Web spell and flames OVERPOWERED?


Rules Questions


So i have a question about the WEB spell. The description text says:

The strands of a web spell are flammable. A flaming weapon can slash
them away as easily as a hand brushes away cobwebs. Any fire can set
the webs alight and burn away one 5-foot square in 1 round. All creatures within flaming webs take 2d4 points of fire damage from the flames.

The question is: if a 5-foot cube burns away in 1 round and deals 2d4 fire damage to a creature in that space, than a Large creature 10-foot cube size trapped in the webs takes 16d4? Or in other words 2d4 damage for every 5-foot cube of space that this creature occupies? For the purpose of this discussion all of the 5-foot cubes in 10-foot cude space alight simultaneously.


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Each creature takes 2d4 damage no matter how many squares it occupies. All area effects work like this. It's not realistic, but it makes the game work. Any exceptions will explicitly say "per square occupied" or something.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Agreed. Creatures within flaming webs take 2d4 points of damage. It does not say 2d4 per square.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
"per square occupied".

Example plz?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Spike Stones wrote:
Spike stones impede progress through an area and deal damage. Any creature moving on foot into or through the spell's area moves at half speed. In addition, each creature moving through the area takes 1d8 points of piercing damage for each 5 feet of movement through the spiked area.


also, if a creature stands in flaming weds and takes 2d4 fire dmg in round 1 and then moves from square that burned away in round 1 to a square that will burn in round 2 it will take another 2d4 points of damage?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

On the second round, yes.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Spike Stones wrote:
5 feet of movement through the spiked area.

"movement" is the key word here if you dont move you dont take dmg


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Cherry_Goose wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
"per square occupied".
Example plz?

Oh, I don't think there actually are any. I was just trying to assure you that anything else you ran across functioned the same way unless it very clearly said otherwise. Sorry to mislead.

Cherry_Goose wrote:
also, if a creature stands in flaming weds and takes 2d4 fire dmg in round 1 and then moves from square that burned away in round 1 to a square that will burn in round 2 it will take another 2d4 points of damage?

Yes. Damage adds up over time, just not over space.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Cherry_Goose wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Spike Stones wrote:
5 feet of movement through the spiked area.
"movement" is the key word here if you dont move you dont take dmg

And if you don't stand in burning webs, you don't take damage. If you do, then you do. Number of squares does not factor in.


TOZ, I'm confused. What are you demonstrating with your spike stones example?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
On the second round, yes.

so if a large creature 10-foot stands in the web and i light up one square it will take 2d4 for this square in one round and then it will take same amount of damage from adjacent squares that just started burning, even though the amount of "burning fuel" increase? that seems at the very lest illogical

Shadow Lodge

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Welcome to Pathfinder.

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
TOZ, I'm confused. What are you demonstrating with your spike stones example?

That effects do not do damage based on the size/area of the target unless they say they do.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Cherry_Goose wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Spike Stones wrote:
Number of squares does not factor in.

So if i where to make a strip of webs 5x20x5 feet and walk along it while it burns i will take more damage that a guant snake that can fill the whole space and all the web will ignite at the same time?


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
TOZ, I'm confused. What are you demonstrating with your spike stones example?

They were presenting an example of an item/effect where the damage is explicitly stated as "per square occupied".

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Cherry_Goose wrote:
So if i where to make a strip of webs 5x20x5 feet and walk along it while it burns i will take more damage that a guant snake that can fill the whole space and all the web will ignite at the same time?

If you're stupid enough to spend 4 rounds in fire, yes you will take more damage than a snake that spends 1 round in it.

A literal snake of fire still only damages Large creatures once.


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John Mechalas wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
TOZ, I'm confused. What are you demonstrating with your spike stones example?
They were presenting an example of an item/effect where the damage is explicitly stated as "per square occupied".

But spike growth isn't an example of that. A 1-square Medium creature takes 1d4 damage when moving 5 feet, and the 6-square wide Colossal creature also takes 1d4 damage when moving 5 feet. Size and the number of squares occupied have absolutely nothing to do with the damage of the spell, just the total distance moved.

As far as I can remember, and as far as I can see when looking, there are no spells or effects that deal damage based on the number of squares your occupy. Effects are binary - either part of you is in the area and you are effected, or none of you is and you aren't.


John Mechalas wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
TOZ, I'm confused. What are you demonstrating with your spike stones example?
They were presenting an example of an item/effect where the damage is explicitly stated as "per square occupied".

But it doesn't state that, nor AFAICT does it mean that. A Large creature that moves 5' through the spike stones takes the same damage as a Medium creature doing so. You don't count their right side and their left side as separate instances of movement.


If your Large creature has had one of the squares burn away, should it have a bonus on the STR check to break free, compared to the assumed difficulty of being completely within the webs? It's such questions (and avoiding them) that make rules illogical in their simplicity.

I have played Advanced Squad Leader. I prefer Pathfinder.


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Cherry Goose, the spells explicitly states that:
"All creatures within flaming webs take 2d4 points of fire damage from the flames."

That does not mean per square, it means if you're in burning web you take 2d4 points of damage. If they had meant per square of burning web they would have (or should have) said it.

Otherwise yes, the effect would be much too strong on larger creatures.

I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense to your "logic" but factors like game balance were more important to the game design than "logic".


Cherry_Goose, the rules here are striving for balance and simplicity, but not realism. Cases like the guy walking slowly through a strip of burning webs really are rare enough to ignore. That a Colossal creature covered in flames takes only as much damage as a Fine one is just one of those bits in the game you have to not think about much. Every game has them, they're just in different places. The only 100% realistic game is, well, reality.

EDIT: And as for reality making sense... ever studied quantum mechanics? The universe is pretty kludgy.


If you want to start adding damage per square, you've have to start multiplying hit points by the number of squares the creature occupies too.

Otherwise a large creature hit by a fireball takes 4 times the damage, but it doesn't get any special bonuses to health, aside from (maybe) a higher than average con modifier.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

Cherry_Goose, the rules here are striving for balance and simplicity, but not realism. Cases like the guy walking slowly through a strip of burning webs really are rare enough to ignore. That a Colossal creature covered in flames takes only as much damage as a Fine one is just one of those bits in the game you have to not think about much. Every game has them, they're just in different places. The only 100% realistic game is, well, reality.

EDIT: And as for reality making sense... ever studied quantum mechanics? The universe is pretty kludgy.

it is perfectly balanced, large creatures take more damage than small ones due to their size


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
But it doesn't state that, nor AFAICT does it mean that. A Large creature that moves 5' through the spike stones takes the same damage as a Medium creature doing so. You don't count their right side and their left side as separate instances of movement.

Hmm. Good point. So I am confused why they brought it up, too.

(Though I guess a large creature takes up more squares, so if they move through a spiked area they are going to be touching it longer.)


Claxon wrote:
large creature hit by a fireball takes 4 times the damage

its not a matter of size of a spell it a matter of amount of energy and amount of fuel used. fireball deals a certain amount of damage because it has a fixed amount of energy in it.


Cherry_Goose wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

Cherry_Goose, the rules here are striving for balance and simplicity, but not realism. Cases like the guy walking slowly through a strip of burning webs really are rare enough to ignore. That a Colossal creature covered in flames takes only as much damage as a Fine one is just one of those bits in the game you have to not think about much. Every game has them, they're just in different places. The only 100% realistic game is, well, reality.

EDIT: And as for reality making sense... ever studied quantum mechanics? The universe is pretty kludgy.

it is perfectly balanced, large creatures take more damage than small ones due to their size

That is a consideration of logic and realism, not game balance. Game balance says that a fireball doing 25x as much damage to a Colossal creature as to a Medium one is unacceptable because it makes the fireball way, way too effective. You could try to compensate by giving the Colossal creature more HP, as Claxon mentioned, but then non-casters are screwed because their weapons, which only hit one square at a time, don't get enhanced damage to compensate.

Basically, if you want that particular bit of logic & realism, it needs to be built into the game from the ground up, with lots of other things being designed around it---like the whole HP and damage system.

Cherry_Goose wrote:
its not a matter of size of a spell it a matter of amount of energy and amount of fuel used. fireball deals a certain amount of damage because it has a fixed amount of energy in it.

Except that a fireball that hits four Medium creatures standing together will do more total damage than if it hit a single Large creature in the exact same space. The total amount of damage a fireball does is not fixed.


Cherry_Goose wrote:
Claxon wrote:
large creature hit by a fireball takes 4 times the damage
its not a matter of size of a spell it a matter of amount of energy and amount of fuel used. fireball deals a certain amount of damage because it has a fixed amount of energy in it.

Fuel and energy are nowhere in the game rules at all.

You're simply making stuff up because you think it should be there.

If "more fuel" and "more energy" made a difference it would tell you about that somewhere in the mechanics. Like how a fireball deals more damage when cast by a higher level spell caster.

Web says it deals 2d4 damage. That's what it does.


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Cherry_Goose wrote:
Claxon wrote:
large creature hit by a fireball takes 4 times the damage
its not a matter of size of a spell it a matter of amount of energy and amount of fuel used. fireball deals a certain amount of damage because it has a fixed amount of energy in it.

Fire hitting 1/4 of your body would hurt a lot less than it hitting all of your body if we are using realism, but the game doesn't do that.

Also here is an example that calls out how being in multiple squares can cause extra damage. It calls it out because that is not normally what spells do.

Ice Spears wrote:


Upon casting this spell, one or more giant spears of ice lance up out of the ground. Each stalagmite-like icicle affects a 5-foot square and tapers to a height of 10 feet. You may cause a number of ice spears equal to one spear for every four caster levels you possess to burst from the ground. A creature that occupies a square from which a spear extends (or that is within 10 feet of the ground below) takes 2d6 points of piercing damage and 2d6 points of cold damage per square.....


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Like the others say, it's 2d4 damage, not 8d4 for a large creature. Similarly, if only one square of a large creature (takes up four squares) were caught in a burning web it would still take 2d4 fire damage.

Like wraithstrike touched on, you wouldn't say the large creature only takes one-fourth because only one-quarter of the creature is damaged, unlike a medium creature, which is likely wholly engulfed and surrounded by, the burning webs in its space. You just damage it as a creature, like others have suggested, unless the effect specifically points out otherwise.


burning webs is not a spell or an AOE effect. its a web that's burning, you can't compare it to a fireball and say it makes sense. each square of web is a separate effect and each square could be burning or not burning for different reasons. each square your in hits you for 2d4

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
vhok wrote:
each square of web is a separate effect

Citation please.


you need a citation to prove that separate squares are separate? webs are just a natural things in the world when a square of web catches on fire all the webs connected to it do not instantly erupt into flames, each square slowly burns the squares beside it each round traveling out. it is not 1 entity.

but for an example question lets picture a huge creature that's touching 2 squares of web one square is in his top right square and the other is the bottom left square. they are not connected in any way but both are on fire. but only 1 square harms him? doesn't seem right to me

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
vhok wrote:
you need a citation to prove that separate squares are separate?

I need a citation that each separate square deals 2d4 damage. Because all I see is 'creatures within flaming webs take 2d4 points of fire damage', which does not dole it out to squares.


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Fire is a natural thing in the world. Yet hitting a huge creature with a single square of a fireball does as much damage to it as hitting all of him. How do we know this? Because the fireball says it does damage to "to every creature within the area".

Same kind of language with webs. "creatures within flaming webs take 2d4 points of fire damage"

Why? Because it's a magic web with a fixed amount of energy in it? Maybe.

But more importantly, if because if we tried to house-rule in some realism here, it would be OVERPOWERED.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

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Looks like some people are ignoring actual spell text and just making up rules.


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vhok wrote:
burning webs is not a spell or an AOE effect. its a web that's burning, you can't compare it to a fireball and say it makes sense. each square of web is a separate effect and each square could be burning or not burning for different reasons. each square your in hits you for 2d4

Even if you were to count the spell effect and its interaction with fire as being similar to an environmental effect, can you think of one that works that way (or that you do adjudicate that way without specific text instructions to do so)?

Does it work that way with acid? Does a large creature take four times as much damage from being immersed?

Does it work that way with falling? Does a large creature take four times the falling damage for impacting four different squares?

Even in the case of lava, the most similar effect, does a large creature falling in take four times as much because they're in four times the square?

The answer should be 'no'. Creatures take the indicated damage whether they're small, medium, or large or whether they're an animal, humanoid, or giant (barring immunity).

If a burning tree falls on half of a giant, it still takes the same damage from crushing and from fire as a medium creature would if struck. The large one may not be in danger of being pinned under the tree or may be more easily able to lift and move it off of themselves, but the damage should be equal, regardless of whether one, two, or more squares were struck. (Again, unless specified that it is per square.)

Quote:
but for an example question lets picture a huge creature that's touching 2 squares of web one square is in his top right square and the other is the bottom left square. they are not connected in any way but both are on fire. but only 1 square harms him? doesn't seem right to me

As long as it's simultaneous, then yes. Large creatures don't get sunburned four times faster. They don't cook four times faster in an oven (they actually take longer). Now, if one square of the web is set ablaze, they will take damage, if at a later time in that same round, that second space of webbing is also set fire, then it's likely they are going to take damage from that, but we're talking about a simultaneous incident in both the OP's question and your example. Similarly, a large or bigger creature standing at the threshold of a wall of fire where the damage goes from 2d4 (within 10 feet) to 1d4 (further than 10 feet) would take 2d4 damage (the highest). They wouldn't take both or two times 2d4 and two times 1d4 (following your logic of each square).


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Oh yeah if that fireball does 10d6 to the target per square. OOOh boy That adds up. 20 feet radius 160+ of d6's thats right kids 10 level wizards can kill Cthulhu with a fireball. (well at least the first form before he reconstitutes.)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

All giants and ancient wyrm dragons die by 100d6 fireballs.....except fire giants.....for them you use an iceball.


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or cone of cold you get between their legs and aim up!


vhok wrote:

you need a citation to prove that separate squares are separate? webs are just a natural things in the world when a square of web catches on fire all the webs connected to it do not instantly erupt into flames, each square slowly burns the squares beside it each round traveling out. it is not 1 entity.

but for an example question lets picture a huge creature that's touching 2 squares of web one square is in his top right square and the other is the bottom left square. they are not connected in any way but both are on fire. but only 1 square harms him? doesn't seem right to me

The spell specifically calls out damage which is per creature unless otherwise stated. That is why spiked stone only deals a set amount of damage despite a bigger creature stepping on more spike stones. Logically if you stand in 4 squares of pointy sharp things it will hurt more than if you stand in one square of pointy sharp things, but the game is not 100% based on realism. Honestly its very far from being realistic.

Another example: You're not swimming in lava for 30 seconds and living to tell about it. It's possible to do this in the game, and you can do this without magical protection.

The fact that Icy Spears calls out damage per square you occupy is also an example of spells doing "per creature" damage. If "damage per creature" was not the norm then it would not have to go out of its way to call it out, and it fills your request when you asked for a spell that call out damage per square occupied per square occupied.

I also chose that spell because you might say well you have multiple spears. Well with spike stone you have multiple spike stone filled areas, and they don't add on to the damage.

The game not being based in realism is also why people can be paralyzed and still get reflex saves.

It's also why your shield bonus to AC matters. If something as large a giant(large or bigger) hit your shield with a club it would likely break the shield and your arm.

The spell also says

Quote:
All creatures within flaming webs take 2d4 points of fire damage from the flames.

It specifically says "creatures". Now maybe you feel like the devs intended to type "a creature takes 2d4 points of damage for each square of webbing that is occupied", but that is not what it says, and it would have to say that to account for other spells which do damage over several squares, such as I.

Mark(official rules guy) has an "Ask Mark" thread. Feel free to ask him if you dont believe us. However I dont know how busy he is. He might answer tomorrow, or he might not answer for a few weeks, but he will answer it.

If the web phrase calls out creatures and it you think means squares do you think that Ice Storm also intended to say per square? It's dropping hail on the entire area. It makes more sense that a large creature would be hit by more hail.

Ice Storm wrote:
Great magical hailstones pound down upon casting this spell, dealing 3d6 points of bludgeoning damage and 2d6 points of cold damage to every creature in the area.

There are other spells which will more than likely hit a large creature more often if this was realistic.

What is the rule that says "in these cases we mean per square occupied even if we say creatures"?


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If we are talking logic, I would say that a large creature should take less damage than a medium one.
Say the flames are 5 feet high, they would cover a medium creature up to the shoulders, while a large creature standing on 4 sqaures gets one leg partly covered in flames. I would say that if we follow logic, lighting all 4 squares at once should be needed to do full damage... Even that should do less damage, as the larger creature still is less covered in flames compared to a medium one.


Alternatively: you can lay down webs 25 feet high, and catch a colossal creature in a 5x5x5 burning web; that's 125 squares of damage, or 250d4. (Unless it's only the external parts that take damage, which is about 122d4...)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice reductio ad absurdum.

As folks often repeat here, spells do what they say they do, no more, no less.

In fact we're lucky that the web spell specifies that burning it does any damage at all. The grease spell was popularly set on fire in earlier editions and with popular interpretations of house rules. But nowhere is setting fire to a grease spell mentioned, so it doesn't work.

Webs burn for 2d4 damage total. Regardless of size or exposure.


Wheldrake wrote:

Nice reductio ad absurdum.

As folks often repeat here, spells do what they say they do, no more, no less.

In fact we're lucky that the web spell specifies that burning it does any damage at all. The grease spell was popularly set on fire in earlier editions and with popular interpretations of house rules. But nowhere is setting fire to a grease spell mentioned, so it doesn't work.

Webs burn for 2d4 damage total. Regardless of size or exposure.

To be fair, Plenty of greases aren't flammable

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