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View Full Version : [3.5] Defensive Casting and Rays.



Namillus
2009-01-29, 10:38 PM
Does Defensive Casting nullify the AoO provoked by making a ranged attack (touch or otherwise) in someone's threatened square?

AslanCross
2009-01-29, 11:25 PM
The wording's pretty ambiguous.


Casting Defensively: If you want to cast a spell without provoking attacks of oportunity...you must make a Concentration check (DC 15+Spell level) to succeed.

However, there does not seem to be anything about casting ranged touch spells provoking an additional attack of opportunity due to being ranged. Besides, each enemy can only hit you with an AOO once per round anyway.

Keld Denar
2009-01-29, 11:34 PM
Besides, each enemy can only hit you with an AOO once per round anyway.

Unless they have combat reflexes. Different opportunities that provoke will result in multiple attacks of opportunity.

Say...if you leave a threatened square to walk in a circle around an enemy, you provoke from moving. If you then cast a spell non-defensively or attack unarmed without Improved Unarmed Strike, or start a grapple without Improved Grapple, then you would provoke a second AoO, provided the attacker had Combat Reflexes and a dex of 12+

RTGoodman
2009-01-29, 11:35 PM
Without actually looking it up, I think there's a difference in the AoOs you'd provoke here. You can cast defensively to prevent the AoO triggered by CASTING A SPELL, but I think you still trigger one for ATTACKING WITH A RANGED WEAPON WHILE THREATENED, and you can't use a Concentration check to bypass that.

olentu
2009-01-30, 12:39 AM
Without actually looking it up, I think there's a difference in the AoOs you'd provoke here. You can cast defensively to prevent the AoO triggered by CASTING A SPELL, but I think you still trigger one for ATTACKING WITH A RANGED WEAPON WHILE THREATENED, and you can't use a Concentration check to bypass that.

Well as near as I can tell the AOO is technically only for making a ranged attack as a standard action since it appears on the table of standard actions.

Also there is text under touch attacks in the cast a spell section of actions in combat which says that touch attacks do not provoke attacks of opportunity, and goes on to say that touch attacks come in both melee and ranged versions.

afroakuma
2009-01-30, 12:50 AM
Personally, my DM's verdict says no. The AoO for a ranged attack comes, in my opinion, from the notion that one must be applying a propelling force, either via a strong shift in body weight that leaves an opening, or engaging one or more hands to create mechanical energy, reducing avenues for defense or retort. A ray springs from the casting of the spell, which should provoke an AoO, and is directed to a target as part of that casting, i.e. as part of the same defensive opening that provokes the original AoO.

ShadowFighter15
2009-01-30, 04:28 AM
Most of my D&D knowledge has come from NWN2 and that only allows one AoO against someone casting a ray spell and that's negated by casting defensively. And if the rules considered a ranged touch attack to provoke separately from the spell casting, then warlocks would be completely screwed over (they already are somewhat in NWN2, but that's another topic entirely) since their eldritch blasts are spell-like abilities that are ranged touch attacks.

Thurbane
2009-01-30, 06:56 PM
Personally, my DM's verdict says no. The AoO for a ranged attack comes, in my opinion, from the notion that one must be applying a propelling force, either via a strong shift in body weight that leaves an opening, or engaging one or more hands to create mechanical energy, reducing avenues for defense or retort. A ray springs from the casting of the spell, which should provoke an AoO, and is directed to a target as part of that casting, i.e. as part of the same defensive opening that provokes the original AoO.
I agree with this.

ericgrau
2009-01-30, 08:29 PM
I was only able to find this in the rules:

Ray
Some effects are rays. You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon, though typically you make a ranged touch attack rather than a normal ranged attack. As with a ranged weapon, you can fire into the dark or at an invisible creature and hope you hit something. You donít have to see the creature youíre trying to hit, as you do with a targeted spell. Intervening creatures and obstacles, however, can block your line of sight or provide cover for the creature youíre aiming at.

IIRC the only reason melee touch spells don't provoke - even though the wizard doesn't have improved unarmed strike - is because the wizzie's finger gets treated like a threatening weapon.

But other than that I can't say if the wizzie provokes 1 AoO, 2, or 1 but either of two causes will trigger it.

olentu
2009-01-30, 08:38 PM
Well again as near as I can tell it technically is only the standard action "Attack (ranged)" from the table of standard actions that provokes an AOO.

And from the section on Cast a Spell has a section on touch attacks that would likely apply

"Touch Attacks: Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity. However, the act of casting a spell does provoke an attack of opportunity. Touch attacks come in two types: melee touch attacks and ranged touch attacks. You can score critical hits with either type of attack. Your opponentís AC against a touch attack does not include any armor bonus, shield bonus, or natural armor bonus. His size modifier, Dexterity modifier, and deflection bonus (if any) all apply normally."

ericgrau
2009-01-30, 09:29 PM
Ah that's the section I must have remembered. Must only be in the PH not the SRD. It says that because it's an armed attacked it doesn't provoke an AoO. But ranged armed attacks do provoke. The section I quoted also said that it's like an armed ranged attack.

Btw if only standard action ranged attacks provoke, then full round action ranged attacks don't provoke, as they're not on that table. And I think that's silly.

olentu
2009-01-30, 11:19 PM
Ah that's the section I must have remembered. Must only be in the PH not the SRD. It says that because it's an armed attacked it doesn't provoke an AoO. But ranged armed attacks do provoke. The section I quoted also said that it's like an armed ranged attack.

Btw if only standard action ranged attacks provoke, then full round action ranged attacks don't provoke, as they're not on that table. And I think that's silly.

It is in the SRD and while not the best source for the SRD it is here

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm#standardCastaSpell

And well the full round action table does say that there is no AOO for a full attack. There is however the text

"Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack: After your first attack, you can decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks, depending on how the first attack turns out. If youíve already taken a 5-foot step, you canít use your move action to move any distance, but you could still use a different kind of move action."

which can be interpreted in a variety of ways.