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


Rules Questions

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42 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

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.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Removing one hand from a weapon is undefined in the rules. However, as you note, letting go with BOTH hands would be a free action, so it would take a pretty backward-minded GM to rule that doing less than that would cost more.

Osirion

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On the other hand....your trying to recieve the benefits for fighting both one-handed and two-handed.


10 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 5 people marked this as a favorite.
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, but your free hand is now free to attack or help cast spells or whatever. And at the end of your turn if your free hand remains free you'd be able to return it to grip your 2H weapon so you can still threaten foes and take attacks of opportunity if you want.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd love to see this clarified in a FAQ or errata update.


I think there's also another post by one of the head honchos that state something along the lines that -

If the requirement is that you need a free hand for spell casting, deflect arrows, or whatever. You need that hand free for the complete round to get the effect of that free hand.

Just don't quote me as this might have been a house rule and not one of the head honchos.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Matt2VK wrote:

I think there's also another post by one of the head honchos that state something along the lines that -

If the requirement is that you need a free hand for spell casting, deflect arrows, or whatever. You need that hand free for the complete round to get the effect of that free hand.

Just don't quote me as this might have been a house rule and not one of the head honchos.

Never seen such a commentary. It also wouldn't make much sense:

If I start my turn without a shield, then put it on, do I count as having that shield bonus to my AC that round?

If I was tied up and then I escape my bonds, do I need to wait a full round before my hand is "free" so I can cast spells?

If I get disarmed, do I need to wait a full round before I can draw my backup weapon, because my hand's not free yet?


Artanthos wrote:
On the other hand....your trying to recieve the benefits for fighting both one-handed and two-handed.

There is a little bit of trade-off, because any AoOs you make until the next turn will do one-handed damage instead of two-handed (and if you were doing this with a two-handed weapon you wouldn't even be threatening with it while holding it in one hand.)

Silver Crusade

You also wouldn't be wielding the sword and be unable to attack with it until you returned your hand to it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Scimmy wrote:
You also wouldn't be wielding the sword and be unable to attack with it until you returned your hand to it.

The OP was talking about a longsword, not a greatsword. He'd still be wielding it.


Jiggy wrote:
Matt2VK wrote:

I think there's also another post by one of the head honchos that state something along the lines that -

If the requirement is that you need a free hand for spell casting, deflect arrows, or whatever. You need that hand free for the complete round to get the effect of that free hand.

Just don't quote me as this might have been a house rule and not one of the head honchos.

Never seen such a commentary. It also wouldn't make much sense:

If I start my turn without a shield, then put it on, do I count as having that shield bonus to my AC that round?

If I was tied up and then I escape my bonds, do I need to wait a full round before my hand is "free" so I can cast spells?

If I get disarmed, do I need to wait a full round before I can draw my backup weapon, because my hand's not free yet?

If you noticed, I mentioned using a feat or skill that requires a free hand. Putting on a shield has a requirement of changing the status of a free hand. Not keeping that hand free.

I also put in a disclaimer in that it might not be from a official post.


There is James Jacob's comments above. Also 3.5 FAQ addressed this. It's a free action.


Matt2VK wrote:
If the requirement is that you need a free hand for spell casting, deflect arrows, or whatever. You need that hand free for the complete round to get the effect of that free hand.

Maybe you're thinking of the Magus. Spell Combat requires that you have a free hand, so for that entire action (not turn, just the full-round action) you need a hand free. Once that action is over, you can do what you want with that hand.

If your hand is free when the arrow is fired at you, you can deflect it. If your hand is not free when the arrow is fired at you, you can't deflect it. You also can't drop whatever you're holding as a free action outside your turn (or on your turn if the arrow being fired is interrupting you) in order to deflect the arrow.

Requiring a hand free for the entire turn breaks spellcasting (or at least, spellcasting without two hands free) since in many cases you need a hand to make the somatic gestures, and you need a hand to retrieve your spell components as a free action, and either one of those will briefly make your hand not free anymore.

It also means Snatch Arrows also requires two hands free, since as soon as you catch the arrow, your hand is no longer free, so you retroactively can't have used the feat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd hit the FAQ button on the top post. This question comes up very frequently, and as I said, it'd be nice to get it in text somewhere.


Scimmy wrote:
You also wouldn't be wielding the sword and be unable to attack with it until you returned your hand to it.

Unless one had Jotungrip from Titan Mauler:

"At 2nd level, a titan mauler may choose to wield a two-handed melee weapon in one hand with a –2 penalty on attack rolls while doing so. The weapon must be appropriately sized for her, and it is treated as one-handed when determining the effect of Power Attack, Strength bonus to damage, and the like."

which is what I was originally thinking of. It might make a "meh" archetype slightly better, especially combined with the second tier of Crane Stance... it's a weird build, don't ask for the details =D

I framed it in terms of the longsword in order to make it a more common scenario, and thus more easily addressed en masse.

Andoran

Sure. You can add or remove a hand from the hilt of a sword as a free action. A FREE action. A FREE action. So, only on your turn.

Example: You start the round with a two-handed weapon and you full attack. As a free action, you then remove the second hand from the weapon. On an opponent's turn, it shoots an arrow at you. You have a free hand, so you use Deflect Arrows. On the next enemy's turn, it moves out of a square you threaten. You may take an attack of opportunity, but you can only apply damage for wielding the weapon one-handed, and you take the -2 penalty on the attack roll [EDIT: For Jotungrip]. On your next turn, you place the second hand back on the hilt as a free action, full attack, and then remove the second hand as a free action...rinse, repeat.

I see absolutely no issues with this.


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
darth_gator wrote:

On your next turn, you place the second hand back on the hilt as a free action, full attack, and then remove the second hand as a free action...rinse, repeat.

I see absolutely no issues with this.

The re-grip of your weapon is not clarified in the rules. It may be a "free action" or "a move action": it's GM'Fiat for the moment.

Many threads speak about...

And JJ Jacobs didn't clarified this point as he said:"...And at the end of your turn if your free hand remains free you'd be able to return it to grip your 2H weapon so you can still threaten foes and take attacks of opportunity if you want."
Nowhere he speaks of the action you've to use "to return it to grip".

That's a pity, but rules are always not clarified.


if you attacked with it, id say your stuck with it in hand. if you say " i run the goblin thru and release the sword, then switch the other sword to your main hand. you should be good to deflect.


My group's reading of the JJ post lead us to conclude that repositioning your hands a non-action. But I suppose that technically that's just a house rule. One that will say in effect until there is a clarification by the developers.

However, the player needs to specify what your hands are doing. If you don't say you put your hand back on the weapon then don't expect to be able to wield it with 2 hands.


Pretty much what the above poster said.

It is a houserule and it isn't. It's a houserule in that it isn't what the developers says. It's not a houserule in that there is no wording from RAW or the other Devs to say otherwise.


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Mage Evolving wrote:

My group's reading of the JJ post lead us to conclude that repositioning your hands a non-action. But I suppose that technically that's just a house rule. One that will say in effect until there is a clarification by the developers.

However, the player needs to specify what your hands are doing. If you don't say you put your hand back on the weapon then don't expect to be able to wield it with 2 hands.

Are you sure you don't mean free action?

It's a free action to take your hand off the weapon.

If it's also a free action to put your hand back on the weapon, then everything works like JJ said, basically you choose on your turn if you're using one hand or both hands, if you threaten with a two-handed weapon, etc.

The people arguing non-action are doing so in order to perform the non-action at any time, so they can have a hand free to deflect arrows while holding a greatsword in one hand, but claiming they still threaten with the greatsword because it's a non-action to put the other hand back on it.


Grick wrote:


If it's also a free action to put your hand back on the weapon, then everything works like JJ said, basically you choose on your turn if you're using one hand or both hands, if you threaten with a two-handed weapon, etc.

If I recall correctly, in JJ's example even if it required a move action to go from merely holding a two-handed weapon in one hand to wielding it in two-hands, it would still be consistent.

Whereas if it were a non-action, then it would NOT be consistent as one would then threaten with a two-handed weapon held in one hand.. which he, and others, have expressly said is not the case.

Mind you, in the case of JJ, if it were 'cool' and not abusive he might let things slide ruleswise in favor of the table feel, etc. But that's a side because we're in the rules forum..

-James

Silver Crusade

Grick wrote:
The people arguing non-action are doing so in order to perform the non-action at any time, so they can have a hand free to deflect arrows while holding a greatsword in one hand, but claiming they still threaten with the greatsword because it's a non-action to put the other hand back on it.

What of it? People are claiming free action so that they can't.

I find it absurd to assert that those supporting any of the three cases (move, free, or non-action) are doing so for selfish or low motives. The idea that those who support, say, the non-action case are just 'cheeseing the system' while the, say, move action supporters are somehow the moral guardians of PF society, protecting us all from some insidious evil, to be simply false.

Whatever the rule turns out to be (when Paizo finally gets it's collective finger out), then that rule will fall on the just and unjust alike. If it's a move action for the PCs it's a move action for the NPCs. If it's a free action for the goodies then it's a free action for the baddies. If it's not a game action in and of itself but part of an attack, then that would be true for role-players and roll-players alike.

At the moment there is no 'Action In Combat' which is described as covering 're-gripping' a held weapon. Anyone who assigns an action to it is making a houserule, like it or not, simply because there isn't a rule right now! I wish there was, or I wish that it was made clear that it's not an action, if this is the case

None of us know the answer. All of us must decide, in our own games, what we do. If it's consistent in a single game and if it's made clear by the DM, fine

Having being involved in several threads on this subject, sometimes with passion running high, the cold hard truth is that there is no RAW to argue. I have a definate opinion on which it should be. Others agree and still others think it should be something else. But we can't divine the intellect, motives, alignment or anything else about a poster based solely on which of the three options that poster supports.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Malachi, you just wrote five paragraphs about why he shouldn't judge people's motives, when he didn't. He said the position's goal was to be able to do such-and-such. He didn't say that "low or selfish". You invented that yourself.

And then wrote five paragraphs criticizing someone for something you said.


By RAW, I think it's a free action to change your grip on a weapon.

However, keep in mind that the GM is free to restrict the number of free actions you can take in a turn. When I was playing a bastard sword-wielding magus, my GM and I came up with a compromise - changing your grip is a free action that you can do once per turn, on your turn.

This meant I had to play tactically, thinking about what I'd want to do the next turn if I was going to spellcast or go two-handed on the sword for higher base damage.

We found that it worked well, was playable, and seemed pretty reasonable from a rules standpoint.

Silver Crusade

Jiggy wrote:

Malachi, you just wrote five paragraphs about why he shouldn't judge people's motives, when he didn't. He said the position's goal was to be able to do such-and-such. He didn't say that "low or selfish". You invented that yourself.

And then wrote five paragraphs criticizing someone for something you said.

If my post doesn't apply to him then why would he be offended?

My only direct reply to him was, 'What of it?'

The rest was to 'cut off at the pass' an escalation into what happened in previous threads, in a desire not to repeat them.

As for Grick's quote, it could be taken as an innocent comment, or it could be taken as judgemental. My response was intended to work either way.

I actually have no desire to offend Grick. We have had some...er...'robust' discussions in the past, and have found him an articulate advocate. I've no problem with people supporting their case, even where we disagree.

Grick, if my post offended you, I apologise. I hope you take it as it was intended. : )

Silver Crusade

SteelDraco wrote:

By RAW, I think it's a free action to change your grip on a weapon.

However, keep in mind that the GM is free to restrict the number of free actions you can take in a turn. When I was playing a bastard sword-wielding magus, my GM and I came up with a compromise - changing your grip is a free action that you can do once per turn, on your turn.

This meant I had to play tactically, thinking about what I'd want to do the next turn if I was going to spellcast or go two-handed on the sword for higher base damage.

We found that it worked well, was playable, and seemed pretty reasonable from a rules standpoint.

You're doing nothing wrong; all of us have to make some decision. : )

However, it isn't RAW, because there is no RAW. If there was some RAW it would have been quoted by now, and the 1000+ post threads on the subject wouldn't have existed!


james maissen wrote:
Grick wrote:


If it's also a free action to put your hand back on the weapon, then everything works like JJ said, basically you choose on your turn if you're using one hand or both hands, if you threaten with a two-handed weapon, etc.

If I recall correctly, in JJ's example even if it required a move action to go from merely holding a two-handed weapon in one hand to wielding it in two-hands, it would still be consistent.

Whereas if it were a non-action, then it would NOT be consistent as one would then threaten with a two-handed weapon held in one hand.. which he, and others, have expressly said is not the case.

Mind you, in the case of JJ, if it were 'cool' and not abusive he might let things slide ruleswise in favor of the table feel, etc. But that's a side because we're in the rules forum..

-James

If they hold it in one hand, then they don't threaten with it. If classified as a non-action, they can do so outside their turn, but they then invalidate the criteria needed for feats such as Deflect Arrows. Sure, they can always switch back to it, but Deflect Arrows works 1/round.

I will also remind you that the non-action description says that it is usually done as an inherent part of something. What that something is mechanically, is activity that occurs from outside your turn. In the case of Deflect Arrows, I could say that upon deflecting the projectile, I re-grip with the hand that deflects the attack and threaten as normal (whereas before-hand I wouldn't threaten with my Greatsword, but only with my Unarmed Strike).

I don't see how it's imbalanced in this manner. Criteria must be met for feats/abilities requiring open hands, characters using two-handed weapons must sacrifice their ability to threaten with those weapons in order to fulfill said criteria, and using two-handed weapons before they perform such abilities means said abilities aren't able to be used (unless they perform other activity outside their turn via AoOs, but it leads back to square 1, and using other Immediate Actions means they can't use Swift Actions if their turn hasn't come for the round, or that they have to sacrifice something in order to get that ability again for the round).


While there isn't any explicite statement in the rules on what kind of action this is, we CAN look at the descriptions and from there come to a conclusion about what interpretations would be in line with the RAW and which would go against RAW.

Free Actions - "Free actions consume a very small amount of time and effort. You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM." Examples: Cease concentration of a spell, drop an item, drop prone, speak (a few sentences).

Would it work? Definately. Personally, I think this is the most fitting, especially noting the examples.

Swift Action - "A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. You can perform only a single swift action per turn."
Would it work? Yes. It would have weird in-game effects though, such as being unable to let go with one hand and regripping twice in a round, but being able to drop it on the floor and pick it up twice in a round.

Move Action - "Move Action: A move action allows you to move up to your speed or perform an action that takes a similar amount of time. See Table: Actions in Combat for other move actions."

Would it work? I don't think so. This is too much time for such a small action.

Not an action - "Some activities are so minor that they are not even considered free actions. They literally don't take any time at all to do and are considered an inherent part of doing something else, such as nocking an arrow as part of an attack with a bow."

Would it work? Maybe, but I don't think so - but I find the wording of this less than perfect. While nocking an arrow does take some minor time (contradicting "literally don't take any time"), it is part of another action, attacking with a bow. I don't think regripping a weapon can be considered part of an attack or similar, that would be a stretch.

I would say, free or swift are the rulings most in line with the RAW, though as always when it isn't explicit, it's a matter of interpretation.


james maissen wrote:
If I recall correctly, in JJ's example even if it required a move action to go from merely holding a two-handed weapon in one hand to wielding it in two-hands, it would still be consistent.

And it would also break projectile weapons, since they generally require two hands to wield, and a hand free to reload it.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
What of it?

JJ: "You're now only carrying the 2H weapon, not wielding it"

This would not be true if you still wield a two-handed weapon when holding it in one hand.


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Ilja wrote:

Not an action - "Some activities are so minor that they are not even considered free actions. They literally don't take any time at all to do and are considered an inherent part of doing something else, such as nocking an arrow as part of an attack with a bow."

Would it work? Maybe, but I don't think so - but I find the wording of this less than perfect. While nocking an arrow does take some minor time (contradicting "literally don't take any time"), it is part of another action, attacking with a bow. I don't think regripping a weapon can be considered part of an attack or similar, that would be a stretch....

The reason why the part of an attack with a bow is mechanical balance. Snap Shot feats would otherwise not work, for example, since other actions cannot be taken outside your turn. The Non-action example and how it correlates with Snap Shot feats supports that concept.

Another thing to note (and is very important in regards to balance) is that a non-action is generally done as part of an activity. Whether this "something" is limited to actions only cannot be concrete, but it does suggest that a person can't do a non-action on a whim, either, hence the term activity.


Grick wrote:


And it would also break projectile weapons, since they generally require two hands to wield, and a hand free to reload it.

Which projectile weapons are 'wielded'?

For example bows require 2 hands to use:

One hand holds the bow.

The second hand draws the arrow (free action), then notches it (not-an-action) as part of the attack with it.

Now if you required two hands to 'wield' a bow, then which hand is drawing the arrow? The third one? Nope, sorry.

You've made a leap here. You are assuming that one wields a bow in two hands. Find support for that, or try to do so.

-James

Grand Lodge

My ruling is "regripping" or otherwise changing how many hands hold your weapon/object in hand is a "not an action" action and can even be performed when it is not your turn. There are cases when you can and cannot change your grip based on your actions during your turn (such as when you are climbing, grappling, casting a spell with a 1 round casting time, etc.). Generally speaking, if it's possible for you to be holding the weapon/object either way during your turn or in response to some other action, you are holding the weapon/object whichever way you wish.

I've not encountered any issues playing this way.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

If you wanted to find the closest RAW so you felt rules safe to the extreme, then the closest thing is probably dropping something is a free action. If you're holding something in one hand and drop it then you are removing one hand from the item. Therefore removing one hand from an item is a free action and you can only take free actions on your turn. This means you can, before you attack, grip it with both hands as a free action, then after you attack let go with one hand as a free action so you can use Crane Wing (as an example), but if you make attacks of opportunity it's with only one hand on the sword because that's the state of your grip at the end of your turn.

If you are looking at it from a more RP viewpoint then you might let it work where they can change grips any time. Whatever you do, don't let it bog down the game because it's still a GMs job to help everyone have fun and keep the game moving.

Cheliax

From Meteor Hammer

"Benefit: If you succeed at a trip attempt with a meteor hammer, you can drag your opponent 5 feet closer to you rather than knocking her prone.

You may use this weapon in two different ways:

•Meteor: In meteor mode you use it as a double weapon.
•Fortress: In fortress mode you cannot use it as a double weapon but gain reach and a +1 shield bonus to AC.

Switching between these two modes is a free action decided at the start of your turn."

Thus a precendent exists for you being restricted to 1 free action grip change per round, honestly though its not a particularly unbalancing change to be able to free action change your grip multiple times.

Grand Lodge

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Caderyn wrote:

From Meteor Hammer

"Benefit: If you succeed at a trip attempt with a meteor hammer, you can drag your opponent 5 feet closer to you rather than knocking her prone.

You may use this weapon in two different ways:

•Meteor: In meteor mode you use it as a double weapon.
•Fortress: In fortress mode you cannot use it as a double weapon but gain reach and a +1 shield bonus to AC.

Switching between these two modes is a free action decided at the start of your turn."

Thus a precendent exists for you being restricted to 1 free action grip change per round, honestly though its not a particularly unbalancing change to be able to free action change your grip multiple times.

Not really a precedent considering how the weapon is wielded. Deciding to constantly spin one end of a meteor hammer like a shield during your entire turn is a bit more involved than deciding to place both hands on your longsword. With the meteor hammer you are effectively equipping/unequipping a small shield for a free action instead of a move action.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

yes


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Rendrin wrote:

If you wanted to find the closest RAW so you felt rules safe to the extreme, then the closest thing is probably dropping something is a free action. If you're holding something in one hand and drop it then you are removing one hand from the item. Therefore removing one hand from an item is a free action and you can only take free actions on your turn. This means you can, before you attack, grip it with both hands as a free action, then after you attack let go with one hand as a free action so you can use Crane Wing (as an example), but if you make attacks of opportunity it's with only one hand on the sword because that's the state of your grip at the end of your turn.

If you are looking at it from a more RP viewpoint then you might let it work where they can change grips any time. Whatever you do, don't let it bog down the game because it's still a GMs job to help everyone have fun and keep the game moving.

This. It may not be RAW, but it's certainly RAI, and backed up by official statement per above. If you rules lawyer to the point where you need "official" FAQ, errata, or literal words on paper, you're missing the point of playing this game anyways. Have your GM make a command decision.

Dropping an item (or a weapon) is a free action. Why would removing a hand or shifting your grip be any different?


cp wrote:

Well, perhaps so .. but the Dwarven Dorn Dergar is a move action to switch between reaches...

That's a specific action for a specific weapon, and direct RAW. It wouldn't need clarification. The OP doesn't have such clear-cut RAW for his situation.

For my campaigns, if a rule is unclear or unwritten, the DM is the rules interpreter. What I do is I ask the players how they feel about it, and make the final call. Then it becomes a house rule unless/until overturned by something official.

Silver Crusade

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Grick wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
What of it?

JJ: "You're now only carrying the 2H weapon, not wielding it"

This would not be true if you still wield a two-handed weapon when holding it in one hand.

Oh, I agree completely.

If it's not an action but part of another action, then:-
-if you hold a two-handed weapon in one hand while the other is free, then you threaten with it
-if your have a reach weapon and a spiked gauntlet then you threaten both 5-feet and 10-feet simultaneously

Whatever the action is, then those are the rules. People will make their decisions based on those rules, no matter what they are. We could write the consequences for free, swift and move, in a similar way I just did for non-action. This isn't a case of 'non-action would have consequences'. Every possible action-type for re-gripping has it's own consequences. I'd hate to see anyone try to make a case against 'non-action' based on the fact that it would have game consequences! They all would!

Grand Lodge

Barry Armstrong wrote:
Dropping an item (or a weapon) is a free action. Why would removing a hand or shifting your grip be any different?

To me, dropping an item (the action) is more than just letting go of something. You can let go of something when it's not your turn (under a number of circumstances, though usually when you are not in control of yourself). Depending on where my hands are holding something, I might end up dropping what they're holding on a foot, or off the cliff I'm standing next to or perhaps further away from me (or closer to someone else) than I intended. In game, you have none of these dangers. The item always lands exactly where you wanted it to land. Every time.

Letting go of an object with one hand which you are holding in two hands presents no danger of it landing anywhere. Feel free to just let go.

I guess it's just up to any given GM. I find if something would effectively take no time and there is no action defined for it in the rules, then it takes no time.


Dust Raven wrote:
Barry Armstrong wrote:
Dropping an item (or a weapon) is a free action. Why would removing a hand or shifting your grip be any different?

To me, dropping an item (the action) is more than just letting go of something. You can let go of something when it's not your turn (under a number of circumstances, though usually when you are not in control of yourself). Depending on where my hands are holding something, I might end up dropping what they're holding on a foot, or off the cliff I'm standing next to or perhaps further away from me (or closer to someone else) than I intended. In game, you have none of these dangers. The item always lands exactly where you wanted it to land. Every time.

Letting go of an object with one hand which you are holding in two hands presents no danger of it landing anywhere. Feel free to just let go.

I guess it's just up to any given GM. I find if something would effectively take no time and there is no action defined for it in the rules, then it takes no time.

I was referring to RAW. Unless you choose not to use that in your house rules, dropping an item is a free action IAW CRB, pg. 188 "Dropping an item in your space or an adjacent square is a free action."


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am sorry, i was too naif.
I didn't thought and didn't wanted the "friendly war" begins again.

I was one of the first 4 or 5 years ago who was defending the "move action" for re-grip.
I have always used it in my games and it was no problems.
I wanted to clarify at that time if i was "in the rules" or not. JJ Jacob answered that he prefered "free action" but recognized that "move action" was RAW and RAI too.

5 years after, nothing has changed. The rules always are not clarified, but it seems it causes more problems because of new classes and new powers which may make great profits of some of the action's choices for re-grip.

I don't mind this debate is useless, quite the opposite, i think this choice may have great impact on our play (i.e think to some DPR optimizations...).


james maissen wrote:
Which projectile weapons are 'wielded'?

All of them.

james maissen wrote:
For example bows require 2 hands to use

Two-Handed: "Two hands are required to use a two-handed melee weapon effectively."

james maissen wrote:
One hand holds the bow. The second hand draws the arrow (free action), then notches it (not-an-action) as part of the attack with it.

Free action to let go with one hand. Free action to draw ammunition. Not-an-action to nock it. Now you're holding a loaded bow. You still need two hands to use it, so burn a move action to put your other hand back on the bow. Or be reasonable, and make it a free action.

james maissen wrote:
Now if you required two hands to 'wield' a bow, then which hand is drawing the arrow?

Whichever one you let go of the bow in order to use.

james maissen wrote:
You've made a leap here. You are assuming that one wields a bow in two hands. Find support for that, or try to do so.

Ignoring the attempt to shoot a bow one-handed, what about non-hand crossbows and two-handed firearms?

Loading a Firearm: "You need at least one hand free to load one-handed and two-handed firearms. In the case of two-handed firearms, you hold the weapon in one hand and load it with the other—you only need to hold it in two hands to aim and shoot the firearm."

Since you need a hand free, you're explicitly letting go of a musket with one hand. (Free action) Then you're reloading it using your free hand. (Whatever action) Now, if you just fire the thing, you're taking a -4 penalty for shooting one-handed. Or, you put your free hand back on the weapon to shoot it normally.


Defraeter wrote:

I was one of the first 4 or 5 years ago who was defending the "move action" for re-grip.

I have always used it in my games and it was no problems.
I wanted to clarify at that time if i was "in the rules" or not. JJ Jacob answered that he prefered "free action" but recognized that "move action" was RAW and RAI too.

Can you provide a link?


Grick wrote:


Free action to let go with one hand. Free action to draw ammunition. Not-an-action to nock it. Now you're holding a loaded bow. You still need two hands to use it, so burn a move action to put your other hand back on the bow. Or be reasonable, and make it a free action.

james maissen wrote:
Now if you required two hands to 'wield' a bow, then which hand is drawing the arrow?
Whichever one you let go of the bow in order to use.

So let me see if I understand what you are saying here:

1. A PC with one hand on the bow, say the left.

2. The PC takes their right hand, and takes out an arrow from a quiver. (Free action).

3. The PC notches the arrow and draws back the bowstring (non-action, part of attacking with the bow).

4. The PC lets go of the arrow and places the right hand firmly on the bow in order to 'wield' it prior to firing the bow.

5. PC wills the drawn bow to release the arrow (perhaps held in their teeth??) (standard action or attack as part of a full attack action).

You can't be serious.

-James

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What a fascinating fabrication to pretend he means so that you can paint him as being absurd, without having even made certain that you don't actually agree with him and just used slightly different terminology a few posts back.

I guess the important thing is not to understand one another, but to establish superiority.


You guys are looking way too deep here, as usual. Dropping an item is a free action. Taking one hand off of a 2H weapon (or wielding a 1H weapon as 2H) is the same as "dropping" one hand off of it.

As JJ says, you are not effectively wielding this weapon, now, as you must shift your grip appropriately. You are only carrying it. I would not suggest trying to attack with this weapon in this condition.

Just remember that you would also need to use an action to "regrip" the weapon appropriately once it's your turn to attack again.

So, mechanically speaking:

- Currently holding a longsword in two hands
- Use a free action to remove a hand for deflecting arrows
- Next turn, use a free action to regrip prior to attacking

- If you choose to attack with a bad grip, I recommend penalties unless you have things like Weapon Specialization feats. Otherwise, I recommend using a move action to adjust grip to new fighting style.


The problem I have with allowing it as a free action taken at any time is it forces you to imagine combat as if it were a line at the DMV. Everyone takes a number and waits their turn until their number comes up, they do what they have to do, then go sit down and wait for their number to come up again. While this is the mechanic the game uses, it isn't the way I prefer to imagine combat.


Jodokai wrote:
The problem I have with allowing it as a free action taken at any time is it forces you to imagine combat as if it were a line at the DMV. Everyone takes a number and waits their turn until their number comes up, they do what they have to do, then go sit down and wait for their number to come up again. While this is the mechanic the game uses, it isn't the way I prefer to imagine combat.

That's not a problem so much as a different way of thinking.

I understand your point, though. Combat should be like computer animation. Smooth, free-flowing. Instead, the RAW make it seem like stop-motion photography. Choppy, mechanical, craptacular.

Here's how I tackle it. I actually tell a story every round in combat when I DM. It solves both sides, the imaginative and the mechanics.

Everyone makes their rolls, tells me their scores, then I describe what happens.

"Ok, so the troll swings, misses and hits himself in the back of the head with his greatclub (rolled a Nat 1). Torag takes advantage of the heightened confusion, shifts to the side of the troll, and hits a vital organ, sending the troll to his knees in gouts of blood (Rolled a nat 20, confirmed critical, sneak attack while flanking, applied bleed effects). This is enough to line up the troll's face with Baruu's warhammer, and he's down for the count. He stops moving, and the blood ceases to spurt out the sides. (Dwarf barely hit, rolling a 14 vs AC 14 troll, does just enough damage to kill it)."

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