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Regarding the spell "Girallon's Blessing" from the Spell Compendium, I'm seeking clarification on how the attacks and damage are resolved.

Suppose my character has a Strength modifier of +3, a Base Attack Bonus (BAB) of +13 / +8 / +3, and declares four claw attacks (achieving success with all four attacks).

Quote: "Each claw deals 1d4 points of damage + the subject's Str modifier, and if an opponent is struck by two or more claws in 1 round, the subject can rend it for an additional 2d4 points of damage + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier".

  1. Could you please provide details on the attack and damage rolls and their respective bonuses for each attack?

  2. Additionally, I'm curious if the 3rd and 4th attacks deal 1d4 points of damage + STR + 2d4 + 1-1/2 times STR.

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1 Answer 1

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The creature gains four claw attacks, each using its base attack bonus + its Str modifier for attack rolls. Each claw deals 1d4 points of damage + the subject's Str modifier, and if an opponent is struck by two or more claws in 1 round, the subject can rend it for an additional 2d4 points of damage + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier.

A creature cannot use normal weapons and the claw attacks in the same round, and the subject does not gain additional claw attacks from a high base attack bonus.1

The rules are very clear:

  • Your BAB is +13, your strength is +3. So you roll your attacks before any other modifiers are +16/+16/+16/+16, as that is exactly what the paragraph above calls out as your attack roll.

    • due to half the arms being secondary2, the GM might demand to include the -5 on them, for a +16/+16/+11/+11 - it is unlikely if that is meant to be the case though, as the spell explicitly called out four attacks at BAB + Str.
    • you can not use any other attacks gained from high BAB.
  • Each hit rolls for 1d4+3 as the basic claw damage.

  • If two or more claws hit, you roll additionally a single 2d4+4 (half get rounded down).

So the total damage is:

Number of claw attacks hit composition of damage total damage dealt
0 0 claws + 0 rending 0
1 1d4+3 claws + 0 rending 1d4+3
2 2d4+6 claws + 2d4+4 rending 4d4+10
3 3d4+9 claws + 2d4+4 rending 5d4+13
4 4d4+12 claws + 2d4+4 rending 6d4+16

Added Request: Why only one Rending?

There is one part that OP requested further clarification:

if an opponent is struck by two or more claws in 1 round, the subject can rend it for an additional 2d4 points of damage + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier.

That is a simple conditional logic sentence that is best read like this:

  • IF [an opponent] is [struck by two or more claws in 1 round]
    • THEN [the subject can rend it for an additional 2d4 points of damage + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier.]
    • ELSE [nothing]

The condition of [an opponent] being stuck by [two or more claws in 1 round] can only be either True or False. It can not be true multiple times. The effect of the conditional being true also contains a numerical: there is only a single [an additional 2d4 ...]. Would it be wanted to increase the damage per multiple attacks, then it would be worded differently and include such a pointer, such as this:

if an opponent is struck by two or more claws in one round, the subject can rend it for an additional 2d4 points of damage + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier per hitting claw after the first.

Now, the wording in the rule does say you can only rend a single target once a turn. It does not limit rending itself in this way. As long as you land 2 hits on two targets each, you do 4d4+10 to each of them. The two targets may not be the same creature.


Citation notes

  1. Spell Compendium, p. 106
  2. see for example here
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Please, check my edited post. I wonder why I can't apply the additional damage to every successful attack beyond the 2nd. \$\endgroup\$
    – SoyMavi
    Commented Aug 10, 2023 at 16:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ because that is how it is worded? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Aug 10, 2023 at 17:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the answer. As to the consideration of the attack bonus for the second half of the arms, whether they are primary or secondary appears to be moot: the spell tells us to use the same attack and damage calculation for each claw regardless of their status as being primary natural weapons or not. (Also, somewhat comically, the spells prevents a creature from mixing the usage of manufactured and natural weapons. Presumably, this means the subject, though a particularly rules parsimonious DM may have some "fun" with this.) \$\endgroup\$
    – NFeutz
    Commented Aug 10, 2023 at 18:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SoyMavi The rend is clearly worded as a once per target per round thing. After all four claw attacks are made, if an opponent was struck by two or more claws in a single round, you can do additional rend damage to the target once. It does not say "After each additional hit after the first in the same round." The effect in the spell matches the description of the Rend ability of the Girallon itself. A more interesting debate might be if you can rend two different targets in the same round if you hit each with 2 claws. \$\endgroup\$
    – RisingZan
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 4:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ One side note - The text of the Rend (Ex) ability for the Girallon, Hag, Dire Ape, Troll, Sea Cat, Winterwight and others does NOT actually say that both claws have to hit the same target, but it is heavily implied by the description of the action. \$\endgroup\$
    – RisingZan
    Commented Aug 11, 2023 at 4:48

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