Detect Evil's exact depth *long post*

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Ok, I'm a Paladin in our 3rdED game.

We are searching for a Necromancer in a large mansion...

We enter a large room that had a bolted door marked 'Danger'. The room
is completely bare and has a soil floor.

I do a detect evil and scan the room.

All clear, so the group enters the rooms and start to search for hidden
doors etc.

Then a group of 6 undead come out of the soil and start attacking us!

WTF! "You didnt specify that you were scanning the soil" was the DM's
reply.

Much argument and stuff ensued...

The 3rdED players handbook specify that the 'Detect Evil' ability
workings in a 1/4 circle arc. Our DM regards the spell to be like a
laser, so if i dont look up and down i wont be able to detect anything
that isnt directly in front of me. Is this correct, or does it work
more like a cone shape?

What is the exact 3D shape of the detect evil spell?
 
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Thanks for the reply.

Our DM isnt *that* nasty ;)

I supose that if the spell works in a cone, it *would* be limited to
only penetrating a limited depth because the angle of the cone would
travel through more than 3 feet of dirt at it extremities. If you see
what i mean.

I dont have the 3.5 SRD to hand, so could you tell me what angle
(roughly) the cone travels?
 
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MagicLava <magiclava@gmail.com> wrote:

>The 3rdED players handbook specify that the 'Detect Evil' ability
>workings in a 1/4 circle arc. Our DM regards the spell to be like a
>laser, so if i dont look up and down i wont be able to detect anything
>that isnt directly in front of me. Is this correct, or does it work
>more like a cone shape?

The first thing I'd ask the DM to do is explain why exactly he
assumes your paladin was holding his head exactly level during
the entire scanning process. If I'm looking around a room, my
head and my gaze are going to at least brush the floor and
ceiling.

Anyway, the 3.5 SRD says the Paladin's Detect Evil ability
works as the spell, and the spell is a "cone shaped emanation."
That doesn't necessarily mean you'd closely scan the floor
while checking out the room, but you could make a case for
it. The spell is blocked by 3 feet of dirt, so if the undead
were buried deeper than that, you wouldn't detect them even
if you were scanning carefully.

It's hard to fairly judge your DM based on just this anecdote.
I hate the old "You didn't specify you were doing X!" routine,
but in some cases it's perfectly reasonable. I'd call this
a borderline case - I personally think most characters would
at least glance at the floor, ceiling and walls when scanning
a room for evil/magic/whatever, but whatever. If your DM
does this sort of thing a lot, though, that's a problem.
The passive-aggressive bastard in me says you should fight
fire with fire in that case - specify every single thing your
character is doing from second to second, and see how he
likes it. Of course, he might love it, and then you're in
trouble.

Pete
 
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MagicLava wrote:
> Thanks for the reply.
>
> Our DM isnt *that* nasty ;)
>
> I supose that if the spell works in a cone, it *would* be limited to
> only penetrating a limited depth because the angle of the cone would
> travel through more than 3 feet of dirt at it extremities. If you see
> what i mean.
>
> I dont have the 3.5 SRD to hand, so could you tell me what angle
> (roughly) the cone travels?

If you're online, there are a few handy HTML versions of the SRD available.
I like this one:

http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/home.html

As your fellow players correctly stated, a cone effect takes up a
quarter-circle arc, which is 90 degrees in total If used whilst looking
straight ahead horizontally, its lowest edge would emanate downwards at a 45
degree angle.

--
Mark.
 
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Mark Blunden <m.blundenATntlworld.com@address.invalid> wrote:
>MagicLava wrote:
>> Thanks for the reply.
>>
>> Our DM isnt *that* nasty ;)

That's good to know.

>> I supose that if the spell works in a cone, it *would* be limited to
>> only penetrating a limited depth because the angle of the cone would
>> travel through more than 3 feet of dirt at it extremities. If you see
>> what i mean.
>>
>> I dont have the 3.5 SRD to hand, so could you tell me what angle
>> (roughly) the cone travels?

>If you're online, there are a few handy HTML versions of the SRD available.
>I like this one:

>http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/home.html

>As your fellow players correctly stated, a cone effect takes up a
>quarter-circle arc, which is 90 degrees in total If used whilst looking
>straight ahead horizontally, its lowest edge would emanate downwards at a 45
>degree angle.

Right. But the question is, can you move the viewpoint of the
spell/effect by moving your head? Or are you limited to detecting
evil only in the space you were looking at when the spell/effect
was activated? I don't have easy access to the web right now,
so I'm not sure what the SRD says, if anything. If the DM is
saying that the area is set when the effect is triggered,
and the rules don't contradict that, I could easily see
how you wouldn't detect evil underground in a room. Of course,
a paladin can detect evil at will, so there's nothing stopping
him from making damned sure he covers the entire room, including
the walls, floor and ceiling. It'll just take a little longer,
and require being more precise when telling the DM what you're
doing.

Detect Evil also requires some time to give details, I believe,
but again I can't remember the specifics. That would add a
bit of time, but you could still thoroughly check the entire
room whenever you wanted to and stated that's what you were
doing.

Pete
 
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Peter Meilinger wrote:
> Mark Blunden <m.blundenATntlworld.com@address.invalid> wrote:
>> MagicLava wrote:
>>> Thanks for the reply.
>>>
>>> Our DM isnt *that* nasty ;)
>
> That's good to know.
>
>>> I supose that if the spell works in a cone, it *would* be limited to
>>> only penetrating a limited depth because the angle of the cone would
>>> travel through more than 3 feet of dirt at it extremities. If you
>>> see what i mean.
>>>
>>> I dont have the 3.5 SRD to hand, so could you tell me what angle
>>> (roughly) the cone travels?
>
>> If you're online, there are a few handy HTML versions of the SRD
>> available. I like this one:
>
>> http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/home.html
>
>> As your fellow players correctly stated, a cone effect takes up a
>> quarter-circle arc, which is 90 degrees in total If used whilst
>> looking straight ahead horizontally, its lowest edge would emanate
>> downwards at a 45 degree angle.
>
> Right. But the question is, can you move the viewpoint of the
> spell/effect by moving your head?

Each round, you can turn to detect evil in a new area.

> Detect Evil also requires some time to give details, I believe,
> but again I can't remember the specifics. That would add a
> bit of time, but you could still thoroughly check the entire
> room whenever you wanted to and stated that's what you were
> doing.

It takes 3 rounds to get the full details, but only one to pick up the
presence of evil. So yes, it would be pretty easy for a paladin to fully
scan a room in a short time.

--
Mark.
 

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