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Affecting objects

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1 Affecting objects on Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:37 pm

The rules for affecting objects with powers are a bit vague...

Can a wizard casting Scorching Burst set paper on fire? (The power says each creature in burst)

Can a fighter using a MBA (which says on creature) slash a curtain?

From a thread on WotC rules forum:
PHB 57 Target At the DM’s discretion, a power that targets a creature can also target an object, whether or not the power identifies an object as a potential target.

PHB 2 Glossary Attacking Objects: With your DM’s permission, you can use a power that normally attacks creatures to attack objects. See the Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 65, for how to damage objects.

The Rules for Damaging Objects relate to their Defenses and HP's msotly.

DMG 65 Damaging Object An object’s AC, Fortitude, and Reflex defense depend entirely on its size. An object’s hit point total generally depends on two factors: its size and its material. As a rule, larger or thicker objects have more hit points than smaller or thinner ones. Objects made of stone or metal have more hit points than those made of wood or glass.

Can a Flaming Sphere set a wooden cabin on fire? If so, do you have to determine if it can affect objects at the time of casting?

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2 Re: Affecting objects on Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:38 pm

First question, can MBA affect an object? In my opinion, most certainly under some circumstances. I would clearly let a fighter with a sword have a chance to chop through a taught rope. However, if the same fighter were armed with a hammer, I don't think I'd extend him the same opportunity. A hammer wielder would have a better chance than the swordsman if the goal were to drive a metal spike into a wooden door jam.

Can spells affect object? Again, I'd say most certainly under some circumstances. If a wizard wanted to burn an important paper map that was lying on a nearby table, I'd let him blast it, if that was his intent. It gets a little sticky when the wizard wants to obtain the map for himself and an enemy mage is standing behind the table. Can our hero wizrd blast the enemy mage and AVOID burning up the map he's trying to retrieve? Under "normal" game play, the scorching burst would only affect the enemy mage and his guards, leaving the precious map undamaged. Unrealistic true, but 4.0 is not realistic by any means.

Regarding the last question, does the caster have to determine at the time of casting if he wants his power to affect objects? After much thought, I have a mixed answer. If the caster is "aiming" for a certain object, and that object can be reasonably affected by the power, then the caster can declare as such when using the power and the DM will judge the result. Now, I'm also going to say, if it furthers the plot line of the adventure in some way and the DM feels that an "unintended" (by the caster) affect on an object is needed, the DM can have the power affect an object in some way w/o informing the caster beforehand. The use of this option by the DM would be very rare as frequent use of this intervention would greatly slow gameplay.

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3 Re: Affecting objects on Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:35 pm


I say DM's discretion as situations come up. If it upsets the way the DM wants the story to go he should feel free to say it doesn't work.

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4 Re: Affecting objects on Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:05 pm

So there are no rules...

One encounter a fire ball will set a room on fire and the next the room won't be affected.

Not ideal, especially since we almost always allow melee attacks to affect objects.

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5 Re: Affecting objects on Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:32 pm

Yep, Ross managed to say in one sentence what took me only three paragraphs.

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6 Re: Affecting objects on Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:14 am

Mick wrote:I would thing the FS radiating 1d4+18 fire damage would light the curtain and window frame on fire and start burning down the cabin.

Okay, how about for the Buffyverse, magical spells will leave traces, i.e. some smouldering or frost etc as appropriate for the suspicious to find, but otherwise not affect all but the most delicate items unless 1 of 2 things: 1. Concience intent of the caster ("Ember will sustain Flaming Sphere concentrating on ignighting everything in it's path."), or 2. GM design ("Far off in the middle of the frozen lake, on very thin ice, tied to a chair on this warm Spring day, the hostages are wearing around their necks, a warning to the Slayers who owns this town...") <hint: fire type spells bad, cold type spells on lake good>

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