Two Handed Weapon and Armor Spikes Resolved by the Design Team?


Rules Questions

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Crash_00 wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Weslocke wrote:
Sorry Nicos, but Hindsight Bias does not explain how five different GM's (myself included) all individually and separately interpreted and ran these rules correctly for more than a decade before this ruling.

By the other hand it is not a popularity contest, that you and your group ran it that way do not prove anything, in this thread there were more than five people that interpreted it the other way.

Not to mention that In 3.5 the FAQ went the other way, so 10 to 5 yeas ago you were wrong.

Uhm...when half the devs were still handing out "official" no answers for LGR then I'm going to say, no, we weren't wrong during the 3.5 era either. The 3.5 FAQ was not considered RAW. It was meant to clarify what the rules actually said, and it failed on an epic level.

Quote:
So does anyone have anything further constructive to say?

I'm still hoping to see the devs explain which off hand attacks exactly are lost if you switch between TWF and THF during iterative attacks. I had always believed it to be the off hand attack at the same BAB (so if you two hand at your +16, you lose the +16 off hand attack), but Jason's news that the attacks aren't linked makes me question that (maybe you get a choice of which off hand attack to lose and can throw away your +6 if you have GTWF).

That would be very interesting, though also a bit weird and thus I think not likely :-)

I wonder how we will deal with the FAQ in our groups. Nobody plays a THF+TWF atm, but in the past some have. Explaining that in different languages will be difficult... :-/

Personally I don't like it, so it will maybe be the first FAQ I will recommend to houserule against... But I am glad it is at least clearer now, a few days back I was just completely confused and wondered what else I apparently misunderstood :-)


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Alright everybody.

The productivity of this thread is quickly winding down to 0. I think both sides understand the situation here. Giving further examples, builds, power comparisons, arguments, snipes, hyperbole, and additional posts about all of the above is really starting to wander in a circle. The heated tone is not really helping either.

I know there are still some questions on this. We can look at those, but my basic understanding of this situation has not changed. Let me give you a peek inside... this is not an FAQ, nor is it a final ruling. This is my understanding of the rule in question. It might not be the same at the 3.5 ruling, and for those of you that still reference that, you have my sympathies, but this is Pathfinder not 3.5 and we are not going to see everything exactly the same way.

Each round, a generic human warrior has two possibilities for an attack when taking a full attack action. His "primary hand" and his "off hand". Setting aside for a moment whether or not these are hands at all, those are his options. If he attacks with both using more than one "weapon" he takes huge penalties (weapon being an actual weapon or an unarmed strike). TWF reduces these depending on the "weapons" used. He can, without penalty use both to make an attack with a two-handed weapon, but in doing so, he has used both and cannot make any others. The core rulebook is a little vague here, but if you look at the rules for two-handed weapons on page 141, it is clear that it uses two hands. Now this is where the confusion comes in. An attack does not have to actually be a "hand", but it does have to be assigned to your "primary" or "off". Unfortunately the two-handed weapon description does not spell that out properly. However, taken in context of the two paragraphs before it, that a light weapon and a one handed weapon both speak to the "primary" or "off" language, it can be understood that the two-handed weapon is taking up both.

I realize there are a lot of rules speaking to these systems, and lot...

Malachi, you should probably reread through this. He is breaking down the rules from page 141 (as he stated).

It is based on the rules, not emotional response. Unlike the 3.5 FAQ, that was based on emotional response to the original ruling from the community.


Weslocke wrote:
Sorry Nicos, but Hindsight Bias does not explain how five different GM's (myself included) all individually and separately interpreted and ran these rules correctly for more than a decade before this ruling.

If you and four other DM's were enforcing this rule for decades... then that means you had multiple players petitioning on multiple occasions to use the TWFw/2HW+0HW fighting style throughout those decades. Otherwise, how would the interpretation and ruling ever have been made?

Yes. It's abundantly clear to everyone. [/sarcasm]

[genuine] Weslocke, I have absolutely no problem believing that on the occasion(s) that you were presented with this situation, you made a ruling consistent with the FAQ. Actual truth: I believe you.

But, to make that decision, you drew conclusions that are not in any way, shape, or form "obvious" from the rules. Were you able to somehow extrapolate intent? Maybe. Did you have preconceived notions about the mutual exclusivity of TWF and 2HF? Maybe. Did you have concerns about overpoweredness? Maybe. Did you dislike the cinematic image of the action in combat? Maybe. Did you just take a shot in the dark? Maybe.

Please believe me, I truly believe you took all the information available and made the best ruling you could make. I am not calling any of that into question.

All I am saying is that these rules are not spelled out, are not "obvious", are not clear, and there is no reason why the FAQ ruling must have gone one way instead of the other. At best, at best, the evidence upon which to make this decision is split 51/49... and that is if you only use the CRB, and exclude extended sources.

There is also a ton of additional murkiness that comes with the FAQ as it stands, that wouldn't exist or require clarification if the decision had been made the other way. As it is, Buhlman&Co. are going to have headaches for weeks unraveling and cleaning up language, clarifying points and putting out brushfires. None of which would have been necessary had it been decided the other way.

I believe they made the incorrect decision. I also think they made a bad decision. And yes, those are distinct, one from the other.

But, that will likely be my final word on this.

-The Crusader [/genuine]

Expect the standard sarcasm from this point forward.

Silver Crusade

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Crash_00 wrote:
I'm still hoping to see the devs explain which off hand attacks exactly are lost if you switch between TWF and THF during iterative attacks. I had always believed it to be the off hand attack at the same BAB (so if you two hand at your +16, you lose the +16 off hand attack), but Jason's news that the attacks aren't linked makes me question that (maybe you get a choice of which off hand attack to lose and can throw away your +6 if you have GTWF).

Sorry Crash. The comments from Jason show that 'hands' are no part of the reasoning behind the ban. The reason is simply 'we don't want you to use a 2HW in TWF, so you can't'.


Crusader, I'm going to refer you to the above post as well. The ruling really only had one way to be decided, and it doesn't really affect much of anything as long as you realize that "off hand" is a mechanical term and the only thing that uses it is something that directly refers to it (either through off hand or off hand attack). Most people I play with, once they read the rules from that section, understood it clearly the way the dev team did.

Did the issue come up often? Yes. Every new player just about that hadn't read the rules yet usually brought it up. Let me reiterate that. The issue always came from players that hadn't read the rules.

The only unclear issues revolving around this have been unclear for a decade.

Silver Crusade

Crash_00 wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Alright everybody.

The productivity of this thread is quickly winding down to 0. I think both sides understand the situation here. Giving further examples, builds, power comparisons, arguments, snipes, hyperbole, and additional posts about all of the above is really starting to wander in a circle. The heated tone is not really helping either.

I know there are still some questions on this. We can look at those, but my basic understanding of this situation has not changed. Let me give you a peek inside... this is not an FAQ, nor is it a final ruling. This is my understanding of the rule in question. It might not be the same at the 3.5 ruling, and for those of you that still reference that, you have my sympathies, but this is Pathfinder not 3.5 and we are not going to see everything exactly the same way.

Each round, a generic human warrior has two possibilities for an attack when taking a full attack action. His "primary hand" and his "off hand". Setting aside for a moment whether or not these are hands at all, those are his options. If he attacks with both using more than one "weapon" he takes huge penalties (weapon being an actual weapon or an unarmed strike). TWF reduces these depending on the "weapons" used. He can, without penalty use both to make an attack with a two-handed weapon, but in doing so, he has used both and cannot make any others. The core rulebook is a little vague here, but if you look at the rules for two-handed weapons on page 141, it is clear that it uses two hands. Now this is where the confusion comes in. An attack does not have to actually be a "hand", but it does have to be assigned to your "primary" or "off". Unfortunately the two-handed weapon description does not spell that out properly. However, taken in context of the two paragraphs before it, that a light weapon and a one handed weapon both speak to the "primary" or "off" language, it can be understood that the two-handed weapon is taking up both.

I realize there are a lot of rules

...

The bolded parts show just how 'obvious' it all is.


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*casts Soul Bind on the horse, tosses the resulting gem into a bag of holding, then places the bag of holding into a portable hole*


Quote:
Sorry Crash. The comments from Jason show that 'hands' are no part of the reasoning behind the ban. The reason is simply 'we don't want you to use a 2HW in TWF, so you can't'.

Uhm...you are ignoring things now.

Quote:
Each round, a generic human warrior has two possibilities for an attack when taking a full attack action. His "primary hand" and his "off hand". Setting aside for a moment whether or not these are hands at all, those are his options. If he attacks with both using more than one "weapon" he takes huge penalties (weapon being an actual weapon or an unarmed strike). TWF reduces these depending on the "weapons" used. He can, without penalty use both to make an attack with a two-handed weapon, but in doing so, he has used both and cannot make any others. The core rulebook is a little vague here, but if you look at the rules for two-handed weapons on page 141, it is clear that it uses two hands. Now this is where the confusion comes in. An attack does not have to actually be a "hand", but it does have to be assigned to your "primary" or "off". Unfortunately the two-handed weapon description does not spell that out properly. However, taken in context of the two paragraphs before it, that a light weapon and a one handed weapon both speak to the "primary" or "off" language, it can be understood that the two-handed weapon is taking up both.

Please read carefully if you think that Primary and Off Hand are not part of the reasoning behind the FAQ.


Crash_00 wrote:

I'm still hoping to see the devs explain which off hand attacks exactly are lost if you switch between TWF and THF during iterative attacks. I had always believed it to be the off hand attack at the same BAB (so if you two hand at your +16, you lose the +16 off hand attack), but Jason's news that the attacks aren't linked makes me question that (maybe you get a choice of which off hand attack to lose and can throw away your +6 if you have GTWF).

That is the only reason that I am still here. I strongly suspect it will follow the "highest bonus first" pattern from the Full Attack Action rule but it never hurts to be sure.


That's what I thought, but if that is the case, then the attacks are linked together by their bonus, and he said that they weren't. So I'm truly confused for the first time on this issue.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The bolded parts show just how 'obvious' it all is.

Yes, it was "a little vague." Yet is was easily explained in a paragraph that referenced the page number for the rules.

Still the actual rules.

Silver Crusade

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Crash_00 wrote:
Did the issue come up often? Yes. Every new player just about that hadn't read the rules yet usually brought it up. Let me reiterate that. The issue always came from players that hadn't read the rules.

Anecdotal 'evidence' is anecdotal.

So here's mine. : )

TWF has been my most common fighting style ever since there was a way to do it in the rules. Thirty years or so of TWFing in various systems.

And yet, every single time it was with one weapon in each hand throughout the process.

Until I made my latest character. My first PFS character, 'Malachi Silverclaw', chose his own surname (Cheliax...long story) based on the fact that he always wore a silver spiked gauntlet fashioned to look like the claw of a demon. His actual main weapon was a greatsword, and he really didn't expect to use the claw in combat (although it saved his life when he had to cling to the side of a capsized boat so he couldn't use his greatsword!). It began to occur to me: is it possible to use both at the same time in TWF?

So I checked the rules. According to the rules written in the book, yes it is! (BTW, not being computer savvy, even though I played 3.5 throughout its life and still play it, I was never aware of that FAQ re: armour spikes/greatsword)

'Malachi' doesn't have the Dex to take the TWF feat, and it would be insane to TWF without it, so I put the idea to one side.

As 'luck' would have it, my Kingmaker character died, so I made a paladin who could do this. I realised that it was a bad idea in terms of optimisation. I would have to spend most of my feats throughout my career servicing this fighting style, when I'd do more damage simply using my weapon two-handed with Power Attack and not waste all those feats. I was influenced by the facts that both the PC that died and the group's current barbarian use(d) 2HW and Power Attack, and that I'd never tried it before and wanted to make it work. I chose longsword instead of greatsword because of the background of the Restov Sword Lords, even though this was even less optimal.

I was comforted by the recent FAQ which defined 'un-gripping and re-gripping' as free actions, so I knew I had action economy on my side.

Imagine how I felt when, after deliberately sacrificing optimisation in so many ways in favour of 'fluff', I basically get told I'm cheating in order to do more damage!

At 4th level (when he was introduced) he attacked at +10 with both sword and gauntlet (+8 with TWF penalties) and did 1d8+7 with the sword in two hands and 1d4+2 with the gauntlet. I was standing next to the barbarian who attacked at +12 and did 2d6+16 with his greatsword; on average 7 damage more than both my attacks combined, even if both my attacks hit. I then get told that I'm cheating and I have to use my sword in one hand in TWF, reducing my damage by 2, because using it in two hands is overpowered and against some rules which nobody can point to!

It makes me want to react childishly. I have to fight the urge to say 'F~*% it! If you think that's optimisation, get a load of this', and then make a barbarian with exactly the same choices as our current barbarian, but mine would have 3 more Str.

I resist the urge, though. I'm still considering swapping out TWF and having Power Attack instead and going two-handed all the way. I haven't made my mind up, yet....

Liberty's Edge

Nicos wrote:
ciretose wrote:
You would lose that bet.

You tought it was "clear" that if you TWF with a lonsword and the spikes you lose the shiled bonus, andit was not that clear afther all.

It is easy to say what is clear or not afther the clarification was made.

Actually, if you recall I originally said it went the other way, then I fell for Kryzbyn's logic on the whole thing.

No one is arguing it couldn't have been more clear. But to say no one understood it is just wrong.

EDIT: Also, I linked to places where I argued the rule was what it is long, long before this came out.


We have pointed to the rules Malachi. It's against them.

I've run into similar issues in other game, although it's usually an errata that completely changes the way a rule works, but same concept: experience and wealth down the drain.

At the end of the day, it's just a game.

The big issue here though, is the extra .5 str damage the kicker for you? I mean, if you're willing to be unoptimized, then the extra couple points shouldn't be an issue. I played a character that wielded an adamantine tipped inkpen once. He was a pen is mightier than the sword and board aristocrat. He was in the fighter's role of meat shield most of the time. It worked. I had fun. Game won.

Silver Crusade

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Crash_00 wrote:
The big issue here though, is the extra .5 str damage the kicker for you? I mean, if you're willing to be unoptimized, then the extra couple points shouldn't be an issue.

I have emotions too.

I'm perfectly okay with nerfing myself in the name of role-playing.

I'm not okay with people saying I'm cheating, and saying that my motive for that cheating is to be more powerful when I've just done so many things to make myself less powerful.

I have an emotional reaction to that.

Designer

The Crusader wrote:

Are you saying Sean did?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

You know the 3.5 designers didn't agree on this issue, else they wouldn't have gone back and forth on their version of this FAQ.

Do you think that every designer is going to agree with how a rule works?

A lie? No.

If a company makes a decision, everyone abides by it. You don't go out and announce how vehemently you did, and do, disagree with it. I don't know Paizo's decision-making process (nor WoTC's, for that matter). But, I suspect everyone involved gets a say, though some individuals' carries a bit more weight than others.

Regardless...

EDIT: Execu-speak for "This is the company's decision that we all abide by." = "We are all in total agreement when it comes this ruling."

It's not company speak. It is my speech. Pure, simple, and straight forward, but with less swear words than I use in everyday language. I don't do Excu-speak. I hate it, and just keep quiet. We do argue and disagree when it comes to FAQ rulings in general. Not this one.


Any chance of getting a clarification on which off hands are attacked when switching between THF and TWF or if it's worth looking at (it is a rather niche question, but I have seen it come up before)?

To keep you from having to dig through the flood of pages, this gives the basic question:

Quote:
I had always believed it to be the off hand attack at the same BAB (so if you two hand at your +16, you lose the +16 off hand attack), but Jason's news that the attacks aren't linked makes me question that (maybe you get a choice of which off hand attack to lose and can throw away your +6 if you have GTWF).


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Crash_00 wrote:
The big issue here though, is the extra .5 str damage the kicker for you? I mean, if you're willing to be unoptimized, then the extra couple points shouldn't be an issue.

I have emotions too.

I'm perfectly okay with nerfing myself in the name of role-playing.

I'm not okay with people saying I'm cheating, and saying that my motive for that cheating is to be more powerful when I've just done so many things to make myself less powerful.

I have an emotional reaction to that.

I'm sorry.

I expect the worst of people on the internet, and that's entirely my fault.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
It's not company speak. It is my speech. Pure, simple, and straight forward, but with less swear words than I use in everyday language. I don't do Excu-speak. I hate it, and just keep quiet. We do argue and disagree when it comes to FAQ rulings in general. Not this one.

And let me remind you, gentle readers, that it's pretty bad form to accuse us of lying to you.


But I'm an attorney. I generally assume everybody is lying to me ...

Designer

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fretgod99 wrote:
But I'm an attorney. I generally assume everybody is lying to me ...

I'm just going to assume that both of those statements are lies. ;)


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Well, didn't he just say he was an attorney?


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Crash_00 wrote:
Well, didn't he just say he was an attorney?

Also, my lips were moving. Dead giveaway.

Designer

Crash_00 wrote:
Well, didn't he just say he was an attorney?

My point exactly. This is coming from the guy who is wearing his "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" Henry VI shirt today.

No offense, fretgod99...if that's really who you are. ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
The Crusader wrote:

Are you saying Sean did?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

You know the 3.5 designers didn't agree on this issue, else they wouldn't have gone back and forth on their version of this FAQ.

Do you think that every designer is going to agree with how a rule works?

A lie? No.

If a company makes a decision, everyone abides by it. You don't go out and announce how vehemently you did, and do, disagree with it. I don't know Paizo's decision-making process (nor WoTC's, for that matter). But, I suspect everyone involved gets a say, though some individuals' carries a bit more weight than others.

Regardless...

EDIT: Execu-speak for "This is the company's decision that we all abide by." = "We are all in total agreement when it comes this ruling."

It's not company speak. It is my speech. Pure, simple, and straight forward, but with less swear words than I use in everyday language. I don't do Excu-speak. I hate it, and just keep quiet. We do argue and disagree when it comes to FAQ rulings in general. Not this one.

So, what you're saying, Stephen, is that you like to leverage your actualisation of linguistic emphasis in your casual conversation, but that you find that you are challenged by adhering to the company protocol in corporate communications?

Designer

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Chemlak wrote:
So, what you're saying, Stephen, is that you like to leverage your actualisation of linguistic emphasis in your casual conversation, but that you find that you are challenged by adhering to the company protocol in corporate communications?

Or I just follow the rules everyone has to follow on these messageboards.

The Exchange

fretgod99 wrote:
But I'm an attorney. I generally assume everybody is lying to me ...

i thought that made lying your profession.....

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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So, I think we have reached the end. This discussion has played itself out here and the thread is meandering, so I think I will go and close this down.

I want to take a moment to thank everyone for playing nice (at the end at least), and for helping everyone better understand the issue and ruling.

I just want you all to know. I have come up with a new idea to fix this problem. You can see a preview of it right HERE.

Thanks again everybody. We will keep this issue in mind as things go forward.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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