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I had a character tonight that wanted to cast Glue Seal targeted on an enemy wizard's lips. It was the end of a dungeon, the PCs were getting very creative with the uses of their items, their tactics, and their abilities--and so I let it happen. However, I am not worried about the repercussions. The enemy wizard failed his initial reflex save and didn't attempt to break free of the glue sealed mouth, he used a few items and then fled, this leaves me with wiggle room for next time.

How would you interpret the rules? Would the wizard, if he'd been forced to, been able to do an escape artist check? Or a saving throw each round to see if he could move his lips? Would you even allow this?

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    \$\begingroup\$ The way you have worded your question makes it a bit broad/opinion based. Try re-wording it so that it is one question, without the "what do you guys think" \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Mar 1 at 4:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sheesh you guys are picky. I'll delete the "what do you guys think" \$\endgroup\$ – TigerDM Mar 1 at 14:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's kind of a spell that does this already, Steal Voice, a 2nd level spell. \$\endgroup\$ – Draco18s Mar 4 at 20:25
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This GM wouldn't've allowed glue seal to target a foe's mouth

The spell glue seal has the entry Target one object or one 5-ft. square, and, for this GM, that's not just a suggestion: Spells are given entries like that to define the depth and breadth of their power. A spell's target entry (q.v. Aiming a Spell) is one of the elements that determined the spell's spell level—and the spell glue seal is a 1st-level spell—, and spell level, in turn, for instance, determines whether or not a particular caster can cast the spell at all.

What I'm saying is this: The glue seal spell says that it does one of two things: "cover[s] a solid [5-ft. square] surface with a layer of sticky glue" or "create[s] a sticky coating on an item." Expanding the spell's mandate so that it can also be used to coat in glue a creature—or even just a creature's head—means that the spell's power has increased, and it means that the GM must create new rules for dealing with the spell's newly expanded mandate. As you noticed, that's a difficult thing to balance.

Magic is already the most potent force in Pathfinder. Letting spells do even more than what's printed means those players who opted to play casters have even more power than they had previously. My fear is that while it can be okay to let spells do more when the wizard and fighter are both, like, level 1, if the caster keeps pushing to have his spells more, and the GM allows that to occur, the GM kind of owes it to the warrior—and the other casters!—to let them do more with what they have, too. While I really don't like the slippery slope argument, it's possible that by adding that extra effect to the glue seal spell that eventually—maybe months from now—, the game will have become unrecognizable as Pathfinder because of all the changes that've been implemented.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. If Pathfinder is a vehicle for a lighthearted beer-and-pretzels storytelling experience, that's totally cool. If you're not worried about game balance implications and long-term effects and are just aiming for a good time right now, that's perfectly valid. However, if it worries you that after three months of weekly play either you'll have a binder full of house rules that must be consulted whenever a dude casts a spell or your game will crash and everyone leaves the table angry because your calls are inconsistent because you didn't keep a binder of your GM's calls, then I'd recommend (ahem) sticking to the rules, even with a silly 1st-level spell like glue seal.

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So you've outmatched the wizard by removing the vocal aspect of his spellcasting... very clever... (scribbles that down for future reference).

He throws a sharp glare at the party, unable to separate his lips, and flees. "Next time!" he attempts to yell, but nothing more than a few "Mm-mm-hmmm's" escape him.

Well, as the DM, you have ultimate ruling on all of this. The bad guy has been thwarted this time, but there's nothing stopping him from freeing himself now that he's away from danger. Either through a comical montage of his attempting to peel his lips apart by hand, or crowbar, or some crazy mechanical device he whipped up just for this occasion; or finding some magical spell or potion that can dissolve or dispel the gluey seal.

But when it comes to the rules, there are also a few saving graces that can just allow him to free himself. Firstly, the duration:

Duration: 1 minute/level (D)

Even when cast at level 20, this means the spell only lasts 20 minutes. Eventually, the wizards lips will become unsealed. Additionally, this can be dismissed at will by the caster (though, likely would not be).

Secondly, technically the target is not the wizard, per se, but more so something that the wizard is using, so the "item target" section of the spell description does allow for the target to make strength checks and combat maneuver checks to attempt to overpower the spell on each of their turns. However, they would need to do this each time they opened and closed their mouth (emphasis mine):

it cannot be separated from the other item unless the creature succeeds at a combat maneuver check or a Strength check as a move action to free it (DC = the spell’s DC). A creature must succeed at saving throw each time it attempts to use the sticky item; otherwise, the item becomes stuck to the creature.

This would still make casting spells with Verbal components incredibly difficult (and I'm not entirely sure what kind of combat manoeuvre can be used - maybe using a knife to cut through the seal... carefully). That said, this doesn't mean he would be incapable of casting other spells - any that don't require the Verbal component.

Source

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