"Sliding Axe Throw" from Dwarves of Golarion


Rules Questions


I've got 2 questions concerning the "Sliding Axe Throw" feat from Dwarves of Golarion:

1. Is the -2 penalty in addition to the normal -4 for throwing melee weapons?

2. When the attack hits, does it deal normal damage in addition to the free trip attempt?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

This is a good question.

After reading it, I would say that to answer your first question, no it would not incur a -4 to hit. You are not making a "standard attack" which would net you the extra -2 for the improvised weapon, you are using a feat which precludes the attack action and is used instead of it. The feat says you take a -2 to hit anyway though, which means you're still stuck at a -2 even if you have throw anything.

As for it dealing damage, the feat is tremendously unclear, but as a DM I would probably judge yes. I don't see the extra damage done by the throwing weapon to be game-breaking.


Zen79 wrote:

I've got 2 questions concerning the "Sliding Axe Throw" feat from Dwarves of Golarion:

1. Is the -2 penalty in addition to the normal -4 for throwing melee weapons?

2. When the attack hits, does it deal normal damage in addition to the free trip attempt?

Dwarves of Golarion p. 21 wrote:


Benefit: You can choose to take a –2 penalty on a ranged
attack roll with an axe, bouncing it or sliding it along the
ground. If the target is flat-footed, running, or charging,
this attack ignores any bonuses to the target’s AC from
its shield. If the attack hits, you may immediately make
a trip attempt against the target as a free action. If you
fail to trip your opponent, your opponent does not get an
attempt to trip you in return.

Sliding axe can be done with any axe. It is a ranged attack roll.

If you do it with a throwing axe (a thrown weapon) you take -2 to this maneuver. If you do it with a battleaxe (or other melee only weapon) the -2 stacks with the -4 for throwing melee weapons, for a total -6 on the attack roll.

If you hit you do normal damage and in addition get to make a trip maneuver (without the -6 penalty).

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
The Grandfather wrote:
If you hit you do normal damage and in addition get to make a trip maneuver (without the -6 penalty).

I think you have a valid point with the attack portion of your response (although I'm still not 100% certain I'm in agreement), but I'm curious where exactly you see that it deals normal damage. The feat isn't consistent and at best I'd say that the feat is unclear. In once case it calls it a "ranged attack roll" but later it says "If the attack hits, you may immediately make a trip attempt against the target". It does not state, "If the attack hits, you deal normal damage and may immediately make a trip..."


MisterSlanky wrote:
The Grandfather wrote:
If you hit you do normal damage and in addition get to make a trip maneuver (without the -6 penalty).
I think you have a valid point with the attack portion of your response (although I'm still not 100% certain I'm in agreement), but I'm curious where exactly you see that it deals normal damage. The feat isn't consistent and at best I'd say that the feat is unclear. In once case it calls it a "ranged attack roll" but later it says "If the attack hits, you may immediately make a trip attempt against the target". It does not state, "If the attack hits, you deal normal damage and may immediately make a trip..."

While agree that the feat could be more clear the feat description says "You may aim your thrown axe to avoid an enemy’s shield and even trip your opponent.". This makes me think the trip effect is secundary to the actual "ranged attack that bypasses shields".

You can argue the damage issue both ways, but to me the feat description and the overall balance of the feat makes me think it is intended to do damage, first and foremost.


To Mister Slanky: You're assuming it has to spell out that it deals damage. It does not. By hitting with the attack you do damage, all attacks work that way except ones that state otherwise, like the barbarians knockback ability.

Sometimes I feel sorry for Paizo. No matter what someone's going to point out stuff like this and confuse a bunch of people. Attacks do damage, that's what attacks do.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Hexcaliber wrote:

To Mister Slanky: You're assuming it has to spell out that it deals damage. It does not. By hitting with the attack you do damage, all attacks work that way except ones that state otherwise, like the barbarians knockback ability.

Sometimes I feel sorry for Paizo. No matter what someone's going to point out stuff like this and confuse a bunch of people. Attacks do damage, that's what attacks do.

Attacks always deal damage. Special attacks usually are used in place of an attack and therefore do not necessarily deal damage. In fact the text for trips, sunders, overruns, bull rushes, disarms, and grapples deal damage as part of their normal routine all state "You can make an attempt to X in place of a melee attack."

The language in the feat regarding the attack is nearly identical to the language used in trip weapons which can be dropped, which would imply that the feat is simply allowing you to use a thrown axe in the same manner as you would use the standard melee trip weapon (again which does not deal damage).

So whether you like it or not, the feat is very unclear.

For balance purposes and for the (really obfuscated) reason that the feat states that you ignore the shield bonus (which implies you have to hit the target and is therefore a damaging attack) I'm leaning towards agreeing with The Grandfather but it is disingenuous for you to state that anybody that points out inconsistencies and unclear rules is just "confusing a bunch of people". This is a legitimate concern for some GMs (myself included since we were just considering using the feat) and if you don't like the fact that somebody is discussing it, just stay out of the discussion.


MisterSlanky wrote:
The Grandfather wrote:
If you hit you do normal damage and in addition get to make a trip maneuver (without the -6 penalty).
I think you have a valid point with the attack portion of your response (although I'm still not 100% certain I'm in agreement), but I'm curious where exactly you see that it deals normal damage.

If it doesn't, then the "as a free action" wording is kind of weird, and it's kind of a crummy feat (why not just use a pair of bolas which only requires one roll instead of two?). But maybe it's just a crummy feat that's worded poorly.


The free action thing is a huge clue. I mean, an attack that does no damage? Going over the combat feats the only attacks that do mo damage are CMB checks. This feat requires an attack roll before the CMB. Pretty clunky and unnecessary if there's no damage involved.

But I'm always glad to help people understand the wording of things when they're not clear to them. I had an NPC vampire dwarven fighter use this with throwing axes. It was quite entertaining.

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