Limp Lash


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I don't get the whole wording of Limp Lash... Does it create a whip that I have to keep lashing every round.. Or does it start choking the target.. or what?

Grand Lodge

PFSRD wrote:
You create a dark whip-shaped field of energy that wraps around an enemy’s neck, leaving everything except his head paralyzed until you let go of the whip or it is destroyed. You must make a ranged touch attack with this spell. If you strike your target, he takes a 1d6 penalty to his Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution each round. This penalty cannot reduce any attribute to less than 1, and once any of these attributes reaches 1 the target collapses and his body, except his head, becomes paralyzed. While paralyzed in this way, the target retains full use of his senses, including the ability to feel pain, and can speak (including casting spells with only verbal components). The whip has a maximum length of 20 feet, 15 hit points, and a hardness of 5. The spell ends immediately if you let go of the whip or it is destroyed. When the spell ends, all penalties the target took from this spell also end.

The way I see Limp Lash, you make a touch attack once and then it's wrapped around his neck. There is no repeated lashing. Instead of choking the person, the necromantic energies sap the strength from the target. Also one little tidbit I've noticed, the stats continue to drain even when one stat reaches 1, so con will still drop and lower HP.


One ranged touch attack then it continues to do its thing as long as you hold it.

The thing I found misleading about this when I first read it is that the first line of the spell makes it sound like your target is immediately paralyzed, but as you read on you find out that doesn't happen until a stat reaches 1. This means they get a few rounds to slap at you or the whip.


Sitri wrote:
The thing I found misleading about this when I first read it is that the first line of the spell makes it sound like your target is immediately paralyzed, but as you read on you find out that doesn't happen until a stat reaches 1. This means they get a few rounds to slap at you or the lash.

I got yelled at by the GM of a campaign I was in over this. Apparently, correcting him on how the spell actually works makes me a rules lawyer.

Be careful when using this spell and hope your GM is nicer than mine was when you correctly explain how it works.


We had the same issue at our table, Sitri. Still a good spell, just not the instant death we misread it to be

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The definition is "unbalanced", not "good".


This is a silly question but Limp Lash penalizes Con assuming you lose hit points from the spell do you get them back when the effect ends.

I am not sure its unbalanced it doesn't take much to sunder the rope so it doesn't seem that bad.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, in a 1 vs party situation, where the target is somehow incapable of sundering the whip, beating the sorcerer/wizard who came within 20 feet to a bloodpulp and forcing him to drop it, and has 6 or less in a stat, so the sorc/wiz manages to get it in one shot..

Yes, I can see how its 'unbalanced'

However, generally, there is usually multiple targets, the target is capable of sundering the whip, beating the caster to a pulp, or otherwise forcing him to drop it, and tends to have fairly high physical stats.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Second level, affect 3 stats at the same time, can be used with a wand so hardly limited to wizard and witches, no St to have the effect, infinite duration, the effect end when the spell end, not when the the target fee himself, characteristic penalty that increase each round, bad wording that allow questionable interpretations of how it work and what you need to do free yourself. Sundering the whip is the only option? You can dimension door away? It affect incorporeal beings?

Sunder is a standard action, BTW. Dealing 20 hp of damage with one attack while suffering from the limp lash effect could be a problem for a lot of character at level 3. Remember, it is second level spell.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Sunder is not a standard action so this whip should go down fairly easily
Sunder Ruling

Just seems to be a nightmare of a book keeping spell.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Well, well, well, that is a new one. After all the work people on this forum has done to convince me of the opposite.

Thank for the link.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

No problem, it was confused by several well written folk with an eagles eye for minute english foul ups.

I wouldn't ever mem this spell, but I would wand or scroll it...

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

One of the big question is if it stack or not with other casting of the spell.

Wizard with lesser rod of quickening: Quickened limp lash + limp lash from wand in one round.
How many enemies can dismiss getting 2d6 point of penalty on all their physical characteristics?
Even if they successful destroy one of the lash the wand wielder can replace it the next round, as the damage from the original ash increase you now are suffering from 2d6 from the first lash and 1d6 from the second. 3d6 with average dice rolls will stop any dragon.

Even without stacking: limp lash from 20' and move away (nowhere it say that you are tethered to the target). Now pepper your target with spells, arrow and co. from distance. As long as you keep the whip in one of your hands his characteristics are penalized.
Combine with spring attack or flyby attack to increase the damage every round while avoiding full attacks.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I don't understand how this spell has never been errata'd. It's a 2nd level spell that essentially does the work of Ray of Enfeeblement (but to ALL physical stats) EVERY ROUND, plus hold monster.

I've disallowed it in my game, which is a first for me.


Remember Penalties can never go below 1. AND if they sunder it... which Two handing a weapon and power attack says.. yeah thats cute.. They dont care as the spell ends after they sunder it.. killing you afterward.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Good luck sundering 15HP with a Hardness of 5 after taking 1d6 of strength damage per round.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Gin Kyomaru wrote:
Remember Penalties can never go below 1. AND if they sunder it... which Two handing a weapon and power attack says.. yeah thats cute.. They dont care as the spell ends after they sunder it.. killing you afterward.

Yes, your characteristic don't go below 1, but:

Limp lash wrote:
and once any of these attributes reaches 1 the target collapses and his body, except his head, becomes paralyzed.


@ Diego Rossi - The spell ends immediately if you let go of the whip or if the whip is destroyed. The only way a target would retain the stat penalties after being freed is if he got out while the whip was in tact, which is unlikely considering how easy it is to break.

@ Spectrevk - That's not overly difficult once you make it past the intro levels. A fighter with a strength of 20 and a +1 weapon (not unreasonable at 3rd level) can deal dice +4, plus Power Attack even under the effects of the first round of Limp Lash. With haste he could easily break free in two attacks and the penalties would immediately end.

This spell is most devastating against characters with one tanked physical statistic, usually casters, and usually they have other defenses against it. Not to mention some races are straight up immune to paralysis.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

You have read my post a few post above?
It explain very simply how you can paralyze a dragon with a quickened limp lash and a wand of limp lash in 2 rounds with average rolls.
Anyone with a value of 10 or less in one of his physical stats can be paralyzed that way in 2 rounds.

Now that it is possible to do multiple sunder attempts in a round it is better, but until the FAQ was produced you could do only 1 sunder action in a round.

If my master was so insane to allow this spell in our games my magus would burn a arcana immediately to get it (using Spell Blending).
Hope you have improved sunder as a feat, being successful at your CMB cheek will be a pain with my Attacks of Opportunity.
A single whip will accrue "only" a 1d6 penalty to each of you physical stat each round. Not as efficient as two whips, but still very painful.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Aldarionn wrote:

@ Diego Rossi - The spell ends immediately if you let go of the whip or if the whip is destroyed. The only way a target would retain the stat penalties after being freed is if he got out while the whip was in tact, which is unlikely considering how easy it is to break.

@ Spectrevk - That's not overly difficult once you make it past the intro levels. A fighter with a strength of 20 and a +1 weapon (not unreasonable at 3rd level) can deal dice +4, plus Power Attack even under the effects of the first round of Limp Lash. With haste he could easily break free in two attacks and the penalties would immediately end.

This spell is most devastating against characters with one tanked physical statistic, usually casters, and usually they have other defenses against it. Not to mention some races are straight up immune to paralysis.

Strength 20 at level 3 isn't exactly common. More realistic would be 18-16...and possibly not a fighter. Hit a Rogue with that, and what have you got? The Rogue is effectively useless until he becomes paralyzed, and the caster is free to continue dealing damage.

Also, being immune to paralysis is irrelevant; a creature with STR/DEX/CON of 1 is essentially a non-entity in combat. Even if all it did was drain 1d6 of all physical stats every round, the spell would still be ludicrously unbalanced.


I nipped this spell in the bud by not letting the penalties accumulate each round.

"Spells that provide bonuses or penalties on attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and other attributes usually do not stack with themselves."

Limp lash doesn't explicitly state that the penalties stack, so I don't have them stack. That way, the worst that can happen, penalty-wise, is to have penalties of exactly 6 on all 3 stats.

Of course, my players argued that the spell seemed to imply stacking, due to the phrase "once any of these attributes reaches 1", but that still doesn't fly with me, because a penalty can still become greater because of rolling a higher number the next round. With overlapping effects, the strongest one applies. It's possible to get to an attribute of 1 over time that way, so "once any of these attributes reaches 1" serves a purpose even without stacking. It just won't ever happen with ability scores higher than 7.

Of course, the spell can also argued to be worded completely wrong to ever have a paralysing effect because of ability scores being reduced to 1, simply because ability penalties don't actually reduce the ability score.

Silver Crusade

It is for those Low stat characters or even better against those that have been hit with a poison, ability harming attack or otherwise.. Remember what book its from.. Goblins then to have a lower Str.


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The cries of overwhelmed DMs yelling "OP! OP!" makes me sigh, and I prefer not to play in the games of such limited and uncreative DMs. Call me old fashioned, but errors or not, why is it unbalanced? Balanced compared to what? Casting haste on your party of monks, rogues and fighters is so insanely powerful it's not funny. But as a DM, why "remove it from the game" or alter it beyond utility? Just handle it. Just give the scary spell to the next Goblin Shaman or enemy sorcerer the players meet. Balance restored. Why change it or disallow it, Mr. DM? Dude...use it!

You'll be amazed at how easy it is to "balance" things when you remember your job as a DM isn't to win...but to present challenges to the party. A spell like Limp Lash seems to me to be quite a challenge. Try it. You're thinking only of how the spell will hurt your poor single pet badguy. It hasn't occurred to you how comically vulnerable this spell makes the caster, or how much fun this would be in the hands of monsters in a carefully strategized battle against players. Sounds tough to me. And IF the players manage to survive they'll have Achieved something noteworthy!

If you're a DM terrified by the implications of such an effect...well...I suggest having more confidence in your ability. Trust me...you can handle it. Ultimately if you can't, you might not be suited for the role...and that's perfectly okay. Not everyone is.


I had a mistaken ruling with this spell letting me nearly one-hit a boss. That was one misruling in my favor to half a dozen against, so we corrected and called it all even, haha.

The STR/DEX/CON damage is cumulative each round, but the paralysis doesn't apply until any of these stats reaches 1. Were this not so, paralysis would likely never occur at all. Reading the first sentence alone caused the mistake in my case, the remaining paragraph below explains fairly well on a careful read (highlighted for clarity).

Limp Lash:

You create a dark whip-shaped field of energy that wraps around an enemy’s neck, leaving everything except his head paralyzed until you let go of the whip or it is destroyed. You must make a ranged touch attack with this spell. If you strike your target, he takes a 1d6 penalty to his Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution each round. This penalty cannot reduce any attribute to less than 1, and once any of these attributes reaches 1 the target collapses and his body, except his head, becomes paralyzed. While paralyzed in this way, the target retains full use of his senses, including the ability to feel pain, and can speak (including casting spells with only verbal components). The whip has a maximum length of 20 feet, 15 hit points, and a hardness of 5. The spell ends immediately if you let go of the whip or it is destroyed. When the spell ends, all penalties the target took from this spell also end.

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