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


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Ok,
I know some people are going to be saying this is beating a dead horse, but it's not. I simply want to know if a bastard sword is a one-handed weapon or a two-handed weapon.

Ultimate Equipment wrote:


Exotic Weapons
One-Handed Melee Weapons
Bastard sword

Per Ultimate Equipment (and the CRB, and every other weapon table and chart in the system), a Bastard Sword is listed as a one-handed weapon. This is not like a Lance, which is listed as a two-handed weapon but can be wielded one-handed.

The weapon is listed on the table as a one-handed weapon. I thought this was pretty bog standard simple. If it's listed as a one-handed weapon, it's a one-handed weapon, regardless of any special qualities that let you treat it some other way.

Bastard Sword wrote:


Price 35 gp
Type exotic
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. You can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon.

Note the text of the weapon gives it a special quality that it can be used as a martial weapon if you use it two-handed. It doesn't say it is a two-handed weapon, it says you can use it as a Martial weapon if you use it two-handed. So, so far it all seems very straight forward, until this...

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."

—Pathfinder Design Team, 07/19/13

But now, in the FAQ, the Bastard Sword is suddenly a two-handed weapon that has a special property that allows it to be wielded in one-hand. This doesn't match the rules as printed. This isn't listed as an errata that they will fix in future printings, this is listed as 'the rule is this is a two-handed martial weapon you can wield in one-hand as exotic with a EWP feat'. But that is not the rules printed. Per the printed rules, it's a one-handed weapon with a special ability to be wielded in two hands as a martial weapon.

This is even confused by the developers in posts...

Sean K Reynolds, 7-19-2013 wrote:


A bastard sword is a one-handed exotic melee weapon, just like it's listed on the table. Link
Sean K Reynolds, 7-19-2013 wrote:


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

Except here, just two posts later, he's saying it is a two-handed weapon, not a one-handed weapon. The weapon should not 'shift' categories. We don't say that a large sized dagger is a one-handed weapon when a medium creature wields it, we say he can wield it as it were a one-handed weapon with a penalty. The dagger doesn't stop being a light weapon for a large creature, it remains a light weapon. A medium creature can simply use it as a one-handed weapon. The same verbiage is used for Bastard Sword, it can be used as a martial if it's wielded in two-hands.

No other one-handed exotic weapon can't be used one-handed with a non-proficiency penalty. If you are not proficient with a sawtooth sabre or a whip, you can still use it one handed with a penalty.

If the devs intention is that this is a two-handed martial weapon with a special ability to be used as a one handed weapon if you have EWP, then the weapon should be moved to the Two-Handed Martial table in the CRB and UE via errata. As it is, it is a one-handed exotic weapon, not a two-handed martial weapon.

This is very important, as class features are based off the weapon classification, and this classification should not change based on the knowledge of the wielder. For example, a Black Blade for a magus can currently be a Bastard Sword, even if the Magus doesn't have the EWP for black blades, because it's still a one-handed weapon, not a two-handed weapon. If it's a two-handed weapon, then it's not a valid black blade choice.


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A bastard sword would not be an allowable weapon for a magus to use with spell combat, unless they have the EWP: Bastard Sword feat. if they have that, then yes, a bastard sword would be allowable. If not, they would have to wield it 2 handed, and would not be able to cast spells in the same round.

Sczarni

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it's a one handed weapon.

If you're not specifically trained it in you can only wield it two handed.

no FAQ needed.

Does class ability like say blackblade look for 1h Slashing? it qualifies.

Does class ability say "when wielding one handed, or when you have a hand free?" doesn't qualify unless you're trained in it.


Actually katana have the same language.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
havoc xiii wrote:
Actually katana have the same language.

Exactly, and yet a katana can be wielded one handed with a penalty.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Carrick wrote:
A bastard sword would not be an allowable weapon for a magus to use with spell combat, unless they have the EWP: Bastard Sword feat. if they have that, then yes, a bastard sword would be allowable. If not, they would have to wield it 2 handed, and would not be able to cast spells in the same round.

I agree, and I never said it was.

What I said was, if it's one-handed, it's valid to be a black blade. If it's a two-handed weapon it is not a valid black blade weapon selection.

Those are two entirely different questions.

Silver Crusade

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Carrick wrote:
A bastard sword would not be an allowable weapon for a magus to use with spell combat, unless they have the EWP: Bastard Sword feat. if they have that, then yes, a bastard sword would be allowable. If not, they would have to wield it 2 handed, and would not be able to cast spells in the same round.

Sure they could, since removing a hand from a two-handed weapon before you cast the spell, and replacing it on the weapon after you cast the spell, are both free actions.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Theconiel wrote:

The Bastard Sword is a one-handed weapon. If you do not have EWP, you may either use it two-handed and treat it as a martial two-handed weapon (for a magus, no spell combat, but no non-proficiency penalty) or you may use it one-handed, but take the -4 penalty and use spell combat. Remember, you can use the weapon even if you are not proficeint with it.

If a wizard wants to use a dwarven waraxe, he can.

Not according to the FAQ above, per that FAQ, it's a one-handed exotic weapon, but it can't be used one-handed without the EWP, but the dwarven waraxe, also an exotic one-hander, can be used at the -4 penalty without the ewp one handed.

That's sort of my point, after the FAQ, it's stated as being both a one-handed and a two-handed, both in the FAQ and by the Devs. Due to requirements for weapon handedness category, and those categories being binary (IE: You are either one-handed or not), then we need to know if it's a one-handed (RAW) or a two-handed sword (FAQ).

Either it's a one-handed, and a magus can have a black blade that's a Bastard Sword, or it's a two-handed, and a Magus can't have a black blade that is a Bastard Sword and it needs to be errata'd to be a two-handed Martial weapon on the tables.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Carrick wrote:
A bastard sword would not be an allowable weapon for a magus to use with spell combat, unless they have the EWP: Bastard Sword feat. if they have that, then yes, a bastard sword would be allowable. If not, they would have to wield it 2 handed, and would not be able to cast spells in the same round.
Sure they could, since removing a hand from a two-handed weapon before you cast the spell, and replacing it on the weapon after you cast the spell, are both free actions.

Nope, that was shut down by another FAQ. You can't wield a two-handed weapon and cast a spell, since you have to have the free hand free for your entire turn.

Silver Crusade

mdt wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Carrick wrote:
A bastard sword would not be an allowable weapon for a magus to use with spell combat, unless they have the EWP: Bastard Sword feat. if they have that, then yes, a bastard sword would be allowable. If not, they would have to wield it 2 handed, and would not be able to cast spells in the same round.
Sure they could, since removing a hand from a two-handed weapon before you cast the spell, and replacing it on the weapon after you cast the spell, are both free actions.
Nope, that was shut down by another FAQ. You can't wield a two-handed weapon and cast a spell, since you have to have the free hand free for your entire turn.

Bah, I missed that FAQ. I took an extended absence from the boards to do other things and came back and everything was different.


mdt wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Carrick wrote:
A bastard sword would not be an allowable weapon for a magus to use with spell combat, unless they have the EWP: Bastard Sword feat. if they have that, then yes, a bastard sword would be allowable. If not, they would have to wield it 2 handed, and would not be able to cast spells in the same round.
Sure they could, since removing a hand from a two-handed weapon before you cast the spell, and replacing it on the weapon after you cast the spell, are both free actions.
Nope, that was shut down by another FAQ. You can't wield a two-handed weapon and cast a spell, since you have to have the free hand free for your entire turn.

Only if the spell has a casting time of 1 round, rather than a standard or full round action. This might mess with casters who summon and have no trait that speeds up their summoning spells, but it's otherwise rarely an issue. FAQ suggests the GM could reasonably limit a character to changing their grip once to get a free hand, then twice to put their hand back.


RJGrady wrote:
mdt wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Carrick wrote:
A bastard sword would not be an allowable weapon for a magus to use with spell combat, unless they have the EWP: Bastard Sword feat. if they have that, then yes, a bastard sword would be allowable. If not, they would have to wield it 2 handed, and would not be able to cast spells in the same round.
Sure they could, since removing a hand from a two-handed weapon before you cast the spell, and replacing it on the weapon after you cast the spell, are both free actions.
Nope, that was shut down by another FAQ. You can't wield a two-handed weapon and cast a spell, since you have to have the free hand free for your entire turn.
Only if the spell has a casting time of 1 round, rather than a standard or full round action. This might mess with casters who summon and have no trait that speeds up their summoning spells, but it's otherwise rarely an issue. FAQ suggests the GM could reasonably limit a character to changing their grip once to get a free hand, then twice to put their hand back.

Spell combat requires you to have a free hand, this includes the casting part and the attacking part.

Silver Crusade

mdt wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Carrick wrote:
A bastard sword would not be an allowable weapon for a magus to use with spell combat, unless they have the EWP: Bastard Sword feat. if they have that, then yes, a bastard sword would be allowable. If not, they would have to wield it 2 handed, and would not be able to cast spells in the same round.
Sure they could, since removing a hand from a two-handed weapon before you cast the spell, and replacing it on the weapon after you cast the spell, are both free actions.
Nope, that was shut down by another FAQ. You can't wield a two-handed weapon and cast a spell, since you have to have the free hand free for your entire turn.

What FAQ was that? Quote, please!


Ok, that is a good point.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
mdt wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
Carrick wrote:
A bastard sword would not be an allowable weapon for a magus to use with spell combat, unless they have the EWP: Bastard Sword feat. if they have that, then yes, a bastard sword would be allowable. If not, they would have to wield it 2 handed, and would not be able to cast spells in the same round.
Sure they could, since removing a hand from a two-handed weapon before you cast the spell, and replacing it on the weapon after you cast the spell, are both free actions.
Nope, that was shut down by another FAQ. You can't wield a two-handed weapon and cast a spell, since you have to have the free hand free for your entire turn.
What FAQ was that? Quote, please!
FAQ wrote:


Magus, Spell Combat: When using spell combat, do I specifically have to use the weapon in my other hand, or can I use a mixture of weapons (such as armor spikes and bites) so long as my casting hand remains free?

You specifically have to use the light or one-handed melee weapon in your other hand.

—Pathfinder Design Team, 04/05/13

So no, the weapon has to be a light or one-handed, no two handed weapons allowed (another reason the bastard sword faq is important, if it's a one-handed weapon, you can use it for spell combat even if you're not proficient, since it's still a one-handed weapon).


This issue to me hinges on the following:

Is the Bastard Sword, physically, in the one-handed or the two-handed category?

A) If it is in the one-handed category then the following exists:
1a) It has 5 hitpoints
2a) The Bastard Sword cannot be used with feats that require a two-handed weapon (category rather than how many hands are being used).
3a) The Bastard Sword can be used with feats and abilities that require a one-handed weapon (category rather than how many hands are being used).

If it is in the two-handed category then the following exists:
1b) It has 10 hitpoints
2b) The Bastard Sword can be used with feats that require a two-handed weapon (category rather than how many hands are being used).
3b) The Bastard Sword cannot be used with feats and abilities that require a one-handed weapon (category rather than how many hands are being used).

Right now, it is listed as a one-handed weapon. However, according to this FAQ it is a two-handed weapon that can be used one-handed with a feat.

So, which is it? A categorically two-handed weapon with 10hp or a categorically one-handed weapon with 5hp?

The rules indicate one-handed weapon (ie. 5hp) while the FAQ states two-handed (ie. 10hp).

Note: Most of this doesn't affect my game. In my games I consider it a two-handed weapon physically. I also rule that the number of hands used is what determines weapon categories as far as most feats and abilities are concerned.

- Gauss

Silver Crusade

@mdt: I'm not reading that FAQ the same way as you.

Imagine that your usual fighting style is to use your weapon in your right hand and cast a spell with your left hand.

As long as your left hand is free at the moment you cast the spell, the normal spellcasting rules wouldn't care what you holding in your right hand at all, nor care what your left hand was holding either before or after you freed your left hand for the spellcasting.

If you use a weapon in two hands, you are Using it in your right hand AND in your left hand, thus satisfying the 'other' hand clause.

The question the FAQ is confirming that the attacks must be made by a weapon held in the 'other' hand, not that the spellcasting hand must be free for the entire round.


Spell combat is a special full round action that requires a free hand for the duration.

Silver Crusade

BigDTBone wrote:
Spell combat is a special full round action that requires a free hand for the duration.

Where does it say that?


I am pretty sure that if your character has the ability to wield a weapon in one hand, it is considered one handeded TO YOU regarldless of its printed weapon category. For example, a size large magus can spell combat with a medium greatsword in his main hand (because it's considered a one handed weapon for him)

so what we know:
bastard sword is an exotic weapon that is a 1 handed weapon.
It also has a fun clause that says people not proficient in it can wield it in two hands as a martial weapon (but it's still a one handed weapon).

So can you use a bastard sword with spell combat? Sometimes.
- As long as you have one hand free (including when you do your attacking). So if you have 3 arms (monstrous physique or whatever), then you can two hand your one handed exotic bastard sword as a martial(you can't do this with non-one-handed weapons like a greatsword (unless it is size medium and you are size large)). Otherwise you need the exotic proficiency to hold it in one hand and cast your spell with your other hand (remember the ability references that it works like dual wielding, weapon in one hand, weapon in off hand replaced with a spell).


Ultimate Magic wrote:
Spell Combat (Ex): At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.

Emphasis Mine.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Thelemonache, as pointed out above, not only is it important for such things as what classification it is for Black Blade, but also for how many HP it has (5 vs 10), and feats that only work with one-handed or two-handed. No feats are written as 'when you wield as a one handed weapon' they are written as 'when wielding a one-handed weapon'. Just because you can wield it as a one handed doesn't make it a one-handed.

@Malachi Silverclaw

The power itself says that.

Spell Combat (Ex) wrote:


At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. [b]To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand[b]. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty).

Full round action which includes the casting, so he has to have the free hand for the full round of action. If he puts the hand back on the sword to attack with it, he doesn't have his hand free for the full round action.


BigDTBone wrote:
Ultimate Magic wrote:
Spell Combat (Ex): At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.
Emphasis Mine.

Taking the above quote into account, I'd say a bastard sword works fine for spell combat *if* the Magus in question is able to wield (not just carry) it one-handed (even if they happen to have more than two hands, wielding it one-handed seems to be a requirement of spell combat, presumably to be able to wave/point it around with maximum flexibility as part of the casting process when needed, whereas holding it with two or more hands would presumably be too "stiff")

However, it could be that whoever wrote the rule just didn't take into account the fact that the caster could have more than two hands... As written though (and my guess at intent), I'd likely go with the former.

Silver Crusade

The bastard sword is listed as a one-handed exotic slashing weapon. It takes a feat to use it that way, but that's where it is listed, so that's what kind of weapon it is.

So yes I'd say it counts as a Black Blade weapon provided the Magus has the prerequisite feat for it.


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@MDT, I think people are missing the OP where you point out that the rule in the book is at odds with the official FAQ's.

@Everyone Else, By the book alone it is clear that the bastard sword is one-handed. By the all rules sources in total there is a conflict. MDT would like that conflict addressed and resolved.


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Gauss wrote:

This issue to me hinges on the following:

Is the Bastard Sword, physically, in the one-handed or the two-handed category?

A) If it is in the one-handed category then the following exists:
1a) It has 5 hitpoints
2a) The Bastard Sword cannot be used with feats that require a two-handed weapon (category rather than how many hands are being used).
3a) The Bastard Sword can be used with feats and abilities that require a one-handed weapon (category rather than how many hands are being used).

If it is in the two-handed category then the following exists:
1b) It has 10 hitpoints
2b) The Bastard Sword can be used with feats that require a two-handed weapon (category rather than how many hands are being used).
3b) The Bastard Sword cannot be used with feats and abilities that require a one-handed weapon (category rather than how many hands are being used).

Right now, it is listed as a one-handed weapon. However, according to this FAQ it is a two-handed weapon that can be used one-handed with a feat.

So, which is it? A categorically two-handed weapon with 10hp or a categorically one-handed weapon with 5hp?

The rules indicate one-handed weapon (ie. 5hp) while the FAQ states two-handed (ie. 10hp).

Note: Most of this doesn't affect my game. In my games I consider it a two-handed weapon physically. I also rule that the number of hands used is what determines weapon categories as far as most feats and abilities are concerned.

- Gauss

It is a one handed weapon that requires special training to use one handed. (An exception to the normal -4 non proficiency rule). Without that special training, it can be used as a martial weapon that requires two hands. (Meaning without martial weapon proficiency, it can be used with a -4 penalty as long as you wield it with two hands.)


BigDTBone wrote:


@Everyone Else, By the book alone it is clear that the bastard sword is one-handed. By the all rules sources in total there is a conflict. MDT would like that conflict addressed and resolved.

Most of those additional rules sources seem to be phrased that circumstances (i.e. lack of the relevant feat) can require it to take two hands to wield, but not that it becomes re-categorized to "two-handed weapon" because of it.

The confusion mostly seems to be down to duplication of terms, between the one/two handed Weapon Categories and the use of one/two handed to refer to what a given character needs to use to actually wield it (such as "it becomes a two handed weapon for you" meaning just the number of hands needed rather than changing category)

However, I agree a FAQ to clear it up would be good.


Durngrun Stonebreaker, that is not what the FAQ indicates.

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."

The bolded section indicates that a bastard sword is a two-handed weapon by default.

So again, does a Bastard Sword have 5hp (one-handed) or 10hp (two-handed)? The CRB states one-handed (5hp) while the FAQ states two-handed (10hp).

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:


The bolded section indicates that a bastard sword is a two-handed weapon by default.

So again, does a Bastard Sword have 5hp (one-handed) or 10hp (two-handed)? The CRB states one-handed (5hp) while the FAQ states two-handed (10hp).

Personally, I read that FAQ entry's "two handed" as "weapon that needs two hands to wield" as opposed to "weapon in the two-handed weapon category", but yeah it's certainly unclear due to the (possible) duplication of terminology.

Or to put it another way: The bastard sword is a one-handed weapon, that requires two hands to use by default ;)


Matt Thomason, if a weapons default mode is 2-handed wouldn't it belong in the 2-handed category?

- Gauss


The Bastard Sword is listed under 'One-Handed Melee Weapons', so it is a one-handed melee weapon. Full stop, we're done, that's it.


That's not it's primary mode, so no. Basically, the bastard sword is two different weapons in one: a one-handed martial weapon that requires two hands to use, and a one-handed exotic weapon wielded normally.


Zhayne, the FAQ states that the Bastard Sword is a two-handed weapon that can be used one-handed. That directly contradicts the CRB. They are in conflict.

- Gauss

Silver Crusade

The problem with the FAQ is that it isn't saying that they've decided to re-categorise it as a two-handed weapon and future printings will change it!

The FAQ is written as if the rules already said it's a two-handed weapon! That's what's wrong!


RJGrady, it would be nice if the FAQ said that but it didn't. The FAQ stated it was a two-handed weapon that requires special training to use one-handed.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

Durngrun Stonebreaker, that is not what the FAQ indicates.

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."

The bolded section indicates that a bastard sword is a two-handed weapon by default.

So again, does a Bastard Sword have 5hp (one-handed) or 10hp (two-handed)? The CRB states one-handed (5hp) while the FAQ states two-handed (10hp).

- Gauss

Yes but a FAQ clarifies a rule, it doesn't change the rules. I believe the FAQ is just giving an explanation as to why you cannot wield the bastard sword one handed without special training. (Really, to justify the text in the CRB.)

Otherwise you run into the weird scenario where an untrained person can use the sword equally well one handed or two handed but a person trained with martial weapons, who can use the sword without penalty, somehow suffers when trying to do what the untrained person does just as easily. I agree it is kind of convoluted but I think it is both a holdover from earlier versions and trying to make that particular weapon somewhere unique.


Gauss wrote:

Matt Thomason, if a weapons default mode is 2-handed wouldn't it belong in the 2-handed category?

- Gauss

It's default is 2-handed, presumably as that's the only way an untrained character can use it. However, that doesn't mean it can't be classified as a "1-handed weapon" for the sake of categorization (especially when some things are dependent on the category of weapon rather than how it is currently being wielded)

I completely agree that it's confusing, and that I may well be wrong, but that's the way I'm reading it - mostly because it's the only way for the rules to make sense unless something is printed wrong (which it may well be)


Gauss wrote:

RJGrady, it would be nice if the FAQ said that but it didn't. The FAQ stated it was a two-handed weapon that requires special training to use one-handed.

- Gauss

The question is really whether the intention of the FAQ text was to mean "two-handed weapon" (category) or "two-handed weapon" (weapon that needs two hands to wield), or whether it's simply a mistake.


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Gauss wrote:

Zhayne, the FAQ states that the Bastard Sword is a two-handed weapon that can be used one-handed. That directly contradicts the CRB. They are in conflict.

- Gauss

This is why I ignore that FAQ entry and everything else and do the logical thing. I go to the source.

Table entry: One-Handed Weapon, therefore
Weapon Category: One-Handed Weapon

KISS principle in action.

The fact that PF can't figure their own crap out on this and contradict themselves completely in multiple places, IMHO, invalidates the FAQ and everything else. The table says one-handed, so it's one-handed.


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Durngrun,

So, instead of moving it to two-handed (which would prevent the issue entirely) they created a situation where it is a two-handed weapon in the FAQ but a one-handed weapon in the book. A conflict exists that needs to be clarified.

While I may agree with the intent the wording of the FAQ created a conflict with the rules.

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The bastard sword is a one-handed exotic weapon that has the additional property of being able to be wielded martially as a two-handed weapon.


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


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Why is this hard? Bastard swords are intended for One-Handed use and are One-Handed weapons. That they are usable as Two-Handed weapons with Martial Proficiency only alleviates the penalties for non-proficient use.

Bastard Swords are One-Handed weapons.
Without Exotic Weapon Proficiency (EWP): Bastard Sword, they CANNOT be used with one hand.
With Martial Weapon Proficiency (MWP): Bastard Sword*, they can be used with two hands without the non-proficient penalty, but are still One-Handed weapons.

*Typically, there is no reason to take the MWP rather than the EWP if you actually have to burn the feat.

When being used as a Martial Weapon in two hands, it is being used as a One-Handed Weapon wielded in two hands, just without the non-proficient penalty.

If you only have Martial Weapon Proficiency, don't bother purchasing a Bastard Sword, you only have a substandard Greatsword (substandard in damage dice and handedness).

Did this help?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Abyssian wrote:

Why is this hard? Bastard swords are intended for One-Handed use and are One-Handed weapons. That they are usable as Two-Handed weapons with Martial Proficiency only alleviates the penalties for non-proficient use.

Bastard Swords are One-Handed weapons.
Without Exotic Weapon Proficiency (EWP): Bastard Sword, they CANNOT be used with one hand.

They can be... with the usual -4 nonproficiency penalty.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

No, it doesn't really help.

The FAQ and dev comments say it is a two-handed weapon that can be used one-handed.

The CRB says it's a one-handed weapon that can be used two-handed.

These directly contradict.

I'm a perfectly fine with it being a 2-handed martial weapon that can be used one-handed with EWP. In this case, it is errata to the CRB and UE, and should be modified as errata. This is important because if it's a THW then it can't be a black blade, it has 10 hp instead of 5, and it is grouped in with the Lance as a two-handed weapon that can be used one-handed, which theoretically could open it up for gaining 1.5 x strength even while being used in one-hand.

I'm perfectly fine with it being a 1-handed exotic weapon that has a free ability to be used as a two-handed as a martial weapon. In this case, the FAQ directly contradicts the rules and needs to be modified and the sword should follow all one-handed exotic rules, which includes a -4 penalty to use it one-handed without the EWP. This means it can be a Black Blade, it has 5 hp instead of 10, and it is not grouped in with the Lance and that can of worms doesn't get opened up.

Right now it's some weird mongrel weapon that's a one-handed except when it's not but it follows the rules of the opposite kind whenever the dev's want it to not follow the rules for it's type.


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Seems fairly clear to me. One-handed. The FAQs aren't trying to say it's a Two-Handed Weapon. They're saying that to the non-proficient user it has all the disadvantages of a two-handed weapon (and none of the advantages).


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I can't say the FAQ is wrong, because it isn't my FAQ, but it's inconsistent with the rules. What I said is consistent with the rules. If the FAQ author wants to make it a two-handed weapon, someone is going to have to rewrite the weapon description and make new weapon charts.


LazarX wrote:
Abyssian wrote:

Why is this hard? Bastard swords are intended for One-Handed use and are One-Handed weapons. That they are usable as Two-Handed weapons with Martial Proficiency only alleviates the penalties for non-proficient use.

Bastard Swords are One-Handed weapons.
Without Exotic Weapon Proficiency (EWP): Bastard Sword, they CANNOT be used with one hand.

They can be... with the usual -4 nonproficiency penalty.

I know that it isn't spelled out in the rules and that I'm going to be contradicted for this, but here goes:

Nope.

You can take the -4 to use it as a Martial Weapon Two-Handed (assuming you don't have EWP).

I am FULLY cognizant of my take on this not being spelled out in the rules but am FULLY confident that this is RAI.

That all said, I support this as an FAQ candidate on account of it's highly debatable nature (i.e. my take is, specifically speaking, a houserule)

mdt, I'll hit the "FAQ" on this because you are right, the FAQ and the CRB do, indeed, directly contradict one another.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
Seems fairly clear to me. One-handed. The FAQs aren't trying to say it's a Two-Handed Weapon. They're saying that to the non-proficient user it has all the disadvantages of a two-handed weapon (and none of the advantages).

Because there is nothing in the CRB about the Bastard Sword not being able to be used non-proficient with a -4 penalty. Only via the FAQ, and it's the only weapon in the book that has that restriction. That means it doesn't follow the book, and uses a rule that's not in the book. The FAQ then explains that it's because it's really a two-handed weapon. If that's the case, it should be errata'd to be a two-handed weapon (removing it from Magus Black Blade list, increasing it's HP, etc).


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Abyssian wrote:


mdt, I'll hit the "FAQ" on this because you are right, the FAQ and the CRB do, indeed, directly contradict one another.

Thanks Abysssian, I'm fine with them fixing it either way, but they need to fix it. Right now it's a conflict that was introduced via FAQ and dev comment. If it's a two-handed weapon, great and good, errata it to that (as I stated above, that has real impact on classes and builds). If it's a one-handed weapon, then it shouldn't have a limitation on it about weapon proficiency and not being able to be used with a -4 one handed.

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