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I was in a game a while back, where my party and I were checking out a location where we were 80% sure a medusa was residing (lots of stone statues around, missing people reports, etc.). I had the idea of scouting the location out from a distance using Arcane Eye, to get an idea of the layout.

About halfway through checking out the place, my brain kicks the idea: "Can you get turned to stone through the Arcane Eye?" At that point, I decided "better safe than sorry", and dismissed the spell. I asked my DM afterwards, but he just said, "Well, maybe you would have been fine; maybe not" and wouldn't give me a straight answer.

I'm looking for an answer to the following:

Are you susceptible to a creature's Gaze while the sensor is within the creature's normal Gaze distance (usually 30 feet) but you are not?

What if you and the sensor are both within the range of the Gaze, but you are only viewing it via the sensor (e.g. looking away, eyes closed, some sort of curtain or wall in between, etc.)?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not familiar with pathfinder 1e's implementation of medusas or the arcane eye spell, but they seem to overlap perfectly with dnd 5e. I actually just got done answering this question as if it was for dnd 5e and subsequently deleted it after realizing your tag. could you confirm this is for pathfinder 1e? \$\endgroup\$ – Token Aug 24 '20 at 21:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Token I wouldn't have tagged it for PF-1e if it wasn't for PF-1e \$\endgroup\$ – RevanantBacon Aug 24 '20 at 22:01
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You probably can't be petrified via Divination

Looking at the rules for Arcane Eye and Divination (scrying), as well as Medusa and the Gaze Universal Monster Rules, there isn't anything directly addressing this, although there are relevant points for and against...

You Save vs turning to stone

  • [Arcane Eye/scrying] "...sends you visual information."/" that sends you information."*
  • [scrying] "The sensor, however, is treated as a separate, independent sensory organ of yours..."

You do not turn to stone

  • [Arcane Eye/scrying] "...sends you visual information."/" that sends you information."*
  • [Gaze] "Only looking directly at a creature with a gaze attack leaves an opponent vulnerable. Opponents can avoid the need to make the saving throw by not looking at the creature, in one of two ways."

*Yes, I include this in both. It is unclear if visual "information" would include the Gaze effect, but it seems like relevant information.

The points against, while not outnumbering those for, seem to be a stronger implication; this also fits the fiction's origin better. However, another GM may see that the divination is "your organ" and consider that part of you. This could lead to other complications, though, such as raising questions about targeting spellcasters through their sensors, which does not seem to be supported.

Your distance from the Medusa makes no difference if your Eye is within range based on the leveraging point in the rules (if the Eye "counts as" you).

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No, you are not susceptible to a gaze attack through an Arcane Eye, regardless of distances.

The rules on gaze attacks state:

A gaze special attack takes effect when foes look at the attacking creature's eyes.

Emphasis added, because the words "look at" are key. I consulted three dictionaries for the relevant definition of the word "look":

Websters: "to ascertain by the use of one's eyes"

Oxford: "to turn your eyes in a particular direction"

Dictionary.com: "to turn one's eyes toward something or in some direction in order to see"

Seeing a pattern? They all seem to agree that looking is something you do with your eyes. Now, what does the Arcane Eye spell description say?

You create an invisible magical sensor that sends you visual information.

So the sensor doesn't create an image for you to look at with your eyes (like a crystal ball)--if it did, then your friends could all look too. No, it sends visual information straight to your brain, the way your eyes send visual information to your brain. So with an Arcane Eye spell, your eyes, those things you must look with to be the target of a gaze attack, aren't a part of the information chain.

In fact, the one official depiction of the Arcane Eye spell (formerly called Wizard's Eye) that I could find shows the spell caster covering his eyes so that he can focus on the visual information being fed to him (it is from the D&D Expert Rulebook, 1E BECMI).

enter image description here

Granted, D&D 1E-BECMI is a long way from Pathfinder 1E, but the former's Wizard's Eye spell is a clear antecedent of the latter's Arcane Eye.

So my interpretation would be that seeing something through an Arcane Eye is not looking at that thing and therefore is not a means to transmit a gaze attack regardless of the distances.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I am down voting this as I have severe dislike regarding quoting dictionaries as there are many spots RAW and dictionary meaning differ \$\endgroup\$ – Maiko Chikyu Aug 25 '20 at 5:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough. Can you give me some examples? \$\endgroup\$ – ruffdove Aug 25 '20 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not necessarily against dictionary definitions (they're sometimes important) but I don't think this is an apt application when the premise is "the dictionary doesn't account for magic". Also, I would never even try to make an AD&D association to Pathfinder, even with the obvious paper trail. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Aug 25 '20 at 22:48

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