Swashbuckler parry against unusual attacks.


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Quote:
Opportune Parry and Riposte (Ex): At 1st level, when an opponent makes a melee attack against the swashbuckler, she can spend 1 panache point and expend a use of an attack of opportunity to attempt to parry that attack. The swashbuckler makes an attack roll as if she were making an attack of opportunity; for each size category the attacking creature is larger than the swashbuckler, the swashbuckler takes a –2 penalty on this roll. If her result is greater than the attacking creature's result, the creature's attack automatically misses. The swashbuckler must declare the use of this ability after the creature's attack is announced, but before its attack roll is made. Upon performing a successful parry and if she has at least 1 panache point, the swashbuckler can as an immediate action make an attack against the creature whose attack she parried, provided that creature is within her reach.

Swashbucklers can use Parry on any melee attack. I would like to verify that people agree (or disagree!) that it works on the following:

  • 1. Normal attack actions.
  • 2. Unusual attacks such as Cleave, Vital Strike, or Whirlwind Attack.
  • 3. Incorporeal touch attacks from a ghost.
  • 4. A touch attack granted by a spellcaster casting a spell such as Shocking Grasp.
  • 5. A grapple attempt or other combat maneuver.
  • 6. A scythe trap or other mechanical trap that makes a melee attack roll.

The last one I'm unsure of because it specifies "creature." I don't know if a trap counts as a creature. What else might not count as a creature that makes attack rolls?

As always, logical reasoning with maybe a rules quote or a FAQ link is appreciated. "In my game I'd do such-and-such" isn't quite what I'm looking for in this sub-forum, but is still nice to know.

Sorry if there was a thread that answered this already. I couldn't find one with the search function. Also sorry for the Swashbuckler spam today. Some stuff recently came up in game and I'm making sure that we are reading things correctly.


1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes, but I'd subject it to the same chance of affecting the incorporeal creature. I.e. needs a magic weapon to be able to parry.
4. Yes
5. Trip/sunder/disarm yes. Grapple/bull rush/overrun/dirty trick/drag/reposition no. Trip/sunder/disarm are "in place of an attack" so I would allow the parry. The others are their own unique standard action, so no parry.
6. I'd allow it. The trap has an attack roll. I'd probably say most weapon traps like scythes/axes/etc would be large. Arrow traps medium. And poison needle traps small.

Grand Lodge

Tarantula wrote:

1. Yes

2. Yes
3. Yes, but I'd subject it to the same chance of affecting the incorporeal creature. I.e. needs a magic weapon to be able to parry.
4. Yes
5. Trip/sunder/disarm yes. Grapple/bull rush/overrun/dirty trick/drag/reposition no. Trip/sunder/disarm are "in place of an attack" so I would allow the parry. The others are their own unique standard action, so no parry.
6. I'd allow it. The trap has an attack roll. I'd probably say most weapon traps like scythes/axes/etc would be large. Arrow traps medium. And poison needle traps small.

I mostly agree.

3) I would require a ghost touch weapon--since magic weapons are only half effective I may be convinced to allow any other type of magic weapon at a penalty.
6) only if you're aware of the trap with your weapon out. Otherwise it'd be against your flat-footed and you wouldn't be able to make an attack of opportunity. So you'd either need to be already aware there was a trap there (and know specifically what the trap is--not just that there is some kind of trap there) or have Combat Reflexes to be able to make attacks of opportunity flat-footed.


1) yes
2) yes
3) (bizarrely) yes, but GMs are advised not to allow it without a magic weapon
4) yes
5) not really clear by RAW - there are implicit clues that combat maneuvers are considered separate from melee attacks, but maneuvers are definitely attacks and they are done in melee. Nothing explicit that clarifies either way. I think this one is up to GM discretion.
6) no, a trap is not an "opponent"


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Tarantula wrote:

5. Trip/sunder/disarm yes. Grapple/bull rush/overrun/dirty trick/drag/reposition no. Trip/sunder/disarm are "in place of an attack" so I would allow the parry. The others are their own unique standard action, so no parry.

6. I'd allow it. The trap has an attack roll. I'd probably say most weapon traps like scythes/axes/etc would be large. Arrow traps medium. And poison needle traps small.

5. But they are unique standard actions that require an attack roll, yes? Just like vital strike isn't technically an attack action? It's an action that involves an attack/attack roll still.

6. Arrows and poison needles are ranged, so still can't parry those, but your point still stands for spikes or spears. (ha. point.) However, the consensus seems to be "no" on this one... but if I was a DM and decided to allow it, I'd probably use the size of the creature that it was made for (a medium spear is treated as a medium creature)... but that still leaves spikes at the bottom of a pit and falling rocks as an unknown creature size. Giant pendulum blades? Probably easier to just disallow parrying traps.

For 3:

Incorporeal Creatures wrote:
It is immune to all nonmagical attack forms. Even when hit by spells or magic weapons, it takes only half damage from a corporeal source (except for channel energy).

Judging by this, I'd say you guys are right. Parry is an attack, and Incorporeal creatures would be immune to being parried by a non-magical weapon. Parry requires magical weapon, and the riposte would do half-damage unless it's ghost touch.

Sczarni

Id love to know how it works vs Pummeling Style!


Castarr4 wrote:

5. But they are unique standard actions that require an attack roll, yes? Just like vital strike isn't technically an attack action? It's an action that involves an attack/attack roll still.

6. Arrows and poison needles are ranged, so still can't parry those, but your point still stands for spikes or spears. (ha. point.) However, the consensus seems to be "no" on this one... but if I was a DM and decided to allow it, I'd probably use the size of the creature that it was made for (a medium spear is treated as a medium creature)... but that still leaves spikes at the bottom of a pit and falling rocks as an unknown creature size. Giant pendulum blades? Probably easier to just disallow parrying traps.

For 3:

Incorporeal Creatures wrote:
It is immune to all nonmagical attack forms. Even when hit by spells or magic weapons, it takes only half damage from a corporeal source (except for channel energy).
Judging by this, I'd say you guys are right. Parry is an attack, and Incorporeal creatures would be immune to being parried by a non-magical weapon. Parry requires magical weapon, and the riposte would do half-damage unless it's ghost touch.

They utilize the CMB not an attack. In fact, I would say RAW all combat maneuvers are not able to be parried, because they utilize a CMB roll and not an attack roll. However, because trip/parry/sunder are made in place of an attack, I'd say they can be defended against like an attack.

I agree its easier to just say you can't parry traps.


Kazumetsa Raijin wrote:
Id love to know how it works vs Pummeling Style!

"The swashbuckler must declare the use of this ability after the creature's attack is announced, but before its attack roll is made."

Pummeling Style: "Benefit: As a full-round action, you can pool all your attack potential in one devastating punch. Make a number of rolls equal to the number of attacks you can make with a full attack or a flurry of blows (your choice) with the normal attack bonus for each attack. For each roll that is a hit, you deal the normal amount of damage, adding it to any damage the attack has already dealt from previous rolls (if any). If any of the attack rolls are critical threats, make one confirmation roll for the entire attack at your highest base attack bonus. If it succeeds, the entire attack is a confirmed critical hit."

I'd say the swashbuckler would have to specify one of the "attacks" to parry, which would make it miss and not add to the total of hits for damage with pummeling style. I would not allow the swashbuckler to parry the total pummeling style hit as if it was a single attack. The reason for this is because the swash has to pick an attack before it is rolled, and pummeling is only a "single hit of summed damage" after the rolls.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Performing a combat maneuver wrote:
When you attempt to perform a combat maneuver, make an attack roll and add your CMB in place of your normal attack bonus.

Combat maneuvers are attacks. They're just normal attacks with a different bonus and a different result than normal. They're just as much an attack as Touch of Fatigue in my opinion.

I'm going to have to think on Pummeling style and read some things before I weigh in on it. It has lots of attack rolls but is considered one attack... I think you'd have to parry each one.

Consider how it seems to work. If they hit, they add the damage they would deal to the damage dealt from previous hits (if any). So they're separate attacks, but the attacks don't just deal damage, they basically add "damage points" to a pool that's dealt to you at the end of the action. Right?


Combat rolls are not "melee attacks" though, which is what Parry and Riposte is able to defend against.

Quote:
Opportune Parry and Riposte (Ex): At 1st level, when an opponent makes a melee attack against the swashbuckler

Melee attack is either a standard action "melee attack" or part of a full-attack action. Combat maneuvers might have an attack roll, but they are not melee attacks. Even trip/sunder/disarm are done "in place of a melee attack." So I am now changing to say no, you cannot parry any combat maneuvers, even trip/disarms.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

So you would also disagree with parrying a touch attack spell, since those do not come from the Attack action or from a Full Attack action?

Personally I disagree. I'm under the opinion that anything that requires an attack roll is an attack, and combat maneuvers require attack rolls (as quoted above). What makes them not melee attacks in your mind?


Castarr4 wrote:

So you would also disagree with parrying a touch attack spell, since those do not come from the Attack action or from a Full Attack action?

Personally I disagree. I'm under the opinion that anything that requires an attack roll is an attack, and combat maneuvers require attack rolls (as quoted above). What makes them not melee attacks in your mind?

Touch attacks are defined as armed attacks. You are allowed to make a touch attack as a free action as part of casting the spell, if you miss, you hold the charge and make additional touch attempts as a standard melee attack action.

Trip/Disarm/Sunder all state that you make the attempt "in place of a melee attack." If you are replacing the melee attack with a disarm attempt, then the disarm attempt is not a melee attack. The fact that combat maneuvers utilize an attack roll to resolve the maneuver does not make them a melee attack.

Melee attack is defined in the combat section.

Quote:
Melee Attacks: With a normal melee weapon, you can strike any opponent within 5 feet. (Opponents within 5 feet are considered adjacent to you.) Some melee weapons have reach, as indicated in their descriptions. With a typical reach weapon, you can strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can't strike adjacent foes (those within 5 feet).

Melee attacks are made with weapons. Combat maneuvers do not require weapons, you can grapple without having improved unarmed strike or any weapons in hand. Same with reposition, or any other combat maneuver. Because you can make combat maneuver attempts without weapons, they are not melee attacks.


I've seen multiple threads in which it is argued whether a combat maneuver is a "melee attack".

If anyone wants to help clear this up, I've made a new thread to discuss the question. If you agree that it is unclear, please hit the FAQ button on this new thread.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

But combat maneuvers also refer to themselves as attacks:

Overrun wrote:
If your attack exceeds your opponent's CMD by 5 or more,
Sunder wrote:
If your attack is successful, you deal damage to the item normally.
Trip wrote:
If your attack exceeds the target's CMD, the target is knocked prone. If your attack fails by 10 or more

The fact that they interchangeably use the phrases combat maneuver, attack roll, and attack indicates that combat maneuvers are indeed attacks. By your definition an attack from a full attack doesn't count as a melee attack, since that snippet you quoted comes from the entry under the "Attack" action, which is a specific standard action.

I think you're confusing the specificity of the Attack action with the definition of a melee attack.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Castarr4 wrote:

The fact that they interchangeably use the phrases combat maneuver, attack roll, and attack indicates that combat maneuvers are indeed attacks. By your definition an attack from a full attack doesn't count as a melee attack, since that snippet you quoted comes from the entry under the "Attack" action, which is a specific standard action.

I think you're confusing the specificity of the Attack action with the definition of a melee attack.

The definition I provided is the definition for a melee attack. It is under the attack action section. Full attack references it by virtue of referencing attacks.

Combat maneuvers utilize the attack roll but CMB instead of the attack bonus. They state that many maneuvers can be performed in place of a melee attack, others require specific actions. If you are performing a combat maneuver in place of a melee attack, how is the combat maneuver still a melee attack?

On a successful attack you deal damage.

Damage wrote:
If your attack succeeds, you deal damage. The type of weapon used determines the amount of damage you deal.

If combat maneuvers were attacks then you would get to deal your weapon damage as part of the success.

The fact that they interchangeably use the phrases means the book wasn't written with specific meanings assigned to each word, and instead in more of a plain english style.

Yes, tripping someone is an attack, in the sense that you are attempting to hurt someone in a fight. Tripping is not a "melee attack" in the sense of making an attack roll with an attack bonus and on success dealing damage.


I believe that Pummeling style is a single attack, with multiple rolls made to determine degree of success. It is a single point source of damage.

Therefore, theoretically it could be parried entirely. How to adjudicate it is unclear, but I would rule that any rolls that were not higher than the parry would would not add to the damage, but only if no rolls exceed the parry (no damage) would the attack be a miss.

Obviously, against someone with parry the 'one big punch' is not the optimal choice.

For incorporeal creatures, I would require the weapon to be magic and the parry would still only have a 50% chance of effecting the ghost (as it is a corporeal source of an effect.) Ghost touch would of course allow a normal parry.

Traps I typically wouldn't allow a parry at all. Maybe some unusual situations I might allow it. Frankly, I have never liked the 'attack roll' mechanic for traps anyway, I believe DCs and saving throws are a better way to resolve them.

Any maneuver that is weapon-like (would be used as an attack, would benefit from a weapon's enhancement bonus and/or weapon focus) such as trips, disarms, sunder would be suitable for a parry in my opinion. Grapple and Bull-rush etc would not.


I think the easiest option vs pummeling style is to simply let the swashbuckler parry all attacks - It's the struggle against the single blow which causes the multiple rolls against it.
As for the counter attacks - a big hit tends to leave a big opening so multiple counter attacks don't seem to be that unfitting


Seisho wrote:

I think the easiest option vs pummeling style is to simply let the swashbuckler parry all attacks - It's the struggle against the single blow which causes the multiple rolls against it.

As for the counter attacks - a big hit tends to leave a big opening so multiple counter attacks don't seem to be that unfitting

Pummling Style was errata'd to be multiple attacks. It just gets a Clustered Shots effect now. The Swashbuckler parries each attack separately.


I wouldn't agree against touch attack, because if you parry him you touch him (with your weapon but still) so he should be able to deliver the spell; it seem even more obvious with shocking grasp and a metal weapon: why parrying with a piece of metal should protect you from getting electrocuted? :D

Sometime it's better to use common sense than trying to find the one sentence in rules that could make something illogic work ^^


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Sibyl wrote:

I wouldn't agree against touch attack, because if you parry him you touch him (with your weapon but still) so he should be able to deliver the spell; it seem even more obvious with shocking grasp and a metal weapon: why parrying with a piece of metal should protect you from getting electrocuted? :D

Sometime it's better to use common sense than trying to find the one sentence in rules that could make something illogic work ^^

The spell discharges when the caster touches someone, not when someone touches the caster. Shocking grasp is not a low-level fire shield.

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