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A question largely spawned by this question. The description of Flaming Sphere is (emphasis mine):

A burning globe of fire rolls in whichever direction you point and burns those it strikes. It moves 30 feet per round. As part of this movement, it can ascend or jump up to 30 feet to strike a target. If it enters a space with a creature, it stops moving for the round and deals 3d6 points of fire damage to that creature, though a successful Reflex save negates that damage. A flaming sphere rolls over barriers less than 4 feet tall. It ignites flammable substances it touches and illuminates the same area as a torch would.

The sphere moves as long as you actively direct it (a move action for you); otherwise, it merely stays at rest and burns. It can be extinguished by any means that would put out a normal fire of its size.

So what happens if the caster won't or can't use a move action to attack with the sphere, does it deal damage for a fire of its size to creatures in it's square (assuming they are prone or small enough to legally share the square)? I know it doesn't specify that it does damage in this case, but a normal fire of its size would, which is where this question arises.

There's a related question, but I don't feel it fully answers this specific instance (and is contradicted a little by the first question's answer).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Based on your comments on the one answer, I think you may have mistagged this question. Did you intend to ask this question about only the "logical interactions of a game's rules under a strictly literal reading"? I don't see anything in the question about that and begin to suspect that's because you're not asking a Strict RAW question, but before removing the tag I would like to confirm. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 17 '17 at 15:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought I was, is the interaction of flaming sphere behaving as a 5ft diameter spherical fire with the rules for fire damage not suitable for this tag? It's possible I've mistagged it if that's the case. \$\endgroup\$ – gaynorvader Aug 17 '17 at 15:25
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The answer you referenced is from 3.5, so while those answers often are the same for pathfinder, that is not always the case.

Sadly, if the caster does not spend the move action to move the flaming sphere it does nothing. The only time it does damage is when it enters a square. Not when something enters its square. There are times when it would be nice to drop one in a doorway or tunnel and continue running but it poses no barrier as everything is allowed to run through its square.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So even though it seems to count as a "normal fire of its size", it doesn't do any damage? \$\endgroup\$ – gaynorvader Aug 16 '17 at 10:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @gaynorvader In theory if a creature wanted to enter the fire and take damage it likely could. But there is nothing in the spell which details damage except when it enters a square. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Aug 16 '17 at 11:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JonathonWisnoski I'm not sure that's a good point to bring up as the spell AoE is "Effect: 5-ft.-diameter sphere" so would take up a full square. \$\endgroup\$ – gaynorvader Aug 16 '17 at 11:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @gaynorvader I agree that logically it would cause some damage, but you asked for RAW, and the rules as written don't mention damage if the sphere doesn't move, so no damage occurs. \$\endgroup\$ – Jay Aug 16 '17 at 11:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Rules as written" removes "stands to reason" from the scope of responses. If you want what makes sense, don't ask for just the RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - Justice for Monica Aug 17 '17 at 12:57

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