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


Rules Questions

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Neo2151 wrote:
Once again, the book is descriptive text. The faq was coming from an assumption that the RAW doesn't/didn't support.

I mean... that faq is still up though.

faq says no


But the new FAQ is saying that a Bastard Sword is a one-handed weapon when wielded in one hand. And you can wield a one-handed weapon in one hand without the proper proficiency, albeit at a -4 penalty.

So the linked FAQ is now obsolete, regardless that it still exists.


All I'm really saying is that they could have treated these weapons the same way Dueling Swords and Sawtooth Sabers work, and everything would be hunky dory.
I'm assuming the only reason this isn't the case is because "errata" is a four-letter word to the DT.

Liberty's Edge

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There really is no hope for the human race.

Liberty's Edge

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
HangarFlying wrote:
Grimmy wrote:

So does this complement and expand on the previous faq, or replace it? Because this one doesn't mention whether or not you can use a BS 1-handed at -4 without EWP.

Is that still a no-go, or have they back-peddled?

Nothing has changed with the fact that you must have the EWP to use a BS one-handed.
Since the old FAQ said that the reason it was totally unusable in 1H was because it was a 2H weapon, and since the new FAQ spells out that it's a 1H weapon, the question of 'wield at -4/cannot wield' should be re-visited.

Re-read the new FAQ. It reiterates that you need the EWP to wield it one handed. Seriously, you need to get over it.

Liberty's Edge

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
HangarFlying wrote:

Yeah, no. Seriously. No. You are wrapped up on the MWP. A medium BS two-handed is martial, yes but a large BS is not a martial for a medium creature, even though it is used in two hands.

A medium creature wields a large BS in two hands only because the medium BS can be wielded in one hand. If a medium creature does not have the EWP, he may not wield a large BS at all.

You made that up!

Seriously, where in the CRB, the old FAQ or the new FAQ (which I love BTW) does it say what you claim?

I did? Huh, I find your baseless assertion laughable considering that's how the inappropriately sized weapons rules work.

Liberty's Edge

Neo2151 wrote:

But the new FAQ is saying that a Bastard Sword is a one-handed weapon when wielded in one hand. And you can wield a one-handed weapon in one hand without the proper proficiency, albeit at a -4 penalty.

So the linked FAQ is now obsolete, regardless that it still exists.

Yes, you can wield the bastard sword in one hand...if you have the EWP.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
So the book says you can't, the FAQ says you can't, then clearly you must be able to..?

The book gives a description of the sword being unwieldy as a reason for it being exotic. If you want to read the description as a rule then you cannot use a bastard sword one-handed EVER because the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat does not remove that restriction.

Or you could, y'know, not be silly and not treat a description as crunch. That would work too. Better in fact, because people actually can swing around 4-foot sword with one hand, albeit in a clunky fashion. I know, I have one. I'm not trained in the thing.

So we have one very questionable reading of the rules that breaks it because it conflicts with other portions of the rules while also creating a situation that is asinine when looking at reality.

And then we have the other reading which...is none of the above, and works.

Hmmm....decisions, decisions.

Liberty's Edge

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Just to be sure, this FAQ applies to the Bastard sword, Dwarven waraxe, Great Terbutje, and Katana?

This is important, so I need to be sure.

Yes. Though, we both know there are people out there who will say "no" just because the FAQ doesn't specifically call out those weapons...which makes me weep for our children's future.


Ashiel wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
So the book says you can't, the FAQ says you can't, then clearly you must be able to..?

The book gives a description of the sword being unwieldy as a reason for it being exotic. If you want to read the description as a rule then you cannot use a bastard sword one-handed EVER because the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat does not remove that restriction.

Or you could, y'know, not be silly and not treat a description as crunch. That would work too. Better in fact, because people actually can swing around 4-foot sword with one hand, albeit in a clunky fashion. I know, I have one. I'm not trained in the thing.

So we have one very questionable reading of the rules that breaks it because it conflicts with other portions of the rules while also creating a situation that is asinine when looking at reality.

And then we have the other reading which...is none of the above, and works.

Hmmm....decisions, decisions.

I still do not understand why it's flavor text. Yes, I see how it could be read as flavor text, and that might have confused people, who would then ask questions, leading to a FAQ; but why, when that FAQ came out and supported the text as crunch, do you still insist it is flavor?


It's two handed. Go pick up a bastard sword some time - come around to my gamesroom, I have plenty - and ponder how, without exceptional strength and a fair bit of practice, you could possibly wield one proficiently with one hand.

The FAQ is clear to me.

Silver Crusade

Grimmy wrote:
I guess Malachi. Seems like a bit of a stretch to me though.

New FAQ says that when wielded in 2H it counts as a 2H weapon.

New FAQ says that when wielded in 1H it counts as a 1H weapon.

Since we are talking about wielding it in one hand, then we treat it as a 1H weapon.

Therefore, if it cannot be used in 1H without EWP, the reason it can't cannot be that it is, or counts, as a 2H weapon!

So the reason for denying non-proficient 1H wielding has fallen away. Without that reason, what is the reason? The old FAQ was the result of thinking of the BS as a 2H weapon, this is no longer the case when wielded in 1H, therefore there either needs to be another reason (what?) or that position should be reversed, so that the normal PF non-proficiency rules apply without modification.


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Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I still do not understand why it's flavor text. Yes, I see how it could be read as flavor text, and that might have confused people, who would then ask questions, leading to a FAQ; but why, when that FAQ came out and supported the text as crunch, do you still insist it is flavor?

Because it's actually a description. It literally in the same sentence says that it's an exotic weapon because it's a 4 ft. blade that is unusable without special training. It then breaks into a separate sentence that describes a special mechanic that it has beyond being an exotic weapon.

But here's the big part, and this is one of the best ways to figure out when deciding between reading A or reading B. Which one produces the best result?

If we take the description as a mechanic then the thing is busted to hell. The FAQ isn't worth two cents in this case because there is no way to obtain "special training". The only thing that the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat does is remove the -4 penalty for being non-proficient. That's all it does. It does not give "special training" allowing you to wield the thing in 1 hand. Nothing in the rules grants that, so this reading results in an error.

Now when you compound that with the fact that yes, you CAN pick up a bastard sword in reality and swing the damned thing around (albeit with difficulty if you're not well practiced with it) it not only has a mechanical disconnect but it also has a reality disconnect to boot.

Meaning the mechanics fail both from a gaming perspective and from a non-gaming perspective.

Thus, we can accept that "This blade is too big to use in one hand without special training, thus it's exotic" is a description since it's describing the weapon and "A character may wield this weapon in two hands as a martial weapon" in the next sentence as a mechanic.

What's the result? Oh my god, mechanics that work! It's a weapon that has a -4 penalty if you try to swing the sucker around with one hand, that goes away when you get a feat to gain proficiency, that you can swing in 2 hands as a martial weapon without the special proficiency.

Golly gee willikers, that's peachy keen. Who'da thunk it could be so simple, efficient, well written, and make so much gosh darned sense. :P


Interesting that there are still people on both sides of this after multiple faq's. I respect the points-of-view here, I don't get the feeling anyone is just trying to score rhetorical points as we have seen happen in some of these rules debates.

It seems the devs are a little resistant to choosing language that bears the kind of scrutiny rules text will inevitably come under in such a mechanics driven game.

Or maybe they are just really busy and can't read through long rules discussion threads to understand what is actually being debated in full before making rulings.

Either way this faq process is still quite a boon to the game.


Ashiel wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I still do not understand why it's flavor text. Yes, I see how it could be read as flavor text, and that might have confused people, who would then ask questions, leading to a FAQ; but why, when that FAQ came out and supported the text as crunch, do you still insist it is flavor?

Because it's actually a description. It literally in the same sentence says that it's an exotic weapon because it's a 4 ft. blade that is unusable without special training. It then breaks into a separate sentence that describes a special mechanic that it has beyond being an exotic weapon.

But here's the big part, and this is one of the best ways to figure out when deciding between reading A or reading B. Which one produces the best result?

If we take the description as a mechanic then the thing is busted to hell. The FAQ isn't worth two cents in this case because there is no way to obtain "special training". The only thing that the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat does is remove the -4 penalty for being non-proficient. That's all it does. It does not give "special training" allowing you to wield the thing in 1 hand. Nothing in the rules grants that, so this reading results in an error.

Now when you compound that with the fact that yes, you CAN pick up a bastard sword in reality and swing the damned thing around (albeit with difficulty if you're not well practiced with it) it not only has a mechanical disconnect but it also has a reality disconnect to boot.

Meaning the mechanics fail both from a gaming perspective and from a non-gaming perspective.

Thus, we can accept that "This blade is too big to use in one hand without special training, thus it's exotic" is a description since it's describing the weapon and "A character may wield this weapon in two hands as a martial weapon" in the next sentence as a mechanic.

What's the result? Oh my god, mechanics that work! It's a weapon that has a -4 penalty if you try to swing the sucker around with one hand, that goes away when you get a...

And yet I read it as "cannot use without training; thus an exotic weapon" to mean "you cannot use one handed without EWP" but all I have to back me up is the FAQ...


Neo2151 wrote:
Once again, the book is descriptive text. The faq was coming from an assumption that the RAW doesn't/didn't support.

No it isn't. It's completely operative. You cannot wield a BS in one hand without the EWP feat. That has not changed.


You're using common sense to make a connection that isn't actually there.
In many situations, this is a good thing. In rules minutiae it's not.

As an example, I'll direct you back to my Grappling example: Common sense says that if I'm grappling you, you wouldn't have the kind of maneuverability or leverage needed to make a full-attack at me. However, the rules here say specifically that you can. Common sense has to take a back seat.

"Special training" is never defined as anything. You assume it means "the exotic weapon prof. feat" but the RAW never actually calls that out.

And I'll ask my rhetorical question again, but feel free to answer this time: Can I select a Bastard Sword as my weapon of choice for the Heirloom Weapon trait? Why/why not?


PDT wrote:

For example, if you are wielding it one-handed (which normally requires the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat), it is treated as a one-handed weapon.

***

If you are wielding it with two hands (whether or not you have the Exotic Weapon Proficiency to wield it with one hand), it is treated as a two-handed weapon.

Note that it does not say "which normally requires the EWP feat to be done proficiently".

This FAQ in no way overrides the previous FAQ. It is still operational. You can call the text descriptive all you want, it does not matter. Unless and until they actually overwrite the previous FAQ, it is still controlling. Bastard Swords and the like cannot be wielded in one hand without the EWP feat.

PDT wrote:
Without that special training, wielding a bastard sword one-handed is as impossible as wielding a greatsword one-handed.

This is specifically responding to the question: 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?

At this point, you must have the EWP feat to one-hand a Bastard Sword.


Ashiel wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
I still do not understand why it's flavor text. Yes, I see how it could be read as flavor text, and that might have confused people, who would then ask questions, leading to a FAQ; but why, when that FAQ came out and supported the text as crunch, do you still insist it is flavor?

Because it's actually a description. It literally in the same sentence says that it's an exotic weapon because it's a 4 ft. blade that is unusable without special training. It then breaks into a separate sentence that describes a special mechanic that it has beyond being an exotic weapon.

But here's the big part, and this is one of the best ways to figure out when deciding between reading A or reading B. Which one produces the best result?

If we take the description as a mechanic then the thing is busted to hell. The FAQ isn't worth two cents in this case because there is no way to obtain "special training". The only thing that the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat does is remove the -4 penalty for being non-proficient. That's all it does. It does not give "special training" allowing you to wield the thing in 1 hand. Nothing in the rules grants that, so this reading results in an error.

Now when you compound that with the fact that yes, you CAN pick up a bastard sword in reality and swing the damned thing around (albeit with difficulty if you're not well practiced with it) it not only has a mechanical disconnect but it also has a reality disconnect to boot.

Meaning the mechanics fail both from a gaming perspective and from a non-gaming perspective.

Thus, we can accept that "This blade is too big to use in one hand without special training, thus it's exotic" is a description since it's describing the weapon and "A character may wield this weapon in two hands as a martial weapon" in the next sentence as a mechanic.

What's the result? Oh my god, mechanics that work! It's a weapon that has a -4 penalty if you try to swing the sucker around with one hand, that goes away when you get a feat to gain proficiency, that you can swing in 2 hands as a martial weapon without the special proficiency.

Golly gee willikers, that's peachy keen. Who'da thunk it could be so simple, efficient, well written, and make so much gosh darned sense. :P

Suffice it to say that SKR disagrees with you.

Can you wield a greatsword one-handed non-proficiently with a –4 penalty? No.

So why would you think you can do so with a bastard sword? The sword description says:

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.

Do you have that special training (EWP)? No? Then you can't wield it one-handed.

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

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.

Feel free to argue "I don't have the necessary proficiency to wield a greatsword in one hand, so I'm just going to do it without proficiency, at a –4." That argument has no merit.
So why would you think you can make that very same argument, except with a bastard sword? The sword's own description says the only way you can use it one-handed is if you have special training (the EWP feat), so if you don't have that special training, you can't use it one-handed. You can't just say "I wield it without proficiency" and ignore the item's explicit limitations.

I think you're being willfully ignorant about understanding this because this ruling differs from how you wanted it to work.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
fretgod99 wrote:
The only reason I mentioned that possibility is because in two separate early posts in this thread, you pretty much said the only possible solutions were ones that did not include the clarification from the previous FAQ. And I didn't say that was absolutely your purpose, but the evidence made it certainly seem like a distinct possibility.

Yes, both possibilities negated the earlier FAQ, that I agree with.

Your conclusion was flawed because of the following :

Method A was to errata it to make it a two-handed martial weapon, and give it a special ability that said 'you may wield this two-handed weapon as a one-handed weapon if you take EWP'. This negated the original FAQ because it explicitly did what the FAQ was trying to do implicitly.

So basically, you'd be arguing that I was sneakily trying to get around the original FAQ by having it moved to the core code as errata. Yep, I gotta admit, that was darn sneaky of me!!! :)


Grimmy wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Once again, the book is descriptive text. The faq was coming from an assumption that the RAW doesn't/didn't support.

I mean... that faq is still up though.

faq says no

what is wrong with people? No means no.


SKR wrote:

Can you wield a greatsword one-handed non-proficiently with a –4 penalty? No.

So why would you think you can do so with a bastard sword?

And if he were asking me, here's my reply: "Because a Bastard Sword is not listed as a two-handed weapon, so comparing it to a Greatsword is meaningless?"

And then I would break out the book, point to the weapon chart, and ask him where on the Two-Handed weapon lists does a Bastard Sword exist?

Because at the end of the day a Bastard Sword IS a one-handed weapon. How a character wields it might change, but what it IS doesn't.


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."

—Pathfinder Design Team, 07/20/13


You can quote the original faq all you want, but if the sword IS a two-handed weapon, then why is it listed as a one-handed weapon?

Edit - Except now, with the new faq, who knows what it is? It's not a two-handed weapon because it's it's a one-handed weapon. And it's also not a one-handed weapon because it's actually a two-handed weapon.
/headdesk

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

*imagines SKR reading this thread with one hand on the mouse, and the other on a bottle of JD*

Paizo Employee Official Rules Response

Inappropriate posts removed. Thread closed. The issue is clear. Stop bickering. Observe the Paizo.com message board rules.

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