Ok, real talk: If I'm a fox am I considered to have a "free hand?"


Rules Questions


Like, just a normal ol' naked fox, outside of my human level intelligence right? Am I considered to have a "free hand?" I don't have access to my books at the moment and can't find the definition of a free hand on the Internet. Soooo... Pls humor my this likely stupid question. XD Thx in advance. :)


Free hand for what? Context matters. Normally you don't because as a fox, you're a quadraped, not bipedal. You're also not capable of speech, so if you're thinking of spellcasting, it's not going to happen.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If this is a kinetic blast question. You are fine.

"As a standard action, the kineticist can unleash a kinetic blast at a single target up to a range of 30 feet. She must have at least one hand free to aim the blast (or one prehensile appendage, if she doesn't have hands). "


Kinetic blast is close, was wondering about Mystic bolt from the Vigilante archetype Warlock, which makes no such statement.


Only a particularly cantankerous GM would say you need a literal hand for such things.

I have, however, had a GM rule that way for my fox in PFS. (in regards to grappling)

So ask your GM, or hope for the best in shared campaigns. But typically you should be good to go.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I would thing one would need hands to wield the Mystic Bolts. Also, Herolab is using the size chart for damage for them. If that is correct, a tiny creature is not doing much damage with them anyways.


thaX wrote:
I would thing one would need hands to wield the Mystic Bolts. Also, Herolab is using the size chart for damage for them. If that is correct, a tiny creature is not doing much damage with them anyways.

Unless they have another secret FAQ no one else knows about that's incorrect. Mystic Bolt just says they do 1d6 + 1/4 level damage. They aren't even real weapons.


A fox does not have hands or prehensile appendages.

They can not use kinetic blasts.


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EvilMinion wrote:

A fox does not have hands or prehensile appendages.

They can not use kinetic blasts.

So a fox does not have legs or tail? You learn something new every day...

Byakko: Did he rule that you get -4 to grapple checks because you don't have a free hand and that a fox is a humanoid? Hope he ruled the same for all the grapply monsters he threw at you.


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WagnerSika wrote:
EvilMinion wrote:

A fox does not have hands or prehensile appendages.

They can not use kinetic blasts.

So a fox does not have legs or tail?

A fox has legs and a tail, but neither are "prehensile."


Orfamay Quest wrote:
WagnerSika wrote:
EvilMinion wrote:

A fox does not have hands or prehensile appendages.

They can not use kinetic blasts.

So a fox does not have legs or tail?

A fox has legs and a tail, but neither are "prehensile."

With a more or less generous application of the Merriam-Webster dictionary's definitions, a mouth could be both prehensile and an appendage...

Spoiler:

Prehensile:
1: adapted for seizing or grasping especially by wrapping around <prehensile tail>

Spoiler:

Appendage:
1: an adjunct to something larger or more important : appurtenance
2: a usually projecting part of an animal or plant body that is typically smaller and of less functional importance than the main part to which it is attached; especially : a limb or analogous part (as a seta)

Personally, I'd be all for letting players play foxes with laser-breath.


Emo Duck wrote:


With a more or less generous application of the Merriam-Webster dictionary's definitions, a mouth could be both prehensile and an appendage...

Possibly, but in my mind that's an overgenerous extension of both definitions. I might be persuaded to accept certain tongues as prehensile, but not mouths.

The classic examples of prehensile appendages are a (spider) monkey's tail or an elephant's trunk. The further you get from that kind of capacity, the less likely I would be to accept it at any table I ran.....


WagnerSika wrote:
EvilMinion wrote:

A fox does not have hands or prehensile appendages.

They can not use kinetic blasts.

So a fox does not have legs or tail? You learn something new every day...

Byakko: Did he rule that you get -4 to grapple checks because you don't have a free hand and that a fox is a humanoid? Hope he ruled the same for all the grapply monsters he threw at you.

I'm pretty sure that the size modifiers against you were applied, as they should be. And yes in fox form you're still a humanoid as polymorph effects do not change your type.

And no, the fluffy tail does not count as a limb. Call me cantankerous as well, but I'd say the DM was correct.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

To have a free hand, your body must have an unoccupied hand or a limb prehensile enough that the game explicitly points out that it can be used like a hand.

Whether or not a free hand is necessary depends on the ability in question.

With mystic bolts and kinetic blasts, you're using the free hand to make attacks with. If you don't have a free hand, you can't make attacks with them.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


I'm pretty sure that the size modifiers against you were applied, as they should be. And yes in fox form you're still a humanoid as polymorph effects do not change your type.

Size modifiers should be applied without a doubt.

I never thought anyone would interpret the usage of the word humanoid in the grapple rules as referring to your type, rather than your shape.
So aasimars, that look exactly like humans, do not get this penalty? Aasimars, Tieflings, Dryads, Satyrs, Pixies, Grimlocks etc. are skilled at grappling with their feet or savage teeth then I guess.
This interpretation nerfs melee druids tremendously and makes grappling a worthless tactic for them. Unless, you are an aasimar druid of course. Because an aasimar polymorphed to a snake is better at grappling than a human polymorphed to an identical snake.


Why do you think polymorph effects don't change your type? A spell that changes you into a creature of X type means you are that type. If you're polymorphed or wild shape into a bear then spells like animal growth or speak with animals will work. And a kitsune fox shape acts as beast shape 2, which changes you into a form of animal type. That being said though, it doesn't look good for warlock mystic bolts as a fox. It's pretty clear in the ability description that the mystic bolts are treated as weapons which your paws woulsn't be able to wield. If it was considered spellcasting you could just take natural spell and rock on, but it doesn't. If you could somehow wield them though, as far as I can tell (from the lack of any mention in the text) the damage would be unaffected by size. A pixie or giant warlock would still be doing the same 1d6 bolts.


Arcwin wrote:
Why do you think polymorph effects don't change your type?

Largely because polymorph spells are fairly explicit in what they do, and changing your type isn't on the list.

Quote:


A spell that changes you into a creature of X type means you are that type.

But you don't usually change into a creature of X type -- you "assume the form" of such a creature (see the descriptions), but you don't become such a creature, as evidenced by the fact that you only receive certain abilities, not all of the.

For example, if you use beast shape I to assume the form of a lion, you can neither grap, pounce, nor rake -- because you're not really a lion, but a fake lion generated by magic.

So,... no. I don't believe speak with animals would work on you, and I don't believe you receive the animal type.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Arcwin wrote:
Why do you think polymorph effects don't change your type?

You are thinking of 3.5 or something. Pathfinder doesn't change type.


In case, you really need a free hand Juggler Bard 2 always has a free hand.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I am not sure if the size adjustment for the "light weapons" that the Mystic Bolts are considered as is correct or not. My own belief is that they do the damage as stated, being used as the weapons as they do so. Herolab puts them as weapons first, and denotes the size change for smaller characters, such as a Gnome or Halfling.

My question would be, is it a bug in Herolab, or is that how it was intended?

Liberty's Edge

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EvilMinion wrote:

A fox does not have hands or prehensile appendages.

They can not use kinetic blasts.

*shreds opponent to pieces*

Picks up hand

Free hand!


Pretty sure it should be fine to use for vigilante blast and kin blast..
also very cool if its fires from the mouth or tail.


Cyrad wrote:
To have a free hand, your body must have an unoccupied hand or a limb prehensile enough that the game explicitly points out that it can be used like a hand.

Pathfinder fails to do so for any PC race, including humans.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Snowlilly wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
To have a free hand, your body must have an unoccupied hand or a limb prehensile enough that the game explicitly points out that it can be used like a hand.
Pathfinder fails to do so for any PC race, including humans.

See the Vanara race for a specifically define prehensile tail.

As for actual hands, the definition of humanoid includes two arms, which by implication include hands. Non-humanoid PC races are covered by mentioning that they have a humanoid shape.


Our local PFS chapter is pretty forgiving about what fox shape can do, having decided that it is more important that people enjoy playing.

After we had some players do things that were definitively legal but highly disruptive, as a group we decided to go in the players favour with non-disruptive grey areas.


thaX wrote:

I am not sure if the size adjustment for the "light weapons" that the Mystic Bolts are considered as is correct or not. My own belief is that they do the damage as stated, being used as the weapons as they do so. Herolab puts them as weapons first, and denotes the size change for smaller characters, such as a Gnome or Halfling.

My question would be, is it a bug in Herolab, or is that how it was intended?

In regards to feats/abilities trey are considered weapons, so maybe that was easiest for herolab to type it. But they aren't affected by size.

I'd flag it to Herolab designers and see what they say.


Another hands question. Does a druid shapeshifted into a snapping turtle while using snapping turtle style count as having a hand free?


@DM Livgin - Ironically the answer is probably "no". I guess a crane might not have a "hand" either.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Hand free = Not holding a shield, flag, weapon, etc.

Other interpretations may say you need a human like hand.

That is the two main table variances, we won't see this type of thing in a FAQ. So ask your GM.


Ya, is it intended to mean an appendage with opposable thumbs, or just a limb capable of some sort of manipulation.


DM Livgin wrote:
Ya, is it intended to mean an appendage with opposable thumbs, or just a limb capable of some sort of manipulation.

Or is it an unwritten hand, in which case everyone has two no matter their body structure (ignore the contradiction with multi-attack).


DM Livgin wrote:
Ya, is it intended to mean an appendage with opposable thumbs, or just a limb capable of some sort of manipulation.

if thats the case why do snakes have a climb speed?


@James Risner - I think a FAQ could be in order since:
- Druids can wildshape into lots of forms
- other casters can polymorph with spells
- tengu, kitsune, etc
- Eldritch Guardians can share various Style feats with their familiars


And if a snake can climb, does its tail have the fine manipulation required to operate a wand?

"To activate a wand, a character must hold it in hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for non-humanoid creatures)"

Of course I'm speaking to shapeshifted characters and awakened animals here, wands and familiars have been addressed elsewhere.

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