I am not going to re-write the text of this spell. The following is more in the nature of a clarification of what we have jointly agreed that the text actually means, in light of the discussion we've already had.
We're going to treat it as understood that dancing lights allows the caster to produce up to four lights that look similar to torches or will-o-wisps. They must at all times remain within a 10 ft. radius area of each other. That is to say that no two of them may be further apart than 20 ft. The central point between all extant lights, whether it's two, three, or four of them, shall be treated as the point which moves when the spell is redirected, and therefore shall be the point we use for range finding and similar tasks. In the event that someone uses the humanoid-shaped version of the spell, we'll treat it as a Small or Medium creature and instead count squares to determine range.
The caster can exert reasonable control over the visual appearance of the lights produced by this spell, but these details are fixed once the spell is cast. Signaling based on color changes would therefore be impractical.
Unless otherwise specified by the caster, either at the time of casting or as part of redirecting the spell, the lights created by this spell will be effectively stationary, although they will bob, weave, and otherwise move around in an inconsequential manner. At the caster's option, he may specify that some or all of the lights instead move in a pattern. In the case of torch/lantern/will-o-wisp lights, this pattern of movement must remain within the bounds of the 10 ft. radius discussed previously, but otherwise it is a matter of the caster's discretion. Further, at the time of casting or redirection, the caster can move the lights into a new "formation" of sorts, so long as they all remain within the specified radius. A distinctive formation or pattern of movement, then, may be an adequate basis for the transmission of a signal.
Redirecting this spell is a swift action, which means that, among other things, it precludes the caster from speaking out of turn in the initiative order (because swift and immediate actions are counted as if they are the same thing), casting a quickened spell, casting spells with a casting time of 1 swift action or 1 immediate action, or activating a magical item with an activation time of 1 swift action or 1 immediate action.
Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold
@Obsidian_Spoon, it looks like we have finished settling the lighting issue. Posts and map images in the IC thread have been updated to reflect the outcome of the new reality. As I have not yet applied your character's actions, and as they depended on a lighting scenario that now does not apply, I am going to pause to let you decide to do something else, if you wish. Conspicuously, Faustus cannot really make Hide checks right now. He has total cover from Philo where he currently stands, and still would if you used the movement you already specified. Move Silently is applicable regardless of lighting, of course.
The entire area inhabited by your group is now well lit, although Fricka's dancing lights don't improve the level of illumination around Philo.
We can keep it the same action as before. The rest of the group doesn't appear in a rush to engage. My previous move silent roll wasn't great, but we can just keep it all the same.
I think Sanctuary is only round/level, rather than minute per level.
Hmm. Yeah, looks like I made a boo-boo.
Question: Speaking on your turn is a free action up to 25 words.
Fricka adopts a wry, amused look, her face a mask that projects 'oh, you didn't really believe that hogwash, right?'. "Come now, Mr. Philo. Put that down and take your earned beating. I promise we won't kill you." Fricka draws forth a small knife from under her cloak. "Or don't, and..."
Correct. Which is actually quite a lot of verbiage. The utterance you have there is 21 or 22 words, depending whether I count Mr. Philo as a single word or as one.
Shit. That question was supposed to be more and got cut off somehow. The actual question was whether more words could be bought by using more of your turn to speak.
If you go over, it's a move action instead.
I like it. With that in mind, can I change the above a bit?
Fricka adopts a wry, amused look, her face a mask that projects 'oh, you didn't really believe that hogwash, right?'. "Come now, Nerillus... can I call you Nerillus? Nerillus, you've earned a beating. Put that down..." (she motions at his weapon) "...and take it like a man. I promise we won't kill you." Fricka draws forth a small knife from under her cloak. "Or don't, and..."
Cragar takes a five foot step SW. He readies the same action - he will interpose himself between the door and Philo if Philo goes for it.
Cragar nods. "If you don't fight back, you live."