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


Rules Questions

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blackbloodtroll wrote:
It's not all about you.

Ohh blackbloodtroll, are you bitter about this ruling?

I still appreciate what you have to say.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Confused.

It has no support, and I rely on the rules as a basis for what it doesn't cover.

This doesn't even fall into the "common sense" area.

I am trying to figure out what this actually means as a rules change.

This isn't a clarification.

This is a big errata.

I want the details.


I understand. Atleast you got an official answer. I think it is a foolish as well, but C'est la vie.

I have PFS DMs that say I can not use spiked armor to make AoOs. So I say I use unarmed strike(cleric of Irori) and they fight me on that so my reach fighter can not attack nearby enemies. Due to ignorance.

Liberty's Edge

Finlanderboy wrote:


I have PFS DMs that say I can not use spiked armor to make AoOs. So I say I use unarmed strike(cleric of Irori) and they fight me on that so my reach fighter can not attack nearby enemies. Due to ignorance.

What reason would they use to deny you of this?


I do not know. I have had 2 different DMs saying you need a free hand to use armor spikes. I guess it is from the mark moreland post.

Then since they say no on the first just continue in a no.

I remember the second time it happened a player started flipping out asking why I needed a free hand to kick someone.

As for me with DM's poor ruling I argue my point once and then shut up.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

With way things have been going, you may need that free hand to kick.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
With way things have been going, you may need that free hand to kick.

Now who is running around screaming "HANDS?"

Liberty's Edge

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Finlanderboy wrote:

I do not know. I have had 2 different DMs saying you need a free hand to use armor spikes. I guess it is from the mark moreland post.

Then since they say no on the first just continue in a no.

I remember the second time it happened a player started flipping out asking why I needed a free hand to kick someone.

As for me with DM's poor ruling I argue my point once and then shut up.

Huh. That's too bad. It might be worth talking to them outside of the game.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Hell, the Barbazu Beard specifically calls out being used as a off-hand weapon, with a two-handed weapon.

Liberty's Edge

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Confused.

It has no support, and I rely on the rules as a basis for what it doesn't cover.

This doesn't even fall into the "common sense" area.

I am trying to figure out what this actually means as a rules change.

This isn't a clarification.

This is a big errata.

I want the details.

Well, this is how I had always played it, even in 3.5, until others in other threads convinced me that I was doing it wrong.

Quite honestly, there is nothing in the rules that specifically supported your interpretation. There is nothing that says that you could do it, you and many others just assumed that it was allowed because there was nothing specific to prevent it.

There is no rules change, or even a paradigm shift. It's just a matter of the rules not being interpreted in a way that you thought they were supposed to be.

It's not easy to change your mindset. You have to make a conscious effort to remind yourself how it is supposed to be interpreted, but after a while it does get easier.

Learn and adapt. That's all that any of us can really do in the end.

EDIT: Not intended to be a snarky response, but just trying to be helpful in understanding that the ruling isn't as earth-shattering as your post implies it to be.

Liberty's Edge

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Hell, the Barbazu Beard specifically calls out being used as a off-hand weapon, with a two-handed weapon.

Certainly. That tells me that the Barbazu Beard is an exception to the rule.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Furthermore, attacking with a barbazu beard provokes an AOO, so it's not equivalent to using armor spikes or a spiked gauntlet: you're balancing a positive (ability to use it with a two-handed weapon in the same round) with a negative (doing so provokes an AOO).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
HangarFlying wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Hell, the Barbazu Beard specifically calls out being used as a off-hand weapon, with a two-handed weapon.
Certainly. That tells me that the Barbazu Beard is an exception to the rule.

What rule?

None listed in my Core Rulebook.


HangarFlying wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Hell, the Barbazu Beard specifically calls out being used as a off-hand weapon, with a two-handed weapon.
Certainly. That tells me that the Barbazu Beard is an exception to the rule.

But it's not phrased as an exception... It says "can be used as an off-hand weapon that requires no hands to use; thus, a warrior could combine use of a barbazu beared with a two-handed weapon" with that structure indicating the latter part is true because of the first part, with no suggestion of any exception to the general rule. I am not one to tout auxiliary material as being of prime relevance in interpreting core rules, but to say that Barbazu Beard's text 'tells you' that it is an exception to the rules for 2WF is just not a very solid claim, to say the least.

Certainly, the AoO aspect of Barbazu Beard is a good reason justifying why it SHOULD be an exception (assuming a restrictive general rule), but that isn't the same thing.

The FAQ here just has basically no justification that anybody pointing at RAW could discern.
That makes it nigh impossible for anybody to infer how the rationale of the FAQ applies to other tangential cases which can't all be mentioned in the FAQ - Nor should they be, there just needs to be a solid basis to clarify how the actual rules are interacting. If the FAQ is over-ruling or adding onto the RAW, it should be clear what exactly is going on, so that people can apply the "effective (FAQ updated) RAW" accordingly. As is, it's not clear if there is a New-Rules-By-FAQ being applied to 2WF in general (or what that ruling specifically is, if it is BARRING wielding weapons in 2 hands, or just negating the damage boost*), or if there is a ruling that Armor Spikes require a free hand to use (which affects things when 2WF is not even being used). * This would affect the RAW for main-hand damage of Double Weapons, if it were the case.


Sean, may I ask the reason behind the banning of 2-handed weapons + armor spike?

This weapon combination has been possible since 3.5, IIRC, and it's not a particularly powerful combo. It also doesn't seem any more unrealistic than half the stuff mundane characters are capable of doing.

I don't mean to sound demanding or hostile , I'm honestly confused.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Indeed.

Perhaps an explanation is in order?

Changing the strength bonus, to a maximum of x1 strength bonus on the primary attack makes it more in line with how Double weapons function, and a more logical solution.

Though, I never saw a problem in the first place.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Just because the rule isn't printed in the book doesn't mean there aren't rules that guide and limit what characters and monsters can and can't do.

For example, the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary has a table of Monster Statistics By CR. Before the existence of that book, there was no printed rule that said "a CR 1 monster shouldn't have 500 hit points." But if someone wrote a 500 hp CR 1 monster for an adventure or monster book, it would get changed or deleted long before it saw print—because some rules aren't in the printed books, but they're still real rules, and are there for the good of the game.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Quandary wrote:
with that structure indicating the latter part is true because of the first part, with no suggestion of any exception to the general rule.

As it turns out, we often don't call out the general rule when we make a specific rule that breaks the general rule. For example, the Cleave feat never states, "although you can normally only make one attack with a standard action, when using Cleave you can..."

Why? Because we don't want every rule element in the books to be twice as long as they currently are (once for the existing rules text, and once again to spoon-feed you a reminder that the normal rules don't let you do that and the new rules text is an exception).

Liberty's Edge

SKR quote from "other" thread that gives a good explanation.

If you would stop being combative about the FAQ rulings and actually think about what he is saying, it does make sense.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Those examples a not viable comparisons.

I find this solution to have no positive effect on balance, verisimilitude, or gameplay.

Using the alteration of strength bonus, as I noted, does.

In all three of my gaming groups, we have used that balancing solution.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Other examples of not calling out the general rule when we make a specific rule:

Bolas: A bolas is a pair of weights, connected by a thin rope or cord. You can use this weapon to make a ranged trip attack against an opponent. You can't be tripped during your own trip attempt when using a bolas. Unstated: Normally you can't make trip attacks with ranged weapons.

Trident: A trident has three metal prongs at end of a 4-foot-long shaft. This weapon can be thrown. Unlike most melee weapons that are thrown, a trident does not have a 10 foot range increment.

Blinding Critical: Whenever you score a critical hit, your opponent is permanently blinded. Unstated: Normally, when you confirm a critical hit, you just deal extra damage, rather than applying harmful conditions.

Cure Light Wounds: When laying your hand upon a living creature, you channel positive energy that cures 1d8 points of damage + 1 point per caster level (maximum +5). Unstated: Unlike normal healing, this is instantaneously successful and does not take 1 day of rest for each hp healed by the spell.

And so on.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Those examples a not viable comparisons.

I find this solution to have no positive effect on balance, verisimilitude, or gameplay.

Using the alteration of strength bonus, as I noted, does.

In all three of my gaming groups, we have used that balancing solution.

Well, that's your opinion. Feel free to houserule it however you like. I think I'm done trying to explain it to you, you've obviously made up your mind and are unwilling to hear any arguments to the contrary.


Quandary wrote:

The FAQ here just has basically no justification that anybody pointing at RAW could discern.

That makes it nigh impossible for anybody to infer how the rationale of the FAQ applies to other tangential cases which can't all be mentioned in the FAQ - Nor should they be, there just needs to be a solid basis to clarify how the actual rules are interacting. If the FAQ is over-ruling or adding onto the RAW, it should be clear what exactly is going on, so that people can apply the "effective (FAQ updated) RAW" accordingly. As is, it's not clear if there is a New-Rules-By-FAQ being applied to 2WF in general (or what that ruling specifically is, if it is BARRING wielding weapons in 2 hands, or just negating the damage boost*), or if there is a ruling that Armor Spikes require a free hand to use (which affects things when 2WF is not even being used). * This would affect the RAW for main-hand damage of Double Weapons, if it were the case.

This is not remotely the first FAQ that has this problem. I do not think they care. Imho, this means one might as well just decide things at one's own table, maybe using the FAQs as advice/thoughts (though without reasoning or justification they are not nearly as useful as they could be).

As HangarFlying points out, the devs basically have secret rules/principles they use for things that are not spelled out anywhere in the actual rules. Nor do they seem to feel a need to clarify the rules, not even any of the more esoteric ones (like TWF or main/off-hand oddness weirdness). Unless you count a lack of errata but occasional forum comments as clarifying the rules. Point is, no errata.

Everyone can make of that what they will. I do not see it as remotely unreasonable to be unhappy by this state of affairs, but then again I am unhappy by this state of affairs.

Liberty's Edge

I find this solution to have no negative effect on balance, verisimilitude, or gameplay. It's pretty much in line with how I've always interpreted it to be, so I'm not worked up about having to adjust my understanding of how the game is played.

And if it had worked out to be that I was wrong? I still wouldn't be worked up about having to adjust my understanding of how the game is played. I would learn, adapt, and move on. (I certainly wouldn't be whining about it).


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
As it turns out, we often don't call out the general rule when we make a specific rule that breaks the general rule. For example, the Cleave feat never states, "although you can normally only make one attack with a standard action, when using Cleave you can..."

Sure, if a novel feature is being introduced, the standard rules don't have to be mentioned, novel functionality tied to the item/whatever is itself the exception.

But Barbazu Beard is taking the exact opposite tack from a merely 'exceptionality-neutral' approach, it's actively affirming it derives from the standard rules with the 'thus' phrasing. That 'thus' phrasing is now simply inaccurate with the latest FAQ. Pre-FAQ, how could anybody who understands the usage of 'thus' NOT believe that Barbazu Beard was functioning as the standard rules allow?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Those are examples of one adding effects, with various examples throughout to suggest otherwise.

There is nothing to suggest this new restriction.

Not even logical reasoning.


Drachasor wrote:

This is not remotely the first FAQ that has this problem. I do not think they care. Imho, this means one might as well just decide things at one's own table, maybe using the FAQs as advice/thoughts (though without reasoning or justification they are not nearly as useful as they could be).

As HangarFlying points out, the devs basically have secret rules/principles they use for things that are not spelled out anywhere in the actual rules. Nor do they seem to feel a need to clarify the rules, not even any of the more esoteric ones (like TWF or main/off-hand oddness weirdness). Unless you count a lack of errata but occasional forum comments as clarifying the rules. Point is, no errata.

I by far do not see it as negatively as you, it is more of a communication issue for me.

Paizo has a fairly solid understanding of their rules, and the assumptions around which the game is designed.
You can certainly diverge from any of their rules/FAQs, but that is the solid baseline for me.
The issue for me is that they aren't making clear the basis, it doesn't matter if it's some 'un-stated rule' type of thing,
I mean perhaps that is less than optimal, but let's try to work with what we got...
If there is an unstated rule, why not state that in the FAQ? Why not state what specific parts of the RAW are being over-ruled,
so that people can intelligently resolve both the RAW and FAQ for situations not directly addressed?
Certainly I think actually issuing Errata would be better, and would motivate me to buy new Core Rule Books,
but if we have a FAQ we do have a basis to play the game by the rules as clarified by Paizo.
But when the RAW is being very non-specifically over-ruled, we DON'T have the basis to do that.
It's not about Paizo's motivation for the ruling "Because we want to" is perfectly fine, having their 'secret rules/guidelines' specified to the letter isn't needed per se.
But clarifying how the ruling interacts with the actual RAW is still a good thing.


Again, this isn't the first time this has happened. Even in my short stay on these forums I have seen it happen before and seen reference of previous happenings. Perhaps I am more negative about it than you because when I've seen this same issue brought up before...they do not care. They do not seem to distinguish between RAW, their in-house unstated rules, and their interpretation of RAW (even if that actually contradicts RAW or the basic principles of following the RAW).

Granted I also think a game with a large FAQ that is needed to state what the rules actually are has a FAQ that is not worth bothering with. That's an immense of amount of text you'd have to go through to learn all the FAQ answers. And they don't even state when there is some greater rule change in the background -- at least not all the time. Heck, sometimes the FAQ contradicts itself when it touches on the same subject again. So going with the FAQ raises all kinds of problems. It's less usable than Errata, it's less portable, has less explanatory power, and is less consistent.

I agree it is a communication issue. I guess I just see it is a big communication issue and you see it as a minor one.

Liberty's Edge

I'm sitting by myself in the middle of the country in front of my computer in the basement of my house. Regarding these recent FAQs, I've come to conclusions that pretty much coincide with the PDT interpretation without any outside influence. Your "RAW is being very non-specifically over-ruled". My RAW is being confirmed by the FAQ.


Wait, so Sean is explicitly saying they are operating on 'secret rules/guidelines' and you still think this is based off of RAW?
Paizo themself is not even saying that.

Liberty's Edge

No, what I'm saying is that how I interpreted the rules (RAW) coincides with the FAQ entry. Therefore, my reading of RAW means that I don't think there needs to be any changes to the printed rules just because other people's reading of RAW has proved to be wrong.


HangarFlying wrote:
No, what I'm saying is that how I interpreted the rules (RAW) coincides with the FAQ entry. Therefore, my reading of RAW means that I don't think there needs to be any changes to the printed rules just because other people's reading of RAW has proved to be wrong.

I don't see how anyone could read the primary/off-hand RAW and think that it was remotely clear on boot-knives, armor spikes, and other such weapons. To say nothing of what happens if you have two pairs of arms.


Huh, that is interesting. Now I am wondering hos things works when using a two handed weapon and armor spikes, boot blade, etc. without using two weapon fighting.

If one is, say, using a reach weapon, kills one enemy with the first attack and then wants to use an unarmed strike or armor spikes on an adjacent opponent how would that work.

Or what happens if one gets disarmed of/drops the two handed weapon during an attack. Is it impossible for the character to thereafter use its boot blade or armor spikes on an enemy.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

I removed some posts. Everyone calm down, don't be jerks, and act like adults. I don't want to find this thread exploded by tomorrow morning.


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HangarFlying wrote:
No, what I'm saying is that how I interpreted the rules (RAW) coincides with the FAQ entry. Therefore, my reading of RAW means that I don't think there needs to be any changes to the printed rules just because other people's reading of RAW has proved to be wrong.

It hasn't been proved to be wrong. Sean explicitly acknowledged invoking "secret unwritten rules" to reach the FAQ's ruling. So anybody's argument about WHAT THE RAW ACTUALLY SAYS was never 'proven wrong'. If anything, it was proven right, because if they were wrong, "secret unwritten rules" wouldn't need to be invoked to over-ride the RAW.

But I get that you don't really care what the RAW says, you only care how you think the game should be played. If you missed it, the reason why people place any particular importance on the RAW (not 'your RAW') is because everybody's preferences and assumptions may be different, discussing what the RAW /actually/ says and means is the only thing to focus on objectively. Plenty of people who can discern RAW from what-is-not-RAW, CAN and DO share house-rules or discuss actual approaches to gameplay that diverges from RAW... Recognizing one doesn't de-legitimize the other. Your refusal to recognize the objective realm of RAW doesn't seem to aid communication or anybody's ability to enjoy the game.

Liberty's Edge

There is no such thing as "RAW", or at least what you think to be "RAW". RAW is nothing more that the individual's way of interpreting the written word. What I interpret to be "RAW" may very well be different than what you interpret to be "RAW". You discount my "objective view of RAW" because it apparently differs from your "objective view of RAW".

If there is only possible "objective" interpretation of RAW, why are there all of these heated debates in which the opposing sides are "quoting RAW"?

There is no "the RAW". There is only individuals interpreting the written word in an objective manner using other rules, examples, rulings, or erratas as support for their interpretation. And yes, even with objective observation, different interpretations are possible. That is why the PDT tells us which interpretation of the rules is the official one.


That's a slippery slope fallacy, HangarFlying. While RAW can be unclear, that does not mean clear ways of expressing an idea do not exist. Nor does it mean that some ways are far, far more unclear than others. Perfect Clarity is an ideal to strive for, a goal worth pursuing even if absolute clarity cannot be obtained.

Certainly the rules demonstrate many different levels of both clarity and the lack thereof.

Indeed, if one could never have clarity and multiple interpretations were always possible, then FAQs and Errata would not serve all that great a purpose. For any FAQ would still lead to multiple interpretations of what it meant,* and you could never know for sure. That obviously is not the case in reality.

*Unless one were going for some sort of Venn Diagram of Certainty, where only one interpretation fit all the words, but then you have actually arrived at clarity, which means clarity was possible all along.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Really, the x1 strength to primary, and x0.5 to off hand always seemed logical to me.

It worked with every weapon, no matter how it was wielded.

Followed damage restrictions with in all other cases, and seemed balanced, at any level.

Silver Crusade

HangarFlying wrote:
There is no such thing as "RAW"

Well, I've just discovered that there is such a thing as 'secret unwritten RAW'.

We have a section called 'Rules Questions' on this forum. It appears that we now need a new section entitled 'Secret Unwritten Rules Questions'.

How can any of us make any character when the rules for doing so are partially secret?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The rules for characters aren't secret: they're as per the PRD. The "super-secret unwritten rules" that Sean has alluded to are the game design meta-rules. They have precisely zero impact on playing the game, because they are not rules for how a character interacts with the game world. They are, however, the rules that the design team use to determine game balance.

So when Sean says "a low-level core class and race character should not get more than 1.5xStr to damage without some additional cost", he's pointing out that if someone presented an option that seems to break that meta-rule, PDT will shoot that option down.

Sczarni

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
How can any of us make any character when the rules for doing so are partially secret?

The secret rules are actually the ones that reasonable people should be able to gather by using common sense combined with logic. The reason they're not there is so that reasonable people don't need to read twice as much text as they should.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Are we unreasonable for not seeing all these unwritten rules?

Who is to judge what is, and is not, reasonable?


Chemlak wrote:
They have precisely zero impact on playing the game, because they are not rules for how a character interacts with the game world.

They just issued a FAQ based on those secret un-written rules, over-riding the RAW.

Sczarni

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Are we unreasonable for not seeing all these unwritten rules?

Who are you to judge what is, and is not, reasonable?

After reading this thread, as a person, I judge you to have been unreasonable, and would guess that you're trolling at this point. As Sean said, your mind is made up, and no amount of reason could possibly change your mind. All this kicking and screaming isn't getting you anywhere. I only say this to answer your question, though I imagine this may get deleted, whatever.

Are you unreasonable for not seeing all these unwritten rules? No, I don't think we can catch all of them always, after all, none of us are perfect, but just because you got one wrong doesn't mean that there's a cause to try and argue about it.

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