Lay on Hands with a light shield?


Rules Questions


3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Can a paladin do LoH with during combat when holding a sword and light shield?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Sammy123 wrote:
Can a paladin do LoH with during combat when holding a sword and light shield?

I believe so. A light shield allows spellcasters to use their hand to cast, and lets you carry an object; the only thing it actually prevents is wielding a weapon. Since lay on hands only requires you to touch someone, you could indeed use this ability while wearing a light shield.


Lay on Hands is a Supernatural ability, and not a Spell-like one. The text furthermore indicates that only one hand is required.

However, since there is not need to "cast" a Supernatural ability, a DM can simply hand-wave it and judge that only physical contact is necessary. For all intents and purposes, the ability could be named "Lay on Pinky-Finger". That's a DM interpretation. Different faiths might, in fact, perform this action in different manners.

The Weapon might be an issue, but as James says, the Shield is definitely not a problem.

Looks like your Paladin is fine to invoke this power.

HTH,

Rez


Rezdave wrote:

For all intents and purposes, the ability could be named "Lay on Pinky-Finger".

I loled.

If it required actual flesh to touch you would never wear full plate, It has gauntlets and a helmet. Pretty much the only part of the actual person you could see would be the eyes if you're lucky. Abilities or spells requiring touch are assumed it can pass through your clothing and armor, thus you could use either hand, it doesn't have to be a palm so you could keep your weapon and shield out and use the back of your hand or a foot. It may be taboo depending on the characters but its still effective. Hitting someone with a weapon to discharge a touch spell is different however.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The implied flavor of the power is that the paladin puts his hand upon the wounded target and presto, healing! You see this type of thing in most video games or movies or whatever where you see someone using their touch to heal. Flesh-to-flesh contact isn't required, but that's mostly because Pathfinder doesn't bog itself down with rules for piecemeal armor or hit locations. And while technically you COULD "lay on pinky finger," that'd look pretty goofy in game. I'd rank that stunt in the same category as people who insist on riding their horses into dungeons. Just because you CAN do it doesn't mean you SHOULD. :P

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Speaking of "casting" with your hands full. What's up with that picture of Seltyiel using a ray attack with a sword in one hand and a rod in the other (In CoT pt. 2 vs. the sewage water elemental). Does it imply a hand can be used for casting even if it is carrying something so long as ...uh...you're ...hrmm...well he's certainly wielding the sword. I dunno. Did he use the rod hand for the somatic components?


I am gonna guess artistic license...besides it's very costly and time consuming to say "could you redo this but with one hand empty?' and maybe the rod is doing the casting as well

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Scipion del Ferro wrote:
Speaking of "casting" with your hands full. What's up with that picture of Seltyiel using a ray attack with a sword in one hand and a rod in the other (In CoT pt. 2 vs. the sewage water elemental). Does it imply a hand can be used for casting even if it is carrying something so long as ...uh...you're ...hrmm...well he's certainly wielding the sword. I dunno. Did he use the rod hand for the somatic components?

All that implies is that, as in the case of the majority of the artists we use, the artist doesn't know the rules of the game. We try to make sure that when we order art that the characters depicted "play by the rules," but some times that doesn't work out. And when art comes in and we don't have time to request a change or if the art just looks too cool to change, we simply run with it.

And in the case of that particular picture, we had bigger problems. It came in late, and the art we'd intended to order called for a "swarm of devils rising up like a wave to attack an iconic." The original encounter was with a LOT of little devils. Somewhere along the line between us ordering the art and the art being created, it got turned into a "wave rising up to attack an iconic." With only a few days left before we shipped the volume to the printer (FAR too little time to have an entirely new image created), we had to change the encounter. The end result is still cool, but at the time, making sure that Seltyiel had a hand free to cast a spell was really the furthest thing from my mind.

And the image DOES look really cool.

But if you're looking for rules clarification... art is pretty much NEVER the place to go.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Quote:
But if you're looking for rules clarification... art is pretty much NEVER the place to go.

*cough* Chain Lightning *cough*

For sure, was just curious about this particular instance. It is a super cool picture and I'm glad it wasn't changed.

[off-topic] I wonder what spell he's using. Looks a bit like scorching ray, which would make since vs. a flood of demons but no sense against the water elemental. After your story though it all makes sense.

[on topic] What do you guys think of a Paladin using Lay On Hand on themselves with their hands full? It's a swift action, perhaps just a surge of healing power through their body. I could see the difference as they are sort of always touching themselves.


But you see there is a reason. All of the characters in all of the situations all obey all of the rules. Sometimes though the Artist doesn't draw what happened, or is happening, the artist draws the vivid memory of a third character. Sometimes that memory is not perfectly precise.

It's not against the rules to have an imprecise but vivid memory. Sometimes, those are the best ones.

:)


James Jacobs wrote:
Sammy123 wrote:
Can a paladin do LoH with during combat when holding a sword and light shield?
I believe so. A light shield allows spellcasters to use their hand to cast, and lets you carry an object; the only thing it actually prevents is wielding a weapon. Since lay on hands only requires you to touch someone, you could indeed use this ability while wearing a light shield.

Thanks for the clarifications everyone. Is there a page in the players guide that says you can cast with a shield hand, and hold an object? It seems like it's common knowledge, but I'd like to be able to pull out the PHB if it comes up as an issue.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

It's in the entry for light, shield.

Shield, Light; Wooden or Steel:

You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A light shield's weight lets you carry other items in that hand*, although you cannot use weapons with it.

*extra bolding for your convenience.


I myself would say he must have a free hand to use it. "By the power of my god I heal you!" seems more a open hand thing then "By the power of my gods fingerprint, or eh..umm..tip if his pinky..I think, I heal you!"

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scipion del Ferro wrote:
[on topic] What do you guys think of a Paladin using Lay On Hand on themselves with their hands full? It's a swift action, perhaps just a surge of healing power through their body. I could see the difference as they are sort of always touching themselves.

I hope that's not the bad sort of 'touching themselves' that leads to loss of divine favour?

Seriously, though, I just assume they tense up, grunt ("Heuuurgh!"), and squeeze out some healing, while doing whatever else they're doing.


Ruike wrote:
Rezdave wrote:

For all intents and purposes, the ability could be named "Lay on Pinky-Finger".

I loled.

If it required actual flesh to touch you would never wear full plate ...

THEN

James Jacobs wrote:
The implied flavor of the power is that the paladin puts his hand upon the wounded target and presto, healing!

The "implied flavor" is that the Paladin stops whatever he is doing, removes his gauntlets and lays his hands directly upon the wound of his target (removing bloody, battered armor as needed), who then feels the "warm glow of divine energy" and is healed.

Of course, none of us do this in game nor would we want to be bothered with it. Hence my hyperbole. Everyone got that, right ???? Hyperbole ...

Never can tell around here :-)

R.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In that case, how can a Paladin wielding his mace and shield in full battle use a "swift action" to heal himself? By a vocal utterance only perhaps?

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Does the paladin lose the shield bonus to AC when using Lay on Hands though? I guess we might've been running this wrong, but we've been saying that the AC bonus doesn't apply when you use Lay on Hands (as that hand was used for LoHing, not shielding).

From what I'm seeing here though, it looks like the AC bonus would still apply...

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Only wording about losing a shields AC bonus is in buckler in regards to weapons. Under light shield it says you can carry and hold items that aren't weapons.


Lay on hands
Definitly needs to be explored/up-graded

Initially more restrictions on the game mechanics, and then allow the "positive energy" to be usable at will within a 5 feet affecting 1 + characters.......

Lay on hands gets either alot of use w/o clerics, or very little use when a cleric is around.


James Jacobs wrote:
I believe so. A light shield allows spellcasters to use their hand to cast, and lets you carry an object; the only thing it actually prevents is wielding a weapon. Since lay on hands only requires you to touch someone, you could indeed use this ability while wearing a light shield.

Not to argue (I'm perfectly happy doing this in PF) but in 3.5 the FAQ said it a little differently. . .

3.5 FAQ:
My DM says that my cleric has to drop his morningstar to cast spells. Is he right?
Yes and no. To cast a spell with a somatic (S) component,
you must gesture freely with at least one hand. (PH 140) A
cleric (or any caster, for that matter) who holds a weapon in
one hand and wears a heavy shield on the other arm doesn’t
have a hand free to cast a spell with a somatic component
(which includes most spells in the game). To cast such a spell,
the character must either drop or sheathe his weapon.
Another simple option is for the cleric to carry a buckler or
light shield instead of a heavy shield. The buckler leaves one
hand free for spellcasting, and you don’t even lose the
buckler’s shield bonus to AC when casting with that hand. The
light shield doesn’t give you a free hand for spellcasting, but
since you can hold an item in the same hand that holds the light
shield, you could switch your weapon to that hand to free up a
hand for spellcasting. (You can’t use the weapon while it’s held
in the same hand as your shield, of course.) The rules don’t
state what type of action is required to switch hands on a
weapon, but it seems reasonable to assume that it’s the
equivalent of drawing a weapon (a move action that doesn’t
provoke attacks of opportunity).

I know we're talking about a free hand to use lay on hands versus a free hand to cast spells with a somatic component, but are they different?

Yes, the 3.5 FAQ doesn't apply to PF -- but the problem is that a lot of people have been conditioned to follow the 3.5 FAQ. Things will change when the PF FAQ comes out, but still, you can't easily escape the past q:


Lay on lips,

meets the contact requirement, but you do not need a free hand...


meabolex wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I believe so. A light shield allows spellcasters to use their hand to cast, and lets you carry an object; the only thing it actually prevents is wielding a weapon. Since lay on hands only requires you to touch someone, you could indeed use this ability while wearing a light shield.

Not to argue (I'm perfectly happy doing this in PF) but in 3.5 the FAQ said it a little differently. . .

** spoiler omitted **

I know we're talking about a free hand to use lay on hands versus a free hand to cast spells with a somatic component, but are they different?

Yes, the 3.5 FAQ doesn't apply to PF -- but the problem is that a lot of people have been conditioned to follow the 3.5 FAQ. Things will change when...

Interesting, so LoH is (probably) allowed with a shield hand, but when a Paladin goes to cast a spell, he'd have to drop and pickup his weapon, or do the - pass it to the shield hand, cast, pass it back - routine.

Scarab Sages

meabolex wrote:

Not to argue (I'm perfectly happy doing this in PF) but in 3.5 the FAQ said it a little differently. . .

** spoiler omitted **

I know we're talking about a free hand to use lay on hands versus a free hand to cast spells with a somatic component, but are they different?

I think the sensible answer matches that of the 3.5 FAQ; you need to hand off, or drop what's in one hand, to cast, or use a touch ability.

So it's a good thing that virtually every PC I've ever had, or run for, has their weapon tied to their wrist.

Under the strict RAW, the procedure could go something like:

Drop/Hand Off (free action)
Cast (standard action)
Retrieve weapon (move action, which can be combined with movement if BAB +1 or higher)

Which is great, if you want to cast in your starting square, and move from there, but does put a cramp on your style, if you're intending to move into position, drop weapon, THEN cast, as you'll be left with an open hand, your weapon hung from your wrist or in your shield hand, unable to make AoO, and no ability to full attack on the next round.

Most groups gloss over the issue, or house-rule around it, but it is food for thought when considering such issues as the CoDzilla problem, or other instances of caster vs non-caster balance.
Enforcing the drawback that many casters are voluntarily disarming themselves, several times per encounter, should result in many more injured casters, hanging in their rightful place, off the front line.


Snorter wrote:

So it's a good thing that virtually every PC I've ever had, or run for, has their weapon tied to their wrist.

Under the strict RAW, the procedure could go something like:

Drop/Hand Off (free action)
Cast (standard action)
Retrieve weapon (move action, which can be combined with movement if BAB +1 or higher)

How is that "strict RAW"? There's no rules for weapons tied to wrists. . .

Assuming that a weapon dangling from your wrist is the same as a sheathed weapon is quite a stretch. I'd like to see that using an especially unwieldy weapon like a glaive (which has a 7 ft. pole). No doubt this might be a plausible house rule, but it's not RAW.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 10 people marked this as a favorite.

Switching a held object from one hand to the other doesn't require an action, so the end result is the same whether or not you use the light shield hand to lay on hands or your weapon hand after switching your weapon to the off hand, and then back to your weapon hand.

The fact that allowing you to use your light shield hand to do so without so many fiddly steps is why I'd say it's fine to let it work that way.

Also... lay on hands helps keep the story going by helping to avoid disruptive player death and lets everyone keep playing the game. So it's good to not stack more qualifiers and requirements on it.


Sammy123 wrote:
Interesting, so LoH is (probably) allowed with a shield hand, but when a Paladin goes to cast a spell, he'd have to drop and pickup his weapon, or do the - pass it to the shield hand, cast, pass it back - routine.

Actually there's no definition of what constitutes a free hand.

PRD wrote:
You must have at least one hand free to provide a somatic component.
PRD wrote:
Despite the name of this ability, a paladin only needs one free hand to use this ability.

"One hand free" versus "one free hand"? (:


James Jacobs wrote:

Switching a held object from one hand to the other doesn't require an action, so the end result is the same whether or not you use the light shield hand to lay on hands or your weapon hand after switching your weapon to the off hand, and then back to your weapon hand.

The fact that allowing you to use your light shield hand to do so without so many fiddly steps is why I'd say it's fine to let it work that way.

Also... lay on hands helps keep the story going by helping to avoid disruptive player death and lets everyone keep playing the game. So it's good to not stack more qualifiers and requirements on it.

Oh I'd prefer it to work that way (: The 3.5 FAQ is a source of much annoyance to me personally.


Some rule monger is going to come in and make a penalty for passing the weapon to the free hand.

And then someone will create a new feat for it....

It just works and is not anymore complicated that picking a can up out of the cup holder and taking a drink while driving down the road.

I am not endorsing drinking and driving by the way...


meabolex wrote:
I know we're talking about a free hand to use lay on hands versus a free hand to cast spells with a somatic component, but are they different?

AND

Freddy Honeycutt wrote:
Lay on lips ... meets the contact requirement, but you do not need a free hand...

I'm pretty sure I covered all of this above in post #3 on this thread.

I really like the healing kiss idea. Lots of "flavor".

R.


Rezdave wrote:
The text furthermore indicates that only one hand is required.

That's not what it says. It says:

PRD wrote:
a paladin only needs one free hand to use this ability

The key word being "free". Another key place involving a "hand free" is the description of somatic components -- you need to have a free hand to cast a spell. If there are different levels of "free", it's not notated in the book. So a reasonable person would assume free means free -- if you don't have a free hand, you can't use lay on hands or cast spells with a somatic component.

The issue with the light shield was only defined in the 3.5 FAQ. James debunked it -- which is fine, good riddance. It also lets TWF paladins function easier.


How about a fist bump?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Loopy wrote:
How about a fist bump?

Approved.


Snorter wrote:


So it's a good thing that virtually every PC I've ever had, or run for, has their weapon tied to their wrist.

That's what Fayne does with his longbow :-)

Just so you know.

Scarab Sages

Snorter wrote:

So it's a good thing that virtually every PC I've ever had, or run for, has their weapon tied to their wrist.

Matt Devney wrote:

That's what Fayne does with his longbow :-)

Just so you know.

I'll note that, for next time he wants to do a quick change from ranged to melee.

:)


Snorter wrote:
Snorter wrote:

So it's a good thing that virtually every PC I've ever had, or run for, has their weapon tied to their wrist.

Matt Devney wrote:

That's what Fayne does with his longbow :-)

Just so you know.

I'll note that, for next time he wants to do a quick change from ranged to melee.

:)

I don't think that matters so much - I tie it to my other wrist. Shouldn't get in the way when I draw my sword.

And then I grab it in that hand when I move.

Or, I just swap it from one hand to the other before drawing my sword, a la James Jacobs reply :-)

I think I've got all the angles covered there. Unless you're out to get me. Which I am sure you are...

Scarab Sages

Matt Devney wrote:
I think I've got all the angles covered there. Unless you're out to get me. Which I am sure you are...

Don't blame me; blame Bulmahn!

(he whistles nonchalantly, to divert attention from several of his own minor tweaks...)

Bloody whinging players;

Spoiler:
having to run round in a poisoned fog, with your eyes shut, while a highly-poisonous enemy sends out continuous mind-control waves and eye-beam blasts, to find an NPC ally, who's all out of spells and being mobbed by a pack of DR5 demons; because the PC cleric who was watching her is on his hands and knees, honking up his guts, crawling further into the enemy lair; the paladin has lost half his hp to a pack of venom-wielding drow fighters, dealing infernal bleeding (and doesn't realise it ends if he heals himself-LOL); and the fighter is grinding her way through zombies, since she can't pinpoint the chanting drow caster, over the frenzied, hysterical bleating of a terrified goat;

should all be routine by now, surely?


Snorter wrote:

Spoiler:
having to run round in a poisoned fog, with your eyes shut, while a highly-poisonous enemy sends out continuous mind-control waves and eye-beam blasts, to find an NPC ally, who's all out of spells and being mobbed by a pack of DR5 demons; because the PC cleric who was watching her is on his hands and knees, honking up his guts, crawling further into the enemy lair; the paladin has lost half his hp to a pack of venom-wielding drow fighters, dealing infernal bleeding (and doesn't realise it ends if he heals himself-LOL); and the fighter is grinding her way through zombies, since she can't pinpoint the chanting drow caster, over the frenzied, hysterical bleating of a terrified goat

should all be routine by now, surely?

Unfortunately, yes.

Although you missed out the laughably-useless faerie fire controversy and the fact I nearly died from metal poisoning too.


James Jacobs wrote:

Switching a held object from one hand to the other doesn't require an action, so the end result is the same whether or not you use the light shield hand to lay on hands or your weapon hand after switching your weapon to the off hand, and then back to your weapon hand.

The fact that allowing you to use your light shield hand to do so without so many fiddly steps is why I'd say it's fine to let it work that way.

Basically, swapping items from one hand to the other is a move action, a "manipulate item" action to be exact (the same action is used to do many other things, with some minor adjustments)...

Stating that it's not an action is a complete absurdity, as simply dropping that item still is an action (a free action, but still an action), so it would be harder to drop an item than to pass it to the other hand...

You could say "I just throw it and catch it with the other hand", but that's a juggling maneuver that requires a Sleight of Hand check done as a standard action (or a move action, if you take a -20 penalty to the check)...

So allowing someone to circumvent his shield hand limits is not so fine...

By the way, a hand holding a light shield is not free... You can hold items with it, but that's the only exception... You cannot perform any other task that requires a free hand...


Sammy123 wrote:
Can a paladin do LoH with during combat when holding a sword and light shield?

What about a heavy shield? Does my paladin have to drop his weapon to use lay on hands and run away in the same round? (sheathing the weapon is a move action, I believe)

The Exchange

it says must have a free hand so that would mean buckler only i guess....


Andrew R wrote:
it says must have a free hand so that would mean buckler only i guess....

Only if you ignore what the developer above said in the second post...

Heavy shields use up the whole hand however so they are a no go.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
James Jacobs wrote:

Switching a held object from one hand to the other doesn't require an action, so the end result is the same whether or not you use the light shield hand to lay on hands or your weapon hand after switching your weapon to the off hand, and then back to your weapon hand.

The fact that allowing you to use your light shield hand to do so without so many fiddly steps is why I'd say it's fine to let it work that way.

Also... lay on hands helps keep the story going by helping to avoid disruptive player death and lets everyone keep playing the game. So it's good to not stack more qualifiers and requirements on it.

Okay, this seems really, really odd to me. The whole reason that my bard uses a buckler is so that he can cast spells with somatic components. But to do so, he loses his buckler AC for the round.

If what you say is true, then shouldn't my Bard (as well as ALL spellcasters with shields) simply take a free action to pass their weapon to their shield hand, take a standard action to cast a somatic spell, and then take another free action to rearm themselves in the appropriate hand?

That really doesn't seem to be in the spirit of the system to me...


What about LoH's as a swift action on one's self when wielding a 2-handed weapon?

I'd also be interested in hearing responses to Merkatz's point (see last post). The thread seemed to be trending in the direction of allowing Paladin's to use LoH's as a swift action most of the time but I think points like Merkatz's need to be considered.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

When a paladin lays on hands himself he does not need to touch himself since his hand is apart of him. Therfore he is always touching himself.
He does not need to direct the healing energies so it just passes through his body, at least that is how I see it being a swift action (that should not require a free hand).

As for healing others you just have to have a free hand.

Should feat be created that allows a paladin can channel his lay on hands through any item he is holding? This would then allow paladins to no longer need a free hand to lay on hands.

Or could it be assume that a paladin with Channel Smite has learned how to energy through his weapon and can also his weapon to lay on hands. Though they cannot lay on hands and attack at the same time.

Or a different feat that allows the paladin to lay on hands through any weapon held as a move action, or can spend a lay on hands to be used when attacking with the weapon just like Channel Smite. This would allow the paladin to do a touch attack with his weapon to do lay on hands damage, or attempt an attack to do both weapon and lay on hands damage (if he misses the lay on hands is used up and wasted).


Darn a new thread on an old topic.......


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Oops, didn't mean to start of new thread if there was a more appropriate place. I actually (I think) just resurrected" an old thread from May. But if this question has been clearly hashed out elsewhere I'd love to read it!

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