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Am I correct with my interpretation of Blaze of Glory when prepared twice?

  1. A character casts it as a standard action and is reduced to -1 HP
  2. As the character is now below 0 HP he can cast it again as an immediate action

In this way it would be possible to cast it twice in the same round. Am I correct?

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Spells in pathfinder are not memorized, they are prepared. The last version that used the "memorization" fluff was obsoleted more than 15 years ago. –  Matthew Najmon Feb 20 '14 at 1:49
@MatthewNajmon I updated the text –  Matteo Feb 20 '14 at 6:54
@MatthewNajmon Woah there, throwing around "obsolete" casually. Older games still get played. We wouldn't have tags and questions about them if they were actually obsolete. –  SevenSidedDie Feb 20 '14 at 6:56
@SevenSidedDie Fine. Perhaps there's a better word I could have used instead of "obsolete", to be a little more politically correct. However, the tags on this question specify Pathfinder, and within that context, yes, they are very much obsolete. Many people still train with staff weapons and bows (I'm one of them), but that doesn't mean they're not obsolete in the context of warfare between industrialized statist societies. –  Matthew Najmon Feb 21 '14 at 3:35

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Note the spell description doesn't say the spell is triggered by being reduced to 0 HP, it says, "You can cast this spell..."

But before it says that it says, "You fall unconscious...". Being unconscious after the first casting, you are unable to cast further spells, regardless of their casting time. If we read that statement as a rule and not flavor text.

Let's unpack that further:

If cast as a standard action, you are immediately reduced to -1 hit points, but stable, after casting the spell.

From http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat#TOC-Dying-Negative-Hit-Points-

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you're dying.

A dying character immediately falls unconscious and can take no actions.

So... "immediately after casting" you fall to -1 HP. There's no "immediate action" interruption mid-spell to cast it a second time... you don't fall to -1 HP until the casting is finished.

When you hit -1 HP, you "immediately fall unconscious".

An immediate action is not non-zero time... (from the Combat page above), but this spell explicitly says you can cast it as an immediate action in response to falling below 0 HP.

If we take the opening of the spell description as flavor text and not rules (the rest of the sentence supports such a reading), then I'm afraid I have to reverse my initial response. Technically, it seems you can fire this off twice in a row.

(I wouldn't allow it in my game, though.)

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And even usual dodges like Diehard won't work here, as it explicitly says you go unconscious. –  mxyzplk Feb 19 '14 at 22:05
By my reading of the text "You fall unconscious" is just flavor. How are you being knocked unconscious by this spell? It's because you're being reduced to -1 hit points. The definition of Unconsciousness actually mentions hit points as the two ways it can occur: paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/glossary.html#_unconscious. The real question is can an immediate action occur after you're reduced to -1 hit points, but before the "unconscious" condition is applied. –  Cthos Feb 19 '14 at 22:07
@Cthos, in the case of this spell, it explicitly says you can fire it off under that condition. –  Carl Cravens Feb 19 '14 at 22:48
@Cthos I am not sure why you would consider a sentence in the spell rules block that mentions a rule condition (unconscious) to be "flavor." –  mxyzplk Feb 19 '14 at 23:25
@mxyzplk - Because the 2 conditions that can trigger the unconscious condition are falling below 0 hit points, or having subdual damage equal to your hit points. The first of which is reached as part of the spell description. It seems pretty clear that the whole first sentence is "This is what the spell is going to do, let's follow that up with actual rules." Many many spell descriptions do this. –  Cthos Feb 19 '14 at 23:37

Yes, exactly. The first casting reduces you to less than 0 hp, which is the condition for casting it as an immediate action.

The PFSRD says:

However, unlike a swift action, an immediate action can be performed at any time [...]

Any time means even if it were to interrupt other processes. You can take immediate actions even in the middle of the first spell taking effect, meaning before you go unconscious.

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Read the full spell description. A primary condition for casting is being conscious. –  Carl Cravens Feb 19 '14 at 21:55
@CarlCravens It is an immediate action. I would argue that you can interrupt the previous standard casting just before you fall unconscious, cast it as an immediate, and then have the standard casting finish. I'll expand my answer on that bit. –  kravaros Feb 19 '14 at 22:21
I'm convinced I was initially wrong, but not for this reason. If you interrupt the casting of the first spell, you aren't at -1 HP yet. I've removed my downvote. –  Carl Cravens Feb 19 '14 at 22:43
@CarlCravens Sorry, not casting, but effect of the spell. –  kravaros Feb 19 '14 at 22:45

So if you had the spell memorized twice, then you could theoretically cast it twice by your description.

However, it leaves out the key issue of healing. If you can cast the second time, your character is still standing at the end of it all.

Here's how it breaks out:

  • Standard action: cast spell by saying a word (V component)
  • Healing + Prayer happens, you heal Nd6 HP (Paladin => Good)
  • The text for ...after casting the spell... if cast as a standard action is triggered, the Paladin drops to -1 HP.
  • This triggers an immediate action allowing you to cast the spell again.
  • You cast the spells a second time and heal Nd6 HP putting you back above zero (unless you heal just a single point)


  • The immediate actions used your swift for the turn, so you cannot lay on hands for another turn.
  • You will provoke AoAs for both castings.
  • You are arguably prone because you do drop to negative HP at least long enough to cause the trigger.
  • You may still have a move action available with which to "get up".
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The spell does not heal the paladin himself: the effect is has a burst range which IMO does not include the caster himself. –  Matteo Feb 21 '14 at 7:57
All the negative aspects you list are of course true but are also present when casting it once. The spell is meant to leave the paladin almost unable to do anything else. You save the others by putting yourself out-of-play. –  Matteo Feb 21 '14 at 7:59
If you read the text of the spell, you go to -1 after casting the spell but you heal Nd6 when casting the spell. Given that one of these effects clearly has "after", it should go last. –  Gates VP Feb 22 '14 at 0:48
Also the burst excluding the caster is interpretation. For example the Cleric's channel says that they can choose to include or exclude themselves from the effect, but it's not clear what the default is. –  Gates VP Feb 22 '14 at 0:53
The idea of the spell (a paladin spell) is to sacrify something to help others: *You fall unconscious but also unleash a spectacular wave of holy energy that heartens and heals your allies while leaving your opponents daunted and damaged. * The "you fall unconscious" from the spell description gives a clear idea on how it should be interpreted. –  Matteo Feb 23 '14 at 10:09

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