Bombs + splash damage mechanic does not work


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


In my opinion, the way an alchemist (for instance) uses bombs to deal aoe damage is limited, needlessly rigid and counterproductive.

The way things are now, throwing a bomb has more chances of hurting your companions, which are almost always close to the enemies, rather than their intended targets. This is because when throwing I can only select a target enemy, instead of a target AREA.
This is best explained by comparing with how most video games work: you select the aoe target area and fire, then everything in the area gets the damage (or one thing gets it and the rest gets secondary effect, regardless of where that one thing sits inside the area!). That is one way in which you can both make good use of your attack and limit the number of friendly casualties to the minimum.

>>> PROPOSAL: If there's a need to keep the current cap on the damage output of such items (i.e. main damage to 1 creature only, the rest splash), one solution could be making it so that one can aim an acid flask bomb to a chosen 3x3 5 ft. area (which is the same as a choosen target's square + the splash damage reach), rather than to a specific creature, and then having the bomb damage dealt to only 1 selected creature inside that area (if you hit, or 1 random target if you miss), and have all the other 8 squares filled with splash damage. For example, it might be that the target sits on the upper left corner square and only has splash damage to its right and below, nothing to its left. The advantage of this is pretty clear: keep the same damage as before, but the player can distribute it in a way that minimises friendly fire as much as possible, finally making it NOT a pain in the ass for the party.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Honestly.. Splash is fundamentally not useful in this version. Yeah, it is automatic hit damage-which is good compared to how RNG to hit is.
But.. 1 damage and up to Alch INT really isn't very much in the scheme of things. But. it is just enough to cause problems with your allies (because enemies hit far more consistantly/ and or harder).

Bombs, or at the least Alchemists, need options to counter this.
The idea I've been toying with is semi similar to your thought.

Alchemists. They should have 3 modes of uses for bombs.
Standard (as it is now).
Focused: Normal damage on target (dice+splash) and no splash for anyone else.
Scattered: You take the Splash damage and add the minimum roll of Dice. This effects-as splash- to everyone in the normal splash area. They target the square not individual.
i.e. 3d8+INT alchemist bomb would do INT+3 splash to everyone in the area.

This would be the most ideal.

and perhaps for everyone in general - as the above is just alchemist- should have the option to close range "pour" the bomb on the target for just dice, no splash at all.


Zwordsman wrote:

Honestly.. Splash is fundamentally not useful in this version. Yeah, it is automatic hit damage-which is good compared to how RNG to hit is.

But.. 1 damage and up to Alch INT really isn't very much in the scheme of things. But. it is just enough to cause problems with your allies (because enemies hit far more consistantly/ and or harder).

Bombs, or at the least Alchemists, need options to counter this.
The idea I've been toying with is semi similar to your thought.

Alchemists. They should have 3 modes of uses for bombs.
Standard (as it is now).
Focused: Normal damage on target (dice+splash) and no splash for anyone else.
Scattered: You take the Splash damage and add the minimum roll of Dice. This effects-as splash- to everyone in the normal splash area. They target the square not individual.
i.e. 3d8+INT alchemist bomb would do INT+3 splash to everyone in the area.

This would be the most ideal.

and perhaps for everyone in general - as the above is just alchemist- should have the option to close range "pour" the bomb on the target for just dice, no splash at all.

That's even better, I love your idea, thanks.

Silver Crusade

On more than one occasion, the alchemist in our party did more damage on a miss because 1+Int was more than the dice rolled.


Sober Caydenite wrote:
On more than one occasion, the alchemist in our party did more damage on a miss because 1+Int was more than the dice rolled.

The target of a splash weapon that hits also takes the splash damage, in addition to the direct target damage.

Silver Crusade

Could you point me to where that is stated, please? I've looked several times and haven't found anything clearly stating that is the case.


That is one rule they really need to clear up.

There are 3 spots that state that the main target still takes splash. and 1 spot that implies but does not actually state.
and that has caused a lot of people to play it so that the direct target is not taking splash.

also. 1+INT?
You don't add INT to bombs innately in this system.
Calculated Splash (lv 4 class feat) (lv 3 bombs only.. aka.. can not use with the ones you find stupidly) just replaces the 1 with INT
Level 10's concentrated splash is 2+INT.

I don't think there is actually a way to get 1+INT.
------

I kind of rambled on ways to imrpove things and my own ideas.:

I still think, that Alchemists need a "all day" resource. I've been pushing the idea of Alchemical Substance. This is a substance synthesized using yourself as a catalyst. Created over the years of experimenting with alchemy. (blood, reagents, whatever they wanna fluff)
Up to INT iterations of it can exist at once, but as many over the day as you like.
Can be used as a Bomb
Can be Envenom a weapons as per Poison
Damage being D4+INT, the D4 scales the same progression as Sneak Attack.
Can be consumed by the Alchemist in the form of a Mutigen Lite. it gives Temp HP for 1min. (Does not stack with itself. I don't know if it should "reup" the temp HP. I think so. but I don't know balance of that)

IF anyone other than the Alchemist touches this substance it acts as the Envenom form-immediately damaging them.

This Alchemical Substance can be combined with their Alchemical progenitors. Meaning:
Alchemical Substance can be applied to a Bomb (empowered or mundane) and that bomb now does an additional Xd4+INT.
Can be combined with poison. Which then-as normal action- be applied to a weapon, meaning upon infliction it does an immediate Xd4+INT damage and the standard poison works as per normal.
Can be combined with Elixirs or Mutagen, they gain the bonus Temp HP and the normal effects.

Action Type: Creation/Drawing is one action. If they have a Combine able Item in their hand they may combine them within this one action.

This action economy is important. This means that as a 2 action event they could create and consume or throw as a bomb their "free resource." Similiar to a reload 1 weapon or a cantrip.
But. if they have a proper item in their hand then it is still the 2 action event to create/combine and use the combined item-similiar to a spell.

Additionally, as it stands, Alchemists have no real "martial" prowess to them. Fact is.. they have a real issue with Multi Attack Penalty. Using one action to apply Xd4+INT to make a bigger One Attack would greatly help many issues with the Alchemist.
Would also help their daily allotment extend.
------------------------------
-I don't know if it should have the bomb combination do the same damage as the bomb, or the standard damage of the Substance. Having two damage types has its own benefits/detriments. as does stacking more of the same damage. For ease of book keeping I would say upon adding the substance to Bombs it reacts and becomes the same damage type.

Also unsure if there should be two splashes, or
if they should just just be "largest only" or
if the Substance should act as "splash" only (i.e. 4d4+int substance would turn into 4+INT splash damage added to the bomb-hitting the direct target and splash area).
I'm leaning towards the latter, and have it work in concert with concentrated splash and expanded splash to result eventually in 2+INT+Substance minimum splash damage. Which wouldn't be too much I think-as using your daily allotment for bomb/using them are effectively Spell economy. It would give them a pretty good spot.

The damage type in general, I feel, should be poison. Because it is synthesized using the Alchemist's own body as the reagent. This damage type is also semi rare, I believe only the Rogue's Poison Weapon feat line does straight poison damage-otherwise I think it is only DoT poison in the game.
Potentially there could be a feat, around lv 4 perhaps, that would allow for damage type change. but I don't think it would be needed-as long as the damage type changed to the bomb's type when combined.

------------------
Additionally.. Alchemist DEARLY need 2 things.
Something similar to Rogue's Poison Weapon-so they can poison in battle. 3 actions to apply poisons, yet the ability to make free poisons is painful.

They also require a "Draw Alchemical Item" feat that lets them draw Alchemical Items as a free action--i.e. bombs, mutagins, elixirs, etc.
None of those items by themselves are worth the 2+ actions it takes to use them compared to any other class' options. Plus Alchemists need to be the item users.
Current Quick Draw for rogue and ranger require "draw and strike" which comes to the problem with not being usable for most of the unique problem solving things.
and of course the MAP issue with alchemists.

as a random sidenote. I wish Alchemists got Assist Action boosts. (bards too)
-----------


....I went abit off topic.

But the Alchemical Substance and 2 new Class Feat choices. combined with the "targeted" "standard" "splash" bomb choices would make the Alchemist have a unique build space in the class system. And allow them to be more like the Off Martial Off support they should be.


Sober Caydenite wrote:
Could you point me to where that is stated, please? I've looked several times and haven't found anything clearly stating that is the case.

Below are reference points. Pages and copy paste~

they all list (albiet not all written the same)
"If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target take the indicated amount of splash damage." THe target is within 5ft of itself no?

The extra line about Failure is where the issue comes in. "On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack also takes the splash damage. " This was written expressly to mean that even on a miss they still get splashed but not on a crit miss. The problem is some folks read this to mean failure is the only situation where it applies--because people don't realize that the target is within 5ft of themselves always. I think this bit comes from some P1 interaction/statements that don't apply to P2 but are old habits. As it is not p2 system defined it defaults to the literal meaning of "within" and "target"
additionally the line about not multiplying on a crit implies that it has to hit on a normal hit.. because if it only applied on a failure.. then there would never be an occasion to reference the crit rules.

Lastly.
Alchemist's Empower bombs (and another example I don't have the page reference for off hand) directly state the damage done on a hit.
Hit. You can only hit the target of the bomb. Further the splash applies regardless of failure (just not in crit fail) .

page references and copy paste:

Pg 345
Splash When a character uses a thrown weapon with the splash trait (such as an alchemical bomb or holy water), she doesn’t add her Strength modifier to the damage roll. A splash weapon can deal splash damage in addition to its normal damage. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target take the indicated amount of splash damage. On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack also takes the splash damage. Splash damage is not multiplied on a critical hit.
Pg 359

Most bombs also have the splash trait. When you use a thrown weapon with the splash trait, you don’t add your Strength modifier to the damage roll. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target take the listed amount of splash damage. On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack also takes the splash damage. You don’t multiply splash damage on a critical hit.
Pg 419

Splash (page 359) When a character uses a thrown weapon with the splash trait (such as an alchemical bomb or holy water), she doesn’t add her Strength modifier to the damage roll. A splash weapon can deal splash damage in addition to its normal damage. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target take the indicated amount of splash damage. On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack also takes the splash damage. Splash damage is not multiplied on a critical hit.

Pg46
Empower bomb
At 3rd level, you can create 3rd-level bombs that deal double the bomb’s base damage as presented in its entry. For instance, if you created a flask of 3rd-level empowered alchemist’s fire (see page 360), it would deal 2d6 fire damage, 2 persistent fire damage, and 1 splash damage on a hit.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zwordsman said wrote:

Pg 345

Splash When a character uses a thrown weapon with the splash trait (such as an alchemical bomb or holy water), she doesn’t add her Strength modifier to the damage roll. A splash weapon can deal splash damage in addition to its normal damage. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target take the indicated amount of splash damage. On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack also takes the splash damage. Splash damage is not multiplied on a critical hit.
Pg 359

Most bombs also have the splash trait. When you use a thrown weapon with the splash trait, you don’t add your Strength modifier to the damage roll. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target take the listed amount of splash damage. On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack also takes the splash damage. You don’t multiply splash damage on a critical hit.
Pg 419

Splash (page 359) When a character uses a thrown weapon with the splash trait (such as an alchemical bomb or holy water), she doesn’t add her Strength modifier to the damage roll. A splash weapon can deal splash damage in addition to its normal damage. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target take the indicated amount of splash damage. On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack also takes the splash damage. Splash damage is not multiplied on a critical hit.

Pg46
Empower bomb
At 3rd level, you can create 3rd-level bombs that deal double the bomb’s base damage as presented in its entry. For instance, if you created a flask of 3rd-level empowered alchemist’s fire (see page 360), it would deal 2d6 fire damage, 2 persistent fire damage, and 1 splash damage on a hit.

Tbh reading that i'm still on the page that the target only gets splash damage if the attack roll is a failure. Would love to see Paizo commenting on that to clarify it. Because why would they ever include the sentence: "On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack also takes the splash damage." if the target would also take the splash damage on success and critical success.

I played an alchemist in chapter 2, and actually did quite a lot of damage with my bombs (both from the hits and the misses if I could hit several monsters with the splash damage. So I don't think the main target needs to get splash damage on hit for alchemist to stack up (but several other things might be needed).


What Nettah said. The second sentence makes no sense if the splash applies to the target based on the first sentence, as "on a failure" is already included in that sentence and "critical failure" is not.


I was also trying to puzzle out the "Does splash damage apply to the target?" question a couple days ago when I way running the playtest and one of the PCs was an alchemist. The way the rules are written sure seems to imply that it doesn't, even though that means that Calculated Splash means that you'd almost do more damage on a miss than a hit.

Zwordsman wrote:
I still think, that Alchemists need a "all day" resource.

I agree on this one. Bombs only do about as much damage as a cantrip without being unlimited use like cantrips are. You can basically take an ancestry feat that lets you do as much damage as an alchemist's best weapon all day. Once they've used all their Resonance-made bombs, an alchemist is basically just a rogue without sneak attack and half the skills.


I do really hope Paizo changes the wording. it probably is giving weirdness to the data.

1hr 28mins in, give or take a min of Paizo's Twitch Stream part 2 has them applying Splash of an Acid Flask (which does Persistent damage+splash only) to something. (referenced via someone else)

While it is more than possible that was a mistake, it is a pretty safe bet that is how they're intending.

When you've gotta word things carefully, like in an RP book, you can often end up wording things too carefully and compartmentalizing sentences which causes issues as a whole.

They rarely mention Alchemists whenever they talk about errata... but I seriously hope they clarify a ton of things for the poor class.
its my favorite


Zwordsman wrote:
1hr 28mins in, give or take a min of Paizo's Twitch Stream part 2 has them applying Splash of an Acid Flask (which does Persistent damage+splash only) to something.

His attack missed, so it falls into the "if the attack was a failure (but not a critical failure)" clause.

Silver Crusade

Regarding 1+Int splash, I wasn't playing the alchemist, so I assumed the feat they were using added their Int mod to the splash damage, rather than replacing it.

In all my years of gaming, through many editions of D&D, including Pathfinder, I have never seen "creatures within 5' of the target" to mean "including the target". In fact, the standard language is usually "the target and creatures within 5' of it" if the intent is to include the target in the effect. Combined with the "on a failure the target also takes the splash damage" part of the bomb description, it is much more reasonable to assume that the target does not take splash damage, except on a miss. That is the way bombs worked in PF1, and the language is pretty much the same in PF2.


Draco18s wrote:
Zwordsman wrote:
1hr 28mins in, give or take a min of Paizo's Twitch Stream part 2 has them applying Splash of an Acid Flask (which does Persistent damage+splash only) to something.
His attack missed, so it falls into the "if the attack was a failure (but not a critical failure)" clause.

If you keep watching the alchemist's turn (like a min maybe? same turn) GM realized it does hit, alch then tries to roll his own persistent damage and the GM says he'll do it when it ticks off and applies just the splash this round.

and then goes to apply his second attack to a different thing. and on that attack they miss and apply only splash.
They did say (paraphrased) 'ok so hitting, since acid flasks only do persistent damage there is no benefiting to hitting the same target with more than one of them' player
'except for the splash damage' gm

The whole turn for the alchemist was a bit odd due to misreading of AC initially and realizing upon the third action that it was incorrect and going back to reapply the corrected TAC

Ah, I should go add this situation to one of those "its confusing read!" threads.
Regardless of which version it turns out to be. I hope enough of hte return data on alchemists works out


Zwordsman wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Zwordsman wrote:
1hr 28mins in, give or take a min of Paizo's Twitch Stream part 2 has them applying Splash of an Acid Flask (which does Persistent damage+splash only) to something.
His attack missed, so it falls into the "if the attack was a failure (but not a critical failure)" clause.

If you keep watching the alchemist's turn (like a min maybe? same turn) GM realized it does hit, alch then tries to roll his own persistent damage and the GM says he'll do it when it ticks off and applies just the splash this round.

and then goes to apply his second attack to a different thing. and on that attack they miss and apply only splash.
They did say (paraphrased) 'ok so hitting, since acid flasks only do persistent damage there is no benefiting to hitting the same target with more than one of them' player
'except for the splash damage' gm

The whole turn for the alchemist was a bit odd due to misreading of AC initially and realizing upon the third action that it was incorrect and going back to reapply the corrected TAC

Ah, I should go add this situation to one of those "its confusing read!" threads.
Regardless of which version it turns out to be. I hope enough of hte return data on alchemists works out

Then I'd put it as "things happened, there was a mistake, they corrected it quickly (and wrongly) and didn't want to slow the game down because of the time limit."

I wouldn't take the sessions they do on stream as gospel. For instance, the animal totem barbarian didn't take anathema penalties (that they didn't mention) to the confusion of the viewers. It was cleared up 2 weeks later as a "oh, we were trying something. It'll be in the errata."


This is true, and I also mentioned that they certainly could be doing it wrong.

For what it is worth. Mark chimed in on it twice previously, in the same thread.
Of course that is not an official statement or anything. and subject to change. won't be hyper links due to timing of this post though.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs3gsr6?Joe-Ms-Playtest-Thread#9
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs3gsr6?Joe-Ms-Playtest-Thread#13

anywho. hopefully they state it clearly and user examples in the final version~
I'll be using splash on target since that was how I always read it-until changes alter that. I'll note if i can on the reports. Though I am sure the data they got from alchemist players are already a bit odd because of details like this.

Anywho, Enjoy playtestin'

some point I need to post that big word doc on Alch I have.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Player Rules / Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells / Bombs + splash damage mechanic does not work All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells