Proof Spellstrike gives extra attack with Spellcombat?


Rules Questions

1 to 50 of 217 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

My DM is convinced it doesn't. Anything showing I'm right?

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A comprehensive explanation of Spellstrike and Spell Combat might help.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Spell Combat says:

prd wrote:
As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty).
Then the section Touch Spells in Combat from the Combat chapter says:
prd wrote:
In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action.
And, finally, Spellstrike says
prd wrote:
Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell.

So, in summary:

Spell Combat lets you cast any standard action spell during a full attack.
When you cast a Touch spell, you get to make a touch attack as a free action.
When you make your free touch attack, Spellstrike allows you to use your weapon instead of a regular touch.

Putting these rules together, this happens:
I use Spell Combat and cast Shocking Grasp. The rules on touch spells let me touch somebody with Shocking Grasp as a free action, since I just cast a touch spell. I then use Spellstrike to whack them with my sword instead of just touching them.

EDIT: And/or read what KingOfAnything posted. :P


1 person marked this as a favorite.
dunelord3001 wrote:
My DM is convinced it doesn't. Anything showing I'm right?

Technically your DM is right, Spellstrike does not grant an extra attack. Casting a touch spell is what grants the extra attack.

As others have said, Spellstrike simply lets you deliver that touch spell with a full force sword blow.

Oh, I am sure your DM will just be delighted to know that the cantrip Arcane Mark is a touch spell. And Spellstrike is not limited by spell level at all.


I get all that, but without a FAQ or such spelling it out I'm just going to have to reroll the character.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

You could try the Ask Mark Seifter thread. Maybe having one of the game's designers say so will be enough. ^_^


You're not going to get a FAQ not something like this.
Refer your DM to the statement and rules given by Johnico. If this isn't enough, I doubt that this is the only rule he can't interpret correctly. I'd never let someone that weak in rules understanding DM in a game I'm in.
EDIT: You can also make the argument that the two biggest class features of a class giving the same effect as one regular feat (Two-Weapon Fighting) + the effect of one spell isn't a problem.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Point out that it is worse than two weapon fighting. Same penalties, but in many cases you have to make a concentration check in order to get the second attack. If the touch spell doesn't go off, no second attack.

I agree that you aren't going to get anything more clear than what KingOfAnything linked to or Johnico said above in terms of rules.

The only other thing you might try is to find a scenario or module where the opponent is a Magus and look at their tactics. I'm sure there must be at least one where the tactics calls for them doing this.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BretI wrote:

Point out that it is worse than two weapon fighting. Same penalties, but in many cases you have to make a concentration check in order to get the second attack. If the touch spell doesn't go off, no second attack.

I agree that you aren't going to get anything more clear than what KingOfAnything linked to or Johnico said above in terms of rules.

The only other thing you might try is to find a scenario or module where the opponent is a Magus and look at their tactics. I'm sure there must be at least one where the tactics calls for them doing this.

If you do this

PFS scenario name:
The Dalsine Affair
has a very famous magus
Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm curious how the GM thinks it DOES work.

What does "can make one free melee attack with his weapon" mean?

If the spellstrike can't increase the number of melee attacks in the round does that mean it instead 'replaces' one of the standard attacks? So... a +6/+1 attack sequence could be made a +6/+6 sequence with the second attack as the spellstrike "at his highest base attack bonus"?

It is easier to say 'No' then to come up with an alternate rule which fits the text... but if the GM won't allow the way it actually works they need to specify how they think it works... which should prompt them to read the text, attempt to understand it, and realize they are wrong.


I am very flabbergasted. How is it possible to read the rules text for the magus class and come away with the idea that spellstrike doesn't grant you a free, extra melee weapon attack?

Am I missing some well-known rules ambiguity here?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ethereal Gears wrote:

I am very flabbergasted. How is it possible to read the rules text for the magus class and come away with the idea that spellstrike doesn't grant you a free, extra melee weapon attack?

Am I missing some well-known rules ambiguity here?

Maybe he thinks you can't use both in the same round?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

haha, I love (this means hate) all the threads where they go, "My GM says power attack can't be used on a full attack. Can anyone provide a FAQ that says it can?"
You're not going to get official clarification on something that is clear.


dunelord3001 wrote:
I get all that, but without a FAQ or such spelling it out I'm just going to have to reroll the character.

Spell combat lets you attack and cast a spell in the same round.

Spellstrike lets you make your attack for a touch spell using your weapon.

Touch attack spells give you a free touch attack on the round you cast it.

There is no FAQ needed. The rules spell it out explicitly, although they are in different books so you have to put it together.


10 people marked this as a favorite.
dunelord3001 wrote:
My DM is convinced it doesn't. Anything showing I'm right?

The rules:

Spellstrike wrote:
If the magus makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks.

The Spellstrike ability specifically references Spell Combat and how Spellstrike interacts with it. I don't know what the hell the GM is expecting to pull here.

dunelord3001 wrote:
I get all that, but without a FAQ or such spelling it out I'm just going to have to reroll the character.

How about you reroll the GM.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

From the big red dragon himself

This Changes the mechanics of Spell Combat plus Spellstrike from

Full Attack + Touch Spell

to

Full Attack + Touch Spell + Free Attack


Yeah, i can see where your dm is coming from. It really overpowers the magus (since they can do this with say, arcane mark to zoro people) and is effectively monkflurry with a weapon. It drops out of a really confusing interaction of spell strike and spell combat interacting weirdly.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
dunelord3001 wrote:
I get all that, but without a FAQ or such spelling it out I'm just going to have to reroll the character.
How about you reroll the GM.

Yeah, if your GM lacks the basic reading comprehension to understand this, he lacks the qualifications to be a GM; he'll screw up everything else, too.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Yeah, i can see where your dm is coming from. It really overpowers the magus (since they can do this with say, arcane mark to zoro people) and is effectively monkflurry with a weapon. It drops out of a really confusing interaction of spell strike and spell combat interacting weirdly.

Overpowers the magus compared to what? You have to make your concentration check to get the double attack, and still eat the -2 penalty to hit.


Quote:
It drops out of a really confusing interaction of spell strike and spell combat interacting weirdly.

What Ozy said plus.. what confusing interaction? The interaction is pretty straight forward.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
How about you reroll the GM.

Every this I have. I am now out of this. Does anyone know where I can order more this?


I've only played magi at relatively low levels so maybe it gets better at higher levels, but spellstrike/spell combat doesn't even come close to overpowered at those low levels which is where an extra attack would seem to help the most. I miss the concentration check enough that all too often I'm just eating a -2 for nothing.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
I've only played magi at relatively low levels so maybe it gets better at higher levels, but spellstrike/spell combat doesn't even come close to overpowered at those low levels which is where an extra attack would seem to help the most. I miss the concentration check enough that all too often I'm just eating a -2 for nothing.

From 5th-7th up to about 11th level or so, IMO, is the sweet spot for the Magus. I played one up till 9th and didn't really have much of an impact till 5th, and really started to shine at 7th.

I'm with nearly everyone above: find a new GM.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
swoosh wrote:
Quote:
It drops out of a really confusing interaction of spell strike and spell combat interacting weirdly.
What Ozy said plus.. what confusing interaction? The interaction is pretty straight forward.

Its 2 paragraphs of highly technical language that never outright says what the combination is or how it works. Its open to multiple interpretations, has the highly counter intuitive action of two weapon fighting with one weapon, breaks the virtual limbs rule, and the interpretation giving you magusflurry sounds like a rules lawyer trying to pull something. Give the guys DM a break. Its one thing when you've seen how magi work , its quite another when your first introduction to the magus is those two paragraphs.

Its overpowered because it breaks both the real disadvantages of two weapon fighting (needing to maintain 2 weapons) and the action economy on spellcasting and fighting in melee.

To the OP, show your DM the linked post from Jason, see if that changes his mind. Try to cut him a little slack. If You've never seen a magus played how they work exactly is NOT obvious from the write up.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
To the OP, show your DM the linked post from Jason, see if that changes his mind. Try to cut him a little slack. If You've never seen a magus played how they work exactly is NOT obvious from the write up.

It may not be broken down into baby terms and handed on a silver platter, but it's still pretty easy to understand. To claim that Spellstrike + Spell Combat is complicated and not obvious is straying into "Magnets, how do they work" territory. This is high school reading comprehension at play here and, if the GM, who is responsible for full comprehension of an entire AP, isn't even able to muster up the reading comprehension to understand two paragraphs... what is he doing pretending to be a competent GM?


Quote:
Its 2 paragraphs of highly technical language that never outright says what the combination is or how it works. Its open to multiple interpretations, has the highly counter intuitive action of two weapon fighting with one weapon, breaks the virtual limbs rule, and the interpretation giving you magusflurry sounds like a rules lawyer trying to pull something.

Yeah, sorry I'm not seeing it. The ability says you get a free attack with your sword and... you do, in fact, get a free attack with your sword. Nothing confusing or counter intuitive about it.

Quote:
Its overpowered because it breaks both the real disadvantages of two weapon fighting (needing to maintain 2 weapons) and the action economy on spellcasting and fighting in melee.

It also doesn't gain access to additional extra attacks like two weapon fighting and is literally designed to do the latter from the ground up because otherwise the combat style the magus is trying to emulate is unusable and extremely substandard.

So no, that's not overpowered.


I'd accept overpowered to be that it causes the magus' melee abilities to go beyond most Full-bab classes melee abilities. So using arcane mark as the spell since that's what's allowing you to TWF.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kazaan wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
To the OP, show your DM the linked post from Jason, see if that changes his mind. Try to cut him a little slack. If You've never seen a magus played how they work exactly is NOT obvious from the write up.
It may not be broken down into baby terms and handed on a silver platter, but it's still pretty easy to understand. To claim that Spellstrike + Spell Combat is complicated and not obvious is straying into "Magnets, how do they work" territory. This is high school reading comprehension at play here and, if the GM, who is responsible for full comprehension of an entire AP, isn't even able to muster up the reading comprehension to understand two paragraphs... what is he doing pretending to be a competent GM?

I didn't get it when they came out and I've got four stars. So lower your expectations.

Further.

Furrrrther......


swoosh wrote:


Yeah, sorry I'm not seeing it. The ability says you get a free attack with your sword and... you do, in fact, get a free attack with your sword. Nothing confusing or counter intuitive about it.

Its not the OTHER extra attack granted by a touch spell. Its an extra extra attack.

In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

If you think THATS the extra attack the magus grants, then the two abilities really don't combine at all... like they didn't combine in the playtest version.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 12 people marked this as a favorite.

There's a difference between "clear" and things like "easy" or "obvious".

The functionality of Spell Combat and Spellstrike is completely clear. There is nothing ambiguous; the mechanics involved lead very precisely to one final result, and coming to any other conclusion involves having made an actual error. These mechanics are clear.

However, that does not make it easy or obvious, for this reason: The ability to look at multiple rules and examine the results of their interaction requires you first to believe that that's even what you do with rules. Let me explain: An awful lot of players/GMs seem to view the various PC options (classes, feats, spells, etc) as a list of allowed "end states". That is, every PC build selection is viewed as a discrete package that exists in a vacuum, rather than being an interactive piece of a larger whole. When a player claims they can do something, this type of gamer needs to see a rulebook entry that specifically says "You can do exactly this", and if even a single step of interaction/logic is required, then the result is automatically considered suspect and labeled as "unintended".

To some gamers, it's not that the rules are unclear in how they interact, it's that the gamer believes they're not even supposed to interact at all and therefore how they do so is irrelevant. Until you can get them out of this mindset so they can see the rules as they are (mechanisms fully intended to have effects on one another, rather than pre-packaged results), no amount of clarity will ever get them to accept even the most irrefutable of answers.

Additionally, just because the rules are clear does not make them easy. After all, you can have an incredibly complex mathematical equation that is 100% clear (all the required information is present and none of the operations are ambiguous in how they work) but is still very difficult (you have to already know how all the involved operations work, and every step in the process is another chance for error). Although the magus might not be quite that bad, the topic at hand does still involve multiple overlapping mechanisms in mind at once and fitting them together.

You have an action conversion (full-round and standard into full-round), an action production (casting a touch spell generates a free action), and an attack modification (touch replaced with weapon); all happening alongside other mechanics that come into play in practice but aren't part of this particular interaction (the –2 to hit, the concentration check manipulation, the possibility of non-touch spells, etc). That's a lot to hold in your head all at once, and if you drop a piece before you get to the result, you'll draw the wrong conclusion. Not everybody has the mental capacity to get from start to finish without dropping anything, just like not everybody can get from point A to point B without getting lost or get from "list of ingredients" to "dinner" without poisoning anyone.

The Spell Combat/Spellstrike interaction is completely clear, but it requires that the reader/listener believe it's okay for rules to interact and produce new results AND be sharp enough to do the necessary mental juggling. And unfortunately, an awful lot of gamers are loathe to admit having either of those two things not be the case. :/


Reading WAY too much into those tea leaves Jiggy

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

F#&% tea. Not sweet enough. ;)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

BNW, I would agree with you that Magi were overpowered, if, as Derklord pointed out, Rapid Shot (not to mention Manyshot) didn't exist in the CRB.

Magi are powerful as martials go but still not as powerful as an gatling gunoptimized archer.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, give me a g+*@+*n break (assuming this is the player I think it is). It's technical language that isn't clearly spelled out. 2 of our group's four star GMs were also unsure and left the ruling up to me. It had little impact on the session anyways as the encounters were all nuked in a few rounds regardless.

And as someone playing a fairly broken Druid build that will deal 12d6+70 damage in the first round of combat (if all 5 attacks hit) that will likely have to be explained every time I play with a new GM... seriously you can't always expect the GM to be immediately reticent to everything that sounds overpowered and rules lawyery, even if you don't believe it is.

EDIT: Additionally this was my very first society session as a GM. I had previously GMed a home campaign (among several other home campaigns) with a Magus in it and nobody (the Magus included) had interpreted it as granting an extra attack.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
swoosh wrote:


Yeah, sorry I'm not seeing it. The ability says you get a free attack with your sword and... you do, in fact, get a free attack with your sword. Nothing confusing or counter intuitive about it.

Its not the OTHER extra attack granted by a touch spell. Its an extra extra attack.

In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

If you think THATS the extra attack the magus grants, then the two abilities really don't combine at all... like they didn't combine in the playtest version.

From this, I'm not actually sure if you understand how spell combat and spellstrike work together at all. I'm suspecting it's just your presentation.... but let's walk through it.

Spell combat broken down: Make all your attacks according to your BAB. Cast one standard action spell. If that spell is a attack spell also make the attack with the spell (usually for a magus this will be a touch attack spell).

So at BAB <=5: You get one normal attack. One spell touch attack. Two attacks total.
At 6-10: You get two normal attacks. One spell touch attack. 3 attacks total. etc. for increasing BAB.

Spellstrike broken down: Anytime you could make a touch attack to deliver a spell, you may use a melee weapon to deliver the spell instead and deal the melee weapons damage on top of the spell effect.

This could be the free attack on the round you cast the spell, or part of your normal BAB attacks on subsequent rounds. Or even cast a spell with spell combat, miss with your free attack, then using your iteratives connect and deliver the spell.

Spellstrike does not grant ANY extra attacks. It simply allows one to convert the free touch attack from casting a spell in that round to a free melee attack with your weapon in that round.

Likewise, spell combat does not grant ANY extra attacks. You get your BAB interatives (just like any other martial). You also get to cast a spell. If that spell happens to be an attack spell, you get to make the attack roll for that spell, just like any other caster would get to, as part of casting that spell. The attack from the spell is normally what people refer to as the extra attack a magus gets, but that is really a misnomer. It is simply the normal allotted attacks based on the actions taken.

There are no extra attacks, and certainly there are no extra extra attacks.

Is there something in all of that that you disagree with?

BNW wrote:


In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

Let's come back to this. I'm not sure why you quoted the FAQ that states this. It has nothing specific to do with magus. All spell casters can use this when casting touch attack spells.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:

...

However, that does not make it easy or obvious, for this reason: The ability to look at multiple rules and examine the results of their interaction requires you first to believe that that's even what you do with rules. Let me explain: An awful lot of players/GMs seem to view the various PC options (classes, feats, spells, etc) as a list of allowed "end states". That is, every PC build selection is viewed as a discrete package that exists in a vacuum, rather than being an interactive piece of a larger whole. When a player claims they can do something, this type of gamer needs to see a rulebook entry that specifically says "You can do exactly this", and if even a single step of interaction/logic is required, then the result is automatically considered suspect and labeled as "unintended".

To some gamers, it's not that the rules are unclear in how they interact, it's that the gamer believes they're not even supposed to interact at all and therefore how they do so is irrelevant. Until you can get them out of this mindset so they can see the rules as they are (mechanisms fully intended to have effects on one another, rather than pre-packaged results), no amount of clarity will ever get them to accept even the most irrefutable of answers.
...

While I don't totally disagree with this, I think there is something you haven't touched on that is actually really important.

Many RPG gamers tend to view sophisticated, obscure* rules interaction as unintended and probably broken because they have been trained to think this way by hundreds of shoddily written RPGs and video games. They don't think that rules shouldn't interact with each other. They think that designers can't write rules which can survive interacting with each other

Seriously, in how many video games have you found a not-blatantly-obvious-or-intentional, complex and powerful interaction between gameplay elements and actually believed that the designers intentionally allowed it. In how many pen 'n' paper RPGs have sophisticated rules interactions been a feature, not a bug. How often do you have a reasonable degree of confidence that intricate mechanical advantage would be permitted by the people who made your game if they knew about it and understood the consequences. I can think of one video game where I can say that (out of a lot), and that particular game (AI War) has cheesing the AI for fun and profit as a core mechanic. With any other game I can think of (electronic or paper), it's not unreasonable to say that "powerful" interactions are probably the result of someone somewhere screwing up. Thus, people (both players and GMs) try to self regulate. If they find something complex and powerful which doesn't appear to be obviously intentional then they will tend to moderate it's use or flat out ignore it, because otherwise a lot of games are unplayable.

The net result of this is that when a person sees a rules interaction that gives a character double their attacks for the round with a bonus touch attack delivery on top, they automatically assume that someone made a mistake. Spellstrike+Spell Combat gets put in the same box as 3.5's Pun-Pun, Simulacrum Spam, Explosive Rune bombs, Skyrim's infinite alchemy loops, standing-out-of-reach-with-a-ranged-weapon and a bunch of other broken things that shouldn't exist if designers had the knowledge, resources and competence to prevent them. Spellstrike+Spell Combat is complex, obscure and very powerful, so it is clearly unintended and broken, because that's how it works 99.9% of the time. In essence, they don't have faith in Pathfinder's designers to actually understand how their game works and write rules which work well together, and that is a perfectly understandable position given that it is correct depressingly often.

The fact that it was totally intentional from the start for the class to work that way just makes it damn confusing, since powerful complex stuff that is intentional is usually very clearly communicated as such. It means that Pathfinder's designers apparently thought that "hey, half the time someone puts a couple of different rules together the game snaps in two, so let's make a class that depends on a bunch of different obscure rules interacting together". GMs are inclined to doubt this and lean towards "yeah, that's an error, don't do that", because statistically this is far more likely than the game's designers being so lacking in self-awareness and common sense that they create a class that depends on reading it the exact opposite way you read every other rule in the book.

Yes, I am being rather hard on people who make games, but this is an issue of perception. It has gotten to the stage where it is totally unremarkable and commonplace for someone who creates a game to not actually be particularly knowledgeable or skilled at their game. It's at the point where "someone who picks up their game for 5 hours knows more than them about it" is the default assumption, not something to be reviled. Hundreds upon hundreds of shoddily written games by people who aren't particularly competent at designing things, remember. Those few who are competent are still going to be guilty until proven innocent.

*I am using a pretty damn low standard for obscurity here. I mean "could be missed on a first pass if you aren't halfway competent with the mechanics" levels of low.


There are lots of rules in pathfinder where you have to refer to lots of different parts of books, and often multiple books, in order to use them correctly. I suppose it's understandable that GMs who are unfamiliar with pathfinder may feel suspicious if an ability comes about as the interaction between rules in two different books, as the GM in this case seems to have been, but the reality is that it's normal for a class in an expansion to refer back to the CRB for a significant portion of its functionality.

Here's the first example that comes to mind: Cornugon Smash and the Thug rogue. It doesn't say in the Cornugon Smash feat that you can use the Thug's ability to make opponents frightened as part of the free action. It doesn't say in the Thug's ability that you can use the free-action intimidate granted by Cornugon Smash to make opponents frightened. But you can still do it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

@Snowblind — Eh, I wasn't prepared to speculate on how that mindset came to be, and my post was getting long already. I dunno, you could be right.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
There are lots of rules in pathfinder where you have to refer to lots of different parts of books, and often multiple books, in order to use them correctly. I suppose it's understandable that GMs who are unfamiliar with pathfinder may feel suspicious if an ability comes about as the interaction between rules in two different books,

Horsefeathers. The more rules arguments you've seen the more weird rules you've seen bouncing off of each other to get the wrong answer because that wrong answer gives the person making it a more favorable ruling.

The rules will say anything if you torture them long enough, and bouncing the two different magus abilities off of each other, through the touch attack rules, off the lamp post onto the backboard and through the hoop instead of just SAYING what they do in concert has all the earmarks of rules lawyering cheese. 99% of the time an argument THAT convoluted IS rules lawyering cheese.

Magi are the 1%.


Jiggy wrote:
@Snowblind — Eh, I wasn't prepared to speculate on how that mindset came to be, and my post was getting long already. I dunno, you could be right.

you should, because its not an entirely unfounded mindset.

Liberty's Edge

Frankly rules lawyering cheese is irritatingly common in PFS. And a number of characters end up built around misinterpretations of various rules. So it's not uncommon for players and GMs to come to expect that sort of thing, and to become reflexively skeptical of anything that seems off or relies on "apparently unintentional" interactions between rules. Now as we have established, the Magus is clearly (though not obviously) intentional. But there are a number of weird interactions that are not intentional, and in some cases get errata'd out.

And I think Snowblind is right, many people (myself included) don't have 100% faith in the Game Designer's ability to make sensible decisions all the time.
One example often cited is the hotly debated Short Sword only dealing Piercing damage issue, largely due to the fact that Daggers deal Slashing and Piercing. Another (which was resolved) was the "Effective Druid level" issue regarding animal companions and multiclassing (one member of the design time insisted on a ruling that contradicts the later established official ruling in the FAQ). Just as players and GMs make mistakes, it is generally assumed that designers are more than capable of making mistakes too, this is why house-rules exist outside of PFS.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

The rules will say anything if you torture them long enough, and bouncing the two different magus abilities off of each other, through the touch attack rules, off the lamp post onto the backboard and through the hoop instead of just SAYING what they do in concert has all the earmarks of rules lawyering cheese. 99% of the time an argument THAT convoluted IS rules lawyering cheese.

Magi are the 1%.

I don't see how saying that you get to make your touch attack with your sword isn't saying what the ability does. Because that's exactly what the ability does. The only person torturing the rules here seems to be you.


touch attack with the sword isn't the dispute.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Snowblind wrote:

While I don't totally disagree with this, I think there is something you haven't touched on that is actually really important.

Many RPG gamers tend to view sophisticated, obscure* rules interaction as unintended and probably broken because they have been trained to think this way by hundreds of shoddily written RPGs and video games. They don't think that rules shouldn't interact with each other. They think that designers can't write rules which can survive interacting with each other

Seriously, in how many video games have you found a not-blatantly-obvious-or-intentional, complex and powerful interaction between gameplay elements and actually believed that the designers intentionally allowed it. In how many pen 'n' paper RPGs have sophisticated rules interactions been a feature, not a bug. How often do you have a reasonable degree of confidence that intricate mechanical advantage would be permitted by the people who made your game if they knew about it and understood the consequences. I can think of one video game where I can say that (out of a lot), and that particular game (AI War) has cheesing the AI for fun and profit as a core mechanic. With any other game I can think of (electronic or paper), it's not unreasonable to say that "powerful" interactions are probably the result of someone somewhere screwing up. Thus, people (both players and GMs) try to self regulate. If they find something complex and powerful which doesn't appear to be obviously intentional then they will tend to moderate it's use or flat out ignore it, because otherwise a lot of games are unplayable.

The net result of this is that when a person sees a rules interaction that gives a character double their attacks for the round with a bonus touch attack delivery on top, they automatically assume that someone made a mistake. Spellstrike+Spell Combat gets put in the same box as 3.5's Pun-Pun, Simulacrum Spam, Explosive Rune bombs, Skyrim's infinite alchemy loops, standing-out-of-reach-with-a-ranged-weapon and a bunch of other broken things that shouldn't exist if designers had the knowledge, resources and competence to prevent them. Spellstrike+Spell Combat is complex, obscure and very powerful, so it is clearly unintended and broken, because that's how it works 99.9% of the time. In essence, they don't have faith in Pathfinder's designers to actually understand how their game works and write rules which work well together, and that is a perfectly understandable position given that it is correct depressingly often.

The fact that it was totally intentional from the start for the class to work that way just makes it damn confusing, since powerful complex stuff that is intentional is usually very clearly communicated as such. It means that Pathfinder's designers apparently thought that "hey, half the time someone puts a couple of different rules together the game snaps in two, so let's make a class that depends on a bunch of different obscure rules interacting together". GMs are inclined to doubt this and lean towards "yeah, that's an error, don't do that", because statistically this is far more likely than the game's designers being so lacking in self-awareness and common sense that they create a class that depends on reading it the exact opposite way you read every other rule in the book.

Yes, I am being rather hard on people who make games, but this is an issue of perception. It has gotten to the stage where it is totally unremarkable and commonplace for someone who creates a game to not actually be particularly knowledgeable or skilled at their game. It's at the point where "someone who picks up their game for 5 hours knows more than them about it" is the default assumption, not something to be reviled. Hundreds upon hundreds of shoddily written games by people who aren't particularly competent at designing things, remember. Those few who are competent are still going to be guilty until proven innocent.

*I am using a pretty damn low standard for obscurity here. I mean "could be missed on a first pass if you aren't halfway competent with the mechanics" levels of low.

Pretty much this. The fact that Pathfinder (and 3.x before it) are intentionally designed to work like this encourages the worst kind of rules lawyering.

Often you have to use similar tactics to reach the intended functionality - teasing together things implied by the combination of multiple rules, but not outright stated.
Other times you take the same process to reach something the devs never considered, but once it's widely know they decide is acceptable.
And sometimes you reach something they decide to FAQ or errata away. Or a combination you think should, but can't persuade even enough people to convince the devs to respond.

It's an approach that's a large part of 3.x's appeal to some people.
"System Mastery" and character optimization.
I hate it. I think it's a horrible approach to game design.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
@Snowblind — Eh, I wasn't prepared to speculate on how that mindset came to be, and my post was getting long already. I dunno, you could be right.
you should, because its not an entirely unfounded mindset.

I never claimed otherwise.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:

"System Mastery" and character optimization.

I hate it. I think it's a horrible approach to game design.

What, the approach of designing an infrastructure within which players can customize according to procedural rules, instead of designing a list of self-contained menu options that don't intersect?

I'd say it's not so much a horrible approach to game design, but rather Pathfinder is a very poor implementation of it. I think it's a valid approach that can be done well if you begin design with that philosophy in mind and handle it proficiently. (Same goes for the "self-contained menu options" model, as well.)


Jiggy wrote:
thejeff wrote:

"System Mastery" and character optimization.

I hate it. I think it's a horrible approach to game design.

What, the approach of designing an infrastructure within which players can customize according to procedural rules, instead of designing a list of self-contained menu options that don't intersect?

I'd say it's not so much a horrible approach to game design, but rather Pathfinder is a very poor implementation of it. I think it's a valid approach that can be done well if you begin design with that philosophy in mind and handle it proficiently. (Same goes for the "self-contained menu options" model, as well.)

Not quite. At least I don't think so. I'm not really sure what you mean by either model.

There are certainly systems that let you customize and build characters without falling into the trap I'm talking about. Point buy systems like Hero do a pretty good job. Powers and abilities do what they say on the box. You've got an enormous amount of flexibility without being encouraged to look for hidden or unintended interactions.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
There are lots of rules in pathfinder where you have to refer to lots of different parts of books, and often multiple books, in order to use them correctly. I suppose it's understandable that GMs who are unfamiliar with pathfinder may feel suspicious if an ability comes about as the interaction between rules in two different books,

Horsefeathers. The more rules arguments you've seen the more weird rules you've seen bouncing off of each other to get the wrong answer because that wrong answer gives the person making it a more favorable ruling.

The rules will say anything if you torture them long enough, and bouncing the two different magus abilities off of each other, through the touch attack rules, off the lamp post onto the backboard and through the hoop instead of just SAYING what they do in concert has all the earmarks of rules lawyering cheese. 99% of the time an argument THAT convoluted IS rules lawyering cheese.

Magi are the 1%.

It's not particularly convoluted. You're taking two abilities in the same class, and combining them with a rule stated in the CRB (you get a free touch attack when you cast that type of spell).

This is extremely common in Pathfinder and 3.5. Maybe the game would be easier to play if you couldn't combine things unless they explicitly said they could be combined, but it would also make writing new books very complicated if you had to explicitly list everything your new rules were allowed to be combined with.

1 to 50 of 217 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Proof Spellstrike gives extra attack with Spellcombat? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.