Dragonlance Does Black Robe Life Channel work with Wratful Smite and Searing Smite?

ECMO3

Hero
I am trying to put together a Kender Conquest Paladin High Sorcery background build and looking at spells.

Life Channel. You can channel your life force into the power of your magic. When a creature you can see within 60 feet of you fails a saving throw against a spell that deals damage that you cast, you can expend a number of Hit Dice equal to the level of the spell. Roll the expended Hit Dice and add them together. The damage that the creature takes increases by an amount equal to that total.

Wrathful Smite: The next time you hit with a melee weapon attack during this spell’s duration, your attack deals an extra 1d6 psychic damage. Additionally, if the target is a creature, it must make a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you until the spell ends. As an action, the creature can make a Wisdom check against your spell save DC to steel its resolve and end this spell.


I think these two work together. The save is not made when you cast the spell, but when you make your hit and it is a spell that deals damage.

Searing Smite: The next time you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack during the spell’s duration, your weapon flares with white-hot intensity, and the attack deals an extra 1d6 fire damage to the target and causes the target to ignite in flames.

At the start of each of its turns until the spell ends, the target must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it takes 1d6 fire damage. On a successful save, the spells ends. If the target or a creature within 5 feet of it uses an action to put out the flames, or if some other effect douses the flames (such as the target being submerged in water), the spell ends.


On Searing Smite I think you could add a hit dice every turn until he makes a save.

How would you rule?

Also as an aside this is really powerful with spells which force multiple saves but do not end the spell like Dragon's Breath, Moon Beam, Spirit Guardians etc. You could apply hit dice damage every round and to multiple enemies per round if you damage more than one (until you run out of hit dice).
 
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Kender Conquest Paladin High Sorcery background
just so you know, you scare me a bit with these words... but
Life Channel. You can channel your life force into the power of your magic. When a creature you can see within 60 feet of you fails a saving throw against a spell that deals damage that you cast, you can expend a number of Hit Dice equal to the level of the spell. Roll the expended Hit Dice and add them together. The damage that the creature takes increases by an amount equal to that total.

must make a Wisdom saving throw

the target must make a Constitution saving throw.
I mean I think that if they fail the save AND you deal damage it could work... dropping this on a crit sounds like it will make your DM cry though.
 

Redwizard007

Adventurer
It sounds like the intent was for this to apply to (probably, single target) spells whose primary effect was dealing damage. The actual effect of such poorly worded rules just turns this into a complete mess.

I'd probably rule that the save must be against initial actual damage, rather than the debuff or ongoing effect, but the waters are murky at best.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I'd probably rule that the save must be against initial actual damage, rather than the debuff or ongoing effect, but the waters are murky at best.

Why? It is very underpowered as a feat if that is the case. Uses are limited by your hit dice and I think it is a nice boost to lingering damage effects.
 

Redwizard007

Adventurer
Why? It is very underpowered as a feat if that is the case. Uses are limited by your hit dice and I think it is a nice boost to lingering damage effects.
Because doing it otherwise would open up a can of worms at my table.

Does using the feat on round 1 of a spell mean you add that damage every round at no further cost? What about activating it post casting on a lingering effect? How bout AoEs? Does it boost damage on every target, or just one? Is that different on rays that can target multiple individuals?

Actually, rereading the ability, it seems to target the the individual who had the spell cast on them and failed the saving throw. So the answer to all my hypotheticals is "no." It also means it doesn't apply to either Smite spell, since "you" are the target of the spells, (range of "self") not the recipient of the damage.
 

pukunui

Legend
I second what @Redwizard007 says. I think the intent here is for it to work against spells like fireball that involve a save vs damage, not spells that involve you dealing extra damage on a hit with a weapon attack plus a save vs an additional effect. I also don't think the intent is for you to be able to continue to deal the extra damage on subsequent rounds. It's a one and done sort of thing.

Ultimately, though, it's up to your DM.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I do agree the probable intent was against spells that deal damage based on the saving throw, but it's astonishing how badly written this ability is. Like whoever wrote it never saw a spell that deals damage and has a rider effect with a save before.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Does using the feat on round 1 of a spell mean you add that damage every round at no further cost? What about activating it post casting on a lingering effect? How bout AoEs? Does it boost damage on every target, or just one? Is that different on rays that can target multiple individuals?

Ok you don't use it when you cast a spell, you use it when an enemy fails a save so what happens when it is cast is irrelevant. There is a cost in hit dice.

It only damages one individual every time you use Life Channel because you use Life Channel on "a creature" and "that creature" is the only one affected by Life Channel, but there is nothing to prevent you from targeting a creature multiple times if he fails multiple saves or targeting several creatures if several creatures fail a save at once, but you need to spend hit dice for every creature you target.

For example your 10th level cleric casts spirit guardians while surrounded by 4 bad guys with another bad guy far away. Nothing happens on your turn because no one saved or was damaged. Bad guy number one fails a save at the begining of his turn, he takes 3d8 damage from SG. You add 3d8 from Life Channel, you have 7 hit dice left. Bad guy #2 goes and makes his save, he takes 3d8 half damage from SG, you can't life Channel becaus he made his save. Bad guy number 3 goes and fails his save. You use Life channel again to add another 3d8 on top of the SG 3d8, you have 4 hit dice left. Bad guy number 4 fails his save and takes 3d8 from SG. Now you are getting low on hit dice so you only add another 2d8 from Life Channel. Next round you only have 2 hit dice left- if someone fails next round you can hit him for 2d8 extra or you can hit 2 different people that fail for 1d8 each.


Also keep in mind you only get half your hit dice back on a long rest, so the next day this hypothetical 10th level cleric only has 5 hit dice to use on Life Channel.


Actually, rereading the ability, it seems to target the the individual who had the spell cast on them and failed the saving throw. So the answer to all my hypotheticals is "no." It also means it doesn't apply to either Smite spell, since "you" are the target of the spells, (range of "self") not the recipient of the damage.

Life Channel targets an individual that fails a save, but nothing says that creature needs to be the target of the spell. It only says the spell must be cast by you, it must deal damage and a creature must fail a save against it. If you ruled that a creature had to be the target it would not work against any AOEs.

As another example, your 10th level Light Cleric Fireballs some badguys you can use it to damage mutliple creatures but the way I read that is you would need to expend hit dice for each one. So you fireball 6 baddies and 4 of them fail the save. Lets say you roll 24 fireball damage. So 4 guys take 24 damage and 2 guys take 12 damage. You can Life Channel on the 4 that failed. You want to Nova, so you use 9 hit dice to add 3d8 additional damage to 3 of the guys that failed (rolling 3d8 additional damage on each of them individually) and you use your last hit dice to do 1d8 on the last guy that failed and add 1d8 damage to him. You are out of hit dice using them all on that one casting of fireball..
 
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ECMO3

Hero
I second what @Redwizard007 says. I think the intent here is for it to work against spells like fireball that involve a save vs damage, not spells that involve you dealing extra damage on a hit with a weapon attack plus a save vs an additional effect. I also don't think the intent is for you to be able to continue to deal the extra damage on subsequent rounds. It's a one and done sort of thing.

Ultimately, though, it's up to your DM.

I am not saying you can damage someone for free every round but I think you can use it every time someone fails a save and spend the hit dice to get damage. I think you can use it more than once on a single creature if it fails a save more than once. I also think if you use it with fireball you need to spend hit dice for everyone you want to target with Life Channel, since it targets "a creature". So if you fireball a bunch you can Life Channel multiple creatures that did not save but you spend hit dice on each one of them individually. It does not add damage to the fireball itself, it adds damage to a single creature based on the hit dice you spend against that creature.

I think that is RAI.

I am not as sure that Wrathful Smite or Searing Smite are RAI uses.
 
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Redwizard007

Adventurer
I am not saying you can damage someone for free every round but I think you can use it every time someone fails a save and spend the hit dice to get damage. I think you can use it more than once on a single creature if it fails a save more than once. I also think if you use it with fireball you need to spend hit dice for everyone you want to target with Life Channel, since it targets "a creature". So if you fireball a bunch you can Life Channel multiple creatures that did not save but you spend hit dice on each one of them individually. It does not add damage to the fireball itself, it adds damage to a single creature based on the hit dice you spend against that creature.

I think that is RAI.

I am not as sure that Wrathful Smite or Searing Smite are RAI uses.
I get where you are coming from, and it's a perfectly logical interpretation. It's just not the same interpretation I'm coming to. If we assume that your rulling is correct, the game isn't broken, and I wouldn't have a problem running it that way as long as the whole table is in agreement, but it rubs me the wrong way and gives casters another leg up over martials that they don't really need. Still, the cost could be a MFer in games where the squishies get targeted regularly, and that could prove an interesting cost/benefit calculation.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I would rule no. Life channel takes effect when you cast a spell, on the subsequent rounds the Searing Smite has already been cast, and isn't being cast again, its effects are just continuing.

Otherwise, this opens a whole can of worms, Witch Bolt included.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I get where you are coming from, and it's a perfectly logical interpretation. It's just not the same interpretation I'm coming to. If we assume that your rulling is correct, the game isn't broken, and I wouldn't have a problem running it that way as long as the whole table is in agreement, but it rubs me the wrong way and gives casters another leg up over martials that they don't really need. Still, the cost could be a MFer in games where the squishies get targeted regularly, and that could prove an interesting cost/benefit calculation.
I don't think it really favors casters because the casters have smaller hit dice, so that is less damage to deal out over the course of a day. I think it actually favors martials that also have damaging spells with saves.

The 4th level Paladin build I am working on (or any 4th level martial with the feat and at least one 1st level spell slot) will be able to deal 4d10 (22) extra damage a day, while a Wizard will only deal 4d6 (14).
 

I don't think it really favors casters because the casters have smaller hit dice, so that is less damage to deal out over the course of a day. I think it actually favors martials that also have damaging spells with saves.

The 4th level Paladin build I am working on (or any 4th level martial with the feat and at least one 1st level spell slot) will be able to deal 4d10 (22) extra damage a day, while a Wizard will only deal 4d6 (14).
If they can cast a spell, then they are a caster ;)
 

ECMO3

Hero
I would rule no. Life channel takes effect when you cast a spell, on the subsequent rounds the Searing Smite has already been cast, and isn't being cast again, its effects are just continuing.

Otherwise, this opens a whole can of worms, Witch Bolt included.

The trigger is the save, so there is no Witch Bolt can of worms because there is no saving throw on Witch Bolt. Witch Bolt is an attack roll and the damage after the first attack is automatic. This absolutely would not work with Witchbolt at all.

Wrathful smite has a save when you hit with a melee attack, which is usually the same turn you cast it. But future rounds are checks, not saves so it would only work once on Wrathful Smite.

With Searing Smite the guy would keep repeating the save every round until he made it though.
 

Why? It is very underpowered as a feat if that is the case. Uses are limited by your hit dice and I think it is a nice boost to lingering damage effects.
It's free!

And the additional spell (with a free cast) might be meh for a wizard, but for sorcerers, warlocks, EKs and the like it's pretty good.

Wither and Bloom and Tasha's Mind Whip* look like the strongest choices for black robes.


*Should proably just call it Mind Whip since Tasha isn't in Dragonlance.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
It's free!

And the additional spell (with a free cast) might be meh for a wizard, but for sorcerers, warlocks, EKs and the like it's pretty good.

Wither and Bloom and Tasha's Mind Whip* look like the strongest choices for black robes.
It is not free to use, you need to spend hit dice on it, so it is extremely limited how much extra damage you pass out over the course of a day, especially on a Wizard or Sorc with small hit dice.

Of course the feat is free, maybe that is what you meant?

The spell is nice, but other feats that give you a 2nd level spell also give a 1st level spell and a half ASI. There is no half ASI.

I actually think the feat itself and the free spell are best for clerics. It lets them dip into the Wizard spell table and their d8 hit dice are going to outpower the Wizards and Sorcerers. I think it is going to work well on my Paladin too and he is going to need the free cast to have

Strixhaven won't be permitted at the table I am playing on so it will be Tasha's Mind Whip.

For my Paladin I am going to get Hex and Dissonant Whispers at 1st level, pick up mind whip at 4th along with Cause Fear from Shadow Touched and boosting Charisma to 18.

I will have Dissonant Whispers, Mind Whip and the aforementioned smites to use it with LC (if my DM allows it).

One thing about the feat is it appears to be limited by the spell level, not the slot level so upcasting something like DW would not let you use 2 or more hit dice. This makes it a little tougher to use for multiclass characters I think.
 



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