How does the spell "Fractions of Heal and Harm" interact with an Arcane Trickster's Surprise Spell


Rules Questions


One of my players is talking about taking this spell with his Sorcerer, Arcane Trickster, but I'm not sure how the sneak attack interacts with the spell. There are a couple ways I can think to interpret it.

A.) The sneak attack is separate from the spell and it's damage isn't counted for the purposes of Fractions of Heal and Harm.

B.) The sneak attack is considered part of the spell and 25% of it's damage is turned into healing.

I'm leaning towards the first interpretation mostly for balance reasons, but I want to get other opinions first before making a ruling.


A spell may do extra damage with sneak attack via surprise spell but the fact that this extra damage can vary by target (if some targets are immune to precision damage) makes it not part of the spell damage for this purpose IMO. If your arcane trickster was casting a fireball at an enemy vulnerable or resistant to fire I'd rule the damage for this purpose unaffected too.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quote:
Surprise Spells: At 10th level, an arcane trickster can add her sneak attack damage to any spell that deals damage, if the targets are flat-footed. This additional damage only applies to spells that deal hit point damage, and the additional damage is of the same type as the spell. If the spell allows a saving throw to negate or halve the damage, it also negates or halves the sneak attack damage.
Quote:
This spell channels a portion of the next spell you cast into magic that heals you. The next instantaneous area damage spell of 3rd level or lower that you cast deals only 75% of its damage, but heals you of a number of hit points equal to the remaining 25% of the spell’s damage. For example, if you cast this spell and followed it with a fireball that would normally deal 40 hit points of damage, the fireball instead deals 30 hit points of damage and heals you of 10 hit points of damage. The spell affected by this spell must be cast before the end of your next turn. This spell has no effect on spells that do not deal damage or spells higher than 3rd level. This healing is treated as if you had been affected by a cure or inflict spell (whichever would heal you), and is treated as the same spell level as the area-affecting spell for the purpose of effects that relate to the spell level of cure or inflict spells.

The ability affect the potential damage of the spell, not the actual damage dealt. If all the targets are immune from fire and/or have evasion and negate all damage from a fireball, the caster would still be healed. As the conditional avoidance of the damage doesn't affect the healing, similarly the conditional increase of the damage shouldn't affect it.

English isn't my primary language so it hope my point is clear. If the increase/reduction in damage is something dependant from the target (White dragon vs fireball, added sneak damage vs flat-footed target) it doesn't affect the spell as a whole and doesn't affect the healing.
If the damage increase/reduction affect the spell as a whole (red dragon bloodline and fireball) it affect the healing.


Fractions of Heal and Harm

With the Surprise Spells ability I would say B. FHH doesn't say the damage caused to the target, it just says "the spell’s damage". The example uses fireball and doesn't make any distinction between whether the target saves for 1/2 dam or not.

ninja'd by DR

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Valandil Ancalime wrote:

Fractions of Heal and Harm

With the Surprise Spells ability I would say B. FHH doesn't say the damage caused to the target, it just says "the spell’s damage". The example uses fireball and doesn't make any distinction between whether the target saves for 1/2 dam or not.

ninja'd by DR

I say A with nuances, so I haven't ninja'd you.


Sneak attack is extra damage

Fraction of Heal and Harm only cares about the spell damage.

So a sneak fireball (which can't actually have sneak attack applied to it until level 10 Arcane Trickster, go figure, there's no attack roll) would do xd6 spell damage + xd6 sneak attack damage. Only the spell damage is counted for purposes of Fractions of Heal and Harm.

It also seems there's some talk of potential damage above. Potential damage has no meaning. You roll the damage first, then split it 75/25.

So a fireball rolling 40 damage will cause 30 damage and heal 10 hit points (half that if the save is successful)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lady Asharah wrote:

Sneak attack is extra damage

Fraction of Heal and Harm only cares about the spell damage.

So a sneak fireball (which can't actually have sneak attack applied to it until level 10 Arcane Trickster, go figure, there's no attack roll) would do xd6 spell damage + xd6 sneak attack damage. Only the spell damage is counted for purposes of Fractions of Heal and Harm.

It also seems there's some talk of potential damage above. Potential damage has no meaning. You roll the damage first, then split it 75/25.

So a fireball rolling 40 damage will cause 30 damage and heal 10 hit points (half that if the save is successful)

Note that Fraction of Heal and Harm only applies to area spells, so the only situation where sneak attack and Fraction of Heal and Harm can apply to a spell is if the caster is a level 10 Arcane Trickster.


I did not notice that, interesting and also making fraction of heal and harm even worse than I originally thought. It's a pretty terrible spell.


Alas, wizard healing is usually terrible.

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