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


Rules Questions

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Silver Crusade

116 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 3 people marked this as a favorite.

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 weapon my longspear most resembles is a club and therefore 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?


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The blunt end of a spear isn't a weapon, which means it qualifies for improvised. Just remember the attack penalties associated with using improvised weapons. Also, the blunt end would not benefit from any magical properties that may be placed on the spear, and likely wouldn't benefit from the master worked quality of such a weapon.

Silver Crusade

Do us all a favour and hit FAQ. : )


Which part? Whether you can count the end of a spear as an improvised weapon?

The magical property aspect is pretty clear cut, once you look at the way a double weapon functions. And since it isn't a part of the weapon meant for attack, master worked wouldn't work either.

There is always the Dragoon fighter archetype if you want to make it simple.

Silver Crusade

I never thought for a moment that an improvised weapon would benefit from weapon properties, so it's not that.

I'm asking if I can get round the reach weapon rules by citing the improvised weapon rules, even though those rules specify non-weapon objects and some might say that the weapon my longspear most resembles is a longspear.


I think the answer Deliverance has given is the most favorable opinion you would get.

Being able to use it as an improvised weapon to attack adjacent targets would (if possible) guarantee that you wouldn't benefit from masterwork on magical enhancements to the weapon and that you would take penalties from using as an improvised weapon or else why would they go the effort of saying that you can't attack adjacent targets with a reach weapon.

It would render it pointless if the weapon worked just as well improvised as it does normally. And this is even presuming that it's able to be used to attack adjacent targets.

Edit: Now seeing your above response, I see you just want a clear ruling on whether you could use it to attack adjacent as a improvised weapon. I will FAQ for you.


Well thats up to the DM then. I will say I personally would rate the butt of a spear as a club equivalent for improvised weapons, which the Dragoon also counts it as for his level 7 ability.

Silver Crusade

Claxon wrote:
I see you just want a clear ruling on whether you could use it to attack adjacent as a improvised weapon. I will FAQ for you.

Precisely, and thank you. : )


Problem with Dragoon is it forces you to play 7 levels of fighter.
But anyone who's ever used a spear knows that it's not really that hard to defend yourself with the butt-end. (A pike? No way, but a longspear? Those are hardly longer than quarterstaves.)

Silver Crusade

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Just to be clear, I'm only interested in whether this is allowed in the rules, not whether we think it should be.


The Dragoon ability also is treated as a real club, avoiding Improvised penalties and of course also benefitting from all magical enhancements of the spear type weapon (all that are applicable to bludgeoning weapons).

Liberty's Edge

Why even consider it? Your a melee fighter with a 2handed weapon in your hands...just buy a longsword and say that you wield the longspear in your offhand when an enemy gets in 5' reach and draw your longsword with your mainhand and attack......or just take a 5' step back and attack. Alternatively you could walk or acrobatics more than a 5' so that you can get an AoO if they get close again. To consider using the opposite end of a longspear as a non Dragoon just seems silly though.


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This isn't a question for a specific character or scenario. It is a generalized question concerning the use of weapons in alternative ways, different from how they are intended to be used.

A longspear is effectively a very long stick with a point on one end. While it might not be balanced for it, realistically you can take the spear with one hand toward each end (like a staff) and bash someone in the face with the middle of the haft.

However, using it in this manner is effectively using it as an improvised weapon, and because that text states it applies to objects that were not designed to be weapons, there's an argument that RAW does not allow you to do what I've described - bash someone with the haft.

As to why you might consider it, here's one possible scenario: You're 40 feet from a foe; you have a longspear, granting you 10' of reach. You move your full 30 feet of movement - but as it turns out the enemy was smart and had readied a 5' step and moves adjacent to you as you approach. You no longer can attack with your weapon normally because it is a reach weapon - but as a free action, you could switch your grip on it and use the haft for an improvised bashing attack.

Effectiveness isn't really being questioned here - I think everyone understands that it would not be all that effective (and that's reflected in a lower damage [since you'd be doing staff or club damage] and a -4 penalty for improvising). It's more a question of, can you do it\are you intended to be able to do it without specific class features?


No. You can threaten 10' *or* 5' improvised. Not both at the same time. You're only wielding one weapon, and that weapon threatens 5 or 10, not both.


Majuba wrote:
No. You can threaten 10' *or* 5' improvised. Not both at the same time. You're only wielding one weapon, and that weapon threatens 5 or 10, not both.

This isn't in question.

What is in question is whether you can use a reach weapon as an improvised non-reach weapon at all (without certain class features) to attack an adjacent foe. The argument against allowing it is that the improvised weapon text states that it's intended for objects that were not designed as weapons; a longspear is obviously a weapon, and so the claim is that because it's a weapon you can't improvise with it and use it in any other way fashion.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yes.

Why would you though?

You don't get any enhancement bonus, and you basically forgo threatening at reach, for one attack.

You can't do it as an AoO.

Just nab some Armor Spikes.

Heck, if you are not worried about AoOs, then just wear a Spiked Gauntlet, and ungrip your Longspear with one hand, attack, then regrip.

Why is this even a concern?


RAW I would say no

Personal opinion...still no...the game is already designed in the players favor...if you choose to use a reach weapon learn to deal with the downside

There are already class features and such that do what you are trying to do...if it was as easy as just doing it then those features would have no point in existing

Silver Crusade

Thanks Xaratherus. That is the question I'm asking, but it doesn't rely only on the wording of the improvised weapons rule, it also asks if the intentional limit on reach weapons (inability to attack adjacent foes) can easily be ignored by saying that your reach weapon is an improvised non-reach weapon.

Is this way to circumvent the reach weapon disadvantage 'rules legal'.

Silver Crusade

Drakkiel wrote:

RAW I would say no

Personal opinion...still no...the game is already designed in the players favor...if you choose to use a reach weapon learn to deal with the downside

There are already class features and such that do what you are trying to do...if it was as easy as just doing it then those features would have no point in existing

Well put.

Silver Crusade

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Yes.

Why would you though?

You don't get any enhancement bonus, and you basically forgo threatening at reach, for one attack.

You can't do it as an AoO.

Just nab some Armor Spikes.

Heck, if you are not worried about AoOs, then just wear a Spiked Gauntlet, and ungrip your Longspear with one hand, attack, then regrip.

Why is this even a concern?

I'm not asking if it's a good idea; I'm asking if it's 'rules legal'.


Yeah, I'm not sure what the confusion is... No concept about simutaneously threatening with both weapons,
the assumption is you are only wielding one weapon at a time, and need to adjust grips as Free Action, thus one or the other at any one time.

Dropping the weapon and drawing another one means a Move Action and provoking if you don't have Quickdraw.
It's not about whether there are better options you might have. If those exist, nothing stops you from using them.
The issue is solely one of how the rules actually work, and at one level it should be perfectly fine,
as there is no rule saying that weapons do not count as objects, yet some people seem to object to it still...
(although many of their objections seem to be mixing the issue with others, not dealing with the issue head on)

I would certainly let you. The amount of damage is somewhat up to GM fiat, if you wanted to use a bow, it would either only do UAS level damage or just not be a viable melee weapon... But clearly other cases exist where there is no question that as an improvised weapon it isn't particularly worse than a club/staff/bo stick/etc, an so should at least do low-end damage. I hit FAQ.

Silver Crusade

Quandary wrote:

Yeah, I'm not sure what the confusion is... No concept about simutaneously threatening with both weapons,

the assumption is you are only wielding one weapon at a time, and need to adjust grips as Free Action, thus one or the other at any one time.

Dropping the weapon and drawing another one means a Move Action and provoking if you don't have Quickdraw.
It's not about whether there are better options you might have. If those exist, nothing stops you from using them.
The issue is solely one of how the rules actually work, and at one level it should be perfectly fine,
as there is no rule saying that weapons do not count as objects, yet some people seem to object to it still...
(although many of their objections seem to be mixing the issue with others, not dealing with the issue head on)

I would certainly let you. The amount of damage is somewhat up to GM fiat, if you wanted to use a bow, it would either only do UAS level damage or just not be a viable melee weapon... But clearly other cases exist where there is no question that as an improvised weapon it isn't particularly worse than a club/staff/bo stick/etc, an so should at least do low-end damage. I hit FAQ.

Thanks for hitting FAQ. : )

I have no objection whatsoever to a DM making a decision on the fly in his own game; it's part of his job after all. But I'm not asking if DMs are allowed to make decisions like this.

I'm asking if the rules as written allow this.


And it seems like it always is up to GM fiat whether an object is potentially useful, e.g. maybe a bow or javelin just aren't effective improvised blugeoning weapons because they're too lightly constructed, and they can make that ruling. But assuming the GM does feel the longspear (or other weapon in your hand) COULD be used in an improvised manner (dealing damage equal to whatever they rule), the question is whether anything else prevents that from working.

Silver Crusade

Quandary wrote:
And it seems like it always is up to GM fiat whether an object is potentially useful, e.g. maybe a bow or javelin just aren't effective improvised blugeoning weapons because they're too lightly constructed, and they can make that ruling. But assuming the GM does feel the longspear (or other weapon in your hand) COULD be used in an improvised manner (dealing damage equal to whatever they rule), the question is whether anything else prevents that from working.

Yes. I'm asking about strict RAW.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Even I can pick up a spear, and hit somebody with the butt end of it.

Terribly, but the rules reflect that.

If skinny me, can do it, then the dang heroic PC I am playing should be able to.

Really, how can anyone try to fight against such a terrible choice?

This is like trying to tell a player, his PC can't punch himself in the face.

Who does that?


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I remember once upon a time, playing in games where you said what you intended to do, and the rules simply were there to help determine how well that worked.

But... for rules to 'forbid' you from performing actions that are rather obviously possible? That is a very modern gamer issue.

You can of course attack with the wrong end of the spear at adjacent opponents. Is it a good idea? probably not. Can you? The answer must be a yes.

To say no to that question means tossing out any sense of choice or realism. That is to say that either you are not actually in control of your own character, or that reality somehow forbids you from doing things that should clearly be possible... like shaking a stick at a dude.


Remy Balster wrote:
I remember once upon a time, playing in games where you said what you intended to do, and the rules simply were there to help determine how well that worked.

Player: I step forward and transform into a Dragon.

DM: But yo--
Player: I STEP FORWARD AND TRANSFORM INTO A DRAGON.


Tholomyes wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
I remember once upon a time, playing in games where you said what you intended to do, and the rules simply were there to help determine how well that worked.

Player: I step forward and transform into a Dragon.

DM: But yo--
Player: I STEP FORWARD AND TRANSFORM INTO A DRAGON.

That can go a number of ways...

1) The character has the ability to actually perform said action, and executes the desired action well. Transforming into a dragon.

2) The player does not perform the desired action very well at all, and fails to transform into a dragon.

But hyperbole aside... you feel that it is equally difficult to attack with the butt end of a spear as it is to miraculously transform into a dragon?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If this were a debate on how the rules handled someone doing this, I could see that.

Debating if this is even possible, is silly.

Using a weapon in an improvised fashion, is a terrible idea, but you can do it.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Even I can pick up a spear, and hit somebody with the butt end of it.

Hm... It's an eight foot long spear. You're pointing it at someone and they somehow move in past the tip and are standing right in your face.

You wouldn't be able to do the standard clubbing motion because the pointy bit would probably wind up stuck in the ground (or your leg). You could probably swing it around sideways, assuming you're not in a narrow corridor... but a chair-leg would be a lot more effective.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, it's difficult, and not very effective.

The rules cover that.

Imagine we were all talking about hitting someone with the butt end of a musket.

Would there even be a debate?

Why is there even a debate here?

How can I be the only one who finds this just, ridiculous?


blackbloodtroll wrote:

So, it's difficult, and not very effective.

The rules cover that.

Imagine we were all talking about hitting someone with the butt end of a musket.

Would there even be a debate?

Why is there even a debate here?

How can I be the only one who finds this just, ridiculous?

You're not the only one.

It is a ridiculous question, of course the answer must be yes of course it can be done.

The funny thing is, though... that the question exposes a very peculiar way of thinking that is found on these boards, based on some of the replies... That the rules can somehow forbid things that aren't perfectly RAW.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

There is no rules for the PC to fart, but my PC can dang well fart, if I want him/her to.

There are rules for improvised weapons though.

How the hell can any be up in arms about this?


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@Remy

When people ask question on the rules forum myself (and others I'm sure) try to give answers based on the RAW first and foremost

If I cannot find a RAW answer I look for RAI answers

Any opinion I express here is just that...an opinion and I have that right

If someone wants Advice or a Suggestion on how I would rule it then there are forums for that

@BBT

There are rules for improvised weapons...however it covers using items not meant for combat as weapons...longspear has its own listing in the weapons chart...the RAW does not support someone using the haft as a weapon unless they have one of the archetypes or abilitylies that allow it

Again this is what I could find based on RAW...RAI I still believe the same...as I mentioned before if anyone could simply decide to use it that way then these archetypes would have somewhat useless abilities

If the OP wants my actual rule...as if one of my players asked...I would base it on one of the abilities I could find and then rule from there. I would allow them to do it by using an immediate action at least...and a -5 penalty to attack at least

I am in no way doubting the actual real life ability of someone using the butt-end of a spear to hit someone...there's forums for that on SCA sites

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No.

Those archetypes add viable methods.

Someone using a terrible method, which is a terrible choice in general, does not even come close to making those archetype abilities invalid.

The butt end of a Longspear, is not crafted to be used as a weapon.

So, you attack with it, you use the improvised weapon rules.

It is really that simple.

Nothing broken. Nothing made invalid.

What earth-shattering horror have I missed?


Is your fart improvised, or are you trained bbt?

Srsly though, I have come up against the same query in my mind, wondering whether you can by RAW push, bash, clonk etc with the haft of a spear or poelarm. I don't find a rule covering it per se so I am curious.

Ridiculous it may be to you. Of interest to me. I seek to understand how the developers suggest the game is constructed.


Drakkiel wrote:

@Remy

When people ask question on the rules forum myself (and others I'm sure) try to give answers based on the RAW first and foremost

If I cannot find a RAW answer I look for RAI answers

Any opinion I express here is just that...an opinion and I have that right

If someone wants Advice or a Suggestion on how I would rule it then there are forums for that

Yeah, thanks for telling what the forums are for. I wish I had known that before I replied here. I was lost, and now I am found. Praise be to you.

Can my character sit down in a chair? Please provide RAW only answers to this question. Include page reference to where I might find the 'Chair' item, and a condition called 'sitting'. Thanks. I'd also love to know what kind of action this is, in case I would need to sit in a chair during combat.

Also, if you could please explain how the sitting condition interacts with combat, other conditions, and whatever relevant modifier might be present, that would be great. Ie. Can I be tripped while ‘sitting in a chair’? Etc.

Much obliged.

Ps. Remember RAW only.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Oh?

What happens when one hits someone with a 18lb Double Crossbow upside his head?


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Sounds like a FAQ to me bbt.. ;)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What happens if I throw this 8ft Longspear?

Wait, that is doable?


You are reading my mind. I just watched Brother Bear.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This is stupid.

This is straight up telling me it is impossible for me to pick up a musket, and beat it over someone's head, but totally doable with a dead chicken.

You simply cannot tell me this is not stupid.


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You really should take the Poultry Assault Feat for that, you know.
Besides, implying a dead chicken is an "object" is just disrespectful.


Applying common sense, there are (a) regular weapons, (b) suitable improvised weapons, and (c) items that are terrible for combat even by the standards of improvised weapons (where you might as well use an unarmed strike). There's not going to be any comprehensive list or unambiguous rule for what goes into group (b) and what goes into group (c).
So you can either use a pedantic interpretation of RAW to say that things designed to be used as weapons can never be used as improvised weapons, or you can use GM intuition.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Seriously, a commoner, who has never seen a gun, and has no idea what it is, picks up a musket, and clubs someone over the head.

He doesn't know any other way to use it as a weapon.

Now, with ridiculous crud, spouted here, the commoner is completely incapable of doing it.

Hit someone with a shovel, a femur, or a cowpie, and oh, it's totally legit.

Can I really make the ridiculous nature of this debate more apparent?


blackbloodtroll wrote:

This is stupid.

This is straight up telling me it is impossible for me to pick up a musket, and beat it over someone's head, but totally doable with a dead chicken.

You simply cannot tell me this is not stupid.

I'm telling you that things like that either are or are not covered in the rules...you are putting words in my mouth

I would have no issue allowing my players to do such things...but I would base them on the rules already provided in said abilities

If you wanted to hit someone with a musket that's fine...to me in my game

However the rules cover that in their own way

If I want to use my agility and speed to attack instead of my strength without taking the feat weapon finesse would you allow me to? It wouldn't matter if you did because in this forum I would want you to give me the rules first and foremost.

I would never deny someone wanting to do something g that wasn't game breaking...but again I would first try to find something within the rules to base it on...if nothing is there then I wouldspeak with said person about what they thought was fair until we came to an agreement

@Remy
Grow the hell up man...trying to take issue with what I said is pointless...I was not arguing against anything you said...you seemed to be getting your pantries in a twist about some people basing their answers on RAW...I was tryibg to explain why since its all seems so ludicris to you

If I somehow offended you by apparently saying you have no right within the rules to sit down in a chair I am sorry...taking something to the extreme does nothing but causes more stupidity

For the record...if you want to sit in a chair and asked me how...I would answer you no different than anyone else by saying its not in the rules...however if you wish to make it an action I would say its a free action and the "sitting" condition would probably net you half the penalties that being prone would

Try being a smartass somewhere else...it doesn't work on the Internet that well


@BBT

Btw the whole chicken thing would be hilarious...reminds me of Beverly hills ninjas when he dual wields fish

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, I go to a PFS game, and I want hit an enemy over the head with a musket, and the DM just goes "IMPOSSIBLE!" and my PC freezes in place, as I am incapable of completing this action?

This is not WOW. I can climb trees, take a dump, and hit someone with a musket, like I would a club.


I don't know what PFS has to do with any of this...there is a forum for that

I never said this was WoW...putting words in my mouth again

And for the last time I'm not saying you cannot do any of those things...I'm saying some things are not covered by the rules

You should know this better than anyone since you got banned for a bit over unwritten rules


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Not sure where all the pantries are twisting to, maybe Oz, but I'm just wondering about the RAW. Is there no real way to usefully hit someone with a crossbow-as-a-club without having to resort to improvised weapons rules? I mean, sure it's unwieldy, but at 19lbs (as in bbt's example...) it's still kinda like a heavy... club.

And IS throwing a longspear improvised?

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