Etheric Shards Question


Rules Questions


Hi Folks,

I've got some questions about Etheric shards I haven't been able to find official answers fro:

Does the character walking through the area trigger the effect for each 5ft square they move through, or once for a move action?

If it's for each 5 ft square, can a character greater than 5 ft tall trigger it twice in a 5 ft square if there are 2 5 ft cubes on top of each other in the same square?


1. Yes.

2. GM call, I'd say no. Pathfinder doesn't really contemplate vertical stuff like that. The more interesting question is whether a gargantuan creature moving 5' and completely covered gets hit 16 times or just once. I'd say once, but I think RAW is 16, 4 for large, 9 for huge.


Is there a ruling somewhere I can point to?


No, we can just argue about the text of the spell and spacing rules. And see my edit above.


You'd think there'd be a place that Paizo would opine on things like this. May some sort of forum where people post rules questions. :(

Sovereign Court

I would argue every single 5' cube the target is in after each 5' of movement for a gargantuan (so 64 if it was already inside the zone and moved 5 and still all inside the zone), my GM countered with 1 instance of damage per 5' movement. We settled on each new 5' cube entered. So a gargantuan face checking into a wall of shards it's size would take 16, but if only took a 10' high section, 8. But it wouldn't take those same cubes again unless it completely moved out of them and re-entered.


Firebug wrote:
I would argue every single 5' cube the target is in after each 5' of movement for a gargantuan (so 64 if it was already inside the zone and moved 5 and still all inside the zone), my GM countered with 1 instance of damage per 5' movement. We settled on each new 5' cube entered. So a gargantuan face checking into a wall of shards it's size would take 16, but if only took a 10' high section, 8. But it wouldn't take those same cubes again unless it completely moved out of them and re-entered.

Hard to balance that decision with the idea that you can take damage even if you don't leave the square when you take an action. I can see a DM hand-waiving that part though, since damage would be unreasonable.

Sovereign Court

Say a large creature.
Front left steps into the zone, takes damage. Continues forward, so back left steps into the zone, does it trigger on the back left square entering or not?

If it's not "entering or leaving that square", consider a much larger creature, say 5x5.
XXXXX
XXXXX
XXXXXA
XXXXX
XXXXX
You are standing at A, it moves (not 5' step, say difficult terrain) up one square. Does it provoke? Has it left any squares that you threaten? If it did leave a square that you threaten, it must have entered a new square, right?


I have a question that came up as I was using Etheric shards on some evil outsiders, does DR 10 just render this spell useless?
They ignore the 1d8 p/s damage and since they take no damage from the spell they negate the bleed damage no?


Pinkius wrote:

I have a question that came up as I was using Etheric shards on some evil outsiders, does DR 10 just render this spell useless?

They ignore the 1d8 p/s damage and since they take no damage from the spell they negate the bleed damage no?

They still move at half speed, but they wouldn’t take damage.


It's damage for every 5ft, the spell says when they enter a square they take damage. It's the creatures choice to keep moving through those squares and taking more damage.

Size is irrelevant to damage, a colossal creature would take the same damage as a tiny simply triggering every time one of the squares comes in contact with etheric shards. The same way they would take the same level of damage for fireball.

Pinkius wrote:

I have a question that came up as I was using Etheric shards on some evil outsiders, does DR 10 just render this spell useless?

They ignore the 1d8 p/s damage and since they take no damage from the spell they negate the bleed damage no?

DR does nothing, etheric shards is force damage which ignores DR and has no spell resistance. It's good against some outsiders for that reason but more powerful one's can just teleport past it.

Also if you are a psychic you can boost the damage to 1d10


Doompatrol wrote:
DR does nothing, etheric shards is force damage which ignores DR and has no spell resistance. It's good against some outsiders for that reason but more powerful one's can just teleport past it.
Quote:
Movement through an area of etheric shards is halved, even for incorporeal creatures, and creatures entering a 5-foot cube filled with etheric shards take 1d8 points of piercing and slashing damage and must succeed at a Reflex save or take 1 point of bleed damage.
FAQ wrote:

Damage Reduction: How does DR interact with magical effects that deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage?

Although the Bestiary definition of Damage Reduction (page 299) says "The creature takes normal damage from energy attacks (even nonmagical ones), spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities," that's actually just referring to damage that isn't specifically called out as being of a particular type, such as fire damage or piercing damage. In other words, DR doesn't protect against "typeless damage" from magical attacks.
However, if a magical attack specifically mentions that it deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, DR affects that damage normally, as if it were from a physical weapon. (Otherwise the magical attack might as well not have a damage type, as it would only interface with B/P/S damage in a very few corner cases, such as whether or not an ooze splits from that attack.)
For example, the ice storm spell deals 3d6 points of bludgeoning damage and 2d6 points of cold damage. If you cast ice storm at a group of zombies, the zombie's DR 5/slashing protects them against 5 points of the spell's bludgeoning damage. Their DR doesn't help them against the spell's cold damage because DR doesn't apply to energy attacks.

DR applies to it, the spell has the force descriptor, but the damage itself is not force damage.


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For reference: Etheric Shards

The spell states: creatures entering a 5-foot cube. So each cube entered does 1d8 damage. Given the way difficult terrain works, I don't think moving your bulk through square you are already in won't count as entering. For example, a large creature moving through would only enter 2 or 3 new squares for each 5' of movement and not 4 squares that they occupy.

As for DR, you must decide if each square separately does 1d8 or if it aggregates for the 5' of movement, or if they aggregate for all the movement in the move action. For a large creature with DR 10/-, you would get multiple 1d8 that do nothing, or 2d8 or 3d8 that reduces by 10, or Xd8 that reduces by 10 for all the squares. It does affect how much damage gets through.

/cevah

Sovereign Court

And what about the 3D aspect for larger creatures? Does a large creature walking into the 10' cube enter 2 squares or 4? (assuming non-diagonal movement, directly into a fresh cube of shards)


Firebug wrote:
And what about the 3D aspect for larger creatures? Does a large creature walking into the 10' cube enter 2 squares or 4? (assuming non-diagonal movement, directly into a fresh cube of shards)

Depends. See the table. If it is large(tall) I would say yes, but large(long) I would say no. Expect table variation.

/cevah


Cevah wrote:
Firebug wrote:
And what about the 3D aspect for larger creatures? Does a large creature walking into the 10' cube enter 2 squares or 4? (assuming non-diagonal movement, directly into a fresh cube of shards)

Depends. See the table. If it is large(tall) I would say yes, but large(long) I would say no. Expect table variation.

/cevah

I'd say large long is 2 and large tall is 4.

I'd also say the damage is per square(s) entered at a time, so a medium creature would take 1d8 damage every 5 ft, a large (long) would take 2d8 every 5 ft (or 1d8 if only half is moving inside the effect), and large tall would take 4d8 every 5 ft (or 2d8 if only half is moving inside the effect).

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