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Sunder is an attack action = Sunder is a standard action?


Rules Questions

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Here's a perfect example of why they made Sunder an alteration to Attack() rather than a standard action of its own and why there is a functional difference between Standard Actions and Attack Action.

APG wrote:


Slow Time (Su): At 12th level, a monk of the four winds can use his ki to slow time or quicken his movements, depending on the observer. As a swift action, the monk can expend 6 ki points to gain three standard actions during his turn instead of just one. The monk can use these actions to do the following: take a melee attack action, use a skill, use an extraordinary ability, or take a move action. The monk cannot use these actions to cast spells or use spell-like abilities, and cannot combine them to take full-attack actions. Any move actions the monk makes this turn do not provoke attacks of opportunity. This ability replaces abundant step.

Note the emphasized part. You get 3 standard actions but your choice is limited to a specific list. Attack(melee), Skill(), Extraordinary(), or Move(). If Sunder were listed as a Standard action, Sunder(), you could not use Sunder as one of these actions. But since Sunder is a special form of Attack(), you can Sunder as one of these actions. Same with Vital Strike, which is also an alteration to Attack(). Grapple(), on the other hand, is a standard action all its own; you cannot use Grapple() in conjunction with Slow Time.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber

posted this in the wrong thread

Reading the FAQ for Pathfinder I get:
Quote:

Q: Since disarm, sunder, and trip are attack actions (not standard maneuvers like bull rush, overrun, or grapple), does the Weapon Finesse feat allow the fighter to use his Dex to calculate his CMB for those specific attacks? Or would I need Agile Maneuvers no matter what maneuver I wanted?

A: (James Jacobs) Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, and similar feats would only apply when you're attempting a combat maneuver with that weapon. For the most part, this would be limited to things like disarm or sunder or MAYBE trip. You wouldn't get this bonus to things like overrun, bull rush, or grapple that don't use a weapon attack as part of their requirements. Agile Maneuvers applies to EVERY maneuver every time.

This question states that disarm, sunder and trip are attack actions (not standard actions).

I note here that:

1) Calling disarm, trip and sunder attack actions was not corrected as if it were wrong.

and

2) they were linked as being similar and again not corrected.

I see lots of wrangling over this and from my perspective it seems clear.

Going back to the 3.5 FAQ sunder can be used in a full attack action.

Going by the RAW it *seems* intuitive that sunder can be used in a full attack action and it's *ambiguous* at best.

Going by questions in the Pathfinder FAQ it seems that sunder is like trip and disarm.

Arguing over this stems from the vital attack clarification which doesn't seem to cover anything other than... vital attack.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ckorik wrote:
Going by questions in the Pathfinder FAQ it seems that sunder is like trip and disarm.

That's not the Pathfinder FAQ. Where did you pull it from, d20pfsrd.com?

The official Pathfinder FAQ is here. You've already been told this once, in the other thread you posted in. Ignoring it is very bad form. More specifically, quite dishonest.


Ckorik wrote:
if an attack = a standard action than multiple attacks = multiple standard actions.

And neither of those are correct.

An attack action is a standard action. But not every attack uses the attack action.

Full-attack is not a standard action, it's a full round action. It can consist of multiple attacks, but that doesn't mean it consists of multiple attack actions.

Ckorik wrote:
Arguing over this stems from the vital attack clarification which doesn't seem to cover anything other than... vital attack.

They clarified what the attack action was.

They said the attack action is a specific standard action.

Since everyone now knows what the attack action is (a specific standard action) they also know how Vital Strike works.

You cannot make iterative Vital Strikes, because it uses the attack action, which is a specific standard action.

You cannot make iterative Sunders, because it uses the attack action, which is a specific standard action.

If Vital Strike was removed from the rules, we would still have the multiple developer rulings that the attack action is a specific standard action, and that would still apply to every other instance of the attack action, like Sunder, Overhand Chop, etc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
Going by questions in the Pathfinder FAQ it seems that sunder is like trip and disarm.

That's not the Pathfinder FAQ. Where did you pull it from, d20pfsrd.com?

The official Pathfinder FAQ is here. You've already been told this once, in the other thread you posted in. Ignoring it is very bad form. More specifically, quite dishonest.

source:

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/rules/weaponFinesseOnSpecialKindsOfAttacks&page=1#9

*edit*

and wow - dishonest really? From using as James Jacobs source? Just because it disproves your argument doesn't mean you get to attack my character.


Ckorik wrote:

source:

linked

That's a post by James Jacobs. He didn't quote anyone, he just explained how weapon-based combat maneuvers use weapon bonuses. There's no mention at all of the attack action. It doesn't support your theory at all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Grick wrote:
Ckorik wrote:

source:

linked

That's a post by James Jacobs. He didn't quote anyone, he just explained how weapon-based combat maneuvers use weapon bonuses. There's no mention at all of the attack action. It doesn't support your theory at all.

Quote:
Q: Since disarm, sunder, and trip are attack actions

perhaps I'm reading something that I can't clearly see above - if trip, disarm, and sunder weren't using the same mechanic wouldn't that have been pointed out?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ckorik wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
Going by questions in the Pathfinder FAQ it seems that sunder is like trip and disarm.

That's not the Pathfinder FAQ. Where did you pull it from, d20pfsrd.com?

The official Pathfinder FAQ is here. You've already been told this once, in the other thread you posted in. Ignoring it is very bad form. More specifically, quite dishonest.

source:

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/rules/weaponFinesseOnSpecialKindsOfAttacks&page=1#9

Like I said, not the FAQ. That's a messageboard post from a staff member. Be honest and upfront about your sources.

In the official FAQ, the question and answer are written together by Paizo staff, and therefore something in the question that doesn't get contradicted can be assumed legit because it was written by Paizo. In a messageboard reply to an ongoing thread three days after the question was posed, failing to contradict a tangentially-related phrase while answering the real question can not be taken as official endorsement of that phraseology.

Furthermore, the person you're citing later commented that the "attack action" is "a specific KIND of standard action". In what you cited, he merely didn't comment on the topic. Later, he comments that it is the opposite of what you're trying to infer from his lack of comment.

Hope that clears things up on that point.


Ckorik wrote:
Quote:
Q: Since disarm, sunder, and trip are attack actions
perhaps I'm reading something that I can't clearly see above - if trip, disarm, and sunder weren't using the same mechanic wouldn't that have been pointed out?

James never said that.

He didn't bother to correct everything in the thread, he just made a statement about how weapon bonuses apply to combat maneuvers.

Someone else corrected the OP in post 19.

That thread happened a month after Jason explained the attack action (three times).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ckorik wrote:
Grick wrote:
Ckorik wrote:

source:

linked

That's a post by James Jacobs. He didn't quote anyone, he just explained how weapon-based combat maneuvers use weapon bonuses. There's no mention at all of the attack action. It doesn't support your theory at all.

Quote:
Q: Since disarm, sunder, and trip are attack actions

perhaps I'm reading something that I can't clearly see above - if trip, disarm, and sunder weren't using the same mechanic wouldn't that have been pointed out?

No, because he was answering the actual question being asked instead of commenting on the terminology used in the question (as written by a forum poster).

He later (see my above link) confirms that the attack action is a "specific KIND of standard action".

Perhaps it's not that you're being dishonest, but whoever is running around formatting messageboard dialogues as though they were official Paizo FAQs is being incredibly irresponsible with how they present information.


Ckorik wrote:
Grick wrote:
Ckorik wrote:

source:

linked

That's a post by James Jacobs. He didn't quote anyone, he just explained how weapon-based combat maneuvers use weapon bonuses. There's no mention at all of the attack action. It doesn't support your theory at all.

Quote:
Q: Since disarm, sunder, and trip are attack actions

perhaps I'm reading something that I can't clearly see above - if trip, disarm, and sunder weren't using the same mechanic wouldn't that have been pointed out?

Hmm, interesting. Since the person not correcting the question is the same person that later ruled that attack actions are standard actions that means that disarm and trip are the combat maneuvers that are incorrectly written. While they may have changed their minds later, at that time disarm and trip were incorrectly allowed to replace any melee attack instead of being restricted to the attack action. So all you have done is disproved your position.

Silver Crusade

I've posted about the history of Sunder upthread, now I'll talk about 'attack action'.

In 3.0 and 3.5 'attack action' was not an action type, of course (standard, full-round, move, etc), it used action types! But which?

If an ability was described as taking a standard action or a move action or a full-round action, there was no confusion. If an ability was described as taking an 'attack action', then the action type it consumed was whatever the action type a weapon attack would use in that circumstance, whether standard, full-round, free (touch attack) or no action (charge, AoO).

In the following quote from the 3.5 dev Skip Williams in the 3.5 FAQ, Skip actually contrasts 'standard action' with 'attack action', to illustrate that you cannot fold standard actions into a full attack, while 'attack actions' can be folded into a full attack!

Skip Wiliams wrote:-

'Using eldritch blast requires a standard action, not an
attack action (unlike using a weapon). If something requires a
standard action (as opposed to an attack action) to use, you
can’t use the full attack action to gain extra uses of that ability.'

Of course, if Sunder was the only attack you make on your turn, then that attack uses a standard action. But that is true of every attack 'action' in the book!

So what, if anything, changed about 'attack action' in the transition from 3.5 to Pathfinder? In a word, nothing! No new text in the combat chapter.

Later, in an attempt to clarify Vital Strike, JJ stated 'attack action=standard action'.

Two possibilities: either JJ was reminding us that, according to RAW, 'Making an attack is a standard action.', OR, the PF dev team chose to change the definition of 'attack action' in Pathfinder, and the medium the devs chose to communicate this change was in a reply to a question about Vital Strike!

JJ should have changed VS to read, 'as a standard action...'. It was an unintended consequence that players have interpreted his answer as changing the 'attack action'. As was posted above, JJ himself is quite happy for Sunder to be a kind of 'attack' and subject to the same rules in relation to full attacks, AoOs, etc. He's also happy with understanding that 'attack action' and 'standard action' are not synonymous, dispute the fact that 'attack action' defaults to use a standard action in the absence of another action type being called.

The RAW about 'attack action' has not changed between 3.5 and PF. I find it inconceivable that the devs would communicate such a major change in the combat rules as changing the meaning of 'attack action', by a reply to a question about Vital Strike.

Silver Crusade

I've posted about the history of Sunder upthread, now I'll talk about 'attack action'.

In 3.0 and 3.5 'attack action' was not an action type, of course (standard, full-round, move, etc), it used action types! But which?

If an ability was described as taking a standard action or a move action or a full-round action, there was no confusion. If an ability was described as taking an 'attack action', then the action type it consumed was whatever the action type a weapon attack would use in that circumstance, whether standard, full-round, free (touch attack) or no action (charge, AoO).

In the following quote from the 3.5 dev Skip Williams in the 3.5 FAQ, Skip actually contrasts 'standard action' with 'attack action', to illustrate that you cannot fold standard actions into a full attack, while 'attack actions' can be folded into a full attack!

Skip Wiliams wrote:-

'Using eldritch blast requires a standard action, not an
attack action (unlike using a weapon). If something requires a
standard action (as opposed to an attack action) to use, you
can’t use the full attack action to gain extra uses of that ability.'

Of course, if Sunder was the only attack you make on your turn, then that attack uses a standard action. But that is true of every attack 'action' in the book!

So what, if anything, changed about 'attack action' in the transition from 3.5 to Pathfinder? In a word, nothing! No new text in the combat chapter.

Later, in an attempt to clarify Vital Strike, JJ stated 'attack action=standard action'.

Two possibilities: either JJ was reminding us that, according to RAW, 'Making an attack is a standard action.', OR, the PF dev team chose to change the definition of 'attack action' in Pathfinder, and the medium the devs chose to communicate this change was in a reply to a question about Vital Strike!

JJ should have changed VS to read, 'as a standard action...'. It was an unintended consequence that players have interpreted his answer as changing the 'attack action'. As was posted above, JJ himself is quite happy for Sunder to be a kind of 'attack' and subject to the same rules in relation to full attacks, AoOs, etc. He's also happy with understanding that 'attack action' and 'standard action' are not synonymous, dispute the fact that 'attack action' defaults to use a standard action in the absence of another action type being called.

The RAW about 'attack action' has not changed between 3.5 and PF. I find it inconceivable that the devs would communicate such a major change in the combat rules as changing the meaning of 'attack action', by a reply to a question about Vital Strike, by the guy who 'is not the rules guy'!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber

I see below his answer sunder described (by another poster) as just like trip and usable multiple times in a full attack action.

When looking up sunder and questions about sunder that thread comes out - and has an actual response - no I'm not saying he *confirmed* the statement - what I'm saying is that if sunder didn't work that way he could have said so as he explained everything else that was questionable.

Once again when an opportunity to make it clear that sunder is only usable once per turn - nothing was said.

It seems evident to me - that many people read sunder this way - I don't feel alone (even in this thread) in reading it this way.

Nothing I've seen in the RAW shows different - all attempts to justify sunder as different rely on esoteric explanations of what an 'attack action' exactly is, and how it applies to vital strike.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Has this link been brought up yet?

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
- Disarm, Sunder, and Trip are standard actions, but they can also be made in place of an attack, during an attack action.

This was from the Beta, but I'm fairly certain that it was the final iteration of combat maneuvers.

Personally, even if people don't like that, I'm fine with Jim Groves' explanation of how there isn't a Quick Sunder, and since his job was to write the Quick Feats, there would've been one caught by the developers.

Bonus Points: JB explicitly saying you can replace an attack in a full-attack with sunder. For some value of explicit that's kinda close to the true definition.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
JJ should have changed VS to read, 'as a standard action...'.

Only if it was intended to be a standard action, instead of an attack action.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
It was an unintended consequence that players have interpreted his answer as changing the 'attack action'.

It's not a change, it's a clarification. Change results in errata.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I find it inconceivable that the devs would communicate such a major change in the combat rules as changing the meaning of 'attack action', by a reply to a question about Vital Strike, by the guy who 'is not the rules guy'!

You may not be aware that Jason Bulmahn (the Lead Designer, and "rules guy") explicitly stated, three separate times, that an attack action is a type of standard action, over two YEARS before James mentioned it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ckorik wrote:
all attempts to justify sunder as different rely on esoteric explanations of what an 'attack action' exactly is, and how it applies to vital strike.

"Esoteric explanations"?

So let me get this straight: one Paizo staff member failing to comment one way or the other can support your position, but the same staff member and also the lead designer both explicitly stating the definition of the term are "esoteric explanations"?

If you keep up that stance, I might have to go back to the dishonesty theory.


Cheapy wrote:

Has this link been brought up yet?

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
- Disarm, Sunder, and Trip are standard actions, but they can also be made in place of an attack, during an attack action.
This was from the Beta, but I'm fairly certain that it was the final iteration of combat maneuvers.

You don't think that's sort of negated by him flatly stating that the attack action is a specific standard action after the rules were finalized and released?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was focusing on the "in place of an attack" part. But that makes sense.


I think Sunder as a full attack action is ok, aka not OP, but by the book it is only usable with an attack action. My main issue is that if the RAI is for it to be allowed as a full attack action then they should reword it so it works like Trip unless they don't want it working on AoO's. In that case they could use the terms "attack action" or "full attack action to demonstrate that either way is legal. As of now only listing the attack action makes sunder very limited.

PS:I skipped a lot of post that I may need to go back and read.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have not read all 450ish posts in this thread, I stopped around 120, but I hadn't seen anyone make the following distinction.

Combat maneuvers replace the "melee attack" not the Attack Action. It seems that these two terms are being confused and used to mean the same thing. they are not. An Attack Action is a Standard Action. A melee attack is the time it take to use a weapon during an Action.

A sunder attempt is not a melee attack. A melee attack is an attack that targets a "person" in an attempt to do HP damage. A sunder attempt is an attack that targets an object in an attempt to do structural damage to the item. The wording at the end of the sunder description is not imply that it is a Standard Action, but rather to acknowledge that it is not a melee attack but it can be used as one.

All of the Combat maneuvers that require more than the standard melee attack time, state this in the very first line by saying "x is a Standard Action." where x= feint, overrun, grapple, and bullrush.

The wording on the benefits of Vital strike states that you make a Single melee attack during your Attack Action. It cannot be used during an AoO as AoO is not taken during your Attack Action, which is only available on your turn. A Full Round Attack is a series of melee attacks that use all available BAB attacks as a Full Round Action which is a combination of the Standard Action and the Move Action. Which to me means that Vital Stike is using the Standard Action required for the Full Attack Action and that a Full Attack Action is using the Standard Action required for Vital Strike, making them mutually exclusive. As for Charging - "Charging is a full round action(..)" is stated in the first line of the charge description. As a full round action it replaces all other actions in the round for the character. Any Action that takes more than a Swift Action cannot be preformed in the same round as a declared charge action.

That being said the melee attack associated with a Charge can be replaced by any of the Combat Maneuvers that are Melee Attack replacement effects, i.e. trip, disarm, and sunder, as well as bull rush which has the direct exception in its description.


Ckorik wrote:
Grimmy wrote:

Ckorik this is not a slam but you are doing all kinds of weird mental gymnastics with the rules. It sounds like in the end everything works out the way it's supposed to, but on your way there you are butchering the terminology. A lot of the stuff you are saying is just flat-out, unambiguously wrong, i.e. a full attack is composed of several standard actions, a 5-foot step is a move action, an AoO is a standard action. These aren't even controversial areas of the rules, these are very fundamental basics.

I'm not trying to slam on you at all but I think you might be derailing the thread a little bit with that stuff.

if an attack = a standard action than multiple attacks = multiple standard actions.

And yes - based on this thread and the visceral feedback from the vital strike rule and the fact that it's only mentioned in a few places - calling an attack action a special action that can only happen as a standard action (instead of saying that all attacks are attack actions and the one use use in a standard action is just a *type* of attack action) *is* confusing and controversial.

If it wasn't you wouldn't have this thread.

Having people debate something does not mean it is confusing. Some people are just not good at reading rules, and they refuse to change their minds even when a dev clarifies a rule.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Of course, Jason also said that sunder could be used as part of a full attack right after the above post. Can anyone check the wording of the CM in the beta release after JB's post? If it's the same as currently is, there's a huge hint.

More investigation necessary...


Jiggy wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
Going by questions in the Pathfinder FAQ it seems that sunder is like trip and disarm.

That's not the Pathfinder FAQ. Where did you pull it from, d20pfsrd.com?

The official Pathfinder FAQ is here. You've already been told this once, in the other thread you posted in. Ignoring it is very bad form. More specifically, quite dishonest.

source:

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/rules/weaponFinesseOnSpecialKindsOfAttacks&page=1#9

Like I said, not the FAQ. That's a messageboard post from a staff member. Be honest and upfront about your sources.

In the official FAQ, the question and answer are written together by Paizo staff, and therefore something in the question that doesn't get contradicted can be assumed legit because it was written by Paizo. In a messageboard reply to an ongoing thread three days after the question was posed, failing to contradict a tangentially-related phrase while answering the real question can not be taken as official endorsement of that phraseology.

Furthermore, the person you're citing later commented that the "attack action" is "a specific KIND of standard action". In what you cited, he merely didn't comment on the topic. Later, he comments that it is the opposite of what you're trying to infer from his lack of comment.

Hope that clears things up on that point.

For those that did not follow the link:

James Jacobs wrote:
Since vital strike requires an attack action (a specific KIND of standard action,...


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I've posted about the history of Sunder upthread, now I'll talk about 'attack action'.

In 3.0 and 3.5 'attack action' was not an action type, of course (standard, full-round, move, etc), it used action types! But which?

If an ability was described as taking a standard action or a move action or a full-round action, there was no confusion. If an ability was described as taking an 'attack action', then the action type it consumed was whatever the action type a weapon attack would use in that circumstance, whether standard, full-round, free (touch attack) or no action (charge, AoO).

In the following quote from the 3.5 dev Skip Williams in the 3.5 FAQ, Skip actually contrasts 'standard action' with 'attack action', to illustrate that you cannot fold standard actions into a full attack, while 'attack actions' can be folded into a full attack!

Skip Wiliams wrote:-

'Using eldritch blast requires a standard action, not an
attack action (unlike using a weapon). If something requires a
standard action (as opposed to an attack action) to use, you
can’t use the full attack action to gain extra uses of that ability.'

Of course, if Sunder was the only attack you make on your turn, then that attack uses a standard action. But that is true of every attack 'action' in the book!

So what, if anything, changed about 'attack action' in the transition from 3.5 to Pathfinder? In a word, nothing! No new text in the combat chapter.

Later, in an attempt to clarify Vital Strike, JJ stated 'attack action=standard action'.

Two possibilities: either JJ was reminding us that, according to RAW, 'Making an attack is a standard action.', OR, the PF dev team chose to change the definition of 'attack action' in Pathfinder, and the medium the devs chose to communicate this change was in a reply to a question about Vital Strike!

JJ should have changed VS to read, 'as a standard action...'. It was an unintended consequence that players have interpreted...

You know this is from the 3.5 FAQ. The same FAQ where Skip said an attack action was a standard action. Every time you post this I am going to post what Skip said.


Cheapy wrote:

Has this link been brought up yet?

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
- Disarm, Sunder, and Trip are standard actions, but they can also be made in place of an attack, during an attack action.

This was from the Beta, but I'm fairly certain that it was the final iteration of combat maneuvers.

Personally, even if people don't like that, I'm fine with Jim Groves' explanation of how there isn't a Quick Sunder, and since his job was to write the Quick Feats, there would've been one caught by the developers.

Bonus Points: JB explicitly saying you can replace an attack in a full-attack with sunder. For some value of explicit that's kinda close to the true definition.

I saw that, but I noticed the wording was never changed to match what he said. If he is trying to say that anything that can be used as part of an attack action can also be used as part of a full attack action then I think that needs to be clarified. If simply for no other reason that the general CM instructions separate the two terms.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
all attempts to justify sunder as different rely on esoteric explanations of what an 'attack action' exactly is, and how it applies to vital strike.

"Esoteric explanations"?

So let me get this straight: one Paizo staff member failing to comment one way or the other can support your position, but the same staff member and also the lead designer both explicitly stating the definition of the term are "esoteric explanations"?

If you keep up that stance, I might have to go back to the dishonesty theory.

If you feel you need to call me names to support your argument do so - you already have three times - it doesn't change the fact that going back to the origin of sunder you find people who read it as 'can be used in place of a melee attack - meaning any time you make an attack'.

I've only had to pull up references and quotes because people are trying to say that it's perfectly clear and logical that sunder is a standard action. When it's not.


Legion42 wrote:

I have not read all 450ish posts in this thread, I stopped around 120, but I hadn't seen anyone make the following distinction.

Combat maneuvers replace the "melee attack" not the Attack Action. It seems that these two terms are being confused and used to mean the same thing. they are not. An Attack Action is a Standard Action. A melee attack is the time it take to use a weapon during an Action.

A sunder attempt is not a melee attack. A melee attack is an attack that targets a "person" in an attempt to do HP damage. A sunder attempt is an attack that targets an object in an attempt to do structural damage to the item. The wording at the end of the sunder description is not imply that it is a Standard Action, but rather to acknowledge that it is not a melee attack but it can be used as one.

All of the Combat maneuvers that require more than the standard melee attack time, state this in the very first line by saying "x is a Standard Action." where x= feint, overrun, grapple, and bullrush.

The wording on the benefits of Vital strike states that you make a Single melee attack during your Attack Action. It cannot be used during an AoO as AoO is not taken during your Attack Action, which is only available on your turn. A Full Round Attack is a series of melee attacks that use all available BAB attacks as a Full Round Action which is a combination of the Standard Action and the Move Action. Which to me means that Vital Stike is using the Standard Action required for the Full Attack Action and that a Full Attack Action is using the Standard Action required for Vital Strike, making them mutually exclusive. As for Charging - "Charging is a full round action(..)" is stated in the first line of the charge description. As a full round action it replaces all other actions in the round for the character. Any Action that takes more than a Swift Action cannot be preformed in the same round as a declared charge action.

That being said the melee attack associated with a Charge can be replaced by any of the...

A melee attack does not have to target a person. A melee attack is simply an attack made with a melee weapon, just like a ranged attack is an attack made with a ranged weapon. Hit point damage is not a factor.


Cheapy wrote:

Of course, Jason also said that sunder could be used as part of a full attack right after the above post. Can anyone check the wording of the CM in the beta release after JB's post? If it's the same as currently is, there's a huge hint.

More investigation necessary...

The wording is the same Cheapy, but I asked upthread more than once if we were discussing RAI or RAW, and I got RAW as the answer when I asked two posters so I did not bother to bring it up.

I did not tell them why I was asking. :)

RAW an attack action is not a full attack action.


Ckorik wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
all attempts to justify sunder as different rely on esoteric explanations of what an 'attack action' exactly is, and how it applies to vital strike.

"Esoteric explanations"?

So let me get this straight: one Paizo staff member failing to comment one way or the other can support your position, but the same staff member and also the lead designer both explicitly stating the definition of the term are "esoteric explanations"?

If you keep up that stance, I might have to go back to the dishonesty theory.

If you feel you need to call me names to support your argument do so - you already have three times - it doesn't change the fact that going back to the origin of sunder you find people who read it as 'can be used in place of a melee attack - meaning any time you make an attack'.

I've only had to pull up references and quotes because people are trying to say that it's perfectly clear and logical that sunder is a standard action. When it's not.

Now now, be honest. Sunder says a melee attack as part of an attack action. It does not just say a melee attack like trip does. You can't just ignore words you don't like.

If you are going to argue that "as part of an attack action" does not matter, then you are going to have to give us a reason to ignore those words.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, his first post uses the same language as sunder does. He then goes on to say that it can be used as part of a full attack action, grouping it with disarm and trip. Obviously there was some confusion going on, but I think that is a pretty strong indication of intent of the rules. I guess that assumes the confusion is in the CM text and the first post, rather than the second. But hey, lack of Quick Sunder and all that.

I agree that they should change up the language to clear it up.


Legion42 wrote:
Combat maneuvers replace the "melee attack" not the Attack Action.

Some of them do, yes. Trip and Disarm can be performed in the place of any attack. Note: Attack, not Attack Action.

Sunder replaces the melee attack in an Attack Action. This means you have to both perform an Attack Action (which is a specific standard action) and also make a melee attack, which is replaced by the Sunder. The first part means no iterative sunders, the second part means no ranged sunders. Both of them have meaning.

Legion42 wrote:
The wording at the end of the sunder description is not imply that it is a Standard Action, but rather to acknowledge that it is not a melee attack but it can be used as one.

The wording at the beginning of the sunder description (words 14-19) are what make Sunder effectively a standard action, by requiring that you use the attack action.

Legion42 wrote:
All of the Combat maneuvers that require more than the standard melee attack time, state this in the very first line by saying "x is a Standard Action."

Not true. Sunder requires more than a melee attack, which is why it says "as part of an attack action"

Legion42 wrote:
A Full Round Attack is a series of melee attacks that use all available BAB attacks as a Full Round Action which is a combination of the Standard Action and the Move Action. Which to me means that Vital Stike is using the Standard Action required for the Full Attack Action and that a Full Attack Action is using the Standard Action required for Vital Strike, making them mutually exclusive.

Vital Strike is using the Attack Action, which is a specific standard action. This is why it can't be used with a full-attack. (And it's also why Sunder can't be used with a full-attack)

Cleave uses a standard action. It can't be combined with any other thing that requires a standard action.

Vital Strike uses the attack action. It can be combined with any other thing that requires the attack action. This is why Vital Strike and Overhand Chop work together (as designed), because they both use the attack action.

Legion42 wrote:
That being said the melee attack associated with a Charge can be replaced by any of the Combat Maneuvers that are Melee Attack replacement effects, i.e. trip, disarm, and sunder, as well as bull rush which has the direct exception in its description.

You are correct if you remove Sunder from that list, as you can't perform both a full-round action to Charge and a standard action to use the attack action in the same turn.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Cheapy wrote:
I agree that they should change up the language to clear it up.

On this I think most of us can agree. Has anyone not yet clicked the OP's FAQ button?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

With 40+ people already, I don't think many more clicks will do much :)

If it does turn out that the text is correct, I hope UC gets errata to add Quick Sunder!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
concerro wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
all attempts to justify sunder as different rely on esoteric explanations of what an 'attack action' exactly is, and how it applies to vital strike.

"Esoteric explanations"?

So let me get this straight: one Paizo staff member failing to comment one way or the other can support your position, but the same staff member and also the lead designer both explicitly stating the definition of the term are "esoteric explanations"?

If you keep up that stance, I might have to go back to the dishonesty theory.

If you feel you need to call me names to support your argument do so - you already have three times - it doesn't change the fact that going back to the origin of sunder you find people who read it as 'can be used in place of a melee attack - meaning any time you make an attack'.

I've only had to pull up references and quotes because people are trying to say that it's perfectly clear and logical that sunder is a standard action. When it's not.

Now now, be honest. Sunder says a melee attack as part of an attack action. It does not just say a melee attack like trip does. You can't just ignore words you don't like.

If you are going to argue that "as part of an attack action" does not matter, then you are going to have to give us a reason to ignore those words.

I'm not ignoring words - I'm saying they don't mean what you think they mean :)

And never get involved in a land war in Asia.

To the point though I think you are reading *too* much into the phrasing - and RAW sunder is usable in place of an attack *just like trip*.

You can't add meaning to the words which isn't in the text.

Silver Crusade

Cheapy wrote:

Of course, Jason also said that sunder could be used as part of a full attack right after the above post. Can anyone check the wording of the CM in the beta release after JB's post? If it's the same as currently is, there's a huge hint.

More investigation necessary...

I have Jason Bulmahn's Beta Playtest in front of me, and I'll quote from it:-

'You can make a bull rush as a standard action or as part of a charge.'

'You can attempt to disarm your opponent as part of an attack action in place of a melee attack.'

'As a standard action, you can attempt to grapple a foe,'

'As a standard action taken during your move, or as part of a charge, you can attempt to overrun your target,'

'You can attempt to sunder an item held or worn by your opponent as part of an attack action in place of a melee attack.'

'You can attempt to trip an opponent [b]as a melee attack.'

In Beta, disarm and sunder use identical wording.

Please post an answer to the question I'll ask shortly; I think we would all benefit from the answer.

Errata. FAQ. Posts by devs on these messageboards. They are different but related things. They each carry different weight: errata has the most weight, foowed by FAQs, followed by the comments posted by devs themselves on these threads.

Since the subject of 'it's only a post on these threads, not official errata or FAQ' has recently arisen on this thread, my question is this:-

JJ's Vital Strike response where he stated 'attack action=standard action'; was that errata, FAQ or a post?


Ckorik wrote:
I'm not ignoring words - I'm saying they don't mean what you think they mean :)

You're also saying they don't mean what the lead designer has explicitly said they mean. Three times.

Ckorik wrote:
RAW sunder is usable in place of an attack *just like trip*.

Only if that attack is happening with the attack action, which is a specific standard action. *Unlike trip*.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ckorik wrote:
RAW sunder is usable in place of an attack *just like trip*.

The "W" in "RAW" stands for "written". Sunder and Trip are not written the same - Sunder includes an extra six words about the Attack Action which aren't present in Trip. The Rules of Sunder are Written differently than Trip. Therefore, the RAW is NOT that they're identical.

So what do YOU think "as part of an attack action" means? Or do you think it was a typo and should therefore be disregarded?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:

Bonus Points: JB explicitly saying you can replace an attack in a full-attack with sunder. For some value of explicit that's kinda close to the true definition.

Whoa. That certainly shakes things up.

They should really straighten this out. If that is the RAI, I think they need to fix some wording to support it.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
JJ's Vital Strike response where he stated 'attack action=standard action'; was that errata, FAQ or a post?

Both JJ and JB's posts explaining that the attack action is a specific standard action are all posts. They're not errata, since they didn't change any rules. They're not FAQs, because they're not posted in the FAQ.

While people are free to discount JJ's posts because he's not official enough or whatever, JB's post (which was made after the game was finalized and released, unlike his beta discussions) is pretty much as official as it's possible to be, barring an actual FAQ. It's not errata since it's not changing any rules to be reflected in a new printing.


Ckorik wrote:


You can't add meaning to the words which isn't in the text.

So you are saying the terms "attack action" and "full attack action" should be ignored when trying to figure the rules out? Or are you saying they are undefined so nobody can say what they actually mean?

I am just trying to make sure before I respond.


Grimmy wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Bonus Points: JB explicitly saying you can replace an attack in a full-attack with sunder. For some value of explicit that's kinda close to the true definition.

Whoa. That certainly shakes things up.

They should really straighten this out. If that is the RAI, I think they need to fix some wording to support it.

+1 1000 times. My issue is with the wording more than anything else. I have my opinion on why the word attack action might be used instead of just saying melee attack, if the intent is for it to be used in a full round attack, but I can't prove that my opinion is correct.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
RAW sunder is usable in place of an attack *just like trip*.

The "W" in "RAW" stands for "written". Sunder and Trip are not written the same - Sunder includes an extra six words about the Attack Action which aren't present in Trip. The Rules of Sunder are Written differently than Trip. Therefore, the RAW is NOT that they're identical.

So what do YOU think "as part of an attack action" means? Or do you think it was a typo and should therefore be disregarded?

that in place of making a vital attack on an opponent you instead make a sunder attack.

If you have multiple attacks you could replace all or some of them with sunder attempts.

Just like the other CM's that replace melee attacks. I read it as the ones they wanted to take a standard action are written in clear language that says 'as a standard action'.

Because it's real easy to say 'as a standard action - you make an attack'


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Whether Attack Action = Standard Action is a very frequently asked question. The answer, of course, is that yes it is. That post is from the same month that the game was actually released, and is just a clarification because some people thought you could be supar powahful by doubling your base damage in your attacks in a full attack action.

Hmm, the "in place of a melee attack" could just be text to specify that you can't under at range.

Now, why would it specify Attack Action? The only reason, that was available at the release of the CRB, that I can think of was so it could work with vital strike.

Supporting evidence for why it may be the intent that it's only a standard action is that it's the only "attack action" combat maneuver and Performing Combat Maneuvers section does list attack action as a possible action CM actions can be performed as. Of course, disarm can be done in place of an attack, so that's probably under that umbrella anyways. But in any event, it differentiates attack actions, full-attack actions, and AoOs, so that's something.


FAQ'ing, accepting table variation, and waiting for this thread to die.

Silver Crusade

Grick wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
JJ's Vital Strike response where he stated 'attack action=standard action'; was that errata, FAQ or a post?

Both JJ and JB's posts explaining that the attack action is a specific standard action are all posts. They're not errata, since they didn't change any rules. They're not FAQs, because they're not posted in the FAQ.

While people are free to discount JJ's posts because he's not official enough or whatever, JB's post (which was made after the game was finalized and released, unlike his beta discussions) is pretty much as official as it's possible to be, barring an actual FAQ. It's not errata since it's not changing any rules to be reflected in a new printing.

You wrote:-

'Both JJ and JB's posts explaining that the attack action is a specific standard action are all posts. They're not errata, since they didn't change any rules.'

If the rules are left unchanged then the rules are as written in the CRB.

Which are unchanged in this regard from 3.5.

Where 'attack action' is a standard action, but can be used as any weapon attack, in a full attack or as an AoO etc.

When the PF devs say that an attack action is a standard action they're not wrong. Any attack is a standard action! But any 'attack' action, while a standard action in and of itself, by RAW may be folded into a full attack/used as an AoO/etc.

So when the devs say that an attack action is a standard action, they are not saying that attack actions cannot be used in a full attack etc., in exactly the same way that all the other attacks mentioned in the same section of the combat chapter.

To determine what the PF devs think about sunder, read what the PF devs have posted about sunder!

In every example so far given, from 3.5 through Beta to PF, the devs say that sunder can be used in place of any melee attack. In none of their posts do they say that sunder cannot be used that way and that it's a special standard action like bull rush.

In discussing the weight of posts by devs, you can't dismiss such a post on the grounds that it's 'only a post' while at the same time citing other posts as evidence.


Ckorik wrote:


Because it's real easy to say 'as a standard action - you make an attack'

I already explained why using the term "attack action" has its place instead of "standard action" at times.

Here is the link

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ckorik wrote:

that in place of making a vital attack on an opponent you instead make a sunder attack.

If you have multiple attacks you could replace all or some of them with sunder attempts.

Just like the other CM's that replace melee attacks. I read it as the ones they wanted to take a standard action are written in clear language that says 'as a standard action'.

Because it's real easy to say 'as a standard action - you make an attack'

What you're describing makes it work the same as Trip. Yet Sunder has different wording than Trip. Why do two maneuvers with different wording work the same as each other? That's what I'm trying to ask you.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ezekiel W wrote:
FAQ'ing, accepting table variation, and waiting for this thread to die.

Wisest person in the thread. ;)


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

If the rules are left unchanged then the rules are as written in the CRB.

Which are unchanged in this regard from 3.5.

Where 'attack action' is a standard action, but can be used as any weapon attack, in a full attack or as an AoO etc.

As written, in the PFRPG CRB, the attack action is a standard action. It's not written clearly, which is why the developers have clarified it.

You're taking a ruling from a non-developer from another game and using that to overrule what the lead designer has explicitly said. That's fine if you're playing 3.5, but in PFRPG, it's different.

sage advice answers from 3.5 are often misleading and confusing when applied to Pathfinder, so it's best NOT to go there for advice.
As for Sage Advice... not only did those rulings apply to a different game, but they were hardly infallible.

For PFRPG, PF rules trump whatever Skip had said.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
When the PF devs say that an attack action is a standard action they're not wrong.

Of course they're not wrong.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Any attack is a standard action!

This, however, is completely utterly in every way wrong.

Full attack is not a standard action.

Delivering a touch spell in the round it's cast is not a standard action.

An attack of opportunity is not a standard action.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
So when the devs say that an attack action is a standard action, they are not saying that attack actions cannot be used in a full attack etc.

The attack action has an attack, and it's a standard action. That doesn't mean every attack is an attack action, nor a standard action.

You cannot have multiple attack actions in one turn. You can have multiple attacks, but not multiple attack actions.

This is made explicitly clear by the Vital Strike rulings. You can't make iterative vital strikes because it uses the attack action, which is a specific standard action.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
To determine what the PF devs think about sunder, read what the PF devs have posted about sunder!

You mean the post he made in beta, while they were still hashing out the rules, and were not very clear on what the attack action actually was? Rather than the posts he made later, explaining how the attack action works?

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