Pathfinder has a whole series of rules around damaging objects of objects.

It seems like the basic premise is that people's gear is protected along with them and does not really suffer independent damage. This makes sense and seems easy to administer.

But what about Fireballs? 11th level + Maximize Feat = 60 damage.

Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects.

Even with half damage that Fireball would:

  • destroy every wooden door and and 2" of wood
  • ruin or break every non-magical item
  • melt off 1" of stone

Three part question:

  1. Are there any common counters to this? How does the evil villain prevent his lab from evaporating in smoke when the heroes trigger the fireball trap? How does a Red Dragon not melt the coins in his hoard?
  2. Is there an easy way to track this? Are we basically just treating objects like creatures?
  3. How does this get regulated in the world? A mage at this level is capable of razing a city block or blowing out 4 story wooden buildings. A game world is probably not swimming in 11th level mages, but they are clearly roaming the world. So how do kingdoms regulate these living cannons?

Lots of questions here, any insight / experience appreciated.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The rules are silent on this, so far as I'm aware. Many GMs ignore gross architectural damage caused by AoE spells as a way of keeping things simple; Me, I tell my players from the get-go that it'll be in full effect. As a consequence, the mages in the party are very, very careful not to cast burning hands indoors... \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Feb 14 '14 at 6:31
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ As for how settings deal with magic users, this question (rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/8048/…) is a fascinating read - especially the top answer! \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Feb 14 '14 at 6:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ It would be nice if I had a proper citation, but there was a Dragon magazine article on just the very subject of damaging items with area-effect spells. A party decides to use a Fireball to take out a dragon (presumably not a red one) sitting on its horde and the rest of the article was about how the players will have to deal with exploded potions, ashed scrolls, and a huge lump of cooling liquid gold. As for how to regulate it, probably the same way that we regulate dynamite. Mostly, you trust people, but if it starts being a problem, material components might get limited. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Duggan Feb 14 '14 at 17:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeanDuggan "no bat dung for you" only works if no one has Eschew Materials. Given that it's a free feat for sorcerers, that probably won't work. \$\endgroup\$ – Gates VP Feb 14 '14 at 18:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey, you probably need to narrow this question down - especially #3 is completely different. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Feb 14 '14 at 22:41
  1. Antimagic field on valuables. Store valuables in a vault. Don't put a fireball trap on your valuables.
  2. Sort of, basically anything non magical is likely destroyed, otherwise, no, it's going to require some bookkeeping.
  3. Fantasy worlds are fantasy... Lots to consider.

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