Can you use lay on hands on yourself while pinned?


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meabolex wrote:
You must not have a free hand, otherwise you could use somatic components (see grappled condition).

Absolutely false.

The grappled condition makes no mention at all of free hands, or of somatic components. The closest it comes is saying "grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform."

Meanwhile, the grapple combat maneuver does make mention of free hands, saying "Humanoid creatures without two free hands attempting to grapple a foe take a –4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll." It also covers that two hands thing in a more verbose fashion, stating "Instead of attempting to break or reverse the grapple, you can take any action that doesn’t require two hands to perform, such as cast a spell or make an attack or full attack with a light or one-handed weapon against any creature within your reach, including the creature that is grappling you."

The pinned condition, which makes absolutely no mention of hands, free or otherwise, meanwhile states that "A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component."

What is clear from the rules here, relevant to this subject, is that being grappled only prevents actions which require the use of two hands (casting spells with somatic components and using lay on hands are both indisputably fair game so far) and that when pinned, specifically, spells with somatic (or material) components are clearly off the table. By RAW, lay on hands is still totally on the table.

You are now arguing that the only way anything could possibly prevent a spellcaster from casting a spell which requires a somatic component is if they are completely unable to do anything with that hand, and thus, by extension, banning lay on hands (along with several other things). Let's establish what somatic components even are, shall we?

"To cast a spell, you must be able to speak (if the spell has a verbal component), gesture (if it has a somatic component), and manipulate the material components or focus (if any). Additionally, you must concentrate to cast a spell." So far so good. The spells that you can't use while pinned require gesturing and manipulating held objects. Kinda vague, what else do we have?

Here's an interesting bit, where being grappled or pinned is addressed within the magic rules: "The only spells you can cast while grappling or pinned are those without somatic components and whose material components (if any) you have in hand." Oh! Well, that's different from the vague wording under the pinned condition! Not all spells with material components are off the table! If I am already holding the material component (or focus) for my spell, I can manipulate it as required to cast the spell. So there is at least one clear cut case here where I can definitely do something with my hand while I am pinned. So why are somatic spells off the table still? Let's read on!

"Spells also fail if your concentration is broken and might fail if you're wearing armor while casting a spell with somatic components." Oh. There's something that hinders somatic components that clearly doesn't involve your hands specifically. Somehow, bulky armor makes these gestures harder to perform.

What does "somatic" even mean, anyway? Further down the magic rules, we have this definition: "A somatic component is a measured and precise movement of the hand. You must have at least one hand free to provide a somatic component." And, for clarity, we have the dictionary definition: "of, relating to, or affecting the body."

Taking all of this together, it becomes abundantly clear that when the rules-definition mentions "measured and precise movement of the hand" they are not referring to some sort of complex finger gestures, as would be used by a catcher in a baseball game. Those would still be possible to make under conditions where an object in hand could be freely manipulated (as is the case with a pin), and would never be at all impeded by stiff bulky armor (barring gloves/gauntlets, which do not come standard with the bulk of armor types which provide an arcane spell failure chance, and no failure chance is imposed by any wondrous items taking the form of gloves/gauntlets that come to mind).

What does make sense given all of these restrictions and penalties, and justifies the use of the term "somatic" and not, say, "dextrous," is if we interpret "measured and precise movement of the hand" as exactly that. Big sweeping gestures which move your whole hand around. This also fits with the classic mental images one gets of wizards casting spells that need to be directed at a target. They pull back their arm to throw fireballs. They point at targets to fire rays from the tips of their fingers. They raise an arm up in front of them to center their shielding spells. These are all actions which would be more difficult to do when wearing very restrictive and uncomfortable stiff or heavy armor, and things which would be impossible to do if being held in a position that restrains the arms, particularly the forearms, which is synonymous with pinning someone.

Fine hand manipulations (rubbing a thumb on a cross, letting sand slip through your fingers, pressing your fingertips and palm together), these aren't impeded by being pinned. It's all just about taking away the leverage needed to break free.


Googleshng wrote:
Here's an interesting bit, where being grappled or pinned is addressed within the magic rules: "The only spells you can cast while grappling or pinned are those without somatic components and whose material components (if any) you have in hand." Oh! Well, that's different from the vague wording under the pinned condition!

Grappling or Pinned: "The only spells you can cast while grappling or pinned are those without somatic components and whose material components (if any) you have in hand."

As written, that applies equally to just grappled, as well as pinned. Which conflicts with the grappled condition.

The no-somatic-casting restriction only applies to being pinned, not merely grappled, so the Magic chapter's entry (pg. 206, Grappled or Pinned) is wrong and should be revised to reflect the different effects for the two conditions.

Fun bonus:

Natural Spell says, "You substitute various noises and gestures for the normal verbal and somatic components of a spell." Which means the wildshaped druid is still making somatic gestures, they're just not with hands. The grapple rules say you can't cast somatic spells when pinned, so that would apply to the wildshaped druid using Natural Spell. If we go the Natural Spell route for the synthesist, it should work the same way: the somatic component is "translated" to something appropriate for the fused form, and thus a pinned synthesist couldn't cast somatic spells.

Silver Crusade

Grick wrote:
Googleshng wrote:
Here's an interesting bit, where being grappled or pinned is addressed within the magic rules: "The only spells you can cast while grappling or pinned are those without somatic components and whose material components (if any) you have in hand." Oh! Well, that's different from the vague wording under the pinned condition!

Grappling or Pinned: "The only spells you can cast while grappling or pinned are those without somatic components and whose material components (if any) you have in hand."

As written, that applies equally to just grappled, as well as pinned. Which conflicts with the grappled condition.

The no-somatic-casting restriction only applies to being pinned, not merely grappled, so the Magic chapter's entry (pg. 206, Grappled or Pinned) is wrong and should be revised to reflect the different effects for the two conditions.

Fun bonus:

Natural Spell says, "You substitute various noises and gestures for the normal verbal and somatic components of a spell." Which means the wildshaped druid is still making somatic gestures, they're just not with hands. The grapple rules say you can't cast somatic spells when pinned, so that would apply to the wildshaped druid using Natural Spell. If we go the Natural Spell route for the synthesist, it should work the same way: the somatic component is "translated" to something appropriate for the fused form, and thus a pinned synthesist couldn't cast somatic spells.

Your search-Fu is strong! Cheers Grick!


Quote:

Absolutely false.

*Insert blah blah here*

My ruling stands. You've said nothing to counter that logic. Mr. Wonka said it best. . .


Grick wrote:

Fun bonus:

Natural Spell says, "You substitute various noises and gestures for the normal verbal and somatic components of a spell." Which means the wildshaped druid is still making somatic gestures, they're just not with hands. The grapple rules say you can't cast somatic spells when pinned, so that would apply to the wildshaped druid using Natural Spell. If we go the Natural Spell route for the synthesist, it should work the same way: the somatic component is "translated" to something appropriate for the fused form, and thus a pinned synthesist couldn't cast somatic spells.

And that further strengthens my point about somatic components being broad gestures requiring the involvement of your whole arm really. I can see a druid in horse form waving a hoof around to cast spells, but if it really was a question of finger twiddling, how would that possibly work?

meabolex wrote:
Quote:

Absolutely false.

*Insert blah blah here*

My ruling stands. You've said nothing to counter that logic. Mr. Wonka said it best. . .

You want to maybe find something in the rules that supports what you're saying then? You can run things however you want at your table, but in a conversation where people are trying to clarify the meaning of what's written in the rules, you can't really just shout "no" and leave it at that.


Wow five pages.

I wish stuff like this was clearer in the rules.


In a recent PFS game, we nearly had a TPK except for my Paladin, which was presumed dead and left there to rot, and a ranger who managed to escape. My Paladin had fallen down a pit tap into some slime, engulfed/pinned/suffocated.

In any event, the game would have gone better, or at the very least, no one would have died, had my Paladin been able to Lay on Hands and heal herself while pinned by the slime. After the slime was killed, she could have healed others.

Was this ever ruled upon? Can a Paladin Lay on Hands herself while pinned?

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