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


Rules Questions

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We were in a situation before where the vast majority of players thought it worked the other way. You could bring a character with a magic bow to a PFS game and take it for granted that whoever was GM would let you penetrate DR. Even members of the PDT thought it worked the other way:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Personally, I'd like there to be some reason to buy +5 arrows, but that bias aside, I think the text leans more toward making the arrows bypass.

This sounds to me like a "This is how we think it ought to work," FAQ response, rather than a "This is what we think the rules currently say," response. Which I don't really have a problem with in general - it just puts it in the same category as nerfing Divine Protection via FAQ. But annoying if you're playing an archer and you find out you've been doing it 'wrong'.


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Why the f$&+ you lot still in here we had a FAQ like 3 pages back what is there to argue anymore?


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Well, if we argue that it's a dumb rule there's the small chance it'll get changed similar to the flurry fiasco. That set the precedent that a ruling that went against the rule's text and was not what the majority of players were doing can be reversed. So since that example case exists, people will debate about it, and since this one seems like a dumb ruling that goes against the text and how people played it would seem like a good candidate for a reversal.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
Well, if we argue that it's a dumb rule there's the small chance it'll get changed similar to the flurry fiasco. That set the precedent that a ruling that went against the rule's text and was not what the majority of players were doing can be reversed. So since that example case exists, people will debate about it, and since this one seems like a dumb ruling that goes against the text and how people played it would seem like a good candidate for a reversal.

What he said!

The PDT is not infallible (far from it in fact), and this whole FAQ strikes me as a poorly thought out knee-jerk reaction in keeping Paizo's apparent tendency not to let Martials have (or keep) nice things.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Well, if we argue that it's a dumb rule there's the small chance it'll get changed similar to the flurry fiasco. That set the precedent that a ruling that went against the rule's text and was not what the majority of players were doing can be reversed. So since that example case exists, people will debate about it, and since this one seems like a dumb ruling that goes against the text and how people played it would seem like a good candidate for a reversal.

This isn't as integral to a class , and nothing was built on top of the old way of doing it. So i doubt it has the wrecking ball esque momentum that flurry needed to go back to the other way.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Well, if we argue that it's a dumb rule there's the small chance it'll get changed similar to the flurry fiasco. That set the precedent that a ruling that went against the rule's text and was not what the majority of players were doing can be reversed. So since that example case exists, people will debate about it, and since this one seems like a dumb ruling that goes against the text and how people played it would seem like a good candidate for a reversal.
This isn't as integral to a class , and nothing was built on top of the old way of doing it. So I doubt it has the wrecking ball esque momentum that flurry needed to go back to the other way.

Which is what we'll see by the people's responses and how PDT react. I doubt it too since it's the PDT, but who knows? It for sure wont happen if we just quietly accept the FAQ.


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alright then, continue ranting. *grabs protest sign* :)

I don't dislike the rule so much as the mindset. You cannot apply that level of a fine toothed comb to the pathfinder ruleset and wind up with anything sane (no, you can't use stealth behind the bench, there's a dwarf with darkvision 50 feet that way and 2 rooms over..)

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'd prefer to save my outrage for situations that are actually outrageous. The PDT is made of people that I want to enjoy reading the messageboards and receiving feedback from fans. Thoughtful and considerate the responses here have not been.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

alright then, continue ranting. *grabs protest sign* :)

I don't dislike the rule so much as the mindset. You cannot apply that level of a fine toothed comb to the pathfinder ruleset and wind up with anything sane (no, you can't use stealth behind the bench, there's a dwarf with darkvision 50 feet that way and 2 rooms over..)

Right, especially if they want to keep using the excuse, "it's in conversational tone, not rules language" Like if it's just conversational then you can't say that the exact wording is just so to make it NOT overcome DR.


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thaX wrote:
The FAQ does not remove anything. It is clarifying what was already there, whether you agree with it or not. This is why the question was asked in the first place.

No, the FAQ is absolutely not clarifying what was "already there." We know that is demonstrably false because:

1. Paizo did not write the rule that they FAQ'd. This means that no one, not even Paizo, can claim that this what they meant when it was written because....wait for it...Piazo didn't write the rule; and

2. D&D 3.5 did not allow enhancement bonuses to bypass special material DR. This fact seems to be lost on everyone in this discussion. The rule that has been FAQ'd was written by WotC and did not contemplate, in any way, shape, or fashion, whether the enhancement bonus from a weapon was conveyed to the ammunition for the purposes of DR. Why? because Paizo added the rules that allow enhancement bonuses to overcome DR beyond magic.

I'm not sure why people are struggling to connect the dots on 1 & 2. Paizo added the ability to bypass special materal DR via enhancements. But they never went back and modified the language that discussed ammunition and magic weapons. As someone pointed out, Paizo need to change it thus.

What Paizo failed to fix wrote:
Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon only for the purpose of overcoming DR/magic.

The FAQ tells us that this how we are supposed to read something that Paizo never wrote. Nor did the original authors of that rule have any intention of speaking on whether the ammunition bypassed special materials because NOTHING bypasses special material via enhancement.

Trying to claim that this is what Paizo meant all along is nonsensical. Trying to claim that Paizo "clarified something" is inaccurate because Paizo didn't write it and when it was written it unequivocally did not speak to what they are claiming is the rule.

Now, the question that we don't know is whether Paizo intended for it to work this way when they first added DR bypass, or, if they recently decided that the rules, as written, allowed them to take that approach.

But claiming this was always the rule is a non-starter. This FAQ created a rule that did not exist.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Well, if we argue that it's a dumb rule there's the small chance it'll get changed similar to the flurry fiasco.

Yes, I tried that approach with the Spiked Shield, but as of yet, Paizo hasn't changed their tune.

The problem I have with arguing against this FAQ is that it probably is a bigger nerf on gunslingers, which I think need it. Ironically, my PFS archer was just deciding on whether to go with a +3 bow, for the DR/bypass. So despite playing a high level PFS archer who is directly affected by this, I am reluctant to ask that it be repealed.

I also am of the opinion that ranged combat is exceedingly effective compared to melee.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
N N 959 wrote:
This FAQ created a rule that did not exist.

Again.

And they'll keep at it because that's what Paizo does; keeping players and GMs on their toes all the time, while keeping casters in the clouds and martials in the basement.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I have had a conversation about this issue some time ago, before this FAQ came out. It was over this issue and what enchantments could go on the bow and which had to be on the arrows.

This was never a steadfast reading of RAW and the intent of the particulars about the difference between the enhancement on the arrow and the one inferred to it is not completely spelled out in so many words.

To be sure, the text is assuming a melee weapon in most of the text until and only when it mentioned the ranged weapons in the small paragraph that contains that reference. That it could be interpreted to be all "weapons" instead is why the FAQ came out.


Ravingdork wrote:
And they'll keep at it because that's what Paizo does; keeping players and GMs on their toes all the time, while keeping casters in the clouds and martials in the basement.

In this case, that's quite an overstatement. Archery is already very powerful and this barely even qualifies as a nerf. It's more of a quality of life issue. Though really, being such a minor thing is why I don't see why they even bothered. The answer to archery superiority isn't making their lives slightly less convenient at higher levels.


It basically means that archers need different material ammo to overcome DR. This definitely isn't as big a deal as it is being made out to be, since special material ammo isn't super expensive in the grand scheme of a character's gold investment. The effectiveness of archers has also not been significantly decreased either.


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I don't personally have any problems with this change in particular (and it is a change), but rather with Paizo's annoying practice of claiming that the changes they are making to the rules are not in fact, changes.

I saw it a lot in WotC too. I just don't understand why game developers today seem so afraid to be upfront and honest with their consumers.

Mark Seifter is the best thing to happen to Paizo in a long time. He straight up tells it like it is to the best of his knowledge.


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Tels wrote:

*skims skims skims*

Huh, nothing new here except people saying, "I'm totally right, and the PDT is wrong despite having no evidence to back me up."

Guess I'll just move along from this thread and stop paying attention to it.

Except...Paizo PRD

"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.

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."

See the portions I've place in BOLD.

It literally tells you to treat the ammo as a "magic weapon" and tells you that it is for the purposes of overcoming DR.

Check the link. Their own website even links the word "damage reduction" straight to the Glossary which tells you how to overcome DR.

Overcoming DR wrote:

"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."

The PDT is only correct in so far as they have the power to change things via a FAQ, not because that's what the rules actually say.


PDT wrote:
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.

Even the FAQ response shortens the term found within the Core Book. It never says just "counts as magic" it uses the term "treated as a magic weapon".

Which are different things.


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Maybe like the Monk Flurry thing, they will eventually revert it.

Not to rehash, but in the Flurry situation: the realized no one who wrote monk stuff ever followed the Office rules:

Spoiler:

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
That said.. this causes some problems that came to light today as this bounced around the office, namely that it was not common knowledge that it was supposed to work this way and has gone to print without this change. This is obviously a concern and one that I intend to investigate. There is also the problem of the Zen Archer, which clearly does not work with these rules (or rather, it clearly, as its intent, violates these rules). There is also the concern that this system is a bit of a pain to figure out, which is something that does concern me greatly.

So, we come to a similar situation. Someone like Jason wanted this a rule, but he never reminded everyone so everything they wrote never followed the rules.
Or
We assume this is somthing they just thought of.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

I believe all of this disagreement stems from the position that the rules can only be read to mean one thing and when differences exist, one side is wrong.

The rules are not intended to be read that strictly like a program.

If we had a more official policy on how the rules are intended to be read, I believe all the disagreements would cease.

Shadow Lodge

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Oh, you are SO adorable...


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James Risner wrote:
I believe all of this disagreement stems from the position that the rules can only be read to mean one thing and when differences exist, one side is wrong.

Your response is completely off the mark. This isn't a case of Paizo writing something and the rest of us not reading it correctly, this is a case of Paizo telling us that something that they didn't write addressed something that didn't exist when the rule was originally written.


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James Risner wrote:

If we had a more official policy on how the rules are intended to be read, I believe all the disagreements would cease.

There's no one level of persnicket that you can set the reading to to get you the right answer all the time, even when the rules dont' outright contradict.

Brain in a jar's citation is... wow. How the heck do you get this ruling with those rules in place?


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TOZ wrote:
Oh, you are SO adorable...

I bet you say that to all the writhing tentacle monsters.


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thaX wrote:
To be sure, the text is assuming a melee weapon in most of the text until and only when it mentioned the ranged weapons in the small paragraph that contains that reference.

No, the WotC text is not assuming melee weapons. It's assuming all weapons. When WotC wrote these rules, a +5 bow and +5 dagger conveyed the exact same benefits for overcoming DR. There was no need or intent to differentiate between ranged or melee because everyone got the exact same benefit. In D&D 3.5, there was no DR that a +5 dagger could overcome that a normal arrow fired from a +5 bow could not.

The FAQ came out because either Paizo failed to update the original rule when they created DR/bypass or they suddenly decided that this was an easy way to bring ranged combat down a notch, or at the very least make ranged combat more tedious.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

BigNorseWolf wrote:
James Risner wrote:
official policy on how the rules are intended to be read, I believe all the disagreements would cease.
There's no one level of persnicket that you can set the reading to to get you the right answer all the time, even when the rules dont' outright contradict.

True

But if we didn't set a persnickety level and simply said "Ask your GM" wouldn't that solve most of the issues we see without needing to have the 100 additional FAQ that come up after the last 150 things got a FAQ?


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James Risner wrote:


But if we didn't set a persnickety level and simply said "Ask your GM" wouldn't that solve most of the issues we see without needing to have the 100 additional FAQ that come up after the last 150 things got a FAQ?

Not really. Some people are worried about PFS. Some people see deeper rules implications where things break down. Some people just hate the ruling. Some people don't want to trust the dm, or know the rules better than the DM and self police.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Brain in a jar's citation is... wow. How the heck do you get this ruling with those rules in place?

The obvious answer is that it's not a "ruling" of interpretation, but a rules addition.

Scarab Sages

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James Risner wrote:
If we had a more official policy on how the rules are intended to be read, I believe all the disagreements would cease.

The sad reality of RPGs needing so many FAQs stems from the simple fact that us RPGers are a smart group....How can a team of only so many developers be expected to reallistically solve issues only noticed when thousands or millions of really smart people use their products? Even with really smart developers, the numbers work against us all, which in turn leads to needing these many, many FAQs.

The Exchange

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N N 959 wrote:
thaX wrote:
To be sure, the text is assuming a melee weapon in most of the text until and only when it mentioned the ranged weapons in the small paragraph that contains that reference.

No, the WotC text is not assuming melee weapons. It's assuming all weapons. When WotC wrote these rules, a +5 bow and +5 dagger conveyed the exact same benefits for overcoming DR. There was no need or intent to differentiate between ranged or melee because everyone got the exact same benefit. In D&D 3.5, there was no DR that a +5 dagger could overcome that a normal arrow fired from a +5 bow could not.

The FAQ came out because either Paizo failed to update the original rule when they created DR/bypass or they suddenly decided that this was an easy way to bring ranged combat down a notch, or at the very least make ranged combat more tedious.

This is my biggest problem with the situation. They are using a conflict between Pathfinder rules and D&D rules to side on nerfing ranged combat rather than affirming their rule set works as stated.

It's a little ridiculous how little faith they have in their own game system.


I don't know why this is still going.

It's quite clear that Paizo just said "You either take the Clustered Shot feat or spend all of your WBL on unique ammunition, otherwise you're gonna suck at ranged combat against anything that has DR" with this FAQ.

There's no need for debate. Paizo has spoken. You can't revert the rule, so there's no reason to argue why some other interpretation is correct. This isn't some issue that can be solved democratically, you forget that this is a sovereignty/ Paizo's sovereignty, in fact. And they just recently deemed a law as not functioning as it was supposed to, and had it changed.

Either adjust to the new law, or find a sovereignty whose laws you find more suitable, and move on.

Community & Digital Content Director

Locking. If you want to debate a rules clarification or FAQ, do so in another thread/subforum.

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