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I am playing a homebrewed "Flame Disciple" class in heavily modified version of D&D 3.5, which has an ability that adds a certain amount of extra damage to attacks made with fire. The spell-like-ability I plan on using to trigger said class feature, however, allows a Reflex save for half damage, and my DM and I are unsure if that halving of damage would apply only to the base damage or if it would apply to the bonus damage from the other class feature as well. One the one hand, the bonus damage is not part of the spell-like-ability itself, but, on the other hand, it does add to the aforesaid's damage rather than dealing damage on its own.

I know a Reflex save would negate the bonus damage in cases where the creature making the save had evasion, since in that case the spell would do no damage at all and thus not trigger the class feature, so my question is about the case where a creature makes their save but doesn't have evasion.

The abilities in question are:

Will of Fire (Ex): Every time a Flame Disciple inflicts Fire damage on any target, whether with his class abilities or another source of fire, he inflicts an amount of extra Fire Damage equal to his class level. The Flame Disciple may also add x1.5 his CHA mod to any attack he does that uses his fire.

Fire Rupture (Sp): As a standard action, a Flame Disciple can emit a burst of flame from his body, striking all creatures and objects within 15ft of his position. This burst of flames inflicts 1d4 of fire damage per level, with an allowed Reflex Save for half.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For clarity, is your class a houserule? Could you then provide the text for the class feature that gives you extra fire damage? \$\endgroup\$ – LordHieros Jan 16 '18 at 9:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ This class is homebrew but it is not that any of us made it. Setting is homebrew to so there are lot of house rules but we got stuck with this not knowing what to do. \$\endgroup\$ – Lidza Jan 16 '18 at 9:43
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Any time you have bonus or extra damage applied, the sum total damage (base plus any bonuses) is considered to be one whole “chunk” of damage, and it faces damage reduction/energy resistance, as well as various other effects like halving due to saves or other abilities, all as one.

So you know that will of fire’s damage is also halved, because it is “extra” fire damage. For rounding purposes, however, you add the bonus from will of fire first, and halve after—it might matter, if both the base damage and the bonus are odd (e.g. \$\lfloor\frac{3 + 3}{2}\rfloor = \lfloor\frac{6}{2}\rfloor = \lfloor3\rfloor = 3\$ while \$\lfloor\frac{3}{2}\rfloor + \lfloor\frac{3}{2}\rfloor = 1 + 1 = 2\$).

For the damage to not be halved in this manner, it would have to be a separate instance of damage—say if the ability allowed you to briefly reignite the flames on the opponent, which is a separate effect dealing fire damage equal to your level. Unless that separate effect said something about saving for half, it wouldn’t be halved no matter what the saving throw on the initial triggering effect was.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is correct. All damage is added before the effects of save are determined. But you still could just cast scorching ray and dp 12d6+60 damage and get a +12 bonus to hit (assuming a CHA of +8) with a second-level spell at lv 20. What leads to the conclusion that those homebrew abilites are a bit too overpowered. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Jan 16 '18 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem is with the nonstandard term inflict when deal is far more common. The word inflict makes it sound like a weird case when it more than likely shouldn't actually be one. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 16 '18 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin Yawn; neither the damage nor the attack bonus are all that shocking or impressive at 20th level. Plus scorching ray would probably run afoul of the volley rules anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 16 '18 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Yeah, there’s a lot of non-standard nomenclature and formatting here. Don’t think there’s any evidence that inflict was chosen to have a particular distinction with respect to deal here; I probably wouldn’t have thought that even if Wizards had written it. But as it is, I think that’s easily ignored. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 16 '18 at 20:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan only if quickened. And is that homebrewed bonus precision? \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Jan 16 '18 at 21:16
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The extra damage is dealt fully

From the text of the first half of the Will of Fire feature, if you inflict fire damage on a subject, you inflict an amount of extra Fire Damage equal to your class level. So if any fire damage is dealt, you add your level to it, whether it's 1 or 200.

(Thanks to the comment pointing out that "his fire" means "fire coming from one of this class' features" From the second half if you use a feature you may also add x1.5 your CHA mod to the attack. I personally read that as "you add x1.5 your CHA mod to your attack roll", so features without attack roll would get no bonus.

So by that text if you employ "Fire Rupture" every creature that is dealt any amount of damage, wheter they made the save or not, they would be dealt your level as additional damage. Since no attack roll is required, the second half of "Will of Fire" wouldn't apply here.

That being said, houserules should be tailored to the table, so it would be ideal to try to come to an understanding with your DM, specially with such an atypical and weirdly-worded feature.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If there's a mistake in the answer I would appreciate a correction in the comments. \$\endgroup\$ – LordHieros Jan 16 '18 at 10:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ to clarify his fire is ruled to be fire PC makes with his ability like Fire Rupture \$\endgroup\$ – Lidza Jan 16 '18 at 10:21
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Your feature description says the following:

Will of Fire (Ex): Every time a Flame Disciple inflicts Fire damage on any target, whether with his class abilities or another source of fire, he inflicts an amount of extra Fire Damage equal to his class level. The Flame Disciple may also add x1.5 his CHA mod to any attack he does that uses his fire.

So this means that the bonus damage only becomes relevant once the damage has been inflicted, i.e. after he took damage, and hence also after he made his save (or not). Therefore, the additional damage would not be reduced, as far as I can tell.

Slightly problematic here is the somewhat vague description of Fire Rupture:

Fire Rupture (Sp): As a standard action, a Flame Disciple can emit a burst of flame from his body, striking all creatures and objects within 15ft of his position. This burst of flames inflicts 1d4 of fire damage per level, with an allowed Reflex Save for half.

I'm more familiar with 5e, as opposed to 3.5, where this feature would be formulated somewhere along the lines of

An affected creature must make a dexterity [^=reflex] saving throw. A creature takes 1d4 damage on a failed save, and half as much on a successful one.
The damage increases by 1d4 for each player level above 1st.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It would be the case if it were 5e. Because you "deal damage" after the save is accounted for. But it is not 5e \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Jan 16 '18 at 20:30

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