Touch Spells & Holding a charge


Rules Questions


Just wanted to double check some ruling our DM did last session.
As I understand it. If I cast a touch spell, I provoke AoO then concentration check if I'm hit, or concentration check to cast defensively.

I can hold the charge, and take a mallet to the face no concentration check to lose the charge.

Our oracle held a Cure, got hit, had to roll to keep the charge. Is this the correct way?


The GM was correct. If you get hit while holding the charge you must make a concentration check to avoid losing the spell.

For all matters related to touch spells I recommend reading:

GRICK'A GUIDE TO TOUCH SPELLS, SPELLSTRIKE, AND SPELL COMBAT.

It's got a lot of Magus specific stuff, but it's invaluable for anyone who wants to use touch spells.


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
I can hold the charge, and take a mallet to the face no concentration check to lose the charge.

Right.

Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Our oracle held a Cure, got hit, had to roll to keep the charge. Is this the correct way?

Wrong. Once the spell's cast successfully no further concentration checks are required (unless the spell has concentration duration, which cures don't.) The things that can make you lose the charge are

Combat chapter wrote:
If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates.

Note that's if you touch something not if something touches you. If the oracle had been tripped or pushed into a wall I'd consider something like a concentration check as a house rule, but just taking damage wouldn't be enough.

Mr Charisma, neither that guide nor anything else I know of suggests that you need to make a concentration check while holding the charge on a touch spell.


"Concentrating on a spell" is a very specific action from what I read, which requires a specific action. Holding charge does not follow the rules of concentrating a spell.

I'm not sure how to present this to the DM though. I'm playing magus so holding charges is now risky, and same for the healing oracle.


Hmmm... I wonder if I'm remembering an older edition or something.
I'll get back to you tomorrow if I find anything (it's late here).

(I still think that's a great guide)


Just holding a charge does not require concentration checks. The spell is already cast and already took effect.

The only time you take concentration checks is when something happens to you *as you're casting the spell*, or maintaining a Concentration duration spell.

If you want to force concentration checks, threaten spellcasters with attacks of opportunity, readied actions, or put them in turbulent environments (ships at storm, mounts at higher speeds, extreme winds, etc.). Perfect way to force as many concentration checks as you can is put ongoing damage onto a spellcaster. The DC will be low, but they will have to test all the time.

Shadow Lodge

AVR is 100% correct. Perhaps ask the DM if other spells can be disrupted after casting is complete, but before discharge. Such as every Symbol or Glyph spell in his dungeons...


The way I understand it, Hold Charge cannot be interrupted because you're done Casting, which is the trigger for Damage > Concentration. With the alternative being Concentrating on a Spell, which is a very specific Standard action, and can be triggered by not just damage, but also foul weather, being on a boat during storm, your mount gallopping crazily, etc all the items on the Concentration table.

He claimed it was because you're concentrating on holding the charge, but if that was true, we'd have to spend a standard action to concentrate on the spell like other concentration spells?


There is no need to concentrate to hold a charge. You're correct you'd have to spend an action to concentrate otherwise.


As most have said, once there is a charge to be held then there is no spellcasting to disrupt any longer, the spell has been cast and is taking effect following its possibilities, the charge being held is one of them.
Nothing in the rules about holding the charge says anything about having to pass concentration check to keep the charge from dissipating. In fact, the rules only mentions casting another spell as a way of dissipating the charge meaning the caster wouldn't be able to do away with it even if he wanted to, short of casting another spell.


Agénor wrote:
In fact, the rules only mentions casting another spell as a way of dissipating the charge meaning the caster wouldn't be able to do away with it even if he wanted to, short of casting another spell.

Touching *anything* with the held charge also releases the energy, tap a wall next to you with that hand and the spell is gone.


What you describe is releasing, not dissipating. I was making this point because a concentration check not to lose the charge is a loss due to dissipation, not release.

If the spell you have a charge of can affect the wall, then it isn't simply gone.


It's already been addressed, but I'll chime in anyway.

Per Touch Spell rules, you have to initially cast the spell, which typically is a Standard Action and provokes an AoO as normal, and if you get a mallet to the face during this time, then yes, you would roll a Conc check as per normal.

However, if you MISS with the Touch spell (or cast a spell with multiple charges, like Frostbite), then the charge(s) remain on you INDEFINITELY, or until you 1) successfully Touch an enemy, 2) accidentally Touch an ally, or 3) if you cast another spell while the charge(s) are active. However, while the charge(s) are active, you're not actually casting any spells so no Conc check is required to make another Touch attack, or to maintain the charge, in the case if you get another mallet to the face during that time.

So short answer: you do not need to make a Conc check to maintain the charge(s) from a Touch spell.

You should ask your DM if a Druid is required to make a Conc check when they're Wild Shaped as a Deinonychus and holding Frostbite charges. (Hint: the answer is No.)


Lady Asharah wrote:
Agénor wrote:
In fact, the rules only mentions casting another spell as a way of dissipating the charge meaning the caster wouldn't be able to do away with it even if he wanted to, short of casting another spell.
Touching *anything* with the held charge also releases the energy, tap a wall next to you with that hand and the spell is gone.

Technically, this is absolutely correct. RAW, touching anything even accidentally, any unattended object, an ally, or another enemy's weapon, would all cause the Touch spell to activate.

I think it's a little absurd so I personally don't enforce that at my table (the part about touching weapons or unattended objects), but I do enforce it if they accidentally touch an ally or an NPC.

Touch Spells in Combat wrote:


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

Holding the Charge: If you don’t discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren’t considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.

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