Two-handed weapons, Two-weapon fighting, and offhand attacks.


Rules Questions

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Dark Archive

The normal rules for two weapon fighting assume that the weapons you are wielding are each taking up a hand slot.

What happens when your offhand weapon is an unarmed strike and your primary weapon is something like a longsword or heavy shield which can be wielded both with one or two hands?

Can a character take a two-handed swing with their longsword/shield and then free action release with the offhand and follow up with an offhand gauntlet/cestus/unarmed attack? It sounds really effective and good-so I assume a rule exist saying it doesn't work and I missed the reason.

Reading the entry for two-weapon fighting on page 202 of the crb didn't display anything to contradict this attempt at squeezing out way more damage than normal. The entry for the two-weapon fighting feat does say 'primary hand' in terms of penalties. So it is possible that you have no primary hand when fighting two-handed. Of course, releasing the weapon leaves you with an offhand so....


FAQ

Armor Spikes: Can I use two-weapon fighting to make an "off-hand" attack with my armor spikes in the same round I use a two-handed weapon?

No.
Likewise, you couldn't use an armored gauntlet to do so, as you are using both of your hands to wield your two-handed weapon, therefore your off-hand is unavailable to make any attacks

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

As Nicos referenced, no, not when two-weapon fighting.

If your BAB is high enough, though, you could swing your two-handed weapon as your first attack, free action release, and use your iterative attack to punch.


I'm in agreement with the armor spikes example but not with the unarmed strike bit.

"A monk's attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full."

I'd allow someone with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat (or similar ability) to two weapon fight even if their hands are full.


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It doesn't matter how many actual hands you have, or whether you actually need your hands to attack. You don't have enough metaphorical hands for that.

Didn't you read your copy of the Unwritten Rules?


I never got the copy of the Unwritten Rules. I just made up my own. :P

Besides, you can use your feet instead. Monks are awesome like that.


Doesn't matter. Attacks with your feet still take up your metaphorical hands, of which you only ever have two.


I'd say a MONK could always make unarmed attacks, since it's in the outright text of the class. Because there's nothing like a flurry of headbutts to make a point. But for ANYONE ELSE, tough luck. As far as multiclassing? Hm. Probably yes, but again mainly because of the monk's own textual feature.

Dark Archive

Sentinel of Gorum's Second Boon wrote:
Two-Handed Smash (Ex) If you make a full attack while wielding a two-handed melee weapon, you may make a single unarmed strike in addition to your normal attacks. In essence, after you complete your two-handed weapon attacks, you smash with your elbow, kick out with a foot, or make some other unarmed strike against an opponent. This bonus attack is made at your highest base attack bonus, and provokes an attack of opportunity if you lack the Improved Unarmed Strike feat or a similar ability. If you’re Medium, you deal 1d6 points of damage with this unarmed strike; if you’re Small, you deal 1d4 points of damage. Add half your Strength bonus to the damage dealt. The attack roll for the unarmed strike is subject to the normal penalties for two-weapon fighting unless you have the feats to reduce these penalties.

It's not something you can do normally, outside of niche cases like the Monk and the above Sentinel PrC with a specific deity.


Qaianna wrote:
Because there's nothing like a flurry of headbutts to make a point.

Flurry of headbutts are totally legal in pathfinder.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Anyone, without levels of Monk, or even the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, can kick, or headbutt someone.


Nicos wrote:
Qaianna wrote:
Because there's nothing like a flurry of headbutts to make a point.
Flurry of headbutts are totally legal in pathfinder.

I know. If I would've thought of that sooner I might've gone monk for my current campaign instead of barbarian. Ah well, at least next level I can start eating the hearts of my enemies ...


Qaianna wrote:
I'd say a MONK could always make unarmed attacks, since it's in the outright text of the class. Because there's nothing like a flurry of headbutts to make a point. But for ANYONE ELSE, tough luck. As far as multiclassing? Hm. Probably yes, but again mainly because of the monk's own textual feature.

And you would be wrong. If you can't do it with Armor Spikes, which don't take a hand, why would you be able to do it with a headbutt, which doesn't take a hand?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, Monks can combine two-handed weapon attacks, and unarmed strikes, during Flurry.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Without conflicting Dev comments, or unwritten rules, the "metaphorical hands", do not exist.

Looking only to the rules written, and this FAQ, it would suggest that Armor Spikes(and Gauntlets) require a free hand.

What it does not do, is put forth the confirmed existence of said "metaphorical hands".

In this, with only RAW, and this FAQ, one could easily see that whilst Armor Spikes(and Gauntlets) may not be used whilst two-weapon fighting, with a two-handed weapon, but otherwise, two-handed weapons are still viable weapon whilst two-weapon fighting.

In fact, the Sea-Knife, and Barbazu Beard, explicitly note that they can be used as an off-hand attack, with a two-handed weapon.

So, whilst no true RAW, or FAQ, disallows it, there is likely going to be peer pressure, to apply "unwritten rules" to restrict such combos.

To make such a point, many will quote "unwritten rules", and note where they are hidden, in between written rules. This will include twisting portions of RAW, and parts out of context, to suggest, that their particular "unwritten rules" exist, in the matter in which they want them to.

How many, and the exact wording, of the numerous "unwritten rules" exist, is impossible to say.


All of the strikes can be either with a monk weapon or not, though it is more beneficial to make them all with a two-handed monk weapon so as to get a 1.5 X Str bonus instead of the 1 X Str bonus to damage on each attack.

As to off-hand attacks, monks are different. They do not make true off-hand attacks, as stated in their entry. For characters of other classes this is not so, and so they cannot use a 2-handed weapon (that isn't a double weapon) and make offhand attacks, even if one could say it were being made with a foot or head. 2-handed weapon fighting and 2-weapon fighting do not allow for each other to be usable at the same time, unless through the use of a two-handed double weapon. In the latter case, you do get the 1.5 x Str bonus, and do get the off-hand attack, but you can't do all of that and deliver an additional kick or head-butt too.

Also, don't assume that the lack of mention of something in the rules means it is possible. Rules are, in nearly all cases, written to tell you what you can do, not what you can't; rules are written to be inclusive, not exclusive. If something isn't mentioned, assume that you can't do it, not that you can.


Ignoring all the snarkiness about unwritten rules, the answer is solidly no.

You may not two weapon fight with a two handed weapon.

There was a long discussion about it with the developers wherein they cited design guidelines (which are now referred to as "unwritten rules") and set out the FAQ which disallows this.

Grand Lodge

Cebrion wrote:
All of the strikes can be either with a monk weapon or not, though it is more beneficial to make them all with a two-handed monk weapon so as to get a 1.5 X Str bonus instead of the 1 X Str bonus to damage on each attack.

A monk flurrying always gets 1xStr, regardless of what monk weapon they're using, never 0.5 or 1.5.


Jeff Merola wrote:
Cebrion wrote:
All of the strikes can be either with a monk weapon or not, though it is more beneficial to make them all with a two-handed monk weapon so as to get a 1.5 X Str bonus instead of the 1 X Str bonus to damage on each attack.
A monk flurrying always gets 1xStr, regardless of what monk weapon they're using, never 0.5 or 1.5.

True.

Power attack do go with -1/+3 with two anded weapons though.


Claxon wrote:

Ignoring all the snarkiness about unwritten rules, the answer is solidly no.

You may not two weapon fight with a two handed weapon.

There was a long discussion about it with the developers wherein they cited design guidelines (which are now referred to as "unwritten rules") and set out the FAQ which disallows this.

This isn't true though. Several weapon SAY they can be used that way with a two handed weapon as blackbloodtroll pointed out. The PRD STILL says this is so. In a rule off between unwritten rules and actual written rules, I'm going with the words on the actual page. You can argue that those are exceptions but it makes that "solidly no" much less so.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Cited design guidelines are not RAW, or are they a FAQ.

Mostly, you will be bullied to conform, and ignore this.

Wrong or right, many will not want to deal the harassment that comes with not accepting the "unwritten rules".

In the end, these "unwritten rules" are much like aliens.

Many believe in aliens, and will argue until the end of times that they exist, and that their interpretation of exactly what they are, how they function, and how they have/will affect the world is the solid truth.

They can't quite prove it, but you can't quite disprove all of it.

So, you are forced to nod, and get with the program, because at best, you might be able to agree, to disagree.


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Also if there are any rules you don't like, then jump on every thread that mentions them and claim they don't exist.


Technically speaking they DON'T exist.

"Unwritten rules' are just that: Unwritten, and therefore unofficial. If Paizo wanted them to be official, they would have put it in as a potential Errata, or at least a more far-reaching FAQ.

They've already shown they're not as averse to changing the rules willy-nilly as they claim, so that shouldn't have been a problem.

As-is the FAQ is clear that you can't TWF with a 2H weapon, but the "Metaphorical hands" thing is, thankfully, left as a silly forum post that we can all poke fun at like "Wanting crossbows to be viable is like expecting water balloons to be viable" and "Martial-caster disparity is a myth propagated by people with agendas".


Following the design guidelines though, will tend to make you far less annoyed when things get FAQed as that's likely the way the ruling will come down. Of course, then you wouldn't be able to post complaints in every rules thread in the forum every time one of these corrections get made back to the design goals.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Ah, when we go to such extremes to disallow something, it supported as if were a just, and righteous act.

However, when you take even the smallest steps in such a direction to allow something, the accusations, will be vile, and drip, like syphilis, with personal attacks, oozing off a jagged, blunt spear of self-righteousness.

Look to compare any debate, as to allow, or disallow.

So, shall you see.

(Unique exceptions do apply)


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Calth wrote:
Following the design guidelines though, will tend to make you far less annoyed when things get FAQed as that's likely the way the ruling will come down. Of course, then you wouldn't be able to post complaints in every rules thread in the forum every time one of these corrections get made back to the design goals.

For me the reason given for the FAQ are FAR more troubling to me than what's being allowed/disallowed. If they had said "you can't use two handed weapons in two weapon combat" and left it at that, I'd have been cool with it. It's just NOT something that comes up that often. Now, you pull something out that isn't ANYWHERE in the rules as a reason why, and now I have an issue with it. If what's written in the books can be overturned at any time with something 'unwritten', it doesn't leave much confidence in them.


How about this item?

It specifically states it's an off-hand weapon that can be used with a two-handed weapon. Could it be used for TWF (although they provoke a crapton of AoOs for doing so)?

There's also boot blades and Dwarven Boulder helms, both of which don't take hands and are off-hand attacks.


Saint_Yin wrote:

How about this item?

It specifically states it's an off-hand weapon that can be used with a two-handed weapon. Could it be used for TWF (although they provoke a crapton of AoOs for doing so)?

There's also boot blades and Dwarven Boulder helms, both of which don't take hands and are off-hand attacks.

With the unwritten rule FAQ, you're stuck with weapons like the Sea-Knife and Barbazu Beard that state you can use them with a two handed weapon in two weapon combat. That leaves out boot blades and Dwarven Boulder helms.


I think the game has two many unwritten rules. They really should put a lot of them in written form without an FAQ being requested. Some things are quiet commom topics of discussion before we FAQ them.

Silver Crusade

Q: How can the arbiters of the game rules possibly be wrong about the rules?

A: When they don't obey their own rules.


wraithstrike wrote:
I think the game has two many unwritten rules. They really should put a lot of them in written form without an FAQ being requested. Some things are quiet commom topics of discussion before we FAQ them.

A new rule would need an errata, and those seem to be some kind of paizo-kryptonite.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Q: How can the arbiters of the game rules possibly be wrong about the rules?

A: When they don't obey their own rules.

They are not breaking their own rules. You just read them differently than a lot of other people. Even when historical proof is brought in from the same rule set you want to keep arguing. The rules could be more clear sure, but that is different from "I(Devs) am too dumb to understand the words that I(they) wrote down", which is basically what you are saying at times. The short version of this is that you have to know when to be very literal with the rules and when not to be, and it is not an exact science since the rules are not written like a technical manual.

My problem with them is expecting for everyone to understand the unwritten rules. I have figured some of them out, but it should not be necessary for me to know hidden rules to figure out RAI.

PS: Ok, so they use the FAQ to change rules instead of errata, but that is understandable.


graystone wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I think the game has two many unwritten rules. They really should put a lot of them in written form without an FAQ being requested. Some things are quiet commom topics of discussion before we FAQ them.
A new rule would need an errata, and those seem to be some kind of paizo-kryptonite.

It "should" require an errata. I will accept FAQ's as long as I have the right answer.


wraithstrike wrote:
graystone wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
I think the game has two many unwritten rules. They really should put a lot of them in written form without an FAQ being requested. Some things are quiet commom topics of discussion before we FAQ them.
A new rule would need an errata, and those seem to be some kind of paizo-kryptonite.
It "should" require an errata. I will accept FAQ's as long as I have the right answer.

I can agree with you on that. It just irks me when the answer ends up being different than what it reads to me because I didn't 'look behind the curtain' to find missing 'unwritten' part of the rules.

Silver Crusade

wraithstrike wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Q: How can the arbiters of the game rules possibly be wrong about the rules?

A: When they don't obey their own rules.

They are not breaking their own rules. You just read them differently than a lot of other people. Even when historical proof is brought in from the same rule set you want to keep arguing. The rules could be more clear sure, but that is different from "I(Devs) am too dumb to understand the words that I(they) wrote down", which is basically what you are saying at times. The short version of this is that you have to know when to be very literal with the rules and when not to be, and it is not an exact science since the rules are not written like a technical manual.

My problem with them is expecting for everyone to understand the unwritten rules. I have figured some of them out, but it should not be necessary for me to know hidden rules to figure out RAI.

PS: Ok, so they use the FAQ to change rules instead of errata, but that is understandable.

That wasn't the issue in this case. They knew the RAW allowed it, knew the 3.5 FAQ that expressly detailed how 2H weapons and armour spikes do work in TWF, but for some reason thought it 'felt' wrong. Instead of accepting that, they wanted to change it, and instead of 'errata via FAQ' and say 'no 2H weapons in TWF', they simply invent an excuse to say why they're changing it, while pretending that it was the new way the whole time. A classic ret-con of the truth

Incidentally, while they didn't mention 'imaginary hands', those who had invented that concept jumped on the FAQ to say that they were right about imaginary hands all along.

Just to add insult to injury, the devs said that they would be okay with 6th level creatures doing what they just said they couldn't, but neglected to mention how. Then they said that they'd revisit this topic, but never have.

Anyway....Merry Christmas!


Dark Immortal wrote:

The normal rules for two weapon fighting assume that the weapons you are wielding are each taking up a hand slot.

What happens when your offhand weapon is an unarmed strike and your primary weapon is something like a longsword or heavy shield which can be wielded both with one or two hands?

Can a character take a two-handed swing with their longsword/shield and then free action release with the offhand and follow up with an offhand gauntlet/cestus/unarmed attack? It sounds really effective and good-so I assume a rule exist saying it doesn't work and I missed the reason.

Reading the entry for two-weapon fighting on page 202 of the crb didn't display anything to contradict this attempt at squeezing out way more damage than normal. The entry for the two-weapon fighting feat does say 'primary hand' in terms of penalties. So it is possible that you have no primary hand when fighting two-handed. Of course, releasing the weapon leaves you with an offhand so....

In this case, "hand slot" also refers to the action economy. If you use a 2 handed weapon or a 1 handed weapon with 2 hands, you are using both your primary and your off hand to make attacks, so if you are a fighter with Improved Unarmed Strike using a Greatsword and have 2 weapon, if you swing with your greatsword, you don't get an off-hand unarmed strike, because you already used your off hand to help swing the greatsword. You could make 2 unarmed strikes while holding the greatsword if you don't use a greatsword, which could be useful if you were fighting a mix of skeletons and zombies. You could slash at the zombies or punch the skeletons, just not both the same round.

If you had 2 weapon and Improved Unarmed Strike, and you were using a longsword and shield, you could make an unarmed strike and a sword swing, and you would still keep the Shield Bonus to your AC. You could instead swing the sword and shield bash. If you had Improved Shield Bash, you would also keep your shield bonus to your AC.

I've been fond of the idea of combining a 2 handed weapon or weapon and shield with some Monk levels and Snake Fang. You attack with your weapon in your normal round and get unarmed attacks of opportunity outside your round.

Vestigial Arms can hold weapons, tools, and other things, but they create no action economy. I think they could use a shield while you swung your greatsword, but I'm not 100% about that.

There is a psionic class called the Aegis. At level 5 they can grow 2 extra arms that can use extra weapons for extra attacks.

You could cast or use a Wand of monstrous physique and transform into a 4-armed sahaugin and increase your action economy that way.

I should disclose that my opinion in the matter has been informed by arguments I have had with Claxon in the past.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Q: How can the arbiters of the game rules possibly be wrong about the rules?

A: When they don't obey their own rules.

They are not breaking their own rules. You just read them differently than a lot of other people. Even when historical proof is brought in from the same rule set you want to keep arguing. The rules could be more clear sure, but that is different from "I(Devs) am too dumb to understand the words that I(they) wrote down", which is basically what you are saying at times. The short version of this is that you have to know when to be very literal with the rules and when not to be, and it is not an exact science since the rules are not written like a technical manual.

My problem with them is expecting for everyone to understand the unwritten rules. I have figured some of them out, but it should not be necessary for me to know hidden rules to figure out RAI.

PS: Ok, so they use the FAQ to change rules instead of errata, but that is understandable.

That wasn't the issue in this case. They knew the RAW allowed it, knew the 3.5 FAQ that expressly detailed how 2H weapons and armour spikes do work in TWF, but for some reason thought it 'felt' wrong. Instead of accepting that, they wanted to change it, and instead of 'errata via FAQ' and say 'no 2H weapons in TWF', they simply invent an excuse to say why they're changing it, while pretending that it was the new way the whole time. A classic ret-con of the truth

Incidentally, while they didn't mention 'imaginary hands', those who had invented that concept jumped on the FAQ to say that they were right about imaginary hands all along.

Just to add insult to injury, the devs said that they would be okay with 6th level creatures doing what they just said they couldn't, but neglected to mention how. Then they said that they'd revisit this topic, but never have.

Anyway....Merry Christmas!

They also said they would handle how invis worked with stealth but never got back to that. <---- Yeah I am taking your side on certain issues because they are messing up in some areas.

Merry Christmas. :)

PS: That imaginary hands idea is silly IMO, but I think we both agree on that.


The number of attacks a player is entitled to (discounting natural attacks) is based strictly on his or her BAB and TWF feat chain.

Thus:
+0 to +5 BAB:
1 main hand and one offhand attack
+6 to +10 BAB:
2 main hand and one offhand attack
+6 to +10 BAB and Improved TWF:
2 main hand and two offhand attacks

When you make a two-handed attack, you consume one main hand attack and one offhand attack.
As an exception, if you are making entirely two-handed attacks, you can ignore the offhand attack requirement and simply count the number of main hand attacks.

Thus, if you have +6 BAB without ITWF, you can:
attack with a one-handed twice, and an offhand attack once
attack with a two-handed twice

If you have +6 BAB with ITWF, you can:
attack with a one-handed twice, and an offhand attack twice
attack with a two-handed twice
attack with a two-handed once, a one-handed once, and an offhand once

What you're holding in your hands during the round is actually pretty unimportant, especially with the free action release/regrip rules, unarmed strikes, and various ways to get things into and out of your hands.

The important thing to note is that each player is limited to a single offhand attack, barring feats like ITWF, and that using a two-handed weapon "consumes" one use of an offhand attack.

Note: These "handed" references don't have to be actual hands. They could be kicks, headbutts, etc. For example, the "attack with a two-handed once, a one-handed once, and an offhand once" above could translate to "slice the enemy with a two-handed sword, headbutt them as a one handed attack, then kick them as an offhand attack".

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Please note the "off-hand consumption" of an available attack with a non-hand attack, is not covered in written rules.

You are indeed correct that the number of attacks available is based off the two-weapon fighting chain, and BAB(discounting natural attacks).

That is supported.


WTB PRD Source Code!

I think the PF FAQ is right, you shouldn't be able to make an off-hand attack with armor spike's (or any other off-hand weapon) if you are already using both your main hand and your off-hand to make two-handed attacks.

When you are making two-handed attacks with STR x1.5 (normal damage 2d6), it's like you are using your main hand (STR x1.0, normal damage 1d8) and your off-hand (STR x0.5, normal damage 1d6) at once. I think that's the basic idea.

Monks can do all their main hand and off-hand attacks (aka flurry of blows) as if they were all main hand attacks with STR x1.0, even if they use a two-handed weapon (and Power Attack should also be the same as with a main hand, since they all do STR x1.0, even with a two-handed weapon, but RAW seems to say otherwise).

I think all players can do most of the things monks can do with unarmed strikes too. When they say monks can make unarmed attacks with their hands full, they are not saying other can't.

All players can make unarmed attacks with their hands, feet, knees, head, elbos or whatever. They all count as a light weapon and do 1d3 nonlethal damage. If you are holding a sword, no reason you can't punch with that hand, it would be little different from making a pummel strike. All players can enchant their whole body to gain bonuses with all their unarmed attacks.

Unarmed attacks provoke attacks of opportunity, but only from the creature they are attacking, not others. Unarmed attcks don't threaten any squares, so you can't make attacks of opportunity with it. You can do lethal damage with unarmed attcks if you choose to take a -4 penalty to attack with it.

Players with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat don't provoke attacks of opportunity, they threaten all squares they can reach and thus can make attacks of opportunity with it and can choose to deal leathal or nonlethal damage at will with no penalties.

Monks deal more damage with unarmed strikes depending on their level and all their attacks count as main hand attacks, there are no off-hand attacks.

... and a Crappy New Year!


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Please note the "off-hand consumption" of an available attack with a non-hand attack, is not covered in written rules.

You are indeed correct that the number of attacks available is based off the two-weapon fighting chain, and BAB(discounting natural attacks).

That is supported.

I've read a lot of forum posts by the devs about this but I agree the rules are a bit murky and worthy of clarification by official FAQ or errata.

There is -some- support in the rules, however:

Quote:
"Two-Handed: Two hands are required to use a two-handed melee weapon effectively."

"two hands are required" could be interpreted to mean "main hand and offhand", ie consuming your primary attack and the offhand attack specified in the TWF section.

This does lead to the odd conclusion that at +6 BAB you'd have to take ITWF to attack twice with a two-handed weapon... this is where a prudent sprinkle of RAI should be applied, imho.

Also, +1 to Kchaka. That all sounds correct to me too.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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graystone wrote:
It just irks me when the answer ends up being different than what it reads to me because I didn't 'look behind the curtain' to find missing 'unwritten' part of the rules.

I think the key skill is changing your viewpoint from "it doesn't say I can't" to "it doesn't say I can" and I'm pretty sure most of the unwritten rules become clear.


Calth wrote:
Following the design guidelines though, will tend to make you far less annoyed when things get FAQed as that's likely the way the ruling will come down. Of course, then you wouldn't be able to post complaints in every rules thread in the forum every time one of these corrections get made back to the design goals.

You might have some sort of a point if the "design guidelines" were written down somewhere, were consistent, and weren't often contradictory with the actual WRITTEN rules.


Ultimately it's up to your GM regardless of how you interpret the rules.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
brewdus wrote:
Ultimately it's up to your GM regardless of how you interpret the rules.

That doesn't work well in PFS.


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James Risner wrote:
graystone wrote:
It just irks me when the answer ends up being different than what it reads to me because I didn't 'look behind the curtain' to find missing 'unwritten' part of the rules.
I think the key skill is changing your viewpoint from "it doesn't say I can't" to "it doesn't say I can" and I'm pretty sure most of the unwritten rules become clear.

Actually, that doesn't help much.

If we try to restrict players to "only those things that are explicitly defined in the rules", you will find a large number of gaps in what they are allowed to do.
These are the just the examples that came up in a single session this past week:
Aid Another says you can assist another player with a saving throw, but it gives no indication as to how you would do that--so can you do it or not? Raw, you certainly can do it. But "only allow what's explicitly defined" says you can't.
Dirty Trick becomes limited to "only those examples defined in the maneuver".
Going down the list of available clothing looking for "dress" clothes for a female cavalier, you will not find anything that's listed as "riding outfit", and descriptions of the other dress outfits do not sound as though they would be in any way appropriate for a mounted character. So is the cavalier naked? Or trying to ride a mount under layers of petticoats and BS from a courtier's outfit?

Then there are the conflicts between different books. For example, the general rules on charging do not say that a player is allowed to jump as part of a charge. However, in another book, a feat contains the text "when you jump as part of a charge, you get X benefit". Note that the feat does not say "you are allowed to jump as part of a charge". So by this interpretation, this particular feat is completely useless.

I have also seen that, more often than not, the "only allowed to do what the rules say you can" interpretation is only applied to the players. Monsters and bad guys are rarely restricted to "only what's explicitly allowed" interpretation, and I've seen multiple instances where loose interpretations of the rules are fine as long as it makes the players' lives harder. (I call this approach "round against the player"--and I hate it. As a GM, I believe I have to follow the exact same restrictions as the players, and any rules decision I make has to apply consistently even when it helps the players.)


James Risner wrote:
graystone wrote:
It just irks me when the answer ends up being different than what it reads to me because I didn't 'look behind the curtain' to find missing 'unwritten' part of the rules.
I think the key skill is changing your viewpoint from "it doesn't say I can't" to "it doesn't say I can" and I'm pretty sure most of the unwritten rules become clear.

That breaks more things than it fixed. My general point of view is that "it doesn't say" and take whichever direction makes more logical sense to me. The dev's hiding part of the rule just for themselves doesn't help in figuring out how things should work.


Gwen Smith wrote:
James Risner wrote:
graystone wrote:
It just irks me when the answer ends up being different than what it reads to me because I didn't 'look behind the curtain' to find missing 'unwritten' part of the rules.
I think the key skill is changing your viewpoint from "it doesn't say I can't" to "it doesn't say I can" and I'm pretty sure most of the unwritten rules become clear.

Actually, that doesn't help much.

You're being kind. Following that viewpoint makes the game unplayable.


Gwen Smith wrote:


Aid Another says you can assist another player with a saving throw, ....

There is no indications of this. It says you can help someone who has been affected by a spell not someone who might be affected. I think this refers to throwing water on people that are on fire or waking someone up who has been put to sleep.


wraithstrike wrote:
Gwen Smith wrote:


Aid Another says you can assist another player with a saving throw, ....

There is no indications of this. It says you can help someone who has been affected by a spell not someone who might be affected. I think this refers to throwing water on people that are on fire or waking someone up who has been put to sleep.

Well to be fair, every other instance involves a modifier to a d20 roll (attack, AC and skill). It's not a big jump to saving throw when they say you can help someone "when he is affected by a spell". Initial or ongoing ones are both saves. For instance, going off your throwing water example, both the initial catch on fire and the per round check are saves.

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