Best way to use Reach Weapons


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Hi, I'm trying to make a Fighter who uses a Bardiche as his main weapon, I know that Reach weapons don't allow you to attack when your target is 5 feet away, so I am trying to figure out ways to work around that.

One question I had was can you replace an attack with the Reposition CM?

If not, then what are some ways to get around the reach drawback besides the simple "shift 5 ft. away"


If you dip a monk level you can get improved unarmed and make attacks within your 5 foot with your feet or whatever you may want.
Reposition can be use to replace your highest to hit attack once when attacking if you have Quick Reposition. Reposioning strike also allows you to reposition on a crit. About it on that front


Ah quick reposition might be worth investing in, also I should mention he does have a longsword, composite longbow, and nunchaku (cuz an armored nunchaku twirler would freak most people out) and the bardiche has the called ability, so I do have the option to drop it and attack with nunchaku or longsword, they are just significantly weaker...


If your using nunchucks flurry of blows works with it. JS
Also the polearm master archetype at second level can make a reach weapon a 5 foot weapon as an immediate action at a -4 to hit
It does however take another immediate to take it back to a reach weapon

Lantern Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Spiked gauntlets would allow you to still attack enemies within your bardiche's reach. You can release a hand from the bardiche as a free action, but you won't be threatening with the bardiche while your spiked gauntlet hand is free.

The Polearm Master archetype allows you to shorten your grip as an Immediate Action (at 2nd level), allowing you to attack adjacent targets with your polearm (at a -4 penalty that eventually goes away).


BigP4nda wrote:
Hi, I'm trying to make a Fighter who uses a Bardiche as his main weapon, I know that Reach weapons don't allow you to attack when your target is 5 feet away, so I am trying to figure out ways to work around that.

Spiked Gauntlets or Spiked Armor if your GM doesn't allow those would work. No need to take anything related to unarmed strikes. If you have access to a natural attack that might work too, but its easier to enchant armor spikes than your fist.


Cestus work like spiked gauntlets but have a better crit range


what about bullrush? is there anyway to do that without it being by itself or part of a charge?


How many other martial characters are in your party? Can you stay behind a couple of meat shields?


The only problem you get with using anything but unarmed strikes, is that you would temporarily lose the reach benefit of the bardiche to make those attacks. Also you're GM could also rule that you might have to try and break initiative with the person attacking you or making a reflex save or Dex check to change it that quickly.

The Polearm Master fighter archetype could reduce their reach as well, and might not have to worry as bad but they still have a short period that they wouldn't keep the reach from the Bardiche.

Monks and other unarmed fighters would have it easiest since they can attack with other parts of their body aside from their hands and keep the weapon wielded.

As for Reposition, even with Quick Reposition you can't use an Attack of Opportunity to make a Reposition Check, it says "During your turn" Which normally wouldn't be when your opponent would draw an AoO for going through your reach. A Reposition CM is normally a standard action so unless you had readied it, then you wouldn't be able to make it later when someone goes through your reach.

I'd recommend Stand still or some other feat that lets you stop your opponents movement using your AoO's. Or you could always just stand behind someone or some sort of barrier to prevent movement into that range. It's not perfect but it's not bad.


Avildar wrote:
The only problem you get with using anything but unarmed strikes, is that you would temporarily lose the reach benefit of the bardiche to make those attacks.

Where do you get that from? You make the unarmed strikes with your elbows, head, or legs, or fist. You can make them with any part of your body without ever taking your hands off your reach weapon.


JoeJ wrote:

How many other martial characters are in your party? Can you stay behind a couple of meat shields?

The PC is a Paladin, but this guy is pretty meaty himself, I don't want to go the Polearm Master route because I want to keep the Armor and Weapon Training features. So far the ideas that seem good to me are the Quick Reposition and Stand Still

What about Lunge paired with Acrobatics, with the armor training and the fact that his Agile Half-Plate is made out of mythral, his ACP should be down to 0, so he could flip over them, get 15 feet away and use vital strike, then wait for them to provoke AoO. Is that worth it?

EDIT: Also this is an NPC I'm going to use in my PC's party


MrSin wrote:
Avildar wrote:
The only problem you get with using anything but unarmed strikes, is that you would temporarily lose the reach benefit of the bardiche to make those attacks.
Where do you get that from? You make the unarmed strikes with your elbows, head, or legs, or fist. You can make them with any part of your body without ever taking your hands off your reach weapon.

He was saying if you used anything but unarmed strikes


You only get to make them if you take the feat or have the class feature like monks do since you aren't considered to be armed, and without the feat you draw AoO for trying to use them. I said that if you are considered armed with your unarmed strikes then you can at no real problem. Wouldn't be able to make a flurry of blows if you had mad an attack with the bardiche that round but hey thats not bad if you are just looking for an attack of opportunity.

Even using gauntlets or Cestus, you still have to drop or remove a hand from the weapon, meaning you lose the reach for a time till you can get your hands back on it, unless you can make "armed" unarmed strikes with other parts of your body.

Not to mention you have to be considered to be "armed" even with unarmed strikes to make attacks of opportunity with them. Since you have to be able to threaten the area in question. And unless you take the feat or using some sort of hand weapon then you aren't considered to be threatening that area so it wouldn't work.


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BigP4nda wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Avildar wrote:
The only problem you get with using anything but unarmed strikes, is that you would temporarily lose the reach benefit of the bardiche to make those attacks.
Where do you get that from? You make the unarmed strikes with your elbows, head, or legs, or fist. You can make them with any part of your body without ever taking your hands off your reach weapon.
He was saying if you used anything but unarmed strikes

Armor spikes yo. Unarmed strikes aren't the only way to say "look mah, no hands!".


lunge is definitely worth it and there should be no essential need for combining with acrobatics, vital strike and AoO probably not so much.

Consider the possibility of whirlwind attack (requires int13, dex13, mobility, dodge, spring attack&combat expertise so only really an option for a fighter).

Don't overlook some form of becoming large sized (potion of growth is common) to get a 5' bonus to reach.


You are correct that you could use spiked armor, but not all classes are proficient in it's use, though most likely someone using a bardiche would be. However I typically forget the dang things exist since I wouldn't put them on actual armor, and don't see them in use all that much.

So yes, you can use armor spikes, still think it's up to your GM on how they want to rule on if the character would have time to react depending on what sort of combat is going on.


Avildar wrote:
So yes, you can use armor spikes, still think it's up to your GM on how they want to rule on if the character would have time to react depending on what sort of combat is going on.

They could also houserule that polearms don't exist. Better not use reach weapons.


Hey what about disarming with the bardiche on the AoO, that would leave them threatened (If I dropped the bardiche and drew the longsword) with no weapon (unless they pull out a dagger)


Stand Still

The feat allows you to use your AoO to make a CMB (which you add your wep enhancement and wep specialization bonus) check to stop the enemy from moving.

Robs melee types of their standard, lets you full attack and back up, do it all over again.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
MrSin wrote:
Avildar wrote:
The only problem you get with using anything but unarmed strikes, is that you would temporarily lose the reach benefit of the bardiche to make those attacks.
Where do you get that from? You make the unarmed strikes with your elbows, head, or legs, or fist. You can make them with any part of your body without ever taking your hands off your reach weapon.

this is correct, you only temporarily lose reach when using a free action to switch to gauntlets or brass knuckles. even then switching is a free action.


CommandoDude wrote:

Stand Still

The feat allows you to use your AoO to make a CMB (which you add your wep enhancement and wep specialization bonus) check to stop the enemy from moving.

Robs melee types of their standard, lets you full attack and back up, do it all over again.

Can't be used with reach weapons due enemy having to be adjacent... unless I am totally mistaken or misunderstanding your comment


If the fighter has quick draw, would it not be better to drop the bardiche, draw the sword, kill the enemy, then put the sword up and call the bardiche back to his hand?


Yeah, it's been said before, but spiked armor. if someone provokes adjaect to you, give em a good ol' knee or shoulder tackle and on your turn, 5ft from them and bonk with your real weapon. No need for feats, just some extra cash for the spikes and however much you're willing to spend on enhancements for the spikes. Bardiche and and spikes also goves you 2 damage types (possibly even materials) for DR purposes, too.


You could use the phalanx soldier archetype to combine a shield with the bardiche, shield bash at 5ft and the bardiche for enemies at 10ft.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Free action let go of weapon with one hand, strike enemy with spiked gauntlet, free action regrab weapon.


2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
Free action let go of weapon with one hand, strike enemy with spiked gauntlet, free action regrab weapon.

You dont threaten, within 5ft. if you hold the reach weapon with the gauntlet hand. And the free actions are also not really part of the attack and therefore not doable outsideren your own turn.


Take a look at the Weapon - Dorn Dergar, dwarven. Which can be used both at reach and in melee by using a move action to change your grip.

The Dorn Dergar does have the problem of being a Exotic Weapon and cost a feat, unless you're a dwarf or have some other way around the feat requirement.

There is actually a feat or two that help out the Dorn Dergar.

Weapon and feats can be found in the Dwarves of Golarion source book.


Pushing assault lets you move creatures 5 feet any time you use power attack by forgoing the damage bonus. They move into threatened range and you push them back forcing them to use more movement to get to you. They get to you and you can 5 foot step away to take your full attack with a pushing assault on a strike you should be able to hit with ensuring the creature now provokes again to get to you and can't full attack you unless they have some form of pounce.

Edit: I know it involves 5ft steps, but they really are the best route and just require a little tactical thought on how you maneuver around a room.

Two Polearm wielders with pushing assault standing side by side should be able to move anyone around.


I also just had the thought, what about tripping for my AoO, wouldn't that make them prone in their tracks 10 ft. away? thus ending their movement, provoking AoO when getting up, and allowing me a full attack next round?
Which I could then begin tripping every round


bump...


Combat maneuvers lose potency as you level. Eventually things can't be tripped, are flying, or have high enough CMDs to not care. The idea is sound just not so much in practice after you get out of the lower levels.

Silver Crusade

BigP4nda wrote:
Hi, I'm trying to make a Fighter who uses a Bardiche as his main weapon, I know that Reach weapons don't allow you to attack when your target is 5 feet away, so I am trying to figure out ways to work around that.

Armor Spikes allow you to threaten adjacent, thus allowing you to wield a reach weapon and still get adjacent AoOs. That's the definitive answer that works even in a strict RAW environment.

That said, it hardly matters. I've played through many levels of reach weapon users. Fewer than 3% of my AoOs have been with armor spikes, and no attacks during my own turn. The other 97% of AoOs have been with my primary weapon. The spikes contributed perhaps 1% of total damage. Additional damage from armor spikes is a rounding error, which is why some PCs don't bother to carry the extra weight.

BigP4nda wrote:
One question I had was can you replace an attack with the Reposition CM?

During your own turn you can use a Reposition Combat Maneuver as a Standard Action. You can not use Reposition as an Attack of Opportunity.

BigP4nda wrote:
If not, then what are some ways to get around the reach drawback besides the simple "shift 5 ft. away"

Don't sweat it. It doesn't come up very often. Carry backup weapons: start with a club (free, bludgeoning damage, can wield 2 handed for extra STR damage) and a dagger(can wield in a grapple). Carry them always, but hardly ever need them.

Your biggest tactical obstacle will not be the inside of your reach donut. Your biggest tactical obstacle will probably be getting other people to understand and cooperate with your reach tactics. If they don't cooperate you will struggle a bit. If they do cooperate it can be a thing of beauty, and your combats will probably have a high ROFLstomp quotient.


Magda Luckbender wrote:


Don't sweat it. It doesn't come up very often. Carry backup weapons: start with a club (free, bludgeoning damage, can wield 2 handed for extra STR damage) and a dagger(can wield in a grapple). Carry them always, but hardly ever need them.

You can wield a one handed weapon in a grapple. You admittedly can't cut your dinner with a club, though.

Scarab Sages

Take 2 levels of alchemist. Get vestigial arm. Wield a reach weapon and another one-handed weapon at the same time. Then you threaten at 5 and 10 feet. As a bonus, you also get mutagen, which is great, and extracts like enlarge person, which will let you threaten out to 20 feet. If you are not doing PFS, you can take the vivisectionist archetype which will give you sneak attack instead of bombs.


Magda Luckbender wrote:


I've played through many levels of reach weapon users. Fewer than 3% of my AoOs have been with armor spikes, and no attacks during my own turn. The other 97% of AoOs have been with my primary weapon.

Magda, I'm curious. Is that number a guesstimate, or have you actually tracked it over time? That is the sort of information I would dearly intend to keep track of, but then at the table I would get distr-

Oooh, who brought Fritos?

And then so much for that. I've always identified with the Phil Rizutto anecdote about someone asking what the 'WW' on his scorecard meant (Wasn't Watching).

Thanks,
Ghorrin Redblade

Scarab Sages

Pick a race that has a natural attack like bite or gorge...half orcs, tieflings..come to mind right away.

You could probably be human and take racial heritage to qualify.


Being large and having combat reflexes is the best way to make use of a reach weapon. How you obtain them is up to you.

Scarab Sages

My favorite way to combine reach and close is to be a Dwarf and use a Boulder Helmet.


Nobody has mentioned taking the Handy Haversack and Quick Draw feat? Somebody steps up you can pull a weapon from your Handy Haversack as a free action and not provoke.

Punish them until they try and run away, then quick swap back to your bardiche.

Shadow Lodge

Deadalready wrote:

Nobody has mentioned taking the Handy Haversack and Quick Draw feat? Somebody steps up you can pull a weapon from your Handy Haversack as a free action and not provoke.

Punish them until they try and run away, then quick swap back to your bardiche.

Hello my friend, pulling an item from a handy haversack is a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Unless there's an update I don't know about.

Combat reflexes & quick draw, along with CMB work real well when's they can be used as part of an attack action; ergo, sunder, trip, disarm and the like.

Yes it is true, most of those kind of CM's will not be usable in every combat, but they are wonderful when they can be used.

The combat maneuvers that are usable only as a standard action, such as reposition for example, have a rapid version of the feat, such as rapid reposition.

The rapid feats allow you to use a combat maneuver as part of an attack action so, with multiple attacks you can use them.

The rapid feat for Grapple does not work that way. The rapid feat for grapple only allows you an extra attack as a swift action.

All the greater CMB feats give attacks of opportunity with the exception of the greater grapple feet when they are successfully used.

In the case of greater trip, you and everybody that threatens the creature that is tripped gets a free shot.

The CMB feats are wonderful! All my characters I create that fight will have combat maneuver feats for the rest of my existence. They are loads of fun!


May I suggest brace reach weapon + combat reflex, lunge and pushing assault? If you find yourself in a nice position against melee monsters with AC that is not too high, lunge, then ready action against a charge attack with power attack. If an enemy charges, push him back to out your reach with pushing assault. Do that before you roll for damage. If not, you will still get an attack when he reach your 10 feet reach. Unless your enemies have reach or range attacks, they can't really do much for awhile.


cnetarian wrote:

lunge is definitely worth it and there should be no essential need for combining with acrobatics, vital strike and AoO probably not so much.

Consider the possibility of whirlwind attack (requires int13, dex13, mobility, dodge, spring attack&combat expertise so only really an option for a fighter).

Don't overlook some form of becoming large sized (potion of growth is common) to get a 5' bonus to reach.

Incorrect. Reach weapons threaten at double your natural reach and do not threaten at your natural reach.

So an enlarged human threatens at 15 and 20 ft. Does not threaten at 10 and 5 feat.


Cap. Darling wrote:
2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
Free action let go of weapon with one hand, strike enemy with spiked gauntlet, free action regrab weapon.
You dont threaten, within 5ft. if you hold the reach weapon with the gauntlet hand. And the free actions are also not really part of the attack and therefore not doable outsideren your own turn.

How do fighters threaten with bows on AoOs? Since drawing an arrow is a free action and one needs an arrow to fire a bow.


As a wizard with the spell telekinesis.

Shadow Lodge

Insain Dragoon wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:
2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
Free action let go of weapon with one hand, strike enemy with spiked gauntlet, free action regrab weapon.
You dont threaten, within 5ft. if you hold the reach weapon with the gauntlet hand. And the free actions are also not really part of the attack and therefore not doable outsideren your own turn.
How do fighters threaten with bows on AoOs? Since drawing an arrow is a free action and one needs an arrow to fire a bow.

The feats snapshot, and improved snapshot I believe.

Shadow Lodge

Rogar Stonebow wrote:
As a wizard with the spell telekinesis.

Wizards cannot normally threaten with a spell. Any character with a touch spell is considered armed and can take AoO's.

This has been the subject of many FAQs and I believe you can find this rule in the attacks of opportunity section where touch spells are concerned.


ShadowDax wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:
2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
Free action let go of weapon with one hand, strike enemy with spiked gauntlet, free action regrab weapon.
You dont threaten, within 5ft. if you hold the reach weapon with the gauntlet hand. And the free actions are also not really part of the attack and therefore not doable outsideren your own turn.
How do fighters threaten with bows on AoOs? Since drawing an arrow is a free action and one needs an arrow to fire a bow.
The feats snapshot, and improved snapshot I believe.

Those feats have no language allowing the player to make free actions out of your turn, so you cannot make those AoOs because you can't make a free action to draw the arrow. At least that's how it works if you say you can't AoO while wearing a gauntlet since it's a free action to remove your hand from the polearm.

Either they both work pr neither work.

Scarab Sages

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Insain Dragoon wrote:
ShadowDax wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Cap. Darling wrote:
2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
Free action let go of weapon with one hand, strike enemy with spiked gauntlet, free action regrab weapon.
You dont threaten, within 5ft. if you hold the reach weapon with the gauntlet hand. And the free actions are also not really part of the attack and therefore not doable outsideren your own turn.
How do fighters threaten with bows on AoOs? Since drawing an arrow is a free action and one needs an arrow to fire a bow.
The feats snapshot, and improved snapshot I believe.

Those feats have no language allowing the player to make free actions out of your turn, so you cannot make those AoOs because you can't make a free action to draw the arrow. At least that's how it works if you say you can't AoO while wearing a gauntlet since it's a free action to remove your hand from the polearm.

Either they both work pr neither work.

Per the FAQ, Snap Shot allows you to reload your weapon as part of the ranged attack attack of opportunity, as long as you can reload your weapon with a free action.

Silver Crusade

Redblade8 wrote:
Magda Luckbender wrote:


I've played through many levels of reach weapon users. Fewer than 3% of my AoOs have been with armor spikes, and no attacks during my own turn. The other 97% of AoOs have been with my primary weapon.

Magda, I'm curious. Is that number a guesstimate, or have you actually tracked it over time? ...

Thanks,
Ghorrin Redblade

It's a guesstimate. I've played several characters who both used reach weapons and wore spiked armor through about 20 levels. Those characters have taken hundreds of AoOs. I remember a total of three times when the armor spikes mattered. So my 3% guesstimate is almost certainly on the high side.

After having tried the combination a lot, I've reached the conclusion that the inside of the reach donut presents very little problem in actual play.

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