Mirror Image and Touch spells that don't roll to hit


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So this came up last night and I made an in the moment ruling on it intending to look it up later. Having been up and down the rules a bit I can't find a definitive answer.

If a spell has a range of touch but doesn't require an attack roll (such as Vampiric Touch) then is it affected by mirror image?
In the moment I ruled yes because it seemed to make common sense. Whether or not you need to roll to hit, if you need to touch a creature to deliver the spell then it seems like there would be a chance you touch a mirror image instead and not the creature?

Vampiric touch (and I assume other similar spells) doesn't have the attack trait. Mirror image uses the word 'attack' quite a lot in the description and references rolls to hit when it mentions images getting destroyed but doesn't specifically mention effects with the attack trait. So it could be read either way.
My instinct says that RAW probably mirror image doesn't work against those sorts of spells, but that does seem to run contrary to common sense. If you have to touch someone to deliver it then logically you might grab an image instead.

Anyone know of a specific rule that clears it up or have thoughts on how they'd run it?

Silver Crusade

It's an attack (little a) that targets a creature, so Mirror Image would come into play, not having the Attack (big A) Trait/Roll is irrelevant.

There's lots of attacks that don't have the Trait or require the roll, they are still absolutely attacks.

For example Noxious Vapors and Fireball are attacks, they're AOEs that offer a save, they don't require an Attack Roll or have the Traits (similar to VT which requires a Save) and Mirror Image would not help against them, because they're AOEs.

They are still attacks.


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Mirror Image only works against attacks. It's made quite clear by the spell and how it repeatedly speaks of attacks and nothing else. It doesn't protect against non-attack based spells and as such Vampiric Touch should go through it.

Silver Crusade

Vampiric Touch is an attack.


This is a wonky one as far as I am able to discern from the available ruleset.

The definition for Attack (not the attack trait and also referred as lower case 'attack' in the index) found on page 12 of the CRB has the following to say:

Quote:
When a creature tries to harm another creature, it makes a Strike or uses some other attack action. Most attacks are Strikes made with a weapon, but a character might Strike with their fist, grapple or shove with their hands, or attack with a spell.

.

Mirror Image states:

Quote:
Three illusory images of you swirl about your space, potentially causing those who attack you to hit one of the images instead of you. Any attack that would hit you has a random chance of hitting one of your images instead of you...

.

However the later part of the Mirror Image rules also talks about attack rolls very extensively.

Which leaves 3 different and more or less plausible explanations:

1) MI works against any attack trying to harm you, even AoE's.
2) MI only works versus targeted attacks and regardless if they use an attack roll or not.
3) MI only works versus attacks that actually use an attack roll.

If you'd ask me, I'd roll with #2.


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Rysky wrote:
Vampiric Touch is an attack.

Not at all. Attack is defined in the game, the lack of capital A doesn't make everything an attack. The word you are looking for is "targeted by".

On top of it, Mirror Image uses a lot of other keywords linked to attacks like hit, attack rolls and AC. There's not much space for interpretation.

What you are proposing is a houserule (as you prove by deciding that Fireball, besides being an attack according to your definition, would go through Mirror Image despite the lack of any wording suggesting it).


I appreciate the help, Good to know I wasn't wrong to be a little confused :-)

It does seem to be a case of interpreting what is meant by the word 'attack' in any given context. The key terms definition at the start of the rulebook:

Core Rulebook pg. 12 3.0 wrote:
When a creature tries to harm another creature, it makes a Strike or uses some other attack action. Most attacks are Strikes made with a weapon, but a character might Strike with their fist, grapple or shove with their hands, or attack with a spell.

and the definition of the 'Attack' trait:

Core Rulebook pg. 629 3.0 wrote:
An ability with this trait involves an attack. For each attack you make beyond the first on your turn, you take a multiple attack penalty.

First one could could be taken to mean an attack is any harmful action that targets another creature which Vampiric touch certainly is. But the trait definition does seem to imply an attack (big or small A) is something with the attack trait that the MAP applies to, which Vampiric Touch isn't.

So I think SuperBidi may have it right when he says offensive touch spells without the Attack trait aren't 'attacks' by RAW. But I do get Rysky's point that the word attack could be applied more generally based on the first definition and just because the Attack trait involves an attack doesn't mean all attacks have the Attack trait.

More important than the RAW for me is the fact I still feel like it's a tough sell common sense wise, if you have to touch someone Mirror image should make that harder. But I've realised that's sort of an issue with all the touch range/not attack spells. I know why it was done, to keep things running smoothly so abilities and effects resolve with as few die rolls as possible which is something I really like about 2e generally.
But if the target needs to be physically touched it does beg the question why would a very agile character allow an obviously dangerous spellcaster to touch them? I remember reading someone who said they describe it as just a very short range spell which can't be dodged because: magic, but certainly when Vampiric touch has the word touch in the name that feels a bit rubbish.


(Apologies Ubertron_X, I hadn't seen your post till after I posted my last one and I realise you're making some of the same points)

Regarding RAW again: SuperBidi does have a point: as MI doesn't make any mention of AOE spells/single target spells it would imply that if you allow an attack to be any harmful action and therefore to work against MI then it would work against stuff like fireball which is almost certainly not the intention.

As I said above I think this is now just a common sense Vs RAW issue I have with touch range/no attack roll spells that mirror image has just highlighted. :-)


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Loki42nd wrote:
More important than the RAW for me is the fact I still feel like it's a tough sell common sense wise, if you have to touch someone Mirror image should make that harder.

But that would affect any targeted ability then. If I demoralize you, I need to choose an image, if I cast Slow on you, I need to choose an image, if the Paladin protects you, they need to choose an image. It would also generate weird interactions, like removing an image because someone tries to Demoralize it or not removing an image despite it taking a Vampiric Touch (depending on how you interpret the rules on removing images).

In my opinion, the limitation on attacks is due to balance purposes. If Mirror Image was affecting any targeted ability, it would be way above a level 2 spell.


I do get that and I absolutely understand the balancing issue. RAW wise I've come round to the idea that the correct interpretation is that Mirror Image has no effect on spells that don't roll an attack.

Like I said it's more from a common sense/describing the action standpoint that I'm now hung up on and the reason I made the ruling in the moment originally.
I'm happy for the examples you give to just inherently 'pick' the correct target from among the images, either because they're magic or because it's a speech/mental effect like demoralize which relies on the target's perception: they can see/hear you intimidating them so they are the target.

But when it actually involves you grabbing or or at least touching the target it's difficult to describe why Mirror Image wouldn't work against that when it works against someone trying to hit you with a sword, without just having to say: "because those are the rules in place to balance the spell".

As I say I think it's a general issue I've got with the way touch range spells with no attack roll are described in action. I suppose you can argue that the same way a ranged spell with no attack roll inherently finds the right target the touch range spell inherently guides your hand to the right target...

It just doesn't seem very satisfying and as I've said, ignoring Mirror Image for a moment, it also feels odd if you have a very agile character who's just dodged a fireball and the 6 attacks from the ninjas around them only to have an octogenarian wizard able to just reach out and touch them and they can't do anything to avoid it...

Silver Crusade

SuperBidi wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Vampiric Touch is an attack.

Not at all. Attack is defined in the game, the lack of capital A doesn't make everything an attack. The word you are looking for is "targeted by".

On top of it, Mirror Image uses a lot of other keywords linked to attacks like hit, attack rolls and AC. There's not much space for interpretation.

What you are proposing is a houserule (as you prove by deciding that Fireball, besides being an attack according to your definition, would go through Mirror Image despite the lack of any wording suggesting it).

You should have read the definition more closely, as Ubertron supplied. It’s not houseruling to call an attack an attack.

What would be a house rule is that AOE attacks must suddenly target mirror image users instead of ignoring the spell like you’re suggesting.


SuperBidi wrote:
Loki42nd wrote:
More important than the RAW for me is the fact I still feel like it's a tough sell common sense wise, if you have to touch someone Mirror image should make that harder.

But that would affect any targeted ability then. If I demoralize you, I need to choose an image, if I cast Slow on you, I need to choose an image, if the Paladin protects you, they need to choose an image. It would also generate weird interactions, like removing an image because someone tries to Demoralize it or not removing an image despite it taking a Vampiric Touch (depending on how you interpret the rules on removing images).

In my opinion, the limitation on attacks is due to balance purposes. If Mirror Image was affecting any targeted ability, it would be way above a level 2 spell.

However that also depends on your definition of 'harm' as MI only works versus attacks. Does Demoralize harm you? Does Slow harm you? Does the Paladin trying to protect you harm you? Ever heard the saying 'sticks and stones may break your bones but words (Demoralize) can never hurt me'? ;)

And while playing devils advocate just for the fun of it, isn't it colloquial English to say: I was hit by a Fireball? So if Fireball is an attack that hits you...


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Loki42nd wrote:
It just doesn't seem very satisfying and as I've said, ignoring Mirror Image for a moment, it also feels odd if you have a very agile character who's just dodged a fireball and the 6 attacks from the ninjas around them only to have an octogenarian wizard able to just reach out and touch them and they can't do anything to avoid it...

The whole concept of "Touch spells" is a bit weird anyway. It says that you have to touch the target, but what happens if you touch the creature's equipment? A full plate obviously block touch. And some spells can target equipment (like Magic Weapon) so it's not like if equipment was automatically linked to the equipped creature.

I think it's the kind of situations where you have to suspend your disbelief. Not everything is completely logical in the game rules, after all you can roll a Reflex save while being Unconscious.


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Vampiric touch doesn't have an attack roll instead it gives the target a save. By RAW mirror image is not affect positively or negatively.

If you ruled that those spells have to make an attack roll and the target has to make a save, then they become much worse than they already are.


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Temperans wrote:
If you ruled that those spells have to make an attack roll and the target has to make a save, then they become much worse than they already are.

No one is arguing that Vampiric Touch would suddenly have a spell attack roll in addition to the saving throw.

What people are suggesting is that if the target is under the effects of Mirror Image, that the attacker casting Vampiric Touch would have to roll the miss chance against the images - the same as if they instead cast Shocking Grasp.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Temperans wrote:
If you ruled that those spells have to make an attack roll and the target has to make a save, then they become much worse than they already are.

No one is arguing that Vampiric Touch would suddenly have a spell attack roll in addition to the saving throw.

What people are suggesting is that if the target is under the effects of Mirror Image, that the attacker casting Vampiric Touch would have to roll the miss chance against the images - the same as if they instead cast Shocking Grasp.

That's what I am saying, the spell does not have a spell attack roll and so Vampiric Touch would not have to deal with Mirror Image. The fact its a touch spell does not change the fact its not an "attack".

Now if someone wants to houserule that mirror image does work, that's on them (I would hope they would give touch spell some compensation for it).


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The existence of the Attack trait or its lack of existence is not what makes something an "attack". The trait makes the action interact with MAP.

There are several things that are hostile actions (and would be called an "attack" in non-game-terms English) that do not have the Attack trait. Scare to Death for example.

And there are things with the Attack trait that would not be considered attacks or hostile actions. Escape for example.

------------

Shocking Grasp and Vampiric Touch are at least somewhat balanced with each other normally.

Attacking someone with Shocking Grasp while they are protected by Mirror Image, the attacker would need to roll a 1 on 1d4 and then make a spell attack roll.

Attacking someone with Vampiric Touch and having them roll a 1d4 and then having the target make a saving throw matches that. There is no spell attack roll needed in order for Mirror Image to have its effect.

The second paragraph in Mirror Image wouldn't take effect, because that paragraph is talking about how Mirror Image interacts with degrees of success on attack rolls. A spell that doesn't use an attack roll would not interact with that paragraph. But I see no reason to not have the hostile single-target spell interact with the first paragraph of Mirror Image.

-----------

Now, SuperBidi does bring up a good point. If running the game with Mirror Image working against all single target effects - not just ones with attack rolls - then things like Scare to Death would also have a miss chance due to Mirror Image.

The ruling should be consistent.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

AoE spells in particular would be a mess to say interact with Mirror Image. None of the images are outside of your 5ft space, so AoE would probably just dispel all the images if fireball and equivalent spells counted as attacks. It would hit all of them because they are in the area.

I rule that Mirror Image only works against things that make attack rolls. It keeps things the most simple. I understand the narrative dissonance with things like vampiric touch, but creating a whole new category of “touch” mechanics, some of which use attack roles and some of which don’t is an extra large headache that was nixed in the playtest with the removal of touch AC. Things that target saving throws just bundle all that narrative into the saving throw roll. It is abstracted so you can describe it however you want but the rules for Mirror Image don’t translate well over saving throws and the spell was clearly written to address attacks as things that use attack rolls.


Also interesting is to compare PF2 Mirror Image with PF1 Mirror Image and Starfinder Mirror Image.

PF1 Mirror Image explicitly doesn't work against Vampiric Touch, Fireball, or anything else that uses saving throws.

Starfinder Mirror Image also explicitly doesn't work against area effects such as Fireball or saving throw spells like Bestow Curse.


I feel the safest ruling is as Unicore and others have suggested and stick to RAW limiting Mirror Image to applying only against abilities with the Attack trait. That said, I tend to rule both on RAW and on pragmatism; the latter being how often the situation would happen, is this something that one or more players would abuse, and what makes the best story for the moment. If this was a one-off event and unlikely to come up in the game again, I would probably allow the Mirror Image spell to work against single target touch spells because it makes narrative sense. If I was running a PFS game, then I would probably stick to RAW out of consideration of other GMs and players.


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breithauptclan wrote:
The existence of the Attack trait or its lack of existence is not what makes something an "attack". The trait makes the action interact with MAP.

The attack trait explicitly contradicts you.

An ability with this trait involves an attack

There is no wriggle room here it is explicit

breithauptclan wrote:

There are several things that are hostile actions (and would be called an "attack" in non-game-terms English) that do not have the Attack trait. Scare to Death for example.

And there are things with the Attack trait that would not be considered attacks or hostile actions. Escape for example.

You are not wrong but Escape has the Attack Trait which defines it as an attack. It is not surprising people get confused as the rules are terrible.

breithauptclan wrote:

Shocking Grasp and Vampiric Touch are at least somewhat balanced with each other normally.

Attacking someone with Shocking Grasp while they are protected by Mirror Image, the attacker would need to roll a 1 on 1d4 and then make a spell attack roll.

Attacking someone with Vampiric Touch and having them roll a 1d4 and then having the target make a saving throw matches that. There is no spell attack roll needed in order for Mirror Image to have its effect.

The second paragraph in Mirror Image wouldn't take effect, because that paragraph is talking about how Mirror Image interacts with degrees of success on attack rolls. A spell that doesn't use an attack roll would not interact with that paragraph. But I see no reason to not have the hostile single-target spell interact with the first paragraph of Mirror Image.

It is pretty simple no attack roll, Vampiric Touch has no interaction with Mirror Image. It is easy enough to rationalise. Spells with saving throws aren't targetted with the same precision as spell attacks, they just have to be close.

breithauptclan wrote:

Now, SuperBidi does bring up a good point. If running the game with Mirror Image working against all single target effects - not just ones with attack rolls - then things like Scare to Death would also have a miss chance due to Mirror Image.

The ruling should be consistent.

The ruling is consistent just different as it is a different style of effect.

You could do that. The Concealed condition does for example. Vampiric Touch or even Magic Missile can miss due to concealment. I like the fact that they are different.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Don't you love that PF2 is written in easy to understand common and natural language and doesn't twist up definitions or put multiple different meanigns into a single word?


The term attack needs to be clarified to mean that it refers to any action with an attack roll or the attack trait. Please don’t let it get confused with everyday use of the word or the word hostile.

All of these cases are hostile but they are not all attacks:
1) Casting a Fireball is not an attack.
2) Striking with a weapon is an attack roll and an attack
3) Demoralise is a skill check, but it is not an attack roll or an attack.
4) Trip is a skill check, is an attack, affects MAP, but it is not an attack roll.

Then there is an attack that is not hostile
5) Escape is a skill check, it is an attack - even though that defies the common meaning of the word, affects MAP, but it is not an attack roll.

Remember a check is every d20 roll in the game. An attack roll is one of the 5 specific types of checks. A skill roll is another. An attack roll is always an attack. Sometimes a skill roll or another ability is also an attack because it is labelled with the attack trait.

Perhaps the best outcome would be if they invented a MAP trait and put that everywhere we have the Attack Trait.


Gortle wrote:
Perhaps the best outcome would be if they invented a MAP trait and put that everywhere we have the Attack Trait.

If changing the text string identifier of the trait changes the meaning of the trait, then you are also conflating the natural language with the game mechanics and terminology.

The "Attack" trait means that it interacts with MAP. It also apparently 'involves' an attack - whatever that means.


Scenario: An enemy under the effects of Mirror Image grapples me and I use Escape.

If I succeed at the check, do I roll a 1d4 and possibly burst an image?

How about if I fail but don't critically fail the escape check?


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breithauptclan wrote:

Scenario: An enemy under the effects of Mirror Image grapples me and I use Escape.

If I succeed at the check, do I roll a 1d4 and possibly burst an image?

How about if I fail but don't critically fail the escape check?

No. It just doesn't apply.

Mirror Image has an effect on Any attack that would hit you, not on any attack.

Your argument is not correctly aimed. While Escape is an attack. But it is not an attack roll at you. It never hits anything.

Grand Lodge

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Hit is a function of the attack roll (or spell attack roll) meeting (or exceeding) the AC:

CR443

Checks and difficulty classes (DC) both come in many forms. When you swing your sword at that foul beast, you’ll make an attack roll against its Armor Class, which is the DC to hit another creature.


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breithauptclan wrote:

If changing the text string identifier of the trait changes the meaning of the trait, then you are also conflating the natural language with the game mechanics and terminology.

Let's point the finger at the right place.

Paizo did this conflation not me. They are the ones guilty of screwing up the game term attack and the natural language term attack.
That you can't tell them apart is a direct result of the way Paizo choose to format, edit and organise the rules.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If it doesn't have the attack trait then it is not an attack at my table. Whether or not that is RAW, it is very clear what does and doesn't qualify and there is no need for mental gymnastics to figure out what counts or not. It makes my games faster as we are less likely to get bogged down in minutiae during a session.

Silver Crusade

If you cast vampiric touch on someone are you ____?

A) attacking them
B) not attacking them


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Maybe it is easier to focus on the word hit than attack. “Any attack that would hit you has a random chance of hitting one of your images instead of you.”

Vampiric touch doesn’t hit a target. It effects them or it doesn’t, and no mechanic for hitting is involved with the spell, so there is no chance to have hit the wrong target.

Whether it constitutes an attack or not in natural language is a confusing way to approach the spell. All of the sentences in the spell description reference “hit” though, any time they mention attack, so I think it is ok to instead define “attack that can hit you.” You don’t get hit or missed by things that don’t have an attack roll.


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Rysky wrote:

If you cast vampiric touch on someone are you ____?

A) attacking them
B) not attacking them

You are attacking them, still you are not making an attack, you are casting a spell instead.


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Obligatory posting of the General Ambiguous Rules Clause:

Ambiguous Rules wrote:
Sometimes a rule could be interpreted multiple ways. If one version is too good to be true, it probably is. If a rule seems to have wording with problematic repercussions or doesn’t work as intended, work with your group to find a good solution, rather than just playing with the rule as printed.

We can probably argue until we're blue in the face but it's really going to come down to individual GMs adjudicating what makes sense at their table.

I look at the touch spells which explicitly had all of their errant attack traits removed in errata as a specific design choice to note that accuracy is not required for their delivery and that their adjudication is handled via the saving throw only. Given the divergence in how Shocking Grasp is handled vs. Vampiric Touch I'm inclined to argue that the specific spell mechanics (spell attack roll vs. saving throw) tell us how to adjudicate the interaction even if it isn't entirely satisfying from a simulationist perspective that two things which might narratively look similar (i.e. reaching out and touching someone to deliver a negative effect) don't behave the same way.

Mirror Image seems explicitly designed to confound accuracy. If we use the more general form of 'any attack' can trigger an image then Mirror Image goes from a powerful short term deterrent to physical attacks to a supercharged form of decaying concealment where flat checks can negate all kinds of attacks. That feels like a blanket level of protection that tracks more with how the spell worked in 1e than how spells more generally function in 2e with limited but powerful scope of effects.

Silver Crusade

SuperBidi wrote:
Rysky wrote:

If you cast vampiric touch on someone are you ____?

A) attacking them
B) not attacking them

You are attacking them, still you are not making an attack, you are casting a spell instead.

”you are attacking them” is what matters.


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Is a Fireball an attack?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Rysky wrote:

If you cast vampiric touch on someone are you ____?

A) attacking them
B) not attacking them

You are attacking them, still you are not making an attack, you are casting a spell instead.
”you are attacking them” is what matters.

Respectfully, I ask in what context?

Here is the full text of the spell:

Quote:


Three illusory images of you swirl about your space, potentially causing those who attack you to hit one of the images instead of you. Any attack that would hit you has a random chance of hitting one of your images instead of you. If all three images remain, there is a 1 in 4 chance of hitting you (1 on 1d4). With two images remaining, there is a 1 in 3 chance of hitting you (1–2 on 1d6). With only one image, the chances are 1 in 2 (1–3 on 1d6).

Once an image is hit, it is destroyed. If an attack roll fails to hit your AC but doesn't critically fail, it destroys an image but has no additional effect (even if the attack would normally have an effect on a failure). If an attack roll is a critical success and would hit one of the images, one of the images is destroyed and the attack roll becomes a success against you. Once all the images are destroyed, the spell ends.

The issue is that a spell which targets a save never involves the attacking character making any kind of check to see if the attack hits (with the exception of concealment, which is not what Mirror Image provides). The character who has been attacked is the only one making any kind of check to see what the results of the check can be. Thus there is never an opportunity for the attacking character to "hit" a different target. Mirror Image does not actually interject with the targeting of a character (like concealment), but with the actual roll to attack.

The mixing of words like "attack" as a general word, and "Attack" as a rules specific word is confusing. "Actions" and what is "an action" in game has similar confusing connotations and will inevitably involve GM arbitration.

I don't think a GM would be out of line wanting all touch spells to be affected by Mirror image, but the spell itself lacks the language to make it clear what happens if hostile actions that do not involve attack rolls can be affected by it, so the decision to make that ruling involves making additional decisions that have no rules guidance. A lot of hostile spells target a character, does Mirror Image suddenly give you protection from phantasmal killer? or Charm? where does the line get drawn?

Silver Crusade

But Mirror Image doesn’t factor the roll, just if you’re hit. The “if an attack rolls fails” is supplementary info for the spell, not the requirement.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The question is, when and how do you get "hit" by vampiric touch?


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I'm in the "vampiric touch rolls for mirror images to affect them" camp, because mirror images is just another form of "miss chance" that abilities like concealment or blur would likewise affect. And since concealment/blur doesn't affect AoE abilities, neither would mirror images. It's simple, consistent, and clearly follows intent.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
The question is, when and how do you get "hit" by vampiric touch?

In another win for non-confusing language, the CRB defines a "hit" as when you succeed at an attack roll against AC.

So never.


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In my opinion it’s pretty clear that “touch” in a spell description is just a descriptor for the range of the spell for the purposes of targeting, and that’s it. Otherwise a normal Vampiric Touch would be affected by Mirror Image, but Reach Spell + Vampiric Touch would not because now it’s a targeted spell with 30ft range. I don’t think Mirror Image protects against every hostile targeted effect, otherwise it would talk about being targeted rather than being attacked.


BooleanBear wrote:
In my opinion it’s pretty clear that “touch” in a spell description is just a descriptor for the range of the spell for the purposes of targeting, and that’s it. Otherwise a normal Vampiric Touch would be affected by Mirror Image, but Reach Spell + Vampiric Touch would not because now it’s a targeted spell with 30ft range. I don’t think Mirror Image protects against every hostile targeted effect, otherwise it would talk about being targeted rather than being attacked.

Sounds like it should be for targeted effects. That's how I've run it and never had any issues.


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Then why would the Mirror Image language differ from Concealed/Hidden? If it was meant to work against all targeted effects it would say so, but instead it says attacks.


Because it's a different "miss chance" mechanic than concealment. If it was the same it would be no different from Blur.

It saying attacks is referring to attacks in general. If we concluded AoEs to destroy all images, the spell falls under too bad to be true. Same concept with targeted effects. Unless you want to posit Vampiric Touch does not break Invisibility, because you are effectively saying that with this interpretation, and that is obviously unintended.

It's also a Visual effect; meaning, if you aren't using Sight to find them, the spell does nothing.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Unless you want to posit Vampiric Touch does not break Invisibility, because you are effectively saying that with this interpretation, and that is obviously unintended.

What?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, the language around invisibility is intentionally not limited to attacks, but hostile actions. No one is trying to say vampiric touch is not a hostile action.

House ruling Mirror Image to take effect upon being targeted with a hostile effect is a choice a GM can make, but it is definitely not the language that the developers used to describe how the spell works.


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Rysky wrote:

If you cast vampiric touch on someone are you ____?

A) attacking them
B) not attacking them

Natural language yes you are attacking them

Rules no

Just as long as you are clear what your context is at the time, you are fine.


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Unicore wrote:

Yeah, the language around invisibility is intentionally not limited to attacks, but hostile actions. No one is trying to say vampiric touch is not a hostile action.

House ruling Mirror Image to take effect upon being targeted with a hostile effect is a choice a GM can make, but it is definitely not the language that the developers used to describe how the spell works.

Okay, I suppose that's my bad on that one. Just think it's silly that the rules construe hostile actions and attacks as separate things when they're basically synonyms, especially in this context.

The problem stems from having to target a singular creature with a strike or single target effect when there is the image of multiple of them in the same space. Any one of them could be the real one, any one of them could just be an image, we don't know, as a character, until we either miss with a strike, or interact with it in some physical manner, not unlike interacting with Illusions to disbelieve them.

Another fun little thing to throw into the mix is Combat Maneuvers like Grapple or Trip; you're telling me that I can just trip an entire square's worth of Mirror Imaged entities with a single check and don't have to roll to see if I even target the right image to trip? While most trips require a sweeping maneuver of some sort, it seems silly that I couldn't consequently just destroy all the images with this (or until I hit the right one) with it. Or make sure I grab the right one with a Grapple check? I can just hold 4 different people in my hands and clearly identify which one is the right one based on my sense of touch and just pound that one without needing to look at them, thereby ignoring the spell entirely? Looks like maneuver builds just got a lot more deadly for Spellcasters.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Tripping and grappling have the attack trait and the skill checks to make those attacks count as attack rolls for the purpose of determining whether the attack hits or misses.

Magic Missile also uses the language of hitting a target, and would thus also constitute an attack that hits you.

It is saving throw abilities specifically (which all got errata'd to remove the attack trait) that do not have a step in their process where "hitting" occurs. Saving throw abilities work much more like you make an effect in a location and then the character that is in that location has to determine how powerful the effect is for them. That is why the language of Mirror Image not interacting with the targeting turns it into such a mess to apply to actions which are not attacks in the rules sense. As long as you don't try to apply it to actions not rules defined as attacks, it is not a messy or confusing ability at all.


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BooleanBear wrote:
In my opinion it’s pretty clear that “touch” in a spell description is just a descriptor for the range of the spell for the purposes of targeting, and that’s it. Otherwise a normal Vampiric Touch would be affected by Mirror Image, but Reach Spell + Vampiric Touch would not because now it’s a targeted spell with 30ft range. I don’t think Mirror Image protects against every hostile targeted effect, otherwise it would talk about being targeted rather than being attacked.

Actually Touch specifically says that it requires you to physically touch the target, and you use your unarmed reach.

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