Does ammunition fired from a magical projectile weapon gain the benefits of the weapons magical enhancement or abilities?


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Liberty's Edge

Nigrescence wrote:

This thread is still seriously going?

I think I'm going to shoot myself in the head using a +5 Flaming Burst Light Crossbow with a +1 Bane (Human) bolt. That way I kill myself faster having a +5 enhancement bonus, extra flaming damage, and extra bane damage. I may as well count it as a coup-de-grace to ensure maximum burst effect.

The bane effect is curious:

you have a +5 flaming bust crossbow and a quarrel that, against humans, is +3 to hit, +3+2d6 to damage.
As the Bane effect is applied to the quarrel and then the two bonuses are compared, I think you keep the highest bonus, so you get a +5 to hit, +5+2d6+flaming burst quarrel, not a +7 quarrel.
i could be wrong, but I think you should compare the bonuses of the whole items, not the basic bonuses.


I don't know who made this thread, but it is silly. It does not mean you are silly, but we know how this works.

Quote:


The enhancement bonus from a ranged weapon does not stack with the enhancement bonus from ammunition. Only the higher of the two enhancement bonuses applies.
split by me to show both parts of the bolded section
Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

The first part is saying the ammo actually takes on the actual enhancement if the weapon has a higher enhancement. That is what "applies" is referring to.

The 2nd part is saying that it also overcomes damage reduction. Note that it does not limit the projectile to overcoming DR/Magic. It says the weapon is treated as magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming DR.

What do magic weapons of certain enhancement do? They overcome other types of DR.

The 2nd part is not redundant. They figured someone might try to argue that it(ammo) does the +5 to attack and damage but it won't overcome the appropriate DR because it is not a "weapon" in and of itselt. So they had to be clear that property would be passed on to the ammunition.

PS: No I am not hitting the FAQ button. All a dev needs to do is say Wraithstrike is right, and we can save the FAQ space for something that actually needs it.


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I made this thread, and it is not silly. I'm not going to rehash the arguments that have already been made here, but I will point out, that you have not added any new argument to this thread. Mark Sefiter, at least, thinks it's ambiguous and could lean either way, but he also thinks that it slightly favors your interpretation over my initial one.

I will state that the vast majority (if not all) people play it the way you interpret it (as have I up to this point), but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the correct way.

The rules are unclear, therefore, a FAQ is necessary.


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Trogdar wrote:
I always thought magic arrows were for people who used bows infrequently, but still needed to hit things.

This is why I always thought magic ammo exists. People that default ranged get magic weapons and get +1 ammo with other buffs or non-magic ammo. people that range as a back-up get the +2-5 ammo to make up for the lack of bonus on their less enchanted secondary weapon.

Seems perfectly logical and within the reading of every rule brought up here. The rules say your ammo gets the enhancement bonus of your bow and nothing in the other text says that the ammo doesn't get the usual DR bypass of weapon enhancement bonuses. Projectile weapons transfer their abilities to the ammo or the abilities have no meaning.

I'll agree with wraithstrike and NOT hit the FAQ. IMO it's pretty clear how it works and by Tels own thinking "the vast majority (if not all) people play it the way [we] interpret it". The only thing an FAQ does is take time away from truly needed FAQ's and opens the door for some off the wall reply that throws a monkey wrench into things. Why rock the boat just to be technically correct?

The rules COULD be clearer but not everything NEEDS to hold your hand and 100% spell everything out. IMO this thread should get the old 'no reply required' stamp.


I do thinks it's kinda sad that one of the reasons nobody wants an FAQ on this is that we have little faith that the PDT to make a good, coherent ruling that fixes any ambiguity in the rules and doesn't have any problematic secondary consequences.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Nigrescence wrote:

This thread is still seriously going?

I think I'm going to shoot myself in the head using a +5 Flaming Burst Light Crossbow with a +1 Bane (Human) bolt. That way I kill myself faster having a +5 enhancement bonus, extra flaming damage, and extra bane damage. I may as well count it as a coup-de-grace to ensure maximum burst effect.

The bane effect is curious:

you have a +5 flaming bust crossbow and a quarrel that, against humans, is +3 to hit, +3+2d6 to damage.
As the Bane effect is applied to the quarrel and then the two bonuses are compared, I think you keep the highest bonus, so you get a +5 to hit, +5+2d6+flaming burst quarrel, not a +7 quarrel.
i could be wrong, but I think you should compare the bonuses of the whole items, not the basic bonuses.

My post clearly indicated that it was still just a +5 weapon. However I was getting the extra bane damage for being a human (2d6 bane damage). I did not, in any way, suggest that I would get a +7 weapon.

Liberty's Edge

Nigrescence wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Nigrescence wrote:

This thread is still seriously going?

I think I'm going to shoot myself in the head using a +5 Flaming Burst Light Crossbow with a +1 Bane (Human) bolt. That way I kill myself faster having a +5 enhancement bonus, extra flaming damage, and extra bane damage. I may as well count it as a coup-de-grace to ensure maximum burst effect.

The bane effect is curious:

you have a +5 flaming bust crossbow and a quarrel that, against humans, is +3 to hit, +3+2d6 to damage.
As the Bane effect is applied to the quarrel and then the two bonuses are compared, I think you keep the highest bonus, so you get a +5 to hit, +5+2d6+flaming burst quarrel, not a +7 quarrel.
i could be wrong, but I think you should compare the bonuses of the whole items, not the basic bonuses.

My post clearly indicated that it was still just a +5 weapon. However I was getting the extra bane damage for being a human (2d6 bane damage). I did not, in any way, suggest that I would get a +7 weapon.

I wasn't implying that, I simply pointed out that curious effect.

It wasn't self evident and it is a peculiar effect that can influence some other special ability (Furious is only melee, so I am not sure if there is some other ability that can be pout on ammunition and share that trait of increasing the specific object bonus to hit).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I may have contributed to the creation of this thread when I asked whether ammunition fired from an enchanted bow received the hardness and hp increases that come with enchantment. It was a very odd case that had something to do with arrows being sundered in flight, if I remember right, but for all the "this is silly, who would ask this?" people, that was possibly the original question that started the thought process.

Liberty's Edge

Lavawight wrote:
I may have contributed to the creation of this thread when I asked whether ammunition fired from an enchanted bow received the hardness and hp increases that come with enchantment. It was a very odd case that had something to do with arrows being sundered in flight, if I remember right, but for all the "this is silly, who would ask this?" people, that was possibly the original question that started the thought process.

They get the HP and Hardness, and it is relevant, as an example that make a difference when the target is behind a wall of fire.


I think this is the result of bad cut and paste txt conversion from 3.X. Originally in 2.0 ranged weapons did not confrere bonus over to ammo, but the dr or damage immunity system was just like pathfinders Special Material or +x weapon. If I remember correctly 3.0 keep the same system with the bows, but the DR system became much worse, As you need +X or better and special materials. Thus a person needing a gulf bag of +5 what ever arrows along with +5 bow if you wanted a bonus to hit or just a bow.

3.5 change this when the dr system changed to just needing +1 bow with golf bag of effects or a gulf bag full of just arrows. added that line to reduce the cost of range combat. That is why the left over text is their about alignment being transfers over.

pathfinder used new DR system similar to 2nd edition, to reduce the gulf bag effect and to make it simpler. So the last line is not actual need any more, based on the way the new DR system works but looks like it was left in.


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Chengar Qordath wrote:
I do thinks it's kinda sad that one of the reasons nobody wants an FAQ on this is that we have little faith that the PDT to make a good, coherent ruling that fixes any ambiguity in the rules and doesn't have any problematic secondary consequences.

Ever since the hands vs 'hands' and multiple sources FAQ I have NO faith in the PDT. It makes me sad as I have a lot of respect for some of it's members, Mark in particular. It used to be that even if I didn't agree with an FAQ, I understood where it was coming from but anymore we're getting rulings that are pulled out of thin air instead of out of the rules. I used to be happy seeing there where new FAQs but now all I get is a sense of dread...

Anymore, unless something is truly broken, I'm afraid to ask for an FAQ because it may get crane winged/Divine Protectioned into the ground as quintuple nerf hammerings seems to be the preferred fix if an incomprehensible and/or unwritten rule isn't available... :P

End rant.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
I do thinks it's kinda sad that one of the reasons nobody wants an FAQ on this is that we have little faith that the PDT to make a good, coherent ruling that fixes any ambiguity in the rules and doesn't have any problematic secondary consequences.

Ever since the hands vs 'hands' and multiple sources FAQ I have NO faith in the PDT. It makes me sad as I have a lot of respect for some of it's members, Mark in particular. It used to be that even if I didn't agree with an FAQ, I understood where it was coming from but anymore we're getting rulings that are pulled out of thin air instead of out of the rules. I used to be happy seeing there where new FAQs but now all I get is a sense of dread...

Anymore, unless something is truly broken, I'm afraid to ask for an FAQ because it may get crane winged/Divine Protectioned into the ground as quintuple nerf hammerings seems to be the preferred fix if an incomprehensible and/or unwritten rule isn't available... :P

End rant.

Not a rant. Plain simple truth.


Ravingdork wrote:
graystone wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
I do thinks it's kinda sad that one of the reasons nobody wants an FAQ on this is that we have little faith that the PDT to make a good, coherent ruling that fixes any ambiguity in the rules and doesn't have any problematic secondary consequences.

Ever since the hands vs 'hands' and multiple sources FAQ I have NO faith in the PDT. It makes me sad as I have a lot of respect for some of it's members, Mark in particular. It used to be that even if I didn't agree with an FAQ, I understood where it was coming from but anymore we're getting rulings that are pulled out of thin air instead of out of the rules. I used to be happy seeing there where new FAQs but now all I get is a sense of dread...

Anymore, unless something is truly broken, I'm afraid to ask for an FAQ because it may get crane winged/Divine Protectioned into the ground as quintuple nerf hammerings seems to be the preferred fix if an incomprehensible and/or unwritten rule isn't available... :P

End rant.

Not a rant. Plain simple truth.

More like a matter of opinion.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Brain in a Jar wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
graystone wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
I do thinks it's kinda sad that one of the reasons nobody wants an FAQ on this is that we have little faith that the PDT to make a good, coherent ruling that fixes any ambiguity in the rules and doesn't have any problematic secondary consequences.

Ever since the hands vs 'hands' and multiple sources FAQ I have NO faith in the PDT. It makes me sad as I have a lot of respect for some of it's members, Mark in particular. It used to be that even if I didn't agree with an FAQ, I understood where it was coming from but anymore we're getting rulings that are pulled out of thin air instead of out of the rules. I used to be happy seeing there where new FAQs but now all I get is a sense of dread...

Anymore, unless something is truly broken, I'm afraid to ask for an FAQ because it may get crane winged/Divine Protectioned into the ground as quintuple nerf hammerings seems to be the preferred fix if an incomprehensible and/or unwritten rule isn't available... :P

End rant.

Not a rant. Plain simple truth.
More like a matter of opinion.

I disagree. It's more like facing the facts.

Derail Time:
If there's anything those FAQ/Erratas mentioned have demonstrated (as well as other FAQ/Erratas that weren't mentioned that should have been, such as Slashing Grace, Courageous Property, et. al.), it's that Paizo doesn't really include "Balance" as one of their design values. And if it is, it's at the very bottom of their list of things they concern themselves with when they make a ruling, as evidenced towards their reasons behind their rulings. Crane Wing and the SLA qualifications are big culprits of this, since the main reason they were changed was because of the PFS backlash it was receiving.

It's much easier to say that PFS is the standard which Paizo uses for "balance," since several of their most notable rulings were because of their applications in PFS sessions, and other notable rulings didn't really require PFS' stance on the matter.

Another big key issue regarding these FAQs is that they might not always address what the real problem might be, and would then result in applying an otherwise incorrect antidote to the poison infecting the given bloodstream.

In the case of Crane Wing, the real problem there was players in PFS getting a BAB/Monk Level 5 feat at 2nd (or 1st) level, because of a certain class archetype who must not be named, being able to negate pre-requisites for those feats. A simple solution would have been to ban the archetype availability for PFS, and case would be closed. Another solution would be to alter the archetype's ability to not negate BAB/Monk Level requirements, which could have easily solved the problem on a larger scale and still kept the archetype's overall power in check, while still providing a much-needed feat for martials to utilize.

But what did they do? They basically went and butchered the feat chain in a hastened attempt to stop an otherwise simple problem to fix, causing a ridiculous repercussion across the boards here (and probably to other players).

Did I also mention that some of the above proposed solutions were eventually implemented after they butchered their own feat chain, and that it basically resulted in destroying the archetype that could have just as easily been fine the way it was? No? Good, I'm glad that I'm mentioning that now.

And this isn't the first time this has happened. SLA Qualifications were nerfed because PFS players were taking Archetypes by 2nd level through what many GMs would call being a Munchkin to the system. The "Hands" FAQ caused just as much of an uproar (though it wasn't because of PFS). The Courageous property FAQ, which I caused by the way, makes us question how an interpretation other than RAW could possibly make sense, when there was absolutely no basis for it outside of some highly suspicious and unofficial source for FAQ/Errata material, and look what happened there: The underdog interpretation won out because the RAW was "too overpowered" for a +1 property. Even the way the FAQ question is worded (which I didn't hardly originally word the way it is now) was basically a culling of Martial power creep.

It's no wonder people are going to be skittish about wanting to FAQ something, because we've seen what Paizo is capable of, and we've seen that it's definitely not something they are particularly careful of. Should they always be pretty and agreeable? No, but I'm sure they could easily have a better track record if they could take a step back and properly analyze the situation and aftershocks of their decisions.

Of course, I'm sure some people would think I'm expecting precognition from the Paizo Developers, and I'd say no. Precognition is physically impossible in the real world (though I'm sure Pathfinder has some sort of methods to acquire such); what I'm asking for is quite simple: Foresight. Prudence in their decisions. It's not much different than a "Think before you Act" mentality, and I figure that's not an unreasonable expectation, especially when I, as a person, am required every day to do so in order to keep my station. And I am nowhere near as prestigious and successful as the Paizo staff.

At any rate, I'm gonna bow my head out of this one for the foreseeable future. It's not so much that I don't wanna talk, more that this technically isn't the place for it, and that there really isn't much else to add to the discussion.


Crane wing wasn't a problem, and mom monk was not a problem either.


CWheezy wrote:
Crane wing wasn't a problem, and mom monk was not a problem either.

Yes, yes it was. MoMS Monk letting people have access to feats at 1st or 2nd level that were designed to be taken at 5th level or higher? These were a problem. Crane Wing was just the biggest issue because a character could make use of Crane Wing during the, 9 scenarios between 2nd and 5th level before anyone else could take it. A human could make use of it for the 12 scenarios between 1st and 5th level.

Keep in mind, this is the level range for which the vast majority of characters play through in PFS. There are more characters in the 1st - 5th level ranges than the 6th - 12th level ranges.

I mean, no one says Vital Strike is a problematic feat, but what if there was an archetype for Fighter that gave Vital Strike as a bonus feat at first level (ignoring pre-reqs) and Improved Vital Strike at 2nd level? Suddenly, Vital Strike is an over-powered feat because it's destroying scenarios with people rolling 6d6+(1.5xStr) for damage at second level on every attack.

Anyone with experience knew that Crane Wing wasn't nearly as good at the 6th level and beyond mark (despite still being a great feat), because more and more enemies had multiple attacks. Just the same as using Vital Strike would have less and less of an impact as more people gained more attacks, because now, suddenly, you're doing less damage than if you would just full attack.

It also didn't help that during the ACG playtest, the Swashbuckler's Parry and Riposte came under lots of fire for being drastically inferior to Crane Wing (it was also inferior to the Duelist PrC ability). Nearly every single Swashbuckler playtest (including Mark Seifter's) used Crane Wing in their builds. Not because it was overpowered, but because it synergized so well with a specific type of character that Swashbuckler favored.

Personally, the Crane Wing (and Crane Riposte) errata doesn't exist in my games. So too do a number of them (like the SLA revisit). Paizo FAQs are not universally adopted for me, because I also agree that they can sometimes pull rulings out of left field.

But a FAQ like this one? I'm okay with either answer to this. If magical ammo benefits, great, if it doesn't, that's great too.

I mean... unless they decide that magical ammo doesn't benefit, and since it doesn't benefit, bows don't benefit from an increased damage for having a high enhancement (cause the arrow does the damage, not the bow) and having a high strength rating also does nothing. On top of that, also, each arrow fired has a chance of breaking the string of the bow (via a sunder maneuver)... Well, if this were the ruling handed down, I would absolutely disregard it.

Given Paizo's history sometimes, it's entirely possible something like this could happen.


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Does Ammunition fired from a magical projectile weapon gain the benefits of the weapons magical enhancement or abilities?

Yes.

Lets start with the following.

PRD wrote:
Ranged Weapons and Ammunition: The enhancement bonus from a ranged weapon does not stack with the enhancement bonus from ammunition. Only the higher of the two enhancement bonuses applies.

Okay simple enough. If i have a +3 Longbow and a +1 Arrow you use the highest, the +3 enhancement.

PRD wrote:
Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Okay. So if i fire a non-magical arrow from a +3 Longbow the ammunition is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

So what does that mean?

Magic Weapon:
A magic weapon is enhanced to strike more truly and deliver more damage. Magic weapons have enhancement bonuses ranging from +1 to +5. They apply these bonuses to both attack and damage rolls when used in combat. All magic weapons are also masterwork weapons, but their masterwork bonuses on attack rolls do not stack with their enhancement bonuses on attack rolls.

Overcoming DR:
Overcoming DR: Damage reduction may be overcome by special materials, magic weapons (any weapon with a +1 or higher enhancement bonus, not counting the enhancement from masterwork quality), certain types of weapons (such as slashing or bludgeoning), and weapons imbued with an alignment.

Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon (in addition to any alignment it may already have).

Weapons with an enhancement bonus of +3 or greater can ignore some types of damage reduction, regardless of their actual material or alignment. The following table shows what type of enhancement bonus is needed to overcome some common types of damage reduction.

DR Type Weapon Enhancement Bonus Equivalent
cold iron/silver +3
adamantine* +4
alignment-based +5

Okay. So my character has a +3 Longbow and a quiver of non-magical arrows and I'm fighting a werewolf(DR/Silver).

1. I have a +3 magic weapon which as seen in Overcoming DR lets me bypass DR/Silver.

2. I know that ammunition is treated as a magic weapon for purposes of overcoming DR.

3. And i know that the i use the highest enhancement bonus between the projectile and ammo; which is +3.

So when i hit the werewolf with my arrows fired from a +3 Longbow i bypass the DR/Silver.

Now in the case of abilities being passed from the projectile weapon to the ammunition (Flaming, Frost, Shock, etc) i know they are passed on to the ammunition because;

PRD wrote:
2 Bows, crossbows, and slings crafted with this ability bestow this power upon their ammunition.

So if i have a +3 Flaming Longbow and non-magical arrows and hit a creature; my arrow will have a +3 enhancement that is treated as a magic weapon for bypassing DR and deal an extra +1d6 fire from flaming.

Finally concerning the last line of text.

PRD wrote:
Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon.

It is quite possible to have an alignment on a weapon without it being Holy, Unholy etc.

Things like Align Weapon

Without this last section casting Align Weapon on a projectile weapon wouldn't do anything.

So in conclusion.

If i have a +3 Flaming Longbow with non-magical arrows and i had Align Weapon (good) cast on the bow the following is true;

1. My arrow deals +1d6 Fire.

PRD wrote:
2 Bows, crossbows, and slings crafted with this ability bestow this power upon their ammunition.

2. My arrow will bypass DR/Silver.

PRD wrote:
Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
PRD wrote:
Weapons with an enhancement bonus of +3 or greater can ignore some types of damage reduction, regardless of their actual material or alignment.

3. My arrow will bypass DR/Good.

PRD wrote:
Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon.


*reads*

Oh look, nothing people haven't already said and been refuted. Being treated as a magical weapon =/= having an enhancement bonus. Or are you trying to tell me that Monks gain an enhancement bonus to unarmed strikes as they level up because their unarmed strikes are "treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction?"


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Tels wrote:
Being treated as a magical weapon =/= having an enhancement bonus.

True.

This part is what gives the enhancement bonus.

PRD wrote:
Ranged Weapons and Ammunition: The enhancement bonus from a ranged weapon does not stack with the enhancement bonus from ammunition. Only the higher of the two enhancement bonuses applies.

A +3 Longbow applies its +3 enhancement to ammunition.


Darksol the Painbringer's Derail Time:

Darksol wrote:

If there's anything those FAQ/Erratas mentioned have demonstrated (as well as other FAQ/Erratas that weren't mentioned that should have been, such as Slashing Grace, Courageous Property, et. al.), it's that Paizo doesn't really include "Balance" as one of their design values. And if it is, it's at the very bottom of their list of things they concern themselves with when they make a ruling, as evidenced towards their reasons behind their rulings. Crane Wing and the SLA qualifications are big culprits of this, since the main reason they were changed was because of the PFS backlash it was receiving.

It's much easier to say that PFS is the standard which Paizo uses for "balance," since several of their most notable rulings were because of their applications in PFS sessions, and other notable rulings didn't really require PFS' stance on the matter.

Another big key issue regarding these FAQs is that they might not always address what the real problem might be, and would then result in applying an otherwise incorrect antidote to the poison infecting the given bloodstream.

In the case of Crane Wing, the real problem there was players in PFS getting a BAB/Monk Level 5 feat at 2nd (or 1st) level, because of a certain class archetype who must not be named, being able to negate pre-requisites for those feats. A simple solution would have been to ban the archetype availability for PFS, and case would be closed. Another solution would be to alter the archetype's ability to not negate BAB/Monk Level requirements, which could have easily solved the problem on a larger scale and still kept the archetype's overall power in check, while still providing a much-needed feat for martials to utilize.

But what did they do? They basically went and butchered the feat chain in a hastened attempt to stop an otherwise simple problem to fix, causing a ridiculous repercussion across the boards here (and probably to other players).

Did I also mention that some of the above proposed solutions were eventually implemented after they butchered their own feat chain, and that it basically resulted in destroying the archetype that could have just as easily been fine the way it was? No? Good, I'm glad that I'm mentioning that now.

And this isn't the first time this has happened. SLA Qualifications were nerfed because PFS players were taking Archetypes by 2nd level through what many GMs would call being a Munchkin to the system. The "Hands" FAQ caused just as much of an uproar (though it wasn't because of PFS). The Courageous property FAQ, which I caused by the way, makes us question how an interpretation other than RAW could possibly make sense, when there was absolutely no basis for it outside of some highly suspicious and unofficial source for FAQ/Errata material, and look what happened there: The underdog interpretation won out because the RAW was "too overpowered" for a +1 property. Even the way the FAQ question is worded (which I didn't hardly originally word the way it is now) was basically a culling of Martial power creep.

It's no wonder people are going to be skittish about wanting to FAQ something, because we've seen what Paizo is capable of, and we've seen that it's definitely not something they are particularly careful of. Should they always be pretty and agreeable? No, but I'm sure they could easily have a better track record if they could take a step back and properly analyze the situation and aftershocks of their decisions.

Of course, I'm sure some people would think I'm expecting precognition from the Paizo Developers, and I'd say no. Precognition is physically impossible in the real world (though I'm sure Pathfinder has some sort of methods to acquire such); what I'm asking for is quite simple: Foresight. Prudence in their decisions. It's not much different than a "Think before you Act" mentality, and I figure that's not an unreasonable expectation, especially when I, as a person, am required every day to do so in order to keep my station. And I am nowhere near as prestigious and successful as the Paizo staff.

Since the thread topic has more than enough discussion, I found your post an interesting perspective.

1. Let me say I categorically disagree with you that Paizo is not concerned with "balance." I think the problem is that what they believe constitutes balance is not necessarily going to align with what others believe.

1.a. While we're on the subject of balance, I'll point out that game designers often look at this from several perspectives, including worst-case scenario. Sometimes, you have to nerf something e.g. two-weapon fighting, because when pushed to the limits, it can trivialize the game. And while recognizing that what one person feels is trivialization can be fun for another, this worst-case scenario is an aspect of "balance" that players routinely ignore or fail to consider.

2. You mention that PFS is the reason some of these bad rulings have resulted. Well, consider that PFS is the only place these rulings truly matter. Outside of PFS, every GM can do whatever they want, and often do. So unless a set of rules approaches inoperability, then we're lucky Paizo chooses to issues any FAQs not relevant to PFS. So the main reason to issue a FAQ is to support PFS.

Now personally, I think supporting one's product is good business sense. I think Paizo, even if it registers as red mark on the books, is actually improving its bottom line by "fixing" problems.

3. I think there have been a decent number of good FAQs. Clearing up things like Fast Learner and Sleeves of Many Garments questions, improves game play for those who need a source to avoid game-killing table debate. Likewise, I think the Take 10 non-ruling (but let us backdoor change the rule) is one of the truly horrible decisions and borderline unethical actions taken by Paizo.

4. You may be right about some of your observation on fixes/screw ups as I'm not well versed in those areas (translation: would have trouble caring less). And although outside of PFS, none of this is enforceable, I do think good rulings are important.


... Why is this conversation still happening?


If I could make a two weapon wielding martial that, at high level, did a million damage a swing, I still couldn't trivialize the game. All that does is ensure that one mook goes down a round if a whole series of conditions are met.

Let me repeat for clarity, damage never breaks the game, only badly designed encounters.


"Trivialize the game" is the wrong phrase with respect to TWF. I should have said, "trivialize other builds."


N N 959 wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
...

N N 959 reply:
#2 I take issue that "PFS is the only place these rulings truly matter". I often play online and you either play by the default rules or you can end up with scores of houserules. You also have the issue of some people NOT having the original versions of pre-FAQ items so you have to post pages of rules to override the new. A HUGE pain in the butt.

Some people seem to think that every non-PFS game is a home game where everyone has the same books and has a nice easy central location to collect house-rules. If anything PFS has it easier as they DO have a place they post all their houserules. Which is why I fail to understand why everything gets nerfed to fit it. After all, they have shown they have no issue making up their own rules for how they want things played.

#3 In the old days, it ran about 50/50 for me, half I liked and half I didn't. That's fallen to about 20/80, 20% I like and 80% I don't. Add to that the inexplicable explanations of some of the FAQ and even some that I might have been ok with end up being ones I don't like. [multiple sources, really?] That and the seeming total lack of balance in FAQ leaves me increasingly dissatisfied with FAQ's. If something strong gets 'fixed', it gets grounded into the dirt instead of making it a balanced option that someone would want to take. Several options were demoted to trash and I fail to see how that's an improvement from an always take option. Now they're just wasting space with another useless item and it seems like a waste of ink and effort...


graystone wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
...
** spoiler omitted **

graystone:

#2. I'm speaking from the Paizo bean-counter point of view. Anything Paizo does has an opportunity cost. We know that the PDT usually involves the efforts of more than one person. So you're burning company oil to answer question for a game where the GM already is empowered to answer those question. There's a strong argument that publishing FAQs is wasting resources. I disagree with that, but I'd have a very very hard time proving that FAQing is financially beneficial, where as it would be much easier to show stats that the PDT FAQing hours delay the release of content.

If it were not for PFS, I suspect the FAQing would be a fraction of what it is now.

#3. I mean no offense, but I believe that many players don't like the FAQs because it contradicts their flawed understanding of the rules to begin with. I'll reference the FAQ on sleeve of many garments. It is beyond obvious to me, on a number of levels, that this item cannot be allowed to create a physically different outfit. The arguments that said it should, were logically inaccurate and predicated on what people wanted to be true about the game, not what was.

Similarly, I was wrong about the Fast Learner feat. The explanation given by the devs allowed me to understand that. On the surface, if I can choose A, or B, or C, before the feat then we should be able to say A=B=C in terms of balance. Then, if the feat gives me A+B, shouldn't A+C or B+C be the same? Well the answer was no because the devs believe that B and C choices essentially have values on second axis that made A+B=C, or perhaps more accurately B+C or A+C> A+B.. That isn't apparent in the rules, but its how the devs viewed the choices. So rather than call the FAQ bad, I realized my opinion/interpretation was based on a different/incorrect understanding of the game.

Don't get me wrong, I do think the PDT has made some doozies. But in most cases, I believe the player complaints stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of how the game was intended to be played on the part of the players/GMs.


N N 959 wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
...

Reply to Point #1

Spoiler:
I think you're right that Paizo has a very different idea of what constitutes balance than most players. After all, going by what SKR said after he left the company, the very unoptimizated iconics are the sort of characters they do internal playtesting with, and their games run with a long list of unwritten rules and gentleman's agreements. So it's no surprise that they have a different idea of balance than someone with good system mastery who plays without a hundred pages of unwritten houserules.


That's a pretty hilarious idea. Why would you make a game and have it function such that you have to use any kind of separate unwritten rule set to balance it?

That doesn't seem to be very reasonable to me.


Togdar:
Trogdar wrote:

That's a pretty hilarious idea. Why would you make a game and have it function such that you have to use any kind of separate unwritten rule set to balance it?

That doesn't seem to be very reasonable to me.

I'm going to say something that all who play the game and become concerned with the rules should take to heart:

Rules crafting is an art, not a science.

As art, there are parts some of us will like and some of us will not. The people who write the rules are not physicist or lawyers, they are artists. Their mindset, their focus, is on the experience that any particular rule creates. It isn't on whether the rule is plausible or reflects reality. They aren't trying to create a reality simulator or an alter reality simulator, they are creating art. Sure, they try to follow guidelines and follow some internal consistency, but as devs come and go, these self-imposed restrictions have changing priority. The guy in charge five years ago may have felt completely different about Take 10 than the guy who is running the show today.

In answer to your question, the first thing we have to ask is what is the goal? When the devs sit down to play test a scenario and use iconics, why do they do that? Yes, we know they are trying to "balance" the game, but the game can't actually be balanced. The term is a misnomer. A more useful concept is making the game playable/enjoyable/fair. And that is a subjective determination, which is why everyone will never agree on the result. What feels fair to a person is going to be influenced by that person's bias. People who view the game through the lens of casters will want things that benefit casters and those with a martial mentality will want things that benefit melee. The devs try to create a game where those who play caster and those who play martials and everyone in between, will enjoy the game. That is art...not science.

So perhaps these unwritten rules are about playing the game in a way that they think reflects the average person. From this, they are crafting the game to try and appeal to the broadest set of players.

Shadow Lodge

Tels wrote:

*reads*

Oh look, nothing people haven't already said and been refuted.

Refuted?? Where are these refuting post?

Paizo Employee Official Rules Response

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Answered in FAQ.

FAQ wrote:

Magic Ranged Weapons and Ammunition: When a ranged weapon shares its enhancement bonus with its ammunition, does this count as “true” enhancement bonus or more like a temporary bonus like greater magic weapon? In other words, does the shared enhancement bonus allow the arrow to bypass damage reduction as if it was cold iron, silver, adamantine, and aligned?

No, other than the ways indicated in the Core Rulebook (if the ranged weapon is at least +1, they count as magic, and if the ranged weapon is aligned they count as that alignment as well) the enhancement bonus granted to ammunition from the ranged weapon doesn’t help them overcome the other types of damage reduction. Archers and other such characters can buy various sorts of ammunition or ammunition with a high enhancement bonus to overcome the various types of damage reduction.


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Wow, did not see that one coming. So bows can never bypass DR, only arrows.

EDIT: @James Risner Did you predict this one?


FAQ Friday!


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Huh, so I was right. GMs everywhere will rejoice, and Clustered Shot is now mandatory for ranged characters. I did not expect this question to ever get answered to be honest.


I have never seen that interpretation before now.

... and I'm really confused.

Why on earth would you not specify in the section allowing +3 to bypass silver etc. that it only applied to melee weapons?

Is this to make magic ammo relevant or something?


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Well I never would have seen that coming. All this does now is make clustered shots mandatory, which already largely made DR pointless anyways.

Beyond that, buying durable arrows of different metal types was cheap enough that it really didn't matter. I usually bought them before my bow's enhancement bonus reach the level to overcome DR.

Personally I find this ruling to be silly and contrary to what I believe the majority of players had understood since Pathfinder was written.

Oh well. Can't win them all.

Edit: Honestly this just makes me question how magical bows are supposed to work at all.

If the bow imparts its enhancement bonus to the arrow for attack and damage, it makes no sense that it shouldn't overcome DR.

If it doesn't, it doesn't make sense to me that a magical bow would do anything and instead you would need to rely on magical ammunition (which would absolutely destroy ranged builds from a money perspective).

I understated archery is generally the most powerful non-magical combat style, but I just can't wrap my head around how this ruling makes sense. Except to weaken archery a bit, but also subsequently hurt all other ranged combat types as well.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gisher wrote:
FAQ Friday!

Say it *deeply*, from the back of the throat, with the proper Scottish brogue, sort of like one were dislodging a hairball. :P


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Gisher wrote:
FAQ Friday!
Say it *deeply*, from the back of the throat, with the proper Scottish brogue, sort of like one were dislodging a hairball. :P

FEKH Fridey!

Scarab Sages

Who wasn't taking clustered shots anyway?


Well gunslinging just got a little more expensive


Kineticist is looking on with bemusement.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Claxon wrote:

If the bow imparts its enhancement bonus to the arrow for attack and damage, it makes no sense that it shouldn't overcome DR.

If it doesn't, it doesn't make sense to me that a magical bow would do anything and instead you would need to rely on magical ammunition (which would absolutely destroy ranged builds from a money perspective).

A magic bow can make your aim truer and impart more force on an arrow without fully enchanting the arrow. The comparison to greater magic weapon helps me understand the process.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

It just seems to add more if/then complications to the rules without any gain as far as I can see.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Also, wow, I just reread this thread and realized there was quite a bit of low key insults aimed my way for posting it. I'm glad I mostly kepty cool when posting.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
It just seems to add more if/then complications to the rules without any gain as far as I can see.

I thought it would reduce the condition block.

GM: (thinks) Monster has DR 5/cold iron. What kind of arrows are you using?

rather than

GM: (thinks) Monster has DR 5/cold iron. What kind of arrows are you using?
Player: *mumbles* mundane durables
GM: Okay, and what enhancement bonus does your bow have?

edited for clarity.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
It just seems to add more if/then complications to the rules without any gain as far as I can see.

I thought it would reduce the condition block.

GM: Monster has DR 5/cold iron. What kind of arrows are you using?

rather than

GM: Monster has DR 5/cold iron. What kind of arrows are you using?
Player: *mumbles* mundane durables
GM: Okay, and what enhancement bonus does your bow have?

Except the GM shouldn't be announcing that unless a player makes a Knowledge check and that's what is asked for as information.

So it'd instead be

GM: You hit. It doesn't seem to all go through.
Player:*grumbles* "Well, it doesn't seem to be silver. Or adamantine. Or normal durable arrows. So it's gotta be cold iron or something else."


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
It just seems to add more if/then complications to the rules without any gain as far as I can see.

I thought it would reduce the condition block.

GM: Monster has DR 5/cold iron. What kind of arrows are you using?

rather than

GM: Monster has DR 5/cold iron. What kind of arrows are you using?
Player: *mumbles* mundane durables
GM: Okay, and what enhancement bonus does your bow have?

Except the GM shouldn't be announcing that unless a player makes a Knowledge check and that's what is asked for as information.

So it'd instead be

GM: You hit. It doesn't seem to all go through.
Player:*grumbles* "Well, it doesn't seem to be silver. Or adamantine. Or normal durable arrows. So it's gotta be cold iron or something else."

That's even worse having to waste attacks to figure it out while the melee just does.

Scarab Sages

How does this apply to weapons with endless ammunition? Does that ammunition always count as magic and no higher enhancement?


Looks that way


Hit, What kind of arrow was it?

It's a +5 holy arrow.

like, would anyone really answer that question by saying, "oh it's only a normal arrow." and then when the GM says it fails to bypass DR go, "WAIT! it should get past basically all DR cause it's really a +5 holy arrow cause my bow. Don't know why I didn't say that the first time you asked."


BigNorseWolf wrote:
It just seems to add more if/then complications to the rules without any gain as far as I can see.

It is a curious ruling.

The real "gain" is that specialty arrows will no longer automatically overcome cold/silver/adamantine/alignment restrictions purely on weapon (bow, crossbow, firearm) enhancement. I don't play enough high level Pathfinder to know what the substantive impact is.

Ostensibly, this should affect high level gunslingers far more than normal archers as now gunslingers will actually have to buy special material ammunition and they won't be able to buy "durable" bullets.

But this FAQ will also reduce archers that combine specialty arrows with 3+ bows. How big a deal is it that one's +1 flaming arrow will only pass through the fire damage?

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