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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
    {Scrub the post, scrub the quote}
    That the only thing you can conclude is that others are being disingenuous/are pretending something in their responses just indicates how far apart you are from most everyone else. Let me explain how this looks to me, and I think many others (and other people, correct me if I have your position wrong). This looks like someone coming up with a 'but officer, I'm clearly not parked illegally -- as you can see, it is my cars tires, not the car, that is on the pavement of the no-parking zone' argument. Others do not agree with this interpretation. The entire rest of the thread is the arguments thereof, so I will not redo them here-- but my point is that they disagree with the argument, not that they dislike the implications thereof and that's the real secret reason for their continued disagreement. People have pointed out that, in their mind, this isn't a compelling argument (within-analogy, the tires are clearly part of the car, at least for purposes of parking enforcement). When this is pointed out to you, you have responded with arguments which I will summarize as, 'but where does that end?' You clearly think that this is an argument in favor of your position. I don't think anyone else agrees. It might be an argument for a certain level of overall ambiguity, but that doesn't actually favor one or another interpretation, only that there is some ambiguity. Regardless, people are disagreeing with you due to disagreement on the merits of the argument, not some kind of sour grapes, or fear of the consequences of your position, if it be true (believe me, we are all well aware that the game rules could result in nonsensical results. three+ editions of nonsensical vision rules have primed us for that possibility).
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-03-04 at 08:11 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
    So now we have one object, with metal, that there is something non-metal between it and the skin, and you would say that it can block the spell. This seems incredibly inconsistent if you are on the side that plate armor does not inherently protect since the padding is in between the metal and the person in the same way that the bone is in between the gold and the person.
    Based on my reading of the spell, the thickness of any intervening material doesn't matter if the metal object is being worn or carried. It doesn't protect. If it's not being carried or worn, the DM has to decide, probably on a case-by-case basis, how much insulation is necessary to block contact.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I've tallied up all the points for this thread, and consulted with the debate judges, and the verdict is clear: JoeJ wins the thread.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    At this point, the OP has gotten the answers they sought. Neither the OP nor the rest of us are going to be swayed into changing our position on this topic. Let's just end it and be civil to each other. Ultimately, the OP and the players at their table will decide what works/doesn't work for them. We don't have to agree, but we should respect their choice to run their game as they see fit.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    This looks like someone coming up with a 'but officer, I'm clearly not parked illegally -- as you can see, it is my cars tires, not the car, that is on the pavement of the no-parking zone' argument.
    A perfect summary of my thoughts on the argument.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    I would say the solution is not try to find loopholes in how the spell works, but rather just adjust the spell's power to correct any issues.

    I agree that the spell is overpowered against a specific subset of targets (i.e. martials wearing metal armor). You are looking at 2d8 damage (guaranteed) for up to 10 rounds of combat when cast on any metal armor (there is no way to doff the armor in time to avoid damage for the full 10 rounds). Since the target can't "drop" the armor, it is looking at CON save (I assume against caster's spell level bonus) every turn or disadvantage on attacks/saves, which means if you fail early, each subsequent save attempt is made with disadvantage. Plus the caster can keep this up just with concentration and bonus action, allowing a SECOND damage spell to be added to the damage output starting in round 2. AND the spell can be upcast. 3d8 each round for level 3, 4d8 each round for level 4.....

    Arguably, there is very little to counter this spell.

    1. Break the concentration of the caster (but that only effects the damage AFTER round 1)
    2. Move out of range (60') or out of sight of the caster (this might need more clarification, as the caster could ready a "move" to maintain distance and/or sight lines).
    3. Do something to counter the effects (jump in water, have a spellcaster cast something to counter the heat, etc. - although these are all open to DM rulings)

    The way the rules work, this spell is specifically a killer against metal armor. Casting it on a weapon is kind of pointless (as they can drop and/or change weapons). But there is no way to take off armor in RAW quickly enough to stop this damage during combat for the full duration of the spell (1 minute).

    Hmmm.... I see the dilemma.

    I think the spell needs nerfed a bit because it is TOO powerful in one specific situation. It kind of throws off all other options.
    Last edited by deljzc; 2021-03-03 at 04:23 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by deljzc View Post
    AND the spell can be upcast. 3d8 each round for level 3, 4d8 each round for level 4.....
    The munchkin in me screeches in rage and despair at the idea of wasting a 4th level slot on heat metal. Heat metal is a decent 2nd level spell. It's on the low end of okay as a 3rd level spell. As a 4th level spell it belongs in the trash can.

    It kind of throws off all other options.
    None of this is meant as a personal attack, but that idea is just so wrong it makes my brain ache.

    No. No it does not. It deals a bit of damage to one target and imposes disadvantage. Why do people think this spell is so amazing? The target is probably still alive, it only works in limited conditions, it takes your concentration, and there are better options that don't have such specific requirements at 2nd level, let alone at 3rd and 4th. 2d8 is not damage that sets the world on fire. Are you going up against literally just one target who is undone by 2d8 fire damage? This just boggles my mind. People act like this spell is so wildly powerful that it needs nerfs. This spell is okay at best.

    If you're a druid with 3rd level slots and you cast 3rd level heat metal instead of conjure animals, speaking purely in terms of optimization, you are just doing it wrong unless you are specifically against a target wearing metal, with ranged attacks or flight, that has immunity to nonmagical weapon attacks. If you have a target that can't fly and isn't immune to nonmagical attacks, summon some critters. If you're a wizard or bard, you have 3rd level slots that can end a fight against a group of targets, why would you waste your concentration doing piddling damage to just one?

    And at 4th level, Jesus, this spell. 4d8, oh boy, 18 whole damage. That's almost like one sharpshooter shot from the fighter... not quite, but you know, almost. Or you could cast polymorph, greater invisibility, wall of fire, summon elementals who can each cast heat metal themselves...

    Yeah, I don't get it.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Panda View Post
    The munchkin in me screeches in rage and despair at the idea of wasting a 4th level slot on heat metal. Heat metal is a decent 2nd level spell. It's on the low end of okay as a 3rd level spell. As a 4th level spell it belongs in the trash can. snip Yeah, I don't get it.
    I'm pretty sure the spell isn't normally considered overpowering when upcast or put in comparison to level 3+ spells. In fact, that may just be the best balancing move I've heard: simply elevate it to a 3rd level spell and be done. I know that personally, something like 75-80% of all my playtime has been within the level 1-4 range for characters. And during this period, 3rd-4th character level is when heat metal is just one of the best spells available. Not the best, but one of the best, and the usual interpretation makes it biased against martial characters; though I like the ideas mentioned in this thread about allowing it to work against casters that simply have bits of metal in their clothes solely as a way to make casters fear the spell too. In my games, I just ban the spell and be done with it, but that doesn't work for everyone.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
    So your call as a DM is that one does not have to be in physical contact with something for a spell specifically requiring physical contact to work? And you think most DMs would agree with that call?



    I note that this is not an answer. The reason the wall thickness was not specified is that we could have anything from a fraction of an inch to a mile thick, and if the answer changes at any point along that continuum, it means that at some point there is too much insulation. If that point can be reached, then it can be reached in other ways.



    So now we have one object, with metal, that there is something non-metal between it and the skin, and you would say that it can block the spell. This seems incredibly inconsistent if you are on the side that plate armor does not inherently protect since the padding is in between the metal and the person in the same way that the bone is in between the gold and the person.

    I appreciate that you took a stab at answering the questions. They way you answered them makes me more confident that what I am doing is just fine, because if other DMs are all over the place with how they rule this spell, then my call is not outlandish.
    I actually am being consistent. Not "all over the place." 5e is all about "rulings, not rules" and you gave we cases where I gave my judgment and reasoning on where I would probably draw the various lines.

    If you're having a character in metal armor, insulation doesn't prect him any more than a millimeter of air. Bone armor is not metal armor. The metal inlays may or may not be significant enough to change it to "metal armor." That is where the judgment call comes in: how much metal is there and does it come close enough to the wearer to count?

    If you're saying normal armor underlayers are enough insulation to count, one wonders why the spell even bothers listing metal armor as a worn target of the spell that can do damage. If you want this character immune to it, either give him non metal armor or make the undergarment somehow special, a prize worth having for its immunity to heat and perhaps its comfort-granting properties.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Panda View Post
    If you're a druid with 3rd level slots and you cast 3rd level heat metal instead of conjure animals, speaking purely in terms of optimization, you are just doing it wrong unless you are specifically against a target wearing metal, with ranged attacks or flight, that has immunity to nonmagical weapon attacks. If you have a target that can't fly and isn't immune to nonmagical attacks, summon some critters. If you're a wizard or bard, you have 3rd level slots that can end a fight against a group of targets, why would you waste your concentration doing piddling damage to just one?
    Heat Metal gives more predictable results. If you're not good at thinking on your feet, deciding how to best use whatever animals show up can be a significant challenge.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I've tallied up all the points for this thread, and consulted with the debate judges, and the verdict is clear: JoeJ wins the thread.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    I think part of the issue here is that some people are arguing from a simulationist standpoint (e.g. how much insulation is enough), while others are arguing from a gamist standpoint (e.g. insulation is irrelevant if the metal object is being worn or carried). Normally I lean toward the simulationist side, but perhaps because Heat Metal is such a headache when treated that way and raises so many unanswered questions, I think it's better to use a gamist interpretation first and find a simulationist justification for why it works that way after the fact.

    Something interesting I noticed is the use of the phrasing, "If a creature is holding or wearing the object and takes damage from it". This implies that it is possible to be holding or wearing an object with Heat Metal cast on it without taking damage from it, but gives no indication of what methods could be used to prevent the damage. I also have to retract what I said earlier, because it seems fire immunity would indeed prevent you from rolling with disadvantage. Perhaps fire immunity is the only way to prevent damage, but it simply doesn't say.

    Personally, here's how I'd rule on a couple of the questions that have been raised:
    • A held weapon or worn armor will cause damage, period; no amount of padding or insulation will help. Similarly, touching an object even with gloves on will still hurt you.
    • A custom magic item designed to specifically counter Heat Metal (and likely similar mundane effects) could be worn under your armor to protect you. This is an exception to the previous ruling above.
    • If another object, such as a thin wall, is between you and the metal object, you take no damage since the wall and the metal object are different objects and you're only touching the wall. However, subject to DM fiat in edge cases, e.g. if the "wall" is just a sheet of thin cloth.
    • An object is primarily composed of a single material. Studded leather is leather and thus not metal, even if it includes metal parts. An axe is metal, even if the handle is wood.
    • As an extension of the above, most clothing is not metal, even if it includes metal buttons, buckles, or other parts. Clothing is also usually considered a single object.
    • Magic rings would be valid targets, because they are a distinct item from "clothing" and are made of metal. Gloves worn over the rings will prevent them from being targeted as they can no longer be seen.
    • Heat Metal may work differently depending on if you're in combat or not. For example, you could cast it on someone's belt buckle, and they might react as if they have been burned, but will take no actual damage. Heat Metal used outside of the specific rules won't confer the combat benefits but could be used for roleplay or puzzle-solving.

    I realize this won't line up with everyone's interpretation of the spell. I think it's better to have simple and clear rules about how it works, otherwise you'd need an entire book just to document every possible niche case and how to handle it. It's magic, so it doesn't need to be "realistic", and the rules of the game don't always line up with the simulated fantasy world.

    As for a custom magic item, it would need to specifically say that it blocks Heat Metal. Something like a Fireproof Cloth shaped into clothing and worn under your armor or sewn into your gloves. In addition to countering Heat Metal, it would generally allow you to touch really hot objects without hurting yourself, and might also adapt you to hot climates. However, if you go swimming in lava or take a dragon's fire breath, it wouldn't help you. This sounds like it might be a common or uncommon magic item, and probably doesn't require attunement. Or you could have it grant fire resistance and bump it up in rarity and/or require attunement.

    Edit:
    Something else I noticed is that there's no size restriction on the metal object. Something like the Death Star is a single object made of worked metal, and would qualify as a valid target.
    Last edited by Greywander; 2021-03-03 at 07:47 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    Something interesting I noticed is the use of the phrasing, "If a creature is holding or wearing the object and takes damage from it". This implies that it is possible to be holding or wearing an object with Heat Metal cast on it without taking damage from it, but gives no indication of what methods could be used to prevent the damage. I also have to retract what I said earlier, because it seems fire immunity would indeed prevent you from rolling with disadvantage. Perhaps fire immunity is the only way to prevent damage, but it simply doesn't say.
    Overthinking it
    It's in the spell text

    Quote Originally Posted by PHB p250
    Heat Metal
    Choose a manufactured metal object, such as a metal weapon or a suit of heavy or medium metal armor, that you can see within range. You cause the object to glow red-hot. Any creature in physical contact with the object takes 2d8 fire damage when you cast the spell. Until the spell ends, you can use a bonus action on each of your subsequent turns to cause this damage again.

    If a creature is holding or wearing the object and takes the damage from it, the creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or drop the object if it can. If it doesn't drop the object, it has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks until the start of your next turn.
    It is possible for a caster to continue to hold concentration on the spell, and choose to NOT use their bonus action on inflicting damage, thus allowing a creature to hold/wear the targeted object while not taking subsequent damage beyond the initial casting.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    Overthinking it
    It's in the spell text


    It is possible for a caster to continue to hold concentration on the spell, and choose to NOT use their bonus action on inflicting damage, thus allowing a creature to hold/wear the targeted object while not taking subsequent damage beyond the initial casting.
    Yep. And also, the damage is specifically of the fire type, so immunity to fire damage will prevent it.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I've tallied up all the points for this thread, and consulted with the debate judges, and the verdict is clear: JoeJ wins the thread.

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander
    Something else I noticed is that there's no size restriction on the metal object. Something like the Death Star is a single object made of worked metal, and would qualify as a valid target.

    Now you just need to get the caster within 60 feet of the hull and a space suit so they can step outside of a cockpit to cast. Because thick gloves (that you're proficient in) don't impede casting, but a thick pane of glass would.
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    Overthinking it
    It's in the spell text

    It is possible for a caster to continue to hold concentration on the spell, and choose to NOT use their bonus action on inflicting damage, thus allowing a creature to hold/wear the targeted object while not taking subsequent damage beyond the initial casting.
    Whoops, you're right, I forgot about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJ View Post
    Yep. And also, the damage is specifically of the fire type, so immunity to fire damage will prevent it.
    Yes, this is interesting because it's not very common. Most damage spells with a rider effect don't care if the target is immune to the damage dealt, the rider takes effect regardless. For example, Ray of Frost will still slow down creatures immune to cold damage.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
    But ignoring that, and just going by the spell. It states that anyone in physical contact with the metal takes damage. Someone in plate armor is not in physical contact with the armor. The armor is touching the padding between the armor and the person, and the person is touching the padding. Wool is a very good insulator, and is probably what the padding is made of. So since the armor is not in contact with the person, heat metal really shouldn't do anything if it is done to the armor, right? For that matter, if someone is wearing gloves (let's say leather) then the weapon being heated probably shouldn't matter. I have personally picked up red hot coals from a bbq and moved them around with leather gloves, so I know that they do protect for a reasonable amount of time.

    It seems that heat metal on someone's armor or weapon would be better for stopping others from grappling them or make the weapon do more damage, rather than be offensively used against others.
    This probably isn't the intention of the spell but it isn't necessarily an unreasonable ruling.

    Whether it is reasonable or not depends on whether you habitually ignore the rules in favor of making rulings that make sense or generally follow the rules in favor of consistency.

    Would a creature subjected to an enlarge effect fall through a weak floor? Would the PC's have any trouble taking their 10 foot pole up a spiral staircase?
    would the PC with the over stuffed backpack have to roll to find items that are stored somewhere inside?
    If a creature falls of a ledge do they risk breaking fragile items like potions?
    Can the fighter ready an action to stab the giant in the hand when it goes to punch her from well outside her reach?
    can the wizard keep out of reach of a shambling zombie by running benny hill style around a barrel?
    can you grab hold of a spirit weapon to stop it from stabbing you?

    If these examples or similar situations are likely to come up in your game then the heat metal ruling is fine, expected even.

    If everything has been strictly RaW up to this point and your first and only change is to the spell heat metal then it doesn't seem so reasonable. Seems like personal gripe with the spell rather than an ongoing quest for verisimilitude.
    I am rel.

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
    OK, I guess we aren't done. Yes, the last statement was incorrect. About as incorrect as it is possible to be. If your reading of my previous comments is that I am setting out to screw over a specific player, or even players in general, then we have a fundamental miscommunication that I don't know how to solve.



    Let me ask you a few questions. If someone is standing on dirt, but is inside a metal cylinder that comes within one millimeter of the person, and heat metal is cast on the cylinder - does the person take damage? Why or why not?
    If someone is leaning against a brick wall of unknown thickness, and a metal plate is attached to the other side of the wall and heat metal is cast on the metal plate - does the person take damage? Why or why not?
    Would bone armor, that many have said is a way to get around this, that has some gold inlays for decoration, be subject to the spell? Why or why not?

    And thank you very much, but I absolutely know how to run those spells. You may note, based on every comment I have posted to this thread, that I am not actually nerfing or banning anything. I am, in fact, allowing the players to use the spell exactly as intended for everyone except one NPC who makes it his mission to find ways to nullify spells. Yes, I hate the spell. I think it is a ridiculously stupid spell. I don't think it is difficult to run, or difficult to deal with as a DM, and at no time did I say that I did. I reviewed the text, and the way I read it, it seemed that plate armor would be inherently protected. I accepted the logic that the plate armor is all one thing, and therefore magic makes it work. But the idea that there is no way to put a separate blocking barrier in place to prevent the damage is saying that it will work against someone leaning against a brick wall of indeterminate thickness. Doug Lampert came up with a reasonable explanation for how to rule whether something is touching enough, and it has the effect of making heat metal work on a lot more things, and I like that he came up with a viable solution. {Scrub the post, scrub the quote}
    I think the bolded section states the main issue here. You're trying to find a way to invalidate a player's specific action against your special NPC. So the rules apply to everyone but that NPC. Dude, you're wasting so much time on this when you could just give him an upgraded potion of fire resistance or the like. It satisfies your requirement that this NPC can't be damaged by Heat Metal but it's a one-off so the players can't get their hands on it or use the same technique. It also gives them an RP hook to find out where he got that cool potion and which genius alchemist brewed it up...
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-03-04 at 08:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
    I am, in fact, allowing the players to use the spell exactly as intended for everyone except one NPC who makes it his mission to find ways to nullify spells.
    I think you are getting an unnecessary amount of pushback on this, mostly because "makes-sense" defenses against the spell are completely at odds with the effects it is supposed to have: Making stuff so hot they damage the intended victim. As you've pointed out, people generally don't make skin-contact with the metal material of objects they hold and wear. Metal is cold and uncomfortable, padding and wrapping negates that discomfort, and makes "contact" a bit blurry - it's not skin contact, but it's also not mere proximity, so...

    So there isn't really any way for that NPC to achieve his goal of Heat Metal immunity if he limits himself only to mundane and sensible countermeasures, because the spell specifically ignores that doesn't work at all if you make allowances for them. As the GM, however, you can have the PC go beyond the mundane into the exotic:

    Your NPC can have developed bespoke padding made out of exotic materials, e.g. the fur of an ice wolf, or the beard of a salamander, that allows him to specifically ignore the effects of Heat Metal or renders him immune to fire damage in general. Or he has magical tattoos or a pact of protection with a demon. As the GM you're not limited to the tools in the player's toolbox, and this might be one of those times you will want to get creative.

    You can even be a bit lazy and simply state that he is immune without giving any reason to the PCs - after all, how would they know? Of course, this would go over with the players a bit better if there were any hints that this NPC might have certain countermeasures in play, and if they had a chance to learn a bit about what to expect before a confrontation, or pick up some sort of explanation later.

    -DF
    Last edited by DwarfFighter; 2021-03-04 at 05:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    That the only thing you can conclude is that others are being disingenuous/are pretending something in their responses just indicates how far apart you are from most everyone else. Let me explain how this looks to me, and I think many others (and other people, correct me if I have your position wrong). This looks like someone coming up with a 'but officer, I'm clearly not parked illegally -- as you can see, it is my cars tires, not the car, that is on the pavement of the no-parking zone' argument. Others do not agree with this interpretation. The entire rest of the thread is the arguments thereof, so I will not redo them here-- but my point is that they disagree with the argument, not that they dislike the implications thereof and that's the real secret reason for their continued disagreement. People have pointed out that, in their mind, this isn't a compelling argument (within-analogy, the tires are clearly part of the car, at least for purposes of parking enforcement). When this is pointed out to you, you have responded with arguments which I will summarize as, 'but where does that end?' You clearly think that this is an argument in favor of your position. I don't think anyone else agrees. It might be an argument for a certain level of overall ambiguity, but that doesn't actually favor one or another interpretation, only that there is some ambiguity. Regardless, people are disagreeing with you due to disagreement on the merits of the argument, not some kind of sour grapes, or fear of the consequences of your position, if it be true (believe me, we are all well aware that the game rules could result in nonsensical results. three+ editions of nonsensical vision rules have primed us for that possibility).
    Pretty much all this.
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
    Again - I have not nerfed it, and I don't intend to do so.
    Well, you do. By saying that you can negate the damage simply by wrapping a thin piece of leather around a metal object that is glowing "red-hot". The heat would, both magically and physically, be enough to damage anyone holding that object.

    Cover the armor so it cannot be seen, therefore it cannot be a target of the spell. Or paint it, such that the paint completely covers all of the metal. These seem to be clearly within RAW, but I'm sure it would be hated by anyone who uses the spell.
    Uhm, no. That is not have anything works. Things don't turn invisible just because you paint them. That's a rather silly notion, isn't it? Not to mention that it wasn't that unusual that armour was painted and covered in cloth. By the same weird logic you would be unable to target a mummy completely wrapped in bandages with certain spells because you can't "see" them and a casters bare skin has to touch the bare skin of the target for touch spells (which would be really awesome for people in plate armour). Naturally, logic and common sense dictates that this isn't the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by DwarfFighter View Post
    A tangent: What about armor that isn't metal? Imagine a culture using bone, glass, or ceramics as material instead of metals. The PCs encounter an enemy with a ceramic breastplate. It is medium armor, so it fits the example in the text of the spell. But it isn't made of metal so it doesn't fit the theme of the spell. What should win here? RAW or RAI?
    RAW is that it has to be metal armour so that's the easy answer. :) I can definitely see certain cultures using bone armour, for example. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Valmark View Post
    Keep in mind that physical contact doesn't mean direct- I'm still touching something even if I do it through gloves, for example. Like others have said if that's all it took to defeat Heat Metal it probably wouldn't be a threat to anybody.
    Yeah, this. Touch spells would be worthless in colder climates if this wasn't the case. And people could be pretty much immune to certain types of magic just by wearing clothes that covers up your whole body.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    But having made that ruling.... It does have very significant knock on effects for the spell: because, that means that heat metal works on almost anyone with clothing! Pre-modern buckles, buttons, hobnails on your footwear, eyelets for your lacings (and note that your sleeves are laced to your tunic at this time so being barefoot doesn't help), even fairly light leather armor historically could easily include a metal cap, whatever. You are in possession of SOMETHING made of metal that's not hidden in your purse, especially since it's explicit in my world that ordinary clothing includes a belt knife and that is an attended object, so you can heat it if you can heat other attended objects (which is the main point of the spell).

    PCs are wearing fairly durable clothing, in a medievaloid tech that means they have metal in their clothing. Plus that belt knife, you are not eating dinner with your fighting dagger if you want to use it to actually, you know, fight sometimes.
    The medievalist in me is just going to point out that metal eyelets is a very modern invention and that metal buttons and hobnails were quite uncommon. Buttons were often made from fabric. When buttons (and buckles, btw) were made of metal it was often pewter which means that you can't have it glow "red-hot" as per the spell. Lacing sleeves to your tunic is a ren faire make-belief and per the rules leather armour does not include a metal cap. In short, there wasn't really that much metal in clothes. I do like the inclusion of a free belt knife in the basic clothing kit, though. :)
    Last edited by Droppeddead; 2021-03-08 at 03:39 AM.

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Droppeddead View Post
    Well, you do. By saying that you can negate the damage simply by wrapping a thin piece of leather around a metal object that is glowing "red-hot". The heat would, both magically and physically, be enough to damage anyone holding that object.
    Ah, but the object isn't "glowing red hot" in the way it would be in the real world.

    If your hand was even 1mm away from the object but not touching it, you would take no damage from it at all, because the spell requires you to be in physical contact with the object.

    If the property "in physical contact" is transitive though (ie being in physical contact with a thing which is in physical contact with the object counts as being in physical contact with the object so touching it with glove causes you to still take damage) with no upper limit (none is stated in the spell) then Heat Metal is actually an armageddon class spell because as soon as anyone anywhere in the world casts it then all not-currently flying creatures in the world take 2D8 fire damage. Because they are all in contact with an object which has had Heat Metal cast on it via transitive contact through the ground.

    So in order for the spell not to be a nonsense, there must be some level of intermediate matter which causes the spell to not cause damage.

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Ah, but the object isn't "glowing red hot" in the way it would be in the real world.

    If your hand was even 1mm away from the object but not touching it, you would take no damage from it at all, because the spell requires you to be in physical contact with the object.

    If the property "in physical contact" is transitive though (ie being in physical contact with a thing which is in physical contact with the object counts as being in physical contact with the object so touching it with glove causes you to still take damage) with no upper limit (none is stated in the spell) then Heat Metal is actually an armageddon class spell because as soon as anyone anywhere in the world casts it then all not-currently flying creatures in the world take 2D8 fire damage. Because they are all in contact with an object which has had Heat Metal cast on it via transitive contact through the ground.

    So in order for the spell not to be a nonsense, there must be some level of intermediate matter which causes the spell to not cause damage.
    The argument about being 1 mm away not counting as touching it and therefore doing no damage is disregarding the spirit and principles even of 3.5, let alone 5e. "Touching" is very obviously shorthand because trying to define a 1/rn-based equation for damage based on distance r is not fun for a game. This is especially so in 5e where "rulings, not rules" is the guiding philosophy. "Is this close enough to count as touching?" not only is something left to the DM to adjudicate, but is reasonable to expect to change based on all sorts of factors that contribute to what the DM thinks is realistic, fun, and narratively satisfying.

    Focusing on precise wording as if it proves a seemingly ridiculous effect is supposedly obviously intended because "magic" is the wrong way to view any 5e mechanic. There are atoll ways to get to similar conclusions (AoEs stop where they say they do for balance reasons, for instance), but the reasons are not based on milimeter-precise measurements and "magic" so much as a certain amount of precision in the simulation being lost in the name of a game that doesn't become hours of math for every single fireball.

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Ah, but the object isn't "glowing red hot" in the way it would be in the real world.
    So where in the PHB can I read about how things glowing red hot differ from the real world? Page and paragraph, please.

    If your hand was even 1mm away from the object but not touching it, you would take no damage from it at all, because the spell requires you to be in physical contact with the object.
    Sure, but if I'm wearing a glove and touch the object I am still touching it.

    If the property "in physical contact" is transitive though (ie being in physical contact with a thing which is in physical contact with the object counts as being in physical contact with the object so touching it with glove causes you to still take damage) with no upper limit (none is stated in the spell) then Heat Metal is actually an armageddon class spell because as soon as anyone anywhere in the world casts it then all not-currently flying creatures in the world take 2D8 fire damage. Because they are all in contact with an object which has had Heat Metal cast on it via transitive contact through the ground.
    Don't be silly, there is nothing in any statement that suggests that. That is botha non sequitur and a strawman argument. Especially since air is also matter that is in touch with something. And even with your, frankly, ridiculously exagerated interpretation of the word, there is still a range limitation on the spell.

    So in order for the spell not to be a nonsense, there must be some level of intermediate matter which causes the spell to not cause damage.
    The common sense limitation is quite obvious in this case. If you're holding it, you're touching it. If you're wearing it, you're touching it. There. Problem solved. B)

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Droppeddead View Post
    So where in the PHB can I read about how things glowing red hot differ from the real world? Page and paragraph, please.
    Paragraph 1, Page 5.

    This is a game about a world of make-believe and fantasy. Everything in it is fantasy, and the rules for how things behave are specified within the rules.

    I agree with everything else you wrote in that post. But I did have to take exception that one must assume real-world physics apply anywhere in D&D.

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Droppeddead View Post
    So where in the PHB can I read about how things glowing red hot differ from the real world? Page and paragraph, please.
    You don't need the PHB, it's right there in the spell wording. This is a glowing red hot object that has no effect unless you are in physical contact with it at which point it causes a level of damage instantly fatal to normal humans.

    Sure, but if I'm wearing a glove and touch the object I am still touching it.
    But it is possible for you to be wearing a glove sufficiently thick that, although "touching" the object your actual hand is further away from it than it would be if you were holding your unprotected hand near it. In the former case you would take damage, in the latter case you would not.

    Don't be silly, there is nothing in any statement that suggests that. That is botha non sequitur and a strawman argument. Especially since air is also matter that is in touch with something. And even with your, frankly, ridiculously exagerated interpretation of the word, there is still a range limitation on the spell.
    So are you still touching the item if you wear two gloves on the same hand? Three? Four? How many interposing objects between you and the item count as still "touching" it? If it's infinite then surely anything you are touching is also touching the item and anything touching them is also touching it. Why does the transitive property of you "touching" the item transfer through some interposing objects but not others?

    This is a deliberate argumentam ad absurdam to show that the spell is, in fact, not actually well explained or designed because it can produce silly results almost no matter what ruling you make about how it works.

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    You don't need the PHB, it's right there in the spell wording. This is a glowing red hot object that has no effect unless you are in physical contact with it at which point it causes a level of damage instantly fatal to normal humans.



    But it is possible for you to be wearing a glove sufficiently thick that, although "touching" the object your actual hand is further away from it than it would be if you were holding your unprotected hand near it. In the former case you would take damage, in the latter case you would not.



    So are you still touching the item if you wear two gloves on the same hand? Three? Four? How many interposing objects between you and the item count as still "touching" it? If it's infinite then surely anything you are touching is also touching the item and anything touching them is also touching it. Why does the transitive property of you "touching" the item transfer through some interposing objects but not others?

    This is a deliberate argumentam ad absurdam to show that the spell is, in fact, not actually well explained or designed because it can produce silly results almost no matter what ruling you make about how it works.
    I dont think "Im being silly on purpose, therefore the spell is badly worded" is as strong an argument as you think it is.
    Last edited by Keltest; 2021-03-08 at 11:23 AM.
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I dont think "im trying to produce a silly argument on purpose that i know is silly on the face of it to show that the spell is badly worded" is as strong an argument as you think it is.
    Argumentam ad absurdam is a well established tool. Pushing the limits of a concept to see whether and where it breaks down.

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Just wanted to say:

    If you want to have a bad guy look awesome by figuring out a counter for spells, why not just have them wear an armor not made of metal?

    You could use any substance from diamondwood to Grell alchemical plastic.

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Argumentam ad absurdam is a well established tool. Pushing the limits of a concept to see whether and where it breaks down.
    Im not aware that reducto ad absurdum is particularly respected as a way to prove a point due to the inherent absurdity. Youre just asking a stupid question and complaining when you get a stupid answer (or playing a stupid game and complaining about the stupid prize, if you prefer).
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    But it is possible for you to be wearing a glove sufficiently thick that, although "touching" the object your actual hand is further away from it
    Not according to the rules, no, you can't. If your DM wants to allow you to do so then that's their prerogative, though I'd assume double gloving would impose some sort of penalty because it would make using your weapon a great deal more difficult.
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    Default Re: Should heat metal work against armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    If you want to have a bad guy look awesome by figuring out a counter for spells, why not just have them wear an armor not made of metal?
    Pssh, sure, that's the obvious way out. My bad guy is so unique and special, he wears DM Plot Armor.

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