Precise Strike + Spell Combat


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Scarab Sages

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A question was raised: can a magus combine spell combat and Precise Strike?

Precise Strike wrote:
Precise Strike (Ex): At 3rd level, while she has at least 1 panache point, a swashbuckler gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon (though not natural weapon attacks), adding her swashbuckler level to the damage dealt. To use this deed, a swashbuckler cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield other than a buckler. She can even use this ability with thrown light or one-handed piercing melee weapons, so long as the target is within 30 feet of her. Any creature that is immune to sneak attacks is immune to the additional damage granted by precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a creature from the additional damage of a precise strike. This additional damage is precision damage, and isn’t multiplied on a critical hit.
Spell Combat wrote:
Spell Combat (Ex): At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.


Sure, they can also be combined with sneak attack as well.


From my reading of those two abilities this works with Spell combat + spell strike, or with spell combat and a spell that doesnt make an attack roll, but NOT with spell combat + touch attack spell without spell strike.

Spell Combat + Touch spell = 2 weapons = ability doesnt work.

Spell Combat with non-touch spell = 1 weapon = ability works

Spell Combat with Spell-Strike = 1 weapon = ability works

That however, is just my reading

Regards,
DRS


DRS3 wrote:
Spell Combat + Touch spell = 2 weapons = ability doesnt work.

This is the only point we disagree on. I don't think that casting and attacking with a touch spell in your offhand counts as an "... attack with a weapon in her other hand...", but this probably wouldn't even matter after getting spellstrike.


I think it could be interpreted either way, it just depends on whether or not you consider a touch spell a weapon attack, it is considered an armed attack, for both offense and defense, that is straight PRD stuff there, and could easily count as a second weapon.

I've mixed feelings on it and in my own games I would probably allow situation 1 to work, however, I could see the argument going the other way for more restrictive DMs.

Regards,
DRS


A Magus doesn't need to deliver the Touch spell with the free hand; they can do so with their main-hand weapon. Moreover, it states that they can't make an attack with a weapon in the other hand; an Unarmed Strike isn't wielded "in" the hand. Arguably, you could combine Precise Strike with Armor Spikes, Boot Blade, or other non-hand-associated weapons.

Silver Crusade

We are getting into that slippery definition of 'hands' again. If you are two weapon fighting, as you are with spell combat, you have a main hand and an off hand. if you use longsword and armor spikes, one is your main hand, and the other is your off hand.

Delivering the touch spell with your main-hand weapon is the province of Spellstrike, learned at 2nd level.


I am the one who brought up the original concern. I am sure about spellstrike, and absolutely convinced that precise strike does not work with attack spells and spell combat, there is some grey area with non attack spells.

First: Precise strike does not allow attacks with the other hand.
From the FAQ on 2-handed weapons and non-handheld weapons we know that "other hand" for these purposes does not just mean hand, it means any other ways of making an attack. Therefore, precise strike works when you are using only one "hand of action."

Second: This means any attacks generated by TWF or similar effects cannot be used in conjunction with precise strike, even if they don't explicitly use an arm limb and hand. That is, you cannot flurry with your legs for example because flurry is based on TWF and uses two hands of action. You could in principle use all your allowed natural attacks though, as they don't count as hands of action.

Third: Spell Combat is explicitly a TWF style action. Full Stop. The spell is explicitly called a weapon. The only possible conflict is when casting a non attack spell. I think spell combats rules mean casting any spell is an attack, even buffs on yourself, due to the wording, but I can see arguments the other way.

For spell strike, it again goes back to the "hands of action" issue.

Spellstrike only works with touch spells, which are explicitly weapons. They qualify for weapon focus, and are attacks. These are base rules, and confirmed by multiple FAQs. You use your "off-hand" to cast the spell, even though it is delivered by your main hand. To use the same situation, but remove spells from the equation, imagine you had an ability called dual strike, where you made one attack roll to make a single attack with two weapons. Would you all precise strike on that? I wouldn't, and that is exactly what spell strike is, getting two attacks in one action but requiring both hands of action.

Scarab Sages

Calth wrote:
Spellstrike only works with touch spells, which are explicitly weapons. They qualify for weapon focus, and are attacks. These are base rules, and confirmed by multiple FAQs. You use your "off-hand" to cast the spell, even though it is delivered by your main hand. To use the same situation, but remove spells from the equation, imagine you had an ability called dual strike, where you made one attack roll to make a single attack with two weapons. Would you all precise strike on that? I wouldn't, and that is exactly what spell strike is, getting two attacks in one action but requiring both hands of action.

Spellstrike allows spells to be delivered via the weapon held in your main hand. While using spellstrike, the spell is delivered as a rider on a normal weapon attack and, baring certain arcana, is not resolved as a touch attack. It is in no way tied to spell combat or the number of hands being used.

Calth wrote:

First: Precise strike does not allow attacks with the other hand.

From the FAQ on 2-handed weapons and non-handheld weapons we know that "other hand" for these purposes does not just mean hand, it means any other ways of making an attack. Therefore, precise strike works when you are using only one "hand of action."

I think you will find the requirements for Precise Strike (piercing weapon in main hand, free hand or buckler in off hand) are actually more permissive than the requirements for dervish dance and spell combat. To use spell combat + dervish dance, the magus must have a free hand and be using a specific type of one-hand melee weapon (which counts as piercing).


Calth wrote:


Third: Spell Combat is explicitly a TWF style action. Full Stop. The spell is explicitly called a weapon.

It's not that explicit since this is descriptive text and not written as rules text is when a class ability functions as a Feat, et cetera. Spell Combat is explicitly like Two-Weapon Fighting but is explicitly not Two-Weapon Fighting. Spells and Weapons are analogized, but it does not explicitly state that the spell is a weapon in it's own clause.

Comparing it to Flurry of Blows is useful because it doesn't function like you think it does and hasn't for years. You can two-hand a Temple Sword and make a flurry attack and make all of those attacks with the two-handed Temple Sword. A monk/swashbuckler MC could flurry of blows and gain their extra attack with their mainhand weapon.

Quote:
You use your "off-hand" to cast the spell, even though it is delivered by your main hand.

You may use your off-hand to cast the spell, but you don't have to since some spells don't have somatic components or can be made to not have them with Still Spell. You can also get Arcana that allows wands or staves to occupy that off-hand. Spell Combat is allowing you to engage in combat while simultaneously casting a spell, which has nothing to do with the spell being cast in the off-hand, being that it's restrictions have nothing to do with somatic components, and it's easy to bypass the open hand restriction with in-class abilities.

Spell Combat does not allow you to simply hold a weapon in one hand and cast a spell in another and hence have both hands "holding" something. All casters can already do that.

What you are saying may very well be RAI but Spell Combat does not explicitly state what you say it explicitly states. An analogized likening of a spell to a weapon and similar mechanical subsystems is not an explicit "This is Two-Weapon Fighting". PFS does not seem to have an issue with Dervish Dancing Magi as an example. If what you were saying followed then Dervish Dance would not work. More importantly if Spell Combat is TWF with a Spell as an Off-Hand Weapon then Improved Two-Weapon Fighting would let a Magus cast multiple spells a round as a Full Attack. It most certainly does not because Spell Combat is not Two-Weapon Fighting.

It is actually very much like Flurry of Blows which is like TWF in a purely mechanical sense of requiring a Full Attack to get extra attack rolls, and suffering a -2 penalty to all attacks in the round but is otherwise not TWF.


Artanthos wrote:
Calth wrote:
Spellstrike only works with touch spells, which are explicitly weapons. They qualify for weapon focus, and are attacks. These are base rules, and confirmed by multiple FAQs. You use your "off-hand" to cast the spell, even though it is delivered by your main hand. To use the same situation, but remove spells from the equation, imagine you had an ability called dual strike, where you made one attack roll to make a single attack with two weapons. Would you all precise strike on that? I wouldn't, and that is exactly what spell strike is, getting two attacks in one action but requiring both hands of action.

Spellstrike allows spells to be delivered via the weapon held in your main hand. While using spellstrike, the spell is delivered as a rider on a normal weapon attack and, baring certain arcana, is not resolved as a touch attack. It is in no way tied to spell combat or the number of hands being used.

The spell still originates from your "off-hand". It is still an attack with weapon. You are just getting an additional attack on top of it. Actually, with spell strike, the spell would be the main hand of the action, the weapon the off-hand. That is why spellstrike works with spell combat, it is tied to the hand casting the spell, not your weapon hand, in terms of actions.


Casting a spell is not an attack with a weapon, it's casting a spell.


Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:


You may use your off-hand to cast the spell, but you don't have to since some spells don't have somatic components or can be made to not have them with Still Spell. You can also get Arcana that allows wands or staves to occupy that off-hand. Spell Combat is allowing you to engage in combat while simultaneously casting a spell, which has nothing to do with the spell being cast in the off-hand, being that it's restrictions have nothing to do with somatic components, and it's easy to bypass the open hand restriction with in-class abilities.

Spell Combat does not allow you to simply hold a weapon in one hand and cast a spell in another and hence have both hands "holding" something. All casters can already do that.

What you are saying may very well be RAI but Spell Combat does not explicitly state what you say it explicitly states. An analogized likening of a spell to a weapon and similar mechanical subsystems is not an explicit "This is Two-Weapon Fighting". PFS does not seem to have an issue with Dervish Dancing Magi as an example. If what you were saying followed then...

You still must have a free hand to use spell combat, it doesnt matter if it has no somatic component, the rules for spell combat disallow it, even referencing that factor. The rules for Dervish dancing are different, it doesnt make a reference to attacking with an off-hand. Yes there are specific abilities that let magi have certain objects in the off-hand, but those would still conflict with precise strike.


LoneKnave wrote:
Casting a spell is not an attack with a weapon, it's casting a spell.

Then why can you take weapon focus(ray) and weapon specialization(ray)?

Scarab Sages

Calth wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Calth wrote:
Spellstrike only works with touch spells, which are explicitly weapons. They qualify for weapon focus, and are attacks. These are base rules, and confirmed by multiple FAQs. You use your "off-hand" to cast the spell, even though it is delivered by your main hand. To use the same situation, but remove spells from the equation, imagine you had an ability called dual strike, where you made one attack roll to make a single attack with two weapons. Would you all precise strike on that? I wouldn't, and that is exactly what spell strike is, getting two attacks in one action but requiring both hands of action.

Spellstrike allows spells to be delivered via the weapon held in your main hand. While using spellstrike, the spell is delivered as a rider on a normal weapon attack and, baring certain arcana, is not resolved as a touch attack. It is in no way tied to spell combat or the number of hands being used.

The spell still originates from your "off-hand". It is still an attack with weapon. You are just getting an additional attack on top of it. Actually, with spell strike, the spell would be the main hand of the action, the weapon the off-hand. That is why spellstrike works with spell combat, it is tied to the hand casting the spell, not your weapon hand, in terms of actions.

The "spell" in question is delivered via the weapon used to spell strike and is not even tied to being made in the same round the spell is cast.

A magi could, in theory, cast a touch spell with multiple charges before combat, pick up a second weapon, and deliver spell strikes through both weapons.


Artanthos wrote:
Calth wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Calth wrote:
Spellstrike only works with touch spells, which are explicitly weapons. They qualify for weapon focus, and are attacks. These are base rules, and confirmed by multiple FAQs. You use your "off-hand" to cast the spell, even though it is delivered by your main hand. To use the same situation, but remove spells from the equation, imagine you had an ability called dual strike, where you made one attack roll to make a single attack with two weapons. Would you all precise strike on that? I wouldn't, and that is exactly what spell strike is, getting two attacks in one action but requiring both hands of action.

Spellstrike allows spells to be delivered via the weapon held in your main hand. While using spellstrike, the spell is delivered as a rider on a normal weapon attack and, baring certain arcana, is not resolved as a touch attack. It is in no way tied to spell combat or the number of hands being used.

The spell still originates from your "off-hand". It is still an attack with weapon. You are just getting an additional attack on top of it. Actually, with spell strike, the spell would be the main hand of the action, the weapon the off-hand. That is why spellstrike works with spell combat, it is tied to the hand casting the spell, not your weapon hand, in terms of actions.

The "spell" in question is delivered via the weapon used to spell strike and is not even tied to being made in the same round the spell is cast.

A magi could, in theory, cast a touch spell with multiple charges before combat, pick up a second weapon, and deliver spell strikes through both weapons.

Pretty sure the spell discharges if you pick up anything other than the one weapon held if your other hand. The Spellstrike FAQ says that the weapon held in the other hand doesnt cause a discharge, but anything else does. I would say drawing a second weapon is something else. The fact that you can't do anything with the other hand supports my conclusion that the spell remains associated with that hand til fully discharged, making it invalid for precise strike.


Calth wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:
Casting a spell is not an attack with a weapon, it's casting a spell.
Then why can you take weapon focus(ray) and weapon specialization(ray)?

Rays are ranged touch attacks, and count as ranged weapons. However, shooting a ray and casting a ray are different actions. Here, I'll find the FAQ for you.


LoneKnave wrote:
Calth wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:
Casting a spell is not an attack with a weapon, it's casting a spell.
Then why can you take weapon focus(ray) and weapon specialization(ray)?
Rays are ranged touch attacks, and count as ranged weapons. However, shooting a ray and casting a ray are different actions. Here, I'll find the FAQ for you.

Not sure what your point is. The spell is still a weapon, and you are still attacking with it, and it is still associated with the hand that cast it. Just because you provoke for twice doesnt change any of that.


Casting a spell is not attacking. Attacking with the spell (using an attack roll to deliver it) is attacking.

I don't think this is difficult.

Scarab Sages

Calth wrote:
Pretty sure the spell discharges if you pick up anything other than the one weapon held if your other hand. The Spellstrike FAQ says that the weapon held in the other hand doesnt cause a discharge, but anything else does. I would say drawing a second weapon is something else. The fact that you can't do anything with the other hand supports my conclusion that the spell remains associated with that hand til fully discharged, making it invalid for precise strike.

Reread the FAQ. Pay attention to the part that describes picking up new weapons.

Scarab Sages

LoneKnave wrote:
Calth wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:
Casting a spell is not an attack with a weapon, it's casting a spell.
Then why can you take weapon focus(ray) and weapon specialization(ray)?
Rays are ranged touch attacks, and count as ranged weapons. However, shooting a ray and casting a ray are different actions. Here, I'll find the FAQ for you.

Not only are casting a ray and shooting a ray separate actions, they each trigger an AoO.


LoneKnave wrote:

Casting a spell is not attacking. Attacking with the spell (using an attack roll to deliver it) is attacking.

I don't think this is difficult.

And I haven't argued against that, that is a subpoint of my whole arguement with spellstrike, that attacking with the spell is attacking with a weapon. For spell combat, if the text didnt refer to the spell being cast as a weapon in the off-hand, I would say not touch spells would be ok.

I have come to the conclusion that any spell that doesn't target an enemy lets you spell combat and precise strike, since spells that don't target enemies with negative effects are not attacks per:

Attacks

Some spell descriptions refer to attacking. All offensive combat actions, even those that don't damage opponents, are considered attacks. Attempts to channel energy count as attacks if it would harm any creatures in the area. All spells that opponents resist with saving throws, that deal damage, or that otherwise harm or hamper subjects are attacks. Spells that summon monsters or other allies are not attacks because the spells themselves don't harm anyone.

So even if the spell is a weapon it doesnt qualify for making an attack.

The only argument for spellstrike is that the casting hand isnt involved in the attack. I don't believe the rules state that, as doing anything with that hand other than touching the weapon held if your off-hand discharges the attack.


Artanthos wrote:
Calth wrote:
Pretty sure the spell discharges if you pick up anything other than the one weapon held if your other hand. The Spellstrike FAQ says that the weapon held in the other hand doesnt cause a discharge, but anything else does. I would say drawing a second weapon is something else. The fact that you can't do anything with the other hand supports my conclusion that the spell remains associated with that hand til fully discharged, making it invalid for precise strike.
Reread the FAQ. Pay attention to the part that describes picking up new weapons.

You mean the part that lets you only pick up a weapon with your off-hand, and off-hand only, stating any other action discharges the spell?

Edit: Sorry, was mixing up the associated hand from spell combat with spell strike. So yes you could hold the charge and draw another weapon and dual wield. I don't think it is RAI to let you spellstrike with Precise strike, but I am beginning to think the RAW is much more unclear than I thought. Still doesnt change that it doesnt work with spell combat.

Edit 2: Of course, if you hold the charge, spellstrike no longer applies, as the free attack is associated with the casting, making the whole argument kinda moot. So I am back to saying it doesn't work with spellstrike.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Calth wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:
Calth wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:
Casting a spell is not an attack with a weapon, it's casting a spell.
Then why can you take weapon focus(ray) and weapon specialization(ray)?
Rays are ranged touch attacks, and count as ranged weapons. However, shooting a ray and casting a ray are different actions. Here, I'll find the FAQ for you.
Not sure what your point is. The spell is still a weapon, and you are still attacking with it, and it is still associated with the hand that cast it. Just because you provoke for twice doesnt change any of that.

Calth, you are mistaking the idea that in some situations, for some subsets of mechanics, some spells are considered effectively weapon-like (that is, they "count as" weapons in a limited sense) with the idea that they are, in fact, literally weapons. They are not, and here's why: if you were right, and spells with attack rolls were literally weapons, the necessary implication is that since no spell casters have "Weapon Proficiency (Ray spells)", they can't actually take the feats you are using as evidence, and casters would always take a -4 on all attack rolls with such spells.

The resolution to this is actually pretty simple - the reason those feats can be taken for spells is not because spells literally are weapons, but because of specific and limited exceptions that are built into those feats. Weapon Focus, for example, says that ray spells count as weapons "for the purposes of this feat", but that's not at all the same thing as saying "ray spells are literally a weapon".

Given that your entire argument hinges on spells being also exactly weapons, I think we can put this one to bed. However much you might feel that your reading is a reasonable limit to put on Magi, it's not actually the text of the rules.


What, no, rays and touch attack spells are explicitly armed attacks with weapons, its in the rules. There is no argument against this. You can take the feats I mentioned, go check the FAQ. You can take improved critical for rays too.

Scarab Sages

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.

The ray is a weapon. The act of casting it is not, however, the attack. Attacking with a ray or touch spell is an entirely separate act from casting.

In the case of spellstrike, you are no longer making a touch attack, you are attacking with your held weapon. Typically, the weapon held in your main hand. You could take Weapon Focus(touch attack), that feat would not be applicable while using spell strike. In the case of the Dervish Dance magus, the applicable feat used while spell striking is Weapon Focus(scimitar).


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.

If a ray spell has a duration, it's the duration of the effect that the ray causes, not the length of time the ray itself persists.

If a ray spell deals damage, you can score a critical hit just as if it were a weapon. A ray spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Calth wrote:
What, no, rays and touch attack spells are explicitly armed attacks with weapons, its in the rules. There is no argument against this. You can take the feats I mentioned, go check the FAQ. You can take improved critical for rays too.

Try again. I'm not saying you can't take those feats now - I'm saying that if you were right, and spells are literally explicitly weapons, then the fact that there is no "Weapon Proficiency (rays)" feat anywhere means you could not, in fact, take the feats anymore, since one of the requirements to take the feat is proficiency in the weapon selected (also incidentally all ray spells would always have a -4 to hit because of non-proficiency). Since the feat explicitly tells me I CAN take Weapon Focus (ray), that must mean that ray spells are, in some very important respects, distinct from "weapons", which require proficiency to be a valid selection.

It actually gets worse for you if you assert that the reason you don't need proficiency is because of the existence of a specific exception written into the feat itself, because that simply means that the answer to your oft-repeated question of "if they aren't weapons, why can I take these feats?" becomes "because of the specific exception", not, as you believe, "because they are weapons and always have been".

Also, ONLY weapon focus even explicitly actually says you can take it with ray spells (not even touch spells, oddly), and merely says that such spells count as weapons "for the purposes of this feat", which is not anywhere near to what you are claiming. Weapon Specialization makes no such explicit mention, and it's only in an FAQ that it is explicit that ray spells are valid choices, but again, the FAQ doesn't say that spells are literally weapons.

As a final preempt, I feel like ultimately your argument is going to boil down to the tired old "if it looks like a duck..." line. Here's my rebuttal, as a way to demonstrate why the error you are making is... er... an error:

If it has a bill like a duck, lives a largely aquatic life like a duck, and lays eggs like a duck... it might still be a platypus.


The exception doesnt exist though for any feat but weapon focus, and that was a clarification rather than a true exception. The FAQ states that they qualify as weapons, not due to a rules exceptions. Same with bombs. Rays are weapons, touch attacks are armed attacks. Ranged combat feats apply to rays. All these things are allowed. If you make an attack role with it, its a weapon.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Calth wrote:
The exception doesnt exist though for any feat but weapon focus, and that was a clarification rather than a true exception. The FAQ states that they qualify as weapons, not due to a rules exceptions. Same with bombs. Rays are weapons, touch attacks are armed attacks. Ranged combat feats apply to rays. All these things are allowed. If you make an attack role with it, its a weapon.

So, all spell casters have to take a -4 to all rolls to hit? They don't have anything, anywhere, that says they are proficient with those spells, there is no feat that exists that will give them proficiency, and the rules for weapons expressly say that attacks with weapons with which you are not proficient take a -4 to hit.

I'm also not sure where you are seeing in the FAQ that "spells are weapons". Please quote that FAQ, if you would. While you hunt for that, here's something else for you to ponder - why does the FAQ need to exist in the first place? If, as you say, spells are and always have been weapons, why would the FAQ giving spells explicit validity for those feats even need to exist in the first place? Why would an feats like Weapon Focus and the FAQ need to set up explicit exceptions to allow spells to be taken, if they were already weapons?

Finally, some more conundrums for you, if spells are literally weapons:

1) Why aren't they in any of the weapons tables?
2) If the above is simply an oversight, what type of weapon are they? Simple? Exotic?
3) If Wizards etc are supposed to be automatically proficient with any weapon effect created by any spells they cast (an argument I can see you making to try and sidestep the proficiency argument above), then why do spells that create things like forms with new natural attacks explicitly say "the caster is proficient with these attacks"?
4) How do I determine if a spell is "properly sized" for the attacker? Should I assume that spells from larger or smaller casters do more/less damage? Should I instead assume that spell damage is static, and thus large or small casters suffer the "inappropriate size" penalty as well as the non-proficiency penalty?

Basically, you are arguing that spells are weapons that need to have all sorts of exceptions invented to make them work, while I'm arguing that spells are NOT weapons, but act like them in some limited ways. My way is clearly cleaner game design, and seems to be supported by every shred of text I can find.


From the core rulebook 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.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Calth wrote:

From the core rulebook 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.

So... I'm strictly and entirely right?

Note that this says "Rays" count as weapons "for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons". The end also extends this to "weapon-like spells", which presumably you are assuming means touch attack spells (though that is not explicitly clear). It does not say "Spells are weapons". It doesn't even say "Rays are weapons". Heck, it even describes spells as being "weapon-like", which is pretty much the nail in the coffin of your argument. If "weapon-like" spells literally were weapons, they wouldn't be "weapon-LIKE", they would just plain be weapons.

Again - there is a difference between things "counting as" weapons, being "treated as" weapons, or rolling to hit "as if" they were weapons, and those things actually being weapons. I've already pointed out the glaring problem of weapon proficiency, which you have no answer to, as well as all the other problems your interpretation creates.


MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Calth wrote:

From the core rulebook 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.

So... I'm strictly and entirely right?

Note that this says "Rays" count as weapons "for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons". The end also extends this to "weapon-like spells", which presumably you are assuming means touch attack spells (though that is not explicitly clear). It does not say "Spells are weapons". It doesn't even say "Rays are weapons". Heck, it even describes spells as being "weapon-like", which is pretty much the nail in the coffin of your argument. If "weapon-like" spells literally were weapons, they wouldn't be "weapon-LIKE", they would just plain be weapons.

Again - there is a difference between things "counting as" weapons, being "treated as" weapons, or rolling to hit "as if" they were weapons, and those things actually being weapons. I've already pointed out the glaring problem of weapon proficiency, which you have no answer to, as well as all the other problems your interpretation creates.

No, there is no difference between any of those things. If you count as a weapon for all effects, you are a weapon. I'm done arguing with you at this point, as there a multiple rules and rulings supporting me, nothing in the rules supporting you.


That was unintentionally hilarious.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Calth wrote:


No, there is no difference between any of those things. If you count as a weapon for all effects, you are a weapon. I'm done arguing with you at this point, as there a multiple rules and rulings supporting me, nothing in the rules supporting you.

Wow - again, reading something that is not there, buddy. Nowhere does it say spells are treated as a weapon for "all effects", and in fact we know that is not the case, given all the distinctions I've drawn that you still have not bothered to address (such as sizing effects and proficiency). Basically, as I said it would, your argument has boiled down to "if it walks like a duck..." - to which I've already responded. It doesn't matter how many things they have in common - as long as there is at least one clear distinction, then they are not the same thing.

Heck, even if you were right, and the FAQ did literally say Rays were weapons, that still wouldn't make your argument, because it still doesn't say that ALL spells are weapons (specifically you still have nothing saying that touch range spells are weapons, for example).

I'm sorry being wrong has frustrated you, but for the purposes of this thread, I will still treat you and your arguments as if they were worthy of respect. That's the same thing as actual respect, right?


Calth, even if you are correct that rays and touch spells are weapons that still would not prevent Precise Strike strike.

Casting a spell does not use a hand at all unless it has somatic component. Even then you cold still cast the spell and open a door witch requires a free hand. You can not do that while wielding two weapons.

If you cast a touch spell it still only uses the off hand to cast it not to attack with it. You attack with your primary hand twice. The simple act of casting a spell does not count attacking with a weapon.

You would only be right if they magus chose to deliver the spell as touch spell and not with spell strike through the weapon.

If I cast a still ray spell while holding a rod in may off hand and a dagger in my primary hand I can still shoot the ray. Shooting the ray does not need a hand at all.


Mathius wrote:

Calth, even if you are correct that rays and touch spells are weapons that still would not prevent Precise Strike strike.

Casting a spell does not use a hand at all unless it has somatic component. Even then you cold still cast the spell and open a door witch requires a free hand. You can not do that while wielding two weapons.

If you cast a touch spell it still only uses the off hand to cast it not to attack with it. You attack with your primary hand twice. The simple act of casting a spell does not count attacking with a weapon.

You would only be right if they magus chose to deliver the spell as touch spell and not with spell strike through the weapon.

If I cast a still ray spell while holding a rod in may off hand and a dagger in my primary hand I can still shoot the ray. Shooting the ray does not need a hand at all.

Casting a spell that deals damage is making an attack. This is a clearly stated base rule and cannot be question. There are only two things that are up for interpretation: Are spells delivered by touch attacks weapons, and does spellstrike change the hand associated with the weapon.

Evidence leans towards yes for the first, as the spell turns an unarmed attack into an armed attack, and who knows for the second. I lean towards no, unless the spell does not require a somatic component. Additionally, there is some evidence that weapon focus(touch) is a valid feat, or at least was in 3.5 and nothing in the conversion to Pathfinder affected the rules to change this.

There is enough ambiguity in the rules that there needs to be a dev clarification.

Also, in your example with a ray, you would be unable to cast any ray with a somatic component while wielding a rod and a dagger.

Grand Lodge

Nothing wrote:
DRS3 wrote:
Spell Combat + Touch spell = 2 weapons = ability doesnt work.

This is the only point we disagree on. I don't think that casting and attacking with a touch spell in your offhand counts as an "... attack with a weapon in her other hand...", but this probably wouldn't even matter after getting spellstrike.

I didn't read all of the posts, so forgive me if this has been addressed, but do you think that it's acceptable to make a natural attack with that hand (like a claw) since it wasn't used in combat?


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Calth wrote:
Casting a spell that deals damage is making an attack. This is a clearly stated base rule and cannot be question.

What about a spell that does not deal damage directly, like "Create Pit" or "Bladed Dash", or a spell that doesn't deal damage at all, like "Shield" or "Haste"? Are those all still attacks? More importantly, are they attacks "with a weapon"?

Calth wrote:

There are only two things that are up for interpretation: Are spells delivered by touch attacks weapons, and does spellstrike change the hand associated with the weapon.

Evidence leans towards yes for the first, as the spell turns an unarmed attack into an armed attack, and who knows for the second. I lean towards no, unless the spell does not require a somatic component. Additionally, there is some evidence that weapon focus(touch) is a valid feat, or at least was in 3.5 and nothing in the conversion to Pathfinder affected the rules to change this.

There is enough ambiguity in the rules that there needs to be a dev clarification.

Again, you keep saying the evidence supports you, and then not actually responding to the reasons why, in fact, it doesn't. My contention is that despite the existence of exceptions which allow spells to be treated as weapons in specific, limited ways, it cannot be true that spells are literally weapons. Thus, at best, your argument devolves into a belief (or maybe hope) that the designers intended to create another such exception here. RAW, it does not exist, and cannot be reasonably extrapolated from the text.

Second, the "handedness" issue has actually been pretty handily knocked down by the bit you were attempting to dismiss below:

Calth wrote:
Also, in your example with a ray, you would be unable to cast any ray with a somatic component while wielding a rod and a dagger.

Except, he specified that the ray was being cast with "Still Spell", so, there is no somatic component anymore. So... what happens? If the answer is "The ray can't be fired, because there are no free hands to attack with", why is that a more reasonable answer than "The ray gets fired from wherever the player wants, and is treated normally"? Functionally, if you deny the player the use of a ray because it requires a free hand, you are creating an exception to "Still Spell" eliminating the need for gestures.


MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Calth wrote:
Casting a spell that deals damage is making an attack. This is a clearly stated base rule and cannot be question.

What about a spell that does not deal damage directly, like "Create Pit" or "Bladed Dash", or a spell that doesn't deal damage at all, like "Shield" or "Haste"? Are those all still attacks? More importantly, are they attacks "with a weapon"?

Calth wrote:

There are only two things that are up for interpretation: Are spells delivered by touch attacks weapons, and does spellstrike change the hand associated with the weapon.

Evidence leans towards yes for the first, as the spell turns an unarmed attack into an armed attack, and who knows for the second. I lean towards no, unless the spell does not require a somatic component. Additionally, there is some evidence that weapon focus(touch) is a valid feat, or at least was in 3.5 and nothing in the conversion to Pathfinder affected the rules to change this.

There is enough ambiguity in the rules that there needs to be a dev clarification.

Again, you keep saying the evidence supports you, and then not actually responding to the reasons why, in fact, it doesn't. My contention is that despite the existence of exceptions which allow spells to be treated as weapons in specific, limited ways, it cannot be true that spells are literally weapons. Thus, at best, your argument devolves into a belief (or maybe hope) that the designers intended to create another such exception here. RAW, it does not exist, and cannot be reasonably extrapolated from the text.

Second, the "handedness" issue has actually been pretty handily knocked down by the bit you were attempting to dismiss below:

Calth wrote:
Also, in your example with a ray, you would be unable to cast any ray with a somatic component while wielding a rod and a dagger.
Except, he specified that the ray was being cast with "Still Spell", so, there is no somatic component anymore. So... what happens? If the answer is "The ray can't be...

I missed the still spell part, which does mean the ray is not associated with a hand. As for the rest of your "claims" I don't bother responding to them because they have no basis in the rules. Rays and touch spells are weapons, every rule and ruling in Pathfinder specified this, and I don't need to support that more than to cite the relevant rules which I already have.


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Calth wrote:
I missed the still spell part, which does mean the ray is not associated with a hand. As for the rest of your "claims" I don't bother responding to them because they have no basis in the rules. Rays and touch spells are weapons, every rule and ruling in Pathfinder specified this, and I don't need to support that more than to cite the relevant rules which I already have.

1) You have just conceded that handedness isn't a set in stone issue, and thus that the interpretation that says that with Spell Strike you "attack" with the primary hand is more likely to be true.

2) You are ignoring the fact that even if it were true that SOME spells are weapons, not all spells are weapons, and thus at best your interpretation would boil down to "Until they get Spell Strike, magi are unable to cast touch attack spells with Spell Combat while still using Precise Strike", which is such a narrow and corner case limitation that it may as well not exist.

3) Your certainty in your position is not a persuasive answer to my claim that spells are not weapons. The rules do not literally say spells are weapons, and in fact RAW spells can't be weapons. Here's my mathematical proof:

If you are a weapon, then you require proficiency to use without penalty.

Thus, if you do not require proficiency to use without penalty, then you are not a weapon.

Ray and Touch spells do not require proficiency to use without penalty, thus they are not weapons.

Again, you are making the "looks like a duck" argument, and that is bad logic, and not how language really works. Just because two things are similar in some specific ways (touch attack spells and weapons) does not mean they are the same thing.


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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Calth wrote:
I missed the still spell part, which does mean the ray is not associated with a hand. As for the rest of your "claims" I don't bother responding to them because they have no basis in the rules. Rays and touch spells are weapons, every rule and ruling in Pathfinder specified this, and I don't need to support that more than to cite the relevant rules which I already have.

1) You have just conceded that handedness isn't a set in stone issue, and thus that the interpretation that says that with Spell Strike you "attack" with the primary hand is more likely to be true.

2) You are ignoring the fact that even if it were true that SOME spells are weapons, not all spells are weapons, and thus at best your interpretation would boil down to "Until they get Spell Strike, magi are unable to cast touch attack spells with Spell Combat while still using Precise Strike", which is such a narrow and corner case limitation that it may as well not exist.

3) Your certainty in your position is not a persuasive answer to my claim that spells are not weapons. The rules do not literally say spells are weapons, and in fact RAW spells can't be weapons. Here's my mathematical proof:

If you are a weapon, then you require proficiency to use without penalty.

Thus, if you do not require proficiency to use without penalty, then you are not a weapon.

Ray and Touch spells do not require proficiency to use without penalty, thus they are not weapons.

Again, you are making the "looks like a duck" argument, and that is bad logic, and not how language really works. Just because two things are similar in some specific ways (touch attack spells and weapons) does not mean they are the same thing.

1.) I have freely admitted through the whole thing that handiness of a spell is the crux of the issue. I believe spells with somatic components are associated with the hand cast by them.

2.) Spell Combat not working with precise strike is an entirely different issue. Spell Combat is explicitly written to work like TWF with the spell counting as the off-hand weapon. So a Magus cannot use Spell Combat with Precise Strike period, hardly a corner case.

3.) I'll just go with SKRs quote:

( http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2ln8z?Can-a-Life-Oracle-with-Channeling-take#30 )

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. If you line up Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, Duckman, and Howard the Duck, from a game standpoint it makes sense that a +1 duck-bane arrow is going to do +2d6 damage in addition to normal arrow damage if you shoot any of them, because they're all ducks. And if you shot that arrow at "Duckie" from Pretty in Pink, it wouldn't get any bonus damage, because he isn't a duck. And you should be able to see why those first four are ducks and the last one isn't.


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Calth wrote:
1.) I have freely admitted through the whole thing that handiness of a spell is the crux of the issue. I believe spells with somatic components are associated with the hand cast by them.

Except that you literally just conceded that spells aren't necessarily and automatically connected to a "casting hand", so... are you agreeing with me here that your interpretation is less likely to be correct?

Calth wrote:
2.) Spell Combat not working with precise strike is an entirely different issue. Spell Combat is explicitly written to work like TWF with the spell counting as the off-hand weapon. So a Magus cannot use Spell Combat with Precise Strike period, hardly a corner case.

Uh, the entire topic of this thread is "Does Spell Combat work with Precise Strike", so it's hardly a separate issue. Also, again, you are treating "like" as "is identical to", which is not, SKR's quote below notwithstanding, how language works in either an everyday setting or in technical writing.

More specifically, precise strike says you can't use a weapon in your off hand - spell combat says it is like two weapon fighting, except that the off hand weapon is a spell. To me, that clearly draws a major distinction between the two. It's like saying "it works like two weapon fighting, except your second weapon is <not a weapon>. Thus, there is no textual reason to see them in conflict.

Calth wrote:

3.) I'll just go with SKRs quote:

( http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2ln8z?Can-a-Life-Oracle-with-Channeling-take#30 )

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. If you line up Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, Duckman, and Howard the Duck, from a game standpoint it makes sense that a +1 duck-bane arrow is going to do +2d6 damage in addition to normal arrow damage if you shoot any of them, because they're all ducks. And if you shot that arrow at "Duckie" from Pretty in Pink, it wouldn't get any bonus damage, because he isn't a duck. And you should be able to see why those first four are ducks and the last one isn't.

First, no matter who says it, "If it looks like a duck..." is not ever good logic. It's merely a lazy way of avoiding actually doing rigorous thinking. For example - maybe if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, lays eggs like a duck, swims like a duck, etc, it's still a goose. In other words, as soon as you can draw a clear distinction between things, they can no longer be considered the same thing. That is a bedrock of logic and language.

Second, you are misunderstanding the underlying purpose of what SKR is trying to say - he's essentially appealing for people to look for the simplest interpretations, because the rules are written in a way that seeks to make them easier to remember by referencing similar mechanics while making specific exceptions. I feel like that makes your interpretation WORSE, not better.

Basically, you are proceeding from a place that seems to believe that you have the simplest interpretation, and thus the most likely to be correct. I find your interpretation to be anything but simple, since it requires all sorts of appeals to concepts that are never clearly defined, while simultaneously requiring a (to my reading) massive distortion of the meaning of actual words, all so we can end up with a situation where, evidently, you believe that we can't combine casting a spell while wielding a one handed weapon with a one handed weapon style unless we happen to be casting a spell which acts like a weapon because a specific class feature creates a loophole which disassociates the "casting hand" from the "attack". Somehow, to you, this makes more sense than simply admitting that acting like two weapon fighting in some limited ways is not the same thing as literally being two weapon fighting.

I would even argue that given that SKR says "treat things as the same unless we tell you they are different" is much more consistent with my point that Spell Combat specifically does draw such a distinction - the off hand weapon really isn't a weapon at all. Since Precise strike is limited by attacking with an off hand weapon, and since Spell Combat specifically is using a spell in place of an off hand weapon, the simpler interpretation is to just let them work together, as well as that being the interpretation which is more technically correct.


My interpretation is hardly complex. It is: If you use a hand to cast a weapon-like spell, you are making an attack with that hand. That prevents the use of spellstrike with spells with somatic components.

As for points 2 and 3, if you don't follow the intent that similar abilities, especially rules that reference another rule, follow the same rules even if they don't have the exact same wording or name, huge portions of the game break. For example, anything that has a prerequisite "animal companion class feature" cannot be taken, as there is no such class feature. There are a bunch of class features that grant an animal companion, but none by that name. The game is explicitly designed around the "duck" logic because it's easier to design that way, since the devs don't have to worry about incredibly nuanced references to every other similar ability and exactly replicating wording. Your insistence that it is bad logic is meaningless, it is a stated design principle of pathfinder.

But I am done responding unless something new comes up, as you refuse to cite any rules element or dev statement remotely supporting your side.


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Calth wrote:
My interpretation is hardly complex. It is: If you use a hand to cast a weapon-like spell, you are making an attack with that hand. That prevents the use of spellstrike with spells with somatic components.

?!?!?! Wow, if that's your argument... I don't even know. I think, giving you the benefit of the doubt, what you meant to say was "preventing the use of Precise Strike with spells with somatic components", but even then, I think your interpretation is much more complicated than simply letting them work together - heck, you are already having to caveat with "with weapon-like spells", which is a term that is not clearly defined anywhere.

Calth wrote:
As for points 2 and 3, if you don't follow the intent that similar abilities, especially rules that reference another rule, follow the same rules even if they don't have the exact same wording or name, huge portions of the game break. For example, anything that has a prerequisite "animal companion class feature" cannot be taken, as there is no such class feature. There are a bunch of class features that grant an animal companion, but none by that name. The game is explicitly designed around the "duck" logic because it's easier to design that way, since the devs don't have to worry about incredibly nuanced references to every other similar ability and exactly replicating wording. Your insistence that it is bad logic is meaningless, it is a stated design principle of pathfinder.

Except that SKR even said "treat them the same, and trust us to tell you when they are different". Saying "Except that the off hand weapon is a spell" seems both literally and informally to be creating exactly that kind of exception. Basically you are saying we have to read the rules technically enough to catch that Spell Combat is technically treated similarly to Two Weapon Fighting, but not SOOO technically that we we notice that it is, in fact, not really Two Weapon Fighting. Basically, you have to believe that you are reading the rules at the exact right level of technicality to "win". If you read a little more technically, or a little less technically, and your interpretation stops making sense.

Calth wrote:
But I am done responding unless something new comes up, as you refuse to cite any rules element or dev statement remotely supporting your side.

I'm curious - why is me pointing out that the rules and devs you cited probably support ME and not you not sufficient to meet your evidentiary standard? I don't need new references, because I believe I'm much more correct about what your references say than you are.


Calth: I have to agree with MrTsFloatinghead. Your interpretation makes little sense. Casting a weapon like spell only uses the hand they use to make the attack with not the hand that cast the spell. Rays do not have a hand and touch spells can be delivered with spell strike. The casting is not a weapon ever. That casting gives you a weapon and you choose how to deliver it.

A stilled touch spell with a wielded item each hand can not be delivered. The ray can.

The also specify that it is like two weapon fighting so that you can not spell combat and two weapon fight if you have 3 hands.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mathius wrote:

Calth: I have to agree with MrTsFloatinghead. Your interpretation makes little sense. Casting a weapon like spell only uses the hand they use to make the attack with not the hand that cast the spell. Rays do not have a hand and touch spells can be delivered with spell strike. The casting is not a weapon ever. That casting gives you a weapon and you choose how to deliver it.

A stilled touch spell with a wielded item each hand can not be delivered. The ray can.

The also specify that it is like two weapon fighting so that you can not spell combat and two weapon fight if you have 3 hands.

I understand Calth and exactly where he is coming from and agree with him (though in my home game I would be ok with it, cause its cool)

The Faq and dev comments talk about the way they think of extra attacks and the metaphysical "hands". When you make a second attack using a weapon it takes up your second "hand" even if you are not using your other actual hand to make the attack.
Precise combat denies you the bonus if your offhand is in use. It is intended to not work with two weapon fighting, so that means it is referring to that metaphysical "hand".
Spell Combat, when using it uses up that "hand" as if you were using two weapon fighting.
Hence no precise strike with spell combat, when you are attacking and casting.
Agree 100% RAW.


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noretoc wrote:

I understand Calth and exactly where he is coming from and agree with him (though in my home game I would be ok with it, cause its cool)

The Faq and dev comments talk about the way they think of extra attacks and the metaphysical "hands". When you make a second attack using a weapon it takes up your second "hand" even if you are not using your other actual hand to make the attack.
Precise combat denies you the bonus if your offhand is in use. It is intended to not work with two weapon fighting, so that means it is referring to that metaphysical "hand".
Spell Combat, when using it uses up that "hand" as if you were using two weapon fighting.
Hence no precise strike with spell combat, when you are attacking and casting.
Agree 100% RAW.

First, again, I find it unlikely that an interpretation that relies on understanding meta-game concepts like "hands of effort" that are neither well defined nor explicit in the rules is "simpler" than an interpretation based on explicit distinctions drawn in the rules text.

For example, note the bit of what you wrote that I bolded - this is the same kind of "over-reading" of the rules text that Calth is doing when he says "spells are weapons" or "Spell combat is two weapon fighting". The text to precise strike doesn't say you can't use it if your hand is "in use" - it says you cannot use precise strike if you use your hand to attack with a weapon, or if you use a shield other than a buckler. You can, for example, use your off hand to hold a cloak, hang from a rope, make an obscene gesture, or even paint a picture if you wanted, and you would still be able to use Precise Strike.

So, textually, Precise Strike says you "cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield other than a buckler". Those are the only two conditions on the "hands" that matter. Spell combat says "This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast." In order for those two to conflict with each other, you either have to read "much like... but..." as "Exactly the same as", OR you have to read "but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast" as meaning "Spells cast 'off-hand' are weapons" instead of reading it as "instead of using an off-hand weapon, you are using a spell".

Edit: Heck, I just realized - you could even be "holding" a weapon in your off hand and still get precise strike as long as you don't attack with it. I really think maybe the key conceptual issue here is people over-reading what the limits to Precise Strike actually are - it never says you can't carry anything in the off-hand, or that you can't "use" the off-hand. The conditions are very specific - "attack with a weapon" or "use a shield other than a buckler". That's it. "Cast a spell" is on face neither of those things.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
noretoc wrote:

I understand Calth and exactly where he is coming from and agree with him (though in my home game I would be ok with it, cause its cool)

The Faq and dev comments talk about the way they think of extra attacks and the metaphysical "hands". When you make a second attack using a weapon it takes up your second "hand" even if you are not using your other actual hand to make the attack.
Precise combat denies you the bonus if your offhand is in use. It is intended to not work with two weapon fighting, so that means it is referring to that metaphysical "hand".
Spell Combat, when using it uses up that "hand" as if you were using two weapon fighting.
Hence no precise strike with spell combat, when you are attacking and casting.
Agree 100% RAW.

First, again, I find it unlikely that an interpretation that relies on understanding meta-game concepts like "hands of effort" that are neither well defined nor explicit in the rules is "simpler" than an interpretation based on explicit distinctions drawn in the rules text.

For example, note the bit of what you wrote that I bolded - this is the same kind of "over-reading" of the rules text that Calth is doing when he says "spells are weapons" or "Spell combat is two weapon fighting". The text to precise strike doesn't say you can't use it if your hand is "in use" - it says you cannot use precise strike if you use your hand to attack with a weapon, or if you use a shield other than a buckler. You can, for example, use your off hand to hold a cloak, hang from a rope, make an obscene gesture, or even paint a picture if you wanted, and you would still be able to use Precise Strike.

So, textually, Precise Strike says you "cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield other than a buckler". Those are the only two conditions on the "hands" that matter. Spell combat says "This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast." In order for those two to conflict with...

I don't agree. It is quite clear to me that you can not use both.


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noretoc wrote:
I don't agree. It is quite clear to me that you can not use both.

Can you explain why, though? Your first attempt doesn't work because it relies on limitations that simply aren't there - Precise Strike doesn't say that you can't use your off-hand, or that your off hand must be "free", it says you cannot make an attack with a weapon or use a shield other than a buckler and still benefit. I maintain that "Spell Combat" is explicitly neither of those things. Instead of attacking with a weapon in the off-hand, you are casting a spell, so on face it doesn't meet the criteria set out in Precise Strike.

You have to either run with "Spell Combat is exactly literally Two Weapon Fighting", which is unsupportable per the rules text (and even the SKR quote from earlier points out that when they make explicit distinctions you should honor those), or you have to read "but the off-hand weapon is a spell" as making a very broad claim that spells are off-hand weapons, instead of the more logical and more technical reading that it is clarifying that the difference between Two Weapon Fighting and Spell Combat is that Spell Combat uses a spell instead of an off-hand weapon. Or, I suppose, you have to believe "casting a spell" is automatically the same thing as "attacking with a weapon", but I think that's clearly the weakest of the readings.

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