The 10 / 03 / 13 FAQ suggests drawing an arrow 3 times is the max you can draw is a reasonable limit.


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fretgod99 wrote:
Jamie Charlan wrote:
By the FAQ, reloading THREE, no more, times per round is reasonable. Four is not, unless you are a bow. It is okay with bows - they were never meant to be slowed by such a silly thing as thinking one gets too many free actions. Really now, which is it?

This is absolutely, 100%, patently false and why it is frustrating to have these conversations.

The FAQ never, at any point, suggests that THREE free actions is the only reasonable answer. It says, "It is reasonable for a GM to limit you to performing 5 free actions per round if each is a different free action, or perhaps 3 free actions per round if two or more are the same free action." Then, it also states, "The GM can allow more or fewer free actions as appropriate to the circumstances."

You can quibble about the likely effect of printing guidelines such as this all you want. That's a fair conversation. But you cannot, with any degree of legitimacy, claim that this FAQ says that the only reasonable answer is THREE free actions per round. There is a distinct and noticeable difference between a reasonable answer and the only reasonable answer. One precludes other answers, one doesn't. This FAQ does not preclude other answers. Even if you want to claim it implies a "best" or "most reasonable" answer, it does not claim to be the only reasonable answer. Arguing this FAQ does that is unequivocally wrong. People need to stop doing that. It does not help the discussion.

I agree that may not be the only reasonable answer according to the FAQ. But it is the only reasonable answer that they specifically spelled out. And that does mean something. I will once again bring up that the guidelines for Wealth by Level are just guidelines, and they are in other places referred to as 'suggested' wealth by level.

However, since those are the suggestions that are explicitly get spelled out, they often get treated like a rule. Similarly, even though point buy as a method of character creation is written into the book as just a suggestion and the number of points available are just suggestions most people tend to follow those suggestions. Why? Because those suggestions comes straight from the game creators.

So when they make a suggestion on limiting free actions in an official FAQ, and go on to say that limiting a character to 3 would be reasonable, it carries a lot of weight. That suggestion for what is reasonable then becomes the baseline for how GMs might limit free actions.... and if they don't scour the forums, they won't know that this was supposed to target gunslingers.

So, that GM can very reasonably (again, just by reading the FAQs erratas and book) decide that a zen archer cannot fire more than 3 times per round. He may even think that if he allows 4 or 5 free actions of a similar type, that he is being very lenient with the TWF throwing dagger rogue, who will cap out at 5 attacks and never get to use haste effectively.

For everyone saying that this FAQ changed nothing... I am sorry, but even if I can only speak for myself, I had never ever ever ever ever even remotely considered that I or anyone else should put an arbitrary hard cap on all free actions rather than address abuses on a case by case basis. This FAQ not only puts that idea into the collective consciousness, it fully supports its implementation in a way that will drastically change the effectiveness of many many character builds, spell effects, monsters, items and class features.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Lord_Malkov wrote:
For everyone saying that this FAQ changed nothing... I am sorry, but even if I can only speak for myself, I had never ever ever ever ever even remotely considered that I or anyone else should put an arbitrary hard cap on all free actions rather than address abuses on a case by case basis. This FAQ not only puts that idea into the collective consciousness, it fully supports its implementation in a way that will drastically change the effectiveness of many many character builds, spell effects, monsters, items and class features.

I, for one, would never have considered that the free actions necessary to support a character getting their full complement of attacks (thanks to the effects of one reloading feat) might be considered too many free actions. Yet that's what the FAQ is suggesting. As a GM, I'm perfectly capable of ignoring that FAQ in my home game... But what if I'm GMing for PFS where my discretionary powers are necessarily constrained? In the interests of fairness, that FAQ's examples must hold more weight.


fretgod99 wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Psyren wrote:
MrSin wrote:
I have to ask, do you think its good advice to only give someone 3 free actions and reduce that if they speak?
I think it's good advice for the DM to give more or less based on the specific circumstances.
Really? Under what circumstance is punishing your players for speaking during combat good advice?
Because that's precisely what they're advocating - uniformly punishing any player who utters anything during combat.

No, just the ranged martials.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
"Jamie Charlan wrote:


Sure, TECHNICALLY they never said "it can only be this". TECHNICALLY they did not state you HAVE to impose limitations either. TECHNICALLY.
TECHNICALLY the limit was already there. The FAQ just added numbers.

And that's the problem. They were not needed.


BigDTBone wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Psyren wrote:
MrSin wrote:
I have to ask, do you think its good advice to only give someone 3 free actions and reduce that if they speak?
I think it's good advice for the DM to give more or less based on the specific circumstances.
Really? Under what circumstance is punishing your players for speaking during combat good advice?
Because that's precisely what they're advocating - uniformly punishing any player who utters anything during combat.
No, just the ranged martials.

And monsters with multiple grab attacks

and by extension wildshaping druids

Possibly panther style Monks (although quite conditional)

but yeah... mostly just ranged martials


Except archers. That 'was supposed to be a non-action'. Getting an arrow from the quiver is significantly faster and less AoO inducing than, say, a throwing knife out from its sheath or something after all.

Realism, right.

Silver Crusade

Coriat wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
However, we're already in the realm of superhuman agility by firing a muzzle-loading musket once every six seconds. Dropping the reload time of a two-handed firearm to a move action means you can fire once every round. That's already twice as fast as some of the most efficient people in history. Firing multiple times a round goes beyond superhuman into straight up impossibility.
I don't have even a bit of a problem with high level martial characters performing blatantly superhuman feats.

Me neither.

The game shouldn't be limited to what's possible in real life. It can and should model what's possible in our fantasy worlds, as depicted in film, anime, comics, etc.

But, especially for martials, there is still a realistic base upon which any superheroics are extrapolated.

So, yeah, I can visualise a twin sword wielding combat god getting 8 attacks a round, an uber-archer shooting 8 times a round, even a gunslinger cocking and firing a gun 8 times a round....but not reloading a muzzle-loader 16 times a round!

Why? Because whatever the limits of uber-ness may be in a particular world, that uber-ness limit should apply equally to all martials of a given level.

And since real life reloading and firing takes at least twelve seconds and real life drawing, nocking and shooting an arrow takes at least one second, then no matter how uber your world allows your martials to be, reloading muzzle-loaders should still take twelve times as long as shooting arrows!

So, if reloading and firing 16 barrels in 6 seconds is the uber benchmark for a particular world, then in the same world an archer of equal uber-ness would be able to draw, nock and shoot 192 times in the same six seconds!

I think we can all agree that 192 arrows per round is....too uber. : )

But it illustrates why 16 muzzle-loading reloads is equally too uber.

So the problem is not the number of generic free actions a character can use in 6 seconds, the problem is that reloading a muzzle-loader can be reduced to a free action!

So what are the solutions? A hard cap on free actions? No.

* don't allow the manual reload time of muzzle-loaders to be reduced to a free action

* don't allow any barrel to be loaded more than once per round, irrespective of the action cost to reload

But won't either of these solutions nerf gunslingers? Yes. As gunslingers are written now, yes. Solution? Re-write gunslingers!

* give gunslingers the SLA to magically re-load as a free action. The powder and ball will magically appear in the barrel. Limit how many times this can be done per round based on gunslinger levels, or only if you have grit remaining in your pool

* fire a single bullet in a full attack. Roll the number of attack rolls to which you are entitled (only the first attack roll is versus touch AC, the rest are versus normal AC), for each hit roll the damage and conceptualise it as a single bullet. Means that gunslingers remain viable all the way to 20th without unlimited free action reloads

* in a similar manner to how gunslingers strangely acquire a 'battered gun' at first level, let them acquire a 'battered revolver' at higher levels, even if that tech is not normal for that world. They could even be a bit Black Bladey. I like the idea of the gunslinger class being a bit mystical.

Silver Crusade

On the subject of a cap on the number of free actions per round (not talking about guns here):-

I'm firmly of the belief that anyone good enough to get, say, 8 attacks in a round should be able to use as many free actions it takes to make those attacks; drawing arrows, re-gripping, etc. Just so long as those free actions are possible to conceptualise as being part of the attack, which muzzle-loading isn't!

But free action abuse is possible. While there is no reason to drop prone and stand up 300, 30, or maybe even 3 times in the same six seconds, there is a reason to mount/dismount as a free action 300 times in six seconds: the infamous 'Pony Express'!

This is why a human judge, the DM, has the authority, indeed the responsibility, to limit such abuse! In the Pony Express example, if the PC is using it to move a distance, then require a move action and limit the distance to his speed.

So, what is the appropriate cap on free actions? There is no cardinal number! Why? because it is always a judgement call, and a specific number, unrelated to any particular action, fails to replace the judgement of the DM.

And suggesting any such number is futile. That was what was wrong with the FAQ.


At the same time, you can also consider the how and why of these free actions. Perhaps some of these things become free actions because you've eliminated the step outright. Perhaps you've gotten really good, given your twenty-four bloody dex, at getting four alchemical cartridges balanced on four fingers and just stuffing that right down the four barrels of your pepperbox rifle with enough force [you probably have pretty sick strength given most folks have one of them str/dex/con belts] that you no longer use the ram-rod.

Unfortunately, because the process of getting to attack your full complement involves - unlike bows - a series of feats and class abilities each of which incrementally decrease the time you spend between attacks, it ends up being, officially, that yes, you do pull out one cartridge at a time [ammo - free action], turn your gun around so the barrel is facing you, stuff the cartridge down, pull out the ram-rod, use it, put it back in it's place, turn the weapon back, aim, and fire again.

This could easily be remedied - your suggestions aren't bad, but because they did not, refused to and now want to actually axe the process they forced on players for firearms or crossbows [but not for bows] because "too many" is ridiculous", we're all stuck with this arguing.

A few extra suggestions:

- Firearms themselves are easier to reload. Perhaps the initial models are breech-loaded instead of muzzle-loaded. We got gnomes and clockwork and all that stuff to begin with. A little engineering ingenuity can be expected right?

- Elemental charges. Gunslingers generate packets of energy that a simple little impact fires off. Kind of an item-dependent warlock. You pay for the touch-resolution [explains why only at short range - suffers from beam diffusion] and all that stuff by it being an energy type. Just one. Fire resist will do a number on your DPR if that's the one you picked. Could even be done straight as an archetype right now.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

there is a reason to mount/dismount as a free action 300 times in six seconds: the infamous 'Pony Express'!

And is the problem there free actions in general, or the specific free action?

Obviously the specific one.

Solution: fix the specific.

In this case, simply add: to mount one enters the mount's square(s) and makes a DC20 ride check.

Thus if you started adjacent, you 5' step into the mount's square, make your DC20 ride check and have a full round action.

You can then make another DC 20 ride check to dismount into anyone of the mount's squares as a 2nd free action.

This grants you some movement within the squares of the mount, but unless you have another 5' step, then you're not mounting a different mount, or making a full melee attack without penalty.

-James


fretgod99 wrote:

The FAQ never, at any point, suggests that THREE free actions is the only reasonable answer. It says, "It is reasonable for a GM to limit you to performing 5 free actions per round if each is a different free action, or perhaps 3 free actions per round if two or more are the same free action." Then, it also states, "The GM can allow more or fewer free actions as appropriate to the circumstances."

Umm where do these numbers come from? Thin air. Out of a hat. They are arbitrary and without merit.

Let's look at an example that is limiting a ranged attacker to 3 reloads.

Why is that a limitation?

One must surmise that they have more attacks available, otherwise its moot, right?

So the FAQ is claiming that it is reasonable to deny a character their full attack based solely on limiting free actions! I'm sorry, but prior to this, such a thing would be considered highly cheesy on the part of the DM.

When people reasonably ask 'does this apply to bows', one would not see any reason why it would not with the same reasoning. Yet, we are told that this would not be reasonable, such a DM would be abusing the trust the game puts in them to make those calls.

Thus I concluded that the devs had a (understandable) bias against gunslingers here.

What it winds up being is even worse. This was only a feint to provoke discussion. And I cry foul to that.

-James

Digital Products Assistant

Locking. Passive aggressiveness, personal insults, and insensitive comments don't help when discussing game mechanics or opinions on how to run games. This kind of thing doesn't help foster a friendly community.

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