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D&D 3E
I would like to further extrapolate on the invisibility vs. detect… 
13th-Mar-2006 02:28 pm
fox
I would like to further extrapolate on the invisibility vs. detect magic question discussed previously.



There is a 30 X 30' room in a certain dungeon. Inside of this room against the wall opposite the door is an enemy who has invisibility cast on himself. He has on his belt a +3 vorpal Sword. So there he is in the room with invisibility cast.

There are a party of adventurers coming down the corridor and entering the room. The adventuring wizard cast detect magic and has been concentrating as they've been walking down the corridor. Detect magic is of course a 90 degree cone going out in front of the adventuring wizard.

The party enters the 30's square room mentioned above. The wizard concentrates for three rounds while facing into the room. This would put the inivisible enemy easily within' the scope of the detect magic spell that is being concentrated on by the adventuring wizard

1. Aside from the party, how many auras would the detect magic pick up?

-My answer, the detect magic would pick up 2 auras outside the party, a minor illusion aura, and a moderate-strong aura of Alteration(the sword)

2. Could the Adventuring wizard accurately target a spell against the invisible enemy?

-my answer, yes

3. If so, would there be a miss chance?

-my answer - I would still impose a 20% miss chance, perhaps as high as 50%

4. Assuming this invisible enemy is extremely crafty, and is hidden in the shadow of a dias that happens to be near him, would the adventuring wizard detect him, if he did, what would the miss chance be (assume 50% coverage) and would the adventuring wizard have to roll a spot to beat the enemy's hide even AFTER detecting the enemy via detect magic....

-my answer 9/10ths cover, and no the adventuring wizard would not have to roll a spot to detect the enemy, but would to target him.

5. Final question for all the bonus points- If the adventuring wizard thought to cast a true seeing spell on himself that is still in effect, and the Enemy was hidden as well as invisible, would the Adventuring wizard have to roll a spot to see him even after detecting him

-my answer, yes. The adventuring wizard would have to roll a spot to detect the hiding enemy despite his invisibility
Comments 
13th-Mar-2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
1)
If someone carrying a +8 effective bonus magic weapon has no other spells cast upon him/her, other than 2nd level Invisiblity, something is really wrong. But, barring other effects, 2 auras. 1 minor illusion, one STRONG Alteration (minimum 18th level effect for Vorpal).

2) Sort of. If the spell isn't a swift action or immediate action to cast, the caster will not be able to concentrate on the Detect Magic to maintain it. I'd rule that they'd get the one spell off, before the DM disapates.

3) I'd rule the general case is 50% from Total Concealment. The Caster knows exactly which square to aim at, but as the DM has to be lost in the process of casting the spell, they don't know where in the square. If the spell is a swift or immediate action, then 20% from concealment.

4) 3.5 has Cover or Total Cover. There's nothing in-between. 3.0, I'd go with 9/10s. in 3.5, Cover. Plus invisiblity has (had?) a bonus to hide. Effectively, a +30, if I recall corectly. So that would be the spot/search target.

5) True Seeing does not overcome hide skill. So the wizard would still need a spot check -- the Hide skill could be used to hit the enemeny, despite his aura. There is no garuntee the Wizard would even be aware of the presence even with True Seeing on.


13th-Mar-2006 08:09 pm (UTC)
The thing there with #5 was True seeing AND detect magic. So the detect magic would pick out his location, and true seeing would reveal him IF you could beat his hide check.
13th-Mar-2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
i didn't pick up on the finer distinction, that ?5 the wizard was using both spells. in that case, if detect magic shows you position, and true seeing reveals them, then i wouldn't impose apenalty for the wizard at all. once you know where someone is hiding, it's easy to see them. if you use detect magic to find them, and are using true seeing so you can actually see them i would let any hit rolls by the wizard go as normal, as long as true seeing was in effect. of course if the target is hiding behind something big cover (but probably not concealment) may still apply.
13th-Mar-2006 08:39 pm (UTC)
I should be clearer:

There is nothing in the description of Detect Magic that means it automatically would discover a hidden magical aura. Specifically, if the BBEG is aware, then he'd take full advantage of
"The spell can penetrate barriers, but 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it."

Your BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy) is hiding in the room, in addition to being invisible. In this case, it is more than a 'detect magic' to find the guy's aura. If the BBEG is not magically aware (0 ranks in Knowledge(Arcana), no caster levels, etc.), it probably is a pretty simple spot check to find the aura, as the BBEG wouldn't find a hidding position that would also hide the aura.

If your BBEG is magically aware, or has been instructed by someone who was how to hide the aura, the caster is going to need to make a spot check just to find the aura.

If there is nothing for the BBEG to hide behind, sufficent to block the aura, then it is simply a DM to find the exact aura (3 rounds) and then a spot check to find the guy using true seeing.

On the other hand, the sword's STRONG aura is going to be overpowering the weak invisiblity aura, so if the caster is trying to find the minor illusion, the strong alteration may make his/her life harder.
13th-Mar-2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
Are you adjucating that rule? Nothing in the SRD mentions knowledge;Arcana as having spell "hiding effects"
13th-Mar-2006 08:47 pm (UTC)
I'd make a PC use Spellcraft or Knowledge(aracana) to know how far through a given material a Detect spell would work. Since both are 'trained only', it seems like a reasonable ruling.

13th-Mar-2006 09:07 pm (UTC)
ok now, this is just getting... silly
13th-Mar-2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
the problem i have with this is that you have to concentrate to know where he is, and casting another spell ends that. furthermore you don't get the location and strength of the aura until the second round and if the baddie is invisible, and if he moves, then the detect invisibility spell resets to round one everytime he moves, because the location keeps changing.
13th-Mar-2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
you know what? i take it back. the description of detect magic doesn't say anything about losing track of an aura if it moves. in fact if that happened it would make the spell less useful. after all even visible targets can move. the description of invisibility leaves open the possibility of finding an invisible target (including if the opponent were standing in a puddle). but detect magic is a zero level spell and i wouldn't give much. this is what i would say:
area affect spells would function normally (but then, they would even if you hadn't cast detect magic)

ranged touch, or any other spell requiring a to-hit roll would follow the rules for attacking an opponent with complete cover. from the SRD on wizards' website: If you have line of effect to a target but not line of sight he is considered to have total concealment from you. You can't attack an opponent that has total concealment, though you can attack into a square that you think he occupies. A successful attack into a square occupied by an enemy with total concealment has a 50% miss chance (instead of the normal 20% miss chance for an opponent with concealment).

spells with an automatic hit, or spells that you don't need to roll to hit, such as magic missile, would STILL have to roll a 50% miss chance. you really don't know where the enemy is or their position. keep in mind that most spells that hit automatically allow for some sort of saving throw and that would still apply.

in other words, yes, i'd let the wizard attack. its a clever use of a zero level spell, but it's still no more effective than tossing a bucket of water on your opponent so you can tell where he's standing because of the dry footprints where his feet are.

as for your last question, since i still have the srd open, i'll let the rules speak for themselves: True seeing does not help the viewer see through mundane disguises, spot creatures who are simply hiding, or notice secret doors hidden by mundane means.

that seems pretty clear.
13th-Mar-2006 08:41 pm (UTC)
The trick isn't Mr. Invisible moving, it's Mr. Invisible moving out of the DetMag's area.
13th-Mar-2006 09:01 pm (UTC)
the spell's got a 60' range in a cone shaped emanation. it's a 30x30 room. presumably if the opponent moves into a corner where the cone doesn't hit the wizard casting the spell is going to follow his movement with the direction he's pointing the cone. my answer depends on wether or not the opponent is within range of the spell. of course there are circumstances that could change things, like the opponent moving out of range, or as someone else said, simply stepping forward and beheading someone.
13th-Mar-2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
This would be a point of curiosity...but why wouldn't the BEG just step forward and chop off someone's head? Maybe the guy that looks (spot check, I guess) constipated?

For detect magic to work as a means of penetrating invisibility, the opponent almost always needs to be obligingly stupid. He couldn't hear anyone coming? Not even the cleric or fighter, who are probably both armored and neither of which can typically spare many points for move silently? He knows that someone is coming. If there is a convenient dias nearby, hell, it's probably thick enough to block the detect magic effect right out.

But if the party actually entered the room and stood there...what is he doing? The situation above just doesn't make sense to me. Pick someone lightly armored and cut 'em up, then get out.

Yeah, I guess it technically works, exactly as others have stated, but it requires the badguys do something fairly odd, IMO, to be effective.
13th-Mar-2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
Perhaps there is a delayed spell or trap that the BEG is waiting for to go off before starting his shortening of the party. Why isn't important. The BEG could be waiting for any number of reasons...perhaps reinforcements are on the way from the other side of the room

Look, the big question here is:

Is a magical item carried detectable if the character holding it is not

Anyone invisible probably has a magical item of some kind somewhere on their person, so...
13th-Mar-2006 09:45 pm (UTC) - Is a magical item carried detectable if the character holding it is not
yes. it is. detect magic detects spells. it also detects items. invisibility doesn't say anything about being an undetectable spell. it doesn't say anything about preventing detection of items. none of the detect spells mention invisibility in their list of things that prevent them from working properly. if you want to hide an item from detect magic you need to use obscure object.
14th-Mar-2006 12:33 pm (UTC)
I think there is probably sufficient rules precidence (please forgive me if my spelling is terrible, it's still very early here) to conclude that if a person is undetectable, his stuff is as well. That doesn't strictly apply to invisibility though. You're very detectable. Just not visible.

An invisible guy carrying a torch...the torch is invisible, but the light given off isn't. Nor is the smoke for that matter. I'm afraid I have to stand by my assertation that it is possible, but not practicle.

FWIW, auras linger. The stronger the aura, the longer it lingers. If one is invading the stronghold of the BBEG, I think it safe to assume that there could easily be lingering auras everywhere. Especially in the places that the evil guy frequents. In other words, I think it is a function of DM and game world how effective this tactic would be. I do not personally think it at all a stretch to believe that every room, hallway, or locale would have traces of magic which would obfuscate the spell.
13th-Mar-2006 11:21 pm (UTC)
1) I concur.

2) Target in what way? He knows what square the enemy is standing in, so he could feel free to lob a fireball or something over there (or course, that would require ending the detect spell, and so the enemy might move). Of course, magic missile isn't going to work because the wizard can't "see" the target.

3) from SRD: It’s practically impossible (+20 DC) to pinpoint an invisible creature’s location with a Spot check, and even if a character succeeds on such a check, the invisible creature still benefits from total concealment (50% miss chance).
So, 50% miss chance. The character knows what square the enemy is in, but a 5' square is huge, so he only has a 50% chance to actually hit the guy. This miss chance would only apply to spells requiring an attack roll; the fireball is still going to fry the guy.

4) I would rule that Detect Magic allows the character to know what square the bad guy is in. Once you know he's there, he's not hiding. He IS behind a wall, so he has Cover (in 3.5 terms, either Cover or Total Cover depending on how big the dias is and whether the bad guy is trying to peak out or whatnot, but still some form of Cover) but you can still attempt to hit him. It's just harder (he gets a +4 to his AC, in addition to the 50% miss chance).

5) True Seeing would effectively negate the invisibility. But the detect magic would still let the wizard have pinpointed the enemy! So the enemy has Cover from the dias as above, but the 50% miss chance no longer applies.

I think hide is for if the other guy doesn't know where you are. Once he does, he can't really hide anymore. UNLESS he has the Hide in Plain Sight class feature (so he's a 3rd level wizard/17th level Ranger), which basically means you can fake out someone so that they think you've moved one direction even if you've moved another or haven't moved at all! Does that make sense?
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