Buckler / Light Shield, Wand, Somatic Component, and "Grip Switch"


Rules Questions


With the developers saying that you can "switch grips" as a free action (please don't make me hunt for a quotes you all must have read them by now, but tell me if I understand it right)... you could be wielding a one handed weapon in one hand, and a buckler/light shield in the other, and "switch grips" for casting.

As a free action, you can "switch grips" to just hold the weapon in your buckler hand instead of wield... then cast a spell with somatic components with your now totally free hand, and then as a free action switch your grip back such that you now have your weapon wielded again as if nothing happened equipment-wise, and be ready with weapon and shield again after casting.

This runs counter to the text in the buckler description specifically, in that if you were to just try to use the buckler hand to cast a somatic component of a spell while leaving your weapon in your other hand, you would lose the buckler's AC next turn.

So... with switching grips, not only can you get no penalty for using a light shield instead of a buckler, you can actually retain your shield's AC with a light or buckler shield by doing MORE finagling with what you are gripping when?

I'm confused by this one.

Grand Lodge

No, you are misunderstanding what is meant by "switching grips".

Switching grips is, usually, holding a weapon in both of your hands, then letting go of the weapon with one hand, using that hand for some other purpose, then putting that hand back on the weapon.

And, as ever, remember the caveat about the number of free actions you can do on a turn is determined or limited by the GM.


My question is then why can't spell combat be utilized with a two handed weapon?


The short answer is: arbitrary nonsensical attempts at "balance".

But with the grip switch thing you absolutely should be able to Spell Combat with a two hander.

Dark Archive

Conundrum wrote:
My question is then why can't spell combat be utilized with a two handed weapon?

Magi do a LOT of front-loaded damage already. Using a shield for extra AC or a two handed weapon for extra damage would make them even stronger, and you would not want an NPC Magus swinging at you with an Intensified Shocking Grasp-charged greatsword.


kinevon wrote:

No, you are misunderstanding what is meant by "switching grips".

Switching grips is, usually, holding a weapon in both of your hands, then letting go of the weapon with one hand, using that hand for some other purpose, then putting that hand back on the weapon.

And, as ever, remember the caveat about the number of free actions you can do on a turn is determined or limited by the GM.

If that is the case, then its entirely a "game balance" thing... as it doesn't really "make sense" that you could switch grips to cast a spell but retain the use of a 2-handed weapon, but you can't switch grips with a one-handed weapon when the two take just about the same amount of "time" and effort in terms of free actions... its always hard for me to understand those types of rulings when they are logically inconsistent... I know, that "real logic" thing will get me into trouble arbitrating a game world's rules, but still...

On a related note... in that case, unless you are building a very melee centric character, a character like a cleric probably should not bother to use a shield of any kind then eh? More of an opinion/advice question than a rules question, but there you have it.


Conundrum wrote:
My question is then why can't spell combat be utilized with a two handed weapon?

because spell combat counts as TWF and you cannot TWF a 2 handed weapon !!!UNLESS!!! you have a third arm, like an alchemist.

now if you went alchemist/magus and used a cestus in the third hand you would qualify for twf and spell combat.

if i have ewp bastard sword, i can use spell combat and spell strike with it as a 2 hander. but i think the balance comes in so you cant use a reach weapon to get 2 attacks at level 2 + spell damage. that would be stupid over powered.


Just the way I play it, but my group ruled that switching grips can only happen once a round so you can't switch back. Mostly, it was discussed more like being in a mode and you have to stay in the mode you used for your action. So, if you put your weapon up to cast this round, then your weapon is put away until you use it for your action on your next round. It was also the same with any weapon configurations. If you used a one-handed weapon as a two-hander than you stay in two-handed mode (no free hands) until your next action.

It probably isn't RAW, but it is what we figured to be RAI.


Orc Boyz wrote:
you cannot TWF a 2 handed weapon !!!UNLESS!!! you have a third arm, like an alchemist.

Or armor spikes. Or unarmed strike, boot blade, barbazu beard, bite attack etc.

Orc Boyz wrote:
if i have ewp bastard sword, i can use spell combat and spell strike with it as a 2 hander.

No, Spell Combat requires you have a hand free while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand.

If you're proficient, you can wield the bastard sword as a one-handed weapon while using spell combat. You can also use both hands when you're not using spell combat, just like any other one-handed weapon.

Orc Boyz wrote:
but i think the balance comes in so you cant use a reach weapon to get 2 attacks at level 2 + spell damage. that would be stupid over powered.

Unless you use a whip, scorpion whip, or small sized polearm.


Small sized polearms FTW!

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