Magical + Non-magical size increases and stacking


Rules Questions

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Sczarni

108 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 7 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

In a RECENT THREAD the question of stacking the effects of Shield Spikes and Bashing came up. This is the combination of a magical damage-increasing effect and a non-magical damage-increasing effect. Another similar example that comes up often is the combination of Improved Natural Attack and Strong Jaw.

All of these effects are worded the same, "dealing damage as if X size categories larger than they actually are".

We know from the "Lead Blades and Impact" FAQ that "similar effects" such as these do not stack. But those are both magical effects. What happens when a magical damage-increasing effect and a non-magical damage-increasing effect interact?

QUESTION: Do combinations of magical/non-magical damage dice increases (such as Improved Natural Attack & Strong Jaw, or Shield Spikes & Bashing) stack together?

FWIW, James Jacobs (read: not a rules guy) said HERE that Bashing and Shield Spikes should not stack, but that it was ultimately up to the GM to decide.

This qualifies as a "frequently asked question", as shown by the links here:

Shields, bashing, and spikes...
Shield of Bashing with Shield spikes, still have the Shield Bashing property?
Improved Natural Attack, Strong Jaw, Stonefit Gloves and Behemoth Hippos
Stacking: Enlarge+Lead Blades+Improved Natural Weapon+Strong Jaw

And many, many others just doing a simple search, dating back for years.

Feel free to click the FAQ!

EDIT: changed the words "size-increasing effect" to "damage-increasing effect".

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Shield Spikes do not increase anything.

They change it.

Non-magically.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Same logic follows for Improved Natural Attack.


Nefreet wrote:
Same logic follows for Improved Natural Attack.

The feat states that the damage increases, so I don't see this carrying much weight.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It's a different weapon, that deals a different kind of damage.

One does 1d4 Bludgeoning, and one does 1d6 Piercing.

Listed, in different places on the weapons list.

Are you trying to say Shield Spikes are an effect?

Are you trying to say they are the same weapon?


The question is flawed because it assumes that lead blades/impact/shield spikes are actually increasing the size. No size increase is happening therefore this rule does not apply:

Enlarge Person wrote:
Multiple magical effects that increase size do not stack

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Shield Spikes are magical effects?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Shield Spikes are magical effects?

Two reasons that rule doesn't apply.

I'd like to reiterate a statement I made in the other thread about the Shillelagh spell. This spell states that a druid's club or quarterstaff deals 2d6 damage if medium and 3d6 if large. There is also the Scarred Wanderer which uses a Heavy Spiked Shield of Bashing and is listed as dealing 2d6 damage.

Shillelagh:
Shillelagh
School transmutation; Level druid 1

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

EFFECT
Range touch
Target one touched non-magical oak club or quarterstaff
Duration 1 min./level
Saving Throw Will negates (object); Spell Resistance yes (object)

DESCRIPTION
Your own non-magical club or quarterstaff becomes a weapon with a +1 enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls. A quarterstaff gains this enhancement for both ends of the weapon. It deals damage as if it were two size categories larger (a Small club or quarterstaff so transmuted deals 1d8 points of damage, a Medium 2d6, and a Large 3d6), +1 for its enhancement bonus. These effects only occur when the weapon is wielded by you. If you do not wield it, the weapon behaves as if unaffected by this spell.

Scarred Wanderer:
Scarred Wanderer
CR 19
XP 204,800
Dwarf Barbarian 20
CN Medium humanoid (dwarf)
Init +2; Senses Perception +25

DEFENSE

AC 24, touch 10, flat-footed 22 (+7 armor, +2 Dex, –2 rage, +7 shield)
hp 415 (20d12+280)
Fort +28, Ref +12, Will +18; +9 vs. spells and spell-like abilities, +4 vs. enchantments, +2 vs. poison and supernatural abilities
Defensive Abilities 70% chance to negate critical hits and sneak attacks, defensive training (+4 dodge bonus to AC vs. giants), improved uncanny dodge, indomitable will, trap sense +6; DR 8/—; Immune frightened, harmful vapors and gases, nauseated, shaken, sickened

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee +5 bashing spiked heavy shield +31/+26/+21/+16 (2d6+11) or +5 bashing spiked heavy shield +29/+24/+19/+14 (2d6+11), +1 adamantine dwarven waraxe +25 (1d10+4/×3)
Special Attacks +1 on attack rolls against goblinoid and orc humanoids, mighty rage (50 rounds/day), rage powers (clear mind, fearless rage, increased damage reduction +3, internal fortitude, knockback, mighty swing, strength surge +20, superstition +7)

TACTICS

During Combat The barbarian breaks up enemy positions with bull rush. He always includes knockback and Shield Slam, and adds strength surge against strong enemies.

Base Statistics
When not raging, the barbarian's statistics are AC 26, touch 12, flat-footed 24; hp 335; Fort +24, Will+14; +2 vs. poison, spells, and spell-like abilities, no bonus vs. supernatural abilities or enchantments; DR 5/—; Melee +5 bashing spiked heavy shield +27/+22/+17/+12 (2d6+7) or +5 bashing spiked heavy shield +25/+20/+15/+10 (2d6+7), +1 adamantine dwarven waraxe +21 (1d10+2/×3); Str 14, Con 26; CMB +22; CMD 34; Skills Climb +16.
STATISTICS

Str 22, Dex 15, Con 34, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 6
Base Atk +20; CMB +26 (+30 bull rush); CMD 36 (42 vs. bull rush, 40 vs. trip)
Feats Greater Bull Rush, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Shield Bash, Iron Will, Lunge, Power Attack, Shield Master, Shield Slam, Toughness, Two-Weapon Fighting
Skills Acrobatics +22, Climb +20, Intimidate +20, Linguistics +3, Perception +25 (+27 to notice unusual stonework), Profession (miner) +5, Survival +6
Languages Common, Dwarven, Giant, Terran, Undercommon
SQ fast movement, tireless rage
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds, potions of haste (2); Other Gear +1 heavy fortification breastplate, +5 bashing spiked heavy steel shield, +1 adamantine dwarven waraxe, belt of mighty constitution +6, cloak of resistance +4, necklace of adaptation, ring of feather falling, winged boots, 150 gp

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Is a Spiked Shield just a regular Shield with a damage increasing effect on it?

How do you remove the effect?

Does it function in an Antimagic Field?

Can you lose the ability to utilize the effect due to ability damage, level loss, or similar effect?

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Robert A Matthews wrote:
The question is flawed because it assumes that lead blades/impact/shield spikes are actually increasing the size. No size increase is happening therefore this rule does not apply:

No, no, no.

I'm well aware the actual size of the item is not increasing.

I even pointed that out in my OP.

These effects are all worded as dealing damage "as if X size categories larger than they actually are".

Again, I ask you, leave Enlarge Person out of this debate. It has no place.

Robert A Matthews wrote:
This spell states that a druid's club or quarterstaff deals 2d6 damage if medium and 3d6 if large.

Nobody is debating this. Quit pointing it out.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Really, what kind of effect, is a Shield Spikes effect?

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's an effect that allows the item to deal damage as if X size categories larger than it actually is.

And, according to the FAQ, multiple "similar effects" do not stack.

The FAQ doesn't even use the words "magical effects" at all.


Nefreet wrote:

It's an effect that allows the item to deal damage as if X size categories larger than it actually is.

And, according to the FAQ, multiple "similar effects" do not stack.

The FAQ doesn't even use the words "magical effects" at all.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and pose this question: Where does it say anywhere that multiple similar effects don't stack? The FAQ supports the No answer by saying that lead blades is listed in the requirements of the impact enchant.

Edit: Not talking about Enlarge Person. Where does it say that multiple similar effects don't stack?
Further Edit: I ask this because the FAQ quoted is from the Advanced Player's Guide. If multiple similar effects don't stack, it should be a Core rule, especially since a spiked heavy shield of bashing is obtainable using only the Core Rulebook.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
FAQ wrote:

Weapon Special Ability, Impact: Does this stack with the lead blades spell?

No. The weapon special ability and the spell are similar effects; note that impact lists lead blades as a construction requirement.

I have never once referenced the text from Enlarge Person. That's been you from the beginning, hence why I keep asking you to quit doing it.

Enlarge Person will work with every single one of the effects I listed in my OP. And nobody debates that.

The question revolves around multiple similar effects that increase the damage dice of the item, not those that actually increase its size.

Apples and Oranges.

Lantern Lodge

I agree, this is a very commonly asked question, one that would rightly fit within the FAQ section of the rules. FAQ'd

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
blahpers wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Same logic follows for Improved Natural Attack.
The feat states that the damage increases, so I don't see this carrying much weight.

You don't see what carrying much weight?


Nefreet wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Same logic follows for Improved Natural Attack.
The feat states that the damage increases, so I don't see this carrying much weight.
You don't see what carrying much weight?

Never mind, I had a context failure.


The FAQ is referencing a question that equates to "Does a Belt of Giant Strength stack with my Bulls Strength spell?"

Which was rightfully answered no, the item uses the same spell in its creation, so it wouldn't stack with itself.

The question you are posing is "If I buy a larger heavier weapon than normal, and magically enhance it to hit with greater force than it normally would, does it only add 5lbs instead of 10?"

Or, "If I have naturally larger than average physical claws, and then receive the effects of a spell that increases my claws to supernatural size, since they were naturally larger than normal before the magic does it only add an inch instead of two?"

They aren't in the same game, let alone the same ballpark. Try asking the question without the slanted argument in the same post.

I really hate how people ask for a biased FAQ.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

How is the question, "Do combinations of magical/non-magical damage dice increases (such as Improved Natural Attack & Strong Jaw, or Shield Spikes & Bashing) stack together?", biased?

I referenced JJ saying Shield Spikes and Bashing don't work together, because that's all I could find.

Rather than critiquing my literary ability, perhaps you would prefer to provide a Designer quote that says they do stack together?

This is a discussion, after all.


The biased part was the remainder of the post. The question, if asked alone, would have been fine.

In print, Scarred Wanderer, and two in PFS scenarios that I have played.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thank you for that contribution.

In the earlier thread (linked first in my post) I stated that the Scarred Wanderer could easily be a misprint, since an entire section of the NPC Codex was also printed in error.

I said that if anyone else had other statblocks they could provide, they would further the evidence for that side of the debate.

I don't suppose you could provide the names of those two scenarios? With spoiler tags, of course.


I'll see if I can dig them up... I run a lot of them for the local group but I don't actually have the scenarios myself, I'm usually the overflow extra GM.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If you PM me with the names, I might have them. I own nearly 100 scenarios.


I don't remember the names, just that I saw them in statblocks, which is why I bought one for my dwarf.

One of them has a bashing shield as an available item on the chronicle sheet, the other one doesn't.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Any luck finding one?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Nefreet wrote:
Any luck finding one?

You could do a file search of the content of your nearly 100 scenarios for the keyword 'bashing'. That might turn up some hits.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'd have to re-download them all =\


As much as I hate to say it, I don't think Bashing stacks with a spiked shield, and here's why I came to that conclusion.

Pathfinder Core Rulebook wrote:
Bashing: A shield with this special ability is designed to perform a shield bash. A bashing shield deals damage as if it were a weapon of two size categories larger (a Medium light shield thus deals 1d6 points of damage and a Medium heavy shield deals 1d8 points of damage). The shield acts as a +1 weapon when used to bash. Only light and heavy shields can have this ability.

Looking at Table 6-4: Weapons, we see separate entries for "Shield, light" and "Spiked Shield, light" (same for heavy shields). Therefore, I conclude that the Bashing property cannot even be added to a spiked shield, so the question of their ability to stack is moot.


Adding an adjective doesn't change the noun. Is a spiked light shield still a light shield? Is a spiked heavy shield still a heavy shield?

Grand Lodge

No we don't. There is no light shield.

There is:

Shield, Light Wooden
Shield, Light Steel
Shield, Light Spiked.

If we follow that logic, bashing cannot be used in game at all.

In fact if you read the entry for the spike shield specifies that it is a light (or heavy) shield with armor spikes added.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Semantically, it wouldn't make much sense either to label a martial piercing weapon as "Bashing".


FLite wrote:

No we don't. There is no light shield.

There is:

Shield, Light Wooden
Shield, Light Steel
Shield, Light Spiked.

Not in Table 6-4 there isn't.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The other thread just reached 180 FAQ clicks.

Figured it was time to bring this one back to the forefront, since they are related questions.


Virtual size increases and real size increase stack. What you can not do is stack virtual size increases that beyond the base weapon damage.

As an example improved natural attack increases the actual base damage.

If you had ability A and B that only simulated a base damage increase they do not tend to stack for reasons already cited.

Now if you actually become larger that is ok because that is an actual base damage increase. Then on top of that you could had a virtual(most likely from magic) base damage bonus.

PS: That is generally speaking, and vital strike changes the base damage, but not based on size so that would not apply to what I am speaking about.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Although my personal belief is that Improved Natural Attack & Strong Jaw (or Shield Spikes & Bashing) do not stack, I think the Warpriest's Sacred Weapon progression would work with all of them.

A 5th level Warpriest does 1d8 with his Sacred Weapon. This is not a virtual size increase, and the weapon isn't dealing damage as if one or more size categories larger. So Weapon Focus in...

...(Claw) could be combined with Improved Natural Attack to make it 2d6.
...(Shield) could be combined with Bashing to make it 3d6.
...(Dagger) could be combined with Lead Blades to make it 2d6.
...(Bite) could be combined with Strong Jaw to make it 2d8.

The introduction of the Warpriest adds a whole new element to this question.


I disagree... the Warpriest Sacred weapon ability also states that it does damage as the weapon, or the sacred weapon damage, whichever is higher.

It's a separate total, and you choose the better one at the time.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Exactly. So, say for example you're a Tengu Warpriest with two claw attacks at 1d3/each. You take Weapon Focus (Claw). Your claws now deal 1d6/each. You take Improved Natural Attack (Claw). Your Claws now deal 1d8/each.

I don't see how you're disagreeing with me... Unless you think the claws would instead deal 1d4.


I was mostly here to see if there was a nonmagical way to increase size category.
I was wrong, sadly....

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My apologies, I realized I only edited the OP and not the thread title after my editing window closed.

But did you click the FAQ?


It's cool.
Sure, why not.


The claws for a Tengu Warpriest with WF(Claw) and INA (Claw) would give you choices of 1d4 (claws + INA) or 1d6 (sacred weapon damage).

ACG Warpriest Sacred Weapon Ability paragraph 2 wrote:

In addition, the warpriest sacred weapon damage is

based on his level and not the weapon type. The damage
for Medium warpriests is listed on Table 1–13; see the
table below for Small and Large warpriests. If the weapon
normally deals more damage than this, its damage is
unchanged. This increase in damage does not affect any
other aspect of the weapon. The warpriest can decide
to use the weapon’s base damage instead of the sacred
weapon damage
—this must be declared before the attack
roll is made.

(Bold Mine)

So far as I read it, you get to choose the weapon damage as it stands, or the sacred weapon damage dice, whichever you like. INA doesn't do anything to the sacred weapon damage, it modifies the base weapon dice. Since 1d4 (1d3 + INA) is lower than the sacred weapon die, you use the sacred weapon die. If instead it was used on a Tiefling bite (1d6) + INA (->1d8) then you would use the 1d8 instead of the sacred weapon 1d6.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I read that as meaning if you have a 1d3 claw and your Sacred Weapon is 1d6, then you'd use 1d6 as your base, but if you have a 2d6 Greatsword then you'd go with the 2d6, because its higher.

In fact, that's the only interpretation that makes sense in my mind.

Really? 1d4?


Nefreet wrote:

I read that as meaning if you have a 1d3 claw and your Sacred Weapon is 1d6, then you'd use 1d6 as your base, but if you have a 2d6 Greatsword then you'd go with the 2d6, because its higher.

In fact, that's the only interpretation that makes sense in my mind.

Really? 1d4?

Yikes! something else to add to the top list. Does Sacred Weapon apply before or after other "damage increasing" effects?

Or, if magical + non-magical stack, does it work after one type is applied, but before the other?

It gets more confusing.


Seems like they are just different categories. Which would mean that like categories don't stack but different categories do stack.

INA, Strong Jaw, Lead Blades, etc... do not stack with each other. The largest bonus is the one that stays active.

However any of the above could stack with any polymorph or spell that increases size.

It both seems like common sense from the way everything else works, and to do otherwise makes for some very large unbalancing combos. Since I'm playing a build that uses natural attacks with flurry, it would be fun to blow up the game with gargantuan monk attacks, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to allow it.

Grand Lodge

As I posted in a similar thread. I made a Tengue Warpriest and would like to know what damage I'm doing if have Strong Jaw cast on me.

I don't see INA as working because it changes base Natural Attack damage, so it does not effect the Sacred Weapon damage.

Strong Jaw however treats your Natural Weapons as two sizes bigger then they actually are. There is a table telling us how much damage a Large Sacred Weapon does. It does not tell us what a Huge weapon does which his what they count as with Strong Jaw.

On a Side Note in relation to Bladelock's post.

Strong Jaw and Lead Blades do not stack, I agree with this. HOWEVER, it does not make sense for INA to not stack with them. RAW, I can see where you are coming from, but I don't think that would be RAI and this is definitely something that needs to be answered in a FAQ.


I'm FAQing because this has caused confusion for some time. I sat down with a few DMs a month or so back to talk about shields and realized -everyone interpreted it differently-. There was not one agreement.

There's also a lot of confusion over how enchantments to shields and spikes are handled. The simplest seems to be to treat them as separate, enchantable objects.

So yes, FAQ, for my own sanity.


Drake Brimstone wrote:

As I posted in a similar thread. I made a Tengue Warpriest and would like to know what damage I'm doing if have Strong Jaw cast on me.

I don't see INA as working because it changes base Natural Attack damage, so it does not effect the Sacred Weapon damage.

Strong Jaw however treats your Natural Weapons as two sizes bigger then they actually are. There is a table telling us how much damage a Large Sacred Weapon does. It does not tell us what a Huge weapon does which his what they count as with Strong Jaw.

On a Side Note in relation to Bladelock's post.

Strong Jaw and Lead Blades do not stack, I agree with this. HOWEVER, it does not make sense for INA to not stack with them. RAW, I can see where you are coming from, but I don't think that would be RAI and this is definitely something that needs to be answered in a FAQ.

INA improves natural attacks by moving them one size category higher. There are separate charts for simply changing the base damage. Natural attacks, i.e. bite, claw, etc..., INA does not follow those rules. Nor does it follow the weapon chart of d6, d8, d10, etc...

It follows the "size increase-like" rules.

"The damage for this natural attack increases by one step on the following list, as if the creature's size had increased by one category."

To me, it looks like the same effect as Strong Jaw and Lead Blades.
..

Liberty's Edge

I don't see why they should not stack. What about an Enlarged Person wielding a bashing spiked shield?

The notation for spiked shields is just a shortcut for including two sets of damage statistics for each shield type.

That said, in my opinion, saying that spiked and bashing don't stack is akin to saying that bashing doesn't stack with the increased damage of a heavy shield versus a light shield.

I also believe that enlarge person should stack since it changes the actual size of the shield and does not increase the size (over its actual size) it is treated as for damage purposes.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Enlarge Person absolutely works with everything I listed in the original post. Nobody is saying otherwise, although a few posters somehow interpreted it that way anyways.

The question revolves around combinations of "virtual" size increases, not "actual" size increases.


Why should Enlarge Person work when other effects do not? If size stacking does notwork then size stacking does not work.

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