Rays and Ranged Touch Attacks
To start according to 3.5 rules this is how a Ray is defined, and mechanically works.
Ray (Su or Sp)
This form of special attack works like a ranged attack. Hitting with a ray attack requires a successful ranged touch attack roll, ignoring armor, natural armor, and shield and using the creature’s ranged attack bonus. Ray attacks have no range increment. A ray’s attack roll never takes a range penalty. The creature’s descriptive text specifies the maximum range, effects, and any applicable saving throw. Rays never allow a Reflex saving throw, but if a character’s Dexterity bonus to AC is high, it might be hard to hit her with the ray in the first place.
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.
Ranged touch: d20 + base attack bonus + dex modifier vs touch ac
Melee touch: same but with strength instead of dex
(Interestingly enough, ‘Ray’ can be a form of specialization in ranged weapons, so feat bonuses can apply in your ranged touch attacks)
As I understand it: ‘Ray’ is a term meant to explain a category of spells, and ‘Ranged Touch’ is a term mean to explain a kind of dice roll. However all rays required a ranged touch roll to hit, which was causing a bit of confusion.
A ‘Ray’ can be a caster weapon specialization as well:
Weapon Focus [General]
Choose one type of weapon. You can also choose unarmed strike or grapple (or ray, if you are a spellcaster) as your weapon for purposes of this feat.
Proficiency with selected weapon, base attack bonus +1.
You gain a +1 bonus on all attack rolls you make using the selected weapon.
You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.
A fighter may select Weapon Focus as one of his fighter bonus feats. He must have Weapon Focus with a weapon to gain the Weapon Specialization feat for that weapon.
owever all rays required a ranged touch roll to hit, which was causing a bit of confusion.
I was not questioning that a ray had a to hit.
What I was bringing up was specific to our version of harm/heal and subsequently anything like it in the future. As I assume you will ~
rape my ass with some other spell~ use a spell with similar modifications in the future.
2e heal heals 100% of HP.
2e harm deals all but 1d4 of HP
The Forgotten Mess edition of Heal caps at 500HP and apparently, you guys played harm similarly. But to my recollection, Sazerac (or Ethos) never really used it back in our games prior to 2008’s game stop.
My ruling last game was that going forward we would continue to play heal as 500HP max as we have been, but harm would have a tweak to the rule.
Harm: Deals up to 500HP damage. If the target has less than equal to 250 HP, no save, they die. If that target has from 251 to 500 HP, they must make a fortitude save. On a successful save they will be left with 1d4 HP, if they save is failed they take the full 500. A creature with more than 500 HP also gets a save, but a success merely reduces the 500 by 1d4 (ie maxed harm less 1d4).
Things got confusing because it seemed like I was giving a ray (ranged touch attack) a save, which is normally not a thing. My point of this ruling is that the harm itself has no save. Just whether they take 500 or get left with 1d4 is what the save is about. This is a change to the spell itself, not the delivery mechanism. No matter how a harm is applied, this will be the way it goes into effect.
A few more things about Eye Rays, and Beholders
Eye Rays are Supernatural (Su) which means:
Supernatural Abilities (Su)
Supernatural abilities are magical and go away in an antimagic field but are not subject to spell resistance, counterspells, or to being dispelled by dispel magic. Using a supernatural ability is a standard action unless noted otherwise. Supernatural abilities may have a use limit or be usable at will, just like spell-like abilities. However, supernatural abilities do not provoke attacks of opportunity and never require Concentration checks. Unless otherwise noted, a supernatural ability has an effective caster
[3.5 Monster Manual; page 25]
Additionally, i don’t think i realized this, or completely had forgotten but; each of the beholder’s small eyes can produce a magical ray once per round as a free action. During a single round, a beholder can aim only three eye rays at targets in any one 90-degree arc (up, forward, backward, left, right, or down). The remaining eyes must aim at targets in other arcs, or not at all. A Beholder can tilt and pan its body each round to change which rays it can bring to bear in any given arc.