Dervish Dance and Quickdraw Shields


Rules Questions

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Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm using the Dervish Dance feat, and am thinking about getting Quickdraw feat in combination with a light quickdraw shield to get around the inability to use a shield, as so:

Start combat with scimitar and shield
Start of round: free action put away shield
Make attacks with scimitar (using Dex for attack/damage)
End of round: free action don shield

I realize that my AoOs wouldn't be able to use Dex for attack/damage, but would this be a viable option to boost defense (assuming no readied actions to attack me when I stow away my shield)?

I'm only playing in PFS, so my concern is having a judge rule I couldn't put away and don the quickdraw shield in the same round (even though they are both free action) or that there's something I'm missing and it's not legal. Anyone know if that's a likely ruling? I'm looking to get Saving Shield to complement my Helpful trait/Bodyguard feat combo (total of +6 to an allies AC potentially!)

Liberty's Edge

It's solid. As long as Quick-Draw Shields are allowed in PFS, a PFS DM would be going against RAW to disallow this.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

EDIT: I didn't see the quickdraw feat.

Honestly - if you showed up to my table with this I'd shake my head and cry a little inside.


Look at the quickdraw shields again. If you have the quick draw feat it goes from a swift action to a free action. Perfectly legal.


MisterSlanky wrote:

Unfortunately this is not legal.

It is a SWIFT action, not a free action to draw/put away a quickdraw shield. You would not be able to put it away, fight, put it back.

So no, I would not permit this at my table per RAW (and I wouldn't permit it at my table for common sense either, but there's RAW to back that up).

Unfortunately, you are incorrect.

Quickdraw Shield Description wrote:
Benefit: If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a swift action combined with a regular move. If you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw a light or one-handed weapon with one hand and a quickdraw shield with the other in the time it would normally take you to draw one weapon. If you have the Quick Draw feat, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a free action.

So RAW this is legal. But if you take too many free actions in a single round, the GM may limit the amount you can do.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Some Random Dood wrote:
So RAW this is legal. But if you take too many free actions in a single round, the GM may limit the amount you can do.

You are sort-of correct - I missed that he had Quickdraw in his original build. So if you just look at that rule, it's legal per RAW.

That said, my new favorite rule?

PRD wrote:
Free Action: Free actions consume a very small amount of time and effort. You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM.

So no...at my table, no it's not legal per RAW.


MisterSlanky wrote:
Some Random Dood wrote:
So RAW this is legal. But if you take too many free actions in a single round, the GM may limit the amount you can do.

You are sort-of correct - I missed that he had Quickdraw in his original build. So if you just look at that rule, it's legal per RAW.

That said, my new favorite rule?

PRD wrote:
Free Action: Free actions consume a very small amount of time and effort. You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM.
So no...at my table, no it's not legal per RAW.

So, at your table there is a limit of a single free action per turn? (2 being too much.)

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Not necessarily.

Based on my believed "time and effort" required to take out and put away a shield, regardless of it being a quickdraw shield, I believe that in the "reasonable limits" of time, you're going to get it out, or put it away, not both.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks for the input - it looked legal and relatively legit... it would be a bit odd for a GM following RAW to say two free actions was too much. I read in another thread the flavor idea of tossing ones shield in the air, swinging, then catching the shield - which is all sorts of awesome.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Adam Ashworth wrote:
Thanks for the input - it looked legal and relatively legit... it would be a bit odd for a GM following RAW to say two free actions was too much. I read in another thread the flavor idea of tossing ones shield in the air, swinging, then catching the shield - which is all sorts of awesome.

Adam...

Three words. Expect Table Variance. I know for a fact that in my region (Venture Captain here), I can name about half the GMs that would look at you and say, "um...no." These kinds of edge cases and rules bending things don't fly terribly well at a lot of PFS tables. Home games where you can talk to the GM? Sure, but in the organize play arena? Really not so much.

So trust me when I say, there are a number of GMs in PFS that fed up with stuff like this, and will say no. Do not expect to walk up to tables and expect to play this character without the occasional argument with the GM.

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

Let's also all keep in mind that the rule about free action limits doesn't say the GM can decide how many, it says he can decide "what you can really do for free". Disallowing a certain pair of free actions in the same turn is not the same as disallowing everyone from taking more than one free action in any given turn.

But don't worry guys, I already have a character planned that will thoroughly rankle MisterSlanky (I'm in his region) without that pesky escape clause!

Scarab Sages

MisterSlanky wrote:
Adam Ashworth wrote:
Thanks for the input - it looked legal and relatively legit... it would be a bit odd for a GM following RAW to say two free actions was too much. I read in another thread the flavor idea of tossing ones shield in the air, swinging, then catching the shield - which is all sorts of awesome.

Adam...

Three words. Expect Table Variance. I know for a fact that in my region (Venture Captain here), I can name about half the GMs that would look at you and say, "um...no." These kinds of edge cases and rules bending things don't fly terribly well at a lot of PFS tables. Home games where you can talk to the GM? Sure, but in the organize play arena? Really not so much.

So trust me when I say, there are a number of GMs in PFS that fed up with stuff like this, and will say no. Do not expect to walk up to tables and expect to play this character without the occasional argument with the GM.

Sorry, but have to say that this attitude by the GM's you mention violate the "Don't be a Jerk" rule. They have no right to create house rules in PFS, which this clearly is. PFS GM's are mandated to run per RAW and your cheesy interpretation of the limit to free actions has far less basis in RAW than the OP's combination.

Them's the breaks. If you don't like it, then don't play PFS. A reasonable response would be to petition some errata of a ruling by the campaign staff. You must remember that when you call it a PFS game, you are bound by its rules. It is no longer YOUR table. It is OUR table that must abide by the campaign guide.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Ah, gotcha MisterSlanky. That's the kind of feedback I was worried about, and I appreciate it. In the "not in my home game" comments, I'm not too bothered... but if in your experience PFS judges will normally venture to make calls like that you've got me worried.

Of course, worst case scenario, I talk to the judge ahead of time and ask if it's legal at his table. If not, I can still use the shield and not benefit from Dervish Dance every so often. When I explain that the reason I'm using it is so that I can use Saving Shield to complement my Bodyguard feat (my character's primary focus in life is to play a supporting role), the stricter judges might not penalize me for wanting to play a dextrous bodyguard over a strong one.

Also good to have the more lenient feedback too, gives me a bit of hope! Although I wouldn't call being strict like that being a jerk, or that it's cheesy to interpret my idea as against the rules. Throwing around the "cheese" term on a forum filled with powergamers kind of loses meaning. From what I read, PFS differs from region to region. GM fiat isn't as absolute, but when in Rome...

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

Easy there, Joko PO. Sometimes a different interpretation of rules is just a different interpretation of rules, not cheesy jerkishness of houseruling.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Easy there, Joko PO. Sometimes a different interpretation of rules is just a different interpretation of rules, not cheesy jerkishness of houseruling.

Thanks for coming in Jiggy. My response would have been far less polite.

As to Adam - it's one of those things you just should know. A lot of this edge stuff isn't covered by the rules because frankly, it shouldn't be happening that often in PFS. PFS leadership won't rule on it because at that point they believe that it's uncommon enough that it should become GM decision at the tables (rather than filling the FAQs with edge case after edge case). I know GMs who are pretty liberal with the rules (which rankles the RAW set), and I know those who are sticklers for the rules (which rankles the RAI set), and in PFS both are present, and both are completely legitimate methods of GMing in PFS.

For reference, I originally never had the "Free Action" clause to go off of. It was something pointed out to me by another Venture Officer to stop some pretty stinky cheese going on at his table. My suggestions for all PFS players in my region is, leave the cheese at home (whether a nice light brie, or a solid chunk of Limburger) - let the home game GM adjudicate it where it can be consistently played. Stick to the tried-and-true in PFS.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"flavor idea of tossing ones shield in the air, swinging, then catching the shield - which is all sorts of awesome."
No: "This light shield is specially crafted with a series of straps to allow a character proficient in shields to ready or stow it on his or her back quickly and easily", RAW you can only don or put it away on your back.

Stow your shield away?
Sheathe a weapon - Attack of opportunity = Yes
Ouch

As there is no a voice "stow an item away" the nearest thing is sheathe a weapon. As the shield can be used as a weapon it is even appropriate.

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

Part of me kind of looks forward to the day a player brings a legitimately illegal build to my table and thinks they can corner me with what they believe to be their superior understanding of the rules. It'll be fun. :D

Immature humor:

MisterSlanky wrote:
Thanks for coming in Jiggy.

That's what she said. ;)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Well at least it was you rather than the Grammar Nazi.

Scarab Sages

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Jiggy wrote:
Easy there, Joko PO. Sometimes a different interpretation of rules is just a different interpretation of rules, not cheesy jerkishness of houseruling.

Well for the record I do agree that the OP's combination is cheesy in an eye rollingly take a deep breath sort of way. And such blatant stinky cheese annoys me greatly.

What annoys me more are GM's that essentially ban things because they do not like it. GM's do not have that freedom in PFS. In this specific case the RAW is very much in the OP's corner. I don't like it either, but I can not deny it. I just can not try to rewrite the rules to fit my personal opinion. That is how shared campaigns work. Sometimes you just have to swallow the stinky cheese and make the best of it.


So, what about a free action to ready the shield, then the one granted swift action to stow it? ??????


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
galahad2112 wrote:
So, what about a free action to ready the shield, then the one granted swift action to stow it? ??????

If the GM wants to screw you, you are screwed. I think mechanically your idea is legal. That said I fully agree with both segments of Joko statement.


I just don't see the cheese in it. For starters, you have to spend a feat to do Quick Draw, and in addition, you need Weapon Finesse and Dervish Dance to even do it anyways. That's three feats just for dex to damage, and wielding a shield. This is my opinion, yeah it's ridiculous, but you have to spend about either 3 feats or a level in bard and a feat to do it.

In my honest opinion, they REALLY need to errata free actions. I've had several cases where playing a gunslinger becomes impossible later levels (adding further to this, apparently some GMs are confused with Lightning Reload and Rapid Reload.)


I didn't even see this thread. I just made another thread about quickdraw shields. My interpretation:

Quickdraw shields can be don or put away as a free action. It doesn't say anything about drawing the shield back out again, which I would assume, drawing from your back would be considered a move action. You could then strap it to your arm for free.

Putting it away as a free action might even be considered sheathing a weapon, which would provoke an attack of opportunity. As would drawing it back out again from your back where it's stored.

This is a big deal, as a +2 Quickdraw Shield confers a +3 AC bonus. That's a 15% miss chance that you're allowing for no penalty. I'm thinking of the implications of using a one-handed weapon with two hands during your turn to power attack and add 1.5 times STR bonus, and then make AoO using it 1-handed, but with an additional +3 AC bonus. Up to a +6 swing in AC, which is an incredible swing for the price of a single feat.

The balance would either be in constantly provoking AoO while your AC was low, or limiting storing the shield as a move action so that characters couldn't take advantage of high BAB.

Dark Archive

Careful with this. I showed up to a PFS game at a convention and I was trying to do it and my GM said, "no" and quoted the rule for limited free actions via GM fiat.

Then when I brought it up after the game to other people, everyone just nodded their heads and was like, "yep, too many free actions", "that's cheesy", etc.

My stance is still, You spent a damn feat and it's in the rules so it should be allowed.


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Veldebrand wrote:


My stance is still, You spent a damn feat and it's in the rules so it should be allowed.

Let's see:

1. He spent a feat.
2. He took the Paizo special gear.
3. He neuters his AOOs in terms of damage.

And this is so over powered that a DM is going to have to limit his free actions? And why is the DM doing this? It's because of the dervish dance feat and NOT the free actions he's taking.

That's where I'd fault the DM rather than the player. It's by far the more egregious violation.

Moreover the player could have simply taken the Dodge feat, and as such:

1. He wouldn't have spent any more feats.
2. He needn't have bought a buckler.
3. He'd still get +DEX damage to AOOs.
4. The AC would apply to touch attacks as well.

This is the line where you sell your integrity as a DM over?

-James

Dark Archive

At first look it sounds like it would work and even be legal for use in PFS. However the more I think about, the less I would want to do it. Why?

Well, for one, you are going to paint a target on your character if a GM doesn't like it. Your character is being all flashy and stuff - kill him first.

Secondly, you are going to lose your attack and damage bonus to weapon attacks when you pull out your shield. Doesn't sound bad until all the evildoers realize that you have a nerfed AoO. You are going to get flanked a lot.

Another thing is that putting you shield away will probably provoke an AoO. You will give melee evildoers another chance to hit you, and probably without the shield bonus, this alone makes the shield worse than nothing in your off hand.

Finally, you are going to hear this a lot, "You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM." They could manage your free actions. So if you need to say something, drop something, or fall prone, they can simple say that's way too many free actions, can't do it. It seems like a lot of frustration for what it is.

Anyway, on the other hand some GMs might not care. Best thing you can do is talk to the person that's going to run a majority of your games and see if s/he okay with it.

Silver Crusade

Truth be told you could just get the Agile ability on your Scimitar and just forgo the Dervish feat all together. It is in the pathfinder field guide so it is society legal. It is a +1 enhancement equivalent ability and gives you dexterity to damage instead of strength so same thing without the feat or empty hand restriction. The only issue is you have to wait till you can afford a +2 weapon to get it. But hey then you can use whatever shield you want full time. I suppose you may want to look at it to make sure scimitar is a legal choice however as my memory is fuzzy on that point. You may have to use a Finesse compatible weapon.

Edit: I looked it up for you and my suspicions were correct the weapon has to be Finesse compatible. So you may have to use a Rapier but unless you have a specific reason to stay with Scimitar or slashing weapons they are mechanically identical.

You could also try the argument of using a buckler as it is not "in" your off hand but strapped to your arm. There by not in the strictist wording of the Dervish feat violating leaving your off hand open. That however may be enough of a grey area that the Gamemaster does not go for it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One sided exposition James.

He has taken a feat (quick draw) and brought a item that cost a staggering extra 50 gp to:
- get the benefits of Dervish dance during his round
- get the benefits of Saving Shield Saving Shield, Helpful trait and the Bodyguard feat.
- he hasn't neutered his AoO damage. He can always choose not to draw the shield.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Martyn question in his thread made me recheck the base assumptions of using this shield so I did some digging instead of relying on other people interpretations, ad it raised some doubt in me:

PRD wrote:


Quickdraw Shield, Light Wooden or Steel: This light shield is specially crafted with a series of straps to allow a character proficient in shields to ready or stow it on his or her back quickly and easily. If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a swift action combined with a regular move. If you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw a light or one-handed weapon with one hand and a quickdraw shield with the other in the time it would normally take you to draw one weapon. If you have the Quick Draw feat, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a free action.

Compare that with drawing a weapon

PRD wrote:

Draw or Sheathe a Weapon

Drawing a weapon so that you can use it in combat, or putting it away so that you have a free hand, requires a move action. This action also applies to weapon-like objects carried in easy reach, such as wands. If your weapon or weapon-like object is stored in a pack or otherwise out of easy reach, treat this action as retrieving a stored item.

If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may draw a weapon as a free action combined with a regular move. If you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw two light or one-handed weapons in the time it would normally take you to draw one.

My doubt is that the item creator intention was to say:

If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a swift action combined with a regular move. .... If you have the Quick Draw feat, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a free action combined with a regular move.

That seem much more reasonable. The quick draw shield become one "step" slower than a weapon: without quick draw it require a regular move + swift action against a regular move + free action for a weapon, with quick draw it require a move + free action against a free action for a weapon.

Drawing and strapping a shield is a more complex action than drawing a weapon.

Edit:
both sheathing a weapon and stowing a item away provoke a AoO, so it is almost assured that stowing away a quickdraw shield provoke an AoO.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:

My doubt is that the item creator intention was to say:

If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a swift action combined with a regular move. .... If you have the Quick Draw feat, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a free action combined with a regular move.

That seem much more reasonable. The quick draw shield become one "step" slower than a weapon: without quick draw it require a regular move + swift action against a regular move + free action for a weapon, with quick draw it require a move + free action against a free action for a weapon.

Drawing and strapping a shield is a more complex action than drawing a weapon.

So you idea is to make the quickdraw shield take an additional action that no other shield requires to ready?

You can ready a shield or draw 1 weapon or 1 shield combined with a move action if you have a BAB of +1. Read table 8-2 with attention to footnote 3.

A quickdraw shield lets you ready the quickdraw shield and draw a weapon during a move action for the additional cost of a swift action.

If you have the two weapon fighting you can ready the quickdraw shield and draw a weapon in the same time it would normal take you to draw a weapon.

If you have the quickdraw feat you can ready the shield as a free action.

-------------------

As for putting the shield away provoking. Most free actions don't provoke. Most swift actions don't provoke. Could you point out some other free or swift actions that provoke then I'd be all for having this one provoke as well.


The way it's written it's definitely not draw as a free action with moving it's just plain draw as a free action in my opinion this is kinda silly but absolutely rules legal and anyone who says that you can't have that many free actions would definitely lead me to force everyone at the table to only have 1 free action per round.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I feel the combo is totally fine by RAW, but I understand the dissent and the feelings it is cheesy. Building an effective Dex based bodyguard is not normal, because both Weapon Finesse and Dervish Dance don't allow shield in hand when making attacks. This item-feat combo let's me bypass that - not for the AC, but for Saving Shield and Covering Defense feats I can later acquire. But I do understand why the designers put the limitation in - both for the flavor of shields not normally fitting an agile fighter, and to curtail the Dex to AC and shield to AC combo.

Also, the whole "throw the shield in the air and catch it" bit is flavor applied to a mechanic. I could also apply the flavor of having the shield attached to a rope that my character flings around his body, twirls around with his scimitar, and then unwinds the rope from around him and catches his shield. Or a mechanism on his back that secures the shield and quickly releases the shield... I dont see a problem with claiming it is a flock of fairies holding it for him and providing it, so long as the mechanics check out. Its a fantasy roleplaying game, we should be allowed to come up with fun stories as to how things work so long as it doesnt give us an advantage.

I'll ask my local PFS folks if they'll allow it, and if they do I'll be fine with when a convention GM won't allow it. Playing a non conventional character is what's fun for me, especially when I can play around with the rules (Helpful trait+Bodyguard, Blade of Mercy trait+Enforcer, Butterfly's Sting+15-20 crit range, etc). The fun for many players of complicated rules in games is finding and testing the weird combos. If PFS was just for players who wanted little customization and tweaking, there wouldn't be such a wealth of additional resources to play with. It looks like mixed bag, of optimizers, rules-light players, heavy role players, and those who fit multiple categories. I just wish people would stop claiming everything is cheesy because they don't like it. I don't like master summoners or cross blooded orc/draconic sorcerers... so I don't play them. I don't condemn their existence.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PRD wrote:

Ready or Drop a Shield

Strapping a shield to your arm to gain its shield bonus to your AC, or unstrapping and dropping a shield so you can use your shield hand for another purpose, requires a move action. If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you can ready or drop a shield as a free action combined with a regular move.

PRD wrote:
Quickdraw Shield, Light Wooden or Steel: This light shield is specially crafted with a series of straps to allow a character proficient in shields to ready or stow it on his or her back quickly and easily. If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a swift action combined with a regular move. If you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw a light or one-handed weapon with one hand and a quickdraw shield with the other in the time it would normally take you to draw one weapon. If you have the Quick Draw feat, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a free action.

The wonders of using colloquial English when you need more specific terms.

Ready a shield: you have your shield in hand but not ready for use (as an example you are using a heavy shield but the hand strap isn't in your hand).

Don a quickdraw shield: your shield is stowed in your backpack and you are retrieving it.

Normally retrieving your shield from the backpack or from a transport position on your back is a different action from reading it for use.

- - -

Most free actions don't provoke. Most swift actions don't provoke.

"Most", compare with:

Sheathe a weapon - provoke? yes

Retrieve a stored item - provoke? yes

Manipulate an Item

Moving or manipulating an item is usually a move action.

This includes retrieving or putting away a stored item, picking up an item, moving a heavy object, and opening a door. Examples of this kind of action, along with whether they incur an attack of opportunity, are given in Table: Actions in Combat.

Find a quote that say that free or swift actions never provoke and you have something. "Most" mean only most.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:


Most free actions don't provoke. Most swift actions don't provoke.

Sigh. The one and only exception I know of is written on the same table. That would be footnote 1.

Regardless of the action, if you move out of a threatened
square, you usually provoke an attack of opportunity. This
column indicates whether the action itself, not moving,
provokes an attack of opportunity.

An example of this would be the feat following step from APG which grants movement as an immediate action. Where as we have several examples of actions that normally provoke like spell casting, that don't provoke when reduced to swift or immediate actions. You'll notice the table of examples lists no swift/immediate/free actions that provoke. But of course I can't disprove my theory by providing examples supporting it. So I imagine someone on the boards can find something beyond movement that is a swift/immediate/free action that does provoke.

Regardless, if using a glove of storing (which is a way to produce a similar effect without a feat) to store an item provokes in your game. Than free action storing a quickdraw shield should certainly provoke as well.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The ready/don distinction is ambiguous. It doesn't spell out that you need to spend an action putting the shield in your hand from your back, then another action to benefit from it. But to be fair, it doesn't spell out that a move action retrieves the shield from your back and allows you to benefit from it either. The fact that two terms are used, and not clearly defined in the full (ready/don) does leave some room for interpretation... which definitely is annoying in PFS. I had never heard of a judge/GM ruling that a character had to spend a move action to don a shield from your back and then another move action to ready it though. That's a new one, and probably not in heavy use.

As for the provoking bit... also ambiguous. There is precedent in that stowing or sheathing an item provokes normally, agreed. But I don't know of any swift, immediate, or free actions that provoke attacks of opportunity either Maezer. All it says is that free actions "rarely" provoke AoO. To be fair, I'd say that unless it spells it out in the description of the feat or ability (in this case, the text of the item) that the action provokes, it doesn't RAW. When the core rules say free actions rarely provoke, I would expect instances where they do to be spelled out clearly as exceptions to the norm.


I'm going to assume that the people at Paizo (Jason Bulmahn especially) didn't just completely overlook how unbalanced the quickdraw shield is. There is no way that an item costing 53 GP grants the benefits of both shield use and two-handed weapon use simultaneously.

Bucklers clearly state that if you use a weapon in two hands, then you lose the AC bonus granted by the buckler until the start of your next turn. Why is this when you can free action switch to a one-handed stance? Or free action drop everything but the buckler at the end of your turn? Use that as a precedent for why what you're looking at won't work. You either have the bonus for the entire round, or you don't... for the entire round. It works that way for Combat Expertise, it works that way for Power Attack, it works that way with Bucklers, and it should work that way with Quickdraw Shields.

Sovereign Court

Adam Ashworth wrote:

The ready/don distinction is ambiguous. It doesn't spell out that you need to spend an action putting the shield in your hand from your back, then another action to benefit from it. But to be fair, it doesn't spell out that a move action retrieves the shield from your back and allows you to benefit from it either. The fact that two terms are used, and not clearly defined in the full (ready/don) does leave some room for interpretation... which definitely is annoying in PFS. I had never heard of a judge/GM ruling that a character had to spend a move action to don a shield from your back and then another move action to ready it though. That's a new one, and probably not in heavy use.

As for the provoking bit... also ambiguous. There is precedent in that stowing or sheathing an item provokes normally, agreed. But I don't know of any swift, immediate, or free actions that provoke attacks of opportunity either Maezer. All it says is that free actions "rarely" provoke AoO. To be fair, I'd say that unless it spells it out in the description of the feat or ability (in this case, the text of the item) that the action provokes, it doesn't RAW. When the core rules say free actions rarely provoke, I would expect instances where they do to be spelled out clearly as exceptions to the norm.

Swift and immediate action spells provoke. It's the action that you're performing that determines whether or not you provoke, not the length of time it takes to accomplish. The important part here is that RAW never states that reducing the time it takes to perform an action changes its... provocation status? Provocation status.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Illeist wrote:
Swift and immediate action spells provoke. It's the action that you're performing that determines whether or not you provoke, not the length of time it takes to accomplish. The important part here is that RAW never states that reducing the time it takes to perform an action changes its... provocation status? Provocation status.

Incorrect in regards to swift and immediate action spells:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat#TOC-Swift-Actions

Core Rulebook, p188 wrote:
You can cast a quickened spell (see the Quicken Spell metamagic feat), or any spell whose casting time is designated as a free or swift action, as a swift action. Only one such spell can be cast in any round, and such spells don't count toward your normal limit of one spell per round. Casting a spell as a swift action doesn't incur an attack of opportunity.

Immediate action spells likewise do not incur if you read the next page. They act exactly as swift action spells, only can be used out of turn (and take your next round's swift action use). Also on page 188, "Free actions rarely incur attacks of opportunity."

It doesn't explicitly say that changing the action type does not provoke, but it does say that free/swift/immediate actions do not or rarely do provoke.


Rapid Reload makes reloading light crossbows a free action. It also says that it still provokes AoO.

Just changing the speed doesn't eliminate the AoO unless it specifically states that it does. Storing or sheathing provokes AoO. That much is clear. Nowhere does it say that this rule changes, so the rule should still apply.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So the whole point of this thread is to weasel an exploit into Pathfinder Society using the free action rule, which explicitly has most of it left up to the GM while at the same time circumventing the spirit and purpose of Dervish Dance being a 1-handed art?

The Exchange

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Fails the smell test and everyone knows it.


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Shar Tahl wrote:
So the whole point of this thread is to weasel an exploit into Pathfinder Society using the free action rule, which explicitly has most of it left up to the GM while at the same time circumventing the spirit and purpose of Dervish Dance being a 1-handed art?

Nah it's to get an idea of how many DMs will weasel the 'limiting free actions' clause because they might find it personally distasteful.

Face it, very few (if any) of those same DMs would be objecting to the drawing/stowing if it weren't coupled by 'gaining an advantage' such as the dervish dance feat gives. You spent a feat, gear and take a disadvantage for doing so. I don't see the problem with the concept.

Quickdraw lets a character draw and throw as many weapons as they have attacks. Denying them the fair use of their feat is simply wrong. It would be saying 'oh you're an archer... I don't like archers, they're too powerful. You can only draw one arrow each round as I'm going to limit those free actions'. Now do you blame the player or the DM in a situation like that?

If the PC wished to fight one-handed with a scimitar, and then afterwards quickdraw a second weapon into their other hand... is that 'circumventing' dervish dance? No, it's following it perfectly and benefits from the feat when it applies and doesn't benefit when it doesn't apply.

I've encountered DMs that would not allow a PC to fire a bow during the round and then quickdraw a melee weapon in order to threaten squares during the time it wasn't their turn. You think that was them following the rules, or making them up to suit themselves?

-James

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Replace quickdraw shield with any weapon.

Now how do you feel about it?


I would say that when I imagine how the fighting style the OP describes looks it would very much be ridiculous (in a bad way).

That coupled with the fact that it doesn't seem RAI would enough for me not to allow it. But I don't play PFS.

If someone wanted to normally fight sword and board and now and then (not every turn or every other turn) stow his shield to wield his weapon with both hands and then bring the shield back to action I'd see that as cinematic and ok. But every turn? No.


Jiggy wrote:
Let's also all keep in mind that the rule about free action limits doesn't say the GM can decide how many, it says he can decide "what you can really do for free".

You don't think they're meant to say the same thing?

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

Free Actions: "Free actions don't take any time at all, though there may be limits to the number of free actions you can perform in a turn."

Pairing the two, I don't see any reasonable way for PFS gm's to allow one guy to make six free actions, and not allow another guy to make two, because he doesn't like what the two free actions accomplish.

Saying a player with Quick Draw can't don his quickdraw shield as a free action is not a reasonable limit on what he can do for free. The rules explicitly state he can do so. The "cheese" is performing two separate free actions, once per turn.

Saying the same player can't don and throw fifty quickdraw throwing shields as free actions is a reasonable limit on what he can do for free, as that's two separate free actions, fifty times per turn.

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

Grick wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Let's also all keep in mind that the rule about free action limits doesn't say the GM can decide how many, it says he can decide "what you can really do for free".

You don't think they're meant to say the same thing?

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

Free Actions: "Free actions don't take any time at all, though there may be limits to the number of free actions you can perform in a turn."

Pairing the two, I don't see any reasonable way for PFS gm's to allow one guy to make six free actions, and not allow another guy to make two, because he doesn't like what the two free actions accomplish.

Hm... I wasn't aware of that second quotation. I'll have to think on the ramifications of that one. Thanks for the heads-up, as usual.

Liberty's Edge

Grick wrote:
I don't see any reasonable way for PFS gm's to allow one guy to make six free actions, and not allow another guy to make two, because he doesn't like what the two free actions accomplish.

In another thread, a poster commented on the 'peasant gattling gun' where you would put 1000 peasants in a line, give each a quiver of arrows, and then give a +5 bow to the first in the line. The first would fire an arrow and drop the bow as a free action. The next peasant would pick up the bow as a move action, fire it, and then drop it as a free action. Rinse and repeat all the way down the line. By RAW, it is all perfectly legal...but I would expect every GM (PFS or not) to not allow it.

Using a quickdraw shield to get around the empty hand requirement for Dervish Dance is gaming the system. While not as obvious as the 'peasant gattling gun', it still smells funny. It also goes against the intended flavor of the feat (Link: James Jacobs).

Edit: Link fixed


RedDogMT wrote:
Using a quickdraw shield to get around the empty hand requirement for Dervish Dance is gaming the system.

I don't see how. You're not benefiting from both at the same time. When you use the shield, you don't use DD. When you're using DD, you're not using the shield.

RedDogMT wrote:
It also goes against the intended flavor of the feat (Link: James Jacobs).

Link broken. If that's this then JJ's talking about making attacks with your other hand, using TWF with dervish dance. That's nothing similar to this. This is having your hand completely free, using Dervish Dance as intended, then later not having your hand free. Just like drawing another weapon, or a potion, or whatever. It's no worse than a monk using a Tiger Fork to attack, then holding it in one hand so he can use Deflect Arrows.

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

Some people consider *that* to be gaming the system, Grick.

Liberty's Edge

Grick wrote:
Link broken. If that's this then JJ's talking about making attacks with your other hand, using TWF with dervish dance. That's nothing similar to this.

Link fixed (thanks).

Sorry, but you are too narrow minded when reading it. James stated that Dervish Dance isn't supposed to reward tricky-thinking two-weapon fighters, after all. It's supposed to make fighting with a single weapon more attractive.

While that post was specific to two-weapon fighting, a point he was trying to make is that Dervish Dance was made to make single weapon fighters more attractive. While he did not specifically mention tricky-thinking shield-swapping fighters, the explanation is just as valid for this situation.

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