A spell’s range indicates how far from the caster it can reach—the maximum distance from the caster that the spell’s effect can occur, as well as the maximum distance at which the caster can designate the spell’s point of origin. If any portion of the spell’s area would extend beyond the range, that area is wasted.
A spell’s range usually falls into one of the following categories.
Personal: The spell affects only the caster.
Touch: The caster must touch a creature or object to affect it. To use a touch spell, the caster casts the spell and then touches the subject, either in the same round or any time later. In the same round that the character casts the spell, he or she may also touch (or attempt to touch) the target. The caster may take his or her move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. A character can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on his or herself, but to touch an opponent, the character must succeed on an attack.
Touch Attacks: Since the character only needs to touch the enemy, he or she makes a touch attack instead of a regular attack. Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity when it is discharged on an armed opponent. However, the act of casting a spell does provoke attacks of opportunity.
Touch attacks come in two types: melee touch attacks (for touches made with the character’s hand) and ranged touch attacks (for touches made with projectile and ray effects). The caster can score critical hits with either type of attack. The opponent’s Defense against a touch attack does not include any equipment bonus or natural armor bonus. The opponent’s size modifier and Dexterity modifier both apply normally.
Holding the Charge: The caster does not have to touch the target immediately after casting a touch spell. Instead, he or she can “hold the charge,” waiting to discharge the spell at a later time. If the character touches anything with his or her hand while holding a charge, the spell discharges. Otherwise, the character can make touch attacks round after round, until he or she succeeds (and thus discharge the spell). A character can touch one friend (or his or herself) as an attack action, or up to six friends as a full-round action. If the character casts another spell, the touch spell dissipates.
Close: The spell reaches up to 25 feet away from the caster. The maximum range increases by 5 feet for every two full spellcasting class levels.
Medium: The spell reaches up to 100 feet + 10 feet per class level.
Long: The spell reaches up to 400 feet + 40 feet per class level.
Range Expressed in Feet: Some spells have no standard range category, just a range expressed in a unit of measurement (usually feet).