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Empower Spell

Rules Questions

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

What is the proper way of using the Empower Spell metamagic feat?

Say we were empowering the lightning bolt spell.

1) Would you roll 10d6, and multiply the result by x1.5?

2) Or do you roll 15d6?

Which method is more proper?

Now, what if the lightning bolt was ALSO maximized?

1a) 60 + (10d6 / 2)

2a) 60 + 5d6

But what if we threw in intensify spell rather than maximize? Would you intensify it and then empower it?

1b) 15d6 * 1.5

2b) 20d6

3b) Something else

Well, there's really no significant difference between 10d6 x 1.5 and 15d6.

Personally, I usually do 10d6 x 1.5 just like you would against an enemy who was vulnerable to a particular energy type.

Regarding intensify spell, the feat simply increases the cap for the number of dice rolled. So, an empowered intensified lightning bolt would be 15d6 x 1.5 (assuming you're at least a 15th level caster).

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The way I do it:

Empower: 10d6 * 1.5

If you do it the other way, you would have trouble when needing to roll an odd number of initial dice (for instance, 9d6 empowered would become 13.5d6)

Maximize + Empower: 60 + 10d6 * 0.5

Intensify + Empower: 15d6 * 1.5 (assuming a 15th level caster)

Are wrote:

The way I do it:

Empower: 10d6 * 1.5

If you do it the other way, you would have trouble when needing to roll an odd number of initial dice (for instance, 9d6 empowered would become 13.5d6)

Maximize + Empower: 60 + 10d6 * 0.5

Intensify + Empower: 15d6 * 1.5 (assuming a 15th level caster)

+1

An excellent point Are. 13.5 dice does seem awkward to roll.

there was an example in the 3.5 phi on how to use empower. I think it implied multiply the variable number by 1.5

it also said in the example that with maximize empower you still roll the random portion for the empower.

so 10d6 empower maximized fireball would be 60 + 50% of 10d6

the part I always found unclear is what the definition of variable number was. ie a lvl 5 clw empowered is it 1d8 x1.5 or is it 1d8 +5 x 1.5

Matthew Trent wrote:
An excellent point Are. 13.5 dice does seem awkward to roll.

Well, a player in my game uses d3s when he needs to roll half a d6. It's not quite right (2d3 average 4 whereas 1d6 averages 3.5), but close enough for the times when it comes up.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mojorat wrote:

there was an example in the 3.5 phi on how to use empower. I think it implied multiply the variable number by 1.5

it also said in the example that with maximize empower you still roll the random portion for the empower.

so 10d6 empower maximized fireball would be 60 + 50% of 10d6

the part I always found unclear is what the definition of variable number was. ie a lvl 5 clw empowered is it 1d8 x1.5 or is it 1d8 +5 x 1.5

In 3.5, the variable would have been (1d8+5) x 1.5. Examples using magic missile in the Player's Handbook confirm this.

However, this has changed in Pathfinder to (1d8 x 1.5) + 5. The Pathfinder game developers have confirmed this.

pooh that's good to know.

How come empower+maximize doesnt give max(10d6*1.5)=90 ?

Ravingdork wrote:
However, this has changed in Pathfinder to (1d8 x 1.5) + 5. The Pathfinder game developers have confirmed this.

Well the Pathfinder game developers cant play in my games!!! PPPFFFTT!!! :P

1d8+5 x 1.5 for the win.

Do the Dice from empower count for things like the Dragon Sorcerer's +1/die bonus damage?

or are they "phantom" dice just used to get a number for the empowered part of the spell?

Kalyth wrote:

1d8+5 x 1.5 for the win.

Mathematically that statement is equal to saying 1d8 + 7.5 Which I think is not what you mean but still an interesting reading of the feat.

Khuldar wrote:

Do the Dice from empower count for things like the Dragon Sorcerer's +1/die bonus damage?

or are they "phantom" dice just used to get a number for the empowered part of the spell?

This is another good point as to why the 1.5 bonus should be figured with a trusty calculator and not even more dice. Also:
• Does the half-die get a full +1 or only a +.5?

How come empower+maximize doesnt give max(10d6*1.5)=90 ?

Because the Maximize Spell feat specifically says that's not how the combination works. Otherwise, I'd have no problem with that either. It's a +5, after all :)

Matthew Trent wrote:
Kalyth wrote:

1d8+5 x 1.5 for the win.

Mathematically that statement is equal to saying 1d8 + 7.5 Which I think is not what you mean but still an interesting reading of the feat.

Khuldar wrote:

Do the Dice from empower count for things like the Dragon Sorcerer's +1/die bonus damage?

or are they "phantom" dice just used to get a number for the empowered part of the spell?

This is another good point as to why the 1.5 bonus should be figured with a trusty calculator and not even more dice. Also:
• Does the half-die get a full +1 or only a +.5?

(1d8+5)x 1.5

Khuldar wrote:

Do the Dice from empower count for things like the Dragon Sorcerer's +1/die bonus damage?

or are they "phantom" dice just used to get a number for the empowered part of the spell?

There aren't additional dice. You roll Xd6 and multiply the result by 1.5.

Ravingdork wrote:

What is the proper way of using the Empower Spell metamagic feat?

Say we were empowering the lightning bolt spell.

1) Would you roll 10d6, and multiply the result by x1.5?

Now, what if the lightning bolt was ALSO maximized?

1a) 60 + (10d6 / 2)

But what if we threw in intensify spell rather than maximize? Would you intensify it and then empower it?

1b) 15d6 * 1.5

-James

UltimaGabe wrote:
Khuldar wrote:

Do the Dice from empower count for things like the Dragon Sorcerer's +1/die bonus damage?

or are they "phantom" dice just used to get a number for the empowered part of the spell?

There aren't additional dice. You roll Xd6 and multiply the result by 1.5.

I have always wondered by people have converted the simple math of xd6 times 1.5 to adding extra dice. Boggle!

Kalyth wrote:
UltimaGabe wrote:
Khuldar wrote:

Do the Dice from empower count for things like the Dragon Sorcerer's +1/die bonus damage?

or are they "phantom" dice just used to get a number for the empowered part of the spell?

There aren't additional dice. You roll Xd6 and multiply the result by 1.5.
I have always wondered by people have converted the simple math of xd6 times 1.5 to adding extra dice. Boggle!

IIRC that was the official errata'd way of doing it in 3.5.

We always did empowered spell in 3.5 by actually rolling the extra dice. When there were odd numbers like 3d6 or 9d6 we just rounded down.
This hasn't come up yet in PF since all the spell casters think empower spell isn't worth a feat nor the rod a worthy investment.

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

I hate that the Paizo game designers don't see 6-13 (1d8+5) as a variable. It totally is!

The +5 SHOULD be empowered.

Ravingdork wrote:

I hate that the Paizo game designers don't see 6-13 (1d8+5) as a variable. It totally is!

The +5 SHOULD be empowered.

Certainly it should be, and certainly 6-13 is a variable range.

And for that matter isn't the constant amount at least 6 rather than 5? No matter what is rolled on the d8 there is at least a one there...

Certainly in 3.e it was the entire variable amount rather than the die amounts that were multiplied. The example in the PhB lays that out explicitly. Examples like that didn't make it into the SRD, so it could simply be an oversight on Paizo's part.

There were those in 3.e that believed that only dice were the variable to be multiplied via empower. Perhaps it was prevalent out West where Paizo folks are?

-James

Tem wrote:
Matthew Trent wrote:
An excellent point Are. 13.5 dice does seem awkward to roll.
Well, a player in my game uses d3s when he needs to roll half a d6. It's not quite right (2d3 average 4 whereas 1d6 averages 3.5), but close enough for the times when it comes up.

If you do a d3 just make 1,2=1 / 3,4=2 / 5,6=3. Easy to do with any half d?.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
james maissen wrote:
...so it could simply be an oversight on Paizo's part.

Sadly, the Paizo designers have been quite clear that, that is not the case.

Gebby wrote:
If you do a d3 just make 1,2=1 / 3,4=2 / 5,6=3. Easy to do with any half d?.

Yes, that certainly works to get 1d3, but the problem is that 1d3 is not the same as (1d6 / 2) which should have an average of 1.75.

Tem wrote:
Gebby wrote:
If you do a d3 just make 1,2=1 / 3,4=2 / 5,6=3. Easy to do with any half d?.
Yes, that certainly works to get 1d3, but the problem is that 1d3 is not the same as (1d6 / 2) which should have an average of 1.75.

That depends on what rounding rule you use for your /2. If you round halves up, then the average should be 2 (and the 1d3 simulates it exactly). If you round halves down, then the average should be 1.5. If you round halves to the nearest odd number (or randomly choose which way to round halves), then you average 1.75.

AvalonXQ wrote:
Tem wrote:
Gebby wrote:
If you do a d3 just make 1,2=1 / 3,4=2 / 5,6=3. Easy to do with any half d?.
Yes, that certainly works to get 1d3, but the problem is that 1d3 is not the same as (1d6 / 2) which should have an average of 1.75.
That depends on what rounding rule you use for your /2. If you round halves up, then the average should be 2 (and the 1d3 simulates it exactly). If you round halves down, then the average should be 1.5. If you round halves to the nearest odd number (or randomly choose which way to round halves), then you average 1.75.

Actually - that's not quite right in general.

The problem comes when you try to roll multiples which should always give you the same average.

For example - if you want to roll (20d6 /2) you should get an average of 35 (3.5 for each d6 times 20 then halved).

On the other hand, if you roll 20d3 you'll get an average of 40. If you round *each die* as you mention, you'll either get an average of 30 (rounding each one down) or 40 (rounding each one up). But neither is technically correct.

Tem wrote:
AvalonXQ wrote:
Tem wrote:
Gebby wrote:
If you do a d3 just make 1,2=1 / 3,4=2 / 5,6=3. Easy to do with any half d?.
Yes, that certainly works to get 1d3, but the problem is that 1d3 is not the same as (1d6 / 2) which should have an average of 1.75.
That depends on what rounding rule you use for your /2. If you round halves up, then the average should be 2 (and the 1d3 simulates it exactly). If you round halves down, then the average should be 1.5. If you round halves to the nearest odd number (or randomly choose which way to round halves), then you average 1.75.

Actually - that's not quite right in general.

The problem comes when you try to roll multiples which should always give you the same average.

For example - if you want to roll (20d6 /2) you should get an average of 35 (3.5 for each d6 times 20 then halved).

On the other hand, if you roll 20d3 you'll get an average of 40. If you round *each die* as you mention, you'll either get an average of 30 (rounding each one down) or 40 (rounding each one up). But neither is technically correct.

Oh, I agree, it's less and less of an issue when you have multiples -- but you still have to decide whether to round halves up or down, and it still has an effect on the average.

Again, choose to round halves to the nearest odd, and your average comes out much better.

AvalonXQ wrote:
Tem wrote:
Gebby wrote:
If you do a d3 just make 1,2=1 / 3,4=2 / 5,6=3. Easy to do with any half d?.
Yes, that certainly works to get 1d3, but the problem is that 1d3 is not the same as (1d6 / 2) which should have an average of 1.75.
That depends on what rounding rule you use for your /2. If you round halves up, then the average should be 2 (and the 1d3 simulates it exactly). If you round halves down, then the average should be 1.5. If you round halves to the nearest odd number (or randomly choose which way to round halves), then you average 1.75.

Per Pathfinder RAW you round down:

Quote:
Rounding: Occasionally the rules ask you to round a result or value. Unless otherwise stated, always round down. For example, if you are asked to take half of 7, the result would be 3.

Ravingdork wrote:

In 3.5, the variable would have been (1d8+5) x 1.5. Examples using magic missile in the Player's Handbook confirm this.

However, this has changed in Pathfinder to (1d8 x 1.5) + 5. The Pathfinder game developers have confirmed this.

It kinda makes me sad. I like my empowered magic missile.

Matthew Trent wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

In 3.5, the variable would have been (1d8+5) x 1.5. Examples using magic missile in the Player's Handbook confirm this.

However, this has changed in Pathfinder to (1d8 x 1.5) + 5. The Pathfinder game developers have confirmed this.

It kinda makes me sad. I like my empowered magic missile.

I do remember it because it made my sad when I saw it, then I remembered I am the DM so I houseruled it. I will try to find it again, but my search-fu has been failing.

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It would be (1d6x1.5) +5

1d6 is the variable potion, and it is the only part that gets increased. The bonus from 1/2 your level is not increased by Empower Spell. Same goes for Magic Missile.

Jason Bulmahn
Paizo Publishing

Here is the proof. Don't click this link if you don't want the answer. Last chance, okay if you insist.

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

I'm going to miss my empowered fire shields. *cries*

Considering that he later goes on to say:

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there folks,

Just one quick note. Lets not bog down this preview thread in a rules discussion at the moment. There will be plenty of time to work it out once the game is released. Until we get an FAQ, or something similar, up and running, I would prefer to keep things light.

For those society players out there, I doubt that Josh would consider this thread a source of official rulings. We need something more concrete than that...

Anyway.. I am going to need to look at this particular issue a bit more closely, so just hang in there. We are now less than two weeks to release.

And that's all I can find as far as official comments go. I've flagged the OP for the FAQ, and we can hope that they are concerned enough to weigh in. As a player who plays a wizard in PFS, I hope they do.

Variable: going to change with each casting.
Static: stays the same with each casting.
(at least how I see it)

magic missiles: 1d4 (variable) +1 (static) per missile.

Which do you think that Empower will change, considering it says:

Quote:
Benefit: All variable, numeric effects of an empowered spell are increased by half.

Anyway, run it how you wish, it is your game (unless you are PFS). At least with Magic missile, you are only talking about a +1 damage to run it as (3d4+3)*1.5 instead of (3d4*1.5)+3

The way I see it is that the damage of the magic missile is the "variable numeric effect". Magic Missile produces a variable amount of damage ranging from 2-5 (1d4+1).

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Ravingdork wrote:

I hate that the Paizo game designers don't see 6-13 (1d8+5) as a variable. It totally is!

The +5 SHOULD be empowered.

The "Paizo Game Designers" actually confirmed both ways, and then, as Trent pointed out, basically left it to the GM.

There basically is no game reason to not allow the +50% to include static portions of variables effects. At best they are still barely worthwhile to do (with the possible exception of magic missile). You certainly wouldn't cast an empowered cure light wounds instead of a cure serious wounds. Empowered Cure Serious instead of Breath of Life? Barely better until level 16. Empowered Fire Shield is neat, but hardly a game killer for a 6th level spell.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Majuba wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I hate that the Paizo game designers don't see 6-13 (1d8+5) as a variable. It totally is!

The +5 SHOULD be empowered.

The "Paizo Game Designers" actually confirmed both ways, and then, as Trent pointed out, basically left it to the GM.

Yeah, but one of said designers has seniority, thus making his rule take precedent as far as official rulings are concerned. Sadly, he ruled against my interpretation.

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Ravingdork wrote:
Yeah, but one of said designers has seniority, thus making his rule take precedent as far as official rulings are concerned. Sadly, he ruled against my interpretation.

It was the same designer both times - no seniority involved. Run it how you like.

Can you empower a dispel magic or would that be under opposed rolls?

Majuba wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Yeah, but one of said designers has seniority, thus making his rule take precedent as far as official rulings are concerned. Sadly, he ruled against my interpretation.
It was the same designer both times - no seniority involved. Run it how you like.

He never said anything to cancel out the statement that only dice get multiplied.

What he said was:

For those society players out there, I doubt that Josh would consider this thread a source of official rulings. We need something more concrete than that...

Anyway.. I am going to need to look at this particular issue a bit more closely, so just hang in there. We are now less than two weeks to release.

However he never got back to the issue for the society players.

 RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Majuba wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I hate that the Paizo game designers don't see 6-13 (1d8+5) as a variable. It totally is!

The +5 SHOULD be empowered.

The "Paizo Game Designers" actually confirmed both ways, and then, as Trent pointed out, basically left it to the GM.

There basically is no game reason to not allow the +50% to include static portions of variables effects. At best they are still barely worthwhile to do (with the possible exception of magic missile). You certainly wouldn't cast an empowered cure light wounds instead of a cure serious wounds. Empowered Cure Serious instead of Breath of Life? Barely better until level 16. Empowered Fire Shield is neat, but hardly a game killer for a 6th level spell.

One reason might be the relationship between maximize and empower. Using fireshield as an example:

Norm emp Max
lvl 8: normal 11.5, empowered 17.25, maximized 14
lvl 12: normal 15.5, empowered 23.25, maximized 18
lvl 15: normal 18.5, empowered 37.5, maximized 21

At every level at which you could cast fire shield, the 7th level spell would be worse than the 6th level spell.

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John Spalding wrote:

One reason might be the relationship between maximize and empower. Using fireshield as an example:
Norm emp Max
lvl 8: normal 11.5, empowered 17.25, maximized 14
lvl 12: normal 15.5, empowered 23.25, maximized 18
lvl 15: normal 18.5, empowered 37.5, maximized 21

At every level at which you could cast fire shield, the 7th level spell would be worse than the 6th level spell.

winning explanation ! (also works with the cure spell series...)

Vrischik

Happler wrote:

Variable: going to change with each casting.

Static: stays the same with each casting.
(at least how I see it)

magic missiles: 1d4 (variable) +1 (static) per missile.

Well to be pedantic, the d4 always gives you at least a 1, so it's really 0-3 (variable) +2 (static) isn't it?

And if the variable were intended to be 2-5, how would that be accomplished?

Seeing how in the 3e PhBs the example for empower was magic missile and the entire 2-5 was multiplied, I'd say that was the original intent. If Paizo is going to change things from 3.5, it's my humble belief that these should be pronounced and detailed.

I'm not sure that the folks at Paizo realize that this is a change, however. The way rules get propagated in this game by word of mouth, variation entered into this and the waters got muddled. Many claimed that by variable what was meant was dice, rather than a given variable range (i.e. the 1d4 vs the 2-5). That the SRD doesn't include clarifying examples gave them an avenue to try to make that valid.

Jason, it seems, ascribes to this in some degree whether by hook or by crook.

Personally, until they make it an official errata and make it clear in the books I'll go with the original rules and the original intent from 3rd edition.

-James

 Contributor

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Related FAQ!

And yes, this is after a discussion with Jason that included talking about his earlier "dice only, no bonuses" ruling pre-publication.