Persistent Dazing Ball Lightning


Rules Questions


There is a local player that is using this to 100% end final boss fights at high level, by making them roll 8 reflex saves, and if they fail even one of those saves, they are dazed for four rounds (which, in level 15-ish tier play, ends a single monster fight as very few things can pass 8 reflex saves at once). I have some questions regarding how he is using this, and specifically in regards to the wording of the various abilities.
Any thoughts on the following would be appreciated.
This is for society play, so I can't change what the bad guys are/do significantly

Point 1: ball lightning is reflex negates. if all of the spheres are on the same creature, it seems as it would need one reflex save to negate all the damage that round. If you are using it on X separate creatures, they would all need to save out of it; but only once per round, no matter how many spheres are in their square.

Point 2: Dazing spell: when a creature takes damage from this spell (not from each component of this spell), they become dazed.

Point 3: Dazing spell: If the spell allows a saving throw, a successful save negates the daze effect. this sounds like one successful save is all that is needed. if the spell allows multiple saving throws, only one would be needed to negate the daze (as the daze is tied to the entire spell)
Addendum: "when a creature takes damage from this spell, they become dazed. If the spell allows a saving throw, a successful save negates the daze effect" <-- actual wording as opposed to -->"when a creature takes damage from this spell and the spell allows a saving throw, if the creature fails that saving throw, they become dazed"

Point 4: as each sphere is 5 foot diameter, can they share squares (or cubes)? Can multiple spheres be used against a medium creature?

All rules texts grabbed from archives of nethys:

Ball Lightning:
Source Advanced Player's Guide pg. 204
School evocation [air, electricity]; Level arcanist 4, bloodrager 4, druid 4, hunter 4, magus 4, occultist 4, shaman 4, sorcerer 4, wizard 4
Casting
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M/DF (a small iron ring)
Effect
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect two or more 5-ft.-diameter spheres
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Reflex negates; Spell Resistance yes
Description
You create two globes of lightning that fly in whichever direction you indicate. For every 4 caster levels above 7th, you create an additional globe of lightning (3 globes at 11th, 4 globes at 15th, to the maximum of 5 globes at 19th). These globes fly at a rate of 20 feet per round and have perfect maneuverability. Wind does not affect a flying sphere’s course.

If a globe enters a space with a creature, it stops moving for the round and deals 3d6 points of electricity damage to that creature, though a successful Reflex save negates the damage. Creatures wearing metal armor take a –4 penalty on this saving throw.

Each globe moves as long as you actively direct it (it’s a move action for you to direct all the spheres created by a single casting of this spell); otherwise they stay at rest. These globes have no mass and cannot push aside unwilling creatures or move solid objects. A ball lightning globe winks out if it exceeds the spell’s range.
-----------------------------------------
Dazing spell:
Source Advanced Player's Guide pg. 157
You can daze creatures with the power of your spells.

Benefit: You can modify a spell to daze a creature damaged by the spell. When a creature takes damage from this spell, they become dazed for a number of rounds equal to the original level of the spell. If the spell allows a saving throw, a successful save negates the daze effect. If the spell does not allow a save, the target can make a Will save to negate the daze effect. If the spell effect also causes the creature to become dazed, the duration of this metamagic effect is added to the duration of the spell. A dazing spell uses up a spell slot three levels higher than the spell’s actual level. Spells that do not inflict damage do not benefit from this feat.

The Exchange

one spell oing damage so one daze rolland one again for persist. just like magic missile would be


Jeff Morse wrote:
one spell oing damage so one daze rolland one again for persist. just like magic missile would be

So if there are 4 balls in a single creature's square, it rolls once, then once again due to persistent? Pass means no damage that round, no daze. Fail means full damage and daze.

That sounds correct to me but this is a major argument right now.


Quote:
If **A** globe enters a space with a creature, it stops moving for the round and deals 3d6 points of electricity damage to that creature, though a successful Reflex save negates the damage...

--that looks like each globe triggers it's own save. But the wording for the daze effect is pretty clear to me:

Quote:
If the spell allows a saving throw, a successful save negates the daze effect

1. Does the spell allow a saving throw? Yes. It actually allows several.

2. Was there **A** successful save against this spell? If so, the "daze effect" is negated.

Ball Lightning is either an amazingly ridiculous spell for this metamagic feat or one of the absolute worst, depending on your reading.


Quixote wrote:

1. Does the spell allow a saving throw? Yes. It actually allows several.

2. Was there **A** successful save against this spell? If so, the "daze effect" is negated.

Given the wording of dazing spell, this is how i would interpret it. If it were worded as "if the creature fails its saving throw, then it is dazed", then it would make more sense. but it is specifically worded this way.

Quixote wrote:


Ball Lightning is either an amazingly ridiculous spell for this metamagic feat or one of the absolute worst, depending on your reading.

You could use it to attempt to daze 4 separate targets, that should work fine.


Persistent Dazing FlameBlade is just as bad.

Basically Persistent Dazing Metamagic is broken in boss fights (hell, it's broken in most fights) unless the oppoent has good Spell Resistance.


I understand this is a pfs question so this will not apply.

However I like many have found Daze to be overpowering

I applied this nerf to daze for my blaster to avoid overpowering the campaign

"Dazing is a mind affecting effect. And therefore creatures immune to those effects are not affected.

Once a creature has been affected by Dazing every round after the first it can make a Will save to act normally for that round. If the creature is subject to continous damage (Ball Lightning for example) it receives a -2 penalty to its Will save to act normally for the round

If Persistent is applied to a Dazing spell, only the initial save is affected. The subsequent Will saves to act normally for the round are not altered by Persistent."

The Exchange

WabbitHuntr wrote:

I understand this is a pfs question so this will not apply.

is it? in that case you would choose one of the balls to apply the daze too.


Jeff Morse wrote:
WabbitHuntr wrote:

I understand this is a pfs question so this will not apply.

is it? in that case you would choose one of the balls to apply the daze too.

Daze applies to each of the balls... However, even though Ball lightning has a duration of 1rd/level and produces multiple balls any given target only has to SAVE ONCE vs Daze for the duration of spell and IF it fails the initial save it is allowed to roll Will saves to act normally each subsequent round for the duration of the Daze

Same thing would apply to a spell like

Fiery Shuriken:
Fiery Shuriken

School conjuration (creation) [fire]; Level sorcerer/wizard 2

CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a pinch of sulfur and a single shuriken worth 2 sp)

EFFECT

Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect Two or more fiery shuriken
Duration 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

DESCRIPTION

You call forth two fiery projectiles resembling shuriken, plus one more for every two caster levels beyond 3rd (to a maximum of eight shuriken at 15th level), which hover in front of you. When these shuriken appear, you can launch some or all of them at the same target or different targets. Each shuriken requires a ranged touch attack roll to hit and deals 1d8 points of fire damage. You provoke no attacks of opportunity when launching them. Any shuriken you do not launch as part of casting this spell remains floating near you for the spell’s duration. On rounds subsequent to your casting of this spell, you can spend a swift action to launch one of these remaining shuriken or a standard action to launch any number of these remaining shuriken. If you fail to launch a shuriken before the duration ends, that shuriken disappears and is wasted.

Regardless of how the Shurikens are used any individual target will only save vs the Daze effect once

Disclaimer: this is homebrew, not RAW. But this nerf (which I think is well balanced) has allowed Daze to be used extensively without trivializing encounters


How is he casting Persistent Dazing Ball Lightning at lvl 15?

Ball Lightning (4th lvl)
Dazing Spell (+3 spell slot)
Persistent Spell (+2 spell slot)
= 9th level slot

You don't get your first 9th lvl slot until either 17 or 18, depending on your class.

The only way he could do this is with Spell Perfection in Ball Lightning, does he have that?

Also, if you're the DM, put the kibosh on that with counterspell or dispel magic.


I just assumed a metamagic rod was involved.


Or one of the metamagic cost reduction traits. And spell perfection is a valid option.

Trying to claim the base wording turns off dazing spell when you save against it a second time is fairly silly, there's plenty of precedent denying that. Putting in a house rule to weaken dazing spell is less fragile and more sensible.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yeah, this is why I just don't use Dazing Metamagic. It has been less troublesome on Call Lightning and Spiritual Weapon, since it's only once per round, but I still find it trivializes most encounters.


Yeah, this one is rules legal, but keep in mind a few things.

1. Check their saving throw DC calculations carefully. Metamagic does not increase spell saving throw DC. Thus, Ball Lightning is only a DC of 14 plus whatever their casting modifier and miscellaneous feats produce.

A standard CR 15 combat creature should have a +16 Reflex saving throw bonus on average. Even if the player is adding a +7 from their casting stat, that's still around 75% odds of making each saving throw.

2. Dazing spell only works if the creature takes damage from the spell. Any creature with resistance to electricity 10 is going to have near even odds of stopping any damage going through from 3d6. Resistance 20 or protection from energy will completely shut down this strategy. Spell resistance is also another show-stopper.

3. If we assume they're using a metamagic rod for at least part of the combination, a valid enemy strategy is to disarm or sunder their rod.


26 wisdom 15th level shammy should have...14 slots suitable for Persistent Dazing Ball Lightning, assuming Spell Perfection and Magical Lineage, no rods needed. Persistent Dazing Quickened Ball Lightning is only 2/day though. Perfection doubles your feat DC bonuses, so that’s nice. And he can Evil Eye for the -4 penalty, but you can’t move action multiple sets of lightning balls and evil eye in the same turn, so there’s some bottleneck there. But that’s...16 DC 26 (just Focus/greater focus, not optimizing here) reflex saving throws to make with a -4 penalty in the second turn of combat, assuming he made all 8 in the first round.

Assuming you go with the ‘each ball is a separate saving throw’ reading, which I vote as ambiguous. It does curl up and die against moderate ER: electricity though.

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