Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

Does the current most popular touch spell / Magus rule interpretation seem thematically broken to anyone else?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

51 to 70 of 70 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

@Brain - The difference is that you are gesturing casting the spell and just trying to touch them at the end similar to how you try to point at them at the end when you cast a ray spell. You've already engaged in swordplay with that sword and done your best to land an attack. Your Magus training has made you baller enough to cast a spell with your offhand while doing that and tuned you to your weapon enough to channel your spell energy through it. My objection is where did you gain the ability to do twice as much swordplay with that same sword?

@Seranov - Zen archers is a good point but can't they always do that? It's just their flurry. It doesn't have that element of being twice as fast with a bow but only when they are casting a spell for some reason. As for weakening, even in the rare circumstance that they took my objection seriously enough to make a change I can't imagine they'd just make it a flat nerf. They'd re-work and give something else that fixed and added.

@Drothmal - I always thought of BaB as a general notion of combat ability. A +2 BaB doesn't mean you swing your weapon only once but rather means you've got the ability to make one real damaging effort in 6 seconds. For a barbarian it might be one overpowering huge swing. For a rogue it could be a ton of ducking and dodging and feints until you really slip in there one time. Etc. In that light while the peasant is swinging away wildly with that pitchfork it doesn't mean he has more than a BaB of +0. Perhaps that's just me though...
Also, not confrontational at all. Very explanatory on how you think about it.


Scrynor wrote:
I'm hoping Grick or Bbangerter will take the bait and knowledge me up on what having a many-touch touch spell and a one-off touch spell going off each round would do balance-wise.

It's hard to answer since it involves changing so many rules.

In order to work, you've got to make casting another spell not dissipate a charge.

In order to be able to cast a spell with material components, you've got to make touching things not accidentally discharge the spell.

With multiple held charges, you've got to make up a rule about limiting it to one discharge per attack, otherwise the first one will discharge all the spells.

This still leaves open the door for casting all your touch spells first thing in the morning, then just distributing out during the adventuring day whenever you feel like it. Heck, take a week off and have hundreds of charges built up.

By the time you finesse all the house rules to get it working the way you want it, why not just remove Spellstrike completely? The crippled magus would work almost exactly the same way by using an unarmed strike or natural weapon, and you wouldn't have that pesky 'free action' attack dealing weapon damage.


Scrynor wrote:
@Brain - The difference is that you are gesturing casting the spell and just trying to touch them at the end similar to how you try to point at them at the end when you cast a ray spell. You've already engaged in swordplay with that sword and done your best to land an attack. Your Magus training has made you baller enough to cast a spell with your offhand while doing that and tuned you to your weapon enough to channel your spell energy through it. My objection is where did you gain the ability to do twice as much swordplay with that same sword?

When you learned the Supernatural ability: Spellstrike?


Scrynor wrote:
The difference is that you are gesturing casting the spell and just trying to touch them at the end similar to how you try to point at them at the end when you cast a ray spell.

Normally making a touch attack is a standard action. You can't make iterative touches even if you have a high BAB.

So as part of casting this touch spell, you get the ability to make an attack that normally takes an entire standard action, and you can do this any time during your turn. This has nothing to do with the magus, it's a global ability that certain spells have.

You eventually can make multiple attacks with your weapon, as opposed to touch attacks. So why is it so hard to believe someone can replace a touch attack with something that's even easier to do?


@Grick - Oh sorry about that, I thought it was clear that you could only have one spell on a body part / weapon at a time. So with two hands you could only have 2 touch spells ready to go. I don't think the somatic components thing is actually a problem. Your free hand is still free until you've already dealt with those components at which point it gains the charge. Once you've got both hands loaded up (or weapon and hand), yeah, you really can't mess with components. I suppose you could try and twink it out by gaining extra natural attacks or arms to hold extra spells but I'm not sure if that would break anything...

@thejeff - Ya, I get that rules-wise. I just don't get how it makes sense thematically. Spellstrike lets you deliver touch with sword, but doesn't make you more skillful or faster. Spell Combat lets you fight and cast at the same time with a small accuracy penalty. And somehow in the middle there the two synergize up to make it so you can fight twice as fast/well with a sword? And that skill/speed is only available to you when casting - you can't just do it - so it has to be some magical effect, but it doesn't matter what spell you cast or if that spell mentions speed or skill but it does matter that the range is touch? It just seems thematically off to me.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Everyone, please stop replying to this guy's thread. It doesn't belong in the rules forum. I'm sure if it wasn't a Paizo holiday today, one of the boardmasters would have moved this to the "General Discussion" forum by now.

@Scrynor: You're outnumbered. It works as written. Get over it. That is all.


Scrynor wrote:
@Brain - The difference is that you are gesturing casting the spell and just trying to touch them at the end similar to how you try to point at them at the end when you cast a ray spell. You've already engaged in swordplay with that sword and done your best to land an attack. Your Magus training has made you baller enough to cast a spell with your offhand while doing that and tuned you to your weapon enough to channel your spell energy through it. My objection is where did you gain the ability to do twice as much swordplay with that same sword?

Probably the same place the Paladin learned to say "Ummm...you. You're the one that's getting f+~&ed up today. HAVE AT THEE!"

Cheliax

Scrynor wrote:
@Seranov - Zen archers is a good point but can't they always do that? It's just their flurry. It doesn't have that element of being twice as fast with a bow but only when they are casting a spell for some reason. As for weakening, even in the rare circumstance that they took my objection seriously enough to make a change I can't imagine they'd just make it a flat nerf. They'd re-work and give something else that fixed and added.

The point is that their Zen Archer training lets them do it, just like the Magus' training lets them do it.

A supernatural or extraordinary ability that gives them the ability to attack more quickly than their compatriots is a completely reasonable thematic thing. The Magus' is simply that they strike, cast a spell with their free hand, and then direct that spell with their weapon.


I just figured swinging your sword WAS the somatic component of the spell... ya know, the whole combat + casty thingy.


@Grick - You can't make multiple touch attacks with a high BaB? Hmm, maybe I'm not intimately familiar with the touch rules... So somebody holding a chill touch with 5 touches left and a BaB of +11/+6/+1 couldn't go slap-foo on somebody and touch 3 times?

You're suggesting that by the core rules it is easier to bypass someones armor and inflict mortal damage than it is to bang against the shell?

Man, that is almost worse! It would make the Magus double-tap make sense... there must be something inherent about the magic of touch attacks that makes touching someone easier and if that is true then nothing is wrong with spellstrike doing the same thing... But now I have to decide why touching someone is so freakin' difficult... bad reach?


Is it really the swordplay that is bothering you? Really? When there are a laundry list of things a barbarian can do that not only defy logic, they also, in many instances, defy physics? It's a fantasy role-playing game full of heroes that can do amazing things, but heaven forbid a guy swing a sword, cast a spell (which might provoke AoO's depending on circumstances) and then swing the sword again in the period of six seconds. I don't think it's thematics that are the problem here, it's your idea of what a fictitious character class should be able to do according to the laws of fictitious physics.


Scrynor wrote:
You can't make multiple touch attacks with a high BaB?
Iterative attacks are SOLELY the province of weapons (and of spells that specifically work like weapons)—touch attacks and natural weapons do not work this way. Therefore, one touch per round with a produce flame, or one hurled flame per round.
Scrynor wrote:
So somebody holding a chill touch with 5 touches left and a BaB of +11/+6/+1 couldn't go slap-foo on somebody and touch 3 times?

If those are unarmed strikes, sure. Targeting normal AC, though.

Scrynor wrote:
there must be something inherent about the magic of touch attacks that makes touching someone easier

Probably the part of the magic that grants you a free attack.


@Cartman - Thanks thread police. We've covered that it isn't in the right place and that I know it technically works as written many many times by now. Sorry for mucking up your perfect board.

@Everyone else / Grick - Alright, I'm cool now. If anyone cares what flipped it for me (doubtful) it's the strict standard action touch thing. In my mind now, regular touching is tough because you are trying to do it without getting cut up. Touch spells you are doing the whole combat dance while casting but once the spell is done there is no maneuvering it's just a hand of scary magic reaching out directly and the guy trying to get the F out of the way. Spellstrike isn't faster, it's just a direct motion because of the threat of the spell instead of all the intricacies of combat. Still a bit odd that you'd get all the physical damage or that it'd work with a silly cantrip like arcane mark but whatever. I can visualize the motions now so I can live with it.

Thanks for the chatter.

Osirion

I think one of the disconnects in this discussion comes from the concept of an attack. An attack is an abstraction of a series of maneuvers and movements. The Magus is not just standing still and swinging his weapon once per attack. A Magus using his specific training (ie class abilities) is not necessarily moving faster. He is simply incorporating his magic into his combat training. At some point, for the game to work, we have to calculate this abstraction, calculate damage, and then compare it to another abstraction (ie. hit points)

In other words, the OP is over thinking. You are trying to reverse engineer the theme from the mechanic.


Scrynor wrote:
@Brain - The difference is that you are gesturing casting the spell and just trying to touch them at the end similar to how you try to point at them at the end when you cast a ray spell. You've already engaged in swordplay with that sword and done your best to land an attack. Your Magus training has made you baller enough to cast a spell with your offhand while doing that and tuned you to your weapon enough to channel your spell energy through it. My objection is where did you gain the ability to do twice as much swordplay with that same sword?

Okay. So your alright with a Magus using Spell-combat to;

1. Attack with a melee weapon.
2. Cast a Touch spell.
3. Deliver the touch spell as a free action.

Yet, it is absurd for a Magus to use Spell-combat and Spell-strike to;

1. Attack with a melee weapon.
2. Cast a touch spell.
3. Deliver the touch spell via a melee weapon as a free action.

In both cases the magus is able to attack with a melee weapon, cast a spell, and deliver the spell with a melee attack. So why is one more absurd than the other.

The only difference is that using Spell-strike(a Supernaturally ability, aka

Supernatural:
Supernatural Abilities (Su)

Supernatural abilities are magical attacks, defenses, and qualities. These abilities can be always active or they can require a specific action to utilize. The supernatural ability's description includes information on how it is used and its effects.

) gives the magus the ability to make an an "extra" attack with his melee weapon, thanks to a supernatural magical ability.

Or if that doesn't help, imagine this scenario. A magus uses Spell-combat and Spell-strike, but get this uses an Unarmed Strike.

What is the difference then between using his hand to deliver a touch attack and using his melee weapon(aka Unarmed Strike) to deliver it?


And ya, it was the swordplay. It isn't the fantastic-ness of the action. It's the consistency and limits of what he's capable of. I did end my original post by asking if I was just crazy...


Scrynor wrote:

@Grick - You can't make multiple touch attacks with a high BaB? Hmm, maybe I'm not intimately familiar with the touch rules... So somebody holding a chill touch with 5 touches left and a BaB of +11/+6/+1 couldn't go slap-foo on somebody and touch 3 times?

Correct, slap foo is not an option. Touch is a standard action unless there is a separate rule (like spell combat/spellstrike) that changes that.

Quote:

You're suggesting that by the core rules it is easier to bypass someones armor and inflict mortal damage than it is to bang against the shell?

Man, that is almost worse! It would make the Magus double-tap make sense... there must be something inherent about the magic of touch attacks that makes touching someone easier and if that is true then nothing is wrong with spellstrike doing the same thing... But now I have to decide why touching someone is so freakin' difficult... bad reach?

Thematically this makes complete sense as long as you think about it in 2 stages.

Spell combat lets you attack and cast a spell together. There is a thematic coordination involved, normally both would be separate actions. Its not quite a speed increase thematically but it sort of is. Two weapon fighting implies quickness, and this is specifically called out to be like two weapon fighting. No matter how you slice it, you are doing more in a 6 second round, then you were without said ability.

What I mean is, if I am just using spell combat, the attack, and the casting of the spell are not simultaneous. They are distinct actions, that I am able to do in a shorter period of time then normal due to a supernatural ability (spell combat). The thematic implication here is quickness, the same way two weapon fighting implies quickness, since generally combat styles using 2 weapons dont make simultanous strikes, they make them sequencially.

So you have with spell combat compressed 2 actions into one round, action A attack, action B cast a spell. Now you modify B with a second ability, spell strike. Lets call it B1. Spell strike on its own, is the same action it takes to cast a spell (normally) a standard action. So now that same increased capacity to do something in a space of time from spell combat is applied to A and B1. Attack + spell strike with the implied quickness that spell combat provided both thematically and mechanically.

It really is one of the best implementations of a 'sword mage' I have seen, and I think it really stands up to thematic scrutiny if you look at it carefully.


Close Joko, I was hung up on the 2x physical damage and how he has time to land that blow twice because it is a series of maneuvers. I was picturing a guy suddenly moving twice as fast or fighting twice as good just because he was casting a spell. Basically, picturing it differently and having the enemy act differently in reaction to the spell threat as opposed to the Magus repeating the same exchange but faster fixed it for me.


Yeah, I hosed myself by dwelling only on the physical and having it happen twice. It's really a big swordplay exchange with a dramatic spell / dodge anime exchange at the end.

I agree that it is by far the best sword mage I've played but I was playing it wrong. I found the real rules and needed it to make sense to me again. Now it does.


Just as a humor-tinged piece of advice, if you use 3.x material, never allow the Twin Spell feat into your games. That'll really break your brain :D

Swift action - Quickened Intensified shocking grasp (5th-level spell), apply Twin Spell for free via Spell Perfection, two spellstrikes.
Full-attack action - +11/+6/+1 standard, plus one attack from haste; use Spell Combat to cast Intensified shocking grasp, apply Twin Spell for free via Spell perfection, two spellstrikes.

End result = 8 attacks in one round with the same sword, six of which are at maximum BAB.

(Requirements: 15th level magus with Magical Knack [shocking grasp] trait, Spell Perfection [shocking grasp], Quicken Spell, Twin Spell, Intensified Spell, shocking grasp & haste in spell book).

As a GM that allows some 3.x material into our games, I've made a magus that does exactly this.

51 to 70 of 70 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / Does the current most popular touch spell / Magus rule interpretation seem thematically broken to anyone else? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.