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What action is it to break an enemy's weapon cord?

Rules Questions

Recently in a PFS event an enemy disarmed me and then used a move action to break my weapon cord. I was wearing Spiked Armor and had Spiked Gauntlets, but did not get an AoO because I couldn't take an free action on the enemy's turn to wield the weapons (see previous post about PFS 'wielding').

When you do this does it normally provoke an AoO? Is it basically a Sunder on a 0 HP item?

It should be a Sunder, and thus should have taken more than a Move action, unless the GM ruled it was a Strength check to burst it--which I suppose is possible if he disarmed you and ended up holding the weapon. Even still, I would imagine a Strength check like that would be a standard action.


If you're wearing spiked gauntlets you're considered armed and therefor threatening. There was no need for you to recover your disarmed weapon to make an AoO. Your GM was mistaken on that point I'm afraid.

As for breaking the weapon, did the opponent disarm you with a weapon or with their bare hands? If they disarmed you with a weapon then your weapon was hanging by your weapon cord and a sunder attack would have been required. If they disarmed you with their bare hands then your weapon, while still attached to you, would be in their hands and a strength check could be made to break it.

Now, if the opponent made a sunder attempt and had the improved sunder feat then no, you do not get an AoO. If they did not have the feat then you should have received an attack. If they made a strength check to break the weapon then you should have received an attack no matter what as I'm fairly sure that would fall into the category of a move action to manipulate an item.

Yeah you got mugged by your GM.
The weapon cord should have required a sunder AND you should have gotten your AOO BEFORE you were disarmed unless the opponent had Improved Disarm.

I would argue that once you've been disarmed, you don't need need a free action to switch weapons--you aren't holding something that prevents you from using your spikes anymore. But until the disarm is complete, you're still wielding one or the other, at least as far as the ruling you linked is concerned.

So the disarm was fair. But ...

One, move action nothin'. Breaking something is a standard action. The idea of a move action accomplishing that is some serious nonsense. Which makes the free action requirement (or not, as above) moot anyway, because you would have had a turn of your own before the NPC's next action.

Two, in the next round, if you hadn't chosen to recover your weapon, you should have gotten an AoO on the rolled Sunder, unless the NPC had Improved. (And I would have asked for it to be rolled in the open, personally, because that GM clearly had it in for you.)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Remember, folks:

If you ever feel that a PFS GM has made a significant error (regardless of whether you think it was due to bias or lack of rules understanding), approach them politely after the game to state your case. Not necessarily to get anything reversed (except in extreme circumstances), but so they can do better in the future; any good GM is open to politely-delivered feedback.

If the GM is for some reason not receptive to polite correction (and simply disagreeing with you does not count as being "not receptive"), then contact your local Venture Captain and present your case. Once it's in the VC's hands, just forget it and get ready for your next game. :)

One of the Devs weighed in on this in a thread of mine (I think it was mine), but I don't have time to look it up. How is your Search-Fu?

Enemy disarmed using a Whip and had Whip Mastery (no AoO in melee), and I believe also had Improved Disarm. They were adjacent to me when they disarmed my 1-handed weapon attached to a weapon cord. I was wearing Spiked Armor.

This was a PFS game. I didn't dispute the ruling by the GM, but after the post by Grick's post I think he was right because of what Michael Brock said.


That changes everything, actually. With whip mastery and improved disarm the GM was correct. No AoO is triggered. In the original post you said you were denied an attack because you were unable to grab your weapon to make an attack. Reading between the lines suggests the GM said you can't make an attack because you're unarmed, which you clearly were not.

In reality you didn't get an attack because he had the requisite feats to keep from provoking. I would inquire about the sunder as well, if he has improved sunder or not, and what weapon he sundered with, but I imagine you'll find a similar answer.

But Sundering still wasn't a move action.

Advanced Player's Guide wrote:

Weapon cords are 2-foot-long leather straps that attach your weapon to your wrist. If you drop your weapon or are disarmed, you can recover it as a swift action, and it never moves any further away from you than an adjacent square. However, you cannot switch to a different weapon without first untying the cord (a full-round action) or cutting it (a move action or an attack, hardness 0, 0 hp). Unlike a locked gauntlet, you can still use a hand with a weapon cord, though a dangling weapon may interfere with finer actions.

Source: or-accessories#TOC-Weapon-Cord

The enemy used a Move Action. From the above description the way I read it was that YOU could attack your own weapon cord or spend a Move Action, not the enemy who should be using a Sunder attack action.

I do not believe they enemy was high enough level to have multiple attacks...actually I'm sure they were not high enough level.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

For your benefit, and the DM's, you should discuss these issues with the DM.

He/She may just be new, or misunderstood.

Seems to be a ongoing thing with this one too.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

You also can't cut a cord with a whip...

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
You also can't cut a cord with a whip...

With Whip Mastery it's lethal slashing damage...gamewise it'd be the same as damage from a dagger or a sword at that point.

Harmor, you got jobbed on that one.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Eh, since the rules have nothing to say about an enemy cutting your weapon cord, it's not unreasonable for a GM to use the rules for you cutting your own weapon cord if a quick ruling is needed on the spot to keep things going.

SlimGauge wrote:
Eh, since the rules have nothing to say about an enemy cutting your weapon cord, it's not unreasonable for a GM to use the rules for you cutting your own weapon cord if a quick ruling is needed on the spot to keep things going.

The rule is called sunder. When you want to damage or attack an item worn or carried by another character, you perform a sunder maneuver. Last I checked weapon cords were worn, even if the weapon is disarmed.

Sunder...makes sense to me. Thanks Gignere.

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