Tech-reliant background


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This background reads thus:

"Some event, be it an accident, attack, or disaster, has left you horribly scarred by magic. Your body no longer tolerates magical healing, and you can't use magic, forcing you to rely on gadgets and ingenuity where others trust in spells and magical items. You might have been well-versed in magic before, or barely familiar with its use. This event may have injured your body in visible ways, but no matter the extent of your injuries, your body no longer interacts with healing magic in any capacity.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Constitution or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You're trained in the Crafting skill and the Medicine skill. You gain the Battle Medicine skill feat, and a +1 circumstance bonus to saving throws against spells. Healing spells, healing magic items, and magical effects with the healing trait have no effect on you."

The flavour text specifically says "and you can't use magic", but the rules text below only details blocks on magical healing spells, items and magical effects with the healing trait.

So on that basis, does this background stop a player who has spell slots from casting spells? Is the flavour text just clumsily worded and intended to be referring to healing, or is the intent to not allow the player to cast any spells at all?


My interpretation is that it is clumsily worded and that it only prevents the types of magic that it specifically lists out. It doesn't even look like it prevents you from casting healing spells - just from benefiting from them.


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breithauptclan wrote:
My interpretation is that it is clumsily worded and that it only prevents the types of magic that it specifically lists out. It doesn't even look like it prevents you from casting healing spells - just from benefiting from them.

Agreed: I read "you can't use magic" to mean 'you can't use magic to heal yourself'.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That was my reading too, but it was ambiguous so thought I'd check. Thanks!


graystone wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
My interpretation is that it is clumsily worded and that it only prevents the types of magic that it specifically lists out. It doesn't even look like it prevents you from casting healing spells - just from benefiting from them.
Agreed: I read "you can't use magic" to mean 'you can't use magic to heal yourself'.

what about if you're a skeleton would it protect you from the heal spell?


Technically undead in some parts of the rules are already immune to healing magic. The upshot is that the intended function seems very likely to be that undead cannot benefit from healing magic (or at minimum positive healing) though they can still be harmed by positive damage.

I feel like it would run counter to this background's themes of rendering a character unable to recover by magic if it instead rendered immunity to inimical effects. I would rule that the skeleton does indeed gain the +1 to saves vs. the Heal spell as they do for all other saves, but that they are only immune to negative healing (and any other magical hit point healing that is intended to work on undead, such as Soothe).


RedSara_ wrote:
graystone wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
My interpretation is that it is clumsily worded and that it only prevents the types of magic that it specifically lists out. It doesn't even look like it prevents you from casting healing spells - just from benefiting from them.
Agreed: I read "you can't use magic" to mean 'you can't use magic to heal yourself'.
what about if you're a skeleton would it protect you from the heal spell?

Undead, Core Rulebook pg. 637

Once living, these creatures were infused after death with negative energy and soul-corrupting evil magic. When reduced to 0 Hit Points, an undead creature is destroyed. Undead creatures are damaged by positive energy, are healed by negative energy, and don't benefit from healing effects.

As Sibelius Eos Owm said, they don't have to worry as they already aren't affected by healing magic.


Visandus wrote:
magical effects with the healing trait have no effect on you

Nice, another type of characters that can't be un-blinded, un-deafened, un-cursed, cured of disease, poison, paralysis, or resurrected. :-\


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Errenor wrote:
Visandus wrote:
magical effects with the healing trait have no effect on you
Nice, another type of characters that can't be un-blinded, un-deafened, un-cursed, cured of disease, poison, paralysis, or resurrected. :-\

I hope either that sentence or the healing trait on those spells gets errata'd away.

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