Touch spells and the five-foot step


Rules Questions


Quote:

You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your

other actions in the round.

Does this mean that I can...

a. cast a touch spell as a standard action, five foot step after completion but before the free touch attack and deliver the touch attack (avoiding an attack of opportunity)

b. use spellcombat as a full round action, five foot step after completion but before the free touch attack, deliver the touch attack through a weapon with spellstrike and then finish the full attack (avoiding an attack of opportunity and the need to cast defensively)

Probably obvious, but still worth clarifying.


You cant take two 5 foot steps (baring certain feats) nor can you take a 5 foot step and a move in the same round.

Shadow Lodge

Ice Titan wrote:


Does this mean that I can...

a. cast a touch spell as a standard action, five foot step after completion but before the free touch attack and deliver the touch attack (avoiding an attack of opportunity)

If you have greater than 5 feet of reach, yes. Otherwise, no. There are rules for what happens if you've cast the spell but haven't yet touched anyone, and those would apply here.

Ice Titan wrote:


b. use spellcombat as a full round action, five foot step after completion but before the free touch attack, deliver the touch attack through a weapon with spellstrike and then finish the full attack (avoiding an attack of opportunity and the need to cast defensively)

There are different schools of thought as to whether such an action is one contiguous thing or two separate ones. Take an earlier discussion of charge where it was suggested that the movement and the attack are inseparable. Under that interpretation, Spell Combat itself provokes, because it has 'cast a spell in combat' built into it. That AoO would be resolved despite the step.

And, as above, that weapon had better have reach, or it no longer makes logical sense. Either he's five more feet away, or he isn't. Unless he's using a whip, I don't think it would work.


Ice Titan wrote:
Quote:

You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your

other actions in the round.

Does this mean that I can...

a. cast a touch spell as a standard action, five foot step after completion but before the free touch attack and deliver the touch attack (avoiding an attack of opportunity)

b. use spellcombat as a full round action, five foot step after completion but before the free touch attack, deliver the touch attack through a weapon with spellstrike and then finish the full attack (avoiding an attack of opportunity and the need to cast defensively)

Probably obvious, but still worth clarifying.

A.Yes.

B.I am not sure. This may be all on action.


Here's the relevant rule:

Pathfinder Core Rules: Combat wrote:
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.

So the answer to both questions is yes. You can cast the touch spell, then take a five-foot step before touching the target.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Pathfinder Core wrote:

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.

In place of the move, you could make your five foot step. You would still have your move action remaining, but because you took a five foot step, you could not use it to change squares, but could do something else like draw a weapon. So the OPs option a works. I don't know enough about Spellcombat to address option b.

Edit: Blasted ninjas


A. Yes. The sentence in the PRD just before the one you listed is:

PRD wrote:
In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action.

Standard to cast, 5-foot step or move action to move, then free action to make touch attack in same round stays within the rules.

B. Yes. The free melee touch attack is replaced with a free melee attack with the Magus' weapon, so this melee attack follows the same rule used to answer question A. Full-round action to use spellstrike, 5-foot step, then free action to make a melee attack in the same round.

(Putting spellstrike in a spoiler tag for reference.)

Spellstrike:
At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the magus makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon's critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier.


Ice Titan wrote:
Quote:

You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your

other actions in the round.

Does this mean that I can...

a. cast a touch spell as a standard action, five foot step after completion but before the free touch attack and deliver the touch attack (avoiding an attack of opportunity)

b. use spellcombat as a full round action, five foot step after completion but before the free touch attack, deliver the touch attack through a weapon with spellstrike and then finish the full attack (avoiding an attack of opportunity and the need to cast defensively)

Probably obvious, but still worth clarifying.

I just wanted to add that you can: Cast a Touch spell, Take a Move action to move up to your movement speed and then make the free touch attack as part of the standard rules.


This thread just made trying to do touch spells in the campaign I am playing in so much better. Thanks guys.

Shadow Lodge

AvalonXQ wrote:

Here's the relevant rule:

Pathfinder Core Rules: Combat wrote:
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.
So the answer to both questions is yes. You can cast the touch spell, then take a five-foot step before touching the target.

I understand how you're reading it like that, but I'm pretty certain you're overlooking the intent of the question. You may move first, during or after, that's all true. But it doesn't make your arms any longer when you do. So long as your five foot step doesn't take you beyond your reach, you're golden. Notice that the OP said 'avoiding the AoO'. He's almost certainly stepping away from the touch-ee, which makes it fail.

In short, nothing about touch attacks modifies the following rule:

Quote:
Most creatures of Medium or smaller size have a reach of only 5 feet. This means that they can make melee attacks only against creatures up to 5 feet (1 square) away.

EDIT: Unless I'm reading that backwards... I suppose the intention could be 'cast the spell out of range', 'close with step', 'touch'. That would work.


mcbobbo wrote:
AvalonXQ wrote:

Here's the relevant rule:

Pathfinder Core Rules: Combat wrote:
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.
So the answer to both questions is yes. You can cast the touch spell, then take a five-foot step before touching the target.

I understand how you're reading it like that, but I'm pretty certain you're overlooking the intent of the question. You may move first, during or after, that's all true. But it doesn't make your arms any longer when you do. So long as your five foot step doesn't take you beyond your reach, you're golden. Notice that the OP said 'avoiding the AoO'. He's almost certainly stepping away from the touch-ee, which makes it fail.

In short, nothing about touch attacks modifies the following rule:

Quote:
Most creatures of Medium or smaller size have a reach of only 5 feet. This means that they can make melee attacks only against creatures up to 5 feet (1 square) away.

EDIT: Unless I'm reading that backwards... I suppose the intention could be 'cast the spell out of range', 'close with step', 'touch'. That would work.

I'm not sure how you're interpreting the OP's situation. Caster is 10' from his opponent. Both have 5' reach. Caster takes a standard action to cast a touch range spell outside of the opponent's threatened area, takes a 5-foot step to be adjacent to the opponent, then takes a free action to make a touch attack with the spell. The touch attack itself doesn't provoke an AoO.

Shadow Lodge

WRoy wrote:


I'm not sure how you're interpreting the OP's situation. Caster is 10' from his opponent. Both have 5' reach. Caster takes a standard action to cast a touch range spell outside of the opponent's threatened area, takes a 5-foot step to be adjacent to the opponent, then takes a free action to make a touch attack with the spell. The touch attack itself doesn't provoke an AoO.

That's all legit, you bet. I guess I didn't think of it first because it would really only work if you cast a spell only every other turn. Otherwise you'd take an AoO for your next spell, being in threatened range. I was seeing it more as 'begin spell in threatened range', 'take five foot step out of threatened range', 'make touch attack'. According to the touch rules alone, that works, and some extreme stretches of the abstraction concept could be used to argue it. If you can deliver a touch via whip, it would also work. This behavior, though, is repeatable every turn, and reminded me of another similar thread, and that I guess is why it came to mind.

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