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Burley
2009-04-21, 11:50 AM
It seems like everytime I try to find a good level 2 item for my sorcerer I run into an issue with Sorcerous Blade Channeling.
First, it's the whole "weapon as implement" thing, that I can never get a straight answer on.

Now, I have a new question: When using the Acid Orb or Dragonfrost powers, you can use them as a ranged basic attack. If you have the Sorcerous Blade Channeling feat, you can use ranged powers as though they were melee powers. So, if I were to use Acid Orb or Dragonfrost as a melee power, would it be a "ranged basic attack with melee reach" or a "melee basic attack?"

I ask for the purpose of charging, since my halfling is kind of berserker and I just realized I get a +2 vs. OAs! (I'm gonna make him a short magical version of Wolverine.)

Thajocoth
2009-04-21, 12:10 PM
It says "as though they were melee powers", not "as though they had melee reach". They are a basic attack. If the sorcerer in my campaign chose to take that feat, I would rule that he can use those powers as melee basic attacks.

However, I can easily see an alternative logic. It says "as though they were melee powers", not "as though they were melee basic powers". So they'd be usable as either ranged basic attacks or as melee attacks, but not melee basic attacks.

It really depends on the GM there...

Also, what's the "weapon as an implement" thing that you can never get a straight answer on?

Kurald Galain
2009-04-21, 12:17 PM
First, it's the whole "weapon as implement" thing, that I can never get a straight answer on.
Yeah, for some reason WOTC is unwilling to clear up that mess. It's almost as if they want hundreds of netizens discussing it all the time...:smallcool:

To answer your question, if you use a ranged power "as a melee attack" as per SBC, then it is a melee attack. It is not somehow a "ranged melee attack" since that is self-contradictory.

Burley
2009-04-21, 12:19 PM
Sorcerers use daggers as implements. Multi-classing rogue allows you to sneak attack when making an attack with a light weapon. It doesn't say "when dealing weapon damage with a light weapon." So, technically, I should be able to multi-class into rogue and sneak attack with any sorcerer power. Most people disagree.

Also, the Rogue has the Daggermaster PP which grants you Dagger Precision. "You can score critical hits with daggers on a roll of 18-20." Seems like all my Sorcerer powers now crit on 18-20. Most people disagree.

However, when you throw in Sorcerous Blade Channeling, you are casting the spell via melee attack. There should be no reason why these dagger enhancements shouldn't stack up.


To answer your question, if you use a ranged power "as a melee attack" as per SBC, then it is a melee attack. It is not somehow a "ranged melee attack" since that is self-contradictory.

So, I should be able to use Acid Orb on a charge? What about when I throw in a Horned Helm (+1d6 on a charge) or make my dagger a Vanguard weapon (+1d8 on a chage, plus the amazing daily item power)? (I don't think the helm and weapon bonuses would stack, would they?)
1d10 acid+1d8 untyped+ Sneak Attack+ Charisma(5)+ Dex(4)= Obnoxiously a lot for an at-will charge. That's right up there on the Barbarian's at-wills, but without the +2 for everything to hit you.

Kurald Galain
2009-04-21, 12:32 PM
However, when you throw in Sorcerous Blade Channeling, you are casting the spell via melee attack. There should be no reason why these dagger enhancements shouldn't stack up.
Sure there is, as long as you're not using a power with the "weapon" keyword.

Why do you think so many people disagree? Because you're using an overly legalese interpretation of the rules-as-written for no other purpose than to increase your character's power level. If you think that a DM must necessarily allow some particular overpowered combo because "the rules say so", then pretty much every DM I know will prove you wrong.

Thajocoth
2009-04-21, 12:47 PM
If they didn't want you to be able to deal sneak attack damage with a spell, they would say "with an ability that has the weapon keyword" in the description of Sneak Attack. Since Warlocks could already get a Pact Blade in that same book & use it as an implement, the argument cannot be made that they simply hadn't thought anyone would wind up using a weapon as an implement.

I, therefore, don't see the confusion. Why would anyone think you CAN'T deal SA damage with a spell cast from a dagger? Though it's rare for ranged attackers to have CA to be able to SA anyway.

To actually make use of this ability, you're taking 2 feats. One to multiclass Rogue and the Sorcerous Blade Channeling feat as the other AND it only effects one attack per encounter. I've seen far more powerful pairs of feats that other classes can take, so it's really not an overpowered decision to allow both.

Adding more things to that, like the Horned Helm, requires buying more things and taking up more slots, so why not? It's no different than if a Fighter uses a pinning weapon on a boss, and then a few casters stack up some zones on top of the boss to damage him while he's held there until he's dead. Multiple powers are being used together for greater effect.

You're a striker. You're supposed to deal lots of damage. Then you'll get your HP removed since you wear cloth and just ran up to a big monster. THAT'S the trade off.

Also, in my campaign, when something isn't specified or is ambiguous, I err on the side of more powerful PCs. That way:
A - The players feel awesome.
B - I can make the other side a little bigger or stronger for more interesting fights without guaranteeing a TPK.
C - They have more to work with to figure out solutions to things. (More conducive to creativity.)

Burley
2009-04-21, 12:52 PM
Yeah, well... Nuh, uh!

Seriously, though: It's been my experience that 4e goes out of it's way with "legalese" to say things as they are and should be, or it's errata'd in the next PHB. :smalltongue: Also, there is generally a piece in class abilities about doing extra things when dealing weapon damage. As sneak attack and dagger precision don't specifically say that you must deal weapon damage, and fulfill all state requisites, I see no reason why not, other that DM fiat.
I know that DM rules apply over all, but my DM ain't here, so, this is just a rules question.

Dentarthur
2009-04-21, 12:59 PM
Let me clear up the confusion between "melee attack" and "melee basic attack". It's like the difference between "a vehicle" and "my granddad's 1957 VW Microbus". A melee basic attack is a very specific concept, used in very specific situations. Acid Orb, even with its range changed to Melee, is not a melee basic attack any more than Cleave is, and you cannot use it in a charge or as an opportunity attack.

As far as Dagger Precision and Sneak Attack, well, RAW fails to specify that these abilities require you to be using the dagger as a weapon, rather than an implement. However, I think it's pretty clear that they were designed for a class that uses weapons, not implements, and personally I wouldn't allow DP and SA to be applied to any Implement attacks.

Burley
2009-04-21, 01:18 PM
Let me clear up the confusion between "melee attack" and "melee basic attack". It's like the difference between "a vehicle" and "my granddad's 1957 VW Microbus". A melee basic attack is a very specific concept, used in very specific situations. Acid Orb, even with its range changed to Melee, is not a melee basic attack any more than Cleave is, and you cannot use it in a charge or as an opportunity attack.


You mean, except that Acid Orb states that it can be used as a ranged basic attack? Cause... if you change ranged to melee, it can be used as a melee basic attack...

TheOOB
2009-04-21, 01:39 PM
You mean, except that Acid Orb states that it can be used as a ranged basic attack? Cause... if you change ranged to melee, it can be used as a melee basic attack...

That's a logical fallacy. One ability says you can use it as a ranged[b] basic attack, and other says you can use it as a [B]melee attack. If you make the attack melee, it cannot also be a ranged basic attack.

However your DM rules on this is up to them.

As for the implement/weapon thing, as long as the ability doesn't say it much be a weapon attack, then the dagger abilities would work. That said, I know plenty of DMs who would restrict the ability to use light blade abilities for sorcerer spells.

DizzyD
2009-04-21, 03:45 PM
Also, in my campaign, when something isn't specified or is ambiguous, I err on the side of more powerful PCs. That way:
A - The players feel awesome.
B - I can make the other side a little bigger or stronger for more interesting fights without guaranteeing a TPK.
C - They have more to work with to figure out solutions to things. (More conducive to creativity.)

Unfortunately, this only works if A, all of your players are as creative as Mr. Burley Warlock(which is unlikely) or 2, Mr. Burley Warlock can find loop holes for each players character (which is, again, Unlikely). Otherwise you have a single PC that happens to be more powerful than the rest and It becomes unfair or less fun for the rest of the players. Fortunately, Mr. Burley Warlock understands this because we have played in a campaign where exactly that happened.

Asbestos
2009-04-21, 04:10 PM
Well, there is a feat in the Dragon article 'Playing Shadar-kai' that allows all of those 'ranged basic attack' caster powers to be used as 'melee basic attacks'. Not just as 'melee' powers. So, I'm in the boat that Sorcerous blade channeling merely turns Acid Orb into a regular melee power, rather than a melee basic attack. When you use it as a melee power it is a melee power, when you use it as a ranged power it is a ranged power. That's the simplest way to handle it IMO.

If you have to spend two feats to go from ranged only attacker to all melee, I don't think that's too bad. I mean, two feats to alter your build like whoa? Not too bad. Now we just need some silly item in AV2 that lets you use hammers or axes as sorcerer implements and you're set :smalltongue:

Thajocoth
2009-04-21, 05:06 PM
Unfortunately, this only works if A, all of your players are as creative as Mr. Burley Warlock(which is unlikely) or 2, Mr. Burley Warlock can find loop holes for each players character (which is, again, Unlikely). Otherwise you have a single PC that happens to be more powerful than the rest and It becomes unfair or less fun for the rest of the players. Fortunately, Mr. Burley Warlock understands this because we have played in a campaign where exactly that happened.

Except that the bonuses are never actually that great to make any player THAT awesome. This one, for example... He can only Sneak Attack once per encounter. It's really not a big deal when in the encounter he uses it. By applying it to a spell, hitting some important spot of the enemy's torso with magic aimed with a dagger, one attack seems to have a lot more damage yielding one larger number instead of two smaller numbers that sum up to more than the larger number. So he's not actually any more powerful. He just gets to feel more awesome. On top of that, he's now in a bad situation. Sorcerers wear cloth. Neither Int nor Dex is their main stat. If he's got Dragon Magic as his spell source, he can use Str in their place, but it's still not his main stat. He just charged a monster and dealt a bunch of damage to it. Who's it going to hit next round?

Kurald Galain
2009-04-21, 05:42 PM
Except that the bonuses are never actually that great to make any player THAT awesome.
Well, yes they are. Only this is not such a great example. For examples of things that DO make one player that much more powerful, check the charop boards. Standard examples include the Orbizard, a maxxed-out Stormwarden ranger, and the Half-Elf Of Doom. Did you know that a character can one-shot Orcus?

The point is that if you allow players to exploit any loophole they can think of, on grounds that it makes them "feel awesome", and (as is usually the case) certain players are better at finding loopholes than others, then you've just created a game where some characters are much more effective in combat than others (e.g. start out-damaging the striker, stuff like that).

Frequently, this means that one player is upstaging everyone else, having more fun at the expense of the others. This is munchkinry, and it can easily ruin a group's fun unless the DM puts a stop to it.

DizzyD
2009-04-21, 05:57 PM
Frequently, this means that one player is upstaging everyone else, having more fun at the expense of the others. This is munchkinry, and it can easily ruin a group's fun unless the DM puts a stop to it.

My thoughts exactly

Jestir256
2009-04-21, 06:53 PM
I am way out of my depth here, since in general I loathe 4e and everything in it but...
... Well, this is after all a role-playing-game. So far no one has brought up the notion that the abstraction for, say, an acid orb charge might be perfectly legitimate. I have little trouble imagining a halfling magus suddenly calling a sphere of smoky green fluid into being above his hand, then running screaming towards and ogre and pasting him right in the sweetmeats with it.

Does no one even bother to abstract the rules anymore? :smalleek:

Ninetail
2009-04-22, 04:35 AM
Sorcerers use daggers as implements. Multi-classing rogue allows you to sneak attack when making an attack with a light weapon. It doesn't say "when dealing weapon damage with a light weapon." So, technically, I should be able to multi-class into rogue and sneak attack with any sorcerer power. Most people disagree.


It's easy to apply that logic the other way, too, though: If you're using the dagger as an implement, then it is being used as an implement and not as a light weapon. You can't sneak attack with an implement.



Also, the Rogue has the Daggermaster PP which grants you Dagger Precision. "You can score critical hits with daggers on a roll of 18-20." Seems like all my Sorcerer powers now crit on 18-20. Most people disagree.


By the letter of the rules, you're correct here.

Of course, it's pretty clear that the intent of Daggermaster is to specialize in using a dagger as a weapon in combat, and not as an implement in casting sorcerer spells, so there's no logic to the argument. It's purely semantic.



However, when you throw in Sorcerous Blade Channeling, you are casting the spell via melee attack. There should be no reason why these dagger enhancements shouldn't stack up.


I'd be inclined to allow the bonuses in that case, because the rules model actually stabbing something with a dagger (and then channeling arcane power through it). You're also making a tradeoff.



So, I should be able to use Acid Orb on a charge?


Nope, Acid Orb isn't a melee basic attack. It's a ranged basic attack, or (with the feat) a melee attack.



1d10 acid+1d8 untyped+ Sneak Attack+ Charisma(5)+ Dex(4)= Obnoxiously a lot for an at-will charge. That's right up there on the Barbarian's at-wills, but without the +2 for everything to hit you.

Which is a pretty good indication that that's not the way things are supposed to work.

Burley
2009-04-22, 06:58 AM
Neither Int nor Dex is their main stat. If he's got Dragon Magic as his spell source, he can use Str in their place, but it's still not his main stat. He just charged a monster and dealt a bunch of damage to it. Who's it going to hit next round?

Quick note: Dex is exactly as important as Str to a sorcerer. I deal extra damage equal to my Dex mod.

Okay, okay. So, basically, my view of the rules doesn't fit with other people's view of the rules. I'm arguing more than semantics here. There are not rules present, other than the rules present.
When you wield a dagger as an implement, "dagger" doesn't suddenly appear in another place in any book. It is still under simple one-handed weapons, in the light weapon group. Sorcerer and Swordmages (and Pactblade Warlocks and Staff Wizards) are wielding weapons as implements, but using it as an implement does not take away the fact that a weapon is a weapon found on the weapon's table. It's still a weapon that you wield.

I just don't understand why this is wrong. If a warlock curses a target, it deals curse damage whenever if deals damage, not warlock power damage or arcane damage. Just damage. If a warlock hits a cursed enemy with a chair, it deals extra damage.
There is no wording anywhere to imply that sneak attack can't span power sources, and if we're all going to decide that a sorcerer or swordmage can't use their dinky little light blades for an extra 2d6 once per encounter after setting up a tactical advantage, then multiclassing in 4e just became much less potent.
Apparently, only martial characters should multiclass martial. Segregate the Power Sources.

Kurald Galain
2009-04-22, 10:08 AM
Apparently, only martial characters should multiclass martial. Segregate the Power Sources.

That is a non sequitur.

Burley
2009-04-22, 10:54 AM
That is a non sequitur.

Yes, Kurald. You're correct. That is a non sequitur. During my fit of righteous indignation, I thought I may use a literary device to further convey that I don't know why I'm wrong.

But, as you've got a knack for picking apart my posts for every minute discrepancy, and you chose this as the only thing not to correct, I still wonder if, where, and why the rest of my logic is flawed.

Asbestos
2009-04-22, 12:03 PM
Which is a pretty good indication that that's not the way things are supposed to work.

I disagree here. If Burley Warlock takes the route I suggested to snag Acid Orb as a melee basic attack (by taking the Dragon feat) ... and then MCs into rogue, I see no reason why they can't charge/sneak attack. Just because he can charge and do barbarian damage doesn't mean that he is anywhere near as capable as a barbarian. The Sorcerer is still a Sorcerer and as glass-cannony as ever. Unless BW spends feats on armor profs he's going to be ill-suited for melee combat in his cloth and striker hp. Also, he can only SA 1/encounter. His at-will charge damage example does not take this into account. It really isn't overpowered.

The issue with taking the daggermaster PP is that daggermaster in and of itself is way powerful. I don't know who at WotC thought that handing out a 18-20 crit range feature in Paragon was OK when the 19-20 crit range feats don't come until Epic and are rather costly in terms of ability scores.

Burley
2009-04-22, 02:23 PM
Well, since I've been looking through the Arcane Power book, I've decided this whole shebang is too much hassle. I'd still love to hear WotC's 'official' ruling on it, but it's more trouble that it's worth.

Asbestos: Maybe I don't have the AC that a barbarian has, but with my high Dex (chaos magic), halfling racial traits and a falcon familiar, I'd have an 18 AC against opportunity attacks (16 reflex).
Another thing about being able to use one of these at-wills as a melee basic attack would allow me to make opportunity attacks, which I honestly just thought of.

Anyways, I've decided to swap out my rogue multiclass feat for Skill Training: Thievery, get myself a Rat familiar and be a better thief than any rogue anyways. That'll show 'em to have an ambiguous class feature.:smalltongue:

JBento
2009-04-22, 05:47 PM
I'd like to offer my 2 eurocents in what concerns the Sorcerous Blade Channeling. 'Cause the first time I read it, I went BW's way. I really did. and then I read the feat again. And again. And again. And... hell, you know what I mean. And this is my conclusion.
The feat reads: "When you use any ranged sorcerer attack power through a dagger, (yadda yadda)". This means that you ALREADY have to be suing the power to use the feat. However, when you get to make a melee basic attack, you DON'T get to use a power (unless it specifically says otherwise), so you can't even begin to apply the feat. Therefore, your power (that you can't be using) is not affect by the feat (that doesn't come into effect), and you can't use it on your melee basic attack.

Er... I dunno how clear I was up there...

Colmarr
2009-04-22, 07:22 PM
Pretty clear, actually.

You're saying that a melee basic attack (such as at the end of a charge) is not a sorceror attack power and the feat cannot be applied to it.

I'm not sure whether you're right or not (I don't own PHB2 to go through all the logic myself), but your point is pretty clear.

Asbestos
2009-04-22, 07:37 PM
Another thing about being able to use one of these at-wills as a melee basic attack would allow me to make opportunity attacks, which I honestly just thought of.
Seriously... just get Sorcerous Blade Channeling and then get the feat from Dragon, you can now use all your spells in melee and Acid Orb is a melee basic attack.



Anyways, I've decided to swap out my rogue multiclass feat for Skill Training: Thievery, get myself a Rat familiar and be a better thief than any rogue anyways. That'll show 'em to have an ambiguous class feature.:smalltongue:
:smallconfused: But... Sneak of Shadows grants training in Thievery and gives you the 1/encounter Sneak Attack. Also, it isn't really a class feature with rogues, its just a skill they automatically get.

Burley
2009-04-23, 06:58 AM
:smallconfused: But... Sneak of Shadows grants training in Thievery and gives you the 1/encounter Sneak Attack. Also, it isn't really a class feature with rogues, its just a skill they automatically get.

The ambiguous feature is the Sneak Attack. Since I've got a handful of people saying that it's not possible, and actual group members hinting that it's not fair, I'm not going to press it further for my own character.
I took the Sneak of Shadows for the Thievery training, because Skill Training seems like a waste of a feat when you can multiclass. I'd rather be able to multiclass into something else later on, if something more interesting arises.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-04-23, 04:25 PM
Say... would you mind posting up the full text of Sorcerous Blade Channeling and Acid Orb? I don't have AP or PHB 2, but I'm a fair hand at interpreting rules-text - it's my job after all :smalltongue:

Burley
2009-04-24, 06:30 AM
Sure. They're both in the PH2.
Sorcerous Blade Channeling
Prerequisite: Sorcerer
Benefit: When you use any ranged sorcerer attack power through a dagger you can use the power as a melee attack. If you do so, the power's range equals your melee reach.
(I interpret it as: Change the word "ranged" to "melee" for your powers when you use a dagger.)
Acid Orb
Honestly, look at Edritch Blast. They're the exact same thing, except that Acid Orb is... Acid.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-04-24, 01:05 PM
Prerequisite: Sorcerer
Benefit: When you use any ranged sorcerer attack power through a dagger you can use the power as a melee attack. If you do so, the power's range equals your melee reach.
Huh, seems pretty straightforward.
It changes this:
At-Will ✦ Arcane, Implement
Standard Action Ranged 10
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma or Constitution vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d10 + Charisma or Constitution modifier damage. Increase damage to 2d10 + Charisma or Constitution modifier at 21st level.
Special: At 1st level. you determine whether you use Charisma or Constitution to attack with this power. Once you make that choice, you canít change it later.
This power counts as a ranged basic attack. When a power allows you to make a ranged basic attack, you can use this power.
into this:
At-Will ✦ Arcane, Implement
Standard Action Melee Touch
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma or Constitution vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d10 + Charisma or Constitution modifier damage. Increase damage to 2d10 + Charisma or Constitution modifier at 21st level.
Special: At 1st level. you determine whether you use Charisma or Constitution to attack with this power. Once you make that choice, you canít change it later.
This power counts as a ranged basic attack. When a power allows you to make a ranged basic attack, you can use this power.
The only point of contention would be the last line - do you change "ranged basic attack" even though it is not explicitly mentioned?

A Melee Touch Power is defined as follows:

A melee power affects a target (or targets) within melee reach. Many melee powers require a weapon. You make a separate attack roll against each target.

. . .

Melee touch: A melee power that has a range of ďtouchĒ can be used on any target you can reach.
A Melee attack cannot, by definition, be a Ranged attack. The attack no longer has a Ranged range, so it would make no sense for it to be a Melee Attack that can be used as a Ranged Basic Attack. This leaves you with two interpretation choices:

(1) Strike out the conflicting rules
Your attack can no longer be used to make any sort of basic attack

(2) Amend the conflicting rule to make sense with the other changes
Your attack can be used as a Melee Basic Attack.

I would go with #2, personally, since there doesn't seem to be any precedent for #1 in 4E.

Now, could you use it to make a Sneak Attack?

Sneak Attack: Once per round, when you have combat advantage against an enemy and are using a weapon from the light blade, the crossbow, or the sling weapon group, an attack you make against that enemy deals extra damage if the attack hits.
Now, when you are using your Dagger as an Implement, is it still a Light Blade? FAQ #21 seems to say yes.

If I am using a weapon as an implement, like a long sword for a Wizard of the Spiral Tower or a staff implement held in two hands, do I gain the extra damage from feats like Weapon Focus?

Yes, you do gain this bonus to damage.
And when do you can extra damage from Weapon Focus?

Weapon Focus

Benefit: Choose a specific weapon group, such as spears or heavy blades. You gain a +1 feat bonus to damage rolls with your chosen weapon group. At 11th level, this bonus increases to +2. At 21st level, it increases to +3.
Apparently, when using "a weapon as an implement" the weapon-as-implement retains its "weapon group" classification. As Sneak Attack only requires an attack with Combat Advantage from an appropriate weapon group to work, it does.

Personally, I find this ludicrous - how does being really good at swinging around heavy blades let you zap people with extra damage when firing off a ranged Paladin power from 50' away? - but the RAW is clear. The only possible objection is that a Weapon-As-Implement may retain its Weapon Group, but is no longer a Weapon; a tenuous objection at best with no RAW backing.

So yes, you can deal Sneak Attack damage with Daggers-as-Implements (true for Warlocks too!) and you should be able to use Sorcerous Blade Channeling to make Basic Melee Attacks.

Kurald Galain
2009-04-25, 12:57 PM
Yes, Kurald. You're correct. That is a non sequitur. During my fit of righteous indignation, I thought I may use a literary device to further convey that I don't know why I'm wrong.
Quite simply, people have explained at length in this thread why they disagree with you (but note that nobody is calling it "wrong" except for you).

As you said, you "just don't understand why". It then begs the question whether you are interested in learning why people think so, or whether you are trying to convince them to agree with you.

MickJay
2009-04-25, 04:19 PM
I am way out of my depth here, since in general I loathe 4e and everything in it but...
... Well, this is after all a role-playing-game. So far no one has brought up the notion that the abstraction for, say, an acid orb charge might be perfectly legitimate. I have little trouble imagining a halfling magus suddenly calling a sphere of smoky green fluid into being above his hand, then running screaming towards and ogre and pasting him right in the sweetmeats with it.

Does no one even bother to abstract the rules anymore? :smalleek:

I fully agree with your point, I wanted to write something similar. When in doubt, I always try to think whether a specific action could or would make sense, regardless of the rules. If it would, then it's just the matter of working out the way it can be smoothly translated to the game's mechanics, excluding possiblities of abusing it at the same time (even if it's by simply stating "if you'll try to use it in a way that would make it more powerful than [something else], it won't work").