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I have a wizard player who wants to use Telekinetic Projectile to hurl bombs. I think this is cool, and would like to allow it, but I'm not sure if it would be too powerful or cause other issues.

Preparing and throwing an alchemical bomb takes one action, uses a weapon attack, and has a range increment of 20'.

Telekinetic Projectile is a spell which hurls "a loose, unattended object" at a target, dealing physical damage. Additionally, the spell states:

No specific traits or magic properties of the hurled item affect the attack or the damage.

Depending on how you read that, RAW may dictate that the bomb's effects wouldn't trigger. But you could read it as "the bomb's effects don't affect the spell attack or spell damage," which doesn't say anything about the bomb's effects not working separately.

That being said, can think of two possibilities for how to allow it to work:

  1. 1 action must be spent preparing the bomb, and then the regular 2 actions spent casting the spell.
  2. More strictly (and less fun), 1 action must be spent preparing the bomb, 1 action must be spent putting the bomb down carefully so it becomes "a loose, unattended object", and then 2 actions must be spent casting the spell. This would obviously be a 2-turn maneuver, unquickened.

Potential concerns and balance issues:

  1. Using the spell to hurl the bomb allows casters to use their spell attack for the throw, instead of their (probably worse) weapon attack roll.
  2. You'd get the spell damage and bomb effect from one attack roll, rather than having to do one attack (spell or bomb), and then a second attack at -5 (spell or bomb).
  3. Using the spell to hurl the bomb eliminates the bomb's 20' range increment and gives it a flat range of 30' (unless the spell is given reach). So better at short ranges, but impossible to use at ranges over 30'.
  4. Possible that the rules intend for this gameplay style to be restricted to the alchemist class? This isn't really a balance thing but more a "spirit of the game" thing, which isn't high on my list of concerns for allowing my player to have a bit of fun.

Honestly, I'm not convinced that spending an entire turn to deal bomb effect + 1d6 + ability mod is terribly unbalanced. Not to mention that the wizard is limited by the amount of bombs he has. What concerns should I have with allowing a character to spend 3 actions to hurl a bomb with Telekinetic Projectile?

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    \$\begingroup\$ You do realise the Projectile damage will auto-heighten every couple of character levels, right? And the wizard could use more potent bombs, like the Acid Flask, which adds persistent damage? \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Feb 24, 2021 at 20:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Bombs are martial weapons, so most spellcasters would not even be proficient in their use (flat +dex to hit) so you'd be giving (most spellcasters) access to weapons they couldn't normally (effectively) use at all \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Feb 24, 2021 at 22:05

1 Answer 1

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This is about the equivalent of a level 6 feat

Specifically, the Eldritch Archer Dedication, which grants Eldritch Shot. Both cases are combining an attack with a cantrip spell at the same MAP (multiple attack penalty). Without running some in-depth calculations, you should probably be fine if you treat it similarly to Eldritch Shot, especially given the more limited nature of Bombs. If your player is crafting them through their own Alchemist dedication, the Bombs will be slightly lower level and they should be balanced out that way. It is a significant buff to the character in question (level 6 class feat, and allowing them to use a much better proficiency), but it doesn't seem overpowered at first glance.

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