So it's pretty common that people say that torches can do a single point of fire damage to swarms. However, my group can't seem to find any sources that confirm this.

Basically, it comes down to the idea that since a torch does 1d3 bludgeoning + 1 fire, swarms take 1 fire damage. But, "A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage." and "A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures..."

There's nothing that I can find that says the fire from a torch is an area of effect attack, which would be the key to actually damaging them. Weapons, as far as I know, attack a single target, so is a torch effective at all?


1 Answer 1


This rule comes from D&D 3.5, but was not carried over to Pathfinder. The rule is:

A lit torch swung as an improvised weapon deals 1d3 points of fire damage per hit.

You can find this in the "Vulnerabilities of Swarms" section of the d20srd Swarm entry, next to other text that talks about how swarms are especially vulnerable to energy attacks in general, like Flaming weapons. In PF, swarms take extra damage from area attacks, but have no vulnerability to energy attacks.


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