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Where are touch spells held


Rules Questions


p. 158 of CRB, if you miss with a touch spell, you can hold the charge.

Is the charge held in a specific body part (say your left hand), or throughout your entire body?

Could you try to discharge the spell through your hand, and then through a bite attack, and then through your other hand?

Can you discharge the spell if someone hits you with a natural attack?

If it is a helpful spell, like Cure Light Wounds, can you discharge it on yourself, and if so, what kind of action is it?


I've always thought they were held in a hand.

The casting is a standard the touch is a free.


Squee Stagskull wrote:

p. 158 of CRB, if you miss with a touch spell, you can hold the charge.

Is the charge held in a specific body part (say your left hand), or throughout your entire body?

Could you try to discharge the spell through your hand, and then through a bite attack, and then through your other hand?

Can you discharge the spell if someone hits you with a natural attack?

If it is a helpful spell, like Cure Light Wounds, can you discharge it on yourself, and if so, what kind of action is it?

Alright, so let's say you're a 5th level cleric going up against some big Undead guy. You're low on Spell Points, and the creature is on its last limb; you have trouble hitting its AC normally, and if the fight drags on much longer, you might die. You read your spells and their descriptions, and notice that the Cure Light Wounds spell (and its upgrades) can be used against an Undead Creature to deal damage via Positive Energy equal to the amount you normally heal (1d8+5).

As your last spell slot/point, you cast the spell, which is a Standard Action. The rules state that a Touch Attack is normally a standard action, and that the attack is held in your hand (or for some creatures, what is as close to a hand as possible), and that the methods to discharge a Touch Spell can be done intricately (in that it does not directly require a free hand to cast. In the case of a Cleric, you can do this with a Mace and Shield, via your Shield Hand).

Now then, normally, a Touch Attack is a Standard Action, but for the case of a Spell, the Spell itself is a Standard Action, and within the same round that the spell is cast, allows the caster a Touch Attack as a Free Action. Let's say you have a Base Attack of +4, and you roll to hit the bad guy's Touch AC with a D20 roll 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14, but the target's Touch AC is too high, with a touch AC of 16; the Touch Attack misses. Now, normally, the spell would end there, but a Touch Spell can be charged within your Hand for a certain amount of time. (Usually the spell's duration, if none given, it is an indefinite amount of time until you either discharge it with another spell or successful attack, or dispell the charge.)

The creature swings at you, and misses. The next round, you make another attack, with a D20 roll 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18, and hit. You apply the spell's effect onto the target as per the spell description, and you roll your "damage" 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11 for the killing blow.

As to your other questions; If a creature hits you with natural weapons Two Claws and a Bite, no, you cannot discharge it. You cannot discharge a Touch Attack with natural weapons, including claws as you are using the Claws for an actual attack against separate AC, the same applies for other natural weapons, and Ranged Touch Attacks.

As for discharging a friendly Touch spell on yourself, I would say that it functions as a Standard Action, since you are making a Touch Attack on yourself (and you cannot exactly miss yourself). One could argue that it can function like the Paladin's Lay on Hands class feature, in that it is a swift action to use a Touch action on yourself for healing, but that is not the same as a Cure Wounds spell, meaning the same rules cannot be applied.

I hope that covers all of your questions.

Andoran

A held charge is held essentially in the entire body, not in a body part. If you are holding a charge and succeed with a natural attack vs. regular AC, the spell discharges; you would do the natural attack damage as well as apply whatever the effects of the held spell, whether damage or other.

Holding the Charge:
If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. 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. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.

If you have multiple natural attacks while holding a charge, you might miss with the first two and then hit (discharging the spell) with the third.

Your spell does not discharge if someone hits you with a natural attack. I could see the logic of why this might work, but it would be a non-standard interpretation.


Howie23 wrote:

A held charge is held essentially in the entire body, not in a body part. If you are holding a charge and succeed with a natural attack vs. regular AC, the spell discharges; you would do the natural attack damage as well as apply whatever the effects of the held spell, whether damage or other.

** spoiler omitted **

If you have multiple natural attacks while holding a charge, you might miss with the first two and then hit (discharging the spell) with the third.

Your spell does not discharge if someone hits you with a natural attack. I could see the logic of why this might work, but it would be a non-standard interpretation.

That sounds about right. Though I'm curious if there is any official ruling on discharging the spell when hit by an unarmed attack. As the rules specifically state that, if you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges.

So I guess the question is, does being touched by someone or something count as touching them? I'm inclined to say yes. If the rule meant that to "touch" something meant making a touch attack (or natural attack)then you couldn't "unintentionally" discharge the spell.

Of course this doesn't apply if you're hit with a weapon, as you can't normally cast a touch spell through a weapon (Magus FTW). But if you were hit with an unarmed attack/natural weapon or hit with a Combat Maneuver (outside of tripping weapons), I would be inclined to say the spell discharges automatically.

Nasty little surprise for that darn monk that keeps making saves against your spells.


Howie23 wrote:
A held charge is held essentially in the entire body, not in a body part.

While this was the logical interpretation of the rules, in one of the FAQ posts, SKR said "...still be holding the charge in his hand..." which either sets precedent for messing up touch spells, or was just a slip of the tongue. There's a FAQ Request post here, if anyone is interested. (And before more people dismiss it as 'no big deal' remember this can affect normal casters, not just magi, if the charge is in your hand, no more discharge via multiple claws or bite or hair or non-hand-based unarmed strikes.)

Sir Charge-a-lot wrote:
Though I'm curious if there is any official ruling on discharging the spell when hit by an unarmed attack.

Not really, though spells like Spite would be a lot less good. I think in this case, it's specifically "you touch anything" rather than "anything comes in contact with you." Without there being some action on your part, touch spells wouldn't work very well in the rain, or if it's dusty, etc.

Andoran

FAQ'd for you, Grick.

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