Worm that walks and smite evil


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Can you target a worm that walks with smite evil? I was playing a paladin character and we met an evil aligned worm that walks as the final boss of the encounter. My DM told me that smite evil doesn't work on the worm that walks for some reason. Was he correct?


Barring a specific plot-induced immunity, no. It is an evil-aligned creature. He may have been mistaken and thought smite evil was precision damage, perhaps?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Worm that Walks Traits 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), with the exception of such spells and effects generated by the worm that walks itself, which treat the worm that walks as one single creature if it so chooses.
Smite Evil wrote:
As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite.

Yup, Smite Evil targets a single creature and Worm that Walks are immune to effects that target a specific number of creatures.


This was his reason.:
Worm that Walks Traits: A worm that walks has no discernible anatomy, and is not subject to critical hits or flanking. Reducing a worm that walks to 0 hit points causes it to discorporate (see below)—a worm that walks at 0 hit points is staggered, and one at negative hit points is dying.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), with the exception of such spells and effects generated by the worm that walks itself, which treat the worm that walks as one single creature if it so chooses. Mind-affecting effects that target single creatures function normally against a worm that walks, since the creature’s individual components share a hive mind. A worm that walks takes half again as much damage (+50%) from damaging area effects, such as fireball and splash weapons. Worms that walk are susceptible to high winds—treat a worm that walks as a Fine creature for the purposes of determining wind effects.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The problem is that the Worm that Walks is a swarm creature of sorts. This makes things a bit muddy as to whether a swarm is one creature to a smite attack, or considered more than one creature and thus immune to smiting.

Opinion time -

If the weapon used to smite the worm that walks is a standard weapon, I would rule that the smite wouldn't help. Yes, it's evil, yet you are attacking a swarm of bugs or grubs. It's not that smite isn't activating, it's just that you are using a weapon meant for a single creature out of a swarm of them.

If the weapon used to smite was some form of splash weapon, smite would work since an appropriate weapon is used against a hive minded creature. The worm that walks may be composed of many individuals, yet has only one mind and identity.


Hmm. That may be correct, but I always thought of smite evil as a sort of conditional power attack, though I can definitely see where you are coming from. I'd say it's open to interpretation, as smite evil buffs what YOU do, but it targets a creature, but doesn't really "hit" that creature.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It's an effect that has a single target. I feel your DM was valid in his interpretation.


The thing is he ruled that the act of targeting the worm that walks with smite evil would not work in itself, so using alternative weapons such as splash weapons wouldn't deliver the smite damage anyway.


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Yeah, I think your GM is right on this. You target one creature with Smite Evil; Smiting one of the worms that makes up a Worm That Walks isn't going to do you much good.


So that's settled. Thanks for the response. I'll just ask our Oracle to make burger meat out of the Worm that walks with her Blade Barriers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm sorry it wasn't the answer you were hoping to find here.

It is good you are already working on a Plan B however.

Also, Swarmbane Clasp. VERY USEFUL through ALL levels.


Not to nitpick but would the swarmbane clasp still work against the worm that walks (a vermin subtype). Since it is only effective against swarms.

It says so here.:
Type: The base creature’s type changes to vermin. It gains the augmented subtype. Do not recalculate BAB, saves, or skill ranks. Worms that walk are intelligent and do not possess the standard mindless trait of most vermin. Note that while a worm that walks has the ability to discorperate into a swarm, and while its body is made up of countless wriggling worms, it does not itself gain the swarm subtype.


Hmmm, I was going to disagree with this, but now I think that . the WtW is classified as vermin and not a swarm, and DualJay has a point in that the smite evil buffs what you do. But then again, smite evil specifically states that you choose a target of your smite, and as VesperCrow pointed out, the WtW is immune to spells and effects that target a specific amount of creatures. Specific trumps general, in this case.


I wish I had known this when I ran one before. I will remember it if I use it again.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I figured this out a while back... it's really handy to know when running Wrath of the Righteous. :)


While smite has the verbiage of choosing a single target, it's not an effect on the target. It's an array of bonuses you gain versus that target. So, while you can be affected by those bonuses, it's not an effect on the target.


Buri Reborn wrote:
While smite has the verbiage of choosing a single target, it's not an effect on the target. It's an array of bonuses you gain versus that target. So, while you can be affected by those bonuses, it's not an effect on the target.

The wording would be better if it said "opponent" or "creature" and not "target" since "target" is used a certain way in the game, but it is hard to think of every possible way something can be interpreted. Thinking about it again I don't think it is RAI for smite to not work since it does not really place an effect on the creature. It gives the paladin a bonus(buffs) against the creature.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
VesperCrow wrote:


Not to nitpick but would the swarmbane clasp still work against the worm that walks (a vermin subtype). Since it is only effective against swarms.

** spoiler omitted **

ooo.. thats a good nitpick. ;)


Rathendar wrote:
VesperCrow wrote:


Not to nitpick but would the swarmbane clasp still work against the worm that walks (a vermin subtype). Since it is only effective against swarms.

** spoiler omitted **

ooo.. thats a good nitpick. ;)
Swarmbane Clasp wrote:
An ancient fossilized insect lies trapped within this ornate amber clasp, impaled by the long golden pin that fastens the wearer’s cloak. The wearer’s weapons, unarmed attacks, and natural attacks deal full damage to swarms, regardless of the swarm’s immunity to weapon damage (if any, although damage reduction applies as normal). If the wearer is damaged by a swarm, she automatically succeeds on her saving throw against the swarm’s distraction ability.
Worm that walks wrote:
Note that while a worm that walks has the ability to discorperate into a swarm, and while its body is made up of countless wriggling worms, it does not itself gain the swarm subtype.

Nope, swarmbane clasp does nothing apparently.

Silver Crusade

You guys are wrong worm that walks is not a swarm creature. It has a monster ability to turn into a swarm. If it gets hit by a smite evil it takes full smite damage. Smite damage is just like the divine damage done by a flame strike that is why it cuts through all dr if the target is evil.


The worm that walks is not a swarm but it have an specific ability that let it ignore effects that target specific number of targets like smite evil. I say SE don't work on it.

Sovereign Court

By using the logic that SE doesn't work, then does that then mean weapons do not work on it either? Because it could be inferred that it is made up of fine-sized creatures which would make it immune to those as well.

Not that I would rule in that way, because the end of Age of Worms would become fairly impossible otherwise.


No because the Worm That Walks is immune to "spells and effects". Weapons are neither spells nor effects, they are weapons.

Shadow Lodge

Dasrak wrote:
Worm that Walks Traits 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), with the exception of such spells and effects generated by the worm that walks itself, which treat the worm that walks as one single creature if it so chooses.
Smite Evil wrote:
As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite.
Yup, Smite Evil targets a single creature and Worm that Walks are immune to effects that target a specific number of creatures.

Not quite - bolded the relevant part of the quote.

I think there's a good argument that Smite isn't a physical effect, because it doesn't directly physically affect the Worm.


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Weirdo wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Worm that Walks Traits 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), with the exception of such spells and effects generated by the worm that walks itself, which treat the worm that walks as one single creature if it so chooses.
Smite Evil wrote:
As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite.
Yup, Smite Evil targets a single creature and Worm that Walks are immune to effects that target a specific number of creatures.

Not quite - bolded the relevant part of the quote.

I think there's a good argument that Smite isn't a physical effect, because it doesn't directly physically affect the Worm.

Quick question...What the heck does physical mean.

I would have thought it meant slashing etc, but they use disintegrate as an example.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Snowblind wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Worm that Walks Traits 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), with the exception of such spells and effects generated by the worm that walks itself, which treat the worm that walks as one single creature if it so chooses.
Smite Evil wrote:
As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite.
Yup, Smite Evil targets a single creature and Worm that Walks are immune to effects that target a specific number of creatures.

Not quite - bolded the relevant part of the quote.

I think there's a good argument that Smite isn't a physical effect, because it doesn't directly physically affect the Worm.

Quick question...What the heck does physical mean.

I would have thought it meant slashing etc, but they use disintegrate as an example.

Maybe spells that target a single creature's body are out, but those that target its spirit or mind (such as bestow curse) still work.

It is a mystery. :)


My best guess would be that it means things that aren't listed as mind-affecting, since it says later on that the worms share a hivemind so it's susceptible to Dominate Monster and such.

Shadow Lodge

It's possible that it specifically mentions mind-affecting effects not because they're the only targeted effects that work on the Worm, but because they don't work on most creatures of the worm's type (vermin).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

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.


I dunno, not being a target for Smite Evil seems like one of those reasons a caster might choose to become a Worm That Walks as opposed to a Lich.


Well if it's a 'swarm' what about a Holy Gun's Smiting Shot /w a Blunderbuss or Shotgun?


Smite does not really do anything to the "target". The paladin is the real target since he gets the buffs. It is not really any different than a rangers favored enemy with how it works.

PS: I am aware the paladin gets bigger bonuses and boost to AC. I was comparing how both abilities allow the class to do more damage to the enemy because they are the chosen victim.


wraithstrike wrote:

Smite does not really do anything to the "target". The paladin is the real target since he gets the buffs. It is not really any different than a rangers favored enemy with how it works.

PS: I am aware the paladin gets bigger bonuses and boost to AC. I was comparing how both abilities allow the class to do more damage to the enemy because they are the chosen victim.

Yes, so the Smite Evil successfully grants the paladin a bonus to hit/AC and damage versus one of the many, many worms writhing through the monster's body. The monster directs the vulnerable worm down its body and into the soft earth before cutting off the hive mind link to it. This takes no action on the part of the worm that walks.


Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Smite does not really do anything to the "target". The paladin is the real target since he gets the buffs. It is not really any different than a rangers favored enemy with how it works.

PS: I am aware the paladin gets bigger bonuses and boost to AC. I was comparing how both abilities allow the class to do more damage to the enemy because they are the chosen victim.

Yes, so the Smite Evil successfully grants the paladin a bonus to hit/AC and damage versus one of the many, many worms writhing through the monster's body. The monster directs the vulnerable worm down its body and into the soft earth before cutting off the hive mind link to it. This takes no action on the part of the worm that walks.

No more than a ranger can only hurt one worm since the individual worms can't be selected as opponents.


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Smite does not really target someone in the manner that spells do.

It really works more like the ranger's focus ability for the guide archetype.

Quote:

Ranger's Focus (Ex): At 1st level, once per day, the guide can focus on a single enemy within line of sight as a swift action. That creature remains the ranger's focus until it is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points or surrenders, or until the ranger designates a new focus, whichever occurs first. The ranger gains a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls against the target of his focus. At 5th level, and every five levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +2.

At 4th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, the ranger can use this ability one additional time per day. This ability replaces favored enemy.

No special effect is being placed on the enemy in either case. What is happening is the enemy has been chosen to get more attention from both classes.

Also a similar topic came up before.

Drachasor wrote:


wraithstrike wrote:


Can anyone here actually give me any evidence that ANYWHERE in the books Smite Evil is treated as a buff -- something that affects only the Paladin?
Smite says you get a bonus to attack and damage against the target(focus) of your smite. If smite was on the target it would have to apply a penalty to their AC and not a buff to your attack rolls. It would also say the target receives extra damage, but instead it says the paladin does extra damage. The paladin also gets a bonus to AC. All of these things are making the paladin better. They are not directly placed on the enemy.

Here is a link to the thread with SKR basically saying smite is a paladin buff, not an effect on the enemy

Grand Lodge

Smite Evil:

Once per day, a paladin can call out to the powers of good to aid her in her struggle against evil. As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite. If this target is evil, the paladin adds her Cha bonus (if any) to her attack rolls and adds her paladin level to all damage rolls made against the target of her smite. If the target of smite evil is an outsider with the evil subtype, an evil-aligned dragon, or an undead creature, the bonus to damage on the first successful attack increases to 2 points of damage per level the paladin possesses. Regardless of the target, smite evil attacks automatically bypass any DR the creature might possess.

Worm that Walks:

Worm that Walks Traits: A worm that walks has no discernible anatomy, and is not subject to critical hits or flanking. Reducing a worm that walks to 0 hit points causes it to discorporate (see below)—a worm that walks at 0 hit points is staggered, and one at negative hit points is dying. 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), with the exception of such spells and effects generated by the worm that walks itself, which treat the worm that walks as one single creature if it so chooses. Mind-affecting effects that target single creatures function normally against a worm that walks, since the creature’s individual components share a hive mind. A worm that walks takes half again as much damage (+50%) from damaging area effects, such as fireball and splash weapons. Worms that walk are susceptible to high winds—treat a worm that walks as a Fine creature for the purposes of determining wind effects.

I would say it doesn't work I know that SKR said i agree and disagree, Hey he helped design the game so I guess I could be wrong but I would rule it doesn't as the worm that walks isn't a "single" creature anyway


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This FAQ backs up what SKR says.

Quote:

Paladin: Does smite evil bypass the defenses of the incorporeal special quality?

Smite is not an effect on the weapon, it is an effect on the paladin. The weapon still needs to be magic to harm the incorporeal creature, and even a magic weapon still only deals half damage against it.

So since the effect is on the paladin there is nothing to stop it from harming the WtW.

Grand Lodge

Doesn't the Paladin's smite still target a single creature?

The WtW is a multitude of creatures, so therefore it doesn't work? Sure the smite "empowers" the Paladin to combat a singular evil creature as per the wording in the smite ability.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah I'll tend to agree with most people here, Smite evil doesn't work sadly because of having to select one target, which is the biggest issue here.

If smite evil was just a buff, they wouldn't even bother mentioning selecting one target. But well whatever, considering that Paladins are already a pretty solid class, having a few creatures that they can't use all their abilities on, is fine.


what about a Cavalier's Challenge or Inquisitor's Bane


The Cavalier's challenge wouldn't work for the same reason Smite wouldn't. Bane should work just fine, since it's a buff to the weapon that cares not what the enemy is; you just make your weapon Vermin Bane.


On a side note.:
Xanthir Vang is gonna love this.


Arachnofiend wrote:
The Cavalier's challenge wouldn't work for the same reason Smite wouldn't. Bane should work just fine, since it's a buff to the weapon that cares not what the enemy is; you just make your weapon Vermin Bane.

except that the cavalier's challenge isn't a Physical spell or effect, it's an Extrordinary ability. As the ability is written it's directed at things of a magical nature. If you apply it to things of non-magical nature then we will need to include things like Barbarian Rage powers and feats.

Shadow Lodge

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Snowblind wrote:

Quick question...What the heck does physical mean.

I would have thought it meant slashing etc, but they use disintegrate as an example.

I think answering this question is key.

I'd interpret a "physical effect" where disintegrate as an example, is an effect that produces something tangible (on a specified number of targets) - like disintegrate, or scorching ray, or magic missile, or acid arrow.

It's not immune to burning hands or flaming sphere, because those are physical effects that have no limit on the number of creatures.

But Smite doesn't produce a physical effect at all. It enhances the weapon's attack, and any attack with a weapon works. Using that logic, there's no reason Smite shouldn't either.


Avatar-1 wrote:
Snowblind wrote:

Quick question...What the heck does physical mean.

I would have thought it meant slashing etc, but they use disintegrate as an example.

I think answering this question is key.

I'd interpret a "physical effect" where disintegrate as an example, is an effect that produces something tangible (on a specified number of targets) - like disintegrate, or scorching ray, or magic missile, or acid arrow.

It's not immune to burning hands or flaming sphere, because those are physical effects that have no limit on the number of creatures.

But Smite doesn't produce a physical effect at all. It enhances the weapon's attack, and any attack with a weapon works. Using that logic, there's no reason Smite shouldn't either.

There is the alternative logic that smite is providing a damage bonus and a to-hit bonus, and these would qualify as physical effects.

I don't know if that logic is correct or not - the rules are really vague here.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
VesperCrow wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Agreed. :)


If you think the FAQ I linked is incorrect about smite then I suggest pressing the FAQ button because as of now that FAQ is official and it says smite is a self buff not an affect on a single target.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I already FAQed it back when I saw this thread... I was the second to do so.

And you didn't link it. Can you do so, please?


Kalindlara wrote:

I already FAQed it back when I saw this thread... I was the second to do so.

And you didn't link it. Can you do so, please?

I quoted it not linked it. Sorry. The FAQ is under thev CRB. If you cant find it message me in 30 minutes and I will give the link.


wraithstrike wrote:
If you think the FAQ I linked is incorrect about smite then I suggest pressing the FAQ button because as of now that FAQ is official and it says smite is a self buff not an affect on a single target.

It's not that it's an effect on a single target, it's that it is a self buff to the paladin versus a single target... and the WtW invalidates that since its component worms are individual creatures that can be sloughed off or incorporated as the monster desires.

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