Illusions again


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Have an illusionist that has cast major image to have the ground reach up and grasp some opponents. The illusionist is invisible. Does this break invisibility? What if it is just a fog? Both ultimately will trigger a will save but is it really an attack? Should it break invisibility?


I would just instantly give a will save to disbelieve at +4 for those "being grabbed", but this also stretches into the "hallucination/phantasm" level of influencing their actions, which would be an attack to turn off invisibility.

I personally can see it a fair trade off of them getting +4 on the save from it being an image to automatically losing invisibility if they were using a mass phantasm spell.


Regardless of whether the Illusionist turns visible, the spell's manifestation will give the Illusionist away. By the [assanine] RAW, they are visual, obvious (not requiring a perception check) and centered on the caster.


It will break the invisibility. Any action that includes a foe in its area and affects a foe directly will break it. This means a summoned creature won't, but a spell that you direct to hit them will.

Using spiritual weapon as an example (while you're invisible): If you cast the spell and direct it at an opponent, that's a direct attack. If you have it cast already and direct it to attack and then later cast invisibility while it continues to autonomously attack the previously indicated target, that will not break invisibility. If you change the spell's target to a new target after casting spiritual weapon that will break invisibility.

A normal solid fog cast with foes in the area would break invisibility, because it has a direct physical effect (slowing them). If you were to cast it on an area without a foe in it and then they walked into it, you would be fine. The same is true for a wall of fire spell. If you cast it in a location where it intersected a foe or there was a foe within the heat-emanating side that would take damage (even if you couldn't see them because they were invisible or around a corner, your invisibility would break. If you cast wall of fire and then a foe moved into the damaging area or through the wall, you would be fine.

In the specific example, your illusion would break your invisibility because you are directly causing an attack (non-damaging) and forcing a save. If you instead cast an illusion of a patch of zombie hands rising from an area (in a space with no foes in it requiring an immediate save), then if they walked into it after it was cast, you would be fine.

The same is true of an illusory fog. Casting it on them or into their area will break your invisibility, but casting it elsewhere, even between you were it blocks their vision of you, will be fine, even if they enter it later.


A figment illusion isn't exactly directly affecting an opponent however, it technically wouldn't even hold them if they tried to get away (even if they fail the save), but they wouldn't think they could short of just being overly suspicious (and getting in to potential metagame territory). It just exists in the area, giving the impression that they should try to escape some sort of grapple, but not actually making them do anything like a suggestion or preventing them from doing anything like a phantasm.

Scarab Sages

Hugo Rune wrote:
Regardless of whether the Illusionist turns visible, the spell's manifestation will give the Illusionist away. By the [assanine] RAW, they are visual, obvious (not requiring a perception check) and centered on the caster.

Houserules fix this and that STUPID emanations rule they added after they came up with psychic magic.


Senko wrote:
Hugo Rune wrote:
Regardless of whether the Illusionist turns visible, the spell's manifestation will give the Illusionist away. By the [assanine] RAW, they are visual, obvious (not requiring a perception check) and centered on the caster.
Houserules fix this and that STUPID emanations rule they added after they came up with psychic magic.

It's not a house rule if you pretend that Ultimate Intrigue was never released. Sticks fingers in ears.

Scarab Sages

AwesomenessDog wrote:
Senko wrote:
Hugo Rune wrote:
Regardless of whether the Illusionist turns visible, the spell's manifestation will give the Illusionist away. By the [assanine] RAW, they are visual, obvious (not requiring a perception check) and centered on the caster.
Houserules fix this and that STUPID emanations rule they added after they came up with psychic magic.
It's not a house rule if you pretend that Ultimate Intrigue was never released. Sticks fingers in ears.

That works too, assuming we are talking about the same thing. It might not be emanation which on reflection is a spell spread like cone or ray. Either way I'm refering to the stupid idea all magic is somehow obvious (sudden chill, hairs standing up, etc). This not only bugs me in relation to things like detect magic or the arcanists see magic exploit but also ruins a huge range of plot points, subtle magical spells and makes things like still/silent spell lose some of their value. still I can rant about this for hours so I'll stop here to avoid derailing the thread.


That was a rule that was published in Ultimate Intrigue as some way to try and make social/enchantment casters not "overpowered" in social settings. As if by the time someone could cast third level spells to get a 1st level silent+still charm person (with crummy save DC), all the other (non-magical) classes with social opportunity can't have taken their own boosting features. But of course, there's plenty of examples in preceding material of even without Silent+Still where charm and other non-obvious spells are cast in the open.

So yes we are talking about the same thing.

But again back to the main point, figments aren't actually doing anything to the creature in question, let alone directly, and there's at least a justifiable downside to using the figment over the phantasm version which does directly target and impact an opponent's mind.

Liberty's Edge

AwesomenessDog wrote:
Senko wrote:
Hugo Rune wrote:
Regardless of whether the Illusionist turns visible, the spell's manifestation will give the Illusionist away. By the [assanine] RAW, they are visual, obvious (not requiring a perception check) and centered on the caster.
Houserules fix this and that STUPID emanations rule they added after they came up with psychic magic.
It's not a house rule if you pretend that Ultimate Intrigue was never released. Sticks fingers in ears.
CRB FAQ wrote:

What exactly do I identify when I’m using Spellcraft to identify a spell? Is it the components, since spell-like abilities, for instance, don’t have any? If I can only identify components, would that mean that I can’t take an attack of opportunity against someone using a spell-like ability (or spell with no verbal, somatic, or material components) or ready an action to shoot an arrow to disrupt a spell-like ability? If there’s something else, how do I know what it is?

Although this isn’t directly stated in the Core Rulebook, many elements of the game system work assuming that all spells have their own manifestations, regardless of whether or not they also produce an obvious visual effect, like fireball. You can see some examples to give you ideas of how to describe a spell’s manifestation in various pieces of art from Pathfinder products, but ultimately, the choice is up to your group, or perhaps even to the aesthetics of an individual spellcaster, to decide the exact details. Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated; this prevents spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation. Special abilities exist (and more are likely to appear in Ultimate Intrigue) that specifically facilitate a spellcaster using chicanery to misdirect people from those manifestations and allow them to go unnoticed, but they will always provide an onlooker some sort of chance to detect the ruse.
posted October 2015 | back to top

You need to pretend that much more than Ultimate Intrigue doesn't exist.

Senko wrote:
That works too, assuming we are talking about the same thing. It might not be emanation which on reflection is a spell spread like cone or ray. Either way I'm refering to the stupid idea all magic is somehow obvious (sudden chill, hairs standing up, etc). This not only bugs me in relation to things like detect magic or the arcanists see magic exploit but also ruins a huge range of plot points, subtle magical spells and makes things like still/silent spell lose some of their value. still I can rant about this for hours so I'll stop here to avoid derailing the thread.

It is not "all magic" it is spellcasting, so SLA and spells.


"A character faced with proof that an illusion isn’t real needs no saving throw." CRB pg. 211
"This spell functions like silent image, except that sound, smell, and thermal illusions are included in the spell effect." Major Image
"The illusion does not create sound, smell, texture, or temperature." Silent Image

Normally, a creature needs to interact with an illusion, and "interacting generally means spending a move action, standard action, or greater on a character’s part" (UI pg. 158). That means despite allowing a save, an illusion of the figment subschool doesn't break invisibility.

In order for the illusion to break Invisibility, it would need to interact with the target(s) on its own, but that would be senseless: Since Major Image doesn't include texture, when someone is being 'touched' by the illusion, they can feel it not being real, and thus automatically disbelieve it.

So casting Major Image to have the ground reach up and reach for the opponents doesn't break Invisibility, actually grasping creatures nullifies the illusion for those targets. As an automatically disbelieved spell doesn't "harm or hamper" (CRB pg. 208, usage of "attack" in spell descriptions) the targets, it probably doesn't break Invisibility but would be a nonsensical thing to do.

Scarab Sages

Diego Rossi wrote:
AwesomenessDog wrote:
Senko wrote:
Hugo Rune wrote:
Regardless of whether the Illusionist turns visible, the spell's manifestation will give the Illusionist away. By the [assanine] RAW, they are visual, obvious (not requiring a perception check) and centered on the caster.
Houserules fix this and that STUPID emanations rule they added after they came up with psychic magic.
It's not a house rule if you pretend that Ultimate Intrigue was never released. Sticks fingers in ears.
CRB FAQ wrote:

What exactly do I identify when I’m using Spellcraft to identify a spell? Is it the components, since spell-like abilities, for instance, don’t have any? If I can only identify components, would that mean that I can’t take an attack of opportunity against someone using a spell-like ability (or spell with no verbal, somatic, or material components) or ready an action to shoot an arrow to disrupt a spell-like ability? If there’s something else, how do I know what it is?

Although this isn’t directly stated in the Core Rulebook, many elements of the game system work assuming that all spells have their own manifestations, regardless of whether or not they also produce an obvious visual effect, like fireball. You can see some examples to give you ideas of how to describe a spell’s manifestation in various pieces of art from Pathfinder products, but ultimately, the choice is up to your group, or perhaps even to the aesthetics of an individual spellcaster, to decide the exact details. Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated; this prevents spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation. Special abilities exist (and more are likely to appear in Ultimate Intrigue) that specifically facilitate a spellcaster using chicanery to misdirect people from those manifestations and allow them to go unnoticed, but

...

Hence my just house ruling to ignore the argument. In my game magic only creates an effect if it is something like fireball (glowing ember) or illusions (obviously). It breaks plot hooks, it breaks items, it breaks WRITTEN encounters in released content, it breaks creature abilities. It is in my opinion a stupid idea and as you're own quote states . . .

Although this isn’t directly stated in the Core Rulebook, many elements of the game system work assuming that all spells have their own manifestations, regardless of whether or not they also produce an obvious visual effect, like fireball. You can see some examples to give you ideas of how to describe a spell’s manifestation in various pieces of art from Pathfinder products, but ultimately, the choice is up to your group, or perhaps even to the aesthetics of an individual spellcaster, to decide the exact details. Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated; this prevents spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation. Special abilities exist (and more are likely to appear in Ultimate Intrigue) that specifically facilitate a spellcaster using chicanery to misdirect people from those manifestations and allow them to go unnoticed,

I am not going to require my characters to waste a feat on hiding their manifestations in addition to still, silent, eschew AND higher level spell slots. Not to mention I prefer These are not the droids your looking for. (Where Obi Wan never took still spell :)) over Nothing suspicious in my staff's eyes glowing the same colour as the princes people. or What? No I'm not casting a spell I just have a skin condition that makes these glowing runes appear around my hands occasionally. If you want to have that rule in your game fine but tell me beforehand because I'm not playing a caster in it if you do.


Derklord wrote:
So casting Major Image to have the ground reach up and reach for the opponents doesn't break Invisibility, actually grasping creatures nullifies the illusion for those targets. As an automatically disbelieved spell doesn't "harm or hamper" (CRB pg. 208, usage of "attack" in spell descriptions) the targets, it probably doesn't break Invisibility but would be a nonsensical thing to do.

It will break invisibility. We do not use the definition of 'attack' that you quoted. We use invisibility's. The broad definition of attack (harming or hindering) applies, invisibility includes additional factors.

Invisibility wrote:

For purposes of this spell, an attack includes any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe. ...

Spells such as bless that specifically affect allies but not foes are not attacks for this purpose, even when they include foes in their area.

It doesn't matter whether the spell can or cannot do anything to a foe in the area, if you cast it on a foe in the area (knowingly or not, like if they were invisible themselves), you will break your invisibility. Spells that specifically do not exclude foes (or only target allies), like bless, are exempted from this.

This means if you cast a spell (or take an action, it doesn't have to be a spell) that is beneficial and affects foes, it will break your invisibility, like channeling energy to heal and somehow an enemy is affected, will break your invisibility.

If you cast charm person on a non-humanoid enemy, it will break your invisibility, even if the spell has no chance of affecting them. The spell or ability's affect or efficacy is not called into play for purposes of breaking invisibility (charm person does not exclude foes, just because it excludes non-humanoids who may or may not be foes).

It doesn't matter if you cast a fireball that catches a foe who is completely immune to fire, who has SR that you can't beat, and a contingent teleport to take him out of the blast area of a fireball if he would be caught in it. Once you do that, you break your invisibility.

Casting an illusion that includes a foe in its space, will break your invisibility, whether they automatically disbelieve it or not, or whether they're completely blind and can't perceive it at all (and it would have to be in the spell's area for it to 'reach' them, as opposed to 'reaching for them' or 'reaching in their direction'). If they then enter it after the spell is in place, it will not affect your invisibility, since that's not a direct 'attack' as checked for by invisibility.

About the only situation which probably wouldn't break your invisibility, is if they were in the radius, but protected by a globe of invulnerability or possibly anti-magic field since the wording on GoI seems to be that it excludes those areas from magic, which technically could be read as meaning the foe in that space wouldn't count as being in the effect, but that's just something I'm adding for completeness sake and isn't at issue here. Just like a caster suddenly saying, "I consider all those foes in the space of my fireball to be allies, and my allies are based on my subjective perception, so I can attack all I want and not break my invisibility," isn't at issue. It's just something I wouldn't allow either.

Liberty's Edge

Senko wrote:
I am not going to require my characters to waste a feat on hiding their manifestations in addition to still, silent, eschew AND higher level spell slots. Not to mention I prefer These are not the droids your looking for. (Where Obi Wan never took still spell :)) over Nothing suspicious in my staff's eyes glowing the same colour as the princes people. or What? No I'm not casting a spell I just have a skin condition that makes these glowing runes appear around my hands occasionally. If you want to have that rule in your game fine but tell me beforehand because I'm not playing a caster in it if you do.

I would say that not casting the spell in a public place will resolve something like 90% of the problems you have. On the other hand, you seem to want spellcasters to easily dominate or kill the king while he is doing public speaking 8or some hundred other scenarios where an important figure is an easy target).

My problem is that it doesn't make a more interesting world, it simply makes it way harder to gather the needed suspension of disbelief to make the game enjoyable.
In RL all important figures try to protect themselves from manipulation and assassination and still they fail often enough. It seems absurd that in our fictional world they will not take the same kind of steps, especially when you remove the chance to notice the attempt.

Scarab Sages

Diego Rossi wrote:
Senko wrote:
I am not going to require my characters to waste a feat on hiding their manifestations in addition to still, silent, eschew AND higher level spell slots. Not to mention I prefer These are not the droids your looking for. (Where Obi Wan never took still spell :)) over Nothing suspicious in my staff's eyes glowing the same colour as the princes people. or What? No I'm not casting a spell I just have a skin condition that makes these glowing runes appear around my hands occasionally. If you want to have that rule in your game fine but tell me beforehand because I'm not playing a caster in it if you do.

I would say that not casting the spell in a public place will resolve something like 90% of the problems you have. On the other hand, you seem to want spellcasters to easily dominate or kill the king while he is doing public speaking 8or some hundred other scenarios where an important figure is an easy target).

My problem is that it doesn't make a more interesting world, it simply makes it way harder to gather the needed suspension of disbelief to make the game enjoyable.
In RL all important figures try to protect themselves from manipulation and assassination and still they fail often enough. It seems absurd that in our fictional world they will not take the same kind of steps, especially when you remove the chance to notice the attempt.

It's a world with magic and not low level magical presence like lord of the rings its a world with magic mart shops selling items even in small villages. Unless your talking some border king with limited resources or a moron like Uther in Merlin trying to get rid of all magic and leaving himself vulnerable any ruler is going to have protections A court mage, class levels in wizard themself, Mantle of Spell resistance., high level priests, the areas they're normally in e.g. throne rooms under permanent antimagic fields, if you use older systems protections to turn people teleporting into the palace into statues dropped off in a cell while their weapons and armour go elsewhere and probably a lot more.

I'm not saying wealthy and powerful beings don't have protections. I'm saying those protections DON'T rely or use the idea magic which is meant to be subtle and unnoticed comes with a flashing neon sign that can be noticed by anyone nearby saying "Magic in use, MAGIC in use, MAGIC IN USE!". Plus as I said if you want to go this route (and laying aside protections that would be employed) if you want to cast the 1st level charm person to make someone feel friendly towards you that has verbal and somatic components and is close range. So casting that normally has you chanting/speaking/other words to the spell and moving your hands and arms around so there's a decent chance you'll be noticed. If you want to make someone friendly without alerting them you need to take 2 feats still and silent spell as well as be able to cast 3rd level spells (putting you at 5th level). All for the return of making someone friendly towards you. That's a reasonable counter balance in itself. Dominate person moves from 5th level (9th level caster) to 7th level (11 th level caster). Again they have to overcome any defenses their target might have in place.

Then you have to tell me why my casting prestidigiation emanates a "magic in the area" tingle anyone nearby can feel but I need detect magic to tell this artifact is magical with overwhelming power. Why is the fighter not going "I sense powerful magic in this place" as soon as he comes nearby if he can sense me casting? Shall we look at Succubi who are all about subtle corruption and manipulation potentially giving themself away any time they use their supernatural ability of charm monster? Perhaps instead we should consider a magic school which is constantly pinging "magic,magic,magic,magic" every time the students practice their spell casting? What are these emanantions how shall I respond to the player who wants to know if they can tell the difference between a transfiguration emanation or a necromantic one? Lets return to the Uther example with no magical protections and what happens? He dies in episode 1 to the time stopping witch with a dagger (different system don't try to duplicate) but with a court wizard (merlin if uknown) the assasin is stopped. This is an entire series of potential plot hooks from hidden Jafar Vizier manipulating the ruler with dominate person through to general suspicion and dedicated magic hunters with "approved magic" because people are afraid of what might be done to them without their knowledge.

I am sure there are even more issues I've not thought of because I took one look at the concept even they admit is not in the core rulebook and blanket houseruled it doesn't exist because I saw so many problems with it I didn't want to deal with the garbage. Your opinion obviously differs but I don't want to deal with some hazy, ill defined, ill thought out system of emanations that they gave us when it causes more problems than it solves.

Liberty's Edge

Senko wrote:
... some hazy, ill defined, ill thought out system of emanations that they gave us when it causes more problems than it solves.

I must admit that I partially agree with that. For my home games, I have house-ruled a specific spellcraft check that can be made untrained to perceive "a magical effect being activated in that square". With modifiers for distance, cover, distractions, etc.

The problem with doing it that way is that it requires more rolls.
In a thread about tracking encumbrance, a reply was "I want to play, not micromanage.". That show why Paizo resorted to using something very generic (and so way less accurate) to keep spellcasters from walking over the head of other characters in social situations.
Perfect? Not at all.
Better than "Your wizard has charmed the judge, you are cleared of all charges." every time there is some trouble? Yes.

Scarab Sages

Diego Rossi wrote:
Senko wrote:
... some hazy, ill defined, ill thought out system of emanations that they gave us when it causes more problems than it solves.

I must admit that I partially agree with that. For my home games, I have house-ruled a specific spellcraft check that can be made untrained to perceive "a magical effect being activated in that square". With modifiers for distance, cover, distractions, etc.

The problem with doing it that way is that it requires more rolls.
In a thread about tracking encumbrance, a reply was "I want to play, not micromanage.". That show why Paizo resorted to using something very generic (and so way less accurate) to keep spellcasters from walking over the head of other characters in social situations.
Perfect? Not at all.
Better than "Your wizard has charmed the judge, you are cleared of all charges." every time there is some trouble? Yes.

I refer you again to my chamber with antimagic, trusted mages who can detect magic being used, imperial inquisitors who are trained to investigate this kind of thing. I find it better to speak to the player if they are causing issues with other players, if its just an NPC issue as said I have other ways to balance them than the equivilent of glowing symbols in the air.


The FAQ was released a year ahead of the Ultimate Intrigue book, and was specifically because they wanted to make that change standard ahead of the book. They were probably working on the rules set at the time, realized there was an outstanding FAQ where precedent could be set, and then a year of editing, playtesting, and other scheduled releases later, we get the UI book.


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I don't think "these aren't the droids you're looking for" would have been successful had Obi Wan's face turned electric blue and his nose grown Pinocchio style.

The emanation ruleset belongs in the bin. If charm/compulsion spells are an issue add some detection/protection spells into the mix.


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Hugo Rune wrote:

I don't think "these aren't the droids you're looking for" would have been successful had Obi Wan's face turned electric blue and his nose grown Pinocchio style.

The emanation ruleset belongs in the bin. If charm/compulsion spells are an issue add some detection/protection spells into the mix.

Yet, Jafar got away with a magical swirling eyes snake staff and no one called him out on it so its not like applying mechanical rules to non game settings they weren't intended to be used in always yields consistent results.


You'd be pretty hard pressed to find someone who would say Disney movies have the same situational awareness and credibility as even Star Wars (the original and prequel trilogy, not the Disney ones, they don't count for the reason mentioned above) for what would happen if a jedi cast their "suggestion handwave" indiscreetly in front of a group of unaffected people. The only times it even happens in those 2 trilogies is against the guards at the speeder and in a noisy club, both cases with his back blocking the hand to most other onlookers. Jafar does it in the courtroom in front of other members of the court.


There is also the fact that many visual emanations to magic in movies and TV shows are done purely for the audience. The original books many of them are based on either make no mention of a visual effect or even explicitly claim it to have been imperceptible. Visual Media is a poor reference for the validity of visual magic emanations…


AwesomenessDog wrote:
You'd be pretty hard pressed to find someone who would say Disney movies have the same situational awareness and credibility as even Star Wars (the original and prequel trilogy, not the Disney ones, they don't count for the reason mentioned above) for what would happen if a jedi cast their "suggestion handwave" indiscreetly in front of a group of unaffected people. The only times it even happens in those 2 trilogies is against the guards at the speeder and in a noisy club, both cases with his back blocking the hand to most other onlookers. Jafar does it in the courtroom in front of other members of the court.

Qui-Gon attempts it against Watto and fails, who mocks him for the gesture--clearly its obvious what he was doing. "What? You think you're some kind of Jedi, waving your hand around like that? I'm a Toydarian. Mind tricks don't work on me. Only money."

Luke uses it against Bib Fortuna and Jabba calls him out on it when Luke fails to use it on Jabba himself.
The Jedi Mind trick appears to only be subtle when it succeeds.

And, to be fair, Getting one over on Stormtroopers in the OT is not difficult. Perception is not a class skill for them apparently.

Also, these stories are narrative experiences that don't obey rules like a TTRPG would which was mostly my point.


Kasoh wrote:
Also, these stories are narrative experiences that don't obey rules like a TTRPG would which was mostly my point.

Ignoring the fact that star wars has several officially sanctioned TTRPG systems, are you saying that when Piazo has its own published content with "narrative experiences" using these spells in ways that would immediately rouse suspicion if spell emanations were a thing before the retcon, we should instead operate under a "cutscene" mindset for our players and stories for anything the book writes in, instead of using it as an example of a RAI usage?


AwesomenessDog wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
Also, these stories are narrative experiences that don't obey rules like a TTRPG would which was mostly my point.
Ignoring the fact that star wars has several officially sanctioned TTRPG systems, are you saying that when Piazo has its own published content with "narrative experiences" using these spells in ways that would immediately rouse suspicion if spell emanations were a thing before the retcon, we should instead operate under a "cutscene" mindset for our players and stories for anything the book writes in, instead of using it as an example of a RAI usage?

Yeah, and Star Wars RPGs have their own rules and ways to handle those mechanisms, not helped by the fact that the source material for those is often inconsistent. Looking over its repeated appearances in Star Wars, The Jedi Mind Trick is most notable for how often it fails to solve problems.

I've read all of 3 Pathfinder Tales novels so I don't recall how its handled there, but the comics always show spell casting with the runes. And the official art in the sourcebooks usually showed it as well.

Tie In material should obey the fiction of the setting since its a licensed product showing the setting. I would expect an editor from Paizo to send notes to an author who had naturally undetectable spell casting because that's not how it works. But I wouldn't use a novel, comic, boardgame, movie, or puppet show as any kind of rules arbiter unless there was no other choice. I'm not particularly pleased about using art as a rule arbiter, but it is what it is.

Things that work in fiction don't work the same during table play--there was a forum post about the knife-to-the-neck hostage situation a few weeks ago that went into that as well.

Scarab Sages

Kasoh wrote:
AwesomenessDog wrote:
You'd be pretty hard pressed to find someone who would say Disney movies have the same situational awareness and credibility as even Star Wars (the original and prequel trilogy, not the Disney ones, they don't count for the reason mentioned above) for what would happen if a jedi cast their "suggestion handwave" indiscreetly in front of a group of unaffected people. The only times it even happens in those 2 trilogies is against the guards at the speeder and in a noisy club, both cases with his back blocking the hand to most other onlookers. Jafar does it in the courtroom in front of other members of the court.

Qui-Gon attempts it against Watto and fails, who mocks him for the gesture--clearly its obvious what he was doing. "What? You think you're some kind of Jedi, waving your hand around like that? I'm a Toydarian. Mind tricks don't work on me. Only money."

Luke uses it against Bib Fortuna and Jabba calls him out on it when Luke fails to use it on Jabba himself.
The Jedi Mind trick appears to only be subtle when it succeeds.

And, to be fair, Getting one over on Stormtroopers in the OT is not difficult. Perception is not a class skill for them apparently.

Also, these stories are narrative experiences that don't obey rules like a TTRPG would which was mostly my point.

Which was my point he see's the hand geasture (countered by still spell) and mocks Qui Gon for "thinking" he's a jedi. He doesn't feel a emanation and mock him for "trying" to mind influence a Troydarian. He went off the physical geasture a jedi makes if they feel they need too, Rey did it while strapped to a table no hand geasture as I recall. Somatic and Verbal components are a tell spellcasting is being used if the spell comes with marvel style flaring runes then these feats lose half their value. Originally they were stealth + restraint if you now need another feat to hide the emanation their only for restraint and personally I'd be heavily reconsidering if they're worth taking if its for the niche situations your restrained.

Kasoh wrote:
AwesomenessDog wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
Also, these stories are narrative experiences that don't obey rules like a TTRPG would which was mostly my point.
Ignoring the fact that star wars has several officially sanctioned TTRPG systems, are you saying that when Piazo has its own published content with "narrative experiences" using these spells in ways that would immediately rouse suspicion if spell emanations were a thing before the retcon, we should instead operate under a "cutscene" mindset for our players and stories for anything the book writes in, instead of using it as an example of a RAI usage?

Yeah, and Star Wars RPGs have their own rules and ways to handle those mechanisms, not helped by the fact that the source material for those is often inconsistent. Looking over its repeated appearances in Star Wars, The Jedi Mind Trick is most notable for how often it fails to solve problems.

I've read all of 3 Pathfinder Tales novels so I don't recall how its handled there, but the comics always show spell casting with the runes. And the official art in the sourcebooks usually showed it as well.

Tie In material should obey the fiction of the setting since its a licensed product showing the setting. I would expect an editor from Paizo to send notes to an author who had naturally undetectable spell casting because that's not how it works. But I wouldn't use a novel, comic, boardgame, movie, or puppet show as any kind of rules arbiter unless there was no other choice. I'm not particularly pleased about using art as a rule arbiter, but it is what it is.

Things that work in fiction don't work the same during table play--there was a forum post about the knife-to-the-neck hostage situation a few weeks ago that went into that as well.

Artwork generally wants a visual pow factor in comics and the glowing runes are a fairly effective way of showing that but as I recall these are also often the battle magic where showy effects come with the spell e.g. fireball not the subtle effects you want to keep quiet like illusions and charm person. If your doing this every time you cast a spell then things like charm person lose all meaning as its blaringly obvious. Now the emanation rule is not this extreme but it still makes a lot of problems with a lot of spells, items and encounters. Heck even finding a hard ruling e.g. what distance from the spellcaster do people feel it and does that vary with caster level, spell level or both is a pain to find.


Senko wrote:
Artwork generally wants a visual pow factor in comics and the glowing runes are a fairly effective way of showing that but as I recall these are also often the battle magic where showy effects come with the spell e.g. fireball not the subtle effects you want to keep quiet like illusions and charm person. If your doing this every time you cast a spell then things like charm person lose all meaning as its blaringly obvious. Now the emanation rule is not this extreme but it still makes a lot of problems with a lot of spells, items and encounters. Heck even finding a hard ruling e.g. what distance from the spellcaster do people feel it and does that vary with caster level, spell level or both is a pain to find.

Oh no, you have to consider time and place before mind controlling someone. Poor PCs. Woe is them. I'm not sympathetic to complaints of 'But it makes my life harder'

Its not really different from not wanting to stab someone in open view of other people. Both are forms of assault.

The emanations are visual, so use the rules for perception, and the rules for saving throws tell us that a person knows they have made a save against an outside force, so it has to be in the range of the spell.


The other half is emanations are essentially "player defined" as to what they actually are, opening the field to metagame where you can just say "yeah it's just something not super obvious like a glint in my eye" instead of the massive and obvious arcane circles everywhere.

The even more ironic part is the solution Ultimate Intrigue presents for some characters to get over the "emanations" problem is a feat that lets you use social skills and slight of hand to hide the verbal and somatic components as a bonus to hiding these ridiculous emanations. So not only according to the nonsensical RAW is the old and more expensive usage no longer valid, but now there's the power creep of "instead of taking 2 feats and having to cast spells at 2 levels higher, you just need one and some skill ranks and you probably won't be caught by anyone who wouldn't pass the charm save anyway."

Not only does this imply that the emanations were so unobvious to begin with that they could be concealed in a hand, and even some inattentive characters could easily miss it in a crowd or conversation, but also that again the biggest challenge comes from the verbal and somatic components. It's just a weird, poorly thought out rule that doesn't add anything while also retconning several major plot points in several APs and modules.

Liberty's Edge

AwesomenessDog wrote:
It's just a weird, poorly thought out rule that doesn't add anything while also retconning several major plot points in several APs and modules.

I don't recall any AP or module where having perceptible emanations every time a spell is cast will create a problem, but I haven't read all of them.

Do you have some specific examples in mind?


AwesomenessDog wrote:
The other half is emanations are essentially "player defined" as to what they actually are, opening the field to metagame where you can just say "yeah it's just something not super obvious like a glint in my eye" instead of the massive and obvious arcane circles everywhere.

Aside from the next sentence in the FAQ that established them.

FAQ wrote:
Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated

I wouldn't disagree that Paizo sometimes sells solutions to problems they cause, and I honestly think it was something they considered so obvious as to wonder how the other interpretation came about. Considering that they have double downed on manifestations hard in 2e, diagramming components of the rune circles that appear while casting and whatnot.

Even before the emanations ruling, I assumed you couldn't get away with casting unnoticed because of the requirements of Verbal and Somatic components. The loud talking and wild gesturing. I would have required Silent and Still spell before to get away with it, so reducing the requirement to a single feat is actually a buff to the surreptitious spellcaster.


Diego Rossi wrote:
AwesomenessDog wrote:
It's just a weird, poorly thought out rule that doesn't add anything while also retconning several major plot points in several APs and modules.

I don't recall any AP or module where having perceptible emanations every time a spell is cast will create a problem, but I haven't read all of them.

Do you have some specific examples in mind?

Pretty much any instance where a PC or NPC is charmed, but even more specifically, I recently ran an encounter in book 1 of Mummy's Mask (published in 2014) where a div tries to use a SLA (so no verbal or somatic) in front of the entire party to both try and convince one target with suggestion to put on a cursed item (if it was obvious, the party would try to stop them and the tactic would be obviously futile), and further it says the div waits until the effects of the curse appear or the party splits up because it charms another party member to try and lead it out of the building (because it falsely claims it can only tread/hover over a path of sand) to attack.

Does this example wildly alter the course of the AP, no. Does it not exist as an interesting encounter beyond "kick open the door and kill whatever hisses at the light" if the emanations kill the usefulness of the spells, also no.

Kasoh wrote:
AwesomenessDog wrote:
The other half is emanations are essentially "player defined" as to what they actually are, opening the field to metagame where you can just say "yeah it's just something not super obvious like a glint in my eye" instead of the massive and obvious arcane circles everywhere.
Aside from the next sentence in the FAQ that established them.

Ah yes, the Schrodinger's emanation, so obvious that anyone entirely untrained notices them at all times yet as difficult to master hiding from 99% of the population as just swinging your sword a little harder. Totally a hallmark of a good design and balance decision.

Kasoh wrote:
FAQ wrote:
Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated

I wouldn't disagree that Paizo sometimes sells solutions to problems they cause, and I honestly think it was something they considered so obvious as to wonder how the other interpretation came about. Considering that they have double downed on manifestations hard in 2e, diagramming components of the rune circles that appear while casting and whatnot.

Even before the emanations ruling, I assumed you couldn't get away with casting unnoticed because of the requirements of Verbal and Somatic components. The loud talking and wild gesturing. I would have required Silent and Still spell before to get away with it, so reducing the requirement to a single feat is actually a buff to the surreptitious spellcaster.

It would be a buff if they didn't invalidate the more expensive but useful in other ways solution. What they've done instead is lore break to essentially advertise their own product and then invalidate an existing solution to sell their own product with now the only solution to the society players. (You're also probably in the wrong forum if you're looking for people to say anything they changed in 2e was a good thing.)


AwesomenessDog wrote:
Ah yes, the Schrodinger's emanation, so obvious that anyone entirely untrained notices them at all times yet as difficult to master hiding from 99% of the population as just swinging your sword a little harder. Totally a hallmark of a good design and balance decision.

Pathfinder being well regarded for its design and balance, of course. No one in the history of ever has ever decried the poor balance of PF1. By 2015, when that FAQ was published, people knew what they were getting into.

AwesomenessDog wrote:
It would be a buff if they didn't invalidate the more expensive but useful in other ways solution. What they've done instead is lore break to essentially advertise their own product and then invalidate an existing solution to sell their own product with now the only solution to the society players. (You're also probably in the wrong forum if you're looking for people to say anything they changed in 2e was a good thing.)

/shrug. Use to take 2 feats, now it takes one. That's a buff. Overall, this ruling strikes me as one of the many times people wanted an answer to a question from the design team and didn't like the answer and now they're unhappy that the official ruling is disadvantageous to them. I learned my lesson about wanting official rulings in Fourth Edition D&D.

In the same way that fiction is a poor source for rules adjudication, I'm not thrilled to reference a later edition that mechanically holds very little similarities, but I think it establishes authorial intent pretty well. Paizo made the emanations ruling--seemingly out of nowhere--in first edition but they considered it to be so important that they made absolutely sure that it was mentioned in the 2e CRB, quite plainly.

Actually, another encounter comes to mind that is made more difficult to run by this ruling is from Wrath of the Righteous. An invisible sorcerer tries to summon creatures to attack the party, (I think with silent spell or maybe not, I can't be bothered to check) I assume that the spellcasting emanations are visible even from invisibility, making the entire strategy pointless. Though, there is still that +40 to stealth while not moving, and the caster gets their total concealment.


Diego Rossi wrote:
AwesomenessDog wrote:
It's just a weird, poorly thought out rule that doesn't add anything while also retconning several major plot points in several APs and modules.

I don't recall any AP or module where having perceptible emanations every time a spell is cast will create a problem, but I haven't read all of them.

Do you have some specific examples in mind?

From what I recall… there are numerous times in Second Darkness and even Shattered Star where an NPC uses a charm, compulsion, or illusion spell in public view specifically to deceive the party and the party is NOT supposed to be instantly aware that “magic is afoot” when it happens unless someone just so happened to have detect magic up, succeeded on a perception check AND knowledge arcana or spellcraft, or was subject to a save and passed… with emenations though, those encounters become “oh hey he’s using a spell, because magic is so obvious a 3yr old peasant can notice it with a nat1”

Scarab Sages

As said above the rule makes a lot of problems somewhat invalidates the usefulness of still/silent spell and is contradictory. Even the fact you need to make a successful save raises questions. If you need to save to notice the spell what about someone standing the same distance away but not targeted? What about someone twice the distance? What about spells that are higher level but shorter range? What about spells like see alignment that has a range of "personal" but lets you see if anyone in line of sight has that alignment. I'm not targeting you and the spell is the shortest range do you sense the magic being used? It may be in the CRB of 2nd ed but I dislike a lot about what they did in that edition and have no intention of playing it. Even if I did that would just mean they made a choice going forward to design with it in mind for that edition. It doesn't mean that it was originally meant to be in or works well with this one. Only that someone who did have that idea about how magic works got it added later otherwise there would have been something about it in the core rulebook like there is in 2nd.

As said above there's a lot of encounters that run into issues if magic has an obvious emanation every time its used. Which is rather self-contradictory. As AwesomenessDog said you now have something that's obvious to anyone nearby but can be easily hidden in normal conversation which is self contradictory and invalidates the glowing runes argument. This emanation is something both obvious but hideable in common conversation so no glowing runes and if it can be hidden in conversation how is it obvious its magic to begin with? In addition to which as said it apparently has no relation to caster level or spell level which you'd expect if people can somehow sense magic. As is a mythic archmage casting mythic wish to reshape reality is no more noticeable than a 1st level hedge witch casting a cantrip. In fact depending on who takes a social feat NOT still and silent spell either way can be more or less obvious. A social feat that does allow the mythic wish to be hidden in plain sight of everyone unlike still/silent spell which previously would have prevented wish being hidden as you can't heighten it.

Not to mention even finding any kind of rule information in 1st ed is not easy. beyond the vague "its magic and they see it but this feat helps you hide it".


Would just like to point out that in the RAW, emanations are visual, centered on the caster and obvious. They do not require a Perception or Spellcraft check.

Those suggesting the effect can be subtle, such as the glint in the eye, are mistaken and going back to the OP, the emanation might as well be a big flashing neon sign saying Invisible Caster Here.

Scarab Sages

Hugo Rune wrote:

Would just like to point out that in the RAW, emanations are visual, cantered on the caster and obvious. They do not require a Perception or Spell craft check.

Those suggesting the effect can be subtle, such as the glint in the eye, are mistaken and going back to the OP, the emanation might as well be a big flashing neon sign saying Invisible Caster Here.

Which causes the frustration for this with anyone trying to perform subtle magic like charm person. I don't see massive glowing glyphs in the sky as a requirement for magic, nor do I need them to control casters from just taking over the kingdom there are other better options. Also, I took another look at the ultimate intrigue feats today they are HORRIBLE. You need . . .

Subtle Enchantments
Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 93
Your enchantments influence targets in more subtle ways and are harder to notice.

Prerequisites: Deceitful, Spell Focus (enchantment).

Benefit: When you cast an enchantment spell or use an enchantment spell-like ability to influence a creature’s attitude or actions and the foe negates the spell with a successful Will save, she has a 50% chance not to notice that she just succeeded at a saving throw (she still can attempt to identify your spell or spell-like ability as normal). If the foe fails the saving throw or is otherwise affected by the spell, the Sense Motive DC to notice she is under the effects of an enchantment increases by 5.

Normal: Anyone who successfully saves against a spell notices the mental intrusion automatically.

So first off if they save normally, they automatically notice the intrusion right off the bat no chance of them failing to do so. Second if they FAIL the throw or is unaffected, they still get a chance to notice it. Think about that for a moment you have cast a spell on someone to try and subtly influence them to be more friendly, they fail their save and they can STILL notice the spell and get mad at you. Third even with this feat on a successful save they have a 50% chance to notice the attempt. Fourth here's the option to use spell craft they can identify the spell. So combined with 2 if they fail their charm person, they can not only notice it but know exactly what you did to them. Fifth its only for enchantment spells any other school just automatically shines "Caster" here when you try to use it. Sixth to take this spell ac caster has to take Deceitful which gives +2/4 to bluff and disguise. I already feel short on feats as a caster between all the meta magic, crafting and roleplaying ones I want to take now to try and hide my magic I have to waste one on a feat I have no interest in. I also have to spend a feat on spell focus enchantment, not as bad since its at least related to my casting but not one I normally take.

So, to have a chance for my target to notice my casting charm person when they fail, I have to take 3 feats one of which doesn't even really benefit me in general play.

Then we have . . .

Conceal Spell
Source Ultimate Intrigue pg. 80
You can hide the evidence of spells you cast.

Prerequisites: Deceitful, Bluff 1 rank, Disguise 1 rank, Sleight of Hand 1 rank.

Benefit: When you cast a spell or use a spell-like ability, you can attempt to conceal verbal and somatic components among other speech and gestures, and to conceal the manifestation of casting the spell, so others don’t realize you’re casting a spell or using a spell-like ability until it is too late. The attempt to hide the spell slows your casting slightly, such that spells that normally take a standard action to cast now take a full-round action, and spells that normally take longer than a standard action take twice as long. (Swift action spells still take a swift action.) To discover your ruse, a creature must succeed at a Perception, Sense Motive, or Spell craft check (the creature receives an automatic check with whichever of those skills has the highest bonus) against a DC equal to 15 + your number of ranks in Bluff or Disguise (whichever is higher) + your Charisma modifier; the creature gains a bonus on its check equal to the level of the spell or spell like ability you are concealing.

If your spell has a somatic component, any creature that can see you receives a Perception or Spell craft check (whichever has the highest bonus) against a DC equal to 15 + your number of ranks in Sleight of Hand + your Dexterity modifier; the creature gains a bonus on its check equal to the level of the spell or spell-like ability you are concealing. Since you are concealing the spell’s manifestation through other actions, others observing you realize you’re doing something, even if they don’t realize you’re casting a spell. If there is a verbal component, they still hear your loud, clear voice but don’t notice the spell woven within. If an opponent fails its check, you’re casting also does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and an opponent that fails its check can’t use readied actions that depend on realizing that you’re casting a spell or using a spell-like ability, or readied actions such as counter spelling that require identifying the spell you’re casting. Spells such as fireball that create an additional obvious effect (aside from the manifestation of casting that all spells and spell-like abilities share) still create that effect, though it might not be obvious who cast the spell unless it emanates from you.

If a character interacts with you long enough to attempt a Sense Motive check without realizing you have been casting spells, that character can use Sense Motive to gain a hunch that you’re behaving unusually.

So, first off, I'm now having spent skill points that are already in short supply for some casters on skills best left to other classes. I need at least 3 to even take the class at least one of which is not something I normally take (disguise). Secondly again I need to waste a feat on deceitful to take this (so to hide my spells I'm already at 2 feats). Third it slows my casting, not a major issue but this is as far as I know the only situation where your casting speed changes in the entire game. Fourth this part of the feat . . .

Perception, Sense Motive, or Spell craft check (the creature receives an automatic check with whichever of those skills has the highest bonus) against a DC equal to 15 + your number of ranks in Bluff or Disguise (whichever is higher) + your Charisma modifier; the creature gains a bonus on its check equal to the level of the spell or spell like ability you are concealing.

Even using this feat my target gets an AUTOMATIC check to spot the spell casting (I will also apologize there is apparently a level component in their bonus so more powerful spells are easier to spot). What if I am targeting multiple beings do, they all get a check? how about a fireball that's not targeted but can hit multiple beings? However, there are more issues here its adding charisma to the DC not good for any intelligence or wisdom based casters. However, I've now spent 3 skill points, 2 feats and everyone targeted still gets an automatic check to see if I'm casting. In addition to which still/silent spell feats give you NO bonus here. I'm casting a VSM spell and they get a check, I use still to make it V and it gives me no benefit to concealing my spell. Fifth it then gets confusing with this . . .

If your spell has a somatic component, any creature that can see you receives a Perception or Spell craft check (whichever has the highest bonus) against a DC equal to 15 + your number of ranks in Sleight of Hand + your Dexterity modifier; the creature gains a bonus on its check equal to the level of the spell or spell-like ability you are concealing.

This comes right after the previous bit about checks. So as best I can tell the first part is who I'm casting it on, fail or succeed you get an automatic check to see if I cast a spell on you. This paragraph then allows anyone else in the area to also make a check to see the spell casting. I think still spell will negate this check because the spell no longer has a somatic component on casting but I can see GM's arguing even if you don't use that component, it’s still part of the spell. Then it gets weird with verbal components because they notice the voice but not the spell within. SOOO . . . my waving my hands around while talking can be noticed as a potential spell but my saying "And so you see HT*IO(#QH#)(23HT that when we look at the trade deal . . ." isn't? I'd have thought chanting the words to a spell would be harder to hide than hand gestures but apparently not.

Finally let’s look at the only actual description of these manifestations in 1st ed as far as I can tell (I've looked aside from specific feat rules like those above I've been able to find).

What exactly do I identify when I’m using Spell craft to identify a spell? Is it the components, since spell-like abilities, for instance, don’t have any? If I can only identify components, would that mean that I can’t take an attack of opportunity against someone using a spell-like ability (or spell with no verbal, somatic, or material components) or ready an action to shoot an arrow to disrupt a spell-like ability? If there’s something else, how do I know what it is?

Although this isn’t directly stated in the Core Rulebook, many elements of the game system work assuming that all spells have their own manifestations, regardless of whether or not they also produce an obvious visual effect, like fireball. You can see some examples to give your ideas of how to describe a spell’s manifestation in various pieces of art from Pathfinder products, but ultimately, the choice is up to your group, or perhaps even to the aesthetics of an individual spellcaster, to decide the exact details. Whatever the case, these manifestations are obviously magic of some kind, even to the uninitiated; this prevents spellcasters that use spell-like abilities, psychic magic, and the like from running completely amok against non-spellcasters in a non-combat situation. Special abilities exist (and more are likely to appear in Ultimate Intrigue) that specifically facilitate a spellcaster using chicanery to misdirect people from those manifestations and allow them to go unnoticed, but they will always provide an onlooker some sort of chance to detect the ruse.

If you don't have ultimate intrigue this is ZERO help leaving everything up to the GM/Group. Are higher level spells easier to detect? Up to you. Are spells cast with still/silent spell harder to detect? Up to you. As these manifestations are not necessarily a visual effect does someone need to be looking at you to notice it or will they sense it behind them? Up to you. Is there a range these manifestations can be detected at? Up to you. There are no rules, no examples beyond a vague "look at artwork" to help you figure things out. Then if you do buy ultimate intrigue as detailed above you suddenly find out oh higher level spells are meant to give a bonus on detection. Not in a rule on manifestations or even in both the feats that deal with hiding spells but only in two feats one that exists solely to remove the benefit listed in the other feat. Yet conceal spell and subtle enchantment both talk about "normal" rules as if those rules existed anywhere outside the confines of the feat referencing them.

This is not a thought out part of the game mechanics this is some developers pet idea of how magic should work shoehorned in via a FAQ with no guidance beyond look at the artwork and the few feats in I think one supplement simply confuse things further. Manifestations are a bad idea, that were never intended to be part of the 1st edition and as written break encounters and plot hooks. In addition, they force casters to further spread their feats to less effect (instead of still and silent you now take deceitful and conceal making both less useful) and feel written solely to justify themselves (the rule about adding spell level is in the lower level feat that the higher level one removes) are not clear, do not hold up to a lore sense and introduce new rules in the feats themselves that anyone without this supplement is apparently meant to be applying in their game. I do not use manifestations, I will not use manifestations and if you try to apply them in a game I am in I will not be playing a caster and depending on how desperate I am for a game possibly not your game as I don't want to have to hunt through supplements for rules contained in feats that are nowhere else.


Kasoh wrote:
AwesomenessDog wrote:
Ah yes, the Schrodinger's emanation, so obvious that anyone entirely untrained notices them at all times yet as difficult to master hiding from 99% of the population as just swinging your sword a little harder. Totally a hallmark of a good design and balance decision.
Pathfinder being well regarded for its design and balance, of course. No one in the history of ever has ever decried the poor balance of PF1. By 2015, when that FAQ was published, people knew what they were getting into.

I'm sorry, are we saying the window is already broken, so who cares if I smash it some more? This is the literal mindset that made Paizo abandon 1e in the first place instead of actually going through their work and concisifying mismatching wordings of abilities, broken mechanics, and to simply not bother with basic editing at the end of its lifecycle because they already knew they were gunna do 2e.

Kasoh wrote:
AwesomenessDog wrote:
It would be a buff if they didn't invalidate the more expensive but useful in other ways solution. What they've done instead is lore break to essentially advertise their own product and then invalidate an existing solution to sell their own product with now the only solution to the society players. (You're also probably in the wrong forum if you're looking for people to say anything they changed in 2e was a good thing.)
/shrug. Use to take 2 feats, now it takes one. That's a buff. Overall, this ruling strikes me as one of the many times people wanted an answer to a question from the design team and didn't like the answer and now they're unhappy that the official ruling is disadvantageous to them. I learned my lesson about wanting official rulings in Fourth Edition D&D.

Virtually no one asked for this ruling, the piazo team doesn't answer FAQs based on how popular the question is, how difficult it is to divine RAW, or even how core the question is to the experience. There's tons of more important FAQ requests that were never answered. It was and usually is a response to something they just published that slipped through the cracks or in preparation for something they are about to publish.

Kasoh wrote:

In the same way that fiction is a poor source for rules adjudication, I'm not thrilled to reference a later edition that mechanically holds very little similarities, but I think it establishes authorial intent pretty well. Paizo made the emanations ruling--seemingly out of nowhere--in first edition but they considered it to be so important that they made absolutely sure that it was mentioned in the 2e CRB, quite plainly.

Actually, another encounter comes to mind that is made more difficult to run by this ruling is from Wrath of the Righteous. An invisible sorcerer tries to summon creatures to attack the party, (I think with silent spell or maybe not, I can't be bothered to check) I assume that the spellcasting emanations are visible even from invisibility, making the entire strategy pointless. Though, there is still that +40 to stealth while not moving, and the caster gets their total concealment.

I know the sorcerer in question, and this isn't really one of the intersections where it matters assuming your players know the mechanics well enough to identify when they're being used: summoned creatures appear out of nowhere, someone (that we can hear but obv cannot see casting) must be in line of sight from the appearing creature's squares, and by the fact they summoned fiendish creatures that are attacking us, we can know they aren't friendly either. Ignoring the fact that the +40 total bonus is when you are doing nothing at all (not just not moving on the grid), I don't think it was the intention of even the guys who made the emanation rules that your "runes" will still give your position away while you're invisible, but this is again technically just an assumption for the poorly thought-out emanation rules that if ruled the other way essentially means an entire playstyle of "invisible buffer" can just go in the garbage.

Liberty's Edge

The invisible buffer can move or take a 5' step after casting, so, unless he is casting a spell with a Casting Time of 1 round or more you know his general position, not the exact square.

For people using summoning spells it is a problem, as those normally require 1 round to be cast.

On the other hand, a caster giving away his position while casting allows martial characters to temporarily pinpoint their position and fire a readied missile weapon attack.

What is the preferred way to manage the whole manifestation issue is very dependant on the GM and players' preferred playstyles.

Scarab Sages

Diego Rossi wrote:
The invisible buffer can take a 5' step after casting a

So lob a vial of glitterdust

Liberty's Edge

Senko wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
The invisible buffer can take a 5' step after casting a
So lob a vial of glitterdust

Vial of Glitterdust?

Scarab Sages

Diego Rossi wrote:
Senko wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
The invisible buffer can take a 5' step after casting a
So lob a vial of glitterdust

Vial of Glitterdust?

I was thinking about alchemists and their infusions, not sure if they get that spell but it seems how you'd use it.

Liberty's Edge

Senko wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Senko wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
The invisible buffer can take a 5' step after casting a
So lob a vial of glitterdust

Vial of Glitterdust?

I was thinking about alchemists and their infusions, not sure if they get that spell but it seems how you'd use it.

It seems appropriate for an alchemical concoction, but normally they don't get it in their formula list.

Even if they learn it in some way oils can only be smeared on the target, it doesn't nebulize when it hit, so it will not work with potions or oil.

They have a discovery:

Quote:
Glimmering Infusion (Sp) (Spymaster's Handbook pg. 21): The alchemist can expend any prepared extract to produce a cube of glowing motes that act as per glitterdust. The area must be adjacent to the alchemist and covers one 5-foot square per level of extract sacrificed, and the effect’s save DC is calculated using the level of the sacrificed extract. The alchemist must have the infusion discovery to choose this discovery.

Honestly, it seems underwhelming. A discovery that gave a bomb the ability to work as glitterdust, even at the cost of all the bomb damage, would have been way better.


Even still, doesn't need to be an alchemist, anyone with the spell can ready cast it.

Scarab Sages

AwesomenessDog wrote:
Even still, doesn't need to be an alchemist, anyone with the spell can ready cast it.

Yes but not lob a vial that explodes and scatters it.


Senko wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Senko wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
The invisible buffer can take a 5' step after casting a
So lob a vial of glitterdust

Vial of Glitterdust?

I was thinking about alchemists and their infusions, not sure if they get that spell but it seems how you'd use it.

For an alchemist, See Invisibilty + a Smog pellet is the way to go


I think anything past the "See Invisibility" is extraneous when just trying to see someone invisible.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

AwesomenessDog wrote:
I think anything past the "See Invisibility" is extraneous when just trying to see someone invisible.

See invisibility then the smog pellet so everyone else can see.

True story, at a con, I walk past a table and a friend waves me over. "We're fighting the bad guy, and I've burned every chronicle sheet boon I have. I'm the only one who can see him. Any ideas?"
Me: Well, this would be a good time to have dye arrows, wouldn't it?

Her face brightened, she had listened to the resident utility belt player (me) and had dye arrows, but forgot.

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