I am playing a magus who specializes in held touch spells. We are chasing down some enemies in a city and need to enter buildings. I am higher than second level so I have spellstrike. Is there any way I can open doors or do other things without losing my touch spells?


At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the magus makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier.

Would it be possible to wear some kind of armored glove so I can interact with stuff and not discharge the spell? If the glove/gauntlet counts as a weapon, then I can interact with it due to the magus ability, but as its not an attack, I dont need to discharge. Is my reasoning acceptable or flawed? And would the glove/gauntlet interfere with spellstrike?


1 Answer 1


Reasonably, your "armored glove" idea would fall into the category of gauntlets, which are classified as "light weapons", or a freebie that counts as an "unarmed strike" (if it's just a cloth glove and not a gauntlet). According to this FAQ on d20pfsrd:

When using spell combat, can the weapon in my other hand be an unarmed strike or a natural weapon?

Yes, so long as the weapon is a light or one-handed melee weapon and is associated with that hand. For example, unarmed strikes, claws, and slams are light melee weapons associated with a hand, and therefore are valid for use with spell combat. A tail slap is not associated with a hand, and therefore is not valid for use with spell combat.

Thus, RAW, the answer is "No, you cannot wear a glove to avoid discharging the spell." Therefore, I have to check the rules for touch spells and the discharging thereof.

According to the rules for combat, specifically related to casting spells in combat,

If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges.

So no, RAW the spell will discharge no matter what if you touch anything. That being said, here is where I depart from RAW and intelligently interpret it. Technically, the ground could be included as the text specifies "touch anything or anyone"... which would mean that every touch spell held goes into the ground, which they don't. Other texts make it clear that spells are held in your hands and are associated with your hands, so that doesn't work, but aren't you touching the weapon in your other hand?

Well, an intelligent re-interpretation of this is that the spell energy is being held in only one hand. If someone touches that hand, they get the spell. If you touch someone with that hand, they get the spell. In your case, your spell is being held by your weapon via spellstrike. So, reasonably, you could hold the spell energy in your weapon and open a door with the other hand.

"But it says 'anything or anyone'! Shouldn't it be in the other hand as well?" Yes, you're right. RAW, it would include the other hand since you're "touching" them and it doesn't specify "with the same hand that you cast with". I'm not looking for a rules lawyered interpretation, I'm looking for an intelligent RAI interpretation that keeps the game running smoothly, but here's the RAW for the rules lawyers.

To cast a spell with a somatic (S) component, you must gesture freely with at least one hand. You can’t cast a spell of this type while bound, grappling, or with both your hands full or occupied.

If you only need one hand to cast a spell, and the other hand can (obviously, otherwise they wouldn't specify this) be touching, say, a weapon, that would sort of nullify Spell Combat, a Magus's biggest class feature (along with Spellstrike). That's a huge stretch for even the biggest fan of RAW.

In summary: put the spell in your sword, open the freaking door, and keep the game rolling.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Spellcombat however changes the rules of touch spells in combat. Weapons, of which a gauntlet counts as, does not automatically discharge and can be handled, and weapons only discharge on attacks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Nov 19, 2017 at 3:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just re-read Spell Combat and Spellstrike. I don't see that... literally anywhere. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 19, 2017 at 4:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/magus Fourth FAQ is the important one. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 19, 2017 at 4:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ One other point to make here - the magus also doesn't require that you use Spellstrike every time. So, as a magus, you can happily make a weapon attack the first time you try to apply a touch spell, and then decide to switch to trying a touch attack, and even switch back to a weapon attack, with a different weapon in a different hand. So, the idea of the spell being held in a particular hand is also not necessarily true. I would actually say that a Magus can move where the spell is stored, if pressed. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Nov 20, 2017 at 2:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aye, the idea was that it is held in only one hand at a time, not that it needed to be in the same hand every time or the same hand as the one that cast it. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 20, 2017 at 3:26

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