FAQ: Bombs and two weapon fighting


Rules Questions


13 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

What is the type of weapon a bomb is considered to be for calculation of two weapon fighting penalties?


I believe the general assumption is 'light'


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The rules are silent, but any GM that says "a small vial containing an ounce of liquid catalyst" is anything other than a light weapon for TWF purposes is really being a bit mean.


The rules are quiet yeah. But I don't want an assumption. Seems easy enough to answer. Light or not?

So... FAQ


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Fair enough, I do think this is worth getting an answer to, but I do just want to point to...

The Rules FAQ and How to Use It sticky thread wrote:

Should I put "FAQ request" or “Designer response needed” in my post or thread?

No.
Doing so suggests that your post or thread is more “worthy” of staff attention than someone else’s thread which doesn’t include this text.
Also, because having more FAQ clicks doesn’t make a thread more likely to be answered, doing this to encourage more FAQ clicks doesn’t help you.
Finally, most people insisting they need a designer or developer to weigh in with an official answer are in a situation where they’re disagreeing with the GM or another player and one side refuses to budge unless they get an official response from Paizo, and Paizo doesn’t want to encourage that sort of heavy-handedness.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Cavall wrote:

The rules are quiet yeah. But I don't want an assumption. Seems easy enough to answer. Light or not?

So... FAQ

They request we not put FAQ in titles.

I think most GM's can figure out an answer. To have a chance of answering, a list of links to threads where there was doubt would increase your chances.


Jesus no wonder no one answered the bards faq.


James Risner wrote:
Cavall wrote:

The rules are quiet yeah. But I don't want an assumption. Seems easy enough to answer. Light or not?

So... FAQ

Don't use FAQ in titles.

This isn't remotely a FAQ, as I've only seen this asked once. Here.

Most GM's can figure out an answer, do you really have a bunch of links available to threads where there was doubt?

I actually searched the forums and found another thread that died out with no answer.

But it's been asked a few times in some fb groups and recently came up today. With no way to answer that's FA enough for me.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Chemlok wrote:
The rules are silent, but any GM that says "a small vial containing an ounce of liquid catalyst" is anything other than a light weapon for TWF purposes is really being a bit mean.

For unknown weapons, I use the improvised weapon method. "To determine the size category and appropriate damage for an improvised weapon, compare its relative size and damage potential to the weapon list to find a reasonable match." As Chemlok points out, it's a 1 ounce vial. The closest weapon in size, weight and range is a shuriken. Two weapon fighting says "Treat a dart or shuriken as a light weapon".

I can't see a valid argument for putting it in one handed or two handed categories. And this is a question that comes up for every new ranged weapon. For instance, is a Wrist Launcher light? It never states for sure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Perfectly happy to FAQ it, and I do hope it gets traction, because it's actually a lot better than some of the nitpicky questions that show up around here, it's unequivocally a question we don't have an answer to, and it could do with one (talk about an easy win for a FAQ Friday).


I think this should probably apply to all splash weapons. You're unlikely to dual-wield Alchemist's Fire or Tanglefoot Bags, sure, but you could.


Honestly for me I entirely see it as a light weapon to throw. But this is a weapon that took time to mix and toss as a standard action in the first place before it.

So it's more to me.. sure it's light but is fast bombs making it fast enough that the process is considered "light".

I hope that makes sense? Alchemy is always a special beast. Anyways, yeah seems like it's not a real thinker like some others they get. I'm more surprised at the amount of alchemists that count on this for bomber builds and it's never been formalized.

I think really this FAQ is more to formalize what we are all taking as an assumption. To me anyways.

Scarab Sages

Nixitur wrote:
I think this should probably apply to all splash weapons. You're unlikely to dual-wield Alchemist's Fire or Tanglefoot Bags, sure, but you could.

The alchemist bomb rules specifically call them out as being weapons and that they can count as such for feats.

I don't think normal splash weapons qualify as weapons in this respect. Which is why they don't require proficency, aren't part of the weapon table, and can't normally benefit from quick draw.

So I don't think one answer automatically applies to the other answer.

Regarding specifically the question of dual wielding alchemist bombs, the issue would be in regard to making the bombs, since the alchemist mixes them as part of the standard action to throw them. So how many hands are required to mix the bombs? Doesn't say. Dual wielding would depend on being able to mix each one in a single hand.

Additionally, throwing a bomb is not the same action as a standard attack. Yes, they are both standard actions, but the throwing the bomb is a "special attack."

I suppose if the alchemist can equip a tower shield and still throw bombs, then mixing and throwing with a single hand is allowed. Still unclear regarding two weapon fighting rules.


graystone wrote:
Chemlok wrote:
The rules are silent, but any GM that says "a small vial containing an ounce of liquid catalyst" is anything other than a light weapon for TWF purposes is really being a bit mean.

For unknown weapons, I use the improvised weapon method. "To determine the size category and appropriate damage for an improvised weapon, compare its relative size and damage potential to the weapon list to find a reasonable match." As Chemlok points out, it's a 1 ounce vial. The closest weapon in size, weight and range is a shuriken. Two weapon fighting says "Treat a dart or shuriken as a light weapon".

I can't see a valid argument for putting it in one handed or two handed categories.

Really? ;-) ...I hit the FAQ.

The fact it targets Touch AC certainly makes interesting balance argument for Non-Light status.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

One thing I believe is relevant to point out:

CRB wrote:
“Armed” Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character’s or creature’s unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).

Touch attacks are armed unarmed attacks, which are light.

Ranged touch should be similar.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

One thing I feel relevant to point out.

We play a game that uses the term "armed unarmed attack" with no sense of irony.


Quandary wrote:
graystone wrote:
Chemlok wrote:
The rules are silent, but any GM that says "a small vial containing an ounce of liquid catalyst" is anything other than a light weapon for TWF purposes is really being a bit mean.

For unknown weapons, I use the improvised weapon method. "To determine the size category and appropriate damage for an improvised weapon, compare its relative size and damage potential to the weapon list to find a reasonable match." As Chemlok points out, it's a 1 ounce vial. The closest weapon in size, weight and range is a shuriken. Two weapon fighting says "Treat a dart or shuriken as a light weapon".

I can't see a valid argument for putting it in one handed or two handed categories.

Really? ;-)

Really! A vial deals 0 damage and breaks on a hit, releasing what's inside. A thrown vial of acid isn't doing any damage from the vial [it's just the delivery system]. So a shuriken seems to be the closest IMO.


Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Regarding specifically the question of dual wielding alchemist bombs, the issue would be in regard to making the bombs, since the alchemist mixes them as part of the standard action to throw them. So how many hands are required to mix the bombs? Doesn't say. Dual wielding would depend on being able to mix each one in a single hand.

Well, if you have Fast Bombs, Two-Weapon Fighting is explicitly allowed according to this FAQ. But if you don't have Fast Bombs, then I'm not sure because, as you said, it simply uses the Throw Splash Weapon special attack which isn't stated to work with TWF.

I'm fairly certain the alchemist can mix a bomb with one hand, though. First of all, if it required both hands, then I'm sure it would need to say so to answer such simple questions as "Can I use a shield while throwing bombs?" Secondly, take a look at the Bombchucker. It specifically states that it doesn't hinder bomb mixing in the slightest, even though you have a wicker basket on one hand.


Personally I think they made a mistake allowing Two-Weapon-Fighting to work with bombs. This is because there is never any mention that bombs are wielded at all.

I guess they added it for fairness reasons? but who even uses TWF with bombs? All one needs is something like Haste and Rapid Shot, and they'd already be burning through bombs at 4 per round, and without penalty unlike TWF.

That said, they should certainly be treated as if they were light weapons (note that that does not necessarily mean that they are light weapons), and to even ask this question is silly. There's a reason noone asked this question before in all these years(or if it was, that it wasn't asked much).

It's like asking a FAQ question for something like "are you able to perform nay actions if you're dead?RAW  doesn't explicitly say"

Regarding throwing two bombs before getting the Fast Bombs discovery, tell me how it's possible to get two standard actions in a single round first.


Joesi wrote:
Personally I think they made a mistake allowing Two-Weapon-Fighting to work with bombs. This is because there is never any mention that bombs are wielded at all.

Actually it kind of does:

Fast Bombs: "This functions just like a full-attack with a ranged weapon." Can't make a "full-attack with a ranged weapon" if you aren't wielding it.


Tell that to a kineticist...

Blast rules:
Kinetic blasts count as a type of weapon for the purpose of feats such as Weapon Focus. The kineticist is never considered to be wielding or gripping the kinetic blast (regardless of effects from form infusions; see Infusion), and she can’t use Vital Strike feats with kinetic blasts.


Yeah well, the kineticist is a weird exception to the rule. It explicitly tells you that the blast isn't wielded. That said, a Vigilante Warlock's Mystic Blast doesn't tell you that you wield it, but it does tell you that you threaten with them and that any feat that isn't barred from apply to touch attacks or something similar but does work with weapons works with the mystic bolts. (I think that means stuff like Vital Strike)

So I guess that means we can infer that any time you make an attack with something, you are effectively wielding it unless the attack itself tells you otherwise.


kadance wrote:

Tell that to a kineticist...

** spoiler omitted **

That's the description of a weapon-like spell/spell-like ability. Those are things you don't do as a "full-attack". They are impermanent items that only exist for that moment.

You don't need a proficiency for spells/spell-like abilities: "Alchemists are proficient with all simple weapons and bombs". Why would you need to be proficient of you don't wield them?

"the alchemist must use a small vial" to make/throw the bomb. It's a physical object that's hurled unlike the "kineticist...".

And you left out the important part in the bold: "for the purpose of feats such as Weapon Focus", Unlike the bomb that "functions just like a full-attack with a ranged weapon" for all any exceptions. So A bomb functions as a ranged weapon while the blast acts as one JUST for feats.


As for the point about "making" the bombs one handed, I always thought it was more like you have a number of vials already prepared and the alchemist simply grabs one and puts a little magic in then throws it,but I couldn't think why I would think that. So I checked out the bomb class feature and the prd says.

Quote:
Most alchemists create a number of catalyst vials at the start of the day equal to the total number of bombs they can create in that day—once created, a catalyst vial remains usable by the alchemist for years.

So that might help if anyone has any flavor problems with it.


I'm honestly surprised this surprised this was never answered.

It seemed like an easy one.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / FAQ: Bombs and two weapon fighting All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.