Kusarigama Kraziness Konfusion


Rules Questions

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Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

How the heck is the Kusarigama supposed to work? Do both ends have reach? If not, then which end? Can it be used as both a double weapon and a reach weapon? If not, what sort of action is it to switch? Does it threaten adjacent opponents when used as a reach weapon?


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This is one of those weapons that really needs to be given a few more rules, for example, which side does more damage, the bludgeoning or the slashing? Yes, you can make a reasonable guess, but it would make things a lot simpler to have them spelled out a bit more thoroughly.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Actually, you can use it either as a two-handed reach weapon with either end (a reach weapon that can threaten all targets including adjacent ones), or a double weapon with no extra reach. If you choose as a reach weapon, you select if you want the kama end or the weight end.


JiCi wrote:
Actually, you can use it either as a two-handed reach weapon with either end (a reach weapon that can threaten all targets including adjacent ones), or a double weapon with no extra reach. If you choose as a reach weapon, you select if you want the kama end or the weight end.

Based on what did you come to this conclusion?

It has reach (and its other abilities) regardless of whether you are using it two handed or not. It threatens as per the standard reach weapon rules as well (non-adjacent targets).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
JiCi wrote:
Actually, you can use it either as a two-handed reach weapon with either end (a reach weapon that can threaten all targets including adjacent ones), or a double weapon with no extra reach. If you choose as a reach weapon, you select if you want the kama end or the weight end.

So what type of action is it to switch? Has there been any errata?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
JiCi wrote:
Actually, you can use it either as a two-handed reach weapon with either end (a reach weapon that can threaten all targets including adjacent ones), or a double weapon with no extra reach. If you choose as a reach weapon, you select if you want the kama end or the weight end.
So what type of action is it to switch? Has there been any errata?

If I go by the 3.5 version... you decide at the beginning of the round which option to choose as a free action.


The actual real world weapon is used by holding the sickle in one hand and the chain in the other. I think the two are connected so you can more easily use the strength of both arms to yank the chain when you have it wrapped around the opponents neck or weapon.
I'm not sure if the blade is ever used at reach, but it would probably only work as a distraction, since you can't line up the blade so it strikes with the point or the edge.

Since the name means "chain and sickle", the blade should have the same damage is a sickle, or in the case of PF a kama, which have exactly the same stats.
Realistically, you could only use reach and trip with the chain attack, but grapple with both, since a kama gives you a quite good hook.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It is in Ultimate Combat. I prefer to not use 3.5 for a reference to anything Pathfinder. I assure you, they are not the same game.


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KrispyXIV wrote:
It has reach (and its other abilities) regardless of whether you are using it two handed or not. It threatens as per the standard reach weapon rules as well (non-adjacent targets).

You're saying it has reach even when wielded as a double weapon?

I think the intent was for it to function like the double-chained Kama, either a standard double weapon, or you can use it two-handed and gain reach. It doesn't make sense that the end of the weapon you hold in your 'off-hand' can strike someone 10' away.

While we're at it, the text from the Kyoketsu Shoge makes it sound like it threatens both ranges, as the hoop has reach, but the dagger-end you can use as an off-hand melee weapon (despite it not being a double weapon).

I think a FAQ on these weird weapons would be helpful.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Grick wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
It has reach (and its other abilities) regardless of whether you are using it two handed or not. It threatens as per the standard reach weapon rules as well (non-adjacent targets).

You're saying it has reach even when wielded as a double weapon?

I think the intent was for it to function like the double-chained Kama, either a standard double weapon, or you can use it two-handed and gain reach. It doesn't make sense that the end of the weapon you hold in your 'off-hand' can strike someone 10' away.

While we're at it, the text from the Kyoketsu Shoge makes it sound like it threatens both ranges, as the hoop has reach, but the dagger-end you can use as an off-hand melee weapon (despite it not being a double weapon).

I think a FAQ on these weird weapons would be helpful.

Oh yeah. A short list with a few answers. I just want to know how to use these new weapons.


Grick wrote:
You're saying it has reach even when wielded as a double weapon?

I'm saying that based on the entry for it in the book, I dont see any reason to think otherwise...


Grick wrote:
I think the intent was for it to function like the double-chained Kama

Which is a completely fictional weapon that would be impossible to use in real life, just like the dire flail or double axe.


Yora wrote:
Grick wrote:
I think the intent was for it to function like the double-chained Kama
Which is a completely fictional weapon that would be impossible to use in real life, just like the dire flail or double axe.

Or a double sword with a tiny grip. One wonders how Darth Maul managed to avoid killing himself all those years.


Actually, having just discovered the rewrite of the Scorpion Whip in UC and its associated uncertainty, I've changed my mind; nothing about the weapons in the book is certain, and a giant FAQ would be just the thing.

:/


Blue Star wrote:
Yora wrote:
Grick wrote:
I think the intent was for it to function like the double-chained Kama
Which is a completely fictional weapon that would be impossible to use in real life, just like the dire flail or double axe.
Or a double sword with a tiny grip. One wonders how Darth Maul managed to avoid killing himself all those years.

Darth Maul isn't actually a person. It's more of a position, like the Doctor or Dread Pirate Roberts.


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The ball end has reach, the sickle end does not.

The grapple works on both end.

The trip works on the sickle end.

Shadow Lodge

Cheapy wrote:
Darth Maul isn't actually a person. It's more of a position, like the Doctor or Dread Pirate Roberts.

The Doctor is a single individual. Who stays the same man after a regeneration, despite all of Ten's moaning, b$*&#ing, and crying.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:

The ball end has reach, the sickle end does not.

The grapple works on both end.

The trip works on the sickle end.

The ball end cannot trip? How did you determine that? I am serious, and not meaning to sound condescending. I really have a hard time figuring out how some of the weapons in this book work, so insight on the process is key for my understanding.


You can trip with either end, I just think that things like sickles should deal damage when they trip, after all it's just as likely to take a leg off as genuinely trip someone.


Because the Benefits section says that's what the sickle does. I assume if both ends could trip, it would've said so.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Some people have said they know how some of these poorly worded weapons work. I ask as to how these conclusions came about. What was the process? I tire of looking at a weapon, thinking "hey, that's cool", and then not have a clue as to how it is supposed to work. So, if someone has a formula, or something to help them understand these things, then please let me in on it.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Some people have said they know how some of these poorly worded weapons work. I ask as to how these conclusions came about. What was the process? I tire of looking at a weapon, thinking "hey, that's cool", and then not have a clue as to how it is supposed to work. So, if someone has a formula, or something to help them understand these things, then please let me in on it.

*sighs* Look, the weapon you're trying to use also appeared in 3.5 books... if you can't find the info in Pathfinder, then just fill the blanks with 3.5 info.

Furthermore, I really doubt you could effectively use the kusari-gama as a reach double weapon. If you're using both heads, you can't use the chain's length at its fullest because you're gripping it at 1/3 of its length for each hand, starting from the heads. When using it as a reach weapon however, you grip it either at the middle of the chain or with a head, giving you the full length of the chain, thus reach.


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Did you really intend to give your thread the initials KKK?


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blackbloodtroll wrote:
Some people have said they know how some of these poorly worded weapons work. I ask as to how these conclusions came about. What was the process?

By RAW, and since it doesn't specifically say otherwise, we're forced to assume that each special quality applies to the entire weapon. So you have reach, and double, and the rest, applied to both ends. Meaning you have a double reach weapon that deals S or B and has 2 types of dice and can trip, grapple, and be used in a flurry.

Looking at it and trying to figure out how it's intended to be used may end up differently.

Kusarigama: "This weapon has a single sickle held in the off-hand attached by 10 feet of fine chain to a weighted metal ball. The sickle is used to make trips, jabs, and blocks while the ball is whipped around at high speeds and then smashed into the opponent."

12 gp, 1d2/1d4 (small) 1d3/1d6 (med) ×2. 3 lbs. S or B. double, monk, reach, trip, grapple.

A sickle is 1d4(s) or 1d6 med. So we know that the 'off-hand' holds the sickle, and which of the double set of dice it uses.

It says the sickle end can trip, jab and block. It's not a blocking weapon, and it deals slashing not piercing, so jab and block don't make sense, the trip does, though. So you can drop the sickle end to avoid being tripped by a >5 failed trip attempt. It doesn't have rules to recover one end of the weapon like the double-chained Kama, so dropping the sickle is dropping the entire weapon. Thus, the entire thing is a trip weapon.

It doesn't mention grappling at all, so we must assume it works for the entire weapon.

We know the chain is 10 feet long, with the ball at the end, and that the ball deals bludgeoning damage. If you're holding the kama in your 'off-hand' and attacking with it at the same time as the ball, there's no way both attacks can hit someone 10' away. In fact, in order for the chain to be slack enough to not mess with your kama hand, it makes sense that when used as a double weapon both ends only have 5' reach. But by using both hands at the kama-end of the thing, you have 10' of chain, and could use it two-handed at reach. And, it makes a bit less sense, but you could do the same thing with the ball end and have the kama attack at reach. (I've seen more ridiculous things in movies)

But that's all house rules, because the RAW don't specify.

I guess there's another way to interpret the RAW. Since it specifically says kama in the off-hand, and off-hand only exists while TWF, you could say that unless it's being used as a double weapon (thus TWF) the kama doesn't do anything, so you can only use it two-handed with the smaller-dice ball end.


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When the rules are unclear, I find out how something would work in real life and go with the interpretation that is closer to reality.

If I have a real world weapon in my game, I'd want it to work like the real world weapon would, not like some writer mistakenly believed it would.

On that note, this is probably the best demonstration on youtube on what a kusarigama actually is and how it is used.


Yora wrote:

When the rules are unclear, I find out how something would work in real life and go with the interpretation that is closer to reality.

If I have a real world weapon in my game, I'd want it to work like the real world weapon would, not like some writer mistakenly believed it would.

On that note, this is probably the best demonstration on youtube on what a kusarigama actually is and how it is used.

Excellent video. Not the most "practical" demonstration but I imagine that the manner in which he was using it would be very dangerous in practice. Kinda hard to pull punches with a weighted chain once it's wrapping around your neck.

From a realism standpoint, I'd say the video above is your best best to interpreting RAI for the kusarigama.

From a more fantastical standpoint, if you've played Ninja Gaiden or Samurai Warriors, or seen a kusarigama anywhere in fiction, they are used in the somewhat ridiculous manner that is often suggested: with the kama end being thrown.

I would posit however, that the game being what it is (a fantasy game) and the weapon being what it is, and with what it takes to use it effectively (TWF stuff is full of feat taxing), is it going to break your game to allow it to be used the way it is seen in fiction?

Your level of simulation is your own, I'm just putting that out there. One shouldn't close their mind to something just because the Japanophiles get on your nerves, should that be the case.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Okay, this how I am seeing this weapon now. Sickle end is trip and 5ft reach, ball end is reach, trip, and grapple. You can use both ends at one time, so double weapon, attacking near and far. Still do not know if reach end can attack adjacent opponents, but I believe it is able to. This seems to make the most sense to me. Now if only some errata would prove me right, and shine some light on the other weapons as well.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
mplindustries wrote:
Did you really intend to give your thread the initials KKK?

I have a very dark humor that usually does not show on the boards. I may, or may not have done it on purpose, but I will never tell.

Grand Lodge

you know anybody that's seen the last episodes of Samurai Champloo could tell you that the sickle end could very well be used as a reach weapon, and devastatingly so.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

People are WAY over thinking this one and I hope to NOT see any errata/FAQ on the matter.

Both ends provide reach and the sickle, like every other sickle in the game, does 1d6 (the ball is 1d3).

To run it any other way is to over complicate things.

And yes, Samurai Champloo (check it at 11m in) shows us that the weapon can not only be wielded at reach with the sickle end leading, but it can also cut through solid stone with out losing momentum and can reach an opponent at well over 30 feet away. ;P

Shadow Lodge

Ravingdork wrote:
And yes, Samurai Champloo (check it at 11m in) shows us that the weapon can not only be wielded at reach with the sickle end leading, but it can also cut through solid stone with out losing momentum and can reach an opponent at well over 30 feet away. ;P

Only if the kama blade is made of katana.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No, no katana talk here, that always leads to batsh*t insanity. Search any katana thread, totally nuts. Please, kusarigama only.


another anime uses of the sickle end being used for reach is Sango's Little brother in Inyuasha who uses it as a one handed reach weapon by wrapping the chain around his arm.


Cheapy wrote:
Blue Star wrote:
Yora wrote:
Grick wrote:
I think the intent was for it to function like the double-chained Kama
Which is a completely fictional weapon that would be impossible to use in real life, just like the dire flail or double axe.
Or a double sword with a tiny grip. One wonders how Darth Maul managed to avoid killing himself all those years.
Darth Maul isn't actually a person. It's more of a position, like the Doctor or Dread Pirate Roberts.

Wrong, Darth Maul is a specific person. Darth is a title. Darth Maul is specifically the Zabrak with the red and black tattoos and double lightsaber. (well I think he actually has red skin with black tattoos, but I digress)

Anyways, more on topic, I believe by the listing of the benefit in its section (as opposed to just flavor)only the sickle end can trip, but I always thought it was a reach weapon at all times.


Actually from KOTR:2 I think its all skin that changes to thoses colors if you spend too much time using the Dark Side.


Talonhawke wrote:
Actually from KOTR:2 I think its all skin that changes to thoses colors if you spend too much time using the Dark Side.

I remember the Zabrak in that getting deeper black lines, and the main character getting different effects, so I looked a little more into it. Maul's skin tone is red, he has black tattoos.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Grick wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Some people have said they know how some of these poorly worded weapons work. I ask as to how these conclusions came about. What was the process?

By RAW, and since it doesn't specifically say otherwise, we're forced to assume that each special quality applies to the entire weapon. So you have reach, and double, and the rest, applied to both ends. Meaning you have a double reach weapon that deals S or B and has 2 types of dice and can trip, grapple, and be used in a flurry.

Looking at it and trying to figure out how it's intended to be used may end up differently.

Kusarigama: "This weapon has a single sickle held in the off-hand attached by 10 feet of fine chain to a weighted metal ball. The sickle is used to make trips, jabs, and blocks while the ball is whipped around at high speeds and then smashed into the opponent."

12 gp, 1d2/1d4 (small) 1d3/1d6 (med) ×2. 3 lbs. S or B. double, monk, reach, trip, grapple.

A sickle is 1d4(s) or 1d6 med. So we know that the 'off-hand' holds the sickle, and which of the double set of dice it uses.

It says the sickle end can trip, jab and block. It's not a blocking weapon, and it deals slashing not piercing, so jab and block don't make sense, the trip does, though. So you can drop the sickle end to avoid being tripped by a >5 failed trip attempt. It doesn't have rules to recover one end of the weapon like the double-chained Kama, so dropping the sickle is dropping the entire weapon. Thus, the entire thing is a trip weapon.

It doesn't mention grappling at all, so we must assume it works for the entire weapon.

We know the chain is 10 feet long, with the ball at the end, and that the ball deals bludgeoning damage. If you're holding the kama in your 'off-hand' and attacking with it at the same time as the ball, there's no way both...

Sooo... this weapon is made of two finessable parts (kama or sickle and chain), and it is the weapon of choice for the high Dex Ninja Iconic, who appears to both have Weapon Finesse and be using it with her Kusarigama in the character sheet I received at PAX last year.... Is this weapon Finessable?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

There is still much unanswered about this weapon.

The Exchange

The way it looks it doesn't appear to be finessable, which I think is a major problem as the intention seems to be for it to be. However because it is a 2H weapon and doens't have the line of text saying it is finessable, like the Elven Curved Blade does, I am lead to believe it is not a finessable weapon even though as Ssalarn states, it is made up of two finessable weapons.

Dark Archive

I always wondered about the part that states the karma is held in the off hand. Does that mean that is always the part that does 1/2 str damage when wielded as a double weapon? Should we be allowed to choose which is the primary and which is the secondary attack?


In my game I would say it just has everything at once. Its probably still worse than a greatsword, so why not

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Any weapon can be used for an off-hand attack, except natural attacks.


Sidenote: Any weapon can be used to trip, so each end of that kusarigama can trip.

FAQ'ed


Thread Necromancy:

Has anyone found an official answer for this.
I know how I want it to work, but my "want" is clouding my usual ability to be objective, and I am not the GM this time so I can't just houserule it, if I don't like the official ruling.


dont know if it was mentioned, but in real life the chain end is used to grapple an opponent and then you pull and they go prone. The blade is then used to slit the target's neck.

that also said, i have also seen it used in inuyasha( whats her name's brother) and the ronin something or other iwht the elemntal armors, the quake and fear dude both used the blade end and used it as a reached slash weapon.

either way, it is a bizarre weapon


I see. I think it is reach and TWF, at the same time, which is not what I wanted, but I guess I could make it work.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It is a cool weapon, thematically.

I just really wish I knew how it worked.

It's the only reason I have not used it yet.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

It is a cool weapon, thematically.

I just really wish I knew how it worked.

It's the only reason I have not used it yet.

I wanted it to work as a reach weapon when not TWF'ing, and a non-reach weapon when I was. Of course nothing in the book supports that interpretation, but either way it is one of the few exotic weapons I would spend a feat on.


Based on the description, I've always assumed that one end (the sickle) has reach and the other (the ball) does not. When wielded as a double weapon, most of the time you'd only get to attack with one end unless you took a 5-foot step between the attacks.

It's a terribly worded weapon, though. (That's my Ultimate Combat!)

Dark Archive

This weapon is really easy to understand as long as you're not trying to bring any understanding of actually fighting with a weapon like this to the table. Rules don't always need to simulate realism. Sometimes keeping things simple or balanced is worth being less realistic. The stats for this weapon allow you to do all the things you could do with a kusarigama in real life PLUS a bunch of crap you couldn't, because making the weapon more specific and realistic would a) make it terrible, and b) make it stupidly complicated.

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