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The confusion with Point-Blank Shot for me comes from this line;

You get a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at ranges of up to 30 feet.

Also, Precise Shot has a similar line that makes me question it;

You can shoot or throw ranged weapons at an opponent engaged in melee without taking the standard –4 penalty on your attack roll.

All emphasis mine.

I can't determine if that means that only ranged weapons get the bonuses or all ranged attacks.

Would a ranged touch attack get the bonus on attack rolls from either of these feats and similar other ones? What about the bonus damage from Point-Blank Shot?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Yes, ranged attacks from spells are typically considered to be "weapon-like". This is definitely true of rays (and almost all ranged touch attack spells are rays) since from the rules:

You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon

The rules further clarify that rays function as weapons for several other purposes, and the FAQ makes this very explicit:

Do rays count as weapons for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons?

Yes [...] rays are treated as weapons, whether they're from spells, a monster ability, a class ability, or some other source

The same rule applies to weapon-like spells such as flame blade, mage's sword, and spiritual weapon--effects that affect weapons work on these spells.

Most ranged touch attacks which aren't rays are things like acid splash -- spells where you actually throw or aim a physical object. Those are even more "weapon-like" than rays, so it's probably simplest to say all ranged touch attacks work like this.

There's another FAQ that indicates you can take "Weapon Focus (ray)" and the like; strictly speaking I guess those wouldn't apply to orb spells like acid splash.

This is all following the precedent set by 3.5; in Complete Arcane it specifies that rays and touch attack spells are "weapon-like" and thus interact with feats in the same way that other weapons do, with a split between ranged/melee type spells.

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…So if ray-wielding wizards haven't been suffering -4 to hit targets engaged in melee, it's time to start! –  SevenSidedDie Jun 15 at 17:27
    
Ok, that makes sense, so that applies to ranged touch spells as well as rays? –  Nerevar Jun 15 at 21:43
1  
It doesn't come straight and say it explicitly, but it's kind of implied. Pretty much any ranged touch spell is either a ray, or something even more similar to a weapon. (Orb spells and the like.) –  starwed Jun 15 at 22:05

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