Page 1 of 3 123 Last
  1. #1

    3.5 rules questions

    I have some questions for the community about how they handle certain instances of combat in regards to the rules in the Player's Handbook 3.5e.

    I came across some interesting stuff that appears quite silly to me in the rules. We all know that we can do two things in one combat round. One is a move and the other is a combat action, it doesn't matter if we move first or second. As part of the move action a person can take a 5 foot step which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Any spell cast from a threatened square does provoke an attack of opportunity unless it:
    1. Is a quickened spell
    2. It is a cast defensively.
    This becomes a big problem with casters in regards to touch spells. Consequently a caster may take a 5 foot step away from the monster and then cast the touch spell. (1 round) On the next turn or anytime before another touch spell is cast the caster may take a 5 foot step forward to the moster and then touch them to activate the spell. The act of touching counts as a melee combat action and therefore does not count as an attack of opportunity. (can verify this on p. 140 and 141 of the player's handbook)

    Wouldn't it make sense to just set a rule to make all touch spells not cause an attack of opportunity? I think this would simplify combat a bit and speed things up. In this case the cast could count as the combat action and the touch could count as the move action. So no other movement would occur during this round.

    The next issue I have is with the way defensive casting works. Instead of a bonus to AC while casting defensively the rules actually say that the player makes a concentration check while defensively casting however they do not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the check fails the spell is lost. (p. 140)

    I have to say I don't much care for this rule and I'm wondering if anyone handles defensive casting differently in their campaign.

  2. #2
    With touch spells, it is not necessary to cast when you are in a threatened area. The best way to cast a touch spell is out of threatened range, "hold the charge", then move in to make a touch attack. This attack does not provoke an attack of opportunity, because the caster is considered "armed" with the spell.

    With the concentration rule, I do like it, because the magic user can cast a spell in a bind if they have nowhere to go. (Perhaps they are surrounded.) The mechanic of make your check or lose the spell reflects this to maintain some form of balance, otherwise you have magic users in the front lines casting spells while dodging monsters swiping at them with their claws.

    This goes back to strategy. Your players playing a magic casting wizard should not be in the front lines, no matter what. They have a d4 for hitpoints! If the attacker manages to hit, its really going to be painful, no matter what level the wizard is. Think of the Wizard/Sorcerer as an archer. They are good at a distance, but useless when it comes to hand to hand combat.

    For clerics, same rule applies if they want to cast spells. The priest casting an inflict spell could be away from the fray, letting the fighters do the dirty work, cast his inflict spell, hold the charge, then walk right up to the enemy and give them a real surprise.

    I hope this helps you out. Your problem is not really in the rules, it is more in the strategy of playing.

    Cheers,

    Sandeman
    Ultimate Licence holder

    I've had FG for so LONG I DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE IT!

    But I'm learning!

  3. #3
    This goes back to strategy. Your players playing a magic casting wizard should not be in the front lines, no matter what. They have a d4 for hitpoints! If the attacker manages to hit, its really going to be painful, no matter what level the wizard is. Think of the Wizard/Sorcerer as an archer. They are good at a distance, but useless when it comes to hand to hand combat.
    Many spells are touch spell so the caster has to move up into the monster's reach in order to complete the spell. I don't think it's really possible for a wizard to stay out of close combat an entire battle unless they memorize only non touch spells.

    I also just do not like the way touch spells cause an attack of opportunity. I think it just draws out combat. Because, like i said a person could step, cast, step touch and avoid the attack of opportunity completely. Playing games in FG can get really drawn out during battle sequences. That's why I try to trim down combat a bit while sticking to the D&D rules as much as possible. Would it break combat to have a house rule that states "Touch spells do not provoke an attack of opportunity"?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States
    Posts
    359
    Going by the rule book, touch spells should always provoke an AOO. The touch is made with a hand presumably, so in essence it is an unarmed attack. Unless the caster has Improved Unarmed Combat feat, which negates the AOO. The AOO rules don't make a lot of sense, but so it is with most of D&D's combat rules. The best thing you can do is adjust them to fit the demands of the campaign and be prepared to modify your changes if it appears the balance has shifted dramatically. If you have more than one spell caster in your group of PCs and the enemy are going to have spell casters then the rule will effect both groups equally so there's no foreseeable reason it would throw the game out of wack. Besides, there's no harm in my book in tipping the scales a little in favor of the heroes. Afterall it is them against the rest of tyranny.
    FG II Full license holder.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago-ish
    Posts
    2,234
    Quote Originally Posted by ghedrain
    I have some questions for the community about how they handle certain instances of combat in regards to the rules in the Player's Handbook 3.5e.

    I came across some interesting stuff that appears quite silly to me in the rules. We all know that we can do two things in one combat round. One is a move and the other is a combat action, it doesn't matter if we move first or second. As part of the move action a person can take a 5 foot step which does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
    This is not quite true. You can move OR take a 5 foot step, not both. And the 'move' is a move equivilent action so you don't actually have to move around.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghedrain
    Any spell cast from a threatened square does provoke an attack of opportunity unless it:
    1. Is a quickened spell
    2. It is a cast defensively.

    This becomes a big problem with casters in regards to touch spells. Consequently a caster may take a 5 foot step away from the monster and then cast the touch spell. (1 round) On the next turn or anytime before another touch spell is cast the caster may take a 5 foot step forward to the moster and then touch them to activate the spell. The act of touching counts as a melee combat action and therefore does not count as an attack of opportunity. (can verify this on p. 140 and 141 of the player's handbook)
    Note that you get a touch attack as part of the casting of the touch spell. So if you start away from the target you can cast, move, touch. (I just looked though the SRD real quick and don't see the rule for this. I know I've seen it though.)

    Quote Originally Posted by ghedrain
    Wouldn't it make sense to just set a rule to make all touch spells not cause an attack of opportunity? I think this would simplify combat a bit and speed things up. In this case the cast could count as the combat action and the touch could count as the move action. So no other movement would occur during this round.
    Hmmm, no I don't think so. There are two things happining. The casting and the touching. The casting is what causes the AOO. The touch attack does not.

    Doing as you say would make touch attacks to powerfull. Touch ac's are already very low. Now you would be letting mages cast them with no hinderances. So if a fighter is standing next to a mage that mage could cast a vampirac touch with no AOO and then try to touch that 10 AC fighter. If I was that fighter I'd be a bit upset that I couldn't do anything about it. At least with the AOO I could try to hit him and distrupt his spell.

    Though any mage will be trying to cast Defensively to avoid the whole issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghedrain
    The next issue I have is with the way defensive casting works. Instead of a bonus to AC while casting defensively the rules actually say that the player makes a concentration check while defensively casting however they do not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the check fails the spell is lost. (p. 140)

    I have to say I don't much care for this rule and I'm wondering if anyone handles defensive casting differently in their campaign.
    I agree that this is not a very good rule. Its not the only one... tumble is another. Make a skill check and avoid the AOO.

    I know one DM that just chucked the whole Def Casting thing. Every mage in his game maxed out the Concintration skill and soon was at the point that they could cast Def with no problems. Since every mage did this, he just said every mage does it and took it out of his game.

    Right now I'm leaving it as is. I think any changes you make to this you should think about making the same sort of changes to Tumble.

    rv

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago-ish
    Posts
    2,234
    Trying to touch someone with a magical touch attack does NOT cause AOO!

    Per SRD:
    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.

  7. #7
    This is not quite true. You can move OR take a 5 foot step, not both. And the 'move' is a move equivilent action so you don't actually have to move around.


    I think we're trying to say the same exact thing. It's move or 5 foot step. I guess I didn't make myself very clear on that.

    Hmmm, no I don't think so. There are two things happining. The casting and the touching. The casting is what causes the AOO. The touch attack does not.

    Doing as you say would make touch attacks to powerfull. Touch ac's are already very low. Now you would be letting mages cast them with no hinderances. So if a fighter is standing next to a mage that mage could cast a vampirac touch with no AOO and then try to touch that 10 AC fighter. If I was that fighter I'd be a bit upset that I couldn't do anything about it. At least with the AOO I could try to hit him and distrupt his spell.
    If you pull out a copy of the Player's Handbook and read pages 140 and 141 here is what it says regarding 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 the target. You may take you move before casting the spell, after touchting the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You could automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.
    Touch Attacks: Since you need only touch your enemy, you make a touch attack instead of a regular attack. Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The touch spell provides you with credible threat that the defender is obliged to take into account just as if it were a weapon. However, the act of casting a spell does provoke an attack of opportunity, so you may want to cas tthe spell and then move to the target............"

    There is more in the book regarding holding the charge and such but I'm not going to repeat it.

    So, in essence a wizard that is in a threatened square could take a 5 foot step, cast (1 round) take a 5 foot step and touch (2nd round). This method allows them to completely avoid provoking an attack of opportunity and doesn't require any concentration checks or defensive casting.

  8. #8
    I think we posted at the same time

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago-ish
    Posts
    2,234
    Quote Originally Posted by ghedrain
    So, in essence a wizard that is in a threatened square could take a 5 foot step, cast (1 round) take a 5 foot step and touch (2nd round). This method allows them to completely avoid provoking an attack of opportunity and doesn't require any concentration checks or defensive casting.
    But you are assuming the person he is threatened by does nothing between those two rounds.

    If he takes a 5 foot step back and casts to avoid an aoo, the person he is avoiding can take a 5 foot step up and get a Full Attack off. For a mid-high level fighter this can be multi-swings.

    I guess what he could do though is move back more then 5 feet in one round. Cast touch spell the next and then move up and try to touch. In this case if the person he is avoiding moves up they would only get one attack off at him.

    I don't think this is such a bad thing. It makes the mages move around and gives the person's he is fighting a chance to try and trap him in a corner or something. It stops the mages from casting one spell every round too as they move to save their hide from sharp pointy objects!

    rv

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago-ish
    Posts
    2,234
    Quote Originally Posted by ghedrain
    I think we posted at the same time
    We should cordinate our posts better.

    rv

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Log in