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# The Holy Water Cannonball vs. the Balor

Here is one for you . . . .you have a 5 gallon crystal sphere of holy water and it impacts on the balor at terminal velocity (about 200 mph). Assuming the crysal breaks, will the balor take damage or will the innate heat burn the water off instantanously, thereby saving Mr. B from an uncomfortable sponge bath?

Holy Water will do Damage.

Figuting out how much, RAW, may be problematic -- I'd Houserule it.

Anyone, want to take a crack at it?

I have 2d4 per pint x 16 per gallon. How much of 5 gallons spills on the balor?

2d4 x 80 so that is 400 average damage by my math assuming it all hits him

Crystals are pretty hard though, and so putting the water in something easier to break would be my first idea.

I would also match the potential damage up with the cost to make the item if I were the GM.

NeonParrot wrote:
Here is one for you . . . .you have a 5 gallon crystal sphere of holy water and it impacts on the balor at terminal velocity (about 200 mph). Assuming the crysal breaks, will the balor take damage or will the innate heat burn the water off instantanously, thereby saving Mr. B from an uncomfortable sponge bath?

Here's a better point. The sphere is at a terminal velocity of 200mph. That is 1,056,000 feet per hour or 293.333... feet per second. Gravity exerts 32.2 ft/sec squared acceleration. It would take a little over 9 seconds to reach terminal velocity at which point it has fallen more than 1500 feet.

Now in pathfinder they figure falling damage based on size of object and distance fallen. Its around the size of a 5 gallon bucket so small but has fallen more than 150 feet(10 x more) so that is a whopping 4d6 damage. In reality(I know) it would pop the Balor like a zit and only break upon hitting the ground.

First, "terminal velocity" doesn't have the same meaning with ballistics that it would for a falling object. That is, since a cannonball isn't accelerating in flight, it's speed at impact depends on many factors, but primarily the distance to the target.

Assuming a point blank shot, though, a 12lbs cannonball has a muzzle speed of about 1200 miles per second. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to convert that to D6's...

Also, the force exerted on the crystal ball full of water would be more than enough to smash it, or, if it is strong enough to survive being accelerated from 0 to 1200 miles per hour almost instantly, it can probably survive the rapid deceleration without smashing. Either way, you'd be better off with a Holy Cannonball.

No way it's 80 x 2d4.

It's one of those create-the-Wondrous-Item-then-adjust-the-cost-to-make-sense things.

Find the cost in gold for 16 gallons of Holy Water.

Then compare that with the same costing Necklace of Fireballs or something.

Err, well, thanks for trying!

Dreamspun, you get the cookie! I am thinking not all of the 400 points of damage. I'll have to think about splash rules. . . its going to leave a mark anyways.

Bhrymm, I know what you mean . . . the question is, how do you make room for reality? Even more importantly, how do you make a good story?

First why are the PC's going to fight a Balor? Maybe big bad and ugly captured or stole an important person or item. PC's stumbled on to an evil plot that effects mortals and produces demon spawn. Balor hires minions to supply young virgins and alot of middle men do so to be granted a demonic wish. Slash damage is the way to go for reality make your your cannonballs the size of a crystal ball made of dark glass or glamored glass to trick balor. Good luck and let the evil spread.

 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Can you make it a holy water snowball? Or icicle?

Can you teleport the holy water into the balor's space? Using Teleport Object or Vanish or whatever?

For determining percentage of the holy water hitting him I'd go with (assuming it hit him square on) 50% + 5d10%. Your getting the bulk of it on there, but there will be back splash. Of course, the actual dimensions of the 5 gallon crystal sphere vs the dimensions of the Balor you just hit in the chest could alter this equation considerably.
Still you'd have 2d4X16X5X(50%+5d10%)which would be a little bit more resonable.

uriel222 wrote:

Assuming a point blank shot, though, a 12lbs cannonball has a muzzle speed of about 1200 miles per second. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to convert that to D6's...

Um... no. 1200 feet per second, maybe. But not miles. Even the navies experimental railgun can only get about a 1 or 2 miles/second.

It would deal 2d4 damage. The amount of Holy Water is irrelevant. Attacking with Holy Water deals 2d4 damage.

Otherwise, think of implications--can't I use the same Crystal and put 5 gallons of Acid in it? Doesn't that mean I can deal 40d6 acid damage? How about 5 gallons of Alchemical Fire?

Couldn't I just put 5 gallons of Holy Water in a waterproofed Bag of Holding and dump it? More than 5 gallons?

No, this is silly. It does 2d4 damage. If you want to deal 400 damage with holy water, you better attack it ~80 times with Holy Water.

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Why doesn't the crystal cannon ball shatter coming out of the barrel?

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mplindustries wrote:

It would deal 2d4 damage. The amount of Holy Water is irrelevant. Attacking with Holy Water deals 2d4 damage.

Otherwise, think of implications--can't I use the same Crystal and put 5 gallons of Acid in it? Doesn't that mean I can deal 40d6 acid damage? How about 5 gallons of Alchemical Fire?

Well, full immersion in acid does 10d6 damage/round. So the amount of acid does seem the have an effect. But if being immersed in acid only does 10d6 damage (10x a vial of acids damage), then immersion in holy water could also do 10x the damage as a vial. So 20d4 damage (an average of 50 points). But that is for full immersion. Just dumping a lot of holy water on something won't do that much.

As for 5 gallons of alchemists fire - immersion in lave only does 20d6 damage/round. 5 gallons of alchemists fire isn't going to do more then that. (Immersion in lava also does 10x the damage as just briefly being exposed to it, also supporting immersion in holy water being 20d4 damage). Mundane fire (And alchemists fire is still mundane fire) only does 1d6 damage/round, even if you are totally on fire, surrounded by fire. In this case, more fire will not do more damage.

mplindustries wrote:

It would deal 2d4 damage. The amount of Holy Water is irrelevant. Attacking with Holy Water deals 2d4 damage.

Otherwise, think of implications--can't I use the same Crystal and put 5 gallons of Acid in it? Doesn't that mean I can deal 40d6 acid damage? How about 5 gallons of Alchemical Fire?

Couldn't I just put 5 gallons of Holy Water in a waterproofed Bag of Holding and dump it? More than 5 gallons?

No, this is silly. It does 2d4 damage. If you want to deal 400 damage with holy water, you better attack it ~80 times with Holy Water.

...

So if I used grapeshot loads of flasks rather than a cannonball I'd get the same effect.

TarkXT wrote:
So if I used grapeshot loads of flasks rather than a cannonball I'd get the same effect.

No, not if it was a single attack. It's not the number of vials, it's the number of attacks. A gallon of holy water all at once deals 2d4 damage. A gallon of holy water in 10 different vials delivered all at once deals 2d4 damage. If someone is capable of making 10 attacks in a round and uses them all to splash holy water on the creature, each individual attack would deal 2d4 damage.

Attacking something with Holy Water deals 2d4 damage. Period. End of sentence.

mplindustries wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
So if I used grapeshot loads of flasks rather than a cannonball I'd get the same effect.

No, not if it was a single attack. It's not the number of vials, it's the number of attacks. A gallon of holy water all at once deals 2d4 damage. A gallon of holy water in 10 different vials delivered all at once deals 2d4 damage. If someone is capable of making 10 attacks in a round and uses them all to splash holy water on the creature, each individual attack would deal 2d4 damage.

Attacking something with Holy Water deals 2d4 damage. Period. End of sentence.

Okay then.

PRD wrote:

Holy water damages undead creatures and evil outsiders almost as if it were acid. A flask of holy water can be thrown as a splash weapon.

Treat this attack as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. A flask breaks if thrown against the body of a corporeal creature, but to use it against an incorporeal creature, you must open the flask and pour the holy water out onto the target. Thus, you can douse an incorporeal creature with holy water only if you are adjacent to it. Doing so is a ranged touch attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

A direct hit by a flask of holy water deals 2d4 points of damage to an undead creature or an evil outsider. Each such creature within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits takes 1 point of damage from the splash.

Temples to good deities sell holy water at cost (making no profit). Holy water is made using the bless water spell.

Show me the part where it says that.

I had totally forgotten about siege weapon ammunition. Ultimate Combat has a 10 pound canister of alchemists fire that does 4d6 damage. There is no holy water version, but if the fire version does 4x the damage as a vial, you could assume that a holy water version also does 4x the damage of a vial.

TarkXT wrote:
Show me the part where it says that.

The part where it does not say anything about "holy water deals 2d4 damage per pint" or something like that. It says a direct hit deals 2d4 damage. It does not say that a bigger flask will deal more damage. It does not actually even say how much water must be in a flask to deal that damage. Further, it lets you splash the water directly on a target without throwing a flask at all.

None of it cares how much water is used, only that it is used at all.

Further, I can tell you logically, that if you could just put more Holy Water (or more Acid or more Alchemist's Fire) into a flask or whatever and deal more damage, then the Alchemist class is the most powerful class in the game and weapons are pointless because everyone would just carry around Bags of Holding full of Holy Water and Acid and what not and dump it on enemies to win.

mplindustries wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
Show me the part where it says that.

The part where it does not say anything about "holy water deals 2d4 damage per pint" or something like that. It says a direct hit deals 2d4 damage. It does not say that a bigger flask will deal more damage. It does not actually even say how much water must be in a flask to deal that damage. Further, it lets you splash the water directly on a target without throwing a flask at all.

None of it cares how much water is used, only that it is used at all.

Further, I can tell you logically, that if you could just put more Holy Water (or more Acid or more Alchemist's Fire) into a flask or whatever and deal more damage, then the Alchemist class is the most powerful class in the game and weapons are pointless because everyone would just carry around Bags of Holding full of Holy Water and Acid and what not and dump it on enemies to win.

Interesting.

So by your logic I can make a single flask of holy water and divide that drop by drop into tiny vials.

Since volume doesn't matter only the relevant attack roll I can take one pint of holy water (which is one pound) and divide that up into let's say 1/2 milliliter bits.

Then I hurl these bits to deal 2d4 damage to the balor each. I have now turned one holy water flask into hundreds, thus saving me thousands of gold.

Also I'd like to note that in the example presented with grape shot I was assuming firing multiple flasks at once.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
mplindustries wrote:
TarkXT wrote:
Show me the part where it says that.

The part where it does not say anything about "holy water deals 2d4 damage per pint" or something like that. It says a direct hit deals 2d4 damage. It does not say that a bigger flask will deal more damage. It does not actually even say how much water must be in a flask to deal that damage. Further, it lets you splash the water directly on a target without throwing a flask at all.

None of it cares how much water is used, only that it is used at all.

Further, I can tell you logically, that if you could just put more Holy Water (or more Acid or more Alchemist's Fire) into a flask or whatever and deal more damage, then the Alchemist class is the most powerful class in the game and weapons are pointless because everyone would just carry around Bags of Holding full of Holy Water and Acid and what not and dump it on enemies to win.

But if you read the book, you'll discover that holy water is made by the bless water spell. Now, a vial of holy water is 25 gp, sold by temples at cost. The material components for bless water is 25 gp of powdered silver, which makes 1 pint of holy water.

Thus, clearly a flask of holy water is 1 pint, and 1 pint of holy water does 2d4 damage. So 2 pints would do 4d4 damage, and so on.

Talynonyx wrote:
Thus, clearly a flask of holy water is 1 pint, and 1 pint of holy water does 2d4 damage. So 2 pints would do 4d4 damage, and so on.

Ok, then an Alchemist can fill a huge orb of some kind with Acid and throw it for multiple d6s of damage.

The Alchemist can use the Throw Anything feat to throw weapons like greatswords and stuff, so surely I can throw a 12 pound Greataxe, surely I can throw 12 pounds of Acid, so that will deal 12d6 damage, right? If I cast Enlarge Person, I could throw a 24 pound Large Greataxe, right? So, with a level 1 Extract of Enlarge Person, I can throw 24 pounds of Acid for 24d6.

Good to know that this is fair and legal.

Try this on for size. I don't know how it would do against a balor, but:

8 pints = 1 gallon

The Pump-water cannon if full of holy water pumps 1 gallon per round for 16d4 dmg per round (avg 40 pts) with 10 ft range touch attack if each flask's worth deals 2d4 dmg.

PFSRD wrote:
A direct hit by a flask of holy water deals 2d4 points of damage to an undead creature or an evil outsider.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It is legal. Fair? Perhaps not. But yes, it is entirely possible but 24 pounds of acid would be 240 gold which is just within the gear limitations of a 1st level NPC, and beyond that of a 1st level PC, and that is exactly... once.

Make the acid yourself, it's cheaper, but the sheer cost of such a thing is the limiting factor, as well as the time to craft the acid. A reasonable 1st level Alchemist with 1 rank in Craft(alchemy), a +3 Int bonus will have a check of +8 (1 rank, +3 class skill, +3 Int, +1 competence from Alchemy class feature) and an average craft check of 18. That means it takes 3.5 days to craft 1 pound worth of acid. At higher levels, when it becomes more cost and time effective, then you've got people throwing fireballs for less damage, but more often.

So this murderous hobo spends an average of 84 days and 80 gold to deliver a single devastating attack of 24d6+3 (+3 Int) acid damage, thrown as a ranged touch attack at a reasonable +4 (+0 BAB, +3 Dexterity, +1 competence bonus from Throw Anything) with a range increment of 10 feet, up to 50 feet at a -10 penalty. Boom! One creature of equal CR, plus up to 8 others from splash are dead. Now what's his follow-up? He's spent most of his starting wealth on crafting the acid, plus buying the alchemical lab to make it, he has 4 bombs and maybe a dagger. And no companions, because who wants to sit and wait 84 days like that?

Balance is not just about straight numbers, it's also about the numbers that lie below the immediate effect.

From the Principia discordia:

The Pope has a water cannon
--It is a water cannon
He shoots holy water from it
--It is a holy water Cannon
He blesses it
--It is a holy holy water cannon
He blesses it completely
--It is a wholly holy holy water cannon
He pierces it
--It is a holey wholly holy holy water cannon
Batman and Robin arrive
--He shoots them.

mplindustries wrote:
Talynonyx wrote:
Thus, clearly a flask of holy water is 1 pint, and 1 pint of holy water does 2d4 damage. So 2 pints would do 4d4 damage, and so on.

Ok, then an Alchemist can fill a huge orb of some kind with Acid and throw it for multiple d6s of damage.

The Alchemist can use the Throw Anything feat to throw weapons like greatswords and stuff, so surely I can throw a 12 pound Greataxe, surely I can throw 12 pounds of Acid, so that will deal 12d6 damage, right? If I cast Enlarge Person, I could throw a 24 pound Large Greataxe, right? So, with a level 1 Extract of Enlarge Person, I can throw 24 pounds of Acid for 24d6.

Good to know that this is fair and legal.

think less as to how this applies to the game world and more as to how this applies to your character , in the game yes that does seem fair and balanced because yes that is a sensible assumption to make that 24 pounds of acid does more than 1/2 a pound of acid , now what happens when something sunders that huge 24 pound orb you are carrying , how much money does that orb cost and how do you readily find the materials to make said acid / how do you find soo much acid for sale . even if you have a bag of holding and somehow find a way to carry these suckers how will you remove it? can you take this out of that bag with only one hand it itself being a orb with only one grasping surface and weighing 24 pounds .

 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

The general rule is that the larger a quantity of a damaging material, the more damage it does.

The rules for holy water are clearly applying to a single flask of holy water. Hitting something with multiple flasks by volume, either all together or one by one, will deal additional dmg.

The OP's question is to the limit of such a thing. The limit is 'effective immersion', which in the rules consists of about 10 flasks, whether it be alchemist fire, acid, or holy water.

Thus, the maximum damage you can do with holy water is the equivalent of dipping somebody into it, which is immersion, which would be 20d4 damage.

===Aelryinth

NeonParrot wrote:
Here is one for you . . . .you have a 5 gallon crystal sphere of holy water and it impacts on the balor at terminal velocity (about 200 mph). Assuming the crysal breaks, will the balor take damage or will the innate heat burn the water off instantanously, thereby saving Mr. B from an uncomfortable sponge bath?

Just find a happy medium that will work for you and your players just as long it doesn't take anything from the encounter its a balor after all. He will play dirty.

mplindustries wrote:
Talynonyx wrote:
Thus, clearly a flask of holy water is 1 pint, and 1 pint of holy water does 2d4 damage. So 2 pints would do 4d4 damage, and so on.

Ok, then an Alchemist can fill a huge orb of some kind with Acid and throw it for multiple d6s of damage.

The Alchemist can use the Throw Anything feat to throw weapons like greatswords and stuff, so surely I can throw a 12 pound Greataxe, surely I can throw 12 pounds of Acid, so that will deal 12d6 damage, right? If I cast Enlarge Person, I could throw a 24 pound Large Greataxe, right? So, with a level 1 Extract of Enlarge Person, I can throw 24 pounds of Acid for 24d6.

Good to know that this is fair and legal.

It's also not very practical. It's 24 pounds of acid in a breakable container being carried presumably in hand or on belt. That's quite a bit of weight there chum.

If you want to seek balance, seek it in ways that don't break logic. Rather, use it. Logically something that heavy and fragile would be a bother to carry. Not to mention expensive to continuously do.

When struck by 5 gallons of holy water, I would borrow from the environmental threats such as acid. Being splashed by acid deals 1d6 damage, but total immersion deals 10d6. I imagine that the average instance of "total immersion" involves more than 10 pints of liquid, so it seems like a reasonable "terminal velocity" for excessive and caustic splash damage. As the balor is sufficiently large to not be totally immersed by brief exposure to 5 gallons of holy water, I would compromise by dealing about 5d6 damage for the whole payload.

Why not do the cannonball damage at the normal cannonball damage + 2d6 piercing in a 10ft. radius plus the holy water for something like 10d6+ 24d6 holy water for a wopping 34d6

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Back in '88 I ran an epic phase of a campaign I called Hellbuster. Heroes commanded a small armada of enormous double decker adamantium tanks powered by golems in the treads gears, each equipped with rows of cannons and holy water cannonballs. Thing about planes of hell is... those bastards just keep coming.

It sounds like the question is about practical ways of scaling damage. Mutants & Masterminds solved this with logarithmic scaling: 1,2,5,10,25,50,100,250,500,1000

...so you'd be talking about 10d4 if you went with that scaling system, 12d4 if you added one more gallon. It's a mechanic that I've borrowed and used in my games with several systems.