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


Rules Questions

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Silver Crusade

WWWW wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
• His understanding of 'attack action' exactly matches that of the 3.0/3.5 'rules guy' Skip Williams, and JJ's post was both recent and succinct.
Hmm, Skip was he the guy that did the 3.5 faq. I never can remember if he was responsible for that.

Skip Williams, AKA 'The Sage', was responsible for the Sage Advice column in Dragon Magazine, from which the FAQ in question was gleaned.

He also authored one of the original three core rulebooks for 3.0, either the DMG or the MM, I can't remember which.

So, yes, he was a rules guy! : )


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
WWWW wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
• His understanding of 'attack action' exactly matches that of the 3.0/3.5 'rules guy' Skip Williams, and JJ's post was both recent and succinct.
Hmm, Skip was he the guy that did the 3.5 faq. I never can remember if he was responsible for that.

Skip Williams, AKA 'The Sage', was responsible for the Sage Advice column in Dragon Magazine, from which the FAQ in question was gleaned.

He also authored one of the original three core rulebooks for 3.0, either the DMG or the MM, I can't remember which.

So, yes, he was a rules guy! : )

Oh I am not questioning if he was a guy that made rules. He clearly was given credit for some books. No I was just wondering to whom I should attribute this sentence from the FAQ.

"The Shot on the Run and Spring Attack feats only let you use
an attack action (that is, a specific kind of standard action) in
conjunction with their allowed movement, not any kind of
standard action."


Weapon-like is a term never mentioned there.

And since you're saying any action that involves an attack is an attack action, casting polar ray is an attack action that can be modified by attack action-modifying feats.

Some spells are not attacks, such as fireballs. A spell that involves an attack roll is either a melee or ranged attack. Melee and ranged attacks are noted as types of attacks just as you mention.

A polar ray specifically is a ranged attack, one of the kinds of attacks listed under the "attack" action.

Unless "attack action" literally means "the standard action named attack", which I say it does but you say it doesn't, then you can vital strike and/or sunder with a polar ray (but sundering with it would be stupid, half damage and all that).

EDIT: And since the wording has changed, whatever was said in 3.0/3.5 is irrelevant.


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Look, this with "how it worked in 3.x".

How it worked is relevant in these circumstances:
- The wording hasn't changed at all, indicating they probably have the same intent as 3.x.
- The wording has changed slightly, indicating they probably want to change how it works from 3.x.

When a chapter is completely rewritten, how it works in 3.x becomes irrelevant as it doesn't speak one bit of the intent with the current game.

Silver Crusade

WWWW wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
WWWW wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
• His understanding of 'attack action' exactly matches that of the 3.0/3.5 'rules guy' Skip Williams, and JJ's post was both recent and succinct.
Hmm, Skip was he the guy that did the 3.5 faq. I never can remember if he was responsible for that.

Skip Williams, AKA 'The Sage', was responsible for the Sage Advice column in Dragon Magazine, from which the FAQ in question was gleaned.

He also authored one of the original three core rulebooks for 3.0, either the DMG or the MM, I can't remember which.

So, yes, he was a rules guy! : )

Oh I am not questioning if he was a guy that made rules. He clearly was given credit for some books. No I was just wondering to whom I should attribute this sentence from the FAQ.

"The Shot on the Run and Spring Attack feats only let you use
an attack action (that is, a specific kind of standard action) in
conjunction with their allowed movement, not any kind of
standard action."

Yep! When you take a 'cast a spell' action as a standard action, then that standard action was the 'cast a spell' standard action, and therefore is not some other kind of action like attack or use spell-like ability.

In 3.5 they were very careful to describe the kind of weapon-like attack which could not be folded into a full attack or used at the end of a charge or as an AoO, as a 'standard action', not as an 'attack action', because by definition 'attack' actions could be used in those ways!

So things like Manyshot and Hideous Blow were specifically 'standard actions', not 'attack actions'. Manyshot was created to allow archers to move and shoot multiple arrows in the same round, but they thought it too powerful to be folded into a full attack (that's what Rapid Shot was for) so they called it a standard action, not an attack action.

Hideous Blow (a warlock invocation) said 'as a standard action make an attack with a melee weapon', then a successful hit triggered the Eldritch Blast damage; too powerful for an attack action (which could be folded into a full attack).

When you make a single attack, that burns, and 'is', that standard action. So when Skip makes clear that although a single attack is a standard action, that doesn't mean that Spring Attack can use any standard action attack, only an attack action can be made during a spring attack. So you couldn't use Hideous Blow during a SA, but you could sunder as sunder was an attack action.

Skip specifically answered a FAQ on whether sunder could be used in a full attack, and his answer was yes, because sunder is an attack action!

I'll get on my proper computer so I can cut and paste it.

Silver Crusade

Ilja wrote:

Weapon-like is a term never mentioned there.

And since you're saying any action that involves an attack is an attack action, casting polar ray is an attack action that can be modified by attack action-modifying feats.

Some spells are not attacks, such as fireballs. A spell that involves an attack roll is either a melee or ranged attack. Melee and ranged attacks are noted as types of attacks just as you mention.

A polar ray specifically is a ranged attack, one of the kinds of attacks listed under the "attack" action.

Unless "attack action" literally means "the standard action named attack", which I say it does but you say it doesn't, then you can vital strike and/or sunder with a polar ray (but sundering with it would be stupid, half damage and all that).

EDIT: And since the wording has changed, whatever was said in 3.0/3.5 is irrelevant.

I am most definitely not saying this!

Polar Ray uses the 'cast a spell' action, not the 'attack' action!


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Snip

Ah so you are arguing that Skip Williams is not actually an absolutely valid rules source for 3.5. If you don't understand what I mean, showing that Skip Williams has given two contradictory rulings means that he is not actually right all the time. If you demonstrate that Skip can be wrong then you demonstrate that any of his rulings can be wrong. If you really want to cast doubt on one of your sources, please feel free, but be aware of what you are doing.

Oh and by the by here's a little quiz for you. Which of these is the wording of the benefit section of the spring attack feat.

1: "When using the attack action with a melee weapon, you can move both before and after the attack, provided that your total distance moved is not greater than your speed. Moving in this way does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the defender you attack, though it might provoke attacks of opportunity from other creatures, if appropriate. You can’t use this feat if you are wearing heavy armor.

You must move at least 5 feet both before and after you make your attack in order to utilize the benefits of Spring Attack."

2: "When using an attack action with a melee weapon, you can move both before and after the attack, provided that your total distance moved is not greater than your speed. Moving in this way does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the defender you attack, though it might provoke attacks of opportunity from other creatures, if appropriate. You can’t use this feat if you are wearing heavy armor.

You must move at least 5 feet both before and after you make your attack in order to utilize the benefits of Spring Attack."


Jim Groves wrote:
stuff

Hey Jim, thanks alot for clarifying your previous post on that topic.

Please try to understand that I wasn't trying to speak on your behalf,
I was responding other posters who were already referencing your post.
When I wrote 'He [Jim] never said that... There's no reason to think that', that's exactly the frame of reference I was writing in...
Your previous comment didn't go into the full detail you just graciously shared,
and my comment was in the vein of discriminating what could/couldn't be inferred from that less detailed information.
If you took offense at any sarcastic turns of phrase ('unicorns'), please accept my apologies,
I never intended to portray YOU or Sean in any sort of negative light,
I was just trying to deal with the logical implications of your previous less-detailed statement.

From the sound of things, I don't think it's unlikely that the attack action/Sunder thing could be a 'blindspot' of Paizo's perception of their own rules. That can happen, and given Paizo's advice to avoid using any reference to a specific named action 'attack action' (which should logically be as reference-able as any other action or rule), something like that may well have come to pass.

I've always been open to RAI on this being something different, I just tried to point out that RAW includes a certain phrase indicating a specific action (attack action) which is nowhere else in the game used to indicate a non-action (any old attack), so if Paizo didn't wish to reference that specific action, they should really Errata it (to use the same copy-paste wording ala Trip/Disarm). I could see why your experience might make you think that RAI is something different here, albeit I could also see the situation as just being down to Sunder isn't used very often and people aren't familiar with it, yet the current RAW is upheld in the end. Sometimes there may not ever have been a clear intent, and the pieces just have to picked up however they are, creating intent on the spot.

I just don't see anything to over-rule the RAW until it's Errata'd or FAQ'd or whatever. Given the confusion on many people's part, I really do hope they clarify it, and change the RAW if that needs to be done... Ideally, people SHOULD be able to reference 'attack action' and have it mean a certain thing to every player, otherwise it is like a 'black hole' in the rules. Given the attention given to the attack action/vital strike interaction, I feel like it's clear that there is an intention for such a distinct rules term/action to exist, whether Paizo wants to excise/Errata 'attack action' from Sunder or not is it's own issue.

Again, thanks for sharing your perspective on this, and sorry if there was any hard feelings.

Silver Crusade

Here it is!

Skip Williams the 3rd edition 'rules guy' wrote:

Is sunder a special standard action or is it a melee attack variant? It has its own entry on the actions table, but the text describing it refers to it as a melee attack. Is sunder a melee attack only in the sense of hitting something with a melee weapon, or is sunder a true melee attack?

Sunder is a special kind of melee attack. If it were a special standard action, its description would say so (as the descriptive text for the Manyshot feat says).
If you make a full attack, and you have multiple attacks from a high base attack bonus, you can sunder more than once, or attack and sunder, or some other combination of attacking and sundering.
Sunder does indeed get its own entry in Table 8–2: Actions in Combat in the PH. It needs one because unlike a regular melee attack, sunder provokes an attack of opportunity (although not if you have the Improved Sunder feat).
You can also disarm, grapple, or trip as a melee attack (or attack of opportunity)

That's how it was in 3.0 and 3.5. Altough the combat manoevre mechanic changed in Pathfinder, the wording of attack actions did not.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Here it is!

Skip Williams the 3rd edition 'rules guy' wrote:

Is sunder a special standard action or is it a melee attack variant? It has its own entry on the actions table, but the text describing it refers to it as a melee attack. Is sunder a melee attack only in the sense of hitting something with a melee weapon, or is sunder a true melee attack?

Sunder is a special kind of melee attack. If it were a special standard action, its description would say so (as the descriptive text for the Manyshot feat says).
If you make a full attack, and you have multiple attacks from a high base attack bonus, you can sunder more than once, or attack and sunder, or some other combination of attacking and sundering.
Sunder does indeed get its own entry in Table 8–2: Actions in Combat in the PH. It needs one because unlike a regular melee attack, sunder provokes an attack of opportunity (although not if you have the Improved Sunder feat).
You can also disarm, grapple, or trip as a melee attack (or attack of opportunity)
That's how it was in 3.0 and 3.5. Altough the combat manoevre mechanic changed in Pathfinder, the wording of attack actions did not.

So tell me, how does a FAQ entry that does not contain the term "attack action" demonstrate anything about the "attack action".


Malachi previously wrote:
Skip specifically answered a FAQ on whether sunder could be used in a full attack, and his answer was yes, because sunder is an attack action!

Your Skip Williams quote there doesn't contain the phrase 'attack action' at all.

Skip is describing the function of 3.x Sunder, which is done with a (any) melee attack.
Attack Action is never invoked for 3.x Sunder, yet it is for PRPG. Vital Strike invokes the Attack Action in PRPG, but didn't exist in 3.x.
The wording of attack action doesn't need to change, the wording of everything else changing to tie into it is what this is all about. EDIT: ninja'd


But in 3.5 Sunder never was an attack action. So since that FAQ didn't touch on attack actions it's irrelevant.

In fact, it might be argued that the added language of sunder being an attack action rather than just "a melee attack" is an indicator of an intent to change the action type.

Or it might not be that but just an effect of rewriting the chapter.

The point is that _3.5 is irrelevant since there's been a huge rewrite of those rules after that_.


@Jim Groves
I think for a second there it felt like your words were being quoted as "evidence" to make points that were just regressing this conversation back to somewhere it was ages ago and it was starting to feel like a broken record and that gets frustrating. The tone you are picking up on is not sarcasm or frustration directed at you, rather at the way your words were being dragged out as exhibit b again to make a case that adds nothing to the discussion. Maybe I'm out of turn speaking for Quandary but it could have easily been me instead who said something you might have taken the wrong way.

I'm sure everyone can see you've been nothing but cool in this thread. I also get what you mean about choosing words carefully and I for one think that when someone can admit to making a technical error or mis-speaking they only gain credibility going forward, so cheers.

Silver Crusade

Skip Williams wrote:

Can a warlock use Rapid Shot to fire two eldritch blasts simultaneously?

No. 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, even with the Rapid Shot feat.

Can you seriously tell me that the above doesn't show that, in 3rd ed., attack actions can be folded into a full attack?

When it says, 'If something requires a standard action (as opposed to an attack action) to use, you can't use the full attack action', it implies as strongly as it is able that, 'If something requires an attack action (as opposed to a standard action) to use, you can use the full attack action'!

And the wording of attack actions has not changed between editions.

I apologise if my memory conflated the two FAQs. : )


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Why are we talking about 3rd ed still? Combat maneuvers are new in PF right?

Attack actions seem to have a history of ambiguity but that has been recently clarified (for PF). So the question regarding Sunder at this point is whether or not the Attack Action wording belongs in there or not. Right? If it's there to stay then that can only mean one thing. No more full attack or AoO sunder attempts.

Silver Crusade

@ Jim Groves: yeah, you've been great!

The behind the scenes insights are fascinating! Are you aware of the status of 'attack action' equalling either 'attack' or equalling 'standard action'? Both yourself and the devs?

Silver Crusade

Grimmy wrote:
Why are we talking about 3rd ed still? Combat maneuvers are new in PF right?

The Combat Manoevre mechanic is new but sunder is not, and sunder being useable on any attack goes back to the start of 3.0.

The attack action is definately not new, and is unchanged from 3.0 to the CRB.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Skip Williams wrote:

Can a warlock use Rapid Shot to fire two eldritch blasts simultaneously?

No. 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, even with the Rapid Shot feat.

Can you seriously tell me that the above doesn't show that, in 3rd ed., attack actions can be folded into a full attack?

When it says, 'If something requires a standard action (as opposed to an attack action) to use, you can't use the full attack action', it implies as strongly as it is able that, 'If something requires an attack action (as opposed to a standard action) to use, you can use the full attack action'!

And the wording of attack actions has not changed between editions.

I apologise if my memory conflated the two FAQs. : )

Well that depends. Would you prefer that I say the above shows that attack actions can be folded into a full attack. But be aware that it means that we have two contradictory FAQ entries and thus the whole of Skip's rulings for 3.5 are thrown into doubt. I mean I am fine with that but you seem to like using him as a source so I am leaving it up to you to decide if you wish to demonstrate that his 3.5 rulings are unreliable.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
Why are we talking about 3rd ed still? Combat maneuvers are new in PF right?

The Combat Manoevre mechanic is new but sunder is not, and sunder being useable on any attack goes back to the start of 3.0.

The attack action is definately not new, and is unchanged from 3.0 to the CRB.

But SUNDER DID NOT USE AN ATTACK ACTION in 3.x. That means it's useless to know what's said about sunder in 3.x.

What is said on attack actions in 3.x might have been relevant if it wasn't the same in 3.x as in PF when it comes to dev input - all over the place. In both 3.x and PF we have devs taking "both sides" if one can call them that.

Silver Crusade

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WWWW wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Skip Williams wrote:

Can a warlock use Rapid Shot to fire two eldritch blasts simultaneously?

No. 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, even with the Rapid Shot feat.

Can you seriously tell me that the above doesn't show that, in 3rd ed., attack actions can be folded into a full attack?

When it says, 'If something requires a standard action (as opposed to an attack action) to use, you can't use the full attack action', it implies as strongly as it is able that, 'If something requires an attack action (as opposed to a standard action) to use, you can use the full attack action'!

And the wording of attack actions has not changed between editions.

I apologise if my memory conflated the two FAQs. : )

Well that depends. Would you prefer that I say the above shows that attack actions can be folded into a full attack. But be aware that it means that we have two contradictory entries and thus the whole of Sean's rulings for 3.5 are thrown into doubt. I mean I am fine with that but you seem to like using him as a source so I am leaving it up to you to decide.

Your previous post regarding Spring Attack does not show any error on Skip's part. He is saying that the only type of standard action allowed during a SA is an attack action, not that attack actions are always standard actions!

Sometimes attack actions are standard actions! Sometimes they are not! The attack action during a SA is a standard action.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
Why are we talking about 3rd ed still? Combat maneuvers are new in PF right?

The Combat Manoevre mechanic is new but sunder is not, and sunder being useable on any attack goes back to the start of 3.0.

The attack action is definately not new, and is unchanged from 3.0 to the CRB.

If Combat Maneuvers are new and Sunder is a Combat Maneuver, then Sunder is new. There was something else called Sunder in 3rd ed, but it's gone. It was a different beast. You couldn't even use it on armor.

I usually love looking to 3rd ed for legacy and intent but it just won't fly here.

And re: Attack Action? Unchanged from 3.0 to CRB? Maybe, but recently clarified.

You know this, you've been here for the whole thread. Why are you retreading stuff from pages and pages back? Let's get back up to speed.

Silver Crusade

Grimmy wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
Why are we talking about 3rd ed still? Combat maneuvers are new in PF right?

The Combat Manoevre mechanic is new but sunder is not, and sunder being useable on any attack goes back to the start of 3.0.

The attack action is definately not new, and is unchanged from 3.0 to the CRB.

If Combat Maneuvers are new and Sunder is a Combat Maneuver, then Sunder is new. There was something else called Sunder in 3rd ed, but it's gone. It was a different beast. You couldn't even use it on armor.

I usually love looking to 3rd ed for legacy and intent but it just won't fly here.

And re: Attack Action? Unchanged from 3.0 to CRB? Maybe, but recently clarified.

You know this, you've been here for the whole thread. Why are you retreading stuff from pages and pages back? Let's get back up to speed.

We are all treading water here. We are just waiting for a FAQ.

It may well be that our debate, with points on both sides, has thrown up a division in the ranks of the devs about one or both of these two subjects, and this may be the reason for such a long wait.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Your previous post regarding Spring Attack does not show any error on Skip's part. He is saying that the only type of standard action allowed during a SA is an attack action, not that attack actions are always standard actions!

Sometimes attack actions are standard actions! Sometimes they are not! The attack action during a SA is a standard action.

So when Skip says that the attack action is a standard action he is not actually saying that the attack action is a standard action. Huh, well how about that. Personally that would make his rulings even more suspect if he doesn't actually mean what he says in them.


CRB wrote:

Sunder

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. If you do not have the Improved Sunder feat, or a similar ability, attempting to sunder an item provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver.

By looking at the wording of the Sunder section of the combat section in the CRB, it says that you sunder as part of an attack action in place of a melee attack. Considering that they specifically state that you replace "a melee attack" and not "your melee attack"", or "the melee attack", you would have to assume that you can in fact use sunder as part of a full-attack action. Especially as it is called a Full Attack action is the CRB.

just my thoughts on this matter.


Morganstern, that would make sense if full-attack action was an example of an attack action. As it stands though, the full-attack action is one of the full-round actions. The attack action is an example of a standard action.

Edit: What I did there was italicize the terms for specific actions and bolded the terms for types of actions. That convention doesn't exist in the game since they already italicize spells and stuff, but I just did it for clarity. I think the game is sorely missing a convention like this, be it bolding, caps, whatever, just something to delineate when something is a game term versus plain english.


It seems that logic and RAW don't like to agree. I'd be inclined to believe that an attack action would include the option of a full-attack, but that is apparently not the case. if that is so, they should definitely clean up the wording in the combat section as it seems to point towards getting multiple attacks with sunder. that's just based on the wording though; we can hope for a FAQ on this to clarify it.


Grimmy wrote:

Morganstern, that would make sense if full-attack action was an example of an attack action. As it stands though, the full-attack action is one of the full-round actions. The attack action is an example of a standard action.

Edit: What I did there was italicize the terms for specific actions and bolded the terms for types of actions. That convention doesn't exist in the game since they already italicize spells and stuff, but I just did it for clarity. I think the game is sorely missing a convention like this, be it bolding, caps, whatever, just something to delineate when something is a game term versus plain english.

I definitely agree that there should be something delineating game terms from plain english.


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The reason they say you can replace 'a' melee attack is because melee attacks aren't the only thing you can do with the Attack action. You could make a ranged attack, an unarmed attack, or natural attacks. You cannot sunder if you're not using a melee attack or something that counts as such (unarmed and natural, while not strictly melee attacks, are denoted in the rules to count as such).

By contrast, if we were talking about an ability that only works on the Charge ability, then it would read "... you can replace 'the' melee attack of a Charge..." because melee is the only option available by default for a charge.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Malachi, why do you keep bringing up James Jacobs agreeing with you and ignoring the times he's said the exact opposite? You're being dishonest by presenting partial and therefore misleading information.

The conversation I had with him is his opinion now and is the opinion he started with.

The time he said 'the exact opposite' (that was posted on this thread) was after he gave his opinion someone told him the James B said he was wrong (not that JB actually said that; the poster just told James that he did). It's quite obvious that JJ didn't want to be seen to publicly disagree with JB, so he withdrew.

This is not the same thing as changing his mind, or sometimes having one opinion and sometimes another.

Nope, that's not what happened, and you know it. The James Jacobs post so often cited is when he referred to the attack action all on his own, with no references to JB from anyone. That post has been cited over and over and over and over in this thread.

Eventually, someone cited a conversation between JJ, myself, and a third poster in which he stated otherwise. Then came the scene which you now incorrectly describe as a poster saying JJ was told he was disagreeing with JB. Except what actually happened was I pointed out that JJ was contradicting himself.

So first James Jacobs disagreed with you (with no help from JB), then he contradicted himself, then I reminded him of his own past statement, then he returned to contradicting you, then you contacted him and he flipped again.

And then you go and claim his initial stance (which was referenced in this thread more than any other comment he made) never happened, misrepresent both his words and mine in a subsequent dialogue (that was only brought up once or twice) to make it look irrelevant, and then repeat ad nauseam the single piece of the story that fits your beliefs.

And when I point out the discrepancy between the facts and your claims, I'm making unfounded attacks? Please.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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@ Quandry - we're cool. I should not have posted at 1 am in the morning. I read far too much into your post and I apologize. It did spur me into going through my Gmail and looking at old notes. If I made out that you were being a jerk,I was being rash and hasty.

And stepping back, if I take your point to mean: "Stop using Jim as absolute evidence of something", then you're correct to say that. I don't have the undeniable answer that people would like. I wish I did, but I don't.

I won't lie either. I'm afraid to go on record with an absolute answer because it would really suck if I was wrong, and got corrected by a Developer. I also don't want to annoy them, in hopes to work with them again. So if you sense that I play it safe—it's not your imagination.

Anyway, I withdraw any complaint about your post and I'm glad we can be forum-friends. If you go to PaizoCon, maybe we can have drink and laugh over this.

@ Grimmy - thanks for your kind words!

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The behind the scenes insights are fascinating! Are you aware of the status of 'attack action' equalling either 'attack' or equalling 'standard action'? Both yourself and the devs?

First off, I'd love to be the answer you're looking for. But in the end, it wouldn't be honest. The only evidence I can offer is anecdotal.

Here's what I can tell, and this is a repetition of something I said before but maybe with some greater context and detail:

When I worked on Ultimate Combat, it was one of my first projects. Sean gave new people some feedback. We don't always get feedback, but he really tries if his schedule permits, and I believe he likes it do it for beginners particularly. We were not discussing Sunder, but another combat feat and he cautioned me about something in an email correspondence.

To *paraphrase* he warned me: Avoid inserting the word "action" when you're not talking about a standard action, movement action, or any other kind of action that is not described in Core Rulebook. Because not all attacks fall into those definitions, i.e. iterative attacks. You're probably doing to from an urge to make the sentence more readable from an English perspective, but an action is a technical term. If you're not careful, you'll create a confusing feat or rule. That sort of stuff creates arguments on the Rules Forums.

That is paraphrasing his advice, not a literal quote. So please, no one quote that with his name, I am relaying it second-hand. And there was no sarcasm intended in the last sentence I believe, rather genuine concern. We were not discussing Sunder at the time, and we removed in the incorrect use of the word action in the new material I was writing. He was pointing out a bad habit to avoid.

Ironically I still didn't exactly get it at the time, but I was eager to please my Paizo masters, so I tried to do as instructed. BOY, DO I EVER GET IT NOW. lol. :D

But it's anecdotal, Malachi. We weren't talking about Sunder specifically.

What I believe is RAI. Like some of your friendly rivals, I believe I know the intent and wish it was clarified so that the community would not have to be divided. Sorry.

(EDIT: So no, he didn't say anything that helps me answer your questions. He did make me aware that an attack is not necessarily a standard action (which we all agree on anyway), and that calling something an action when we really don't mean it is confusing. Again, because the word "action" is a technical term in the game. There is a parallel here to how you can perform a move action and not actually move to a new square. You have to be precise in your language.)


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The time he said 'the exact opposite' (that was posted on this thread) was after he gave his opinion someone told him the James B said he was wrong (not that JB actually said that; the poster just told James that he did). It's quite obvious that JJ didn't want to be seen to publicly disagree with JB, so he withdrew.

Actually, what happened was Jiggy pointed out that James Jacobs himself had said earlier that an Attack Action was "a specific kind of standard action". He also provided James with a link to his own post.

James responded to this with "Sounds like instead I'm the one who's confused."

The links from the quotes earlier in this thread are all broken, probably from the boards killing off the archives. Here's updated ones:
Jiggy reminding James
James' response

So your theory on James disagreeing with JB is not correct.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
This is not his 'partial' opinion, it is his actual opinion, with all the benefit of being able to discuss it with JB and the other devs, and with plenty of time to give the matter his due consideration.

You're asserting that on a Thursday night at 9:00 PM James Jacobs received your PM and then discussed the attack action with JB and the other devs, and they spent an hour and 54 minutes deciding how to change the attack action, and then they decided to announce this major combat change to the world by PMing you?

Sure, that's possible. It's also possible that James Jacobs went back in time and spent a few years riding dinosaurs while pondering how to change the attack action.

It's also possible that he replied to your PM in an off-hand manner without really considering it, since in his games it really doesn't matter and he doesn't think it would break things if you made multiple sunders in a turn.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Ilja wrote:
Malachi, note that with your reading of attack action you can vital strike with a polar ray.

Incorrect. Casting a spell is a separate action even if it make an attack roll.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

James also doesn't like his answers being used to beat over other people in rules questions debates.

Sean, on the other hand, gets sadistic glee and a small measure of nutrition from it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jim Groves wrote:
(some of the most polite discussion ever to grace the internet)

Man, I want to go to PaizoCon just to buy you a drink.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:

James also doesn't like his answers being used to beat over other people in rules questions debates.

Sean, on the other hand, gets sadistic glee and a small measure of nutrition from it.

James also doesn't seem to like being asked questions that obfuscate the intent of the asker. I don't think anyone's simply asked him "can you sunder on multiple attacks in a full-attack action? Can you sunder on an AoO? Or can you only sunder when making the attack action (the standard action called Attack)?"

And am I the only person who was disappointed to notice that it was Jiggy who first favourited the quoted post, and not Sean?

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:

James also doesn't like his answers being used to beat over other people in rules questions debates.

Sean, on the other hand, gets sadistic glee and a small measure of nutrition from it.

Given his vegetarian tendencies, that nutrition would probably involve photosynthesis, or osmosis.

Silver Crusade

Grick, thanks for posting those links. So I thought Jiggy was talking about the other JJ posts; not hard in a 1000+ thread!

The first post that you supplied showed that JJ understands 'attack action' to just be another way of saying 'attack'. The second post you supplied pointed out that He had said, 'an attack action is a specific kind of standard action', then saying that that statement contradicts the other. JJ then cites lack of sleep.

Had he not been so tired he could have explained that the apparent inconsistency was illusory. Skip Williams was accused of the same thing.

When you take an attack as a standard action, then that standard action is a specific kind of standard action; the 'attack' action as opposed to the 'cast a spell' action or the 'activate magic device' action. It doesn't mean that attack actions are limited to being standard actions, any more than the 'cast a spell' action is limited to a standard action!

So JJ was not contradicting himself, his opinion has not changed.

When I corresponded with him I posted my questions as well as his answers, both of them in their entirety, to provide context and transparency. I most certainly made my first question specific about sunder being useable with any attack (or not), I laid out both stances without bias. The second question was specifically about our different understanding of 'attack action', and I laid out both cases without bias.

The idea that the few hours between the two PMs is the only time he had to talk to the other devs about this subject is absurd! As your links show, he was aware of the confusion in this community over this issue, and has been aware of it for a long, long time. I'm reliably informed that the devs regularly haunt these forums and I can't believe that any Paizo dev remains unaware of our issue!

I'm happy to engage in debate without demonising those in the other camp. I've been accused of dishonesty, just for believing that someone was referring to one set of JJ posts when he was referring to another.

Let's find some common ground, as a way to move forward! Surely we can agree that sunder could be any old 'attack' in 3rd ed! We can agree that, in beta, sunder, disarm and trip could all be used this way and all three had the same wording that sunder still has, as opposed to grapple/overrun/bull rush etc. which are standard actions.

We can also agree that the wording was changed for trip and disarm between beta and the CRB, without changing the fact that these can be any weapon 'attack'. We can agree that sunder was left with the beta wording for the 'attack action' part but without the part that clarifies that it means any attack.

We can agree that sunder either was intended to keep being used like trip/disarm (in which case we can agree that the wording of sunder should have been changed to match the wording changes in trip/disarm), OR sunder was intended to be changed so that it works like bull rush/grapple/etc. requiring a standard action (in which case the wording should have been changed to match bull rush/grapple).

So we can agree that the wording of sunder should have been changed, one way or the other. But it wasn't. The fact that it wasn't has spawned a 1000+ post thread. Our only hope is for the devs to step in and tell us which it is.

I think another thing we have in common, judging by our willingness to continually go round in circles in this thread, that when 'someone is wrong on the internet' we feel compelled to step in! : )

I hope we can continue without casting aspersions on each other.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I've been accused of dishonesty, just for believing that someone was referring to one set of JJ posts when he was referring to another.

No, you've been accused of dishonesty for (among other things) lying about the content of the posts you were referring to. Big difference.

Yes, there were two sets of posts from JJ. But even within the one you were talking about, you lied about the context, and lied about what I said to him.

I don't appreciate being lied about.

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I've been accused of dishonesty, just for believing that someone was referring to one set of JJ posts when he was referring to another.

No, you've been accused of dishonesty for (among other things) lying about the content of the posts you were referring to. Big difference.

Yes, there were two sets of posts from JJ. But even within the one you were talking about, you lied about the context, and lied about what I said to him.

I don't appreciate being lied about.

I have to say that there was no deliberate untruth in my posts. When I'm on these threads I'm usually on my phone. My skill at computer use is minimal, and when I was referring to the posts I thought you were talking about I didn't have those posts in front of me and was working from memory. I don't have an eidetic memory! If errors crept in it is a reflection of my humanity not dishonesty!

If I make an error like this then by all means correct me! But to start calling me a liar is not a fair or reasonable conclusion, nor is it appropriate behaviour.

We can all get passionate on here. My limited exposure to this medium has shown me that the lack of body language and tone of voice makes posters sound more obnoxious than they probably are in real life! Let's all go forward with some respect for each other. Does that sound reasonable to you?


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

The second post you supplied pointed out that He had said, 'an attack action is a specific kind of standard action', then saying that that statement contradicts the other. JJ then cites lack of sleep.

Had he not been so tired he could have explained that the apparent inconsistency was illusory.

So when James is right he's wrong, and when he's wrong, he's right, and when he says he was wrong, he's wrong, because what he was wrong about was actually right.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
When you take an attack as a standard action, then that standard action is a specific kind of standard action; the 'attack' action

If I use Cleave, I make an attack, and it uses a standard action. This isn't the attack action, it's the cleave action.

So you didn't really mean "an attack," since that is provably false. Perhaps you meant specifically an attack action.

"When you take an attack action as a standard action, then that standard action is a specific kind of standard action; the 'attack' action"

That sentence is completely pointless, and it doesn't support your claim that an attack action is not a specific kind of standard action.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I'm reliably informed that the devs regularly haunt these forums and I can't believe that any Paizo dev remains unaware of our issue!

Anyone who wants sunder to work with iterative attacks is totally free to let it do that in their games. How many actual games has the issue disrupted? Tempest in a teakettle.

Are they aware of it? Of course. Will keeping the thread alive make that happen faster? Probably not. It's a miracle the thread is still open, since the question was answered on the first page.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
We can agree that sunder either was intended to keep being used like trip/disarm ... OR sunder was intended to be changed so that it works like bull rush/grapple/etc. requiring a standard action

OR that it was intended to use the attack action, which is a specific standard action, so that it could potentially be used with other abilities that use the attack action, and wouldn't work if it was a specific standard action.

In which case, you know, mission accomplished.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I have to say that there was no deliberate untruth in my posts. When I'm on these threads I'm usually on my phone. My skill at computer use is minimal, and when I was referring to the posts I thought you were talking about I didn't have those posts in front of me and was working from memory. I don't have an eidetic memory! If errors crept in it is a reflection of my humanity not dishonesty!

If I make an error like this then by all means correct me! But to start calling me a liar is not a fair or reasonable conclusion, nor is it appropriate behaviour.

We can all get passionate on here. My limited exposure to this medium has shown me that the lack of body language and tone of voice makes posters sound more obnoxious than they probably are in real life! Let's all go forward with some respect for each other. Does that sound reasonable to you?

So it's not that you're being intentionally dishonest, it's that you're:

• Referencing things from ten pages back without bothering to verify any of your information,
• Using that half-remembered material as the basis for your elaborate theories,
• Using those theories that are based on half-remembered material to speculate the thought processes of people you've never met,
• Expecting people who do bother to check their facts to take you at your word

Does that about sum it up?

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I have to say that there was no deliberate untruth in my posts. When I'm on these threads I'm usually on my phone. My skill at computer use is minimal, and when I was referring to the posts I thought you were talking about I didn't have those posts in front of me and was working from memory. I don't have an eidetic memory! If errors crept in it is a reflection of my humanity not dishonesty!

If I make an error like this then by all means correct me! But to start calling me a liar is not a fair or reasonable conclusion, nor is it appropriate behaviour.

We can all get passionate on here. My limited exposure to this medium has shown me that the lack of body language and tone of voice makes posters sound more obnoxious than they probably are in real life! Let's all go forward with some respect for each other. Does that sound reasonable to you?

So it's not that you're being intentionally dishonest, it's that you're:

• Referencing things from ten pages back without bothering to verify any of your information,
• Using that half-remembered material as the basis for your elaborate theories,
• Expecting people who do verify their facts before posting to accept your word about what people you've never met must have been thinking and why they said things that you're pretty sure they might have said?

Yes.

I feel a slightly longer answer would be helpful, so here goes:-

• Guilty on the first charge. You have the advantage over me in the research department.

• Guilty on the second charge. As is the case for most people most of the time, the loads of stuff I know are swirling around my mind, and most of those things have no label which tells me where that knowledge originally comes from.

A recent example is when I conflated the two FAQs from Skip Williams. I knew that he had made clear that sunder could be used in a full attack because it replaced any attack, and I knew that he had said that an attack action could be folded into a full attack (paraphrasing) but that a standard action could not. My memory contained both these facts, but had not retained that they were from two different FAQs. But my conclusions were still correct.

• Sometimes you have to use your mind to come to an understanding based on the information you do have and extrapolating the result. Different people can come to different conclusions doing this.

The gulf in our respective research skills is not an indicator of which of us is correct.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
A recent example is when I conflated the two FAQs from Skip Williams. I knew that he had made clear that sunder could be used in a full attack because it replaced any attack, and I knew that he had said that an attack action could be folded into a full attack (paraphrasing) but that a standard action could not. My memory contained both these facts, but had not retained that they were from two different FAQs. But my conclusions were still correct.

Oh by the by, I am still wondering how you know that when Skip says the attack action is a standard action he does not actually mean the attack action is a standard action. Is it telepathy, That's what I'm betting on?

Silver Crusade

My attempts to understand the workings of JJ's mind may or may not accurately reflect his actual musings, but it his actual opinion is undeniable!

I think it's doing him a great disservice to suggest that his opinions keep changing; I've laid out an explanation for any apparent inconsistency, and that explanation assumes his competence. While you might not agree with my explanation, yours assumes his incompetence, by suggesting that his opinions are inconsistent.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Going over Jim's last (helpful, informative, classy) post, I was glad to learn that 'attack action' itself is not being ostracized by Paizo (which seems silly), but they have just told writers to be explicitly conscious about the usage of 'action' itself (which pertains to the attack action, as well as many others), since 'action' is a specific concept in the game rules.
Of course, that 'action' IS present in the Sunder rules, using 'attack action' which wasn't there in 3.x, and isn't used Trip/Disarm, does tend to imply a specific meaning vs. just saying attack (or using the wording of Trip/Disarm). I do think the simple fact that Sunder is pretty rare (even for Monks who CAN flurry with it) means that people, even within Paizo, may just not be familiar enough with it that they actually address the RAW of Sunder vs. any lingering assumptions they may have about it. I still think it's valid FAQ material, just as Vital Strike is/was.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

EDIT: Ninja'd. This is a response to this post: LINK

Then why do you expect anyone to accept your arguments when you know that your arguments are built on information that might not even be true in the first place?

And when someone disagrees with such an argument, wouldn't the appropriate response be to check your facts and see if they have a point? Or if you don't have the time/means to do so, then to accept that and just drop it? Why do you instead choose to simply reassert a disproven claim and expect people to buy it that time?

And then once you DO decide to assert a theory based on faulty information after it's been corrected/disproved, why do you find it so hard to believe that it might eventually start to look like you're being dishonest?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

My attempts to understand the workings of JJ's mind may or may not accurately reflect his actual musings, but it his actual opinion is undeniable!

I think it's doing him a great disservice to suggest that his opinions keep changing; I've laid out an explanation for any apparent inconsistency, and that explanation assumes his competence. While you might not agree with my explanation, yours assumes his incompetence, by suggesting that his opinions are inconsistent.

No.

He has said contradictory things, he has admitted it himself, he has admitted being confused, and he has retracted statements. No one's "suggesting" his opinions keep changing - he said it himself.

What you are doing is not "explaining" things, you're either ignoring things he's said or simply "not remembering" them, and in either case accusing people of assuming he's incompetent, and basing those accusations on your own falsehoods (intentional or otherwise).

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:

Then why do you expect anyone to accept your arguments when you know that your arguments are built on information that might not even be true in the first place?

And when someone disagrees with such an argument, wouldn't the appropriate response be to check your facts and see if they have a point? Or if you don't have the time/means to do so, then to accept that and just drop it? Why do you instead choose to simply reassert a disproven claim and expect people to buy it that time?

And then once you DO decide to assert a theory based on faulty information after it's been corrected/disproved, why do you find it so hard to believe that it might eventually start to look like you're being dishonest?

I have been happy to apologise for errors that have been pointed out (when, upon analysis, I concur), so I have no problem with that.

When Grick helpfully linked to the correct posts I read them, and found that JJ agreed with me then as he agrees with me now.

My argument stands on it's own merits. If my research is incomplete then others are free to do their own fact-checking. When these facts have been posted here they show that my half-remembered posts actually do lead to the conclusions that I already believed from when I had originally digested them ten pages ago.

JJ really does believe what I said he believes, what he said he believes! At no point did JJ (or any other dev, according to what's been posted in this thread) say that sunder can only be made as a standard action! Any time a dev has been specific about sunder they have said that it can be used in a full attack.

Now use your research skills and quote the posts that make a liar of me! I will take an absence of such posts as a tacit agreement that my statement is correct!


Hmm no answer as to how you know that Skip is not saying what he is saying. Ah well I suppose I shall have to take the absence of such a post as tacit agreement that you agree that Skip Williams has ruled that the attack action is a standard action. Huh, who would have guessed that you would change your mind about this.


Grick wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
We can agree that sunder either was intended to keep being used like trip/disarm ... OR sunder was intended to be changed so that it works like bull rush/grapple/etc. requiring a standard action

OR that it was intended to use the attack action, which is a specific standard action, so that it could potentially be used with other abilities that use the attack action, and wouldn't work if it was a specific standard action.

In which case, you know, mission accomplished.

Wait, are there feats that sunder works with currently? I know you've said vital strike wouldn't because of that tricky "in place of a melee attack" part.

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