Is "Light Ray" a special attack?
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  1. #1

    Is "Light Ray" a special attack?

    Ghaele and Lantern archons have an attack called "Light Ray". For Lantern Archons it does 1d6 to a range of 30', for Ghaele it does 2d12 from up to 300' away.

    Both note that it is an (EX) Extrodinary ability and that it overcomes damage reduction of any type. They also both leave the attack form out of the special attacks block.

    This came up in deciding if a polymorph any object target recieves the ability. I don't know if it matters any other time.

    Is there more about this ability? I'm curious if it has the [Light] descriptor, or if it does more damage to undead and undead particulary vulnerable to bright light. I assume not, since it doesn't specify, but the notation seems to be leave a lot out, perhaps from 3.0.

  2. #2
    It is clearly an attack, because it's listed in the Attacks line of the lantern archon's stat block, and clearly extraordinary.

    Polymorph any object includes the effect of polymorph, which includes the effect of alter self. Alter self gives you the natural weapons of the new form. Thus, if the Light Ray is either a natural weapon or an extraordinary special attack, the new form gets it. edit: I think it's a natural weapon.

    As you correctly noted the Light Ray description doesn't specify any unusual damage to undead. A vampire is vulnerable to direct sunlight - it is noted as a creature vulnerable to bright light in the description of sunbeam and so on, because direct sunlight is a kind of bright light. Likewise, wraiths and spectres are powerless in daylight. A shadow takes no special harm from bright light except a penalty on its Hide skill. The Rays certainly don't count as sunlight, daylight nor as a sunbeam spell, so they don't do special damage to these creatures.

  3. #3
    Does PAO allow supernatural abilities to be gained? Going over the spell description, it doesn't state that it grants them. So for the ghaele at least, the point is moot, because it has to use its Alternate Form ability to transform into a globe of light (which is an incorporeal form, again, something not granted by PAO) to use its light rays.

  4. #4
    The light rays do energy damage, and thus penetrate DR, but no creatures have resistance to light.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by saucercrab
    Does PAO allow supernatural abilities to be gained? Going over the spell description, it doesn't state that it grants them. So for the ghaele at least, the point is moot, because it has to use its Alternate Form ability to transform into a globe of light (which is an incorporeal form, again, something not granted by PAO) to use its light rays.
    No, PAO or Polymorph do not allow SU abilities, I missed where it states the light beam came from the alternate form. This makes it moot for what I was interested in.

    Thanks for the replies.

  6. #6
    Hey, it should still work for the lantern archon, right? You have to be closer & it does less damage, but if you have an enemy that can't get you & can't get away (the larger version of forcecage?), then a slow & steady barrage should work. Haste will even speed up the process.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krafen
    The light rays do energy damage, and thus penetrate DR, but no creatures have resistance to light.
    If you use the Draconomicon, radiant dragons are immune to light effects.

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    It also raises other question. Do the light beams get bonuses from bardic singing or similar effects? How about "magic fang". It isn't a spell-like or SU ability, so is it a natural weapon? something else?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by saucercrab
    Does PAO allow supernatural abilities to be gained? Going over the spell description, it doesn't state that it grants them. So for the ghaele at least, the point is moot, because it has to use its Alternate Form ability to transform into a globe of light (which is an incorporeal form, again, something not granted by PAO) to use its light rays.
    By my reading, a ghaele can exist either in the humanoid form or the iridescent globe form - they are almost equally valid forms for the being:

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    A ghaele can take the form of an incorporeal globe of eldritch colors, 5 feet in diameter. A ghaele is about 6 feet tall and weighs about 170 pounds.

    They usually fight in their humanoid form..

    A ghaele remains in one form until it chooses to assume a new one. A change in form cannot be dispelled, nor does the ghaele revert to any particular form when killed. A true seeing spell or ability, however, reveals both forms simultaneously.
    Also note that the Armor Class and attacks for the globe form are listed directly in the stat block, not under the Alternate Form ability.

    edit: However, it's moot because you can't polymorph to an incorporeal form as you said.
    Last edited by Starglim; Monday, 3rd October, 2005 at 02:23 AM.

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