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Pathfinder: Would you allow a plant in a pot to be used for Entangle?

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryfte View Post
I think that it should affect the entire area and fill it with vines/plants temporarily. It's freakin' magic, why does it have to be based on existing vegetation? Granted that's an arbitrary DM fiat... but I'd still stand by it. Why penalize the player and force an otherwise useful spell into one that becomes virtually useless? After all, what dungeon crawl has vegetation in the corridor or the larger cavers? Where do you find vegetation in the ruins of any terrain except jungle? A lot of the druid spell choices are restricted by environment or being outside so I say go the opposite way, make them more flexible and less useless.

Edit: The situation where the DM says, "Actually Bob, only half the clearing has vegetation in it. The other half, where all the monsters are standing, doesn't have any vegetation in it, your entagle is useless... once again." is far too common a possibility otherwise. *shrug*
This. Always this.

There's a reason the 4E DMG addresses the "rule of Yes" at length.

I LOVE the idea that druid magic can make plants grow where there were none before. Seriously, how cool is this:

At first it seems your spell failed. Then, a small green sprout appears beneath Trevolax's feet, followed by another, then another, then the floor erupts with grape vines that grow thick and fast. Trevolax manages to leap out of the way, but the grasping vines quickly manage to twine around his minions' feet - holding them fast!

For added coolness, leave the vegetation in place after the fight.

Compare to:

Sorry. There's no natural vegetation here. Your spell fails. Bob, you're up.

There's another benefit for just letting it work: there's less for the DM to track. While I'm sure that some DMs might derive intense pleasure from marking (and tracking) exactly how much vegetation there is and where (EDIT: even within a single square and such), many others would prefer to focus on other things. And when characters' abilities are dependent on environmental minutiae like that, it effectively requires them to run through a litany of questions regarding the the details of that environment (which their characters are plausibly taking in at a glance) every time the scene shifts or the room changes. That rigamarole gets old pretty quickly.

Well, I certainly hope the DM can keep track of what terrain the party is in. Most of the time it's pretty clear if there should be vegetation around. "Well, the party was walking through a forest. I'm just going with my gut and saying that just might be the tiniest bit of vegetation around."

If the spell was intended to create plants out of nothing it probably would be an evocation spell. It's description would also read differently. The idea is cute, but you're trying to get the spell to do something it doesn't. Try a different approach. See if your DM will let you research a spell that causes plant growth. Then you can do a one-two punch combo that makes more sense.

The druid has plenty of options and interesting choices. I doubt that following the rules as written in this case will really feel that restrictive.

There is a Plant Growth spell.
And the spell doesn't create plants out of nothing. It enhances the plants that are already there.
And I'm doing exactly what the spell says. Nothing more, but also nothing less. It's magic. It doesn't have to make sense or be logical.

Personally, I would say unless you're in a specifically barren area (magically bereft of plant life, a sand-style desert or some place like Antarctica), Entangle would take what plants are already in the area (even if they're deeper underground, or in other ways not obvious, since other than in the environments I mentioned there is always some manner of plant life, or else erosion makes the un-secured earth all blow around and you end up with a sandy desert) magically grow to great sizes, and when the spell expires, they either retract to their natural states, or else the magic sustaining the massive growth spurt dissipates and the plants all dry up/wither up due to lack of support.

So, the potted plant would be unnecessary, though I would say that in a specifically non-vegetated area, the potted plant would at a minimum (depending on the size of the plant... are we talking one-handed tossing a little potted petunia, or lugging around a huge pot with a rosebush in it?) act as Entangle on the target you threw it at, like a living tanglefoot bag with the duration and DC set by the spell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
If the spell was intended to create plants out of nothing it probably would be an evocation spell. It's description would also read differently.
Actually, Evocation applies pretty much to energy spells. Transmutation typically modifies the properties of existing things. Conjuration (Creation) is the School/subschool combination we'd need if you wanted to re-write Entangle in that manner. You could, too, though doing so would likely require boosting its level.

Point being, as I see it, is that limiting spells like Entangle pointlessly limits (and yes, I know full well what I'm about to say) the usefulness of the druid based on nothing more than the theme of the class. It's rather like the Paladin's warhorse: a cool idea in theory, appropriate thematically when one considers the classical definition of "paladin", but practically a useless feature in most games.

My 2cp. Ultimately, a given DM can't truly be faulted as "wrong" for enforcing rules that are pretty darn clear. As others are sure to point out, the Druid has enough potential to stand on its own with or without being able to cast Entangle in a barren corridor.

I agree with Aftershock, that if the area is truly barren, then allow the potted plant to let the spell affect 1-4 squares, depending upon your impression of the size of the plant itself. Otherwise, let it work even if there isn't much vegetation. As my yard will attest, crabgrass and dandelions and clovers will grow anywhere a bit of dirt collects and water falls. Even 'barren' dungeons should actually have mushrooms and molds and such here and there.

Your player is willing to carry around a potted plant to make the spell work, so I suggest implementing a three category approach to the effects of the spell: sparse, average, and thick. In average vegetation, the spell works normally. In sparse, the radius is halved, and in thick, it's doubled. Or something along those lines. A change to the save DC by +/-2 is also reasonable, as is adjusting the casting time. (I'd only do one modification, though, and ask the player which one he likes the best to get his input.) When he wants to cast the spell, specify the category for the combat and that's that. So long as the category basically makes sense for the space, it shouldn't be an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMorganes View Post
This. Always this.

There's a reason the 4E DMG addresses the "rule of Yes" at length.

I LOVE the idea that druid magic can make plants grow where there were none before. Seriously, how cool is this:

At first it seems your spell failed. Then, a small green sprout appears beneath Trevolax's feet, followed by another, then another, then the floor erupts with grape vines that grow thick and fast. Trevolax manages to leap out of the way, but the grasping vines quickly manage to twine around his minions' feet - holding them fast!

For added coolness, leave the vegetation in place after the fight.

Compare to:

Sorry. There's no natural vegetation here. Your spell fails. Bob, you're up.
Coolness will only take you so far. At some point, you have to start playing by the rules.

How much cooler is, "Even with a mundane dagger, a mere piece of steel, Vroggak is a dangerous foe. He jumps at the dragon, and with one violent, downward movement of the blade, the dagger is driven into its skull, killing it instantly."
than,
"Sorry, you don't hit. Bob, you're up."

but even if the former is cooler, you won't let Vroggak kill an Elder Wyrm with one attack of a dagger irrespective of his rolls.

Yes.
A modification (as per dauphinous's post above) might be appropriate, but generally, it should work. Especially, if actually throwing the plant uses a standard action in itself.

Once you start down the slippery slope of 'random environmental stuff makes spells non-functional', you'll come to situations like "No, you Burning Hands spells fails; there's just too much humidity in the air from the waterfall behind you."

As a transmutation effect, it wouldn't be unreasonably to say that any form of plant life (including fungi, lichen, etc) is affected by the spell. All the lichen 'growing' over an affected creature's feet, entangling it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikul
Coolness will only take you so far. At some point, you have to start playing by the rules.

How much cooler is, "Even with a mundane dagger, a mere piece of steel, Vroggak is a dangerous foe. He jumps at the dragon, and with one violent, downward movement of the blade, the dagger is driven into its skull, killing it instantly."
than,
"Sorry, you don't hit. Bob, you're up."
Coolness and rules are not mutually exclusive; the first description might be very appropriate if Vroggak a) hit b) deals enough damage to overcome DR and c) deals enough damage to bring the dragon's HP to -10.
Who knows, maybe Vroggak (a lvl 18 Swordsage, Concentration +28) used Greater Insightful Strike with his mundane dagger, dealing 96 damage...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ikul View Post
Coolness will only take you so far. At some point, you have to start playing by the rules.

How much cooler is, "Even with a mundane dagger, a mere piece of steel, Vroggak is a dangerous foe. He jumps at the dragon, and with one violent, downward movement of the blade, the dagger is driven into its skull, killing it instantly."
than,
"Sorry, you don't hit. Bob, you're up."

but even if the former is cooler, you won't let Vroggak kill an Elder Wyrm with one attack of a dagger irrespective of his rolls.
True, which is why a few posts later I also said
Quote:
Ultimately, a given DM can't truly be faulted as "wrong" for enforcing rules that are pretty darn clear. As others are sure to point out, the Druid has enough potential to stand on its own with or without being able to cast Entangle in a barren corridor.
It's simply my style of DMing to use "Yes, and" or "Yes, but" as often as is practical, instead of "No".




 

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