Point Blank Shot and ranged touch attacks


Rules Questions

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I'm building a Sorcerer class character and I was looking for additional ways to improve his touch attacks. Many of the abilities/spells are ranged touch attacks.

If I have Point Blank Shot and I was casting something like an Aberrant Sorcerer's Acidic Ray, would I receive an additional +1 to my attack roll?

What strategies have others tried to help with these ranged touch attacks (besides increasing dexterity, of course)?

Thanks for your help.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
MoFiddy wrote:

I'm building a Sorcerer class character and I was looking for additional ways to improve his touch attacks. Many of the abilities/spells are ranged touch attacks.

If I have Point Blank Shot and I was casting something like an Aberrant Sorcerer's Acidic Ray, would I receive an additional +1 to my attack roll?

What strategies have others tried to help with these ranged touch attacks (besides increasing dexterity, of course)?

Thanks for your help.

Yes, point blank shot would apply.

So would weapon focus (ranged touch). You will also want to look at at precise shot, otherwise you will be facing the -4 penalty to hit if your target is in melee with your fellow party members.


Don't forget the +1 damage from point blank shot too (It applies on ranged touch spells that already deal damage). Also Improved Critical (ranged touch)

Dark Archive

Mistwalker wrote:
MoFiddy wrote:

I'm building a Sorcerer class character and I was looking for additional ways to improve his touch attacks. Many of the abilities/spells are ranged touch attacks.

If I have Point Blank Shot and I was casting something like an Aberrant Sorcerer's Acidic Ray, would I receive an additional +1 to my attack roll?

What strategies have others tried to help with these ranged touch attacks (besides increasing dexterity, of course)?

Thanks for your help.

Yes, point blank shot would apply.

So would weapon focus (ranged touch). You will also want to look at at precise shot, otherwise you will be facing the -4 penalty to hit if your target is in melee with your fellow party members.

Great! I did see the precise shot feat, so that is on my list too.

What about Rapid Shot? Could I use that to cast two ranged touch spells? I'm thinking no as I type this, since Rapid Shot is a combat feat and I'm casting spells.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
MoFiddy wrote:
What about Rapid Shot? Could I use that to cast two ranged touch spells? I'm thinking no as I type this, since Rapid Shot is a combat feat and I'm casting spells.

No, you could not use Rapid Shot to fire off two ranged touch spells.

Dark Archive

Mistwalker wrote:
MoFiddy wrote:
What about Rapid Shot? Could I use that to cast two ranged touch spells? I'm thinking no as I type this, since Rapid Shot is a combat feat and I'm casting spells.
No, you could not use Rapid Shot to fire off two ranged touch spells.

Okay. That's what I thought.

A ranged touch uses my Dexterity bonus in my attack rolls, right?


Naturally.


Sprith wrote:
Don't forget the +1 damage from point blank shot too (It applies on ranged touch spells that already deal damage). Also Improved Critical (ranged touch)

It didn't dawn on me that you could crit with a ranged touch spell attack. What's the threat range, the multiplier, and can you cite a page reference or link to the PFRD?

Thanks!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The normal crit range and multiplier is 20 and x2.

I can't remember the page reference at the moment.


Urizen wrote:


It didn't dawn on me that you could crit with a ranged touch spell attack. What's the threat range, the multiplier, and can you cite a page reference or link to the PFRD?

Thanks!

Sure thing! Since I typically don't have the book handy I go with PFSRD references.

PFSRD wrote:


Spells and Critical Hits: A spell that requires an attack roll can score a critical hit. A spell attack that requires no attack roll cannot score a critical hit. If a spell causes ability damage or drain (see Special Abilities), the damage or drain is doubled on a critical hit.
...

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.
...

If a ray spell deals damage, you can score a critical hit just as if it were a weapon. A ray spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit.

So the trick here is that the spell has to deal hp damage or ability damage/drain.

Links are:
Critical Hits
Aiming spells


Also, just for your food for thought, other +hit/+damage stuff works on your ranged touch attack spells. So kick that cleric to cast Prayer, get that bard to inspire courage, etc. :)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Note, however, that Deadly Aim specifically forbids being used with ranged touch attacks.


It depends on the buff, many of those, like Inspire Courage, do specify weapon damage rather than just any damage.

Farabor wrote:

Also, just for your food for thought, other +hit/+damage stuff works on your ranged touch attack spells. So kick that cleric to cast Prayer, get that bard to inspire courage, etc. :)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Christopher Vrysen wrote:
It depends on the buff, many of those, like Inspire Courage, do specify weapon damage rather than just any damage.

Er... yes. And that's why they call it a "weapon-like" spell. :)


The feat says "Benefit: You get a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at ranges of up to 30 feet."

They are 'weapon like spells" but that isn't the same as a ranged weapon which is what the text of the feat says. I would let it fly and I think most GMs would let it fly but some might have issues with it. Under 3.5 it was generally accepted that you could use it with PBS.

If weapon like spells are considered ranged weapons for this I would think they would be considered weapons for every purpose, including bardic song, etc...

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Dennis da Ogre wrote:
If weapon like spells are considered ranged weapons for this I would think they would be considered weapons for every purpose, including bardic song, etc...

That's pretty much how I've ruled it. If you make an attack roll, it's a weapon. A spell is neither a manufactured nor a natural weapon, which limits certain cheese; but bard song is fair game, as is Arcane Strike.

And for the doubtful, I'll again point to the text on Deadly Aim specifically excluding its use with ranged touch attacks. That's not on any other feat, so either it's a special rule or it's entirely redundant (and obviously not inherited that way from the SRD). I prefer to assume competence in the absence of contrary evidence, so I'd lean toward the former even if that wasn't already how I interpreted the 3.5 rules.

Also: considering that my first thought when I read the summary was "holy crap, does that work with touch spells?" I'd like to give Jason a good pat on the back for that one.

The Exchange

Dennis da Ogre wrote:

The feat says "Benefit: You get a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at ranges of up to 30 feet."

They are 'weapon like spells" but that isn't the same as a ranged weapon which is what the text of the feat says. I would let it fly and I think most GMs would let it fly but some might have issues with it. Under 3.5 it was generally accepted that you could use it with PBS.

If weapon like spells are considered ranged weapons for this I would think they would be considered weapons for every purpose, including bardic song, etc...

Also in 3.5, I believe in either the Complete Arcane or the Complet Mage it recomended taking things like point blank shot and weapon focus for use with ranged touch spells.


Sprith wrote:


Links are:
Critical Hits
Aiming spells

Thanks a bunch! Much appreciated.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MoFiddy wrote:
What strategies have others tried to help with these ranged touch attacks (besides increasing dexterity, of course)?

I had a warmage (Complete Arcane), which is an evoker with too many ranged touch spells in it's repertoire. But I like em anyways.

I had precise shot, point blank shot, weapon focus and then added in some energy substitutions (electricity, acid) and some maximize and empower metamagics. Some you get as freebies from the class.

I had this concept twice and I think I used the 'sudden' versions from Complete Arcane for one of them. It's basically a small number of times you can apply the feat without the slot adjustments.

At one point I needed to take down an NPC fast, so I went with sudden maximize and empower to give a good open volley. I critted with an electricity orb spell and did over 150 in damage, no save. He had 90, DM ruled his head exploded, called it excessive and we moved along.


I'm also a fan of doing sneak attacks with weapon like spells, makes for some fun character concepts and back story hooks as to why your rogue took up magic.

(My favorite story I made was my rogue was captured by a lich and was subjected to all sorts of horrifying magical experiments)


So, a Fireball doesn't get the benefit of Inspire Courage or Prayer, but Scorching Ray does?
What about touch attack spells that do ability damage instead of hp? They still double up on a crit, but do they do bonus HP damage too when those buffs are up?
I'm curious, since I always thought the point of specifying weapon damage was to exclude spells, not just the non-attack roll spells?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Christopher Vrysen wrote:
What about touch attack spells that do ability damage instead of hp? They still double up on a crit, but do they do bonus HP damage too when those buffs are up?

No on this one, at least if you go by the Complete Arcane rules. You get applicable attack bonuses, but not damage.


Mistwalker wrote:
No, you could not use Rapid Shot to fire off two ranged touch spells.

Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead, but I suppose it's preferable to posting a new thread asking the same question.

Why couldn't rapid shot apply to a ray spell with a standard action casting time or a sorcerer's bloodline ability ray attack as long as you have enough uses still in store?

I don't see how it could be because rapid shot is a combat feat because so are point blank and percise shot and everyone agrees that these two feats apply to rays.


Because most such spells state that the caster can only fire one ray per round. It's the same thing that prevents such spells from getting multiple attacks per round using iterative attacks from a high BAB.

Rapid shot adds an extra attack to a full-attack action in exchange for a penalty to attack rolls. No more, no less. If a spell or ability lets you fire multiple rays during a full-attack, then you could use Rapid Shot.


Shaun wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:
No, you could not use Rapid Shot to fire off two ranged touch spells.

Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead, but I suppose it's preferable to posting a new thread asking the same question.

Why couldn't rapid shot apply to a ray spell with a standard action casting time or a sorcerer's bloodline ability ray attack as long as you have enough uses still in store?

I don't see how it could be because rapid shot is a combat feat because so are point blank and percise shot and everyone agrees that these two feats apply to rays.

Because

Quote:
When making a [b]full-attack action[b] with a ranged weapon, you can fire one additional time this round. All of your attack rolls take a –2 penalty when using Rapid Shot.

You don't make a full-attack with a spell.


Produce Fire can, and i use it with Rapid Shot a lot.


Draco Bahamut wrote:
Produce Fire can, and i use it with Rapid Shot a lot.

Didn't see that it had a duration. In that case, yes...

I amend my statement: If a spell has a duration during which you are NOT using a standard action, and that spell allows for melee ranged attacks (like Produce Flame), then yes, rapid shot works excellently.


Produce Flame is an strange spell that makes "charges" of attacks by its duration, so very weaponized with full attack options spell.

Grand Lodge

Don't forget, you CAN take Improved Critical: Ranged Touch


Christopher Vrysen wrote:

So, a Fireball doesn't get the benefit of Inspire Courage or Prayer, but Scorching Ray does?

What about touch attack spells that do ability damage instead of hp? They still double up on a crit, but do they do bonus HP damage too when those buffs are up?
I'm curious, since I always thought the point of specifying weapon damage was to exclude spells, not just the non-attack roll spells?

See the FAQs on this topic:

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

Weapon Specialization: Can you take Weapon Specialization (ray) or Improved Critical (ray) as feats? How about Weapon Specialization (bomb) or Improved Critical (bomb)?


Drake Brimstone wrote:
Don't forget, you CAN take Improved Critical: Ranged Touch

Definitely the best 17th level feat for wizards and sorcerers...

You can't rapid shot spell-casting, or anything else that is a standard action. But it works on just about anything that is an attack action that you can incorporate into a full-attack.

Hmmm... rapid-shot delayed blast fireballs?

Delayed Blast Fireball wrote:
The glowing bead created by delayed blast fireball .... sits at its destination until it detonates. A creature can pick up and hurl the bead as a thrown weapon (range increment 10 feet).

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