Enforcer + Spellstrike Frostbite?


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Frostbite PRD wrote:
Your melee touch attack deals 1d6 points of nonlethal cold damage + 1 point per level
Enforcer PRD wrote:
Whenever you deal nonlethal damage with a melee weapon, you can make an Intimidate check to demoralize your target as a free action.

Do these abilities work together?

Naysayers will say that Frostbite is a spell that just happens to be delivered by a touch attack, and that the weapon itself, not the weapon attack, has to deliver the nonlethal damage.

However it has been proven by FAQ that rays count as weapons.

FAQ:

Ray: Do rays count as weapons for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons?
Yes. (See also this FAQ item for a similar question about rays and weapon feats.)

For example, a bard's inspire courage says it affects "weapon damage rolls," which is worded that way so don't try to add the bonus to a spell like fireball. However, rays are treated as weapons, whether they're from spells, a monster ability, a class ability, or some other source, so the inspire courage bonus applies to ray attack rolls and ray damage rolls.

The same rule applies to weapon-like spells such as flame blade, mage's sword, and spiritual weapon--effects that affect weapons work on these spells.

—Sean K Reynolds, 07/29/11


What's more, melee touch attacks are counted as "armed attacks" :

"Armed" Unarmed Attacks wrote:
Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).

In that sense, can we have a consensus as to whether Enforcer can apply to a Frostbite (more specifically to a Frostbite delivered through Spellstrike)?

Thanks in advance ;)


I think it is a good FAQ request....if i'm not mistaken, a lots of magus builds have been done around this combination!!!

FAQ it people!


hitting faq, I am going to say no, since enforcer requires a melee weapon, same reason shadow dancer can't take dimensional dervish chain. It actual call out for a melee weapon.

Touch attack are consider armed attack but not weapons. Weapon Focus feat would call out touch attack is they where weapons but it does not, but it does call out Rays, which support the FAQ

Treated as armed does not make it a melee weapon. It make it exactly as it states you are treated as armed, you threaten squares and can make an aoo with that attack and you do not provoke and aoo when you attack.

unarmed strike is called out as weapon just as a ray is "An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon" Despite not being armed it is still a weapon.


The point is that the attack is actually made with a weapon (spellstrike) which can qualify for Weapon focus, but I understand your argument.

I wouldn't be so sure that a regular Frostbite could benefit from the feat, but with a Spellstrike however you have a melee weapon attack that deals non lethal damage, even if it is a bit of a shenanigan.

Lantern Lodge

I would find it very hard to believe that it makes any difference exactly where the damage came from (whether the weapon, or the spell coming through the weapon) when it comes to the intent of enforcer.

Guy gets hit with weapon, and took some non-lethal damage as a result. He's a little bit intimidated!

Guy gets hit with weapon, and took some non-lethal damage from a spell as a result. He's still gonna be a little bit intimidated!


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If only all rulings could be made based on common sense and not on RAW quotes ...

Liberty's Edge

The question has already been replied by you in your post:

Faskill wrote:
Enforcer PRD wrote:
Whenever you deal nonlethal damage with a melee weapon, you can make an Intimidate check to demoralize your target as a free action.

Do these abilities work together?

Naysayers will say that Frostbite is a spell that just happens to be delivered by a touch attack, and that the weapon itself, not the weapon attack, has to deliver the nonlethal damage.

However it has been proven by FAQ that rays count as weapons.

** spoiler omitted **

Ray are weapons, but the ability require melee weapon

Faskill wrote:


What's more, melee touch attacks are counted as "armed attacks":

"Armed" Unarmed Attacks wrote:
Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).

Exactly, armed attacks, not melee weapons

Faskill wrote:


In that sense, can we have a consensus as to whether Enforcer can apply to a Frostbite (more specifically to a Frostbite delivered through Spellstrike)?

Thanks in advance ;)

No it don't apply.

Armed attacks isn't the same thing of a melee weapon.
A meele weapon dealing nonlethal damage isn't the same thing of a spell dealing nonlethal damage.

Liberty's Edge

FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

I would find it very hard to believe that it makes any difference exactly where the damage came from (whether the weapon, or the spell coming through the weapon) when it comes to the intent of enforcer.

Guy gets hit with weapon, and took some non-lethal damage as a result. He's a little bit intimidated!

Guy gets hit with weapon, and took some non-lethal damage from a spell as a result. He's still gonna be a little bit intimidated!

The RAI, I suppose, is that you instill fear in the target showing that you could do him a lot of damage, but at the same time you avoid triggering the flee or fight reaction as you deal nonlethal damage.

If you go and deal lethal damage it is already been established that you want to kill the target. At that point you don't get extra leverage in terrorizing him because you have done some extra nonlethal damage.


Your point is invalid, you are making a melee attack with a melee weapon that deals non lethal damage.
This melee attack, which is a melee weapon attack thanks to Spellstrike deals non lethal damage from Frostbite. It's the melee weapon attack that deals the non lethal damage emphasis mine, not a rider effect from the spell.
As a proof, the NL damage from Frostbite is actually multiplied on a critical hit.

You may be right that my arguments about rays and armed touch attacks are irrelevant, however, if a ranged touch attack is considered as a weapon, how can a melee weapon attack delivering a touch spell not be?

It says nowhere that the weapon attack has to deal ONLY non lethal damage.


A previous Crane FAQ indicated that a shocking grasp counted as a melee weapon attack for the purposes of deflecting it, so I would say very likely yes.


Here's my take on it:

When you attempt to deliver a touch spell, you are making an Unarmed Attack that counts as an "armed" unarmed attack. How do the rules define Unarmed Attack?

PRD wrote:

Unarmed Attacks: Striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon, except for the following:

Attacks of Opportunity: Attacking unarmed provokes an attack of opportunity from the character you attack, provided she is armed. The attack of opportunity comes before your attack. An unarmed attack does not provoke attacks of opportunity from other foes, nor does it provoke an attack of opportunity from an unarmed foe.

An unarmed character can't take attacks of opportunity (but see “Armed” Unarmed Attacks, below).

“Armed” Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).

Note that being armed counts for both offense and defense (the character can make attacks of opportunity).

Unarmed Strike Damage: An unarmed strike from a Medium character deals 1d3 points of bludgeoning damage (plus your Strength modifier, as normal). A Small character's unarmed strike deals 1d2 points of bludgeoning damage, while a Large character's unarmed strike deals 1d4 points of bludgeoning damage. All damage from unarmed strikes is nonlethal damage. Unarmed strikes count as light weapons (for purposes of two-weapon attack penalties and so on).

Dealing Lethal Damage: You can specify that your unarmed strike will deal lethal damage before you make your attack roll, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll. If you have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, you can deal lethal damage with an unarmed strike without taking a penalty on the attack roll.

The two relevant passages are bolded. Unarmed Attacks qualify as melee weapons. This is why you can take weapon focus for them and why they can be deflected by Crane Wing. They're not melee weapon attacks, but they count as such for all practical purposes. Delivering a touch spell is making an Unarmed Attack that counts as an "Armed" Unarmed Attack; it is a specific exception to the general rules regarding Unarmed Attacks as not armed, thus they provoke AoOs and cannot threaten.

When Crane Wing deflects a Shocking Grasp, it isn't deflecting the Shocking Grasp spell effect, it's deflecting the Unarmed Attack used to deliver the Shocking Grasp. The Touch spell effect is, essentially a "rider" effect on an Unarmed Attack that has had its normal (1d3) damage nullified in order to target Touch AC instead of Normal AC. Mechanically speaking, you're making an Unarmed Strike that sacrifices its own damage in favor of a "rider" effect. Remember, it's still a "melee" touch attack, but it's the Unarmed Strike that's the weapon, not the Touch Spell Effect. Since the Unarmed Strike, in this case, isn't dealing non-lethal damage (it's dealing no damage at all), it doesn't qualify for Enforcer. Rider effects such as the touch effect on a Touch attack, the 1d6 Fire damage on a Flaming weapon, etc. are Extra Damage Dice and not considered part of the weapon damage; that's why they don't multiply on critical hits or vital strike.

So I still think it doesn't work, that you cannot take Weapon Focus (Touch), that Frostbite's nonlethal damage doesn't count as "melee weapon damage", etc. but not for the reasons others have stated ("armed" unarmed attacks don't count as weapons) but rather because, though the "armed" unarmed attack counts as a weapon (Unarmed Strike, specifically) and benefits in all applicable ways (can be finessed, gets an attack bonus from Weapon Focus: Unarmed, etc), the actual damage from the touch spell is a rider effect; extra damage dice on an attack which has had its normal "melee weapon damage" nullified in order to target Touch AC.

As a small side note, I think you should also be able to "touch" an enemy with your weapon and, if you're a Magus, you should be able to use a weapon with Reach to make a Touch against a non-adjacent target and deliver via Spellstrike against Touch AC (nullifying the weapon's normal damage, mind you). But that's another matter.


I don't know why you persist in claiming that a touch spell is a rider effect, even if NOTHING in the rules support that.
Are rider effects multiplied when scoring a critical hit? No they aren't.
Do touch spells get multiplied on scoring a critical hit ? Yes they do
The only spells whose damage get multiplied barring touch spells are rays which, as we have already determined, count as weapons for the benefits of feat and other similar effects.

Also, can we please stop talking about a regular melee touch attack? I'm talking about the Spellstrike magus ability there which uses a melee weapon attack, I wouldn't be so sure that a normal touch attack would qualify

Shadow Lodge

FAQ'd, but I'll throw in my 2cp saying that you can do this, because it makes sense that it would work, since you are doing the same thing you would be doing with enforcer, except casting a spell.

Enforcer being used with sap:You smack a guy with a sap, and the damage you do makes him start shaking with fear.

Enforcer being used with Frostbite Spellstrike Scimitar[assuming it works]:You cut a deep gash in a person's arm, and he feels a cold arcane chill run through it, and starts shaking with fear.

Enforcer not working with spellstrike scimitar, compared to it working with a sap:You put a deep gash in a person's arm and channel an arcane chill through his wounds. He is a bit worse for wear, but still is fine. Seconds later, he gets smacked with your buddy's sap and has a minor bruise. He starts trembling in fear.

FAQ'd.

Liberty's Edge

The effect of a touch spell isn't a weapon attack. The effect of a touch spell can be something that go from Cause light wounds to invisibility, all those spell, when used against an opponent, count as armed attacks. Ans you can score a critical with any of those attacks, even if that often has no extra effect.

"It can get a critic so it is a weapon, not a rider effect!" don't work . I can have a spell storing weapon, get a critical and deliver a spell that benefit from it, but that don't make the spell a weapon. What do the damage is the spell, not a weapon.


The spell doesn't deal any damage BY ITSELF. It transforms your melee attack so that the ATTACK does the non lethal damage. That's how I read Frostbite anyways

Actually my argument that it is NOT a rider effect does work because rider effects explicitly don't get augmented when doing a critical hit. On the other hand, I have yet to see anything that would point to the spell being a rider effect, which is the point (or rather the lack thereof) that all your reasoning is based on.

Shadow Lodge

So, taking a tally of the votes here:

We have 3 people who say it doesn't work at all.

We have 4 people who say Frostbite+SpellStrike+Enforcer does work.

We have 1 person who didn't state which side they were on.

And finally, we have 17 FAQ submissions.


Not bad if I may say so myself, I don't know how many submissions are needed so that this issue would be answered however...


I'd have to vote against this combination if only on the basis of game balance. Enforcer becomes 'all your nonlethal touch spells become frightening'. I think it's low entry barrier (only 1 rank intimidate required) makes it unlikely that this is RAI. I will agree it should work with RAW. I suspect if they errata it, it will say that the weapon itself needs to deal nonlethal damage. With the limited set of weapons already intended to deal nonlethal without a penalty, or taking the -4, this becomes balanced.

Think about it. Magus stabs you through the kidney. The really scary part is that cold feeling you get from the nonlethal damage. Without that, they're not scary at all...

Shadow Lodge

Kwauss wrote:
Think about it. Magus stabs you through the kidney. The really scary part is that cold feeling you get from the nonlethal damage. Without that, they're not scary at all...

Well, getting stabbed in the kidney is scary no matter what you are getting stabbed by, but you don't get a free intimidate because you are assumed to be either fighting people who are combat trained and know how to deal with it, or fighting mindless creatures who have no sense of fear.

With the combat trained people, they will be used to straight-forward kidney stabbing, but when that kidney stab sends a freezing-cold tiring sensation through your nerves to your brain, it could creep you out significantly more.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Thread name changed. Please do not name your thread "FAQ request."


I have found balance has not been an issue, even when layering debuffs. I have played a Magus using the Spell Strike + Frostbite + Enforcer. It is chilling when it happens, but at low levels it takes two to three rolls (defensive casting, regular attack, intimidate) to trigger. At higher level you face things that do not frighten easily or you are killing very quickly. My DM would much rather me use Frostbite than potentially spike on a shocking grasp. Plus subdual damage and running away from fright means an enemy will more likely survive, and is that not a more interesting result?


as i posted in the other thread, rather long windily, spellstrike MODIFIES the spell when delivering it so that the spell effect includes a melee attack within it because it replaces the normal touch attack entirely with a melee attack.

that being said, its not a matter of weather the damage is spell damage or not because the delivery of the damage is done by a melee weapon. just because you are doing lethal and non-lethal damage at the same time, is irrelevant. a spellstriked frostbite is a single spell that does BOTH via a melee weapon.


I apologize for having misnamed my post. I would be glad to know your take on the question Sean ;)


I don't understand your point Shimesen by the way, would you care to elaborate?


Faskill wrote:
I don't understand your point Shimesen by the way, would you care to elaborate?

sure. ok, so spellstrike isn't an ability that grants you an extra attack. its an ability that modifies a spell as its being cast to include the option of delivering it with a melee weapon.

because of this, when you cast a spell using spellstrike you are essentially casting a spell that includes a melee attack within the spell. therefore the spell is what is doing the melee damage from your weapon, as well as whatever else the spell does. So because of this, one could argue (as i am) that both the melee damage from your weapon, AND the damage from the spell, are one in the same.

so either, none of it counts as melee damage from a weapon, or all of it does, its not half and half. and i would also point out that because the spwll now includes melee and weapon within its wording (due to spellstrike) it does meet the requirements for enforcer.


Yeah, the wording of the Enforcer feat is what has me kind of hung-up. It says "...deal non-lethal damage with a melee weapon..." rather than "...deal non-lethal weapon damage..."

As written, you are

1) dealing non-lethal damage
and
2) using a melee weapon

so, I guess that RAW, it works.

However, if the interpretation is "non-lethal weapon damage", I would argue a strong "NO!", as you are dealing lethal weapon damage and non lethal (cold) energy damage.

The distinction is fairly fine, but it exists.


You are probably right, I'm still gonna fish for an official ruling though, before taking the risk of introducing it into my PFS build.


Galahad's distinction between the way its worded is exactly why its largely agreed that it does work. Because it doesn't require you to declare a non-lethal attack with a melee weapon...only to have done non-lethal damage somehow.


Yes this is exactly why I think it works though, but naysayers will keep on claiming that the non lethal damage doesn't come from the weapon but from the spell, and deducing from that that it wouldn't work. It's all a matter of point of view and this is why I think we need an official ruling on this.

Shadow Lodge

Just for safety, I'd take Blade of Mercy trait on your PFS build. Its handy to have since there are several scenarios where killing the enemy, and even the BBEG, is a bad idea, but you have to knock him out, and you can use enforcer now all day long to blast out a minor debuff when its not frostbite time. That or the bludgeoner feat.


The problem is that I want to take both magical lineage (shocking grasp) and wayang spellhunter (frostbite).
My build doesn't focus on frostbite before I start getting several attacks a round (levels 7-9)
So yeah worst case scenario I use a +1 on my weapon to make it merciful, but it would hurt especially when it would mean not having the +3 necessary to bypass DR

Liberty's Edge

Shimesen wrote:
Faskill wrote:
I don't understand your point Shimesen by the way, would you care to elaborate?

sure. ok, so spellstrike isn't an ability that grants you an extra attack. its an ability that modifies a spell as its being cast to include the option of delivering it with a melee weapon.

because of this, when you cast a spell using spellstrike you are essentially casting a spell that includes a melee attack within the spell. therefore the spell is what is doing the melee damage from your weapon, as well as whatever else the spell does. So because of this, one could argue (as i am) that both the melee damage from your weapon, AND the damage from the spell, are one in the same.

so either, none of it counts as melee damage from a weapon, or all of it does, its not half and half. and i would also point out that because the spwll now includes melee and weapon within its wording (due to spellstrike) it does meet the requirements for enforcer.

You are really claiming that the shocking grasp damage I deliver when using spellstrike is my weapon damage?

So it is not subject to spell resistance or resistance/immunity to some kind of energy but it is subject to DR?
It don't work that way.

"because of this, when you cast a spell using spellstrike you are essentially casting a spell that includes a melee attack within the spell. therefore the spell is what is doing the melee damage from your weapon, as well as whatever else the spell does."

This is wrong in so many ways that is hard to quantify them.

"because of this, when you cast a spell using spellstrike you are essentially casting a spell that includes a melee attack within the spell."

You don't cast a spell using spellstike. You cast a touch range spell and you can use your weapon to deliver it if you have the spellstrike ability.

"therefore the spell is what is doing the melee damage from your weapon, as well as whatever else the spell does."

The spell don't do the melee damage. The spell allow me to make an attack. The spellstrike ability allow me to use my weapon to make that attack. My weapon still deal his normal attack, but if I connect in addition to my weapon damage I will deliver the effect of my spell.
Two separated damages, one subject to DR, the other to Sr and energy resistance or immunity.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
Two separate damages, one subject to DR, the other subject to Sr and energy resistance or immunity.

Diego Rossi, Flame Blade is a spell, subject to both fire resistance and spell resistance. Is the weapon the spell creates, which the caster wield as if it were a scimitar, not considered a melee weapon?

Even the flaming/shocking etc magic properties are effected by energy resistance and not DR. Is that damage not considered part of the weapon attack?

Liberty's Edge

Spellstrike allow you to discharge a touch range spell when you hit with a weapon (including an unarmed attack). Her are the rule for applyung the damage when hitting someone with a normal attack plus a touch range spell.

PRD wrote:
Holding the Charge: If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren't considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.

The spell discharges and deal its effect. It is not part of the weapon attack, it is a rider effect.

To be sure, let's look what say spellstrike:

PRD wrote:
Spellstrike (Su): 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.

Again, the weapon damage and the effects of the spell are separated. You get to benefit from the critical hit but your damage isn't part of the weapon damage, it is still a spell effect, subject to its specific rules and separated from the weapon damage.


Diego, I think you are having a hard time understanding what I was saying. Spell strike doesn't let you cast a spell. I know that. But it DOES modify a spell after you cast it. Any touch spell you cast grants you a melee touch attack. Spell strike MODIFIES the spell to include a melee weapon attack. You already get an attack from the spell, now you get a different kind of attack. Either way, its the spell that grants the attack, and therefore the spell that grants the corresponding damage.


@ Shimesen

I don't think that it matters where the attack is granted from.

Let's say that you cast shocking grasp. You get your free attack, but oh, no, you happen to roll a 1. Sucks, but it happens from time to time. Now then, on your next turn (or perhaps on an AoO, whatever), you choose to make a bite attack because you're a Tiefling with the Maw part of the Maw or Claw alternate trait. You roll a 20! Great! Now what happens? Why, the very same thing that happens when a Magus casts a touch spell and successfully delivers it with spellstrike, and also happens to roll a natural 20. The only difference is which type of damage (B/S/P) the Magus' weapon deals, and the size of the die.

Also, spellstrike does NOT modify a spell. It allows a different delivery mechanic, which seems like it modifies the spell, but, in fact, modifies the Magus, not the spell.

Liberty's Edge

Serum wrote:

...

Even the flaming/shocking etc magic properties are effected by energy resistance and not DR. Is that damage not considered part of the weapon attack?

I suppose you are speaking of the weapon damage, as the weapon attack don't matter in the OP question.

No, they aren't part of the weapon damage. They are a separated effect.
They are part of the attack damage, but not of the weapon damage. The same way in which the holy damage from a holy weapon isn't part of the weapon damage and so on.

I can have DR 500/- and get 0 damage from the weapon, but if I don't have the appropriate kind of energy resistance I will still take the fire damage from the a flaming weapon. If I am evil I will still take the holy damage from a holy weapon.

Liberty's Edge

Shimesen wrote:
Diego, I think you are having a hard time understanding what I was saying. Spell strike doesn't let you cast a spell. I know that. But it DOES modify a spell after you cast it. Any touch spell you cast grants you a melee touch attack. Spell strike MODIFIES the spell to include a melee weapon attack. You already get an attack from the spell, now you get a different kind of attack. Either way, its the spell that grants the attack, and therefore the spell that grants the corresponding damage.

Read the rules I cited.

And no, the spell don't grant the damage. The spell grant the attack.
The damage is done by:
a) striking with a weapon
b) delivering the effects of a spell.
Tu separate things.


Striking is a weapon IS a result of the spell because the spell is what allows you to make the attack.

[Edit] I read the last post before what Galahad said..actually that's a good point, so therefore I must agree that if you are forced to hold the charge, the damage from the weapon attack is no longer part of the spell.

However, if you hit with the free attack granted by the spell, that's still part of the spell, just because it now deals more damage because you modified it via spell strike does not change the fact that you are making the attack as part of the spell.


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I disagree with this. The fact that the spell gives an additionnal melee attack is irrelevant to how this would work. Even if I miss my first spellstrike on the beginning of the next turn I'm gonna attempt to do exactly the same thing which is declaring spellcombat, doing a spellstrike (assuming I'm still holding the charge), casting defensively SG and trying to deliver another Spellstrike.

It makes no sense that those two Spellstrikes would be treated differently.

Diego, I think your reasoning is wrong because you've misread the Enforcer feat. I'm not arguing that a Spellstrike Frostbite deals non lethal weapon damage. The bold part of the Spellstrike ability you quoted is actually exactly why i think it works. [b] The melee (weapon) attack deals regular weapon damage AS WELL AS the effects of the spell [\b]. In this case, it will be the melee weapon attack that will deal the non lethal spell damage from Frostbite.
Now the Enforcer feat says that's it's the weapon melee attack that has to deal non lethal damage, not that it has to deal non lethal weapon damage which is a completely different thing.

That´s why I think it's difficult to argue against it working.


Shimesen wrote:
Striking is a weapon IS a result of the spell because the spell is what allows you to make the attack.

That's like saying that, if my Scorching Ray kills the target, Scorching Ray is a "death effect" because it allowed me to kill the target. Spell Strike changes your method of delivery; you use a melee weapon attack instead of a melee touch attack. The result of this is that your attack deals both the spell damage and the weapon damage and Spellstrike allows you to achieve this result, but it does not mean that the spellstrike ability "adds" weapon damage to your normal spellstrike.

Yes, your melee weapon attack deals melee weapon damage. Yes, your melee weapon attack also deals nonlethal cold damage. But neither of these means that you're dealing nonlethal weapon damage. So if riding Frostbite on your Scimitar doesn't count as dealing nonlethal weapon damage, how can riding Frostbite on a poke to the forehead count as such? The poke to the forehead doesn't deal any damage because it trades the normal damage for striking with parts of your body (commonly called an Unarmed Strike) in exchange for being able to target Touch AC. The Frostbite doesn't deal nonlethal weapon damage, it just deals nonlethal cold damage because a touch spell doesn't qualify as a weapon, just like the Orb from Acid Splash or the explosion from Fireball and unlike the Ray from any ray spell, the Flame Blade that behaves exactly like a scimitar, etc.

Small sidenote, you don't need spellstrike to deliver a touch spell with an Unarmed Strike or Natural Attack, at least after you've attempted your initial free Touch. Anyone can do that automatically. However, if you took, say, Improved Critical: Unarmed to expand your critical threat range to 19-20 on Unarmed Strike, you'd need Spellstrike to apply that crit range to the spell damage as well. Otherwise, your Unarmed Strike can crit on a 19 while delivering non-crit touch spell effects.


Your missing the point.

The melee touch attack granted by a touch spell IS part of the spell. Its not a touch attack you can do whenever. Its PART OF THE SPELL. Therefore, by replacing that attack with a different one does NOT make the attack stop being part of the spell.

Is the mechanic for damage different for spells and attacks different? Yes, but by what sourse you are granted the attack is just as important as how you resolve it.

You can't just make a melee touc attack for no reason...ever. there needs to be a sourse for the attack. In this case, a spell. Other things like a paladins lay on hands or delivering a some poisons, etc.

But you can never just make a melee touch attack for no reason. Therefore these attacks are always CAUSED by something, and its this thing that its allowing the attack.

Lantern Lodge

Why not just try to touch someone for no reason?

For example, one character is blinded, and he wants to know if an enemy is in a square. He could try attacking, or he could try melee touch attacks with no effect other than knowing that something is in the square, which would have a higher chance of working.

You CAN make a melee touch attack whenever you want, we just don't do it because it doesn't do anything normally.


FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

Why not just try to touch someone for no reason?

For example, one character is blinded, and he wants to know if an enemy is in a square. He could try attacking, or he could try melee touch attacks with no effect other than knowing that something is in the square, which would have a higher chance of working.

You CAN make a melee touch attack whenever you want, we just don't do it because it doesn't do anything normally.

There is no game mechanic for this. This would be something a gm would have to allow/deny based on his opinion of the situation. I personally would allow this, but again, the melee touch attack is being granted by the made up skill "feeling for baddies". You by the rules, can't make a melee touch attack for no reason. Its a mechanic/rule that exists for the soul purpose of facilitating other rules/abilities.


OK, I found a better way of saying what I'm trying to get across:

When casting any kind of spell that deals damage you are attacking. You are attempting to harm something. Its not like putting poison on a weapon where the effect of the poison can't do any harm unless its delivered by an attack. A spell is its own attack.

That being said, the game only has one way of calculating hit/miss chance with an attack. This method is decided into two categories - melee (for physical contact) and ranged (for distance).

When casting a touch spell, the weapon you are using to attack is the spell. (This is why you are considered armed while hiding a charge).

An attack and its damage are one in the same. If hit, do damage. If miss, don't. Damage is not itself something else entirely. You just calculate it by its self. this is because pathfinder does not have a rule for varying degrees of success on hits. (I.e. more damage for surpassing ac by more than x)

All the damage from a spell comes from the weapon used to deliver it - the spell.

In this specific case, you are modifying the spell to add damage to its total by adding another weapons damage into it. The attack is still made with the spell as its weapon however.

If you fail to hit on the original attack, you hold the charge. Once this is done, any other subsequent attack you make is made with a different weapon and the spell damage acts like a poison, not being able to do anything on its own unless delivered via some other means.

Clearer?


The attack is not part of the spell; it is a free action granted by the general rules regarding all touch spells. You can cast your touch spell, move, and then make the touch attack (or melee attack if using spellstrike) to deliver the damage.

Regarding being armed, it's inconsequential. A Ray is a weapon, but, even though you're technically "armed" when you fire it, you don't threaten with it. But not threatening with it doesn't mean it isn't a weapon. Conversely, threatening with a touch spell as an "armed" unarmed attack doesn't mean that it is automatically considered a weapon.


That seems an awful lot like a double standard. Being armed with an unarmed attack isn't a weapon, but you arnt armed with a ranged touch and yet it IS a weapon...this makes no sense.


I seem to interpret spellstrike as a modifier to the way the Magus delivers touch spells.

When you cast a touch spell, you get a free chance to deliver it normally. After an unsuccessful delivery one is considered to "hold the charge.

The spell strike wording just changes what normal delivery is for the Magus, essentially just skipping ahead to the "holding the charge" phase. Also, it works with any melee weapon.

The point is, spellstrike doesn't modify the spell; it modifies the Magus.


Shimesen wrote:
That seems an awful lot like a double standard. Being armed with an unarmed attack isn't a weapon, but you arnt armed with a ranged touch and yet it IS a weapon...this makes no sense.

It only seems like a double standard to someone predisposed to not accept any counter-point to their preconceived idea. From a logical standpoint, it makes perfect sense. Whether you threaten with something doesn't matter as to whether or not it's a weapon. You don't threaten with Unarmed Strikes by default, but Unarmed Strike is still a weapon; it will still benefit from Enforcer. Just because you threaten with a Touch spell charge doesn't mean that the touch charge is a weapon. The "armed" unarmed melee touch attack is the weapon which delivers the added effect of the touch charge in the same way that the 1d6 Flaming damage from a Flaming enchantment is a rider effect and not part of the weapon damage that it rides upon.

Double Standards are when Half-Elves don't count as Humans and Elves for "effects related to race" while a Human with Racial Heritage does count as both races. This is not a situation like that; it is two entirely different standards that, while similar, are still completely different animals. If touch spells were weapons, the rules would call out that you can take Weapon Focus (Touch) as they do for Rays and Grapple.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Half-Elves do count as Humans and Elves for "effects related to race" now.

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