Ray Spells and Attacks of Opportunity question


Rules Questions


I know this should likely going the general rules question area, but it will likely come up most often with the Magus so I'm asking now...

Do ray spells provoked an attack of opportunity if cast defensively?

Can ray spells provoke two attacks of opportunity if not cast defensively? (against l combat reflexes)

Both stem from the corner case that Ray spells make Ranged attack, which themselves normally provoke outside of spell.

Example: a magus smacks a kobold with a sword in spell combat, but it doesnt die. He follows up with a (successfully) defensively cast Ray of Frost. Does the kobold get to take a swing at him for making a Ranged attack?

Scarab Sages

Spells with a ranged touch attack still provoke an attack of opportunity, even if cast defensively. See Ranged Touch Spells in Combat in the Combat section.

Also, no one action provokes more than one attack of opportunity from a single opponent. See Attacks of Opportunity. At least, that's how I read the rules regarding AoOs and Combat Reflexes, and it certainly makes the game simpler to run it that way.


If you cast a ranged touch spell defensively, but still get smacked on the AoO provoked by all ranged attacks, you do not lose the spell. So, not too awful.


Dorje Sylas wrote:


Can ray spells provoke two attacks of opportunity if not cast defensively? (against l combat reflexes)

Yes. There are two provocations here.

The first would be by the casting, which if the AOO connects will force a concentration check.

The second would be from the ranged attack, which if the AOO connects will likely force a hp check (humor there).

-James


james maissen wrote:
Dorje Sylas wrote:


Can ray spells provoke two attacks of opportunity if not cast defensively? (against l combat reflexes)

Yes. There are two provocations here.

The first would be by the casting, which if the AOO connects will force a concentration check.

The second would be from the ranged attack, which if the AOO connects will likely force a hp check (humor there).

-James

NO.

the target of the AoO is doing a single action, casting a ranged spell (not casting and ranged attacking) no single action can provoke more than on AoO from the same enemy.

IF there were two adjacent enemies, then yes.

also there are not that many non PC classed baddies out there with combat reflexes anyway, so it would be a moot point. they would still only get one.

Dark Archive

Pendagast wrote:
james maissen wrote:
Dorje Sylas wrote:


Can ray spells provoke two attacks of opportunity if not cast defensively? (against l combat reflexes)

Yes. There are two provocations here.

The first would be by the casting, which if the AOO connects will force a concentration check.

The second would be from the ranged attack, which if the AOO connects will likely force a hp check (humor there).

-James

NO.

the target of the AoO is doing a single action, casting a ranged spell (not casting and ranged attacking) no single action can provoke more than on AoO from the same enemy.

IF there were two adjacent enemies, then yes.

also there are not that many non PC classed baddies out there with combat reflexes anyway, so it would be a moot point. they would still only get one.

Wrong. Same way drawing a bow and shooting it are 2 AoOs so is casting A spell and shooting a ray.


Name Violation wrote:
Wrong. Same way drawing a bow and shooting it are 2 AoOs so is casting A spell and shooting a ray.

Those are two separate actions however. A move action to draw the bow, and a standard (attack) action to fire it. Two actions, two AoO's. Casting a ranged touch spell however is just a single action, so just one AoO.


ZappoHisbane wrote:
Name Violation wrote:
Wrong. Same way drawing a bow and shooting it are 2 AoOs so is casting A spell and shooting a ray.
Those are two separate actions however. A move action to draw the bow, and a standard (attack) action to fire it. Two actions, two AoO's. Casting a ranged touch spell however is just a single action, so just one AoO.

exactly, as i said.

besides, even in the bow case the bad guy would need combat reflexes which is going to be rare.


Pendagast wrote:


NO.

the target of the AoO is doing a single action, casting a ranged spell (not casting and ranged attacking) no single action can provoke more than on AoO from the same enemy.

How about a single full attack action to do combat maneuvers that all provoke?

How about a standard action cleave with an unimproved unarmed strike against armed opponents?

That it takes a single action doesn't factor in.

We can at least agree that its two provocations, correct? Even if we disagree that multiple AOOs can be taken. Akin to moving through multiple threatened squares for example provokes multiple times but only one AOO can be taken for it.

Right?

-James


james maissen wrote:
Pendagast wrote:


NO.

the target of the AoO is doing a single action, casting a ranged spell (not casting and ranged attacking) no single action can provoke more than on AoO from the same enemy.

How about a single full attack action to do combat maneuvers that all provoke?

How about a standard action cleave with an unimproved unarmed strike against armed opponents?

That it takes a single action doesn't factor in.

We can at least agree that its two provocations, correct? Even if we disagree that multiple AOOs can be taken. Akin to moving through multiple threatened squares for example provokes multiple times but only one AOO can be taken for it.

Right?

-James

no.

multiple sqaures provokes multiple times. so if the threatener had combat reflexes he could take more than one shot.
casting a spell in a threatened square provokes....the effects of that spell are immaterial (could be a healing spell, could be an RTA, could be a shield spell)
the fact that this particular spell happens to have a ranged effect does not provoke an additional AoO.
the spell being cast is the provoke.
a provoker must do more than one thing to provoke more than one AoO, from the same threatener. the act of making the ranged attack is PART of casting the spell,in most cases a single attack or standard action. the target is not making a move action to cast and a standard to make the ranged attack.
IF the target moved more than a five foot step, AND cast a spell, and it was within reach of the same threatener, we would get multiple AoOs.
but not from casting the spell as making the ranged attack IS casting the spell, one act, one provocation.

Dark Archive

Pendagast wrote:
james maissen wrote:
Pendagast wrote:


NO.

the target of the AoO is doing a single action, casting a ranged spell (not casting and ranged attacking) no single action can provoke more than on AoO from the same enemy.

How about a single full attack action to do combat maneuvers that all provoke?

How about a standard action cleave with an unimproved unarmed strike against armed opponents?

That it takes a single action doesn't factor in.

We can at least agree that its two provocations, correct? Even if we disagree that multiple AOOs can be taken. Akin to moving through multiple threatened squares for example provokes multiple times but only one AOO can be taken for it.

Right?

-James

no.

multiple sqaures provokes multiple times. so if the threatener had combat reflexes he could take more than one shot.
casting a spell in a threatened square provokes....the effects of that spell are immaterial (could be a healing spell, could be an RTA, could be a shield spell)
the fact that this particular spell happens to have a ranged effect does not provoke an additional AoO.
the spell being cast is the provoke.
a provoker must do more than one thing to provoke more than one AoO, from the same threatener. the act of making the ranged attack is PART of casting the spell,in most cases a single attack or standard action. the target is not making a move action to cast and a standard to make the ranged attack.
IF the target moved more than a five foot step, AND cast a spell, and it was within reach of the same threatener, we would get multiple AoOs.
but not from casting the spell as making the ranged attack IS casting the spell, one act, one provocation.

Theoreticallty you could cast the spell defensively, with no aoo for casting, but the ranged attack part still provokes. Unless the phrase " except for spells" is written somewhere that no one has seen before


Technically, casting a spell is not a ranged attack, the effects of the spell are ranged, but it is not classified as a ranged attack.

either way its still only one AoO.


Pendagast wrote:

Technically, casting a spell is not a ranged attack, the effects of the spell are ranged, but it is not classified as a ranged attack.

either way its still only one AoO.

Not true:

PRD, Combat, Standard Actions wrote:
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.

Italics mine.

Edit to add:

Pendagast wrote:
multiple sqaures provokes multiple times. so if the threatener had combat reflexes he could take more than one shot.

Also not true:

PRD, Combat, Making an Attack of Opportunity wrote:
Combat Reflexes and Additional Attacks of Opportunity: If you have the Combat Reflexes feat, you can add your Dexterity modifier to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a given opportunity, but if the same opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you, you could make two separate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round doesn't count as more than one opportunity for that opponent. All these attacks are at your full normal attack bonus.

Bold mine.

Dark Archive

ZappoHisbane wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

Technically, casting a spell is not a ranged attack, the effects of the spell are ranged, but it is not classified as a ranged attack.

either way its still only one AoO.

Not true:

PRD, Combat, Standard Actions wrote:
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.
Italics mine.

Merry christmas


Name Violation wrote:
Merry christmas

Uhm, thanks? :)

Scarab Sages

Wow. So this is like the third or fourth thread on this topic this month?! No one in these threads knows how to use the interwebz or they would have found Google by now. >D


By the way, yes, casting a ranged touch spell does provoke two different times, because you are doing two different actions. The first action is casting a spell in a threatened space. Once the spell is done casting, you then make a ranged attack. Two separate acts, two separate attacks of opportunity. This is different from moving through multiple threatened squares because that movement is all one continuous action. The spell isnt; if it were, a successful AoO for the ranged attack would disrupt the spell.


Zurai wrote:
By the way, yes, casting a ranged touch spell does provoke two different times, because you are doing two different actions. The first action is casting a spell in a threatened space. Once the spell is done casting, you then make a ranged attack. Two separate acts, two separate attacks of opportunity. This is different from moving through multiple threatened squares because that movement is all one continuous action. The spell isnt; if it were, a successful AoO for the ranged attack would disrupt the spell.

what part of:These attacks are made as part of the spell and do not require a separate action. dont you understand?

its not once you cast the spell then you make a ranged touch attack, the RTA is PART of cast the spell..

how many times does it need to be spelled out for you.
you are wrong.


So a successful AoO on the ranged attack forces a concentration check, then? That was my first post in the thread, by the way, so the "OMG YOU"RE SO UNREASONABLE WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP REPEATING MYSELF TO YOU!!!!" was completely uncalled for.


Zurai wrote:
So a successful AoO on the ranged attack forces a concentration check, then? That was my first post in the thread, by the way, so the "OMG YOU"RE SO UNREASONABLE WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP REPEATING MYSELF TO YOU!!!!" was completely uncalled for.

no the casting of the spell provokes the attack of opportunity, the ranged tough attack is PART of the spell, NOT a separate action. so it is technically not a ranged touch attack but a spell that allows you to make one.

the spell provokes. Period. there is no separate action, casting the spell is the standard action that turn. no other standard action can take place.
there is no move action mentioned in this scenario, but...

the magus could move his spaces (lets say 30) cast a spell or attack (theoretically) OR cast a spell and attack

so lets say this threatener is a hobgoblin.

lets say the magus starts adjacent to the hobgoblin.
he can sword swing, 5 foot step, and ranged spell. No AoO

lets say he has no ranged spells.
he can sword swing and cast burning hands (provoking one AoO).

lets say he starts next to the hobgoblin again:
swings his sword, casts his ranged spell (part of the full attack), he would provoke one from the spell.

In the scenario you are trying to explain:
The magus would attack with sword and cast spell (full attack) that provokes an AoO and then make a ranged touch attack, that provokes an AoO. the Problem with that is that there is no standard action left for a magus to make this ranged touch attack, because he's already made his full attack. your scenario would be similiar to the magus trying to full attack AND move, which he cant do because there are no actions left to move with.
That is why what you are saying is wrong. Casting the spell is not a move action, like drawing the bow, or dropping/readying a shield.
it is either a standard action, or for the magus, part of a full attack.
either way, only one action can occur during that turn, that provokes the AoO.


Pendagast wrote:
no the casting of the spell provokes the attack of opportunity

You have already been proved wrong on this count with a quote straight from the rules that you yourself quoted in your rant against me. I'll quote the rule again since you apparently have selective memory:

Quote:
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.

That clearly and unarguably states that the ranged attack provokes even if casting the spell does not.

Quote:

In the scenario you are trying to explain:

The magus would attack with sword and cast spell (full attack) that provokes an AoO and then make a ranged touch attack, that provokes an AoO. the Problem with that is that there is no standard action left for a magus to make this ranged touch attack, because he's already made his full attack. your scenario would be similiar to the magus trying to full attack AND move, which he cant do because there are no actions left to move with.
That is why what you are saying is wrong. Casting the spell is not a move action, like drawing the bow, or dropping/readying a shield.
it is either a standard action, or for the magus, part of a full attack.
either way, only one action can occur during that turn, that provokes the AoO.

It would help your argument if any of that had anything to do whatsoever with anything that I've said. Unfortunately for your argument, such is not the case. This is a tremendous red herring.


Pendagast wrote:


no the casting of the spell provokes the attack of opportunity, the ranged tough attack is PART of the spell, NOT a separate action. so it is technically not a ranged touch attack but a spell that allows you to make one.

Umm.. yes it is a ranged touch attack.

If you cast acid arrow, how do you determine whether or not the arrow hits the target?

You do so by a ranged touch attack.

If you cast scorching ray (and say get one ray), how do you determine a hit or miss?

You do so by a ranged touch attack.

Disintegrate?

Ranged touch attack.

Etc.

-James
PS: Action involved does not matter for provoking. You can provoke an AOO while making an AOO.


azhrei_fje wrote:
Wow. So this is like the third or fourth thread on this topic this month?! No one in these threads knows how to use the interwebz or they would have found Google by now. >D

That isn't quite the case. My original point in posting in the Magus thread (before it got moved) directly was due to the fact that the Magus is the most likely case where both questions will be asked, and frequently.

Given that the Magus has two Cantrips that are both use ranged touch attacks, and both of which are likely to see a great deal of use in situations where AoOs will occur. The fact that it has been brought up several times in the course of the month needs to be a flag in the play testing.

Dark Archive

Pendagast wrote:


either way, only one action can occur during that turn, that provokes the AoO.

In addition to a distressing lack of capital letters in appropriate places, you're also quite wrong. The idea that a single Action [word used in the rules sense (move, standard, etc)] cannot provoke more than once doesn't exist in the rules. You're welcome to look for it. The fact that casting is a single standard action doesn't matter.

d20PFSRD wrote:

Combat Reflexes and Additional Attacks of Opportunity

If you have the Combat Reflexes feat, you can add your Dexterity modifier to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a given opportunity, but if the same opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you, you could make two separate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). Moving out of more than one square threatened by the same opponent in the same round doesn't count as more than one opportunity for that opponent. All these attacks are at your full normal attack bonus.

Emphasis mine.

It is clear that casting a ranged touch attack within the reach of an enemy provokes twice, that is, each is a separate opportunity as shown on the Table: Actions in Combat. One for Casting a Spell and one for Attack (Ranged).

Scarab Sages

YuenglingDragon wrote:
The idea that a single Action [word used in the rules sense (move, standard, etc)] cannot provoke more than once doesn't exist in the rules.

While this is undeniably true, it is not an unreasonable interpretation of the rules to make such a claim, especially in the light of AoOs provoked for movement (from a single opponent).


Tom Baumbach wrote:
YuenglingDragon wrote:
The idea that a single Action [word used in the rules sense (move, standard, etc)] cannot provoke more than once doesn't exist in the rules.
While this is undeniably true, it is not an unreasonable interpretation of the rules to make such a claim, especially in the light of AoOs provoked for movement (from a single opponent).

Moving is a unique circumstance explicitly spelled out in the rules. So is casting a ranged touch spell (despite Pendagast's apparent myopia).

Question is, are there any other single Actions that could potentially provoke more than one AoO? The only thing that comes to mind is a full attack action for ranged attacks, with multiple attacks. In fact, in reading the Combat section to see if this is covered I've discovered a loophole. A Standard attack (ranged) action is noted in the Actions in Combat table as provoking an AoO, as expected. However the Full Attack action, which doesn't specify melee or ranged, explicitly does not provoke. Now, I don't believe for a second that this is RAI, but that's what's written. Ugh.

Also, back on the subject of ranged touch spells, I will note that it's my opinion that the second AoO (for making a ranged touch attack) would not interrupt casting and require a concentration check, any more than the AoO on someone using a ranged touch wand would prevent the wand from firing (or an arrow being fired from a bow for that matter). If you have cast defensively or otherwise made your concentration check against the initial AoO for casting, I don't see why the spell wouldn't go off.

Dark Archive

Tom Baumbach wrote:
While this is undeniably true, it is not an unreasonable interpretation of the rules to make such a claim, especially in the light of AoOs provoked for movement (from a single opponent).

Maybe not an unreasonable interpretation so long as you realize that interpretation based on nothing but inference means nothing in terms of RAW.

ZappoHisbane wrote:
Question is, are there any other single Actions that could potentially provoke more than one AoO? The only thing that comes to mind is a full attack action for ranged attacks, with multiple attacks. In fact, in reading the Combat section to see if this is covered I've discovered a loophole. A Standard attack (ranged) action is noted in the Actions in Combat table as provoking an AoO, as expected. However the Full Attack action, which doesn't specify melee or ranged, explicitly does not provoke. Now, I don't believe for a second that this is RAI, but that's what's written. Ugh.

Sigh. How long has Pathfinder been out? How does something that wrong last so long? Lets table that for now. Or maybe forever.

ZappoHisbane wrote:
Also, back on the subject of ranged touch spells, I will note that it's my opinion that the second AoO (for making a ranged touch attack) would not interrupt casting and require a concentration check, any more than the AoO on someone using a ranged touch wand would prevent the wand from firing (or an arrow being fired from a bow for that matter). If you have cast defensively or otherwise made your concentration check against the initial AoO for casting, I don't see why the spell wouldn't go off.

I want to agree with you but I'm not sure I can.

d20PFSRD wrote:

Injury

If you take damage while trying to cast a spell, you must make a concentration check with a DC equal to 10 + the damage taken + the level of the spell you're casting. If you fail the check, you lose the spell without effect. The interrupting event strikes during spellcasting if it comes between the time you started and the time you complete a spell (for a spell with a casting time of 1 full round or more) or if it comes in response to your casting the spell (such as an attack of opportunity provoked by the spell or a contingent attack, such as a readied action).

I think the ranged touch attack is part of casting the spell. If it is, it's pretty clear that you'd have to make a concentration check for damage.

But then I find this:

d20PFSRD wrote:
You make all pertinent decisions about a spell (range, target, area, effect, version, and so forth) when the spell comes into effect.

So perhaps the spell casting bit is over and then choosing the target and making the RTA happens after.

Thoughts?


YuenglingDragon wrote:


So perhaps the spell casting bit is over and then choosing the target and making the RTA happens after.

Thoughts?

Mine are already up thread. But to restate:

1. The casting provokes (unless something makes it so it does not.. and there are many ways for this). If the AOO provoked from casting results in a hit, then there is a concentration check to avoid loosing the spell.

2. The ranged attack provokes (unless some feat/etc make it so it does not, but there are very few ways for this). If the AOO provoked from the ranged attack results in a hit then unless the hit is sufficient to prevent or alter the attack in some fashion the attack then proceeds.

-James


ZappoHisbane wrote:


Question is, are there any other single Actions that could potentially provoke more than one AoO?

I think I listed a few upthread.

A fighter using a weapon whose attack provokes (a whip, an unarmed strike without the feat) makes a cleave attempt.

A fighter could also make an AOO to do a combat maneuver that in turn provokes AOOs.

The later is telling against the action interpretation as taking an AOO is not a standard action (or free or immediate for that mater).

-James


james maissen wrote:


Mine are already up thread. But to restate:

1. The casting provokes (unless something makes it so it does not.. and there are many ways for this). If the AOO provoked from casting results in a hit, then there is a concentration check to avoid loosing the spell.

2. The ranged attack provokes (unless some feat/etc make it so it does not, but there are very few ways for this). If the AOO provoked from the ranged attack results in a hit then unless the hit is sufficient to prevent or alter the attack in some fashion the attack then proceeds.

-James

+1. Casting Provokes. If you choose to cast defensively to negate this, the ranged touch attack attempt still (and also) provokes.

These are two actions (casting and then the attack) and provoke twice. This is core RAW. Just because you are making the ranged touch as a "free action" doesn't mean it isn't a provoking action. Also, the spell is "cast" already, you now have to "direct it". If you take damage during this phase there is no impact on the spell's resolution as it has been resolved already.


Just so anyone ever starts looking at this again, Pendagast was right - Even if he was kinda being a jerk about it.

p.s. Just because you guys end up agreeing together, doesn't mean that what you agreed on is right.


SnuggleBunny wrote:

Just so anyone ever starts looking at this again, Pendagast was right - Even if he was kinda being a jerk about it.

p.s. Just because you guys end up agreeing together, doesn't mean that what you agreed on is right.

Can you please explain with rule citations and/or FAQ citations?

It seems to me that it has been quite clearly shown with rule citations by those espousing that two AoO's are provoked are correct.


There was an FAQ not too long ago that ruled that you provoke twice by fasting a ranged touch spell. Once for casting, once for making a ranged attack.

paizo blog: FAQ that time forgot wrote:

When you cast a spell that allows you to make a ranged touch attack, such as scorching ray, and an enemy is within reach, do you provoke two attacks of opportunity?

Yes, you provoke two attacks of opportunity, one for casting the spell and one for making a ranged attack, since these are two separate events. As a note, since all of the rays are fired simultaneously (in the case of scorching ray), you would only provoke one attack of opportunity for making the ranged attack, even if you fired more than one ray.


Umbranus wrote:

There was an FAQ not too long ago that ruled that you provoke twice by fasting a ranged touch spell. Once for casting, once for making a ranged attack.

paizo blog: FAQ that time forgot wrote:

When you cast a spell that allows you to make a ranged touch attack, such as scorching ray, and an enemy is within reach, do you provoke two attacks of opportunity?

Yes, you provoke two attacks of opportunity, one for casting the spell and one for making a ranged attack, since these are two separate events. As a note, since all of the rays are fired simultaneously (in the case of scorching ray), you would only provoke one attack of opportunity for making the ranged attack, even if you fired more than one ray.

Huh. Looks like we have a winner.


That's ridiculous.
Shouldn't the ray attack be a part of the spell's somatic component and therefore covered by defensive casting?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Goddard wrote:

That's ridiculous.

Shouldn't the ray attack be a part of the spell's somatic component and therefore covered by defensive casting?

What is ridiculous is resurrecting a 5 year dead thread. And no. Attack rolls are not part of the somatic component. Otherwise, removing the somatic component would remove the attack roll.


The components are things you do to bring about the magic.

Stuff that happens after that, like attacks using the magic, are separate.

Commanding a character you are mind-controlling is not a verbal component and cannot be Silenced with metamagic. Making a melee touch attack is not a somatic component and cannot be Stilled.

If you're a GM you could house-rule it another way, but this is how Paizo thinks magic should work.

(And be wary when disturbing long-dead threads like this. Who knows what other ancient evils you might awaken?)


One awakened, ancient evil coming at you! Bwah ha ha!

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