Well I found my own answers. I looked for a bit, but obviously I didn't dig enough before I posted. Here are the two posts that answered all my questions if you're interested:
Looks like I could do 3 touch attacks once the spell is charged:
So I'm running a Dire WereRat Arcane Trickster. I have Two Weapon Fighting as a feat and a bite attack in hybrid form.
If I cast Chill Touch, how do those attacks work? The way I see it, they should be:
Touch -2 / Touch -2 / Bite -5
Is the bite at -5 or -7 with the TWF penalty added?
Can that bite attack also be used as a touch attack instead of against full AC? Obviously there would be no bite damage added to it, but that's not what I'm going for anyway. The plan is to get in flanking and do 3 touch attacks with sneak damage added on all if they hit.
Am I doing this right?
I know this thread's been around for a while, but it seems like as good a place as any to bring up an old idea I had in the area of maneuver weapons.
Use the improvised weapons rules for non-maneuver weapons. A -4 to trip with a great sword compared to one designed for the task just makes sense. It's similar to using a chair leg as an improvised club.
And since trip weapons also work for maneuvers like drag & reposition, then they wouldn't be improvised for those uses either.
The same rules would go for disarm weapons. It would be my preference to lose the +2 bonus in this case, but I can live with it for less rule revamping.
This fits as well with the rule of attempting to disarm while unarmed, which is also at a -4, thus an "improvised disarm weapon".
Seems simple enough to me, and fits well within the existing rule structure.
I've not tested any of these, but as our group was looking at them I came up with these points for our discussion:
Wound Points & Viger Points
Armor as DR
I searched and didn't find anything on this, so I'll just ask... In reading the Featherstep spell, it lets you move normally through difficult terrain. What exactly does this let you ignore?
"For the duration of this spell, the subject ignores the adverse movement effects of difficult terrain, and can even take 5-foot steps in difficult terrain."
What defines difficult terrain exactly?
"Difficult Terrain: Difficult terrain, such as heavy undergrowth, broken ground, or steep stairs, hampers movement. Each square of difficult terrain counts as 2 squares of movement. Each diagonal move into a difficult terrain square counts as 3 squares. You can't run or charge across difficult terrain.
It seems to me that it's the "2 square of movement" rule that specifies that it's difficult terrain. Some terrain is more difficult than others and require 4 squares of movement to go through.
The really strange part of all this is that in the description of difficult terrain, it mentions "heavy undergrowth". So does that mean that even the more extreme types of terrain are also considered "difficult"?
If so, Featherstep should allow unrestricted passage through 6 feet of snow or heavy undergrowth. Is this right?
Now, to further this. Some terrain makes you preform skill checks or adds to the difficulty of them. Is this "difficult terrain"?
Does Featherstep let you ignore those checks as well?
The bold type leaves lots of different situations. I've often handled terrain and entangle via a circumstance modifier to the save or DC (same effect). This works pretty nicely for the tactically minded when the spell is cast on an area with areas of mixed plants.
That's an interesting twist. I like that. Similar to the text that I didn't bother including about thorns and brambles causing damage.
If the plants in the area are covered in thorns, those in the area take 1 point of damage each time they fail a save against the entangle or fail a check made to break free. Other effects, depending on the local plants, might be possible at GM discretion.
I guess the end of that leaves the effects open.
Wow. That's lethal to mounted riders.
It seemed to me that it was meant to be a surface area spell and meant to impede movement. By having both creatures save, it seemed to overpower the spell against mounted riders. It's hard enough for most mounts to make a save at lower levels, but to require both rider and mount to save doubled the chances of failure.
Other spells that target reflex might cause damage to both if they fail. I get that. But to rip the rider from their mount, entangled, and add difficult terrain to those who did save to a massive area seemed a bit much for a level one spell.
I do like the idea of the rider remaining entangled even as the mount moves, but that seems to complicate the rules even more.
[edit: rereading the entangled condition, it likely wouldn't rip the rider from the mount. It would more likely slow both rider and mount to half speed and the rider would gain the entangled condition if the rider failed and mount didn't. Maybe a ride check is in order to stay mounted as Stockvillain suggested.]
Was this a dumb question? Or a common question? Is the answer more obvious than it seems?
Entangle as written:
This spell causes tall grass, weeds, and other plants to wrap around creatures in the area of effect or those that enter the area. Creatures that fail their save gain the entangled condition. Creatures that make their save can move as normal, but those that remain in the area must save again at the end of your turn. Creatures that move into the area must save immediately. Those that fail must end their movement and gain the entangled condition. Entangled creatures can attempt to break free as a move action, making a Strength or Escape Artist check. The DC for this check is equal to the DC of the spell. The entire area of effect is considered difficult terrain while the effect lasts.
The bold type could be interpreted to include the area above the ground, and thus being able to entangle a mounted rider.
I ruled that just the mount saved, but am curious how you'd rule.
Who makes saves?
This came up in a game a while back and I've been wondering if I made the right call.
Mount only since it's the one interacting with the ground?
Or do mount and rider both save separate? If the later, does the rider get dismounted if he fails and the mount makes it? The mount moves through difficult terrain, but the rider is entangled?
This was a gnome Oracle of Nature on a wolf companion, but I don't think that should matter in this case.
It's clear that both save for area effects, but for ground surface effects it seems that only the mount that's making the movement should be affected. Right?
Don't forget to add Quick Reflexes rage power to that list.
Is Trailblazer OGL? I thought it was just a 3.5 fix.
Ahhh. That's more like what I was looking for. A wand isn't going to let me cast as a swift action though, which is the point of the spell.
Maybe a custom magic item that keeps the bonus continuous? It's going to be expensive though... 4 x 2 x 2000 x 4 = 64,000 (ouch)
Thanks for the tip! I'll think about this one for sure. Might have to start saving some money...
Kensai archetype at 9th or so gets a number of AoO equal to his Int mod.
Ahh, nice. That could be interesting. It'd be fun to max out AoOs sometime. Not for this character, but for another possibly. I'd like to keep as much druid casting as possible this time around, but it'd be nice to utilize his reach.
Maybe the second level of Monk isn't looking so bad though. +1 BAB, +1 all saves, Evasion and Combat Reflexes. I lose a caster level, animal companion level and wildshape level. Wildshape doesn't mean much after 12th level, but the others do. Tough choice.
Yeah, that's definitely an option too. I'm tossing it around. I don't get nearly as much for that second level as the first though. I do have Magical Knack, so that's good. I would lose an actual caster level though and another level of my animal companion. It's a toss-up.
I took the Monk level for a few reasons:
Seemed worth 1 level loss. Not sure if one more level would do that much good.
Here's my plan for feats:
Combat Expertise – 1
Craft Wondrous Item is important because we're playing a low magic campaign. Hard to buy, but we can make our own. And time is not an issue.
My plan also is to go Monk1/Druid19.
With a 15' reach when space allows, greater trip could be a great tactic. Disarm is less of a priority, but could be another control option.
I"m also hoping to talk my DM into letting me take the Two Weapon Fighting chain to advance my Flurry of Blows. Makes sense since it uses the same rules. It would have the same requirements though, which again makes Dex vital. He's more of a strength/wisdom build.
The 2WF chain would tax his feats even more than above, so that's why i was wondering if there are other options to getting more AoO.
In retrospect, I probably should have gone with a human, but liked the dwarf for roleplaying reasons.
Dex is only part of the problem. It's something I know I can work around. I'm extremely hurting on feats and was wondering if there is another way around using one here.
Not relying on dex would be a side benefit if there are other ways at this, but not spending a feat is my primary goal.
Just curious if others have looked into this. There might not be any other way, but that's not generally the case. There seem to be many ways around most problems.
Yeah, my real problem is that Wild Shaping into a Huge Animal knocks my dex down by 4, so I lose any benefit to Combat Reflexes. Eventually, as a huge air elemental, it might be worth it.
How can I gain more Attacks of Opportunity without taking Combat Reflexes?
I'm not talking about threatening more space, just simply, how can my character gain more AoOs?
Are there spells that help?
Class abilities? The only one I know of off the top of my head is the Rage power for Barbarians. I'm currently playing a Dwarf Monk1/Druid8, but am curious beyond just this character.
What if his dex is relatively low?
I did some searching, but didn't find anything, so I apologize if this a common question.
This is pretty much the same as trying to Disable device with a +2 dagger... You don't get the bonuses for that either...
I agree that there are some similarities here. I like the idea of treating a spear as an improvised trip weapon, similar to how that dagger is an improvised tool. Not exactly the same, but similar. It's the spear that deserves the negative though, not the enhancement. Just as a dagger would get a negative at disable device. Not apples-to-apples since a skill check isn't a type of attack like a maneuver is and obviously wouldn't get an enhancement bonus.
My party hasn't been including any enhancement bonuses for maneuvers. The way we looked at it, you don't get to add enhancement for your CMD (from armor) so why would you get it for CMB from a weapon? This fixes the problem of a flail or whip getting more enhancement bang for the buck. But we also haven't yet discussed how we're going to handle this FAQ clarification. Now that any weapon can be used in a trip, the only benefit (minus enhancement) to it being a trip weapon is that you can drop it. We'll probably keep the rules from a year ago and make trip weapons and unarmed the only way to trip. That seemed to work just fine for us.
I would like to test the idea of improvised trip weapons though (or other maneuvers). We are all old though and only get together once a month, so we'll probably just stick with the old rules.
I agree with the principles of what you are saying, and yes, the rules work to this effect when you're talking about a longsword. I get that you shouldn't have to drop your weapon to make the maneuver. Where it becomes a problem is when you obviously are using the non-trip weapon to make the trip. A longspear can now make a trip maneuver and often without an AoO due to reach. Suddenly it doesn't make sense any more. It also doesn't make sense why your +5 longspear wouldn't be any better than a non-enhanced one. Attacks and maneuvers should be linked.
The other problem is that it becomes the enhancements of weapons that make them better instead of the weapons themselves. Like your example of the flail, whip and longsword, it's obvious which are better at the job. [edit: but currently there is no difference except what the enhancement bonus applies to. This also skews enhancement bonuses. Suddenly enhancing a flail is enhancing 3x what the enhancement of a sword effects. Trip, disarm and attack/damage vs just att/dam.]
I know this is an evolving game system, and I appreciate all the work these guys have put into this game. It's by far the best thing going. This is one area though that I (and many) think could use some adjusting. The difficulty of course is that it's already on the market and it effects everything done since release. I get that. I don't know a simple fix. I guess what Sean updated works with the existing system, but it feels more like a bandaid than a fix.
You can use a weapon to make a manouver? Add modifiers. You can't? Add unarmed modifiers.
The updates to the FAQ makes it even more obvious that unarmed does not have the "Trip" descriptor so you would not add and enhancement modifiers to the maneuver.
Another flaw in my opinion. Weapon enhancements should apply across the board to any attack made with them. It's a superior weapon - even if that's an unarmed strike or natural attack. Just my opinion, but makes sense to me.
It's definitely a revamp of the rules. This is not just a quick fix, but it fixes quite a bit and does it within the confines of rules that already exist. It does a lot more than equalize disarm & trip, but that is one benefit. And this idea influences the entire maneuver weapon category, not just unarmed.
To me, the biggest change is equalizing these attacks and any other attack form. Bonuses could apply across the board, the negatives for improvised weapons balance out the weapons designed for the task. Just like a mace is designed to damage, but a table leg could also do the job (just at a negative). The same applies to tripping with a longsword vs tripping with a tool designed for the job.
If they're looking at revamping the rules. I think bringing the improvised rules into maneuver weapons would clear up a lot of issues and simplify rules across the board.
You'd have to make some edits too:
Disarm weapons shouldn't have an inherent +2, just the disarm characteristic. Disarming with other weapons would be done at a negative instead.
Trip would stay as is, maybe adding a few like unarmed strike. Plus, any weapon that can't be disarmed, also can't be dropped. Removing that from the benefit of a trip weapon. Common sense rules that it should be all weapons that you can let go of. [edit: or maybe this becomes part of Improved Trip? You gain the reflexes to drop your weapon?]
Sunder is pretty much any weapon, with a few exceptions - mostly common sense. Sap, whip, net, etc. Some are especially good, like the swordbreaker dagger though and have the sunder quality. This seems like something that could be handled in the description on an individual basis, while most carry the flat quality of being able to sunder.
Bullrush is the opposite, few weapons and mostly brute force. Might be worth adding as maneuver description. Improvising with a weapon to aid in a bullrush wouldn't help in most cases and could even hinder, your body does the work.
Grapple is a new weapon maneuver with just a few entries in UC. In fact many of the new properties would have to be considered across the board. Could you improvise with any weapon to help grapple? I could come up with scenarios to improvise with most - snagging armor for instance.
For Unarmed Strike, it could come without descriptors except trip (sunder is inherent in almost all). Improved Unarmed Strike could add the disarm quality to unarmed (since you're no longer "unarmed").
And you could loose the confusing rules about when enhancement and inherent bonuses apply. They work all the time, just like any other attack. The -4 for improvised weapons should cover that. The maneuver weapons will always be superior, from day one out of the scabbard. The idea that a dagger can help you trip as much as a flail (as base weapons) doesn't make much sense. If the dagger were improvised, the flail would be superior from level 1 to level 20.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Hello Sean, one thought I shared earlier would be to treat all non-maneuver weapons as being improvised to the task. So a longsword could trip, but it would be at a -4 due to not being perfect for the job.
This penalty also aligns with the 13th level power of the Polearm Expert.
This could also apply to disarm weapons if you chose to do it that way, in fact disarming unarmed already falls under a similar penalty.
For simplicity and realism, bonuses could apply across the board, but the –4 to an improvised maneuver weapon would make it not as effective as an actual weapon designed to assist in a maneuver.
Not being able to drop a non-trip weapon lacks realism to me. I'd think any held weapon or improvised tool could be dropped just as easily as one designed for the task. Any attack that couldn't be disarmed (unarmed attacks, natural attacks, gauntlets, etc.) also can't be dropped and could end in a trip. I could certainly go either way with this though, just thinking out loud.
Sean just updated the FAQs so they read more clearly:
Wow, thanks for the clarification Sean!
Much more clear now and obviously my interpretation was wrong. Looks like you CAN use any weapon to make a trip. But also, clearly unarmed strikes are never trip weapons.
I don't totally agree with the decision, but at least it's a decision.
And Sabbity, I'm honored that you liked my Improvised Trip Weapon idea. I think it worked well within the rules.
I agree with Heaven's Agent and others. Nothing that Sean says trumps the clearly laid out rules that James put down or the RAW. Sean was likely just going through a stack of FAQ updates and thought he was clear, when he truly was not. Nothing is definitive in what was stated.
It really kills me when people grab the original question and the word "No." as a definitive answer, without keeping in the context of what follows - that you can also trip unarmed. Let the man finish his thought if you're going to quote him.
Granting a simple weapon the ability to trip at a reach totally diminishes the intent of the rules. A sorcerer can now make a trip attempt with a longspear according to some rules lawyering?? That couldn't possibly be the intent of the designers. And he can't drop it if he fails because you're following the unarmed trip rules? Also makes no sense.
It's funny to me how adamant some people are about language that's so fuzzy. And how many times have I read "What Sean meant was..." Only Sean knows what he meant by what he wrote. We can make assumptions, but they're just that, assumptions. Not rules.
Assuming that Sean is trumping James just because he answered a question a different (and more vague) way is again just that, an assumption.
None of that entry warrants a rules change. Let's wait for solid rules clarification before we go jumping at assumptions.
According to the rest of this thread, you wouldn't get the bonus since unarmed and a bite aren't specifically defined as "trip weapons". I knew this already, but was looking for some way around this originally. I'll just solve it in our game.
Oh man. It was late when I wrote this.I got my maneuvers mixed up! Heh, got trip confused with unarmed DISARM (at –4). Oh well. Thanks for the help everyone.
Or you could treat it like an unarmed trip (also at -4 on the attempt) and not allow enhancement bonuses to stack with it. Improved Unarmed Strike fixes that negative, which brings me right back around to my original question. Could an unarmed strike (with IUS and Improved Trip) be considered a trip weapon? Mechanically, it makes sense. I think I'm going to push for it in our campaign.
This thought just occurred to me. You could treat it as an improvised trip weapon, thus the -4 on the check again. The thought of a feat for this seemed a little much, but letting someone improvise with a rope, a belt, a quarterstaff or a longsword to trip someone could have merit.
And yes. You could drop the item if you failed the check.
Doomed Hero wrote:
I hear you Doomed Hero, and i agree that situations arise that will allow rules to be stretched. I could absolutely see a sweatshirt being used in a trip in the right circumstance. But let me ask, was your buddy standing squared off, ready to defend himself? I'm sure he was running and you tossed it at his legs. Makes total sense. i could see how a stick could do the same thing with someone running past you with a readied action. But that doesn't mean I could pick up a stick and trip someone in combat. Same with a longsword. But grabbing an opponent's leg with a kama and pulling him off balance makes sense. I can also see how most weapons could aid in tripping with proper training, but I'd think they'd be sub-par to a trip weapon in effectiveness. So a homebrew feat (there's the training) that lets you trip with a certain weapon or group of weapons at a -4 would make sense to me. Similar mechanics to the Polearm Expert.
I'm all for winging it if the situation arises when I GM, but as far as the rules on trip weapons goes, it seems pretty clear.
[Edit] But for my original question, I shouldn't have asked that one here on the rules board. It's really something I should bring up with my group and see if they'll let me wing it.
As I looked into this further, Sean's "clarification" only muddied the waters even more. I've read that response many times over the past few weeks, but hadn't looked at the order of when it appeared. Seems like it was pretty set in stone before he brought up the +5 longsword thing.
The key statement for me is bolded below:
To me, that's clearly another way of saying that you can either use a trip weapon OR you can attempt it unarmed. It doesn't say that you can use that sword to trip, just that it doesn't aid you if you attempt that trip. This doesn't overrule anything in my opinion. I respect your opinions, but I'm sticking with James' ruling on the matter.
I've seen the recent polearm tripping thread as well, and that just further reinforces this logic. If a sword doesn't aid in tripping, then a longspear shouldn't either, but if you can trip with a longspear with reach then that weapon is certainly "helping you make the trip attempt". The fact that there is a power gained by that class that gives the polearm expert the ability to trip (at -4) with any spear or polearm only reinforces this as the rule. It's a decent power, but is beyond meaningless if one interprets the rules wrong.
Just my 2¢. I already know what my decision is on the matter and I'm sure my opinion isn't going to change the minds of those arguing against this.
If a weapon doesn't have the trip special quality listed on the chart of weapons on pages 142-143, you can't use it to trip foes. Whether or not we should have given this quality to things like spears or quarterstaffs or nets is a different topic-in order to trip a foe with a weapon, the weapon HAS to have the trip special quality.
How could it be any more clear than that?
And yes, I realize my original post was flawed. It's much more of a question for my DM than it is for questions about rules.
Where does it state this? And how is any weapon any different than a trip weapon then when it comes to adding to the CMB roll? (Not including enhancements - just base weapons). Trip weapons give no bonus to CMB. If that was the intent of the rules, trip weapons should have been designed like disarm weapons with a +2 inherent.
Clearly a weapon designed for tripping at it's base should be superior to a weapon that's not designed to trip. So my first level character with a dagger has just as much of a chance of tripping as the same guy with a sickle? And if he fails, he can drop the sickle, but couldn't do so with a dagger? None of that is rational.
I'd love to read the Trip FAQ's, can anyone point me to them?
Thanks Jiggy, very helpful. And I think my understanding is pretty much right-on with what you're saying, especially regarding tripping. My thought was that if you're capable of tripping unarmed, that it would be considered a trip weapon of sorts - especially with the addition of the Improved Trip feat. I guess it's not one by definition though, as you can't drop a body part and you can fail by 10 and be knocked prone. It's just something I'll have to discuss with my DM.
And, Holy Cow on that James Jacobs thread! I hadn't seen that before, I don't get on here much. I can't believe the nerve of some people. But that also clarified what I thought about trip weapons, you need an actual "trip weapon", not a long sword - which was where my thinking behind this thread came from.
I guess the above answer also applies to my Wildshaped question too. A stegosaurus can't drop it's tail that it's tripping with can it? So that would be a very similar circumstance to unarmed also being a trip weapon.
What about a creature with grab though? Would it's attack enhanced by GMF that initiates the grapple also give a bonus to that grapple check?
Thanks for all your help
Hmmm. That's not how I read that. To me it reads that, you don't NEED a trip weapon, you can use unarmed strikes as well. I interpret that as you can either use a weapon designed for tripping or an unarmed attack (which also sounds like it should be considered a trip weapon).
A flail doesn't give any more bonus to trip as a long sword according to what you say (until you start adding enhancement bonuses to it), that makes no sense to me. A flail is designed to trip and disarm. A trip weapon, unarmed or natural attack with the trip ability is needed to make a trip as I read it.
Disarm is different though. You can disarm with other weapons or unarmed, but the disarm feature adds a bonus of +2. Trip isn't specified that way.
I've read that post over and over, but it still is confusing to me. It just seems odd that you can't trip with a non trip weapon, except that you CAN trip unarmed. You can't trip with a longsword, can you?
You CAN disarm or sunder with a longsword though. Would the enhancement bonus apply to those maneuvers? (I've read quite a few posts that say it does apply). If so, what's the difference in that and being able to trip unarmed?
What about natural weapons such as a stegasaurus that has trip as part of it's attack? Or a dire tiger with the grab special ability, would GMF apply as an enhancement bonus to those maneuvers?
As I understand it, enhancement bonuses can be added to Combat Maneuvers as long as the weapon used has that maneuver as a feature. So a +2 flail would add that enhancement to both trip and disarm attempts. What about unarmed strikes? You can disarm and trip with your body, so would the enhancement bonus from an Amulet of Mighty Fists apply to those?
If no, what about with the addition of feats that improve those maneuvers? An weapon that adds +2 to trip or disarm would clearly be a trip or disarm weapon, right?
I'm playing a Monk/Druid with Improved Grapple, Improved Trip and Improved Disarm. Would Greater Magic Fang enhance those maneuvers as well as his unarmed strikes and natural weapons?
Thanks in advance for any clarification.
I came here hoping for some answers to this topic. Guess we're all looking for that clarity. To me, the fact that the Unarmed Fighter Archetype includes all monk weapons in their proficiencies is only evidence that the same is implied for a Monk.
The weapons in UC are pretty confusing as written overall anyway, and this just makes it worse. Some weapons speak of tripping, blocking or disarming in the writeup, but the specs on the weapons don't include those abilities.
One in particular, the Kyoketsu Shoge has a thrown range of 20', but can also be a reach weapon with 10' of rope. Do you throw rope and all when used as a ranged weapon? It says that the circlet is what's used for the reach weapon too, but there are no stats for that. Confusing.
Also, which of these weapons work with Weapon Finesse? Many of them are similar in structure to a spiked chain or include a light weapon on a chain/cord to attack at range as well. It would only make sense that weapon finesse should apply to them - at least a few. I don't see it mentioned in any.
I really like what's been done with animal companion advancement overall, but feel like the BAB increase is random at best. I'm sure there was a formula that arrived at the progression, but it seems like it would have made sense to keep them all within one or two step increments. Currently they vary from 1-3 (+6 and +9 being the problem areas to me).
Wouldn't it have made more sense to give it a pattern? Like 1,2,2,1,2,2...
So the advancement would be:
The end result is still +12 BAB, but the progression feels more flowing instead of choppy. Anyone else think this was weird?