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Akennedy
2007-09-03, 08:24 AM
Okay, I've had an a spell abused, well, power, and I want to know if I have the correct understanding.
> A player of mine if a kineticist (specialist Psion) and uses energy spells frequently. When he uses the Sonic option, which ignores hardness on objects. So... potentially, can he blow a small building up with a Sonic energy ball? Or better yet, can he use sonic and break his enemies weapons like no one's business? To me, this seems slightly overpowered...

The Glyphstone
2007-09-03, 08:56 AM
Repeated castings of Sonic Energy Ball would be able to demolish a building, there's nothing that prevents that. It'll probably take a while, since stone has a lot of HP even without its hardness...and psions who've just spent all their PP breaking open a wall are quite vulnerable to the angry people with sharp objects in hand coming out from behind that wall. Plus, a wizard/sorcerer who's taken Energy Substitution (Sonic) can do the exact same thing, and actually a bit more efficiently, as that now lets him do mean things like Cone of Sonic and Sonic Scorching Rays.

As for items - no...it's a rule that attended items cannot take damage unless specifically targeted (by Dispel Magic or somesuch), or if the wearer rolls a Natural 1 on their saving throw against an Area-damage spell.

Shhalahr Windrider
2007-09-03, 08:58 AM
Area spells can indeed be used to damage unattended objects. However, attended objects, such as held weapons never take damage from area effects unless the charter holding them rolls a natural 1 on any saving throws required by the spell.

Se the SRD:Items Surviving After a Saving Throw (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/magicOverview.html#items-surviving-after-a-saving-throw)


Plus, a wizard/sorcerer who's taken Energy Substitution (Sonic) can do the exact same thing, and actually a bit more efficiently, as that now lets him do mean things like Cone of Sonic and Sonic Scorching Rays.
But an energy substituted fireball or any other such spell does not ignore hardness the way a sonic energy ball does. So a wizard can't quite do the same thing.

Funkyodor
2007-09-03, 05:21 PM
But an energy substituted fireball or any other such spell does not ignore hardness the way a sonic energy ball does. So a wizard can't quite do the same thing.

Sorry, I'm of the opinion that all energy effects use the hardness of whatever material it hits (which for stone walls, isn't much). Just sonic & acid apply full damage to hardness, Fire 1/2 damage, cold 1/4 damage. I guess it just depends on how you interpret


Energy Attacks

Acid and sonic attacks deal damage to most objects just as they do to creatures; roll damage and apply it normally after a successful hit. Electricity and fire attacks deal half damage to most objects; divide the damage dealt by 2 before applying the hardness. Cold attacks deal one-quarter damage to most objects; divide the damage dealt by 4 before applying the hardness.
(Emboldened line can be interpreted apply directly to HP like a creature, or apply damage normally as you would any other object)

D20 SRD Reference (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/exploration.htm#breakingAndEntering)

Eh, just my 2 cents.

Douglas
2007-09-03, 05:24 PM
Yes, that is what normally happens with energy attacks. The various psionic energy powers specifically state that the sonic version ignores hardness, however, overriding the general rules in those specific cases.

Shhalahr Windrider
2007-09-03, 05:50 PM
Something I just thought of. The Sonic version of the various energy powers state it ignores the hardness of objects. However, an Animated Object is considered to be a creature. So I suppose an Animated Objects still gains the benefits of its hardness.

One of those glitchty, overly-dependent-on-semantic interpretations, I think. Just a thought.

Jack Mann
2007-09-03, 06:01 PM
Sorry, I'm of the opinion that all energy effects use the hardness of whatever material it hits (which for stone walls, isn't much). Just sonic & acid apply full damage to hardness, Fire 1/2 damage, cold 1/4 damage. I guess it just depends on how you interpret

You're correct that normally energy attacks (including sonic and acid) are affected by hardness. However, some effects, like the sonic energy ball, explicitly ignore hardness. That is, the power says "A ball of this energy type deals -1 point of damage per die and ignores an objectís hardness." It wouldn't if the power didn't say so, however.

MeklorIlavator
2007-09-03, 06:39 PM
Plus, a wizard/sorcerer who's taken Energy Substitution (Sonic) can do the exact same thing, and actually a bit more efficiently, as that now lets him do mean things like Cone of Sonic and Sonic Scorching Rays.

I just checked my book, and I believe that one can only choose the 4 basic energy types(fire, cold, acid, electricity) with the feat. Was this addressed somewhere?

Shhalahr Windrider
2007-09-03, 07:03 PM
The parenthetical not specifying acid, cold, electricity, or fire is pretty clearly meant as explanation for what they mean by "one type of energy". The actual meat of the description doesn't say "choose a type of energy from the following list." It's likely a mistake that sonic was left off, since it's considered a type of energy for every other purpose.

Furthermore, the parenthetical not shouldn't be considered restrictive for the simple purpose of keeping the game expandable. If a new energy type were introduced, the feat should be fully useable with that energy type.

Jasdoif
2007-09-03, 07:36 PM
The parenthetical not specifying acid, cold, electricity, or fire is pretty clearly meant as explanation for what they mean by "one type of energy". The actual meat of the description doesn't say "choose a type of energy from the following list." It's likely a mistake that sonic was left off, since it's considered a type of energy for every other purpose.I dunno about that. Those energy-type psionic powers similarly lack an entry for acid; I'd be wary of saying it's a different case for the feat, seeing as the list is present in the feat's description.

Otherwise, we could end up with things like Energy Substitution (Force), Energy Substitution (Negative)...perhaps even Energy Substitution (typeless), since those are all described as types of energy (even typeless, though that gets too much into definitions) and not specifically excluded. I'm pretty sure that's outside the intended scope of the feat.

Mewtarthio
2007-09-03, 07:47 PM
I just checked my book, and I believe that one can only choose the 4 basic energy types(fire, cold, acid, electricity) with the feat. Was this addressed somewhere?

Sorry, this has always bugged me: Why is acid considered an energy type? Sonic makes more sense. Besides, when was the last time you saw an Evoker cast an [Acid] spell? Acid's the stuff of Conjuration.

Shhalahr Windrider
2007-09-03, 08:01 PM
I dunno about that. Those energy-type psionic powers similarly lack an entry for acid; I'd be wary of saying it's a different case for the feat, seeing as the list is present in the feat's description.
Unlike Energy Subsitution, the energy powers are clearly meant to be restrictive. They do not say "chose one type of energy," but specifically say, "choose cold, electricity, fire, or sonic."


Otherwise, we could end up with things like Energy Substitution (Force), Energy Substitution (Negative)...perhaps even Energy Substitution (typeless), since those are all described as types of energy (even typeless, though that gets too much into definitions) and not specifically excluded. I'm pretty sure that's outside the intended scope of the feat.
Force is not an energy type. Neither is "typeless". Energy has to have a specific type.


Player's Handbook[/i] Glossary, pg. 308"]energy damage: Damage cause by one of five types of energy (not counting positive and negative energy): acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic.

Note that Positive and Negative Energy are their own types of energy, but they are counted as something different from the other five types. That's probably enough reason to restrict them from being used with Energy Substitution.


Sorry, this has always bugged me: Why is acid considered an energy type?
Same way Air, Earth, Fire, and Water are "elements." It's a special definition of "Energy."


Besides, when was the last time you saw an Evoker cast an [Acid] spell? Acid's the stuff of Conjuration.
So? Postive energy is conjured while negative energy is "necromancied." Sometimes similar stuff requires different techniques.

And it keeps the Evoker from having an energy monopoly.

MeklorIlavator
2007-09-03, 09:47 PM
The parenthetical not specifying acid, cold, electricity, or fire is pretty clearly meant as explanation for what they mean by "one type of energy". The actual meat of the description doesn't say "choose a type of energy from the following list." It's likely a mistake that sonic was left off, since it's considered a type of energy for every other purpose.

Furthermore, the parenthetical not shouldn't be considered restrictive for the simple purpose of keeping the game expandable. If a new energy type were introduced, the feat should be fully useable with that energy type.

Thank you. That explanation makes sense(well, as much sense as is possible with DnD energy types). We had always house ruled that sonic was usable anyway, but its good to know that it actually works that way.

Shhalahr Windrider
2007-09-04, 09:22 AM
Note that Positive and Negative Energy are their own types of energy, but they are counted as something different from the other five types. That's probably enough reason to restrict them from being used with Energy Substitution.
Duh...

And of course, neither Positive nor Negative energy are used in spell descriptors. Energy substitution explicitly changes descriptors. You can't change a fire spell to a negative energy spell, because there is no negative descriptor.

Curmudgeon
2007-09-04, 12:18 PM
A player of mine if a kineticist (specialist Psion) and uses energy spells frequently. When he uses the Sonic option, which ignores hardness on objects. So... potentially, can he blow a small building up with a Sonic energy ball? Or better yet, can he use sonic and break his enemies weapons like no one's business? To me, this seems slightly overpowered... For buildings, yes, this attack form is valid, but it isn't going to be nearly as spectacular as you think. But for weapons, only if the particular power manifested allows targeting objects. This means Energy Missile will work for both jobs, but Energy Ball and Energy Cone will only handle buildings. Also note that the sonic energy type subtracts 1 from every d6 damage die, with no specified minimum, so you could end up doing 0 damage even before the Reflex save for half damage for attended objects (or no damage for objects attended by those with Evasion).

The important thing you're overlooking is that buildings, being large structures, have lots of hit points. Your 7d6-7 Energy Ball does that damage to the entire section of building in the 20' radius spread, which averages out to only about 1/3 point per 5' square of wall. You're going to run out of power points long before you get anything to "blow up".