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 Ice Axe spell and Power attack
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Jakuta Khan
Senior Scribe

496 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2013 :  07:23:48  Show Profile Send Jakuta Khan a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
nother issue:

The ice axe spell states no strength bonus applied to its damage, for the nature of th spell.

Could one still apply power attack bonus towards the damage of the conjured weapon?

I think not, since it wouldbe a bit overkill. Ignoring armor.....

xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1853 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2013 :  18:21:52  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just my knee-jerk response: Yes, according to the rules, but no by house rule.

As a DM I would say no, but not directly because of the limitation that the spell doesn't recognize a Strength bonus. This is just a quibble: Power Attack has a Str prerequisite but it operates on base attack. You could have a +1 damage modifier from Str and still power attack for +5 damage as long as your base attack is high enough. I think it's kinda irrational, and that's why I would house rule it, but as written the feat has nothing to do with Strength. Ignore the previous if the power attack feat has been errata'd... I didn't check.

In any case, the axe is composed of swirling ice shards and "hits" on a successful melee touch attack. The damage it causes is based purely on cold, not on the ice shards, because it doesn't physically penetrate the target, which makes Strength irrelevant. The spell description dismisses the wielder's strength bonus because the weapon is "virtually weightless" but I think this is misleading; a pocket knife is virtually weightless too, but the wielder's relative strength makes a difference in the damage it causes. Back to the ice axe: in my own unofficial opinion, power attack should be irrelevant because there's simply no way that increased force would result in the ice axe causing more damage; because it's virtually incorporeal.

A strict reading of the feat, though, would seem to support a player who wants to use power attack with an ice axe. Because according to the feat description, power attack doesn't depend on increased force; it hinges on one's experience/expertise in combat (base attack).

Regarding overkill, 2d12 damage does kinda seems like a lot of damage in comparison to other axes, but at caster level 10 a fireball would do 10d6 (35 average) and an ice axe would do 2d12+5 (18 average). The axe would last 10 rounds, but the cleric would be limited to 1 or 2 attacks per round, whereas the fireball could roast everyone in the area of effect all at once, for up to 60 damage. Ice axe only seems like the better spell when you want to pick and choose your targets... and when you're a cleric instead of a wizard, of course.

All just my two coppers.
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Jakuta Khan
Senior Scribe

496 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2013 :  19:24:47  Show Profile Send Jakuta Khan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
well, as a cleric I love to have the ice axe in combination with divine might, then you get two attacks.
get yourself hasted and you have three.
or use snakes swiftness, then you get number 4.

THEN this gets nasty indeed.

but just thinking aloud here.... the ice axe is pretty nice against dragons i.e. as it ignores their tough armor.

and if you manage to get two or three attacks with it, then you really can dash out some badass damage.
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