Using heat metal spell to enhance a weapon


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So one of my players has a ring of fire resistance 10, and the other just learned the spell heat metal.

Because of the ring, player #1 would take no damage from the spell. However, he's also asking if he can attack with his sword while it's red hot, doing +1d4 or +2d4 fire damage to anything he hits (depending on the number of rounds since casting, obvs).

Although the spell description does not explicitly say this is possible, I'm inclined to allow it. I'm curious how others would handle it. Thoughts?


It makes sense, but the spell was intend to hurt the player, not help him.
Let's say a wizard cast this against an opposing fighter, and now the fighter uses it to hurt the bodyguards. I am sure the bodyguards would not be happy about it.

In short I would not allow it, and the intention of the spell is more important than the actual wording since many players are clever enough to bend the wording of something to their advanatage.


Michael Gentry wrote:

So one of my players has a ring of fire resistance 10, and the other just learned the spell heat metal.

Because of the ring, player #1 would take no damage from the spell. However, he's also asking if he can attack with his sword while it's red hot, doing +1d4 or +2d4 fire damage to anything he hits (depending on the number of rounds since casting, obvs).

Although the spell description does not explicitly say this is possible, I'm inclined to allow it. I'm curious how others would handle it. Thoughts?

I'd give him an A for effort and let it deal an additional +1d4 damage per hit for all but the first and last rounds. It's not RAW but rule of cool applies. The spell is fairly short and will take a standard action for the other party member to cast. I don't see where it's OP.


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The damage is from holding or wearing the hot metal for the entire round. The damage should be removed, or at least reduced, for the momentary contact that the typical blow provides.

Touch a hot pan, pull your hand away quickly. Its no damage or a point of sub dual at most. Grab onto the same pan and hold it for six seconds...


Agrees with BigNorseWolf


Personally, I'd agree with BigNorseWolf, but I'd give him a little +1 or +2 fire damage on his hit for coming up with something creative like that. I don't see it as twisting the words of the spell, I see it as exercising some imagination and I usually reward that.


I would possible require the weapon (at its hottest point) to have to make a fortitude save if it inflicts damage (DC=damage done) to prevent from being damaged/broken condition ... Depending on the armor being penetrated.

As the situation reminds me of the forging process where the metal is beaten while red hot to shape it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Taking into account NorseWolf's point I'd probably not allow it on normal attacks. However I might allow it to deal damage on a maintained grapple as the character could press the item against his opponents flesh for a longer period of time.


Torches are on fire and still only deal 1 point of fire damage.
I'd say hot metal would, at most, do something like that.. but nothing more.


Give them the full damage but reduce the weapon hardness 10 and damage the blade on any hit. Sure if the weapon is a + 3 long sword you will never damage the weapon but if the item is common it will break after one power attack swing.


Reminds me of a tactic i used against my players once, the bad guy had a few mithral nets, and he would cast heat metal on them. i felt it wasn't too much of a stretch to have a net be made of thin chains instead of rope, and my players kept those nets the whole game.

Liberty's Edge

If you want to reward the player for imagination, let it do +1 fire damage on the first and last rounds, and +1d4 fire damage on the middle rounds.

If he wants it to work even better, he should get some metal armor and learn to be a good grappler.

If you don't want to reward the player, or just want it to be as close to the rules as possible, tell him it only does what the spell says it does.
-Kle.

Sczarni

If you take a tempered sword and super heat it, it'll survive.

Now if you take a tempered sword, super heat it, and bang it against armor or some other hard surface...

You'll like warp your sword if not break it completely.

My 2cp.


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Darksmokepuncher wrote:

If you take a tempered sword and super heat it, it'll survive.

Now if you take a tempered sword, super heat it, and bang it against armor or some other hard surface...

You'll like warp your sword if not break it completely.

My 2cp.

So Heat Metal is a good way to sunder armor without actually using the sunder ability you say?

If you are going to make arguments against clever things, remember the repercussions that stem from those arguments.


Reward for ingenuity: On the rounds 2 & 6 the weapon does an additional point of fire damage. On the rounds 3-5 it does two points of fire damage.

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Cartigan wrote:
Darksmokepuncher wrote:

If you take a tempered sword and super heat it, it'll survive.

Now if you take a tempered sword, super heat it, and bang it against armor or some other hard surface...

You'll like warp your sword if not break it completely.

My 2cp.

So Heat Metal is a good way to sunder armor without actually using the sunder ability you say?

If you are going to make arguments against clever things, remember the repercussions that stem from those arguments.

I agree!

I personally would treat the weapon as normal weapon damage + torch damage (aka 1d8 damage +1 fire)

Sczarni

Cartigan wrote:
Darksmokepuncher wrote:

If you take a tempered sword and super heat it, it'll survive.

Now if you take a tempered sword, super heat it, and bang it against armor or some other hard surface...

You'll like warp your sword if not break it completely.

My 2cp.

So Heat Metal is a good way to sunder armor without actually using the sunder ability you say?

If you are going to make arguments against clever things, remember the repercussions that stem from those arguments.

That's not what I said. I said that hitting the hot sword against the armor would break the sword.

The spell is intended to disarm people or burn them. If somehow, you overcame the desire to drop the weapon, and managed to negate the burn, and use the now hot, and therefore softer, sword against tempered metal armor...the SWORD, not the armor, would likely break or become warped.


Darksmokepuncher wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Darksmokepuncher wrote:

If you take a tempered sword and super heat it, it'll survive.

Now if you take a tempered sword, super heat it, and bang it against armor or some other hard surface...

You'll like warp your sword if not break it completely.

My 2cp.

So Heat Metal is a good way to sunder armor without actually using the sunder ability you say?

If you are going to make arguments against clever things, remember the repercussions that stem from those arguments.

That's not what I said. I said that hitting the hot sword against the armor would break the sword.

Which is also exactly what I said, in reverse - hitting a sword against a hot plate armor/steel shield is going to break the armor/shield.

Heat Metal = free sunder

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Kaisoku wrote:

Torches are on fire and still only deal 1 point of fire damage.

I'd say hot metal would, at most, do something like that.. but nothing more.

O.O Torches only do 1 fire damage?

In 12 years of playing D&D I've never seen anyone attack with a torch, so I never noticed. That seems too low to me. I'd expect it to do at least 1d3 fire(a little less than alchemist's fire, which stays on the skin and keeps burning).

Darksmokepuncher wrote:

Now if you take a tempered sword, super heat it, and bang it against armor or some other hard surface...

You'll like warp your sword if not break it completely.

Cartigan wrote:


So Heat Metal is a good way to sunder armor without actually using the sunder ability you say?

hitting a sword against a hot plate armor/steel shield is going to break the armor/shield.

Heat Metal = free sunder

That's amazing. I saw two players do that once. A wizard and a Monk, one doing fire damage, and the other doing cold damage to a steel door while attacking it with flurry of blows.

The GM Allowed it. Rules as Logical Implications.

Assuming one wanted to include a mechanic for heat metal + objects colliding, (which I do, cause it makes sense, and its awesome) how would you do it?
Here's my first stab at it:

Heat Metal on the weapon:
This uses a distinction I've used before in my own houserules, and something I've seen monte cook use, when its relevant to know the difference between a miss, and hitting armor or a shield.

a. Don't beat Touch, complete miss.
b. Beat the touch AC: The hit connected Somewhere.
c. Beat Touch + Shield: The hit connected, and didn't hit the shield.
d. Beat Touch + Shield + Armor: The hit connected, and wasn't stopped by armor.
e. Full AC: Got through Natural Armor as well.

You attack with it. If you get >a, and <d, make a sunder attempt against yourself, with a bonus equal to the heat metal damage on the CMB roll. Good job doofus.

Heat metal on the armor:
You can make a sunder attempt on the armor with a bonus equal to the heat metal damage.


wraithstrike wrote:

It makes sense, but the spell was intend to hurt the player, not help him.

Let's say a wizard cast this against an opposing fighter, and now the fighter uses it to hurt the bodyguards. I am sure the bodyguards would not be happy about it.

In short I would not allow it, and the intention of the spell is more important than the actual wording since many players are clever enough to bend the wording of something to their advanatage.

Heat metal is what a second level spell? I can think of a whole lot more cheese that can be done with a second level spell. I could think of a whole lot more non-cheese second level spells that would be a much better use of a 2nd level spell slot.

I would allow it +1 fire damage/+1d4 fire damage for the round that it would normally inflict damage to the holder/wearer of the metal article. Its a neat trick but nothing to gamebreaking or overpowered in my opinion. Lost of better uses for 2nd level spell slots out there.


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gourry187 wrote:

I would possible require the weapon (at its hottest point) to have to make a fortitude save if it inflicts damage (DC=damage done) to prevent from being damaged/broken condition ... Depending on the armor being penetrated.

As the situation reminds me of the forging process where the metal is beaten while red hot to shape it.

Which itself is a long, strenuous process, & not a few seconds of combat w/ magical heat effects.

Kaisoku wrote:

Torches are on fire and still only deal 1 point of fire damage.

I'd say hot metal would, at most, do something like that.. but nothing more.

Torches are also not intended as weapons, & thus subject to the improvised weapons rules.

Darksmokepuncher wrote:

If you take a tempered sword and super heat it, it'll survive.

Now if you take a tempered sword, super heat it, and bang it against armor or some other hard surface...

You'll like warp your sword if not break it completely.

My 2cp.

Guys. You do not "bang your sword against armor or some other hard surface". Nobody (who uses swords) does that. That's a good way to turn your nice sword into an expensive crowbar, and yourself into a meat piniata.

https://youtu.be/PcXd3upAF8A

Hammers & picks & sheit were used as anti-armor weapons (to crush the guy inside). Swords were not. Using a sword against a metal-armored opponent means (if you're trained), you're going for the un-armored bits (face, hands, legs, whatever is exposed), or the lighter-armored gaps (joints & such). Point is, you don't hack through a plate of metal w/ an arming sword, you go around it.

Cartigan wrote:
Darksmokepuncher wrote:

If you take a tempered sword and super heat it, it'll survive.

Now if you take a tempered sword, super heat it, and bang it against armor or some other hard surface...

You'll like warp your sword if not break it completely.

My 2cp.

So Heat Metal is a good way to sunder armor without actually using the sunder ability you say?

If you are going to make arguments against clever things, remember the repercussions that stem from those arguments.

This is true. If ppl's "counter" to player cleverness is "oh, it'll break your weapon (forget that nobody "hits swords against armor", see above), then it would equally make sense for enemies to have their swords sundered if they refused to drop them when this is cast on them


Holy necro batman

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Resist fire
Cast heat metal on armor
Grapple opponent
???
Profit


Pick-back warhammer ='s can-opener for humans :)

I love mine!


TrinitysEnd wrote:
Holy necro batman

Nearly seven years of profit~

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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