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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Explosive spell nonsense

    The Explosive Spell metamagic feat (Complete Arcane) gives an explosive fireball as an example in its description. Which is very interesting, as per raw, one can't even apply Explosive Spell to fireball, as it's a spread spell, not a burst. I wonder why this hasn't been fixed via errata.


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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    The example is correct, the brackets are just not a complete list of area spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by Complete Arcane - Explosive Spell
    Explosive Spell can be applied only to spells that allow Reflex saves and affect an area (a cone, cylinder, line, or burst).
    The brackets should have looked like this to form a more exhaustive list:
    (Burst, Emanation, Spread, Cone, Cylinder, Line, or Sphere)

    However, it is easy to see if a spell is an area spell. You simply look at the spell header and if the entry includes "Area" it is an area spell.

    Example:

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Fireball
    Evocation [Fire]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 3
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
    Area: 20-ft.-radius spread
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Reflex half
    Spell Resistance: Yes
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    Shhalahr Windrider's Avatar

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    I'd say the problem is with the parenthetical note. That note is meant to clarify the statement "Explosive Spell can be applied only to spells that allow Reflex saves and affect an area," for which fireball qualifies. That's the actual functional statement, not the incomplete list of area types. The writer just forgot spreads.

    Really, the better and all-inclusive clarification would have been "Spells with an 'Area' entry and a Save of 'Reflex negates' or 'Relex half,'" since that's exactly what the statement means. That would even allow for the possiblility of a supplement that introduces a new area type.
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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Thanks for the clarification. The way it's worded makes it seem like the brackets are an exclusive list and is misleading.


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    Shhalahr Windrider's Avatar

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by AslanCross View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. The way it's worded makes it seem like the brackets are an exclusive list and is misleading.
    Yeah. They did the same with Energy Substitution, leaving Sonic off the list.

    Just remember that when used properly, a phrase in parentheses can be completely removed without changing the meaning of a sentence. So if it's causing trouble with rules interpretation, just ignore any such notes and see if that makes things clearer.

    Of course, that's assuming the author is using the parentheses properly...
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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    But leaving Sonic out of the list seems intentional, since it would be clearly a better option.
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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Sonic is the best energy type; nothing except epic monsters have resistance or immunity to it, it deals full damage to objects...

    I don't think it being left out of Energy Substitution was a mistake.
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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    If I remember, there's a spell called Resonating bolt that is the exact same as Lightning bolt except it does sonic damage and d4s instead of d6s. I think that sonic's power against objects is mitigated by using a smaller die.
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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    Sonic is the best energy type; nothing except epic monsters have resistance or immunity to it, it deals full damage to objects...

    I don't think it being left out of Energy Substitution was a mistake.
    Slaadi are immune to it, but yeah I agree.

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    I always thought that feat would make more sense if it only applied to reflex save for half rather than all reflex save area of effect spells. Otherwise entangle and grease become explosive. I like the image of people sliding out of the grease or entangling vines chucking people out of the area, but the explosion flavor just doesn't work there.
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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    I've designed an item , Panic Button , which makes best use of this metamagic. It's great at clearing some space from around your caster, although it pushes your party away, too.

    Cast widened explosive Dance of Ruin.

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by nargbop View Post
    I've designed an item , Panic Button , which makes best use of this metamagic. It's great at clearing some space from around your caster, although it pushes your party away, too.
    Please tell me it looks like the Staples "Easy Button" except it has "Panic" written on it.
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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Well, there really aren't that many creatures that are immune to Acid either except for Acid-breathing dragons and Angels. (At least in core.) Acid also deals full damage to objects.


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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Leaving Sonic off of the Energy Substitution list was certainly not a mistake. In fact, it was a revision, since 3.0 Energy Substitution did allow sonic substitution. Nevertheless, my DM let me take it on my sorceress. (It helps that my energy spells are more powerful when cast as fire than sonic.)
    Last edited by Talya; 2008-02-24 at 07:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by Mewtarthio View Post
    Please tell me it looks like the Staples "Easy Button" except it has "Panic" written on it.
    If it does, it must be paired with a second item (possibly artifact-level), which is a book with "DONT PANIC" written on the cover. Right?

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by AlterForm View Post
    If it does, it must be paired with a second item (possibly artifact-level), which is a book with "DONT PANIC" written on the cover. Right?
    Dang it, you got to it first...

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    Talic's Avatar

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Leaving Sonic off that list is very intentional. Sonic's a pretty wonky element, with few resistances, and a 2nd level spell that offers complete immunity (Silence).

    That's right, Silence > Wail of the Banshee.

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by Talic View Post
    Leaving Sonic off that list is very intentional. Sonic's a pretty wonky element, with few resistances, and a 2nd level spell that offers complete immunity (Silence).

    That's right, Silence > Wail of the Banshee.
    Silence is a 2nd-level anti-magic field with a built-in workaround (taking the Silent Spell feat). It's actually one of the more broken spells in the game if used strategically.

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    Shhalahr Windrider's Avatar

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Sonic not being on that parenthetical list does not prevent you in any way from taking Energy Substitution (Sonic) for the same reasons you can make an Explosive Fireball despite spread being left of that list. It's just a parenthetical note that has no bearing on actual interpretation.

    If they intend sonic to be unavailable for Energy Substitution, they need to explicitly say so.
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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by Shhalahr Windrider View Post
    Sonic not being on that parenthetical list does not prevent you in any way from taking Energy Substitution (Sonic) for the same reasons you can make an Explosive Fireball despite spread being left of that list. It's just a parenthetical note that has no bearing on actual interpretation.

    If they intend sonic to be unavailable for Energy Substitution, they need to explicitly say so.
    One reason would be that sonic is apparantly so good it would be pointless with the other four elements... or some would argue.
    Lets call it energy substitution (force) and be done :)
    (both makes more sense then acid energy)

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by Khanderas View Post
    (both makes more sense then acid energy)
    It's not as if there's any such thing as "fire energy" or "cold energy", either.

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Another drawback of sonic is that there is no subtype that is opposite it. One of the glorious things about having spell diversity is the free empower effect (1.5x increase in damage) you get for blasting a cold subtype creature with a fire spell, or a fire subtype creature with a cold spell. Yeah, sonic will get you more consistant applicability, but sometimes fire or cold give you some sweet numbers (like empowered DBF on a creature with the cold subtype)

    Then again, just cast spells that disable regardless of type and let your leap attacking barbarian BDF roll some dice every once in a while.
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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post
    It's not as if there's any such thing as "fire energy" or "cold energy", either.
    There isn't? I need to rethink my world views...




    Now what will I do with that fire to acid to sonic to cold energy thingamagig I was building?

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by Khanderas View Post
    One reason would be that sonic is apparantly so good it would be pointless with the other four elements... or some would argue.
    Lets call it energy substitution (force) and be done :)
    (both makes more sense then acid energy)
    Force isn't a energy type it is a Electric Field (in physics).

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by kamikasei View Post
    It's not as if there's any such thing as "fire energy" or "cold energy", either.
    Well atleast fire and cold are excess or absence of heat, a form of energy.
    Sonic is kinetic energy
    Lightning would be electric energy.

    Acid... is youknow... a liquid (most often).

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Force isn't a energy type it is a Electric Field (in physics).
    My comment about calling it energy substitution (force), was more about the force effect from say magic missiles. This damage type is well known for its crappy general damage, but ability to hit most every time (such as incorperal undeads and there is no energy resistence to force effects).
    Why force ? well because it is not mentioned in the brackets, same as sonic, and sonic is also alittle too good to use as a substituion for firedamage (or the other types) due to few things are resistent to it.
    Last edited by Khanderas; 2008-02-25 at 09:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    Sonic is the best energy type; nothing except epic monsters have resistance or immunity to it, it deals full damage to objects...

    I don't think it being left out of Energy Substitution was a mistake.
    There are several feats with this problem. Pierce Magical Concealment comes to mind. I hate sloppy editing.

    Also, Sonic Immunity is somewhat more common in MM3, MM4, and some of the other later expansions. Plus remember Rule 0. No matter how rare something might be, a DM will mix it in anyway if he thinks its a good idea. It's "real life" rarity in the D&D world is often meaningless. So I tend to avoid Energy Substitution and similar work around feats, and focus on having a wide variety of different spells/effects instead.

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    After reading Explosive Spell, it looks pretty nifty, particularly in conjunction with Sculpt Spell. I see no reason why it wouldn't apply to Fireball, either. I wonder if it would apply to Shout (which allows for Reflex Negates under very specific circumstances).

    As for energy substitution, why would Sonic be excluded for power reasons without excluding Acid, also? There's quite a bit of precedent for the two elements being of approximate general power. Plus Energy Substitution: Sonic is just high on the cool factor.
    Last edited by Indon; 2008-02-25 at 09:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Force isn't a energy type it is a Electric Field (in physics).
    ???

    Anyhow, I think that sonic energy is the one energy that everyone forgets about, which is why there's so little resistance. Hmm... plane of pure sonic energy...

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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by Khanderas View Post
    My comment about calling it energy substitution (force), was more about the force effect from say magic missiles.
    Force is not an energy type. There are only five energy types: Acid, Cold, Fire, Electricity, and Sonic. Despite their names, neither positive nor negative energy count as a type of energy in the same sense as those five. See the glossary entry for "energy damage" on p. 308 of the PHB.

    The force descriptor for a spell is no more an indicator of a "force energy" type than the mind-affecting or language-dependent descriptors being an indicator of a "mind-affecting or language-dependent energy" type.

    Anyway, as to Sonic energy being so good: It seems to me there aren't that many creatures that are vulnerable to sonic, either. That's where the trade off comes in. There are a crapload of creatures resistant to fire and cold, but there are also a fair number that are explicitly vulnerable to those types as well. So not only could you use Energy Substitution (cold) on your fireball to avoid, say, a fire giant's immunity, but you would also be doing extra damage on account of its cold vulnerability. But if you replaced it with Sonic, well, you'd just be doing normal fireball damage.

    Of course, Acid and Electricity both kinda suck in that regards. I can think of a fair number of creatures that are immune or resistant to each of those energies, but I don't really know any that are vulnerable.
    Last edited by Shhalahr Windrider; 2008-02-25 at 01:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Explosive spell nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by Shhalahr Windrider View Post
    Sonic not being on that parenthetical list does not prevent you in any way from taking Energy Substitution (Sonic) for the same reasons you can make an Explosive Fireball despite spread being left of that list. It's just a parenthetical note that has no bearing on actual interpretation.

    If they intend sonic to be unavailable for Energy Substitution, they need to explicitly say so.
    Actually, it does. That is, unless you want to add in Positive (look kids, 10d6 healing to a 20' radius spread,), negative (see before, but undead), force (screw transdimensional spell, I just made my fireball into a cold ball).

    The description of explosive spell uses an example specifically not on the list it offers. Thus, we can infer that, if the example is correct (no errata forthcoming), then in that specific example, types not on the list that otherwise meet the criteria are allowed.

    Energy Sub. has no such example. Further, the list it gives are the 4 primary elements. The ones that creatures can have resistances to, prior to ECL=run away, Elminster.

    In short, you know the correct answer. The cheesy little munchkin in you is trying to wheedle something that ain't so. Don't listen to the munchkin, Windrider. Bad things happen when you listen to the munchkin. Games break, people stop having fun, and then what's the point?

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