Do 'Improvised' Weapons Threaten?


Rules Questions

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Silver Crusade

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

You might be right. We don't know, and not knowing is the problem.

Silver Crusade

Gingerbreadman wrote:
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.

Not in Pathfinder.

In the rules, the equipment section is divided by type: weapons, then armour, then other (non-weapon and non-armour) stuff.

If something that is not in the weapon or armour section is actually a weapon or armour in addition, the description will say so.

Silver Crusade

Grimmy wrote:
What is really going on here?

Some people who are practicing to be lawyers or politicians someday are trying to say that black is white, up is down, non-weapons are weapons and 'cannot attack adjacent foes' means 'can attack adjacent foes'.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
What is really going on here?
Some people who are practicing to be lawyers or politicians someday are trying to say that black is white, up is down, non-weapons are weapons and 'cannot attack adjacent foes' means 'can attack adjacent foes'.

If you problem is with people trying to act like lawyers why don't you just stop doing it?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Grimmy wrote:
What is really going on here?
Some people who are practicing to be lawyers or politicians someday are trying to say that black is white, up is down, non-weapons are weapons and 'cannot attack adjacent foes' means 'can attack adjacent foes'.

What's REALLY really going on here is someone mentioned in some thread Malachi was reading that you can make an improvised attack with the haft of a long spear. This was so surprising to Malachi that it caused an immediate, unthinking revulsion in him and caused him to open a thread seeking to, in essence, change the rules of Pathfinder so that nobody could do anything that wasn't explicitly stated in the rules. When it was pointed out that he could already play that way, if he wanted, and that therefore there was no value in pushing for an FAQ, he (and a few others) went off the deep end, because, again, the idea that we might not need the Dev team to hold our hands through every rules discussion was shocking.

Once that thread got locked, he opened this one in an attempt to get back to the same issue by being as obtuse and ridiculous as possible, all because he is unwilling or unable to go back and accept that maybe, despite his initial revulsion at the idea of hitting someone with an improvised spear shaft attack, it's actually not a big deal. Instead, he's increasingly relying on rhetorical garbage like one line responses that ignore salient points, obvious and extreme distortions of people's positions, and failing that, simple rote repetition of his tired, useless arguments in an attempt to justify explicitly banning a perfectly good option from the game simply because he was too close minded to ever think of it himself.

The long and short of it is Malachi is already free to play the game exactly as he wants, but he's pretending that he needs an explicit and universal FAQ, all so he can regulate YOUR gameplay as well.

Silver Crusade

Yet again, the opposite is true.

If we can say that some gamers want the rules for combat completely defined and others want to make rules up as they go along, then if this rules hole gets filled then both sides will be happy: the one that want this question to have an answer will have it and those that don't can ignore it.

But if it isn't answered, the ones that don't want an answer will be okay, but those that want the answer won't be.

You not only don't want the answer, you don't want anyone else to have the answer. This is a selfish position, and throwing insults at those who want the answer just underlines the selfishness of your position. I asked a rules question, but instead of answering it you tell me that it's bad for the game to get the answer.


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Mr T gave an answer. You didn't like the answer. Mr T then said that an answer in the manner you want it phrased is bad for the game. He also happens to be correct about that.


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

Yet again, the opposite is true.

If we can say that some gamers want the rules for combat completely defined and others want to make rules up as they go along, then if this rules hole gets filled then both sides will be happy: the one that want this question to have an answer will have it and those that don't can ignore it.

But if it isn't answered, the ones that don't want an answer will be okay, but those that want the answer won't be.

You not only don't want the answer, you don't want anyone else to have the answer. This is a selfish position, and throwing insults at those who want the answer just underlines the selfishness of your position. I asked a rules question, but instead of answering it you tell me that it's bad for the game to get the answer.

Pfft. So, I'm the selfish one because my stance is that maybe we shouldn't rewrite the rules to eliminate the flexibility they currently have, not because it would meaningfully change the way you play, but rather because you have an emotional 'need' to have everything in the rules fully defined.

If your position truly is that I am the selfish one because I'm standing in the way of your attempt to make the game worse for everyone but you, simply because you can't stand to even allow other people the option, within the rules, to play differently than you, then it's clear you have no further business here.

At this point, I DARE you to come up with a single way your actual game would change if you got the FAQs you want. I mean, it's clear that despite your protestations to the contrary, you MUST have already come up with a ruling for this in your home games, since you consider it a vital and fundamental part of combat, right? Thus, it's clearly true you can already play the game in exactly the manner that suits you the best, just like everyone else can. All an FAQ would do is limit everyone else's fun (at least until they decided to abandon the rules), just so you can have the emotional security blanket of knowing your subjective opinion about game balance and game design was "right", insofar as the Devs are concerned. But no, no, I'm the selfish one.

Silver Crusade

Quote:
you MUST have already come up with a ruling for this in your home games, since you consider it a vital and fundamental part of combat, right?

No, it hasn't come up yet because we are always loaded for bear. If the devs rule that weapons are also non-weapons and non-weapons are weapons, it will suddenly be vital knowledge for anyone using a polearm.

Quote:
All an FAQ would do is limit everyone else's fun (at least until they decided to abandon the rules)

What, a nanosecond?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Quote:
you MUST have already come up with a ruling for this in your home games, since you consider it a vital and fundamental part of combat, right?
No, it hasn't come up yet because we are always loaded for bear. If the devs rule that weapons are also non-weapons and non-weapons are weapons, it will suddenly be vital knowledge for anyone using a polearm.

So, I'm right and this has absolutely no affect on how you play, it's just that you are worried that if there is an official ruling going the other way, you MIGHT have a change to your game that you don't like, so you want to make sure the clarification goes your way because limiting the game for everyone is less important than making sure that you don't ever have to fear someone making a different decision from yours?

Let's be clear about what's going on here - the rules currently don't say one way or the other. This means that you get to make the call, and whichever way it goes, its "Right", and you can play the game like you always have. For some reason, though, that's not good enough for you, and you want to make sure that there is only one right way to play, and you want that so badly you are willing to take the very real risk that you will be told you've been doing it wrong all this time, because that's better than a world in which whatever you do is fine.

Silver Crusade

Quote:
So, I'm right and this has absolutely no affect on how you play, it's just that you are worried that if there is an official ruling going the other way, you MIGHT have a change to your game that you don't like, so you want to make sure the clarification goes your way because limiting the game for everyone is less important than making sure that you don't ever have to fear someone making a different decision from yours?

It won't limit the game for anyone who doesn't want it, even me.

If they make that ruling, it will have consequences, and I want to know what those consequences are.

Quote:
Let's be clear about what's going on here - the rules currently don't say one way or the other. This means that you get to make the call, and whichever way it goes, its "Right", and you can play the game like you always have. For some reason, though, that's not good enough for you, and you want to make sure that there is only one right way to play, and you want that so badly you are willing to take the very real risk that you will be told you've been doing it wrong all this time, because that's better than a world in which whatever you do is fine.

At the moment the rule isn't clear on this one way or another. Yet, something either threatens or it doesn't threaten. It's not Schrödinger's weapon, unknown until it's too late to change your mind. Pathfinder combat doesn't work that way, and the fact that this is not clearly addressed by the rules is a fault which can and should be corrected.

I don't know (or care) why you think that it's okay for the rules to be so clear in the rest of combat but it would be 'bad for the game' is this was just as clear, but pretending that a FAQ would spoil your game in any way is a deception.


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

It won't limit the game for anyone who doesn't want it, even me.

If they make that ruling, it will have consequences, and I want to know what those consequences are.

This here is a self contradictory statement. "There won't be any limits on the game, just consequences.

What, pray tell, might those consequences be?

You can't have it both ways. It cannot possibly be true that an FAQ will both have far reaching consequences and that it won't end up being a limit on someone's game where none exists right now.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

At the moment the rule isn't clear on this one way or another. Yet, something either threatens or it doesn't threaten. It's not Schrödinger's weapon, unknown until it's too late to change your mind. Pathfinder combat doesn't work that way, and the fact that this is not clearly addressed by the rules is a fault which can and should be corrected.

I don't know (or care) why you think that it's okay for the rules to be so clear in the rest of combat but it would be 'bad for the game' is this was just as clear, but pretending that a FAQ would spoil your game in any way is a deception.

The combat rules are basically not very clear anywhere, first of all. What's the AC for hitting a rope with a thrown Axe? What is the best way to use a fire poker as an improvised weapon? Club, Mace, what? If I stab with it, then what? What does someone with 50% hp remaining "look like" - can I tell at a glance how injured someone is or not? What are the odds that there is sand on the floor of the cave I am in, and what kind of action/attack is it to throw sand in my opponent's face? If I want to break a long spear's haft over my knee, what is that? A STR check? A Sunder attempt? Simply impossible?

I don't know (or care) why you are okay with simply not allowing totally viable options without a clear, explicit rule to help you adjudicate it, but pretending your view does anything but impose limits on the game to sate your need for structure is dishonest at best.

Second, I don't know (or care) why you are incapable of understanding that "Decide at the table" doesn't mean the same thing as "I have no way of ever knowing what's going to happen". First, you can rely on your sense of what is "reasonable" to guide you. Second, you can rely on your understanding of the way in which your fellow players play to guide you. It's not like one attack will work and the very next won't, unless your GM (or you) are being absurd. Your lack of confidence in your ability to reasonably work with the other players at your table is not a valid reason for anything to happen except you learning better interpersonal skills.

Let's just run down the possible outcomes here, one more time.

First, you get the rulings you want, and nothing in your game changes, so you've gained nothing of value, but you've cost everyone else the flexibility of the rules.

Second, you get the opposite of the rulings you want, and your game changes in a way you don't like, AND everyone loses some flexibility in the rules.

Third, you get the correct ruling, which is "We're not going to give an explicit rule here, because there are too many possibilities to cover, and we trust that players and GMs can work this stuff out on their own (that's why there's a GM in the first place!). If you feel like this is an important issue for PFS play, ask on those forums to get a PFS house rule". Disaster for you, because it codifies the very "uncertainty" you despise into the rules in an even more explicit way than is already the case, AND you become clearly guilty of being wrong on the internet.

There's only one scenario that isn't a loss for you, and it's still not a win, because it just means your game doesn't change. Why again is this a good idea from your perspective?

Silver Crusade

MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

It won't limit the game for anyone who doesn't want it, even me.

If they make that ruling, it will have consequences, and I want to know what those consequences are.

This here is a self contradictory statement. "There won't be any limits on the game, just consequences.

What, pray tell, might those consequences be?

You can't have it both ways. It cannot possibly be true that an FAQ will both have far reaching consequences and that it won't end up being a limit on someone's game where none exists right now.

It will have far reaching consequences in that it may lead to reach weapons threatening adjacent squares, allowing things like flanking where it wouldn't before, maybe even a new action on the Actions In Combat table (which action type? Who knows?) in order to change from 'holding' a non-weapon object to 'threatening' with a non-weapon object, which would essentially be just you thinking about it.

The reason why this won't limit anyone who doesn't wish to be limited by it (like you), is simply that you can choose to ignore it. So, hardly 'impossible'. Didn't you just accuse me of hyperbole?

This is what we do anyway. When PF chose to alter the rule on reach weapons threatening the corner squares, this had serious consequences: although you'd get an AoO on a foe who moved toward you, you suddenly don't if they approach you diagonally on a grid that doesn't really exist! (unless they invent a rule which alters the way threatening actually works in this case!). It also becomes impossible to attack with a reach weapon in a 5-foot wide diagonal corridor!

Far reaching consequences. And, fortunately, easily ignored and replaced by the original 3.5 rule. Problem solved.

So, if these FAQs appear, they may have far reaching consequences, depending on what they say. It is wise to think through all the potential ramifications.


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

It won't limit the game for anyone who doesn't want it, even me.

If they make that ruling, it will have consequences, and I want to know what those consequences are.

This here is a self contradictory statement. "There won't be any limits on the game, just consequences.

What, pray tell, might those consequences be?

You can't have it both ways. It cannot possibly be true that an FAQ will both have far reaching consequences and that it won't end up being a limit on someone's game where none exists right now.

It will have far reaching consequences in that it may lead to reach weapons threatening adjacent squares, allowing things like flanking where it wouldn't before, maybe even a new action on the Actions In Combat table (which action type? Who knows?) in order to change from 'holding' a non-weapon object to 'threatening' with a non-weapon object, which would essentially be just you thinking about it.

The reason why this won't limit anyone who doesn't wish to be limited by it (like you), is simply that you can choose to ignore it. So, hardly 'impossible'. Didn't you just accuse me of hyperbole?

This is what we do anyway. When PF chose to alter the rule on reach weapons threatening the corner squares, this had serious consequences: although you'd get an AoO on a foe who moved toward you, you suddenly don't if they approach you diagonally on a grid that doesn't really exist! (unless they invent a rule which alters the way threatening actually works in this case!). It also becomes impossible to attack with a reach weapon in a 5-foot wide diagonal corridor!

Far reaching consequences. And, fortunately, easily ignored and replaced by the original 3.5 rule. Problem solved.

So, if these FAQs appear, they may have far reaching consequences, depending on what they say. It is wise to think through all the potential ramifications.

Is this post an April Fool's joke?

Dude, you're making my point FOR ME. There is no value in an FAQ that nobody follows, because they all just do their own thing anyway. Again, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the ruling to have consequences and also to not limit someone's game. Either it limits your game because you WERE playing RAW, which you like, but now you "can't", or it limits your game because you are now wedded to a rule you don't like, or it has no effect at all, and thus no consequences. This is inescapable. You are either putting your needless quest for a yes/no answer ahead of the playability of the game (if not for you, than for someone else), or else you are pushing for a ruling that you believe people won't ever follow (so you are wasting everyone's time).

Silver Crusade

MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Dude, you're making my point FOR ME. There is no value in an FAQ that nobody follows, because they all just do their own thing anyway.

If it's a sensible FAQ then plenty of people follow it, while those who don't like it can ignore it.

Quote:
Again, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the ruling to have consequences and also to not limit someone's game.

Disproved that in my previous post. A ruling can have consequences, but those consequences can be avoided by not following the FAQ.

Quote:
Either it limits your game because you WERE playing RAW, which you like, but now you "can't", or it limits your game because you are now wedded to a rule you don't like, or it has no effect at all, and thus no consequences.

Or it 'limits' your game in the same way as every other rule in the book 'limits' players. Players who choose to follow it have a free choice to do so.

Quote:
This is inescapable.

Heh.

Quote:
You are either putting your needless quest for a yes/no answer ahead of the playability of the game (if not for you, than for someone else),

Why would the FAQ be unplayable?

Quote:
or else you are pushing for a ruling that you believe people won't ever follow (so you are wasting everyone's time).

I believe most people would choose to follow it, but no-one would be forced to. So this thread would be a constructive use of my time if it produces an answer to this gap in the rules.

And such a FAQ would not spoil your game in any way at all.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

It won't limit the game for anyone who doesn't want it, even me.

If they make that ruling, it will have consequences, and I want to know what those consequences are.

This here is a self contradictory statement. "There won't be any limits on the game, just consequences.

What, pray tell, might those consequences be?

You can't have it both ways. It cannot possibly be true that an FAQ will both have far reaching consequences and that it won't end up being a limit on someone's game where none exists right now.

It will have far reaching consequences in that it may lead to reach weapons threatening adjacent squares, allowing things like flanking where it wouldn't before, maybe even a new action on the Actions In Combat table (which action type? Who knows?) in order to change from 'holding' a non-weapon object to 'threatening' with a non-weapon object, which would essentially be just you thinking about it.

The reason why this won't limit anyone who doesn't wish to be limited by it (like you), is simply that you can choose to ignore it. So, hardly 'impossible'. Didn't you just accuse me of hyperbole?

This is what we do anyway. When PF chose to alter the rule on reach weapons threatening the corner squares, this had serious consequences: although you'd get an AoO on a foe who moved toward you, you suddenly don't if they approach you diagonally on a grid that doesn't really exist! (unless they invent a rule which alters the way threatening actually works in this case!). It also becomes impossible to attack with a reach weapon in a 5-foot wide diagonal corridor!

Far reaching consequences. And, fortunately, easily ignored and replaced by the original 3.5 rule. Problem solved.

So, if these FAQs appear, they may have far reaching consequences, depending on what they say. It is wise to think through all the potential ramifications.

So it would be far reaching consequences to allow at a minus four something you can do right now with a minus zero?


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Honestly, I don't agree either that "everything with the word "weapon" in the name is a weapon" or that "it's only a weapon if it's on the weapon list". I think "weapon" is more vague than that, and shifts from circumstance to circumstance. For example, I think "weapon damage" always refers to S/P/B damage dealt by a wielded weapon, and not for example the fire damage of a red dragon's breath weapon. But I do think an improvised weapon is a weapon. I'd go by the rule of thumb that if it's given stats, or a way to define weapon stats, in the weapon section of the rules, it's a weapon, and if not, it's probably not, though exception might exist from time to time.

I think as always it's a case of common sense. Sure, common sense isn't always the same from table to table, but that's not really a big issue, in my opinion, except perhaps for organized play, but then I think it's better that the organizers of the play write down the definitions they are going to use.

In general I agree with Mr. T. on this topic, but I do think that the game would have benefitted if a few things were in fact mechanically defined better than they are; "what is a weapon", "what is wielding" etc. They are cornerstones of the system, and giving definitions, or at least guidelines for how to determine them, would have been far better than just assuming people "get it". Templating was a good thing in general, but they mostly applied it to spells and creatures where I think it should also have been applied to the combat rules in general.

However, Mr T, some of the things you say are not clear are to my mind quite clear in the rules, or at least clear enough to easily draw a quick conclusion with support in the rules, and do not really need GM intervention to determine:

Quote:
What's the AC for hitting a rope with a thrown Axe? What is the best way to use a fire poker as an improvised weapon? Club, Mace, what? If I stab with it, then what? What does someone with 50% hp remaining "look like" - can I tell at a glance how injured someone is or not? What are the odds that there is sand on the floor of the cave I am in, and what kind of action/attack is it to throw sand in my opponent's face? If I want to break a long spear's haft over my knee, what is that? A STR check? A Sunder attempt? Simply impossible?

The rope: It's a fine object probably, so has an AC of 10-5(dex)+8=13, and you take a -2 for every 10 ft distance (range increments). Quite clear by the rules.

Telling wounds: Nope, you can't tell. Which makes sense, seeing as how abstract hit points are. No rule isn't a rule of "no", of course, but many things can get weird if one puts up hard limits of how someone looks at certain hit points.
Sand on the floor: Environment is adventure designer decision. Pretty clear.
Attacking with the sand: Dirty trick maneuver, 100% clear (it's one of the examples)
Breaking item over your knee: Strength check (pretty clear by the rules), DC below 24 (bending iron bars) probably somewhere around 17 (destroying a simple wooden chest). That it's a strength check is pretty clear, the DC is up to GM adjustment.

So several of them are in fact quite clearly defined in the rules - clearly enough to be determined by someone who has no grasp of the rules otherwise, being presented to just those rules.


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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.

Minus three is not a valid answer. One and two are valid answers also. I can arrange a square so that the first row has one orange, the second row has two, the third row has three, the fourth row has two, and the fifth row has one.

Sometimes things that we think only have one answer... have many.


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


However, Mr T, some of the things you say are not clear are to my mind quite clear in the rules, or at least clear enough to easily draw a quick conclusion with support in the rules, and do not really need GM intervention to determine:

The rope: It's a fine object probably, so has an AC of 10-5(dex)+8=13, and you take a -2 for every 10 ft distance (range increments). Quite clear by the rules.

Telling wounds: Nope, you can't tell. Which makes sense, seeing as how abstract hit points are. No rule isn't a rule of "no", of course, but many things can get weird if one puts up hard limits of how someone looks at certain hit points.
Sand on the floor: Environment is adventure designer decision. Pretty clear.
Attacking with the sand: Dirty trick maneuver, 100% clear (it's one of the examples)
Breaking item over your knee: Strength check (pretty clear by the rules), DC below 24 (bending iron bars) probably somewhere around 17 (destroying a simple wooden chest). That it's a strength check is pretty clear, the DC is up to GM adjustment.
So several of them are in fact quite clearly defined in the rules - clearly enough to be determined by someone who has no grasp of the rules otherwise, being presented to just those rules.

I don't think your counters are as clear as you want them to be. Note the "Probably" in the rope example. I agree, it's PROBABLY a fine object, but maybe it's not? Maybe it's Tiny instead? Who decides, given the situation? The GM has to make that call.

Telling wounds - you're right, there can be problems with letting people know hit point totals, but at the same time, it seems pretty reasonable that in many cases a character who stops to examine his opponents to get a sense of their condition should be rewarded for that. As you say, though, there are no rules. Up to the GM to determine if it's possible, and what, if anything, the character sees.

Sand on the floor - yeah, it's an environmental thing, but honestly, how often does an adventure specify the presence or absence of sand/dirt in every room/chamber? Often this will be a GM call, either in the prep for the adventure or (more likely) in the moment, when the character asks if there is any sand around.

Throwing sand in someone's face - You are right, that you can use the Dirty Trick maneuver to cover this, but even then, the rules for the Maneuver specifically say that the GM needs to decide what's reasonable and what the effects are. In some cases, maybe tossing sand blinds a foe for one turn, maybe in another case it does nothing at all. It's so broad and open-ended that it can't possibly work unless the GM makes a call.

Finally, breaking the spear - sure, a strength check makes sense, but then again, I can totally see situations where it could be treated as a sunder - especially if the character has feats that make a sunder attempt easier than the strength check. It seems odd that it would be easier to sunder a weapon being actively used by someone else than it is to sunder a weapon held in your own hand. In any case, the DC is, again, something the GM has to decide on the fly, and it might vary from spear to spear, even.

My point is that even the stuff that's "clear" in the rule still requires a GM to adjudicate. In my experience, the combat rules work perfectly fine when dealing with players who don't go off script too much, but as soon at they start asking things like "How much weight can that chandelier handle?" and "Is there any alcohol left in those mugs on the table?", I'm going to have to start making calls on the fly. The advantage to the rules as they are now is that I can do that without having to fight too much against them.

The more rules we have, though, the less true that becomes. Dirty Trick is a great example of this. While I can appreciate the drive to create a rule for things like tossing sand etc, the fact is that as a standard action melee range combat maneuver that provokes an AoO, it's often such a bad idea mechanically that it chills player creativity.

Consider that if you are a Monk of the empty hand, and you pick up a full beer mug, tossing the beer in an opponent's face potentially trades off with hitting him with the mug three or four times, AND it provokes an AoO, AND it's a combat maneuver, which may be tough to "hit" with, unless you are specialized in it. Given all that, even though the beer toss is a totally awesome, cinematic thing to do, most players won't do it anymore, because the rule that governs it seems to be so bad.

Silver Crusade

There is no disagreement on the fact that DMs make calls on the fly, or decide what to do if there is no rule to cover a situation.

But this doesn't mean that a lack of rules is desirable, or better than a rule.

This is the case for every rule in the game. Armour could easily be 'better' as absorbing damage instead of making the wearer harder to hit, but either way is better than the actual rules not telling you which way it is!

Some people want the rule, some don't. But if this FAQ is answered, and if you don't like it, don't use it; no problem. But if you want clear, consistent combat then knowing what the rule is beats having to invent your own.


Mr.T: I'm not saying they're entirely RAWy RAW clear by Malachi's standards, I'm saying that the rules explicitly provide clear guidelines on how to adjudicate them, enough that someone who has never played the game and only looks at those rules could easily make a judgement and come to the same conclusion as the RAI in 90% of the cases. They're far, far clearer than "does improvised weapons threaten" or "what is considered wielding" or "what is considered a weapon".

Basically, the game has rules for things such as attacking objects. The rules aren't simple mathematic procedures like BAB, but rather definite guidelines on how to adjudicate things. The OP's question is about a section that lacks that kind of things, and I do feel that this is a very relevant topic (even though Malachi's attitude and reasoning isn't something I like).

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

There is no disagreement on the fact that DMs make calls on the fly, or decide what to do if there is no rule to cover a situation.

But this doesn't mean that a lack of rules is desirable, or better than a rule.

An extremely generalizing rule dealing with a lot of different things is often a bad rule. A bad rule is worse than no rule at all, since a lack of rules only require GM adjudication, while a bad rule requires actually house ruling, which requires one to take much more into consideration.

If there isn't a rule, the GM can just say "we do it this way, okay with you?" on the fly.
If there's a bad rule, the GM has to take it up before game in her list of house rules, and also, most new GM's will assume a written rule is good even if it's bad, until they've tried it out. With a judgement call for something that lacks rules, that's much easier to change.


Damn. Should have picked the over, thought this thread would be locked by 150.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Also, claiming that a FAQ doesn't affect people that don't want it because they can house rule it out is a bad argument because it goes both ways: Not having a FAQ doesn't affect those that want a definite rule because they can house rule one in.

Silver Crusade

Ilja wrote:
Also, claiming that a FAQ doesn't affect people that don't want it because they can house rule it out is a bad argument because it goes both ways: Not having a FAQ doesn't affect those that want a definite rule because they can house rule one in.

There is no reason to believe that a rule made up on the spur of the moment is a better or more robust rule than one thought about and published by the game's design team.

I may disagree with a handful of FAQs, and what those FAQs have in common is that they seem hasty and not thought through: all the more reason to think these things through.

But the vast majority of FAQs are solid, certainly more trustworthy than something made up at the time, subject to change at a whim.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

Yes you threaten with an improvised weapon. The only time you don't threaten is when you're unarmed.

PRD:

Threatened Squares: You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you're unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares and thus can't make attacks of opportunity.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dr Grecko wrote:
Damn. Should have picked the over, thought this thread would be locked by 150.

It was really off-putting when they shut down the last discussion. I get into animated conversations with my family and friends all the time. It isn't a sign of disrespect to disagree.

I thought locking the thread was more disrespectful than anything that was said. It's kind of like saying "you guys aren't talking about anything important." Which is funny because the thread morphed directly into -- what is a set of rules for an RPG; which is a pretty central question. At the risk of getting banned or shunned or whatever they do in Paizo-world, it seems really juvenile to lock a thread like that.

Is there a middle ground that Malachi and Mr. T. share philosophically, or is the pursuit pointless -- are there two games? Big stuff. Inflammatory stuff. Interesting stuff to me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It was just my assumption that it would get shut down quickly since it's pretty much a re-hash of the previous thread. I stayed out of it to avoid tainting the results... I lost :)

Anyway. That seems to be the problem.. The threads never really were about answering the topic questions. The debates are end up turning into something entirely different.

The answer to, "Do improvised weapons threaten?" is unequivocally, Yes.

But, the thread isn't about that anymore.. It's about what IS an improvised weapon.

In the previous thread, it turned to "Can weapons be improvised weapons?" rather than the topic question concerning reach.

I do take issue to the way the topic questions skirt around the real issue.

Silver Crusade

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

Yes you threaten with an improvised weapon. The only time you don't threaten is when you're unarmed.

PRD:

Threatened Squares: You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you're unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares and thus can't make attacks of opportunity.

Yes. Maybe. It could also be that 'unarmed' in this context means 'not holding a weapon'. Since 'improvised weapons' are 'objects not crafted to be weapons', then it may be that they don't threaten.

We don't know.

If it was obvious, then this thread (and others asking the very same question) wouldn't exist.


MachOneGames wrote:
Dr Grecko wrote:
Damn. Should have picked the over, thought this thread would be locked by 150.

It was really off-putting when they shut down the last discussion. I get into animated conversations with my family and friends all the time. It isn't a sign of disrespect to disagree.

I thought locking the thread was more disrespectful than anything that was said. It's kind of like saying "you guys aren't talking about anything important." Which is funny because the thread morphed directly into -- what is a set of rules for an RPG; which is a pretty central question. At the risk of getting banned or shunned or whatever they do in Paizo-world, it seems really juvenile to lock a thread like that.

Is there a middle ground that Malachi and Mr. T. share philosophically, or is the pursuit pointless -- are there two games? Big stuff. Inflammatory stuff. Interesting stuff to me.

I completely agree. The last thread getting shut down was out of line. I sent an email to the webmaster and got a canned garbage answer. What really irked me was the moderator insinuating that there were board rules violations going on but no mod had warned the thread or removed any posts. Nothing in that thread was out of line.


Dr Grecko wrote:

It was just my assumption that it would get shut down quickly since it's pretty much a re-hash of the previous thread. I stayed out of it to avoid tainting the results... I lost :)

Anyway. That seems to be the problem.. The threads never really were about answering the topic questions. The debates are end up turning into something entirely different.

The answer to, "Do improvised weapons threaten?" is unequivocally, Yes.

But, the thread isn't about that anymore.. It's about what IS an improvised weapon.

In the previous thread, it turned to "Can weapons be improvised weapons?" rather than the topic question concerning reach.

I do take issue to the way the topic questions skirt around the real issue.

I don't at all. It's an organic process. Sometimes a specific question brings light to an underlying rules question. Answering that question is integral to resolving the specific one and helps to answer similar specific questions later.

As far as I am concerned the systemic rules questions are on topic for surface questions.


BigDTBone wrote:

I don't at all. It's an organic process. Sometimes a specific question brings light to an underlying rules question. Answering that question is integral to resolving the specific one and helps to answer similar specific questions later.

As far as I am concerned the systemic rules questions are on topic for surface questions.

That's fine, I just wish that once the root of the issue is discovered, that the FAQ request be modified to capture what the question truly is.


Dr Grecko wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

I don't at all. It's an organic process. Sometimes a specific question brings light to an underlying rules question. Answering that question is integral to resolving the specific one and helps to answer similar specific questions later.

As far as I am concerned the systemic rules questions are on topic for surface questions.

That's fine, I just wish that once the root of the issue is discovered, that the FAQ request be modified to capture what the question truly is.

It usually takes more than 60 minutes to get there.


BigDTBone wrote:
Dr Grecko wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

I don't at all. It's an organic process. Sometimes a specific question brings light to an underlying rules question. Answering that question is integral to resolving the specific one and helps to answer similar specific questions later.

As far as I am concerned the systemic rules questions are on topic for surface questions.

That's fine, I just wish that once the root of the issue is discovered, that the FAQ request be modified to capture what the question truly is.
It usually takes more than 60 minutes to get there.

I meant "new thread" kind of modified.

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