Two Weapon Fighting Paladin and Lay on Hands


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I did a little delving into the post archives and failed to find anything definitive.

Our party currently has a two weapon fighting Paladin (Falcata / Kukri).
When the time comes to us Lay on Hands, whether on a party member or himself, he is going to have to Drop / sheath / cord dangle one of those weapons, right?


By RAW, yes. This also messes up the classic sword and board paladin fiercely. I suggest houseruling that he can do it with his hands full and just touch with his closed hand or something. Barring that, consider a glove of storing.


Actually, the sword and board paladin has no trouble as long as he sticks to light shields. He can as a free action transfer his sword to his shield hand, use lay on hands, then as a free action transfer the sword back. Now for the TWFing paladin it is a problem, as he would have to drop a weapon, etc.


Malfus wrote:
He can as a free action transfer his sword to his shield hand, use lay on hands, then as a free action transfer the sword back.

That is not needed, the shield hand is free, he can lay of hand with that hand.

Take into account that the number of free action per round is not defined by raw, the DM can rule that you can not combine that free action with the swift action of the lay of hand.

Liberty's Edge

Nicos wrote:
Take into account that the number of free action per round is not defined by raw, the DM can rule that you can not combine that free action with the swift action of the lay of hand.

While a DM can rule anything they choose, there is nothing in RAW (or RAI) that says taking free actions should prevent you from taking a swift action.

RAW does, however, say that DMs may consider limiting the number of free actions players can take.


While the tradition, both because of the name and the way it is visually presented, is that it is done with a hand, or sometimes both hands (which is how I required it in the old pre-3.0 days), so long as there is physical contact and you are consistent with it, you should not have to use your hands. Think about a Paladin of Shelyn from Golarion, who I would think would be more appropriate to heal with a hug than with a simple touch of the hands. Or maybe you like the concept of healing by touching foreheads together. Basically, you just need to be able to physically transfer the healing energy from your paladin to the injured target. Now, I have known DMs/GMs who required that touch to be skin to skin, meaning no healing while wearing gloves or gauntlets either, so that sort of took care of what you are holding when trying to lay on hands.


ShadowcatX wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Take into account that the number of free action per round is not defined by raw, the DM can rule that you can not combine that free action with the swift action of the lay of hand.

While a DM can rule anything they choose, there is nothing in RAW (or RAI) that says taking free actions should prevent you from taking a swift action.

RAW does, however, say that DMs may consider limiting the number of free actions players can take.

Because swift is like free action but more limited

"A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort than a free action. You can perform one swift action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions. In that regard, a swift action is like a free action. "

But yeah is not clearly stated by raw, I suppose is a DM choice.


Nicos wrote:

That is not needed, the shield hand is free, he can lay of hand with that hand.

Take into account that the number of free action per round is not defined by raw, the DM can rule that you can not combine that free action with the swift action of the lay of hand.

I do not believe a light shield leaves a hand free...
Shield, Light; Wooden or Steel wrote:
A light shield's weight lets you carry other items in that hand, although you cannot use weapons with it.

I don't see that as free, just available to carry things with. Your mileage per GM will vary.

As to your limiting of free actions by GM decision, that is beyond the scope of the problem.


Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
While the tradition, both because of the name and the way it is visually presented, is that it is done with a hand, or sometimes both hands (which is how I required it in the old pre-3.0 days), so long as there is physical contact and you are consistent with it, you should not have to use your hands. Think about a Paladin of Shelyn from Golarion, who I would think would be more appropriate to heal with a hug than with a simple touch of the hands. Or maybe you like the concept of healing by touching foreheads together. Basically, you just need to be able to physically transfer the healing energy from your paladin to the injured target. Now, I have known DMs/GMs who required that touch to be skin to skin, meaning no healing while wearing gloves or gauntlets either, so that sort of took care of what you are holding when trying to lay on hands.
That's all well and good. But:
Lay On Hands wrote:
Despite the name of this ability, a paladin only needs one free hand to use this ability.


Nicos wrote:
Take into account that the number of free action per round is not defined by raw, the DM can rule that you can not combine that free action with the swift action of the lay of hand.

Action Types: "In a normal round, you can perform a standard action and a move action, or you can perform a full-round action. You can also perform one swift action and one or more free actions."

Free Action: "You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM."

I really don't think one free action per turn is a reasonable limit.

If the GM really wants to cripple clerics and paladins, a better way to go about it is to rule that hand switching takes a move action, rather than restricting free actions to the point where common tasks like speaking can't effectively happen.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
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.
if you're wielding a 2H weapon, you can let go of the weapon with one of your hands (free action). You're now only carrying the 2H weapon, not wielding it, but your free hand is now free to attack or help cast spells or whatever. And at the end of your turn if your free hand remains free you'd be able to return it to grip your 2H weapon so you can still threaten foes and take attacks of opportunity if you want.


Malfus wrote:
Nicos wrote:

That is not needed, the shield hand is free, he can lay of hand with that hand.

Take into account that the number of free action per round is not defined by raw, the DM can rule that you can not combine that free action with the swift action of the lay of hand.

I do not believe a light shield leaves a hand free...
Shield, Light; Wooden or Steel wrote:
A light shield's weight lets you carry other items in that hand, although you cannot use weapons with it.

I don't see that as free, just available to carry things with. Your mileage per GM will vary.

If you can carry an object you can grasp it, then you can move your and use lay of hands on you, but well i would rule it that way it seems perfectly logic to me.

Also mayeb i am wrong but can a spell caster cast while wieldig a rod in a hand and a light shield on the other? if the answer is afirmative then the paladin can use lay of hand with the shield hand.


Grick wrote:


I really don't think one free action per turn is a reasonable limit.

Is not one free action

pass the weapon to the shield + lay of hands+ pass the weapon to the free hand + full atack...nothing prohibit that by raw, but nothing enforce the DM to accept it ( By raw the dm can rule against it).


Nicos wrote:

Is not one free action

pass the weapon to the shield + lay of hands+ pass the weapon to the free hand + full atack...nothing prohibit that by raw, but nothing enforce the DM to accept it ( By raw the dm can rule against it).

That's two free actions, a swift action, and a full-round action.

The only thing the DM can limit of those is free actions.

By not allowing him to take 2 free actions, you're placing a limit of one free action per turn. This completely cripples archers (free action draw ammo), casters (free action prepare spell components), and anyone who wants to have dialogue.

This is not a case of the rules being in doubt, thus any modification to these existing rules is a house rule, which all (non-PFS) GMs are welcome to make as detailed under chapter 1.


Grick wrote:

The only thing the DM can limit of those is free actions.

By not allowing him to take 2 free actions, you're placing a limit of one free action per turn. This completely cripples archers (free action draw ammo), casters (free action prepare spell components), and anyone who wants to have dialogue.

This is not a case of the rules being in doubt, thus any modification to these existing rules is a house rule, which all (non-PFS) GMs are welcome to make as detailed under chapter 1.

Not really a house rule when specific always trumps general in the rules. So while the general rule says a GM can set a limit on free actions, if the archer, for example, specifically says he can take three shots in a combat round, and loading an arrow is a free action, then by the specific rule he would get those three free actions regardless of what general limit the GM may place on free actions.


Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Not really a house rule when specific always trumps general in the rules.

Why is the archer's BAB more specific than the action limit?

People can make multiple ranged attacks in one round when they can reload as a free action, just like throwing with quickdraw, bows with arrows, or Light Crossbows with Rapid Reload. And all of those are only possible if you can take multiple free actions per turn.

If you're saying the archer's BAB means he can take 3 attacks regardless of the action limit, then he could do it with a heavy crossbow, too, even though it takes a full-round action to reload.

The rules specifically state in multiple places "one or more free actions." The "reasonable limit" is clearly intended to be more than 1.


Again, when a skill, ability, feat or whatever gives you multiples of something that a normal character could not do, then I think it would be automatic that the free actions to do those things, like the quickdraw or rapid reload, are included. Not every single thing needs to be spelled out or listed in the rules or the Core Book could double in size. I know, and I am sure you know, that there are players out there who are too dense or are too much of a rules lawyer to accept this without it being in print for every single case, but if they cannot accept common sense and understood text (RAI), then I try to not play with them.


Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Again, when a skill, ability, feat or whatever gives you multiples of something that a normal character could not do, then I think it would be automatic that the free actions to do those things, like the quickdraw or rapid reload, are included.

There's no feat for speaking, so that means everyone can speak only once per six seconds. So you'll need another rule for that. And for dropping items. And touch spells. Ceasing concentration. Rage. Bardic Performance. Handling an animal companion.

This sounds like a lot of tangled justification for making a bad house rule work.

If you don't want people swapping hands, then make the change that affects the least amount of other rules: The action needed to swap hands (which, incidentally, is not in the rulebook).


this part of the discussion I was able to find in older threads. two handed weapons, Light shields, free hands, free actions, etc.

what I could not find was Two Weapon Fighting (non double weapon) and Lay on Hands.


No free hand, no Lay on Hands. Else consider house-ruling, or acquiring a third arm.


Quote:
When the time comes to us Lay on Hands, whether on a party member or himself, he is going to have to Drop / sheath / cord dangle one of those weapons, right?

This is correct. When wielding 2 weapons, you will have to free one of them up. Thats RAW.

Shadow Lodge

Grick wrote:
The rules specifically state in multiple places "one or more free actions." The "reasonable limit" is clearly intended to be more than 1.

Yes, but depending on what you're doing for those free actions I might limit you, as for the lay on hands example

pass weapon to shield hand - free
use lay on hands on some one else - standard
pass weapon back to other hand - free, but i wouldn't allow it, you're in combat, juggling your weapon isn't feasible, i would allow you to take other free actions, just not that free action in this case.

Kerebrus wrote:

this part of the discussion I was able to find in older threads. two handed weapons, Light shields, free hands, free actions, etc.

what I could not find was Two Weapon Fighting (non double weapon) and Lay on Hands.

Other options that Malfus didn't mention (but you did) are dropping and sheathing a weapon

TWF just doesn't work that well for casters, unless you are using a double weapon, because you need a free hand to cast spells with a somatic component.


Skerek wrote:
Grick wrote:
The rules specifically state in multiple places "one or more free actions." The "reasonable limit" is clearly intended to be more than 1.

Yes, but depending on what you're doing for those free actions I might limit you, as for the lay on hands example

pass weapon to shield hand - free
use lay on hands on some one else - standard
pass weapon back to other hand - free, but i wouldn't allow it, you're in combat, juggling your weapon isn't feasible, i would allow you to take other free actions, just not that free action in this case.

I would rule that way too


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The "reasonable limit" clause is there for a DM to step in when absurdity has entered the fray of free action abuse.

Take, for example, a character with Quick Draw and an Efficient Quiver (fully loaded with 60 arrows, 18 javelins, and 6 spears).

In the first round of combat, they choose to pull out 6 spears, one at a time, and drop them in succession. They then pull out 18 javelins, one at a time, and drop them in succession. Finally they pull out 60 arrows, one at a time, dropping them in succession.

In far under six seconds, this character has managed to draw and drop 84 items. They can still take a full round's worth of actions because every action used was free. Those are some mighty fast hands.

Then they start using their Ring of Telekinesis...

My point is that free actions can get ridiculous if left unchecked. That's what the clause for DM limitation is meant to hold back. If the person in question had 80 arms/tentacles/whatever then I could see them getting away with it. A standard character, though? Not a chance.

The "reasonable limit" varies depending on the kind of free actions and the creature using those free actions.

Shadow Lodge

Nigrescence wrote:

The "reasonable limit" clause is there for a DM to step in when absurdity has entered the fray of free action abuse.

Take, for example, a character with Quick Draw and an Efficient Quiver (fully loaded with 60 arrows, 18 javelins, and 6 spears).

In the first round of combat, they choose to pull out 6 spears, one at a time, and drop them in succession. They then pull out 18 javelins, one at a time, and drop them in succession. Finally they pull out 60 arrows, one at a time, dropping them in succession.

Hmm reminds me of the people who building gunslingers that'd acquire an extra arm and make 16 attack rolls(and reload actions) because they were duel wielding double barreled pistols with haste.


I've always seen the free action limit as a safety valve on infinite or recursive loops of the sort that sometimes manage to slip into a system as the amount of material in it grows, or totally crazy combat setups that involve drawing and dropping dozens of things, not something that should make players paranoid about trying to combine speaking with full-attacking with a bow. Free actions are supposed to be free; the "DM may limit" clause is in there to avoid potential exploits associated with an action type that players have an unlimited number of, not to make free actions into a second type of swift action or something.


Joyd wrote:
I've always seen the free action limit as a safety valve on infinite or recursive loops of the sort that sometimes manage to slip into a system as the amount of material in it grows, or totally crazy combat setups that involve drawing and dropping dozens of things, not something that should make players paranoid about trying to combine speaking with full-attacking with a bow. Free actions are supposed to be free; the "DM may limit" clause is in there to avoid potential exploits associated with an action type that players have an unlimited number of, not to make free actions into a second type of swift action or something.

Exactly, the question here is how many times can a charcarter pass his sword to the other hands per round? one? two? infinitely?


Nicos wrote:
Exactly, the question here is how many times can a charcarter pass his sword to the other hands per round? one? two? infinitely?

I would say that five passes is enough, especially if he takes no other free actions. Especially if it's done for flavor. For example, if someone plays a Free Hand Fighter prestiged into Duelist, and they just like the idea of a Fighter switching hands with every strike, just to throw the enemy off guard, then I wouldn't even count it as a limit with any other free actions at all. It's just how they fight. I wouldn't give them any actual stat bonus to combat for this style. I just wouldn't limit their stats (or actions) for something just flavorful and fun.

The full efficient quiver quickdraw method I mentioned above, however, is exactly the sort of thing that would fit under a DM saying that that's enough.

The DM limit on free actions is not a hard and fast rule. It's a rule specifically put in place so that players can't say that those actions are all free and the DM can't do anything about it by RAW. It's there so a DM can say "that's ridiculous, no" and that will be the end of it.

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