Is the spell Shatter the bane of the Alchemist?


Advanced Player's Guide Playtest: Final Playtest


The core rulebook page 341 wrote:

Shatter creates a loud, ringing noise that breaks brittle,

nonmagical objects; sunders a single solid, nonmagical object; or
damages a crystalline creature.
Used as an area attack, shatter destroys nonmagical objects of
crystal, glass, ceramic, or porcelain. All such objects within a 5-foot
radius of the point of origin are smashed into dozens of pieces by
the spell. Objects weighing more than 1 pound per your level are
not affected, but all other objects of the appropriate composition
are shattered.

Does this mean that a failed will save (a real weak save for the Alchemist!) makes all the bombs, extracts and mutagens break?

I would assume that prepared extracts are OK, since they are already holding a magical effect, but it seems to me that unprepared extracts and bombs are very much viable targets of the spell.

I have never actually come up against shatter in game so I am sorry if I am missing something obvious here...


RAW, even the prepared extracts arn't as the container holding them is still glass, clay, ect. Unless you specifically go out and say your vials/what not are all metal. Your pretty much boned.


This just isn't OK at all. The Alchemist relies so much on the functionality of his equipment, more so than any other class I can think off, actually...

Should he have to waste a Discovery to have his bottles shatter proof?

Silver Crusade

The Fool wrote:


Should he have to waste a Discovery to have his bottles shatter proof?

My take on it is that any Alchemist works some mojo on any containers he's going to be using as soon as he comes into possession of them. He marks them, prepares them, or whatever in accordance with whatever flavor is appropriate for the character(esoteric symbology on vials, tribal totemology on clay pots, etc) that immediately renders said containers magical.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

As with all characters who carry stuff that can shatter, an Alchemist gets a save to avoid his equipment breaking. Otherwise, shatter pretty much ruins everyone's potions. We should probably put something in the alchemist's description to verify that... but shatter isn't intended to be a spell you can use to destroy all of a creature's gear at once. You have to focus it to destroy gear carried by a creature, one object at a time.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

So what you're saying is,

Quote:
Used as an area attack, shatter destroys unattended nonmagical objects of crystal, glass, ceramic, or porcelain.


That is why my group has always used metal flask to protect potions. Not only to protect against the Shatter spell, but the more mundane methods of getting hit or falling.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

tejón wrote:

So what you're saying is,

Quote:
Used as an area attack, shatter destroys unattended nonmagical objects of crystal, glass, ceramic, or porcelain.

Correct. Otherwise, all potions die fast.


So extracts, potions and bombs that you carry on your person doesn't count as unattended?

If that is the case, it's a huge relief. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Fool wrote:

So extracts, potions and bombs that you carry on your person doesn't count as unattended?

If that is the case, it's a huge relief. :)

Nope; the definition of unattended is "the object is on its lonesome all alone, not being wielded or carried by something that has saving throws." More or less.

Otherwise we'd start delving too close to "check to see what potions and extracts broke because you fell into the pit!" or "check to see what broke during the octopus grapple!" And that's not good for the game at all.

Sovereign Court

shouldn't it read

Quote:
Used as an area attack, shatter destroys unattended nonmagical objects of crystal, glass, ceramic, or porcelain. Attended non-magical items get a save against this effect

Just making sure because by adding the word unattended then it seems to say that it has no effect if a person is holding a potion. (it's attended and thus not a valid target for the spell by just the first part)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

There are two uses of shatter which affect objects: area and targeted. It's only the area version that should have "unattended" added, forbidding it from affecting anything carried by a creature. For the targeted version, a saving throw is already specified in the header block; no need to repeat that.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is that going to end up as part of the official errata for the core rulebook? Seems like it ought to, since it covers more than just Alchemist extracts in significance.


James Jacobs wrote:
Otherwise we'd start delving too close to "check to see what potions and extracts broke because you fell into the pit!" or "check to see what broke during the octopus grapple!" And that's not good for the game at all.

Someone needs to tell my DM this. Because you're right, it's no good at all... but he's always done it anyway. I'm just waiting for the day he decides we start taking damage from the broken glass.


That sounds like 1.0 Dming to me!


Drawing a potion is a move equivalent action anyway, so might as well keep them in a Handy Haversack. Stuff in an extra-dimensional space is protected from outside influence, right?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Aratex wrote:
I'm just waiting for the day he decides we start taking damage from the broken glass.

I did that two weeks ago. Special circumstances, though... the wizard put a CLW vial in his mouth and leaped over a brown mold bloom which was pretty much guaranteed to knock him out, angling himself to land on his face so the potion would break in his mouth. Too damn awesome to disallow, so I dealt him 1d6 face-plummet + 1d4 glass. He came out with 2 points of lethal damage unhealed by the potion, but conscious and out of range of the mold, allowing him to save the character being dragged away (and used as cover) by the one surviving enemy.

Sovereign Court

tejón wrote:
There are two uses of shatter which affect objects: area and targeted. It's only the area version that should have "unattended" added, forbidding it from affecting anything carried by a creature. For the targeted version, a saving throw is already specified in the header block; no need to repeat that.

I'm saying we don't want the shatter effect to only effect unnattended glass objects, that makes that portion meaningless fluff. attended objects get a save. if it's single target it can affect any material, but the area of affect is supposed to be a potion killer. That's why there's a save for attended objects. Unattended objects should be just destroyed no question, attended objects get a save. I don't think that should be changed so that you can't area affect glass.

The Exchange

PathfinderSRD.com wrote:

Saving Throw Will negates (object); Will negates (object) or Fortitude half; see text; Spell Resistance yes

Shatter creates a loud, ringing noise that breaks brittle, non-magical objects; sunders a single solid, non-magical object; or damages a crystalline creature.

Used as an area attack, shatter destroys non-magical objects of crystal, glass, ceramic, or porcelain. All such objects within a 5-foot radius of the point of origin are smashed into dozens of pieces by the spell. Objects weighing more than 1 pound per your level are not affected, but all other objects of the appropriate composition are shattered.

Alternatively, you can target shatter against a single solid non-magical object, regardless of composition, weighing up to 10 pounds per caster level. Targeted against a crystalline creature (of any weight), shatter deals 1d6 points of sonic damage per caster level (maximum 10d6), with a Fortitude save for half damage.

An area shatter spell would shatter his potions, but each individual potion would get a saving throw (using his modifier) to resist the effect. Now, to get really specific, the containers themselves are not magical, only the liquids inside are. Sorry, Alchemist.

Now, in the spirit of fun, I don't think that this should ever be done by a DM because that's the same as melting the Fighter's +5 greatsword or burning the Wizard's spellbook- it's just not cool, and only detracts from the fun of the game.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Hunterofthedusk wrote:


Now, in the spirit of fun, I don't think that this should ever be done by a DM because that's the same as melting the Fighter's +5 greatsword or burning the Wizard's spellbook- it's just not cool, and only detracts from the fun of the game.

Sorry, but that's conflation. You are conflating losing a 100,000gp greatsword, or taking away the wizards ability to memorize spells with losing your magic potions and bombs for a day.

A better example would be sticking the wizard and fighter into an anti-magic field. Or hitting the wizard with touch of idiocy and knocking his INT down to 10. It's a temporary effect that costs no monetary resources to recover.

The Exchange

You're going to argue my example? Give me a freaking break, it wasn't a direct comparison, it was an example of other equally ass-hole things to do to the party to make them not want to come over and play anymore.

Do you disagree that it's a stupid thing to do to your players? Oh, and did you forget how many potions (actual potions, meaning monetary resources) that those darned adventurers tend to carry around? My point is that all of those things fall under the heading-

Hunterofthedusk wrote:
it's just not cool, and only detracts from the fun of the game.


My group rotates who dm's between Adventure Paths. A few of the players think that shatter should still break all the potions on a character or destroy an alchemist and if you have a problem with it, don't play an alchemist. One even goes so far to say that if an alchemist falls into a pit, he is making the alchemist make reflex saves or start breaking catalysts, extracts, and mutagens.

Myself on the other hand, am cool with making shatter a nearly useless spell by not letting it effect characters gear unless you target 1 item / casting. Hey, i don't want some monster (which all of them in RotRL has shatter up to the point we are in) casting it to break our potions. The DM just hasn't used the spell because he feels its a D**K move.

BTW if you use shatter on an alchemist as is, they won't get their gear back till they buy all new equipment in town. And spend the while making new catalysts. So it will definitely stop his progression through a dungeon.

Sovereign Court

I've never used area effect shatter not because it's a dick move, but because I'm usually using targeted shatter to break the fighter or rogues sword, or the wizards spell component pouch. I don't see how shatter is a dick move, and I don't see how using it to waste the alchemist is any worse than using it on a fighter's weapon. Either way you're making them less effective.

And an alchemist can always have preparation in the same way a fighter can carry a backup weapon, the alchemist could always have a couple of metal whiskey flasks that he brews a mutagen and a few extracts in, that way should he be the victim of shatter he's less effective, but not shut down.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Hunterofthedusk wrote:

You're going to argue my example? Give me a freaking break, it wasn't a direct comparison, it was an example of other equally ass-hole things to do to the party to make them not want to come over and play anymore.

Yes, I am. It is completely different to remove someones abilities for a day than it is to remove the entirety of a level 10 characters equipment or 1/8th of a 20th level characters equipment permanently.

That was the example you gave, and it is a conflation argument that has a hole in it big enough to drive an 18-wheeler through. If you don't like people pointing out that hole, then don't use that example. Use a valid example, like dropping a Wizards Int with Touch of Idiocy or draining a Fighter's Str. Both are temporary, but just as devastating to the class, as shattering the alchemists tools.

Hunterofthedusk wrote:


Do you disagree that it's a stupid thing to do to your players? Oh, and did you forget how many potions (actual potions, meaning monetary resources) that those darned adventurers tend to carry around? My point is that all of those things fall under the heading-
Hunterofthedusk wrote:
it's just not cool, and only detracts from the fun of the game.

No, I don't agree it's a stupid thing to do to the players. Do you think it is stupid to put the wizard in an anti-magic field? Do you think it is stupid to poison the fighter and sap his Str? Do you think it is stupid to entangle the Rogue and zap his Dex? All of these remove MAJOR class abilities from the classes, yet all are staples of the GM's tools to make the game a challenge.

What would be stupid is to do it every game sessions. Do you put the wizard in an anti-magic field every game session? If so, then your players might as well not play magical classes. Do you constantly sap Str? Then a player should never play a melee class. Do you always remove their equipment? Then they should play monks. The idea is to be balanced. It's a perfectly valid thing to do to shatter the area and make the alchemist do a saving throw for each vial he has for the day. Just don't do it every game session. Make it part of the challenge, not the challenge itself. Give the player a chance to shine by overcoming a temporary handicap. Some of the best games I've run or played in were overcoming a handicap imposed by the situation.

Sovereign Court

mdt wrote:


No, I don't agree it's a stupid thing to do to the players. Do you think it is stupid to put the wizard in an anti-magic field? Do you think it is stupid to poison the fighter and sap his Str? Do you think it is stupid to entangle the Rogue and zap his Dex? All of these remove MAJOR class abilities from the classes, yet all are staples of the GM's tools to make the game a challenge.

What would be stupid is to do it every game sessions. Do you put the wizard in an anti-magic field every game session? If so, then your players might as well not play magical classes. Do you constantly sap Str? Then a player should never play a melee class. Do you always remove their equipment? Then they should play monks. The idea is to be balanced....

+Q

The Exchange

Then we obviously have different GMing styles. My players don't like having to sit back and watch the other players do fun stuff, so I don't shut down their main class abilities. Just like I don't black-bag my characters and take all of their stuff because it doesn't fit in with my GMing style. If it fits into yours and your players have tons of fun without their class abilities, more power to them and you. Don't attack me on a message board for it though.

IE.- Agreeing to disagree

Shadow Lodge

lastknightleft wrote:
+Q

Haven't seen this one before...

Sovereign Court

Hunterofthedusk wrote:

Then we obviously have different GMing styles. My players don't like having to sit back and watch the other players do fun stuff, so I don't shut down their main class abilities. Just like I don't black-bag my characters and take all of their stuff because it doesn't fit in with my GMing style. If it fits into yours and your players have tons of fun without their class abilities, more power to them and you. Don't attack me on a message board for it though.

IE.- Agreeing to disagree

There was absolutely no attack in that statement dude, I don't even know where you get an attack from with that statement. He neither insulted you, nor said anything inflammatory. Point out a single thing he said that you can possibly construe as an attack. If anything you were making a passive-agressive attack at me by asking him to agree that it's stupid to use a tactic I just said that I would use.

And for that matter we have different styles because I will sunder the fighters 20,000gp sword, and I will burn a wizards spellbook. But that is not the same as "blackbagging" someone. Those attacks and spells that would do those things require saves or attack rolls, I.E. the PCs have a chance to defend against them. To call that the same as blackbagging is also a passive-aggresive stab and an obvious case of exageration.

Sovereign Court

Dragonborn3 wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:
+Q
Haven't seen this one before...

I get tired of +1

The Exchange

Lastknightleft, I wasn't directing anything towards you, nor was I saying that anything in this was the same as blackbagging. I was giving that as an example of something I don't do. I'm tired of arguing, you're all right and I'm wrong. Happy?

EDIT: Also, maybe there would have been a better word than stupid. I was just getting lazy. Whatever, I really don't care at this point. When I came into the thread I just said that it doesn't sound like anything me or my players would think of as fun, so I assumed it was a good general statement since I don't know anyone that likes to have their stuff taken away. He attacked my example, and I got mad. I didn't spend a lot of time coming up with it and it wasn't meant to be taken literally, but he felt the need to use it to insist that I didn't know the difference between losing daily resources and losing permanent resources. I'm not saying that's what he was doing, I'm saying that it's what I originally perceived it as being. I'm not looking to argue anymore, so could everyone please get off my case? I'm sorry if I get angry easily, but I tend to take things as personal attacks on my character.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Looks like this conversation happened just in time for the shatter spell to get some errata in the 3rd printing. The spell's a bit awkwardly worded; it lists saves for objects in the stats but doesn't mention them in the text of the spell. Basically... the area effect version, I believe, will allow creatures to make some sort of saving throw to avoid having their stuff all broken. Full details on all the errata should be ready soon.

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:
Looks like this conversation happened just in time for the shatter spell to get some errata in the 3rd printing. The spell's a bit awkwardly worded; it lists saves for objects in the stats but doesn't mention them in the text of the spell. Basically... the area effect version, I believe, will allow creatures to make some sort of saving throw to avoid having their stuff all broken. Full details on all the errata should be ready soon.

That's exactly how it should be IMO, I'm just glad that it isn't being errata'd to take away the ability to area affect and destroy held potions and stuff.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Hunterofthedusk wrote:

Lastknightleft, I wasn't directing anything towards you, nor was I saying that anything in this was the same as blackbagging. I was giving that as an example of something I don't do. I'm tired of arguing, you're all right and I'm wrong. Happy?

EDIT: Also, maybe there would have been a better word than stupid. I was just getting lazy. Whatever, I really don't care at this point. When I came into the thread I just said that it doesn't sound like anything me or my players would think of as fun, so I assumed it was a good general statement since I don't know anyone that likes to have their stuff taken away. He attacked my example, and I got mad. I didn't spend a lot of time coming up with it and it wasn't meant to be taken literally, but he felt the need to use it to insist that I didn't know the difference between losing daily resources and losing permanent resources. I'm not saying that's what he was doing, I'm saying that it's what I originally perceived it as being. I'm not looking to argue anymore, so could everyone please get off my case? I'm sorry if I get angry easily, but I tend to take things as personal attacks on my character.

LOL

It's ok. But I wasn't attacking you, honestly. Ask Zurai, I've had some flame wars back and forth with him before. Several other people as well. :) Even took a potshot at Jason once. Was just debating, honestly.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Looks like this conversation happened just in time for the shatter spell to get some errata in the 3rd printing. The spell's a bit awkwardly worded; it lists saves for objects in the stats but doesn't mention them in the text of the spell. Basically... the area effect version, I believe, will allow creatures to make some sort of saving throw to avoid having their stuff all broken. Full details on all the errata should be ready soon.

Nice. Thumbs up! One thing I really love about Paizo (and we all know I don't love everything, haha) is that you do a good job of keeping up with the errata. Not as fast as my impatient 'Must have now!' mentality wants, but you do keep up with it way better than most companies. :)

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