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Masterwork improvised weapons and enchanting them


Rules Questions

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Andoran

10 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've made a character with catch off guard who wields a crowbar. I just wondering if I can (besides getting it made out of a special material like mitheral) buy a masterwork and/or a +1 crowbar (not to mention other magic enchantments when I get enough fame).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

A mwk crowbar will give you +2 to skill checks that use a crowbar. It won't benefit you in combat in any way. There is a trait that gives you +1 on all attacks with tools of your trade when used as improvised weapons, which effectively replaces the mwk bonus.

I don't believe you can enchant an improvised weapon either, although a magus using his ability to give a weapon temporary magical bonuses might be able to do it. I'd need to reread the class ability.


No clue. It's a grey area that the rules don't account for. Since a crowbar isn't a weapon as defined by the rules. I would like to see something on this too. I have a friend with a Monk of the empty hands. All he uses is improvised weapons and would like to be able to have something like an adamantine kitchen set. This is one of those things that in a home game people just hand wave and say yes but I don't have that option here.

Osirion

I have the same issue with a bard that wields his instrument (sax). He just carries a wand of bless weapon. Since your weapon is improvised it's not really a viable weapon. If it was, in your case, it'd be a masterwork club.

Andoran

Greg Hurst wrote:
I have the same issue with a bard that wields his instrument (sax). He just carries a wand of bless weapon. Since your weapon is improvised it's not really a viable weapon. If it was, in your case, it'd be a masterwork club.

So you can target a musical instrument with bless weapon, even though the target is weapon touched? Why couldn't I do the same with my crowbar?

Osirion

Ellery wrote:
Greg Hurst wrote:
I have the same issue with a bard that wields his instrument (sax). He just carries a wand of bless weapon. Since your weapon is improvised it's not really a viable weapon. If it was, in your case, it'd be a masterwork club.
So you can target a musical instrument with bless weapon, even though the target is weapon touched? Why couldn't I do the same with my crowbar?

I'm just giving it as an example of a workaround since there's no mechanic for enchanting an improvised weapon permanently. You should be able to do the same. An improvised weapon is still a weapon (given the name).

Andoran

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

OK, after doing some serious reading here is my argument for allowing this, in the Core Rule book starting on page 140 is the heading "weapons" that lists, well, weapons, and under that heading is improvised weapons. And according to masterwork weapons even if you plan on using using something such as a shield as a weapon you cannot get the enhancement bonus to attacks, and as shield bash (on page 152) says a shield "can be made into a magic weapon in its own right". This does seem to indicate that items, even if they are not "weapons" could be enchanted as weapons.

So in short I'd say that a masterwork crowbar would not give an enhancement bonus to attacks but could be still enchanted as a magic weapon.

Any thoughts on this?

Andoran

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Any Armor, Shield or Weapon crafted of special material is considered masterwork.

And the Adamantine Crowbar is considered a Masterwork Tool.

Since it is a masterwork item, I would say it could be enchanted as a weapon.

However, this may need some clarification.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Seems like more of a general PFRPG rules question...

Andoran

Jiggy wrote:
Seems like more of a general PFRPG rules question...

Would I just repost on the pathfinder rules forum? And how do I know which replies are "official" rules calls?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ellery wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Seems like more of a general PFRPG rules question...
Would I just repost on the pathfinder rules forum? And how do I know which replies are "official" rules calls?

I've flagged the thread to be moved into the rules section, so no need to re-post. :)

You may not get an "official" reply, but keep an eye out for people with a title like "Designer" next to their name and a Paizo Golem logo.


Yes. This is probably a general rules question. If you are looking for an answer I would post it in the rules forum. Word your post in a logical manner and make your case for the problem and why the rules are ambiguous. Then click that FAQ button and get a bunch of others to do the same. This is the best way for us to bring issues up to the developers and get them to act on it. You may get a developer to express an opinion on it but don't hold your breath. If it gets into the general pathfinder FAQ then it is automatically a rule for PFS (unless mike or mark specifically say no).

Andoran

Looking forward to seeing this answered. I may take Catch off Guard with my own character - and make use of a magical mug. :3


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Or even a +1 Vorpal hatpin!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The Combat Scabbard is an enchantable improvised weapon.


i would say yes, it is possible to enchant a mwk crowbar, it is some kind of odd club, but the problem is: is a +1 "tool" an improvised weapon any longer?

every thing can be used as an improvised weapon even a rapier, hold the pointy end and hit your enemies with the hilt. this is awkward, but it might work.

my solution: make a compromise, use weapon oils for your "tools".

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think that any item that is crafted or enchanted in a way that makes it easier to hit or damage someone, turns that item into an official weapon, rather than an improvised one. The minute the crowbar maker, crafts the crowbarbar masterfully in a way to make it eaiser to hit people, he has just turned it into a masterwork club.

Now if he made it masterwork for its intended use (opening up crates) then it would not give its bonus to hit, and would still be improvised if using it as a weapon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The following is not an argument for or against the mechanics of the topic. It is just an observation.

It seems kinda silly to me. I mean the whole point of an improvised weapon is that it's improvised. (Chairs, bottles, rocks, tools, etc.)

Wouldn't it defeat the whole purpose of the improvised weapon to get them enchanted and then carry them around with you like any other weapon. Getting them enchanted and carrying them around would cease to make them improvised anymore.

At that point what's the difference between your enchanted improvised weapon and just using enchanted weapons?

Andoran

3 people marked this as a favorite.

at some point, a line needs to be drawn between an improvised weapon used as a primary weapon and a new exotic weapon.

Taldor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shar Tahl wrote:
at some point, a line needs to be drawn between an improvised weapon used as a primary weapon and a new exotic weapon.

Good point!

The -4 penalty that would apply to a non-proficient exotic weapons, is the same as a -4 from using an improvised weapon (which RAW states also comes from being non proficient with the improvised weapon)

So basically either way the terminology here suggests that it is a weapon you are not proficient with.

An improvised crowbar-weapon would use the same base stats as club (which CRB price dictates are free, and always readily available for purchase...) so your taking a -4 (feats not considered) to use a weapon that could cost nothing and weighs the exact same as a club/crowbar.

Going back to the original question then.... could a +1 crowbar-weapon exist?
The spell "Magic Weapon" can be cast on any weapon touched...

Rules seem to suggest that you are able to treat this weapon as a club (that you are not proficient with) and it seems legit that if you are able to cast "Magic Weapon" on this club you should be able to place enchantments on that weapon as well.

...Now is a magic club that can also be used as a crowbar game breaking?
A basic club is free... the item will still be an improvised club... so... your only benefit is in not having to stow the club to draw the crowbar... this benefit in exchange for the -4 penalty on all attacks....
Now feats can be used to make this a little more powerful. But in the end... you are still weilding a club. Which thematically awesome... but rules breaking no. .

I guess my rmabling point here is that the crowbar is an improvised club (and a weapon). Clubs can be enchanted... so it seems logical that you CAN get an enchanted crowbar...


Some other (inconclusive) threads on the same subject:
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2ow3f?Enhancement-Bonuses-on-Improvised-Weapons
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2lgai?Monk-of-the-Empty-Hand-and-Improvised-Wea pons
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2mj0z?How-do-you-enchant-Horseshoes-as-Weapons- or

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks Hogarth!

Seems there is already some good discussion out there...
I wonder if we could get a ruling on this from some of the higher-ups.

Qadira

there's a PFS scenario with an adamantine crowbar.
adamantine is always masterwork, so you'd get a +1 to hit with it when used as an improvised weapon.

i had a character with a mithril chain that my GM ok'ed as being a masterwork improvised weapon. I didn't play the character long enough to get it enchanted as well.

Andoran

Hit the FAQ button at the top and maybe it'll finally get a firm answer :-)

Andoran

I think this all comes down to a GM call. I personally would rather have a PC take a feat if they wanted to official weaponize a non-weapon and enchant it. I would rather have the weapon enchantment apply to actual weapons rather than some +1 spoon. Using the improvised weapon feats, you are doing things on the fly. If you are using a +2 beer mug as a weapon all the time, it ceases to be improvised and it just a weapon, needing a EWP feat.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Seraphimpunk wrote:

there's a PFS scenario with an adamantine crowbar.

adamantine is always masterwork, so you'd get a +1 to hit with it when used as an improvised weapon.

i had a character with a mithril chain that my GM ok'ed as being a masterwork improvised weapon. I didn't play the character long enough to get it enchanted as well.

I disagree. If I hit you with my alarm clock (improvised weapon), I shouldn't get a +1 if it's a masterwork alarm clock that keeps better time because it's masterwork.


I didn't read the entire thread however, you could always talk with your GM about spending the 2gp on a club made of metal and then for flavor have it be a crowbar.

Qadira

SlimGauge wrote:


I disagree. If I hit you with my alarm clock (improvised weapon), I shouldn't get a +1 if it's a masterwork alarm clock that keeps better time because it's masterwork.

I'm not talking about something getting a +1 to hit just because its a masterwork something. A masterwork musical instrument just gives a +2 bonus on perform checks. But by its special property, if you had an ADAMANTINE GUITAR, it would be masterwork, if you wanted to club someone over the head with it, because Adamantine makes weapons ( thus improvised weapons ) masterwork.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Brain in a Jar wrote:

The following is not an argument for or against the mechanics of the topic. It is just an observation.

It seems kinda silly to me. I mean the whole point of an improvised weapon is that it's improvised. (Chairs, bottles, rocks, tools, etc.)

Wouldn't it defeat the whole purpose of the improvised weapon to get them enchanted and then carry them around with you like any other weapon. Getting them enchanted and carrying them around would cease to make them improvised anymore.

At that point what's the difference between your enchanted improvised weapon and just using enchanted weapons?

They're trying to pile on the bonuses they'd get for standard weapons onto the bonuses for improvised weapons. It's essentially amunchkin move which totally violates the spirit of the feat. You're getting those bonuses because improvised weapons are normally inferior, not to game the system and have it both ways at once.

Qadira

its munchkin to have a masterwork weapon that does 1d6 damage that you want to enchant?

you sir, do not know the definition of munchkin.
A munchkin choses function over flavor hands down.

What we're talking about is pure flavor. Why you would want to further penalize someone taking flavor over function for their characters by making them take another feat like Exotic Weapon Proficiency ( which the rules as written wouldn't even support for things like a beer stein or a chain or crowbar as they exist solely as improvised weapons ), boggles my mind.

How do you imagine a character breaking the game with a +1 flaming crowbar? a +1 darkwood table leg? Need I remind you there's a deity that ascended to godhood on a drunken dare? You think there aren't enchanters deep in gambling debt, or drunken priests that won't craft you a masterwork cudgel?

edit:
besides. carrying around the +1 table-leg of the chair that Caiden Callen sat on is a holy relic and high honor... and is a magical bludgeoning weapon for when the undead need the beating stick.

its not all that different from taking an improvised weapon and rubbing oil of magic weapon or having the party wizard/cleric cast magic weapon on it.


Seraphimpunk wrote:
What we're talking about is pure flavor.

How is wanting to use the Catch Off-Guard feat with your +1 flaming weapon "pure flavour"?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Combat Scabbard is still the only legit way I can think of to do this.

You may have something with the Clockwork Key.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

hogarth wrote:
Seraphimpunk wrote:
What we're talking about is pure flavor.
How is wanting to use the Catch Off-Guard feat with your +1 flaming weapon "pure flavour"?

And getting Sneak Attack damage against any unarmed enemy you ever face. Yep, definitely pure flavor.


I've been wondering about the idea of a Disarm rogue with the Catch Off-Guard chain and a highly enchanted improvised weapon. Such a character could Disarm enemies and, once they are weaponless, benefit from Sneak Attacks without stealth or a flanking partner.

If it's not possible to enchant improvised weapons, then the character is going to need some uncomfortable tweaking ... like just fighting with the improvised weapon alone, or using an enchanted weapon for the disarms then using the improvised weapon (with poor attack bonuses) for the Sneak Attacks ... and figuring out if it's a two-weapon fighting build or not. Ew.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Seraphimpunk wrote:

its munchkin to have a masterwork weapon that does 1d6 damage that you want to enchant?

Because when you're going to the trouble to have weapon enchantments laid on an object, it's a real stretch to argue that it's still an improvised weapon. At that point if the player really wants to insist on it as a weapon I just assign it the closest possible weapon type and treat it as a standard non-improvised weapon.

Qadira

an improvised weapon isn't improvised because its not similar to other weapons ( table legs, clubs etc ), its improvised because it wasn't designed to be used as a weapon. its unwieldy and most people can't effectively use them as a weapon ( hence -4 ).

Jiggy - oh noe. the unarmed foe is flat footed. How many unarmed foes do you usually run up against? Unarmed strikes count as weapons so monks are never unarmed. Animals/Beasts are never unarmed with their natural weapon attacks. The only time that comes up is if you've specifically disarmed an enemy of the only weapon he was already holding.

RAW the only ways to get the improvised weapon enchanted are Magic Weapon and Greater Magic Weapon / Versatile Weapon spells. Flavor wise i still say the beer stein of cayden callien is a fun +1 Holy Beer Stein. If you don't have Catch Off Guard its a sub-optimal weapon. The only thing about this discussion that makes it cheese is the Catch Off Guard feat itself. So its really not the weapon thats a problem, its the feat. You may not like the feat, but its not the cheesiest thing I've ever seen.

I still house-rule in favor of mithral/adamantine improvised weapons being considered masterwork for attacks. If someone who didn't have Catch Off-Guard picked them up, they're still slightly lighter, and naturally slightly less-unweildy, making their penalty only a -3. So I wouldn't penalize someone who has Catch Off Gaurd for wanting to consistently use it as a weapon.

Qadira

LazarX wrote:


Because when you're going to the trouble to have weapon enchantments laid on an object, it's a real stretch to argue that it's still an improvised weapon. At that point if the player really wants to insist on it as a weapon I just assign it the closest possible weapon type and treat it as a standard non-improvised weapon.

Granted, its a stretch to say its still improvised when you're trying to enchant it.

Crafting a masterwork beer stein for the purpose of using it as a weapon would probably be a bit much. But crafting it out of a special material that results in masterwork objects, like adamantine or mithril, and then enchanting it , isn't as far a stretch.


Curses. I always wanted to play a half-orc barbarian that wielded a petrified elf. Mithril and Adamantine items always being masterwork gave me an idea -- if I could Polymorph Any Object the elven statue into mithril step by step so each spell effect was permanent, perhaps I could then enchant it.

Alas, Polymorph Any Object does not make things valuable, no matter how you inch the item from one polymorph to the next. It seems that if I want to wield a stone elf with magic bonuses I'm going to have to find some other way.


Seraphimpunk wrote:
RAW the only ways to get the improvised weapon enchanted are Magic Weapon and Greater Magic Weapon / Versatile Weapon spells.

If you're counting spells, you could also count the Empty Hand monk's Ki Weapon ability. Vorpal turkey leg, anyone?

Qadira

Empty Hand Monk / Paladin!

I checked out the "Trusty Buddy" to see if there's any support from PFS scenarios on this one way or another

Spoiler:
The Adamantine Crowbar from Golemworks Incident
but it just lists that it is +4 to break open doors, and bypasses DR / Adamantine when used as an improvised club. no mention of whether it gets a +1 from possibly being considered a masterwork improvised club.

in response to the OP's actual question: no you can't get a mwk improvised weapon that isn't made out of a special material. Its debatable if you can get one out of a special material and apply the mwk bonuses from the material to the improvised weapon. GM call. PFS you're out of luck or relying on table variation.


TL; DR; reply:

In my games, you would not be able to enchant an improvised weapon with weapon properties, nor would you be able to use them as masterwork weapons if they were otherwise of masterwork quality.

Why? Because as I see it, it is an improvised weapon. Once you make any of the changes you are suggesting, it would in fact be a standardized weapon.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

though its priced as an adamantine weapon and equipment section lists

Quote:
Adamantine is so costly that weapons and armor made from it are always of masterwork quality; the masterwork cost is included in the prices given below.

. so since the cost for the masterwork weapon has already been paid by purchasing the trusty buddy , i'd still think it counts as a masterwork improvised club

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Seraphimpunk wrote:

an improvised weapon isn't improvised because its not similar to other weapons ( table legs, clubs etc ), its improvised because it wasn't designed to be used as a weapon. its unwieldy and most people can't effectively use them as a weapon ( hence -4 ).

Jiggy - oh noe. the unarmed foe is flat footed. How many unarmed foes do you usually run up against? Unarmed strikes count as weapons so monks are never unarmed. Animals/Beasts are never unarmed with their natural weapon attacks. The only time that comes up is if you've specifically disarmed an enemy of the only weapon he was already holding.

RAW the only ways to get the improvised weapon enchanted are Magic Weapon and Greater Magic Weapon / Versatile Weapon spells. Flavor wise i still say the beer stein of cayden callien is a fun +1 Holy Beer Stein. If you don't have Catch Off Guard its a sub-optimal weapon. The only thing about this discussion that makes it cheese is the Catch Off Guard feat itself. So its really not the weapon thats a problem, its the feat. You may not like the feat, but its not the cheesiest thing I've ever seen.

I still house-rule in favor of mithral/adamantine improvised weapons being considered masterwork for attacks. If someone who didn't have Catch Off-Guard picked them up, they're still slightly lighter, and naturally slightly less-unweildy, making their penalty only a -3. So I wouldn't penalize someone who has Catch Off Gaurd for wanting to consistently use it as a weapon.

I don't allow Catch Off Guard with weapons like these because that's now how the feat works. It works because you've surprised your opponent by grabbing the nearest thing lying around and start swinging with it. And then you pretty much discard it when you're done. In other words it's a Jackie Chan maneuver and he'll frequently go through several such improvised weapons in one fight.

Qadira

thats a fine way of imagining it.
but walking around an empty dungeon, or spending a move action to pick up whatever is at hand is not always possible.

catch off guard does not require you to pick up something new to surprise someone with. they just don't expect you to be "good" at wielding whatever improvised weapon you do attack them with.

I used to use catch off guard with a rogue archer in curse of the crimson throne campaign. the GM allowed me to use my bow as a club, and most enemies never expected me to whack them with my bow. I never found any unarmed foes to use it on though, so I couldn't get my sneak attack =P

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Just a bit of what-if, but what if you simply made the Catch Off-Guard feat a crafting prerequisite for the enhancing of improvised weapons?

Some magic items have prerequisites like "creator must have 5 ranks in Swim," "creator must be an elf" or "creator must be have the Mercy ability." So, barring any RAW for it, howabout adding a prerequisite of "creator must have the Catch Off-Guard feat" to any non-weapon item a player wants to weaponize?

A player who wants such an item could simply find somebody with the appropriate Craft skill and the COG feat to make them an item that is ready for use as a weapon. A player who wants to wield a rubber ducky as a weapon would still need to also pay to have the item masterworked in order to meet the weapon enhancement prerequisite, but they'd wind up with a combat-ready rubber ducky made by a craftsman who knows a thing or two about fighting with rubber duckies. Then, it's just a matter of getting the thing enchanted.

An item that is just masterwork wouldn't be enough. It'd have to be an item masterworked by a COG user.

It's a thought.


Alternatively, this makes me wonder about the viability of a Gunslinger/Rogue with Catch Off-Guard that, once a fight turns too close-range, enjoys using the Deed where you can pistol whip your opponent with bonuses to boot.

Hmmm. If you use an enchanted ranged weapon to pistol whip people, does the weapon confer its enhancements that aren't ranged-specific (like Seeking)?

Osirion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ellery wrote:

OK, after doing some serious reading here is my argument for allowing this, in the Core Rule book starting on page 140 is the heading "weapons" that lists, well, weapons, and under that heading is improvised weapons. And according to masterwork weapons even if you plan on using using something such as a shield as a weapon you cannot get the enhancement bonus to attacks, and as shield bash (on page 152) says a shield "can be made into a magic weapon in its own right". This does seem to indicate that items, even if they are not "weapons" could be enchanted as weapons.

So in short I'd say that a masterwork crowbar would not give an enhancement bonus to attacks but could be still enchanted as a magic weapon.

Any thoughts on this?

After reading through all the above responses, I think this is the one that is the most correct.

Improvised weapons are weapons (they're on the weapons table). You can make them masterwork, enchant them, etc. You're just not proficient with them unless you take Catch Off-Guard / Throw Anything / Breaker.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Nobody is ever "proficient" with improvised weapons.

You can negate penalties, but that's it.

Osirion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Nobody is ever "proficient" with improvised weapons.

You can negate penalties, but that's it.

The -4 penalty is described as a non-proficiency penalty in the rules. So removing the penalty means you're proficient in it.

It might sound weird, but all "Martial Weapon Proficiency" (the worst feat in the game, perhaps) does is remove the -4 penalty to hit, too.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

"Martial Weapon Proficiency" also makes you proficient.

Lacking a penalty does not equal proficiency.

There is no rule caveat that states otherwise.

There is no feat or ability that grants you proficiency with improvised weapons.

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