What does it mean to "use" a Cestus?


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PRD wrote:
Cestus: The cestus is a glove of leather or thick cloth that covers the wielder from mid-finger to mid-forearm. The close combat weapon is reinforced with metal plates over the fingers and often lined with wicked spikes along the backs of the hands and wrists. While wearing a cestus, you are considered armed and your unarmed attacks deal normal damage. If you are proficient with a cestus, your unarmed strikes may deal bludgeoning or piercing damage. Monks are proficient with the cestus. When using a cestus, your fingers are mostly exposed, allowing you to wield or carry items in that hand, but the constriction of the weapon at your knuckles gives you a –2 penalty on all precision-based tasks involving that hand (such as opening locks).

Bold mine. But what does "using" mean in this sentence?

Wearing? If so, why doesn't it just say "When wearing a cestus..."?

Wielding? Other rules seem clear that when you can or cannot "use" something, it is referring to performing the function of that item. You must "use" a shield in order to get the AC bonus from it. Also when wearing a Light Shield, you can carry but not "use" weapons in that hand.

Does this mean I can wield a Cestus while wielding a dagger in the same hand such that any attack or AoO that I make can be done with either weapon? (Note, I didn't say both weapons).

An example would be punching a target with the Cestus on my turn and discovering that the target has DR/slashing. Then when he provokes an AoO on his turn, I elect to slash with the dagger.

And for clarification, I'm not talking about TWF with both weapons. The FAQ about that topic makes it very clear that you can't make an "off-hand" attack in cases where you don't have an off-hand.

Dark Archive

"using" is slightly shorter than "wearing" or "wielding" and they need to save ink? I dunno, I wouldn't look too deeply into it I'm sure that terminology has been used a few times on accident if you search hard enough.
But since it says you can hold weapons in the same hand as the cestus it's pretty safe to assume that yes you can switch between the two as the need arises. You can do the same with a spiked gauntlet.

Scarab Sages

In real life, you can hold a weapon and wield it normally while wearing a cestus, and you can make an AoO with either of them. Even if the weapon has a basket hilt that covers your hand, the cestus and it's spikes extend down your forearm.

However, in game I'm not so sure because of the ruling on two-handed weapons. If you are using a two-handed weapon, you can't make AoOs with the cestus, because the hand is holding the two-handed weapon, and it requires a free action to remove your hand from a 2HW. Outside of the exceptions of snap shot and talking, you can't make a free action when it isn't your turn.

If wielding a weapon requires a hand of effort, then the cestus can't be wielded when the same hand is holding another weapon.


But based on the description of a Cestus, you don't actually have to remove your hand from the weapon as you can "use" the Cestus (wield?) and "wield" the weapon at the same time. Or in reverse I can wield a weapon while "using" a Cestus.

Which brings us to what "use" means. Everywhere else I find it, it means to deploy the item in the fashion it was designed. A wand is activated, a shield is worn and defended with, and a weapon attacks.

If this remains consistent, then I most certainly can attack a target with the cestus while still wielding and threatening with the weapon the Cestus-hand is holding.

Which although might be RAW, seems a bit overpowered for only a 5gp item...


I think it's mostly a pointless bit of text, and the important part is that you can wield or carry items in that hand and fine motor skills take a -2.

Does it make a difference if it means wield or wear? Wield doesn't even have a clear definition within the game, and its meaning usually depends on its usage and context with each specific instance.

Sovereign Court

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It's been established in other threads that Paizo is not consistent in the use of terms like wield, use, wear, hold etcetera. This isn't MtG; there's no complete language plan to eliminate all ambiguity in the English language.

So you can't fall back on a book-sanctioned definition of "use" or "wield", and you need to just interpret the word every time it pops up to find out what it means in that context.

In this context, I think "using" is interchangeable with "wearing", but they varied their language to make the text a little nicer to read. It's generally considered good writing style not to pound the reader with the same term over and over but to use synonyms to lighten things up; that's what happened here.

Sadly, good writing style often clashes with crystal-clear rules.


Is there an example of where the rules talk about using something and they don't really mean activating, attacking, or performing some task with the item...ie where "using" just means passively "holding" or "wearing"? I don't recall one, but maybe someone else knows of an example.

Rule definitions aside, though, plain English would suggest that if you're using something, it means you're doing something with it, not just holding it. For example, there is a distinct difference between holding a wand (something a fighter with no UMD can do) and using a wand (something an appropriate class can do). I can hold a scroll in my hand without provoking, but if I try to use it while threatened, I can expect an incoming attack. Same would be the case between a bow that I'm holding in my hands and a bow that I'm attacking with.

This is true with just about anything, such as when you have something in your hand and a friend inquires if they can have it since you don't appear to be using it.

So if there's no default game definition to turn to, then plain English and the common meaning is the next step.

But as I said, this would seem to be a rather inexpensive go-around for certain situations.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The problem with that definition of "using" is that the associated special rules would be unnecessary. Why should you ever take the penalty to precision based tasks in that case? You do not normally perform such tasks while punching someone at the same time.


I'm not meaning to split hairs, but the defining sentence is talking about two different things.

#1 Using the cestus and wielding items at the same time.

#2 Having precision-based tasks constricted.

"When using a cestus, your fingers are mostly exposed, allowing you to wield or carry items in that hand,..."

#1 This is the key part I was focusing on when asking what "using" means. How is it defined by the game, or lacking a standard definition, what is the plain English understanding of it supposed to be?

"...but the constriction of the weapon at your knuckles gives you a –2 penalty on all precision-based tasks involving that hand (such as opening locks)."

#2 This next part then pertains to how the cestus confers a penalty on any task that would be deemed "precision-base". This doesn't equate directly to "using", but rather "wearing". You don't "use" a cestus to pick a lock. But if you're wearing one, then you'll suffer the -2 penalty on the attempt.

Personally it doesn't sound difficult at all to envision wearing a cestus while holding a dagger. Because of the design of the cestus I'm able to threaten with both weapons. I can't attack with both as that violates the "no off-hand available" rule, but I can still threaten and decide between which weapon I'll attack with, without having to bother with shifting grips.

Plus I have a hard time believing that the writers really meant "wearing" but went with "using" because it was going to save them 2 letters worth of ink and space. I posted because I was interested to find out if others thought similarly. Or if not, what their reasons were. But I'm still interested in hearing if anyone knows of a place where the rules use "use" to mean wear or carry and not actually use. I haven't read every book (or even most of them), but I can't recall an instance where this might be the case.


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Pretty sure they meant wearing. I'd just go with common sense in this case, and not try to overthink it. You're wearing a spiked leather glove/leather straps that are going to impede your ability to use your hand if you didn't have it on.

Dark Archive

"Use" isn't a defined keyword in the Pathfinder library of defined words. Just take it like it is. It doesn't mean anything special. A cestus acts just like a spiked gauntlet for combat. Nothing more or less.


Unfortunately common sense can seem to go either way on this.


That Crazy Alchemist wrote:
"Use" isn't a defined keyword in the Pathfinder library of defined words. Just take it like it is. It doesn't mean anything special. A cestus acts just like a spiked gauntlet for combat. Nothing more or less.

If "use" isn't a defined word, then I can only define it the way common English would. And that means to perform the actions for which the item was designed. In the case of a weapon that means to attack, or at least threaten, with it.

In fact if "use" has no defined game term, then it cannot mean just to wear as the common English for using an item implies more than just wearing or holding it, but actually doing something with it. If I strap a watch to my wrist but never look at it and never interact with it, I'm wearing it, but not using it...unless I'm trying to get a tan line in that particular spot on my arm. :p

However, I'm wondering if the term is actually defined. Because everywhere I read it, it's talking about an action of some kind involving the item being "used".

Dark Archive

I'm confused with what you are looking for. Literally everyone here has agreed that you can threaten with it as well as whatever is in your hand just like a spiked gauntlet, though not because of some super secret hidden meaning behind the word "use" but because the item practically comes out and actually says that. What more are you looking for?


Elbedor wrote:
If "use" isn't a defined word, then I can only define it the way common English would. And that means to perform the actions for which the item was designed. In the case of a weapon that means to attack, or at least threaten, with it.

Or, in the case of a weapon that is worn, it can also mean to wear. It's not a case of either-or here. A cestus is a wearable weapon. If I'm wearing it, I'm using it, even if I'm not strictly attacking with it.

You're overthinking it and rules-lawyering this notion.


That Crazy Alchemist wrote:
I'm confused with what you are looking for. Literally everyone here has agreed that you can threaten with it as well as whatever is in your hand just like a spiked gauntlet, though not because of some super secret hidden meaning behind the word "use" but because the item practically comes out and actually says that. What more are you looking for?

How "use" is defined answers who threatens with what when.

If I wear a cestus and hold a dagger in the same hand, do I threaten with both?

What if it was a cestus and a battleaxe?

If "use" means to threaten with and if I can do so while also threatening with whatever I'm holding in my hand, then the implications are quite vast.

I can then don a heavy shield, activate a wand in my other hand while threatening the space around me with the cestus on that hand.

I can choose to stab with a dagger or punch with a cestus for each of my attacks without bothering about shifting my grip.

I can hack at a target with my battleaxe on my turn, only to realize he has DR/bludgeoning, and then elect to perform an AoO on his turn with the cestus to overcome the DR without worrying about switching grips.

Cthulhudrew wrote:

Or, in the case of a weapon that is worn, it can also mean to wear. It's not a case of either-or here. A cestus is a wearable weapon. If I'm wearing it, I'm using it, even if I'm not strictly attacking with it.

You're overthinking it and rules-lawyering this notion.

Not at all. I'm using plain English. You're not using weapons just by wearing them. In my above example, I'm not using a watch just because I have it worn on my wrist. I'm only using my watch if I'm telling time by it or performing some function it was designed for.

If I'm wearing a jacket to keep warm, then yes I'm using it by wearing it...because that is what jackets are designed to do. Wearing it automatically performs the function it was made for. But if I'm holding a ketchup bottle, I'm not using it until I up-end it and squeeze its contents onto my burger. In fact if I just stand there holding it, it's only a matter of time before someone in my family asks me if I'm going to use it or just stand there because they'd like to use it (i.e. put ketchup on their burger) when I'm done.

This is why the definition of a cestus caught my attention. Could it really be that simple? Was there a definition of "using" that I was missing? Because sans an official game interpretation, "using" simply means to perform the object's function. And in the case of a weapon, that means to attack or threaten with it. So by that simple course of reason the game is telling me I can threaten with the cestus AND threaten with whatever weapon I'm holding in the hand wearing the cestus.

Sounds simple. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing some complicated issue somewhere. The responses I've seen so far have said there is no official game interpretation. So I'm left with the simple one.

Dark Archive

You are able to do all of those things, yes.

This is the point we've been trying to make. "Use" means nothing more than "wears" in this case or even "wields" it doesnt matter but the wording of the rest of the item saying you can do everything you just listed up there. Exactly like a spiked gauntlet. Understand now?


That Crazy Alchemist wrote:
You are able to do all of those things, yes...Understand now?

Yes. And I agree. :)


Using, in this sentence (referencing the original post, here), means wearing. You can figure this out using English a bit of logic, as it wouldn't make any sense if they meant "attacking with" (which is, after all, the point of a weapon). Not only would you probably never perform a precision task in the middle of an attack, but any other definition would mean that, when the cestus isn't being "used" actively, it's not leaving your fingers exposed or constraining your knuckles (and maybe you have to drop your dagger?)... And that would be more than a little strange.

Edit: Oh, I guess the thread resolved as I wrote this. :p

Dark Archive

And apologies if I sounded short with you about this. I have been playing since I was 8, back in AD&D and I often forget that things that are obvious to me are not obvious to everyone. Since the spiked gauntlet has been doing exactly this since before Pathfinder, this thread was tantamount to me to someone pointing out that a bastard sword can be wielded in one hand than the incredible implications of that find. So I was like, "Well...yeah...so what?".
Sincere apologies for that. :(

Dark Archive

And apologies if I sounded short with you about this. I have been playing since I was 8, back in AD&D and I often forget that things that are obvious to me are not obvious to everyone. Since the spiked gauntlet has been doing exactly this since before Pathfinder, this thread was tantamount to me to someone pointing out that a bastard sword can be wielded in one hand and the incredible implications of that find. So I was like, "Well...yeah...so what?".
Sincere apologies for that. :(


The problem with understanding is that you aren't looking at it holistically. You must re-integrate the piece with the whole and examine the other parts to get the full understanding, otherwise you are only gaining partial understanding.

PRD wrote:
Cestus: The cestus is a glove of leather or thick cloth that covers the wielder from mid-finger to mid-forearm. The close combat weapon is reinforced with metal plates over the fingers and often lined with wicked spikes along the backs of the hands and wrists. While wearing a cestus, you are considered armed and your unarmed attacks deal normal damage. If you are proficient with a cestus, your unarmed strikes may deal bludgeoning or piercing damage. Monks are proficient with the cestus. When using a cestus, your fingers are mostly exposed, allowing you to wield or carry items in that hand, but the constriction of the weapon at your knuckles gives you a –2 penalty on all precision-based tasks involving that hand (such as opening locks).

Your fingers are mostly exposed when using a cestus which allows you to wield or carry items in that hand. This is saying that even when you wield a cestus, you can hold an item in that hand or "over-wield" some other held weapon such as a dagger (which temporarily suppresses your ability to attack with the cestus so long as the hand is occupied). But it's the constriction at the knuckles which imposes the penalty on precision-based tasks and this constriction is there just by wearing it, not just by attacking.


That Crazy Alchemist wrote:
And apologies if I sounded short with you about this.

Not at all. No offense taken and no apology necessary. :) You and I both agree on how a cestus functions. However not everyone agrees.

Kazaan wrote:
The problem with understanding is that you aren't looking at it holistically. You must re-integrate the piece with the whole and examine the other parts to get the full understanding, otherwise you are only gaining partial understanding.

I agree with you whole-heartedly that looking at it holistically is important. I have done so. That is why I have reached the conclusion I have. Here is why.

PRD wrote:
Cestus: The cestus is a glove of leather or thick cloth that covers the wielder from mid-finger to mid-forearm. The close combat weapon is reinforced with metal plates over the fingers and often lined with wicked spikes along the backs of the hands and wrists.

As I begin to read this, this first part gives me a bit of a description about a cestus. It's a glove with some nasty additions to it.

PRD wrote:
While wearing a cestus, you are considered armed and your unarmed attacks deal normal damage. If you are proficient with a cestus, your unarmed strikes may deal bludgeoning or piercing damage. Monks are proficient with the cestus.

Next we get some rules about what happens when I'm wearing a cestus. I'm considered armed here. Plus some other bits about proficiency and damage types.

PRD wrote:
When using a cestus, your fingers are mostly exposed, allowing you to wield or carry items in that hand, but the constriction of the weapon at your knuckles gives you a –2 penalty on all precision-based tasks involving that hand (such as opening locks).

NOW it's telling me what happens not only when I wear it, but when I use it. So now I'm not only wearing this thing, but using it as well...which I can only mean to take that I'm actually threatening or attacking with it. Also notice that it doesn't say that when I'm using something in the same hand that my "armed-ness" I get from wearing it goes away. So I can hold and activate a wand in that hand and still be considered armed...meaning I'm still threatening. This also implies I can wield a weapon in that hand and be considered armed from both the weapon AND the cestus that I'm wearing and using.

So making a holistic reading of this description I am left with:

A nasty, heavy glove that arms me when I wear it and allows me to still threaten/attack with it when I'm activating, using, or threatening with another item in that same hand. The constriction from it penalizes precision tasks, however.

Simple enough.

In fact, what this means is that I can hold a longspear in my hands, threaten 10ft out with it, and threaten 5ft out with the cestus at the same time without worrying about grip shifting or lack of. Which is even better. :)


I am with you for all of it's combat uses... But I think that you have revealed that, for a cestus, wearing implies using. Because while you are wearing it, you are considered armed (thus threatening), and thus are by default "using" it whenever you wear it.

Yes, you can use it in a hand that holds another weapon (and even fight with that weapon while threatening with the cestus, or if your BAB is +6, swing your axe into a zombie then punch a skeleton, all with one hand). I don't see anyone really arguing with this on here? So, that makes me think that you're after something more, though I have no idea what that would be.

So long as you're wearing it, you're getting the penalty on precision tasks. It's clearly RAI, but now I'm also convinced that it's RAW.


My whole point boils down to the fact that a PC continues to threaten with it even if that hand is busy doing something else.

My final example was using a longspear. I use the longspear on my turn to attack a target 10ft away. Then on my target's turn he 5ft steps toward me (leaving the threatened space of the spear) and drinks a potion thinking he's safe. But my cestus means I am threatening adjacent space, so I get to pop him with the cestus when he tries to drink without having to use a free action (which I can't between my turns) to remove my hand from the spear. I threaten with both weapons simultaneously and am free to AoO with either as conditions permit because that is the nature of a cestus.

The semantics between "wearing" and "using" ultimately might not matter. One includes the other. If I wear the cestus, I am armed and can threaten. If I use the cestus, I am armed and can threaten. If I wear and/or use the cestus I can wield/carry something in that hand and still be armed and threaten.

My original post was to see if there was a game-defining function of "using" that I was missing, because the idea of being able to perform the example above with the longspear seemed a bit overpowered (although I'm not complaining). Reach weapons have always had the problem of not threatening adjacent. The solution appears to be a cheap glove. This may be obvious to some, but not necessarily to others considering some of the older posts I've read on this topic. Hence posting my original set of questions in the OP for clarification.


The only reason I argued about the wearing/using distinction over the -2 to precision based checks. I am running a Bard right now who uses a shield in one hand and a cestus in the other (and sometimes a whip, wand, or whatever in the cestus hand), but I also have sleight of hand, for instance, so I assume I have to take the cestus off if I don't want to take -2 to sleight of hand (which seems perfectly reasonable). I assume that my perform (string) would probably suffer as well, but I don't use perform (string), so it's not a big deal. /endrambling/


Likewise I run a reach bard in PFS who has a fauchard. The issue I ran into early on was having a caster or archer backed up against a wall and having him 5ft step toward me so that he's free to cast/fire without provoking. I looked into the cestus as a workaround since its description implied I could threaten adjacent even while using my reach weapon. A cheap and possibly overpowered workaround, but a legal one.

But when I searched the threads here to confirm this, much of the feedback seemed to imply that such wasn't possible. That in order to threaten with the cestus, my hand had to be off the fauchard...which then meant not threating with the fauchard. In a nutshell, their view was that I couldn't threaten with both simultaneously.

Hence the post here to clarify because I believed that I could, but wondered if I was missing something in the symantics between "wearing" and "using". But it seems to have gotten where it needed to in the end. So it's good. :)


Elbedor wrote:
That Crazy Alchemist wrote:
"Use" isn't a defined keyword in the Pathfinder library of defined words. Just take it like it is. It doesn't mean anything special. A cestus acts just like a spiked gauntlet for combat. Nothing more or less.
If "use" isn't a defined word, then I can only define it the way common English would. And that means to perform the actions for which the item was designed. In the case of a weapon that means to attack, or at least threaten, with it.

the weapon is designed to fit over your hand and arm to make your punches more deadly...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bandw2 wrote:
the weapon is designed to fit over your hand and arm to make your punches more deadly...

In which case you can't really claim to be able to punch someone effectively if your hand is gripping a polearm haft.

On your turn, you could end your attack with a free action to release the other weapon, freeing up the cestus for punching, but then you would no longer threaten at reach.

Seems to me that the bizarre rules on reach weapons open up all sorts of strange situations.


Wheldrake wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
the weapon is designed to fit over your hand and arm to make your punches more deadly...

In which case you can't really claim to be able to punch someone effectively if your hand is gripping a polearm haft.

On your turn, you could end your attack with a free action to release the other weapon, freeing up the cestus for punching, but then you would no longer threaten at reach.

Seems to me that the bizarre rules on reach weapons open up all sorts of strange situations.

Strange indeed.

According to its description, a Cestus is a worn weapon that you can use (threaten with and attack with) while also using another item. Not just carrying that, but using it, attacking with it, activating it. Which means I very well CAN hold a polearm haft in a manner to threaten with it AND still use the cestus to punch someone. Sort of like a crosscheck in hockey, but striking with the modified fist instead of the haft as my other hand acts as the pivot point. And all possible without having to remove my hand from the haft or mess with shifting my grip.

And if you find that hard to picture, then chalk it up to the rules. Because they're the same ones that give us Halflings grappling and pinning Dragons as legal possibilities.


it is a free action to hold a 2-hander in one hand and again to re-equip it, i don't see the problem from any stance.

Scarab Sages

Bandw2 wrote:
it is a free action to hold a 2-hander in one hand and again to re-equip it, i don't see the problem from any stance.

Outside of specific exceptions, you can only take a free action on your turn. Therefore, if you are wearing a cestus and wielding a 2-handed weapon, you can not make an AoO with the cestus because you cannot make the free action to let go of the two hander when it isn't your turn.


Imbicatus wrote:
Outside of specific exceptions, you can only take a free action on your turn. Therefore, if you are wearing a cestus and wielding a 2-handed weapon, you can not make an AoO with the cestus because you cannot make the free action to let go of the two hander when it isn't your turn.

Which is why understanding the definition of a cestus is important.

While wearing it, you threaten because you are considered armed.
While using it, you can use other items at the same time.
Using other items doesn't remove your "armed and threatening" status.

So you can punch with the cestus and still threaten with the weapon in that hand. Or conversely you can use the item in your hand and still threaten with the cestus. And all without having to shift your grip.


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Because of how a two-handed weapon functions, it will surpress your ability to attack with the cestus for AoO (because you cannot take a free action to change your grip). If you had a one handed weapon instead you could threaten with both the one handed weapon and the cestus, and make an AoO with either.

But this is because of how two handed weapons funciton, not because of something with the cestus itself.


Elbedor wrote:

While wearing it, you threaten because you are considered armed.

While using it, you can use other items at the same time.
Using other items doesn't remove your "armed and threatening" status.

Where did you get the idea that holding an item in your hands doesn't remove the "armed and threatening" status? No where does it imply that, if you are holding an item in your hands, you can still use that hand to punch or attack with a cestus, gauntlet, or similar hand-worn weapon. What it's saying is that, whereas with a Longsword, you'd need to drop the longsword to pick up an item with that hand, with the Cestus, you can pick up an item without needing to remove the Cestus. But still, having your hand occupied holding an item means it isn't free to make an attack with the Cestus.


???

Have you read the description of a cestus? I'm getting that idea from the text itself. It says right there that you can use the cestus AND use items you are holding in that same hand.

So I can threaten with a Cestus while I activate a wand in that hand.
I can threaten with a Cestus while I attack with a weapon that is using that hand.
I can threaten with a Cestus while I use that hand to unroll a scroll or apply an ointment.
I retain the use of the cestus even when doing other things with that hand.

Where did you get the idea that you CAN'T do so? Is there a FAQ I'm missing somewhere that overrules this?

Gauntlets (spiked or otherwise) are different. Their descriptions don't say anything about using them as weapons while holding other things and being able to do so all at the same time. The Cestus specifically DOES say exactly that.


Ok, go wear a cestus, hold a bottle of beer with it, and punch some one. Tell me how that works out for you.


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That's an easy one.

Step 1: Put on Cestus.
Step 2: Order beer from bartender.
Step 3: Pick up Beer.
Step 4: Punch bartender so I don't have to pay for the beer.
Step 5: Run away.
Step 6: Realize that I punched bartender before he took the cap off the beer.
Step 7: Attempt to remove cap with my teeth.
Step 8: Crack tooth.
Step 9: Curse.

:p


Claxon wrote:

Because of how a two-handed weapon functions, it will surpress your ability to attack with the cestus for AoO (because you cannot take a free action to change your grip). If you had a one handed weapon instead you could threaten with both the one handed weapon and the cestus, and make an AoO with either.

But this is because of how two handed weapons funciton, not because of something with the cestus itself.

this is untrue, your hands of effort only count while attempting to TWF, which the OP is not. AoO do not ask you to declare your wielding before hand( ba-dum-tss ), you can choose what weapon you are attacking with at any given point.

you, for instance, CAN attack with armor spikes while wielding a two-hander, you cannot however, TWF with both of them.

Scarab Sages

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Bandw2 wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Because of how a two-handed weapon functions, it will surpress your ability to attack with the cestus for AoO (because you cannot take a free action to change your grip). If you had a one handed weapon instead you could threaten with both the one handed weapon and the cestus, and make an AoO with either.

But this is because of how two handed weapons funciton, not because of something with the cestus itself.

this is untrue, your hands of effort only count while attempting to TWF, which the OP is not. AoO do not ask you to declare your wielding before hand( ba-dum-tss ), you can choose what weapon you are attacking with at any given point.

you, for instance, CAN attack with armor spikes while wielding a two-hander, you cannot however, TWF with both of them.

You can't make an AoO with a cestus while holding a two handed weapon because you hand is holding the weapon, it has nothing to do with metaphorical hands. Your hand that the cestus is on is literally holding the other weapon, and you can't make the free action to remove it when it's not your turn.

The reason you can make an AoO with a two handed weapon and armor spikes, is the armor spikes do not use actual hands.


Cestus wrote:
While wearing a cestus, you are considered armed and your unarmed attacks deal lethal damage. If you are proficient with a cestus, you can have your unarmed strikes deal bludgeoning or piercing damage.

Just to reiterate. Cestus makes your unarmed attacks deal lethal damage and considers them to be armed. Since unarmed attacks don't take a "hand" then by wearing a cestus you have effectively given yourself IUS. The cestus doesn't say you must attack with the cestus, merely wearing it is enough. So, I say you could have a 2-hand weapon, and threaten with unarmed strikes via wearing a cestus without having to let go of the 2-hand weapon in the first place.

I don't know where that stands with PFS, but that's how I read the RAW.


#PunchToYourJowls


Imbicatus wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Because of how a two-handed weapon functions, it will surpress your ability to attack with the cestus for AoO (because you cannot take a free action to change your grip). If you had a one handed weapon instead you could threaten with both the one handed weapon and the cestus, and make an AoO with either.

But this is because of how two handed weapons funciton, not because of something with the cestus itself.

this is untrue, your hands of effort only count while attempting to TWF, which the OP is not. AoO do not ask you to declare your wielding before hand( ba-dum-tss ), you can choose what weapon you are attacking with at any given point.

you, for instance, CAN attack with armor spikes while wielding a two-hander, you cannot however, TWF with both of them.

You can't make an AoO with a cestus while holding a two handed weapon because you hand is holding the weapon, it has nothing to do with metaphorical hands. Your hand that the cestus is on is literally holding the other weapon, and you can't make the free action to remove it when it's not your turn.

The reason you can make an AoO with a two handed weapon and armor spikes, is the armor spikes do not use actual hands.

you don't need to remove your hand to make attacks, your weapon is still being wielded... the Cestus does not say that wielding a weapon suddenly unwields the cestus.

actually now that I look at it more clearly, this specifically revolves around whether or not the weapon is considered wielded, which is HEAVILY based on GM interpretation, so it's literally up to the GM.


I think the general understanding that most people have is that wielding a two handed weapon will prevent you from using any other weapon associated with those hands. Try this, hold a pencil or stick in two hands. Now try to throw a punch with just one of them. Hows that working out?

It has nothing to do with hands of effort or two weapon fighting rules, it's simply that there are certain things you can't physically do while using a weapon two handed.


I think "using" a cestus is where you tell it you're going to specialize in fighting with cestus as your primary weapon and then you just sorta never actually take the cestus out in combat and eventually it realizes you never really wanted to punch people, you just liked that it had a really cool home theatre system and would drive you places.


Let's try another exercise. Envision someone the size of a 9 year old child grappling and pinning an Elephant. Seems impossible, doesn't it? But strangely it is perfectly legal and possible in PF.

Speaking strictly RAW, the Cestus says that when using it, I can wield and/or hold other things in that hand. Hence my OP question of what "using" means. Does it mean just wear? When I'm 'wearing' a cestus, my fingers are free so I can use items in that hand? If this is the case, why use "using"? They were just talking about "wearing" right before this part, so why not just say "wearing"?

Or does 'using' mean I can threaten and attack with it?

It's not hard at all to envision holding a dagger in my cestus-covered hand and punching someone...then on their turn when they drink a potion, stabbing them with the dagger.

The way I read it, the Cestus breaks the general rule. Normally if your hand is occupied, you are not free to do anything else with that hand. But a Cestus is different. While wearing it you are armed. And when using it to punch or threaten with, your fingers are free to also use another item in that same hand. So I could carry a heavy shield on one arm, wear a cestus on my other hand, and carry a wand in that hand in such a way that I can activate the wand on my turn and still threaten my reach with the cestus. Activating the wand does not remove the "armed" nature that the cestus grants me.

This doesn't mean I can attack with both the cestus AND the dagger in the same Round (unless I have iterative attacks). We're not talking about sneaking in an extra attack here or TWF or anything of the like. But this DOES mean I can threaten with both so that I can hit with one for my attack and then hit with the other as an AoO between my turns.


seebs wrote:
I think "using" a cestus is where you tell it you're going to specialize in fighting with cestus as your primary weapon and then you just sorta never actually take the cestus out in combat and eventually it realizes you never really wanted to punch people, you just liked that it had a really cool home theatre system and would drive you places.

HA! I like that definition better.


It seems pretty obvious that "using" could mean "attacking with" or "wearing". "Attacking with" makes no sense in context, so I think it just means "wearing". So the question is, does that imply that you could use it to make AoO, etc?

I think my answer would be "if your hand is otherwise free, you can punch with it, and you threaten, so you can take AoO". So I wouldn't let you do it if you were wielding a 2H weapon, because the list of free actions you can take off your turn in the recent FAQ does not include "change how you are holding a weapon". But I suppose in theory I might let you punch while holding a dagger.


Dagger is innately different than greatsword. Want to swap between dagger and cestus punches (provided you are appropriately using iterative attacks or TWF rules) with the round fine. Want to choose which one to make your AoO? No problem.

It's only a problem when you try to do it with a two handed weapon instead.


So what if you have a dagger in each hand and a cestus worn on one? Can you punch as an AoO? You seem to think that would be ok. And yet both of your hands are occupied just as they are with a two-handed weapon.

A two-handed weapon does not occupy your right hand any more than a dagger occupies your right hand. It also doesn't occupy your left hand any more than a dagger in your left hand does. There are no differing grades of "occupy". Either a given hand is occupied or it isn't.

Punching with a cestus as an AoO with a dagger in your hand is just as possible by the rules as punching with a cestus as an AoO with a greatsword in that hand.

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