Spell Cartridge Minimum Damage.

Rules Questions

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

So I recently saw some arguements that spell cartridges don't do any damage until caster level 5. To me it seems obvious that is does 1d4 +1d4/5 caster levels, but that isn't explicitly stated. Can we figure out for sure?

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There's no minimum damage stated, therefore before 5 caster levels it does nothing.


Do note that you do deal 1 damage as arcane strike still applies.

But you don't have a force bullet to shoot if it does no damage.

So far I've seen 3 arguments in other threads.

1: A single multiple is assumed, so it does 1d4 + 1d4/ 5 caster levels + arcane strike damage. (You can't shoot nothing, see war piercing scream for a similar example)

2: The force bullet is there it just does 0d4 damage until level 5 but you can still shoot it, so you do 1 damage until level 5 when you get your first 1d4 which then is 1d4 +2 from arcane strike

3: There is no force bullet until level 5 so the feat is usless until then.

I think it is worth an FAQ though. Regardless of which way one falls under.

Because there are in fact spells you get, with similar wording and it would be good to have a precedent to affirm one way or another. AT the least for PFS (which I think this is legal for? m ight not be. regardless).
Additionally considering on reddit and on these forums there are 30 some odd threads, all with more than 10 comments (rough guestimation ) since it came out.

It clearly does need better wording or at least the subsystem it interats with does. More so because of the previous precedents concerning damages.
A) spells that don't state a minimum.
B) Weapons that deal no damage usually call that out directly this does not.
C) If it does deal no minimum it needs to cover how it deals with feats that add damage such as Arcane strike, PBS, Deadly Aim. Because these feats all spepak of damage rolls. And as it stands there are no damage rolls by some folks readings.
D) magic Weapon enhancment bonuses also call out damage rolls directly.

These last two need to also be covered with regards to weapons with Null damage values like the wrist launcher.

Note: Arcane Strike is the only feat effect I personally can think of ATM that simply says "damage" as opposed to "damage rolls."
Although the damage section says
"If your attack succeeds, you deal damage. The type of weapon used determines the amount of damage you deal"
Which effectively means weapns that deal no damage, by this rule, can't gain modifiers to add onto damage. Because the type of the weapon controls the damage you deal. In the strictest "not common sense" reading. (which I am using for this as that is part of the topic of spell cartridges)

There is also a section on minimum damage "If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals 1 point of nonlethal damage." However we're this doesn't qualify as the lack of stated damage is not a penalty in the game terminology.

So honestly. This is a topic that should be quickly FAQd. In a more generalize way to cover these and issues I don't happen to know.
its a relatively high value target because there are more and more items/combos that are being made using these topics discussed (spells, feat, weapon, spell carts).
So a small FAQ on the topics would be useful.

It was confirmed that ear piercing scream does 0d6 damage at level 1, I can’t see why this wouldn’t adhere to that convention.

Lelomenia wrote:
It was confirmed that ear piercing scream does 0d6 damage at level 1, I can’t see why this wouldn’t adhere to that convention.

Do you have a source for that? An FAQ maybe?

baggageboy wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
It was confirmed that ear piercing scream does 0d6 damage at level 1, I can’t see why this wouldn’t adhere to that convention.
Do you have a source for that? An FAQ maybe?

its a non-ideal source, it was a response to a question about ear piercing scream in the Ultimate Magic errata thread.

Shadow Lodge

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Given that they made Celestial Healing work like that too, I think Paizo is of the opinion 'strong' options need time to work up to.

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The low starting damage is one of the reasons the feat is balanced. For half of your career, you could do more damage with real bullets.

I'm not really speaking for or against it.

But I can say that if the intent was "no damage until 5th" it seems like it should've just required 5th level caster level. Similar to how infused spell cart requries 4th level spells.

That it only specifies "ability to cast arcane spells" implies it is meant to be fairly easy and low level technique as a concept (even if not in presentatino). Something that entry level magic practicions can learn if they focus on learning it. Which is at least somehwat supported in the fluff for the suppliment thi came from.

I'm still in the camp that it should have an FAQ. Or, a generalized FAQ for this sort of specific wording situation(and situations like it). Regardless of the outcome standardization really is important for spepcific areas like this one. Just doing a search for this, and for similar spells, bring up enough search results to warrent one for future content (assuming there is future content)

Grand Lodge

Don't see how it needs an FAQ myself. The wording is abundantly clear.

I'd much rather see the remaining FAQs needed on Ultimate Wilderness.

I don't know if it "needs" an FAQ, but it would be nice to have text somewhere saying that if an ability's scaling doesn't give you any dice for a given level, then it defaults to <whatever they want the rule to be there>.

Right now, I assume that it defaults "you get nothing". But I think it'd be more interesting if it defaulted to "1"

Whatever the RAW is, I believe the RAI is that is has a minimum 1d4 damage. Imbued spell cartridge has a requirement of 4th level caster. You wouldn't even have a force bullet to shoot at a caster level without a minimum damage.

The feat is a cool feat and I plan on using it, but it really isn't that powerful. Given all of the feats required to use firearms effectively the two extra feats required to use spell cartridges and needing to have at least 1 level in a class with arcane spell casting it's pretty gated already.

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