Weapon type and damage type


Rules Questions

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Okay, this originally came up from the quilted cloth thing, but I think there's an actual question here.

Does a weapon have an innate quality of "type" which is distinct from "the damage being done with this weapon right now"?

More specifically:
1. Can you place a vorpal enchant on a dagger, which has listed type "P or S"?
2. If you can place a vorpal enchant on a dagger, does it function when you are using the dagger to do piercing damage?
3. If not, if we were to imagine a hypothetical enchantment which can be placed only on piercing weapons, could a dagger have +7 worth of other enchantments, and both this hypothetical piercing-only enchantment and the vorpal enchantment, because it would never function as a more-than-+10 weapon, because only one of those two enchantments would be active at once?
4. If you can't place vorpal on a dagger, because it is sometimes not-slashing, can you place disruption on a morningstar, which is always both bludgeoning and piercing?

My current view: I think the rules work best if we conclude that the "type" of a weapon is an innate quality which is not changed. So a dagger always has the type "piercing and slashing". But I am totally unsure about the rest, really. I might rule that a vorpal weapon must be either slashing-only, or slashing-and-X, but cannot be slashing-or.

Scarab Sages

1: yes. If the base weapon can do slashing damage, it can be enchanted with vorpal.
2: no. Vorpal only works while doing slashing damage. If you are doing piercing the enchantment has no effect.
3: no. There is still the +10 limit on items. Vorpal is always active on the dagger, it just has no effect when the weapon is not doing the appropriate damage type.
4: yes. You can put disruption on a morning star as it always does bludgeoning damage. The fact that it also does piercing at the same time is irrevelant.


Do you have specific citations on any of these?

#2, in particular. Because all it says is that you can only place the enchantment on a slashing weapon. It never says that the enchantment then stops working if the weapon is used to do non-slashing damage. It seems like that's obviously a reasonable ruling, but I can't find anything definite in the rules.

Mostly, though, I'm looking for anything completely unambiguous on whether the weapon type exists as a trait separate from "how the wielder is currently using the weapon".


On #2 Imbicatus, what would you say if someone had the new versatile damage feat from the undead slayer book AND that vorpal weapon. Would the weapon lose it's enchantments if you hit with the weapon a different way? For #4 would that character's disruption mace do nothing if they do slashing damage with the same feat?

I'll same the same thing as seebs. Citation please.

Lantern Lodge

I have always understood dmg type as whatever is beneficial to the players given the situation. A dagger which has piercing and slashing damage types vs a creature that has a DR vs piercing for example would take dmg normally.

As combat happens you are doing dmg based on several motions going on in a 6 second period, I do not want to sit and go over every detail of the combat and slow it down more.

Just as I am not telling my players that they have to aim for the section of the NPC's armor that has a chink in it.

The only two exceptions that I can put on that is that they have a magic weapon that they do not know is Vorple for example. If the situation came up that would result in that ability being activated without his knowing I would then ask how he was attacking.

The second if if they have no idea that the creature has DR x/bludgeon and then they would have to make the necessary observations.


A vorpal weapon must be a slashing melee weapon. Thats the whole sentence.
A dagger can be used as a peircing OR a slashing weapon but not both at same time like a morning star can be both peircing and bludgeoning at same time. When u are using a vorpal dagger as a peircing weapon it is no longer a slashing weapon which means that vorpal doesnt activate.


Redneckdevil wrote:
A vorpal weapon must be a slashing melee weapon. Thats the whole sentence.

Whole sentence, but NOT the whole picture. Read the sentence AND the one after it. It's clear, IMO, it's a limitation on enchanting not attacking. I see nothing limiting the damage it does. Is there a rule that a weapon stops being one kind pf weapon while it does another type? I see nothing that says a dagger EVER stops being a piercing weapon. If there IS such a rule, please post a citation.

"A vorpal weapon must be a slashing melee weapon. If you roll this special ability randomly for an inappropriate weapon, reroll." It does not say what you seem to think it does. No where does it say 'you must deal slashing damage for the enchantment to work'. A slashing weapon doesn't have to deal slashing damage after all.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It needs to be slashing to enchant the weapon with Vorpal.

The enchantment doesn't cease to function just because you are able to deal different types of damage with the weapon.

In fact, nothing short of an Anti-Magic Field, Dispel Magic effect, or being destroyed stops the enchantment from functioning.


graystone wrote:
Redneckdevil wrote:
A vorpal weapon must be a slashing melee weapon. Thats the whole sentence.

Whole sentence, but NOT the whole picture. Read the sentence AND the one after it. It's clear, IMO, it's a limitation on enchanting not attacking. I see nothing limiting the damage it does. Is there a rule that a weapon stops being one kind pf weapon while it does another type? I see nothing that says a dagger EVER stops being a piercing weapon. If there IS such a rule, please post a citation.

"A vorpal weapon must be a slashing melee weapon. If you roll this special ability randomly for an inappropriate weapon, reroll." It does not say what you seem to think it does. No where does it say 'you must deal slashing damage for the enchantment to work'. A slashing weapon doesn't have to deal slashing damage after all.

I read and thought the sentence after was dealing with the enchanting while the sentence i qouted basically said a vorpal weapon is a slashing weapon meaning that a vorpal weapon is a slashing weapon.

as for the dagger, its either or but not both. Your either slashing with it or ur piercing with it, your not doing both. Reason why i say this is because on the weapon chart its says S or P while as someone pointed out a morningstar says B and P. Which leads me to believe with the difference of words your doing either or but not both like uwould with the morning star otherwise why did they put OR and not AND like they did with morningstar.
so with a dagger ur either slashing (which would proc the enchant of decapitatimg because ur slashing) or u are stabbing aka piercing (which why still enchanted doesnt proc because u arent slashing).

Tbh there isnt anything concrete i can add to really prove my point. Vorpal must be a slashing


Redneckdevil wrote:
Vorpal must be a slashing

To enchant it, that's quite true...

As to the morningstar, use it with the WEAPON VERSATILITY feat from the undead book. Deal slashing damage with it. Did it magically stop being B and P weapon at ANY point? If you think so, once again either use a citation or please don't give your opinions as RAW fact in a rules question thread. It sound like that how you'd house-rule it, which is fine but i can't see how it'd RAW.


I was not aware of that feat, that makes this even worse.


graystone said wrote:
If you think so, once again either use a citation or please don't give your opinions as RAW fact in a rules question thread. It sound like that how you'd house-rule it, which is fine but i can't see how it'd RAW.

Can you cite the rule that says a non slashing weapon can be used as a Vorpal weapon? I am not aware of any such rule, you seem to be making an interpretation based on that absence. Which is fine, in fact the rule set requires us to make interpretations to fill in gaps. The important thing to remember, is that one interpretation is not more RAW than another.

My own view, for what it's worth, is that Vorpal only works with slashing weapons. That feat does not change the weapons used, it allows the warrior to use the weapons in different ways, because thats how feats work, they alter the person, not his equipment. So even if you had some means of making a club do slashing damage, the club cannot be enchanted with Vorpal, as it is still a bludgeoning weapon. if a crafter tried, he would just get an error message, no matter how loud the warrior shouted that he can slash with it.


It has to do with "intent", and the intent is to limit it to slashing. If you are not using the weapon ability in the manner intended, the ability should not activate. No, this is not in the book, but more than likely that is what a dev would say, if they were in this topic making a post. Not every rule will be written out like a technical document, so you have to look at the limitation, and learn when to apply it, even when it is not directly stated.


Jay the Madman: I already DID cite the rule. "A vorpal weapon must be a slashing melee weapon." It does NOT say it must deal slashing damage to activate. People on the other side of the argument are ADDING that proviso that isn't in the weapon description.

Your argument hinges on the fact that a weapon stops being it's type if it isn't dealing that damage at that moment, something I'm not seeing in the rules. Mine is based on what the rules actually say. (IE: type restrictions are on what weapon can have that enchantment... full stop)

The bottom line is that these type of enchantments never note what type of damage needs to be inflicted to activate the abilities. You guys are saying it's logical that it be that way, and that's fine but that'd be a houserule.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

My favorite Vorpal weapon is a Vorpal Amulet of Mighty Fists.

Just to literally bite someone's head off.


wraithstrike wrote:
It has to do with "intent", and the intent is to limit it to slashing.

LOL See, I was arguing RAW. The intent doesn't matter in a rule question unless there is truly no rule to cover it. It may indeed be what they meant to say but that's not what they wrote.

And if the intent was that you have to deal that damage, did they not know that daggers existed? A core item that's a slashing weapon that doesn't HAVE to deal that type of damage. Seems like a poorly thought out 'unwritten rule' to me...

PS: All this talk of 'unwritten rules' lately is really annoying the crap out of me. 'unwritten rules' aren't rules in my book.


Well it states that a vorpal weapon must be a slashing weapon. Where does it state that a nonslashing magical weapon can be vorpal then or where does it state that u can do otherthan slashing for vorpal to go off?

Edit-i can find a mythic creature who has a vorpal bite but thats an ability and not an enchantment. I guess with it stating slashing, people view that as the prereq for it. Kinda like defending enchantment is always on but doesnt activate until u do a certain something. Daggers do bring a weird mix to things. Because a dagger it seems is neither a slashing or piercing weapon until u use it as such it seems (meaning it can be either but can only be used one way in ur attack either as a slashing or a pierfing weapon). It has the oppertunity to do both but just not at the same time like the morning star can.
But with vorpal id say the slashing is the prereq for it to be active to proc like other enchants have to have a certain thing to be happening for it to proc even though its constantly enchanted such as ex. Weilding or being in defensive stanc, etc etc.

But would love to see this cleared up with a faq.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Bites are Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing.

They count as all three, do all three, and work with any effect that require any of the three.


graystone, unfortunately you are wrong. A dagger can either be a piercing melee weapon or a slashing melee weapon based on the choice of the wielder. A vorpal weapon must be a slashing weapon, as such a dagger can be enchanted to be vorpal but when used as a piercing weapon it no longer can be used as vorpal since it is no longer a slashing weapon (even though it is enchanted as such). Done.


Redneckdevil: It does state that only slashing weapons can be enchanted with the vorpal enchant.

The description of what the enchant does, however, is not qualified in any way. It doesn't say "Upon a roll of natural 20, when doing slashing damage, followed by a successful roll to confirm...". It just says that on a 20 which is confirmed critical, it does its magic, but that only slashing weapons can be enchanted with it.

And the fact that other enchants have a prerequisite for them to proc just strengthens the argument that vorpal will always proc if you can put it on a dagger, because those enchantments specifically say they have such requirements. That implies that the writers assume that an enchantment will always be applicable once enchanted, and won't have additional requirements.

A requirement before you can enchant a weapon isn't a requirement before the enchantment can proc, or martials couldn't use magic weapons because most enchants have a caster level requirement. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Ghostwasp wrote:
graystone, unfortunately you are wrong. A dagger can either be a piercing melee weapon or a slashing melee weapon based on the choice of the wielder. A vorpal weapon must be a slashing weapon, as such a dagger can be enchanted to be vorpal but when used as a piercing weapon it no longer can be used as vorpal since it is no longer a slashing weapon (even though it is enchanted as such). Done.

Why did it stop being a slashing weapon?

Did this feature disappear?

Do trip weapons lose their trip quality, when not used to trip?


Ghostwasp, I would like to suggest that you consider a thing called the "principle of charity", which is that in general you should assume people are making a better argument rather than a worse argument.

You've read the rules, and you think you know how they work, and you're assuming that anyone who isn't totally sure they work exactly that way probably just hasn't read them.

Let me clarify a thing: I have been running and playing in games using the 3E D&D weapon damage rules since before the 3E books came out. I have been doing detailed rules analysis of D&D rules for... I dunno, probably over thirty years now. I was on an ISO language standards committee for about a decade as a hobby. I am, in fact, capable of reading rules. And I have, in fact, read the rules for weapon types and weapon damage.

And I believe that there is an ambiguity in the rules. It's not that I am not aware of these rules. I've read them. However, I've read them pretty carefully, and I've read the footnotes, and I've compared the wording changes between editions, and I have concluded that there is a thing that you are assuming which is not explicitly stated in the rules, and which is not a logically-necessary inference from the rules.

There is indeed a single footnote to a single table which implies that the dagger does not have an inherent weapon type, but rather, that when you are using it to stab it is a piercing weapon, and that when you are using it to slice it is a slashing weapon.

But if that's true, then it is no longer obvious that you can place the vorpal enchant on it in the first place, because unless it is currently slicing, it isn't "a slashing weapon". It might be a piercing weapon.


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graystone wrote:
LOL See, I was arguing RAW. The intent doesn't matter...

You see, the Rules were Written so as to convey the Intent of the author. If you're not interested in the author's intent, then you really have no need for the rules either, just run it however you want. That's what houserules are for.


graystone wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
It has to do with "intent", and the intent is to limit it to slashing.

LOL See, I was arguing RAW. The intent doesn't matter in a rule question unless there is truly no rule to cover it. It may indeed be what they meant to say but that's not what they wrote.

And if the intent was that you have to deal that damage, did they not know that daggers existed? A core item that's a slashing weapon that doesn't HAVE to deal that type of damage. Seems like a poorly thought out 'unwritten rule' to me...

PS: All this talk of 'unwritten rules' lately is really annoying the crap out of me. 'unwritten rules' aren't rules in my book.

Most people come here to find the intent. The actual words are.often easy to understand and the unwritten rule will always be here through extrapolation. That is just how the game works. There are actual threads dedicated to rules that are understood but that are not written.


You are correct Seebs, I should be a little more understanding. Thank you for pointing that out and for actually reading the way weapon damage types works. As for blackbloodtroll I told you how it worked and told you were the rules were, believe me or do not, but I am not required to present you with more evidence that I have. If you think I am wrong tell me why and how, or at the least explain how my view of the rules in incorrect or problematic rather than just blindly challenge me because I disagree.


I'm confused, are people seriously suggesting that if a weapon is B,S,P that if they use the bludgeoning attack of the weapon they can decapitate with it?


Yes, they are. It is seriously misguided.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
MattR1986 wrote:

I'm confused, are people seriously suggesting that if a weapon is B,S,P that if they use the bludgeoning attack of the weapon they can decapitate with it?

With enough force, a bowling ball can take off your head.

Also, this is a magical enchantment, and the usual applications of real world physics does not apply.


Have a quick question for you blackbloodtroll, in your opinion would a duelist's precise strike class feature work with a dagger if she used it as a slashing weapon rather than a piercing weapon? My opinion is no because it is not that type of weapon any more. As such I also believe that while a dagger can be enchanted as vorpal (it is a slashing weapon) that as soon as it is used as a piercing weapon instead it loses all benefits gained from being slashing (while still being enchanted) because it is not being used correctly. Any civil response is welcome.


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MattR1986 wrote:
I'm confused, are people seriously suggesting that if a weapon is B,S,P that if they use the bludgeoning attack of the weapon they can decapitate with it?

Well, that's the thing.

If it's "B and S and P", I'm pretty sure you can in fact enchant it with vorpal and it works.

But if it's "B or S or P", I have no idea what the writers intend.

Strictly rules-as-written, I only see two options:
1. You cannot place vorpal on it, because it is not a slashing weapon.
2. You can place vorpal on it, and if you confirm a crit on an initial natural 20, it decapitates, because that is what happens when a weapon is vorpal, and it does not matter what damage type you're doing; damage type is only relevant for determining which weapons you can place the enchant on.

Which is why I started a thread devoted to the specific question: Does the weapon have a "type" which is distinct from the kind of damage it is currently doing?

Sczarni

@BBT: What exactly are you arguing? It's written into the rules that if the type is significant, the wielder can choose which type of damage to do;

Core Rule Book; Weapon Type wrote:
In other cases, a weapon can deal either of two types of damage. In a situation where the damage type is significant, the wielder can choose which type of damage to deal with such a weapon.

So in the case of a Dagger - which you can enchant as Vorpal, the vorpal quality will only work if you choose to slash with it.

If you're privy to some special secret rules, by all means share!


Seriously, really seebs...the example of the vorpal dagger is actually two different weapons one of which is vorpal and slashing, while the other is only piercing-generally speaking it does not matter however. A case were it does is my previous example: it is impossible to use precise strike and a vorpal weapon that is "P or S", since it is either slashing and vorpal , or piercing and precise. This is how it works, this is the way it was intended and written.

Edited for clarity.


Quote:
Vorpal: This potent and feared ability allows the weapon to sever the heads of those it strikes. Upon a roll of natural 20 (followed by a successful roll to confirm the critical hit), the weapon severs the opponent's head (if it has one) from its body. Some creatures, such as many aberrations and all oozes, have no heads. Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads. Most other creatures, however, die when their heads are cut off. A vorpal weapon must be a slashing melee weapon. If you roll this property randomly for an inappropriate weapon, reroll.

So your argument is what? Well technically just when making the weapon it has to have the slashing type? Well technically since it doesn't say I can't use bludgeoning then I can?

If so that's the most anally "technically it doesn't say I can't" interpretation of the rules to try to make a loophole that I've seen in awhile.


Krodjin wrote:

@BBT: What exactly are you arguing? It's written into the rules that if the type is significant, the wielder can choose which type of damage to do;

Core Rule Book; Weapon Type wrote:
In other cases, a weapon can deal either of two types of damage. In a situation where the damage type is significant, the wielder can choose which type of damage to deal with such a weapon.

So in the case of a Dagger - which you can enchant as Vorpal, the vorpal quality will only work if you choose to slash with it.

If you're privy to some special secret rules, by all means share!

Krodjin:

You keep assuming that "type of damage dealt from this single attack" and "weapon's type" are the same thing.

Imagine, for a moment, the following feat:

Slashbane: When making a sunder attempt against a slashing weapon, add 4 points to your damage rolls.
Normal: Your damage rolls when making a sunder attempt are unmodified.

Does this give me +4 damage when attempting to sunder a dagger?

Does it matter whether the last attack with the dagger was piercing or slashing? Whether the dagger is held by someone who is intending to make a piercing or slashing attack in the near future?

You are making the assumption that:
1. For purposes of whether you can enchant the dagger with vorpal or not, all that matters is that it could be slashing.
2. For purposes of whether vorpal can proc or not, what matters is whether it is dealing slashing damage.

But that's exactly what the rules don't say! All they say is that the weapon must be slashing to be enchanted (not "must have the ability to be a slashing weapon", but "must be a slashing weapon", period). They say nothing at all about restrictions on when the ability will proc.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Krodjin wrote:

@BBT: What exactly are you arguing? It's written into the rules that if the type is significant, the wielder can choose which type of damage to do;

Core Rule Book; Weapon Type wrote:
In other cases, a weapon can deal either of two types of damage. In a situation where the damage type is significant, the wielder can choose which type of damage to deal with such a weapon.

So in the case of a Dagger - which you can enchant as Vorpal, the vorpal quality will only work if you choose to slash with it.

If you're privy to some special secret rules, by all means share!

In return, I ask you what "special secret rules" stops the enchantment from functioning?

The requirements to place the enchantment on the weapon remain, regardless of the current type of damage being dealt.

So, a slashing remains a slashing weapon, for the purposes of being enchanted with the Vorpal enchantment, and the enchantment does not specify that it needs to be doing slashing damage to function.


The view I have is that vorpal can be placed on a slashing weapon and if for any reason the weapon stop dealing slashing damage it is no longer a slashing weapon. I follow how pathfinder generally works, if you lose a perquisite than you lose the ability needing it. So the dagger being used as a piercing weapon loses all feats/enchantments/class feature benefits that require it to be slashing, they all fail to activate. To me this includes the vorpal enchantment.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The Vorpal enchantment does not have this caveat.

There is no "this enchantment only functions when dealing slashing damage" clause.

A Keen Lucerne Hammer maintains it's Keen quality, regardless of whether it is being used to deal Bludgeoning or Piercing damage.

The prerequisites remain.

Just like how one never needs to uses the Power Attack feat, to take advantage of the Improved Bull Rush feat, the logic of needing to actually use the slashing aspect of a Vorpal weapon to function, is false.


Mmmm if u look in the core rulebook at table 15-9, it says something interesting. Maybe u cant enchant a dagger to be vorpal after all.
If u look at the table and loom at vorpal, it has a 2 beside it. The 2 goes on to say this.
2. Piercing or slashing weapons only (slashing only for vorpal). Reroll if randomly generated for a bludgeoning weapon.

Its interesting that its says P or S just like a dagger has BUT then in (x) it says slashing ONLY.
Im inclined to think that a dagger since it can do more than slashing and it doesnt do slashing ONLY that it cant be enchanted with vorpal. Id be incline to think it coukd be enchanted if it simply stated slashing weapons, but it says slashing ONLY for vorpal.

Dangit dagger, such a small thing to make things confusing lol.


The logic is false?

That it specifically mentions severing and cutting off the head and has to be a slash damage weapon and if its the wrong type to reroll? To make the 2 cm leap that the slash weapon needs to, I dunno, be sharp and "slashy" to "sever" the head is false logic?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
MattR1986 wrote:

The logic is false?

That it specifically mentions severing and cutting off the head and has to be a slash damage weapon and if its the wrong type to reroll? To make the 2 cm leap that the slash weapon needs to, I dunno, be sharp and "slashy" to "sever" the head is false logic?

Yes. In regards to rules, and in regards to magic.


blackbloodtroll, I've shown you the rules defending my position, stated the problems with allowing daggers used as vorpal weapons and piercing in the same attack, if you are not convinced then that is the end of it.


The rules don't say you can and strongly imply you can't without spelling it blatantly out, but its logical to say "Well doesn't say I can't. Magic!!"


Wow, this is an interesting question i honestly never seen brought up before. I can see it being ruled either way so i say we faq it

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Redneckdevil actually makes a good point.

Rereading Vorpal(again), it seems that it can be read, to allow it to placed on weapons that deal slashing damage only.

So, you might not even be able to have a Vorpal Dagger at all.

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