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In Pathfinder 2, most weapons are obviously design to directly target a foe, but for those that can deal splash damage you may be tempted in some situations not to target any foe in particular and only an empty square.

Are there rules for that, like there is in 1st Edition, and what are they?

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There are no rules for attacking empty spaces intentionally with the Strike action. The closest are the rules for attempting to target an Undetected creature.

Targeting an undetected creature is difficult. If you suspect there’s a creature around, you can pick a square and attempt an attack. This works like targeting a hidden creature, but the flat check and attack roll are both rolled in secret by the GM. The GM won’t tell you why you missed—whether it was due to failing the flat check, rolling an insufficient attack roll, or choosing the wrong square. The GM might allow you to try targeting an undetected creature with some spells or other abilities in a similar fashion. Undetected creatures are subject to area effects normally.

Even the rules in the Splash trait are unhelpful, here. It will be up to GM's how they arbitrate this. At the very least, it should involve an attack roll against one or more of the affected creature(s)' AC (or possibly level based DC) to determine if you critically fail the attempt. (The check being to determine if you affect the creature(s) present, not if you're able to get it on the spot).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Definitely agree with the opening but suggesting a level-based or splashed-creature-based DC to target a particular piece of ground feels odd. The DC is up to the GM, but an untrained simple DC seems far more appropriate for the default case (with range factored into the attack roll). \$\endgroup\$
    – brandon
    May 3, 2023 at 17:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ That was my first thought, but that scales oddly considering you need to roll at least a Failure on AC to hit even level 25 Creatures. I could see reducing the DC, but making it the flat DC doesn't account for creatures' tough hides, heavy armor, and reflexes to avoid the effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 3, 2023 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ To clarify, I wouldn't even have them roll if they were just throwing something to a square within reason, probably use flat DC to attempt to difficult throws, but to cause damage I would raise/lower the stakes by level. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 3, 2023 at 23:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ The way I homebrew it is that when a bomb is thrown like that they don't roll an attack but everybody in the splash area can make a basic reflex save (against the class DC of the Alchemist who made the bomb). If there are lots of NPC creatures in the area I use the same die to roll all their reflex saves. So far it works well enough. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2023 at 16:33

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