[RPG] What happens when you roll a 1 on a spell touch attack


I rolled a 1 on a spell touch attack. Game is Pathfinder. I am a cleric (Divine magic). What happens?

Best Answer

You miss the target, but the spell does not discharge yet.

In Pathfinder, if you attack and the number on the d20 is a 1, then you fail the attack roll. Your spell touch attack roll is considered to be an attack roll. According to the combat rules:

Automatic Misses and Hits

A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on an attack roll is always a miss. A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit. A natural 20 is also a threat—a possible critical hit (see the attack action).

Whenever a creature attacks, regardless of a their attack bonus (the number that they add to the d20 roll), there is always a 5% chance of rolling a natural 1 and the attack missing anyway.

However, touch spells (i.e., the spell's target is "Touch") are special. First you 1. cast the spell, then you 2. hold the "charge" in your hand, and then 3. roll to touch your target with this charge. If you successfully touch the target, then the spell discharges and its effects happen. But if you fail to hit, and don't touch anything, then the charge for the spell is still in your hand. Unlike other spells, such as ranged attack spells, your touch spell has not discharged yet.

Holding the Charge: If you don’t discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round.

In other words, your cleric continues to hold the spell charge, until you touch something else or cast another spell. If you are still holding the charge during the next time you can attack, then you can make another touch attack roll to touch the charge to your target.