So first thing’s first. For any of you GMs out there that want to expand your personal magical word bank, check the Wikipedia entry on methods of divination. Holy hieroscopy is that a treasure trove of esoteric arcana!

As for the unfortunate misunderstanding in today’s tasseography workshop, I’ll have you know that I pondered long and hard about which magic-user to pair with Oracle. I mean, Magus is usually the poster girl for remedial magic. And even if Witch is a good for a bit of the old ultraviolence, she’s usually a competent caster! Upon reflection though, I think it’s important to remember that advanced mages get stuff wrong too.

When you decide to play a spellcaster, it’s on you to know the basics. I’m talking stuff like spell slots vs. spells known; calculating DCs; the text of your freakin’ spells. But once you’ve learned enough to become a functional spellslinger, it’s easy to stop reading. To get complacent. To decide that a quick skim of the magic chapter is good enough. And if you don’t keep a sharp watch, all those tricksy little rules will find a way to bury themselves in the text.

Over in Pathifnder 1e, the most frequent offenders live in the subschool descriptions. Understanding the difference between a figment and a phantasm is by no means intuitive, but it can make all the difference when it comes to tricking mindless opponents. Just today I had to doublecheck with a colleague whether or not rays were considered weapons for purposes of a bard’s Inspire Courage ability. And even if 5e boasts a less byzantine system, it’s easy to get tripped up there as well. I know I’ve had to refer back to Professor Gnome’s diagrams on more than one occasion. I never seem to remember that cover adds to my enemies’ Dexterity saves. And let’s not even get started on the famously finicky rules for bonus action casting time.

What I’m saying is there’s a reason that Paizo hosts a rules forum. There’s a reason that WotC keeps Zoltar on the payroll. No matter how well you think you know the rules, weird corner cases will crop up. I’ve already mentioned a few of my recent rules confusions, but what about my brother magi? What esoteric oopsies and abstruse errata have you encountered in your magical studies? Tell us all about your favorite lesser-known magics down in the comments!


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