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Volnagur the End-Singer

Anguish's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber. 1,896 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I agree with William. There isn't a RAW method aside from maybe a Heal check, which you're not going to do in combat to your foes.

I basically "leak" maybe three stages of health to my players. "You've barely scratched him", "you're getting there but he's not on the brink", and "he can't take much more of this". I don't think any more granularity is a good idea.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

To summarize the findings so far...

1} The Fly skill does NOT have anything to do with flight as long as you stay at or above half your fly speed.

2} Because of #1, your Dexterity being reduced to 0 does NOT impede your flight in any way.

3} Your Strength score being reduced to 0 reduces your ability to carry items to a total weight of nil, PLUS your armor (up to and including heavy armor).

4} Bearing heavy armor reduces your fly speed to 40 while using fly, so flying at 20ft per move action leaves you able to apply #1 and #2.

5} Your Strength score being reduced to 0 does NOT render you unconscious, due to the general ability damage rules.

6} Directing flight via fly does NOT have any ongoing physical movement requirements described.

Sounds like RAW you can fly as you wish when paralyzed, as long as you are utterly naked except for armor, which can weigh as much as 75 pounds in the case of stoneplate. Just don't carry a dagger with you, or you're unable to lift off.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
seebs wrote:
A character who has a strength of 0 is unconscious. However, a character with an effective strength of 0 might not be. And the description for paralyzed does specifically allow mental actions.

I dunno. Differentiation without a difference, I think.

The point behind an "effective" Strength score of 0 isn't to ignore the ramifications of having Strength 0, it's that you DO have the ramifications without the fact. Let me explain that mealy-mouthed sentence.

If your Strength score was "actually" 0, you need something like restoration to correct that. Removal of the condition imposing the Strength score wouldn't repair the damage/drain, because there's documentation on how repair to ability scores are managed.

With an "effective" Strength score of 0, you are impacted by all of the results without the actuality.

Said a different way, your Strength score isn't actually 0, you just pretend it is.

So yeah, unconscious. And understand I want people to be able to fly while paralyzed. This ruling isn't one I like AT ALL. But it is clear.

Also, in my original finding of this, I documented how we've arrived at this state. When you follow the 3.5e to PFRPG evolution of the text, it's pretty obvious what happened. Jason made a change to a root system and missed a dependent system a couple layers down. It's easy to do when working with such a complex referential system as PFRPG.

Even if you don't like that explanation and can't reconcile the contradiction, there still technically isn't one. You can still make Will saves against effects that don't call for willing targets, which would be a purely mental action. (You count as willing when unconscious if a spell demands that, but you're not forced to voluntarily fail a save if the spell does not.) That's just another example of purely mental actions you can still take while unconscious, on top of dreaming.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
WRoy wrote:
Sorry, that wasn't the clearest... I was trying to point out two things at once and they got jumbled together. PRD states a character with a Strength score of 0 is too weak to move in any way, which the fly spell says nothing about superceding. Secondly, a creature with Str 0 has an effective max load of 0, so it could not carry anything aloft with fly.


WRoy just won the thread.

I'm not kidding. I was just reading this and decided to look for those three key words: "in any way", just to see if (s)he was being... creative. Not important, but WRoy was quoting what written but didn't complete the quote.

I present... THE ANSWER:

"A character with a Strength score of 0 is too weak to move in any way and is unconscious."

And. Is. Unconscious.

Sorry, no purely mental actions allowed; you're unconscious.

It's an oversight in the conversion from 3.5e to Pathfinder. In 3.5e, the details for Strength 0 were: "A character with Strength 0 falls to the ground and is helpless." That didn't include unconscious, so the paralyzed condition made sense as written: "A paralyzed character is frozen in place and unable to move or act. A paralyzed character has effective Dexterity and Strength scores of 0 and is helpless, but can take purely mental actions. A winged creature flying in the air at the time that it becomes paralyzed cannot flap its wings and falls. A paralyzed swimmer can’t swim and may drown. A creature can move through a space occupied by a paralyzed creature—ally or not. Each square occupied by a paralyzed creature, however, counts as 2 squares."

So there we have it. Since Jason rewrote what happens when your Strength drops to 0, he negated a portion of the paralyzed condition, which moots the entire discussion. The text that permits purely mental actions should be stricken from the rules as it cannot possibly apply, with the possible exception of any rare creature that cannot be made unconscious.

Can you fly while paralyzed? No.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Bonus fun find reading RAW literally and ignoring idiom...

"The creature is rooted to the spot, frozen and helpless."


So now you're a statue made of ice. Ice has 3 hp per inch of thickness. I'm 9" thick. So I'd have 27 hit points and hardness 0.

At low level that's good. At high level, that's one hit from destroyed.

Let's remember that next time we're playing paralysis using the literal interpretation devoid of context. No coup de grace required... just a hit.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Remy Balster wrote:

A paralyzed character has effective Dexterity and Strength scores of 0 and is helpless, but can take purely mental actions.

Strength of 0 has a carrying capacity of 0.

He is automatically overloaded, and cannot move.

Since when does a person's own weight count towards encumbrance?

Fly has carry capacity limits based on Str.

"You generally need only make a Fly check when you are attempting a complex maneuver."

So hey, we can just ignore the Fly skill entirely for purposes of this discussion as long as we don't try anything complicated. Yay!

The subject of a fly spell can charge but not run, and it cannot carry aloft more weight than its maximum load, plus any armor it wears.

Yup, got that. And while it might be reasonable to declare "you're not absolutely nude so you can't fly", it might also not be. Remember, it's dealing with what you carry. It's a model for "I grab Frank's unconscious body and fly away with it." You know, things you carry in your arms. While yeah, there's a literalist interpretation of this sentence, we both know that it's about preventing a flying mage from saying he wants to "pick up the castle", not about a DM saying "you know Bob, your wizard's been sewing those sequins on his robes... those are heavy so you can't fly anymore."

Additionally, Fly skill is Dex based. Your effective Dex is 0. You cannot use this skill while paralyzed.

Actually, - not that you need to use Fly to fly - citation required. The abilities section in Core discusses what happens when various abilities hit zero, but I couldn't find anything that says what you just said.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

You don't need to make Fly checks as long as you stay at half your fly speed or above. So do.

If you must hover, well, you have a Dex of 0 so suffer a -5 penalty to Fly checks. Given fly gives you perfect maneuverability, you get a +8 bonus to Fly checks. Core does NOT say you can't use Dex skills while at 0 Dexterity. So your Fly DC 15 check works out to needing to roll a 12, assuming you have no ranks or other bonuses to Fly. 60/40.

But again, paralyzed sets your Dex to 0, and Core says "A character with a Dexterity score of 0 is incapable of moving and is effectively immobile (but not unconscious)."

So, effectively immobile. Not actually immobile. Good thing you've got a spell up and running that addresses that.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
aegrisomnia wrote:

^ In my posts, I basically suggest all of the stuff you dismiss:

1. Being paralyzed means you don't breathe. Breathing requires movement, and you can't do that.
2. Being paralyzed means you are immobilized; it says so (or at least heavily implies it) in the PRD, to the point of being almost unambiguously RAW.
3. Being paralyzed means you cannot be moved; it is heavily implied in the PRD, to the point of being almost unambiguously RAW.
4. Being paralyzed means you cannot cause to be moved; this one requires a little straining, but who's to say that "move" is meant in the intransitive sense in the rules? "I can't move" almost always means that you can't move yourself, but there's nothing preventing it from meaning that you are unable to move (other stuff).

My justification: a boring and straightforward interpretation of what is admittedly a pretty ambiguous description of the condition which is apparently at odds with what we mean by "paralysis" IRL. Please let me know if you'd like more of the in-depth analysis, but how paralysis interacts with telepathy in general (especially when applied to the self) is interesting and not clearly defined in the rules, as far as I can tell.

That's all an unacceptable (to me) reading of the RAW. I get it that the English language in general and Pathfinder in particular reuses words in multiple contexts. Synonyms, yeah?

To read that extensively into "cannot move" dictating immediate fatality... why then did the developers bother writing remove paralysis?

They did so because their understanding of "cannot move" does not contain an inability to breathe, or an inability to pump blood, or that the victim of paralysis is (if lucky) left behind by Golarion's orbital motion or (if unlucky) forced through the surface of the ground at 107,200 kilometers per hour (assuming Golarion's rotation around its sun is equivalent to Earth's around ours).

No. The developers thought "hey, paralysis is like a person who's got upper spinal damage, only it gets their face too". And they wrote their language using words that were clear to them. They even included some bonus text about being allowed to take purely mental actions, which you kinda sorta can't do if you're suffocating while having a heart attack in orbit. Oh, and the electrons in your brain stopped because y'know, they're a part of you and you can't move 'em.

In fact, yeah, if the electrons can't orbit their protons, technically the entire state of matter that your body was composed of ceases being what it was, with completely unique properties.

Or is it more likely "cannot move" was intended to have an implied "voluntarily" and "your muscles"? Like say... a paralyzed person.

See, under general anesthesia, I "can't move", which fits both the rules and the description of "paralysis". I find it a really weird stretch to - having found a reading that makes sense - assume Pathfinder instead implies a bunch of other immediately fatal side-effects.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Alexandros Satorum wrote:
it also say you can not move. Flying is movement.

In some terms. For instance for purposes of provoking attacks of opportunity, using a fly speed is movement. But in terms of a creature who is paralyzed? That's kind of a stretch.

Let's imagine - and I know I'm extrapolating - that the paralyzed condition said "you cannot move your body parts". That would be utterly and completely in line with what we real-world folk know of as paralysis, yes? And it wouldn't conflict with brutally obvious real-world realities such as... oh... let's say...

can a paralyzed creature still breathe?

That's right. I went there.

Nothing about paralysis says that your lungs stop working. And yet... your chest is moving.


Oh. That's right. We all get it. We all know what paralysis means, and what the condition clearly confers. You lose voluntary control over your muscles. That's it. That's all. That is the result of paralysis, in the real world and in the game world. Why? Because it doesn't even imply that a paralyzed creature starts to suffocate.

Bonus fun: your heart doesn't stop when you're paralyzed.

So. Now that we've washed away the interpretation that says a paralyzed creature becomes unable to "move" in the sense of "be relocated in part or in whole", what are we left with that conflicts with the idea that a magic fly spell can be mentally directed to lift, swoop, and generally cavort in the air?

I don't mean to play the "it's magic" card but:
a} IT IS and
b} there is no b.
By being magic, it is nonphysical. The source of flight motion isn't physical.

Purely mental simply means lacking-physicality. This qualifies.*

*UNLESS you've got a GM who has elected to make their flying casters flap their arms, in which case the (always-to-be-encouraged) world-building supersedes the actual rules.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
What is walking? It's movement. If you're paralyzed you can't do ANY form of movement, you're essentially shut down from any voluntary physical action. If you're hit with paralysis while flying, you immediately assume the aerodynamic characteristics of a brick, whether you're using wings, or magical flight.

Walking requires a creature to cause their limbs to move, relative to one another. And you know it. A paralyzed creature is not immobile or immovable. They are simply unable to cause their body (parts) to move.

A paralyzed creature could cast a silent dimension door, which would have no somatic (movement) components and no verbal (lip movement) components. Because they did not move their body, they have not violated the restrictions of the paralyzed condition. And yet... lo and behold... said caster somehow becomes located at a different place. They have... MOVED.

Is this not entirely sensible? The creature did not move themselves... the magic of the dimension door spell performed the movement. Same as commanding an unseen servant to tip you over or wiggling your fingers (assuming you had a telepathic link with such).

The fly spell imparts a mode of flight which is not dependent on physical motion. No flapping of the arms. You just magically... fly.

So do.

Normal creatures have no ability to move while paralyzed, which is why the condition is written the way it is. But given the entire world is rotating, it's pretty darned obvious the condition does not confer a lack of ability for one afflicted to move.

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Mazra wrote:

To reiterate a theme, there are far more players than DMs. DMs will buy a case or two; or cherry pick the monsters in the aftermarket. Players will buy NPCs in the aftermarket. And the coolest miniatures rise to the top. That is why the iconics are selling at high prices in the aftermarket. The demand for these are the greatest.

The Dungeons and Dragons miniatures (DDM) line was very successful through very many sets. But in addition to appealing to players of the RPG, they created a separate game that used the miniatures. All miniatures whether monsters or NPC types were needed by all players. Power pieces from this "skirmish" game were in high demand during its heyday. This "skirmish" game created an additional demand.

When the economy tanked in 2008, Wizards of the Coast cut cost and discontinued the miniatures game. In their own words, the miniatures game only represented one third of the sales. ONLY!!! I don't know too many businesses that can survive losing one third of their business. Where is the DDM line today?

Overall the Pathfinder Battles line has done well without an added miniatures game associated with it. How much better could it do if it had one? It seems to me that Wizkids has a certain knack for creating miniature based games. Maybe they can't come up with something without using a clix base. Just a thought.

It's really hard to say. There are only so many dollars worth of discretionary "fun spending" available in the average household. Introducing a new minis game wouldn't (in my case) net any additional profit because I'm already spending as much as I can/will with Paizo and 3PP. I suspect many others are in similar situations, where their spending capacity is reached. While I'm sure there would be some increased spending, there'd also be a lot of redistributed spending, and the effort of maintaining and producing yet another product might not be worth whatever increase there was.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Given the site is hosted on Apache, odds are good. What you need to know is that evidently a well-designed attack from the outside could read arbitrary data in memory on the web server. The most obvious use of that would be to capture Paizo's private key for their SSL certificate. That could enable a man-in-the-middle attack, but such a thing would in turn require a DNS hijacking, which isn't trivial. Unless such a thing happens, that's not an earth-shattering problem. The second possible exploit would be to capture personal information as it's entered, such as say... credit card info while you're entering it. If Paizo has designed things well, the stored credit card information will be on a separate server designed to do the actual transactions, meaning that unless you're updating/changing CC info you should be safe.

I don't expect Paizo to say much about this. Revealing anything about your internal server structure is... unwise. But the bottom line is that the risk to you is probably minimal. A lot of the problem with OpenSSL is what could be done. It's unclear what site(s) are poorly designed enough that the flaw actually matters for them.

As far as I know, OpenSSL has already been patched, in which case Gary and the gang may have already updated their server cluster. I'm just trying to give you a generic answer that applies here, and elsewhere, until a more specific one is available.

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Caulibor thrust his arm forward into the swirling orange disc, grasping to clutch at the fleeing faithful-of-Orcus.

"Wait! What are you..." the streetwise ex-thief Shanil spurted, moments too late. "...doing?"

The priest, seeing the cultist out of his reach turned to his friend, oblivious to the gravity of the situation and innocently answered her, "I was trying to catch that guy. Why?"

"Caulibor, that's some kind of... I dunno... inter-dimensional rift. It's like a big nostril to Hell or Heck or the Elemental Plane of Dog Farts or something. Somewhere really bad, where Orcus is lounging around, scratching his demon-junk and eating crunchy baby-skulls while his loser worshipers try to drag him off the couch and onto Absolom."

Ever trying to impress the young lady, Caulibor feigned a casual demeanor while repressing a sense of panic. He replied, "it's not so bad. I can feel my fingers. I'm wiggling them, I think. Maybe... maybe I'll PUNCH Orcus in the nose."

"For you", he added mentally.

This gave Alavontez - the Quasit party member with a wizard familiar - the dry heaves. Telepathy wasn't always a good thing, and the twisted creature had landed on the cleric's shoulder to get a better view of the carnage to come.

"You're totally screwed, man. You're going to pull that out, and there's going to be a pony stuck on the end of your wrist. Seriously, this is bad. The last time I saw this happen, the guy yanked his arm out really fast and instead of his hand coming out, it sucked the bones out of his whole arm out, into some other world. I mean, you just don't realize how agonizingly horrifically painful it's going to be when you pull your wrist out and discover that it was plugging a hole and a zillion beetles come crawling out all over you and start eating you. I mean, it hurts like heck, yeah, but then you'll scream and they crawl in your mouth and eat your tongue and lungs and stuff. Totally, totally screwed. I wanna watch."

Sweat started pouring down Caulibor's brow, leaving clean rivers amongst the trail-grime otherwise covering him. He bravely grinned to Shanil, nonchalantly pointing with his (free) hand at the demon. "Pessimist", he concluded.

Shanil approached warily and started studying the gaping wound between worlds that appeared to be eating her companion. Drawing upon her supply of tools and gadgets that never seemed to be used twice, she probed at the rift, trying to learn what could be divined. Two amputated iron rods later, she concluded her efforts and gave Caulibor the news.

"I don't think the thing with the pony on the end of your arm will happen."

"What should I do", whined the trapped cleric, then added in a more manly tone, "I mean, what should I do?"

"Well, Teknom and Billithong are going to want help fighting those guys sooner rather than later, so... I think you're going to have to just pull out and hope for the best."

"Yesssssss", whispered the quasit, not really caring if anyone noticed.

"Who's Billithong again", asked Caulibor, obviously trying to delay the inevitable.

"Keep up, he's Alavontez' pet wizard. The elf? With the big staff? Casts magic missile at the darkness all day long?"

"Wait, he casts spells at the darkness, during the day?"

"Yeah, I don't understand it either, and neither does Teknom, but he's just a plainsman and I'm a simple city girl, so how are we supposed to understand super-brainy wizardry stuff? Now are you going to tug your arm out of that hole or what?"

"Yesssssss", begged Alavontez.

"This wizard is the guy with the robes with the stars on them? Carries a book the size of Teknom's greataxe? Mumbles loudly to himself every morning RIGHT BESIDE ME while I'm trying to pray? The one who keeps using shocking grasp and asks me to pull his finger? The guy who replaced all my 'property of Caulibor' labels on my clothes with explosive runes? That guy?"

"Yeah. I'm pretty sure it's all the Quasit's idea though. Wait! You just said something really important!"

The cleric, grasping at hope gazed into Shanil's eyes, then inevitably became distracted by their aquamarine hue and said nothing in return.

"Pullllllll!", the Quasit insisted.

"Shush, you. Caulibor just said something. Now what was it? Ah, yes. I think it was something about 'property of Caulibor' labels on his clothes. So lame. So very, very lame."

Caulbor was shaken to his core by this, the latest expression of scorn, and dropped his gaze in shame. He moved to hide his face behind his hands, unwilling to let Shanil see his reddening skin.

"Ooooooh, does it hurt?", Alavontez asked, genuinely concerned.

"What?", the despondent cleric asked? He then realized that he had unthinkingly withdrawn his arm from the turbulent tangerine gateway. Where his wrist once ended in a hand complete with useful fingers and a thumb, only a cauterized stump remained. Panic struck and Caulibor screamed, "no!"

"That's too bad," the Quasit concluded, considering his question answered.

Caulibor backed away from the portal in horror, clutching at his maimed appendage, wishing to his god to allow him to wake from this nightmare moment unharmed.

"My hand. My hand is gone", he sobbed, for a moment forgetting his campaign to impress Shanil.

"Well, I wouldn't say gone, really Caulibor. And for the record, that is SO COOL!"

"Wait, what?"

"Your hand. Look. It's right here, floating in the air. It popped out of that rift right as you backed up and sat down to cry. Wiggle the fingers some more because that's SO COOL!"

"Boring," Alavontez disagreed, then flapped off to find someone more deserving of his scorn.

Fighting off shock, the cleric shot an insulting finger-gesture at the receding demon... with his detached, floating, disembodied hand.

"So cool," Shanil reiterated, quietly in awe.

Cauliborn thought to himself, "maybe, just maybe this doesn't totally suck."

My suggestion:

The cleric can now direct his hand anywhere within 15 feet of him that he can see and there is line-of-effect to. He can deliver touch spells via the floating hand as usual. The hand can carry objects much like mage hand but is not limited to non-magical items. This is a supernatural ability and moving the hand requires a swift action. The hand cannot be used to assist in wielding a two-handed weapon or any other action that requires being attached to his arm, but it can carry a shield if doing so is within its weight limit. Each night (but not simply in darkness), there is a 5% chance that the hand absents itself from the cleric's presence and control, while it goes elsewhere to engage in the Prince of Chaos' tasks. Whenever it returns on a morning after such a jaunt, there are disturbing signs of foul play or misdeeds, ranging from it being crusted in dried blood to each finger wearing an expensive gem to it carrying an important document (like perhaps a "send help fast, we're under siege" letter it has intercepted).

"Did you just pat my ass", Shanil demanded?

Cauliborn blinked, enigmatically, and shrugged.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

This guy has nothing going for him, person-wise, because he's really not a person.

Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6

Sure, low Intelligence. Dogs can't count, can't talk, and can't understand complicated gestures. Your guy might be able to understand a very small vocabulary (I'd do something like pick 20 words and that's it).

But look at the Wisdom... dogs don't know what fire is but they understand it's hot. They understand things that things that smell bad will make them sick if they eat it. They understand that crapping on the carpet will make Master angry. They're... clever. Your guy is none of that. No common sense. He's not going to understand cause-and-effect. He's not going to understand why people don't like him, or why they are doing the things they do, or why they are angry when he won't flank, or help pull them up from over a cliff, or any of the other things a dog would be clever enough to just... understand.

Then the Charisma. Six. 'Cuz while (some) dogs are cute, they don't inspire anyone to follow them. They're pets at best, and food at worst. They're good for pulling sleds, and aren't allowed to make decisions.

So your guy... is deeply stupid, deeply incapable of understanding the consequences of his stupidity, and has a deep lack of redeeming personality qualities.

Your guy isn't a person. He's a monster stat block and those that he encounters are going to treat him that way.

Not to poop on your parade, but I think you've got (way) too far. The lovable moron is memorable. The clever idiot is memorable. The knowledgeable introvert is memorable. I'd (strongly) recommend picking one of the mental stats and fixing it. Give him ONE redeeming quality that isn't "AM MONSTER". Make him a deeply flawed person.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I've got it. The issue - really - is that we need more. We need a selection so that we can find things that fit reasonably into ongoing campaigns. One, two, or even a half-dozen aren't quite enough to choose from. For instance, there isn't a chance I could adapt CM into my Tsar campaign. What we're looking for is a shelf more evenly distributed into the high end so we can treat it as a resource.

Oh, and evidently the answer to the thread's question is Owen K.C. Stephens. <Grin>

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I hear you Jason, and I'm glad you didn't take my... mental wandering badly.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Yes. More yes. All the yes you can eat. I have great hopes over this announcement.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
lastgrasp wrote:
All three books seem cool, but dropping $150 is a bit rich for my taste. Plus being nickeled & dimed on the PDFs doesn't help. I am looking forward to a big book of monsters. Good luck guys!

I think this is kind of a big part of my reaction to this Kickstarter. I get it what's going on... LG is trying to produce a menu of options that we can choose from, but the end result is I feel like it's a death-by-a-thousand-cuts to the wallet.

The principle "three related books" concept is probably the heart of the trouble for me. I'm spoiled by - for instance - Frog God Kickstarters where it's "one huge book". I'll dump $100 or $200 to get a five, six, or seven hundred page book. Okay. Fine.

Here I'm looking at smaller numbers but more of them, than all add up to more. Want a book? Want another book? Want another book? Want the PDFs? Want shipping? Want shipping to Canada? It's just... a menu of choices but feels awkward.

So I dunno. It's weird, leaving me with a weird feeling where my emotions and intellect aren't in sync. Free PDFs as a perk for book-buyers have long been a common trait with Kickstarters. "Yes, you can buy the cheap PDF-only product, but we'd like you to buy the more expensive dead trees, so let's sweeten the pot and give you the PDF free." Instead LG is making it an additional for-profit layer. Feels... weird for a Kickstarter.

So hey. I don't expect a change. It's too late for a change. It's too late for three separate KS campaigns. I'm just giving feedback why I'm not jumping on this with the enthusiasm I have other projects. Maybe that's of some use to someone, maybe not.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I can't prove it but I suspect the RAW answer is "yes". Improvised weapons seem to be treated as weapons. There's nothing saying that they're treated categorically uniquely except for the penalty to your attack roll. There's actually nothing even suggesting special treatment beyond that penalty. So RAW... yes.

That said, I can't say I like that.

If you're running a bar fight, it seems entirely reasonable to let a participant pick up a bar stool and attack with it. It seems entirely reasonable to let them make an AoO if someone tries casting a spell nearby. It's basically a badly balanced two-handed club. Here, the RAW seems to work.

If someone's sundered your dagger, it seems entirely reasonable to let you bang the hilt on your attacker's head. Not unlike brass knuckles, this is a reasonably weaponized non-weapon. It may or may not be reasonable to let you make AoO with this... it's kind of a short-range improvised weapon that might not be practical. Dunno. Probably RAW allowing threatening with this is okay, but there might be circumstances a DM would be reasonable to not want to allow it.

If a player asks to butt someone over the head with their crossbow, it seems like a reasonable request. I'll avoid discussion over "are weapons allowed to be improvised" for obvious reasons and just assume we're allowing it for this thread. On the other hand, it also seems reasonable to only allow this as an "active" attack, where the PC is explicitly shifting their grip around and handling the crossbow in a very different fashion from the way it's intended. It seems... odd... to allow on-the-fly transition from ranged to melee uses of a crossbow. Thus - to me - it seems reasonable to tell someone they don't threaten with a crossbow improvised as a club... unless they want to forgo the ability to make ranged attacks for a while. So in this case I'd think RAW feels inadequate and wrong.

The RAW say what they say... "yes". I don't like it universally and personally would be happily house-ruling specific scenarios contrary to RAW.

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RDM42 wrote:
Anguish wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
Anguish wrote:

Let's try this to stir up the "do whatever you want at -4" crowd...

Why the heck would that be a bad thing? Martial Characters already have extremely limited options, especially at higher levels. The -4 is a significant penalty to perform a perfectly reasonable action that already comes at the penalty of not being able to use any weapon-related feats or enchantments.

You can already take a -4 to do non-lethal damage with a lethal weapon, or vice versa. You can already take a -4 to deal damage with a pencil. That's pretty darn close to "whatever you want at a -4." Why is this the limit of possibility?

What in the world would allowing this action in your game do to it that would be so terrible?

I'm not saying it's terrible. It's just not what the rules say.

I'm on the record as saying I prefer the rules to say what they do, but that this is a reasonable area to house-rule on.

And what the rules do is ... Not say.

You forgot to finish your post with "anything relevant except that reach weapons aren't valid to attack adjacent targets." The rules do say that, inconvenient to your viewpoint as it is.

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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:

I have to say, this post made me gleeful. I had never until this moment realized that I could destroy the entire game by having the audacity to imagine differently than you think I should. I will now make it my mission to pollute the game by "playing wrong" and invalidating the developers life's work.

*eye roll*

Here's a thought - maybe, just maybe, they actually would look at a thread like this and think "Huh, I really wish some of these players would stop taking this so seriously, and realize that the rules were intended to be a starting point for fun, not as a set of textual weapons to be used as a way to police which nerds are having wrongbadfun."

Again, I'm not trying to tell you how to play your game. If you are uncomfortable with something, then by all means don't allow it. Just don't pretend anyone should give a hoot about anyone else's preferences for how to have fun.

Oh, and again, allowing things that aren't expressly permitted in the rules STILL doesn't mean "There are no rules at all", nor does choosing not to apply rules if I feel the situation doesn't warrant them. So, you know, kindly stop making that slippery slope argument.

That's where you've arrived? "Yeah, the rules say that but don't take it so seriously"? The question was "what do the rules say?" That's what's being discussed, and deflection into questions of how seriously any of us are taking things is... deflection. I must be wrong if I'm taking it too seriously, right?

I'm every bit as amused as you are, actually. I'm most definitely enjoying a 30+ page thread that asks "what is the page number for page 183" where some people are saying it's not-183. Very amusing. Doesn't stop me from pointing out the page number is kind of printed on the page. Repeatedly.

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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Also, using LEGO as an analogy to explain permissive/non-permissive rules sets doesn't make sense. LEGO doesn't have rules.

You're wasting your time, really. For me it all broke down when cannot became can in some folks' minds. Doesn't matter how many analogies or real-world allusions are made... everything and everything that suggests this thing is allowed - by the rules - is contrary to those rules.

Let's try this to stir up the "do whatever you want at -4" crowd...

No means no.

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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:

In honor of the fact that it's Tuesday, and I'm currently eating tacos, let's put this in the context of Legos.

I conceptualize this thread like this:

One school of thought is that "Playing with Legos" means looking at the instructions and building, as precisely as possible, the exact thing the designers intended. This is the school of thought that says "If it's not in the rules, you can't do it". A sub-school of this line of thought goes so far as to assert that in the case where the instruction manual is unclear (Say, a misprint or whatever), that we can (and indeed MUST) discover the intent of the designers in order to play Legos correctly.

The other school of thought is that "Playing with Legos" means looking at the instructions as a starting point, but relishes being free to add or modify the plan as desired. This school believes that where the instructions are unclear, you are allowed to do whichever assembly you like more. My specific advocacy goes further - I think if the makers of Lego were to come in and say "Sure, there's a misprint, but we always intended it to be in spot X", that still doesn't mean I'm playing with Legos "wrong" by putting the block in spot Y.

Tone disclosure: the following is 100% intended to be in good-humour, deliberately accompanied with a solid WOOSH as your post otherwise goes over my head.

Dude, I can't take you seriously when you can't even get it right that the plural of LEGO is LEGO. Or more precisely LEGO® bricks. So seriously, if you got THAT wrong, what else in your post is wrong? Credibility is everything, man.

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jhofack wrote:
It's not so much the roll for roll idea im preaching, it simply seems some people get to caught up in making the "perfect character" just make a character and role with it for better or worse

Just a touch of perspective... maybe useful, maybe not.

Your first character, it doesn't matter what the stats say. You have no clue how the system works and can't tell if a feat is a good choice or a bad choice. Exotic Weapon Proficiency so you can get some random weapon that has stats barely different from a Martial weapon? Sure. Skill Focus in some Profession(whatever) just because your "guy" is a (whatever)? Sure.

Then he gets killed.

And your next one does too. And the next one.

Finally you wake up, realizing you've spent a decade (or more) playing this game, and you're about to stat up your fifty-third character. You've done the evoker, you've done the two-handed Power-Attacking barbarian. You've done the orc-hating elf ranger with BlahBlah Shot, YaddaYadda Shot, ZippyDoodle Shot and YetAnotherShotFeat Shot. You're slipping into a coma and no roleplay in the universe is going to keep you awake at the table.

Then you get an idea. What about a freak-race freak-class freak-feats freak-equipment build? Something DIFFERENT? Something that new. Something that can absolutely be done but requires you to really reach for every little trick to make it actually not suck. You maximize, because you're not doing the basic "best" build.

Second point: after a few characters are under your belt, you may also get tired of putting a bunch of roleplay effort into a complex living, breathing PERSON who get snuffed because you dumped Con in order to have some nice roleplay-friendly Wis to boost your Sense Motive. ("My 'guy' is really, really hard to lie to. Oh. And a wizard. But mostly hard to lie to.") Maybe you recognize that a build that isn't... silly... is a good idea to make your efforts worthwhile.

Just some thoughts. Not right, not wrong, but mine.

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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:

Right, so, tell me again how you are not arguing from a place of "This is my personal opinion about how the rules are intended to work, but I'm going to pretend that it's an absolute objective statement about what the rules actually say". I don't care how persuasive you think your subjective vision of the rules and their intent is - none of that is actual RAW. I don't share your beliefs about the rules nor your interpretation of the intent of the improvised weapons rule, so why am I wrong to say that your interpretation is not the only correct one RAW?

Beyond that, why is it impossible that the RAW simply don't provide a concrete answer here? Why is it impossible to admit that the RAW don't clearly take a stance here, and just shrug and say "whatever you do is fine?" This is the core dishonesty I'm talking about - you can't say you don't care about establishing a norm, and then turn right around and say "but it's clear that this is how the rules are supposed to be played, and if you don't play it that way, you are violating RAW/violating the clear RAI/making a house rule/diminishing the elegance of the rules/unbalancing the game/wrongbadfun." If you really don't care about the ability of "official" clarifications to shape other people's game, then simply concede that the rules are unclear, and that any way people play it is fine. You don't have to concede that your interpretation is "wrong", just that it's...

In a word, conviction. I believe I exist. I even extend you the same courtesy. While you may elect to put that into the same category of validity as belief in the Easter Bunny, that's your business. I'm not going to get into metaphysics with you.

Use of my unwillingness to adopt linguistic hubris to the point of saying "I know" in this context as some sort of evidence that I'm spouting mere opinion is a reach. Pun intended.

We don't buy these RULEBOOKS to ignore them. We buy them to use them. To obey them, excepting where our personal preferences disagree, then we ignore the rules we don't like and houserule. Our houserules don't invalidate the accuracy or validity of what is actually printed. I've never been in any way evasive or dishonest that I see the rules as they are printed as what they are... the printed rules we're supposed to follow. It's you that's trying to assign dishonesty to my motivations.

If you don't follow the rules, that's not WRONG. It's just not what the rules say. Simple.

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Karl Hammarhand wrote:

So if you picked up a long pole and somebody adjacent to you decided to beat the heck out of you, you could clobber him with it. If it has a sharp point you have to stand there counting your teeth while he kicks them out of your head? Is this what we are saying?

Sorry, but why is this even a question? The question should be, "how much does it hurt when I hit you with this 10# piece of ash wood?"

No, actually. If someone next to me started beating me up, I'd drop the absurd 10ft pole and start fighting back with my fists, knees, feet and forehead as best I could.

Let's try and deal with the "realism" argument for a brief moment. I suspect some have a vision of longspear in the head which is more like "broomstick".


Really? You're going to attack an adjacent target with those in any meaningful way? Really?

The rules say you can't, and not without reason. To argue that these things stop being impractically long just because you're "improvising" is missing the point. You're not going to get any rotational impact out of them, you're not going to get any impact from "bashing" with the area between your hands. These aren't even brass knuckles. They're... impractical to use as improvised weapons.

The answer to your question "how much does it hurt when I hit you with this 10# piece of ash wood?" is: "not at all."

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BigDTBone wrote:

Anguish, I've been meaning to ask you if you believe that it is rules legal to hit someone on the head with the pommel of your sword using the improvised weapon rules?

You seem to be hung up on the "reach" issue. Is that not an issue for you with other weapons?

It's a judgement call but yeah, I'd probably allow it. I don't think the RAW - defined as what's printed - allow it, but it seems reasonable to me.

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Oenar, the Winter wrote:
Anguish wrote:

Y'know what? Improvise a Huge warhammer. -4 to the attack and you just... ignore the rule about weapons sizes because you're not using it that way.

When you use an improvised weapon you compare it to the table to find size and damage potential. The size of a huge warhammer is a huge one-handed weapon, thus you need to be large to use it (as a two-handed weapon at a -2 penalty)

Thank you for demonstrating the point. You're picking and choosing when you feel like obeying the rules. When it's a longspear you're perfectly willing to discard the rule that says you can't attack nearby targets, despite that the improvised longspear is a longspear.

Now, I get it... you're talking about whacking someone with the side of the spear instead of jabbing them with the point. Got it. So... basically zero damage because the thing is so unwieldy and what little mass it has is spread out over 10 feet. Not quite the broomstick people are imagining.

So yeah, if you want to recognize that a Huge warhammer isn't practical to improvise, the same logic should apply to a stupid-long stick called "longspear".

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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
There is also no printed rule that denies it. The "cannot" you refer to will NEVER APPLY because I'm not attacking with that weapon, in the way those rules are referencing. Your only defense against this, again and again, has been to repeat some variation on the line above. That is NOT a RAW argument. That is an argument that the RAW should be read as permissive, which, again, doesn't have to be the case.

Y'know what? Improvise a Huge warhammer. -4 to the attack and you just... ignore the rule about weapons sizes because you're not using it that way.

Nah, you wouldn't do that because that's not a rule you want to ignore, despite it's being printed.

There's a rule. You found a loophole. I disagree that the loophole is valid.

Second, I didn't say you were having wrongbadfun. I said you were playing a different game than I am, and seeking to regulate MY game by establishing YOUR opinion on the game as the "official" rules, which I am then free to house rule if I feel I must.

Just to let you know... I haven't marked this as a FAQ. I chose that deliberately because I don't see the rules as written being anything less than clear. So honestly I don't see my position as based on opinion.

I will repeat this again - you can officially and correctly play the game EITHER WAY. What I object to is NOT how you are playing it, but that you insist that we can/should/must elevate one of any number of equally valid options as "official" for what appears to be no benefit whatsoever. If it truly doesn't matter how anyone rules this in a home game, then why even waste Paizo's time demanding and "official" ruling. Why not just accept that any ruling is fine and official, and leave it be?

This is me, pointing at my last paragraph. I suppose I didn't actually say that anywhere. I too view this as a waste of Paizo's time. The PDT has better things to do than this. I prefer the rules to say what they say (the thing with "cannot"), but I remain willing to accept that a DM can and should bend the RAW from time to time, even on this specific, precise topic. I remain willing to point out that I myself would accept an argument from a player to permit such an action. I've spoken about how I would house-rule this. But none of that changes my view of what the rules say. For me it's not about what should be, but what is. Simply because that was the way this thread was framed.

The problem, of course, is that if you were honest with yourself and us for even a moment, you would acknowledge that the real motivation behind this thread is not idle curiosity, it's not a neutral quest to "know the rules", it's an attempt to use the perceived authority of the "official" rules forum to elevate as "Normal" a mode of play that is no more worthwhile than any other, merely because the playstyle aligns with your preferences. I'm sorry if calling you out on that is "discourteous", but I think the act of claiming to not want to regulate anyone else's game while clearly seeking to regulate their game is, at best, dishonest.

Interesting. And yet I haven't FAQ'd this thread. See, I don't care what's normal. I don't care what anyone else is doing at their table. I don't even much care what the RAW is with regards to my table.

What I do care about is that what the rules say are an elegant design. They're a foundation that offers a better baseline to work from than if they said something else. I'm saying that the rule denying adjacent attacks provides a more rich complexity that a DM can work with than a rule that say "you can just do whatever... -4 and call it a day."

At my table, would I allow a crossbow to be used to beat someone up with? Yeah, sure. You don't threaten with it for purposes of flanking or AoO, but I'll let you hit someone in the head, and they might even get an AoO on you like using an unarmed strike, but you can do it. Oh. Strapped a knife on your crossbow? Hmmm, that's interesting. Sounds like an improvised bayonet. Clever. Now your ranged weapon is part melee weapon. Yeah, okay, how about we treat it as an improvised weapon until and unless you get a weaponsmith to go over this contraption of yours and make it reliable? Use a 10 foot pole to actually hurt someone? Mmmm. Dunno. I'll have to think about that one in particular. The pole's not terribly thick... dunno.

See, those questions, those thoughts, those improvisations, those exceptions, all arise from the cannot of various weapon rules. The rules - as they were written - offer that, for me, and for you, to pick up or put down at will. The moment the rules actually say "you can use a weapon in an improvised fashion", as James phrased it, is the moment decision-making is taken away and the answer to any weapon-related question becomes "-4". Sort of... bland.

So yeah, I prefer the rules to (continue to) SAY what they DO say. Does not reflect what I allow or disallow at my table.

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The Crusader wrote:

Can you voluntarily be non-proficient with a weapon for which you have proficiency?

Do the rules strictly prohibit using a weapon as an improvised weapon?

Does an improvised weapon have weapon properties?

Is it a longspear?


Is a longspear a reach weapon?

Is there a rule that prohibits reach weapons from being used to attack adjacent targets?

Can I use a longspear as an improvised bludgeoning weapon to attack a creature adjacent to me?
No. Longspears are longspears which are longspears that aren't not-longspears that have a longspearishness about their longspearitude such that they exhibit a degree of longspear unsurpassed by any other item and embody all that is longspear, and therefore have the reach property and can't attack adjacent targets.

This game has a specific rule that covers this case. Looking for edge-condition escape-clauses isn't productive.

Now. If you can make the longspear ACTUALLY not a longspear, say by cutting a few feet off, then you have a case. But as long as the longspear remains a longspear, the rules that apply to that weapon... apply to that weapon.

I reiterate... druids aren't allowed to wear metal armor, but the argument that a suit of full plate is to be considered an organization of protons and electrons is a} technically correct yet b} completely missing the point that the druidic prohibition was deliberately put in place and your trying to bypass it is breaking a rule.

It's a question of degree, clearly. But by using an absurd extreme example it sheds brilliant white light on the simple fact that saying "yes you can" to an act that starts with "no you can't" in the rules is by definition not following the rules.

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Y'know, there's no point in my saying anything on-topic at the moment but something interesting occurred to me...

967 posts and nobody got needlessly insulting. No moderators were required to step in and delete swaths of posts. No jerk reminders. Nothing but civilized disagreement.

So hey, folks... good going... though I do think about half of you are awesome-heads. <Grin>

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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Right. I stand by that. I'm not attacking with a longspear. If I wanted to use the longspear as a longspear, I would use the longspear rules.

Are you attacking? Is the item you are attacking with a longspear? Yes and yes.

It isn't important what you want to use a longspear as. It's a longspear. If you want to use a longspear as something that isn't a longspear, the rules are - in theory - okay with that... as long as you don't violate existing rules. Want to use a longspear to try to trigger a trap from 10ft away? The rules don't say you can't do that, so go ahead. Want to use a longspear as part of a travois to drag a body back to town? The rules don't say you can't do that, so go ahead. Want to use a longspear as X so you can Y? As long as X isn't "not a longspear" and Y isn't "attack an adjacent target", I think you're probably almost universally in the green.

It's just that pesky little line you're crossing. The one that says you can't bloody do that particular X and Y combination.

I don't want to use the longspear rules, though. I want to use the rules for using a manufactured weapon as an improvised weapon.

Of course you don't. The longspear rules don't fit real life. Got it. But it's a longspear. Please see... rules regarding longspears.

Shoot, there ARE no such rules! I guess I'll have to make a ruling, because RAW is silent on the issue.

Right. There you go. There's a rule that says you can't attack adjacent targets with a reach weapon, but you want to use rules that literally don't exist in order to OVERRIDE the rule that says you're not allowed to do it.

You know what? This is a fun game. Let's play it.

My wizard doesn't need 8 hours of sleep to recover spell slots anymore. He closes his eyes and says "18 pages" under his breath and... poof. He gets his spells back. Why? Because I'm using the monster advancement rules to apply a CR+0 template that lets him do that. There's no rule saying I can't, and I WANT TO, and the rules about wizards and recovering spells after rest don't apply to my wizard because he's an ADVANCED WIZARD, so I just... do. Quad Erat Demonstrandem.

Yippee. Making things up is fun.

They don't say I can, and they don't say I can't. Do you accept that this is true?

The Easter Bunny lets you ignore printed rules in a discussion about printed rules, yes.

Wrong. The question I'm addressing is not "Can I attack an adjacent target with a longspear?" It's "Can I use a longspear as an improvised weapon, and if so, how?" You are interpreting it one way, because you feel like that paraphrase will make your argument stronger. In other words, you are engaging in the exact same semantic sleight-of-hand I am. You know why we both get to do that? I'll give you a hint - it involves the mutability of language, and your inability to objectively prove your interpretation is "right".

Here's your answer: you can - in theory - use a longspear as an improvised weapon in any way that does not violate existing rules. How's that? That's accepting James Jacob's opinion on the matter while simultaneously reconciling that the rules that actually appear in the book elect to use an immutable word, "cannot" to describe the conditions under which reach weapons can be used to attack adjacent targets.

Any interpretation of the language such that cannot becomes a permissive term is... not one I can support.

I'll make this easy - I interpret "Attacking with a longspear" and "attacking with an improvised weapon that is also coincidentally a longspear" as two totally different actions, with totally different rules sets. Until you can prove otherwise, then no, the longspear rules don't matter.

Sure, they are two totally different actions. Both of which are entitled to be used, assuming you don't say... do something the rules don't let you do.

You know what's awesome about this precedent your group is trying desperately set? It breaks a bunch of rules, not just the reach rule. I've mentioned it in passing, but there's this nice rule about not threatening with ranged weapons. It's a design choice the developers of 3e made to allow a rock-paper-scissors style give & take game. Different weapons have different advantages and disadvantages. Well, if we just improvise our crossbow into a club or our bow into a staff, we can just ignore that pesky rule. Sure, it's (more) realistic. Granted, wholeheartedly and unreservedly. But you just blew an interesting trade-off out the window. You turned a -infinity penalty into a -4. Kind of a huge difference there. Realism that diminishes the game.

No, I say. Leave the rules what they are... interesting. Rich. Complex. Leave it up to the DM to decide when and where to suspend rules to suit a cinematic moment. Leave it to the DM to listen to the player's - engaged and interested - pitch as to why their character should perhaps be allowed to violate the rules. Listen to the other players help make a compelling argument instead of watching YouTube cat videos because it's not their turn. Let it be that the lowest common denominator isn't "you can do whatever you want" because that leaves us tossing the Core out the door.

Get it? Do you see why I'm passionate about this? I don't play diceless systems. I don't play all-in-your-head systems. I don't play systems where the answer to "where is the orc" is "on the other side of the room... why?" which engenders the question "well, can I get to him in a move?" I play a system with a battlemat and minis and RULES so I can play with the rules and revel in interesting and brilliant combats. I play a game system where sometimes crushing defeat is brought on because my PC's move speed left him 5ft short of victory. Or the bad guy's.

I roleplay the heck out of the system and I do my damnedest as a DM to engage my players with vibrant and interesting NPCs so they are immersed in a story. I play both sides of the game. By choice. By design.

Don't screw with the rules, diminishing them. You lessen the majesty.

it's not up to me to prove that you CAN do something, it's up to you to prove that you cannot

I'm spent. Eloquence exhausted. Friend, I did that. Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, was purchased at a duck store, floats like a duck, identifies witches like a duck... when there's a rule that says "ducks can't be eaten", it's disingenuous to come asking to eat some breast-of-mallard.

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RDM42 wrote:
Except you can only reach that point by being pedantic beyond reason about what an object that wasn't intended for use as a weapon - such as the haft of a spear - is and isn't.

I'm being pedantic? Yes strangely I'm not the one pointing out that - in a game without any such terms - a longspear is not a longspear, it's a collection of subcomponents.

I reiterate for the nth time, where n is a silly number... this isn't about what I believe or what I would allow my players to do at my table. This remains about what the rules say, and those rules are abundantly clear that - as written - a longspear cannot be used to attack adjacent squares.

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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Yeah, but the longspear rules aren't relevant at all, because I'm not attacking with a longspear...

I'm going to stop you right there.

Read it. You wrote it.

"I'm not attacking with a longspear."

You were asked if you can attack adjacent targets with a longspear. You are answering that question by not attacking with a longspear.

Oh. Wait. You are attacking with a longspear, aren't you. You're just not calling it that. Clever. Only thing is you know and I know what it is. It's a longspear. Right? I mean... it's got to be a longspear or else you wouldn't be here in this thread about longspears. Talking about not-longspears here would be kind of off-topic, I'd think.

Too bad longspear rules are relevant to longspears.

When it comes to RAW discussions, that's what you can draw on for your arguments; rules as they are written. You don't get to argue that a druid can wear full plate because it's not metal... it's a collection of electrons and protons, just like lettuce.

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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
And if the word "cannot" appeared in the relevant text for improvised weapons, that would be one thing. It doesn't, however, which is why I suspect you added the last bit, which is just another way of saying you think the rules should be treated as permissive. That's a fine way for you to look at the rules. Totally valid and worthwhile. For you. At your table, feel free to rule this way. Do it gleefully. You are free to do so because A) the rules don't say one way or the other explicitly and B) even if they did, the rules also tell you that RAW do not need to be considered a strictly binding contract, so you are free to adjust them as needs be for your game.

No. Cannot appears in the rules for reach weapons, of which one longspear specifically is. Specifically.

I added the last paragraph to temper my delivery so as to not appear to be a jerk. My contention remains solely that the specific rules that apply to the longspear explain to you how they work, which is to say... not against adjacent targets.

The rules say you cannot. A few people are inserting a bunch of iffy conjectures and arriving at can, from that starting principle.

Let's put it another way. There's a PFS table.

Player: "I want to hit the guy beside me with my longspear."
DM: "Um, longspears are reach weapons and the rule says they can't do that. Sorry."
Player: "Um, wait... I'm going to... improvise my spear and use it that way!"
DM: "Um, points for being clever, but the rules for improvised weapons say that some items NOT designed as weapons can be used with these rules. Sorry."
Player: "Grrr. I really want to do this. James Jacobs says you can improvise with actual weapons and not only that, but they lose the reach property too! I ATTACK the guy beside me with my longsp-sorry, with the shaft of my longspear! Haha!"
DM: "Sigh. I'm still sorry. That's not what the rules say, and while I'd love to reward your... tenacity... at this table I have to run what the rules say, and those rules start off explicitly making it clear you aren't allowed to do that with that weapon."

You see? It starts off with a very simple rule that is specific. Then it turns into someone trying to game the system. Then it turns into someone trying to justify gaming the system.

What I rule at my table isn't being discussed. What the rules say is. Now. Maybe Paizo will elect to reword things in a FAQ such that this becomes permitted. Maybe they won't. But until this gets such a rule change, the rule is still a clear no.

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It's funny. 18 pages and it's clear what the vocal majority want the rules to say. James even agrees with them - sort of - though it's not obvious to me he though of the ramifications of his inclusion of "reach" on the list of properties lost when improvising.

And yet, the rules still say what they say.

18 pages of talking about things that aren't the rules didn't change cannot into can. 18 pages of justifying an interpretation you want which is different from what the rules say. 18 pages of stuff like arguing a weapon isn't a weapon, it's a bunch of atoms. 18 pages of picking on Malachi because he wouldn't let his pet topic go. 18 pages of arguing black is white.

In this game, specific rules override general rules, and since the reach property tells you you're not allowed to make adjacent attacks, that's much more specific than the general improvised weapons rules. The ones that are for non-weapons in the first place.

It's a stretch, and it's always been a stretch. Logical or not, flavorful or not, the rules have spoken and the answer remains sealed with the single word cannot.

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Have I mentioned "cannot" recently?

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Dr Grecko wrote:

Player: "I use the back end of my spear to get the governors attention"

DM: "I'm sorry, you can only use the pointy end, and you've just now stabbed the governor"

Was there an attack roll? Did you deal damage?

Yeah, not the same thing, is it?

If you want to use a longspear as a paperweight, well, the rules are absolutely silent on how that might work. So a DM gets to judge if what the player is asking for makes sense. Since the player is asking to hold down a sheet of parchment with a spear, most DMs would allow it. If it were on a table in the hold of a ship at sea during a heaving storm, most DMs wouldn't allow it since the spear would likely just roll off.

But that's not what's being discussed, is it? Right. The topic is about using a weapon as a weapon, not as a non-weapon. And there are all these neat rules about how weapons work as weapons. There are rules that - for balance and richness' sake - spell out neat things like damage types (slashing, bludgeoning) and properties (trip, reach).

The designers chose to write these rules so they could make things interesting. It's mostly a reasonable simulation of reality, but it's far from perfect. Hence the simulationist vs gameist divide, which is absolutely what this thread is about.

Q:Why can't you use a longsword's butt to deal bludgeoning?
A:Because the designers of the game want you to experience situations where some weapons don't work, and made DR/bludgeoning to simulate that.

When you start taking a rule that's realistically designed to answer the question "what happens when my player asks about picking up a fallen tree limb and bashing at the zombie?", and applying it as some sort of work-around to get out of the whole point behind having damage types in the first place, you reduce the designed richness of the system.

Yes, it's more realistic. Sure. Good. Great. But it's losing a layer of design.

Don't believe me? The zombie has DR 500/bludgeoning. Your longsword will never do anything to it. Oh, but you use the butt and suddenly you're inflicting almost normal damage on the zombie (sure, the die size is reduced, but all your Strength modifiers and whatnot still come into play).

By taking a -4, you just... ignore the monster's defenses. Lame.

There's richness in having three damage types. There's richness in having reach versus non-reach weapons, where there's a give & take that you need to think about at the table. There's a fun game in there, if you don't go looking for loopholes and deliberately ignoring the rules that were written. The writers don't want you making adjacent attacks with reach weapons. That's why it says cannot. They want you to have to plan your character a little more carefully than that. They want you to have to think a little more tactically than "durp, I'll just take a -4 and everything's okay!"

Again I point out my example of just declaring your fist an object and treating it as an improvised weapon as a way to get around the specific rule that says if you don't have Unarmed Strike, you provoke AoO punching folks. That's no darned fun. The need for that feat is a rule that tries to introduce an interesting game concept; some people are better at things than others. Deciding you don't like the unarmed strike rules and just blah blah "improvised weapon" shuts down a whole layer of richness.

Once more, I get it. I still get it. I've got it all along. Blah blah realism.

But if you don't have the imagination to wrap your head around the idea that some rules are rough approximations that allow INTERESTING CHOICES, why are you playing this game? It's full of imperfect rules.

At my table, go ahead, tap the governor to get his attention. It's a non-combat action so no rules or rules required. Go nuts. At my table, go ahead and smash the zombie in the face with the butt of your crossbow. I'm going to make you treat it as if you're non-proficient and I might even give the zombie an AoO because you're so clumsy, and I'll make it clear you don't actually threaten for purposes of flanking an AoOs, but I'd allow it. But a longspear... probably not. This isn't a Jackie Chan movie where you're going to whack someone with a ladder, sorry. Reach weapons are reach weapons, end of story. See? I'm willing to bend and extend the rules. But I don't extinguish existing ones.

Grumble, grumble.

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Good news.

My characters no longer provoke when punching someone when they do not have Improved Unarmed strike. A fist is an object which is a part of a creature. So from now on my characters threaten with their fists and can punch things without provoking, albeit at a -4 penalty. Yay.

Never mind what the rules say about unarmed strikes. It's not important. My fist is an object. Triangles. That's important.

Also, my wizards in the future will all have above-average Wisdom scores, which improves perception, including visual acuity. So from now on they will write spells into their spellbook smaller, consuming less materials and pages. Never mind what the rules say on the topic of spellbooks... there's this thing about vision.

Also also, I don't need Quick Draw anymore. Dropping an item is a free action, so from now on I'm going to carry spare weapons in my teeth, and under my armpits. When I want to switch weapons, I'll just drop one from my teeth into my hands. Clearly if the weapon can hit the ground, it can hit my hand, which is even closer and has a smart adventurer attached to it. Never mind what the rules say about what actions are required to draw a weapon... there's this rule about dropping things.

Reductio ad absurdum. When there are rules for what a player wants to do, you use those rules. In the case of the longspear, you use the rule that very specifically, explicitly, clearly, unambiguously and obviously says it CANNOT be used to attack adjacent targets. Focusing on improvised weaponry is attempting to build a loophole in a very absolute rule.

Nine pages now of ridiculousness, and none of it is more sensible than the examples I've made above. Once again, rule what you will at your table, but the CRB speaks on the topic. I'll even let you use the longspear as an improvised weapon, just like a chair with reach... you can't attack adjacent targets with it. Enjoy.

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Sirlink wrote:

So simply put I suck at adding up handfulls of dice. Monk, rogue, wizard...all good dpr but way too many dice and variables.

I am looking for something simple that still packs a wallup.
any paizo published work 25 point buy minimal bookkeeping and not a one trick pony

I know I'm not answering your question, but I am trying to help.

There's a "trick" when doing math... make it easy. Always make it easy.

There are numbers that are easier and there are numbers that are harder to work with. Try to always work with easy numbers.

If you roll a fist full of dice, group them on the table in front of you. See that 6? Put it beside a 4. Now you've got 10. Slid those two to the side. See that 2? Find it a 3. Now you've got a group of 5. Hey... see that 5? Put it with the 2 and the 3 so the group becomes 10. Slide those to the side, with the first dice, but not touching the first set. Rinse, repeat.

What you'll end up with is a bunch of groups of dice, each group containing 10. Sure, there'll be a little leftover, but that should be minimal. Count your piles. Add the stragglers... oh, look... 73!

Adding dice can be fast if you let it be. Just don't actually count. Group.

Just a suggestion.

Also, if you can teach yourself, cheat. Don't add 19 and 19. That's... work. Most people will do that the long addition way, putting 19 over 19, then adding the 9s in the "ones column" to get 18. Well, carry the one, add the two 1s in the "tens column" to get 2, only you've got that carried 1 so it's really 3, so the answer is... 38.

What a horrid waste of time. 19 is really 20, right? I mean, it's really close. It's just one too small. But we're friends, so let's just pretend it's 20. Well, 20 + 20 is easy... it's 40. Only we cheated... we've got 1 and 1 too much there. So 40 - 2. 38. Guaranteed to be faster.

Sure, with big numbers you'll need to do long addition, but for doing damage addition, always try to find those "easy numbers" to work with and keep track of how much you cheated and correct it at the end. Soon you'll see "13 + 18" as "12 + 18 is obviously 30, only I need one more than that, so 31".

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Really? This hasn't been put to bed yet?

A longspear is a reach weapon. Do the rules say "you may use the shaft of a reach weapon as an improvised weapon to attack adjacent squares"? No. They say "you cannot attack adjacent squares".

We're done. We've been done for a five or six pages.

This thread STILL isn't about what should be or what is allowed at what table. It's about what the rules say, and they remain utterly clear and specific. Do the rules say "you may use part of a reach weapon as something other than the reach weapon itself to circumvent the rule that we DID print that says you CANNOT attack adjacent targets"? No. They don't.

Cannot. It says cannot. Arguing a reading of the rules that turns "cannot" into "can" is abusing those rules.

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Ice Tomb lasts until this thread stops.

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Krensky wrote:
Lawyers are funny like that.

Yup. Which is why when they pluralize something, you know that it isn't a one-time something. They're aware of situations, and have provided the staff the way of dealing with those situations.

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Marc Radle wrote:
It really feels like some people might want to spend a little less time complaining or being demanding and a little more time just saying ... Thank You

Screw it. I don't have a cock in this fight but...

Thank you Sean.

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Ross Byers wrote:
I reject the assertion that good customer service requires being polite to people who are rude to you.

First and foremost, I still have never seen a Paizo employee being less than polite. Clearly frustrated, sure.

That said, I'm 100% with you Ross. One of the things I like most about Paizo is the humanity of the enterprise. These are real people with real lives who share themselves with us in addition to writing some books.

It isn't normal to have this degree of access to writers and developers. You don't get access to the programmers at Microsoft to tell them how much you hate the Win8 Metro interface. You don't get access to the lawyers at Apple to tell them how much you hate their lawsuits over rounded corners. You don't get access to your government to tell them how much you hate intelligence agencies spying on citizens. You - most relevantly - didn't get access to the writers and developers at WotC.

Here, these fine men and ladies volunteer their own time to be amongst us. They are accessible. They are real people with real lives and they share those lives with us because most of them are gamers, like us.

And it is for that reason above all others that it ignites my undies when a few squeaky wheels get personally outraged because their pet topic of the week doesn't get the attention they feel it deserves... as though a stupid clarification of a stupid rule in a stupid 500 page rulebook is EVER worth ruining someone's day over.

Seriously. Enough.

These Paizo people... they are our friends.

Yes, we pay them money for these books, so that these friends of ours can put roofs over their heads and feed their kids and dogs and have nice things. But you'd do the same for any other friend who watched your kid or shoveled your driveway or helped you till your garden.

Again, these friends come here and share themselves freely. They are our friends because THEY feel like being with us.

So enough with the turd sandwiches. There is NO question of how we are treated. We are treated orders of magnitude better than any normal company treats their customers.

Damn straight Ross, that nobody's thrown their hands in the air over these few threads recently and just shut the forums off in disgust is evidence that Paizo has the soul of a saint.

Time to quit whining and complaining as if we're somehow entitled to something more than we get. We are in fact entitled to significantly less than we get. We are entitled to cold, impersonal books, not the warm, interactive contact we gave here.

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blackbloodtroll wrote:
James Risner wrote:

I'm with the "you can use any weapon as an improvised weapon when you take the penalties and your GM assigns you a damage dice for the improvised use" crowd.

This is completely reasonable response.

It's easy to say that a response that you happen to agree with is reasonable. It's fun, even, because it paints anyone who disagrees with you as unreasonable.

Let's go ahead and apply the reasonable ruling you favor, be it right or wrong. Using a longbow? No problem. You now can make attacks around you with it as an improvised weapon. It's clear that the developers intend that users of ranged weapons can't do that, but no worries.

Not reasonable enough because longbows are fragile? Fine. Hit someone in the face with your crossbow. It's realistic I grant wholeheartedly. But it's not balanced because the designers of the game made equipment about trade-offs. You can do X with Y, but you can't do Z. It's rock, paper, scissors.

Why should you provoke an AoO firing a crossbow at someone? It doesn't take any more talent to point & shoot than it does to swing a sword four or five times in 6 seconds. Distracted? I don't think so. You're very much conscious of where your nearby target is and are very much inclined to put your crossbow between him and you.

But wait, there's more. You can point your crossbow at an adjacent foe and tell him a joke (speaking is a free action) without provoking an AoO. It's only when your finger twitches on the trigger that the rules say you provoke.

We're not done. You take a -4 penalty to shoot the guy right in front of you because he threatens you. That's right. The rules say you don't threaten him because you're using a ranged weapon, but the rules say that if either of you threatens, then you're both "engaged in melee", and the -4 penalty applies. So point-blank shooting him in the face nets you a stab in the gut and you suck at aiming. But if he drops his dagger, you're suddenly very good at aiming.

The rules abstract combat. That's their job... to make a rich and varied combat system. Sometimes there are compromises to let things be consistent and not full of edge-conditions. It's the purview of the DM to decide where to allow players wiggle-room on the rules. I know I do. Just... sometimes it's reasonable to play by the rules because they weren't accidental. There is a reason why they are what they are. Yeah, it's not the end of the world to let a crossbow-user improvise and go melee. It's not the end of the world to let every PC be proficient with every weapon either. It's just further and further from the intended balancing act that is meant to be.

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Xaratherus wrote:
Actually, that's not what Malachi said. I quote: "Just to be clear, I'm only interested in whether this is allowed in the rules, not whether we think it should be." Common sense indicates that this is allowed by the rules, because arguing otherwise is wholly unrealistic.

I'm (likely) not going to keep replying, likely, though I will continue to read. So this isn't a "drop my last word and stomp off with my marbles" type of reply, it's just that I'm down to repeating myself, with nothing more to add. Just explaining that I'm not upset or frustrated... just running out of ways to try to restate the kernel of what I'm saying. I just don't want this to turn into some obnoxious X vs Y back & forth thing. <Grin>

Xaratherus, it isn't allowed by the rules. I've demonstrated that. You're not disagreeing with that, at least not directly. Malachi asked for what the rules say, I posted that. The rules say you can't attack adjacent targets with reach weapons. Can't as in... not-can.

Everything else you're saying here is precisely the question of "should". I've explained my feelings about that and by all means I absolutely, positively, for-sure for-sure accept that it's the kind of area that a DM may feel the desire to hand-wave what the rules actually say. For instance, I'd almost always allow someone to throw a melee weapon as an improvised weapon despite that the rules specifically don't allow that either.

I 100% agree that common sense should be applied to making rulings and I do exactly that when DMing. So I'm on board with basically everything you're saying. Except your second sentence. While common sense may have convinced you that this is allowed by the rules, the English language says it is absolutely not, and that is what Malachi asked.

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Quantum Steve wrote:

Improvised weapons cannot have any properties, including reach. You cannot strike adjacent targets with a longspear, but you can strike adjacent targets with an improvised weapon, any improvised weapon

The question is not, an never has been, can you strike adjacent opponents with a long spear, the question is: Could an 8ft stick with a oddly shaped bit on one end be used as a makeshift bludgeon? ex a longspear or a lampstand

A longspear no. A lampstand yes.

Why? Because - as I quoted - the rules are very clear on what can and what cannot be treated as an improvised weapon. Weapons - which longspears are - cannot be treated as such. Lampstands - which are not - can. If your "8ft stick with an oddly shaped bit on one end" is commonly referred to as "longspear", then it appears on the table of items considered Weapons.

This question was emphatically established as requiring answers are about rules-legality. Common sense was specifically requested to not play into any answers given. At a PFS table, longspear-as-improvised cannot be permitted. As a house-rule at a normal game, it's up to the DM. Personally I'd just grimace at the player who suggested it and sort of say "unask the question". It's cheesy at best.

If the devs intended this to be in any way permitted, the rule on the reach property would read "you can attack adjacent targets at a -4 penalty" instead of "you cannot attack adjacent targets". What they wrote tells me what they consider balanced, and that disinclines me to apply common sense to the situation. It's uncomfortable and it makes me grit my teeth, but hey... maybe uh... maybe that extra couple feet just makes that longspear impractical to treat like a quarterstaff. I mean... you wouldn't ask to use a 30ft pole as an improvised weapon, right? So somewhere between quarterstaff and 30ft things just become unwieldy, right? Say... right before however long a longspear is. Yeah, that's it.

So there you have my reinforcement regarding RAW, which I still do not see anything but clear, as well as explanation why I answered only the question asked, along with insight as to how I feel on the topic in general, despite that being specifically outside the scope of what the OP demanded.

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Paizo's farm of authors all have individual strengths. One of Pett's foremost talents is evocative descriptions. This is one of the reasons he's one of my long-term favorites. If it says Pett, I'll buy it.

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I have to ask... what is it that you hypothetically are looking to achieve in opening this thread? What good is supposed to come from this? In what way is anyone going to benefit from this? Personally I try to ask myself those kinds of questions before I post, here or elsewhere.

Honestly, this is the third major flame-bait thread started recently with incendiary titles. You may not intend it that way and the other other thread starters may not have either, but somewhere along the line it seems that a few visitors here have decided to push buttons and adopt an attitude of injured pride when there's a reaction.

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