Melee Spell Attack Rolls


Rules Discussion


Very noob question that I can't find the answer to. As I understand it Melee Spell Attack rolls are the same as normal Spell Attack rolls with the cavate that they are limited to melee range.

Spell attack roll result = d20 roll + ability modifier used for spellcasting + proficiency bonus + other bonuses + penalties

Question is since it's an unarmed strike if the user was attuned to Handwraps of Mighty Blows would the item bonus apply to the Melee Spell Attack roll?


The item bonus would not apply.


MEATSHED wrote:
The item bonus would not apply.

Thanks! I figured this had obviously been answered before but I couldn't for the life of me find it anywhere.

Liberty's Edge

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cgrandall2 wrote:
MEATSHED wrote:
The item bonus would not apply.
Thanks! I figured this had obviously been answered before but I couldn't for the life of me find it anywhere.

It does not apply because a spell attack is not an unarmed strike.


The Raven Black wrote:
The item bonus would not apply. It does not apply because a spell attack is not an unarmed strike.

Ah I see, I didn't figure it was a separate matter entirely. I guess I made an assumption based on the word "melee" and in my mind I pictured the caster trying to put their hands on the opponent to get the spell to trigger similar to an old touch attack from 1e.


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cgrandall2 wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
The item bonus would not apply. It does not apply because a spell attack is not an unarmed strike.
Ah I see, I didn't figure it was a separate matter entirely. I guess I made an assumption based on the word "melee" and in my mind I pictured the caster trying to put their hands on the opponent to get the spell to trigger similar to an old touch attack from 1e.

Yeah, things changed a bit in PF2.

There are three primary types of attack: unarmed attacks, weapon attacks, and spell attacks. They are all distinct categories, and each category contains both melee and ranged versions.

Athletics skill attacks constitute a fourth type of attack, but they operate a bit differently than the other three.


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And Escape is an attack, but that is just a strange edge case.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The way I think about it is:
Attack Rolls: Melee, Ranged, Spell
Each has specific Proficiency and Modifier definitions.

Attack Trait: Actions that contribute to and use MAP but define their own "rolls". IE Shove, Trip, Escape, etc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Melee and Ranged are 2 categories that can apply to unarmed attacks, weapon attacks, or spell attacks. I think there might be some confusion because, by default, spell attack rolls are inherently ranged attacks because most spells have ranges, so you don't usually see "ranged spell attack roll" in the book, because that is just the default.

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