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


Rules Questions

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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
JJ really does believe what I said he believes

James: "An attack action is merely you taking an action to attack."

Andrew: "if an attack action could be any action in which you attack, and isn't specifically defined as a standard action, then people are using the ruling on Vital Strike to justify why other types of attack actions cannot be done in a full attack action."

James: "Sounds like instead I'm the one who's confused."

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
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.

What? The first link was me pointing out that JJ's "agreement with you" was a contradiction of an earlier statement he made. The second link is him acknowledging that he was confused when he posted what you're counting as an agreement with you. I.e., the "agreement" you're clinging to is the thing he accidentally said due to sleep deprivation. How are you reading his "oops" as him sticking to that statement? That's the opposite of what it means.

Quote:
JJ really does believe what I said he believes, what he said he believes!

Except for when he said the opposite, and when he retracted one of the statements you're holding on to.

Quote:
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!

Except for where the Lead Designer stated three separate times that the term used in sunder's text is a type of standard action.

Quote:
Any time a dev has been specific about sunder they have said that it can be used in a full attack.

You mean the one comment before Pathfinder was even published where Jason stated what the intent was at the time, prior to defining the terminology used in sunder to do the opposite?

Quote:
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!

I've pointed them out in this post. The links are plentiful in the first several pages of this thread, so I'm not going to link what I've already linked multiple times.

Ultimately, your stance seems to come down to this:
#1 - JJ only meant it when he agreed with you, but he didn't mean it when he said "oops, nevermind" to that stance, or when he contradicted you.
#2 - Jason Bulmahn didn't mean it when he said three different times that the term used in sunder's text is a type of standard action.

Both of those are absurd, so unless you have something else you haven't mentioned, the only person you're fooling now is yourself.


Killsmith wrote:
Wait, are there feats that sunder works with currently?

It's not a feat, but:

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


i previously posted my analysis of why VS does work with Sunder, FYI.


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Jiggy wrote:

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?

Maybe he works for Fox "News" and it's force of habit.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:


Quote:
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!

Except for where the Lead Designer stated three separate times that the term used in sunder's text is a type of standard action.

Quote:
Any time a dev has been specific about sunder they have said that it can be used in a full attack.

You mean the one comment before Pathfinder was even published where Jason stated what the intent was at the time, prior to defining the terminology used in sunder to do the opposite?

JB's only comment on sunder made it useable in a full attack - the wording for sunder never changed - his vital strike comment doesn't invalidate his sunder comment - you are trying to make his vital strike comment stretch to be more inclusive than it is.


Quandary wrote:
Paizo has stated that you can choose the order of applying stacking mechanics, basically to your benefit.

Citation?

Quandary wrote:
Fundamentally, you have to realize the first line of VS: "When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage." is merely fluff text.

It can't be fluff text. Without that line, VS would apply to all attacks. That line states that you're using the attack action, and the attack from that attack action deals extra damage.

Sunder replaces that attack.

It doesn't work the other way, because sunder is still replacing the attack you get from the attack action, so Vital Strike has nothing left to effect.

You use the attack action, sunder replaces the attack, and since that attack doesn't happen, Vital Strike doesn't do anything. It's not about what order it is, it's about what part they effect. The thing that VS does (makes the attack from the attack action deal extra damage) never occurs.


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Sunder is an attack. Vital Strike does not state that the attack modified has to be the usual attack action attack.


I still think the term "attack action" should be eliminated from hte game. every attack-like option should be explicitily called as standar action or if it can be usdes as a part of a full attack.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ckorik wrote:
JB's only comment on sunder made it useable in a full attack - the wording for sunder never changed

Here's the thing: the post where he said they were planning on (remember, this was pre-publication) letting sunder replace any attack also said the same thing about disarm, and disarm was at the time worded exactly like sunder. Sunder's text didn't change, but the disarm text DID change. So in Beta, they both had the same text and the same intent. But then, later, one of them had its text changed. You would contend, then, that the change in text was 100% meaningless?

My theory, as I've presented multiple times before, is that "attack action" got defined as a standard action after the post you're talking about, disarm then got changed to preserve its originally-intended functionality, but sunder either got missed (like a typo or something) or they changed their minds on the intent without announcing it.

But that's just a guess. :)

Quote:
- his vital strike comment doesn't invalidate his sunder comment - you are trying to make his vital strike comment stretch to be more inclusive than it is.

Even though I disagree, it's refreshing to see a claim that isn't intrinsically tied to something false or absurd. Thank you.


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Grick wrote:

Sunder replaces that attack.

It doesn't work the other way, because sunder is still replacing the attack you get from the attack action, so Vital Strike has nothing left to effect.

You use the attack action, sunder replaces the attack, and since that attack doesn't happen, Vital Strike doesn't do anything. It's not about what order it is, it's about what part they effect. The thing that VS does (makes the attack from the attack action deal extra damage) never occurs.

If you use Vital Strike while wielding a melee weapon, wouldn't you be making an attack action in place of a melee attack? In other words, is it possible that we're separating words that should be left together? I've been reading "as part of an attack action in place of a melee attack" with a comma after attack action but there isn't a comma there.

If Vital Strike with a melee weapon is "an attack action in place of a melee attack", then sunder would just be part of that vital strike. You resolve the attack roll and do damage normally, which would be the normal damage for a vital strike.

In that case, the wording as is would be there to prevent a ranged vital strike sunder attempt, but wouldn't prevent the use of vital strike altogether.

Am I way out in left field here?

Silver Crusade

If you were to ask a straight adult man a simple question and require a yes/no answer, it's easy to take his answer out of context and demonise him.

Do you like girls? 'Yes!' Oh, so you're a paedophile, are you? 'No, that's not what I meant!'

Let's try again!

Do you like girls? 'No!' Oh, so you're a homosexual, are you? 'No, that's not what I meant!'

Without context, it's easy to misrepresent someone, accidentally or deliberately.

Do you like girls as opposed to women?

Do you like girls as opposed to boys?

Now we have context.

You claim both Skip and JJ are saying different things about 'attack actions' at different times, therefore their opinions are untrustworthy and I am dishonest to keep using them.

'An attack action is a kind of standard action.'

Does that mean:-

• An attack action is a kind of standard action as opposed to a full-round action

OR

• An attack action is a kind of standard action, as is a cast a spell action or a use magic device action. These different kinds of action don't always burn a standard action, however.

You think they meant the first one, then because that contradicts what they said when they definately were talking about attack action=attack, you take that contradiction as evidence that they can't make up their mind.

I think they meant the second one. This in no way contradicts their statements about attack action=attack.

My way of understanding them accords both men the respect they deserve; your's does not.

You present your interpretation as QED and therefore mine must be based on guesswork and twisting the arguments; the fallacy of 'begging the question'.

I have considered both interpretations, and the second better matches the idea that both men know what they're talking about. Ambushing JJ when he's sleepy does not show that he's flip-flopping on the issue.

I'm going to try another tack. I'm going to assume that you're fair-minded and can argue for your case and against mine without resorting to name-calling and 'playing the man, not the ball'. Unlike in some threads, I have to admit that, in this case, both sides can quote evidence and both sides interpretation of that evidence would lead to a perfectly playable and sensible game; it's just that some people weigh the evidence are convinced one way and others are convinced the other way. Fair enough.

So in the interest of trying to resolve this (strange for these threads, I know!) I suggest that we each cite the piece of evidence that we feel most supports the other side, even though that evidence wasn't enough to tip the balance.

It's my suggestion so I should start.

The piece of evidence that I find most compelling in the other camp is the series of posts by JB on the subject of Vital Strike, which seem to re-define what 'attack action' means in the game. JB is the lead designer, after all! What he says carries weight more than any other!

So why am I not convinced by this? First, I believe that he was addressing Vital Strike, not the game as a whole. Second, it may well be that 'attack action' has evolved in his mind, and he may fully intend to deliberately use that phrase from now on to refer specifically to a weapon-like (for want of a better word) attack which uses the standard action only. If this is the case then some rules have been left behind, and I believe sunder is one of them. It's been said that he originally stated that sunder could be used in a full attack, but he left the wording unchanged from beta instead of changing it to match either trip/disarm or bull rush/grapple. I believe that if it was a deliberate change to sunder then he would have changed the wording of sunder to either match one or the other, or he would have specifically made clear that sunder was a third kind which, although requiring a standard action, can be combined with other things that modify attacks. I believe that if it was his intent to change sunder in this way then he wouldn't have left the wording of sunder unchanged from beta when in beta sunder could be used in a full attack. On a wider note, I think that if JB had deliberately re-defined 'attack action' he would not have left the wording unchanged in the combat chapter.

So, I've tried my best to keep personalities and snide remarks out of it. I know you are capable of presenting a sound argument without resorting to such, and I hope you reply with your take on what you believe is the strongest evidence against your case, and then say why it fails to convince you. I feel that this would be a constuctive debate. I've had a bellyfull of destructive debates on these threads and I'm looking forward to a change of pace.

Respectfully,

Malachi


All right, if you will excuse my presumption, I am going to assume that you know the 3.5 rules. Now as someone who knows the 3.5 rules, you, of course, know the shot on the run and spring attack feats. And as someone who knows those feats you, of course, know that they say "When using the attack action with a ranged weapon," and "When using the attack action with a melee weapon,"

So please tell me when Skip says "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" would you say that Skip is using "An attack action" and "The attack action" interchangeably. Meaning that Skip is saying that the attack action is a type of standard action.

Now if you disagree with the idea that Skip was using the two terms interchangeably then please explain to me how we can consider someone who does not even know the rules of the PHB a reputable source of rulings.

Silver Crusade

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WWWW wrote:

All right, if you will excuse my presumption, I am going to assume that you know the 3.5 rules. Now as someone who knows the 3.5 rules, you, of course, know the shot on the run and spring attack feats. And as someone who knows those feats you, of course, know that they say "When using the attack action with a ranged weapon," and "When using the attack action with a melee weapon,"

So please tell me when Skip says "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" would you say that Skip is using "An attack action" and "The attack action" interchangeably. Meaning that Skip is saying that the attack action is a type of standard action.

Now if you disagree with the idea that Skip was using the two terms interchangeably then please explain to me how we can consider someone who does not even know the rules of the PHB a reputable source of rulings.

Skip is saying that although in this case the attack action is burning a standard action, that you cannot use any type of standard action during a Spring Attack, only attack actions (the types of attack listed under 'attack' in the combat chapter).

The warlock invocation Hideous Blow says, 'As a standard action you can make a single melee attack'. (then tells you what happens if you hit)

It's a single melee attack, right? So I can use it in a Spring Attack, right? And fold it into a full attack, right?

No. They were much more careful using attack action/standard action in 3rd ed. Every time it said 'attack action' it meant that this was the type of attack that could be a single attack (burning a standard action) or multiple attacks (burning a full-round action-Pounce excepted) or at the end of a charge (the charge itself burns the action, not the attack) or as an AoO (which is not an action). If an ability (like Hideous Blow or Manyshot) is described as a standard action then it may not be folded into a full attack or used at the end of a charge or as an AoO.

Or used during a Spring Attack, and that is was Skip is saying. It also means that you can't use Manyshot during a Shot on the Run, as Manyshot is a standard action not an attack action. Abilities described as standard action are their own actions as opposed to attack actions, at least in 3.5.

I hope that answers your question.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Skip is saying that although in this case the attack action is burning a standard action, that you cannot use any type of standard action during a Spring Attack, only attack actions (the types of attack listed under 'attack' in the combat chapter).

The warlock invocation Hideous Blow says, 'As a standard action you can make a single melee attack'. (then tells you what happens if you hit)

It's a single melee attack, right? So I can use it in a Spring Attack, right? And fold it into a full attack, right?

No. They were much more careful using attack action/standard action in 3rd ed. Every time it said 'attack action' it meant that this was the type of attack that could be a single attack (burning a standard action) or multiple attacks (burning a full-round action-Pounce excepted) or at the end of a charge (the charge itself burns the action, not the attack) or as an AoO (which is not an action). If an ability (like Hideous Blow or Manyshot) is described as a standard action then it may not be folded into a full attack or used at the end of a charge or as an AoO.

Or used during a Spring Attack, and that is was Skip is saying. It also means that you can't use Manyshot during a Shot on the Run, as Manyshot is a standard action not an attack action. Abilities described as standard action are their own actions as opposed to attack actions, at least in 3.5.

I hope that answers your question.

No, it completely ignores my question. But let me rephrase for clarity.

The spring attack feat restricts characters to "the attack action". The FAQ entry says that spring attack restricts characters to "an attack action". Are "an attack action" and "the attack action" completely equivalent in this case?

Silver Crusade

Let's get Skip to speak for himself:-

The 3.5 FAQ by Skip Williams wrote:

Can a rogue using Spring Attack to . . .

1) Gain an extra attack against his foe in the middle of his move?
2) Deal sneak attack damage on both attacks if his target is caught by surprise or flanked?

While it is certainly possible to use the Spring Attack feat to put your opponent into a position where you might sneak attack them (whether they are flat-footed or flanked), you could take only a single attack as a part of this action, since Spring Attack specifies that it is done “using the attack action.” You can’t make a full attack as part of a Spring Attack, nor can you even use any standard action—you can make only a single attack.
On the subject of Shot On The Run he wrote:

Is it possible to use the Shot on the Run feat in conjunction with the Manyshot feat? Some people I know insist that you must use the attack action with Shot on the Run, and they further claim that Manyshot is a standard action and not the attack action. But there isn’t any such thing as an attack action, is there? The text on actions in Chapter 8 of the PH (page 138) describes many kinds of actions (standard actions, move actions, full-round actions, and free actions); it even describes things that are not actions and mentions restricted activity. Nowhere, however, do the rules describe attack actions. So, what’s the correct answer?

No, you cannot use Shot on the Run and Manyshot together.
It is true that no category of actions is called “attack actions” in the D&D game, but there is an action called attack—it’s the first action described under Standard Actions on page 139 in the PH.
It might seem that the folks who say no Manyshot with Shot On the Run are slicing the baloney a little thin, but the letter of the rules is on their side, and so is the intent behind the letter of the rules. The Manyshot feat description could say you fire multiple arrows with the attack action, but it doesn’t. Manyshot is a standard action, not a variant on the attack action (see the feat description on page 97 in the PH).
Likewise, the Shot on the Run feat could allow you to make any kind of ranged attack while moving, but it doesn’t. When using Shot on the Run, you must use the attack action with a ranged weapon (see the feat description on page 100 in the PH). This rules out using spells, most magic items, or special standard actions such as the Manyshot feat when making a Shot on the Run. That’s because casting a spell would require the cast a spell action (described on page 140 of the PH), using any magic item except for some use-activated items would require the activate magic item action (PH 142), and, as already noted here, using the Manyshot feat is a standard action. Most magic weapons are use activated and don’t require any action to activate at all (see page 213 in the DMG), so you can use these weapons along with the attack action. For example, you could use a +1 longbow or +1 arrow (or both) with the attack action,nand thus you also could use these items with Shot on the Run.

I believe Skip's opinions are very clear here.

Thankyou for bringing the Shot On The Run FAQ to my attention! It clearly states what I've been trying to say for ages. : )

If this doesn't answer your question, try again and I'll do my best for you. : )


Malachi, I think he's asking about "an attack action" vs "the attack action".

Instead of hoping you've answered his question you could just answer it.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Let's get Skip to speak for himself:-

The 3.5 FAQ by Skip Williams wrote:

Can a rogue using Spring Attack to . . .

1) Gain an extra attack against his foe in the middle of his move?
2) Deal sneak attack damage on both attacks if his target is caught by surprise or flanked?

While it is certainly possible to use the Spring Attack feat to put your opponent into a position where you might sneak attack them (whether they are flat-footed or flanked), you could take only a single attack as a part of this action, since Spring Attack specifies that it is done “using the attack action.” You can’t make a full attack as part of a Spring Attack, nor can you even use any standard action—you can make only a single attack.

I think you have a very peculiar way of reading the rules Malachi. I don't see Skip supporting your viewpoint at all.

You've stated that an attack action can be folded into a full attack, because an attack action is really just an attack.

SRD from 3.5, Spring Attack wrote:
Benefit: When using the attack action with a melee weapon...

3.5 clearly states here that a spring attack uses the attack action, which as you've stated can be folded into a full attack. Yet Skip has just very plainly pointed out that if you are using spring attack you only get 1 single attack. Quoting again from Skip to highlight what he said

The 3.5 FAQ by Skip Williams wrote:
...you could take only a single attack as a part of this action, since Spring Attack specifies that it is done “using the attack action.” You can’t make a full attack as part of a Spring Attack...
On the subject of Shot On The Run he wrote:
Is it possible to use the Shot on the Run feat in conjunction with the Manyshot feat? <snipped the rest, refer you the above post for the full quote>

He confirms that here.

SRD from 3.5, shot on the run wrote:
Benefit: When using the attack action with a ranged weapon...

This is worded identical to spring attack but for a ranged weapon. All he is pointing out is that shot on the run must use an attack, not cast a spell, not activate an item, etc. You can only use shot on the run to make an attack. Manyshot, while a type of attack, is called out as being a standard action as opposed to an attack action (which is one of many possible types of standard actions). It being called out as a standard action excludes it from being combined with shot on the run (or any other feat that uses an attack action). Nothing in there suggests that shot on the run, which is an attack action, could be folded into a full attack.

Skip on shot on the run wrote:
When using Shot on the Run, you must use the attack action with a ranged weapon...

Did 3.5 allow using a full attack with shot on the run? It doesn't seem to, yet skip calls it out as using the attack action - which one should be able to fold into a full attack action based on my understanding of your view point.

Further, from the 3.5 SRD

Multiple attacks wrote:
A character who can make more than one attack per round must use the full attack action (see Full-Round Actions, below) in order to get more than one attack.

A character must use a full attack action (not multiple attack actions) to get more than one attack (not more than one attack action).

Now, I'm not a 3.5 expert, but my 5 minutes of researching this based on the above quotes would leave me really quite surprised to find the following statement as being accurate (though I have no objection to being wrong if you can point me to where that is :)

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Every time it said 'attack action' it meant that this was the type of attack that could be a single attack (burning a standard action) or multiple attacks (burning a full-round action-Pounce excepted) or at the end of a charge (the charge itself burns the action, not the attack) or as an AoO (which is not an action)

Furthermore, statements like 'cast a spell action', 'use a magic item action' all seem to support that 'attack action' is a single standard action of a specific type. There certainly isn't a 'cast spells full action', or 'use magic items full action', yet multiple places in the SRD for 3.5 I also saw references to 'full attack action' - why distinguish it from just 'attack action' if they are really the same thing. Anything that is listed as 'x action' appears to fall under the standard action category. Anything listed as 'full x action' would fall under the full round action category. All of these 'x action' just seem to be shorthand for saying things like 'make an attack as a standard action', or 'cast a spell as a standard action'. It is simply less wordy to say 'attack action', or 'cast a spell action' (I would have even just shortened that to 'cast action')

Silver Crusade

Grimmy wrote:

Malachi, I think he's asking about "an attack action" vs "the attack action".

Instead of hoping you've answered his question you could just answer it.

The article 'a' or 'the' isn't indicating any difference.

I can't see any place in the above FAQs where Skip says, 'an attack action', he says 'the attack action' consistently, unless my old eyes are playing tricks.

Any time you burn a standard action to use an attack action, then that particular attack action was that standard action (as opposed to, say, a cast a spell action), but that doesn't mean that attack actions are limited to burning standard actions. The same thing can be said about the cast a spell action.

If an ability granted you something when using the cast a spell action, then it only works when using the cast a spell action; it would not work when using the use spell-like ability action.

When an ability (such as Manyshot) says it's a standard action, then it may not be used during a Shot On The Run, which only allows an attack action (as they are worded in 3.5).

I hope that answers your question! Keep trying if it doesn't!


I don't have a question.

WWWW had the question about the interchangeability of the articles.

Silver Crusade

bbangerter wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Let's get Skip to speak for himself:-

The 3.5 FAQ by Skip Williams wrote:

Can a rogue using Spring Attack to . . .

1) Gain an extra attack against his foe in the middle of his move?
2) Deal sneak attack damage on both attacks if his target is caught by surprise or flanked?

While it is certainly possible to use the Spring Attack feat to put your opponent into a position where you might sneak attack them (whether they are flat-footed or flanked), you could take only a single attack as a part of this action, since Spring Attack specifies that it is done “using the attack action.” You can’t make a full attack as part of a Spring Attack, nor can you even use any standard action—you can make only a single attack.

I think you have a very peculiar way of reading the rules Malachi. I don't see Skip supporting your viewpoint at all.

You've stated that an attack action can be folded into a full attack, because an attack action is really just an attack.

SRD from 3.5, Spring Attack wrote:
Benefit: When using the attack action with a melee weapon...

3.5 clearly states here that a spring attack uses the attack action, which as you've stated can be folded into a full attack. Yet Skip has just very plainly pointed out that if you are using spring attack you only get 1 single attack. Quoting again from Skip to highlight what he said

The 3.5 FAQ by Skip Williams wrote:
...you could take only a single attack as a part of this action, since Spring Attack specifies that it is done “using the attack action.” You can’t make a full attack as part of a Spring Attack...
On the subject of Shot On The Run he wrote:
Is it possible to use the Shot on the Run feat in conjunction with the Manyshot feat? <snipped the rest, refer you the above post for the full quote>

He confirms that here.

SRD from 3.5, shot on the run wrote:
Benefit: When using the attack action with a ranged weapon...
This is worded identical to spring...

Wel, since you've just joined us:-

In another FAQ Skip 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.

And if something requires an attack action (as opposed to a standard action) to use, you can use the full attack action!

All this in no way allows attack actions to break action economy! Although attack action can be folded into a full attack, that doesn't mean that you can make a full attack if you only have a standard action to burn! With the 3.5 feats Rapid Shot and Shot on the Run, both feats combine a move action with a standard action, but the move action may be interrupted by a standard action and that standard action must be an attack action, melee and ranged respectively.

They are limited to a single attack not because attack actions are always standard actions but because there is only a standard action left to burn in rounds where you take a move action, like during a SA or a SotR.

Silver Crusade

Grimmy wrote:

I don't have a question.

WWWW had the question about the interchangeability of the articles.

Yeah, I was directing my answer at him. : )

Thanks, though. I was really finding it difficult to grasp exactly what he wanted, and I do want to answer him. He was very polite and I appreciate that. : )


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

For those still interested in an answer, please go to the Original Post, and press the FAQ button.

You know you want to.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Grimmy wrote:

I don't have a question.

WWWW had the question about the interchangeability of the articles.

Yeah, I was directing my answer at him. : )

Thanks, though. I was really finding it difficult to grasp exactly what he wanted, and I do want to answer him. He was very polite and I appreciate that. : )

If you want to grasp what people are saying, just get out of the mindset of "camps" and trying to win for a second and read what they are actually saying. We all like games obviously, this is a gaming site, but talking to you in these rules threads it feels like you are playing a game we haven't agreed to play in.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Grimmy wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Yeah, I was directing my answer at him. : )

Thanks, though. I was really finding it difficult to grasp exactly what he wanted, and I do want to answer him. He was very polite and I appreciate that. : )

If you want to grasp what people are saying, just get out of the mindset of "camps" and trying to win for a second and read what they are actually saying. We all like games obviously, this is a gaming site, but talking to you in these rules threads it feels like you are playing a game we haven't agreed to play in.

+1,000,000,000


Killsmith wrote:
If you use Vital Strike while wielding a melee weapon, wouldn't you be making an attack action in place of a melee attack?

Nope. You're using the attack action to make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Vital Strike isn't replacing the attack in an attack action, or else it wouldn't stack with Overhand Chop.

Lets say there's a feat that says "When you use the total defense action, you gain a +2 dodge bonus to all saving throws for one round instead of the bonus to AC."

If you have 3 or more ranks in Acrobatics, you gain a +6 dodge bonus to AC when taking the total defense action instead of the usual +4.

If a character has both, and uses that feat, you don't get the bonus to saves and AC. You're still taking the total defense action, but the acrobatics does nothing for you, since you're not getting the bonus to AC, so there's nothing for acrobatics to increase. The thing that skill effects doesn't happen.

Just like how Vital Strike increases the damage from an attack action, when you replace that attack, even though you're using the same action, the attack vital strike would have increased never happens.


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.

You don't replace the attack action, you replace the melee attack.

Vital Strike: When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage.

It doesn't specify what kind of attack you make using the attack action; it could be ranged as far as the feat is concerned. So, by that reading, you can combine Sunder and Vital Strike so long as you're doing it with a melee weapon as opposed to a ranged weapon.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
You claim both Skip and JJ are saying different things about 'attack actions' at different times, therefore their opinions are untrustworthy and I am dishonest to keep using them.

Skip is irrelevant. James is not untrustworthy. He's just confused about the attack action, much like you are. How do we know he's confused? He's said so. Twice. That's not demonizing him, or disrespecting him, or calling him incompetent. It's telling you what he said.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
An attack action is a kind of standard action, as is a cast a spell action or a use magic device action. These different kinds of action don't always burn a standard action, however.

"use magic device" is not an action.

There are two actions called "Cast a Spell" one is a standard action, the other is a full-round action.

So your interpretation doesn't make any sense.

How about "Total Defense" that's a standard action. It's only listed under standard actions. The only possible way to interpret that, is if something says to use "the total defense action" that would be the action called "Total Defense" which is always a standard action.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I think they meant the second one. This in no way contradicts their statements about attack action=attack.

It does.

The only reason Vital Strike cannot be made with iterative attacks is because it uses the attack action, which is a specific standard action.

If the attack action is any attack, then you can vital strike on any attack.

If JB somehow meant that the attack action is sometimes a standard action (but other times part of a full-round action or a free action or not an action) then his answer is meaningless, because that doesn't explain anything on how it works. The only way to get any meaning out of his statement is if he's telling you how it works.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
So why am I not convinced by this? First, I believe that he was addressing Vital Strike, not the game as a whole.

He did address Vital Strike, by explaining the base game mechanics that cause it to work the way it does. Vital Strike works because the attack action is a standard action. If the attack action is not a standard action, JB is not only wrong, but Vital Strike doesn't work, and other parts of the game break.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Second, it may well be that 'attack action' has evolved in his mind, and he may fully intend to deliberately use that phrase from now on to refer specifically to a weapon-like (for want of a better word) attack which uses the standard action only. If this is the case then some rules have been left behind, and I believe sunder is one of them. It's been said that he originally stated that sunder could be used in a full attack, but he left the wording unchanged from beta instead of changing it to match either trip/disarm or bull rush/grapple. I believe that if it was a deliberate change to sunder then he would have changed the wording of sunder to either match one or the other, or he would have specifically made clear that sunder was a third kind which, although requiring a standard action, can be combined with other things that modify attacks. I believe that if it was his intent to change sunder in this way then he wouldn't have left the wording of sunder unchanged from beta when in beta sunder could be used in a full attack.

That's what Jiggy has been saying. That the intent may not match the rules. If JB wants Sunder to work with a full-attack, he needs to change the wording, just like he did with Trip and Disarm.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
On a wider note, I think that if JB had deliberately re-defined 'attack action' he would not have left the wording unchanged in the combat chapter.

The wording in the combat chapter supports what he said. There's a standard action called "Attack". That's the attack action. If something says "attack action" it's referring to the action called "Attack" which is a standard action. If something just says "attack" and doesn't refer to an action, then it's not talking about the Attack action, just an attack.

Yes, it could be made more clear for people who can't figure this out and haven't read JBs multiple clarifications on the topic.


Grick: That's not really comparable though, since Sunder is still an attack that deals damage. If it was trip we were talking about I agree that the attack would deal no extra damage.

It's more like a feat that says "When you use the total defense action, you gain a deflection bonus to AC rather than a dodge bonus".

But it's not really like that either. It's hard to draw a comparision since both have quite elaborate and (combined) confusing language.

But the reason you don't get the extra ac bonus in your example is because acrobatics increase a dodge bonus and the feat removes the dodge bonus. The difference being that while vital strike increases damage, sunder does not remove the damage roll.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

About half a year ago, there was a thread that this one reminds me of. Originally, it was about subject A, but the next 800 posts were about subject B, which was actually somewhat related to A, but was not A. One of the posters asked James about B, and James replied to it saying something. Unfortunately, James misinterpreted the question and answered it in a way that supported the poster's view on the B issue. This post became the foundation of this guy's argument, to the point where they were ignoring a post by Jason stating that this poster's view was wrong.

And then a FAQ came out later saying this poster's view was wrong.

It was a nasty affair and wraithstrike probably remembers it well.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I suggest that we each cite the piece of evidence that we feel most supports the other side

The best I can do to sum up your position is this:

Sunder was originally intended to work in place of any attack, just like Trip and Disarm. This is supported by pre-release discussion from JB, by various comments by JJ, and by third-party contributors who designed related feats.

The problem is, in order for that intent to match reality, since Trip and Disarm were changed to work as intended, and Sunder was not, is that either A) Sunder was no longer intended to work like that, B) Sunder mistakenly did not have the offending text removed, or C) that the attack action means any attack you make.

A) means everything is as it should be. This is countered by the comments by JJ & Friends. That's not concrete, since none of them are 'the rules guy' it's still evidence that A) may not be correct.

B) means there was a mistake that was left in game for a long time. It's a bit odd that the staff addressed this in the old FAQ, and it's been six printings without a fix, but that can be reasoned away by the FAQ-flagger's intent not being clear, coupled with people not really understanding how it works, and it not being important enough (or visible enough) to change in errata.

C) is provably false.

So there you go. If the intent doesn't match what's written, then the rules need to be changed. When they are, it's fixed. In the meantime, it works the way it works, and you're welcome to change it in your home games.

As a separate issue, people have been trying to argue that C) is actually true. The only argument that it's true is the possible intent of Sunder being used with any attack. And the only evidence of that are pre-release statements, JJ's confused rulings, and 3rd-party contributors not making a feat they otherwise would have.

So why am I not convinced by this?

First, the rules say so. The Attack action is the action called "Attack" which is a standard action, which is obviously not referring to every instance of the word "attack" in the book.

Second, JB has said so. He's the lead designer. He was very clear about this, and twisting his words to mean something else means he never answered the questions he was addressing, and every related ability (except possibly sunder) doesn't work the way it was intended.

Third, even JJ has said so. He's said the opposite, as well, before being reminded and then admitting he was confused.

Fourth, it breaks core feats. JJ said Vital Strike was written specifically to not work with full-attacks, to give people the ability to do more damage when they can't full-attack. The only way this works as intended is if the attack action is a standard action.

Fifth, it breaks abilities created after release specifically to interact in certain ways. Overhand Chop was written specifically to work with the attack action (and charge). Backswing was written to apply to full-attacks. The only way this works as intended is if the attack action is a standard action. Otherwise Backswing is a terrible ability that makes a two-handed fighter worse.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

What Grick said.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Wel, since you've just joined us:-

I've actually been here all along, just following the thread. Not sure why I'm intrigued by this particular thread... but here I am.

Silver Crusade

Would it have been better to keep the 3rd ed convention of being careful to use 'attack action' and 'standard action' abilities defined as they were?

It would mean that VS would be a standard action, like cleave is now. Would it create other, insurmountable problems?


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Would it have been better to keep the 3rd ed convention of being careful to use 'attack action' and 'standard action' abilities defined as they were?

It would mean that VS would be a standard action, like cleave is now. Would it create other, insurmountable problems?

Changing what the attack action does will impact VS and Sunder equally.

If VS was changed to a standard action instead of the attack action, it wouldn't work with Overhand Chop, which was specifically made to work with Vital Strike. It also wouldn't work with the monk Time ability, or anything else it currently works with.

Further, by just changing VS, and leaving the attack action alone, Sunder would still work the same way it currently does.

To make Sunder work the way you want, and to not break everything else, the solution is to just change how sunder works, not the attack action or VS or anything else.

There is value in having a somewhat generic action which can be modified by feats and abilities. It would be nice if it was named a bit differently, like "Single-Attack" or something, so people didn't get so confused by it.


Yeah, if a new name was the only way to put to rest this myth that the Attack Action isn't defined anywhere in the rules, then I could live with a new name (even though "Attack Action" seems like a perfectly good name to me). "Single-Attack" would be fine, I guess. I kind of like "Basic Attack" better though.

We can say "it would be nice" but I'm sure something so close to the heart of the game isn't going to get changed with errata. People should just come to terms with "Attack Action" =/= any attack.

Silver Crusade

Grick wrote:
There is value in having a somewhat generic action which can be modified by feats and abilities. It would be nice if it was named a bit differently, like "Single-Attack" or something, so people didn't get so confused by it.

Amen!

Silver Crusade

Grimmy wrote:
Yeah, if a new name is the only way to put to rest this myth that the Attack Action isn't defined anywhere in the rules, then I can live with a new name, even though "Attack Action" seems like a perfectly good name to me. "Single-Attack" would be fine. I kind of like "Basic Attack" better though. Honestly my first choice would be for everything to stay the way it is and people just come to terms with "Attack Action" =/= any attack.
Skip Williams wrote:
It is true that no category of actions is called “attack actions” in the D&D game, but there is an action called attack—it’s the first action described under Standard Actions on page 139 in the (3.5) PH.

And the wording hasn't changed in the CRB. More 'legend' than 'myth'!


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
... this myth that the Attack Action isn't defined anywhere in the rules ...
Skip Williams wrote:
It is true that no category of actions is called “attack actions” in the D&D game, but there is an action called attack—it’s the first action described under Standard Actions on page 139 in the (3.5) PH.
And the wording hasn't changed in the CRB. More 'legend' than 'myth'!

Right.

There is no category of actions called "attack actions". But there is an action called attack. The "Attack Action". It's the first action described under Standard Actions. Because it is a standard action.

Standard Actions are a category of actions. The "Attack Action" is one of them. The "Attack Action" is a Standard Action. It is the first one described. That is where it is defined in the rules.

So... the "Attack Action" is defined in the rules.


@Malachi,
I'm sorry if calling it a myth sounds insulting, I can't think of a nicer way to put it. Remember, I know as well as anyone that you are in good company. The Creative Director of Paizo himself seems to be of the same opinion as you are about this. Ravingdork is another person who has given this a lot of attention and thought and will swear that "Attack Action" is not defined anywhere in the rules. I'm not trying to put you or any of those other guys down.

I just think there is some serious cognitive dissonance going on at some point when any one can open up the book to the page where "Attack Action" is defined, highlight it, and folks will still say it isn't defined. How this happens is a question for a psychiatrist, but in the meantime I'm not here to belittle you for it.

Qadira

Quote:
But there is an action called attack. The "Attack Action".

Well, to be totally truthful - thats not true either.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/combat.html

The first item under standard actions is "Attack" not "Attack action"

The table presents a number of options which you can exercise when you take a standard action.

People don't take "Feint Actions" - they don't take a "lower spell resistance action".

Usually its phrased I'll use a standard action to lower my spell resistance.

So, I don't think it fair to attack Skips wording on Sunder and then quote him on attack actions.

A player can make an attack - and then make a five foot step and choose whether that attack was part of a standard action - or part of a full round action.

So clearly, whatever attack - or the "attack action" is - it can be part of either a standard action or a full action.

Anyway. We're all just spinning our wheels here. I agree that the wording is horrible, but IMO the preponderence of the evidence from Jim and JJ (and skip) suggests that sunder can be used in place of an iterative attack - and thats the way I'll rule it until better evidence comes out.

Edit: Also look at the feat Sundering Strike (Combat)

Quote:


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 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.

The sundering strike feat specifically says that you may sunder on any melee attack.

So, there are two camps here. The first camp says that sundering is a standard action, the second that it occurs in place of a melee attack.

If you are part of the first camp, it means the feat Sundering strike gives you the following abilities:

a). The ability to replace sunder from a standard action to a melee attack.
b). The ability to have that sundering attack occur naturally on any melee strike.

If you are in the second camp, the benefit is that instead of having to declare a sunder melee attack (for lack of a commonly agreed term) sunder melee attacks occur with every (melee) attack.

I suggest that the first interpretation is too strong, and exceeds what is normally allow if you look at the quick series of feats for example.


cp wrote:
The first item under standard actions is "Attack" not "Attack action"

Yes. That's the action called "Attack." The Attack action.

You'll note that under full round actions it doesn't say "Full-Attack Action" it just says "Full-Attack" because that's the name of the action.

When the rules say "use the full-attack action" nobody is claiming that means an AoO. It clearly means the action called Full-Attack, which is a full-round action.

Which is why when the rules say "use the attack action" it means the action called Attack, which is a standard action.

cp wrote:
People don't take "Feint Actions"

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): "...if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against him."

cp wrote:
A player can make an attack - and then make a five foot step and choose whether that attack was part of a standard action - or part of a full round action.

Only if they start by taking a full-attack, and only because the full-attack rules say so. You can't use the attack action, then 5' step, then decide to finish a full-attack. And in either case, you can't use an ability that requires either of those actions, like multishot or vital strike, because that would prevent you from changing action after you see how the first one turned out.

cp wrote:
Anyway. We're all just spinning our wheels here. I agree that the wording is horrible, but IMO the preponderence of the evidence from Jim and JJ (and skip) suggests that sunder can be used in place of an iterative attack - and thats the way I'll rule it until better evidence comes out.

Can be, or should be?

The difference is "can be" means everything is broken. "should be" means the rules don't match the intent.

Silver Crusade

Grimmy wrote:

@Malachi,

I'm sorry if calling it a myth sounds insulting, I can't think of a nicer way to put it. Remember, I know as well as anyone that you are in good company. The Creative Director of Paizo himself seems to be of the same opinion as you are about this. Ravingdork is another person who has given this a lot of attention and thought and will swear that "Attack Action" is not defined anywhere in the rules. I'm not trying to put you or any of those other guys down.

I just think there is some serious cognitive dissonance going on at some point when any one can open up the book to the page where "Attack Action" is defined, highlight it, and folks will still say it isn't defined. How this happens is a question for a psychiatrist, but in the meantime I'm not here to belittle you for it.

Thanks Grimmy. : )

What Skip was saying, though, was that there are actions called:-

• attack
• cast a spell
• use special ability
• activate magic item
• use spell-like ability
• use supernatural ability

And all these actions are described in the 'Standard Actions' section of the Actions In Combat part of the combat chapter, none of these actions are limited to being standard actions, including the 'attack' action.

This was definately true in 3.5. Coming to PF from over a decade of 3rd ed may very well have influenced my take on this matter, but when I first read the CRB I noted that this section had not changed; indeed, I had no reason to believe it had changed until I started frequenting these threads a short time ago and learned that the lead designer had made some posts on these threads regarding Vital Strike that now meant everything had changed! How does that make sense as a method of changing the rules?

Vital Strike wrote:
When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage.

I don't think it is impossible to write the feat in such a way that you can call it a proper attack action (so that it stacks with stuff that modifies attack actions, but retains the 3.5 flexibility of attack), while still specifying that Vital Strike can only be used when taking a standard action to attack.

Qadira

Grick wrote:


Only if they start by taking a full-attack, and only because the full-attack rules say so.

No, I don't think thats true.

You don't specify what kind of action you're taking. You merely attack and then depending on how you continue is it adjudicated what kind of action you took.

This support the idea that an attack can be either a standad action or as part of a full round action.

Just like there are other things that can be either standard actions or stand actions: Charge and Withdraw come to mind.


cp wrote:
This support the idea that an attack can be either a standad action or as part of a full round action.

YES! An attack absolutely, with complete certainty, can be part of a standard action or a full round action, or a free action, or not an action at all.

But an attack action can only be one of those things. By using the word "action" there, you're specifying that you're talking about the action called Attack, rather than just talking about any normal attack which can be made all sorts of ways.

cp wrote:
Just like there are other things that can be either standard actions or stand actions: Charge and Withdraw come to mind.

Withdrawing from melee combat is a full-round action. Then there are special rules for a Restricted Withdraw, which only applies in certain circumstances, and limits your movement.

Charging is a special full-round action. Then there are special rules for a charge when you are able to take only a standard action on your turn, which again only applies in certain circumstances, and limits both your movement and auxiliary abilities (drawing weapons).


cp wrote:
Quote:
But there is an action called attack. The "Attack Action".

Well, to be totally truthful - thats not true either.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/combat.html

The first item under standard actions is "Attack" not "Attack action"

This is definitely something that is right at the heart of all the misunderstanding and confusion.

If you look at those tables in the combat section and the items listed under them you can see that there is a convention in place of omitting the word action where it would follow the listed item, since it would be redundant. The items on the Standard Actions table are actions, the items on the Move Actions table are also actions, likewise the table of Full-Round Actions, etc.

(Pardon me if I get any small detail wrong, I have the PRD open rather then the PDF or Hardcover at the moment. What I am looking at is not formatted as a table exactly, but just sections with bold headers and sub-sections with smaller fonts. I'm using the term "Tables" for continuity with your post.)

This has caused more confusion in the case of the Attack Action then it has with the others, because the word attack has a different meaning in the game (and in it's normal english usage) then Attack Action does.

If you go down to the category of Full Round Actions you will find the same convention in place. The first item listed is "Full Attack". The word action is omitted. But we know that this action being described is the full-attack action. It is described as such five paragraphs down under the sub-section "Fighting Defensively as a Full-Round Action"

Quote:
You can choose to fight defensively when taking a full-attack action.

The consequence of this formatting is that if you simply use the search function in your PDF reader to search the term "Attack Action" you will not find it appearing anywhere with a definition.

If you just read the material in it's entirety though, or even that chapter, or even just those couple of paragraphs, without any prejudice, you can easily satisfy yourself that the Attack Action is clearly described in the rules.

It's a standard action that allows you to make one of a number of kinds of attacks.

Qadira

Grimmy wrote:


If you just read the material in it's entirety though, or even that chapter, or even just those couple of...

I've read all the source books in nauseating detail.

The actual problem is that the rules are not consistent enough to draw inference on one side or the other. No offense to paizo - managing hundreds of contributors and building on an inconsistent platform - etc.. I personally think there are more important things to be and to do than be consistency nazi's. Its a standard too high.

I get that its a reasonable inference to suppose that attack is the attack action. Hell, its an inference I presume and use myself. I just go the other way when it comes to the inferences on sunder.


cp wrote:
Quote:
But there is an action called attack. The "Attack Action".

Well, to be totally truthful - thats not true either.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/combat.html

The first item under standard actions is "Attack" not "Attack action"...

Oh not this nonsense again...

We've been over this already. I know the thread is 1k+ posts but srsly?

Rapid Attack (Ex): At 11th level, a mobile fighter can combine a full attack action with a single move. He must forgo the attack at his highest bonus but may take the remaining attacks at any point during his movement. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal. This ability replaces armor training 3.

One of 70 listings for the "Full Attack Action" in the PRD. In the Combat section, it's named Full Attack.

Bodyguard (Combat): When an adjacent ally is attacked, you may use an attack of opportunity to attempt the aid another action to improve your ally's AC. You may not use the aid another action to improve your ally's attack roll with this attack.

One of 19 listings for the "Aid Another Action". In the Combat section, it's named Aid Another.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, a shadowdancer cannot be caught flat-footed, even if the attacker is invisible. He still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. An shadowdancer with this ability can still lose his Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against him.

One of 7 listings. It's named Feint.

'Action' isn't part of the name but it is a proper, mechanical term in the Pathfinder system designating what precedes it as a proper term rather than generic. It isn't the "Attack Action" but rather the "Attack" Action

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