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RAW, grabbing a 1-handed weapon in both hands is a free action, as is letting go of your weapons. I also know that it is generally accepted that you can take at least 1 free action (5 ft step) during a full-round action such as spell combat, and that the # of free actions you can take per round is more or less up to your DM's discretion.

Is it possible, as a Magus with a longsword, to do the following as part of spell combat?

  1. Cast touch spell with 1 hand free, per Spell Combat rules.
  2. As a free action, wield longsword in both hands (granting you access to 1.5x str to damage instead of 1x, and +3 damage on power attack per pt of BAB lost).
  3. deliver spell through free melee attack, per Spellstrike rules.
  4. Take full attack action at -2 penalty per the Spell Combat rules.
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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Yes, free actions may be made during other actions

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.

(emphasis mine)

That includes during Spell Combat, so yes, you may receive this minor benefit on your Magus.

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An alternate interpretation perhaps, I have been told multiple times that while free actions can interrupt full-round actions, since the requirement for spell combat is having a free hand (not specifically for the casting but for the entire action ), changing your grip on the sword will immediately cause spell combat to end because you are no longer meeting the requirement that one hand remain free.

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An interesting take. Spell Combat explicitly is its own Full-Round action, rather than, say a free action touch spell and a Full Attack action. The real question here is: What happens if you lose the prerequisites for taking an action while taking said action? It's definitely valid for the charge action though... If it's consistent though all actions, you can lose prereqs without a problem. – MrLemon Aug 8 '14 at 8:19
While KRyan's correct in general (I mean, seriously, the dude's right a lot), spell combat says, "To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free ... while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, [a magus] can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast a spell..." There's no other way to use this ability except by doing what it says. If the creature's not doing what it says--and that includes two-handing his weapon--, the creature's not using spell combat. – Hey I Can Chan Aug 8 '14 at 14:03
@HeyICanChan "light weapon" and "one-handed weapon" are established types of weapons in the game. Weapons of the "one-handed weapon" type can be wielded with both hands, but doing so does not, in so far as the rules text is concerned, cause them to cease to be a "one-handed weapon". You would still lose the "one hand free" requirement, as Coxswain mentioned, but the "wielding a one-handed weapon" requirement would not be lost. – Matthew Najmon Aug 14 '14 at 23:22
@MatthewNajmon Fair enough. Thus a magus with 3 or more hands could employ his 1-handed weapon 2-handed and use spell combat. I admit a lack of imagination prevented me from considering that, but, in my defense, the text for spell combat seems equally unimaginative. – Hey I Can Chan Aug 14 '14 at 23:55
@HeyICanChan Yea, the designers tend to write as though the core plus whatever book you're holding are the only books you'll ever use, and only at a very low optimization level. That expectation seems unwarranted to me, but then again, they probably have done more studying of the game's demographics than I have. – Matthew Najmon Aug 15 '14 at 0:11

As an adjunct to KRyans answer - yes, you can do all you describe. In addition, you could have started the turn with the longsword gripped in both hands, and let go with your off-hand to cast the touch spell. The only real difference it all makes is if something causes you to make use of the longsword prior to re-gripping it.

So, for instance, if you were standing adjacent to an enemy spellcaster, who had a readied action to counterspell your touch spell with a Dispel Magic, but didn't do it defensively for some reason, then your AoO would get 1x Str mod damage, not 1.5x Str Mod.

In a similar vein, if you were getting a bonus to your AC for wielding a 2-handed weapon (no idea if anything exists for this - just an example), and you provoked by casting your touch spell, you wouldn't get the AC bonus against the AoO.

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The same rule KRyan cited would let you regrip as part of the AoE, so you would still get the 1.5x bonus on the AoE. – Matthew Najmon Aug 6 '14 at 19:25
That rule would make no difference here - by definition, Spell Combat requires your off-hand to be free. If you are casting a spell, the hand must be empty. Therefore, you could not be gripping the weapon two-handed. – YogoZuno Aug 6 '14 at 20:48
@MatthewNajmon That kind of grip-switching is impossible because attacks of opportunity aren't actions; attacks of opportunity are their own separate thing, outside the game's usualy action economy. – Hey I Can Chan Aug 8 '14 at 13:43
My comment above was pointing out that, regardless of the action status of an Attack of Opportunity, it happens because of, and while you are, casting a spell, which requires you to have a hand free. Regripping would make no difference - even if you could, it would ruin the spell, since you could no longer cast. – YogoZuno Aug 10 '14 at 23:12
@MatthewNajmon The table doesn't include attacks of opportunity precisely because attacks of opportunity aren't actions. Even the No Action actions listed are performed on a creature's turn. Free actions--other than speaking--can't be taken off-turn. – Hey I Can Chan Aug 11 '14 at 0:36

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