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Force Strike damage


Rules Questions


At our last society session there was a disagreement about the Arcanist exploit Force Strike more specifically does the damage scale 1d4 + 1 per Arcanist level as in 4d4 + 4 at level 4 or, 1d4 + 4 at level 4


Baal1986 wrote:
At our last society session there was a disagreement about the Arcanist exploit Force Strike more specifically does the damage scale 1d4 + 1 per Arcanist level as in 4d4 + 4 at level 4 or, 1d4 + 4 at level 4

Well based on cure light wounds, which has similiar wording, it would be 1d4+4.

If it did 1d4+1 per level (or 4d4+4), it would out damage the other options in addition to automatically hitting. The other options do 1d6 damage, but only scale every other level. And have a cap at 10 dice.

So I believe the intention is that the ability does 1d4 damage, plus 1point of damage per caster level. Or 1d4+4 at 4th level.


Force Strike wrote:
The arcanist can unleash a blast of force by expending 1 point from her arcane reservoir. This attack automatically strikes one target within 30 feet (as magic missile) and deals 1d4 points of force damage, plus 1 point of damage per arcanist level. Spells and effects that negate magic missile also negate this effect.

That comma is there for a reason. : D


blahpers wrote:
Force Strike wrote:
The arcanist can unleash a blast of force by expending 1 point from her arcane reservoir. This attack automatically strikes one target within 30 feet (as magic missile) and deals 1d4 points of force damage, plus 1 point of damage per arcanist level. Spells and effects that negate magic missile also negate this effect.
That comma is there for a reason. : D

That comma doesn't exist in the PRD:

Quote:
Force Strike (Su): The arcanist can unleash a blast of force by expending 1 point from her arcane reservoir. This attack automatically strikes one target within 30 feet (as magic missile) and deals a number of points of force damage equal to 1d4 + 1 per arcanist level. Spells and effects that negate magic missile also negate this effect.

It does appear in the d20PFSRD, but they aren't Paizo and have been known to add their own interpretation to things.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Jeraa wrote:
So I believe the intention is that the ability does 1d4 damage, plus 1point of damage per caster level. Or 1d4+4 at 4th level.

I believe you are correct.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Jeraa wrote:
So I believe the intention is that the ability does 1d4 damage, plus 1point of damage per caster level. Or 1d4+4 at 4th level.
I believe you are correct.

I may be wrong, however. It seems to have been deliberately changed between printings. The first printing (and the d20PFSRD) say "1d4 points of force damage, plus 1 point of damage per arcanist level". The second printing (and the official PRD) say "force damage equal to 1d4 + 1 per arcanist level".

While it originally was 1d4, +1 per level (And so 1d4+4 in our case), it appears to have actually been changed and is now 1d4+1 per level (or 4d4+4 in this case). That is what is written. Which would be overpowered. It would deal twice as much damage as the other options, with no attack roll necessary. All it gives up in exchange is a minor debilitating effect (like the ice missiles staggering).

So, it should be the original way (1d4, +1 per level). Whether or not it is, however, can be debated.


Lets look at other spells with similar format.

CRB p245 Augury wrote:
The base chance for receiving a meaningful reply is 70% + 1% per caster level, to a maximum of 90%;

If it were (70+1)/level then it would max out at level 2 rather than generally accepted 70+(1/level) maxing out at level 20.

Divination has the same format.

CRB p280 False Life wrote:
While this spell is in effect, you gain temporary hit points equal to 1d10 + 1 per caster level (maximum +10).

Based on the comment "maximum +10" I believe False Life is 1d10+(1/level).

The comment "maximum +10" would make less sense if it were (1d10+1)/level.

Here is a damage version of that format:

CRB p326 Produce Flame wrote:
You can strike an opponent with a melee touch attack, dealing fire damage equal to 1d6 + 1 point per caster level (maximum +5).

Quench and other spells have the same basic format as False Life and Produce Flame (dice +1/level with a maximum of some multiple of +1/level) format.

CRB p344 Slay Living wrote:
The target takes 12d6 points of damage + 1 point per caster level.

I think we can all agree that Slay Living means 12d6 +(1/level) and does not mean (12d6+1)/level.

In short, while the comma version before was clearer, there is plenty of evidence that shows that the damage for Force Strike is 1d4 +1/level and not (1d4+1)/level.


Gauss wrote:

Lets look at other spells with similar format.

CRB p245 Augury wrote:
The base chance for receiving a meaningful reply is 70% + 1% per caster level, to a maximum of 90%;

If it were (70+1)/level then it would max out at level 2 rather than generally accepted 70+(1/level) maxing out at level 20.

Divination has the same format.

CRB p280 False Life wrote:
While this spell is in effect, you gain temporary hit points equal to 1d10 + 1 per caster level (maximum +10).

Based on the comment "maximum +10" I believe False Life is 1d10+(1/level).

The comment "maximum +10" would make less sense if it were (1d10+1)/level.

Here is a damage version of that format:

CRB p326 Produce Flame wrote:
You can strike an opponent with a melee touch attack, dealing fire damage equal to 1d6 + 1 point per caster level (maximum +5).

Quench and other spells have the same basic format as False Life and Produce Flame (dice +1/level with a maximum of some multiple of +1/level) format.

CRB p344 Slay Living wrote:
The target takes 12d6 points of damage + 1 point per caster level.

I think we can all agree that Slay Living means 12d6 +(1/level) and does not mean (12d6+1)/level.

In short, while the comma version before was clearer, there is plenty of evidence that shows that the damage for Force Strike is 1d4 +1/level and not (1d4+1)/level.

All of those examples have wording, however, that indicates what is meant. Some say "maximum +X", and you can easily determine how that is done. Slay living uses words to separate the two damage sections, making them 2 separate things. 12d6 damage and 1 damage/level.

The newer wording for force strike doesn't have similar wording. It doesn't list a maximum or cap we can reference to determine how it works. It doesn't seperate the damage the same way slay living does. It just says "1d4 + 1 per level". And just like how fireball says 1d6 per level, the new wording would imply it is supposed to be 1d4+1 per level, not 1d4 and an additional 1/level.

Now, don't get me wrong. I still believe it is supposed to be 1d4 damage, +1 per level. But that isn't what the newer wording says. Either the ability was deliberately boosted, or whoever changed it didn't follow the normal wording conventions because it doesn't say what it used to.


Jeraa wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Jeraa wrote:
So I believe the intention is that the ability does 1d4 damage, plus 1point of damage per caster level. Or 1d4+4 at 4th level.
I believe you are correct.

I may be wrong, however. It seems to have been deliberately changed between printings. The first printing (and the d20PFSRD) say "1d4 points of force damage, plus 1 point of damage per arcanist level". The second printing (and the official PRD) say "force damage equal to 1d4 + 1 per arcanist level".

While it originally was 1d4, +1 per level (And so 1d4+4 in our case), it appears to have actually been changed and is now 1d4+1 per level (or 4d4+4 in this case). That is what is written. Which would be overpowered. It would deal twice as much damage as the other options, with no attack roll necessary. All it gives up in exchange is a minor debilitating effect (like the ice missiles staggering).

So, it should be the original way (1d4, +1 per level). Whether or not it is, however, can be debated.

Hang on, they changed the wording between versions to make it more difficult to interpret? Awesome. I have no idea how this ability works now. Nice work, Paizo. ; )

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