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


Rules Questions

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Free Actions: How many free actions can I take in a round?

Spoiler:

A: Core Rulebook page 181 says,
"Free Action: Free actions consume a very small amount of time and effort. You can perform one or more fr ee actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM."
Core Rulebook page 188 says,
"Free actions don't take any time at all, though there may be limits to the number of free actions you can perform in a turn."

Although there are no specific rules about how many free actions you may take in a round, 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.
Part of this is for the sake of game balance (as some abilities used together may allow you to perform an unlimited number of useful free actions on your turn).
Part is for realism (as just because you can do something as a free action doesn't really mean you could realistically perform that action 5 or more times in 6 seconds).
Part is to speed up gameplay (as one character taking a dozen actions on his turn slows down the game compared to a character who only takes a standard action and move action on her turn).

Again, these are guidelines, and the GM can allow more or fewer free actions as appropriate to the circumstances.

Example: In one round you could speak, cease concentrating on a spell, dismount (with a DC 20 Ride check), drop a weapon or shield, and drop prone, as each is a different free action.
Example: In one round you could reload a pistol three times (using alchemical cartridges and Rapid Reload [pistol]), or speak and reload a pistol twice, as you are repeating the same free action multiple times.


I mean why even limit it so much as an example... seems to nerf gunslingers, archers, etc.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Free Actions: How many free actions can I take in a round?

As many as your GM lets you. There've been a few threads over this...

Starbuck_II wrote:
I mean why even limit it so much as an example... seems to nerf gunslingers, archers, etc.

No idea! That's probably one of the big reasons people do talk about it. Apparently you can't talk and reload at the same time and the example isn't even a number as high as your BAB. So... People talk about that.


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Start here. When you are done with that one, there are more.


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Thanks for lifting the rock Starbuck was under, BigDTBone :)

Basically, yes. This is all about gunslingers. The intent of it is not to limit archers, but just remind GMs that they can impose reasonable limits when a gunslinger is using 12+ free actions a round to shoot two double barrelled pistols while rapid shotting and hasted.


1) False: It says that the GM can increase or decrease that limit appropriately and 3 of the same action is a good starting point. For actions related to tactical situations, that limit can be increased if appropriate.

2) People constantly claim that ranged builds are OP, bows blow crossbows out of the water, etc. etc. If these attacks actually were limited to only 3 per round, it may serve to balance out the balance between attackers using ranged weapons vs attackers using melee.

3) The rules explicitly call out that Bow users (and those using thrown weapons with quick draw, for that matter) can attack at their normal attack rate. This explicitly overrides any free action limits that may be in place so if "preparing" your attack is a free action, you are limited only by the number of attacks you're able to perform; by contrast, weapons with economically significant action requirements (ie. swift, move, etc) are more limited.

Digital Products Assistant

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Removed some posts. Accusations of trolling are not cool.


Cheapy wrote:

Thanks for lifting the rock Starbuck was under, BigDTBone :)

Basically, yes. This is all about gunslingers. The intent of it is not to limit archers, but just remind GMs that they can impose reasonable limits when a gunslinger is using 12+ free actions a round to shoot two double barrelled pistols while rapid shotting and hasted.

Please stop saying this is all the intent is.

The intent seems pretty clearly to cut gunslingers down way past the TWF dangling double barrel craziness. In fact, various developer comments in several threads about this seem to indicate that the example given of limiting a gunslinger to 3 reloads a round is the intent.


thejeff wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Thanks for lifting the rock Starbuck was under, BigDTBone :)

Basically, yes. This is all about gunslingers. The intent of it is not to limit archers, but just remind GMs that they can impose reasonable limits when a gunslinger is using 12+ free actions a round to shoot two double barrelled pistols while rapid shotting and hasted.

Please stop saying this is all the intent is.

The intent seems pretty clearly to cut gunslingers down way past the TWF dangling double barrel craziness. In fact, various developer comments in several threads about this seem to indicate that the example given of limiting a gunslinger to 3 reloads a round is the intent.

Right, I should've said that that's the question that spawned this.

I'm pretty well aware of those comments :)


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thejeff wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Thanks for lifting the rock Starbuck was under, BigDTBone :)

Basically, yes. This is all about gunslingers. The intent of it is not to limit archers, but just remind GMs that they can impose reasonable limits when a gunslinger is using 12+ free actions a round to shoot two double barrelled pistols while rapid shotting and hasted.

Please stop saying this is all the intent is.

The intent seems pretty clearly to cut gunslingers down way past the TWF dangling double barrel craziness. In fact, various developer comments in several threads about this seem to indicate that the example given of limiting a gunslinger to 3 reloads a round is the intent.

A solution in search of a problem? Until level 13 there is no "TWF dangling double barrel craziness" (of the sort that is too powerful - doing it before level 13 is insanely stupid) and if it is your major problem at level 13+ then your players are not very creative or rule savvy. Yes at level 13 a pistolero (and only a pistolero) gets to the point where they can do massive damage for a great deal of money using TWF double barreled pistols, but then again a 1/2 BAB class with a little creativity can do more damage. The game system just doesn't work well at the higher levels, and if that was the intent to stop level 13+ TWF dangling double barrel craziness it would have been better to just change the level 13 no misfire rule of pistolero pistol training.


Correct. If the design team had wanted to simply limit gunslingers to their normal BAB attacks, they would have used that as an example of a reasonable guideline. What they did instead is nerf the gunslinger while maintaining plausible deniability.

Either way, even if the intent really was to scale back the gunslinger to be weaker than other ranged classes, the FAQ is almost objectively a terrible FAQ, as it didn't even succeed in doing that. If it wasn't intended to do that, then it was even worse.

Why didn't they just FAQ weapon cords and/or double-barreled firearms? That would have solved 90% of the problems with crazy sixteen-shooter pistoleros. Weapon cords were terribly designed to begin with (with all respect to the designer who phoned that one in).


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The developers believe that it is reasonable to limit gunslingers to three reloads. They believe it is reasonable that talking should limit unrelated free actions. They believe it is reasonable to limit a given PC to 5 overall free actions. They believe that it is reasonable that repeated free actions should actually decrease the number of free actions you get (instead of focusing on one thing increasing efficiency, it lowers it?).

THAT is the problem with the FAQ. Not that they outright made a change to the rules. Instead they changed what amounts to "RAI". Yes, it is still up to DM discretion. But when push comes to shove, you go check the rules as written and rules as intended. Rules as written? Unlimited free actions at DM's discretion. Rules as intended as of this FAQ? Unlimited free actions at DM's discretion, but 5 is the reasonable limit, gunslingers should reasonably get 3 reloads max, and it is reasonable to make talking inhibit unrelated free actions.


It's a reference to multitasking. You can do 5 unrelated things because you're, essentially, doing many of them at the same or overlapping times. You can do the same thing maybe 3 times because you're not doing it three times all at once; it's three times spread out over the 6 seconds of your turn.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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My rogue with the Stand Up talent can no longer do infinite push-ups each turn. :(


fretgod99 wrote:
It's a reference to multitasking. You can do 5 unrelated things because you're, essentially, doing many of them at the same or overlapping times. You can do the same thing maybe 3 times because you're not doing it three times all at once; it's three times spread out over the 6 seconds of your turn.

I can understand where you're coming from, but this "suggestion" makes it so that doing 5 completely unrelated things with your hands is more efficient than doing one thing 5 times, which makes no sense whatsoever.

By this logic, it is more efficient in a factory to have 5 people doing 5 jobs instead of having 5 people doing one job each in order.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Start here. When you are done with that one, there are more.


cnetarian wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Thanks for lifting the rock Starbuck was under, BigDTBone :)

Basically, yes. This is all about gunslingers. The intent of it is not to limit archers, but just remind GMs that they can impose reasonable limits when a gunslinger is using 12+ free actions a round to shoot two double barrelled pistols while rapid shotting and hasted.

Please stop saying this is all the intent is.

The intent seems pretty clearly to cut gunslingers down way past the TWF dangling double barrel craziness. In fact, various developer comments in several threads about this seem to indicate that the example given of limiting a gunslinger to 3 reloads a round is the intent.

A solution in search of a problem? Until level 13 there is no "TWF dangling double barrel craziness" (of the sort that is too powerful - doing it before level 13 is insanely stupid) and if it is your major problem at level 13+ then your players are not very creative or rule savvy. Yes at level 13 a pistolero (and only a pistolero) gets to the point where they can do massive damage for a great deal of money using TWF double barreled pistols, but then again a 1/2 BAB class with a little creativity can do more damage. The game system just doesn't work well at the higher levels, and if that was the intent to stop level 13+ TWF dangling double barrel craziness it would have been better to just change the level 13 no misfire rule of pistolero pistol training.

Ehh, you can pull off some pretty crazy stunts at level 5 with TWF double-barreled pistols. Like eight ranged attack rolls (TWF penalties? Touch AC LOL.) with full Dex to damage *and* Up Close and Deadly on as many shots as you have grit points, with the grit coming back whenever you drop a poor bastard. (Iterative doubled, Iterative doubled, Off-hand doubled, Rapid-shot doubled). Without the silly "your hand is free even though a gun is hanging from it via a two-foot cord" concept, you only get this craziness on the first round, and you have to drop your off-hand weapon to do it. From then on out, you're back down to six attacks.

Having six fully primary-attribute-enhanced attacks even without TWF and weapon cords is pretty sick, but that's the fault of double-barreled firearms. Suggested mod: Double-barreled firearms never target touch AC and apply a cumulative -2 to further attacks that round when firing both barrels simultaneously. Alternately, they never target touch AC nor deal precision damage when double-fired. Much better.


Alarox wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
It's a reference to multitasking. You can do 5 unrelated things because you're, essentially, doing many of them at the same or overlapping times. You can do the same thing maybe 3 times because you're not doing it three times all at once; it's three times spread out over the 6 seconds of your turn.

By this logic, it is more efficient in a factory to have 5 people doing 5 jobs instead of having 5 people doing one job each in order.

Not really. Same principle applies.

EDIT: You edited before I replied.

We're not talking about a factory. And no, this logic doesn't imply that, anyway.


Alarox wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
It's a reference to multitasking. You can do 5 unrelated things because you're, essentially, doing many of them at the same or overlapping times. You can do the same thing maybe 3 times because you're not doing it three times all at once; it's three times spread out over the 6 seconds of your turn.

By this logic, it is more efficient in a factory to have 5 people doing 5 jobs instead of having 5 people doing one job each in order.

Good point, I agree with you that dropping prone is clearly broken as a free action and should definitely be errata'd to a swift action :)


fretgod99 wrote:
Alarox wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
It's a reference to multitasking. You can do 5 unrelated things because you're, essentially, doing many of them at the same or overlapping times. You can do the same thing maybe 3 times because you're not doing it three times all at once; it's three times spread out over the 6 seconds of your turn.

By this logic, it is more efficient in a factory to have 5 people doing 5 jobs instead of having 5 people doing one job each in order.

Not really. Same principle applies.

EDIT: You edited before I replied.

We're not talking about a factory. And no, this logic doesn't imply that, anyway.

Yes, it DOES imply that. How does it not?

If I do X task 5 times in a row with my hands, how will I be LESS efficient than doing 5 different things in a row with my hands? <-------------

Key words: with. my. hands. Not with my feet, and my hands, and my head, and my knees, and my elbows. All with my hands.


BigDTBone wrote:
Start here. When you are done with that one, there are more.

Like Oliver, "Can I have some more, sir"


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Starbuck_II wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Start here. When you are done with that one, there are more.
Like Oliver, "Can I have some more, sir"

More? He wants more? ok..

Here's a good one.
This one was fun.
Ooooh, Pathfinder Society.
Quite nice as well.

Edit: fixed 3rd link, added the 4th.


Alarox wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
Alarox wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
It's a reference to multitasking. You can do 5 unrelated things because you're, essentially, doing many of them at the same or overlapping times. You can do the same thing maybe 3 times because you're not doing it three times all at once; it's three times spread out over the 6 seconds of your turn.

By this logic, it is more efficient in a factory to have 5 people doing 5 jobs instead of having 5 people doing one job each in order.

Not really. Same principle applies.

EDIT: You edited before I replied.

We're not talking about a factory. And no, this logic doesn't imply that, anyway.

Yes, it DOES imply that. How does it not?

If I do X task 5 times in a row with my hands, how will I be LESS efficient than doing 5 different things in a row with my hands? <-------------

Key words: with. my. hands. Not with my feet, and my hands, and my head, and my knees, and my elbows. All with my hands.

Because, despite how you order them for the purposes of game turns, when you're performing multitudinous free actions in the same turn, you're not really doing them sequentially, for the most part. Quite typically, you do some or all of them simultaneously. You don't take a five foot step to the side and then drop prone, like your edited example. You drop prone while sliding to your left.

However, doing the same thing sequentially necessarily does not benefit from simultaneity. You have to complete one task before beginning the next. Not the same if the tasks are different.

And your examples weren't all with your hands. This is the first time you've discussed doing things all with your hands. When did hands come into play? You can move the goalposts if you want, but that changes the entire conversation.

EDIT: Ah, I see where the "hands" come in. You edited again. My response was posted after your first edit of that post, not the second. When I responded, the line with the hands wasn't there.

Liberty's Edge

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Again, these are guidelines, and the GM can allow more or fewer free actions as appropriate to the circumstances.

Use your brain people!!!


RedDogMT wrote:

Again, these are guidelines, and the GM can allow more or fewer free actions as appropriate to the circumstances.

Use your brain people!!!

Yes, we all know. That's the point of the FAQ and that's been beaten to death. However, the point is what the developers think is "reasonable"... well you know.


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Quoting Sean K. Reynolds:

The game accurately models what humans can do, for at least some levels of the game. That's so you can understand what your character is capable of, because it's what a real human should be capable of.

So the game spends some of its rules text defining how far you can jump, how easily you can swim, how far you can recognize details, how likely you are to hit something, and how quickly you heal. Because if a 1st-level character couldn't jump 5 feet with a running start, that would break suspension of disbelief. As would a 1st-level character who could swim 20 feet in 1 second. Or hitting a stationary target 100 feet away 100% of the time. Or recovering from near-mortal wounds in a day.

So you accept that the rules model those things.

But at some point, you want human characters to start to bend, and even break, the limits of what a real human could do in real life. And you want them to do it without magic.

So, for example, the monk has an extraordinary ability to fall farther, safely, and you accept that the ability starts at level 4, and improves over time, until the monk is eventually able to fall any distance (so long as he's able to make contact with the wall occasionally, meaning he's catching on ledges, crashing through clotheslines, and so on, slowing his fall).

And that's why a fighter eventually gets armor mastery, the extraordinary ability to ignore damage when wearing armor, so that a hit that penetrates the armor (hits the armor's AC) does less or no damage (presumably because the fighter knows just how to turn his body so the armor catches the attack on the strongest part).

But you're still accepting that there are certain limits to what a human can do in the game without magic. You accept that a ftr20 can make 4 effective attacks in 6 seconds, or perhaps 7 attacks in 6 seconds if using TWF, ITWF, and GTWF, and you accept that as a limit.

And, presumably, a gunslinger20 with two fully-loaded revolvers could fire 4 shots with one and 3 with the other, for a total of 7 attacks in 6 seconds. You accept that as a limit.

But if someone suggests that reloading multiple shells (in addition to taking all 7 of those attacks in 6 seconds) is exceeding the limit of what a person should be able to do in 1 round, you start bringing up the idea that the character is "superhuman."

So how come the gunslinger gets surplus actions (more actions than the attacks from BAB and GTWF) from being "superhuman," and the fighter doesn't? If the gunslinger also gets all those reload actions, what other cool (and damage-aiding) free actions should the fighter get on his turn?

Part of the problem with "he can do this because he's superhuman" is because you aren't defining where the line is between "human" and "superhuman." Is it 6th level? 10th level? 15th? 20th? The line seems to be "wherever is convenient that I my character gets all the actions I want so long as I can justify it in the rules."

There are a lot of ways to cheese the game rules. A lot of those ways arise because of the game's action economy, which is rickety and needs an overhaul. But just because there are ways to exploit the action economy doesn't change that it's cheese to do so.

* Weapon cords were written before the firearm rules.
* As were the free action rules.
* The intent of weapon cords was to prevent you from losing a weapon, not to allow you to free-action-drop and quick-draw a second set of weapons for more attacks.
* The reload time for firearms was a deliberate brake to slow down firearm damage compared to bows (because firearms attack touch AC and therefor hit more often), so that bows would remain a viable character option in the game (i.e., game balance).
* The limitations to the action economy setup means that once you improve a reload time to a swift action, the only way you can improve it again is to make it a free action.
* Which means you're in the "you can take any number of free actions on your turn" zone, which bypasses the damage brake for firearms.
* Which means you theoretically could quick-draw 100 firearms per round, reload all of them, and drop them in your square, because of that word "any."
* Which you have to agree is total cheese.
* So the problem is that you don't agree with what is a "reasonable" number of free action reloads per turn.
* But when a gunslinger11 with GTWF and two revolvers is able to shoot 6 times in one round, and the archer7 is only getting 5, and the gunslinger is attacking touch AC, that's a real problem. If it were just the 1st round, that wouldn't be so bad, but unlimited reloads means the gunslinger can do this every round.
* So it's a combo that not only obliterates the archer's damage, but has the gunslinger making a full set of attacks and a bunch of reload actions, which means her hands are like lightning compared to the sword-swinging fighter—and the fighter actually has to be in melee range of his opponents, so the gunslinger is clearly better.

So... problems.


blahpers wrote:
Ehh, you can pull off some pretty crazy stunts at level 5 with TWF double-barreled pistols. Like eight ranged attack rolls (TWF penalties? Touch AC LOL.) with full Dex to damage *and* Up Close and Deadly on as many shots as you have grit points, with the grit coming back whenever you drop a poor bastard. (Iterative doubled, Iterative doubled, Off-hand doubled, Rapid-shot doubled). Without the silly "your hand is free even though a gun is hanging from it via a two-foot cord" concept, you only get this craziness on the...

No you cannot unless the moon is full, Jupiter is in the 3rd House, you have 2 lucky pennies in left sock AND your sacrifice of your first-born was accepted by the dice gods. At level 5 a pistolero will misfire on a 1-2 with the first two attacks from each pistol (assuming the pistols were not loaded with alchemical cartridges) and a 1-3 on attacks with alchemical cartridges, and if the gunslinger fires a pistol after a misfire that number increases by 2, and misfires always miss. A second misfire with a pistol and it blows up doing damage to the user as it they were the target until the gunslinger spends a standard action (no grit) or a move action (costs 1 grit) to clear it, and that's certainly not an option if both misfires happen at the same time.

non-alchemical cartridge attack (2 rolls) 18% chance of one misfire, 1.0% chance of exploding, 81% chance of no misfire

alchemical cartridge attack with non-broken pistol 25.5% chance of one misfire, 2.25% chance of exploding, 72.25% chance of no misfire.

alchemical cartridge attack with broken (1 misfire) pistol 43.75% chance of exploding, 56.25% chance of no misfire.

Making 8 attack rolls in the first round without a misfire will happen about one time in three, and without an explosion will happen about one time in two. Making 8 rolls a round for two rounds without an explosion will happen less than one time in ten. Making 8 rolls for 3 rounds without an explosion is so unlikely that I would call your home to inquire about your children. Have one pistol explode on you and you're not TWFing anymore, have both pistols explode on you and it's time to consider becoming a fighter.

Yes, using double pistols like that before level 13 is a pretty crazy stunt, suicidal type crazy. Grab a 20 sided and test it yourself and see how much misfires destroy the combat potential of the TWF double barreled gunslinger, see if you can go 3 rounds of 8 attack rolls without an explosion.


If the thing misfires, drop that gun and pull another, or quick clear it and take a couple fewer attacks for a round or two. The odds of misfiring both barrels at once are quite low, as you mentioned, and there are ways of negating a misfire or reducing its likelihood even at that level. At worst, you blow up a weapon and take a little damage from one of the barrels. Toss it and finish the fight, then get your buddy to use mending to fix it back up. Misfires are annoying but manageable, and they're rarely a disaster even if you blow up your gun (which almost never happens).


Mending can't fix destroyed weapons. Nor can it fix magic weapons. Oh and good luck getting quickdraw into your built before level 13.

Try again.


Mending can absolutely fix destroyed weapons. It can even fix destroyed magical weapons, but it won't restore the enchantment without make whole.

Not having Quick Draw is barely an impediment at all. One turn where you only get two attacks is not a major impediment. And again, you rarely have to worry about it. This doesn't rank as "suicidal-type crazy" at all.


Also you could attack full out untill you have a misfire and then slow down.


And then speed right back up again after one bum turn.


Cheapy wrote:

Thanks for lifting the rock Starbuck was under, BigDTBone :)

Basically, yes. This is all about gunslingers. The intent of it is not to limit archers, but just remind GMs that they can impose reasonable limits when a gunslinger is using 12+ free actions a round to shoot two double barrelled pistols while rapid shotting and hasted.

Then perhaps they should have done something specific to guns / gunslngers, like removing paper cartridges from the game or not letting them stack with Rapid Reload, or something.

Rather than make blanket statements about a universal action type that every character makes use of. Statements which make archers, throwers, and countless other characters unplayable past the first few levels.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I have to agree. I'm not so much upset about them trying to shut down cord juggling pistols.

I'm rather upset that rather than fix the underlying issue (hint, based on dev comments, it's not free actions), they went the route of putting out a 'suggestion' that caused a half-dozen threads, 30 or 40 flame wars, and as printed breaks core archery builds for just about every archery class, plus crossbows, quickdraw/thrown knife builds, and just about everything other than 'I swing a sword' builds.

Note that the commentary by the devs about it not being intended is understood by me, but as printed on the FAQ, it absolutely does affect everything, and it still reads as affecting everything unless you dig down into forums to find their intent.

As a customer, I should not have to dig through 100,000 posts in forums to find out the intent of the developers FAQ post.. It should be complete in and of itself, and not require a dozen posts in forums to 'clarify' the 'clarification'.


Hear, hear!


In reality off course you can not attack with a melee weapon 5 times in 6 seconds. And the same goes for a bow or a gun.
The rules bend reality for more awesome playing. And since it seems to bend the rules evenly for every weapon, it seems pretty fair that everyone get's their 'unfair' share of the load of attacks they can launch.
May I remind everyone that guns(even flintlocks) are a significantly better weapon over swords and bows. So if you are complaining that firearms are better weapons, then you are right. It's the main reason I will not allow them in one of my campaigns as a GM. I think that they change the game to a cowboys vs. indians type of game with the unfair advantage going to the firearmed equiped cowboys (no offence intended).
For the speed of play and Heroics the rate off attacks was put in place as it is. I do not think you can reasonably argue that one weapon will adher to the inflated number off attacks while the other does not(unless the were slower in reality as well, like the crossbow in comparison to the bow).
The only thing that you can reasonably argue is the amount of ammunition available to a character. Try dangling 2 or 3 quivers from your hip in reality. Bowmen ,as well as firearmusers, limited by the amount of reloads they have available and the faster they fire, the sooner they will be out of ammunition and will have to take an action to retrieve another quiver from a backpack (rangers have a spell providing them with unlimited mundane ammunition for the duration of the spell though).


blahpers wrote:
If the thing misfires, drop that gun and pull another, or quick clear it and take a couple fewer attacks for a round or two. The odds of misfiring both barrels at once are quite low, as you mentioned, and there are ways of negating a misfire or reducing its likelihood even at that level. At worst, you blow up a weapon and take a little damage from one of the barrels. Toss it and finish the fight, then get your buddy to use mending to fix it back up. Misfires are annoying but manageable, and they're rarely a disaster even if you blow up your gun (which almost never happens).

at 1,750 GP each for non-enchanted, non-masterwork double pistols (not to mention ammo at 6GP an alchemical cartridge), how many double pistols can you afford? And if you can afford to carry a dozen double pistols why bother with reloading at all? Single pistols are manageable with misfires, but they have a lower base chance of misfire and at only 1,000 GP each (with gunslingers able to start with one) it is much easier to have backup weapons.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Also you could attack full out untill you have a misfire and then slow down.

Yes misfires are manageable, but at a 27.75% chance of misfire/explosion for each of your 4 attacks (2 rolls) after the first round you can pretty much count on a misfire or explosion every round. You can even save your grit for quick clearing and spend it to quick clear as a move action and make one attack (2 rolls) (provided no explosions or both pistols don't misfire in one round). But if you are managing the misfires than you cannot "pull off some pretty crazy stunts at level 5 with TWF double-barreled pistols. Like eight ranged attack rolls (TWF penalties? Touch AC LOL.) with full Dex to damage *and* Up Close and Deadly on as many shots as you have grit points, with the grit coming back whenever you drop a poor bastard." Sure you can go all out and explode your pistols and have to throw your expensive ammo at foes, OR you can produce decent damage and manage the misfires, but you cannot do both at the same time.

That sure is some crazy stunt that needs to be nerfed, a gunslinger archetype using two mundane pistols that cost almost as much each as a +1 composite long bow can spend outrageous amounts of money on ammo with the risk being useless in combat if her pistols explode to produce damage on par with a vanilla fighter specialized in bows who is making 4 attacks per round (2 BAB, rapid shot, multi-shot) using a + 1 composite long bow who adds STR to damage as well as +1 from weapons training and +2 from weapon specialization. Oh amd the gunslinger gets to use touch AC provided her enemies are kind enough to stand within 20' of her at only a cost of -8 to hit which applies even when they aren't within 20' (-4 TWF, -4 firing both barrels) while the poor vanilla fighter has to take a range penalty to hit if the target is over 110' away.


My alchemist gunfighter had four double pistols (one for each hand).


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The basic rule about free actions hasn't changed a single bit with that FAQ entry. All it does is toss out some arbitrary numbers a GM can use if he so chooses. Each GM can continue to do as he wishes.


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The nonsense with TWF-Double Pistol Pistoleros is far from being the only free action abuse on the forums. Far, far from it, in fact.

Two Weapon Fighting with a single short sword as your only weapon for example.

During the recent "Two Weapon Fighting with a Two-Handed Weapon" debate nearly every proposed "work-around" presented by the "For It" crowd was accomplished through gross free action abuse along with weapon cord abuse.

Add to that the bad habit that everyone has of hitting the FAQ button for even the littlest things that should be subject to GM's discretion all because "Only an official ruling will satisfy ME" and you have a self-created recipe for disaster. I have warned many posters here before to,"Be Careful What You Wish For", but people keep on flailing away at that FAQ button like well-conditioned gerbils after a food pellet.

This FAQ simply reminds GM's that they do have the power to stop this type of abuse. By remaining flexible, while simultaneously supplying the GM with suggested guidelines complete with suggested numbers this FAQ has empowered GM's to shut down any argumentative, rules-savvy player bent on exploiting free actions in his tracks.

In my humble opinion, that is what all this uproar is really about.

All the Rules are Guidelines. It is in the Rules.,
Weslocke of Phaz-Daliom


cnetarian wrote:
Making 8 attack rolls in the first round without a misfire will happen about one time in three, and without an explosion will happen about one time in two. Making 8 rolls a round for two rounds without an explosion will happen less than one time in ten. Making 8 rolls for 3 rounds without an explosion is so unlikely that...

There are, regrettably, a fair number of stackable means of reducing or even eliminating misfire. Amongst them: Alternate racial favored class abilities, weapon enchantments and other magic items, class and class archtype abilities...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Weslocke wrote:


This FAQ simply reminds GM's that they do have the power to stop this type of abuse. By remaining flexible, while simultaneously supplying the GM with suggested guidelines complete with suggested numbers this FAQ has empowered GM's to shut down any argumentative, rules-savvy player bent on exploiting free actions in his tracks.

In my humble opinion, that is what all this uproar is really about.

All the Rules are Guidelines. It is in the Rules.,
Weslocke of Phaz-Daliom

No, that's not what the FAQ does.

On it's face, it says 'you should not allow someone to talk and fire 3 arrows in a round'. It requires digging into 100,000 posts in the forum to find the developers intent with the clarification.

I will repeat. An FAQ that requires you to search a forum with hundreds of thousands of posts to find the real intent behind it is detrimental to the FAQ system and bad policy on the developers part.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
mdt wrote:
On it's face, it says 'you should not allow someone to talk and fire 3 arrows in a round'

Actually no it doesn't, because no where save on these boards, have I ever ran into anyone that considered the entire sequence of iterative bow firing to be nothing more than a single full attack action, not an activity composed of a bunch of free actions.

A speed archer isn't drawing arrows form a quiver anyway, she's either holding them in the hand that hold the bow, Naavi style, or pulling them from where she's got them stuck in the ground.


LazarX wrote:
mdt wrote:
On it's face, it says 'you should not allow someone to talk and fire 3 arrows in a round'

Actually no it doesn't, because no where save on these boards, have I ever ran into anyone that considered the entire sequence of iterative bow firing to be nothing more than a single full attack action, not an activity composed of a bunch of free actions.

A speed archer isn't drawing arrows form a quiver anyway, she's either holding them in the hand that hold the bow, Naavi style, or pulling them from where she's got them stuck in the ground.

Probably true if you're trying to be realistic.

In game mechanics, drawing an arrow is a free action. Nocking it is part of the attack action.

I'm not at all certain it's mechanically legal to fire a bow while holding arrows in one hand. It's a two-handed weapon, requiring both hands free. If I can hold arrows in one of those hands, can I also hold a dagger? Or a sword? To make AoO?
Nor do I leave arrows stuck in the ground if I move.

More generally I don't think, before this FAQ, anyone would really have considered firing a single pistol multiple times to be a bunch of free actions instead of a single full attack action. The crazy dangling TWF thing, maybe, but the FAQ calls out a straight full attack sequence with a pistol as being limited by free actions.

It's unclear if slings, crossbows and thrown weapons are limited the same way or not. Despite having to take a feat to get down to free actions.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
[I'm not at all certain it's mechanically legal to fire a bow while holding arrows in one hand. It's a two-handed weapon, requiring both hands free. If I can hold arrows in one of those hands, can I also hold a dagger? Or a sword? To make AoO?

You're not holding the arrows in a position you can strike with them as they're being held against the bow. They're not being "wielded" so to speak, so no AOO possibility there.

There are some videos on speedshooting on Youtube, you can see what I mean there. Or just boot up your copy of "Avatar". The Naavi hold their arrows flat againt the bow itself while shooting, but then again, they don't have quivers.


LazarX wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'm not at all certain it's mechanically legal to fire a bow while holding arrows in one hand. It's a two-handed weapon, requiring both hands free. If I can hold arrows in one of those hands, can I also hold a dagger? Or a sword? To make AoO?

You're not holding the arrows in a position you can strike with them as they're being held against the bow. They're not being "wielded" so to speak, so no AOO possibility there.

There are some videos on speedshooting on Youtube, you can see what I mean there. Or just boot up your copy of "Avatar". The Naavi hold their arrows flat againt the bow itself while shooting, but then again, they don't have quivers.

No, I get how they do it. As I said, it probably would be more realistic that way.

I'm talking game mechanics. Can you fire a bow while holding something else in one hand? What are the limits on what you can hold? What's the mechanical difference between "holding" and "wielding"? What type of action is it to switch between the two?
In the game mechanics you're assumed to be drawing an arrow for each shot, which was never a problem because it's a free action. Of course, per SKR, it's now even less than a free action. Though he still said nothing about grabbing a handful of arrows.


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mdt wrote:
Weslocke wrote:

All the Rules are Guidelines. It is in the Rules.,
Weslocke of Phaz-Daliom

No, that's not what the FAQ does.

On it's face, it says 'you should not allow someone to talk and fire 3 arrows in a round'. It requires digging into 100,000 posts in the forum to find the developers intent with the clarification.

I will repeat. An FAQ that requires you to search a forum with hundreds of thousands of posts to find the real intent behind it is detrimental to the FAQ system and bad policy on the developers part.

No, it does not say that you should.

It says that you can.

Big Difference

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