4
\$\begingroup\$

The question is pretty simple actually, though I have trouble deciphering the features of the Duskblade class from PHB2. The arcane channeling of level 3 allows you to use a standard action in order to cast a touch spell and deliver it through your weapon with a basic attack, that much is clear.

However at level 13 you gain the ability to cast the spell as part of a full-round attack and "the spell affects each target you hit in melee combat that round". What is not made clear and I would like to understand is this: If you hit the same target two or three times during a full-attack action, would the target be affected more than once by the channeled spell (e.g. scorching ray)?

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ The spell scorching ray [evoc] (PH 274) can't be arcane channeled--it's range is close not touch. Could you provide a different example? I think there's more to this question. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 11 '14 at 8:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Wait, you're certain..? Duskblades get both Scorching and Polar Ray in their spell list, it would seem touch includes Ranged Touch spells. If so, that would be a problem considering our Duskblade has been using it for ages to deal significant damage in his attacks since level 6... \$\endgroup\$ – Eldebryn Aug 11 '14 at 15:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. A touch spell is a spell with an entry of Range: Touch not merely a spell requiring a touch attack or ranged touch attack. And if everyone's having fun it's not a problem. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 11 '14 at 16:51
2
\$\begingroup\$

Yes.

The wording is a little suspect, but that's par for the course in 3.5. Think of it this way; each time you attack an enemy, you target them. Each act of targeting gives you another opportunity to use your Arcane Channeling spell.

You could easily argue the opposite interpretation, but the class doesn't seem to be designed that way. Most of the class design, spell list, and Playing a Duskblade section emphasize how they fight against single melee targets, which makes me think that the level 13 ability wouldn't make a lot of sense if it were only useful against multiple targets.

What's more, I've seen it played as a way to attack a single creature with a spell multiple times, and I never saw any balance problems with it, so it's probably fine to play it that way.

\$\endgroup\$
5
\$\begingroup\$

Yes.

The duskblade's special ability arcane channeling is supposed to make the duskblade's full attack awesome. When the special ability says that "the spell affects each target you hit in melee combat that round" (PH2 20) that can totally be the same target multiple times.

Touch Spells versus Spells Requiring Ranged and Melee Touch Attacks

I suspect that there's some confusion between spells that require a melee or ranged touch attack to function and the touch spell described in the duskblade's special ability arcane channeling (i.e. "[Y]ou can use a standard action to cast any touch spell you know and deliver the spell through your weapon with a melee attack," and, "[Y]ou can cast any touch spell you know as part of a full attack action, and the spell affects each target you hit in melee combat that round").

These two kinds of spells are not the same thing.

A touch spell is a spell with a range entry of Range: Touch. Spells with a range that isn't touch can't be used with the special ability arcane channeling. For example, the 1st-level duskblade spell chill touch [necro] (PH 209) is a touch spell, while the 2nd-level duskblade spell scorching ray [evoc] (PH 274) is not a touch spell, having as it does a range entry of Range: Close, even while requiring a successful ranged touch attack to inflict damage.

The duskblade's special ability arcane channeling is quite powerful when combined with a touch spell that is usually discharged after but a single successful attack (e.g. the 2nd-level Sor/Wiz spell combust [evoc] (SpC 50), the 9th-level Sor/Wiz spell imprisonment1 [abjur] (PH 244)), allowing several high-powered effects as a single full-round action.


  1. Hey, a gestalt duskblade // wizard could do it.
\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ This info is more than helpful to me, thanks a lot :). I am just not sure if I should change my accepted answer to this one considering it doesn't offer anything more on the original question. Big thanks anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Eldebryn Aug 12 '14 at 1:58
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Eldebryn You're welcome. The accepted answer does what it's supposed to do. My main concern wasn't the rep but someone finding this question via the Google, reading the question, and misunderstanding touch spells. That's kind of a big deal. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 12 '14 at 2:17
1
\$\begingroup\$

Yes.

Arcane Channeling (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, you can use a standard action to cast any touch spell you know and deliver the spell through your weapon with a melee attack. Casting a spell in this manner does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The spell must have a casting time of 1 standard action or less. If the melee attack is successful, the attack deals damage normally; then the effect of the spell is resolved.

At 13th level, you can cast any touch spell you know as part of a full attack action, and the spell affects each target you hit in melee combat that round. Doing so discharges the spell at the end of the round, in the case of a touch spell that would otherwise last longer than 1 round.

Commentary:

Because each attack effects each target you hit in melee combat in a round, making the same target of each attack does not null and void the benefits of Arcane Channeling at 13th level. There is no rule specifically stating that you must divide your attacks as part of a full attack action to other targets that you threaten.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.