Vestigial Arm(s) and Natural Attacks


Rules Questions

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
The Morphling wrote:
The reason this is being so fiercely debated is that Pathfinder Society needs a higher standard. Until it's FAQ'd, a player won't know whether at a specific table, his natural attacking barbarian alchemist build inexplicably gains or loses two attacks depending on an individual GM's interpretation of an obviously Frequently Asked Question.

If you're getting that many no's for PFS you shouldn't build your character around it.

The devs have already said no. You think you're asking a different question: you're not, its the same question. You think you're asking the question differently: you're not. Its fundamentally the same argument that they've said no to.

And, in PFS, when there is a disagreement in how to read a rule or clarification or FAQ or what have you, the way the GM arbitrates it is the way its played at the table. This is just like any other time there's a rules discrepancy (home or organized play), what the GM finally agrees is how its going to be run at the table is how its run at the table.

If your build requires use of a rule that, obviously, several others disagree with your baseline interpretations, then it might be better to choose something else that's more straight forward in that instance?

EDIT: Because I know if you sit at my table for PFS with a normal bipedal humanoid and expect 5 natural attacks in this case, you would be disappointed with the outcome.

Liberty's Edge

The Morphling wrote:
The reason this is being so fiercely debated is that Pathfinder Society needs a higher standard. Until it's FAQ'd, a player won't know whether at a specific table, his natural attacking barbarian alchemist build inexplicably gains or loses two attacks depending on an individual GM's interpretation of an obviously Frequently Asked Question.

If table variation is as varied as you seem to imply in this post (which, I really don't think it is. I think it's pretty safe to say that a majority of GM's will acknowledge that you can't do what you are trying to do) it's best if you build your character using the most conservative interpretation...which in this case is that vestigial arms don't allow you to make 5 attacks when you could normally only make 3 attacks...because vestigial arms don't allow you to make extra attacks...of which 5 attacks has two more attacks than 3 attacks.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HangarFlying wrote:
Very simply put, if vestigial arms don't grant extra attacks, how can you get five attacks when you would only normally get three?

Don't ask a rhetorical question my post answered before you even asked it.

HangarFlying wrote:
There are two extra attacks that, in your mind, somehow don't count as extra attacks.

Please stop pretending you didn't read my post. Repeating myself to re-answer an answered question is getting tiring.

Sniggevert wrote:
And, in PFS, when there is a disagreement in how to read a rule or clarification or FAQ or what have you, the way the GM arbitrates it is the way its played at the table. This is just like any other time there's a rules discrepancy (home or organized play), what the GM finally agrees is how its going to be run at the table is how its run at the table

PFS benefits greatly from having gray-area rules questions clarified. Table variation is not a good thing, it is an unavoidable evil to be limited where possible.

The Exchange

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The Morphling wrote:
PFS benefits greatly from having gray-area rules questions clarified. Table variation is not a good thing, it is an unavoidable evil to be limited where possible.

I agree!

Not every request for a FAQ is based on someone trying to circumvent a rule, and get the game changed in their favor. Removing grey area does make the game more fun. This shouldn't be viewed as a negative thing. No one likes to sit at a table, and have a rules discussion instead of playing.

Not every character is built around the outcome of a FAQ, some have ancillary abilities, or bells and whistles.

If your hesitation to clicking FAQ is because you disagree with the chicanery the poster is trying to 'get away with', not clicking FAQ only enables the behavior to continue, instead of to allowing it to subside.

Clicking FAQ on a topic so frequently asked, should be the expected behavior.


The Morphling wrote:
PFS benefits greatly from having gray-area rules questions clarified. Table variation is not a good thing, it is an unavoidable evil to be limited where possible.

The hobby as a whole benefit from table variance. It helps us focus on cooperatively creating and managing a game based around telling stories. Table variance is a part of changing the game we play to fit our combined ideas of what is fun.

PFS might be special, and while I understand that people like clear ruling here, it isn't really important for the ruleset to be working in general.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HaraldKlak wrote:
The Morphling wrote:
PFS benefits greatly from having gray-area rules questions clarified. Table variation is not a good thing, it is an unavoidable evil to be limited where possible.

The hobby as a whole benefit from table variance. It helps us focus on cooperatively creating and managing a game based around telling stories. Table variance is a part of changing the game we play to fit our combined ideas of what is fun.

PFS might be special, and while I understand that people like clear ruling here, it isn't really important for the ruleset to be working in general.

PFS is not like a home game. Variance between gaming groups is excellent and healthy. It is not healthy within a single game where many thousands of players across the planet expect to be playing all within the exact same ruleset.

Liberty's Edge

The Morphling wrote:
Don't ask a rhetorical question my post answered before you even asked it.

I wasn't asking a rhetorical question, I was asking you a question that you need to answer because you're "previous" post is based on a false premise. (see below)

The Morphling wrote:
Please stop pretending you didn't read my post. Repeating myself to re-answer an answered question is getting tiring.

I did read your post, and you're wrong. (see below)

The Morphling wrote:

Did you... honestly type these words?

...That is HOW natural attacks WORK. Your number of attacks with natural weapons is equal to your number of natural weapons. That is literally how you gain attacks from natural weapons.

Four claws = four attacks.

Generally, yes. A normally four-armed creature with four claws can make 4 natural attacks. A normally two-armed creature with two claws can make 2 natural attacks. A normally two-armed creature with two claws that grows two more arms with claws (through vestigial arms) does not have the same number of attacks as a normally four-armed creature with four claws. It still only has 2 natural attacks, though 1 or 2 of those attacks can be made with the vestigial arms with claws. Just because the vestigial arms have claws, that does not mean that the two-armed creature now has 4 natural attacks, especially since vestigial arms don't grant extra attacks. The claws are attached to the vestigial arms, they can't grant extra natural attacks.

"The Morphling wrote:

Zero arms = no attacks gained from having arms.

One arm = no attacks gained from having arms.
Two arms = no attacks gained from having arms.
Three arms = no attacks gained from having arms.
Four arms = no attacks gained from having arms.
Two hundred arms = no attacks gained from having arms.

Eh...not really. The basis of this game is that of primarily "normal" humanoids. I.e. two arms with which to make attacks with--hence a primary attack with one arm, off-hand attack with the other (assuming manufactured weapons). Granted, the primary and off-hand attacks don't have to be made with the arms, per se, but the number of arms are the limiting factor.Three or more arms allow for additional off-hand attacks. So, the previously mentioned normally four-armed creature? If he decided to use swords instead of claws, he would have one primary attack and three off-hand attacks.

The Morphling wrote:
Being a two-armed 5th-level fighter with a sword = One attack from BAB.

Sure. He could even have an extra attack as an off-hand attack.

The Morphling wrote:
Being a two-armed 5th-level fighter with a bite attack and a sword = one attack from BAB, one attack from bite.

Sure. He could even have an extra attack as an off-hand attack.

The Morphling wrote:
Being a two-armed 5th-level fighter with a bite attack, two claw attacks, and a sword = one attack from BAB, one attack from bite, two attacks from claws... but his sword is in one of his claws, so he can't claw with that hand and still swing the sword.

It's kind of jumbled, but I think you're essentially saying that he could get 1 sword, 1 bite, and 1 claw. Yeah, sure, I'm with you there. Though, if he wanted to make an extra weapon attack (TWF), he would have to give up his other claw attack so he'd be getting 1 sword, 1 off-hand, and 1 bite.

The Morphling wrote:
Being a three-armed 5th-level fighter with a bite attack, two claw attacks, and a sword = one attack from BAB, one attack from bite, two attacks from claws. Since the sword is in his third arm, he gets to hit with both claws. Nowhere is his third arm granting him an extra attack. He gets one from BAB, one from his bite, and two from his sword. The extra arm just gives him another method of delivering his attack.

Well, now hold on Scooter. Is this 5th-level fighter a natural 3-armed creature, or is he a 2-armed creature that grew the third arm using vestigial arm? It makes a difference, as I noted above with the 4-armed creature.

Since this is a discussion about vestigial arms, we will assume you're talking about a normally 2-armed creature that grew the third using vestigial arm.

You mention that since the sword is being held in the third arm, he can attack with both of his claws. This is true, but he doesn't also get to make the attack with the sword. That would be an extra attack that vestigial arms specifically prohibit. Now, I would assert that if he wanted to forgo his bite attack and make the attack with the sword in it's place, that would be fine. What he cannot do is make 2 claw attacks, 1 bite attack, and 1 sword attack.

The Morphling wrote:
The opposition will immediately pretend this means the extra arm gives an extra attack. It does not. It simply frees up his anatomy to more effectively wield the multitude of attacks gained from other sources.

That is exactly what vestigial arms is for: so you can have a potion ready to go and still make your full compliment of attacks, or TWF while using the third hand to scratch your butt.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yet again, if you need to imagine that extra, nonexistent rules exist to support your argument, you're gonna have a bad time. I prefer to stick to rules that actually exist to support my rules interpretations. You should too.

Liberty's Edge

The Morphling wrote:
Yet again, if you need to imagine that extra, nonexistent rules exist to support your argument, you're gonna have a bad time. I prefer to stick to rules that actually exist to support my rules interpretations. You should too.

Which part of what I wrote is nonexistent and imaginary? You have a problem with what I've said because it goes against what you think it should be, not what it actually is.


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Claxon wrote:
I keeping popping into this thread hoping to see a post by Paizo Development Team :(

I pray for that as well, if only to end this madness. Dash Lestowe's threads always seem to attract the maniacs that make me hate looking at the advice/rules threads.

As a final reiteration of my view before I refrain from posting in this madhouse any longer: I view claws as natural weapons rather than natural attacks. The difference in language is subtle, and both pop up in various places, but it seems important to the central argument of the thread. This distinction keeps one from confusing the ability that grants the claw as the one that grants the attack, but rather the limb's ability to use the weapon (which, whether we agree on the nature of the claw, we can all agree that the vestigial arm does not grant, right? Since it is the only spelled out, black and white part of this whole mess).

Someone mentioned how putting a dagger into the vestigial hand seemed to magically reduce the number of attacks. I can't remember if that was an argument for or against, but it was apt. If it was the claw that granted the attack, then putting the dagger there would prevent the arm from making attack, since it was occupied. But that is bizarre, since it is hardly any more movement at all to outstretch and flail around your arm with a dagger compared to doing the same with a claw. And this kind of oddity points out the problem with the argument that a claw gives the attack. Even if the language did grant it, you must admit that you are going into bizarre and abstract places with the rules, right? Sure there are always a few arcane rule we have to handwave while playing this game, but it is hard to ignore this.

So I suggest that a natural attack is an attack done with a natural weapon, and a weapon attack is granted by the arm (or head, or tails, or etc) using it. When an arm is specifically called out for its inability to grant attacks without subtracting from the attack routine (and Nefreet please do not even start on that munchkin mixing of apples and oranges using kicks), you can't do more attacks then you could with your normal number of limbs. Whether you accept or deny this suggestion is on you. I lost hope for a civil discussion 100 posts ago (or was that the very beginning?)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HangarFlying wrote:
The Morphling wrote:
Yet again, if you need to imagine that extra, nonexistent rules exist to support your argument, you're gonna have a bad time. I prefer to stick to rules that actually exist to support my rules interpretations. You should too.
Which part of what I wrote is nonexistent and imaginary? You have a problem with what I've said because it goes against what you think it should be, not what it actually is.

If you'd like to re-read material I've already posted, feel free to scroll up. I'm not explaining the rules to you twice, it's already in the thread if you're interested in it.

Liberty's Edge

The Morphling wrote:

My side of the argument does not require editing of the rulebook. If the rules as printed on the page are the rules of the game, I'm right.

Your side of the argument is that a creature with two claws and a bite grows a vestigial arm with a claw can now make 3 claw attacks and a bite as a full-round action.

If vestigial arms cannot grant extra attacks, how does the creature make an attack with the claw attached to the vestigial arm after it has already made 2 claw attacks and a bite? So, it "can" make an attack with that extra claw, but the arm it's attached to is incapable of assisting in that attack, because the limit has already been reached...so how does that work?

Your side of the argument doesn't make any sense.


The Morphling wrote:


If you'd like to re-read material I've already posted, feel free to scroll up. I'm not explaining the rules to you twice, it's already in the thread if you're interested in it.

Can you actually point to what you think is imaginary?

Pointing back at your entire post isn't an answer. All that does is ping pong it back to his response, which answered your point by point.

What do you think was not answered?

Liberty's Edge

The Morphling wrote:
HangarFlying wrote:
The Morphling wrote:
Yet again, if you need to imagine that extra, nonexistent rules exist to support your argument, you're gonna have a bad time. I prefer to stick to rules that actually exist to support my rules interpretations. You should too.
Which part of what I wrote is nonexistent and imaginary? You have a problem with what I've said because it goes against what you think it should be, not what it actually is.
If you'd like to re-read material I've already posted, feel free to scroll up. I'm not explaining the rules to you twice, it's already in the thread if you're interested in it.

You told me to refer to your "previous post". I did that, and responded, point for point, as to why you are wrong. You can't call me out and tell me that what I've said is wrong, and then hide your head in the sand when I tell you to specify exactly what it is I've said that is "nonexistent and imaginary". EDIT 2: Reorganized sentence order.

So, I ask again: Which part of what I wrote is nonexistent and imaginary? I've already responded to your posts as to why I feel you are wrong. Are you going to actually respond to my points, or are you going to keep dancing around and avoid mature conversation.

EDIT: Took out some language that, while true, doesn't add to the conversation.

EDIT 3: Grammar

The Exchange

lemeres wrote:
Dash Lestowe's threads always seem to attract the maniacs that make me hate looking at the advice/rules threads.

What's up with that? I've noticed that too. I feel that my posts are well researched, take time to write, and are very open minded. They all seem to get people who fire of a "so there", and "no, you're wrong".

lemeres wrote:
As a final reiteration of my view before I refrain from posting in this madhouse any longer: I view claws as natural weapons rather than natural attacks. The difference in language is subtle, and both pop up in various places, but it seems important to the central argument of the thread.

I agree completely!! The problem is the people who do not, are not able (or willing) to see the difference, and thus keep pouring gas on the fire.

HangarFlying wrote:
Your side of the argument is that a creature with two claws and a bite grows a vestigial arm with a claw can now make 3 claw attacks and a bite as a full-round action.

You fall back to Sean's post, time and time again as the reason you are 'right', not even allowing yourself to understand what he's attempting to say. The righteousness apparent in your threads is what is blinding you from understanding the point he's making. Try re-reading some of the posts with an open mind.

If you really want to understand, you have to first be willing to accept the other side.


Dash Lestowe wrote:
What's up with that?.

This one at least, tortures the English language, sense, reason, and rationale in the quixotic pursuit of a mechanical advantage.

It also comes across as very passive aggressive.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This will be the last time that I post this, since it's been said repeatedly. So that I'm not just repeating myself, I will try to at least use a new format for the same point I've said at least six times in this thread, to make it easier to understand (or, at least, harder for someone to pretend not to read).

The rules say:
1. Vestigial Arm doesn't grant an attack. We both agree on this one.
2. Vestigial Arm can be used to make an attack. We both agree on this one.

The rules do not say:
3. There are certain attacks you cannot make using this arm. Your position is not supported unless this line appears in the rules.

You think "does not grant extra attacks" means something more complex than "does not grant extra attacks." That is the nonexistent ruling I am referring to. You're adding meaning that isn't printed on the page. You're broadly interpreting a specific limitation to try to make it cover something it's not covering.

The simple, specific meaning of the limitation is "having this arm doesn't cause your number of attacks to increase." You think it means "this arm can never be used to make attacks beyond your normal number of attacks."

These are similar sentences. These are not identical sentences. There are extra limitations in your version of the sentence than exist in the actual wording of the rules.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And now I am leaving for vacation and hiding this thread. :P 'Tis exhausting! I should probably just have gone back and replaced all my posts with "Just interpret the rules literally without trying to add stuff to them," since that's what I've said over and over.


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Dash, I understand where your argument is coming from. I think it relies far too heavily on twisting language to find a supporting argument. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to get there. "Extra" doesn't really mean "extra". "Gain" doesn't really mean "gain". "All of them" is identical, whether it represents 2 or 4 or any other number. And, it defies direct statements by Developers, in addition to spinning FAQ language into a new mechanic of which there is never a single mention anywhere in any rulebook, FAQ, or developer post.

I recognize that this is my spin on your argument and you would present it differently. But I know what your argument is. I know the basis for it. I understand the points you are trying to make. I find it wholly unconvincing because to me it reads like what I posted about. There are far too many assumptions and leaps of logic for me to find it credible.

I also take time to write my responses. But I do think it's a little disingenuous for you to call out people for failing to give your posts credit when you respond to them by excising what they answered you with and replacing it with something like [wall of assumptions] or "you don't understand the game". It's rather dismissive, which is pretty much what you're complaining about people doing to you.


The morphling wrote:
You're broadly interpreting a specific limitation to try to make it cover something it's not covering.this arm can never be used to make attacks beyond your normal number of attacks.

Getting more attacks out of it is EXACTLY what the wording was trying to stop.

For the tentacle, which has similar wording:

You don't get an extra attack with it, period. You can use it in place of any of your natural attacks, but it never allows you to get more attacks per round than you would if you didn't have the tentacle

SKR


The Morphling wrote:
And now I am leaving for vacation and hiding this thread. :P 'Tis exhausting! I should probably just have gone back and replaced all my posts with "Just interpret the rules literally without trying to add stuff to them," since that's what I've said over and over.

Ironically, that's exactly what I'm advocating. Just interpret the rules literally without trying to add stuff to them. Vestigial Arms prohibiting extra attacks should, for that reason, prohibit extra claw attacks attached thereto.

Liberty's Edge

The Morphling wrote:

The rules do not say:
3. There are certain attacks you cannot make using this arm. Your position is not supported unless this line appears in the rules.

I never implied such a thing. The vestigial arm is perfectly capable of wielding a manufactured weapon, making an unarmed strike, or making a claw attack (if it is so "equipped", of course).

The Morphling wrote:
You think "does not grant extra attacks" means something more complex than "does not grant extra attacks." That is the nonexistent ruling I am referring to. You're adding meaning that isn't printed on the page. You're broadly interpreting a specific limitation to try to make it cover something it's not covering.

I am saying that if you normally have three natural attacks, one of those three attacks can be made with that vestigial arm, instead of with one of your normal arms. I don't understand how I can be "implying" something more complex than that.

The Morphling wrote:

The simple, specific meaning of the limitation is "having this arm doesn't cause your number of attacks to increase." You think it means "this arm can never be used to make attacks beyond your normal number of attacks."

These are similar sentences. These are not identical sentences. There are extra limitations in your version of the sentence than exist in the actual wording of the rules.

Ok, well what are those "extra implied limitations" then, because as I read what you wrote versus what I am "implying", they are the same. That being, if a character has three natural attacks, and then grows a vestigial arm, one of those three natural attacks may be made with the vestigial arm; that character couldn't make his normal three natural attacks and also an additional one with the vestigial arm.

Liberty's Edge

Dash Lestowe wrote:

You fall back to Sean's post, time and time again as the reason you are 'right', not even allowing yourself to understand what he's attempting to say. The righteousness apparent in your threads is what is blinding you from understanding the point he's making. Try re-reading some of the posts with an open mind.

If you really want to understand, you have to first be willing to accept the other side.

What deeper tantric meaning is SKR trying to enlighten us with when he bestows:

SKR wrote:

You don't get an extra attack with it, period. You can use it in place of any of your natural attacks, but it never allows you to get more attacks per round than you would if you didn't have the tentacle.

PRD wrote:
The tentacle does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round.

If you didn't have the tentacle, and you normally could make 3 natural attacks per round (claw/claw/bite), having the tentacle doesn't change the number of natural attacks per round you can make, you're still making 3 natural attacks per round. If you wanted, you could make a tentacle attack in place of a claw or bite attack, but the text of the tentacle ability says it doesn't give you any extra attacks per round, so it doesn't give you any extra attacks per round.

Except for the fact that he is specifically talking about the tentacle discovery, the vestigial arm is exactly the same thing.


Throw back to earlier in the thread, but this also supports why I think dagger/dagger/claw/claw/bite is illegal.

I wouldn't let a fighter make claw/claw/bite plus knees and kicks any more than I'd let a fighter make rapier/dagger plus knees and kicks, or punch/punch plus knees and kicks.

The rules don't let you keep on adding attacks as you think up appropriate body parts to attack with, and it doesn't let you use those extra attacks just because your hands are full. The rules say you can make one attack per round, or two with TWF, and iterative attacks according to your BAB. The rules don't care if your unarmed strike is a punch, kick, or headbutt, it just cares that you get only one additional attack if you're using TWF.

If the fighter can normally use lefthand/righthand, and is instead using leftclaw/rightclaw, he can't start making kicks, knees, and headbutts in addition to those claw attacks "just because he's not using unarmed strikes."

Though in fairness, the post was made before any of the UAS FAQs from earlier this year. I don't think that really changes anything, though.

Paizo Employee Official Rules Response

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