Calcific Touch, Magus, Spellstrike and other spells... Oh God...


Rules Questions


Yep, I know that this question was answered before, but I still can't understand how the hell this work.
So, as a 13 level magus I take the spell blending arcana and choose calcific touch; now calcific touch is in my magus spell list and I can use it with spellstrike.
Now, in the first round of a fight I can cast calcific touch and get the free melee attack thanks to spellstrike, so in the first round I do 3 attacks (+9,+9,+4). And in the first round is easy, it work as always.
In the second round... I really can't understand...

In the second round:
1) Calcific touch still work
2) I'm not actually "holding the charge" because calcific touch has a duration
3) I don't have another free melee attack because (as the spellstrike say) "Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell", and I'm not casting the spell again
4) I can still deliver calcific touch through my normal weapon attack. At least "chill touch" build work in that way (if I remember correctly), with the difference that I can deliver only one calcific touch per round.

If I'm right untill now, this mean that I can cast other spells and in the same round deliver calcific touch through my normal weapon attack.
And if I'm right untill now this mean... That I can cast other "touch" spells, gain the free attack and THEN deliver calcific touch through the normal weapon attack?

Please, tell me where and why I'm wrong...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You are not wrong.

Calcific Touch can be very powerful for a magus.

Except most things will die before you do enough dexterity damage to immobilize them.


Adamans wrote:
2) I'm not actually "holding the charge" because calcific touch has a duration

That doesn't actually matter. The spell is still a Touch spell as shown in its range designation. You may be confusing this with produce flame, which is not a touch spell.

Quote:

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.

So, the magus could use spell combat to deliver CT with his weapon and then follow it up with his weapon again. But following that he would be stuck attacking once per round with it until he casts another spell. I supposed he could go into round 2 delivering the CT as a weapon attack and then casting another spell, which wipes out the CT.


I am inclined to disagree.

With Calcific Touch you are not holding a charge. It is a duration spell operating under its own rules, as defined within the spell.

Ask yourself: How many charges is the caster holding?

The answer is, none. The spell has no specified number of times it can be discharged. It has only a duration and a restriction on number of uses/round.


Thanks for the answer, snowlilly. Now I'm beginning to understand why calcific touch is so highly appreciated.

Thanks for the answer to you too, Melkiador. I agree with snowlilly: I'm not holding a charge, the rules you're quoting doesn't apply on calcific touch.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Regardless of your inclination, the spell remains a "Touch" spell (as defined by its range descriptor), and you are "holding its charge" for up to the duration of the spell (13 rounds in this case)... Meaning it must obey all of the rules of touch spells unless noted otherwise. As it does not note otherwise in its description, you cannot cast other spells while it is in effect without dissipating Calcific Touch.

After casting Calcific Touch, the caster is holding a touch spell; with a duration based upon level (instead of dissipating upon discharge like Inflict Wounds), and a limit of 1 discharge per round (instead of up to their caster level in discharges like Chill Touch).

The spell does indeed have a specified number of discharges, that number is equal to 1 per round, the limited duration sets the maximum number of discharges to 13 for a magus of that level.

Spells such as Inflict Wounds do not have to specify they can only be discharged once because that is part of the base mechanic for touch spells, and all spells with a range descriptor of Touch have to follow all of those rules unless noted otherwise by their descriptions: such as chill touch allowing multiple discharges, or calcific touch having a duration and a limit on discharges per round.


I agree with Melkiador. It's a touch range spell, and it's not completely discharged on the round you cast it. Therefore the rule Melkiador quoted applies. That it also has some additional rules in the spell itself that governs it's behavior is no matter. If you cast another spell you lose any remaining duration on Calcific Touch.


Snowlilly wrote:

I am inclined to disagree.

With Calcific Touch you are not holding a charge. It is a duration spell operating under its own rules, as defined within the spell.

Ask yourself: How many charges is the caster holding?

The answer is, none. The spell has no specified number of times it can be discharged. It has only a duration and a restriction on number of uses/round.

None of that matters. The exception to certain aspects of holding the charge doesn't make it not holding the charge. Normally, you can hold a charge indefinitely or until you deliver it, whichever happens first and the charge is dispelled if you cast another spell. Calcific Touch provides the explicit exception that you can hold it for a set duration and it can be delivered once per round for the extent of that duration. It's still holding the charge. Same reason that spells like Chill Touch or Frostbite are still holding the charge; their exception is that you have a set number of discharges based on caster level, but all other rules for holding the charge apply as normal. Calcific Touch's mechanics change the default rules for holding the charge; they don't replace them.


This is almost like Occam's Razor, but if there are two logical interpretations of a rule and one of those interpretations is overly powerful or weak, while the other interpretation is average. You should always make the assumption that the average interpretation is the correct one.


Calcific Touch 4th, Dur is CLr.
so you get at least 1 touch attack attempts over Caster Level rounds (once per round). If you fail to touch the target that round (the PC may get multiple touch attack attempts in a round) then that round's usage is lost. I believe that if the PC gets multiple touch attacks in a round then he may declare the Calcific Touch effect after a successful touch.
Unfortunately, the duration over rides the holding of a touch spell, though you could hold the original touch for CL rounds, but, well, that would be rather ineffective. Even if you allow the duration to be up to double for one final touch, it is still somewhat subpar on the power scale considering this is ALL the caster will be doing for all of those rounds and it will take 3-5 successful touches to put a target down.

Overall for a 4th level spell I'd rather use something else for a Magus. Try shocking grasp, intensified(+1), empower(+2). That's 1.5*8d6 (54 avg) damage in one shot which is subject to critical multipliers.


Cantriped wrote:
Regardless of your inclination, the spell remains a "Touch" spell (as defined by its range descriptor), and you are "holding its charge" for up to the duration of the spell (13 rounds in this case)... Meaning it must obey all of the rules of touch spells unless noted otherwise. As it does not note otherwise in its description, you cannot cast other spells while it is in effect without dissipating Calcific Touch.

Answer the question I posted.

If I am holding charges, how many am I holding?

Answer:
Zero. The caster is not holding charges.

As no charges are being held, the rules for holding charges are not applicable.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

At what point in the rules for holding a touch a touch attack does it reference a number of charges?


It an interesting notion and a spell i havent seen before. It is in a weird place because if not for a magus i would never consider this to be a "held charge" effect. It is a spell with a duration in rounds/level that goes off and does its thing until it runs out. So while it is a good spell for high level magus's, i would still allow them to cast this spell and then follow up with another one and deliver both effects through the same spell strike action. Realistically you are dropping your opponents AC and reflex save by one point once per round with this spell so, nice but not amazing. If you have the action economy for it than sure, go ahead.


Melkiador wrote:
At what point in the rules for holding a touch a touch attack does it reference a number of charges?

Umm ... the rules are under the heading Holding a Charge.

Calcific touch is not an instantaneous spell, unlike other touch spells that are strictly limited by number of charges. Or that discharge each time an object/creature is touched.

In fact, nothing else from the rules found under Holding a Charge are applicable to Calcific Touch. Everything else has been explicitly changed by the spell.


Quote:


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.

At the time of the casting of the spell, the Magus is holding the charge, and once he touches his target, the spell is applied to the target and the spell is no longer being held by the magus ("discharged"). If you cast another spell prior to this discharge of the spell, it dissipates.


Quintain wrote:
Quote:


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.
At the time of the casting of the spell, the Magus is holding the charge, and once he touches his target, the spell is applied to the target and the spell is no longer being held by the magus ("discharged"). If you cast another spell prior to this discharge of the spell, it dissipates.

Except, in the case of Calcific Touch, the spell is still in effect. The spell is based on duration, not number of creatures touched (with the limitation of 1/round.)

You cannot target more creatures than you have rounds of duration, but successfully touching a creature is not what brings the spell to an end.


well - a GM *could* rule that a (one) charge could be held for the CL duration, but sadly the duration of the spell ALSO ends in that round, so it requires the GM to also caveat that the last charge could be held up to an additional CL rounds. It's a lot of "ifs" to get there and probably NOT going to work in PFS format.

In a home game you could do it, just realize you are making the above concessions. Overall it's not outside the power range for a 4th level spell.


Snowlilly wrote:


Except, in the case of Calcific Touch, the spell is still in effect. The spell is based on duration, not number of creatures touched (with the limitation of 1/round.)
You cannot target more creatures than you have rounds of duration, but successfully touching a creature is not what brings the spell to an end.

It doesn't bring the spell to an end, it applies it to the target (discharges). And at that point, you are no longer holding the spell. You don't get to apply the spell with successful touch attacks for the entire duration of the spell.

That is what is meant by "You can make touch attacks round after round until the spell is discharged".

Calcific touch does not have the caveat that it can be used to touch multiple targets for it's entire duration like Chill Touch. It is a one target only spell.


Actually, the rule quoted refer to holding a charge and this is undeniable.
Supposing that Calcific Touch "charge" my hand once every round, I can discharge the spell and then cast another spell. In the next round my hand will be charged again and so on. If I cast a spell before discharge calcific touch I lose that charge for that round, but Calcific Touch as a spell has a duration, it continues.
I think it might work in this way.


Quintain wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:


Except, in the case of Calcific Touch, the spell is still in effect. The spell is based on duration, not number of creatures touched (with the limitation of 1/round.)
You cannot target more creatures than you have rounds of duration, but successfully touching a creature is not what brings the spell to an end.

It doesn't bring the spell to an end, it applies it to the target (discharges). And at that point, you are no longer holding the spell. You don't get to apply the spell with successful touch attacks for the entire duration of the spell.

That is what is meant by "You can make touch attacks round after round until the spell is discharged".

Calcific touch does not have the caveat that it can be used to touch multiple targets for it's entire duration like Chill Touch. It is a one target only spell.

I don't think the spell actually supports your interpretation. For starters:

Calcific Touch wrote:
Target creature or creatures touched (up to one per level)

It's clearly able to be used against more than one creature.


I read it as a spell effect that lasts for rounds/level and every round allows a touch attack against one creature. It is something of a unique spell in that regard but it still doesnt follow the normal rules for spell charges as i understand them.


Quintain wrote:


Calcific touch does not have the caveat that it can be used to touch multiple targets for it's entire duration like Chill Touch. It is a one target only spell.

One target per round.

You could touch a different opponent each round.
Probably not a good idea unless you are in a room full of oozes.


Snowlilly wrote:
Answer the question I posted.

Oh but I did, you just didn't like the answer.

To quote myself
Quote:
After casting Calcific Touch, the caster is holding a touch spell; with a duration based upon level (instead of dissipating upon discharge like Inflict Wounds), and a limit of 1 discharge per round (instead of up to their caster level in discharges like Chill Touch).


Cantriped wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Answer the question I posted.

Oh but I did, you just didn't like the answer.

To quote myself
Quote:
After casting Calcific Touch, the caster is holding a touch spell; with a duration based upon level (instead of dissipating upon discharge like Inflict Wounds), and a limit of 1 discharge per round (instead of up to their caster level in discharges like Chill Touch).

Exactly my point.

The spell is duration based, not charge based.

Charges, and holding them, plays no role in how the spell functions.


Snowlilly wrote:

The spell is duration based, not charge based.

Charges, and holding them, plays no role in how the spell functions.

There really isn't such a thing as "charge based" in the rules

Calcific touch is a touch spell and its charge can be held. Hence, it still falls under the general rule of "If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates."


Melkiador wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:

The spell is duration based, not charge based.

Charges, and holding them, plays no role in how the spell functions.

There really isn't such a thing as "charge based" in the rules

Calcific touch is a touch spell and its charge can be held. Hence, it still falls under the general rule of "If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates."

With Calcific Touch, you hold nothing. The spell can be discharged once/round for the duration regardless of how many opponents you strike.


Snowlilly wrote:
Quintain wrote:


Calcific touch does not have the caveat that it can be used to touch multiple targets for it's entire duration like Chill Touch. It is a one target only spell.

One target per round.

You could touch a different opponent each round.
Probably not a good idea unless you are in a room full of oozes.

You know, somehow I just completely missed the "target" line in the spell. I need to stop just glancing at things. Geez.

This is correct. One target per round for the duration of the spell, and you can apply the spell each round to the same target for the 1d4 dex damage and slow effect.

I do not know what I was reading in my earlier responses. :/

However, I'm still not sold on the "if you cast another spell", Calcific Touch dissipates or not. That is questionable.

I'm not sure there is precedent in Pathfinder for being able to apply multiple spells that are applied via touch at the same time.


Snowlilly wrote:
With Calcific Touch, you hold nothing...

You insistence, though admirable, doesn't change the rules of the game. Pathfinder puts things into strange boxes sometimes, and this is an example of that. All spells with a range of Touch fall under the rules for "Holding a Charge" unless noted otherwise, and the spell in question does not note otherwise. It is as simple as that.

By the way, in order to "discharge" something, it must first hold a "charge". It is right there in the word. Furthermore, the phrase "Holding a Charge" doesn't refer to physically holding a thing, it refers to retaining or keeping the thing available. Its the same as how a cell-phone battery "holds" an electrical charge, or how the police can "hold" you on murder charges; in neither of the above examples is anyone actually physically grasping the thing being referred to.


Quintain wrote:
I'm not sure there is precedent in Pathfinder for being able to apply multiple spells that are applied via touch at the same time.

That is not difficult. Use spell trigger items instead of casting.

A magus could use wands to stack multiple touch spells. Or cast Chill Touch on the opening round of a fight and use the wand wielder arcana on subsequent rounds to generate extra attacks via Touch of Fatigue or Arcane Mark on a wand.


Cantriped wrote:
Furthermore, the phrase "Holding a Charge" doesn't refer to physically holding a thing, it refers to retaining or keeping the thing available. Its the same as how a cell-phone battery "holds" an electrical charge, or how the police can "hold" you on murder charges; in neither of the above examples is anyone actually physically grasping the thing being referred to.

I never implied using another definition. It would be silly to assert you were physically holding the spell as an item.


Definitive answer: there is not a definitive answer. Thanks anyway to anyone. I still think that with calcific touch you don't "hold a charge" like other spells (shocking grasp and other instantaneous spells), but I'm going to reach an agreement with my master. Thanks again!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It is open to debate if spells that give you x uses of a touch attack over X time require you to held the charge or not.
If we go back to 1st and 2nd edition AD&D, you aren't holding a charge. The spells that existed at the time and now are instantaneous spells that allow you to hold a charge in those edition of the game were instantaneous, single attempt, hit or miss spells.
There was instead a small number of spells that gave you a touch attack with a duration, and that was fully stackable, without any problem with holding a charge.

Sadly, it has never been explained how that kind of spells work in the d20 version of the game.
Both interpretations are reasonable, and generally non so powerful as someone seem to think.

Without the dev input both interpretations work.

Edit:
this is curious, why a 4 month old thread was one of the first in the forum?


Please return to your proper place my weary friend.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Calcific Touch, Magus, Spellstrike and other spells... Oh God... All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.