The Spell Vampiric Touch states:

Your touch deals 1d6 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 10d6). You gain temporary hit points equal to the damage you deal. You can't gain more than the subject's current hit points + the subject's Constitution score

So could you cast the spell on yourself, gain up to your own Hits+Constitution in temporary hit points and then subsequently get a cure to get yourself extra hit points?

Note: For interests sake (and so the caster doesn't potentially kill themselves) you can cast spells at a lower level than normal as long as it's high enough to cast said spell.


Yes, you can target yourself.

However, note that multiple castings do not stack. It’s a same-source issue; you can’t keep casting the spell to get more. So you get 1d6/2 levels worth of HP (average 1.75/level, which won’t approach the cap unless you are badly hurt and have very low Constitution), which is poor compared to false life’s 1d10+level (average 5.5+level) at least until CL 8. Note that even after that, false life is lower level, has a far longer duration, and doesn’t hurt yourself.

Though I guess you could do both, since they stack with each other, so that’s obviously going to be higher. Still better if you’ve got a target who you don’t care about healing, though.

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    \$\begingroup\$ did you mean 1.75/level? \$\endgroup\$ – Eric B Sep 18 '13 at 12:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ If so, vampiric touch will give more temp hp on average starting at level 8 and up. \$\endgroup\$ – Eric B Sep 18 '13 at 14:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Good point regarding non-stackage. \$\endgroup\$ – thomax Sep 18 '13 at 20:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've got a vague feeling I read an onscure rule that if you get temporary hit points from multiple sources, you only use the higher total, meaning that False Life and Vampiric Touch hit points wouldn't stack. I can't think where it was, though... \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Oct 27 '15 at 23:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Even without the same-source issue, if you were to cast vampiric touch on yourself while in possession of temporary hit points from an earlier casting of vampiric touch, the temporary hit points from the first casting would be lost first, making stacking them a rather Sisyphean task. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Oct 27 '15 at 23:26

The spell description says Target: living creature touched. The description on Cure Light Wounds, which nobody disagrees can be cast on self, says Target: creature touched. Thus there's no RAW reason why this spell can't be cast on yourself.

Clever use of the spell, I'd say!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes but also states: "You must succeed on a melee touch attack." Rules agreed with the concept of attacking yourself? \$\endgroup\$ – theist Sep 18 '13 at 15:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @theist I don't see how the requirement of a melee touch attack would prevent you from casting VT on yourself? Hitting an undead with a cure spell would also require a melee touch attack, btw. \$\endgroup\$ – thomax Sep 18 '13 at 20:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's a psionic power somewhere in the EPH -I forget what it's called- that gives the target a strong suicidal impulse. It states that if no other obvious method presents itself (cliffs, poison, obviously-too-powerful enemies, etc.) the target will attempt to perform a coup de grace on himself. This seems to at least support the idea that it is possible to attack oneself, even if a coup de grace isn't really a standard attack. \$\endgroup\$ – The Spooniest Sep 18 '13 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheSpooniest - the psionic power you reference is Death Urge (a 4th level power). \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Hamsmith Sep 18 '13 at 22:05

You could... but you would have to keep in mind this line of text:

The temporary hit points disappear 1 hour later.

Not to mention it would be using up as many spell slots as it would take for you to drain your own HP, both to cast it and to get subsequent cures cast upon yourself. If you could anticipate the upcoming battle, it could prove very useful, but only if your DM also allows you to make a "touch attack" on yourself (since you also need to succeed in a touch attack to use the spell).

As a DM, I would rule against being allowed to target yourself with an aggressive touch spell (particularly one that drains health), but if you could argue for it being allowed, AND make up the use of spell slots (And the temporary nature of the effect), it might help you out in a tough battle.

More importantly, as mentioned in other answers, it wouldn't stack. So you could only do it once.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "since you also need to succeed in a touch attack to use a spell" why would that be a problem? Hitting a target that is cooperating is not at all difficult. \$\endgroup\$ – AJMansfield Sep 18 '13 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's really only a problem if your DM doesn't consider "yourself" a valid target. If he does (and I see no reason not to), then it'd be a perfectly fine maneuver. \$\endgroup\$ – Zibbobz Sep 18 '13 at 15:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zibbobz If he doesn’t, he doesn’t understand the rules and there are much more serious problems with that mis-ruling than vampiric touch (cure wounds comes to mind). Also, the temp HP from multiple castings don’t stack. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 18 '13 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Noted, it would be very rare for a GM to rule that way. Also noted on the non-stacking temporary HP. \$\endgroup\$ – Zibbobz Sep 18 '13 at 19:36

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