can sneak attack boost the damage of a fireball?


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Quote:

A)because this is how language actually works.

You don't go to McDonald's and ask for "a burger and an extra coke", you ask for " a burger and a coke". If there was menu A though, that had a burger and a coke, you could very easily ask for "a menu A with an extra coke".

I am quite willing to believe that this is your anecdotal experience. Mine is different. I hear nothing wrong to my ear with saying "extra" in almost any situation synonymous with adding. Would definitely say to add an extra coke onto a menu option that didn't list a coke, or one that did, either way. I assume we just come from different regions of the country/world.

Regardless, Paizo never defined it. Merriam Webster did, and webster allows for "extra" stuff to get added to nothing just fine, as long as the usual state of affairs for that thing is none. This is my intuition as well in common usage I hear and use where I live.

You may disagree or have different customs near you, and I would not claim that your interpretation would end up being any less RAW-compliant than mine if you do.

One thing it absolutely isn't though is "Definitely or objectively disallowed by RAW." I think the reasonable options are A) Claim objectivity based on a dictionary, or B) Claim subjectivity. Not C) Claim objectivity based on anecdotes. I am happy to opt for B.


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Crimeo wrote:
I hear nothing wrong to my ear with saying "extra" in almost any situation synonymous with adding. Would definitely say to add an extra coke onto a menu option that didn't list a coke, or one that did, either way. I assume we just come from different regions of the country/world.

Really? If my son got married and told me by saying "Well Dad, I have an extra wife now." it would sound really, really odd.

Sovereign Court

Steve Geddes wrote:
Crimeo wrote:
I hear nothing wrong to my ear with saying "extra" in almost any situation synonymous with adding. Would definitely say to add an extra coke onto a menu option that didn't list a coke, or one that did, either way. I assume we just come from different regions of the country/world.
Really? If my son got married and told me by saying "Well Dad, I have an extra wife now." it would sound really, really odd.

That depends upon whether or not your son practices polygamy. :P


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Kids today...If you ask me they all seem to be "practicing polygamy".
There's even an app for that, right?


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James Risner wrote:
Master of Shadows wrote:
I would also like to see rules written clearly and concisely in a way where the result is unequivocal.

My experience tells me this is absolutely impossible unless you are talking to an army of clones of yourself.

For ever player or GM like you and I who can read a line of text and come to a conclusion, there are others who have trouble understanding the rules, have a different interpretation than we do, or didn't read it and just wing it based on what they think it should be.

In short, it is something the developers of the world don't attempt. They write rules in natural language and avoid precisely spelling out everything.

this is the nirvana fallacy.

Great is the enemy of good


Steve Geddes wrote:

Kids today...If you ask me they all seem to be "practicing polygamy".

There's even an app for that, right?

Well, practice makes perfect.

Although I have to wonder- would having only one wife technically count as practicing for polygamy?

I mean....guys who juggle often start by getting a single ball down pat, right? Who would go in having two wives when you aren't even sure if you can handle one? I am sure we have heard stories of someone that tried juggling multiple at once from the get go...and it usually ends up about as well as the guy that decided to start his juggling career with three chainsaws.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Crimeo wrote:
I hear nothing wrong to my ear with saying "extra" in almost any situation synonymous with adding. Would definitely say to add an extra coke onto a menu option that didn't list a coke, or one that did, either way. I assume we just come from different regions of the country/world.
Really? If my son got married and told me by saying "Well Dad, I have an extra wife now." it would sound really, really odd.

If the xerox machine broke, I climbed on top of it, then called my boss and said "I'm on top of this problem" it would get misunderstood too. That wouldn't make it factually incorrect.

of course if you manufacture a contrived situation to sound confusing, you will succeed. In this case, it does sound a bit weird, but I think it's because you're leveraging the situation of "wife" being an abstract binary categorical variable in a sense, not an interval variable, and confusing this by mixing it in vaguely with number of wives. So it sounds off, but yes I still think it is technically correct.

"I went to the beach and it was clean and empty, now there's a bunch of extra glass everywhere" does sound perfectly natural to me, as it is no longer a situation with a contrived confusing lure built in alongside it.


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Crimeo wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Crimeo wrote:
I hear nothing wrong to my ear with saying "extra" in almost any situation synonymous with adding. Would definitely say to add an extra coke onto a menu option that didn't list a coke, or one that did, either way. I assume we just come from different regions of the country/world.
Really? If my son got married and told me by saying "Well Dad, I have an extra wife now." it would sound really, really odd.

If the xerox machine broke, I climbed on top of it, then called my boss and said "I'm on top of this problem" it would get misunderstood too. That wouldn't make it factually incorrect.

of course if you manufacture a contrived situation to sound confusing, you will succeed. In this case, it does sound a bit weird, but I think it's because you're leveraging the situation of "wife" being an abstract binary categorical variable in a sense, not an interval variable, and confusing this by mixing it in vaguely with number of wives. So it sounds off, but yes I still think it is technically correct.

"I went to the beach and it was clean and empty, now there's a bunch of extra glass everywhere" does sound perfectly natural to me, as it is no longer a situation with a contrived confusing lure built in alongside it.

I was actually going for humorous, rather than contrived and confusing, but fair enough. I'll try something else:

"I'd like an extra cup of coffee, please." sounds like an odd way to order one.

I can agree that it's technically correct - but I think that's the wrong way to be adjudicating a rule book. I think the choice of "extra damage" is intended in the sense of "you've already got some - this feature gives you extra" and an interpretation of extra-can-be-one-in-place-of-none may be technically correct, but I still don't think that's the RAW way to read it.

If RAW is intended to be definitive, which is how it seems to be referred to then, in cases where the language itself is ambiguous (as here) there will be a subjective element in deciding which of the two competing meanings is the correct one.

Consider an (admittedly poorly worded) rule along the lines of "Roll two dice for damage, if one is a six you can reroll it." What is the RAW position if they are both sixes? Do you reroll both? Can you not reroll either? Do you reroll one? I think it's ambiguous and we're left in the position of either saying there's no RAW in an ambiguous situation, or deciding which of the alternate interpretations is the "correct" one (This sort of thing is essentially why I don't think Rules-As-Written actually means anything).


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lemeres wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Kids today...If you ask me they all seem to be "practicing polygamy".

There's even an app for that, right?

Well, practice makes perfect.

Although I have to wonder- would having only one wife technically count as practicing for polygamy?

I mean....guys who juggle often start by getting a single ball down pat, right? Who would go in having two wives when you aren't even sure if you can handle one? I am sure we have heard stories of someone that tried juggling multiple at once from the get go...and it usually ends up about as well as the guy that decided to start his juggling career with three chainsaws.

I found this amusing - I was a juggler and acrobat for around ten or twelve years (before my aching body started telling me that was no way to grow old). I taught myself and did, in fact, stand there throwing three balls around for hours and hours until I got it... :)


Steve Geddes wrote:
I taught myself and did, in fact, stand there throwing three balls around for hours and hours until I got it... :)

Three at once for hours and hours?

OH MY!


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lemeres wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I taught myself and did, in fact, stand there throwing three balls around for hours and hours until I got it... :)

Three at once for hours and hours?

OH MY!

I can't believe I continued, to be honest. The first night took around four hours and my best was ten throws... :/

I worked at a circus school for around ten years and used to run juggling classes with the promise that I could teach anyone to juggle in 15 minutes (or the truly uncoordinated in half an hour). Barring people who gave up after four or five, I never needed the full fifteen. I fully agree with your 'start with one' approach - it just amused me that you picked that example. :)


Quote:
"I'd like an extra cup of coffee, please." sounds like an odd way to order one.

This one is weird because you're not comparing it to anything. "Extra" does imply "comparison" just like "adding" does. As the dictionary says "more than usual or normal" there must be some trend or baseline of comparison of what is "normal" (even if the baseline is zero).

So just saying "I'd like an extra cup of coffee" out of nowhere to a stranger it is weird. But if for example, I'm a regular there, and order a hamburger every day (and zero coffees), then they might say "Your regular order?" "Yes, but an extra coffee too please" seems fine to me.

Quote:
"you've already got some - this feature gives you extra"

I agree this is one interpretation that definitely makes sense. Just not the only one.

Actually, okay how about this... what if I go along with your "must have had some of X before to have extra X," so as to make everybody happy, but I just interpret it like this: "Your attack already did some stuff, now it's doing extra stuff" where the stuff it was doing before may have been damage, poison, bleeding, dazzling, all sorts of things. And the extra stuff is 1d6 damage. "X" here being "effects in general" rather than "damage"

Closer to your intuition, still open-ended though?


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I suppose so - although it still doesn't sound like the most obvious to me and I think that's the point. Again, don't take this as "ire" or criticism, but it kind of feels like you're searching for ambiguity, rather than responding to it.

The example I created above ("Roll two dice for damage, if one is a six you can reroll it." is a genuine case of ambiguity, in my mind - it would require clarification and resolution in order to play the game because there isn't an obvious "primary" meaning (if I can invent some terminology).

The Monoploy rule I posted earlier "Collect $200 if your counter lands on or passes over Go", without defining what 'passes over' means - does technically admit ambiguity (since you could interpret that as meaning physically transiting the space above Go) but isn't a real instance, since the primary meaning is clear, even though a secondary meaning exists.

The rule you're citing (I forget exactly which it is, but basically: "If XYZ, you can add extra sneak attack damage") seems to me to fall in the second category. The obvious, clear, intuitive interpretation is that you can add extra damage to the damage that's already there. You can read it as suggesting the sneak attack damage is 'extra effects beyond the effects already imposed by the attack', but I would consider this secondary - it's not what immediately jumps out as the meaning of the phrase (even though I can concede that technically that could be the correct, intended meaning).

My comment on your meta-rules discussion though is that these sorts of examples are inevitable and unimportant. A ruleset without them would be unreadable (or extremely simple). If there's a rule where the primary meaning is ambiguous or contradicts some other rules, then I think it's important - it's something that should be addressed. However, I think the example here is one where there's only a secondary meaning causing issue - hence my earlier position that the designers shouldnt waste their time addressing it.


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Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
"I'd like an extra cup of coffee, please." sounds like an odd way to order one.

This one is weird because you're not comparing it to anything. "Extra" does imply "comparison" just like "adding" does. As the dictionary says "more than usual or normal" there must be some trend or baseline of comparison of what is "normal" (even if the baseline is zero).

So just saying "I'd like an extra cup of coffee" out of nowhere to a stranger it is weird. But if for example, I'm a regular there, and order a hamburger every day (and zero coffees), then they might say "Your regular order?" "Yes, but an extra coffee too please" seems fine to me.

Quote:
"you've already got some - this feature gives you extra"

I agree this is one interpretation that definitely makes sense. Just not the only one.

Actually, okay how about this... what if I go along with your "must have had some of X before to have extra X," so as to make everybody happy, but I just interpret it like this: "Your attack already did some stuff, now it's doing extra stuff" where the stuff it was doing before may have been damage, poison, bleeding, dazzling, all sorts of things. And the extra stuff is 1d6 damage. "X" here being "effects in general" rather than "damage"

Closer to your intuition, still open-ended though?

If you're still interested, I was thinking about this further today and the reason the interpretation you're advocating seems wrong to me stems from what you refer to here as the baseline.

If I buy an orange, a banana, a melon and then add an apple I think I have added an extra piece of fruit, but not an extra apple. There has to be some of the thing I'm adding for it to count as extra (to my ear).

So in the interpretation we're discussing (taking your latest formulation of 'extra stuff' rather than 'extra damage'), the sneak attack damage is an extra effect, but the wording under consideration is "extra...damage" - which is why that interpretation sounds wrong.

Grand Lodge

James Risner wrote:
Herald wrote:
Prove an actual example of this in print, from a Paizo product. Any of them.
I'm not certain he isn't just poking fun at us and the game. I don't yet believe he is sincere with his assertion.

Well if all he wants is circular arguments fine, but like all conversations it comes down to a prove your point or let it go. Nothing shutS down the thread if he can't prove his point. He can continue to voice his point of view forever.

But at the least he could admit that he can't find the presidence for his pov.

Sovereign Court

Arcane Archer with Imbue Arrow ability: cast spell, fire arrow within 30 feet of target while greater invisible, arrow hits: add sneak damage, then add spell damage, whatever the spell may be.

Shadow Lodge

Here is the solution to this argument, Below I present to you first the current wording of Sneak Attack, and second, a rewritten version of the rules where Fluff text is italicized to clearly separate it from the rules, and the rules themselves have been restated more clearly. the entire thing has lower word count than the original.

Paizo.com/PRD wrote:

Sneak Attack: If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

Master of Shadows wrote:

Sneak Attack: If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is off guard, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

A rogue deals extra precision damage whenever she makes an attack roll that hits a target who would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.
A weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike) allows a rogues sneak attack to deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.
The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

So please read them and tell me again why we can't have rules without ambiguity?

[edited for clarity of intent]


How do you hit a "vital spot" with a fireball, over which you can't "target" a specific spot but rather hit everything the same?

It's the same argument with a rogue trying to sneak attack something that he can't "reach" it's vital organs (another rule that oftenly is ignored)


Jason Bulmahn (Lead Designer) wrote:
The sneak attack damage is not a special effect that accompanies the attack, it is part of the damage roll.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2kvtr?Rules-Clarification#6

The sneak attack damage type is the same as the base attack, so if the base attack doesn't have a damage type, you can't use that attack to do sneak attacks.

Shadow Lodge

whew wrote:
Jason Bulmahn (Lead Designer) wrote:
The sneak attack damage is not a special effect that accompanies the attack, it is part of the damage roll.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2kvtr?Rules-Clarification#6

The sneak attack damage type is the same as the base attack, so if the base attack doesn't have a damage type, you can't use that attack to do sneak attacks.

This is why sneak attack with vampiric touch is so good, since the sneak attack damage is sourced by the spell, you get the extra dice of HP back too ;).

It's really the only 3rd level spell worth sneak attacking with, no idea why anyone even asks about fireball other than the fact that the rules need to be rewritten.


By RAW, if you could somehow turn the Fireball in to severall rays, and make a target roll for each target that could be hit in the Fireball area, and if you meet the Sneak Attack requirements, then you should be able to sneak attack at least one target (not sure if you can sneak attack several different targets with a scorching ray like spell).

Now, if you just want to use a regular Fireball to Sneak Attack, I think you can make a target roll to hit THE Fireball at the precise point, and if you meet all the requirements for a Sneak Attack, then you would be able to apply the sneak attack damage to that one target, but not for all the other targets in the area of the spell.

Also, if the primary target has spell resistance, since you're not "detonating" the Fireball at an empty point in space, if the Fireball does't passes his Spell Resistance, then the entire Fireball should disappear, consumed before it detonates.

My 2c.


Crimeo, I'm gonna remind you of the dangers of your strict reading approach.

RAW, even if you CAN add sneak attack to non-damaging spells, then you MUST also make sure you are within reach of your target when you do so.

"The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot."

The fact that you can do ranged attacks (within 30 feet) does not override this in any way, as my quoted sentence comes AFTER the ranged entry.

Enjoy!


Quote:

Well if all he wants is circular arguments fine, but like all conversations it comes down to a prove your point or let it go. Nothing shutS down the thread if he can't prove his point. He can continue to voice his point of view forever.

But at the least he could admit that he can't find the presidence for his pov.

I don't need precedent if something fits what is written. Actually, I'm not even sure what you mean by precedent? Like FAQ interpretations? There are all kinds of things with no FAQs clearing them up or providing precedent that you just do because it's written. Is there FAQ precedent that 5 foot rach means centered on a square, not on a corner between squares? No, but the written text makes it clear that one of those is right and one wrong, you still know what to do without any further clarification

Quote:
RAW, even if you CAN add sneak attack to non-damaging spells, then you MUST also make sure you are within reach of your target when you do so.

It explicitly says you can do it from a ranged attack at 30 feet. I may normally be sympathetic to this poor wording being taken literally in the absence of anything clearer, but something written down and very well defined like this takes precedent over forced meaning pushed onto vague word choice, when there is a conflict between the clear phrase and the vague one.

Also in general, I am always of the opinion that if a block of text becomes completely pointless / had no reason to be printed, then that CAN itself be taken as a violation of RAW.


Steve Geddes wrote:

Very clever. No.

(This is just like that thread where fighters take the archmage mythic archetype and can then cast any arcane spell. Clever, but no.)

Oh! Good times, good times.


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I did enjoy that thread (although I got up a couple of people's noses). Like this thread, it's interesting to see the different responses to extreme, literal interpretation.


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Crimeo wrote:
Quote:

Well if all he wants is circular arguments fine, but like all conversations it comes down to a prove your point or let it go. Nothing shutS down the thread if he can't prove his point. He can continue to voice his point of view forever.

But at the least he could admit that he can't find the presidence for his pov.

I don't need precedent if something fits what is written. Actually, I'm not even sure what you mean by precedent? Like FAQ interpretations? There are all kinds of things with no FAQs clearing them up or providing precedent that you just do because it's written. Is there FAQ precedent that 5 foot rach means centered on a square, not on a corner between squares? No, but the written text makes it clear that one of those is right and one wrong, you still know what to do without any further clarification

Quote:
RAW, even if you CAN add sneak attack to non-damaging spells, then you MUST also make sure you are within reach of your target when you do so.

It explicitly says you can do it from a ranged attack at 30 feet. I may normally be sympathetic to this poor wording being taken literally in the absence of anything clearer, but something written down and very well defined like this takes precedent over forced meaning pushed onto vague word choice, when there is a conflict between the clear phrase and the vague one.

Also in general, I am always of the opinion that if a block of text becomes completely pointless / had no reason to be printed, then that CAN itself be taken as a violation of RAW.

The sentence I quoted comes AFTER the mention of ranged attacks.

So, yes, you can sneak attack at a range, with the following limitations:

1-It can be no more than 30 ft away
2-It must be within your reach.

I can't off the top of my head, think of anything with a 30ft reach, but a Moss Troll with Lunge can get up to 20ft, so it's probably not that hard to do...

So once again, if we wanna argue that RAW allow for Charm spells to do Sneak Attack damage, let's make sure to apply ALL the RAW, like my above example. :D


Ranged attacks don't even have reach though, so that is nonsensicial. Saying ranged attack is allowed == invalidating or at worst contradicting a need for reach, by ranged attack rules not having any such concept.

If it had said "reach" in a way that was NOT ambiguously worded so as to quite possibly mean "reach vitals with your striking," and instead plainly meant the technicial term, then even then, it would just be a contradiction and require GM fiat.

But when there's a contradiction and one thing is completely vague like that and not clearly invoking any technical term, then the crystal clear thing should just steamroll right on over it.

Dark Archive

My take on this issue:

Unless you have a class ability, feat, or other source specifically granting you the ability... No you can NOT get sneak attack with a cone, burst, line, or other area of effect spell. Nor can you get it from spells which specifically prevent you from having a more focused target then "that enemy over there that I can see."

Scorching Ray you can get sneak attack damage with. This is a spell you can target specific body parts with. if you can chose to fire a scorching ray at the target's head or hand (with penelties) then you can specifically aim to hit the target's spleen or other vital point. Thus it qualifies for Sneak Attack damage. Your angle however may not allow you to get a sneak attack in with it.

Magic Missile targets "any enemy you can see who doesn't have total concealment". You can't aim it at the halfling's hand to make them drop their sword. You can't aim it specifically at the dragon's privates (had a player try this once). You just aim it at the target, and it hits in a random location. Thus no sneak attack damage without the class ability. Arcane Tricksters learn how to specifically target a vital spot with ONE of the five missiles.

Fireball... No, just no. You've already engulfed the target in an explosion. 100% of their body has been engulfed in flames. You can't target any more finely then that. Even if the fireball initially hit the target's left eyeball, it doesn't matter. The explosion hit ALL of the target. And anything near the target. You need the arcane trickster capstone to get sneak attack damage in this case.

And no, I'd never allow sneak attack damage because you cast Charm Person/Monster/whatever on the enemy. Non-damaging spells can't do additional damage from hitting vital points. They weren't hitting a vital point to begin with. Nor would I allow Touch of Death or Phantasmal Killer to deal sneak attack damage.

But that's just me.


Quote:
This is a spell you can target specific body parts with. if you can chose to fire a scorching ray at the target's head or hand (with penelties) then you can specifically aim to hit the target's spleen or other vital point.

Burst or emanation spells allow huge variations too in precision focusing of energy, though, logically / story-wise. If I cast a burst spell way off to one random side of you, then maybe 1% of its energy will hit your spleen. Only a tiny sliver of the angle of spread

If I cast a burst spell in the air 1cm away from your spleen, then like 45% of its energy will hit your spleen... since about 170 degrees of its spread angle or whatever will hit your spleen area first. Sneak attack training represents in-game the skill and knowledge to be able to aim things precisely like that in the right vital places, whereas an untrained caster wouldn't know to or be able to.

Some burst spell might not have been damaging enough to your spleen to do even 1 hp of damage. Imagine, for instance, that it did 0.1 hp of damage, and was rounded down to zero.

0.078 * 45 times more energy though = 3.5 hp, "coincidentally" the average for 1d6! (not really coincidentally...)


Crimeo wrote:

Ranged attacks don't even have reach though, so that is nonsensicial. Saying ranged attack is allowed == invalidating or at worst contradicting a need for reach, by ranged attack rules not having any such concept.

If it had said "reach" in a way that was NOT ambiguously worded so as to quite possibly mean "reach vitals with your striking," and instead plainly meant the technicial term, then even then, it would just be a contradiction and require GM fiat.

But when there's a contradiction and one thing is completely vague like that and not clearly invoking any technical term, then the crystal clear thing should just steamroll right on over it.

*shrugs* It isn't required for ranged attacks to have reach. It is required for sneak attacks using ranged to take place within 30ft (maximum), and also within your reach (not to exceed 30ft away).

It's no more or less ambiguously worded than the arguments stating that spells like Charm Person can cause sneak attack damage.

There is no contradiction present with the wording of sneak attack in regards to ranged attacks, it's just stupid, and obviously intended to be written differently.

I will use my example of the moss troll again. They have reach 15 with their claws, so they could throw daggers to do sneak attack damage within this range if they chose to do so.

Most humanoids though only have reach 5 to start...

RAW.

If you want to discuss RAI, then please keep that in mind when discussing your point of view on adding sneak attack damage to spells that (by most opinions) weren't intended to cause damage at all, let alone have sneak attack added to them.


Eh, you know what I don't care enough, because nobody would accept that either anyway. I'm happy with people having the choice between either "ear-piercing scream does SA damage" OR "rogues cannot ever actually get SA from arrows more than 5 feet away" being RAW. Take your pick, sure.

But if you allow arrows from 30 feat and NOT ear-piercing scream, you're violating some rule or other. Good luck with that.


Crimeo wrote:

Eh, you know what I don't care enough, because nobody would accept that either anyway. I'm happy with people having the choice between either "ear-piercing scream does SA damage" OR "rogues cannot ever actually get SA from arrows more than 5 feet away" being RAW. Take your pick, sure.

But if you allow arrows from 30 feat and NOT ear-piercing scream, you're violating some rule or other.

That may be true.

There are odd contradictions that can happen if you adhere blindly to RAW.

Such as Martial Weapon Proficiency not actually granting proficiency, being dead not really affecting you character as much as you would think etc etc.


Quote:
being dead not really affecting you character

I have always held that physics is clearly intended as a fallback behind (subservient to) any written rules, and always (try to) assume this in all my answers. I don't even really feel rules have to say that in a roe playing game like this any more than they have to tell you "This book is written in English" or what a comma means.

Without instructions, go with physics. Doesn't help with issues of spells, does mean your dead character can't adventure, though.

Quote:
Martial Weapon Proficiency not actually granting proficiency

Is there a reason why anybody would care? I wouldn't even call this a contradiction. It's just like lesser proficiency. A feat is just "making do" well enough to avoid the penalties.


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
being dead not really affecting you character

I have always held that physics is clearly intended as a fallback behind (subservient to) any written rules, and always (try to) assume this in all my answers. I don't even really feel rules have to say that in a roe playing game like this any more than they have to tell you "This book is written in English" or what a comma means.

Without instructions, go with physics. Doesn't help with issues of spells, does mean your dead character can't adventure, though.

Quote:
Martial Weapon Proficiency not actually granting proficiency
Is there a reason why anybody would care? I wouldn't even call this a contradiction. It's just like lesser proficiency. A feat is just "making do" well enough to avoid the penalties.

Really now? You resort to physics after all this?

Let's see. I'm going to use YOUR example of dark-light.

You have a flashlight, not that bright either, just enough to dazzle a being for a few seconds if you flash it in front of his eyes.

Hit point damage refers to persistent physical harm.

Explain to me, WITHOUT changing the output or the intensity of the flashlight, just be positioning it differently, how can you do lasting physical harm? (Blindness and etc don't count since those, in pathfinder, are conditions, not damage).

Find me in fact ANY spell, that doesn't do damage, and without changing any other parameter rather than precision, it suddenly does lasting physical damage.


Vampires and stuff don't have physics. They don't exist in real life. So yeah, maybe they can die from bright enough concentrated enough light. I don't know. Do you know any vampires or have access to some sort of vampire data that disproves this? (Also it most definitely is not "not very bright" It say it is powerful, and it's bright enough to blind normally, without any careful pinpoint targeting. That's really damn bright, I don't know what you're talking about)

The physics thing can only matter for stuff we actually have physical rules about to refer to. Not magic rules, magical beings, what the gods do, etc.


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
being dead not really affecting you character

I have always held that physics is clearly intended as a fallback behind (subservient to) any written rules, and always (try to) assume this in all my answers. I don't even really feel rules have to say that in a roe playing game like this any more than they have to tell you "This book is written in English" or what a comma means.

Without instructions, go with physics. Doesn't help with issues of spells, does mean your dead character can't adventure, though.

Quote:
Martial Weapon Proficiency not actually granting proficiency
Is there a reason why anybody would care? I wouldn't even call this a contradiction. It's just like lesser proficiency. A feat is just "making do" well enough to avoid the penalties.

People who would care: everyone taking it as a prerequisite for feats requiring proficiency in said weapon: it doesn't grant it, so entire feat chains fall apart.


Crimeo wrote:

Vampires and stuff don't have physics, dude. They don't exist in real life. So yeah, maybe they can die from bright enough concentrated enough light. Who knows?

The physic thing only matters for stuff we actually have physical rules about to refer to. Not magic or magical beings.

YOU resorted to physics, not me.

And BTW, vampires have light sensitivity.

But I'm going to focus on YOUR word once more:
"Concentrated".

You don't concentrate anything. You can just place it more precise.

So, even with fantasy metaphysics, where vampires actually burn from intense light, IF your light is only strong enough to dazzle them, WHERE do you precise strike (without condesing, increasing, intensifying, etc ONLY position) to suddenly make it strong enough to burn?


Quote:
People who would care: everyone taking it as a prerequisite for feats requiring proficiency in said weapon: it doesn't grant it, so entire feat chains fall apart.

Ah okay. So feat chains fall apart for weapons you're only semi trained with from field experience (only minus penalties) vs. ones you have a full level of mastery from (proficiency flag) years of class training or whatever, then. So? This doesn't seem necessarily illogical nor contradictory.

It would make it a bad feat to pick, but that's not the same thing as illogical or contradictory or even unrealistic.


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:
People who would care: everyone taking it as a prerequisite for feats requiring proficiency in said weapon: it doesn't grant it, so entire feat chains fall apart.

Ah okay. So feat chains fall apart for weapons you're only semi trained with from field experience (only minus penalties) vs. ones you have a full level of mastery from (proficiency flag) years of class training or whatever, then. So? This doesn't seem necessarily illogical nor contradictory.

It would make it a bad feat to pick, but that's not the same thing as illogical or contradictory or even unrealistic.

It falls into the same category of silly readings that this thread is about. People take that feat thinking they then can qualify for stuff like Improved Critical... NOPE! Most people let it qualify though...

A spell that doesn't cause damage, doesn't cause damage.

Sneak attack uses existing damage sources with more precision to increase damage being caused.

My above statement is true. The rules may be written in such a way to allow clever people to wriggle around it, but it wildly violates RAI.

I don't care how trained you are, you aren't going to kill someone by casting charm on them, that's not how the spell, or sneak attack, is supposed to work.


Btw, another question that is becoming a common theme in this thread:

How precise does an attack need to be in order to qualify for Sneak Attack damage?

While a fireball may seem to be a rather imprecise attack, I submit that a giant's hammer is similarly imprecise against a tiny sized creature - the hammer's striking area is much larger than the target in this case. Yet I have yet to see anyone rule that this situation disqualifies Sneak Attack.


Quote:

But I'm going to focus on YOUR word once more:

"Concentrated". You don't concentrate anything. You can just place it more precise.

If you place a burst close to a vital target, then a much larger portion of its angle of spread will hit that vital versus any old haphazard placement, so yes you can concentrate it. By a lot.

For example, maximum 20 feet away, with eyeballs being 1 square inch let's say. A 20 foot sphere has surface area 4 pi r^2 = 723,456 square inches, so 0.000275% of its energy is hitting (total of 2) eyes. This is enough to blind.

If you have special rogueish training to iidentify and place attacks better at vital areas, then let's say you can activate the burst 1 inch from their eyeballs instead. Surface area now = 12.56 square centimeters. 2/12.56 = 16% of its energy is hitting the eyes.

I.e. 57,600 times more concentrated than what it takes to blind them

Quote:
YOU resorted to physics, not me.

Whenever physics EXIST, you should use them in the absence of any written rules on a subject.

That rule fails in two different ways here: 1) Vampires have no physics to refer to because vampires are make believe creatures. 2) There isn't an absence of written rules on the subject, so I wouldn't care anyway. Sneak attack says to add 1d6 damage, so like any written rule, it would override physics anyway. The physics are always only ever a fallback.


Huh, just realized something.

RAW... since we are doing that with this...

"she can strike a vital spot for extra damage"

You gotta have a female character, and it has to be a strike.

So Flamestrike would probably qualify. Precise Strike also.

Regular attacks wouldn't.


This discussion has two questions:

A)Is a non attack roll damaging spell capable of sneak damage?

Imo, no, it doesn't make sense. But a clear answer from the PDT would help clarify.

B)can a non damaging effect deal damage?

This question is already answered. Apart from a single person who doesn't get it, and won't change his opinion, everyone else agrees that it can't.

So, let's focus on question A and ignore question B, because it only detracts from the real one.

Just my 2c

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Byakko wrote:

Btw, another question that is becoming a common theme in this thread:

How precise does an attack need to be in order to qualify for Sneak Attack damage?

While a fireball may seem to be a rather imprecise attack, I submit that a giant's hammer is similarly imprecise against a tiny sized creature - the hammer's striking area is much larger than the target in this case. Yet I have yet to see anyone rule that this situation disqualifies Sneak Attack.

That's Rogues for you - they can hit precisely a pixie's left kidney with a Huge hammer without making it messy. That's how awesome they are. You don't come close. You don't compare. Talk to the hand, talk to the hand.


I don't care how accurate someone is with a laser pointer, they aren't going to be able to kill someone with it at a range.

You know, unless they throw it or something.

I hope my point is clear.


alexd1976 wrote:

I don't care how accurate someone is with a laser pointer, they aren't going to be able to kill someone with it at a range.

You know, unless they throw it or something.

I hope my point is clear.

Yes but we aren't talking about lasers, which are equally concentrated at all distances and angles. We are talking about something that can be concentrated (an omnidirectional burst, see above). So the question is more "can you kill somebody with the equivalent of 57,000 laser pointers each strong enough to individually blind all in one spot?" not one.

And the answer is absolutely YES. Multiplying the power of a blinding laser that many times would be a massive amount of kilowatts per the surface area, over 1,000 times more than the threshold of open flames produce.

So basically, you're lighting welding torch in their eyeballs for some proportion of 3 seconds (actually stronger than that by many times). If you want to talk about realism of it.... absolutely could main/kill you.


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:

But I'm going to focus on YOUR word once more:

"Concentrated". You don't concentrate anything. You can just place it more precise.

If you place a burst close to a vital target, then a much larger portion of its angle of spread will hit that vital versus any old haphazard placement, so yes you can concentrate it. By a lot.

For example, maximum 20 feet away, with eyeballs being 1 square inch let's say. A 20 foot sphere has surface area 4 pi r^2 = 723,456 square inches, so 0.000275% of its energy is hitting (total of 2) eyes. This is enough to blind.

If you have special rogueish training to iidentify and place attacks better at vital areas, then let's say you can activate the burst 1 inch from their eyeballs instead. Surface area now = 12.56 square centimeters. 2/12.56 = 16% of its energy is hitting the eyes.

I.e. 57,600 times more concentrated than what it takes to blind them

Quote:
YOU resorted to physics, not me.

Whenever physics EXIST, you should use them in the absence of any written rules on a subject.

That rule fails in two different ways here: 1) Vampires have no physics to refer to because vampires are make believe creatures. 2) There isn't an absence of written rules on the subject, so I wouldn't care anyway. Sneak attack says to add 1d6 damage, so like any written rule, it would override physics anyway. The physics are always only ever a fallback.

I'll dignify my last answer to you:

Light doesn't work that way.

A burst of light 1 inch off your face and 1 meter off it, if it has the same intensity, harrying things like refraction from air particles (which don't account for that much for such distances) will have the exact same effect on the retina of the eye.

A burst of light has so many photons that the whole eye, in both cases, is hit by exactly the same amount of them.

The difference is how much energy they lose travelling over to there. And since, you know, they are the definition of the speed of light, 1-10-100 meters won't subtract even a noticeable fraction if their energy.


Crimeo wrote:
alexd1976 wrote:

I don't care how accurate someone is with a laser pointer, they aren't going to be able to kill someone with it at a range.

You know, unless they throw it or something.

I hope my point is clear.

Yes but we aren't talking about lasers, which are equally concentrated at all distances. We are talking about something that can be concentrated (see above). So the question is more "can you kill somebody with 57,000 laser pointers all in one spot?

And the answer is absolutely YES. That would be a massive amount of kilowatts per the surface area, over 1,000 times more than the threshold of open flames produce.

So basically, you're lighting a welding torch in their eyeballs for some proportion of 3 seconds. If you want to talk about realism of it.

So things that cause damage, cause damage. Things that don't, don't.

Right? It has to start off causing damage to be used with accuracy to increase that damage.


Quote:

So things that cause damage, cause damage. Things that don't, don't.

Right? It has to start off causing damage to be used with accuracy to increase that damage.

No one laser won't do any points of damage to you, because it would calculate out to like 0.0001 hitpoints or whatever, and you round down. I've never agreed that things that don't cause damage normally are somehow "locked into" never causing damage, I think that's complete nonsense that is never stated or written anywhere AND that doesn't match up with physics either (due to tiny portions still being able to exist and rounding down in an integer as in above sentence). It is discussed earlier in the thread. Except the rounding thing is actually a new additional argument against it.

Quote:
A burst of light 1 inch off your face and 1 meter off it, if it has the same intensity

Um no. Brightness is an inverse square function of distance, not a constant... seriously?


Crimeo wrote:
Quote:

So things that cause damage, cause damage. Things that don't, don't.

Right? It has to start off causing damage to be used with accuracy to increase that damage.

No one laser won't do any points of damage to you, because it would calculate out to like 0.0001 hitpoints or whatever, and you round down. I've never agreed that things that don't cause damage normally are somehow "locked into" never causing damage, I think that's complete nonsense that is never stated or written anywhere AND that doesn't match up with physics either (due to tiny portions still being able to exist and rounding down in an integer as in above sentence). It is discussed earlier in the thread. Except the rounding thing is actually a new additional argument against it.

Quote:
A burst of light 1 inch off your face and 1 meter off it, if it has the same intensity
Um no. Brightness is an inverse square function of distance, not a constant... seriously?

In game terms, non-damaging effects are non-damaging. Damaging effects that deal zero damage are entirely different things.

So going back to the laser pointer, in game terms, it doesn't cause damage. Gather 50 quadrillion of them and point them all at the same point... still doesn't cause damage.

It's not 0 damage. It's not 0.0000001 damage, it doesn't DO damage, it's a non-damaging effect. There are no numbers to modify. No dice to roll.

So you can aim that non-damaging effect as precisely as you like, it's not gonna hurt anyone.

Now apply that to everything else in the game.

A rogue with a tiny scalpel can gut a man in one stroke because he knows where and how to cut. A rogue with a laser pointer (or any other non-damaging item/effect/spell) is using an item/effect/spell that is non-damaging. Sneak attack doesn't do squat.

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