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View Full Version : GMs, Ray of Enfeeblement



Faithdreamer
2008-09-13, 08:12 PM
Undead are immune to ability damage and ability drain, however, Ray of Enfeeblement notes a strength Penalty; is this totally different or are my players trying to trick me using technicality of a word?

tyckspoon
2008-09-13, 08:16 PM
They're right, it's different. Practically everything can be affected by a penalty.

RandomLunatic
2008-09-13, 08:18 PM
Nope, your players are right. It also works on Plants and Elementals.

Constructs remain immune, because they are not subject to Necromantic effects.

Edit: Ninja'd.

Douglas
2008-09-13, 08:23 PM
Other consequences of this technical difference:
1) it doesn't stack with itself
2) it cannot crit
3) it can be dispelled

Faithdreamer
2008-09-13, 08:27 PM
Okay! Thank you very much! :smalltongue:

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-13, 10:13 PM
Other consequences of this technical difference:
1) it doesn't stack with itself

This is the important one - if you hit something with multiple rays of enfeeblement, the effect is non-cumulative, since they come from the same source. However, penalties from different sources - ray of enfeeblement and some other spell, for instance - will stack.

Thurbane
2008-09-13, 11:37 PM
Other consequences of this technical difference:
1) it doesn't stack with itself
2) it cannot crit
3) it can be dispelled
True enough, but it can be Maximized and Empowered...

Douglas
2008-09-13, 11:58 PM
True enough, but it can be Maximized and Empowered...
Yes, but that would be true regardless.

Ascension
2008-09-14, 12:39 AM
Whaaa?

Crap. I'm not in the game anymore, but I was playing in a campaign where practically all my sorcerer ever did was Enfeeble everyone and everything down to 0 STR...

It doesn't stack? That stinks.

RTGoodman
2008-09-14, 12:49 AM
Whaaa?

Crap. I'm not in the game anymore, but I was playing in a campaign where practically all my sorcerer ever did was Enfeeble everyone and everything down to 0 STR...

It doesn't stack? That stinks.

Well, if you're high enough level their are other spells that could have done it that WOULD stack, as far as I know. I think there was a spell called moon bolt or something like that in SpC that did Str damage and is considered really good. And, of course, if you wanted to switch up the ability you're damaging, there's the ever-popular (i.e., oft-reviled) shivering touch from Frostburn.

kjones
2008-09-14, 12:52 AM
It's a little confusing... the one-line blurb in the list says that it does strength damage, but the spell itself specifies a penalty. Of course, text trumps table.

Ascension
2008-09-14, 01:07 AM
Well, if you're high enough level their are other spells that could have done it that WOULD stack, as far as I know.

Well, like I said, I'm not playing him anymore, but he was level 3. He had hit five by the time I quit playing. No, not exactly high enough for anything better.

And the DM kept complaining because I hadn't built him as a blaster. He was of the opinion that any mage without fireball isn't a mage at all.

I'm actually kind of glad I'm not in that campaign anymore...

Douglas
2008-09-14, 01:16 AM
Whaaa?

Crap. I'm not in the game anymore, but I was playing in a campaign where practically all my sorcerer ever did was Enfeeble everyone and everything down to 0 STR...

It doesn't stack? That stinks.
Even if it did stack, The subjectís Strength score cannot drop below 1. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/rayOfEnfeeblement.htm)

Taken exactly as written, this could lead to some amusing consequences - "1000000 strength damage? Still moving, sorry, I Enfeebled myself a minute ago."

Even with a more sensible interpretation, it still limits the spell to weakening monsters rather than outright paralyzing them.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-09-14, 04:47 AM
Even if it did stack, The subjectís Strength score cannot drop below 1. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/rayOfEnfeeblement.htm)

Taken exactly as written, this could lead to some amusing consequences - "1000000 strength damage? Still moving, sorry, I Enfeebled myself a minute ago."

Even with a more sensible interpretation, it still limits the spell to weakening monsters rather than outright paralyzing them.That's why you follow up with Ray of Fatigue. Twice, if necessary.

Kizara
2008-09-14, 05:36 AM
Add "Fortitude Negates" if you like your games to make sense and not be silly.

The idea that you use what is essentially a negative energy spell to lower the strength of a (possibly incorperal) undead creature is just ridiculous.

Furthermore, its unbalanced (like ALL of the "touch attack and no save and your F'ED" spells are).

Gorbash
2008-09-14, 06:54 AM
That's why you follow up with Ray of Fatigue. Twice, if necessary.

Undead are immune to fatigue.

Keld Denar
2008-09-14, 11:45 AM
Undead are immune to fatigue.

Exactly...you never see a zombie, shambling along moaning "BRAINS" over and over suddenly get tired and sit down on a park bench for a quick breather. Just the tireless shuffling in pursuit of that tasty, tasty flesh!

Edea
2008-09-14, 01:13 PM
Undead are immune to ability damage and ability drain, however, Ray of Enfeeblement notes a strength Penalty; is this totally different or are my players trying to trick me using technicality of a word?

Actually, I thought undead were vulnerable to mental ability damage (they are indeed immune to all forms of ability drain, as well as physical ability damage). I'm trying to remember where I saw it; obviously if -any- creature has a score of '-', you can't damage it (such as a Zombie's Intelligence score).

That, and Strength 1 is still pretty sad. I wonder if there's a method to take advantage of a creature's carrying capacity during a fight. Regardless, that target's melee ability is completely raped (which is the intent, I suspect; squishy says, 'Do not try to come over here and hit me -_-.')

GrandMasterMe
2008-09-14, 01:43 PM
It is simple from a powergamers viewpoint, rays=amazing

RTGoodman
2008-09-14, 01:44 PM
That, and Strength 1 is still pretty sad. I wonder if there's a method to take advantage of a creature's carrying capacity during a fight. Regardless, that target's melee ability is completely raped (which is the intent, I suspect; squishy says, 'Do not try to come over here and hit me -_-.')

Yeah, I've seen it happen before. In one game I was playing we were fighting some ghasts and their troglodyte spellcaster buddies and the Rogue got hit with both some Str-decreasing thing AND the Ghast's Stench AND the paralysis for a bit. Basically, she was paralyzed for a bit and when that ended, she was still sickened and could move at all because of her low Str (Halfling + non-Str-using class + Str damage = unfortunate). She was basically encumbered from just carrying a crossbow and wearing armor or something like that.

Also, I think creatures get penalties to flight if they're encumbered, so ray of exhaustion and its ilk could be a good way to limit that kind of thing.

Sholos
2008-09-14, 04:27 PM
Since when does Ray of Enfeeblement not stack? I've never heard that particular ruling. I've always played with it stacking, otherwise what's the point of it? A very minor penalty? Maybe -2 to hit/damage if you roll well?

Paul H
2008-09-14, 04:43 PM
Hi

Someone said it can't crit? ALL attacks can crit, just some creatures are immune to crit.

Normal crit for rays is 20x2 damage.

Cheers
Paul H

its_all_ogre
2008-09-14, 04:47 PM
at level 1 it will drain up to 6 str...this is NOT a minor penalty.
-3 to hit and damage at level 1 is devestating, throw it at your players with a sorcerer and you'll see what i mean.
as levels increase it gets slightly better with +1 per 2 levels until +5 at level 10. even then draining 11 strength can be battle changing. -5 to hit and at least -5 damage (more if two handed weapon user) hurts a lot.

my campaign is undead heavy, certain of these undead are affected by a template that enables casting of certain spells, including ray of enfeeblement, kelgores grave mist and ray of exhaustion.
no saves against the first two in exchange for -d6+3 str, fatigue and d6 cold damage and finally exhaustion (save to resist, but if passed you become fatigued...unless already fatigued in which case you're automatically exhausted.
total: (assum total roll is 6) -12 str(exhaustion replaces fatigue rather than stacking with it)
minor penalty? no save.

Flickerdart
2008-09-14, 04:50 PM
at level 1 it will drain up to 6 str...this is NOT a minor penalty.
-3 to hit and damage at level 1 is devestating, throw it at your players with a sorcerer and you'll see what i mean.
as levels increase it gets slightly better with +1 per 2 levels until +5 at level 10. even then draining 11 strength can be battle changing. -5 to hit and at least -5 damage (more if two handed weapon user) hurts a lot.

my campaign is undead heavy, certain of these undead are affected by a template that enables casting of certain spells, including ray of enfeeblement, kelgores grave mist and ray of exhaustion.
no saves against the first two in exchange for -d6+3 str, fatigue and d6 cold damage and finally exhaustion (save to resist, but if passed you become fatigued...unless already fatigued in which case you're automatically exhausted.
total: (assum total roll is 6) -12 str(exhaustion replaces fatigue rather than stacking with it)
minor penalty? no save.
Ok, so you just wasted three actions to inhibit one PC, where a simple Web or Grease could have done almost as good a job on an area. Or Wall of Ice, that's always fun.

Gorbash
2008-09-14, 04:56 PM
Since when does Ray of Enfeeblement not stack? I've never heard that particular ruling. I've always played with it stacking, otherwise what's the point of it? A very minor penalty? Maybe -2 to hit/damage if you roll well?

Since effects of the same type never ever stacked?

Did you ever bother with reading PHB?


Stacking Effects

Spells that provide bonuses or penalties on attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and other attributes usually do not stack with themselves. More generally, two bonuses of the same type donít stack even if they come from different spells (or from effects other than spells; see Bonus Types, above).

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/castingSpells.htm#stackingEffects

its_all_ogre
2008-09-14, 04:58 PM
where is the creature, which is not a spellcaster, getting these spells from exactly?
in a fight between bbeg the wizard/sorcerer casting these on him has finished a fight, unless the bbeg is immune.
for a spell of level 1, 2 and 3
seems fair to me

its_all_ogre
2008-09-14, 04:59 PM
Hi

Someone said it can't crit? ALL attacks can crit, just some creatures are immune to crit.

Normal crit for rays is 20x2 damage.

Cheers
Paul H

attacks can crit in order to do extra damage.
no damage is caused so yes you can do x2 damage...none still

Chronos
2008-09-14, 05:08 PM
Someone said it can't crit? ALL attacks can crit, just some creatures are immune to crit.

Normal crit for rays is 20x2 damage.
So you're saying that in this case, if it critted, it'd do 2*0 damage, instead of 0 damage?

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-14, 05:32 PM
Actually, I thought undead were vulnerable to mental ability damage (they are indeed immune to all forms of ability drain, as well as physical ability damage). I'm trying to remember where I saw it; obviously if -any- creature has a score of '-', you can't damage it (such as a Zombie's Intelligence score).

The undead type in the SRD/MM tells us that undead are:
"Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects."


Someone said it can't crit? ALL attacks can crit, just some creatures are immune to crit.

You can get a critical with a ray of enfeeblement, but since it deals no damage, the fact it's a critical hit changes nothing at all.

As for the stacking, Gorbash provided the quote for the rule that was referred to. Penalties do not stack if they are from the same source (the same spell, etc.). Ability damage "stacks" - or, rather, it is applied cumulatively.

Edea
2008-09-14, 05:36 PM
Let's say the ray of enfeeblement was Split and Twinned, giving us four rays. The penalty assigned would still be 1d6+1/2CL if they're all used on one target (thus making those metamagics a waste of spell slots when used in that way on this spell), right?

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-14, 05:39 PM
Let's say the ray of enfeeblement was Split and Twinned, giving us four rays. The penalty assigned would still be 1d6+1/2CL if they're all used on one target (thus making those metamagics a waste of spell slots when used in that way on this spell), right?

The highest penalty would apply, yes.

The only thing that might be affected would be dispelling the effect. I'm not so familiar with rules minutiae, so I don't know whether you can have four instances of the same spell affecting you simultaneously (but I'm inclined to say no, you can't). If you can, then dispelling one of the effects would leave the next highest penalty in force, etc.

RTGoodman
2008-09-14, 05:44 PM
Let's say the ray of enfeeblement was Split and Twinned, giving us four rays. The penalty assigned would still be 1d6+1/2CL if they're all used on one target (thus making those metamagics a waste of spell slots when used in that way on this spell), right?

I think so. The only benefit would be, since penalties overlap and you take the "best," you'd get multiple chances to roll the 1d6, even if you only got to keep the penalty from one ray. Unless Splitting and Twinning them only lets you roll for damage/the penalty once, in which case I think it WOULD be useless. (If any of that babbling makes sense.)

Zeful
2008-09-14, 05:44 PM
You can have four instances of the same spell effecting you because of the way duration overlap is done. The highest penalty applies but as long as there is duration remaining on any of the spells it's still active. So you'd have to dispel four different spells rather than 1, in Edea's case.

tyckspoon
2008-09-14, 05:46 PM
The only thing that might be affected would be dispelling the effect. I'm not so familiar with rules minutiae, so I don't know whether you can have four instances of the same spell affecting you simultaneously (but I'm inclined to say no, you can't). If you can, then dispelling one of the effects would leave the next highest penalty in force, etc.

You can. It's usually pretty pointless when you're trying to inflict status conditions, because the same spell won't stack with itself. Although maybe you could dump multiple Bestow Curses on something and use two or three of its different options that way. Sometimes useful for protections against dispelling when you're buffing yourself.

Keld Denar
2008-09-14, 06:17 PM
The template that lets normal undead cast spells is Evolved, from LM. They only get it once per day, depending on how many times they are evolved, but it could be nasty. Imagine 5 Shadows all popping out of a wall in one round, each nailing one of the five party members. Once str is lowered, the shadows close in and start doing strength damage with their touches. Once str hits zero, the target is incapacitate, but won't become a shadow until all str is reduced to 0 (neglecting the penalty from RoE). That makes it so the PC is disabled, but not unrecoverable unless its a TPK (or your shadows continue to drink from downed foes. Could lead to some really nervous moments for a 6-7th level party.

monty
2008-09-14, 06:46 PM
I think so. The only benefit would be, since penalties overlap and you take the "best," you'd get multiple chances to roll the 1d6, even if you only got to keep the penalty from one ray. Unless Splitting and Twinning them only lets you roll for damage/the penalty once, in which case I think it WOULD be useless. (If any of that babbling makes sense.)

Another very minor benefit: if you roll a 1 or they have a ridiculous touch AC.

Paul H
2008-09-14, 07:01 PM
attacks can crit in order to do extra damage.
no damage is caused so yes you can do x2 damage...none still

Hi

Not sure if only damage can be multiplied - having been critted for 7 (2D4 rolled) Negatve Levels from Enervation in a Living Greyhawk game.

Cheers
Paul H

monty
2008-09-14, 07:04 PM
Not sure if only damage can be multiplied - having been critted for 7 (2D4 rolled) Negatve Levels from Enervation in a Living Greyhawk game.

Then your DM was wrong.


A critical hit means that you roll your damage more than once, with all your usual bonuses, and add the rolls together.

Emphasis mine.

Douglas
2008-09-14, 07:17 PM
From Complete Warrior page 85:

Any spell that requires an attack roll and deals damage functions as a weapon in certain respects, whether the spell deals normal hit point damage, nonlethal damage, ability damage, or energy drain. Such spells can threaten critical hits, can be used in sneak attacks, andcan be used with favored enemy damage bonuses.

Negative levels are energy drain, which is considered damage according to the above quote, so Enervation can crit. Shivering Touch deals ability damage, so it can crit. Scorching Ray deals hit point damage, so it can crit. Ray of Exhaustion does not deal damage of any kind, so it cannot crit.

Bayar
2008-09-15, 07:17 AM
From Complete Warrior page 85:


Negative levels are energy drain, which is considered damage according to the above quote, so Enervation can crit. Shivering Touch deals ability damage, so it can crit. Scorching Ray deals hit point damage, so it can crit. Ray of Exhaustion does not deal damage of any kind, so it cannot crit.

But ray of Enfeeblement can.

KillianHawkeye
2008-09-15, 09:44 AM
Not going by the quote douglas gave, since an ability score penalty is not hit point damage, nonlethal damage, ability damage, or energy drain.

Keld Denar
2008-09-15, 09:56 AM
But ray of Enfeeblement can.

No it can't. It doesn't fit the criteria set forth by CW as cited above, so therefore it can't crit.

monty
2008-09-15, 10:06 AM
But ray of Enfeeblement can.

I'm pretty sure that was a typo, but neither one can crit. Well, they technically can crit, it just won't do anything special besides be an automatic hit.

Douglas
2008-09-15, 01:02 PM
Yeah, that was supposed to be Ray of Enfeeblement. An ability score penalty does not fit in any of the categories considered to be damage, so Ray of Enfeeblement can't crit.

its_all_ogre
2008-09-15, 05:02 PM
The template that lets normal undead cast spells is Evolved, from LM. They only get it once per day, depending on how many times they are evolved, but it could be nasty. Imagine 5 Shadows all popping out of a wall in one round, each nailing one of the five party members. Once str is lowered, the shadows close in and start doing strength damage with their touches. Once str hits zero, the target is incapacitate, but won't become a shadow until all str is reduced to 0 (neglecting the penalty from RoE). That makes it so the PC is disabled, but not unrecoverable unless its a TPK (or your shadows continue to drink from downed foes. Could lead to some really nervous moments for a 6-7th level party.

i did not know there was one, i needed spellcasting undead in my game so i made a template that gave spell like abilities to undead that were created in a certain way.
it's working out ok at the moment

Keld Denar
2008-09-15, 05:36 PM
i did not know there was one, i needed spellcasting undead in my game so i made a template that gave spell like abilities to undead that were created in a certain way.
it's working out ok at the moment

Its a nice boss undead template. The fluff of it is that the undead has lived so long that its bond with the negative energy plane has strengthened. Every 100 years, the undead has a +1 cumulative chance to become evolved, giving it fast healing and a spell like ability. The undead can continute to evolve, as the chance doesn't reset, and gain more fast healing and more spell like abilities. Of course, as a DM, you don't have to worry about that, just slap it on an undeader or 2 and toss em into the fray. Its really nice for your typical undead horde leader, as it gives him something unique over the usual claw, bite, or slam attack to use once.

I once almost wiped a level 16 WELL prepared party in Living Greyhawk with level 16 Quell Archivist, a Shardsteel Golem, and a trio of twice evolved Greater Shadows....brutal brutal combat. Poor 6 str archmage didn't even see it coming....

Frosty
2008-09-15, 05:51 PM
Does that mean a Shivering Touch can crit?

TheCountAlucard
2008-09-15, 06:03 PM
Its a nice boss undead template. The fluff of it is that the undead has lived so long that its bond with the negative energy plane has strengthened. Every 100 years, the undead has a +1 cumulative chance to become evolved, giving it fast healing and a spell like ability. The undead can continute to evolve, as the chance doesn't reset, and gain more fast healing and more spell like abilities.

It also raises the undead's Strength and Charisma by two each time you apply the template.

Douglas
2008-09-15, 06:41 PM
Does that mean a Shivering Touch can crit?
Yes. Not that it makes much difference, as Shivering Touch is quite broken enough on normal hits already.

Wolfpack
2008-09-15, 06:41 PM
Does that mean a Shivering Touch can crit?

1) Of course it can.

2) Shivering touch doesn't even make sense. It says it does Dex damage, but then it has a duration other then instantaneous, which means the dex damage can be dispelled, and disappears after X time, instead of healing.

Bottom line, whoever wrote it has no clue what they are doing.