So a situation similar to this came up in a game recently. Imagine there is a wall made of glass. Could you use acid splash, vials of acid, or other damaging acid spells and attacks to get through such a wall? How about a wall of stone?
Acid ignores hardness, dealing full damage to objects, yes?
So then - how is acid stored in vials? Are there specially treated vials for acid? If yes, how expensive is this treatment? Could you treat other things with it?
How could a pool of acid exist? By RAW wouldn't the acid melt through the bottom of the pool, until all the acid dealt its damage and was dissolved? Acid can melt a wall of stone, damage a golem, or deal damage to a stone object or weapon.
I realize these questions aren't game-breaking issues, and I ask them with a bit levity, but I am curious as to what the actual answers would be.
No, No and the rest is then answered.
From the damaging object section:
"Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object's hardness. Some energy types might be particularly effective against certain objects, subject to GM discretion. For example, fire might do full damage against parchment, cloth, and other objects that burn easily. Sonic might do full damage against glass and crystal objects."
Acid is an energy type in pathfinder so these rules apply to it.
In fact this is one of my biggest complaints with the damaging objects section:
Alchemist fire and torches can't set wood on fire -- they can't even damage it -- neither can most acids, and fireballing something is almost useless.
However that said there is a large part in there about GM discretion and "certain" objects being vulnerable to "certain" attacks for what it's worth.
Oh, really? Acid no longer ignores hardnes by default?
I did not know that. So, wow. No more melting through doors with acid splash... excellent, and good to know!
On this note then, what are some things acid, cold, and electricity might do full damage to? Per the examples: fire to parchment, cloth, and rope; and sonic to glass and crystal.
Acid should maybe do full damage to parchment, cloth and rope as well. What are corrosive acids most effective at breaking down in real life?
Electricity and cold are harder to place. Hm...
Well Gold is immune to most chemical reactions so acids will probably do nothing to it, but it does hold a current really really well (this is due to its electrons configuration -- it's outer shell is fully stable which means it passes extra electrons easily without giving any up itself so it wouldn't take much damage from electricity but would pass it on to someone touching it very well though)... it would melt fairly easily too but not crazy fast or low temperature like.
Cold is actually good against metal when combined with heat, while stone never really takes to cold well (any water in it gets frozen and expands forming cracks and fault lines in the stone). Freezing a potion bottle would probably do nasty things to it since liquids expand when frozen (not really the liquid, more the gases suspended in the liquid come out of solution but same net effect).
Acid does well against most cloth and organic material (wood for example).
All good questions, lets see what I can do.
1. The vast majority of acids don't eat through glass, so unless it especially says it does, it's safe to assume it won't. That being said, I see nothing at all wrong with using acid to eat through various other substances, like walls of stone, iron, etc. I regularly use acid splash to eat through locks when the rogue is down.
2. Considering that acid dissolves a substance rather that breaking or smashing, I would say that it would be reasonable for it to ignore the hardness factor, though the rules say otherwise if you simply treat ti as an energy type. If you treat it as a substance rather than a simple energy type it could work, but you would also have to take into account that not all substances are vulnerable to all types of acid. Truly exotic materials, like mithril or adamantine, might be immune to altogether. Ultimately this would have to be handled on a case-by-case basis.
3. Usually, if a great deal of acid is present in a natural environment, the source of the acid is often near by. There aren't alot of real world references for this, but there are areas of the world were water takes on acidic (or basic) qualities due to the presence of a particular combination of minerals. In these instances, similar minerals are usually also present in the surrounding rocks, which can grant them a sort of resistance to the effect and allow the formation of "acid pools". This is EXTREMELY circumstantial, but it does happen. It's also true that acids don't usually dissolve every part of a given substance. In many cases certain minerals survive the acid and, even if they are too small to be viewed by the naked eye, they can build up, producing a "protective lining" that prevents acid from dissolving the stone or other substances beneath. This can also allow the formation of "acid pools". This is a good excuse if the source of the acid is a creature that lived in the area for a really long time, such as an ancient black dragon.
Hope that helps a bit.
Most metals are not good against acid, with the exception of gold and platinum... most rocks too, with the exception of glassified types.
Vegetal fibers would be more resistant.
Electricity, when it's in bolts, can melt pieces of metal easily.
Cold don't do much except making stuff more brittle. Rocks need to have cracks in the first place to fill with water and break when it freezes over. It won't do against walls, else every cathedral would be in ruins.