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Thread: Casting spells quietly

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    St. John's, Newfoundland

    Default Casting spells quietly

    Hi folks,

    I have a party going through Xak Tsaroth at the moment, and stealth is paramount. The wizard would like to cast spells while maintaining stealth, and we are wondering if it can be done quietly.

    The way I interpret the Silent Spell feat is that it completely gets rid of the vocal component, which is fine. What my wizard would like to do is not that drastic; he'd like to just murmur the words really quietly. One method that player used in the past in other games was to make it a move silently check on the wizard's part against a listen check on the enemy.

    Contrarily, in different games that I have played, a spell has to be spoken out using a normal voice in order for it to be successfully cast; otherwise the verbal component is not executed properly.

    The main question I suppose, is whether volume of a phrase is as integral to the casting of a successful arcane spell as the inflection of a phrase.

    How would you adjudicate this? Was Dragons of Autumn written with either of these in mind?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Tracy, MN


    I don't think there are any hard fast rules about this but if you want to make a rule of it, I would probably have the player make a concentration or spellcraft check (DC=11+spell level) to demonstrate their knowledge of the spell and if they can manipulate it the way they want to.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Edmonton, Alberta


    Okay, the hard rules approach.

    From the SRD:

    To cast a spell, you must 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). Additionally, you must concentrate to cast a spell.
    Verbal (V)
    A verbal component is a spoken incantation. To provide a verbal component, you must be able to speak in a strong voice. A silence spell or a gag spoils the incantation (and thus the spell). A spellcaster who has been deafened has a 20% chance to spoil any spell with a verbal component that he or she tries to cast.
    Quiet = bad.
    So I would give listeners a standard listen check to hear spells being cast (DC 0 +1 /10 feet, +5 for doors, and +15 for walls). I tend to assuming passive listeners are essentially taking 10 so unless they have a bonus and are within 100' or 50' & a door it's not an issue.

    As a house ruling I would allow wizards a chance to muffle with a Concentration check (15+spell level) to say it quieter and increase the listen check to DC 10.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Altadena, CA


    I like the concentration check idea. In addition, you could allow an increased casting time as they have to whisper the verbal component multiple times over.
    formerly known as "whoisrube"
    (no longer a minion. . .)


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