Can you use shocking grasp and send it by metal weapon?


Rules Questions


I was just curious if lets say you were a rogue/wizard could you use shocking grasp and then on the next round strike with a rapier or dagger and add the shocking grasp damage?


Noteleks wrote:
I was just curious if lets say you were a rogue/wizard could you use shocking grasp and then on the next round strike with a rapier or dagger and add the shocking grasp damage?

Only as a duskblade.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ive allowed it in the past, but that also means now that the attack target is the normal AC, not touch. This alone tends to discourage a lot of wizards from going that route.


Unfortunately for verisimilitude and fortunately for the sake of those of us who aren't electrical engineers, magical electricity doesn't follow the same physical laws as real world electricity. In some cases, a token bonus is granted when using electricity against targets with substantial amounts of metal, but for the most part magical electricity doesn't conduct through metal, air or water as it would in the real world. Magic and physics are altogether different, so it's best to assume that magic never does anything not explicitly spelled out (heh heh) in its RAW description.

It the case of shocking grasp, the magic would be discharged into the rapier or dagger themselves, possibly damaging them but not harming anything else.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

technically you could do it. However, the blade is now conducting a magical energy, and is going to take damage from it, since you releasing the Grasp into the blade, and hoping the blade thence passes it on.

As a DM I might let you do it, then you'd notice that your blade is starting to slag and droop and warp...

==Aelryinth


Noteleks wrote:
I was just curious if lets say you were a rogue/wizard could you use shocking grasp and then on the next round strike with a rapier or dagger and add the shocking grasp damage?

...are you grabbing the weapon's blade?


Aelryinth wrote:


As a DM I might let you do it, then you'd notice that your blade is starting to slag and droop and warp...

I can't stand DM fiat made up solely to screw people over. Since when did electricity destroy metal? Oh yeah, never.

Dark Archive

Cartigan wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


As a DM I might let you do it, then you'd notice that your blade is starting to slag and droop and warp...
I can't stand DM fiat made up solely to screw people over. Since when did electricity destroy metal? Oh yeah, never.

actually it does. run enough current threw some metals and it heats up, and can warp it. ever stuck things like scissors or a paperclip in the electric outlet?


Cartigan wrote:
I can't stand DM fiat made up solely to screw people over. Since when did electricity destroy metal? Oh yeah, never.

Would you please mind your tone, Cartigan? Even this simple post is unnecessarily aggressive to make your point, and we could use a lot less attitude on these boards now days. I'm even asking pretty please, with a cherry on top. =-)

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Name Violation wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


As a DM I might let you do it, then you'd notice that your blade is starting to slag and droop and warp...
I can't stand DM fiat made up solely to screw people over. Since when did electricity destroy metal? Oh yeah, never.
actually it does. run enough current threw some metals and it heats up, and can warp it. ever stuck things like scissors or a paperclip in the electric outlet?

Electricity can totally destroy metal. Metal, like anything, will heat up when current is passed through it, and how much it heats up depends on the resistance of the metal and the amount of current. Steel is a good conductor, but its not great, so it will get hot when you pass 5d6 amps through it. According to the rules, it would take 5d6/2 - hardness damage. So, your average non-magical longsowrd (Hardness 10, 5 HP), would not be hurt.


I actually had written a long and relatively pointless post that included statistics on the resistivity of iron, silver and other metals, some of the mathematics involved, etc. In other words, a colossal waste of time.

If a GM wants to use semi-realistic physics and heat-fusion/conductivity rules in their game, that is their prerogative. I would urge any GM doing so to do some research in order to make this consistent though. Otherwise, what is the point insisting on "realism" if you are not, in fact, being "realistic"?


I might not allow it on it's own, but what about a feat that follows 'arcane strike' or some metamagic feat?


DSRMT wrote:
I might not allow it on it's own, but what about a feat that follows 'arcane strike' or some metamagic feat?

Now this is a decent suggestion! A metamagic feat would punish any spontaneous spellcasters by increasing casting times, but an extended Arcane Strike/Spell Channel type feat might not be a bad idea.

I would greatly suggest that should any such feat ever be created though that it follow very strict rules though. The Arcane Strike feat from 3.5 allowed for a great deal of abuse due to poor wording.

Grand Lodge

Name Violation wrote:
...ever stuck things like scissors or a paperclip in the electric outlet?

Don't do things like this at home, kids.

Neil the Electrican

Grand Lodge

To the OP:

There is nothing in the RAW which allows this. I vaguely recall a Feat or Class Ability from 3.5 which delivered touch spells on a weapon strike, which would imply you cannot do so without that ability, but have been unable to find it. Probably the Duskblade referred to above.

Of course, your DM can allow whatever they wish. I would probably not allow this, or it would be 2 standard actions, and therefore no more useful than doing the 2 actions separately (probably worse).


Noteleks wrote:
I was just curious if lets say you were a rogue/wizard could you use shocking grasp and then on the next round strike with a rapier or dagger and add the shocking grasp damage?

I have always run it and played it that you can since 1eAD&D: you cast the spell, and then make the attack as normal - if you hit and damage, you deliver the electrical damage with it (downside is that this is not a touch attack, you lose that facility). If in doubt, get a spell storing weapon. As for the electricity damaging the blade, shocking grasp maxes out at 5d6. Energy damage is halved vs an object so the standard non-magical blade has an effective 20 points of hardness, so it will likely take a lot more than that to damage the blade to any significant extent.

As for 'no, magical electricity doesn't behave like that', I'd just love somebody to show me where it says that in the rules. Some instances I can ignore or nerf legitimately, but this is not one of them.


Yasha wrote:
DSRMT wrote:
I might not allow it on it's own, but what about a feat that follows 'arcane strike' or some metamagic feat?

Now this is a decent suggestion! A metamagic feat would punish any spontaneous spellcasters by increasing casting times, but an extended Arcane Strike/Spell Channel type feat might not be a bad idea.

I would greatly suggest that should any such feat ever be created though that it follow very strict rules though. The Arcane Strike feat from 3.5 allowed for a great deal of abuse due to poor wording.

Well, I've never designed a feat before, so bare with me.

Spellstrike

Prerequasites: Arcane Strike, Caster Level 5

As a full round action, the caster may channel a spell through their weapon. The spell must be Touch range, and have a casting time of no more than one standard action.

The spell is no longer considered a touch attack, and the attacker must hit the targets full AC. If successful, the spell goes off on top of the normal damage done by the attack. If a saving throw is normally allowed, the target may still make it.

So, tell me what I did wrong


Off-hand, the feat looks fine. Restricting it to touch-range spells is a good idea as well. The next step is to take a look in the book and see what kind of touch spells might abuse that (or not abuse it).

Personally, the biggest issue would be if someone added in Ranged-Touch or Target spells to the list of what this feat can do. If someone did that, this feat would easily become too good. Or another addition to the feat could be a restriction of what level of spell can be channeled through a weapon, based on caster level.


DSRMT wrote:
Yasha wrote:
DSRMT wrote:
I might not allow it on it's own, but what about a feat that follows 'arcane strike' or some metamagic feat?

Now this is a decent suggestion! A metamagic feat would punish any spontaneous spellcasters by increasing casting times, but an extended Arcane Strike/Spell Channel type feat might not be a bad idea.

I would greatly suggest that should any such feat ever be created though that it follow very strict rules though. The Arcane Strike feat from 3.5 allowed for a great deal of abuse due to poor wording.

Well, I've never designed a feat before, so bare with me.

Spellstrike

Prerequasites: Arcane Strike, Caster Level 5

As a full round action, the caster may channel a spell through their weapon. The spell must be Touch range, and have a casting time of no more than one standard action.

The spell is no longer considered a touch attack, and the attacker must hit the targets full AC. If successful, the spell goes off on top of the normal damage done by the attack. If a saving throw is normally allowed, the target may still make it.

So, tell me what I did wrong

Spell level coupled with a wizard's low BAB makes abuse an unlikely problem, however since this feat basically replicates the magic weapon property spell storing you want to limit its scope somewhat.

I'd suggest limiting it to touch spells that can hold a charge. Still a good feat for a stabracadabrist, even with that caveat.

edit- you may want a second feat in the chain (Improved Spellstrike) that lets the spellcaster make a spellstrike as an attack action during a full attack, allowing it to be used in combination with iterative attacks. This would help it not loose its shine after BAB 6+. Some spells such as chill touch and produce flame, which have multiple charges could then also benefit.


The feat looks good, but I don't think it has to require caster level 5. It'd be good even at level 1, because then if anytime you don't want to be caught in melee as a mage. If you want to be a melee mage, you're going to need all power you can at 1st level.

However, I think it should be clarified to only work on arcane spells. There's a lot of good cleric touch spells, and clerics have decent BAB and AC. They don't need more melee power as is, so I'd restrict it to arcane spells (channeling a cure critical wounds against undead could be quite devastating, even though you're limited to a single attack)


Name Violation wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


As a DM I might let you do it, then you'd notice that your blade is starting to slag and droop and warp...
I can't stand DM fiat made up solely to screw people over. Since when did electricity destroy metal? Oh yeah, never.
actually it does. run enough current threw some metals and it heats up, and can warp it. ever stuck things like scissors or a paperclip in the electric outlet?

Yes, heat will ruin metal. But are we going to go with "fireballs destroy metal armor?"


stringburka wrote:

The feat looks good, but I don't think it has to require caster level 5. It'd be good even at level 1, because then if anytime you don't want to be caught in melee as a mage. If you want to be a melee mage, you're going to need all power you can at 1st level.

However, I think it should be clarified to only work on arcane spells. There's a lot of good cleric touch spells, and clerics have decent BAB and AC. They don't need more melee power as is, so I'd restrict it to arcane spells (channeling a cure critical wounds against undead could be quite devastating, even though you're limited to a single attack)

I think the 'Arcane Strike' prereq covers the Arcane only, but I'll make a point of changing the wording.

As for limiting it, what if it works only for level 1, +1 level for every 3 additional caster levels? (level 2 spells at CL 8, level 3 at level 11, and so on)

Grand Lodge

Cartigan wrote:
Name Violation wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


As a DM I might let you do it, then you'd notice that your blade is starting to slag and droop and warp...
I can't stand DM fiat made up solely to screw people over. Since when did electricity destroy metal? Oh yeah, never.
actually it does. run enough current threw some metals and it heats up, and can warp it. ever stuck things like scissors or a paperclip in the electric outlet?
Yes, heat will ruin metal. But are we going to go with "fireballs destroy metal armor?"

It actually does...on a critically failed save. I would say that charging a shocking grasp through your metal weapon would be considered that item failing it's save critically (or it does nothing at all as the item makes it's save).


Cold Napalm wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Name Violation wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


As a DM I might let you do it, then you'd notice that your blade is starting to slag and droop and warp...
I can't stand DM fiat made up solely to screw people over. Since when did electricity destroy metal? Oh yeah, never.
actually it does. run enough current threw some metals and it heats up, and can warp it. ever stuck things like scissors or a paperclip in the electric outlet?
Yes, heat will ruin metal. But are we going to go with "fireballs destroy metal armor?"
It actually does...on a critically failed save. I would say that charging a shocking grasp through your metal weapon would be considered that item failing it's save critically (or it does nothing at all as the item makes it's save).

it also destroys unattended metal armor on the corpses of long dead adventurers who have littered the cave of whatever monster you are intent on fireballing. That said, it takes a fair amount of damage to melt armor with a fireball by the RAW.


Cold Napalm wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Name Violation wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


As a DM I might let you do it, then you'd notice that your blade is starting to slag and droop and warp...
I can't stand DM fiat made up solely to screw people over. Since when did electricity destroy metal? Oh yeah, never.
actually it does. run enough current threw some metals and it heats up, and can warp it. ever stuck things like scissors or a paperclip in the electric outlet?
Yes, heat will ruin metal. But are we going to go with "fireballs destroy metal armor?"
It actually does...on a critically failed save. I would say that charging a shocking grasp through your metal weapon would be considered that item failing it's save critically (or it does nothing at all as the item makes it's save).

Does that mean that if you hit an enemy with your weapon it is assumed to automatically critically fail it's save against breaking? because really that makes as much sense.

Liberty's Edge

Malaclypse wrote:
Noteleks wrote:
I was just curious if lets say you were a rogue/wizard could you use shocking grasp and then on the next round strike with a rapier or dagger and add the shocking grasp damage?
Only as a duskblade.

... Or a vanguard ;)


Cartigan wrote:
Name Violation wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


As a DM I might let you do it, then you'd notice that your blade is starting to slag and droop and warp...
I can't stand DM fiat made up solely to screw people over. Since when did electricity destroy metal? Oh yeah, never.
actually it does. run enough current threw some metals and it heats up, and can warp it. ever stuck things like scissors or a paperclip in the electric outlet?
Yes, heat will ruin metal. But are we going to go with "fireballs destroy metal armor?"

If you roll a 1 on the dice equipment is supposed to get damaged, unless pathfinder got rid of that rule. I never used it, but it did exist, and maybe still does.

PS: Someone beat me to it.


Or as a Raumathari Battlemage.

There is of course the book, Ultimate Magic, that we will be seeing the Magus base class in. I get the rather distinct impression we will be seeing a feat or class feature that does this very thing being discussed included in said book. We won't be seeing that until Spring '11 though.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Because of the potential abuse of the Touch spell/weapon feat, I'd actually make it restricted to spells the DM approves. Allowing any touch spells is how bad things happen. You might even have to limit it to one spell/feat.

==Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:

Because of the potential abuse of the Touch spell/weapon feat, I'd actually make it restricted to spells the DM approves. Allowing any touch spells is how bad things happen. You might even have to limit it to one spell/feat.

==Aelryinth

I agree, it was a powerful feature of the Duskblade class. I would allow it with shocking grasp because (a) Electricity flows along metal easily and (b) it's just one spell.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
DSRMT wrote:


Spellstrike

Prerequasites: Arcane Strike, Caster Level 5

As a full round action, the caster may channel a spell through their weapon. The spell must be Touch range, and have a casting time of no more than one standard action.

The spell is no longer considered a touch attack, and the attacker must hit the targets full AC. If successful, the spell goes off on top of the normal damage done by the attack. If a saving throw is normally allowed, the target may still make it.

So, tell me what I did wrong

There was somewhere that pointed out that Wizard type casters could use their staff to deliver spell touch attacks as a default.

Personally, with shocking grasp working along which should be a natural conduit, that the spell would transform from a touch attack to a save. If the attack ends up targeting more then one victim, (puddle of water that has four kobolds), shocking grasp and divide the HP damage by the number of targets, each one getting a save.)

Its because I've seen it in enough fantasy that casters have used electrical type attacks though conduits to surprise their targets. How about standing at the bottom of a wrought iron railing when the target is leaning up against it at the top and using shocking grasp. Perfect assassin type trick.


Dabbler wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

Because of the potential abuse of the Touch spell/weapon feat, I'd actually make it restricted to spells the DM approves. Allowing any touch spells is how bad things happen. You might even have to limit it to one spell/feat.

==Aelryinth

I agree, it was a powerful feature of the Duskblade class. I would allow it with shocking grasp because (a) Electricity flows along metal easily and (b) it's just one spell.

The problem is how is it flowing across it? Weapons aren't all metal. I don't think grips are usually metal.

Liberty's Edge

Aelryinth wrote:

Because of the potential abuse of the Touch spell/weapon feat, I'd actually make it restricted to spells the DM approves. Allowing any touch spells is how bad things happen. You might even have to limit it to one spell/feat.

==Aelryinth

It does indeed need to stay balanced.

The vanguard, for instance, is designed in such a way that it only allows you to channel a melée touch spell, which works very well.


Marc Radle wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

Because of the potential abuse of the Touch spell/weapon feat, I'd actually make it restricted to spells the DM approves. Allowing any touch spells is how bad things happen. You might even have to limit it to one spell/feat.

==Aelryinth

It does indeed need to stay balanced.

The vanguard, for instance, is designed in such a way that it only allows you to channel a melée touch spell, which works very well.

I think the assumption was that it was a metal weapon, or a weapon with sufficient metal in it to conduct from the grip (where you touch to deliver the spell) to the business end.


The reason I asked this question is because I played a very memorable rogue/wizard back in the early days of D&D 2nd edition and was thinking about making a rogue/wizard in pathfinder instead of trying to convert him since 1, he was a high level toon, and 2 I really would like to play him again from level 1 and this gives me that option.

So if I am going to be creating said character I would like to know the general thoughts on this subject. I don't have a group in mind as yet, I so can't ask the GM and I may just make him for PFS play.

So keep the debate going, just wanted to give you and idea of why this was brought up to start with.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Had a Thief back in the old days with a Ring of Shocking grasp he liked to use in conjunction with a backstab.

Good times.

==Aelryinth


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:

I agree, it was a powerful feature of the Duskblade class. I would allow it with shocking grasp because (a) Electricity flows along metal easily and (b) it's just one spell.

The problem is how is it flowing across it? Weapons aren't all metal. I don't think grips are usually metal.

There are plenty of swords I have seen whos hilts were wire wrapped. It would depend on the desires of the buyer, I would imagine.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cartigan wrote:


The problem is how is it flowing across it? Weapons aren't all metal. I don't think grips are usually metal.

There are plenty of swords I have seen whos hilts were wire wrapped. It would depend on the desires of the buyer, I would imagine.


For the record, the is very unlikely that the electricity released in a shocking grasp would do any significant damage to a piece of steel. To melt metal, you either need an insanely high burst of current(Arc Wielder), or a a moderate amount of current sustained over a significant period of time(Toaster).

Sticking a paperclip into a wall socket will generally pop the breaker before it melts the paper clip. It will burn the crap out of your hand in that time, but the paperclip will survive the event just fine. My brother can give you the details on the severity of the burns...

If anything, I would be inclined to half electricity damage to metal objects. Current through a circuit is constant based on the total resistance. Since everything gets hit with the same amount of current, then the higher resistance elements in the circuit will dissipate more power than the lower resistance elements. More power dissipated means more heat generated and damage sustained. With that in mind, metal armor and a sword are most likely the lowest resistance elements in the circuit.

A sword - less than 10 ohms
Human body, dry skin ~100000 ohms.

So assuming heat dissipated is proportional to resistance, to deliver enough electricity to do 30 heat damage to a human body would do about .003 damage to the sword that delivered the attack. Most of that damage would be localized around the point where the sword made contact with the victim resulting in some minor pitting.

Of course all of this assumes that the damage from electricty is due to heat, when the most likely effect of human exposure to large jolts of electricity is heart stoppage or defibrilation. It only takes 1 amp of current to stop a human heart. 0.5-1 amp will cause the heart to beat irregularly(defibrilation) 1 amp of current through a steel sword for 3 full seconds would barely warm it up. Of course if you follow that line of logic, then golems, undead, etc would be largely immune to electricity damage as they have no vital organs that would be drastically effected by exposure to electricity.

FYI, Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering


Name Violation wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


As a DM I might let you do it, then you'd notice that your blade is starting to slag and droop and warp...
I can't stand DM fiat made up solely to screw people over. Since when did electricity destroy metal? Oh yeah, never.
actually it does. run enough current threw some metals and it heats up, and can warp it. ever stuck things like scissors or a paperclip in the electric outlet?

Arc welding works by deforming metal with a electric spark.

Also if you have ever seen a high voltage short to a chassis or other metal parts you can see some serious damage as metal is vaporized or melted.

spark = energy = heat = melting/damaging/destroying shaped metal


Ok. What's the voltage, current, and amplitude of Shocking Grasp.


Electro Whip ? :)


Noteleks wrote:
I was just curious if lets say you were a rogue/wizard could you use shocking grasp and then on the next round strike with a rapier or dagger and add the shocking grasp damage?

Well, since the fact that metal is conductive is the basis of the idea, the fact that electricity isn't going to sit around in a piece of metal, stored for even a few seconds, might also come into play. I mean that it wouldn't just hang around in a weapon for a round, waiting to be discharged.

If you do allow it, just for fun, I'd say that if the player misses they have a chance of being shocked (save or drop weapon) or something like that. On a critical miss, I'd make the player eat the spell.

Liberty's Edge

I'd allow it. But the idea about hitting yourself with it on a critical fail is kinda funny.

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