The Alchemist's Ectoplasmic Bombs discovery states that Incorporeal creatures struck by such a bomb take full damage from it. It does not, however, state whether these still do their normal damage to corporeal undead or other corporeal creatures. Can someone clear this up? Is the fact that it doesn't say anything an indication that apart from dealing full damage to Incorporeal creatures, these bombs function as normal? The full description states:

The alchemist can infuse her bombs with a special unction that damages incorporeal creatures and reveals the presence of undead creatures hiding in the area. Incorporeal creatures struck by an ectoplasmic bomb take full damage from the bomb. In addition, squares in the affected area of the bomb begin to faintly glow in the spaces where undead creatures have traveled in the last minute, including undead benefiting from invisibility or other forms of obscurity (such as ethereal jaunt), effectively creating a glowing trail. Any undead creatures in the affected area at the time of the explosion likewise glow faintly. This glowing effect lasts for 1 minute, and is otherwise identical to faerie fire.

(emphasis added)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I edited your quoted text to use the standard quote style for this site ( > "quoted text"). \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Mar 29, 2018 at 11:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ thank you. I'm still not entirely sure how this site works. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mordred
    Mar 29, 2018 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


Yes, in general, Pathfinder is a permissive rules-set. This means the rules usually only tell you what you can do, and usually not what you can't. Occasionally, the rules will mention some things you can't do, if that would make the rule clearer.

A normal bomb, as a Supernatural damaging effect, would generally do half damage to incorporeal creatures. By using the Ectoplasmic discovery, the bombs will still do full normal damage to most creatures, and also full damage to incorporeal creatures. The faerie fire effect would only be applied to (either corporeal or incorporeal) undead creatures. For example, a Flesh Golem, while it might superficially seem like an animated corpse, is a Construct creature rather than an Undead creature, and so would not be affected.

In case it matters, you can also choose whether or not to apply a Bombs discovery to any bombs that you throw, so if Ectoplasmic bombs had a lesser effect (which they don't, but you could apply this to other bomb types, such as cold or acid), you could choose not to apply any of them, and just use an unmodified bomb.


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