When do armor spikes apply their "extra damage"


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So I know I'm about to repeat things that have been said already, but I would like to offer my interpretation on everything being discussed here.

Armor Spikes:
Armor spikes deal extra piercing damage (see “spiked armor” on Table: Weapons) on a successful grapple attack. The spikes count as a martial weapon. If you are not proficient with them, you take a –4 penalty on grapple checks when you try to use them. You can also make a regular melee attack (or off-hand attack) with the spikes, and they count as a light weapon in this case. (You can't also make an attack with armor spikes if you have already made an attack with another off-hand weapon, and vice versa.) An enhancement bonus to a suit of armor does not improve the spikes' effectiveness, but the spikes can be made into magic weapons in their own right.

To start, I side with those that identify a Grapple check, or any combat maneuver, as an attack. They use the same rules on a nat 1 or nat 20 and can be selected with Weapon Focus. Now, the whole "grapple attack" thing does cause me a little confusion. Combat maneuvers are technically unique kinds of attack rolls but they are referred to as a "check", so I believe that the description implies that you automatically apply 1d6 (assuming Medium size) piercing damage on a successful Grapple check.

Next it says that they are a Martial, Light weapon and not being proficient with them causes a -4 penalty on grapple checks when attempting to use them. Let's note that a "check" is simply a roll and doesn't denote either initiating or maintaining a grapple. This implies that you can wear them but not actually apply their use when grappling.
::EXAMPLE:: A Druid is Wildshaped as a Tiger and dons spiked barding. The Druid makes a grapple check but must decide if they want to accept the -4 penalty to their check in order to apply the extra 1d8(Large) damage since they are not proficient with all Martial weapons.

I understand that many think this is overpowered or unreasonable for it's cost... especially when considering characters with Greater Grapple and Rapid Grappler that are capable of adding an additional 3d6(Medium) automatic damage on top of their normal output. However, I don't think that is any more game breaking than a Tyrannosaurus Rex with an Animal Growth spell, Strong Jaw spell and Greater Vital Strike.

48d6 plus Grab?? Hopefully it isn't wearing Colossal spiked barding.


This is a poor example for 2 reasons. #1 It is off topic. We're talking about Grappling, not Aid Another. #2 It supports opposite positions better than yours.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Targeting a flat 10 AC is not targeting the enemy's AC,

Yes it is. When you use Aid Another, you are targeting somebody. You are attacking an AC. It can't be anybody else's AC except your target's AC.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
which may be higher or lower than that number (higher more often than not), so that's wrong.

The fact that it is against AC 10 just means that your target is not allowed any bonuses whatsoever: no armor, no Dex, no Ring of Protection, no nothing.

To suggest otherwise is to suggest a new game mechanic. I haven't seen any support for your non-attack attack roll game mechanic, and you haven't offered any evidence of any.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
And granting an ally a +2 to A.C. or to hit on their (or against their enemies') next attack isn't an attack against an enemy to deal hit point damage via a weapon, so that's not the same definition either.

What you are doing here is offering a definition of Attack, and declaring that your definition is the only definition. But you haven't even begun to show that your sole-definition position is supported by the rules in any way whatsoever.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Keep trying.

I didn't have to. Your position has been buried under a mountain of evidence. You have brought 0 evidence. I was perfectly content to let the thread end leaving me as the clear, clear winner of the argument. I'm only addressing this because Tyrant Lizard King re-opened the thread.


Tyrant Lizard King wrote:

I don't think that is any more game breaking than a Tyrannosaurus Rex with an Animal Growth spell, Strong Jaw spell and Greater Vital Strike.

48d6 plus Grab?? Hopefully it isn't wearing Colossal spiked barding.

This is a minor quibble, but this is a poor example for several reasons.

Druids can't Wildshape into T.Rexes. Druids are limited to Size Huge. The closest they can get to is an Allosaurus. I so, sooooo wish it were possible, but the rules say no. You might be able to do it with Beast Shape Spells or Mythic Wildshape. I'm not sure.

Animal Growth doesn't stack with Wildshape. Both are Polymorph effects that increase Size, and multiple Size Increases do not Stack. You can have an Allosaurus with Strong Jaw. You could have an Allosaurs with a Druid Warpriest with Weapon Focus on his Natural Attacks and Strong Jaw. That would be 4d6 X 3 Attack. You can have a Triceratops with Strong Jaw. What would a Triceratops with Strong Jaw do? 5d8? Plus Vital Strike? 10d8?

I'm curious about your ideas about how to attain 48d6 on a single attack, but it is off topic, and I see some problems already, but I think you might have some good ideas, and I do want to hear them. Maybe PM me?


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

This is a poor example for 2 reasons. #1 It is off topic. We're talking about Grappling, not Aid Another. #2 It supports opposite positions better than yours.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Targeting a flat 10 AC is not targeting the enemy's AC,

Yes it is. When you use Aid Another, you are targeting somebody. You are attacking an AC. It can't be anybody else's AC except your target's AC.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
which may be higher or lower than that number (higher more often than not), so that's wrong.

The fact that it is against AC 10 just means that your target is not allowed any bonuses whatsoever: no armor, no Dex, no Ring of Protection, no nothing.

To suggest otherwise is to suggest a new game mechanic. I haven't seen any support for your non-attack attack roll game mechanic, and you haven't offered any evidence of any.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
And granting an ally a +2 to A.C. or to hit on their (or against their enemies') next attack isn't an attack against an enemy to deal hit point damage via a weapon, so that's not the same definition either.

What you are doing here is offering a definition of Attack, and declaring that your definition is the only definition. But you haven't even begun to show that your sole-definition position is supported by the rules in any way whatsoever.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Keep trying.
I didn't have to. Your position has been buried under a mountain of evidence. You have brought 0 evidence. I was perfectly content to let the thread end leaving me as the clear, clear winner of the argument. I'm only addressing this because Tyrant Lizard King re-opened the thread.

No Scott you are not targeting the enemy's AC or you would have to hit their AC. You are targeting a preset number. You can flavor it as trying to grapple them or distracting them so your buddy has an easier time doing it, but you are not targeting their AC or CMD. In order for the aid another roll to be able to ignore everything you said it ignores you need rules to back that up. It is ok for you to have that theory, but it is not fact based.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

This is a poor example for 2 reasons. #1 It is off topic. We're talking about Grappling, not Aid Another. #2 It supports opposite positions better than yours.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Targeting a flat 10 AC is not targeting the enemy's AC,

Yes it is. When you use Aid Another, you are targeting somebody. You are attacking an AC. It can't be anybody else's AC except your target's AC.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
which may be higher or lower than that number (higher more often than not), so that's wrong.

The fact that it is against AC 10 just means that your target is not allowed any bonuses whatsoever: no armor, no Dex, no Ring of Protection, no nothing.

To suggest otherwise is to suggest a new game mechanic. I haven't seen any support for your non-attack attack roll game mechanic, and you haven't offered any evidence of any.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
And granting an ally a +2 to A.C. or to hit on their (or against their enemies') next attack isn't an attack against an enemy to deal hit point damage via a weapon, so that's not the same definition either.

What you are doing here is offering a definition of Attack, and declaring that your definition is the only definition. But you haven't even begun to show that your sole-definition position is supported by the rules in any way whatsoever.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Keep trying.
I didn't have to. Your position has been buried under a mountain of evidence. You have brought 0 evidence. I was perfectly content to let the thread end leaving me as the clear, clear winner of the argument. I'm only addressing this because Tyrant Lizard King re-opened the thread.

Nice try, you're making a lot of that up. From the PRD:

Aid Another wrote:
In melee combat, you can help a friend attack or defend by distracting or interfering with an opponent. If you're in position to make a melee attack on an opponent that is engaging a friend in melee combat, you can attempt to aid your friend as a standard action. You make an attack roll against AC 10. If you succeed, your friend gains either a +2 bonus on his next attack roll against that opponent or a +2 bonus to AC against that opponent's next attack (your choice), as long as that attack comes before the beginning of your next turn. Multiple characters can aid the same friend, and similar bonuses stack.

See that bolded part? The text only says that you target an AC 10. That's it. Nothing else. It doesn't say who that 10 AC belongs to, it doesn't say that you add any bonuses or conditions to that value, only that the attack roll is made against that flat, inflexible AC number, which isn't equal to the number that the enemy is already quantified to have, so saying that it's any creature's AC is both wrong 99% of the time and jumping to conclusions that simply aren't supported.

I've mentioned one such mechanic numerous times already; try Opportune Parry and Riposte (or Duelist's Parry), which uses your attack roll against an opposing enemy's attack roll instead of their AC to deflect an attack made against you (or an ally in the case of Duelist's Parry). There's several others out there, I imagine, but that's what comes to mind at the moment, and should be more than enough evidence to support my claim that "attack roll =/= attack" in at least one definition of the word.

Here, I'll even post the link to both entries so you can read it for yourself: Opportune Parry and Riposte, Duelist's Parry.

And once again you're misunderstanding my claim. My claim is that there are multiple definitions/forms of "attack" in the rules (as evidenced by Invisibility and Fireball compared to swinging a Greatsword for a single example), and that the Armor Spikes either refers to a definition/form that's not defined anywhere else in the rules (i.e. the "grapple attack"), or refers to a specific definition that your claim does not fall under.

I never once said that my definition is the only definition. I've actually said the exact opposite, numerous times as well. What I've said is that the Armor Spikes entry does not refer to every definition of the word "attack" conceived in the game rules, only to a specific definition of the word "attack," which means something that falls under the generic definition wouldn't receive the benefits of Armor Spikes.

Nice hypocritical statement there. If you're the winner, and you were truly content, then there's no need to post counter-arguments anymore, because you already won the debate. Someone who "re-opens the thread" doesn't change that conclusion, especially with no new information presented (he even says this in his opening statement), all it does is show how insecure you really are with the results of the thread. Instead, all you're proving is that you're complacent (pleased to a point) until the rebuttal comes around and the cycle begins anew, just as I.

To be truly content, you're just going to have to wait for the PDT post just like the rest of us, and at this point, that's all it's going to take for either side, as I've stated prior.


wraithstrike wrote:
No Scott you are not targeting the enemy's AC or you would have to hit their AC. You are targeting a preset number. You can flavor it as trying to grapple them or distracting them so your buddy has an easier time doing it, but you are not targeting their AC or CMD. In order for the aid another roll to be able to ignore everything you said it ignores you need rules to back that up. It is ok for you to have that theory, but it is not fact based.

Again, this is off-topic. This thread is about Armor Spikes and Grappling, not Aid Another. But,

wraithstrike wrote:
AC or you would have to hit their AC. You are targeting a preset number.

This is a game that runs on numbers. Your target's AC is also a preset number. Against Aid Another, the AC is 10. That is my contention.

wraithstrike wrote:
you need rules to back that up. It is ok for you to have that theory, but it is not fact based.

I'm pretty sure I have already done so on this thread. But I will comply. My opinion is fact-based. I will show you the rules that back my opinion.

wraithstrike wrote:
You can flavor it as trying to... distracting them so your buddy has an easier time

I suppose I can flavor it. But the rules flavor it for me.

Aid Another wrote:
In melee combat, you can help a friend attack or defend by distracting or interfering with an opponent.

The rules describing Aid Another directly and specifically say you are targeting an opponent with the Aid Another Special Attack.

wraithstrike wrote:
In order for the aid another roll to be able to ignore everything you said it ignores you need rules to back that up.

Well the rules say Aid Another is a Special Attack, and "Special" does not mean "Not." Aid Another specifically says you are targeting an opponent. Aid Another specifically says you are target's AC is 10 when all you are doing is Aid Another.

Aid Another wrote:
You make an attack roll against AC 10. If you succeed, your friend gains either a +2 bonus on his next attack roll against that opponent or a +2 bonus to AC against that opponent’s next attack

So, in the middle of writing this, I made a water balloon and threw it at someone. What would I have had to roll to have interfered with you? I think no roll would have been adequate, because your AC was not the target. I assert that the target's AC is always the target of an attack that targets AC. Honestly, I don't think that requires evidence. I'll look though.

But even if it does, the point I was making was that Aid Another is an Attack. It is listed as a Special Attack. It says you make an Attack Roll. It says you target a specific opponent. Darksol concedes that Aid Another breaks Invisibility. Even if you can somehow prove that when you attack an AC, that that is sometimes somebody's else's AC than the target's AC, that isn't actually to my point. Aid Another is an Attack.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The text only says that you target an AC 10. That's it. Nothing else. It doesn't say who that 10 AC belongs to, it doesn't say that you add any bonuses or conditions to that value, only that the attack roll is made against that flat, inflexible AC number, which isn't equal to the number that the enemy is already quantified to have, so saying that it's any creature's AC is both wrong 99% of the time and jumping to conclusions that simply aren't supported.

It doesn't say "nothing else." It says that Aid Another is an Attack, a Special Attack, but an Attack nonetheless. That's all I need. My point is proven. Yours isn't.

You haven't proven that "Special" = "Not." That's what you need.

Aid Another says you make an Attack roll. Aid Another says you are targeting an opponent. Aid Another says you are targeting AC. Whose AC are you targeting if not your target's? If you are talking about some generic AC, well that's not AC: that's DC.

But again, even if you were right about your target's AC not being 10 against Aid Another, that doesn't change the facts which have been proven:

When you Aid Another, you target a single opponent by making an Attack Roll to make a Special Attack.

Aid Another is an Attack.


You're still wrong Scott. Just because you make an Aid Another action to help someone do X, that does not mean that you are doing X.

As an example "You can also use this standard action to help a friend in other ways, such as when he is affected by a spell,....."

So if I help someone with a save, that does not mean I am saving against anything.

Aid Another=I have to make a DC 10 check vs X so my friend can do X better.

edit: Aid another NEVER says you are targeting an opponent.
It says:

Quote:
In melee combat, you can help a friend attack or defend by distracting or interfering with an opponent.

This also falls in line with my above idea of using flavor to say you are distracting the opponent.

You don't have to target anyone to do an aid another attack. You just have to hit the target number to get the desired result. Aid another is a special use of the attack roll just like parrying is for the Swashbuckler.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The text only says that you target an AC 10. That's it. Nothing else. It doesn't say who that 10 AC belongs to, it doesn't say that you add any bonuses or conditions to that value, only that the attack roll is made against that flat, inflexible AC number, which isn't equal to the number that the enemy is already quantified to have, so saying that it's any creature's AC is both wrong 99% of the time and jumping to conclusions that simply aren't supported.

It doesn't say "nothing else." It says that Aid Another is an Attack, a Special Attack, but an Attack nonetheless. That's all I need. My point is proven. Yours isn't.

You haven't proven that "Special" = "Not." That's what you need.

Aid Another says you make an Attack roll. Aid Another says you are targeting an opponent. Aid Another says you are targeting AC. Whose AC are you targeting if not your target's? If you are talking about some generic AC, well that's not AC: that's DC.

But again, even if you were right about your target's AC not being 10 against Aid Another, that doesn't change the facts which have been proven:

When you Aid Another, you target a single opponent by making an Attack Roll to make a Special Attack.

Aid Another is an Attack.

Yes, you make an attack roll for Aid Another. Yes, you are targeting an opponent (which actually doesn't require an ally to be adjacent, per RAW) Yes, Aid Another says you target an AC. These are things we've already agreed upon.

What we don't agree upon is the AC listed is equal to the AC of the target (i.e. your opponent). Which is a double problem, both mathematically and comprehensively, because unless their normal AC is 10, you can't say it's equivalent to the AC you need to target with Aid Another because saying any number other than 10 is the same as 10 is just outright wrong, and there's nothing in the entry that states the set AC is in substitution of the enemy's AC (thereby indicating that the flat AC would be for the enemy).

On top of that, Aid Another for skills sets DC 10. I imagine the reason it says AC instead of DC is because A. They like the band and wanted to make an easter egg for them, and more seriously, B. Having an attack roll against a DC instead of AC would make for an awkward rules interaction that would result in FAQs leading to erratas so people don't get confused.

I don't need to prove that "Special" = "Not," I only need to prove that Aid Another isn't an attack in a specific sense. To that end, Aid Another is only an attack in the general definition, which is why it'd break Invisibility, start combat, etc. It doesn't target an enemy's AC, only a flat AC. You don't use a weapon to attack them, only that you can make a melee attack against them (which can be with anything, even Unarmed Strikes). You don't deal hit point damage on a successful roll, you only provide a bonus to an ally that enemy attacks, or an attack made against that enemy.

Compare that to simply swinging at a bad guy with a manufactured weapon, targeting his AC, and dealing hit point damage according to the weapon he uses, and you'll see that Aid Another does very little to match up to this instance, which means Aid Another isn't an attack in the implied definition, only in general sense.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
try Opportune Parry and Riposte (or Duelist's Parry), which uses your attack roll against an opposing enemy's attack roll instead of their AC to deflect an attack made against you (or an ally in the case of Duelist's Parry).

For starters, you have not proven that either Opportune Parry and Riposte are not attacks.

And even if you did, that doesn't mean that Grappling is not an attack.

Grapple is a Special Attack. When you Grapple, you make an Attack Roll. You can get Weapon Focus Grapple. Grapple breaks Invisibility.

The existence of something else that isn't an attack does not mean that Grappling is not an Attack.

Bringing numerous times does not make it relevant.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
My claim is that there are multiple definitions/forms of "attack" in the rules... I never once said that my definition is the only definition.

Well, if Grapple fits any definition of Attack, then it's an Attack.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Armor Spikes either refers to a definition/form that's not defined anywhere else in the rules (i.e. the "grapple attack"), or refers to a specific definition that your claim does not fall under.

Again, Armor Spikes say specifically that they do an extra 1d6 Damage on a grapple attack. Insisting that "Grapple Attack" is some new and undefined and therefore invalid term and seizing up on it as an excuse to dismiss the rules entirely is just not proper. Paizo Publishing is staffed by professionals and grownups, and you have to presume that they know what they are doing, and they did it on purpose. If you are presuming otherwise, that is a complaint about the rule, which is legit, but it is for Paizo to change and/or throw out what the rules really do say. You don't have the authority to do that.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
PFS runs on the rules. That doesn't mean the most literal interpretation of them.

But the literal interpretation is the only interpretation that we truly know. If you want to play your own character with some other interpretation of the rules and hope your PFS GM will go with it, that's fine. If you assert that to your knowledge, nobody plays that way, and that everyone plays it your way, well, then, I accept that you are reporting on good faith your experience.

But if a Pathfinder Society Player is bringing a character that he can demonstrate that is literally square with the literal rules, then a PFS GM is in the wrong for outlawing it on rules grounds. That's just GMing 101.

GMing 101 wrote:
The rules exist to make the game predictable, fair, and balanced; they grant equal footing to both players and GMs so that they have an idea of what to expect during the game.... Use the Core Rulebook and supplemental texts when at all possible to create rulings. Because PFS aims to offer a predictable, fair, and balanced experience at all tables internationally, sticking to the texts is critical to ensuring an even play experience for all players.... you must assert your authority appropriately. This does not mean that you can gleefully crush the life and joy out of your players without abandon.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
all it does is show how insecure you really are

Dude, I'm not insulting your person. I'm not tolerating people insulting other people even when they agree with me. I want you to treat me like someone who is giving his best counsel in good faith according to what the rules say. I am doing the same.

Admittedly, I was somewhat insulting your arguemrnt--sorry--but I have not been insulting you. There is a difference.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
To that end, Aid Another is only an attack in the general definition,

That's the point I was trying to prove. Aid Another fits a definition of an Attack, and it so doesn't support an argument that Grappling is not any kind of Attack.

That brings us back to the real point here. Armor Spikes do a extra Piercing Damage on a successful Grapple Attack, what kind of Attack? Well, a Grapple Attack, an Attack that is a Grapple.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If Armor Spikes was allowed to be done in addition to whatever weapon you're doing, then that would give Grapplers a lot of power that I feel Paizo wouldn't be comfortable with them having, even if it is a mere 1D6+Strength modifier, not including enhancement bonuses or even weapon properties (Holy/Bane Armor Spikes!). I could imagine a Tetori with a +5 AoMF and +5 Armor Spikes just grabbing people left and right and shredding them on their non-existent armor spikes.

I'm not sure what you meant by non-existent here. But here you have a legit complaint about the rules, even though this is not a rules-based complaint.

I wouldn't do this with a Tetori particularly, but I totally have builds in mind to totally exploit the Grapple-Armor Spike mechanic to inflict like double damage.

What I envisioned is a Tengu Warpriest with Claws, taking a level in White Haired Witch to get a Hair Attack, getting a Helm of the Mammoth Lord to get a Gore Attack, taking 2 levels in Alchemist and growing a Tentacle with Grab, wearing Armor Spikes to score an extra 1d6 whenever I Grab with the Tentacle or 'Hair, taking Hamatula Strike to score a Free Grapple with the Bite and the Gore, and taking Snake Style and Feral Combat Training for my Claws so I can use HS for my Claws, too. I would eventually take Weapon Focus for Armor Spikes so they would do Sacred Weapon Damage instead of just 1d6. So then I would get like Bite/Gore/Hair/Tentacle/2 Claws + every one of those attacks would score a free Grapple, and every one of those would do Armor Spike Damage.

And if it is your contention that that build should be made illegal by a disambiguation of the description of Armor Spikes, well, maybe. But what would I do in that case? I'd get Anaconda Coils, and maybe, depending on what that disambiguation is, I'd still score Armor Spike Damage. But having to get a specific magic belt means no Belt of Giant Strength, and that would be a hard choice for a character like this. But this character would be a Warpriest, and so would have Bull Strength and numerous other self-buffing options, but that adds more complications for the PC.

I have to admit though, when I actually put together a character build like this, it performs well, though not outrageously so, against other builds brought to the DPR Olympics threads. So, I'm not really so sure there is a pressing need to pick on poor, old Armor Spikes.


Riposte is an attack in all of the definitions. Opportune Parry isn't in the sense that you're attacking the enemy to damage them, which most every attack is, you're making a "counter" attack roll to deflect their attack made against you. That's really what I was getting at.

As such, it posits that attack roll =/= attack is possible, which is really what the original argument was based on. Combat Maneuvers, Aid Another, and so on, would be in an identical position, since they too fit the above definition.

Cool, so I make an attack roll with Lightning Bolt, yes? It fits at least one definition of attack, and an attack, no matter what definition it falls under, needs an attack roll, right? Otherwise it's not an attack, right? That's why the idea that attack roll =/= attack is a silly argument, because I can make shenanigan arguments like that one and apply it to things that obviously shouldn't require attack rolls, and yet do because they fit some preconceived notion that only applies under certain circumstances.

Professionals make mistakes all the time, they're human just like us. The only difference between a professional and a non-professional is that professionals make a profit (and by relation a living) by doing a specific job, usually by charging a person for doing that job (or the person commissions them to do a certain job). That doesn't automatically make them better than someone who doesn't make money for it, or someone who isn't trained for it, since any person could be considered a "professional" as long as money is being made. Is it a good assumption that they're better? Sure. Is it an absolution? No. Just because Paizo is a professional company doesn't make them superior to any given entity who does a similar job, all it means is they make money for what they do. And depending on the overall competence on the job that any given professional does, people will realize that simply costing money to do a job doesn't necessarily mean that they are better for the job than someone who doesn't cost money.

If you believed in your faith as strongly as you previously stated, then this conversation didn't need to continue. It could've just been left as it was, nobody the wiser. But you didn't, which means one of two reasons: the first, is that you still think it's a possibility you're incorrect. Which means in the back of you mind, you may very well be wrong on this issue, and as such you argue in an attempt to quell that lingering doubt in sheer futility, since I've already stated that only the PDT can convince us of either side being correct. The second, which is much more offensive in the eyes of the forums, is that you're arguing solely for the purpose of arguing, which gets nobody nowhere except frustrated and then they throw out banhammers to those involved and lock threads causing said frustration.

**EDIT** You've already proven that Aid Another is an attack in the general sense. I've already conceded that Aid Another is an attack in the general sense. Same thing with Grapple. Problem is that making an attack in the general sense is inconsistent with the mechanics involved with making an attack with a manufactured weapon, which is what we're assuming is the context made with the "Damage" entry of the Grapple rules when it comes to Armor Spikes. It does specifically mention it, after all, when it technically didn't need to, and if we're saying Paizo does stuff purposefully, then there has to be a reason they did that besides some oversight (which is a mistake that professionals apparently can't ever make).


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Professionals make mistakes all the time, they're human just like us. The only difference between a professional and a non-professional is that professionals make a profit (and by relation a living) by doing a specific job, usually by charging a person for doing that job (or the person commissions them to do a certain job). That doesn't automatically make them better than someone who doesn't make money for it, or someone who isn't trained for it, since any person could be considered a "professional" as long as money is being made. Is it a good assumption that they're better? Sure. Is it an absolution? No. Just because Paizo is a professional company doesn't make them superior to any given entity who does a similar job, all it means is they make money for what they do. And depending on the overall competence on the job that any given professional does, people will realize that simply costing money to do a job doesn't necessarily mean that they are better for the job than someone who doesn't cost money.

We're pretty much in agreement, here. I am by no means saying that because the Paizo people are professionals that makes them better than us. I'd be the last person to say that. I'm sure you remember from enough arguments with me that the Rules as Written, FAQs, Errata, and Official Rules Posts are evidence that I respect above any other, including the unofficial opinions of the game designers. Most of the time, the only kind of argument I respect are Rules as Written, FAQs, Errata, and Official Rules Posts. I have even been known to dismiss opinions of game designers if I can show them to be contradicting the rules.

What I was saying there is that because the Game Designers are professionals and grownups, they are responsible for what they do and say, and they should be presumed to meant what they did and said, and in the case of a publishing company, what they say is what they do. I am asserting that if the rules they wrote don't mean what they meant to mean or have consequences they did not intend, the rules they did write and the unintended consequences upon gameplay are still valid and legal. It's on them to fix their mistakes, if any. Meanwhile, the rules say what they say, and if a player wants to play Pathfinder Soceity a certain way that is controversial, but still legal, he should be allowed to play the game his or her own way according to the rules.

Now, in this I am not speaking to other things like if that player, through the controversial character build or through something else, is disruptive to other players' fun; that's another matter.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
You've already proven that Aid Another is an attack in the general sense. I've already conceded that Aid Another is an attack in the general sense. Same thing with Grapple.

Well, I don't want to belabor a point that you have already conceded. If I did that, I did so in error, and I apologize.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
making an attack in the general sense is inconsistent with the mechanics involved with making an attack with a manufactured weapon, which is what we're assuming is the context made with the "Damage" entry of the Grapple rules when it comes to Armor Spikes.

I am not making that assumption at all! Perhaps that is the assumption you are making.

I am looking at the rules and seeing that Armor Spikes do extra Piercing Damage as per their entry on the Weapons table on any Grapple Attack.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
It does specifically mention it, after all, when it technically didn't need to, and if we're saying Paizo does stuff purposefully, then there has to be a reason they did that besides some oversight (which is a mistake that professionals apparently can't ever make).

The wording does seem a little unusual, but far from nonsensical.

Armor Spikes wrote:
Armor spikes deal extra piercing damage (see “spiked armor” on Table: Weapons) on a successful grapple attack.

The fact that Grapple Attack is not a single game term with a delineated explanation doesn't mean you throw the whole thing out. You have to assume that Paizo knows what it's doing and did it on purpose. I don't really feel the need to know exactly what they were thinking when they approved this text for their rulebook. But you do, and that's legit.

But meanwhile, since the description of Armor Spikes appeared in the same book as the Grappling Rules, you have to figure that the editors were aware of both. If they meant, "does an extra 1d6 Damage on a Maintain-a-Grapple Check where the action is to inflict Damage," that's really what they said. "inflicts extra piercing damage on a successful grapple attack" can legally refer to any grapple attack, not just ones that inflict damage. If they meant "Armor Spikes can be used as a Light Weapon to inflict Damage on a Maintain a Grapple Check Damage Action, well, they could have just omitted the whole sentence: the general Grapple Rules state you can use a Light Weapon to inflict Damage in a Grapple. If that were the case, that is when, as you say, "they didn't need to." But they went ahead and stated specifically if that if you are making an Attack that is a Grapple, or if you are making a Grapple that is an Attack, then you get that extra piercing damage.

All that means is that there must be an interpretation that considers a Grapple that is not an Attack or an Attack that is not a Grapple.

I can make the argument that there is a Grapple that is not an attack, but I don't like that argument, but we both know that there are Attacks you can make with Armor Spikes that are not Grapples.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If you believed in your faith as strongly as you previously stated, then this conversation didn't need to continue. It could've just been left as it was, nobody the wiser. But you didn't, which means one of two reasons: the first, is that you still think it's a possibility you're incorrect. Which means in the back of you mind, you may very well be wrong on this issue, and as such you argue in an attempt to quell that lingering doubt in sheer futility, since I've already stated that only the PDT can convince us of either side being correct. The second, which is much more offensive in the eyes of the forums, is that you're arguing solely for the purpose of arguing, which gets nobody nowhere except frustrated and then they throw out banhammers to those involved and lock threads causing said frustration.

So, it must be abundantly clear to you that I didn't stop debating because I ran out of things to say. Partly, it is just as I said: Aid Another was off topic. Your last post responding to mine did not refute my point. Then there was also your statement that you didn't want to continue.

But then Tyrant Lizard King re-opened the thread. I considered it likely that his post would re-start debate with or without me. I thought "with" was better. Also, while I agree with his thesis. I wanted to express my disagreement with one of his points. I predicted that would make it even more likely that the thread would re-open. So, I did decide to make the response to your Aid Another argument I had formulated but didn't post before because I decided to charge into the inevitable and not give into it. Also, resuming debate without addressing your last argument is rhetorically problematic, too.

I wouldn't say I'm worried about being shown I'm wrong. I want to get at the truth, report on the truth, and give my best counsel based on the truth. If the PDT made an official rules post on the subject in either direction, I would not even see it as my having been wrong, even if they ruled "against me." I would only see it as their changing the rules, and would happily change my counsel according to the new rules. That's how I've seen it in the past.

And there is a point you raised that was oblique the points I was raising, but I have been regretting not addressing it: your point that whether or not the interpretation of Armor Spikes that I have been arguing in favor of is technically correct, you feel it is bad for the game. I want you to have the opportunity to flesh that argument out, which is why I brought it up a few posts ago. While I do principally concern myself with what the rules literally say, I think the idea that complaints about consequences of the rules do have a place in rules forums.

Scarab Sages

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Not that I really think this thread needs to be longer, but I did find an interesting magic item on topic: Gutbite Belt. The notable feature is that it seems to imply that armor spikes damage the opponent whenever they gain the grapple condition...


Not definitively, since the parenthetical directly afterward tells us the damage dice it does, matching armor spikes, implying that the sentence only refers to the damage it does, and not the original mechanics.

Even if it did, magic items break normal rules all the time, so they aren't a great source of determining default mechanics.

From what I read, it's basically "Armor Spikes belt that only works while grappled/grappling."


Murdock Mudeater wrote:
The notable feature is that it seems to imply that armor spikes damage the opponent whenever they gain the grapple condition...

That seems like the most reasonable position, actually. That would make a "Grapple Attack" = "Grapple Attempt" = "Attempt to start a grapple". That definition sounds right to me.

When you maintain, you can deal damage with them as noted in the "Deal Damage" option, OR attempt one of the other actions.


toastedamphibian wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
The notable feature is that it seems to imply that armor spikes damage the opponent whenever they gain the grapple condition...

That seems like the most reasonable position, actually. That would make a "Grapple Attack" = "Grapple Attempt" = "Attempt to start a grapple". That definition sounds right to me.

When you maintain, you can deal damage with them as noted in the "Deal Damage" option, OR attempt one of the other actions.

Why would you ever deal damage with the grapple if they deal damage when you do anything else? You can pin AND damage, or you can move AND damage.

Thats a huge argument against the grapple attack= grapple check position. The option to grapple to damage with armor spikes has absolutely no reason to exist under the paradigm that any grapple check causes the damage.

Grand Lodge

The incentive is to make damage via grappling viable. As it stands now pin and tie is the best option for grappling. There is no reason to do anything else especially if you dip cavalier or get rapid grappler.

1d6 + str on the grapple attempt followed by two "maintain and grapples" each with an extra 1d6 + strength is still way less damage than hitting with a great sword. But it makeS this second option not suck.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Why would you ever deal damage with the grapple if they deal damage when you do anything else? You can pin AND damage, or you can move AND damage.

You wouldn't. It would be stupid if it worked that way.

Quote:
That's a huge argument against the grapple attack= grapple check position. The option to grapple to damage with armor spikes has absolutely no reason to exist under the paradigm that any grapple check causes the damage.

So bully for me then, as that is not a position I support?

To be clear on my position, as it seems maybe I was not:

When you make a grapple check to start a grapple, if you succeed, your armor spikes deal damage in addition to you starting a grapple. That is the only time they do anything. However, you may still do damage with them, as you could any other light weapon, by using the "Deal Damage" option when maintaining a grapple.

A "Grapple Attack" is the Special Attack "Grapple", which is a combat maneuver. It provokes an AoO and, If successful, you and your target gain the Grappled condition and you move that creature to an open square adjacent to you.

On subsequent rounds, you may make "Grapple Checks" to "Maintain the Hold". These are Grapple Checks, but are not Grapple Attacks.

Quote:
Armor spikes deal extra piercing damage on a successful grapple attack.

If any grapple check was a grapple attack, then you would provoke every time, even when just trying to escape. No one runs it that way.


Grandlounge wrote:

The incentive is to make damage via grappling viable. As it stands now pin and tie is the best option for grappling. There is no reason to do anything else especially if you dip cavalier or get rapid grappler.

1d6 + str on the grapple attempt followed by two "maintain and grapples" each with an extra 1d6 + strength is still way less damage than hitting with a great sword. But it makeS this second option not suck.

3d6+3xstr+3xPA+Gimped Enemy > 2d6+1.5xstr+1.5PA ?

Don't get your math mate.

They are a 50gp weapon that doesn't take up your hand and allows a character without martial arts skills to deal damage in a grapple. They are a martial weapon, they don't need to be amazingly fantastic to be worth the investment in a mundane weapon.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
toastedamphibian wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
The notable feature is that it seems to imply that armor spikes damage the opponent whenever they gain the grapple condition...

That seems like the most reasonable position, actually. That would make a "Grapple Attack" = "Grapple Attempt" = "Attempt to start a grapple". That definition sounds right to me.

When you maintain, you can deal damage with them as noted in the "Deal Damage" option, OR attempt one of the other actions.

Why would you ever deal damage with the grapple if they deal damage when you do anything else? You can pin AND damage, or you can move AND damage.

Thats a huge argument against the grapple attack= grapple check position. The option to grapple to damage with armor spikes has absolutely no reason to exist under the paradigm that any grapple check causes the damage.

What you are describing is not really an argument about what the rules are, but rather a complaint about what the rules are. Even if you are right about the ability to use Armor Spikes making it so no one would ever take the Maintain--Damage Grapple action, that doesn't speak to what the rules actually say.

Meanwhile, it's not the case that the utility of Armor Spikes means that you would never take the Damage action.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
You can pin AND damage, or you can move AND damage.

And you can Damage and do more Damage. There is no problem here.


Re: Scott:
I do not believe Wolf is saying what you are attempting to refute. They were addressing my particular rules interpretation, not yours, and I don't think they quite got my meaning. Let's not talk past each other. This thread is convoluted and heated enough.

Edit: What I mean is, they were attempting to counter what they thought my position to be, which is not in agreement with yours, so attacking their argument in no way supports your position.

Am I making sense? Sorry.


Toasted Amphibian wrote:
To be clear on my position, as it seems maybe I was not:

You probably were. it's late :)

Quote:
When you make a grapple check to start a grapple, if you succeed, your armor spikes deal damage in addition to you starting a grapple. That is the only time they do anything. However, you may still do damage with them, as you could any other light weapon, by using the "Deal Damage" option when maintaining a grapple.

Alright. Just not sure how to get that out of the rules our out of grapple attack. This seems a little arbitrary.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Alright. Just not sure how to get that out of the rules our out of grapple attack. This seems a little arbitrary.

Perhaps. But, working backwards, do you see any problems with it? Is there anywhere that it seems to conflict with more well defined rules, or cause any strange problems or discrepancies? As far as I can see, it yields consistent results that make armor spikes useful, but not absurdly good.

I claimed it was the most reasonable position, not the most obvious one.


It takes out the only downside to a grapple. It also lets a monster in spiked armor tripple dip. Its not absurd but its not something i'd build a character around with a fuzzy rules underpinning.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
It takes out the only downside to a grapple. It also lets a monster in spiked armor tripple dip. Its not absurd but its not something i'd build a character around with a fuzzy rules underpinning.

I... don't understand. You mean like, if the monster has bite grab and constrict? What downside is it removing? All it does is let you deal a bit of damage up front, If you invest money in a martial weapon.

Edit: I suppose someone could just begin and then immediately end the grapple to deal spike damage, but that is probably not helpful in many cases.


toastedamphibian wrote:

0

I... don't understand. You mean like, if the monster has bite grab and constrict? What downside is it removing?

Two seperate problems

For humanoids, it removes the downside of grappling, in that you're not damaging in the first round.

For monsters (who the rules admitedly are rarely written to accommodate) you'd have bite grab and armor spike damage.

Quote:
All it does is let you deal a bit of damage up front, If you invest money in a martial weapon.

That would be most of the downside to grappling.

Quote:
Edit: I suppose someone could just begin and then immediately end the grapple to deal spike damage, but that is probably not helpful in many cases.

I thought about that but you'd be better off with the +5 in control of the grapple bonus and damaging them.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


I thought about that but you'd be better off with the +5 in control of the grapple bonus and damaging them.

Exactly.

Most of the downside of grappling is the grappling. A bit of extra damage for martial proficiency people in armor is fair. Biggest use I see really is for sword/board and twohanded weapon people to have a weapon handy in the event of getting grabbed. If your going to devote enough to grapple effectively as a regular tactic, the ability to do an extra 1d6+str per enemy is fair for a 50gp investment.

Thats a lie, best use I see is for Menacing spike barding for hunters with outflank and pack flanking, but that's not relevant here.

It's a martial shortsword that lets you get in a little extra damage a few times a fight and keeps your hands free.

Grand Lodge

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
toastedamphibian wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
The notable feature is that it seems to imply that armor spikes damage the opponent whenever they gain the grapple condition...

That seems like the most reasonable position, actually. That would make a "Grapple Attack" = "Grapple Attempt" = "Attempt to start a grapple". That definition sounds right to me.

When you maintain, you can deal damage with them as noted in the "Deal Damage" option, OR attempt one of the other actions.

Why would you ever deal damage with the grapple if they deal damage when you do anything else? You can pin AND damage, or you can move AND damage.

Thats a huge argument against the grapple attack= grapple check position. The option to grapple to damage with armor spikes has absolutely no reason to exist under the paradigm that any grapple check causes the damage.

What you are describing is not really an argument about what the rules are, but rather a complaint about what the rules are. Even if you are right about the ability to use Armor Spikes making it so no one would ever take the Maintain--Damage Grapple action, that doesn't speak to what the rules actually say.

Meanwhile, it's not the case that the utility of Armor Spikes means that you would never take the Damage action.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
You can pin AND damage, or you can move AND damage.
And you can Damage and do more Damage. There is no problem here.

I'm to presume that you ignoring iterative attacks haste and buffs (the application of these is unclear in the rules) is due to the thread being long and exhausting. If you don't do damage you lose 2/5th yes you can still pin but then the damage is immiterial as you have already ended the fight.


toastedamphibian wrote:

Re: Scott:

I do not believe Wolf is saying what you are attempting to refute. They were addressing my particular rules interpretation, not yours, and I don't think they quite got my meaning. Let's not talk past each other. This thread is convoluted and heated enough.

Edit: What I mean is, they were attempting to counter what they thought my position to be, which is not in agreement with yours, so attacking their argument in no way supports your position.

Am I making sense? Sorry.

I think I was confused.

You wrote that

Murdock Mudeater wrote:
The notable feature [of the magic item] is that it seems to imply that armor spikes damage the opponent whenever they gain the grapple condition...
When
you wrote:
That seems like the most reasonable position, actually. That would make a "Grapple Attack" = "Grapple Attempt" = "Attempt to start a grapple". That definition sounds right to me.

That seems to state a position I agree with.

But then

you wrote:
When you maintain, you can deal damage with them as noted in the "Deal Damage" option, OR attempt one of the other actions.

And I disagree with this position. I have extensively outlines how the rules agree with your first statement and show your 2nd statement to be false. I would like you to examine my arguments and review the texts of the rules to ascertain that I am reporting them accurately or at least faithfully and explain how I am mistaken and that the rules support your interpretation better than mine, or show other quotations from official resources outweigh or update and thereby invalidate my position. I'd rather not rehash what I've already gone to great length to illustrate, but want my arguments to be tested honestly and severely. I try to do the same.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Why would you ever deal damage with the grapple if they deal damage when you do anything else? You can pin AND damage, or you can move AND damage.
toastedamphibian wrote:
You wouldn't. It would be stupid if it worked that way.

Whether or not the rules are stupid is not the same discussion as what the rules are.

Again this seems more like a complaint about what the rules rather than an explanation of what the rules are.

Complaining about the rules being bad is legit, and I would like to hear it, but those do rules say that you do Armor Spike Damage on every successful Grapple Attack, not just on a Maintain a Grapple Check with the intention of doing Damage.

Armor Spikes wrote:
Armor spikes deal extra piercing damage on a successful grapple attack.

just like you quoted

toastedamphibian wrote:
On subsequent rounds, you may make "Grapple Checks" to "Maintain the Hold". These are Grapple Checks, but are not Grapple Attacks.

Both Maintain and Initiate Grapple Checks are described under the Special Attacks section of the Core Rulebook. Both require you to make Attack Rolls. Both are Attacks. They are Grapples. They are Attacks. They are grapple attacks.

toastedamphibian wrote:
If any grapple check was a grapple attack, then you would provoke every time, even when just trying to escape.

You do provoke unless you have Improved Grapple or something.

toastedamphibian wrote:
No one runs it that way.

Just because no one runs it that way doesn't mean those aren't what the rules say. If you are correct that nobody runs it that way, then that is a powerful complaint about what the rules say, and a very good argument in favor of changing it. But again, that is different from what the rules say.

It is not unlikely that almost everyone plays it that way and it just doesn't look like they do. Remember the person you are Grappling with probably has the Grappled Condition himself, and when you have the Grappled Condition, you do not get to make Attacks of Opportunity. So, if you have someone Grappled, and they try to escape, you don't get an AoO, not because they did nothing to provoke one, but because you aren't entitled to AoOs while you are Grappled.

But, if my friend is Grappling someone, and that someone attempts to escape by using a skill or Combat Maneuver Check without having the Improved ________ Feat, I totally get an AoO on my friend's wrestling opponent.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
It takes out the only downside to a grapple. It also lets a monster in spiked armor tripple dip. Its not absurd but its not something i'd build a character around with a fuzzy rules underpinning.
toastedamphibian wrote:
I... don't understand. You mean like, if the monster has bite grab and constrict?

If that is what BNW meant, BNW is right. How about if the character has Hamatula Strike, Piercing Weapons, and Armor Spikes. Then every one of his attacks scores a free Grapple, then every one of those scores extra Armor Spike Damage. What if this is a Natural Attack Build with an Alchemal Tentacle, White Hair, Gore and Bite. Every one of those attacks will score a free grapple, and score AS Damage. What if this character has Sneak Attack? Each Grapple comes with a separate attack roll, so each one would also do Sneak Attack Damage. Now we are looking at legit doubling the DPR of a PFS character! I totally want to try this in a PFS Game, and since it is technically legal--the best kind of legal--I fully expect to be able to.

But again, a complaint about the rules doesn't change the rules.

Unless it does.

Scarab Sages

Although it would be broken pretty quick, it would make more logical sense within the concept of armor spikes if the extra 1d6 (no STR bonus) was dealt whenever a grapple was attempted by or against you, or whenever you/they attempted to maintain the grapple.

Protection against grapple by stabbing them with spikes, does seem like the intended function of armor spikes. I know I'd reconsider a grapple attack if I took damage each time I tried. Grab and Swallow Whole would also be affected.

Then, additionally, you could opt to use it as a weapon when damaging after maintaining a grapple, or as a weapon normally. This damage would be D6+Str.

I don't think is this is supported by the written rules, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was the intention behind those poorly written rules.


Option 1.

I've played at paizo con, gen con, most other major cons. This is the only interpretation I've seen, including paizo people running.

In the other camp, people wish to say grapples are attacks armor spikes apply. However, if that was what paizo meant they
Would have left off "attack"; on a grapple....

I take grapple attack to mean attack that occurs while grappled.


The choice of wording, "grapple attack" does not show any "choice" other than convenience. It is simply how it was worded in 3.5.


Perfect Tommy wrote:

Option 1.

I've played at paizo con, gen con, most other major cons. This is the only interpretation I've seen, including paizo people running....

I take grapple attack to mean attack that occurs while grappled.

My experience is the opposite. I have played a Grappling character with Armor Spikes extensively under several PFS GMs locally and at cons. I vetted my build and walked them through it, including Venture Officers and a Game Designer. I have never not done the 1d6 on every Grapple Check I made. It's never even been questioned.

But again, while that's-not-the-way-the-game-is-played arguments may be arguments for changing the rules, the rules still say what they say.

Perfect Tommy wrote:

In the other camp, people wish to say grapples are attacks armor spikes apply. However, if that was what paizo meant they

Would have left off "attack"; on a grapple....

It is the Combat Rules which say that all Grapples are Attacks. There is no reason to suppose that leaving "attack" next to the word "grapple" isn't merely to differentiate using Armor Spikes while Grappling and using it as a Light, Martial Weapon, a grapple attack as opposed to a primary or off-hand weapon attack.

I've said this before. The rules for Grappling appear in the same book as the description of Armor Spikes. Whichever editor approved one must have know about the existence of the other and vice versa, assuming they were different people in the first place. All the editors knew all along that all Grapples were attacks, but only some Grapple Checks normally did damage. If they meant to say, "does extra damage on a Maintain Grapple Check where you take the Damage Action," well, that is what they should have said. But they didn't, did they? They went ahead and said that the Armor Spikes do extra piercing damage on every attack that is a Grapple.

That is what the rules say. It doesn't matter if no one else in the world plays it that way. If anyone wants to, the rules say he can, and Paizo Publishing has expressed the sentiment that they and their GMs are supposed to be welcoming of a variety of views and playing styles.


You are miscaracterizing the situation.
We can both pound the table, if we are inclined, and say the rules say what they say.

There is no question what the rules say, only what they mean.

I understand your argument. I just don't find it persuasive. And I firmly remember the armor spikes / twf debate in 3.5

Upthread, it was argued that maintaining the grapple was an attack, entitled to armor spike damage.

But read greater grapple. Maintaining the grapple is a move action. Putting your camp in the uncomfortable position of arguing that a move action is an attack.

And no, the rules don't say every "every attack that is a grapple." That's an outright fabrication.


Rapid grappling

Benefit: Whenever you use Greater Grapple to successfully maintain a grapple as a move action, you can then spend a swift action to make a grapple combat maneuver check at a –5 penalty.

Funny, they call it a grapple combat maneuver check. Lot of words, if they really meant grapple attack....

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