Desert Wind Flurry of Blows, Slashing Kama Style, Icy Clutch of Stygia, Hellfire Master

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There seems to be some confusion about how these four pieces interact over in the Optimization forum. I'm hoping we can get this straightened out with good precise answers on why it does or doesn't work.

Desert Wind Flurry of Blows

Desert Wind Flurry of Blows

A successful attack ignites your mind’s power, causing lambent flames to dance across your body and sear your enemies.

At-Will        Elemental, Fire, Psionic
No Action      Melee 1

Trigger: You hit with an attack during your turn.

Target: One creature
    Level 11: One or two creatures
    Level 21: Each enemy adjacent to you

Effect: The target takes 2 + your Charisma modifier fire damage. If the target wasn’t targeted by the triggering attack, it also takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls for any attack that includes you as a target until the end of your next turn. You can then shift 1 square.

Special: You can use this power only once per round.


Slashing Kama Style

Slashing Kama Style

Prerequisite: Monk, Flurry of Blows class feature
Benefit: You gain proficiency with the sickle. When you use your flurry of blows power while you are wielding a sickle, choose one target of the power that is adjacent to you. The target instead takes ongoing damage equal to the damage that you would have dealt to it with the power.


Icy Clutch of Stygia

Icy Clutch of Stygia

Heroic Tier
Prerequisite: Tiefling
Benefit: Whenever an enemy successfully saves against ongoing damage that you imposed, that enemy takes cold damage equal to your Charisma or Intelligence modifier.

The cold damage inceases to 5 + your Charisma or Intelligence modifier at 11th level and 10 + your Charisma or Intelligence modifier at 21st level.


Hellfire Master

Hellfire Master

Heroic Tier
Prerequisite: Tiefling, wizard
Benefit: When an enemy saves against an effect bestowed by your fire attack, it takes fire damage equal to 5 + your Charisma modifier.


So, those are the elements were discussing together. The end goal is to have ongoing damage from a fire attack so that when the creature under the effect saves, it takes a bunch of damage.

Most of the rules questions here come from the feat Slashing Kama Style.

1. The feat does not seem to say what it is replacing. We can infer from context clues that it either replaces the use of the power on that target OR the damage dealt?
2. If the damage is what is replaced, and ongoing damage is placed on a creature through use of the feat, is it the power Desert Wind Flurry of Blows that caused the ongoing, or is it the feat Slashing Kama Style?
3. What type of damage is the ongoing damage?
4. When the damage from Desert Wind Flurry of Blows is replaced with ongoing damage, is Desert Wind Flurry of Blows still a fire attack?

So, what are the answers and why is that answer correct?

My gut instinct is that the use of Desert Wind Flurry of Blows is completely replaced by the ongoing damage, but for what it's worth, I really want it to be that the damage is all that's replaced and that the fire keyword remains on the power because this is exaclty the sort of cool thing I want to do.
1) Slashing Kama Style's Ongoing damage is replacing Desert Wind Flurry of Blows's damage since its dealt instead of it.

2) The Ongoing damage is still delivered by the Desert Wind Flurry of Blows's effect.

3) The Ongoing damage will be untyped, since no damage type is given for it.

4) No, since it doesn't deal Fire damage anymore.


D404 Slashing Kama Style: The target instead takes ongoing damage equal to the damage that you would have dealt to it with the power.

RC 115 Adding or Removing Damage Type: If a Power gains or loose a damage type, the power gains the keywords for any damage type that are added, and it loose the keywords for any damage type that is removed.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

1) Slashing Kama Style's Ongoing damage is replacing Desert Wind Flurry of Blows's damage since its dealt instead of it.

2) The Ongoing damage is still delivered by the Desert Wind Flurry of Blows's effect.

3) Untyped.

4) No, since it doesn't deal Fire damage anymore.


I agree with these.

I don't think Desert Wind Flurry of Blows actually loses the Fire keyword, does it?  Powers can have keywords even when they don't deal damage of that particular type.

Edit: And with that footnote, I agree with you on all of them.
Not According to Adding or Removing Damage Type (RC 115)

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

1) Slashing Kama Style's Ongoing damage is replacing Desert Wind Flurry of Blows's damage since its dealt instead of it.

2) The Ongoing damage is still delivered by the Desert Wind Flurry of Blows's effect.

3) Untyped.


I agree with these.

4) No, since it doesn't deal Fire damage anymore.



I don't think Desert Wind Flurry of Blows actually loses the Fire keyword, does it?  Powers can have keywords even when they don't deal damage of that particular type.



He's got the reference right there for why it works this way, so Hellfire Master is out of the combo. So, that means Icy Clutch of Stygia works, but Hellfire Master does not.
Correct.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

1) Slashing Kama Style's Ongoing damage is replacing Desert Wind Flurry of Blows's damage since its dealt instead of it.



Where does it say that the damage from DWFOB is what is replaced by SKS? It doesn't as far as my English comprehension. Other disagree with me, so I'm trying to understand it.

It does indicate the ongoing damage is equal to what the creature would have taken from FOB, but when you compare it to other "instead of" effects, it does not in anyway properly tell you what you are replacing.
1) Slashing Kama Style's Ongoing damage is replacing Desert Wind Flurry of Blows's damage since its dealt instead of it.

2) The Ongoing damage is still delivered by the Desert Wind Flurry of Blows's effect.

3) Untyped.

4) No, since it doesn't deal Fire damage anymore.

RC 115 Adding or Removing Damage Type: If a Power gains or loose a damage type, the power gains the keywords for any damage type that are added, and it loose the keywords for any damage type that is removed.



1) At paragon and beyond DW FoB has more than one target and Slashing Kama Style only has one target.  Does that mean you lose the other targets and that Starblade Flurry is incompatible with Slashing Kama Style?

2) The DW FoB effect causes fire damage.  By this statement the ongoing damage is still delivered by a fire effect.

3) It is not untyped.  See #2.  Point out where it says the damage is untyped in the feat or where it removes the damage type.

4) See #2 and #3.

--Slashing Kama Style states you choose one target of FoB.  This means that there can be more than one target.
--Slashing Kama Style does not state that it replaces FoB only that it affects one target of your FoB.
--Slashing Kama Style states the one target you choose takes ongoing damage equal to the normal damage you would normally take.

5 untyped != 5 fire.

By your statement, using Slashing Kama Style removes fire damage from each target and therefore you never do fire damage with DW FoB if you use Slashing Kama Style since using that feat removes fire damage which, by the RC, affects the whole power.

Edit: No where in the feat does it say that the damage is untyped.  The feat does not say that it changes the damage type to untyped damage therefore it does not.  The feat does what it says, no more no less.  And the feat states that you replace normal damage with ongoing damage.  Nothing about the damage type changing or the damage being untyped.  Therefore the damage type does not change nor is it untyped.

By your statement, using Slashing Kama Style removes fire damage from each target and therefore you never do fire damage with DW FoB if you use Slashing Kama Style since using that feat removes fire damage which, by the RC, affects the whole power.



I agree. Only the target is affected by the change, so the power should retain the Fire keyword.


No where in the feat does it say that the damage is untyped.  The feat does not say that it changes the damage type to untyped damage therefore it does not.  The feat does what it says, no more no less.  And the feat states that you replace normal damage with ongoing damage.  Nothing about the damage type changing or the damage being untyped.  Therefore the damage type does not change nor is it untyped.



I disagree. The target instead takes ongoing damage equal to the damage that you would have dealt to it with the power. Since no damage type is given for the ongoing damage, it has no type. It doesn't say it deals Ongoing X damage, nor does it say it deal Ongoing damage of the same type you would have dealt. Only the quantity of damage is replicated, not the type.


''The target takes 2 + your Charisma modifier fire damage.''

''The target instead takes ongoing damage equal to the damage that you would have dealt to it with the power.''

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I agree with plague, except for 3 (and to a degree, 4. But it depends).

The ongoing could be parsed either as:
FoB does (x) fire, kama does (x) ong [ongoing = value]
FoB does (x fire), kama does (x fire) ong [ongoing = identity]

Since both are valid, you need to ask your DM.
5 fire != 5 untyped.

Equal damage means that it is the same.  Fire damage is not equal to untyped damage.  It is not more or less, just that it is not equal.  There is nothing that states that the ongoing damage is untyped.  It has been quoted time after time but there is no where in the feat that states it is untyped.

The target instead takes ongoing damage equal to the damage that you would have dealt to it with the power.

The emphasis is very important.  According to this ruling, 5 lightning is equal to 5 cold.  5 thunder is equal to 5 necrotic.  When you do a comparison for equality, you have to test all portions of the statement.  It is not just 5 = 5, does fire = untyped.  If fire = untyped then the statement is equal and I will agree.  But this also means that for feat checking, which is part of what this is for, thunder = lightning = acid = necrotic = untyped.

The effect of the feat states only that you take ongoing damage equal to the damage the power would have dealt.  The power would have dealt [X] fire damage.  If the ongoing damage is not [X] fire damage then it is not equal.  The only way the damage would be equal is if both halves of the equation were [X] fire damage. 

Changing the damage type from fire to untyped would actually make the damage not equal and, due to the wording of adding and removing keywords, would actually remove fire from DW FoB from all targets.


By your statement, using Slashing Kama Style removes fire damage from each target and therefore you never do fire damage with DW FoB if you use Slashing Kama Style since using that feat removes fire damage which, by the RC, affects the whole power.



I agree. Only the target is affected by the change, so the power should retain the Fire keyword.



So Hellfire Master is helpful, but only if your FOB targets at least one other creature?

But if it only targets one, it loses the fire keyword?
As i said, IMO equal refers to the ammount, not type. Type is already covered - ongoing damage (no type).

-takes ongoing damage equal to- is used countless times in 4E and doesn't convey a type whatsoever.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

"ongoing damage equal to" does not convey a type but it also does not say it removes one.  The attack and damage have a damage type, fire.  The feat does not remove a damage type.  The phrase "ongoing damage equal to" does not remove a type.  There is nothing in the feat that states it removes a type nor does it make it untyped.

Since the feat does not state it explicitly removes the damage type nor does it make the damage untyped, then it does not do it.

RC pg 223 If the power doesn't specify a damage type, the damage has no type.

As you stated, Slashing Kama Style is dealt by the effect of the DW FoB.  The power specifies a damage type, fire.  Therefore, all effects it deals are fire unless explicitly changed.  Slashing Kama Style does not explicitly change the damage type of the damage the power does.  Since the power does specify a type, then all damage done by that power is of that type unless changed.
Le sigh. Before this becomes a 20 page flame war, both sides need to realize this is one of those situations with two equally valid RAW positions. It all depends on how 'equal to' is defined. And since there is no rule for that defintion and because it has equally plausible contextual defintions in english, both are potentially RAW. Think of it like a cat in a box with some poison-- until your DM opens the box and makes a ruling, the cat is equally dead and alive.

Now, I will say that ruling that 'equal to' is a value definition seems to have a more natural meaning. But it also creates a wheird case where in heroic the power loses the fire keyword, but then creates a bizarre situation in paragon (the power has the fire keyword: one target still takes fire, so keyword remains: when a power has a keyword, then damage from the power is of that type>so the untyped is fire? Guh) (I suppose it could also be argued of heroic tier that per the keyword rules, a power only loses its keywords if something removes it. Since kama did not //explicitly/ replace it, the keyword remains. Since the keyword remains, damage dealt by the power is fire. The ongoing is dealt by the power, so its still fire. But, like this whole thing, is as equally argued against.) So I would probably rule 'equal to' as an identity if only because the end result is simpler to follow.
I'm seeing a few people say "if the power has a keyword, then all damage has that type." This isn't true. The keyword only means that it does that type of damage, at some point.

Take Blazing Starfall. The base power does not deal Fire+Radiant damage. Neither does the zone. But it has both keywords.

Doing fire damage -> having the fire keyword.
The inverse is NOT always true, if the power has multiple damage instances.
As of the RC, that is not absoltely true. It is another possible interpretation, but not the only. It is equally possible to read the keywords to mean all damage dealt also has this keyword.

Consider a monster with resist cold 5. If you use a cold whetstone to add 2 cold damage to your MBA, the monster gets to resist a full 5 of your damage, not just 2. Or if your attack was originally fire, it won't get to resist any because it isn't x fire and 2 cold, but x+2 fire and cold.
The difference comes down on how you think "If a power has one of these keywords, it deals the associated type of damage." Do they mean that all the damage has the keyword or that specific instances have seperate keywords? That many older powers also had keywords but did not specify any kind of typed damage further muddles the situation (I am looking at you, thunder keyword).
As of the RC, that is not absoltely true. It is another possible interpretation, but not the only. It is equally possible to read the keywords to mean all damage dealt also has this keyword. Consider a monster with resist cold 5. If you use a cold whetstone to add 2 cold damage to your MBA, the monster gets to resist a full 5 of your damage, not just 2. Or if your attack was originally fire, it won't get to resist any because it isn't x fire and 2 cold, but x+2 fire and cold. The difference comes down on how you think "If a power has one of these keywords, it deals the associated type of damage." Do they mean that all the damage has the keyword or that specific instances have seperate keywords? That many older powers also had keywords but did not specify any kind of typed damage further muddles the situation (I am looking at you, thunder keyword).


I won't go through your post step-by-step because that's obnoxious, but: Blazing Starfall deals Radiant damage. It also deals Fire damage. So it fulfills the expectations set forth by the RC. But it never does Radiant+Fire damage.
-> The RC rule does not require all the damage types to be on all damage instances in the power (it only claims *existence* of that damage type, not *universality*)

Another example: Twin Strike with a Frost weapon in one hand and a Radiant weapon in the other. The power gets both keywords. Each individual attack can only have the one damage type.
Yes, that is a perfectly reasonable reading. Its just not necessarily the only one. Damage keywords are easily the worst written rules in 4e, partly by virtue of being bad on their own, and partly because they rely on other terrible rule sections like attack sequence timing, which just compounds their terribleness.

I mean, let us look what happens in some odd cases if keywords aren't universal. Say you use a power with an initial damage instance and a secondary effect with a different keyword for some reason, like a zone or ongoing. What happens if the zone is never triggered, or the mob dies/saves before the ongoing does any damage. Its a little late in the resolution to remove the keyword now. Or did the power not have the keyword at all? Or let us use your twinstrike example with a twist. Let's assume your first blade does fire damage, the second does cold. So you have hit with the first: twinstrike is clearly a fire power now. Say you have bonuses to hit and damage with fire powers: does the cold blade get those?

Several threads have attempted to hash out just how in the world damage keywords are meant to work. I don't think anyone really knows. And one possible view is that if a power has a keyword, then yes, all damage dealt by that power is of that keyword. It does run against some otherwise reasonable situations like you showed, but it also creates a uniform, simple, and consistent basis with which to adjudicate keywords.
kinda feels like youre making it needlessly complicated.

but i do agree that in the case of slashing kama, there are multiple perfectly valid readings of the rules-as-written.

clearly they should hire more english majors to avoid/fix the unclear bits.  i'm available!

sorry frenchie :P  
Somehow I doubt that anyone would be arguing that it retains the Fire type if Slashing Kama instead said "ongoing lightning damage equal to the damage your FoB would have dealt."  Why it would be assumed that they didn't mean what they said when they left it untyped is something I question.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Several threads have attempted to hash out just how in the world damage keywords are meant to work. I don't think anyone really knows. And one possible view is that if a power has a keyword, then yes, all damage dealt by that power is of that keyword. It does run against some otherwise reasonable situations like you showed, but it also creates a uniform, simple, and consistent basis with which to adjudicate keywords.


I put in a claim to know how they do work, whether that's the way they're meant to work is another story.

"if a power has a keyword, all damage dealt by that power is of that keyword" is simply incorrect.  Not only does it render an enormous number of powers broken by RAW if you do it that way, it's not what the keyword and type rules in the RC tell you to do. 

"if a power has a keyword, it must deal damage of that type" and
"if a power has a keyword, all of its damage must be of that type"

are two very different things.  The rules say the former, and not the latter.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Again, I understand. I am not claiming your position isn't valid.

How do we know they did not intend the kama damage to remain the same type as the initial source? They way it is worded now is one possible way to write it to mean that. Granted, it would be written poorly if that was their intent, but it is as equally poorly written if they meant it to be untyped. Hence two equally valid interpretations.

And same as before. Both ways to read the keyword rule leads to ridiculous situations that cause the rules to break in different places. That one is just simpler to quickly adjudicate in a consistent manner is a good reason to support it. And that it doesn't say "all" is irrelevant. Both are logical results of the wording since it fails to specify singular or uniform application.

Point is, the keyword RAW is a mess. The best we can do for these kind of rule sections is identify the ways it could be interpreted, highlight the implications of the different readings, and maybe suggest which seems to approximate the RAI (if possible). Asserting an indisputable claim of RAW one way or another serves no constructive purpose, and is something I wish the boards would learn to steer away from.
I can guarantee you that they intended it to be untyped for two reasons:

1)  they did not anticipate the possibility of a non-untyped FoB when they wrote the feat (which was PHB3, I believe - ages ago).

2)  the feat is themed after cutting someone with a sharp blade, which leads to bleeding, which is represented in numerous instances by untyped ongoing damage.


Just because you can find a justification for an interpretation does not mean that it is valid.  That you claim that you think the lack of the "all" is irrelevant demonstrates to me that you fundamentally don't understand how damage keywords work.  I give the following example:

PowerName of Awesome Death
Implement, Arcane, (Damage Type Keywords?)

Hit:  1d10 lightning damage, and each creature adjacent takes 1d6 thunder damage.

The only possible result based on the damage the power deals is to have both the Lightning and Thunder keywords.  That everyone agrees on.  However, what you are claiming would make this power impossible, as written, since by your allegedly "equally valid" interpretation, the only possible damage this power could do is the following:

PowerName of Awesome Death
Implement, Arcane, Lightning, Thunder

Hit:  1d10 lightning and thunder damage, and each creature adjacent takes 1d6 lightning and thunder damage.

Those are two completely different.  You can't say that the "all" not being there is irrelevant, because under your interpretation the following Hit lines are also invalid, even though the rules don't actually say what you are claiming they say:

Hit:  1d10 lightning damage and 5 ongoing thunder damage
Hit:  1d10 thunder damage and each creature adjacent takes 1d6 lightning damage
Hit:  1d10 lightning and thunder damage and 5 ongoing damage
Hit:  1d10 damage, and ongoing 5 thunder and lightning damage

To further explain, each one of these, including the original, meets the "if a power has a keyword, it must deal damage of that type" rule.  They each deal lightning damage, and they each deal thunder damage.  However not a single one, other than the second, meets the "if a power has a keyword, all of its damage must be of that type" rule.  Your interpretation means that all damage is of a combined damage type, but that's not what the rule says.  You're just incorrect.

The keyword RAW used to be a mess, but the RC fixed the vast majority of cases.  Further errors are almost always due to misreading the rules.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
The keyword RAW is still completely jacked up. There are several powers that have the thunder keyword, but do NO thunder damage. That doesn't make them "impossible." It just means they are written poorly in connection to the rules. And take your Power of Awesome Death example (the first one). What if there are no adjacent creatures? That means no thunder damage is dealt, making it just as "impossible" to have the keyword unless the initial damage also has the type.

Not treating it as universal has as equally absurd and obviously non RAI implications as well. If you get a +1 to hit with fire powers and twinstrike with one weapon that does fire damage and a second that does cold, only the COLD attack gets the bonus to hit. That, strictly speaking, if a power is not doing damage, it is not doing damage with a type so therefore it loses the keywords until it does do damage. Keywords from zones and ongoing make no sense if the damage fails to trigger for one reason or another.

I also ask that you not resort to making claims about me. You can demonstrate all of that without such statements.
The only problem with that is the part about keywords that states if you remove keywords, the power loses those keywords.  So by that statement, losing fire on the Slashing Kama Style target would mean that the power would lose the fire keyword.  It would be different if it was like that from the beginning.  However, it has has fire then it has fire removed with the ruling that Slashing Kama Style is untyped.  While it does not say that it stays fire or goes untyped, there is also nothing in the rules that would keep the rest of the attack as fire. 

If it was just a matter of doing two different keywords or if part was fire and part was something else then I could see it.

Slashing Kama Style is from Dragon #404 not the PHB3.

Edit:  I still say 5 fire != 5 untyped because keywords matter.
Can i ask why hellfire master can not be used, since while there is speculation to whether the damage type remains, the power allowing you do the damge is the desert wind flurry of blows which does have the fire keyword. Since the hellfire master does not need the ongoing damage to be fire, it just needs it to be caused by a fire power, right???
Hellfire Master should work fine since the Ongoing damage is still an effect bestowed by a Fire attack (Desert Wind Flurry of Blows) even if it doesn`t deal Fire damage in and of itself.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter