Worm that walks and smite evil


Rules Questions

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wraithstrike wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
A worm that walks is a single entity (e.g. hivemind) and therefore a valid target for a smite. Vowing to destroy an evil creature is by no means a physical effect and the worm that walks is not immune.

It is arguable that since smite targets the WtW and is causing the paladin to deal extra damage which makes smite a physical effect and thus the WtW is immune.

It is also arguable that this is not the case.

Corner case interactions involving ambiguous rules text are !!!fun!!!.

What physical affect is smite having on the WtW?

Smite itself does nothing to the worm. It is the paladin's sword doing the damage.

or his Bow or his spells. Smite increases all forms of damage that the Paladin does, it's more a Buff on the Paladin than anythng else.


Greylurker wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
A worm that walks is a single entity (e.g. hivemind) and therefore a valid target for a smite. Vowing to destroy an evil creature is by no means a physical effect and the worm that walks is not immune.

It is arguable that since smite targets the WtW and is causing the paladin to deal extra damage which makes smite a physical effect and thus the WtW is immune.

It is also arguable that this is not the case.

Corner case interactions involving ambiguous rules text are !!!fun!!!.

What physical affect is smite having on the WtW?

Smite itself does nothing to the worm. It is the paladin's sword doing the damage.

or his Bow or his spells. Smite increases all forms of damage that the Paladin does, it's more a Buff on the Paladin than anythng else.

I agree and that is what the FAQ that I quoted basically says, but people are still looking at the word "target", and ignoring the FAQ so now I am challenging him to use the aiming rules that all magic uses. Now he might say smite is some special corner case, but at that point we(me and him) will just have to agree to disagree.


wraithstrike wrote:


Are you saying that the word "target" in the paladin section refers to the use of how it is used when aiming magic or the common dictionary term?

OR

Also are you saying the smite is an effect on the WtW? If so what type of effect? Yes effects based aiming is broken down in the book.

It can't be effect based aiming and target(magic aiming). Those are two different methods of aiming magic.

You keep trying to combine the two.

Target would be the common dictionary term because Smite Evil has nothing to do with 'aiming magic'...

Like I've pointed out numerous times before, for a paladin to Smite Evil he must choose a target he can see (so Line of Sight applies) and declare his smite. There's absolutely NO attack roll or spell effect roll or anything whatsoever to make at this point so the 'magic aiming' you bring up doesn't even apply since the paladin isn't 'aiming' anything...

Since the Worm is immune to targeting like this per his entry, he is not Smite-able... So the buff that is on the paladin doesn't matter because the Worm was never smited in the first place...

I'm not combining anything. I'm saying these "effect based aiming and target (magic aiming)" don't even apply since Smite Evil is not a Spell. Yes, it's a supernatural ability which is 'magical, but not spell-like' so all these 'spell' aiming rules you bring up wouldn't even apply.


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a shadow wrote:

Worms That Walk are: "immune to any physical spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate)".

Your first 'aspect' of smiting is now negated by the Worm's immunity to an "effect that targets a single creature".

Unless of course you can point out a list of what exactly "physical effects" are somewhere in the rules....

Are you interpreting that as "immune to any effect or physical spell" instead of "immune to any physical spell or physical effect"? Or saying that all effects are physical because the game doesn't specify which ones are and aren't? I think you're supposed to use common sense.

Bleed damage: physical. A curse: not physical. Petrification: physical. Misfortune: not physical.


Matthew Downie wrote:


Are you interpreting that as "immune to any effect or physical spell" instead of "immune to any physical spell or physical effect"? Or saying that all effects are physical because the game doesn't specify which ones are and aren't? I think you're supposed to use common sense.
Bleed damage: physical. A curse: not physical. Petrification: physical. Misfortune: not physical.

The way it is written is "immune to any effect or physical spell which targets X number of creatures."

To me, Smite is an effect (whether it's magical, physical, spiritual, etc..., or none of the above effects) that requires a target of one creature, therefore the Worm is immune.


My not so humble opinion:

1. The Smite definitely targets the WtW. So the question becomes...

2. Is the smite a physical effect? I'd say it is arguably a physical effect on the Paladin, but definitely not a physical effect on the WtW.

3. So if it is a physical effect on the Paladin that targets the WtW, does that matter? I'd argue that there is an implicit requirement for the physical effect to actually be on the target for its physicality to matter, but that is not explicit.

So, long story short (too late), I'd say that you could go either way. The OP's GM is not wrong, but on balance I'd rule the other way.

_
glass.


a shadow wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


Are you saying that the word "target" in the paladin section refers to the use of how it is used when aiming magic or the common dictionary term?

OR

Also are you saying the smite is an effect on the WtW? If so what type of effect? Yes effects based aiming is broken down in the book.

It can't be effect based aiming and target(magic aiming). Those are two different methods of aiming magic.

You keep trying to combine the two.

Target would be the common dictionary term because Smite Evil has nothing to do with 'aiming magic'...

Magic does not require the target based aiming to be aimed. Breath weapons you use an area of affect. You do not have to single out a specific creature to aim the magic at someone. I do agree that smite is not using the target based aiming. I was just explaining why I disagree with your choice of words.

So since we are using the dictionary version of targeting instead of the magic specific targeting ala magic missile then I would have you know that only effects that require attack rolls would be left. Smite does not require an attack roll like disintegrate does, which interestingly enough is the example use. What requires an attack roll is the paladin's weapon.

If you are trying to argue that magical based aiming does not apply to supernatural abilities why would a dragon's breath not be able to go through walls? Do vampires need line of sight or line of effect to use dominate? The only thing stopping them is the aiming rules.

Quote:
Line of Effect: A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.

So yeah by you can argue that SU's do not follow the magic chapter rules, but you also introduce other problems.

Back to this targeting thing: Target is being used as "one I choose to destroy", not "one affected by my ability".

"As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite"

The wording is only saying who will receive the extra damage, not "who the magical ability is directly affecting" ala hold person.

PS: Yes, I know the combat chapter has rules for total cover, but it is referencing weapon based attacks.

PS2: Do you allow supernatural abilities to ignore total cover? Why or why not?


a shadow wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:


Are you interpreting that as "immune to any effect or physical spell" instead of "immune to any physical spell or physical effect"? Or saying that all effects are physical because the game doesn't specify which ones are and aren't? I think you're supposed to use common sense.
Bleed damage: physical. A curse: not physical. Petrification: physical. Misfortune: not physical.

The way it is written is "immune to any effect or physical spell which targets X number of creatures."

To me, Smite is an effect (whether it's magical, physical, spiritual, etc..., or none of the above effects) that requires a target of one creature, therefore the Worm is immune.

Would that also include weapon based attacks such as the paladin's sword even when he is not smiting?


a shadow wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
you interpreting that as "immune to any effect or physical spell" instead of "immune to any physical spell or physical effect"?
The way it is written is "immune to any effect or physical spell which targets X number of creatures."

No - "immune to any physical spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures" is syntactically ambiguous.

If a rule said, "lightning elementals are immune to all electric spells and spell-like abilities" it would be ambiguous whether they were immune to all spell-like abilities, or just electric ones, and you would have to use common sense to guess which one they meant.


Matthew Downie wrote:


If a rule said, "lightning elementals are immune to all electric spells and spell-like abilities" it would be ambiguous whether they were immune to all spell-like abilities, or just electric ones, and you would have to use common sense to guess which one they meant.

Using common sense, I wouldn't allow a Paladin to use Smite Evil against an evil swarm of Fine creatures either.


wraithstrike wrote:

"As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite"

The wording is only saying who will receive the extra damage, not "who the magical ability is directly affecting" ala hold person.

Regardless of the whatever we want to say the wording is trying to say, a Worm is immune to any effect that targets an individual creature.

This very sentence: "As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite" is the very definition of 'targeting an individual creature'...

I made the point above: Would you allow a Paladin to Smite Evil against an evil swarm of Fine creatures?

I would not.


a shadow wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

"As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite"

The wording is only saying who will receive the extra damage, not "who the magical ability is directly affecting" ala hold person.

Regardless of the whatever we want to say the wording is trying to say, a Worm is immune to any effect that targets an individual creature.

This very sentence: "As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite" is the very definition of 'targeting an individual creature'...

I made the point above: Would you allow a Paladin to Smite Evil against an evil swarm of Fine creatures?

I would not.

I actually would.

The Swarm as a beastiary entry is a single creature despite being a swarm of smaller creatures. A Fiendish Mosquito Swarm to me would be smitable. It's an Evil Monster

Now that said it still has the benefits of being a swarm so even though the Paladin has called down the Smite if he is attacking with his sword he isn't doing much (Smite bonus or no, Weapon damage is still reduced 0) but if he tosses Alchemist Fire or uses an AOE attack spell he would get the Smite bonus on those.

and of course he gets the Deflection bonus to AC regardless


a shadow wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:


If a rule said, "lightning elementals are immune to all electric spells and spell-like abilities" it would be ambiguous whether they were immune to all spell-like abilities, or just electric ones, and you would have to use common sense to guess which one they meant.
Using common sense, I wouldn't allow a Paladin to use Smite Evil against an evil swarm of Fine creatures either.

Fine smarms are immune to weapon damage and dont care about armor class so smite cant do anything to them for those reason so that is a bad example.


Also you never answered my questions about how supernatural abilities work with regard to line of affect since you claim the spell rules for aiming does not matter.


Greylurker wrote:
a shadow wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

"As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite"

The wording is only saying who will receive the extra damage, not "who the magical ability is directly affecting" ala hold person.

Regardless of the whatever we want to say the wording is trying to say, a Worm is immune to any effect that targets an individual creature.

This very sentence: "As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite" is the very definition of 'targeting an individual creature'...

I made the point above: Would you allow a Paladin to Smite Evil against an evil swarm of Fine creatures?

I would not.

I actually would.

The Swarm as a beastiary entry is a single creature despite being a swarm of smaller creatures. A Fiendish Mosquito Swarm to me would be smitable. It's an Evil Monster

Now that said it still has the benefits of being a swarm so even though the Paladin has called down the Smite if he is attacking with his sword he isn't doing much (Smite bonus or no, Weapon damage is still reduced 0) but if he tosses Alchemist Fire or uses an AOE attack spell he would get the Smite bonus on those.

and of course he gets the Deflection bonus to AC regardless

Good point. I had forgotten about splash weapons.


a shadow wrote:
Using common sense, I wouldn't allow a Paladin to use Smite Evil against an evil swarm of Fine creatures either.

That a Paladin could not smite an actual swarm is a completely different argument (and one I would concur with, actual swarms lack the "physical" qualifier).

a shadow wrote:
Regardless of the whatever we want to say the wording is trying to say, a Worm is immune to any effect that targets an individual creature.

No it is not. As has been pointed out multiple times in the thread already, the WtW's immunity is limited to physical effects in a way that a real swarm's is not.

_
glass.

Liberty's Edge

To the OP. I think that your GM is happy to have found what he thinks is a loophole in the RAW that allows him to negate your character's most powerful ability.

No matter that it should make WtW the most common BBEG by far, as well as any Evil God's clerics of choice.

Would he stand by his ruling if your character was a Good WtW Cleric targeted by an NPC Antipaladin Smite Good ?

That said, do you really want to ruin your GM's fun at having found a "clever" way to nerf your character ? ;-)


wraithstrike wrote:
Also you never answered my questions about how supernatural abilities work with regard to line of affect since you claim the spell rules for aiming does not matter.

If the SU actually requires to be aimed then sure.

You brought up dragon's breath earlier. Yes, line of effect blocks cones and lines, etc...

Smite Evil doesn't require any 'aiming' because the Paladin isn't casting a spell or attacking... Heck, he doesn't even have to point his finger to Smite at someone... He just needs to see the object of his Smite and basically say "I choose you." (i.e. target that individual)

Unfortunately, as I continue to point out, the Worm is immune from being targeted this way.

The black raven wrote:
Would he stand by his ruling if your character was a Good WtW Cleric targeted by an NPC Antipaladin Smite Good ?

I'm not the OP but I would rule the same way whether it was good vs. evil or evil vs. good. There is an alignment restriction on Worms though so 'rules-wise' this would never occur.

I'm curious- since a lot of you seem to think a Worm isn't immune to Smite Evil (which I believe is an effect- and a physical one), what effects would a Worm be immune to then?
If you say 'physical effects', tell me what physical effects then.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Haladir wrote:
If I were the GM, I'd allow Smite Evil to work on a worm that walks. Not letting it work seems like a technicality.

Gotta disagree, the Smite Evil effect is a really powerful tool, and it can invalidate a lot of BBEG, especially undead, dragons and outsiders, especially once aura of justice kicks in. I'm not advocating for screw the pally here, I think they should be allowed to do that, but it puts pressure on the GM to balance encounter design to let other players shine in the spotlight. In a campaign like say Wrath of the Righteous the Worm that Walks might be the only thing one cannot smite.


a shadow wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Also you never answered my questions about how supernatural abilities work with regard to line of affect since you claim the spell rules for aiming does not matter.

If the SU actually requires to be aimed then sure.

You brought up dragon's breath earlier. Yes, line of effect blocks cones and lines, etc...

Smite Evil doesn't require any 'aiming' because the Paladin isn't casting a spell or attacking... Heck, he doesn't even have to point his finger to Smite at someone... He just needs to see the object of his Smite and basically say "I choose you." (i.e. target that individual)

Unfortunately, as I continue to point out, the Worm is immune from being targeted this way.

You said the spell rules did not apply because smite is not a spell. You can't have it both ways.

All magic that has an effect on another creature uses aiming rules. Sometimes it is like charm person where the person is just subject to the effect(not game term), and sometimes it is through an attack roll such as a ray. Sometimes we aim by using lines or cones.

So either SU's follow the spell version of aiming or they have no rules for aiming because SU's have no written aiming method in the book.

So once again do SU's follow the same aiming method as spells?

If not then how do the various supernatural abilities work?


a shadow wrote:


I'm curious- since a lot of you seem to think a Worm isn't immune to Smite Evil (which I believe is an effect- and a physical one), what effects would a Worm be immune to then?
If you say 'physical effects', tell me what physical effects then.

Sorry I did not answer this the first time.

As a reminder so I have a reference "Worms that walk are immune to any physical spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate),"

Honestly I have no idea what a "physical spell" is. I am guessing it might be spells such as the one that makes ice pop up from the ground and knocks creatures prone.

I used to think that the WotW gained the swarm defenses so I would have said things like magic missile and dominate person, but now I might just disallow things such as disintegrate(rays).

I think it should have been written like this. ".....immune to any spell or affect that forces you to choose one creature to be affected by it..."

Since smite itself is a buff on the paladin and not something that affects the creature it would clearly not not be included. However if the devs wanted smite to not work they would have to call smite out specifically or revise the other FAQ.

Smite can't be an effect on the paladin and a physical effect on something else also, especially since it does not physically do anything to the other person/creature. It only empowers the paladin to do more to that creature.

Shadow Lodge

Galnörag wrote:
Haladir wrote:
If I were the GM, I'd allow Smite Evil to work on a worm that walks. Not letting it work seems like a technicality.
Gotta disagree, the Smite Evil effect is a really powerful tool, and it can invalidate a lot of BBEG, especially undead, dragons and outsiders, especially once aura of justice kicks in. I'm not advocating for screw the pally here, I think they should be allowed to do that, but it puts pressure on the GM to balance encounter design to let other players shine in the spotlight. In a campaign like say Wrath of the Righteous the Worm that Walks might be the only thing one cannot smite.

That's IMO a problem with WotR. Home games I play in have a wide variety of enemies such that characters specialized to fight a particular type will sometimes have the advantage and sometimes not. It's not hard to throw in an occasional major antagonist or monster with a neutral alignment. I can sympathize with a GM watching a paladin steamroll WotR but that's not a good reason to make the Worm immune to Smite.

a shadow wrote:

I'm curious- since a lot of you seem to think a Worm isn't immune to Smite Evil (which I believe is an effect- and a physical one), what effects would a Worm be immune to then?

If you say 'physical effects', tell me what physical effects then.

Effects that directly damage the target:

  • Disintegrate
  • Polar Ray
  • Finger of Death
  • Frostbite
  • Shocking Grasp
  • Harm
  • Inflict (X) Wounds
  • Destruction
  • Slay Living
  • Vampiric Touch

Directly hamper or afflict the body:
  • Hold Monster
  • Suffocation
  • Imprisonment
  • Contagion
  • Poison

Or transmute their physical form:
  • Baleful Polymorph
  • Flesh to Stone

This is not an exhaustive list but a good sampling. Effects that I would consider non-physical include not only the obvious mind-affecting effects but also Bestow Curse, Magic Jar, and Enervation.


Xanthir Vang turns invisible, what should my paladin do now?Call it a day?

Shadow Lodge

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You're 12th level and your party doesn't have a way to deal with invisibility? See Invisibility? Faerie Fire? Glitterdust? Flour? Or did you try something and it was countered/dispelled? (I find it's really useful to have spare scrolls or potions for those situations.)

Maybe Lay on Hands if party members are injured, or use any buffs you have that might assist or protect those who are able to threaten him (eg casters with area effects).

If you can pinpoint his square (with the help of an ally who can sense him or by spreading about powder or water) then you can also attack blindly. It's not a great option but hitting half as often is better than not hitting at all.

If you can't locate his square it might be possible to ready an action to attack when he reveals his location (which might occur if he makes an attack or casts a spell with verbal components).


Another point to bear in mind - somewhere in the forums (I forget exactly where) James Jacobs said that in his view (it was his house rule, I think) Smite Evil shouldn't bypass DR/-, which is what the WtW has.

A slightly tangential question - one of my players has a Swarmbane Clasp and has queried if that might have some impact on the WtW's damage reduction. RAW the answer is no, but it seems flavor-appropriate that the item that lets people damage swarms with regular weapons would also enable them to damage a 'swarm-esque' creature more effectively.

What do we think?

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