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Geesuv
2007-09-15, 07:58 PM
My DM and I have been looking for some rules clarification for touch spells in DnD.
When using touch spells in close combat, do you hold on to the spell until you actually hit the enemy, making attacks each turn until you do, or does the spell discharge after one attempt(whether you hit ot not)?
The rules are a bit unclear where this is concerned.
Any help would be great, thanks. :smallsmile:

Jasdoif
2007-09-15, 08:02 PM
It's mentioned explicitly, in the rules for spells.
Touch Spells and Holding the Charge

In most cases, if you donít 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.

Shas aia Toriia
2007-09-15, 09:08 PM
Really? I just assumed that the spell was lost each time you cast it. Thanks though! :smallsmile:

AslanCross
2007-09-15, 09:40 PM
Holding the Charge

If you donít discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the discharge of the spell (hold the charge) indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you arenít considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. (If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack doesnít provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack.) If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.

I find the choice of words in the RAW a bit confusing. As I understand it, when you cast a touch spell, say, Shocking Grasp, you can "hold the charge" for as long as you want. When you touch anything, the spell "discharges," which I assume to mean "It fires like a taser, but is still there and ready to zap anything else it touches afterwards. However, when you cast another spell, the held charge "dissipates" meaning it fizzles out and you can no longer zap anyone with your touch until you cast Shocking Grasp again. Is that how it works? Or does the RAW only mean that you can continue making the touch attacks until you actually hit? (which conflicts with a character being able to touch multiple creatures per round as a full round action).

I'd like to point out also that the wording of Ghoul Touch implies you can only use it once:

Imbuing you with negative energy, this spell allows you to paralyze a single living humanoid for the duration of the spell with a successful melee touch attack.

Shas aia Toriia
2007-09-15, 09:45 PM
Oh. . .

No I'm confused with all this holding and touching. . . (that sounds wrong. . .)

Dhavaer
2007-09-15, 09:47 PM
Oh. . .

No I'm confused with all this holding and touching. . . (that sounds wrong. . .)

Show me on the dolly where the wizard touched you.

AslanCross
2007-09-15, 10:08 PM
Show me on the dolly where the wizard touched you.

LOL

Some spells are more consistent with their wording. With rusting grasp, it's clear you can use it multiple times:

Against a ferrous creature, rusting grasp instantaneously deals 3d6 points of damage +1 per caster level (maximum +15) per successful attack. The spell lasts for 1 round per level, and you can make one melee touch attack per round.

Rusting grasp's duration is listed as "see text" instead of "instantaneous."

The duration here seems to mean how long your hands are corrosive, and not how long the corrosion lasts. What's weird here is that the target is not your self, but the recipient of your touch. :smallconfused:

With touch of fatigue, it's different:

You channel negative energy through your touch, fatiguing the target. You must succeed on a touch attack to strike a target.

The subject is immediately fatigued for the spellís duration.
The duration listed is the actual fatigue, not how long your touch can cause fatigue. It seems that in this case, the spell only works once. So yeah, there's some inconsistency and this seems to be a case-to-case basis.


Touch

You must touch a creature or object to affect it. A touch spell that deals damage can score a critical hit just as a weapon can. A touch spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit. Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets. 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.

Okay, from what I understand, this is how it works (though I may be wrong):
1) You can touch a target as part of the spell. In this case it's a standard action, or a full round action if you touch up to six willing targets and if the spell allows (example: Teleport). The spell is discharged as soon as you complete the touches.

2) If there are no targets in range, you may hold the charge indefinitely. You may continue to make touch attacks until it hits (or you touch something or someone), but once it hits, the charge is used up.

3) Casting another spell dissipates the held charge even if you haven't discharged it yet.

Jothki
2007-09-15, 10:35 PM
What exactly does it mean to touch something? You don't automatically discharge spells on the floor, but if you kick someone it's an unarmed strike, and you would almost certainly deliver a touch spell that way.

Golthur
2007-09-15, 10:45 PM
What exactly does it mean to touch something? You don't automatically discharge spells on the floor, but if you kick someone it's an unarmed strike, and you would almost certainly deliver a touch spell that way.
The way I usually deal with this situation is to allow the unarmed strike as normal. If it hits the normal AC, it both does damage and discharges the spell effect. If it only hits the touch AC (and not the normal AC), it discharges the spell effect, but no damage.

Raolin_Fenix
2007-09-15, 11:05 PM
There's another thing I've been wondering about -- does this mean spells like Shocking Grasp last forever if you don't discharge them? So like, I could cast Shocking Grasp at the beginning of the day and hold the charge indefinitely until circumstances come up that require its use (or I cast another spell)?

Human Paragon 3
2007-09-15, 11:13 PM
There's another thing I've been wondering about -- does this mean spells like Shocking Grasp last forever if you don't discharge them? So like, I could cast Shocking Grasp at the beginning of the day and hold the charge indefinitely until circumstances come up that require its use (or I cast another spell)?

Until you touch ANYTHING even by accident... makes life a bit hard. Good thought though. Cast it in the morning and you're ready to rock. Just don't shake the mayor's hand or you'll kill him.

tainsouvra
2007-09-17, 12:30 PM
My DM and I have been looking for some rules clarification for touch spells in DnD.
When using touch spells in close combat, do you hold on to the spell until you actually hit the enemy, making attacks each turn until you do, or does the spell discharge after one attempt(whether you hit ot not)?
The rules are a bit unclear where this is concerned.
Any help would be great, thanks. :smallsmile: If you miss your attack roll, you continue to hold the charge. If you succeed on your attack roll, the spell discharges. Most touch spells dissipate after they discharge a single time, but some spells have durations that permit multiple touch attacks. Check the spell's description when you use it if you're in doubt as to which kind you're casting.

bignate
2007-09-17, 03:33 PM
my friends and i were talking about this a while back.

i discovered the line about being able to touch 6 allies as a full round action and we were trying to find a spell that could fully take advantage of it like a healing spell. our general thought were that the healing spell discharged after the first person even if you touched 6 in the round.

does anyone out there know of a beneficial touch spell that could take advantage of the 6 touches?

Curmudgeon
2007-09-17, 04:33 PM
does anyone out there know of a beneficial touch spell that could take advantage of the 6 touches? Pretty much all the Teleportation spells:
Dimension Door
Plane Shift
Teleport
Greater Teleport
Transport via Plants