Volatile Conduit and Call Lightning


Rules Questions


GM and I were discussing how the trait Volatile Conduit from Ultimate Campaign (pg58) interacts with Call Lightning (CRB pg251).

As written...

Volatile Conduit:
Once per day as a free action, when you cast a spell that deals acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage, you can enhance that spell with volatile energy. When you do, it deals 1d4 points of extra damage of the same energy type.

Call Lightning:
Immediately upon completion of the spell, and once per round thereafter, you may call down a 5-foot-wide, 30-foot-long, vertical bolt of lightning that deals 3d6 points of electricity damage. The bolt of lightning flashes down in a vertical stroke at whatever target point you choose within the spell’s range (measured from your position at the time). Any creature in the target square or in the path of the bolt is affected.

We see four possibilities.

One. No interaction. The initial cast of Call Lightning does no damage, therefore they don't interact.

Two. The initial cast deals a bonus d4 damage, no additional bolts deal damage.

Three. On cast, you roll d4. All bolts gain damage equal to the result of that roll.

Four. You add d4 damage per bolt.

It is an evocation spell, and not a conjuration spell, so Call Lightning itself is dealing the damage, even if it isn't immediate. My assumption is that either 3 or 4 is correct, as it applies to the full spell.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd rule it as number four.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
I'd rule it as number four.

I second this.

The Exchange

This FAQ states that extra damage is added once per spell, not once per attack.

Shadow Lodge

Call Lightning does not use attack roles so that FAQ does not apply.


Faiike wrote:

GM and I were discussing how the trait Volatile Conduit from Ultimate Campaign (pg58) interacts with Call Lightning (CRB pg251).

As written...

Volatile Conduit:
Once per day as a free action, when you cast a spell that deals acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage, you can enhance that spell with volatile energy. When you do, it deals 1d4 points of extra damage of the same energy type.

Call Lightning:
Immediately upon completion of the spell, and once per round thereafter, you may call down a 5-foot-wide, 30-foot-long, vertical bolt of lightning that deals 3d6 points of electricity damage. The bolt of lightning flashes down in a vertical stroke at whatever target point you choose within the spell’s range (measured from your position at the time). Any creature in the target square or in the path of the bolt is affected.

We see four possibilities.

One. No interaction. The initial cast of Call Lightning does no damage, therefore they don't interact.

Two. The initial cast deals a bonus d4 damage, no additional bolts deal damage.

Three. On cast, you roll d4. All bolts gain damage equal to the result of that roll.

Four. You add d4 damage per bolt.

It is an evocation spell, and not a conjuration spell, so Call Lightning itself is dealing the damage, even if it isn't immediate. My assumption is that either 3 or 4 is correct, as it applies to the full spell.

FAQ

Arcane Trickster: How does the Surprise Spells class feature work with spells like magic missile and fireball? wrote:
The Surprise Spells class feature allows the Arcane Trickster to add his sneak attack dice to spells that deal damage that target flat-footed foes. This damage is only applied once per spell. In the case of fireball this means it affects all targets in the area, with each getting a save to halve the damage (including the sneak attack damage). In the case of magic missile, the extra damage is only added once to one missile, chosen by the caster when the spell is cast.

Three and Four are thrown out by the FAQ.

Since Call Lightning has the electricity descriptor, I think it clearly does damage, and is not treated like a summon where the summoned monster does the damage.

I think Two is correct.

I can also see an argument for One being correct, but I think RAI leans toward Two.

FAQ

Sneak Attack: Can I add sneak attack damage to simultaneous attacks from a spell? wrote:

No. For example, scorching ray fires simultaneous rays at one or more targets, and the extra damage is only added once to one ray, chosen by the caster when the spell is cast.

Spell-based attacks which are not simultaneous, such as multiple attacks per round by a 8th-level druid using flame blade, may apply sneak attack damage to each attack so long as each attack qualifies for sneak attack (the target is denied its Dex bonus or the caster is flanking the target).

This FAQ might apply, but unlike sneak attack, you only get the bonus damage once per day, so it can only be added once.

/cevah

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / Rules Questions / Volatile Conduit and Call Lightning All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.