Point Blank Shot (and other Damage Increases) with Alchemist splash damage.


Rules Questions

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Talonhawke wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

So, you're applying Point Blank Shot benefits to creatures that aren't within 30 ft. of the Alchemist all because the initial target is within 30 feet? Yeah, you just lost all credibility with your math argument right there. I don't know what version of Pathfinder you're playing, but in every version of Pathfinder I've played, Point Blank Shot doesn't apply against subjects that are further than 30 feet away, regardless of what you're doing.

FAQ says only direct hits are affected by PBS. Splash damage isn't a direct hit, so it's not affected. If it was, I'd be doing 2 Splash Damage with an Alchemist's Fire or Alchemist's Acid if I was aiming at an enemy within 30 feet. But hey, if you want to sit there and say that Alchemist Bombs are a special exception, list it. Good luck convincing a FAQ that outright lists Alchemist Bombs as being included in the exception list, you'll need it.

Your 100% right it doesn't apply to a target more than 30ft away. Good thing the target is which then effects the damage of the bomb. Notice how you want to not only attack me directly not the argument i made, and then bring up a strawman about non-bomb alchemical weapons? Unless I'm missing something new alchemist fire and acid don't splash for minimum damage, so why even bring them up at all?

EDIT: Actually I think I'm gonna disagree with myself a bit here. After thinking on all things that might affect a bombs damage I'm going to actually agree that a target would still need to qualify for the extra damage from PBS by virtue of range. But the guy in the second example still isn't getting extra damage he isn't the target.

In the first example, you have two creatures in range, and one out of range, the initial hit being on one of the two in range. In the second exaample you have two creatures in range, and two out of range, the initial hit being on one of two not in range.

The point of those examples was to demonstrate that the threshold between the targets affected by a single effect shouldn't apply the PBS damage bonus between the targets outright, simply because one target is within 30 feet. By that logic, PBS applies to every target as long as one is within 30 feet. Scorching Ray, Startoss feat chain...I'm sure there are others that will fall under such abuse.


Yes it affects all Targets in that range, but we only have one target here, if he isn't affected no-one could possibly be since the min. damage would be lower ( remember as you keep pointing out it only applies to the main target). The only reason I personally would disallow the damage on the guy outside of the 30ft is due to potential interactions with things like smite or favored enemy and bomb damage.

I could see the ruling being made either way on the whole thing since the real question is not about PBS but about every single damage rider and how it would interact with the minimum damage clause.


Talonhawke wrote:

Yes it affects all Targets in that range, but we only have one target here, if he isn't affected no-one could possibly be since the min. damage would be lower ( remember as you keep pointing out it only applies to the main target). The only reason I personally would disallow the damage on the guy outside of the 30ft is due to potential interactions with things like smite or favored enemy and bomb damage.

I could see the ruling being made either way on the whole thing since the real question is not about PBS but about every single damage rider and how it would interact with the minimum damage clause.

In both examples we have multiple targets affected by the effect, and you ruled that because the original target is within range, then all affected targets are considered to be in range, even though they actually aren't. In other words, applying a bonus that only works within 30 feet to something that isn't within 30 feet. Hence my claim of "Schrodinger's Damage Bonus." Because now you can get Scorching Ray damage bonuses on all of your rays, Startoss Style damage bonuses on each of your attacks, and so on, all because one of your targets is within 30 feet.

If we went with the idea that Point Blank Shot applies its damage bonus to the minimum damage dealt by a bomb via splash, you'd run into situations as I've described, where you have players making a ruling that is obviously not intended (applying a bonus only meant to work within 30 feet to a creature that's not within 30 feet). Which is also another reason why Point Blank Shot probably shouldn't interact with splash weapons.


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A bomb only has 1 target not 9 so only that one person can be affected by PBS just like the FAQ says. Your wanting to give it more targets than are allowed to make your spurious connection to startoss style.

Our argument is not that since the center square is withing 30ft pbs affects all other 9 squares. It's that the one (and only one) target is affected or not and thus the the attacks minimum damage is now 1 higher, thus everyone else would (depending on how the GM rules rider damage) take one more point of damage. So please stop misrepresenting our argument with ideas about things that are not relevant.


Talonhawke wrote:

A bomb only has 1 target not 9 so only that one person can be affected by PBS just like the FAQ says. Your wanting to give it more targets than are allowed to make your spurious connection to startoss style.

Our argument is not that since the center square is withing 30ft pbs affects all other 9 squares. It's that the one (and only one) target is affected or not and thus the the attacks minimum damage is now 1 higher, thus everyone else would (depending on how the GM rules rider damage) take one more point of damage. So please stop misrepresenting our argument with ideas about things that are not relevant.

It doesn't matter how your argument works. The fact is that you're granting PBS benefits to creatures that aren't within 30 feet just because the original target is, despite some (if not all) others not being within the appropriate range.

Point Blank Shot isn't intended to work against creatures outside of 30 feet, flat out. You applying that damage to creatures outside of 30 feet, inadvertently or not, breaks the intent of that feat, which means the odds of it being the correct interpretation is unlikely.

An interpretation, of which, that does not trump the FAQ that's currently issued out, prohibiting PBS from applying to splash damage in any shape or form. As I've stated prior, unless you have something that trumps the FAQ statement which says PBS doesn't work on splash damage, you're not budging the argument an inch.


Nefreet wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Del_Taco_Eater wrote:
To clarify, are you of the opinion that things like courage do not apply as well?
Not to splash, no. When it says minimum damage it means # of dice +1 int. There's no room for any other idea with the faq there.

When you swing a Greatsword with a Strength of 14 and Bard Song going, minimum damage is 2+3+1.

When a 3rd level Alchemist throws a Bomb with an Int of 16 and Point Blank Shot, minimum damage is 2+3+1.

"Minimum damage" includes Static modifiers.

The FAQ says flat out that it does not.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


It doesn't matter how your argument works. The fact is that you're granting PBS benefits to creatures that aren't within 30 feet just because the original target is, despite some (if not all) others not being within the appropriate range.

Actually if you go back and look I admit that depending on a ruling it very likely wouldn't deal that damage to that creature, that being said we have no ruling on how extra damage beyond 1d6/2 levels + INT mod applies to determining minimum damage.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Point Blank Shot isn't intended to work against creatures outside of 30 feet, flat out. You applying that damage to creatures outside of 30 feet, inadvertently or not, breaks the intent of that feat, which means the odds of it being the correct interpretation is unlikely.

Once again your correct it doesn't apply. The bombs damage however changes in retrospect to that much in the same way as if the alchemist was using deadly aim. Or was multiclassed into ranger and had favored enemy vs the target and some but not all of the splash squares. All we know is that splash damage is determined by the minimum damage on the bomb. But like I have said we still don't know if that is only from what the class grants or if other things apply. And if other things apply we then need a ruling on how said things apply in regards to creatures that don't qualify for them.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
An interpretation, of which, that does not trump the FAQ that's currently issued out, prohibiting PBS from applying to splash damage in any shape or form. As I've stated prior, unless you have something that trumps the FAQ statement which says PBS doesn't work on splash damage, you're not budging the argument an inch.

And it still isn't applying tot he splash damage your conflating PBS damage with the bombs damage end stop. If I have a shield other spell up as a 10th level caster 50ft range and I am hit with a mythic Point Blank shot does half of the PBS damage not apply to the carry over damage if they person sharing my damage is over 30ft away. Because that's the arguemtn you want to make that damage caused by PBS ceases to exist if an effect would cause that damage to be applied to something more than 30ft away.


IF the bomb hits it does [3d6+5] damage
if the bomb misses it does [3d6+3] damage

As a matter or raw, the minimum damage the bomb can do is 3d6+3 damage, because it doesn't have to hit. A sword doesn't damage on a miss, a bomb does.

As a matter of sense, there is no attack roll on splash damage. So riders on the attack roll do not apply. Point blank helps you hit a better spot on the target, something you obviously failed to do on a hit. Inspire courage lends you a morale bonus so you throw it harder/more accurately, the bomb doesn't keep it when you miss.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

IF the bomb hits it does [3d6+5] damage

if the bomb misses it does [3d6+3] damage

As a matter or raw, the minimum damage the bomb can do is 3d6+3 damage, because it doesn't have to hit.

As a matter of sense, there is no attack roll on splash damage. So riders on the attack roll do not apply.

And I agree that may very will be how it's ruled if it ever is. But right now nothing tells us if or when something extra adds to the minimum damage. And if something adds to the minimum do the creatures being splashed also have to qualify if the damage isn't universal.

EDIT: In fact what you suggest would be the most elegant solution to the issue. Min. being just #dice+Mod.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Del_Taco_Eater wrote:
To clarify, are you of the opinion that things like courage do not apply as well?
Not to splash, no. When it says minimum damage it means # of dice +1 int. There's no room for any other idea with the faq there.

When you swing a Greatsword with a Strength of 14 and Bard Song going, minimum damage is 2+3+1.

When a 3rd level Alchemist throws a Bomb with an Int of 16 and Point Blank Shot, minimum damage is 2+3+1.

"Minimum damage" includes Static modifiers.

The FAQ says flat out that it does not.

You and Darksol are completely within your rights to read it that way, but please don't claim it's the only way it can be read. As I pointed out in my initial post, it can be interpreted in more than one way.


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Nefreet wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Del_Taco_Eater wrote:
To clarify, are you of the opinion that things like courage do not apply as well?
Not to splash, no. When it says minimum damage it means # of dice +1 int. There's no room for any other idea with the faq there.

When you swing a Greatsword with a Strength of 14 and Bard Song going, minimum damage is 2+3+1.

When a 3rd level Alchemist throws a Bomb with an Int of 16 and Point Blank Shot, minimum damage is 2+3+1.

"Minimum damage" includes Static modifiers.

The FAQ says flat out that it does not.
You and Darksol are completely within your rights to read it that way, but please don't claim it's the only way it can be read. As I pointed out in my initial post, it can be interpreted in more than one way.

Which is what I have been saying as well.


Talonhawke wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


It doesn't matter how your argument works. The fact is that you're granting PBS benefits to creatures that aren't within 30 feet just because the original target is, despite some (if not all) others not being within the appropriate range.

Actually if you go back and look I admit that depending on a ruling it very likely wouldn't deal that damage to that creature, that being said we have no ruling on how extra damage beyond 1d6/2 levels + INT mod applies to determining minimum damage.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Point Blank Shot isn't intended to work against creatures outside of 30 feet, flat out. You applying that damage to creatures outside of 30 feet, inadvertently or not, breaks the intent of that feat, which means the odds of it being the correct interpretation is unlikely.

Once again your correct it doesn't apply. The bombs damage however changes in retrospect to that much in the same way as if the alchemist was using deadly aim. Or was multiclassed into ranger and had favored enemy vs the target and some but not all of the splash squares. All we know is that splash damage is determined by the minimum damage on the bomb. But like I have said we still don't know if that is only from what the class grants or if other things apply. And if other things apply we then need a ruling on how said things apply in regards to creatures that don't qualify for them.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
An interpretation, of which, that does not trump the FAQ that's currently issued out, prohibiting PBS from applying to splash damage in any shape or form. As I've stated prior, unless you have something that trumps the FAQ statement which says PBS doesn't work on splash damage, you're not budging the argument an inch.
And it still isn't applying tot he splash damage your conflating PBS damage with the bombs damage end stop. If I have a shield other spell up as a 10th level caster 50ft range and I am hit with a mythic Point Blank shot...

We don't need to have a ruling, since as discussed before, the other subjects that may improve a bomb's overall damage do not have a FAQ for it denying their application. Point Blank Shot does. And FAQs don't really discuss anything outside of what the FAQ says, which means Inspire Courage, Weapon Specialization, et. al. would still apply as normal. Not saying it can't or shouldn't change, just saying that as of right now, only PBS is off of the table.

Just because it affects the primary target doesn't mean that the secondary targets are treated the exact same as the primary target. The Favored Enemy is another example of Schrodinger's Damage Bonus where you're trying to apply Favored Enemy bonuses to creatures that do not fall under your chosen Favored Enemy list, just because the primary target falls under your Favored Enemy (even though the others do not). It's just as unintended as Point Blank Shot applying to creatures outside of 30 feet.

Shield Other has different rules and intent behind how it functions in comparison to Point Blank Shot. Shield Other is designed to take the damage one creature takes, and splits it between another, and only cares about the range between the two targets in question. Point Blank Shot would function only against the targets that are within range, which is what my original claim is about. For example, if he shoots against one target in range, then PBS damage is split between the two affected creatures (since the damage split is based on whoever took damage, in this case the one within range), and if he shoots the other target that's not in range, then PBS damage doesn't apply (which means it's not factored into the splitting equation whatsoever).

Either way, Shield Other is a strawman argument that doesn't really apply here, since it has specific mechanics that function intuitively with Point Blank Shot.


It applies as much as your belief that PBS affecting splash targets via the minimum damage reading would suddenly allow startoss style to worm it's way into PBS for all targets if the first one is within 30ft. I agree that there would be screwy rulings like i said in reply to BNW the most elegant solution is to across the board ban addon's or at least those that are conditional.


Actually, it doesn't, because there's not a FAQ that mentions Shield Other excluding certain conditional modifiers to determine the damage that's split.

Point Blank Shot has one.


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Oh good so are we back to the heart of the matter which is that there are in fact 2 readings of that FAQ, and not worrying about if somehow the damage moves past 30ft?

Group 1: It cannot affect splash damage at all if something were to cause the damage from point blank shot to be applied to the splash damage from a splash weapon continue to ignore that damage unless it has a specific text saying that this causes PBS to specifically ignore the prior ruling.

Group 2: It is not applied to splash damage, however if an effect would cause splash damage to increase due to an increase on the direct hit target said damage would apply due to being a rider of the effect and not the damage of PBS specifically.

It's not a cut and dry answer, Bombs would be the only splash weapon I know of that raising the targeted damage possibly (because we still don't actually know what does and does not) raise the splash damage. Even and alchemist throwing a acid flask doesn't do more splash damage just more acid to the target.


It seems pretty cut and dry to me.

The biggest difference between the two interpretations is that one treats the exclusion of PBS as an absolution (doesn't apply even for the purposes of minimum damage calculations), and the other as a limited restriction (applies only for the purposes of minimum damage calculation, but not as its own bonus.

Personally, I feel that treating it as a limited restriction betrays the concept of the FAQ that specifically says it doesn't apply to splash damage, and that the FAQ includes Alchemist Bombs, makes the odds of it being an oversight on the devs' part pretty slim.


Nefreet wrote:
You and Darksol are completely within your rights to read it that way, but please don't claim it's the only way it can be read. As I pointed out in my initial post, it can be interpreted in more than one way.

Why should it be? Under what rules paradigm does "add the damage" make more sense than "don't add the damage" ? You can't just say that minimum damage is raw, minimum damage is ambiguous, so you can add.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
You and Darksol are completely within your rights to read it that way, but please don't claim it's the only way it can be read. As I pointed out in my initial post, it can be interpreted in more than one way.

Why should it be? Under what rules paradigm does "add the damage" make more sense than "don't add the damage" ? You can't just say that minimum damage is raw, minimum damage is ambiguous, so you can add.

If that FAQ was just on bombs, maybe but it address splash damage, maybe they didn't think about the whole minimum damage thing, maybe the PDT assumes like you do that nothing but dice and modifier make up minimum damage(though at least on trait out there means not everyone does), maybe they assumed the whole question was about just the splash part and assumed people were double dipping on bombs.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
You and Darksol are completely within your rights to read it that way, but please don't claim it's the only way it can be read. As I pointed out in my initial post, it can be interpreted in more than one way.

Why should it be? Under what rules paradigm does "add the damage" make more sense than "don't add the damage" ? You can't just say that minimum damage is raw, minimum damage is ambiguous, so you can add.

The thing is, you and Darksol have read the same FAQ and come to different "obvious" conclusions. Nefreet and I have read it and thought a third, different conclusion was true. Perhaps the issue not actually as Crystal clear as you say it is.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

You can't just say that minimum damage is raw, minimum damage is ambiguous, so you can add.

As a side note, why can't nefreet use this line of thinking to argue that adding to minimum damage is ambiguous?


Del taco eater wrote:
As a side note, why can't nefreet use this line of thinking to argue that adding to minimum damage is ambiguous?

Because thats not nearly enough.

The faq MIGHT not completely 100% say no is not a good argument for yes.

You don't just need to argue that it's possible you need to argue that it is. You need to argue that

-a back door to the FAQ exists
- that aiming better and missing somehow increases the potency of the bomb


BigNorseWolf wrote:


- that aiming better and missing somehow increases the potency of the bomb

A nearer miss, perhaps?

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

When I first read the FAQ many years ago, my immediate thought was "Finally, I don't have to argue with people that Alchemist's splash for +2 points of damage".

Then, some time ago, a player at my PFS table asked to make sure that the Alchemist at the table wasn't adding the +1 from PBS to their splash damage.

And I realized, again, that there is truly no such thing as "rules-as-written".


Talonhawke wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
You and Darksol are completely within your rights to read it that way, but please don't claim it's the only way it can be read. As I pointed out in my initial post, it can be interpreted in more than one way.

Why should it be? Under what rules paradigm does "add the damage" make more sense than "don't add the damage" ? You can't just say that minimum damage is raw, minimum damage is ambiguous, so you can add.

If that FAQ was just on bombs, maybe but it address splash damage, maybe they didn't think about the whole minimum damage thing, maybe the PDT assumes like you do that nothing but dice and modifier make up minimum damage(though at least on trait out there means not everyone does), maybe they assumed the whole question was about just the splash part and assumed people were double dipping on bombs.

See, that would make sense, except they actually specifically included Alchemist Bombs into the answer of the question, compared to any other common splash weapon.

FAQ wrote:
No, the extra damage from Point Blank Shot only applies to the target of a direct hit with a splash weapon (including direct hits from an alchemist's bomb).

Which means that they probably did think of the minimum damage aspect, and figured that simply mentioning the bomb would be enough to discourage the application to the minimum damage. While I can properly understand the argument being made now, it's still difficult to accept it as being correct when the FAQ creates a precedent that is a foil to the conclusion being drawn (which is backdooring an addition of PBS bonuses to the splash damage result).

This actually reminds me of when they issued the size increase FAQ, and people still wouldn't accept that it applied to Shield Spikes + Bashing because it doesn't specifically call them out. I imagine that a similar resolution will happen here if the PDT decides to issue a response, since the circumstances are identical.


Del_Taco_Eater wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


- that aiming better and missing somehow increases the potency of the bomb

A nearer miss, perhaps?

You're really grasping at straws here. How does a "nearer miss" make the bomb itself more potent? It doesn't. If I miss on an 11 compared to missing on a 10, the minimum damage result would still be the same, which means you can't disprove his point.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Del_Taco_Eater wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


- that aiming better and missing somehow increases the potency of the bomb

A nearer miss, perhaps?
You're really grasping at straws here. How does a "nearer miss" make the bomb itself more potent? It doesn't. If I miss on an 11 compared to missing on a 10, the minimum damage result would still be the same, which means you can't disprove his point.

A conceptual response to a conceptual complaint. Your critique that my statement has no rules based could also be applied to the post I was replying to.

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