Full Actions + Free Actions


Rules Questions

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So, since the free action is explicitly part of the spell, can a magus not:

Standard (shocking grasp) + Move + FA(Attack)?


Ferious Thune wrote:

You can do this:

Spell Combat (longsword + shocking grasp + 5' step + FA(attack) )

You can do this:

Spell Combat (longsword + shocking grasp + FA (attack) ) + 5' step

You cannot do this:

Spell Combat (longsword + shocking grasp) + 5' step + FA(attack)

And that has nothing to do with whether or not free actions are allowed after a full-round action. It has to do with the free action attack being part of the spell, and the spell being part of spell combat. You can't separate part of the spell from spell combat.

Absolutely false.

The free action attack is NOT part of the action used to cast the spell. This can be definitively proven.


Johnny_Devo wrote:

So, since the free action is explicitly part of the spell, can a magus not:

Standard (shocking grasp) + Move + FA(Attack)?

They can, because the rules for touch spells allow it, and the only thing that spellstrike changes is the form of the attack from "touch with hand" to "swing weapon"


_Ozy_ wrote:
Have you ever been at a table where they prevented a free action after a 5' step following a full round action? I sure haven't.

The free action is taken while taking the full round action, so the 5' step is actually taken during the full round action. (Same result, explicitly allowed by the wording of the rules) :)

Scarab Sages

It is not part of the standard action to cast a spell, but it is part of the spell itself. What you are claiming, that you can receive 1 1/2 STR on an attack granted by spell combat, is absolutely false and very clearly against the intention of all of the rules.


There seem to be a whole lot of assumptions here that actions 'extend' beyond the 'activities' that they allocate to the character.

For example, TWF specifically says what you can do during the granted full-attack action, and that is attack with your iteratives + TWF extras attacks. That's it. Once you finish these activities, the action is over. You are no longer two weapon fighting, and the penalties and limitations that govern that action are also over, unless specified otherwise (e.g. power attack).

When you move during a move action, once you stop moving, your move action is over. You are no longer moving, you are no longer taking a move action.

If I use a Spring attack to move-attack-move, once I've stopped moving, the Spring attack full-round action is over. If I do a free/swift action once I've stopped, that is outside of the Spring attack action since I am no longer moving.

When you use a standard action to cast a spell, once the spell has been cast, you are no longer casting, you are no within the standard action.

This seems to be a fundamental principle, and yet apparently not uniformly accepted as true.

Perhaps this is the basic game mechanic that needs a FAQ.

Scarab Sages

Andy Brown wrote:
Johnny_Devo wrote:

So, since the free action is explicitly part of the spell, can a magus not:

Standard (shocking grasp) + Move + FA(Attack)?

They can, because the rules for touch spells allow it, and the only thing that spellstrike changes is the form of the attack from "touch with hand" to "swing weapon"

What Andy said.

That is also not Spell Combat, so not really relevant to what I'm saying.

If you have a way to get an extra move action, like from a Quickrunner's Shirt, you could even do this:

Spell Combat (longsword + shocking grasp + SW (activate Quickrunner's Shirt) + Move + FA (attack) )

At no time, however, do you leave Spell Combat, and you are bound by the restrictions of Spell Combat on that free attack.


Ferious Thune wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:
Johnny_Devo wrote:

So, since the free action is explicitly part of the spell, can a magus not:

Standard (shocking grasp) + Move + FA(Attack)?

They can, because the rules for touch spells allow it, and the only thing that spellstrike changes is the form of the attack from "touch with hand" to "swing weapon"

What Andy said.

That is also not Spell Combat, so not really relevant to what I'm saying.

If you have a way to get an extra move action, like from a Quickrunner's Shirt, you could even do this:

Spell Combat (longsword + shocking grasp + SW (activate Quickrunner's Shirt) + Move + FA (attack) )

At no time, however, do you leave Spell Combat, and you are bound by the restrictions of Spell Combat on that free attack.

You said two things:

1) casting a spell is part of Spell Combat full-round action

and

2) taking the free action is part of casting the spell

The example certainly refutes #2..


Andy Brown wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Have you ever been at a table where they prevented a free action after a 5' step following a full round action? I sure haven't.
The free action is taken while taking the full round action, so the 5' step is actually taken during the full round action. (Same result, explicitly allowed by the wording of the rules) :)

The full attack action is over once you've completed the actions defined by them.

Do you think the TWF attack penalties still apply to the swift action attack?

Edit: specifically: TWF(longsword + unarmed attack) + 5' step + SW(quickened shocking grasp) + FA(longsword)

Does that free action longsword attack suffer from TWF penalties?

Scarab Sages

It doesn't, because we have a specific rule that allows you to deliver a touch spell after a move. just because you can separate two parts of the spell, the actual mechanics of casting and the actual delivering of the touch attack, it doesn't mean that you can take either of those actions outside of the context in which they occur. Spell combat encompasses the free attack granted by the spell. You can separate two parts of the spell from each other explicitly. You cannot separate the spell from spell combat.

Let me ask this question. Do you think that the intention of spell combat is that you can use a two handed weapon? Do you think that the intention is that you can receive 1 1/2x STR on the free action attack, but not on your normal attacks?


Ferious Thune wrote:

You can do this:

Spell Combat (longsword + shocking grasp + 5' step + FA(attack) )

You can do this:

Spell Combat (longsword + shocking grasp + FA (attack) ) + 5' step

You cannot do this:

Spell Combat (longsword + shocking grasp) + 5' step + FA(attack)

And that has nothing to do with whether or not free actions are allowed after a full-round action. It has to do with the free action attack being part of the spell, and the spell being part of spell combat. You can't separate part of the spell from spell combat.

I'm having a hard time understanding your parentheses. We're agreed, I hope, that a wizard or sorcerer can cast shocking grasp (standard action) at a remove, then close 5' (or even take a full move action to close), and then release the charge with the free melee touch attack.

Now a magus might cast, take a 5' step, make the free melee attack, and then follow up with their full attacks. All of these attacks would be 1-H & at -2, since the other hand has to be free to cast the spell. Moving the full attacks to the start of the sequence in order to down one foe, then casting, stepping 5', and making the free melee attack on a second foe doesn't change the fact that it's spell combat (all 1-H & at -2).

Is this in fact what you're saying?

Scarab Sages

Bitter lily - correct.


Ferious Thune wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:
Johnny_Devo wrote:

So, since the free action is explicitly part of the spell, can a magus not:

Standard (shocking grasp) + Move + FA(Attack)?

They can, because the rules for touch spells allow it, and the only thing that spellstrike changes is the form of the attack from "touch with hand" to "swing weapon"

What Andy said.

That is also not Spell Combat, so not really relevant to what I'm saying.

If you have a way to get an extra move action, like from a Quickrunner's Shirt, you could even do this:

Spell Combat (longsword + shocking grasp + SW (activate Quickrunner's Shirt) + Move + FA (attack) )

At no time, however, do you leave Spell Combat, and you are bound by the restrictions of Spell Combat on that free attack.

Doesn't have to be Spell Combat to demonstrate the point being made.

If delivering the spell is part of casting the spell, regardless of how the spell is being cast, Spell Combat or otherwise, then:

A. You can't ever hold the charge, because you must deliver the spell as part of casting the spell. This is a specific requirement that must be fulfilled in order for a spell to be delivered, and by relation, any attempts to deliver the spell NOT as part of casting the spell, automatically fail. Why? Because the condition to deliver the spell (which is "as part of casting") is not met, nor can it ever be met until you proceed to cast another spell (even the same spell, if so desired).

I'll point out that spells like Scorching Ray, which offer Ranged Touch Attacks, which have their own specific rules that supersede holding the charge, function in such a manner, so the argument that a delivering a spell cast must be done as part of the spell being cast is already covered, in a specific subset of Touch Attacks.

In other words, you're applying a sub-set restriction to a general rule. Not cool.

B. The idea that you need to spend a Free Action to deliver the spell is pointless and accomplishes nothing. Delivering the spell is already done, as part of the action required to cast the spell, why do you need a rule that says you can deliver the spell as a Free Action?

This isn't like Alchemist Extracts or Bombs, where the activity of drawing components, concocting, and consuming/throwing the subject, is all part of the same action. Those features are explicitly written to function as such, and also have FAQs which reinforce those statements. To which point, I state "Where are the explicit rule and FAQs at for the case being made here?"

I'll also gladly point out that Quick Runner's Shirt has been errata'd to uselessness, and one of the "erratas" is that, once you utilize the effects of Quick Runner's Shirt, your turn immediately ends. So, if you use a Quick Runner's Shirt during Spell Combat, the turn (and by relation, Spell Combat) ends at the point to which you used your Quick Runner's Shirt.


Ferious Thune wrote:

It doesn't, because we have a specific rule that allows you to deliver a touch spell after a move. just because you can separate two parts of the spell, the actual mechanics of casting and the actual delivering of the touch attack, it doesn't mean that you can take either of those actions outside of the context in which they occur. Spell combat encompasses the free attack granted by the spell. You can separate two parts of the spell from each other explicitly. You cannot separate the spell from spell combat.

Let me ask this question. Do you think that the intention of spell combat is that you can use a two handed weapon? Do you think that the intention is that you can receive 1 1/2x STR on the free action attack, but not on your normal attacks?

Where does it say that the free action granted by a touch spell is 'encompassed' by the full-attack Spell Combat action. The only words I see is that the attack also gains the -2 penalty, which it would anyways if the attack were part of the full-attack action.

The fact that they need to explicitly add those words indicates to me that under normal action rules (like the TWF + quickened shocking grasp), the free action would normally not take tho Spell Combat penalties.

As far as 1-H vs. 2-H, I'm not even worried about that at the moment since we have a fundamental disagreement as to how actions work.

Once we've figured that out, then we can figure out the implications for 1H, 2H, and RAW vs RAI. It may very well be that the rules that govern actions explicitly allow every single scenario I laid out, but the devs, based on RAI, decide to FAQ or errata some abilities to prevent 2H switching.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Have you ever been at a table where they prevented a free action after a 5' step following a full round action? I sure haven't.
The free action is taken while taking the full round action, so the 5' step is actually taken during the full round action. (Same result, explicitly allowed by the wording of the rules) :)

The full attack action is over once you've completed the actions defined by them.

Do you think the TWF attack penalties still apply to the swift action attack?

Edit: specifically: TWF(longsword + unarmed attack) + 5' step + SW(quickened shocking grasp) + FA(longsword)

Does that free action longsword attack suffer from TWF penalties?

The problem is that by RAW you can only take a swift action when taking another action (because when you can take a swift action is the same as when you can take a free action), and a 5' step is not an action (check the table in the Combat rules).

Therefore, the quickened spell has to be part of the full attack (full round) action you're using to TWF. However, TWF penalties only apply to TWF attacks, so no, they don't apply to the spellstrike attack.

Also, your action sequence would be TWF + SW + 5' + attack

Not 100% sure on 2-handing the spellstrike attack, because it's not part of the TWF attack; Spell Combat is clearer on that one because the hand has to stay free.


I would also like to point out that if Spell Combat was really making such a huge change to the action mechanics of touch spells and the granted free action attacks, they would have spelled it out quite explicitly rather than let people try to draw conclusions from a parenthetical remark.

Scarab Sages

From spell combat "any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty." The attack roll is made as part of the spell. The spell is part of spell combat. You cannot make the attack roll outside of spell combat.

I really wish you would separate all of the swift action/free action after a full-round action from the discussion on spell combat. It is entirely possible for both a swift action attack to be allowed after a full round action and for the specific free action granted by a spell that is part of spell combat to be limited by spell combat. I am only focusing on that last situation right now.

Also, it would really help me to understand what you think the intention of the rule is. If you honestly believe that the designers intended for you to be able to get 1 1/2x STR on the free attack granted from casting a spell in spell combat, but not on the normal attacks made during spell combat, then that would be good to know.


Andy Brown wrote:

The problem is that by RAW you can only take a swift action when taking another action (because when you can take a swift action is the same as when you can take a free action), and a 5' step is not an action (check the table in the Combat rules).

Therefore, the quickened spell has to be part of the full attack (full round) action you're using to TWF. However, TWF penalties only apply to TWF attacks, so no, they don't apply to the spellstrike attack.

Also, your action sequence would be TWF + SW + 5' + attack

Not 100% sure on 2-handing the spellstrike attack, because it's not part of the TWF attack; Spell Combat is clearer on that one because the hand has to stay free.

Where does it saw TWF penalties only apply to TWF attacks?

Here's the language:

Quote:
You suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand when you fight this way.

If your Free attack takes place while you are TWF, then how does it avoid being an attack with a primary or off-hand, and therefore suffer the same penalties? Either you are TWF, or you are not.

Note: this problem is avoided if you follow my action guidelines, that actions end when the activities they define are over.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Doesn't have to be Spell Combat to demonstrate the point being made.

If delivering the spell is part of casting the spell,

It's not. From the Combat rules

Touch Spells in Combat wrote:
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.

(emphasis mine)

Scarab Sages

_Ozy_ wrote:
I would also like to point out that if Spell Combat was really making such a huge change to the action mechanics of touch spells and the granted free action attacks, they would have spelled it out quite explicitly rather than let people try to draw conclusions from a parenthetical remark.

The only thing that Spell Combat is doing is imposing the limitations of Spell Combat. I'm not sure what you think I'm trying to say it's doing anymore.

You cast a spell as part of spell combat. The results of that spell are limited by the restrictions of spell combat. That is not a huge change to any base mechanic. It's a straightforward and simple interpretation of the rule.


_Ozy_ wrote:

Where does it saw TWF penalties only apply to TWF attacks?

Here's the language:

Quote:
You suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand when you fight this way.

Main hand and off hand only apply to TWF, not regular attacks, therefore penalties to Main hand or off hand attacks can only apply to TWF attacks.

Extrapolated from the FAQ on TWF, because the extra attack is from the spell, not TWF


Ferious Thune wrote:
From spell combat "any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty." The attack roll is made as part of the spell. The spell is part of spell combat. You cannot make the attack roll outside of spell combat.

You realize that 'part of the spell' does not mean 'part of the same action as casting the spell'. I'll demonstrate:

Quote:
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.

Do you see any similar language in Spell Combat?

Quote:
I really wish you would separate all of the swift action/free action after a full-round action from the discussion on spell combat. It is entirely possible for both a swift action attack to be allowed after a full round action and for the specific free action granted by a spell that is part of spell combat to be limited by spell combat. I am only focusing on that last situation right now.

Except, people don't seem to even agree on that (e.g. Andy) I think these action mechanics are fundamental to figuring out the issue.

Quote:
Also, it would really help me to understand what you think the intention of the rule is. If you honestly believe that the designers intended for you to be able to get 1 1/2x STR on the free attack granted from casting a spell in spell combat, but not on the normal attacks made during spell combat, then that would be good to know.

I think the intention of the rule is to enforce 1-handed fighting during Spell Combat. And that's it. Any actions taken outside of spell combat, be they a swift action Hurtful, a quickend Shocking Grasp, an AoO, normal Full-attack action with spellstrike, are entirely fair game to allow a 2H attack.

I believe the rules fundamentally support this statement:

penalties and limitations that govern actions only apply for the duration and activities defined by those actions unless specified otherwise.

Furthermore, I think a uniform application of this rule would solve a heck of a lot of uncertainty within the Pathfinder rule set.

Scarab Sages

So you believe that the normal, intended Spell Combat attack sequence is

Spell Combat
Longsword attack at -2 1 handed
Cast Shocking Grasp
End Spell Combat
Longsword attack at -2 2-handed delivering shocking grasp

?

That is what you believe the designers intended when they wrote spell combat?


Andy Brown wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

Where does it saw TWF penalties only apply to TWF attacks?

Here's the language:

Quote:
You suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand when you fight this way.

Main hand and off hand only apply to TWF, not regular attacks, therefore penalties to Main hand or off hand attacks can only apply to TWF attacks.

Extrapolated from the FAQ on TWF, because the extra attack is from the spell, not TWF

The TWF rules explicitly call out regular attacks.

The FAQ you mentioned says this:

Quote:
Basically, you only incur TWF penalties if you are trying to get an extra attack per round.

Are we trying to get an extra attack per round during TWF? Yes. Therefore TWF penalties apply.

The FAQ only applies when you are using multiple weapon with your normal iterative sequence as a full-attack action. That's not what's happening here. We are in a valid TWF full-attack, and you're using your main hand to delivery a quickened shocking grasp as a free attack with your regular BAB.


Ferious Thune wrote:

So you believe that the normal, intended Spell Combat attack sequence is

Spell Combat
Longsword attack at -2 1 handed
Cast Shocking Grasp
End Spell Combat
Longsword attack at -2 2-handed delivering shocking grasp

?

That is what you believe the designers intended when they wrote spell combat?

Not necessarily. But I believe they did intend this:

Spell Combat
Longword attack 1H -2
Cast Shocking Grasp
End Spell Combat
Longsword attack 1H -2
Quickened shocking grasp
Longsword attack 2H, no penalty

The fact that the action rules that allow my scenario also apparently allow yours may indeed be an oversight. However, I would fix that not by screwing up how actions work, but by putting in a clause that any attack taken as part of the spell during Spell Combat is subject to the -2 penalty and the limitations of maintaining a free hand.

That is, if that's their true intent.


_Ozy_ wrote:

The FAQ you mentioned says this:

Quote:
Basically, you only incur TWF penalties if you are trying to get an extra attack per round.

I'm reading an implied "using two weapon fighting" at the end of that sentence

Quote:
Are we trying to get an extra attack per round during TWF? Yes. Therefore TWF penalties apply.

The quickened spell is not an extra attack from TWF

Quote:
The FAQ only applies when you are using multiple weapon with your normal iterative sequence as a full-attack action. That's not what's happening here. We are in a valid TWF full-attack, and you're using your main hand to delivery a quickened shocking grasp as a free attack with your regular BAB.

The free attack is not part of the TWF attacks, it's part of the quickened spell.

Sure, it may not be consistent, but it puts things more in favour of the player than sticking the TWF penalty on the other attack.

If some combination of feats & abilities resulted in the target of the TWF attack triggering an AoO, would the penalties apply to the AoO? This FAQ says they don't apply to AoOs outside your turn, so you could apply that rule to all AoOs.
If this AoO does get the TWF penalties, would an AoO triggered in the middle of a normal iterative sequence suddenly turn on TWF penalties, because you're getting an extra attack? I'd say obviously not.


I'll put this scenario in a separate post since it keeps getting missed.

If you think the free action attack must be taken during Spell Combat, then this scenario would be illegal:

Spell Combat(cast Shocking Grasp) !staggered! loses rest of full-round action + FA(longsword attack)

That is, if you get staggered after you cast the spell, you no longer have a full-action attack, but you still have your free action attack. Can you use it or not?

Scarab Sages

Ok, so now we're getting somewhere. I would move End Spell Combat to after that second longsword attack, but that doesn't affect much.

All I am saying is that there is enough language already in spell combat to limit the free attack. All you have to do is interpret the multiple instances of making the attack as part of casting the spell, as part of the spell, etc. to mean exactly what they say. The spell is part of spell combat. The attack is part of the spell. The attack is limited by spell combat.

That in no way keeps your swift action spell from happening or from being allowed to use 2 hands. and I don't really see how arguing against the free attack being part of spell combat helps your case for the swift action spell, either.

Scarab Sages

_Ozy_ wrote:

I'll put this scenario in a separate post since it keeps getting missed.

If you think the free action attack must be taken during Spell Combat, then this scenario would be illegal:

Spell Combat(cast Shocking Grasp) !staggered! loses rest of full-round action + FA(longsword attack)

That is, if you get staggered after you cast the spell, you no longer have a full-action attack, but you still have your free action attack. Can you use it or not?

You still get the free attack, because you completed casting the spell. You're still limited by spell combat's restrictions, because you tried to use it. Becoming staggered doesn't remove those restrictions.


_Ozy_ wrote:

Not necessarily. But I believe they did intend this:

Spell Combat
Longword attack 1H -2
Cast Shocking Grasp
End Spell Combat
Longsword attack 1H -2
Quickened shocking grasp
Longsword attack 2H, no penalty

I don't think you can put the attack from Shocking grasp outside Spell Combat, but that doesn't really change anything.

However, by RAW the quickened spell has to be part of the full round action (swift action must be taken at the same time as another action).

But I'm not sure it really matters that much. How much extra damage are you getting from 2-handing the sword? a couple of points probably, which aren't making much difference at the level this is going to happen. (Also, you've just made a DC 25 concentration check, so probably deserve a little bonus :) )
Note that I'm agreeing that the Spell Combat penalty doesn't apply to the Spellstrike attack from the quickened shocking grasp.


Andy Brown wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

The FAQ you mentioned says this:

Quote:
Basically, you only incur TWF penalties if you are trying to get an extra attack per round.
I'm reading an implied "using two weapon fighting" at the end of that sentence

That's certainly consistent with what I've been arguing, yes

Quote:
Quote:
Are we trying to get an extra attack per round during TWF? Yes. Therefore TWF penalties apply.
The quickened spell is not an extra attack from TWF

No, but the extra attack from TWF is, so we definitely are using the TWF action. The TWF rules do not explicitly exclude their penalties from attacks 'outside' of those granted by TWF. We both think this is implicit.

Quote:
Quote:
The FAQ only applies when you are using multiple weapon with your normal iterative sequence as a full-attack action. That's not what's happening here. We are in a valid TWF full-attack, and you're using your main hand to delivery a quickened shocking grasp as a free attack with your regular BAB.

The free attack is not part of the TWF attacks, it's part of the quickened spell.

Sure, it may not be consistent, but it puts things more in favour of the player than sticking the TWF penalty on the other attack.

If some combination of feats & abilities resulted in the target of the TWF attack triggering an AoO, would the penalties apply to the AoO? This FAQ says they don't apply to AoOs outside your turn, so you could apply that rule to all AoOs.
If this AoO does get the TWF penalties, would an AoO triggered in the middle of a normal iterative sequence suddenly turn on TWF penalties, because you're getting an extra attack? I'd say obviously not.

You're arguing what I've been arguing. That penalties and limitations (and bonuses for that matter) that apply to activities (usually attacks) during an action do not apply to other actions unless specified otherwise.

What I'm looking for is exactly that, consistency. Consistency reduces confusion. Balance is a secondary concern, and can be addressed within a consistent framework rather than relying on subjective inconsistency.


Ferious Thune wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

I'll put this scenario in a separate post since it keeps getting missed.

If you think the free action attack must be taken during Spell Combat, then this scenario would be illegal:

Spell Combat(cast Shocking Grasp) !staggered! loses rest of full-round action + FA(longsword attack)

That is, if you get staggered after you cast the spell, you no longer have a full-action attack, but you still have your free action attack. Can you use it or not?

You still get the free attack, because you completed casting the spell. You're still limited by spell combat's restrictions, because you tried to use it. Becoming staggered doesn't remove those restrictions.

Agreed, you still get the attack, with the -2 penalty for spell combat


_Ozy_ wrote:
You're arguing what I've been arguing.

Wouldn't be the frist time I've had a violent rules agreement with somebody.

This whole thing has given me a good chance to think about how these things all fit together, and I've swung backwards and forwards on what does & doesn't work.

Scarab Sages

Andy Brown wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

I'll put this scenario in a separate post since it keeps getting missed.

If you think the free action attack must be taken during Spell Combat, then this scenario would be illegal:

Spell Combat(cast Shocking Grasp) !staggered! loses rest of full-round action + FA(longsword attack)

That is, if you get staggered after you cast the spell, you no longer have a full-action attack, but you still have your free action attack. Can you use it or not?

You still get the free attack, because you completed casting the spell. You're still limited by spell combat's restrictions, because you tried to use it. Becoming staggered doesn't remove those restrictions.
Agreed, you still get the attack, with the -2 penalty for spell combat

And 1-handed.


Ferious Thune wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

I'll put this scenario in a separate post since it keeps getting missed.

If you think the free action attack must be taken during Spell Combat, then this scenario would be illegal:

Spell Combat(cast Shocking Grasp) !staggered! loses rest of full-round action + FA(longsword attack)

That is, if you get staggered after you cast the spell, you no longer have a full-action attack, but you still have your free action attack. Can you use it or not?

You still get the free attack, because you completed casting the spell. You're still limited by spell combat's restrictions, because you tried to use it. Becoming staggered doesn't remove those restrictions.

Spell combat explicitly imposes the -2 penalty on the attack because it has to (otherwise it wouldn't automatically apply). Spell combat does not explicitly impose the 'free hand' limitation on the attack (so it doesn't automatically apply).

This strongly implies that the 'free hand' limitation is not there for the free action. The only things that could possibly limit the free attack to 1H only if it can only be part of the Spell Combat action.

The staggered example demonstrates that you can take the free action outside of the action in which the spell is cast. Therefore the only limitation is the one that is explicitly called out. The -2 penalty.

Again. The way to fix this is to add the 'free hand' clause to the -2 penalty part, if that's the devs true intent.


Andy Brown wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
You're arguing what I've been arguing.

Wouldn't be the frist time I've had a violent rules agreement with somebody.

This whole thing has given me a good chance to think about how these things all fit together, and I've swung backwards and forwards on what does & doesn't work.

Ditto. Good stuff.


_Ozy_ wrote:

The full attack action is over once you've completed the actions defined by them.

Do you think the TWF attack penalties still apply to the swift action attack?

Edit: specifically: TWF(longsword + unarmed attack) + 5' step + SW(quickened shocking grasp) + FA(longsword)

Does that free action longsword attack suffer from TWF penalties?

Let's switch away from magus for your example to a ranger/sorcerer w/ TWF, armed with two shortswords & equipped with a Glove of Storing. At that point, it's...

TWF(full attacks w/ two 1H shortswords @ -2) + FA(store shortsword) + SW(quickened shocking grasp + FA (melee touch @ no penalty))
I left the 5' step out because I'm picturing all of this being unleashed on the same foe, but yes, you could put one in before the melee touch attack if you wanted that against a different foe.

While the TWF attacks take a -2 penalty, the quickened melee touch spell is "outside" the TWF, and so doesn't. However, it's clear here that the melee touch needs that empty hand that got used on the quickened spell. So the parallel for a magus is...

Spell combat(full attacks w/ 1H longsword @ -2 + casting Shocking Grasp + FA(1H longsword @ -2)) + SW(quickened 2nd Shocking Grasp + FA(1H longsword @ no penalty))
Now I'm going at it with the parentheses. :) At no time can any of these attacks be delivered 2H because the other hand is busy casting, but the extra Shocking Grasp delivery granted by the Quicken Spell feat does not take the -2 spell combat penalty; it's "outside" Spell Combat.

If anyone else wants to leap in & tell me my examples are incorrect, please do so. I'm hanging out here to learn GMing, actually.

To the OP: Does your problem come in because you want a different swift action, one that doesn't inherently require an empty hand? Or is what I just summarized actually something you dispute?

{EtA: Looking downthread, it seems I'd better assume you do dispute the obvious. So...

Ultimate Magic, under Magus 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.

(The italics are mine. I'm not sure you can possibly be disputing this. Really?)}


Ferious Thune wrote:
And 1-handed.
Quote:
. 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).

Where's the similar language adding the 1H limitation?


_Ozy_ wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:

I'll put this scenario in a separate post since it keeps getting missed.

If you think the free action attack must be taken during Spell Combat, then this scenario would be illegal:

Spell Combat(cast Shocking Grasp) !staggered! loses rest of full-round action + FA(longsword attack)

That is, if you get staggered after you cast the spell, you no longer have a full-action attack, but you still have your free action attack. Can you use it or not?

You still get the free attack, because you completed casting the spell. You're still limited by spell combat's restrictions, because you tried to use it. Becoming staggered doesn't remove those restrictions.
Spell combat explicitly imposes the -2 penalty on the attack because it has to (otherwise it wouldn't automatically apply). Spell combat does not explicitly impose the 'free hand' limitation on the attack (so it doesn't automatically apply).

A free hand is explicitly required to use spell combat, therefore if the spell is cast using spell combat, the hand must remain free for the attack.

I think I've almost argued myself back to allowing the spellstrike attack from the quickened spell to be 2-handed though.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
And 1-handed.
Quote:
. 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).
Where's the similar language adding the 1H limitation?
spell combat wrote:
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.

The sentence before the one you quoted.


bitter lily wrote:

While the TWF attacks take a -2 penalty, the quickened melee touch spell is "outside" the TWF, and so doesn't. However, it's clear here that the melee touch needs that empty hand that got used on the quickened spell. So the parallel for a magus is...

Spell combat(full attacks w/ 1H longsword @ -2 + casting Shocking Grasp + FA(1H longsword @ -2)) + SW(quickened 2nd Shocking Grasp + FA(1H longsword @ no penalty))
Now I'm going at it with the parentheses. :) At no time can any of these attacks be delivered 2H because the other hand is busy casting, but the extra Shocking Grasp delivery granted by the Quicken Spell feat does not take the -2 spell combat penalty; it's "outside" Spell Combat.

At the time of the free touch attack, the spell has been cast and that hand is free.

If you get rid of the TWF, for example, with a Magus, SW(quickened Cast shocking grasp) + Move(move to enemy) + FA(change grip) + FA(2H attack) is a completely legal move, and you have a standard action left for another spell if you release your grip and cast.

If we're ignoring Spell Combat for the moment, there is almost nobody that says a magus can't be using 2H spellstrike by casting then gripping his weapon. This holds true for regular and quickened casting.

Quote:

If anyone else wants to leap in & tell me my examples are incorrect, please do so. I'm hanging out here to learn GMing, actually.

To the OP: Does your problem come in because you want a different swift action, one that doesn't inherently require an empty hand? Or is what I just summarized actually something you dispute?

I'm trying to pin down, fundamentally, how actions work. It derived from a discussion on whether Spell Combat works with Whirlwind, but that discussion became far to distracting to hold a discussion on the basic mechanics.

Character-wise, I have no specific application in mind. I do have a Magus character, but it's your typical Dervish dancer who has no interest in 2H-ing anything since that limitation applies to all attacks.


Andy Brown wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
And 1-handed.
Quote:
. 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).
Where's the similar language adding the 1H limitation?
spell combat wrote:
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.
The sentence before the one you quoted.

Great. So, once the Spell Combat action is over, you are no longer 'using this ability'. Correct? That would be consistent with our discussion.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
And 1-handed.
Quote:
. 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).
Where's the similar language adding the 1H limitation?
spell combat wrote:
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.
The sentence before the one you quoted.
Great. So, once the Spell Combat action is over, you are no longer 'using this ability'. Correct? That would be consistent with our discussion.

That's why I said I'd argued myself back to allowing 2-handed for the swift action cast


Andy Brown wrote:


That's why I said I'd argued myself back to allowing 2-handed for the swift action cast

And the free action attack after you get staggered? Some reasoning. Spell Combat is 'over' and you are no longer 'using this ability'.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:


That's why I said I'd argued myself back to allowing 2-handed for the swift action cast
And the free action attack after you get staggered? Some reasoning. Spell Combat is 'over' and you are no longer 'using this ability'.

No. The spell was cast using spell combat, so the free hand requirement and -2 penalty still apply. You're using the ability, you just don't have any more 'action' to make your normal attacks.

Getting staggered in the middle of a full round action is a bit of an awkward case, because there are a few possibilities for things that you suddenly can't do.

[further replies will be delayed until tomorrow evening, UK time]

Scarab Sages

_Ozy_ wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
And 1-handed.
Quote:
. 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).
Where's the similar language adding the 1H limitation?
Spell Combat wrote:
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.

I feel fairly confident that the designers believed at the time that this language was sufficient, as the Magus predates the Armored Spikes FAQ by quite a bit. Regardless of whether or not something interrupts the full round action, you still declared Spell Combat, and you're still limited by it.

And again, if you don't want to believe me about intent, here is Jason Bulmahn.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
No two handed weapons for the magus. Just like with two weapon fighting, using a two handed weapon is not going to work. This was a very intentional design choice.

So, if all you are saying is that you'd like a little extra language added to clarify that the restrictions apply, then sure. I don't feel it's necessary, but it won't hurt. If you're actually advocating sitting down at a table and trying to get 1 1/2x STR on that free attack, I'd say you're pretty clearly trying to change the accepted rule/intention of the rule.

If all you're really concerned about is that quickened swift action spell, I'd say the free attack from Spell Combat doesn't affect that one way or the other. Whether or not restrictions imposed by a full-round action apply for your full turn is a good question for the FAQ, but it's not something that needs answered for the free action made with the spell in spell combat.


Andy Brown wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:


That's why I said I'd argued myself back to allowing 2-handed for the swift action cast
And the free action attack after you get staggered? Some reasoning. Spell Combat is 'over' and you are no longer 'using this ability'.

No. The spell was cast using spell combat, so the free hand requirement and -2 penalty still apply. You're using the ability, you just don't have any more 'action' to make your normal attacks.

Getting staggered in the middle of a full round action is a bit of an awkward case, because there are a few possibilities for things that you suddenly can't do.

[further replies will be delayed until tomorrow evening, UK time]

You can't be 'using this ability' at the time of the attack, because Spell Combat is a full attack action, and that action has been definitively ended by the staggered condition. This fact is clear. You are no longer using Spell Combat. The full-attack action is over.

The fact that the free attack still gets the -2 is also without question. This is called out specifically in Spell Combat, and applies with or without the 'using the ability' context. Outside of 'using this ability' there are no similar words regarding the free hand limitation. Therefore, I don't see how it can possibly apply, since the ability is no longer in use, by definition.


Ferious Thune wrote:

I feel fairly confident that the designers believed at the time that this language was sufficient, as the Magus predates the Armored Spikes FAQ by quite a bit. Regardless of whether or not something interrupts the full round action, you still declared Spell Combat, and you're still limited by it.

And again, if you don't want to believe me about intent, here is Jason Bulmahn.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
No two handed weapons for the magus. Just like with two weapon fighting, using a two handed weapon is not going to work. This was a very intentional design choice.
So, if all you are saying is that you'd like a little extra language added to clarify that the restrictions apply, then sure. I don't feel it's necessary, but it won't hurt. If you're actually advocating sitting down at a table and trying to get 1 1/2x STR on that free attack, I'd say you're pretty clearly trying to change the accepted rule/intention of the rule.

Jason can say anything he wants, but there is no question that outside of Spell Combat, a Magus can 2H to his hearts desire using Spellstrike and standard action spell casting.

As far as Spell Combat goes, yes, if he wants to eliminate 2H on the free action attack, that needs to be added right after the language on the -2 penalty. Whether that was deliberately left out, or an oversight I couldn't really say.

Quote:
If all you're really concerned about is that quickened swift action spell, I'd say the free attack from Spell Combat doesn't affect that one way or the other. Whether or not restrictions imposed by a full-round action apply for your full turn is a good question for the FAQ, but it's not something that needs answered for the free action made with the spell in spell combat.

I think I've been pretty clear about my motivations. I want consistent rules regarding how actions work. We have some people insisting that you can't take free or swift actions before or after a full-round action.

That's a pretty big deal I think, unless it's also true that full-round actions don't have any particular effect on free or swift actions, as far as imposing their limitations or penalties.

Scarab Sages

Jason did clarify in a second post that a magus can two-hand a weapon on a round they don't use spell combat, even if they use Spellstrike. I quoted that earlier in the thread as well.

You want a consistent rule, and that's fine, but Spell Combat is already an exception to the action economy rules. It already allows you to cast a spell and make a full attack in the same round. There's nothing any more inconsistent in saying that the attacks made as part of spell combat all have to obey the restrictions imposed by spell combat. I really don't know what you think you're gaining by arguing otherwise.

You are actually arguing for an inconsistent rule by saying if you take the free attack after casting the spell but before making your other full attacks, then it suffers the 1-hand restriction, but if you take the free attack after casting the spell and making your other full attacks, it does not. The consistent way to rule spell combat is that all attacks related to spell combat suffer the same restrictions, and that is an entirely plausible way to read the existing rule.

If you go all the way back to my original post in this thread, the three items I feel don't work are 5, 6, and 7, because those are the three that separate the free action attack from spell combat. The other items might or might not work, depending on whether or not a full-round action is meant to affect your entire turn. That's a question worth getting answered. Arguing against known intent and multiple statements in the spell combat rules just because they aren't specific enough for your tastes isn't going to help get the real question answered.


OK, we now get a vote on a simpler question:

A magus casts a quickened Shocking Grasp, spends two move actions closing with a foe, and then delivers it with a free-action longsword spellstrike. Can she do so 2H?

My vote: No. Spellcasting requires an empty hand. It may well be RAW. But even if the devs didn't nail shut the coffin on this one, it's RAI.

Now, the magus may cast the quickened Shocking Grasp, make the two move actions, and forego the free action to deliver the spell. At that point, she can deliver it on the next turn as part of a full-attack sequence, 2H. Note that she also foregoes spell combat that turn, but she might be low on spells.

To the OP: Saying that spellcasting requires one hand free, no exceptions, is fine consistency. Picture the magus still casting & gesturing even as she closes. She doesn't stop until her round ends.

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