Explain like I'm 5 - Spiritual Weapon


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I'm new to Pathfinder (and PnP) and most everything is coming together. However, for the life of me, I can't make sense of Spiritual Weapon.

Spiritual Weapon:
Spiritual Weapon

School evocation [force]; Level cleric/oracle 2, inquisitor 2; Domain war 2
CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF
EFFECT

Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect magic weapon of force
Duration 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

DESCRIPTION

A weapon made of force appears and attacks foes at a distance, as you direct it, dealing 1d8 force damage per hit, + 1 point per three caster levels (maximum +5 at 15th level). The weapon takes the shape of a weapon favored by your deity or a weapon with some spiritual significance or symbolism to you (see below) and has the same threat range and critical multipliers as a real weapon of its form. It strikes the opponent you designate, starting with one attack in the round the spell is cast and continuing each round thereafter on your turn. It uses your base attack bonus (possibly allowing it multiple attacks per round in subsequent rounds) plus your Wisdom modifier as its attack bonus. It strikes as a spell, not as a weapon, so for example, it can damage creatures that have damage reduction. As a force effect, it can strike incorporeal creatures without the reduction in damage associated with incorporeality. The weapon always strikes from your direction. It does not get a flanking bonus or help a combatant get one. Your feats or combat actions do not affect the weapon. If the weapon goes beyond the spell range, if it goes out of your sight, or if you are not directing it, the weapon returns to you and hovers.

Each round after the first, you can use a move action to redirect the weapon to a new target. If you do not, the weapon continues to attack the previous round's target. On any round that the weapon switches targets, it gets one attack. Subsequent rounds of attacking that target allow the weapon to make multiple attacks if your base attack bonus would allow it to. Even if the spiritual weapon is a ranged weapon, use the spell's range, not the weapon's normal range increment, and switching targets still is a move action.

A spiritual weapon cannot be attacked or harmed by physical attacks, but dispel magic, disintegrate, a sphere of annihilation, or a rod of cancellation affects it. A spiritual weapon's AC against touch attacks is 12 (10 + size bonus for Tiny object).

If an attacked creature has Spell Resistance, you make a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) against that Spell Resistance the first time the spiritual weapon strikes it. If the weapon is successfully resisted, the spell is dispelled. If not, the weapon has its normal full effect on that creature for the duration of the spell.

The weapon that you get is often a force replica of your deity's own personal weapon. A cleric without a deity gets a weapon based on his alignment. A neutral cleric without a deity can create a spiritual weapon of any alignment, provided he is acting at least generally in accord with that alignment at the time. The weapons associated with each alignment are as follows:

chaos (battleaxe)
evil (light flail)
good (warhammer)
law (longsword)

Ok, I summon it. Now what? Where is it, do I place it? Or does it appear next to the target?

Does the range of 100ft mean how far it can strike out or how far it can follow the target around?

If my god's favored weapon is ranged, how does that work? Is it just a cosmetic difference, or does it turn into a turret and attack at range? If so, does cover, firing into melee, etc. still apply?


PiIsExactly3 wrote:

I'm new to Pathfinder (and PnP) and most everything is coming together. However, for the life of me, I can't make sense of Spiritual Weapon.

Ok, I summon it. Now what? Where is it, do I place it? Or does it appear next to the target?

Does the range of 100ft mean how far it can strike out or how far it can follow the target around?

If my god's favored weapon is ranged, how does that work? Is it just a cosmetic difference, or does it turn into a turret and attack at range? If so, does cover, firing into melee, etc. still apply?

It appears next to the target and attacks that round.

It automaticly follows that target and continues to attack until you decide to redirect it.

Redirecting it is a move action. You can redirect it to any target within range.

Range means how far away from you it can be. Also how far it can fire if it's a ranged weapon.

If it's a ranged weapon it will appear and fire the round you cast it.

Changing targets is still a move action.

I would guess that cover, firing into melee etc. would still apply but am not certain on this one.

- Torger


PiIsExactly3 wrote:
Where is it, do I place it? Or does it appear next to the target?

You can choose to have the weapon appear in any square within 100 feet + 10 feet per level of your character. So if you're 4th level, then you can cause it to appear anywhere within 140 feet of your character. More than likely you would cause it to appear next to the target (if it's a melee weapon).

PiIsExactly3 wrote:
If my god's favored weapon is ranged, how does that work? Is it just a cosmetic difference, or does it turn into a turret and attack at range? If so, does cover, firing into melee, etc. still apply?

Looks like that it could just attack from range, but it would use the spell's range rather than the weapon's. It still rolls attacks to hit targets, so I would say that it would still take standard penalties from cover, firing into melee, etc. - with the additional downside that it doesn't benefit from feats so even if you have Precise Shot it would still take penalties for firing into melee.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The range of 100 feet + 10 feet per level is how far away from you the weapon can get at any point in time. You can make it appear anywhere within that distance when you first cast the spell. It will follow the target wherever it goes, as long as the target remains within the range of the spell. The spiritual hammer has no limit on its own movement, so it will just follow the target, no matter how quickly they can move.

The form it takes is mostly cosmetic, except in terms of critical hit information.

If your deity's favoured weapon is a ranged weapon (say, a longbow), it will be subject to all of the modifiers affecting a ranged attack, but there is no good reason to put it farther than 5' from the target (since it doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity), which will remove many of the possible ranged combat modifiers. Note that even if it is a ranged weapon, it cannot strike at a target beyond the 100 feet +10 feet per level range of the spell.


What if the target turns invisible? Is the weapon going to attack the correct square? How about after he becomes visible again?

What if someone casts deeper darkness? Does the weapon know where the target is?

What if there is dim lighting, is the weapon subject to a miss chance?

What if they're fighting underwater?

The Exchange

Samuli wrote:

What if the target turns invisible? Is the weapon going to attack the correct square?

What if someone casts deeper darkness? Does the weapon know where the target is?

What if they're fighting underwater?

The spell doesn't mention the weapon having any special sensory abilities, so it would probably continue to attack the square where the target disappeared until directed otherwise. If the target reappears later... tricky. The weapon has no listed Intelligence so it might not identify this target as the 'same' target - yet if it were any other kind of effect, it would begin to apply again.

Underwater, the fact that it's spell damage rather than a true 'weapon' means that the ranged-weapon rules for underwater combat don't apply - the spell would work normally.


Samuli wrote:
What if the target turns invisible, and later becomes visible again?

Not covered by the spell, however I would probably say that it continues to attack the square in which the target was located when he vanished, with all the relevant penalties and miss chances for attacking an invisible creature. If you just let it sit there and continue attacking without redirecting, then when the original target reappeared, assuming it was within spell range, the weapon would go after it.

Samuli wrote:
What if someone casts there is dim lighting, is the weapon subject to a miss chance?

Not certain about this one. I would say that if it takes penalties for firing into a melee (and I believe it would) that it would take penalties as though there were someone actually standing there firing it.

Samuli wrote:
What if they're fighting underwater?

The spell probably covers this one: It is a weapon made of pure force. Are force spells affected under water - say, like magic missile? I don't believe so, and so this wouldn't likely be penalized.


Lincoln Hills wrote:
Samuli wrote:

What if the target turns invisible? Is the weapon going to attack the correct square?

What if someone casts deeper darkness? Does the weapon know where the target is?

What if they're fighting underwater?

The spell doesn't mention the weapon having any special sensory abilities, so it would probably continue to attack the square where the target disappeared until directed otherwise. If the target reappears later... tricky. The weapon has no listed Intelligence so it might not identify this target as the 'same' target - yet if it were any other kind of effect, it would begin to apply again.

Underwater, the fact that it's spell damage rather than a true 'weapon' means that the ranged-weapon rules for underwater combat don't apply - the spell would work normally.

I edited my post after you replied. Sorry for the hassle :)

Shadow Lodge

Guessing, but:

1) I don't think it gets a placement. It doesn't have a speed, explicitly can't flank, and can't be attacked. All you need to do is give it a target.

2) Both/either. A melee weapon has to "follow" a target within that range even if it doesn't have a specific placement, and a ranged weapon uses the spell range as its shooting range.

3) I expect it's cosmetic, because otherwise the ranged weapon would be inferior. The melee version doesn't have to worry about cover or firing into melee, and unlike a normal melee attack it's not limited by having to chase a target. (Again, there's no speed, and the spell says that on any turn it continues to attack the same target it can take a full attack if your BAB allows - it doesn't lose this full attack if the target moves). However, the melee version can't go out of your sight or leave spell range, so it makes sense to say that the ranged one "stays in your space" and can only attack targets within spell range that it has line of sight to. This keeps the change cosmetic and prevents weapon placement from mattering.


I guess I'm not surprised that there are as many interpretations in this thread as there are posts.


PiIsExactly3 wrote:
I guess I'm not surprised that there are as many interpretations in this thread as there are posts.

What are you talking about? Everyone that answered you is saying the same thing.

Also, they all answered within a 3 minute span. They likely thought they were the first person answering you, hence why there's three posts back to back saying the same thing.


I'm talking about the multiple different statements on the areas of the spell I was trying to figure out. Each quote below in each category is from a different poster and describe each aspect of the spell differently.

Placement/Movement:

Quote:
It appears next to the target and attacks that round.
Quote:
You can choose to have the weapon appear in any square within 100 feet + 10 feet per level of your character.
Quote:
I don't think it gets a placement. It doesn't have a speed, explicitly can't flank, and can't be attacked. All you need to do is give it a target.

Attack Range:

Quote:
Range means how far away from you it can be. Also how far it can fire if it's a ranged weapon.
Quote:
Looks like that it could just attack from range, but it would use the spell's range rather than the weapon's.

Difference between diety's weapon being melee or ranged:

Quote:
I would say that it would still take standard penalties from cover, firing into melee, etc.
Quote:
If your deity's favoured weapon is a ranged weapon (say, a longbow), it will be subject to all of the modifiers affecting a ranged attack
Quote:
I expect it's cosmetic, because otherwise the ranged weapon would be inferior.


Aside from one of Weirdo's comments, they don't contradict each other. That makes two interpretations. Not "as many as there are posts".

..

Personally, I'd be more concerned about the fact that it uses Wisdom mod for attack (as it used to be a Cleric only spell), but an Oracle (Cha-based caster) can select this spell.

In my experience, my GM let me use my Charisma, as it's likely a legacy thing, since the spell came out before there was a Cha based spellcaster that could take this spell.

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, I'm saying that you could place it next to the foe if you want but that the position is actually irrelevant as long as the target is within range of the spell and line of sight of you. There are no other restrictions or advantages to particular Spiritual Weapon placements. It's just simpler to ignore the exact placement.

The "ranged penalties should not apply" is the only real difference in my post, but if you opt to position the weapon next to an opponent whether ranged or melee (like Chemlak said, you can't AoO the weapon for an adjacent ranged attack) you can probably ignore cover, meaning the only penalty that's relevant is firing into melee. And the reason I'd ignore that penalty is as I said that it makes the ranged Spiritual Weapon clearly inferior for no good reason.


" It strikes as a spell, not as a weapon "

Weapon rules don't apply apart from the specified crits.

Its really just visual as to if a 2H sword of force is bashing them, a spear, a dagger, or a bow .. yes a bow: no deity has favored weapon arrow.

The fact daggers can be thrown is irrelevant its just a SPELL that APPEARS like a weapon and that takes some spiritual traits of said weapon.


Weirdo wrote:

Yeah, I'm saying that you could place it next to the foe if you want but that the position is actually irrelevant as long as the target is within range of the spell and line of sight of you. There are no other restrictions or advantages to particular Spiritual Weapon placements. It's just simpler to ignore the exact placement.

The "ranged penalties should not apply" is the only real difference in my post, but if you opt to position the weapon next to an opponent whether ranged or melee (like Chemlak said, you can't AoO the weapon for an adjacent ranged attack) you can probably ignore cover, meaning the only penalty that's relevant is firing into melee. And the reason I'd ignore that penalty is as I said that it makes the ranged Spiritual Weapon clearly inferior for no good reason.

I do not see a problem with it being inferior, many weapons have a crit of 20/x2 which is also inferior to other choices, it will likely interact with feats and spells differently in some cases too but I have no problem with that.


insaneogeddon wrote:


" It strikes as a spell, not as a weapon "

Weapon rules don't apply apart from the specified crits.

Its really just visual as to if a 2H sword of force is bashing them, a spear, a dagger, or a bow .. yes a bow: no deity has favored weapon arrow.

The fact daggers can be thrown is irrelevant its just a SPELL that APPEARS like a weapon and that takes some spiritual traits of said weapon.

What are 'weapon rules' exactly ?

Strikes as a spell means it does not deal with DR but is subject to SR that is about the extent of that line.


PiIsExactly3 wrote:


Placement/Movement:

Quote:
It appears next to the target and attacks that round.
Quote:
You can choose to have the weapon appear in any square within 100 feet + 10 feet per level of your character.
Quote:
I don't think it gets a placement. It doesn't have a speed, explicitly can't flank, and can't be attacked. All you need to do is give it a target.

Attack Range:

Quote:
Range means how far away from you it can be. Also how far it can fire if it's a ranged weapon.
Quote:
Looks like that it could just attack from range, but it would use the spell's range rather than the weapon's.

Difference between diety's weapon being melee or ranged:

Quote:
I would say that it would still take standard penalties from cover, firing into melee, etc.
Quote:
If your deity's favoured weapon is a ranged weapon (say, a longbow), it will be subject to all of the modifiers affecting a ranged attack
Quote:
I expect it's cosmetic, because otherwise the ranged weapon would be inferior.

Placement/Movement:

Usually spells appear within range, the only line in the spell suggesting otherwise : ' If the weapon goes beyond the spell range, if it goes out of your sight, or if you are not directing it, the weapon returns to you and hovers.' This line suggests it starts out next to you and returns to you in any of those conditions.

Range

Seems quite clear, it usually means how far the weapon can roam and like stated the weapon can not fire beyond this range if it is a ranged weapon.

Difference between diety's weapon being melee or ranged:

It simply functions as a ranged weapon and will interact with other effects as a ranged weapon, it would suffer the usual penalties for firing into melee. In the case of a missile weapon I'd say it simply stays with you since it always attack from your direction and adjudicate it accordingly, if you want a clear shot you might just have to move.

'If the weapon goes beyond the spell range, if it goes out of your sight, or if you are not directing it, the weapon returns to you and hovers.' This means if you are blinded or the target goes invisible (to you) it returns, based on this I'd use your sight perception of targets to adjudicate things like concealment (darkness, illusion effects) as though it was you. True seeing would allow you to attack the target normally if it was invisible and it does not suffer darkness penalties if you can see through it (darkvision for example).


AnnoyingOrange wrote:

Placement/Movement:

Usually spells appear within range, the only line in the spell suggesting otherwise : ' If the weapon goes beyond the spell range, if it goes out of your sight, or if you are not directing it, the weapon returns to you and hovers.' This line suggests it starts out next to you and returns to you in any of those conditions.

Range

Seems quite clear, it usually means how far the weapon can roam and like stated the weapon can not fire beyond this range if it is a ranged weapon.

Here's the problem I'm having. What you say makes sense. The line:

"the weapon returns to you and hovers."

Suggests it follows around your target. Otherwise, how would it return to you? However, this line muddies the waters for me:

"The weapon always strikes from your direction."

Maybe that just means even though it follows the target it still stays between you and the target? Why would that matter?

AnnoyingOrange wrote:

Difference between diety's weapon being melee or ranged:

It simply functions as a ranged weapon and will interact with other effects as a ranged weapon, it would suffer the usual penalties for firing into melee. In the case of a missile weapon I'd say it simply stays with you since it always attack from your direction and adjudicate it accordingly, if you want a clear shot you might...

Again, that makes sense, but then I read:

"Even if the spiritual weapon is a ranged weapon, use the spell's range, not the weapon's normal range increment, and switching targets still is a move action."

And I can easily interpret that as saying, even if it looks like a light crossbow it still works the same as if it looked like a melee weapon.


Spiritual Weapon is a spell.

It is made of force and does force damage.

It happens to take the shape of your deities weapon and happens to use the weapons threat range and critical multiplier. This is where the similarities to a weapon end. It is a spell.

As you direct it, it attacks your enemies from your direction. The direction is pure fluff. It is a spell.

As long as you can perceive your target (requirement for a spell) it will follow your target and attack it. If it runs out of target for any reason, it will return to you to indicate "hey! I am ready to attack something else now".

Ignore "ranged" and "melee". There is no difference. It is a spell.

Shadow Lodge

AnnoyingOrange wrote:
I do not see a problem with it being inferior, many weapons have a crit of 20/x2 which is also inferior to other choices, it will likely interact with feats and spells differently in some cases too but I have no problem with that.

There's a reason that Precise Shot is considered a must-have feat for ranged characters while Improved Critical isn't, and that reason is that an effective +4 to attack foes involved in melee is a much bigger deal than having a bigger crit range.


Weirdo wrote:
AnnoyingOrange wrote:
I do not see a problem with it being inferior, many weapons have a crit of 20/x2 which is also inferior to other choices, it will likely interact with feats and spells differently in some cases too but I have no problem with that.
There's a reason that Precise Shot is considered a must-have feat for ranged characters while Improved Critical isn't, and that reason is that an effective +4 to attack foes involved in melee is a much bigger deal than having a bigger crit range.

So it is not a great option to attack foes engaged in melee, pick your targets, even though being a missile weapon usually has disadvantages situations might come up where it is actually advantageous, anyway I did not say it wasn't inferior I simply said I do not see a problem with it, it is still a good 2nd level spell and inequality is built into the spell.


Avianfoo wrote:

Spiritual Weapon is a spell.

It is made of force and does force damage.

It happens to take the shape of your deities weapon and happens to use the weapons threat range and critical multiplier. This is where the similarities to a weapon end. It is a spell.

As you direct it, it attacks your enemies from your direction. The direction is pure fluff. It is a spell.

As long as you can perceive your target (requirement for a spell) it will follow your target and attack it. If it runs out of target for any reason, it will return to you to indicate "hey! I am ready to attack something else now".

Ignore "ranged" and "melee". There is no difference. It is a spell.

We understand 'it is a spell', unfortunately spells have few universal rules and the rules for governing the spell are detailed in the spell description.

It attacks enemies from your direction is not fluff, the only real reason to assume that is because you can not imagine it being important in any situation, though there are situations that it does matter especially when you or your assigned enemy moves behind cover, even more so when the weapon in question is a missile weapon.


PiIsExactly3 wrote:
AnnoyingOrange wrote:

Placement/Movement:

Usually spells appear within range, the only line in the spell suggesting otherwise : ' If the weapon goes beyond the spell range, if it goes out of your sight, or if you are not directing it, the weapon returns to you and hovers.' This line suggests it starts out next to you and returns to you in any of those conditions.

Range

Seems quite clear, it usually means how far the weapon can roam and like stated the weapon can not fire beyond this range if it is a ranged weapon.

Here's the problem I'm having. What you say makes sense. The line:

"the weapon returns to you and hovers."

Suggests it follows around your target. Otherwise, how would it return to you? However, this line muddies the waters for me:

"The weapon always strikes from your direction."

Maybe that just means even though it follows the target it still stays between you and the target? Why would that matter?

AnnoyingOrange wrote:

Difference between diety's weapon being melee or ranged:

It simply functions as a ranged weapon and will interact with other effects as a ranged weapon, it would suffer the usual penalties for firing into melee. In the case of a missile weapon I'd say it simply stays with you since it always attack from your direction and adjudicate it accordingly, if you want a clear shot you might...

Again, that makes sense, but then I read:

"Even if the spiritual weapon is a ranged weapon, use the spell's range, not the weapon's normal range increment, and switching targets still is a move action."

And I can easily interpret that as saying, even if it looks like a light crossbow it still works the same as if it looked like a melee weapon.

Yes the weapon stays between you and the target, which might matter for purposes of cover or other circumstances.

The weapon usually is a melee weapon so it has to follow it's target around, but a ranged weapon does not have to, even if it does it stays between you and the target pretty much if you want to avoid cover you have to move in an advantageous position in regards to the target.

PiIsExactly3 wrote:

Again, that makes sense, but then I read:

"Even if the spiritual weapon is a ranged weapon, use the spell's range, not the weapon's normal range increment, and switching targets still is a move action."

And I can easily interpret that as saying, even if it looks like a light crossbow it still works the same as if it looked like a melee weapon.

Why would you assume that ? Yes it mentions it works the same as any other weapon in these cases, nothing else.

Shadow Lodge

Because one of the key differences between ranged weapons and melee weapons is that a ranged weapon doesn't have any penalties for switching targets - you can split a full-attack between two creatures 30ft apart no problem. A melee attack can't normally do that. Removing that advantage from ranged weapons makes it seem like the ranged/melee distinction is supposed to be cosmetic for Spiritual Weapon.

AnnoyingOrange wrote:
So it is not a great option to attack foes engaged in melee, pick your targets,

In my experience, it usually only takes 1-2 rounds to run out of targets that aren't in melee, so I'd be biting the -4 penalty to hit most of the time.

AnnoyingOrange wrote:
even though being a missile weapon usually has disadvantages situations might come up where it is actually advantageous,

While missile weapons might have advantages normally given their range and their ability to make full attacks, they have no situational advantage over melee weapons in this spell since the ranged weapon advantages are explicitly removed by the spell - they don't get more full attacks, have the same range, and melee weapons can't be retaliated against either.

AnnoyingOrange wrote:
anyway I did not say it wasn't inferior I simply said I do not see a problem with it,it is still a good 2nd level spell and inequality is built into the spell.

Different crit range = little inequality

Ranged weapon penalties = big, deal-breaking inequality

If I were getting a ranged Spiritual Weapon I wouldn't prepare or learn the spell unless I was pretty certain I'd be running into a ton of incorporeals at low levels - a situation in which an easy way to do full damage would beat the -4 penalty to hit.


In Kobold Quarterly #14, Skip Williams (3.0 core developer, long-time Sage Advice columnist) in the "Ask A Kobold" column said that the spiritual weapon keeps attacking the square the invisible creature was in and has the normal 50% miss chance if the creature is in the square. You can actively direct it to another square if you think the enemy left the square.

- - - - -

As far as: "The weapon always strikes from your direction."

This is a leftover artifact from the wording of the spell spiritual hammer in previous editions, when facing was part of combat:

AD&D 1st Edition PHB, spiritual hammer: "Note: If the cleric is behind an opponent, the force can strike from this position, thus gaining all bonuses for such an attack and negating defensive protections such as shield and dexterity."

AD&D 2nd Edition PHB, spiritual hammer: "The hammer strikes in the same direction as the caster is facing, so if he is behind the target, all bonuses for rear attack are gained along with the loss of any modifications to the target’s AC for shield and Dexterity."

This was carried forward into later editions as:

D&D 3rd edition PHB, spiritual weapon: "The weapon always strikes from the character's direction."
D&D 3.5 edition PHB, spiritual weapon: "The weapon always strikes from your direction."

The way to handle this in facing-free 3.x is to usually ignore it, unless there's some specific battlefield circumstance.

- - - - -

Similarly to the facing issue, I'd say the lack of commentary in the spell as to how to handle ranged weapons is that, when re-designating it from always-a-hammer to the favored weapon of your deity, nobody actually thought about the effect of deities with ranged weapons as favored weapons. Instead, it was supposed to merely be a cosmetic change from a warhammer (note that in 3rd it always had the same crit range/multiplier whatever the form, bolstering the "100% cosmetic" intention).

3.5 started to take the weapon's appearance as a more-than-cosmetic thing, but again nobody thought about ranged weapons; even though form is not entirely cosmetic anymore, it's still supposed to work like a spiritual warhammer where not otherwise specified.

- - - - -

To summarize: This game wasn't really "designed". It was accreted, revised, accreted, and revised again, by lots of people over four decades, working on publishing schedules. There are accordingly rough patches in the rules. When you hit 'em, just do your best. Lots of people are willing to give you advice, but there's not always actually an unambiguously right answer.


Weirdo wrote:
Because one of the key differences between ranged weapons and melee weapons is that a ranged weapon doesn't have any penalties for switching targets - you can split a full-attack between two creatures 30ft apart no problem. A melee attack can't normally do that. Removing that advantage from ranged weapons makes it seem like the ranged/melee distinction is supposed to be cosmetic for Spiritual Weapon.

The move action has nothing to do with melee or ranged attacks, it is simply a move action to focus the spell on another target, directing a spell is usually a move action.

AnnoyingOrange wrote:
So it is not a great option to attack foes engaged in melee, pick your targets,
Weirdo wrote:
In my experience, it usually only takes 1-2 rounds to run out of targets that aren't in melee, so I'd be biting the -4 penalty to hit most of the time.

Against bigger creatures it might be a -2 or no penalty at all, creatures attacking you from range can likewise be attacked without problem.

AnnoyingOrange wrote:
even though being a missile weapon usually has disadvantages situations might come up where it is actually advantageous,
Weirdo wrote:
While missile weapons might have advantages normally given their range and their ability to make full attacks, they have no situational advantage over melee weapons in this spell since the ranged weapon advantages are explicitly removed by the spell - they don't get more full attacks, have the same range, and melee weapons can't be retaliated against either.

Possibly against a crane style user or an attack that might affect the weapon like a barbarian's spell sunder, in game you will likely run into more.

AnnoyingOrange wrote:
anyway I did not say it wasn't inferior I simply said I do not see a problem with it,it is still a good 2nd level spell and inequality is built into the spell.
Weirdo wrote:

Different crit range = little inequality

Ranged weapon penalties = big, deal-breaking inequality

I am not saying you should not houserule it, personally I dislike the whole favored weapon thing and would much rather have the spell be the same for every caster.

Weirdo wrote:
If I were getting a ranged Spiritual Weapon I wouldn't prepare or learn the spell unless I was pretty certain I'd be running into a ton of incorporeals at low levels - a situation in which an easy way to do full damage would beat the -4 penalty to hit.

Oracles never have this problem really and yea incorporeal foes is a good reason to prepare the spell still, so is preparing for a battle with a large opponent, a flying threat or an otherwise tricky one (spring attacks, climbing, ranged etc.) I am a big fan of house rules though, play it as suits your game.


Question about this spell.

My go - Ive cast the spell aimed at target and on appearing it missed.
Target creatures go - it moves and attacks a party member.
My go - The weapon follows as target hasnt changed but does it only have 1 attack due to moving after the target or because target hasnt changed but only moved away does it get the multiple attacks?


gr15hnak wrote:

Question about this spell.

My go - Ive cast the spell aimed at target and on appearing it missed.
Target creatures go - it moves and attacks a party member.
My go - The weapon follows as target hasnt changed but does it only have 1 attack due to moving after the target or because target hasnt changed but only moved away does it get the multiple attacks?

It would get iterative attacks based on your BAB since it did not change targets. Good luck!

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