Targeting a Wall of Force


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

When targeting a wall of force with a strike do you need to make a DC 11 flat check? Its an invisible effect and nothing in the wording seems like it would exclude it from the invisible rules.

It would add a lot of durability to an already decent spell and I was wondering peoples thoughts.

Dark Archive

Huh, that's really interesting.
I don't think I've ever played it that way, but I'm going to try it at least once going forward.

Usually I just tell my players that a wall of force has been erected in the appropriate area.
But it IS invisible, so unless they identify/recognize the spell, it wouldn't have any indication that a wall is suddenly present, much less where it is.


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You aren't allowed to target a non creature with a Strike anyway. So you are already into GM territory.

I wouldn't roll the flat check unless you didn't know the invisible wall was there. It is not as if it is going to be hard to miss.


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The miss chance represents the fact that you don't know where the target is. But the wall doesn't move and has a very simple shape. So, I agree with Gortle, unless you don't know where it is (which would be a bit strange but whatever) you can target it just fine.


SuperBidi wrote:
unless you don't know where it is (which would be a bit strange but whatever) you can target it just fine.

Not exactly strange: for example, your ally found the wall in one square and its general direction, you are at some distance away and want to find it around yourself. But the wall is completely invisible. You could either spend actions to Stride until you bump into it and then target it without flat checks. Or you could blindly attack adjacent squares hoping you and allies correctly determined the wall's direction. Then, yes, I don't see the need for flat checks either: the wall would be in the attacked square, or it wouldn't.


As a side note, objects don't have conditions. So a Wall of Force can't be Hidden. Even from a very strict RAW point of view, there's some leeway on how the GM wants to handle that (and from my experience, GMs don't ask for flat checks).


Can you miss the broad side of a barn if you are blindfolded?

Silver Crusade

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breithauptclan wrote:
Can you miss the broad side of a barn if you are blindfolded?

Uh, yes? Very easily.


SuperBidi wrote:
As a side note, objects don't have conditions. So a Wall of Force can't be Hidden. Even from a very strict RAW point of view, there's some leeway on how the GM wants to handle that (and from my experience, GMs don't ask for flat checks).

I wouldn't ask for a flat check for an invisible object if you know where it is and it isn't animated, for example. But suggesting invisible effects can't be invisible because they aren't creatures, which has conditions applied to them, sounds like RAWful Stupid logic to me.

Sovereign Court

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
As a side note, objects don't have conditions. So a Wall of Force can't be Hidden. Even from a very strict RAW point of view, there's some leeway on how the GM wants to handle that (and from my experience, GMs don't ask for flat checks).
I wouldn't ask for a flat check for an invisible object if you know where it is and it isn't animated, for example. But suggesting invisible effects can't be invisible because they aren't creatures, which has conditions applied to them, sounds like RAWful Stupid logic to me.

About as much as insisting that non-creatures can't be targeted with Strikes?


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Can you miss the broad side of a barn if you are blindfolded?
Uh, yes? Very easily.

Well, you have your answer then.

All I am doing is providing something IRL that would be approximately equivalent. Something to use for a reference to make a ruling based on.

Because ultimately this isn't so much of a rules question as an immersion and adjudication question. Does it make sense to have to roll a flat check for miss chance against an invisible wall?

I think that Gortle and SuperBidi have the right idea - even though each table is going to draw the line somewhere slightly differently. The idea being that if you know where the wall is, you shouldn't have any trouble hitting it.

Personally, I wouldn't require flat checks once the wall's existence and approximate location are known to the attacker. Whether that is because they physically encountered it, or because a different character pointed it out to them. Also if they are using a ranged attack on something that is on the opposite side of the wall, then the attack would instead hit and deal damage to the wall. But that is just my adjudication without any other context and scenario setup.


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It has an AC of 10 and is just a wall. It's not exactly hard to hit.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
As a side note, objects don't have conditions. So a Wall of Force can't be Hidden. Even from a very strict RAW point of view, there's some leeway on how the GM wants to handle that (and from my experience, GMs don't ask for flat checks).
I wouldn't ask for a flat check for an invisible object if you know where it is and it isn't animated, for example. But suggesting invisible effects can't be invisible because they aren't creatures, which has conditions applied to them, sounds like RAWful Stupid logic to me.

I repeat what I've said: "there's some leeway on how the GM wants to handle that".

Which is very much far away from RAWful stupid, it's actually acknowledging that in this situation RAW is flexible enough to allow the GM to handle the way they want.

When it comes to objects (and spell effects), RAW is nearly silent. I think it's voluntarily done because attacking objects and spell effects covers so many realities that no single rule would be satisfying. I consider that an asset and not an issue of the system.
The fact that Strike only targets creatures is often brought as a problem. But if Strike was able to target objects then we would see characters striking a rope with a hammer or a door with a whip just because it's RAW. I prefer the rules to recognize that striking an object bears extremely different results depending on the object and the weapon used and leaves the decision entirely to the GM instead of having a rule that is hardly applicable with GMs being forced to go against RAW for the sake of logic (it's always hard to go against RAW, especially in high stakes situations).

Horizon Hunters

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Can you miss the broad side of a barn if you are blindfolded?
Uh, yes? Very easily.

How about if you were right next to the barn, knew exactly where the barn was, as were hitting it with a sword rather than shooting an arrow at it?


SuperBidi wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
As a side note, objects don't have conditions. So a Wall of Force can't be Hidden. Even from a very strict RAW point of view, there's some leeway on how the GM wants to handle that (and from my experience, GMs don't ask for flat checks).
I wouldn't ask for a flat check for an invisible object if you know where it is and it isn't animated, for example. But suggesting invisible effects can't be invisible because they aren't creatures, which has conditions applied to them, sounds like RAWful Stupid logic to me.

I repeat what I've said: "there's some leeway on how the GM wants to handle that".

Which is very much far away from RAWful stupid, it's actually acknowledging that in this situation RAW is flexible enough to allow the GM to handle the way they want.

When it comes to objects (and spell effects), RAW is nearly silent. I think it's voluntarily done because attacking objects and spell effects covers so many realities that no single rule would be satisfying. I consider that an asset and not an issue of the system.
The fact that Strike only targets creatures is often brought as a problem. But if Strike was able to target objects then we would see characters striking a rope with a hammer or a door with a whip just because it's RAW. I prefer the rules to recognize that striking an object bears extremely different results depending on the object and the weapon used and leaves the decision entirely to the GM instead of having a rule that is hardly applicable with GMs being forced to go against RAW for the sake of logic (it's always hard to go against RAW, especially in high stakes situations).

You just said that objects can't have conditions (which is false, by the way, objects can have the Broken condition, for example), and that means objects can't be Hidden, i.e. Invisible, to the character. So, the statement that the Wall of Force is invisible is superfluous because it does nothing by your admission, even though invisibility on a creature actually does something by contrast.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
You just said that objects can't have conditions (which is false, by the way, objects can have the Broken condition, for example)

"Broken is a condition that affects objects."

By default, a Condition doesn't affect objects. Some can, but it's written specifically in their description. It's not the case for Hidden nor Invisible.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
So, the statement that the Wall of Force is invisible is superfluous because it does nothing by your admission

I've never said nor implied that. I just said that Hidden not being a Condition applicable to objects the GM has full control on how they want to handle the situation.


But having one Condition, even if it's specifically written to affect objects, disproves the idea that objects can't be affected by conditions as a blanket disallowment. Even the first sentence of the Conditions entry says:

Conditions wrote:

While adventuring, characters (and sometimes their belongings) are affected by abilities and effects that apply conditions. For example, a spell or magic item might turn you invisible or cause you to be gripped by fear. Conditions change your state of being in some way, and they represent everything from the attitude other creatures have toward you and how they interact with you to what happens when a creature drains your blood or life essence.

"Belongings" in this case would obviously refer to objects like swords, armor, etc. The idea that I can't have Invisible Armor (such as from the Invisibility rune) makes no sense either. That means people can still see my Armor, as well as any weapons and other objects on my person (because again, objects can't be Invisible, right?). Last I checked, I'm playing Pathfinder, not watching an episode of Tom and Jerry using Invisible Ink on themselves.

Hidden? Probably not. Especially since it can probably be easily seen by See Invisibility. But it's certainly Invisible, and there are already rules that cover how that works in relation to being spotted, and affecting them. And it doesn't match up to what you hear most GMs handwaving.


Your stubbornness at not understanding me is incredible.

There is a difference between being invisible and having the Invisible Condition. When a creature is invisible, it has the Invisible Condition per RAW.
When an object is invisible, it doesn't have the Invisible Condition per RAW. Which doesn't mean that the object is visible, it means that you can handle its invisibility the way you want. It's up to the GM.

And if you don't get it then I'll let you read again all my posts until your 2 last answers stop making sense.


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SB, you keep saying objects can't have conditions as if that's established but I can't find the rule. Could you quote it and/or share the page?

What I did find was a reference to objects in the observed condition, "If you have another precise sense instead of or in addition to sight, you might be able to observe a creature or object using that sense instead." I feel like that implies objects can also be concealed, hidden, invisible, undetected and unnoticed. Hazards and snares both require detection. If they're not detected, then they are by definition undetected and/or unnoticed. The Invisible Item spell causes an object to become invisible, using the exact same wording as the Invisibility spell with no wording implying this breaks or changes any rules

But even if there is a rule that objects aren't normally affected by conditions, I find there to be no practical difference between an object being invisible and "having the invisible condition"

I would require the flat check to target the wall of force, as normal for targeting something that is invisible

Horizon Hunters

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm just gonna leave this here: Invisible Item


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If you felt with your hands for a completely clear glass wall you knew was there you'd in real life be able to feel exactly where it was with your hands (touch should IMHO be considered a precise sense with range touch) and strike it quite well with a hammer, even if it was completely clear and "invisible". I'd say that you could "observe" it with the precise sense "touch".
I'd rule as a GM that you could use two actions to feel it with your hand/weapon, pull back and strike it without penalty. This wouldn't work if it was a living, moving invisible creature (since it might move between the touch and the strike, trying to dodge and what not), but as an inanimate object should IMHO be fine.


Baarogue wrote:
SB, you keep saying objects can't have conditions as if that's established but I can't find the rule. Could you quote it and/or share the page?

"While adventuring, characters (and sometimes their belongings) are affected by abilities and effects that apply conditions."

This sentence implies that only characters have Conditions by default.
The Invisible and Hidden entries clearly refer to a creature, putting objects aside once again.


SuperBidi wrote:
Baarogue wrote:
SB, you keep saying objects can't have conditions as if that's established but I can't find the rule. Could you quote it and/or share the page?

"While adventuring, characters (and sometimes their belongings) are affected by abilities and effects that apply conditions."

This sentence implies that only characters have Conditions by default.
The Invisible and Hidden entries clearly refer to a creature, putting objects aside once again.

Okay, so you're working with implications as well. The way you've been stating it as fact gave me the impression I'd missed something. Thanks. Sounds like a similar if not identical situation as ruling if an object can be targeted with a Strike or spell which normally may only target creatures

The Invisible Item spell, the reference to objects in the observed condition, as well as objects (at least hazards and snares) which are subject to detection rules leads me to conclude that objects also fall within the purview of the detection family of conditions, plus concealed and invisible, even if those conditions use "creature" in their descriptions

Silver Crusade

Cordell Kintner wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Can you miss the broad side of a barn if you are blindfolded?
Uh, yes? Very easily.
How about if you were right next to the barn, knew exactly where the barn was, as were hitting it with a sword rather than shooting an arrow at it?

Goodbye goalposts!


Baarogue wrote:

Okay, so you're working with implications as well. The way you've been stating it as fact gave me the impression I'd missed something. Thanks. Sounds like a similar if not identical situation as ruling if an object can be targeted with a Strike or spell which normally may only target creatures

The Invisible Item spell, the reference to objects in the observed condition, as well as objects (at least hazards and snares) which are subject to detection rules leads me to conclude that objects also fall within the purview of the detection family of conditions, plus concealed and invisible, even if those conditions use "creature" in their descriptions

Which is fine by me.

I'm not saying one ruling is better than another, just that RAW is leaving enough space for the GM to rule the way they want.

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