way too big Dancing weapons?


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

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Hopefully simple. Can weapons too large to wielded by a character be used for their Dancing property?

And, for that matter, is the oversized/undersized penalty on attack rolls applied when the weapon dances?

Probably a simple 1: No, 2: Yes, but it does seem worth asking since I couldn't find the answer in a search.


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I'm rather curious to see what the official ruling on this one would be.

Dancing Weapon wrote:
It fights for 4 rounds using the base attack bonus of the one who loosed it and then drops.[/b]

If this is more or less the whole of it, then there should be absolutely no need to worry about the size penalty of the weapon, whatsoever, because the dancing quality only takes on the base attack bonus of the activator, and nothing else... All other things would be completely irrelevant.

(Which begs a whole new question: Could one, conceivably, emulate a better base attack when activating? Would emulating a creature that has a better base attack do the trick? - I realize I digress)

OK, back to topic.

How do we determine the AC, size bonus/size penalty of the weapon (as a creature), its strength and dex score, etc.

We should easily be able to calculate the hitpoints of the weapon (needed for sundering), but what about the rest? AC, size bonus/size penalty (as a creature), STR, DEX, etc?

Unless the weapon already has other stats from being sentient, I refer to the bestiary entry on animated objects spell. An animated object the size of a chair has a STR of 14 and is a medium creature. One the size of a wagon has a STR of 30 and is a huge creature.

Therefore, a dancing battering ram deals 3d6+10 damage, and has a +8 bonus to attack in addition to the activator's base attack bonus. (+10 from Str, -2 from size)


I would say that if the weapon can be wielded then it can be used for its dancing property. When it is dancing it does not carry the inappropriate size penalties; just as it does not gain or lose strength modifiers.

So, a medium character can use a large longsword but not a large greatsword. Reverse engineering some rationale: The weapon needs to learn the fighting style of the wielder to dance - that provides an explanation of why it inherits the BAB from the wielder.

The Exchange

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Cool idea!

Given that you're looking at 50 000+ gold for a weapon that only uses your BAB (no strength or feat modifiers), does damage based solely on size and enhancement bonus, takes a standard action to activate, AND you can't use it as a weapon yourself because of the size; I'd allow it.

This would actually make a pretty neat trap. An 8D6+1 Colossal greatsword rising up to attack an unwary party is quite an image.


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Belafon wrote:

...

This would actually make a pretty neat trap. An 8D6+1 Colossal greatsword rising up to attack an unwary party is quite an image.

And the image would be this. I would gladly take a couple of 8d6+1 hits for an insanely valuable sword.


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Hugo Rune wrote:
I would say that if the weapon can be wielded then it can be used for its dancing property. When it is dancing it does not carry the inappropriate size penalties; just as it does not gain or lose strength modifiers.

I definitely agree based on a "RAW" interpretation, but see this as problematic from a few standpoints.

Where is the STR score derived from? If it doesn't have a strength score, what's the point of dancing? A +1 dancing dagger that can't ever deal more than one point of damage, for 4 rounds, doesn't exactly strike me as having much of a useful purpose.

Also, what about the size penalty for the weapon itself as a creature? Theoretically, the weapon would have a size bonus/size penalty, in of itself, because it is fighting as its own creature. That's why I was referring to the Animate Objects spell for an example.

Hugo Rune wrote:
Reverse engineering some rationale: The weapon needs to learn the fighting style of the wielder to dance - that provides an explanation of why it inherits the BAB from the wielder.

I agree with this sentiment, for the most part, though the rationale has a few limitations. What about non-proficiency penalties? If the character isn't proficient, inheriting the fighting style should (arguably) cause the weapon to inherit the -4 non-proficiency penalty as well.

The 'Use Magic Device' question an also come up, as what stops an extremely clever caster from choosing to create a weapon that requires the activator to be a cloud giant. Does the weapon now assume the BAB of a cloud giant?

---

Unfortuantely, this is one of those situations where there is ample room for rules laywering on both sides, because none of the rules that could apply are very modular.

If there is a choice, I would stick to the lazy (houserule) way of doing it, and simply assume the weapon is always as if being wielded by the character in question, given that trying to plot the numbers between Bestiary, Ultimate Combat, and the Core Rulebook can be a bit tedius.

The Exchange

Snowblind wrote:
Belafon wrote:

...

This would actually make a pretty neat trap. An 8D6+1 Colossal greatsword rising up to attack an unwary party is quite an image.
And the image would be this. I would gladly take a couple of 8d6+1 hits for an insanely valuable sword.

Until the owner shows up to claim it on the 4th round...

Spoiler:
Or the magic is exhausted, or the sword crumbles, or something else. Yeah, that's way too valuable to hand over for the possibility of 30 damage on a hit.

Scarab Sages

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Since the entire Dancing weapon quote hasn't been quoted yet:

Quote:
Dancing: As a standard action, a dancing weapon can be loosed to attack on its own. It fights for 4 rounds using the base attack bonus of the one who loosed it and then drops. While dancing, it cannot make attacks of opportunity, and the person who activated it is not considered armed with the weapon. The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the creature for all maneuvers and effects that target items. While dancing, the weapon shares the same space as the activating character and can attack adjacent foes (weapons with reach can attack opponents up to 10 feet away). The dancing weapon accompanies the person who activated it everywhere, whether she moves by physical or magical means. If the wielder who loosed it has an unoccupied hand, she can grasp it while it is attacking on its own as a free action; when so retrieved, the weapon can't dance (attack on its own) again for 4 rounds.

The concern is the bit that mentions it being considered "wielded or attended by the creature" since the weapon is too large to be wield-able by the creature.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Quote:
The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the creature

So if you can't wield it, then you can't dance it.

Also the attended has to do with saves. It would get to be considered wielded for you for saves despite not being in your possession via touch as is normal for other "attended" items.

Liberty's Edge

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I think the 'use activated' clause would come in to play here. If the weapon is too big for the character to actually use then they can't activate its dancing quality. So a medium character could use a large one-handed dancing weapon or a huge light dancing weapon, but not anything bigger than that.

Scarab Sages

James Risner wrote:
Quote:
The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the creature

So if you can't wield it, then you can't dance it.

Also the attended has to do with saves. It would get to be considered wielded for you for saves despite not being in your possession via touch as is normal for other "attended" items.

It says nothing of the kind. It just says 'considered wielded'. That has nothing to do with whether you actually could wield it on your own. Also, even if that were the case it also says 'or attended'. Which would mean, even if the first part means you'd have to be able to wield it, there is a second condition where you could just be considered to attend the item instead of wielding it.

The whole point of that language, though, is to inform that you should not make the weapon an easy target for spells/effect DCs or maneuvers. Not to limit usage.

But there is some rules of intention that have been bandied about by devs including; 'If you don't use the item as intended you can't activate its magical properties' and weapons are meant to be wielded and used in combat.

Such as the Defending magic weapon property which does not apply unless you actually attack something first. The FAQ on that, though, has far reaching implications. In this case, if you don't attack with your weapon you couldn't make it dance by the logic given. So I'm not sure how much stock you can put into it. I think that may have been a quickpatch on an ability they wanted to nerf but didn't consider what the logic would mean. It wouldn't be the first time that has happened. That's just my opinion. Though I'm fairly sure I'm right since you can't attack and then perform a standard action except for in very rare circumstances.

Having said all that, it would still require you to be able to wield the weapon. Not because of some FAQ that could be logically applied, and not because of 'considered wielded' verbage. But, since it would be a 'Use Activated' item from its activation text, and those require you to actually be able to use the item, you would have to be able to wield the weapon.

Though, I doubt any player who did buy an oversized dancing weapon would be truly happy with the purchase after trying to use it even if it were allowed by the rules.

Scarab Sages

James Risner wrote:
Quote:
The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the creature

So if you can't wield it, then you can't dance it.

Also the attended has to do with saves. It would get to be considered wielded for you for saves despite not being in your possession via touch as is normal for other "attended" items.

One thing that is missing from the text, though, is who the 'or' favors.

Such as the case of the steal combat maneuver. Does it favor the owner or the one attempting an effect/maneuver on the item?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Lorewalker wrote:
It says nothing of the kind. It just says 'considered wielded'.

Your RAW, my RAW is you need to be able to wield it to be able to be considered wielding.


Wouldn't it also have to take up an "hand" of effort to be considered wielded? In this case the text saying you are considered wielding it has the purpose of letting you wield it beyond normal circumstances, such as possibly being able to physically.

Scarab Sages

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James Risner wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
It says nothing of the kind. It just says 'considered wielded'.

Your RAW, my RAW is you need to be able to wield it to be able to be considered wielding.

You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

You are correct that they must be able to wield the weapon, but it has nothing to do with your reasoning. They must be able to wield it because it is a 'Use Activated' item and that comes with restrictions.

When you read something and decide it means something other than what it literally means... or even any of the literal ways it could mean... then that is no longer RAW. You are adding information to the text.

I am not saying that is a bad thing. Adding and changing the text of the game helps make it a more fun game. Sometimes it is because a developer or creative director says they meant the text to mean differently than it reads. Sometimes it is for our own balancing reasons.

But, literally, you are incorrect when you say 'my RAW says this' when it literally does not. You are looking for another word.

But you need to be able to separate out the difference. Otherwise you are going to give other people bogus information about the facts of the game, as they exist.

Your version of the game says 'to be considered something, you must be able to be that something'. Okay. I get that. I worry for anyone who is considered a wizard for familiars and isn't actually a wizard in your game... but okay.
But that isn't the Paizo version of the game.

In the Paizo version of the game, you can be considered to be/able to do/have something without being able to be/being able to do/having something. Much like you can be considered to have a feat that you don't meet any prereqs for. Or be considered to be a class.

That is a fact of the game. Weapons are no different.

And, you know the best part? The game doesn't even consider the character as wielding the weapon. It is the weapon that is modified to be as if the creature wields it, not the creature being considered as wielding the weapon. This a very big difference.

Scarab Sages

Beopere wrote:
Wouldn't it also have to take up an "hand" of effort to be considered wielded? In this case the text saying you are considered wielding it has the purpose of letting you wield it beyond normal circumstances, such as possibly being able to physically.

The character isn't considered wielding the weapon.

The weapon is considered to be wielded by the character.

That means the character is not modified by the weapon. It is the weapon that is modified by the character.

As in, it takes up no slots of the character. The weapon is just protected by the, for lack of better words, aura of the character that protects their attended items. So the weapon isn't considered inanimate and unattended.

Also, the 'considered wielded' is only for 'for all maneuvers and effects that target items'. Not for any other consideration.

Say, for instance, the weapon had an ability that gave a passive bonus to the wielder. The person who made the weapon dance would not receive that bonus, as they are not considered to be wielding the weapon.


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Lorewalker wrote:
You are correct that they must be able to wield the weapon, but it has nothing to do with your reasoning. They must be able to wield it because it is a 'Use Activated' item and that comes with restrictions.

Where do you get that this is 'Use Activated'? Unlike defending or other weapon properties there is certainly no attack requirement in defending, in general you can't attack with at as all when you activate it, since it is specifically a standard action activation (once again, this isn't use activated.)

I think using an over-sized weapon in this way is pretty cheesy, and I might squash such a thing in a home game, but I don't see anything in the rules that would prohibit it.

Scarab Sages

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Dave Justus wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
You are correct that they must be able to wield the weapon, but it has nothing to do with your reasoning. They must be able to wield it because it is a 'Use Activated' item and that comes with restrictions.

Where do you get that this is 'Use Activated'? Unlike defending or other weapon properties there is certainly no attack requirement in defending, in general you can't attack with at as all when you activate it, since it is specifically a standard action activation (once again, this isn't use activated.)

I think using an over-sized weapon in this way is pretty cheesy, and I might squash such a thing in a home game, but I don't see anything in the rules that would prohibit it.

It is Use Activated, with a very high probability. There are 4 different types of magic item activations. Spell Completion, Spell Trigger(This is not a spell), Command Word

Command Word wrote:
" If the activation is on command or if no activation method is suggested either in the magic item description or by the nature of the item, assume that a command word is needed to activate it. Command word activation means that a character speaks the word and the item activates. No other special knowledge is needed."

(This is a possibility. But the ability says the player, as a standard action, looses the weapon to attack)

and Use Activated
Use Activated wrote:

"This type of item simply has to be used in order to activate it. a character has to drink a potion, swing a sword, interpose a shield to deflect a blow in combat, look through a lens, sprinkle dust, wear a ring, or don a hat. Use activation is generally straightforward and self-explanatory.

...
Unless stated otherwise, activating a use-activated magic item is either a standard action or not an action at all and does not provoke attacks of opportunity, unless the use involves performing an action that provokes an attack of opportunity in itself. If the use of the item takes time before a magical effect occurs, then use activation is a standard action. If the item's activation is subsumed in its use and takes no extra time use, activation is not an action at all."

(In this case, loosing the sword.)

It could be 'no activation description given' and be a command word and thus you could have a dancing sword the size of a planet and it would work.

Or, 'As a standard action, a dancing weapon can be loosed to attack on its own. ' (IE 'is standard action and here is what you are doing for the action') means there was an action described to activate the item, and it did not say command word. I lean more heavily towards Use Activated. Since 'to loose something' is an action.

But, to be fair, it could be argued.


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Hmmm. I see you point. I have always interpreted use-activated as being when you use things in the normal way the magic activates for free (although sometimes using things in the normal way takes a standard action.)

Attack with (swing a sword) and the magic happens (for free.) Drink a potion (standard action to drink) and the magic happens. Etc. Etc.

That certainly isn't how the dancing sword works. That would be more like 'at the end of any round in which you have attacked with a dancing blade, you can release it as a free action and it will continue to attack on its own for the next 4 rounds.'

Which now that I think about it, seems way cooler and I may alter dancing in my home games.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Lorewalker wrote:
You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Yea that is what you think. Fortunately, it means what I think it means to me, the Developers, the majority of PFS GM's, pretty much every GM I've played under, and the majority of players at large conventions like GenCon, DragonCon, etc.

So the fact that some may use a useless way to communicate about rules is materially detrimental to the game.

Would you like to help me improve the game some?

Scarab Sages

James Risner wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Yea that is what you think. Fortunately, it means what I think it means to me, the Developers, the majority of PFS GM's, pretty much every GM I've played under, and the majority of players at large conventions like GenCon, DragonCon, etc.

So the fact that some may use a useless way to communicate about rules is materially detrimental to the game.

Would you like to help me improve the game some?

Ah, going with the Bandwagon argument. Not usually very successful, especially when the other knows better.

Is that also a subtle hint of catty I sense in there?

If you would like to make a conversation of this, you will really need to make some kind of actual argument that provides real evidence for your side, though.

Do you want further proof that I am correct about the ability?
The dancing weapon is 'considered wielded' only for 'all maneuvers and effects that target items'. Not for any other consideration.

Is 'can wield this item' a maneuver or effect that targets items?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Lorewalker wrote:
If you would like to make a conversation of this, you will really need to make some kind of actual argument that provides real evidence for your side, though.

I have. You can't defeat my position with the rules, because there are no rules saying your position.

So they only way you refute my interpretation is with a FAQ response. So help us out. Get people to click "FAQ" button.

Scarab Sages

James Risner wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
If you would like to make a conversation of this, you will really need to make some kind of actual argument that provides real evidence for your side, though.

I have. You can't defeat my position with the rules, because there are no rules saying your position.

So they only way you refute my interpretation is with a FAQ response. So help us out. Get people to click "FAQ" button.

As I said... and I quote... "If you would like to make a conversation of this, you will really need to make some kind of actual argument that provides real evidence for your side, though."

Possibly by commenting on the rules I've held up supporting my case.

Logical fallacies do not a good argument make.

Or is this a 'there is no spoon' kind of thing?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Already have, you are strongly indicating you don't care to debate, just preach.

Quote:
The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the creature

You can't wield a weapon too big for you.

You can't show a rules quote that says the wielding isn't a part of the requirements, because that English line is not further explained. So you are making an interpretation that line is meaningless in regards to the wielding isn't required. I'm making a rules interpretation that you need to be able to wield it to activate the dancing.

There is no words either of us can say to convince the other, so we are at an impasse. Either we agree to disagree, or this thread goes on for 1000 posts.

Scarab Sages

James Risner wrote:

Already have, you are strongly indicating you don't care to debate, just preach.

Quote:
The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the creature

You can't wield a weapon too big for you.

You can't show a rules quote that says the wielding isn't a part of the requirements, because that English line is not further explained. So you are making an interpretation that line is meaningless in regards to the wielding isn't required. I'm making a rules interpretation that you need to be able to wield it to activate the dancing.

There is no words either of us can say to convince the other, so we are at an impasse. Either we agree to disagree, or this thread goes on for 1000 posts.

You are not only quoting the rule out of context, you are ignoring the fact that the line has nothing to do with the creature. The line is further explained... in the other half of the sentence you left out.

Allow me to fix that for you...
"The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the activating character for all maneuvers and effects that target items."

"The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the activating character..."

Point 1)
Okay, so this means the weapon is considered to be wielded as if the the character were wielding it, for all the bonuses that gives to the weapon.

"... for all maneuvers and effects that target items."

Point 2)
Here is where it gets interesting. The only systems in the game for which the weapon considers itself to be currently wielded are 'effects that target items' and 'maneuvers'.
So, handededness isn't one of the systems the game cares about. Nor is proficiency. The character would not gain any passive bonuses the sword may convey. Is not considered armed. Nor any of the many many other systems in the game that are not item targeting or maneuvers.
We are forced to conclude then this sentence has nothing to do with limitations of the player. It only provides a buff to the weapon.

It is the weapon that is considered wielded, not the character considered wielding. That makes a big difference. But even still, 'considered' breaks all rules of convention. You can be a 20th level fighter and be considered to be a wizard... it doesn't make you a wizard, and it certainly doesn't make a wizard a fighter. But I already made this argument earlier. Though, I can't tell if you read it or not.

I've already shown earlier in the thread why the weapon must be wield to be activated. But this line isn't the one that gives that limitation.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

It doesn't matter that there is a subset, you can't wield something too big.

You forget that FAQ are typically pretty predictable, what makes sense is usually the correct answer. Does it make sense to be wielding a colossal greatsword?

What was your stance on Ranged Sneak Attacking?

Scarab Sages

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James Risner wrote:

It doesn't matter that there is a subset, you can't wield something too big.

You forget that FAQ are typically pretty predictable, what makes sense is usually the correct answer. Does it make sense to be wielding a colossal greatsword?

What was your stance on Ranged Sneak Attacking?

I don't forget anything of the sort. In fact, I'm fairly sure they won't ever FAQ this, merely because it is a non-issue. You can't activate a dancing weapon you can't wield. My only argument is that your reasoning is wrong on why.

And, the subset does matter. As it always matters, in Pathfinder. They tell you where, when and how to apply a rule. Not always exhaustive, but informative.

You aren't wielding it. You aren't even considered to be wielding the weapon. The weapon is considered to be wielded by you. Don't you see the difference?

You read 'The Fighter is considered to have wizard levels' and then seem to translate that to mean 'Ah, so the wizard is a fighter'.

And, what about ranged sneak attacks? If you meet all the requirements of a sneak attack.. are within 30 feet.. and you attack something that is vulnerable to sneak attacks, you get sneak attack dice.

Or was your question meant to ask what my stance is on 'does threatened squares count as flanking for ranged sneak attacks?' As that is the most famous, that I'm aware of, question involved with ranged sneak attacks.


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The difference here is, you can't use it because you can't Use-Activate it (the action being 'loosing' it) because you can't grab it up in the first place to activate the magic enchantment.

But if you somehow did, it'd work just fine. If you activated it while you had size increases, then shrunk, it'd still continue working, using your BAB/etc, because despite being considered 'wielded by you' it doesn't actually care if you could actually wield it...because even if you couldn't wield it, you could still be considered as 'attending' it.

Scarab Sages

Snakers wrote:
The difference here is, you can't use it because you can't Use-Activate it (the action being 'loosing' it) because you can't grab it up in the first place to activate the magic enchantment.

Not sure I think you can use it....

But a character can still grab/pick up an oversized weapon, they just can't wield it if it's too large.

Scarab Sages

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Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Snakers wrote:
The difference here is, you can't use it because you can't Use-Activate it (the action being 'loosing' it) because you can't grab it up in the first place to activate the magic enchantment.

Not sure I think you can use it....

But a character can still grab/pick up an oversized weapon, they just can't wield it if it's too large.

Use Activated requires you be able to use the item properly, as intended. So, that means you can't activate a headband without wearing it in your headband slot and you can't activate a weapon without wielding it. This isn't my words either. This is dev explaination. You can look at the FAQ for the Defending weapon property for the basic idea.

Scarab Sages

Lorewalker wrote:
Use Activated requires you be able to use the item properly, as intended. So, that means you can't activate a headband without wearing it in your headband slot and you can't activate a weapon without wielding it. This isn't my words either. This is dev explaination. You can look at the FAQ for the Defending weapon property for the basic idea.

Use activations requires being able to wield the weapon, huh?

If that's the case, then this one is solved.


Yes, with the little loophole of temporary size increases allowing you to set it dancing, where it proceed s to not care about your size or ability to wield it for four rounds.

Scarab Sages

Snakers wrote:
Yes, with the little loophole of temporary size increases allowing you to set it dancing, where it proceed s to not care about your size or ability to wield it for four rounds.

You'd still have to be able to wield it with the size increase. But, you could do it this way.

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