1st Edition - Call lightning STORM - HOW MANY BOLTS in ONE ROUND


Rules Questions


Good afternoon,

Can someone advise:

1) how many bolts can be cast during one single round?
2) What is the 'concentration check DC' for the spell (not entangled or impeded in any way / not doing anything else, except call a bolt)

I am aware of the stats but unclear re 1) +2)

Round 1: Cast spell
Round 2: Do nothing else except concentrate: Can I fire one or more bolts in that round = I have four totally identified targets = Can I fire 4 bolts?
Round 3: Can I fire four bolts?

Much appreciated.


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well, since it takes a standard action to call 1 bolt, it would be the same as the number of standard actions you get in a round. Which for most characters is only 1 standard action per round.

Call Lightning wrote:
Each round after the first you may use a standard action (concentrating on the spell) to call a bolt.


LordKailas wrote:

well, since it takes a standard action to call 1 bolt, it would be the same as the number of standard actions you get in a round. Which for most characters is only 1 standard action per round.

Call Lightning wrote:
Each round after the first you may use a standard action (concentrating on the spell) to call a bolt.

Thank you.

Considering it is supposed to be a "lightning STORM" [caster being a 10th level druid] should it really ONE single bolt per round?

Thank you.


It says "as call lighting", so it still takes a standard action to call a bolt.


Thank you both for commenting, so to be clear, you think, it is only ONE SINGLE bolt that can be called upon in one round for "Call Lightning Storm"?

If so, how can the spell last ten rounds (caster level 10), and encompass 15 bolts when they can never be used?

Sorry to be a pain, but it is something that is bugging me. Playing a druid with no weapons (chosen to use nature).

Thank you.

Sovereign Court

Al Beale wrote:

If so, how can the spell last ten rounds (caster level 10), and encompass 15 bolts when they can never be used?

Sorry to be a pain, but it is something that is bugging me. Playing a druid with no weapons (chosen to use nature).

Thank you.

Duration is Minute per level not Round per level.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Al Beale wrote:


1) how many bolts can be cast during one single round?
Quote:
Immediately upon completion of the spell, and once per round thereafter,

Round 1, start spell

Round 2, just before your initiative, you complete the spell and can call a bolt
Round 2 and following rounds, at your initiative, you can call a bolt.

So round 2 you can call 2 bolts, one at the end of the casting time, 1 whe your initiative come up.

Al Beale wrote:


2) What is the 'concentration check DC' for the spell (not entangled or impeded in any way / not doing anything else, except call a bolt)
Quote:
. Each round after the first you may use a standard action (concentrating on the spell) to call a bolt.

It requires you to concentrate on the spell, not to make a concentration check. Essentially, it says that you will spend a standard action willing the bolt to fall. There is no check involved in doing that.


In regards to the concentration portion of the spell. You don’t need to make a concentration check to maintain the spell each round, however you would treat it as having a duration of concentration for each round of effect. As such if something happens during that round before or during your turn that would require you to roll concentration for a spell, you must do so or are unable to call layout lightning bolt that round.


Al Beale wrote:
Considering it is supposed to be a "lightning STORM" [caster being a 10th level druid] should it really ONE single bolt per round?

unfortunately, because call lightning storm is based on the spell call lightning and it doesn't modify how many you can call down you are correct that you only get 1 per round. However, keep in mind a few things.

1. Call Lightning storm has a range of long, meaning at 10th level you can hit things from 800 feet away.
2. A round is only 6 seconds, so it's not that slow given its range.
3. If you cast the spell control winds (or something similar) prior to casting this spell it does 5d10 per bolt instead of 5d6 damage.
4. finally as has been pointed out it would last for 10 minutes. Meaning you could pre-cast the spell before a battle if you know the enemies will be within range in the next few minutes.

All that being said, for their levels both call lightning and call lightning storm are pretty lackluster spells. But since they are primarily druid spells they are pretty much on par with druid damage spells. Wall of fire is similarly disappointing. If you want to hit a bunch of enemies for 10d6 damage in one round you're better off with the spell fire snake.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Chell Raighn wrote:
In regards to the concentration portion of the spell. You don’t need to make a concentration check to maintain the spell each round, however you would treat it as having a duration of concentration for each round of effect. As such if something happens during that round before or during your turn that would require you to roll concentration for a spell, you must do so or are unable to call layout lightning bolt that round.

Based on what?

The spell doesn't say you need to make a concentration check, nor has a duration of concentration. The rules give you only 2 instances where you have to make concentration checks:
- if you are casting a spell;
- if the spell has a duration of concentration.

There are plenty of other instances where they say that you concentrate on something, but that is the normal English meaning of the term, not the rules term Concentration check.

BTW, even if you were right and it requires a concentration check, what happened before your initiative doesn't matter, what matters is if the effect that can disrupt spell affects you when you take the standard action.


It's really an anti-army spell. When you won't run out of targets, the individual enemies are much lower level than you, and you can arrange for the enemies to be mostly unable to hurt you then call lightning storm has a use.


This has really been helpful everybody, I think I got it now. So, thank you so much.

Kind Regards,
Al (Druid Grundolar with Animal companion Gaelan, a Tiger)


avr wrote:
It's really an anti-army spell. When you won't run out of targets, the individual enemies are much lower level than you, and you can arrange for the enemies to be mostly unable to hurt you then call lightning storm has a use.

It works splendidly on a single target if you have the leisure to hit them with every bolt. But then, so does an archer.

I've used call lightning [storm] for battlefield control, using it to destroy obstacles from the back or blast branches off of trees to create difficult terrain. It's also handy for a caster druid who wants to contribute damage to an extended combat without burning a lot of resources, though there are probably better options than the higher level version.


Diego Rossi wrote:

Based on what?

The spell doesn't say you need to make a concentration check, nor has a duration of concentration. The rules give you only 2 instances where you have to make concentration checks:
- if you are casting a spell;
- if the spell has a duration of concentration.

There are plenty of other instances where they say that you concentrate on something, but that is the normal English meaning of the term, not the rules term Concentration check.

BTW, even if you were right and it requires a concentration check, what happened before your initiative doesn't matter, what matters is if the effect that can disrupt spell affects you when you take the standard action.

In every instance of a spell or ability, when something is said in parenthesis, it is a rules clarification. As such, the inclusion of concentration for the spells standard action to call a lightning bolt is a function of the rules not fluff. Therefore, the standard action to call the bolt is subject to any disruption that would require you to make a concentration check for a spell. If it was not a function of the spells rules, then there would have been no need to put parentheses around it. The parentheses are there to clarify that this standard action requires concentration.

However, you are right, I misspoke about actions prior to your turn. It would indeed only matter for disruptions that occur during your action. Such as ongoing damage, violent movement, or environmental conditions, since the action doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity you'd only have to worry about direct damage if your opponent readied an action against you. Additionally, if you are subject to any effect that prevents concentration, you are denied the use of your called lightning bolt for the duration of such effects.


Chell Raighn wrote:


In every instance of a spell or ability, when something is said in parenthesis, it is a rules clarification.

That's not a thing. See for example the spell "Wizened Appearance" from ultimate intrique.

Quote:


You select how much older (for example, “10 years older” or “as an adult”)

While it is frequently a rules clarification, it can also simply be a descriptive comment.

Nothing in the spell for lightning storm suggests the use of concentration is intended to be used as the game defined term. Nothing says it isn't either, so expect some table variation. Personally I think the parethesis in this particular spell is fluff and not rules.


bbangerter wrote:
Chell Raighn wrote:


In every instance of a spell or ability, when something is said in parenthesis, it is a rules clarification.

That's not a thing. See for example the spell "Wizened Appearance" from ultimate intrique.

Quote:


You select how much older (for example, “10 years older” or “as an adult”)

While it is frequently a rules clarification, it can also simply be a descriptive comment.

Nothing in the spell for lightning storm suggests the use of concentration is intended to be used as the game defined term. Nothing says it isn't either, so expect some table variation. Personally I think the parethesis in this particular spell is fluff and not rules.

Examples, such as what is in Wizened Appearance, are a form of clarification. You can clarify a rule in multiple ways, the most common being restating in a different way, citing another rule or ability, or giving a direct example. Did Wizened Appearance need a clarification? probably not, but it is there nonetheless.


I should have explained that better. What I meant is that parenthentical comments are not things that are strictly tied to rules defined terms. So the use of the term "concentration" in the lightning storm spell does not mean it is tied to concentration checks.

As an alternate example, a barbarian, while raging, cannot do anything that requires concentration. We certainly would not imply that the barbarian could cast a spell during a rage if they can beat the concentration DC.

While conversely things like the entangled, grappled, and pinned conditions call for an explicit concentration check to cast a spell. And IMO, that's really what you need to see to tie it to that rules element. If it does not call for a "concentration check" then the language is not tying it to that rules element.


bbangerter wrote:
As an alternate example, a barbarian, while raging, cannot do anything that requires concentration. We certainly would not imply that the barbarian could cast a spell during a rage if they can beat the concentration DC.

Of course you wouldn't imply that, the rules directly state that you simply can't perform actions that require concentration while raging. They give no room for "can't unless succeeding a check" it's strictly, you can't.

None of this disproves my point.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Chell Raighn wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
As an alternate example, a barbarian, while raging, cannot do anything that requires concentration. We certainly would not imply that the barbarian could cast a spell during a rage if they can beat the concentration DC.

Of course you wouldn't imply that, the rules directly state that you simply can't perform actions that require concentration while raging. They give no room for "can't unless succeeding a check" it's strictly, you can't.

None of this disproves my point.

Making a concentration check is different from concentrating.

A barbarian (excluding specific abilities) can't use bard song pick a lock, disable a trap, etc. while raging as he can't concentrate on the task. But none of those actions require a concentration check.


Chell Raighn wrote:
bbangerter wrote:
As an alternate example, a barbarian, while raging, cannot do anything that requires concentration. We certainly would not imply that the barbarian could cast a spell during a rage if they can beat the concentration DC.

Of course you wouldn't imply that, the rules directly state that you simply can't perform actions that require concentration while raging. They give no room for "can't unless succeeding a check" it's strictly, you can't.

None of this disproves my point.

That's rather the point. Something talking about concentration isn't an automatic invocation of the rules relating to concentration checks.

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