Two-Handed Attacks or TWF and Shield Bonuses


Rules Questions

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FAQ Request:

Does using your off-hand for a two-handed attack or two weapon fighting normally prevent the use of any shield's AC bonus in the off-hand until your next turn?

In the case of bucklers or shield bashing the rules are clear. However, the rules are not so clear when it comes to items like the ring of force shield or quickdraw shields. Can you activate a ring of force shield after making a two-handed attack and immediately get its shield AC bonus? Can you do something similar with a quickdraw shield?

Some people have made good arguments for both sides, but I don't feel it is clear enough in the rules currently. RAW seems to favor that the AC bonus is only lost in the specific case of shield bashing and bucklers, while (at least to me) intent seems to be that any use of the shield hand for attacks would prevent the use of the shield.

(Hopefully I've formatted this correctly enough. If anybody feels I should modify the wording or anything please say so)


The same reasoning applies to why you can't attack with a 2-h weapon, take one hand off, and make an off-hand attack. You can't attack with a 2-h weapon while wearing a Buckler, take one hand off, and say, "my hand isn't occupied now, so I get my shield AC." It's a trade-off, either the defense from your shield, or the offense of two-handing your weapon; without special abilities, you can't have your cake and eat it too. No reason for this principal to not apply even to RoFS or quickdraw. The real benefit of a quickdraw shield or RoFS is when using a 1-h weapon (ie. Longsword), where you can quickly "put away" your shield two switch between two-handed and sword/board styles. Normally, if using a buckler, you take an attack penalty for two-handing. If you use a heavier shield, you outright cannot two-hand. But using a shield that can be quickly donned or stowed means you aren't limited to just one-hand+shield style the whole time.


Right, just like you can't take your hands off a staff, cast a spell, and then put your hands back on so you're threatening with it.

Except you can, it's in the FAQ.


So this FAQ and this FAQ are the ones Kazaan and Ozy are referencing, for added information. Both seem to have roughly the same relevance to the current matter, in my opinion. There are a number of specific rules for similar situations, but no general rule. Both sides have decent arguments and the intent is unclear, hence the FAQ request.


The general rule is that you can take free actions.

Dark Archive

I'm pretty sure there's a general rule that says you lose your shield AC from a buckler if you use that hand to attack (even as part of a 2H weapon attack). There is, as far as I'm aware, no specific rule that counteracts this*.

I would say that in the case of Ring of Force Shield, you're not actually holding the shield, so it's probably legit? But since the "metaphorical hands" stuff exists, if you use your arms to attack, you can't use them to use a shield, even with a Quickdraw Shield.

*:
There are feats and archetypes that do, and Bows/Crossbows are specifically called out as not making you lose your shield bonus from a buckler, but none of these options effect a THF/TWF without investment.


I'm inclined to favor the idea that you can use the shield, since the only rule that's getting mentioned to bar it is the unwritten "metaphorical hands" rule, which is hopeless vague and something I personally rate as one of Paizo's biggest FAQratta blunders.


Lets face it, I don't care if it is RAW, the rule that you lose the benefits of the buckler for the entire round if you make an attack with the weapon in the hand of the buckler arm is a stupid rule.

It is based on the idea that all actions in the round happen simultaneously. While we want to think that for role-playing purposes, it does not happen that way mechanically.

Basically, the buckler wearer is screwed beyond all others because this silly rule was left in place.

If a character makes an attack with the buckler arm as a standard action and does noting else in the round, they lose the AC. Yet, if that character instead made an attack as a standard action with that arm, then donned a shield as a move action, on the same arm, he would keep the AC for the rest of the round.

There is no balance and it makes no sense. It was trying to inject realism where none can stand. And because it is not that way across all the rules, even the shield rules, it makes no sense.

If you are holding a staff and cast a spell with that hand, do you lose the AC?
If you climb a rope that round, do you lose the AC?
If you grapple someone in that round, do you lose the AC?
If you open a door with that hand that round, do you lose the AC?

Of course not. The rule makes no sense. I almost never say this, but I suggest ignoring the rule altogether.


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Seranov wrote:

I'm pretty sure there's a general rule that says you lose your shield AC from a buckler if you use that hand to attack (even as part of a 2H weapon attack). There is, as far as I'm aware, no specific rule that counteracts this*.

I would say that in the case of Ring of Force Shield, you're not actually holding the shield, so it's probably legit? But since the "metaphorical hands" stuff exists, if you use your arms to attack, you can't use them to use a shield, even with a Quickdraw Shield.

** spoiler omitted **

The buckler is the very opposite of a general rule, it's a specific rule that when you attack using both hands you lose the buckler AC until your next turn. As such, that specific rule (regardless of whether you think it's a good or bad one) overrides the general rule regarding free actions and switching weapon grips.

If there was a general rule, they wouldn't need the specific rule regarding bucklers.


Komoda wrote:

Lets face it, I don't care if it is RAW, the rule that you lose the benefits of the buckler for the entire round if you make an attack with the weapon in the hand of the buckler arm is a stupid rule.

...

I would like to ask, do you also feel the same way about the rule for losing AC after a shield bash? My guess(/hope) is yes, and honestly I do have to agree that both of those rules are somewhat silly in terms of where the game is now. I would be very happy if the result of the FAQ was removing those two rules entirely, but that would also invalidate feats/archetypes/etc.

However, at time the CRB was made, those rules covered the only two possible cases of attacking with the same hand that a shield is on (as far as I can tell). Since the only two possible cases at the time both had the same rule about losing the AC, it seems logical to guess that the intent, at least at that time, is to lose the shield AC whenever you attack with that hand. Again, I don't feel either side's argument is strong enough to make a final conclusion at this point. Ozy isn't wrong from a strictly RAW view, but plenty of people like myself look at the intent differently.


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Depends. If you don't mind believing you're playing in a world like Final Fantasy where combat actually happens in turns, then fine, you can attack and then raise your shield while you are defending in wait for your turn again.

Now, if you wanna imagine things happen like in the real world where nobody's waiting for the other and everybody's turn happens at once, then you'll have to see that what you do in your turn takes the entire time of your round, and everybody else is attacking you while you are taking your action, so if you were not using your shield for the entire time of your action it's like you didn't use it at all during this round.


While thematically all turns are happening at the same time, pretty much everyone will tell you that from a game mechanics standpoint that just doesn't work. If you kill someone with your last attack in your turn, they don't still get half of a turn if they were supposed to go later that same round. Movement and positioning becomes a whole giant mess as well. Parts of the game were written with the thought that turns occur simultaneously, but most of the game doesn't work like that, which is why we get into problems like this.


Dude, you keep inventing this 'simultaneous' imagery that is violated by just about every rule in the game.

If I kill you during my turn, you do NOT get a final attack in 'simultaneously'. You're dead. When your iniative comes up, you get to lie there and bleed.

There are some games where all attacks do indeed happen 'simultaneously', and damage is resolved for everyone after you adjucate the attacks.

Pathfinder is not one of these games, none of the rules invoke 'simultaneous' actions. If you are playing a simultaneous round game, you're not playing Pathfinder. It's just the wrong way to justify that you can't use a free action to change grips during your turn.

They made a FAQ that specifically says you can change grip on a staff, cast a spell, and then regrip the staff so you threaten for AoOs. Same concept, no difference.


This opens up a whole kettle of worms when it comes to other effects, though. After all, why should my Power Attack affect attacks of opportunity if I don't want it to? (OK, I want it to, but still.) Or why should my charge keep me at -2AC even after I get there?

And I think the buckler's an exception because you can wield a weapon in its hand, as opposed to other shields that more or less commit you to things. Thus the quandaries on using them.

My guess is the 'metaphorical hands' bit is to avoid completely cheesed-out (it's a term) builds. You can either swing a great weapon, use two not so great ones, sword and board, and so on. Now if only one could build a good tanking defensive setup where you can laugh off enemy strikes like Superman facing a machinegun battery ...


_Ozy_ wrote:

Dude, you keep inventing this 'simultaneous' imagery that is violated by just about every rule in the game.

If I kill you during my turn, you do NOT get a final attack in 'simultaneously'. You're dead. When your iniative comes up, you get to lie there and bleed.

There are some games where all attacks do indeed happen 'simultaneously', and damage is resolved for everyone after you adjucate the attacks.

Pathfinder is not one of these games, none of the rules invoke 'simultaneous' actions. If you are playing a simultaneous round game, you're not playing Pathfinder. It's just the wrong way to justify that you can't use a free action to change grips during your turn.

They made a FAQ that specifically says you can change grip on a staff, cast a spell, and then regrip the staff so you threaten for AoOs. Same concept, no difference.

All characters share the same 6s round. It doesn't matter if there are 2 combatants or 200, the time from count one of one turn to count one of the next is 6s. There is a certain amount of abstraction at play, but that doesn't change the fact that turns work in parallel and are only adjudicated in sequence.

That having been said, if a buckler loses its AC bonus for the whole turn even from just one two-handed attack, I see no good reason to say that a more encumbering shield encumbers your defense any less. Threatening with a weapon is, fundamentally, a different matter altogether. You CAN switch grip and resume threatening. You CANNOT switch grip and resume defending with your shield.


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Kazaan wrote:
All characters share the same 6s round. It doesn't matter if there are 2 combatants or 200, the time from count one of one turn to count one of the next is 6s. There is a certain amount of abstraction at play, but that doesn't change the fact that turns work in parallel and are only adjudicated in sequence.

Since adjudication is the only thing that matters when it comes to the rules of actions and results, turns are de facto sequential.

You can call it an abstraction all you want, but the rules assume sequential actions. That's why when you damage a spellcaster on your turn, they don't need to make a concentration check, but if you ready an action, or use an AoO to damage them while they cast on their turn, they do.

If actions were simultaneous, casters would have to make a concentration check whenever they were damaged in a round in which they were casting, rather than just on their turn, and that's just one of the many examples of how your claim of simultaneous actions, when it comes to the rules, is useless.

What we are talking about in this thread, and on this particular board, are the rules. Discussion about abstract simultaneity has no place here.

Quote:
That having been said, if a buckler loses its AC bonus for the whole turn even from just one two-handed attack, I see no good reason to say that a more encumbering shield encumbers your defense any less. Threatening with a weapon is, fundamentally, a different matter altogether. You CAN switch grip and resume threatening. You CANNOT switch grip and resume defending with your shield.

Um, yeah I know, the specific buckler rule is inconsistent with the FAQ'ed spell & staff rule. Saying that you CAN do this and CAN'T do that is just repeating the obvious rules that have already been stated without actually answering 'why' you can do one and not the other. There are no rules that grade free actions based on ecumberance of the action. Heck, a force shield and even a buckler are less 'encumbering' than a staff, and yet you can ready a staff after casting a spell, but not a buckler or force shield after attacking?

Yeah, that's inconsistent. We have general rules for free actions: you can do them anytime during your turn, even during other actions.

You need specific rules, such as the buckler, to override that general rule. That's why the spell&staff combo is a FAQ, not an errata, it follows the general free action rules.


I always understood that the actions happend simultaneously, but to make the game simple and playable we play it in turns, but it doesn't really matter, either way you choose to play it is fine.

Another way of looking at this is that your "other arm" off-hand is a better off-hand than a boot knife or an armor spike and since you're sacrificing this "better then the other off-hands" arm to hold a shield, it's not unreasonable to allow you to keep it's AC bonus as a trade off.

So, as long as the off-hand attack is a very puny one, maybe you could keep the shield bonus to AC.


Kchaka wrote:
I always understood that the actions happend simultaneously, but to make the game simple and playable we play it in turns, but it doesn't really matter, either way you choose to play it is fine.

I don't see how you could think that is true. How on earth did you justify the sequential nature of the pathfinder rules with your 'understanding' that actions happened simultaneously? Seriously, explain how 'readying' an action makes any sense if everything is already simultaneous, or delaying your initiative.

Quote:

Another way of looking at this is that your "other arm" off-hand is a better off-hand than a boot knife or an armor spike and since you're sacrificing this "better then the other off-hands" arm to hold a shield, it's not unreasonable to allow you to keep it's AC bonus as a trade off.

So, as long as the off-hand attack is a very puny one, maybe you could keep the shield bonus to AC.

Uh, what? Why not just stick to the general rules regarding free actions? Doesn't that make things a lot simpler instead of trying to judge whether or not an offhand attack is 'puny' enough to justify keeping the AC bonus? Also, bucklers are a little bit off topic since we're talking about free action activation of a force shield.


_Ozy_ wrote:
...Also, bucklers are a little bit off topic since we're talking about free action activation of a force shield.

I tried to write the FAQ question as fairly general so as not to focus on just the RoFS, as that is not the only situation where the issue comes up.

With a buckler on my arm I take a standard action to 2H attack and then a move action to go 30 feet somewhere else. I have lost AC of the buckler until the start of my next turn.

Without a buckler on my arm, I take a standard action to 2H attack and then move action to equip a buckler. I do not lose the AC of the buckler until my next turn. (I am sure some people will say that I still would lose the bonus, but that doesn't seem to be the case with the rules as they are written)

This seems odd and more like a discrepancy to me. In that 30 feet of movement (given a character with at least +1 BAB) I could draw a different weapon that I would then be able to threaten with. With Quick Draw I could ready another weapon to threaten as a free action without moving. Why in 30 feet of movement am I not able to adjust myself to defend with the buckler again? Perhaps it is because being able to threaten with a weapon is a different level compared to defending with a shield? I don't actually believe that, but if not then I have a hard time explaining why the buckler or the shield bash loses its AC for so long when threatening only takes a free action to adjust for.


Yeah, but a FAQ won't clear up how the buckler works, the rules are explicit that you lose AC. What you're really looking for is an errata that changes how it works to make it consistent with the other rules.


Errata or FAQ somewhat depends on what the answer is. If the answer is that using a shield hand causes you to lose the AC regardless of when during the turn you equip the shield, that would be more of a FAQ-like answer clarifying that the rules for bucklers and shield bashing applies as a general rule instead of specific. Even if instead they rewrite rules entirely and make it errata, a FAQ request seems like the most likely way to make that happen from the position of minimal power that I am in.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Kchaka wrote:
I always understood that the actions happend simultaneously, but to make the game simple and playable we play it in turns, but it doesn't really matter, either way you choose to play it is fine.
I don't see how you could think that is true. How on earth did you justify the sequential nature of the pathfinder rules with your 'understanding' that actions happened simultaneously? Seriously, explain how 'readying' an action makes any sense if everything is already simultaneous, or delaying your initiative.

I pictured a combat round at about 7 seconds, just to allow the sequential nature of everybody's 6 second rounds, so everybody's round start and end in sequence, but it all sort of happens at once too. When you ready an action, it only takes a split second. Again, this is just how I picture things in my head to make more sense. As someone said before, if you think in turns as a purelly sequential way, if you are ina combat with 10 individuals and each has a 6 second turn, a spell that lasts 1 min would last 1 round of combat. If there were 20 creatures in the combat, the 1 min spell would only last half of a combat round. Now, imagine a war happening like this, where everybody waits for the other's turn to act.

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Quote:

Another way of looking at this is that your "other arm" off-hand is a better off-hand than a boot knife or an armor spike and since you're sacrificing this "better then the other off-hands" arm to hold a shield, it's not unreasonable to allow you to keep it's AC bonus as a trade off.

So, as long as the off-hand attack is a very puny one, maybe you could keep the shield bonus to AC.

Uh, what? Why not just stick to the general rules regarding free actions? Doesn't that make things a lot simpler instead of trying to judge whether or not an offhand attack is 'puny' enough to justify keeping the AC bonus? Also, bucklers are a little bit off topic since we're talking about free action activation of a force shield.

If you wanna stick to the general rules, it's easy, don't use shields and 2h weapons together (except bucklers). Now, if you want to do something the rules weren't exactly designed for, I'm just saying you should think of things as a trade off. Nobody should get any advantage for free, either you pay to have an extra special ability or you lose something to get something else. In this case, you want to have the shield bonus to AC, but to do that you can't use your arm for something else.

The options I see are:

2HW + No Shield = Max Dagame + No AC + Cheap

TWF + No Shield = Max Damage + No AC + Cheap

TWF with Shield = Good Damage + No AC + Cheap + Choice

2HW or TWF + Buckler = Max Damage + Less AC + Cheap + Attack Penalty + Choice

TWF with 1HW + Kick + Shield = Med Damage + Shield AC + Cheap + Choice

2HW or TWF + Animated Shield = Max Damage + Shield AC + Expensive

2HW or TWF + Ring of Force = Max Damage + Shield AC (after full attack) + Expensive + Choice + Can't threat with 2HW or Shield Arm while Shield is Up.

These are all trade offs in some way.

If in this round you choose to use a 2H weapon, alegendly that should be the weapon you are threatening with until the start of your next turn, which means you should not use a shield until then either.

If you want to disregard that interpetation and raise your shield at the end of your action to get it's AC bonus, at least you should not be threatenig with the 2H weapon, only with the shield, unarmed strike, or some other weapon you may be wielding at the end of your action.

If you want to disregard all of that completly, fine, just attack with what you want, raise your shield, and threaten with whatever weapon you want since it's all a free action to draw anyway.

The only thing that's really importat is that whatever rules you choose apply to everybody.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Kazaan wrote:
All characters share the same 6s round. It doesn't matter if there are 2 combatants or 200, the time from count one of one turn to count one of the next is 6s. There is a certain amount of abstraction at play, but that doesn't change the fact that turns work in parallel and are only adjudicated in sequence.

Since adjudication is the only thing that matters when it comes to the rules of actions and results, turns are de facto sequential.

You can call it an abstraction all you want, but the rules assume sequential actions. That's why when you damage a spellcaster on your turn, they don't need to make a concentration check, but if you ready an action, or use an AoO to damage them while they cast on their turn, they do.

If turns were sequential, then a spell with a 1 minute duration would end after 10 characters have taken their turns. If there are 5 characters involved in the fight, it lasts 2 full rounds. If there are 10 characters, it lasts only 1 round. More than 10 characters, and it lasts less than one full round. But the reality of it is that a 1 minute spell lasts 10 rounds regardless of how many or few characters are involved. Thus, your position is inherently untenable.

Everyone acts in parallel, but the system is abstracted in many ways. It does end up that, after a caster has finished their turn, subsequent damage doesn't trigger a concentration check because the spell has already been resolved. But not due to the turns not being parallel; rather, it is an abstraction. However, concerning shields, it explicitly states for Bucklers that once you attack with a weapon in that hand, you lose your shield AC bonus until your next turn. The rules state what you can and can't do. It states you can't resume defending with a buckler, and it would be a violation of all good logic to say you can't do as such with a Buckler, but you can do it with a larger shield. The FAQ regarding switching grip on a weapon has absolutely nothing, whatsoever, to do with donning a shield.


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Kazaan wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Kazaan wrote:
All characters share the same 6s round. It doesn't matter if there are 2 combatants or 200, the time from count one of one turn to count one of the next is 6s. There is a certain amount of abstraction at play, but that doesn't change the fact that turns work in parallel and are only adjudicated in sequence.

Since adjudication is the only thing that matters when it comes to the rules of actions and results, turns are de facto sequential.

You can call it an abstraction all you want, but the rules assume sequential actions. That's why when you damage a spellcaster on your turn, they don't need to make a concentration check, but if you ready an action, or use an AoO to damage them while they cast on their turn, they do.

If turns were sequential, then a spell with a 1 minute duration would end after 10 characters have taken their turns. If there are 5 characters involved in the fight, it lasts 2 full rounds. If there are 10 characters, it lasts only 1 round. More than 10 characters, and it lasts less than one full round. But the reality of it is that a 1 minute spell lasts 10 rounds regardless of how many or few characters are involved. Thus, your position is inherently untenable.

Everyone acts in parallel, but the system is abstracted in many ways. It does end up that, after a caster has finished their turn, subsequent damage doesn't trigger a concentration check because the spell has already been resolved. But not due to the turns not being parallel; rather, it is an abstraction. However, concerning shields, it explicitly states for Bucklers that once you attack with a weapon in that hand, you lose your shield AC bonus until your next turn. The rules state what you can and can't do. It states you can't resume defending with a buckler, and it would be a violation of all good logic to say you can't do as such with a Buckler, but you can do it with a larger shield. The FAQ regarding switching grip on a...

The rules also state that if you don a shield you gain the AC bonus, from that point forward. This happens even if you used the arm for something else before hand. You are correct, it is not logical. But the break in logic isn't that nothing acts like the buckler, it is that the buckler acts like nothing else.

The game mechanics, and actions, are sequential. There is no doubt about it. In a few rare cases, there are attempts to make it appear simultaneous. They are often a cause for confusion.

A round is 6 seconds. If one person acts, basically they take up 1 round. If 10 people act, they each take up 1/10th of a round. That is not how it works thematically, but it is exactly how it works mechanically.


Kazaan wrote:


That having been said, if a buckler loses its AC bonus for the whole turn even from just one two-handed attack, I see no good reason to say that a more encumbering shield encumbers your defense any less. Threatening with a weapon is, fundamentally, a different matter altogether. You CAN switch grip and resume threatening. You CANNOT switch grip and resume defending with your shield.

A lot of clerics think you are wrong as they pass their mace(insert weapon of choice) to their shield hand to cast a spell while keeping the shield bonus (This can be use with a buckler to avoid the clause that says you lose its ac bonus if you use the buckler hand to cast a spell(you don't lose the ac bonus since you used the other hand to cast the spell))


Avadriel wrote:
Kazaan wrote:


That having been said, if a buckler loses its AC bonus for the whole turn even from just one two-handed attack, I see no good reason to say that a more encumbering shield encumbers your defense any less. Threatening with a weapon is, fundamentally, a different matter altogether. You CAN switch grip and resume threatening. You CANNOT switch grip and resume defending with your shield.

A lot of clerics think you are wrong as they pass their mace(insert weapon of choice) to their shield hand to cast a spell while keeping the shield bonus (This can be use with a buckler to avoid the clause that says you lose its ac bonus if you use the buckler hand to cast a spell(you don't lose the ac bonus since you used the other hand to cast the spell))

Holding a mace in your shield hand, and attacking with your mace in your shield hand, are two very different things. Moreover, if a Cleric with a Light Shield passes their mace to their shield hand, they are no longer properly using their shield (it must be strapped to the forearm and gripped in the hand). Having a light shield that is strapped, but not gripped, cannot be used for defense. But you aren't using that hand for an attack so, once you resume gripping the shield, you resume defending. So the Shield bonus only shuts down for the duration of the casting. But making an attack with that hand means you cannot defend until the start of your next turn.

Silver Crusade

Kazaan wrote:
Avadriel wrote:
Kazaan wrote:


That having been said, if a buckler loses its AC bonus for the whole turn even from just one two-handed attack, I see no good reason to say that a more encumbering shield encumbers your defense any less. Threatening with a weapon is, fundamentally, a different matter altogether. You CAN switch grip and resume threatening. You CANNOT switch grip and resume defending with your shield.

A lot of clerics think you are wrong as they pass their mace(insert weapon of choice) to their shield hand to cast a spell while keeping the shield bonus (This can be use with a buckler to avoid the clause that says you lose its ac bonus if you use the buckler hand to cast a spell(you don't lose the ac bonus since you used the other hand to cast the spell))
Holding a mace in your shield hand, and attacking with your mace in your shield hand, are two very different things. Moreover, if a Cleric with a Light Shield passes their mace to their shield hand, they are no longer properly using their shield (it must be strapped to the forearm and gripped in the hand). Having a light shield that is strapped, but not gripped, cannot be used for defense. But you aren't using that hand for an attack so, once you resume gripping the shield, you resume defending. So the Shield bonus only shuts down for the duration of the casting. But making an attack with that hand means you cannot defend until the start of your next turn.

See, the part bolded is not a rule in the book!

There is a rule for bucklers, but it does not apply to shields that are not bucklers.

There is a rule for shield bashes, but this does not apply when you don't shield bash.

Whatever extrapolation you may do to extend these ideas to things that are not bucklers, not used as bucklers, and/or not shield bashes, is something you made up.

Not RAW.


It is not RAW, but as an extrapolation it might be RAI. Again, at the time the CRB was published, bucklers and shield bashes were the only two normal ways to attack with the same hand a shield is on. Its not entirely unreasonable to guess that the intention was to not allow a shield bonus at the same time as an attack with that hand (without feats or something). It could have been meant as general rule that they only bothered to write in the two spots where it came up. They just may have failed to make that clear when new possible methods came out. The way the rules are written is not always the way the developers meant them, because of space limitations in the book, words with multiple meanings, the occasional poor editing, etc.

While the rules are an abstraction, most rules have some sort of in-character explanation for why they exist, because the rules are still making some attempt to recreate a fantasy world. In the case of the buckler and shield bashing, there are two common "explanations" for it. One I'm not even going to mention, because it involves turns happening at the same time which really doesn't work. The second explanation is that you are somehow thrown off balance by the attack and cannot ready your shield arm to defend in time. You are still off balance even if you move 30 feet or sheathe your weapon or do a whole bunch of other stuff. However, if you shield bashed with a throwing shield, you can then throw that shield, pull out a quickdraw shield, and now get the bonuses of that new shield because you were only off balance with the old shield. How the rules work as RAW just doesn't make sense to me from that perspective.


Let's look at other issues.

Getting that thing ready is a move action. Quickdraw light shields PLUS the Quick-Draw feat let you make this a free action. So you're already burning actions and feats on stuff. One attack and shields up? Hope you don't miss iteratives. Or that feat you're using--and you now have a light shield, not a buckler, as there don't seem to be quickdraw bucklers.

So you have your shield and a held but not wielded greatsword (or whatever). If you're using a buckler, you're not threatening any squares. At all. Sure, you can two-hand your sword again, if you want, but then you wasted your move action to get this thing ready in the first place. May as well just stay at the -1 to your attacks and forget the drawing and undrawing. You're already kissing the shield bonus goodbye anyway.

Light shields might threaten. I'll assume they do, and your GM lets you use a spiked one, and that offhand weapon penalties aren't applying. 1d4+strength mod, so in most cases you're at a -2 at minimum to damage, assuming you're using an unenchanted spear and 10 Str. Greatsword and 18 Str? Kiss 6.5 points of damage goodbye. And then ... well it's the next round. You have your light shield, an unwielded twohander, and ... a plan, I hope?


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Ziere Tole wrote:
It is not RAW, but as an extrapolation it might be RAI.

So we're arguing what the rules say vs an extrapolation of what you think they might have been intended to say? One of these sides has much more support than the other...


What I am saying is that the rules as they are now are inconsistent. The point of the FAQ request I made is to see if the developers feel they are inconsistent or being misinterpreted, and if so to possibly get a general rule that is consistent or at least a better reason why the inconsistencies are there. The rules are not meant to always be taken literally and without context; the developers have stated that common sense should be applied. This is a case where my common sense leaves me feeling like something is missing.

I'm not really arguing in the sense that I am trying to prove that my 'side' is right. Really the best I am hoping for by continuing this discussion is showing that there is another way (really a couple of ways) that people are looking at the issue. Especially in the case of the Ring of Force Shield, there has been a lot of disagreement on the matter.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, what does two-handed weapon attacks have to do with shield bonuses?

If you attack with a weapon, using the same arm to which a Buckler is attached, you lose the bonus to AC.

If you attack with a shield, and don't have the Improved Shield Bash feat, you lose the bonus to AC.

How else would the bonus be lost?

What are the "conflicting rules"?

I am lost here.


The only place I can find the words "conflicting rules" is you saying it. What I said is "inconsistent".

Character A attaches a buckler and attacks with the buckler hand in one turn.
Character B attacks with a hand and then attaches a buckler to it in one turn.

Why, at the end of their turn, is one of those buckler'd characters different from the other? Turns are sequential and don't happen at the same time, so it is not because of the opening left during the attack. Since it is a free action to change your stance on a weapon enough to either be threatening or not, why does it take not just a move action but an entire round to regain the use of of an item that doesn't even need to be adjusted? And yet if you put that item on in the same place right after the attack instead of before it, you do not take the penalty. Am I really the only one that finds that odd?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Wait, how long does it take to equip/unequip a Buckler?

Also, if the attack did not occur, whilst the Buckler/Shield was equipped, there was no existing shield bonus, to be lost.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Komoda wrote:


If you are holding a staff and cast a spell with that hand, do you lose the AC?

1. Don't recall how staves give you AC bonus. Unless you're a Staff Magi, in which case see note below.

2. If you're holding a staff with one hand, you use the OTHER to cast. You can't cast with a hand that's busy doing something else. That's why all Staff Magi get the bonus feat that allows them to one hand a quarterstaff.


LazarX wrote:
Komoda wrote:


If you are holding a staff and cast a spell with that hand, do you lose the AC?

1. Don't recall how staves give you AC bonus. Unless you're a Staff Magi, in which case see note below.

2. If you're holding a staff with one hand, you use the OTHER to cast. You can't cast with a hand that's busy doing something else. That's why all Staff Magi get the bonus feat that allows them to one hand a quarterstaff.

If your holding a staff (or wand, weapon, peanuts, scroll, potion, rope, backpack, clothes, hammer, or anything else one might hold in their hand) in one hand and cast a spell with the other hand that has a buckler strapped to the arm, which would allow you to cast because the second hand would in fact be empty.

The point was, which has been made clear, that the rule applies to such a small window of actions that the rule does not follow the logic of the game.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

So, what does two-handed weapon attacks have to do with shield bonuses?

If you attack with a weapon, using the same arm to which a Buckler is attached, you lose the bonus to AC.

If you attack with a shield, and don't have the Improved Shield Bash feat, you lose the bonus to AC.

How else would the bonus be lost?

What are the "conflicting rules"?

I am lost here.

The main query is whether you can make your full-attack of 2-h attacks and then use a quickdraw shield with the quickdraw feat (don/stow shield as free action) and still have your shield AC.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Kazaan wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

So, what does two-handed weapon attacks have to do with shield bonuses?

If you attack with a weapon, using the same arm to which a Buckler is attached, you lose the bonus to AC.

If you attack with a shield, and don't have the Improved Shield Bash feat, you lose the bonus to AC.

How else would the bonus be lost?

What are the "conflicting rules"?

I am lost here.

The main query is whether you can make your full-attack of 2-h attacks and then use a quickdraw shield with the quickdraw feat (don/stow shield as free action) and still have your shield AC.

Yes.

Yes you can.

Silver Crusade

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Ziere Tole wrote:
It is not RAW, but as an extrapolation it might be RAI.

??? This is not the most convincing opening statement.

Quote:
Again, at the time the CRB was published, bucklers and shield bashes were the only two normal ways to attack with the same hand a shield is on.

But the ring of force shield was cut & paste from the 3.5 DMG. Pathfinder knew the ring existed, and knew that stuff had already been made that allows you to attack with a weapon in the shield hand, something that could not have been said about the writer of the DMG. PF could have made the buckler limitation a general rule about shields if they wanted.

They didn't.

Quote:
Its not entirely unreasonable to guess that the intention was to not allow a shield bonus at the same time as an attack with that hand (without feats or something). It could have been meant as general rule that they only bothered to write in the two spots where it came up.

If it was meant as a general rule, even if the buckler were the only current way to attack with a hand holding a shield, then they could have used the word 'shield' instead of the word 'buckler' in that paragraph.

Quote:
The second explanation is that you are somehow thrown off balance by the attack and cannot ready your shield arm to defend in time. You are still off balance even if you move 30 feet or sheathe your weapon or do a whole bunch of other stuff. However, if you shield bashed with a throwing shield, you can then throw that shield, pull out a quickdraw shield, and now get the bonuses of that new shield because you were only off balance with the old shield. How the rules work as RAW just doesn't make sense to me from that perspective.

Even taking into account the buckler limitation, and even extending that limitation to all shields as a general rule, then we know that if you attack with the 'buckler hand' before you quickdraw the buckler, then when you do draw it the AC bonus works fine.

This is what is happening with the force shield. You attack when the ring is off, then when you switch the ring on again its AC bonus works just fine.

So even extrapolating those rules, the RoFS works fine.

There are those on this thread asserting that wearing a buckler somehow limits what you can do with the arm that wears it. This is not the case. It's the other way around.

What it's saying is that if you are wearing a buckler as you make an attack with the arm that wears it, then you lose the benefit of its AC bonus that it was giving you until you made that attack. Therefore, if you are not benefiting from its AC bonus as you make that attack (on the grounds that you are not wearing it/it doesn't exist because the ring is not activated) then that rule does not apply; there is no existing AC bonus to lose.

Another thing to ponder. The ring's free action activation/de-activation lends itself to its use with a 2HW. If the writer believed that it should or could not be used that way, do you really think he would have written it in such a way? He could easily have made sure to nerf such a tactic.

After ten years of 3rd ed and the RoFS, PF would be aware of any problems with the ring or its wording, and changed it if they wanted to.

They didn't.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I know I'm late to the party, but I think the "inconsistency" issue is more in lines with other established "offhand" rules.

If you have a spiked gauntlet (or have quick draw) why can't you attack with a two handed weapon and then use a free action to shift your grip, and then attack with your offhand, two-weapon fighting style (either with gauntlet or quick drawn weapon)? Because they FAQ'd it so you can't. When you attack with a two handed weapon, you "use" your offhand already so it isn't available for an extra attack.

Why would it not be available to make an extra attack, but would be available to protect yourself with a shield that wasn't there when you "used" your offhand to attack? Why do you lose the AC from a buckler when you "use" your offhand to attack, but you DO get your offhand to use a shield if it springs up after your attack (that already used your offhand)?

It seems that the "buckler rule" is in line with "if you use your offhand to attack, you don't get to use your offhand for further purposes" so why would it be considered a "specific, special rule" and not a general rule that was just spelled out in the buckler section?

I'm fairly certain this is why a FAQ is "needed" for shields and bucklers and Rings of Force Shield. Common sense can mean different things to different people. To me, common sense means "the developers have come out and addressed offhand when it comes to attack, it would stand to reason that they intend shields to be in the same line of thinking."


Shields don't require an "off-hand." You can two-weapon fight with a long sword and unarmed strikes while using a shield.


Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Shields don't require an "off-hand." You can two-weapon fight with a long sword and unarmed strikes while using a shield.

Yes, but if you attack with a weapon in the hand of the arm to which a buckler is strapped, you are prohibited from defending with the buckler until your next turn. So defending with a shield doesn't subsume your off-hand attack in the same way that attacking with a 2-h weapon does, but making an attack with the same limb that is handling the shield denies your use of the shield. You can defend with a buckler while using a Longsword and kicks as unarmed strikes, but you couldn't defend with a buckler while using a Longsword and punching with your shield arm.

It well enough stands to reason that that act of attacking with a weapon means you can't bring the shield to bear against an attack if you're using the same limb; if making an attack interferes with using a buckler for a full round, it should apply to any shield.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Shields don't require an "off-hand." You can two-weapon fight with a long sword and unarmed strikes while using a shield.

I'm not sure how (unless you were a monk. But I'm not sure why a monk would fight with a longsword). Both light and heavy shields say you can't use "that hand" for any weapons.

Light Shield wrote:
You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A light shield's weight lets you carry other items in that hand, although you cannot use weapons with it.
Heavy Shield wrote:
You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A heavy shield is so heavy that you can't use your shield hand for anything else.

You can't even cast a spell while holding a longsword if you have a heavy shield equipped (unless it is a still spell). This would definitely point to you "using a hand" for a shield.

Monks can use feet and headbutts and body checks for unarmed strikes, even if both hands are full, but that isn't the rule for everyone (otherwise they wouldn't spell it out under Monk). So if your "offhand" is being used by your shield, you wouldn't be able to make any attacks with it.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Kazaan wrote:
It well enough stands to reason that that act of attacking with a weapon means you can't bring the shield to bear against an attack if you're using the same limb; if making an attack interferes with using a buckler for a full round, it should apply to any shield.

Agreed.


Ziere Tole wrote:

FAQ Request:

Does using your off-hand for a two-handed attack or two weapon fighting normally prevent the use of any shield's AC bonus in the off-hand until your next turn?

In the case of bucklers or shield bashing the rules are clear. However, the rules are not so clear when it comes to items like the ring of force shield or quickdraw shields. Can you activate a ring of force shield after making a two-handed attack and immediately get its shield AC bonus? Can you do something similar with a quickdraw shield?

Some people have made good arguments for both sides, but I don't feel it is clear enough in the rules currently. RAW seems to favor that the AC bonus is only lost in the specific case of shield bashing and bucklers, while (at least to me) intent seems to be that any use of the shield hand for attacks would prevent the use of the shield.

(Hopefully I've formatted this correctly enough. If anybody feels I should modify the wording or anything please say so)

The problem with this is that the intent is only backed through use of natural weapons. There was that Ring of Force Shield thread that was going for a while that had one combination (two-hand a weapon, release the grip of the weapon, grab a hold of the shield) that a GM deemed legal and granted AC, and one combination that a GM said was not legal; I agreed with the GM's ruling in this case, and that's primarily because the rules for Natural Weapons are that you can't use a limb operating a manufactured weapon (which a Shield would apply in the events of AC) and make attacks with claws whose hands are also being used for holding a Shield, in the same turn. I can certainly set myself up for outside my turn or for the following turn I will take, but I certainly can't do that all within the same turn.

The most important thing about that intent which you relate to, is it only applies to Natural Weapons being used in conjunction with Manufactured Weapons or Objects. No ruling, similar or not, is mentioned or even applicable to Manufactured Weapons. In other words, Apples and Oranges. The other trade-off here is that even if the PC can make attacks with a Two-Handed Weapon while maintaining a Shield for AC outside his turn, his Shield AC would not apply for Attack Provocations during his turn (at instances where he is not donning his Shield, probably through movement), and his ability to make Attacks of Opportunity outside his turn are diminished since he cannot change handedness (in other words, un-don his Shield and regrip his Two-Handed Weapon) to be able to make Attacks with his Two-Handed Weapon; he might threaten with his Shield, or his Unarmed Strike, but that's it. With all that mentioned, no rules are broken, and it retains the spirit of what the rules intend to happen.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a little more technical than most, but it's certainly no Catch-22, which is what FAQs are usually for.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You don't need to be a Monk, to kick or headbutt.

You don't even need any special feat.


So mostly to invoke BBTs ire I guess the question becomes, "Does attacking with a 2hw or with TWF (assuming you dont actually use both or your hands.) still use up the limited number of metaphysical hands needed to use a shield?"


I have a feeling this is going to be another thing that falls into the purview of "unwritten rules" and "invisible hands."

If so it will be another rule that I ignore on principal.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

When did the unwritten rules on metaphysical hand limitations, suddenly reach beyond attacks, and begin to cover things like retaining Shield Bonuses?

I am not seeing the connection.

Hell, a PC can still attack with a Longspear, then release his grip with one hand, quickdraw a dagger, and threaten with that dagger.

Why would he not be able to do the same thing, except with a Quickdraw Shield?

Sovereign Court

Doomed Hero wrote:

I have a feeling this is going to be another thing that falls into the purview of "unwritten rules" and "invisible hands."

If so it will be another rule that I ignore on principal.

I'm sorry - but if your conclusion is 'rules are stupid and I do what I want' - it's not something you should contribute to the rules forum.

I'm assuming that you're referring to the 'no TWF with greatsword/armor spikes' FAQ. You probably won't believe me, but for any but fighters (who specialize too much in a single weapon) - TWF with a two-handed weapon & armor spikes actually is OP. It is - rather obviously - the most potent TWF style, (an extra .5x strength damage & better PA) and TWF already has the highest DPR in the game past the first few levels.

(Of note - this isn't meant to weigh in on the force ring issue. I think there are valid arguments both ways. As GM I wouldn't allow it - and I'd be within my rights [free action limits are at GM discretion] - but I'm not sure whether it'd be allowed per the rules themselves.)

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