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D&D 3E
16th-Nov-2004 03:11 pm
Ok, I know that according to the SRD ...a multiclass monks face a special restriction. A monk who gains a new class or (if already multiclass) raises another class by a level may never again raise her monk level... Be that as it may, suppose you have an arcane spellcaster/monk multi-classed character who uses a touch spell, one of the many that say You must succeed on a touch attack to strike a target in the spell description. That being the case, I would think if the character cast the spell, then made a hand-to-hand attack, and:

rolled high enough to score a touch attack but not a melee attack: the spell would take effect

rolled high enough to score a melee attack: both the spell effects including damage and the normal hand-to-hand damage would take effect

16th-Nov-2004 09:22 pm (UTC)
Disagree. Either you make a touch attack or a normal melee attack - but not both at the same time.

With a touch attack, you are trying to discharge magical energies. With a normal melee attack, you are trying to hurt someone with your fist. Both require different approaches.

And to provide an in-game justification, perhaps touch attacks require some sort of concentration to maintain the spell until it is discharged - a concentration that is incompatible with the focus required to hit someone where it hurts.

Maybe you can come up with some sort of feat or prestige class that allows you to combine the two, but it is not standard.
16th-Nov-2004 09:26 pm (UTC)
I don't think so. The casting of the spell is it's own thing, the concentration takes place during the casting of the spell, the spell discharges on contact, it could be several rounds later. The difference in touch AC vs standard AC is armor, you may attack well enough to make contact, and have a successful touch attack, but not well enough to penetrate the armor with lethal force, an unsuccessful melee attack, but if you have rolled a successful melee attack, you have definitely made contact, all that's required for a successful touch attack. That's my interpretation, anyway. If my DM required a feat to combine the tow though, I'd be happy to burn it. I just don't think it ought to be required.
16th-Nov-2004 09:53 pm (UTC)
Actually the way it's rules is by this:

A Monk/Sor (or a Sor with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat) can make a normal (clenched fist) melee attack with a spell that has a range of touch. If the attack misses the spell is not discharged and you can attempt again on your next attack.

So if you say...have Shocking Grasp casted and you miss you still have the spell in your hand ready for another touch.

Yes I know. This goes against the "Instantaneous" duration of some spells, but that's what the rules go by.

As far as a Monk/Sor though...or any other Monk/Spellcaster or Spellcaster w/IUS feat...that's 2 actions.

1 to cast a spell, and 1 to attack. Rather slow if you ask me.

You can combine this with a Stunning Fist attack too.
Round 1: Cast spell
Round 2: Attack with spell and attempt to stun

I was reading up on this today actually...
16th-Nov-2004 09:59 pm (UTC)
Sure, but what I mean is, say the target's AC is 15 and the target's Touch AC is 11, your attack roll is:

12, you hit with Shocking grasp damage,
17, you hit with Shocking grasp damage AND normal damage,

16th-Nov-2004 10:05 pm (UTC)
If I was DM? No.

You don't hit the normal AC and your fist glances off without doing any damage.

As far as hitting touch AC, I think it's more of a glance or a poke and more along the lines of placing your hand on someone's shoulder or something similar (a non gapple 'grab' if you will)

16th-Nov-2004 10:10 pm (UTC)
So in effect you think that the Improved Unarmed Strike feat or class ability raises opponents touch AC? I'm not saying you're wrong, that other guy up there ^ feels the same way you do. I just don't follow your reasoning. Why would the fact that you're making a standard attack rather than just touching him make him harder to hit? Shocking grasp in particular says that if your opponent is wearing metal armor you get +3 to hit, I wouldn't apply that to the standard attack but I would to the touch attack.
16th-Nov-2004 10:37 pm (UTC)
Because there is a difference between trying to reach out and touch someone (lay a hand on them, grab them, whatever) and trying to punch them in the face. Different attack locations perhaps, to start with.

But really, it's because of how the d20 system defines Armor Class. You don't have to hit and then get through the armor; it's all one movement/action/roll. So if you attack the AC and miss, you miss. As a DM I might say it glances off your armor, but as the game sees it, you were missed all together. There is no different between hitting the armor and not damaging and not hitting. Unless you're dealing with DR, which is a different story.
16th-Nov-2004 10:40 pm (UTC)
The Improved Unarmed Strike feat doesn't raise an opponents touch AC.

If you wish to touch an opponent with Shocking Grasp the "touch" attack (trying to beat the touch AC of the opponent) doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity.

If you choose to use an Unarmed Strike with it, and have the IUS feat, you deal Shocking Grasp and Unarmed damage.

You would be going above and beyond the normal damage of the spell so it would be a normal attack roll in order to add the unarmed damage to the spell as well.

The +3 to hit if the opponent is wearing metal armor should be applied to the Unarmed+Spell attack roll as well. Why not? The spell is still in effect and you still are attacking. It's just a normal attack and not a touch.
17th-Nov-2004 07:40 pm (UTC)
yes. I've actually read rules for it. I believe in either quint monk, sword and fist, or at least unearthed arcana (the wotc book, not the monte cook book). That's why playing a monk/cleric would be narstay.
Also, think about it this way, when doing a touch spell, you cast and try to get yr melee touch attack in the same action what's not to say that when casting, instead of a light touch, yr putting more force into it? Usually the touching of yr target is included in the somatic component of casting.
17th-Nov-2004 07:41 pm (UTC)
just don't try and touch the guy and cast fireball... had a wizard do that in a game i'm running. obviously, that was it for him.
16th-Nov-2004 10:03 pm (UTC)
interesting. I agree with this, with one additional comment. If your spellcaster is smart (and I would certainly hope so, because no one likes a dumb spellcaster), they would take a bit of effort to do one of the following options:

1: craft a magical item that can discharge the spell on successfull touch attack (such as a ring) when a command word is spoken. It is very easy to punch someone while shouting something. :-P

2: prepare the touch spell before combat. I strongly recommend various metamagic feats that can assist you in casting these spells quicker and also discreetly. hehe, quiet spell anyone?

I believe some sourcebooks also offer some other ways to store a spell before casting, such as spell tattoos (I think? It has been a bit since I saw the sourcebook, but it was definitely 3e). These are only single-use preparations, but hey... one good shot is all you need, as Luke proved in Star Wars.
16th-Nov-2004 11:33 pm (UTC)
Unapproachable East has spell tattoos.
17th-Nov-2004 07:42 pm (UTC)
spell flower, is either a second or 3rd level clr/wiz/sor spell that allows you to "charge" one hand with a spell. I believe it has to be touch. It's in savage species.

Spellflower two inflicts, give a guy a hug. :D
16th-Nov-2004 11:19 pm (UTC)
Agree -- though the unarmed attack damage is disallowed if the caster uses the "free" attack that touch attack spells allow. This really has nothing to do with the Monk multiclass -- any caster will do.
16th-Nov-2004 11:28 pm (UTC)
Well, I'd put a bunch of things that say it might work this way, and then I found what I was looking for (I knew I'd read it before).

Important section in red.

Touch Spells in Combat
Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject, either in the same round or any time later. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) the target. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

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 opponent’s 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.

Holding the Charge
If you don’t 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 aren’t considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. (If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack doesn’t 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.

Thanks for coming out ;)
16th-Nov-2004 11:37 pm (UTC)
Erm, seems I left out the part I wanted to put before that quote.

If you hit high enough to hit a creature's touch AC, that means you touch them. If you hit high enough to hit a creature's normal AC, that means you hit them normally.

It makes perfect sense to me.

If I go to punch you, and you're wearing football padding, I can still hit you on the arm. But you may not notice it if I don't hit you hard enough. However, if I swing to punch you with a live wire (assuming I was immune to the effects myself), well, my punch might not get noticed by you or hurt you, but the electricity coursing through you damn well better.
17th-Nov-2004 06:02 pm (UTC)
Those rules specifically say that if you've got a touch spell active and you make an unarmed attack, the spell does not take effect if the attack misses (you even specifically retain charge). So by the rules, the separate hit with touch/misses with melee attack isn't allowed.

The idea of hitting them (and thus the spell taking effect) and not hitting them well enough and/or in the right place to deal damage makes sense. But the idea of a single attack roll being split like that doesn't.

An example, you've got a guy touch AC 10, he's wearing a big shield that gives him a +5 armor bonus, so his normal AC is 15. If you want to make a touch attack, the shield doesn't hurt you because you can just touch the shield itself. If you are making a normal melee attack you have get around the shield.

So you are doing a combined touch/melee attack, you must be trying to get around the shield (aiming to hit AC 15). I can see, trying to get around the shield, realizing you can't so going to just touch the shield, or the guy parrying your attack with the shield (and happening to touch your hand). That's getting a little outside of the rules mechanics though.

If you want do allow the combined touch/melee where the touch may succeed when the melee attack fails, I'd say there should be a general attack penalty for trying to do so (it's certainly more complicated than a straight out touch or melee attack).

17th-Nov-2004 08:36 am (UTC)
This is in the players guide too; p140-142 if you want to see it for yourselves(Rules as quoted by espher).
17th-Nov-2004 04:40 pm (UTC)

With a touch attack you're basically trying to make contact, anywhere. With a melee attack you're tring to hit them in vital spot and/or an openning in their armor.

The precense of their armor requires you to be far more selective in your aiming with the melee attack than with a touch attack. A melee attack that hits their breastplate and is deflected off is as much as miss, as a melee attack that goes for that little openning at the shoulder and doesn't make contact. In other words, aiming around their armor (so your melee attack connectting will actually do something) makes coming into contact with your attack harder.

To let their touch attack hit but their melee attack fail, you're assuming they made contant without penerating their armor if the attack roll is greater than the touch AC. I think this is an invalid assumption.

Allowing them to make the touch/melee attack combined, and allowing the spell to take effect of the melee attack hits is fine. (The Spellsword PrC has an ability to do with weapons).
17th-Nov-2004 04:41 pm (UTC)
looks like the rules disagree.
17th-Nov-2004 06:04 pm (UTC)
Um, no. The rules specifically disagree with the one-attack two-AC for touch attack spells with unarmed attacks.

As quoted in part by espher above:

"Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren’t considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. (If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack doesn’t 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."

So if you're unarmed attack misses, the spell doesn't not go off (you are still holding the charge).
17th-Nov-2004 06:14 pm (UTC)
yeah, seems pretty clear. thanks for clearing it up. so you do normal damage plus spell damage, but if you miss a normal attack you don't discharge. that's acceptable, more acceptable than missing out on your normal attack damage altogether as someone seemed to imply above. interesting debate, and maybe i'll need this info later, but like i said i think i'm gonns be a bard now.
17th-Nov-2004 04:41 pm (UTC)
moot point though, looks like i'm playing a bard instead.
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