Full Actions + Free Actions


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Scarab Sages

bitter lily wrote:

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.

For this one, I actually vote Yes, it works. Normal Spellcasting has no restrictions on what you can do with your hand after you've cast the spell. The Magus is not using Spell Combat in this example, therefore he can use a two handed weapon as much as he wants. And, Jason Bulmahn posted to confirm this way back in the Magus playtest.


Of course it works. There is RAW explicitly saying that a Wizard can remove his hand from a staff, cast a spell, and then regrip. If the wizard somehow had a swift attack or something, he could deliver it with the staff.


Ferious Thune wrote:

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.

Spell combat is not an 'exception' any more than TWF. It's merely a full-round action that specifies certain activities that can be accomplished.

It doesn't change anything about how full-actions, swift actions, and free actions interact.

Quote:
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.

But Spell Combat doesn't actually say that, you're saying that. Spell Combat says attacks made as part of spell combat get the -2 penalty. It's silent on the free hand restriction. You may think it's 'implied', but then why isn't the -2 also omitted and 'implied'? Being explicit about one and not the other is the inconsistency.

Quote:
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.

I actually haven't made that argument. In fact, if you look at what I believe to be a fundamental property of actions, the 1H restriction wouldn't be active regardless of when in the round you took the free action because it's not governed by the restrictions of the full-attack action. But that's a much harder argument to make to most people who would see the free action as somehow an integral part of the full-attack action instead of separate. Thus, arguing it first from 'it comes after the action' point of view is the first step.

I do applaud you for recognizing the ultimate consistent conclusion. ;)

Quote:
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.

Known intent is far too vague for me to accept as an answer in any case.


bitter lily wrote:

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.

Your vote is neither RAW or RAI. If it was, then spellcasters couldn't wield Quarterstaves and cast spells in the same round, right?

FAQ wrote:
...a wizard wielding a quarterstaff can let go of the weapon with one hand as a free action, cast a spell as a standard action, and grasp the weapon again with that hand as a free action; this means the wizard is still able to make attacks of opportunity with the weapon (which requires using two hands)...

Oh wait...THEY CAN?! That's it, the C/MD has gone too far, time to ban every single Spellcaster in every game that I run; no more spells, they're broken and overpowered and-

*cough cough*

Excuse me. Sometimes when I catch something in direct contradictory of what a rule actually tells us, I go on a pointless tyrannical rant.

Scarab Sages

_Ozy_ wrote:
I actually haven't made that argument. In fact, if you look at what I believe to be a fundamental property of actions, the 1H restriction wouldn't be active regardless of when in the round you took the free action because it's not governed by the restrictions of the full-attack action. But that's a much harder argument to make to most people who would see the free action as somehow an integral part of the full-attack action instead of separate. Thus, arguing it first from 'it comes after the action' point of view is the first step.

See, you may have thought that your motivations were clear, but I never got that this is what you were going for. Good luck on that one. I don't see this ever being the official position. Maybe you'll convince your local GM.


If you're using two-weapon fighting and you have the feat that makes the enemy provoke an attack of opportunity from you when tripped, does tripping them with your TWF attack invoke the TWF penalty on the resulting attack of opportunity?

It's the same idea. I, personally, am of the opinion that the TWF penalty does not apply to the attack of opportunity, because it is not the same action as TWF, even though it coincidentally happens at the same time.


Ferious Thune wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
I actually haven't made that argument. In fact, if you look at what I believe to be a fundamental property of actions, the 1H restriction wouldn't be active regardless of when in the round you took the free action because it's not governed by the restrictions of the full-attack action. But that's a much harder argument to make to most people who would see the free action as somehow an integral part of the full-attack action instead of separate. Thus, arguing it first from 'it comes after the action' point of view is the first step.
See, you may have thought that your motivations were clear, but I never got that this is what you were going for. Good luck on that one. I don't see this ever being the official position. Maybe you'll convince your local GM.

it was a ways back:

Quote:

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.

If you have an action performing an activity that is not an activity granted by the full-round action, it isn't subject to the bonuses/penalties/limitations of that full-round action unless specified otherwise.

Or shorter: the penalties/limitations of an action only apply to that action unless otherwise specified.

We've seen hints of this idea in the TWF FAQ, and how people interpret swift actions, and AoOs, but I don't think it's a fully realized and specific RAW.

If this is indeed how Pathfinder works, it would be helpful to make it explicit, IMO.


As I said, this is why I'm hanging around here. I've played Pathfinder for years, but not the kind of casters where this stuff comes up -- and now I'm GMing.

Ferious Thune: The link you gave us made it clear that my second option works, yes. She forgoes delivery the first turn & uses spellstrike on the second -- 2H. I was thinking that there were, however, restrictions on the free melee touch attack that goes with melee touch spells.

Darksol: I apologize for ignorance. I happen to know that a sorceress can cast & touch while holding a metamagic rod in her left hand, but then she uses her right hand to both cast the spell and deliver the melee touch attack. (Lefts & rights may vary, but naming them helps me visualize.) So what does a wizard with a staff do? I had assumed he switched to 1H, cast, touched, and only then switched back to 2H in order to use the staff in AoOs. What's wrong with this picture? Does he actually use the staff to deliver melee touch spells like a magus?


bitter lily wrote:
Darksol: I apologize for ignorance. I happen to know that a sorceress can cast & touch while holding a metamagic rod in her left hand, but then she uses her right hand to both cast the spell and deliver the melee touch attack. (Lefts & rights may vary, but naming them helps me visualize.) So what does a wizard with a staff do? I had assumed he switched to 1H, cast, touched, and only then switched back to 2H in order to use the staff in AoOs. What's wrong with this picture? Does he actually use the staff to deliver melee touch spells like a magus?

A wizard has to touch with the free hand, that is the restriction, not needing the hand free to cast the spell, which itself doesn't prevent regripping for 2H.

A Magus does not have this limitation, so they can grip their sword and deliver the spell with their weapon using 2H.

The following is not controversial:

Standard(Cast shocking grasp) + Move(move to enemy) + FA(grip 2H) + FA(spellstrike longsword 2H)

Heck you can even use a greatsword if you never want to use Spell Combat.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

We should state the difference between a held spell and the Free Action Attack, as once the character's turn is over, the spell is then held.

An exception is when the character delays or readies an action after having cast the spell. (which he can do with the free attack until the beginning of his next turn)

A character using a full round action would not be able to do this, though, and would either use the attack as a part of the full round action or hold it for the next round.

This is two threads that have come to this conclusion, that Spell Combat uses all the attacks within the Full Round Action.


thaX wrote:
This is two threads that have come to this conclusion, that Spell Combat uses all the attacks within the Full Round Action.

This is pretty presumptuous.

What I see is two threads that each have people on either side of the issue.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Yes, because one side believes something and the other knows better? And both are right?

See, this conversation is going into the same circle as the other, but I think Thune has added another facet to the conversation, that of the Full Round Action taking up the whole round. I have already pointed out that the spell and it's touch attack are part and parcel to being in the same action that it shares, and that the spell counts as an attack at the time it is cast because of it's effects.

This has been gone over already and the same thing is being explained without me having posted in the first two pages.

This gives a stronger support to my position on the other thread.


Quote:
one side believes something and the other knows better

This is both presumptuous and condescending. =/

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

There was a question mark on that. Do you agree or disagree?

Johny, you have been the better poster in all this, and my overall exasperation is with the other two moreso than yourself. You have seen the argument from all angles, is there anything you find at fault with the Full Round Action?

Do you see how Shocking Grasp would use that Free Action (melee) attack as a part of the full round action, or see it as going beyond that action economy and turning the spell into a Swift action casting time instead?


Quote:

You have seen the argument from all angles, is there anything you find at fault with the Full Round Action?

Do you see how Shocking Grasp would use that Free Action (melee) attack as a part of the full round action, or see it as going beyond that action economy and turning the spell into a Swift action casting time instead?

I have seen the argument from all angles, yes, because that's the best way to understand the issue as a whole. A lot of what that ends up with, though, is when I dig into the heart of the matter I hit a roadblock made up of Pathfinder's "casually written rules" paradigm. Our differing definitions of an "attack" and what the ability means when it says that is a very prime example of this.

For the full round action, I admit it is compelling evidence. However, there's even a way to argue around that for the other side, which I have pointed out upthread. To reiterate, if you assume that an action's limitations are by default limited to the action itself, then another action, even one made during the main action, would not suffer from the limitations of the main action unless otherwise specified. Support for that argument is the FAQ on TWF and how its penalties only apply to the action itself, as well as how spell combat and spellstrike must specify that the -2 penalty is taken, when it would normally not be necessary to call out.

Additional troubling thing, and again going back to the "casually written rules" issue, is how the basic rules of touch spells clearly state "as part of" and yet offer the delivery method as a separate action. How "part of" it is it? Is it meant to be joined at the hip? if so, why is it clearly spelled out in examples that you can cast-move-deliver? is it supposed to be separated entirely? if so, why does it say as part of? When you write a rule so contradictory at the core, you end up with 50 shades of factions who read the rule in various ways, ranging from throwing out one side for consistency to stating "both are true", both of which create various problems with other vaguely defined rules.

Essentially, what I'm saying is that we're all intelligent people, but with varying thought processes. And one of the first things that happens when you group intelligent people with different thought processes together and hand them a vaguely written set of rules is they come up with different and varying amounts of interpretations. The existence of a book's worth of FAQ answers is testament to that. I, personally, have seen how everyone comes to their own conclusions based upon their interpretations, and have chosen my own set interpretations. And that's why I was pretty disappointed in you simply declaring that the threads have come to a conclusion, and that one side knows better.


thaX wrote:

There was a question mark on that. Do you agree or disagree?

Johny, you have been the better poster in all this, and my overall exasperation is with the other two moreso than yourself. You have seen the argument from all angles, is there anything you find at fault with the Full Round Action?

Do you see how Shocking Grasp would use that Free Action (melee) attack as a part of the full round action, or see it as going beyond that action economy and turning the spell into a Swift action casting time instead?

How about you confine your condescension to the other thread, and let us have our reasonable conversation over here. I'll refrain from getting into it with you over there.

Deal?


bitter lily wrote:

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

The answer: Yes

The magus is not using Spell Combat. The magus, can shift his grip as a free action prior to taking his free attack.

It is only when using Spell Combat that the magus cannot shift his grip to two-hand an attack. Specifically; the free action attack granted by a spell cast during spell combat is a part of spell combat. Spell Combat is a full round action, thus the magus cannot shift grips until the action is complete and all actions generated as a result of the full round action are resolved. This includes free attacks generated from spells cast during spell combat and attacks generated by other sources during the full round action, e.g. Hurtful.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
_Ozy_ wrote:
thaX wrote:

There was a question mark on that. Do you agree or disagree?

Johny, you have been the better poster in all this, and my overall exasperation is with the other two moreso than yourself. You have seen the argument from all angles, is there anything you find at fault with the Full Round Action?

Do you see how Shocking Grasp would use that Free Action (melee) attack as a part of the full round action, or see it as going beyond that action economy and turning the spell into a Swift action casting time instead?

How about you confine your condescension to the other thread, and let us have our reasonable conversation over here. I'll refrain from getting into it with you over there.

Deal?

It is a reasonable conversation, and I am glad that you made the separate thread. It is the basic crux of the other issue and both are leaning toward the result that favors my own stance on both issues.

Johny, overall, it just depends on what your doing with the spell and how your casting it. Usually, the issue will not come up during Spell Combat because all the attacks are done as a combined effort anyways, with five foot step that can be done at some point.

Something else that is interesting, the example I had borrowed from another thread about drawing an arrow is specifically call out in the rules texts (as an example, of all things) as a non action event, something done as a part of using the bow.

We got into something else with the other thread that put this into a different light, and I believe with one thing or another, the Free Action Attack given by the spell is used during the full round action when using Spell Combat.

The overall addition of gripping a weapon is a nice alternative to the subject elsewhere, though I think it can be done after the attacks are over, to two hand a weapon for AoO's.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:

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 an external action has somehow stopped you completing the full round action required for Spell Combat doesn't change the fact that you are using Spell Combat. And as mentioned elsewhere, the design intent is that a Magus doesn't get to 2-hand a weapon if they're using Spell Combat.

The attack is granted by the spell cast using Spell Combat, therefore the attack is subject to Spell Combat rules. You seem to be wanting to apply some of the rules for Spell Combat, and not others.

If you made a TWF attack that missed by one, then got staggered, you aren't suddenly not using TWF and so hitting.


bitter lily wrote:

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.

The spell casting has finished, so the Magus can use a free action while moving to grip the sword with the other hand.


Andy Brown wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:

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 an external action has somehow stopped you completing the full round action required for Spell Combat doesn't change the fact that you are using Spell Combat. And as mentioned elsewhere, the design intent is that a Magus doesn't get to 2-hand a weapon if they're using Spell Combat.

It actually does mean you are no longer using Spell Combat, because 'using' Spell Combat is a specific full-round action that has been terminated. Just like if you're casting a spell and the action gets terminated, you are no longer casting a spell. That's kind of the definition of actions.

Quote:
The attack is granted by the spell cast using Spell Combat, therefore the attack is subject to Spell Combat rules. You seem to be wanting to apply some of the rules for Spell Combat, and not others.

That's not me, that's Spell Combat itself applying only the -2 penalty to the attack and not the free hand limitation. It's baked right into the ability description. As I said before, if they wanted to do the same with the free hand limitation, they could have added it to the -2 limitation language. They chose not to, whether by design or oversight has yet to be determined.

By the way, the 'charge' is also granted by Spell Combat, and yet if you 'hold the charge', none of the penalties carry over to your next combat round even though you still have the spell effect that was 'granted' by Spell Combat. Why? Because penalties and limitations end with the Spell Combat action unless specified otherwise like the -2 on the attack.

Quote:
If you made a TWF attack that missed by one, then got staggered, you aren't suddenly not using TWF and so hitting.

Er, of course not. That attack already finished. However, after you get staggered you are no longer using TWF, so you don't get your extra attack. Also, if there was some other bonus or penalty, like if there was a feat that said "while TWF you get a +1 dodge bonus to AC", you would no longer have that bonus to AC.

Unless specified otherwise.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Quote:
By the way, the 'charge' is also granted by Spell Combat, and yet if you 'hold the charge', none of the penalties carry over to your next combat round even though you still have the spell effect that was 'granted' by Spell Combat. Why? Because penalties and limitations end with the Spell Combat action unless specified otherwise like the -2 on the attack.

The penalties end when the full round action is completed. Holding the charge of the spell is when you do not use the Free Action Attack. That charge needs to be used as a regular (touch) attack instead. Either using it to perform an AoO, or using a standard action or using Spellstrike to effect that charge in a future round after casting. (and yes, Grick's guide let's me know that you only get the extra strike when using Spellstrike in concert with Spell Combat)

I have said before that the fit for Martial and spells in the same action is a wonky fit. This is where the point of contention seems to be, trying to make something out of the spell that was not intended to ever be. The parallel to TWF is not an inconvenience to be set aside as we try and look at how this works, it is an off hand use of a spell, cast before or after the weapon attacks.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Quote:
Additional troubling thing, and again going back to the "casually written rules" issue, is how the basic rules of touch spells clearly state "as part of" and yet offer the delivery method as a separate action. How "part of" it is it? Is it meant to be joined at the hip? if so, why is it clearly spelled out in examples that you can cast-move-deliver? is it supposed to be separated entirely? if so, why does it say as part of? When you write a rule so contradictory at the core, you end up with 50 shades of factions who read the rule in various ways, ranging from throwing out one side for consistency to stating "both are true", both of which create various problems with other vaguely defined rules.

Think of it this way. When you use the standard action, there is still a move action left if the character wants it. Written in the way it is, the character can move to get into range to deliver the spell's effects.

Spell Combat uses both actions to combine them into a Full Round Action, and the action to effect the spell's effects is still there to use. Since the character is using a full round action to attack, it is likely that he is already in range (or a 5 foot step away) to deliver the effects. There is no reason to not use the attack to hit the target in that full round action, nor is there really any reason to try and do it outside of that action, unless the character just holds the spell for some reason.

The ability of Spell Combat is used in such a way that is normally not possible to do in this rules set. The divide between martial and caster had been set since the days of the elf class of the original D&D. It isn't easy to break that mold, and this discussion shows it.


OK, someone said that the melee touch is "part of" casting the spell and yet a separate action. Can someone link this for me?

I'd also like to find out if a wizard can touch his staff while holding a charge. Sarcasm aside, if the wizard only gets a 2H grip on the staff starting at the end of the round, pending AoO's, my position is not in conflict. (Maybe wrong, but not on that basis.) And we have these...

Core under Combat wrote:
If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges.
FAQ on Ultimate Magic wrote:
On a related topic, the magus touching his held weapon doesn’t count as “touching anything or anyone” when determining if he discharges the spell. A magus could even use the spellstrike ability, miss with his melee attack to deliver the spell, be disarmed by an opponent (or drop the weapon voluntarily, for whatever reason), and still be holding the charge in his hand, just like a normal spellcaster. Furthermore, the weaponless magus could pick up a weapon (even that same weapon) with that hand without automatically discharging the spell, and then attempt to use the weapon to deliver the spell. However, if the magus touches anything other than a weapon with that hand (such as retrieving a potion), that discharges the spell as normal.

It sure looks like our friendly wiz has to wait until he's delivered the mail to grab his staff 2H. Unless there's a rule or FAQ I'm missing.

So I got tripped up, I guess, by the mental image I have of the wizard calmly walking forward with his staff in his left hand and blue eldritch energies circling his right hand, a smile on his face, as he heads for the baddie he wants. Of course, that's the hand he cast with, and he has an empty hand throughout the round, until he delivers the spell or decides not to take the free touch action. (I did skip the part I had in fact mentioned upthread, about how of course he can regrip his staff 2H as a free action at the end of his round. I thought it went without saying.)

The magus, OTOH, twists things about. She casts with the left hand (bear with me on the rights & lefts, please), while holding her longsword in her right. She then transfers the charge to her right hand. I suppose, well, yeah, that could mean that her left hand is free to slap a buddy on the shoulder in passing, retrieve a potion (if she isn't moving) -- or grip her longsword 2H.

So there it is: Are you all saying that a magus can take any action she wants that only requires one hand as a move action, after a standard action to cast a melee touch spell but before the free action to deliver said spell w/ spellstrike?


Yes, but only if it doesn't involve touching something that is not a weapon.

In fact, in your example, a wizard can't even cast a touch spell while holding a weapon; doing so would discharge the spell on the weapon. Touch spells don't ever occupy a hand, they're just conceptually "being held" in an ambiguous manner. To hold a touch spell is to discharge it if you touch anything.

The magus, therefore, would not have any trouble whether he grips a weapon in one or two hands, for the purposes of spellstrike.


bitter lily wrote:
OK, someone said that the melee touch is "part of" casting the spell and yet a separate action. Can someone link this for me?

Mostly by comparing the wording to the ranged touch attack. It's been pointed out earlier, but here it is again:

Quote:

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.

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 (see FAQ below for more information.)

Note, melee touch spells: same round free action (not 'same action' free action). ranged touch spells: same action as spell casting

Quote:
I'd also like to find out if a wizard can touch his staff while holding a charge. Sarcasm aside, if the wizard only gets a 2H grip on the staff starting at the end of the round, pending AoO's, my position is not in conflict. (Maybe wrong, but not on that basis.) And we have these...

If the wizard casts a melee touch spell, he can't put his hand back on his staff without discharging the spell. This is a limitation of normal melee touch spells for wizards, NOT a limitation of casting spells. The wizard is perfectly able to cast a spell like Shield or Magic Missile by releasing his grip, casting his spell, and immediately reestablishing a 2H grip. If the wizard had access to a swift action melee attack, he could cast that Shield spell, regrip, move up to his enemy, and swift attack with his staff. All perfectly legal.

Like I said before, the limitation on the wizard regripping is based on the normal melee touch attack rules (which the Magus bypasses with Spellstrike). Thus the Magus is free to regrip not only on non-melee touch spells (like the wizard) but also on melee touch spells (unlike the wizard).

Got it?


So with the spell saying that u can WITHIN the same round u may touch as a free action to discharge. So with spell combat being a FULL round action, u wouldn't be able to take the free action OUTSIDE the full round action on the same turn because it's has to be within the same round.


Redneckdevil wrote:
So with the spell saying that u can WITHIN the same round u may touch as a free action to discharge. So with spell combat being a FULL round action, u wouldn't be able to take the free action OUTSIDE the full round action on the same turn because it's has to be within the same round.

Except that free/swift actions most definitely can be taken before and after full-round actions because they essentially take 0 time.

That's why you can do a quickened spell + 2H spellstrike before you start, say, a TWF full-round action. Or you can do a quickened spell before you charge. In fact, you can do a quickened spell, let it resolve, and then decide on which full round action you wish to take.

I don't see how in any way you can call that as 'part' of the full-round action when you use the quickened spell before you even know what full-round action you're going to do.


Alright, lacking anything better to do, I went and perused through every FAQ labelled "combat" relating to the core rulebook, any FAQ labelled "magus" from any book, any FAQ that used the terms "full-round action" or "full-attack action", and I read through everything in the combat section of the core rule book, and I compliled a list of everything that appears relevant. Not necessarily in that order.

Warning: Gigantic wall of text. Open the spoiler at your own risk.
---Additional warning, written after I completed the post: It's a giant wall of text anyway. Get your scroll wheel ready.---

Spoiler:
Two-Weapon Fighting: If you use this on your turn to attack with two weapons, do you also take that penalty on attacks of opportunity made before the start of your next turn?

No. The penalties end as soon as you have completed the full-attack action that allowed you to attack with both weapons. Any attacks of opportunity you make are at your normal attack bonus.
Generally speaking, penalties on attacks made during your turn do not carry over to attacks of opportunity unless they specifically state otherwise (such as the penalty from using Power Attack or Combat Expertise).
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Quicken Spell: Can you use Quicken Spell on a spell with a casting time of "1 round" (such as enlarge person)? Can you use it on a spell with a casting time of "1 full round" (such as a spontaneous caster using a metamagic feat on a spell)?

Yes and yes. Neither type has a longer casting time than the "longer than 1 full-round action" limitation of Quicken Spell, therefore both can be quickened.
This means that a sorcerer could cast an empowered quickened magic missile as a swift action. Likewise, as multiple metamagic feats don't push the casting time longer than 1 full-round action, a sorcerer could cast an empowered silent stilled quickened magic missile as a swift action.
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Magus: Can a magus use spellstrike (page 10) to cast a touch spell, move, and make a melee attack with a weapon to deliver the touch spell, all in the same round?

Yes. Other than deploying the spell with a melee weapon attack instead of a melee touch attack, the magus spellstrike ability doesn’t change the normal rules for using touch spells in combat (Core Rulebook page 185). So, just like casting a touch spell, a magus could use spellstrike to cast a touch spell, take a move toward an enemy, then (as a free action) make a melee attack with his weapon to deliver the spell.

On a related topic, the magus touching his held weapon doesn’t count as “touching anything or anyone” when determining if he discharges the spell. A magus could even use the spellstrike ability, miss with his melee attack to deliver the spell, be disarmed by an opponent (or drop the weapon voluntarily, for whatever reason), and still be holding the charge in his hand, just like a normal spellcaster. Furthermore, the weaponless magus could pick up a weapon (even that same weapon) with that hand without automatically discharging the spell, and then attempt to use the weapon to deliver the spell. However, if the magus touches anything other than a weapon with that hand (such as retrieving a potion), that discharges the spell as normal.

Basically, the spellstrike gives the magus more options when it comes to delivering touch spells; it’s not supposed to make it more difficult for the magus to use touch spells.
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Magus, Spell Combat: What spells can I cast when using spell combat?

The relevant text of the ability is:

"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)."

The spell you cast when using spell combat has to be a magus spell you know, and it must be a magus spell prepared with one of your magus spell slots.

(Other magus abilities may modify what spells can be used with spell combat. For example, the broad study magus arcana explicitly states the magus can use spell combat to cast spells from the selected non-magus spellcasting class.)
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The Combat Round

Each round represents 6 seconds in the game world; there are 10 rounds in a minute of combat. A round normally allows each character involved in a combat situation to act.

Each round's activity begins with the character with the highest initiative result and then proceeds in order. When a character's turn comes up in the initiative sequence, that character performs his entire round's worth of actions. (For exceptions, see Attacks of Opportunity and Special Initiative Actions.)

When the rules refer to a "full round", they usually mean a span of time from a particular initiative count in one round to the same initiative count in the next round. Effects that last a certain number of rounds end just before the same initiative count that they began on.
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Speed

Your speed tells you how far you can move in a round and still do something, such as attack or cast a spell. Your speed depends mostly on your size and your armor.

Dwarves, gnomes, and halflings have a speed of 20 feet (4 squares), or 15 feet (3 squares) when wearing medium or heavy armor (except for dwarves, who move 20 feet in any armor).

Humans, elves, half-elves, half-orcs, and most humanoid monsters have a speed of 30 feet (6 squares), or 20 feet (4 squares) in medium or heavy armor.

If you use two move actions in a round (sometimes called a "double move" action), you can move up to double your speed. If you spend the entire round running, you can move up to quadruple your speed (or triple if you are in heavy armor).
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Action Types

An action's type essentially tells you how long the action takes to perform (within the framework of the 6-second combat round) and how movement is treated.

There are six types of actions:

Standard
Move
Full-round
Swift
Immediate
Free

In a normal round, you can perform a standard action and a move action, or you can perform a full-round action. You can also perform one swift action and one or more free actions. You can always take a move action in place of a standard action.

In some situations (such as in a surprise round), you may be limited to taking only a single move action or standard action.
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Full-Round Action

A full-round action consumes all your effort during a round. The only movement you can take during a full-round action is a 5-foot step before, during, or after the action. You can also perform free actions and swift actions (see below). See Table: Actions in Combat for a list of full-round actions.

Some full-round actions do not allow you to take a 5-foot step.

Some full-round actions can be taken as standard actions, but only in situations when you are limited to performing only a standard action during your round. The descriptions of specific actions detail which actions allow this option.

A few combat options are full-round actions (such as Spring Attack and the full-attack action) or modify specific full-round actions (such as the extra attack from the haste spell). These options can't be combined with attack actions or other standard actions, but can be used with options that take the place of a melee attack.
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Free Action

Free actions consume a very small amount of time and effort. You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM.

Some combat options are free actions meant to be combined with an attack. Often, these are feats with specific limitations defined within the feat—for example, Cleaving Finish gives you an extra melee attack, but only after you make an attack that drops a foe. Source: PPC:MTT
---
Swift Action

A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. You can perform only a single swift action per turn.

Several combat options are swift actions that modify one or more attacks you take after that swift action. For example, Channel Smite and Weapon of the Chosen each take a swift action to activate, which then applies to the next attack you make regardless of what type of attack action you perform. Arcane Strike and Improved Weapon of the Chosen are activated in much the same way, but they apply to all appropriate attacks made for 1 round after activation. Source: PPC:MTT
Immediate Action

An immediate action is very similar to a swift action, but can be performed at any time—even if it's not your turn.
Not an Action

Some activities are so minor that they are not even considered free actions. They literally don't take any time at all to do and are considered an inherent part of doing something else, such as nocking an arrow as part of an attack with a bow.
Restricted Activity

In some situations, you may be unable to take a full round's worth of actions. In such cases, you are restricted to taking only a single standard action or a single move action (plus free and swift actions as normal). You can't take a full-round action (though you can start or complete a full-round action by using a standard action; see below).
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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.
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The "start full-round action" standard action lets you start undertaking a full-round action, which you can complete in the following round by using another standard action. You can't use this action to start or complete a full attack, charge, run, or withdraw.
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Cast a Spell

A spell that takes one round to cast is a full-round action. It comes into effect just before the beginning of your turn in the round after you began casting the spell. You then act normally after the spell is completed.

A spell that takes 1 minute to cast comes into effect just before your turn 1 minute later (and for each of those 10 rounds, you are casting a spell as a full-round action). These actions must be consecutive and uninterrupted, or the spell automatically fails.

When you begin a spell that takes 1 round or longer to cast, you must continue the invocations, gestures, and concentration from 1 round to just before your turn in the next round (at least). If you lose concentration after starting the spell and before it is complete, you lose the spell.

You only provoke attacks of opportunity when you begin casting a spell, even though you might continue casting for at least 1 full round. While casting a spell, you don't threaten any squares around you.

This action is otherwise identical to the cast a spell action described under Standard Actions.
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Casting a Metamagic Spell

Sorcerers and bards must take more time to cast a metamagic spell (one enhanced by a metamagic feat) than a regular spell. If a spell's normal casting time is 1 standard action, casting a metamagic version of the spell is a full-round action for a sorcerer or bard (except for spells modified by the Quicken Spell feat, which take 1 swift action to cast). Note that this isn't the same as a spell with a 1-round casting time. Spells that take a full-round action to cast take effect in the same round that you begin casting, and you are not required to continue the invocations, gestures, and concentration until your next turn. For spells with a longer casting time, it takes an extra full-round action to cast the metamagic spell.

Clerics and druids must take more time to spontaneously cast a metamagic version of a cure, inflict, or summon spell. Spontaneously casting a metamagic version of a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action is a full-round action, and spells with longer casting times take an extra full-round action to cast.
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Free Actions

Free actions don't take any time at all, though there may be limits to the number of free actions you can perform in a turn. Free actions rarely incur attacks of opportunity. Some common free actions are described below.

Cease Concentration on Spell

You can stop concentrating on a spell as a free action.

Drop an Item

Dropping an item in your space or into an adjacent square is a free action.

Drop Prone

Dropping to a prone position in your space is a free action.

Speak

In general, speaking is a free action that you can perform even when it isn't your turn. Speaking more than a few sentences is generally beyond the limit of a free action.
---
Swift Actions

A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort than a free action. You can perform one swift action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions. In that regard, a swift action is like a free action. You can, however, perform only one single swift action per turn, regardless of what other actions you take. You can take a swift action anytime you would normally be allowed to take a free action. Swift actions usually involve spellcasting, activating a feat, or the activation of magic items.

Cast a Quickened Spell

You can cast a quickened spell (see the Quicken Spell metamagic feat), or any spell whose casting time is designated as a free or swift action, as a swift action. Only one such spell can be cast in any round, and such spells don't count toward your normal limit of one spell per round. Casting a spell as a swift action doesn't incur an attack of opportunity.
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Immediate Actions

Much like a swift action, an immediate action consumes a very small amount of time but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. However, unlike a swift action, an immediate action can be performed at any time—even if it's not your turn. Casting feather fall is an immediate action, since the spell can be cast at any time.

Using an immediate action on your turn is the same as using a swift action and counts as your swift action for that turn. You cannot use another immediate action or a swift action until after your next turn if you have used an immediate action when it is not currently your turn (effectively, using an immediate action before your turn is equivalent to using your swift action for the coming turn). You also cannot use an immediate action if you are flat-footed.
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Miscellaneous Actions

The following actions take a variable amount of time to accomplish or otherwise work differently than other actions.
---
Take 5-Foot Step

You can move 5 feet in any round when you don't perform any other kind of movement. Taking this 5-foot step never provokes an attack of opportunity. You can't take more than one 5-foot step in a round, and you can't take a 5-foot step in the same round that you move any distance.

You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your other actions in the round.

You can only take a 5-foot-step if your movement isn't hampered by difficult terrain or darkness. Any creature with a speed of 5 feet or less can't take a 5-foot step, since moving even 5 feet requires a move action for such a slow creature.

You may not take a 5-foot step using a form of movement for which you do not have a listed speed.

Now, the main issue at hand is whether a "full-round action" takes place during... well... the whole round. The problem we've run into is that combat in pathfinder is an abstraction and seems to have varying wordings for each action type even within the same section of the book. This post will involve me trying to summarize everything within the FAQs and the core rules in a way that seems consistent and possibly even indicative of intent, but as for all things requiring interpretation, people will most likely come to different conclusions.

But still, this is me attempting to get a fresh look into the issue, and I will do my utmost to answer the questions presented in the OP after presenting my analysis.

To start, I will re-iterate the OP's post in another spoiler for my own purposes and easy reference.

Spoiler:

In order to clarify some issues, I thought I would get opinions as to what the rules say regarding the use of free actions (and swift actions) after full attack actions.

According to the rules, as I understand them, free actions can be taken before, during, or after other actions, including full attack actions.

Which of the following examples, if any, would be illegal, and why?

Let's assume the DM doesn't impose a restriction on the number of FA (free actions). Assume a Magus character. In each case, the FA, or SW (swift action) is supposed to take place after the designated full-attack action.

1) TWF(unarmed strike + longsword) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword)

2) TWF(unarmed strike + longsword) + SW(quickened shocking grasp) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack)

3) Spell Combat(shield + longsword) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword)

4) Spell Combat(shield + longsword) + SW(quickened shocking grasp) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack)

5) Spell Combat(shocking grasp + longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack)

6) Spell Combat(shocking grasp + longsword) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack)

7) Spell Combat(shocking grasp + longsword) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack) + FA(change grip to 1-hand longsword) + SW(quickened shocking grasp) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack)

Thanks.

First things first, I want to attempt to divine the exact specifications of a full-round action. For the purpose of my own thoughts, I'm going to simply use bullet points regarding thoughts that occur to me as I read through my list(specifically regarding the entries relevant to full-round actions(yes I know this is getting to b ea cumbersome process)).

- General rule: "penalties on attacks made during your turn" reads differently from "penalties end as soon as you have completed the full-attack action". This seems to say two entirely different things, yet is mentioned almost as if it's the same thing and within the same FAQ. Still need to know when a full-attack action is defined as "over"
- Quicken spell issue seems to differentiate between a casting time of "one round" vs. a casting time of "1 full round". This seems to confirm that there is a difference, but it is as yet unknown what side a full-attack qualifies as.
- Quicken spell's FAQ wording says "Neither type has a longer casting time than the 'longer than 1 full-round action' limitation of Quicken Spell" seems to suggest that "1 full-round action" is longer than "1 round" in terms of action costs.
- The entry on "the combat round" states "when a character's turn comes up in initiative sequence, that character preforms his entire round's worth of actions." This may be relevant, filing mentally for later.
- the entry on "speed" seems to differentiate between "spending two move actions" and "spending your entire round running"
- the entry on action types states that an action type tells you "how long the action takes to perform".
- the first main entry on full-round actions states "a full-round action consumes all your effort during a round".
- there are full-round actions that can be taken as standard actions but only if you're only allowed a standard action.
- (new to me!) it is possible to start and complete some full-round actions as standard actions on separate turns. This seems to suggest a definite and malleable "beginning" and "end" to full-round actions.
- A "one round" casting time spell takes one full-round action, and the effects come into effect just before your next initiative. This is in direct support of a full-round action taking your entire turn.
- A spontaneous metamagic spell has a casting time of "one full-round action", and is specifically noted to being different from a spell with a casting time of one round; specifically, the spell completes its effects during your turn. This is in full agreement with the spirit of the FAQ, but also directly contradicts some of the particulars of the FAQ. Specifically, a "1 round" casting time is clearly longer than a "full-round action" casting time (according to this entry on spontaneous casters and metamagic), and thus the "1 round" casting time spell should logically not qualify for quicken. The fact that it does by FAQ throws a wrench in this observation.

---

Essentially, what my observations have shown me... This stuff needs to be better defined.
From my observations, all full-round actions clearly encompass the full six seconds of a round of combat... except the ones that don't. All full-round actions clearly start and finish during your turn on the initiative order... except the ones that don't.

A five-foot-step's limitations clearly shows that there is an "after the full-round action", but some wordings of free actions say "during an action" which seems to clearly indicate that there is not actually a before or after. All of these things are abstracted to the point where it's become too abstract, and we've become paralyzed in trying to find a consistent explanation.

Another problem is that there's absolutely no mention anywhere that the beginning of your turn must encompass exactly a standard, a move, or a full-round action. Unless this is an unwritten rule, then it would follow that you can't use a swift or a free action before you decide to start your full-round action. Else a magus, for example, would be forced to begin spell combat; but then how can he use his swift action for arcane accuracy before the first attack if his plan was to make his full attack, step away, and cast? And if you can, in fact, use a swift action before the full-attack, wouldn't it stand to reason that you can use one after as well? But none of that is defined, except the only time it's ever outright stated you can use a free/swift/immediate/non action is during another action... except 5ft step which can be done before, during, OR after? One example I can think of is the FAQ on wizards and casting a spell while holding a quarterstaff. The example clearly shows a free action before the standard action, the standard action itself, and another free action after the standard action putting the user in a state that cannot exist during the free action, and then nothing else during the example turn.

Then we even get to the other can of worms I discovered; can you use a standard action while staggered to start casting a spell with the casting time of "one round"? Does this function the same as a spontaneous metamagic spell with a casting time of "one full-round action", given that they're clearly different in the rules? When you finish said spell on the next turn, what happens if the duration of your stagger coincidentally ended? Can you use a swift/free action between the use of that "finish full-round action" standard action and your available move action, or are you specifically limited to doing it during the move action? What if you choose not to move at all?

Overall, it's very clear to me that the game does not have one unifying definition for a "full-round action". There's clearly precedent within the rules of a separation of "actions taking the entire round" and "actions taking an equivalent amount of effort of an entire round". But what that leaves us with is... how do I know which is which? The only time this difference is ever defined is within the context of casting a spell with two clearly different casting times of "1 round" and "one full-round action".

... which brings me back to the topic at hand.

---

1) TWF(unarmed strike + longsword) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword)

>Until it is defined whether an action ends at the end of the turn or at the end of the effects, and until we know whether a free action is literally only limited to during another action even though there's precedent for other timing, we can't know if this is legal. I personally come to the interpretation that because TWF's strikes are all resolved during your turn and not spread throughout the round, its effects and restrictions should logically end just like the casting of a standard action spell, and you should be free to use free actions to change grips before you end your turn.

2) TWF(unarmed strike + longsword) + SW(quickened shocking grasp) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack)

>As an extension of my above conclusion, if there is precedent that actions swift/free actions are allowed after the completion of another action rather than during it, then it must follow that if example 1) is legal, then so, too, must be example 2). Simply put, assuming the action is over once resolved and that swift/free actions can be taken at times other than 'during', it should work out okay.

3) Spell Combat(shield + longsword) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword)

>This is an exact parallel to 1). IF a full-round action is considered over once resolved and IF a swift/free action can be taken not-during other actions, this is legal.

4) Spell Combat(shield + longsword) + SW(quickened shocking grasp) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack)

>Also an exact parallel to 2).

5) Spell Combat(shocking grasp + longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack)

>This one is slightly different, because functionally it is exactly the same no matter when you take that free action. Even though it's technically a separate action, it is technically subject to the to-hit penalties of spell combat because the relevant abilities state that it is subject to the penalties. This position is further supported by the previously mentioned TWF and AOO FAQ.

6) Spell Combat(shocking grasp + longsword) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack)

>This is a parallel to #3. Once again, if the full-round action resolves and ends upon completion, then the handedness would no longer be an issue thus it's completely legal to change your grip.

7) Spell Combat(shocking grasp + longsword) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack) + FA(change grip to 1-hand longsword) + SW(quickened shocking grasp) + FA(change grip to 2-hand longsword) + FA(spellstrike attack)

>Essentially calls upon the same principles. HOWEVER, this actually brings to light another issue: how many free actions per turn? The GM has every right to say no to this one, regardless of how he rules the other issues. However, it essentially hinges upon all the other same differences as the others.

---

What I'm drawing from all this is like so: We need a general rule that states when a full-round action is considered "over", and we need a general rule that states exactly when non-"standard/move/full-round" actions can be taken.

To conclude, I'm basically more confused about this entire issue than when I first posted in the other thread. There is no consistent definition for the issues being debated, as some parts of the books/FAQs state one thing that is clearly different from other opinions from official sources.

If one were to make a ruling on all of this, they would be just as correct as the the guy saying the opposite thing, because frankly the books and FAQs say both.

tl;dr: I poked around through everything remotely relevant I could find and got more questions than I got answers.
other tl;dr: This entire thread's set of conclusions.
BIG TL;DR: PAIZO PLEASE HIRE ME TO REWRITE YOUR ENTIRE GAME TO MAKE BETTER SENSE(yes I'm aware that's easier said than done) *endrant*

Scarab Sages

A good compilation of rules. You are missing one very important quote, however. Under the Full-Round Action heading:

Full-Round Action wrote:

Full-Round Actions

A full-round action requires an entire round to complete. Thus, it can't be coupled with a standard or a move action, though if it does not involve moving any distance, you can take a 5-foot step.

People keep asking if a full-round action takes the entire round, and the rules explicitly state that it does.

Going back to the TWF and AoO FAQ, which only refers to AoOs, ask what's different about them? They occur outside of your turn in combat. Meaning when the full-round action ends and it is no longer your turn you do not suffer the penalties from the full-round action, unless, like with Power Attack, it says that you suffer the penalties until the start of your next turn. How do we know it is no longer your turn when the full-round action ends? Because "a full-round action requires an entire round to complete."

_Ozy_ keeps stating that because you can take a swift action before a full-round action that proves the full round action doesn't take the full turn. But whether you can take a swift action before a full-round action is part of the question we are trying to answer. It is not a given. If it's going to be asserted as fact, then a citation to back that up would be appreciated.

It is entirely possible that if you take a swift action to cast shocking grasp before declaring Spell Combat, and you use two hands when you deliver that shocking grasp, that you are no longer eligible to use Spell Combat in that turn, because you have wielded something in your off hand during that turn.

This does not stop you from using Arcane Accuracy, because Arcane Accuracy can be used during a full-round action. The sequence would be:

Declare Spell Combat
Swift Action activate Arcane Accuracy
Make your attacks as part of spell combat.

The only thing referring to taking any kind of action before or after the full-round action is the line about a 5-foot step, but that can very easily be interpreted as only meaning that you can take the 5-foot step at anytime during your turn be that before you've made an attack, in between attacks, or after you have finished all of your attacks. Further, a 5-foot step is not a free action. It is "not an action," which "literally takes no time," not essentially takes no time like a free action. That line about taking a 5-foot step before, during, or after a full-round action, by itself, does not do anything to change the explicit line in the rules that states, "a full-round action requires an entire round to complete."

Scarab Sages

Lengthier post from SKR after the Armor Spikes FAQ.

EDIT to add context - This is not in reference to the length of a full-round action, but rather to the design intent that is trying to be broken by separating the free attack from a spell in spel combat from spell combat. Spell Combat is based on TWF. The free attack from the spell is essentially your off hand attack. It is already being allowed to get 1x STR, it is clearly not intended to get 1.5x STR. Ignoring that intent is willfully ignoring what the designers have said over and over is how the game works. I've quoted Jason Bulmahn earlier stating no Two-Handed With Spell Combat. I've quoted SKR stating you have to commit to TWF or THF in a round, and I've quoted SKR here stating the design philosophy behind STR bonuses and the multiplier. The intent is clear with regards to the free attack from spell combat.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

What was the reason for the 'no' to armour spikes?
Because the game has an unwritten rule which essentially states the following:

• A 1st-level standard-race PC can either make one melee attack without TWF or you can make two melee attacks with TWF.
• The most damage you can do without TWF is using a 1H or 2H weapon in two hands for x1.5 Str damage, and the most damage you can do with TWF is x1 in the main hand and x.5 in the off-hand (for a total of x1.5 Str added to your weapons), so optimally you're getting no more that x1.5 Str no matter which attack mode you choose.

• While the game doesn't explicitly limit your attacks to "hands," that's the basic assumption, and you shouldn't be able to pile on additional attacks per round just because you can think up additional or alternative body parts to attack with.

• Because if one character uses 2H weapon and is NOT allowed to make an additional attack with armor spikes or a metal gauntlet because his hands are occupied by his 2H weapon, and a different character uses a 2H weapon and IS allowed to make an additional attack with a metal boot because he's not using his hand, that second character is gaining a game mechanics advantage simply by changing the flavorful description of his extra attack's origin from, and that is not good game design.

There is a hard (but not-explicity-stated-in-the-rules) limit to what a standard-race PC should be able to do in one round of combat. Even though it's not stated in the rules, it is a real limit (in the same way that there's no printed rule that says "don't make a first-tier feat that gives more than +3 to one skill for a 1st-level character," or "don't make a first-tier feat that gives more than a +1 to attack rolls with one type of weapon," but it's still a rule we follow), and you shouldn't be allowed to break that limit.


Admittedly I did miss that. I saw it on my second pass and thought I included it on my first pass. Whoops.

However, that seems to be directly in opposition to how a spell with a casting time of "one full round" is resolved before the end of the caster's turn, because the effect takes place in their own turn and they do not have to concentrate and finish the cast over the rest of the round, unlike a spell with a casting time of "one round".

If a full-round action lasts an entire round and a sorcerer must take an entire round to cast a metamagic spell, why do they not suffer any concentration penalties when they are hit during that same round?

This is why I believe that there is a clear distinction between "an entire round" and "a round's worth of effort"(which your example could mean). A spell with "one round" casting time falls under the former and a spontaneous metamagic spell falls under the latter.

With the above distinction established, there is now a void of definition. What of the above does a full attack count as? Do the attacks happen all at once, and count as a full round's worth of effort, or do they happen technically spread apart across the round?

Because it is not defined, you must go with evidence. The evidence you presented provides that it's taking the entire round. But the attacks are all resolved at once, which is more in line with how spontaneous casters cast metamagic spells.

That's why my whole conclusion is basically non-conclusive. Taking all the evidence into account, there's multiple definitions for the same thing, and nothing is clearly stated as a "more general" rule than the other.

Scarab Sages

But it doesn't need to last 1 full round in this situation. It only needs to last for your turn. Which a Metamagic spell does. And which Spell Combat very possibly does.


Ferious Thune wrote:
But it doesn't need to last 1 full round in this situation. It only needs to last for your turn. Which a Metamagic spell does. And which Spell Combat very possibly does.

What, then, is the difference between "your turn" and "one full round"?

Can a sorcerer release his grip on a quarterstaff, cast a metamagic spell, then re-grip the quarterstaff? I think that answer will be the same as "can the magus grip his scimitar in both hands after using spell combat".

EDIT: (Just wanted to re-iterate that I'm not disagreeing with your view specifically. I'm disagreeing with both views. Dang rules are so vague sometimes.)

Scarab Sages

Your turn is the time period in which you can legally take a full-round action, a swift action, or most free actions. A full round is everything from the start of your turn until just before the start of your next turn.

AoOs are not limited by penalties that you suffer on your turn, like TWF. They are limited by penalties that you suffer for the full round (like Power Attack). That is because (most) AoOs don't take place during your turn, but rather between your turns.

EDIT: I don't have a problem with a Magus gripping his weapon with two hands at the end of his turn. I do have a problem with a Magus gripping his weapon with two hands in order to get x1 1/2 STR on the free attack granted by casting a spell during spell combat.


Ferious Thune wrote:

Your turn is the time period in which you can legally take a full-round action, a swift action, or most free actions. A full round is everything from the start of your turn until just before the start of your next turn.

AoOs are not limited by penalties that you suffer on your turn, like TWF. They are limited by penalties that you suffer for the full round (like Power Attack). That is because (most) AoOs don't take place during your turn, but rather between your turns.

The thing that confuses me with that... isn't "your turn" and "one full round" both defined as 6 seconds long? So if a sorcerer casts a spell that takes his whole round, shouldn't he need to make concentration checks when he gets hit that same round?

Quote:
I don't have a problem with a Magus gripping his weapon with two hands at the end of his turn. I do have a problem with a Magus gripping his weapon with two hands in order to get x1 1/2 STR on the free attack granted by casting a spell during spell combat.

But if spell combat lasts your entire turn, then it should be impossible to grip a weapon in two hands as that would violate spell combat's requirements. But if you can make a free action to change grips after that requirement is no longer enforced, why could you not also use a different free action afterwards? This is one of the reasons I think the entire thread hinges on the two things I pointed out on my walloftext post.

EDIT: I feel like I'm one of those gray aliens from futurama. "I feel very strongly about nothing in particular, but my gut says 'maybe'"

Scarab Sages

My guess would be that they used the word round when they meant turn. Then everything makes sense. There's an abstraction in combat. Turns both happen during the same 6 seconds and don't.

I'll ask you the same question I asked _Ozy_ earlier. Do you believe the intent of spell combat was that the Magus receive x1 1/2 STR from the free attack granted as part of a spell cast with spell combat, but only receive x1 STR on all of his other attacks?

I'm not sure about swift actions taken before or after spell combat. I am as sure as I can be of the intent for the attacks take as part of spell combat and have quoted several designer posts to back that up.

Scarab Sages

Sorry, we're cross posting or you edited to add onto your last one. I think that drawing that fine of a distinction (can't grip the weapon after spell combat) is getting too pedantic with the rules. I think that spell combat is a very complicated ability, and they wrote it the best they could. I think they've made their intent clear (no two-handing as part of spell combat). I thin there is a question of whether or not you can two-hand on a swift attack before or after spell combat. But _Ozy_ is arguing for being able to two hand on the free attack granted by the spell regardless (his word) of when you take that attack, and that is not what the designers have expressed was their intention. Insisting on ironclad verbiage to get that across when it's pretty much known to be true is trying to twist the rules for an advantage that was never intended.


Quote:
I'll ask you the same question I asked _Ozy_ earlier. Do you believe the intent of spell combat was that the Magus receive x1 1/2 STR from the free attack granted as part of a spell cast with spell combat, but only receive x1 STR on all of his other attacks?

Intent? No, not especially. Then again, I also don't think it's intended that a character with two claws and a bite can get 5 attacks at level 1 using kicks, but it's clearly something that works by the rules.

Do I think it's particularly harmful? also no, especially given that the only thing you're competing against is something you're supposed to beat anyway.

In general, I think it's perfectly okay when you find a way to "break" things for that little bit of extra damage, because to me that's part of the fun of working a system like this. I'll always try to eke out every little bit of extra stuff allowed in any system, and I certainly won't feel bad about it when nobody's coming out of it the worse for wear.

It's why I wish the rules were written without all these vaguely defined terms, exceptions, unwritten rules, et cetera. All that accomplishes is threads like this one. I would much prefer if there was a rich "dictionary" of pathfinder terms, and that the language was written less casually for the rules, with clear indication of what parts of the book are fluff. And it's a direct symptom of that desire that I tend to categorize rulings as all-encompassing as possible. But, that just creates more problems. ugh.

edit: (sheesh we're getting bad at this. I'mma go to bed after this edit because it's 5 am and compiling that observation took too long. I'll come back tomorrow/today)

Quote:
But _Ozy_ is arguing for being able to two hand on the free attack granted by the spell regardless (his word) of when you take that attack

oh no no no, I think that's definitely not allowed. I AM of the opinion that an attack coincidentally made in the middle of spell combat (like an opportunity attack) would not be subject to the to-hit penalties, even though it happens during the action. However, I do not think that you can change grip, deliver spellstrike, then change grip again and continue spell combat, because even if(if) the spellstrike attack is not subject to the handedness restriction of spell combat, spell combat is still active and would be violated by the switching of the hands, even though you haven't actually tried to do anything within spell combat with that handedness violation.

As an example for the "coincidental" argument, I think that if a magus began spell combat, cast shocking grasp and delivered it at -2 penalty, he could then interrupt his spell combat with a swift action to cast a quickened shocking grasp, then deliver it against his opponent at no penalty to-hit, then continue with the rest of spell combat(at the -2 penalty).

Scarab Sages

But if a designer posted saying no, you can't do that, would you accept that answer?


Ferious Thune wrote:
But if a designer posted saying no, you can't do that, would you accept that answer?

It would probably be with grudging acceptance as a player if the GM decided to enforce it, but if I were a GM I'd rule in favor of "that seems more fun to me"

EDIT: Dammit I need to just go to bed. Later!

Scarab Sages

Going to go ahead and post this, since you're going to bed and I should too. Numbers 5, 6, and 7 of _Ozy_'s original post all place the free action from spell combat outside of spell combat, meaning that it would be allowed to use two hands and receive 1 1/2 STR. Those are the three items that I have said don't work. Everything else is uncertain, like you say. I don't know if that swift attack should receive the penalty or not. _Ozy_ says it definitely shouldn't and can be made with two hands, and that because it can be made with two hands, then the free action attack can also be made with two hands, because it is its own action and not part of spell combat (despite several places, including Spellstrike saying it's granted as part of casting the spell). So his argument is if one of those things works, then both work. And we have pretty clear developer statements that the free action should not be able to use two hands. Quoting for about the third or fourth time:

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.

And then

Jason Bulhman wrote:
Zen79 wrote:
But a Magus could still wield his one-handed weapon with two hands in a round when he doesn't want to use Spell Combat, couldn't he?
Of course.

I don't really know how much clearer the intent can be. Spell Combat? No two handing. No Spell Combat? Two handing is ok. _Ozy_'s response? (Paraphrasing)If they want to limit that free attack to one hand, they should explicitly say it is limited to one hand. That is what I mean by refusing to accept what the designers have already said. Spell Combat can't use two hands? Find a way to argue the attack isn't part of Spell Combat. That is willfully twisting the rules to achieve a result counter to how the designers have stated it works.

That still leaves the question of whether or not those swift attacks can use two hands or suffer the penalty, and I think that question could be worthy of an FAQ, because of the contradictory language you've noted. I do not think the FAQ on TWF and AoOs answers that question, because AoOs generally happen at a time when you can't be taking a full-round action (when it is not your turn).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The basic idea is that the swift actions are done before or after the attacks, and the free action attack gained from casting a melee touch attack spell (such as Shocking Grasp) is made as a part of the attacks in the full round action.

Where does it say this? It is what we are discussing, and I think Thune had a very good grasp of what the rules are in this area and how they work together.

Spells was asked about. Keep this in mind, a full round casting is different than a casting time of 1 round. The full round to cast a spell (spontaneous casters using metamagic) uses a full round action to do so. A casting time of 1 round (Enlarge Person) uses a full round to start the spell, which needs to be concentrated on for the whole round and completes at the beginning of the next turn for the character, in the next round.

I believe one of the reasons the Magus is a vancian caster is to be able to have metamagic spells memorized instead of foregoing Spell Combat to use metamagic.

Using the Quickened metamagic turns a full round casting into a swift action, as stated in the rules, as well as changing the casting time to a swift action. (Quickened Spell does not work on spells with casting times of 1 round or longer)

My overall take on all this is that the free actions, swift action and all are taken during the full round action, when it is used in that round. The overall question is if the action can be taken before or after the attacks, or with the attacks in the case of the spell.

AoO's is possible during the Full Round Action, using trip maneuvers with Viscous Stomp. The attacks performed to trip the foe took the -2 penalty, so I would think the AoO from Viscous Stomp would also.


@ Johnny_Devo: So you're saying that they need a rulebook for a rulebook? Is Rulebook-ception really what you're suggesting here? (I'm not saying no, but that there are better ways to accomplish what you want without basically making a manual to read a manual, so I'd rather not resort to that unless we really have to.)

@ Ferious_Thune: The funny thing is that if you tried to 5-foot step away from an enemy when you perform a Full Attack, placing him outside your melee reach, none of your attacks would take place. Why? Because the only way you can attack an enemy is if they're within reach of your attacks, right? And you must sustain the rules and restrictions of the action you take for the entirety of the action, right? And Full Round Actions (AKA Full Attack Actions) take place for the entirety of the turn, right? Therefore, not only is the "You can 5-foot step before/during/after a Full Round Action" blatantly false and an impossibility, but if you did allow it (since you can't take one outside your turn without special abilities) to step away from an enemy, any attacks you made against that enemy would be forfeit and function as if they never happened.

Similarly, if you had to 5-foot step to get an enemy into your melee reach, you couldn't do it because the Full Round Action must take place just as your turn begins. If you have to 5-foot step before you can get an enemy within melee reach to Full Attack, then he's not in your melee reach for the entirety of your turn (which is required for a Full Attack Action), and therefore any attacks you make against him aren't valid.

So, any attempts to 5-foot step to get away from an enemy, or to advance an enemy into your melee reach, fails upon themselves.

Just one of several things that I notice that breaks the game when we take the "Full Round Actions take the entire turn to complete." I can list even more examples, but I feel this one is extra pertinent to mention, since a large portion of your argument hinges on this specific exception.

@ thaX: You're creating a time paradox again. If a Full Round Action (allegedly) takes your entire turn to complete, then there is never a moment within your turn that you can use a Swift Action either before or after a Full Round Action, because the Full Round Action (again, allegedly) takes all of your turn to accomplish. Therefore, its restrictions (such as having a free, unoccupied hand) apply for the entire turn, and you can't cast two Touch Spells in the same round you perform Spell Combat since the hand you use to cast one spell will be occupied and be unable to cast another spell.

So, unless you're rocking three or more arms, it is as I've said; if you won't allow delivering the Touch Spell cast by Spell Combat outside of the action required for it, then you sure as hell can't allow Quicken Spells (or deliveries) either.

Also, there's a FAQ that has been linked which says if a spell takes 1 Round or 1 Full Round to cast, that they can both be affected by Quicken. It's just that if it takes more than an entire round's worth of casting (such as Lesser Restoration) that Quicken can't affect it. So yes, you can do a Quicken Enlarge Person.

Scarab Sages

@Darksol - I have two points I am trying to make. One of which I'm pretty sure about. The other of which I think needs clarification.

Point 1 - The free attack granted by the spell that is cast as part of Spell Combat is... Part of Spell Combat. This really doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you can take a free or swift action before or after a full-round action. The free attack is part of the spell. The spell is part of Spell Combat. The free attack follows the restrictions of Spell Combat. This is supported RAW (though not as explicitly as some would like), and it is definitely supported RAI. You cannot separate the free action to deliver the touch spell from the spell in order to receive 1 1/2x STR damage on the attack in the same round that you cast the spell as part of spell combat. That doesn't mean that you can't do other things in between. It just means that the spell is part of spell combat.

Point 2 - A direct sentence exists in the rules that states that a full-round action takes the entire round. That sentence cannot be ignored because it is inconvenient. The sentence about a 5-foot step being able to be taken before, during, or after a full-round action can't be ignored either. But the existence of the sentence stating that a full-round action takes the entire round might actually mean what it says. Nothing stops you from declaring a full attack when no one is in range to attack, and nothing stops you from taking a 5-foot step after you have declared a full attack. You don't even have to declare who you are attacking when you declare you are making a full-round attack. You can change targets at any time during the full-round action. So your example doesn't prove that a full-round action does not take the full round. The real question is whether the penalties associated with a full-round action were meant to apply to other actions taken during that round/turn. I do not think there is enough information in the rules to be clear about the answer to that one way or the other, other than where AoOs taken after your turn are concerned.


Quote:
@ Johnny_Devo: So you're saying that they need a rulebook for a rulebook? Is Rulebook-ception really what you're suggesting here? (I'm not saying no, but that there are better ways to accomplish what you want without basically making a manual to read a manual, so I'd rather not resort to that unless we really have to.)

well... actually, yes. I think I'm now firmly in the camp of "pathfinder 2.0 needs to happen", but only if they write the rules in a clearly defined manner. What we're seeing here is a lot of "not clearly defined" stuff.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:
The attack is granted by the spell cast using Spell Combat, therefore the attack is subject to Spell Combat rules. You seem to be wanting to apply some of the rules for Spell Combat, and not others.
That's not me, that's Spell Combat itself applying only the -2 penalty to the attack and not the free hand limitation. It's baked right into the ability description. As I said before, if they wanted to do the same with the free hand limitation, they could have added it to the -2 limitation language. They chose not to, whether by design or oversight has yet to be determined.

But it is explicitly stated, in the sentence immediately before the one applying the -2 penalty. You can't apply one and not the other.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Redneckdevil wrote:
So with the spell saying that u can WITHIN the same round u may touch as a free action to discharge. So with spell combat being a FULL round action, u wouldn't be able to take the free action OUTSIDE the full round action on the same turn because it's has to be within the same round.
Except that free/swift actions most definitely can be taken before and after full-round actions because they essentially take 0 time.

I quoted the rules earlier - free and swift actions are taken as part of another action, not before or after. They may be effectively before or after, but by RAW they are part of (in this discussion) the full round action, not before or after it.


Ferious Thune wrote:

@Darksol - I have two points I am trying to make. One of which I'm pretty sure about. The other of which I think needs clarification.

Point 1 - The free attack granted by the spell that is cast as part of Spell Combat is... Part of Spell Combat. This really doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you can take a free or swift action before or after a full-round action. The free attack is part of the spell. The spell is part of Spell Combat. The free attack follows the restrictions of Spell Combat. This is supported RAW (though not as explicitly as some would like), and it is definitely supported RAI. You cannot separate the free action to deliver the touch spell from the spell in order to receive 1 1/2x STR damage on the attack in the same round that you cast the spell as part of spell combat. That doesn't mean that you can't do other things in between. It just means that the spell is part of spell combat.

Point 2 - A direct sentence exists in the rules that states that a full-round action takes the entire round. That sentence cannot be ignored because it is inconvenient. The sentence about a 5-foot step being able to be taken before, during, or after a full-round action can't be ignored either. But the existence of the sentence stating that a full-round action takes the entire round might actually mean what it says. Nothing stops you from declaring a full attack when no one is in range to attack, and nothing stops you from taking a 5-foot step after you have declared a full attack. You don't even have to declare who you are attacking when you declare you are making a full-round attack. You can change targets at any time during the full-round action. So your example doesn't prove that a full-round action does not take the full round. The real question is whether the penalties associated with a full-round action were meant to apply to other actions taken during that round/turn. I do not think there is enough information in the rules to be clear about the answer to that one way or the...

So, Your contention is that delivering the spell is done as part of the spell (and by presumption, the action required to) being cast. I'll tell you the same thing I told thaX: If the free attack is "part of the spell" in that sense, then my argument of the "Free Action to deliver a Touch spell in the same round" clause still stands, in that it's pointless and does nothing, regardless of Spell Combat being used or not.

To which point, as Johnny_Devo (I believe he) said, how much of the Free Attack is part of the spell being cast? If it's synonymous as you claim, then that leads to A=B, which the "Free Action to deliver a Touch spell in the same round" clause clearly disagrees with. If it's in tandem, then that leads to A->B, in which case A (casting the spell) only functions as a combo with B (delivering the spell), and not as a "one-and-the-same" amalgamation that your interpretation is resulting. The movement clauses also cease functioning as a result of the amalgamation ruling, since the action to attack is done as part of the spell, and not as a separate entity which you can take before or after movement or spellcasting, which the rules CLEARLY STATE that you can do.

In short, the Free Action and Movement clauses want to have rules applications, but can't because its rules applications are already superseded by the factor that delivering a spell is part of casting it in the synonymous sense. I mean, you're basically saying that a Touch Spell functions much like using an Alchemist Extract or Bomb, in that gathering components, creating, and then using the Extract or Bomb is all part of the same Standard Action being done (or whatever action is being used). Ranged Touch Spells are attacked as part of the spell, but that's because they have explicit wording. Touch Spells in general, otherwise do not have that wording, and if you did share the wording amongst them, then it invalidates other related rules as a result.

Also, declaring an action and taking an action aren't the same thing. I'm not going so far as to say that you can't, for example, attack an empty square (mostly because you think an invisible enemy is there), but that if you declare an action to which you don't meet the requirements for (intended requirements or otherwise, such as trying to attack an enemy in reach), that you can't logically perform said action.

If you attempted to attack an enemy 10 feet away from you with a non-reach melee weapon, your attacks would do nothing and hit the empty square in the direction the enemy creature is in relation to your tactical position.

Likewise, if you full-attack, all of your attacks you make in that round function from the square you began performing the action, because the assumption is you're meeting the requirements of your attacks for the entirety of the action that you take.

The thing is, if your turn starts from 0 seconds, and ends at 6 seconds, and the assumption is you're meeting the requirements of the action you take for the entirety of that action (for Full Round Actions, it's from 0 seconds to 6 seconds, as you so brilliantly quoted), then you can't 5-foot step into reach and Full Attack unless you can prove that a 5-foot step takes negative durations to do (as it can't ever be before or after, it must be during, since any time you would attempt to use it, the Full Round Action would still be in effect).

Since we do subscribe that Pathfinder (and by relation its mechanics) functions on a linear timescale in the objective sense, the "negative duration" would logically translate to having been done in the appropriate time frame before the action you originally wanted to perform occurs. (AKA the previous round of combat, since that's the last legal opportunity that is allotted prior to when the Full Round Action you take begins.)


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
So, Your contention is that delivering the spell is done as part of the spell (and by presumption, the action required to) being cast. I'll tell you the same thing I told thaX: If the free attack is "part of the spell" in that sense, then my argument of the "Free Action to deliver a Touch spell in the same round" clause still stands, in that it's pointless and does nothing, regardless of Spell Combat being used or not.

Delivery of a touch spell is not part of the act of casting the touch spell. Taking the free action resulting from the casting of a touch spell as part of Spell Combat is resolved within the scope of the full-round action during which the spell was cast.

You understand what is being said and are trying to find fault by dissecting semantics of the poster.

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