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A question came up in my last gaming session about conjurations. I looked around online, but can't locate a clear answer on this.

There's another wizard besides myself in our party and he tried to attack with Bigby's Icy Grasp, but missed the attack roll on the turn he activated it. I asked him why he didn't but a marker on the game map to show where the hand was and he said that since he missed, it failed to appear. I was under the impression that even if a conjuration missed with its attack the turn you activate the proper spell, the conjuration still appears and you can try again on your next turn to make the attack with it (using the sustain action when needed).

My question is: Who's right? Does the Conjuration still appear on a miss or not?

Thanks in advance.

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This depends entirely on what line the power says that the conjuration is created. There are three options:

  • Effect: no matter what else happens when you use a power, the text on the line that says "effect" happens. If the conjuration appears here it shows up no matter what.

  • Hit: if the power hits, the text of this line is executed. If the conjuration appears here then it only shows up if the power hits.

  • Miss: if the power misses, the text of this line is executed. If the conjuration appears here then it only shows up if the power misses.

For Bigby's Icy grasp, and most other conjurations, the conjuration is created on an Effect line, and no matter the result of the power, the conjuration appears.

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So if the description of the conjuration appears as an effect separate from the "Hit: ***..." line of text, it will still appear on a miss? For example: "Hit: 2d8 + Intelligence modifier damage. Effect: A medium-size hand of ice appears in an unoccupied square..." and if the effect of the conjuration appearing is part of the 'Hit' text, such as "Hit: 2d8 + Intelligence modifier damage. A medium-size hand of ice appears in an unoccupied square..." it WILL NOT appear. – John W Sep 18 '13 at 18:05
Yes, essentially. – Kyle Willey Sep 18 '13 at 18:08
Hit, miss, and effect lines are all keywords in 4e. Keywords are a big deal, and help describe key concepts (if you look them up in Rules compendium you can find more info). Anything on a hit line only happens on a hit, anything on a miss line only happens on a miss, and effect line actions always happen regardless/in addition to any hit or miss line actions. – Joshua Aslan Smith Sep 20 '13 at 12:23

Do not forget the DURATION of the spell. If it is instantaneous, or lasts only one round, then you definitely can't use it again to launch another attack. In fact, if the spell doesn't explicitly state that you "control" the hand, or any nature by which you can make it move, then you can't use it for a second attack.

Regardless, if the effect of the spell is that a hand appears, and you THEN roll an attack to hit, then it appears regardless of whether the attack was successful (assuming the spell itself was also successful).

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