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As per Silence:

Upon the casting of this spell, complete silence prevails in the affected area. All sound is stopped: Conversation is impossible, spells with verbal components cannot be cast, and no noise whatsoever issues from, enters, or passes through the area. The spell can be cast on a point in space, but the effect is stationary unless cast on a mobile object. The spell can be centered on a creature, and the effect then radiates from the creature and moves as it moves. An unwilling creature can attempt a Will save to negate the spell and can use Spell Resistance, if any. Items in a creature’s possession or magic items that emit sound receive the benefits of saves and Spell Resistance, but unattended objects and points in space do not. Creatures in an area of a silence spell are immune to sonic or language-based attacks, spells, and effects.

I'm the DM. When a boss gets low on HP, I'm considering to attempt letting her cast Silence, and then use her own Spell Resistance for the purpose of getting to use spells with Verbal Components.

The description seems to account only for direct targets of Silence. The line says:

Spell Resistance: yes; see text or no (object)

which isn't exactly enlightening. 3.5 doesn't exactly show intent either.

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On Special Abilities on Spell Resistance says, "A creature’s spell resistance [SR] never interferes with its own spells, items, or abilities." Thus, for example, if the boss were to cast a silence spell on herself or an object, the boss's own SR can't "interfere" with how that spell functions. That means—and, in the boss's case, this is unfortunate—that the boss's own silence spell works normally, so it also mutes the boss, therefore typically preventing the boss from uttering verbal components.

However, if another creature were to use a silence spell, then the boss may be able to ignore the silence spell. That is, if a creature that possesses SR enters the area of an ongoing spell and the spell's caster fails to overcome the creature's spell resistance, then the creature's spell resistance "protects the [spell] resistant creature without affecting the spell itself."

This is later further clarified: "Against an ongoing spell that has already been cast [like a silence spell upon an object], a failed check [by the spell's caster] against [the spell resistant creature's] spell resistance allows the [spell] resistant creature to ignore any effect the spell might have. The magic continues to affect others normally."

So while the boss's strategy won't work if the boss does it personally, getting a minion to help out is legit.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I did not realize that that line in Spell Resistance would apply this way. But you're totally right that it does. Well, Lesser Metamagic Rod it is, I guess. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gloweye
    Commented Oct 8, 2021 at 18:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gloweye When I GM there's a gentlemen's agreement that says that NPCs won't use silence effects against PCs if the PCs don't use silence effects against NPCs. My experience has been that without such an agreement, every caster has as an existence tax Silent Spell or has found a workaround because otherwise a silence spell is an ambush strategy that works way too well. The scenario you're imagining may set a dangerous precedent. Just a heads up, GM to GM. (I mean, how many published NPCs have prepared a silent dispel magic?) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 8, 2021 at 18:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Very good point. But through further development I've dropped the idea anyway. I wanted to make it part of an Unhallow which'd extend beyond the room, therefore giving them the opportunity to spot/handle it before actually starting the fight. Instead, they'll cross through an ominous door with a Symbol of Pain on top, beyond which lies a darkness even Darkvision cannot pierce.... \$\endgroup\$
    – Gloweye
    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 7:35
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No

Silence does not allow creatures to save or use SR for being in its space, only if the spell is targeted at them. For example, if the PC's knew the boss is a spellcaster, they may wish to cast Silence on them such that they can no longer use Verbal spell components, and the boss cannot simply move 10ft away from the point in space or PC that has Silence on them; in such a case, the boss would be able to roll Will and SR against the spell.

When cast on a a point in space, an object,or willing creature, the effect just happens.


It could be interpreted that Silence should allow SR for any creature within its area because that's how other area spells work. However, Silence works on the sound itself, not on the creatures within its area, so this is unlikely. If you were to choose this interpretation, I would plan ahead of time on what exactly you want the ruling on it to be, including side questions like "Is such a creature able to speak to others while in the Silence or just cast spells and mumble to themselves?".

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This very question is the "planning ahead". But it's not about sound, it's about verbal components. Whether others can hear the incantation is irrelevant, only whether my boss can use it in the first place. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gloweye
    Commented Oct 8, 2021 at 18:33

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