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Swordguy
2009-05-26, 10:04 AM
Wind Wall: An invisible vertical curtain of wind appears. It is 2 feet thick and of considerable strength. It is a roaring blast sufficient to blow away any bird smaller than an eagle, or tear papers and similar materials from unsuspecting hands. (A Reflex save allows a creature to maintain its grasp on an object.) Tiny and Small flying creatures cannot pass through the barrier. Loose materials and cloth garments fly upward when caught in a wind wall. Arrows and bolts are deflected upward and miss, while any other normal ranged weapon passing through the wall has a 30% miss chance. (A giant-thrown boulder, a siege engine projectile, and other massive ranged weapons are not affected.) Gases, most gaseous breath weapons, and creatures in gaseous form cannot pass through the wall (although it is no barrier to incorporeal creatures).

So, my players finally ran into a caster using Wind Wall+Fly as a defensive mechanism, and pretty much bounced off. So they're trying to find ways around the spell (bless their black hearts) using alternative thought, rather than rerolling a bunch of casters.

They've come up with 2 options:

1) Phase Arrow (There's an Arcane Archer in the party): At 6th level, an arcane archer can launch an arrow once per day at a target known to her within range, and the arrow travels to the target in a straight path, passing through any nonmagical barrier or wall in its way. (Any magical barrier stops the arrow.) This ability negates cover, concealment, and even armor modifiers, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally.

So, is a Wind Wall considered a magical barrier? I thought so at first, but the spell seemingly creates simple, nonmagical wind that is only magically propelled - the wind itself isn't magical. This introduced other issues as well, such as if it's a magical barrier, than by precedent the Wall of Iron would be as well. In fact, if the simple equation "magic+barrier=magical barrier", then you can drop a Light Spell on a totally mundane wall in front of you and be protected. On the other hand, Wind Wall is Evocation, while most of the "Wall" spells are Conjuration. I can see this one going either way. So, can a phase arrow beat a Wind Wall?



2) Shrink Item on a ballista (and bolts) to crossbow-size, and simply use the shrunken ballista as a heavy crossbow - straight-up. A ballista is simply a mounted HUGE crossbow in the first place. Nothing in the Shrink Item descriptor says the item can't be used while shrunken. Optional bit of cheese: PC gets Wand of Shrink Item. He shrinks the ammo. Fires ammo from shrunken ballista. After firing, uses free action to speak the command word that restores said ammo to its original size (and damage). Shrunken Ballista: does it beat a Wind Wall?

Keld Denar
2009-05-26, 10:13 AM
Area Dispel Magic? Certainly available much earlier than freakin Phase Arrow.

Plus, it should be noted that Wind Wall is cylindrical and vertical. Yup, that means it doesn't have a bottom. So, if you can, move up under it and shoot straight up. Not only will it avoid the Wind Wall, but any hits are garunteed to be VERY uncomfortable!

/cast protection from Ninja Eldariel

Swordguy
2009-05-26, 10:17 AM
Area Dispel Magic? Certainly available much earlier than freakin Phase Arrow.

Plus, it should be noted that Wind Wall is cylindrical and vertical. Yup, that means it doesn't have a bottom. So, if you can, move up under it and shoot straight up. Not only will it avoid the Wind Wall, but any hits are garunteed to be VERY uncomfortable!

/cast protection from Ninja Eldariel



There is no caster in the party with Dispel Magic. Please leave disparaging commentary about group optimization level at the door.

There IS an Arcane Archer. Thusly, a phase arrow is significantly easier to come by than Dispel Magic. :smallwink:

Dark_Scary
2009-05-26, 10:28 AM
Please leave disparaging commentary about group optimization level at the door.

There was no disparaging of optimization. He only said that Dispel Magic is available before a level 11+ ability. He was commenting on the freaking huge level gap between level 5 and level 11+.

AmberVael
2009-05-26, 10:31 AM
I'm pretty sure that Wind Wall would count as a magical barrier.

Makes Phase Arrow pretty worthless, really. As a DM, I'd rule that it COULD go through magical walls, just so it would have a use. Up to you, but how often does it really come into play if it can't go through magic barriers? Magic barriers are typically the only ones you can see through (unless you've got special knowledge or perhaps a ring of x-ray vision).

However, though this is also somewhat questionable, if you have an Arcane Archer able to use Phase Arrow, why not go with Seeker Arrow? It swerves around any obstacles, and I do believe Wind Wall could reasonably count for that. What does it matter if he has wind wall up if an arrow arches over it and then goes straight down towards his head?

Swordguy
2009-05-26, 10:36 AM
There was no disparaging of optimization. He only said that Dispel Magic is available before a level 11+ ability. He was commenting on the freaking huge level gap between level 5 and level 11+.

Simply pre-empting said commentary, which can be depressingly common around here (see the monk/paladin thread, for example).



However, though this is also somewhat questionable, if you have an Arcane Archer able to use Phase Arrow, why not go with Seeker Arrow?

Hmmm...good point. They didn't note that one, but they should've. I'll mention it to the Archer if it ends up being necessary - I'd like them to think things through on their own as much as possible.

Talic
2009-05-26, 10:41 AM
First, wind wall is an Evocation spell with a duration of rounds. It is most certainly a magical effect. The question is, is it a barrier. While not a physical solid, it does list itself to stop arrows. I'd say it qualifies as a barrier to arrows. Incidentally, other Evocation energy barriers that stop things? Wall of Force.



Arrows and bolts are deflected upward and miss, while any other normal ranged weapon passing through the wall has a 30% miss chance.

So... Javelins. Spears. Sling bullets. Thrown Daggers. Pretty much anything that's not an "arrow" or a "bolt" has a 70% shot of punching through the wall.

Also... Magic Missile. Scorching Ray. Orb of X. Other spells that work at range to damage foes.

Swordguy
2009-05-26, 10:43 AM
First, wind wall is an Evocation spell with a duration of rounds. It is most certainly a magical effect. The question is, is it a barrier. While not a physical solid, it does list itself to stop arrows. I'd say it qualifies as a barrier to arrows. Incidentally, other Evocation energy barriers that stop things? Wall of Force.


Yeah, I was thinking about that as a precedent. OK - Phase Arrow's off the list.

Now, what about the ballista?

Keld Denar
2009-05-26, 10:48 AM
Sorry for suggesting Dispel Magic. I wasn't aware that your group was completely casterless. Might have been helpful if you included that...

Irregardless of whether or not Phase Arrow works or not, its only 1x/day. Archer better be packin some serious heat on that arrow, or chances are its gonna sting the caster a little, but otherwise not really raise a concern. And thats IF the PC picks the right Mirror Image or hits the caster's AC or whatever.

Whats wrong with my idea of just walking under the caster and shooting straight up? Certainly easier than doing the physics to figure out what angle to shoot the arrow at so that the end of the arc intersects with the casters body.

The other alternative is just to walk away. Wind Wall is immobile. So...take all your stuff and just leave. The longest spells are only gonna have a range of ~500-600 feet. Thats....4ish run actions for a 30 move character to get out of the range completely, and they'll be out of range of medium ranged spells after about the 1st round. If the caster chaces them, he'll have to leave his Wind Wall, at which point he'll be vulnerable to Transmute Wizard into Pincushon again. Unless the caster in question is defending a location that the PCs have to get to or some other uncomfortable roleplaying circumstance, just leave. Its still considered "overcoming" the challenge, since conflict was avoided (if caster doesn't chase) or defeated (if the caster chases and leave the protection of Wind Wall and gets promptly shot down).

Justin B.
2009-05-26, 10:57 AM
I would make the opposite argument for Phase Arrow. The wind isn't a magical barrier, it's a wind that is redirecting arrows. Phase arrow ceases to make physicaobstructions a problem for the arrow, so it is probably no longer subject to some blowing wind.

Eldariel
2009-05-26, 10:58 AM
How about the melee types just fly to him? Surely someone has some gear that enables flight? Also, improvised thrown weapons could work; provided the caster's AC isn't stellar, simply using large enough weapons to penetrate the Wall could work (only 30% miss chance). Surely someone in the party has a golfbag of Javelins?

This is if Keld's plan doesn't work (I'd also like to point out that Seeking Arrow has 1/day limit too so even if both, Phase & Seeking Arrow hit, chances are the caster would still be standing). Of course, if someone has "Profession: Siege Engineer" or "Knowledge: Architecture and Engineering" and the party has at least Giant-level Strength type to act as the engine, they could try to construct an improvised catapult or something.


For what it's worth, I'd allow Phase Arrow to fly through; I've always understood that passage as "Wall of Force or similar effects".

Swordguy
2009-05-26, 11:02 AM
Sorry for suggesting Dispel Magic. I wasn't aware that your group was completely casterless. Might have been helpful if you included that...


Well, the point was to do this without resorting to casting FX, via the methods suggested in the OP. I just get tired of "have a caster do it" every time there's a problem on these boards - it's not personal. Just an aggregate irritation.

The group DOES have a caster - he just won't cast Dispel Magic. He worships Mystra, and feels that destroying magical FX is an affront to his goddess (which is a GREAT bit of RP that I'm not about to screw with by forcing him into a situation where he has to break that vow). The guy's playing a wizard, and plays it as a mix between semi-blaster (Fireball, mainly - no Orbs or Rays) and Buffer Of Other People Who Aren't Him.

The point to this whole thing is finding alternative ways through Wind Wall that don't necessarily revolve around throwing magic at it. Yes, I know that both the Arcane Archer and the Shrink Item trick involve magic. That's different.




Whats wrong with my idea of just walking under the caster and shooting straight up? Certainly easier than doing the physics to figure out what angle to shoot the arrow at so that the end of the arc intersects with the casters body.

Nothing wrong with it at all. I'm actually surprised nobody's ever suggested it before when Wind Wall's been brought up.



The other alternative is just to walk away.

So noted. It's just not really possible in this case. Long story (and entirely the PCs fault). But, noted for future reference.

Talic
2009-05-26, 11:09 AM
I would make the opposite argument for Phase Arrow. The wind isn't a magical barrier, it's a wind that is redirecting arrows. Phase arrow ceases to make physicaobstructions a problem for the arrow, so it is probably no longer subject to some blowing wind.

You apply too much reasoning to the ability.

An evocation effect that blocks arrows for 1 round/level is an ongoing Magical Effect.

An invisible vertical curtain of wind appears. Note: It doesn't say "magically accelerates regular wind."

Tiny and Small flying creatures cannot pass through the barrier. It qualifies as a Barrier.

Magical effect that is a barrier...

Sounds pretty darn cut-and-dry.

Swordguy
2009-05-26, 11:14 AM
You apply too much reasoning to the ability.

An evocation effect that blocks arrows for 1 round/level is an ongoing Magical Effect.
Note: It doesn't say "magically accelerates regular wind."
It qualifies as a Barrier.

Magically-created effect that is a barrier...

Sounds pretty darn cut-and-dry.

Just to Devil's Advocate for a sec...

A Wall of Iron is a magically-created effect that is a barrier. Yet once created, it's completely mundane. The iron in and of itself isn't magical, merely the means by which it was created.

"An invisible vertical curtain of wind appears." What's magical about this? Invisibility? You can't see wind anyway. Vertical curtain? Wind Shears do this all the time. The Wind itself? Wind isn't inherently magical. The manner in which it appears is certainly magic, but whether the wind itself - the actual "thing" that makes up the barrier - is magical is up for debate.

(The obvious counter is that this discrepancy is the difference between Evocation and Conjuration - but it's not quite as cut-and-dry as it may seem initially.)

Keld Denar
2009-05-26, 11:24 AM
The group DOES have a caster - he just won't cast Dispel Magic. He worships Mystra, and feels that destroying magical FX is an affront to his goddess (which is a GREAT bit of RP that I'm not about to screw with by forcing him into a situation where he has to break that vow). The guy's playing a wizard, and plays it as a mix between semi-blaster (Fireball, mainly - no Orbs or Rays) and Buffer Of Other People Who Aren't Him.


Well, looks like your wizard just had a learning experience. Memorize a Fly spell, or keep a scroll or 3 of Fly lying around, buff a BSF, have him fly THROUGH the WW, and either kill the caster, or chase him out into the open. Dispel magic is only the most obvious solution, but Fly is a great 2nd.

As far as the shrink item thing...Balista bolts don't have fletching. Nor are they likely to have a nock or whatever to be used in a crossbow. While similar, they are not the same. Also, since the mass changes with shrink item, a shrunken balista bolt would have the same mass as a crossbow bolt and thus be impacted by a Wind Wall. Thats like saying you carve a 1:20th scale balista bolt, and it should be able to punch through a WW because its a scaled down balista bolt, not a crossbow bolt. Thats dumb. If it looks like a bolt, has the same weight and areodynamics as a bolt, it'll get pwned by a Wind Wall like a bolt.

And for changing the mass mid flight...either you follow the rules of physics which say that momentum is conserved (MV1 = MV2, when M1 increases to M2, V1 will drop significantly), or you don't and follow the D&D rules. Dismissing a spell is a STANDARD action, not free, even if its just a command word, and you can't take actions out of turn. Thus, the bolt would reach the target before the caster of the shrink item could dismiss the spell mid flight. You couldn't even ready an action, since readied actions happen before the action that triggered them and the bolt would change size in the crossbow before launch.

So yea...the shrink item thing is faught with problems to address from timing to physics to areodynamics and all that.

Animefunkmaster
2009-05-26, 11:25 AM
Ok, so we have already concluded that the windwall's wind which is created by magic is a magical barrier. As far as the shrink item goes, if I were DM I would be fine with it (although I may attach another roll, perhaps percentile, for the command word at the right time), since I think it would be fairly cinematic.

I think the implication of the spell isn't just that heavy objects get through windwall (which is the raw) but the force used to propel those objects. Which does bring into question the force being able to propel your de-shrunk balista (which is beyond raw and should be up to the dm).

So all in all, what I am saying is: Shrunken balista de-shrunk does get through the wall via raw. The ability to successfully fire a de-shrunk balista is in the realm of the DM.

Other non magical ways to get through the wall is to: walk through it (assuming they are medium sized), find enough cover to be beyond line of effect and let the wall fade (round per level isn't that long)... or both. Use a towershield as total cover and walk in.


If you donít have line of effect to your target he is considered to have total cover from you. You canít make an attack against a target that has total cover.

Then once ready deploy ranged attacks. That should be a simple non-costly, non-magical way to defeat a wind wall +fly

derfenrirwolv
2009-05-26, 11:30 AM
Can anyone in the party fly? Windwall doesn't do squat against melee attacks , or someone flying up and grappling the caster. Or climbing the wall and jumping at them. Or Casting enlarge person and having them throw the halfling at them if you have one.

Grappling hook into the wall and tarzan in?

Use the wall against them. Keep broken glass and sand on hand. If they're putting the windwall around themselves, pour the glass and sand into the wall and let it whip up around the caster, it will cause some serious concentration checks at the least.

Standing in the casters square on the ground level works.



And yes, windwall is a barrier. (wind WALL) And yes, its magic. Its evocation in particular, so any idea that its a summoned bit of wind from the elemental plane of air or natural air molecules being blown about are simply spurious.

AzazelSephiroth
2009-05-26, 11:32 AM
This in response to the idea of shrinking Ballista and other large weapon types. I have never encountered said event, however it sounds pretty inventive and I would rule that it could work. If the person in question were to shrink the item to normal crossbow size and then fire and free action speak the word to enlarge then- well done party.

on the second note I will mention that it is difficult to activate a swift action after your initial standard action. However if you allow them to say- dispell thier wand's effect as a free action... then I say let them have fun!

Be warned that this precedent could lead to much abusing by your players if you are not careful. Remember that PCs, even the best of them, will use the most dangerous or potential powerful ability they can. And this shrink and enlarge scheme could be a potential breaker later. But hell it would make storming the castle sooooo much easier!

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-05-26, 11:37 AM
Simply pre-empting said commentary, which can be depressingly common around here (see the monk/paladin thread, for example).You mean the thread based around optimization?

Javelins or other thrown weapons work. Flying up and fighting him yourselves also works, if you can make the save to get through. Depending on how high the Wizard is, you may be able to jump him with the right builds.

Dark_Scary
2009-05-26, 11:38 AM
1) The Wind is magical because dispel Magic makes the wind disappear. (Well, Wall of Force is immune to Dispel, but is still magic, but whatever.) The wind is ongoing only as long as magic is in play. Wall of Stone/Iron is instantaneous creation magic.

2) People don't do the move under and shoot thing because Wizards operate on Standard actions and Fighters operate on full round attacks, meaning you get one attack per round and he's still at full power. If you have a Scout who uses Greater Many Shot or Travel devotion, they can negate the wind wall (though they have other problems, like not having Wizard be immune to crits/concealed). Alternatively, if you have multiple archers who can take him out, one can stand on one side of the wall, another on the other. Of course, Cylinders are a problem in that they create 3 sides for the mage to run too.

Talic
2009-05-26, 11:52 AM
Just to Devil's Advocate for a sec...

A Wall of Iron is a magically-created effect that is a barrier. Yet once created, it's completely mundane. The iron in and of itself isn't magical, merely the means by which it was created.

"An invisible vertical curtain of wind appears." What's magical about this? Invisibility? You can't see wind anyway. Vertical curtain? Wind Shears do this all the time. The Wind itself? Wind isn't inherently magical. The manner in which it appears is certainly magic, but whether the wind itself - the actual "thing" that makes up the barrier - is magical is up for debate.

(The obvious counter is that this discrepancy is the difference between Evocation and Conjuration - but it's not quite as cut-and-dry as it may seem initially.)
Yes, Wall of Iron is mundane after creation. By RAW. Instantaneous Duration conjuration spells are created by magic, but are thereafter normal solid objects, nonmagical in every way.

Spells with durations, however, are sustained and supported by magic. Without the magic, it would not exist. There isn't a much better definition of a magical barrier than "a freakin' barrier that is created and sustained by magic".

Devils_Advocate
2009-05-26, 04:00 PM
Shrunken Ballista: does it beat a Wind Wall?
I say yes, because it maintains the same velocity, and thus increases in momentum (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6159983&posted=1#post6159983). However, by RAW, projectiles deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/enlargePerson.htm), so they'd need to restore the ballista to regular size first to increase their damage.


The group DOES have a caster - he just won't cast Dispel Magic. He worships Mystra, and feels that destroying magical FX is an affront to his goddess (which is a GREAT bit of RP that I'm not about to screw with by forcing him into a situation where he has to break that vow).
Eh, that all depends. It could come off as awkward and nonsensical if Mystra isn't actually anti-dispelling and her normal followers have no reason to think she is. It depends on the campaign world, really. Sort of like the follower of a god of love and healing independently deciding that his god is pacifist. Might be viable, or might just seem kinda nuts in a setting where violence is so routine that no one really questions its necessity.

ZeroNumerous
2009-05-26, 04:43 PM
Bloodstorm Blade turns thrown weapons into melee attacks. A brilliant energy bow might qualify since it ignores physical objects. Soulbow certainly doesn't care about a Wind Wall.


Dismissing a spell is a STANDARD action, not free, even if its just a command word, and you can't take actions out of turn

Readied action to dismiss moments before it flies through the wind wall?

Talic
2009-05-26, 06:04 PM
By RAW, arrows have no flight time.

Also, Dispel Magic? I prefer to think of it as smoothing the weave, returning the energy to the source.

Hawriel
2009-05-26, 06:49 PM
The wind in the wind wall spell is normal air. Magic is manipulating the air to swirls around in a circle with an uneffected center. Like being in the eye of a hirrecane. Its the physical force of the air that makes it a barrier. Some things dont have the strength/mass to get though (an arrow, or a halfling) while other things do (boulders, or a bear). The the same as crossing a slow stream or a rushing river. Wind Wall is a physical because air is. However it is permeable.

The magical energy is causing the behavior of the air. It does not have any other physical effect. There is no force effect. This is not a 'force wind' spell. Which would be cool a homebew spell. I would rule that a phase arrow would get through with out a problem. If the phase works like wraith form or some other etherial effect.

The spell does say its a wall not a sphere, so getting above or below should bypass it. I wouldnt say the wall is invisiable if its cast on a ground. The wind would kick up leaves and dirt and other light debris. The uper limits of the wall could be deduced in a few rounds of observation. If the wind wall is centered on a flying target you could run underneath.

The balista.

I see what your saying but is a balista available? They are rather big and you need to transport them dissasembled in a wagon. Would it be better to cast enlarge on a heavy crossbow? Or cast enlarge on a large rock and throw that. Cast enlarge on the fighter and have him charge. Use earth or plant based magic to attack the wind walled mage from below. The party I was in afew months ago used wind wall. The NPC where humans and orcs they charged through it. The halfing party member was caught in the wall and flung 30 yards away. :smallamused:

Leon
2009-05-27, 02:04 AM
(and entirely the PCs fault).

That is frequently the case

Haven
2009-05-27, 02:07 AM
The wind in the wind wall spell is normal air. Magic is manipulating the air to swirls around in a circle with an uneffected center. Like being in the eye of a hirrecane. Its the physical force of the air that makes it a barrier. Some things dont have the strength/mass to get though (an arrow, or a halfling) while other things do (boulders, or a bear). The the same as crossing a slow stream or a rushing river. Wind Wall is a physical because air is. However it is permeable.

The magical energy is causing the behavior of the air. It does not have any other physical effect. There is no force effect. This is not a 'force wind' spell. Which would be cool a homebew spell. I would rule that a phase arrow would get through with out a problem. If the phase works like wraith form or some other etherial effect.


I disagree; it's like Fireball, actually evoking the element, rather than just stirring it up.

Swordguy
2009-05-27, 08:56 AM
By RAW, arrows have no flight time.

Also, Dispel Magic? I prefer to think of it as smoothing the weave, returning the energy to the source.

Actually, by RAW, it doesn't say one way or the other.



The balista.

I see what your saying but is a balista available? They are rather big and you need to transport them dissasembled in a wagon. Would it be better to cast enlarge on a heavy crossbow?

The Shrink Item spell can be permenancied. Also, we've got one RAWtard in our group - so we have to split legal hairs here. Regardless of the size of the weapon, a ballista bolt will penetrate a Wind Wall, while a crossbow bolt won't - by RAW. This is why we can't just enlarge a crossbow or something. The fact that a shrunken ballista is, essentially, identical to a regular crossbow is simply coincidence.

Convenience. Sorry - I'm going off caffeine this week and not thinking entirely straight.

Another_Poet
2009-05-27, 09:20 AM
1) Phase Arrow (There's an Arcane Archer in the party): At 6th level, an arcane archer can launch an arrow once per day at a target known to her within range, and the arrow travels to the target in a straight path, passing through any nonmagical barrier or wall in its way. (Any magical barrier stops the arrow.) This ability negates cover, concealment, and even armor modifiers, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally.

So, is a Wind Wall considered a magical barrier? I thought so at first, but the spell seemingly creates simple, nonmagical wind that is only magically propelled - the wind itself isn't magical. This introduced other issues as well, such as if it's a magical barrier, than by precedent the Wall of Iron would be as well. In fact, if the simple equation "magic+barrier=magical barrier", then you can drop a Light Spell on a totally mundane wall in front of you and be protected. On the other hand, Wind Wall is Evocation, while most of the "Wall" spells are Conjuration. I can see this one going either way. So, can a phase arrow beat a Wind Wall?

I think the school of magic answers the question. Conjuration brings something into existence, which may have mundane non-magical properties. Evocation brings something magical into existence. In my mind, since the air in the wind wall couldn't possibly hold wall form on its own, there is a wall of magic in place. A wall of iron can hold wall form on its own, and the magic is gone the second it is created.

So no, I don't think Phase Arrow can strike through wind wall.



2) Shrink Item on a ballista (and bolts) to crossbow-size, and simply use the shrunken ballista as a heavy crossbow - straight-up.

Not so simple. Remember a ballista doesn't have a trigger like a crossbow nor is it shaped such to be braced against the shoulder and fired. That means that, as per the DMG you'll need to make skill checks to get the thing loaded, aimed and fired (I forget the exact skill, check your DMG, it's something like profession (siege engine) or something that.)

Now on top of the usual skill checks, you've now shrunk the ballista's hand-holds, loading mechanisms etc and you're trying to operate these miniature controls with your normal fingers. I think that'll raise the DC. Plus you're not able to aim properly, -4 to attack for non-proficiency.

The moral of the story is just use it full-size. As long as you're buying a ballista, hire a crew of three trained ballistamen to operate it for you. If it's important to shrink it down, shrink them too so that there's no question of whether it can be operated.

Of course, if your non-mage PCs can somehow get a hold of the magic to shrink ballistas, they can surely get a hold of the magic to dispel wind walls. Or, you know, just strap rocks to their feet and walk through.

ap

CheshireCatAW
2009-05-27, 11:18 AM
Wind Wall:

I believe it would have to be composed of magical air. We treat Fireball's burst as magical fire, right? Therefore we should probably treat the Wind Wall's wind the same way. The individual "strands" of magical wind compose themselves into a coherent barrier for the intents and purposes of this topic, so it would probably be considered a magical barrier. Now, if all that the spell did was make huge fans at foot level that blew wind up, the story might be different, but to the best of my knowledge there's no indication that the spell does that effect, while there's every indication that the spell actually creates and sustains the wind.

A possible solution, how about counterspelling? Now, I've never played a wizard before (to my shame, I know, but I'm just more of a Rogue), but would this be feasable? It wouldn't be destroying magic per say, more like a "duel" of magic, which might seem more attractive to your wizard.

Crossbow/Ballista:

A ballista is "basically" a large crossbow, but not quite. I very, very vaguely remember some rules for large creatures using them as crossbows in Heroes of Battle, but I'm away from my books right now. If that is the case, you might have precedent to shrink and use them as a crossbow. If that is the case, then it would not penetrate the wind wall because you would be using it as a crossbow and not a ballista.

I hope that helped, and kudos to your wizard for choosing roleplay over convenience. Although I agree Mystra probably doesn't mind dispell magic, as in real world religions, it's ultimately up to the worshipper to choose what is significant to them.

Keld Denar
2009-05-27, 11:28 AM
Regardless of the size of the weapon, a ballista bolt will penetrate a Wind Wall, while a crossbow bolt won't - by RAW.

There is a passage in reach weapons about being appropriate sized for the wielder in order to confer their benefits. You could extrapolate that to other weapons, stating that reduced sized siege weapons are no longer "siege" weapons just the same as reduced sized reach weapons no longer give augemented reach. Its not explicitly spelled out, but it can be easily infered as a similar ruling in the absense of an exact rule.

I'm all in favor of rewarding players for creative solutions to problems, but blatent rules abuse of treating 2 nearly identical objects as completely different objects just to avoid a certain condition is stupid.

Just make a new item. Call it a fgfdhw, and make it identical to a crossbow. Fgfdhw's shoot rtyers. Since its a rtyer and not a crossbow bolt, it can penetrate a Wind Wall. Right? If this sounds as stupid to you as it does to me, then don't allow it.

Devils_Advocate
2009-05-27, 05:05 PM
Do the rules specify what qualifies as a "siege engine"? If not, that's up to the DM to determine. Ruling that it depends on size seems like the obvious option.

(But I suppose that a ballista may be described as being a siege engine, in which case the RAWtard would surely argue that shrinking it doesn't change that, since it's not a listed effect of the spell. :smallyuk:)

Swordguy
2009-05-27, 09:39 PM
(But I suppose that a ballista may be described as being a siege engine, in which case the RAWtard would surely argue that shrinking it doesn't change that, since it's not a listed effect of the spell. :smallyuk:)

Yup. That. A ballista is a type of siege engine, much like a crossbow is a type of "piercing weapon" - the size doesn't factor into it. Still it's something that works for me in this case, since I don't mind something that drops the Wizard's power level, even if slightly.

For once, being a RAWtard works in favor of not breaking the game! (Until they figure out a way to break the game with this ruling, obviously. :smallyuk: )

Another_Poet
2009-05-28, 01:41 AM
Since the Wind Wall description goes out of its way to give "giant-thrown boulders" and "other massive ranged weapons" as an example of what can cross Wind Wall, right there next to ballistae, I'd say size definitely figures in. They didn't say thrown rocks can cross Wind Wall - that is something any character can do. They said giant-thrown boulders. According to the Rock Throwing ability description in the various giant entries, such boulders weigh 40-50 pounds (thrown by Large giants) or up to 80 lbs (thrown by Huge giants). Moreover the Rock Throwing description specifies that giant-thrown boulders are either Small or Medium sized objects in their own right (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/giant.htm). If they were Shrink Object'd down to a smaller size category they would no longer count as "massive ranged weapons" and neither would ballistae.

Seriously, it is so friggin' obvious that ballista bolts only cross Wind Wall because they are huge and have too much momentum to simply be stopped by wind. It has nothing to do with whether or not they are crossbows.

I'm sorry, I try not to judge other DMs' decisions, but in this case...

If you allow the shrink ballista trick you have actually dealt hp damage to Dungeons and Dragons itself. Your ruling is so poor it lowers the quality of gaming sessions on the opposite side of the world. People in Australia are setting down their miniatures and dice and wondering why they feel like they just died a little inside.

Unless YOU are in Australia, in which case, maybe it's people in Norway.

Khanderas
2009-05-28, 04:12 AM
Seriously, it is so friggin' obvious that ballista bolts only cross Wind Wall because they are huge and have too much momentum to simply be stopped by wind. It has nothing to do with whether or not they are crossbows.

I'm sorry, I try not to judge other DMs' decisions, but in this case...

If you allow the shrink ballista trick you have actually dealt hp damage to Dungeons and Dragons itself. Your ruling is so poor it lowers the quality of gaming sessions on the opposite side of the world. People in Australia are setting down their miniatures and dice and wondering why they feel like they just died a little inside.

Unless YOU are in Australia, in which case, maybe it's people in Norway.
Harsh, but I generally agree.
I would not let a balistae bolt, shrunken to the size and weight of a crossbow bolt, work in any way different to Windwall then just a crossbow bolt. Feels obvious to me.
I would also judge the special phase arrow as working there. The wall may be conjured up but what is stopping an arrow is the wind and if it is wind that throws arrows out of whack, an arrow that can pass an iron wall should have little problem. One shot a day, let him have it I say.

Devils_Advocate
2009-05-28, 04:35 PM
Eh, if blatant unrealism kills D&D, I'm pretty sure it's a zombie already. It's not a simulation. This particular ruling really does not seem like a big deal in the overall scheme of things, even though it is an egregious violation of common sense. I'd say that it doesn't break verisimilitude too badly just because it's one small detail that's easily forgotten when you're not thinking about it.

I guess you could say that Evocation [Air] spells just set existing air in motion, instead of magically producing new air. In which case wind wall doesn't create a magical barrier any more than moving a wall telekinetically does.

But then, you could just as easily say that Evocation [Air] spells do create new air. I don't see an RAW basis for either interpretation over the other, so this really looks like the DM's call.

woodenbandman
2009-05-28, 04:53 PM
Why not just ban wind wall? Casters have over 9000 other ways to avoid getting hit by attacks, and the Wind Wall spell is just silly and it totally ruins any character who would ever even consider shooting a bow. It's basically a spell that says "No, you can't shoot me with that bow, because fighters can't have nice things."

It's not like the caster will miss it. He'll have Mirror Image/Displacement/Greater Blink/The Jesus Factor anyway, it's not like he needs his wind wall.

erikun
2009-05-28, 09:24 PM
Obvious solutions: walk though the wall, Dispel Magic, Fly. I appreciate that your characters don't want to use Dispel for RP reasons - and really, there should be more solutions than just "dispel it".

As for Crossbow v. Ballista, I have to say no. As Another Poet put it, the text clearly indicates that massive projectiles can pass through, not that there is something magical about Ballista ammo that allows it to bypass the spell. Heck, it doesn't even mention the word "ballista" anywhere in the text.

Of course, reading the text of Wind Wall, it looks like projectiles "fly upward when caught in a wind wall". If the PCs are shrinking thinks anyways, it might just be practical to shrink a bunch of boulders, throw them at the wall, then return them to normal size when they're still somewhere above the BBEG's head.

Siosilvar
2009-05-28, 09:41 PM
Why not just ban wind wall? Casters have over 9000 other ways to avoid getting hit by attacks, and the Wind Wall spell is just silly and it totally ruins any character who would ever even consider shooting a bow. It's basically a spell that says "No, you can't shoot me with that bow, because fighters can't have nice things."

It's not like the caster will miss it. He'll have Mirror Image/Displacement/Greater Blink/The Jesus Factor anyway, it's not like he needs his wind wall.
Did you miss that the caster was an NPC?

Hawriel
2009-05-28, 10:20 PM
Of course, reading the text of Wind Wall, it looks like projectiles "fly upward when caught in a wind wall". If the PCs are shrinking thinks anyways, it might just be practical to shrink a bunch of boulders, throw them at the wall, then return them to normal size when they're still somewhere above the BBEG's head.

This has been a standard tactic sence my friends and high where in high school.

sofawall
2009-05-28, 11:30 PM
Just to Devil's Advocate for a sec...

A Wall of Iron is a magically-created effect that is a barrier. Yet once created, it's completely mundane. The iron in and of itself isn't magical, merely the means by which it was created.


Fireball is a magically-created effect that is a... Well, isn't a barrier, but whatever. Once created, the fire is totally mundane. The fire in and of itself isn't magical, merely the means by which it was created :P

And for a rules version, like has been said a few times, ongoing effects are different from instantaneous. As DM, you can house-rule however you like, but rules say "No."

Animefunkmaster
2009-05-28, 11:47 PM
Bloodstorm Blade turns thrown weapons into melee attacks. A brilliant energy bow might qualify since it ignores physical objects. Soulbow certainly doesn't care about a Wind Wall.

I would like to clear a few things up with this post. A Bloodstorm blade has two parts to it's ability. First note that it changes a ranged attack roll into a melee attack roll (emphasis mine). It doesn't change the fact that your making a ranged attack with a thrown weapon, only the attack roll is considered a melee attack roll, therefore it is still susceptible to windwall (based on the weapon that was in use). Secondly it allows you to power attack with thrown weapons. (Many people assume you can because you are treated as making a melee attack, but this is in error, it is specifically raw)

Next, Brilliant energy can only be applied to melee, thrown weapons, and ammunition, which in reality isn't a big deal, just splitting hairs).

Finally, a Soulbow's mind arrow is identical in all ways (except visually) to an arrow shot from a composite longbow, even it's phase arrow ability doesn't bypass windwall as the wind wall is a magical barrier.

Edit: Ok, so I never thought you meant treat the shrunken balista bolt as a siege engine projectile for the purposes of getting through a windwall while shrunk. Lets face it, once it is shrunk, it can no longer be fired by a siege engine, and is therefore not a "siege engine projectile" for the purposes of wind wall.

Edit2: I need to throw in an srd quote in nearly all my posts, here is one proving evocation Air is a magical barrier.


(The effects of instantaneous conjurations are not affected by an antimagic field because the conjuration itself is no longer in effect, only its result.)

Since windwall is not an instantaneous conjuration it is in fact a magical barrier.

Talic
2009-05-29, 12:21 AM
I would like to clear a few things up with this post. A Bloodstorm blade has two parts to it's ability. First note that it changes a ranged attack roll into a melee attack roll (emphasis mine).
I would like to clear a few things up with your post.


As a swift action, you can choose to treat your ranged attack rolls with thrown weapons as melee attacks for the rest of the turn. You use your melee attack bonus, including Strength bonus, feats, and so forth, to determine your attack bonus for each attack as normal, but you apply the standard modifiers for range penalties.

You don't treat ranged attack rolls as melee attack rolls.
You treat ranged attack rolls as melee attacks.

They list a specific exception. Standard modifiers for ranged penalties. That's it. Otherwise, it's treated as a melee attack. Not an attack roll.

Even if you wish to argue otherwise, the wording is such that you can't use the "rolls" phraseology to eliminate it, because the ability you're referencing switches phraseology mid sentence.

Curmudgeon
2009-05-29, 01:38 AM
A giant-thrown boulder, a siege engine projectile, and other massive ranged weapons are not affected. Opinions, please. Would a great crossbow (exotic weapon from Races of Stone) count as an "other massive ranged weapon"?

Khanderas
2009-05-29, 03:43 AM
Opinions, please. Would a great crossbow (exotic weapon from Races of Stone) count as an "other massive ranged weapon"?
A giants boulder is too heavy to be affected by windwall. Catapulted boulders the same. Ballistae fires what looks like a bolt but is heavy enough to break though doors.

The question is. Is the fired projectile heavy enough to qualify as the above projectiles ? If it is, then yes. If it is not, then no.
Shape is irrelevant on this issue.

Devils_Advocate
2009-05-29, 11:41 AM
Fireball is a magically-created effect that is a... Well, isn't a barrier, but whatever. Once created, the fire is totally mundane. The fire in and of itself isn't magical, merely the means by which it was created :P
Nope, fireball creates special magical fire that's subject to spell resistance. You're thinking of conjuration, not evocation.

(Seriously. They made fire possible to evoke or conjure, and made conjuration arbitrarily better than evocation. By saying that some magically produced stuff is magical and other magically produced stuff is non-magical. "It's not that you can't make this stuff up. It's that you wish you had to.")

kalkyrie
2009-05-29, 12:16 PM
I'm not seeing any major problem with just using a Ballista.
(Or javelins I guess)

Knaight
2009-05-29, 12:46 PM
Another possibility. As the designers of D&D had no idea what they were talking about for half the weapons, a sling is a simple weapon. So either cast enlarge person upon the fighter, and have him start slinging giant rocks at the caster, or make a very large sling(think 13 feet folded), put a large rock in, and have whoever has the highest strength sling it. Alternately, if you just want to shoot straight up. Have everybody bull rush the fighter under the wizard. Commence with a ranged full attack.

BobVosh
2009-05-29, 12:57 PM
Another possibility. As the designers of D&D had no idea what they were talking about for half the weapons, a sling is a simple weapon. So either cast enlarge person upon the fighter, and have him start slinging giant rocks at the caster, or make a very large sling(think 13 feet folded), put a large rock in, and have whoever has the highest strength sling it. Alternately, if you just want to shoot straight up. Have everybody bull rush the fighter under the wizard. Commence with a ranged full attack.

Ooo, enlarge the fighter, shrink a monk, fighter slings the monk, dismiss shrink on the monk midair to wizard to grapple him! Nothing in this plan could fail. After all, worse comes to worse the monk could slow fall down the wind wall. (maybe) AHA!

Slow Fall (Ex)

At 4th level or higher, a monk within arm’s reach of a wall can use it to slow her descent. Wind wall is a wall, so yes.

Optimystik
2009-05-29, 01:08 PM
Actually, by RAW, it doesn't say one way or the other.

Actually, in Magic of Faerun, it says exactly that. Talic is right.

As for Mystra, she's not opposed to dispelling magic effects, just breaking/disempowering magic items. (And then, only evil ones.)

Not that your caster is in the wrong, precisely, but he's taking the dogma to quite the extreme. It would be like a cleric of Helm refusing to blink or close his eyes.

Pramxnim
2009-05-29, 01:12 PM
Ooo, enlarge the fighter, shrink a monk, fighter slings the monk, dismiss shrink on the monk midair to wizard to grapple him! Nothing in this plan could fail. After all, worse comes to worse the monk could slow fall down the wind wall. (maybe) AHA!

*snip*
Wind wall is a wall, so yes.

This just made my day. I'll start convincing the monks in my future games to let me throw them :smallsmile:

jcsw
2009-05-29, 01:12 PM
Try using throwing.

Barbarian(Whirling Frenzy) 1/Fighter 6(Dungeoncrasher)/Master Thrower 3/Warblade 1/Bloodstorm Blade 4/Ur-Priest 5

You can throw, after haste and divine power, 12 objects a round. If you use aptitude weapons, you can take boomerang richochet (RoE) and boomerang daze (RoE)...

But, how, you may ask, does this defeat a wind wall?

Weapon of Choice: Glyph Seals (+1 of Aptitude!).

Throw a greater seal of dispel magic on the ground in front of the walled enemy. (Note, don't use your own dispels, your caster level is pathetic, ask your friendly full-caster to do it for you). Keep throwing them until the wall is dispelled. Now assault the mage with glyph seals of... I dunno, grease/magic missile or whatever you can think of.


For a slightly less silly method, try using cragtop archer's arcing shots, which have a vertical height of at least 40ft. Meaning they can easily travel over the wall.

Curmudgeon
2009-05-29, 03:23 PM
The question is. Is the fired projectile heavy enough to qualify as the above projectiles ? If it is, then yes. If it is not, then no.
Then I guess the answer is no, if it's medium size, and yes, if it's large.
A ballista is essentially a Huge heavy crossbow A large great crossbow does the same damage and has the same range as a ballista. A great crossbow is basically a bigger heavy crossbow that operates without size penalty at the cost of an exotic weapon proficiency. But a medium size great crossbow isn't going to have enough oomph to punch through a Wind Wall.