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Thread: Ranged Touch Attacks

  1. #1
    Ed Zachary Guest
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    Ranged Touch Attacks

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    I don't believe that the rules on RTAs are very good, and I'd like to know what others think regarding them.

    A Wizard (Lev 15, Dex 11) wants to fire a magic ray at a Fighter. The Wizard's attack (BAB=7) is 7+d20.

    The Fighter (Platemail+5, Dex-16, NA=2) has an AC of 27.

    The only way the Wizard can hit is to role a natural 20.

    Does anyone else think that RTAs are underpowered?

    Legitimately spell casters (Wizards & Sorcerers) should have a BAB(poor) for melee and ranged combat. It is not what they do. They are spell casters, not fighters. But it appears logical to me that a spell caster should have a BAB(good) for casting ray-type spells.

    If the Wizard had a BAB(good)=15, his attack would be 15+d20, and could hit on a 12. To me, that sounds more equitable.

    Farcaster - Your characters are about this level, is the scenario I presented representative of the characters in your game? Have you or any of the players encountered this problem?

  2. #2
    ronpyatt's Avatar
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    I thought armor was ignored for touch attacks. In your example, this would mean an AC of 22.
    However, I think your point is well made. Hitting things should be a skill not a BAB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronpyatt View Post
    Hitting things should be a skill not a BAB.
    Agreed, although I think everything should be a skill.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

  4. #4
    Ed Zachary Guest
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronpyatt View Post
    I thought armor was ignored for touch attacks. In your example, this would mean an AC of 22. However, I think your point is well made. Hitting things should be a skill not a BAB.
    Good point... I didn't take the armor into account.

    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    Agreed, although I think everything should be a skill.
    At its core, BAB is a mandatory class skill, limited by level.

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    OK, the fighter in question here has a AC of 13 against ranged attacks- the +3 from his dex.

    take weapon focus (ray) to up your ranged spell attack bonus & plug some points into dex

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    Quote Originally Posted by RealmsDM View Post
    OK, the fighter in question here has a AC of 13 against ranged attacks- the +3 from his dex.

    take weapon focus (ray) to up your ranged spell attack bonus & plug some points into dex
    Actually, the fighter in your example is wearing plate and the dex bonus is limited to +1 as a result, unless it is special magical plate or something. So, his touch AC is 11. Which your wizard would hit 80% of the time. That seems fair to me.
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  7. #7
    Ed Zachary Guest
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealmsDM View Post
    OK, the fighter in question here has a AC of 13 against ranged attacks- the +3 from his dex. Take weapon focus (ray) to up your ranged spell attack bonus & plug some points into dex
    The above situation was hypothetical, but based on an actual complaint by the Yuan-Ti Sorceress in our campaign (see Prestige Class thread). She did get a +2 racial bonus on Dex, but her bonus still wasn't good enough to consistently hit what she wanted to.

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    seems like you have to explain to your player that the drawback of ranged touch attack spells is that you gotta roll to hit. If not, they'd all be 9th level killer spells

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    Bah, sounds like a cry-baby wizard to me. I mean come on, fire ball, ice storm, disintegration, wail of the banshee, and other spells ad infinitum that will wipe the floor of any warrior. Now the wizard wants some auto hit point and shoot range touch spells.
    I say bah.


  10. #10
    Ed Zachary Guest
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moritz View Post
    Bah, sounds like a cry-baby wizard to me. I mean come on, fire ball, ice storm, disintegration, wail of the banshee, and other spells ad infinitum that will wipe the floor of any warrior. Now the wizard wants some auto hit point and shoot range touch spells. I say bah.
    Sorceress, not Wizard.

    Perhaps you Are accustomed to playing higher level games where experience and magic items come easy, but my 20+ year experience is mostly the opposite.

    And for fun, I'd like to challenge any overconfident Wizard with my Fighter, assuming levels, abilities and items are in the ballpark of similarity.

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    Nah, I'm just rezzin ya.

    I like lower level games myself. Anything 20+ chaffs my hide because of the immense power running around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Zachary View Post
    And for fun, I'd like to challenge any overconfident Wizard with my Fighter, assuming levels, abilities and items are in the ballpark of similarity.
    The success of either combatant in the above challenge will depend quite a bit on the circumstances of the actual encounter. If the warrior is in melee range or can get into melee range in a round or two, then he should beat the wizard, but if the wizard can keep the warrior at range, then the wizard should prevail.
    Skunk
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  13. #13
    Ed Zachary Guest
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    And for fun, I'd like to challenge any overconfident Wizard with my Fighter, assuming levels, abilities and items are in the ballpark of similarity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skunkape View Post
    The success of either combatant in the above challenge will depend quite a bit on the circumstances of the actual encounter. If the warrior is in melee range or can get into melee range in a round or two, then he should beat the wizard, but if the wizard can keep the warrior at range, then the wizard should prevail.
    If a skilled and well equipped Fighter can get within 10 feet of the Wizard or Sorcerer, then the battle shouldn't last more than a round or two.

    Combatants of all classes need to be mindful of the following:

    1) You can't hit what you don't know is there. Both detection and the ability to remain hidden are critical.

    2) You can't hit what you can't catch or get in range of. Speed and mobility are important.

    3) Once you get your shot to kill or immobilize, make it count with overwhelming power.

    4) You will likely be hit by some energy, weapon or spell while adventuring. You must have a wide range of protections to be able to take it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moritz View Post
    Bah, sounds like a cry-baby wizard to me. I mean come on, fire ball, ice storm, disintegration, wail of the banshee, and other spells ad infinitum that will wipe the floor of any warrior. Now the wizard wants some auto hit point and shoot range touch spells.
    I say bah.

    they already made that class.... they called it a warlock...

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    oh yeah, i feel sorry for warlocks

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