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I have 2 question about the spell Elemental Touch. I'm running a suli magus that specializes in electricity so the spells seems appealing to me, but I need to figure out some things first.

The first is on how it is delivered. The spell reads as follows.

You gain a melee touch attack causing 1d6 points of damage of that energy type, along with a special effect described below. You also deal energy damage and the related special effect when you attack with your hands using an unarmed strike, a single claw, or a single slam attack. This bonus damage can never apply to multiple weapons.

Subsequent attacks inflict the normal damage, but the additional effects do not stack. This spell grants no special protection to anything held in or worn on your hands. When you cast this spell to deal acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage, it is a spell of that type.

From my reading of the spell, it seems that the first attack it grants is unable to be delivered through a weapon (as it would not be done using your hands, even with the spellstrike ability as this spell doesn't have a range of touch). My question however would be after the first turn. Subsequent attacks inflict normal damage, but additional effects do not stack. would the Damage from that point on be allowed to be delivered through the sword?

The second question would be about the stacking effects, I'll use electricity as it has one of the least round expansive abilities.

Electricity: The target must make a Fortitude save or be staggered for 1 round.

As the staggering would dissipate after one round, would a hit the next turn after the staggering has worn off cause the target to be staggered again?

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Part 1:

They use 'bonus damage', 'energy damage' and 'normal damage' interchangeably in this spell description, which is a tad infuriating. The important part to note is that the section that describes the damage that the spell does contains the phrase,

You also deal energy damage and the related special effect when you attack with your hands using an unarmed strike, a single claw, or a single slam attack.

That, as well as a normal touch attack, is the entire list of attacks that can be affected by the spell. The line about subsequent attacks is there to let you know that the special effects don't stack, not to further inform you about how the bonus damage works. It says that more attacks deal "normal damage", which tells me that if inflicts extra energy damage as the spell describes above.

Part 2:

The line specifically states that the "additional effects don't stack", which means that the same effect cannot be placed on a particular creature more than once. Since your electricity effect only lasts one round, you can use it every round to keep a creature staggered. That line means this: if two people used the electricity touch on the same creature in the same round, that creature would be staggered for, at most, 1 round.

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If you were too use Spell Combat to cast Elemental Touch [Electricity], your turn would look like this:

  • Spell Combat: Elemental Touch (Concentration as applicable)
  • Full Attack with main hand with -2 to each attack, no use of Elemental Touch

This is because a personally targeted spell does not grant a 'free touch attack' as range: touch spells do.

From here, you have a weapon in one hand and a 1d6 touch weapon in your otherwise free offhand. You could not attack with both unless you choose to use normal Two Weapon Fighting rules. If you use Spell Combat, your offhand is busy (casting) during that Full Action and you would only attack with your main weapon. Nothing about Spellstrike allows you deliver Touch weapons through your weapon. A FAQ indicates that spells such as Chill Touch can continue to be discharged through weapon attacks, but such a case is different in key ways:

  • It's range is touch, explicitly making it Spellstrike-able
  • It uses charges, which are discharged on a touch, not a duration

As to your second question, yes Elemental Touch applies it's 'bonus effects' each round that you successfully hit with it. I think the intent of the term 'does not stack' was directed at the Acid version of Elemental Hands.

Side notes:

You could consider doing what is described in this related question. Using Elemental Touch in place of a typical one handed weapon. It isn't the most effective strategy, but it is an interesting concept.

As always, if you're not sure it's best to ask your GM before continuing. This is a case where RAW might not make the most sense, and this spell could easily altered for your game.

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