Half-orcs and fire damage


Rules Questions


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Because I'm a 12th-level half-orc sorcerer who has put his favored class bonus into his fire spell damage, I deal 4d6+6 damage when attacking a target with a ray from a scorching ray. Therefore if I attack three targets, each one takes 4d6+6 damage. Seems simple enough.

Ergo, if I hit a single target with all three rays, said target would take 12d6+18 damage. Correct?


Seems legit.


prd wrote:
Add +1/2 to fire spell damage.

That reads to me as an application to the entire spell, not per attack, even if a spell allows multiple attacks.

In short you would have to choose which way to apply it too. As to whether you get to make the choice before you make the attack roll or after the spell hits is up to the GM.

As an example the spell does 12d6+6(1/2 of 12 sorcerer) levels.

I do admit your reading of it seems valid as well.

Seeing as how a human sorcerer would be getting entirely new spells I would let your interpretation fly even if I don't know if that is the correct reading.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If I used fireball instead, I don't think anyone would argue against it dealing 10d6+6 against everyone in the area.


Fireball applies the same damage to everyone(before saves are applied). Scorching Ray make is possible to not do the same damage to everyone. By my quote "application of the entire spell" it would have to apply to everyone in the area if I were using fireball.

As an example if you use the arcane archer and magic missile to do sneak attack damage only one missile gets sneak attack.

PS:I am still not convinced each ray would not get the +6. I am just providing possible counter statements.

Grand Lodge

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I think the way you write it can cause confusion. You should write it as:

Roll touch attack - if hit = 4d6 + 6

Roll touch attack - if hit = 4d6 + 6

Roll touch attack - if hit = 4d6 + 6

This is equivalent to 12d6 + 18 only if the opponent has no fire resistance and yes - then it is more damage as a fireball. Off course you also have to hit three times. On the other hand this is countered via no saving throw.

With fire resistance the 12d6 + 18 is misleading as you would have to apply the +6 on each ray - but also any resistance on each ray.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

True, Thod. My mistake.

Wraithstrike, I think you meant Arcane Trickster, did you not?


I knew what he meant. It is not not clear as to the intent of it taking affect every time damage is done or just once per spell.


I think the intent is to boost the spell, not each attack. Fireball is particular in that the spell does a flat amount to all in the area. Scorching Ray is particular in that you get up to three different rays.

The way the Half-Orc ability reads is that it increases the fire spell damage. The Scorching Ray damage is a flat 4d6. The only thing that changes is how many rays you get. I think if an ability boosts the damage of the spell, getting an extra ray from that spell due to level means that the duplicate ray is exactly that, a duplicate.

On the other hand, I see it as exactly the same kind of ability as the Evocation Wizard's Intense Spells. So I'm inclined to say that the rules we have available suggest otherwise.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

What about wall of fire that does damage every round? Or fire shield which can do multiple instances of damage in a single round if somebody takes the full attack action against you?

Would you rule that those deal the bonus +6 damage JUST ONCE?


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You are missing the crux of my argument, which is the last line.
The previous lines are just my personal interpretations of how things appear to be, and I even suggest that my personal interpretation would have each ray get the bonus damage.

My last line is the important part, where I quote an ability that appears to be exactly the same kind of bonus to damage. I would appreciate if you would read and comment on that, instead of misinterpreting my personal opinions (which as I said say that I think the spell should get the damage to each ray).

The Intense Spells ability only insists that multiple missiles or rays do not get the extra damage. Again, please read it and you will see. Thus fire shield and wall of fire are perfectly fine to always get the bonus damage. There is no conflict whatsoever.


I knew the ongoing spell was going to come up eventually. :)
I will admit I don't know what the official intent is, but just like I would allow all the rays to get the extra damage I would allow the continuing spells to get the damage every round, not because I am sure it is right, but because it brings it more online with the human's new spell per class point advantage.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Good question. I'm about to play a halforc sorcerer aswell so i look forward to peoples answer.

With fireball, burning hands and such with one save and one damage roll its should be +6 to damage. No doubt about that.

But Scorcing Ray. It's three rays, three attack rolls and three damage rolls. I think it should be +6 for each ray. Just as resistance reduce the damage for each ray.
It is not 12d6+18 it's 3 times 4d6+6.

The same question can be asked about the Elemental Pupil trait from the pathfinder companion: Qadirae. The trait gives one ekstra elemental damage on elemental spells.


I am guessing that this issue hasn't been asked before since RD felt the need to post it. While I don't have an answer, I am interested in the question because I have a halforc sor in a game that is just about to get a 2nd Scorching Ray. My initial reaction was, once per spell. But after reading the responses, I'm not sure anymore.


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Hmmmm, it is very vague.

The only thing that comes to mind that is similar is the Wizard Evocation School ability (mentioned above):

prd wrote:

Intense Spells (Su)

Whenever you cast an evocation spell that deals hit point damage, add 1/2 your wizard level to the damage (minimum +1). This bonus only applies once to a spell, not once per missile or ray, and cannot be split between multiple missiles or rays. This bonus damage is not increased by Empower Spell or similar effects. This damage is of the same type as the spell...

Which seems similar to how the half-orc alt racial is vaguely defined:

prd wrote:
Sorcerer: Add +1/2 to fire spell damage.

I would treat it the same as the wizard ability. My guess is that they meant for this to mimic how evocation wizards work, but left out that extra text for the sake of brevity.

How I would rule it in my game:
Fireball: bonus damage to everything
Rays: Damage on ray of your choice
Wall of Fire: bonus damage to all on tick damage as well as passing through damage.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

RAW, nothing prevents it. RAI and for balance purposes, I think it is more like the power of the Evocation School

PRD wrote:

Evocation School

Evokers revel in the raw power of magic, and can use it to create and destroy with shocking ease.

Intense Spells (Su): Whenever you cast an evocation spell that deals hit point damage, add 1/2 your wizard level to the damage (minimum +1). This bonus only applies once to a spell, not once per missile or ray, and cannot be split between multiple missiles or rays. This bonus damage is not increased by Empower Spell or similar effects. This damage is of the same type as the spell. At 20th level, whenever you cast an evocation spell you can roll twice to penetrate a creature's spell resistance and take the better result.

EDIT: doh. got ninja'd

Reading it the other way would lead to abuse, like making custom spells that shoot out 20 little beads that only do 1d2, but have +14 damage on each due to a racial effect and class effect stacking up.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Good luck getting a GM to allow that though. It's a rather transparent ploy for power. So much so that I don't see your example as terribly realistic. It's hard enough to get a GM to allow custom spells in the first place, much less one that is such blatantly obvious cheese.


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Ravingdork wrote:
It's a rather transparent ploy for power.

much like your original post?

I see it working like and would treat it like the Intense spells ability of evokers.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The idea set forth in my original post is not any more powerful than other racial benefits one could select for other races/classes, and therefore I cannot see how it could be considered a cheesy grab for power.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you mix your OP scenario with the above mentioned wizard specialist school, at 12th level, you would be adding +12 dmg per ray with your reading, no save. So assuming they all hit, 12d6+48; 60-120 damage per cast of this level 2 spell. It leads to huge Limburger cheese.


Ravingdork wrote:
The idea set forth in my original post is not any more powerful than other racial benefits one could select for other races/classes, and therefore I cannot see how it could be considered a cheesy grab for power.

That's why I said my personal opinion is that, with the existing spells we have (that I am aware of), I would like to apply it to each ray.

You still haven't answered, as several of us have brought up, the point about how the ability's damage bonus is identical to Intense Spells.

Forget about anyone accusing you of an attempt to grab for power. That is, at least at the moment, largely irrelevant. If you're not interested in what the rules have to say, why ask about it in the rules questions forum?


Shar Tahl wrote:
If you mix your OP scenario with the above mentioned wizard specialist school, at 12th level, you would be adding +12 dmg per ray with your reading, no save. So assuming they all hit, 12d6+48; 60-120 damage per cast of this level 2 spell. It leads to huge Limburger cheese.

60-120 points of fire damage is not op even at the casting of a level 2 spell. Mind you when that spell is cast fire resistance applies three times. Attack rolls have to hit three times.

Also note it would be 4d6+6 twice and 4d6+12 once.

I still see it as augmenting a fire spells overall damage though unless we can get an official ruling of intent.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If somebody could be bothered to ask me a question, I may try to answer it. As is though, there is nary a question mark in any post not my own.


How about a scenario where you hit more targets. How will the ekstra damage be resolved?

Scorcing ray is cast at three targets. Will the extra damage be dealed on the first ray (a) or dealed out evenly (b)?

Example a
Target 1 gets 4d6+6 dam
Target 2 gets 4d6 dam
Target 3 gets 4d6 dam

Exaple b
Target 1 gets 4d6+2 dam
Target 2 gets 4d6+2 dam
Target 3 gets 4d6+2 dam

As i read Intense Spells (Su) it should be as example a.

I didn't read this thread as a way to power. But a way to clarify the vaguely text "Sorcerer: Add +1/2 to fire spell damage."


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Lars: I think it would be Example C, Each target takes 4d6+6 damage.

This could easily be true even if you only get that bonus damage once when blasting a single target with all three rays.


Ravingdork wrote:
If somebody could be bothered to ask me a question, I may try to answer it. As is though, there is nary a question mark in any post not my own.

I asked if you had answered the point raised, not if you had answered the question.

The point being that Intense Spells has an identical effect to this one, and expounds upon its limitations.

When in doubt about a rule, identifying an identical (or similar) situation/rule is one good way to approach finding an answer.

I'm not going to make it a question just because you insist on it being a question. It's a point that has been raised which gives an interpretation we have already expounded upon.

Would you care to address the point that has already been raised by several people?


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think your logic is sound, however, the fact that the alternate favored class bonus has no such limitation leaves it WIDE OPEN for interpretation. So much so, in fact, that it warranted me starting this thread in hopes of getting something more solid, such as a developer comment on intent.

Liberty's Edge

As wraithstrike said by RAW, you get the damage once per spell. I would rule that it would be on the first missile for scorching ray. Yes, this makes it better for area of effect /saving throw spells than for ray spells, but such is life and RAW.

I don't think it would over powered putting it on each ray, but it is definitely not RAW.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
ShadowcatX wrote:

As wraithstrike said by RAW, you get the damage once per spell. I would rule that it would be on the first missile for scorching ray. Yes, this makes it better for area of effect /saving throw spells than for ray spells, but such is life and RAW.

I don't think it would over powered putting it on each ray, but it is definitely not RAW.

I don't see where this is definitively shown in the RAW. Perhaps I missed it. Mind pointing it out to me?


Ravingdork wrote:
I think your logic is sound, however, the fact that the alternate favored class bonus has no such limitation leaves it WIDE OPEN for interpretation. So much so, in fact, that it warranted me starting this thread in hopes of getting something more solid, such as a developer comment on intent.

I disagree. The two abilities are clearly identical (excepting the capstone of Intense Spells). The lack of the additional rule clarification in the FC bonus is merely an oversight.

It is in need of errata, yes, but I do not think you can rightly make a good argument that the existing rule of Intense Spells should not be present in the FC bonus.

Go ahead. Try.
Simply saying that it's ambiguous as written (which it is) does not an argument for it make. We already have overwhelming evidence that the ability should function like Intense Spells, instead of your interpretation. Your turn.


Trying to use it as a correlation without any more evidence than both add flat damage to spells is nonsensical imo.

Run down that list of evidence please.

Edit: Mind you I read it as applying as a singular instance even for firewall or fire shield. I just disagree with the notion that there is evidence of this. My evidence is based solely on conjecture.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Nigrescence wrote:
I disagree. The two abilities are clearly identical (excepting the capstone of Intense Spells). The lack of the additional rule clarification in the FC bonus is merely an oversight.

You should look up "identical" in the dictionary. Ignoring the difference you yourself pointed out, the very fact that one has a limitation and the other other does not makes them anything but identical.

Also, I've never argued that you DO get the damage bonus on ALL the rays when attacking a single target. I'm merely of the stance that the opposing view isn't as clear cut as people are making it out to be.


Ravingdork wrote:
You should look up "identical" in the dictionary.

You should learn English before you attempt to patronize my use of language. In the hypothetical, stating something as being an exception to otherwise similarity is fairly standard.

For example, say we both pour a cup of coffee from the same pot. I put a lot of milk in mine while you do not. It would be fine to say that our coffee would be identical if I didn't add any milk to it. But I did, so it's different. Of course it's different. Otherwise identical.

I'm not disputing that they are, in reality (in print), actually different. What I'm saying is that they have the same effect, and that one merely chose (or forgot) to add milk.

I do not think that the developers thought the evoker should have a hefty penalty to damaging with certain damage spells while a half-orc sorcerer should do crazy fire tricks with damage.

Given how FC bonuses typically rank on the power scale, I think it is in line with the ruling accompanying Intense Spells. Yes, that's also factoring in how the FC only applies to fire.

Dark Archive

Specific overrides general.

Intense spells specifies that it only works on 1 ray/missile per spell. currently the Half-orc favored does not.

Also, if you took precise shot, you could add an additional +1 to each of those rays. (not a +1 to one ray). Plus, you can crit each of those rays. On a super good day, you could do 24d6+ to 1 target.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:

As wraithstrike said by RAW, you get the damage once per spell. I would rule that it would be on the first missile for scorching ray. Yes, this makes it better for area of effect /saving throw spells than for ray spells, but such is life and RAW.

I don't think it would over powered putting it on each ray, but it is definitely not RAW.

I don't see where this is definitively shown in the RAW. Perhaps I missed it. Mind pointing it out to me?

I disagree with the interpretation by RD and would not run it that way, but I have to agree that strictly speaking, RAW does not limit it to once per spell. It can seem implied by other abilities that are similar, but nothing specifically excludes it.

This is one of those issues where another class ability implies something contrary to what is interpreted. (much like the can't Take-10 knowledge based on Bard's Loremaster ability text). Basically, when these come up where it can go multiple directions, GM makes the call and the players go with it. I am very big on running games with as few house-rules as possible, but will clearly states my stance and create a precedent when these come up


Happler wrote:

Specific overrides general.

Intense spells specifies that it only works on 1 ray/missile per spell. currently the Half-orc favored does not.

Also, if you took precise shot, you could add an additional +1 to each of those rays. (not a +1 to one ray). Plus, you can crit each of those rays. On a super good day, you could do 24d6+ to 1 target.

1.What general rule is being over ridden?

2.Point Blank Shot, not precise shot add damage, and it says it adds +1 to damage rolls. Each ray for scorching has its only damage roll so I don't see the comparison.

PS:I think the magic missile ideal is cool if the ability is intended to work that way.


Did this thread come to any conclusion?

I was hoping for an official post from Paizo.


I think that is the only thing that will settle it.

If it weren't for the way the Evoker feature was written I wouldn't think it would even be questioned how it was supposed to work.


so the spell" snapdragon fireworks" , doesn't get 1/2 orc bonus per shot ? only on the 1st round ?

Snapdragon Fireworks

School transmutation [fire, light]; Level bard 2, sorcerer/ wizard 1

CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components S, V, M (a bundle of sulfur wrapped in cloth)

EFFECT

Range long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Effect dragon-shaped fireworks
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Reflex negates; Spell Resistance yes

DESCRIPTION

A favorite display at halfling midsummer festivals, this spell lets you create fireworks in the shape of tiny dragons. Once per round, as a move action, you may designate a target 5-foot-square within range and launch a pyrotechnic in that direction. The pyrotechnic takes a zigzag path from you to that square, always missing creatures and objects in its path, and detonates in that square with a bang and a colorful burst of fire and light. Creatures in the target square take 1d4 points of fire damage and are dazzled for 1 round (Reflex half, a successful save negates the dazzled condition). Normally when this spell is used as part of a festival, the chosen target is high in the sky to increase visibility and protect observers.

still nice to get targets what got concealment ..


Wonder if this is a record for necro...we should create the Necro Hall of Fame...

No, since this happens once per round. This only seems to apply when multiple instances of instantaneous damage are stacking.


While impressive no not even close to the record.


This Post occurred on Jan 1, 2019 for a post from Sep 21, 2009. That was an almost 10 year necro.

Edit:
Correction: This Post I just spotted: Nov 25, 2009 to Fri, Sep 27, 2019.

/cevah

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