When you cast an indirect combat spell with sorcery, the target gets to resist/dodge the spell with a Rea+Int roll.

The spell then is launched with an Opposed Test that pits the magician’s Spellcasting + Magic [Force] versus the target’s Reaction + Intuition .. (Core 283)

All spells can be learned as alchemical preparations. One of the options for such a preparation is a contact trigger:

Contact: The next living being to touch the preparation activates the spell.

Touch: Touch spells affect the living being touching the preparation. (Core 305-6)

So if I make a preparation of an indirect combat spell (eg. Punch), and the linchpin is then touched by an enemy, what do they roll, if anything, to avoid the effect?


1 Answer 1


Alchemy or not, indirect combat spells with a touch range are a bit counter-intuitive.

The description of indirect combat spells states that the spell can be evaded using \$REA+INT\$ the only exception mentioned being spells with an area of effect.

This does not negate the necessity to touch an unwilling target, if Spellcasting is used; The target would get a chance of evading the attempt to touch it and another chance to evade/reduce the spell effect.

With an alchemical preparation with contact trigger the source of the spell automatically has contact with the target, so it cannot make an attempt to evade the touch, but it has a chance of evading the spell effect using \$REA+INT\$. There are simply no rules denying it this test.

The only way I could explain this is that the touch triggers the spell, but the spells energy still needs to build up to deal damage which gives the target enough time to get out of the way, if it gets enough hits in the \$REA+INT\$ test.

(Houseruling this could be a good idea, but that's a decision that the GM/group needs to make.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I was under the impression that the Spellcasting test replaces the touch attack. As the attack is a Complex Action, it would be rather hard to deliver such a spell within the action economy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Szega Just compare to a direct combat spell, like Death Touch. You need to get in contact with the target which is done with a unarmed attack and the target resists with WIL. You've got 2 defenses neither the description of direct nor indirect spells mentions touch spells, so they are treated the same. As for the action economy: I've always treated casting the spell and doing the touch attack as a single action even though it requires multiple rolls. \$\endgroup\$
    – fabian
    Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 22:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any official statement reinforcing your opinion? Or about how to handle it action economy-wise? \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 23:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ No; this may be a houserule,but as you said it would be pretty complex to deal with it otherwise and there's also no rule indicating what happens when you miss the touch attack.Can you retry?Can a different touch spell be cast before succeeding in the attack?Also the spell duration is instantaneous and everything but using the same action for the touch attack would stretch the definition of "instantaneous" quite a bit.Also what happens if the drain knocks you out?According to the rules the spell should still take effect but how is that possible if you don't get the chance to touch the target? \$\endgroup\$
    – fabian
    Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 23:24

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