Pinned Question


Rules Questions


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Can you make any attacks while you are pinned?

The question came up last night when our Monk Pinned a lich and he was trying to use his paralyzing touch on the Monk. I agreed with our DM last night that he wasnt really attacking just touching but the more I think about it I might agree with the other player who said it wouldnt work. So what is the real rule on this?

The Exchange

The rules are a tad vague about that in the PFRPG core rulebook (at least in the pre-revised edition; my revised edition is on my other computer, so I haven't had a chance to look at it to see if anything changed under grappling rules). It is a judgement call. Personally, since it does state that a pinned opponent can attempt to free itself (which usually involves grabbing and twisting and various forms of physically contact and maneuvering), I would say that an attack that involves nothing more than a touch or grasp and an act of will should be able to work, including supernatural or spell-like abilities, providing that the somatic component of either does not require movements above and beyond the act of touching or grasping. You might have the pinned opponent make a Concentration check (DC 10 plus equivalent spell level plus the grappling pc's CMB), even though it isn't actually casting a spell, per se.


Spell like and supernatural abilities need to have a CL check, cause concentration is needed. The way I understand the rules, you simply cannot attack, and in that case, the touch, is an attack. So, it can't work. Pinned is an extreme condition, so, if you got pinned, u r screwed.


The Lich would need to be grappled and not pinned in order to do the touch attack. To be fair though, if the DM did not design the Lich with grappling in mind then it deserved to fail so spectacularly. This is why still spell exist.


One problem....

Only Spellike abilities need Concentration tests, thats always been the case when your grappled, etc.

Supernatural abilities have NEVER required Concentration tests since their inception in 3.0 to Pathfinder, so yes, the Liche can deliver a touch attack (since natural attacks are LIGHT weapons and legitimately allowed in a grapple in lieu of making a Grapple test to free yourself) to the monk. Not to mention Supcernatural abilities DONT have Caster Level's, though they are supressed in Anti-Magic areas (as is supernatural forms of Damage Reduction such as DR 5/Good and so forth).

Dark Archive

I think that this line:

Quote:
A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component.

for me states that the pinned creature does not have use of their hands at all. Since to cast a spell with somatic it states:

Quote:
Somatic (S): A somatic component is a measured and precise movement of the hand. You must have at least one hand free to provide a somatic component.

So the inability to cast with somatic means that you do not have one hand free at all. Thus no touch attacks, no attacks with one-handed or light weapons.

Silver Crusade

Aye, a pinned creature can't move its hands. In fact, it's limited to two actions: casting verbally or trying to break free. By not being able to use somatic or material components, it's an easy step to realize the pinned creature cannot move arms to cast or reach to components.

If the pinned target does succeed in reversing the grapple, then it can take control and use natural (touch) attacks.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

While I'm not sure about everyone's interpretation, there seems to be a logical flaw in nearly every single argument in this thread.

If X and Y are opposites, and someone says 'not X', that doesn't necessarily mean 'Y'. For example, black and white are opposites, and if someone says "that object is not black" it does not mean that it is white; it could be anything that is not black.

Specifically in this case, the rules for somatic components say that the caster must have one hand free. It does not say he must or must not have the rest of his body free, or what parts of his body. This means ONLY that he *cannot* cast a spell with somatic components if he does not have a hand free; it has absolutely no bearing on if he can cast a spell because he has a hand free. There are other rules to clarify that.

Regarding the grappling interpretation, the RAW doesn't absolutely clarify if touch/natural attacks can be made (just at a -4 penalty) while the attacker is pinned. Just because the rules say that something *can* be done, it doesn't mean that other things can't be done as well.

Until we get a clarification from Paizo Staff on this, my interpretation is that you can do anything while pinned that the rules don't specifically say you cannot do. For example, you can absolutely attack with a light weapon in hand, natural weapon or touch attack, at the usual -4 penalty for being pinned, as long as doing so does not require casting a spell or performing any other action not allowed while being pinned.

It would be useful if a member of the Paizo staff could clarify this troubling ruling.


This is pinned:

Quote:
A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions. A pinned creature cannot move and is flat-footed. A pinned character also takes an additional –4 penalty to his Armor Class. A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself, usually through a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check. A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component. A pinned character who attempts to cast a spell must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level) or lose the spell. Pinned is a more severe version of grappled, and their effects do not stack.

This is what you can do while pinned:

"A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take."

1. "A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself, usually through a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check."

2. "A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component."

Any questions?

(Why do I want fried eggs?)


Though it's not written anywhere, I would assume that grappling a Lich causes its touch attack to activate - since it's an always on ability. And it's not like its negative energy is confined to its finger tips. Same would go for ghouls and the like.

Into the crunch: Lichs are major enemies. Having them totally disabled in a single round without a save would be irritating (having spent minutes-hours selecting spells only to have it ruined by two CM's from the monk). And - if the monk makes his save each round, he can continue to grapple from round to round anyway. Though in the same vein the monk striking the Lich would not cause the effect - the contact is too brief, and has the reverse effect of the above. The monk being totally powerless against your Lich.

And forwarning would be a knowledge religion check "Don't try to grab this guy, more than a split second of contact may paralyze you!"

But this is all judgement call. If you're happy to lose a whole lich to a single CM, RAW all the way.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take."

does not equal

"A pinned creature is limited to the following actions."


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Auspician wrote:

"A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take."

does not equal

"A pinned creature is limited to the following actions."

This is true. In that case, there are no printed limitations on actions you can take while pinned. Remember, pinned and grappled are two entirely different conditions now. When you are pinned, you don't have the grappled condition and vice versa. In this case the lich sure can attack. With as big a weapon as he wants, and he doesn't take any penalty. He can even shoot a ranged weapon at someone else. He can't use spells with somatic or material components, but he can use magic items, scrolls, potions, retrieve a stored item, etc. Basically, he can do anything he wants except move. And take AoOs, cause he's flat-footed.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"Pinned is a more severe version of grappled, and their effects do not stack."

"Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic."

Thus by definition the numeric *penalties* for being grappled and pinned do not stack. However, pinned being a more severe version of grappling, all the usual *limitations* on action still apply, plus the new ones mentioned in the pinned description (ie: not being able to use a Combat Maneuver Check to *move* the grapple, and the more severe limitations on spellcasting).


General Chaos wrote:

Though it's not written anywhere, I would assume that grappling a Lich causes its touch attack to activate - since it's an always on ability. And it's not like its negative energy is confined to its finger tips. Same would go for ghouls and the like.

Into the crunch: Lichs are major enemies. Having them totally disabled in a single round without a save would be irritating (having spent minutes-hours selecting spells only to have it ruined by two CM's from the monk). And - if the monk makes his save each round, he can continue to grapple from round to round anyway. Though in the same vein the monk striking the Lich would not cause the effect - the contact is too brief, and has the reverse effect of the above. The monk being totally powerless against your Lich.

And forwarning would be a knowledge religion check "Don't try to grab this guy, more than a split second of contact may paralyze you!"

But this is all judgement call. If you're happy to lose a whole lich to a single CM, RAW all the way.

A lich has a touch attack. It's a supernatural ability, standard action to use, yadda yadda. That's not the same as being paralyzed on contact with the lich, whether a brief touch (monk punches lich) or longer (a grapple). That's more in line with falling into/being engulfed by a gelatinous cube.

As far as losing the lich, many people can't hurt the lich directly through grappling, though the lich might well be killed by the rest of the party going swords up-swords down on it. But liches tend to be experienced, powerful spellcasters with access to verbal spells like dimension door....


Auspician wrote:

"Pinned is a more severe version of grappled, and their effects do not stack."

"Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic."

Thus by definition the numeric *penalties* for being grappled and pinned do not stack. However, pinned being a more severe version of grappling, all the usual *limitations* on action still apply, plus the new ones mentioned in the pinned description (ie: not being able to use a Combat Maneuver Check to *move* the grapple, and the more severe limitations on spellcasting).

Grappled and pinned do not overlap in the penalties they confer. Grappled gives -4 Dex, -2 to attacks and -2 to combat maneuvers. Pinned gives -4 to AC. What is there to not stack?

Furthermore, if pinned confers the grappled condition and penalties in addition to it's own, why not say so rather than confusingly imply that it doesn't with a qualifier that doesn't apply to anything?


+1 Steve.


Quantum Steve wrote:
Auspician wrote:

"A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take."

does not equal

"A pinned creature is limited to the following actions."

If you're trying to interpret the rules rather than pedantically dance around them YES, IT DOES.


i guess it's all in how you see the flavor.

It is an always on supernatural ability, so unlike an inflict spell, there's no casting going on.

HOWEVER: It takes a standard action to use, thus suggests that there is a longer contact needed with the "target". Just touching someone for a split second won't do. You have to hold them and infuse them with paralyzol.
In this instance, it makes perfect sence that a pinned lich can't do something. He tries to touch the monk, the monk kicks the hand aside, he can't make contact for long enough.

BUT: From a pure flavor-wise standpoint, and considering the lich should have better options available, anyway, i'd be inclined to allow it. Try to get out of a grapple or pin, naturally includes touching and physical contact with the enemy that IS grappling/pinning, and i'd be well inclined to say as part of that check, he can make contact for long enough to make an attack roll(with a strong penalty...).

So RAW: No, the paralyzing touch won't work.

Suggested: Yep. It's a major encounter, it should have other options(hello dimension door), but nothing says badass like being charged by a monk, grappled, pinned, and then roll his lifeless husk off from your body and kick some adventurer butt's. It's all about style, here, and by far not "overpowered", so i'd say by all means, allow it if there's no rules lawyers around.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

BUMP. Still waiting to get an answer from the Paizo Staff on this one . . .


Auspician wrote:

"A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take." (RAW)

does not equal

"A pinned creature is limited to the following actions."

Obviously if we follow the RAW directly, being Pinned isn`t that bad, at least for melee abilities (and touch abilities) since as written it`s actually less restrictive than Grapple (re: 2-Handed weapons).

But I think it`s pretty clear that the RAW doesn`t actually correspon to the RAI, and that something like the 2nd quoted sentence DOES correspond to the RAI... I.e. the RAW need to be Errata`d to accurately describe what they`re talking about. (So I marked the top post for a FAQ)

...In this case, I don`t think the Lich should be allowed his Touch Attack.
For one, this isn`t just any Touch Spell that he is Holding the Charge on (which discharges on `any touch`), but a specific attack mode equivalent to a Natural Attack, which (by the reasonable 2nd interpretation of RAI) wouldn`t be allowed while Pinned.
Secondly, the whole point is that this isn`t just Grappled, it`s Pinned. The Monk either had to spend two rounds getting the Lich pinned, or had to invest in Greater Grapple AND the Lich was so nice as to stay within a 5´ step of the Monk so he could be Grappled @Standard and Pinned @Move Action.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Making a touch attack is neither a verbal action nor a mental action. That is self-evident.


hello, sorry for the necropost, but i didn't find any satisfying answer (on google as on this topic) to the question of this post : "Can you make any attacks while you are pinned?"

as the paizo staff answered this somewhere already? can somebody provide a link?

thanks


Thiamael wrote:

hello, sorry for the necropost, but i didn't find any satisfying answer (on google as on this topic) to the question of this post : "Can you make any attacks while you are pinned?"

as the paizo staff answered this somewhere already? can somebody provide a link?

thanks

Yes they replied. Scroll up to the initial question. There is a little box on the upper right reading:

Quote:
4 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required


Looking at this, the OP's question was in specific regards to how the lich's touch attack worked (or indeed if it did); Sean replied, and marked the question resolved.

If you want a more general clarification it would be best to start a new FAQ thread. Currently it's the specific actions listed in the condition, some which are pretty safely inferred (i.e. if you can cast spells w/o somatic components, you must also be able to attack/use supernatural/extraordinary abilities), and the rest is pretty much DM fiat.


so they didn't really replied to this. ok. I will post a new thread as you suggested.
none of the answer above are satisfying to me. even to the specific regards to the lich's touch attack. (i won't say more here as this debate seems to be "resolved").

see you in the next thread, i hope.

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