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Let's say I have a Lich, said Lich is a Dread Necromancer and casts Bestow Wounds (just went a picked a touch spell at random).

Now can this Lich make a single touch attack to apply its Lich touch, the Dread Necromancer's Charnel touch and the spell at the same time ? or are all three considered as three different attacks that need three different rolls ?

I'm asking just to be sure, even though I think you wouldn't be able to apply all effects at the same time.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Its attack, the 1d8 +5 negative energy dealing touch attack. The exact attack is irrelevant, I kinda took some class and race touch attacks, and added a spell all at random just for the purpose of the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Saryk Nov 9 '15 at 4:46
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Yes, you can, but not in that example.

Charnel Touch is a Standard Action to activate - on that turn, you'd already have spent your Standard Action casting Bestow Wounds, and therefore would be unable to activate Charnel Touch - even if you had two standard actions, the touch attack is part of activation, so normally you'd cast Bestow Wounds, touch attack, then second standard action, charnel touch, touch attack.

However.

Touch Spells and Holding the Charge: In most cases, if you don’t discharge a touch spell on the round you cast it, you can hold the charge (postpone the discharge of the spell) indefinitely. You can make touch attacks round after round. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. Some touch spells, such as teleport and water walk, allow you to touch multiple targets as part of the spell. You can’t hold the charge of such a spell; you must touch all targets of the spell in the same round that you finish casting the spell.

pp176 PHB, via Giantitp "Touch spells and Holding the charge?? Help pls"

You can hold a Touch spell's charge, in your hand, and discharge it whenever. If you were careful, you could even walk around in daily life with a touch spell in your hand, just waiting to shock your attacker.

There's a spell, Spell Flower, from Spell Compendium, that even allows you to hold touch spells in both hands.

Note the wording of that rule, though. Casting another spell obviates the charge. That means you can't, for example, cast Shocking Grasp, hold the charge, and then run up to a guy and cast shocking grasp for DOUBLE ELECTRIC PALMS SNAKE KUNG FU STRIKE. But for Supernatural Abilities, like Charnel Touch, you're fine. You cast Bestow Wounds, hold the charge, then the next turn walk up and slap someone with charnel touch - they should suffer the effects of both effects.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What about Lich Touch? That special ability Liches have to deal cold damage and paralyse people by poking them? \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Nov 9 '15 at 23:21
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No you can't, normally.

  1. Casting a spell has a different cost in the action economy and will be listed under Casting Time.
  2. Charnel Touch is a supernatural ability. Supernatural abilities require a standard action unless otherwise noted.


However, if you have a touch spell that doesn't go away instantly, as in deliver the next round; there wouldn't be a reason that you couldn't use Charnel Touch at the same time as delivering your attack.

Example would be Chill Touch. You can use Chill Touch melee touch attack up to one time per level. Since you can deliver both Charnel Touch and Chill Touch with Spectral Hand, or simply touching someone, they would both be active. You don't have to concentrate to keep Chill Touch active.

They key is, you can't activate, under normal circumstances, two standard actions in the same round. If an effect is already active - get touchy feely on your enemies.

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