Multiple Target Touch spells impossible to use?


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Alright let me preface this by first saying this is an attempt to get a FAQ going.

Let me also preface this by saying this sort of discussion came up before HERE but it got into many other aspects I would rather not explore in this particular thread.

So let us begin:
One section of the CRB states that it requires a Full-round action to touch up to 6 allies. A second section of the CRB states that multiple target touch spells cannot be held. As a result, a multiple target touch spell cannot ever be delivered.

Quotes:

CRB p186 wrote:
You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action.
CRB p216 wrote:
Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets as part of the spell. You can’t hold the charge of such a spell; you must touch all targets of the spell in the same round that you finish casting the spell.

How it should run:
Round 1: Cast the spell
Round 2: Full-round action to deliver the spell to up to 6allies.

OR
Round 1: Cast the spell and touch multiple allies

How it actually runs:
Round 1: Cast the spell
Round 2: Spell is gone and unable to be delivered to allies.

Note: It is a free action on the turn you cast a spell to touch one target. That is not at issue.

partial list of spells that cannot be used by RAW:

Animate Undead? (Touched corpses may or may not fall under ally statement)
Hide from Animals
Hide from Undead
Pass without Trace
Protection From Spells
Status
Water Breathing
Water Walk
Wind Walk
Any spell with the name Communal in it.

Note: I specifically left Chill Touch off the list because I do NOT want to go down that path. I ask for everyone to please stay clear of Chill Touch because it will significantly derail the conversation.

So: Why is there an entire category of spells that are not possible to use?

Discuss and FAQ.

- Gauss


As far as RAI is concerned, my guess is the Devs want a Communal Spell to function as a FRA (Full Round Action), especially since you are giving the spell benefits to multiple targets.

One can argue that touching one target (as per a Touch Spell and their proper descriptors) is a free action, and that touching multiple would be considered a move action if Communal Spells were to be possible. If this is how it is intended, then this would be a possible fix or errata to bring up; if not, disregard my potential solution.

However, as Gauss brought up, touching each individual does normally require a standard action (otherwise Free Action upon spell cast), as it requires a touch attack in order to deliver the spell. On top of this, cited wording states that touch spells involving multiple (successful) touch attempts cannot be held, and must be discharged in the same round, which is physically impossible according to the action economy listed for Actions in Combat.

Another argument is that Communal Spells will allow you to touch all friendly adjacents as a move action (as per my solution to the dilemma), but no such wording or indication through text is given. Sure, suggested, but there are those people (such as PFS sessions) where the RAW is the LAW. If it's not written or cannot be correlated, it's not enforced, endorsed, or involved.

We need this to be addressed by one of the Devs of the game; this is a major/core part of the game that is fatally flawed and needs to be corrected/clarified. I will FAQ for support in getting an answer from the Devs, and hope others do the same.


Is it technically "holding the charge" if you cast the spell and immediately begin the full round action to touch (up to) 6 allies? You are using the spell the same round the effect comes into being, and it disappears before your action in the following round.

Personally I don't see how that violates the RAW. The charge never hits "held status" as it is "in use" up until your next rounds action. Granted the next round you are left with what amounts to a move action (1st round standard to cast spell, start full round action, 2nd round completes full round action, move acton left to preserve action economy from first round).


Just here to press the FAQ button. :)


Skylancer:

How would you begin the full round action? With a standard action to cast the spell all you are left with is a move action. It takes a standard action to begin a full round action.

Example:
Round 1: Standard action to cast the spell
No second standard action to begin starting a full round action is available.

Round 2 the charge is gone, cannot deliver it.

- Gauss


Skylancer4 wrote:

Is it technically "holding the charge" if you cast the spell and immediately begin the full round action to touch (up to) 6 allies? You are using the spell the same round the effect comes into being, and it disappears before your action in the following round.

Personally I don't see how that violates the RAW. The charge never hits "held status" as it is "in use" up until your next rounds action. Granted the next round you are left with what amounts to a move action (1st round standard to cast spell, start full round action, 2nd round completes full round action, move acton left to preserve action economy from first round).

Read the bolded part of the second quote again. If you're lazy though, I'll sum it up for you quick...

Communal spells are spells that allow (or is it require?) the caster to touch multiple targets to get the desired effect of that specific spell.

Holding a Charge says spells that allow you to touch multiple targets cannot be held, saying the spell must be expended within the same round or the spell is lost.

Casting a touch spell (usually/normally) is a standard action.

Touching multiple targets with a touch spell requires a full round action to perform.

See the connection (or lack thereof)?


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Gauss wrote:

Skylancer:

How would you begin the full round action? With a standard action to cast the spell all you are left with is a move action. It takes a standard action to begin a full round action.

Example:
Round 1: Standard action to cast the spell
No second standard action to begin starting a full round action is available.

Round 2 the charge is gone, cannot deliver it.

- Gauss

The spell is the beginning of the full round action. If only one ally is a target, they are a free action (as part of casting the spell) or if there are multiple allies (the spell states you can touch multiple) you start it as you cast the spell and finish it on your next round.

Round 1: Cast spell that allows multiple allies to be targets with range of touch (standard action to "cast"; remainder of action to fulfill full round action of touching multiple allies).
Round 2: Finish touching allies (who now gain the spell effect) have move left for current round.

No held charge, keeps within RAW. To put it another way, using a spell that allows for multiple allies to be targeted makes it a full round action to get into effect.

@Darksol: I'm not being lazy, I'm well aware of what the possible problems are. I'm coming at it from the view of metamagic'd spontaneous spells. Something that exists already and provides a reasonable explanation that works instead of b*%$hing about how the spells are impossible to use within the rule set. Sorry if thinking "outside the box" instead of going "OMG IT DOESN'T WORK!!11 HOW DID WE MISS IT ALL THIS TIME!!11" annoys you.


Skylancer4:

The spell is not a full-round spell. It is a standard action spell. It takes a separate standard action to just start to touch multiple targets (if you are using the rule on starting a full round action).

CRB p186 wrote:

Start/Complete Full-Round Action

The “start full-round action” standard action lets you start undertaking a full-round action, which you can complete in the following round by using another standard action. You can’t use this action to start or complete a full attack, charge, run, or withdraw.

As you can see it is a specific standard action to start a full-round action.

Even the free action to touch a single person is a separate action made independantly from the standard action of the spell.

There is specific wording that states you can use a free action to make a single touch attack after casting a touch spell. There is no similar wording for multiple targets.

There is nothing in RAW that suggests what you are suggesting.

- Gauss

Edit: added some stuff


Unfortunately, casting a spell is an action separate from the "start a full-round action" action so, by RAW, you can't start a full-round action the same round you cast a spell.

Ninja'd by Gauss


Sorry about the ninja Johnico. Still, great to have you commenting. :D Even if you are originally from Michigan *grumbles something about MSU beating BSU* Hehehe

- Gauss


But RAW suggests the spells are incapable of being used by any other reasoning. I'm just trying to make use of the rules we have to not invalidate these spells. Unfortunately my suggestion makes a heck of a lot more sense than "you can't even use the spell" lol.

EDIT: I think the main problem is "touching" a target depends entirely on when it happens (and I understand why). Holding the charge changes it from free to a standard action, holding the charge also states touching the 6 allies is a full round action, which cannot be done as youc cannot "hold the charge" on those types of spells.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Skylancer4:

Clearly you misunderstand my purpose here. My purpose is not to invalidate a variety of spells. It is to CORRECT a problem in the rules. When we bring up problems in the rules to a Paizo employee such as James Jacobs what is his response? Create a thread and FAQ it.

That is exactly what I am doing.

The RAW does not suggest anything but what is written. Clearly the RAI suggests the spells are capable of being used otherwise why would they be there?

Please, hit the FAQ button. Or better yet, continue debating it with me. That way it stays on top of the pile and other people will see the problem and FAQ it. If enough FAQ requests occur the theory is that the developers will fix it.

- Gauss


The point being made is that the rules are failing. I don't think anyone is advocating "don't allow the spells". We are sure the intent is for them to be cast on several people within one round. The problem is that the spells don't work within the rules, and in cases of a rules contradiction the rules should errata'd. If I was your GM I would not say you can't use the spell. That does not mean I should not want rules that work without having to turn a blind eye to them. I think this goes for other GM's as well.


Agreed and done.


But...but...DAMN! I was asking you to continue to debate them with me! :D

Skylancer, why'd you have to agree? ARGH! Hehehe

- Gauss


Sorry, its late and I need to work tomorrow, been sick the last 2 days so I can't play on the forums >.<


Gauss wrote:

But...but...DAMN! I was asking you to continue to debate them with me! :D

Skylancer, why'd you have to agree? ARGH! Hehehe

Can't blame the guy. There's nothing to argue/debate here; the RAW is clearly poorly/incorrectly worded. RAW says spells (normally) take standard actions to cast. Touching a target upon casting a Touch Spell is an independent, free action.

To touch multiple targets with a spell, it takes a full-round action, independent upon the spell cast. Ultimately, this requires the character to be able to perform two standard actions within the same round, which is physically impossible (unless you have some sort of Wish spell to bypass/allow a character to do such a thing).

Hmmm...Didn't I run into a problem similar to this?


Darksol: I suggest you do what I did, create a separate thread (one that does not have all the clutter that most discussion threads do), link the discussion thread, and ask for FAQ hits.

- Gauss


FAQ'd

Liberty's Edge

Wow did I do it wrong. Just last sunday my 9lv wizard cast water breathing (9lv = 18 hours). Round one I hit me and a friend (9 hours each). Round 2 moved and hit another friend (6 hours each). Round 3 another friend (4.5 hours each).


ForgottenRider:

I think that is how most of us use it. Frankly, my solution would be to remove the line where multiple target spells cannot be held. But, that might create problems with certain other spells such as teleport. Unfortunately, in PFS such a usage is technically illegal and PFS GMs do not have the same latitude all of the rest of us have. :)

- Gauss

Liberty's Edge

Gauss:

Thanks I finds it funny but also got a little scared when I seen this.


ForgottenRider wrote:

Gauss:

Thanks I finds it funny but also got a little scared when I seen this.

Well; that's why we're here to confront it. It's not like Pathfinder isn't the first D&D/D20-based game to have loopholes/major problems with its Core Design.

In terms of a casual session, it's probably something that can be overlooked, and perhaps reinforced from that certain point on, especially since the GM didn't have much problem with it to begin with.

In terms of PFS, the GM would've caught you right away and there wouldn't have been much problem other than finding another method (and blowing lots of spell slots).

Don't sweat the small stuff. Just be thankful you didn't fudge a life-or-death stabilize roll. :)


Thanks for the FAQ hits folks. Lets keep them coming. :)

- Gauss

Liberty's Edge

lol round one I hit me and a friend. Well sorry all looks like the rest of you drown. Thats just bad. I hope that not how it work.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

ForgottenRider: There are really two solutions here (that I can think of).

Solution 1: All multiple target spells become full-round actions (maybe 1 round casting time) and can touch up to 6 allies.

Solution 2: Remove the line that states multiple target touch spells cannot be held. Then it would work like this:
Round 1 cast
Round 2 touch everyone.
Round 3+ keep touching until you have expended your alotment of touches.

Personally, I prefer solution 2. But it may come with problems when using certain spells such as teleport.

- Gauss

Liberty's Edge

Gauss:

I like solution 2 also. Its how I use alot of those spells. Am I missing something with teleport. It says

teleport wrote:
All creatures to be transported must be in contact with one another, and at least one of those creatures must be in contact with you.


I don't know which spells it would cause a problem with. I said teleport because it is a different kind of multiple target touch spell.

My guess is the wording is there to close a possible loophole in teleport-like spells where you touch multiple targets to effect some kind of location change. By not allowing you to hold the charge everyone must be ready to teleport before you cast the spell. If you could hold the charge we would have to look at the spell description to see if it is an immediate effect.

Found it: Etherealness would be a good example of the kind of spell that line protects against. Multiple target, duration based. If you cannot hold the charge you cannot later touch someone to bring them ethereal.

- Gauss


Actually, that's not the greatest example either. You can't touch someone sidereal when you're ethereal anyways so holding the charge wouldn't help.


Good point Atarlost. Heck, I dont know why that line is there then. :D

- Gauss

Shadow Lodge

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Gauss wrote:
Solution 1: All multiple target spells become full-round actions (maybe 1 round casting time) and can touch up to 6 allies.

This is always the way my group has used it and I thought it was the way it was supposed to go.

CRB p186 wrote:
You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action.

Since touching one friend is "packaged" with casting time of one standard action so long as the touch occurs in the same round as the spell is cast, it makes sense that touching up to six friends is "packaged" with casting time in the full-round action described here. This is supported the description of touch spells in the Magic chapter of the CRB:

CRB p213 wrote:
Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets. You can touch up to 6 willing targets as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell.

SRD

If touching 6 willing targets is part of the casting, the original reference to the full-round action seems to indicate that touching multiple targets extends casting time to a full-round action, not that an additional full-round action is required after the standard action used to cast the spells.

Actually, this isn't quite the same as Scenario 1, since the option still exists to use a multiple-target spell to touch only one creature as a standard action.


Weirdo: Wow, I totally missed that line (CRBp213). Good catch.

Hmmmm, then the question becomes what is the action to cast the spell. If it is normally a standard action then does it turn into a full-round action?

Also, there are spells that can touch more than 6 creatures. In effect, all spells are capped at 6 creatures since no multi-target spell can touch over multiple rounds.

To Everyone else: Sorry folks, normally I only bring forth well researched FAQ requests. I missed that particular line in this case.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

Sorry folks, normally I only bring forth well researched FAQ requests. I missed that particular line in this case.

- Gauss

The FAQ is still viable; touch attacks are separate actions from spell effects and holding the charge. The only exceptions for touch attacks and spells are that you can hold the charge of a spell that can only be exerted once, and/or can only affect one target, and that you make a touch attack as a free action upon completing a touch spell.

The quote that Weirdo showed only supports that the ability to touch other creatures still takes a full round action to occur, and that the ability to touch multiple creatures isn't expressed within spell descriptions or holding the charge. (Or rather, it is and lists spell casting and touching creatures with spells as separate actions. In other words, it's mutually exclusive.)

The fix, in all honesty, can be quite simple if we find more piecemeal information to patch together a viable fix for the Devs to either agree on and implement, or to work toward a fix that works for both sides. The FAQ, however, is still definitely needed.


Darksol: that is true but in that case my thread title should have been:
If a standard action melee touch spell has multiple targets is it a full-round action? (Or something along those lines)

Honestly, before I ever do these FAQ threads I research them pretty thoroughly. I am somewhat embarrassed I missed that line.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

Darksol: that is true but in that case my thread title should have been:

If a standard action melee touch spell has multiple targets is it a full-round action? (Or something along those lines)

Honestly, before I ever do these FAQ threads I research them pretty thoroughly. I am somewhat embarrassed I missed that line.

- Gauss

We miss a lot of things. In a thread I made not too long ago I actually found out I receive a -4 for using a Javelin as a melee weapon (since you aren't considered proficient in using it in melee), which I messed up on a bunch of times (but perhaps primarily because the GM handwaved/overlooked the rule).

The FAQ is still needed. By RAW, you cannot perform both a Full Round touch attack and a spell at the same time (since you are only allotted one touch attack upon spell completion as a free action, not a full round of it). It's a problem in PFS sessions, because it defeats the entire purpose of Communal spells, and multiple other spells that have multi-target touch effects.


Quote:
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. A touch spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit. Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets. You can touch up to 6 willing targets as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell. If the spell allows you to touch targets over multiple rounds, touching 6 creatures is a full-round action.

Does this help at all? "Allows you to touch targets over multiple rounds" seems directly contradictory to "you must touch all targets of the spell in the same round that you finish casting the spell". Maybe there's a difference between a spell which allows you to touch over multiple rounds (which would be a full round action) and a spell which "allow(s) you to touch multiple targets as part of the spell"?

EDIT: Oops, Weirdo already caught that one.


Moglun wrote:
Quote:
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. A touch spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit. Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets. You can touch up to 6 willing targets as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell. If the spell allows you to touch targets over multiple rounds, touching 6 creatures is a full-round action.
Does this help at all? "Allows you to touch targets over multiple rounds" seems directly contradictory to "you must touch all targets of the spell in the same round that you finish casting the spell". Maybe there's a difference between a spell which allows you to touch over multiple rounds (which would be a full round action) and a spell which "allow(s) you to touch multiple targets as part of the spell"?

Not really. Upon a successful touch spell completion, you're only allotted one free action for one touch attack. Everything else is independent, in that touching a creature is normally a standard action (since you must use a Touch Attack, which is an Attack Action, which is a type of Standard Action), and that touching multiple willing creatures is a Full Round Action.

The rules for Holding the Charge does not allow the caster to touch multiple creatures (or touch a single creature multiple times) within the same round (or any subsequent rounds for that matter), as such a charge cannot be held. In addition, casting the Spell is a Standard Action. You're only allotted to touch a single creature as a free action upon spell completion. Touching 6 (willing) creatures is a Full Round Action, which is an independent action entirely.

It's mutually exclusive, and the errata/FAQ is still needed.


Darksol has a point. It doesn't ever state what type of action it takes to touch 6 willing targets in the same round you cast the spell although it does state you can do so.

Additionally, since multiple touch spells cannot be held over rounds how do you ever touch 6 creatures as a full-round action?

Guess there is still an issue. Ahhh well, some pride is salvaged. LOL

- Gauss


1) Thank god, I'm not going crazy. I knew I had seen something in the book to make me think it went they way I described but couldn't find it last night before heading to bed. Yay for Weirdo.

I'm still plugging for the whole standard action to cast the spell/kick off the full round action to touch up to 6 creatures. The round of the casting of the spell breaks the normal rule of "standard action to touch a single creature" so a parallel could be drawn to the full round action. Because you are casting the spell, that round only, you are getting a break on the normal action economy. And using the standard action to cast which initiates the touching of 6 creatures and becomes a full round action, you stay within the guidelines of RAW (spell cast, touch 6 critters, end of full round action- charges isn't held past the round of casting).

There still is the issue of never being able to touch more than 6 creatures however :(


Skylancer4 wrote:

1) Thank god, I'm not going crazy. I knew I had seen something in the book to make me think it went they way I described but couldn't find it last night before heading to bed. Yay for Weirdo.

I'm still plugging for the whole standard action to cast the spell/kick off the full round action to touch up to 6 creatures. The round of the casting of the spell breaks the normal rule of "standard action to touch a single creature" so a parallel could be drawn to the full round action. Because you are casting the spell, that round only, you are getting a break on the normal action economy. And using the standard action to cast which initiates the touching of 6 creatures and becomes a full round action, you stay within the guidelines of RAW (spell cast, touch 6 critters, end of full round action- charges isn't held past the round of casting).

There still is the issue of never being able to touch more than 6 creatures however :(

Well, it's a free action to touch a single creature upon spell completion. We can't say that this same rule applies to touching multiple creatures, as far as RAI is concerned, since it's not written by anything different. We can argue and say that it is since the spell completion clause action economy can stack nigh-infinitely, and we can argue that it can't because realistically it takes more effort as far as an action is concerned, to touch multiple adjacent creatures than just a single one.

The FAQ/Errata is still needed.

As far as your "touch more than 6 creatures" premise, let's just say it would be broken for the Big Bad to touch much more than 6 creatures and buff his horde of minions with just a standard action. That's super broken action economy, and needs to be balanced with single-touch spells (especially since being able to touch 6 creatures within a portion of 6 seconds on top of casting a spell is quite generous for action economy as it is).


I would argue that it is RAI to do it that way. We already have a line saying you can touch up to 6 allies as part of the casting of the spell. The only issue is under holding the charge we have an action called out for something we can even accomplish by RAW. If we were to get nit picky about it, technically we should ignore that as RAW specifically disallows it.

To take all RAW into consideration, the only thing we have left is:
Cast spell (that cannot be held as a charge), free action to "touch (or attempt to touch)" without numeric limitation and a bit further "you can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself." Now knowing the rules are laid out in a 'general' manner, and specific exceptions exist (such as a spell specifically stating you can target multiple allies by touch) RAW would seem to say touching allies is indeed a free action on the round you cast the spell.

I'm not suggesting this is how it is supposed to work, but taking the pertinent parts (which aren't specifically called out to be impossible by other specific rules) it is what we have.
I personally believe RAI is cast spell, single touch self/ally is free action, touch multiple allies kick off the remainder of a full round action initiated by the standard action of the spell being cast. As touching up to 6 allies is part of the spell casting. Does RAW specifically say so? No, but there are enough things pointing to it and rules specifically disallowing other interpretations that it becomes one of those read between the lines issues. RAW doesn't always state everything out in nice specific descriptions.

There are a number of spells that are standard action and only give beneficial effects to allies in the range. Start with bless, go to prayer and continue on to any number of spells that do the same. Spells and similar effects are 'broken' by virtue of what they are and do, allies that need to be in touch range isn't "super broken action economy" by any means when you have spells that don't even require that.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

PRD

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. A touch spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit. Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets. You can touch up to 6 willing targets as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell. If the spell allows you to touch targets over multiple rounds, touching 6 creatures is a full-round action.

So as part of the casting as a full round action you can touch up to 6 people.... seems staight forward to me


Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:

PRD

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. A touch spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit. Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets. You can touch up to 6 willing targets as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell. If the spell allows you to touch targets over multiple rounds, touching 6 creatures is a full-round action.

So as part of the casting as a full round action you can touch up to 6 people.... seems staight forward to me

The only thing that suggests it's a full-round action to touch 6 targets is after-the-fact of casting the spell, which isn't included in that statement (nor is there an exception made for it). There isn't anything that states it remains a full-round action upon spell completion, or that touching multiple targets (up to 6) is considered a free action, or if it can even be combined with a move action to run around and touch all the creatures within your turn. There is nothing to say that the free action touch attack upon spell completion can apply to multiple targets (when you cannot hold the charge of such spells), nor is there anything to say the opposite. I can tell you that spells that can (and/or require) touch(ing) multiple creatures aren't exactly balanced to function as they cannot touch targets over multiple rounds because such spells fade upon spell completion, and makes holding the charge impossible to do, as per its rules.

@ Skylancer

There's a difference between a spell having a radius to affect multiple targets within an area (which it was originally designed with), and spells that you can touch multiple targets that weren't originally designed to do such a thing to begin with. Even so, spells that function as touch spells originally, and turning to multiple targets are usually already balanced beforehand; Mass Cure spells are a prime example of this.

Spells that don't have such a fix attached to them, are going to be broken through the concept because a spell that normally takes 6 rounds/standard actions (just to touch each creature, by the way) to affect all creatures can be bypassed with just 1 standard action cast? If that's legit, then I guess there is no problem to give a melee class the ability to assault every square around them as a standard action.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

@ Skylancer

....
Spells that don't have such a fix attached to them, are going to be broken through the concept because a spell that normally takes 6 rounds/standard actions (just to touch each creature, by the way) to affect all creatures can be bypassed with just 1 standard action cast? If that's legit, then I guess there is no problem to give a melee class the ability to assault every square around them as a standard action.

RAI:

If we were talking about something that allowed for the caster to "assault every square around them as a standard action" maybe there could be a comparison. We aren't though, we're talking about something that allows for ALLIES to gain a benefit. It is comparing apples to oranges. Again, normally we have a situation where RAW and RAI are difficult to reconcile (like a feat or ability that says you can do X when Y) due to one line. Here were have several things pointing to a solution that isn't explicitly spelled out RAW, but there are enough "rulings" that box in the unspecified answer.

It seems for allies or spells that allow you to touch multiple targets as part of the casting you cannot "hold the charge" and if touching multiple allies the spells free action should morph the casting to a full round action.
For spells that allow for 1 (singular) target to be touched BUT allow for multiple "touches" to be made via a single touch per round over several round (spells that "holding the charge" were apparently intended for). The sticking point here, at least for me, is that there is a single target for the spell, not actually multiple targets in a literal sense.
The dividing line is roughly, beneficial versus detrimental. We already have JJ stating that spells that normally "hold the charge" aren't intended to be used with TWF or Flurry or full attack actions, they are intended to be released a single time per round in essence. We have RAW stating that touching multiple allies is at an action economy (6 allies for a full round action, opposed to 6 standard actions).

RAW:
We agree it needs to be written better, but I don't think it is so ambigous as some make it out to be. RAI is clearly spelled out even if RAW trips it up.

Shadow Lodge

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:

PRD

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. A touch spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit. Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets. You can touch up to 6 willing targets as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell. If the spell allows you to touch targets over multiple rounds, touching 6 creatures is a full-round action.

So as part of the casting as a full round action you can touch up to 6 people.... seems staight forward to me

The only thing that suggests it's a full-round action to touch 6 targets is after-the-fact of casting the spell, which isn't included in that statement (nor is there an exception made for it). There isn't anything that states it remains a full-round action upon spell completion, or that touching multiple targets (up to 6) is considered a free action, or if it can even be combined with a move action to run around and touch all the creatures within your turn. There is nothing to say that the free action touch attack upon spell completion can apply to multiple targets (when you cannot hold the charge of such spells), nor is there anything to say the opposite.

As I pointed out earlier, the passage states that you can touch up to 6 willing creatures as a full-round action "as part of the casting." That implies that it is the same action to touch these creatures as it is to cast the spell. When touching up to 6 targets, the casting and touching consume a full-round action. Because casting is a full-round action, you can't take a move action to reach extra targets. However, you can take a 5-foot step during the casting, because unless explicitly stated otherwise you can take a 5-ft step during a full-round action.

I see this as the caster taking the time to incant "By the power vested in me, I invest Herbert (touches Herbert) and Frank (touches Frank) and Sally (touches Sally) and Robert the Merciless (touches Robert) with Water Breathing." Touching only Herbert is quick enough that it's considered a free action within the normal standard action casting time. Touching several allies takes a bit longer and extends cast time to a full-round action, with up to six free action touches included in that extended cast time.

An FAQ would still be appreciated given that there's still some disagreement, but I'm pretty sure that my above reading of "as part of the casting" is in fact the intent of RAW.


It still makes no sense and contradicts itself.

You cannot touch targets over multiple rounds because holding the charge of a spell to affect multiple targets and/or targets over multiple rounds is physically impossible. That being said, saying the "Full-Round Action" to do so does nothing other than have said friendlies look at you like some kind of creeper.

On top of this, the spell completion of a touch spell only allows 1 touch attack as a free action. Any other action to deliver a touch attack requires a Full Attack Option, which cannot be done if the character moves more than 5 feet in a given round, and with the character completing the spell, which is a standard action to cast. That being said, the second part of the bolded is inconsistent and provides no proof to your case, because the rules for that are invalidated by RAW of Holding the Charge (and Vice-Versa).

I must laugh at your "incantation"...anyway...

The above reading "as part of the casting" makes no sense to even include, since it sounds like the character only spends a standard action to cast the spell as per the contradicting ruling, which still isn't correct. On top of this, a touch attack to deliver a spell is firstly a free action, one time, only upon spell completion. After that, they cannot touch others because their standard action that they used up to cast the spell is all that is needed for a "Full-Attack Option" to deliver the spell to multiple targets.

Regardless of "intent" of the Devs (which appears quite obvious), the "intent" of a rule is only important when there is no RAW to specify something within a given situation.

The RAW is the LAW in PFS/Strict Rules sessions, and if the Devs wrote up a bunch of hogus bogus with their intent being one thing, yet demonstrating quite the opposite, what will those poor sessions do, realizing that a good portion of such promising spells, were regrettable decisions they cannot reverse? Turn to crap, that's what.

Liberty's Edge

In the case of teleport, you can have six (or more, assuming it was possibe to be a 21+ level wizard) friends touching you as you cast the spell, though the casting time still remains 1 standard action.

Interestingly enough:

CRB, Page 213: Range - Touch wrote:
Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets. You can touch up to 6 willing targets as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell. If the spell allows you to touch targets over multiple rounds, touching 6 creatures is a full-round action.

Compare this to the 3.5 wording:

3.5 SRD: Range - Touch wrote:
Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets. You can touch as many willing targets as you can reach as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell.

Now, the language for page 186 & 216 of the CRB that the OP quoted is the same in the 3.5 SRD.

Because there is language that has been written specifically for Pathfinder that mentions touching multiple targets over multiple rounds, it makes me wonder if the Devs did intend to allow such a thing. There is still contradictory language that needs to get cleaned up, but it's hard to dismiss language that was changed specifically FOR use in Pathfinder.

EDIT: added a link to the 3.5 SRD.


I'm just going to state that I again disagree with you Dark. General rules are broken constantly by specific rules. We have RAW stating casting of a spell and including up to 6 allies as part of that casting is a full round action. We have RAW stating you cannot hold a charge on a spell that allows for touching of multiple targets.

The fact that the general rule of touching up to 6 targets takes a full round action gets over ruled by the other line bothers you? Or do you just not like that it isn't nicely spelled out for you? It does suck, maybe, that you cannot get the 'full' effect on some possible spells as you couldn't get all possible creatures as you are limited to 6. But honestly how many times will it actually come into play and in those corner situations how many other rules need to be adjusted (6+ game player parties I'm looking at you).

Seeing as that 'multiple targets' could be read as 'at once' OR 'multiple targets over the period of the spell' is sloppy but that is when we look at RAI, that is when GM adjudication comes in. It could work both ways, make a ruling based on the other guidelines. I've already covered how the line seems to be benefit/detriment so I don't see the reason for typing it out a second time.

Could it be explained more clearly, absolutely. But we have wording to allow for using a spell on up to 6 allies without the sky falling due to the holding the charge limitations. You obviously don't think it is enough or don't like it, but when it comes down to it, it is actually there. At this point hopefully these back and forths will keep the thread around for more people to see and click the FAQ.

Shadow Lodge

EDIT: This is not "Cast, get one free touch, hold charge, touch other targets" This is "cast with extended cast time, get 6 free touches, do not hold charge" Is that helpful?

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
On top of this, the spell completion of a touch spell only allows 1 touch attack as a free action. Any other action to deliver a touch attack requires a Full Attack Option, which cannot be done if the character moves more than 5 feet in a given round, and with the character completing the spell, which is a standard action to cast.

The rule that completion of a touch spell allows only one touch is a general rule that is altered by the specific rule described above, as Skylancer mentioned. This is not a full-attack option to deliver a touch spell. If it were, the number of touches would be limited by the number of iterative attacks the caster has. Instead, this is using a full-round action to touch multiple creatures as part of casting.

All touch spells allow one free action touch, except for multiple-target touch spells, which allow up to 6 touches as a full-round action as part of casting.

Analogy: All birds can fly, except for penguins, which are flightless but swim.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That being said, the second part of the bolded is inconsistent and provides no proof to your case, because the rules for that are invalidated by RAW of Holding the Charge (and Vice-Versa).

Holding the Charge only applies if you don't discharge the touch in the round you cast it.

SRD Magic, under Duration wrote:
Touch Spells and Holding the Charge: In most cases, if you don't discharge a touch spell on the round you cast it, you can hold the charge (postpone the discharge of the spell) indefinitely.

If you're touching all targets while casting the spell, in the same round and using the same action as is used to cast the spell, you are not Holding the Charge, and the contradiction does not arise.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The above reading "as part of the casting" makes no sense to even include, since it sounds like the character only spends a standard action to cast the spell as per the contradicting ruling, which still isn't correct. On top of this, a touch attack to deliver a spell is firstly a free action, one time, only upon spell completion. After that, they cannot touch others because their standard action that they used up to cast the spell is all that is needed for a "Full-Attack Option" to deliver the spell to multiple targets.

Delivering a touch spell to a single target is a standard action. When holding the charge, this is an action separate from casting. When delivering the spell in the same round as casting, the touch attack is a free action included in the casting time (of one standard action).

Delivering a touch spell to up to 6 willing targets is a full-round action (NOT a full-attack action). You cannot hold the charge when touching multiple targets. When delivering the spell in the same round as casting, the touch attacks are free actions included in the casting time (of one full-round action).

These rules are not contradictory. Instead they support each other through parallel logical frameworks.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I must laugh at your "incantation"...anyway...

Good. It was intentionally ridiculous.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Regardless of "intent" of the Devs (which appears quite obvious), the "intent" of a rule is only important when there is no RAW to specify something within a given situation.

Intent is always relevant when interpreting language. The whole purpose of contract law is to make the intent perfectly clear and unambiguous, because in civil disputes where a contract's RAW is ambiguous, a judge is supposed to rule based on a reasonable interpretation of the contract's intent. One of the primary functions of the DM is as a judge.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The RAW is the LAW in PFS/Strict Rules sessions, and if the Devs wrote up a bunch of hogus bogus with their intent being one thing, yet demonstrating quite the opposite, what will those poor sessions do, realizing that a good portion of such promising spells, were regrettable decisions they cannot reverse? Turn to crap, that's what.

An unfortunate side effect of PFS's requirement for uniform rule sets. Therefore, some FAQ/errata is necessary to clarify this issue lest groups read the ambiguous RAW in different directions. However, the full-round action casting & delivery package is a reasonable reading of RAW based on developer intent, for those who are allowed to use common-sense judgement in home games.


The issue is that you guys are saying that casting a spell is a standard action, and that touching 6 creatures is a Full Round by itself. There is no clause saying you can combine both of these elements together. By RAW, they are independent features. Touching 6 willing creatures is a Full Round Action. Casting a Touch Spell is a standard action, and touching a single creature is a free action.

Where does it say (or even correlate between rules) that you can touch 6 willing creatures as part of a spell cast as a Full Round Action? Nowhere. It only lists that touching 6 creatures after-the-fact of casting a spell in the previous round is a FRA (which is technically illegal as per Holding the Charge, which means that rule itself is contradictory/illegal, and holds no ground). If it said that touching 6 creatures during spell cast is a FRA, then there wouldn't be any argument.

But it doesn't say that, nor can we correlate that with a rule that is disproven/illegal to be true as per the Holding the Charge rule.

Honestly, the only reason I can see multi-target spells even viable as a Standard Action to begin with is through the concept of multiplying the "Free Touch Attack" clause listed upon spell completion up to the amount listed. But we can't say that's even a legal move since the wording only allows one free touch attack upon spell completion, not a free action to touch multiple targets.

I just wish a Dev would come in and clear this up so we actually have a basis to start with.

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