[RPG] Does the feat Point-Blank Shot and similar feats affect ranged touch attack spells


The confusion with Point-Blank Shot for me comes from this line;

You get a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at ranges of up to 30 feet.

Also, Precise Shot has a similar line that makes me question it;

You can shoot or throw ranged weapons at an opponent engaged in melee without taking the standard –4 penalty on your attack roll.

All emphasis mine.

I can't determine if that means that only ranged weapons get the bonuses or all ranged attacks.

Would a ranged touch attack get the bonus on attack rolls from either of these feats and similar other ones? What about the bonus damage from Point-Blank Shot?

Best Answer

Yes, ranged attacks from spells are typically considered to be "weapon-like". This is definitely true of rays (and almost all ranged touch attack spells are rays) since from the rules:

You aim a ray as if using a ranged weapon

The rules further clarify that rays function as weapons for several other purposes, and the FAQ makes this very explicit:

Do rays count as weapons for the purpose of spells and effects that affect weapons?

Yes [...] rays are treated as weapons, whether they're from spells, a monster ability, a class ability, or some other source

The same rule applies to weapon-like spells such as flame blade, mage's sword, and spiritual weapon--effects that affect weapons work on these spells.

Most ranged touch attacks which aren't rays are things like acid splash -- spells where you actually throw or aim a physical object. Those are even more "weapon-like" than rays, so it's probably simplest to say all ranged touch attacks work like this.

There's another FAQ that indicates you can take "Weapon Focus (ray)" and the like; strictly speaking I guess those wouldn't apply to orb spells like acid splash.

This is all following the precedent set by 3.5; in Complete Arcane it specifies that rays and touch attack spells are "weapon-like" and thus interact with feats in the same way that other weapons do, with a split between ranged/melee type spells.

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