Do 'Improvised' Weapons Threaten?


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PatientWolf wrote:
Both interpretations are possible but only one can be true from an actual RAW standpoint.

False.

Both answers are equally valid. the question that was asked has two answers, of which both are equally true.

Yes. No.

I get that you want a concrete yes or no. But, you don't get one for this question. You get a "Yes and No", instead.

Either ask a different question, or get over being disappointed. You don't need to throw a tantrum because the answer isn't what you want it to be.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I don't believe for a moment that the designers intended to leave part of the combat system as 'It could be either; each table makes its own decision'. If they thought that sometimes it should be yes and sometimes no, they would have given us rules or at least guidelines about when it should be yes and when it should be no.

You are wrong sir!

The devs fully intended for GMs to hold absolute power at the tables in which the pathfinder games across the world take place. It has been explicitly stated by them on numerous occasions; it is found throughout the CRB and other resources. The GM makes the calls on what goes and what doesn't.

You don't get to fit everything into a neat little box and run the core rule book like a computer script. It is NOT meant to be played like that. Heck, it cannot be played like that. Not every table will interpret the rules the same way, not every table needs to either.

Your crusade to somehow force pathfinder to conform to your personal gamer worldview is not going to work dude.

This game has GM for a reason!


MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

In that case the devs would have to write a rule that has never been in the d20 system before, which affects not just a corner case but how combat fundamentally works.

No it doesn't, don't be hyperbolic. The vast majority of the time, nothing will meaningfully change in any combat. Ask yourself:

When was the last time you had a character or NPC move inside a reach weapon and then do something that would have provoked an AoO? I'm betting it's something that doesn't come up often in your games, because it certainly doesn't come up often in mine.

When was the last time your characters went into a combat encounter with either no weapons or "wrong" damage types (slashing vs skeletons at low level, for example), and there was nothing readily available for them to use as an improvised weapon? It is really a fundamental balance issue for the combat system that we make sure and punish players who don't metagame properly by making sure they have the "right" kind of damage available on a backup weapon?

Sorry, I just don't see it. I think you are so fixated on your revulsion of the idea of using weapons in an improvised way that you have blown this up in your mind into something it's not. I've got news for you - empirically, playing the game the way I'm suggesting works absolutely fine. I've been doing it for years, and it hasn't seemed to damage my game, or yours.

Further, I think at this point you are clearly just demonstrating how... fragile your vision of the rules really is. We can't allow improvised weapons to threaten if we allow weapons to be improvised, because we can't expect combat to work if we leave it to GMs to make common sense distinctions between situations because that's not RAW and never has been ever and if we don't DO SOMETHING AHMAHGERD REACH THREATENS ADJACENT AND THE GAME IS RUINED. Thus, reasonable player actions MUST be prohibited RAW, or else.

Or, you know, we could just admit that the RAW aren't intended to work the way you are trying to make them work. If you want a set of limited, prescribed options that you can use to play Pathfinder combat chess without the need for a GM, that's fine. Make whatever changes to the game you need to make that work for you. Just don't pretend that you are on some noble quest to find the One True Game. You aren't.

....

Cute. Of course, I'm saying that the game already works fine, but if YOU need that clarification, it would, in fact, demonstrably solve every problem you have. The rules, as they stand now, ARE well thought out, and DO withstand scrutiny, precisely because they are flexible enough to suit different needs. They work perfectly well for everyone in my interpretation - you can have the limited, permissive rules that you want, by simply choosing to interpret them that way. I can have the flexible building blocks I want, by simply choosing to interpret them that way. Tell me, honestly, besides the validation of being "right", in what way does changing the RAW of the game from more play style options to fewer make things better for you?

Thus, I feel that in no way are you improving the game over what it is now, because right now the game allows multiple options to suit different styles. You can play the game EXACTLY how you want, and so can I, and the RAW are fine with it either way. If, instead, we push to make sure some of those options are verboten RAW because of your desire to reduce the game to a set of inviolate instructions, well, it doesn't change the way YOU play (assuming you got the clarifications you want, which is NOT a given), so no improvement there, but it does either force me to change my play-style (which is only a good thing if you feel like the way I play is bad), OR it serves to further undermine the very inviolate authority you are a fan of, because players like me simply choose to explicitly disregard the clarification completely (thus raising the question of why we bother having FAQs at all).

Let me put it this way: The goal, in your mind, is that combat should resolve without the need of a GM. I assert it already can, for the players who wish to play that way. If you are one of those players, then you should have no problems in the game right now. If you ARE having problems, and feel like other players are "gaming" the system, or are "exploiting" loopholes, I strongly, strongly suspect that what's actually happening is that they want a different kind of game than what you want. That's what I mean when I talk about using the rules as a weapon - you seem to want to make sure that you have an FAQ tucked away to stifle those cheaters, when the fact is that they are probably just "guilty" of thinking hitting a goblin with a spear haft "looks cool", and makes for a better story. You don't have to like playing that way, but you certainly do have to be willing to accept that other people do.

Well... that, was so remarkable to read. I think you made my night.

Silver Crusade

Anguish wrote:
RAW, improvised weapons are weapons

While I respect your right to houserule, or to make a ruling in the absence of a clear rule, what you said above is the opposite of the written rule on improvised weapons, which writes:-

Quote:
Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat. Because such objects are not designed for this use...

Improvised weapons are, by definition, not weapons.


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


Improvised weapons are, by definition, not weapons.

Respectfully disagree. RAW, improvised weapons are still weapons, just a subset them (the subset definition being, functionally "objects not crafted to be weapons, but which nevertheless are reasonably useful in combat, and thus can be used to make attacks and do hit-point damage").


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Anguish wrote:
RAW, improvised weapons are weapons

While I respect your right to houserule, or to make a ruling in the absence of a clear rule, what you said above is the opposite of the written rule on improvised weapons, which writes:-

Quote:
Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat. Because such objects are not designed for this use...
Improvised weapons are, by definition, not weapons.

Which again counts on your unfounded 'one object, indivisible' stance.


Improvised weapons are clearly weapons. Weapons are in the name improvised weapons. how can something called "weapons" not be "weapons?"

Silver Crusade

The rules list weapons on the Weapons Table, or a weapons table in another book. If an object doesn't have an entry on such a table, then it's not a weapon.

If every object were a weapon, then there would be no such rule as the 'improvised weapon' rule; it'd be redundant as every object would already have weapon stats.

This has consequences: improvised weapons cannot be enchanted (without a specific written exception), because only masterwork weapons can be enchanted. The 'masterwork weapon' quality is different to the 'masterwork armour' quality which is different to the 'masterwork tool' property. Only weapons may have the masterwork weapon property, and non-weapon objects are....not weapons!

Unless you have a feat or special ability that says otherwise, only melee weapons threaten. Melee weapons are listed on the melee weapons table. Weapons create a credible threat to an opponent, enough that they must pay attention to flanking opponents which gives those opponents +2 attack from flanking, and allows Sneak Attack. But in order to flank you must threaten that opponent, i.e. be a credible threat by having a weapon.

But some objects may be credible threats (broken bottle, pool cue) and others may not (clothes, plates, towels). So I don't know whether improvised weapons threaten, or whether some do and some don't. If it's the latter we should know, or at least have guidelines.

Silver Crusade

BigDTBone wrote:

Improvised weapons are clearly weapons. Weapons are in the name improvised weapons. how can something called "weapons" not be "weapons?"

Heh.

Silver Crusade

That reminds me; it was mentioned earlier that the square root of nine has two valid answers: +3 and -3.

You have nine oranges. Arrange them into a square. How many oranges are in each row? Is 'minus three' a valid number of oranges in a row?

I haven't noticed any Pathfinder or other d20 system rule based on the mathematics of quantum physics. A non-weapon object either threatens or it doesn't.


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

The rules list weapons on the Weapons Table, or a weapons table in another book. If an object doesn't have an entry on such a table, then it's not a weapon.

If every object were a weapon, then there would be no such rule as the 'improvised weapon' rule; it'd be redundant as every object would already have weapon stats.

This has consequences: improvised weapons cannot be enchanted (without a specific written exception), because only masterwork weapons can be enchanted. The 'masterwork weapon' quality is different to the 'masterwork armour' quality which is different to the 'masterwork tool' property. Only weapons may have the masterwork weapon property, and non-weapon objects are....not weapons!

Unless you have a feat or special ability that says otherwise, only melee weapons threaten. Melee weapons are listed on the melee weapons table. Weapons create a credible threat to an opponent, enough that they must pay attention to flanking opponents which gives those opponents +2 attack from flanking, and allows Sneak Attack. But in order to flank you must threaten that opponent, i.e. be a credible threat by having a weapon.

But some objects may be credible threats (broken bottle, pool cue) and others may not (clothes, plates, towels). So I don't know whether improvised weapons threaten, or whether some do and some don't. If it's the latter we should know, or at least have guidelines.

Let's see... option one is that improvised weapons are not actually weapons, so despite being explicitly told in the rules that you can make attacks and do damage with them, you RAW can't, because only weapons can do those things. This would be another one of the "consequences" that you mentioned.

Alternatively, option two is that the rules designers figured that most people could, without having a voluminous tome of guidelines, figure out what made sense for a given situation, and run with it. Sometimes an object can be used as a weapon and threaten, sometimes not. Sometimes a weapon can be used as some other object (even a different type of weapon!), sometimes not. I really, really don't think there was ever a specific intent to draw a line in the sand and say "this works, this doesn't" here, because I doubt anyone figured on the... impressive devotion... you seem to be bringing to the idea of following the designers intent to the (unwritten) letter.

Look, I'll make it simple - here's your RAW guideline: if an object seems like a legitimate threat to you, then it can be an improvised weapon, and threaten. If it doesn't, it isn't. Why is that RAW? Because the GM is the final arbiter when the rules are unclear. I don't need a guideline for this, and, yeah, I'll just say it: YOU DON'T EITHER. If you are convinced that you can't make those decisions without designer input, I find that to be a pity, and probably untrue, since you are demonstrably capable of forming thoughts and opinions. It's not the purpose of these boards to provide you with the means to pester the design team asking for guidelines on an issue that you've already made up your own mind on. You know what works and what doesn't to you, and yet you keep pushing to change the rules as they are written now into something that you believe will be better only because you believe it will limit out a behavior that you (incorrectly) believe is bad for the game as a whole.

I can only think of two possibilities that bother you, honestly. Possibility one is that it bothers you to know that at other tables, people might play it "differently". I don't find that reason compelling, because I see no value in consistency in home games. Even if you feel like you move from game to game and WANT that consistency, that seems to me to be attempting to make everyone else bow to YOUR choice to play in multiple groups, rather than you accepting that one consequence of your choice might be different house rules around. If you are concerned about PFS, that's one thing, but PFS is NOT Pathfinder RAW, and has it's own forums for coming up with rulings on things like this.

The only other "issue" I can see with the rules being unclear on this is that you think they will cause conflict, or be "exploited" by players looking to "win" Pathfinder. Again, I think the answer there is simple - you and the other players you are in conflict with are simply after different things from the game, and unless you can find a fair compromise, no amount of FAQ begging is going to resolve the issues at the table. Either come up with a way to play together that you can all deal with, or stop playing together. It's as simple as that.

Here's the best reason I can give for why your approach is actively bad for the game: Right now, I have the authority to make a ruling at the table, on the fly, for any object that a player picks up, without having to run to the forums to ask for an FAQ if that object isn't in a table somewhere. Your interpretation seems to be leading us down a path where someone says "Well, table entry 12,856,345a says we can use 'History of the Inner Sea Volume I, first edition' as an improvised club, but this is the second edition, with a softer leather cover and without the metal bindings, so, I guess to the forums!"


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

That reminds me; it was mentioned earlier that the square root of nine has two valid answers: +3 and -3.

You have nine oranges. Arrange them into a square. How many oranges are in each row? Is 'minus three' a valid number of oranges in a row?

I haven't noticed any Pathfinder or other d20 system rule based on the mathematics of quantum physics. A non-weapon object either threatens or it doesn't.

Oh, I get it! You're committing a common fallacy (beyond the one where you miss the point of the analogy that sometimes questions just don't have a definite answer, and instead - fittingly enough - continue to redefine the parameters of the question until it conforms to your desired outcome, I mean). You see, you are assuming that what is true for an individual object in the set of "non-weapon objects" must be true of the whole set. That's really not the case. It's entirely possible that there is a definite answer for each possible object in the game, but that answer will change depending on which object you are talking about, as well as on the context of each situation, so it seems foolish (and impossible) to have a ruling on each one. Since it's also foolish to set one ironclad rule for such a wide variety of objects, the clear RAW and likely RAI leaves the question of what "counts" up to the GM.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

While I respect your right to houserule, or to make a ruling in the absence of a clear rule, what you said above is the opposite of the written rule on improvised weapons, which writes:-

Quote:
Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat. Because such objects are not designed for this use...
Improvised weapons are, by definition, not weapons.

Sorry, but you can't use something in combat that are not weapons.

Let's skip any absurd discussion of what "use" means... I recognize you can "use" your explorer's outfit as an explorer's outfit without it being a weapon. Let us accept that "use in combat" is equivalent to "make an attack with".

By definition if you (are able to) attack with it, it is a weapon. An improvised weapon is a weapon which became a weapon through the act of improvisation, not through the act of crafting.

The improvised weapon rules are not by any sense of sanity designed to allow you to use non-weapons as non-weapons. The define how one improvisationally uses a non-weapon as a weapon. If you use something as a weapon, you must use the rules regarding how weapons work to govern that application.

Not a house rule.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

That reminds me; it was mentioned earlier that the square root of nine has two valid answers: +3 and -3.

You have nine oranges. Arrange them into a square. How many oranges are in each row? Is 'minus three' a valid number of oranges in a row?

I haven't noticed any Pathfinder or other d20 system rule based on the mathematics of quantum physics. A non-weapon object either threatens or it doesn't.

Do you know what multiplying a number by a negative number represents?Has nothing to do with quantum physics.

Your 'example' doesn't really represent square roots, by the way.

What is a "non-weapon object" anyway? And where in the rules do you find this term?


MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

That reminds me; it was mentioned earlier that the square root of nine has two valid answers: +3 and -3.

You have nine oranges. Arrange them into a square. How many oranges are in each row? Is 'minus three' a valid number of oranges in a row?

I haven't noticed any Pathfinder or other d20 system rule based on the mathematics of quantum physics. A non-weapon object either threatens or it doesn't.

Oh, I get it! You're committing a common fallacy (beyond the one where you miss the point of the analogy that sometimes questions just don't have a definite answer, and instead - fittingly enough - continue to redefine the parameters of the question until it conforms to your desired outcome, I mean). You see, you are assuming that what is true for an individual object in the set of "non-weapon objects" must be true of the whole set. That's really not the case. It's entirely possible that there is a definite answer for each possible object in the game, but that answer will change depending on which object you are talking about, as well as on the context of each situation, so it seems foolish (and impossible) to have a ruling on each one. Since it's also foolish to set one ironclad rule for such a wide variety of objects, the clear RAW and likely RAI leaves the question of what "counts" up to the GM.

I doubt this very reasonable explanation will be listened to by… uh, someone...

I hate to call people out for having hidden agendas because it is a bit rude, and almost impossible to know for certain. But I’m having a hard time thinking otherwise at this point.

There are generally signs of it… not addressing points, reasoning that constantly shifts, redefining commonly agreed to terms to force a pre-desired answer to fit, etc. I don’t know… I hope I’m wrong about my suspicion here.

Silver Crusade

MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Let's see... option one is that improvised weapons are not actually weapons, so despite being explicitly told in the rules that you can make attacks and do damage with them, you RAW can't, because only weapons can do those things. This would be another one of the "consequences" that you mentioned.

It's the other way round. The only reason you can attack with things that aren't weapons is the 'improvised weapon' rule. Without that, they would have no weapon stats, nor a RAW way to do so without each DM making up his own rule.

Which would be a houserule.

So RAW you can make an attack with a non-weapon object, because the improvised weapon rule says you can.

Quote:
Alternatively, option two is that the rules designers figured that most people could, without having a voluminous tome of guidelines, figure out what made sense for a given situation, and run with it. Sometimes an object can be used as a weapon and threaten, sometimes not. Sometimes a weapon can be used as some other object (even a different type of weapon!), sometimes not. I really, really don't think there was ever a specific intent to draw a line in the sand and say "this works, this doesn't" here, because I doubt anyone figured on the... impressive devotion... you seem to be bringing to the idea of following the designers intent to the (unwritten) letter.

I really, really don't think that the designers deliberately designed a part of combat to invite table variation.

How do you calculate your attack modifier? It's up to you, man! Chill out!

When rolling for damage with a thrown weapon, do you add your Str mod to the damage, or your Dex mod? Whatever, dude! Do what you think is best!

Do melee weapons threaten adjacent squares? Hey, we don't know! Make something up!

Why do I need to spend money on a set of rules that tell me to make it up myself? Hey, man! Don't be a rules Nazi!

Quote:
Look, I'll make it simple - here's your RAW guideline: if an object seems like a legitimate threat to you, then it can be an improvised weapon, and threaten. If it doesn't, it isn't. Why is that RAW? Because the GM is the final arbiter when the rules are unclear.

I don't want the rules to be unclear, I want them to be clear.

Quote:

Here's the best reason I can give for why your approach is actively bad for the game: Right now, I have the authority to make a ruling at the table, on the fly, for any object that a player picks up, without having to run to the forums to ask for an FAQ if that object isn't in a table somewhere. Your interpretation seems to be leading us down a path where someone says "Well, table entry 12,856,345a says we can use 'History of the Inner Sea Volume I, first edition' as an improvised club, but this is the second edition, with a softer leather cover and without the metal bindings, so, I guess to the forums!"

Here's why I think it's good for the game: the players interact with the game by making decisions for their characters. Actions have consequences. Adventurers know how swords work, in the sense that you hit something until it stops. There should be no part of the basic combat rules that should be a secret, unknowable to the players. If the DM gets to decide how the combat rules work on the fly each time, how can a player make sensible decisions, the decisions that his character would think are sensible. He should know how a crowbar works in combat. It shouldn't be that the laws of physics in this imaginary world change depending on what mood the DM is in.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I don't want the rules to be unclear, I want them to be clear.

Design a game then. I like pathfinder, unclear rules and all.

Silver Crusade

Anguish wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

While I respect your right to houserule, or to make a ruling in the absence of a clear rule, what you said above is the opposite of the written rule on improvised weapons, which writes:-

Quote:
Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat. Because such objects are not designed for this use...
Improvised weapons are, by definition, not weapons.

Sorry, but you can't use something in combat that are not weapons.

Let's skip any absurd discussion of what "use" means... I recognize you can "use" your explorer's outfit as an explorer's outfit without it being a weapon. Let us accept that "use in combat" is equivalent to "make an attack with".

By definition if you (are able to) attack with it, it is a weapon. An improvised weapon is a weapon which became a weapon through the act of improvisation, not through the act of crafting.

The improvised weapon rules are not by any sense of sanity designed to allow you to use non-weapons as non-weapons. The define how one improvisationally uses a non-weapon as a weapon. If you use something as a weapon, you must use the rules regarding how weapons work to govern that application.

Not a house rule.

Exactly! That rule, as you say, allows you to use a non-weapon as a weapon. That object is not a weapon, but this rule allows you to use as a weapon anyway.

A tin can is not a soccer ball, but you can play a game with one anyway. You can even call it 'the ball' when you play, but it is not an actual ball, it's a tin can.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Here's why I think it's good for the game: the players interact with the game by making decisions for their characters. Actions have consequences. Adventurers know how swords work, in the sense that you hit something until it stops. There should be no part of the basic combat rules that should be a secret, unknowable to the players. If the DM gets to decide how the combat rules work on the fly each time, how can a player make sensible decisions, the decisions that his character would think are sensible. He should know how a crowbar works in combat. It shouldn't be that the laws of physics in this imaginary world change depending on what mood the DM is in.

Do you have a long history with bad DMs or something? If you want every possible object ever to have combat stats, that sounds like an interesting project for you to add to your homebrew. You can catalog every object that could ever possibly be used in battle to stab, gouge, or whack a dude with... and then assign stats to them all.

It'd only take forever, and the list would be insurmountably large. But, we all need a hobby.

If your hobby needs a hobby, go for it.


Once again, everybody is clamoring for a totally unnecessary FAQ. Really? Can nobody think for themselves anymore?

An armed melee combatant threatens, whether the weapon is manufactured, a monk's fist, a dragon's claw, or a chair from a tavern.

The rules on improvised weapons are very clear, concise and simple:

Improvised Weapons: Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat. Because such objects are not designed for this use, any creature that uses an improvised weapon in combat is considered to be nonproficient with it and takes a –4 penalty on attack rolls made with that object. To determine the size category and appropriate damage for an improvised weapon, compare its relative size and damage potential to the weapon list to
find a reasonable match. An improvised weapon scores a threat on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a critical hit. An improvised thrown weapon has a range increment of 10 feet.

The Catch Off-Guard and Throw Anything feats mitigate the penalties.

There is nothing here that even implies on the most basic level that these improvised weapons are treated any differently for matters of AoO.

Please, please, PLEASE stop, stop, STOP trying to FAQ so relentlessly and thoughtlessly. Drives me nuts. Come on people. We're gamers. We're supposed to be the smart kids.

Silver Crusade

"Remy Balster wrote:
What is a "non-weapon object" anyway?

In the game, it is any object which doesn't have an entry on a weapons table.

Quote:
And where in the rules do you find this term?

In the rule that allows you to use something that isn't a weapon as if it were a weapon.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Exactly! That rule, as you say, allows you to use a non-weapon as a weapon. That object is not a weapon, but this rule allows you to use as a weapon anyway.

A tin can is not a soccer ball, but you can play a game with one anyway. You can even call it 'the ball' when you play, but it is not an actual ball, it's a tin can.

Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

What if instead of a tin can we use a glob of jello. Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

What if instead we use a basketball. Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

Weird how not all of those not-soccer balls act differently. Would be awesome if in pathfinder there was someone we could turn to who could tell us how it all works out.

Silver Crusade

Remy Balster wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Here's why I think it's good for the game: the players interact with the game by making decisions for their characters. Actions have consequences. Adventurers know how swords work, in the sense that you hit something until it stops. There should be no part of the basic combat rules that should be a secret, unknowable to the players. If the DM gets to decide how the combat rules work on the fly each time, how can a player make sensible decisions, the decisions that his character would think are sensible. He should know how a crowbar works in combat. It shouldn't be that the laws of physics in this imaginary world change depending on what mood the DM is in.

Do you have a long history with bad DMs or something? If you want every possible object ever to have combat stats, that sounds like an interesting project for you to add to your homebrew. You can catalog every object that could ever possibly be used in battle to stab, gouge, or whack a dude with... and then assign stats to them all.

It'd only take forever, and the list would be insurmountably large. But, we all need a hobby.

No need. We already have a rule that lets us give combat stats to anything that doesn't already have them.

But there seems to be a part missing: do these things threaten as if they were weapons, or not as if you were 'unarmed' i.e. not carrying a weapon?


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
"Remy Balster wrote:
What is a "non-weapon object" anyway?

In the game, it is any object which doesn't have an entry on a weapons table.

Quote:
And where in the rules do you find this term?
In the rule that allows you to use something that isn't a weapon as if it were a weapon.

Care to quote that for us? I'm pretty sure "non-weapon object" doesn't appear in the rules anywhere.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
do these things threaten as if they were weapons, or not as if you were 'unarmed' i.e. not carrying a weapon?

Yes and No. What does the DM say?

Silver Crusade

Remy Balster wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Exactly! That rule, as you say, allows you to use a non-weapon as a weapon. That object is not a weapon, but this rule allows you to use as a weapon anyway.

A tin can is not a soccer ball, but you can play a game with one anyway. You can even call it 'the ball' when you play, but it is not an actual ball, it's a tin can.

Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

What if instead of a tin can we use a glob of jello. Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

What if instead we use a basketball. Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

Weird how not all of those not-soccer balls act differently. Would be awesome if in pathfinder there was someone we could turn to who could tell us how it all works out.

We have! The PDT!


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Exactly! That rule, as you say, allows you to use a non-weapon as a weapon. That object is not a weapon, but this rule allows you to use as a weapon anyway.

A tin can is not a soccer ball, but you can play a game with one anyway. You can even call it 'the ball' when you play, but it is not an actual ball, it's a tin can.

Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

What if instead of a tin can we use a glob of jello. Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

What if instead we use a basketball. Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

Weird how not all of those not-soccer balls act differently. Would be awesome if in pathfinder there was someone we could turn to who could tell us how it all works out.

We have! The PDT!

DMs aren't good enough for you?

The list of "all things possible to attack with" with combat stats spelled out is what you want.

There is currently no product that meets your criteria.

Silver Crusade

Remy Balster wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
"Remy Balster wrote:
What is a "non-weapon object" anyway?

In the game, it is any object which doesn't have an entry on a weapons table.

Quote:
And where in the rules do you find this term?
In the rule that allows you to use something that isn't a weapon as if it were a weapon.
Care to quote that for us? I'm pretty sure "non-weapon object" doesn't appear in the rules anywhere.

Even you can work it out. There are 'weapons', which appear on various weapons tables, therefore 'non-weapon objects' are objects which don't appear on those tables.

Silver Crusade

Remy Balster wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Exactly! That rule, as you say, allows you to use a non-weapon as a weapon. That object is not a weapon, but this rule allows you to use as a weapon anyway.

A tin can is not a soccer ball, but you can play a game with one anyway. You can even call it 'the ball' when you play, but it is not an actual ball, it's a tin can.

Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

What if instead of a tin can we use a glob of jello. Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

What if instead we use a basketball. Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

Weird how not all of those not-soccer balls act differently. Would be awesome if in pathfinder there was someone we could turn to who could tell us how it all works out.

We have! The PDT!
DMs aren't good enough for you?

The PDT writes the rules. DMs apply and adjudicate them.


brb getting away with beating someone with a rolling pin because his accusation that it was armed assault does not hold water since I didn't have a weapon on me


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
Care to quote that for us? I'm pretty sure "non-weapon object" doesn't appear in the rules anywhere.
Even you can work it out. There are 'weapons', which appear on various weapons tables, therefore 'non-weapon objects' are objects which don't appear on those tables.

Ah, so... you are saying that it doesn't appear in the rules. Got it. Didn't think it did.

Is a shank a weapon? How about a lead pipe?

If I attack and beat someone to death with a lead pipe... did I kill them with a weapon? Do the cops look for the weapon used in the murder?

Yeah, they sure do. Because I used a weapon.

Was it listed in the weapons section? Nope. Guess what though? That section isn't all inclusive of all weapons ever.

It has a list of common weapon types... not every possible weapon imaginable.

And it never could have every weapon imaginable. It doesn't claim that it does either.

That is all on you.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Exactly! That rule, as you say, allows you to use a non-weapon as a weapon. That object is not a weapon, but this rule allows you to use as a weapon anyway.

A tin can is not a soccer ball, but you can play a game with one anyway. You can even call it 'the ball' when you play, but it is not an actual ball, it's a tin can.

Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

What if instead of a tin can we use a glob of jello. Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

What if instead we use a basketball. Can you kick it? Can you bounce it? Does it roll?

Weird how not all of those not-soccer balls act differently. Would be awesome if in pathfinder there was someone we could turn to who could tell us how it all works out.

We have! The PDT!
DMs aren't good enough for you?
The PDT writes the rules. DMs apply and adjudicate them.

And the PDT has already written the rules.

So now the DMs of the world will adjudicate what and how to apply the Improvised Weapon rules that the PDT wrote.

That is kinda how this whole thing works.


In virtually all cases in Pathfinder whenever you encounter a "use as" scenario it is effectively that same thing as "is"

So when you take something and its "used as" a weapon, the rules expect it to function as though it "is" a weapon. This would include threatening.

The only other variable is when the DM adjudicates the closest equivelant weapon. The DM has the right to say "your wet noodle cannot be an improvised weapon," in that case it doesn't threaten. Also, an item doesn't become an improvised weapon until a player declares "I use this thing in my hands as an improvised weapon." Before that time it does not count as a weapon and does not threaten.

As a houserule, I would say that at the end of combat the item in your hand goes back to being not-an-improvised-weapon and would no longer threaten.


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

It's the other way round. The only reason you can attack with things that aren't weapons is the 'improvised weapon' rule. Without that, they would have no weapon stats, nor a RAW way to do so without each DM making up his own rule.

Which would be a houserule.

So RAW you can make an attack with a non-weapon object, because the improvised weapon rule says you can.

No, you misunderstand my argument. Sure, you can attack, but sadly, the rules for weapons say that all weapons do hit point damage. By your backwards understanding of logic that reads the improvised weapons rule as specifying that ONLY "objects not crafted to be weapons" can be improvised, presumably the presence of that rule means only "weapons" can do hit point damage. Thus, if improvised weapons are inexplicably now not weapons, that means they cannot do hit point damage. What do they do instead? I dunno - the rules say to use the table, but the table just gives some dice that say "Damage", but since improvised weapons aren't weapons, that damage can't be hit point damage anymore, so... maybe it's just damage to your ability scores? I mean, I have no way of knowing, right? Seems like a big problem with the rules.

Hmm, one of two things must be true here. Either your understanding of how language and the rules work is catastrophically wrong, or... hmm... okay, maybe it's just one of one things that's true.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I really, really don't think that the designers deliberately designed a part of combat to invite table variation.

Well, the good news is that the designers are evidently smart enough to realize that table variation is always going to happen, and that trying to limit it by stifling the ability of the game to handle a wide variety of game styles was a losing proposition.

I find it not at all unreasonable that they would have said "huh, the odds that someone will actually swing an improvised weapon in any given game are pretty small - let's just make some general guidelines and let reasonable people decide what works and what doesn't, in the few instances it comes up in their home games."

You may disagree with me on what's reasonable, but I see no reason to value your opinion on that point because:

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

How do you calculate your attack modifier? It's up to you, man! Chill out!

When rolling for damage with a thrown weapon, do you add your Str mod to the damage, or your Dex mod? Whatever, dude! Do what you think is best!

Do melee weapons threaten adjacent squares? Hey, we don't know! Make something up!

Why do I need to spend money on a set of rules that tell me to make it up myself? Hey, man! Don't be a rules Nazi!

Well, I'll concede your evidence here that some people are unable to distinguish between things that might reasonably said to be unclear and things that are NOT reasonably considered unclear. I guess that means that those people cannot be trusted to determine what is or is not reasonable in general, and should maybe be protected from the rigors of playing Pathfinder entirely until such time as we can all agree on one pure, beautiful objective reality.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

I don't want the rules to be unclear, I want them to be clear.

Here's why I think it's good for the game: the players interact with the game by making decisions for their characters. Actions have consequences. Adventurers know how swords work, in the sense that you hit something until it stops. There should be no part of the basic combat rules that should be a secret, unknowable to the players. If the DM gets to decide how the combat rules work on the fly each time, how can a player make sensible decisions, the decisions that his character would think are sensible. He should know how a crowbar works in combat. It shouldn't be that the laws of physics in this imaginary world change depending on what mood the DM is in.

What you want is worse than irrelevant. It's actively bad for the game, and you haven't given a single reason to believe otherwise. Remember, if you want a certain, definite set of rules, you have the freedom to do that right now. There is absolutely no net gain to you here. None. Zero. I cannot stress this point enough. Even if you got EXACTLY the FAQ clarifications you wanted, it wouldn't improve your game in the slightest. All it would do is limit other people's games, or else anger them enough that they abandoned the rules system for something more usable. In order to have any sort of counter here, you would have to demonstrate how, specifically, these FAQs would change your home game for the better, and then explain why that benefit (whatever it might be) is worth the loss to everyone of the flexibility of the current rules. Unless and until you can do that cost benefit analysis, you've got nothing.

Your argument basically boils down to the following points:

1) You personally don't see value in the rules unless they are totally comprehensive and ensure that combat, which is the most important part of the rules to you, has no variables that you cannot control, such that a GM is no longer needed to run it. All of that sounds ridiculous and frankly horrifying to me, but whatever. If you want to play that way, you can house rule the game to match your needs, write a new game, or just interpret the current rules to match the endpoint you want. No reason to change the rules for everyone.

2) Table variation. Boo-hoo, people play differently. Why does that matter? If other people have fun with what you erroneously declare are house-rules, does that mean their fun should have an asterisk by it? If you are concerned about "variation" at your own table (by which I mean, "the other players do things I don't like..."), well, that's a personal problem, and not up to anyone but you and them to solve. Again, I suspect it might just be a difference in play style - if you are in the minority in the group, it's likely better for you to adapt then it is for you to try to "force" them to follow your FAQs or whatever.

3) Players can't make reasonable decisions if there are no rules. This one is just laughable, for several reasons - first, there is a WIDE gulf of difference between not demanding an itemized list of what can/can't be improvised, and "no rules". Second, even if there were no rules at all, as long as the GM was attempting to create some sense of verisimilitude, then you could rely on your understanding of the world around you to determine reasonable actions and character choices. Third, and most importantly, Pathfinder is NOT a strategy wargame. It can be, but that's not all it is, and it certainly wasn't designed to operate as one. Your viewpoints and concerns seem myopically focused on making sure Pathfinder can do that one thing really well, to the exclusion of all the other things the rules are currently good at. Again, adding more rules simply hurts the game.

4) You paid money for the rules, so you feel you are entitled to blah blah blah. No. You aren't. The customer is NOT always right. Just because you paid for something that doesn't meet your standards doesn't mean you are entitled to "force" that thing to change. It means you either didn't research the product closely enough, or you didn't know what you wanted well enough to make a reasonable decision. Either way, it's entirely on you, and nobody should care.

You may disagree, but objectively you are wrong. Nothing you want adds anything of value to the game, which means the only risk is that your FAQs will damage it.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Remy Balster wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
"Remy Balster wrote:
What is a "non-weapon object" anyway?

In the game, it is any object which doesn't have an entry on a weapons table.

Quote:
And where in the rules do you find this term?
In the rule that allows you to use something that isn't a weapon as if it were a weapon.
Care to quote that for us? I'm pretty sure "non-weapon object" doesn't appear in the rules anywhere.
Even you can work it out. There are 'weapons', which appear on various weapons tables, therefore 'non-weapon objects' are objects which don't appear on those tables.

All a's are b's is not the same as all not a's are not b's.

Silver Crusade

All improvised weapons are weapons? Because you can hit people with them? That means that every single object is a weapon?

By that logic, every single thing you can eat is food!

By that logic, every single thing you can kick is a ball!

When I go down to the sports shop to buy a ball, why aren't there any tin cans? Why are there no sheep? I can kick them, so they are balls, right? Balls.

When I go down to the food shop, why are there no random bits of plastic? Why is there no drain cleaner? If it says, "This is not a food" on the label, then because it has the word "food" in it, then it must be a food, right? I can easily swallow drain cleaner, so it is a food, right?

When I go down to the weapons shop, where are all the ladders? Where are the buckets? Why are there no heavy books in the bludgeoning weapons section? I mean, you can hit people with all of these, so they are all weapons, right?

Not as far as Pathfinder is concerned. An object is a weapon if it has an entry on a weapons table. In order to allow attacks with non-weapons, we have the improvised weapon rule, which functions by finding the most similar actual weapon to the non-weapon in question, and that rule is what allows them to do damage as if they were weapons.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If you are somehow unable to threaten with improvised weapons, it would be nice if there was a feat, or trait, that allowed you to threaten.

It would make sense, as there are a number of feats, traits, class features, and archetypes based around fighting with improvised weapons.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

All improvised weapons are weapons? Because you can hit people with them? That means that every single object is a weapon?

By that logic, every single thing you can eat is food!

By that logic, every single thing you can kick is a ball!

When I go down to the sports shop to buy a ball, why aren't there any tin cans? Why are there no sheep? I can kick them, so they are balls, right? Balls.

When I go down to the food shop, why are there no random bits of plastic? Why is there no drain cleaner? If it says, "This is not a food" on the label, then because it has the word "food" in it, then it must be a food, right? I can easily swallow drain cleaner, so it is a food, right?

When I go down to the weapons shop, where are all the ladders? Where are the buckets? Why are there no heavy books in the bludgeoning weapons section? I mean, you can hit people with all of these, so they are all weapons, right?

Not as far as Pathfinder is concerned. An object is a weapon if it has an entry on a weapons table. In order to allow attacks with non-weapons, we have the improvised weapon rule, which functions by finding the most similar actual weapon to the non-weapon in question, and that rule is what allows them to do damage as if they were weapons.

They are weapons when they acquire weapon statistics, such as being used in a manner which causes them to be a risk to cause weapon damage.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The rules list weapons on the Weapons Table, or a weapons table in another book. If an object doesn't have an entry on such a table, then it's not a weapon.

It has been clearly ruled that rays count as weapons yet no ray appears in the weapons table.

Seems your assumption is wrong.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:


Exactly! That rule, as you say, allows you to use a non-weapon as a weapon. That object is not a weapon, but this rule allows you to use as a weapon anyway.

Sure and because I use the improvised weapon as a weapon I can use it to threaten as with a weapon.


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Y'know, this thread has given me reason to consider one thing: whether non-proficient weapons should threaten, improvised or not. I kind of like the idea that gaining an AoO is as big a part of weapon training as overcoming the non-proficiency penalty.

And, agreeing with BBT above, if I do end up house ruling that, Catch Off-Guard will allow characters to threaten with improvised weapons.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

All improvised weapons are weapons? Because you can hit people with them? That means that every single object is a weapon?

By that logic, every single thing you can eat is food!

By that logic, every single thing you can kick is a ball!

When I go down to the sports shop to buy a ball, why aren't there any tin cans? Why are there no sheep? I can kick them, so they are balls, right? Balls.

When I go down to the food shop, why are there no random bits of plastic? Why is there no drain cleaner? If it says, "This is not a food" on the label, then because it has the word "food" in it, then it must be a food, right? I can easily swallow drain cleaner, so it is a food, right?

When I go down to the weapons shop, where are all the ladders? Where are the buckets? Why are there no heavy books in the bludgeoning weapons section? I mean, you can hit people with all of these, so they are all weapons, right?

Not as far as Pathfinder is concerned. An object is a weapon if it has an entry on a weapons table. In order to allow attacks with non-weapons, we have the improvised weapon rule, which functions by finding the most similar actual weapon to the non-weapon in question, and that rule is what allows them to do damage as if they were weapons.

Are you this way on purpose or did it happen organically?


I would rather give persons that are not combat trained the docile quality and rule that you can't make AoOs with anything but natural weapon if you are docile than to disallow AoOs with improvised weapons.
Think of it, a hatchet for cutting wood or a butcher's knife are improvised weapons, too.

And another problem I see is the definition of weapon. If we look at this:

Quote:
Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat. Because such objects are not designed for this use...

then it seems that clubs can never exist because something crafted to be a weapon would be more than just a club (a club is free after all, can't involve much crafting) and everything I modify to use as a weapon would stop being an improvised weapon because it was crafted to be a weapon.

If I pick up a stick from the forest floor it is an improvised weapon. If I then take some time working it with my knife it becomes a weapon. Same if I hammer a (rusty?)nail into the stick. Because in both cases I use a craft skill to turn an harmless object into a weapon. Same with a billiard cue, break it in half and you have crafted a weapon. Now perhaps that's how you get a club for free. "craft" some other object into a weapon by breaking it. It looses all its worth but now it is a weapon.


All improvised weapons are weapons? Because you can hit people with them? That means that every single object is a weapon? -> Every object that you can use to inflict harm to living beings is a weapon. A nerf gun projectile for example is not a weapon.

By that logic, every single thing you can eat is food! -> Everything that you can eat without poisoning yourself and get nourishment from is food.

By that logic, every single thing you can kick is a ball! Being a ball has nothing to do with being kick-able. It has primarily something to do with the shape. (And no for me the thing used in American football is no ball despite the name. And in other languages it isn't called ball.)


What is really going on here?


Grimmy wrote:
What is really going on here?

Malachi is apparently having some issues with rules/rules lawyers in his home game. This is the second thread in a series of related issues. He isn't getting the responses he wanted and he isn't taking it well.

Between this thread and the last it has become clear that rather than accept something (or form an argument against it), Malachi is far more likely to state something hyperbolic (all things you can kick are balls) or re-frame the argument to exclude the previous statement.

In the previous thread that meant talking about rules without being allowed to use logic, common sense, or developer intent. It all pretty much went down hill from there.

It is a fair guess at this point about whether Malachi is trolling the boards, or whether the boards are trolling Malachi.


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

All improvised weapons are weapons? Because you can hit people with them? That means that every single object is a weapon?

By that logic...

Let me just stop you there. Let's look at what you did - you took the statement that improvised weapons are still weapons, and then somehow combined that with the farcical notion that any object not crafted to be a weapon is automatically an improvised weapon, and then turned that into all objects are weapons, even when they are not weapons. Basically, you turned everything into an absolute statement, and found that doing so creates contradictions.

You are right, by that "logic", stupid things happen. Happily, the only one who makes those assumptions about how the rules work and should be read is you, so, basically all you are saying here is "I made stupid assumptions and now my game is stupid". Seems like the solution here isn't to change the game to solve your self-created dilemma. Instead, the best answer is maybe you should just change the way you think. Abandon your absolutist mindset and embrace the idea that sometimes GMs are going to have to make some on the fly calls (yes, even when using that most sacred section of the rules, combat).

Silver Crusade

RDM42 wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

All improvised weapons are weapons? Because you can hit people with them? That means that every single object is a weapon?

By that logic, every single thing you can eat is food!

By that logic, every single thing you can kick is a ball!

When I go down to the sports shop to buy a ball, why aren't there any tin cans? Why are there no sheep? I can kick them, so they are balls, right? Balls.

When I go down to the food shop, why are there no random bits of plastic? Why is there no drain cleaner? If it says, "This is not a food" on the label, then because it has the word "food" in it, then it must be a food, right? I can easily swallow drain cleaner, so it is a food, right?

When I go down to the weapons shop, where are all the ladders? Where are the buckets? Why are there no heavy books in the bludgeoning weapons section? I mean, you can hit people with all of these, so they are all weapons, right?

Not as far as Pathfinder is concerned. An object is a weapon if it has an entry on a weapons table. In order to allow attacks with non-weapons, we have the improvised weapon rule, which functions by finding the most similar actual weapon to the non-weapon in question, and that rule is what allows them to do damage as if they were weapons.

They are weapons when they acquire weapon statistics, such as being used in a manner which causes them to be a risk to cause weapon damage.

In the same way that sheep become balls as soon as you kick them.

Silver Crusade

My2Copper wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
The rules list weapons on the Weapons Table, or a weapons table in another book. If an object doesn't have an entry on such a table, then it's not a weapon.

It has been clearly ruled that rays count as weapons yet no ray appears in the weapons table.

Seems your assumption is wrong.

Yep. Why? Because the rules say so. The specifics of weapon-like spells say they are weapons, so they are.

This is in contrast to improvised weapons, which are not weapons.

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