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DnD4e: Magic Items, RaW vs RaI

   
Magic Items, RaW vs RaI

Okay, so lately my RL gaming group has convinced me to run them a game of D&D 4e using the pre-essentials stuff, PHB 1-3, the (power type) Powers books and a few of the books with Themes in them. And recently the party wizard took the paragon path that lets him use a longsword as an impliment.

My question for the Weave is this:

As weapons such Flaming and Frost weapon have the free action to turn the damage they deal into their respective damage type, would a spell using that weapon as an impliment gain the elemental descriptor from that weapon in adition to, or instead of, their base descriptors when cast. Or is this for purely for weapon attacks. I am confuzzaled because of wizards crappy english when writting down how powers work. The text in question being 'All damage dealt by this weapon is fire damage.', and one could argue that, RaW, as the spell is casted through the weapon that the damage is coming from the weapon.

Example: A magic missile spell is cast through Frost longsword +1 deal cold damage in addition to, or instead of, the force damage the spell has.

This hasn't come up yet, but the next time they get into combat Mr Wizard is going to ask about it the first time he casts a spell through his weapon and grind the game to a halt as we try to figure out the answer.

The descriptions are quite clear; there is no "one could argue":

All damage dealt by this is <<insert damage type>>.

So yeah ... if your wizard can use a frost weapon as an implement, turns on the frost, then uses that weapliment to cast Magic Missile, ALL the damage done by said Magic Missile is cold damage.

Couple this with the feats "Lasting Frost" (which has been nerfed since release; check the Compendium or rules updates PDFs for specifics) and "Wintertouched" for the nifty little combo known as "frostcheese".

Allowing the keywords to be additive would be entirely too powerful, as additive damage types require the target to have resistance to ALL types of damage to resist the attack ... and only the lowest resistance applies.

For example:

If the Frost longsword added Cold damage to all spells, you'd have Cold AND Force damage done by Magic Missile. This would mean the target would need Resist Cold AND Resist Force to resist the damage. Having only Resist Cold or Resist Force would be insufficient to resist the damage from the attack. If the target had, say, Resist 5 Cold and Resist 10 Force, only the lowest (Resist 5) would apply.

Elemental resistances (Cold, Fire, Acid, Lightning, Thunder) are pretty easy to get. The more esoteric types (Radiant, Necrotic, Poison, Force) are a bit harder. It's rare for something to be resistant to both Radiant and Necrotic damage, for example. Because of this, stacking damage types with the former group is actually pretty common. Warlocks, for example, often wear Gloves of Eldritch Admixture. Mixing the latter group - with itself or with elemental damage types - makes for very, very nasty attacks.

And yet additive damage types for these items is purely RAW.
Other damage-type-changing effects specify that the resultant power deals X-typed damage instead of Y-typed damage. These items specify only that the power deals X-typed damage.





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