Spell cartridges noise


Rules Questions


As title, do spell cartridges make noise?
I plan on making a dune drifter cavalier and be sneaky but if they go bang I need to revisit some ideas.
Thank you


All attack rolls technically make an equally noticeable (DC 0) noise when done, whether that's swinging a sword or casting (must resist urge to restart the manifestations debate here...), or firing a gun with real ammunition or spell cartridges. This then of course is a ridiculous RAW because a sword swishing through the air is the same volume and visibility as a cannon firing, and being a mere 210ft away is enough for the average person to have 0 chance of hearing and seeing that DC 0 cannon firing (160 ft if they weren't looking/listening for it because of a -5 distraction penalty).

Personally, I wouldn't allow the already broken mechanics of spell cartridges to be even better than mundane firearms than they already are, but either way you rule this non-rule of cartridges, if you have access to magic, you can learn the spell "Quieting Weapons" and make your firearm silent no matter what ammo it fires, while also forcing others hit by it to make a save or be unable to yell and call an alarm.


AwesomenessDog wrote:

All attack rolls technically make an equally noticeable (DC 0) noise when done, ... a sword swishing through the air is the same volume and visibility as a cannon firing, ...

Is there a FAQ on that or a ruling that you're referencing? Because I would definitely not agree with that, but I am not seeing that under Perception.

As for firing a spell cartridge, assuming you mean the feat that lets you fire force bullets, I would say it makes the same sound the gun makes normally. It doesn't use black powder, so I wouldn't have any smoke or scent of that like a normal cartridge, but I think it just sounds like a gun shooting a bullet of force instead of a slug.


If you want a quieter firearm I would suggest the Air Repeater as it uses compressed air to propel the bullets. In real world results this should be much quieter than a normal firearm.


Pizza Lord wrote:
AwesomenessDog wrote:

All attack rolls technically make an equally noticeable (DC 0) noise when done, ... a sword swishing through the air is the same volume and visibility as a cannon firing, ...

Is there a FAQ on that or a ruling that you're referencing? Because I would definitely not agree with that, but I am not seeing that under Perception.

As for firing a spell cartridge, assuming you mean the feat that lets you fire force bullets, I would say it makes the same sound the gun makes normally. It doesn't use black powder, so I wouldn't have any smoke or scent of that like a normal cartridge, but I think it just sounds like a gun shooting a bullet of force instead of a slug.

All combat is DC -10 perception to notice (I actually misremembered the DC, so it's even louder and more obvious than I originally mentioned). Even attacking a wall has a DC -10 perception check. Even if you aren't literally fighting anything, presumably making an attack would trigger this. At least visually that makes sense, you'd probably easily notice a dude swinging a sword or firing a bow, or shooting magic rays if they were in visual field of view. There isn't any real modifiers for only having auditory or visual perception to just notice something (e.g. invisibility has a -20 to -40 to pinpoint a square that someone is in, but the DC to hear and notice that someone by sound is close by is not modified), so even though yeah a sword doesn't swish at 100+dB like a gunshot would, the game doesn't differentiate them. Silly RAW.

Perception wrote:

Detail Perception DC

Hear the sound of battle –10


AwesomenessDog wrote:

All combat is DC -10 perception to notice (I actually misremembered the DC, so it's even louder and more obvious than I originally mentioned). Even attacking a wall has a DC -10 perception check. Even if you aren't literally fighting anything, presumably making an attack would trigger this.

Perception wrote:

Detail Perception DC

Hear the sound of battle –10

Yeah, that's what I thought and what I saw. No one equates the sound of battle or a battle with being the sound of a sword swinging. I think you're misconstruing a battle with an attack. A battle is usually very noisy with people screaming, calling out, and metal ringing on metal.

A bowstring being drawn is DC 25, no one reasonably thinks the sound of an arrow being loosed is so much louder that it's a 35 DC difference. I agree the twang of a arrow is louder than the creak of tension from drawing it back, but it's not the sound of battle being fought.

Weapon sounds:
The crack of a whip and the crack of a rifle are going to be louder than a sword being swung or a punch being thrown. That is just reasonable, common sense. The reason there isn't a specific category for every weapon is because there's so many that it would literally fill two pages with the difference between a pistol, a rifle, a high-powered rifle, a musket, a suppressed pistol/rifle, a punch, gloved punch, a metal gauntleted punch, a whip, a chain whip, a wooden quarterstaff, a sap. The reasonably expect someone running a game to know what a gunshot or a punch or a kick or the sound of a baseball bat being swung is, and be able to equate that with reasonable accuracy, to within a few points for a Perception DC.

It's just not reasonable for them to have to describe the sound of every item or object or animal that might exist in an imaginary game. If you swing your sword, it's the sound of a sword being swung or a yardstick or a stick. We've all done it and can determine it. If that same sword strikes a foe wearing leather armor, or a gelatinous cube, that's not the same as hitting someone in chain or plate or an iron golem.

Just like they can say a firework is listed as a DC, but a sparkler or one of those black snakes is not the same as an M-80 or a bottle rocket.

It most definitely is not the sound of a battle.


that's easy. No. Spell Cartridges (like extracts and mutagens) or black powder cartridges in and of themselves do not make noise.
Using(activating) them or discharging them is a different matter. 8^)

I'd suggest using a Silence or Silent Table spell before activating items if you want to maintain stealth.


Pizza Lord wrote:
AwesomenessDog wrote:

All combat is DC -10 perception to notice (I actually misremembered the DC, so it's even louder and more obvious than I originally mentioned). Even attacking a wall has a DC -10 perception check. Even if you aren't literally fighting anything, presumably making an attack would trigger this.

Perception wrote:

Detail Perception DC

Hear the sound of battle –10

Yeah, that's what I thought and what I saw. No one equates the sound of battle or a battle with being the sound of a sword swinging. I think you're misconstruing a battle with an attack. A battle is usually very noisy with people screaming, calling out, and metal ringing on metal.

A bowstring being drawn is DC 25, no one reasonably thinks the sound of an arrow being loosed is so much louder that it's a 35 DC difference. I agree the twang of a arrow is louder than the creak of tension from drawing it back, but it's not the sound of battle being fought.

** spoiler omitted **...

An attack happens in a battle. It is also what a battle is composed of and a single attack is usually all that is necessary for allies in adjacent rooms to potentially hear and come running to reinforce; e.g. not waiting several rounds into the combat to start reinforcing (as opposed to getting ready and actually showing up). We aren't talking two armies clashing battle for the -10 DC, we are talking as few as two people in a duel.

(Side tangent, a bow string being drawn makes virtually no noise, not wood creaking like Lurtz killing Boromir, which is why it is in fact +10 DC higher than hearing a whispered conversation in detail. On the other hand, a metal tipped arrow impacting against a brick wall makes a very audible noise that even if in real life isn't the same volume as a cannon firing, can very easily account for a +35 DC gulf between the two.)

I am thinking perhaps you missed the fact that my opening points about the RAW being ludicrously narrow (something we both clearly agree on) for any subject matter of "perceivable loudness of combat actions" was facetious. I am saying "RAW is useless, please consider the following paragraph" which then explains a justification for there being no difference between how the GM would houserule a normal firearm shot to be loud for spell cat ridges, and suggests a spell likely available to the player to completely bypass the issue altogether.

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