In a recent encounter there were creatures with vulnerability to burst attacks.

One character used an attack that had the range 'Close Burst 10', and target 'One Creature'.

The DM defined this as a single target damage (not benefiting from the vulnerability), while the player claimed that since the attack was a close burst the damage should count as a burst type damage (and gain bonus damage from the vulnerability).

Which is correct?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you sure it was "vulnerability to burst"? Many swarms have "Vulnerable against close and area attacks" but this refers to the attack type (Close and Area rather than Melee or Ranged) and not whether it is burst, blast, one creature, all creatures, etc. \$\endgroup\$ – Soulrift Mar 25 '13 at 23:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ . . . ... You're right. \$\endgroup\$ – Lucifer Mar 26 '13 at 13:16

To be clear:

There is no Burst damage type. Burst is an attack type, there are not further qualifications there, a burst is a type of attack.

If the creature is vulnerable to Burst type attacks than they will be vulnerable to that attack regardless of the number of targets in the burst.

However, I understand where your DM is coming from on this. Typically the creatures that are vulnerable to burst attacks are swarms, if you can surgically pick out a target in a burst then I would definitely understand making an exception for the burst vulnerability as it doesn't exactly make sense in this case.

By the rules, this should inflict the vulnerability, but I wouldn't argue it too strenuously as it's a sensible exception even if the explanation doesn't make sense.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Mmm, I agree, small thing. But still worth taking a look around for other opinions. \$\endgroup\$ – Lucifer Mar 25 '13 at 21:10

From a strict rules interpretation, the player is right. The power is a close burst, the enemy has vulnerability to bursts, it should take bonus damage.

From a rules intent perspective, though, the DM is right. Powers that are close burst but only target 1 foe in the burst are essentially ranged attacks that don't provoke, and a ranged attack wouldn't trigger a vulnerability to burst damage.

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