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Sunder protection


I had a few questions on Sunder and wanted to ask for help on how to defend myself from it.

First the question. In the description it says as part of an attack option. Does this mean that if you have 4 attacks you can sunder 4 times? Does that work with things like multi atk with natural weapons, IE 2 claws and a bit = three sunder attempts?

Next how to defend against it tactically. I know there are feats that might help CMD but what else.

My group recently had a fight with a big bad angle with very significant casting power and we are a full melee (plus bard) group so we figured we could use an anti magic field to nurf most of it's abilities and keep it close. Was working well till the DM realized the guy had improved sunder and went to town taking out our weapons.

I was thinking Quick draw to put away and draw weapons as a free action between attacks, but the feat only say it draws as a free action, what can i use to put away as a free action? And could the NPC just sunder weapons I have put away on my person?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There are anti sunder materials(ie adamantine) and magic items(ie fortifying stone), but other than that I can't think of any.

A one-handed metal-hafted weapon (such as a mace) made of adamantine, with a +5 enhancement bonus, the Impervious quality, and a fortifying stone, will have hardness 45 (which means another adamantine weapon will NOT ignore its hardness!) and 180 hit points. The cost of such a tough weapon will be 75,000gp plus the cost of a masterwork heavy mace (or other such metal-hafted weapon).

(Basically, adamantine is hardness 20 and has 4/3 the hit points of the usual item, enhancement adds +2 hardness/+1 enhancement bonus and 10 hit points/+1 enhancement bonus, Impervious doubles the enhancement bonuses versus weapon damage, and the Stone adds 5 hardness and 20 hit points.)

Obviously, the best defense is a high CMD. Aside from feats, Gloves of Dueling grant +4 to CMD versus Sunder; the Dueling enhancement from "Pathfinder Society Field Guide" will grant twice the weapon's enhancement bonus (so up to +10) to CMD versus Sunder attempts by a foe using the same sort of weapon (for example, a heavy mace)... a bit situational, but if you have 14,000gp to spend, why not? Items which grant dodge, insight, luck and deflection bonuses can likewise boost CMD (if you're not flat-footed in the case of dodge bonuses), so rings of protection, dusty rose prism ioun stones and the like (I don't know them all offhand) are of great use, as are taking advantage of strategic elements such as cover, concealment (twice as hard to hit the weapon of a Displaced foe!) and such.

Or, take advantage of the "adventurer's mentality" in NPC opponents and make your weapon really, really pretty (gold filigree, gem-encrusted pommel, etc) - after all, do they REALLY want to sunder their prospective treasure? ;)

There's a big debate going on right now regarding how Sunder is used. The CRB indicates that it is performed "as an attack action in place of the melee attack". Trip and Disarm only specify that they replace a melee attack so they could be performed as part of any melee-involved attack; Full-Attack, AoO, Charge, etc. But the nature of the term 'attack action' has been up for debate. Most believe what the devs have clarified, that Attack action is the standard action called Attack and is separate and distinct from the full-round action Full-Attack and other specific standard, full-round, and other actions which involve the general use of the term 'attack'. In short, you can only Sunder as part of a normal, single melee Attack action and it can't be used as a full-round, AoO, or any other type of action. However, the other side claims that since in Beta, Sunder could be used as part of a full-attack action and the specific wording hasn't changed since, it can still be used as a full-attack (or any other kind of attacking) action. I've put forth that it's possible that people weren't using it right in Beta (it wasn't allowed even then but no one realized) but, barring specific and explicit clarification by the Devs, there's still a fairly significant group who believe it's RAW that Sunder can be used as any type of melee attack. I personally believe it's limited to the single-attack action Attack and cannot be used as a full-attack action.

I'm of the view that it can be used in place of a melee attack - you're just hammering on someone's stuff rather than hammering on them (ie. there's no special "set up" as one might find with charges, vital strikes and so on).

Yours is certainly the more generous view - it gives me time to say "oh, a sunderer!" and draw a cheaper backup weapon ;)

The key point to remember is that for combat maneuvers which are usable in place of attacks in a full-round melee chain, iterative CMB is reduced by 5 with each successive blow (per standard for iterative attacks), so they DO get weaker as the full attack progresses.

Improved sunder does not only give you a bonus to CMB for sunder attempts, it in addition gives you a bonus to CMD vs sunder.
So it is a very good feat for every fighter, who should have enough feats to take it.

Besides there are weapons that give a bonus to CMD vs. sunder attempts. So having one of those as a backupweapon is always good.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Living Steel repairs itself. It's in Ultimate Equipment.

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