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Trying to plan out a whip-using hexcrafter magus. Was wondering if I could use Split Hex off my conductive weapon triggering. My group is playing an undead heavy campaign plan is to use (major) healing hex through a conductive whip then Split Hex to heal party or spread out some damage. (Already talked to GM about allowing me to take Split Hex despite not being a witch.)

Split Hex: When you use one of your hexes (not a major hex or a grand hex) that targets a single creature, you can choose another creature within 30 feet of the first target to also be targeted by the hex.

Conductive: A conductive weapon is able to channel the energy of a spell-like or supernatural ability that relies on a melee or ranged touch attack to hit its target (such as from a cleric’s domain granted power, sorcerer’s bloodline power, oracle’s mystery revelation, or wizard’s arcane school power). When the wielder makes a successful attack of the appropriate type, he may choose to expend two uses of his magical ability to channel it through the weapon to the struck opponent, which suffers the effects of both the weapon attack and the special ability. (If the wielder has unlimited uses of a special ability, she may channel through the weapon every round.) For example, a paladin who strikes an undead opponent with her conductive greatsword can expend two uses of her lay on hands ability (a supernatural melee touch attack) to deal both greatsword damage and damage from one use of lay on hands. A given character can use this weapon special ability only once per round (even if she has several conductive weapons), and the power works only with magical abilities of the same type as the weapon (melee or ranged).

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Yes, they should work together

This is (unofficially) clarified by Mark Seifter (one of Pathfinder's Designers) at paizo messageboards when discussing the effects of a Kineticist's Kinetic Blade with a conductive weapon. I will bold the part that is relevant to us.

Conductive has some really vague wording, and given the Kineticist has probably the most-complex at-will SLA, so this is definitely a pertinent question.

Here's a few things I've taken away from reading conductive like 5 times in a row to scour its wording. Note that this is a personal take, and by no means official:

1) I agree with your assessment here. Based on the exact way that you sort of trigger the Su or SLA after a successful hit, kinetic blade would not work because it is used specifically as part of certain actions to make the blade, rather than something that is delivered on a hit, so the same thing that helps it in action economy and AoOs harms it here.

2) I agree with you again. It seems to me that since an antipaladin should be able to choose cruelties when delivering his evil lay on hands with conductive, a kineticist should be able to apply non-form alterations to the conducted kinetic blast on the same grounds. Forms would be out because you've already hit at this point with the weapon, so that's the form the attack took.

3) Here's actually another thing (and a good lesson not to use passive if we can help it). "This weapon special ability can only be used once per round" is passive. It seems to be saying that a particular character can only use the conductive weapon special ability once per round, and that's the ruling that makes the most sense, but due to the passive here, it technically is possible to make the claim that it could mean varying things.

To explain why Kinetic Blade doesnt work, we have to understand how it is activated. You create a kinetic blade as part of your attack or full attack action, you don't have to hit the target to activate it, you simply wish for it to activate and it does, as long as you are attacking your target. You could miss the attack using the Kinetic Blade, for instance. The following text also disqualifies the conductive use for Kinetic Blade:

Even if a telekineticist uses this power on a magic weapon or another unusual object, the attack doesn’t use any of the magic weapon’s bonuses or effects and simply deals the telekineticist’s blast damage.

With that said, why does it work for Antipaladins? Because their Cruelties are applied on a successful touch attack. And that's all you need, the ability must be activated on a touch or ranged touch attack.

Touch of Corruption:

As a touch attack, an antipaladin can cause 1d6 points of damage for every two antipaladin levels he possesses.

Cruelty:

At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, an antipaladin can select one cruelty. Each cruelty adds an effect to the antipaladin’s touch of corruption ability. Whenever the antipaladin uses touch of corruption to deal damage to one target, the target also receives the additional effect from one of the cruelties possessed by the antipaladin. This choice is made when the touch is used.

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It is not super-clear, but I would allow it. After all, healing mimics cure light wounds and major healing mimics cure serious wounds, and those both have “Target creature touched” so they certainly appear to be hexes that target a single creature.

However, I would also strongly recommend against this strategy. Cure effects offer extremely poor numbers and the healing and/or damage you hand out this way will be rather minimal. You can do much more powerful things with conductive and/or spell combat. And that’s before we even get to the 1/day/creature limit on healing and major healing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ When you have mainly mental effects being able to add some nice full damages to undeads can really help. Of course it shouldn't be your main specialization, but it is always good to have that as an option. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Sep 14 '17 at 19:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme You only get a very few hexes throughout your career. Spending not one but two on extremely underpowered effects most certainly does hurt. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 14 '17 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ An Hex is basically a feat. Would you spend a feat so you can heal whoever you want without spending spell slots or consumables? I would, and I did when I was playing a mythic witch. However where I agree with you is that the major version of the hex is so much better and OP's combo doesn't work with it. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Sep 14 '17 at 19:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme Assuming that the numbers were as small as this, no, I wouldn’t, and I would strongly urge everyone else to not do so either. A wand of cure light wounds is 750 gp. You will never go through enough of them to be worth a feat. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 14 '17 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Upvoted, though I don't believe they work together, suggesting against it even if the GM allows it sounds like a good idea. You are much better applying an Itching Curse, Undine Curse, Bestow Curse or a Curse of Magical Negation, on your attack as a Hexcrafter Magus. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Sep 14 '17 at 19:33
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It doesn't work by strict RAW

The reason for this is that the Conductive property states:

the struck opponent [...] suffers the effects of both the weapon attack and the special ability

and not

the struck opponent [...] suffers the effects of the weapon attack and is targeted by your special ability.

So basically when using the weapon property you are not actually considered as using your special ability. For example you would trigger attacks of opportunities even if using this special ability would normally trigger them.

As a DM I would houserule it to work as you said

The RAW version feels weird, and considering KRyan's answer it seems most of the players apply it as you assumed it work anyway. I would houserule it if I was your DM. Ask yours!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ See, I was actually going to say something quite like this, but the wording is “use one of your hexes that targets a single creature” and not “use one of your hexes to target a single creature.” Basically, to me anyway, it seems to be attempting to describe a type of hex, not trying to describe a certain way of using a hex. Thus healing, being like cure light wounds, targets a single creature generally and is “one of your hexes that targets a single creature” even though the way you are using it changes the targeting somewhat (and after all, there is still a single creature targeted). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 14 '17 at 19:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ So basically we agree on the fact the wording suggests that you are not actually using your ability the normal way, triggering effects like split hexes? I'm not sure to follow you. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Sep 14 '17 at 19:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am saying that Split Hex does not care how you are currently using the hex. It is describing a sort of hex, the sort that targets a single creature. Healing is that. It still is that sort of hex even when conductive is kind of messing with its usual targeting. As I said in my answer, not super-clear, but my interpretation is that RAW says you can do this. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 14 '17 at 19:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would agree with you if split hex was not "When you use one of your hexes" but "When one of your hexes targets one creature". \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Sep 14 '17 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ The example given suggests that the Hex works normally, and not only the effects are applied. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Sep 14 '17 at 19:39
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It's less effective than you think it is, even if it is allowed

Adding on to the various answers on legality...

In particular, a target can only benefit from the Healing Hex once per day. Technically, you could argue that undead being damaged don't count as "benefitting" but that's pushing things pretty hard, and I personally would not allow it. Practically, without that, you're only getting one hit per enemy in the fight, and your 1/day heal for allies isn't significantly boosted by the action efficiency.

On top of that, the total effectiveness peaks at level 5. At that point, if you have an undead foe in whip range and a wounded ally in reach who you haven't healed yet, you can deal whip+2d8+5 damage to the one, plus 2d8+5 heal to the other. That's not bad for single round for the level, but it's as good as its ever going to get, and it's not going to happen all that often. It won't happen at the end of the fight, because by that point you'll have used your hex on all of the available undead foes. It won't happen at the start of the fight, because if one of your allies was injured before the start of the fight, you should have used your healing on them already for the day, and it requires both effort put into positioning and that the foes you're fighting be undead.

For getting mobbed by weaklings it might be okay, but there are other things that handle that sort of situation better. For small numbers of tough enemies, it's going to be pretty lackluster, because you'll hit them each once and your ability to run the game will drop. It might be something you could make part of a larger overall plan, but Split Hex in particular isn't really worth it just for the healing hex (the heals work better in downtime, and the feat isn't worth it for the 1/enemy action efficiency), and if you want more hexes to split with it, you're burning Magus Arcana to get them. Basically, the combo doesn't pay for itself, and getting enough parts in to make it worthwhile overall may or may not be doable.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Noting how very small the numbers offered by healing and major healing are, even ignoring the daily limits, would improve this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 14 '17 at 19:29

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