Wrist Sheaths and Not-Daggers


Rules Questions

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Mergy wrote:
And if a character starts with the scroll in hand, it is still a move action to unroll it? What use is the double cylinder form that helps the user unroll it quickly?

No... my discussion is of getting it out of storage; I was including the unrolling in the scroll in the retrieval action.

I suppose an in-hand scroll you ought to be able to unroll as part of the casting; didn't mean to suggest you have to do more than a swift action. I object to GETTING it in-hand with a spring sheath, but I wasn't saying having it in-hand would require an action to unroll, EXCEPT THAT all the ways I can think of to get it in-hand with the sheath would be so tight that you couldn't unroll it in a standard manner.


It seems to me that there must be some sort of weird lip that catches the edge of the scroll that leads people to presume that the scroll could be damaged. However, how would a rigid item negate this lip catching? A somewhat malleable item could bend a bit and still be delivered effectively. A rigid item would absolutely catch and prevent the ejection mechanism from working. With the specifically-intended-for use of dagger delivery, this would seem extra hazardous, as you'd be left with an awkward pointy thing jabbing your hand. I was under the impression that the spring loaded wrist sheath was a smooth tube with a one-pound spring and perhaps a light clamp. Even if the scroll starts to unroll in the sheath, the smooth-bore nature of the tube would allow the scroll upward travel.

As to the action of unrolling the scroll, the simple solution is to attach a small lead weight to the bottom leather strap and position the scroll appropriately in the sheath so that when the scroll pops into your hand, you simply hold the top edge and let gravity be your friend. It's not even a free action to unroll the scroll at that point, it just happens.

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Alitan wrote:
Mergy wrote:
And if a character starts with the scroll in hand, it is still a move action to unroll it? What use is the double cylinder form that helps the user unroll it quickly?

No... my discussion is of getting it out of storage; I was including the unrolling in the scroll in the retrieval action.

I suppose an in-hand scroll you ought to be able to unroll as part of the casting; didn't mean to suggest you have to do more than a swift action. I object to GETTING it in-hand with a spring sheath, but I wasn't saying having it in-hand would require an action to unroll, EXCEPT THAT all the ways I can think of to get it in-hand with the sheath would be so tight that you couldn't unroll it in a standard manner.

I imagine the wrist sheath as accommodating a normally-rolled scroll. When it is shot out by the spring, it is still in its normal, rolled-up form in which scrolls are kept.

I can't see any rules that require additional actions for unrolling a scroll, so my opinion is that there are no additional actions required. If you want your character to unroll it as he takes it out, fine. If your character is the type who unrolls it with a flourish as he speaks the words of power, let it happen.

Unrolling the scroll (again, only in my opinion) is fluff.


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Lex Starwalker wrote:


The scroll WILL unroll inside the spring sheath slightly. You can test this with a simple experiment. Roll up a piece of paper, put it inside a paper towel tube, and see what happens. I think that even if you could get this to work, there would be a chance that the scroll would be damaged during ejection and/or would jam and not eject all the way (or at all).

Most scrolls are made of fine vellum, an animal hide product that would stay pretty well rolled. The chance of a double-rolled scroll of fine vellum reinforced around stiff leather bindings jamming in a spring-loaded sheath should be equivalent to that of a long, thin metal or wooden object (about the size of a dagger or wand) catching and jamming in the same standardized sheath. Since there are no jamming rules for spring-loaded wrist sheaths written into Pathfinder, that's pretty much a 0% chance.

Pathfinder rules don't require a spring-loaded wrist sheath to be built for a particular item, and if you're demanding that real-world logic and physics apply to the item (which is always good for a snicker with an rpg) then any wrist sheath would be built for a particular object or suffer some sort of jammin/misfire chance. Because the sheath is generalized for objects of a relatively similar size and shape, it's a rather punitive and unfair house-ruling to disallow or arbitrarily assign some sort of jamming chance to a particular item (like a scroll).

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You can test it with a simple experiment, assuming you have vellum backed by leather and a spring loaded wrist sheath.

If you don't, we have to use our imaginations. :)


Mergy wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Are you asserting that a rolled-up scroll is not roughly the length of a forearm?

Are you asserting that a rolled up scroll is similar to the specifically allowed objects?

Furthermore RAW doesn't give you a forearm length and it does in fact vary between people it also doesn't give you length characteristics for most items as such no objects are forearm length and you can't use the wrist sheath at all exempting the cases specifically mentioned to work.

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gnomersy wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Are you asserting that a rolled-up scroll is not roughly the length of a forearm?

Are you asserting that a rolled up scroll is similar to the specifically allowed objects?

Furthermore RAW doesn't give you a forearm length and it does in fact vary between people it also doesn't give you length characteristics for most items as such no objects are forearm length and you can't use the wrist sheath at all exempting the cases specifically mentioned to work.

First of all, yes I am asserting that a rolled up sheet of thick vellum backed by leather is actually quite a bit more rigid than toilet paper.

Your argument about forearm length is absurd. There would be no point in allowing anything different than the items specifically mentioned if you were going harp on the fact that there is no defined forearm measurement.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Just wrap some darts in scrolls, and you are good to go.

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blackbloodtroll wrote:
Just wrap some darts in scrolls, and you are good to go.

I like you. :)


Mergy wrote:


First of all, yes I am asserting that a rolled up sheet of thick vellum backed by leather is actually quite a bit more rigid than toilet paper.

Your argument about forearm length is absurd. There would be no point in allowing anything different than the items specifically mentioned if you were going harp on the fact that there is no defined forearm measurement.

I never said toilet paper.

However you asked for the rules and the rules don't give you a forearm length therefore there are no forearm length items excluding those allowed anything else is infact houserules or RAI.

And a scroll is roughly nothing like a wand, a dagger, a set of darts, crossbow bolts, or arrows. A short stick would be like the aforementioned items as would a short stick with a scroll wrapped around it but do the rules let you wrap your scrolls around sticks?


gnomersy wrote:


And a scroll is roughly nothing like a wand, a dagger, a set of darts, crossbow bolts, or arrows. A short stick would be like the aforementioned items as would a short stick with a scroll wrapped around it but do the rules let you wrap your scrolls around sticks?

Leather strips for bindings at the top and bottom of the scroll could be pretty darn firm.


WRoy wrote:
gnomersy wrote:


And a scroll is roughly nothing like a wand, a dagger, a set of darts, crossbow bolts, or arrows. A short stick would be like the aforementioned items as would a short stick with a scroll wrapped around it but do the rules let you wrap your scrolls around sticks?
Leather strips for bindings at the top and bottom of the scroll could be pretty darn firm.

And have to be untied...


Alitan wrote:
WRoy wrote:
gnomersy wrote:


And a scroll is roughly nothing like a wand, a dagger, a set of darts, crossbow bolts, or arrows. A short stick would be like the aforementioned items as would a short stick with a scroll wrapped around it but do the rules let you wrap your scrolls around sticks?
Leather strips for bindings at the top and bottom of the scroll could be pretty darn firm.
And have to be untied...

No. A binding is a reinforcing material at the top and bottom edges of the scroll. I think you're mistaking this as some sort of thin leather cord or thongs that are tying the scroll shut after its been rolled up.

Picture the unrolled rectangular piece of vellum. Along the top and bottom edges are pieces of stiff leather. The scroll is rolled into a double tube around these.


WRoy wrote:


No. A binding is a reinforcing material at the top and bottom edges of the scroll. I think you're mistaking this as some sort of thin leather cord or thongs that are tying the scroll shut after its been rolled up.

Picture the unrolled rectangular piece of vellum. Along the top and bottom edges are pieces of stiff leather. The scroll is rolled into a double tube around these.

They could be but they could also not be, we don't actually have any information about whether or not they are firm very firm or pliable.


Unrolling a scroll feels like a move action to me...

I suppose that might cause a few problems if actually ruled like that.


gnomersy wrote:


They could be but they could also not be, we don't actually have any information about whether or not they are firm very firm or pliable.

That's right, you don't know if the material used to explicitly protect a scroll by adding rigidity along the top and bottom is some sort of durable leather whose quality matches the rest of the materials of a magic item. or if it's paper-thin sueded calfskin that adds zero structural integrity to the scroll.


I'm glad that my opinion has been noted.

Seriously, do I have it right, or am I just being foolish?


galahad2112 wrote:

I'm glad that my opinion has been noted.

Seriously, do I have it right, or am I just being foolish?

Have you ever seen the metal throat of a sheath for a sword or dagger? On a smooth rigid metal/wooden object it's a non issue, on a rolled up piece of paper that is bending under force from a spring it wouldn't be impossible to get it caught on the metal and for it to tear as it ejected.


Usually the scabbard is a piece of stitched leather or wood and the throat and tip are metal accents on the outside. but since the wrist sheath accepts a variety of objects, I would presume that it is a (somewhat) larger diameter than just a scabbard, and in either case, the inside would be smooth. Am I missing something else perhaps?


blahpers wrote:


What's wrong with ignoring FAQs, rule corrections, and clarifications?

Nothing in the forums not labled Rules Forums here however ignoring such things tends to cause new players seeking help to get confused and start believing that things that are not correct actually are.

Basicly in the rules forums if your gonna post something that is against the rules pre-face as such so people know its not the offical way.


galahad2112 wrote:
Usually the scabbard is a piece of stitched leather or wood and the throat and tip are metal accents on the outside. but since the wrist sheath accepts a variety of objects, I would presume that it is a (somewhat) larger diameter than just a scabbard, and in either case, the inside would be smooth. Am I missing something else perhaps?

One must wonder how a larger diameter than a scabbard object is being secreted up your sleeves am I missing something?


What I mean is that a typical dagger is at most 1/4 inch thick. A wand however, could be fairly varied (3/4 inch round? 1/2 inch?) and 5 bolts are another thing altogether. Plus, the idea is to cover the entire hilt of the dagger as well, right? That would be a good bit larger than the scabbard. I would imagine that a puffy sleeved shirt or a coat could conceal quite a bit. Of course, it's kind of irrelevant with the scroll, as we've established that it will conform to the inside of the wrist sheath as long as it's somewhat rounded.


You could wind a piece of wire up with the scroll so that it automatically unsprings when it pops out of the sheath.


galahad2112 wrote:
What I mean is that a typical dagger is at most 1/4 inch thick. A wand however, could be fairly varied (3/4 inch round? 1/2 inch?) and 5 bolts are another thing altogether. Plus, the idea is to cover the entire hilt of the dagger as well, right? That would be a good bit larger than the scabbard. I would imagine that a puffy sleeved shirt or a coat could conceal quite a bit. Of course, it's kind of irrelevant with the scroll, as we've established that it will conform to the inside of the wrist sheath as long as it's somewhat rounded.

I assumed the hilt just hung downwards while there was a locking mechanism in the sheath/scabbard that was deactivated by the act of shifting your wrist and allowed the spring to push it into your hand. In which case the sheath in question is just a spring loaded scabbard with a weird locking mechanism.


Either way, the wand and bolts are very oddly shaped to be placed in a dagger sheath. The comment about the hilt being covered was also in reference to the question of "how is he going to conceal that monstrous tube in his sleeve?"

Grand Lodge

When spring loaded everything becomes commonplace instead of the quirky rarity it was intended to be,
you're swimming the seas of cheese.


"The sheath can hold one forearm-length item such as a dagger, dart, or wand, or up to five arrows or crossbow bolts"

Those are some short arrows....

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Actually, the whole letter wrapped around an arrow thing has established history, so you just wrap a scroll around an arrow. Shazam! Problem solved.

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Mynameisjake wrote:

"The sheath can hold one forearm-length item such as a dagger, dart, or wand, or up to five arrows or crossbow bolts"

Those are some short arrows....

Actually, that's a good point.

It doesn't seem like there's much arguing about size after all, because 5 arrows from a longbow are going to take up a ton of space on a fella's arm.


Mergy wrote:
Mynameisjake wrote:

"The sheath can hold one forearm-length item such as a dagger, dart, or wand, or up to five arrows or crossbow bolts"

Those are some short arrows....

Actually, that's a good point.

It doesn't seem like there's much arguing about size after all, because 5 arrows from a longbow are going to take up a ton of space on a fella's arm.

Well the forearm-length isn't related to arrows or crossbow bolts, due to the construction of the sentence.

"The sheath can hold X, or Y", where:

X="one forearm-length item such as a dagger, dart, or wand"
Y="up to five arrows or crossbow bolts"

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HaraldKlak wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Mynameisjake wrote:

"The sheath can hold one forearm-length item such as a dagger, dart, or wand, or up to five arrows or crossbow bolts"

Those are some short arrows....

Actually, that's a good point.

It doesn't seem like there's much arguing about size after all, because 5 arrows from a longbow are going to take up a ton of space on a fella's arm.

Well the forearm-length isn't related to arrows or crossbow bolts, due to the construction of the sentence.

"The sheath can hold X, or Y", where:

X="one forearm-length item such as a dagger, dart, or wand"
Y="up to five arrows or crossbow bolts"

Also a good point. The way we parse the sentence is going to affect what can actually be carried by a wrist sheath.

It seems like this is a more controversial issue than I at first thought. I still don't have a problem with someone using a scroll in a spring loaded wrist sheath, and I will not agree with anyone that it's gaming the system or being a munchkin; I could understand, however, why a gaming group would be interested in keeping this item specifically for daggers and darts.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Why would you really want a scroll in a spring-loaded wrist sheath anyway? Is it really that useful? I've used them for wands (retrieve and activate without either provoking, and still be able to draw a weapon) and for a potion of fly (just so I can get airborn that same turn). But a scroll? I'm not thinking of a worthwhile usage.

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Jiggy wrote:
Why would you really want a scroll in a spring-loaded wrist sheath anyway? Is it really that useful? I've used them for wands (retrieve and activate without either provoking, and still be able to draw a weapon) and for a potion of fly (just so I can get airborn that same turn). But a scroll? I'm not thinking of a worthwhile usage.

It is actually only really necessary to make use of a scroll such as breath of life, which requires that a spellcaster retrieve the scroll, move towards the victim, and cast the spell all in a single round.

Otherwise it's just a neat thing that saves a move action.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ah, right, forgot about breath of life.


It could be useful for cone spells as well, since they tend to require positioning during the casting round. An emergency color spray for 25gp at low levels could be nice.

Sovereign Court

A scroll can hold more powerful spells than a wand might. That is the single advantage I can immediately think of over a wand in this case.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, a scroll with three or more spells can come with its own reinforcing rods, not specifically leather strips but rigid material (perhaps wooden) of fairly similar dimensions and mass to a wand.

As for the spring-loaded sheath; a sheath generally has some physical characteristic that prevents the item inside from sliding or falling out at the wrong times. It isn't specified whether the one sheath can accomodate a variety of items, or if they're typically designed for one type of item (a dagger sheath, for example). This makes guessing at the non-slip design more difficult. It's probably either:
a. A snug-fitting, slightly malleable casing that uses natural tension to keep the item inside, overcoming that friction when spring tension is released to push the item towards the open end, or
b. A releaseable 'lip' or lid that holds the item inside by blocking the opening until it is triggered.

I'm not arguing for or against this idea, frankly. I prefer to present ideas and let the community decide what weight those points merit for themselves and their own tables.

I also stated that this idea doesn't seem imbalanced to me, as wands are already allowed for use with the wrist sheaths.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I still say scroll wrapped arrows is the way to go here. If you need to give one to someone else, then you can fire it at their feet.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:
I still say scroll wrapped arrows is the way to go here. If you need to give one to someone else, then you can fire it at their feet.

"I hit you with a scroll of cure light wounds."

"Awesome, I could use some hit points."

"You take 5 damage from the arrow. Enjoy the scroll."

Really though, in a system where an alchemist can start his turn with nothing in his hands and then grab the components for, create, and throw a bomb all with just a standard action (and still has a move action to do whatever with), I'm totally fine with this.

Grand Lodge

Scrolls don't get used enough.

Wrist sheath scroll is a cool concept that might make scroll usage more common.

It would be kind of ridiculous for every PC to be able to use a wrist sheath scroll device with no investment.

So if a player in my games wants to do this, I'll allow it with a DC 15 check of something appropriate (Knowledge (engineering) or Craft (traps) or something) to jury rig the device to deliver scrolls. And then the device would be able to only deliver scrolls, not daggers or anything else.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Ah, right, forgot about breath of life.

That's just about the only time I've seen this trick mentioned, anyway.

I regard it mostly as a defensible way to try and make breath of life useful; without a quickdraw capability it's not going to be a lot of good on a scroll.

Furthermore, I don't see having quickdraw scrolls is any more unbalancing than having quickdraw daggers, wands, and ammunition. The camel's nose is already under the wall of the tent - saying it's fine to be able to use a device like this to deliver ammunition (unspecified other than a weight limit of 1lb), but there's no way to design one to deliver a scroll, seems a little too arbitrary.

I 'd rather see spring-loaded devices like this be (i) more expensive and (ii) a lot more likely to fail (in a variety of interesting ways). But we can't go back and re-write rules, so we are pretty much stuck with what's out there today. (If we could rewrite the rules, allowing just a little longer a window for casting breath of life would be a good place to start ...)

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Removed some posts and replies to them. Being fighty is discouraged, please don't do it.

Scarab Sages

Personally, I wish the Spring Loaded Wrist Sheath didn't include ammo, or a projectile weapon. If I think of every spring-loaded wrist-sheath that I have ever seen in the movies, like for small guns in gangster movies or whatever, the thing pops out and the person can srap their hand around it, but it's still in the mechanism that holds it. They are able to point and shoot the gun, but they don't bend their wrist because it's not actually just in their hand, it's supported by the sliding frame of the mechanism in which it's mounted.
In my imagination and in an ideal world, I don't think that the idea of it popping out into your hand would work. The sheath is designed to let you use the weapon, not be like a pex dispenser for ammo. I can imagine it for a gun where it's a direct, straight, point and shoot weapon. But for a weapon like a dagger or something where it's assumed one would have to bend their wrist and have movement wouldn't really work. Unless of course, it was restricted to making only stabbing movements, in which case a dagger could only be used as piecing.

Just my rambling thoughts on how I would imagine the item if I had written the description of it.


HaraldKlak wrote:


Well the forearm-length isn't related to arrows or crossbow bolts, due to the construction of the sentence.

Construction of the sentence aside, anyone arguing "realism" has to contend with the fact that there is simply no way that 5 arrows could be held, much less dispensed, in the manner described. Here's a test: Take 5 dow rods between 2-3'. Tape them to the underside of one's arm (without extending past the wrist). Put on a long sleeve shirt. Now try to use that arm around the house for an hour.

If one can accept that holding/dispensing 5 arrows is an acceptable usage of a wrist sheath, despite the enormous impracticality of it (I would say, "impossibility"), then a scroll isn't much of a stretch, material properties of "parchment" aside.

"Aside" seems to be my word for the day.

On another aside, if realism is the argument, what exactly does one do with the 5 arrows? Noching one is a free action, but then one has to either hold the other 4 in the hand that holds the bow, or the hand that draws the string. The hand that holds the bow now has about twice the circumference to deal with. The hand that draws the string is easier, but try to noch one of the remaining arrows (actual arrows work best for this demonstration so that one has to deal with the fletching). Good luck.

Tons of impractical, improbably, and impossible items and actions are "hand waved" in RPG's. Getting hung up on the technicalities rarely enhances the gaming experience.


I don't get how these threads get so long. This is a clear example of something that is EXPLICITLY A DMS DECISION! It's awkward having to work out the details of everything with a new DM, but if you think it will matter, it's just something you should ask him about beforehand, as part of the quick look at your character sheet that he is supposed to do anyway. RAW answer is that there is no answer.

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oneplus999 wrote:
I don't get how these threads get so long. This is a clear example of something that is EXPLICITLY A DMS DECISION! It's awkward having to work out the details of everything with a new DM, but if you think it will matter, it's just something you should ask him about beforehand, as part of the quick look at your character sheet that he is supposed to do anyway. RAW answer is that there is no answer.

That just seems lazy to me. Let's know the correct answer so that things like organized play don't fall about, and let people who don't like the correct answer make house rules.

Grand Lodge

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This entire conversation/argument falls into what I commonly refer to as fringe play.
Fringe play is for players who are unhappy to exist within the Core (and Spirit) of the Game.

Is it creative? Yes.
Is it manipulative? Yes.
Does it belong in Pathfinder Society? No.

If you've ever owned or used a spring loaded device worn on the wrist, the item being deployed is (usually) fixed to the rail or slide.
This would prohibit the removal, unrolling or any other action associated with scrolls.

You can presume real world physics all you like.
You can even use other game mechanics as examples to attempt to reenforce your position.

Bottom line:
This IS an attempt to manipulate the basic action economy of the game and provide an (unbalancing) advantage for scroll users.

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