Does Snap Shot allow you to use a ray spell as an AoO?


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Rays have been stated to be a valid selection for Weapon Focus, and the Snap Shot line of feats lets you use a ranged weapon for an AoO. It seems to follow that selecting Weapon Focus (Ray) and then Snap Shot would allow you to cast a ray spell as an AoO within your minuscule threatened area.

Making one attack is a standard action, and casting one ray spell is usually a standard action. It seems to fit.

Any counterarguments? And would Combat Reflexes allow you to cast multiple spells for multiple AoOs?

Edit: The most important part of the question seems to be whether or not you're considered to be wielding your ray attacks.

Do you wield your rays only when you cast it, or whenever you might be capable of casting it? You could argue that they only exist when they're cast, or you could argue that you wield an ordinary weapon even when you're not swinging it.


Snap Shot wrote:
While wielding a ranged weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you threaten squares within 5 feet of you. You can make attacks of opportunity with that ranged weapon. You do not provoke attacks of opportunity when making a ranged attack as an attack of opportunity.

You can't wield a ray, so no, this definitely does not work.


I disagree. You can indeed wield magic.


Casting a spell is a standard action. An AoO is not a standard action. You cannot you an AoO to cast any spell, including a ray.


From what I understand, you are trying to cast a spell as an AoO when someone provokes. Despite the fact that you aren't casting until after the provocation, you want to be considered to be "wielding" the ray before the provocation, the ray from the spell you haven't cast yet.

All on top of the fact that you are not allowed to cast a spell as an AoO. For so many reasons, this does not work.


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Casting a spell is a standard action. An AoO is not a standard action. You cannot you an AoO to cast any spell, including a ray.

That was my pov as well, but then the GM pointed out that making a single attack is also a standard action, so why should it be treated any differently?


jimibones83 wrote:
That was my POV as well, but then the GM pointed out that making a single attack is also a standard action, so why should it be treated any differently?

Because one is permitted by the rules, and one is not. For example, you can't grapple as an AoO, and that is also a standard action.


because

d20pfsrd.com wrote:
An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack,


RumpinRufus wrote:

From what I understand, you are trying to cast a spell as an AoO when someone provokes. Despite the fact that you aren't casting until after the provocation, you want to be considered to be "wielding" the ray before the provocation, the ray from the spell you haven't cast yet.

All on top of the fact that you are not allowed to cast a spell as an AoO. For so many reasons, this does not work.

The only reason I see is that you can't cast spells as part of an AoO, which is solid. But, do the rules actually say that, or is it just implied because normally you can't for other reasons? If the latter, then this could he a specific way to do something that you generally can not.


DominusMegadeus wrote:

because

d20pfsrd.com wrote:
An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack,
Snap Shot wrote:


Benefit: While wielding a ranged weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you threaten squares within 5 feet of you. You can make attacks of opportunity with that ranged weapon.

A ranged touch attack is a ranged weapon, as Weapon Focus (ray) makes clear.


Ipslore the Red wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:

because

d20pfsrd.com wrote:
An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack,
Snap Shot wrote:


Benefit: While wielding a ranged weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you threaten squares within 5 feet of you. You can make attacks of opportunity with that ranged weapon.
A ranged touch attack is a ranged weapon, as Weapon Focus (ray) makes clear.

Are you wielding that ray when the AoO is provoked?


DominusMegadeus wrote:
Ipslore the Red wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:

because

d20pfsrd.com wrote:
An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack,
Snap Shot wrote:


Benefit: While wielding a ranged weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you threaten squares within 5 feet of you. You can make attacks of opportunity with that ranged weapon.
A ranged touch attack is a ranged weapon, as Weapon Focus (ray) makes clear.
Are you wielding that ray when the AoO is provoked?

That's the crux of the question, looks like. Editing the original post to make that clear.


@GM I agree. It states nowhere that you can not use magic to make an AoO. The only question seems to be, is a person wielding the ray when the target provokes.

Personally, I would consider a magic user to always be wielding magic, but perhaps not the ray specically.


jimibones83 wrote:
I would consider a magic user to always be wielding magic.

You would be wrong. Even if you weren't, magic does not threaten any spaces and thus cannot cause others to provoke an AoO that way.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I may be missing something, but casting a spell usually requires either a Standard or a Swift (with Quicken metamagic) action. An AoO is neither a standard or swift action, it is an attack action. While you may make an attack as a standard action, the ability to make an attack does not by default turn the AoO into a free standard action.

Thus, as an AoO allows an attack, not a Standard action, the AoO would not allow the use of a ray cast as a spell, which by definition usually requires a standard action. Now, if you could somehow be able to use a ray as an attack action (Su? Ex? etc.), then it would be viable I suppose.


No, but if that's the case, it does turn the melee attack into an attack action instead of a standard action. I see no definitive reason to treat a spell any differently.


The rules do only allow you to take actions on your turn unless it is speaking as a free action or an immediate action.

AoO's have no written rules exception to bypass this. You can make a melee attack only because the AoO rules specifically say you can. You can make ranged attacks with snap shot which require you to make a free action of drawing ammunition because the rules say you can. Since the AoO rules are telling you specifically what you can do then that is all you get.


@wraithstrike Snap shot only states that you threaten adjacent squares with ranged weapons in which you have weapon focus, and can make AoO's with them. That's all it says. It doesn't state that they can only be ranged attacks that require you to draw ammunition as a free action. That's certainly obvious if that's the type of attack you choose, sure, but it doesn't specifically call out for that, which means it doesn't specifically ban you from using attacks with other attached actions, such as casting.


jimibones83 wrote:
I disagree. You can indeed wield magic.

Different definition of wield, obviously. Also, wielding magic is not a requirement for making an AoO with a ray, you must wield the ray. You cannot hold and use a ray.


jimibones83 wrote:
@wraithstrike Snap shot only states that you threaten adjacent squares with ranged weapons in which you have weapon focus, and can make AoO's with them. That's all it says. It doesn't state that they can only be ranged attacks that require you to draw ammunition as a free action. That's certainly obvious if that's the type of attack you choose, sure, but it doesn't specifically call out for that, which means it doesn't specifically ban you from using attacks with other attached actions, such as casting.

An FAQ says snapshot allows for you to draw the ammo with snapshot and if the feat does not have a rules exception allowing you to take an action outside of your turn or cast a spell then you cant do it. That is why that FAQ was written.


Quantum Steve wrote:
jimibones83 wrote:
I disagree. You can indeed wield magic.
Different definition of wield, obviously. Also, wielding magic is not a requirement for making an AoO with a ray, you must wield the ray. You cannot hold and use a ray.

I dont see how its a different definition of wield. I was viewing it as something your always armed with, like a natural attack (unless perhaps your in an AMF). But, that's a good point about there being a difference between magic and a specific use of that magic. I think I mentioned that earlier as well.


@wraithstrike That's because people started nitpicking what should have been obvious, not necessarily because it's limited to that kind of attack. That would mean that you can't use snap shot with a revolver because the revolver requires you to cock the hammer, but the faq doesn't specifically approve of it. I mean it could still be snap shots intent to exclude ray spells, and even revolvers, but it doesn't prove it.


@GM it seems like the only solid deciding factor here is that you can not already be wielding the ray when the target provokes. The rest seems to be kind of open for interpretation.


kind of.. scanned over the previous thing but wanted to input.

Order of operations.
You cast a spell. You gain the spell effects "number of rays"(depending on the spell)
you wield the spell's ray, and take a non-action attack with it (typically as part of the spell)
I remember somewhere someone saying that melee touch attacks recieve "free action attacks" but I can't remember where it makes mention of it
EDIT: Found it in Magus's spell strike.

But that would mean that since it's written the same way the same is true of ranged touch attack spells no?

Ray:
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.

Touch Spells and Holding the Charge:
: In most cases, if you don't discharge a touch spell on the round you cast it, you can hold the charge (postpone the discharge of the spell) indefinitely. You can make touch attacks round after round until the spell is discharged. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates.

Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets as part of the spell. You can't hold the charge of such a spell; you must touch all targets of the spell in the same round that you finish casting the spell.


I've always thought it was weird people said you couldn't hold a ranged attack's charge like you can with shocking grasp. This only specifies "touch" attacks not melee or ranged in specific. So why can't you hold a scorching ray?

TLDR
If you can hold a scorching ray then assuming your holding it. You can use it via snap shot.
So it depends if your GM views "holding a charge" to only be applicable to "melee touch spells" or any "touch spells"

Liberty's Edge

No, you may not cast a spell as part of an AoO. That being said, if you've already cast the spell, but are holding onto the charge, you may certainly make the touch attack for the AoO.

To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any ranged touch attack spells that let you hold onto the charge.

Liberty's Edge

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Zwordsman wrote:

kind of.. scanned over the previous thing but wanted to input.

Order of operations.
You cast a spell. You gain the spell effects "number of rays"(depending on the spell)
you wield the spell's ray, and take a non-action attack with it (typically as part of the spell)
I remember somewhere someone saying that melee touch attacks recieve "free action attacks" but I can't remember where it makes mention of it
EDIT: Found it in Magus's spell strike.

But that would mean that since it's written the same way the same is true of ranged touch attack spells no?

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **
I've always thought it was weird people said you couldn't...

Because the rules say that ranged touch attacks can't be held:

Combat: Cast a Spell 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.

EDIT: Bolded the relevant part to make it easier to see.


Here's the issue with using this feat with a ray spell:

When you use a ray spell, there are two separate actions involved, as explained in this faq.
1. Cast a ray spell.
2. Make a ranged attack with a ray spell.

So, yes, the feat might let you make a ranged attack as an attack of opportunity, but it definitely doesn't let you cast a spell. You can't hold the charge with a ray normally, but if something like a readied action meant an attack of opportunity was provoked in between you casting the spell and you making your ranged attack roll, you could potentially use the ray as an attack of opportunity. But there wouldn't really be any point.

If this feat was all you needed to cast a ray spell when making an attack of opportunity, you could cast touch spells when making attacks of opportunity normally. And you can't.


if there is a spell that let you fire a ray instead of an attack whenevever you want then yes. If you have to cast the spell to be able to ake the ray attack then no.


jimibones83 wrote:
@wraithstrike That's because people started nitpicking what should have been obvious, not necessarily because it's limited to that kind of attack. That would mean that you can't use snap shot with a revolver because the revolver requires you to cock the hammer, but the faq doesn't specifically approve of it. I mean it could still be snap shots intent to exclude ray spells, and even revolvers, but it doesn't prove it.

The way the rules work is that you can not break a rule unless another rule says you can break that specific rule.

As an example grapple is a melee based attack however it still can not be used with an AoO because it uses a standard action. An AoO is not an action and that is why it is not allowed to use anything that takes an action without a specific rules exception in place. Now if you had some way to just fire ray attacks as a natural ability/normal attack then it should not be a problem.
Are you going to argue that someone can grapple on an AoO?


wraithstrike, a more appropriate example would be

"Are you going to argue that someone can cast shocking grasp on an AoO?"

Or do you think that that's what they're already arguing?


You can't cast as an AoO, but I do think you can release a charge as part of it. Maybe.


Precisely.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ipslore the Red wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:

because

d20pfsrd.com wrote:
An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack,
Snap Shot wrote:


Benefit: While wielding a ranged weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you threaten squares within 5 feet of you. You can make attacks of opportunity with that ranged weapon.
A ranged touch attack is a ranged weapon, as Weapon Focus (ray) makes clear.

But you don't wield it. You cast teh spell, you fire the ray. After that you aren't wielding it.

let's put it another way using a bow:

You want to be able to use snap shot with your bow while you are empty handed, claiming that you are wielding it as you have weapon focus in it.

jimibones83 wrote:

@GM I agree. It states nowhere that you can not use magic to make an AoO. The only question seems to be, is a person wielding the ray when the target provokes.

Personally, I would consider a magic user to always be wielding magic, but perhaps not the ray specically.

So a bow specialist is always wielding a bow?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
jimibones83 wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:
jimibones83 wrote:
I disagree. You can indeed wield magic.
Different definition of wield, obviously. Also, wielding magic is not a requirement for making an AoO with a ray, you must wield the ray. You cannot hold and use a ray.
I dont see how its a different definition of wield. I was viewing it as something your always armed with, like a natural attack (unless perhaps your in an AMF). But, that's a good point about there being a difference between magic and a specific use of that magic. I think I mentioned that earlier as well.

???

Please,read the rules about armed touch attacks and holding the charge.
You aren't always armed with magic, you are armed with magic when you have a held spell, or a spell with multiple uses., not because you can potentially, if you have rested and memorized them or you are a spontaneous spellcaster, cast some spell.

There is not a generic magic attack. There are spells, spell like abilities and supernatural powers, all with their rules.


Avoron wrote:

wraithstrike, a more appropriate example would be

"Are you going to argue that someone can cast shocking grasp on an AoO?"

Or do you think that that's what they're already arguing?

Very good point. I replace my grapple example with this one instead or any other touch attack spell. :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zwordsman wrote:

kind of.. scanned over the previous thing but wanted to input.

Order of operations.
You cast a spell. You gain the spell effects "number of rays"(depending on the spell)
you wield the spell's ray, and take a non-action attack with it (typically as part of the spell)
I remember somewhere someone saying that melee touch attacks recieve "free action attacks" but I can't remember where it makes mention of it
EDIT: Found it in Magus's spell strike.

But that would mean that since it's written the same way the same is true of ranged touch attack spells no?

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **
I've always thought it was weird people said you couldn't...

You know how rule formattign work?

PRD wrote:

Touch Spells in Combat: Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

Touch Attacks: Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The act of casting a spell, however, does provoke an attack of opportunity. Touch attacks come in two types: melee touch attacks and ranged touch attacks. You can score critical hits with either type of attack as long as the spell deals damage. Your opponent's AC against a touch attack does not include any armor bonus, shield bonus, or natural armor bonus. His size modifier, Dexterity modifier, and deflection bonus (if any) all apply normally.

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.

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 italic section under a bolded header refer to that bolded section.

A new bolded header mean a different section.

And just to point it separately:

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.

You can make touch attacks while holding a charge, not ranged touch attacks.

touch attacks pointed out another rule that prohibit holding ranged touch attacks.


It doesn't work because casting requires an action. It's the line on the spell description called "Casting Time". Without an explicit exception (which you have not provided) you are required to spend that action every time you cast that spell. AoO do not provide an action. They grant you a single melee attack. The only one of those actions you could take out of turn would be immediate actions.


An attack is not a standard action.

However, you can use a standard action to make an attack. You can also use a full attack action to make multiple attacks, and you can also make attacks when it's not your turn as an AoO (and potentially multiple AoO's with combat reflexes).

A single attack is something that takes a variable amount of time, but always less than a standard action.

But aside from that, the FAQ on the Snapshot feat states that you if you can reload your weapon as a free action you can make multiple AoO's with it, implying that you can make an AoO with a a ranged weapon even if you don't have an arrow or bolt loaded - as long as you can reload it as a free action.

I say if you can cast a ranged touch spell as a free action, you can use it with snapshot. Or if you somehow have it "readied" outside of your turn (such as with Fiery Shuriken, where you can have them floating around you waiting to be used).


Caliban_ wrote:


I say if you can cast a ranged touch spell as a free action, you can use it with snapshot.

Even this does not work because by the rules you can only speak as a free action outside of your turn. The only exception granted by snap shot is drawing ammunition.


wraithstrike wrote:
Caliban_ wrote:


I say if you can cast a ranged touch spell as a free action, you can use it with snapshot.

Even this does not work because by the rules you can only speak as a free action outside of your turn. The only exception granted by snap shot is drawing ammunition.

And for the purpose of the Snapshot Feat, I would say the spell is both your ammunition and your weapon (kind a like a throwing dagger).

Just like a ranged touch spell is a weapon for the purpose of other ranged combat feats.

Hard part is actually being able to cast a ranged touch as a free action.

Only spell I can think of it working with off the top of my head is Fiery Shuriken.


Ipslore the Red wrote:
Rays have been stated to be a valid selection for Weapon Focus

Yes, they are valid for Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization, as that's specifically pointed out. But they aren't cited in the Fighter Weapon Groups, ergo it's not exactly a weapon. It's the same reasoning as to why people don't use Vital Strike when it comes to touch attack spells.

Quote:
and the Snap Shot line of feats lets you use a ranged weapon for an AoO.

Snap Shot states that its effects work "when wielding a ranged weapon," so this fails on two accounts now; the fact that it's not an actual weapon, as defined in the Fighter Weapon Groups, and that ranged touch spells cannot be "wielded," since they are discharged the moment the free attack is made.

Quote:
It seems to follow that selecting Weapon Focus (Ray) and then Snap Shot would allow you to cast a ray spell as an AoO within your minuscule threatened area.

Maybe if you had a Ray-like effect that was usable as a constant ranged attack (such as like from a Lantern Archon, fused or otherwise), you might have a point. But that is few and far between, if at all existing. Outside that, I don't think there is a single Ray spell that actually performs what you want to do, meaning your goal is impossible outside of homebrew; in which case, why are you asking in the Rules Question sub-forum?

Quote:
Making one attack is a standard action, and casting one ray spell is usually a standard action. It seems to fit.

So is drinking a potion, rummaging through your bags, performing certain combat maneuvers, etc. Why not just let players use that for attacks of opportunity also while we're at it? If you're going to break the intent for one activity, it'd only make sense to break it for all of them.

Quote:
And would Combat Reflexes allow you to cast multiple spells for multiple AoOs?

That is some capstone-level class features right there; no, probably even higher than that. Not even the Mystic Theurge prestige class capstone or Quicken Spell feats, two of the most powerful action-economy spell-use abilities in the game, have that power, and they are pretty limiting/resource intensive as it is. Throwing this sort of game-changing power out there is absolutely ridiculous. I'm surprised the Bloodrager or Arcanist don't have these sorts of features available to them...

Quote:
Do you wield your rays only when you cast it, or whenever you might be capable of casting it? You could argue that they only exist when they're cast, or you could argue that you wield an ordinary weapon even when you're not swinging it.

RAW, the bolded part is enforced, no questions asked, based on two rules accounts: Firstly, Ranged Touch Attacks are discharged immediately when they are cast and they cannot be held for any reason. Secondly, spells with a duration of Instantaneous occur, at best, within the action of the PC in question, and once the action is done, so too is the spell effect, meaning once the spell is cast and the attack is made, the effect is gone, and so too is the PC's ability to "wield" the weapon.

Additionally, since the Ray is not an actual object (it's an effect created from a spell, things that aren't always objects), which is even more proof as to why it's not a valid choice for subjects like Vital Strike, it's also required to be able to threaten squares prior to the provocation taking place. Of course, assuming you can supersede the whole "holding the charge on ranged touch attacks" issue, something which PCs have no capability to do. (Monsters certainly could though, if built right.)


What about Produce Flame? You are clearly wielding magic at that point. Not a ray, but just throwing that out there. Also, are there ray spells you can do over several rounds similar to the above spell? I recall a few touch spells that do this (Rusting Grasp), but I don't know any rays off hand.


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I would say the flames from produce flames count since the spell does say "as a weapon", and they are ranged attacks that you have current access to, assuming the spells have been cast.

Of course if I am wrong I am sure someone will have some rules text to point out that I missed. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Caliban_ if you need to take any kind of action to threaten you can't take an AoO, so you can't threaten with a weapon you aren't wielding.
You don't threaten with a sheathed dagger, even if you have quickdraw and
you can draw it with a free action. Same thing for a uncast spell.
If it hasn't been already cast you can't threaten with it, even if you can cast it as a free action.

If you take weapon focus with Hurled produce flame you can threaten with it, but you should have already cast the spell, you can't cast the spell as part of the AoO.

For Snap shot to work with a bow the bow should be already in your hand, ready to be used.
For snap shot to work with a weapon like spell effect the spell should be already cast and the effect in your hand ready to be used.

- * -

Your whole argument is an attempt to say that casting a spell as a free action is the same thing as drawing ammunitions for a missile weapon and that is simply a false equivalence.

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