Ranged Touch Attacks Provoking AoOs 2: Electric Boogaloo


Rules Questions

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Sovereign Court

james maissen wrote:

There are implications to your interpretation. An invisible/hidden opponent takes an AOO when the wizard 'targets'.. For sake of argument the attack misses or fails to disrupt the spell. Now the wizard has the spell target the attacker instead... Does this further provoke?

Why would the caster get to target again? He's already chosen, and just like with Scorching Ray it's pretty clear you can't go back and select something else.

I'm offering other interpretations, and looking again at Ray Spells, I'm seeing another.

Quote:

Ray: Some effects are rays. You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon, though typically you make a ranged touch attack rather than a normal ranged attack. As with a ranged weapon, you can fire into the dark or at an invisible creature and hope you hit something. You don't have to see the creature you're trying to hit, as you do with a targeted spell. Intervening creatures and obstacles, however, can block your line of sight or provide cover for the creature at which you're aiming.

So a ray spell's relation to ranged weapons is called out in detail, including targeting into darkness and obstacles providing cover. I notice that drawing an AoO is absent here. Is it printed somewhere else?


Vendle wrote:


Why would the caster get to target again? He's already chosen, and just like with Scorching Ray it's pretty clear you can't go back and select something else.

According to your interpretation he has yet to fire.

Vendle wrote:
Is it printed somewhere else?

It was tacked on elsewhere, but its ambiguous if its an AOO in addition to, or another way for the same AOO.

-James


Mabven the OP healer wrote:
Seriously, what do you think has been proven? I have proven that there is a limit of one AoO per action, by quoting both rules and written comments from both Jason Bulmahn and James Jacobs, I have shown proof historically that not only was it limited to one AoO per action, it was even limited to one AoO per opponent per round. Yet you mis-quote single sentences out of context, and you think you have proven something. Absurd.

One AoO per opponent per round? What?!

James,
When an action interrupts another, it doesn't allow the person to suddenly change what they were going to do. The caster targets someone with the ranged spell and provokes. The threatening invisible guy makes his AoO. The casters spell finishes going off, he doesn't get to re-choose his targets.

Shadow Lodge

I don't get it either. I really don't.

Sovereign Court

james maissen wrote:
According to your interpretation he has yet to fire.

I don't see how that would apply, unless you're arguing that the AoO is simultaneous with the "chooses targets" step. Perhaps you could clarify?

*edit: An AoO provokation is presented with the clarification to ranged touch attack rules, so that's answered. I still find it awfully generalized and not suited to every situation (such as Scorching Ray).

Shadow Lodge

A provocation of and the actual AoO itself both come before the action that caused it actually happens. That means the AoO is fully resolved before the actual action itself. So attacking Unarmed without the Feat draws an AoO. I go to punch your'e sword wielding self. I provoke and you take an AoO on me with your sword. That happens before I actually connect with you with my punch. So, if you kill me, I never actually make the punch attack.

What James is suggesting is that that somehow means after your AoO, I can somehow decide either to not punch you or to punch someone else in range.

However, all decisions about the attack are made prior to even begining it, (with an exception made for movement and switching between a standard action attack and a full attack at times), including target, so switching is not possible.


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:


What James is suggesting is that that somehow means after your AoO, I can somehow decide either to not punch you or to punch someone else in range.

However, all decisions about the attack are made prior to even begining it, (with an exception made for movement and switching between a standard action attack and a full attack at times), including target, so switching is not possible.

You'll have to quote rules that say what you're suggesting.

The rules for PF don't have that level of granularity. This isn't M:TG where there is a stack. Attacks of Opportunity and readied actions are this really weird no-man's land where the world is all topsy-turvy.

I know what I think would happen, but as certain as I feel about it I have to admit there is a high enough level of ambiguity to necessitate a FAQ answer.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vendle wrote:
james maissen wrote:

There are implications to your interpretation. An invisible/hidden opponent takes an AOO when the wizard 'targets'.. For sake of argument the attack misses or fails to disrupt the spell. Now the wizard has the spell target the attacker instead... Does this further provoke?

Why would the caster get to target again? He's already chosen, and just like with Scorching Ray it's pretty clear you can't go back and select something else.

I'm offering other interpretations, and looking again at Ray Spells, I'm seeing another.

Quote:

Ray: Some effects are rays. You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon, though typically you make a ranged touch attack rather than a normal ranged attack. As with a ranged weapon, you can fire into the dark or at an invisible creature and hope you hit something. You don't have to see the creature you're trying to hit, as you do with a targeted spell. Intervening creatures and obstacles, however, can block your line of sight or provide cover for the creature at which you're aiming.

So a ray spell's relation to ranged weapons is called out in detail, including targeting into darkness and obstacles providing cover. I notice that drawing an AoO is absent here. Is it printed somewhere else?
PRD 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.


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Ok, so James makes an unarmed attack against Me. James does not have improved unarmed strike, so his unarmed attack provokes. I make my AoO against him. He then changes his mind about who he is targetting, and changes his target to Devil's Advocate. Now he provokes an AoO from Devil. Devil takes it, and hits. Oh, but he decides he wants to change it again, since he still hasn't actually punched anyone yet. So he swings at you meatrace. Provoking from you, you think you should save your AoO for someone more threatening, and lucky for you, he misses with his swing anyway.

Sorry, but that does not make any sense at all. Once the decisions about who is being attacked is made (and the roll made) that can not be undone. The AoO interrupts, inserting itself before the resolution, but the character who provoked it cannot change the action which provoked.

Now, to the rules: "Attack Roll: An attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your turn in a round. When you make an attack roll, you roll a d20 and add your attack bonus. (Other modifiers may also apply to this roll.) If your result equals or beats the target's Armor Class, you hit and deal damage."

"An attack of opportunity “interrupts” the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character's turn (or complete the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the midst of a character's turn)."

Lets see how this plays out following these rules.
James makes his punch against Me, and rolls his d20. The GM points out he doesn't have improved unarmed strike, and lets me know he provoked an AoO and asks if I want to take it. I say yes. I make my AoO attack roll, hit and do my damage.

Now, we resume the current turn, in which James now checks to see if he beat my AC. If so, he now gets to hit me and do his damage. He gets then gets the rest of his turn.

Wasn't that a lot more sensible?

Shadow Lodge

meatrace wrote:
"Devil's Advocate" wrote:


What James is suggesting is that that somehow means after your AoO, I can somehow decide either to not punch you or to punch someone else in range.

However, all decisions about the attack are made prior to even begining it, (with an exception made for movement and switching between a standard action attack and a full attack at times), including target, so switching is not possible.

You'll have to quote rules that say what you're suggesting.

The rules for PF don't have that level of granularity. This isn't M:TG where there is a stack. Attacks of Opportunity and readied actions are this really weird no-man's land where the world is all topsy-turvy.

I know what I think would happen, but as certain as I feel about it I have to admit there is a high enough level of ambiguity to necessitate a FAQ answer.

I'm assuming you mean my statement? If so, which part specifically? The part where they interupt?

Shadow Lodge

"Making an Attack of Opportunity: An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack, and most characters can only make one per round. You don't have to make an attack of opportunity if you don't want to. You make your attack of opportunity at your normal attack bonus, even if you've already attacked in the round.

An attack of opportunity “interrupts” the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character's turn (or complete the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the midst of a character's turn)."

Found Here <under Making Attacks of Opportunity>


meatrace wrote:

You'll have to quote rules that say what you're suggesting.

The rules for PF don't have that level of granularity. This isn't M:TG where there is a stack. Attacks of Opportunity and readied actions are this really weird no-man's land where the world is all topsy-turvy.

I know what I think would happen, but as certain as I feel about it I have to admit there is a high enough level of ambiguity to necessitate a FAQ answer.

Here is the rules text - they actually do have that level of granularity. They actually stop the progression of the round and occur before the action which they were provoked by. Here's a link to the citation and relevant text.

Making an Attack of Opportunity: An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack, and most characters can only make one per round. You don't have to make an attack of opportunity if you don't want to. You make your attack of opportunity at your normal attack bonus, even if you've already attacked in the round.

An attack of opportunity “interrupts” the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character's turn (or complete the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the midst of a character's turn).

Rant Below!!

Spoiler:
(not aimed at you meatrace, but in general to those that seek rules support) Why do we have to look for the rules? Why can't a poster double check the rules before posting their opinion? it's not a common occurance, but it's not uncommon either

EDIT: Oh, the ninjamanity!


Tarantula wrote:


Wasn't that a lot more sensible?

You're missing the premise. The other poster to whom I was responding was putting forth an alternate interpretation of what part of the attack process provoked.

If it were my actual Attack that provoked (which would be the rules as I read them) then your 'better' scenario is certainly true and there is no issue. The targeting is done the only option would be whether or not to go through with the attack.

However if it is my deciding to attack 'Devil's Advocate' and NOT the attack itself that provokes (for whatever strange reason) then I contend that this is not the case. The attack has not been made yet and they are not locked into it... in fact the targeting is not 'completed' whatever hypothetical that this means.

This was all predicated on the (false) supposition that it was the targeting rather than the actual attack that provoked the opportunity.

-James

Liberty's Edge

Archaeik wrote:

Ranged touch attacks are STILL an "Attack(ranged)" from the AoO table...

There is no reason why they shouldn't provoke, you are still diverting your attention across the battlefield, distracting you from adjacent opponents.

No, you are wrong. The "Attack (Ranged)" on the AoO table is a standard action that specifically refers to projectile and thrown weapons.

Ranged Touch Attacks made as part of casting a spell is a type of touch attack and follows those rules.

It is an incestuous interpretation to consider each scorched ray fired as provoking an AoO just because each arrow fired from a bow provokes an AoO. The two rules are incomparable; you need to find a different rule to justify your interpretation.


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Has this post by Jason Bulmahn about why he made ranged touch attack spells provoke AoOs been brought up yet?

Specifically the part about how it's much cleaner to just have all ranged attacks provoke?

That is, why he specifically added this line into the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, which was missing from the 3.5 SRD?

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.


OK, I was one who was offering ways to imagine why it was sensible to still be able to make three AoOs against someone casting Scorching Ray. A chunk of people hold the view that, even though it isn't explicitly stated to be a limiting factor, that only ONE AoO should be provoked because the rays all fire simultaneously.

So my explanation of a possible way to picture the situation was that perhaps the caster leaves himself open for attack when he is designating targets. Rather than treating it as a fluff explanation for making game events match rules, it was instead picked apart with a fine-tooth comb by those who cling to their house rule.

Now, I will offer an alternative explanation, in the hopes that we can finally end the silliness and see that it does make sense for three AoOs to be possible in the time of the simultaneous firing of Scorching Ray.

Caster uses defensive casting to avoid AoO from the actual spellcasting of Scorching Ray. Caster designates three targets for the Scorching Ray to attack. Now, all three rays of magical fire strike out at the targets, burning them for a second or two while the caster concentrates on directing the powerful magical energies. Meanwhile, the enemy warrior takes advantage of this opening by hacking at him a few times while the caster stands exposed, directing his magic.

Problem solved. A second or two is all the experienced warrior needs to slash his blade against the caster's ribs a few times. ;)

My prediction is that someone will say, "Nuh-uh, no fair, it says it's Instantaneous!" And the lack of imagination will continue.

Liberty's Edge

Cheapy wrote:

Has this post by Jason Bulmahn about why he made ranged touch attack spells provoke AoOs been brought up yet?

Specifically the part about how it's much cleaner to just have all ranged attacks provoke?

That is, why he specifically added this line into the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, which was missing from the 3.5 SRD?

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.

Maybe I haven't read this thread very well, but I was under the impression that everyone was in agreement that RTA do provoke an AoO, but the debate is over A) the casting portion provokes a separate AoO from the RTA portion, and B) if a scorching ray is cast does it only provoke once, or multiple times for each ray.

Liberty's Edge

JHFizban wrote:

OK, I was one who was offering ways to imagine why it was sensible to still be able to make three AoOs against someone casting Scorching Ray. A chunk of people hold the view that, even though it isn't explicitly stated to be a limiting factor, that only ONE AoO should be provoked because the rays all fire simultaneously.

So my explanation of a possible way to picture the situation was that perhaps the caster leaves himself open for attack when he is designating targets. Rather than treating it as a fluff explanation for making game events match rules, it was instead picked apart with a fine-tooth comb by those who cling to their house rule.

Now, I will offer an alternative explanation, in the hopes that we can finally end the silliness and see that it does make sense for three AoOs to be possible in the time of the simultaneous firing of Scorching Ray.

Caster uses defensive casting to avoid AoO from the actual spellcasting of Scorching Ray. Caster designates three targets for the Scorching Ray to attack. Now, all three rays of magical fire strike out at the targets, burning them for a second or two while the caster concentrates on directing the powerful magical energies. Meanwhile, the enemy warrior takes advantage of this opening by hacking at him a few times while the caster stands exposed, directing his magic.

Problem solved. A second or two is all the experienced warrior needs to slash his blade against the caster's ribs a few times. ;)

My prediction is that someone will say, "Nuh-uh, no fair, it says it's Instantaneous!" And the lack of imagination will continue.

The number of rays is irrelevant considering casting any spell requiring a ranged touch attack only provides one opportunity for an attacker to exploit, not two (or more).


Well, that post is Jason saying that the RTAs do provoke normally after a spell, hence the part about casting defensively not negating those AoOs, despite negating the AoO from casting the spell.

The rules are quite clear here, really.

* Ranged touch attacks provoke, separate from casting the spell that allows you to make them. This text was specifically added to PFRPG, and so is clearly the intent. We even have JB explaining why he did that.

* There is no limit of "one action = one AoO max". One action can generate multiple opportunities for AoOs.

* Related to the above point, the following text is A) only in the context of combat reflexes, and B) is there to stop you from making all 5 of your possible AoOs on one opportunity (such as drinking a potion, casting a spell, or making a ranged attack). You need a separate opportunity for each of your AoOs, so while you can't use up all 5 of your AoOs on the first arrow shot adjacent to you, if they shoot 5 arrows, you can make your five AoOs.

Quote:
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)

* Since ranged touch attacks always provoke, RAW the rays of scorching each provoke. Since Scorching Ray is the most iconic ranged touch attack spell so it must've been on Jason's mind when adding the text about RTAs provoking, and there's no special verbiage to prevent it from not provoking each time, it is highly likely that is the intention as well.

Liberty's Edge

@Cheapy

I don't see how one interprets Jason's post to mean that multiple AoOs are allowed. Rather, I read his post to simply reiterate that if you cast a spell that requires a ranged touch attack, you can't avoid the AoO.

Where in the AoO rules does it say that a single action provokes multiple AoO? As I read it, The defender only provokes once per action. The attacker can only make one attack per provocation.

Since casting a spell requiring a ranged touch attack is the same action, the caster is only engaging in one action, ergo the attacker can only make one attack against that action. How are people interpreting these rules to allow themselves to make two attacks against one action?


HangarFlying wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Has this post by Jason Bulmahn about why he made ranged touch attack spells provoke AoOs been brought up yet?

Specifically the part about how it's much cleaner to just have all ranged attacks provoke?

That is, why he specifically added this line into the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, which was missing from the 3.5 SRD?

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.
Maybe I haven't read this thread very well, but I was under the impression that everyone was in agreement that RTA do provoke an AoO, but the debate is over A) the casting portion provokes a separate AoO from the RTA portion, and B) if a scorching ray is cast does it only provoke once, or multiple times for each ray.

The issue with what you claim, is you are saying RTA don't provoke unless they are part of casting a spell.

There are a number of monsters with natural RTAs. I don't find it reasonable that they don't suffer AoOs.

Further, I maintain that the "touch attack" entry is there to clarify that touch attacks are armed attacks...
A ranged attack provokes even if it happens to be armed, which include RTAs.


HangarFlying wrote:

@Cheapy

I don't see how one interprets Jason's post to mean that multiple AoOs are allowed. Rather, I read his post to simply reiterate that if you cast a spell that requires a ranged touch attack, you can't avoid the AoO.

Where in the AoO rules does it say that a single action provokes multiple AoO? As I read it, The defender only provokes once per action. The attacker can only make one attack per provocation.

Since casting a spell requiring a ranged touch attack is the same action, the caster is only engaging in one action, ergo the attacker can only make one attack against that action. How are people interpreting these rules to allow themselves to make two attacks against one action?

The question is one of "which wins?"

-simultaneous
-interrupts normal flow

It's easier to adjudicate as 1 (simultaneous)
but it's closer to RAW (IMO) that it's "1 for each" (interrupted)

Liberty's Edge

To further my position, when you read the entry about melee touch attacks, they are a separate action than the casting of the spell; they are a free action that count as an armed attack (thus do not provoke an AoO that an unarmed strike normally would). This means (and it is specifically pointed out) that a caster can cast the spell, then move (or do some other move action), then make the melee touch attack.

Casting a spell requiring a ranged touch attack does not allow this. The casting and the ranged touch attack are the same action, thus the caster cannot make a move action, nor is the ranged touch attack made as a separate free action.

Now, if the rules had said something to the effect that ranged touch attacks are a separate free action, then yes, there would be an argument of two separate opportunities. As things are written, the rules state that the ranged touch attack is the SAME action as the casting of he spell, and as such, only one action is made and only one provocation is made.

@Archaeik: so I don't lose time looking for a monster, would you mind giving me one you had in mind so that I can look up and understand what you are trying to say?


Where in the rules does it say one action = one opportunity max? The action table is not saying that, otherwise it's also saying that making a full attack with a ranged weapon doesn't provoke for each shot. And that's patently false. Whenever you do an action (in the colloquial sense) that is on the table and says you provoke, you provoke. An action can grant multiple opportunities for AoOs, such as full-attacking with a bow. That's still one action, but you provoke each time you fire.

Jason's post is about why he included the text that ranged touch attacks as part of spells provokes. This was unclear in 3.5, so he wanted to make sure that people knew that they provoked in PF. He even explicitly says that it's much cleaner for all ranged attacks to provoke, whether they are from a spell or not. It doesn't matter what the source is. You're making a ranged attack? You provoke an AoO.

This sentence really has three things going on:

Quote:
Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity, even if the spell that causes the attacks was cast defensively.

First, it says that ranged touch attacks made as part of a spell always provoke an attack of opportunity.

Second, it says that this opportunity for an AoO still exists even if the spellcaster avoided the AoO from the act of casting the spell.

Third, it specifically mentions attacks (plural). So if you have a spell that grants multiple ranged touch attacks, each ranged touch attack will provoke. Which also wonderfully shows how there are multiple opportunities for the one Action of casting the spell.


Put another way: Jason Bulmahn, the lead designer of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, said that all ranged attacks provoke and went out of his way to make sure that was clear.

People are free to disagree with him, of course. But that's how the game is, how it is intended, and how it is written.

Liberty's Edge

Cheapy, you are looking at the action table, I am reading he actual Attack of Opportunity rules. The Attack of Opportunity rules state that you have to perform an action to provoke. The rules then go on to state that an attacker may only make one attack per provocation. If the attacker has combat reflexes, the attacker may make one attack per action that provokes.

So, you have to perform an action to provoke an Attack of Opportunity. Since the rules explicitly state that the ranged touch attack portion of the spell is the same action as the casting of that spell, there is only one action being performed. And since only one attack can be made per provocation, only one AoO is made.

Yeah, Jason is saying that if you cast a spell requiring a ranged touch attack, you provoke an AoO; you can't get away from the AoO by casting defensively. He is not implying in his post that the casting and the RTA should be considered separate actions.

Regarding the rule you quoted, it doesn't matter if the plurality refers to multiple attacks in one casting or if it is referring to multiple castings of the spell, it states that only AN (singular) AoO is allowed. I find it ironic/hypocritical that you would get hyper critical about one segment of a sentence, but won't apply the same level of detail to the remaining portion of the same sentence.

Liberty's Edge

Cheapy wrote:

Put another way: Jason Bulmahn, the lead designer of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, said that all ranged attacks provoke and went out of his way to make sure that was clear.

People are free to disagree with him, of course. But that's how the game is, how it is intended, and how it is written.

And I am saying that you are putting words into Jason's post and using it to justify an interpretation that is beyond the original intent.


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Scorching Ray should generate at least two attacks of opportunity if the caster is not casting defensively and is threatened by an enemey.

First AoO is generated by the character actually casting the spell while threated, which is listed on the chart.

Second AoO is generated by making a ranged (touch) attack while threatened, which is also listed on the chart.

For comparison, loading a cross bow and then firing the said crossbow in combat provokes two attacks of opportunity. The first is for loading and the second is for firing of the crossbow.

The wording that adds confusion is "all rays must be aimed at targets within 30 feet of each other and fired simultaneously." This of course means that the spells attack(s) is rolled at the same time and as per the chart each ranged attack would provoke it's own attack of opportunity.

So it appears by RAW, you provoke for each ray fired because they are all rolled separately. I don't agree with the ruling becuase my mind draws the image of how scorching ray works differently, but that doesn't change what the rules actually say.


HangarFlying wrote:

Where in the AoO rules does it say that a single action provokes multiple AoO? As I read it, The defender only provokes once per action. The attacker can only make one attack per provocation.

Since casting a spell requiring a ranged touch attack is the same action, the caster is only engaging in one action, ergo the attacker can only make one attack against that action. How are people interpreting these rules to allow themselves to make two attacks against one action?

Hangar,

As I showed before, what about crawling? Crawling provokes attacks from anyone who threatens any part of your crawl. It also causes you to leave a threatened space, which as we all know provokes. 2 provocations, single action.

Also, the full-attack with a bow example. Single full-round action, provocation for each arrow fired.

From the rules, "Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity, even if the spell that causes the attacks was cast defensively."

This explicitly states that making the ranged touch attack provokes separate from casting of the spell. Thus, already, by casting a ranged touch attack spell not defensively, you provoke twice.

The question at hand, is does each ranged touch attack provoke from a single spell? Since this only effects scorching ray, I'd rule that targeting the rays only provokes once. Why? Because no other spells provoke multiple times, and scorching ray isn't so good to warrant it.

RAW? I think that it provokes per ray fired, even if they are all at the same person.


Quote:
@Archaeik: so I don't lose time looking for a monster, would you mind giving me one you had in mind so that I can look up and understand what you are trying to say?

Lantern Archon

(this one I could give some leeway for being it's only attack, but still)

Witchfire
sure seems like it resolves off ranged touch (but my DM may have just run it wrong)

Death Worm

Ooh, found some good ones though.
Nets and splash weapons
Is there text anywhere that says they provoke?

Web

Spit, special attack
Camel

Naga, Guardian


HangarFlying wrote:

Cheapy, you are looking at the action table, I am reading he actual Attack of Opportunity rules. The Attack of Opportunity rules state that you have to perform an action to provoke. The rules then go on to state that an attacker may only make one attack per provocation. If the attacker has combat reflexes, the attacker may make one attack per action that provokes.

So, you have to perform an action to provoke an Attack of Opportunity. Since the rules explicitly state that the ranged touch attack portion of the spell is the same action as the casting of that spell, there is only one action being performed. And since only one attack can be made per provocation, only one AoO is made.

Yeah, Jason is saying that if you cast a spell requiring a ranged touch attack, you provoke an AoO; you can't get away from the AoO by casting defensively. He is not implying in his post that the casting and the RTA should be considered separate actions.

Regarding the rule you quoted, it doesn't matter if the plurality refers to multiple attacks in one casting or if it is referring to multiple castings of the spell, it states that only AN (singular) AoO is allowed. I find it ironic/hypocritical that you would get hyper critical about one segment of a sentence, but won't apply the same level of detail to the remaining portion of the same sentence.

I am reading both the table and the Attacks of Opportunity section.

It doesn't matter if they are separate Actions (upper case!) or not. At all. You are provoking from casting the spell, and you are provoking from making the ranged attack. You are doing two actions (lowercase!) that provoke.

Quote:
Performing a Distracting Act: Some actions, when performed in a threatened square, provoke attacks of opportunity as you divert your attention from the battle. Table: Actions in Combat notes many of the actions that provoke attacks of opportunity.

Is there an action (lowercase!) in that table that provokes? Great, if you do it, no matter what Action (uppercase!) you are using, it provokes. To argue otherwise is to argue that a full attack with a bow does not provoke an AoO on each attack the bow user makes.

Are you saying that each attack roll an archer makes when firing his bow doesn't provoke?

I mean, the table clearly says that a full attack doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity. But no. When making a full attack with a bow, you are making ranged attacks. What does this mean? That means you look up to see if Attack (ranged) provokes AoOs, and lo and behold, it does! A full attack is one Action composed of many smaller actions.

Just like casting a spell that has ranged touch attacks in it.

And no, I am not putting words in Jason's mouth.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
This change was made for a few simple reasons. First, it was never perfectly clear whether or not this provoked in 3.5. I saw the rules citation, but it is not entirely clear whether or not that applies to melee as well as ranged. Second, the homogeny of ranged attacks working in a similar way, spell or not, was just simply cleaner from a rules perspective. The value of the ranged touch attack is such, that it probably deserves this limitation in any case.

The lead designer said that all ranged attacks, whether from a spell or not, use the same rules. Ranged Attacks provoke attacks of opportunities. Ranged touch attacks are ranged attacks. They provoke attacks of opportunity.

What is the change JB is talking about? The Ranged Touch Spells in Combat section. He says it was never perfectly clear in 3.5 if ranged touch attacks from spells provoked, and that's one of the reasons he added the Ranged Touch Spells in Combat section.

This line:

Quote:
These attacks are made as part of the spell and do not require a separate action.

means that you cannot cast the ranged touch attack spell out of reach, move, and then fire. You need to make the ranged attack rolls when you cast the spell, unlike melee touch attacks where you can cast, then move, and then deliver.

Why would Jason Bulmahn add text that says "Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity" if that was not his intention? Why would he add that text in the section about ranged touch attacks as part of spells if they DIDN'T provoke? You can't split up the Action of a ranged touch attack like you can with a melee touch attack. They are made as part of the spell's action. WHAT ELSE could it mean that the text explicitly says "Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity" when cast as part of a spell?

Jason Bulmahn added text to the game that said that the RTAs are made as part of the spellcasting Action, and that they still provoke, as all ranged attacks do. This was done to get rid of the ambiguity that 3.5 had about whether RTAs made as part of spells provoked AoOs. It was done to make all ranged attacks provoke AoOs.


Tarantula wrote:

what about crawling? Crawling provokes attacks from anyone who threatens any part of your crawl. It also causes you to leave a threatened space, which as we all know provokes. 2 provocations, single action.

Why go out of the way to use crawling, why not simple movement through multiple squares.

You are leaving a square multiple times. Each of these provokes. It's only one opportunity, but each provokes.

-James


Sarrion wrote:


For comparison, loading a cross bow and then firing the said crossbow in combat provokes two attacks of opportunity. The first is for loading and the second is for firing of the crossbow.

One may load the crossbow, then walk around before taking the separate action to fire.

Much like one may cast a melee touch spell, then move and then take a separate action to deliver it.

Now don't focus too much on the word 'action' but rather focus on the word 'separate'.

Then compare this to a ranged touch spell like acid arrow or scorching ray. One cannot even do the following: cast a ranged touch spell, take a 5' step and then make the ranged attack with it. Rather the two things- casting the ranged attack spell and making the ranged attack are not separable.

What Jason put into the rules does not say that casting a ranged touch spell is multiple opportunities. Rather even if such a spell is cast defensively the act is still going to provoke AN attack of opportunity. Anymore is reading into the rules what you want to read there.

-James


james maissen wrote:
Tarantula wrote:

what about crawling? Crawling provokes attacks from anyone who threatens any part of your crawl. It also causes you to leave a threatened space, which as we all know provokes. 2 provocations, single action.

Why go out of the way to use crawling, why not simple movement through multiple squares.

You are leaving a square multiple times. Each of these provokes. It's only one opportunity, but each provokes.

-James

Crawling provokes if you threaten any square of the movement. So someone crawling INTO one of your threatened squares provokes.

Therefore, if a character crawls from square 1 to square 2, and a creature threatens both, it gets 2 AoOs. One for leaving the threatened square 1, and one for crawling into threatened square 2.


james maissen wrote:

What Jason put into the rules does not say that casting a ranged touch spell is multiple opportunities. Rather even if such a spell is cast defensively the act is still going to provoke AN attack of opportunity. Anymore is reading into the rules what you want to read there.

-James

Do you believe there is no reason to cast a ranged touch attack spell defensively then? Since you are going to provoke AN AoO (With your reading) either way?

Liberty's Edge

Tarantula wrote:
HangarFlying wrote:

Where in the AoO rules does it say that a single action provokes multiple AoO? As I read it, The defender only provokes once per action. The attacker can only make one attack per provocation.

Since casting a spell requiring a ranged touch attack is the same action, the caster is only engaging in one action, ergo the attacker can only make one attack against that action. How are people interpreting these rules to allow themselves to make two attacks against one action?

Hangar,

As I showed before, what about crawling? Crawling provokes attacks from anyone who threatens any part of your crawl. It also causes you to leave a threatened space, which as we all know provokes. 2 provocations, single action.

Also, the full-attack with a bow example. Single full-round action, provocation for each arrow fired.

From the rules, "Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity, even if the spell that causes the attacks was cast defensively."

This explicitly states that making the ranged touch attack provokes separate from casting of the spell. Thus, already, by casting a ranged touch attack spell not defensively, you provoke twice.

The question at hand, is does each ranged touch attack provoke from a single spell? Since this only effects scorching ray, I'd rule that targeting the rays only provokes once. Why? Because no other spells provoke multiple times, and scorching ray isn't so good to warrant it.

RAW? I think that it provokes per ray fired, even if they are all at the same person.

Crawling does not provoke twice, it provokes once. With crawling, you are only allowed to move 5', but it isn't a 5-foot-step, and is therefore subject to an AoO because you are moving out of a threatened area. The actual act of being prone doesn't provoke, it's the movement that provokes. Much in the same way that if you can't move through difficult terrain, you can still move 5 feet, but are subject to an AoO because the move isn't a 5-foot-step.

Technically, Full Attack Actions are not subject to AoO, and there is no differentiation for melee or ranged like there is for the standard actions of Attack (Melee) and Attack (Ranged). Now, I'm not saying that a ranged full attack doesn't provoke, but it does raise the legitimate question of "Does each iteration of a ranged attack provoke during a full attack sequence, or does the whole sequence only provoke one attack"? My question being based on the fact that Full Attacks as an action, are not subject to AoO. Actually, this would derail the thread. Disregard this question and I will start a new thread.

I don't read your rules quote as an explicit example of two provocations from one action, rather that the nature of the action will still provokes an AoO even if the spell is cast defensively.


HangarFlying wrote:

Crawling does not provoke twice, it provokes once. With crawling, you are only allowed to move 5', but it isn't a 5-foot-step, and is therefore subject to an AoO because you are moving out of a threatened area. The actual act of being prone doesn't provoke, it's the movement that provokes. Much in the same way that if you can't move through difficult terrain, you can still move 5 feet, but are subject to an AoO because the move isn't a 5-foot-step.

Technically, Full Attack Actions are not subject to AoO, and there is no differentiation for melee or ranged like there is for the standard actions of Attack (Melee) and Attack (Ranged). Now, I'm not saying that a ranged full attack doesn't provoke, but it does raise the legitimate question of "Does each iteration of a ranged attack provoke during a full attack sequence, or does the whole sequence only provoke one attack"? My question being based on the fact that Full Attacks as an action, are not subject to AoO. Actually, this would derail the thread. Disregard this question and I will start a new thread.

I don't read your rules quote as an explicit example of two provocations from one action, rather that the nature of the action will still provokes an AoO even if the spell is cast defensively.

"Crawling incurs attacks of opportunity from any attackers who threaten you at any point of your crawl."

Crawling provokes for crawling into a threatened space.
Moving out of a threatened space also provokes
Someone crawling from one threatened space to another threatened space provokes once for leaving a threatened square, and once for crawling into one.

Regarding full-attacks. Since you don't actually specify a full attack until you make the second one (see Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack) the first attack by a bow user will provoke. When the bow user then decides to make their remaining attacks, it becomes a full-round attack instead of a standard action attack. There is no reason these attacks would not also provoke.

I'll ask you the same thing. What reason is there to cast a ranged touch attack spell defensively?


Tarantula wrote:


Crawling provokes if you threaten any square of the movement. So someone crawling INTO one of your threatened squares provokes.

Therefore, if a character crawls from square 1 to square 2, and a creature threatens both, it gets 2 AoOs. One for leaving the threatened square 1, and one for crawling into threatened square 2.

No, it is only one opportunity. It may provoke twice, but does not give two opportunities.

As to your other question:
I don't think there's any reason to cast a ranged touch spell defensively, just as I don't think that there's any reason to tumble after someone's taken their AOO during prior movement that round, nor much reason to withdraw through later squares that the same opponent threatens.

There are ways to avoid certain things in this game. But there are exceptions and things where it doesn't work regardless. This is one such that Jason specifically wanted to lay out.

In 3rd edition there was great variation on whether or not one could cast defensively to avoid the AOO for casting a ranged touch spell. Jason wanted to make sure that Paizo had it clear. I don't think he considered that there would be ambiguity one way or the other on the number of opportunities would be involved.

No idea which way he and the other devs will elect to rule this. As it stands it is one opportunity. But however you've played this in the past will weigh your opinions here... and the devs are players of our wonderful game as well.

You'll note that they originally ruled that empower would work on a magic missile like (1d4 x1.5)+1 rather than (1d4+1)x1.5! This is because many people played it that way, and evidently so did the devs. They were used to it that way, and thus said it was that. Mind you when you look at the old 3e PhBs the example for empower spell was magic missile doing the later and not the former. To their credit they realized this and came out ruling it the original way as they never intended to change the rule there.. they just had always played it the other way.

Personally I love the fact that the devs are also players, and that they are active with us on these boards. It will be interesting to see how they take a stand on this, and whether it is picking between grey areas, finding what was originally intended regardless of how its being played, or going with what they or others think always fit the rule.

-James

-James


james maissen wrote:
No, it is only one opportunity. It may provoke twice, but does not give two opportunities.

How can it provoke twice and not give two opportunities?

"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)."

Assuming the person threatening the squares had combat reflexes. RAW they get 2 attacks, since as you said, there is 2 provocations.


Stynkk wrote:
meatrace wrote:

You'll have to quote rules that say what you're suggesting.

The rules for PF don't have that level of granularity. This isn't M:TG where there is a stack. Attacks of Opportunity and readied actions are this really weird no-man's land where the world is all topsy-turvy.

I know what I think would happen, but as certain as I feel about it I have to admit there is a high enough level of ambiguity to necessitate a FAQ answer.

Here is the rules text - they actually do have that level of granularity. They actually stop the progression of the round and occur before the action which they were provoked by. Here's a link to the citation and relevant text.

Making an Attack of Opportunity: An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack, and most characters can only make one per round. You don't have to make an attack of opportunity if you don't want to. You make your attack of opportunity at your normal attack bonus, even if you've already attacked in the round.

An attack of opportunity “interrupts” the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character's turn (or complete the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the midst of a character's turn).

Rant Below!!** spoiler omitted **

EDIT: Oh, the ninjamanity!

Except...there isn't a Declare Action step, a Declare Target step, a Resolve Action step, etc. It's all at once. So what you're saying is that if an action I perform provokes an attack of opportunity, even though the AoO happens BEFORE MY ACTION HAPPENS, I am forced to continue with it. That seems to make no sense to me. But making sense in some sort of simulationist way doesn't have a bearing on the rules.

Liberty's Edge

Tarantula wrote:
HangarFlying wrote:

Crawling does not provoke twice, it provokes once. With crawling, you are only allowed to move 5', but it isn't a 5-foot-step, and is therefore subject to an AoO because you are moving out of a threatened area. The actual act of being prone doesn't provoke, it's the movement that provokes. Much in the same way that if you can't move through difficult terrain, you can still move 5 feet, but are subject to an AoO because the move isn't a 5-foot-step.

Technically, Full Attack Actions are not subject to AoO, and there is no differentiation for melee or ranged like there is for the standard actions of Attack (Melee) and Attack (Ranged). Now, I'm not saying that a ranged full attack doesn't provoke, but it does raise the legitimate question of "Does each iteration of a ranged attack provoke during a full attack sequence, or does the whole sequence only provoke one attack"? My question being based on the fact that Full Attacks as an action, are not subject to AoO. Actually, this would derail the thread. Disregard this question and I will start a new thread.

I don't read your rules quote as an explicit example of two provocations from one action, rather that the nature of the action will still provokes an AoO even if the spell is cast defensively.

"Crawling incurs attacks of opportunity from any attackers who threaten you at any point of your crawl."

Crawling provokes for crawling into a threatened space.
Moving out of a threatened space also provokes
Someone crawling from one threatened space to another threatened space provokes once for leaving a threatened square, and once for crawling into one.

Regarding full-attacks. Since you don't actually specify a full attack until you make the second one (see Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack) the first attack by a bow user will provoke. When the bow user then decides to make their remaining attacks, it becomes a full-round attack instead of a standard action attack. There is no reason these attacks would not also provoke.
...

Regarding crawling, true, it would provoke for the moving out of one and the moving into another, but it doesn't provoke twice for moving out of the first square that you initially alluded to.

Regarding full-attacks, one could posit that, yes the first ranged attack provokes, but once the second iterative attack is made, it becomes a full-attack, and no further provocations are made because full-attacks do not provoke AoO. I do understand the argument against this, and I'm actually on the fence about this issue.

As far as casting spells that require a ranged touch attack defensively? There is no reason to do so because the rules state than an AoO is provoked anyways, and the caster is going to get smacked.


HangarFlying wrote:


"Crawling incurs attacks of opportunity from any attackers who threaten you at any point of your crawl."
Crawling provokes for crawling into a threatened space.
Moving out of a threatened space also provokes
Someone crawling from one threatened space to another threatened space provokes once for leaving a threatened square, and once for crawling into one.

Regarding full-attacks. Since you don't actually specify a full attack until you make the second one (see Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack) the first attack by a bow user will provoke. When the bow user then decides to make their remaining attacks, it becomes a full-round attack instead of a standard action attack. There is no reason these attacks

...

Nope. If something provokes, it provokes. Period. Making a ranged attack provokes. If you do it once it provokes once, if you do it 11 times it provokes 11 freaking times.

This is the same sort of backwards logic that lead people to say you can only sneak attack once per round.

"But the rules don't say you can do it multiple times a round..."

No, the rules say "IF X THEN Y" IF you make a ranged attack THEN you provoke an AoO. There's no need to say "this is specifically allowed to happen multiple times per round" because there is also no language keeping it from happening more than once per round.

Full attacking with a bow, charging with an unarmed strike without IUS (the movement provokes and the attack provokes, but it's a full-round action), charging with a bull rush, charging with a trip. All these things MUST provoke multiple times because, although "full round actions" they include multiple ACTS which provoke. If you can only provoke from one action, which act WITHIN that action provokes.

Let's say I charge a large creature and attack with an unarmed strike without IUS. A singularly stupid thing to do, I know. Since it CAN ONLY EVER PROVOKE ONCE, being a single action, I declare that it's attack that provokes. That way, when I move out of another enemy's threatened space to charge, he can't make an AoO on me. Wait I don't get to choose. Who gets to choose? What if that monster has Combat Reflexes? What if they both do?

Another implication of your interpretation is that only things which are ACTIONS provoke attacks of opportunity. Attacks of opportunity are not an action, thus they never provoke. Someone moves through my threatened space and I try to trip them. Normally that would provoke its own attack of opportunity, but I get free and clear because AoOs aren't actions? Methinks not, if you do something that provokes...*gasp* it provokes!

Liberty's Edge

Archaeik wrote:

...monster links...

I'm not saying that RTA DON'T provoke an AoO, in fact, I would argue that the rules don't excuse any of the creatures you listed from provoking an AoO for making their associated ranged or ranged touch attacks.

Regarding the spells, I do agree that an AoO is provoked. Others are suggesting that there are two distinct provocations (the first can be avoided by casting defensively, the second cant be avoided), I am suggesting that there is only one provocation that ALWAYS provokes and can't be avoided by casting that spell defensively.


Still following this debate with interest. Still think that it provokes two AoOs, but I've pretty much said every piece I had to say in the last thread.

I marked it for FAQ, though :)


meatrace wrote:
Except...there isn't a Declare Action step, a Declare Target step, a Resolve Action step, etc. It's all at once. So what you're saying is that if an action I perform provokes an attack of opportunity, even though the AoO happens BEFORE MY ACTION HAPPENS, I am forced to continue with it. That seems to make no sense to me. But making sense in some sort of simulationist way doesn't have a bearing on the rules.

You say "I'm going to punch Bob." This uses your standard action. Now, because you don't have improved unarmed strike, Bob gets to make an AoO on you. This interrupts the attack, and is resolved immediately. Bob swings and misses. Now, we continue with the current turn and finish resolving your attack against Bob.

You don't get to re-use your standard action because it was interrupted in the middle.

We are saying you are forced to continue with the action you declared. That's the point of declaring it.


We already know what was intended. Jason Bulmahn told us that both by adding the section saying that the ranged touch attacks made as part of a spell provoke attacks of opportunities, as well as explaining on the boards why he did this.

If someone can explain why JB would add the text saying they provoke in the section about RTAs when casting spells, but actually intend for them not to provoke despite what the text he added, I would love to hear it.


Tarantula wrote:
meatrace wrote:
Except...there isn't a Declare Action step, a Declare Target step, a Resolve Action step, etc. It's all at once. So what you're saying is that if an action I perform provokes an attack of opportunity, even though the AoO happens BEFORE MY ACTION HAPPENS, I am forced to continue with it. That seems to make no sense to me. But making sense in some sort of simulationist way doesn't have a bearing on the rules.

You say "I'm going to punch Bob." This uses your standard action. Now, because you don't have improved unarmed strike, Bob gets to make an AoO on you. This interrupts the attack, and is resolved immediately. Bob swings and misses. Now, we continue with the current turn and finish resolving your attack against Bob.

You don't get to re-use your standard action because it was interrupted in the middle.

We are saying you are forced to continue with the action you declared. That's the point of declaring it.

So, okay. Let's turn this around.

Readying an action also interrupts, correct?
For some reason I'm invisible and watching combat happen. I'm readying an action to shout if things get out of hand. My friend begins his turn and tries to coup de grace an unconscious ally. I shout "NO DON'T, WE WANT TO QUESTION HER". But it doesn't matter because he is not allowed to change his mind about an action he committed to, even if new information comes to light before he actually does the dirty deed.


HangarFlying wrote:

Regarding crawling, true, it would provoke for the moving out of one and the moving into another, but it doesn't provoke twice for moving out of the first square that you initially alluded to.

Regarding full-attacks, one could posit that, yes the first ranged attack provokes, but once the second iterative attack is made, it becomes a full-attack, and no further provocations are made because full-attacks do not provoke AoO. I do understand the argument against this, and I'm actually on the fence about this issue.

As far as casting spells that require a ranged touch attack defensively? There is no reason to do so because the rules state than an AoO is provoked anyways, and the caster is going to get smacked.

I never alluded to saying it provoked twice for leaving a threatened square. Point is, it is a single action causing 2 provocations.

Ok, I understand you're on the fence about multiple ranged attacks. What about a fighter, who was disarmed, making multiple unarmed strikes without improved unarmed strike? One AoO per swing or one for the whole action?


And of course all the attacks of the full ranged attack provoke.

What is it supposed to be representing? It's a distracting act! You can't fully concentrate around you! Why would the later attacks, which under no circumstances need to be against the same guy, and still require just as much concentration on the task at hand, suddenly not?


meatrace wrote:

So, okay. Let's turn this around.

Readying an action also interrupts, correct?
For some reason I'm invisible and watching combat happen. I'm readying an action to shout if things get out of hand. My friend begins his turn and tries to coup de grace an unconscious ally. I shout "NO DON'T, WE WANT TO QUESTION HER". But it doesn't matter because he is not allowed to change his mind about an action he committed to, even if new information comes to light before he actually does the dirty deed.

They could take their 5-foot step away from the unconscious ally causing them to fail the coup de grace.

"The only movement you can take during a full-round action is a 5-foot step before, during, or after the action."

Other than that, no, he can't stop the action because he already started it. "If the triggered action is part of another character's activities, you interrupt the other character. Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once you complete your readied action."

Personally? I'd say you could stop the action you started, but you still lose the Action it takes. So someone can make an unarmed strike, get hit by the AoO and decide not to even finish the attack. They still give up their standard Action for this turn.

Or in your example, I would allow the friend to stop the coup de grace, but he still loses his full-round Action for his turn. Is this RAW?

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