So, for a gestalt campaign, using all books for D&D 3.5, I made a Psychic Warrior/Monk character. I just turned level 16, and I saw the power Rage of the Remorhaz. If I make an unarmed attack while this power is in effect, do my attacks now deal the 4d6 fire damage? It says that anyone attacking me with unarmed or natural attacks do, so I am under the impression that the opposite should also be true, but would love to confirm this before deciding on this power.


Unfortunately, an effect only does what it says it does

The description of the 6th-level psychic warrior power rage of the remorhaz [psychometabolism] (Complete Psionic 97) says, in part, that

Your skin pulses, generating a heat so intense that anything touching your body takes 4d6 points of fire damage. Creatures striking you with natural attacks or unarmed attacks are subject to this damage as well. Creatures striking with melee weapons do not take damage from your heat, but their weapons do take damage.

…And, sadly, that's pretty much the extent of the power.

The power neither causes everything the psychic warrior touches with his body to be dealt 4d6 points of fire damage nor causes the psychic warrior's own unarmed or natural attacks to deal an extra 4d6 points of fire damage.

For comparison, many spells and effects endanger foes that harm (or seek to harm) the user yet the user gains only minor benefits from such effects if no foes do—for example, the 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell babau slime [trans] (Spell Compendium 22), the 4th-level Sor/Wiz spell fire shield [evoc] (Player's Handbook 230-1), the 7th-level Sor/Wiz spell acid sheath [conj] (Spell Compendium 7), and the soulmeld mantle of flame (Magic of Incarnum 78) (although when bound to the shoulders chakra the mantle can be used offensively) are all based on foes striking (and, typically, also dealing damage) to the user in much the same way the rage power is. None of these similar effects allow the user to deal extra damage with the user's attacks, either—the effects don't say they do, so they don't.

This does make the rage of the remorhaz power as written pretty disappointing, though. I'd suggest that if you're seriously considering the power for your gestalt monk 16/psychic warrior 16 that you ask the DM to house rule the power to work like you want it to work. I can't know if in your campaign this would be balanced, but considering what you could have picked to play instead of a monk/psychic warrior, this—in the abstract, anyway—seems okay.

  • \$\begingroup\$ To be clear 'touching your body' here is differentiated from 'touched by your body'? So you couldn't, for example, activate it while fighting atop a pile of paper to light the paper on fire as you're touching the paper, not the other way around, yes? \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Jul 8 '17 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Yeah, unless the pile of paper beneath the user were animate and attacking, it should not be set alight. Honestly, I really don't know how the power works except that it does. That is, the power somehow—while leaving the user's belongings unharmed—harms attackers that use unarmed strikes and natural weapons or harms the melee weapons that the attackers use. It's quite the gamist power (like many damage shields), and it's probably best not to try to delve too deeply into the physics of it. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 9 '17 at 0:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I disagree with your comment to thedakrwanderer. The power specifically says "anything touching your body" not "anything touched by your body". The paper WOULD light on fire because the only thing preventing your own shorts from combusting is the line you missed in the power description: "You and your possessions are immune to your own heat (but you are not resistant or immune to heat from other sources)." However, after reading the spells referenced, I see what you mean about they don't say they do, so they don't. \$\endgroup\$ – Pethrax Jul 9 '17 at 1:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pethrax Fair enough, but, in my defense, I assumed the power's user wears shoes. That is, the power says, "Your skin pulses, generating a heat so intense that anything touching your body takes 4d6 points of fire damage" yet "[y]ou and your possessions are immune to your own heat" (emphasis mine). Even I'd probably allow a shoeless user of the power rage to set alight the papers beneath him (and maybe even tunnel very slowly), but I'd still be hesitant to allow the user to weaponize that. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 9 '17 at 2:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Fair enough back at you. I personally was leaning towards no due to the not explicitly stated clause, but I didn't know if there were FAQ's or errata that I hadn't found that would have allowed weaponization, due to the wording "Your skin" and "anything touching your body" giving the possibility that your fists would count, as they are your skin, and part of your body, and when you punch someone, that someone is technically "touching your body". \$\endgroup\$ – Pethrax Jul 9 '17 at 3:54

I would say no.

The text of the power is not explicit in this regard, but it is conspicuously explicit in another regard that is RELEVANT to determining this ruling.

The clauses:

  1. "anything touching your body takes 4d6 points of fire damage"

  2. "Creatures striking you with natural attacks or unarmed attacks are subject to this damage as well"

Taken together, it is obvious that the authors of this feat felt that "creatures striking you" was not covered by "anything touch your body". There is no practical difference between that and "you striking creatures", and thus, I believe that the authors would have explicitly called out that interaction, had that interaction been intended.


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