Clarification needed: Do reach weapons threaten adjacent squares?


Rules Questions


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"you threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack"
"When wielding a weapon with the reach special property, you threaten all squares that you can reach with your weapon. This typically extends a Small or Medium creature’s reach to 10 feet"

To me this seems clear that a medium or small humanoid with a reach weapon threatens 10 feet away but does not threaten adjacent squares.
But a lot of players say that rule no longer exists in Starfinder.

If true there is no good reason to use any melee weapon other then the pike.

Can a dev please clarify?


I do not read the text "extends a Small or Medium creature's reach to 10 feet" as including any information on not being able to threaten adjacent. Can you offer any other text to support that position?

Liberty's Edge

CRB page 255 wrote:
A creature’s natural reach refers to its reach in melee combat when it is not wielding a weapon with the reach special property. Small and Medium creatures have a natural reach of 5 feet. When wielding a weapon with the reach special property, you threaten all squares that you can reach with your weapon. This typically extends a Small or Medium creature’s reach to 10 feet.

Looking at the full paragraph, the rules defines a creature's natural reach. It also defines that if using a weapon (and thus not a natural weapon) the creature has the reach of the weapon. The reach weapon property extends weapon range to 10'.

I think, like PFS, a creature using a reach weapon does not threaten an adjacent square.

Agree that a FAQ maybe needed.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Gary Bush wrote:

I think, like PFS, a creature using a reach weapon does not threaten an adjacent square.

Agree that a FAQ maybe needed.

I don't read 'extends' as 'increases by a certain amount but then excludes the previous range.' If I didn't know Pathfinder at all, I see nothing that mentions that you can't attack adjacent?

Also, the 'reach' weapon quality:

CRB page 182 wrote:

Only melee weapons can have the reach special property.

Wielding a weapon with reach gives you 10 feet of reach for
attacks with that weapon. See Reach and Threatened Squares
on page 255 for more information.


Pepinator wrote:
I do not read the text "extends a Small or Medium creature's reach to 10 feet" as including any information on not being able to threaten adjacent. Can you offer any other text to support that position?

I agree. All it does is allow you to strike further. There is nothing to indicate you can't attack in your normal reach as well. That PF does it the other way for no reason is Indicactive of nothing.

Dark Archive

Reach weapons state that you can hit enemies 10' away. They say nothing about not being able to hit enemies within your natural reach. Count me as agreed that you can hit adjacent enemies.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Voss wrote:
Pepinator wrote:
I do not read the text "extends a Small or Medium creature's reach to 10 feet" as including any information on not being able to threaten adjacent. Can you offer any other text to support that position?
I agree. All it does is allow you to strike further. There is nothing to indicate you can't attack in your normal reach as well. That PF does it the other way for no reason is Indicactive of nothing.

I agree too.

And an interesting find -- looks like reach weapons are even better in SF than PF.


FantheFlames wrote:

Reach weapons do not allow a wielder to typically target adjacent squares. As the Polearm Master archetype of Foghter says in their ability Polearm Training

Pole Fighting wrote:
At 2nd level, as an immediate action, a polearm master can shorten the grip on his spear or polearm with reach and use it against adjacent targets. This action results in a –4 penalty on attack rolls with that weapon until he spends another immediate action to return to the normal grip. The penalty is reduced by –1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.
If you could normally target and hit adjacent squares, this ability would be useless. As such, it seems fair to say it is not possible to normally target adjacent squares with a reach weapon.

Starfinder


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well thats what I get for not looking at the forum on my phone. Apologies, deleted to avoid further confusion.


Porridge wrote:
Voss wrote:
Pepinator wrote:
I do not read the text "extends a Small or Medium creature's reach to 10 feet" as including any information on not being able to threaten adjacent. Can you offer any other text to support that position?
I agree. All it does is allow you to strike further. There is nothing to indicate you can't attack in your normal reach as well. That PF does it the other way for no reason is Indicactive of nothing.

I agree too.

And an interesting find -- looks like reach weapons are even better in SF than PF.

Too good. I suspect that they were not intended to be able to attack adjacent enemies but that it was worded poorly. But either way I would like a dev to confirm one way or the other.


How does the FAQ thing work anyway? Does it have to get X amounts of clicks?

Liberty's Edge

From what I understand, FAQ flag brings it to the attention of the "powers that be". I presume those said powers begin a discussion on the merits of the question and make a determination.

Now, on the PFS side of the house, it can be a long time before a determination is made.

However, with SFS being so new and with a really good team of developers, I am hopeful clarification will be provided quickly.


They also rank and prioritize by number of clicks. If it's easy but only three people clicked they probably won't bother, and if it's really difficult and 150 people clicked they might not be able to agree on an answer, but generally more clicks is better. But brand new game and different team, so it might be different.


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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I agree with others that this is looking like you threaten both. I imagine that devs intended to specify somewhere that you only getting 5 ft. or 10 ft. and needing to switch your grip on your weapon to go between the two. Doesn't look like that made it in. Since they changed the action to switch your grip to a swift action (so you can only switch once on your turn and eat up your swift action) that may have been what they were going for. That's probably how I'm going to run it. But being able to threaten both at the same time probably isn't what they wanted.


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To read, "you threaten all squares that you can reach with your weapon. This typically extends a Small or Medium creature’s reach to 10 feet" as excluding the 5' spaces adjacent to a wielder you would have to have some outside knowledge as that is not a rules element present anywhere in the Starfinder rules set. There is no mention of any action to shift a grip or to exclude threatened spaces.

This gives melee weapon users a very strong niche in shutting down ranged weapon users, charge into an adjacent space and attack. If the target survives and guarded steps away you still threaten them and get an AoO if they try shooting. If they use a full action withdraw you can charge again the next turn and set it up all over again.

Silver Crusade

Torbyne wrote:


This gives melee weapon users a very strong niche in shutting down ranged weapon users, charge into an adjacent space and attack. If the target survives and guarded steps away you still threaten them and get an AoO if they try shooting. If they use a full action withdraw you can charge again the next turn and set it up all over again.

"Shutting down" is a bit optimistic given the lack of combat reflexes and the fact that damage isn't enough to one or two shot a CR appropriate bad guy.

Still a powerful tactic, mind.

My one (theory crafting) concern is that it will draw a LOT of attention from the bad guys. And characters don't seem to have good abilities to counter a LOT of attention (one just cannot get a build to high enough ACs to really count as a tank)


pauljathome wrote:
Torbyne wrote:


This gives melee weapon users a very strong niche in shutting down ranged weapon users, charge into an adjacent space and attack. If the target survives and guarded steps away you still threaten them and get an AoO if they try shooting. If they use a full action withdraw you can charge again the next turn and set it up all over again.

"Shutting down" is a bit optimistic given the lack of combat reflexes and the fact that damage isn't enough to one or two shot a CR appropriate bad guy.

Still a powerful tactic, mind.

My one (theory crafting) concern is that it will draw a LOT of attention from the bad guys. And characters don't seem to have good abilities to counter a LOT of attention (one just cannot get a build to high enough ACs to really count as a tank)

Fair enough, not shutting down then but instead of getting two attacks at -4 for most of the game you can instead, charge and get a swing at -2, then with reach they will still provoke an AoO and you get a second attack with no penalty and the same damage prior to their attack going off.


Also this : p.244-245 'Melee Attacks'

"Some melee weapons in Chapter 7 have the reach special property, as indicated in their descriptions, and some monsters have natural reach. Typically, a character or monster with reach can attack any foe within their reach (see Reach and Threatened Squares on page 255 for more details)."

That "any foe within their reach" statement seems pretty clear.


Yes, it does seem that reach weapons are better in SF. Given that they removed iterative attacks, this seems like a simple gimme to clear up some confusion with reach weapons in PF.


It makes feats such as Lunge and the Step up and Strike chain seem poor choices. The real question is if the devs didn't intend for reach weapons to attack adjacent squares will players who bought pikes be allowed to sell them back at full price?

Grand Lodge

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Almost all of the reach weapons (other than two of the cryo weapons which have underwhelming damage for their level) target KAC. So there is some tradeoff.


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Bigguyinblack wrote:
It makes feats such as Lunge and the Step up and Strike chain seem poor choices. The real question is if the devs didn't intend for reach weapons to attack adjacent squares will players who bought pikes be allowed to sell them back at full price?

Actually, I think Step Up and Strike works nicely with reach.

An adjacent enemy's movement options are:
1) Guarded Step - you follow them and hit them with step up and strike AoO, and still have a full action on your next turn
2) Withdraw - you hit them on the second square out with AoO from reach and they didn't do anything but move
3) Move normally - you hit them as they move the first square with an AoO

There literally are no movement options where they don't get attacked.

Also, Lunge stacks with reach weapons, giving you 15' reach for your turn, which means they can't guarded step in to attack you in melee if they don't have a reach weapon.

My guess it's all balanced by the fact there is a one AoO per round hard limit. No more hitting 4 guys trying to get to you with a reach weapon in a single round. Once you've hit one, the rest can just pile in. Also, effective backup weapons are expensive, which is what you would need if a reach weapon couldn't attack adjacent enemies.


Hiruma Kai wrote:

Actually, I think Step Up and Strike works nicely with reach.

An adjacent enemy's movement options are:
1) Guarded Step - you follow them and hit them with step up and strike AoO, and still have a full action on your next turn
2) Withdraw - you hit them on the second square out with AoO from reach and they didn't do anything but move
3) Move normally - you hit them as they move the first square with an AoO
There literally are no movement options where they don't get attacked.

Even without Step Up and Strike, if you're adjacent with a reach weapon, your opponent can:

1) Guarded Step, which doesn't get them out of your reach so you get an AoO if they then do anything that would provoke (which is the usual reason they'd want to Step away) and you can full attack them on your next turn.
...and 2 and 3 are the same.
There are still no safe movement options. The only case where it makes a difference is in giving you an immediate attack when they step back, but they probably wouldn't step back if they could see you had a reach weapon.


Matthew Downie wrote:


Even without Step Up and Strike, if you're adjacent with a reach weapon, your opponent can:
1) Guarded Step, which doesn't get them out of your reach so you get an AoO if they then do anything that would provoke (which is the usual reason they'd want to Step away) and you can full attack them on your next turn.

They can guarded step twice since they can convert their standard to a move action, denying you any AoO and forcing you to move closer next round, preventing the full attack. I admit such a turn is not useful if they are the only enemy, but it is potentially useful in group situations (such as a caster and melee bodyguards adjacent) or where they are trying to tank/delay.

The other use for the Step Up and Strike feat is to prevent flanking. +2 to hit is something to avoid.

Grand Lodge

With a 15 foot reach, you can not only hit the guy next to you if he tries to step away, you can also hit his partner behind him...

Grand Lodge

It basically just means that if someone is next to me with a reach weapon, instead of taking a guarded step and still being in a spot where they can hit me when I provoke from a spell/ranged weapon, I'm instead just going to take a move action (and probably tumble) and provoke from movement to get to a safe spot.


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Quote:

Sent 5 hours, 24 minutes ago

From Thurston Hillman Add to Contacts
To Bigguyinblack
Subject Re: A rules question. Reply

In Starfinder, reach weapons allow you to attack adjacent targets.

Hope that helps!

Not official FAQ but I'm satisfied. Pike it is.


As a note though, MOST reach weapons, and certainly the most damaging ones, are Unwieldy, meaning they -cannot- make AOO to begin with.

You're mostly stuck using pikes (or the monowhip), and I dont see any non unwieldy reach weapons past level 15, so while its neat, it does seems to stay in balance because of weapon access.

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