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Does Arcane Strike work with Ray spells?


Rules Questions

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12 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

Arcane strike says "weapons" are affected. Weapon Focus says spellcasters can focus on "Rays" as their weapons. Can an arcane spellcaster, with Weapon Focus - Ray add Arcane Strike damage onto their ray?

I'm looking to build a wizard who specializes in Rays as a foil for the nearly-all ranged PC party in my game. Level 1 Weapon Focus: Ray, Point Blank Shot; Level 3: either Arcane Strike (if applicable) or Dazzling Display (fires a ray of frost that demoralizes everyone in a 30' radius); Level 5: Sickening Spell

The idea is he demoralizes everyone, lowering their saves for a brief time, then shoots them all to sicken them with magic missiles, finally finishing them with greater damage rays.


to my understanding no


I'd say that should work.


Maybe, the RAW is unclear since the ray is a weapon but it doesn't exist until you've made your attack and Arcane strike specifically imbues your weapons not you as the weilder.

Off the cuff I'd probably say no, but the argument for it could be made.


gnomersy wrote:

Maybe, the RAW is unclear since the ray is a weapon but it doesn't exist until you've made your attack and Arcane strike specifically imbues your weapons not you as the weilder.

Off the cuff I'd probably say no, but the argument for it could be made.

Arcane strike is a swift action. Could you not cast the spell (standard) then use arcane strike (Swift) before it hit? Perhaps technically no, but not entirely unreasonable to allow.

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Rays aren't actually weapons, so I don't think it works.

Weapon Focus:
Weapon Focus (Combat)
Choose one type of weapon. [b]You can also choose unarmed strike or grapple (or ray, if you are a spellcaster) as your weapon for the purposes of this feat[b].

Prerequisites: Proficiency with selected weapon, base attack bonus +1.

Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on all attack rolls you make using the selected weapon.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.

Notice it calls out rays as being eligible as a weapon for the purposes of this feat implying that they are not treated as weapons otherwise. I would say that a feat that specifically calls out applying to weapons but not adding in this proviso probably does not work with a ray attack.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
gnomersy wrote:

Maybe, the RAW is unclear since the ray is a weapon but it doesn't exist until you've made your attack and Arcane strike specifically imbues your weapons not you as the weilder.

Off the cuff I'd probably say no, but the argument for it could be made.

Arcane strike is a swift action. Could you not cast the spell (standard) then use arcane strike (Swift) before it hit? Perhaps technically no, but not entirely unreasonable to allow.

I don't think swifts can act as interrupts? Honestly it's never come up in our games so I can't say for sure but as I said it's not unreasonable.

It's just kind of weird, it's also the fact that you're imbuing your magic with magic which fluff wise feels off.

As for Rays being/not being weapons, while you could interpret the statement that way you could also consider it to be clarification because normally spells are not treated as weapons but the ray specifically is. The rules just aren't clear enough in general to make nuanced inferences based on the writing. Also note that it calls out unarmed strike specifically even though unarmed strike is also listed in the weapon entries thus negating the need for it to be called out.


gnomersy wrote:


I don't think swifts can act as interrupts? Honestly it's never come up in our games so I can't say for sure but as I said it's not unreasonable.

Isn't Kirin Strike Style feat a predecent? You can use it after you hit before you roll damage to add 2x Int mod to damage.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You can use swift actions in the middle of other actions, yes.


Well in that case I stand corrected.

Regardless the point stands that imbuing your magic with magic is weird conceptually and likely not an intended use of the feat.


I think of all these Cheapy makes the most sense; I'll go with a no only for the reason that you can't surge more magic into your magic, lest you cause a meltdown or whatever.

Still, you can use RAY as a weapon for Weapon Focus. Then with Weapon Focus you can use dazzling display. Can you hurl a Ray of Frost as a full round action and intimidate everyone?


Just a note, it doesn't matter when you can do swift actions, Arcane Strike specifically says it's for one round.

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Mark Hoover wrote:

I think of all these Cheapy makes the most sense; I'll go with a no only for the reason that you can't surge more magic into your magic, lest you cause a meltdown or whatever.

Still, you can use RAY as a weapon for Weapon Focus. Then with Weapon Focus you can use dazzling display. Can you hurl a Ray of Frost as a full round action and intimidate everyone?

"Dazzling Display (Combat)

Your skill with your favored weapon can frighten enemies.

Prerequisite: Weapon Focus, proficiency with the selected weapon.

Benefit: While wielding the weapon in which you have Weapon Focus, you can perform a bewildering show of prowess as a full-round action. Make an Intimidate check to demoralize all foes within 30 feet who can see your display. "

Despite Rays being eligible for Weapon Focus, I don't believe you can "wield" a ray, particularly not as a Full Round Action since the ray doesn't actually last that long, so I do not believe you can actually use Dazzling Display in conjunction with a Ray attack, even if you can technically qualify for the feat. I would also dare to say that you don't even qualify for Dazzling Display since you do not have a weapon proficiency for Rays (a requirement of the feat), and Dazzling Display does not contain the specific proviso that Weapon Focus does allowing the use of a Ray in conjunction with the feat.


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.


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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.

Cheaper that crossbow + bolts and easier to land the hits too but other than that you're right they're pretty useless but if they were good they wouldn't be 0th level infinite casts per day spells.

Osirion

PFSRD wrote:
Arcane Strike:Benefit: As a swift action, you can imbue your weapons with a fraction of your power. For 1 round, your weapons deal +1 damage and are treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. For every five caster levels you possess, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

As written, arcane strike applies to Ray spells. Whether or not you have a weapon in hand when you use arcane strike is irrelevant. The benefit of the feat is that you gain a bonus to weapon damage. Rays are treated as weapons, and therefore arcane strike applies.

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Davor wrote:
PFSRD wrote:
Arcane Strike:Benefit: As a swift action, you can imbue your weapons with a fraction of your power. For 1 round, your weapons deal +1 damage and are treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. For every five caster levels you possess, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.
As written, arcane strike applies to Ray spells. Whether or not you have a weapon in hand when you use arcane strike is irrelevant. The benefit of the feat is that you gain a bonus to weapon damage. Rays are treated as weapons, and therefore arcane strike applies.

Rays are not treated as weapons. There are specific abilities that containt the caveat that for that ability you may treat a ray as a weapon. If rays were weapons, they would not need to be called out as working with feats intended for weapons as a special exception.

Osirion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ssalarn wrote:


Rays are not treated as weapons. There are specific abilities that containt the caveat that for that ability you may treat a ray as a weapon. If rays were weapons, they would not need to be called out as working with feats intended for weapons as a special exception.
PFSRD wrote:

FAQ:Do rays count as weapons for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons?

Yes. (See also this FAQ item for a similar question about rays and weapon feats.)
For example, a bard's inspire courage ability says it affects "weapon damage rolls," which is worded that way so <you> don't try to add the bonus to a spell like fireball. However, rays are treated as weapons, whether they're from spells, a monster ability, a class ability, or some other source, so the inspire courage bonus applies to ray attack rolls and ray damage rolls.
The same rule applies to weapon-like spells such as flame blade, mage's sword, and spiritual weapon--effects that affect weapons work on these spells.

I reiterate: Rays are treated as weapons.

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

THe FAQ is for whether Rays are counted as weapons "for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons". They are not actually weapons.
They also arguably don't work with Arcane Strike since they are instantaneous effects and don't exist to be imbued before or after they are cast.
And as mentioned before, they don't work with Dazzling Display because they cannot be wielded and don't last for a full round.

"Instantaneous: The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences might be long-lasting"


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Ssalarn wrote:

THe FAQ is for whether Rays are counted as weapons "for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons". They are not actually weapons.

They also arguably don't work with Arcane Strike since they are instantaneous effects and don't exist to be imbued before or after they are cast.
And as mentioned before, they don't work with Dazzling Display because they cannot be wielded and don't last for a full round.

"Instantaneous: The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences might be long-lasting"

Theres nothing in Arcane Strike that requires the weapon to exist during its usage. You could just as easily Use Arcane Strike, pick up a dropped weapon then strike with it for example. the wording is clear "Your Weapons" not "Weapons you are wielding" not "Weapons on your person when you cast this spell" or anything else.


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TheRonin wrote:

Theres nothing in Arcane Strike that requires the weapon to exist during its usage. You could just as easily Use Arcane Strike, pick up a dropped weapon then strike with it for example. the wording is clear "Your Weapons" not "Weapons you are wielding" not "Weapons on your person when you cast this spell" or anything else.

The term "your weapon" would imply possession if that is the case then the weapon must both exist and be on your person.

Of course that said I do believe it does work by RAW but frankly it shouldn't nor do I believe it is intended to.


I'm not too familiar with wizards but sorcerers can deal interesting amounts of damage with rays if they specialize for it.
I think a Sorc 1/wizard x can do that even better with the evocation school power.
But both ways will not remain viable at high levels except as a backup weapon.

The rime blooded sorc can apply a 1 turn slow with his ray of frost.

You could have a human level 1 crossblooded rime blooded/brutal sorc that deals 1d3+6 damage at +2 to hit with his ray of frost and applying a save or slow effect on top. But don't expect a high save DC.

Osirion

Ssalarn wrote:

THe FAQ is for whether Rays are counted as weapons "for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons". They are not actually weapons.

They also arguably don't work with Arcane Strike since they are instantaneous effects and don't exist to be imbued before or after they are cast.
And as mentioned before, they don't work with Dazzling Display because they cannot be wielded and don't last for a full round.

"Instantaneous: The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences might be long-lasting"

FAQ wrote:
...rays are treated as weapons...

This statement is used without any qualifiers in my above quote. Rays are treated as weapons. Thus Arcane Strike works with them, RAW. (see "TheRonin"'s post for how Arcane Strike interacts with weapons.)

Lantern Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Rays are not weapons. They are weapon like spells. They only exist for the moment that you cast the spell so how would you be able to arcane strike them, which requires a separate action, during which the ray would not exist for you to charge up?


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Because of the heat I took in another thread here questioning if the use of a ray while levitating upsets the wizard doing so as if using a missile weapon, I'm simply going to say that you can't have it both ways.

Pick one way to do it, but stick with it.

(Edit: My gut agrees with LaxarX above, but RAW may be different)

(Edit2: So my opinion is back to treating rays as weapons when the rules or FAQ say to, but not otherwise)


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SlimGauge wrote:

Because of the heat I took in another thread questioning if the use of a ray while levitating here upsets the wizard doing so as if using a missile weapon, I'm simply going to say that you can't have it both ways.

Pick one way to do it, but stick with it.

(Edit: My gut agrees with LaxarX above, but RAW may be different)

Good point. If it's a weapon is has some benefits and drawbacks just as it's not.

Andoran

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I'm so readying a Disarm while unarmed so I can Disarm a wizard and automatically pick up his Ray to use against him.


If Barbarians get Spell Sunder, I need Spell Grapple and Spell Disarm.


LazarX wrote:
Rays are not weapons. They are weapon like spells. They only exist for the moment that you cast the spell so how would you be able to arcane strike them, which requires a separate action, during which the ray would not exist for you to charge up?
Quote:
Arcane Strike:Benefit: As a swift action, you can imbue your weapons with a fraction of your power. For 1 round, your weapons deal +1 damage and are treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. For every five caster levels you possess, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

The act of using your swift action to begin Arcane Strike seems to last all round, and there does not seem to be a requirement for holding the weapon. If being handed a weapon or retrieving one in the same round as Arcane Strike is cast works then creating one on the fly should also work. If the duration was instantaneous then i'd be more inclined to believe it would not.


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Ssalarn wrote:
I'm so readying a Disarm while unarmed so I can Disarm a wizard and automatically pick up his Ray to use against him.

Theres nothing there to physically disarm. The ray isn't a physical object. You also can't disarm claws or fists and pick them up and use them but they are often still considered weapons.

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
TheRonin wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
I'm so readying a Disarm while unarmed so I can Disarm a wizard and automatically pick up his Ray to use against him.
Theres nothing there to physically disarm. The ray isn't a physical object. You also can't disarm claws or fists and pick them up and use them but they are often still considered weapons.

If there's nothing physically there, what am I amplifying with my Arcane Strike? How is Aracne Strike a "spell or effect that affects weapons" and Disarm not?

I would never let Disarming a Ray fly at my own table, but I'm expounding for the sake of argument here.


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Choose wisely:

1) Rays are weapons. They can be imbued with arcane strike and various other ranged weapon feats work. However, when you leviatate you take the appropriate minuses for using ranged weapons.

2) rays are not weapons. Arcane strike does not work. Certain feats work only because they say so for spells. However, as they are not ranged weapons you will not take minuses when levitating as they have no mass.

Cheliax

Ssalarn wrote:

Rays aren't actually weapons, so I don't think it works.

** spoiler omitted **

Notice it calls out rays as being eligible as a weapon for the purposes of this feat implying that they are not treated as weapons otherwise. I would say that a feat that specifically calls out applying to weapons but not adding in this proviso probably does not work with a ray attack.

Correct. RAW, rays can be treated like weapons for certain feats, but they are not considered weapons in and of themselves.


Before using that particular quote as an argument, remember that the same sentence that calls out rays also calls out "unarmed strike" as something that can be chosen for that feat.

So using that quote as an argument also essentially means you're arguing that unarmed strikes aren't weapons. And unarmed strike is even listed in the weapons table in the equipment list.

Grand Lodge

Seems like it would work, I've never thought about it before. Couldn't a Eldritch Knight/Magus/Arcane Caster with a fighter dip could take weapon specialization Ray, and I don't really see how arcane strike and weapon specialization are really that mechanically different other than one requiring a swift action.

Looks like this is going to turn into another one of those argue forever threads. So I'll just say this what are we actually getting for the feat investment if used on rays:

Well you get a half strength intensified spells that only applies to ray spells and requires a swift action to be used. Sounds pretty in line with the power level of a feat I don't think it's much of a problem. RAW it's unclear, RAI they probably never even considered it. So GM's call: I'd say yes because it's cool flavour if you're already an Evoker to spend a little extra time "empowering" your spell. Saying no is also equally valid, perhaps more so as the conservative route is usually the safest.

Either way I'd recommend you guys not get too concerned about it, because the damage is pretty negligible on anything other than "maybe" contagious flames.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SlimGauge wrote:

Because of the heat I took in another thread here questioning if the use of a ray while levitating upsets the wizard doing so as if using a missile weapon, I'm simply going to say that you can't have it both ways.

The two topics have absolutely nothing to do with each other, other than the mention of rays. Arguments for one have no bearing on the case of the other.


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LazarX wrote:
SlimGauge wrote:

Because of the heat I took in another thread here questioning if the use of a ray while levitating upsets the wizard doing so as if using a missile weapon, I'm simply going to say that you can't have it both ways.

The two topics have absolutely nothing to do with each other, other than the mention of rays. Arguments for one have no bearing on the case of the other.

Incorrect. If they're treated as weapons (or not) for one purpose that same logic should follow to other rules questions. For example:

1) Rays are weapons. They can be imbued with arcane strike and various other ranged weapon feats work. However, when you leviatate you take the appropriate minuses for using ranged weapons.

2) rays are not weapons. Arcane strike does not work. Certain feats work only because they say so for spells. However, as they are not ranged weapons you will not take minuses when levitating as they have no mass.

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The point I'm getting at, is either a Ray is only treated as a weapon when the FAQ's or feats specifically say so or you're making it up as you go along. Which is fine, that's part of the game, but you can't argue it's cut and dry in the circumstances that make sense to you, but not all circumstances. The rule is either all-encompassing, applies to those specific instances delineated, or is intentionally a little vague to allow the GM to make judgement calls as appropriate.
I think it's the last one, since the game is built around the concept of a living GM adjudicating the communal play world. Meaning, at the end of the day, the only person who's "right" is the guy behind the GM screen, and he might not be "right" the same way the next guy is.
Some rules are cut and dry. I don't believe "rays are treated as weapons" is one of those. That leads to absurdity like using disarm on Ray attacks.


The FAQ states that rays count as weapons for, among other things, a bard's inspire courage ability.

The FAQ also states you can take Weapon Specialization and Improved Critical for rays. Neither specifically include rays as options. Improved Critical doesn't even require Weapon Focus.

***

So the only thing that might be against Arcane Strike working for rays would be if one argues that it only affects weapons that already exist when the feat is activated.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The FAQ wrote:

Ray: Do rays count as weapons for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons?

Yes. (See also this FAQ item for a similar question about rays and weapon feats.)

For example, a bard's inspire courage says it affects "weapon damage rolls," which is worded that way so don't try to add the bonus to a spell like fireball. However, rays are treated as weapons, whether they're from spells, a monster ability, a class ability, or some other source, so the inspire courage bonus applies to ray attack rolls and ray damage rolls.

The same rule applies to weapon-like spells such as flame blade, mage's sword, and spiritual weapon--effects that affect weapons work on these spells.

—Sean K Reynolds, 07/29/11

Emphasis mine. Davor is correct to point out that there is no qualifiers. Rays are treated as weapons, no matter what.

There are no qualifiers in any of the feats listed in this related FAQ that indicate you can select rays specifically as some sort of exception, but we know we can, due to rays being treated as weapons.

Weapon Focus does list a ray as a choice, of course, but the other abilities do not, and I don't think anyone is arguing that you can take it for WF, but not the other feats.

The rules for rays:

CRB v5, pg 214 wrote:


Ray: Some effects are rays. You aim a ray as if using a
ranged weapon, though typically you make a ranged
touch attack rather than a normal ranged attack. As with a
ranged weapon, you can f ire into the dark or at an invisible
creature and hope you hit something. You don’t have to see
the creature you’re trying to hit, as you do with a targeted
spell. Intervening creatures and obstacles, however, can
block your line of sight or provide cover for the creature at
which you’re aiming.
If a ray spell has a duration, it’s the duration of the
e ffect that the ray causes, not the length of time the ray
itself persists.
If a ray spell deals damage, you can score a critical hit
just as if it were a weapon. A ray spell threatens a critical
hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a
successful critical hit.
SKR wrote:
Generally, when an item calls out "it works like {spell}," it gets all the baggage of that spell unless the item says otherwise.

Here's reiteration that if something "works like X", it gets all the baggage of X, in a more specific format. I see no reason to not assume common sense elsewhere.

I guess most of this has been covered already. But in the end, if you can't use Arcane Strike, the reason isn't because "rays aren't weapons".

Is it really freaking weird? Yes.
Is it overpowered? Nah. I'd rather them using this than Quicken Spell at least.

I remember many times disagreeing with people, even though within a few days I was on their side for when the topic came up again. Probably to save face, or not admit uh...out rules-searching? I guess.

Osirion

Ssalarn wrote:


Some rules are cut and dry. I don't believe "rays are treated as weapons" is one of those. That leads to absurdity like using disarm on Ray attacks.
PFSRD wrote:

Disarm Combat Maneuver:

If your attack is successful, your target drops one item it is carrying of your choice (even if the item is wielded with two hands). If your attack exceeds the CMD of the target by 10 or more, the target drops the items it is carrying in both hands (maximum two items if the target has more than two hands). If your attack fails by 10 or more, you drop the weapon that you were using to attempt the disarm. If you successfully disarm your opponent without using a weapon, you may automatically pick up the item dropped.

PFSRD wrote:

Steal Combat Maneuver

If your attack is successful, you may take one item from your opponent. You must be able to reach the item to be taken (subject to GM discretion). Your enemy is immediately aware of this theft unless you possess the Greater Steal feat.

You can only disarm and steal items. A ray is not an item, therefore it cannot be disarmed or stolen (though a spellcaster could be made to drop a wand producing the ray, interrupted through drawing an attack of opportunity, or his spell component pouch could be stolen).

@Ssalarn & Arliss: See Cheapy. ^

@LazarX: Arcane Strike does not require that a weapon be in your hands when you use it. As a swift action, all of your attacks with weapons for 1 round deal extra damage. It doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense to you, but that's what the rules say. Rays are weapons, therefore it works with rays.


@ OP

I believe that I'm in the "Sure, go for it, rays are weapons" camp. Even if it's not strictly RAW (I think it is, but there is definitely a case for confusion, hence the existence of this thread), it definitely benefits from the "rule of cool" perspective. It's YOUR decision as a GM, so do what thou wilt.

Also, if you're picking up PBS, look into getting deadly aim. that should pump the damage a little bit. And don't worry about Dazzling Display. Just pick up the spell Blistering Invective for the free intimidate, plus bonus fire damage.

Edit: Oops, Blistering Invective is Alchemist, bard, or inquisitor only...oops. Of course, you could just play a bard or inquisitor and take the two world magic trait to pick up ray of frost...

Andoran

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Is there any Fighter Weapon Group that includes Rays? Honest question here, this thread has me spinning some ideas for a PFS character now....

Lantern Lodge

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.

Not getting into the argument about whether you can apply arcane strike to a ray... but for Mark --

When you're a 2nd level Magus facing a Swarm of dimunuitive creatures that can't be hurt by physical weapons, you'll be glad you have a ray memorized.


Captain Zoom wrote:


Not getting into the argument about whether you can apply arcane strike to a ray... but for Mark --

When you're a 2nd level Magus facing a Swarm of dimunuitive creatures that can't be hurt by physical weapons, you'll be glad you have a ray memorized.

PRD wrote:

A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind. A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.

Rays don't work either.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Okay, I tried giving an answer based on rules text and a bit of common sense. Now apparently we're going into pedantry for the purpose of arguing a corner ruling.

Expecting consistent ruling in extreme corner cases is a case of extreme nitpicking. The moral here is don't build character expectations on corner cases. Build your expectations on your mainline activities, and let the corners take care of themselves.


Wait, if rays are like ranged weapons, does that mean that a Myrmidarch could use Ranged Spellstrike (Su) with a ray? In other words, could a Myrmidarch imbue his Scorching Ray with, let us say, Ray of Enfeeblement?

...

Oh my gooooooooooooooood!

Osirion

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Maerimydra wrote:

Wait, if rays are like ranged weapons, does that mean that a Myrmidarch could use Ranged Spellstrike (Su) with a ray? In other words, could a Myrmidarch imbue his Scorching Ray with, let us say, Ray of Enfeeblement?

...

Oh my gooooooooooooooood!

1) That link is even better in Spanish :D

2) Unfortunately, that idea doesn't quite work. Spellstrike requires that you are wielding a weapon. While rays function as weapons, they are not wielded by the caster, and therefore don't qualify for Spellstrike.

@Ssalarn: Unfortuntely, none of the current weapon groups include rays, or any sort of magic damage.


PRD "Fighter" wrote:

Weapon groups are defined as follows (GMs may add other weapons to these groups, or add entirely new groups):

You could have a weapon like spell group if you GM was cool with it.


I don't think by RAW Deadly Aim works with rays: it specifically calls out that it doesn't work with "touch attacks" and isn't a ray described in the Core as a "ranged touch attack?" If it DID work however that would be sweet!

The whole point of this thread was to see if there was a way to make 0 level rays useful at higher levels and as usual I didn't even CONSIDER the ramification of my bigger question "are rays weapons". If they are then it opens many doors I don't know if I want open in my game.

However getting back to Arcane Strike somehow I missed that the effect lasts the entire round. In that case, and considering the FAQ and RAI I guess I would change my mind back and again allow Arcane Strike to work with a 0 level spell like Ray of Frost. Think about it:

The spellcaster opens themselves like a conduit to a node of arcane power and begins to glow like Goku readying a Soul Cannon. He then begins chanting, his voice becoming cool and echoy, and in full on Mortal Kombat/Street Fighter fashion he pulls back both hands then thrusts them forward screaming the final syllable. Out shoots a Ray of Frost with a helix of arcane power coiling around it.

Thematically its cool and at the end of the day its ONE point of damage...for THIS feat anyway. Again, I now acknowledge that there are a thousand more negatives for allowing this but still I thought it would be cool.

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