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View Full Version : [3.5] Attacking While Ethereal



Kyouhen
2010-12-23, 12:38 AM
So I came up with an idea I want to try that combines the Phase Cloak soulmeld with spring attack. I know it probably isn't the most optimal of all ideas, but I think it would be hilarious to pretty much teleport back and forth across the battlefield while everyone dies. (That and combine it with sneak attack, sudden strike and skirmish damage to see what happens)

My question is, is there any way to make an attack from the Ethereal plane? Is there something better than a ghost touch weapon that I can use to stab people? Or am I going to end up having to drop the spring attack portion alltogether?

Forged Fury
2010-12-23, 12:51 AM
My question is, is there any way to make an attack from the Ethereal plane?
Not that I am aware. Force effects cast on the material plane can effect the Ethereal Plane, but not vice versa. Look at the description of the Blink spell for clarification.

I haven't read the particulars of the Transdimensional Spell metamagic feat in a while. It might help, but I doubt it. Particularly not for a Spring Attack build.

Popertop
2010-12-23, 01:03 AM
I think ghost strike is one step stronger than ghost touch, and eliminates the miss chance or some such, but don't quote me on that.

Claudius Maximus
2010-12-23, 01:08 AM
Ghost Touch doesn't work across planar boundaries. It is of no use for material creatures attacking ethereal one or vice versa. It only deals with incorporeal, which is different from ethereal. Ghost Strike doesn't help this.

By RAW Transdimensional Spell can't attack the material from the ethereal. It works the other way around though.

The Ethereal Reaver specific weapon from Complete Psionic can attack from the ethereal.

Adamantrue
2010-12-23, 08:28 AM
Ghost Touch doesn't work across planar boundaries. It is of no use for material creatures attacking ethereal one or vice versa. It only deals with incorporeal, which is different from ethereal. What? I hope this is incorrect...

From the SRD description of the Ethereal Plane (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/planes.htm#theEtherealPlane):
A traveler on the Ethereal Plane is invisible, incorporeal, and utterly silent to someone on the Material Plane. And now on a Ghost Touch Weapon (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicWeapons.htm#ghostTouchWeapon):
A ghost touch weapon deals damage normally against incorporeal creatures, regardless of its bonus. (An incorporeal creature’s 50% chance to avoid damage does not apply to attacks with ghost touch weapons.) That's always been the way we handled it. Can someone explain the difference that we missed?

Curmudgeon
2010-12-23, 09:41 AM
That's always been the way we handled it. Can someone explain the difference that we missed?
Ethereal creatures are incorporeal, but they're also on another plane of existence. You need to be able to both hit incorporeal creatures and have your effect cross the planar boundary to affect ethereal creatures.

An ethereal creature is invisible, incorporeal, and capable of moving in any direction, even up or down. As an incorporeal creature, you can move through solid objects, including living creatures.

Etherealness

While on the Ethereal Plane, a creature is called ethereal. Unlike incorporeal creatures, ethereal creatures are not present on the Material Plane.

Ethereal creatures are invisible, inaudible, insubstantial, and scentless to creatures on the Material Plane. Even most magical attacks have no effect on them. See invisibility and true seeing reveal ethereal creatures.
Let's try another way of looking at this. An ethereal creature is also invisible. With See Invisibility you can see invisible creatures (both on the Material Plane and on the corresponding part of the Ethereal Plane) and be able to target any invisible creatures you can reach. But being able to see into another plane still doesn't let your sword cross over to hit a target there. Just as being able to attack invisible creatures on the material plane doesn't let your sword cross planar boundaries, being able to attack incorporeal creatures on the Material Plane also doesn't let your sword cross planar boundaries. Ethereal creatures are invisible. And they're incorporeal. They're also on a completely different plane of existence.

Forged Fury
2010-12-23, 10:02 AM
Just to add to the explanation, make sure to read the Monster Manual entry on the Ghost (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/ghost.htm), specifically their Supernatural ability called Manifestation.


Manifestation (Su)
Every ghost has this ability. A ghost dwells on the Ethereal Plane and, as an ethereal creature, it cannot affect or be affected by anything in the material world. When a ghost manifests, it partly enters the Material Plane and becomes visible but incorporeal on the Material Plane. A manifested ghost can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons, or spells, with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. A manifested ghost can pass through solid objects at will, and its own attacks pass through armor. A manifested ghost always moves silently. A manifested ghost can strike with its touch attack or with a ghost touch weapon (see Ghostly Equipment, below). A manifested ghost remains partially on the Ethereal Plane, where is it not incorporeal. A manifested ghost can be attacked by opponents on either the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane. The ghost’s incorporeality helps protect it from foes on the Material Plane, but not from foes on the Ethereal Plane.

When a spellcasting ghost is not manifested and is on the Ethereal Plane, its spells cannot affect targets on the Material Plane, but they work normally against ethereal targets. When a spellcasting ghost manifests, its spells continue to affect ethereal targets and can affect targets on the Material Plane normally unless the spells rely on touch. A manifested ghost’s touch spells don’t work on nonethereal targets.

A ghost has two home planes, the Material Plane and the Ethereal Plane. It is not considered extraplanar when on either of these planes.Essentially, a ghost partially exists on the Material Plane when it manifests, which is why it is incorporeal. If you were to find your way to the Ethereal Plane, it would be as solid as you are.

Person_Man
2010-12-23, 10:51 AM
The combo you are looking for belongs is Apparition Ribbon bound to your Throat, which grants you the Incorporeal Subtype (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#incorporealSubtype) (not ethereal). It's a standard action to activate, lasts for a number of rounds equal to the essentia invested, and can only be used a maximum number of rounds per day equal to your meldshaper level. But it pretty much grants you all the benefits you were looking for, without the need for cruddy Spring Attack.
If you need to, you can also bind the Crystal Helm to your Crown chakra to give all of your melee attacks the Force effect, or you can just buy a Ghost Touch weapon, or use other soulmelds to attack.

Adamantrue
2010-12-23, 11:25 AM
The Ethereal Reaver specific weapon from Complete Psionic can attack from the ethereal. Oh, now that is even more annoying. In the Magic Item Compendium, the Ethereal Reaver property is described as simply a Ghost Touch Weapon that also lets you see invisible creatures.

I think I'm still going to roll with Ghost Touch Weapons hitting Ethereal targets, simply because its habit at this point.

nedz
2010-12-23, 11:35 AM
Its probably not what you are looking for but there is also the Spirit Shamen route.
Ghost Warrior at 6th gives you Ghost touch weapons and Armour
Spirit Form at 9th gives you incorporealness, and the ability to make touch attacks - though the spells you can stack on that are limited in the Druid list.
The Extended Spirit Form feat can extend the duration, and Extra Divine Power feat can give you +2 uses per day.

Kyouhen
2010-12-23, 12:38 PM
The combo you are looking for belongs is Apparition Ribbon bound to your Throat, which grants you the Incorporeal Subtype (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#incorporealSubtype) (not ethereal). It's a standard action to activate, lasts for a number of rounds equal to the essentia invested, and can only be used a maximum number of rounds per day equal to your meldshaper level. But it pretty much grants you all the benefits you were looking for, without the need for cruddy Spring Attack.
If you need to, you can also bind the Crystal Helm to your Crown chakra to give all of your melee attacks the Force effect, or you can just buy a Ghost Touch weapon, or use other soulmelds to attack.

Actually what I was really aiming for was mostly the ability to teleport around the battlefield and stab things as I did so, which wouldn't work as well if I was simply incorporeal. That and the Phase Cloak can be activated just by moving, which is why I thought it would be fun to combine with spring attack. :smalltongue:

And I'm assuming the MIC Ethereal Reaver replaces the rules for the psionic version. This saddens me, the psionic one was exactly what I wanted. :smallsigh:

Claudius Maximus
2010-12-23, 12:59 PM
I'm pretty sure it does not, because they are different kinds of things. The CPsi version is a specific weapon and the MIC version is an enhancement.

You could even make an Ethereal Reaver Ethereal Reaver.

Zeful
2010-12-23, 02:45 PM
I'm pretty sure it does not, because they are different kinds of things. The CPsi version is a specific weapon and the MIC version is an enhancement.

You could even make an Ethereal Reaver Ethereal Reaver.
Actually no. With the Primary Source rule, one of the versions of the Ethereal Reaver doesn't exist, which one depends on how you look at it:

Technically as a psionic weapon, the MIC rules are superseded by the Complete Psionic rules, because the MIC is the primary source for Magic Items, not Psionic items. Thus the MIC Ethereal Reaver doesn't exist.

From the other side of it, the MIC version supersedes the Complete Psionic version because of the default manner in which Magic and Psionics interact (Magic/Psionics Transparency is the default, and the two terms are synonymous rules wise when it's in effect), because the MIC is the primary source for Magic Items, which also includes Psionic Items. Thus the Complete Psionic Ethereal Reaver doesn't exist.

Forged Fury
2010-12-23, 02:51 PM
Technically as a psionic weapon, the MIC rules are superseded by the Complete Psionic rules, because the MIC is the primary source for Magic Items, not Psionic items. Thus the MIC Ethereal Reaver doesn't exist.
I'm pretty sure almost everyone goes by publishing date. I also don't think your above argument has any support. What gives you the idea that the MIC isn't a primary source for psionic items? Please don't say the book title.

Zeful
2010-12-23, 03:17 PM
I'm pretty sure almost everyone goes by publishing date. I also don't think your above argument has any support. What gives you the idea that the MIC isn't a primary source for psionic items? Please don't say the book title.

Then they're being silly, putting it nicely, because the Primary Source rule is a real rule, I'm not making it up. I'm pretty sure that it's in the DMG.

And I wouldn't know whether or not the MIC is the primary source for psionic items, I don't own it, so it's entirely possible that it isn't.

Curmudgeon
2010-12-23, 03:41 PM
I'm pretty sure almost everyone goes by publishing date. ... What gives you the idea that the MIC isn't a primary source for psionic items? Please don't say the book title.
The official statements of Wizards of the Coast, contained in the 3.5 Errata files, should give you the idea that MIC isn't a primary source, because there are only 3 primary rules sources for the Dungeons & Dragons game; everything else is a rules supplement. And if you go solely by publishing date for authority, you've got it pretty much exactly backward. The newest material is always overridden by the primary sources when there are differences.
Errata Rule: Primary Sources

When you find a disagreement between two D&D® rules sources, unless an official errata file says otherwise, the primary source is correct. One example of a primary/secondary source is text taking precedence over a table entry. An individual spell description takes precedence when the short description in the beginning of the spells chapter disagrees.

Another example of primary vs. secondary sources involves book and topic precedence. The Player's Handbook, for example, gives all the rules for playing the game, for playing PC races, and for using base class descriptions. If you find something on one of those topics from the Dungeon Master's Guide or the Monster Manual that disagrees with the Player's Handbook, you should assume the Player's Handbook is the primary source. The Dungeon Master's Guide is the primary source for topics such as magic item descriptions, special material construction rules, and so on. The Monster Manual is the primary source for monster descriptions, templates, and supernatural, extraordinary, and spell-like abilities. As to the issue of the two Ethereal Reavers, they're in different categories (specific weapons, and weapon properties) and thus there is no replacement, just as the Mobility armor property (Magic Item Compendium) can't replace the Mobility feat.

Claudius Maximus is right:
You could even make an Ethereal Reaver Ethereal Reaver.

Zeful
2010-12-23, 03:53 PM
The official statements of Wizards of the Coast, contained in the 3.5 Errata files, should give you the idea that MIC isn't a primary source, because there are only 3 primary rules sources for the Dungeons & Dragons game; everything else is a rules supplement. And if you go solely by publishing date for authority, you've got it pretty much exactly backward. The newest material is always overridden by the primary sources when there are differences.

This means that, Swift and Immediate actions don't exist (and thus spells with such actions can't ever be cast), The MIC item creation rules are wrong, and dozen's of other issues that come up with that reading of the rules.

Claudius Maximus
2010-12-23, 04:14 PM
And I'm just shocked at all those blatant errors in the Rules Compendium.

Curmudgeon
2010-12-23, 04:32 PM
This means that, Swift and Immediate actions don't exist (and thus spells with such actions can't ever be cast), The MIC item creation rules are wrong, and dozen's of other issues that come up with that reading of the rules.
Please don't confuse rule supplements with rule disagreements.

Non-primary sourcebooks can supplement, and change, existing rules; that's what they're supposed to do. So clear statements that alter the existing rules are perfectly fine, like these:

SWIFT AND IMMEDIATE ACTIONS
Some of the feats, spells, and items in Complete Arcane and other DUNGEONS & DRAGONS supplements use two new action types: the swift action and the immediate action.

To address this issue, Magic Item Compendium presents official rules for adding common item effects to existing magic items. Statements that contradict the primary sources, without notification that the rules are being changed, are disagreements, and there's a procedure for resolving such: the primary source is always correct.

Ravens_cry
2010-12-23, 04:40 PM
I hope some way of attacking while ethereal is found, because it would be fun for a rogue or other class that benefits from denying dexterity bonus to AC.

Jjeinn-tae
2010-12-23, 04:47 PM
Doesn't... Ghostwalk? say that a ethereal creature can wield a Ghost Touch weapon that is physically on the material?

Kyouhen
2010-12-23, 04:52 PM
Doesn't... Ghostwalk? say that a ethereal creature can wield a Ghost Touch weapon that is physically on the material?

It says that an incorporeal creature can use Ghost Touch weapons. Actually, I'm pretty sure Ghostwalk also included the rules that Ghost Touch can be applied to any type of item. The problem is I don't want to be incorporeal, I want to turn ethereal. :smalltongue:

NightWriter
2012-07-23, 05:42 PM
I'm playing a very similar character (or about to), and ran into the same problem. And I have a solution: Ninja.

For some reason, they expressely and obviously use different language for the description of Ghost Strike in the Ninja chapter. "A ninja can spend one daily use of her ki power to strike incorporeal and ethereal creatures as if they were corporeal. She also can use this ability to strike foes on the Material Plan normally while ethereal (for example, while using her ghost step ability)."

I have no idea why thye'd treat Ghost Step differently in this one circumstance, but it seems to be spelled out pretty clearly here. Thus, I have a ninja with a Cloak of Etherealness, and save all my ki points for Ghost Strike.

tyckspoon
2012-07-23, 06:22 PM
For some reason, they expressely and obviously use different language for the description of Ghost Strike in the Ninja chapter. "A ninja can spend one daily use of her ki power to strike incorporeal and ethereal creatures as if they were corporeal. She also can use this ability to strike foes on the Material Plan normally while ethereal (for example, while using her ghost step ability)."

I have no idea why thye'd treat Ghost Step differently in this one circumstance, but it seems to be spelled out pretty clearly here. Thus, I have a ninja with a Cloak of Etherealness, and save all my ki points for Ghost Strike.

Reason seems relatively obvious to me: they gave the Ninja an ability to become ethereal, as an improvement on their normal ability to become invisible. That ability to become invisible is used primarily to enable the Ninja's Sudden Strike.. but if you use the 'better' version of it to become Ethereal, you can no longer attack with Sudden Strike. So the writer who apparently was, for once, actually aware of how a moderately obscure bit of the rules worked, gave the Ninja the explicit ability he needed to still be able to attack while using Ghost Step.

NightWriter
2012-07-23, 11:24 PM
Well yeah, that sounds about right. It's just that its called Ghost Strike, exactly like the weapon ability in MIC, but after outfitting myself with Ghost Strike weapons, I found out the two things were apparently different.

Anyways, it sounds like we had the same idea for a character here. I'm using the Spring Attack with the ethereal Sudden Strike and some poison. Plus, I used this item called the Iron Bands of Bilarro (DMG) to bind people, and then coup-de-graced them with Sudden Strike, which killed a 19th level Druid in one round... And sparked two weeks worth of controversial arguments over whether that was legal...

Hey, also, one player tried to tell me that you had to move at half speed while ethereal. Has anyone else heard of this??

nedz
2012-07-24, 05:07 PM
Hey, also, one player tried to tell me that you had to move at half speed while ethereal. Has anyone else heard of this??

See Ethereal Status description PH p308
See Blink Spell description PH p206

only1doug
2012-07-25, 08:32 AM
If you do plan to use ghost touch then I recommend the Gauntlets of ghost fighting from the magic item compendium, at only 4000gp they are cheaper than getting a ghost touch enhancement on your weapon, add 1d6 damage in special cases and also grant the ghost touch property to any spells you cast. They are part of the Wraith's Woe Set.

Mark Hall
2012-07-27, 02:53 PM
The Mod Wonder: Used Turn Undead! It's super effective!