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I'm a bit unclear on melee touch attack


Rules Questions


A melee touch attack is an “Armed” Unarmed Attack"

So it count's as an unarmed attack.

So if a character has say Domain Strike and has cast touch of blindness - can they attack a creature's touch AC to deliver touch of blindness + their domain ability? If they have Scorpion Style can they deliver the normal damage (0 pts) for the melee touch attack and force the touched creature to make a fort save not to be slowed?

Can

Spectral Hand:
A ghostly hand shaped from your life force materializes and moves as you desire, allowing you to deliver low-level, touch range spells at a distance. On casting the spell, you lose 1d4 hit points that return when the spell ends (even if it is dispelled), but not if the hand is destroyed. (The hit points can be healed as normal.) For as long as the spell lasts, any touch range spell of 4th level or lower that you cast can be delivered by the spectral hand. The spell gives you a +2 bonus on your melee touch attack roll, and attacking with the hand counts normally as an attack.

deliver the spell and trigger the domain touch? Will the Spectral hand allow the character to use the Spell Storing and/or Conductive properties of an AOMF Spell Storing/Conductive while delivering a touch spell?

Grand Lodge

It doesn't cause the damage of an unarmed attack. If an attack fails to deal damage (such as, but not exclusively, by failing to penetrate DR), effects that would trigger on a normal hit do not occur.


Starglim wrote:
It doesn't cause the damage of an unarmed attack. If an attack fails to deal damage (such as, but not exclusively, by failing to penetrate DR), effects that would trigger on a normal hit do not occur.

If the spell deals damage (such as Elemental Touch or if the caster is wearing Gloves Deliquescent would they be able to deliver the Domain Strike or Scorpion Strike?


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

The four examples given are three different kinds of armed attacks without a manufactured weapon:


  • The monk and any other character with Improved Unarmed Strike count as attacking with an unarmed strike.
  • The spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell counts as attacking with a touch spell.
  • The creature attacking with parts of is body, such as claws or bite, count as attacking with a natural weapon.

An additional rule lets the touch spell attack be combined with an unarmed strike or a natural attack, except that in that case the attack must contest regular AC rather than touch AC.

Search the Combat chapter of the Core Rulebook for the section headed, "Touch Spells in Combat" with subsections "Touch Attacks" and "Holding the Charge."

However, I don't think that this additional rule that allows combining a touch spell attack with an unarmed strike will allow an unarmed strike through a Spectral Hand, since the spectral hand itself cannot attack except with touch spells.

Both Domain Strike and Scorpion Style require an unarmed strike, so to Domain Strike with a touch spell attack requires making an unarmed strike at the same time via the additional rule. Deliquescent Gloves say they add the corrosive property to unarmed strikes.


Mathmuse wrote:
Core Rulebook, Combat Chapter, Attack section wrote:
"Armed" Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).

That's exactly the section that is making me think that an attack with a touch spell is a type of unarmed attack. That text is under a header - and that header is Unarmed Attacks. If a touch spell isn't an unarmed attack - it seems like it shouldn't be included under that header. Or am I reading too much into the placement of the text?


Unarmed attack is different from unarmed strike which is a type of unarmed attack.


Ahh, I didn't think it worked but I couldn't figure out where I was off in my logic. I've got it now. I was conflating Unarmed Strike and Unarmed Attack. A touch spell is an Unarmed Attack (which could be combined with an Unarmed Strike) but it is not by itself an Unarmed Strike. (I see Chess Pwn ID'd my error while I was busy typing/revising this post. Thx Chess Pwn!)

So I guess the character could go with a

Cestus:
Benefit: While wearing a cestus, you are considered armed and your unarmed attacks deal normal damage. If you are proficient with a cestus, your unarmed strikes may deal bludgeoning or piercing damage. Monks are proficient with the cestus.

Because part of it's Benefit applies (apparently) to unarmed attacks (and therefore unarmed strikes) (and part B/P only to unarmed strikes). Then as it is part of the Fighter Weapon Group: Monk - Ascetic Style would allow domain/school/hex/sorcerous strike - but I'm guessing the "unarmed attacks" in the Cestus benefit is an error.

So.... would prehensile hair + feral combat training (with weapon focus hair) allow a character to make a touch AC attack with a spell and deliver the domain/school/hex/sorcerous strike? If the spell delivered does damage does that allow a conductive/spell storing AOMF to be triggered?


attacking with a cestus is attacking with a weapon. It just has a side effect of making your US deal lethal damage.

The flow is, you'd need to cast the spell and hold the charge.
Then next round if you do a natural attack or an unarmed strike it'll deliver the charge for free with the attack.
Else you can take a standard action to attempt a touch attack.

That's all that touch spells care about.


Chess Pwn wrote:

attacking with a cestus is attacking with a weapon. It just has a side effect of making your US deal lethal damage.

The flow is, you'd need to cast the spell and hold the charge.
Then next round if you do a natural attack or an unarmed strike it'll deliver the charge for free with the attack.
Else you can take a standard action to attempt a touch attack.

That's all that touch spells care about.

I think I get that - what I'm trying to achieve is a way to use a domain/school/bloodline/hex power with another action (such as using a touch spell) without having to attack a creature's AC with my terrible, terrible BAB (my GM doesn't allow partial BAB when multi-classing (so I'll still have a BAB of +2 at 7th level if I enter the prestige class I'd like (5 levels of wizard, 1 of cleric (the party desperately needed the healing and I wanted scribe scroll for the rune domain - which I'd lost from archtype) and 1 level of 3/4 BAB prestige class).


There's no way to do that, sorry. Though since this plan you were looking at takes two rounds you could just try to touch them with your different stuff each round.

Scarab Sages

Sometimes I take Weapon Finesse to help deliver touch attacks if the DEX is high enough and the character focuses on touch attacks. Though for full casters that could mean tradeoff of a much better spell related feat. If you use retraining rules you can retrain out of it at later levels.


Most domain powers that allow you to use a touch attack to inflict whatever they do in the first place.

So what are you trying to do OP?

Are you trying to turn your touch attack domain power into an unarmed strike with domain strike and turn that back into a touch attack to deal damage? Because it just wont work that way.


Claxon wrote:

Most domain powers that allow you to use a touch attack to inflict whatever they do in the first place.

So what are you trying to do OP?

Baba Ganoush latest comment said he had a character with a few levels of wizard and one level of cleric. He plans on 5 levels of wizard and 1 level of cleric before starting a 3/4 BAB prestige class. Thus, his character's BAB at 7th level will be +2 rather than the +3 of a 1/2 BAB class. That character wants to make his attacks against touch AC rather than regular AC.

Many wizard schools and cleric domains give a low-damage touch attack ability at 1st level. And many 1st-level spells are also weak touch attacks. I think Baba Ganoush wants a way to combine two into one touch attack that deals reasonable damage for 7th level.

For example, I play a bloodrager with Air Elemental Bloodline. Since bloodragers prefer melee attacks with weapons, her 1st-level bloodline power, Elemental Strikes, is designed to combine with a melee attack.

Advanced Class Guide, Bloodrager, Elemental bloodline wrote:

Elemental Strikes (Su)

At 1st level, three times a day as a swift action you can imbue your melee attacks with elemental energy. For 1 round, your melee attacks deal 1d6 points of additional damage of your energy type. At 8th level, you can use this ability up to five times per day. At 20th level, all your melee attacks deal this damage, and this ability no longer requires a swift action to activate.

Due to not mentioning weapons, this ability could be combined with a touch melee attack from another class's ability.

In contrast, the sorcerer's Air Elemental bloodline power was not designed to combine with other attacks.

Core Rulebook, Sorcerer, Elemental bloodline wrote:

Elemental Ray (Sp)

Starting at 1st level, you can unleash an elemental ray as a standard action, targeting any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack. This ray deals 1d6 points of damage of your energy type + 1 for every two sorcerer levels you possess. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.

I have not seen a 1st-level domain and school power that combines with other attacks, but I have read only a fraction of those abilities.


Sorry, if I've been coy- my GM follows the boards too.

I'm actually hoping to use school strike for the void school reveal weakness power, followed up with a conductive AOMF when I hit them with a touch spell so they can save against the spells save with the lower of two rolls and a penalty. Pretty much I'm having trouble figuring out how to get use out of the void school power w/o having to quicken the follow-up spell.

So I guess the options left are:

a Net (or snag net) with the versatile design modification to make it count as a monk weapon. Which would require a lot of feats (net prof, net focus, net adept, unarmed strike, ascetic style & the feat for versatile design)

a Mancatcher with the versatile design modification to make it count as a monk weapon. Which would require 1 less feats (mancatcher prof, mancatcher focus, unarmed strike, ascetic style & the feat for versatile design)

or a monk weapon made from Inubrix (possibly with either the Jury Rig spell or Isger Fixer trait) w/ ascetic style - though it won't work against natural armor.


Baba Ganoush wrote:
I'm actually hoping to use school strike for the void school reveal weakness power, followed up with a conductive AOMF when I hit them with a touch spell so they can save against the spells save with the lower of two rolls and a penalty. Pretty much I'm having trouble figuring out how to get use out of the void school power w/o having to quicken the follow-up spell.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Dragon Empires Primer wrote:

Reveal Weakness (Su)

When you activate this school power as a standard action, you select a foe within 30 feet. That creature takes a penalty to its AC and on saving throws equal to 1/2 your caster level (minimum –1) for 1 round. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence bonus.
Ultimate Combat wrote:

School Strike (Combat)

You focus the secrets of your school of wizardry into your unarmed strike.
Prerequisite: Wizard school class feature, Improved Unarmed Strike.
Benefit: When you gain this feat, choose one arcane school power that you can use to affect no more than one opponent. If you make a successful unarmed strike against an opponent, in addition to dealing your unarmed strike damage, you can use a swift action to deliver the effects of the chosen school power to that opponent. Doing so provokes no attacks of opportunity.
Special: You can take this feat multiple times. Each time you take it, you apply it to a different qualifying arcane school power.

I don't see the point of applying School Strike to Reveal Weakness. The school power takes a standard action, works at 30-foot range, and does not provoke an attack of opportunity. With School Strike, it requires a successful unarmed strike (likely a standard action), takes a swift action, works at melee range, and still does not provoke an attack of opportunity. What does the character gain? Only 1d3 bludgeoning damage. Even if the wizard had a high chance of hitting, it does not look like an improvement. And the wizard has a terrible chance of hitting.

I think School Strike is designed for characters with high unarmed-strike damage and a school power that deals more damage. If the school power provokes an attack of opportunity, then School Strike prevents that, too. It was published in Untimate Combat, which was about combat rather than spellcasting. Unfortunately, the swift-action cost is high, because wizards usually prefer to cast quickened spells with their swift actions.

Baba Ganoush wrote:
Sorry, if I've been coy- my GM follows the boards too.

Keeping this secret from your GM could result in you spending the feats and the GM declaring afterwards, "Those don't work together like you think." Even if the GM is wrong, his word is law.

Besides, the GM can help. GMs vary, but what I like about GMing is watching the PCs do interesting things. Thus, I often allow custom feats and tweaks to archetypes that favor interesting character concepts.

I would be willing to offer the homebrew feat True Revealing Strike:

True Revealing Strike
Your arcane insight to your attack also gives insight into the opponent's weaknesses.
Prerequisite: Wizard void school Reveal Weakness power, can cast True Strike.
Benefit: If you make a successful attack aided by True Strike against an opponent within 30 feet, in addition to the normal effects of the attack, you can also activate Reveal Weakness against that opponent without spending an action. Doing so provokes no attacks of opportunity and counts against your daily uses of Reveal Weakness.

True Revealing Strike is limited by the requirement to use True Strike, so it is balanced. True Strike is a void spell, so combining it with a void school power is thematic. I removed the swift action cost, because the wizard will want to use that swift action to cast a quickened spell before the Reveal Weakness expires before the beginning of the wizard's next turn. I made the activation a non-action rather than a free action, because it would be fun to see the wizard try to make attacks of opportunity to trigger the True Revealing Strike between turns.

Of course, in order to use a homebrew feat, you need to work with your GM.


AoMF doesn't interact when delivering your touch spells.


Mathmuse wrote:


1) I don't see the point of applying School Strike to Reveal Weakness. ..What does the character gain? Only 1d3 bludgeoning damage.

2) Keeping this secret from your GM could result in you spending the feats and the GM declaring afterwards, "Those don't work together like you think." Even if the GM is wrong, his word is law.

3) Besides, the GM can help. Of course, in order to use a homebrew feat, you need to work with your GM.

1) Yes, the 1d3 is not a selling point, being able to deliver a spell (including touch spells) while the creature has a 1/2 my caster level penalty to it's saving throws is. Unfortunately, the penalty ends just before my next turn.

2) My worry here was more that someone would say something like, that will work in some circumstances but here's the 15 ways monsters will counter it and the 32 ways it could go wrong. I'll let my GM come up with those (or ask the board for them on his own.

3) He's a stickler for RAW. If I can do it RAW he'll allow or it (or only softly nerf it). If I can't pull it off RAW I probably can't do it. I'm pretty sure I could propose a homebrew or 3rd party feat, but it would be disallowed it if proved "too effective". Unfortunately, while generally a good GM he tends to make decisions quickly- if I happened to crit on my first two attempts- a homebrew feat or spell would likely be deemed too powerful.


Chess Pwn wrote:
AoMF doesn't interact when delivering your touch spells.

AOMF states it impacts, "...unarmed attacks and natural weapons." Not Unarmed Strikes and natural weapons - so I think it would apply to an armed unarmed attack like a spell touch attack. Even if it didn't normally I'd think ascetic strike would bring it into play.


An Amulet of Mighty Fists or Body Wrap of Mighty Strikes with the Spell Storing weapon property can cast a spell on the same turn that the wearer uses Reveal Weakness, when combined with School Strike.

1. Before combat, the wizard casts a 3rd-level spell into his Spell Storing Amulet of Mighty Fists.
2. During a combat round, the wizard makes an Improved Unarmed Strike against an opponent and miraculously hits. (Maybe he cast True Strike the turn before.)
3. As a swift action, he uses School Strike to apply Reveal Weakness.
4. As a free action, he uses Spell Storing to cast the stored spell.

A Spell Storing Amulet of Mighty Fists costs 4000 gp. A +1 Spell Storing Body Wrap of Mighty Strikes (the +1 is required) costs 12,000 gp, cheaper than a +1 Spell Storing Amulet of Mighty Fists. Wear both to store two spells.

Don't bother with the Conductive weapon property on the Amulet of Mighty Fists. The property does not work with Reveal Weakness. Conductive says, "A conductive weapon is able to channel the energy of a spell-like or supernatural ability that relies on a melee or ranged touch attack to hit its target (such as from a cleric’s domain granted power, sorcerer’s bloodline power, oracle’s mystery revelation, or wizard’s arcane school power)." Reveal Weakness targets without a touch attack.


Mathmuse wrote:


Don't bother with the Conductive weapon property on the Amulet of Mighty Fists.

Conductive is meant for my domain power so that I can (w/ enough feats/gear) deliver:

* a held touch spell
* a spell from spell-storing
* reveal weakness from school stike
* domain power (touch of chaos) via conductive.

If I can choose the order they are inflicted they'd get the school & domain powers first so that the saves (if any) vs. the held touch spell/stored spell would each be the lower of two rolls less reveal weakness penalty.

My original thought was a whip for the 15' reach or 30' reach while enlarged.
Possibly a Scorpion Whip version of Sadist's Lash or the whip included in a Perfectionist Shavtoosh" which grants Improved Unarmed Strike.

In either case the whip would also need the Versatile Design weapon modification to add it to the Fighter Weapon Group: Monk (for ascetic style). Whip proficiency & weapon focus whip would come from an Opalescent White Pyramid Ioun Stone/Wayfinder resonant power. Might need to enchant the whip with Training: Modified Weapon Proficiency (Versatile) as well. Or Training: Barroom Brawler to use it for 1 combat a day. Then take School Strike as a feat & maybe a spiked gauntlet +1 Training: Ascetic Style. Anyway it's a lot of equipment (even having both craft wondrous items and craft arms and armor) and/or feat slots and I still have to hit a creature's AC. That's why I was hoping I could find a way to deliver with a touch attack to help with the AC and possibly reduce the necessary feats (Whip proficiency, Weapon Focus: whip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Ascetic Style, School Strike, Modified Weapon Proficiency (Versatile)) but being able to deliver 1 (or 2 with spell storing) spells, a domain power and a school power in one action would be great action economy.

I could also go with a small sword tripointed (already a monk weapon, small size to 1-hand it) and irongrip gauntlets to reduce the size penalty for fewer feats and a 10' (20' enlarged) reach. Or a small boarding pike (since versatile doesn't push it past where the Opalescent Ioun Stone can grant proficiency and the Boarding Pike of Repelling exists). Or prehensile hair hex and feral combat instead of Ascetic Style) but I don't think the reach on the hair can be extended via size change, longarm, etc.

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