Healing Bomb is a splash weapon, so it would be a touch attack, and therefore armor/shield/natural armor AC don't matter.

I would have to overcome any of the target's touch AC bonuses:

  • Dexterity, Dodge, Deflection, Insight, Luck, Profane, Sacred, Size, etc.

It makes sense to me that their size AC is 'set.'

But can they will away their Dexterity to AC for a single attack? Or would it be for the whole round?

Which other bonuses can they will away?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If this is not addressed by RAW, then your best bet for a sane house rule would be to look at how ranged touch spells work on willing creatures. \$\endgroup\$
    – Colin D
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CataruMoore I guess this whole question came about because I picture that using a healing bomb involves throwing the bomb at a target, and the "willing" rules didn't completely encompass this situation because your friend wanting to get hit by your healing bomb or not isn't the only factor if say, he was 100 feet away and you had bad aim. \$\endgroup\$
    – Redler
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @trlkly an attack penalty directly translates into more chance of missing. Unless you only hit on a 20, an then it's just a matter of luck. Based on range increments, a faraway ally is just harder to hit with the healing bomb. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the target has a +2 dexterity AC modifier for avoiding attacks, it seems like they could try to dodge into your healing bomb, making it a -2 AC modifier in this case. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jabe
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 16:56

4 Answers 4


I've seen this question before and wondered if a good house rule would be to treat the target as helpless. A helpless character is not defending, and in the case of a willing ally, in a similar fashion, they are not defending either. There is no bonus to the attack roll for a ranged attack, but the defender loses any Dexterity bonus to AC and, their Dexterity is treated as 0 (-5 Dexterity penalty to Armor Class). Thus the target AC would be touch AC, minus any Dex or Dodge Bonuses, minus 5.

As far as the other bonuses, I agree with Zachiel, while some are a bit more obvious than others, ultimately discuss with your DM.


I don't think I ever saw a rule about this, and I'd be happy of being proven wrong. If there's really no rule, it's all in the GM's hands, and this is how I'd rule it:

Some of those bonuses - dexterity, dodge, insight - represent the character actively dodging incoming attacks. It makes sense that the character is not using them against your attack, if they're trying to be hit.
Of course, which kind of luck would it be if it prevented you from getting healed?
Some modifiers, like size, makes them hard to hit, willing or not.
Deflection, Sacred and Profane hare harder to adjudicate - and I've seen DMs houserule that Sacred and Profane should not be allowed to cohexist. Ask your DM.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Is it possible to extrapolate an answer from willing targets of touch spell? (Come to think of it, I'm not immediately sure if an attack roll is technically required when touching a willing target.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hey I Can Chan: But does it not make sense that it would be harder to directly hit an ally from a distance with a thrown weapon, depending upon their size, and whatnot? \$\endgroup\$
    – Redler
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, there are "immobile defender" and "unaware defender" modifiers which cause the target to be easier to hit. I suppose some such could somehow apply, but bet 1gp it's not anywhere in RAW. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EugeneRyabtsev I'm almost certain one can choose to be immobile (just as one could choose to be blinded by closing one's eyes), but doing so would likely make one vulnerable until one's next turn rather than being a conveniently available option during another's turn. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Not necessarily. For one, you could choose not to look in the attack's direction, but still look in the opponents' direction (or, in 3.5's all-around-vision, just act as if your ally wasn't there and wasn't trying to hit you). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 3:27

Under the RAW for "Throw Splash Weapon":

A splash weapon is a ranged weapon that breaks on impact, splashing or scattering its contents over its target and nearby creatures or objects. To attack with a splash weapon, make a ranged touch attack against the target.

The RAW makes no distiction between a ranged touch or a melee touch:

[T]he attacker makes a touch attack roll (either ranged or melee).

Hitting an ally with a ranged touch attack allows them the opportunity to declare themselves to be a willing target:

Declaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if you're flat-footed or it isn't your turn). Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing...

Seeing as willing is the equivalent to the "Helpless" condition:

A helpless character is paralyzed, held, bound, sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise at an opponent's mercy. A helpless target counts as having a Dexterity of ZERO (-5 penalty [to their AC])

So, then, an Alchemist can throw healing bombs at their allies with minimal effort, only needing to account for size and (possibly) Luck.

As an aside, a thrown splash weapon can even target empty grid spaces at DC 5.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. Thank you for trying to help strangers. I'm a bit concerned about your answer, however, in that, so far as I can tell, it's drawing from two distinctly different places in the rules—the first two quotations from Throw Splash Weapons and the third from Aiming a Spell. If you can reconcile this in your answer, it'd be much stronger. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 19:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan : Could you please point out where the logical chain fails? A thrown splash weapon requires a ranged touch attack; a touch attack, ranged or not, can have a willing target; a willing target counts as helpless. I quote the RAW to show the definition of each term; my text between shows how it leads to the next. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gio
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 20:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't say it fails, but I think explaining the connection more thoroughly would help your point. As it stands, you've taken 1 item from Throwing a Splash Weapon and another piece from Aiming a Spell that really is somewhat out of context ("Some spells restrict you to willing targets only. Declaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if you're flat-footed or it isn't your turn")), applied that generally, and left it to speak largely for itself. Showing how Aiming a Spell is like Throwing a Splash Weapon really would strengthen your case. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 22:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You're citing the magic rules about aiming a spell but assuming willing target in the magic rules also allows one to choose to be hit by a splash weapon. Being a willing target has a specific meaning when applied to spells (like in the Target entry of the spells fins to feet or lucky number). I just wanted some justification for how spell targeting applies to bomb-hurling is all. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 5:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan : After sleeping on the problem, I believe I see your point. Once I have access to a proper computer, I'll revise my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gio
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 3:16

I believe, if the target is willing they can pass on any kind of saving throw.

If you did want to roll for it I would guess you would have to add significant bonuses to the roll considering your target actively wants to be hit by it.

EDIT: Here is a link to a forum that explains what I said better http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pq2m?Hitting-friendlies-with-ranged-touch-attacks

some helpful posts include

Touch Spells in Combat: "You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll."

There is no equivalent listed for ranged touch spells. Many people will allow the target to voluntarily deny themselves their Dex bonus to (touch) AC, but again, the rules do not directly support this.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The question is not about saving throw and the answer should not be "you can add any unspecified +X". \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rather than have two different answers, one of them marked by an edit, just rewrite your answer to be your final answer. (We can see the edits in the history view if we're curious, anyway.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 20:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was simply stating if for some reason their DM wants to have rolls for heals to hit, it would be reasonable to have a large bonus to the roll. \$\endgroup\$
    – Scriven
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ A creature can voluntarily give up its saving throws only against spells (and, by extension, psionic powers). (In D&D 3.5, one could also voluntarily fail the saving throw against drugs, but this is unnecessary in Pathfinder.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 15:15

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