Is a Bastard Sword a one-handed or a two-handed weapon?


Rules Questions

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Durngrun Stonebreaker, in general (there are always exceptions) I don't think people are trying to "prove Paizo wrong". In this thread I think I have only seen one anti-Paizo comment.

Some of us just feel that if we see a problem we should respectfully point it out. I do not understand why some people do not see that as a valuable thing.

Do we see the intent of the FAQ? Yes.
Does the FAQ contradict the Rules? Yes.
Should that contradiction be brought to Paizo's attention? Of course it should. Correcting such contradictions should be a goal.

Now, if people disagree whether or not the FAQ contradicts the Rules that is one thing. They can debate that :)
But, telling people that the intent is clear isn't helpful if the letter is contradictory. Similarly, telling people that they shouldn't respectfully inform Paizo of a problem is also not helpful.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

Durngrun Stonebreaker, in general (there are always exceptions) I don't think people are trying to "prove Paizo wrong". In this thread I think I have only seen one anti-Paizo comment.

Some of us just feel that if we see a problem we should respectfully point it out. I do not understand why some people do not see that as a valuable thing.

Do we see the intent of the FAQ? Yes.
Does the FAQ contradict the Rules? Yes.
Should that contradiction be brought to Paizo's attention? Of course it should. Correcting such contradictions should be a goal.

Now, if people disagree whether or not the FAQ contradicts the Rules that is one thing. They can debate that :)
But, telling people that the intent is clear isn't helpful if the letter is contradictory. Similarly, telling people that they shouldn't respectfully inform Paizo of a problem is also not helpful.

- Gauss

And let me be clear, I have no problem with you Guass. You have been clear, concise, and straight forward. Even in our disagreements you have been polite and respectful (even the time you told me not to post anymore). It is those claiming that the game will come crashing down upon all our heads because of this, that I was referring to. Those claiming, because you cannot wield a bastard sword in one hand without training, that now up is down and black is white, are who I disdain.

(Plus I always like to throw in a little snark!)


Durngrun Stonebreaker, perhaps they are showing what the wording means. That doesn't mean that is how they would play it in their own game.

Point is, there is a contradiction and it should be cleared up. People saying that the intent is clear or that the rules are clear are not addressing the contradiction and that is what creates these debates.

As a sidenote, my name is spelled Gauss (a before u). You often spell it Guass (u before a). :)

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

Durngrun Stonebreaker, perhaps they are showing what the wording means. That doesn't mean that is how they would play it in their own game.

Point is, there is a contradiction and it should be cleared up. People saying that the intent is clear or that the rules are clear are not addressing the contradiction and that is what creates these debates.

As a sidenote, my name is spelled Gauss (a before u). You often spell it Guass (u before a). :)

- Gauss

Son of a...

I double checked before I posted and I still got it wrong!
My apologies, sir.


Gauss wrote:

Zhayne, if you are ignoring the FAQ and treat it as it does not exist then why you are responding to my post regarding the discrepancy between the FAQ and the CRB?

- Gauss

I'm telling you how to correct the discrepancy. Ignore the FAQ, as it fails at clarifying things (its goal) and only muddles them further.


Zhayne, how is a statement to ignore the FAQ relevant to a thread that is requesting a correction to that FAQ?

This isn't a rules thread where someone is asking for guidance. It is a thread specifically intended to produce a correction to the FAQ and as such your advice isn't helpful.

- Gauss


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Durngrun Stonebreaker, may I please ask you to tone back on the hostility in your posts. I would prefer not to have this thread locked because someone begins insulting others by saying they are whiney crybabies who are making up that the sky is falling.

Nobody has claimed this is a threat to the game. Nobody has said this will cause Armageddon if it's not fixed. Nobody has started building Ragnarok Shelters over this.

There is a legitimate factual rule contradiction between the FAQ and the CRB/UE, and we are asking that that contradiction be fixed. There's multiple ways to fix it, ways that include keeping it as the dev's apparently intend it, and ways that minimize the errata requirements. This thread's purpose is to ask that the contradictions be addressed one way or the other, not to 'gain browney points by winning the intarwebs' as you suggested.

Please do not take this discussion in that direction. It doesn't gain us anything except another flame war. It's what happened in every thread concerning the 3 free actions FAQ (which I will note, you posted rather inflammatory posts about people in those as well, and that those threads devolved into insults, and got locked) that was so.. shall I say Vigorously.. defended on Paizo's behalf was altered due to the feedback.

Liberty's Edge

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There is so much wrong in this thread, I don't know where to begin.

1) For the purposes of which category the BS falls in (for hardness, hp, etc), it is a one-handed weapon.
2) If you have the EWP, you may wield it one handed.
3) If you don't have the EWP, you may not wield it one-handed—you don't get the option to wield it one-handed with a penalty...unless you house rule it.
4) If you don't have the EWP, you may wield it two-handed without penalty...assuming you are proficient with all martial weapons.
5) The katana and dwarven waraxe (for non-dwarves) work exactly like the BS.
6) If the magus has the EWP, then yes, it can do its spell combat thingy with the BS; if not, then no, the magus may not use the BS anymore than he could use a greatsword.

The FAQ doesn't contradict anything. Nor does any developer comments on the issue. The mechanics of the BS haven't changed in 13 years.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

@HangarFlying

1) The FAQ and Dev Comment directly contradict this, calling it a two-handed weapon, not a one-handed weapon.
2) No one has disagreed with this.
3) This is not reflected in the CRB/UE, and is only stated directly in the dev commentary, not the FAQ. The FAQ says the weapon is a two-handed weapon, which directly contradicts the CRB/UE.
4) Nobody has disagreed with this.
5) That is likely the RAI, but it is not what is written, and if they are, then all 3 need to use the same rules and wording (and all 3 should be either two-handed martials that can be wielded one-handed with EWP or they should be one-handed that follow the rules in the CRB/UE or they should be errata'd to have that called out specifically).
6) Nobody has disagreed with this, and arguing that they have is disingenuous since you make it sound like someone is arguing that blue is not blue.

Liberty's Edge

Interestingly, when I asked this very question, I was pretty much told I was an idiot for asking the question.

FWIW, my FAQ request received a "No Response Needed" tag.

EDIT: I'm not saying that MDT is an idiot. Just chuckling at the irony.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

LOL

No problem, wouldn't be the first time today I was called an idiot. :) My wife got that one out of the way about 8:30 this morning.

Liberty's Edge

LOL


Quote:


3) This is not reflected in the CRB/UE, and is only stated directly in the dev commentary, not the FAQ. The FAQ says the weapon is a two-handed weapon, which directly contradicts the CRB/UE.

Except the CRB does say this. Why do you refuse to accept this?

Silver Crusade

mdt wrote:

LOL

No problem, wouldn't be the first time today I was called an idiot. :) My wife got that one out of the way about 8:30 this morning.

Very efficient. : )

Sets you up for the day. The only way is up!

Liberty's Edge

Regarding the OP, I re-read the quotes you posted and they don't contradict each other at all. For the character who does not have the Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Sword feat, it is a two-handed weapon. Now, that doesn't mean that the bastard sword somehow mysteriously looses hit points and hardness just because you take the EWP feat. The bastard sword will always be sundered as a one-handed weapon—it is listed as a one-handed weapon, as confirmed by the SKR post.

The guy without the EWP can't use it as a one-handed weapon. He can't even use it one-handed as an improvised weapon (well, he could, but he wouldn't be getting the normal bastard sword damage). But, he can use it as a two-handed weapon. Can he use a greatsword one-handed? No. Can he use the greatsword one-handed as an improvised weapon? No (well, yeah sort of...as I mentioned before). But if some jerk troll comes up to sunder this bastard sword, how many hp does it have? 5, because it's a one-handed weapon (err...if that's how many hp a one-handed weapon has, I don't have the chart accessible at the moment...meh, the actual number isn't really relevant right now).

Anyways, the fact that one dev post confirms that it is a one-handed weapon does not contradict another post that says it is a two-handed weapon for someone who does not have the EWP. The second point doesn't change the first point.

Silver Crusade

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Quote:


3) This is not reflected in the CRB/UE, and is only stated directly in the dev commentary, not the FAQ. The FAQ says the weapon is a two-handed weapon, which directly contradicts the CRB/UE.
Except the CRB does say this. Why do you refuse to accept this?

Your CRB says it's a two-handed weapon?

One of us has a CRB worth a fortune! Mine has it in the one-handed section of the weapon tables. If yours has it in the two-handed section, one of our copies has a massive misprint!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
HangarFlying wrote:
Lot's of stuff already covered in the thread.

*sigh*

Ok, is it a two-handed weapon or a one-handed weapon?

It is listed as a one-handed weapon. The FAQ says it is a two-handed weapon.

There is no 'it is not an inconsistency' between those two statements.

The same developer said 'It is a one handed weapon' then two posts later called it a 'two handed weapon'. There is no 'it is not an inconsistency' between those two statements.

The fluff text of the weapon says it is two big to be used one-handed without special training. That is great. It is, however, not covered under the rules, and it is not explicit that this is some sort of exception to the normal listed rules.

Under the normal rules, a one-handed exotic weapon can be used without proficiency with a -4 penalty. Nothing in the fluff for the weapon negates this. Saying it's too big to be used without training as a one-handed weapon which is why it's exotic is explaining why it is on the exotic table instead of the martial table.

If the weapon is really a two-handed weapon (which is what the FAQ and Developer said), then there are a lot rules that come into play based on that, and it should undergo an errata to move it into the two-handed category. This affects class abilities, hit points of the weapons, two-weapon fighting, and a bunch of other things.

I will repeat, I am fine with it being errata'd, or I'm fine with the FAQ being fixed, but pretending that there's no inconsistency when the same developer two posts apart called it a one-handed and two-handed weapon doesn't really answer the issues.


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This is nothing but mincing words. We all understand how the bastard sword works. What more do we want? There is nothing so complicated about the way the bastard sword works that you need it FAQed or can't understand it.

And if you understand how the sword works, then every rule applicable to it follows suit from that.

I think people are intentionally overcomplicating something that is easily understood in an effort to chase down some cheese. If not that, then I have to seriously reconsider my position that gamers are, for the most part, relatively intelligent people. (Or maybe it's just that many gamers have obsessive minds and cannot let simple matters go.)

It's simple:

If you can wield martial weapons, then you can wield a bastard sword in two hands with no penalty. If you cannot wield martial weapons, you are penalized.

If you take the EWP feat in bastard sword, you can wield it in one hand.

It then follows, only if you have the feat, that you can qualify for all the various abilities that require a sword to be wielded in one hand.

There is nothing in any way complicated about this that is not intentionally (and unnecessarily) being made to be complicated. And this is yet another in a long, sad line of "FAQ candidate nominations" that has no real business being made.

Silver Crusade

Am I The Only One? wrote:

This is nothing but mincing words. We all understand how the bastard sword works. What more do we want? There is nothing so complicated about the way the bastard sword works that you need it FAQed or can't understand it.

And if you understand how the sword works, then every rule applicable to it follows suit from that.

I think people are intentionally overcomplicating something that is easily understood in an effort to chase down some cheese. If not that, then I have to seriously reconsider my position that gamers are, for the most part, relatively intelligent people. (Or maybe it's just that many gamers have obsessive minds and cannot let simple matters go.)

It's simple:

If you can wield martial weapons, then you can wield a bastard sword in two hands with no penalty. If you cannot wield martial weapons, you are penalized.

If you take the EWP feat in bastard sword, you can wield it in one hand.

It then follows, only if you have the feat, that you can qualify for all the various abilities that require a sword to be wielded in one hand.

There is nothing in any way complicated about this that is not intentionally (and unnecessarily) being made to be complicated. And this is yet another in a long, sad line of "FAQ candidate nominations" that has no real business being made.

You and I are on the same page here. This is just being made way more complicated than it needs to be.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I really wish this wasn't necessary.

I know some feel that it isn't, and prior to the FAQ, and the Dev comments surrounding it, they would have been correct.

The moment it was alluded to the idea that, at some point, in some circumstance, it is treated as something other than an One-handed weapon, it became necessary.

Really, it doesn't matter if you cannot wield it in one hand without a feat, or not. That just makes it an exception to the rules, for that purpose.
So, it remains an One-handed weapon, that you need a feat to wield properly.

That's fine.

When they allude to the idea, that those without the right feat, you treat it as an entirely different classification of weapon, then trouble starts.

So, for that, it needs a FAQ.


There is nothing being made more complicated than it needs to be when trying to get an FAQ fixed. It clearly does not match the rules in the CRB/UE, so it needs to be addressed. Simple as that.

You can't honestly say that the FAQ doesn't say the Bastard Sword is a Two-Handed weapon can you? And it's listed as a One-Handed weapon in the books. Right? If both those things are true, then there is a contradiction that needs to be addressed. I'm with the people that don't care which way it is resolved, just that it needs to be.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Captain Emberwrath wrote:


You and I are on the same page here. This is just being made way more complicated than it needs to be.

And people can disagree over that. But disagreeing is not justification to post a ranting diatribe that insults anyone you don't agree with. This refers to the post you replied to, in it's total, effectively reposting a rant that was a blatant attempt to insult and belittle, rather than debate.


mdt wrote:


The fluff text of the weapon says it is two big to be used one-handed without special training. That is great. It is, however, not covered under the rules, and it is not explicit that this is some sort of exception to the normal listed rules.

Why is it fluff text?

How does a net work? A whip?
Where are the rules for them?


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Quote:


3) This is not reflected in the CRB/UE, and is only stated directly in the dev commentary, not the FAQ. The FAQ says the weapon is a two-handed weapon, which directly contradicts the CRB/UE.
Except the CRB does say this. Why do you refuse to accept this?

Your CRB says it's a two-handed weapon?

One of us has a CRB worth a fortune! Mine has it in the one-handed section of the weapon tables. If yours has it in the two-handed section, one of our copies has a massive misprint!

Well I'll admit my book is old but it says a bastard sword is a one handed weapon to big to be used without special training. What does yours say?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
mdt wrote:


The fluff text of the weapon says it is two big to be used one-handed without special training. That is great. It is, however, not covered under the rules, and it is not explicit that this is some sort of exception to the normal listed rules.

Why is it fluff text?

How does a net work? A whip?
Where are the rules for them?

You know, I started to post again all the things I've posted 30 times before, but it's useless. You don't agree there's a difference, I get that. The whip has no fluff in it at all, it's strictly crunch. The bastard sword is different, it actually has fluff, and describes what the weapon is. If you look closely, you'll see most weapons are either all fluff, or all crunch, or there's a specific distinction where the fluff cuts off and the crunch starts. Same with the net, all crunch.

And even if what you say is true, and the crunch is there, not fluff, it still doesn't answer all the questions since the question brought up by the FAQ is about the FAQ calling it a two-handed weapon (not a one-handed used as a two). The CRB and FAQ call it two different things. One calls it a one-handed, the other a two-handed. You do see that right?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:


Well I'll admit my book is old but it says a bastard sword is a one handed weapon to big to be used without special training. What does yours say?

Mine says it's a one-handed weapon. Great, our books agree. Great!

Now, the FAQ says it's a two-handed weapon. Not you can use it as a two-handed, but that it is a two-handed weapon.

See the conflict there?


We can boil this down to the following question:
Does the actual wording (not the intent) of the FAQ state that the Bastard Sword is a two-handed weapon?

FAQ wrote:

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.)

Edit 7/26/13: Correction of a typo in the second sentence that said "you can't wield a two-handed weapon in two hands."

It is the bolded sentences that are the problem. They are basically stating that the Bastard Sword is a two-handed weapon that can be used in one-hand with special training.

If that is true, then the Core Rulebook is wrong and the Bastard Sword is a two-handed weapon with 10 hp and all the other effects a two-handed weapon has.

If that is not true, then the FAQ's wording is flawed and probably needs revision.

- Gauss

P.S. For those of you that will argue that we should not take this that literally, please remember that many people will not know the intent. They will see the FAQ and figure that the book is incorrect due to the FAQ.


mdt wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:


Well I'll admit my book is old but it says a bastard sword is a one handed weapon to big to be used without special training. What does yours say?

Mine says it's a one-handed weapon. Great, our books agree. Great!

Now, the FAQ says it's a two-handed weapon. Not you can use it as a two-handed, but that it is a two-handed weapon.

See the conflict there?

YES and if you have read my posts, I have said that!

And I've said the FAQ doesn't change the CRB.
And I've said I believe they were merely giving an explanation as to why it cannot be wielded one handed with the minus four.
And I've said I thought it was worded poorly.
And if that is your complaint, that's fine.

What I disagree with is trying to say this small contradiction somehow destroys our entire understanding of the bastard sword. I also disagree that "cannot be used untrained" is fluff. Or that certain weapons cannot have special qualities.

(And anything BBT says. I always disagree with that!) (emoticon that denotes I'm joking)


Durngrun Stonebreaker, I don't think that our understanding of the Bastard Sword that is 'destroyed'. For my part, this is just an effort to clarify a contradiction between FAQ and RAW.

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:

What I disagree with is trying to say this small contradiction somehow destroys our entire understanding of the bastard sword. I also disagree that "cannot be used untrained" is fluff. Or that certain weapons cannot have special qualities.

(And anything BBT says. I always disagree with that!) (emoticon that denotes I'm joking)

It doesn't destroy anyone's entire understanding of the bastard sword, but creates enough confusion that a FAQ is required.

So, we will have to agree, to disagree.
Unless you disagree to disagree, in which case, we agree.

Meaning, no matter what, you agree with something.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:

What I disagree with is trying to say this small contradiction somehow destroys our entire understanding of the bastard sword. I also disagree that "cannot be used untrained" is fluff. Or that certain weapons cannot have special qualities.

(And anything BBT says. I always disagree with that!) (emoticon that denotes I'm joking)

It doesn't destroy anyone's entire understanding of the bastard sword, but creates enough confusion that a FAQ is required.

So, we will have to agree, to disagree.
Unless you disagree to disagree, in which case, we agree.

Meaning, no matter what, you agree with something.

NOOOOOOO!!!!!

Sczarni

Quote:
The measure of how much effort it takes to use a weapon (whether the weapon is designated as a light, one-handed, or two-handed weapon for a particular wielder) is altered by one step for each size category of difference between the wielder's size and the size of the creature for which the weapon was designed. For example, a Small creature would wield a Medium one-handed weapon as a two-handed weapon. If a weapon's designation would be changed to something other than light, one-handed, or two-handed by this alteration, the creature can't wield the weapon at all.

A medium creature can wield a small Greatclub one handed =D Just at a -2.

Or in this case, a magus could wield a small katana with one hand at -2 =D


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
lantzkev wrote:
Quote:
The measure of how much effort it takes to use a weapon (whether the weapon is designated as a light, one-handed, or two-handed weapon for a particular wielder) is altered by one step for each size category of difference between the wielder's size and the size of the creature for which the weapon was designed. For example, a Small creature would wield a Medium one-handed weapon as a two-handed weapon. If a weapon's designation would be changed to something other than light, one-handed, or two-handed by this alteration, the creature can't wield the weapon at all.

A medium creature can wield a small Greatclub one handed =D Just at a -2.

Or in this case, a magus could wield a small katana with one hand at -2 =D

Actually, he could because the small katana would be wielded as a light weapon for him, because it's a one-handed weapon.

This get's us back to the idea that if it's supposed to be a two-handed weapon, then it needs to be erratta'd. In this case, the small katana is technically wielded as a light weapon because it's small and the wielder is medium. He could use it as an off-handed weapon without additional penalties beyond the normal two-handed and the size penalty. But a two-weapon fighting medium character could not do that with a small great sword, because it would be a two-handed weapon used as a one-handed. He could use it as a main hand weapon, but not as the off-hand weapon because it wouldn't be light.

Again, either the katana/war axe/bastard sword are Two-Handed (per the fAQ) and follow those rules, or they are one-handed (and follwo those rules).


I'd just like to add that, in addition to what I've said about the RAW, that it really makes no sense that a weapon that can be used one-handed, no penalty, with special training, can't physically be wielded at all by someone without the training. Because that is what the current FAQ says: you can be proficient with the one-handed bastard sword, but you can't be non-proficient in it, you just cause a system memory overrun and your character's sword crashes.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
RJGrady wrote:
I'd just like to add that, in addition to what I've said about the RAW, that it really makes no sense that a weapon that can be used one-handed, no penalty, with special training, can't physically be wielded at all by someone without the training. Because that is what the current FAQ says: you can be proficient with the one-handed bastard sword, but you can't be non-proficient in it, you just cause a system memory overrun and your character's sword crashes.

This is exactly what I fought for, prior to the FAQ, when it was being discussed.


So can someone else ask mdt if any of the confusion is cleared up by reading the description of the bastard sword as crunch instead of fluff?

Scarab Sages

So for the non-proficient, a medium sized character wielding a medium bastard sword can only wield it with two hands, yet the same character wielding a small bastard sword treats it as a light weapon because it is listed as one-handed!? That doesn't seem right yet it is RAW.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

No, it's not cleared up Durngrun. I'll save you the trouble. I've also said that several times.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Horselord wrote:
So for the non-proficient, a medium sized character wielding a medium bastard sword can only wield it with two hands, yet the same character wielding a small bastard sword treats it as a light weapon because it is listed as one-handed!? That doesn't seem right yet it is RAW.

One of the inconsistencies that Durngrun says isn't an inconsistency.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Horselord wrote:
So for the non-proficient, a medium sized character wielding a medium bastard sword can only wield it with two hands, yet the same character wielding a small bastard sword treats it as a light weapon because it is listed as one-handed!? That doesn't seem right yet it is RAW.

These are some of the same arguments presented before.

That is really not what is in question anymore.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The important question is:

For any purpose, at any time, is the Bastard Sword, appropriately sized, considered, and count as, a two-handed weapon?

That's it.

That's the whole of it.


Horselord wrote:
So for the non-proficient, a medium sized character wielding a medium bastard sword can only wield it with two hands, yet the same character wielding a small bastard sword treats it as a light weapon because it is listed as one-handed!? That doesn't seem right yet it is RAW.

That doesn't seem right does it? What if we said this:

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.

Now let's look at your example, non proficient character cannot use it one handed but can use it two handed as a martial weapon. Reducing the weapon's size reduces its "handed ness" So the weapon (treated as a two handed weapon for the non proficient) can now be treated as a one handed weapon.

Seems fine to me.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So, you're saying houserule it now? Doesn't that indicate to you that the FAQ needs to be modified and the weapon errata'd?

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