# How does the unicorn horn soulmeld's detect evil special ability work?

When bound to the brow chakra, the soulmeld unicorn horn grants the meldshaper the following special ability:

You gain the ability to detect evil once per round as a standard action. (Magic of Incarnum 91)

Does this detect evil effect automatically cease after 1 round? That is, must the meldshaper again activate the effect each round, making a detailed scan of the area's evil impossible? Or after activating the effect, can the meldshaper concentrate on the effect for more information as if using the spell detect evil? Or is there yet another way to read this ability?

• What makes a reading that deviates from the spell's effect need consideration in the first place? – SevenSidedDie May 31 '15 at 19:18
• @SevenSidedDie Unlike many special abilities, soulmelds aren't classified as natural, extraordinary, spell-like, or supernatural by the text, so determining duration is challenging, especially with an effect that's phrased weirdly (i.e. of course it's once per round—it takes a standard action... but why say that?!). – Hey I Can Chan May 31 '15 at 19:24
• None of those should alter the referenced spell's effect though? And say it because not saying how often it can be used would be even odder? – SevenSidedDie May 31 '15 at 19:27
• @SevenSidedDie If you want to make a case for You gain the ability to detect evil being the same as You gain the ability to detect evil once per round as a standard action, that's cool. Some questions can be answered more easily than others. I thought there might be more to it than that given the phrasing, but I, on occasion, overanalyze. (Collective gasp!) – Hey I Can Chan May 31 '15 at 19:49

• Well, Jeez, if you're gonna get all reasonable about it... :-) – Hey I Can Chan May 31 '15 at 21:02