Is an invisible creature that has fallen into grease still invisible?

A wizard cast vanish on himself. The next round, a skald cast grease under his feet, and the wizard failed his Reflex save and fell down. The GM ruled that the wizard remained invisible, and we finished the encounter with that ruling.

However, after the game the question remained open. How do these effects interact?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to add the Pathfinder tag to the question, as its system specific. Also, some more information about the scene would be useful. You mentioned him falling into mud, but its not clear whether you were referring to an environmental factor (the mud) or the effects of the grease. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gnomejon
    Jun 13 '16 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the correct reconstruction of my question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ogden Welm
    Jun 14 '16 at 8:36

Your GM was correct - nothing in the text of grease suggests that it coats the creatures in its area of effect, merely that it makes them fall.

However, coating the wizard with something would reveal him - invisibility has a specific clause for dealing with "picked up" items:

items picked up disappear if tucked into the clothing or pouches worn by the creature

Unless the wizard conceals "marked" areas or shakes himself off, the substance he becomes covered with is not invisible. The Advanced Player's Guide has this to say:

Powdered chalk, flour, and similar materials are popular with adventurers for their utility in pinpointing invisible creatures. Throwing a bag of powder into a square is an attack against AC 5, and momentarily reveals if there is an invisible creature there. A much more effective method is to spread powder on a surface (which takes 1 full round) and look for footprints.

These rules could be adapted for mud, dust, sand, or similar nearby items.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know if I should be asking this here or on a separate question, but what about Prestidigitation? Can it produce something to coat an invisible target? \$\endgroup\$
    – Punkgeon
    Jun 14 '16 at 6:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ The grease spell can also be used to create a greasy coating on an item, and we wondered if it works the same way in contact with the surface of the clothes. Rules do not explain this situation and we decided that it can not be situational exception.Thank you for the answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ogden Welm
    Jun 14 '16 at 8:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ While still staying invisible, I would also think there's a chance the wizard would be discovered if he makes any noise when falling. In particular, any sort of metal weapons or armor clanging on stone would be pretty loud. \$\endgroup\$
    – David K
    Jun 14 '16 at 12:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that there is a difference between "pinpoint" and "makes visible" ("reveal"), and in that hair-splitting I disagree with the answer. One may identify where a creature is ("pinpoint"), and still be subject to the 50% concealment miss chance when targeting that creature. \$\endgroup\$
    – alttag
    Jul 13 '16 at 22:22

So, short answer, he would still be invisible.

Even after failing his save to the grease and falling prone, as invisibility only ends when: the spell's duration ends (for vanish its just a round/caster level), the creature made invisible makes an attack or uses an effect that includes an enemy (unless its as the spell 'greater invisibility'), or the invisibility is dispelled. So he may have still been invisible, but he would have had to spend a move action to get up from prone, then attempted to move out of the grease effect at half speed by making an acrobatics check (thus negating most of the time of invisibility granted him by vanish).

Now, if there was an environmental factor, it could give more clues as to where he was, but he would still be invisible. Take, for example, him falling into a big puddle of mud, there's probably a pretty sizable dent in the puddle where the invisible wizard suddenly lies. you'd still have to roll concealment to hit him, but now you know the area where he is. This is completely dependent on whether your GM wants to say that there are clues as to where he is, but its a pretty safe bet that it would be true

  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gnomejon the text of the invisibility spell implies that items not tucked away are visible. Wouldn't the mud encrusted on the invisible creature be visible? Does grease from the grease spell make thing that it touches greasy? \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Jun 14 '16 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Yakk when I wrote the answer, I didn't have access to the SRD, so there were some parts I didn't mention or got slightly incorrect (thank you to GreySage for the edit). I didn't remember whether you could coat an invisible creature in something and it would show, so I used the more generic answer which I was sure of (there's suddenly a large dent in soft earth/mud) and because grease is magical, it only coats the thing it was cast on, which is the reason you can't just roll around in ground grease to get the effects of having grease cast on you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gnomejon
    Jun 14 '16 at 13:51

failing the reflex save simply means that the square the character is in is revealed. not the character themself. A character who has failed a reflex save becomes prone, as well as receiving the status of flat-footed. Becoming prone will have an environmental effect upon the ground - a flattening, a splash, a puff of dust, some sort of movement revealing the square the character is in. The wizard has not made an attack, so unless vanish is different from invisibility, it will not cancel the invisibility.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you add a more thorough argument based on the rules text? This is just a bare assertion. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Jun 14 '16 at 21:03

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