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Does Arcane Strike work with Ray spells?


Rules Questions

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I say you CAN disarm a ray spell (sort of). You have an empty hand and turn/deflect the caster's hand and he shoots himself or someone else. Or deflect the caster's hand towards the ground.

Qadira

probably RAW, you can use arcane strike w/ a ray.
bard song and other fun combat stuff can increase the effectiveness of your ray ( like sneak attack , good hope, etc. )

RAI, its poorly worded. I can see the intent being that arcane strike imbues the physical weapon you are holding. But they didn't write it clearly enough, since it would be too wordy. " this applies to any phsyical weapon you are holding, ranged , throwing or melee, but not to spells, except weapon like spells that conjure or create a weapon such as flame blade . but not spiritual weapon, since you never hold that weapon."

=P so use it, until they fix it ( which could take years. this isn't a Synthesist sized hole )

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Really? It's 1-5 points of damage. Oh no, you've increased my acid splash from 2-4 to 7-9 points of damage!*

Or more comically, you're adding 1-5 points of damage to disintigrate.

IMHO it's a corner case, and a clever use. It's like using a wand of CLW to attack undead, and adding sneak attack damage on it. (I played with an inquisitor who was attacking a high AC undead critter that way).

*

Spoiler:
Assuming you're using a flask of acid as a focus, and really, why aren't you?

Qadira

@ 1st level: acid splash ( while holding a vial of acid from Adventurer's Armory ) 1d3+3 with arcane strike and point blank shot.

@ 2nd level: w/ rogue 1/diviner 1 or something 1d3+3 + 1d6 sneak attack that first round
its not bad since you can do it umptlimited times. even a conjurer or a sorcerer with the bloodline rays some of them get for 1d6+2 or 3 can be handy.

its not going to break anything at that progression. so really why not ?
by 11th level i hope he's got more than acid splashes =)
even +3 dmg to each scorching ray wouldn't add much. ( i wonder if you'd include it in the damage for empowered scorching ray first, or add it to each ray after... )

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

RE: Scortching ray I'd add it later. I don't think see it as part of the spell (what's the ruling on PBS and empower?)

I did think of a dazzling display idea. Anyone else watch charmed? Ever see a demon hold a fireball/energy ball in his hand, intimidating a mook? Picture a wizard doing dazzling display, the cold dancing between his fingertips...

Qadira

blistering invective (spelling?) lol.

Cheliax

Ok.... Rays ARE weapons. Period. As are touches and manifested spell effects and unarmmed strikes and teeth and claws etc. and anything needing an attack roll. They are just not necessarily MANUFACTURED weapons which can be sundered and disarmmed etc.
Any spell that can be cast on ones natural weapons can be cast on a ray.
Funky but its more work to undo or make exceptions on the rule than it is to just allow wierd cases.


(Casting Thread necro)

Ok, here are a couple of cool things you could do with rays (assuming you get this far in your campaign)

I am assuming you are taking some levels in Fighter/Eldritch knight here, and I'm only referring to a certain selection of feats, not all of the feats (although there are some classy others out there)

Arcane Strike
Point Blank Shot
Precise Shot
Critical Focus
Impact Critical Shot
Weapon Focus (Ray)
Improved Critical (Ray)
Staggering Critical

So you fire your Ray of Frost, dealing 1d3+X(AS)+1(PBS) with a critical on 19-20. To confirm your critical, you have an additional +4 to confirm for an extra d3 of damage.
But now:
A) the same modifiers apply together to attempt to beat the opponents CMD, and if you are successful you can trip or bullrush them, or
B) they are staggered for a round (or 1d4+1 if they fail a Fort save at 10+ your BAB).

Just pick which one based on whether it'll be too hard to trip or bullrush them - I'd prefer to bullrush wherever possible to keep them away from my squishy self and push them into corners/obstacles/pits/battlefield control spells/rivers, but I'd happily stagger them. (As levels get higher I can see less use for ICS)

Not bad for a level 0 spell, eh?

Notes:
1) The "special" text for Impact Critical Hit is omitted (where it would say you can't apply the effects of two critical feats), but it is a feat with the 'Critical' type, therefore it means you can only do one or the other unless you have Critical Mastery.
2) ICS does count with rays as weapons. It is a ranged weapon attack.
3) Spell Resistance is going to be the not-so-fun pat of the attack. Recommend Spell Penetration.
4) Tiring Critical -> Exhausting Critical is a winner also.
5) The Eldritch Knight capstone would allow you to use a swift action to cast an additional spell as long as the original target was one of those targets in the new spell.

Lantern Lodge

@OP
Level 1 Sorcerer with the Crossblooded Efreeti and Elemental (Earth) Bloodline using the Jolt, Ray of Frost, and Disrupt Undead spells with 19 levels of Rogue Scout is very nice. It gives u the ability to cast a 1d3 acid, cold, electric, fire ray spell and 1d6 ray spell against undead that applies SA. Awesome part is u can Vital strike that for a nice 3d3/3d6+10d6 attack u can do every round for free.

Shadow Lodge

genesisknight wrote:

Ok.... Rays ARE weapons. Period. As are touches and manifested spell effects and unarmmed strikes and teeth and claws etc. and anything needing an attack roll. They are just not necessarily MANUFACTURED weapons which can be sundered and disarmmed etc.

Any spell that can be cast on ones natural weapons can be cast on a ray.
Funky but its more work to undo or make exceptions on the rule than it is to just allow wierd cases.

I agree. But how does this interact with damage resistance? If it is a weapon, DR should apply. Even worse for the ray shooter, by my reading of RAW, DR/magic would not be ignored by a magic ray because the weapon must specifically have an enhancement bonus to ignore the DR.

"Overcoming DR: Damage reduction may be overcome by ... magic weapons (any weapon with a +1 or higher enhancement bonus, not counting the enhancement from masterwork quality), ..."

Thoughts?


Ferka wrote:

I agree. But how does this interact with damage resistance? If it is a weapon, DR should apply. Even worse for the ray shooter, by my reading of RAW, DR/magic would not be ignored by a magic ray because the weapon must specifically have an enhancement bonus to ignore the DR.

"Overcoming DR: Damage reduction may be overcome by ... magic weapons (any weapon with a +1 or higher enhancement bonus, not counting the enhancement from masterwork quality), ..."

Thoughts?

DR only applies to physical damage. Rays that deal damage are always (or almost always?) elemental damage of some kind, so DR does not apply, though fire/cold/acid/electrical resist/immunity would.


Psion-Psycho wrote:

@OP

Level 1 Sorcerer with the Crossblooded Efreeti and Elemental (Earth) Bloodline using the Jolt, Ray of Frost, and Disrupt Undead spells with 19 levels of Rogue Scout is very nice. It gives u the ability to cast a 1d3 acid, cold, electric, fire ray spell and 1d6 ray spell against undead that applies SA. Awesome part is u can Vital strike that for a nice 3d3/3d6+10d6 attack u can do every round for free.

You absolutely cannot use Vital Strike with a spell. Vital Strike requires the attack action. A spell is its own action.

And this idea seems really pointless. Even 13d6 averages only 45.5 damage. You could do better throwing a shuriken or something.


mplindustries wrote:
Psion-Psycho wrote:

@OP

Level 1 Sorcerer with the Crossblooded Efreeti and Elemental (Earth) Bloodline using the Jolt, Ray of Frost, and Disrupt Undead spells with 19 levels of Rogue Scout is very nice. It gives u the ability to cast a 1d3 acid, cold, electric, fire ray spell and 1d6 ray spell against undead that applies SA. Awesome part is u can Vital strike that for a nice 3d3/3d6+10d6 attack u can do every round for free.

You absolutely cannot use Vital Strike with a spell. Vital Strike requires the attack action. A spell is its own action.

And this idea seems really pointless. Even 13d6 averages only 45.5 damage. You could do better throwing a shuriken or something.

Pointless or not, it is worth pointing out that you can put Vital Strike on a quickened spell ray (i.e. scorching ray).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Driver_325yards wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
Psion-Psycho wrote:

@OP

Level 1 Sorcerer with the Crossblooded Efreeti and Elemental (Earth) Bloodline using the Jolt, Ray of Frost, and Disrupt Undead spells with 19 levels of Rogue Scout is very nice. It gives u the ability to cast a 1d3 acid, cold, electric, fire ray spell and 1d6 ray spell against undead that applies SA. Awesome part is u can Vital strike that for a nice 3d3/3d6+10d6 attack u can do every round for free.

You absolutely cannot use Vital Strike with a spell. Vital Strike requires the attack action. A spell is its own action.

And this idea seems really pointless. Even 13d6 averages only 45.5 damage. You could do better throwing a shuriken or something.

Pointless or not, it is worth pointing out that you can put Vital Strike on a quickened spell ray (i.e. scorching ray).

No you can't because ray spells are not iterative attacks. Iterative attacks occur during a single action. A quickened spell and a standard cast spell are two separate and distinct actions.


Also, just to sum up this thread for those smart enough to skip to the end. It appears that you can apply spells and effects to rays as if the ray were a weapon. Effects include feats and class abilities (inspire courage, weapon focus, improved critical, etc...).

However, some feats will not apply to rays, excluding quickened spell rays, because the feats require an attack action (standard action) or full action (Vital Strike, Shot on the Run, Focused Shot, etc...). Remember rays from spells and supernatural abilities are already standard action. Thus, if you used Vital Strike on a standard action ray you would be performing two standard action in one round (though I will admit that I don't know if a hero point can get around this, hmmmm.)

There are also the exceptions that are written into the feats themselves that will exclude rays (i.e Deadly Aim specifically says that it cannot be used for ranged touch attacks). There may also be other prerequisites in the feats that will disqualify rays (i.e. Dazzling Display requires Weapon Focus and Weapon Proficiency). You could argue that everyone is proficient with rays (it is an unspoken rule), but there may be conservative GMs that will cut you off at the pass.


LazarX wrote:
Driver_325yards wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
Psion-Psycho wrote:

@OP

Level 1 Sorcerer with the Crossblooded Efreeti and Elemental (Earth) Bloodline using the Jolt, Ray of Frost, and Disrupt Undead spells with 19 levels of Rogue Scout is very nice. It gives u the ability to cast a 1d3 acid, cold, electric, fire ray spell and 1d6 ray spell against undead that applies SA. Awesome part is u can Vital strike that for a nice 3d3/3d6+10d6 attack u can do every round for free.

You absolutely cannot use Vital Strike with a spell. Vital Strike requires the attack action. A spell is its own action.

And this idea seems really pointless. Even 13d6 averages only 45.5 damage. You could do better throwing a shuriken or something.

Pointless or not, it is worth pointing out that you can put Vital Strike on a quickened spell ray (i.e. scorching ray).
No you can't because ray spells are not iterative attacks. Iterative attacks occur during a single action. A quickened spell and a standard cast spell are two separate and distinct actions.

I don't have time to look this up right now, but this is a question that has been answered by the game writers and the answer is yes you can.


Driver_325yards wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Driver_325yards wrote:
Pointless or not, it is worth pointing out that you can put Vital Strike on a quickened spell ray (i.e. scorching ray).
No you can't because ray spells are not iterative attacks. Iterative attacks occur during a single action. A quickened spell and a standard cast spell are two separate and distinct actions.
I don't have time to look this up right now, but this is a question that has been answered by the game writers and the answer is yes you can.

It's a shame you don't have time to look it up, because you would find that you are mistaken.

You may be thinking of the Magus, who can cast a quickened spell, then use Vital Strike to deliver it, which would increase the damage from his weapon, but not the spell.

In any case, Vital Strike requires an attack action to use. The only thing you can do with an attack action is attack with a weapon, not a spell. If you were to use a ray spell that could be used as an attack action (I can't think of any) then you MIGHT have grounds for an arguement, otherwise, it's pretty cut and dry.

If you want a dev quote, how bout JJ?


Yep. You can't cast a spell and then Vital Strike its delivery any more than you can combine Vital Strike with Cloudkill. Touch spells involve casting a spell as a Standard action, which gives you a free attack -- it's not an Attack action that is legally modifiable by Vital Strike.

However, you can cast a spell without delivering the free attack, then Vital Strike with the charge on your hand during a later round. Once you're holding a weapon charge, you are subjected to the normal mechanics of iterative attacks.

I feel multiple ways about this issue. Part of me wants to see spells clarified as being more weapon-like: In my opinion, I think it's fine to perform Coup De Graces with ray spells*, and I like the idea of a spellcaster terrifying his enemies by swirling his acrid, green-misted hands around.

But I also understand that making everything with an attack roll into an attack starts making spellcasting more broken than it is. Do we really need somebody Vital Striking with Disintegrate rays? Not really. We also don't really need to give wizards bardic music benefits, and we don't need to give them weapon enchantments through the use of Amulets of Mighty Fists.

However, the idea of disarming a spellcaster's ray spell gives me a really great idea for homebrew material, so I thank the contributors of this discussion for that.

* With a limitation of one creature per round.


mplindustries wrote:
Psion-Psycho wrote:

@OP

Level 1 Sorcerer with the Crossblooded Efreeti and Elemental (Earth) Bloodline using the Jolt, Ray of Frost, and Disrupt Undead spells with 19 levels of Rogue Scout is very nice. It gives u the ability to cast a 1d3 acid, cold, electric, fire ray spell and 1d6 ray spell against undead that applies SA. Awesome part is u can Vital strike that for a nice 3d3/3d6+10d6 attack u can do every round for free.

You absolutely cannot use Vital Strike with a spell. Vital Strike requires the attack action. A spell is its own action.

And this idea seems really pointless. Even 13d6 averages only 45.5 damage. You could do better throwing a shuriken or something.

Cast touch spell. Hold charge. Vital Strike. Vampiric touch never looked so good.

EDIT: A favorite tactic of a succubus antipaladin NPC in one of my campaigns, by the way. :)


Depending on the level you play to, with an Int based arcane caster, the Kirin Style/Kirin Strike feats are better uses of your swifts to burn on a ray than Arcane Strike. (provided you aren't a magus, you have enough things to swift on already) Double Int as a swift action -after- you see if you hit.

I have a Witch/MoMS2 with a couple of 1k Ioun stones (to give her attack cantrips, witch doesn't get any rays) that is pretty sick. Touch attack for 1d3+10 ignoring SR at level 4 is kinda cool, even if acid resist will kill it in later games, and disrupt undead is just funny 1d6+10, even with the 50% vs incorporeal it's good to have.


Ashiel wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
Psion-Psycho wrote:

@OP

Level 1 Sorcerer with the Crossblooded Efreeti and Elemental (Earth) Bloodline using the Jolt, Ray of Frost, and Disrupt Undead spells with 19 levels of Rogue Scout is very nice. It gives u the ability to cast a 1d3 acid, cold, electric, fire ray spell and 1d6 ray spell against undead that applies SA. Awesome part is u can Vital strike that for a nice 3d3/3d6+10d6 attack u can do every round for free.

You absolutely cannot use Vital Strike with a spell. Vital Strike requires the attack action. A spell is its own action.

And this idea seems really pointless. Even 13d6 averages only 45.5 damage. You could do better throwing a shuriken or something.

Cast touch spell. Hold charge. Vital Strike. Vampiric touch never looked so good.

EDIT: A favorite tactic of a succubus antipaladin NPC in one of my campaigns, by the way. :)

Vampiric Touch is not a weapon, nor is it a ray or weapon-like (the only spells that are treated like weapons), so the damage from the spell wouldn't increase. If you deliver the touch with an unarmed strike or natural weapon, the weapon damage would increase.


Quantum Steve wrote:
Vampiric Touch is not a weapon, nor is it a ray or weapon-like (the only spells that are treated like weapons), so the damage from the spell wouldn't increase. If you deliver the touch with an unarmed strike or natural weapon, the weapon damage would increase.

It functions as a weapon. It's considered armed. It can score a critical hit. It is described under the rules for attacking with a melee weapon. I'm pretty sure vital strike works with it just as vital strike works with natural attacks like bites. I have quite literally no reason to believe otherwise.

Unlike Power Attack, Vital Strike has no restriction for touch attacks. So yeah. Vital Strike is good for something. :D

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:
Vampiric Touch is not a weapon, nor is it a ray or weapon-like (the only spells that are treated like weapons), so the damage from the spell wouldn't increase. If you deliver the touch with an unarmed strike or natural weapon, the weapon damage would increase.

It functions as a weapon. It's considered armed. It can score a critical hit. It is described under the rules for attacking with a melee weapon. I'm pretty sure vital strike works with it just as vital strike works with natural attacks like bites. I have quite literally no reason to believe otherwise.

Unlike Power Attack, Vital Strike has no restriction for touch attacks. So yeah. Vital Strike is good for something. :D

I don't think there's actually anything anywhere that says touch attacks are weapons, unlike rays. Regardless, Vampiric Touch is not a weapon and is not impacted by Vital Strike.

Vital Strike states that it allows you to "Roll the weapon's damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together".
Magic, Range, Touch: "You must touch a creature or object to affect it. A touch spell that deals damage can score a critical hit just as a weapon can."

If the touch spell was a weapon, it wouldn't crit "just as a weapon can," it would crit "just like every other weapon can."


Ashiel wrote:
It functions as a weapon.

In what way?

Ashiel wrote:
It's considered armed.

“Armed” Unarmed Attacks just means you're not considered unarmed, meaning you don't provoke, and you threaten.

Ashiel wrote:
It can score a critical hit.

Touch: "A touch spell that deals damage can score a critical hit just as a weapon can."

Calling out that it can crit just as a weapon can implies that it's not actually a weapon.

Ashiel wrote:
It is described under the rules for attacking with a melee weapon.

Where?

The section on being armed is under Unarmed Attacks, not Melee Attacks.

Touch Spells in Combat is under Cast A Spell.

The first part in the magic chapter is under Range.

Touch Spells and Holding the Charge is under Duration.

Ashiel wrote:
I'm pretty sure vital strike works with it just as vital strike works with natural attacks like bites.

It works with attacks made with natural weapons because they are weapons.

Ashiel wrote:
I have quite literally no reason to believe otherwise.

How about this:

The design goal of the Vital Strike feats was to give fighters an option in battles where they have to move. A 20th level wizard, after all, can take a move action and still cast most of his toughest spells. A 20th level rogue can run around to flank someone and get in a hefty backstab. A 20th level cleric can move and then unleash a spell or a blast of channeled energy.

But fighter types? They move and they lose their additional attacks. Vital strike and its chain of feats was created to help fighters; essentially, they can move and still pack a powerful single hit by using Vital Strike, especially if they combine it with things like Power Attack, critical feats, and the like.

It wasn't ever intended to give spellcasters a way to double their damage dice, and you can expect it to be reworded in an upcoming FAQ sooner or later to enforce this role.

or this:

When I built the Vital Strike feat chain, it was designed specifically to speak to the need for martial characters to be able to take a move action and still do a reasonable amount of damage in a single turn.


So you agree that vital strike doesn't work for unarmed strikes? :P

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
So you agree that vital strike doesn't work for unarmed strikes? :P

Unarmed Strikes are weapons. Spells delivered via touch are not.

There's a difference between being treated as armed and actually having a weapon.


"Unarmed Attacks: Striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon, except for the following:

Attacks of Opportunity: Attacking unarmed provokes an attack of opportunity from the character you attack, provided she is armed. The attack of opportunity comes before your attack. An unarmed attack does not provoke attacks of opportunity from other foes, nor does it provoke an attack of opportunity from an unarmed foe.

An unarmed character can't take attacks of opportunity (but see “Armed” Unarmed Attacks, below).

“Armed” Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).

Note that being armed counts for both offense and defense (the character can make attacks of opportunity).

Unarmed Strike Damage: An unarmed strike from a Medium character deals 1d3 points of bludgeoning damage (plus your Strength modifier, as normal). A Small character's unarmed strike deals 1d2 points of bludgeoning damage, while a Large character's unarmed strike deals 1d4 points of bludgeoning damage. All damage from unarmed strikes is nonlethal damage. Unarmed strikes count as light weapons (for purposes of two-weapon attack penalties and so on)."


Grick wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
It functions as a weapon.

In what way?

Ashiel wrote:
It's considered armed.
“Armed” Unarmed Attacks just means you're not considered unarmed, meaning you don't provoke, and you threaten.

PRD:

“Armed” Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).

Doing a google search: "armed definition"

"1.Equipped with or carrying a weapon or weapons."

Doing a search on the dictionary definition:

"furnished with weapons <an armed guard>; also : using or involving a weapon"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/armed

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Rory wrote:

[PRD:

“Armed” Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).

Doing a google search: "armed definition"

"1.Equipped with or carrying a weapon or weapons."

Doing a search on the dictionary definition:

"furnished with weapons <an armed guard>; also : using or involving a weapon"

Counting as armed for making a touch attack is not the same as a spell counting as a weapon.


Ssalarn wrote:
Counting as armed for making a touch attack is not the same as a spell counting as a weapon.

Can you point to where Pathfinder says this? That would help a ton. Thanks!


Rory wrote:
Doing a google search

No need for google. In Pathfinder, if you're unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares and thus can't make attacks of opportunity.

Attacking unarmed provokes an attack of opportunity from the character you attack, provided she is armed.

An unarmed character can't take attacks of opportunity.

Making “Armed” Unarmed Attacks changes all that.

But that doesn't turn your spell into a weapon.

The dictionary says a weapon is 'any instrument or device for use in attack or defense in combat' or 'something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy ' both of which would apply to a magical fireball used against your enemies. But fireball doesn't get extra damage from inspire courage, because in the game it's not a weapon.

Vampiric Touch doesn't deal extra damage from inspire courage either, because it's not a weapon. That's the same reason it doesn't work with vital strike, because vital strike only deals with weapon dice.


Hence my point. If vampiric touch is not a weapon, neither is an unarmed strike. Because the rules go to great length to express that an unarmed strike is not a manufactured weapon or a natural weapon and is an unarmed strike (an entirely different thing, like a spell).

So what you guys are saying is it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, but it's not a duck at all. Which is reasonable. But you need to be ready to be consistent and accept that if functioning as a weapon does not make it a weapon when rolling damage (vital strike actually says that it can be used with an attack and that you roll the weapon's damage multiple times) then it applies for all attacks that are not weapons which includes unarmed strikes.

That being said, you guys do make some great points and I will consider them. They do seem founded in the RAW (even if it does seem somewhat confounded to me :P), so I'm going to do a little digging. That being said, beware the dread wraiths and greater shadows with greater vital strike in the meantime.


Ashiel wrote:
If vampiric touch is not a weapon, neither is an unarmed strike.

Strike, Unarmed: "The damage from an unarmed strike is considered weapon damage for the purposes of effects that give you a bonus on weapon damage rolls."


Grick wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
If vampiric touch is not a weapon, neither is an unarmed strike.

Strike, Unarmed: "The damage from an unarmed strike is considered weapon damage for the purposes of effects that give you a bonus on weapon damage rolls."

Thank you Grick. +1 to you sir. :)


Phew...now that Vampiric Touch is done... does Arcane Strike work with Ray spells?

The point of this thread was to add an extra oomph of damage to a wizard whose primary attack at low to mid levels is going to be Acid Splash. I've already gotten the Sorcerer build that deals insane dmaage with such spells but unfortunately with starting build options that ship has sailed.

So now I'm on to Arcane Strike. The PC already has Point Blank Shot and a vial of acid to aid the damage. My thought was to add this extra point of damage to his Acid Splash spells but if it doesn't work by RAW then I don't want to houserule this into existence.


Grick wrote:
The dictionary says a weapon is 'any instrument or device for use in attack or defense in combat' or 'something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy ' both of which would apply to a magical fireball used against your enemies. But fireball doesn't get extra damage from inspire courage, because in the game it's not a weapon.

The PRD specifically says a touch attack spell is an armed attack. The PRD does not say a fireball or all damage spells are armed attacks. That's the difference that I see.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Hoover wrote:

Phew...now that Vampiric Touch is done... does Arcane Strike work with Ray spells?

The point of this thread was to add an extra oomph of damage to a wizard whose primary attack at low to mid levels is going to be Acid Splash. I've already gotten the Sorcerer build that deals insane dmaage with such spells but unfortunately with starting build options that ship has sailed.

So now I'm on to Arcane Strike. The PC already has Point Blank Shot and a vial of acid to aid the damage. My thought was to add this extra point of damage to his Acid Splash spells but if it doesn't work by RAW then I don't want to houserule this into existence.

I assume that since inspire courage works with rays, so too will Arcane Strike.

I think you're better off using Ray of Frost since that's unequivocally a ray.


Mark Hoover wrote:
does Arcane Strike work with Ray spells?

Of course.

Mark Hoover wrote:
The point of this thread was to add an extra oomph of damage to a wizard whose primary attack at low to mid levels is going to be Acid Splash.

Acid Splash: "Effect one missile of acid"

A ray spell has "Effect ray," so acid splash is not a ray. Weapon Focus (ray) will not apply, nor will anything that works only on rays.

That's not to say a "missile of acid" is not a weapon, and thus cannot benefit from Arcane Strike. But while a ray is clearly and explicitly considered a weapon, you'll have to ask your GM if a missile of acid is weapon-like.

Rory wrote:
The PRD specifically says a touch attack spell is an armed attack. The PRD does not say a fireball or all damage spells are armed attacks.

Vital Strike works with weapons.

You're using the dictionary to make "armed" mean it uses a weapon, rather than the in-game meaning of threatening/not-provoking.

I'm showing how the dictionary makes fireball a weapon, when it's clearly not considered as such in-game.

This shows that you can't always use a dictionary to define an in-game term.


Grick wrote:
You're using the dictionary to make "armed" mean it uses a weapon, rather than the in-game meaning of threatening/not-provoking.

No. I am using the PRD plus the dictionary. That's a big difference than just using the dictionary. That's how I interpret RAW.

Question: Do you also not allow spell touch attacks to use Weapon Finesse since Weapon Finesse is limited to weapons?


Mark Hoover wrote:

GRRR... is there NOTHING you can do with 0 level rays? Rhime Spell or others that cause a condition mean nothing because the duration is dependant on ORIGINAL spell level (0). You can't Arcane Strike them or use them for Dazzling Display. Heck, if you take a crossbow they're not even worth much as ACTUAL attacks.

The only other thing I could come up with was the following:

Opening Volley - hurl a ray then make a lucky attack into melee if you've got initiative

Shot on the Run/Parting Shot - nuff said

Vital Strike (it'll take a REALLY long time)

Other than these I can't see a lot of reason to cast low level rays. Ever.

NOTHING?

Hehe, you should meet my Half-Orc Word Caster Dragon Blooded Sorcerer

1d4+1+1/2 sorc lvl ;)


Rory wrote:
Do you also not allow spell touch attacks to use Weapon Finesse since Weapon Finesse is limited to weapons?

No, I house rule it, just like James Jacobs does.

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Rory wrote:
Grick wrote:
You're using the dictionary to make "armed" mean it uses a weapon, rather than the in-game meaning of threatening/not-provoking.

No. I am using the PRD plus the dictionary. That's a big difference than just using the dictionary. That's how I interpret RAW.

Question: Do you also not allow spell touch attacks to use Weapon Finesse since Weapon Finesse is limited to weapons?

"Weapon Finesse (Combat)

You are trained in using your agility in melee combat, as opposed to brute strength.

Benefit: With a light weapon, rapier, whip, or spiked chain made for a creature of your size category, you may use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on attack rolls."

Nope, doesn't look like Weapon Finesse applies to touch attacks.


Grick wrote:
Rory wrote:
Do you also not allow spell touch attacks to use Weapon Finesse since Weapon Finesse is limited to weapons?

No, I house rule it, just like James Jacobs does.

Interesting.

You let a spell touch attack be like a weapon to qualify for one feat and for non-proking/threatening situations. And yet, you interpret it is not a weapon for other feats and cases. That seems burdensome as you'd then have to decide for each incident whether or not it makes sense (like you did for Weapon Finesse) on whether the spell touch attack should be counted as a weapon.

Ssalarn is consistent and doesn't allow Weapon Finesse to work. That is admirable, even if you, James Jacob, and I all think that doesn't make sense.

My interpreration of RAW (I know we disagree, and that's okay to happen on occasion) treats spell touch attack as a weapon for all cases. I don't need or want to make house-rules to cover corner cases.

That seems far simpler, as if intended by RAW. But, that is my opinion of course.

Cheers!


Rallaster wrote:
Mark Hoover wrote:

GRRR... is there NOTHING you can do with 0 level rays? Rhime Spell or others that cause a condition mean nothing because the duration is dependant on ORIGINAL spell level (0). You can't Arcane Strike them or use them for Dazzling Display. Heck, if you take a crossbow they're not even worth much as ACTUAL attacks.

The only other thing I could come up with was the following:

Opening Volley - hurl a ray then make a lucky attack into melee if you've got initiative

Shot on the Run/Parting Shot - nuff said

Vital Strike (it'll take a REALLY long time)

Other than these I can't see a lot of reason to cast low level rays. Ever.

NOTHING?

Hehe, you should meet my Half-Orc Word Caster Dragon Blooded Sorcerer

1d4+1+1/2 sorc lvl ;)

Unfortunately as I said earlier today: the build is set as wizard/specialist abjuration


Rory wrote:
You let a spell touch attack be like a weapon to qualify for one feat and for non-proking/threatening situations. And yet, you interpret it is not a weapon for other feats and cases.

Provoke/threat is explicitly called out in the rules. That's what an “Armed” Unarmed Attack does.

As for weapon finesse, it's not about treating the touch as a weapon, it's about the intent behind the feat letting you use your agility in melee combat. The feat goes out of it's way to remind you that natural weapons are considered light weapons. A weapon being light (rather than one-handed or two-handed) is a measure of how much effort it takes to wield it in combat. Using your hand (or claw, etc.) is less effort than using a longsword. So using dexterity to aid in making an attack with your hand, even though it's not being made with a weapon, makes sense.

Rory wrote:

My interpreration of RAW (I know we disagree, and that's okay to happen on occasion) treats spell touch attack as a weapon for all cases.

That seems far simpler, as if intended by RAW.

It's a good general assumption that the RAW is what was intended when there is nothing to suggest otherwise. You can safely assume the writers meant what they wrote.

In this case, we know the intent is that you can't vital strike with a touch spell. So even if the rules did suggest that a touch was a weapon, we know that doesn't match the intent.

So since the only real argument for a touch being a weapon is that weapon finesse wouldn't work, you can either fix the problem (make weapon finesse work with touches) or turn touches into weapons (which breaks other sorts of intent).

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