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Since the Ray deals 1d6 damage per 2 caster levels, what would be the damage if your caster level is lover than 2? 1/2, then round down. Ta-daa... 0, so 0d6 damage?

I'm pretty sure from common sense, it would be 1d6. So 1d6 on caster levels 1,2,3; 2d6 on caster levels 4 and 5; 3d6 on caster levels 6 and 7; and so on. But it would be nice to have rule to prove this.

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Where (book, page#) can we find the description of this spell? –  Ernir Feb 21 at 15:25
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Spell Compendium, p. 167 –  annoying imp Feb 21 at 15:27
    
Ray of Flame from an online fan site, the wording of which seems to match the Spell Compendium. –  ladenedge Feb 21 at 15:32

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You're right, that spell deals no damage if you're a 1st level caster. You still get to kindle your target and deal him the continuous fire damage, though.

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Odd result, but looks like it's the correct one. Note that some spells (Example: Divine Favor) that use this wording specify a minimum. This one doesn't. –  Ernir Feb 21 at 15:33
    
That's quite reasonable, though seems kind of illogical from the point of common sense. Can someone ignite something with no fire damage at all? –  annoying imp Feb 21 at 15:34
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@annoyingimp This is a case of RAW (Rules as Written) compared to RAI (Rules as Intended). I doubt they really intended a 0d6 fire spell at level 1, but they apparently managed to write one. –  Tridus Feb 21 at 15:58
    
Of course, it's impossible to tell what RAI was, unless we ask to the authors, which leaves us with RAW and houserules. –  Zachiel Feb 21 at 16:19
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@annoyingimp Yes, it is nonsensical and illogical. The RAW very often is. –  Matthew Najmon Feb 22 at 6:16

You are misunderstanding how 'x per 2 levels' works I think.

A level 1 caster deals 1d6 damage.

A level 2 caster also deals 1d6 damage.

A level 3 caster deals 2d6 damage. etc. up to limit.

So a different way to read this would be "for every two caster levels, the spell deals d6 damage".

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I think, it works like that when description specialy states: X spell deals 1d6 damage + another 1d6 per two caster levels, and the like. Like Orb of Acid, Lesser, exept that dice type is d8 there. –  annoying imp Feb 21 at 13:26
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The exact wording is "If your attack is successful, the ray deals 1d6 points of fire damage per two caster levels (maximum 5d6)." This is different from Orb of Acid which states it deals extra damage for every two levels beyond the first. –  Theik Feb 21 at 13:32
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And that's exactly what i mean. Your answer is legal for orb of asid, but not for ray of flame, as i understand it. –  annoying imp Feb 21 at 13:34
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I edited the answer to try and make the wording even more clear, but in short, the difference is in the 'beyond the first'. Level 1&2 = 1 dice for fire, level 3 = 2, etc. Orb is 1&2&3 = 1 dice, because the first level is ignored. –  Theik Feb 21 at 13:50
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Usually they say something like "for every level beyond first" to clarify this, or the spell is high enough level that it doesn't run into problems. As a DM I'd probably treat it the way you describe, but that's DM fiat to fix a rather poorly worded spell. –  Tridus Feb 21 at 15:15

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