Limitations on using acid splash as a utility spell


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:


Also, I heard that sneak attack now applies to constructs and undead...is it possible we could apply it to objects now too? That would go a long way towards helping the party trickster melt through locks, manacles, and the like.

Constructs have a vital force like living things which is what you're damaging when you do hit point damage. sneak attack damage is all about wreaking havoc with vital systems. Objects don't have "vitals" or anatomy of any type to damage so sneak attack never applies to them.

Basically it's call it as you see it on any occason. an arcane trickster who's not barred from casting should eventually be able to make short work of ordinary manacles, locks etc. Magical versions of the same would be a whole different ballpark as I'm sure that in a world with such common magic there's at least a grade of restraints designed to take such shennanigans into account.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Hydro wrote:
To answer your question, damaging a lock that the thief could have picked is usually a dumb idea, and also disrupts the fun of the person playing the thief.

But the arcane trickster in question IS the party thief. :P

Also, acid might be a good alternative to a lockpick set if one (A) doesn't have the proper tools, or (B) isn't skillful enough to pick the lock.

Assuming the GM rules in favor of acid being especially potent against objects (not getting halved, and ignoring most objects' hardness) then it is only a matter of time before the lock becomes a non-issue.

Whether he uses tools or acid, both methods are a lot less noisy (and a good deal slower) than simply smashing the lock.


SirGeshko wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Wouldn't higher durability mean the monster should be harder to hurt?

Durable = Ability to take punishment. HP totals are an abstract reflection of how tough something is; how many times it can dodge a sword before one strikes something vital, how long it can survive immersed in acid or molten metal, how many Scorching Rays can hit it before its skin is burned off.

Besides, if you're using Acid splash on the Tarrasque, (or any monster with more than 5 HD, really) you're going to be dead very soon.

I was just messing with you on that issue because of your reply to my other avatar. I think I used the wrong emoticon also.


Zurai wrote:


Oh, come on. Splashing Coke on a random passerby doesn't deal any damage to them whatsoever, but casting acid splash on a random level 1 Commoner does. Acid splash is demonstrably much stronger than Coke.

Stronger, yes, but not much. It will hurt those weak, non-object hardness-less nancy-boys, sure, but not much else.

It's like trying to melt the lock with a match. Sure, it's fire, and it can cause severe burns to commoners, but that doesn't mean it's unstoppable.


Matches don't do 1d3 damage. Actually, they do 0 damage. Look up Tindertwigs. Even torches only do 1 point of fire damage.

Acid splash is a strong, universal acid. It burns right through iron, clay, wood, and flesh golems equally.


Ravingdork wrote:
Hydro wrote:
To answer your question, damaging a lock that the thief could have picked is usually a dumb idea, and also disrupts the fun of the person playing the thief.

But the arcane trickster in question IS the party thief. :P

Also, acid might be a good alternative to a lockpick set if one (A) doesn't have the proper tools, or (B) isn't skillful enough to pick the lock.

Assuming the GM rules in favor of acid being especially potent against objects (not getting halved, and ignoring most objects' hardness) then it is only a matter of time before the lock becomes a non-issue.

Whether he uses tools or acid, both methods are a lot less noisy (and a good deal slower) than simply smashing the lock.

I think the point is if all the players set down and decide to have their own seperate baliwicks and build accordingly, then one of the players goes outside of his build and tries to do everyone else job (competing instead of helping) then it's no fun for everyone else to waatch the stingy player run everything. It's downright selfish not to at least share the spotlight occasionally. If someone wanted to be an arcane trickster, but continually tried to do the clerics job, it would soon wear on the cleric as they wouldn't be able to play out there class. Two clerics are a different story. It's not a leopard trying to be a hippo.

Hydro - After one session, a set of players who have accepted all walks of life, basically stated a us or him mutany. I was flabbergasted, but I had to tell him I didn't think it would work out. I really liked the team. I couldn't argue, he was sownright sidrespectful at times... *shrugs*


Zurai wrote:


Acid splash is a strong, universal acid. It burns right through iron, clay, wood, and flesh golems equally.

Golems aren't objects. Thus, they have no hardness. Might be silly, but that's the rules. Golems are absolutely useless to use as examples for what you can do to an object.

But back to the burning torch: So they only do one point of fire damage? So what? That still kills a commoner in short order. It also can hurt all those golems.

But it is still not able to melt that lock.


As far as the debate about whispering the incantations of a spell, there's no way I'd ever allow it. These are ancient words of -power-. You have to speak them perfectly and in a strong clear tone or the magic won't work... not in my games at least.


I would not allow the cantrip to eat away at anything not specifically weak to acid. though normal hardness applies so it is fine to burn rope with some work.. being creative is fine, but an at will cantrip should not be able to have that much impact.. nor is it supremely creative imo.

Maybe I'd give him a + 1 or + 2 bonus to open an old rusty lock more easily.

Most golems are immune to effects allowing spellresistance, not sure acid splash allows that though. I always convert golems DR to hardness
(and being an evil GM I also do not allow sneak attacks on them).


Acid splash actually has no SR (which made it the template for the OP orb line of spells).


yea, I did like the flavour of the orb spells, cancelling spell resistance was a bit idiotic though, conjurer got to be a pretty good battlemage suddenly, trumping the evoker against highly spell resistant creatures and golems. I still use the orb spells just I do not allow them to penetrate spellresistance.


That's a good idea. As it was, allowing orbs pretty much emasculates evokers utterly.

And even WITH SR, I still think it intrudes too much into evoker territory.


Looking over the orb spells, I think the lesser orb spells are fair, but the regular orb spells should use the same mechanic, with a higher limit. That is, 1d8 per two levels.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Remco Sommeling wrote:

...being creative is fine, but an at will cantrip should not be able to have that much impact.

Create water can drown people as easily as it can create a permanent oasis in a desert. Prestidigitation can do almost anything. Detect Magic has plenty of useful applications (such as helping to avoid magical traps, find treasure, or track invisible spellcasters). I could name dozens and dozens of uses of at will cantrips/orisons that have far more impact than acid splash by default (and that's even AFTER one agrees that acid splash should be allowed to ignore hardness).


well yea, thing is.. I don't like create water as a cantrip either ;)
I would make it a lvl 1 spell, though I am tempted to add an offensive capability to it, like a marid's.

detect magic is a bit different, it is a trademark tool for a magic user more than a cantrip. I can toss prestidigitation in the same group and even then it is really quite limited in it's versatility.

I don't see a reason to make acid splash more than it is, there are already some ways to use it, but cantrips should not allowed too much leeway since they are already quite powerful in their at will use.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Ravingdork wrote:
Create water can drown people as easily as it can create a permanent oasis in a desert.

Note: either of these will take ages.


Ravingdork wrote:
Create water can drown people as easily as it can create a permanent oasis in a desert.

I hope you realize that create water cannot create a permanent oasis? Read the spell. The water disappears after 24 hours if not consumed.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Zurai wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Create water can drown people as easily as it can create a permanent oasis in a desert.
I hope you realize that create water cannot create a permanent oasis? Read the spell. The water disappears after 24 hours if not consumed.

I had read the rules on Conjuration (creation) spells, which say that the created substance never goes away provided the spell's duration is instantaneous (such as create water).

I missed the text in the spell description itself.

It can still drown people though.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Remco Sommeling wrote:

...being creative is fine, but an at will cantrip should not be able to have that much impact.

Create water can drown people

Only if you leave them bound and helpless inside a container which you're slowly filling with water. You CANNOT create water inside someone's lungs.

Liberty's Edge

The way I see it, Acid Splash is a tool. It's similar to having a vial of acid on your person (depending on the kind of acid). But it's just a tool.

Using Acid Splash on a door lock works just like using anything else on the door lock. If you are trying to lock or unlock the door, you could use Acid Splash in place of thieves tools, to avoid the -2 no tools penalty. But it doesn't let you avoid the skill check - you still need to know how door locks operate in order to know what to damage, otherwise you might break the wrong part and produce the opposite effect.

Acid Splash could also be used to attack the door, just like a pickaxe or vial of acid.

Acid Splash could be used on rope like a thrown dagger.

etc.

It's a zeroth level spell with close range that only does 1d3 damage. It's a handy little tool to have in a thieves arsenal, but it's no Knock spell.


Agreed, though I'd be more charitable and permit it to function as masterwork thieve's tools, and function at +2. ;)

But, seriously, a limited acid on a lock could just as easily melt the components together, making picking the lock impossible. Or melt your tools. Or splash on your hands and melt you.

Great trick for a rogue with minor magic talent or an arcane trickster, not so great trick for anyone else, I think.


yea, that said it might be ok to give a bonus but not take 20.. and might actually be that failure makes it harder or even impossible to pick


You know, it occurs to me that if I were a lock manufacturer in a world where ne'erdowells might be running around with infinite acid, I might make my lock with that in mind.

For example:
Lock has several components that react to acid, fusing into a solid block.
Lock has several bladders that, when exposed to acid, spray even more acid into the would-be thief's face.

Or put the mechanism up and out of line of sight from the keyhole. Good luck getting the acid to splash right.

Mind you, this would only be the better locks.

Silver Crusade

Assuming we're dealing with HCL acid, it takes a decent amount of time for this acid to work away metal. Acid Splash doesn't create prolonged exposure like a vial of acid would (duration=instantaneous, acid vanishes after 1 round), but I am confused about the language.

If the duration is instant, then is there a need for the acid to vanish after 1 round? Instantaneous = "the spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast."

Anyhoo, I'd rule hardness solves the dilemma of which substances can be broken down by this magical acid in such a short time.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
You CANNOT create water inside someone's lungs.

I never said you could make it appear in someone's lungs. I've read the rules on Conjuration (years ago) and know better.

I was thinking more like dropping a prisoner in a pit and slowly filling it with water until he drowns or starts to answer questions.


Ravingdork wrote:
LazarX wrote:
You CANNOT create water inside someone's lungs.

I never said you could make it appear in someone's lungs. I've read the rules on Conjuration (years ago) and know better.

I was thinking more like dropping a prisoner in a pit and slowly filling it with water until he drowns or starts to answer questions.

Ever had to fill a fish tank a few cups of water at a time? That would take a long while casting the spell round after round... and I think your hands/voice would get tired of spellcasting after awhile (even if there's nothing in the rules about it).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dork Lord wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
LazarX wrote:
You CANNOT create water inside someone's lungs.

I never said you could make it appear in someone's lungs. I've read the rules on Conjuration (years ago) and know better.

I was thinking more like dropping a prisoner in a pit and slowly filling it with water until he drowns or starts to answer questions.

Ever had to fill a fish tank a few cups of water at a time? That would take a long while casting the spell round after round... and I think your hands/voice would get tired of spellcasting after awhile (even if there's nothing in the rules about it).

Maybe, but being of a higher caster level and/or having multiple people with access to the spell goes a long ways towards making things go faster.


yea.. though it is just plain silly, just because you can feasibly do it, doesnt mean any sane character would do it.

in all seriousness who would actually spend an hour casting a spell to do something like that..

Liberty's Edge

Some players don't think like that. For them, there's a fundamental disconnect between character time and player time.

Boss offers to pay 5,000 gold each if the party goes and kills something a day away, or 6,000 gold each that's a week away, party opts for option b, because the players don't see the time difference.

Tell a player like this that it'll take him 4 hours to fill up the pit by casting every round, he says "Ok, so four hours later I'm done - does he talk?"

"No reasonable person" would do that, yes. But it's not a reasonable person doing it. It's a reasonable person issuing an order to a mindless automaton. It's not the same thing for some players.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Remco Sommeling wrote:

yea.. though it is just plain silly, just because you can feasibly do it, doesnt mean any sane character would do it.

in all seriousness who would actually spend an hour casting a spell to do something like that..

Well, I did. Our party trapped a 7-headed hydra in a pit. I wanted to turn it into a zombie (for the extra HD) so we couldn't do something as simple as burn it alive. None of the weapons we had on hand were capable of out-pacing its fast healing.

So we drowned it. Slowly.

Now we have a fully intact 7-headed hydra zombie to pull our wagon.

EDIT: Being 5th-level at the time, it would have taken my character 4.2 hours to fill up a 15 x 15 x 15 foot pit. Note that I don't have to do it all at once (the hydra isn't going anywhere) and that I could have had both magical and mundane help (everything from other casters, to nearby villagers making a chain gang of pale passers from the nearby river).


I do have to wonder... a 15' deep pit? Doesn't a Hydra have a 10' reach? I would imagine a Hydra is as tall as it is wide, so by my thinking it would be able to make attacks against anyone standing on the edge of the pit casting spells.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dork Lord wrote:
I do have to wonder... a 15' deep pit? Doesn't a Hydra have a 10' reach? I would imagine a Hydra is as tall as it is wide, so by my thinking it would be able to make attacks against anyone standing on the edge of the pit casting spells.

Technically, we never specified the precise dimensions the pit was in the game, I merely picked the smallest size that sounded reasonable to cite as an example.


I must say, Ravingdork, from reading your other posts, that you are good at thinking outside the box with spells. (I'm especially thinking of your MMM thread, which could be the seed for a cool adventure.)

About cantrips, though, I would err on the side of conservative regarding what they can be used for, just for the sake of game balance.


Assuming you do not mind chanting and waving your hands for all that time, personally I think it would be insane to actually count this in combat rounds, it would be the same as a fighter attacking a wall with a sizable hammer for hours at a time. most likely he would be done in less than 10 minutes. we might as well calculate how long it will take for that barbarian with a greataxe will take to clear a small forest to make room for a small city

I am surprised it even makes this much water though, it seems completely unnecesary to create as much as it does for a cantrip you can do at will.

The real issue is rather that I do like the fact casters always have a magic trick up their sleeve for a combat, I feel like the at will cantrips seem to be prone to some abuse outside combat.

*looks at topic*

right ermm.. nice spell, negating spell resistance a bit much, utility limited since it is actually instantaneous, like magical fire cant set anyone to fire without any duration. As such I wouldnt allow it to ignore hardness, though I might negate some hardness for acid spells with longer duration.
I think it would be a nice use for acid arrow ;)

as such it is a handy 'troll killer' low hardness items, testing of object or creature resistance vs acid before wasting your higher level spells.. , triggering some simple traps / cutting lines and ropes.
other uses I can think off are easier done with prestidigitation..


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
He can't burn through rope. All elemental damage is cut in half before hardness is taken into account. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but that means acid splash always deals 1 point of acid damage against objects that doesn't even make it past hardness.
Quote:
Rope, Hemp: This rope has 2 hit points and can be burst with a DC 23 Strength check.

I would allow it even if it did have hardness.

If the player has the time to make acid for several rounds then sure he could cut a rope. The end result is no better than taking out a knife and cutting the rope. D3 knife or d3 acid eventually either would get the rope cut. Unless you don't believe a small knife can cut ropes.

If a player had a steel door and wanted to use acid on it that is fine too. That is standard thief toolkit stuff. If he was a rouge who could figure out to use acid to open up the lock mechanism I would reward him with a huge bonus on his lock pick check.

If he wants to open a hole through the door large enough to crawl through ... now that would take hours. Any wandering monster checks in your area?


M P 433 wrote:
If the duration is instant, then is there a need for the acid to vanish after 1 round? Instantaneous = "the spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast."

"The spell energy" is not the same thing as "the effects of the spell". Spell energy means the actual magical energy that powers the spell -- the fact that the energy dissipates instantly after casting means that Instantaneous spells cannot be dispeled once cast. It has nothing to do with the result of the spell; after all, wall of stone is Instantaneous.

Liberty's Edge

dulsin wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
He can't burn through rope. All elemental damage is cut in half before hardness is taken into account. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but that means acid splash always deals 1 point of acid damage against objects that doesn't even make it past hardness.
Quote:
Rope, Hemp: This rope has 2 hit points and can be burst with a DC 23 Strength check.

I would allow it even if it did have hardness.

If the player has the time to make acid for several rounds then sure he could cut a rope. The end result is no better than taking out a knife and cutting the rope. D3 knife or d3 acid eventually either would get the rope cut. Unless you don't believe a small knife can cut ropes.

If a player had a steel door and wanted to use acid on it that is fine too. That is standard thief toolkit stuff. If he was a rouge who could figure out to use acid to open up the lock mechanism I would reward him with a huge bonus on his lock pick check.

If he wants to open a hole through the door large enough to crawl through ... now that would take hours. Any wandering monster checks in your area?

All of this is excellent, with one caveat - using acid splash does NOT let the player bypass needing to make a roll. He still has to make a Disable Device check on the lock, or attack roll on the rope, and the rope's touch AC is as good as its regular AC.

The spell is a tool, not a "I don't need skills for this, I have MAGIC!".


BobChuck wrote:
He still has to make a Disable Device check on the lock, or attack roll on the rope, and the rope's touch AC is as good as its regular AC.

Unattended objects do not have AC, normally. You don't have to roll to hit them.


I thought it was treated as a creature with no dex score, anyway it would not be hard to hit but I'd still let someone make a roll in combat, adjusted for size and range ?


No, it appears you're mostly right. I'm either thinking of 3.5 or a long-held house rule. Unattended, inanimate objects are AC 3 + size modifier, and can be automatically hit with melee attacks by taking a full round action to do it (taking a full round action only adds +5 to a ranged attack; it doesn't make it an auto-hit).


Remco has it right, mostly.

Quote:


An object's Armor Class is equal to 10 + its size modifier (see Table: Size and Armor Class of Objects) + its Dexterity modifier. An inanimate object has not only a Dexterity of 0 (–5 penalty to AC), but also an additional –2 penalty to its AC. Furthermore, if you take a full-round action to line up a shot, you get an automatic hit with a melee weapon and a +5 bonus on attack rolls with a ranged weapon.

edit:ninja'd, and usually all the above means exactly what Zurai said. AC=3+size mod.

Liberty's Edge

nidho wrote:

Remco has it right, mostly.

Quote:


An object's Armor Class is equal to 10 + its size modifier (see Table: Size and Armor Class of Objects) + its Dexterity modifier. An inanimate object has not only a Dexterity of 0 (–5 penalty to AC), but also an additional –2 penalty to its AC. Furthermore, if you take a full-round action to line up a shot, you get an automatic hit with a melee weapon and a +5 bonus on attack rolls with a ranged weapon.
edit:ninja'd, and usually all the above means exactly what Zurai said. AC=3+size mod.

I think a rope would be at least "diminutive" if not "fine".

an entire coil of rope, piled up in one place, would be much larger, but the specific target area of a taut rope is going to be tiny. Of course, it also has less than 5 hit points, instead of the 20-50ish I'd expect from an entire coil, so its a fair tradeoff.

Liberty's Edge

On this topic, The spell states it is shooting a small ball of acid that lasts only a few seconds. Acid does not work fast enough to make this in any way efficient for bypassing all obstacles. It won't melt its way through wood or stone. It would have a very slow dissolving effect on metal not to mention its a ball of acid, not a small stream coming out of a nozzle that can go into the keyhole. You would be better off bashing a door or chest than using this spell. If you have ever worked with acid, you know how slowly it works. I can see a clever use for it with a wizard/rogues in sneaking in and sabotaging the inner linking of a major enemies armor before a major confrontation or something like that. Its a handy spells, but the amount of abuse it would get would only be as much as the GM ALLOWS to happen. The GM always has the final word. If they use it to dissolve too much, have them make a fort save from the noxious fumes from that chemical reaction.

I apply common sense to the games I GM, so using this spell as a major utility wouldn't get you far. I have been fortunate to not have plays argue strange ways to interpret wordings to do things that were unintended by design.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Acid splash does not make a huge quantity of acid. Using it on a lock has one problem... instead of the precise manipulation of tools it's a blunt force sledgehammer approach.... a very good way of setting off any traps triggered by said lock. It's also a good way of making the door absolutely impassible short of brute force destruction.

So it's a trick that can see some use but blindly relying on it is a recipe for disaster.


LazarX wrote:

Acid splash does not make a huge quantity of acid. Using it on a lock has one problem... instead of the precise manipulation of tools it's a blunt force sledgehammer approach.... a very good way of setting off any traps triggered by said lock. It's also a good way of making the door absolutely impassible short of brute force destruction.

So it's a trick that can see some use but blindly relying on it is a recipe for disaster.

not entirely unimportant, it shows sure signs of passing, if a lock is picked you can unlock and relock it and nobody knew you were there till it is too late maybe. a burned out lock can alert some passersby or a patrol, or make the way clear for the competition


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Remco Sommeling wrote:
not entirely unimportant, it shows sure signs of passing, if a lock is picked you can unlock and relock it and nobody knew you were there till it is too late maybe. a burned out lock can alert some passersby or a patrol, or make the way clear for the competition

Very true... But emptying a safe is a sure sign of passing too. It depends on what the goal is. If you want the door down it would be faster to use the dwarf as a battering ram. The acid splash to open the lock is slower and quieter.

I was thinking of the rogue as a thief who is having trouble with one of those DC 30+ safe locks.

Liberty's Edge

dulsin wrote:
Remco Sommeling wrote:
not entirely unimportant, it shows sure signs of passing, if a lock is picked you can unlock and relock it and nobody knew you were there till it is too late maybe. a burned out lock can alert some passersby or a patrol, or make the way clear for the competition

Very true... But emptying a safe is a sure sign of passing too. It depends on what the goal is. If you want the door down it would be faster to use the dwarf as a battering ram. The acid splash to open the lock is slower and quieter.

I was thinking of the rogue as a thief who is having trouble with one of those DC 30+ safe locks.

1d3 acid damage to a heavy metal lock results in the lock taking zero (0) hit points of damage, for all the reasons listed in the above thread. Using acid splash to try and break the lock in this way is just as effective as using a vial of acid - both do absolutely nothing to the lock.


BobChuck wrote:
Using acid splash to try and break the lock in this way is just as effective as using a vial of acid - both do absolutely nothing to the lock.

Say what? I can see why people say acid splash won't work, but vials of acid are an entirely different story. Acid from a non-magical source don't vanish within 6 seconds.


that would entirely depend on the acid, most acids won't come near eating through metal anywhere near fast.

I do agree acid splalsh wouldnt eat through a metal lock usually, though another similar spell could, I was just assuming some people do allow it to work.

acid arrow could possibly work depending on quality of the lock, even if I allow 3d6 damage and 5 damage per round after, it isnt a sure bet and might ruin the lock if failed. get the proper spell like knock if you want to open doors with magic.

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