Weapon Versatility = Bludgeoning Arrows?


Rules Questions

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Player Companion: Undead Slayers Handbook wrote:

You can use your favored weapons in unconventional ways.

Prerequisite(s): Weapon Focus, base attack bonus +1

Benefit(s): When wielding a weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you can shift your grip as a swift action so that your weapon deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage instead of the damage type normally dealt by that weapon. You may switch back to the weapon's normal damage type or another damage type as a swift action.

If your base attack bonus is +5 or higher, using this feat is a free action instead.

Is it possible the use the above feat to switch the damage type of bows? It doesn't forbid using ranged weapons, so could one use weapon versatility to have the arrows shot from a longbow deal bludgeoning or slashing damage?


I have no idea how you think a bow is the part dealing the damage in that senario. Gripping the bow in no way could change the arrow itself.


Ventnor wrote:


Is it possible the use the above feat to switch the damage type of bows? It doesn't forbid using ranged weapons, so could one use weapon versatility to have the arrows shot from a longbow deal bludgeoning or slashing damage?

Nothing is stopping you from using a gun to deal slashing damage, a sling to do piercing damage or of a bow to do bludgeoning. Weapon isn't limited to a type of weapon. Unlike Cavall, I don't see how you can take the bow out of the damage causing scenario.


RAW i think it certainly should.

and as for how the bow would help. You could fire so the side of the arrow slaps them and impacts differently. or so the arrow sticks into sometihng and the back end bends and smacks the face like the cartoon tree limb. Or so in flight the arrrow "giggles" so it impacts at a different flatter angle over a larger area.
both of that is bludgeoning.
Slashing? Have it fire so it slices across the person rather than stabbing. Just like in various things where a bullet slices open a wound rather than a hole.

I've seen some pretty cool trick bowing.

Plenty of fluffable ways..

but mostly? can't use logic tooooo rigidly in pathfinder.


Why bother with a feat when bludgeoning arrows are a thing and aren't even costly?


Because you found some non-bludgeoning +5 Undead Bane Arrows and want to use them on a lich? Because you want to be able to inflict Slashing damage?


Matthew Downie wrote:
Because you found some non-bludgeoning +5 Undead Bane Arrows and want to use them on a lich? Because you want to be able to inflict Slashing damage?

The lich situation is so specific that still does not justify a feat.

Also, even slashing arrows are a thing.


I hadn't heard that. What are slashing damage arrows called?


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This feat was not intended to work with arrows. No, they did not specifically call out ranged weapons, but not every little detail should have to be spelled out. Changing how you hold a bow is not going to change the point at the end of the arrow.


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wraithstrike wrote:
This feat was not intended to work with arrows. No, they did not specifically call out ranged weapons, but not every little detail should have to be spelled out. Changing how you hold a bow is not going to change the point at the end of the arrow.

Intent is not rules. And no one except the original creator can speak to the intent. And even then, intent means little.

As written, it works.

It might not be logical but this is a fantasy game. As far as rules are concerned, logic takes a back seat and enjoys the ride.


Matthew Downie wrote:
I hadn't heard that. What are slashing damage arrows called?

My bad, I thougth to have read somewhere of bladed arrows but it seems that only Blunt Arrows are a thing


I'm just a fan of the idea of using this to represent your character's trick shots..


Avianfoo wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
This feat was not intended to work with arrows. No, they did not specifically call out ranged weapons, but not every little detail should have to be spelled out. Changing how you hold a bow is not going to change the point at the end of the arrow.

Intent is not rules. And no one except the original creator can speak to the intent. And even then, intent means little.

As written, it works.

It might not be logical but this is a fantasy game. As far as rules are concerned, logic takes a back seat and enjoys the ride.

Actually intent is the rules, since the rules are how the game is supposed to be played.

Also some of us are very good at knowing what the rules actually are. You do not need to be on the PDT team to know the correct interpretation of the rules. Several posters here are known to be good at this.

Logic also does not take a back seat all the time. The rules expect for you to use common sense, since the book is not a technical document. Even the "Creators" of the game have said this.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

How are you sure of intent?


I don't find the idea of using this ability for arrows any more implausible than the idea of using this ability for a club, or the idea that blunt arrows would be an effective weapon.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This feat, which provides little benefit, just makes some spray blood out their backseat, like a lawn sprinkler, in a fit of raw rage.

They want there to be extreme limits, to be built into this feat.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
How are you sure of intent?

I am sure because I am confident in my ability to read the mechanical text, and I tend to do so without any bias, even if it leads to a ruling I dont like. Now honestly as someone who is the GM most of the time I can always change what I don't like so that helps me not be biased towards wanting a certain outcome.

Now it is possible that the word "grip" as discussed in the other thread we had this discussion on is out of place, but with in written in it makes sense to apply it, and there is no way to use the word and change the damage a ranged attack would do for an bow or any other weapon(ranged) I can think of currently. Well, maybe a throwing weapon...

Now if you are asking how can I convince someone else, then I would say I can't answer that. Some people are easier to convince than others, and sometimes it just depends on the question at hand.


wraithstrike wrote:
Now it is possible that the word "grip" as discussed in the other thread we had this discussion on is out of place, but with in written in it makes sense to apply it, and there is no way to use the word and change the damage a ranged attack would do for an bow or any other weapon(ranged) I can think of currently.

Goodness. How about reversing the arrow? (Point towards the archer, fletching toward the target, then fire as normal.) This will certainly launch the arrow towards the target, and although it's likely to have the aerodynamic properties of a slice of cheesecake, you've presumably practiced and mastered this technique until you can aim and hit reliably with the non-pointy and non-piercing end of the arrow.

I don't see any more problems with this feat allowing one to do bludgeoning arrows than I do with allowing it to do slashing quarterstaves.


Matthew Downie wrote:
I hadn't heard that. What are slashing damage arrows called?

Rope cutting or fowling arrows. The Japanese equivalent was karimata. The Japanese "willow leaf" (yanagi-ba) arrows would likely qualify as well.


Orfamay Quest wrote:

Goodness. How about reversing the arrow? (Point towards the archer, fletching toward the target, then fire as normal.) This will certainly launch the arrow towards the target, and although it's likely to have the aerodynamic properties of a slice of cheesecake, you've presumably practiced and mastered this technique until you can aim and hit reliably with the non-pointy and non-piercing end of the arrow.

I don't see any more problems with this feat allowing one to do bludgeoning arrows than I do with allowing it to do slashing quarterstaves.

But you're not considering that the sharp point would cut the bow string


Orfamay Quest wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Now it is possible that the word "grip" as discussed in the other thread we had this discussion on is out of place, but with in written in it makes sense to apply it, and there is no way to use the word and change the damage a ranged attack would do for an bow or any other weapon(ranged) I can think of currently.

Goodness. How about reversing the arrow? (Point towards the archer, fletching toward the target, then fire as normal.) This will certainly launch the arrow towards the target, and although it's likely to have the aerodynamic properties of a slice of cheesecake, you've presumably practiced and mastered this technique until you can aim and hit reliably with the non-pointy and non-piercing end of the arrow.

I don't see any more problems with this feat allowing one to do bludgeoning arrows than I do with allowing it to do slashing quarterstaves.

It's not about having a problem with it. It is about it not working by the rules, and the arrow is ammunition when fired out of a bow, not a weapon, and firing an arrow from the tip is something you would have to get by a GM, even in fantasy game, It also would not cover slashing damage.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Declaring absolute certainty of intent, without hearing from any of the creators, is pretty bold.

I could just as easily say the intent is for it to work.

We would both be on equal standing ground.


wraithstrike wrote:


It's not about having a problem with it.

That's not what you said earlier,.... but let it pass.

Quote:
It is about it not working by the rules,

No, the rules say "a weapon." I'm changing my "grip" (note that the archer's grip is how he holds both the arrow and the bow in relation to each other) on a "weapon," the bow as well as eh arrow.

Quote:


and the arrow is ammunition when fired out of a bow, not a weapon,

And the bow is a weapon, and I'm using an unusual bow grip.

Quote:
and firing an arrow from the tip is something you would have to get by a GM,

Only in the sense that literally everything in the game is subject to rule 0 and you have to get it by the GM.

There is no indication anywhere that this feat is intended to be restricted in weapon type, so your argument about "intent" is unsupported and specious. By rules-as-written it's perfectly legal, and (as shown) it's even perfectly legal by realism.


Entryhazard wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

Goodness. How about reversing the arrow? (Point towards the archer, fletching toward the target, then fire as normal.) This will certainly launch the arrow towards the target, and although it's likely to have the aerodynamic properties of a slice of cheesecake, you've presumably practiced and mastered this technique until you can aim and hit reliably with the non-pointy and non-piercing end of the arrow.

I don't see any more problems with this feat allowing one to do bludgeoning arrows than I do with allowing it to do slashing quarterstaves.

But you're not considering that the sharp point would cut the bow string

Yeah, that's why I had to practice. One obvious thing I tried during practice was putting a small piece of leather between the arrow and the string (like a pellet bow has).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I still can't understand why this feat drives people nuts.

What exactly is the problem?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


It's not about having a problem with it.

That's not what you said earlier,.... but let it pass.

When did I say I had a problem with the rule?

Also you do have a point with holding the arrow and the bow differently, but firing an arrow backwards is not exactly a change in grip as I imagined, but the point is one I understand.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Declaring absolute certainty of intent, without hearing from any of the creators, is pretty bold.

I could just as easily say the intent is for it to work.

We would both be on equal standing ground.

I agree both of us are on equal standing because the rule is not written in such a manner that I can prove that I am 100% right, and I see no problem with anyone declaring that they are certain to be right. The rules, barring the unwritten ones, are consistent enough that you can get the hang of them and get them right 95% of the time, not just with regard to being right, but using almost the exact same wording the developers use. Sometimes you can even go against RAW with no wording to support your side and still be right if you understand the rules well enough.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I still can't understand why this feat drives people nuts.

What exactly is the problem?

People try to abuse this feat by dealing slashing damage through nicking a target with arrows or by stabbing someone with claws. This breaks the RAW and RAI because clearly shifting one's grip cannot be done if the weapon is your hand(arguably true) or if the weapon is a ranged weapon (???). Plus both of these things make absolutely no sense whatsoever from a realistic standpoint.

Now, shanking someone into unconsciousness with a bag of marbles. This we can all agree is perfectly reasonable and possible and in accordance with both the RAI and RAW of the feat.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I still can't understand why this feat drives people nuts.

What exactly is the problem?

We are in the rules forum. When here the issue of how strong(good) something is or is not is irrelevant. This could be the weakest feat ever, and if it does not read a certain way most of us are gong to say how it reads. Nobody is being driven nuts. I just don't think the intent is for it to apply to every weapon to include ranged weapon and natural attacks.

Honestly I see no issue with allowing it to be applied to several weapons instead of just the weapon you have weapon focus with regard to the power of the feat. I still would not allow it to apply to ranged weapons are natural weapons, but that is more of a flavor thing than anything else.


Claws already do slashing damage.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Claws already do slashing damage.

The point was that you can not "change/shift the grip" on a natural weapon to change the damage it normally does.

edit:Also I think he said "stabbing" which is likely piercing damage. However that still is not the point.


"dealing slashing damage through ... stabbing someone with claws" was the misleading bit I was responding to.

Anyway, by RAW using this trick works with bows. The only argument against it is that it's ridiculous and therefore may not have been RAI, but most uses of this feat are equally ridiculous. Doing as much damage with a rapier using it as a club as by stabbing people with it? Impaling someone on a sap? Slitting their throat with a club? Can those possibly be RAI? Probably.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Abuse?

I think I need some proof, before someone throws out such an accusation.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Claws already do slashing damage.

Stabbing, as in stabbing like a spear. Raking one's claws across the target would do slashing.

wraithstrike wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

I still can't understand why this feat drives people nuts.

What exactly is the problem?

We are in the rules forum. When here the issue of how strong(good) something is or is not is irrelevant. This could be the weakest feat ever, and if it does not read a certain way most of us are gong to say how it reads. Nobody is being driven nuts. I just don't think the intent is for it to apply to every weapon to include ranged weapon and natural attacks.

Honestly I see no issue with allowing it to be applied to several weapons instead of just the weapon you have weapon focus with regard to the power of the feat. I still would not allow it to apply to ranged weapons are natural weapons, but that is more of a flavor thing than anything else.

Honestly, I don't think they intended this to work on ranged weapon either.

However, the wording is ambiguous, and Paizo doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation for writing air tight rules text. It is possible that the developer who wrote that feat intended for it to be non-natural melee weapons only. It is also possible that a dev thought to themselves one time:

"Y'know, wouldn't it be swell if there was a feat that allowed characters to deal different damage types with their weapon. Like by hitting someone with a sword pommel. We can fluff it as shifting the grip on the weapon. Yeah, that makes perfect sense (*cough*piercing sap*cough*)"

And that was the total sum of thought processes put into how this feat would work. It was intended to work with anything, but the wording the dev used was bad. Yes, it sounds so stupid that it's unlikely for someone to put so little thought into this and word it so badly. My only response to that is this.

Prone shooter, monkey lunge, Stygian Slayer archetype and Elephant Stomp say "Hi".

Trying to assert that the RAI and RAW of this feat is definitely absolutely the way you think it is is a very questionable. You might be right, but I am fairly certain that you, like most (including me), have seen Paizo rulings that seem really stupid and apparently contradictory to the rules text (*cough*offhandweapons*cough*). Trying to assert almost anything with absolute certainty is probably not the best idea, because unless you are in the head of the paizo devs you have absolutely no idea what rules (written or otherwise) they are thinking of when they write rules elements. Don't try to claim otherwise (which is basically how you are coming off as doing).


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Abuse?

I think I need some proof, before someone throws out such an accusation.

I meant that using claws as a piercing weapon by stabbing with them was abusive, while using a sap as a nonlethal piercing weapon by *ERROR, RESOURCE NOT FOUND* is perfectly reasonable.

In other words, I blame Poe.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What I am asking, is how your example, can be considered "abusive"?

To me, the feat is functioning fine.


Yeah I agree the wording could be better which is why I gave credit to the idea of -->"I'm changing my "grip" (note that the archer's grip is how he holds both the arrow and the bow in relation to each other) on a "weapon," the bow as well as eh arrow."

I am likely going to change the feat so that it works with multiple weapons, but limit them to melee weapons that are intended to be held so brass knuckles or gauntlets don't get included, just because the idea would annoy me.

In related news: Since you can make a weapon into a slashing weapon I wonder if that allows more weapon to qualify for slashing grace. A swashbuckler with a club would be something different.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

By the way, Changlings already deal piercing damage with their claws.


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blackbloodtroll wrote:

What I am asking, is how your example, can be considered "abusive"?

To me, the feat is functioning fine.

Because it *might* be the intent of the feat to only work with non-natural melee weapons and thus stabbing claws are right out.

The possible intent of the feat is being divined by the use of the "Shift your grip" phrase in the feat.

If you take the extreme stance that the shift your grip text clearly and unquestionably excludes natural and ranged weapons then anyone who argues that shifting your grip *might* be possible with claws or a bow is using munchkin logic to circumvent the clearly worded restrictions of the feat. Thus, they are abusing the feat by stabbing with claws.

Most people aren't taking *quite* that extreme of a view of the feat, but that is basically the thought process behind people's objections.

Oh yeah, and I am using the universal monster rules for claws when I talk about them. B and S, not P.

EDIT: Also, shifting grip on a bow to deal slashing damage makes no sense apparently. People object to that despite the fact that according to pretty much any interpretation you can cut someone into unconsciousness with a bag of marbles.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Even if it wasn't intended, it doesn't seem abusive.

What if the wording just had "as a swift action", and didn't have the "shift your grip" line?

Would this even be an issue?


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, if it works with bows, then I suppose I can just "shift the grip" on my *crossbow* and have it do bludgeoning damage?

I don't buy the "it's a fantasy game, therefore logic doesn't apply" argument. I hate to use the "v" word (verisimilitude), but for me, at least, I expect even a fantasy world to have some internal logic and believability. It is a world where magic exists, yes, and weird monsters, but it should otherwise be familiar and plausible. Just because magic exists doesn't mean every goofy thing imaginable is possible, just because some interpretation of a rule might suggest it.


From a pure RAW standpoint, I would say you can certainly use it.

Are ranged weapons specifically excluded? No.
Can you adjust your grip on a ranged weapon? Yes.

Further, the equipment list has the damage type tagged on the Bow and not the ammunition.

As others have said, there may be a question of RAI. There are certainly some questions of logic, but no more so than what are presented with some weapons that obviously work with this feat (the quarterstaff and bag of marbles examples above are good ones).


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Even if it wasn't intended, it doesn't seem abusive.

What if the wording just had "as a swift action", and didn't have the "shift your grip" line?

Would this even be an issue?

If you take a *really* extreme reading of the feat(that it definitally without a doubt is only non-natural melee weapons), you could interpret it as such. Not abusive in a power level way, but abusive in a playing word gymnastics to violate RAW and RAI kind of way.

This probably wouldn't be an issue if there was no shift your grip line. People would just be pointing out how silly the feat is instead (hopefully).

Kelvar Silvermace wrote:

So, if it works with bows, then I suppose I can just "shift the grip" on my *crossbow* and have it do bludgeoning damage?

I don't buy the "it's a fantasy game, therefore logic doesn't apply" argument. I hate to use the "v" word (verisimilitude), but for me, at least, I expect even a fantasy world to have some internal logic and believability. It is a world where magic exists, yes, and weird monsters, but it should otherwise be familiar and plausible. Just because magic exists doesn't mean every goofy thing imaginable is possible, just because some interpretation of a rule might suggest it.

It seems pretty silly to be able to do bludgeoning damage with a crossbow.

It also seems pretty silly to be able to do non-lethal piercing damage with a whip. By RAW I don't think anybody argues that doing so is disallowed by the feat.

Maintaining verisimilitude isn't a valid argument when verisimilitude has already been cut, stabbed and set on fire by a bag of marbles (but not killed, saps have the non-lethal property). If a feat can allow somebody to stab a person into unconscousness with some rocks in a bag, why shouldn't that person be able to cut them by shooting arrows at them (which could plausibly be done by grazing them with the edge of the arrow head, cutting open the skin).


From a RAW standpoint I don't see any phrasing that limits the feat from working with ranged weapons.

From a RAI standpoint, Weapon Versatility seems no more problematic with a ranged weapon than with a quarterstaff or a sledge. The use of the feat can easily be reflavored to making "grazing shots" for slashing damage rather than aiming center mass for piercing damage and so on.

From a power standpoint Weapon Versatility is actually a less attractive feat for ranged combatants than for melee combatants. Melee tends to invest primarily in a single weapon and lose a fair bit when they have to switch to a lesser weapon of the appropriate material or damage type to get the job done. Conversely most archers will carry blunt and normal arrows made out of different materials, and for anything that's not vulnerable to a specific arrow there's Clustered Shots - which blows Weapon Versatility out of the water when dealing with DR.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Word gymnastics?

Let's just get this out of the way:

The biggest outcry, is "I don't like it".

No balance factor.

Scarab Sages

For all the naysayers claiming the ammunition is dealing the damage so changes when wielding the bow have no effect. Why is it then that the damage dice, magical enchantments, etc affect the damage done by the arrow?

Scarab Sages

Entryhazard wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
I hadn't heard that. What are slashing damage arrows called?
My bad, I thougth to have read somewhere of bladed arrows but it seems that only Blunt Arrows are a thing

There were some in 3.5, they were called Serpentstongue Arrows in the "Races of the Wild"


wraithstrike wrote:
Also some of us are very good at knowing what the rules actually are. You do not need to be on the PDT team to know the correct interpretation of the rules. Several posters here are known to be good at this.

WHile this could be true in this case, in general your statement is, well, absurd.

It would not be the case where different devs think differently about ta rule, or where the PDT rule differently to the author of the feat, or where the author didn't even think about some situation when writing hte rule so there is no intent.


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I could see a couple of way for this to work for a bow. To deal blunt damage bend the arrow head so that it is pointing up creating a blunt surface. For slashing damage you could aim for a grazing shot so the edge of the arrow slices the skin. Since it is the arrow doing the damage not the bow I would say that it requires a swift action for each arrow, so you could only do this once per round.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I still can't understand why this feat drives people nuts.

What exactly is the problem?

I really have to agree. I fail to see the issue. If a club is fine doing piercing then why is a sling bullet an issue doing the same? People seem to lose their minds and go through all kinds of mental gymnastics to try to get it not to work.

Snowblind wrote:
The possible intent of the feat is being divined by the use of the "Shift your grip" phrase in the feat.
blackbloodtroll wrote:
munchkin logic to circumvent the clearly worded restrictions of the feat.

As I've asked for several times in the past (just not in THIS thread), where is the rules text for "Shift your grip"? Where is the list of attacks excluded from that action? It's "clearly worded" afterall, so it should be easy. Is it the same kind super clear text that makes Vicious Stomp a brutal kick to an enemy when he is down hense limiting it to a kick? [hint, it doesn't]

Because without those, the only limiting factor is that it's a weapon. "Shift your grip" without any mechanics backing it up is a pretty worthless/fluff statement. The only thing I know for sure about the action is that it takes a swift action to do. There MAY have been some intent to limit this to some kinds of weapons, but if that's the case it totally failed to get that intent into the actual rules.

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