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


Rules Questions

1,651 to 1,668 of 1,668 << first < prev | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | next > last >>
Silver Crusade

Wow. over 1600 posts.
Well, I haven't read them all but I thought I'd share my experience. Apologies if this has been raised earlier in the thread.
I trained in the use of the longspear whilst I was in an historical re-enactment society. The longspear very definitely threatened opponents at range, but once the opponent stepped inside the reach of the spear(point) I was in trouble. The longspear is both too long and too heavy to make any kind of useful attack with the haft against an adjacent foe. It is absolutely reasonable for the rules to state that a reach weapon doesn't threaten an adjacent foe.
However - could I attempt to hit an adjacent foe with the haft of my longspear? Sure. It's physically possible, but difficult and likely to result in my getting stuck by whatever weapon the foe has in hand. Therefore, making an improvised attack with a longspear haft is possible IRL and should be possible in game.
I would say it is a different matter to state that one can threaten an adjacent target though: you can make an improvised attack, but you're in no position to threaten (barring special training that in game would be represented by an appropriate feat or class feature).

Incidentally, most of the time I was using a longspear I was also using a large shield. The shield was slung over my shoulder and my "off hand" gripped both the haft of the spear and one of the straps of the shield. Effective, totally historically accurate (11th century England), but not, I think, allowable by the rules of our roleplaying game :)


Cayzle wrote:

There are some great ideas here for using crossbows and bows as improvised weapons.

However, the RAW tell us how to use arrows and bolts in melee. They do not tell us how to use crossbows and bows in melee. If you want to do that, you have to start making up rules -- rules analogous to those for arrows and bolts, but rules you make up yourself.

No, rules analagous to those for chair legs or farm equipment.

Improvised weapon rules are pretty much perfect for exactly this.

You do have something of a point with the question of why the rules specifically state what happens with arrows and bolts, but I think it's easy enough to explain if you consider the history of the rules. As I recall, in 1E, you could buy cheaper 1d6 arrows or more expensive 1d8 arrows. It's not immediately obvious that "stabbing with an arrow" is going to do less damage than "shooting an arrow from a bow", so you need to answer that question to avoid people trying to cheese it and get 1d10 stabbing damage with a "heavy crossbow bolt".

But it's totally obvious to anyone that whacking someone with a bow is not going to do arrow damage, so they can leave it to the general improvised weapon rules, which cover any use of an object as a weapon when there is not a better weapon rule to cover that usage. You're immune to slashing damage, and fighting zombies, so you're holding your sword by the blade and whacking them with the hilt? Improvised weapon. Ran out of arrows, bashing people over the head with your bow? Improvised weapon. And so on.

It's how actual historical combat worked, it's a pretty obvious application of the rules, and I really don't see how this is controversial.


Supervillan. The Koreans got around this by focusing on kicks if an opponent closed distance (on any one of their ridiculous number of polearms).

Monk sighs and flurries.

Supervillan, what was the length of the longspears you trained with? There is a range where bashing is still a great option, but then it ceases to be easy to do (this reminds me of an old dispute with a friend who favours 4ft staves over 6-7 ft).

As the spear is so prevalent across cultures, I know that some have so much blade (why bash when you can just disembowel them?) and some are shaped well for bashing. Then there is the old lizard killer if we are talking Greek longspears.

For your last point supervillan, spear and shield (and any polearm and shield) was finally allowed by pathfinder with a fighter archetype. I was rather impressed. Really considering halberd and tower shield.

Link
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/fighter/archetypes/paizo---fig hter-archetypes/phalanx-soldier


The Crusader wrote:
@Cayzle: I don't quite get your continued objection. In your last post, you say you would allow (as DM) someone to use a longspear as an improvised weapon. Very obviously the only rules that would cover that action would be the improvised weapon rules. You would probably apply them to the letter exactly how we have interpreted them through this entire thread. How is that not RAW???

I really do think that people use the threads on this rules forum when they want answers to rules questions. Then they go back to their DM and say, "Well, there's no FAQ, but the consensus on the rules forum is XYZ."

At least, that is how *I* use these forums, and others I know do too.

So my point is, we clearly do not have a consensus on this issue of using weapons in improvised ways. The decision should default to the DM. The player should not be able to quote this thread as an appeal to "authority."

Whether I personally as a DM would rule one way or the other is irrelevant. More to the point is that there is no answer RAW. And when there is no RAW, the DM gets to decide.

Just browse the big majority of the threads in this forum. People are talking about what the rules let them do. IMNSHO, the rules are silent on this "weapons as improvised weapons" question. The most we can say here is, "have some options, but you should ask your DM."

We do not say that, for example, when a player asks "Do inquisitors get proficiency with racial weapons from weapon familiarity?" for example. The consensus on this forum on that point is clear. The player whose DM disagreed could make an argument that the rules forum supports his point.

We're not just a debating society here. We give guidance to players with questions. We even have a certain measure of authority when we all agree. With 1600+ posts on this one, we're not giving much guidance or speaking with authority! :-)


PatientWolf wrote:

No you do not get to challenge ALL assumptions.

You have argued that developer statements don't matter and you don't feel any need to accept them.

I think you have this a little backwards. The one developer statement we have for this situation supports our side. Your side is the one that won't accept it. If you're saying that "we should"... well, maybe reconsider your stance.

Silver Crusade

DMutB: phalanx fighting is part of what I trained in (shield wall). Spears were 7-8 feet in length, matching the description in the CRB. Bashing would certainly be more feasible with a 4 foot spear.


Anguish wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Anguish wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
Anguish wrote:

Let's try this to stir up the "do whatever you want at -4" crowd...

Why the heck would that be a bad thing? Martial Characters already have extremely limited options, especially at higher levels. The -4 is a significant penalty to perform a perfectly reasonable action that already comes at the penalty of not being able to use any weapon-related feats or enchantments.

You can already take a -4 to do non-lethal damage with a lethal weapon, or vice versa. You can already take a -4 to deal damage with a pencil. That's pretty darn close to "whatever you want at a -4." Why is this the limit of possibility?

What in the world would allowing this action in your game do to it that would be so terrible?

I'm not saying it's terrible. It's just not what the rules say.

I'm on the record as saying I prefer the rules to say what they do, but that this is a reasonable area to house-rule on.

And what the rules do is ... Not say.
You forgot to finish your post with "anything relevant except that reach weapons aren't valid to attack adjacent targets." The rules do say that, inconvenient to your viewpoint as it is.

And the haft of a spear used as an improvised weapon does not have reach, by the rules. Interesting how that works. By the rules.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
PatientWolf wrote:
No you do not get to challenge ALL assumptions.

Yes, I do, including (infuriatingly enough) the assumption you are making that questioning the basic assumption of the forum is beyond reproach.

PatientWolf wrote:
The basic assumption of this forum is that it is to discuss the RULES. Hence the name Rules Questions. It is a place to request answers from other players and from the developers both in the forum and via the FAQ system.

I have no problem with discussing the rules per se, and I have no problem asking what the designers intended per se. What I have a problem with is people who assume that when the rules are unclear, there is nonetheless still one "correct" way to play, and seek to establish that way to the exclusion of all others. Just because people are comfortable with inappropriately conflating designer RAI with textual RAW with "Right answer" doesn't mean that they should be allowed to do so without question.

PatientWolf wrote:
You have argued that developer statements don't matter and you don't feel any need to accept them. The rules themselves are nothing more than developer statements on how things work. Therefore, you don't feel the need to accept those either, a fact which you have actually stated. However, if no one feels the need to accept the rules then it becomes impossible to come to a definitive answer on any rules question. So for those like you this forum is useless because you aren't looking for an answer to a question because no answer is possible.

If you want to accuse me of thinking the vast majority of "rules debates" on the forums should be resolved by saying "The rules are unclear, it's okay to play it however you want", then guilty as charged. You are entirely correct that I feel like generally speaking the questions being asked in this forum are less about "What do the rules say" and more about people trying to use the rules as a weapon to establish "right" play. I don't even have a beef with people discussing why they think the game should be played in a particular way, really, I just don't think we should keep letting people confuse those discussions with questions about what the rules actually are, and I think we need to accept that sometimes the definitive answer to a question about what the rules ARE is "Unclear".

Again, I'm not advocating absolute anarchy, however - I'm saying maybe instead of running to the forums to fight over what the "right" answer is to what is ultimately a subjective question, maybe players would be better off just solving those questions on their own, without trying to appeal to the imaginary authority of some other party (be it forum consensus, dev RAI, PatientWolf's opinions, whatever).

PatientWolf wrote:
You have stated that you feel the need for dev input and definitive answers to rules questions is ruining the game and you want to convince people to get away from that. That my friend is questioning other people's play style. You don't like that we are here trying to determine exactly what the rules say and what the developers intend. If that is the case go to the homebrew/house rule forum. Talk to the devs about creating a forum gaming philosophy.

What I don't like is that you are effectively arguing that there is no difference between the two different ideas in the sentence I bolded. Also, I've been waiting for a while to see the old "If you are so tolerant, then why can't you tolerate my intolerance" schtick pulled out, so thanks. Two quick, easy answers: First, no, I'm not questioning how you play Pathfinder, unless you are about to tell me that coming to the forums and seeking to tell other people how to play the game is a vital part of the Pathfinder experience for you. Instead, I'm criticizing the assumptions underlying how you formulate your argument, and nothing more. If you want to treat RAI as RAW in your own game, that's fine. Just admit that's what you are doing, instead of acting like the two concepts are automatically and inescapably one and the same. Second, even if you were right, and I was being a hypocrite, that doesn't make me wrong about the fact that it's bad practice to judge other people's styles, it just means that it's a difficult habit to break, and we should all try harder.

PatientWolf wrote:
Malachi's original post makes it clear he was seeking a developer answer to this question and repeatedly asked people to press the FAQ button to help him get that answer. When a questioner is seeking an answer from the developers then developer input does indeed matter. You might not care about that input but the rest of us do and your arguments that developer input means nothing are off topic.

This is the smoking gun for my argument. Go back and re-read Malachi's original post. Read it carefully. In fact, continue reading his clarifications about what he wants - note how he never actually says he wants RAI, he wants ONLY RAW (in fact, several times he explicitly rejects questions about what was intended or what "common sense" says). The assertion here that it was "clear" that Malachi was actually after RAI is exactly what I am talking about - the systemic assumption that RAW can only mean what the designers intended to mean. That confusion cuts to the core of the central question of this thread, so I don't see how it can possibly be off topic to call it out and critique it. I will concede, however, that it is at least oddly consistent for you to chastise me for failing to follow the unwritten yet nonetheless somehow obvious intent of the thread, since that's basically what your rules interpretation comes down to as well.

Oh, and to be clear: My OPINION is that people are greatly overvaluing RAI in their home games. My ARGUMENT is that RAI doesn't equal RAW. My suspicion is that confusion over the latter point is the cause of the former.


Cayzle wrote:
So my point is, we clearly do not have a consensus on this issue of using weapons in improvised ways. The decision should default to the DM. The player should not be able to quote this thread as an appeal to "authority."

Yeah, but ultimately every action defaults to the DM. No player gets to use forum consensus, developer quotes, or even the CRB to ram a ruling down their DM's throat.

But, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, if a player declares an action, and you can clearly identify the rules that govern that action, AND you apply them exactly as they're written, isn't that RAW?


The Crusader wrote:
What I'm saying is, if a player declares an action, and you can clearly identify the rules that govern that action, AND you apply them exactly as they're written, isn't that RAW?

Sure, if "you can clearly define the rules." In my opinion, in this case, you cannot. There are too many conflicting ideas in the rules to be clear. The rule that says reach weapons cannot be used against adjacent foes. The rule that says (per my interpretation) that you cannot apply the improvised weapon rules to actual weapons.

1600+ posts says this: You cannot clearly identify the rules that govern using reach weapons against adjacent targets if you take the -4 penalty, etc. Therefore, not RAW.

Therefore, default to the DM's decision, but do not call it RAW. And that decision goes under the "homebrew" label, which is fine.


The Crusader wrote:
No player gets to use forum consensus, developer quotes, or even the CRB to ram a ruling down their DM's throat.

Of course not. But what we say, what the devs say, what the rules say, those words matter. Not enough to "ram a ruling down a DM's throat." But they have some weight. When we all post here with a clear consensus, it means at least a little. Enough to tip the balance and help DMs decide how to adjudicate issues, often.


OK, perfect example just now from a PbP game I run. Player is a halfling 30 ft up on a rooftop. Party is below fighting owlbears. Player posts, "I'll use acrobatics to soften my fall. I'll jump off the roof. I'll take damage, but can I use the rules for falling objects to hurt an owlbear."

Now, no way is this RAW! And I specify in my answer that I'm not committing to a precedent. But the Rule of Cool wins in this one, so I'm totally allowing it. In fact, I'm awarding a hero point to reward clever fun ingenuity, too.

But it is not RAW. The rules are for falling objects, not falling creatures!


Cayzle wrote:
1600+ posts says this: You cannot clearly identify the rules that govern using reach weapons against adjacent targets if you take the -4 penalty, etc. Therefore, not RAW.

This is a false statement. The rules have been pointed out, multiple times. It is indeed RAW.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
MrTsFloatinghead wrote:

This is the smoking gun for my argument. Go back and re-read Malachi's original post. Read it carefully. In fact, continue reading his clarifications about what he wants - note how he never actually says he wants RAI, he wants ONLY RAW (in fact, several times he explicitly rejects questions about what was intended or what "common sense" says). The assertion here that it was "clear" that Malachi was actually after RAI is exactly what I am talking about - the systemic assumption that RAW can only mean what the designers intended to mean. That confusion cuts to the core of the central question of this thread, so I don't see how it can possibly be off topic to call it out and critique it. I will concede, however, that it is at least oddly consistent for you to chastise me for failing to follow the unwritten yet nonetheless somehow obvious intent of the thread, since that's basically what your rules interpretation comes down to as well.

Oh, and to be clear: My OPINION is that people are greatly overvaluing RAI in their home games. My ARGUMENT is that RAI doesn't equal RAW. My suspicion is that confusion over the latter point is the cause of the former.

No that is not your opinion. If Malachi is not sufficiently authoritative to clarify what he was seeking in his post and the developers are not adequately authoritative to clarify what they wrote in the rules then you are not sufficiently authoritative to tell us what opinion you have been putting forth in your posts.

I reject your assumption that your interpretation of your own opinion matters. Rather I believe your opinion is that you want everyone to play the game your way. You don't like everyone seeking answers from anyone that contradicts you. You are here in this thread to troll. You are here to bloviate a bunch of pseudo-philosophical drivel filled with buzz phrases such as "argumenation theory" in an effort to make yourself sound authoritative so that people will play the game your way. Nothing you can possibly say will change my mind on that because I do not consider you to be in anyway qualified to tell me what you intend by your own posts.


Cayzle wrote:
Therefore, default to the DM's decision, but do not call it RAW. And that decision goes under the "homebrew" label, which is fine.

I don't agree with this. Firstly, as far as I know, there is not a definition of homebrew and what should or should not be labeled. If you try and look up a definition you will find that the term is about making alcohol at home. Since that common definition doesn't make sense here, I will instead assume that it's being used as synonymous with House Rules.

If I am playing and the rules are unclear, and the GM is not changing a rule, then the GM is not using a house rule to say that the rules are to be interpreted in a specific way. At least not anymore than any other rules interpretations that they are within their purview to make.

But in my opinion a house rule is a rule that is created to deviate from the written rules. Your opinion on that may be different as well. (If everytime a GM makes a decision it could be considered a House Rule from then on, I suppose.)

Trying to label the stance that one side of this debate is following the rules and the other is using "homebrew" is problematic, because it turns into "right-play" vs "wrong-play". Which is unnecessary because the rules are unclear and it really should fall under GM purview until such a time as the rules are clarified.

All told, I think that this thread has played itself out. Either your GM will or won't allow it. At my table it would be allowed, but I don't read the rules like a legal document. I read them as rules to facilitate story telling, so when common sense says an action should be possible I will use the best fit in the rules to allow the action.

Reading the rules more like a legal document gets a reading where it doesn't expressly permit you to use a weapon in an improvised manner, therefore you can't. That style doesn't work for me or my group, but it doesn't mean that a group is wrong to play it that way. That is a stylistic difference and I believe that both groups can do that using RAW. (Note that neither side is breaking any rule as written to do this, so they don't need to create a house rule, they are just interpreting the rules in the manner that best fits their situation.)

I'm out of this for now, if the thread is still around at 2,000 or so posts I might pop back in and see what's going on and if any new ground has been broken.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
RDM42 wrote:
Anguish wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Anguish wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
Anguish wrote:

Let's try this to stir up the "do whatever you want at -4" crowd...

Why the heck would that be a bad thing? Martial Characters already have extremely limited options, especially at higher levels. The -4 is a significant penalty to perform a perfectly reasonable action that already comes at the penalty of not being able to use any weapon-related feats or enchantments.

You can already take a -4 to do non-lethal damage with a lethal weapon, or vice versa. You can already take a -4 to deal damage with a pencil. That's pretty darn close to "whatever you want at a -4." Why is this the limit of possibility?

What in the world would allowing this action in your game do to it that would be so terrible?

I'm not saying it's terrible. It's just not what the rules say.

I'm on the record as saying I prefer the rules to say what they do, but that this is a reasonable area to house-rule on.

And what the rules do is ... Not say.
You forgot to finish your post with "anything relevant except that reach weapons aren't valid to attack adjacent targets." The rules do say that, inconvenient to your viewpoint as it is.
And the haft of a spear used as an improvised weapon does not have reach, by the rules. Interesting how that works. By the rules.

Because I can keep repeating myself... if improvising a longspear's shaft means that you can use said longspear to attack adjacent opponents, then you are clearly not permitted to improvise said spear, because the rules say that you can't attack adjacent targets with a longspear. Yet again, nothing in the improvised section states that it presents an exception to the rules established for reach weapons. Sorry, but when you find yourself doing something the rules say you cannot, something's gone wrong.

Digital Products Assistant

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Locking. This doesn't seem like it's going anywhere at this point. Also, personal attacks don't help any conversation. Please revisit the messageboard rules.

Paizo Employee Official Rules Response

5 people marked this as a favorite.

New FAQ

FAQ wrote:

Can I use my longspear to attack at both 10 feet and 5 feet? I know that the rules for reach weapons don't allow them to attack adjacent foes, but can I use the improvised weapon rules to say that the blunt end of my longspear resembles a club and use it to attack adjacent foes? I know that the improvised weapon rules say they are for objects not designed to be weapons, but the blunt end of my longspear was not designed to be a weapon, right?

You could choose to wield your longspear as an improvised blunt weapon. In this case, it threatens only your adjacent squares, and not the further squares. If you are wielding it as a longspear, though, to threaten the further squares, then your grip precludes the use as an improvised blunt weapon. The rules are silent on how long it would take to shift between the two, but switching between a one-handed and a two-handed grip with a one-handed weapon like a longsword is a free action (and can thus be only taken on your turn), so it should take at least as long as that, thus preventing you from simultaneously threatening all of the squares at once. Incidentally, using the longspear as an improvised weapon in this way would not allow you to benefit from any magical enhancements it may possess, nor would you add benefits that apply when attacking with a longspear (such as Weapon Focus (longspear), but you would apply any benefits from using an improvised weapon (such as Catch Off-Guard).

1,651 to 1,668 of 1,668 << first < prev | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Can I use my longspear to attack at both 10-feet AND 5-feet? All Messageboards