Desna's Shooting Star:

Advanced Benefit: You can impart a powerful spin to a thrown starknife so that multiple blades strike the target rather than just a single blade of the four, dealing extra damage with the other blades. As a full-round action, you can make a single attack with a thrown starknife, rolling 1d4 to determine how many effective strikes you gain with the attack (if you roll a 1, then only one blade strikes). If the attack hits, all of the effective strikes damage the target. Apply precision-based damage (such as sneak attack damage) and critical hit damage only once for this attack. The damage bonus from your appropriate ability score modifier applies to each strike, as do other damage bonuses, such as a bard’s inspire competence bonus. Damage reduction and resistances apply separately to each strike.

Ordinarily, I'd say yes, but I came across this thread about it while I was looking up other things, and it made me wonder if it would or not.

So I came here to see if SE can answer the question, does Desna's Shooting Star get the benefits of flaming (or other similar enchantments) on it's initial hit and each effective hit?


Normally, when you multiply damage, extra bonus damage dice, like sneak attack or flaming, apply only once.

But Desna’s divine fighting technique doesn’t multiply damage. It says you score multiple hits, which is not the same thing even if it is off of one attack roll. It then mimics damage multiplication for the purposes of precision damage, but neglects to mention any other source of bonus damage dice—like flaming. And then its says “other damage bonuses” all apply to each strike, i.e. are “multiplied” (but technically aren’t).

So the written rules say yes, you get bonuses like flaming repeatedly with Desna’s advanced technique. Do I suspect that whoever wrote this misremembered the actual damage multiplication rule, and meant to say that all bonus damage dice don’t get multiplied? Yes I do—but I can’t back that up.

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter because you shouldn’t use Desna’s advanced technique anyway—even if you can apply flaming repeatedly, even if you could apply sneak attack repeatedly, it’s completely without purpose. Any character that qualifies for it and has any business making weapon attacks1 has far higher expected damage with a full attack than with this technique, so don’t bother with it. Paizo shouldn’t have bothered to print it.

  1. While you can contrive situations where the technique is mathematically superior to a full-attack, you must remember that “better” is not the same thing as “good.” Because what you cannot do is contrive a situation where it is better than a full-attack and a good idea. Rather, in those situations, the technique may be a little less-bad than the full-attack, but in reality both are bad ideas and neither is the right choice for your action. This is what I mean by not having “any business making weapon attacks.” If you are any good at all with a weapon, a full-attack is superior. If you are not, the fighting technique is less-bad but still bad and you should do something else. And if you really have no other option, what you should be doing is running away, because you are clearly unprepared for the threat you’re dealing with.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically, if you were attacking something that was very hard to hit indeed, your chances of hitting with second and subsequent attacks might be low enough to make this worthwhile to use. Somewhat less edge case, a 10th level chaotic good bard can manage it without meeting prerequisites at the cost of a versatile performance (rather than a feat)... at which point it starts looking much more appealing, as their BAB is only +7/+2. At that point it's niche, but not inescapably bad. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Jan 4 '19 at 14:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenBarden No, it would not be worthwhile: if you were in that situation, and your solution to the problem is any kind of attack, you are making a mistake. Either you should be using something other than an attack, or if you don’t have one, you should be running away because you are not going to be able to handle this thing. As for bards, they get fewer versatile performances than feats, and in any event if they are not accounting for their attack bonus, they are again not in a position where they should be attacking in the first place. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 4 '19 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenBarden In short, every positive analysis of this option falls into the trap of considering it in a vacuum, rather than against the context in which it is being used. Yes, you can contrive niche cases where it works out mathematically, but in every one of those, just because the technique is better doesn’t mean it’s good; rather, in every one of those cases, it’s a little less bad but still bad and still not the right choice for your action. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 4 '19 at 14:37

Desna's Shooting Star applies on-hit abilities multiple times.

The ability specifies that you deal damage multiple times and which types of damage cannot be applied multiple times (precision and critical hit). All other multipliers and bonus damage (ability, bard, etc including enhancement) are applied for each of your 1d4 effective strikes.

This feat is a decent way for lower BAB classes to keep up with full BAB while avoiding the need to stock numerous thrown weapons or have a Blinkback belt. With 2.5 average hits per round, it's similar to having 6-11 BAB, or slightly more since low BAB iterative attacks are less likely to hit. Only needing to roll once at your full BAB puts all of your eggs in one proverbial basket, but has the distinct possibility of dealing damage similar to a 16 BAB character.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Point of interest: the advanced usage we’re discussing requires BAB +11 and Rapid Shot, or being a 10th-level bard (who still has BAB +7/+2). So you are basically talking about a bard here who has this technique, but no other relevant combat feats (read: Rapid Shot and/or Two-Weapon Fighting), and yet for some reason still thinks making weapon attacks is a good idea. That’s extremely niche for something to claim value and utility, and even then I’m extremely dubious that this is anything but a terrible idea for such a bard. Anyone else gives up a minimum 4 attacks for 1d4 attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 7 '18 at 4:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's great if you're crit fishing, but if you're thinking your 3rd/4th attacks are going to hit more often than you roll a 3 or 4 on the die, then feel free to ignore the existence of the feat. That being said, Pathfinder isn't always about having an optimized character like 3.5e was. Sure, you can't run anything and expect to survive, but this Feat was written to be niche... and it suceeds at being viable in my book. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Aug 7 '18 at 11:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.