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It was clarified as such via FAQ:
The enhancements are pooled together so the shield still can't get over the +10 max limit. For instance, a shield enhanced with +1 to attack/damage, Flaming (equivalent +1), and +2 to AC bonus would be priced as a +4 enhancement and the total caps out at +10 as usual.
Regarding the armor spikes used in a grapple, on reading UE again, in the weapons section, it seems that even Spiked Heavy and Light shields reference back to Armor Spikes in the armor section to get how they work. The Armor section, however, lists both Armor Spikes and Shield Spikes separately so it may not be as straight forward as I originally thought. However, if I had to extrapolate, I'd say since the Spiked Armor entry in Weapons corroborates the Grappling damage which is also brought up in the Armor Spikes entry in Armor, but the Spiked Shield Weapon entries aren't corroborated by the Shield Spikes entry in Armor, the most reasonable conclusion is that the Shield Spike on the Klar doesn't benefit from the allowance to apply the Shield Spike damage on grapple checks.
The Toaster wrote:
These substances don't burn.
These substances can't burn.
These two statements are equivalent; they mean the same thing.
Constructs don't eat.
Constructs can't eat.
These two statements are also equivalent.
Constructs don't eat.
Constructs needn't eat.
These two statements, however, are not equivalent. The latter means they do not need to eat, but not necessarily that they are incapable of the act. To state that they do not eat means just that; they do not do it... ever.
Better than Hexes is to just sub-divide the grid. Instead of 5' squares, have 1.25' (about 0.5m) squares. Each medium creature takes up 4x4 squares, small takes up 3x3, tiny takes up 2x2, etc. That smooths out both diagonal movement and clears up diagonal attack range and threatening with reach weapons. You can even add to it by having a finer grid on which to simulate weapon size where small weapons like daggers have slightly less reach than larger weapons like Longswords or Greatswords, but the larger weapons also have minimum reach similar to a Reach weapon, but less than a full 5' square. It can also better handle in-fighting in that characters can partially overlap their areas and this is where close weapons get best use.
Making Nunchaku 2-h would mean you must use two hands to wield them. Even making them 1-h would mean you can swing them harder using 2 hands; this doesn't work either because the handle is too short to get two hands on the same end and swing harder. Remember that swapping hands is a free action so just attacking normally following BAB sequence can still involve it going from one hand to the other without involving TWF at all. And if you want to be able to switch them from one hand to the other to get extra attacks, well, that's what Flurry is for.
Regarding the Sansetukon, you'd hold it by two sections and swing the third section at the target or swing the third section around in a circle to create a defensive barrier. It's kind of like a big Nunchaku but with one extra segment; so whereas with a Nunchaku you'd hold by one handle and swing the other, with the Sansetsukon you hold by the extra handle to add a bit more leverage and stability to your swing.
No. For performances that give you the option between Visual and Auditory components, it states you select which to use when you start the performance. It gives no allowance to change so, in order to do so, you must end the current performance and begin a new one with the alternate component.
1) A Klar deals 1d6 slashing damage. Also, by virtue of the explicit statement that it counts as a light shield with armor spikes, it could reasonable be argued that it can also deal 1d6 piercing damage as armor spikes would.
2) You enhance shields as weapon, shield, or both. Thinking of it as "enhancing the spikes or the bladed" is unnecessarily convoluted; you have separate enhancement statistics for it as a weapon for all offensive purposes and as a shield for all defensive purposes. For instance, your Klar could be enhanced as a +1 Flaming weapon while, simultaneously, enhanced as a +2 Blinding shield. The +1 Flaming applies to shield bashes while the +2 Blinding applies to defensive properties.
The whole system is based in quantum uncertainty. 6 seconds of combat just happened. They're done, completed, finished. The characters know what happened already; they lived it (and some may have died it). But the players don't know what happened; that's what all the dice rolling is about; the players finding out what their characters already know. Same applies to Knowledge checks. You roll a Knowledge check and it isn't like your character just learned that information on the spot. He's known that information for years, but, just as he's not supposed to use Out-of-Character knowledge, you're not supposed to have Out-of-Player knowledge. So you roll Knowledge to see what the character has known all along, having learned it long ago.
For older FAQs, if they didn't have an answer but needed to clear it out of their FAQ queue, they had limited options on how to label it so usually they just put "answered in FAQ" even though no FAQ was every made. Now, they have more options like "already answered in FAQ" or "no answer necessary". In this case, I'd say since they have Ultimate Equipment out, that's the version to go to and the "answered in FAQ" is a stand-in for "the answer should be pretty obvious". They list Armor Spikes since the damage for a Klar is bigger than that of a light spiked shield since the Klar has one oversized spike rather than a bunch of little spikes. Damage for a Medium Light Spiked Shield is only 1d4 but damage for both a Klar and Armor Spikes is 1d6. By default, it is a one-handed weapon, but by virtue of its description, it is also counted as a light shield with armor spikes so you can not only TWF with it as if it were light and have it benefit from any rules element that would apply to a light shield, but it also can be treated as a one-handed weapon, meaning you could two-hand it for 1.5x Str to damage.
You said, "the +3 to hit vs armor would only work on the first hit. I corrected that by stating that you still get the +3 on all misses up until you land the first hit, plus the first hit. That's why it's a slight correction.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The two is not an accident or arbitrary number; it corresponds to the total number of arms a typical humanoid-shaped creature has. So you need to adjust for creatures with more than two arms not by appending "or more" but by adjusting the number itself; for a four-armed creature, it changes to "(four-armed) grappled creatures can take no action that requires four hands to perform." For the octopus, it goes to "...eight (hand-equivalents) to perform." And this reading covers all the bases; it works in the case of a standard two-armed character as well as any number of arms you can think of. It results in no absurdities and addresses all previously brought up absurdities. Therefore, it is the most reasonable way in which to interpret the passage.
It's a "Not an action" type action. So your action types are Standard, Move, Full-Round, Swift, Immediate, Free, and 'Not an action'. Otherwise, a character that "can't act" can still take a 5' step.
TWF the feat doesn't allow you to attack with two weapons, but the TWF rules elements outlined in the combat section do and they are rules elements that, by default, must be applied to a specific full-round action (the Full-Attack action). What if it were Power Attack that were restricted? If it said you can't use any action that makes a Power Attack while grappled, and someone argued, "Oh, there isn't a Power Attack action, it's just something you do while making an attack, full-attack, etc. so I can Power Attack just fine while grappled." I can't think of a situation where any sane, competent, and sober person would let that fly. So why is it so hard to apply the same logic to the use of two hands; the action in question doesn't always require the use of both hands, but in the current application of it, using both hands to wield weapons, it requires the use of both hands.
The "serious blow into a less serious one" relates to the massive damage rule. If you have 101 or less total HP, massive damage applies if you take 50+ damage in a single attack; if you take 50+ damage from any single attack, you must pass a fort save-or-die. But if you have more than 101 HP, that threshold goes up. At 200, you must suffer at least 100 damage from a single source. It can also apply to the idea that, for a fixed amount of damage, it is shaving off a lesser percentage of your total HP the higher your maximum is. 15 damage to a 30 HP character is half of what they can withstand and still keep going. By contrast, 15 damage to a 120 HP character is only 12% and they could take 7 more shots like that before dropping. The mere presence of the HP value is your ability to continue fighting at full capacity despite injury and the size of the HP bar represents your ability to turn serious blows into less serious ones; that 30 damage can be half your capacity to withstand, or it can be an eighth, or a hundredth, etc. depending on how much total HP you have relative to the damage of the attack.
If you're utilizing TWF rules to use two weapons to gain an extra attack, and both your main-hand weapon and off-hand weapon are hand-associated, then your full-attack, while using the TWF rules elements, is an action that requires both hands. Your view is more like saying, "I can carry a potion in one hand, therefore the 'manipulate an item' action doesn't require two hands so I'll carry this huge item that requires both hands to carry because 'carry using both hands' isn't an action."
Even if you were able to cast Shocking Grasp (as in not drink the potion) the +3 to hit vs armor would only work on the first hit. So if your first attack landed, then the shock would go off and you no longer would get the +3 to hit on successive blows.
Slight correction; the +3 would apply until you hit. So if you miss on your first, you retain the +3 bonus on subsequent attacks until one of them hits; then you lose the bonus.
No, why would that make sense? I've got you by the arm; you can't use both arms to swing a greatsword, but you can somehow use the arm I'm grabbing to attack with a dagger? That's absurd. The fighter example is leveraging the hand-less wielding of armor spikes; it isn't an "inconsistency". The multi-limbed creatures must adapt the rules which are written from the presumption of humanoid creatures. So for a 4-armed creature, you alter the grapple rules to "you cannot use any action that requires all four hands" and for an octopus, you alter it to "you cannot use any action that requires all 8 tentacles". But for a normal, two-armed creature, they can't use both arms while being grappled. It's not exactly rocket science.
If you don't want to shell out for an AoMF, Bodywraps of Mighty Strikes might be a good alternative. It works just like the AoMF except it only enhanced one attack per round, plus one additional every time you get an iterative attack from BAB. So once you hit BAB+6, it enhances two attacks per round, then three at BAB+11, so on and so forth. Since you're only worried about the two claw natural attacks, you don't really need more than the two enhancements per round (maybe a third to cover your AoO). And the Bodywrap is much less to enhance than the AoMF; 48k for a +4 bodywrap vs 64k for a +4 amulet.
"...the ability to take physical punishment and keep going..." Hit points represent your physical endurance as the ability to suffer damage but still keep fighting at optimal capacity. The only issue is the fact that you drop from optimal to K.O'ed with almost no interval; you must be left with exactly 0 HP to be considered conscious but also staggered. There are some abilities that represent a stretching of this "gray area" such as those that let you act as if staggered while in negative HP (but not yet dead).
So, if one were going to use a houserule to make that interval between 'fighting optimally' and 'out for the count' a bit wider, maybe certain thresholds where you can fight as if staggered; say based on half the size of your hit-dice? So with 1d6 HD, you fight optimally down to 1 HP, then are staggered from 0 to -3, and then are considered dying. If you have 1d12 HD, you can go from 0 to -6. If you have different sized HD from different sources, use the one you have the most of; ie. if you have 3 levels of 1d6 and 6 levels of 1d8, base the calculation on the 1d8. If 3 of 1d8 and 6 of 1d6, use the 1d6 instead. If it's a tie, just use the bigger one (1d8 in this case).
Answers now with 100% more bold flavor.
Yes, it would be. Regardless of whether or not you're using the TWF rules to gain an extra attack via off-hand, or simply using two different hands to make your normal allowance of BAB attacks, you're still using both hands; you're using both of them independently, but you're still using both of them. Pathfinder is, very much, a game of abstraction and quantum uncertainty. You have no actual facing, but it's abstracted by the Flanking rules; you have no dominant hand and are considered effectively ambidextrous when using multiple weapons; all turns happen in parallel but you don't know what an opponent did in that same 6s time interval until their turn has been resolved; so on and so forth. So when you are being grappled, one of your arms is out of commission but you don't find out which one it is until you decide to use one of your arms for some task; once you've applied one arm to an action, by default, the other arm must be the one out of commission because of the grapple. So if you had a Mithral dagger in one hand and a Cold Iron dagger in the other, you can normally assign them independently to your normal iterative attacks and it isn't TWF, but that still requires both hands to do so. So if you are grappled, once you attack with one of your daggers, that establishes it as the hand that is still free to act. But using the actual TWF rules to gain an extra attack necessitates the use of both hands so it's pointless to even declare it in the first place. Think of it this way; imagine it wasn't the hand but rather one of your legs that was restrained. You can't perform a task that requires both legs, but you don't know which leg is actually restrained. Would you say you can walk just fine since you alternate legs; that the restraint "passes" to whichever leg isn't currently being used for something and only actions that require simultaneous use of both legs are prevented? That would be absurd. So why wouldn't that same principal apply to the hands?
No, each hand is performing a separate attack; but they are all encompassed in a single full-attack action. If one of your hands is immobilized to the point that you can't use it to wield a 2-h weapon, what makes you think it's perfectly fine to wield two single-handed weapons just because the arms are working independently? One of your arms is out of commission for the duration of the grapple; that covers both the use of both hands on a single task as well as each hand on a separate task. You only get to do things that require all of one hand. That could be attack with a dagger + armor spikes, dagger + kick, kick + kick, etc; but not dagger + dagger unless you have sufficient diplomacy to convince the grappler to kindly switch to your other arm so you can attack with your other dagger.
Half-speed is double movement cost; they are the same, mechanically speaking, in Pathfinder. If you're moving at half speed, it costs you 10 feet worth of movement for every 5 feet of actual distance you cover.
If the GM is letting all the players know up-front what kind of a campaign he's running, that's very different from dropping it mid-campaign, "Oh, BTW, you're all expected to be Good and you just did something not Good so you get no experience and also a boulder falls and you die." That having been said, consider the creed of Sarenrae:
The most pertinent parts to this discussion are bolded. First, if fighting alone would be a waste of your life, don't squander it and find allies. Honor is one thing but there's no honor in standing alone against insurmountable odds just for the sake of doing it solo. Second, if the fight isn't fair, you don't fight as if it were; you use strategy and tactic to pull it back in your favor. Again, a dead paladin saves no one. There's a big difference between a life spent and a life squandered. Last, when words aren't enough, it's OK to resort to 'bigger sword diplomacy'. That is to say, violence shouldn't be your first answer to every problem, but it may very well be the final answer and that's OK. Save those who can be saved but irredeemable people must be purged so that they don't harm others. Regrettable, but necessary. Now, granted, this is a divine Paladin code so it's not something that everyone will be held to in order to be considered Good; but if it's good enough for a Paladin, I think you can get away with being a Good sneak and liar.
It seems that it was specifically designed such that you couldn't benefit from Wind Stance from taking a 5' step; you need to devote at least a move action to get the benefit. In the case of a creature with only 5' of movement, they'd have to double-move to get the benefit. If you're slower than 5', it takes a full 6 seconds just to waddle/crawl/creep 5' and that is the exact opposite of quick, erratic movements that make you hard to pinpoint for ranged attacks.
TWFing takes both hands by virtue that you're using both hands to attack. Full-Attack used to TWF is an action that requires both hands to perform. It doesn't matter that the hands are used independently of each other for each individual attack.
The only firearm I could even remotely see as being counted as light for TWF would be a Derringer (Coat Pistol). You could probably say its the equivalent of a hand crossbow. But that would, ultimately, be a houserule; the light/1-h/2-h categories were originally designed for melee weapons. You'll note that ranged weapons are "treated as <effort category> for TWF penalties" and the "one-handed" and "two-handed" designations specific to firearms are subtly different from the equivalents used for melee weapons.
If your character's movement speed is 5', then it takes a move action to move that 5 feet. This may look like a 5' step, but it is not. This sets precedent that it isn't the movement type that determines the distance but, rather, the distance that determines what movement type is necessary. If you want to fly 5' up, that costs 10' of movement. A 5' step only works on distances that cost 5' of movement.
1) Shield Master is talking about the TWF penalties. There are no other penalties specifically associated with a Klar under consideration.
2) Yes. Normally, you'd need to enhance it separately with defensive and offensive bonuses. Shield Master lets the defensive bonus pull double-duty.
3) Yes. Lets say you've got a +1 Defiant Klar. Without Shield Master, you just get your +1 Shield bonus to AC and you suffer TWF penalties when you use TWF rules. Against the shield's designated opponent, the shield gets bumped up to a virtual +3 with DR 2/- vs the designated opponent. This normally applies just to defensive capacity; it went from bumping your AC by +1 to bumping it by +3. But since Shield Master is letting you apply your shield's enhancement bonus as if it were a weapon bonus and Defiant is raising your shield's enhancement bonus, it's working as a virtual +3 weapon against designated opponents.
Well, one benefit to Improved Crit is that, unlike Keen, it doesn't go away in an anti-magic field or when magic is otherwise "turned off". Also, it will apply to any appropriate weapon rather than just the single one. On the flip-side, feats are hard-capped while money is a much more fluid metric. Optimally, you'd want a +3 Adamantine weapon at the very least. +3 gets you past DR/Silver and DR/Cold Iron and the Adamantine, of course, gets you past DR/Adamantine. Keen on there is another +1 to the price. That's 35k on top of the base cost of the weapon right there. But to really answer, we need to knew how your paladin is currently built and what weapon he uses as well as what your team makeup looks like. Is your Paladin a hammer in your group or more then anvil?
The Fighter Bonus Feats FAQ is contradictory with the Magus, Myrmidarch FAQ. Which one is correct? Alternatively, what specific situations does the Magus FAQ break the assumption set by the Fighter FAQ?
Source, May 2013
Source, June 2013
These two FAQ responses seem to be at odds. The Myrmidarch FAQ states that "stacking" class abilities like Weapon Training cross class even without explicitly stating that they do so while the Fighter Bonus Feats ability posted a mere 1 month later sets the standard that your character is assumed single-classed and that class abilities do not cross the class boundary unless given explicit permission. These premises are contradictory as they cannot both be correct or incorrect; one and only one of these statements can be true. For reference, this is the same issue that arose with the Racial Heritage/Half-breeds FAQs. Can we get some consistency in these FAQ responses or, alternatively, an explanation of what situations other than being explicitly given permission do we drop the single-class assumption? FAQ it up.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The developers of the game disagree with you. The Weapon Training granted by the Sohei Monk archetype is Sohei Weapon Training. It doesn't need to explicitly put "Sohei" in front of it because that's the default presumption of the system to cut down on word usage. Unless it explicitly states it works with another class/archetype's version of the skill, it does not. Period. End of story. That's all she wrote. So can someone lock this thread and kick Malachi's soapbox out from under him so he doesn't ruin the credibility of the community anymore?
I also remember someone mentioning a feat from somewhere; something called Love of Life (or something along those lines). It has a prereq that you must be in one of the older age categories and lets you use Cha for HP in place of Con. But I forget where they said it was from and I've never found it (probably because I got the name wrong).
The Acute Darkvision alternate trait increases the distance of your Darkvision racial trait but does not list it as a trait that is "replaced" (it instead replaces Orc Ferocity). So this sets the precedent that if one Racial trait affects a different Racial trait, the Racial trait that is being affected must be present. So, even though Dayborn only replaces the SLA (which all alternate heritages still have, just based on a different spell), the alternate heritages don't have the light sensitivity to be removed; thus the combo simply does not work.
I'll do you one better and give you a way to dump Dex, Wis, and Int.
- Paladin 2 gives Divine Grace which gives Cha to saves (but on top of normal stat penalty if you dump Dex and Wis.
What the author wants is inconsequential compared to how the rules read. If he wanted it to work that way, he could have easily included the clause, "A Sohei can use Flurry of Blows with any weapon category that he has chosen for Weapon Training including those from other classes." That's not what he wrote so that's not how it works. It works based on the default assumptions of the Pathfinder system; that characters are single-classed and a class ability, by default, means "this class/archetype's version of the ability" and any exceptions to the default must be stated explicitly.
It does, indeed, alter how Flurry functions because it adds additional types of weapons with which the Sohei can Flurry; that's what the word 'alter' means. It's not an "archetype" alteration in the sense that you can still mesh Sohei with an archetype that changes Flurry, but that doesn't make it any less a bonus to how Flurry functions. The Weapon Training class feature provided by the Sohei archetype improves how Flurry of Blows functions, not the other way around. So you must still absolutely have 6 levels of Sohei Monk before gaining the benefit of Flurrying with any weapon for which you have Weapon Training (Weapon Training gained through the Sohei archetype only goes without saying). Gloves of Dueling will grant their bonus equally to Sohei's Weapon Training or Fighter's Weapon Training, but Sohei's Weapon Training only grants Flurry allowance for Weapon Training earned through the Sohei Monk class. There is nothing incredible about a rule that works one way in one instance but a different way in a similar but ultimately separate instance. Class abilities presume single-classed; feats, items, and non-class abilities do not. That's how the game works. Deal with it.
Ok, let me break it down completely here for the sake of Malachi.
First, the Equivalent Class Ability FAQ:
The FAQ here is talking about rules elements that would improve a class ability. Not rules elements that depend upon the class ability for improvement. Sohei's Weapon Training class feature improves Flurry. Weapon Training isn't improved by Flurry. If the clause were in Flurry of Blows, then you'd have a nearly valid point. It isn't, though. Furthermore...
So, your assertion that the clause in Sohei's Weapon Training doesn't specify you need Sohei Weapon Training is inconsequential because it doesn't need to; the default position is that it only applies to the class's own abilities and allowance to use versions of that ability from another class is what needs to be explicit. So it does say that you need Sohei's specific Weapon Training class ability by virtue of not explicitly stating that it works on Weapon Training features from other classes. A Cleric's, Paladin's, Oracles, and Necromancer's Channel Energy may all count for things such as the Extra Channel or Elemental Channel feats, but if a class ability for the Paladin gives extra effect to Channel Energy, unless it specifies "from other classes as well", that class bonus only applies to Channel Energy used from the Paladin class's pool of Channel Energy uses. So, just as a multi-classed Monk/Fighter can't retrain Monk bonus feats using the Fighter's Bonus Feats class ability, a multi-classed Paladin/Cleric can't use a Paladin class ability to alter his Cleric's Channel Energy class ability and a Sohei/Weapon Master can't use his Weapon Master's Weapon Training ability to benefit from his Sohei's Weapon Training ability. However, both Weapon Training's will benefit equally from Gloves of the Duelist because it isn't a class ability. The Paladin/Cleric could apply Extra Channel to either his Paladin channel or his Cleric channel at his discretion. So even if you had a nearly valid point regarding benefits to same-function class abilities (which you don't), you would then run into the second wall that even if the Sohei's "can use Flurry with any Weapon Training weapon" clause were moved to Flurry of Blows, it still is subject to the "single-class assumption" so it would still require an additional clause stating, "including Weapon Training gained from another class". So advancing Sohei's Weapon Training does not advance Weapon Training gained from any other class (nor vice versa) and Weapon Training from any other class cannot be used with the Sohei's class ability that allows them to Flurry with any weapon for which they have Weapon Training because it does not explicitly say that it does.
Disagree with the principal behind the FAQ all you want, Malachi, but don't go spewing this idea that the FAQ should just be disregarded because you don't agree with it. It doesn't create a rules paradox like what we had with the Racial Heritage/Halfbreeds FAQ issue so it should be presumed to be valid until such a time that further clarification is made available. Simple logic.
Touch spells are spells with a range of Touch. That is distinctly different from a spell which has an effect or benefit that allows for a touch attack; but is not, in itself, a Touch spell (a spell with a range of Touch).
I doubled checked the relevant rules text just to be certain:
“Armed” Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).
It does specify that delivering a touch attack spell is considered an "armed" unarmed attack and doesn't leave it open to just any source of a touch attack. This means that both Produce Flame and Elemental Touch are no-go because neither are a Touch spell; ET is a Personal spell while PF produces an Effect at 0ft (that effect being a flame in your hand). So Produce Flame doesn't count as an "Armed" Unarmed Attack. Based on that, I conclude that you do not threaten with Produce Flame.
Improved Quick Draw
That's covered under ignorance. The root word is 'ignore'; you must be aware of something in order to ignore it. To be 'ignorant' of a fact is to be aware of it, but to ignore that knowledge. If one weren't aware in the first place, they would be 'innocent' of the knowledge and then, it's a matter of laziness as it's just a matter that they didn't do the brain-work to comprehend it.
In the case of normal Spellstrike, the free touch/weapon attack is delivered as a Free action so you can cast as standard, move, deliver as free action. This would allow you leeway to cast, draw a melee weapon as a free action, and deliver. However, with ranged touch spells, it works differently:
Ranged Touch Spells in Combat: Some spells allow you to make a ranged touch attack as part of the casting of the spell. These attacks are made as part of the spell and do not require a separate action. Ranged touch attacks provoke an attack of opportunity, even if the spell that causes the attacks was cast defensively. Unless otherwise noted, ranged touch attacks cannot be held until a later turn.
The attack portion of a ranged touch spell is not a separate action as it is with the melee touch spell; it's part of the casting so there's no room between casting and attacking in which to draw your deck. This means you need to already have the deck or an appropriate thrown weapon in hand because, according to the Deadly Dealer feat, the deck itself is the ranged weapon with the individual cards counting as ammo so it's kind of a cross between a normal individual thrown dart and a set of shuriken. Now, speaking of shuriken, they are thrown weapons so they count for Harrowed Spellstrike, but they count as ammo for drawing (no action to draw) so you could have the shuriken handy to draw and throw them as part of the casting because they have no hand-held component like the deck. So, in a way, Harrowed Spellstrike works best with shuriken if you want to wield a melee weapon in your other hand. Alternatively, wield a Dagger or other throwable melee weapon, and make your melee attacks first then just chuck it for your harrowed spellstrike and quick draw a replacement (or use a returning dagger/blinkback belt).
No, it means that Armor Spikes need an available off-hand attack (in terms of attack economy) to use. You can attack with Armor Spikes if both hands are carrying something or otherwise unavailable (ie. you can attack with armor spikes while holding a crate with both hands). But you still need an available off-hand attack with which to use them. Think of it this way; you have a Longsword and a Dagger and, of course, Unarmed Strike. You have 2 iterative attacks and 2 off-hand attacks via ITWF. You can make up to 2 attacks at BAB/BAB-5 with any combination of these three weapons; the Unarmed Strikes can be abstracted so they don't require free hands (since both your hands are holding other weapons). However, once you start two-weapon fighting, despite being able to make an Unarmed Strike with your hands full, you can't make an extra Unarmed Strike or two on account of having two off-hand attacks if you've already spent those attacks using your dagger. Arguably, though, you could still mix-match your main-hand with any non-off-hand weapon so you could do Longsword/Longsword, Longsword/US, or US/US in addition to your two Dagger off-hand attacks. The Unarmed Strikes don't require a free hand just as Armor spikes don't require a free hand; but they still require an available off-hand attack in order to budget them into your attack economy. Exceptions to this are one thing (ie. Sea Knife, Beard) but this is what the FAQ clarifies it to be as default. It's a sensible clarification and I'm not confused by it in the slightest bit because I took the time and effort to work it out and comprehend it and fit it into my frame of understanding of the game. The only excuse for finding it confusing is laziness or ignorance.
If you have more than 2 arms naturally, you get additional potential off-hand attacks. But if you have only 2 arms naturally and you "sprout" additional arms by some rules element (ie. Alchemist vestigial arms), you don't gain the additional budget of off-hand attacks.
Basically, yes. For the Card Caster, you effectively need two free hands if you're going to use Ranged Spellstrike along with Spell Combat; one hand to cast, and the other hand to throw your ranged weapon.