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Complete Adventurer contains the feat Extraordinary Spell Aim which has as its benefit

Whenever you cast a spell with an area, you can attempt to shape the spell’s area so that one creature within the area is unaffected by the spell. To accomplish this, you must succeed on a Spellcraft check (DC 25 + spell level).

Casting a spell affected by the Extraordinary Spell Aim feat requires a full-round action unless the spell’s normal casting time is longer, in which case the casting time is unchanged. (109)

This is widely read as, for example, enabling a caster that possesses the feat as being able to shape an emanation so that the caster is unaffected by the emanation, like using the feat on the spell antimagic field so that the spell's effect largely excludes the caster. (Such discussions can be found here, here, and here.)

What sparks disagreement is whether using the feat Extraordinary Spell Aim this way, because the spell's area's been shaped, leaves the caster's space unaffected or using the feat this way, because the spell's effect has been made to exclude the caster, leaves the caster only unaffected.

Does the feat Extraordinary Spell Aim exclude the creature's space or does the feat exclude the creature only?

Such a difference might seem minor, but, for example, some advise casters that want to grapple to take the feat Extraordinary Spell Aim and use it in conjunction with the spell antimagic field to overcome (in addition to a host of other things) a foe's freedom of movement effect. This tactic works if the caster alone is excluded from the antimagic field's area, but this tactic fails if it's the caster's space that's excluded from the antimagic field's area.

Similarly, when a creature (or its space) is excluded from an area spell with a duration of other than instantaneous, does that exclusion travel with the creature (or with the creature's space)? For example, if Abe the druid uses the feat Extraordinary Spell Aim to exclude Bob from the spell entangle, can Bob roam fearlessly and freely within that entangle spell? For example, if Cal the psion uses the feat Extraordinary Spell Aim (through magic-psionic transparency) to exclude Bob from the power energy wall, can Bob dash willy-nilly through that energy wall?

When using the feat Extraordinary Spell Aim, is the (immobile) space the unaffected creature occupied when the spell was cast excluded for the spell's duration or is the (presumably mobile) creature unaffected for the spell's duration?

Neither the Complete Adventurer errata nor the FAQ addresses this feat.

(It's inevitable that, when I limit possibilities, more arise that I haven't accounted for. Consider this permission to deviate from the given options.)

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It says one creature is unaffected, so that creature is unaffected. There’s really nothing else to go on, RAW. The reference to area makes this a special exception to how area usually functions (since normally an area doesn’t have anything to do with particular creatures, just the squares), but it’s an exception-based system. With Extraordinary Spell Aim, the area property of a spell takes the special, extra responsibility of leaving one chosen creature unaffected by the spell. Presumably this means the area is changed to whatever area it was, minus a hole equaling exactly the shape, volume, and position of the chosen creature.

Since the creature is the one unaffected, the creature can move freely within the effect, as you note, and this does not affect other creatures sharing the creature’s square.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In the second case, wouldn't the spell's area have to be constantly reshaped to accommodate the excluded creature's movements? That is, the feat allows the caster to shape the spell's area, not, like, slide a creature into a not-that-spell condom. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 12 '15 at 19:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Yes, I am saying that apparently the spell is constantly reshaping around the chosen exempt creature. No condom appears to be in use. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 12 '15 at 20:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't that contradict with the feat's benefit when it says, "Whenever you cast a spell with an area, you can attempt to shape the spell’s area so that one creature within the area is unaffected by the spell"? There's no mention of the spell's area reshaping itself after the spell's cast. (I'm not trying to be difficult; I'm just trying to eliminate alternative readings.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 12 '15 at 20:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Clearly you’re shaping in four dimensions with perfect unconscious foresight of your ally’s movements through the spell. :P Yes, it’s ridiculous, but the wording is very clear: the creature is unaffected. How that happens is fluff more than anything, the result is the same and cannot change. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 12 '15 at 21:00

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