Readying Attack vs. Arrows


Rules Questions

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Liberty's Edge

Ashiel wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Well, just for modelling purposes a typical muzzle-loaded projectile from a black-powder gun travels at roughly 1,500 feet per second, or roughly 1,000 miles per hour. In case anyone wants to model the difficulty of hitting one with a sword.

Incidentally, it was pointed out in the "Cool But Useless" thread that creatures can reach speeds like that in D&D/PF, and actually be easier to hit due to the -4 penalty to AC while running. :P

Also, Isao Machii can cut a pellet out of the air fired from an airsoft gun. Seems pretty reasonable that if you can do something that amazing in real life, then a 6th+ level fantasy hero should certainly be able to not only do so, but to do even more impressive feats.

They can do even better. They can actually cat the arrow out of mid air.

If they take the feat.

Which is why they made the feat.


Ashiel wrote:
Yeah, AC 35 would be excessive. The AC to slice a gnat in half while it was flying would only be in the low to mid 20s (+8 size, +3-7 Dex, 10 base). Back in 3.0, they actually said the AC to shoot an arrow into the tip of another arrow (the classic Robin Hood trick) was about 20.

The classic "robin hood trick" is to shoot an arrow into the tail of an already fired arrow, not the tip of another arrow. And the arrow that you hit is not moving. If there is some reference that in 3.0 the AC to hit the tip of an incoming arrow with another arrow is 20, I'd love to see it.

By the way, my brother is an archery hunter and participates in competitions. He has a collection of "robin hood" arrows on his shelf. He's pretty good, but it's not really that hard.


ciretose wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Well, just for modelling purposes a typical muzzle-loaded projectile from a black-powder gun travels at roughly 1,500 feet per second, or roughly 1,000 miles per hour. In case anyone wants to model the difficulty of hitting one with a sword.

Incidentally, it was pointed out in the "Cool But Useless" thread that creatures can reach speeds like that in D&D/PF, and actually be easier to hit due to the -4 penalty to AC while running. :P

Also, Isao Machii can cut a pellet out of the air fired from an airsoft gun. Seems pretty reasonable that if you can do something that amazing in real life, then a 6th+ level fantasy hero should certainly be able to not only do so, but to do even more impressive feats.

They can do even better. They can actually cat the arrow out of mid air.

If they take the feat.

Which is why they made the feat.

There is no feat for striking an arrow out of mid air, or catching it with a weapon. You may be mistaking it for deflect arrows which requires IUS, and the snatch arrows feat that builds off it.

As for citation for my previous post, Sword & Fist had the AC to shoot an arrow into shaft of another arrow. Unless you're talking about the AC of a gnat, in which case it was an estimation based off fine size and an awesome Dexterity.

Liberty's Edge

Ashiel wrote:

There is no feat for striking an arrow out of mid air, or catching it with a weapon. You may be mistaking it for deflect arrows which requires IUS, and the snatch arrows feat that builds off it.

As for citation for my previous post, Sword & Fist had the AC to shoot an arrow into shaft of another arrow. Unless you're talking about the AC of a gnat, in which case it was an estimation based off fine size and an awesome Dexterity.

Was that by any chance a stationary arrow. Because I'm pretty sure hitting a moving target is harder than hitting a stationary one. Particularly a very fast moving target.

And I wasn't mistaking anything. I was pointing out that some things are feats and something are just things that are next to impossible to do.

I probably would allow a player to try it, but with success only on a 20 or with a ridiculously high AC.


ciretose wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

There is no feat for striking an arrow out of mid air, or catching it with a weapon. You may be mistaking it for deflect arrows which requires IUS, and the snatch arrows feat that builds off it.

As for citation for my previous post, Sword & Fist had the AC to shoot an arrow into shaft of another arrow. Unless you're talking about the AC of a gnat, in which case it was an estimation based off fine size and an awesome Dexterity.

Was that by any chance a stationary arrow. Because I'm pretty sure hitting a moving target is harder than hitting a stationary one. Particularly a very fast moving target.

And I wasn't mistaking anything. I was pointing out that some things are feats and something are just things that are next to impossible to do.

I probably would allow a player to try it, but with success only on a 20 or with a ridiculously high AC.

Sadly in PF AC and speed have no correlation. Dex and AC do however.

In fact running all out actually lowers your overall ac instead of providing a bonus.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Yeah, AC 35 would be excessive. The AC to slice a gnat in half while it was flying would only be in the low to mid 20s (+8 size, +3-7 Dex, 10 base). Back in 3.0, they actually said the AC to shoot an arrow into the tip of another arrow (the classic Robin Hood trick) was about 20.

The classic "robin hood trick" is to shoot an arrow into the tail of an already fired arrow, not the tip of another arrow. And the arrow that you hit is not moving. If there is some reference that in 3.0 the AC to hit the tip of an incoming arrow with another arrow is 20, I'd love to see it.

By the way, my brother is an archery hunter and participates in competitions. He has a collection of "robin hood" arrows on his shelf. He's pretty good, but it's not really that hard.

I didn't say into an oncoming arrow. Maybe people don't know the robinhood trick as well as I figured. The classic robin hood trick had Robin shoot an arrow a great distance and plant it in the shaft of another arrow that was a bullseye, splitting the arrow and driving into the bullseye. I recalled thinking that the AC of 20 was pretty low, until I realized that 20 AC is pretty darn hard to hit reliably for normal people. Your average human warrior was typically stated with around 11-13 Dexterity, and a +1 base attack. Even with Weapon Focus, it would be a fluke to hit it (15% chance to hit the arrow); while a much more skilled archer (such as a 4th level warrior class like Fighter or Ranger would have a +4 to hit, maybe even +3 from Dexterity, +1 from Weapon Focus, +1 from masterwork bow or arrows) could actually make a shot like that without too much difficulty.

Liberty's Edge

Talonhawke wrote:


Sadly in PF AC and speed have no correlation. Dex and AC do however.

In fact running all out actually lowers your overall ac instead of providing a bonus.

You can't honestly be serious that as a GM you would adjudicate the AC of a moving arrow the same as a stationary arrow.


No I would't but since so many others keep screaming RAW at the top of their lungs I figured i would too.

I would treat the speed as a Cirmustance bonus to the arrow. Not sure what I would put the AC at off the top of my head.


I'm getting more and more convinced that a 28 AC (10 + 10 circumstance + 4 size + 4 Dex) for a level 1 arrow is appropriate.

Do you have any idea how hard it would be to hit an AC 28 at level 1?

Essentially, you could rarely do it unless it's against a much weaker opponent (since I'm adding in the opponent's fired Dex to the projectile's Dex, it will scale with level) and you rarely should since you're sacrificing a readied action to do something not tactically sound.


Of course This is all moot in my home games anyway since we are now using Kirthfinder and this would simply be ruled a parry attempt anyways.


ciretose wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

There is no feat for striking an arrow out of mid air, or catching it with a weapon. You may be mistaking it for deflect arrows which requires IUS, and the snatch arrows feat that builds off it.

As for citation for my previous post, Sword & Fist had the AC to shoot an arrow into shaft of another arrow. Unless you're talking about the AC of a gnat, in which case it was an estimation based off fine size and an awesome Dexterity.

Was that by any chance a stationary arrow. Because I'm pretty sure hitting a moving target is harder than hitting a stationary one. Particularly a very fast moving target.

And I wasn't mistaking anything. I was pointing out that some things are feats and something are just things that are next to impossible to do.

I would first argue that hitting arrows in flight with a melee weapon is not nearly impossible to do. Hell, they even have Aragorn in desperation slap an oncoming dagger away with his greatsword in the Fellowship of the Ring. It would be coming fast, but I'm pretty sure with several tries a normal person with a practice sword can probably slap a practice arrow out of the air as it's coming towards them.

So very far from next to impossible; which by the way D&D heroes do next to impossible things on a regular basis; including making world record holders for sporting events look like rookies. In reality, making a 32 ft. jump seems next to impossible. In D&D, it means you're around 10th level, and you might even be doing it while wearing mithral chainmail.


Ashiel wrote:
Hell, they even have Aragorn in desperation slap an oncoming dagger away with his greatsword in the Fellowship of the Ring.

True, and when I took martial arts we actually had a few lessons to see how adequate we could deflect a thrown weapon. It was more for fun, but it's a common hobby of trainers to get good at it. Everybody likes drama!

Let's keep in mind, though, that a thrown dagger or shuriken is travelling at 15.2 m/s and an arrow travels at 100 m/s. When asked what you do when somebody shoots an arrow at you, most martial arts expects advice to take cover. :)

Players are exceptional people here though!

So, I'm curious Ashiel... what AC do you think is fair? We'll sort out the details of where it's coming from with circumstance bonuses later. =^.^=


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GrenMeera wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Hell, they even have Aragorn in desperation slap an oncoming dagger away with his greatsword in the Fellowship of the Ring.

True, and when I took martial arts we actually had a few lessons to see how adequate we could deflect a thrown weapon. It was more for fun, but it's a common hobby of trainers to get good at it. Everybody likes drama!

Let's keep in mind, though, that a thrown dagger or shuriken is travelling at 15.2 m/s and an arrow travels at 100 m/s. When asked what you do when somebody shoots an arrow at you, most martial arts expects advice to take cover. :)

Players are exceptional people here though!

So, I'm curious Ashiel... what AC do you think is fair? We'll sort out the details of where it's coming from with circumstance bonuses later. =^.^=

Well like I said before, I think the AC should be set by the shooter's attack roll, which takes into account the attacker's skill, dexterity, magical enhancements, and so forth. I find that it creates a fairly reasonable scale, without having to ad-hoc circumstance bonuses onto it.

So attack's attack roll + ammo's size modifier seems very reasonable. It also means that attacks less likely to actually make contact with you are also more likely to be struck (which seems pretty reasonable to me, given the games most of us played as small children, swatting things out of the air). The average AC on the opposed attack would be about 16 for a 1st level warrior with a +1 BAB, +1 Dex, and +4 size modifier; but could be as high as 26 depending on the roll. Meanwhile, the average AC to slap a 20th level fighter's arrow out of the air would be beyond comprehension (11 average on a d20 + 5 enhancement + 9 Dexterity, + 5 weapon training, +2 bracers, +20 base attack, +2 greater weapon focus + 4 size modifier = 58, up to 67).

Silver Crusade

Let me show you how I would deal with this query if I was GMing at the table:

Player: I'm going to ready an action to cut his arrow out of the air when he shoots.
GM: Do you have deflect arrows?
Player: No.
GM: Then you can't do it.
Player: Why?
GM: Because it's stupid, that's why.

End of argument.


FallofCamelot wrote:

Let me show you how I would deal with this query if I was GMing at the table:

Player: I'm going to ready an action to cut his arrow out of the air when he shoots.
GM: Do you have deflect arrows?
Player: No.
GM: Then you can't do it.
Player: Why?
GM: Because it's stupid, that's why.

End of argument.

Wow, that sounds... fun. >.>

I'm glad games... are... fun. <.<


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FallofCamelot wrote:

Let me show you how I would deal with this query if I was GMing at the table:

Player: I'm going to ready an action to cut his arrow out of the air when he shoots.
GM: Do you have deflect arrows?
Player: No.
GM: Then you can't do it.
Player: Why?
GM: Because it's stupid, that's why.

End of argument.

I'm more of the "show vs tell" kinda GM I suppose. It would go more like this with me.

Player: "I'm going to ready an action to cut his arrow out of the air when he shoots."

GM: "Well, he's going to shoot more than one arrow, do you want to dedicate your entire turn to attempting to knock one arrow out of the air?"

Player: "Sure! It'll be cool! It'll intimidate the hell out of him."

GM: "Hm... well, I don't think this is strictly within the rules, but here's how we can work it. You can ready an attack action and attempt to hit the arrow as it comes in. You'll roll an attack roll against the arrow's AC."

Player: "What's the arrow's AC?"

GM: "Pretty damn high, I'll tell you that. You still want to do it?"

Player: "Damn right!"

GM: "OK, on his attack he fires three arrows at you. As the first one enters your square you attempt to hit it with your sword. Make your attack roll."

Player: *rolls dice* "Sweeet! A 17 on the die, that's a 27 overall, that arrow is TOAST!"

GM: "The arrow flies past your flailing sword and strikes you in the chest. The second arrow also hits you, but the third arrow deflects off your chain shirt and flies into the trees behind you. OK, your turn. Want to ready another action?"

Player: "I rolled a 17!"

GM: "And you missed. Want to try again?"

Sczarni

I would think the DC 30 for trying to do stupid untrained martial moves would come into play. Roll your Reflex save, see if you tie 30 or higher... Nope? Then guess what- its impossible without sufficient training (either the feat or levelling) or natural talent (stat bonuses)... and you ain't got it Jack. And if by sheer luck he rolls a 20, I might let him do it once just to appease the "luck gods".

Would I let a high level character waste his entire attack action to swat a single arrow (say he has a high reflex save) 50% of the time? Sure. Why not? He's forgoing 2-3 attacks to save himself 1d6 + whatever damage. Ok. Silly. But fine. Oh, and if they are magic arrows, guess what... they explode!


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A lot of people are really hating on this idea! ^.^ It's fun for the sake of fun. I wonder why it's criticized so much.

I notice that a lot of examples are during combat in which the player is choosing to do a non-tactical move that would cost him greatly. I can see other instances where this is the perfect solution.

There are other ways to challenge a party than direct combat. Placing them in awkward or difficult situations can sometimes have nothing to do with the CR of enemies.

For example, a group of level 10 adventurers wander into a new town. During their first day the local thieves guild, not knowing what they are up against, see the adventurer's full coin purse flashed around one too many times. They make plans to ambush the adventurers; however these high level heroes easily take notice and keep to the main streets.

Feeling pressured and anxious, an ambush inadvertently begins with an accidentally loosed arrow.

Without a doubt, these level 1 thieves are not going to challenge the party in direct combat. That's not the point. The GM is testing the group to see how they approach this.

Do they simply kill all the thieves? This terribly frightens all the onlookers and generally creates unrest in this poor small town. Sure, a couple thieves are gone, but it's a small town! That was somebody's brother! What are these adventurer's going to do next?

Do they capture them, one at a time? Sounds like justice to me. Lawful Good, but not entirely clever.

Do they attempt a Diplomacy roll? Now we're getting to a group that isn't about power gaming at all! Incredibly Lawful Good, possibly a bad idea, but if they make good rolls, this could turn interesting.

Does the high level fighter grin and swat the arrow out of the air, then make an Intimidate roll? Very flavorful, and a lot more Chaotic Good. Probably the most interesting of the bunch.

The GM can really develop the PCs personalities from these challenges much more so than an equivalently difficult CR. It's reasons like this that I am in favor of these kind of possibilities in a game.

Not "it's stupid to do this and I'd punish my PCs for being stupid". What happened to the fun of a role-playing game?


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GrenMeera wrote:


The GM can really develop the PCs personalities from these challenges much more so than an equivalently difficult CR. It's reasons like this that I am in favor of these kind of possibilities in a game.

Not "it's stupid to do this and I'd punish my PCs for being stupid". What happened to the fun of a role-playing game?

The GM can do this at any time with any challenge and any situation. That's sort of the GM's job.

One thing I have learned in the last 30 years of playing this game is that there are distinctly different styles of play that have developed. To simplify the various styles for the purpose of discussion, two general styles of play are what I call "gritty" and "showy".

People who like "gritty" tend to not like "showy" and vice versa.

I fall much more into the "gritty" camp. I like my fantasy to have some reasonable connection to reality, even in the presence of obviously impossible things like magical flame leaping from a person's bare hands.

Allowing things to happen because "that would be cool" is a concept that has no logical boundary, and so becomes just another way of saying "I draw the line here while you draw the line there."

I am of the opinion that as a GM I encourage all sorts of awesome every game session. But within my group's general agreed upon tolerance level.

As I pointed out above, as soon as you allow someone to attack an incoming arrow, someone will argue that means you should be able to attack an incoming bullet. And soon it will be two incoming bullets. Because it's "teh awesome dude!"

Well, there is plenty of awesome at my table already, and I don't need to go from the sublime to the ridiculous in the pursuit of awesome for the sake of awesomosity.

Just my take. You can, of course, play how you like.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

The GM can do this at any time with any challenge and any situation. That's sort of the GM's job.

One thing I have learned in the last 30 years of playing this game is that there are distinctly different styles of play that have developed. To simplify the various styles for the purpose of discussion, two general styles of play are what I call "gritty" and "showy".

People who like "gritty" tend to not like "showy" and vice versa.

I fall much more into the "gritty" camp. I like my fantasy to have some reasonable connection to reality, even in the presence of obviously impossible things like magical flame leaping from a person's bare hands.

Allowing things to happen because "that would be cool" is a concept that has no logical boundary, and so becomes just another way of saying "I draw the line here while you draw the line there."

I am of the opinion that as a GM I encourage all sort of awesome every game session. But within my group's general agreed upon tolerance level.

As I pointed out above, as soon as you allow someone to attack an incoming arrow, someone will argue that means you should be able to attack an incoming bullet. And soon it will be two incoming bullets. Because it's "teh awesome dude!"

Well, there is plenty of awesome at my table already, and I don't need to go from the sublime to the ridiculous in the pursuit of awesome for the sake of awesomosity.

Just my take. You can, of course, play how you like.

I actually very much liked that assessment! I have seen both camps in games that I've not only participated in, but GMed.

Adding to that, I've noticed these camps lean for the specific games being played. Call of Cthulhu is generally much more "gritty" and players don't tolerate "teh cool". 7th Sea encourages "showy" so much that you get bonuses just because of it and if a player complains that Mythbusters proved that you can't "ride the sails" with a knife, they're boo'ed heavily. (By the way, Mythbusters did very poor science on that one by ignoring the pressure induced angle of the sails from wind)

I've usually seen Pathfinder (D&D) lean more towards "showy", but I like the knowledge that there are gritty Pathfinder players out there. We are a sordid lot!


Well its offical this thread has hit RAMVORD.


Talonhawke wrote:
Well its offical this thread has hit RAMVORD.

I can't tell if you mean this as a good or bad thing. XD


It's just something I came up with in reference for when a martial character is denied something that functions within the rules but the GM disallows it based on their view of realism. There is nothing wrong with doing so as styles vary from table to table.

As a good rule of thumb when I DM if a magic user could do better, without even having to roll, at the current level than whats being asked to be tried I will find a way to let a martial have a shot if its something that a person could do based of being exceptional in an ability score or training.

I.E. No teleporting or shooting lightening out your arse; but blocking arrows, or leaping from a table onto a chandlier and swinging into someone sure.


If it was my game, I'd let you do it. I don't see anything wrong with it. I'd just have you make a reflex save against the shooters Strike roll. It would be possible for a really sweet person to pull it off against a low level archer.

If this sort of the thing was the feel of the game, and no one saw anything wrong with archers tripping people or disarming them without the feat for it, then I'd probably just make it contested strike rolls.

The more of this sort of thing you allow, the higher level the game will feel earlier on. It isn't really a problem though.

If you are asking from a RAW perspective, I have no idea. I'm not a fan of RAW.

Silver Crusade

GrenMeera wrote:
FallofCamelot wrote:

Let me show you how I would deal with this query if I was GMing at the table:

Player: I'm going to ready an action to cut his arrow out of the air when he shoots.
GM: Do you have deflect arrows?
Player: No.
GM: Then you can't do it.
Player: Why?
GM: Because it's stupid, that's why.

End of argument.

Wow, that sounds... fun. >.>

I'm glad games... are... fun. <.<

Who said my games aren't fun? I have my players coming round tonight and on Saturday to play so I must be doing something right.

Perhaps I was being a little trite. Here's a more detailed explanation of why I wouldn't allow this in my game:

The point is that this is nothing to do with whether things are fun or not. I know of games where people do silly, over the top things ("I wield the dwarf" was an infamous one.) To me that breaks the verisimilitude of the game and cheapens it in order to provide a few easy laughs. They are having fun in that game sure so kudos to them. I on the other hand would hate playing in a game like that. It is more fun to me to have a game based on accepted realism rather than goofy stunts.

For the record cutting arrows out of the air can be done. However it takes inordinate practice and timing. Like say the amount of practice a feat choice would represent.

That's not to say I don't allow creative thinking. Here's an example of what I would allow:

GM: The three ogres are clambering across the scree slope towards you. [Player name] it's your action.
Player: OK this is a scree slope right?
GM: Yup. Lots of loose rock everywhere.
Player: Cool. Are there any big boulders up the top?
GM: A few, why?
Player: I'm going to cast telekenisis to pull one down and start a landslide on the ogres.
GM: Heh. That's a cool idea. I'll look up the avalanche rules quickly.

For me that's not goofy. It's creative.

When considering whether someone can do something that is specifically covered by RAW I evaluate it using the following three factors:

1) Does it break verisimilitude? (aka the goofy factor)
2) Does allowing this idea set a dodgy precedent that I will have to abide by later? (aka the balance factor)
3) Does allowing this invalidate any class ability or optional feat? (aka the redundancy factor)

Readying an action to cut an arrow out of the air fails for me on all three of these factors as follows.

1) [goofy] It falls foul of my goofy filter. Someone who has not trained specifically for this sort of action should not be able to do it because...
2) [redundancy]...there's already a feat chain in place for this.
3) [balance] I would also be wary of setting a precedent allowing people to parry any sort of attack with a readied action because there are already specific class abilities designed for this (Duellist parry anyone.)


That's a good run down of your views FallOfCamelot, and I will admit that my response was most likely inspired by the slightly trite tone. Your last response was well thought out and appreciable!

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
People who like "gritty" tend to not like "showy" and vice versa.

Your number one factor greatly reminds me of Adamantine Dragon's assessment. Nothing wrong with gritty.

Also, the landslide example is a good one. I'd enjoy playing in that scenario.


Very nice explanation Camelot. I concur with almost everything you said there. I use a very similar approach in my games. It's nice to see it laid out that way.

One of the things I see frequently is the suggestion that putting limits on characters' requests to do something "awesome" is an anti-player mindset and is indicative of a GM who has a "my way or the highway" attitude.

Of course I think it is more indicative of a GM that wants to challenge the players to be creative within the limits set by verisimilitude or game balance. There is still plenty of room within those limits for all kinds of awesome. It just requires some effort and thinking to get there. That's all. In my mind, and my experience, that makes it all the more awesome when it works.


My only issue with this concept is that we're talking about a game that encourages you to break the "rules" they've laid out if it doesn't mesh with your style of play, we have to remember that the rulebooks are not a hard & fast Law so much as a set of guidelines that, without alteration, can be played by most with no issue, but by limiting yourself or your group to ONLY whats in the books & created by someone else, you limit the overall creativity of the game.

As we can see there is a great deal of work that can be added to the game so do not simply say "If it not in the book it doesn't exist". This entire topic deserves more of a "House rule" feel than a Rules Question feel simply because the precendent does not exist & should be handled through the use of House Rules.


Jodokai wrote:
Can I have a dagger that does 6 zillion-billion points of damage any time I roll over a 2 on a d20? I mean you're allowing the Sim Sim Salabim guy right? If you would allow that dagger, yikes, but okay carry on. If you wouldn't, where are you drawing the line? You are drawing the line, we're just making it more visible.
Adamantine Dragon wrote:


Yeah, absolutely. It's a pure fantasy world where people mumble arcane words and make fire appear out of nothingness. Since you can do magic things, then of course anything at all should be possible by definition. Why would anyone be foolish enough to argue that there should be any physical limits to anything desired in the game?

Seriously, I can't understand why anyone would have a problem with knocking objects moving at light speed out of the air if you can waggle your fingers and make a pony appear out of nothingness.

You are so right.

I'm assuming you guys took the feat Deflect Point and didn't ready an action to knock it out of the air.

Because, as I said, the point had nothing to do with realism. First of all, because this isn't unrealistic. Why there's a feat that does it in an even more fantastical version (as a no action).

The statement was, why do we allow some characters to do cool awesome stuff and not bat an eye, but yet work so hard to deny other classes the ability to even try and think outside the box and do cool stuff that is featured in countless entertainment sources? Especially when these cool things in no way break the game, and are pretty much covered by the rules anyway. Maybe it shouldn't be a 13 AC, but why does that mean we apply the nirvana fallacy to the whole idea? (Maybe it should have concealment instead of an increase to AC?) Maybe a cheetah moving full speed should be harder to hit, but it isn't. Talking about the speed of light is a straw man argument here. Even though, a wizard could ready to cast Time Stop and set it off as the arrow approaches him, and then knock it down, regardless of how fast it was going before hand (even 99% of the speed of light).

So just let the fighter waste his standard action to maybe knock down a single arrow sometimes. Please?


Davick wrote:
So just let the fighter waste his standard action to maybe knock down a single arrow sometimes. Please?

So, if you had bothered to read my posts on this subject, you would see that I have suggested at least two ways to "allow the fighter to waste his standard action to maybe knock down a single arrow."

I just find the argument that it is an AC 13 attack to succeed that is so laughable. I would be OK with either some sort of dex or reflex check, or else an attack roll vs a reasonable AC.

But it will not be easy.


Talonhawke wrote:

It's just something I came up with in reference for when a martial character is denied something that functions within the rules but the GM disallows it based on their view of realism. There is nothing wrong with doing so as styles vary from table to table.

As a good rule of thumb when I DM if a magic user could do better, without even having to roll, at the current level than whats being asked to be tried I will find a way to let a martial have a shot if its something that a person could do based of being exceptional in an ability score or training.

I.E. No teleporting or shooting lightening out your arse; but blocking arrows, or leaping from a table onto a chandlier and swinging into someone sure.

This is a really flawed way of looking at things. There are a lot of considerations that you are completely ignoring, but I don't want to get into that right now. The reason I would tell them no:

Player1:I want to ready an action to chop an arrow with my sword.
GM: Cool go for it
Player2: Wait, you're going to let him do that?
GM: Sure why not, it's cool.
Player2: Because I took a feat just to do things like that. I went into the duelist prestige class, met the prereqs so I could do that, and you're just letting him do it for free?
GM: Sure, it's cool.

So while it may be "fun" or "cool" for player 1 to do it, player 2 is going to be pretty upset, and rightly so.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Shooting down creative solutions or ideas kind of defeats the point of actually playing an RPG with a living person in charge who can react to more than a short list of commands. Shooting down an arrow with another arrow is not impossible but extremely difficult. A ruling of "you can try and probably not succeed" is the best way to handle it.

Yeah, I already said that chaos, go look.

I'm now reacting to the ridiculosity of the arrow having an AC of 13.

Oh, it would probably be absolutely reasonable to apply circumstance modifiers for the speed of the arrow, and fairly large ones. But a high level fighter can trim a fly's whiskers in midair... I don't see an arrow being something absolutely forbidden.

I don't see any merit to the argument cropping up later in the thread that it devalues deflect arrows. Deflect arrows is combat useful... this is not something anyone would be likely to gain a tactical advantage from.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Davick wrote:
So just let the fighter waste his standard action to maybe knock down a single arrow sometimes. Please?

So, if you had bothered to read my posts on this subject, you would see that I have suggested at least two ways to "allow the fighter to waste his standard action to maybe knock down a single arrow."

I just find the argument that it is an AC 13 attack to succeed that is so laughable. I would be OK with either some sort of dex or reflex check, or else an attack roll vs a reasonable AC.

But it will not be easy.

I did read them, and none of them showed you understanding the original meaning but instead choosing to brush it off and poke fun at it. Either way, a 13 AC is no more laughable than the craft rules or any other of rules inconsistencies that are rules nonetheless.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The arrow is also a doody head.

This is about extent of a number of posts have been, in my opinion.
Just saying.


I think I would allow it. This is the kind of stuff a high-level fighter should be able to do in a fantasy game. I will steal Ashiel idea: the character who readied his action would have to make an attack roll against the attack roll of the character who fired the projectile.

However, I think I would give a penalty on the attack roll required for sundering the projectile depending on the size and speed of the projectile. Something like -4 for a throwing dagger, a throwing axe, a shuriken, an arrow or a bolt, and -8 for a bullet.

But I believe that the true question is: why WotC or Paizo never printed a feat that would let you do that RAW? That woudn't be a very good feat, but it would be better than 50% of the feats out there.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Crane wing and defect arrows should really not be undermined. I noticed a number of people mentioning people able to do this IRL, but those people trained to do this. Creating a method to do this should require something that reflects that training, like, well, a feat.
I am not against being able to do this, I am against being able to do this, without training.


My issue with this sanario is "The next thing that comes at him." is (in my opinion) to broad a condition. If he was readying vs a ranged attack I would give him a chance to strike the first arrow that came at him. But with this phraseing I would assume he was expecting a creature or object of more girth and less speed to come at him. And wouldnt allow it.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Jodokai wrote:
There are feats and class abilities that allow you to knock arrows out of the air, allowing anyone to do that with a ready action would invalidate everything else.

This is a major falacy.

First, of all they are taking up an entire round to try to do something creative, i.e. not defined in the rules. Whenever there is a situation that is simple, like this one, and a player wants to do something creative - let them. This gives them a chance to think of even more creative solutions to problems - it's called roleplaying. This can be a DMs best friend, because it becomes a memorable moment in your game when a player goes "remember that time when..." It also makes up for all the Nos that a DM is likely to say to the outrageous questions players will ask.

Second they are taking possibly an entire round, not damaging an enemy or casting a spell to knock an arrow out of the way. Sure there is a feat for it, but with that feat one is able to take a full round action and still bat away an arrow. The feat serves it's purpose. If someone wanted to ready an action to bat an arrow away, they can't


This isn't creative though.. this is trying to get away with not taking a feat, when a feat is normally required to do it.

"hey can try to track this"
"do you hjave the track feat"
"no"
"umm ok I spend mor etime doing it.. can I try now?"
"no"
"why not?!"
"because you don't have the feat, and thats what you need to be able to track."

There are things you can do that are neat and awesome.. You can jump from balconies and cling to chandeliers to swing across the room and hit people (assuming you can pass the relevant skill checks).
But if there was a "jump from the balcony and cling to a chandelier" feat then you'd need to take it to do it. (not saying there should be one).

I'm all for people doing neat, creative, and inventive things.

But "hey, can I do this without the feat please?" = "no, take the feat please."

If your PC wants to do something that requires the skill and training that a feat represents, and there is a feat that already does it or something substantially similar- then take the feat.

Take the feat. Then you can do it.
If you don't.. then you can't.

Its really that simple.

-S


Davick wrote:


I did read them, and none of them showed you understanding the original meaning but instead choosing to brush it off and poke fun at it. Either way, a 13 AC is no more laughable than the craft rules or any other of rules inconsistencies that are rules nonetheless.

And those that are equally laughable, I also ignore or modify to make somewhat plausible.


Selgard wrote:
Its really that simple.

Well, it would be that simple if the feat were the same as readying an action.

The feat is an immediate free action, a readied action is a far cry from that. In fact, the readied action version is tactically always a bad idea, while the feat is always a positive useful thing.

I don't think this remotely comes closes to either undermining the value of the feat or replacing it at all. The feat is tactically great and also cool to imagine. The readied action is tactically not a great move, yet cool to imagine.

I feel that the points made by blackbloodtroll are the ones truly worth considering. It's more about, do we as GMs feel that this ability requires enough specific attentive training or decided upon natural prowess to warrant a feat? It's certainly weaker than the feat already in existence, but does it cross our own lines in the sand to being feasible to all skilled warriors?

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Selgard wrote:

This isn't creative though.. this is trying to get away with not taking a feat, when a feat is normally required to do it.

Its really that simple.

-S

Really, "S;" let us look at this more closely!

Deflect Arrows (Combat)
You can knock arrows and other projectiles off course, preventing them from hitting you.

Prerequisites: Dex 13, Improved Unarmed Strike.

Benefit: You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat. Once per round when you would normally be hit with an attack from a ranged weapon, you may deflect it so that you take no damage from it. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. Attempting to deflect a ranged attack doesn't count as an action. Unusually massive ranged weapons (such as boulders or ballista bolts) and ranged attacks generated by natural attacks or spell effects can't be deflected.

Specifically it says "Attempting to deflect a ranged attack doesn't count as an action." That is completely different than readying an action to attack the arrow, which would deflect it if hit. They take up their entire attack to deflect a projectile compared to a feat which allows them to do it for free and there is no chance that they would fail at deflecting the projectile.

Still not convinced? Let's look at the economies of action. Let's say the person is a 5th level Ranger with two weapons and all the feats. They could use their turn to attack 2x let's say: 1D8+4 & 1D6+2 dmg they could do and they are trying to take their turn to do something that is much more restrictive than the feat deflect arrows could do, which is why it's a "Creative solution" that isn't overpowered, to block a 1D8 dmg(more if it's a boss, but most likely a minion). The ranger is giving up their attack or action to play tactically. Of course this is assuming they could use that attack for other purposes.

Now let's say 3 enemies come through, all of them with bows. Allowing a player to deflect 1 arrow, with their turn instead of say charging the enemy with their readied action, there are still 2 arrows coming their way and they only get to deflect one of them. A person with the deflect arrows feat could charge dealing, let's say 1D8+4, deflect the arrow for free wihtout making an opposed roll (compared to the person without the feat), and get within range.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Davick wrote:
So just let the fighter waste his standard action to maybe knock down a single arrow sometimes. Please?

So, if you had bothered to read my posts on this subject, you would see that I have suggested at least two ways to "allow the fighter to waste his standard action to maybe knock down a single arrow."

I just find the argument that it is an AC 13 attack to succeed that is so laughable. I would be OK with either some sort of dex or reflex check, or else an attack roll vs a reasonable AC.

But it will not be easy.

And several ACs values other than 13 have been suggested.

- Use the incoming attack roll + size modifier
- Add a circumstance modifier for speed

But please, pay no attention to the fact that your point has already been addressed multiple times.


I would let a character try, and lacking any solid reference on how to do it I might employ the following:

Make an opposed attack roll against the attack. The attacker takes normal penalties for range, cover, concealment, etc. but you take a -20 to your check. You lose your dex bonus to ac against the attack if you fail to succeed on the opposed roll.


Charender wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Davick wrote:
So just let the fighter waste his standard action to maybe knock down a single arrow sometimes. Please?

So, if you had bothered to read my posts on this subject, you would see that I have suggested at least two ways to "allow the fighter to waste his standard action to maybe knock down a single arrow."

I just find the argument that it is an AC 13 attack to succeed that is so laughable. I would be OK with either some sort of dex or reflex check, or else an attack roll vs a reasonable AC.

But it will not be easy.

And several ACs values other than 13 have been suggested.

- Use the incoming attack roll + size modifier
- Add a circumstance modifier for speed

But please, pay no attention to the fact that your point has already been addressed multiple times.

I haven't ignored it. In fact I posted a specific example of a use of the incoming AC that was undefined, but must have been higher than 27 as an example.

That does not change the fact that there are people on this thread arguing that, by RAW, the AC of in incoming arrow (or BULLET) is 13.

They are.


Zexcir wrote:
Selgard wrote:

This isn't creative though.. this is trying to get away with not taking a feat, when a feat is normally required to do it.

Its really that simple.

-S

Really, "S;" let us look at this more closely!

Deflect Arrows (Combat)
You can knock arrows and other projectiles off course, preventing them from hitting you.

Prerequisites: Dex 13, Improved Unarmed Strike.

Benefit: You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat. Once per round when you would normally be hit with an attack from a ranged weapon, you may deflect it so that you take no damage from it. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. Attempting to deflect a ranged attack doesn't count as an action. Unusually massive ranged weapons (such as boulders or ballista bolts) and ranged attacks generated by natural attacks or spell effects can't be deflected.

Specifically it says "Attempting to deflect a ranged attack doesn't count as an action." That is completely different than readying an action to attack the arrow, which would deflect it if hit. They take up their entire attack to deflect a projectile compared to a feat which allows them to do it for free and there is no chance that they would fail at deflecting the projectile.

Still not convinced? Let's look at the economies of action. Let's say the person is a 5th level Ranger with two weapons and all the feats. They could use their turn to attack 2x let's say: 1D8+4 & 1D6+2 dmg they could do and they are trying to take their turn to do something that is much more restrictive than the feat deflect arrows could do, which is why it's a "Creative solution" that isn't overpowered, to block a 1D8 dmg(more if it's a boss, but most likely a minion). The ranger is giving up their attack or action to play tactically. Of course this is assuming they could use that attack for other purposes.

Now let's say 3 enemies come through, all of them with bows. Allowing a player to deflect 1 arrow, with their turn instead of say charging...

Nope, not convinced.

It takes training (two feats apparently) to do what you are trying to do for free.
the fact that you want to spend an action to do so, doesn't alleviate that you are /still/ trying to bust in on the feat.
taking more time to do something doesn't equate to having the necessary training to do it.

Being able to swing a sword doesn't mean you have taken the time to master the art of knocking an arrow out of the sky either.
its a talent. Some folks have learned how to do it, others just get stuck in the chest with an arrow.

3 enemies come at you with bows, you don't have the feat, they roll vs your AC to determine hit or miss.

3 enemies come at you with bows, you have the feat, you can deflect one of the attacks.

What would I tell the player if I was the DM?
1) take the feats.
or
2) go total defense, and arrows blocked as a result of the higher AC you can say you split in half (or deflected, or tap danced around, or whatever) if the player so chose.

If a player told me though he was going to stand there and try to swing at the arrow I'd warn him that he was effectively /not dodging the incoming arrows/ and that at the very least he needs to have a medic on hand to clean up the aftermath. If he insisted after that.. well, it'd be some very happy archers and a (likely) very wounded player.

The game doesn't allow you to just do anything you want and label it creative.
You can't "take longer to attack' and alleviate the non-prof penalty to weapons, you can't take longer to cast a spell and cast it when you otherwise lack the ability to cast spells, you can't hit harder on your swing by taking 1 hit instead of your full range (and emulate power attack).
You can't attack every other round and get Vital strike without taking the feat, you can't..

well.. I think you get the idea.

If a player said "hey, i'm a sword wielder, could we change this feat so i can use my sword rather than having to have an empty hand" I'd probably either just say yes, or maybe say for him he /had/ to use a weapon (since thats how he trained rather than unarmed) or something, but to just say "naw just ready an action, you don't need that feat".
I wouldn't do that.

-S


I really like some of Selgard's suggestions here, but I do want it clear that Selgard and I are not making the same argument.

I'm saying that as a GM I would totally let the player try this. I'm just saying that it will have an extremely low chance of success. I could see ruling this as a reflex or dex check, or I could see using an attack roll, either way it's going to be difficult.

Now if you are a level 20 fighter with ridiculous attack bonuses, then yes you'd have a better shot at being successful than a first level sorcerer trying the same thing.

I do sort of like the redirection to using the full defense action and flavoring missed arrows as being knocked out of the air. That has the benefit of being "successful" on more than one arrow too. But it's just flavor.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

I've got no problem with the concept, but the implementation irks me.

For one thing, if it's an attack roll or a Reflex save, that means it follows the same automatic success/failure rules as normal attacks/saves, which means that One Commoner out of Twenty can, simply by flailing about in the air with his broken pitchfork, deflect rifle-fire. That's a little farcical for my tastes.

I know it's been mentioned before, but I think it's worth bringing up again--I'd treat this like a Total Defense action. It's the same kind of action, for the same kind of effect. Just flavor it as "I chop the incoming arrows apart with my sword"


Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

I've got no problem with the concept, but the implementation irks me.

For one thing, if it's an attack roll or a Reflex save, that means it follows the same automatic success/failure rules as normal attacks/saves, which means that One Commoner out of Twenty can, simply by flailing about in the air with his broken pitchfork, deflect rifle-fire. That's a little farcical for my tastes.

I know it's been mentioned before, but I think it's worth bringing up again--I'd treat this like a Total Defense action. It's the same kind of action, for the same kind of effect. Just flavor it as "I chop the incoming arrows apart with my sword"

Well, saves aren't auto-succeed, so using a saving throw mechanic would avoid the 5% success rate issue. Which is probably why I gravitated towards that in the first place.

I'm all for players trying something "cool" and helping them succeed. However this whole conversation is about something that I consider to be a highly questionable tactical approach anyway. Readying an action to have a chance to take out one of perhaps half a dozen incoming arrows? Surely the total defense action is a better tactical choice in the first place.

The time I could see this as being cinematic and "cool" would be in the Indiana Jones situation where Indy shoots that swordsman. Reverse the roles, put the hero in the swordsman's spot, and have him deflect the incoming bullet with his sword... Yeah, that's potentially intimidating. But in normal combat where the arrows are flying hot and heavy? It just seems a wasted action.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Well, saves aren't auto-succeed, so using a saving throw mechanic would avoid the 5% success rate issue. Which is probably why I gravitated towards that in the first place.
The PRD wrote:
Automatic Failures and Successes: A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on a saving throw is always a failure (and may cause damage to exposed items; see Items Surviving after a Saving Throw). A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a success.

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