Is there any rule for shooting through objects to hit creatures?


Rules Questions


As the title suggests, I was wondering if there was a 'raw' answer for hitting creatures behind cover by shooting through what they're using.

TL;DR:
'Raw', Can I shoot a goblin through a wall when I'm dealing ENOUGH damage?

Example:
Goblin is hiding behind wooden barricade (plank). Is there a raw rule that allows someone making a ranged attack, if they do enough damage, to surpass the hardness (and/or reduce the object to 0hp) to then have a chance - using concealment rules and the like - to hit the goblin?

I swear i remember there was something out there but now i cant find it. Thanks ahead for responses.


I thought there was a rule for that as well, but apparently not. If I were to houserule this, I'd say the following: make an attack roll and a damage roll against the enemy, using cover and maybe some additional bonuses (or just use improved cover stats). Your attack will at least hit the object you're targeting, and if you destroy the object in the way, the remaining damage will go through to the enemy if you hit that AC as well.

I've had to apply this when someone wanted to shoot an arrow through a glass window. The window only has a handful of HP/hardness and will probably alter the aim of the arrow somewhat, hence the additional penalty. But yeah, I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to shoot through a window, so the same would apply to a barricade. Then again, that's what break DCs are for. By RAW, it's a separate attack to try to deplete an obstruction's HP, but I see no reason why they couldn't be combined, provided that the enemy is close enough to the obstruction.


Oh also, only now seeing that you're shooting the Goblin through the wall. I assume blindly, so no direct line of sight to the target. In that case, I would still do what I said above, but also roll a 50% miss chance, as per Blind Fight. You're essentially targeting an enemy you cannot see.


No hard and fast written rule, no. It's one of those things the GM is supposed to adjudicate on a situational basis. Some things you might be able to shoot clean through, and some things you might be able to shoot hard enough to destroy but the impact disrupts the shot from proceeding further. It's a tough thing to make a satisfying rule for.


using lightning bolt is an excellent retort to someone with a tarp in front of them claiming it stops line of effect...


There was a feat (don't recall the name) from one of the 3.0/3.5 splat books that was the ranged equivalent of cleave. If you did enough damage to one target to drop it, you could make another attack against another target directly behind the first.


By RAW you'd need to have Line of Effect and Line of Sight to target something. Without Line of Sight you can target the square and accept a 50% miss chance...if there is actually a creature there. There is no provision to hit things without line of effect, though area of effect spells that destroy objects in the area of effect continue into the area that is no longer blocked.

So that guy holding up a tarp...honestly he should only have concealment and not cover. But if someone tried to hide from a Lightning Bolt in a Tent...the Lightning Bolt should fry the tent and its occupants.

One thing to consider for hitting something behind cover would be if the attack is appropriate for the material being attacked. Throwing a rock at someone on the other side of a window is fine. Launching acid...not really. Even if its only for a moment the glass will prevent the liquid from following its trajectory. Throwing a block of ice would be fine, a beam of cold should stop at the glass even if it decimates the glass. What the attack is should be as important as the damage.


A brilliant weapon or ammo ignores non-living matter like a stone door between you and the creature.

/cevah


Niemand wrote:
using lightning bolt is an excellent retort to someone with a tarp in front of them claiming it stops line of effect...

Lighting bolt calls out that it does this though.

lighting bolt wrote:

You release a powerful stroke of electrical energy that deals 1d6 points of electricity damage per caster level (maximum 10d6) to each creature within its area. The bolt begins at your fingertips.

The lightning bolt sets fire to combustibles and damages objects in its path. It can melt metals with a low melting point, such as lead, gold, copper, silver, or bronze. If the damage caused to an interposing barrier shatters or breaks through it, the bolt may continue beyond the barrier if the spell’s range permits; otherwise, it stops at the barrier just as any other spell effect does.

line wrote:
A line-shaped spell shoots away from you in a line in the direction you designate. It starts from any corner of your square and extends to the limit of its range or until it strikes a barrier that blocks line of effect. A line-shaped spell affects all creatures in squares through which the line passes.

Whereas most lines stop when area of effect is blocked.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cevah wrote:

A brilliant weapon or ammo ignores non-living matter like a stone door between you and the creature.

/cevah

This isn't true. Brilliant Energy says nothing about ignoring cover. Further, only the 'significant portion' is transformed, which wouldn't allow the entire weapon to pass through a door and then strike someone.

Brilliant Energy just ignores armor and shield bonus, nothing else.


Dave Justus wrote:
Cevah wrote:

A brilliant weapon or ammo ignores non-living matter like a stone door between you and the creature.

/cevah

This isn't true. Brilliant Energy says nothing about ignoring cover. Further, only the 'significant portion' is transformed, which wouldn't allow the entire weapon to pass through a door and then strike someone.

Brilliant Energy just ignores armor and shield bonus, nothing else.

Actually, Brilliant Energy ignores more than armor and shield bonuses.

Brilliant Energy wrote:
A brilliant energy weapon has its significant portion transformed into light, although this does not modify the item’s weight. It always gives off light as a torch (20- foot radius). A brilliant energy weapon ignores nonliving matter. Armor and shield bonuses to AC (including any enhancement bonuses to that armor) do not count against it because the weapon passes through armor. (Dexterity, deflection, dodge, natural armor, and other such bonuses still apply.) A brilliant energy weapon cannot harm undead, constructs, or objects.

Non-living matter does not provide cover for a brilliant weapon since the weapon ignores it. It does provide concealment.

EDIT:
A brilliant energy sling confers the property to the sling bullet. That bullet is entirely brilliant and will pass through nonliving matter.
I used a door as my example, as it is thin compared to even a dagger. If a dagger's blade is brilliant, but its hilt is not, then it will pass through a door for several inches. If the enemy is leaning on the door where you attack, then it will go into the enemy. A brilliant energy long sword will penetrate much farther. I can see a GM call saying the enemy was not leaning on the door or otherwise not close enough, but not that the weapon can penetrate.

/cevah


Cevah wrote:


EDIT:
A brilliant energy sling confers the property to the sling bullet. That bullet is entirely brilliant and will pass through nonliving matter.
I used a door as my example, as it is thin compared to even a dagger. If a dagger's blade is brilliant, but its hilt is not, then it will pass through a door for several inches.

/cevah

If your sling bullet is complete energy and ignores non-living matter, how'd you fire it from your sling? Sling thongs aren't alive last I checked.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cevah wrote:
Non-living matter does not provide cover for a brilliant weapon since the weapon ignores it.

You can't just make up a rule like that. If a brilliant energy weapon ignored cover, that would be part of it's description.

We have fluff that a part of the weapon is transformed and that part ignores nonliving matter. Then we have mechanics that say what that means in terms of the game.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Cevah wrote:

EDIT:

A brilliant energy sling confers the property to the sling bullet. That bullet is entirely brilliant and will pass through nonliving matter.
I used a door as my example, as it is thin compared to even a dagger. If a dagger's blade is brilliant, but its hilt is not, then it will pass through a door for several inches.

/cevah

If your sling bullet is complete energy and ignores non-living matter, how'd you fire it from your sling? Sling thongs aren't alive last I checked.

Well, under the PRD you have the following:

Table: Ranged Weapon Special Abilities wrote:
2 Bows, crossbows, and slings crafted with this ability bestow this power upon their ammunition.

Unfortunately, that note is not on Brilliant Energy.

This rules out my sling bullet case. However, it does not rule out bolas, boomerangs, or Shuriken. While the first two you want to reuse, but will likely fall into the floor, are not a good choice. But a Shuriken being entirely brilliant is reasonable.

/cevah


Cevah wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:
Cevah wrote:

A brilliant weapon or ammo ignores non-living matter like a stone door between you and the creature.

/cevah

This isn't true. Brilliant Energy says nothing about ignoring cover. Further, only the 'significant portion' is transformed, which wouldn't allow the entire weapon to pass through a door and then strike someone.

Brilliant Energy just ignores armor and shield bonus, nothing else.

Actually, Brilliant Energy ignores more than armor and shield bonuses.

Brilliant Energy wrote:
A brilliant energy weapon has its significant portion transformed into light, although this does not modify the item’s weight. It always gives off light as a torch (20- foot radius). A brilliant energy weapon ignores nonliving matter. Armor and shield bonuses to AC (including any enhancement bonuses to that armor) do not count against it because the weapon passes through armor. (Dexterity, deflection, dodge, natural armor, and other such bonuses still apply.) A brilliant energy weapon cannot harm undead, constructs, or objects.

Non-living matter does not provide cover for a brilliant weapon since the weapon ignores it. It does provide concealment.

EDIT:
A brilliant energy sling confers the property to the sling bullet. That bullet is entirely brilliant and will pass through nonliving matter.
I used a door as my example, as it is thin compared to even a dagger. If a dagger's blade is brilliant, but its hilt is not, then it will pass through a door for several inches. If the enemy is leaning on the door where you attack, then it will go into the enemy. A brilliant energy long sword will penetrate much farther. I can see a GM call saying the enemy was not leaning on the door or otherwise not close enough, but not that the weapon can penetrate.

/cevah

Brillant energy says exactly what it does.

A: A brilliant energy weapon ignores nonliving matter.[/b] Armor and shield bonuses to AC (including any enhancement bonuses to that armor)
B: A brilliant energy weapon cannot harm undead, constructs, or objects.

Don't confuse fluff for rules. Brillant Energy is more than clear enough about what its effects are, Cevah doesn't need to give it more abilities.


Meirril wrote:
Cevah wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:
Cevah wrote:
A brilliant weapon or ammo ignores non-living matter like a stone door between you and the creature.

This isn't true. Brilliant Energy says nothing about ignoring cover. Further, only the 'significant portion' is transformed, which wouldn't allow the entire weapon to pass through a door and then strike someone.

Brilliant Energy just ignores armor and shield bonus, nothing else.

Actually, Brilliant Energy ignores more than armor and shield bonuses.

Brilliant Energy wrote:
A brilliant energy weapon has its significant portion transformed into light, although this does not modify the item’s weight. It always gives off light as a torch (20- foot radius). A brilliant energy weapon ignores nonliving matter. Armor and shield bonuses to AC (including any enhancement bonuses to that armor) do not count against it because the weapon passes through armor. (Dexterity, deflection, dodge, natural armor, and other such bonuses still apply.) A brilliant energy weapon cannot harm undead, constructs, or objects.
Non-living matter does not provide cover for a brilliant weapon since the weapon ignores it. It does provide concealment.

Brillant energy says exactly what it does.

A: A brilliant energy weapon ignores nonliving matter.[/b] Armor and shield bonuses to AC (including any enhancement bonuses to that armor)
B: A brilliant energy weapon cannot harm undead, constructs, or objects.

Don't confuse fluff for rules. Brillant Energy is more than clear enough about what its effects are, Cevah doesn't need to give it more abilities.

This is why I made TWO sections bold. Clearly it ignores the bonus BECAUSE it ignores the armor since the armor is non-living. Just as the first bold section states. This is not fluff.

/cevah


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

We had an oread zen archer in our Mummy's Mask campaign who had the earthsense racial trait. In one of our battle we were fighting a shaitan genie that was hiding inside a stone wall, our archer used her swift action to tremersense where the genie was hiding then used her flurry shot and cluster shot to defeat them. Not sure if this works RAW but it truly was an epic moment.


Thank you all for your posts.
Much to killing my hope, I guess their isn't something raw but rather gm basis.

This raised from the argument at one of the tables I play where the gm straight said that a tent or anything of a fabric material used as an obstruction was enough to stop daggers and bolts from going through till the fabric was destroyed - not anytime before.

They made an even farther out case wherein a paper wall would at least absorb the first attack aimed at a creature on the other side; regardless of concealment or cover bonuses, the paper wall would tank a heavy crossbow bolt before allowing you to get off a proper shot that wouldn't be glanced/deflected/eaten by the paper - that's if the paper was destroyed on the attack.

I decided to use "a wooden wall" in this case to cut through that ridiculousness and see if a raw feat/ruling/class-feature was available to shooting through something. I could definitely take my GMs argument and wait till brilliant energy becomes available, or abuse his wording and carry expandable fabric walls in my inventory but I think I'll try to find something else to play that will avoid trying to make my case again.

Thank you all again, you've been most helpful


Realistically (that sound you hear is a catgirl shivering as we walk over her grave), a crossbow bolt would ... probably ... go through most tents, but a thrown dagger could certainly get snagged, especially if it has a cross-hilt. Even in the crossbow bolt case, without experimentation I couldn't even guess what the tent would do to the bolt's trajectory. Simpler to just say it wouldn't be accurate and move on. Fortunately, destroying a tent wall is simple enough.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Is there any rule for shooting through objects to hit creatures? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.