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Whips, tiny creatures, and reach


Rules Questions

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30 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

Preface: This is an attempt to get a FAQ going on two issues.

CRB p141 wrote:
Reach Weapons: Glaives, guisarmes, lances, longspears, ranseurs, and whips are reach weapons. A reach weapon is a melee weapon that allows its wielder to strike at targets that aren’t adjacent to him. Most reach weapons double the wielder’s natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square. 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.

Please note the bolded section above.

First issue- Whips:
A whip has a reach of 15'. This is not double a small or medium character's reach. This is in fact triple. When a Large(tall) or bigger creature uses a whip what is the reach? It should be triple natural reach. However this is not stated.

Second issue-Tiny creatures:
A tiny creature with a natural reach of zero using a reach weapon has a reach of...ZERO. Why? because it states double natural reach and double of zero is zero. It should be a reach of 5'.

Small/Medium creature has a natural reach of 5'. With a reach weapon that increases to 10'.
A tiny creature has a natural reach of 0'. With a reach weapon it should be increased to 5'.

If you disagree, feel free to state so. Otherwise please FAQ.

- Gauss


Faqd the main issue is that the game doesn't covering sizine well the same thing happens with magic.

A colossol creature cast fireball and its only hitting his colossol opponents arm.

A Tiny or smaller creature however uses fireball and against creatures his own size it might as well be a nuke.


Thanks Talonhawke

- Gauss


Just a reminder, anyone FAQing this should also bump it so that others can read it.

Thanks

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

Preface: This is an attempt to get a FAQ going on two issues.

- Gauss

This is something that really should have been addressed when they came out with Pathfinder as it's nothing new.

Moreover the assumption in the text that someone is medium sized (or possibly small) should be removed in many places of the rules.

I wish you the best of luck here as I think it's a place that's very worthy of being addressed,

James


petitioned for a FAQ too


I posted this question over in James Jacob's thread as well. I figured it wouldn't hurt to know his opinion on it and it may help it get more attention from the Devs as well.

I would like to add a third issue (and I did on his thread):
3. What reach does a Medium sized creature wielding a Huge sized whip have and what is his "dead zone"?


I'm not sure that a whip effectively changes size normally. If a whip gets too small, it's likely to be entirely pretty ineffective as a weapon (think - shoelace). If it gets too broad/thick, it loses its pliability or whip-iness. If it gets too long, it becomes unwieldy, even for a very large creature.

My two cp: Whips are 15 feet long.


The Crusader: Just out of curiosity do you believe that a Diminutive sized whip is the same length as a Gargantuan sized whip then?

Grand Lodge

A relevant example

This Large (tall) creature with a whip increases its reach from 10 to 20 feet.


Starglim: So a whip for a Fine sized creature is 15 feet long? Even though the creature that is using it is less than 1/2 a foot tall?

Anyone: What is the actual difference between a Colossal sized whip and a Fine sized whip then? I understand that it was designed for a creature of a different size but what does that actually change about it?

Grand Lodge

Lune wrote:
Starglim: So a whip for a Fine sized creature is 15 feet long? Even though the creature that is using it is less than 1/2 a foot tall?

Huh? I don't think I have offered any opinion on Fine whips. If I did, that would certainly not be it.

The balor stat block neither supports nor contradicts The Crusader's reading, since its whip's reach is not 15 feet but increases the balor's reach by the same amount that a Medium whip increases a Medium creature's reach.

Lune wrote:
Anyone: What is the actual difference between a Colossal sized whip and a Fine sized whip then? I understand that it was designed for a creature of a different size but what does that actually change about it?

It's a one-handed weapon for a creature of that size. A creature one size smaller can swing it with two hands. A creature two sizes larger or two sizes smaller cannot use it. They also weigh and cost different amounts.


Starglim: I am asking your opinion on how long a Fine sized whip is and what reach that gives a Fine sized creature.

As to the differences between the Whips I was referring to physical differences. So you said that the weight changes. Does that mean that they only increase in girth but not length? Otherwise what would constitute the change in weight?


Lune. I think you have beaten that horse enough in the other thread. Please don't repeat that it in this thread.


Thank you for your advice, Erikkerik, but I think this is perhaps the most appropriate thread to ask opinions on that question so I intend on doing so. If you do not like the questions you can feel free to ignore them. No harm in asking.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Boils down tothe question: What reach does a small/tiny/large whip have ?


If I had to guess, I would say the reach of such weapons are not considered because as it gets smaller, its damage also reduces to a point where they would do no damage regardless of if they can reach you or not.

That being said, I guess it would be important to the rare case of it being used as a spell delivery method such as spellstrike. I such a case the weapon would deal nothing but the spell would.


gourry187 wrote:
If I had to guess, I would say the reach of such weapons are not considered because as it gets smaller, its damage also reduces to a point where they would do no damage regardless of if they can reach you or not.

You could say the same thing about pretty much any bludgeoning weapon, though - a Tiny mace would not, logically, be a terribly lethal weapon, but by the existing damage scaling rules it deals lethal damage just fine.


Lune wrote:
The Crusader: Just out of curiosity do you believe that a Diminutive sized whip is the same length as a Gargantuan sized whip then?

Actually, what I am saying is that there is no such thing as a diminutive or gargantuan sized whip. There are whips. A whip is 15 feet of braided leather. You're either large enough to wield it effectively, or you're not.

If you look at the Balor. He's size large, but in all the stats (reach, damage) he's wielding a regular whip.

I think whips are just a non-standard weapon, that size-altering rules don't apply to. Would you fear a pixie wielding a leather shoelace? What about a Titan with a whip so broad that it doesn't flex, and so long that he can't get the ends to come off the ground? Just by the physics, the weapon doesn't scale.

/myopinion


The Crusader wrote:


Would you fear a pixie wielding a leather shoelace? What about a Titan with a whip so broad that it doesn't flex, and so long that he can't get the ends to come off the ground? Just by the physics, the weapon doesn't scale.

You wouldn't really fear a pixie wielding a thick metal ballpoint pen, either, but that's how a mace scales down.


Real World Physics do not consistently apply to D&D/PF. They never have. The length of the whip is utterly irrelevant to this discussion. The only relevancy is the following:

What is the natural reach multiplier of a whip? From the Balor example (Starglim, thanks for providing that btw) it is x2 which corresponds to the rules on reach weapons being double natural reach. However, for small/medium characters the reach of a whip is triple natural reach so something is still off.

For tiny creatures it doesn't matter what form of reach weapon it is. Double zero is still zero. This needs to be fixed. Perhaps there are examples of a tiny or smaller creature using a reach weapon that will shed light on this.

Folks, this is not a debate forum for your beliefs on real world physics, the length of a whip (which is irrelevant to it's reach), or anything else besides the rules questions at hand. Please take those discussions elsewhere.

Restating those questions:
What is the natural reach multiplier of a whip.
What is the reach of a tiny or smaller creature when using a reach weapon.

Lune added a third question (boiled down to be a little less specific since his question is not possible using the rules):
What is the reach of a medium character using a weapon sized for a creature larger than itself.
My answer is: the same as any weapon properly sized. PF does not have different reaches based on the differing weapon sizes, only on natural reach.

Please take your discussions that are not about those three questions elsewhere. Please use the rules for the discussions about these three questions rather than extraneous information such as the real world, opinions on length, etc.

- Gauss


I never thought about that that Gauss. I did press the FAQ button because this(the whip) is inconsistent.

Somewhat related:We have not had an FAQ in a long time, and me suffering(I am not saying I am being tortured) for some jerks makes no sense.

edit:add "the whip"

edit 2:Yeah weapon length is not a factor. As an example a normal weapon for a large creature does not give a small creature reach which it should be able to do, if the small creature could wield it, since the weapon would be longer than a small creature's reach weapon. The small creature itself is only about 3 feet tall most likely. The large weapon itself probably weighs as much, and is longer/taller than the small creature.

Grand Lodge

Question: Wouldn't the "natural reach" of a tiny creature be irrelevant because that would put the targeted creature in an adjacent square regardless of weapon?


Corbin Dallas: Not really. The way reach weapons are worded is such that any creature with a reach of Zero gets absolutely nothing when using a reach weapon. Adjacent or not doesnt yet factor into it.

If the developers ever answer the question as to what a reach weapon does for a creature with a natural reach of 0 then I expect your question will be answered as well.

Nice nick btw. :)

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

Ya, I'm a little curious now. Went ahead and FAQ'd it for you. Can't hurt I figure.


FAQ'd as well


Gauss wrote:
Folks, this is not a debate forum for your beliefs on real world physics, the length of a whip (which is irrelevant to it's reach), or anything else besides the rules questions at hand. Please take those discussions elsewhere.

I do not subscribe to the idea that rules discussions should be devoid of real world physics so I will likely not acquiescing to that request. Nothing personal. That being said, I think it doesn't matter because we are all looking for a ruling whether the individual poster thinks real world physics are relevant or not. I know for a fact that designers do not throw real world physics out the window when making rules so it is moot.

Gauss wrote:
Lune added a third question (boiled down to be a little less specific since his question is not possible using the rules):

As I stated in the other thread, this is not true. It is entirely possible for a medium sized creature to wield a Huge sized whip. Half-giant. I am, however, fine with the restatement of the question as a broader answer to a broader question may lead to more insight as to the reasoning behind the ruling.

That is if we even get FAQ attention anymore like wraithstrike said. :/

Multipass!


Half-Giant is not a RAW option. It is 3rd party. It does not apply here.

As for your lack of acquiesence: If you want to be disrespectful fine. I can do little to stop you other than reporting it if and when it occurs and that probably will accomplish little. But hopefully other people will be more respectful and not respond to your attempts to derail the conversation here. I want something the Developers do not mind reading. If we sit here and argue about non-rules semantics they may not do so. Please, I ask politely: create your own thread if that is the direction you want to go.

- Gauss


Gauss: I'll post what I like, thanx. I think your making a mountain out of a mole hill here. If you have some personal issue with me that you would like to address then I would suggest you take it to a personal message and keep it out of the thread to preserve civil discussion.


Nope, no problem. :) I have not made a personal attack, only asked people to keep to the topic at hand. You are the only one stating you will not do so and thus I think the problem might be yours. *shrugs* In any case, shall we move on?

- Gauss


Whatever.

Perhaps the basic formula here is that a whip gives a small/medium creature a 15ft reach. However the whip otherwise follows the rules for reach weapons doubling the creature's natural reach (minimum of 10').

I think that ruling would likely satisfy all sides, right? Bigger creatures would still get more reach which makes sense from both a RAW perspective and a logical one. Smaller creatures would still get some reach as well so it satisfies the logic of it still providing some level of reach while not being outside of what the RAW likely intended.

This is by no means an official ruling but it seems like the fairest, most balanced ruling that I think would satisfy everyone. Maybe? I dunno.

Anyone know of a supplement that has a Tiny sized critter with a reach weapon to use as a possible benchmark? We have one with a larger sized critter (the Balor) but that really seems to only to have served to muddy the waters.


Why doesn't a whip scale? It's not about it's size, it's about the tightness of the leather laces interwoven and a shoelace is no where near that. If a tiny creature is using tiny strips of leather and makes a tiny whip, it's going to swing and snap just as well. And probably hurt like a bee sting. A giant whip probably the same way, it's thick at the base maybe but if the giant creature gets that same creation technique down, as a medium or small creature can, it should cut the air just as well. (though getting the material that long might be an issue.)


Reach is problematic. As written, reach weapons double reach, but it seems like the actually add a fixed value to reach. Balor is the only example of a large or larger creature in the bestiaries using a reach weapon, and in that case, the whip doesn't triple its reach, as it does for a medium-sized creature, but instead adds 10 ft. This would be consistent with a whip adding 10 ft to whatever a creature's natural reach would be.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Heck after searching D20pfsrds whole bestiary the balor is the only non medium/small thing using a whip at all.


Since I'm lazy right now (and at work - bad combo, right?) what about other reach weapons?

Paladin of Baha-who?: Yeah, I'm thinking your right. But this is still problematic as it does not agree with the reach rules.


0 reach starts at tiny right?


Yep.


Nothing either no one knows and thus want to avoid it or they know it doesn't work and thus don't use it. Also I'm amazed at the number of tiny creatures who only have melee attacks that force them to provoke.


Havent check smaller than tiny though I can if someone wants me too but from what I'm seeing nothing is probably still the answer.


I meant not just Tiny creatures but creatures that are not Small/Medium. So far the only thing I think we have is the Balor which seems to be a walking contradiction.


Nothing else uses a whip that isnt S/M I only went down on other reach weapons since we know how reach would function for anything with a listed number above 0.


I'm going to be GMing a campaign with a tiny PC soon (custom race, basically a smaller version of a pixie without the game-breaking abilities) and I've decided that reach weapons will add 5 to her reach, and I will work this consistently with all weapons. Normal reach weapons will add 5 to the reach of the wielder. Whips will add 10. There are large sized enemies in the AP (Skull & Shackles) but none that I can find with reach weapons so this will only affect enlarged characters. I think enlarge person is powerful enough without giving someone a reach of 20.


Paladin of Baha-who: Large creatures are already covered with the reach rules. Even have a provided example that clearly states that a reach weapon on a large creature has a reach of 15-20feet (with no attacks at 5-10feet with the reach weapon). It is only Large creatures using a Whip that is a question.

So, if you do not grant an enlarged human with a longspear a reach of 15-20feet you are nerfing them as far as the rules are concerned.

CRB 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.

- Gauss


And, of course, the previously stated Balor that has a reach of 20 with the whip.


Gauss wrote:

Paladin of Baha-who: Large creatures are already covered with the reach rules. Even have a provided example that clearly states that a reach weapon on a large creature has a reach of 15-20feet (with no attacks at 5-10feet with the reach weapon). It is only Large creatures using a Whip that is a question.

So, if you do not grant an enlarged human with a longspear a reach of 15-20feet you are nerfing them as far as the rules are concerned.

CRB 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.
- Gauss

Well, see, it seems to me that means that depending on what specific reach weapon is being used, a Large character gets a reach of either 15 or 20 feet. If a polearm is being used, ze gets a reach of 15 feet. If a whip is being used, ze gets a reach of 20.


Paladin no: A polearm doubles his reach. It specifically states that the Large creature can attack a creature that is at 15 or 20feet away but not up to 10feet away. The or is not dependant upon the type of weapon. The or is dependant upon the positioning of the creature being attacked.

Medium character with Polearm:
Attack at 10feet
Cannot attack at 5feet.

Now, we apply the doubling rules.
Large character with polearm:
Attack at 20feet
Cannot attack at 10feet.

That leaves 5 and 15feet remaining. The rules state that up to 10feet there is no attack so that takes care of 5feet. They also state that with a reach weapon you can attack at 15 or 20feet. That takes care of the 15feet.

A Large creature with a polearm has a reach of 15-20feet and is unable to attack at 10feet or less.

- Gauss


Lune wrote:
And, of course, the previously stated Balor that has a reach of 20 with the whip.

I would put that down to two things:

1. In 3.5 the balor's whip wasn't a standard whip, but rather:

[quote = srd]
A balor’s +1 flaming whip is a long, flexible weapon with many tails tipped with hooks, spikes, and balls. The weapon deals bludgeoning and slashing damage, in addition to fire damage.
[\quote]

2. When Pathfinder altered things, they merely copied the 20ft reach with a whip while altering the text to make the vorpal part a quality of the Balor rather than their weapon.

At least this makes the most sense to me,

James


FAQed. Until answer comes, I will suggest the following:
A whip is not like most melee weapons, it has properties like a 'reusable ranged weapon', no threat when close & provoking, etc. You can indeed attack a foe in an adjacent square, but it provokes.

The range of the weapon is 15' for a small/medium, based on how far they can 'hurl the end of the whip'. The Balor has +1 size, increasing the range to 20'. Small and medium are counted as same size category for this weapons range. Thus I choose to increase/ decrease the range with the same amount when changing size of the creature:

Huge: 25'
Gargantuan: 30'
Collosal: 35'

Tiny: 10'
Diminutive: 5'

I believe this is a workable interpretation until the FAQ-result arrives, if ever.


Asked JJ and here is his response:

James Jacobs wrote:

Gauss wrote:

James:

Two questions about reach (I know you answered Lunes questions but mine, while related are different or restated for clarification purposes):

CRB p141 wrote:
Reach Weapons: Glaives, guisarmes, lances, longspears, ranseurs, and whips are reach weapons. A reach weapon is a melee weapon that allows its wielder to strike at targets that aren’t adjacent to him. Most reach weapons double the wielder’s natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square. 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.
Please note the bolded section for the following questions.

1) A tiny or smaller creature has a reach of zero. Double of zero = zero.
1A) What is the reach of a tiny or smaller creature with a longspear? 1B) If greater than zero can the tiny or smaller creature attack in his own square or adjacent squares?

2) A Small or Medium creature using a Whip has a reach of 15'. This is not 'double natural reach' but is in fact triple the natural reach.
2A) What is the reach of a Large creature with a natural reach of 10 when using a whip? (20feet is double, 30feet is triple)
2B) What is the reach of a Huge creature with a natural reach of 15 when using a whip? (30feet is double, 45feet is triple)
2C) What is the reach of a Tiny or smaller creature with a natural reach of 0 when using a whip? (0feet is double, 0 feet is triple, see question 1)

Thanks for your time as always and welcome back!

- Gauss

First off... all of these situations are strange corner cases that the rules don't specifically address, really, but here's how I'd answer all of them:

1) Giving a tiny or smaller creature a reach weapon allows it to attack adjacent foes as if it were a Small or Medium creature.

2) Small is a weird size category that, for the purposes of reach weapons, works identically to Medium because that makes it easier and more balanced for Small PC races. And whips are unusual weapons in that they grant a much larger reach than normal.

2A) 30 feet.
2B) 45 feet.
2C) 10 feet.

James Jacob's Response

I have also asked him for clarification on if a reach 0 creature can attack with a reach weapon (such as longspear) in its own square. No answer yet.

- Gauss


There should be a wiki for this....

But JJ answer is not obviously consistent with Balor, and it appears to have been made hasty...

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