Alcons's page

12 posts. Organized Play character for enaudible.


Scarab Sages

James - several comments you made regarding bardic performances and masterpieces continue to be referenced in an ongoing discussion regarding how they interact, with some confusion. It seems obvious that you cannot perform two performances simultaneously without an archetype or some spell assistance. But:

is a persistent benefit/buff/spell effect from a Masterpiece (e.g. Triple Time) which is dependent upon completion of the Masterpiece Performance negated when beginning a standard Bardic Performance (e.g. Inspire Courage)?

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

The more I think about this and read it, the more definitive this seems. I find this section in the combat rules quite conclusive in reference to this discussion and would present this in defense of use of combat and weapon feats where appropriate (which indeed may get fuzzier). I still disagree with use of arcane strike or weapon focus, or any type of weapon enhancement, with regards to Weird Words. I do believe anything that would apply to weapons (Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot, Reckless Aim, Inspire Courage) should apply.

Touch Spells in Combat: Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

Touch Attacks: Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The act of casting a spell, however, does provoke an attack of opportunity. Touch attacks come in two types: melee touch attacks and ranged touch attacks. You can score critical hits with either type of attack as long as the spell deals damage. Your opponent's AC against a touch attack does not include any armor bonus, shield bonus, or natural armor bonus. His size modifier, Dexterity modifier, and deflection bonus (if any) all apply normally.

Holding the Charge: If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren't considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.

Ranged Touch Spells in Combat: Some spells allow you to make a ranged touch attack as part of the casting of the spell. These attacks are made as part of the spell and do not require a separate action. Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity, even if the spell that causes the attacks was cast defensively. Unless otherwise noted, ranged touch attacks cannot be held until a later turn.

Scarab Sages

Two observations in doing a bit of research in the CRB:

1) The ONLY mention of ranged touch attacks in the magic section is in reference to rays.

2) Interesting wording in the combat section about touch attacks and ranged touch attacks - "Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an ARMED ATTACK and therefore does not provoke... Touch attacks come in two types: melee touch attacks and ranged touch attacks."

So... if you are making a ranged touch attack roll, you are considered to be ARMED. What are you armed with? I would guess by definition of being ARMED, a WEAPON.

I may have to go through and make a list of all the spells with a range touch attack (which aren't very many) to look at the wording they use. Interestingly, many (most?) are conjuration school, which I mentioned above. It would make sense that you would conjure something (snowball, orb of acid, acid arrow) and subsequently be ARMED with it as a WEAPON. Yes, I know I am connecting dots when there are no lines there to begin with.

Yes, I was being obtuse previously - mostly because there seems to be less inclination toward active discussion and more "You are wrong, that is all." I'd like some discussion, less conjecture. We are looking at RAW, so look at the words WRITTEN. I don't see how anyone could ignore the wording used in the Snowball spell write it off as fluff. I was asking questions and very much interested in what the answer would be.

Scarab Sages

So if I use Abundant Ammunition or Ki Arrow, I don't need Precise Shot?

Scarab Sages

That seems like an unusual attempt at logic for this discussion! It makes too much sense.

I don't care where the snow came from. I used it as an example of a spell that requires an attack roll and has some very plain descriptive language Look at the words used in the description. I would also point you to the language used in conjuration magic description for creation of objects that makes it clear the item exists and is held together by magic, but exists as the item that it is.

I mentioned magic missile because it is an excellent example of a single target focused spell that includes specific language that is absent in other spell descriptions and is the antithesis of the type of ability being discussed.

I'm not discussing real life, I'm discussing game mechanics. I was under the impression that we were looking for a definitive conclusion on Weird Words and related limitations. The discussion has been regarding semantic ability interpretations, not real world vs PFRPG. Even the "realness" of the snowball has basis in the descriptive language of the magic section of the CRB.

90-100% of my GMs have ruled that Snowball, Acid Splash, Weird Words and other similar spells and abilities with an attack roll take a -4 penalty when firing into melee. I was sincere in asking for spell examples so that we could continue comparing language used in the spell descriptions to reach at minimum RAI. Maybe all those GMs were wrong. Maybe they were right. I built my character to fit the games and rules being used when I play...

Scarab Sages

Another case of compare/contrast, again with magic missile:

"A missile of magical energy darts forth from your fingertip and strikes its target, dealing 1d4+1 points of force damage."

Notice that in this case it specifies that the missile is magical. Based on the purely semantic arguments posed here, I should be able to reliably conclude that the snowball in the above example is not actually magical, as it is not specifically described as such in the descriptor as opposed to the examples I have to base my conclusion on.

[To remind why we are talking about Snowball in this thread... we are discussing this because Weird Words doesn't specify that the attack is not magical, only that it does B/P/S damage, doesn't specify that it is a ray, doesn't specify that you are throwing or shooting, doesn't specify whether you are creating a non-magical or magical result that ultimately deals the damage, and doesn't specify that it is subject to ranged attack rules. We are left with only the option of comparing to other spells and examples.]

Scarab Sages

It seems like concluding that it is magical and propelled by magic is a bit presumptuous.

"You conjure a ball of packed ice and snow that you can throw at a single target as a ranged touch attack."

It's a magical snowball? That I am propelling with magic? How would you enforce that RAW? I don't see anything about a magical snowball that I propel with magical force.

Trogdar - I think nonsense is all that will come of the purely strict and exclusionary semantic argument based around single FAQ entries and choice of words in ability and spell descriptors.

So, as a sound striker I see having 2 options to prepare myself for the potential GMs I may encounter and their potential interpretations:

1) Keep my Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Reckless Aim feats and play by the "shooting [physical ranged projectile weapons from my mouth] into melee" rules. {I can't think of any other good ones that would apply.}

2) Pick another 3 feats to replace those since I don't need them. Honestly , not too shabby. I could use those for other purposes and still do my job reasonably well.

Is this a reasonable conclusion to draw from this thread (and others) in light of the RAW available and lack of 100% unequivocal official ruling?

Scarab Sages

Bigdaddyjug - I can cast a Snowball into melee with no penalty - RAW?

Interesting approach.

I used fireball as an example due to the absurdity. The example in question was referencing the rules interpretation approach of ruling by exception rather than common example. A fireball being directed through a hole in a wall. I know what the fireball spell is and how it works.

How is picking up a rock and throwing it different than conjuring a snowball and throwing it?

Scarab Sages

I admit, I knew the rationale was flawed when I wrote it, but the point was to emphasize the semantic discussion here...

"If you shoot or throw a ranged weapon at a target engaged in melee with a friendly character, you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll."

Let us pursue the semantic abyss... A fireball is most certainly a weapon (not the spell, but the fireball that is created by the spell). After you cast the spell, are you shooting the fireball? Directing the fireball? Throwing the fireball? The hole in the wall is next to 2 guys fighting - doesn't that increase the likelihood of you missing as you try to shoot your ranged fireball orb weapon through the narrow opening?

Weird Words uses my vocal cords as a supernatural ability to manifest physical objects that I use as projectile weapons to deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, for which I make an attack roll. Am I not shooting, throwing, firing, sending, directing, inferring, coaxing a ranged weapon into melee?

Acid splash was already mentioned in this thread as an example of a non-ray attack that would suffer from firing into melee. Snowball? Jolt? Acid Arrow? Weird Words? The similarity here has nothing to do with their semantic classification - they all use a spell to create a physical object which is then used as a ranged projectile weapon.

Or would you rule that a snowball or acid splash is immune to the penalty for firing into melee?

Interestingly, magic missile goes out of the way to specify it is immune to the penalties - "The missile strikes unerringly, even if the target is in melee combat." Why would they bother to specify?

No one has offered an example of other ranged spells that require an attack roll that are immune to the -4 penalty for firing into melee. Any suggestions?

Scarab Sages

Additionally, if I was the GM, and the fireball in the above post was trying to go through a narrow opening that happened to be in melee, I would enforce the -4 penalty on the attack roll, while giving any bonus for ranged combat feats. Any reason I shouldn't?

The attack roll (d20) seems to represent an attempt to intentionally and precisely direct your attack of any sort (i.e. aiming) at a specific target. This intentional and precise directing of your attack is what connects it to the combat feats, not some semantic interpretation of the wording.

Granted, when trying to interpret RAW, all we are left with is semantic arguments, and logical interpretations fall to the wayside, which is why it would be nice to get an official ruling...

Scarab Sages

What other ranged attacks exist that include making an attack roll (rolling a d20) that are not subject to firing into melee and/or exempt from the benefits of point blank shot?

I ask because 1) I can't think of any and 2) I am not that familiar with all of the various spells, etc. out there. I think the above rationale is a bit convoluted and the answer should be simpler.

Scarab Sages 3/5

"without a reasonably strong and balanced group"

Along these lines... are there any missing gaps that need to be filled in for the PC roles with the current group of society players? My current play style on my bard is support with damage on the side, no specific healing. I have been building some other characters, specifically trying to find a healer class that I like the style of, although trying to come up with a non-divine class is not so easy as I thought. Currently working on a Hedge Witch.

Any thoughts? I'd be happy to adventure on a specific type of character if it would help balance out the available pool.