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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    I agree that a Wizard that has a wand of fireball but does not know fireball can make a scroll of fireball - but isn't that just 'access through another magic item or spellcaster' (i.e. access through something other than the spellcaster himself or herself)?
    I believe you agree that Cleric A who knows Scribe Scroll can scribe a spell that Cleric B has prepared, whether or not Cleric B knows the spell?

    Given that, it appears that the text for Scribe Scroll is just allowing Cleric A to fulfill both roles (as is logically possible).
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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    I believe you agree that Cleric A who knows Scribe Scroll can scribe a spell that Cleric B has prepared, whether or not Cleric B knows the spell?

    Given that, it appears that the text for Scribe Scroll is just allowing Cleric A to fulfill both roles (as is logically possible).
    No, I think we might still disagree.

    Broadly:

    • scribe scroll allows you to create a spell you know ('You can create a scroll of any spell that you know' and 'Most of the time, they [item prerequisites] take the form of spells that must be known by the item’s creator)'
    • you must additionally prepare the spell if you are a prepared caster (or, using the DMG's strict wording, you must have prepared the spell unless you are a Sorcerer or Bard, in which case knowing the spell is enough);
    • as an alternative to the knowledge requirement, you can obtain 'access through another magic item';
    • as a further alternative to the knowledge requirement, you can 'access through another... spellcaster'.


    In your example, Cleric A cannot fulfill both roles - he or she is not 'another... spellcaster'; he or she is merely 'the item's creator'.

    I recognise that we might not agree on the above, so what about the Glyph example I quoted earlier?

    Spell Glyph: You can store any harmful spell of 3rd level or lower that you know. All level-dependent features of the spell are based on your caster level at the time of casting the glyph.

    I think there really are multiple uses of 'know' in the context of spellcasting in D&D, and it is often used in an imprecise manner:

    • there is the ordinary usage (which I say encompasses all spellcasters, and which you say encompasses only arcane spellcasters);
    • there is the 'known spell' definition in the glossary of the PHB (which I think is in turn only used in the definition of 'spell completion item');
    • there is 'spells known', which is used by Sorcerers/Bards and similar classes.


    Even though we disagree about the above, I presume you agree that some Divine spellcasters (e.g. Favoured Souls) absolutely 'know' spells (that is, the PHB definition of 'known spell' is not absolute)?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Is this class ability as crazy broken as I think it is, or am I misreading it?

    I mean, I know many FR PrCs push the upper limits of power play, but I'd never stumbled across this particular ability until now.
    Got to be sharp when you are fighting Red Wizards

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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    Pulls his books:

    FRCS. Hathran changed a lot between 3.0 and 3.5

    3.0 requires 2nd level Arcane and 2nd Level Divine and only advances one of them.

    So yes that is Mystic Theuge but worse, it's a very early 3.0 book

    They have however have "Place magic"

    "When using Place Magic she may case any arcane spell she knows or any divine spell on her spell list".

    Full round action

    Hathrans also got a small arcane spell list and could use divine slots to cast them even if they didn't know them as an arcane spell.

    Fluff: usually Cleric/Wizards




    3.5 PGTF

    Now needs 4th level arcane OR divine

    Spells get added to the list. No mention of "known"

    Fluff: Sorcerers or Clerics

    (Also it's immediately followed by Incantrix)



    Comment:

    Depends if you want to interpret a 3.5 ability on the basis of what it said in 3.0 when the whole class was radically changed between editions

    3.25 Unapproachable East

    Durthans, (Evil Version) get Place magic and "can cast any arcane or divine spell known to her"


    No builds, but named NPCs are:

    Sor 4 / Clr 3 / Hathran 1

    Sor 3 / Clr 4 / Hathran 1 (Doesn't qualify under 3.0)

    Clr 3 / Sor 9/ Hathran 5

    Clr 8 / Sor 4/ Hath 3

    Wiz 4 / Clr 4 / Hath 4

    Clr 6 / Wiz 12 / Hath 10 (The most powerful)

    Fluff says most Ethrans are Clerics or Sorcerers

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by wilphe View Post
    Pulls his books:

    FRCS. Hathran changed a lot between 3.0 and 3.5

    3.0 requires 2nd level Arcane and 2nd Level Divine and only advances one of them.

    So yes that is Mystic Theuge but worse, it's a very early 3.0 book

    They have however have "Place magic"

    "When using Place Magic she may case any arcane spell she knows or any divine spell on her spell list".
    Quote Originally Posted by wilphe View Post

    3.25 Unapproachable East

    Durthans, (Evil Version) get Place magic and "can cast any arcane or divine spell known to her"
    Good quotes on both.

    The 3.0 Hathran suggests they made a distinction between spells known (for arcane casters) and presence on spell lists (for divine casters) (though, again, I wonder if that was merely because divine casters automatically know all of their spells anyway).

    The Unapproachable East Durthan clearly indicates Divine casters can 'know' Divine spells.
    Last edited by Oblivionsmurf; 2019-08-25 at 04:08 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    No, I think we might still disagree.
    The difficulty with saying that 'known spell', 'spell you know', and 'spell known' differ is that you need a clear rule for the semantics of each one. Building up that semantics without rules support feels like creating house rules to me. In normal english, these are equivalent and I don't know any formal statement that they differ.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    scribe scroll allows you to create a spell you know ('You can create a scroll of any spell that you know' and 'Most of the time, they [item prerequisites] take the form of spells that must be known by the item’s creator)'
    Agreed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    you must additionally prepare the spell if you are a prepared caster (or, using the DMG's strict wording, you must have prepared the spell unless you are a Sorcerer or Bard, in which case knowing the spell is enough);
    I disagree here. My reading is that scroll-making rules implicitly expand the scope to allow prepared casters to make scrolls.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    as an alternative to the knowledge requirement, you can obtain 'access through another magic item';
    as a further alternative to the knowledge requirement, you can 'access through another... spellcaster'.
    Agreed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    In your example, Cleric A cannot fulfill both roles - he or she is not 'another... spellcaster'; he or she is merely 'the item's creator'.
    I'm ambivalent here. It's not normal english to have 'another' refer to the first agent, but allowing that as a possibility when another refers to a role rather than a specific agent is allowable. "To fly the plane, you need a pilot and another acting as a navigator." Can the pilot act as a navigator? Maybe yes, if they have the additional skills/knowledge. Here, 'another' is referring to roles which could possibly be filled by the same agent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    I recognise that we might not agree on the above, so what about the Glyph example I quoted earlier?

    Spell Glyph: You can store any harmful spell of 3rd level or lower that you know. All level-dependent features of the spell are based on your caster level at the time of casting the glyph.
    I'm not sure what to think. Spells are often as-written broken. Consider False Vision which is a 40' radius emanation with range touch. Since range constrains area of effect that's pretty broken. My best guess would be that when said 'know' they really meant 'know or prepared' as I'm currently understanding scribe scroll.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    I think there really are multiple uses of 'know' in the context of spellcasting in D&D, and it is often used in an imprecise manner:
    • there is the ordinary usage (which I say encompasses all spellcasters, and which you say encompasses only arcane spellcasters);
    • there is the 'known spell' definition in the glossary of the PHB (which I think is in turn only used in the definition of 'spell completion item');
    • there is 'spells known', which is used by Sorcerers/Bards and similar classes.
    It's not enough to admit that language is loose. (I agree---it's easy to imagine edit errors if 'known spell' requires more than a consequence of learning a spell.) We need to be able to consistently answer questions. For example:
    1. Can a Hathran use Rashemi Spirit Magic to cast any Cleric spell?
    2. Can a Hathran use Rashemi Spirit Magic to cast any learned Archivist spell?
    3. Can a Cleric use Versatile Spellcaster to cast any Cleric spelll?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    Even though we disagree about the above, I presume you agree that some Divine spellcasters (e.g. Favoured Souls) absolutely 'know' spells (that is, the PHB definition of 'known spell' is not absolute)?
    Right---that's a special case.

    The 3.0 Hathran and 3.25 Durthan quotes do not clarify for me.

    The 3.0 Hathran suggests that 'arcane spell she knows' and 'divine spell on her spell list' can not be consolidated as 'spell she knows' (inline with my understanding).
    However, it makes it clear that the intent was allowing any divine spell on list (inline with your? understanding).
    However2, the rules for "Place Magic" and "Rashemi Spirit Magic" in the 3.5 Hathran incarnation are clearly contradictory, since "Rashemi Spirit Magic" says: "...even if it is not on the same spell list as the substituted one." while 3.0-3.25 "Place Magic" only allows spontaneous casting within type (arcane or divine).
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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    Ultimately, I think we might need to agree to disagree, but I'll give it another crack!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    I disagree here. My reading is that scroll-making rules implicitly expand the scope to allow prepared casters to make scrolls.

    Agreed.
    Still disagree, based on the wording of the text:

    The creator must have prepared the spell to be scribed (or must know the spell, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) and must provide any material component or focus the spell requires. If casting the spell would reduce the caster’s XP total, she pays the cost upon beginning the scroll in addition to the XP cost for making the scroll itself. Likewise, a material component is consumed when she begins writing, but a focus is not. (A focus used in scribing a scroll can be reused.) The act of writing triggers the prepared spell, making it unavailable for casting until the character has rested and regained spells. (That is, that spell slot is expended from her currently prepared spells, just as if it had been cast.)

    Prepared arcane casters already know spells, based on your (the PHB's) definition of 'known spell'. If the intention of this passage was to expand the list of available item creators, the underlined brackets bit in the excerpt above would provide 'or must know the spell, in the case of an arcane caster'.

    The text is intended to demonstrate that you lose the spell (or a spell slot for a Sorcerer or similar) upon scribing the scroll. For example, even though the text doesn't expressly refer to a Sorcerer/Bard losing a spell slot, I assume you wouldn't suggest that this does not occur.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    I'm ambivalent here. It's not normal english to have 'another' refer to the first agent, but allowing that as a possibility when another refers to a role rather than a specific agent is allowable. "To fly the plane, you need a pilot and another acting as a navigator." Can the pilot act as a navigator? Maybe yes, if they have the additional skills/knowledge. Here, 'another' is referring to roles which could possibly be filled by the same agent.
    I don't think I have ever heard 'another' used in this context, and it seems a bit tortured to me. Do you have any good examples?

    Adopting your example, isn't the relevant sentence 'To fly a plane, you need a pilot and another pilot' (i.e. both are the same role)?

    Separately, I'm always loathe to use dictionary definitions, but this might be useful:

    1 Used to refer to an additional person or thing of the same type as one already mentioned or known about; one more; a further.
    [as determiner] ‘have another drink’
    ‘I didn't say another word’
    [as pronoun] ‘she was to become another of his stars’

    1.1 [as determiner] Used with a proper name to indicate someone or something's similarity to the person or event specified.
    ‘this will not be another Vietnam’

    2 Used to refer to a different person or thing from one already mentioned or known about.
    [as determiner] ‘come back another day’
    ‘his wife left him for another man’
    [as pronoun] ‘moving from one place to another’

    2.1 [as determiner] Used to refer to someone sharing an attribute in common with the person already mentioned.
    ‘his kiss with another man caused a tabloid rumpus’

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    I'm not sure what to think. Spells are often as-written broken. Consider False Vision which is a 40' radius emanation with range touch. Since range constrains area of effect that's pretty broken. My best guess would be that when said 'know' they really meant 'know or prepared' as I'm currently understanding scribe scroll.
    I accept that spells can be poorly worded, but doesn't the same also apply to abilities? Setting aside our academic discussion about whether Divine casters can 'know' spells (which is still a useful discussion), isn't it reasonable to assume the drafters of the Hathran class intended Rashemi Spirit Magic to be able to be used by a pure Cleric that entered the class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    It's not enough to admit that language is loose. (I agree---it's easy to imagine edit errors if 'known spell' requires more than a consequence of learning a spell.) We need to be able to consistently answer questions. For example:

    Can a Hathran use Rashemi Spirit Magic to cast any Cleric spell?
    Can a Hathran use Rashemi Spirit Magic to cast any learned Archivist spell?
    Can a Cleric use Versatile Spellcaster to cast any Cleric spelll?
    In order:

    1. Yes, but only if the Cleric could already cast spells of that level, based on the PHB reference to them learning new spell levels automatically as they level up:

    Spells Gained at a New Level: Characters who can cast divine spells undertake a certain amount of study between adventures. Each time such a character receives a new level of divine spells, he or she learns new spells from that level automatically.

    I know you disagree about 'learning' equaling 'knowing', but I think we can both agree that, if you have not learnt something, you cannot know it.

    2. Yes, probably. I haven't looked at this just yet, but the Archivist's rules refer back to the Wizard's spellbook rules.

    3. Yes, if the Cleric could already cast spells of the higher level gained through Versatile Spellcaster (see question 1 above). Otherwise, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    The 3.0 Hathran suggests that 'arcane spell she knows' and 'divine spell on her spell list' can not be consolidated as 'spell she knows' (inline with my understanding).
    However, it makes it clear that the intent was allowing any divine spell on list (inline with your? understanding).
    Agree on the first limb above, though it could just be clumsy wording. For example, the intention could be that:

    • arcane spellcasters must 'know' the spell to cast it (i.e. it is not enough to be on their spell list, and must in fact be known by them); and
    • divine spellcasters can cast any spell on their spell list (in line with their ordinary rules).


    On the second limb, I think we both agree?


    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    However2, the rules for "Place Magic" and "Rashemi Spirit Magic" in the 3.5 Hathran incarnation are clearly contradictory, since "Rashemi Spirit Magic" says: "...even if it is not on the same spell list as the substituted one." while 3.0-3.25 "Place Magic" only allows spontaneous casting within type (arcane or divine).
    I don't disagree with the underlined, but I do think it is irrelevant. The Durthan (3.25) description of Place Magic provides:

    When a hathran or durthan uses place magic, she can cast any arcane or divine spell known to her. (Spells on her hathran or durthan spell list can be cast as either arcane or divine spells, as she desires.)

    The ability was obviously updated in PGtF, but the point of the excerpt is to observe that divine casters can 'know' spells according to a 3.25 source (separately, if pushed, I'd probably object a bit to Unapproachable East being described as '3.25' - even though it was published before 3.5 came out, the writers were clearly aware of the 3.5 changes).

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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    How do you reconcile your agreement here that a wizard that does not know or prepare fireball can use a wand of fireball to scribe a scroll of fireball while insisting here that a spell must be prepared to scribe it? I think this is a key headscratcher for me. Do you have an interpretation consistent with all the rules?
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    Adopting your example, isn't the relevant sentence 'To fly a plane, you need a pilot and another pilot' (i.e. both are the same role)?
    'To fly a plane, you need a pilot and another pilot' seems fine, and you could imagine one person filling both roles in a pinch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    I accept that spells can be poorly worded, but doesn't the same also apply to abilities?
    Sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    Setting aside our academic discussion about whether Divine casters can 'know' spells (which is still a useful discussion), isn't it reasonable to assume the drafters of the Hathran class intended Rashemi Spirit Magic to be able to be used by a pure Cleric that entered the class?
    Yes, but I'm note sure. I'd like to use Hathran 3.0 Place Magic(where clerics clearly did benefit) as precedent, but these two abilities clearly differ rules-wise. It's not hard to imagine that the writers wanted to nerf it in the transition to 3.5.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    I think we can both agree that, if you have not learnt something, you cannot know it.
    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    3. Yes, if the Cleric could already cast spells of the higher level gained through Versatile Spellcaster (see question 1 above). Otherwise, no.
    I suspect that almost no DMs allow a Cleric with Versatile Spellcaster to spontaneously cast spells of all accessed levels. It's so good, that it would practically be a required level 1 feat for Druid & Cleric.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    On the second limb, I think we both agree?
    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    I don't disagree with the underlined, but I do think it is irrelevant.
    The relevance is that Place Magic is clearly not a precedent for how Rashemi Spirit Magic is supposed to work, so we cannot extract RAI from it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    ...the point of the excerpt is to observe that divine casters can 'know' spells according to a 3.25 source ...
    So, Hathran 3.0 is easily consistent with divine-not-known and awkwardly consistent with divine-known while Durthan 3.25 is consistent with divine-known.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    A bit of a delay in responding (work has been hectic).

    First, our discussion about 'Scribe Scroll' and similar feats is probably a red herring. From page 215 of the DMG:

    Prerequisites: Certain requirements must be met in order for a character to create a magic item. These include feats, spells, and miscellaneous requirements such as level, alignment, and race or kind. The prerequisites for creation of an item are given immediately following the item’s caster level.

    A spell prerequisite may be provided by a character who has prepared the spell (or who knows the spell, in the case of a sorcerer or bard), or through the use of a spell completion or spell trigger magic item or a spell-like ability that produces the desired spell effect. For each day that passes in the creation process, the creator must expend one spell completion item (such as a scroll) or one charge from a spell trigger item (such as a wand), if either of those objects is used to supply a prerequisite.

    It is possible for more than one character to cooperate in the creation of an item, with each participant providing one or more of the prerequisites. In some cases, cooperation may even be necessary, such as if one character knows some of the spells necessary to create an item and another character knows the rest.

    If two or more characters cooperate to create an item, they must agree among themselves who will be considered the creator for the purpose of determinations where the creator’s level must be known. (It’s generally sensible, although not mandatory, for the highest-level character involved to be considered the creator.) The character designated as the creator pays the XP required to make the item.

    Typically, a list of prerequisites includes one feat and one or more spells (or some other requirement in addition to the feat). When two spells at the end of a list are separated by “or,” one of those spells is required in addition to every other spell mentioned prior to the last two. For example, the prerequisites for a ring of three wishes are “Forge Ring, wish or miracle,” meaning that either wish or miracle is required as well as the Forge Ring feat.

    That is, when 'Scribe Scroll' (or similar feats) state you can 'create a scroll of any spell that you know', they are really just referring to these prerequisites. I think the passage above also addresses your comment about one person fulfilling the same role (it refers to multiple 'participants' and 'characters', not roles); however, again, I think we have moved beyond relying on the item creation rules now.

    With that in mind, I maintain my earlier position that D&D uses language loosely, including in relation to characters 'knowing' spells. As noted above, 'scribe scroll' (and similar item creation feats) use the term 'spell you know' to in fact refer to the DMG item creation rules.

    I've already mentioned Glyph of Warding, but I'll repeat it below for the benefit of others:

    Spell Glyph: You can store any harmful spell of 3rd level or lower that you know. All level-dependent features of the spell are based on your caster level at the time of casting the glyph.

    Additionally, Divine Metamagic (Complete Divine, p 80) has similar wording:

    When you take this feat, choose a metamagic feat. This feat applies only to that metamagic feat. As a free action, you can take the energy from turning or rebuking undead and use it to apply a metamagic feat to spells that you know. You must spend one turn or rebuke attempt, plus an additional attempt for each level increase in the metamagic feat you’re using. For example, Jozan the cleric could sacrifice three turn attempts to empower a holy smite he’s casting. Because you’re using positive or negative energy to augment your spells, the spell slot for the spell doesn’t change.

    See also Midnight Metamagic, from Magic of Incarnum:

    Benefit: Once per day, you can invest essentia into this feat and choose one or more spells that you know (and have prepared, if you prepare spells) to apply the effect of a metamagic feat that you know.

    Page 6 of the text plainly envisages Divine casters choosing Midnight Metamagic.

    There are also other feats (that do not require arcane pre-requisites and are plainly intended to apply to any sort of caster) that similarly refer to knowing spells (e.g. Innate Spell and Chaotic Spell Recall).

    EDIT: See also Eye of Horus-Re (from Player's Guide to Faerun):

    Spells per Day/Spells Known: Beginning at 2nd level, when a new eye of Horus-Re level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in cleric. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of turning or rebuking undead, and so on), except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. This essentially means that he adds the level of eye of Horus-Re to the level of cleric, and then determines spells per day, spells known, and caster level accordingly.

    The entry requirement is 'Able to cast 3rd-level divine spells', and the fluff text says 'All eyes of Horus-Re are clerics of that deity, though some have paladin levels as well'.
    Last edited by Oblivionsmurf; 2019-08-31 at 09:48 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivionsmurf View Post
    With that in mind, I maintain my earlier position that D&D uses language loosely, including in relation to characters 'knowing' spells.
    You have a fair bit of evidence, so I must agree that the language is used loosely. That leaves us forced to consider the proper definition of 'know' each time it arises which is rather fraught with difficulty. Perhaps one way to settle this is in terms of affordance: what is the minimal affordance associated with each use of 'know'? A rule using the word 'know' must implicitly allow the minimum affordance in addition to the glossary definition. Large affordances may be intended, but the smallest affordance is the conservative choice which should always work.
    1. For Scribe Scroll it refers to spell access per the quote.
    2. For Glyph of Warding it presumably refers to any spell you could cast at the time of casting the glyph of warding? This seems minimal, but it would imply that a cleric must prepare the spell for a spell glyph.
    3. For Divine Metamagic, it presumably additionally refers to spells a cleric prepares rather than any spell on the cleric list.
    4. For Midnight Metamagic, it presumably additionally refers to spells a cleric prepares.
    5. For Eye of Horus-Re, it presumably refers to the entire cleric list.
    6. For Versatile Spellcaster... any spell prepared for a cleric?
    7. For Rashemi Spirit Magic... any spell prepared for a cleric?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    You have a fair bit of evidence, so I must agree that the language is used loosely. That leaves us forced to consider the proper definition of 'know' each time it arises which is rather fraught with difficulty. Perhaps one way to settle this is in terms of affordance: what is the minimal affordance associated with each use of 'know'? A rule using the word 'know' must implicitly allow the minimum affordance in addition to the glossary definition. Large affordances may be intended, but the smallest affordance is the conservative choice which should always work.
    1. For Scribe Scroll it refers to spell access per the quote.
    2. For Glyph of Warding it presumably refers to any spell you could cast at the time of casting the glyph of warding? This seems minimal, but it would imply that a cleric must prepare the spell for a spell glyph.
    3. For Divine Metamagic, it presumably additionally refers to spells a cleric prepares rather than any spell on the cleric list.
    4. For Midnight Metamagic, it presumably additionally refers to spells a cleric prepares.
    5. For Eye of Horus-Re, it presumably refers to the entire cleric list.
    6. For Versatile Spellcaster... any spell prepared for a cleric?
    7. For Rashemi Spirit Magic... any spell prepared for a cleric?
    I agree we need some sort of guiding principle on how to interpret 'know' in any instance. One thing that I think is sadly lacking in D&D is rules on how to interpret the rules in instances of ambiguity (presumably because the designers considered that people should just be able to resolve these issues through common sense and DM adjudication).

    For my part, I wonder if the 'minimal affordance' test is too narrow, or incomplete. For example, take this excerpt from Absorption in the Spell Compendium:

    You can use captured spell energy to cast any spell you know or have prepared, but spells so cast don’t disappear from your list of prepared spells or count against the number of spells you can normally cast per day (so you so must keep a running total of spell levels absorbed and used). The levels of spell energy you have stored must be equal to or greater than the level of the spell you want to cast, and you must have at hand (and expend) any material components required for the spell.

    The spell is Sor/Wiz 9, so the 'minimal affordance' test presumably wouldn't have anything to say about the description at all. Someone looking at the spell would read 'know', refer to the PHB definition, and then say that the spell allows a Wizard to cast any spell in their spellbook (irrespective of whether the Wizard has prepared it). I would have issues with that definition, because it ignores the words 'or have prepared'. Here, we would need some sort of interpretation that narrows the meaning of 'know' in the spell description.

    For my part, I usually go with a statutory interpretation approach to D&D rules.


    Obviously, true statutory interpretation differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but it should be pretty easy to come up with a near universal set of rules. For example, you might have something like:

    • You should interpret the text of a rule according to its ordinary meaning, unless this results in an absurd result.
    • If there would be an absurd result, you should interpret the rule in a way that best captures the objective intention of the author of the rule (for example, based on the text around the rule, or other text that refers to the rule).
    • You should always ensure that the rule is interpreted in a way that gives it work to do (for instance, in our Absorption example above, if you give 'know' its PHB glossary definition, the words 'or have prepared' have no work to do).



    (I'm a bit rushed at the moment, so this list is by no means final, but it hopefully gives a good sense of what I mean).

    One downside with this sort of approach is that statutory interpretation works in real life in part because:

    • legislators are aware of the principles governing statutory interpretation, and (usually try to) draft legislation carefully and meaningfully (whereas D&D authors might be a bit more loose or rushed); and
    • in real life, if a law is horrendously misapplied, the legislature can address that (whereas this does not work for D&D books).



    So, maybe there is no perfect solution except to just rely on common sense (and inevitable arguments about what 'common sense' means).

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Hathran - Rashemi Spirit Magic

    Prepared-but-not-PHB-Known is possible via the Sha'ir. I'm not suggesting that Absorption should be interpreted with that knowledge though, as Sha'ir is a more peripheral class. When considering absorption previously, I had defaulted into your interpretation. Your interpretation also happens to be a more minimal affordance than the alternative.

    The definitions we've gone through have known spells =
    1. Spells that a spontaneous caster knows intrinsically (as per Absorption)
    2. Type 1 + Arcane Spellcaster + has learned + can prepare (as per PHB glossary)
    3. Type 1 or prepared spells (as per Divine Metamagic)
    4. The entire list for Cleric (as per Eye of Horus-Re)
    5. Type 2 or the entire list for Druid/Cleric (as per Place Magic)
    6. Accessible spell (as per Scribe Scroll)

    All of this makes it clear there are many more gradations of 'know' than the PHB definition.

    Rashemi Spirit Magic still seems ambiguous however. It's at least type 2 when interacting with arcane casters. The minimal affordance with divine casters is type 3 but Place Magic provides precedence for type 5.
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