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Alchemist bombs and incorporeal things


Rules Questions

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Firstly, my questions:

1. How does alchemist's bombs hit incorporeal creatures?

2. How much dmg does it do? 50%?

3. How about splash effect? 50% with a save for another 50% reduction (aka 25%)?

4. How about Explosive Bombs? Can Incorporeal creatures catch fire? Can they take a full-round action to put it out? Could they just move through a solid material to put it out? Could they just drop into the ground to put it out and then come back up, and would this cause AoO's?

Rules:
1. Alchemists bombs: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/alchemist#TOC-Bomb-Su-
2. Explosive bombs: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/alchemist/discoveries/paizo--- alchemist-discoveries/explosive-bomb
3. Incorporeal: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/rules-for-monsters/universal-monster-rules #TOC-Incorporeal-Ex-

The way I read it, it's a supernatural ability, so it should affect the ghost. Then again, even holy water does affect ghosts but since the bottle is non-magical and will pass through the target, to use holy water one needs to pour it over the ghost instead of throwing it - does this mean that throwing a bomb, the bomb would pass through, but the splash would hit? Even if the bomb is a supernatural ability, is the making of the bomb supernatural, but the fire being most likely natural and non-magical, would not affect the incorporeal creature? I don't really see a burning house damage it either.

In any case, the fire should do half the usual damage, I suppose. Following the logic of Holy Water not breaking upon a ghost, perhaps the bomb should only deal splash damage (and half of it) instead?

However, the most problematic part is the Explosive Bomb - Any creature that suffers a direct hit is set aflames, takes a full round action to get a ref save to put it out. This isn't a problem if one rules that incorporeal can't be hit by the bomb, but only by the fire (and thus only splash dmg) - now there's no chance of a direct hit. Even if we rule that as a supernatural ability, the bomb can hit the ghost, does it constitute as a direct hit as the target only takes half damage?
And even if we do suppose that it is a direct hit, should incorporeal creatures really be able to catch fire? Where does the fire cling to, anyway? And if we do conclude that it somehow mystically does catch fire, does moving through solid object put it out? Does such movement (dropping down through the solid floor and immediatly getting back up) give a reason for AoO? The rules do not state that the full-round action to put out the fire would cause AoO's, so it's a bit confusing...

One should also remember that the alchemist has a Force Bomb discovery. Force effects affect incorporeal normally, as far as I know. Does this mean that the fire should not affect them at all?

Also, I'd like to point out that incorporeal undead are immune to precision damage (such as sneak attacks) and critical hits. Bomb's description says:

Quote:
The damage of an alchemist’s bomb increases by 1d6 points at every odd-numbered alchemist level (this bonus damage is not multiplied on a critical hit)

Firstly - I take it that this means that the extra d6's aren't multiplied by a crit, but that the base 1d6+int dmg would be multiplied. Is this correct? Further, since critical hits say that precision based damage isn't multiplied in a crit, and the bomb says they aren't multiplied in a crit, one -could- assume that the extra dmg from bombs is precision based (I know this doesn't hold true in mathematical logics, but it does imply this might might be the case none the less) - Does this mean that incorporeal, since immune to precision dmg, would take 50% of 1d6+int (or depending on the interpretation, perhaps even just 50% of the INT dmg) and ignore the rest of the "bonus dice"? One could also argue that bombs are precision based since the AC to hit is Touch AC, not your regular armor class - more like you need to hit the target and less like you need to get through a shield and a platemail.

I think that, from rules perspective, it's a SU ability so it does hit the ghost and deal 50% dmg and set it on fire, and the ghost must take a full-round action to put it out WITH a ref save.
But, this simply does not make any sense AND there are some rules points that might prevent this from working (see holy water - created by a spell, yet the shell/bottle does not break on impact with a ghost - and direct hit vs doing only 50% dmg)

How does fire cling to something that is incorporeal - literally, insubstantial, that is, without any kind of material? Can you set fire on something that does not exist? What would even burn? Nothingness? Spiritual energy?

I'd also like to point out that despite labeled as a SU ability, creating a bomb and then throwing it sounds more like extra ordinary than supernatural - I mean, anyone can create alchemical fires with a bit of points in craft alchemy, alchemists just do it really really fast and make them more effective?

Even though RAW at first glance would suggest it works at full force (except for the only 50% dmg) and set the target on fire, I think a more RAI approach and a sensible (also from a balance point) would be to say that just like holy water, it passes through, deals half of the splash damage, again halved on save. OR, since this might be -too- weak: Can hit normally, but since it does only half damage, can not be concidered a direct hit, and thus does not set the incorporeal on fire? AND even if it did set the ghost in fire, I think it would be fair to assume that a move action through a solid material chokes the fire automatically (even if you assume that it does not need air to burn, the burning substance isn't incorporeal and shouldn't be able to pass through a wall).

To Recap:

Alchemist bomb vs incorporeal:
Is it possible to score a direct hit?
Is it possible to hit with the splash?
Does fire even do dmg against things that are not quite there?
Can incorporeal be set on fire? Can you even score a direct hit when full damage is impossible to do?
Can they extinguish it by going through ground, and does it provoke AoO's?


1. Magic hits incorporeal, if it isn't a force bomb the incorporeal will take 1/2 damage.

2. Magic hits incorporeal, yes.

3. Yes.

4. Yes.

5. If they fail the save then yes, and still yes.

6. GM's call, and if the movement normally does.


Citation:

Incorporeal wrote:
It can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons or creatures that strike as magic weapons, and spells, spell-like abilities, or supernatural abilities. It is immune to all nonmagical attack forms. Even when hit by spells or magic weapons, it takes only half damage from a corporeal source (except for channel energy). Although it is not a magical attack, holy water can affect incorporeal undead. Corporeal spells and effects that do not cause damage only have a 50% chance of affecting an incorporeal creature. Force spells and effects, such as from a magic missile, affect an incorporeal creature normally.
Quote:
Bomb (Su)


i guess the question is this: can bombs pybass DR/magic? if it can they can hurt incorporeal monsters. If not, then they cannot.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

DR does not stop energy damage.


Bombs completely ignore DR -- energy resistance might cause them issues but DR will not.

They are a supernatural ability that deals damage, as such they can hurt incorporeal creatures. The 'normal' bomb (i.e. fire damage bomb) will only deal 1/2 damage, but cryptbreakers or alchemist with the force bomb discovery can deal full damage to incorporeal creatures.

Ninja'd by Blackbloodtroll.


ninja'd

Cheliax

How about hardness? Say, an item has a hardness of 15, does the bombs bypass it?


Energy Attacks

Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object's hardness


If we go by RAW, the Explosive Bomb discovery can set the incorporeal opponent on fire, but that particular fire won't hurt him, because it isn't magical fire ( just his, uh, incorporeability burning or whatever ) and therefore cannot harm an incorporeal creature.

"It is immune to all nonmagical attack forms."

Cheliax

Richard Leonhart wrote:

Energy Attacks

Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object's hardness

Which means that it's even worse against objects then it is against ghosts? Against a hardness of let's say 5, yuo'd need to deal 12 points of dmg (halved to 6, then reduced by 5) to deal a total of 1 point?

Magnuskn wrote:
If we go by RAW, the Explosive Bomb discovery can set the incorporeal opponent on fire, but that particular fire won't hurt him, because it isn't magical fire ( just his, uh, incorporeability burning or whatever ) and therefore cannot harm an incorporeal creature.

This is what I'm after. But the fire did originate from a supernatural source (the bomb), so it might be magical? Then again, if we assume that the Alchemist threw a bomb in a bush and it thus caught fire, which begins to spread, I'm fairly sure we can agree that it's no longer magical?

I don't think the fire should burn the incorporeal thing... Any other thoughts?


No, setting people on fire normally is considered "normal" fire, AFAIK.

As far as burning the incorporeability goes, I actually concur that it is somewhat stupid and I'd houserule it in my game to not affect them... the rules kind of support that they cannot be hurt by nonmagical means anyway.


Tomppak88 wrote:
Richard Leonhart wrote:

Energy Attacks

Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object's hardness

Which means that it's even worse against objects then it is against ghosts? Against a hardness of let's say 5, yuo'd need to deal 12 points of dmg (halved to 6, then reduced by 5) to deal a total of 1 point?

Well there is a line in the section about damaging object that states that a GM may decide that a particular attack ignores hardness or what not.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I apologize for the bump, but why does an alchemist bomb only do half damage?

PRD, Universal Monster Rules, Incorporeal wrote wrote:
An incorporeal creature has no physical body. It can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons or creatures that strike as magic weapons, and spells, spell-like abilities, or supernatural abilities. It is immune to all nonmagical attack forms. Even when hit by spells or magic weapons, it takes only half damage from a corporeal source (except for channel energy).
An incorporeal creature can only be harmed by:
  • other incorporeal creatures
  • magic weapons or creatures that strike as magic weapons
  • spells
  • spell-like abilities
  • supernatural abilities

An incorporeal creature takes half damage from:

  • spells
  • magic weapons

That seems to indicate that other incorporeal creatures, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities all deal full damage. Since an alchemist bomb is supernatural, shouldn't it do full damage? And if supernatural abilities do full damage, why is channel energy specifically called out as doing full damage?


Poit wrote:
That seems to indicate that other incorporeal creatures, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities all deal full damage. Since an alchemist bomb is supernatural, shouldn't it do full damage? And if supernatural abilities do full damage, why is channel energy specifically called out as doing full damage?

Incorporeal entry in CRB:

PRD wrote:
Incorporeal: Creatures with the incorporeal condition do not have a physical body. Incorporeal creatures are immune to all nonmagical attack forms. Incorporeal creatures take half damage (50%) from magic weapons, spells, spell-like effects, and supernatural effects. Incorporeal creatures take full damage from other incorporeal creatures and effects, as well as all force effects.

Supernatural abilities do half damage.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Gah, why do these two entries say different things?

Wait, the thing you quoted doesn't give an exception for channel energy. Now I'm more confused.

Cheliax

Abraham spalding wrote:

Bombs completely ignore DR -- energy resistance might cause them issues but DR will not.

They are a supernatural ability that deals damage, as such they can hurt incorporeal creatures. The 'normal' bomb (i.e. fire damage bomb) will only deal 1/2 damage, but cryptbreakers or alchemist with the force bomb discovery can deal full damage to incorporeal creatures.

Ninja'd by Blackbloodtroll.

Not saying you are wrong about this, but where does it state this? I played a game the other night with a Venture Lieutenant GMing and he told me bombs did NOT count as "magical" therefore not harming incorporeal. I had to switch to holy water to harm the shadow we were facing.

If bombs bypass all DR, then I'll be a much happier man not having to troll the internets to find a way around DR/magic etc. as an Alchemist. Can you please link or give a page number where you are finding it say bombs are "supernatural" or bypass all DR?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Devlin the Alchemist wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:

Bombs completely ignore DR -- energy resistance might cause them issues but DR will not.

They are a supernatural ability that deals damage, as such they can hurt incorporeal creatures. The 'normal' bomb (i.e. fire damage bomb) will only deal 1/2 damage, but cryptbreakers or alchemist with the force bomb discovery can deal full damage to incorporeal creatures.

Ninja'd by Blackbloodtroll.

Not saying you are wrong about this, but where does it state this? I played a game the other night with a Venture Lieutenant GMing and he told me bombs did NOT count as "magical" therefore not harming incorporeal. I had to switch to holy water to harm the shadow we were facing.

If bombs bypass all DR, then I'll be a much happier man not having to troll the internets to find a way around DR/magic etc. as an Alchemist. Can you please link or give a page number where you are finding it say bombs are "supernatural" or bypass all DR?

Bombs do energy damage (fire, or possibly cold, force, electric, and so on). Energy damage always ignores DR, because DR only applies to physical damage. This is spelled out in the glossary, under "Damage Reduction."

And you can see that bombs are magical by looking at the "(Su)" after the ability name. That stands for "supernatural."

Grand Lodge

@ Devlin the Alchemist

You may wanna tell your venture lieutenant to hit the books again :). RainyDayNinja's got the right of it.

Cheliax

RainyDayNinja wrote:
Devlin the Alchemist wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:

Bombs completely ignore DR -- energy resistance might cause them issues but DR will not.

They are a supernatural ability that deals damage, as such they can hurt incorporeal creatures. The 'normal' bomb (i.e. fire damage bomb) will only deal 1/2 damage, but cryptbreakers or alchemist with the force bomb discovery can deal full damage to incorporeal creatures.

Ninja'd by Blackbloodtroll.

Not saying you are wrong about this, but where does it state this? I played a game the other night with a Venture Lieutenant GMing and he told me bombs did NOT count as "magical" therefore not harming incorporeal. I had to switch to holy water to harm the shadow we were facing.

If bombs bypass all DR, then I'll be a much happier man not having to troll the internets to find a way around DR/magic etc. as an Alchemist. Can you please link or give a page number where you are finding it say bombs are "supernatural" or bypass all DR?

Bombs do energy damage (fire, or possibly cold, force, electric, and so on). Energy damage always ignores DR, because DR only applies to physical damage. This is spelled out in the glossary, under "Damage Reduction."

And you can see that bombs are magical by looking at the "(Su)" after the ability name. That stands for "supernatural."

I completely missed the (SU) when looking at that. I feel like a fool right now... Thank you so much for pointing that out! Going to make my life much easier going forward. ;-)

That's awesome to know about energy damage not being considered physical damage. So the definition of physical damage pertains only to smacking someone whether with a weapon or fist, etc.? A normal bomb's damage is only considered fire damage and not physical? Just getting myself totally ready for any objections that might come up at Gen Con.

Grand Lodge

Yeah. A another good thing to point out to him is the Damage Reduction definition on page 299 of the Bestiary. Specifically the third sentence:

"The creature [with damage reduction] takes normal damage from energy attacks (even nonmagical ones), spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities."

This means that even if the bombs weren't (SU), they'd take full damage. That means the 1 point of fire damage from hitting someone with a torch bypasses DR.

Also another thing to point out is a recent FAQ update about DR:

FAQ wrote:

Damage Reduction: How does DR interact with magical effects that deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage?

Although the Bestiary definition of Damage Reduction (page 299) says "The creature takes normal damage from energy attacks (even nonmagical ones), spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities," that's actually just referring to damage that isn't specifically called out as being of a particular type, such as fire damage or piercing damage. In other words, DR doesn't protect against "typeless damage" from magical attacks.
However, if a magical attack specifically mentions that it deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, DR affects that damage normally, as if it were from a physical weapon. (Otherwise the magical attack might as well not have a damage type, as it would only interface with B/P/S damage in a very few corner cases, such as whether or not an ooze splits from that attack.)
For example, the ice storm spell deals 3d6 points of bludgeoning damage and 2d6 points of cold damage. If you cast ice storm at a group of zombies, the zombie's DR 5/slashing protects them against 5 points of the spell's bludgeoning damage. Their DR doesn't help them against the spell's cold damage because DR doesn't apply to energy attacks.

—Pathfinder Design Team, 03/06/13

Grand Lodge

Oh, I'm sorry I just noticed you were asking about how this pertains to incorporeal creatures, not necessarily DR.

Cheliax

Strife2002 wrote:
Oh, I'm sorry I just noticed you were asking about how this pertains to incorporeal creatures, not necessarily DR.

No, thank you for that! I hijacked the OP thread and wanted info on how bombs bypass anything. I am headed to Gen Con next week and will be playing both levels of Bonekeep and want any advantage I can get! Any other advise for an Alchemist playing Bonekeep?

Grand Lodge

Unfortunately I've not played Bonekeep yet. is your alchemist the standard variety or does he have an archetype?

Cheliax

Strife2002 wrote:
Unfortunately I've not played Bonekeep yet. is your alchemist the standard variety or does he have an archetype?

Just the standard garden variety Alchemist.


I am rolling up an Alchemist. It is my first, but I am toying with the idea of going Internal Alchemist. Any thoughts, as you seem to know a bit about them?

Grand Lodge

Well I've not had the opportunity to play one myself, unfortunately (always wanted to, though). There's probably dozens of threads on these boards you could look up for alchemist builds.

Here's a couple of threads:

Here

And here

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