Does power surge deal extra damage to multiple targets with area of effect spells?

6 thoughts on “Does power surge deal extra damage to multiple targets with area of effect spells?

  1. D. Walker says:

    “My tweet about Power Surge is only about Power Surge.”

    I don’t even know how to respond to this. What in the hell is wrong with this man?

    Insisting that the rules you write operate precisely as written, and then claiming that two identically written rules operate in different ways because they are rules for different aspects of the game is not just absurd; it is not just asinine; it is actually approaching literal insanity.

    This is the problem with their whole philosophy of “if the rules meant something else, they’d say it”. It requires a level of logical perfection on the part of the rules-writers that very few people have.

    That alone would just be incredibly and indescribeably obnoxious. But to then have people point out your inevitable failures and imperfections, and for you to dismiss them out of hand? That is the height of arrogance and stupidity.

    More and more, I get the overwhelming sense that 5E has not managed to succeed because of Jeremy Crawford’s work on the rules, but rather DESPITE his involvement. The man gives every impression of being both a pompous ass and a total nitwit.

    • Victor Wilburn says:

      Except they are by no means “identically worded”. Crawford just wanted to stay focused on the original question on not open a whole new kettle of fish explaining how the two things are different. Instead, his comment was designed to encourage people to read more carefully, by gently suggesting that two different things can be different. He often gives a “teach a person to fish” sort of answer.

      The text of Aid creates a context of a multi-target spell from the beginning, when it talks about choosing multiple targets. So, while taken in isolation the “a target” text in the up-level section could be seen as ambiguous, in that context it is not. The only flaw there is that “each target” would have been clearer, but honestly, I never would have thought to have read it as applying only to a single target if I had not seen this comment.

      By contrast, the text of Power Surge all indicates a single target for the ability (not to confuse the target of Power Surge with the target(s) of the spell it is riding on) — “a creature”, “that creature”.

      Personally, I think JC has done a great job. 5e rules aren’t perfectly written, of course, but they are written pretty darned well. It’s extremely tough to take something as informal as human language and turn it into formal rules language, but 5e rules do a pretty good job meeting the challenge. You can usually depend on differences in wordings being significant, as well as similarities in wording, and that the wording has been chosen with an effort towards consistency and precise definitions where possible.

      If you keep these things in mind and read CAREFULLY, without a baggage of outside assumptions, you can usually figure things out. Most of JC’s answers are just reminding people that the rules mean what they say, no more, no less, and that the entire text of a feature must be considered when judging what it means.

  2. Joni says:

    Entirely agree with D. Walker.

    “Hey here’s a chance to make a terrible ability somewhat useful.”
    “No, that would be stupid.” says Crawford.

    Furthermore, it also makes very little thematic sense that out of a blast of a fireball you somehow control the magic to affect only one of those creatures with a POWER surge.

    Also you don’t target any creature with a fireball. So I argue that you affect the target location increasing the damage to all who are hit. Take that, Crawford.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.