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Howie23's page

FullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,469 posts (2,473 including aliases). 1 review. 1 list. No wishlists. 7 Pathfinder Society characters. 1 alias.


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If you can't come up with an existing rules resource, creating one is an excellent approach.

Your players will have a better experience, and you will give them a better experience, if you clearly understand the mechanism behind the plot. It will allow providing clues, knowledge checks, interactions with libraries or sages. It will also help with a plan and background for whatever they do, and what challenges they face, in order to help the Druid break out......and as a twist, why he shouldn't be released....


claudekennilol wrote:

I was invisible, waiting in ambush for some dwarf zombie to happen by me. When it came close enough, I popped and attacked. Then he stopped his movement, and hit me after my attack of opportunity. Then it was my turn and I did my thing then took a 5' step back to draw it out to where the rest of my party could get to it easier. At that point the GM had it attack me. We all responded with "he doesn't get an attack of opportunity" and he just said "I know".

We're only using the core rule book. Is there anything in there that could allow for that? Honestly, I think he just did it because he's always complaining about how 5' step is dumb. It wasn't a readied attack because he'd just used move/attack on his previous turn. I obviously don't know everything there is to know, so that's why I'm asking.

Ready does the job. Not one I would use for a zombie, but it does the job just fine.


Claude, in answer to your original question, PFS does not have a special rule about this.

In general PFS follows the general rules of the game unless changes are needed due to the unique qualities of organized play. This is often misunderstood to think that PFS GMs all interpret the rules exactly the same or should do so. In fact, there are a tremendous number of rules that experience some degree of variance, often called table variance.

PFS tends to step in with FAQ or administrator statements when these involve character build or equipment/resource acquisition matters. They rarely make statements that are matters that come up repeatedly during play. Your example is of this type.

While my opinion is that wands can be drawn on the move, and have never run into anyone who has ruled it the other ways hen playing with probably 60-70 Organized play GMs under PF and 3.5, where the rule is the same, I do understand that there are some who view it differently from the text. There are also some who are mistaken and think that wands can never be drawn as weapons. I have seen that, and somewhat commonly...maybe 20% of the GMs I've played with have initially made this error, and accept a respectful citation.

PFS can be enjoyable if understood for what it is. I see it as best enjoyed as a spice rather than a regular diet. It fits very well into adult life styles. Take from it what is good about it, but understand its limitations.


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The combat system essentially assumes that you can only take actions on your turn, unless as excepted. The Immediate action was added subsequent to the original design of the combat system although it has always been part of PF.

A five foot step can be taken on your turn, or as part of a readied action; in either case, it cannot be combined with other movement.

General opinions in the forums have increasingly made arguments to expand the scope of when a free action can be used. The primary discussion is around the description of a free action being taken while taking another action. This was interpreted more strictly in 3.5. Now it becomes the basis for then applying it along with any other action. As a result, the discussion becomes what situations are actions.

You'll get differences of opinion about whether the contingent element of a readied action is an action, whether an AoO is an action, etc.

When coming to the forums for a clear answer on a complex topic can be frustrating due to the exposure to multiple opinions. You are best of viewing the forums as a place to be exposed to different arguments in such cases rather than a definitive source.


Thor Odenson wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
No, it wont work by the rules, and I would not allow it based on the fact that the game is also a game of resources.
can you site the rules that say this wont work for me?

See the section in magic items under the heading Magic Items and Size. It gives stats on the relative proportions of armor of different size. The fact that it exists must be read in the context that size for armor is fixed. There is no option in the rules to alter armor to fit a different form, such as for a quadruped.


It was at best debatable whether bane stacked in 3.5. I moderated a Living Greyhawk forum on the module in question and it was known to be problematic back then as well. At one point, we had assembled a list of over 350 rules problems with the module in question. It was released late in 3.5's publishing life and appears to have had a second class treatment regarding the technical aspects of the editing process. It's a nice yarn. It's just annoying and requires a lot of tweaks to get it to line up with 3.5; that's even more true for PF.


Kwauss: yeah, I messed up the tags. I can't edit it and won't be reporting it.

As for Thai poetry, that's all fine and good. And irrelevant to a rules discussion. You are not a character in the game. The poet is not a bard.

If you want to talk about how it should be and if it could be better, that's all fine and good. I prefer that level of detail and role play in my game as well.


Kwauss wrote:
Howie23 wrote:

Discussions of whether an animal can be courageous, benefit from a morale bonus, etc, is all a discussion of play style, not of rule.

Inspire courage is not language dependent. Whether the animal can understand or not is irrelevant.

There is rules text to support variability in who you can affect with a bardic ability (inspire courage as the example). My point has been all along that where you draw this line is subtle.

The only rules based variability is that inspire courage has to be perceived, and that it must have a visual or auditory component. A blind person cannot perceive a visual performance. A deaf person cannot perceive an audible performance. Further distinctions are outside the question of rule and are a matter of play style. Tha only subtlety that is there is if you or others choose to insert it.


Please quote a rule that supports your second statement. I've played with multiple GMs who have interpreted it contrary to your unsupported statement.[\quote]

I'm on a phone and can't copy text. Language dependent is a descriptor. While some bardic performances have it, inspire courage does not. Language dependent is defined in the magic chapter. If the descriptor exists for the effect, the creature must be able to understand it or it fails. It follows logically that if the descriptor doesn't exist for the effect, lack of linguistic understanding does not result in failure.

Whether you have played with GMs who play it differently is not germaine to the discussion. People opt to insert rules all the time.

If the method of delivery for inspire courage was immaterial, then there would not be conditions on it, nor would it reference a perform skill.

Bardic performance makes a statement about the perform skill. Unlike in 3.5, where there were requirements for ranks in such skills, PF dropped that requirement. From a rules basis, inspire courage is abstractly visual or auditory. That's it. I don't particularly care for it, but there it is. I prefer it to be more concrete as a matter of personal style. A PF bard could sing one time, dance or juggle the next, recite poetry the third, etc. without any ranks in any of the performances presented. All that matters from a rules perspective is that it is audible or visual. Too dry for my taste, but there it is.


Discussions of whether an animal can be courageous, benefit from a morale bonus, etc, is all a discussion of play style, not of rule.

Inspire courage is not language dependent. Whether the animal can understand or not is irrelevant.

Whether animals can be allies are not is another story. Domestic animals are generally indifferent. This doesn't sound like an ally to me. Summoned creatures seem to me to be allies, whether an animal or not. Looking at it from the ally side may, in itself, be a matter of playstyle, although with the support of domestic animals being indifferent as a matter of rule.


Human Fighter wrote:
What's so hard to understand the simplicity of what this thread is trying to accomplish? I just want suggestions on how in the moment to grab someone's attention and make it sound convincing that you can use delay in that fashion by the rules, and in the quickest and time saving way.I understand lost causes can't be convinced, so I want to make quick and efficient attempt, then move on for everyone's sake. Understand now?

With all respect, this is exactly what all the conversation about clumping initiative is doing. Clumping initiative is not a rule supported practice. Therefore if playing by the rules, initiative isn't clumped, thus you can delay. If the procedure is being used to clump at the start, the rules state creatures go through initiative one at a time, regardless of what their initiative count is; thus, the rules allow exiting delay in between any two creatures. If clumping itiative is being implemented as a houserules, ask the guy who made up the houserules, since we don't know his rules.


Just gonna add that the awkward nature of this is why WotC errata'd the charge option out of 3.5 almost immediately after the rules were released.


Spellcraft doesn't work for supernatural abilities. Spellcraft doesn't work prior to a valid target ability being used; it is a reactive check to a valid action taking place.


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OP is correct in his understanding of when he can come out of delay. It can be done between the end of one combatant's turn ends and the next starts. The support for doing so in the midst of batches opponents is found at the beginning of the combat section in the description of how initiative works. Each combatant rolls initiative and they act in turn.

Grouping combatants on the NPC side is common practice. It is a matter of convenience and has a long history. The problem is when GMs fail to recognize that their use of this procedure doesn't make the individuals in an initiative group a monolithic and indivisible whole. Alternatively, they can't be bothered to break up the group, for the same reason as they grouped them in the first place: convenience.


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Interesting question. Many spells are essentially fire and forget. The caster has no further control over them. Others have effects that are controlled by the caster. Finally, some spells can be dismissed my the caster.

By RAW, casters know whether spells have been effective re: saving throws. This doesn't answer your question, but is related tangentially. By RAW, dispelling or activating an event triggered spell isn't know by the caster. The whole point of the alarm spell is to provide that information. However, in the case of a spell that is controllable after being cast, or which can be dismissed, there reasonably seems to be some ongoing feedback. This really starts to get into corner cases and on the fly rulings, though. What you might do really is a matter of play style.


You can copy the spell it into your spell book now. You cannot cast a spell, nor make a scroll of it, until you are able to cast it.

See the section in the Magic Chapter under the heading "Spells Copied From Another's Spellbook or Scroll." There is nothing here to say you must be of a level to cast it befor putting it into your Spellbook. Rather, the word, "whenever" is just one example of how this passage is quite permissive.


While I understand that you can certainly think of circumstances where disable device might not really be effective, the idea of needing to explain how the device is being disabled is a mindset out of prior editions in and old school vein. In older editions, there was a certain degree of expecting the player to come up with such solutions. On the 3e family, including PF, the idea of the skills is that the character is the one with the expertise, rather than the player.

In the case of the thin floor surface over the bit, it almost comes off to me as a concealed opening rather than a trap that can be defeated or disarmed. If you had an open pit with no concealment, the issue wouldn't come up. It becomes terrain rather than a trap. In such a circumstance, it might be reasonable to treat it simply as terrain once found. I see this as the exception rather than the rule with respect to traps.

There is a degree of abstraction in these editions. While either style is playable, the social contract implies that you're playing in the spirit of the ruleset unless its agreed otherwise.


The summoned bear would appear just befor the druid's next round. At that point, it gets it's full actions. If in a position where it can fill attack, it can full attack. The Druid then gets her full actions.

Find out why your players think it can't to straighten out the misunderstanding bits possible they just "know" that as a result of a prior HM's misunderstanding or ruling.


Kalriostraz wrote:
My two cents. You could apply adaptive to a +1 composite (+0 STR) but would get no benefit by RAI. It appears intended to allow you to use a high strength bow at a lower strength. Of course RAW it would work as he suggests, but that just makes it your call. Imo.

This is just one use. It also allows a bow to be used at a higher strength while gaining the benefit of that high strength. It means the bow can be used at full strength when buffed, or that the same bow can be used while gaining strength from leveling up. It effectively eliminates the requirement to have backup bows, bows for special circumstances, etc, and still gain the full utility.


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mysticbelmont wrote:
I'm talking about the composite ability to add your strength modifier to damage, not the magical quality of +1.

In that case, he's right. It could me a +0 strength composite bow. A +0 meets the requirement, that it be a composite bow. If a +1 were required, the requirement would state that.

If it helps, a +0 strength composite bow isn't just a non-composite bow. It's build differently. It has layers of materials rather than being merely a length of shaped wood. It has a longer range than a regular bow. It is built to a specific strength rating, which happens to be +0.

If that doesn't satisfy, perhaps you can give us your rationale so that we can see why you're thinking the bow must have a +1 strength rating.


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For any magical quality, such as adaptive, to be placed on a weapon, the weapon must first be enchanted to +1. The composite bow itself could initially have a +0 strength modifier. It's possible that you could both be right and are talking about two different pluses.


Theoretically speaking, SRD creatures are based on the 11,11,11,10,10,10 array, with hit dice and racial modifications. Since the racial modifications contain a lot of creative license, in practice, they have whatever the designer wants them to have to reflect the creature she envisions. To what degree Paizo continued this, I'm not sure.

The observation that ACs and purchased creatures are relatively stronger at lower point buys for PCs is a good one, and interesting. It probably contributes to the idea that mundane mounts due too easily. On the other hand, if you've ever read Andy of the battle scenes from Le Morte d'Arthur, mounts dying and being replaced is a common event, at least as envisioned by the author; presumably, this was based somewhat on 15th century battle experience.

But I digress.

Andoran *

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Grumpus wrote:
Tons of women play in the Minneapolis area. I looked through the 54 tables i have played/Gmed and found that at least 28 of them included women.

How many included men?


I'm not 100% sure, and my 3.0 books are 20 feet away, do inaccessible (;)), but iirc, healing spells were necromancy as late as 3.0. I generally don't rely this much on straight memory, so may be wrong. As I recall, the idea was that it was thought conjugation needed a boost. Ironically, in the 3.5 era, conjugation was seen as one of the strongest schools, largely due to lack of SR.

Is it rational? I don't think so bid it reasonable, I don't think so, but is debatable. Ultimately, the answer is because it was that way in 3.5.


I'm reversing my position on the meaning of the Fight with War-Trained Mount. I am doing so on the basis of the following passage from the 3.5 RotG articles on mounted combat ca link can be found in my profile. The link in question is to the second article.

This isn't a decision made lightly. This has been a topic I've debated since 2005. During the last days of 3.5, the RotG articles were modified to conform with the FAQ, Rules Compendium, and other sources. In some cases, Skip's original take on things was seen as an addition to rules and/or WotC's developers had found them to create problems. I suspect this was an area where there was a change in the last days and I haven't noticed it before.

It is my opinion that the RotG articles provide the closest thing that we have to a standard interpretation. While I'm not a fan of what this means to my sense of approaching the rules from the perspective of system mastery, I'm also of the opinion that a level of consistency is important and is worth making compromise.

The passage in question:

"Fight Along with Your Mount: Make a DC 10 Ride check as a free action. If you succeed, you can direct your mount to attack a foe and you also can attack as well. See the section on attacking while mounted for details. If you fail this check, or don't bother to make it, either you or your mount can attack this turn, but not both of you."

Edit: typo


Mr.Fishy wrote:

Please quote the rules you feel justifiy your stance.

Mr. Fishy has quoted from the SRD a rule. Please do the same.

No you're wrong is not a valid arguement.

If that's directed at me, it so egregiously mischaracterizes my post as to be meaningless. I provided a rules quote. I broke it down with commentary.

What exactly do you think I have asserted that isn't supported? I'm sorry, but posting from a phone carries a few limitations and it is my only way to post these days. I can't copy and past selected passages, and there are limits to what I'm going to type out.


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Mr.Fishy wrote:

Found under the "ride" skill not handle animal a different skill.

Guide with your knees, found in the ride skill allows you to "command" your mount. It does not state the nature of the commands; however, combat is stated in the description.

Fight with a Combat-Trained Mount: If you direct your war-trained mount to attack in battle, you can still make your own attack or attacks normally. This usage is a free action. Free action order Fluffy to kill.

Guide with Knees: You can guide your mount with your knees so you can use both hands in combat. Make your Ride check at the start of your turn. If you fail, you can use only one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your mount. This does not take an action.

Two abilities of the RIDE skill that allow a player to control a mount in combat without any actions. Freeing up a full round action perfect for charging.

Are you suggesting that you can command a mount with your knees to do so you couldn't do while using one hand on the reins? Guiding with knees is a rider's ability to substitute knees for a hand to allow that hand to be used in other ways. Guiding with knees grants no command capability that doesn't already exist. It just changes the medium of command.

Fight with a combat trained mount has been discussed in detail. It isn't a free action to order Fluffy to kill. Rather it is a free action for the rider to fight, given that the mount already is doing so.


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There is no ride or handle animal check required to move a combat trained mount around during battle. Ride says everything stuff doesn't take a check. You just move where you want.

The issue is with the attack. Handle animal has the attack trick. It requires a move action for a non-companion or other situation where it is a free action.

The fight with war-trained mount section in the ride skill grammatically identifies what you need to do to fight with your mount. "If you direct your war-trained mount to attack...." How does one direct a mount to attack? It says right in Handle Animal how....with a trick. Having done so, " can still make your own attack..." How do you do this? You make a Ride check. This usage of the Ride check, the topic of the passage, is a free action. What does it do? It allows you to attack along with your mount, who has been directed to attack via HA.

The idea that the attack at the end of a charge doesn't work to solve the problem vcharge is an integrated action that includes an attack. The animal must be commanded to attack before it can charge. Getting it NOT to attack at the end of a charge actually requires an ADDITIONAL command, the down trick. Likewise, defend doesn't do the job because of the need to issue the active attack that is part of the charge.

The idea that the ride skill replaces the need for varied HA tricks is invented out of whole cloth. It does not exist in the rules. The idea exists because of the nature in which rules are learned, which is mainly from others. We have repeatedly seen the idea of viral rules...where an influential player gets an entire community off on the wrong track via a misunderstanding. This is an example of the same process.


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I agree with Ssalarn's position regarding the different role that the rules identify for Handle Animal and Ride. I apologize that this post is long. If you care about the issue, please read it. I know I am pretty wordy.

I also understand that this is an unpopular position. It's my opinion that it stems out of how people want the rules to work rather than how the rules are written. Mounted combat is broken; that word gets thrown around a lot, so to be clear, it doesn't work as written. I think everyone has an idea of how it should work, even if those ideas are not the same. The FAQ seems simple, but when pealed back, it results in more problems than it solves.

Anyone seeking to make mounted combat work has to decide upon compromises that they will make in the rules to some degree. This was the case in 3.5 and it remains the case. Unfortunately, the FAQ is directly at odds with the set of compromises that is the closest thing we have had to date that describes a standard set of compromises, the 3.5 era Rules of the Game articles on mounted combat. ( see my profile for a link.)

Should it work? Yes. Ssalarn has done an excellent job, with an incredible degree of patience, of communicating the disconnect that the FAQ has created in something that should just plain work. The campaign he is on hopefully will result in future changes that will improve the game.

I encourage anyone who is interested in this topic to read the relevant mounted combat rules again, including the ride skill, handle animal skill, mounted comat section, FAQ entries, and related feats, with fresh eyes to see what they really say. Going so will result in additional voices communicating to the developers how bad the problem is, particularly with how the FAQ fits in. The various portions of the mounted combat system do not work together.

The biggest thing that I see in preventing people from seeing the rules as they are written is some variation on, "Handle Animal doesn't figure in when mounted; only the Ride skill matters." This is an invention. It doesn't exist in the rules. It is often supported by readings of the ride check to attack with a mount that relies on reading it differently than the words on the page. This isn't an attack or dome egotistical statement that I'm right and others are wrong. It is a recognition that reading comprehension can be influenced by what we think is fact before we read a passage in question.

It's a messed up area. Defending it as being just fine as is is a disservice to the game and prevents it from being fixed. Thank you for your patience in getting to the end of this post.


James' observation about clipping the ally's square is correct. The 3.5 PHB had a diagram showing it clearly. The language is slightly different, but not in a material way. That said, it is commonly ignored or people are unaware of it, particularly when the corner is clipped by a small amount.

Changing lanes doesn't figure into it.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
I could see disallowing a 5 foot diagonal step on the basis that you are moving more than 5 feet. When moving diagonally you are actually moving at 2/3 speed rounded down. Each odd square is 5 feet, each even square is 10 feet.

You aren't moving at a reduced speed when moving diagonally. The 5-10-5-10 movement pattern is an approximation of the geometry of triangles. Is a nod to Pythagoras.

In game terms, a single diagonal square is five feet of movement bit isn't 7.5 feet of movement. It is counted this way for all purposes.

You can assuredly make a 5-foot step unless prohibited by a hard corner, terrain, etc. disallowing a 5-foot diagonal step due to the diagonal distance is wholly within the realm of houserules do so if your style of gaming suggests it. The effect is to push the game further toward a slug-fest by further reducing mobility and tactical movement during movement.


The target moves or charges on its turn. These are everyday actions with the normal consequences. It provokes without any doubt.

Andoran *

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Back on page 1 I was asked to to cite unlimited circumstance modifiers were permitted. This merely turned around my request for the +/-2. Not playing the prove a negative game.

This thread has a tone that I have no interest in participating in further and is rapidly on its way to a 1000 post thread merely on the basis of people saying the same thing repeatedly and refusing to acknowledge points. Enjoy.

Andoran *

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To the best of my knowledge there is no maximum circumstance modifier that can be applied to a given situation. It's your understanding. Please cite it. I'm happy to learn. Note, I'm not saying it's cool to do whatever, but I don't think it's quantified. While PFS doesn't support houserules,it also doesn't hamstring a GM from applying reasonable modifiers for a circumstance. Please note I'm not making a comment about whether the described example are reasonable.

I'm not sure what you're looking for here. This is the advice forum. If you want rules advice, go to the rules forum. If you want to know how to deal with GM abuse of rules go to the PFS forums.

In 3.5, diplomacy abuse was a problem in organized play. In PF, intimidate seems to have gotten some of that. Social skills killing off combat encounters rarely are dealt with well in organized play, primarily because expectations can vary a lot from person to person. This variance is why the 3e family tried to formalize them; and they still don't work as formalized skills vary well.

If you're looking for advice: building a character that relies on diplomacy or intimidate to walk around combat encounters is not always going to be well received in organized play, regardless of how close to written rules they should be run or what variability is acceptable. If you like playing at the guys tables, then consider a different character that doesn't hit one of his buttons regarding response. You may have more assertive actions you could take, but you've indicated you don't want to, and there is some relationship risk in doing so.


There are free actions in some special abilities that are non-sensical if limited to taking place in the acting character's turn only, such as giant rock catching. There are others that are playable either way, such as grab as an AoO. It is a contradictory area of the rules.

PFS houserules largely have to do with character building, item acquisition, and what happens between adventures. There are few if any houserules involving the play at the table itself.


In situations where the up to doesnt make sense, you can always cast the spell at a lower level, down to the minimum needed to cast the spell. Doing so changes other numerical variables as well.

So a 10th level wizard could cast a third level spell at CL5. If the spell itself did 1d6/2 levels of fire damage, it would only do 2d6. If he wanted 3d6, he'd have to cast at CL6, and thus affect 6 targets.

Note, I'm not saying this is the only way to reduce targeting, but could be used if either it made sense for the spell, or if the GM insisted the targeting required CL number of targets.


I like BNW's approach. It distributes the knowledge and allows multiple individuals to contribute.

In these situations, I also like distributing the info on index cards and letting them roleplaying the knowledge download, rather than just verbalizing it as the voice from above, GM style.


Another concept: given the party makeup, maybe they can handle the horde types more readily. So boost them a bit. They're made with some magical effect that gives them bonus vs channel, positive energy resistance, etc.

Add in some long list tools to combat this super-horde effect. Distribute it to multiple sites. Now you have the option of throwing in some varied encounters that support the regular plot, as well as subplots. Fight the dragon who has one part of the McGuffin. Demonstrate your worth to another. Do a series of favors for a third, and so on.


I would see it as a situation where you can gain insight into how the battle is going, who leaders are, what tactics are being used, who has the upper hand, whether one side is foghting in a more coordinated manner than the other, this sort of thing. In other words, elements that are subject to observation given the events. Less obvious stuff is going to be obscured by the drama and immediate concerns of the moment. of the moment. Some of these aspects may require more time.


Who else might be in league with the undead horde? Who might be looking to take advantage of the disruptions caused, either for incursions on their own or for simple looting? How close are those connections? Is it a loose thing or highly integrated?

Edit: what greater horror was tapped to assemble and control this horde?

Ask these kinds of questions. Scribble down answers. Let the creative process do the rest.


Sounds like you need to refer to the spell slow for specifics on how many are affected. Not sure if there are other issues by doing that.


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Just weighing in. This may be much too late for the conversation based on where it's gone.

"Wield" has not been used as a consistent game term at the level of detail that people want a clarification to cover. If such a clarification comes as an FAQ, it would spin off more problems than it would solve, such as has happened with the mounted charging FAQ.

What is appropriate is a blog that is covering the general case and an appeal to common sense related to intentions and play style.

A strict definition of wielding doesn't matter to most games. It is pervasive in some rules conversations and for the mythical perfect PFS table. In both cases, it involves corner cases and optimization builds. For normal play: a fixed definition isn't needed. For rules discussions, it's largely theory that can't be fixed to a degree of uniformity at this juncture.

For PFS, table variation does exist. It is a myth that all tables will play all rules exactly the same. Given that fact, selecting a grey area build that relies on a preferred interpretation is a recipe for disappointment. Expect table variation. If you wouldn't want to play with the least favorable ruling at the frequency it might come up, don't use it.

If you've been blindsided or god bad advice about a questionable build, reconsider how you select your options for PFS.


The rule is to roll it. Either going with the maximum or the average is a houserule. In the case of taking the average, it's more of a procedural thing that mainly simplifies after combat wand healing. I'm in the same area as Nefreet, and it seems pretty common to use the average procedure, even in PFS. It save dice and doesn't put the less mathematically inclined on the spot.


While the asertations has been made that a large creature wielding a medium long spear would give reach of at 10-15', and inability to attack at 5', to to a universal "a medium reach weapon adds 5' reach", that universal rule does not exist. Likewise, example of a long large creature using a large long spear. The last post describing the resulting reach as 10 feet is correct per 3.5. In PF, both of these are undefined.

The 3.5 rule, as spelled out in the 3.5 FAQ, was based on the general idea that an appropriately sized reach weapon doubled natural reach. And, that inappropriately sized reach weapons conferred no reach beyond natural reach. The reason is this was adopted rather than reach being the result of natural reach plus a weapon's reach is that this is a mechanic that would be a new concept for the game. New concepts add complexity and can interfere with rules mastery when they are fabricated out of whole cloth.

A des idiom on this isn't subject just to the particular point of view about what is realistic and makes sense, but what is good for the game's design overall.


It's +2 AC vs ranged attacks, not if conducting ranged attacks.

It isn't defined what the action is to stand from kneeling or to drop to a kneeled position from either standing or from prone. The most common that I've seen, which is rare, is that it is free to go from standing to kneeling, and it is a move to go from prone to kneel or from kneel to standing. There is no option to exchange movement for kneeling, and the idea is kind of outside the scope of the game system.


Edit: wow, weird cut and paste but it could have been worse. ;)

Look at this from a different direction. Based upon the passage above, what is the reach of a large humanoid wielding a medium sized long spear?


James Risner wrote:
Howie23 wrote:
James is citing a ruling that is in the 3.5 FAQ.

Actually I'm thinking of this:

Core p141 wrote:
A typical Large character wielding a reach weapon of the appropriate size can attack a creature 15 or 20 feet away, but not adjacent creatures or creatures up to 10 feet away.

We know that a Small Weapon in a Medium PC isn't appropriately sized and would lose reach only because of context. It would be better if this was clearly written.

Sorry for putting words in your mouth.

This passage is the basis of the 3.5 ruling. As you've said, it could be clearer, which is why 3.5 had to deal with it as well.

The situation with small and medium creatures is unique in having the same reach for two size categories, which does lead to some WTF kinds of situations.


Zhayne wrote:

Cite, please, James? I cannot find that rule.

It seems especially odd since an inappropriately sized weapon could be larger, which would make losing reach seem odd.

James is citing a ruling that is in the 3.5 FAQ. It is based on the same text as the sections in PF (I'm 95% sure it is the same text). It is subject to the same mixed reception that anything from the 3.5 FAQ garners: some accept it, some are unaware of it, some reject it outright.


In 3.5 days, a) seemed to be well established. Yes, it creates some oddities. It's a necessary application if wanting consistency in how the combat and magic systems interact with the grid.

That said, PF developers have not been so slavish about the grid. The reach weapon diagonal situation comes to mind. How they might weigh in on this question, or how their input ends up being filtered through posters to this thread, then becomes uncertain for me.

I guess, in summary: people approach it in different ways. How an official answer might be worded is a coin toss.


One of the more difficult aspects of moving between the two rulesets, particularly if you know one of them well, is that there are lots of small changes that make it difficult to assume what is the same. We're i to provide advice:

1) let yourself be willing to make the character changes first without worrying as much about the other changes immediately.

2) there is a very long thread that focused on things about PF players tend to not know. I did the summary of that thread through the active and more productive early portion. There is a link in my profile to the last summary. While there are a few gems after that summary, the noise to signal ratio rises dramatically after the last summary. It quickly became apparent on that thread that a lot of the suggested topics were due to 3.5 to PF changes. The summary is organized to reflect that. I hope you find it helpful.

3) when I first started playing PF, I went through the 1st level wizard and cantrip lists. That's roughly 45-spells. Of them, IIRC, 18 of them had changes to some degree. Be prepared for this and a constant refrain of "that's different now" as you strive for mastery if the new ruleset.


Darthslash wrote:

Wouldn't doing that be basically the same as doing a full round withdrawal action?

No. In what possible way?

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