[RPG] Are creatures outlined by Faerie Fire concealed by Obscuring Mist


Faerie Fire:

A pale glow surrounds and outlines the subjects. Outlined subjects shed light as candles. Outlined creatures do not benefit from the concealment normally provided by darkness (though a 2nd-level or higher magical darkness effect functions normally), blur, displacement, invisibility, or similar effects.

Obscuring Mist:

A misty vapor arises around you. It is stationary once created. The vapor obscures all sight, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet. A creature 5 feet away has concealment (attacks have a 20% miss chance). Creatures farther away have total concealment (50% miss chance, and the attacker cannot use sight to locate the target).

If my enemy is 5ft away in Obscuring Mist, and is outlined by Faerie Fire, does my attack have a miss chance due to concealment?

This question might be answered by "Is Obscuring Mist a similar effect to [non-magical or less-than-2nd-level] darkness, blur, displacement, or invisibility?" thanks to Faerie Fire's lovely wording: it clearly trumps certain kinds of concealment, not all, but does not give an exhaustive list of effects.

Best Answer

This DM is inclined to rule that a creature suffers no miss chance when attacking a foe 5 ft. away that's under the effect of faerie fire yet that's within the effect of an obscuring mist

The effect of the 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell obscuring mist [conj] (PH 258) is an effect similar to those listed in the description of the 1st-level Drd spell faerie fire (PH 229), which includes both mundane and magical effects.

Initially, I leaned toward saying the miss chance should apply, given that the spell obscuring mist is a conjuration (creation) school spell, but the spell faerie fire overcomes (completely mundane) darkness and (possibly mundane or, at least, not italicized) displacement and invisibility, likely putting the misty vapors conjured by the spell obscuring mist in the same boat as those. (The majority reach a similar conclusion in this 2012 Giant in the Playground forum thread.)

If this were a serious issue in my campaign, I might go so far as to rule that in this case darkness and fog are approximately equivalent, so that the spell faerie fire reveals clearly affected creatures within a not-so-dense fog (like the Interesting Combat factor fog on DMG 17) and affected creatures within 5 ft. of the viewer within normal fog (DMG 94) and a 1st-level fog effect like that created by the spell obscuring mist. But I'd also rule that faerie fire's blocked by the fog effect a higher level spell (e.g. the 2nd-level Sor/Wiz spell fog cloud [conj] (PH 232), the 4th-level Sor/Wiz spell solid fog [conj] (PH 281)). I'd consider this despite such mechanics being usually reserved for, for example, spells with the light descriptor versus spells with the darkness descriptor (as the opposing spells mentioned in faerie fire rightly warrant), because the game makes overcoming fog hard, I like low-level spells being versatile, and this has always seemed to me what should happen when lower-levels spells encounter higher-level spells. (Thus if a player wanted to heighten faerie fire to a 9th-level spell to see his foe while the foe's in, like, an incendiary cloud, I'd totally let him.) As a once-in-a-blue-moon (once-in-a-pea-soup?) rule, though, this might be too much work for too little reward.

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