Discern Spells

Any character with spell like abilities that duplicate spells exactly (for example, most Fey and Dragons), or that can cast spells, gain the following Su ability, usable at will.

Discern Spells (Su)

At will, you can focus on a willing touched target and read their magic aura in a way much more precise than detect magic. By spending a Full Round Action, you may determine the spells they know with a successful Spellcraft Check (DC = 10 + target’s highest level spell). If they have multiple spell casting classes, make one check per class. If you are the same class as the target, you get a bonus on your roll equal to the highest level spell of that class you can cast. If the check fails but still rolls greater than 10, you learn their spell list up to the highest level spell for which your roll would pass. For example, a character targets someone with level 9 spells. They roll a modified 15, which is insufficient to learn the full spell list, but will reveal their spell list up to and including all 5th level spells. If you target a caster that prepare spells (like Clerics and Wizards), you determine what spells are prepared at the same time. Your target must be willing. If your target is unwilling, you cannot read their spells with this ability. This only works on spells or Spell Like abilities that duplicate spells, not Supernatural or extraordinary abilities, or spell-likes that do not duplicate any spell (for example, this cannot detect a Fey Bloodline Sorcerer’s Laughing Touch (which by all rights should not even BE a spell-like ability, but I digress….), but would read a Paladin’s Detect Evil). This Spell-Like clause is mostly to allow sentient creatures like fey and dragons and Unicorns that have what amounts to a spell list of spell like abilities to be readable, but I have no problem with a few corner cases coming along for the ride. Note: You do not necessarily learn of any ability to spontaneously convert spells (as Clerics and Druids can), and any prepared spells that have already been cast are not detected as prepared (though are still detected as known). Additionally, when using this ability, you discern any spell lists that the target discerned within the last 5 minutes (makes groups interchanging lists much much faster)

Witches are capable of using this ability to read the spells of other casters as normal. However, in order to discern the spells known by a witch, you must “read” their familiar (the witch herself knows no spells). A Witch’s familiar can also use this ability, but only on another Witch’s familiar. Note that you CAN tell what spells a witch has PREPARED by using discern spells on a witch, but you can only get all the spells they KNOW by Discerning their familiar.

Alchemists and Wizards are somewhat similar to witches: If you discern them, you get only their prepared spells/extracts. However, as their full list of known spells is recorded in an inanimate book, Discern Spells cannot learn what spells such a caster KNOWS. (In other words: Discern Spells only gets you prepped spells of a wizard no matter what you do, it cannot reveal their full spell list).

The idea is, this gives people a way to learn spell lists and spells prepared without having to actually talk about, because the actual talking about it is what is awkward. The intent is, this just gives you names of spells, you then take K(Arcane), K(Nature), or K(Relig) (depending on if the spell/character in question!) to learn more about the spell. From there, you are left to talk about the spells as you want. I took great care to make it not combat usable and not usable on enemies, so it doesn’t change combat, it just makes IC talking about spell lists less awkward. Discussing the best usage of Fireball is fine, there is just something about saying “I have Fireball prepared twice today” seems odd. I just can’t find any way to make rattling off your spell list sound natural (especially when you consider a level 20 druid has 239 spells known before any houseruled spells!)

Discern Spells

Into The Wild dylanryan