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Thread: Prestidigitation Question

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  1. #1
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    Prestidigitation Question

    In 4e, can prestidigitation make your clothes look different?

    Can it make you LOOK like you are wearing a dress when you are actually wearing pauper's clothing?

    Can it make leather armor LOOK like full plate?

    Since this does not mimic another spell or have any mechanical effect, can prestidigitation be used in this way?

    Would you allow it as a DM?

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    Prestidigitation is an extremely minor spell that produces an "amusing magical trick, such as creating a dancing wisp of light, freshening a wilting flower, making a coin invisible, or warming a cold drink." It does not produce the kind of illusory effect you'd need to make it look like you were wearing something completely different than you really were. Now, according to the rules, you could use it to "color" your clothing. So, potentially, you could give your leather armor a metallic color and it might at least appear to be something other than leather armor at first glance, but wouldn't be passable for plate armor -- especially since this effect IS covered by another ability.

    I think the spell you might be interested in is called "Disguise Self," which is a level 6 daily wizard utility spell. This is what it does:

    Quote Originally Posted by D&DI Compendium
    You make yourself, your clothing, and your equipment look different. You can take on the appearance of any creature of similar build and size, including a specific individual whom you’ve seen. You gain neither the abilities or mannerisms of the chosen form, nor the tactile or audible properties of your form or gear. For example, if you took on the illusion of a dwarf fighter in plate armor, anyone touching you would realize you weren’t wearing plate armor, and you would not clank, creak, or jingle as you walked. The illusion lasts for 1 hour, although you can end it as a minor action. You must keep the same appearance for the entire duration.

    Anyone who attempts to see through your ruse makes an Insight check opposed by your Bluff check, and you gain a +5 power bonus to your check.
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    Ah, but there is no spell that doesn't allow you to change your person as well.

    I agree though, RAW does say that you can change color, so that would probably be the way to go.

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    I've got to agree with Farcaster on this one. It seems that the intent of this ability is minor effects that are not covered by another spell. As a GM though, I try to entertain really creative uses of this ability. I think it's a great roleplaying tool and can be a nifty functional tool in a pinch.

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    Strictly by RAW, you're changing the color of objects, not their reflectivity, so you could make your leather armor grey, not metallic in appearance. Similarly, you couldn't turn a wooden shield into a mirror for reflecting gaze attacks.

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    Prestidigitation has always been used extensively in my games, in fact, i encourage use of said spell, especially at lower levels.

    I am of the opinion that low level spellcasters would both love and use frequently the prestigitation spell to show off their newly found/controlled ability. Of course, no doubt their use discouraged by the mage/instructors of the magickal schools.

    Sure, their effects are minor, as others have stated before me, but useful just the same.
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    I have a related question about prestidigitation. One of the effects is to clean up to one cubic foot of material. One of my character's quirks was that he was fastidious about grooming and would use it to clean dust off his clothes (dungeons are just sooo dirty). It states in the spell that it lasts for an hour. It seems to me that cleaning would essentially be 'permanent' until you got something dirty again, but my DM ruled that it doesn't actually clean anything, it makes them look and smell clean for 1 hour. Is this how it is normally adjudicated?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aidan View Post
    I have a related question about prestidigitation. One of the effects is to clean up to one cubic foot of material. One of my character's quirks was that he was fastidious about grooming and would use it to clean dust off his clothes (dungeons are just sooo dirty). It states in the spell that it lasts for an hour. It seems to me that cleaning would essentially be 'permanent' until you got something dirty again, but my DM ruled that it doesn't actually clean anything, it makes them look and smell clean for 1 hour. Is this how it is normally adjudicated?
    By RAW, yes, it would only appear to be clean for an hour. It is an illusory effect and not a physical effect which means that your clothing would look clean but would actually still have the dirt on them. If you did something like Make Whole that would be able to actually clean the clothing, but would you really want to spend the component cost just to clean you clothing? If its a quirk you really want to define your character I could see the answer being yes.

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    I'm with Kalanth on his interpretation of RAW. That noted, as a DM I'd let it work forever simply because it's not going to screw up the game at all and would help set wizards apart as different. Them not being dirty (for long) would make them mysterious like Robert Jordan's Aes Sedai who never seem to notice the temperature.

    It does not affect the actual game for an advantage on paper (though it could be a roleplay advantage -- which I'm good with) so I wouldn't worry. That does not make me right, or moreso than your current DM but I wanted to share why I'd tweak it some.
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    If it says it cleans items, not makes items appear clean, then I'd say that's a different use of the spell, that doesn't fall within the same duration. The cleaning is instant, and things can start getting dirty again right away.

    That's as long as you're just cleaning ordinary dirt, of course, and not making swarm monsters permanently disappear by 'cleaning' the square they're in...

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    Quote Originally Posted by grimwell View Post
    I'm with Kalanth on his interpretation of RAW. That noted, as a DM I'd let it work forever simply because it's not going to screw up the game at all and would help set wizards apart as different. Them not being dirty (for long) would make them mysterious like Robert Jordan's Aes Sedai who never seem to notice the temperature.

    It does not affect the actual game for an advantage on paper (though it could be a roleplay advantage -- which I'm good with) so I wouldn't worry. That does not make me right, or moreso than your current DM but I wanted to share why I'd tweak it some.
    I agree. Anything creative and quirky that a player wants to associate with their character (as long as it isn't more statiscially advantageous than the spell is supposed to be) is encouraged by me. Cev, my 3e gnome character got Prestidigitation 1/day and it was one of his least powerful but most fun spells. He used it for something or another almost everyday.

    As an interesting aside, the D&D 3.5e SRD (yes, I know it's 3.5e and not 4e but hear me out) explicitly states the following in the spell description for Prestidigitation:

    Any actual change to an object (beyond just moving, cleaning, or soiling it) persists only 1 hour.
    So, according to 3.5e at least, the spell can legitimately and permanently clean something and not simply make it "appear" to be clean. Use or ignore that at your own discretion. As always, everything is subject to Rule 0.
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    Thats a good note Webhead, and one that should carry over to 4e but is not there. Combine that with Valdar's idea of cleaning the square the swarm is in and maybe that will explain why it is not written that way in 4e. To easily exploitably against the more RAW type DM's.

    As a DM I would be ruling in the players favor of the player and say that dirt can be removed. However, the DM is looking at it strictly in the RAW perspective it seems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalanth View Post
    Thats a good note Webhead, and one that should carry over to 4e but is not there. Combine that with Valdar's idea of cleaning the square the swarm is in and maybe that will explain why it is not written that way in 4e. To easily exploitably against the more RAW type DM's.

    As a DM I would be ruling in the players favor of the player and say that dirt can be removed. However, the DM is looking at it strictly in the RAW perspective it seems.
    True. Interpretation is key. As such and as a DM, if someone tried to use Prestidigitation to "clean" a square with a rat swarm in it, I would apply some direct logic and say that the square and all its contents (including the rats) are "cleaned". Congratulations! Now you have a lemony-fresh swarm of rats trying to bite your face off. Afterall, the spell says it "cleans" the area as in "unsoils" not "clears" or "discards all unwanted contents", so it would definately clean rat hides the same way it would clean clothing, by removing dirt, stains and grime.

    But yeah, Rule 0 is really at the center of how this spell should be handled in a particular game and some DMs are more liberal with what they will allow the spell to do than others. Personally, I think that's why the exact effects of the spell are left vague, so that a DM or player can fill in the blanks as needed to add the desired level of flavor to their game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grimwell View Post
    ...Them not being dirty (for long) would make them mysterious like Robert Jordan's Aes Sedai who never seem to notice the temperature...
    I'm fond of the idea of Prestidigitation as the "wizard's aura" spell. I.E. it helps make wizards "mysterious" and "arcane". Candles light when they enter a room, a chair scoots under its own power when the wizard rises or moves to sit, books open and turn to the exact page needed with a gesture, pipe smoke hovers around their hats in rings, etc.

    That's half the fun of playing a wizard in my opinion, being slightly detatched, mysterious and effortlessly imposing. As if reality itself bends in your presence.
    Last edited by Webhead; 10-29-2008 at 03:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeathByDM View Post
    In 4e, can prestidigitation make your clothes look different?

    Can it make you LOOK like you are wearing a dress when you are actually wearing pauper's clothing?

    Can it make leather armor LOOK like full plate?

    Since this does not mimic another spell or have any mechanical effect, can prestidigitation be used in this way?

    Would you allow it as a DM?
    Ahh, Rule Lawyering. Now something I am good at in 4e (unfortunately).

    To answer your question. It can not do anything you said. However, it could change the color of the clothing but not the style. You can also place a patern on the clothing that will last one hour.

    The Wizard Utility 6 Power Disguise Self will do what you wanted.

    There are currently no Rituals or Powers other then what was discussed at present (at least according to the compendium)

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