Can we get an official definition for "wielding"?


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Fergie wrote:

I propose that weapons are generally carried but not wielded in most travel or social situations. You don't threaten adjacent squares even if you have the weapon in your hands. It takes the "Draw or Sheathe a Weapon" action to make it attack-ready, at which point you are officially "wielding" the weapon. You can generally only wield a single weapon per hand or a two handed or double weapon in both hands at any given time.

I suspect some of the items/abilities might need a little text change if "wielding" was to become an official term. Some things, like the defending weapon property, were intended to work when attacking rather then held or even wielded.

You are right on some terms in some circumstances, but not all weapons follow the general rule of having to be drawn to be usable. What about a shield you can bash with, or a spiked gauntlet? They're worn on the hand(s), meaning they're effectively constantly drawn. By that point, the only thing holding the bearer back is being flat-footed to an otherwise present danger he is unaware of, and even that is counteracted by taking Combat Reflexes.

I would say that is one of the benefits of natural weapons, unarmed strikes and the types of weapons that are generally difficult or impossible to disarm. These types generally have disadvantages compared to heavier weapons. Most weapons would still require the "Draw Weapon" move action to threaten, even if they are not being pulled from a scabbard.


aegrisomnia wrote:

^ Meh, I'd rather say this suggests that wearing the sword on the back isn't intended to confer the benefit; it in no way suggests a "stat stick" occupying a "wield" spot should be priced as a wondrous item.

As an aside, I don't recall seeing a distinction made between pricing of custom magic weapons and custom wondrous items. Do you infer that the formulas should be different based on standard items?

I should rephrase things. The crafting a magic weapon section, tends to specifically focus on either + enhancement bonus Or a enhancement equivalent bonus. Its straightforward the system for doiing it is understood by most players and it is strict enough that you can customize your magic sword in organized play.

Its different from the crafting of wonderous items which if your customizing them have alot of fiddly bits and subjective opinion.

And the way things are made in reality of actual game play (as opposed to what the game lets us theoretically do) is most items follow the pre existing design paramiters.

So the Tables and example guidelines tell me that Most items fall in certain ranges of power. So if somone shows they are spending 3000 gold to get X and all other examples of X cost 40000 gold. Then i simply ask myself was the first example of 3000 gold intended?

This all doesnt mean that the ability to get X for 90% off wasnt intended, but i simply try to use the information the game has given me.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
aegrisomnia wrote:
Quote:

As a standard action, a dancing weapon can be loosed to attack on its own. It fights for 4 rounds using the base attack bonus of the one who loosed it and then drops. While dancing, it cannot make attacks of opportunity, and the activating character it is not considered armed with the weapon. The weapon is considered wielded orttended by the activating character for all maneuvers and effects that target items.

While dancing, the weapon shares the same space as the activating character and can attack adjacent foes (weapons with reach can attack opponents up to 10 feet away). The dancing weapon accompanies the activating character everywhere, whether she moves by physical or magical means. If the activating character has an unoccupied hand, she can grasp it while it is attacking on its own as a free action; when so retrieved, the weapon can't dance (attack on its own) again for 4 rounds. This special ability can only be placed on melee weapons.

By RAW, unless "wield" means something akin to "own", I fail to see how Dancing weapons are supposed to work. They're considered wielded for the purposes of maneuvers and effects that target items, but not explicitly for the purposes of determining whether or not the user benefits from the Dancing property itself. I concede this may be a simple oversight and not representative of any real intent

Re read your quote. Wielding a dancing weapon while it is dancing.is not a requirement.

aegrisomnia wrote:
Quote:
A huntsman weapon helps its wielder locate and capture quarry. When the weapon is held in hand, the wielder gains an enhancement bonus on Survival checks made to track any creature the weapon has damaged in the past day. It also deals +1d6 points of damage to creatures the wielder has tracked with Survival in the past day.
Again, "owns" or "holds" seems appropriate here. "Own" (possibly also having proficiency in) remains the only interpretation that seems to apply universally.

Again, no "wield" requirement.

aegrisomnia wrote:
Quote:


This special ability can only be placed on melee weapons. A melee weapon crafted with this ability gains a range increment of 10 feet and can be thrown by a wielder proficient in its normal use.
This suggest ownership, not proficiency, is sufficient to be considered a "wielder". Otherwise, the bit about proficiency would be redundant.

Even weirder interpretation. You should read what you cite. To throw a weapon you need to have it in hand and use it, so simple ownership don't matter.

Flawed starting assumptions get a flawed interpretation.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Anzyr wrote:

In my defense, I presented a workable test to determine wielding in those circumstances and never rely on personal insults regardless of what is going on. (Though I suspect I'm not included above, I still feel compelled to note this.)

I think the "pretend there's someone next to you (or wherever you like I guess) and if you could smack that person with a weapon you count as wielding it" (easier test name pending), works quite well and matches up with the intent for the most part. Since while I think yes a wrong aligned person should take a negative level penalty for being able to knife someone (which will usually be just holding under this test), a person using monkey belt to hold the weapon wouldn't, which makes sense to me and is internally consistent.

It make applying some ability to armor spikes too convenient as they will be "always on".

For some ability it is too lenient if you have just used both your hands for something different and you couldn't attack with the enchanted weapon unless someone caused an AoO.

As several posted have stated, me included, there is no consistency on how the term has been used. For some use wielder is the owner and it work even if the item is in some other guy hands (Called ability), at the other end of the spectrum there is the defending ability that require you to have attacked with you during your round to benefit from the Ac bonus.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
aegrisomnia wrote:
Quote:
"pretend there's someone next to you (or wherever you like I guess) and if you could smack that person with a weapon you count as wielding it"

I think that's a really good general criterion, actually. Based on some of my observations, I might broaden/simplify it as follows:

If you could hypothetically hit somebody with it in the near future (within one round? details TBD), you're wielding it.

I hesitate to even require it being held in the hands, since that seems to break the Called weapon ability... unless the intent there is for a specific rule to override the general one, in which case the intent could have been communicated much more clearly.

Note also: even if you require it to be held, this might allow for the sort of "shenanigans" some people might want to prevent by requiring you to attack with a weapon to get its benefit. I'm coming around to the idea that this not needing to attack is the intent and it's not particularly OP; if players are abusing it in your games, just banhammer stuff.

(Aside: I also assume/hope Rynjin doesn't see my contributions here as being confrontational - far from it, I'd love a FAQ answer for this question but am doubtful as to whether that will happen.)

shenanigans wrote:


Defending Weapon Property: Do I have to make attack rolls with the weapon to gain its AC bonus?

Yes. Merely holding a defending weapon is not sufficient. Unless otherwise specified, you have to use a magic item in the manner it is designed (use a weapon to make attacks, wear a shield on your arm so you can defend with it, and so on) to gain its benefits.
Therefore, if you don't make an attack roll with a defending weapon on your turn, you don't gain its defensive benefit.
Likewise, while you can give a shield the defending property (after you've given it a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks, of course), you wouldn't get the AC bonus from the defending property unless you used the shield to make a shield bash that round--unless you're using the shield as a weapon (to make a shield bash), the defending weapon property has no effect.

That is an actual FAQ.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cyrad wrote:
Robert A Matthews wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Common sense should tell you that you're wielding a weapon if you're capable of making attacks with it.
So what does common sense tell you about wearing a spiked gauntlet that is enchanted with something that matters when "wielded" and then using a two handed Greatsword to attack?
Common Sense™ tells me that when wielding another weapon in that hand, you are not able to make attacks with the gauntlet. Therefore you are not wielding it.
Beat me to it! Common sense tells me you generally cannot wield two weapons with the same hand unless it's a one-handed double weapon or it involves a very special case. The former case is unheard of in Pathfinder while the latter case is best left to GM fiat on a case by case basis.

Make it armor spikes, now you can threaten with them witout hands.

Cyrad wrote:
Robert A Matthews wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Common sense should tell you that you're wielding a weapon if you're capable of making attacks with it.
So what does common sense tell you about wearing a spiked gauntlet that is enchanted with something that matters when "wielded" and then using a two handed Greatsword to attack?
Common Sense™ tells me that when wielding another weapon in that hand, you are not able to make attacks with the gauntlet. Therefore you are not wielding it.
Beat me to it! Common sense tells me you generally cannot wield two weapons with the same hand unless it's a one-handed double weapon or it involves a very special case. The former case is unheard of in Pathfinder while the latter case is best left to GM fiat on a case by case basis.

Make it armor spikes. Now you don't need a hand to threaten with them.

With Anzyr definition of what wield mean your bonus will be always on.

Cyrad wrote:
Robert A Matthews wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Common sense should tell you that you're wielding a weapon if you're capable of making attacks with it.
So what does common sense tell you about wearing a spiked gauntlet that is enchanted with something that matters when "wielded" and then using a two handed Greatsword to attack?
Common Sense™ tells me that when wielding another weapon in that hand, you are not able to make attacks with the gauntlet. Therefore you are not wielding it.
Beat me to it! Common sense tells me you generally cannot wield two weapons with the same hand unless it's a one-handed double weapon or it involves a very special case. The former case is unheard of in Pathfinder while the latter case is best left to GM fiat on a case by case basis.

"Common sense" in this situation is a houserule. So it don't work well in a share environment, like PFS. Or when changing gaming groups.

My gaming group will probably read "wielding" as actively using a weapon in most cases, but some items use that in a different way. But I have seen a good number of experienced people using it as a synonymous of wearing/holding, so changing my gaming group would mean changing the rules by which we play.

Robert A Matthews wrote:
Skeld wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:
Oddly enough I proposed that the Next printing will just have to include a dictionary of all the words used in the text of the rules. in the What does it mean to 'wield' a weapon? thread of July 2013.

That's a fine idea, but they aren't going to add anything to the CRB that breaks pagination.

Cyrad wrote:
I actually don't want them to rule on this. It's one of those common sense things that answering it may end up creating more problems than it solves, like the mounted combat FAQ. A GM can simply rule when a character is wielding a weapon as situations may vary. Common sense should tell you that you're wielding a weapon if you're capable of making attacks with it.

I'm 99% with you on this. I'm against the continued codification of minutia, believing instead that this kind of stuff should be left to the GM. The game works much better when there's wiggle room. However, there is a non-trivial segment of the population that is unable to function well unless they have a printed rule somewhere to point at. The hardline pro-RAW, anti-houserule stance of PFS fuels much of the "rules angst."

-Skeld

The development team agrees with you.

Rules Forum Sticky wrote:
Paizo firmly believes it is the privilege and responsibility of the GM to make rulings for unusual circumstances or unusual characters.

Keyword: unusual. There are plenty of items that use the wield term, and a lot of them seem to use that in different ways .

Ruggs wrote:

Gaming at Tabletop is a social exercise. Sometimes I cannot help but feel as though threads like this become an attempt to step outside of that exercise, to call on developers to make decisions for us to either contain or sometimes enable munchkinism when we ourselves need to be the ones stepping up to do so.

I'm not claiming this thread is, mind, it's that some of, or perhaps what appears to be an abundance of, these threads make it seem that way.

Do some rules questions need addressed? Absolutely.

That does not mean all of them do, though, and does not mean that we may be relying too much on developers when what is really needed is a good thump on the head and a "knock it off."

Shared social exercise where you meet different people and you are supposed to share a common set of rules. aegrisomnia in the post above yours has show how he has a completely different vision of the rules from mine. Gaming at the same table probably would be a very bad experience for us as we would clash on how things work.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mojorat wrote:

I have a question, does anyone think it was ever intended for any weapons to be used as "stat sticks?"

Basically, the whole wielding thing isnt an issue in any of the following circumstances. 1) You have a normal weapon 2) You are TWF and actively trying to use both or 3) you only have 1 weapon.

I think for all of the above, the definition of wielding as "you have the weapon in hand your ready to use it and you threaten with it" works fine as a definition and does not cause any wierd game issues.

Yes

Mojorat wrote:


The problem is both the AMF and Gauntlets create the possibility of the "stat stick".

And armor spikes, blade boot and so on.

And it is not simply "stat sticks" for the courageous ability for the barbarian, it is tons of effects, a list that increase constantly.
A bard of inquisitor with the heroism spell will benefit from a courageous weapon for most of an adventuring day.
The inquisitor bane/double bane would make it a great combo.
+2 courageous weapon = +1 to attack/damage/saves/skills (plus the normal effect of heroism). Activate bane against the right target, it become +2 to attack/damage/saves/skills. Grater bane make it a +3.

Mojorat wrote:


So for my second question, a brief example. We have a PC wielding a reach weapon, and spiked gauntlets both are magical. The gauntlets have a bonus on them with a 'wielded' requirement. Does anyone actually think he qualifies for 'wielding the gauntlets' while he has both hands on his two handed weapon and is attacking it. Ie he doesnt threaten with them, cant Aoo and at this point are serving soley as gloves.

** spoiler omitted **
The above example is obviously from the other thread and i used it becase its a good example. To be honest My main issue with the more liberal reading on curagous is it contributes to the 'ill use my magic weapon as a wonderous item' issue. The problem is Wonderous items use different pricing than magic weapons. My main issue with curageous is when compared to the wonderous item rules and this "stat stick" issue you basically get a super buff for cheap on something you may never use in a single combat as a weapon.

I want to stress, this issue is actually seperate from whether curageous does what some think it does. And i'll conceed that last line was assembled poorly and it looks like the weapon deas raw what they say it does.

However, i think its alot more powerful using the 'stat stick' model than as your main and sole weapon.

Anyhow, im Actualy not super up to date on weapon enchantments to be aware of which can be used to create this problem. Most are straight forward and clearly applied on the attack or damage and the ones seen as having an issue like defender were fixed to avoid the stat stick issue.

As new weapons enchantments and new class abilities are added constantly, I think that not even the Developers know everything that can be affected by an interpretation or the other of wield without doing a check.


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Yes, Deigo some things are better targets for enchantments then others. Take the Wild Enchantment. Goes great with Dragonhide Fullplate. The same is true of certain weapon enchantments and spiked gauntlets/armor spikes. Good combos are good. Whats the issue?


Diego Rossi wrote:
As new weapons enchantments and new class abilities are added constantly, I think that not even the Developer know everything that can be affected by an interpretation or the other of wield without doing a check.

I agree with you. Ive used this analogy before but here goes. A group of people wrote DnD 3.0 it was a complte re-write of DnD that left lots of legagy concepts in the game. A different group of people then edited it to make 3.5. it was finally edited again by Paizo (and presuably every verson went through the same amount of errata) If it were a computer hard drive, there would be old code lying around everywhere.

I think the basic 'i have it in my hand, i threaten and im ready to use it' definition for wielding works most of the time. I think this only becomes an issue when the system is gamed for advantage.


Rynjin wrote:

As-is there are quite a large number of abilities that require the user to be wielding the item (usually a weapon) in question.

Problem: Wielding is not defined in the rules.

Therefore, there are several interpretations, and they're all technically correct.

One group of people says "a weapon must be currently in use (have attacked recently, for example)" to be wielded.

A different group says "a weapon must simply be held in a position that it CAN be used" to be wielded.

A third acknowledges that the definition is nebulous, but has a general definition of "held with INTENT to use".

The dictionary definition of wield (which I will spoiler below) supports all 3 of these definitions.

** spoiler omitted **

As this has a not insignificant impact on the rules, and there have been various queries on a few different matters that converge on this one issue, I'd say it counts as a "Frequently Asked Question", even though technically they were all tangential to the main question asked.

So, to put it clearly and succinctly for the PDT: What constitutes "wielding" in the Pathfinder ruleset?

*Sighs*

How anal do we need to be before we start teaching D&D Legal Theory at Universities? Wielding. You have it in your "hand" to where it can be used when you want to. "B-b-b-but what if I'm an octopus and it's in my tentacle and the point of my spear is facing another way and he's not in a threatened square and I'm paralyzed and the sun is in my eyes..."

Come ON. Do we really need to define every detail so the GM stands for Google Master to just look up every minute situation that's been defined instead of making simple decisions like this? Even in PFS, really you can't have that much variance in your games that one GM is slightly different than another? This isn't just directly at Rynjn's thread here, but several I have seen.

I'm not against FAQing. I FAQed the one about damage dice since even though not terribly common, it seemed like something that could be expanded on. Stuff like this stems from players trying to squeeze a swimming pool of orange juice out of a barren orange peel using logical gymnastics and the the most obtuse, pedantic technicalities of the English language to suit their whims.

We're now trying to have the Devs define the meaning of A WORD. Not a game term, but a word of the English language. Do we want to know what James Jacob's definition of the word "is" is? It seems like a real control issue that people have that they can't handle the idea that one DM may give them 1/10 an ounce less control/advantage than another DM since it isn't defined in a rule.


Fergie wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Fergie wrote:

I propose that weapons are generally carried but not wielded in most travel or social situations. You don't threaten adjacent squares even if you have the weapon in your hands. It takes the "Draw or Sheathe a Weapon" action to make it attack-ready, at which point you are officially "wielding" the weapon. You can generally only wield a single weapon per hand or a two handed or double weapon in both hands at any given time.

I suspect some of the items/abilities might need a little text change if "wielding" was to become an official term. Some things, like the defending weapon property, were intended to work when attacking rather then held or even wielded.

You are right on some terms in some circumstances, but not all weapons follow the general rule of having to be drawn to be usable. What about a shield you can bash with, or a spiked gauntlet? They're worn on the hand(s), meaning they're effectively constantly drawn. By that point, the only thing holding the bearer back is being flat-footed to an otherwise present danger he is unaware of, and even that is counteracted by taking Combat Reflexes.
I would say that is one of the benefits of natural weapons, unarmed strikes and the types of weapons that are generally difficult or impossible to disarm. These types generally have disadvantages compared to heavier weapons. Most weapons would still require the "Draw Weapon" move action to threaten, even if they are not being pulled from a scabbard.

This bolded part makes no sense. You're throwing an unneeded tax on people who don't have the Quick Draw feat for no rules reason. A shield worn for protection, which can also be used to bash faces in, is constantly equipped; once combat starts, the character wearing the shield can immediately go and bash faces in until combat ends. There's no drawing required.

The same is said for a Spiked Gauntlet. It's worn on the hands. Unless the Spiked Gauntlet hand is being used for a two-handed weapon (which can be argued that the Spiked Gauntlet is still being used/wielded, since wearing it is all you have to do to threaten and make attacks with it), it theoretically can't be used, and if the hand is applying to something, it can take that hand off of what it's being applied to (or simply drop whatever is in that hand) as a Free Action; a subject which is completely separate from Drawing/Sheathing a Weapon as a Move Action.

And what about Armor Spikes? Are you going to require a Move Action to "draw/wield" them, even though they are attached to your armor to use practically at-will?

You're also throwing Combat Reflexes ability to threaten, even while flat-footed, out the window with that ridiculous ruling, something of which is not reflected in both the intent and the RAW of using such weaponry, as well as the flow of combat.


@MattR: Except it is a game term. I mean, you quoted what I wrote. Did you not read it? There are 3 definitions of this word.

All contradictory when applied to the ruleset.

That speaks to me that there should be some clarification, because it is being used as a game term.

Much like Action, Ally, Level, etc. that are all very real words with a specific meaning inside the game that differs somewhat from the norm.

A lot of things rely on this word being defined as a game term.


A game term is something like BaB or CMB. The fact that they use a word as a verb and adjective doesn't mean it requires clarification as if it was a game term. Do we need to go to the dictionary for clarification on the word "move" or "attack" or "combat" or "roll"?

Well did I technically roll the die when I got that 1? Let's find out what the precise Pathfinder definition of rolling is. How much does it need to move in my hand in order to constitute that it rolled and didn't just drop?


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MattR1986 wrote:

A game term is something like BaB or CMB. The fact that they use a word as a verb and adjective doesn't mean it requires clarification as if it was a game term. Do we need to go to the dictionary for clarification on the word "move" or "attack" or "combat" or "roll"?

Every single one of those (bar perhaps Roll) is defined as a game term. Somewhere.

The ones I mentioned (Ally, Action, Level, Size, Turn, Penalty, etc.) are even in their own little section, called "Common Terms".

Every single one has a dictionary definition.

Every single one is different in their game definition.

Wield is as well, but it isn't defined despite that fact.

This is not a hard concept to grasp. There are 3 definitions for this word. Which one does the game assume?

That's the question that needs to be answered.

"Well, uhh, use the dictionary definition, durr" is not helpful.


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The fact you feel the need to go to the dictionary at all is a terrible indication of where this hobby is going..


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Gay Wieldings for all!


Rynjin wrote:
A lot of things rely on this word being defined as a game term.

They most certainly do, but at this point, the only way to properly fix the intent of the term "wield" and make it a game term is to go back and errata all subject matter that uses "wield" and any of its associated words to fit the TBD universal definition, something which I am positive Paizo wouldn't bother to do.

This is something that would be done between the different editions of games, or even alpha/beta/whatever-testing before an official "edition" release, but when you have a game like Pathfinder that's already this far along, it becomes a chore that is practically not worth bothering.

While I don't really like the idea of trusting one's faith in the (supposed) goodness of others (because let's face it, people can really screw you over sometimes), it's the decision that the Paizo Devs went with in regards to this matter, and quite frankly, I don't blame them for it. Some things need table variance or case-by-case rulings, and this is definitely one of those things.


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MattR1986 wrote:
The fact you feel the need to go to the dictionary at all is a terrible indication of where this hobby is going..

Because Lord forbid that fancy book larnin' infect our simple hobby mmhmm.


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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
They most certainly do, but at this point, the only way to properly fix the intent of the term "wield" and make it a game term is to go back and errata all subject matter that uses "wield" and any of its associated words to fit the TBD universal definition, ...

Quoted for truthiness.

IMHO, "wielded" is usually "able to make an attack with" (without needing any sort of action, even a free action, before use). The primary exception(s) are weapon properties such as Defending, wich require actual USE.


Diego Rossi wrote:
aegrisomnia wrote:
Quote:

As a standard action, a dancing weapon can be loosed to attack on its own. It fights for 4 rounds using the base attack bonus of the one who loosed it and then drops. While dancing, it cannot make attacks of opportunity, and the activating character it is not considered armed with the weapon. The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the activating character for all maneuvers and effects that target items.

While dancing, the weapon shares the same space as the activating character and can attack adjacent foes (weapons with reach can attack opponents up to 10 feet away). The dancing weapon accompanies the activating character everywhere, whether she moves by physical or magical means. If the activating character has an unoccupied hand, she can grasp it while it is attacking on its own as a free action; when so retrieved, the weapon can't dance (attack on its own) again for 4 rounds. This special ability can only be placed on melee weapons.

By RAW, unless "wield" means something akin to "own", I fail to see how Dancing weapons are supposed to work. They're considered wielded for the purposes of maneuvers and effects that target items, but not explicitly for the purposes of determining whether or not the user benefits from the Dancing property itself. I concede this may be a simple oversight and not representative of any real intent

Re read your quote. Wielding a dancing weapon while it is dancing.is not a requirement.

Upon rereading the dancing property, I agree it's a bad example, but not for the reasons you suggest. There's nothing in the description that suggests you need to wield it to benefit from its dancing property, so it's sort of irrelevant here. Sorry for the confusion.

Quote:


aegrisomnia wrote:
Quote:
A huntsman weapon helps its wielder locate and capture quarry. When the weapon is held in hand, the wielder gains an enhancement bonus on Survival checks made to track any creature the weapon has damaged in the past day. It also deals +1d6 points of damage to creatures the wielder has tracked with Survival in the past day.
Again, "owns" or "holds" seems appropriate here. "Own" (possibly also having proficiency in) remains the only interpretation that seems to apply universally.
Again,...

If "wielder" doesn't mean "one who is wielding", I'd like to hear how you interpret that. Interestingly, it seems to equate "held in hand" with "wield" here.


Diego Rossi wrote:
aegrisomnia wrote:
Quote:
"pretend there's someone next to you (or wherever you like I guess) and if you could smack that person with a weapon you count as wielding it"

I think that's a really good general criterion, actually. Based on some of my observations, I might broaden/simplify it as follows:

If you could hypothetically hit somebody with it in the near future (within one round? details TBD), you're wielding it.

I hesitate to even require it being held in the hands, since that seems to break the Called weapon ability... unless the intent there is for a specific rule to override the general one, in which case the intent could have been communicated much more clearly.

Note also: even if you require it to be held, this might allow for the sort of "shenanigans" some people might want to prevent by requiring you to attack with a weapon to get its benefit. I'm coming around to the idea that this not needing to attack is the intent and it's not particularly OP; if players are abusing it in your games, just banhammer stuff.

(Aside: I also assume/hope Rynjin doesn't see my contributions here as being confrontational - far from it, I'd love a FAQ answer for this question but am doubtful as to whether that will happen.)

shenanigans wrote:


Defending Weapon Property: Do I have to make attack rolls with the weapon to gain its AC bonus?

Yes. Merely holding a defending weapon is not sufficient. Unless otherwise specified, you have to use a magic item in the manner it is designed (use a weapon to make attacks, wear a shield on your arm so you can defend with it, and so on) to gain its benefits.
Therefore, if you don't make an attack roll with a defending weapon on your turn, you don't gain its defensive benefit.
Likewise, while you can give a shield the defending property (after you've given it a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks, of course), you wouldn't get the AC bonus from the defending property unless you used the shield to make a shield bash that

...

I find that FAQ troublingly inconsistent.

Do you need to make an attack roll with a Called weapon before you can call it to your hand? If not, can you point out where this is "otherwise specified"?

Do you need to make an attack roll with a Guarding Blade to remain its wielder for the purposes of benefitting from its protection? If not, again, where is this specified?

I maintain that "wield" probably needs to mean different things in different contexts, but grant that the FAQ for Defending does appear to be a very definitive ruling, if nonsensical when used universally to define what "wield" means.


SlimGauge wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
They most certainly do, but at this point, the only way to properly fix the intent of the term "wield" and make it a game term is to go back and errata all subject matter that uses "wield" and any of its associated words to fit the TBD universal definition, ...

Quoted for truthiness.

IMHO, "wielded" is usually "able to make an attack with" (without needing any sort of action, even a free action, before use). The primary exception(s) are weapon properties such as Defending, wich require actual USE.

As well as properties which make the weapon useful when otherwise, by definition, you could not use them to make an attack.


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Rynjin wrote:
MattR1986 wrote:
The fact you feel the need to go to the dictionary at all is a terrible indication of where this hobby is going..
Because Lord forbid that fancy book larnin' infect our simple hobby mmhmm.

More like the DM can probably figure out what wield means all by himself without some pretencious, anal ruleslawyering Player demanding we go to the dictionary for a ruling when Captain Tantrum doesn't get his way.

Hold on guys, we need to pause the game in combat for 10 minutes so we can refer to the Core Webster's Rulebook for the definition of "threatened". Oh, wait? By RAW the CRB doesn't include a specific dictionary as an approved source to define any "ambiguous" words. I guess that needs to be errataed or maybe we could just let a DM do his job.

"No! If you look at this bookmark I have of the merriam-webste..."
"No, John McEnroe, this tantrum is over. Page 396. Realize that you don't always get your way. This is called being over 4."

I'm going to say it. Mistrusting your DM by trying to overrule him with a dictionary would be the newest, albeit I'll admit creative, step toward player entitlement and players looking for any way to get what they want.

If people didn't bite and claw to get every inch from a DM they'd realize they'll likely get miles in the long run. Didn't argue about whether holding a Bow with your hands tied was wielding? Lo and behold he's more flexible with the rules and waives that last 1000 you needed to level or that technically you don't qualify for this feat/item but who cares?


I always went with a weapon is wielded when it has been drawn and is ready for use.


What happens if your DM is Captain Tantrum?

Silver Crusade

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fretgod99 wrote:
What happens if your DM is Captain Tantrum?

Exactly!

This is not a 'DM vs. Player' thing! We would all benefit from knowing what 'wield' means in each context.

Sometimes it's obvious, but sometimes (illustrated by the divide over Courageous) it just isn't.

The only thing we can say for certain is that it sometimes means one thing, sometimes another and other times yet another.

One universal definition would simply make nonsense out of half of the sentences in the rules which use the word.


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fretgod99 wrote:
What happens if your DM is Captain Tantrum?

you walk away from his table and either GM a game yourself or find a new game and GM.


Depends on what he is tantruming about if he is actually tantruming. If, for instance, he's (as I've seen mentioned on here) getting really upset that the Players don't follow his railroads, then its probably time for the players to discuss whether they want to leave the game or (if it's at a Player's house) talk to the DM about adjusting the game or "going in another direction" (i.e. he's fired).

If he's getting really frustrated that he can't get through one combat without 1-2 players out of 6 always bogging the game down with a rules debate, I'm going to side with the DM on this one, unless his rulings are really random and unfair. I've had a DM that I left his game (for other reasons), but largely that he got far too "relaxed" after drinking the whole game to where by the end of the night rules went completely out the window and literally changed completely from one round to the next that there was no way of following what was going on.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
What happens if your DM is Captain Tantrum?

Exactly!

This is not a 'DM vs. Player' thing! We would all benefit from knowing what 'wield' means in each context.

Sometimes it's obvious, but sometimes (illustrated by the divide over Courageous) it just isn't.

The only thing we can say for certain is that it sometimes means one thing, sometimes another and other times yet another.

One universal definition would simply make nonsense out of half of the sentences in the rules which use the word.

I totally agree with Malachi Silverclaw.

Rynjin wrote:


The dictionary definition of wield (which I will spoiler below) supports all 3 of these definitions.

Wield:

1.) to hold (something, such as a tool or weapon) in your hands so that you are ready to use it

2.) to have and use (power, influence, etc.)

3.) to have at one's command or disposal

I agree with Rynjin that there are 3 definitions to the word wield.

OP Question wrote:
What constitutes "wielding" in the Pathfinder ruleset?

All three definitions are examples of what "wielding" means in Pathfinders.


aegrisomnia wrote:
shenanigans wrote:


Defending Weapon Property: Do I have to make attack rolls with the weapon to gain its AC bonus?

Yes. Merely holding a defending weapon is not sufficient. Unless otherwise specified, you have to use a magic item in the manner it is designed (use a weapon to make attacks, wear a shield on your arm so you can defend with it, and so on) to gain its benefits.
Therefore, if you don't make an attack roll with a defending weapon on your turn, you don't gain its defensive benefit.
Likewise, while you can give a shield the defending property (after you've given it a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks, of course), you wouldn't get the AC bonus from the defending property unless you used the shield to make

...

Honestly, I think that example was the first one that came to mind, when i said I wanted Paizo to stay silent on the subject.

Soooo I made a weapon that is especially awesome at parrying other swords... but i'm not allowed to just parry with it? The very idea of rapier and Main-gauche uses one weapon for blocking and the other for attacking...

The idea that every six seconds I have to attack in order for the magic of 'not attacking' kicks in... is a bit ridiculous to me.

Also, what is considered 'an attack'? Can I randomly swing at a 5' square on the 'chance' that there is an invisible person there ready to backstab me? Would that be enough to activate the magic on my stuff for a round?

Do we really want a game a where for no other reason than to activate a weapon property people are swinging every round whether they 'really' want to hit or not??

Needless to say I was VERY disappointed with that ruling. It goes against the whole idea of the property in my mind...

(Really... a defending shield, needs to be attacked with in order to work.... which unless you have a feat, means you LOSE the AC bonus of a Shield that round....) O.o

Sovereign Court

I think in most cases wielding means the item is in hand and ready for immediate use (weapons), or worn correctly for immediate use (shields, armor, armor spikes).

Ready for immediate use means that NO more actions are required before you can use the item. Not even a Free action to Quickdraw. You're never wielding a sheathed weapon.

Then there are a handful of item properties that are exceptions to this.

Defending is the worst offender, with that weird FAQ. That FAQ is consistent with other "defensive fighting" powers: you can't use Fighting Defensively without making an attack roll, nor can you do so with Combat Expertise. However, if you try to apply the Defending FAQ to wielding in general, stuff breaks because then a whole lot of items can't be used; because they require a Standard action while you're also attacking. So I think Defending is an exception.

Called is an error. The word "wielder" should be replaced with "owner" in the next errata. That makes much more sense.

The base definition makes sense and wouldn't surprise anyone. If you draw a weapon, then spend two rounds running after a goblin, it would be very surprising if you weren't wielding that weapon during those rounds.


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And could defining this be beneficial to a DM? To certain DMs, maybe. But I think it's also DMs becoming spineless and afraid to rule anything that isn't explicitly stated in the rules.

You are playing a game that reflects all the complexities of the real world and then some. When the DM says "You see a pig", unlike a video game, you now have virtually an endless array of options.

You could ignore it and walk away.
Kill it.
Kill it and eat it.
Talk to it.
Pet it.
Tickle it.
Throw it in a lake.
Pick it up, take it away with you, and nickname it "Missy Sparkles"
Yes, you could even "wield" a pig I suppose.

With an endless array of options you can only have so many rules. It's partly why the DM is there: to fill in the endless amount of rules gaps that a game that reflects reality simply cannot fill. The more we try to fill every little nook and cranny the more dense, convoluted, and ridiculous the game becomes.

The real world that the game world reflects is too complex and normative to try to define everything down to a tee. I get asking Rules questions just go get other people's perspective for a different angle or maybe someone could give you a snippet of the rules and an interpretation you hadn't thought of. FAQing everything though is not the answer.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:


Called is an error. The word "wielder" should be replaced with "owner" in the next errata. That makes much more sense.

Define "owner". :D

Generally it mean the guy with the weapon in his possession, but called can remove the weapon from someone possession.
It should use a command word.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
MattR1986 wrote:

And could defining this be beneficial to a DM? To certain DMs, maybe. But I think it's also DMs becoming spineless and afraid to rule anything that isn't explicitly stated in the rules.

Read the thread "Ways GMs can annoy their players ". It seem that a lot of PFS players will have strong objections on a GM using his interpretation of "wield" when it is not the one the player want or use.

Sovereign Court

Diego Rossi wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:


Called is an error. The word "wielder" should be replaced with "owner" in the next errata. That makes much more sense.

Define "owner". :D

Generally it mean the guy with the weapon in his possession, but called can remove the weapon from someone possession.
It should use a command word.

That's a good point. Although, if two people know the command word, that could still get silly...


Sarrah wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
What happens if your DM is Captain Tantrum?

Exactly!

This is not a 'DM vs. Player' thing! We would all benefit from knowing what 'wield' means in each context.

Sometimes it's obvious, but sometimes (illustrated by the divide over Courageous) it just isn't.

The only thing we can say for certain is that it sometimes means one thing, sometimes another and other times yet another.

One universal definition would simply make nonsense out of half of the sentences in the rules which use the word.

I totally agree with Malachi Silverclaw.

Rynjin wrote:


The dictionary definition of wield (which I will spoiler below) supports all 3 of these definitions.

Wield:

1.) to hold (something, such as a tool or weapon) in your hands so that you are ready to use it

2.) to have and use (power, influence, etc.)

3.) to have at one's command or disposal

I agree with Rynjin that there are 3 definitions to the word wield.

OP Question wrote:
What constitutes "wielding" in the Pathfinder ruleset?
All three definitions are examples of what "wielding" means in Pathfinders.

I can believe that this is the case, but I still think it needs a bit of clarification in general terms as to when what wield should be used. There's more than a few cases where any of them could be used.

Like, it's heavily implied that Aligned weapons and items with magical abilities use the "hold in hand" definition, so sure, those proably don't need clarification. Called likely uses the "to have at one's command" definition (i.e. you own it), any weapon that has an effect that relies on the wielder hitting a target to activate is most likely using the "to have AND use" definition.

The problem lies with properties like Courageous, and a few other corner cases. I think at the very least a good errata for these where the intent isn't obvious would be to change them to "held" or "used" rather than wielded in the next printing, and future releases to use less ambiguous language where possible as well.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
phantom1592 wrote:
aegrisomnia wrote:
shenanigans wrote:


Defending Weapon Property: Do I have to make attack rolls with the weapon to gain its AC bonus?

Yes. Merely holding a defending weapon is not sufficient. Unless otherwise specified, you have to use a magic item in the manner it is designed (use a weapon to make attacks, wear a shield on your arm so you can defend with it, and so on) to gain its benefits.
Therefore, if you don't make an attack roll with a defending weapon on your turn, you don't gain its defensive benefit.
Likewise, while you can give a shield the defending property (after you've given it a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks, of course), you wouldn't get the AC bonus from the defending property unless you used the shield to make

...

Honestly, I think that example was the first one that came to mind, when i said I wanted Paizo to stay silent on the subject.

Soooo I made a weapon that is especially awesome at parrying other swords... but i'm not allowed to just parry with it? The very idea of rapier and Main-gauche uses one weapon for blocking and the other for attacking...

The idea that every six seconds I have to attack in order for the magic of 'not attacking' kicks in... is a bit ridiculous to me.

Also, what is considered 'an attack'? Can I randomly swing at a 5' square on the 'chance' that there is an invisible person there ready to backstab me? Would that be enough to activate the magic on my stuff for a round?

Do we really want a game a where for no other reason than to activate a weapon property people are swinging every round whether they 'really' want to hit or not??

Needless to say I was VERY disappointed with that ruling. It goes against the whole idea of the property in my mind...

(Really... a defending shield, needs to be attacked with in order to work.... which unless you have a feat, means you LOSE the AC bonus of a Shield that round....) O.o

The problem is Phantom is that you had people claiming that they could have the defensive bonus on all the time, and in some cases even while the sword was still sitting in it's sheath.

And really, what would be the point of putting the defending property on a sheild beyond rules abuse?


Sarrah wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:
What happens if your DM is Captain Tantrum?

Exactly!

This is not a 'DM vs. Player' thing! We would all benefit from knowing what 'wield' means in each context.

Sometimes it's obvious, but sometimes (illustrated by the divide over Courageous) it just isn't.

The only thing we can say for certain is that it sometimes means one thing, sometimes another and other times yet another.

One universal definition would simply make nonsense out of half of the sentences in the rules which use the word.

I totally agree with Malachi Silverclaw.

Rynjin wrote:


The dictionary definition of wield (which I will spoiler below) supports all 3 of these definitions.

Wield:

1.) to hold (something, such as a tool or weapon) in your hands so that you are ready to use it

2.) to have and use (power, influence, etc.)

3.) to have at one's command or disposal

I agree with Rynjin that there are 3 definitions to the word wield.

OP Question wrote:
What constitutes "wielding" in the Pathfinder ruleset?
All three definitions are examples of what "wielding" means in Pathfinders.

There's one problem with that premise, and that's determining which of those definitions (if any or more than one) are applicable to a given case, since each case has separate requirements for activation. In the terms of a Called Weapon to activate it, the first definition cannot be applicable because activating it, even as the "wielder," requires you not holding it, though the other two may apply.

In addition, it flies in the face of several precedents already set in the game by the Devs. In the case of, say, a Defending weapon, all 3 of those definitions must apply, otherwise its effects cannot be used, whereas the Called weapon does not meet the same requirements, and yet the language is practically the same.

At this point they can't really go back and fix it without rewriting a lot of entries that involve wielding, as that's pretty much an edition-level change. Though it wouldn't help to FAQ subject matter on a case by case type basis...


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I never understood why people get so upset when someone wants clarification/FAQ of something. If you're not interested in that line of questioning, walk away.

I understand debating different positions to every part of the game. I don't get debating the ability to debate positions.

I happen to agree that this needs a FAQ. But what is the point of arguing that it doesn't?

I understand arguing that you know what wielding is as the game defines it. But some of you go so far beyond that.

He MUST be trying to cheat/abuse/ruin the game if he is looking for an answer. How dare he try to understand something that interests him enough to spend time thinking about it and discussing it with others.

Let the guy ask his question. Debate what you feel is the answer. But don't debate his ability to ask the question.


Diego I obviously agree with what you said.

Komoda, if you genuinly don't understand why I'm criticizing faq's like this then read over all my posts in this thread. It states pretty clearly why I oppose it. It may take a minute but its something I think needs to be said that I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking.


^ Fair enough, but at least 44 people disagree with you (or did so when they marked this as a FAQ candidate)... unless they support the goal of the thread while simultaneously arguing against its basis for being.


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I read your posts, and I think you are wrong.

You may not be alone, doesn't make you right. Doesn't make you wrong either.

At one time the whole world thought the world was flat. They even thought that you didn't need a hand to use a weapon that specifically stated it didn't need a hand to use. All those people were wrong.

BBT came in here on the attack. I thought he was wrong too. He got a new perspective and apologized. I applaud him for that. He doesn't have to agree that this needs a FAQ, just stop attacking the guy, or now dozens of guys, asking for one.


Big bang theory? Who? What?

And people thought they didn't need a hand to use a weapon that said it didn't need a hand to use? Well that just sounds like madness to me.

It would be one thing if this affected no one, but it does. Those 40 people are but a few of thousands. Last thing many of us want is even more rules for people to bog down games demanding the DM look up every corner case and technicality that's been FAQed because "its the rules".


MattR1986 wrote:


It would be one thing if this affected no one, but it does. Those 40 people are but a few of thousands. Last thing many of us want is even more rules for people to bog down games demanding the DM look up every corner case and technicality that's been FAQed because "its the rules".

Darn. Having a clearly defined rules foundation would be a godsend for both organized play and new players.


Ya, I mean if only they had 400 pages written somewhere to get that done.

Or you know what? 400 isn't enough. Let's make it 800 and have it written by contract lawyers to eliminate any ambiguity. Players can take their DM to D&D court to sue him for character damages and emotional distress.


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MattR1986 wrote:

Ya, I mean if only they had 400 pages written somewhere to get that done.

Or you know what? 400 isn't enough.

A glossary of some of the more specific game terms that clearly defined them would be helpful.

Make it up Storytime is fun, but I prefer well-designed games with little to no rules jumbles. I mean the game already has all these mechanics and rules, a little clarification isn't that bad is it?


Scavion wrote:
I mean the game already has all these mechanics and rules, a little clarification isn't that bad is it?

It would and it wouldn't. It wouldn't be bad in that it would set universal groundrules, make it an official game term, and anything stating otherwise would be houserules.

It would be bad in that it would result in errata of a lot of published material. It's no different than a car company recalling hundreds of thousands of their product just because they forgot a minor feature that may (or may not) improve the condition of the product. *cough*Toyota*cough*

That, and you have people going anal over people being anal about "little stuff," which may or may not be the case for the latter, but actually for the former.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Scavion wrote:
I mean the game already has all these mechanics and rules, a little clarification isn't that bad is it?

It would and it wouldn't. It wouldn't be bad in that it would set universal groundrules, make it an official game term, and anything stating otherwise would be houserules.

It would be bad in that it would result in errata of a lot of published material. It's no different than a car company recalling hundreds of thousands of their product just because they forgot a minor feature that may (or may not) improve the condition of the product. *cough*Toyota*cough*

That, and you have people going anal over people being anal about "little stuff," which may or may not be the case for the latter, but actually for the former.

Then at the very least, a little bit of clarifications on the more important examples. The Called property is one that I can see as not needing explanation as it's rather intuitive to figure out that it means who "owns" the sword rather than who has it currently wielded.

Rather I'm curious as to how they'll rule on weapons that are worn. Armor Spikes, Spiked Shields, Spiked Gauntlets. Stuff like the Dueling property could be put on Armor Spikes and essentially always function. Very much a stat stick everyone is afraid of for some reason despite their limited use. A Courageous Spiked Gauntlet while actually using another weapon is fairly pointless since gold will limit your ability to use Courageous effectively.


LazarX wrote:


The problem is Phantom is that you had people claiming that they The problem is Phantom is that you had people claiming that they could have the defensive bonus on all the time, and in some cases even while the sword was still sitting in it's sheath.

And really, what would be the point of putting the defending property on a shield beyond rules abuse?

Having recently watched Captain America again, Defending shield sounds pretty viable actually. Throw a +5 on that shield, and suddenly you have a really great AC and actually using a shield for what it's meant for... (Personally I have always hated the D&D model for shields..) Then when you DO want to Shield bash with it, You transfer the defense into it and get some offense ability out of it...

It may not be OPTIMAL... but if I found one in a Loot pile, I'd be pretty excited to play with it.

As for having the bonus on all the time, even in its sheath... I don't know. I think that gets a little silly, but with their 'bonuses don't stack' philosophy here... I just don't see where it would be gamebreaking to give it to them.

I've read some novels before where weapons DID work their special properties while they were in a sheath or even in a backpack... soooo who knows.

Fire resistance I'd probably allow... something like Defending, I would rule that the weapon is helping your AC by blocking the attacks.... if it's not out, then what is the justification for expecting the bonus?


Scavion wrote:


Then at the very least, a little bit of clarifications on the more important examples. The Called property is one that I can see as not needing explanation as it's rather intuitive to figure out that it means who "owns" the sword rather than who has it currently wielded.

Considering how many of the weapons are 'claimed' by the adventurers... I could see 'owns' being a VERY fluid concept. Why is it that when I pick it up out of a dragons pile... it's now 'mine'... but when he disarms me and picks it up... it's STILL mine ;)

Scavion wrote:


Rather I'm curious as to how they'll rule on weapons that are worn. Armor Spikes, Spiked Shields, Spiked Gauntlets. Stuff like the Dueling property could be put on Armor Spikes and essentially always function. Very much a stat stick everyone is afraid of for some reason despite their limited use. A Courageous Spiked Gauntlet while actually using another weapon is fairly pointless since gold will limit your ability to use Courageous effectively.

Honestly, I think the best result would be to not allow certain things on certain items. Armor spikes... spiked Gauntlets... These really aren't 'melee' weapons... they are armor, and should be treated as such. They may get some damage ratings and stuff, but I wouldn't allow someone to 'only' enchant the spikes on an armor... They would have to enchant the whole armor. And only with properties that are appropriate for Armor.

'piecemeal' armor is very tricky thing in this game... even when they DID focus on it in Ultimate Combat.

The common way to wear armor... is Breastplate over chainmail over padding, with the rest of the platemail surrounding the limbs and back...

Yet it gets tricky if you find a Breastplate +2 and want to incorporate it into your existing half-plate or whatever you have...

Same general principal with wanting to enchant JUST your gauntlets.

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