FAQ Request: Tiny creatures with reach weapons.


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

22 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

First of all, thank you in advance. You guys/gals are swell.

My question stems from a recent build idea, which would have me popping reduce person on a halfling to make him tiny sized, and then coupling a reach weapon with Lunge to give him a 10' reach so I can use Steadfast Slayer while mounted.

However, RAW tiny creatures have a reach of 0', so a reach weapons' "doubling" of effective reach (as a literal translation) would come out to...still 0.

This conflicts with bestiary entries I've encountered where tiny creatures with reach weapons are shown as having 5' reach. EDIT: Example.

Is this intended, or should a Tiny creature with a reach weapon be treated as having a reach of 5'?

The Concordance

I think the intention is that Tiny creatures have reach 2.5' (equal to their space) which is rounded down to 0' or doubled to 5'.

Liberty's Edge

Unfortunately, as a PFS player I need something concrete, although I'm inclined to agree with that interpretation.


All of the bestiary entries that I'm aware of are making specific call-outs that something has 5ft. None of them are just a normal tiny thing using a normal reach weapon.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Game speak for "DOUBLE" doesn't really mean "twice as much." A creature that's Tiny and has a reach of 0 feet who uses a reach weapon would basically go up to the next stage of reach: 5 feet. Something smaller than Tiny would, at the most, go up to Tiny's level of reach—weapons smaller than those wielded by Tiny creatures, therefore, never have reach.

While not an official ruling. It actually makes sense. For instance, the 0-feet is used in combat (grid) terms, which is counted in 5-foot increments. Assume that a Tiny creature would increase to the reach of a Small creature (whether you still let it attack creatures in the same square as it with the reach weapon is your own call.) Otherwise, if they did give creatures incremental reach, like saying a pixie has 2.5 reach, then you'd have players trying to game or abuse the grid system, "I stand at this edge of the square and I can reach into this one!", etc.

The doubling thing is just an 'ease-of-description' reference. For instance, a large creature (with a 10-foot reach) wielding a reach weapon (of appopriate size) 'doubles' its reach to 15 and 20. Obviously 15 is not a double 10 and the creature isn't listed as having a normal reach of 7.5 feet... It's a common sense situation where they just use the word double to indicate you increase the square reach (meaning... the squares you can reach).

No one will assault you for having a tiny creature with 5-foot reach (they exist) and especially not if they have reach weapons (also exist and noted.)

Edit: Oh, a PFS player... maybe you will get assaulted.

Liberty's Edge

Chess Pwn wrote:
All of the bestiary entries that I'm aware of are making specific call-outs that something has 5ft. None of them are just a normal tiny thing using a normal reach weapon.

but this

Pizza Lord wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Game speak for "DOUBLE" doesn't really mean "twice as much." A creature that's Tiny and has a reach of 0 feet who uses a reach weapon would basically go up to the next stage of reach: 5 feet. Something smaller than Tiny would, at the most, go up to Tiny's level of reach—weapons smaller than those wielded by Tiny creatures, therefore, never have reach.

While not an official ruling. It actually makes sense. For instance, the 0-feet is used in combat (grid) terms, which is counted in 5-foot increments. Assume that a Tiny creature would increase to the reach of a Small creature (whether you still let it attack creatures in the same square as it with the reach weapon is your own call.) Otherwise, if they did give creatures incremental reach, like saying a pixie has 2.5 reach, then you'd have players trying to game or abuse the grid system, "I stand at this edge of the square and I can reach into this one!", etc.

The doubling thing is just an 'ease-of-description' reference. For instance, a large creature (with a 10-foot reach) wielding a reach weapon (of appopriate size) 'doubles' its reach to 15 and 20. Obviously 15 is not a double 10 and the creature isn't listed as having a normal reach of 7.5 feet... It's a common sense situation where they just use the word double to indicate you increase the square reach (meaning... the squares you can reach).

No one will assault you for having a tiny creature with 5-foot reach (they exist) and especially not if they have reach weapons (also exist and noted.)

Edit: Oh, a PFS player... maybe you will get assaulted.

Thank you mate. Now I just need that quote, exactly, from someone with a slightly different tag beside their name to satiate the RAW gods.

Or I could just print that out and then sharpee over it with the appropriate tag. Maybe my GM wouldn't notice :'3


Osmin wrote:
Unfortunately, as a PFS player I need something concrete, although I'm inclined to agree with that interpretation.

If your PFS GM wants to go all lawyerly on you and stomp on the intent of the rules, go all lawyerly right back.

Reach wrote:
You use a reach weapon to strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can't use it against an adjacent foe.

Per RAW, per the Core Rulebook, a size Tiny Creature using a Reach weapon has a Reach of 10'.

And if your PFSGM doesn't like it, he can listen to reason.


If you followed my link you see that twigjack is using a non reach weapon to get 5ft reach. Since this isn't normal of larger creatures it's an exception rather than example that a reach weapon gives 5ft reach.

If it was a longspear then maybe, Or maybe it was meant to be a small spear that is specially usable. Don't know. I just know that it doesn't convince me that a longspear would grant 5ft reach per the rules.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Osmin wrote:
Unfortunately, as a PFS player I need something concrete, although I'm inclined to agree with that interpretation.

If your PFS GM wants to go all lawyerly on you and stomp on the intent of the rules, go all lawyerly right back.

Reach wrote:
You use a reach weapon to strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can't use it against an adjacent foe.

Per RAW, per the Core Rulebook, a size Tiny Creature using a Reach weapon has a Reach of 10'.

And if your PFSGM doesn't like it, he can listen to reason.

Reach Weapons: A reach weapon is a melee weapon that allows its wielder to strike at targets that aren't adjacent to him. Most reach weapons double the wielder's natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square. A typical Large character wielding a reach weapon of the appropriate size can attack a creature 15 or 20 feet away, but not adjacent creatures or creatures up to 10 feet away.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
If your GM wants to go all lawyerly on you and stomp on the intent of the rules.

There's no DEV giving us the intent of the rules. That makes it what YOU think the rule should be. But not the intent of the rule.


Yes, like Chess Pwn says, that Twigjack is using a spear, not a longspear, and a spear isn't a reach weapon, so that doesn't clarify anything towards your case.

I still agree, and would also rulein my game that a tiny creature with a reach weapon can attack 5-feet way, but for completeness and clarity's sake, Chess Pwn is correct there. Hopefully, your GM will see the common sense reasoning... when you find someone to quote with a nicer tag by their name than me.


Per the rules I feel bound that 0ft reach is 0ft reach.
If you say that it really is 2.5 cause that's the height and that it's just rounded down then I say that my 5ft reach is really 7.5 cause that's my height and it's just rounded down. Doubling that reach gives 15ft. So for this to have a plausible support, you'll need to accept medium creatures having 15ft reach or have a justification for why 0ft which should be 2.5ft goes to 5ft, but my 5ft which should be 7.5ft wouldn't go to 15ft.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

I created the original thread on this in 2009, and was told by Jason he'd "look into it" after he got back from GenCon.

Nothing has been addressed to date.

I don't think it's all that big of a deal and any PFS GM can feel free to rule 0 ft (using some for of strict 0 * 2 = 0 ignoring the 2.5 ft space rules) or 5 ft (using JJ's logic) at their leisure.

Liberty's Edge

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Chess Pwn wrote:
All of the bestiary entries that I'm aware of are making specific call-outs that something has 5ft. None of them are just a normal tiny thing using a normal reach weapon.

Most bestiary creatures are not tiny.

Most bestiary creatures cannot wield weapons.
Most weapons do not provide reach.

The intersection of those three facts leaves very little room for a tiny bestiary creature wielding a reach weapon.

That said... Twigjack.


CBDunkerson wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
All of the bestiary entries that I'm aware of are making specific call-outs that something has 5ft. None of them are just a normal tiny thing using a normal reach weapon.

Most bestiary creatures are not tiny.

Most bestiary creatures cannot wield weapons.
Most weapons do not provide reach.

The intersection of those three facts leaves very little room for a tiny bestiary creature wielding a reach weapon.

That said... Twigjack.

Has 5ft reach with a non-reach weapon, Thus is something special about that creature and not showing that a tiny reach weapon has 5ft reach.

Plus, bestiaries aren't completely known for being accurate.

But hey, if you want a faster answer, Find out what herolab is doing and tell them they are wrong. Then they get fast track to the DEVs who give them an answer right quick and then you know the answer.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Chess Pwn wrote:
Has 5ft reach with a non-reach weapon, Thus is something special about that creature and not showing that a tiny reach weapon has 5ft reach.

And how many times do people confuse spear and longspear?


James Risner wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Has 5ft reach with a non-reach weapon, Thus is something special about that creature and not showing that a tiny reach weapon has 5ft reach.
And how many times do people confuse spear and longspear?

If the author said he made a mistake then we'd at least know Author's intent that it was a mistake.


Chess Pwn wrote:

Per the rules I feel bound that 0ft reach is 0ft reach.

If you say that it really is 2.5 cause that's the height and that it's just rounded down then I say that my 5ft reach is really 7.5 cause that's my height and it's just rounded down. Doubling that reach gives 15ft. So for this to have a plausible support, you'll need to accept medium creatures having 15ft reach or have a justification for why 0ft which should be 2.5ft goes to 5ft, but my 5ft which should be 7.5ft wouldn't go to 15ft.

Dude, per the rules, the Reach Quality gives the wielder a 10' reach, and it make no provision whatsoever about the size of the weapon.

Reach wrote:
You use a reach weapon to strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can't use it against an adjacent foe.

That's what the rules say.


At the same time, the rules are written with the expectation that you will be playing core races, who are all small and medium-size. In fact, the only reason small characters have the same reach as medium characters is so that you can play a Gnome or Halfling and have a reasonably similar experience to playing a Human. If a Gnome had a reach of 0, this would be a very different game.

Statements like "using a reach weapon doubles your natural reach" don't map out when you start dealing with monster races. It would be nice if they'd given more thought to how the rules interact with size changing spells, but it is what it is.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

Per the rules I feel bound that 0ft reach is 0ft reach.

If you say that it really is 2.5 cause that's the height and that it's just rounded down then I say that my 5ft reach is really 7.5 cause that's my height and it's just rounded down. Doubling that reach gives 15ft. So for this to have a plausible support, you'll need to accept medium creatures having 15ft reach or have a justification for why 0ft which should be 2.5ft goes to 5ft, but my 5ft which should be 7.5ft wouldn't go to 15ft.

Dude, per the rules, the Reach Quality gives the wielder a 10' reach, and it make no provision whatsoever about the size of the weapon.

Reach wrote:
You use a reach weapon to strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can't use it against an adjacent foe.
That's what the rules say.

Those are the rules for small and medium creatures. The fact that an ogre can hit you out to 20' with a reach weapon says that your reading is not as absolute as you think it is.


thorin001 wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

Per the rules I feel bound that 0ft reach is 0ft reach.

If you say that it really is 2.5 cause that's the height and that it's just rounded down then I say that my 5ft reach is really 7.5 cause that's my height and it's just rounded down. Doubling that reach gives 15ft. So for this to have a plausible support, you'll need to accept medium creatures having 15ft reach or have a justification for why 0ft which should be 2.5ft goes to 5ft, but my 5ft which should be 7.5ft wouldn't go to 15ft.

Dude, per the rules, the Reach Quality gives the wielder a 10' reach, and it make no provision whatsoever about the size of the weapon.

Reach wrote:
You use a reach weapon to strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can't use it against an adjacent foe.
That's what the rules say.
Those are the rules for small and medium creatures. The fact that an ogre can hit you out to 20' with a reach weapon says that your reading is not as absolute as you think it is.

No.

Those are the rules for the Reach Weapon Quality. They don't say "10' if you are Size Medium or Small, 0' if you are Tiny." They say 10'.

This thread sprung from a related thread with the same OP. And a new piece of RAW came up from Diego Rossi who read more thoroughly than I did.

PRD, Core Rulebook, Equipment, Weapons, Melee and Ranged Weapons, Reach Weapons wrote:
Reach Weapons: Glaives, guisarmes, lances, longspears, ranseurs, and whips are reach weapons. A reach weapon is a melee weapon that allows its wielder to strike at targets that aren't adjacent to him. Most reach weapons double the wielder's natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square. A typical Large character wielding a reach weapon of the appropriate size can attack a creature 15 or 20 feet away, but not adjacent creatures or creatures up to 10 feet away.

I just saw Chess Pwn quoted this too.

Chess Pwn wrote:
There's no DEV giving us the intent of the rules. That makes it what YOU think the rule should be. But not the intent of the rule.

Chess Pwn, look at your own quote!

PRD, Core Rulebook, Equipment, Weapons, Melee and Ranged Weapons, Reach Weapons wrote:
A reach weapon is a melee weapon that allows its wielder to strike at targets that aren't adjacent to him.
Chess Pwn wrote:
Per the rules I feel bound that 0ft reach is 0ft reach.

Then per the rules you should be bound. Most Reach Weapons double the wielders natural reach. All Reach Weapons allow their wielders to attack targets that aren't adjacent to them. And the specific number given was 10'.

I do agree with Thorin and Chess Pwn in that the intent is clearly implied that 10' is to be a minimum: larger creatures have greater reach. But the rules say 10', and the rules say Reach Weapons let you attack nonadjacent targets. Per RAW, it seems that Twigjacks have some undefined special ability to attack adjacent targets when armed with Spears. Most Tiny creatures with non reach weapons can only attack creatures within their own squares. A Twigjack, like any other Tiny humanoid with a Longspear should have a Reach of 10'.

Per RAW.

Unless you can find more RAW.


"Targets that aren't adjacent" is not a concluding definition. The bird 200 feet up in the sky isn't adjacent, but that doesn't mean you can attack it. The other information needed is the range the weapon can be used at.
The only mention of 10' is specifically for small and medium creatures and doesn't apply. So we need to look for possible definitions of range or we can't use the weapon at all.

What we have is the information that most reach weapons double natural reach. Exceptions are a few weapons like the whip, which I believe triples it (as the rules are written with small or medium creatures in mind and we have to extrapolate from there). In any case a tiny creature has a reach of 0, so neither doubling nor tripling does anything.

That isn't really satisfying, as common sense suggests even a tiny creature should be able to attack creatures outside its own field with a whip. Half of a small characters reach rounded down to the next 5' increment sounds reasonable for example (at least to me), but its not in the rules. PFS GMs are not allowed to fix this on their own.

This is why I support this FAQ request.


Lintecarka wrote:
"Targets that aren't adjacent" is not a concluding definition.

It doesn't say everything, but it does say not the same square and not the squares next to your square.

Lintecarka wrote:
The only mention of 10' is specifically for small and medium creatures

False. The description of the Reach Quality does not mention Size at all, and it certainly does not exclude Tiny Creatures. Show me where it says that Tiny creatures are forbidden to benefit from Reach Weapons. Citation required.

Lintecarka wrote:
What we have is the information that most reach weapons double natural reach.

We also have "not adjacent" and "10'."


Quote:
Most reach weapons double the wielder's natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square.

The 10' number is specific to (typical) Small and Medium creatures. The text also gives a number for Large bipeds (20', double their natural 10' reach - quadrupeds don't wield manufactured weapons). It says absolutely nothing about Tiny (or smaller) creatures (even though a Small character could be the target of Reduce Person and become Tiny). That said, I would give Tiny creatures 5' with a reach weapon sized for them.


What you are looking at is the description of a weapon property referencing the table of small and medium weapons. Those have typically a reach of 10', but that value is not supposed to be used for other weapon sizes. This is mentioned again in the general reach description you quoted above, where it is explicitely mentioned the 10' reach applies to typical small and medium characters, while other creatures use their own values.

So there is no rule against tiny creatures using reach weapons, but they can't use the rules for small/medium weapons and are stuck with double their natural reach as described (0*2=0). Otherwise a gargantuan creature picking up a longspear would actually reduce its reach.


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If we were to get something official, I'd prefer a ruling that specified reach based on the weapon's size instead of the creature's size. So a tiny size reach weapon gives 5 foot reach. A small or medium reach weapon gives 10 feet of reach with a 5 foot dead zone. And so on. That way we can cover this FAQ and the one about what happens when a large creature wields a medium size reach weapon.

Liberty's Edge

Desperate bump of desperate bumpyness.

Scarab Sages

Osmin wrote:

First of all, thank you in advance. You guys/gals are swell.

My question stems from a recent build idea, which would have me popping reduce person on a halfling to make him tiny sized, and then coupling a reach weapon with Lunge to give him a 10' reach so I can use Steadfast Slayer while mounted.

However, RAW tiny creatures have a reach of 0', so a reach weapons' "doubling" of effective reach (as a literal translation) would come out to...still 0.

This conflicts with bestiary entries I've encountered where tiny creatures with reach weapons are shown as having 5' reach. EDIT: Example.

Is this intended, or should a Tiny creature with a reach weapon be treated as having a reach of 5'?

Have you looked into the Sarissa? It's a martial weapon from the Giant Hunter's Hand book which triples your reach, instead of doubling it. It has other limitations too, but it is PFS legal.

Main drawback, in my opinion, is that it means a medium creature has a 15' pole they are walking around with, which doesn't work well with most dungeons, cities and so forth. But for a tiny creature, seems like a pretty ideal weapon option.


triple 0 is still 0


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Chess Pwn wrote:
triple 0 is still 0

That is absolutely absurd. The fact that it is zero is due to rounding down. If there is a multiplier applied to it's reach, then it would apply to it's normal amount of 2.5, which is effectively zero in terms of how the grid-based movement and spacing functions throughout the rules.

A bipedal creature always threatens within a radius equal to it's space unless there are some weird alterations to it's reach in play (like the spell longarm), so while the tiny bipedal creature has an effective reach of 0, it has an actual reach of 2.5 feet. Reach weapons, therefore, double this to 5. The triple bonus from a Sarissa would actually still only be 5, since it would increase to 7.5, which would round back down to 5 feet reach. This is not outrageous and absolutely has precedent throughout the bestiary and rules for how far a creature threatens.


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
triple 0 is still 0

That is absolutely absurd. The fact that it is zero is due to rounding down. If there is a multiplier applied to it's reach, then it would apply to it's normal amount of 2.5, which is effectively zero in terms of how the grid-based movement and spacing functions throughout the rules.

A bipedal creature always threatens within a radius equal to it's space unless there are some weird alterations to it's reach in play (like the spell longarm), so while the tiny bipedal creature has an effective reach of 0, it has an actual reach of 2.5 feet. Reach weapons, therefore, double this to 5. The triple bonus from a Sarissa would actually still only be 5, since it would increase to 7.5, which would round back down to 5 feet reach. This is not outrageous and absolutely has precedent throughout the bestiary and rules for how far a creature threatens.

The monster's stat block says 0 reach. Some say 2.5 reach. Those that say 2.5 I have no issue getting 5ft or 5ft reach depending on reach weapon or sarrisa.

But those that say 0ft reach are 0ft and 0ft respectively.
This FAQ question is trying to get a FAQ or something to say that 0ft is actually 2.5ft or something.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Chess Pwn wrote:
This FAQ question is trying to get a FAQ or something to say that 0ft is actually 2.5ft or something.

I always hate to burn FAQ slots on things I see as obviously an error in a stat block, as the core rules list tiny as 2.5 ft.


Do you have somewhere it lists it as 2.5 reach for tiny? I know it says 2.5 height, but nothing that says tiny defaults to 2.5 reach.


james Jacobs reply

Scarab Sages

James Risner wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
This FAQ question is trying to get a FAQ or something to say that 0ft is actually 2.5ft or something.
I always hate to burn FAQ slots on things I see as obviously an error in a stat block, as the core rules list tiny as 2.5 ft.

I'm not seeing that in my CRB, though it could be because I have an older version of the CRB. Mine says 0ft reach for Fine thru Tiny (Page 195, top right).

I agree with the OP (and others), does seem like the intention is that "doubling" reach would increase your reach by 1 step (rather than actually doubling zero), but I'm not seeing rules which clarify this. As written, looks like a tiny creature is unable to obtain a reach, no matter how long their reach weapon is.

That said, I have seen abilities which give a flat bonus to reach, rather than doubling. For example, the Paladin's Oath of Savagery (Ultimate Magic) has the Holy Reach (Su) which increases the natural reach of the character by a flat 5ft. As written, a Fine-sized Paladin could use this ability to gain a 5ft natural reach.

Scarab Sages

vhok wrote:
james Jacobs reply

Nice find! Yeah, that's as official as your going to get, unless they ever add it to the FAQ/Eratta.

Sovereign Court

Melkiador wrote:
If we were to get something official, I'd prefer a ruling that specified reach based on the weapon's size instead of the creature's size. So a tiny size reach weapon gives 5 foot reach. A small or medium reach weapon gives 10 feet of reach with a 5 foot dead zone. And so on. That way we can cover this FAQ and the one about what happens when a large creature wields a medium size reach weapon.

Also what happens with for example a Moss Troll wielding a longspear - it's Large and has 15ft reach with its claws, does that mean it has a 15ft dead zone and a 15ft threat zone? A 10ft dead zone and a 15ft threat zone? Or a 10ft dead and 10ft threat zone?


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Moss trolls are described as having especially long arms, so I'd say the extra reach applies to any weapon they wield with them. On the other hand, I'm not sure a longspear would give them an extra 15 ft. So probably 25 ft reach with 15 ft dead zone (or maybe only 10 ft dead zone). I think a comparison with Long Arm would be relevant.


I think the point is that if the reach bonus were based on the weapon and its size instead of the creature and its reach, then a lot of odd corner cases would just fall away.

Sovereign Court

I agree with Kudzlin and Melkiador.

This is relevant for my druid. Eventually I'll be riding around on my huge dire tiger and menacing people with a large horsechopper or chainsaw. *laughs maniacally*

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