View Full Version : Is Casting a Supernatural Ability?

2011-02-20, 07:52 PM
In a game I'm DMing we came across a problem involving antimagic field. I won't get into it but the crux of the matter is I need to know if casting from class levels is a supernatural or extraordinary ability. Any page references you can give would be great.

2011-02-20, 07:54 PM
The ability itself is either Extraordinary or that nebulous generic category of 'natural'.

2011-02-20, 07:55 PM
Not that it lets you actually use magic while in it.

2011-02-20, 08:06 PM
that's the debate we're having. By the RAW in the core and Rules Compendium as long as it isn't an instantaneous effect with the origin inside the field it's completely ok to cast out of the field.

2011-02-20, 08:11 PM
that's the debate we're having. By the RAW in the core and Rules Compendium as long as it isn't an instantaneous effect with the origin inside the field it's completely ok to cast out of the field.

Oh hai! Nobody ever wants to believe me when I say that, and it takes like five paragraphs to lay out the reasoning, so I don't bother any more. :smalltongue:

2011-02-20, 08:13 PM
This is a real "hot topic"...some people will cite the various Hobgoblins from MM IV as an example of Ex spellcasting. It really isn't very clear at all. The argument seems to be whether it is Ex or Natural...I've not seen Su in the mix before.

2011-02-20, 08:14 PM
yup by RAW a wizard has to be able to speak (if the spell has a verbal component), gesture (if it has a somatic component), and manipulate the material components or focus (if any).

There's absolutely nothing magical about casting spells *facepalm*

Which seems to imply natural or (Ex)

2011-02-20, 08:22 PM
Try not to extrapolate the RAW too far. In any non-tournement for money games, if you see something that you think is "clever" that you think the creator would slap you if you insisted it was what he intended, you're probably not supposed to use it that way.

That aside, the ability to cast out of AMFs is common enough without that interpretation, that all you're doing is making wizards even more invincible BS blah blah, so whether it does or not is largely academic, but don't complain if your DM hits you with a frozen ham.

2011-02-20, 08:47 PM
That's the problem, it IS a tournament (not for money) and I AM the DM.
I was just trying to figure out if there was a no-wiggle-room answer to this.

2011-02-20, 08:48 PM
Then I recommend hitting the guy who tries to do it with a frozen ham, as that's not against the rules since it's not explicitly mentioned.

Edit: If this means hitting yourself with a frozen ham, post it on youtube as well.

2011-02-20, 09:29 PM
That's the problem, it IS a tournament (not for money) and I AM the DM.
I was just trying to figure out if there was a no-wiggle-room answer to this.

Dude, Rule 0 is just made for vague rules disputes. You could say that a Wizard can cast out of an Antimagic Field if and only if they're wearing polka-dot pajamas and dancing the macarena and it would be so. Just go with your gut response, and your players won't be able to argue as long as it sounds reasonable.

2011-02-20, 10:12 PM
There's absolutely nothing magical about casting spells *facepalm*

Well, the entry for Antimagic Field states, "The space within this barrier is impervious to most magical effects, including spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities," emphasis added. So, I mean, there's that, if you're looking for something picky. That said, it's the magical effect of the spell, so yeah, you can cast- it just won't have any effect. Though I personally play with instantaneous creation conjurations working outside-in.

Beware the Initiate of Mystra! :smallwink:

2011-02-21, 04:57 PM
spellcasting cant be SU because of this:

Supernatural abilities are [....] not subject to spell resistance,...
yet some spells are subject to SR

ergo: spellcasting isnt SU

2011-02-21, 05:22 PM
According to this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#specialAbilities):
"Extraordinary Abilities (Ex)
Extraordinary abilities are nonmagical,"
I guess it's not extraordinary...

"Spell-Like Abilities (Sp)
Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A few spell-like abilities are unique; these are explained in the text where they are described.

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."
Definitely not spell-like...

"Supernatural Abilities (Su)
Supernatural abilities are magical and go away in an antimagic field but are not subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or to being dispelled by dispel magic."
Spells aren't supernatural, either.

"Natural Abilities
This category includes abilities a creature has because of its physical nature. Natural abilities are those not otherwise designated as extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like."
I guess that's the only category it could fall into.

2011-02-21, 05:25 PM
An easy way to work around this would be Shape Spell or the Archmage class ability that lets you manipulate areas of effect to shape it in the form of a doughnut, excluding your square, so you could be excluded from the effect. This also lets you keep all your buffs (like Overland Flight, Greater Mirror Image, Contingency Celerity upon my being the target of attack or negative effect...)

2011-02-21, 05:42 PM
When it comes right down to it, all spells have two origins. Wait, what do I mean? I'll use the classic fireball as an example.

The spell has a target origin, the blast itself. This is a spread out from the center of the spell dealing damage against anyone caught in it.

Now, all spells have a casting origin. There must be a line of effect from the spell's target to the caster of that spell. This always places the caster as the origin of any spell, they are the source.

But with AoE spells, you need to have the spell itself within line of effect of the caster, but anyone hurt by it needs only line of effect to the spell itself and not the caster. This is where the confusion sets in with the vague wording.

Now you can cast spells through an AMF, if both the Caster and the Target of the spell are outside of the AMF effect. Spells can travel through an AMF, but are suppressed over that distance. If either the caster or the target is under an AMF effect, the spell is completely suppressed.

It's come up in the Wizards FAQ before, I'm sure of it.

2011-02-23, 03:38 PM
For the specific case, I would rule that casting from within an AMF is impossible, because the AMF prevents the nascent magical energies from ever coalescing into a cast spell. The magical energies still exist, which is why a spell cast from outside an AMF can still propagate through it. But the actual action of casting a spell involves preliminary manipulation of magic, which is blocked by the AMF.