it, etc. triggers it. The caster doesn't need at all a LOS to the people affected by the Symbol, the Symbol needs an LOE to the target, or it will not work. If the LOE or LOS between the affected creature and the Symbol is broken, the continuous effect ends, and the duration of 1 round/level starts.

@Kyrwin Estelune
AFAIK, it is not possible to cast a Symbol on a shield. Apparently, it requires an immobile surface. JJ on symbols
That ruling was made by James Jacobs, so it isn't an official FAQ, but it seems logical. Otherwise, a well-protected wizard could ly over an army with a banner with a symbol of insanity and eliminate most of the people in it.

Fun hole in the rules:

Quote:
You are automatically considered attuned to your own symbols of death, and thus always ignore the effects and cannot inadvertently trigger them.

The caster can't benefit from the Symbol of Mirroring as s/he "always ignore the effects".

Mr. Rossi,

Thanks for the information! I had seen different opinions about casting a symbol on a shield, banner, etc., so it's good to see a ruling from one of the designers.

I also appreciate your thoughts about maintaining LOE. I've been struggling a bit with this spell -- I don't want to completely nerf a reasonable choice the player has made, but without putting some limitations on the spell it's effectively a long-duration, mass Displacement effect. Displacement is 3rd-level, and this is just a 2nd-level spell, so it shouldn't be more powerful.

I'll share this information with the player and figure out how to proceed. I want to give him an opportunity to revise his choice of spell if it seems too limited now.

Thanks!

Liberty's Edge

My ruling, at my table, would be:
- it should be cast on a fixture of the area. Be it a statue, a pinnacle of rock, or some other prominent item;
- I will allow it to be cast on a fixture of a big vehicle, as the castle of a large ship, but not on smaller vehicles;
- I will require LOS;
- I will certainly allow the attuning of the PCs only in a positive way, i.e. only those attuned to the spell will benefit from it;
- I will allow the caster to benefit from it.

Not completely RAW, but acceptable for me.

The spell is relatively costing, it requires a long casting time (10 minutes), and attuning 3+ PCs beside the caster will require 1 additional hour. Great for a defensive position, if you have a lot of time to prepare, way less useful in any other situation.
As it is very situational it is right if it is more useful than an equivalent level spell. Note that it isn't equivalent to displacement, it is equivalent to the cleric ability Copycat. It gives a single mirror image that is replaced in the creature's turn, so it, at most, protects from one attack.


Diego Rossi wrote:

My ruling, at my table, would be:

- it should be cast on a fixture of the area. Be it a statue, a pinnacle of rock, or some other prominent item;
- I will allow it to be cast on a fixture of a big vehicle, as the castle of a large ship, but not on smaller vehicles;
- I will require LOS;
- I will certainly allow the attuning of the PCs only in a positive way, i.e. only those attuned to the spell will benefit from it;
- I will allow the caster to benefit from it.

Not completely RAW, but acceptable for me.

The spell is relatively costing, it requires a long casting time (10 minutes), and attuning 3+ PCs beside the caster will require 1 additional hour. Great for a defensive position, if you have a lot of time to prepare, way less useful in any other situation.
As it is very situational it is right if it is more useful than an equivalent level spell. Note that it isn't equivalent to displacement, it is equivalent to the cleric ability Copycat. It gives a single mirror image that is replaced in the creature's turn, so it, at most, protects from one attack.

Up to this point, the player has been casting it on a shield or something else mobile before the party started any major exploration for the day, so the casting time wasn't an issue. If, however, it needs to be cast on a relatively stationary item, that makes it less useful and, as you say, more situational. I completely agree with you about the positive attunement.

As you note, it is a good spell for a defensive position, and as such it might be useful for the campaign we're doing right now (Wrath of the Righteous). I suspect the player won't be using it as much with these rule clarifications, but his witch has plenty of other options to choose from.

Thanks!

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