Empowered Force Sword...not so powerful?


Rules Questions


Hi all,

At my game last week a Magus brought up the question on exactly what empowering the spell Force Sword would do.

Force Sword:
Force Sword
School evocation [force]; Level bloodrager 2, magus 2, occultist 2, psychic 2, sorcerer/wizard 2, spiritualist 2, witch 2

CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S

EFFECT

Range 0 ft.
Effect one sword-shaped weapon of force
Duration 1 minute/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

DESCRIPTION

You create a +1 longsword of pure force sized appropriately for you that you can wield or give to another creature like any other longsword. At 8th level, the sword functions as a +2 longsword.

At 13th level, it functions as a +3 longsword. A force sword cannot be attacked or harmed by physical attacks, but dispel magic, disintegrate, a sphere of annihilation, or a rod of cancellation affects it.

If a creature you attack with the sword has spell resistance, you must attempt a caster level check (1d20 + your caster level) against that spell resistance the first time the force sword strikes it. If you fail the check, the spell is dispelled. If you succeed, the weapon has its normal full effect on that creature for the duration of the spell.


Empower Spell:
Empower Spell (Metamagic)
You can increase the power of your spells, causing them to deal more damage.

Benefit: All variable, numeric effects of an empowered spell are increased by half including bonuses to those dice rolls.

Saving throws and opposed rolls are not affected, nor are spells without random variables.

Level Increase: +2 (an empowered spell uses up a spell slot two levels higher than the spell's actual level.)

The magus wants to know if the empowered version of this spell would not only increase the bonus to attack, but also the weapon damage. My cleric got quite upset at this, stating that it could not be as only the spell damage would get increased, not the weapon damage. This makes good sense...until the magus stated that as an evocation spell the WHOLE THING is spell damage, and as such the sword's damage would increase as well. He goes on to state that the rules the cleric brought up would only effectively restrict to the spell Greater Magic Weapon.

I believe both sides make sense, and I don't want to restrict someone more than is needed...opinions?

Thanks in advance~

Grand Lodge

Empowered Force Sword doesn't do anything more than a normal Force Sword.

Force Sword doesn't have any variable, numeric effects, so there's nothing for Empower to increase.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The effect of the Force Sword spell is to create sword-shaped weapon of force. It doesn't have any variable numeric effects so it does not benefit from Empower Spell.

The effect itself does have some variable numeric effects when it attacks and deals damage, but the spell itself does not, any more than a summon monster used to summon a single monster does, even though that creature may deal damage and roll dice for numerous things.

A spell named 'Bunch of Force Swords' that made 1d6 swords of force would benefit from empower spell, giving you more swords, but what the swords were and how much damage they dealt would not change.


The magus player is completely wrong.

The spell has no variable effects for empower or maximize to affect. All it does it create a longsword made of force. There isn't a single variable for empower/maximize to do anything with.

Shadow Lodge

I'm going to disagree
The variable in question is the weapon damage (1d8)
That being said, it wouldn't effect things like his strength bonus and the weapon enchantment bonus wouldn't be effected
Also: rather a waste of two whole spell levels for a mere 1d8 more damage

Scarab Sages

So does the longsword made out force by this spell do force damage or slashing damage?


Slashing, per the "like any other longsword" line.


The weapon damage is not a variable of the spell. It's a variable of the weapon.

if you read empower carefully it says:

Quote:
All variable, numeric effects of an empowered spell are increased by half including bonuses to those dice rolls.

Weapon damage is not a variable numeric effect of the spell.

Shadow Lodge

Claxon wrote:

The weapon damage is not a variable of the spell. It's a variable of the weapon.

if you read empower carefully it says:

Quote:
All variable, numeric effects of an empowered spell are increased by half including bonuses to those dice rolls.

Weapon damage is not a variable numeric effect of the spell.

How is 1d8 not variable or numeric


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Lord Foul II wrote:
Claxon wrote:

The weapon damage is not a variable of the spell. It's a variable of the weapon.

if you read empower carefully it says:

Quote:
All variable, numeric effects of an empowered spell are increased by half including bonuses to those dice rolls.

Weapon damage is not a variable numeric effect of the spell.

How is 1d8 not variable or numeric

1d8 is of course both variable an numeric. It is not an effect of the spell though, it is an effect of the sword. The sword is the effect of the spell.

As I said above, it is exactly the same as the summon monster line. Empower might get you more monsters, but the monsters summoned will not do more damage due to the spell that summoned them being empowered.


Lord Foul II wrote:
Claxon wrote:

The weapon damage is not a variable of the spell. It's a variable of the weapon.

if you read empower carefully it says:

Quote:
All variable, numeric effects of an empowered spell are increased by half including bonuses to those dice rolls.

Weapon damage is not a variable numeric effect of the spell.

How is 1d8 not variable or numeric

The 1d8 isn't listed anywhere in the spell.

1. This spell creates a sword that does 1d8 damage.
2. This spell creates a longsword.

If the spell were written along the lines of (1), Empower would affect the damage dealt. But since it's written like (2), it does not. The 1d8 is not part of the spell itself, but rather a side effect.


Lord Foul II wrote:
Claxon wrote:

The weapon damage is not a variable of the spell. It's a variable of the weapon.

if you read empower carefully it says:

Quote:
All variable, numeric effects of an empowered spell are increased by half including bonuses to those dice rolls.

Weapon damage is not a variable numeric effect of the spell.

How is 1d8 not variable or numeric

Weapon damage is not a variable numeric effect of the spell.


The problem is that your player doesn't understand that that's a bad spell from a book full of bad spells, so I can understand why he wants to think there's a way to make it less bad. But there isn't.

Dark Archive

Whether it works or not as per the rules i just started thinking that the spell will create a sword sized for the caster right?
Well if you could use empowered spell then the spell becomes exponentially better the bigger the caster is

I do not think it works though, the simple ruling i use for empowered spell are the variables have to be in the description of the spell text.

the empowered spell would increase the +1 or +2 ect variable though right? so a +2 would be empowered to +3?


No, the enhancement bonus is a flat number, so it can't be Empowered, just like a Cat's Grace spell can't be. There's nothing on this spell that can be increased by Empowered Spell.

Dark Archive

Slithery D wrote:
No, the enhancement bonus is a flat number, so it can't be Empowered, just like a Cat's Grace spell can't be. There's nothing on this spell that can be increased by Empowered Spell.

That makes sense, noted for my games. thanks for the clarification.

Shadow Lodge

I believe the "place where it's written" would be the "like any other long sword"
Ie: 1d8 for medium

But again, why would it matter given that an extra 1d8 of damage is a terrible use of two spell levels


Lord Foul II wrote:
But again, why would it matter given that an extra 1d8 of damage is a terrible use of two spell levels

It's worse than you think, it's an extra 1d8 divided by 2.

This is actually slightly worse than an extra 1d4dmg (since you always round down).
2 extra spell levels for an average of +2* damage per attack? No thank you.

To the OP, is this allowed by the rules? Consensus seems to be "no".
Would it break the game to allow it? Consensus seems to be "no".
If your Magus player REEAALLY wants to do this, I say let them, and explain to the Cleric just how much (s)he shouldn't care.

*Math Time!
Empower on 1d8 damage! (remember you always round down)
Roll: | Damage | Empower Bonus
1 | 1 | 0
2 | 3 | 1
3 | 4 | 1
4 | 6 | 2
5 | 7 | 2
6 | 9 | 3
7 | 10 | 3
8 | 12 | 4

Average dmg bonus = (0+1+1+2+2+3+3+4)/8
Average dmg bonus = 16/8
Average dmg bonus = 2


Empowered would apply to all bonuses to the roll (if it applied at all).


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Lord Foul II wrote:

I believe the "place where it's written" would be the "like any other long sword"

Ie: 1d8 for medium

But again, why would it matter given that an extra 1d8 of damage is a terrible use of two spell levels

Since the 1d8 does not appear in the spell description, it can't be a variable numeric effect of the spell, any more than the damage dice of the natural attacks of a summon monster spell are variable numeric effects of the spell.

It says: Make a longsword. Look up what the longsword damage is. Hey, the book says it's a 1d8, so that's what you use. That 1d8 is not an effect of the spell.

Summon monster says: An eagle appears. Look up what an eagle does. Hey, the book says it does 1d4 with 3 attacks. Again, not an effect of the spell.

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