Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

According to the rules on touch spells in combat it seems like you just hold the charge if you miss, and then perform touch attacks as standard actions until the spell hits.

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.

I want to make sure I understand this though, so an example would help me a lot.

Say a cleric is engaged in melee combat with an enemy. The cleric takes a 5 foot step back, and casts Inflict Light Wounds.

Now the enemy moves up to attack and misses.

The cleric makes a standard action touch attack (which does not provoke an AoO) and misses. At this point, is the spell still in the cleric's hands? Does the Instantaneous duration of Inflict Light Wounds matter?

Assuming the spell is still there, the fight continues.

The enemy misses again, and the cleric makes another touch attack and hits (so the spell goes off, right?).

Am I understanding this right? I'm pretty sure ranged touch attack spells are gone after they are shot, but with touch attack spells I'm a bit confused.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Yes, you can hold on to a charge. The casting of a melee touch-attack spell allows you to try a single attack during the same standard action (so the cleric in your example could have cast the spell and tried his first touch attack in the same round), but if that misses or you decide not to take it, you can just hold on to the charge.

The first thing you do successfully touch gets it, or you may choose to let it dissipate harmlessly. Casting another spell also dissipates a charge you hold.

Attempting to touch someone with a charge you hold is an attack, and may be attempted at any time you could otherwise attack (as a standard action, as a single attack in a full-attack, as an attack of opportunity, whatever). Someone holding a charge to an offensive spell is considered armed, and threatens squares he can reach with that charge:

[a list of cases including] a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell all count as armed. [...] a creature armed in this way can make attacks of opportunity, and such a creature doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity when attacking. (The act of casting a spell provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.)

(Rules Compendium pg. 16)

All other spells (those that involve ranged touch attacks, non-touch attacks, or no attack at all) are generally one-and-done, yes.

share|improve this answer
2  
If the Cleric casts another spell while holding the charge, the charge dissapates as well. –  Tridus Jun 1 at 12:50
    
If a touch spell has a duration of instantaneous like Inflict Light Wounds, does that matter for holding the charge? –  Nerevar Jun 1 at 13:04
2  
@Nerevar The duration line applies to the effect of the spell, i.e. how long it lasts on the creature touched after that creature has been touched. None of the standard spell block lines specify anything about how long a charge may be held; the default is “as long as you like/as long as you avoid discharging or dissipating it,” though it’s conceivable that there are spells whose text changes that (don’t know of any, though). –  KRyan Jun 1 at 13:07
2  
@HeyICanChan Rules Compendium pg. 16: “[a list of cases including] a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell all count as armed. [...] So a creature armed in this way can make attacks of opportunity, and such a creature doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity when attacking.” –  KRyan Jun 1 at 13:50
    
@KRyan Ah, the Rules Compendium--we meet again. Point conceded. –  Hey I Can Chan Jun 1 at 18:19

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.