Lay on Hands


Rules Questions


Can someone show me in the PRD a link that might help me out?

Does a Paladin have to drop either his sword or shield in order to use Lay on Hands on himself? I'd understand that this would be required in order to deliver a touch to an ally or enemy, but when used on oneself it becomes a swift action.

I guess, my reasoning is that Lay on Hands became a swift action if used on yourself to allow you to continue to tank, sword and board style. If you must have a free hand to heal yourself, then there is no good reason for a Paladin to use anything but a two-hander, where you can change your grip as a free action as often as you like.

Helps?


you still need a free hand or the like to touch yourself, using a light shield might help, otherwise you will often have to use a move action to drop your weapon and picking it up again. I am guessing it would have been better served as a move action without discriminating weapon styles.

Essentially it is not much different than a cleric that wants to cast spells a large shield can be quite cumbersome when you also want to wield a weapon.


By the rules, no, but I can see a GM ruling that way. Then again he could keep the sword in his hand and thump his chest. I have never seen a GM try to enforce a free hand for this ability.

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In general, it's a bad idea to look at one part of a mechanic, make an assumption about what the intent must have been, and then judge another part of the mechanic based on your assumption. Just gives you headaches, like you've got now.

Instead of wondering why the mechanic doesn't match what you imagine to be the intent, change what you imagine to be the intent to match the mechanic.


Sword and Board with a Cestus. Punch for great glory.

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Or just use a buckler. A measly 1 less AC than a heavy shield, and you get to still have a free hand.

Bucklers are awesome.


wraithstrike wrote:

By the rules, no, but I can see a GM ruling that way. Then again he could keep the sword in his hand and thump his chest. I have never seen a GM try to enforce a free hand for this ability.

Agreed, but if Paladins start touching themselves to make themselves feel better it opens an entirely new can of worms.

Personally, the two aspects of Paladins that I always thought should be changed to reign in their 'overpowered' tag is that Lay on Hands should never be a swift action and that the double Smite damage needed to be done away with.

Of course I usually feel differently when I'm actually running a Paladin.


The rules state:
"Using this ability is a standard action, unless the paladin targets herself, in which case it is a swift action. Despite the name of this ability, a paladin only needs one free hand to use this ability."
I take this to mean although the ability is named Lay on Hands (plural) you need only one to use it- on another creature. In my mind, the paladin channels energy from his god through his being, through his hands, and into the creature to be healed. I see no logical reason why he needs to make an extra action to "touch himself", as the energy is already within him. I feel this point is reflected in the fact that the action drops from Standard to Swift when self healing.


Baron Ulfhamr wrote:

The rules state:

"Using this ability is a standard action, unless the paladin targets herself, in which case it is a swift action. Despite the name of this ability, a paladin only needs one free hand to use this ability."
I take this to mean although the ability is named Lay on Hands (plural) you need only one to use it- on another creature. In my mind, the paladin channels energy from his god through his being, through his hands, and into the creature to be healed. I see no logical reason why he needs to make an extra action to "touch himself", as the energy is already within him. I feel this point is reflected in the fact that the action drops from Standard to Swift when self healing.

'touching' is usually a free action in the round that you activate the ability, having your hands free is not.. though it is a free action to drop a weapon.

Personally I think it is uncharacteristic to promote self-healing in a paladin by making it a swift action at all, neither do I think the paladin particulary needs it.

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Baron Ulfhamr wrote:
I take this to mean ... you need only one [hand] to use it- on another creature.

No, you don't take the rules to mean that. You think that's how it should work, but you're not getting it from the rules. It's your own invention.

Quote:
In my mind, the paladin channels energy from his god through his being, through his hands, and into the creature to be healed. I see no logical reason why he needs to make an extra action to "touch himself", as the energy is already within him.

Nothing in any printed product supports your idea that the energy goes through his body first and then out through his hand. That's something you came up with on your own.

Interestingly enough, your own fluffing is not a valid premise for interpreting how the rules work.

Quote:
I feel this point is reflected in the fact that the action drops from Standard to Swift when self healing.

Or it could be because it's quicker and easier to thump your palm against your own chest than it is to reach out and touch someone else who's in the middle of fighting for his life and whose body doesn't inherently move as though attached to your arm the way your own body does.


Seeing as how the rules call out "one free hand", I wonder if my previous chest thump idea was actually RAI.


I guess my biggest problem with this is it does away with the idea of the lone holy warrior, doing battle with multiple foes, big shield blazoned with the holy symbol of his deity, because he needs to stop every few moments to put his sword down so he can heal himself.

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Evershifter wrote:
I guess my biggest problem with this is it does away with the idea of the lone holy warrior, doing battle with multiple foes, big shield blazoned with the holy symbol of his deity, because he needs to stop every few moments to put his sword down so he can heal himself.

Fair enough, but if you use absolutely anything other than a heavy shield you still get to have that image.

With a buckler, you just use your buckler hand. Done.

With a light shield, you grab your weapon with your shield hand, pop your LoH with what was your sword hand, then grab your sword again.

God forbid you should you should have to choose between swift action healing and loading your arms down with the biggest, heaviest options available.


Jiggy wrote:
Evershifter wrote:
I guess my biggest problem with this is it does away with the idea of the lone holy warrior, doing battle with multiple foes, big shield blazoned with the holy symbol of his deity, because he needs to stop every few moments to put his sword down so he can heal himself.

Fair enough, but if you use absolutely anything other than a heavy shield you still get to have that image.

With a buckler, you just use your buckler hand. Done.

With a light shield, you grab your weapon with your shield hand, pop your LoH with what was your sword hand, then grab your sword again.

God forbid you should you should have to choose between swift action healing and loading your arms down with the biggest, heaviest options available.

Neither is healing himself in mid-battle something that shouts holy warrior, besides :

- in combat with a big evil fiend, you make an attack, 5 foot step back, drop weapon as a free action, swift to heal, pick up weapon as a move action, end turn.

That is not as awful as you make it out, if you want to heal and full attack you have to consider not using a heavy shield.


Remco Sommeling wrote:


Neither is healing himself in mid-battle something that shouts holy warrior, besides :

- in combat with a big evil fiend, you make an attack, 5 foot step back, drop weapon as a free action, swift to heal, pick up weapon as a move action, end turn.

That is not as awful as you make it out, if you want to heal and full attack you have to consider not using a heavy shield.

Then monster 5' steps up and full attacks.

Then you take one swing, step back, drop, heal, recover.
Then monster 5' steps up and full attacks.

This is a losing situation anywhere past 6th level.

And yeah, I argue that a Paladin being able to heal himself in the middle of battle IS part of the Holy Warrior image. His divine might allows him to stand against the darkness longer than a normal warrior (because he is kept alive by the power flowing through him).


Is there a way to get an official ruling on this? It would seem that some are stuck on their opinion (to the point of condescension), but the question remains. Dropping a sword or using a tiny shield to do an obligatory "chest thump" seems, well, unnecessary unless the Powers That Be deem this is how it works. Does anyone recall how this was handled in past editions?

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