Please help me understand this sentence in D&D 3 : "You can continue to make touch attacks round after round."

It is in "Touch Spells in Combat".

I don't understand how is it possible to make several touch attack with only one spell.

And what means the following setense too ? "You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action."

Explain me how can one touch six friends with only one spell in only one round.


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.

That means that missing on the touch attack doesn't (typically) cause the spell to fail. Rather, the spell's energy stays on your hand (or other relevant appendage) until it's discharged in some way.

So, if you cast Shocking Grasp then miss on the touch attack, you can try to touch an enemy in the next round (or as part of an Attack of Opportunity). And, you can keep trying until one of the following happens: you successfully hit an opponent, you accidentally touch something, you cast another spell, or you choose to dismiss the spell energy.


  1. Cast Shocking Grasp successfully, roll a touch attack, miss
  2. enemy walks away, provoking an Attack of Opportunity: roll a touch attack, miss again
  3. walk up to enemy, roll a touch attack, miss again (your luck is horrible)
  4. enemy walks away again, provoking an Attack of Opportunity: roll a touch attack, hit (yay!), do damage

As for touching 6 friends with one spell in one round, that's just what the rules say: if you're casting a spell that requires you touch your friends for them to benefit, the rules are giving you an explicit limit on the number of such friends you can touch in a single round. The assumption is that your friends are helping by bunching up a bit and reaching out a hand (or other appropriate appendage) for you to reach out and touch.

Note, however, that the SRD entry for range "touch" says that

You can touch as many willing targets as you can reach as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell.

... which probably means that your friends have to be within your reach when you cast the spell (ie., adjacent to you, unless you have natural reach somehow) to be touched, but that you can hit as many of them as you want (again, on the assumption that they're helping - or, at least, not trying to avoid your touch).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Noting from the SRD entry for touch, that the targets have to be in range when the spell is cast, you couldn't cast the spell (standard action), move (move action) and touch the targets, by my reading. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rob
    Nov 12 '15 at 8:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rob: good point; I've incorporated that into the last paragraph. \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Nov 12 '15 at 19:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ you can 5-ft during a full attack, I'd assume that works here too. Therefore, you can manage to hit ten allies with a mass cure spell, if they're arranged in a "box" around you that's 4 wide and 3 tall with one center square empty and the other with you in it. :D \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12 '15 at 19:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ But how can one touch six friends with only one spell ? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12 '15 at 23:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WizZjolnir If there's a spell that has a range of Touch and can target multiple creatures, and you want to affect your allies with it, the rules are stating how you can do that. It's the same way that you can hit multiple creatures with a single attack and Whirlwind Attack: it's just how the rules work. \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Nov 12 '15 at 23:42

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