Natural Spell interpretation

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Natural Spell interpretation

Post  Winter on Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:02 am

You can complete the verbal and somatic components of spells while using wild shape. You substitute various noises and gestures for the normal verbal and somatic components of a spell.

You can also use any material components or focuses you possess, even if such items are melded within your current form. This feat does not permit the use of magic items while you are in a form that could not ordinarily use them, and you do not gain the ability to speak while using wild shape.

what this means is actually pretty unclear. My interpretation is that you should be able to still take a move action and cast a spell while wild shaped, even while flying.

Recognition is the real question. Under what circumstances does spellcasting allow opponents to say "hey, what is that bird doing?". "Various noises and gestures" is obviously vague. My best guess is that if the bird is camoflaged or otherwise hidden, this would grant those attempting to identify him a penalty to checks or possibly make them impossible depending on the circumstance.

Here is a thread on the pathfinder forums regarding said subject:

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/olderProducts/pathfinderRPGBeta/feedback/alpha3/skillsFeats/naturalSpellInAlpha3OrNot
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Re: Natural Spell interpretation

Post  Jack Napier on Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:10 am

For Ranger/Druid like opponents: Perhaps a combination of an immediate perception check to notice the animal doing something a bit weird, and a knowledge nature check to know that it's not natural beviour. This combined with "Speak with Animals" should DEFINITELY reveal the behaviour as spell casting.

For other magic users: perhaps perception again to notice the movements/sounds and a spellcraft check made with a penalty , unless of course the magic user has knowledge (nature), such as pretty much any wizard after a few levels.

For big dumb fighters: Hey birdy! Polly want a cracker? *CRACK!* *ZZZZZZTT!*

-=-=-

I think there would be a lot of different circumstances you'd have to take into account though.... lightning striking every time a bird squacks and flaps its wings is something surviving intelligent creatures should have the chance to take notice to, but someone/something ignorant of animal behaviour might not know that the weird dance the animal is doing for 6 seconds is actually a summon nature's ally spell... and by the time the summoned animal appears, the focus is on it rather than the wild shape druid, thus likely allowing even a solo druid to cast spells (such as Call Lightning) without much notice from many creatures. Distractions and misdirection are a spellcaster's best friends.
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Re: Natural Spell interpretation

Post  Jack Napier on Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:23 am

Also, for later in the game when our characters develop reputations (another reason Damian changes his name) it lets some bad guys know to be on the look-out for things like animals casting spells because they know a little bit about the druid.

Some bad guys take time to gather information, too.
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Re: Natural Spell interpretation

Post  Winter on Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:20 pm

another good question about wild shape would be whether I can choose any variations in the form's appearance, such as a different subspecies of the animal or pigmentation.
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Re: Natural Spell interpretation

Post  Jack Napier on Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:50 am

Just checked out your link to the people debating the use of wild shape casting... wow, people really get into it.

As a sorcerer, I really appreciate the rules saying that I can use spellcraft to identify spell casting regardless of the caster's shape.
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Re: Natural Spell interpretation

Post  Winter on Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:46 pm

I think spellcraft should apply but note that to identify a spell you must be able to clearly see the spell as it is being cast, and this incurs the same penalties as a Perception skill check due to distance, poor conditions, and other factors.

I would guess there should thus be a pretty significant penalty depending on the situation. Identifying the gestures and words of a human standing close by in a clear field in bright sun is one thing, doing the same as a bird flits eighty feet above you between trees in the forest canopy is quite another.
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Re: Natural Spell interpretation

Post  Jack Napier on Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:22 am

Yes, I'd say there'd be a problem if the bird was flying 80 feet up in there... but you'd have pretty much the same problem with a wizard or sorcerer casting spells from that height. The wild shape doesn't change that.

If the bird is close enough to see/hear then there is no rule stating that the creature using spellcraft would have any penalty.

The biggest strength and problem with magic in D&D/Pathfinder is that it allows for pretty much anything. The rules can't possibly cover anything, so it always comes down to DM ruling and how much "flavour" they want to put in their game over the bare-bones rules. As a fellow magic user, I hope there will be room for Damian to pull off more cool tricks with his magic, especially at higher levels.
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Re: Natural Spell interpretation

Post  Winter on Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:56 am

from the SRD

Special Stealth Situations
Stealth and Detection in a Forest

In a sparse forest, the maximum distance at which a Perception check for detecting the nearby presence of others can succeed is 3d6 × 10 feet. In a medium forest, this distance is 2d8 × 10 feet, and in a dense forest it is 2d6 × 10 feet.

Because any square with undergrowth provides concealment, it's usually easy for a creature to use the Stealth skill in the forest. Logs and massive trees provide cover, which also makes hiding possible.

The background noise in the forest makes Perception checks that rely on sound more difficult, increasing the DC of the check by 2 per 10 feet, not 1.
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