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


Rules Questions

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Quandary wrote:


It certainly is an action. The named actions on the Table of Actions in Combat, also described in the text, indeed ARE the actions that one takes in the game. They are all categorized according to TYPES of actions, which standard and move are examples of.

No an attack action is not an action. It uses an action just like casting a spell uses an action. Casting a spell however is not an action in and of itself.

PS:I see what you mean, but you knew what I meant. It would have been more clear to state the "Action type" idea up front.


Kaazan good points, I never even noticed those.


Ckorik wrote:
that the vital strike ruling was only clarifying that a feat that makes an attack is incompatible with other actions that use a standard action.

Yeah, if you are going to make a claim about stuff like this you would do well to, say, read the developer clarifications you are making claims about. Of the three posts by Jason Bulmahn that people have been presenting, only one is concerned with actions that use a standard action (that being cleave). The other two clarify that one can not use vital strike as part of a charge or as part of a full-attack action.


Ckorik wrote:
I keep saying 'no it doesn't - because it's never been defined that way' - don't bother with the quotes because we'll go back to the circular argument over the word type which is why I think this definition is wrong. I take the position that the quotes from vital strike fit my position without changing the text of the book....

So, let me get this straight. Attack is defined under Standard Actions. Aid Another and Total Defense are also defined under Standard Actions. Abilities can reference the 'Aid Another action' or the 'Total Defense action' and you wouldn't say they are generic terms... you wouldn't say that casting a healing spell on someone counts as a generic use of 'aid another'. But, you would say that abilities referencing the 'Attack action' are referencing a generic, undefined action. You're saying that when they ruled that an Attack action such as Vital Strike does not fold into the Full Attack action because the Attack action is a type of Standard Action, Attack action is a generic term. When Sunder references the Attack action, it's referencing a generic term. And the primary reason you cite is that the devs haven't, in 3 years, changed the verbiage for the Attack action. And you say this with a straight face, I presume?


And nobody has yet produced any usage of 'attack action' which clearly refers to a generic attack, as opposed to the specific action named that. If that's what it means (generic attack reference) why isn't it ever used that way? For that matter, where is any reference to 'X action' that does not in fact refer to a specific named action? (excepting references to standard/move/etc TYPES of actions) Further, this reading would claim that the developer posts on Vital Strike have NO grounding in RAW whatsoever (if attack action is functionally equivalent to 'any attack'). While with the alternate reading of Attack action, all RAW does in fact make sense (if with minor editing errors), developer feedback on Vital Strike does make sense from a RAW perspective, and so on. Thus, the radical concept is: 'attacks' is the term used for generic attacks, 'attack action' refers to a specific action (which also accomplishes a generic attack)... Rather than having two competing phrases for the exact same thing, which happen to BOTH appear in the same sentence in Sunder. Hmmm...


Ckorik wrote:
I keep saying 'no it doesn't - because it's never been defined that way' - don't bother with the quotes because we'll go back to the circular argument over the word type which is why I think this definition is wrong. I take the position that the quotes from vital strike fit my position without changing the text of the book.

Wait a second, the word "type"? Why I do believe that this, "Vital Strike is an attack action, btw, which is a standard action. You cannot use it as part of a full-attack action." does not contain the word type at all. So clearly this can not be something you have a problem accepting as "type" is not used at all.

Silver Crusade

@Kazaan, I read your post re: total defence vs total defence action.

It left me a bit bewildered. What the evidence you presented shows is that total defence and total defence action mean the same thing!

Just as 'attack' and 'attack action' mean the same thing!

Was that your intention?


Malachi, Ckorik is trying to say adding the word action to a game defined term makes it invalid.

Kazaan is saying that by that logic a lot of terms used as part of the games instructions fail. He also listed a few example of the word "action" being added on to show they Ckorik's reasoning would cause more issues than it fixes.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I just starting getting all my ducks in a row, to get into PFS near where I live, and now I have to ditch my Breaker Barbarian because of this BS.

How the last thread got "no reply needed" is beyond me.

Nearly 800 replies should make it clear that clarification is required.

Silver Crusade

...can't believe I'm doing this...

I meant to post this in the smaller thread that cropped up, but I guess I'll wade in.

If Sunder was meant to be a standard action, it would explicitly say so

Bull Rush = Explicitly Says it is a Standard Action
Overrun = Explicitly says it is a Standard Action
Grapple = Explicitly says it is a Standard Action

Disarm = Explicitly says you can replace a melee attack
Trip = Explicitly says you can replace a melee attack

now Sunder

It does not Explicitly say that it is a standard action, but it does explicitly say that you can replace a melee attack


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Don't forget that everything rides on the Vital Strike clarification.


Elamdri wrote:

...can't believe I'm doing this...

I meant to post this in the smaller thread that cropped up, but I guess I'll wade in.

If Sunder was meant to be a standard action, it would explicitly say so

Bull Rush = Explicitly Says it is a Standard Action
Overrun = Explicitly says it is a Standard Action
Grapple = Explicitly says it is a Standard Action

Disarm = Explicitly says you can replace a melee attack
Trip = Explicitly says you can replace a melee attack

now Sunder

It does not Explicitly say that it is a standard action, but it does explicitly say that you can replace a melee attack

Except, you know, that would mean that sunder would not have a hope of working in combination with other attack action abilities.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Kazaan wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
I keep saying 'no it doesn't - because it's never been defined that way' - don't bother with the quotes because we'll go back to the circular argument over the word type which is why I think this definition is wrong. I take the position that the quotes from vital strike fit my position without changing the text of the book....
So, let me get this straight. Attack is defined under Standard Actions. Aid Another and Total Defense are also defined under Standard Actions. Abilities can reference the 'Aid Another action' or the 'Total Defense action' and you wouldn't say they are generic terms... you wouldn't say that casting a healing spell on someone counts as a generic use of 'aid another'. But, you would say that abilities referencing the 'Attack action' are referencing a generic, undefined action. You're saying that when they ruled that an Attack action such as Vital Strike does not fold into the Full Attack action because the Attack action is a type of Standard Action, Attack action is a generic term. When Sunder references the Attack action, it's referencing a generic term. And the primary reason you cite is that the devs haven't, in 3 years, changed the verbiage for the Attack action. And you say this with a straight face, I presume?

Wow - really? Lets use this logic

Quote:

Standard Actions

Attack (action)
Activate Magic Item (action)
Cast a Spell (action)
Start/Complete Full-Round Action (action)
Total Defense (action)
Use Special Ability (action)

Full-Round Actions
Full Attack (action)
Cast a Spell (action)
Move 5 Feet through Difficult Terrain (action)
Run (action)
Use Special Ability (action)
Withdraw

So by your evidence about attack Cast a Spell action (capitalization is the books not mine) refers to a standard action and Cast a Spell action refers to a full round action oh that's 100% clear and makes it obvious that attack should be defined by the heading

Quote:
You're saying that when they ruled that an Attack action such as Vital Strike does not fold into the Full Attack action because the Attack action is a type of Standard Action

Wrong

Vital strike allows you to make a single attack. You *can* fold it into full attack if you want but you still only get a single attack so it would be very silly to do - however being silly isn't against the rules so if you want to use a full round to make a single attack nothing in the way it's written stops you from doing so.

*edit* Perhaps a bit hasty with the last one - to make more than one attack you have to have, more than one attack. So that stops it from being used as part of a full attack technically - although you can still do nothing else on your turn if you so choose.


Ckorik wrote:
Kazaan wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
I keep saying 'no it doesn't - because it's never been defined that way' - don't bother with the quotes because we'll go back to the circular argument over the word type which is why I think this definition is wrong. I take the position that the quotes from vital strike fit my position without changing the text of the book....
So, let me get this straight. Attack is defined under Standard Actions. Aid Another and Total Defense are also defined under Standard Actions. Abilities can reference the 'Aid Another action' or the 'Total Defense action' and you wouldn't say they are generic terms... you wouldn't say that casting a healing spell on someone counts as a generic use of 'aid another'. But, you would say that abilities referencing the 'Attack action' are referencing a generic, undefined action. You're saying that when they ruled that an Attack action such as Vital Strike does not fold into the Full Attack action because the Attack action is a type of Standard Action, Attack action is a generic term. When Sunder references the Attack action, it's referencing a generic term. And the primary reason you cite is that the devs haven't, in 3 years, changed the verbiage for the Attack action. And you say this with a straight face, I presume?

Wow - really? Lets use this logic

Quote:

Standard Actions

Attack (action)
Activate Magic Item (action)
Cast a Spell (action)
Start/Complete Full-Round Action (action)
Total Defense (action)
Use Special Ability (action)

Full-Round Actions
Full Attack (action)
Cast a Spell (action)
Move 5 Feet through Difficult Terrain (action)
Run (action)
Use Special Ability (action)
Withdraw

So by your evidence about attack Cast a Spell action (capitalization is the books not mine) refers to a standard action and Cast a Spell action refers to a full round action oh that's 100% clear and makes it obvious that attack should be defined by the...

So wait, let me get this straight. Your current position is that the attack action is some sort of super-category of actions (and not an actions as we must include attacks of opportunity) that is made up of all actions (and not an actions) that include the making of one or more attacks at any point.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I wonder how this debate would play out if the Vital Strike clarification was worded different.

How would play out, if Jason had simply said "Vital Strike is a Standard Action" and nothing more?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
WWWW wrote:
So wait, let me get this straight. Your current position is that the attack action is some sort of super-category of actions (and not an actions as we must include attacks of opportunity) that is made up of all actions (and not an actions) that include the making of one or more attacks at any point.

I can't follow that sentence.

When you make an attack - it's an attack action - not all attack actions are 'standard actions'. However in order to attack on your turn you have to 1) have your standard action available and 2)after your attack you no longer have a standard action.

It's so simple and elegant - it even fits into full round attacks because if you 'declare' one of those you can 'cancel' it after the first attack and it still fits the above definition.

It also means that anything that uses your standard action specifically is incompatible with an attack.

It also means that any feat/spell/ability/etc. that says make one attack uses your standard action (because - a single attack always turns itself into a standard action)

All the puzzle pieces fit - there aren't any logic games to make it work and you don't have to go looking for stuff not in the book.

Finally anything that breaks the above and lets you attack elsewhere specifically has the attack included in the rules for the feat/ability/whatever, and those abilities list an action type they use which makes them incompatible with any other attack action.

Silver Crusade

WWWW wrote:
Elamdri wrote:

...can't believe I'm doing this...

I meant to post this in the smaller thread that cropped up, but I guess I'll wade in.

If Sunder was meant to be a standard action, it would explicitly say so

Bull Rush = Explicitly Says it is a Standard Action
Overrun = Explicitly says it is a Standard Action
Grapple = Explicitly says it is a Standard Action

Disarm = Explicitly says you can replace a melee attack
Trip = Explicitly says you can replace a melee attack

now Sunder

It does not Explicitly say that it is a standard action, but it does explicitly say that you can replace a melee attack

Except, you know, that would mean that sunder would not have a hope of working in combination with other attack action abilities.

Such as?


Ckorik wrote:
WWWW wrote:
So wait, let me get this straight. Your current position is that the attack action is some sort of super-category of actions (and not an actions as we must include attacks of opportunity) that is made up of all actions (and not an actions) that include the making of one or more attacks at any point.

I can't follow that sentence.

When you make an attack - it's an attack action - not all attack actions are 'standard actions'. However in order to attack on your turn you have to 1) have your standard action available and 2)after your attack you no longer have a standard action.

It's so simple and elegant - it even fits into full round attacks because if you 'declare' one of those you can 'cancel' it after the first attack and it still fits the above definition.

It also means that anything that uses your standard action specifically is incompatible with an attack.

It also means that any feat/spell/ability/etc. that says make one attack uses your standard action (because - a single attack always turns itself into a standard action)

All the puzzle pieces fit - there aren't any logic games to make it work and you don't have to go looking for stuff not in the book.

Finally anything that breaks the above and lets you attack elsewhere specifically has the attack included in the rules for the feat/ability/whatever, and those abilities list an action type they use which makes them incompatible with any other attack action.

Yeah, you've lost me there.

Elamdri wrote:
Such as?

Perhaps overhand chop.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And this is why I'm looking forward to D&D Next. I love me some Pathfinder but at least the WotC gang are gutting/rebuilding the core to be more logically consistent. Ok, flame retardant suit is on, tear me up, I expect it lol


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Let's not discuss 4th or "D&D Next" here.

Not appropriate.


Elamdri wrote:
Such as?

Monk of the Four Winds's Slow Time ability.


Elamdri wrote:
If Sunder was meant to be a standard action, it would explicitly say so

Well it does Say attack action which explicitly says it's a standard action.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I wonder how this debate would play out if the Vital Strike clarification was worded different.

How would play out, if Jason had simply said "Vital Strike is a Standard Action" and nothing more?

If that had happened, we probably wouldn't know there was a problem in the first place. But not knowing about the problem doesn't mean it isn't there. It's like going in for an appendectomy and the surgeon finding you have a big tumor in addition. Or how we didn't really find out that heart disease was a problem until we tamped down infectious disease and started living long enough to deal with the ramifications of heart disease. The problem is still with peoples' understanding of the Standard Action named Attack and the general English term attack. You could say that, under different circumstances, there could be similar confusion between the Move Action as the broad category of actions that includes drawing/sheathing weapons, opening/closing doors, and 'Move'. If you talk about taking a 'Move action' are you talking about the action specifically involved in motion across distance or are you talking about any Move action including drawing/sheathing, standing up, etc? This is more of a benign issue and I haven't seen any glaring issues so far involving it. The difference between attack (generic) and Attack (proper), however, makes certain game mechanics fubar when people conflate one for the other. Sunder is a unique bastard between CMs that require a melee attack and CMs that require a specific action. If, instead of the terms 'Attack/Attack action' and 'Full-Attack/Full-Attack action' for the specific, proper system terms, they used terms like 'Attack()', '#Attack#', 'Strike action', 'Single-Attack action', 'Assault action'; a lot of the conflation could be avoided. As it stands now, there are reasonable arguments on both sides of the issue. One side thinks that Attack refers to the generic act of making any attack (offensive weapon action against a target) which would, of course, include AoOs, Charge, Spring Attack, and Vital Strike. Vital Strike, in this case, could be reasonably folded into a full-attack; it would do double-damage on the first iteration and normal damage thereafter. This would mean, of course, that JB's explanation about why VS doesn't fold into Full-Attack is either blatantly incorrect or, at best, sets a double-standard. It would also lead to the promotion of wholesale item destruction for disproportionately little cost to the destroyer (invest in a reach weapon or the Improved Sunder feat and you can break stuff all day, every day with impunity). Each side thinks the evidence leans in their own favor.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Karlgamer wrote:
Elamdri wrote:
If Sunder was meant to be a standard action, it would explicitly say so

Well it does Say attack action which explicitly says it's a standard action.

No - it doesn't :)


Ckorik wrote:
No - it doesn't :)

Are you saying sunder doesn't say it requires an attack action?

or are you saying that attack action doesn't say it requires a standard action?

Silver Crusade

Karlgamer wrote:
Elamdri wrote:
If Sunder was meant to be a standard action, it would explicitly say so

Well it does Say attack action which explicitly says it's a standard action.

The attack action is a standard action.

The cast a spell action is a standard action.

The activate magic item action is a standard action

The use spell-like ability is a standard action.

All by the very same rules.

But they're not all exclusively standard actions, and we all know it.

Attack actions have many things that only apply to attack actions: they can be folded into a full attack, they can be used at the end of a charge, that can be used as an AoO. The first of these uses a full-round action and the other two are not actions but are part of a full-round action and a non-action respectively.

Only attack actions can be used this way. You can't use the cast a spell action at the end of a charge, nor use the use magic device action as an AoO.

The list of things that are attack actions, like melee attack, ranged attack, touch attack, etc, makes it clear that not every kind of attack counts as one of these attack actions. Acid Arrow counts as an attack for the purposes of losing your invisibility for example, but it is a cast a spell action, not an attack action.

When it comes to standard, move, full-round, free, swift and immediate actions, these action types are used by attack actions, cast a spell actions, etc. When, say, a full-round action is consumed by a sorcerer using a cast a spell action to cast a silent Fireball, then that full-round action has been used up! It has been used for the cast a spell action and therefore can't be used for anything else! You can't use the action for two things simultaneously.

This means that when you use a standard action to use an attack action, that attack action is that standard action! So when a wizard with a BAB of +6 says he's firing two Acid Arrows, one at +6 and one at +1, you gently point out that despite using the touch attack mechanic, Acid Arrow uses the cast a spell action not the attack action, and iterative attacks apply only to attack actions.

Silver Crusade

wraithstrike wrote:

Malachi, Ckorik is trying to say adding the word action to a game defined term makes it invalid.

Kazaan is saying that by that logic a lot of terms used as part of the games instructions fail. He also listed a few example of the word "action" being added on to show they Ckorik's reasoning would cause more issues than it fixes.

Whether he intended it or not it makes sense and I'll use it myself!

Total Defence and Total Defence Action are the same thing!

Attack and Attack Action are the same thing!


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Whether he intended it or not it makes sense and I'll use it myself!

Total Defence and Total Defence Action are the same thing!

Attack and Attack Action are the same thing!

When referring to the standard action called Attack, yes that is true, just like total defense action refers to the action called total defense. When referring to other definitions of attack, such as an attack of opportunity, the attack at the end of a charge, or how making an attack ends the invisibility spell, then no they refer to different things. So 'attack action' refers to the action called attack, it does not refer to anything else which also happens to be called attack.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
This means that when you use a standard action to use an attack action, that attack action is that standard action! So when a wizard with a BAB of +6 says he's firing two Acid Arrows, one at +6 and one at +1, you gently point out that despite using the touch attack mechanic, Acid Arrow uses the cast a spell action not the attack action, and iterative attacks apply only to attack actions.

Actually, iterative attacks apply only to the FULL attack action, which is a distinct action from the attack action. You claim that "Attack actions have many things that only apply to attack actions: they can be folded into a full attack, they can be used at the end of a charge, that can be used as an AoO" but this is something you've invented, not something which is supported by the rules. As far as the rules are concerned, an attack which is part of a full attack, used at the end of a charge, or used as an AoO is something different than the action called attack. This is clear from the 'deciding between an attack and a full attack' rules and the statement 'can be performed as part of an attack action, full-attack action, or attack of opportunity', and the actions in combat rules in general. Whether or not that was the intention for sunder is more of a gray area.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Malachi, Ckorik is trying to say adding the word action to a game defined term makes it invalid.

Kazaan is saying that by that logic a lot of terms used as part of the games instructions fail. He also listed a few example of the word "action" being added on to show they Ckorik's reasoning would cause more issues than it fixes.

Whether he intended it or not it makes sense and I'll use it myself!

Total Defence and Total Defence Action are the same thing!

Attack and Attack Action are the same thing!

That's correct if and only if you're using the proper noun, Attack, as part of the defined mechanics of the Pathfinder game system. The overarching problem that so many people have trouble wrapping their minds around is that 'Attack' (proper term) does not equal 'attack' (generic). It's like saying, "Go to the smiths' house" or "Go to the Smiths' house". In the first, you're talking about the generic word, smith... the house of a local metal worker. In the other, you're talking about the house of a family with the surname, Smith. Light and Light; one refers to illumination and the other to weight. Right and Right; one refers to a relative direction and the other to a correctness. Nothing is better than Universal Peace. A ham sandwich is better than nothing. Therefore, a ham sandwich is better than Universal Peace... except that 'nothing' in the one statement is not the same as 'nothing' in the other. Attack and Attack do not mean the same thing. Attack and Attack Action do not mean the same thing but Attack and Attack Action do mean the same thing. Do you see the problem now?

I think I just realized what this thread reminds me of. Google 'Chaos on B@@@@+@$ Mountain', the Daily Show segment. I so feel like John Stuart right now.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber

And I think this is the final confirmation:

APG - page 171/172

Quote:

Sundering Strike (Combat)

Your critical hits can sunder your foes’ weapons.
Prerequisites: Str 13, Improved Sunder, Power Attack,
base attack bonus +9.
Benefit: Whenever you score a critical hit with a melee
attack, you can sunder your opponent’s weapon, in addition to
the normal damage dealt by the attack. If your confirmation
172
roll exceeds your opponent’s CMD, you may deal damage
to your opponent’s weapon as if from the sunder combat
maneuver (roll normal damage to the weapon separately).
This does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Normal: You must perform a sunder combat maneuver
to sunder an opponent’s weapon.
Special: You can only apply the effects of one of the
following feats to a given critical hit: Bull Rush Strike,
Disarming Strike, Repositioning Strike, Sundering
Strike, or Tripping Strike.
You may choose to use this feat
after you make your confirmation roll.

If there were any stronger evidence that sunder was meant to be like trip or disarm - I don't know that you'll find it outside of an official comment by a dev.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
But they're not all exclusively standard actions, and we all know it.

We apparently don't all know it.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The attack action is a standard action.

Yes, and the attack action isn't the only way to attack otherwise every attack during a Full attack action would also be a standard action.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The cast a spell action is a standard action.

Under full round action:

Quote:
Cast a Spell

Under Swift Actions:

Quote:

Cast a Quickened Spell

You can cast a quickened spell (see the Quicken Spell feat), or any spell whose casting time is designated as a free or swift action, as a swift action.

Basically Spells description decided the action used.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The activate magic item action is a standard action

Under Activate Magic Item:

Quote:
Many magic items don't need to be activated. Certain magic items, however, do need to be activated, especially potions, scrolls, wands, rods, and staffs. Unless otherwise noted, activating a magic item is a standard action.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The use spell-like ability is a standard action.
Quote:
Using a special ability is usually a standard action, but whether it is a standard action, a full-round action, or not an action at all is defined by the ability.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
they can be folded into a full attack, they can be used at the end of a charge, that can be used as an AoO.

Where is the rules text for any of this?


Ckorik wrote:
If there were any stronger evidence that sunder was meant to be like trip or disarm - I don't know that you'll find it outside of an official comment by a dev.

I don't disagree that Sunder can be used for any melee attack.

The "attack action" part of sunder must be a mistake.

Because "attack action" is a standard action.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Kazaan wrote:


'Attack' (proper term) does not equal 'attack' (generic).

The problem that so many people are having trouble wrapping their head around is that 'Attack' (proper term) is not defined in the rules.

If you are saying the 'Attack' section under standard action defines it as a proper term then you are saying Cast a Spell is defined twice and thus is broken.

You can't have it both ways - your version breaks other terms and how they are presented (Cast a Spell, and Use Special Ability specifically which are both defined under Standard action and Full Round Action). The book isn't make an attempt to define proper terms there - you are trying to read it for one section (attack) and ignore the rest of the sections where it doesn't work.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ckorik wrote:
The problem that so many people are having trouble wrapping their head around is that 'Attack' (proper term) is not defined in the rules.

There are LOTS of words in the book which aren't defined.

The action which is an attack isn't one of them. We call it attack action.

The word attack is use throughout the book as a noun, verb and adjective. Not all uses of the word "attack" should be followed by the word "action." because some attacks aren't actions at all.

Silver Crusade

Karlgamer wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
But they're not all exclusively standard actions, and we all know it.

We apparently don't all know it.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The attack action is a standard action.

Yes, and the attack action isn't the only way to attack otherwise every attack during a Full attack action would also be a standard action.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The cast a spell action is a standard action.

Under full round action:

Quote:
Cast a Spell

Under Swift Actions:

Quote:

Cast a Quickened Spell

You can cast a quickened spell (see the Quicken Spell feat), or any spell whose casting time is designated as a free or swift action, as a swift action.

Basically Spells description decided the action used.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The activate magic item action is a standard action

Under Activate Magic Item:

Quote:
Many magic items don't need to be activated. Certain magic items, however, do need to be activated, especially potions, scrolls, wands, rods, and staffs. Unless otherwise noted, activating a magic item is a standard action.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The use spell-like ability is a standard action.
Quote:
Using a special ability is usually a standard action, but whether it is a standard action, a full-round action, or not an action at all is defined by the ability.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
they can be folded into a full attack, they can be used at the end of a charge, that can be used as an AoO.

Where is the rules text for any of this?

In the combat chapter under the heading 'Standard Actions'.

The point you are making is the very same point I'm making! All these different actions are described in the section 'Standard Action'. As both you and I point out, despite this every single one of these is not limited to a standard action. Tha actual action used by these different things varies. That is true for the attack action just as much as for the cast a spell action or the activate magic item action or the use spell-like ability action.

The 'attack action' is not a separate entity to the 'attack' action, any more than the 'total defence action' is different from the 'total defence' action.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Don't forget that everything rides on the Vital Strike clarification.

No it doesn't. It rides on attack action clarification. The attack action was described in a post for cleave also. :)


Elamdri wrote:

...can't believe I'm doing this...

I meant to post this in the smaller thread that cropped up, but I guess I'll wade in.

If Sunder was meant to be a standard action, it would explicitly say so

Bull Rush = Explicitly Says it is a Standard Action
Overrun = Explicitly says it is a Standard Action
Grapple = Explicitly says it is a Standard Action

Disarm = Explicitly says you can replace a melee attack
Trip = Explicitly says you can replace a melee attack

now Sunder

It does not Explicitly say that it is a standard action, but it does explicitly say that you can replace a melee attack

Sunder works as part of an attack action that uses a melee attack, not on melee attacks alone.

Breakdown:
An attack action is generally going to be a melee attack or a ranged attack.

Sunder is telling that it is used as part of an attack action that is melee based. It is not saying you get to ignore the "attack action phrase"

You can't really use it as part of an attack action with using the attack action.

edit:That is like saying you can draw a weapon while moving as a free action, but you don't have to move.


Ckorik wrote:

And I think this is the final confirmation:

APG - page 171/172

Quote:

Sundering Strike (Combat)

Your critical hits can sunder your foes’ weapons.
Prerequisites: Str 13, Improved Sunder, Power Attack,
base attack bonus +9.
Benefit: Whenever you score a critical hit with a melee
attack, you can sunder your opponent’s weapon, in addition to
the normal damage dealt by the attack. If your confirmation
172
roll exceeds your opponent’s CMD, you may deal damage
to your opponent’s weapon as if from the sunder combat
maneuver (roll normal damage to the weapon separately).
This does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Normal: You must perform a sunder combat maneuver
to sunder an opponent’s weapon.
Special: You can only apply the effects of one of the
following feats to a given critical hit: Bull Rush Strike,
Disarming Strike, Repositioning Strike, Sundering
Strike, or Tripping Strike.
You may choose to use this feat
after you make your confirmation roll.
If there were any stronger evidence that sunder was meant to be like trip or disarm - I don't know that you'll find it outside of an official comment by a dev.

Since Bull Rush is normally a standard action how does that help you? That just means the ability allows some standard actions to be used a part of an iterative attack if there is a crit.


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Malachi all attack actions are standard actions.

Not every attack is an attack action however.

Casting magic missile is an attack, but not an attack action.

AoO's are attacks, but not attack actions.

As I said before the word "attack" has the same issues that the word "level" does. Actually I think "attack" is worse.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I wonder how this debate would play out if the Vital Strike clarification was worded different.

How would play out, if Jason had simply said "Vital Strike is a Standard Action" and nothing more?

I think there would be no debate if that was the case. But there would still be an ill-defined term at the heart of the mechanics of the game which is a bigger problem IMO then one CM being modified.

Edit: Then there is also the fact that the attack action clarification appeared elsewhere, not just re: vital strike.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

@Kazaan, I read your post re: total defence vs total defence action.

It left me a bit bewildered. What the evidence you presented shows is that total defence and total defence action mean the same thing!

Just as 'attack' and 'attack action' mean the same thing!

Was that your intention?

I think most of those listed actions, like total defense don't share the problem the attack action has, which is that "attack" is sometimes used to mean pretty much what the dictionary says it means. When you hear "total defense" you pretty much know they are talking about that action.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:

Malachi all attack actions are standard actions.

Not every attack is an attack action however.

Casting magic missile is an attack, but not an attack action.

AoO's are attacks, but not attack actions.

1) No it isn't - it's casting a spell - the spell might result in an attack - but it's always a 'cast a spell' action :)

2) Yes they are - just because you use the term incorrectly doesn't mean that they aren't :)


Ckorik wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Malachi all attack actions are standard actions.

Not every attack is an attack action however.

Casting magic missile is an attack, but not an attack action.

AoO's are attacks, but not attack actions.

1) No it isn't - it's casting a spell - the spell might result in an attack - but it's always a 'cast a spell' action :)

2) Yes they are - just because you use the term incorrectly doesn't mean that they aren't :)

1.No it is an attack. I even posted it. Once again.

Quote:
Attacks: Some spell descriptions refer to attacking. All offensive combat actions, even those that don't damage opponents, are considered attacks. Attempts to channel energy count as attacks if it would harm any creatures in the area. All spells that opponents resist with saving throws, that deal damage, or that otherwise harm or hamper subjects are attacks. Spells that summon monsters or other allies are not attacks because the spells themselves don't harm anyone.

2. I am not incorrect. ;)


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The point you are making is the very same point I'm making!

No. The things that are not exclusive to standard action say so or they are also mentioned under there appropriate actions. Attack action doesn't say it can be folded into full attack.

Attack action doesn't say it can be used with a Charge action.

Attack action doesn't say it can be used for a AoO. Which isn't an action. As I keep repeating.


Ckorik wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
AoO's are attacks, but not attack actions.
2) Yes they are - just because you use the term incorrectly doesn't mean that they aren't :)
Actions (Part Two) By Skip Williams wrote:

Kinds of Nonactions

...
Aggressive Nonactions: There's only one activity that falls into this category: the attack of opportunity. An attack of opportunity is similar to the attack action. In general, if you cannot use a standard action during your turn, you also cannot make an attack of opportunity during someone else's turn. When the notes on conditions in Part One say that you cannot act (for example, when stunned), you cannot make an attack of opportunity.

"Similar" as you know doesn't mean "the same."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Karlgamer wrote:


"Similar" as you know doesn't mean "the same."

You mean like the the word type in the quote "an attack action is a type of standard action" doesn't mean 'attack action is always a standard action'

I'll agree with you on using words that don't mean the same.

However the text in the book disagrees with Skip.

Quote:

Performing a Combat Maneuver: When performing a

combat maneuver, you must use an action appropriate to
the maneuver you are attempting to perform
. While many
combat maneuvers can be performed as part of an attack
action, full-attack action, or attack of opportunity (in
place of a melee attack),

So AoO is an action - again RAW there is no such thing as an 'Agressive Nonaction'. A CM by definition must use an action and AoO is listed as an action.

Casting a spell is a standard action - and[or] a full round action - and[or] a multi-round action - and[or] a quickened action - and the spell effects may be considered attacks (by the description of the spell) but that doesn't mean your action was an attack - your action was still cast a spell (then resolve spell effects).


Kazaan wrote:
Sunder is a unique bastard between CMs that require a melee attack and CMs that require a specific action.

Not quite... Charge Bullrush also combines an action requirement with 'in place of melee attack' wording, which I take to mean that (opposed to a Standard Action Bullrush, which doesn't include any movement of your own) when you Charge Bullrush you are able to channel your own movement into the momentum of a weapon attack and use that to deliver the Bullrush. Charge Bullrush is also the only way to 'move with the target' as part of a Bullrush. If you do it as a Standard Action you don't have any allowed movement as part of the action... You can separately move after the Bullrush, but the target would be momentarily pushed further away from you in that case.

I'm still failing to see any argument from the 'attack action is the same thing as an attack' camp on why the phrase 'attack action' is missing from the rules for Full Attack, Cleave, AoO's, etc, where they say it applies. Or really any place where 'attack action' means something other than a reference to a particular action. In other words, a failure to account for the wording discrepancy between those and cases that do mention the attack action. If words mean something, a difference in wording means something. Besides everything else, if we have a named action, there should be a way to refer to it, right? What is the way to refer to the action named 'Attack'? Wouldn't we expect the way other actions are referred to also apply for this action?

Incidentally, the unique option for the Full-Attack Action to allow deciding after the first Iterative Attack whether one wants to proceed with the Full-Attack or be 'refunded' a Move Action DOES NOT have wording which retroactively classifies the first attacks as an Attack Action attack, thus it couldn't benefit from Vital Strike. Which is kind of a relief, because otherwise retroactively appying bonus damage would be rather problematic to say the least (imagine if the target has defensive abilities that they may or may not choose to use, and whether or not Vital Strike or other Attack Action riders applied to the attack would have influenced their decision to use said defensive ability).


Ckorik wrote:
Karlgamer wrote:


"Similar" as you know doesn't mean "the same."

You mean like the the word type[b] in the quote "an attack action is a [b]type of standard action" doesn't mean 'attack action is always a standard action'

That is like saying a BMW is a type of automobile, but it is not always an automobile. The word "type" refers to a form of sub-categorization. If you are in a subcategory of something you are still that thing.

Another example is that a laptop is type of computer. I am sure that all laptop are computers.

Quote:


However the text in the book disagrees with Skip.

Quote:

Performing a Combat Maneuver: When performing a

combat maneuver, you must use an action appropriate to
the maneuver you are attempting to perform
. While many
combat maneuvers can be performed as part of an attack
action, full-attack action, or attack of opportunity (in
place of a melee attack),
So AoO is an action - again RAW there is no such thing as an 'Agressive Nonaction'. A CM by definition must use an action and AoO is listed as an action.

They were not using the game term definition of an action.

As another example of the non-game term use.

Quote:
An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you.

Now we all know that by the rules you provoke for things you do, not acts. If AoO's only provoked on actions then the below would not apply:

Example if I case a spell while threatened, and it uses a ranged attack I have only committed one action, which is the standard action of casting the spell. However I have committed two provoking actions.

Also Charging is only 1 action, but I can provoke several times with the charge by leaving a threatened square, and using a CM such as disarm when I don't have the feat for it.

When reading the rules you must be able to decide when they are using the generic term, and when they are using the game term.

Silver Crusade

Karlgamer wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The point you are making is the very same point I'm making!

No. The things that are not exclusive to standard action say so or they are also mentioned under there appropriate actions. Attack action doesn't say it can be folded into full attack.

Attack action doesn't say it can be used with a Charge action.

Attack action doesn't say it can be used for a AoO. Which isn't an action. As I keep repeating.

The attack action can be folded into a full attack action; it says so in the very same section!

When you use 'total defence', you are using the total defence action. this is important to know because 'total defence' is a game defined kind of 'action' which must use the framework of 'actions in combat', standard/move/full-round/etc.

When you attack (in the sense of the kind of attack that would lose you your invisibility), that doesn't imply the attack 'action', because attack 'actions' are a game defined term for weapon-like attacks using melee/ranged/touch/etc attacks, and in game terms these are a kind of action distinct from the attack that is a Magic Missile or whatever. So when the phrase attack 'action' is used it is to make clear that this attack is using that kind of attack, not the kind that may come from other 'actions' like the 'cast a spell' action.

So, while the term 'attack action' is never defined as distinct from the 'attack' meant by this kind of action, it is distinct from just any old attack. That's why the term 'attack action' is ever used at all! Not to tie it to using a standard action, any more than the other kinds of actions on this list (such as the 'cast a spell' action) are tied to a standard action.


Ckorik wrote:
You mean like the the word type in the quote "an attack action is a type of standard action" doesn't mean 'attack action is always a standard action'

Type is used correctly here.

Ckorik wrote:
However the text in the book disagrees with Skip.

Actually it's more like the text in the book disagrees with it's self.

Ckorik wrote:
A CM by definition must use an action and AoO is listed as an action.

AoO isn't listed as an action anywhere.

Ckorik wrote:
the spell effects may be considered attacks (by the description of the spell) but that doesn't mean your action was an attack - your action was still cast a spell (then resolve spell effects).

why?

All offensive combat actions, even those that don't damage opponents, are considered attacks. Attempts to channel energy count as attacks if it would harm any creatures in the area. All spells that opponents resist with saving throws, that deal damage, or that otherwise harm or hamper subjects are attacks. Spells that summon monsters or other allies are not attacks because the spells themselves don't harm anyone.

You can apparently attack with a cast a spell action. But you think this not an attack. But it is. But it's not.

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