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D&D 3E
An Aasimar's Daylight vs. Spellcraft Check 
4th-Feb-2005 09:58 am
One of the characters in the group is an aasimar, trying to pass off as a human. The players know the character is an aasimar, but the other characters do not, so to speak, and it drives the players crazy that said player keeps his character's race in secrecy. So, intermingling of this frustration would be out-of-game knowledge.

The aasimar used his daylight spell the other day. The aasimar is a psion, so he normally does not have use of spells; however, daylight is a spell-like ability. One of the players, the cleric/wizard of the group, wants to know if he can make a spellcraft check to decipher if the aasimar used magic or not--would a spellcraft check be able to tell if the aasimar used daylight as a spell-like ability, and would it be able to decipher if there was a difference between a racially used daylight and the daylight a cleric or sorcerer (I don't remember if wizards get that spell or not) could use? (I ask this because the aasimar might tempt to play pretend he has class levels in a class that can cast that spell to hide his race, if he really wants to try to be secretive.)

If a spellcraft check could decipher between the spell-like ability daylight and a psion's normal abilities, then what do you think the DC would be? 15, 20?
4th-Feb-2005 07:07 pm (UTC)
" the aasimar might tempt to play pretend he has class levels in a class that can cast that spell to hide his race"

I don't know the answer to your question, but I wanted to point out that class levels are a matter of game mechanics and not generally a part of character's knowledge. Unless you are playing some sort of guild thing where levels are role-played.
4th-Feb-2005 07:14 pm (UTC)
Spell-like abilities mave no componants(V,S,M,f) so would appear different in the casting-ie you wouldn't know it was being cast until it happened. There are feats that could cover that though.

Once the spell is up it will be easy to identify(well dc 20+spell level) as a "daylight" spell.

Psions don't use components(v,s,m,f), but unless you are using varient rules do produce effects that are like magic.

I would think that the other character would not be able to tell which of these options was being used, unless by some sort of horrendous roll they knew every possible psionic effect and that daylight wasn't one of them. Even then they wouldn't know if it was simply being cast using the various feats or as a spell-like ability.

The "spell" could also be from an item of some sort.

There is a feat(somewhere) to turn a spell into a spell-like ability too.

Oh and almost everyone gets daylight: (Brd,Clr,Drd,Pal,Sor/Wiz 3) so it's not intimate class knowledge.

I think they're going to have to come up with some other way of blagging finding his race out.
4th-Feb-2005 07:17 pm (UTC)
Oh and, depending somewhat on how common psionics are in your game, the spellcraft roll to figure out that it couldn't possibly be a psionic ability....40 or more I'd think(If you even decided it was possible). After all new spells and other such things are being invented/discovered all the time.
4th-Feb-2005 07:43 pm (UTC)
IIRC there isn't a significant difference between Spellcraft and Psicraft. THere may be a slight modifier to use one to identify something more subject to the other, but it isn't a +20. It might be a +10, but I think its only a +5.

Really, for most intents and purposes the differences betwen Psionics and Magic in the DnD setting is about the same as the differences between Arcane and Divine magic. That is, almost none.
4th-Feb-2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
My point wasn't due to the difference; it was due to constant new spells, and so telling that a particular spell could only be done by a particular type of person would be almost impossible.
Although it does say that for unusually rare things the DC should be 30+ and an awful lot of games I've seen have had maybe 1 or 2 psionic characters and maybe a couple of psionic monsters-making it very rare.

Oh what does IIRC mean please?
4th-Feb-2005 07:52 pm (UTC)
IIRC - If I Recall Correctly.

I don't think the issue is necessarily identifying who can cast a spell, but what the nature of the spell is. Certainly, in most campaigns, Divine spell auras differ from Arcane. Presumably Psi also differ in aura.

As Assimar's spelllike abilities are divine, or at least positive-energy, in nature, presumably the PC could find that out and use it to call the Assimar's bluff.

On the other hand, this strikes me as a player of WAY too much metagaming. Unless the PC has a reason to be suspicious of the Assimar, what reason is there to be investigating this?

4th-Feb-2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
Cheers, I've seen it before but never figured it out:)

I've not come across the divine/arcane spells having different types or aura for the same spell. I agree if you're using that then you'd definately be able to tell it wasn't psionic as that would presumably also have a unique signature.
The reason who can cast it is relevant is for his blag, "I have learned the ways of the (eg) druid" or whatever.
The ammount of metagaming is pretty shoddy behaviour, normally people will end up ignoring more clues than they should to avoid it, not go all out like this. In fact any concept of "ooh, you're not a x, how can you do that?" is metagaming, what would stop someone learning a specific spell or other thing independant of what class they are is a game mechanic.
4th-Feb-2005 08:05 pm (UTC)
Psionic powers have side effects, such as light and noise. That makes it pretty obvous that it wasn't a psionic power.

Games where the players know something the characters don't are very annoying. Usually this comes down to players stealing from other players. I hate being in those situations.
4th-Feb-2005 08:40 pm (UTC)
I don't agree with players holding info from other players, but he has a point with why he does it - there are certain parts of the world where being an aasimar or tiefling in my campaign can get you killed (people find outer plane blood to be a bad thing), and the fairy in the group likes to blurt EVERYTHING. He holds the info for fear of his life. He's not the kind to steal stuff.

This whole group can work on a camaraderie thing, but that's a different story. I just needed to know the spellcraft check rules.

Psionic powers have light and sound effects that separate them from magic...? How so? I'm curious.
4th-Feb-2005 08:55 pm (UTC)
Look in the psionics book, under manifesting powers. I don't have a copy here at work to give you a page number, though.
4th-Feb-2005 10:48 pm (UTC)
I'd call it a Bluff check, opposed by Spellcraft. He'd have to attempt to fake the appriorate V,S,M,F components of the spell, of course.

5th-Feb-2005 06:09 pm (UTC)

Spellcraft DC - Effect
15 + spell level - Identify a spell being cast. (You must see or hear the spell’s verbal or somatic components.) No action required. No retry.
20 + spell level - Identify a spell that’s already in place and in effect. You must be able to see or detect the effects of the spell. No action required. No retry.
Source: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/spellcraft.htm

Detect Magic
Level: Brd 0, Clr 0, Drd 0, Sor/Wiz 0
Description: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/detectMagic.htm (Not going to copy-paste the whole thing. ^_^)

None of these allow you to determine whether the spell is divine or arcane in nature. They could determine that yes, it is a daylight spell, but that would be the extent of it.

As for spell-like abilities (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/naturalSpecialAbilities.htm),

A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus or have an XP cost. The user activates it mentally. Armor never affects a spell-like ability’s use, even if the ability resembles an arcane spell with a somatic component.

Thus, the first spellcraft action I listed above would not come into play.

Psionic powers do not have somatic, material, or verbal components, correct? (I'm not familiar with the rules, but they're not listed in a power description; for example, http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/elfsight.htm)

In that case, his spell-like ability could be passed off as a psionic ability. And unless the character in question has Psicraft (and thus would be savvy enough to go 'hey, that's not a power', I'd say that the character could play off the daylight ability as a psionic manifestation.

If the wizard isn't verse in psionics, he wouldn't be able to say whether or not some psionic powers also manifested magical auras. That would be something that the psion could bluff about.

Anyway, this post is kinda rambling, so if you've got any questions, ask 'em and I'll try to clarify.
6th-Feb-2005 10:37 pm (UTC)
Actually, this answered my question quite well. I thought it had a lot of thorough points. Thank you for the input! :-)
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