Incoporeal creatures, ghostbane dirge, and sneak attacks


Rules Questions


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Hello everybody, I have a question for you.

Does the ghostbane dirge spell allow creatures with the incorporeal subtype to be subject to sneak attack by magic weapons (that do not have the ghost touch special weapon quality)?

Incorporeal Subtype wrote:
An incorporeal creature has no physical body. An incorporeal creature is immune to critical hits and precision-based damage (such as sneak attack damage) unless the attacks are made using a weapon with the ghost touch special weapon quality.
Ghostbane Dirge wrote:
The target coalesces into a semi-physical form for a short period of time. While subject to the spell, the incorporeal creature takes half damage (50%) from nonmagical attack forms, and full damage from magic weapons, spells, spell-like effects, and supernatural effects.

Thanks all for your help!


Seeing as it doesn't actually remove the incorporeal subtype from the monster, it doesn't appear to.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I went through a fair amount of research a few weeks ago for one of my players and came to the same conclusion. He's playing a bard in Mummy's Mask and was toying with taking ghostbane dirge. He ultimately chose heroism instead.


That's the direction I've been leaning, but I wasn't sure.

On a related note, would it seem the incorporeal creatures still only have a 50% chance to be effected by the spell even though it's a spell specifically designed to deal with them?


I feel that ghostbane dirge is such a hassle to deal with.

50% change that the spell works against incorporeal.
Then you have to beat their SR.
Then they need to fail their saving throw.

Like the effects are awesome, but it just seems like it'd be difficult to pull off.


I would say that with magic weapons doing 100% damage, then sneak attack should apply by RAI. RAW, however is as above.

Chess, you can use a ectoplasmic ghostbane dirge without the 50% spell miss chance.


Right get a metamagic feat so my anti ghost spell can work on ghosts. It's part of the hassle of making it work.

Scarab Sages

I would allow it with magic weapons, because of the ghost touch exception, and it allows any magic weapon to do full damage. But not sure if that's RAW or not.

It's such a pain why not reward the player who takes Ghost Dirge? Otherwise, as everyone is pointing out, it's not worth it.

I hit FAQ.


Another question about the 50% chance to work: Say that the mass version of the spell was cast, targeting multiple incorporeal targets. Would the 50% be rolled once for the spell and applied to all targets, or would it apply individually to each target?


Chess Pwn wrote:
Right get a metamagic feat so my anti ghost spell can work on ghosts. It's part of the hassle of making it work.

Ectoplasmic spell metamagic is much better than just making Ghostbane Dirge work properly.

Carl: Once for each target, just like displacement for melee attacks except for spells.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think my player''s view was ultimately that it wasn't worth one of his limited slots anyway, so I never had to really get into any houseruling. Fortunately...


Too bad sure in mummy mask it would have seen its fair share of use.


Quintain wrote:
Carl: Once for each target, just like displacement for melee attacks except for spells.

That was the direction I was leaning as well, because it was an ability of the creature as opposed to an effect of the spell.

Thank you all for the help. I believe I am going to houserule that being affected by the spell does allow ghosts to be subject to sneak attack, because the spell is niche anyways and doesn't really do its job well for how hard it is to land. Between the 50% chance to not work, allowing a save, and a short round/level duration, I think the spell is unfairly underpowered so I am going to give it that houserule buff.


You would think Ghostbane Dirge would make it like all the weapons it is being attacked by have the ghost touch special weapon quality. Then precision damage (sneak attack, swashbuckler precision, etc.) would work for any weapon that is magical, and 50% function for a weapon that is non-magical.

However, the Ghost Touch property for weapons, while only a +1 enchantment, requires not Ghostbane Dirge (a mostly level 2 spell), but Plane Shift (a level 5-7 spell).

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