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Ghostbane Dirge:

The target coalesces into a semi-physical form for a short period of time. While subject to the spell, the incorporeal creature takes half damage (50%) from nonmagical attack forms, and full damage from magic weapons, spells, spell-like effects, and supernatural effects.

Incorporeal (ex):

Corporeal spells and effects that do not cause damage only have a 50% chance of affecting an incorporeal creature.

As I understand is a spell cast by a corporeal caster a corporeal spell (with exceptions like force spells). Does that mean the Ghostbane Dirge spell only has a 50% Chance to affect the incorporeal target?

Seams odd to me.

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The ghostbane dirge spell does, in fact, typically have only a 50% chance of affecting the only creatures it can affect. A corporeal caster that casts ghostbane dirge is casting a spell "that do[es] not cause damage [so the spell has] only… a 50% chance of affecting an incorporeal creature."

As written, I'm unsure what kind of a position a party would have to be in to make the spell ghostbane dirge a better choice than, for instance, the spell magic weapon and just hitting Slimer twice as hard, but the Advanced Player's Guide errata changed only the spell's original saving throw from (embarrassingly) Fortitude (which made the spell useless against undead creatures) to Will and the spell's unmentioned by the Guide's FAQ, leaving untouched the coin-toss failure chance.

The handful of readers that care deeply about this spell recommend a house rule saying that The spell ghostbane dirge possesses the descriptor force so that it can affect incorporeal creatures normally rather than the spell suffering the 50% miss chance when cast by a corporeal caster.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The house rule seams reasonable to me. I would handle it that way to. \$\endgroup\$ – Doc Snuggles Jul 5 '17 at 8:14
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It seems as if corporeal spell = "spell cast by a corporeal creature" is a common thought process, though I can't find where that is coming from. I'm not finding anything or aware of anywhere that actually defines what a corporeal spell is; however, if we look at what corporeal means

having, consisting of, or relating to a physical material body.

To me that would mean a spell like Entangle or Fireball would be corporeal spells (regardless of caster) since they have corporeal manifestations (the plants wrapping around you or the flames exploding outward).

Reading it this way, I would say Ghostbane Dirge doesn't really has a corporeal manifestation so wouldn't have the 50% miss chance. If you read Ghostbane Dirge as being a corporeal spell, though, then yes it would have the miss chance.

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