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Tyger
2007-10-20, 10:05 PM
Started a new game tonight, at level 8. Its a bit of a high powered short term campaign to fill a regular gaming slot while the usual DM works out a few kinks in a system he is working on.

One of the character, a warmage of all things, has taken the Scuplt Spell and the Explosive Spell feats. We're also using the Unearthed Arcana spell point system.

By the book, a Warmage (or any caster really) can apply both Sculpt and Explosive to a level one spell, like Burning Hands, and if he works it right, Sculpt it into a 120' line, and make it Explosive, so that this level one spell (which admitedly takes a level 4 slot) does 5d4+5 (Burning Hands damage) and 12d6 explosive damage.

12d6 damage on a first level spell? Even factoring in that its a full round spell to cast, and its got two meta-magic feats on it, am I the only one who thinks that is substantially broken?

It gets worse at higher casting levels too. When he can cast level 5 spells, he could just make his regular Lightning Bolt spell an Explosive version, and be doing 10d6 + 12d6 damage to the critter in front, and lesser Explosive damage to any other critters behind it.

Please tell me I am missing something, and it really doesn't work like this!

Yogi
2007-10-20, 10:27 PM
12d6 damage on a first level spell?It's now a fourth level spell, which is still pretty powerful compared to other 4th level damage spells. Then again, Polymorph and Phantasmal Killer are also 4th level so it's hardly the most powerful 4th level spell.

Tyger
2007-10-20, 10:29 PM
It's now a fourth level spell, which is still pretty powerful compared to other 4th level damage spells. Then again, Polymorph and Phantasmal Killer are also 4th level so it's hardly the most powerful 4th level spell.

Well, its a fourth level spell that did more damage than any other fourth level spell cast by a CL 8 caster, and it effectively removed the victim (if it didn't kill him) from the fight by blasting him 120 feet in a specifically chosen direction.

Don't get me wrong, I know that the canon is, Arcane caster doing direct damage is bad, but its still a bit of an overpowered combination, as it combines massive damage (especially if you factor in a Rod to maximize or empower it) with some pretty darned good battlefield control.

Nebo_
2007-10-20, 10:31 PM
Explosive shunts the target to the nearest edge, so unless he fires it down a five foot wide, 120 foot long corridor, the target moves five feet to the left or right, dealing no extra damage.

So, yes, you are missing something. It doesn't work like that.

osyluth
2007-10-20, 10:35 PM
some dungeon corridors are 5 ft. if youre fighting kobolds or something ther will probaly be small corridors

Tyger
2007-10-20, 10:41 PM
Explosive shunts the target to the nearest edge, so unless he fires it down a five foot wide, 120 foot long corridor, the target moves five feet to the left or right, dealing no extra damage.

So, yes, you are missing something. It doesn't work like that.

Bingo. Missed the "nearest" part. Thanks, just made my night.

Jasdoif
2007-10-20, 10:42 PM
First, that's not how explosive lines work. If you check Explosive Spell's text, it throws targets to the nearest location outside the area of effect. With a line, that's off to the side, a whole 5 feet. Not enough to take damage.

Second, if you're using the spell point variant with metamagic that costs spell points, you can't count the metamagic spell points towards caster level for the effects of damage. So if he's CL 8 and spends 6 on metamagic...that leaves CL 2 for damage purposes.

So, this big ol' level 4 spell...does 2d4 fire damage.



Explosive shunts the target to the nearest edge, so unless he fires it down a five foot wide, 120 foot long corridor, the target moves five feet to the left or right, dealing no extra damage.Even if it's fired down a five foot wide corridor, the wall will count as an obstacle that prevents the move to the nearest square outside the area and they'll take a whole 1d6 from hitting it, along with the damage for distance traveled (which is still no damage for 5 feet).

Hario
2007-10-20, 10:46 PM
Metamagics don't really bother me too much, unless of course they are channeled for free like from metamagic rods or, Divine metamagic or through spells like a few artificer spells do. But honestly scultspell+ explosive spell isn't all that bad, now say an artificer with the staff that holds 3 wands in it, and has dual wand weilder with the action die cheese (with a spell that grants infinite action dice) say casts 6(x2=12 negative levels + 12d4+12) fell drain magic missles (fell drain gives negative levels on a spell that does damage, no save) so which do you think is more devastating, applying more than one metamagic isn't so bad, its the free metamagics that are devastating.

Fax Celestis
2007-10-20, 11:00 PM
First, that's not how explosive lines work. If you check Explosive Spell's text, it throws targets to the nearest location outside the area of effect. With a line, that's off to the side, a whole 5 feet. Not enough to take damage.

Second, if you're using the spell point variant with metamagic that costs spell points, you can't count the metamagic spell points towards caster level for the effects of damage. So if he's CL 8 and spends 6 on metamagic...that leaves CL 2 for damage purposes.

So, this big ol' level 4 spell...does 2d4 fire damage.


Even if it's fired down a five foot wide corridor, the wall will count as an obstacle that prevents the move to the nearest square outside the area and they'll take a whole 1d6 from hitting it, along with the damage for distance traveled (which is still no damage for 5 feet).

On top of that, you have to remember that the line can push in three dimensions. You'd have to have a 5' ceiling too.

Stam
2007-10-21, 02:47 AM
The only thing I'd add here is that the Sculpt Spell feat is fairly badly written. As it is, it allows you to take Color Spray and turn it into a 2nd-level spell of anti-melee pwnage, hitting everyone in a rather wide area (4x 10x10 squares) for a Will save or stunned effect. This just happens to include dropping their weapons held.

A house errata on a site I play limited the sculptage to the original spell's dimensions, with some mathwork for size comparisons between line, cone, burst, cube and cylinder.

KIDS
2007-10-21, 03:34 AM
Your point got across but even if you didn't pay attention to 5-foot corridors which would enable 120 ft. lines, it wouldn't be that bad or anything. Around here, we don't call that broken, we call that "clever strategy".

Laurellien
2007-10-21, 04:03 AM
I'll show you an overpowered 4th level damage spell...

1. Use the Snowcasting metamagic feat to give Locate City the [Cold] descriptor.

2. the Flash Frost Spell metamagic feat to cause the spell to deal 2 points of cold damage per spell level (In this case, 1, so 2 points of damage).

3. Use the Energy Substitution (Electricity) to cause the [Cold] descriptor to change to the [Electricity] descriptor. This may or may not change the 2 points of cold damage to Electricity damage, but it doesn't matter.

4. Apply the Born of Three Thunders metamagic feat to this monster of a spell. All it requires is that the spell has the electricity descriptor or the sonic descriptor and deals hit point damage. This causes half of the spell's damage to be electricity damage and half sonic damage, for 1 point of damage each. More importantly, it then gives the targets a Fortitude save in order to avoid being stunned for one round. If they fail this save, they then get a Reflex save to avoid being knocked prone. Both of these saves are at the same save DC as the original spell was.

5. Note that this horrible mishmash of metamagic feats now has a Reflex save.

6. Apply the Explosive Spell metamagic feat to this thing. On a failed Reflex save, they're ejected to the edge of the spell, taking 1d6 damage for every 10' they traveled.

7. Realise that there are 528 10' increments in a mile, and Locate City has a radius of TEN MILES PER LEVEL.

8. ???

9. Profit!



Notes:

Snowcasting is from Frostburn. Flash Frost Spell is from the PHBII. Energy Substitution, Born of Three Thunders, and Explosive Spell are all from Complete Arcane. Locate City is from Races of Destiny.

With all metamagic feats applied to it, the Snowcasting Flash Frost Energy Substituted Born of Three Thunders Explosive Locate City is a 4th level spell.

This can be accomplished with a human wizard 7, for a 70-mile radius nuclear blast. ( You get all feats needed at level 6, but Human Wizard 7 is the earliest you can cast a 4th level spell.)

You MAY want some protection while doing this, as you are within the spell area, too. As such, if YOU fail the Fortitude and Reflex saves, YOU get ejected to the edge of the spell and take the maximum amount of damage possible (In the case of the level 7 wizard, 36960d6 damge, for an average of about 130,000 damage).

Dhavaer
2007-10-21, 04:11 AM
Add Arcane Thesis and Mastery of Shaping to that Locate City combo. Protects you and your buddies, and makes it easier to cast.

KIDS
2007-10-21, 04:33 AM
I don't see why people bring up the Locate City combo into what should be a practical discussion... theorethical excercise anyone? Plus it's been argued that excluding yourself from the effect via mastery of shaping results in the entire inner circle being pulled to the closest boundary which is now you and results in a dogpile.

Either way, a bold statement like "I'll show you an overpowered 4th level damage spell..." shouldn't be in place here. Locate City combo doesn't prove any other metamagic combination balanced or unbalanced.

Fishy
2007-10-21, 11:55 AM
I'm all in favor of using Explosive Spell and Sculpt Spell: Isn't the point of metamagic to do new and interesting things with your spells? Yes, lines don't work the way he thinks they work, but if we're pushing people off of clifss and into the tank's Full Attack range, I say reward it.

Jacob Orlove
2007-10-21, 01:42 PM
The only thing I'd add here is that the Sculpt Spell feat is fairly badly written. As it is, it allows you to take Color Spray and turn it into a 2nd-level spell of anti-melee pwnage, hitting everyone in a rather wide area (4x 10x10 squares) for a Will save or stunned effect. This just happens to include dropping their weapons held.

A house errata on a site I play limited the sculptage to the original spell's dimensions, with some mathwork for size comparisons between line, cone, burst, cube and cylinder.
Actually, that's not possible, even under the normal rules:

Color Spray
Illusion (Pattern) [Mind-Affecting]
Level: Sor/Wiz 1
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 15 ft.
Area: Cone-shaped burst
Duration: Instantaneous; see text
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
Color Spray is cone-shaped, and Sculpt Spell can alter that, but Sculpt Spell says *nothing* about altering the spell's range, which for Color Spray is still 15 feet. That means you can lay down four 10'x10' squares, but they all have to be within 15' of you.

The same applies to Burning Hands. The longest Line you can get is 15'.

meet shield
2007-10-21, 02:18 PM
Personaly, I think metamagic feats are usefull only if you are a Psion or a Cleric, and so more if you are a cleric. If you are a wizard, you don't have to take explosive spells, for me, cause you aren't a damage-machine: doesn't have importance if you are good or not at do it: it's not what you have to do: if you do the war machine, the warrior will be an alcolist, ok?
Then, if you are a warmage... well, why don't you use powered spells? YOU have to do damage, so why you don't want do it as best as you can?:smallamused:

Tyger
2007-10-21, 02:30 PM
Actually, that's not possible, even under the normal rules:

Color Spray is cone-shaped, and Sculpt Spell can alter that, but Sculpt Spell says *nothing* about altering the spell's range, which for Color Spray is still 15 feet. That means you can lay down four 10'x10' squares, but they all have to be within 15' of you.

The same applies to Burning Hands. The longest Line you can get is 15'.

Hmmm... good point, but I am not sure that's entirely accurate. It does specify that the spell works normally in all respects for its shape... and one of the shapes permitted is a line 120' long. Not just a line, but "a 120-foot line." So I can see either interpretation, but I think the intent was to make it possible to have 120' line Burning Hands.

MrNexx
2007-10-21, 03:39 PM
I've played with replacing the preparation and time requirements for metamagicked spells with using XP/level. 25 xp per level of the original spell per level of the spell increase (with 0 counting as half). A quickened altered self costs 25 *4 (level of spell increase) *2 (level of original spell), or 200 XP to cast. Uses a second level slot, just like the original spell. Even spontaneous casters can make use of it.

It makes all metamagic a potentially costly affair, especially to the level which people throw it around.

Of course, I've also considered switching to the Palladium XP system for D&D. Less combat oriented, more role-playing and solution-oriented way to allocate XP.

Aquillion
2007-10-21, 03:49 PM
Explosive shunts the target to the nearest edge, so unless he fires it down a five foot wide, 120 foot long corridor, the target moves five feet to the left or right, dealing no extra damage.Don't forget that even in a 5-ft corridor with a 5-ft ceiling, anying anywhere near the caster will be 'exploded' towards the caster, not away (since that'll be the closest edge.) Could get messy, especially since things only a few feet away from the caster will only take a tiny bit of damage, if any.

Stam
2007-10-21, 04:41 PM
Actually, that's not possible, even under the normal rules:

Color Spray is cone-shaped, and Sculpt Spell can alter that, but Sculpt Spell says *nothing* about altering the spell's range, which for Color Spray is still 15 feet. That means you can lay down four 10'x10' squares, but they all have to be within 15' of you.

The same applies to Burning Hands. The longest Line you can get is 15'.
I didn't quote the full house rule for brevity's sake. Basically, the line and cone range stand as long as they are, but any other changed sculpt of the spell gained a new range of 2x the spell's original range.

Sculpt Spell: You can alter a spread, line, cylinder, or cube (shapeable) shaped spell to make it affect a differently-shaped area. Any numeric measurements of the spell's area are altered as per the formula below (round the original spell's area down). If the spell's original area is a cone or line, it gains a range in its new form equal to that of the original spell. A sculpted spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spellís actual level.

* Cube-Shaped Spell: Each single 10-ft. cube equals...
* Cone-Shaped Spell: Each 10-ft. length of the cone equals...
* Line-Shaped Spell: Each 30-ft. length of the line equals...
* Spread-Shaped Spell: Each 5-ft. radius of the sphere equals...
* Cylindrical Spell: Each 2-1/2-ft. radius of the cylinder (round up to nearest 5-ft. increment). A cylinder created via this spell has a height three times its radius.

So the placement of the Color Spray became anywhere within 30', and the new comparison rules changed it from a stupid 4x 10'x10' squares to a single one.

Blanks
2007-10-21, 05:13 PM
I dont have the books right by me, but isnt range, the "distance that the spell can start in?"

Ie fireball is range 40+something /level, but the area of effect is 20 foot diameter?

Im not big on memorising spells but you get the gist :)

Jasdoif
2007-10-21, 05:29 PM
I dont have the books right by me, but isnt range, the "distance that the spell can start in?"

Ie fireball is range 40+something /level, but the area of effect is 20 foot diameter?

Im not big on memorising spells but you get the gist :)Yes, range is how far away the spell's effect can reach.
A spellís range indicates how far from you it can reach, as defined in the Range entry of the spell description. A spellís range is the maximum distance from you that the spellís effect can occur, as well as the maximum distance at which you can designate the spellís point of origin. If any portion of the spellís area would extend beyond this range, that area is wasted. Standard ranges include the following.


Fireball's range is "Long", meaning its effects can extend up to 400 feet plus another 40 feet per caster level away from the caster. Its area, however, is a 20-foot-radius spread from the point of origin.

deadseashoals
2007-10-21, 05:29 PM
I'll show you an overpowered 4th level damage spell...

1. Use the Snowcasting metamagic feat to give Locate City the [Cold] descriptor.

2. the Flash Frost Spell metamagic feat to cause the spell to deal 2 points of cold damage per spell level (In this case, 1, so 2 points of damage).

3. Use the Energy Substitution (Electricity) to cause the [Cold] descriptor to change to the [Electricity] descriptor. This may or may not change the 2 points of cold damage to Electricity damage, but it doesn't matter.

4. Apply the Born of Three Thunders metamagic feat to this monster of a spell. All it requires is that the spell has the electricity descriptor or the sonic descriptor and deals hit point damage. This causes half of the spell's damage to be electricity damage and half sonic damage, for 1 point of damage each. More importantly, it then gives the targets a Fortitude save in order to avoid being stunned for one round. If they fail this save, they then get a Reflex save to avoid being knocked prone. Both of these saves are at the same save DC as the original spell was.

5. Note that this horrible mishmash of metamagic feats now has a Reflex save.

6. Apply the Explosive Spell metamagic feat to this thing. On a failed Reflex save, they're ejected to the edge of the spell, taking 1d6 damage for every 10' they traveled.

7. Realise that there are 528 10' increments in a mile, and Locate City has a radius of TEN MILES PER LEVEL.

8. ???

9. Profit!



Notes:

Snowcasting is from Frostburn. Flash Frost Spell is from the PHBII. Energy Substitution, Born of Three Thunders, and Explosive Spell are all from Complete Arcane. Locate City is from Races of Destiny.

With all metamagic feats applied to it, the Snowcasting Flash Frost Energy Substituted Born of Three Thunders Explosive Locate City is a 4th level spell.

This can be accomplished with a human wizard 7, for a 70-mile radius nuclear blast. ( You get all feats needed at level 6, but Human Wizard 7 is the earliest you can cast a 4th level spell.)

You MAY want some protection while doing this, as you are within the spell area, too. As such, if YOU fail the Fortitude and Reflex saves, YOU get ejected to the edge of the spell and take the maximum amount of damage possible (In the case of the level 7 wizard, 36960d6 damge, for an average of about 130,000 damage).

Wow. Oh man wow.

Shhalahr Windrider
2007-10-21, 05:33 PM
I see a lot of stuff about 5 ft. corridors. But remember, the 3.5 line calculation rules now make all lines effectively 10 ft. wide. You draw your line from one intersection to another. any square that touches that line is in the area of effect. Notice that if you draw your line between two intersections on the same grid line, you get a straightforward 10-ft. wide line because there are always two squares touching the line. Drawing a line at more of an angle to this can get a little wierd, but that's mostly due to the abstraction of a grid.

See the book examples for illustrations.

So, yeah, a standard 10-ft. wide, 10 ft. tall corridor would also help your explosive line.

Bassetking
2007-10-21, 10:58 PM
I'll show you an overpowered 4th level damage spell...

1. Use the Snowcasting metamagic feat to give Locate City the [Cold] descriptor.

2. the Flash Frost Spell metamagic feat to cause the spell to deal 2 points of cold damage per spell level (In this case, 1, so 2 points of damage).

3. Use the Energy Substitution (Electricity) to cause the [Cold] descriptor to change to the [Electricity] descriptor. This may or may not change the 2 points of cold damage to Electricity damage, but it doesn't matter.

4. Apply the Born of Three Thunders metamagic feat to this monster of a spell. All it requires is that the spell has the electricity descriptor or the sonic descriptor and deals hit point damage. This causes half of the spell's damage to be electricity damage and half sonic damage, for 1 point of damage each. More importantly, it then gives the targets a Fortitude save in order to avoid being stunned for one round. If they fail this save, they then get a Reflex save to avoid being knocked prone. Both of these saves are at the same save DC as the original spell was.

5. Note that this horrible mishmash of metamagic feats now has a Reflex save.

6. Apply the Explosive Spell metamagic feat to this thing. On a failed Reflex save, they're ejected to the edge of the spell, taking 1d6 damage for every 10' they traveled.

7. Realise that there are 528 10' increments in a mile, and Locate City has a radius of TEN MILES PER LEVEL.

8. ???

9. Profit!



Notes:

Snowcasting is from Frostburn. Flash Frost Spell is from the PHBII. Energy Substitution, Born of Three Thunders, and Explosive Spell are all from Complete Arcane. Locate City is from Races of Destiny.

With all metamagic feats applied to it, the Snowcasting Flash Frost Energy Substituted Born of Three Thunders Explosive Locate City is a 4th level spell.

This can be accomplished with a human wizard 7, for a 70-mile radius nuclear blast. ( You get all feats needed at level 6, but Human Wizard 7 is the earliest you can cast a 4th level spell.)

You MAY want some protection while doing this, as you are within the spell area, too. As such, if YOU fail the Fortitude and Reflex saves, YOU get ejected to the edge of the spell and take the maximum amount of damage possible (In the case of the level 7 wizard, 36960d6 damge, for an average of about 130,000 damage).

One you Energy Substitute the spell, it's no longer a [cold] spell, and, as such, no longer qualifies for Flash Frost.

What we need to use is Energy Admixture, convert part of the damage to electrical, and keep the rest frost. That'll allow us to apply Born of Three Thunders, and then Explosive.

Admixture makes it +4, Born is +0, Explosive is +2, Flash Frost is +1, Snowcasting is +0, Widen is +3

10th level. Shoot, there must be an easier way....

1 level of Cleric, DMM.

Let's apply one level of Cleric for DMM to this beast as well, shall we folks?

Wizard 13, Cleric 1

DMM the Admixture, and we're down to a 7th level slot...

At 14th level, when casting this, we're hitting a 280 mile radius spread.

Or, roughly... 246,301 square miles.

Put another way... every living being in Texas that failed their reflex save would be vaporized.

Stam
2007-10-21, 11:16 PM
Wizard5/Incantatrix10. Every one of those metamagic feats counts as one less (but min +1).

So end result there is a level 6 spell.

Dervag
2007-10-21, 11:20 PM
some dungeon corridors are 5 ft. if youre fighting kobolds or something ther will probaly be small corridorsYes, but if you shoot a kobold with 5d4+12d6 damage, the direction he gets blown by the explosion is probably irrelevant.

Aquillion
2007-10-21, 11:22 PM
Wizard5/Incantatrix10. Every one of those metamagic feats counts as one less (but min +1).

So end result there is a level 6 spell.I can do you one better: Arcane Thesis. Under the latest errata, every metamagic feat for the chosen spell counts one less, no minimum, so if you use Energy Substitution your spell goes down one level. You can't drop below the original spell level, but that's not a problem here... you get to blow up the world with a level 1 spell.


Yes, but if you shoot a kobold with 5d4+12d6 damage, the direction he gets blown by the explosion is probably irrelevant.No, the 12d6 is based on the number of 10-foot increments he is thrown... 12 would only be for the maximum distance. If he just gets thrown five feet to the side, all he takes is the initial 5d4 (not that he's likely to survive even that.)

Bassetking
2007-10-21, 11:52 PM
I can do you one better: Arcane Thesis. Under the latest errata, every metamagic feat for the chosen spell counts one less, no minimum, so if you use Energy Substitution your spell goes down one level. You can't drop below the original spell level, but that's not a problem here... you get to blow up the world with a level 1 spell.




We can't use Energy Substitution, we have to use Admixture.

That being said, using both Arcane Thesis AND the Cleric level, we can drop this to...

Admixture makes it +4(+0 DMM -1 AT), Born is +0(-1 AT), Explosive is +2(+1 AT), Flash Frost is +1(+0 AT), Snowcasting is +0(-1 AT), Widen is +3(+2 AT)

2nd level.

You can legitimately kill everything in Texas that fails its reflex save with a level 2 spell.

Kaelik
2007-10-22, 12:45 AM
I can do you one better: Arcane Thesis. Under the latest errata, every metamagic feat for the chosen spell counts one less, no minimum, so if you use Energy Substitution your spell goes down one level. You can't drop below the original spell level, but that's not a problem here... you get to blow up the world with a level 1 spell.

Actually if you take note, it comes out (with Arcane Thesis) to a 4th level slot.

Ideal PrCs are Incantrix and Stormcaster (from that water book). Gives you immunity to the piddly damage (so no save making for you.) And with Incantrix and Arcane Thesis it drops to a true level 1 Spell.


We can't use Energy Substitution, we have to use Admixture.

That being said, using both Arcane Thesis AND the Cleric level, we can drop this to...

Admixture makes it +4(+0 DMM -1 AT), Born is +0(-1 AT), Explosive is +2(+1 AT), Flash Frost is +1(+0 AT), Snowcasting is +0(-1 AT), Widen is +3(+2 AT)

2nd level.

You can legitimately kill everything in Texas that fails its reflex save with a level 2 spell.

Stop trying to DMM, it isn't even worth it. A straight Wizard build could do this as a First level spell and be immune without any extra work.

martyboy74
2007-10-22, 06:42 AM
Admixture makes it +4(+0 DMM -1 AT), Born is +0(-1 AT), Explosive is +2(+1 AT), Flash Frost is +1(+0 AT), Snowcasting is +0(-1 AT), Widen is +3(+2 AT)
You can only use DMM on divine spells.


A straight Wizard build could do this as a First level spell and be immune without any extra work.

How are you making yourself immune to this? If you make a hole in the spell where you are, then that become an edge, and you get dogpiled like there's no tomorrow.

Mewtarthio
2007-10-22, 08:45 AM
How are you making yourself immune to this? If you make a hole in the spell where you are, then that become an edge, and you get dogpiled like there's no tomorrow.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/spellImmunity.htm

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/resilientSphere.htm

Granted, everyone else is dead. Oh, well, sucks to be them.

Though I suppose someone standing right next to a wall might survive. If said wall is between them and the nearest edge, they crash into the wall, taking 1d6 damage plus two from Flash Frost.

Kaelik
2007-10-22, 12:31 PM
How are you making yourself immune to this? If you make a hole in the spell where you are, then that become an edge, and you get dogpiled like there's no tomorrow.

By making yourself immune to the two electricity damage so you don't have to make the save. That's what the Stormcaster PrC from Stormwrack is for.