Ranged Touch Attacks Provoking AoOs 2: Electric Boogaloo


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Mabven the OP healer wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
HangarFlying wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

The text limits you to one AoO per opportunity, not one AoO per action.

The text states that one action provides one opportunity, and that one opportunity allows for one attack.
Show me a quote with the word "action" that supports that statement.

From the footnotes to the chart of "Actions in Combat":

Footnotes to Actions in Combat wrote:


1 Regardless of the action, if you move out of a threatened square, you usually provoke an attack of opportunity. This column indicates whether the action itself, not moving, provokes an attack of opportunity.
2 If you aid someone performing an action that would normally provoke an attack of opportunity, then the act of aiding another provokes an attack of opportunity as well.

Those are two instances where attacks of opportunity are stated to be provoked by actions. In fact, 1) specifically states that despite some of the listed actions including movement (which would provoke in its own right) it is the action itself which provokes. It is calling out that even though there are two provocations, there is only one aoo.

Direct link between actions and opportunities.

That is not what I asked for. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

When the guy who has no authority keeps getting referenced as a valid source it just tells me the debate is already over.

You can't go asking the general of the Navy(James Jacobs) can you borrow an Army tank just because the General of the Army(Jason.B) is not available.

Healer:I want to use that Army tank, can you explain to me how it works?

James J:I have seen them in use. I will give my opinion of how they work.

Healer:Hey everyone James just told me how to operate a tank, so I am going to drive one.

Me:I have several transcripts with James saying he has is not an expert or leading authority on the operation of tanks. He even says it is better to ask other people who have studied tanks since that is not his area of expertise. He also says he can't authorize their use.

Healer:Well he is the only military guy I could find, so he must be correct.

Me:You don't understand. He does not have the authority to make that call. The tank is not his to lend out.

Healer:I don't care if he says that is someone else's call and out of his realm. I am going to pretend he has the authority to make the call, and drive that tank.

Me: SMH

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Stynkk wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
It is the same kind of situation. You have completed the spell, it is only the delivery part that is now being resolved.
I disagree with your conclusion. A touch spell is completed, then the touch resolves - it is a two step process. A Ranged touch is different because the touch is part of the spellcast, it even states this in the rules.

If I was taking your conclusion as valid I would have to side with the idea that casting + firing a touch attack provoke only once.

I see from where you get that conclusion, but I see this piece too:

PRD 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. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

Touch Attacks: Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The act of casting a spell, however, does provoke an attack of opportunity. Touch attacks come in two types: melee touch attacks and ranged touch attacks.

Ranged touch spell in combat is separated but it is meant (I think) to work with this piece too.

My position in that is more ROI than RAW, but it is something that hopefully will be cleared together with the main question.


Unfortunately, "range of touch" does not mean "ranged touch attack."

"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."
This is quite clear that the ranged touch attack is part of the casting of the spell. Quite unlike touch range spells, with a Ranged Touch spell, you can Not cast, then move, then deliver the ranged touch. Delivering the touch is part of casting, and the damage from the AoO provoked by that RTA should RAW cause a concentration check or lose the spell.

RAI? I don't think the RTA should be part of "casting" the spell. It should be made immediately upon completion. As it stands, RAW it is part of casting it however.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cheapy wrote:
A pity that Come and Get Me doesn't really work well with the interpretation that one action = one provocation max. I mean, it doesn't say it allows you to bypass that "limitation", so even if the enemy makes a full attack, which "clearly" only provokes once, the barbarian just gets 1 AoO in return.

I have seen people saying that the AN part of that ability description mean that the barbarian get only 1 AoO against each opponent, so it would not be an unheard position. [shrug]

PRD wrote:
Come and Get Me (Ex): While raging, as a free action the barbarian may leave herself open to attack while preparing devastating counterattacks. Enemies gain a +4 bonus on attack and damage rolls against the barbarian until the beginning of her next turn, but every attack against the barbarian provokes an attack of opportunity from her, which is resolved prior to resolving each enemy attack. A barbarian must be at least 12th level to select this rage power.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gordon the Whale wrote:

I agree with meatrace: it is ambiguous, and there are merits to both sides. I'd like to see it clarified. FWIW, my reading is:

(For all these examples, assume the opponent has Combat Reflexes and enough Dex.)

  • A single Action allows an opponent to make multiple AOOs if multiple events within the action each independently provoke. Thus, making a full attack with a bow allows one AOO for each attack, making an unarmed charge vs. a reach opponent provokes twice, etc. I am pretty sure about this, but I admit ambiguity.

  • Casting Scorching Ray defensively at low level (1 ray) allows one AOO. Explicitly stated, no ambiguity.

  • If the AOO from above results in damage being taken, there is no need for a concentration check against the damage, because the spell has already been cast. I feel strongly about this, but admit ambiguity.

  • Casting Scorching Ray NOT defensively at low level allows two AOO. I feel a little ambivalent about this. Even if this is not true, and it only allows one AOO, there is still a reason to cast defensively, because it prevents the necessity of a concentration check against damage, which is likely to be much higher than the cast defensively check.

  • Casting Scorching Ray defensively at high level (three rays) still allows only one AOO, because the three rays are simultaneous. This I am not at all confident of, but it is what makes sense to me. What makes sense to me isn't necessarily the rules, but I don't think it makes sense for three simultaneous events to provide multiple openings for an attack against a single person. Furthermore, although targeting three people simultaneously may require more concentration than targeting one, it surely takes less effort than casting a spell with a full-round casting time, which only provokes once.

  • If it turns out that there is a rule of "one AOO per action," then I would interpret it as, "Every circumstance within the action that provokes an attack of opportunity still provokes, but you may only choose to take one."...
  • Perfect sum up, Gordon. I agree with you, comments included. Thanks.

    (I know, it will not stop the discussion, but it is a good piece)


    Diego Rossi wrote:

    If I was taking your conclusion as valid I would have to side with the idea that casting + firing a touch attack provoke only once.

    I see from where you get that conclusion, but I see this piece too:

    PRD 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. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

    Touch Attacks: Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The act of casting a spell, however, does provoke an attack of opportunity. Touch attacks come in two types: melee touch attacks and ranged touch attacks.

    Diego, you're factoring in only the Melee component of touch attacks. Here is what it says about Ranged Touches:

    PRD - Combat - Touch Spells in Combat - Ranged Touch Attacks" 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.

    "Ranged Touch Attacks" are ruled different than "Melee Touch Attacks or "Spells with a Range of Touch" (touching up to 6 friends).

    I bolded the first line in your quote... It only refers to "spells with a range of touch" or something you physically touch, you will notice that scorching ray has a range of "close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)" so it functions more like a ranged weapon than a melee touch. Because it is different the rules call it out differently.

    How are they different? First, they provoke an AoO where a melee touch spell does not and second they are made as "part of the casting of the spell", it is impossible to argue that you can cast the spell then aim the effect because the rules state "Unless otherwise noted, ranged touch attacks cannot be held until a later turn".

    So you must consider the "ranged touch" component to be a part of the actual spell casting process.

    If you have more comments I'd like to hear them, because I think many people are making this mistake when examining this debate.

    For the record, I am firmly in the AoO per Ranged Touch Attempt, that is the counter balance to your being able to shoot multiple rays.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Tarantula wrote:

    Unfortunately, "range of touch" does not mean "ranged touch attack."

    "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."
    This is quite clear that the ranged touch attack is part of the casting of the spell. Quite unlike touch range spells, with a Ranged Touch spell, you can Not cast, then move, then deliver the ranged touch. Delivering the touch is part of casting, and the damage from the AoO provoked by that RTA should RAW cause a concentration check or lose the spell.

    RAI? I don't think the RTA should be part of "casting" the spell. It should be made immediately upon completion. As it stands, RAW it is part of casting it however.

    Maybe it is a leftover from the 3.5 version but there is that piece about ranged touch attacks under "Touch Spells in Combat" and that link Ranged Touch spells to the main heading on touch spells.

    As I already said, more ROI than RAW, but I prefer to treat the ranged touch attack as a free or no action granted by casting the spell.


    Diego Rossi wrote:

    Maybe it is a leftover from the 3.5 version but there is that piece about ranged touch attacks under "Touch Spells in Combat" and that link Ranged Touch spells to the main heading on touch spells.

    As I already said, more ROI than RAW, but I prefer to treat the ranged touch attack as a free or no action granted by casting the spell.

    But, the way you prefer to treat it is different than the mechancial description of the Ranged Touch Attack in the Pathfinder Core Rules. I think you may be holding over something from the 3.5 ruleset, but not all the rules are the same. This may be one of those cases - but I do not know the specifics of 3.5

    Please refer to my post directly above this one if you want to see the rules text or go here.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Actually that piece is cited verbatim from the PRD. It is unfortunate but the ranged touch attack get that small reference under touch attack, not only under "Ranged Touch Spells in Combat".

    In the next revision of the book it would be advisable to put all the text under a single header and remove that piece of text if it is obsolete, or move the whole "Touch Attacks: ..." before the section about Touch attacks in combat. Normally when a piece of the rules is a sub-heading of a larger piece you apply all the rules in the larger piece and then the specifics in the sub heading.


    And so we get back to the original question.

    It matters not if you assume "one Action = one opportunity max".

    If you assume so, then the Ranged Touch Spells in Combat is a specific exception and over rules it, stating in no unclear terms that the ranged touch attacks as part of the spell provoke.

    If you don't assume this, not only does the game actually work as intended, but then it doesn't even matter because there was never a problem in the first place. The rules that were added to PF say that you provoke from ranged touch attacks granted by spells.


    Sarrion wrote:


    If you cast defensively and then fire the scorching ray, then by all rights you would provoke an attack of opportunity for making a ranged touch attack. When that happens the attack of opportunity is an immediate action that occurs prior to making your ranged touch attack. If this is the case then the attack of opportunity could potentially disrupt the spell because it hasn't been fully cast...

    Well it's not an immediate action. That is a game term that has other meanings.

    It can disrupt the casting. Firing the rays is part of the casting, unlike delivering a melee touch spell. Consider the differences between the two.

    A melee touch spell you are told that you can deliver it as a free action anytime during the round in which you cast it. You can move after casting and before delivering. You can even hold the charge for later rounds.

    A ranged touch spell cannot do any of this. It is fired at the time of casting, just as much as the fireball flies off from the caster as part of the casting.

    It does seem strange perhaps, but that is because we were used to thinking of it as separate but when you really look at it you see that it is not.

    -James


    Diego, the section of the rules you are referring to is an artifact of 3.5. The Ranged Touch Spells In Combat section was added in PF, and from that it should be obvious which one has precedence in any case of ambiguity.


    Cheapy wrote:

    The rules that were added to PF say that you provoke from ranged touch attacks granted by spells.

    Yes, but you can provoke multiple times but not have multiple opportunities. That's the disconnect here.

    Casting a scorching ray might provoke 4 times. A TK spell could provoke 16 times. However each is only one opportunity.

    Just as you could leave 16 squares in a given round. Each could provoke if those squares were threatened. But the entire sequence is but one opportunity.

    -James


    james maissen wrote:
    Cheapy wrote:

    The rules that were added to PF say that you provoke from ranged touch attacks granted by spells.

    Yes, but you can provoke multiple times but not have multiple opportunities. That's the disconnect here.

    Where does it say that you can provoke multiple times but you only give one opportunity?

    Quote:


    Just as you could leave 16 squares in a given round. Each could provoke if those squares were threatened. But the entire sequence is but one opportunity.

    -James

    That's because it explicitly says it's only one opportunity. If it did not explicitly say that movement through the threatened squares was only one opportunity, than each and every time you left the threatened square would be an opportunity.


    Cheapy wrote:


    That's because it explicitly says it's only one opportunity. If it did not explicitly say that movement through the threatened squares was only one opportunity, than each and every time you left the threatened square would be an opportunity.

    No. It does not make your claim at all.

    It is listing that one out as specifically one opportunity as the other possible DM interpretation here would be too abusive. Much like multiple greater trips as the same character is falling.

    Without that guidance, many DMs could reasonably consider leaving each square as a separate opportunity. After all you get to make decisions for the rest of the move based upon what happens and what is seen. But this would be too drastic a change.

    Recall that this was the change from 3e to 3.5 where suddenly it was possible to take multiple AOOs against one target in a single round. They left it as a DM call on what constituted an opportunity. Provocations do not equate to opportunities.

    -James


    And you should recall that the intent of AoOs is that if you are doing a distracting act, no matter what, you provoke and give your opponent an opportunity to whack you. That's what the entire AoO rule system is trying to implement. It doesn't matter if you've already provoked and given an opportunity. You do not suddenly become immune to being distracted if you've provoked and given an opportunity once. To say otherwise is to claim against the intent of AoOs.

    Provoking an Attack of Opportunity is the same as giving your opponent an opportunity to attack you.


    But, as I said before, it matters not.

    If somehow there is only One AoO per Action, then it is an explicit exception that the RTAs of a spell provoke.

    I can't believe people are actually trying to argue against the very clear language that was added to the game that they provoke. It's like looking at the PF Power Attack and saying it's the same as the 3.5 Power Attack, despite the text being right there in front of you.


    Cheapy wrote:

    And you should recall that the intent of AoOs is that if you are doing a distracting act, no matter what, you provoke and give your opponent an opportunity to whack you. That's what the entire AoO rule system is trying to implement. It doesn't matter if you've already provoked and given an opportunity. You do not suddenly become immune to being distracted if you've provoked and given an opportunity once. To say otherwise is to claim against the intent of AoOs.

    Provoking an Attack of Opportunity is the same as giving your opponent an opportunity to attack you.

    Provoking is not the same thing as opportunity. Otherwise there's no reason for the language at all.

    Moreover the rules expressly give a case where you can provoke numerous times and yet it is one opportunity. Your 'against the intent of the rules' is expressly in the rules, you just want to see it as an exception as it doesn't fit how you want to read it.

    You are limited to one AOO per opportunity. This cannot be contested, right?

    There is an express case where one opportunity involves many provocations. This also cannot be contested. It might be called an 'exception' but that's aside to that this occurs, right?

    The intent of AOOs is the following, taken from the 3.5 book:

    my 3.5 PhB page 137 wrote:


    The melee combat rules assume that combatants are actively avoiding attacks. A player doesn't have to declare anything special for her character to be on the defensive. Even if a character's miniature figure is just standing there on the battle grid, you can be sure that if some orc with a falchion attacks the character, she is weaving, dodging, and even threatening the orc with a weapon to keep the orc a little worried for his own hide.

    Sometimes, however, a combatant in a melee lets her guard down. In this case, combatants near her can take advantage of her lapse in defense to attack her for free. These free attacks are called attacks of opportunity (see diagram on the next page).

    And then the relevant part on Combat Reflexes lower in that half of the page going over to the next one:

    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 -- such as by moving out of a threatened square and then casting a spell in a threatened square-- 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.

    You will notice the import of the bolded section. It is that each provocation has to be assessed to see that each does represent a different opportunity. Simply being a different provocation is not enough. It is not automatic. Also the limitation is not '(no) more than one attack for a given provocation' but rather for a given opportunity.

    The rules then go on to expressly adjudicate the case of movement out of squares as being a single opportunity where reasonably they could be called out as separate.

    It seems clear to me that the intent of the 3.5 change was to allow for separate provocations to be allowed to become separate opportunities. Thus the move and then cast could allow for two AOOs from someone with 3.5 combat reflexes.

    They specifically spelled out a situation that would be abusive if allowed to be separate opportunities. This is not listed as an exception, but rather a line in the sand for adjudication. Letting a single character take a dozen AOOs against an opponent here was not what the change from 3e to 3.5 allowed.

    Likewise I don't see a reason why this change that drew that line in the sand would allow for 16 AOOs from the casting of one TK spell. That doesn't fit in line with what you are calling 'the only exception'. It also doesn't fit well with the meaning of AOOs to have 15 opportunities for the 15 simultaneous ranged attacks from the TK spell. You could call it 15 provocations if you wish, but not 15 opportunities.

    -James


    Cheapy wrote:


    If somehow there is only One AoO per Action, then it is an explicit exception that the RTAs of a spell provoke.

    The logic here is flawed.

    The rules say that the ranged attack provokes even if the spell is cast defensively.

    If you take the rules to say that there is only one opportunity per action (which I do not, but this was your premise) then there are potentially two provocations to give this opportunity. If one does not occur, then the other still provides that ONE opportunity.

    You are reading into this statement that the ranged attack provides a different opportunity beyond the one by casting a spell in a threatened square.

    The flaw to the other line of thinking is in the limitation of opportunity by 'Action' (game term) rather than perhaps 'act' (non-game term) or other such that was meant to be adjudicated by a thinking GM.

    -James


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    The disconnect for me, james, is the idea that multiple provocations /= multiple opportunities. I think this is some weird mental gymnastics. The system is much cleaner and simpler if when you provoke an attack of opportunity...you provoke an attack of opportunity. The language about movement seems to indicate that it is a special situation rather than a general trend, otherwise why not just say "multiple acts that would provoke from a single action instead only provoke once"? Certainly that would be infinitely cleaner language.


    James,
    I don't see where you are getting 2 separate items, a provocation and an opportunity.
    "An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you."
    "If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character's turn"

    "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)."
    Suddenly, under combat reflexes, they switch from saying provoke to opportunity. Opportunity is never clarified, however provoking is. The logical thing is to infer that they meant to say provoke under combat reflexes. I would rewrite it like this: (I am putting my words into italics because this is not a rules quote, this is how I would change a few words to make them look more consistent.)

    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 when an opponent provokes an attack of 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 distracting act). 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.

    RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

    I removed more posts. Play nice.

    I'm also locking this thread for the same reasons the last one was locked.

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