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Is there Range to Target on Detect Evil ?
Poll ended at Dec 22, 2016 3:21 pm
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 Post subject: Is there Range to Target on Detect Evil (HM4) ?
PostPosted: Dec 09, 2016 3:21 pm 
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Lord
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Feel free to justify any answer in a reply. The source to any answer has to be from within HackMaster 4.x (or 1st & 2nd edition AD&D (where HackMaster is based.) In other words, I can't take a 3rd, 4th, or higher or a Pathfinder answer. The spell from HackMaster is quoted below. A source from another chapter in Players Handbooks, GM's Guilde, other Specialty Guides or errata would be appreciated.

I recently got into a discussion with one of my Players in HackMaster about Detect Evil.

My claim is that while Evil is detected along the 10 foot wide path for 180' (or yards for Cleric), there is no "range to target". In other words the caster does not know whether the detected evil is 10 feet or 180 feet away. (We also talking about through walls and solid rock, there is no blockage.)

My Player's claim is yes it does, based on the word "discovers" in the third word of the spell explanation. He believes that act of "discovery" gives distance as well as direction.

I do not see interpret it that way.

Text of spell from PHB:

This spell discovers emanations of evil (or of good in the case of the reverse spell) from any creature, object, or area. Character alignment is not revealed under most circumstances: characters who are strongly aligned, do not stray from their faith and who are at least 9th level might radiate good or evil if they are intent upon appropriate actions. Powerful monsters, such as Ki-Rin, send for emanations of evil or good, even if polymorphed. Aligned undead radiate evil, for it is this power and negative force that enables them to continue existing. An evilly cursed object or unholy water radiates evil, but a hidden trap or an unintelligent viper does not. The degree of evil (faint, moderate, strong, overwhelming) can be noted.

Note that clerics have a more powerful version of this spell. The spell has a path of detection 10 feet wide and 60 yards long in the direction the magic user is facing. The magic-user must concentrate - stop, have quiet, and intently seek to detect the aura - for at least one round to receive a reading.

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 Post subject: Re: Is there Range to Target on Detect Evil (HM4) ?
PostPosted: Dec 10, 2016 12:41 pm 
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Lord of the Regency Council
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I agree with your ruling.

In B/X it causes the evil to glow. So if there is something ahead with evil intent, this spell won't be all that effective if there is something blocking line of sight.

It will reveal an invisible opponent or someone hiding in shadows etc.

-Havard

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 Post subject: Re: Is there Range to Target on Detect Evil (HM4) ?
PostPosted: Dec 10, 2016 3:38 pm 
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Lord of the Regency Council
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Range to target? I don't think so. General feeling if you happen to be facing the right direction? Sure. Best of luck picking the demon out of that crowd in the tavern.

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 Post subject: Re: Is there Range to Target on Detect Evil (HM4) ?
PostPosted: Dec 11, 2016 12:02 am 
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Lord
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I am happy we are all in agreement in this case. I await other input.

Although our group also determined that unlike Detect Magic, Detect Evil/Good is not blocked by one foot of stone nor one inch of metal. It goes right through. You can have 170 feet of solid rock and Detect Evil in a ten foot square chamber at the other end. This is evidenced by the glaring omission of any blockage in the text of the Detect Evil spell versus the inclusion in the Detect Magic spell.

I used the word 'omission' because my Player is a rules lawyer type.

(Artifacts and other alignment obscuring methods notwithstanding.)

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 Post subject: Re: Is there Range to Target on Detect Evil (HM4) ?
PostPosted: Dec 11, 2016 9:39 am 
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tmjva wrote:
I used the word 'omission' because my Player is a rules lawyer type.

Not my type for sure! :?

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 Post subject: Re: Is there Range to Target on Detect Evil (HM4) ?
PostPosted: Dec 11, 2016 12:00 pm 
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Hackmaster?

No idea. However, if you would like the "real" answer (OD&D) "Spell radius is 20 feet plus an additional 5 feet for every level above 5 . Spell length 2 turns." Quoted from the Dalluhn mss.

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 Post subject: Re: Is there Range to Target on Detect Evil (HM4) ?
PostPosted: Dec 11, 2016 12:59 pm 
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Lord
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Thanks for the quotation.

However I have already discounted other versions on the first line of my query. I want to keep this guy in the version ballpark. Otherwise I'll also get rulings from Pathfinder, including pretty pictures. (If you know what I mean.)

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