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Using Reach Weapons Up Close - Why So Hard???


Rules Questions

Andoran

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I'm thinking on a new character and I'm considering trying a reach weapon for the first time (a dwarf with a dwarven longaxe from the Advanced Race Guide)

I'm noticing that the rules make choking up a bit on the haft and fighting within 5' WAAAY to difficult - in fact, it seems to be all but impossible.

According to the rules you use a reach weapon to strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can't use it against an adjacent foe. Can't, as in not at all ... even with a penalty?

I've researched and actually studied both eastern martial arts and western weapon fighting and using a slightly longer weapon both up close and a few feet back is very possible with some training.

The Polearm Master Fighter archetype *can* shorten the grip on his spear or polearm with reach and use it against adjacent targets ... BUT This action results in a –4 penalty on attack rolls and it replaces bravery. I could see a -2, but not a -4.

And, unless I'm missing something, taking the Polearm Master Fighter archetype seems to be about the only way you can even do this at all in the game. I don't see any official Pathfinder feats that allow one to do anything similar.

I guess my comment / question is ... is it really all but impossible according to the rules to choke up on the haft a little bit and fight with a reach weapon up close? Is there something obvious that I'm just missing? Is reach really considered THAT big a deal that it needs such excessive in-game balancing?

Thanks!!


Short answer: Balance.

Reach weapons are already a very strong option. If you could use it up close as well, there would be no real reason to not use a reach weapon.

You can always use the haft as an improvised weapon.


Erikkerik wrote:
You can always use the haft as an improvised weapon.

Combine that with catch off guard and you are on the path to something great.

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I guess what you're looking for is the Short Haft feat that was in D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook II. I have no idea if there is a PF equivalent.


Well... if we're comparing it to reality (always a silly decision in RPGs) I think the question is "how much reach are we dealing with?"

Human warfare had quite a few centuries of an arms race where longer and longer spears became the way to win. Those kinds of spears were totally useless once the enemy closed within your reach — to the point where specialized combatants developed who could counter spearmen. Many battlefield tactics in mass combat are about maneuvering to negate the reach advantage.

I think the PF/3.5/3e rules are an attempt to nod to that historic element of combat.

Now, the reach we're dealing with in PF isn't usually that extreme, so yes, it's a little unfair to say that a spearman can't shorten his grip at all. Really, I would prefer if it were just a -4 to attack rolls to account for improvised weaponry (using a weapon for something it really wasn't designed for).

With the "shorter" reach weapons— halberds and the like— that are actually close combat weapons with a slight reach advantage but get "bumped up" to 10ft because Pathfinder has no middle ground, yes, the result can be sort of silly. Some of these could be dropped to 5 ft, or have a reach of 5-10ft like natural weapon reach.

But if simulationism on the issue of weapon reach is that big a priority in your campaign, compared to all the other stuff going on in this wacky superhero game, may I recommend trying the Burning Wheel RPG. That ought to scratch the itch, and you can come back to Pathfinder and all its awesome silliness unconcerned with historical accuracy.

Silver Crusade

• Catch Off-Guard (Combat)
• Improvised Weapon Mastery

Now the haft of your Dwarven Longaxe is reasonably compared to a great club.

Why great club? Well quarterstaff makes it a flurry weapon and would make a Dwarven Fighter Monk with a Dwarven Longaxe, super badass, but it doesn't really make sense, it's a two-handed weapon, so its bigger than a simple club, so I would say great club, so you get a 1d10 damage die. Your crit is x2 on a 20.

If you take improvised weapon mastery, the haft becomes a 2d6 and crits on 19-20.

So with the right build your Dwarven Fighter at level 9 could have

1. Catch Off-Guard
1CF. Weapon Focus Dwarven Long Axe (power attack, whatever you want, I'm just speccing)
2. Power Attack
3. Weapon Focus Improvised Weapon
4. W.S. Dwarven Long Axe
5. W. S. Improvised Weapon
6. Cleave (steel soul, I don't know)
7. Greater Cleave
8. Improvised Weapon Mastery
9. Improved Crit Improvised Mastery.

Now you threaten everything within the following

T= Threatened
X = Not threatened
U = You

XTTTX
TTTTT
TTYTT
TTTTT
XTTTX

Opponents try to move in, you can hit both of them if you want with Cleave or take cleave out and do other things. It's up to you. But it really gives your Reach fighter a ton of versatility.

Andoran

Erikkerik wrote:

Short answer: Balance.

Reach weapons are already a very strong option. If you could use it up close as well, there would be no real reason to not use a reach weapon.

You can always use the haft as an improvised weapon.

Well, I assumed balance was the reason. My question really is ... is reach *really* that much of an advantage that it needs balanced this much?

And, of course people would still use weapons without reach. I never suggested that using a reach weapon up close should be possible without penalty. I could see this as very simple, realistic and yet still balanced change:

Reach weapon: you use a reach weapon to strike opponents 10 feet away. You can also shorten your grip on such a weapon and use it against adjacent targets with a –4 penalty on attack rolls.

DigitalMage wrote:
I guess what you're looking for is the Short Haft feat that was in D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook II. I have no idea if there is a PF equivalent.

There you go. Why is there nothing like this in Pathfinder?


Having just started rolling up a polearm master, I have to agree that opening this option up to other classes would be a nice choice. However, I'm not certain I agree that simply including a base -4 penalty to 'choke up' would be the best option. I could actually see it as a minimal feat chain:

Choke Up
Prerequisites: BAB +3, Weapon Focus with a reach weapon
By shortening your grip on your polearm or other reach weapon, you can attack squares adjacent to you at a -4 penalty. Changing your grip in this manner can be performed as an immediate or a move action. Once your grip is altered, you no longer threaten as with a reach weapon, but instead threaten adjacent squares until the start of your next turn.

Shifting Grip
Prerequisites: BAB +6, Weapon Focus with a reach weapon, Choke Up
The penalty for using the Choke Up feat to attack adjacent squares with a reach weapon is reduced to a -2. Additionally, while using Choke Up, you can continue to threaten with your reach weapon's normal range, but do so at a -4 penalty to such attacks.


Marc Radle wrote:
Reach weapon: you use a reach weapon to strike opponents 10 feet away. You can also shorten your grip on such a weapon and use it against adjacent targets with a –4 penalty on attack rolls.

Isn't this already in the game as Improvised Weapon?

I may be wrong but I remember reading that throwing a sword (not meant for throwing) could use the same rule. Basically, any initially unintended use of a weapon remains possible but at -4 and with a new set of damage values based on what it is and how it's used.


Reach can be a huuuge advantage with Combat Reflexes and Trip, you can destroy advancing enemies assuming they aren't charging.

Barbarian with the Ground Breaker + Ground Breaker, Greater + Guisarme + Combat Reflexes = All ground around for for 10ft are difficult terrain, you cannot be charged and enemies cannot 5ft within your reach so you can just decimate with Attacks of Opportunity and you don't need to worry about provoking attacks with your Trip attempts.

Wizard friends creating difficult terrain for you is also great. You're typically going to trip them within your reach so you can get off your full attack and then can 5ft to keep them moving next turn.

If you're savvy, there's some big advantages, but a lot of it requires specializing and preplanning. I really like being able to use combat manuevers without provoking AoO without needing feat chains.


Reach weapons have a big advantage in terms of Attacks of Opportunity. Opponents are forced to 5ft step in or use acrobatics to avoid the AoO (and if they are wearing medium/heavy armor, acrobatics isn't an option). Considering characters w/ reach weapons are getting a free attack against many opponents during at least the first round of combat, I think the current situation is fine.

Of course, a -4 penalty to use an improvised weapon sounds fine to me, but in most cases the character can just 5ft step back and not take the penalty w/out using a feat to do it...


Strannik wrote:

Reach weapons have a big advantage in terms of Attacks of Opportunity. Opponents are forced to 5ft step in or use acrobatics to avoid the AoO (and if they are wearing medium/heavy armor, acrobatics isn't an option). Considering characters w/ reach weapons are getting a free attack against many opponents during at least the first round of combat, I think the current situation is fine.

Of course, a -4 penalty to use an improvised weapon sounds fine to me, but in most cases the character can just 5ft step back and not take the penalty w/out using a feat to do it...

or they can just come in at the diagonal and avoid any attack from you. it not that big of an advantage via raw. it is only advantage is 3.5 exception is used.


Xaratherus wrote:

Having just started rolling up a polearm master, I have to agree that opening this option up to other classes would be a nice choice. However, I'm not certain I agree that simply including a base -4 penalty to 'choke up' would be the best option. I could actually see it as a minimal feat chain:

Choke Up
Prerequisites: BAB +3, Weapon Focus with a reach weapon
By shortening your grip on your polearm or other reach weapon, you can attack squares adjacent to you at a -4 penalty. Changing your grip in this manner can be performed as an immediate or a move action. Once your grip is altered, you no longer threaten as with a reach weapon, but instead threaten adjacent squares until the start of your next turn.

Shifting Grip
Prerequisites: BAB +6, Weapon Focus with a reach weapon, Choke Up
The penalty for using the Choke Up feat to attack adjacent squares with a reach weapon is reduced to a -2. Additionally, while using Choke Up, you can continue to threaten with your reach weapon's normal range, but do so at a -4 penalty to such attacks.

Make it one feat. Make it scale. Reduce the time to do it. That might make it more reasonable. Eating up actions is painful, iteratives and positioning are important and some builds are swift action hungry. The short haft above has this one beat easily and is probably more fair to be honest.

Also, your requirements are too much. Why not just make it one feat that applies to everything? Or one feat that applies to just one? Forcing someone to take weapon focus is bleh.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
KainPen wrote:
Strannik wrote:

Reach weapons have a big advantage in terms of Attacks of Opportunity. Opponents are forced to 5ft step in or use acrobatics to avoid the AoO (and if they are wearing medium/heavy armor, acrobatics isn't an option). Considering characters w/ reach weapons are getting a free attack against many opponents during at least the first round of combat, I think the current situation is fine.

Of course, a -4 penalty to use an improvised weapon sounds fine to me, but in most cases the character can just 5ft step back and not take the penalty w/out using a feat to do it...

or they can just come in at the diagonal and avoid any attack from you. it not that big of an advantage via raw. it is only advantage is 3.5 exception is used.

I feel like a reasonable DM would make the connection that at some point in that 15ft spread, they are 10 ft away. If a DM pulled that nonsense, my whole table wouldn't stand for it.


@MrSin: I based the prerequisites off the 3.5 feat. I don't really care for Weapon Focus as a feat tax - but I also haven't heard the designers voicing a lot of support for repealing such a feat tax, and so I was trying to design it 'realistically' based on similar feats.

It seems, at least to me, that reach is considered a potent ability; just looking at the comments in the thread seems to indicate it, and the fact that the designers have restricted it so far to a single archetype speaks to it as well (or maybe they just overlooked it as an option people would find fun).

However, I could see combining it into a single scaling feat.

Choke Up
Prerequisite: BAB +3, Weapon Focus
As a free action, you can shorten your grip on your polearm or other reach weapon; in doing so, you temporarily sacrifice threatening with reach to attack squares adjacent to you at a -4 penalty. . When your BAB reaches +6, you threaten with reach at no penalty and adjacent squares at the -4 penalty to attack rolls.

Silver Crusade

Caught off guard would let you use the haft of your reach weapon as an improvised weapon without penalty. The only question is how would enchantments work.

Shadow Lodge

Use a Dorn-Dergar. It is a reach weapon, that as a move action, can be adjusted to be used as a closer ranged weapon. Or take Catch-Off Gaurd and Improvised Weapon Mastery like p33j said and just smash them in melee with an improvised weapon.

OR you could use quick draw+weapon cords to just drop the reach weapon and grab a dwarven waraxe in closer melee.


There is a fighter archetype that does this: Polearm Master from APG. Starting at 2nd level and gradually improving the ability.

That may not include the flexibility of any class, but I think that's kind of the point with polearms.

Phalanx Soldier(fighter, also APG) can wield spear and polearms in one hand when wielding a shield. So he threatens ajacent with the shield and at reach with a polearm. Polehammer and a bashing heavy spiked shield for 2d6 in each hand and covering a large area.


Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
KainPen wrote:
Strannik wrote:

Reach weapons have a big advantage in terms of Attacks of Opportunity. Opponents are forced to 5ft step in or use acrobatics to avoid the AoO (and if they are wearing medium/heavy armor, acrobatics isn't an option). Considering characters w/ reach weapons are getting a free attack against many opponents during at least the first round of combat, I think the current situation is fine.

Of course, a -4 penalty to use an improvised weapon sounds fine to me, but in most cases the character can just 5ft step back and not take the penalty w/out using a feat to do it...

or they can just come in at the diagonal and avoid any attack from you. it not that big of an advantage via raw. it is only advantage is 3.5 exception is used.
I feel like a reasonable DM would make the connection that at some point in that 15ft spread, they are 10 ft away. If a DM pulled that nonsense, my whole table wouldn't stand for it.

I know the feeling. but per raw and PFS you are open with reach weapons, make matters worse you can not attack down a diagonal hallway.

SKR posted an agreement with people on what you stated but you only get AOO on people passing thru that square all other AOO are out the question. But it has not been offically changed and may never be. Gauss did a poll and the majority of people use the 3.5 expection, and a lot of people use it with out relizing that the reach rules are different in pathfinder. As it stands you do not get to attack in that 5ft square or the 2nd diagonal which is 15ft away because you do not threath those squares. you can't attack inbetween them because that is not a valid target. it imporant that you ask your dm if they use the 3.5 expection.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
KainPen wrote:
or they can just come in at the diagonal and avoid any attack from you. it not that big of an advantage via raw. it is only advantage is 3.5 exception is used.
I feel like a reasonable DM would make the connection that at some point in that 15ft spread, they are 10 ft away. If a DM pulled that nonsense, my whole table wouldn't stand for it.

No, no. It's historically accurate. Real Earth battles are fraught with soldiers who find it too challenging to approach a spear-wielding enemy from the east, so they approach from the northeast instead, completely negating the length of his enemy's spear. Happened all the time. Can't get there from the south? Try the southwest, problem solved.

Although, I hear that Roman legions trained to fight on hex grids and therefore didn't have this problem...


KainPen wrote:
or they can just come in at the diagonal and avoid any attack from you. it not that big of an advantage via raw. it is only advantage is 3.5 exception is used.

Stepping in from the diagonal does still provide an AoO. This has been discussed and clarified a number of times on the board. The only thing that the 3.5 exception offers is allowing you to make normal attacks into the square of the 2nd diagonal. Going from the 2nd diagonal to the first still runs by the same rules as every other movement in that it can provoke AoO.

Andoran

DonDuckie wrote:

There is a fighter archetype that does this: Polearm Master from APG. Starting at 2nd level and gradually improving the ability.

That may not include the flexibility of any class, but I think that's kind of the point with polearms.

Heh ... yep, I know (re-read my original post :)

Andoran

ArmouredMonk13 wrote:

Use a Dorn-Dergar. It is a reach weapon, that as a move action, can be adjusted to be used as a closer ranged weapon. Or take Catch-Off Gaurd and Improvised Weapon Mastery like p33j said and just smash them in melee with an improvised weapon.

What is a Dorn-Dergar? I did a quick search in the PRD and came up empty ...


@Marc Radle: I don't actually see it listed on the PRD. It is listed on the PFSRD. It's a dwarven dorn-dergar, or a dwarven chain-flail. Here's a link.

Might be in one of the 'fluff' books and therefore not included in the PRD under OGL.

Shadow Lodge

Xaratherus wrote:

@Marc Radle: I don't actually see it listed on the PRD. It is listed on the PFSRD. It's a dwarven dorn-dergar, or a dwarven chain-flail. Here's a link.

Might be in one of the 'fluff' books and therefore not included in the PRD under OGL.

What he said. You might want to take vital strike or the dwarven cleave feats to make the most out of the standard action you will be kind of stuck with.


Marc Radle wrote:
Heh ... yep, I know (re-read my original post :)

heh... I saw something about studying real world stuff and decided to skip to the "rules question" :)

I stand by my answer, having and archetype to represent special training is a fine way to do it. And the phalanx guy is pretty neat.

But historically polearms were vulnerable in close combat, which is probably why they(to my knowledge) were used primarily as an army weapon(or for city guards to look fancy), not for dueling - which is closer to what normal PF combat tries to mimic.

Three guys in a row with polearms can protect eachothers vulnerable distances. I guess.

Shadow Lodge

You could take 2 levels of titan mauler and wield any 2h weapon in 1 hand, then wield a Longhammer in one hand with an earthbreaker in the other to smash everything within reach.

EDIT:Does anyone else think of a dwarf in full-plate playing whack-a-mole with goblins in a field when they read this^:P


Evil Lincoln wrote:


Human warfare had quite a few centuries of an arms race where longer and longer spears became the way to win. Those kinds of spears were totally useless once the enemy closed within your reach — to the point where specialized combatants developed who could counter spearmen. Many battlefield tactics in mass combat are about maneuvering to negate the reach advantage.

That's the essence of all combat.


Umarian wrote:
KainPen wrote:
or they can just come in at the diagonal and avoid any attack from you. it not that big of an advantage via raw. it is only advantage is 3.5 exception is used.
Stepping in from the diagonal does still provide an AoO. This has been discussed and clarified a number of times on the board. The only thing that the 3.5 exception offers is allowing you to make normal attacks into the square of the 2nd diagonal. Going from the 2nd diagonal to the first still runs by the same rules as every other movement in that it can provoke AoO.

yes it has been disscused many times and SKR post comes up every time as the as the reasonable and logical soultion to the issuse. but it has never been address in a FAQ dispite being FAQ in everyone of those threads nor has it been addressed in the crb dispite 6 printing of the book. it as far from offical. All we have is SKR post on how in theroy it should work and should be allowed.

allowing the aoo while logical it cause more issuse to arise and Gauss covers these in thread/poll of the 3.5 expection being used. such as what if he trip for the AOO instead of a normal attack what sqaure does the character land in. It should be inbetween both sqaures because that is where 10ft is. but that is not a valid movement place.

dwarven dorn-dergar is in dwarves of golarion book


Funky Badger wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:


Human warfare had quite a few centuries of an arms race where longer and longer spears became the way to win. Those kinds of spears were totally useless once the enemy closed within your reach — to the point where specialized combatants developed who could counter spearmen. Many battlefield tactics in mass combat are about maneuvering to negate the reach advantage.
That's the essence of all combat.

Sure is!

But whether or not it is valuable or necessary to include that in Pathfinder/3.5 in the manner which has been done, that's debatable. And I mean that, debatable, as in both sides have a case.

Pathfinder is a game where individuals of great personal prowess and supernatural power do things on a daily basis that make no sense in reality. And then sometimes you have a "nod" to some realistic tactical element like AoOs and reach weapons. I happen to like the mix, but I can understand the confusion it causes.

If a player comes to me and says "I want to wield a longspear like in this chinese action film and I think I should be able to whack someone with the side of the spear even at 5 ft." I think that's a very legitimate case. The guy next to him the table can superheat enemy weapons until the drop them.

But if the GM would like to preserve the element of tactical combat where a spear is less useful once the enemy has closed, that's fine too. My brother plays a reach fighter with natural weapon claws for this reason. It's pretty cool, and it is borne out of the limitations.

Neither case really "wins", it's about the preferences of the group. The RAW, however, is clear enough in prohibiting reach weapons from striking close.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
With the "shorter" reach weapons— halberds and the like— that are actually close combat weapons with a slight reach advantage but get "bumped up" to 10ft because Pathfinder has no middle ground, yes, the result can be sort of silly.

Bad example -- halberds don't have reach in 3.5/Pathfinder. Can I interest you in a glaive-guisarme instead?


hogarth wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
With the "shorter" reach weapons— halberds and the like— that are actually close combat weapons with a slight reach advantage but get "bumped up" to 10ft because Pathfinder has no middle ground, yes, the result can be sort of silly.
Bad example -- halberds don't have reach in 3.5/Pathfinder. Can I interest you in a glaive-guisarme instead?

No thanks, just the guisarme for me. I'm on a diet.

Shadow Lodge

just remember that catch off guard does not allow you to make AOO's, the only ways i know of to get AOO's on an adjacent target is armor spikes and IUS.

when ever i play a reach character i use armor spikes in conjunction to make sure i threaten the target adjacent.


ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
Xaratherus wrote:

@Marc Radle: I don't actually see it listed on the PRD. It is listed on the PFSRD. It's a dwarven dorn-dergar, or a dwarven chain-flail. Here's a link.

Might be in one of the 'fluff' books and therefore not included in the PRD under OGL.

What he said. You might want to take vital strike or the dwarven cleave feats to make the most out of the standard action you will be kind of stuck with.

Darting Viper makes switching between Reach and Close with the Dorn-Dergar a Swift Action.


Evil Lincoln wrote:


Sure is!

But whether or not it is valuable or necessary to include that in Pathfinder/3.5 in the manner which has been done, that's debatable. And I mean that, debatable, as in both sides have a case.

Pathfinder is a game where individuals of great personal prowess and supernatural power do things on a daily basis that make no sense in reality. And then sometimes you have a "nod" to some realistic tactical element like AoOs and reach weapons. I happen to like the mix, but I can understand the confusion it causes.

If a player comes to me and says "I want to wield a longspear like in this chinese action film and I think I should be able to whack someone with the side of the spear even at 5 ft." I think that's a very legitimate case. The guy next to him the table can superheat enemy weapons until the drop them.

But if the GM would like to preserve the element of tactical combat where a spear is less useful once the enemy has closed, that's fine too. My brother plays a reach fighter with natural weapon claws for this reason. It's pretty cool, and it is borne out of the limitations.

Neither case really "wins", it's about the preferences of the group. The RAW, however, is clear enough in prohibiting reach weapons from striking close.

Cyberpunk 2020 introduced a variant rule set in PacRim for weapon ranges (I think it went: Long Weapon, Short Weapon, Kick, Punch, Close, Grappled) which was pretty thorough. And utterly unworkable...

(Always found Improved Unarmed Strike + a polarm worked quite well)

Andoran

hogarth wrote:


Bad example -- halberds don't have reach in 3.5/Pathfinder.

Wow - I don't think I realized that! Seems like a halberd should definitely be a reach weapon ...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:
Well, I assumed balance was the reason. My question really is ... is reach *really* that much of an advantage that it needs balanced this much?

Pretty much yes.

Think about it; a reach weapon under most circumstances means a free attack every round.

Bad Guy approaches Reach Guy. Reach Guy gets an AoO at full BAB. Bad Guy gets single attack at full BAB.

Reach Guy uses Acrobatics to back off 10ft. Reach Guy gets single attack at full BAB.

Rinse, repeat. Yes, the Acrobatics check might fail but it's pretty safe to assume that if someone's working on a reach build they'll optimize for it.

Iteratives just don't come into play because you don't allow them. This is a great tactic for creatures with many limbs as well. Got eight tentacles? I don't care... you only get one attack.

The "reach build" needs an Achilles Heel. Not being able to attack adjacent foes is that weakness. Now, I realize that with the tactic involving Acrobatics you're not going to be very tempted to attack adjacent squares but it can come up. If you get cornered or swarmed, you're in trouble. That's the model; you fight at a distance or not at all.

Don't underestimate the value of a free AoO. Yes, a feat might be appropriate to balance this weakness.


Marc Radle wrote:
hogarth wrote:


Bad example -- halberds don't have reach in 3.5/Pathfinder.
Wow - I don't think I realized that! Seems like a halberd should definitely be a reach weapon ...

Until you give it 10 ft reach, when it seems like it shouldn't be a reach weapon.

It should be in between. I'd let it be, in my own campaign. 10 feet inclusive.

The thing is, in a real life-and-death struggle with sharp metal objects, even an extra inch of reach could conceivably sway the fight. If you blow that up to 5 feet, you're going to have to expect some strange results.

Oh, and by the way, I totally know how to fight. I have a blackbelt in halberds. I have to register my halberdeering hands with the state as lethal weapons. Don't let my beer gut and fast typing speed fool you.


Funky Badger wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Neither case really "wins", it's about the preferences of the group. The RAW, however, is clear enough in prohibiting reach weapons from striking close.
Cyberpunk 2020 introduced a variant rule set in PacRim for weapon ranges (I think it went: Long Weapon, Short Weapon, Kick, Punch, Close, Grappled) which was pretty thorough. And utterly unworkable...

Don't forget the equally unworkable Attack Priority System from Dragon #71!


KainPen wrote:
Strannik wrote:

Reach weapons have a big advantage in terms of Attacks of Opportunity. Opponents are forced to 5ft step in or use acrobatics to avoid the AoO (and if they are wearing medium/heavy armor, acrobatics isn't an option). Considering characters w/ reach weapons are getting a free attack against many opponents during at least the first round of combat, I think the current situation is fine.

Of course, a -4 penalty to use an improvised weapon sounds fine to me, but in most cases the character can just 5ft step back and not take the penalty w/out using a feat to do it...

or they can just come in at the diagonal and avoid any attack from you. it not that big of an advantage via raw. it is only advantage is 3.5 exception is used.

That is true, but I've never played at a table that didn't use the 3.5 exception. That may just be my experience though, I have no idea what is more common in general.


TheSideKick wrote:

just remember that catch off guard does not allow you to make AOO's, the only ways i know of to get AOO's on an adjacent target is armor spikes and IUS.

when ever i play a reach character i use armor spikes in conjunction to make sure i threaten the target adjacent.

except the new FAQ seems to make that technique not work because "your off-hand is unavailable to make any attacks." Last I checked no one is really sure if this is true that armor spike AoOs are not allowed while weilding a reach weapon or this is just infelicitous wording in the FAQ, we need an update to the FAQ.


The Dragoon archetype can alternate between using the piercing end of his lance and smashing people with the other side like a club for adjacent enemies, but it's only with a lance. If you're doing a home game, you might be able to talk to your GM about it to use other weapons as well.


cnetarian wrote:
TheSideKick wrote:

just remember that catch off guard does not allow you to make AOO's, the only ways i know of to get AOO's on an adjacent target is armor spikes and IUS.

when ever i play a reach character i use armor spikes in conjunction to make sure i threaten the target adjacent.

except the new FAQ seems to make that technique not work because "your off-hand is unavailable to make any attacks." Last I checked no one is really sure if this is true that armor spike AoOs are not allowed while weilding a reach weapon or this is just infelicitous wording in the FAQ, we need an update to the FAQ.

The FAQ only bars you from making an "off-hand attack" with armor spikes having wielded a two-handed weapon to attack; the phrase "off-hand attack" only applies when you're TWF, which wouldn't be the case with an AoO.

In other words, unless you are dealing with TWF, the FAQ has no relevance.

Or at least that is the way that I understand it, based on the conversations that led to the FAQ.

Andoran

To the OP :

The problem is enchanting your weapon. If you can use a single enchanted weapon at both close and reach with no substantial penalty, it is a huge advantage. Just check how the spiked chain was popular before the PFRPG nerf (and virtually nonexistent after).

As a GM, I might allow it by considering that all reach weapons are double weapons with one reach extremity and a close extremity. Not sure how balanced it would be though.

Xaratherus wrote:
cnetarian wrote:
TheSideKick wrote:

just remember that catch off guard does not allow you to make AOO's, the only ways i know of to get AOO's on an adjacent target is armor spikes and IUS.

when ever i play a reach character i use armor spikes in conjunction to make sure i threaten the target adjacent.

except the new FAQ seems to make that technique not work because "your off-hand is unavailable to make any attacks." Last I checked no one is really sure if this is true that armor spike AoOs are not allowed while weilding a reach weapon or this is just infelicitous wording in the FAQ, we need an update to the FAQ.

The FAQ only bars you from making an "off-hand attack" with armor spikes having wielded a two-handed weapon to attack; the phrase "off-hand attack" only applies when you're TWF, which wouldn't be the case with an AoO.

In other words, unless you are dealing with TWF, the FAQ has no relevance.

Or at least that is the way that I understand it, based on the conversations that led to the FAQ.

I had the same interpretation as cnetarian (ie, no more armor spikes for AoO) but I cannot recall where it came from, just that it was due to the FAQ.


The black raven wrote:
The problem is enchanting your weapon. If you can use a single enchanted weapon at both close and reach with no substantial penalty, it is a huge advantage. Just check how the spiked chain was popular before the PFRPG nerf (and virtually nonexistent after).

Spiked chain is nonexistent now because it was pretty much nerfed into oblivion (uselessness).


Well, a -4 to hit isn't exactly sneezing powder.

I mean, at higher levels, it's not horrible - but then again, at higher levels you will likely have the gold to have three enchanted reach weapons, so is it really that big of an advantage at that point?

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