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Damage and Keywords

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1 Damage and Keywords on Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:19 am

Just want to make sure...

When determining the type of damage a power does:

Do we go by the Keywords of the power?

Or do we go by the damage stated in the "Hit" descriptor?

I've been going by the Keywords entries.

From the Compendium:
damage type
A specific type of damage: acid, cold, fire, force, lightning, necrotic, poison, psychic, radiant, or thunder. Each damage type has a keyword associated with it. If a power has such a keyword, the power deals that type of damage (the exception is poison, the keyword for which refers to damage, a nondamaging effect, or both).

Some powers have vaiable Keywords or the power "could" do other damage types, but the keywords show all damage types.

Blazing Starfall
Sorcerer Attack 1

A shower of radiance falls upon your enemies and then bursts out, creating a cage of burning embers that are painful to pass through.

At-Will Arcane, Fire, Implement, Radiant, Zone
Standard Action Area burst 1 within 10 squares

Target: Each creature in the burst

Attack: Charisma vs. Reflex

Hit: 1d4 + Charisma modifier radiant damage.
Level 21: 2d4 + Charisma modifier radiant damage.

Cosmic Magic: The burst creates a zone bounded by burning ground that lasts until the end of your next turn. Whenever an enemy within the zone leaves it, that enemy takes fire damage equal to your Strength modifier.

The power lists Fire and Radiant in the keyword entry, but the power description only shows fire damage for Cosmic Sorcerers, not all Sorcerers.


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2 Re: Damage and Keywords on Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:49 am

...I would think that it would be on a case by case basis. For example, if in the keywords, it said; Fire, Cold, Lighting. In the description of the power, it said that the caster could pick any ONE of the types of damage as they use the power. Thus in this example, even though there are three keywords in the entry, the power only does one type of damage each time it is used.

In the case of Blazing Starfall, I would think that it does Radiant damage unless you are a Cosmic Sorcerer in which case it does Fire damage instead. I'm not too familiar with Cosmic Sorcerers so it may do Fire AND Radiant damage but unless there's some support for this, it'd be Fire instead of Radiant.

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3 Re: Damage and Keywords on Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:55 am

The main attack does Radiant damage. For Cosmic Sorcerers, the power also creates a zone of fire.

So I can see it doing Radiant and Fire for a Cosmic Sorcerer.

But the rule for damage types listed above says "If a power has such a keyword, the power deals that type of damage".

Blazing Starfall has the Radiant and Fire keywords...

In my opinion...

RAW, Blazing Starfall does Radiant and Fire
RAI..., Blazing Starfall does Radiant damage unless you're a Cosmic Sorcerer, then it does both.

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4 Re: Damage and Keywords on Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:02 pm

Here's another similar example:

Sorcerer Attack 17

A stroke of lightning strikes your foe from overhead, followed by a concussive boom.

Encounter Arcane, Implement, Lightning, Thunder
Standard Action Area burst 1 within 20 squares

Target: Each creature in the burst

Attack: Charisma vs. Reflex

Hit: 2d8 + Charisma modifier thunder damage. If the target is in the burst’s origin square, it takes 3d8 extra lightning damage.

Storm Magic: A target hit by this power is also knocked prone.

The power has the Thunder and Lightning keywords. But the power says the burst does thunder damage unless your in the origin square then you also take lightning damage.

Issues only come up when resistance is involved. A creature has to have resistance to each of the keywords or they are counted as not having resistance.

If you're not in the origin square, it looks like you have to have resistance to both Thunder and Lightning, even though the target may not be in the center.

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5 Re: Damage and Keywords on Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:50 pm

Hmmm, but doesn't specific overule general. The general rule for BS is IF keyword, then damage. However the description of the power says, Radiant and if Cosmic Sor, then Fire also. If you were designing a power that would do more than one type of damage under certain conditions, would you list all the POSSIBLE types of damage in the keyword section and then explain in the description the parameters under which the additional damage is inflicted?

I can't see the rule writer putting in none of the keywords (e.g. if a power could do Fire, or Radiant, or both) and then explaining in the description the conditions when the power does fire, when the power does radiant and when the power does both. So I'm leaning toward the position that RAW, BS does radiant and if Cos Sor it also does fire as specific, the power in this case, overules general (keywords).

The second example above also supports my position.

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6 Re: Damage and Keywords on Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:42 pm

I sent an email to WotC for clarification. I'll post a thread on their forum in a bit.

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7 Re: Damage and Keywords on Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:27 pm

Looks like I've been doing damage types incorrectly.

It looks like the keywords aren't used for resistance.

Keywords and damage types

Discussion Thread
Response (Support Agent) 03/06/2011 12:49 PM

Hi Ken,

Thank you for contacting us. The damage keyword is determined by the type(s) of damage that could be dealt with a power. Resistances to a specified damage type would be taken into consideration when damage is dealt by the power. With Blazing Starfall, if it is a non-Cosmic Magic Sorcerer using the power, it would still have both the Radiant and Fire keywords (because the power could deal fire damage if a Cosmic Magic Sorcerer is using the power) however a non-Cosmic Magic Sorcerer would only deal radiant damage listed in the "Hit" portion of the power. This does not change the keywords for the power, this only means that a non-Cosmic Sorcerer cannot use all of the potential of the power.

A creature's resistance to a damage type is taken into account when the damage is dealt that creature (it looks at the specific damage that is dealt), so if the creature is dealt 10 radiant damage and it has resist 5 to radiant damage they would only take 5 radiant damage. If the creature has resist 5 fire and the damage dealt is radiant damage then the resistance to fire wouldn't apply. If the creature has resist 5 radiant and resist 5 fire, the damage dealt by Blazing Starfall (by a non-Cosmic Magic wizard) is 10 radiant the creature would be able to resist 5 of the 10 radiant damage and since no fire damage was dealt the resistance to fire damage doesn't apply.

Please let me know if you need anymore help!

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8 Re: Damage and Keywords on Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:39 pm


When I asked the question on Twitter that's the answer I received as well.

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Man'Tis Man'Todea - Thri-Kreen/Berserker [4e-Slave Lords Campaign]
Danilo Rand - Monk/Human [5e-Princes of the Apocalypse Campaign]
Nathan Grey - Ardent (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Walt Dixon - Bladesinger (4e-Terran One Campaign)
Battlefield 4 Soldier: Saturnicus
Diablo III Battletag: Saturnus#1572
XBox GamerTag: Drizityn

Kazoo the Kender: "Hmm, I'll take....the Wand of Wonder." The rest of the party regretted giving Kazoo the first treasure pick.
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9 Re: Damage and Keywords on Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:46 pm

I guess the only question I have left would be what happens if a non-Cosmic Sorcerer casted Blazing Starfall and has a fire dragonshard attached.

If the power has both Radiant and Fire keywords is the power considered a "fire" attack?

Khyber Shard of the Fiery Depth
Level 2 Uncommon

This cobalt dragon shard has a molten core and is hot to the touch.

Price: 520 gp
Implement (Dragonshard Augment)
Property: You gain a +1 bonus to damage rolls with fire attacks that use the augmented weapon.

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10 Re: Damage and Keywords on Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:13 pm

If you're a non-cosmic Sorcerer, you're not dealing fire damage w BS, as such, you would not gain a damage bonus with the Shard even considering the BS power has the fire keyword.

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