What bonuses can you stack on damage cantrips?


Advice


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For some time I have been thinking about which bonuses could you stack on to do more damage with your cantrips, say ray of frost and acid splash?

So rays can be treated as weapons for weapon focus and weapon specialization. That would be +1hit/+2 damage

Damage and to hit bonuses from the flag bearer feat or bardic performance count for rays as well.

Is the same true for acid splash? Or did we finally find a reason acid splash is weaker that the rest of the damage cantrips?

Sorcerers can get the havoc of the society trait for +1 force damage

some sorcerer bloodline get a damage bonus to certain spells. Most +1 per damage die, one +2 per spell.

you can add +1 damage to acid splash and ray of frost by using a power component as spell focus.

That's just what I got off my head.

So I could start the game with a level 1 human sorcerer with crossblooded Orc/brutal
He has:
-the flag bearer and point blank shot as feats
-the havoc of society trait
-a flask of liquid ice

So his rays of frost would do 1d3+7 damage at +2 to hit

Is that the max for a level 1 Sorcerer?
Could I add sneak attack if I go rogue from there on?
Or would it be better to go fighter for more BAB and weapon specialization?

As the spell does it's normal kind of damage (for example cold for ray of frost) and force (by havoc of the society) can I choose which kind is added by feats and effects? Or is it always the base kind for the spell?


If not focused on pure damage you could take the rime-blooded bloodline instead of the orc bloodline for 1 less damage but a save or be slowed effekt with low save.

Or you could go elemental to be able to change your ray to a different damage type (thet being fire because there is no damage cantrip or acid if acid splash doesn't count as a weapon for damage effects)

If you go the orc blood route or are a half orc you could take mindlessly cruel.
As long a your flag bearer feat is active you will get + 1 to weapon damage rolls (incuding your rays).
But as both are trait bonuses it doesn't stack with havoc of the society.


If you were to max it in the long run, at lvl 15 you should get spell perfection to double the bonusses from feats affecting your ray.


I like where this is going, and all of this would stack with any ray tight? So at higher levels you could choose a ray of a different spell level and it would also give the +7 damage right?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Umbranus wrote:

For some time I have been thinking about which bonuses could you stack on to do more damage with your cantrips, say ray of frost and acid splash?

So rays can be treated as weapons for weapon focus and weapon specialization. That would be +1hit/+2 damage

Damage and to hit bonuses from the flag bearer feat or bardic performance count for rays as well.

Is the same true for acid splash? Or did we finally find a reason acid splash is weaker that the rest of the damage cantrips?

Sorcerers can get the havoc of the society trait for +1 force damage

some sorcerer bloodline get a damage bonus to certain spells. Most +1 per damage die, one +2 per spell.

you can add +1 damage to acid splash and ray of frost by using a power component as spell focus.

That's just what I got off my head.

So I could start the game with a level 1 human sorcerer with crossblooded Orc/brutal
He has:
-the flag bearer and point blank shot as feats
-the havoc of society trait
-a flask of liquid ice

So his rays of frost would do 1d3+7 damage at +2 to hit

Is that the max for a level 1 Sorcerer?
Could I add sneak attack if I go rogue from there on?
Or would it be better to go fighter for more BAB and weapon specialization?

As the spell does it's normal kind of damage (for example cold for ray of frost) and force (by havoc of the society) can I choose which kind is added by feats and effects? Or is it always the base kind for the spell?

Since Acid splash includes an attack roll, it counts as an attack for the flag-bearer and point-blank shot feats. Havoc of the society would definitely work for it too. The only things that WOULDN'T work for acid splash are the weapon focus/spec (ray). You could also have a flask of acid as a focus for acid splash, same as the flask of liquid ice for ray of frost.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Spells that these ray bonuses would work on and the energy type of the damage dealt:

Lvl 0:
Disrupt Undead (positive energy)
Ray of Frost (cold)

Lvl 1:
Ray of Sickening (negative energy)
Ray of Enfeeblement (negative energy)

Lvl 2:
Scorching Ray (fire)

Lvl 3:
Heatstroke (fire)
Ray of Exhaustion (negative energy)

Lvl 4:
Enervation (negative energy)

Lvl 5:
NONE!

Lvl 6:
Hellfire Ray (fire/unholy)
Contagious Flame (fire)
Disintegrate (untyped)

Lvl 7:
Firebrand (fire)

Lvl 8:
Polar Ray (cold)

This is obviously a VERY small subset of spells, but you could definitely be an effective ray-based sorcerer. If you grabbed a single level of Wizard (Admixture) then you'd be able to change the energy type for many of those spells on the fly without increasing casting time, and you'd still get up to the level 8 spells.


Umbranus wrote:
Could I add sneak attack if I go rogue from there on?

Yup, for any of the spells or cantrips that have an attack roll.


Arcane Strike as a feat should get you an additional point of damage, but at level 1 you are currently maxed.

Quote:
"I like where this is going, and all of this would stack with any ray tight? So at higher levels you could choose a ray of a different spell level and it would also give the +7 damage right?"

Not all of this would stack with any ray. First of all the ray would need to deal damage. Secondly the ray would need to deal damage of the correct type (specifically the type chosen for your cross-blooded sorcerer). Additionally the liquid-ice that is mention only functions as a focus for Ray of Frost. There are several other spells it can modify, but it would be consumed in the process.

Sneak attack damage can definitely be added to ray attacks and it's a key mechanic of the arcane trickster prestige class.


Both the orc and brutal bloodlines work with every energy type.
If one doesn't want the drawbacks of the orc bloodline others would work that either do something else thats nice or +1 damage of one energy type.

For higher spells brutal wouldn't be the best bloodline because it gives a flat +2 damage while most others give +1 per die rolled.

My Idea was to build a PC with 1 level Sorcerer and then either fighter or rogue so I took brutal.


So if I do a sneak attack with a spell do I ad points of damage to the sneak damage dice per the orc bloodline arcana?

Quote:
Whenever you cast a spell that deals damage, that spell deals +1 point of damage per die rolled.

Example: I cast a ray of frost (1 die of damage) and deal 2d6 Sneak damage (2 dice of damage). Does the orc bloodline add 1 or 3 points?


Don't forget to take Deadly aim at lvl 2 to get more damage on the rays.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Umbranus wrote:

So if I do a sneak attack with a spell do I ad points of damage to the sneak damage dice per the orc bloodline arcana?

Quote:
Whenever you cast a spell that deals damage, that spell deals +1 point of damage per die rolled.
Example: I cast a ray of frost (1 die of damage) and deal 2d6 Sneak damage (2 dice of damage). Does the orc bloodline add 1 or 3 points?

The sneak damage would not count as damage dice for the bloodline because it's precision damage, so it's applied after the rest of the damage is tallied (if you can't multiply it on a critical hit then you have to count it up seperately).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Power Attack or Piranha Strike for melee touch attacks.


HaraldKlak wrote:
Don't forget to take Deadly aim at lvl 2 to get more damage on the rays.

Two things about this statement are wrong, you don't get a feat at level 2 and deadly aim doesn't work with ranged touch attacks.


Hawktitan wrote:
HaraldKlak wrote:
Don't forget to take Deadly aim at lvl 2 to get more damage on the rays.
Two things about this statement are wrong, you don't get a feat at level 2 and deadly aim doesn't work with ranged touch attacks.

While you're correct about ranged touch attacks, the OP did say in one of his responses he intended to start as a sorc then dual into either Ftr or Rog. Taking Ftr level 1 gives him a Bonus Feat. Said bonus feat COULD be used to purchase Deadly Aim.

I have seen a houserule thread where people debated using deadly aim on rays. Me personally; I'd allow it. I know it says right in it that it doesn't affect "touch attacks" but if I had a guy who wanted to throw it on a cantrip I'd give it up. Anything to help make cantrips more worthwhile.

FYI; I LOVE this thread. No, cantrips should never replace the usefulness of spells but as an extra ZING for flourish I'd love to see them get better with level.


Just throwing this out there... we have a Wizard in our group, he's a 1st level Cross-blooded Sorcerer (Orc and Red Dragon Bloodlines)/19th level - eventually - Admixture Evocationist who's been using Ray of Frost from day 1. He even took Point Blank Shot at level 1.

Every round he can cast it and deal 1d3 +1 (Orc Arcana) +1 (Dragon Arcana) +1 (Point Blank Shot) +1/2 his Wizard level in damage and can make it any energy type he wishes due to Admixture. Sure it won't have many uses at higher levels but by then he should be spell-slinging with the best of them... meanwhile he's got himself a nice little ranged at-will attack which feels so much better than whipping out a crossbow or something.


yeah my half orc sorcerer is of the crossblooded Dragon (Green) and Elemental Primal (earth) kind. He also carries a vial of acid (+1 to acid damage from Acid Splash, it's in the Adventurer's Armory). at level 1 he hits for 1d3+3, which is decent enough at lv1 for him.


Something I allowed in my game: a wizard with Quicken metamagic made a wand of quickened ray of frost so that every round he'd have an extra d3 damage to contribute. Taking that and coupling it w/a lot of these ideas, I could see a really cool mid to high level sorcerer wipping off a spell and a wandshot every round and, if hitting w/both, staying almost concurrent w/the fighter in DPR at the same level. His normal spell plus a Quickened 1d3+7? Not too shabby...


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Another option:
Half-orc Crossblooded Orc/Draconic(Silver) Sorcerer
Feat: False Focus
Cast Ray of Frost while using a Holy symbol of at least 40gp value(holy symbol as tatoo for 100gp is very good; can't be disarmed/stolen/lost).

Emulate Liquid Ice as material component.

Now your Ray deals 1d3(normal spell) cold damage
+1d3 piercing damage +1 cold damage(Bonus from Liquid Ice)
+2 damage per die rolled(Orc&Draconic Bloodlines)
->2d3+5 damage(1d3+2 piercing, subject to DR, 1d3+3 cold, subject to Energy resistance)

Add the Havoc of the Society trait, and you can deal 2d3+6 damage, at will, at first level.

Half-orc doesn't provide any damage bonuses, but is nice for +2 bonus to saves with Fate's favored and Sacred Tattoo.

For maximum damage, be Human instead and pick up PBS for 2d3+7 damage at +1 to hit


Some races when you play a sorcerer have a favoured class bonus that adds +1/2 levels elemental damage to any spells of the same type.


Derrick Winters wrote:

Another option:

Half-orc Crossblooded Orc/Draconic(Silver) Sorcerer
Feat: False Focus
Cast Ray of Frost while using a Holy symbol of at least 40gp value(holy symbol as tatoo for 100gp is very good; can't be disarmed/stolen/lost).

Emulate Liquid Ice as material component.

Now your Ray deals 1d3(normal spell) cold damage
+1d3 piercing damage +1 cold damage(Bonus from Liquid Ice)
+2 damage per die rolled(Orc&Draconic Bloodlines)
->2d3+5 damage(1d3+2 piercing, subject to DR, 1d3+3 cold, subject to Energy resistance)

Add the Havoc of the Society trait, and you can deal 2d3+6 damage, at will, at first level.

Half-orc doesn't provide any damage bonuses, but is nice for +2 bonus to saves with Fate's favored and Sacred Tattoo.

For maximum damage, be Human instead and pick up PBS for 2d3+7 damage at +1 to hit

Wait, I missed something with Liquid Ice. Are you saying it ADDS 1d3 piercing when consumed? I thought it just changed the damage type to piercing.

Dark Archive

Mark Hoover wrote:
Derrick Winters wrote:

Another option:

Half-orc Crossblooded Orc/Draconic(Silver) Sorcerer
Feat: False Focus
Cast Ray of Frost while using a Holy symbol of at least 40gp value(holy symbol as tatoo for 100gp is very good; can't be disarmed/stolen/lost).

Emulate Liquid Ice as material component.

Now your Ray deals 1d3(normal spell) cold damage
+1d3 piercing damage +1 cold damage(Bonus from Liquid Ice)
+2 damage per die rolled(Orc&Draconic Bloodlines)
->2d3+5 damage(1d3+2 piercing, subject to DR, 1d3+3 cold, subject to Energy resistance)

Add the Havoc of the Society trait, and you can deal 2d3+6 damage, at will, at first level.

Half-orc doesn't provide any damage bonuses, but is nice for +2 bonus to saves with Fate's favored and Sacred Tattoo.

For maximum damage, be Human instead and pick up PBS for 2d3+7 damage at +1 to hit

Yeah the way I read it, it sounds like it only does d3 piercing +1cold

Dark Archive

Now if you go the acid splash route with acid flask and false focus and extend and magical lineage and another trait, you can get 1d3+3 damage for 4 rounds with a single casting. That damage will stack if you target the same enemy the next round. Plus it is good against swarms.

Dark Archive

With acid splash and acid flask,false focus magical lineage, trait that add 1 point damage, half orc, orc bloodline, elemental bloodline fire, arcane strike, and level 20,your looking at 1d3+16 damage for 4 rounds for a total of 4d3+64 damage if you stack attacks in a long fight 16d3+254 per round on an unlimited cantrip

Dark Archive

Titania, the Summer Queen wrote:
With acid splash and acid flask,false focus magical lineage, trait that add 1 point damage, half orc, orc bloodline, elemental bloodline fire, arcane strike, and level 20,your looking at 1d3+16 damage for 4 rounds for a total of 4d3+64 damage if you stack attacks in a long fight 16d3+254 per round on an unlimited cantrip

I totally did my math wrong....

I think it would end up 4d3+64.

But you can ramp it up to (4d3+80)+(4d3+80)*1.5 or 220 average damage every round after the third round.

All you need is spell perfection, quicken and empower.


Point Blank Shot and Sneak Attack would work. Arcane Trickster is an idea. Though if were talking Level 1 then that's not an issue.

I don't see how magical lineage helps because the damage from Acid Splash or Ray of Frost does not scale with level; caster level does not matter. Extend spell does not do anything because the spell duration for either spell is instantaneous. If you are using an acid flask for

Weapon specialization will get you a +2 and so will greater but they are fighter feats... how do we get them without fighter levels? Or are we planning for a 4 level or more fighter dip?

Crossblooded Orc/Draconic(Silver) is not bad but since you will only ever get one die of damage Crossblooded Orc/Brutal will be better, giving you a +3 instead of +2.

Kobold Sorcerer 20 (white) with Crossblooded Draconic/Brutal will get:

Favoured Class Bonus: +10
Brutal Bloodline +2 damage
Draconic Bloodline +1 damage per die
Havoc of the society trait for +1 force damage
Point Blank Shot +1
Liquid Ice +1
Flag Bearer Feat +1
Arcane Strike +5
Spell Perfection (ray of frost)
Empower Spell x 1.5 (free because of spell perfection)

So that's (1d3 + 22) x 1.5 = avg. 36 damage

He could quicken instead of empower but then he wouldn't get arcane strike (both arcane strike and quicken use the swift action). So with one quickened and one empowered that's (1d3 + 17) x 1.5 + 1d3 + 17 = avg. 47 damage - yeah, worth it. The quickened one alone does 1d3 + 17.

Aasimar or Tiefling Sorcerer (Crossblooded Draconic/Brutal) 3/Rogue 7/Arcane Trickster 10 would get:

Brutal Bloodline +2 damage
Draconic Bloodline +1 damage per die
Havoc of the society trait for +1 force damage
Point Blank Shot +1
Liquid Ice +1
Flag Bearer Feat +1
Arcane Strike +3
Spell Perfection (ray of frost) Qualify using the Magical Knack trait
Empower Spell x 1.5 (free because of spell perfection)
Sneak Attack Damage 9d6

So that's (1d3 + 10) x 1.5 + 9d6 sneak attack damage. Avg. 50 damage assuming you can get the sneak attack damage.

If you can get sneak attack on both attacks then you quicken one and empower the other so no arcane strike. (1d3 + 7) x 1.5 + 9d6 + 1d3 + 7 + 9d6. Avg. 86 damage.

OK so I figured out how you were getting 4 rounds of action - strictly speaking this might not work because the listed duration of the spell is instantaneous. But if your GM allows it then it works like this:

Kobold Sorcerer 20 (black) with Crossblooded Draconic/Orc will get:

Favoured Class Bonus: +10
Orc Bloodline +1 damage per die
Draconic Bloodline +1 damage per die
Havoc of the society trait for +1 force damage
Point Blank Shot +1
Acid Flask + False Focus +1 extra round of damage
Flag Bearer Feat +1
Spell Perfection (ray of frost)
Extend Spell lasts 4 rounds (free because of spell perfection)
OR Quicken Spell (free because of spell perfection)

The initial hit will do 1d3 + 15
Each subsequent round of damage will be 1d3 +2 since only the *per die* effects will affect further rounds of damage. So with one extended and the other quickened we get a total of 6 rounds, two of which are initial hits.

That`s (1d3 + 15) x 2 + (1d3 + 2) x 4 = avg. 50 damage for one round of spells. Not bad though the damage is spread over multiple rounds.

If you empower instead of extend you get only 2 rounds for each spell but I think you end up with more: (1d3 + 15) x 1.5 x 2 + (1d3 + 2) x 1.5 x 2 = 63 damage average. Yeah, that`s better.

Not bad but the arcane trickster does it better assuming you can get your sneak attack in.


What I didn't get is how you get an additional round of damage through a flask of acid when you use the ray of frost. Doesn't that only work with acid splash?
And if you use acid splash instead I think point blank shot will not work because it is no ray and as such no weapon damage. Same with flagbearer.


Can you use Vital Strike on rays? If so, couldn't you take that feat when you get to high level as a sorcerer and fire off one empowered Ray of Frost with your first kobold draconic/brutal sorcerer of (2d3 +23)x 1.5 = 40.5 damage?


Take a level of winter witch. Take the Frozen Caress hex. It lets you add 1d4 cold to touch attacks. It's an extra die so you'd add +2 from Orc/Draconic. Also, there is no reason to not add liquid ice in as a material and focus with False Focus+Tattoo holy symbol for base d3 piercing + 2 cold damage.


Why not after taking the level in sorcerer, taking all the remaining levels in admixture wizard where you get half your level in bonus damage as well? Also, you get to cast useful spells.


Umbranus wrote:

What I didn't get is how you get an additional round of damage through a flask of acid when you use the ray of frost. Doesn't that only work with acid splash?

And if you use acid splash instead I think point blank shot will not work because it is no ray and as such no weapon damage. Same with flagbearer.

Whoops, yeah that was a typo. The third example is acid splash, not ray of frost. Good point about PBS and Flagbearer. Will edit that.

It's a little weird that acid splash doesn't count for that though. You still have to make a ranged touch attack.

Vital Strike is interesting... the issue with it is the use of the language "attack action." Can spellcasting also be an attack action? I'm not sure. If it could then you would get an extra d3 + whatever bonuses per die you got. Of course, then you would really want it as a ray caster as it would make your polar rays do double damage. I'm guessing based on this that Vital Strike probably wouldn't count.

Winter witch is interesting but the Frozen Caress takes a swift action, which means we can't quicken for a second shot.

Admixture wizard gets the same bonus as a kobold favoured class bonus does but has to level dip, so the total bonus is less. As for his spells being more useful, sorcerers and wizards picks spells from the same list.


Also realized for the initial calculation I was empowering both acid splash spells instead of just the non-quickened one. Can't edit the old post for some reason so here's the new calculation:

Kobold Sorcerer 20 (black) with Crossblooded Draconic/Orc will get:

Favoured Class Bonus: +10
Orc Bloodline +1 damage per die
Draconic Bloodline +1 damage per die
Havoc of the society trait for +1 force damage
Acid Flask + False Focus +1 extra round of damage
Spell Perfection (acid splash)
Extend Spell lasts 4 rounds (free because of spell perfection)
OR Quicken Spell (free because of spell perfection)

The initial hit will do 1d3 + 13
Each subsequent round of damage will be 1d3 +2 since only the *per die* effects will affect further rounds of damage. So with one extended and the other quickened we get a total of 6 rounds, two of which are initial hits.

That`s (1d3 + 13) x 2 + (1d3 + 2) x 4 = avg. 46 damage for one round of spells. Not bad though the damage is spread over multiple rounds.

If you empower instead of extend you get only 2 rounds for each spell but I think you end up with more: (1d3 + 13) x 1.5 + (1d3 + 2) x 1.5 + (1d3 + 13) + (1d3 + 2) = 47 damage average. About the same.

Interestingly this ends up working out to the same as ray of frost because two of the feats don't work for this one, which seems to balance out the extra round of damage we get from the acid flask bonus.

If Vital Strike is allowed you can get an extra 1d3+2 for one casting with either .


Um how exactly would Extend spell work? Acid splash has a duration of instantaneous.


I guess this is how:

Acid wrote:

A common flask of acid has many uses as an alchemical power component, particularly with attack spells.

Acid Arrow (M): The spell's acid lasts 1 round longer than normal.
Acid Fog (M): The fog's radius and height increase by 5 feet.
Acid Splash (F): The spell deals +1 point of damage.
Acid Splash (M): The spell lasts 1 round longer than normal.

Once you use the acid the acid splash lasts longer than instant. Whether that makes it viable to use with extend I do not know.


The Acid lasts one round longer, the Conjuration spell is instant I should think...
But then the wording does say spell in the adventurers armory, odd. Wonder if that was a miss print or dropped word for space.

Still changing the spell duration from instant to 1 round WOULD make it eligible for extend spell but that would only make it last 2 rounds total.


I have a magus sorcerer that can do some pretty crazy damage with false focus for material component acid flask, acid splash, extend metamagic feat. Can end up doing 80 + damage with continuous castings of acid splash and spell combat with high crit weapon.


.

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