Are attack cantrips to useful... ever?


Advice

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RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Or, since any acid damage suppresses regeneration that round, wizard casts acid splash, then fighter coup de grace.
And enter the conversation of if coup will off a troll.

In Pathfinder, that's pretty clear cut. While the regeneration is suppressed, the troll can die normally. (In 3.5, yeah, you could only CDG with a weapon that overcame the regeneration, like a flaming sword or a flask of acid thrown at point-blank range.)


*Khan* wrote:

Fortunately there is a note that states "Some energy types might be particularly effective against certain objects, subject to GM discretion", which limits the insanity to a reasonable degree.

We always used this to say that fire damage bypasses hardness on wood, and acid bypasses most common materials. Otherwise you lose the ability to thematically shoot the chain holding the chandelier with acid splash and drop it onto the guards.


Dot again.


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I advocate the memorization of Ray of Frost in this list of tips and tricks that I compiled with the help from the board back in 2012.

-Nearyn

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

a dwarven sorcerer with their racial FCB can make acid splash a viable attack...

1d3+1 from focus (as has been pointed out)+1 for draconic bloodline +1/2 levels FCB
so at 2nd it does 1d3+3 and increases as you level... that's 4.5 avg damage- same as a light crossbow but weightless, no reload time, and targets touch AC (and at 4th it matches a heavy crossbow's average damage). the range isn't great but if you really wanted to build for it you take magical lineage and reach spell to make it medium range.

you're not gonna win any dps races with it, but for something you can use infinity times per day its not bad.

edit: well 14,400 times per day (that's how many rounds there are in 24 hours)

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

There's ways to increase the damage of ray of frost. With Point Blank Shot, wizard's evocation school, and using liquid ice as a focus, ray of frost does 1d3+3, which has a better average damage than a crossbow. And it targets touch AC, does not consume ammunition, and doesn't require you to hold a two-handed weapon.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

And doesn't require reloading!


cnetarian wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
cnetarian wrote:
I player with a sorcerer who combined toppling spell with ray of frost for a level 1 spell trip spell which was actually pretty useful.
How? Toppling spell only affects spells with the force descriptor, and Havoc of the Society doesn't change the descriptor of the spell.
Don't know how, wasn't my character but the GM OKed it/

Havoc of the Society trait, adds 1 pt of force damage to any spell. I could see a GM allowing it at his table.

Scarab Sages

Yeah, but havoc doesn't change the descriptor of the spell to force, it just adds one point of force damage. Havoc of the society is already pretty overpowered for a trait. It would be powerful as a feat if it did make any damage spell a force spell. The player probably had a high bluff skill and the DM tanked his sense motive.


Okay, so, with what everyone's posted, here's a build:

Dwarven Brutal Wildblooded Sorcerer

Str 8, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 15 (20 pt buy--that Cha pen. hurts!)

Dwarven Favored Class Bonus: +1/2 sor lvl to damage w/ acid/earth spells/SLAs

Character Traits: Havoc of the Society (add +1 force damage to spell), Quantium University Graduate (+2 to concentration checks)

Equipment: Acid Flask (Power Focus Component, +1 damage to acid splash)

Feats:
1st) Point Blank Shot (+1 to hit/damage w/in 30 ft)
3rd) Weapon Finesse (because he gets claws from his bloodline, and his Str sucks)
5th) Precise Shot

So, damage with Acid Splash (w/in 30 ft) as follows:

1st) 1d3+4 acid plus +1 force (+1 PBS, +1 Focus, +2 Brutal, +1 force Havoc of the Society)
2nd) 1d3+5 acid plus +1 force (add +1 fav. class bonus to above)
...Increase fav. class bonus damage by +1 at even levels.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Id stay out of melee, and go with Precise Shot at 3rd, and then Weapon Focus (rays) at 5th.

I'm not a big damage caster player, but aren't there feats to change energy type of other spells to acid, so that at higher levels your acid ball would get these bonuses as well?


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/metamagic-feats/elemental-spell-metamagic


I know that I, personally, have killed 17 trolls with Acid Splash.


Evoker wizard 8+/Crossblooded orc-dragon sorc 1.

PBS, Precise, Kirin Style, Kirin Strike, IUS.

First round haste, swift activate style. 2nd round CC, swift make knowledge checks. 3rd round damaging spell/attack get normal +2per die +Wiz level +2xInt(swift after attack is successful).

So, ray of frost does d3+2+8+14= d3+24... not bad for a cantrip @ 9th level, ranged touch, unlimited uses. same for Acid splash(bypasses SR) and Disrupt undead (incorporeal usually have low HP, so half damage is still good.)

I have a MoMS Monk2/Witch3 (22 Int) in PFS play that is currently doing d3+12 with cantrips, d8+12 with a lt. xbow, and d4+18 with Prehensile hair. I'm taking Focused Aim soon to get 3xInt with the crossbow next.

I can also see an Arcanist with the orc/dragon bloodline as one of his exploits, and the Evoker school exploit, spending a point from his pool to do this when it really counts.

Scarab Sages

That's the one way I have seen that might make Kirin style marginally useful. But still, it's only after the third round of combat, and as a primary caster, you would have been better off taking metamagic or spell focus feats than martial feats allowing you to be more damaging after three rounds of prepwork. The fight should be over by the time you get to use your five feat investment.


Nice catch on kirin style TGMM, that's an impressive boost for a simple little attack. Also that would give you a significantly larger damage boost than arcane strike.


I've dipped wizard for a level to get Acid Splash on a Rogue.

BAB is horrible anyway, so losing a point isn't that bad.

Gets you some 1st level utility spells and gives you a Touch attack you can use at range for sneak attacks, whenever the rare opportunity to do a ranged sneak attack comes up.


TGMaxMaxer wrote:

Evoker wizard 8+/Crossblooded orc-dragon sorc 1.

PBS, Precise, Kirin Style, Kirin Strike, IUS.

First round haste, swift activate style. 2nd round CC, swift make knowledge checks. 3rd round damaging spell/attack get normal +2per die +Wiz level +2xInt(swift after attack is successful).

So, ray of frost does d3+2+8+14= d3+24... not bad for a cantrip @ 9th

Evokers get half wizard level to damage, not full, so +8 -> +4. The rest is pretty impressive though.

sunbeam: Rogue BAB is not horrible, it's 3/4. Adding one level of wizard is 0. Dip might be worth it, but it is painful to BAB (essentially, three out of four levels you will be one BAB behind where you would have been). One good thing is you still get +6 BAB at 9th when you get a feat (and a rogue talent that could be a combat feat).


Yeah... it's not really worth it for a pure caster per se, but for my monk witch, I got them as bonus feats, and with feral Combat training's new faq, Monastic Legacy and Monks robe, scaling monk damage hair using my Int as Str is just funny.

I'll run up and stop 5 ft from an enemy, in no armor, with no weapons out except a xbow, and hex, then when they step up smack them for stupid damage as an AoO. (a caster with a +8 to hit for d4+18 damage at 5th level is stupid IMO, not thf/barb power attack stupid, but still pretty wicked).

Also, with an inflict light wounds charged up (PFS, so 2 PP why not).
Getting Ghoul Touch and Vamp Touch for later, as well as the higher inflicts.

I've also seriously considered high Int xbow fighter/sage sorc arcane archer with Focused shot and Kirin Strike, since he can enter style and get a head start on it during ambushes, but it would be much better in a home game, getting dex and 3xInt to damage with readied shots would be sweet sniper type.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Tels wrote:
I know that I, personally, have killed 17 trolls with Acid Splash.

Holy cow, we hardly ever even get trolls in our area these days, they have largely retreated to the high country, although there was a troop of Hill Giants that came down through Prince William County a couple years back in the Manassas area. Luckily a group of adventurers from Winchester were able to mostly wipe them out and take their stuff. Large +1 greatclubs were glutted on the local market for a while, and yet still cost 2305 gp.


I'm playing in an adventure right now where equipment purchase is extremely limited (stores don't carry anything above 10gp). Crossbows can't be purchased, but my wizard can use his cantrips until he manages to get one.

If you play the Souls For Smuggler's Shiv adventure, you may also find yourself in this situation with no stores available at all.

The cantrips are a nice option while waiting.


sunbeam wrote:

I've dipped wizard for a level to get Acid Splash on a Rogue.

BAB is horrible anyway, so losing a point isn't that bad.

Gets you some 1st level utility spells and gives you a Touch attack you can use at range for sneak attacks, whenever the rare opportunity to do a ranged sneak attack comes up.

If you just want Acid Splash, wouldn't Minor Magic be a better way of getting it?


Minor Magic just lets you use the cantrip two or three times.

I prefer to have my index finder always loaded.

Of course I don't think the opportunity comes up more than twice a day or so. Maybe if you use a scroll of Improved Invisibility.

But a one level dip lets you use trigger items for arcane spells without having to make a UMD roll. Plus you can memorize some first level utility spells, and make scrolls of them on your own.

Not a bad dip.

Heck it wouldn't be a bad idea to dip one level in Oracle too.

Oracle of Flame or Waves let you see through smoke and fog, respectively.

With a smokestick or the first level Obscuring Mist spell (might want to make wisdom 11, unless you get it off from Wiz level), you can get concealment and hit things further than 5' as a sneak attack.


Always loaded, but with arcane spell failure and at the cost of a BAB, delayed SA, and one less hit point, half a dozen skill points, and an FCB. You said yourself that you're not likely to have reason to use Acid Splash more than a couple times a day - it's really only useful as a surprise round ranged sneak attack.

Scarab Sages

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Just take a Dip of oracle instead of Wizard. The trait two world magic lets you take Acid Splash as an orison, and you can cast it in armor, and see through fog. Oracle use CHA not wis, so there is a lot of synergy with a ninja.


dot


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Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
Tels wrote:
I know that I, personally, have killed 17 trolls with Acid Splash.
Holy cow, we hardly ever even get trolls in our area these days, they have largely retreated to the high country, although there was a troop of Hill Giants that came down through Prince William County a couple years back in the Manassas area. Luckily a group of adventurers from Winchester were able to mostly wipe them out and take their stuff. Large +1 greatclubs were glutted on the local market for a while, and yet still cost 2305 gp.

Haven't heard of any troll attacks recently right? Means I'm doing a good job :P


The 1d3 energy cantrips can damage a spider swarm, whereas a crossbow bolt would be useless against the diminutive swarm.


Would the bonuses transfer to a wand made by sutch an individual?

How about the so called permenant aka chargeless wands?


demontroll wrote:
The 1d3 energy cantrips can damage a spider swarm, whereas a crossbow bolt would be useless against the diminutive swarm.

No they can't.

Swarm traits wrote:
A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind.

The 1d3 cantrips target one creature or object and therefore are useless against swarms.


Tels wrote:
demontroll wrote:
The 1d3 energy cantrips can damage a spider swarm, whereas a crossbow bolt would be useless against the diminutive swarm.

No they can't.

Swarm traits wrote:
A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind.
The 1d3 cantrips target one creature or object and therefore are useless against swarms.

You may be right, but that's not how I interpret these spells. Acid Splash has 'Effect one missile of acid', and Ray of Frost has 'Effect ray'. They don't specify a "target" in their stat block. Now a spell like Blindness specifies 'Target one living creature' and this wouldn't affect a swarm.

I see an Acid Splash spell to be roughly equivalent to an alchemical flask of acid, but with less damage, and no actual splash damage. Both can damage a swarm. Likewise, a sword that magically drips acid, can do acid damage to the swarm, even if the weapon itself doesn't do weapon damage. Essentially, diminutive swarms take damage from energy.


I did some digging, and James Jacobs says rays can affect swarms.

Liberty's Edge

Weren Wu Jen wrote:

The Adventurer's Armory adds power components.

Using a Flask of Acid (10gp -- as a focus it isn't consumed) as a power focus for Acid Splash makes it 1d3+1.

It has no save and doesn't allow spell resistance.

As an energy attack, it ignores DR.

The ranged touch attack makes it much easier for a low BAB spellcaster to actually hit. It can be cast every round, whereas that crossbow requires time to be reloaded.

EDIT: Ninja'd :P

Can you do that with Jolt? Does the acid splash work if your an admixture wizard and you change the damage type to something else?

Shadow Lodge

Imbicatus wrote:
Just take a Dip of oracle instead of Wizard. The trait two world magic lets you take Acid Splash as an orison, and you can cast it in armor, and see through fog. Oracle use CHA not wis, so there is a lot of synergy with a ninja.

i like that, would be a fun low level character build.

another way to think about it, is a dip into wizard sets you up for arcane trickster PrC. who doesn't like surprise round scorching rays with sneak attack damage added to each ray.

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