Alchemist "Vestigial Arm" discovery question


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Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

(sorry, I'm at work, but I'm trying to reply as fast as possible)

Not quite.

Since unarmed strikes are "limb agnostic", as BBT likes to put it, said character would be performing Bite/Claw/Claw/Strike/Strike, with the Strike/Strike portion being made up of Kicks, Shoulder Slams, Knees, whatever.

Or, to put it even simpler, let's start at the beginning.

A character has Improved Unarmed Strike, and Two Weapon Fighting, and is carrying a 500lb barrel in both arms. This character should be able to still Kick/Kick, yes?

So arms are clearly not needed.

Now take away the barrel, and make the character a Tengu with Claw/Claw/Bite.

This same character should be able to Strike/Strike/Claw/Claw/Bite, yes?

That equals 5 attacks.

Now add two more arms. Those arms do not have claws, but can wield weapons on their own.

That same character was able to perform 5 attacks earlier. It should still be able to perform the same number of attacks.

So, a Bite/Claw/Claw/Dagger/Dagger is not "extra". It is still 5 attacks.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Another example I used earlier was this:

Nefreet wrote:

A one-armed human can swing a sword for one attack.

With two-weapon fighting he can swing a sword, and make an unarmed strike, for two attacks.
With Haste he can get a total of three attacks.
With a Base Attack Bonus of +6, he can get a total of four attacks.

Each of these are "extra" attacks. Yes, there are obviously many ways to achieve "extra" attacks. But Vestigial Arms are not one of those ways.

Now let's give that human a Vestigial Arm.
He can swing a sword for one attack.
With two-weapon fighting he can swing a sword, and make an unarmed strike, for two attacks.
With Haste he can get a total of three attacks.
With a Base Attack Bonus of +6, he can get a total of four attacks.

But, the way people are tossing the word "additional" and "extra" around, they would have you believe that the moment you put a dagger in that Vestigial Arm, you suddenly lose attacks.

There is simply no rule to support that.

That same human should be able to two-weapon fight with a sword and a dagger, getting the same two attacks he was before.
With Haste, this becomes three.
With a Base Attack Bonus of +6, this becomes four.

Same as before.

Nothing "extra".


No one has ever said you get fewer attacks with vestigial arm. Why do you keep saying that? How do you think that helps your argument?

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

17 people marked this as a favorite.

I need you to stop mixing in other things and answer just the question I'm presenting to you.

First of all, unarmed strike can't be *any* body part you want. It's undefined for non-monks, but the monk class specifically calls out "a monk's [unarmed] attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet," so it's reasonable that non-monks have to follow a similar restriction (otherwise the non-monk has more versatile unarmed strike options, which is silly).

So a human holding a barrel with his could make a kick or knee unarmed strike (his arms are busy holding the barrel, so no fists or elbows). If he had TWF, he could make two unarmed strikes, one with the left leg and one with the right leg. We know he has to use separate limbs because the revised monk flurry ruling says a monk can use one weapon for all of a flurry, which means it that a special rule for monks and non-flurrying non-monks can't do that.

Now replace the TWF human with a TWF tengu, and get rid of the barrel. The tengu can make two unarmed strikes per round (one with the left leg and one with the right leg), and gets to add his three natural attacks as secondary attacks. That's 5 attacks per round, total. Overall, that puts his attack bonuses at –2 kick/–2 kick/–5 bite/–5 claw/–5 claw. This is a legitimate attack routine.

Now give him the vestigial arm discovery x2. Instead of making two kick attacks, he's making two manufactured weapon attacks. So his total attack routine is weapon/weapon/bite/claw/claw. That's 5 attacks per round, total. This is a legitimate attack routine.

Tengu-A, the two-armed tengu, is making 5 attacks per round.
Tengu-B, the four-armed tengu, is making 5 attacks per round.

Both are valid. The second tengu is not getting any more attacks per round than the first tengu. In other words, the second tengu is not getting any extra attacks per round compared to the first tengu.

Or, to quote the FAQ:
It means "extra," as in "more than you would be able to make if you didn't have that discovery."

Haste and other special effects, if applied to both example characters, should affect them equally. Frex, haste on Tengu A gives it an extra unarmed strike attack per round, haste on Tengu B gives it an extra manufactured weapon attack per round, but both characters are still getting the same number of attacks per round: 5 + 1.

So:

Q: How many attacks per round can the tengu make without the discovery?
A: 5.
Q: How many attacks per round can the tengu make with the discovery?
A: 5.
Q: Is the tengu with the discovery making any extra attacks per round compared to the tengu without?
A: No.
Q: So this doesn't violate the rules?
A: Correct.
Q: What if the four-armed tengu also wants to make unarmed strikes in addition to the two manufactured weapon attacks and the three natural attacks?
A: It can't, because that would put it at 7 attacks per round, which is more than the (two-armed) tengu's 5 attacks per round.

As Jiggy said: compare identical builds except one doesn't have the discovery and the other does; the one without the discovery is the default, and having the discovery doesn't allow you to exceed that default.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Nefreet wrote:
With two-weapon fighting he can swing a sword, and make an unarmed strike, for two attacks.

The above quote is false, by the way.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
With two-weapon fighting he can swing a sword, and make an unarmed strike, for two attacks.
The above quote is false, by the way.

In that particular example I wasn't talking about a two-handed sword.

You can still swing a one-handed sword, and make an unarmed strike with the other hand, yes?

Thank you for all of the Q's and A's. I think that answers all of the questions I'm aware of.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Ah, yes, I misread that as two-handing a sword.
You can use one hand for a 1H sword and another limb for an unarmed strike, no problem.


Seak K Reynolds wrote:
First of all, unarmed strike can't be *any* body part you want. It's undefined for non-monks, but the monk class specifically calls out "a monk's [unarmed] attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet," so it's reasonable that non-monks have to follow a similar restriction (otherwise the non-monk has more versatile unarmed strike options, which is silly).

Unarmed strikes in the combat section calls out other body parts as being usable by everyone. I'm pretty sure this is a change from 3.5.

Unarmed Attacks: Striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon, except for the following:

Liberty's Edge

Huzzah! Good work PDT.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Okay, just to be sure:

1) The Vestigial Arm is a valid limb option for abilities that grant claws.

2) You can attack with weapons held in the Vestigial Arms, in addition to any claw attacks you have, as long as the claws are not on the same limb that is holding the weapon you plan to attack with.

These above are true?

Liberty's Edge

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


So a human holding a barrel with his could make a kick or knee unarmed strike (his arms are busy holding the barrel, so no fists or elbows). If he had TWF, he could make two unarmed strikes, one with the left leg and one with the right leg. We know he has to use separate limbs because the revised monk flurry ruling says a monk can use one weapon for all of a flurry, which means it that a special rule for monks and non-flurrying non-monks can't do that.

Well, this answers the question of whether or not the text for monks stating "[t]his means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full" applies to everyone, not just monks.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Okay, just to be sure:

1) The Vestigial Arm is a valid limb option for abilities that grant claws.

2) You can attack with weapons held in the Vestigial Arms, in addition to any claw attacks you have, as long as the claws are not on the same limb that is holding the weapon you plan to attack with.

These above are true?

1. Yes.

2. Yes, so long as doing so would not exceed the number of attacks you ordinarily could take before you had the Vestigial Arm discovery.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, you can have claws on all four arms?

Liberty's Edge

See The Shamrock's post, point #2.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, you can have claws on all four arms?

The implication seems to be yes. You ordinarily can't make four claw attacks, though.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, two daggers, then two claws, but not four claws, and no daggers?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, two daggers, then two claws, but not four claws, and no daggers?

No. For the normal character: two daggers or two claws or one of each. Not four attacks, just two.


BBT: Compare to the exact same character, except without vestigial arms. If the character with vestigial arms has more attacks, it can't make all of them.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
fretgod99 wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, two daggers, then two claws, but not four claws, and no daggers?
No. For the normal character: two daggers or two claws or one of each. Not four attacks, just two.

That's no in line with what SKR just said.

The two daggers, and two claws, is exactly what he said was legit.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yes, Dagger/Dagger/Claw/Claw is fine.

I don't think Claw/Claw/Claw/Claw is, because that is not an attack routine that a two-armed character could perform.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Likewise Dagger/Dagger/Dagger/Dagger would also not be valid, for the same reasons.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Nefreet wrote:
Likewise Dagger/Dagger/Dagger/Dagger would also not be valid, for the same reasons.

This one was always obvious to me.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, two daggers, then two claws, but not four claws, and no daggers?
No. For the normal character: two daggers or two claws or one of each. Not four attacks, just two.

That's no in line with what SKR just said.

The two daggers, and two claws, is exactly what he said was legit.

Nope, you're right. My bad. Was in a hurry.

Two daggers and two claws is fine, it seems. I was thinking four claws plus two UAS. I'd be hesitant as a GM on allowing 4 claws, since 4 primary unarmed strikes is something different than allowing -2/-2/-5/-5 from TWF and secondary natural weapons. I think that's where we're getting into "more than you could before you took the discovery". You didn't have four natural attacks prior to taking Vestigial Arm.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, to actually get four claw attacks, you would have to do something like this:

Catfolk with Cat's Claws alternate racial trait, with Claw Blades, x2 Vestigial Arms, and Feral Mutagen.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My work's Firewall won't let me access d20pfsrd, so I'm not sure how Claw Blades are treated.

If they're akin to manufactured weapons then yes, Claw/Claw/Blade/Blade sounds like it would be valid.


Sure, but that's not a problem because as soon as you use Claw Blades, they're not natural weapons anymore. So it's still -2/-2/-5/-5.


Quote:
As Jiggy said: compare identical builds except one doesn't have the discovery and the other does; the one without the discovery is the default, and having the discovery doesn't allow you to exceed that default.

Shouldn't you have to likewise compare the same builds using the same attack routine?

SKR wrote:
Both are valid. The second tengu is not getting any more attacks per round than the first tengu. In other words, the second tengu is not getting any extra attacks per round compared to the first tengu.

The second tengu is getting extra attacks.

A regular tengu not mixing unarmed strikes and natural weapons would get claw claw bite (at no penalty)- 3 attacks

With two extra arms the tengu not mixing unarmed strikes and natural weapons gets claw claw claw claw bite...5 attacks.

How is that not gaining extra attacks?

To take it further, an alchemist with a BAB of +6 could Kick kick kick claw claw bite, meaning that the 4 armed mutant will be able to claw claw claw claw bite tentacle.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Cool.

So, the Longspear, and two claws is a valid option as well?


Also, wouldn't "Greatsword/greatsword" become a viable attack routine now, since its only 2 attacks?

Or you can strap on a barbazu beard, and greatsword/greatsword/tentacle.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Also, wouldn't "Greatsword/greatsword" become a viable attack routine now, since its only 2 attacks?

This has been covered before. A Greatsword is a two-handed weapon, so you cannot wield two of them, no matter how many hands you have.


Nefreet wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Also, wouldn't "Greatsword/greatsword" become a viable attack routine now, since its only 2 attacks?
This has been covered before. A Greatsword is a two-handed weapon, so you cannot wield two of them, no matter how many hands you have.

Linky?

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
With two extra arms the tengu not mixing unarmed strikes and natural weapons gets claw claw claw claw bite...5 attacks.

Four claw attacks in not something that a two-armed character could perform, so neither can a four-armed character.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You don't remember the FAQ about two-handed weapons and Armor Spikes?

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Cool.

So, the Longspear, and two claws is a valid option as well?

I wouldn't think so, since a two-armed character could not wield one and make two claw attacks at the same time.


Nefreet wrote:
You don't remember the FAQ about two-handed weapons and Armor Spikes?

*headscratch* I don't see the relevance.

The armored spikes are occupying your offhand, which IIRC goes to how one attacks with armored spikes in combat (you punch out with a hand)

I don't see how that translates to both of my left hands being on greatsword one and both of my right hands on greatsword two.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Regarding manufactured weapons, the rules assume you have two "hands" worth of actions. You can wield two one-handed weapons, or one two-handed weapon.

You cannot wield two two-handed weapons, regardless of how many actual hands you have.


Does anyone else see how silly this just got?

By these new rules, a Tengu Alchemist with Feral Mutagen and two Vestigial Arms can only make three attacks: Claw/Claw/Bite

However, by taking Improved Unarmed Strike (potentially allowing kick/kick/claw/claw/bite, albeit at absurd penalties), they can suddenly make 5: Claw/Claw/Claw/Claw/Bite

Er, what?

As if that wasn't silly enough, same Tengu Alchemist doesn't take Improved Unarmed Strike. Instead, he puts on armor spikes and wears a Barbazu Beard (Spikes/Beard/Claw/Claw/Bite at even sillier penalties since now it's two weapon penalties and non-proficiency). That's the potential for 5 attacks again, so he can Claw/Claw/Claw/Claw/Bite.

Here's the thing--I actually think they should be able to make 5 attacks--I just think the hurdles to do so are absolutely absurd. Why should wearing absurd equipment or taking a totally unrelated feat be required to access the attack routine?


Nefreet wrote:
Regarding manufactured weapons, the rules assume you have two "hands" worth of actions.

That does not appear to be in effect any longer.


Nefreet wrote:

Regarding manufactured weapons, the rules assume you have two "hands" worth of actions. You can wield two one-handed weapons, or one two-handed weapon.

You cannot wield two two-handed weapons, regardless of how many actual hands you have.

Yeah, can't remember the exact quote from SKR. But it amounted to, "The intent was not to create twf greatsword wielding maniacs".

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
mplindustries wrote:

However, by taking Improved Unarmed Strike (allowing kick/kick/claw/claw/bite), they can suddenly make 5: Claw/Claw/Claw/Claw/Bite

Er, what?

Nobody has said this.


mplindustries wrote:

Does anyone else see how silly this just got?

By these new rules, a Tengu Alchemist with Feral Mutagen and two Vestigial Arms can only make three attacks: Claw/Claw/Bite

However, by taking Improved Unarmed Strike (allowing kick/kick/claw/claw/bite), they can suddenly make 5: Claw/Claw/Claw/Claw/Bite

Er, what?

As if that wasn't silly enough, same Tengu Alchemist doesn't take Improved Unarmed Strike. Instead, he puts on armor spikes and wears a Barbazu Beard (Spikes/Beard/Claw/Claw/Bite). That's the potential for 5 attacks again, so he can Claw/Claw/Claw/Claw/Bite.

Here's the thing--I actually think they should be able to make 5 attacks--I just think the hurdles to do so are absolutely absurd. Why should wearing absurd equipment or taking a totally unrelated feat be required to access the attack routine?

No. You still cannot do clawx4. As a side note, if the Tengu took claws, they should already have IUAS.


Why can you not do claw x 4? It's 5 attacks. Five attacks is 5 attacks.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Because a two-armed character would not be capable of making 4 claw attacks.


fretgod99 wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

Regarding manufactured weapons, the rules assume you have two "hands" worth of actions. You can wield two one-handed weapons, or one two-handed weapon.

You cannot wield two two-handed weapons, regardless of how many actual hands you have.

Yeah, can't remember the exact quote from SKR. But it amounted to, "The intent was not to create twf greatsword wielding maniacs".

Intent and the mechanics seem to be diverging a bit. I don't think it was supposed to be getting you 5 natural attacks either.


Nefreet wrote:
Because a two-armed character would not be capable of making 4 claw attacks.

Where is that restriction coming from? The rule was that the character could not make more attacks through Vestigial Arms than he could without. It did not say anything about what kind of attacks those were.

A two armed character couldn't make two dagger attacks and two claw attacks either, but SKR specifically called that out as doable.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Nefreet wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Cool.

So, the Longspear, and two claws is a valid option as well?

I wouldn't think so, since a two-armed character could not wield one and make two claw attacks at the same time.

Same with two daggers.

This is cycling backwards, if three is greater than four.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
mplindustries wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Because a two-armed character would not be capable of making 4 claw attacks.

Where is that restriction coming from? The rule was that the character could not make more attacks through Vestigial Arms than he could without. It did not say anything about what kind of attacks those were.

A two armed character couldn't make two dagger attacks and two claw attacks either, but SKR specifically called that out as doable.

Read everything he said, though. The only reason the four-armed character is getting 5 attacks is because it was capable of getting that same number of attacks when it had two arms.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yes.

It's the number that is important.

So, Longspear, and two claws, is three attacks.

Also, two daggers, and two claws, is four attacks.

Now, three is less than four, and not more.

I hope I making sense for everyone here.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Indeed. But, if four claws is not possible, I think there is an additional qualifier to "number" of attacks.

As funny as it is to say this, "handedness" might come into play again.

But I'm done for tonight. I'll see where this takes off tomorrow.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I got the "no x4 claws", part.

How one Longspear, is more than two Daggers, makes no sense to me, in any rules context.

I really need to have a better explanation, as I have no real way to make this so, in my mind.

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