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Does ammunition fired from a magical projectile weapon gain the benefits of the weapons magical enhancement or abilities?


Rules Questions

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Scarab Sages

thaX wrote:

Lore, I quoted the whole section above. It never says "ranged weapons" to quantify the bonus, just "Weapons." It only mentions Ranged Weapons in relation to Alignment and Magic, not any of the special materials.

Now, a discussion locally here has players and VO's agree that weapon properties still get to the arrow, like Seeking, Fire, and the like, but the DR properties are not included from the bow, that needs to be on the Arrow itself, with the exception of Alignment and Magic, as mentioned.

It says "magic weapons" in the first paragraph. Then it says ammunition is considered a "magic weapon." This means it gains any benefits befitting of a magic weapon in regard to overcoming DR.

(Fiddly bit; as a plain arrow launched from a magic bow is only a magic weapon for overcoming DR that means it is not a magic weapon for dispel magic or any other usage of a magic weapon. Though it will still affect incorporeal due to a fix-it FAQ. Though, this is only true if you count this text as limiting.)

Special Abilities like Fiery tacked onto a weapon always pass to the ammunition so long as they are marked as doing so in the chart. This is explicit and should require no discussion.
"3 Projectile weapons with this ability bestow this power upon their ammunition."

As a holy(enter alignment special ability) bow already grants holy to its arrows explicitly, the text about granting alignment to ammunition only has an effect when an alignment is granted to a bow but not from a weapon special ability. Such as "class x counts their wielded weapon as good."


I think if there were no such thing as DR/magic then the text would have been very clear that the enchantment would carry forward toward piercing DR. But one can also read the oft quoted text that it explicitly grants DR/magic and DR/alignment, a bonus to hit/damage, any properties listed in the chart, and not overcome DR due to the enchantment bonus of the bow. I can see how it could have gone either way, and the FAQ ruling now makes using custom ammo a must for a ranged attacker,

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Power, lore, like Seeking, Fire, Shocking, and the like. Not the bonus, as the FAQ clarifies, it only give a bonus to hit/damage and not have the bonus stack with the arrow, or infer the Special Material properties that the chart represents.

Firing from a +1 bow with a +3 arrow only gives the character a +3 enhancement, with the arrow providing Cold Iron/Silver as the chart for the Arrow.

Firing from a +3 bow with a +1 arrow only gives the character a +3 enhancement, with the bow not providing any Special Material components for the arrow.

Now, with the exception of Adimantine, most special material ammo is affordable. It is the Gunslinger that expenses can get out of control.


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thaX wrote:

Power, lore, like Seeking, Fire, Shocking, and the like. Not the bonus, as the FAQ clarifies, it only give a bonus to hit/damage and not have the bonus stack with the arrow, or infer the Special Material properties that the chart represents.

Firing from a +1 bow with a +3 arrow only gives the character a +3 enhancement, with the arrow providing Cold Iron/Silver as the chart for the Arrow.

Firing from a +3 bow with a +1 arrow only gives the character a +3 enhancement, with the bow not providing any Special Material components for the arrow.

Now, with the exception of Adimantine, most special material ammo is affordable. It is the Gunslinger that expenses can get out of control.

Now more than ever.

Gunslinger's now practically require Clustered Shot. Unlike archers which can get durable arrows, there is no cheap easy solution for bullets and DR. Durable arrows are cheap enough that an archer can stock a few batches of cold iron and silver in your efficient quiver. Adamantine is kind of expensive, but also not so common until you get to higher levels anyways so not much of problem.

But guns can't get durable bullets. And further, most builds use special ammo already to decrease reload time. Having to prepare special ammunition bullets for DR....that actually might really help to mitigate the damage output gun users can have. Until they also pick up clustered shots.


Claxon wrote:
Durable arrows are cheap enough that an archer can stock a few batches of cold iron and silver in your efficient quiver.

I'd never heard of Durable arrows before - they're not in any of the usual books. What's the difficulty with having lots of regular cold iron and silver arrows? They're pretty cheap, and if they're too heavy you can stick the spare ones in saddlebags, handy haversacks, etc.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lorewalker wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
Damage Reduction wrote:
"Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction."
Now, what does this say? How does one find out the benefits of a magic weapon in regards to overcoming DR? By examining its enhancement bonus and referencing the table.
I understand why that might be confusing. But it does not say "Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon is treated as having an enhancement bonus equal to that of the weapon." It only says to treat the ammunition as magic. What does a magic weapon do? It bypasses DR/magic.
No, that part doesn't. But then again... there is a rule that says that specifically.

Where is that? The Core Rulebook says the enhancement bonus is applied to the attack and damage rolls on page 467, but I don't see where it says ammunition itself is treated as having an enhancement bonus.

Quote:
That the arrow has the enhancement bonus of the bow. And the only qualifier for a magic weapon to pierce additional DR is having a +3 or higher bonus. Since the arrow does explicitly gain the enhancement bonus then it also would pierce DR.

Again, I'm not sure where you are getting that the arrow has the enhancement bonus of the bow. Are you imagining a rule you read?


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The rule in question is:

Quote:
The enhancement bonus from a ranged weapon does not stack with the enhancement bonus from ammunition. Only the higher of the two enhancement bonuses applies.

If we were applying a +3 enhancement bonus to the attack (from the ranged weapon), that means the enhancement bonus of the attack is +3, which implies overcoming multiple types of DR. Mark Seifter agreed earlier in this thread that this is what the rule appeared to say, but also suggested that he'd prefer it to work the other way.

Liberty's Edge

Matt,

As of May 12th, a normal arrow fired from a +3 bow only get DR Magic.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:

The rule in question is:

Quote:
The enhancement bonus from a ranged weapon does not stack with the enhancement bonus from ammunition. Only the higher of the two enhancement bonuses applies.
If we were applying a +3 enhancement bonus to the attack (from the ranged weapon), that means the enhancement bonus of the attack is +3, which implies overcoming multiple types of DR. Mark Seifter agreed earlier in this thread that this is what the rule appeared to say, but also suggested that he'd prefer it to work the other way.

That interpretation seems to be contradicted when the section goes on to say:

Quote:

Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an

enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon.

If the enhancement bonus automatically applied to overcoming DR, this section would be redundant. Since it exists, the enhancement bonus from a projectile weapon must only apply to the attack/damage rolls and DR is handled separately.

The Exchange

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Quickly looked through the posts. I'm honestly shocked that Pathfinder FAQ went with the design choice they did on a thread over 2 years old.

A +3 bow makes an arrow fired be a +3 arrow and we have rules which say +3 weapons overcome certain DR types. Why complicate things with exceptions?


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Ragoz wrote:

Quickly looked through the posts. I'm honestly shocked that Pathfinder FAQ went with the design choice they did on a thread over 2 years old.

A +3 bow makes an arrow fired be a +3 arrow and we have rules which say +3 weapons overcome certain DR types. Why complicate things with exceptions?

cause bows are used by fighters more than wizards and since martials can't have nice things...

I agree that I can't really see why they'd rule this way this late in the game.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Durable arrows are cheap enough that an archer can stock a few batches of cold iron and silver in your efficient quiver.
I'd never heard of Durable arrows before - they're not in any of the usual books. What's the difficulty with having lots of regular cold iron and silver arrows? They're pretty cheap, and if they're too heavy you can stick the spare ones in saddlebags, handy haversacks, etc.

I believe Durable arrows came from Elves of Golarion, along with several different types of specialty arrows (like pheromone arrows).

And the main reasons for having them is :
1) Not running out of arrows
2) Not paying for arrows twice


KingOfAnything wrote:

That interpretation seems to be contradicted when the section goes on to say:

Quote:
Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon.
If the enhancement bonus automatically applied to overcoming DR, this section would be redundant. Since it exists, the enhancement bonus from a projectile weapon must only apply to the attack/damage rolls and DR is handled separately.

After reading through some of the recent discussion, I didn't find the reasoning in your last argument convincing. I went at looked at the D&D 3.5 on-line rules reference and I noted a couple of things:

1. The verbiage that you quoted is taken verbatim from 3.5. So Paizo didn't write these rules.

2. D&D 3.5 does not appear to have any rules that allow enhancement to overcome DR of special materials. I found this clause in Damage Reduction section

3.5 d20 SRD wrote:
Some monsters are vulnerable to certain materials, such as alchemical silver, adamantine, or cold iron. Attacks from weapons that are not made of the correct material have their damage reduced, even if the weapon has an enhancement bonus.

Emphasis mine.

Unless there is another 3.5 rulebook which addresses this, 3.5 did not have the "Weapon Enhancement Bonus Equivalent" table that we find in Pathfinder. Wizards of the Coast wrote the rule in the context of there being no way to overcome special materials DR with enhancements. The only thing magic weapons can overcome in 3.5 by virtue of enhancements is DR/magic.

Paizo created the rules which allow enhancements to overcome special material DR, but did not change the language which tells us that ammunition gets the enhancement bonus from the weapon. This is why the section is confounding in light of the FAQ. When WotC wrote the rules, ammunition overcame all the DR that magic weapons could overcome. There was no situation where a +3 weapon would overcome cold iron but the arrow would not. So the rules language did not need to reflect that. Paizo failed to anticipate the confusion when they added the equivalency rules.

What's interesting is that we can surmise that Paizo created those equivalency rules to aid martial combat comparative to 3.5, but has now made it clear that they don't want the bonus to extend to ranged combat. Given the lethality of gunslingers and some archers, I can understand.


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Lorewalker, your issue with the rules on this ruling is that the rules for enhancement bonuses and DR state that weapons with enhancement bonuses of a certain amount penetrate certain types of DR. This is a true and factual aspect of the rules and no one is going to argue differently. However, when it comes to the rules, specific rules take priority over general rules.

Ammunition has a specific rule for how it is handled. That rule states that non-magical ammunition fired from a magical bow only benefits by being treated as magical, unless that bow is aligned. This is a specific rule that trumps the general rule for enhancement bonuses, even if other rules state that bows transfer the magical bonus to the ammo.

So yes, the ammo has an enhancement bonus, and, normally, this would mean it penetrates DR if it's high enough, but there is a specific rule that nullifies this general application. In this specific instance, the ammo does not benefit from enhancement bonuses, unless the ammo is magical in it's own right.

Unfortunately, this aspect of the rules as been overlooked by everyone, myself included, for many years now. If this had been discovered way back at the beginning of Pathfinder, we'd never have this much confusion and, dare I say it, outrage (in certain areas of the internet) over this ruling. But it wasn't.

It took 6 years for anyone to, truthfully, question the assumed method of playing the game, and then a further 2 years before a ruling was issued. Honestly, I don't think there has been a ruling that so drastically changes how the game is supposed to be played. The closest that comes to mind is when Paizo made that Flurry of Blows ruling that said Monks don't benefit from wielding weapons 2-handed while in a flurry. But even that doesn't compare because it only affected Monks, while this ruling affects every character who uses ranged weapons, which, as we know, is a lot.

Scarab Sages

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Tels wrote:

Lorewalker, your issue with the rules on this ruling is that the rules for enhancement bonuses and DR state that weapons with enhancement bonuses of a certain amount penetrate certain types of DR. This is a true and factual aspect of the rules and no one is going to argue differently. However, when it comes to the rules, specific rules take priority over general rules.

Ammunition has a specific rule for how it is handled. That rule states that non-magical ammunition fired from a magical bow only benefits by being treated as magical, unless that bow is aligned. This is a specific rule that trumps the general rule for enhancement bonuses, even if other rules state that bows transfer the magical bonus to the ammo.

So yes, the ammo has an enhancement bonus, and, normally, this would mean it penetrates DR if it's high enough, but there is a specific rule that nullifies this general application. In this specific instance, the ammo does not benefit from enhancement bonuses, unless the ammo is magical in it's own right.

Unfortunately, this aspect of the rules as been overlooked by everyone, myself included, for many years now. If this had been discovered way back at the beginning of Pathfinder, we'd never have this much confusion and, dare I say it, outrage (in certain areas of the internet) over this ruling. But it wasn't.

It took 6 years for anyone to, truthfully, question the assumed method of playing the game, and then a further 2 years before a ruling was issued. Honestly, I don't think there has been a ruling that so drastically changes how the game is supposed to be played. The closest that comes to mind is when Paizo made that Flurry of Blows ruling that said Monks don't benefit from wielding weapons 2-handed while in a flurry. But even that doesn't compare because it only affected Monks, while this ruling affects every character who uses ranged weapons, which, as we know, is a lot.

My only issue with the ruling is that it is a bad decision. I say it is thus because it will only hurt the fun of the game. Also, if you go back in time to when only the core rule book existed... archers could not play high level without paying significant amounts of gold and taking turns where they do not contribute to battle. I'm feeling for any ranged characters in the Core Campaign.

My only point here was that the text of the game does not agree with the FAQ. If the game had always worked that way... then the text was an extremely poor way to deliver that message. I refer back to Greater Magic Weapon and its very clear exclusion of DR piercing. Which was in the same book. There was no limiting language and there was context that pointed to the opposite of the ruling. This is what I was trying to show.

As I said previously, I'm not trying to invalidate the FAQ. You can't do that. I am trying to show where the FAQ erratas the rules instead of clarifying.

Also, if everyone played the game with arrows piercing DR from enhancement bonuses... including the Devs of the game... then maybe that's further evidence of my point.


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Tels wrote:
Ammunition has a specific rule for how it is handled. That rule states that non-magical ammunition fired from a magical bow only benefits by being treated as magical, unless that bow is aligned.

The rule didn't use the word 'only', meaning that you could apply both that rule and the general rule without them coming into conflict. Which is why pretty much everyone played it 'wrong'.


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Lorewalker wrote:
As I said previously, I'm not trying to invalidate the FAQ. You can't do that. I am trying to show where the FAQ erratas the rules instead of clarifying.

Unfortunately, Paizo does this a lot. They've never really used the FAQ as a FAQ but as a hybrid FAQ/pending errata. Issuing an errata because something was unclear is one thing, but they've also used it for outright rule changes as well.

Matthew Downie wrote:
The rule didn't use the word 'only', meaning that you could apply both that rule and the general rule without them coming into conflict. Which is why pretty much everyone played it 'wrong'.

It didn't need to use only, because it states what happens when non-magical ammunition is fired from a magical weapon. It only says it's treated as magic, or it gains the same alignment, it does not state that it's treated as having the same enhancement modifier.

Remember, Pathfinder is typically a permissive system. It tells you what you can do, not what you can't do. There is no rule that says to treat non-magical ammo as having the full enhancement bonus when fired from a magical weapon, therefore, you don't treat it that way.

Also, honest question as my memory is a little fuzzy on this, but is there any actual rule that states ammunition gains the weapons enhancement bonus? I recall people in this thread stating rules for such exist, but I don't recall if was ever actually posted. If such rules don't exist, then it just goes further to show how badly we've all misread the rules for the last ~8 years.


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The relevant general rule is: "The enhancement bonus from a ranged weapon does not stack with the enhancement bonus from ammunition. Only the higher of the two enhancement bonuses applies." If the higher enhancement bonus from the bow applies, most people would think that included all the usual benefits of an enhancement bonus.

Meanwhile, the 'specific' rule looked like a redundant copy-paste from 3.5.

Scarab Sages

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Tels wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
As I said previously, I'm not trying to invalidate the FAQ. You can't do that. I am trying to show where the FAQ erratas the rules instead of clarifying.

Unfortunately, Paizo does this a lot. They've never really used the FAQ as a FAQ but as a hybrid FAQ/pending errata. Issuing an errata because something was unclear is one thing, but they've also used it for outright rule changes as well.

Matthew Downie wrote:
The rule didn't use the word 'only', meaning that you could apply both that rule and the general rule without them coming into conflict. Which is why pretty much everyone played it 'wrong'.

It didn't need to use only, because it states what happens when non-magical ammunition is fired from a magical weapon. It only says it's treated as magic, or it gains the same alignment, it does not state that it's treated as having the same enhancement modifier.

Remember, Pathfinder is typically a permissive system. It tells you what you can do, not what you can't do. There is no rule that says to treat non-magical ammo as having the full enhancement bonus when fired from a magical weapon, therefore, you don't treat it that way.

Also, honest question as my memory is a little fuzzy on this, but is there any actual rule that states ammunition gains the weapons enhancement bonus? I recall people in this thread stating rules for such exist, but I don't recall if was ever actually posted. If such rules don't exist, then it just goes further to show how badly we've all misread the rules for the last ~8 years.

It is important to note that the rule does not say the arrow becomes magic. The rule says that it gets treated as a magic weapon. And thus gets all the rules associated with magic weapons in regard to DR. Just like a one-handed weapon being treated like a light weapon lets it be used as an off-hand weapon without additional penalty... because that's a benefit of being a light weapon.

A benefit of a magical weapon is that you adjust what DR it can pierce based on its enhancement bonus. To remove this benefit the text would have to add limiting text much in the way Greater Magic Weapon does.


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Lorewalker wrote:
Tels wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
As I said previously, I'm not trying to invalidate the FAQ. You can't do that. I am trying to show where the FAQ erratas the rules instead of clarifying.

Unfortunately, Paizo does this a lot. They've never really used the FAQ as a FAQ but as a hybrid FAQ/pending errata. Issuing an errata because something was unclear is one thing, but they've also used it for outright rule changes as well.

Matthew Downie wrote:
The rule didn't use the word 'only', meaning that you could apply both that rule and the general rule without them coming into conflict. Which is why pretty much everyone played it 'wrong'.

It didn't need to use only, because it states what happens when non-magical ammunition is fired from a magical weapon. It only says it's treated as magic, or it gains the same alignment, it does not state that it's treated as having the same enhancement modifier.

Remember, Pathfinder is typically a permissive system. It tells you what you can do, not what you can't do. There is no rule that says to treat non-magical ammo as having the full enhancement bonus when fired from a magical weapon, therefore, you don't treat it that way.

Also, honest question as my memory is a little fuzzy on this, but is there any actual rule that states ammunition gains the weapons enhancement bonus? I recall people in this thread stating rules for such exist, but I don't recall if was ever actually posted. If such rules don't exist, then it just goes further to show how badly we've all misread the rules for the last ~8 years.

It is important to note that the rule does not say the arrow becomes magic. The rule says that it gets treated as a magic weapon. And thus gets all the rules associated with magic weapons in regard to DR. Just like a one-handed weapon being treated like a light weapon lets it be used as an off-hand weapon without additional penalty... because that's a benefit of being a light weapon.

A benefit of a magical weapon is that you adjust...

Except it does not say that the the ammo is treated as having an enhancement bonus equal to the weapon that fired it. It simply says it's treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction (and affecting incorporeal creatures), and treated as aligned if the weapon is aligned. Full stop. That's it. No more then that. If you think it gains anything else, it's because you are reading more into it than exists. That fault is yours, and not that of the rules.

You need to read what the rules actually say, not what you think it says. This is why the problem has existed for so long, everyone has always read what they wanted to read in regards to ammo.


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The problem is, Tels, is that the people ruled the way it was before the FAQ based on what the rules actually say.

That's what he's been getting at this whole time.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

The problem is, Tels, is that the people ruled the way it was before the FAQ based on what the rules actually say.

That's what he's been getting at this whole time.

This is how they work.

When a rule has two people reading the same rule and getting two different RAW interpretations, when Paizo publishes a FAQ we now know which way is right.

In this case, many of us had been reading the "use higher" to suggest the DR properties extended beyond DR/Magic while ignoring the subscript 3 purpose.

We had the hints to come to their interpretation.


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It doesn't say it's treated as magic for dr full stop. It said it's treated as a magic weapon, when just before it said that a magic weapon can bypass different dr if it had a +3 or more.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
It doesn't say it's treated as magic for dr full stop. It said it's treated as a magic weapon, when just before it said that a magic weapon can bypass different dr if it had a +3 or more.

Quote the text that tells me ammunition gains the full enhancement bonus of the the weapon. Remember, being treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction is a specific rules term with specific interactions with the rules. In this case, being treated as magic, allows it to overcome DR/magic. There are other examples in the core rules that use the same language, but don't allow overcoming other damage reduction, see Monks and the Arcane Strike feat.

Scarab Sages

Tels wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
It doesn't say it's treated as magic for dr full stop. It said it's treated as a magic weapon, when just before it said that a magic weapon can bypass different dr if it had a +3 or more.
Quote the text that tells me ammunition gains the full enhancement bonus of the the weapon. Remember, being treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction is a specific rules term with specific interactions with the rules. In this case, being treated as magic, allows it to overcome DR/magic. There are other examples in the core rules that use the same language, but don't allow overcoming other damage reduction, see Monks and the Arcane Strike feat.

I repeat again since you keep making the same incorrect claim. The text does not say, "treated as magic." It says it is treated as a magic weapon with no limiting text. These are different things.

If it had just said treated as magic then you would be correct. Then again, people would have played it that way. But that isn't what the text says.

And, for the umpteenth time, the quote on enhancement bonus and ammunition...

Magic Weapons wrote:
" The enhancement bonus from a ranged weapon does not stack with the enhancement bonus from ammunition. Only the higher of the two enhancement bonuses applies. Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon."

Nothing there limits how magic weapons and enhancement bonuses function. It only states that it counts as a magic weapon... but not that it does not allow the enhancement bonus to do what enhancement bonuses do.

They needed to include something like the "it only counts as magic" or "can only bypass DR/magic" or "This bonus does not allow a weapon to bypass damage reduction aside from magic." Permissive text is not limiting. Being granted a climb speed doesn't prevent you from gaining a fly speed or even a faster climb speed.

To further explain... the monk ki pool class feature also says it counts as a magic weapon. Now, say that a 10th level monk has a +5 amulet of mighty fists, which grants a +5 enhancement bonus. So, their fists count as magic, cold iron, silver and lawful... but do they count as good?
Yes, they can bypass all alignments because that is how enhancement bonuses work. Even though they also gain lawful from permissive text.

If the game grants something that gives a benefit then it needs to have limiting text to say that the item doesn't gain the full benefit. The original text does not.


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Again, you have yet to quote text which states ammunition gains the enhancement bonus of the weapon firing it.

What is a magic weapon capable of? Bypassing DR/magic, and dealing 50% damage against incorporeal creatures. That is all a magic weapon is capable of unless it has an enhancement bonus of +3 or higher. No where does the rules state the ammo gains the enhancement bonus, only that it is treated as magic (treated as magic and treated as a magic weapon are functionally identical without further text to expand upon it).

The rules gives ammo the permission to be treated as a magic weapon.

The rules do not give ammo permission to gain the enhancement bonus of the weapon.

Therefore, the rules do not give ammo an enhancement bonus and, as such, do not penetrate DR.

Until you can find text that explicitly states that ammo gains an enhancement bonus, then there can be no further argument from you.

Also, the text on how enhancement bonuses from ammo and weapons don't stack has no bearing, as non-magical ammo doesn't have an enhancement bonus.

To further reiterate quote the text that explicitly gives ammo the enhancement bonus of the weapon, or stop arguing about it.


If I'm not mistaken the FAQ establishes that Tels' interpretation is the correct one.


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Tels wrote:

Also, the text on how enhancement bonuses from ammo and weapons don't stack has no bearing, as non-magical ammo doesn't have an enhancement bonus.

To further reiterate quote the text that explicitly gives ammo the enhancement bonus of the weapon, or stop arguing about it.

That's the text that people have been reading to implicitly change the enhancement bonus on the ammunition, so that the weapon's enhancement bonus applies against the target at range, in the same way as certain other abilities are granted to the ammunition.

Sure, that's not RAW, but it's a common enough RAI that the argument isn't going to go away just because you've posted in bold.

Gisher - That's exactly what the FAQ does; it's just surprised a lot of people who read the rules differently

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Gisher wrote:
If I'm not mistaken the FAQ establishes that Tels' interpretation is the correct one.

+1

So either join Tels interpretation.

Use yours in a home game.

Or I guess continue to debate it hoping to point out to Paizo they should use your interpretation instead of the one used in the FAQ?

The first two will happen. The last one is highly unlikely.

Scarab Sages

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Tels wrote:

Again, you have yet to quote text which states ammunition gains the enhancement bonus of the weapon firing it.

What is a magic weapon capable of? Bypassing DR/magic, and dealing 50% damage against incorporeal creatures. That is all a magic weapon is capable of unless it has an enhancement bonus of +3 or higher. No where does the rules state the ammo gains the enhancement bonus, only that it is treated as magic (treated as magic and treated as a magic weapon are functionally identical without further text to expand upon it).

The rules gives ammo the permission to be treated as a magic weapon.

The rules do not give ammo permission to gain the enhancement bonus of the weapon.

Therefore, the rules do not give ammo an enhancement bonus and, as such, do not penetrate DR.

Until you can find text that explicitly states that ammo gains an enhancement bonus, then there can be no further argument from you.

Also, the text on how enhancement bonuses from ammo and weapons don't stack has no bearing, as non-magical ammo doesn't have an enhancement bonus.

To further reiterate quote the text that explicitly gives ammo the enhancement bonus of the weapon, or stop arguing about it.

Okay. How about this text from the FAQ?

"the enhancement bonus granted to ammunition from the ranged weapon"

Also, if the enhancement bonus does not apply to the arrow then it can't apply to the attack. But we know that they have the chance to stack... meaning that it is applying to the arrow.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Loreealker, I'm not following you. Can you explain whether or not you believe the FAQ says it confers the ability to cut through DR cold iron and silver from a +3 bow?

Or are you saying it should work?

Scarab Sages

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James Risner wrote:

"Loreealker, I'm not following you. Can you explain whether or not you believe the FAQ says it confers the ability to cut through DR cold iron and silver from a +3 bow?

Or are you saying it should work?"

The FAQ removes the ability for the enhancement bonus from the launcher which is applied to the ammo to affect additional DR beyond +1.

I have stated it before, but I shall repeat myself, the only thing I have to say about the FAQ is that it was a bad call and I'll leave it.

I've only been talking about the original text and whether or not the FAQ is new information or if the original text was misread. And my conclusion is that it is new information due to the rules not limiting how enhancement bonuses work in the original text. Which they could have done one of several ways that already exist in the core rulebook.


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Rules as written it should have worked as it was previously understood (in defiance of this new FAQ). This new FAQ demonstrates an unfortunate and fundamental misunderstanding of the rules as written by the PDT. It marks a dark day for Pathfinder Archers everywhere.
I will be ignoring this FAQ entirely in games I GM (I am not a PFS GM though).

When you fire an arrow (any arrow) from a +5 Bow, you are making an attack with a +5 Weapon. You are not making an attack with the arrow because it is not a weapon, it is ammunition. The arrow is simply fuel for the Attack. It effectively inherits the Enhancement Bonus of the bow (if any), but not special abilities the bow might possess (which is why the superscript 3 clause exists on the special ability tables). Per the rules for making an attack with a weapon that has an Enhancement Bonus, it should be able to overcome certain types of Damage Reduction:

PRD wrote:

Magic weapons have enhancement bonuses ranging from +1 to +5. They apply these bonuses to both attack and damage rolls when used in combat.

...
The enhancement bonus from a ranged weapon does not stack with the enhancement bonus from ammunition. Only the higher of the two enhancement bonuses applies.
...
Damage reduction may be overcome by special materials, magic weapons (any weapon with a +1 or higher enhancement bonus, not counting the enhancement from masterwork quality), certain types of weapons (such as slashing or bludgeoning), and weapons imbued with an alignment.

None of these quoted statements exempt launchers (nor do the rules that follow them), the second statement explicitly supports the concept that ammunition inherits the Enhancement Bonus of the launcher that fires it.

This statement:

PRD wrote:
Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon.

Doesn't prevent attacks made by a +5 Bow from overcoming damage reduction (which has already been granted to all magical weapons without exception). What it does is allow Magical Arrows (which are not Weapons but Ammunition) fired from a non-magical bow to still overcome Damage Reduction (which it otherwise would not because the weapon itself is not magical and that is what the general rules quoted above look at).


Unfortunately the PDT is highly unlikely to overturn their poor decision, so we might as well just get used to the idea that Archers are a little less cool than they used to be. It is as they way; "Martials Can't Have Nice Things." (aka, "Casters Rule and Martials Drool")

Scarab Sages

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Cantriped wrote:
Doesn't prevent attacks made by a +5 Bow from overcoming damage reduction (which has already been granted to all magical weapons without exception). What it does is allow Magical Arrows (which are not Weapons but Ammunition) fired from a non-magical bow to still overcome Damage Reduction (which it otherwise would not because the weapon itself is not magical and that is what the general rules quoted above look at.

Ammunition is also a weapon.

I site the existence of shuriken, which are ammunition launched by hand(hmmm... rules twisting... but I wonder about shuriken and an amulet of the mighty fist since the hand is the launcher... could be fun for a home game).


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PRD wrote:
Although shuriken are thrown weapons, they are treated as ammunition for the purposes of drawing them and crafting masterwork or otherwise special versions of them, and of what happens to them after they are thrown.

Nay, Ammunition is not a Weapon (except when it is used as an Improvised Weapon), and Shuriken are not Ammunition. Shuriken are Thrown Weapons which are treated as ammunition for certain specific purposes.

Scarab Sages

Cantriped wrote:
PRD wrote:
Although shuriken are thrown weapons, they are treated as ammunition for the purposes of drawing them and crafting masterwork or otherwise special versions of them, and of what happens to them after they are thrown.
Nay, Ammunition is not a Weapon (except when it is used as an Improvised Weapon), and Shuriken are not Ammunition. Shuriken are Thrown Weapons which are treated as ammunition for certain specific purposes.

That special treatment includes making them magic("crafting masterwork or otherwise special versions of them)" and what happens when they are thrown.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The FAQ does not remove anything. It is clarifying what was already there, whether you agree with it or not. This is why the question was asked in the first place.

Scarab Sages

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thaX wrote:
The FAQ does not remove anything. It is clarifying what was already there, whether you agree with it or not. This is why the question was asked in the first place.

Except that it does. Because you can't clarify something to mean something that it doesn't. That is a change.

The FAQ introduces a limitation that was not presented in the text. By stating that the enhancement bonus does not function as an enhancement bonus normally does. Something the original text does not do. Despite the developers knowing how to write text to limit such things during the creation of the core rule book. Since they did so in other rules in that book.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Not present by your reading.

I wish I had the benefit of being in this thread preFAQ. I'd like to have the pre/post rules understanding. It will give me a better perspective.

As it stands now, all I can say is just because you read RAW to grant the additional abilities to cut through DR. That doesn't make it read that way for others. There is no one true RAW.

This is an example. They don't feel the rule was changers they are not changing anything. Yet if you don't read the RAW like the FAQ then change your RAW interpretations.

Scarab Sages

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James Risner wrote:

Not present by your reading.

I wish I had the benefit of being in this thread preFAQ. I'd like to have the pre/post rules understanding. It will give me a better perspective.

As it stands now, all I can say is just because you read RAW to grant the additional abilities to cut through DR. That doesn't make it read that way for others. There is no one true RAW.

This is an example. They don't feel the rule was changers they are not changing anything. Yet if you don't read the RAW like the FAQ then change your RAW interpretations.

If the RAW is supposed to mean Y but it isn't written to mean Y... then it was poorly written. When something means something other than what it is written as... then it needs to be an errata. Since it is a change in what is written.

Or, very likely in this case, they decided on making a change to how things function but have chosen to no longer errata the core rulebook. Since an errata means a re-print.

James, I think you are forgetting Shield Master. Which very clearly negates all penalties... not only the ones they meant to negate. The FAQ clears this up... but doesn't errata the text. Does that mean RAW changes? Nope. It does not. Those who read the RAW before were still correct(but ignored RAI if they used it that way). Since the text does not change. But we now have additional information to go off of. In the case of Shield Master, it only negates two-weapon fighting penalties.

With launchers, we have a similar situation. It's not an errata but it is a change to the rule and how quite nearly everyone played the game due to how the rules were written. This includes the developers of the game. Or, can you tell me of a time any of the creative team behind the CRB stopped someone from arching and piercing DR using enhancement bonuses?


James Risner wrote:
There is no one true RAW.

You say that a lot, but it isn't even remotely true.

Every word in the English language has a predefined set of meanings (even including slang), and as a result any given sentence has an exceptionally limited number of possible meanings.
When reading the Rules As Written, there is only ever one correct interpretation of given rule. All other interpretations are false to varying degrees. This is a necessary concept to accept in order for any ruleset to function consistently.
So if two or more readers come to opposing interpretations of the meaning of a sentence (or game rule in this case), not only is at least one of them guaranteed to be wrong, but possibly all of them are wrong, and them being wrong is a direct result of their less than perfect grasp of the language's written form. Authors are not exempt from this principle either. It is entirely possible for a game designer to write a rule that doesn't mean what they think it does (as a result of their imperfect grasp of the language they wrote it in).

If whoever wrote that section of the rules believes that the New FAQ is simply reiterating what the rules actually say: They are demonstrably wrong. The RAW does not say what they believe them to be saying, or intended for them to say. Which, by the way, is still grounds for the publication of an errata; as clarification is one of the legitimate purposes of errata.

Scarab Sages

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Cantriped wrote:
James Risner wrote:
There is no one true RAW.

You say that a lot, but it isn't even remotely true.

Every word in the English language has a predefined set of meanings (even including slang), and as a result any given sentence has an exceptionally limited number of possible meanings.
When reading the Rules As Written, there is only ever one correct interpretation of given rule. All other interpretations are false to varying degrees. This is a necessary concept to accept in order for any ruleset to function consistently.
So if two or more readers come to opposing interpretations of the meaning of a sentence (or game rule in this case), not only is at least one of them guaranteed to be wrong, but possibly all of them are wrong, and them being wrong is a direct result of their less than perfect grasp of the language's written form. Authors are not exempt from this principle either. It is entirely possible for a game designer to write a rule that doesn't mean what they think it does (as a result of their imperfect grasp of the language they wrote it in).

If whoever wrote that section of the rules believes that the New FAQ is simply reiterating what the rules actually say: They are demonstrably wrong. The RAW does not say what they believe them to be saying, or intended for them to say. Which, by the way, is still grounds for the publication of an errata; as clarification is one of the legitimate purposes of errata.

Slight modification, the english language is messy enough that you can have more than one possible meaning in any given combination of words. But the number of possible meanings is still finite. Those possibilities are constrained by the words used, the context and the syntax.

For instance, "Hiding under the floor boards, I have finally found you."
Who is hiding under the floor boards? Either the person speaking or the person they found. The sentence isn't clear enough to say which. But the number of possible meanings is finite.
A special thanks goes to the Grammar Nazi and College Humor for the example.

This means that when reading RAW there can be multiple valid interpretations. But not every interpretation is valid. Of course, there is only one intention for the rule. But, unless we have the person who wrote it tell us what it was supposed to mean, we will have to guess what that intention is.


Lorewalker wrote:


Slight modification, the english language is messy enough that you can have more than one possible meaning in any given combination of words. But the number of possible meanings is still finite. Those possibilities are constrained by the words used, the context and the syntax.

For instance, "Hiding under the floor boards, I have finally found you."
Who is hiding under the floor boards? Either the person speaking or the person they found. The sentence isn't clear enough to say which. But the number of possible meanings is finite.

In that sentence, it sounds like, both are hiding under the floorboards. Guess he just turned around and saw the other.

Scarab Sages

Starbuck_II wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:


Slight modification, the english language is messy enough that you can have more than one possible meaning in any given combination of words. But the number of possible meanings is still finite. Those possibilities are constrained by the words used, the context and the syntax.

For instance, "Hiding under the floor boards, I have finally found you."
Who is hiding under the floor boards? Either the person speaking or the person they found. The sentence isn't clear enough to say which. But the number of possible meanings is finite.

In that sentence, it sounds like, both are hiding under the floorboards. Guess he just turned around and saw the other.

That is also possible!


The quoted statement in unclear because "Hiding under the floor boards," is a sentence fragment. It lacks a definitive subject. 'Hiding under' is the verb phrase, and 'the floor boards' is the complement. A complete version of that sentence would be "I am hiding under the floor boards, where-"; or given the context of the fragment "You were hiding under the floor boards, where-"
Conversely, the second segment of the sentence could have been a proper sentence by itself: 'I' is the subject, 'have finally found' is the verb phrase, and 'you' is the complement.

Alternatively, if you consider "Hiding under the floor boards," to be acting as an adverb, than "I" is the subject, and therefore the only correct interpretation of that sentence would be that 'you were found while I was hiding under the floor boards' (where you were in this case is irrelevant).

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

When you have Paizo believing there is no one true RAW, you get FAQ that don't change the text but tells us the proper interpretation of the RAW.

This is one of many examples. Some here still disagree and want errata. That's unlikely to happen, as Paizo apparently believes the text is clear as is and the FAQ clears up any confusion.

If everyone agreed to this, we'd all know who is hiding under the floor. Because we get to ask our GM who is the "they" in that sentence.


Therein lies the critical flaw in Paizo's "conversational" writing style. In an actual conversation (such as one with your GM), we can ask questions and expect to receive coherent answers to them.
In our faux conversation with Paizo, if we ask questions all we can do is pray Paizo deigns to answer them.

The FAW certainly clarifies how we are expected to interpret the rules now... Its just a shame they couldn't do their jobs correctly the first six times they printed the Core Rulebook and write a ruleset that actually says what they seem to think it does. You know, assuming that they haven't just changed their collective minds, and are now attempting to pass their new opinion off as though it was what they meant to say all along.


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*skims skims skims*

Huh, nothing new here except people saying, "I'm totally right, and the PDT is wrong despite having no evidence to back me up."

Guess I'll just move along from this thread and stop paying attention to it.

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