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Can I remove my hand from a weapon as a free action?


Rules Questions

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Grick wrote:


A bow requires two hands to use. If a bow already has an arrow nocked, you still need two hands to shoot it. Shooting a bow one-handed makes no sense.

How many hands does it take to have that arrow 'nocked'?

-James


Rudy2 wrote:

As said, I would view the load-regrip as a single move action, not as separate actions as you paint here.

If I were to allow firearms in my game, I wouldn't allow iterative shooting, no.

Ok, how about crossbows then. Same rules apply. If you force them to use a move action to re-grip, even if you let them reload as part of that move action, you've forced them to take the -4 penalty for every attack after the first in a full-attack, since they don't have a move action to use.

Silver Crusade

Grick wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Grick wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
(free=not holding anything except the weapon in question)

So I can cast spells with somatic and material components while wielding two shortswords? My hand is "free" after all.

How on Earth did you get that?

In your example, neither hand is free for any purpose except wielding the sword held in that hand.

You defined "free" as holding a weapon.

If you meant "(free=not holding anything)" that would be different. It would also break your explanation, since "In order to attack with a light or one-handed weapon you must have at least one hand free" would no longer be true, since if your hand is holding a weapon, it's no free.

I think you know what I meant!


Grick wrote:
Rudy2 wrote:

As said, I would view the load-regrip as a single move action, not as separate actions as you paint here.

If I were to allow firearms in my game, I wouldn't allow iterative shooting, no.

Ok, how about crossbows then. Same rules apply. If you force them to use a move action to re-grip, even if you let them reload as part of that move action, you've forced them to take the -4 penalty for every attack after the first in a full-attack, since they don't have a move action to use.

It's not that hard; if reloading is normally a move action, then I interpret the regrip as being part of that move action. If they take a feat which allows them to reload as, say, a free action, then I interpret the regrip as being part of that free action. That is, the feat affects the regrip as well.

Silver Crusade

Ilja wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:


1. You can't.

Then I can't change grip as part of an attack unless I can already wield the weapon in that grip. For example, if I hold a two-handed weapon in one hand I can't regrip it to attack since I have to attack to regrip it and I can't attack unless I wield it which requires me to first regrip it.

See the loop?

Quote:
2. Changing grip is part of another action. But not any old action! Part of the action you are doing!

Is that any action I'm doing or only the attack action or any action with an attack or any attack?

Also, you claim one can change grip during an AoO, but there's a lot of discussion on whether AoO's are even actions (and IMO the evidence is heavy of it not being an action), so you open up yet another can of worms with this.

Quote:

So, for example, if you attack with a greatsword then adding a free hand is part of that attack. But attacking with...

There are no rules for using a weapon in three hands and you can't attack with a two-handed weapon held in one hand so I don't see how this can even come up unless we're talking about a human with a small greatsword or similar size change.

Quote:
3. When you make an attack, in game, the attack roll doesn't represent a single swing, but a 'compound attack';

This is fine for a fluff explanation and one I use as well but not part of the rules. Also, it doesn't explain why I can take my longsword held in the right hand, throw it to the left hand as part of an attack action - but cannot just not catch it with the left hand and let it drop to the floor (since dropping items is a free action, not a non-action).

4, 5, 6. See point 3 about it being a bit silly to be able to release one hand from a weapon as a non-action but only if you're holding the weapon with another hand.

Oh, I see! I thought you were asking a sincere question, trying to understand the in-game implications of ruling 'grip-changing' as a non-action! If I'd have realised that you're just trying to 'win' a debate by deliberately mis-understanding my answers, maybe I'd have answered in a different way.

Still, there may be some people reading this thread who are interested in a real answer, so I'll address your 'concerns' anyway:-

1. There is no loop. You assume you have to be gripping a greatsword in two hands before you attack. That's not the case. In order to wield a two-handed weapon you need to have two hands available to use that weapon as you execute the attack! not before the attack.

In order to attack with a weapon in melee you must threaten with it:-

Threatened Squares wrote:
You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack

Since you have two hands available to use the greatsword when you do attack, you do threaten with it if you hold it in one hand and the other is free.

2. The 'action' in question here does not mean 'action as in swift/free/move etc.' but 'action' as in something you choose to do. For example, nocking an arrow is not defined in action-type-it's a non-action-but you still can't nock arrows if you're stunned or not allowed do do things. In this case, the attack itself is the 'action' of which 're-gripping' is a part, whether or not that attack burns a game action in terms of standard/free/AoO etc.

As faintly amusing as your 'three hand' crack may be, no-one is suggesting this. If you are holding a greatsword in one hand and the other is free, then you have two hands available to use the greatsword. Therefore, when an AoO is provoked you may choose to attack with that sword, adding your free hand in the process.

3/4/5/6. As to why letting go with one hand is not an action but dropping an item is a free action that can only be taken on your own turn: I'm not responsible for the RAW of dropping items=free action, nor was I trying to justify it. But it is not true that items can only be dropped as a free action! Stunned creatures drop everything held, for example. They don't wait for their own turn and then drop them! They drop them in response to being stunned, and doing so is not an action. Taking one hand off a two-handed weapon in order to make an AoO with a spiked gauntlet is not an action, the hand is removed as part of the AoO with that hand/spiked gauntlet.

I honestly don't mind explaining the consequences of whatever action re-gripping could be in theory. I'm fine with people supporting their case and pointing out what they believe to be flaws in my case. But try to do it honestly. Trying to deliberately misunderstand or twist what the other case is saying does not help; it reveals a weakness in your ability to articulate why your own case has more merit. 'Three hands'! Really!

Silver Crusade

Rudy2 wrote:
Grick wrote:
Rudy2 wrote:

As said, I would view the load-regrip as a single move action, not as separate actions as you paint here.

If I were to allow firearms in my game, I wouldn't allow iterative shooting, no.

Ok, how about crossbows then. Same rules apply. If you force them to use a move action to re-grip, even if you let them reload as part of that move action, you've forced them to take the -4 penalty for every attack after the first in a full-attack, since they don't have a move action to use.

It's not that hard; if reloading is normally a move action, then I interpret the regrip as being part of that move action. If they take a feat which allows them to reload as, say, a free action, then I interpret the regrip as being part of that free action. That is, the feat affects the regrip as well.

If you believe that 're-gripping is not an action itself but part of the action used to re-load a crossbow', why is it so hard for you to believe that 're-gripping is not an action itself but part of the attack'?


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
1. There is no loop. You assume you have to be gripping a greatsword in two hands before you attack. That's not the case. In order to wield a two-handed weapon you need to have two hands available to use that weapon as you execute the attack! not before the attack.

If you're wielding a 2H weapon, you can let go of the weapon with one of your hands (free action). You're now only carrying the 2H weapon, not wielding it. In order to threaten foes and take attacks of opportunity, you need to return your free hand to grip your 2H weapon.


As said before, because when reloading the hand is already focused on dealing with the crossbow, etc. It's right there. If you have a hand off of a melee weapon then it's because that hand is performing some unrelated action; it has a separate focus.

Your interpretation is valid, don't misunderstand me. Making re-gripping a free action doesn't contradict any of the three conclusions in my earlier post, and thus I can't argue that your interpretation is wrong. Neither, however, have you convinced me that my interpretation is wrong.

Between the two consistent interpretations, I chose mine for balance reasons.


Rudy2 wrote:
Grick wrote:
Rudy2 wrote:

As said, I would view the load-regrip as a single move action, not as separate actions as you paint here.

If I were to allow firearms in my game, I wouldn't allow iterative shooting, no.

Ok, how about crossbows then. Same rules apply. If you force them to use a move action to re-grip, even if you let them reload as part of that move action, you've forced them to take the -4 penalty for every attack after the first in a full-attack, since they don't have a move action to use.

It's not that hard; if reloading is normally a move action, then I interpret the regrip as being part of that move action. If they take a feat which allows them to reload as, say, a free action, then I interpret the regrip as being part of that free action. That is, the feat affects the regrip as well.

This sounds exactly like what a non-action is defined as. Something that your character must physically do (like nocking an arrow for instance) but is so much a part of some other action you do (like shooting your bow) that it doesn't count against any of your action limitations.


Here's how I view it, if it's unclear:

Reload: Reloading a ranged weapon is an action whose time varies based on the specific weapon, and any feats/special abilities your character has. For a light crossbow, for example, it's a move action. The action includes removing one hand from the weapon if it is a two-handed weapon, retrieving the ammunition, placing it into the weapon, and replacing your hand on the weapon if it is a two-handed weapon.

So, in that sense, placing your hand back on a weapon as part of the reload is a non-action, yes. It is "so much a part of" the action of reloading, because the action is moving from a state of existence where you have an empty crossbow held in two hands, to having a loaded crossbow held in two hands.

In terms of a melee weapon, if you argue that placing a second hand back on the weapon is "so much a part of" attacking, you could easily argue the same thing about drawing the weapon.

If it's, for example, a longsword, placing a second hand on it certainly isn't an integral part of the attack. It it's a greatsword held in one hand, then you can't make an attack anyway, so there's no attack action to combine a re-grip into.


Rudy2 wrote:

In terms of a melee weapon, if you argue that placing a second hand back on the weapon is "so much a part of" attacking, you could easily argue the same thing about drawing the weapon.

I'd disagree with that. You don't draw your weapon every time you attack with it. You draw it once, then may make as many attacks as you want while wielding. Particularly skilled warriors (those with quick draw) could draw and attack in one fluid motion, but those are not really related actions at all. To say they are the same would be akin to saying stringing your bow is the same as attacking with it. You must string your bow before you can use it to attack, but the actions are not in any way shape or form synonymous.


I don't think that drawing your weapon is part of the attack; that was the point of my analogy. Neither is placing a second hand on the weapon part of attacking. If it's a one handed weapon, you can attack just fine with the hand you have on it, thus it would be silly to assert that regripping with two hands is an integral part of attacking with it. If it's a two handed weapon, there's no attack to be made.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Oh, I see! I thought you were asking a sincere question, trying to understand the in-game implications of ruling 'grip-changing' as a non-action! If I'd have realised that you're just trying to 'win' a debate by deliberately mis-understanding my answers, maybe I'd have answered in a different way.

I am asking a sincere question, but I may have been unclear. Instead of "how can I", I meant "How does the rules support me doing".

My point is that it's better with a ruling that works by itself rather than one where you have to specify a lot of things - which is also why I DID specify those in the post that you answered to. So, to sum up how I've viewed this discussion:
1. I say that a "non-action" ruling requires a lot of text to be solid, showing how much text is required to get up the basics.

2. You say "no it doesn't" and post a short sentence on it, followed by "any questions?"

3. I make a few questions, pointing out several things that are unclear to me, either in how they work with the RAW, how they work without breaking verisimilitude, or how you intend them to work.

4. You answer a few of them while making others even weirder.

5. I point out that some of the rulings does not work with the rules as written nor with the rules as intended outside of your ruling.

6. You reply with sarcasm and snark.

Quote:
1. There is no loop. You assume you have to be gripping a greatsword in two hands before you attack. That's not the case. In order to wield a two-handed weapon you need to have two hands available to use that weapon as you execute the attack! not before the attack.

I see what you mean now. This might work, but I think to a LOT of players, you actually wield two-handed weapons in two hands most of the time, rather than just during the action you use them. I think this _works_ with the rules, but to a lot of people it's counterintuitive. It certainly is new to me, and I think a _lot_ of other people too.

Quote:
3/4/5/6

No, I can understand you don't agree with those rules, but those are actual clear rules. So either one has to house rule them (which is outside the scope for this subforum) or it gets very weird in how the rules work.

Quote:
But it is not true that items can only be dropped as a free action! Stunned creatures drop everything held, for example.

Now this is just silly. If I said you can move up to 4 times your speed in a round, or 5 times with the run feat, would you have said that "that's not true, you can be bullrushed to move further"? It's about the same thing.

I see what you mean with 2) though I think that's a flaw in the RAW. But I agree that the "part of another action" doesn't really mean action but rather activity, or the "nock an arrow" would get hellaweird.

You cannot _choose_ to drop items except as a free action.

And I'm NOT trying to deliberately misunderstand you. There's a difference between that and doing basic stresstesting of a ruling.

And I'm not that strongly against the "non-action" interpretation. I think that it _can_ work, if it's specific enough. I'm just saying it requires one to go into a lot of more detail and to make rulings that go beyond just that, while the free action interpretation does not require that.


Rudy2 wrote:
I don't think that drawing your weapon is part of the attack; that was the point of my analogy. Neither is placing a second hand on the weapon part of attacking.

The difference is that drawing a weapon is actually specified in the rules, while placing a second hand on is not. I'm unsure if you claim what's in your quote as "these are the rules" or "this is how I would rule it", just thought I'd add that.


Ilja wrote:
Rudy2 wrote:
I don't think that drawing your weapon is part of the attack; that was the point of my analogy. Neither is placing a second hand on the weapon part of attacking.
The difference is that drawing a weapon is actually specified in the rules, while placing a second hand on is not. I'm unsure if you claim what's in your quote as "these are the rules" or "this is how I would rule it", just thought I'd add that.

It is in the rules, yes, but the argument being made was one from a standpoint of common sense, not the rules. My point was that, if you argue that re-gripping a weapon is part of an attack, and therefore a non-action, you could make the same argument about drawing a weapon. Since the rules specify that drawing a weapon is a separate action, and therefore not part of an attack, it invalidates the first argument as well.

I then went on to make the separate argument that re-gripping a one-handed weapon is not a necessary part of attacking with it, and therefore cannot be thought of as a non-action in relation to the attack. You cannot make an attack with a two-handed weapon held in one hand, and therefore there is no attack action with respect to which to take a claimed non-action like re-gripping.


Rudy2 wrote:
It is in the rules, yes, but the argument being made was one from a standpoint of common sense, not the rules. My point was that, if you argue that re-gripping a weapon is part of an attack, and therefore a non-action, you could make the same argument about drawing a weapon.

From a common sense standpoint, I generally don't see why... They aren't that similar in amount of time it takes. It seems quite reasonable that drawing a weapon would take a little more time than adjusting your grip on it - some weapons are quite elaborate to draw (including most non-swordish weapons), compared to shifting grip.


I can see your point in that respect; I thought my second argument was the stronger one in any case, so I'm perfectly willing to drop the drawing a weapon comparison.


Rudy2 wrote:
I don't think that drawing your weapon is part of the attack; that was the point of my analogy. Neither is placing a second hand on the weapon part of attacking. If it's a one handed weapon, you can attack just fine with the hand you have on it, thus it would be silly to assert that regripping with two hands is an integral part of attacking with it. If it's a two handed weapon, there's no attack to be made.

I don't think your analogy supports your view point.

Nocking an arrow is very much a part of attacking with a bow. Stringing it is not.
Gripping/re-gripping/changing grip is very much a part of attacking with a weapon, especially a two-handed weapon like a staff. Drawing the weapon is not.
You are trying to draw an analogy between two actions that are completely unrelated - e.g. drawing vs changing grip or stringing vs nocking.

The analogy should be is nocking an arrow part of attacking with a bow?
Is nocking an arrow very much like gripping the bow? (you are very literally gripping the string and pulling it back)

To make the analogy then to a melee weapon, drawing the weapon is akin to stringing the bow, changing grip on a weapon is akin to nocking the arrow, swinging the melee weapon is akin to releasing the arrow.

Stringing/drawing your weapon is an action that must be taken in preparation to make your attacks, but is done once only. Nocking an arrow must be done every time you make an attack. Changing grip on a weapon could be occur every time you make an attack, and for some weapons is actually a part of doing so (speaking in real life, not game mechanics terms).


I admit that the analogy is not a particularly strong one so, as per my previous post, I'm willing to drop that line of argumentation. To restate the second line of argument, though:

All the examples given of non-actions are things that are necessary parts of that action. That is, not all necessary actions are non-actions, but all non-actions are necessary.

Re-gripping a longsword held in one hand with a second hand is not necessary to attack with it.

And, again, a two-handed weapon held in one hand cannot be attacked with, so there is no action to combine non-actions into.

Silver Crusade

Grick wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
1. There is no loop. You assume you have to be gripping a greatsword in two hands before you attack. That's not the case. In order to wield a two-handed weapon you need to have two hands available to use that weapon as you execute the attack! not before the attack.

If you're wielding a 2H weapon, you can let go of the weapon with one of your hands (free action). You're now only carrying the 2H weapon, not wielding it. In order to threaten foes and take attacks of opportunity, you need to return your free hand to grip your 2H weapon.

Grick, you are explaining the situation as if 're-gripping' were defined as a free action. I understand that position.

In my recent posts, I was not arguing for or against; I was just explaining the situation as of 're-gripping' were not an action, to help with understanding that position.

Silver Crusade

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@Ilja; I apologise for taking your 'three hands' remark badly.

When a rule is already understood you don't need many words to articulate it. When trying to explain a rule to someone who either doesn't understand it or misunderstands it, it takes a lot more words to explain before they get their head around it.

In this case, the volume of words does not indicate an inherently more complex case, it just reflects the effort needed to explain a new concept compared to an already understood concept.

FWIW, one day the devs may deign to answer this conundrum. At the moment, despite our collective attempts to use the RAW available to come to a conclusion on this issue, the cold, hard fact remains that 're-gripping' is not defined in RAW, or made clear it is not an action if that is the case. We are all trying to make sense of it, and that's fine.

We can all postulate a possible action-type (if any) for 're-gripping' to consume, and work out the consequences of each case. We should then compare each of these cases and then choose which case (and it's consequences, good and bad) that results in the most playable game. This is where our mileage varies.

If I were to speculate on the devs eventual ruling, I can imagine them ruling it a non-action, and I can imagine them ruling it a free action. I cannot imagine that they would rule it a move action, and I cannot imagine them ruling it a 'draw a weapon' action!

Not only would spellcasters be nerfed when wielding a shield, or two weapons, or a two-handed weapon (like a wizard and his staff) if 're-gripping' were a move action, warriors would be nerfed when drawing a two-handed weapon, as despite protests to the contrary, you really don't draw a sheathed weapon with both hands on the hilt! Try it and see!

There have been attempts to explain why the move action case would nerf archers, and it doesn't seem to have been understood by some; I'll try again:-

Archer: BAB+16, Rapid Shot, full attack=5 attacks with a bow.

For each shot, the archer starts with his left hand holding the bow by the stave. He draws his first arrow with his right hand (free action), and nocks the arrow onto the bowstring (not an action). He is still holding the bow in one hand. He needs two hands to shoot an arrow from the bow. He must therefore change from holding the bow in one hand to using it with two, so he must add his left hand to the bow, in order to draw the bow.

What action, if any, does this consume? If it's a move action to add your free hand to the bow in order to shoot it, then a full attack becomes impossible! If it's a free action or not an action to add that free hand, then it's the same action, if any, to add your free hand to a melee weapon!

As an aside, Snap Shot wrote:
While wielding a ranged weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you threaten squares within 5 feet of you. You can make attacks of opportunity with that ranged weapon.

If 're-gripping' were a free action, then this feat would be unusable with a bow unless you finish your turn with an arrow already nocked and both hands on the bow. If it were not an action to re-grip then you could only use snap shot if the arrow was already drawn but it wouldn't need to be nocked. This is because, as a free action, drawing ammunition can only be done on your own turn. I'm not sure if this is RAI or not.


No, no; I perfectly understood the argument being made, I just don't agree with the logic of it. Specifically this step:

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
If it's a free action or not an action to add that free hand, then it's the same action, if any, to add your free hand to a melee weapon!

Drawing the arrow, nocking it, drawing it back and firing are all related actions with the same focus. I would regard both the nocking, and drawing back the arrow with your second hand as non-actions that are part of the attack. Using your second hand is a necessary, integral part of the attack.

In contrast, if you have a hand off of a melee weapon deflecting an arrow, it's off doing its own thing; placing it back on the melee weapon is *not* part of the attack. It's not necessary to attack if the weapon is one-handed, and there is no attack to be made if the weapon is 2-handed.


As far as Snap Shot, I tend to assume that feats that grant a specific ability override any general rules regarding any actions needed to perform that ability. Thus, the feat would allow you to draw the arrows needed outside your turn, make the attacks, etc.

Silver Crusade

Rudy2 wrote:

No, no; I perfectly understood the argument being made, I just don't agree with the logic of it. Specifically this step:

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
If it's a free action or not an action to add that free hand, then it's the same action, if any, to add your free hand to a melee weapon!

Drawing the arrow, nocking it, drawing it back and firing are all related actions with the same focus. I would regard both the nocking, and drawing back the arrow with your second hand as non-actions that are part of the attack. Using your second hand is a necessary, integral part of the attack.

In contrast, if you have a hand off of a melee weapon deflecting an arrow, it's off doing its own thing; placing it back on the melee weapon is *not* part of the attack. It's not necessary to attack if the weapon is one-handed, and there is no attack to be made if the weapon is 2-handed.

Then this is where our mileage varies. : )

Between nocking the arrow and drawing back the string, you've left out the crucial 'action' of adding your left hand to the bow! If it's a move action for the goose then it's a move action for the gander!

If I want to add a free hand to a weapon as I make the stroke, for whatever reason (power attack for more lower, two hands required), then that is part of that attack. I can't see a case for allowing it with a bow but not with a sword. I'm speaking as someone whose done both in real life, and as both player and DM, while ruling it a non-action.


I honestly think both interpretations are valid, to be honest. In any case, my view is that when you've knocked the arrow, your hand is already right where it needs to be to draw the arrow back. There's practically speaking no movement to put it back "on" the bow. This is a big difference from a hand off doing some other action.

From a purely technical viewpoint, if you say shifting grips is a non-action performed as part of an attack, you still *cannot* do it if you have a two-handed weapon held in one hand. You cannot make an attack from such a position, so there's no action to combine a grip-shift into.

Silver Crusade

Rudy2 wrote:
As far as Snap Shot, I tend to assume that feats that grant a specific ability override any general rules regarding any actions needed to perform that ability. Thus, the feat would allow you to draw the arrows needed outside your turn, make the attacks, etc.

I agree that this is probably the RAI, and I'd rule it that way in my game, but it's not RAW.

I think that sometimes we say 'free action' in conversation as a shorthand for 'not an action'. Not always, of course, but sometimes. Even the devs do this.

A fix would be to add a clause to the Snap Shot feat to allow the drawing of ammunition as a non-action, or to state that the free action to draw ammunition can, like speaking, by done when it's not your turn.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
A fix would be to add a clause to the Snap Shot feat to allow the drawing of ammunition as a non-action, or to state that the free action to draw ammunition can, like speaking, by done when it's not your turn.

I think either would work just fine; the problem is that there are many feats that implicitly change things like that without stating the technically necessary explicit modifications.

But this is why this game needs to be run by thinking humans, after all :)

Silver Crusade

Rudy2 wrote:

I honestly think both interpretations are valid, to be honest. In any case, my view is that when you've knocked the arrow, your hand is already right where it needs to be to draw the arrow back. There's practically speaking no movement to put it back "on" the bow. This is a big difference from a hand off doing some other action.

From a purely technical viewpoint, if you say shifting grips is a non-action performed as part of an attack, you still *cannot* do it if you have a two-handed weapon held in one hand. You cannot make an attack from such a position, so there's no action to combine a grip-shift into.

What makes you say this?

The rules for the number of hands required to attack with a weapon are not relevant between attacks! If you have two hands free to attack with that greatsword and you have it drawn and held in one hand and your other hand is free to join it, and if it's part of the attack to add a free hand, then what is to stop you making an attack with it? And what is to stop you threatening with it in this case? And since you threaten with it in this case, what is to stop you taking your AoO with it?

Silver Crusade

Rudy2 wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
A fix would be to add a clause to the Snap Shot feat to allow the drawing of ammunition as a non-action, or to state that the free action to draw ammunition can, like speaking, by done when it's not your turn.

I think either would work just fine; the problem is that there are many feats that implicitly change things like that without stating the technically necessary explicit modifications.

But this is why this game needs to be run by thinking humans, after all :)

True dat! : )


Perhaps this is just a variance in interpretation, but my reading is that non-actions that are taken as part of another action require that action to be doable.

If you can't perform the action that the non-action is part of, then you don't get to do the non-action.

In other words, if shifting grips is a non-action that is part of the attack action, then you need to be able to do the attack action before you can shift grips.


Rudy, even that interpretation is incorrect. What about Snap Shot feats?

Are you saying a character mechanically cannot nock an arrow for an Attack of Opportunity since it's an attack, and not an action of attack?

Otherwise, I agree. But many feats and such which require open hands do generally have Improved Unarmed Strike as a pre-requisite, meaning even if a hand is free, you don't threaten with the Greatsword, but you threaten with the Unarmed Strike, meaning you make the Unarmed Strike, change grip as part of it, and now threaten with the Greatsword. At the same time, those feats that require open hands to use are now no longer available for the rest of the round (until it becomes your turn again).


I think there are a few common thoughts that influence how we think about this, that are not really in the rules. I'm not going to debate the specific case anymore, I feel I've contributed as much as I can, but:

- People generally see the attack rolls as representing not a single attack but a series of attacks where the attack roll symbolizes those attacks that actually have a chance to hurt the opponent. Basically, you don't stand around for 6 seconds, have your whack, and then wait another 6 seconds - it's just that you actually get a clear "shot" once every 6 seconds (assuming doing one attack per round). Note however, that this is not in the rules for good or bad - it's not against anything to assume that one attack roll means one attack (and some things make more sense that way, like ammunition).

- People generally see wielding a weapon as actually holding it ready for attack in the way you want to attack with it. Wielding a longspear is having both hands on it, for example. This is very deeply ingrained in at least my mind, but Malachi's posts got me rethinking that. Looking at the rules, there's nothing at all about that from what I can find - actually, "wielding" is hardly even defined; they seem to use it interchangebly with "use", as if wielding was an active thing you do rather than a more passive state of where you have it.


I agree with the second point; the largest example that supports this is the Defending Weapon property Errata.

"Use" as a general term can lead to multiple interpretations; for me, it means that it is drawn and currently in possession of the bearer, and that a character can "Use" a weapon for both attacking, and deflecting attacks. However, the Errata says that "Use" means that the character must make an attack during their turn in order to gain its benefits. (As far as I know, this wording still has not changed.)

The first part makes sense too; RAW, it's impossible to have a Two-Handed Weapon out on your person without using two hands (to even carry it, mind you), meaning the idea of "changing grips" is not allowed (much less expanded upon) within RAW. I don't know where the attack roll symbolism has for a place in a thread such as this, but I'm derailing it.


When it comes to carrying a weapon in one hand, there's no RAW that deals with it more than there's RAW that deals with carrying a teapot. Actually there's no rules detailing if you can carry a one-handed weapon in one hand. It's one of those assumed things everyone understands that you don't need rules for. Just like there are no rules for scratching your head.

Basically, when there are no rules on something, we should assume that it works like in real life, if that's possible.

Also, we've had several devs that mentioned carrying two-handed weapons in one hand.


Talking about switching one-handed weapons from a single hand grip to a two hand grip, remember that pathfinder and the D&D it came from abstracts a lot of stuff down, such as how ranged weapons work for example.

It would definitely be a free action to take your second hand off the weapon as it is the same to drop a weapon. Likewise, picking up a weapon-corded weapon is a swift action due to energy expended which would make something so effortless as gripping your weapon a free action too.

It wouldn't be a non-action (which is really just an easy explanation for notching arrows/slotting bolts/what have you) because it isn't insignificant, and it wouldn't be immediate because that would qualify other actions as immediate. Just remember to declare that your hand is on or off the weapon when you make your action.

Like Ilja said, if there don't appear to be any core rules for it than it is probably:

A) irrelevant (how something is gripped)
B) common sense (when you throw something with quickdraw you pull another)
C) or doesn't make sense (you should logically be able to hold a two-handed weapon in one hand, talk it out with your GM)

Also, whether or not it is a free action to grip-ungrip a weapon consider this: simple weapons are clublike, martial weapons are practical to handle, but some exotic weapons (such as the chained ones) could possibly be considered as more "difficult" to handle than martial/simple weapons.

P.S. when handling a bow two hands are required to shoot it, two hands are required to load it, and one hand is required to hold it in one hand. They aren't exactly like two-handed melee weapons, they have their own rules regarding usage and handling.


Grick wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
1. There is no loop. You assume you have to be gripping a greatsword in two hands before you attack. That's not the case. In order to wield a two-handed weapon you need to have two hands available to use that weapon as you execute the attack! not before the attack.

If you're wielding a 2H weapon, you can let go of the weapon with one of your hands (free action). You're now only carrying the 2H weapon, not wielding it. In order to threaten foes and take attacks of opportunity, you need to return your free hand to grip your 2H weapon.

For the purpose of this post, lets assume you took two levels of Alchemist and got Vestigal Arm as your Discovery. You have decided to dual wield Nine-Section Whips with the TWF feat.

The Nine-Section Whip's description quotes: "Benefit: This weapon can be wielded as a single-handed weapon, a two-handed weapon, or in pairs."

Originally you wield one of them with your main hand + your V-hand and the other with your offhand. You make your attack with your main hand + your V-hand. After your attack, you let go of the weapon as a free action. You then regrip the offhand with your V-hand and strike with that.

Assuming a Strength of 14 and the whip does d8 damage, how much (non-crit) damage would you do with the offhand attack?


Mapleswitch wrote:


For the purpose of this post, lets assume you took two levels of Alchemist and got Vestigal Arm as your Discovery. You have decided to dual wield Nine-Section Whips with the TWF feat.

How about starting with a bastard sword in one hand and a dagger in the other for a character with just two hands and only martial weapon proficiency. No need to be fancy with all that Paizo has added here.

This typical not so special human elects to TWF. Wishing to avoid the -4 to hit using the bastard sword in one hand, they attack with the dagger first, drop it, then two-hand the bastard sword for the remainder of their attacks without issue.

Is it silly? Sure it's up there with doing the same with a spiked gauntlet instead of a dagger, so one can do it round after round..

People might wish swapping weapons to be a free action, or a 'minor' action.. but really in this version of D&D, we're looking at spending a feat to do that special trick. Now your DM may allow you to do it without the feat, and many DMs will let many feats be 'automatic' either in whole or in part.. but for blind rules, I'll go with the conservative move action.

Now, of course, there are special rules that can circumvent this requirement in places. The quickdraw feat, of course. Drawing ammunition (which would otherwise be a move action without the special rule)... letting go of a weapon that then in turn makes a spiked gauntlet 'wielded', etc. So there are cases for 'non-action' (if that makes you happy).

But juggling a great sword back in forth between hands so that one can attack with both of their spiked gauntlets in a round? No.. not everyone can do this.. they need special feats. That's why they exist.

Want to throw 4 daggers in a round, take quick draw. Don't hold 3 in an off-hand to feed the main hand, etc. Then again some will claim that people can juggle weapons back and forth multiple times in 6 seconds without provoking, but can't hold more than one dagger in a hand...

-James


OH. I get it. Starting an attack with more than one weapon is a full round action. Switching weapons is a move action or a free action.

***I cannot interrupt the full round action with a move action or free action, then continue the full round action later that round.

Once I start using a manufactured/natural weapon during an attack action, the hands that touch that weapon are, in essence, glued to that weapon for 1 round. Re-gripping is part of the attack action, but does not let me release the weapon I have already attacked with for 1 round. Weapons that are thrown may be released and monks are allowed to kick while manufactured weapons are in their hands. If I decide to re-shealth or drop my weapon after I have made my first attack with that weapon, my hand(s) that made the attack may not attack with another manufactured weapon for 1 round. However, I am allowed to throw multiple manufactured weapons in 1 round.

Feats such as Crane Wing and Deflect Arrows require at least 1 hand to be free. Throwing manufactured weapons almost always means I have a free hand(s) at the end of my turn, which would allow me to use these feats. If all of my hands have been used in coordination with non-thrown, manufactured weapons for this round, I do not have the Quick Draw feat, AND I have chosen to not drop any of my weapons, then I will have no free hands to use these feats. If I have the quick draw feat, I may return my manufactured weapon to its respective hilt as a free action (exactly like a reverse of drawing the weapon), thus giving me a free hand(s) for 1 round and allowing me to use these feats. Using quick draw in this way is a free action.

There are two basic types of staffs. One type of staff has spells that can be cast. These staffs require both hands to use, similar to a 2 handed weapon. The other type of staff allows the use of metamagic feats. These staffs are 2 handed weapons used in conjunction with casting a spell that in summation requires the same type of action the spell would normally have. There is an exception to Bards, Clerics, Druids, and Sorcerers in the book about them taking longer to cast spells with metamagic feats. If the metamagic feat comes from a staff, the longer duration would not apply. This would be the case because these spell casters would not need to alter the spells they cast - the staffs would alter them.

There are several abilities, feats, and spells which modify actions. Sometimes more actions are provided. Other times, the type of action something requires is changed. These changes can affect the number of Thrown Weapons a person can throw in a given round, the number of spells a spell caster casts in a single round, but do not change the number of weapons that non-throwing characters can use each round.


james maissen wrote:

Now, of course, there are special rules that can circumvent this requirement in places. The quickdraw feat, of course. Drawing ammunition (which would otherwise be a move action without the special rule)... letting go of a weapon that then in turn makes a spiked gauntlet 'wielded', etc. So there are cases for 'non-action' (if that makes you happy).

But juggling a great sword back in forth between hands so that one can attack with both of their spiked gauntlets in a round? No.. not everyone can do this.. they need special feats. That's why they exist.

Want to throw 4 daggers in a round, take quick draw. Don't hold 3 in an off-hand to feed the main hand, etc. Then again some will claim that people can juggle weapons back and forth multiple times in 6 seconds without provoking, but can't hold more than one dagger in a hand...

-James

There are no feats, no RAW whatsoever regarding changing how you hold a weapon. Move action ruling might as well have the Still Spell metamagic feat be a requirement in order to cast spells at all, which is hardly the intent of the Devs. It's as silly as saying Power Attack is a requirement in order to be a martial.

Quickdraw does nothing for changing how you grip a weapon, so that feat is irrelevant. Nor are there any other special feats that allow them to adjust this at all, because there are no rules for it, meaning you can't change how you hold a weapon. RAW, its 2 hands, or you drop it.

Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mapleswitch wrote:
If I have the quick draw feat, I may return my manufactured weapon to its respective hilt as a free action (exactly like a reverse of drawing the weapon), thus giving me a free hand(s) for 1 round and allowing me to use these feats. Using quick draw in this way is a free action.

No. Quickdraw only helps you DRAW a weapon faster, it does NOT allow you to put one away faster.


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Mapleswitch wrote:

OH. I get it. Starting an attack with more than one weapon is a full round action. Switching weapons is a move action or a free action.

***I cannot interrupt the full round action with a move action or free action, then continue the full round action later that round.

You certainly CAN do free actions in the middle of full round actions.. otherwise archers would be very, very sad...

-James


I would vote that switching yada yada isn't the problem. I believe the capability of a swift lay on hands should be defined. I say that a swift lay on hands can be used with up to a light shield, or two handed weapon. Period.

If a paladin wants to lay on hands another, they would have to forfeit a round of full attacks as a penalty, or a -1 to attack rolls. I feel this would be just, following the spirit of the penalties to casting somantic with a buckler.

The reason why I bring this up like this, is I consider two handed comparative to one handed with shield bash, since the option of ac or DMG is always there. It does not seem fair that with a sword and shield, they cannot heal other but two handed they can without penalty.

I don't care if it doesn't seem "real". It makes sense to me when you compare it to other options.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Grick wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
1. There is no loop. You assume you have to be gripping a greatsword in two hands before you attack. That's not the case. In order to wield a two-handed weapon you need to have two hands available to use that weapon as you execute the attack! not before the attack.
If you're wielding a 2H weapon, you can let go of the weapon with one of your hands (free action). You're now only carrying the 2H weapon, not wielding it. In order to threaten foes and take attacks of opportunity, you need to return your free hand to grip your 2H weapon.

Grick, you are explaining the situation as if 're-gripping' were defined as a free action. I understand that position.

In my recent posts, I was not arguing for or against; I was just explaining the situation as of 're-gripping' were not an action, to help with understanding that position.

And I was showing how that position is wrong by using almost the exact same wording JJ did when he explained all this.

He says if you let go with one hand, you're not wielding it. He says you have to put your hand back in order to threaten. This breaks the argument which hinges on threatening with a 2H weapon when holding it in one hand. You do have to be gripping a greatsword with two hands in order to attack.

digitalpacman wrote:
I would vote that switching yada yada isn't the problem. I believe the capability of a swift lay on hands should be defined. I say that a swift lay on hands can be used with up to a light shield, or two handed weapon. Period.

Read this post by James Jacobs.

digitalpacman wrote:
If a paladin wants to lay on hands another, they would have to forfeit a round of full attacks as a penalty, or a -1 to attack rolls.

Using Lay on Hands on another is a standard action, so you can't attack at all that turn. Unless you're using LoH offensively, but even then, applying a penalty to the touch attack when using the shield hand when you could just weapon swap doesn't make any sense.

digitalpacman wrote:
It does not seem fair that with a sword and shield, they cannot heal other but two handed they can without penalty.

As long as it's not a heavy or tower shield, you're fine. Either just use the shield hand to LoH someone, or free action transfer weapon into shield hand, LoH, then free action transfer back.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Rudy2 wrote:
Suppose I attack with a longsword using two hands to deal extra damage. Can I remove one hand from it, leaving it in the other hand, as a free action, much as one would drop a weapon as a free action? The reason would be to leave a hand free, when it's not my turn, to deflect arrows, and things like that.

You can take such actions within your turn. Once your turn ends, you are locked in either one handed or two handed mode on your weapon.

Silver Crusade

LazarX wrote:
Once your turn ends, you are locked in either one handed or two handed mode on your weapon.

You say this like it's true!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Once your turn ends, you are locked in either one handed or two handed mode on your weapon.

You say this like it's true!

It is. Because the only actions you can take outside your turn are immediate actions. (of which you can take only one at the cost of your next turn's swift action) Not swift, not free. And changing your grip is not on the list of immediate actions.

Silver Crusade

LazarX wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Once your turn ends, you are locked in either one handed or two handed mode on your weapon.

You say this like it's true!

It is. Because the only actions you can take outside your turn are immediate actions. (of which you can take only one at the cost of your next turn's swift action) Not swift, not free. And changing your grip is not on the list of immediate actions.

It's not on the list of free actions either.

Therefore, we must conclude that it's not an action, in game terms. Like 'jumping', or 'nocking an arrow'.

I'm surprised you haven't followed the debates on this issue. The above paragraph is an assertion, just like your assertion. The truth is that the action is not defined in RAW. None of us can claim to certainty on this issue; we're all making an educated guess, and it's misleading for any of us to pretend otherwise.


LazarX: Please read the thread if you haven't. Among other things, james jacobs has referred to it as not an action.


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LazarX: Your ruling invalidates all activities outside Immediate-like actions. Crane Wing (and inadvertantly, Crane Riposte) would not work, Deflect/Snatch Arrows would not work, Snap Shot feats would not work...the list goes on.

Non-Actions can be done both as a part of something (nocking an arrow, Acrobatic checks for modified movement), or as an activity in their own right (deflecting a melee or ranged attack, making ranged attacks as attacks of opportunity). Saying Non-Actions cannot be done outside of your turn is a silly fallacy to make, since it would highly imbalance the game's mechanics just as it would making Switching Grips a Move Action.

There is no RAW regarding switching grips. Heck, RAW, you can't even change grips for weapons or anything; this is all strictly GM FIAT territory, only using correlatory RAW (and having multiple ambiguitive interpretations).

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