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A question came up during a game today. The apostle of peace prestige class in the book of exalted deeds has the pacifying touch ability that says it requires you touch someone. The ability does not say what type of action it takes and does not say it requires an actual touch attack. Thus the player argued that he can just say he touches someone and it happens without regard to touch AC and that anyone who touches him is affected by it.

We are all pretty sure he is wrong, but the GM would like something more concrete to prove it.

What it the action required to use pacifying touch, and does the character's need to touch a target imply a touch attack?

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up vote 20 down vote accepted

Pacifying Touch is a Supernatural ability, and as such, it has the following characteristic:

Using a supernatural ability is a standard action unless noted otherwise.

The description of the ability says it acts like the Calm Emotions spell. So, except where the ability contradicts the spell (eg, it has Touch range instead of Medium range), use the spell as base. So, since it is a spell with touch range, we can use the rules of using touch range spells in combat, which are quite simple:

You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

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Thanks, these are the points we brought up, but just couldn't find where they were written. – Ryan Raten Kuhar Feb 2 at 22:48

A player cannot choose between touching someone or making a touch attack, simply to avert the die roll. Quite simply, when you touch someone, you roll if you hit him/her. If someone lets you touch him/her (i.e. you cast Cure Light Wounds on an ally) you don't need to roll, because the target is not trying to evade you.

Even if you "just have to touch" the target, as long as the target is unwilling an attack roll has to be made.

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