Point Blank Shot

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Just to make things clear, Ethan has ruled that Point Blank Shot DOES HELP with Ranged Touch Attacks, as well as Thrown Weapons and basically anything that is ranged and takes an attack roll. Note: This means that PBS does NOT help with Magic Missile, which requires no attack roll. Handily enough, Magic Missile explicitly says specific body parts cannot be targeted, which implies the spell gives you no control over HOW it hits, so this actually makes some sense. Note also that Splash Weapons use a Ranged Touch attack and therefore get the PBS bonus on the attack roll and direct damage. The Splash damage, however, does not get increased damage from PBS.

Email conversation for reference

  • Dylan: does PBS help with Ranged Touch Attacks (PBS states ‘ranged weapons’ which would seem to mean ‘no’, but then again things like ‘weapon focus’ CAN be taken with Rays, which blurs the line between weapon and non-weapon. I mean, there is that spell that CREATES a weapon, I think the deity’s favored weapon. If this was a bow, surely PBS would apply?)
  • Ethan: possibly, actually. It’s ranged, and it’s an attack. I would say that PBS helps on ranged touch attacks if it helps with thrown attacks.
  • Dylan: see, the problem with that is that, for example, it would help you out with Ray of Frost, but NOT Magic Missile. Or should Magic Missile get the +1 damage because it IS a “ranged touch attack”, just one that cannot miss? Then again, it DOES specifically say you cannot target specific parts of the body with it.
  • Ethan: Well, if “attack” is defined as “anything that requires an attack roll”, then that actually does make some sense. Hmm… gah, so confusing! I’m still leaning towards “yes” on that, though.
  • Dylan: The exact wording of PBS:
    You get a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at ranges of up to 30 feet.
    It specifies “weapon”, but then as noted that is a blurry line.
  • Ethan: For game purposes, I’m likely to define “weapon” as “anything to which a feat such as Weapon Focus can be applied”. Otherwise it just gets too confusing, when you consider all the various things that seem sorta like a manufactured weapon, but not quite.
  • Dylan: K. So, yes for ranged touch, no for Magic Missile, then?
  • Ethan: Yeah. It’s really the only convenient, workable definition. Especially when you consider things like magically conjured weapons, the Soulknife and Pyrokineticist psionic classes, natural weapons, rays…
  • Dylan: Ooooh, another tough one: Splash weapons. They actually USE a ranged touch attack (!), and while it DOES make sense to get the +1 to HIT, the +1 damage is VERY IFFY (unless it would only apply to the direct target?)
  • Ethan: Splash damage is unaffected by PBS – it just makes no sense (the direct damage can still be buffed, though).

Point Blank Shot

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