Understanding Touch Spells

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Touch Spell Requirements

1. The spell's range is listed as Touch

Casting a Touch Spell

1. Casting a Touch spell is different than Expending it.
2. Expending a touch spell may be done versus an unfriendly target or a friendly one.
Friendly? Success is automatic, so long as all friendly targets are within 30' of one another (or the spell might specify a different distance).
Unfriendly? Do one of the two:
a. If touching the target: Roll BAB+Str (or Dex, if a "ranged touch attack") versus the target's touch AC
b. If attacking with an unarmed stroke or a natural weapon: Roll BAB+Str versus the target's normal AC; however, if you do not have IUS, your attack provokes an AoO
3. You can cast a touch spell and then "hold the charge" indefinitely. However, the spell is immediately expended:
a. If you successfully attack something via IUS or a natural weapon
b. If you successfully touch something
c. If you brush up against something
The main benefit of holding the charge is to be able to cast and then move up to a target.
4. Normally, casting and Expending a touch spell is the same as the spell's action; that is, if the spell is a standard action, then casting and expending (touching the target) is also a standard action.

Touch Spell Examples

Example One: Fizzlepoof the wizard is being threatened by a gnome! The gnome, Spectacles, is sitting on top of a hill and making faces down below. Fizzlepoof has had enough of the gnome's raspberries, and so casts Touch of Idiocy. Touch of Idiocy is a touch spell, so he casts the spell at the bottom of the hill. Then, he "holds the charge" as he marches up the hill towards the gnome.

The gnome, sensing something amiss, resists being tagged by the wizard. So, Fizzlepoof rolls his BAB+Str and rolls high enough to beat the gnome's touch AC. He tags the gnome! Success! The gnome must then save per normal as per the spell.

Example Two: The gnome saves versus the spell! Oh no! He raspberries Fizzlepoof again. Fizzlepoof decides to teach him a lesson about raspberries (he looks so dashing in this hat, after all) and decides to punch him. So, Fizzlepoof casts the spell again! As he's casting within range, this earns him an Attack of Opportunity from the gnome.

Spectacles the gnome misses!

This means that Fizzlepoof may continue with his spell. He finishes casting, and then rolls BAB+Str to deliver a punch to the gnome! Luckily, our superbuff wizard Fizzlepoof has the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, so does not take another Attack of Opportunity. He does not, however, roll high enough to beat the gnome's normal AC. However, the charge holds, and next round he may try again.