Arcane Channeling Question

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Does anyone have any idea of the actual mechanics of casting a touch spell through Arcane Channeling?

"You can use a standard action to cast any touch spell you know and deliver the spell through your weapon with a melee attack.  Casting a spell in this manner does not provoke attacks of opportunity .  The spell must have a casting time of 1 standard action or less.  If the melee attack is successful, the attack deals damage normally; then the effect is resolved."  (From PHB II p20)

I have always played it as one fluid movement, i.e. requiring the verbal component but regarding the sword movement as part of the somatic component.  (Surely both the strike and the spell take place within the same standard action, as it wouldn't make sense to need two standard actions to complete this combination)

The issue I have is a player that readied an action against a spell being cast.  I described that the NPC struck with the sword, delivering the damage.  Player said that was OK but only later realised that much of the damage was from the spell and said that his readied action would have stopped the spell being cast.
Any advice on this?

twiggyleaf  Cool

"There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world." Gandalf the Grey

When a caster uses a touch spell, then he gets a "free" touch out of it.  This is all included in the action of casting the spell.  In the case of Arcane Channeling, this is true of a weapon's attack.  The standard action required to cast the spell allows for a single attack from the blade.  Of course, this is a standard melee attack, and not a touch attack.

If the player readied an action against an attack, then they would have the right to perform that action prior to the actual attack (interrupting the process).  If they readied an action against a spell, then they'd have the right to interrupt the spell. 

The melee action in the arcane channeling is part of the spell's action, but not part of the spell itself (as it doesn't need to be used that round).  If the player did prepare against the attack, the attack would still happen, but only after you resolved the player's action.  If the attack could still happen after that, then the damage would still have happened.  If the attack would have been invalid due to...say a move action, or a teleport, then the damage wouldn't have happened at all (but the spell would still be channeled).

If, on the other hand, the player was readied against a spell, then whatever that action was could have invoked a concentration check, possibily preventing the spell but not the melee attack.
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Thanks.  I commend you (both you and Wizards in general) on both the speed and quality of your replies.   Smile twigs

"There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world." Gandalf the Grey

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