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Is the spell heatstroke stopped by fire resistence?


Rules Questions

Cheliax

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

we're talking RAW here.

A wavering red ray projects from your finger. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack with the ray to hit your target. The ray inflicts 1d4 points of nonlethal damage, causing the target to suffer from heatstroke as its body temperature dramatically increases. Except as noted above, this spell otherwise functions as ray of exhaustion. Characters wearing heavy clothing or armor of any sort take a –4 penalty on their saves.

thoughts?

Taldor

Fire resistance? Nope, that spell absorbs actual FIRE damage, not a slight increase in heat of the body which makes the character sluggish and disoriented (hence the nonlethal damage)
Endure elements however, would protect IMO.

Lantern Lodge

Why would it be stopped by fire resistance? I don't see any reason to apply fire resistance (which resists burning, not heat.)


It seems quite hilariously that a Fire Elemental that gets hits by this spell does indeed take nonlethal damage as per RAW. I cannot find anything that says that says Fire Resistance stops this nonlethal or the exhausted condition.

Cheliax

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

i just remember from 3.5 that fire resistance would help you against some environmental effects. the question was based in that, since it says it induces heatstroke, but i assume it's just 'heatstroke' in name, not actual environmental effect.

Cheliax

Just like fire resistance doesn't protect you from actual heatstroke and cold resistance doesn't protect you from the cold, fire resistance does nothing against that spell.


Once again, an astute observer has detected one of the most egregious (and easily overlooked) designs flaws in the Pathfinder system: There is no provision for the application of common sense.

DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Why would it be stopped by fire resistance? I don't see any reason to apply fire resistance (which resists burning, not heat.)

Really? Burning doesn't generate heat? And heat doesn't cause burning? It is obviously absurd that a Balor could be affected in any way by even slightly raising its body temperature. Yet, nothing in the RAW precludes this...so where is the flaw? Is the flaw in the idea of logic (i.e., is "2+2=4" an intrinsically flawed statement?), or is it possible that maybe the designers are human and simply overlooked something? (Or are the designers omniscient gods for whom the possibility of a mistake is negated by the very fact that they exist?)

P.S....the Balor mentioned above could very reasonably suffer from some sort of effect that does the very opposite (that is, causing exhaustion or fatigue by LOWERING its body temperature...that would at least be logically consonant...Balors aren't immune to exhaustion, but they are immune to fire, and therefore, all of the things that follow as a direct result of fire(including, obviously, heat).


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't see endure elements helping you either...it protects you from environmental effects, which are not changing. this spell is directly affecting your body temperature.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The OP asked about RAW, not common sense. The two frequently have nothing to do with each other.


Chris Kenney wrote:
The OP asked about RAW, not common sense. The two frequently have nothing to do with each other.

Thank for making and supporting my point...and for helping me to illustrate the problem. This isn't something that should be accepted, but a flaw we should be pointing out, and pressuring the designers to fix.

The designers, simply stated, are flat-out wrong, and rather than quibbling over "what they intended", we should be getting them to correct this very obvious flaw and deliver us a better product.

Taldor

Elbe-el wrote:
Chris Kenney wrote:
The OP asked about RAW, not common sense. The two frequently have nothing to do with each other.

Thank for making and supporting my point...and for helping me to illustrate the problem. This isn't something that should be accepted, but a flaw we should be pointing out, and pressuring the designers to fix.

The designers, simply stated, are flat-out wrong, and rather than quibbling over "what they intended", we should be getting them to correct this very obvious flaw and deliver us a better product.

And they will not. Pathfinder was purposefully left the way it is to be backwards compatible.

Plus, now that i think about it, all fire damage spells generate heat OUTSIDE of the character. This spell generates heat INSIDE the character. No amount of fire resistance can protect him from that.

Although it is quite silly that it could affect elementals. Creatures made of fire. I guess i would rule that it wouldn't affect elementals.


"Plus, now that i think about it, all fire damage spells generate heat OUTSIDE of the character. This spell generates heat INSIDE the character. No amount of fire resistance can protect him from that."

You can quote some source, from the RAW, that states that Fire Resistance ONLY applies to a character's skin? It's a ridiculous notion, and once again, falls completely outside of basic logic (or, more appropriately, is a desperate contrivance). By your line of reasoning, the aforementioned Balor (who is NOT "made of fire", but has Fire Immunity), could swim all day in a pit of lava, and then die inside of a few minutes by drinking a mouthful of it. By that same token, an elder wyrm red dragon(who is also "not made of fire") could be easily killed by waiting for it to open its mouth and then throwing a Fireball in at the right moment (because a Red Dragon's fire immunity applies to its scales...but not to the very place that its fire breath comes from...)

Stop trying to defend the devs because they're the devs and actually think for a little while. They aren't perfect, and if our ability to meaningfully play the game they've developed (not "created"...we create the game by playing it...they merely developed a convenient framework for we DM's and players to work within) hinges upon our willingness to accept that they are perfect, then we should find another game.

Truth is, it's just laziness. It's easier for them to make a silly ruling on the fly than it is to double- and triple-check their work. Given the scale, I can see their problem, but not excuse it. We pay our hard-earned money for these books. It is not unreasonable of us to expect them to make those books better, or to correct them when they are not.

Cheliax

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

Alright, I have to throw my two cents in here. I was asking about RAW, not because I don't care about common sense, but because I wanted to know about RAW. Whether to apply common sense, however you define that, is up to each individual group and GM. It says it raises body temp, it's MAGIC. Fire immunity doesn't mean that you're immune to body temperature changes, does fire immunity mean that you cant get a fever from sickness. If you get a high enough fever from sickness, you can die. Would fire resistance protect you from that? It doesn't do fire damage, it doesn't prevent exhaustion.

Bottom line, I agree that it should not stop it, as the mechanics don't jive. I mainly asked since in 3.5 the elemental resistances prevented some environmental effects, now it does not in pathfinder. Thanks for the responses.

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Elbe-el wrote:

...Really? Burning doesn't generate heat? And heat doesn't cause burning?...

Fire is a chemical reaction in which one substance becomes another (usually smoke and carbon) the heat is a byproduct of burning, not the act itself. Also microwaves heat things without fire, therefore you can see in your own house that heat is not the same as fire. Fire resistance is a resistance to that chemical reaction. The reaction of fire can be but is not always caused by heat. Heat and fire are neither exclusive nor inclusive of each other.

Furthermore, everything we know has heat, the only question is how much. I find it hard to believe that a balor could be tossed into the sun without any damage what-so-ever. Even he can't burn, the heat alone would be millions of degrees vs. his normal 100 or so. So, yes he could suffer from heatstroke, it just might take more heat for him then for us.

Taldor

Elbe-el wrote:

"Plus, now that i think about it, all fire damage spells generate heat OUTSIDE of the character. This spell generates heat INSIDE the character. No amount of fire resistance can protect him from that."

You can quote some source, from the RAW, that states that Fire Resistance ONLY applies to a character's skin? It's a ridiculous notion, and once again, falls completely outside of basic logic (or, more appropriately, is a desperate contrivance). By your line of reasoning, the aforementioned Balor (who is NOT "made of fire", but has Fire Immunity), could swim all day in a pit of lava, and then die inside of a few minutes by drinking a mouthful of it. By that same token, an elder wyrm red dragon(who is also "not made of fire") could be easily killed by waiting for it to open its mouth and then throwing a Fireball in at the right moment (because a Red Dragon's fire immunity applies to its scales...but not to the very place that its fire breath comes from...)

Stop trying to defend the devs because they're the devs and actually think for a little while. They aren't perfect, and if our ability to meaningfully play the game they've developed (not "created"...we create the game by playing it...they merely developed a convenient framework for we DM's and players to work within) hinges upon our willingness to accept that they are perfect, then we should find another game.

Truth is, it's just laziness. It's easier for them to make a silly ruling on the fly than it is to double- and triple-check their work. Given the scale, I can see their problem, but not excuse it. We pay our hard-earned money for these books. It is not unreasonable of us to expect them to make those books better, or to correct them when they are not.

It is also very arrogant and entitled of us to expect them to correct every little nitpicky problem, that will almost never arise honestly, and if it does happen, a quick splap of 'houserule it and get over it'tm will fix it for that given group with minimum of hassle.

I think that folks in Paizo left some of the so called common sense problems there on purpose, because they want us to think with our heads, and get some work done ourselves.
They are not perfect, but they are the damn best around at the moment, and they have earned my respect from the public playtest of the core rules to today.

Lantern Lodge

Elbe-el wrote:

"Plus, now that i think about it, all fire damage spells generate heat OUTSIDE of the character. This spell generates heat INSIDE the character. No amount of fire resistance can protect him from that."

You can quote some source, from the RAW, that states that Fire Resistance ONLY applies to a character's skin? ...

I think he is trying to say that the heat is generated by something other then one's body vs. heat generated by one's body.

Also the entire point of the rules is not to be locked in perfect, it is intended that there be wiggle room for the GM to deal with any situation that comes up.

It is easier and shorter to write rules for the common happenstance and include wiggle room for the unusual then to write rules for every concievable possibility.

Also,
The rules aren't rules, they are guidelines, nothing more.

And it's far easier to use logic if you actually understand logic and the functions of everything that applies to the discussion, AKA science.

Andoran

I have always been annoyed by how environmental cold and heat sections were written. I personally treat that nonlethal damage as cold and fire nonlethal damage...

Meaning fire resistance could help protect you.

That said it all comes down to your game master.

I am not a fan of certain things making no real sense... I mean if I am immune to fire I can swim in lava... but I get hurt for staying in the sauna too long... :/

Lantern Lodge

You wouldn't take direct damage from lava but it is a hot environment and thus you would take the same penalties as staying in a suana too long.

In fact lava would count as extreme heat and thus make a save every 5 minutes and wearing anything gives a -4 penalty.

Andoran

But in that case does a red dragon slowly take damage if he doesn't have endure elements and wants to live lava side? As even the fire subtype really just gives immunity to fire and vulnerability to cold. Since their normal climate is apparently warm mountains...

But I suppose I am blathering at this point.

Taldor

Well, dragons are magical creatures. Magic makes up for that...dunno, when you think about it, it really doesn't make sense. I'm gonna faq the OP...i suggest you do this too...maybe it will even get errataed...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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The rules presented are here to help you breathe life into your characters and the world they explore. While they are designed to make your game easy and exciting, you might find that some of them do not suit the style of play that your gaming group enjoys. Remember that these rules are yours. You can change them to fit your needs. Most Game Masters have a number of “house rules” that they use in their games. The Game Master and players should always discuss any rules changes to make sure that everyone understands how the game will be played. Although the Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules, the Pathfinder RPG is a shared experience, and all of the players should contribute their thoughts when the rules are in doubt.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Isn't there a clause for DR that states if the attack doesn't break the DR "rider" effects don't come into play? I want to say that its example was a poison weapon of some sort but it could come into play for something like this as well.

Lantern Lodge

I would say that the point of high heat, severe heat, and extreme heat would vary from race to race but gets noted just for PC races since that's all that's expected to be played.

After all there are single celled organisms that live in ice in the artic but if you bring them up to 60 degrees they die from the heat.

Lantern Lodge

Xavier319 wrote:

we're talking RAW here.

A wavering red ray projects from your finger. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack with the ray to hit your target. The ray inflicts 1d4 points of nonlethal damage, causing the target to suffer from heatstroke as its body temperature dramatically increases. Except as noted above, this spell otherwise functions as ray of exhaustion. Characters wearing heavy clothing or armor of any sort take a –4 penalty on their saves.

thoughts?

OK, here goes my puny attempt at RAW:

1. Energy Resistance "is defined by what energy type it resists and how many points of damage are resisted." CRB562 Note that there is no differentiation between lethal and non-lethal. Fire Resistance 10 should apply equally to a regular Fireball and a Merciful Fireball since both are defined as "Fire" spells.

2. Heatsroke - Note that Heatstroke is a "Fire" spell, so Fire Resistance applies. "The ray inflicts 1d4 points of nonlethal damage, causing the target to suffer from heatstroke as its body temperature dramatically increases." STLC28 Question, does the grammatical structure of the sentence link the heatstroke to the non-lethal damage? If yes, then if the 1d4 non-lethal is negated by Fire Reistance, then the heatstroke doesn't happen. If no, then the target takes no non-lethal, but still suffers the heatsroke.

Another possibly relevant note is found in the Heat Dangers rules (CRB444). After going through all the ways you take non-lethal and eventually lethal and die in hot environments, it then talks about fatigue from heatstroke:

"A character who takes any nonlethal damage from heat exposure now suffers from heatstroke and is fatigued."

If the Heatsroke spell really just gives you 1d4 non-lethal damage that triggers heat stroke per the Heat Dangers rule, then I'd say having Fire Resistance that negates the damage negates the heatstroke. This also allows characters (or dragons for that matter) with Fire Resistance to blithely travel the desert or live near lava (barring other issues, such as noxious gases). So long as they don't take non-lethal they are not fatigued from heat exposure.

However, if you want to nit-pick, there's the question of whether Fire Resistance applies to "heat" (or boiling or scalding) versus just "Fire". Personally, I believe it does, but I'll leave it to others to fight about the issue if they find the time and energy to do so.

Lantern Lodge

Fire damage is not equal to non-lethal damage, regardless of spell descriptors.


By my understanding of the rules, immunity and resistance would not help.

But there is rules and then there is common sense. We have used a house rule for ages that if you have resistance or immunity to fire/cold you are immune to heat/cold unless it's really extreme when it's ballparked depending on the amount of resistance. On this particular spell I would myself rule it as the nonlethal damage falling under the purview of resistance/immunity to fire and if it block the damage the spell does nothing.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Balance wise, it seems strange to me that a simple five five resistance stops a 3 level spell simply because of a descriptor. Either way, RAW, it doesn't stop it. And when people say "apply common sense to magic" I always have a chuckle. The spell seems to cause the non-lethal damage not from the actual heat, but from the stress and physical trauma of having your internal temperature raised several degrees. that's just my take. So it's not actually fire damage.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

The rules for heat exhaustion and such are a little bit borked. As it stands (RAW), a red dragon, efreet, or fire giant is pefectly fine inside a volcano, but if it steps into a colder environment like a hot desert it can get heat exhaustion and nonlethal damage - but if it steps inot a normal temperate environment it's fine.

Heck, do creatures that live on other planes that don't eat or breathe even have metabolisms? Why would they even need to maintain a body temperature?

So RAW the spell works just fine on creatures that can live in the sun. I consider this a bug, not a feature.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

WotC's 3.5 environmental books specifically stated that fire/cold immunity/resistance worked against the effects of a hot/cold temperature. That was their way of addressing the same unclarity with the way those sections were written in the PHB/DMG.

Lantern Lodge

Actually you are forgeting that inside the volcano would be hotter then the desert thus the heat penalties apply. Sure they won't take fire damage directly but they will still take the heat penalties.

People forget that lava applies both damage and hot environment penalties.

Grand Lodge

RAW, this has always confused me. Red dragons and fire giants aside, I just wonder how an elemental can take non-lethal damage at all. They are immune to pretty much everything else, but I suppose a monk can still get one in a strangle hold and squeeze it into unconsciousness, even though breathing isn't a factor either.

And RAW, in many of the environments you'd expect to find creatures like these, they'd likely have died long before the PCs ever got there.

This is a case where RAW is wrong-ish. Immunity counts as immunity to the typed damage of extreme environments, and as a result counts as immunity to any effects of a lesser environment. While not perfect, this means immunity to cold means immunity to any effects of a cold environment, and the same for immunity to fire and a hot environment.

However, anything less than immunity will not provide immunity to the lesser effects, though I allow anyone with an applicable energy resistance (cold or fire) to add their resistance as a circumstance bonus to their saves.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Actually you are forgeting that inside the volcano would be hotter then the desert thus the heat penalties apply. Sure they won't take fire damage directly but they will still take the heat penalties.

People forget that lava applies both damage and hot environment penalties.

I just checked the PRD and you're right, there is still nonlethal damage in addition to the fire damage. So now every fire elemental is slowly knocked unconscious just by existing on their home plane. Awesome.

To go back to the original post, one could interpret immunity to fire to provide immunity to spells of that subtype as well as damage.

PRD wrote:
Immunity (Ex or Su) A creature with immunities takes no damage from listed sources. Immunities can also apply to afflictions, conditions, spells (based on school, level, or save type), and other effects. A creature that is immune does not suffer from these effects, or any secondary effects that are triggered due to an immune effect.

(emphasis mine). Arguably "immunity to fire" could provide immunity to fire descriptor spells in the same way that "immunity to mind affecting" works.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Interestingly, the elemental plane of fire does not impose Heat environment effects on creatures that are there. There's a constant 3d10 fire damage effect, but the non-lethal damage from heat doesn't apply.

I'm trying to puzzle out exactly how this works from a "realism" perspective, and the best I can come up with is that the whole plane "burns" but isn't actually "hot". I don't think there's a real-world equivalent short of standing inside a particle accelerator, where the particles have a "temperature" up to millions of degrees, but aren't actually "hot" in terms of radiating heat, which is what the environmental effect is modelled on.

The upshot of this (it's magic!) is that fire elementals have nothing to fear on their home plane, but suffer the same as anyone else inside a volcano as far as non-lethal damage and heatstroke are concerned.

Grand Lodge

ryric wrote:

To go back to the original post, one could interpret immunity to fire to provide immunity to spells of that subtype as well as damage.

PRD wrote:
Immunity (Ex or Su) A creature with immunities takes no damage from listed sources. Immunities can also apply to afflictions, conditions, spells (based on school, level, or save type), and other effects. A creature that is immune does not suffer from these effects, or any secondary effects that are triggered due to an immune effect.
(emphasis mine). Arguably "immunity to fire" could provide immunity to fire descriptor spells in the same way that "immunity to mind affecting" works.

Technically, no. the items listed, including the section emphasized, indicate different items entirely, rather than a description or example of the initial statement. Afflictions (disease, specific or all), conditions (fatigued), spells (sleep, mind-affecting, etc.) and so on.

Lantern Lodge

The truth is creatures would have different thresholds for when they are too hot or too cold.

A red dragon might be fine living in a dessert where the air temp is 100+ degrees just fine but still will find lava to be extreme heat for it's race.

Same with a white dragon top of a mountain while cold for us might be balmy for it, but outer space will still cold even from it's perspective.

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