Can I use my longspear to attack at both 10-feet AND 5-feet?


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Democratus wrote:
Jurkal wrote:
its either an improvised weapon or a spear it can't be both.

Agreed. And I haven't seen anyone demonstrate anything in the rules that changes this.

Lots of sophistry. Lots of house rules, and I'm all for house rules.

But nothing in RAW.

Just because you refuse to see it doesn't mean it hasn't been shown to you. Also, are you intending sophistry to be derogatory? The act of establishing ethos with an audience and being persuasive is hardy a bad thing.


Doomed Hero wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Jurkal wrote:
its either an improvised weapon or a spear it can't be both.
Exactly!

Why not?

What if you were to hold the spear backwards and swing it around like a quarterstaff?

What rules, other than the improvised weapon rules, would cover that action?

Are you saying it's impossible?

Yes, they are saying it is impossible.


Doing that in their world would cause a divide by zero error and a stack overflow in the reality OS.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Democratus wrote:
Jurkal wrote:
its either an improvised weapon or a spear it can't be both.

Agreed. And I haven't seen anyone demonstrate anything in the rules that changes this.

Lots of sophistry. Lots of house rules, and I'm all for house rules.

But nothing in RAW.

Just because you refuse to see it doesn't mean it hasn't been shown to you. Also, are you intending sophistry to be derogatory? The act of establishing ethos with an audience and being persuasive is hardy a bad thing.

Establishing ethos and being persuasive is not a bad thing. Sophistry is generally viewed as a bad thing, though.

Dictionary wrote:

Sophistry: the use of fallacious arguments, esp. with the intention of deceiving.

or

the use of reasoning or arguments that sound correct but are actually false


fretgod99 wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Democratus wrote:
Jurkal wrote:
its either an improvised weapon or a spear it can't be both.

Agreed. And I haven't seen anyone demonstrate anything in the rules that changes this.

Lots of sophistry. Lots of house rules, and I'm all for house rules.

But nothing in RAW.

Just because you refuse to see it doesn't mean it hasn't been shown to you. Also, are you intending sophistry to be derogatory? The act of establishing ethos with an audience and being persuasive is hardy a bad thing.

Establishing ethos and being persuasive is not a bad thing. Sophistry is generally viewed as a bad thing, though.

Dictionary wrote:

Sophistry: the use of fallacious arguments, esp. with the intention of deceiving.

or

the use of reasoning or arguments that sound correct but are actually false

I suppose I prefer the rhetors definition.

Grand Lodge

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I think I have a reason why this won't work.

imp weapon says compare to the closest similar weapon. The closest similar weapon for a reach weapon is a quarterstaff sized for a large creature. Therefore the oversize weapons rules come into play. They say that for a larger than usual weapon, you increase the number of hands required by one. I believe quarterstaff requires two hands to wield, so unless you have an ability that lets you wield a quarterstaff one handed, you are out of luck.


BigDTBone wrote:
I suppose I prefer the rhetors definition.

That's fair. Just be warned that pretty much any modern usage of the term is generally pretty derogatory.


It is interesting how the modern usage of sophistry almost exactly inverts its original meaning.


FLite wrote:

I think I have a reason why this won't work.

imp weapon says compare to the closest similar weapon. The closest similar weapon for a reach weapon is a quarterstaff sized for a large creature. Therefore the oversize weapons rules come into play. They say that for a larger than usual weapon, you increase the number of hands required by one. I believe quarterstaff requires two hands to wield, so unless you have an ability that lets you wield a quarterstaff one handed, you are out of luck.

This is a perfectly valid view, in line with the rules, and would prevent it from being used. However, it's not the only valid or reasonable comparision; I personally do not think that the closest comparision for using a longspear to bash would be a quarterstaff fit for a large creature, such as a stone giant or frost giant. Large humanoids are really big; it'd be hard even to wrap ones hands around a large quarterstaff, yet very easy with a longspear. Look at the stone giants, where the humanoid characters are just slightly taller than their knees. Or the frost giant, who's hands is about as large as Amiri's upper body.

Also, note that you compare damage potential and size separately. For size, it's really easy to determine a spearshaft, since it's about the same size as the longspear; it's a two-handed weapon. For damage potential, I think the closest match is quarterstaff or club, so 1d6.

So yeah, ultimately it's up to GM judgement, whether it's similar to a large two-handed weapon or a medium-sized two-handed weapon.

Shadow Lodge

cuatroespada wrote:
derrida and most literary critics that have come along since deconstruction would argue with you there. edit: most literary critics ever would actually argue that the author's intent is irrelevant (and unknowable since authors are often unsure of exactly what they meant at the time they wrote something and sometimes their intent changes after the writing).

Prove that objectively.


Doomed Hero wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Jurkal wrote:
its either an improvised weapon or a spear it can't be both.
Exactly!

Why not?

What if you were to hold the spear backwards and swing it around like a quarterstaff?

What rules, other than the improvised weapon rules, would cover that action?

Are you saying it's impossible?

There are no rules for urination in the RAW. No rules for sneezing. No rules for ennui. Are they impossible?

What's possible in your table's campaign is entirely up to you. That's what house rules are for.

Silver Crusade

MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
people are not saying that you can do anything that the rules don't strictly forbid, people are saying that RAW the game REQUIRES the GM to make judgment calls to fill the gaps in the RAW, and that this is one of those gaps.

We are actually closer on this than our positions on this debate make it seem. I absolutely agree that a vital part of the DM's role is 'to make judgement calls to fill gaps in the RAW'.

I'm not saying it's against the rules for the DM to do this. I'm saying that if the rule he comes up with is contrary to the RAW, then by definition it's not RAW! Not 'bad', not 'wrong for DMs to make decisions', but simply 'not RAW', without any judgement if his decision was good or bad; that comes later and depends on what the decision actually was, and BTW is beyond the scope of this thread.

I'm not asking if it's good or bad, nor asking if the DM is allowed to make decisions to cover 'gaps in the RAW'. I'm asking if allowing a longspear to attack an adjacent foe, by claiming it is an improvised non-reach weapon, is contrary to RAW (without a written rule allowing you to do so, like Pole Master or Spinning Lance).

And it is contrary to RAW:-

* it's contrary to the rules on reach which forbid it from attacking an adjacent foe

* it's contrary to the rules on weapon stats, which tell you the game stats for each weapon

* it's contrary to the equipment chapter which classes it as a weapon, therefore definitely not a 'non-weapon object', nor a collection of them

* it's contrary to the rules on Double weapons, on the grounds that you're trying to class this as being able to be used as if it were two different weapons with different game stats

* it's contrary to the rules on improvised weapons which state they are for 'non-weapon' objects

* it's contrary to the combat rules by implying that you can ignore the stats for the weapon you're using, and implying the existence of rules which allow you to attack with different parts of a weapon as if you were not attacking with the whole weapon, when the combat rules are binary (if you attack with any part of an object, the rules take that as attacking with that object)

So, no matter how sensible and sound the DM may think his attempt to 'fill the gap left by RAW', and despite the fact that he has every right to, we know this: it...is...not...RAW.

Quote:

Your "sheepshagger" argument, btw, fails in two ways - first, on face it is a fallacious appeal to a reductio ad absurdum which requires that we ignore the fact that humans are capable of discerning reasonable situations from unreasonable ones (and indeed, the Pathfinder RAW only operates at all by including a GM for this explicit purpose). In other words, there fact that a superficially similar situation seems absurd and undesirable does not in any way imply anything about the initial case. One does not inevitably lead to another, and it is not inconsistent to advocate one and reject the other.

Second, it doesn't even necessarily "prove" what it seeks to establish - consider that the charge of "murder" doesn't care what PART of the victim was stabbed, just that the result was death. It's essentially a semantic game, in much the same way that your observation that the question "How do I use a longspear in melee" is answered by the rules is a semantic shift - that's not the question being asked. The question being asked is "What do the rules say about using the haft of a spear as an improvised weapon?" - from that angle, at best for you the answer is "they don't say one way or another", which brings us back to "RAW there is no answer", and thus /thread (if that really was your only goal).

If the Sheepshagger Defence seems too far removed from the game to be relevant then I'll try one closer to home:-

In the RPG Runequest (I played 2nd and 3rd editions back in the day), when you attack a foe you roll a d20 and consult a Hit Location Table to find out which part of the body was struck by the blow. Any critical hit could easily permanently damage a part of that location, so a crit to the arm would have different consequences to a crit to the head.

All this was very sensible. We can imagine attacking different parts of the body. In fact, when you think about it, it's almost impossible not to!

Just like you can imagine attacking a foe with different parts of your greatsword. I've seen demonstrations at the Royal Armouries of greatsword combat gleaned from contemporary fighting manuals, and the could attack with the flat of the blade as well as the edge, strike with the pommel, gouge or trip with the quillons.

All perfectly sensible.

The combat system for this game is in the CRB. Where are the rules for attacking parts of the body? The combat rules definitely have attacks directed at the body as a whole thing, and deplete the hit points of that whole thing. Therefore, without a written rule to the contrary, any attempt by the DM to introduce a Hit Location mechanic, no matter how well thought out, worthy, sensible, whatever, is...not...RAW.

Similarly, where are the rules for attacking with different parts of a weapon? There's the Double weapon quality, but that doesn't apply to weapons which don't have that quality. There's Pole Master, but that a special ability, and you need two levels of the Polearm Master fighter archetype. There's Spinning Lance, but that's a special ability, and you need seven levels of (whatever it is), and only applies to lances.

This is not a 'gap in the RAW'. RAW completely covers how to use a spear, so any ruling that contradicts this, good, bad or indifferent, is...not...RAW.

And this is the only question for this thread.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Democratus wrote:

There are no rules for urination in the RAW. No rules for sneezing. No rules for ennui. Are they impossible?

What's possible in your table's campaign is entirely up to you. That's what house rules are for.

I think part of the impasse here is the sense that "house rules" has a slightly pejorative meaning - it often feels as though calling something "house rules" is dismissing it as irrelevant to the game as "properly" played (this is especially common in threads about strict RAW, or about getting a PFS game ruling). Typically, this usage of house rules is taken to mean "changing the rules based on personal preferences", and is assumed to be irrelevant precisely because personal preferences are so subjective.

In this thread, though, we're not talking about "changing" the rules so much as dealing with a case that the rules are silent on, in much the same way that there are no rules for falling asleep etc. The question was basically "Can I use a longspear as an improvised weapon, and if so, how does it work?", to which the only RAW answer is "The rules don't say". Given that, it's essentially RAW that it's up to the GM to adjudicate it. Some will choose to say you can't do it at all, some will use the improvised weapon rules, some will make something else up, etc. That's not house rules, though, so much as defaulting to the RAW idea that the GM decides how to deal with things that fall outside the text of the rules.


MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Democratus wrote:

There are no rules for urination in the RAW. No rules for sneezing. No rules for ennui. Are they impossible?

What's possible in your table's campaign is entirely up to you. That's what house rules are for.

I think part of the impasse here is the sense that "house rules" has a slightly pejorative meaning - it often feels as though calling something "house rules" is dismissing it as irrelevant to the game as "properly" played (this is especially common in threads about strict RAW, or about getting a PFS game ruling). Typically, this usage of house rules is taken to mean "changing the rules based on personal preferences", and is assumed to be irrelevant precisely because personal preferences are so subjective.

In this thread, though, we're not talking about "changing" the rules so much as dealing with a case that the rules are silent on, in much the same way that there are no rules for falling asleep etc. The question was basically "Can I use a longspear as an improvised weapon, and if so, how does it work?", to which the only RAW answer is "The rules don't say". Given that, it's essentially RAW that it's up to the GM to adjudicate it. Some will choose to say you can't do it at all, some will use the improvised weapon rules, some will make something else up, etc. That's not house rules, though, so much as defaulting to the RAW idea that the GM decides how to deal with things that fall outside the text of the rules.

Thanks for bringing this up. I hadn't even considered that people were seeing 'house rules' as pejorative. House Rules is not a negative thing. It's a good and necessary facet to running a fun RPG.

House Rules covers modifying the RAW to fit personal taste. But it also covers "GM decides how to deal with things that fall outside the text of the rules" because every house/GM will handle it in their own way. These are the rules of each house: house rules.


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It's possible to pick a soccer ball up with your hands and throw it into the net. Will the universe implode if a player did that? No. Is it allowed in the rules of the game? No. What is so hard to grasp about a thing being both possible and not allowed by the rules of the game you are playing? It happens all the time in the games we play.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

We are actually closer on this than our positions on this debate make it seem. I absolutely agree that a vital part of the DM's role is 'to make judgement calls to fill gaps in the RAW'.

Okay - so, if the RAW explicitly admits that RAW are not sufficient to play the game, then we are agreed that it cannot be "contrary" to RAW to fill the gaps in the rules. The issue is that you feel like there is no gap in the rules, and I think that there absolutely is. You are interpreting the situation as violating the rules for using a longspear as a weapon, and I interpret the situation as finding a way to use the longspear as <not a longspear>. I don't see any clear reason why using the haft of a longspear as an improvised weapon is "contrary" to the RAW any more than using the longspear as a pole to trigger a pressure plate from a distance or as part of a jury-rigged stretcher is contrary to the rules for using a longspear as a longspear.

Your disagreement here seems rooted in a belief that the combat rules and stats for items form a self-contained whole - that anything outside of those rules is "contrary" to those rules in the same way that saying "Okay, instead of attacking normally, my pawns are going to attack backwards this turn" would be contrary to the RAW for Chess, because nothing in the rules of Chess provides for such an option. Certainly this is a valid view, I just don't share it, and I don't think it should be the "default" view of the rules, since, as we agreed, the RAW for Pathfinder assume that there are situations outside of the RAW, and provide for that by explicitly empowering the GM to deal with those as he/she sees fit.

In other words, you are interpreting the rules as saying "if you have a longspear, this is the only way you can attack with it", while I am interpreting the rules as saying "If you wish to use a longspear as a longspear, this is the way you do so. If you wish to use the longspear as something else, that's up the the GM". Between those two, I think my interpretation is more in line with both the spirit and the text of the rules, since the rules explicitly assume that there are situations that will fall outside of them.

Final note - the rules for improvised weapons do NOT explicitly say that they ONLY apply to 'non-weapon' objects. They say that they DO apply to objects not intended to be used as a weapon, but that's not at all the same thing. It's not that it's a violation of those rules to use a weapon in a non-standard way, it's that there are no rules AT ALL for using a weapon in a non-standard way.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Jurkal wrote:
its either an improvised weapon or a spear it can't be both.

No one has done anything to prove that this is the case, and logic and common sense would dictate otherwise.

What you can't do is threaten at 5' and 10' simultaneously; you can only "wield" one two-handed weapon at a time, so you would need to choose whether you are "wielding" a longspear as a longspear, or if you are "wielding" a pole with a pointy thing on the end as an improvised staff or club. Since the established rule for shifting your grip on a weapon states that it's a free action to remove your hand from a weapon and a free action to re-grab it, that would mean it is a free action to shift from wielding a longspear to a pole or vice versa. Since no special exceptions exist allowing you to do this outside your normal turn, whichever weapon you are wielding at the end of your turn, longspear or pole, is the one you threaten with.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
born_of_fire wrote:
It's possible to pick a soccer ball up with your hands and throw it into the net. Will the universe implode if a player did that? No. Is it allowed in the rules of the game? No. What is so hard to grasp about a thing being both possible and not allowed by the rules of the game you are playing? It happens all the time in the games we play.

The crucial difference is that the rules for soccer ARE intended to be strictly permissive, just like the rules for Chess or Trivial Pursuit. None of those games are built with the inherent assumption that players can and will go outside of the rules. Pathfinder is different, explicitly so.

Moreover, in soccer, the action you described is not something that is "not covered" by the rules, it's something that is explicitly forbidden by them. An analogy in Pathfinder might be something like "My character is stunned, but I'm going to take a normal turn anyway, and perform a full attack".


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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:
It's possible to pick a soccer ball up with your hands and throw it into the net. Will the universe implode if a player did that? No. Is it allowed in the rules of the game? No. What is so hard to grasp about a thing being both possible and not allowed by the rules of the game you are playing? It happens all the time in the games we play.

The crucial difference is that the rules for soccer ARE intended to be strictly permissive, just like the rules for Chess or Trivial Pursuit. None of those games are built with the inherent assumption that players can and will go outside of the rules. Pathfinder is different, explicitly so.

Moreover, in soccer, the action you described is not something that is "not covered" by the rules, it's something that is explicitly forbidden by them. An analogy in Pathfinder might be something like "My character is stunned, but I'm going to take a normal turn anyway, and perform a full attack".

There is no rule in soccer preventing me from chasing the opposing teams players off the field with a giant mechanized rabbit, burning the net to the ground and declaring that I have just scored 76 points either. By your logic, I could validly win the World Cup because it is possible for me to chase the opposing team off the field with a giant mechanized rabbit, burn the net to the ground and declare that I have scored 76 points and nothing in the rules prevents me from doing so.

I can't think of a game that has spelled out every single possible scenario that is not legal play. I also can't think of another game where a person would say to the adjudicator that there is no specific rule preventing them from performing action n so therefore action n must be legal. It might be that I lack imagination and recall but it's much more likely that game rules are permissive because the rule books required to include every illegal action in a game would fill an entire library. It's much more concise to say "this is what you can do with a spear and, if it's not listed, you can't do it" than it is to say "here are all the things you can't do with a spear: (400 books full of things you can't do with a spear). If it's not listed in one of these books, feel free to do that with a spear"

Furthermore, RAW is, by definition, rules as written. There are no rules as written to describe what you want to do ergo, any decision made regarding what you want to do, no matter how possible, reasonable, logical, sensible, is not RAW. If the GM must extrapolate using written rules to come to a decision regarding an action that is not specifically addressed within the rule books, it is not RAW, no matter how possible, reasonable, logical or sensible that action is. The OP only wants to know if it is RAW, not whether it is possible, reasonable, logical or sensible.


born_of_fire wrote:
There are no rules as written to describe what you want to do ergo, any decision made regarding what you want to do, no matter how possible, reasonable, logical, sensible, is not RAW.

Strange, I'm looking at them right now.


Ilja wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:
There are no rules as written to describe what you want to do ergo, any decision made regarding what you want to do, no matter how possible, reasonable, logical, sensible, is not RAW.
Strange, I'm looking at them right now.

Please do share in that case because you are in fact being disingenuous. There are 500+ posts in this discussion because no one can point to written rule on how a spear can be used as an improvised weapon. There is no description of the action required to stop attacking with the spear as designed and to start attacking with it as an improvised weapon. Without a clear description of how a spear goes from being a manufactured weapon to being an improvised weapon, you are not using RAW to perform such an action. And again, absence of RAW does not preclude possibility, reasonability, logicality or sensibility.


born_of_fire wrote:
MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:
It's possible to pick a soccer ball up with your hands and throw it into the net. Will the universe implode if a player did that? No. Is it allowed in the rules of the game? No. What is so hard to grasp about a thing being both possible and not allowed by the rules of the game you are playing? It happens all the time in the games we play.

The crucial difference is that the rules for soccer ARE intended to be strictly permissive, just like the rules for Chess or Trivial Pursuit. None of those games are built with the inherent assumption that players can and will go outside of the rules. Pathfinder is different, explicitly so.

Moreover, in soccer, the action you described is not something that is "not covered" by the rules, it's something that is explicitly forbidden by them. An analogy in Pathfinder might be something like "My character is stunned, but I'm going to take a normal turn anyway, and perform a full attack".

There is no rule in soccer preventing me from chasing the opposing teams players off the field with a giant mechanized rabbit, burning the net to the ground and declaring that I have just scored 76 points either. By your logic, I could validly win the World Cup because it is possible for me to chase the opposing team off the field with a giant mechanized rabbit, burn the net to the ground and declare that I have scored 76 points and nothing in the rules prevents me from doing so.

only if you ignore what he wrote... see the bolded text above.

born_of_fire wrote:
I also can't think of another game where a person would say to the adjudicator that there is no specific rule preventing them from performing action n so therefore action n must be legal.

any old-whitewolf world of darkness game.

Grand Lodge

Ilja wrote:
FLite wrote:

I think I have a reason why this won't work.

imp weapon says compare to the closest similar weapon. The closest similar weapon for a reach weapon is a quarterstaff sized for a large creature. Therefore the oversize weapons rules come into play. They say that for a larger than usual weapon, you increase the number of hands required by one. I believe quarterstaff requires two hands to wield, so unless you have an ability that lets you wield a quarterstaff one handed, you are out of luck.

This is a perfectly valid view, in line with the rules, and would prevent it from being used. However, it's not the only valid or reasonable comparision; I personally do not think that the closest comparision for using a longspear to bash would be a quarterstaff fit for a large creature, such as a stone giant or frost giant. Large humanoids are really big; it'd be hard even to wrap ones hands around a large quarterstaff, yet very easy with a longspear. Look at the stone giants, where the humanoid characters are just slightly taller than their knees.

I think you are mistaking perspective for relative size (and possibly some artistic license.)

Cyclops: Size Large, 9 ft
Hill Giant: Size Large, 10 ft
Stone Giant: Size Large, 12 ft
Frost Giant: Size Large, 15 ft

Since a quarter staff is usually about as tall as the person wielding it, and since size large is 8-16 ft tall typically, that would about cover the entire range of reach weapons.

As far as diameter of the shaft, that is more arguable, but since anyone from from 4 ft to 7 ft can use the same shaft diameter, I think the system just is not much concerned with it.

Side note.

I feel like a lot of this arguement comes down to where you fall on the gamist-simulationist-narrativist triangle. If you toward the gamist end of the spectrum, you feel allowing this alters the rules of the game, violating one of the balancing principles that affect whether reach weapons are balanced against non reach weapons. If you are toward the simulationist end of the spectrum, you feel this should be allowed, even though it is a dumb idea, because you could do this in real life, and the game shouldn't stop you from doing anything you could do in real life. And if you are on the narrativist side, whether you think this should be allowed comes down to whether you think allowing it makes for a better, more satisfying story. (This is the arguement, "what do you mean my heroic character can't slam the but of the spear into the face of the guy in front of him? I mean it's a dumb choice, but it's heroic!")

The important thing to remember is that the gamist, simuationist, and narrativist players may all be playing pathfinder, but at the end of the day, they really are playing three radically different games, for very different purposes, and getting different things out of it.


i'm not even certain simulationists and narrativists are all that different in what game they're playing and why... gamists are the most radically different because they seem to be playing the game for the rules rather than having rules so they can play a game.

Grand Lodge

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Spend some time watching a gamist and a simulationist fight with a narrativist some time :) They can be *very* different.

(In reality, nobody in roleplaying is purely any one of these things. A pure gamist would probably rather play chess, a pure narrativist would rather write a novel. A pure simulationist would... Okay, A pure simulationist would write GURPs 3rd ed Vehicles. :) )


born_of_fire wrote:
Please do share in that case because you are in fact being disingenuous. There are 500+ posts in this discussion because no one can point to written rule on how a spear can be used as an improvised weapon.

Actually, many have.. it's in the improvised weapon rules.

PRD wrote:
Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat.

I've certainly pointed out that weapons are a collection of objects, and if you separate a mace ball from its handle, the handle is still an improvised club.

If you separate a spear shaft from its spear point, its an improvised quarterstaff.

Just because two objects come together to make a "weapon" does not mean the individual parts of said "weapon" cease being objects capable of being improvised with.

Clear as day, right in the RAW.

Now, the question on whether you threaten both 10' and 5' is a bit trickier. I vote No.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've so far refrained from hitting the FAQ button on this question. It might be worthwhile. But there is one question that is still an unknown, and it is the answer to this question that will tip the balance on my decision to hit or not.

Consider the following points (and please disagree with them if you wish):

I think we all agree that the act of choosing to club someone with the shaft of a long spear is physically possible, even when you would have no way of sticking the pointy bit in them.

We all agree that at worst allowing someone to do so, by some means, is a reasonable house rule.

I'm fairly sure that we all agree that using the improvised weapon rules provides a consistent, simple, easy to remember approach to the problem.

Those are the points under consideration. One more oft-forgotten fact: even PFS GMs, who are generally bound by the rules as written, are expected to make judgement calls in ambiguous situations, so, in the strictest case of a PFS GM facing a player attempting this, they can still make their own decision about allowing it or not, and if they allow it, how they will adjudicate it.

In short, every GM, at every table, PFS or not, can answer this question in whatever way they feel suits their table best.

So, having said all of that, the question I'd like answering is this: what does it matter what the RAW says?


Dr Grecko wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:
Please do share in that case because you are in fact being disingenuous. There are 500+ posts in this discussion because no one can point to written rule on how a spear can be used as an improvised weapon.

Actually, many have.. it's in the improvised weapon rules.

PRD wrote:
Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat.

I've certainly pointed out that weapons are a collection of objects, and if you separate a mace ball from its handle, the handle is still an improvised club.

If you separate a spear shaft from its spear point, its an improvised quarterstaff.

Just because two objects come together to make a "weapon" does not mean the individual parts of said "weapon" cease being objects capable of being improvised with.

Clear as day, right in the RAW.

Now, the question on whether you threaten both 10' and 5' is a bit trickier. I vote No.

There is no description of the action required to stop attacking with the spear as a manufactured weapon and to start attacking with it as an improvised weapon. Without a clear description of how a spear goes from being a manufactured weapon to being an improvised weapon, you are not using RAW to perform such an action.

Pretty sad when people are reduced to repeating themselves word for word. Obstinance does not change what is appears in writing in the rule books. There is plenty of speculation and many reasonable suggestions on how to do this but nothing that appears RAW.


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born_of_fire wrote:
There is no description of the action required to stop attacking with the spear as a manufactured weapon and to start attacking with it as an improvised weapon. Without a clear description of how a spear goes from being a manufactured weapon to being an improvised weapon, you are not using RAW to perform such an action.

correct, the action of switching between the two is not covered by RAW. using the shaft of your spear as an improvised weapon, however, is covered by RAW. unless, of course, "object" is a game term and the shaft of your spear isn't an object by the game's definition.

born_of_fire wrote:
Pretty sad when people are reduced to repeating themselves word for word. Obstinance does not change what is appears in writing in the rule books. There is plenty of speculation and many reasonable suggestions on how to do this but nothing that appears RAW.

yeah, it is. so if you could just stop making us do it, that would be great. must you be so obstinate?


born_of_fire wrote:
Obstinance does not change what is appears in writing in the rule books.

Now this I agree with 100%.

Plain as day, you can improvise a spear as a quarterstaff.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
FLite wrote:
A pure simulationist would... Okay, A pure simulationist would write GURPs 3rd ed Vehicles. :) )

Schedule time on the local University's CRAY to run his simulation that he wrote because GURPS Vehicles was too imprecise.


born_of_fire wrote:


Please do share in that case because you are in fact being disingenuous. There are 500+ posts in this discussion because no one can point to written rule on how a spear can be used as an improvised weapon.

Nope; there are 500+ posts because a few people continue to claim/act as if "object" was a game term, without being able to show a written definition of it.


FLite wrote:
Spend some time watching a gamist and a simulationist fight with a narrativist some time :) They can be *very* different.

sure, but so could two gamists... ultimately, though, the rules serve the game for simulationists and narrativists alike. the game serves the rules for gamists... they're like lawyers. ew.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

born_of_fire wrote:

There is no description of the action required to stop attacking with the spear as a manufactured weapon and to start attacking with it as an improvised weapon. Without a clear description of how a spear goes from being a manufactured weapon to being an improvised weapon, you are not using RAW to perform such an action.

Ahem-

Ssalarn wrote:


What you can't do is threaten at 5' and 10' simultaneously; you can only "wield" one two-handed weapon at a time, something covered by the handedness rules, so you would need to choose whether you are "wielding" a longspear as a longspear, or if you are "wielding" a pole with a pointy thing on the end as an improvised staff or club. Since the established rule for shifting your grip on a weapon (see how I put a FAQ i.e. a rules reference in there?) states that it's a free action to remove your hand from a weapon and a free action to re-grab it, that would mean it is a free action to shift from wielding a longspear to a pole or vice versa. Since no special exceptions exist allowing you to do this outside your normal turn, whichever weapon you are wielding at the end of your turn, longspear or pole, is the one you threaten with.


born_of_fire wrote:


There is no description of the action required to stop attacking with the spear as a manufactured weapon and to start attacking with it as an improvised weapon.

There is no action needed to "stop attacking" with something; attacks happen and then they're over. There are several rule which could be used to determine the action required, some more specific and some more generic;

1. Devs have stated switching hands on a weapon - for example a cleric swapping it's mace from one hand to their light shield hand to cast a spell - is a free action. This could be interpreted as the correct way to handle it.
2. The drawing a weapon rule; "Drawing a weapon so that you can use it in combat // requires a move action." This could be applied if you feel the first ruling isn't RAW enough, but would have some weird consequences.
3. If you feel the second rule is too specific on drawing the weapon, we can always fall back on the "manipulate an object" rule, that states that it's generally a move action to manipulate objects.

Grand Lodge

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SlimGauge wrote:
FLite wrote:
A pure simulationist would... Okay, A pure simulationist would write GURPs 3rd ed Vehicles. :) )
Schedule time on the local University's CRAY to run his simulation that he wrote because GURPS Vehicles was too imprecise.

Get a job designing rockets for NASA and then go onto usenet to explain to people that the reason we were having trouble using G3 Vehicles to successfully create earth-to-orbit spacecraft was that we were not properly using differential equations to solve for the proper variables, and post the equations needed to design an earth to orbit rocket in Gurps vehicles. Or for that matter in real life.

^Actually happened. God I love that supplement.

Spend several days compiling data on 17th-18th century navel vessel crew sizes, mast heights, displacement volumes, gunnery, etc to plug into Gurps vehicles, to create realistic navel vessels for a game.

^Also actually happened. (What can I say, I had some free time back then.)

Spend several days designing the ultimate moon sized battle station, only to discover that due to an overlooked math error, the moon only had enough power to power engines, life support, or weapons. Rather than redesigning it, shrug, say "Yup, that's what they built. Unfortunately the aliens who built it made the same error you did, and by the time the error was discovered, the project was too far along, and scrapping it and starting over would have undermined popular confidence, so they hushed it up, got it into orbit, and are just hoping that it is so big that no one will be stupid enough to attack it."

^Anecdotal, but hilarious.


born_of_fire wrote:
Dr Grecko wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:
Please do share in that case because you are in fact being disingenuous. There are 500+ posts in this discussion because no one can point to written rule on how a spear can be used as an improvised weapon.

Actually, many have.. it's in the improvised weapon rules.

PRD wrote:
Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat.

I've certainly pointed out that weapons are a collection of objects, and if you separate a mace ball from its handle, the handle is still an improvised club.

If you separate a spear shaft from its spear point, its an improvised quarterstaff.

Just because two objects come together to make a "weapon" does not mean the individual parts of said "weapon" cease being objects capable of being improvised with.

Clear as day, right in the RAW.

Now, the question on whether you threaten both 10' and 5' is a bit trickier. I vote No.

There is no description of the action required to stop attacking with the spear as a manufactured weapon and to start attacking with it as an improvised weapon. Without a clear description of how a spear goes from being a manufactured weapon to being an improvised weapon, you are not using RAW to perform such an action.

Pretty sad when people are reduced to repeating themselves word for word. Obstinance does not change what is appears in writing in the rule books. There is plenty of speculation and many reasonable suggestions on how to do this but nothing that appears RAW.

We aren't that far along yet. We are still trying to determine if the RAW allows you to hit someone with the haft of a spear. Try not to get ahead.


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I love when an argument becomes more about how people are, either successfully or unsuccessfully, arguing than about the actual topic which is being argued about. It is a truly elevated form of human argument to argue about the validity or impotence of a person's arguments.


cuatroespada wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:
There is no description of the action required to stop attacking with the spear as a manufactured weapon and to start attacking with it as an improvised weapon. Without a clear description of how a spear goes from being a manufactured weapon to being an improvised weapon, you are not using RAW to perform such an action.

correct, the action of switching between the two is not covered by RAW. using the shaft of your spear as an improvised weapon, however, is covered by RAW. unless, of course, "object" is a game term and the shaft of your spear isn't an object by the game's definition.

born_of_fire wrote:
Pretty sad when people are reduced to repeating themselves word for word. Obstinance does not change what is appears in writing in the rule books. There is plenty of speculation and many reasonable suggestions on how to do this but nothing that appears RAW.
yeah, it is. so if you could just stop making us do it, that would be great. must you be so obstinate?

Good Lord, seriously? So how do you, RAW, stop using your spear as a spear and start using it as an improvised weapon? Is it a free action, a move action, a standard action, a swift action? Can it be done at any time, including in the middle of your full attack retinue, or do you have to declare before you start your actions which you are using, the manufactured spear or the improvised haft? Can you threaten both 5' and 10' at the same time or do you have to declare which you threaten? Feel free to quote any written rules.

You can't because, as you fully admit yourself, there are no written rules to answer those questions. There is a description of how to use objects that are not weapons as improvised weapons and there is a description of how to use manufactured weapons as weapons.

Grand Lodge

And mendedwall has just elevated the metalevel of this conversation to discuss how people are arguing how they are arguing about what they arguing about...

On the topic of meta...

Never play a game with a delusional simulationist. He is trying to get the rules to model a world that doesn't exist outside his head.


@bof - I don't want to change from one to the other. I just want to pick up a spear and hit the dude next to me with the haft.

That's where we are at. All the other stuff you are worried about wont be relevent until we answer the first question.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

MendedWall12 wrote:
I love when an argument becomes more about how people are, either successfully or unsuccessfully, arguing than about the actual topic which is being argued about. It is a truly elevated form of human argument to argue about the validity or impotence of a person's arguments.

God bless the internet.


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we're still waiting for you to quote the part of the rules that says the shaft of my spear is not an object... barring those rules, it is, in fact, an object and can be used as an improvised weapon.

Shadow Lodge

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cuatroespada wrote:
we're still waiting for you to quote the part of the rules that says the shaft of my spear is not an object... barring those rules, it is, in fact, an object and can be used as an improvised weapon.

The rules clearly treat weapons as single objects rather than a collection of objects.

If you roll a natural 1 on your saving throw vs a fireball and your long spear takes damage it does so as a whole. You don't roll individual saves for the haft and the head.

The hardness and HP rules list the statistics for a weapon they do so for the entirety of the object not individual parts and if it is reduced to 0hp and destroyed you can't pick up a part of it to use as an improvised weapon.

The rules treat a long spear as a single object that is made to be used as a weapon. Since it is made to be used as a weapon in some fashion it can't be used to make improvised weapon attacks. Even were it able to make improvised weapon attacks the long spear (with all of its parts) has the reach quality and the rules specifically state you can't use a reach weapon to attack or threaten adjacent squares.

Silver Crusade

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cuatroespada wrote:
we're still waiting for you to quote the part of the rules that says the shaft of my spear is not an object... barring those rules, it is, in fact, an object and can be used as an improvised weapon.

On the contrary. In the face of written rules that describe it as a weapon, you have to find and quote a written rule which says you can treat it as if it wasn't what the rules say it is.


born_of_fire wrote:


Good Lord, seriously? So how do you, RAW, stop using your spear as a spear and start using it as an improvised weapon?

How do you stop drinking from your flask and start using it as an improvised weapon? Would a lack of a specific rule for that mean you can't use bottles as improvised weapons? (Or the same for exactly every other improvised weapon).

Though that's irrelevant, seeing as how there are several different methods that could be interpreted as the correct one, as I stated in the post you seem to have missed.
1 - As a free action, as by dev comments on shifting grip.
2 - As a move action, as by the "draw a weapon" rule, if you feel the dev comments aren't RAW enough.
3 - As a move action, as by the "manipulate an object" rule, if you feel the "draw a weapon" rule doesn't apply.

Any of these are valid rulings.


Ilja wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:


Good Lord, seriously? So how do you, RAW, stop using your spear as a spear and start using it as an improvised weapon?

How do you stop drinking from your flask and start using it as an improvised weapon? Would a lack of a specific rule for that mean you can't use bottles as improvised weapons? (Or the same for exactly every other improvised weapon).

Though that's irrelevant, seeing as how there are several different methods that could be interpreted as the correct one, as I stated in the post you seem to have missed.
1 - As a free action, as by dev comments on shifting grip.
2 - As a move action, as by the "draw a weapon" rule, if you feel the dev comments aren't RAW enough.
3 - As a move action, as by the "manipulate an object" rule, if you feel the "draw a weapon" rule doesn't apply.

Any of these are valid rulings.

I think the appropriate answer when we get to that point should be, "the same way you change from stabbing someone with a dagger and switch to throwing it at someone."


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
cuatroespada wrote:
we're still waiting for you to quote the part of the rules that says the shaft of my spear is not an object... barring those rules, it is, in fact, an object and can be used as an improvised weapon.
On the contrary. In the face of written rules that describe it as a weapon, you have to find and quote a written rule which says you can treat it as if it wasn't what the rules say it is.

The rules do not describe spear hafts as weapons, though. So again, until you find some RAW definition of "object", "anything that is visible or tangible and is relatively stable in form" is an object. A spear haft is an object. It is not designed as a weapon (hence, no weapon stats for spear haft).

If you want to claim that object does NOT mean it's common definition (here provided by dictionary.com), you need rules support for that.


BigDTBone wrote:


I think the appropriate answer when we get to that point should be, "the same way you change from stabbing someone with a dagger and switch to throwing it at someone."

That wouldn't be unreasonable, but they aren't the same thing. A thrown dagger is a weapon - dagger. A stabbing dagger is a weapon - dagger. A longspear is a weapon - longspear. Clubbing someone with the shaft of a longspear is a weapon - improvised weapon.

You don't change the way you wield the dagger when you throw it; throwing and stabbing are just two options when you wield a dagger. Compare to if you had say a longspear as your bonded weapon - to cast a spell, you must hold the spear in one hand and cast the spell with the other, to attack you need to hold the spear in both. They are separate functions, even if both involve the spear, and switching requires a free action.

To me, the preferred method would be that it's the same action as switching grip on something you have in your hand - like letting go of a hand from a greatsword to cast a spell. Hence, a free action.

A move action would be the conservative method if one (for some strange reason) worries about balance with this method, and the one that is unambiguously supported by the rules if no other rule takes precedence.

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