Bastard Swords, Dwarven Waraxes, and handiness.


Rules Questions

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You still didn't show me a rules quotation where is says "treat as a one-handed martial weapon." That's what yo've been railing for everyone to show you re: two-handed. I'm just asking you to do the same.

Silver Crusade

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HangarFlying wrote:
Malachi, if you don't have the EWP, you can wield it as a martial weapon. Is that a one-handed martial weapon or a two-handed martial weapon?

One-handed, in two hands.

Silver Crusade

fretgod99 wrote:
You still didn't show me a rules quotation where is says "treat as a one-handed martial weapon." That's what yo've been railing for everyone to show you re: two-handed. I'm just asking you to do the same.

You treat it as a one-handed weapon because it is a one-handed weapon!

Are you seriously asking where the rules are that say you have to treat one-handed weapons as what they are?

Silver Crusade

Ilja wrote:

Yeah, really Malachi, and this goes for several topics, some constructive criticism: You're good at finding rules. But I think you're a little too sure of yourself (I tend to do that myself on and off, and usually get called out on it when it happens) and see rules where there are none. Claiming RAW trumps the words of the developer team only has value when RAW is clear and not in any way ambigous and uses specific wording.

I mean, you can be good at putting forth a well-structured argument, and your posts have shifted my opinion more than once, but if you think twice before you post, you could be even better. Try not to grasp for straws or fight a battle you can never win and you'll see that your posts become much more useful.

You often give a lot of good input. Just don't get in over your head.

I thought your interpretation had more going for it than the opposite before, so it's not that I don't see what you mean. But the rules were never crystal clear, and so a ruling from the design team is a proper ruling; they never changed the rules, they clarified an ambiguous rule. In my opinion it'd been better if they went your way with the ruling, but hey, life is life and I often disagree with rulings by the PF team.

Thanks for the kind words, Ilja.

People keep asking me questions, and I keep answering.

*shrug*

I try to bite my tongue quite frequently, but you don't see all the replies I didn't post.

: )

Liberty's Edge

... one-handed weapons have the option to one-hand it or two-hand it. Can you one hand the bastard sword if you don't have the EWP?


HangarFlying wrote:
... one-handed weapons have the option to one-hand it or two-hand it. Can you one hand the bastard sword if you don't have the EWP?

Are suggesting that it really isn't a one-handed weapon? I thought it was a one-handed weapon with an exception.

Liberty's Edge

No, not suggesting that it isn't a one-handed weapon.


HangarFlying wrote:
No, not suggesting that it isn't a one-handed weapon.

Well if it is a one-handed weapon, which can be wielded with two-hands and still is a one-handed weapon, then a bastard sword wielded in two-hands is still a one-handed weapon. If it then also is considered a martial weapon, that would make it a one-handed martial weapon with the exception that it must be wielded in two-hands.

Yes this is contradictory to the standard rules of one-handed weapons, but that is the point of exceptions is it not.

Liberty's Edge

Is that what the bastard sword description says?


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HangarFlying wrote:
Is that what the bastard sword description says?

Nothing in the description contradicts the standard rules in this current aspect of the discussion.

The table lists it as a one-handed weapon, so let's start there shall we. So it is a one-handed weapon, lets then move onto the description.

The description lists 2 exceptions. (1)It can't be wielded one-handed without EWP despite it being a one-handed weapon. (2)If wielded in two-hands it is treated as a martial weapon.

Neither of those exceptions make it two-handed weapon. One-handed weapons can be wielded in two-hands, thus requiring two-hands to use it for martial weapon proficiency doesn't in and of itself make it a two-handed martial weapon. It still remains a one-handed weapon, now treated as a martial weapon as long as it is used in two-hands. Ergo, when wielded in two-hands it can be treated as a one-handed martial weapon.


pres man wrote:
HangarFlying wrote:
No, not suggesting that it isn't a one-handed weapon.

Well if it is a one-handed weapon, which can be wielded with two-hands and still is a one-handed weapon, then a bastard sword wielded in two-hands is still a one-handed weapon. If it then also is considered a martial weapon, that would make it a one-handed martial weapon with the exception that it must be wielded in two-hands.

Yes this is contradictory to the standard rules of one-handed weapons, but that is the point of exceptions is it not.

So, let me get this straight. You're ok with a change in classification from Exotic to Martial for determining who may wield a BS and how, if they don't have the feat. But you're not ok with a change in classification from One-Handed to Two-Handed for determining who may wield a BS and how, if they don't have the feat? That's not an ok exception to the rule.

However, what is an ok exception to the rule is treating a BS as a one-handed martial weapon, even though it literally contradicts the explicit definition of what a one-handed weapon actually is (something which can, in fact, be wielded in one hand)? That's completely nonsensical. Particularly when we have a game term for weapons which are incapable of being wielded in one hand. That term is "two-handed weapon". So, to avoid an exception to the rules you don't like, you'd rather create a different exception to a rule when creating that exception quite literally duplicates something that already exists.

The language of the BS says that without the feat you must wield it two-handed as a martial weapon. It already says (for the purposes of determining who may wield it and how) you change classification from exotic to martial. Why is there this push back against a similar change in classification (for a very limited purpose) from one to two-handed? Especially when the only other option is to create a situation that is literally definitively impossible (a "one-handed" weapon that simply cannot be wielded in one hand).


pres man wrote:
HangarFlying wrote:
Is that what the bastard sword description says?

Nothing in the description contradicts the standard rules in this current aspect of the discussion.

The table lists it as a one-handed weapon, so let's start there shall we. So it is a one-handed weapon, lets then move onto the description.

The description lists 2 exceptions. (1)It can't be wielded one-handed without EWP despite it being a one-handed weapon. (2)If wielded in two-hands it is treated as a martial weapon.

Neither of those exceptions make it two-handed weapon. One-handed weapons can be wielded in two-hands, thus requiring two-hands to use it for martial weapon proficiency doesn't in and of itself make it a two-handed martial weapon. It still remains a one-handed weapon, now treated as a martial weapon as long as it is used in two-hands. Ergo, when wielded in two-hands it can be treated as a one-handed martial weapon.

Undeniably incorrect.

PRD wrote:
One-Handed: A one-handed weapon can be used in either the primary hand or the off hand.

If a weapon cannot be wielded in one hand, it cannot be a one-handed weapon.

PRD wrote:
Two-Handed: Two hands are required to use a two-handed melee weapon effectively.

That is explicitly the point of having two-handed weapons.

Exceptions to rules can exist. But what is the purpose of having an exception to a rule to create a new classification of something when that classification already exists?


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
You still didn't show me a rules quotation where is says "treat as a one-handed martial weapon." That's what yo've been railing for everyone to show you re: two-handed. I'm just asking you to do the same.

You treat it as a one-handed weapon because it is a one-handed weapon!

Are you seriously asking where the rules are that say you have to treat one-handed weapons as what they are?

I am asking where the explicit language is in the rules that say a character without the EWP feat treats a Bastard Sword as a one-handed [u]martial[/u] weapon. "Martial Weapon" isn't a precise category. "One-Handed" isn't a precise category. "One-Handed Martial Weapon" is a precise category. Where is that rule? It is a one-handed weapon. It also is an exotic weapon. But, it can be treated like something else. I'm asking, specifically, to point to the rule precisely defining what it is treated as.

Hint: You can't. Because it doesn't exist.

Because, honestly, this position is utterly nonsensical. See my responses above to pres man for an explanation as to why. The short of it is you are advocating it being treated like a classification of weapon that it literally contradicts. You're saying it ought to be treated like a one-handed weapon when it is impossible to wield it in one hand.


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fretgod99 wrote:
So, let me get this straight. You're ok with a change in classification from Exotic to Martial for determining who may wield a BS and how, if they don't have the feat. But you're not ok with a change in classification from One-Handed to Two-Handed for determining who may wield a BS and how, if they don't have the feat? That's not an ok exception to the rule.

More accurately, it is not a defined exception to the rule. It would be fine as an exception, there just is no support for such an exception in the actual rules.

fretgod99 wrote:
However, what is an ok exception to the rule is treating a BS as a one-handed martial weapon, even though it literally contradicts the explicit definition of what a one-handed weapon actually is (something which can, in fact, be wielded in one hand)? That's completely nonsensical. Particularly when we have a game term for weapons which are incapable of being wielded in one hand. That term is "two-handed weapon". So, to avoid an exception to the rules you don't like, you'd rather create a different exception to a rule when creating that exception quite literally duplicates something that already exists.

The bastard sword, according to the first sentence literally already contradicts the explicit definition of what a one-handed weapon is. You are fine with this. I fail to see why now it is suddenly a problem for you to accept. I agree, that the typical rules for handedness is that one-handed weapons can be used in one hand or two and two-handed weapons must be used in two-hands. But the bastard sword tossed that out already. You can't cling to the standard rules and also cling to the first sentence.

fretgod99 wrote:
The language of the BS says that without the feat you must wield it two-handed as a martial weapon.

Technically it says you may do so. You could also wield it two-handed as a one-handed exotic weapon. Let's say you didn't have martial weapon proficiency class feature for example. You could certain wield it two-handed as a martial weapon, but that wouldn't really gain you anything over wielding it two-handed as a one-handed exotic weapon.

fretgod99 wrote:
It already says (for the purposes of determining who may wield it and how) you change classification from exotic to martial. Why is there this push back against a similar change in classification (for a very limited purpose) from one to two-handed? Especially when the only other option is to create a situation that is literally definitively impossible (a "one-handed" weapon that simply cannot be wielded in one hand).

Again, we already have that. Why the push back from your perspective? And the martial change is only for the wielders benefit, my example of a person without martial weapon proficiency can ignore that entire sentence of the bastard sword description because it is irrelevant to them.

fretgod99 wrote:
Undeniably incorrect. ... If a weapon cannot be wielded in one hand, it cannot be a one-handed weapon.

If that is the stance you want to take, then YOU personally must claim that the bastard sword is not in fact a one-handed weapon. That it must in fact be a two-handed weapon, with a special feature that EWP allows you to use this two-handed weapon in one hand.

Remember, the exception rule (bastard sword can't be wielded in one-hand without EWP) takes precedence over the general rule (a one-handed weapon can be used in one-hand).

fretgod99 wrote:

That is explicitly the point of having two-handed weapons.

Exceptions to rules can exist. But what is the purpose of having an exception to a rule to create a new classification of something when that classification already exists?

Exactly. Don't ask me, I don't make the rules for PF. Best hit an FAQ request for that question.


I don't honestly see why the flavor text was brought up at all on this messageboard at all to be honest after reading all of this board's notes on "two-handing" a bastard sword. In the rules, as everybody has already said, you can wield the bastard sword two-handed as if a martial weapon, unless you have EWP BS which allows you to use it as a one-handed weapon. Attempting to use it one-handed without the feat doesn't mean you can't use it altogether, you just treat it as if not proficient with a martial weapon (-4 to the attack roll)

The actual reasoning behind them saying that in the "flavor" text is the actual construction of a bastard sword:

Made primarily for mounted combat, since the standard 3-foot "longsword" was not always long enough to reach the opponent while charging from horseback, weaponsmiths created a slightly longer-bladed weapon, a sword with a blade length of 4-4.5 feet long with a hilt which gave the weapon the name "hand-and-a-half" sword, because the hilt was a full hand and a half length long, allowing someone to two-hand the weapon when a shield was not available. In some references, it's also called a "Knight's sword" because it was used primarily by medieval knights charging in on horseback, once their lances had been used and disgarded. The actual reasoning behind the wording on the flavor text incorporates it.

I myself own two full-life-sized bastard swords, being a weapon collector in my pastime, and I can protest to just how hard it is to wield the weapon one handed, even with my past experience practicing with the weapon. It's large, ungainly, and heavy, but it's also a beautiful weapon, and my favorite out of all other kinds of weapons. I know that everybody has already said much of what I have said in this post, but I thought I would add my two cents to the discussion, as it concerns my all-time weapon.


Squee the Goblin wrote:
I don't honestly see why the flavor text was brought up at all on this messageboard at all to be honest after reading all of this board's notes on "two-handing" a bastard sword. In the rules, as everybody has already said, you can wield the bastard sword two-handed as if a martial weapon, unless you have EWP BS which allows you to use it as a one-handed weapon. Attempting to use it one-handed without the feat doesn't mean you can't use it altogether, you just treat it as if proficient with a martial weapon (-4 to the attack roll).

Recent FAQ entry has made it clear that in official PF rule application, that you can't wield it one-handed without the EWP, not even with a -4 non-proficiency penalty. I think the idea is ... unfortunate, but it is their game and so they can make whatever call they wish.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Squee the Goblin wrote:
Attempting to use it one-handed without the feat doesn't mean you can't use it altogether, you just treat it as if not proficient with a martial weapon (-4 to the attack roll)

That was how the Bastard Sword worked, until a couple days ago. Now you cannot wield it at all.

NINJA'd by a gnome!


pres man wrote:

QUOTE]

Recent FAQ entry has made it clear that in official PF rule application, that you can't wield it one-handed without the EWP, not even with a -4 non-proficiency penalty. I think the idea is ... unfortunate, but it is their game and so they can make whatever call they wish.

Ah I wasn't aware of that rule change, but I won't contest it in the slightest. Bastard swords are heavy, in fact they're like the name suggests, just a foot or so away from being actual two-handed swords themselves. Either way, I love them, although one of my favorite character builds is a character (Fighter or Cavalier) who uses a bastard sword one-handed (with feat) and shield.


pres man wrote:
More accurately, it is not a defined exception to the rule. It would be fine as an exception, there just is no support for such an exception in the actual rules.

That's not even remotely true. "Two-handed as a martial weapon" tells you exactly how it should be treated. Like a two-handed martial weapon. Because treating it like a one-handed martial weapon that is utterly impossible to wield in one hand is the definition of nonsensical.

Quote:
The bastard sword, according to the first sentence literally already contradicts the explicit definition of what a one-handed weapon is. You are fine with this. I fail to see why now it is suddenly a problem for you to accept. I agree, that the typical rules for handedness is that one-handed weapons can be used in one hand or two and two-handed weapons must be used in two-hands. But the bastard sword tossed that out already. You can't cling to the standard rules and also cling to the first sentence.

No it doesn't. The BS is wieldable in one hand. You just have to take the EWP to do it. Can be wielded in one hand. Ergo, it is a one-handed weapon. No exception.

Quote:
Technically it says you may do so. You could also wield it two-handed as a one-handed exotic weapon. Let's say you didn't have martial weapon proficiency class feature for example. You could certain wield it two-handed as a martial weapon, but that wouldn't really gain you anything over wielding it two-handed as a one-handed exotic weapon.

How is that relevant? A character without martial proficiency can't wield it efficiently no matter how it is classified.

Quote:
Again, we already have that. Why the push back from your perspective? And the martial change is only for the wielders benefit, my example of a person without martial weapon proficiency can ignore that entire sentence of the bastard sword description because it is irrelevant to them.

They have to wield it in two hands and take a penalty to do it anyway, so I honestly have no idea what the whole point of this example is. It helps clarify nothing.

Quote:
If that is the stance you want to take, then YOU personally must claim that the bastard sword is not in fact a one-handed weapon. That it must in fact be a two-handed weapon, with a special feature that EWP allows you to use this two-handed weapon in one hand.

I have never once claimed the BS is not a one-handed weapon. Ever. It is now and always has been a one-handed exotic weapon. I have never said anything otherwise.

However, for characters without the EWP it is treated like a different category of weapon. This is undeniable. It's explicit in the rules that it is treated like a martial weapon for those characters. What kind of martial weapon? It's less explicit, but clear from the language that it's treated like a two-handed martial weapon. How else do we know this? Because the PDT said if you don't have the feat, you treat it like a Greatsword (a two-handed martial weapon).

Quote:
Remember, the exception rule (bastard sword can't be wielded in one-hand without EWP) takes precedence over the general rule (a one-handed weapon can be used in one-hand).

No it doesn't. It can be used in one hand. You just need the feat to do it.

Quote:
Exactly. Don't ask me, I don't make the rules for PF. Best hit an FAQ request for that question.

*sigh*

No.

Are you actually quibbling because you want it to be reclassified altogether as a two-handed martial weapon that can be used one-handed with the EWP feat rather than its current status as a one-handed exotic weapon that can't be used that way unless you have the feat? Is that what your position boils down to?

Because what is the functional difference between the two for the purpose of who can wield it without the feat? How are the two any different?

FAQ says they want people who don't have the feat to treat it like a two-handed martial weapon. That's undeniable. So I honestly don't know where else there is to go from here.


Nefreet wrote:
Squee the Goblin wrote:
Attempting to use it one-handed without the feat doesn't mean you can't use it altogether, you just treat it as if not proficient with a martial weapon (-4 to the attack roll)

That was how the Bastard Sword worked, until a couple days ago. Now you cannot wield it at all.

NINJA'd by a gnome!

No. That was how the Bastard Sword worked in your games until a couple of days ago. For a great number of people, this ruling has not changed how the Bastard Sword works in the slightest. This is how the Bastard Sword has officially worked for over a decade. It is how the Bastard Sword still officially works now.

Silver Crusade

fretgod99 wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
You still didn't show me a rules quotation where is says "treat as a one-handed martial weapon." That's what yo've been railing for everyone to show you re: two-handed. I'm just asking you to do the same.

You treat it as a one-handed weapon because it is a one-handed weapon!

Are you seriously asking where the rules are that say you have to treat one-handed weapons as what they are?

I am asking where the explicit language is in the rules that say a character without the EWP feat treats a Bastard Sword as a one-handed [u]martial[/u] weapon. "Martial Weapon" isn't a precise category. "One-Handed" isn't a precise category. "One-Handed Martial Weapon" is a precise category. Where is that rule? It is a one-handed weapon. It also is an exotic weapon. But, it can be treated like something else. I'm asking, specifically, to point to the rule precisely defining what it is treated as.

Hint: You can't. Because it doesn't exist.

Because, honestly, this position is utterly nonsensical. See my responses above to pres man for an explanation as to why. The short of it is you are advocating it being treated like a classification of weapon that it literally contradicts. You're saying it ought to be treated like a one-handed weapon when it is impossible to wield it in one hand.

A weapon doesn't change what it is based on feats a wielder may or may not have.

Although the description of the bastard sword makes it clear that you can use it as if it were a martial weapon instead of exotic, it does not say you treat it as a two-handed weapon.

You're looking at the sentence which says 'can use two-handed as a martial weapon', and seeing 'can use as a two-handed martial weapon'. But these two sentences have different meanings.

Bastard swords (of the wielder's size) can be wielded in either one or two hands. Just because some people don't have the training to use it in one hand, this does not mean they treat it as a two-handed weapon. They treat it as a one-handed weapon used in two hands.

It's not about believing the change from exotic to martial is acceptable but the change from 1H to 2H is not. There is no change from 1H to 2H! If there was, that would be acceptable!


Malachi wrote:
A weapon doesn't change what it is based on feats a wielder may or may not have.

I've never claimed otherwise. But it is treated differently for people without the feats. If it can be treated differently for one part of a classification, it can also be treated differently for another.

Malachi wrote:
Although the description of the bastard sword makes it clear that you can use it as if it were a martial weapon instead of exotic, it does not say you treat it as a two-handed weapon.

Nope. Not explicitly. Nor does it explicitly say to treat it as a one-handed martial weapon. You've still failed to point me to that rule. Again, because you can't. Because it doesn't exist.

If you're allowed to infer your answers, I'm allowed to infer mine. And I'm inferring mine directly from the language written in the Bastard Sword entry, in conjunction with the one and two-handed weapons definitions.

Malachi wrote:
You're looking at the sentence which says 'can use two-handed as a martial weapon', and seeing 'can use as a two-handed martial weapon'. But these two sentences have different meanings.

No, those two sentences can have different meanings. They don't necessarily have to have different meanings. That is ultimately your hangup.

Bastard Swords can be wielded in one or two hands, if you have the feat. If you don't have the feat, you don't treat the Bastard Sword as a one-handed exotic weapon; you treat it as something else. It's not actually a one-handed martial weapon, nor is it ever even treated as one. If it were, martial characters could actually wield it in one hand. Since, when it is treated like a martial weapon, it is as unusable in one hand as a Greatsword, it must be more analogous to the two-handed martial weapons than the one-handed martial weapons. That is actually a sensible explanation to this whole mess. Saying it's treated like a one-handed martial weapon that can't be wielded in one hand is asinine.

Malachi wrote:
It's not about believing the change from exotic to martial is acceptable but the change from 1H to 2H is not. There is no change from 1H to 2H! If there was, that would be acceptable!

If you want to pretend it's treated as a one-handed martial weapon that cannot be used in one hand, be my guest. It's utterly nonsensical, but you'll never be swayed despite the fact that history, PF rules, and the PDT have all demonstrated you are not correct. They even did it without errata. You cannot wield an appropriately sized Bastard Sword in one hand without the feat and because of that you cannot wield an oversized Bastard Sword in two hands without the feat. Without the feat, you treat Bastard Swords like Greatswords.

Could they change the language or classification via errata? Sure. I've said that all along. Nobody on our side of the argument ever said the language was crystal clear. We all noted your argument, recognized the basis of it, acknowledged that it was a valid interpretation of the language, but then argued why we believed (and rightly so) that it still wasn't the correct interpretation. So, things could be more explicit and it could be made so via errata. But that's unnecessary. The intent of the Pathfinder Developers is now apparent, and it is achievable via the rules that are already written. There's not really can argue about in any of that. Not credibly, anyway.


PRD wrote:
Sword, Bastard: A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon. A character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon.

If you are a character without the martial weapon proficiency class feature you effectively read the description as:

PRD wrote:
Sword, Bastard: A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon.

What does this tell you about this one-handed exotic weapon. That you can't use it one-handed. Thus for a person without MWP, they can still wield it, but must use two-hands (at a -4 non-proficiency penalty). For this person without MWP, is the weapon now a two-handed exotic weapon because they can't wield it in one-hand or does it stay a one-handed exotic weapon?


pres man wrote:
PRD wrote:
Sword, Bastard: A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon. A character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon.

If you are a character without the martial weapon proficiency class feature you effectively read the description as:

PRD wrote:
Sword, Bastard: A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon.
What does this tell you about this one-handed exotic weapon. That you can't use it one-handed. Thus for a person without MWP, they can still wield it, but must use two-hands (at a -4 non-proficiency penalty). For this person without MWP, is the weapon now a two-handed exotic weapon because they can't wield it in one-hand or does it stay a one-handed exotic weapon?

A person without the EWP feat treats it as a two-handed martial weapon, whether they have martial proficiency or not. You don't excise the other portion. It doesn't say "Characters with Martial Proficiency may use it two-handed as a martial weapon". That character wields it two-handed as a martial weapon, specifically, a two-handed one.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
fretgod99 wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Squee the Goblin wrote:
Attempting to use it one-handed without the feat doesn't mean you can't use it altogether, you just treat it as if not proficient with a martial weapon (-4 to the attack roll)
That was how the Bastard Sword worked, until a couple days ago. Now you cannot wield it at all.
No. That was how the Bastard Sword worked in your games until a couple of days ago. For a great number of people, this ruling has not changed how the Bastard Sword works in the slightest. This is how the Bastard Sword has officially worked for over a decade. It is how the Bastard Sword still officially works now.

You're still not getting it. Quit using 3.5 rules. Pathfinder hasn't been around for a decade.

For the umpteenth time, before this ruling, there was either proficiency or non-proficiency. FACT. You cannot dispute that (although I know you believe you can). That meant, if you wanted to wield a weapon of which you were not proficient, you simply took a -4 penalty, as many other people have already stated. Please don't count the few of us who continue to debate you as being the only few people in the world who interpreted the rules that way. For those who've never played earlier editions of D&D, that was how Pathfinder worked.

Now the rules have changed, and there is a 3rd category of proficiency for a small group of weapons. And that's fine. We can move on. It creates more confusion and I know I'm going to have to explain it probably a dozen times going forward, but it is what it is. That's what I'll enforce when I GM a PFS game. But please don't take this as validation that your earlier interpretation was correct. The rules have changed.


fretgod99 wrote:
pres man wrote:
PRD wrote:
Sword, Bastard: A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon. A character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon.

If you are a character without the martial weapon proficiency class feature you effectively read the description as:

PRD wrote:
Sword, Bastard: A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon.
What does this tell you about this one-handed exotic weapon. That you can't use it one-handed. Thus for a person without MWP, they can still wield it, but must use two-hands (at a -4 non-proficiency penalty). For this person without MWP, is the weapon now a two-handed exotic weapon because they can't wield it in one-hand or does it stay a one-handed exotic weapon?
A person without the EWP feat treats it as a two-handed martial weapon, whether they have martial proficiency or not. You don't excise the other portion. It doesn't say "Characters with Martial Proficiency may use it two-handed as a martial weapon". That character wields it two-handed as a martial weapon, specifically, a two-handed one.

"A character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon."

You are right, it doesn't say "may" it says "can". That doesn't mean you "must". Or are you suggesting that if you wield it two-handed and only have EWP and not MWP, that you take a -4 non-proficiency penalty?

Liberty's Edge

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Nefreet wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Squee the Goblin wrote:
Attempting to use it one-handed without the feat doesn't mean you can't use it altogether, you just treat it as if not proficient with a martial weapon (-4 to the attack roll)
That was how the Bastard Sword worked, until a couple days ago. Now you cannot wield it at all.
No. That was how the Bastard Sword worked in your games until a couple of days ago. For a great number of people, this ruling has not changed how the Bastard Sword works in the slightest. This is how the Bastard Sword has officially worked for over a decade. It is how the Bastard Sword still officially works now.

You're still not getting it. Quit using 3.5 rules. Pathfinder hasn't been around for a decade.

For the umpteenth time, before this ruling, there was either proficiency or non-proficiency. FACT. You cannot dispute that (although I know you believe you can). That meant, if you wanted to wield a weapon of which you were not proficient, you simply took a -4 penalty, as many other people have already stated. Please don't count the few of us who continue to debate you as being the only few people in the world who interpreted the rules that way. For those who've never played earlier editions of D&D, that was how Pathfinder worked.

Now the rules have changed, and there is a 3rd category of proficiency for a small group of weapons. And that's fine. We can move on. It creates more confusion and I know I'm going to have to explain it probably a dozen times going forward, but it is what it is. That's what I'll enforce when I GM a PFS game. But please don't take this as validation that your earlier interpretation was correct. The rules have changed.

Again, the rules didn't change. There were two sides of the argument. Both sides had valid arguments, but in the end your side lost.

"Don't take this as a validation that your earlier interpretation was correct". Are you serious? The PDT issues an FAQ that mirrors what we have been arguing for the past 20 or so pages, and yet you still say we were wrong the whole time (not even going to mention that this is how we played the bastard sword since 3e, but whatever).

You're acting like a sore loser.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I believe you're acting like a sore winner, so we'll have to agree to disagree on a myriad number of things.


Nefreet wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Squee the Goblin wrote:
Attempting to use it one-handed without the feat doesn't mean you can't use it altogether, you just treat it as if not proficient with a martial weapon (-4 to the attack roll)
That was how the Bastard Sword worked, until a couple days ago. Now you cannot wield it at all.
No. That was how the Bastard Sword worked in your games until a couple of days ago. For a great number of people, this ruling has not changed how the Bastard Sword works in the slightest. This is how the Bastard Sword has officially worked for over a decade. It is how the Bastard Sword still officially works now.

You're still not getting it. Quit using 3.5 rules. Pathfinder hasn't been around for a decade.

For the umpteenth time, before this ruling, there was either proficiency or non-proficiency. FACT. You cannot dispute that (although I know you believe you can). That meant, if you wanted to wield a weapon of which you were not proficient, you simply took a -4 penalty, as many other people have already stated. Please don't count the few of us who continue to debate you as being the only few people in the world who interpreted the rules that way. For those who've never played earlier editions of D&D, that was how Pathfinder worked.

Now the rules have changed, and there is a 3rd category of proficiency for a small group of weapons. And that's fine. We can move on. It creates more confusion and I know I'm going to have to explain it probably a dozen times going forward, but it is what it is. That's what I'll enforce when I GM a PFS game. But please don't take this as validation that your earlier interpretation was correct. The rules have changed.

Again, the rules have changed for you. Please don't count the few of us who have debated you as being the only few people in the world who interpreted the rules that way.

It's not a complicated rule to explain. If you have the feat, you treat it like a one-handed exotic weapon. If you don't, you treat it like a two-handed martial weapon. There's really not much confusion there.

Again, I understand how many people came to the same conclusion you did. I've always stated that. It was a reasonable reading of the language. It was, however, not the only reasonable reading of the language (despite the insistence of some).

I was correct in my previous interpretation, despite your protestations. It's clear from SKR's posts that it was the intent of the PDT for the Bastard Sword to work exactly how it worked in 3.5 the entire time.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
You also can't use a greatsword one-handed as an improvised bastard sword, even if you have EWP (bastard sword). The game is very clear that if you don't have EWP (bastard sword), it's a two-handed weapon for you, and if you do have EWP (bastard sword), it's a one-handed weapon for you. The end.

"The game is very clear ..." with no language change means "This is how it has always officially worked".

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
pres man wrote:
They should have said, "A bastard sword is an exception to that rule that you CAN wield a ONE-handed weapon in ONE hand, INSTEAD you must have special training to use the bastard sword this way."
As with many weird things in the Core Rulebook, we had about 45 seconds to put together the book, and had to focus our time on big problems like "barbarians have no interesting class feature choices" and "sorcerers have the same problem," rather than time on "the bastard sword language is weird and could be clarified a bit, even though it's had this wording for 10 years and people were able to use it despite that weirdness."

Similarly, this quote means "Admittedly, we could have cleaned up the language when porting it over to make things a little more clear that we still intended it to function the exact same way. However, we had far more important things to do." Also, notice the "it's had this wording for 10 years and people were able to use it despite that weirdness." Again, "it was intended to function the same way in Pathfinder as it did in 3.5." So, you can't just handwave the history of 3.5. It was the Developers' specific intent to have the weapon function the exact same way this whole time.


pres man wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
pres man wrote:
PRD wrote:
Sword, Bastard: A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon. A character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon.

If you are a character without the martial weapon proficiency class feature you effectively read the description as:

PRD wrote:
Sword, Bastard: A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon.
What does this tell you about this one-handed exotic weapon. That you can't use it one-handed. Thus for a person without MWP, they can still wield it, but must use two-hands (at a -4 non-proficiency penalty). For this person without MWP, is the weapon now a two-handed exotic weapon because they can't wield it in one-hand or does it stay a one-handed exotic weapon?
A person without the EWP feat treats it as a two-handed martial weapon, whether they have martial proficiency or not. You don't excise the other portion. It doesn't say "Characters with Martial Proficiency may use it two-handed as a martial weapon". That character wields it two-handed as a martial weapon, specifically, a two-handed one.

"A character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon."

You are right, it doesn't say "may" it says "can". That doesn't mean you "must". Or are you suggesting that if you wield it two-handed and only have EWP and not MWP, that you take a -4 non-proficiency penalty?

Nope.

It also doesn't say "Characters with Martial Proficiency can use it two-handed as a martial weapon", either. It says "characters", meaning all of them, whether they have martial proficiencies or not.


Nefreet wrote:
I believe you're acting like a sore winner, so we'll have to agree to disagree on a myriad number of things.

The only thing that I find irksome about your position is that, as before, even now you refuse to recognize the validity of the interpretation of the language we were putting forward. With your "Well, this is how the weapon used to work" and "Rules have changed" type of comments, you are still implying, as you did before, that my interpretation of the rules (which we now definitively know is correct) was somehow completely untenable.

I recognize it's not how you wanted the rules to work. I recognize that you had a reasonable interpretation of the rules. But what you simply cannot say is that my interpretation of the rules was unsupported by the rules language. And you cannot say that Developer comments regarding Amiri are not relevant (even if you don't find them ultimately persuasive). And you cannot say that FAQ Answers akin to the Cleric/Bastard Sword one were wholly unsupportive of my interpretation (even if you don't find them ultimately persuasive). And you cannot simply dismiss the history of the treatment of the weapon in 3.5 (even if you don't find that information to be ultimately persuasive).

There is a difference between "I recognize basis of your position, but I believe mine is more persuasive" and "You don't even have a leg to stand on", which is what you are and have been implying in your responses to this thread.

I understand you're frustrated that you were incorrect. There's nothing wrong with that, and we've all been wrong before. But nothing about this FAQ changed how the rules regarding Bastard Swords were intended to and actually do function. The FAQ response demonstrates how the rules have been intended to operate this entire time.


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Nefreet wrote:
I believe you're acting like a sore winner, so we'll have to agree to disagree on a myriad number of things.

Honestly, as one of the "losers" (as in, I didn't expect this ruling and have previously been using the other interpretation in my games (and will continue to as I don't play PFS)) I don't think they're acting like "sore winners" at all. I think you're acting as a "sore loser", claiming you where actually right all along when clearly that isn't the case. Come on, you can do better than this.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If two groups of people read the same text in two different ways and both vehemently believe their way is "right", and the ultimate authority comes along and says "this group of you are right, you others have misunderstood our intent, sorry, we hope this additional detail clears it up", then the side that were right can (justifiably) feel vindicated. The other side can ask for changes to make their interpretation non-existent (the word order change to "as a two-handed martial weapon" springs to mind), but (and I have no desire to point fingers, because tomorrow I might be on the other side of a different discussion) any attempt to claim "it is thus and has always been so, this is a change" means this has stepped outside the bounds of reasoned debate into raucous argument.

PDT can make mistakes with rule design, but they can never, ever, EVER be wrong, since they (quite literally) wrote the book on it. You're welcome to do whatever you want in your home games, but coming on here and telling the design team that their interpretation of the rules is wrong comes across (to me) as disrespectful, rude, and a little arrogant.

Personally, I happen to think that a bastard sword should be able to be used one-handed without EWP and the character should suffer the non-proficiency penalty. And I have every intention of allowing that in my home games. But I don't for one second believe that PDT have made an incorrect interpretation of the two-handed use rules for it. Partly because I agree with them, but also because they've told me so in an FAQ answer.

Silver Crusade

fretgod99 wrote:
Malachi wrote:
Although the description of the bastard sword makes it clear that you can use it as if it were a martial weapon instead of exotic, it does not say you treat it as a two-handed weapon.
Nope. Not explicitly. Nor does it explicitly say to treat it as a one-handed martial weapon. You've still failed to point me to that rule. Again, because you can't. Because it doesn't exist.

None of the weapon descriptions tell us which weapon category to treat the weapon as!

You don't go to the description of the longsword and read 'we know that this weapon is defined as a one-handed weapon, but just to remind you, yes, you treat it as a one-handed weapon.'

This is not repeated in each weapon. The bastard sword is treated as a one-handed weapon because it is a one-handed weapon!

Only if the description actually changes this would it need to be stated. The description of the bastard sword never does.

I'm not suggesting that sentences cannot be ambiguous. The first sentence (cannot be used? Can, but at -4?) can legitimaty read either way. The second sentence cannot be legitimately read either way! To read it as saying something it doesn't is wrong!

If the design team inherited a rule which said '2+2=4', but this was widely read as '2+2=5', it's not enough to say 'Yeah, when it says '2+2=4' it means '2+2=5'. that's not okay. They can change the words to match their intent, but to leave the words which say one thing and just pretend they mean another is not the way forward.


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fretgod99 wrote:

Nope.

It also doesn't say "Characters with Martial Proficiency can use it two-handed as a martial weapon", either. It says "characters", meaning all of them, whether they have martial proficiencies or not.

The bastard sword is clearly listed in the table as a one-handed exotic weapon. Typically one-handed weapons can be used in either one or two hands. Wielding them in two hands does not typically change their handedness nor the proficiency status. Thus someone with EWP can wield a bastard sword in one hand as a one-handed exotic weapon or in two hands again as a one-handed exotic weapon.

Now the bastard sword does have a couple of exceptions to the standard rules for people without EWP. Let's look at the first one.

PRD wrote:
Sword, Bastard: A bastard sword is about 4 feet in length, making it too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon.

The exception here is that despite this weapon being a one-handed weapon it can't actually be used in one hand, without the EWP. This exception does not make the weapon a two-handed weapon, merely it is a one-handed weapon that can't be used one-handed. Why this classification is something that designers want, I have no idea certainly not for game balance concerns, but it is their call and they made it.

So if the description ended right there, this would mean that if you wanted to wield a bastard sword without the EWP you'd have to do it two-handed (despite its one-handedness) and you'd take a -4 non-proficiency penalty since it is an exotic weapon.

Now let's look at the second part of the description.

PRD wrote:
A character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon.

We know that "can" doesn't equal "must" since if a character does have EWP they can treat it as any other one-handed weapon, which means they could wield it in two-hands without changing its proficiency status. Only the most foolish believe that if you wield it in two-hands you MUST treat it as a martial weapon.

This sentence is instead an exception to the proficiency rules. As I said above, with only the first sentence, in order to wield a bastard sword without EWP you would have to use two-hands AND take the -4 non-proficiency penalty. This second sentence allows you to avoid the -4 non-proficiency penalty as long as you have the MWP class feature.

But just like before the bastard sword still is a one-handed weapon. The fact that without EWP means you can't use it one-handed doesn't change its handedness. So if it stays a one-handed weapon and is now treated as a martial weapon, that means it is treated as a one-handed martial weapon that MUST be wielded in two hands.

So if you want to claim it MUST be treated as a martial two-handed weapon, you'd have to come up with an additional exception clause (the handedness of the weapon in addition to how many hands you have to use and the proficiency status). We do have precedent for the handedness of a weapon not changing despite a change in how many hands are needed to wield it, see the lance and any two-handed weapon wielded using jotungrip.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Malachi wrote:
Although the description of the bastard sword makes it clear that you can use it as if it were a martial weapon instead of exotic, it does not say you treat it as a two-handed weapon.
Nope. Not explicitly. Nor does it explicitly say to treat it as a one-handed martial weapon. You've still failed to point me to that rule. Again, because you can't. Because it doesn't exist.

None of the weapon descriptions tell us which weapon category to treat the weapon as!

You don't go to the description of the longsword and read 'we know that this weapon is defined as a one-handed weapon, but just to remind you, yes, you treat it as a one-handed weapon.'

This is not repeated in each weapon. The bastard sword is treated as a one-handed weapon because it is a one-handed weapon!

Only if the description actually changes this would it need to be stated. The description of the bastard sword never does.

I'm not suggesting that sentences cannot be ambiguous. The first sentence (cannot be used? Can, but at -4?) can legitimaty read either way. The second sentence cannot be legitimately read either way! To read it as saying something it doesn't is wrong!

If the design team inherited a rule which said '2+2=4', but this was widely read as '2+2=5', it's not enough to say 'Yeah, when it says '2+2=4' it means '2+2=5'. that's not okay. They can change the words to match their intent, but to leave the words which say one thing and just pretend they mean another is not the way forward.

Just like the Bastard Sword is always treated like an exotic weapon because it is an exotic weapon.

Oh wait ...

It also says treat it differently if you don't have the feat.

And the PDT said to treat it like a Greatsword if you don't have the feat.

And the Greatsword is a two-handed martial weapon.

And a person without the EWP feat would still be wielding the Bastard Sword nonproficiently, even two-handed, but for the explicit exception in the rules.

But we're told they can avoid that penalty if it's wielded in two hands, but only if it's wielded in two hands, and treated as a martial weapon.

The only categorization of martial weapon that requires the use of two hands and is incapable of being wielded in one hand is two-handed martial weapon.

So, for people without the feat, you can treat it like a martial weapon that must be wielded in two hands. Or, you know, in layman's terms, a two-handed martial weapon.

You arguing that the second sentence cannot conceivably be read to mean this is wrong. 100%, unequivocally, undeniably, without a shred of doubt wrong.

Is it the only possible reading? Again, certainly not. But it is absolutely a legitimate reading. And, it just so happens to be the one adopted by Pathfinder. It also happens to be the stance that has been adopted by Pathfinder since the game was created. The stance you're arguing cannot possibly exist is the official stance of Pathfinder and always has been. You're going to have to find a way to come to grips with that.

And you still can't two-hand an oversized Bastard Sword without the EWP feat.

Silver Crusade

It says you can treat it as a martial weapon.

It does not say you can treat it as a two-handed weapon.

Since you can use a one-handed weapon in two hands (and when you do it is still treated as a one-handed weapon), there is nothing which says that using this one-handed weapon in two hands lets or requires you to treat it as a two-handed weapon.


pres man wrote:
So if you want to claim it MUST be treated as a martial two-handed weapon, you'd have to come up with an additional exception clause (the handedness of the weapon in addition to how many hands you have to use and the proficiency status). We do have precedent for the handedness of a weapon not changing despite a change in how many hands are needed to wield it, see the lance and any two-handed weapon wielded using jotungrip.

Wut?

PRD wrote:
Jotungrip (Ex): At 2nd level, a titan mauler may choose to wield a two-handed weapon in one hand with a –2 penalty on attack rolls while doing so. The weapon must be appropriately sized for her, and it is treated as one-handed when determining the effect of Power Attack, Strength bonus to damage, and the like. This ability replaces uncanny dodge.

Certainly sounds like it's treated as being of different handedness to me ...

Also, in case you were wondering if this is an isolated thing, here's the language for a Phalanx Fighter.

PRD wrote:
Phalanx Fighting (Ex): At 3rd level, when a phalanx soldier wields a shield, he can use any polearm or spear of his size as a one-handed weapon. This ability replaces armor training 1.

So it seems like this whole "changing classification of handedness for limited purposes" isn't nearly as uncommon as you're making it out to be. Rather, it seems like we actually do have precedent that things can change handedness based upon the abilities granted to use them (one of the very things you tried to argue supports the idea that we don't have such precedent, in fact).

Can we stop this now?


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

It says you can treat it as a martial weapon.

It does not say you can treat it as a two-handed weapon.

Since you can use a one-handed weapon in two hands (and when you do it is still treated as a one-handed weapon), there is nothing which says that using this one-handed weapon in two hands lets or requires you to treat it as a two-handed weapon.

It certainly can be inferred from the language. That's probably why it's been the officially adopted Pathfinder stance. It's also probably why it's been Pathfinder's intent regarding the weapon since the rules were drawn up.


This argument has gone on for ages and I am trying to see what the point of it is. Whether a weapon is a one-handed weapon or a two-handed weapon, the damage bonus from STR is the same as long as you wield it in both hands, right?

What is it that people hope to gain by having it act as a two-handed weapon or not?

AFAIK there actually has been a ruling that says that without the EWP you can't use it in one hand with a -4 penalty - you simply can't use it at all.

Is there more? Maybe we should sort out what the actual individual corner cases are that people are arguing about.


Peet wrote:

This argument has gone on for ages and I am trying to see what the point of it is. Whether a weapon is a one-handed weapon or a two-handed weapon, the damage bonus from STR is the same as long as you wield it in both hands, right?

What is it that people hope to gain by having it act as a two-handed weapon or not?

AFAIK there actually has been a ruling that says that without the EWP you can't use it in one hand with a -4 penalty - you simply can't use it at all.

Is there more? Maybe we should sort out what the actual individual corner cases are that people are arguing about.

The only reason I got back in here was because Malachi was trying to continue arguing (with PDT this time) and was also getting snarky about "secret, unwritten" rules because he thinks getting from the Bastard Sword language to "If you don't have the feat, treat it like a Greatsword" is utterly impossible (even though it's, frankly, how it's always worked though the plain language was admittedly open to interpretation).

In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't much matter to me whether you think it's treated as a one-handed weapon you're required to wield in two hands or a two-handed weapon unless you're going to try to argue that it being treated as a one-handed martial weapon means you can wield an oversized Bastard Sword in two hands as a Martial Weapon, which is something a few people had really strenuously argued throughout this thread. Being treated as a two-handed weapon unquestionably shuts off that possibility. Being treated as a one-handed weapon means people can and will try to finagle that as still being valid, despite it unequivocally being contrary to the expressed interpretation adopted by the PDT. Other than that, I don't care because, as you said, I don't think it impacts anything whatsoever.


OK, since this thread is so long maybe it would be worth starting another thread with just that specific question for the FAQ.

Personally I'll normally just leave it up to my GM.

Though in this specific case, my inclination (based on what I envision the intent of the rules is) would be that using a large long sword should be easier than using a large bastard sword. Therefore if I was the GM I would probably require the wielder to have EWP for the bastard sword.

But I am basing my opinion here by what I see as RAI, not RAW.

Peet


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Undoubtedly, before the FAQ was issued the intent behind the RAW was unclear. I honestly don't think, at this point, there can be any real question, though. You can't wield an oversized Bastard Sword unless you have the EWP feat.

Silver Crusade

Peet wrote:
Though in this specific case, my inclination (based on what I envision the intent of the rules is) would be that using a large long sword should be easier than using a large bastard sword.

You could just as easily say that using a large greatsword should be more difficult than using a large bastard sword.

So, is a bastard sword closer to a longsword or closer to a greatsword?

Even if you assume that (in real life) it is exactly half-way between the two, we have to use the rules.

In the rules, a longsword is a one-handed weapon and a greatsword is a two-handed weapon. So, in the rules, which is the bastard sword closer to?

Well, since the rules define it as a one-handed weapon, it must be closer to a longsword, in rules terms.

A one-handed weapon made for a large creature counts as a two-handed weapon for a medium creature. Since a bastard sword is a one-handed weapon, this rule applies just as much to a bastard sword as to a longsword.

At this point, the prohibition on using it in one hand becomes irrelevant as you are using it in two hands. It's still smaller (by a whole weapon category as well as in real life) than a large greatsword.

When you use it two-handed, it counts as martial for you. This is not altered by using a large one. Therefore, you are proficient in its use if you have a level in a martial class.


That's a lovely houserule, Malachi. But unfortunately, that's not how the Pathfinder rules work.

Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

FAQ: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fm#v5748eaic9qut

Exotic Weapons and Hands: If a weapon is wielded two-handed as a martial weapon and one-handed with an exotic weapon proficiency, can I wield it one-handed without the exotic proficiency at a –4 penalty?

No.
Note that normally you can't wield a two-handed weapon in one hand. A bastard sword is an exception to that rule that you can't wield a two-handed weapon in one hand, but you must have special training to use the bastard sword this way. Without that special training, wielding a bastard sword one-handed is as impossible as wielding a greatsword one-handed.
(The same goes for other weapons with this one-handed exotic exception, such as the dwarven waraxe.)

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
This reiterates the previous point: without that special training (EWP), you use it as if it were a two-handed martial weapon, meaning you can't wield it in one hand, just like you can't wield a greatsword (a two-handed martial weapon) in one hand.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
The game is very clear that if you don't have EWP (bastard sword), it's a two-handed weapon for you, and if you do have EWP (bastard sword), it's a one-handed weapon for you. The end.

You can repeat the same statements all you want, over and over again. I'm going to stop explaining it to you at this point and just post this. Because it's a decided issue. While there certainly was ambiguity in the words alone on the page, Pathfinder as an organization disagrees with you. Their interpretation is a valid one, apparent from the rules. And it is the only official position. I've walked you through how to get from A to B, all within the rules language and inferences derived therefrom. It's a perfectly logical response. Just because you don't like it and it's not the one you favor does not make it an impossibility.

If you don't have the EWP feat, you treat the Bastard Sword as if it were a two-handed weapon.

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