Is Intense Spells bonus damage added on every tick of DoT evocation spells?


Rules Questions


The Intense Spells ability of the Evocation school reads as: "Whenever you cast an evocation spell that deals hit point damage, add 1/2 your wizard level to the damage (minimum +1). This bonus only applies once to a spell, not once per missile or ray, and cannot be split between multiple missiles or rays".
I am not sure hot to read it: should I add bonus damage on every tick of DoT spells or only on the first one? Icy Prison is an example of such a spell.

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Dryxxxa wrote:

The Intense Spells ability of the Evocation school reads is: "Whenever you cast an evocation spell that deals hit point damage, add 1/2 your wizard level to the damage (minimum +1). This bonus only applies once to a spell, not once per missile or ray, and cannot be split between multiple missiles or rays".

I am not sure hot to read it: should I add bonus damage on every tick of DoT spells or only on the first one?

I'd only apply it once, on the initial tick of damage.

Relevant sentences from the above for establishing that this is the intent (IMO);

"Whenever you cast an evocation spell"
"This bonus only applies once to a spell"

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

It applies once per casting, so things like fireball only one in the area gets it and things like Damage over Time only apply to one target in the first application of damage to the target.


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Since you roll for fireball damage only once and apply it to all affected, I think the bonus from Intense Spells should apply to everyone.
For spells like Burning Arc, where you roll damage for each victim separately the bonus damage would only affect one of them.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Well, I've always seen it apply to just one creature in an area effect because it just applies to one target in a volley spell.


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This uses similar wording to the arcane trickster surprise spells FAQ, and that allows for sneak attack on only one target of a targetted spell, but on every creature in the area of a fireball.

How does the Surprise Spells class feature of the Arcane Trickster prestige class (Core Rulebook, page 378) work with spells like magic missile and fireball? wrote:
The Surprise Spells class feature allows the Arcane Trickster to add his sneak attack dice to spells that deal damage that target flat-footed foes. This damage is only applied once per spell. In the case of fireball this means it affects all targets in the area, with each getting a save to halve the damage (including the sneak attack damage). In the case of magic missile, the extra damage is only added once to one missile, chosen by the caster when the spell is cast.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Tick? What is the relevance of a time measure (or a small arachnid) on the effect of a spell?
You mean each dice?
Or each target?
Or what?

The damage bonus is added once for a spell, so it is added, once, to the spell as a whole. If the spell is a area spell that affect all targets equally it is applied to each target. If it is a spell where you divide the damage between different targets, it is applied once and then divided between the targets as appropriate for the spell description (generally it is added to the damage dealt to a single target as the ability is added as a single block of bonus damage, but I wouldn't be surprised to discover that there is some spell, in some splatbook, that have you determine the total damage dealt and the assign it to the targets as you like).

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

DoT, Tick, etc are all Everquest/World of Worldcraft terms.


I think the question is if you had a spell that dealt damage over multiple rounds.

Round 1: Cast, deal Xd6 dmg
Round 2: Deal Yd6 dmg
Round 3: Deal Yd6 dmg

Something like Acid Arrow if it was Evocation.

Much like the previous responses, the extra damage should only be applied on the initial damage that's dealt.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
James Risner wrote:
DoT, Tick, etc are all Everquest/World of Worldcraft terms.

An my point is that those terms are meaningless in Pathfinder.

It is akin to asking how many MPH do your computer.

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Diego Rossi wrote:
James Risner wrote:
DoT, Tick, etc are all Everquest/World of Worldcraft terms.

An my point is that those terms are meaningless in Pathfinder.

If Pathfinder wants to make terms for these mechanics, like 'recurring damage' or 'instance/iteration of damage/damage increment' or whatever, it's perfectly capable of doing so. Since it has not seen a need to do so, it seems perfectly acceptable to use terms developed by other game systems and not be all divisive about it. The gaming community hardly benefits from this whole us vs. them mentality, particularly when at least some of us like both MMOs and tabletop games, and the mechanics, such as effects that do 'damage over time' (like D&D/PFs acid arrow or DAoCs corrosive mist), or 'area of effect' (VtM's awe or CoH/CoVs rain of fire) exist in both types of games.

The terms might be 'meaningless' in Pathfinder, but they are still useful for *discussion* about mechanics used in Pathfinder that don't have their own specific terms.

Sovereign Court

Diego Rossi wrote:
James Risner wrote:
DoT, Tick, etc are all Everquest/World of Worldcraft terms.

An my point is that those terms are meaningless in Pathfinder.

It is akin to asking how many MPH do your computer.

Now you're sounding a little snobby :)

They're not formally defined terms in Pathfinder, but "damage over time" is a useful term if you're talking about whether Flaming Sphere is as good as Scorching Ray. And "tick" is as good as any a word for a PC at 1HP wondering if someone can wash the acid off before the Acid Arrow "ticks" again.


Diego Rossi wrote:
James Risner wrote:
DoT, Tick, etc are all Everquest/World of Worldcraft terms.

An my point is that those terms are meaningless in Pathfinder.

It is akin to asking how many MPH do your computer.

While the words in question may not be formally defined in Pathfinder, the meaning was significantly less ambiguous than many terms that are in common usage in the game.


Diego Rossi wrote:
James Risner wrote:
DoT, Tick, etc are all Everquest/World of Worldcraft terms.

An my point is that those terms are meaningless in Pathfinder.

It is akin to asking how many MPH do your computer.

As some people have said, there's no official term for recurring damage. And many people understood my question without ambiguity, so I believe it wasn't a bad choice of words.

Anyway, thx for the answers, now I have some more arguments against a particular local evocation wizard seeker.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
James Risner wrote:
DoT, Tick, etc are all Everquest/World of Worldcraft terms.

An my point is that those terms are meaningless in Pathfinder.

It is akin to asking how many MPH do your computer.
Ascalaphus wrote:


Now you're sounding a little snobby :)

They're not formally defined terms in Pathfinder, but "damage over time" is a useful term if you're talking about whether Flaming Sphere is as good as Scorching Ray. And "tick" is as good as any a word for a PC at 1HP wondering if someone can wash the acid off before the Acid Arrow "ticks" again.

More irritated to have to search what the terms used in a particularly game system mean when applyed to another with different rules.

Tick? A time measurement used in a game where things happen (almost) simultaneously. Pathfinder events are sequential.

Dot = Damage upon time? Good to know.

Both thing can be expressed more clearly with other terms. It is not "us against them". It is "using specialist language in the wrong context".

Snowlilly wrote:
While the words in question may not be formally defined in Pathfinder, the meaning was significantly less ambiguous than many terms that are in common usage in the game.

Really? Tick I had meet before, in other games, and checked it out. I am not convinced it applies well to pathfinder. DoT was a question mark for me.

Dryxxxa wrote:


As some people have said, there's no official term for recurring damage. And many people understood my question without ambiguity, so I believe it wasn't a bad choice of words.

Recurring damage work perfectly. The tendency of English speaking people to assume that an acronym is automatically comprehensive has always amazed me.

Some are very nice when you have learned them (I love AFAIK), but when they aren't common in the context in which are using them, or self explanatory, it is a good idea to make clear in your post how are using them.
AC is a good example in this forum: it is Armor Class or Animal Companion? Or something different? Generally it is self explanatory, based on the context, but if you are asking about way to increase your animal companion armor class it will generate a lot of confusion.


Dryxxxa wrote:

The Intense Spells ability of the Evocation school reads as: "Whenever you cast an evocation spell that deals hit point damage, add 1/2 your wizard level to the damage (minimum +1). This bonus only applies once to a spell, not once per missile or ray, and cannot be split between multiple missiles or rays".

I am not sure hot to read it: should I add bonus damage on every tick of DoT spells or only on the first one? Icy Prison is an example of such a spell.

The feat goes out of it's way to say once only per spell.

I'm not sure how you could imagine a different answer.

If it occurred more than once (by applying the effect on multiple for instance) it wouldn't be once would it?

So the answer is definitely no.

As to area of effect spells...it's unclear if it applies to just one creature in the area or multiple. I think a spell like fireball you probably deal the extra damage to everyone,but does go against the "once" in the description. Still, I think I might be intended to work that way.

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