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


Rules Questions

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Liberty's Edge

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yeti1069 wrote:


Nope. No misreading.

The FAQ doesn't account for someone with, say, 3 arms, making an attack with a two-handed weapon and slamming someone with their armor spikes as an off-hand attack. Nor does it account for someone using an unarmed strike as an off-hand attack, even if they are using a foot, or their head, or an elbow, or knee, for that "off-hand" attack, which seems to be allowed with TWF. Additionally, monks with flurry of blows, which has been described as working (mostly) like TWF CAN make an attack with a weapon two-handed (temple sword wielded in two hands), and an "off-hand" attack with an unarmed strike.

There's no explanation as to why you can't make an main-hand attack with a two-handed weapon then off-hand with armor spikes.

Yes it does.

Number of arms or hands is not what decides number of attacks, or primary or off-hand attack.

You can not use your off-hand attack to both two-handed and two-weapon fight.

It is either or. You have to pick which one you are using your off-hand attack with.

It is the same as with a double weapon. You can wield a double weapon two-handed for 1.5 strength or you can wield it one handed for 1 strength plus .5 strength, which not coincidentally adds up to a total of 1.5 strength bonus.

The off hand attack can come from something that has nothing to do with your hand, like an armor spike. Number of hands has nothing to do with it, just as the fact that I have legs I can kick with doesn't give me extra attacks.

Liberty's Edge

yeti1069 wrote:

So, a question to further carve out the specifics here.

Can you make an off-hand attack with armor spikes (A) if you are only wielding one weapon in one hand? For example, let's say you're holding a longsword (L) in one hand, with your other hand free, at level 1 with TWF.

Can you attack once with the longsword as your main-hand attack, then off-hand attack with the armor? Can you main-hand with the armor, then off-hand with the sword?

Yes. To all of those things.

The only thing you can't do is wield the longsword two-handed and also use your off-hand with TWF, because wielding any weapon two-handed requires an off hand, and if you are making an off-hand attack, you are therefore by definition using your off-hand.

Liberty's Edge

Armor Spikes: Can I use two-weapon fighting to make an "off-hand" attack with my armor spikes in the same round I use a two-handed weapon?

No.
Likewise, you couldn't use an armored gauntlet to do so, as you are using both of your hands to wield your two-handed weapon, therefore your off-hand is unavailable to make any attacks.


I still see the FAQ:

Here.


ciretose wrote:

But more on point, wielding two-handed is not referring to having two hands on the weapon. It is referring to dedicating both your primary and your off-hand to the attack.

If it were, double weapons would do 1.5 when you TWF. They don't.

Double weapons are unique and have their own rules. Which include stating you get 1.5x when not TWF with it if you're using two hands. Double weapons also frequently have identical, one-hand sized weapons on each end and yet they all count as fighting w/ a 1H and light weapon for the purpose of penalties. Double weapons include multiple exceptions that you would not otherwise presume.

ciretose wrote:

Just like the off-hand weapon doesn't need to be in your actual hand. It can be an armor spike.

You have a primary or regular attack, and an off hand. You can use your off hand to attack, wield two handed, carry a shield, give a thumbs up...it is your off hand, you can do with it as you like.

But in order to wield two-handed, you need to use both your primary and your off-hand.

If you are fighting with a double weapon, your primary attack and your off-hand attack are both occupied, either when you wield it as a two handed weapon, or if you make two attacks with it.

The number of actual, physical hands on the weapon is not relevant. An octopus does not add extra strength if it wields it with 8 hands. It is still just Two-Handed Wielding, aka dedicating both the primary attack and the off-hand attack to the move.

This is not how it worked until this FAQ. The off-hand attack did not actually require you to not be using your non-primary hand.

So, going with what you said... What if a guy has a longsword and a heavy shield and wishes to TWF with the sword and an unarmed kick? His "off-hand" is being used, even though he is not attacking with it. So does the act of defending himself with a shield somehow preclude him from two-weapon fighting with anything other than the shield he does not want to attack with?
If he can kick for his off-hand attack, why is it ok that in this case the off-hand is occupied, but not in the case of a 2H weapon?


As a professional game designer you have a responsibility to publish all of your relevant rules. You can be forgiven for leaving out really obvious stuff like "dead characters can't take actions," but a limit like this really needs to be in the published rules or citing it in FAQs is terribly unprofessional.

And this is a bad rule. It's a bad rule because the natural attack rules can't be made to fit it.

Consider a tengu with the claw attack alternate racial trait. His 11th level attack routine can be +11/+6/+1/+6/+6/+6 using armor spikes as his sole manufactured weapon. Actually, he has three natural attacks so he can qualify for multiattack making his attack routine +11/+6/+1/+9/+9/+9. If he TWFs with armor spikes and a boot blade he can get up to +9/+4/-1/+9/+4/-1/+9/+9/+9.

Or even just a level 1-5 tengu. You can't possibly claim that one of your featured ARG races is unacceptably powerful, but just using natural attacks he's doing 3 attacks at 1x strength each and all at full BAB. Falchion/unarmed strike TWF does two at BAB-2 for 2x strength.

When the natural attack rules permit things like that and are allowed to mix with manufactured weapons prohibiting greatsword/unarmed strike TWF is silly. And manufactured and natural weapon mixing can't be removed without breaking the Marilith (multiweapon fighting plus non-limb natural weapons), Horned Devil (two handed weapon plus non-limb natural weapons), and Ice Devil (also two handed weapon plus non-limb natural weapons).

The unwritten limit you're citing has been broken for as long as monsters have followed the same rules as PCs without actually unifying the manufactured and natural attack rules.


We've gotten to the point of, "Your rules are bad and you should feel bad!"

Yeah, I'm out. :P


Xaratherus wrote:
Quandary wrote:
I think Sean (?) must have pulled the FAQ. I can't see it anymore
I still see the FAQ: Here.

OK, it's still there, I was just looking under 2WF, not Gear: Armor Spikes.

Which reinforces that per the FAQ, it's only discussing 2 Handed Weapon + Armor Spikes and Gauntlet, not UAS.

boldstar wrote:
all the crap about "secret rules" is bogus.

So it makes NO DIFFERENCE whether or not armor spikes requires a free hand to use generally? e.g. while wielding a Polearm for AoOs?

It makes no difference whether or not monks can bypass the FAQ not just while Flurrying but also outside of Flurry?
It makes no difference whether or not what you are holding in your hands affects how you can make attacks with solely UAS? (normal iteratives or 2wf uas+uas)
It makes no difference whether or not having your hands cut off affects the number of iterative attacks you can make?
The point is that if Paizo wants people to use the "secret rules" in preference to RAW, it can't expect to keep them secret any longer. But Paizo hasn't shared what the exact difference from RAW is, they haven't concretized what exact rules people should depend on playing by.


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Xaratherus wrote:

The only thing ruled out by the FAQ is two wield a single weapon with two hands to gain a 1.5 damage bonus, and also state that you're going to use TWF to, say, kick the person in the chest.

The reasoning put forward as to why you should be able to do it is because even if you're gripping your sword with both hands, your foot is still free.

If I'm reading it correctly, Sean is sort of taking a 'reductio ad absurdum' stance and saying, "Well, if you're saying that all you need is to have a free foot to be able to kick someone, then it should be okay to TWF and then kick someone too, even at first level."

I'm not a big fan of the ruling; I personally think that the penalties for TWF offset any damage increase you might get from wielding a weapon two-handed and then punching them with your spiked gauntlet.

At the same time, I'm really not certain why there's so much outrage over this. It's a game; some people seem to be treating it like the Paizo Design Team just flensed a puppy while burning a flag and wiping their butts with a holy book.

And while I don't expect anyone to really care (this is the Internet, after all), I'm with Cheapy that I'm afraid a backlash like this will turn off the design team from bothering to answer FAQs in general. I know at this point I'd question why it's worth it to bother...

My issues are with:

1) A one-word FAQ answer, particularly to something that is allowable by RAW/other FAQ answers to similar topics (see: monks).

2) The explanation that this ruling was made based on unstated rules, that are both non-apparent (the examples SKR gave of other rules that are unstated were either stated elsewhere, or follow a degree of common sense or internal consistency, whereas this does not).

After-all, if you CAN alternate iterative attacks between your two-handed weapon and armor spikes (or unarmed attacks), why can't you employ the latter with TWF?

3) The vague answering leaving other, similar questions up in the air, thereby requiring additional FAQs for essentially the same query (the FAQ does NOT address unarmed strikes being used in the way that spiked armor was asked about/answered).

4) SKR (normally very much worth reading) choosing to use a straw man to justify the ruling: some arbitrary, unmentioned extra attack not granted by any rules being used to refute the usage of actual game rules in a logically consistent manor.


Atarlost wrote:

As a professional game designer you have a responsibility to publish all of your relevant rules. You can be forgiven for leaving out really obvious stuff like "dead characters can't take actions," but a limit like this really needs to be in the published rules or citing it in FAQs is terribly unprofessional.

And this is a bad rule. It's a bad rule because the natural attack rules can't be made to fit it.

Consider a tengu with the claw attack alternate racial trait. His 11th level attack routine can be +11/+6/+1/+6/+6/+6 using armor spikes as his sole manufactured weapon. Actually, he has three natural attacks so he can qualify for multiattack making his attack routine +11/+6/+1/+9/+9/+9. If he TWFs with armor spikes and a boot blade he can get up to +9/+4/-1/+9/+4/-1/+9/+9/+9.

Or even just a level 1-5 tengu. You can't possibly claim that one of your featured ARG races is unacceptably powerful, but just using natural attacks he's doing 3 attacks at 1x strength each and all at full BAB. Falchion/unarmed strike TWF does two at BAB-2 for 2x strength.

When the natural attack rules permit things like that and are allowed to mix with manufactured weapons prohibiting greatsword/unarmed strike TWF is silly. And manufactured and natural weapon mixing can't be removed without breaking the Marilith (multiweapon fighting plus non-limb natural weapons), Horned Devil (two handed weapon plus non-limb natural weapons), and Ice Devil (also two handed weapon plus non-limb natural weapons).

I agree, and I see where you don't like the ruling, but I think they did publish all the rules... They aren't going to publish the standards behind each ruling or clarification, but they published both the rules for TWF and a requested FAQ to clarify it. To me (and it is only my opinion), this isn't about how many hands a person has or limbs or whatever, it is about game balance. You may not agree with the ruling, but the underlying idea that you can't have everything cool without giving something up seems like sound reasoning.

Liberty's Edge

Double weapons aren't unique. Nowhere in the rules does it say just because you are holding a weapon in two-hands you are automatically wielding it two handed.

I believe your example of the kick with a shield would be ok. It doesn't give you any extra attacks, and the trade off would be that it would also require you to invest in unarmed strike, and unarmed strikes generally aren't nearly as good as regular attacks. I would also say you can have a shield at attack with armor spikes, in the same way you can have a shield at attack with the shield.

I'm personally would allow you to maintain the shield bonus, but I would not be surprised or bothered if someone ruled that you didn't, in the same way you lose it when you shield bash.

What you can't do is use your off-hand to increase your strength bonus on your primary attack, if you are using your off hand to attack.


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StreamOfTheSky wrote:


This is not how it worked until this FAQ. The off-hand attack did not actually require you to not be using your non-primary hand.

So, going with what you said... What if a guy has a longsword and a heavy shield and wishes to TWF with the sword and an unarmed kick? His "off-hand" is being used, even though he is not attacking with it. So does the act of defending himself with a shield somehow preclude him from two-weapon fighting with anything other than the shield he does not want to attack with?...

I was trying to get at this, but missed, I think. Well put.


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yeti1069 wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:


This is not how it worked until this FAQ. The off-hand attack did not actually require you to not be using your non-primary hand.

So, going with what you said... What if a guy has a longsword and a heavy shield and wishes to TWF with the sword and an unarmed kick? His "off-hand" is being used, even though he is not attacking with it. So does the act of defending himself with a shield somehow preclude him from two-weapon fighting with anything other than the shield he does not want to attack with?...

I was trying to get at this, but missed, I think. Well put.

Sure he could, but using the logic from the FAQ, he'd gain no defensive benefit from the shield that round, because he chose to use his "off hand" to kick instead of hold the shield in a defensive manner properly.

If you say this doesn't make sense, I'd like to see someone swing a sword, then deliver a proper damage dealing kick while keeping the shield close, inside of 6 seconds.

There is also that pesky gain with no trade off unwritten rule.

Liberty's Edge

And for all those tengu attacks, come trade offs. It is a racial trait meaning you have to select it instead of something else, they are natural attacks (and so generally not as good as weapons) and they require additional feat investment.

And those are his primary natural attacks, but if they use a weapon....

"Creatures with natural attacks and attacks made with weapons can use both as part of a full attack action (although often a creature must forgo one natural attack for each weapon clutched in that limb, be it a claw, tentacle, or slam). Such creatures attack with their weapons normally but treat all of their available natural attacks as secondary attacks during that attack, regardless of the attack's original type."

Meaning if you use the armor spikes, all of your claw attacks take a -5 penalty and only have .5 strength.

EDIT: And I'm not to worried how many attacks a Tengu gets when they do 1d3 + .5 strength damage, attacking at a -5...


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Quandary wrote:
Xaratherus wrote:
Quandary wrote:
I think Sean (?) must have pulled the FAQ. I can't see it anymore
I still see the FAQ: Here.

OK, it's still there, I was just looking under 2WF, not Gear: Armor Spikes.

Which reinforces that per the FAQ, it's only discussing 2 Handed Weapon + Armor Spikes and Gauntlet, not UAS.

boldstar wrote:
all the crap about "secret rules" is bogus.

So it makes NO DIFFERENCE whether or not armor spikes requires a free hand to use generally? e.g. while wielding a Polearm for AoOs?

It makes no difference whether or not monks can bypass the FAQ not just while Flurrying but also outside of Flurry?
It makes no difference whether or not what you are holding in your hands affects how you can make attacks with solely UAS? (normal iteratives or 2wf uas+uas)
It makes no difference whether or not having your hands cut off affects the number of iterative attacks you can make?
The point is that if Paizo wants people to use the "secret rules" in preference to RAW, it can't expect to keep them secret any longer. But Paizo hasn't shared what the exact difference from RAW is, they haven't concretized what exact rules people should depend on playing by.

You completely miss my point. These "secret rules" are not game rules, they are the underlying precepts on which the game rules are devised. There is nothing secret about them. It is just the basic tenets that Paizo holds as how they will develop their game. Monopoly has structured rules. Monopoly does not have a book of rules for how they put together the rules.


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ciretose wrote:

I believe your example of the kick with a shield would be ok. It doesn't give you any extra attacks, and the trade off would be that it would also require you to invest in unarmed strike, and unarmed strikes generally aren't nearly as good as regular attacks. I would also say you can have a shield at attack with armor spikes, in the same way you can have a shield at attack with the shield.

I'm personally would allow you to maintain the shield bonus, but I would not be surprised or bothered if someone ruled that you didn't, in the same way you lose it when you shield bash.

What you can't do is use your off-hand to increase your strength bonus on your primary attack, if you are using your off hand to attack.

The greatsword + unarmed guy is *also* investing in unarmed strike. There's no extra burden the shield guy has that the greatsword guy does not.

Why can you use your off-hand for a shield bonus and still TWF, but you can't wield a 2H weapon and TWF? You're saying you can do the former but not the latter. Why?


By the way, maybe this ruling will help show that Monks do have at least one ability that other classes can't do as well as them.


ciretose wrote:
EDIT: And I'm not to worried how many attacks a Tengu gets when they do 1d3 + .5 strength damage, attacking at a -5...

Allow me to introduce the Paladin.


Kryzbyn wrote:

Sure he could, but using the logic from the FAQ, he'd gain no defensive benefit from the shield that round, because he chose to use his "off hand" to kick instead of hold the shield in a defensive manner properly.

If you say this doesn't make sense, I'd like to see someone swing a sword, then deliver a proper damage dealing kick while keeping the shield close, inside of 6 seconds.

There is also that pesky gain with no trade off unwritten rule.

You could definitely do a front/pushing type of kick and keep the shield pinned close to your side. It would be no more exposing yourself than a leading strike with the sword in your main hand would be. Or if after your sword attack you move up and press the shield against the foe up close, you can easily get in a low kick to their knee (for example) while still keeping the shield up. Or you could head-butt them.

It's a hell of a lot more "realistic" than most things in the game.

boldstar wrote:
By the way, maybe this ruling will help show that Monks do have at least one ability that other classes can't do as well as them.

What ability is that? Monks only get 1x str to damage, too. They get the 3-1 power attack ratio if 2Hing a weapon and flurrying with it, but the TWF penalty and MAD already give them enough problems hitting, without adding in power attack penalties.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
StreamOfTheSky wrote:


The greatsword + unarmed guy is *also* investing in unarmed strike. There's no extra burden the shield guy has that the greatsword guy does not.

Why can you use your off-hand for a shield bonus and still TWF, but you can't wield a 2H weapon and TWF? You're saying you can do the former but not the latter. Why?

You may not be able to.

I was being generous because you made a feat investment to avoid the AoO and unarmed kick at .5 strength kind of sucks.

In fact, when you put it that way, no I don't think you get the shield bonus.

Liberty's Edge

Atarlost wrote:
ciretose wrote:
EDIT: And I'm not to worried how many attacks a Tengu gets when they do 1d3 + .5 strength damage, attacking at a -5...
Allow me to introduce the Paladin.

Feel free. Show me this epic build of misses...


I'd like to know what the actual effective rules are, so I can consistently rule on those sorts of things. Paizo hasn't given me the means to do so. The FAQ itself doesn't even mention UAS. They've stated their FAQ is based on these secret rules, not what is actually in the RAW, i.e. over-riding RAW with secret rules which they say affect how WE actually play the game, not just how they design the game (which is clearly, we don't need to know those, but if they are saying how we play the game with the RAW /does/ depend on these secret rules, then we DO need to know them explicitly, or otherwise have them translated into EXACTLY how they vary from the RAW. If they can manage to concretize their secret rules into a suitable form so that we know EXACTLY how it over-rides the RAW, then we have an effective RAW that is in line with their FAQ. Otherwise, we're missing information needed to logically extend the FAQ given the multitude of possibilities allowed by RAW but not covered directly by the FAQ.

Kryzbyn wrote:
Sure he could, but using the logic from the FAQ, he'd gain no defensive benefit from the shield that round, because he chose to use his "off hand" to kick instead of hold the shield in a defensive manner properly.

I have no idea if that's Paizo's intent or not, it very well could be, but can you honestly say that everybody playing RAW PFS games will know to go by that approach, just based off the current FAQ, which doesn't even mention UAS itself, much less primary hands or any of that? Whatever the specifics of the secret rule being super-imposed, it certainly seems to have implications a bit broader than just whether you can combine 2Handed weapons with Armor Spikes or Gauntlets as the main/off-hands of 2WF'ing. The point is we still don't know what exactly this "secret rule imposed by FAQ-as-RAW" IS exactly... It could mean you lose the Shield bonus in that situation... It could be worded so Shield bonuses aren't affected. It could be worded to affect or not affect ALOT of stuff outside of just the 2WF:2Hander+ArmorSpike/Gauntlet scenario that is in the FAQ. That's why I'm asking for clarification. Paizo can Errata or issue FAQ-as-Errata rulings that say Fighters can only spend their Bonus Combat Feats on Feats starting with 'W'. Debate about 'balance' or whatever is inherently non-objective, and not productive. I'm just wanting a solid handle on what this ruling fully entails.


ciretose wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:


The greatsword + unarmed guy is *also* investing in unarmed strike. There's no extra burden the shield guy has that the greatsword guy does not.

Why can you use your off-hand for a shield bonus and still TWF, but you can't wield a 2H weapon and TWF? You're saying you can do the former but not the latter. Why?

You may not be able to.

I was being generous because you made a feat investment to avoid the AoO and unarmed kick at .5 strength kind of sucks.

In fact, when you put it that way, no I don't think you get the shield bonus.

And you base that in exactly what rule? it is crearly stated somewhere? for example someone reading only the corerulebook would reach the same conclusion?


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
The greatsword + unarmed guy is *also* investing in unarmed strike.

Good point. Without Improved UAS Feat, using UAS is pretty much like a Barbazu Beard (provoking AoO).

If you put a Feat into it, just like putting a Feat into gaining Nat Weapons, you've paid the cost to 'go outside the norm'.
(although the RAW never enabled anybody getting more iteratives out of 2WF regardless of any weapon set-up, SKR's straw-man aside)

Liberty's Edge

Nicos wrote:
ciretose wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:


The greatsword + unarmed guy is *also* investing in unarmed strike. There's no extra burden the shield guy has that the greatsword guy does not.

Why can you use your off-hand for a shield bonus and still TWF, but you can't wield a 2H weapon and TWF? You're saying you can do the former but not the latter. Why?

You may not be able to.

I was being generous because you made a feat investment to avoid the AoO and unarmed kick at .5 strength kind of sucks.

In fact, when you put it that way, no I don't think you get the shield bonus.

And you base that in exactly what rule? it is crearly stated somewhere? for example someone reading only the corerulebook would reach the same conclusion?

That using the shield as an off-hand weapon removes the shield bonus.

And that every benefit has a trade off.


Kryzbyn wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:


This is not how it worked until this FAQ. The off-hand attack did not actually require you to not be using your non-primary hand.

So, going with what you said... What if a guy has a longsword and a heavy shield and wishes to TWF with the sword and an unarmed kick? His "off-hand" is being used, even though he is not attacking with it. So does the act of defending himself with a shield somehow preclude him from two-weapon fighting with anything other than the shield he does not want to attack with?...

I was trying to get at this, but missed, I think. Well put.

Sure he could, but using the logic from the FAQ, he'd gain no defensive benefit from the shield that round, because he chose to use his "off hand" to kick instead of hold the shield in a defensive manner properly.

If you say this doesn't make sense, I'd like to see someone swing a sword, then deliver a proper damage dealing kick while keeping the shield close, inside of 6 seconds.

There is also that pesky gain with no trade off unwritten rule.

It doesn't make sense.

It doesn't make sense, because you COULD conceivably do that (especially if we're talking about a light shield or buckler; and because the game both goes well beyond reality, and falls considerably short of it in regards to what can and cannot be accomplished in 6 seconds).

It doesn't make sense, because nothing in the game rules indicates that it isn't possible. In fact, there are things that indicate that it WOULD be possible.

And as for the bit about gains without trade-offs, there ARE trade-offs: you're spending feats and either build points or wealth to accomplish the TWF stuff, you're using two different weapons for TWF (makes a lot of feat choices weaker), and using a fairly poor weapon as your secondary (low damage, crap crit profile, inflexible in the type of damage dealt--you can't swap weapons for your off-hand to bypass DR in the same way someone actually wielding two weapons could). Yes, there are gains (some extra damage, a little more flexibility in your attack routines when movement comes up), but not without costs.

Also, natural weapons make a mockery of the idea that this would somehow be doing too much. Compare a race with a bite attack, wielding the greatsword and making two attacks in a round to the one using the armor spikes; they biter is possibly dealing more damage, and has invested less, not needing to spend a feat, nor invest in Dex unnecessarily in order to pull off essentially the same trick. Their trade-off is that enchanting natural weapons is a bit more expensive than doing so for normal weapons, and takes up an equipment slot.

As for the shield guy, they're not gaining ANYTHING, really. The shield probably hits as hard, or harder, than their unarmed strike, or armor spikes, and has more feats that will improve it than can be done with either of the two other options. The only gain the guy making the unarmed/spiked armor attack is gaining is not having to purchase Improved Shield Bash to retain their AC bonus when making that off-hand attack. Not much of a gain.

Liberty's Edge

Quandary wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
The greatsword + unarmed guy is *also* investing in unarmed strike.

Good point. Without Improved UAS Feat, using UAS is pretty much like a Barbazu Beard (provoking AoO).

If you put a Feat into it, just like putting a Feat into gaining Nat Weapons, you've paid the cost to go outside the norm.

I think you can THF with Barbazu beard. In the same way you can THF with a bite attack.

Neither requires you to use an off-hand.

Two weapon fighting, however, does.


ciretose wrote:
Nicos wrote:
ciretose wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:


The greatsword + unarmed guy is *also* investing in unarmed strike. There's no extra burden the shield guy has that the greatsword guy does not.

Why can you use your off-hand for a shield bonus and still TWF, but you can't wield a 2H weapon and TWF? You're saying you can do the former but not the latter. Why?

You may not be able to.

I was being generous because you made a feat investment to avoid the AoO and unarmed kick at .5 strength kind of sucks.

In fact, when you put it that way, no I don't think you get the shield bonus.

And you base that in exactly what rule? it is crearly stated somewhere? for example someone reading only the corerulebook would reach the same conclusion?

That using the shield as an off-hand weapon removes the shield bonus.

And that every benefit has a trade off.

You did not answer the question.

You base that in what rule? where is the text?


ciretose wrote:
Nicos wrote:
ciretose wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:


The greatsword + unarmed guy is *also* investing in unarmed strike. There's no extra burden the shield guy has that the greatsword guy does not.

Why can you use your off-hand for a shield bonus and still TWF, but you can't wield a 2H weapon and TWF? You're saying you can do the former but not the latter. Why?

You may not be able to.

I was being generous because you made a feat investment to avoid the AoO and unarmed kick at .5 strength kind of sucks.

In fact, when you put it that way, no I don't think you get the shield bonus.

And you base that in exactly what rule? it is crearly stated somewhere? for example someone reading only the corerulebook would reach the same conclusion?

That using the shield as an off-hand weapon removes the shield bonus.

And that every benefit has a trade off.

Except he's NOT using the shield as an off-hand weapon. He's using an unarmed strike as an off-hand weapon.

Liberty's Edge

The same place it says dead people can't take actions.

The others I expect this from. Nicos...dude, the ruling is clear and completely consistent with the text.

Is it a bit grey on shield. Maybe. Go ahead and FAQ it, but I think Kryzbyn is probably right, as if you are using the off-hand for something other than shielding...

You have to read into the rule to get additional bonuses that aren't there. The rule says you have a primary and an off-hand and gives you options of what you can do with your off hand.

One is another attack, one is extra strength, one is using a shield, etc...


ciretose wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
ciretose wrote:
EDIT: And I'm not to worried how many attacks a Tengu gets when they do 1d3 + .5 strength damage, attacking at a -5...
Allow me to introduce the Paladin.
Feel free. Show me this epic build of misses...

Are you seriously claiming that you think full BAB classes typically miss with their first iterative? Seriously?


ciretose wrote:
Quandary wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
The greatsword + unarmed guy is *also* investing in unarmed strike.

Good point. Without Improved UAS Feat, using UAS is pretty much like a Barbazu Beard (provoking AoO).

If you put a Feat into it, just like putting a Feat into gaining Nat Weapons, you've paid the cost to go outside the norm.
I think you can THF with Barbazu beard. In the same way you can THF with a bite attack.

Right. So where is the difference between using the bite attack, while THF, and THF while using your armor spikes as an off-hand weapon? They are essentially the same thing, except the second one basically requires an investment of a feat (and probably Dex), while the first one doesn't.

Similarly, if you were holding a longsword and a shield, attacked with the sword and with your bite, you would still have your shield bonus. So why would YOU say that you would lose the bonus if you attacked with an unarmed strike instead, say a headbutt?

Liberty's Edge

yeti1069 wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Nicos wrote:
ciretose wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:


The greatsword + unarmed guy is *also* investing in unarmed strike. There's no extra burden the shield guy has that the greatsword guy does not.

Why can you use your off-hand for a shield bonus and still TWF, but you can't wield a 2H weapon and TWF? You're saying you can do the former but not the latter. Why?

You may not be able to.

I was being generous because you made a feat investment to avoid the AoO and unarmed kick at .5 strength kind of sucks.

In fact, when you put it that way, no I don't think you get the shield bonus.

And you base that in exactly what rule? it is crearly stated somewhere? for example someone reading only the corerulebook would reach the same conclusion?

That using the shield as an off-hand weapon removes the shield bonus.

And that every benefit has a trade off.

Except he's NOT using the shield as an off-hand weapon. He's using an unarmed strike as an off-hand weapon.

But he is, arguably, using his off hand to use the shield.

Like I said, I now think Kryzbyn is right.

Liberty's Edge

yeti1069 wrote:

Right. So where is the difference between using the bite attack, while THF, and THF while using your armor spikes as an off-hand weapon? They are essentially the same thing, except the second one basically requires an investment of a feat (and probably Dex), while the first one doesn't.

Similarly, if you were holding a longsword and a shield, attacked with the sword and with your bite, you would still have your shield bonus. So why would YOU say that you would lose the bonus if you attacked with an unarmed strike instead, say a headbutt?

The bite attack is a natural attack, not an off-hand attack.

They aren't at all essentially the same thing.


ciretose wrote:

The same place it says dead people can't take actions.

The others I expect this from. Nicos...dude, the ruling is clear and completely consistent with the text.

Is it a bit grey on shield. Maybe. Go ahead and FAQ it, but I think Kryzbyn is probably right, as if you are using the off-hand for something other than shielding...

No way, that isnot in the rule. I mean, if they want to change the game for balance, fun or whatever reason then it should be stated. They did that in the SLA rule this week.

But why to deny the fairly unoptimized longsword + unarmed strike + shield for defense (pretty much inferior to longswor + shield bash)???

It is not about powergaming, those are fairly non Op options.

Liberty's Edge

They did not change the game or the rule in this one. In SLA, yes, in this one, no.

I've said this was how it was for over 2 years now, in multiple threads. Mark Moreland said this, Jason said this, it is now just a full, official FAQ.

This is not a change. The 3.5 FAQ often cites says nothing about THF. It said, correctly, you can hold a two handed weapon while wearing and using armor spikes. It does not say you get to add 1.5 str to each attack.

Wielding is not holding. Wielding two-handed requires a primary and off-hand.

If you are using your off-hand to wield, you aren't doing anything else with it.

Not. A. Change.


ciretose wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:

Right. So where is the difference between using the bite attack, while THF, and THF while using your armor spikes as an off-hand weapon? They are essentially the same thing, except the second one basically requires an investment of a feat (and probably Dex), while the first one doesn't.

Similarly, if you were holding a longsword and a shield, attacked with the sword and with your bite, you would still have your shield bonus. So why would YOU say that you would lose the bonus if you attacked with an unarmed strike instead, say a headbutt?

The bite attack is a natural attack, not an off-hand attack.

They aren't at all essentially the same thing.

And the only differences, in the books, between an natural secondary attack being combined with THF, TWF, or S&B, and an off-hand attack from something like armor spikes or an unarmed strike are:

-the natural attack takes a -5 penalty to-hit instead of all attacks taking a -2 penalty (assuming they have the TWF feat)
-the guy employing TWF needs to spend a feat if he doesn't want HUGE penalties on to-hit, and they also need to invest in enough Dex to qualify for the feat (or be a ranger, which is a different sort of cost)

Am I missing something? Are there more rules governing these actions? More differences?

"Off-hand attack" is not very well defined in the rules, but the text for TWF DOES mention unarmed attacks, which we know don't actually have to use your hands, so there is at least an implication that your "off-hand" doesn't need to be a hand at all.


I would think you still get a shield bonus. I think the intent I the FAQ was simply, if you fight two-handed, you are using your "off-hand" to aid your "primary-hand" and therefore cannot gain another "off-hand" attack anymore than you could attack with two weapons and gain another "off-hand" attack. It seems fairly simple. Even if you think this is a change in RAW, it is a very small change. Does anyone play strict RAW anyway? (From what I've gathered on the forums, not even PFS does.) If this is so dire, can you not continue to read the rules however you want? What on earth caused this sort of reaction?


@yeti1069: You're missing that UAS requires an extra Feat to not provoke.


This is pretty easy to simplify: when you are using a two-handed weapon, or a one-handed weapon with two hands, you are forgoing your ability to use "off-hand" attacks (via such things as TWF) since it's being used to increase your STR bonus to damage by 1.5


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
What on earth caused this sort of reaction?

For me is the idea that there should be a couple of canonical combat styles that should rule (THF falchions/greatsword and bows) and the other option should suck or be banned.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
What on earth caused this sort of reaction?

Sean Reynolds playing strawman games instead of just clarifying exactly how the RAW is being over-ruled by secret rules?

If he explained it fully in one place, most of the posters here wouldn't have any more questions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ThatEvilGuy wrote:
This is pretty easy to simplify: when you are using a two-handed weapon, or a one-handed weapon with two hands, you are forgoing your ability to use "off-hand" attacks (via such things as TWF) since it's being used to increase your STR bonus to damage by 1.5

Maybe you should write the FAQs!!!!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
yeti1069 wrote:


And the only differences, in the books, between an natural secondary attack being combined with THF, TWF, or S&B, and an off-hand attack from something like armor spikes or an unarmed strike are:
-the natural attack takes a -5 penalty to-hit instead of all attacks taking a -2 penalty (assuming they have the TWF feat)
-the guy employing TWF needs to spend a feat if he doesn't want HUGE penalties on to-hit, and they also need to invest in enough Dex to qualify for the feat (or be a ranger, which is a different sort of cost)

Am I missing something? Are there more rules governing these actions? More differences?

"Off-hand attack" is not very well defined in the rules, but the text for TWF DOES mention unarmed attacks, which we know don't actually have to use your hands, so there is at least an implication that your "off-hand" doesn't need to be a hand at all.

Yes there are rules governing and more differences.

Off-hand doesn't mean a hand at all, otherwise you couldn't very well use Armor spikes, now could you?

So what is the off-hand. The off hand is an option as a player. You can use it to add damage if you fight two-handed, you can use it to make another attack, you can use it to cast a spell, or use a shield.

A natural attack is an extra attack you receive for some reason, be it a racial or class feature or a feat. It is not your off hand, you can't hold a shield with your natural weapon, or cast a spell...it is just another attack.

They are not the same at all.

Edit: it is very late east coast...to be continues in the AM...

Liberty's Edge

Quandary wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
What on earth caused this sort of reaction?

Sean Reynolds playing strawman games instead of just clarifying exactly how the RAW is being over-ruled by secret rules?

If he explained it fully in one place, most of the posters here wouldn't have any more questions.

He did..You just don't like the explanation.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm seeing a lot of talk about "secret rules."

If these rules are so secret, how have I been using them for a decade?


No, that explains their justification. I don't really give a rip about their justification one way or another, which basically amounts to their subjective take on game balance.... If they use that to resolve vagaries or impose rulings above and beyond the RAW, I don't really care. I've never said they can never change the RAW or even that changing the RAW by FAQ is something never to be done, I've affirmed the exact opposite.

What he wrote DOESN'T explain what the actual rule being imposed is, nor it's interactions in a broad array of other rules scenarios, which you yourself have even acknowledged as "grey" and deserving another FAQ for the shield bonus issue. That's all I'm asking for, I'm not asking them to change the FAQ ruling to work otherwise... So no need to feel threatened that your 'happy' FAQ ruling is being attacked.


ciretose wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:


And the only differences, in the books, between an natural secondary attack being combined with THF, TWF, or S&B, and an off-hand attack from something like armor spikes or an unarmed strike are:
-the natural attack takes a -5 penalty to-hit instead of all attacks taking a -2 penalty (assuming they have the TWF feat)
-the guy employing TWF needs to spend a feat if he doesn't want HUGE penalties on to-hit, and they also need to invest in enough Dex to qualify for the feat (or be a ranger, which is a different sort of cost)

Am I missing something? Are there more rules governing these actions? More differences?

"Off-hand attack" is not very well defined in the rules, but the text for TWF DOES mention unarmed attacks, which we know don't actually have to use your hands, so there is at least an implication that your "off-hand" doesn't need to be a hand at all.

Yes there are rules governing and more differences.

Off-hand doesn't mean a hand at all, otherwise you couldn't very well use Armor spikes, now could you?

So what is the off-hand. The off hand is an option as a player. You can use it to add damage if you fight two-handed, you can use it to make another attack, you can use it to cast a spell, or use a shield.

A natural attack is an extra attack you receive for some reason, be it a racial or class feature or a feat. It is not your off hand, you can't hold a shield with your natural weapon, or cast a spell...it is just another attack.

They are not the same at all.

They are the same in that both characters would be making an additional attack, at a penalty (both to-hit and at half Str damage/PA damage), and can even be done with the same "limb" (in the example of exchanging a natural weapon bite attack with an unarmed strike headbutt), yet, according to you, one works and the other doesn't. Note that the FAQ doesn't discuss unarmed strikes, so apparently those work, but an armor spike doesn't, even if the difference is kicking and hitting with your foot or shoe, and kicking and hitting with a spike on your greaves.

And what I meant by asking (sarcastically) about more rules, was whether there were any regarding TWF imposing the restrictions made in the FAQ, or your arbitrary decisions. There aren't.

ciretose wrote:
Quandary wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
What on earth caused this sort of reaction?

Sean Reynolds playing strawman games instead of just clarifying exactly how the RAW is being over-ruled by secret rules?

If he explained it fully in one place, most of the posters here wouldn't have any more questions.

He did..You just don't like the explanation.

That explanation is regarding another topic, in a different thread, does not carry over to the FAQ, and is inconsistent with the rules. He says that a standard race should be limited to 1 attack at level 1, or 2 if he has TWF, and a character should only be getting 1.5 Str damage in a round, whether from two-handing a single attack, or making a pair of TWF attacks, but a half-orc (a standard race) can gain a bite attack, which would give him the option of making 3 attacks at level 1, or gaining 2x Str from wielding a two-handed weapon and making a bite.

The bit about flavor changes making alterations to how a character performs makes a little sense, but the FAQ on the matter doesn't cover this either, since if you change from a spiked armor attack to an unarmed strike using the same limb, you end up with different results in this case.

Oh, or any barbarian at level 1 could take Lesser Beast Totem and make two claw attacks at full strength, dealing 2x Str damage in the round (and on a class that has a bigger Str than everyone else). Albeit this isn't something he can do all day long, but it is also a cheaper investment than TWF, and easier to improve than TWF with two different weapons. Note that also, technically, the same character could attack with a two-handed weapon then release his grip with his off-hand and make a secondary natural attack with one claw.


Quandary wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
What on earth caused this sort of reaction?

Sean Reynolds playing strawman games instead of just clarifying exactly how the RAW is being over-ruled by secret rules?

If he explained it fully in one place, most of the posters here wouldn't have any more questions.

You think your reaction (and others) may have ruffled his feathers a little?

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