TWF w / Weapon and Armor Spikes while wielding a Shield


Rules Questions

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FLite wrote:
That doesn't make them jerks, that makes them people who have a different take on a large and complex rule set with many ambiguities.

But this is a small and simple rule set with no ambiguities.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Please point, in the written rules, where one might read, and suspect, that you don't have to attack with a shield, to lose it's bonus to AC.

At least give me something, that let's me pretend to see the other side of the argument.

...and No, unwritten rules don't count.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Please point, in the written rules, where one might read, and suspect, that you don't have to attack with a shield, to lose it's bonus to AC.

At least give me something, that let's me pretend to see the other side of the argument.

...and No, unwritten rules don't count.

It blatantly exists as the buckler rule.

But you're just calling it an 'exception', since it interferes with your 'I always get my Shield AC' demand, when in fact it's shutting down a loophole (I didn't attack with the buckler, therefore I get my shield AC, right?).

No. It's stating very firmly that unless you devote the attention of your off-hand to using the buckler to defend with, like ANY OTHER SHIELD, you don't get the benefit of the shield's AC. IN other words, attention paid to shield defense is exactly equal to using a weapon...just like a shield bash.

The 'exception' is to close the idea that since you are using a different weapon then the shield itself, you get to keep your Shield AC.

But you'll just pretend it doesn't mean what it does, because you want to have your cake and eat it, too. You'll just redefine UA and Armor Spikes to mean 'attacking with anything but shield and primary arm' and presume that solves your problems.

Three-handed munchkinism. Ugh.

==Aelryinth


it's an exception because it;s the only shield that allows you to wield something in the same hand. >_> it's a rider clarification of that effect.


Aelryinth wrote:
It blatantly exists as the buckler rule.

Again with this. ugh.

It's EXACTLY as claiming that a Longsword can't damage creatures with a Natural Armor of 3 or more because the Whip says so.

After all they're both one-handed slashing weapons.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I removed some posts and posts that contained replies. Debate the logic, evidence or interpretations, not the people.


FLite wrote:
Triune wrote:

Except intent here is nowhere close to clear. RAW has a logical conclusion though, leaving your only argument a RAI one. Any intent you perceive is your own projection. That's really the case with almost every RAI argument ever. That's why they're so dumb.

And I play spellcasters, I couldn't care less. Not to mention a GM that would rule against you because you believe the rules supercede him in PFS is quite a jerk, and has 0 business being a DM in the first place.

It may not be clear to you. It seems to be clear to other people.

Not agreeing with you does not make someone a jerk.

I have a gnome barbarian who uses the RAW to have his small air familiar whirlwind him 90 feet into combat and then ready a move action to move him 90 feet back out of combat, leaving him free to full attack every turn, and never get flanked. All without provoking.

RAW it all works. I have spent a fair bit of his wealth on covering corner cases so that it all works. I also check with each GM before game. If they tell me they disagree and that that is not RAI, I use a different character or I just don't use my air elemental. Same with aspects of my other builds.

That doesn't make them jerks, that makes them people who have a different take on a large and complex rule set with many ambiguities.

Yes, but a DM ruling against someone because they disagree with their authority does make them a jerk. That is the point, and is what was stated.

The DM in my example probably thinks RAI is crystal clear too. Doea that mean he can disallow power attack with improvised weapons? Can a DM disallow a feat in PFS because he believes it to be too good, and thus by RAI must be worse or nonexistant?

RAI arguments are completely subjective, and thus useless. I can argue for or against any rule in the book using RAI. Any. That's why it's pointless.

Oh, and in the case of your trick, the obvious solution is to use readied actions and ranged attacks to kill the elemental.


Aelryinth wrote:

It blatantly exists as the buckler rule.

But you're just calling it an 'exception', since it interferes with your 'I always get my Shield AC' demand, when in fact it's shutting down a loophole (I didn't attack with the buckler, therefore I get my shield AC, right?).

No. It's stating very firmly that unless you devote the attention of your off-hand to using the buckler to defend with, like ANY OTHER SHIELD, you don't get the benefit of the shield's AC. IN other words, attention paid to shield defense is exactly equal to using a weapon...just like a shield bash.

Your reading of the rules is in error. Let's look at the actual text of the buckler.

PRD - Buckler wrote:
This small metal shield is worn strapped to your forearm. You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying it. You can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are using an off-hand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a two-handed weapon), but you take a –1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so. This penalty stacks with those that may apply for fighting with your off hand and for fighting with two weapons. In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand, you lose the buckler's AC bonus until your next turn. You can cast a spell with somatic components using your shield arm, but you lose the buckler's AC bonus until your next turn. You can't make a shield bash with a buckler.

The bolded part is the most important. You are confusing "use a weapon in your off hand (no quotes)" with making an off-'hand' (note the quotes) attack. The two are not the same, nor are they intended to be the same. Why does the buckler state this? Let's look at a light shield in pertinent part:

PRD - Light shield wrote:
A light steel shield's weight lets you carry other items in that hand, although you cannot use weapons with it.

The buckler specifically lets you wield a weapon in your off-hand while the light shield does not. Because of this, Paizo had to clarify that if you have a buckler and use your off-hand (the one with the buckler and the light/one-handed weapon, then your don't get the buckler shield bonus.

You've consistently failed to understand that using your buckler hand to make an attack or assist with an attack is why you lose your shield bonus and it's not because you made an off-'hand' (note the quotes) attack. I'll repeat this concept for like the 10th time - an off-'hand' attack does not need to be made with the off-hand.

The only requirement I need fulfill to get my shield bonus is to strap it to my arm = donning it. The rules indicate, without ambiguity, the only time when I lose my shield bonus is when I bash with it. Or, if its a buckler, when I use the physical hand with the buckler to attack or assist with an attack. In essence attacking with the buckler hand is intended to be the equivalent of bashing with a light/heavy shield.

We don't need the vestigial arms FAQ to come to this conclusion. But what that FAQ does is confirm is that one does not lose their shield bonus when using both your Primary/Off-'hand' (note the quotes) attacks. Like FLite, I was expecting that using a shield for defense would use up the Off-hand attack option. Not because it's written in the rules, but because it seemed like a penalty one might expect in this game. But, there is no such rule and the FAQ confirms it. The FAQ confirms the absence of the rule you say exists.

There is no other interpretation supportable because there is nothing that states what you're claiming. The only way you get to where you are is by completely failing to understand that only reason the buckler denies the shield bonus is because you're using that physical hand.

Quote:
Three-handed munchkinism. Ugh.

It would seem that your emotions on this topic are what are clouding your ability to read the rules for comprehension.

Dark Archive

A buckler isn't the same thing as a light or heavy shield. Specific rules for the buckler have no bearing on the light or heavy shield.

Not that that is relevant at all, because you don't need to attack with your buckler arm to use armor spikes, and therefore wouldn't lose your shield bonus to AC when attacking with them.

Until the rule that specifically states that using a shield or buckler not as a weapon takes a metaphorical hand of effort appears, there is literally nothing that implies you can't do Longsword/Armor Spikes TWFing with a shield on your other arm, and RAW supports it as a valid option.


Sorry, but I still do not agree.

Anyone else who does not agree or who thinks that this is potentially outside the RAI/RAW, please feel free to tap that FAQ button.

Thanks and happy gaming!


Weslocke wrote:

Sorry, but I still do not agree.

Anyone else who does not agree or who thinks that this is potentially outside the RAI/RAW, please feel free to tap that FAQ button.

Thanks and happy gaming!

Do you have a rule you're basing your disagreement on?


martials can't have nice things D:


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think there's enough confusion that something like an errata, putting all this "hands of effort", wielding, TWFing, handedness, etc. into some kind of table with clear terminology would be useful.

But without a rewrite of the rules, I think the text in them is pretty crystal clear as-is.


caps wrote:
I think there's enough confusion that something like an errata, putting all this "hands of effort", wielding, TWFing, handedness, etc. into some kind of table with clear terminology would be useful.

Yeah, that whole clump of rules is in serious need of revision and clarification. To be honest, it feels like Paizo's made several hastily written on-the-spot rulings that tried to close potential issues/loopholes in the rules (or at least problems in Paizo's PoV) without any thought for the larger implications for the ruleset. The wielding issue came up to try and stop non-combat characters from using defending weapons, hands of effort tried to shut down supposedly overpowered TWF builds, and so on.

I think part of the problem also stems from Paizo's massive reluctance to ever change the written text, due to their errata policy. They'd rather twist the English language until it breaks or rely on unwritten rules than add an extra sentence to the book to fix the problem.


Sort of. It is my belief that the use of a shield requires a so-called "hand-of-effort". One cannot simply "hold" a shield and expect to receive the shields AC bonus. (I have used a shield to defend myself from someone determined to strike me, it is, most definitely, NOT effortless.) It is my belief that the character must definitely spend effort anticipating enemy actions and moving the shield to intercept the incoming attacks. To steal a line from BBT, it makes "no logical sense" to believe that wielding a shield defensively requires no effort on the wielders part.

Can I quote a rule from the book that backs this up? No, I am not a rules lawyer. I am just a GM with more than 35 years of experience who can smell an exploit from a table away.

I further believe that this is supported by SKR's post on "intent" posited earlier in the thread. There are supposed to be trade-offs. Not cake+cake+cake.

Additionally, I believe that Aelyrinth is fundamentally correct in almost all of his assertions on this subject. His views on this seem to parallel my own understanding of this issue.

I apologize if this is not enough for you. My rules-fu is only of moderate strength and I do well just to keep the 50+ RPG game-systems in my head separate, much less memorize them all word-for-word.

So...anyone who feels that this effortless shield shenanigans is outside the RAI/RAW please feel free to tap that FAQ button.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I understand that's your belief. I think I would agree. At my own home table I would lean towards ruling it that way. But I don't think that's what the rules support--it would be far from their only realism error.

It's not shenanigans, or even an exploit. I haven't seen anyone demonstrate that it's significantly better than other methods of TWF, so I don't understand that argument or line of thought. What makes it so cheesy?

The character I have that will be doing it is just using it as a stop-gap until he can afford an Adamantine Double Sword.

Dark Archive

Weslocke, your argument would be solid if "hands of effort" ruling involved anything but attacking. It doesn't. Or at the very least, nothing Paizo has told us about it involves anything but attacking. Therefore, by RAW, things that don't involve attacking don't involve hands of effort.

It's not an exploit (because the rules are actually in favor of this reading), it's not shenanigans (because you're still giving up a physical hand and can't use it for anything else but holding the shield), and the entirety of your argument boils down to "I don't like it". It's fine for you to houserule it at your table, but your reading is not supported by the rules, errata or anything else in Pathfinder.


Every single word in every post Aelryinth has made has included only personal opinions. This is strange for him. I honestly do not understand why he is pushing the issue without posting any rules quote to back him up.

Aelryinth: You know what would make this real easy? If you just posted something in the RAW that shows something saying that if you attack with an offhand weapon you lose your shield bonus to AC. But that isn't what the rules say. They say, "If you use your shield as a weapon, you lose its AC bonus until your next turn."

And as Seranov said, "Not that that is relevant at all, because you don't need to attack with your buckler arm to use armor spikes, and therefore wouldn't lose your shield bonus to AC when attacking with them."

And since we aren't talking about the armor spikes FAQ that isn't applicable either.

In fact, Seranov hit the nail on the head with this statement:
Until the rule that specifically states that using a shield or buckler not as a weapon takes a metaphorical hand of effort appears, there is literally nothing that implies you can't do Longsword/Armor Spikes TWFing with a shield on your other arm, and RAW supports it as a valid option.
Honestly, I think I may just include that statement in every post I make in this thread from here out until such a rule is supplied. Mostly because it seems so obnoxiously direct.


So it boils down the GM equivalent of truthiness?


It is better than normal TWF because your shield (including potential magical enhancement bonuses) can be supplying you with a +2-7 bonus to AC.

That is a big edge. A whole extra layer of cake, so-to-speak.

I cannot honestly speak to PFS play. I will never play at one of those tables. I am considered to be one of the best GM's in my city of 250,000 people. Players put their names on a list and literally wait years to play in my campaigns and I even have one friend who flies in over 300 miles 4 times per year just so he does not miss my Call of Cthulu games.
My regular players all say that I am the best GM that they have ever played with and they trust me to adjudicate the rules fairly even on spot notice with an unfamiliar option. And to me the effortless shield seems over-the-top.


It's not like you end with an OP result either

You end up with TWF (Feat and stat taxes) on a lackluster secondary weapon that can be an ulterior money sink


Personally, I really don't see what makes TWF with armor spikes and a shield scarier than just shield bashing with the appropriate feats. Armor spikes have the exactly same damage profile as a bashing light shield, after all.


Entryhazard wrote:

It's not like you end with an OP result either

You end up with TWF (Feat and stat taxes) on a lackluster secondary weapon that can be an ulterior money sink

With stellar defenses compared to a more offensively oriented two-weapon fighter.

So you are trading a portion of a die of damage for a massive bonus to AC.

Liberty's Edge

Weslocke wrote:

It is better than normal TWF because your shield (including potential magical enhancement bonuses) can be supplying you with a +2-7 bonus to AC.

That is a big edge. A whole extra layer of cake, so-to-speak.

I cannot honestly speak to PFS play. I will never play at one of those tables. I am considered to be one of the best GM's in my city of 250,000 people. Players put their names on a list and literally wait years to play in my campaigns and I even have one friend who flies in over 300 miles 4 times per year just so he does not miss my Call of Cthulu games.
My regular players all say that I am the best GM that they have ever played with and they trust me to adjudicate the rules fairly even on spot notice with an unfamiliar option. And to me the effortless shield seems over-the-top.

I've had to correct 4 star GMs and venture officers numerous times. Just because you're experienced, or considered a good GM, doesn't mean you're not wrong.


Folks, I have to go prep tomorrows The One Ring RPG scenario. (I am currently running The Darkening of the Mirkwood)

Again, any of you who feel that the effortless shield is too much feel free to tap that FAQ button.

Everyone have a good night and happy gaming!


and extra feats or gold, a potential hindering of class abilities, unable to 2H if you wanted to


Weslocke wrote:
Entryhazard wrote:

It's not like you end with an OP result either

You end up with TWF (Feat and stat taxes) on a lackluster secondary weapon that can be an ulterior money sink

With stellar defenses compared to a more offensively oriented two-weapon fighter.

So you are trading a portion of a die of damage for a massive bonus to AC.

Shield Master chain makes me slam with half the money cost


Buhlman would love this thread.


Weslocke wrote:
It is better than normal TWF because your shield (including potential magical enhancement bonuses) can be supplying you with a +2-7 bonus to AC.

It isn't because the goal of combat is to defeat the other guy. This done by doing damage. Shield builds, even those with TWF and Shield Master, give up a LOT of damage to TWF builds that use a weapon in both hand. Further strengthening this point is that your high AC just means intelligent NPCs ignore you and attack weaker targets. The only way you stop that is by killing them.

Quote:

And to me the effortless shield seems over-the-top.

This is a curious statement. Given all the ridiculous things various classes can do, I can't agree.

It's an observable phenomenon in Pathfinder that GMs and the Developers (PDT) are extremely quick to try and shut down martial tactics if they even smell funny. But let Oracles cast Misfortune on themselves to avoid bad saving throws and no one lifts a finger

Quote:
It is my belief that the character must definitely spend effort anticipating enemy actions and moving the shield to intercept the incoming attacks. To steal a line from BBT, it makes "no logical sense" to believe that wielding a shield defensively requires no effort on the wielders part.

On the list of things that "make no logical sense" in Pathfinder, allowing someone to use their shield while kicking and sword swinging, isn't on the top 1000. Try that fact that armor makes you harder to hit when in real life it would make you easier to hit but harder to damage; being flat footed would make everyone easier to hit, and how can one get their shield bonus when flat-footed, are but a few of a bazillion stupid things that go on this game if we are going to talk about realism.

But this is a game. Realism is irrelevant. You can do whatever you want at your table, but nothing supports Aerly's conclusion except sentiment. Should the rule be changed? IMO, it's so far down on the list of things that should be changed, I can't find it.


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It's frustrating that "realism" is enforced only to make sure martials' life sucks.

Dark Archive

Ivory Tower coming hard and fast, man. Those foolish swordsmen dare try fun things without the aid of magic? We'll have to tamp down on that right quick.


Seranov wrote:
Ivory Tower coming hard and fast, man. Those foolish swordsmen dare try fun things without the aid of magic? We'll have to tamp down on that right quick.

You know a swordsman can't swing a sword and chew gun if he has a shield on. It'd make the wizards cry. You need a wish or miracle to try someing THAT complicated... :P

Dark Archive

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I don't think anyone wants to chew guns. Very significantly bad for their health and all that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

"Weapon" in a hand with the buckler would include such things at Gauntlets and "armor Spikes" as far as it goes.

The point was, and still is, that the Buckler rules on being able to attack with a weapon (at a -1 penalty) whilst losing the AC bonus for the Buckler/shield is a clarification of basic shield wielding. Since the Buckler is the only shield that can be used while holding a weapon in the same hand, it is the only shield that has that clarification.

Simply put, ya can't do it. Attack, or get the AC bonus. Not both.

Or flurry, if your a monk with a shield. Course, you would be losing your WIS bonus if you wield a shield, but...

Dark Archive

You have proof of that claim? Or are you going to add to the list of people making completely unsubstantiated claims as if they're dogma?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The fact that a feat would allow you to keep AC when bashing with the shield? This indicates that normally, you would not keep your AC without that feat.

Why would it change when wielding a weapon in the same hand? (be it Dagger or Spikes)

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Except you're not bashing with the shield, nor are you using the empty buckler hand to attack with armor spikes. You're using the metaphorical "offhand" to make the attack, but not your physical hand.

The buckler only says you lose AC if you attack with a weapon held in the hand of the arm it is attached too. There is no rule that says using armor spikes, a see knife, a boot blade, a barbazu beard, kicks or any other attack that is not made with that particular hand would make you lose the shield bonus to AC.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

There is no "munchkinism". That's just an inflammatory term, possibly used to support a weak argument.

There is need to be a "rules lawyer" to support keeping your shield bonus to AC. In fact, you need "rules lawyer" the evidence to deny it.

Using "unwritten rules" as an basis for an argument, is one of the worst ways to debate rules.

I will, however, take a moment to make a comment on said "unwritten rules".

All of the "unwritten rules" discussed by prior Devs, was specific to number of attacks, availability of attacks, and damage to attacks.

Nothing in those comments of about "unwritten rules" ever touched.

I will, directly quote, what these "unwritten rules" cover:

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

What was the reason for the 'no' to armor spikes?

Because the game has an unwritten rule which essentially states the following:
• A 1st-level standard-race PC can either make one melee attack without TWF or you can make two melee attacks with TWF.

• The most damage you can do without TWF is using a 1H or 2H weapon in two hands for x1.5 Str damage, and the most damage you can do with TWF is x1 in the main hand and x.5 in the off-hand (for a total of x1.5 Str added to your weapons), so optimally you're getting no more that x1.5 Str no matter which attack mode you choose.

• While the game doesn't explicitly limit your attacks to "hands," that's the basic assumption, and you shouldn't be able to pile on additional attacks per round just because you can think up additional or alternative body parts to attack with.

• Because if one character uses 2H weapon and is NOT allowed to make an additional attack with armor spikes or a metal gauntlet because his hands are occupied by his 2H weapon, and a different character uses a 2H weapon and IS allowed to make an additional attack with a metal boot because he's not using his hand, that second character is gaining a game mechanics advantage simply by changing the flavorful description of his extra attack's origin from, and that is not good game design.

There is a hard (but not-explicity-stated-in-the-rules) limit to what a standard-race PC should be able to do in one round of combat. Even though it's not stated in the rules, it is a real limit (in the same way that there's no printed rule that says "don't make a first-tier feat that gives more than +3 to one skill for a 1st-level character," or "don't make a first-tier feat that gives more than a +1 to attack rolls with one type of weapon," but it's still a rule we follow), and you shouldn't be allowed to break that limit.

Note: Nothing involving AC bonuses, shields, or anything of the sort.


thaX wrote:
The fact that a feat would allow you to keep AC when bashing with the shield? This indicates that normally, you would not keep your AC without that feat.

Where does the feat say anything about other weapons affecting the shield bonus?

thaX wrote:
Why would it change when wielding a weapon in the same hand? (be it Dagger or Spikes)

Because you aren't wielding the spikes IN the hand! Nothing in the feat says about losing the AC bonus when attacking with anything other that THAT shield. Nothing. I'm not getting how you guys are tossing a FAQ and a few random rules into a blender and coming up with this...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

To further discuss these "unwritten rules", "hands of effort", let's look at a comment, directly from the prior Dev who brought forth such ideas:

Seen here:

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

But it would be legal to attack with a two-handed weapon, with a one handed weapon and use a shield, right? I ask because I have an alchemist in my kingmaker group who does that.

If you mean "use two hands on one weapon, and use the other arm for a shield," then yes. Though I wasn't really intending for people to do that, either. :p

That is from the Alchemist Vestigial Arm thread. Please note that the Vestigial Arm does not grant additional off-hand attacks, and thus, would not grant additional "hands of effort". Now, using a two-handed weapon, which, per "unwritten rules", uses both of your "hands effort", and yet, has no mentioned loss of a shield bonus to AC. It is noted as a legal combination.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Very eloquently presented, BBT.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, other than "unwritten rules", the only other "evidence", has been the Buckler.

Using the Buckler as evidence, implies that the rules for the Buckler, are not an exception, which would mean all the rules specific to Bucklers, actually apply to all shields.

I hope that is not is what is being suggested.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Nefreet wrote:
Very eloquently presented, BBT.

Thank you. After I had the accusation of "screaming" in my posts, I have been trying harder to express the tone, I wish to express.

Tone is very hard to express through text.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Shame, too.

I have fond memories of you shouting out "HANDS!!"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, sometimes I mean to have such a tone. Sometimes not.

I try to not have one seem, like the other.

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