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Do feats like Empower and Maximize have any effect on spells like Confusion?


Rules Questions


Specifically, if the target must do 1d8 damage to itself as a result of being confused, will Maximize and Empower cause this to become 12 points of damage?


you know... you might be onto something there :) however you still ahve to roll for empower I think. So roll a d8, divide by 2, add 8.


Not sure. Falls into the realm of "spell causes someone/something else to do damage", kind of like summon spells. I'm inclined to say it doesn't work that way.

Shadow Lodge

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No. The target is beating themselves on the head because your spell made them. Likewise empower dominate monster won't make the party fighter beat the party wizard one and a half times as hard.


Here's why I'm on the fence about this one.

The rules state that on a result of 51-75, the subject "Deals 1d8 points of damage + Str modifier to self with item in hand" which implies that the damage is coming from the subject, not the spell.

However, this is listed under a table called "Confusion effects," which implies that the damage (while dealt by the subject) is an effect of the Confusion spell. And the Maximize feat says that "All variable, numeric effects of a spell modified by this feat are maximized" (and similar wording for Empowered). A strict interpretation of this wording would lead one to understand that the 1d8+Str, being an effect, could be maximized and/or empowered.

Thoughts?


Not sure if this helps logically or not, but I read somewhere that summon monster and beast shape etc, all DC's generated by the summoned monster use the spells DC and all poison etc from beast shapes also use the spells DC since they are technically being generated by the spell. So that's why I would say you have a good case. I think in the same clarification is said that monster damage is not maximized. It still sounds to me that just raw the spell is dealing the damage, for example if he is holding a tea cup he still hits himself for the fixed damage of the spell, and the same goes for holding a greatsword, he still does a fixed damage. This "fixed" nature leads me to agree that its the spell doing the damage, which is different than dominate monster, where the spell is only controlling the creature and not generating the damage. Either way, its like 9-12 damage so who really cares haha but i get the desire for doing it correctly.


The key words on the confusion spell are "...to self with item in hand." The item is doing the damage, not the spell. Empower and maximize have no effect on the item in hand, and thus have no effect with the confusion spell.

They could have gone with a more complicated ruling on confusion and said deal damage to yourself with a weapon you are holding, and if holding no weapon do unarmed damage OR if holding an object deal damage as per improvised weapons with said object. But why make the spell complex like that when 1d8 + str with any item gives a decent and meaningful result - capturing the intent of self harm via confusion without needing a blog post to clarify numerous subtleties that a more complex ruling would create.


Ch3rnobyl wrote:

Here's why I'm on the fence about this one.

The rules state that on a result of 51-75, the subject "Deals 1d8 points of damage + Str modifier to self with item in hand" which implies that the damage is coming from the subject, not the spell.

However, this is listed under a table called "Confusion effects," which implies that the damage (while dealt by the subject) is an effect of the Confusion spell. And the Maximize feat says that "All variable, numeric effects of a spell modified by this feat are maximized" (and similar wording for Empowered). A strict interpretation of this wording would lead one to understand that the 1d8+Str, being an effect, could be maximized and/or empowered.

Thoughts?

If it helps, the "confusion effects" table is not solely for the confusion spell--it's for anything that causes the confused condition.


thelemonache wrote:
Not sure if this helps logically or not, but I read somewhere that summon monster and beast shape etc, all DC's generated by the summoned monster use the spells DC and all poison etc from beast shapes also use the spells DC since they are technically being generated by the spell.

Source for the summon monster part?


I think it would alter the percentile roll, at least. A result of 30 would turn into 45 with Empower Spell, for example.


As I read over the above, it sounds like the consensus is that Maximize/Empower alter the *effects* of the spell, and the self-inflicted damage is one of the spell's variable, numeric effects, so it should get modified by the feats.

It'd be great if someone from Paizo would weigh in here with an "official" ruling. Until then, I'm going to go with the above.

Thanks all! :)


Two for no, one unxecided, one yes, one for it altering the result table. I see no consensus. Just saying.

For the record, I am in the no camp. So make that 3, 1, 1, 1.


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Confusion doesn't cause the damage. Confusion causes the target to become confused - that is the spells effect. That confused state may cause other effects (like the attack) but that isn't actually a result of the spell. Maximize/empower spell has no effect.

Likewise, a summon monster spells effect is to summon a creature. That is it. Anything the creature does wouldn't be an effect of the spell. THe only thing the spell does is bring the monster there. The only thing maximize/empower spell would do is change the number of creatures summoned.


no

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