Shaman Spirit Companion FAQ

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Bolded the different text for ease of comparison.



Ok, so I'll pick a zone. Stinking Cloud

Standard Action      Area burst 2 within 20 squares

The stinking cloud ends if, at the end of your turn, at least one square is not within 20 squares of the caster.

Where is the confusion here? 



Ok, I'll pick many zones.

Consecrated Ground: Close Burst 1, can move 3 squares as a move action
Guillaume's Veil: Close Burst 2, can move 4 squares as a move action
Awaken the Forest: Close Burst 3, can move 5 squares as a move action
Shadowdark Invocation: Close Burst 3, can move 3 squares as a move action
Creeping Brambles: Close Blast 3, can move 3 squares as a move action
Dragon Temptest: Close Blast 5, can move 3 squares as a move action
Misty Breath: Close Blast 5, can move 3 squares as a move action
Perfect Prison: Close Burst 1, can move 3 squares as a move action
Creeping Doom: Close Burst 1-5, can move 3 squares as a move action (and can grow each time you sustain it)
Fragment of the Song: Close Burst 5, can move 3 squares as a move action

I fail to see how pointing out an Area zone is relevant to this topic.

Close burst/blast X powers have no range by their nature... they have no "within X squares" like your stinky reference, which obviously does have a range.
If the zone exits the area of effect by the end of your turn, it ends.

It's easy to use and easy to understand.

Defining range to be 0 leads to absurdity so that can be rejected out of hand.
Defining range to be infinite seems broken.

If our options are absurdity, broken and easy, I'll take easy everytime. 
"At a certain point, one simply has to accept that some folks will see what they want to see..." Dragon 387
If the zone exits the area of effect by the end of your turn, it ends.



That is not what the books say though--unless you have a citation to back this up. Also, it does not work with the close blast zones, like I was saying in the original post of mine that you quoted.

Unless the books say something contrary, its a reasonable extrapolation of the existing rules. Is it official? Well, we could ask CS for an official ruling if you like.

It works for blasts exactly the same as a burst. If the zone exits the blast's area of effect by the end of your turn, it ends.

What is the alternative? Strike the powers as illegal because range is indeterminate?

"At a certain point, one simply has to accept that some folks will see what they want to see..." Dragon 387
It is also the argument that has the least RAW support.

The one with the most RAW support is probably that close bursts have a range of 0.  Since that leads to a nonsensical result for conjurations, I'm comfortable ignoring that and going with the one that is arguable by RAW and seems most in tune with the RAI.

If you want a strict RAW answer, I think you end up with something like "The conjuration ends if you are not within range of at least 1 square it's in (using the power's range).  If the power doesn't have a range, you can never be within range of it using the power's range, so it ends."

If RAW gives you an over-restrictive answer, I would think you would have to fall back on RAI or "whatever your DM says", not "that means we ignore the restriction".
For those who find this topic interesting, the problem with Close powers lacking a clearly defined range (not to be confused with an area of effect) has been discussed before, eventually resulting in a post to the PHB errata forum.

Edit: GelatinousOctahedron, by the way, thank you for making this great Spirit Companion FAQ post for the Q&A forum! Very, very useful.
I thank you all, for your information regarding my question. The consensus seems to be, that there is no RAW answer. So if noone has asked CS or is going to, then may i propose at least in regards to the spirit companion to assume 20 as max range (as in "close burst 20")? This seems to be close enough to RAI and is not overpowered, as would an infinite range be.

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Question.  The Spirit companion can not die unless it takes a total damage from a single attack equal to 10 + ( Player's Level / 2 ).  So at level 2, the DM would need to do 11 damage total from a single attack.

Say the DM has a monster that does the following attack.



Heated Shortsword (Standard, At-Will ) Weapon
+8 vs AC; 1d6+4 damage plus 5 Fire Damage

This is a single attack with multiple damage components, in effect.  Is there anything stating that such an attack would not be sufficent to kill the monster in one hit unless the DM rolls a 1 on damage?  In theory, if the DM rolls a 2, he would do 2 + 4 + 5 damage.  That's 11 damage in one strike.  That should kill the companion.  The reason the attack is broken into two parts is due to the potental for resistances or vulnerabilities.  But that's how it works out.

Would this kill the companion pet in one strike?  Or is there some kind of ruleing that if a single attack does different kinds of damage, you treat them individually in some manner?

  Sentack
Would this kill the companion pet in one strike?



It is a single melee attack and it can definitely do 11 damage or more. That is all that is needed. If, instead, it was 1d6+4, make a secondary attack. +x vs Def 5 fire damage, then that would not work, as it is now two attacks.
I thank you all, for your information regarding my question. The consensus seems to be, that there is no RAW answer. So if noone has asked CS or is going to, then may i propose at least in regards to the spirit companion to assume 20 as max range (as in "close burst 20")? This seems to be close enough to RAI and is not overpowered, as would an infinite range be.



I would call it strong RAI since other rules actually seem to build on this interpretation being the one the designers intended in this case. Suiotudure is right though, technically a close power has no defined range and there are certainly other powers which don't make sense under this interpretation. All that really proves is that the rules aren't totally consistent. In the context of the Call Spirit Companion power it seems safe to consider the size of the burst to be a 'range'. Just remember you can't extrapolate that to other situations.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I thank you all, for your information regarding my question. The consensus seems to be, that there is no RAW answer. So if noone has asked CS or is going to, then may i propose at least in regards to the spirit companion to assume 20 as max range (as in "close burst 20")? This seems to be close enough to RAI and is not overpowered, as would an infinite range be.



I would call it strong RAI since other rules actually seem to build on this interpretation being the one the designers intended in this case. Suiotudure is right though, technically a close power has no defined range and there are certainly other powers which don't make sense under this interpretation. All that really proves is that the rules aren't totally consistent. In the context of the Call Spirit Companion power it seems safe to consider the size of the burst to be a 'range'. Just remember you can't extrapolate that to other situations.



I would also vote for this being a strong RAI case, and never really considered it  debatable point.  While technically in RAW Close powers have no range, for all intents and purposes, the number given for the area of effect is the range (or "range of the effect" if you will), particularly for Close burst powers that effect single targets or squares within the burst, as opposed to all creatures within the AOE.
   Prime example: Healing Spirits - Close 5.  If you were to ask any player the range of this power (or most similar healing powers) they would say "five"; they wouldn't say "zero, but you can target any ally within 5 squares", even if that is the RAW.   The healing powers are Close type powers because if they were Ranged, you couldn't target yourself with them.

I would also vote for this being a strong RAI case, and never really considered it  debatable point.  While technically in RAW Close powers have no range, for all intents and purposes, the number given for the area of effect is the range (or "range of the effect" if you will), particularly for Close burst powers that effect single targets or squares within the burst, as opposed to all creatures within the AOE.
   Prime example: Healing Spirits - Close 5.  If you were to ask any player the range of this power (or most similar healing powers) they would say "five"; they wouldn't say "zero, but you can target any ally within 5 squares", even if that is the RAW.   The healing powers are Close type powers because if they were Ranged, you couldn't target yourself with them.



And you would provoke OAs from adjacent enemies, which would turn melee healers very ineffective.

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The Spirit companion gets the Defenses that the player's character has but, does it also get the characters Resistances as well?

  Sentack

Resistances are not defenses and this is a case where the rules are pretty silent on the issue so I think the answer is no.  

I think from a mechanics perspective that would make the spirit companion overpowered since they are already hard to destroy as is, adding in resistances would make them pretty much indestructable to those damage types because of the way monster damage scales.

Excellent info here, but I think you should alter the color of either the Questions or the Answers slightly, would just make it a bit easier to read.  Great work ^_^
"All I hear now is the sound of the Charop boards and all their builds popping" ~ Mithreinmaethor "Oh I forgot, common sense no longer exists. It died with the invent of the internet age. ~ Thunder_Dragonbane ~ 1001 Reasons to Love 4E
Good idea.  I bolded the questions.

Resistances are not defenses and this is a case where the rules are pretty silent on the issue so I think the answer is no.  

I think from a mechanics perspective that would make the spirit companion overpowered since they are already hard to destroy as is, adding in resistances would make them pretty much indestructable to those damage types because of the way monster damage scales.




I would be like adding insult to injury on the DMs perspective. After all, damage resistance already reduces the damage the shaman takes, when the spirit dies. So increasing his damage threshold with resistance would be really overpowered.

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I would be like adding insult to injury on the DMs perspective. After all, damage resistance already reduces the damage the shaman takes, when the spirit dies. So increasing his damage threshold with resistance would be really overpowered.

No it doesn't, sorry.  The damage the Shaman takes when the Companion 'dies' cannot be reduced in any way.
"Besides, pushing someone over a pit is still entirely 2D... it just becomes 3D rather quickly afterwards." ~ yesnomu "Mind you, that doesn't change the fact that the poor str-priest is cowering in the corner wondering what horrible thing it was that he did that makes daddy keep hitting him so much, but it's not like the nerf was senseless." ~ SanityFaerie
Why not? It just says you're taking damage. Contrast to the wording of the Paladin Blood of the Mighty power effect.

Effect: You take 5 damage, which can’t be reduced in any way. 
"At a certain point, one simply has to accept that some folks will see what they want to see..." Dragon 387
Why not? It just says you're taking damage. Contrast to the wording of the Paladin Blood of the Mighty power effect.

Effect: You take 5 damage, which can’t be reduced in any way. 



True, oddly enough.  Unlike similar effects from other classes, this can be reduced with resistance (all).

So it seems!  Sorry, I always assumed it was like most other effects that cause damage to the character as a downside.
"Besides, pushing someone over a pit is still entirely 2D... it just becomes 3D rather quickly afterwards." ~ yesnomu "Mind you, that doesn't change the fact that the poor str-priest is cowering in the corner wondering what horrible thing it was that he did that makes daddy keep hitting him so much, but it's not like the nerf was senseless." ~ SanityFaerie
@Blastarr: No harm done, i also misread stuff sometimes.

The spirit companion is already powerful. My DM always gets headaches, when attacking it or provoking some OAs are the monsters only options.

Nice avatar you have. It reminds me of bioshock, where did you get it?

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Thanks!  I happened across it one day and decided to use it, because Bioshock is pretty cool and also I love the idea.  "Little Sister's Tea Party" by Kim-Kim over at Deviant Art.  You can find it here:
kim-kim.deviantart.com/art/Little-Sister...
"Besides, pushing someone over a pit is still entirely 2D... it just becomes 3D rather quickly afterwards." ~ yesnomu "Mind you, that doesn't change the fact that the poor str-priest is cowering in the corner wondering what horrible thing it was that he did that makes daddy keep hitting him so much, but it's not like the nerf was senseless." ~ SanityFaerie
Question: At which point did the Shaman MC feat change to allow you to use the at-will spirit OA attack power as an actual at-will and not an encounter power?  According to the builder, it's still an encounter power (and I firmly believe that's what it is supposed to be) but I have seen people who are using it as an at-will now.
The march 2010 errata rewrote the third paragraph this way "Choose a Companion Spirit option. You gain the at-will shaman power associated that option, such as spirit’s shield or spirit’s fang.”  It was that paragraph that said it was an encounter power before.

I think that it is still supposed to an encounter power and that they were sloppy with the errata.
The march 2010 errata rewrote the third paragraph this way "Choose a Companion Spirit option. You gain the at-will shaman power associated that option, such as spirit’s shield or spirit’s fang.”  It was that paragraph that said it was an encounter power before.

I think that it is still supposed to an encounter power and that they were sloppy with the errata.



That was not sloppy at all.  It's a Standard Action vs. the normal Minor Action.  That was plenty enough of a change, so they made it an At Will instead of Encounter.
Except the reasoning they put in only mentions that they did this to add in the primal power options and makes no mention of changing the usage. 

And you can still take the sudden call feat which makes it a free action.
No.  The Summon Spirit Companion power was always at-will.  I'm talking about the opportunity attack power which you also get (for instance, spirit's fangs or Spirit's prey.)  From reading the original wording of the feat and the new wording, it looks like they forgot to put the "as an encounter power" wording back to the end of that sentence. 

I'm sure they meant for it to be an encounter.  They nerfed Hero of Faith to not give a MC Avenger the oath of enmity power for the entire encounter plus it's benefits, so I'm thinking this is supposed to be an encounter also.  The summon spirit companion power is an at-will and is supposed to be an at-will.  I don't even complain that it's a standard action since (as was mentioned) I can always take Sudden Call to make it a free action if I really want to.
I am not sure who you are referring to , but to be more clear summoning the SC through the feat has always been a standard action at will power.  It needs to be at will for those who take power swap spirit powers and for other reasonx, but can be made a free action through the sudden call feet.  The arrata only deals with the opportunity action powers.

How do you tell if an attack hits your spirit companion or not?  Do all attacks to the spirit companion automatically hit, or do they have a DC of some kind?
Summons and Conjurations share your Defenses if they are attackable.
"At a certain point, one simply has to accept that some folks will see what they want to see..." Dragon 387
They share your *non-modified* defenses.  Meaning, if you have a power effect on you which is raising or lowering your defenses, the spirit companion does not gain that bonus as well.

There are Shaman powers and feats which can increase the spirit companion's defenses though.
Q: Can a spirit companion carry anything?


Q: Can a spirit companion make basic attacks and/or charge?


Q: In PBH2 conjuration movement states they can not move through solid objects. What about murder holes, they are not solid and you still have line of sight into them?

Q: What about bloodrock and other terrain, does it effect the spirit's rolls?
Q: When a Protector Spirit Shaman uses Spirit's Shield, does the ally gain additional hit points equal to your constitution modifier for being adjacent to your SC?
Q: When a Protector Spirit Shaman uses Spirit's Shield, does the ally gain additional hit points equal to your constitution modifier for being adjacent to your SC?



Yes indeedy.
Q: Can a spirit companion carry anything?



The rules are fairly silent on this, but in general I would say no since it has no ability scores or skills.  Ask your DM.

Q: Can a spirit companion make basic attacks and/or charge?



No.  It can only make attacks that have the spirit keyword and no basic attacks or charges have the spirit keyword.

Q: In PBH2 conjuration movement states they can not move through solid objects. What about murder holes, they are not solid and you still have line of sight into them?



I would say yes, but ask your DM.  I do not know if this would count as blocking terrain. see below.

Q: What about bloodrock and other terrain, does it effect the spirit's rolls?



I do not know what bloodrock does since it is not in the compendium, but the compendium entry on conjurations says conjurations can move through all difficult terrain and are not effected by their environment, but they can not move through blocking terrain.  This is the first time I have seen the term "blocking terrain" so I am not sure what it applies to and it does not have a specific entry although several powers, items, and traps refer to it.  I sounds like it would be in one of the DMGs, but I do not own those books.  Anyone know?
They share your *non-modified* defenses.  Meaning, if you have a power effect on you which is raising or lowering your defenses, the spirit companion does not gain that bonus as well.

There are Shaman powers and feats which can increase the spirit companion's defenses though.

Not trying to be a crap-disturber, but do you have a reference for this?  I've played it this way before but other people have challenged my interpretation and I couldn't find something to back it up.  Thanks!
"Besides, pushing someone over a pit is still entirely 2D... it just becomes 3D rather quickly afterwards." ~ yesnomu "Mind you, that doesn't change the fact that the poor str-priest is cowering in the corner wondering what horrible thing it was that he did that makes daddy keep hitting him so much, but it's not like the nerf was senseless." ~ SanityFaerie
Both the PHB2 page 220 and the compendium say "If your conjuration can be attacked or physically affected, it uses your defenses." and make no mention of unmodified defenses.
Q: What about bloodrock and other terrain, does it effect the spirit's rolls?

The spirit never makes rolls or attacks.  The shaman is the one making the attacks and the attack rolls, so terrain like blood rock only matters if the shaman is standing on it.

Think of the spirit companion as merely a portal through which the shaman is making attacks, albeit one that can be disrupted by an enemy's targeted attacks.  That point of view will generally lead you in the right direction for interpreting how the rules interact with it.
Q: Can a spirit companion carry anything?


Q: Can a spirit companion make basic attacks and/or charge?


Q: In PBH2 conjuration movement states they can not move through solid objects. What about murder holes, they are not solid and you still have line of sight into them?

Q: What about bloodrock and other terrain, does it effect the spirit's rolls?



1. There's indeed no ruling on this in the books, but the LV 2 utility power "assistance of the strong spirit" would be somewhat pointless, if the spirit could carry things or manipulate objects. Also, this would turn it into a (very overpowered) tool to manipulate traps from a safe distance. But you are free to alter this in roleplay.

4. Technically, the spirit doesn't make any rolls, but the shaman does them for it. The spirit can't be effected by status affects either, but it is indirectly effected if the shaman is effected. For example if some terrain gave a -2 on attack rolls to adjacent creatures and the shaman attacks a creature with the spirit inside this terrain, he had no penalty. But if the shaman was inside this terrain himself and attacked a create somewhie inside or outside the terrain with his spirit, any of his attacks were effected by the penalty.

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