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Fire domain / Fire Bolt


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

Ok I realize this is probably a dumb question, but is the damage dice or just the bonus per 2 levels? (1d6)+ (1 * 2 levels) or (1d6+1)* 2 levels


I believe it is just a +1 per two levels and the die itself is fixed.


Yep, that's right. It's the +1 that goes up every 2 lvls, not the 1d6.


Javell DeLeon wrote:
Yep, that's right. It's the +1 that goes up every 2 lvls, not the 1d6.

Which kinda sucks as the ability is virtually useless at higher levels.


It is more useful at higher levels then shooting a crossbow. The purpose of most of those effects that are Ability Mod +3 times per day are only really intended for low level casters. Once you get high enough to have more then 3 or 4 spells then you use your higher level spells in combat 9 times out of 10.

Very few level 18 wizards cast cantrips in combat either, but they serve a purpose and help you get to level 18.


Inc necro:

If it's 1d6 (fixed) plus 1/2 levels, then it sucks at any level - low, mid, or high.

To use up a standard action, to pop a d6+piddly damage, to a single target, when even a lower-level SNA, or virtually any other direct damage spell is going to do more, and, in the case of SNA, for multiple rounds, with no concentration.

Let's say it does d6/2 levels, plus 1/2 levels (which is how I read it): As a 14th level caster, you're still averaging 31 points of damage, to one target, for a standard action.

Upon a closer read, when comparing to spells like CLW, I can see where the RAW is probably d6 (fixed) plus 1/2 levels. I have to wonder if the RAI wasn't (d6+1)/2 levels, however.


Isn't there a feat or domain that sets fire to your target, and they continue to burn 1d6 til they put themselves out? I might be thinking arcane, but you could always be a Mystic Stirge . . . .


NeonParrot wrote:
. . . but you could always be a Mystic Stirge . . . .

I meant Mystic THEURGE. I was writing a low level adventure over run with stirges today and have them on the brain. They just won't go away, pesky things!

You find a dead boar in a trap . . . YEAY!
You notice there are 4 stirges feeding on it and 2 more on the ground. The ones on the ground are so bloated they can't move, let alone fly. They all look at you. You swear one of them burped. BOOOOO!

Silver Crusade

Ashenfall wrote:

Inc necro:

If it's 1d6 (fixed) plus 1/2 levels, then it sucks at any level - low, mid, or high.

To use up a standard action, to pop a d6+piddly damage, to a single target, when even a lower-level SNA, or virtually any other direct damage spell is going to do more, and, in the case of SNA, for multiple rounds, with no concentration.

Let's say it does d6/2 levels, plus 1/2 levels (which is how I read it): As a 14th level caster, you're still averaging 31 points of damage, to one target, for a standard action.

Upon a closer read, when comparing to spells like CLW, I can see where the RAW is probably d6 (fixed) plus 1/2 levels. I have to wonder if the RAI wasn't (d6+1)/2 levels, however.

What's an SNA? And since clerics usually don't do direct damage, what exactly do you propose they do for better than d6 damage at first level? Yes, some of their weapons can do d8, but at range?

Yes, these little attacks suck at higher levels. But at low levels, they make decent backup weapons, until you have enough worthwhile spells available to keep you occupied every round.


SNA = Summon Nature's Ally. Mean stuff.

Taking a look at the cleric spell list, I can see your point - they aren't getting anywhere near the amount of damage-dealing spells that druids get. But, I wouldn't go so far as to say that clerics wouldn't usually do direct damage. I think it would come down to what the cleric's deity's domains were. Other than deities of archery, I'd agree that they'd still be mostly doing melee damage.

Looks like the way for clerics to dish out damage is by the summon monster spells. CELESTIAL DIRE RAT!!! Rawr.

If that's the case, then I can see the fire bolt being "meh" for a cleric of a fire domain, but being weak for a druid, relative to the other damage-dealing options a druid has.


Isn't summon nature's Ally a full round action that only last for 1 round per level?
Off course it is, I looked it up... ;-)

You are probably not going to outperform that bolt until level 3 or 4 damage wise. And even then it comes with some disadvantage that the bolt doesn't have. Your bolt is just a standard action giving you a move action to run away, it's less demanding on concentration checks (each attack on a full round casting counts, not just those prepared as required for a standard action). I'm not even sure that bolt would even require a concentration check. It deals direct damage not just one round later making it good kill of a create and only requires a touch attacking which is probably the easiest to hit target. Your dire rat still has to hit normal ac which might be difficult depending on the opponent. It's in competition with other spells (you will use some of your spells for healing and buffing, the bolts are always there when you need them.)

It's there for a reason and does it's job just fine. It's there to offer an alternative at low level and to enhance the casting aspect of a cleric of the fire domain (just like the pity 1d3 cantrips do for a wizard).

P.S. And exactly when does summon nature's ally make it on the cleric list?


arioreo wrote:

Isn't summon nature's Ally a full round action that only last for 1 round per level?

Off course it is, I looked it up... ;-)

Actually the casting time is 1 round.

A spell that takes 1 round to cast is a full-round action, but you must continue the concentration from the current round to just before your turn in the next round.

So not only attacks provoked from casting or readied during your turn, but any damage taken until the start of your next one. And nothing says "zap me with fire" like a caster and a 1 round casting time.

arioreo wrote:
I'm not even sure that bolt would even require a concentration check.

It's Spell-like, so it will provoke if not cast defensively.

arioreo wrote:
and only requires a touch attacking which is probably the easiest to hit target.

This. This is huge. Hitting Touch AC rather than normal AC (with a crossbow or whatever) is massive. You're far more likely to hit.

arioreo wrote:
P.S. And exactly when does summon nature's ally make it on the cleric list?

Druids can have domains, too. The OP didn't specify cleric.


You make good points, but you're assuming that the druid is going to get hit. If you have a GM who sics all of the baddies on casters, then sure. (I mean, how dare castys use spells?) If your allies protect you, or, at higher levels, you simply wild shape into a flight form, you can avoid a ton of damage. (Assume the natural spell feat) But, even outside that, how hard is it going to be, for a 1st level cleric to whack a goblin with his weapon? Sure, the touch attack is always easier, but imo, any limited use ability should be limited use because it's a bit better than your standard attacks. At higher levels, the only reason I can see to pop a fire bolt, is if you need to set fire to flammable objects.

And yes, the summoned critters last one round per level, but even at first level, I'll bank on on my level 1 critter to do more damage than the fire bolt. I see it as useful for a cleric, but much less so for druids (which makes sense, given that it was obviously designed around clerics.

And to answer the PS question, I was referring to summon monster. I think you may have read that as summon nature's ally. Ninja segue, ftw. :)


Grick, I agree that the touch attack is a bonus, but with the fire bolt damage being so small, it's just not worth it for a druid to use.

You guys may see it differently, but I keep finding myself always having a better option.

I have to say, though, that I love the fire resistance granted by the fire domain, not to mention the fact that a cleric or druid can pop a fireball. Silliness, I tell you.


I used a Cleric of Saranae for my first pathfinder character, I used the flame bolt power to start fires long after I did not need it in combat. Its showy and it can keep you warm at night and the resistance it grants is to the most common type of energy damage.

Silver Crusade

Well, of course the fire bolt is going to suck at higher levels. It's just there to help the cleric survive long enough to get Searing Light, Fireball (fire domain!), Holy Smite, etc.


Ashenfall wrote:
but even at first level, I'll bank on on my level 1 critter to do more damage than the fire bolt.

So, best case: You spend one round summoning an eagle, no-one hits you and the next round you summon it adjacent to an enemy. The Eagle rolls a 7 or better on its fly check to hover, and makes a full attack. All three attacks (at +3) hit vs normal AC, and it deals 3d4 damage.

Or, use Fire Bolt, save your limited spells per day, hit vs Touch AC, and deal 1d6 damage and you get a move action.

So yes, best case, spending an actual spell is better than the bolt. Of course, you only have 2 of those per day, rather than 5-7 fire bolts.

So each d4 averages 2.5 damage. If all three hit, that's 7.5 damage per summon. 2 summons per day that's 15 damage. Six fire bolts, each averaging 3.5 damage, is 21 damage, and far more likely to happen. (though it takes more actions)

I'm not saying the summons are worse, but the fire bolt is still pretty nice to have.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

It is also convenient against creatures with DR, even at higher levels, if you are not able to bypass that DR with your weapons (and usually, the summoned creatures will not be able to bypass either).


All good points - I just wish it was a little beefier.

But I like the idea of preparing the battlefield with oil, pitch, etc., and then using a readied action to ignite the ground the enemies are standing on.

I'm also the guy who thinks that the RAW should have casters adding their respective stat bonus to spell damage. (i.e. a 20th level wizard with a 30 Int doing 10d6+10 fire damage with a normal fireball, or 5d4+15 with a normal magic missiles spell).


I can see it working out pretty well for a small caster. It's as good or better damage than any missile weapon they're likely to have, and more likely to hit. Of course, it's just for close targets, so you'd still want something to shoot farther.

That ability is good for taking out enemies you know are teetering on the edge of death. And, it costs you nothing, not even a crossbow bolt.

I also agree with Ashenfall. Bonus damage based on your casting stat makes damage spells more attractive and worth casting. "MY fireball HURTS! Bwahahahahaha!"

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