Questions about Mega Bomb - Please help!


Rules Discussion


My Kingmaker campaign is getting close to LV20 territory, and I wanted to plot out my feat selections before getting there. As such, I'm seriously considering the Mega Bomb feat for my bomber alchemist, but I have some questions that I haven't been able to find on here. Any help would be deeply appreciated:

1. How many actions does it take to make a Mega Bomb and throw it? The feat as written says it's "1 action" and "if your next action isn't an interact action to throw it, the bomb denatures". So without additional feats, is it 1 action to Quick Alchemy, 1 action to add the additive and 1 action to "throw" the bomb?
2. My alchemist has the Quick Bomber feat. How does this change the answer to the previous question, if at all?
3. Do I have to roll a skill check to "throw" the bomb using an interact action? If so, what skill?
4. I have the Uncanny Bombs feat which says "Your range for thrown items extends to 60 feet". Does this impact the Mega Bomb range for the blast radius at all?
5. Does the feat let me do both the primary damage (4d8+9 for a Major Alch Fire since I also have both Expanded and Calculated Splash feats), or just 9 fire as just the splash? On my previous reads it sounds like the feat makes the bomb turn into an AoE version of the Electric Arc spell dealing whatever damage the bomb does instead. May be a bad analogy, but that's how my brain is reading it.

For reference, here's the Uncanny Bombs feat text:

Prerequisites Far Lobber
You lob bombs unerringly, despite obstructions or distance. When you throw an alchemical item with the bomb trait, its range increment increases to 60 feet, you reduce any circumstance bonus to the target’s AC from cover by 1, and you automatically succeed at the flat check when targeting a concealed creature.

here's the Electric Arc's main body of text (I'm leaving out the spell component stuff as it's not relevant to my ask):
Electric Arc
Range 30 feet; Targets 1 or 2 creatures
Saving Throw basic Reflex
An arc of lightning leaps from one target to another. You deal electricity damage equal to 1d4 plus your spellcasting ability modifier.
Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 1d4.

And here's the full text of the Mega Bomb feat:

Mega Bomb
[one-action]
Feat 20
Additive 3 Alchemist
Source Core Rulebook pg. 81 4.0
Prerequisites Expanded Splash
Requirements You are holding an infused alchemical bomb you crafted, with a level at least 3 lower than your advanced alchemy level.
You add an incredibly powerful additive to a held bomb to create a mega bomb, greatly increasing its area and power. You use an Interact action to throw the mega bomb, rather than Strike, and you don’t make an attack roll. The mega bomb affects creatures in a 30-foot-radius burst, centered within 60 feet of you. The bomb deals damage as if each creature were the primary target, with a basic Reflex save. On a failed save, a creature also takes any extra effects that affect a primary target (such as flat-footed from bottled lightning). While all targets in the area take splash damage as primary targets, there is no further splash beyond that area. If your next action after creating a mega bomb isn’t an Interact action to throw it, the mega bomb denatures and loses all effects.

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Any help folks can provide would be really helpful. On the damage question, it would also be helpful if anyone can provide links to where I can find more on either Archives of Nethys or dev links from the forums here as all I've found so far are random bits and bobs on the forums under the advice area.


1. If you're not already holding a qualifying bomb, it's one action to use quick alchemy to create a bomb, or one action to draw one created earlier. For instance, one created during daily preparations for more efficient use of infused reagents. One action to use mega bomb to add its additive. One interact action to throw the mega bomb. So a total of 2-3 actions

2. You are not making a strike, so quick bomber is not used. If you're drawing a bomb it'll cost one action

3. Mega bomb says you don't make a strike and doesn't call for a check, so no. All targets in the 30' burst are affected

4. You are not making a strike, so uncanny bombs is not used. Mega bomb sets the range at "within 60' of you", period. Uncanny bombs also doesn't affect the burst radius, not even for normal bomb strikes. Only the range increment for strikes. So within 60' you have no penalty, at 61'-120' you're at -2 to hit because of range, etc. Again, this doesn't affect the mega bomb, I'm only going over it because your question suggests you misunderstand uncanny bombs

5. Every creature within the 30' burst, which is centered within 60' of you, takes damage as if they were the primary target of the bomb you used for mega bomb. That includes splash damage, because the primary target of a bomb takes the splash damage too. But even if two targets are near enough to each other to normally take expanded splash damage, they won't take double splash damage. So every target in the burst would take 4d8 fire with a basic reflex save (so half damage if they save, and no damage if they crit save, but double damage if they crit fail), 9 fire splash damage, and 4 persistent fire damage if they fail the save (double if they crit fail). But nothing outside the 30' burst takes splash damage, not even if they're within range of expanded splash

I recommend discarding the electric arc visual. It can only confuse the issue in the future

No links included because everything is right there what you quoted


Think of it moreso like turning your bombs into fireballs that deal the listed damage above.

A bit more area than fireball (30ft burst vs 20ft burst) but smaller range (60ft vs 500ft) and about the damage of a 4th rank fireball (4d8+10 is about equivalent to 8d6).


It's a pretty weak fireball. Many people consider this feat like a meme.


Where Mega Bomb is interesting is there is a reasonable argument that the Basic Reflex Save doesn't affect the Splash Damage at all. Meaning a Mega Bomb would always do a minimum 7-10 damage, based on the tier of Bomb.

I've always said that if you're in a zombie apocalypse, you want a 20th level Mega Bomb Alchemist on your side. Could easily make 60+ Major Ghost Charges and when those run out, start in on the infinite Greater Ghost Charges... (depending on choices made for Perpetual Infusions, naturally.) ::GRIN::


Care to list out that reasonable argument?

From what I am seeing:

Mega Bomb wrote:
The bomb deals damage as if each creature were the primary target, with a basic Reflex save. On a failed save, a creature also takes any extra effects that affect a primary target (such as flat-footed from bottled lightning). While all targets in the area take splash damage as primary targets, there is no further splash beyond that area.

The bomb's regular effects target all of the creatures. Including any splash damage that the bomb does. And all of that damage is affected by the Reflex save.

But splash damage is not well defined enough for me to be confident in that as the intended outcome.

So what do you have as alternative.


So, this is a pretty deep dive. For the record, I consider Mega Bomb to be a poorly written feat. There's too much ambiguity for my tastes.

The first thing is that Mega Bomb is an Additive feat. Additives are added to Bombs or Elixirs. So a Mega Bomb is still a Bomb. Which is important. Now, if you look at the Splash trait:

Core Rulebook pg 637 wrote:
When you use a thrown weapon with the splash trait, you don’t add your Strength modifier to the damage roll. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target (including the target) take the listed splash damage. On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack still takes the splash damage. Add splash damage together with the initial damage against the target before applying the target’s weaknesses or resistances. You don’t multiply splash damage on a critical hit.

Bomb damage is split into two parts, initial damage and splash damage, which are added together before Weaknesses or Resistances are applied.

So then,

Mega Bomb wrote:
The bomb deals damage as if each creature were the primary target, with a basic Reflex save. On a failed save, a creature also takes any extra effects that affect a primary target (such as flat-footed from bottled lightning).

The save applies to the initial damage, and the extra effects, such as conditions.

What about the splash though? Well it's the next sentence that specifically calls out the splash:

Mega Bomb wrote:
While all targets in the area take splash damage as primary targets, there is no further splash beyond that area.

There isn't anything that says the saving throw applies to the splash.

So, as I said, there's an argument to be made that targets will always take at least the 7-10 pts (assuming Int +6 at L20, and taking into account the Tier of the Bomb) of splash.

One reason I tend towards this interpretation is that otherwise, Mega Bomb isn't much of a feat. I'm really hoping it gets rewritten to either a) clarify it, b) buff it, or c) both.


Reading through it, I think the argument hinges on this from the Splash trait

Splash wrote:
On a failure (but not a critical failure), the target of the attack still takes the splash damage. ... You don’t multiply splash damage on a critical hit.

So turning that into a saving throw instead it would be:

critical success: no splash damage
success: full splash damage
failure: full splash damage
critical failure: full splash damage

Because you don't multiply the damage on a critical hit, and you do still do full damage on a miss (but not a critical miss).

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But that isn't the only possible interpretation. The Mega Bomb feat just says to transform the Strike results into a Basic Reflex Save somehow.

Mega Bomb wrote:
The bomb deals damage as if each creature were the primary target, with a basic Reflex save.

Splash damage is still damage that is applied to the primary target of a bomb. And from the look of that sentence, it would still be subject to the Basic Reflex save.

The later sentence:

Mega Bomb wrote:
While all targets in the area take splash damage as primary targets, there is no further splash beyond that area.

is specifying what targets don't take any splash damage. It is not specifying how those who do take splash damage have their damage calculated or adjusted by a saving throw.


If one lumps the splash damage in with the bomb damage and subjects it to the reflex save then it should be done fairly and also doubled on a crit failure. I found that to be counterintuitive to how it is normally handled, which is why I didn't calculate it that way in my answer above


Baarogue wrote:
If one lumps the splash damage in with the bomb damage and subjects it to the reflex save then it should be done fairly and also doubled on a crit failure.

Yeah, that is definitely a valid point.

Baarogue wrote:
I found that to be counterintuitive to how it is normally handled, which is why I didn't calculate it that way in my answer above

Having splash damage of Mega Bomb work unmodified like normal splash damage is probably the more common interpretation. It is the one I lean towards when looking at both options.


Thanks all for your clairfications. I mostly asked for links to avoid some rather protracted arguments I saw in the advice thread that got quite heated over some very fine dissections of word use. IMHO I can't wait to unleash some doomsday bombs in a few weeks when we hit lv20. :D

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