I have a bard who is using the sound striker archtype and wants to use good hope on the weird words ability which was updated in this FAQ.

Change the text of weird words to the following “At 6th level the bard can start a performance that is always a standard action to speak up to one word per 4 bard levels laden with sonic energy. Each word deals 4d6 points of sonic damage as a ranged touch attack with a range of 30 feet. The bard adds his charisma modifier on damage rolls with weird words. Multiple words that strike the same target stack into a single powerful attack, applying energy resistance and bonuses on damage rolls only once. The bard can target all words at the same or different targets, but he unleashes all words simultaneously. Each word costs 1 round of bardic performance.” This change will be reflected in future errata.

Good hope

This spell instills powerful hope in the subjects. Each affected creature gains a +2 morale bonus on saving throws, attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls.

They feel that because weird words can be affected by weapon focus (ray) that the good hope spell will also increase the damage of the weird words ability. I feel that weird words is not a weapon, it is a spell.

The question is, does weird words count as a weapon for the purposes of good hope and gaining a bonus to its damage?


2 Answers 2


He get the +2 bonus to the ranged touch attack, but not the +2 damage because weird words is not a weapon.

You will note from its description it never says "ray." It says "ranged touch attack." These are different, see What's the difference between a ranged touch attack and a ray?. Therefore you can't take Weapon Focus with weird words per your premise.

While things that affect weapon damage affect rays, per the Paizo FAQ, this is not generalized to all ranged touch attacks.


What your bard is doing is creating a new spell/song. Now, if you want, you can make him go through all of the steps that wizards go through when they want to research a new spell, or you can say he simply composed a new song that has this effect. But the thing to remember: this is a new spell, so you have to calculate the effect and adjudicate what it does.

Now, me personally, I would not allow weapon focus (ray) to be used as a bonus for this spell. Neither Weird Words nor Good Hope are "ray" effects--they are ranged touch effects.


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