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Matamane
2009-11-28, 10:02 AM
Can I apply the Chain Spell feat to Disintegrate or Scorcing Ray? Please explain why though.

The Dark Fiddler
2009-11-28, 10:16 AM
Basing my answer on Crystal Keep's index...

Yes. And because... that seems like the whole point of the feat?

Matamane
2009-11-28, 10:24 AM
I was iffy because Scorching ray doesn't specifically specify a single target

The Dark Fiddler
2009-11-28, 10:40 AM
I forgot about that.

You might want to wait for somebody else to answer, then.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-11-28, 12:54 PM
Chain spell says, "Any spell that specifies a single target and has a range greater than touch can be chained so as to affect that primary target normally, then arc to a number of secondary targets equal to your caster level (maximum 20)."

An example of a valid spell would be Charm Person, as it has 'Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)' and 'Target: One humanoid creature.'

An example of an invalid target would be Interposing Hand, even though its 'Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)' causes no complications, it specifies 'Effect: 10-ft. hand' which even though the hand only affects one creature, the spell itself does not specify one creature as its target. You cannot use Chain Spell on Interposing Hand to create multiple hands, each of which affect a single target, nor can you use Chain Spell to cause the hand created to affect multiple targets, that spell is simply not a valid choice for that metamagic feat.

Similarly, any spell with an 'Effect: Ray' entry likewise does not specify a single target, and is therefore not a valid choice for Chain Spell. Just like you cannot use Chain Spell to create multiple Interposing Hands, you cannot use it to create multiple rays, nor can you use it to cause a single ray to affect multiple targets. A ray spell is just as valid a Chain Spell target as a single-target touch-range spell. Neither fits the criteria given in the first sentence of the feat's benefit, so neither can benefit from this metamagic feat.

Anonymouswizard
2009-11-28, 01:13 PM
:smallfurious:Give! me! my! chained! ENERVATION! NOW!

ghashxx
2009-11-28, 01:37 PM
Well this is a sad story. I've often used chain spell to make my enervation extra pretty. But since it doesn't specify a single target, or any target at all, in its spell description the way "charm person" does, then I guess it's not actually legal. Sad day.

SurlySeraph
2009-11-28, 03:34 PM
Biffoniacus_Furiou's interpretation looks like strict RAW, yep. In practice I've seen Chain Spell allowed for pretty much anything that targets one creature (including Scorching Ray and Magic Missile), but technically that's illegal. Ask your DM, though.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-29, 12:57 AM
I would allow it for anything that can obviously only target a single creature. I imagine most DMs would be similar.

Im sure there's an exception somewhere, but in general, all ray/orb spells go for a single player, so should be chainable. It might not be exactly RAW, but it's certainly RAI.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-11-29, 01:15 AM
RAI is using Split Ray instead. WotC developers know the difference between a spell with a Target: (one creature) line and a spell with no Target: line at all, but an Effect: line instead. They wrote the rules on aiming a spell (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#aimingASpell) and were explicitly clear on the difference between the two. Specifically:

Effect
Some spells create or summon things rather than affecting things that are already present.

You must designate the location where these things are to appear, either by seeing it or defining it. Range determines how far away an effect can appear, but if the effect is mobile it can move regardless of the spellís range.
Let's assume I want to cast Summon Monster IV to summon a Celestial Lion. The lion will only grapple and attack one creature, so by that reasoning I could use Chain Spell to summon one lion per opponent. The lions attacking my secondary targets would only deal half damage, but they would still be able to grapple them and efficiently control the battlefield. It doesn't matter whether you cast Enervation to create a ray that affects one creature, or cast Fireball in a large enough room that it only hits one creature, or Summon Monster for a creature that will only attack one target. None of them are valid targets for Chain Spell, and this is what the designers intended when they specified that it must target a single creature. Arguing RAI against this is just as meaningless as arguing RAI in favor of chaining touch-range spells.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-29, 01:37 AM
Regardless of if you think they will or not, conjured creatures do have the ability to affect more than a single target. This is not directly comparable to a ray spell, which only EVER can affect a single target.

Rays normally specify this in the text, in fact. It may be listed as an effect type, but it still affects a single target. All SRD rays specify that they affect "a target", and make no provision within the spell for adding additional targets.

It still specifies a single target, yes. The fact that it doesn't use the type Target to do so isn't important.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-11-29, 01:45 AM
The word "target" does not appear anywhere in the entire SRD description of Enervation (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/enervation.htm). Ray spells specifically use the word "subject" in place of "target" because the designers know the difference. Chain Spell is very clear in what spells are valid choices for it, arguing RAI against this is suggesting that the designers don't know how their own game works, and is just an excuse to cheat with a clear conscience.

ocdscale
2009-11-29, 01:49 AM
Rays normally specify this in the text, in fact. It may be listed as an effect type, but it still affects a single target. All SRD rays specify that they affect "a target", and make no provision within the spell for adding additional targets.

It still specifies a single target, yes. The fact that it doesn't use the type Target to do so isn't important.

Hmm, I'm looking at the SRD entry for disintegrate and I don't see it specifying a single target (as chain spell would require).
Disintegrate:
Creates a ray
Requires a ranged touch attack in order to hit something
And only affects the first creature or object struck by the ray

You might argue that as the spell functions, it is basically a "Target: Single creature or object" spell. But that is not how it is designed. To argue that it should be treated as such requires assuming the designers don't know, or didn't care, about the difference between Target and Effect spells.

sofawall
2009-11-29, 01:56 AM
The word "target" does not appear anywhere in the entire SRD description of Enervation (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/enervation.htm). Ray spells specifically use the word "subject" in place of "target" because the designers know the difference. Chain Spell is very clear in what spells are valid choices for it, arguing RAI against this is suggesting that the designers don't know how their own game works, and is just an excuse to cheat with a clear conscience.

To be fair, the designers of ToB didn't seem to realize the actual definition of "ally" in D&D, despite it having a specific definition in the PHB glossary. Thinking that WotC designed rays with chain spell or such things in mind and used different wording may be a bit generous.

I mean, you're right, rays don't work, but it may be unintentional nonetheless.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-29, 02:04 AM
Hmm, I'm looking at the SRD entry for disintegrate and I don't see it specifying a single target (as chain spell would require).
Disintegrate:
Creates a ray
Requires a ranged touch attack in order to hit something
And only affects the first creature or object struck by the ray

You might argue that as the spell functions, it is basically a "Target: Single creature or object" spell. But that is not how it is designed. To argue that it should be treated as such requires assuming the designers don't know, or didn't care, about the difference between Target and Effect spells.

From the SRD: Only the first creature or object struck can be affected; that is, the ray affects only one target per casting.



I would say that pretty clearly fulfills the one target requirement.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-29, 02:06 AM
The word "target" does not appear anywhere in the entire SRD description of Enervation (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/enervation.htm). Ray spells specifically use the word "subject" in place of "target" because the designers know the difference. Chain Spell is very clear in what spells are valid choices for it, arguing RAI against this is suggesting that the designers don't know how their own game works, and is just an excuse to cheat with a clear conscience.

Actually, that's one ray spell that doesn't use the word target. Disinitigrate and all the "Ray of " spells in the SRD use the word target as such.

As a result, my conclusion is that enervate is not a RAW legal use of it, but the others are. Is this discrepancy intentional? Who knows. My guess is they didn't even think that far ahead about it.

ocdscale
2009-11-29, 02:48 AM
From the SRD: Only the first creature or object struck can be affected; that is, the ray affects only one target per casting.

I would say that pretty clearly fulfills the one target requirement.

Are you arguing that RAW or RAI, Ray spells specify a single target, or are you saying that it makes sense as homebrew to treat them as such?
Please note that there is a difference between specifying a single target and only affecting a single target.

I actually wrote a lot more, but deleted it and will leave just this.
"Disintegrate Burst
Range: 30 ft
Area: Creatures in a 30-ft.-radius spread centered on you.
A green burst with radius of 30ft emanates from your body. Any creature struck by the burst takes 2d6 points of damage per caster level (to a maximum of 40d6). Any creature reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by this spell is entirely disintegrated...
Only the first creature or object struck can be affected; that is, the burst affects only one target per casting."

Could this spell be chained?

Tyndmyr
2009-11-29, 03:19 AM
By RAW, it affects only one target. Thus as per the wording of Chain Spell: "Any spell that specifies a single target and has a range greater than touch", it would.

After all, it does specify a single target. The matter of specifying that target is not restricted.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-11-29, 04:48 AM
There's a multiclass character, he has only one level of Sorcerer and he's chosen Summon Monster 1 as one of his spells known. He's acquired a Lesser Rod of Chain Spell in his adventures, and is anxious to use it. He can cast Summon Monster 1 to get a Celestial Dog, which at caster level 1 will only last one round, enough time to make one attack. Since that dog can only attack once, it can therefore only affect one target, so would that casting be a legal target for Chain Spell? No, because the spell is not targeting anything, it is creating an effect and that effect is being directed to target something. Likewise, a ray spell creates an effect, and that effect is directed to target something, the spell itself targets nothing.

Some people will say, "Oh look, you're right, I wasn't supposed to be able to chain ray spells all this time, no wonder we thought it was so powerful. I'd better stop doing that since it's against the rules." Others will say, "Well, that's your interpretation, but I don't think the designers intended for me to not be able to break the game wide open with chained rays, so I'm going to keep doing it despite the fact that it's in violation of the unambiguous rules." The game designers created ray spells with the rules for aiming a spell (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#aimingASpell) in mind, intentionally designing certain spells to create an effect rather than target a creature. The designers likewise created Chain Spell with those same rules in mind, specifying that it can only be used with spells that specifically target a creature, knowing that spells that create an effect did not fit that criteria. They didn't have to design Chain Spell with the wording of any one specific spell in mind, because they were basing it on their universal rules for aiming a spell (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#aimingASpell). I've linked that twice now, in bold, because you conveniently ignored it the last time I brought it up. Please address my arguments, or stop cheating and encouraging others to cheat under a guise of ignorance.

GreyVulpine
2009-11-29, 04:57 AM
So by your definition, I can chain Scorching Ray at level 1-6 (since I get 2 'rays' at level 7), because it only affects 1 target. I can't use Chainned Scorching ray after level 6?

I can chain Spiritual weapon, because it technically can only affect one target at a time? Oh, I know, I can chain Symbol of death, because it can affect "one or more creatures within its radius". It'll work with one creature, it just won't trigger if more than one creature enters that area. You see what sort of problems this creates with your interpretation of that feat.

Anyhoo...

------------

From the d&d 3.5 FAQ:



Can you use the Chain Spell metamagic feat on a spell
with the ray effect type?
To use the Chain Spell metamagic feat, the spell you are
applying it to must have a target entry in its spell description.
Most rays do not have a target entry and cannot have the feat
applied to them.

Draxar
2009-11-29, 07:58 AM
Here's a question: if you had some kind of effect that changed your touch spells from being touch to having some kind of range, would that then make the eligible for Chain Spell?

Tyndmyr
2009-11-29, 10:50 AM
There's a multiclass character, he has only one level of Sorcerer and he's chosen Summon Monster 1 as one of his spells known. He's acquired a Lesser Rod of Chain Spell in his adventures, and is anxious to use it. He can cast Summon Monster 1 to get a Celestial Dog, which at caster level 1 will only last one round, enough time to make one attack. Since that dog can only attack once, it can therefore only affect one target, so would that casting be a legal target for Chain Spell? No, because the spell is not targeting anything, it is creating an effect and that effect is being directed to target something. Likewise, a ray spell creates an effect, and that effect is directed to target something, the spell itself targets nothing.

No. This has nothing to do with it. The word target is not in Summon Monster I, and your justifications as to what you believe will happen is not the same as what CAN happen.

For chain spell to be legit, the spell itself must specify that it can only ever affect a single target. Almost all of the ray spells do this. Summon Monster obviously does not. Use the spell text, not your interpretation of single target.

Scorching Ray is likewise ineligible, because it isn't restricted to a single target. There may be times when you can only use it on a single target, yes, but the spell itself is not so limited. Thus, it's always ineligible for chain spell.

Yup, taking something that lets you give a touch spell range would make some touch spells(anything specifying a single target) ranged would make them qualify for chaining by RAW. Yeah, this could be pretty powerful.

Grushvak
2009-11-29, 11:06 AM
We have a stubborn one here.

Me, I'm sad to learn I'll never be able to chain rays again, but oh well. Rules are rules.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-29, 11:11 AM
Chain Spell [metamagic]
You can cast spells that arc to other targets in addition to the primary target.
Prerequisite: Any metamagic feat.
Benefit: Any spell that specifies a single target and has a range greater than touch can be chained so as to affect that primary target normally, then arc to a number of secondary targets equal to your caster level (maximum 20). Each arc affects one secondary target chosen by you, all of which must be within 30 feet of the primary target, and none of which can be affected more than once. You can choose to affect fewer secondary targets than the maximum.
If the chained spell deals damage, the secondary targets each take half as much damage as the primary target (rounded down) and can attempt Reflex saving throws for half damage (whether the spell allows the original target a save or not). For spells that don't deal damage, the save DCs against arcing effects are reduced by 4. For example, if a 10th-level wizard normally casts cause fear at DC 14, a chained cause fear could target a goblin chieftain at DC 14 and up to ten of his nearby guards at DC 10.
A chained spell uses up a spell slot three levels higher than the spell's actual level.

There you go. Any spell fulfilling those can gain the benefit. It doesn't specify where in the spell description the target limitation be described, merely that it has it.

ocdscale
2009-11-29, 11:18 AM
For chain spell to be legit, the spell itself must specify that it can only ever affect a single target. Almost all of the ray spells do this. Summon Monster obviously does not. Use the spell text, not your interpretation of single target.

There is a difference between a spell that specifies a single target, and a spell that only affects a single target.

Edit: I realize now that you are reading "specifies a single target" to basically mean "the spell must mention it affects only one target", while everyone else is reading it to mean "the spell must explicitly target only one creature/object."

Here:
"Joker's Gambit
Range: 40 ft
Target: Two creatures per caster level

You must target a minimum of two creatures. Each creature must make a fort save. Of the creatures that fail their fort save, the one with the lowest result is reduced to 0 hp. In the case of a tie, this spell has no effect; that is this spell can only effect a single target."

Does this spell specify a single target?

Matamane
2009-11-29, 11:29 AM
Alright, lets make this interesting.

What if Arcane Reach or reach spell is put into the equation?

Also, can an Archmage apply Arcane reach to spell trigger items?

Tyndmyr
2009-11-29, 01:38 PM
Here:
"Joker's Gambit
Range: 40 ft
Target: Two creatures per caster level

You must target a minimum of two creatures. Each creature must make a fort save. Of the creatures that fail their fort save, the one with the lowest result is reduced to 0 hp. In the case of a tie, this spell has no effect; that is this spell can only effect a single target."

Does this spell specify a single target?

No. It may end up only affecting a single target, but the spell itself explicitly says it has two targets. Thus, in doing so, it fails that portion of the requirements.

Arcane reach can be combined with chain spell. Chain spell is a metamagic, which can be applied in any order the caster chooses, and since it's applied at the time of casting, abilities that simply have a static effect on all spells, all the time, invariably are applied first.

ocdscale
2009-11-29, 01:58 PM
No. It may end up only affecting a single target, but the spell itself explicitly says it has two targets. Thus, in doing so, it fails that portion of the requirements.

You are changing the goal posts:


For chain spell to be legit, the spell itself must specify that it can only ever affect a single target. Almost all of the ray spells do this. Summon Monster obviously does not. Use the spell text, not your interpretation of single target.

Which is it? My spell clearly specifies that it can only ever affect a single target.

My spell originally targets more than one creature, although it ultimately can only affect one. Is that enough to disqualify it from chain spell?
If yes, then why isn't disintegrate disqualified? Disintegrate targets 0 creatures, although it ultimately can affect one.

Disintegrate (and the other ray spells, and for that matter, the other Effect spells) don't target creatures/objects, they create an effect. In order to get disintegrate's line of effect to intersect a creature or object, you need to make a ranged touch attack (pointing it at them), but the spell does not target anything.

Are you arguing that disintegrate is a targeted spell? Then you have to explain why it is classified (along with all the other rays) as Effect spells.

Matamane
2009-11-29, 02:10 PM
What about reach spell, because it extends the range of the spell to within 30ft.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-29, 02:15 PM
You are changing the goal posts:

Which is it? My spell clearly specifies that it can only ever affect a single target.

My spell originally targets more than one creature, although it ultimately can only affect one. Is that enough to disqualify it from chain spell?
If yes, then why isn't disintegrate disqualified? Disintegrate targets 0 creatures, although it ultimately can affect one.

From the SRD: the ray affects only one target per casting

It uses the word target, and specifies only one.


Disintegrate (and the other ray spells) don't target anything, they create a line of effect. In order to get that line of effect to intersect a creature or object, you need to make a ranged touch attack (pointing it at them), but the spell does not target anything.

Aiming a ray at a target IS targetting them.


Are you arguing that disintegrate is a targeted spell? Then you have to explain why it is classified (along with all the other rays) as Effect spells.

It is an effect spell that has a target. The wording of chain spell does not exclude effect spells, nor does it specify that "target" be the type of the spell. It specifies the number of targets the spell may have.

Thus, if a spell has 2 targets(or can have two targets), it is not a valid use of chain.

If the spell meets the other prerequisite, and has only one target, as per the wording of the spell, it is valid.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-29, 02:16 PM
What about reach spell, because it extends the range of the spell to within 30ft.

Reach spell is fine. You choose order of metamagic, so simply apply reach first.

Matamane
2009-11-29, 02:30 PM
I know its probably a no, but can an archmage apply arcane reach to a spell trigger item?

Tyndmyr
2009-11-29, 02:37 PM
Probably not. So far as I know, Reach Spell only applies to spells. Unless you can find some creative loophole that allows you to treat spell trigger items as spells, I'd go with no.

Matamane
2009-11-29, 02:39 PM
I guess I still have to take the feat then.

ocdscale
2009-11-29, 03:01 PM
Aiming a ray at a target IS targetting them.


It seems neither of us will be able to convince the other, so I'm content with leaving the debate as it is.

To summarize, my argument is this:
Chain spell requires that the spell specify a single target.
The game has rules about what spells are Target spells and what spells are not.
The game has rules about which Target spells target a single target and which Target spells target more than a single target.
Chain spell was designed to apply to only those Target spells that have a single target.
The Ray spells are Effect spells, not Target spells, and are therefore ineligible for Chain spell.

To summarize, my understanding of your argument is this:
Chain spell requires that the spell specify a single target.
The Ray spells create a line of effect.
The Ray spells permit you to make a ranged touch attack in order to make that line of effect hit a creature/object.
When you make a ranged touch attack in this manner (pointing your finger), you are targeting that creature/object.
Most of the Ray spells state that this line of effect can only affect a single target.
Thus, those Ray spells that have a single target are therefore eligible for Chain spell.

My disagreement with your argument is italicized. While you use the English meaning of what it means "to target", I refer to what spells are defined in the game as being Targeted spells.
Please correct my summary of your argument if it is incorrect or incomplete.

Capricornus
2009-11-29, 03:13 PM
I think Biff and ocd are correct by RAW. Whether your DM chooses to allow the opposing interpretation is up to them, as I think there is a (shaky) argument for allowing Chain Spell to work in the way Tyndmyr wants it to. Saying that it's RAI is not supported well in this case though.

Anonymouswizard
2009-11-29, 06:03 PM
The wording is vague, but it does seem to suggest only spells with a target line. I, however, shall now houserule in favour of the opposite (opens up word document).

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-11-30, 01:12 AM
Again and again, the relevant rules are conveniently ignored. Linking it twice in bold didn't work, so I'll quote it directly:


Aiming A Spell
You must make some choice about whom the spell is to affect or where the effect is to originate, depending on the type of spell. The next entry in a spell description defines the spellís target (or targets), its effect, or its area, as appropriate.

Target or Targets
Some spells have a target or targets. You cast these spells on creatures or objects, as defined by the spell itself. You must be able to see or touch the target, and you must specifically choose that target. You do not have to select your target until you finish casting the spell.

If the target of a spell is yourself (the spell description has a line that reads Target: You), you do not receive a saving throw, and spell resistance does not apply. The Saving Throw and Spell Resistance lines are omitted from such spells.

Some spells restrict you to willing targets only. Declaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if youíre flat-footed or it isnít your turn). Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing, but a character who is conscious but immobile or helpless (such as one who is bound, cowering, grappling, paralyzed, pinned, or stunned) is not automatically willing.

Some spells allow you to redirect the effect to new targets or areas after you cast the spell. Redirecting a spell is a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Effect
Some spells create or summon things rather than affecting things that are already present.

You must designate the location where these things are to appear, either by seeing it or defining it. Range determines how far away an effect can appear, but if the effect is mobile it can move regardless of the spellís range.

Ray
Some effects are rays. You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon, though typically you make a ranged touch attack rather than a normal ranged attack. As with a ranged weapon, you can fire into the dark or at an invisible creature and hope you hit something. You donít have to see the creature youíre trying to hit, as you do with a targeted spell. Intervening creatures and obstacles, however, can block your line of sight or provide cover for the creature youíre aiming at.

If a ray spell has a duration, itís the duration of the effect that the ray causes, not the length of time the ray itself persists.

If a ray spell deals damage, you can score a critical hit just as if it were a weapon. A ray spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit.

Spread
Some effects, notably clouds and fogs, spread out from a point of origin, which must be a grid intersection. The effect can extend around corners and into areas that you canít see. Figure distance by actual distance traveled, taking into account turns the spell effect takes. When determining distance for spread effects, count around walls, not through them. As with movement, do not trace diagonals across corners. You must designate the point of origin for such an effect, but you need not have line of effect (see below) to all portions of the effect.
As you can see, Ray Spell =/= Targeted Spell. You cannot use a targeted spell against a creature you cannot see, but you can aim a ray to strike an invisible foe. You must specifically and intentionally choose a target with a targeted spell, though a ray can accidentally strike a foe in its path such as if it were fired into an occupied square. Spells that create effects target nothing, even if the effect itself can be targeted against a creature.

PhoenixRivers
2009-11-30, 01:27 AM
I'm in agreement with Biff and OCD.

Target, when referring to a spell, is a reserved term. It's a specific type of spell. Even if you target something with an attack granted by a spell, that's not the same as a spell which targets.

sofawall
2009-11-30, 01:43 AM
The problem with the argument is one side is using the rules, and one side isn't.

By that, I mean that target is a D&D keyword, we are to use the D&D meaning where ever possible. When you use the English language meaning, it can be distorted. Much like the term "Ally" is defined in D&D to include yourself, it doesn't make much sense in English to call yourself your own ally.

KillianHawkeye
2009-11-30, 03:15 AM
I would say that the rules (as linked and quoted by Biff) and intentions of the game's designers are quite clear in this case. That being said, if Tyndmyr or anyone else likes to play it differently in the privacy of their own gaming groups, they aren't hurting anyone else's game by doing so. The D&D Police aren't going to come and arrest them.



It's pretty common for people who are well versed in a subject to want to correct those who are misunderstanding something. They aren't necessarily trying to change the other person, only trying to get them to admit that their method is not the official method and acknowledge that continuing to behave in their prior manner is a conscious choice to dismiss some aspect of the correct and established means of doing whatever they are doing.