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D&D 3E
27th-Nov-2004 05:11 pm
The leather PHB (the first non-nonsense print version of 3.5) says Scrying can be used against "some creature" that you have "some connection to".

Does this mean you can Scry for "The fairest in the land" (or something less subjective, like "the most charismatic member of my race in this land") as long as the result is, unbeknownst to you, some random person you know, have met or have heard of?

And it will fail if it isn't someone you know, have met or have heard of? Even that returns some knowledge, if you assumed the result would be yourself!

If you can't identify the subject of a Scry be any property they have (for example, checking you have exactly 200 GP in your pouch by Scrying for "The nearest person carrying 200 GP" and checking if the mirror/pool shows yourself), is a name a property?

If Adam is a real character and Bob fools Charlie by posing as Adam, and Charlie cast Scry, asking to see Adam, will they see Adam or Bob? Does it make any difference if Charlie has met the real Adam or not? This came up in a game where a doppleganger was posing as a character we had not previously met: we scryed on that character and it was questionable whether we would get a "wrong number" or not.

One issue: is the identifying the target something the CHARACTER does or that the PLAYER does: if it is the player, then the DM can negotiate with the player exactly who they are trying to locate, and avoid the capriciousness of "wish wording".
27th-Nov-2004 07:07 pm (UTC)

"Some connection to" is a social term. As in, "you can recognize the person on the street or have a legal or blood relationship with."

Srcying for something that requires judgement would substitute the character's own judgement -- scrying for "the fairest in the land" would return who, in the spellcaster's perception, was the fairest in the land.

Snow White's wicked stepmother didn't cast scrying. She used her magical Intelligent Crystal Ball of All-Seeing, which was able to make judgements and percieve anyone in the kingdom. Cool bit, that -- but it was a high-level device, possibly an epic level item or even an artifact.
28th-Nov-2004 12:25 am (UTC)
OK, so if the wicked queen's player says they are Scrying for the fairest in the land, the GM will clarify "You mean yourself, right?" to determine the target.

And if Charlie scrys Adam, he will target Bob (known to Charlie as Adam)?

(Part of my programming job used to be in directories and naming services, so I have skewed idea of what it means to identify people!)

28th-Nov-2004 02:08 pm (UTC)
Exactly. If the wicked queen's player says "no, I mean the fairest. Not necessarily me", the GM then has to say "Sorry, Scrying can't do that. You'd need some other magic to determine who's the Fairest in the Land. Maybe Contact Other Plane?"

If the mage knows a false identity, scrying for said false identity won't spoil the spell. Depending on the GM it may call for a new Disguise v. Spot Check if the person is out of character, though.
27th-Nov-2004 08:20 pm (UTC)
You have to have an idea, even a general one of who you're looking for. It's not a search engine.
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