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Spellstrike + shocking grasp bonus to hit metal


Rules Questions


4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

If i use spellstrike to deliver shocking grasp, do I get the +3 (if target has/is metal) that I would get if i use it with a touch attack? It triggers if my weapon hit, which also does damage so it would benefit both attacks. Makes sense to me, just want to see if there's been a ruling so i don't get accused of sleezing a free +3 to hit with my extra attack.

On a totally different topic, anyone know where info is on "jumping charge"? Can it count as attacking from above?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Virtua Monk wrote:
If i use spellstrike to deliver shocking grasp, do I get the +3 (if target has/is metal) that I would get if i use it with a touch attack?

The spell says you get +3 to hit, and there's nothing contradicting that. You get it.

Quote:
Makes sense to me, just want to see if there's been a ruling so i don't get accused of sleezing a free +3 to hit with my extra attack.

You may have simply misspoken, but note that there's no "extra" attack. You're just using a weapon instead of your wet finger. The spell itself (well, the Core rules for touch spells) grant you the attack - Spellstrike just modifies the attack you were already getting.

Quote:
On a totally different topic, anyone know where info is on "jumping charge"? Can it count as attacking from above?

To my knowledge, no such rules exist. There's nothing stopping you from making a completely unnecessary jump during a charge. I'm not aware of anything stating whether you could use this for an elevation bonus on the attack at the end. Thus, ask your GM.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

No you don't get the bonus, because it's the weapon that's making the contact, not the spell. Spellstrike essentially works like using a weapon of spellstoring. The energy of the spell isn't delivered until you make the forceful contact, (i.e. score a hit)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:
No you don't get the bonus, because it's the weapon that's making the contact, not the spell.

Shocking Grasp: "When delivering the jolt, you gain a +3 bonus on attack rolls if the opponent is wearing metal armor (or is carrying a metal weapon or is made of metal)."

Spellstrike (Su): "At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack."

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

LazarX wrote:
Spellstrike essentially works like using a weapon of spellstoring.

Incorrect.

A spell storing weapon hits first, then casts a spell as a separate action.

Spellstrike is an attack made as part of the casting of the spell. As I stated above, the only change it actually makes is that you use your weapon instead of your finger.

With a spell storing weapon, you use one of your normal attacks for your turn, and then if it hits, you cast the stored spell. If you miss, then the spell never gets cast at all.

With Spellstrike, you start by casting the spell. If nothing interrupts it (like failing a concentration check), then you get a free attack to deliver the spell. You can either poke someone (normal touch spell rules) or stab someone (spellstrike). But either way, you've already started casting the spell.

Spellstrike and spell storing are two entirely different mechanics.


I was wondering this myself and don't see clear evidence to rule either way.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There is the feat Janni Rush that grants extra unarmed damage when making an acrobatics attempt on a charge; there was a 3.5 feat that did roughly the same thing in Complete Warrior.

No other official rules on it off the top of my head, although you'd have to have Monk-like acrobatics to get enough height and distance to convince your DM for the bonus (I'd argue a DC 30 check personally to get enough height AND distance to make it somewhat feasible and biffing it by 10 or more makes the charge itself a failure, possibly even landing prone depending on how bad the roll was and/or how evil your DM is feeling).


doctor_wu wrote:
I was wondering this myself and don't see clear evidence to rule either way.

I think Grick just posted some fairly compelling evidence above... Gets my vote.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Grick wrote:
LazarX wrote:
No you don't get the bonus, because it's the weapon that's making the contact, not the spell.

Shocking Grasp: "When delivering the jolt, you gain a +3 bonus on attack rolls if the opponent is wearing metal armor (or is carrying a metal weapon or is made of metal)."

Spellstrike (Su): "At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack."

Latter rules supersede the former. The former rules only assume bare hand delivery.


LazarX wrote:
Latter rules supersede the former. The former rules only assume bare hand delivery.

A toothy half-orc wizard casts Shocking Grasp. He misses or elects not to make his free attack. He holds the charge. Next round, he attempts to deliver the spell through his bite attack, targeting normal AC, and dealing bite damage in addition to the spell if he hits.

He gets the +3 because he's delivering the jolt and that's what the spell explicitly says.

The magus is doing the exact same thing, except instead of using a natural weapon or unarmed strike, he's using his sword.

Either way, he's delivering the jolt, and gets a +3 bonus on the attack roll if the foe is carrying a metal weapon.


LazarX wrote:
Grick wrote:
LazarX wrote:
No you don't get the bonus, because it's the weapon that's making the contact, not the spell.

Shocking Grasp: "When delivering the jolt, you gain a +3 bonus on attack rolls if the opponent is wearing metal armor (or is carrying a metal weapon or is made of metal)."

Spellstrike (Su): "At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack."

Latter rules supersede the former. The former rules only assume bare hand delivery.

Actually, a wizard could use an unarmed strike to deliver a shocking grasp. All from only the CRB. This would be a normal attack roll, would still get the +3 vs metal (assuming they are wearing metal) and would do unarmed damage + spell damage when it hits.

(Yes, the wizard would have to hold the charge after casting the spell, and attempt to unarmed strike on the next round after he cast.)

Osirion

2 people marked this as a favorite.

There was a thread about this very topic not long ago. I believe one of the developers chimed in and stated that the Spellstrike feature does not alter spell mechanics in any way. If the spell description says you get a +3 to hit, then you get that bonus when using Spellstrike.

For the sake of full disclosure, I did not think that the +3 bonus from Shocking Grasp should apply. I was clearly overruled, and apparently it does.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think this is a situation where RAW and RAI don't agree. This is not that unusual when core rules get expanded by new content. I think the RAI and the fluff on shocking grasp is that even if you miss your touch attack by up to 3, the electricity arcs from your hand to your opponent's metal armor. So, by RAW, yes you get the +3, by RAI I don't think so, but a creative GM would make it so that if you miss with your weapon, but you get within 3 of the opponent's touch ac, the electricity arcs to the armor, delivering the shocking grasp damage, but not the weapon damage.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Would the +3 bonus apply when using the Admixture Wizard ability:

Quote:
Versatile Evocation (Su): When you cast an evocation spell that does acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage, you may change the damage dealt to one of the other four energy types. This changes the descriptor of the spell to match the new energy type. Any non-damaging effects remain unchanged unless the new energy type invalidates them (an ice storm that deals fire damage might still provide a penalty on Perception checks due to smoke, but it would not create difficult terrain). Such effects are subject to GM discretion. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Shivok wrote:
Would the +3 bonus apply when using the Admixture Wizard ability

"Such effects are subject to GM discretion."


If you are trying to hit their normal AC, why should the fact that they are carrying a sword help you? I wouldn't think the "deliver via unarmed" ought to get it either. RAW is debatable, tho.

As always, up to your DM.


I would say no. The +3 is to touch the creature, but armor, natural armor, and shield AC, the stuff that makes touch AC and full AC different numbers in the first place doesn't care if you touch them. You have to pierce them / hit a uncovered/weak point / however else you wish to fluff it.

Shocking Grasp's ability to more easily have the weapon make contact with the oponent's armor does nothing to help you actually injure him with your sword. If anything, the magnetic pull (how I choose to interpret the +3) would mess up your swing enough to negate itself anyway, as again, the goal of swinging a sword isn't just to touch their breastplate with the blade's tip, it's to actually cause injury.

Just my opinion. Also, shocking grasp is already a great spellstrike choice, it doesn't need buffing.

This argument has existed for years, as the 3E Duskblade class had a similar ability to spellstrike and also had shocking grasp. It's quite divisive.


oneplus999 wrote:
RAW is debatable, tho.

Has anyone posted any actual rules supporting the removal of the spells effect based on the method of delivery?

I see lots of debate on the RAI, but not so much with the RAW.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

@StreamoftheSky: Great descriptions of what does and doesn't make sense when spellstriking this spell. Even so, let's remember that this is the Rules section and not the How We Would Make It Work If We Rewrote It From Scratch section.

As-is, the disconnect from the commonly-assumed flavor of the spell and flavor of spellstrike is irrelevant to how the rules work. The spell grants a +3 to hit, and there is no text anywhere taking it away. Any GM running a "by the book" game with no houserules (such as PFS GMs) has no grounds to remove the +3. If a GM wishes to (very reasonably, IMO) remove the +3 in a home game, please be polite and tell your players early.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.
Grick wrote:
oneplus999 wrote:
RAW is debatable, tho.

Has anyone posted any actual rules supporting the removal of the spells effect based on the method of delivery?

I see lots of debate on the RAI, but not so much with the RAW.

Didn't you know? "RAW is debatable" is code for "there's a view I like that doesn't have anything to support it". ;)


Yes it is in faq for magus. The magus' weapon counts as his hand. As far a changing energy types there has been no official ruling. The best they came up with is read the spell. It says +3 vs metal so you get it. Look at it as the spell granting your hand (weapon) magnetic pull not the energy type. There is a reason its the MAGUS main spell along with shield.


Grick wrote:
I see lots of debate on the RAI, but not so much with the RAW.

Alright, let's look only at RAW, then. Spellstrike says, "Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell."

1. The +3 to hit is an effect of the spell shocking grasp.
2. Spellstrike supercedes the normal mechanics of the touch spell it is using.
3. Spellstrike does not grant the effects of the spell until after the attack has already been determined to be successful.

Conclusion: Whether you get the +3 or not doesn't matter. You only get the shockig grasp's spell effect if you've already hit the target. If you miss, you do not get the spell effect so the +3 cannot help you.

How's that?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

StreamOfTheSky wrote:
How's that?

Kind of poor, to be honest. Your bolding skipped the "as part of casting the spell", which defines the nature of the attack. By the time the magus attacks, he's already begun casting the spell. I went over this earlier in the thread, but people ignored it.

You start by casting the spell. The spell itself grants you a free attack. Spellstrike lets you use your sword instead of your finger, but it's the spell itself that gives you the attack.

If you lose the spell (due to failing a concentration check, for instance), you never make the attack.

If you attack and miss, you're holding the charge, because you already cast the spell.

So far, all suggestions that you don't get the +3 bonus have been predicated on interpretations (read: inventions) which conflict with the above two facts.

If you can't mesh your ideas with established rules, you're probably wrong.


Jiggy, do you disagree with points 1 and 3? That the +3 is an effect of the spell and that the spellstrike text states that you get the effects of the spell after successfully attacking?


I wish I knew how to do a link. Go to the FRQ for UM and look at the magus questions its there. Ill clip it.

Other than deploying the spell with a melee weapon attack instead of a melee touch attack, the magus spellstrike ability doesn’t change the normal rules for using touch spells in combat (Core Rulebook page 185).


So this same question just came up less than 2 weeks ago not to mention the many other times it's come up in relation to spellstrike. Here's the thread. I'm pretty much simply going to link my post on the matter and copy paste relevant info. I recommend visiting that thread and simply bumping the FAQ there if you haven't already and if you want clarification sinking FAQ flags into the highest might be work nicely.

Shocking grasp (SRD)

CRB 'Shocking Grasp' wrote:
When delivering the jolt, you gain a +3 bonus on attack rolls if the opponent is wearing metal armor (or is carrying a metal weapon or is made of metal)

---

Sean K reynolds (PF Official FAQ) - 'The only official source of clarification that touches on the manner that I'm aware of'
PF Official FAQ -Sean K. Reynolds 2/07/12 wrote:
Other than deploying the spell with a melee weapon attack instead of a melee touch attack, the magus spellstrike ability doesn’t change the normal rules for using touch spells in combat (Core Rulebook page 185).............Basically, the spellstrike gives the magus more options when it comes to delivering touch spells; it’s not supposed to make it more difficult for the magus to use touch spells.

---

Touch spells in combat 'CRB'
Touch Spells in Combat - 'Holding the Charge' wrote:
Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren't considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges.

---

The two basic rules of thumb being:

1.) The spell confers a +3 bonus to an attack roll to deliver the spell. Since it's doesn't say 'melee touch attack to deliver the spell' it applies to unarmed strikes, natural attacks, and spellstrike all of which hold the capacity to do damage on their own and hold the possibility of being a miss in their own right without the bonus.
2.) There's a developer quoted in the official FAQ that supports it functions the way it's written. Nowhere do the rules state any of the abilities change how the spell functionally operates and because of #1 doing natural weapon or unarmed strike damage was along with spell being delivered was established from a RAI perspective at the time of CRB.

StreamOfTheSky wrote:
I would say no. The +3 is to touch the creature, but armor, natural armor, and shield AC, the stuff that makes touch AC and full AC different numbers in the first place doesn't care if you touch them.

Actually you could always deliver the spell via a natural weapon or unarmed strike. The spell specifies attack role to deliver it never discusses touch attacks.

Jiggy wrote:
Didn't you know? "RAW is debatable" is code for "there's a view I like that doesn't have anything to support it". ;)

RAW is generally debatable based upon language, RAI is usually only debatable upon the language of a devs comment. Everything else related to RAI is usually just an expression of personal opinions on how one believes things are intended.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Jiggy, do you disagree with points 1 and 3? That the +3 is an effect of the spell and that the spellstrike text states that you get the effects of the spell after successfully attacking?

It's more that the connection you draw between them is faulty. "Effect" is not a reserved game term, so you can't assume that two different places in the rules use the word in exactly the same way.

Case in point: one of the "effects" of shocking grasp is that you get to make an attack to deliver it. It's obviously an effect, because it's something that doesn't happen if the spell fizzles, it's written in the spell text, etc.

If you try to treat "effect" as a reserved game term like you do in your above analysis, then "If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell" becomes "If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as [your melee touch attack deals blah blah blah]". Your overly-strict reading of "effect" causes Spellstrike to involve making a weapon attack and then (if you hit) making a separate melee touch attack to actually deliver the spell, because that touch attack is part of the "effect".

If your interpretation implodes on itself while other interpretations exist, then you are usually wrong.

When Spellstrike talks about the "effect" of the spell, it means the things that happen once it's successfully delivered (in this case, damage). That's the only "effect" spellstrike reserves until you hit.

The +3 bonus is not part of that - as far as Spellstrike is concerned, no, it is not an "effect" of the spell. If it were, you'd have to also include a separate melee touch attack as part of the "effect" and things get downright silly.

Spellstrike IS the attack that shocking grasp grants a +3 bonus to.


Jiggy wrote:
Virtua Monk wrote:
If i use spellstrike to deliver shocking grasp, do I get the +3 (if target has/is metal) that I would get if i use it with a touch attack?

The spell says you get +3 to hit, and there's nothing contradicting that. You get it.

Quote:
Makes sense to me, just want to see if there's been a ruling so i don't get accused of sleezing a free +3 to hit with my extra attack.
Quote:
You may have simply misspoken, but note that there's no "extra" attack. You're just using a weapon instead of your wet finger. The spell itself (well, the Core rules for touch spells) grant you the attack - Spellstrike just modifies the attack you were already getting.
Quote:
On a totally different topic, anyone know where info is on "jumping charge"? Can it count as attacking from above?
To my knowledge, no such rules exist. There's nothing stopping you from making a completely unnecessary jump during a charge. I'm not aware of anything stating whether you could use this for an elevation bonus on the attack at the end. Thus, ask your GM.

For Spellstrike I was going by the wording:

"Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell."

This seems to me to provide an additional weapon attack as part of the casting (i.e. like two weapon fighting), as opposed to a free touch attack that does no damage other than from the spell.

Thanks for the input everyone!

From what I gather from the spell description delivering Shocking Grasp grants +3 if the target has/is metal, and the attack from spellstrike is considered part of casting the spell as opposed to an attack that you can use to deliver a "held" touch spell. Therefore, the +3 would apply as it is being delivered via the spellstrike attack.

Re: Jumping Charge, I guess the Janni Rush charge thing makes sense, but I think they should come up with better rules for it. I was wondering if the Death From Above feet could be used with a jumping charge


Virtua Monk wrote:

For Spellstrike I was going by the wording:

"Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell."

This seems to me to provide an additional weapon attack as part of the casting (i.e. like two weapon fighting), as opposed to a free touch attack that does no damage other than from the spell.

You might find this guide helpful.

Virtua Monk wrote:
From what I gather from the spell description delivering Shocking Grasp grants +3 if the target has/is metal, and the attack from spellstrike is considered part of casting the spell as opposed to an attack that you can use to deliver a "held" touch spell. Therefore, the +3 would apply as it is being delivered via the spellstrike attack.

It's not really part of casting the spell. It's an entirely different action.

The key part is, having already cast Shocking Grasp, the spell grants you a +3 bonus on attack rolls to deliver it.

Spellstrike lets you deliver it with your weapon. You're delivering the jolt, so you gain the +3 bonus on attack rolls.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Virtua Monk wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Virtua Monk wrote:
If i use spellstrike to deliver shocking grasp, do I get the +3 (if target has/is metal) that I would get if i use it with a touch attack?

The spell says you get +3 to hit, and there's nothing contradicting that. You get it.

Quote:
Makes sense to me, just want to see if there's been a ruling so i don't get accused of sleezing a free +3 to hit with my extra attack.
Quote:
You may have simply misspoken, but note that there's no "extra" attack. You're just using a weapon instead of your wet finger. The spell itself (well, the Core rules for touch spells) grant you the attack - Spellstrike just modifies the attack you were already getting.
Quote:
On a totally different topic, anyone know where info is on "jumping charge"? Can it count as attacking from above?
To my knowledge, no such rules exist. There's nothing stopping you from making a completely unnecessary jump during a charge. I'm not aware of anything stating whether you could use this for an elevation bonus on the attack at the end. Thus, ask your GM.

For Spellstrike I was going by the wording:

"Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell."

This seems to me to provide an additional weapon attack as part of the casting (i.e. like two weapon fighting), as opposed to a free touch attack that does no damage other than from the spell.

Thanks for the input everyone!

From what I gather from the spell description delivering Shocking Grasp grants +3 if the target has/is metal, and the attack from spellstrike is considered part of casting the spell as opposed to an attack that you can use to deliver a "held" touch spell. Therefore, the +3 would apply as it is being delivered via the spellstrike attack.

Re: Jumping Charge, I guess the Janni Rush charge thing makes sense, but I think...

+1 on this interpretation. You should get the +3 through spellstrike, no question.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I agree with StreamOfTheSky.
You first have to hit with a normal melee attack, then get to deliver the spell. So you don't get a +3 to hit for the normal melee attack (nor for a unarmed attack, toothy orc bite or whatever).
The spell don't guide your hand at hitting better, it is the electric discharge that arc to the target metal armor or weapon and so make it easier to hit the target.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Diego Rossi wrote:

I agree with StreamOfTheSky.

You first have to hit with a normal melee attack, then get to deliver the spell. So you don't get a +3 to hit for the normal melee attack (nor for a unarmed attack, toothy orc bite or whatever).
The spell don't guide your hand at hitting better, it is the electric discharge that arc to the target metal armor or weapon and so make it easier to hit the target.

That's still based on flavor, not rules. Unless you're the GM of a home game, you don't get to change the rules based on your own sense of flavor.

Nowhere in the spell description does it say what the +3 bonus represents. Any justification you come up with is your own invention and has no bearing on the rules.

Qadira

Shivok wrote:
Would the +3 bonus apply when using the Admixture Wizard ability:
Quote:
Versatile Evocation (Su): When you cast an evocation spell that does acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage, you may change the damage dealt to one of the other four energy types. This changes the descriptor of the spell to match the new energy type. Any non-damaging effects remain unchanged unless the new energy type invalidates them (an ice storm that deals fire damage might still provide a penalty on Perception checks due to smoke, but it would not create difficult terrain). Such effects are subject to GM discretion. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.

yes the spell would still get the +3 as it is not the fact that it is lightning based that gets it the +3 it is the spells effect. thematically it may be different but mechanically the only aspect of the spell that changes is that it has a new energy descriptor.


Iused that awsome thread ask james and he said
1. yes, you get the +3.
2. if you use elemental spell you get the +3 raw, but he says it is up to the gm if it makes since or not, so use elem spell to half change it.


Virtua Monk wrote:
If i use spellstrike to deliver shocking grasp, do I get the +3 (if target has/is metal) that I would get if i use it with a touch attack?

Yes, of course you do Spellstrike is just another way to deliver a touch spell.

It's come up before as its not palatable to some, but its certainly the case,

James

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