|1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.|
So this came up in the recent combat maneuver paizo blog, but was never resolved. It has also been raised in this forum several times without reaching a definitive answer. I'm hoping that the winds of change might blow through and give some clarity. Also, it seems that SKR is prowling about right now. Care to shed some love and light? Of course, all thoughts are welcome.
The question is how weapon finesse interacts with combat maneuvers. At first blush, it seems that there is no interaction. If you want you dex bonus on a combat maneuver, then Agile Maneuvers is the way to go. However, here are some quotes:
When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus. Add any bonuses you currently have on attack rolls due to spells, feats, and other effects. These bonuses must be applicable to the weapon or attack used to perform the maneuver.
With a light weapon, elven curve blade, rapier, whip, or spiked chain made for a creature of your size category, you may use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on attack rolls.
Disarm, sunder, and trip are normally the only kinds of combat maneuvers in which you’re actually using a weapon (natural weapons and unarmed strikes are considered weapons for this purpose) to perform the maneuver, and therefore the weapon’s bonuses (enhancement bonuses, feats such as Weapon Focus, fighter weapon training, and so on) apply to the roll.
So, here are the points which seem to be made here:
(1) Combat Maneuver rolls are attack rolls,
(2) Weapon Finesse lets you use dex when making an attack roll with a finesse weapon, and
(3) Disarm, Sunder, and Trip attempts can, at your discretion, use your weapon in hand and all appropriate bonuses.
The question is, how does Weapon Finesse interact with disarms, trips, and sunders. Here are a few possible interpretations:
(1) You can simply use Weapon Finesse, as it is an attack roll with a weapon, when making a disarm, trip, or sunder attempt with a finesse weapon,
(2) You can use Weapon Finesse, as it is providing a bonus to the attack roll from a feat, which is applicable here, or
(3) You CANNOT use Weapon Finesse, as it is not providing a literal bonus (in the sense that weapon focus provides a flat +1 bonus, but Weapon Finesse is a swap, not a bonus) and so is not applicable here.
What are people's thoughts here?
To my mind, this does not completely negate the need for agile maneuvers, which would apply to all combat maneuvers, not just these three.
Lastly, at the risk of making this even more complicated, is the following:
There is a special exception to the above rules. If you’re using a weapon with the trip special feature, and you’re attempting a drag or reposition combat maneuver (Advanced Player’s Guide 321–322), you may apply the weapon’s bonuses to the roll because trip weapons are also suitable for dragging and repositioning (this also means we don’t have to add “drag” and “reposition” weapon properties to existing weapons).
So if Weapon Finesse is applicable when using a finesse weapon, and reposition and drag can be delivered with a trip weapon, then would someone repositioning with a whip be able to apply weapon finesse to a drag or reposition attempt?