When do armor spikes apply their "extra damage"


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toastedamphibian wrote:


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

grapple is already the best combat manuver: It can impose a helpless condition, its not remotely as situational as the others, there's no size limit, there's no obscene modifiers when you fight spiders. It limits options more than any other manuever.

Damaging while it does that at effectively no cost seems like a bit much.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

I think I was confused.

You wrote that

toastedamphibian 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.

Yes, everyone seems to be ignoring the START in the above quote. I will also point out that I am not claiming that they are all similar, but rather that they are directly equivalent. But that is not quite true. See below.

Quote:
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.

No.

No offence, but it is a long thread that is quite heated, and many of your posts appear to be snap reactions that don't really add to your position. As far as I recall, your relevant points are:

1. Grapples are in the Special Attacks Section, so they are attacks
2. PFS DM's have to follow your interpretation if they cannot unequivocally disprove it.

So:

1. Feint, two weapon fighting, and mounted combat all fall in that section as well, yes? Not everything there is necessarily an attack.
Regardless, I agree. A Grapple combat maneuver is an attack. One with many parts. Unless you are starting back at the top of the entry each time, it is not a new grapple attack, it is a continuation of your already successful grapple attack.

2. I am far from an expert on this, so correct me if I am wrong. It is the DMs job to interpret the rules. PFS DMs are supposed to adhere to RAW, but I don't think that means they have to accept your interpretation unless they can prove it wrong. Rather the opposite, you have to demonstrate that they are in opposition to the rules as written.

Few other snipits

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

Was it you or someone else who said we should assume the developers are competent professionals not idiots? If there are two possibly valid interpretations, I try and give the benift of doubt to paizo and assume the least stupid result is the intended reading.

Quote:
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

Not actually correct. The rules directly state that such checks don't provoke.

So, to reiterate: I say that everything between the "Grapple" heading and the "Overrun" heading is A "Grapple Attack", and that it is "successful" when the initial check succeeds.


Perfect Tommy wrote:

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.

The fact that there is a Feat that lets you make and attack as a Move Action or a Swift Action doesn't mean it is no longer an attack.

Grappling is listed as under Special Attacks. When you make a Grapple Check, you make an Attack Roll. You can take Weapon Focus Grapple. Grappling would break Invisibility. Grappling is an Attack.

The description of Armor Spikes talks about 2 kinds of Attacks that can be made with them: they can be used as light, martial weapons, and they do extra piercing damage when you make a grapple attack. They don't differentiate between Maintain Checks intended to do damage and other grapple attacks. Since they don't then what the rules say is that any attack that is a grapple does extra piercing damage.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
toastedamphibian wrote:


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

grapple is already the best combat manuver: It can impose a helpless condition, its not remotely as situational as the others, there's no size limit, there's no obscene modifiers when you fight spiders. It limits options more than any other manuever.

Damaging while it does that at effectively no cost seems like a bit much.

I do like Grappling as a Combat Maneuver. The Pinned Condition is not quite as bad as being Helpless, but it is pretty darned devastating. Whether or not it is simply the best Combat Maneuver is debatable, but it sure is the right tool for a whole lot of jobs.

But like I said, I've played a Grappling character who Grappled as Standard And Move Actions, and the Armor Spikes were nice, but they never settled the combat. At least not when I used them like that.

Like I said before, the way to use Armor Spikes to do damage with Grappling is to not really use Grappling in the normal way but to sort of catch-and-release for multiple attacks. But then you aren't about to inflict a condition like Helpless on your opponent.


I wrote:
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
Grappling wrote:

If You Are Grappled

If you are grappled, you can attempt to break the grapple as a standard action by making a combat maneuver check (DC equal to your opponent’s CMD; this does not provoke an attack of opportunity)

Oops. I was wrong about that. I should have checked my facts better that time. Thank you for beginning the severe test of my arguments that I asked you for.

But,

toastedamphibian wrote:

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

I don't see at all how it follows that just because making a Grapple check when you aren't Grappled provokes an attack of opportunity, but making a Grapple Check when you are Grappled doesn't means that one is an attack and one isn't. For starters, the reason why Grappling when you area already Grapples doesn't provoke is an exception specifically called out in the rules. I haven't found where it specifically says that Initiating a Grapple is an attack and attempting to escape from one isn't. Also, the fact that "no one plays that way" is evidently just due to a specific exception, and an appeal to popular opinion in this case is even a bigger fallacy than it usually is.


toastedamphibian wrote:
Yes, everyone seems to be ignoring the START in the above quote. I will also point out that I am not claiming that they are all similar, but rather that they are directly equivalent. But that is not quite true. See below.

I wasn't trying to ignore parts of your posts. I sincerely hope we can come to a mutual understanding through continued dialog.


toastedamphibian wrote:
A Grapple combat maneuver is an attack. One with many parts. Unless you are starting back at the top of the entry each time, it is not a new grapple attack, it is a continuation of your already successful grapple attack.

That's interesting! Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you are saying that once you have Initiated a Grapple, everything that the Grappler does following that is all part of the same, single, grapple attack. So, you Initiate a Grapple, you have just made a successful grapple attack, and so you inflict Armor Spike Damage. The next round, you roll to Maintain, and Pin. This second Check is not a separate grapple attack, but rather part of the same attack when you Initiated the Grapple in the first place, and therefore you don't get the Armor Spike Damage.

Is this your contention?


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

I don't see at all how it follows that...

It doesn't. My example was factually incorrect. Checks to maintain still might, as they have no specific exception.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:


I wasn't trying to ignore parts of your posts. I sincerely hope we can come to a mutual understanding through continued dialog.

I meant ignoring as in failing to notice it or it's significance, not as in willfully disregarding. Both you and wolf seemed to initially belive my position was that all grapple checks are grapple attacks, when I was saying quite the opposite. Best guess is that word was getting skimmed over.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:


That's interesting! Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you are saying that once you have Initiated a Grapple, everything that the Grappler does following that is all part of the same, single, grapple attack. So, you Initiate a Grapple, you have just made a successful grapple attack, and so you inflict Armor Spike Damage. The next round, you roll to Maintain, and Pin. This second Check is not a separate grapple attack, but rather part of the same attack when you Initiated the Grapple in the first place, and therefore you don't get the Armor Spike Damage.

Is this your contention?

Yes. Unless you choose to deal damage with them using the "deal damage" option instead of pining, of course.


Hmmm. A lot of good points being made here.

The extra 1d6 damage inflicted with the "grapple attack"... Do we beleive that it inflicts 1d6+STR or only a flat 1d6?
My opinion is that when used in a grapple, they are a flat 1d6. When used as an off-hand weapon, they are 1d6+1/2STR (unless you have Double Slice).

On "grapple attack"... I saw some statements about non-martial characters and tons of damage. I noticed something in the description that i think is important for everyone, so please consider this below. Emphasis mine.

Armor Spikes wrote:
... 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...

To me, that solves the debate on "grapple attack" and whether it means the roll to initiate or all grapple checks to include maintaining.

Additionally, I found what I think will solve the argument on whether a Combat Maneuver is an attack roll or not (emphasis mine)...

Performing a Combat Maneuver wrote:

When performing a combat maneuver, you must use an action appropriate to the maneuver you are attempting to perform. While many combat maneuvers can be performed as part of an attack action, full-attack action, or attack of opportunity (in place of a melee attack), others require a specific action. Unless otherwise noted, performing a combat maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of the maneuver. If you are hit by the target, you take the damage normally and apply that amount as a penalty to the attack roll to perform the maneuver. If your target is immobilized, unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated, your maneuver automatically succeeds (treat as if you rolled a natural 20 on the attack roll).

Determine Success
If your attack roll equals or exceeds the CMD of the target, your maneuver is a success and has the listed effect. Some maneuvers, such as bull rush, have varying levels of success depending on how much your attack roll exceeds the target’s CMD. Rolling a natural 20 while attempting a combat maneuver is always a success (except when attempting to escape from bonds), while rolling a natural 1 is always a failure.

Therefore, Armor Spikes must inflict 1d6 damage on all successful grapple checks/attacks. Users not martially proficient suffer a -4 penalty on grapple checks when using them.

:)


Yes, combat maneuver checks are attacks. That isn't in question I don't believe. If your using the armor spikes, either because you want to deal damage with them when you begin the grapple, or because you want to deal damage with them during the grapple, you take a -4 on your Combat Maneuver Bonus. If you instead decide to pin (or whatever), you don't. If they automatically applied on all grapple checks, the "when you try to use them" would be unnecessary.


On all grapple checks when trying to use them

Which implies that there are grapple checks where you're not using them , otherwise it would be -4 to grapple checks if you have them.


BigNorseWolf is correct. Attempting to use them in a grapple is a choice made before every check and would apply an extra 1d6 piercing damage if successful.

Meaning:
A Druid that is wearing Spiked Barding, not proficient with armor spikes, would get the option of "attempting to use them" when making grapple checks.
+If the Druid does not "attempt to use" they do not apply the 1d6 extra damage nor do they suffer the -4 penalty to their grapple.
+If the Druid "attempts to use" they would suffer the -4 non-proficiency penalty on the grapple check. If successful, they apply 1d6 extra damage.

If a creature is proficient with all martial weapons (armor spikes being Light martial weapons) then they can simply choose when they do or do not wish to apply the extra 1d6 to every successful grapple check.

**EDIT**
Option 3 represents proper use.


Please do not apply things i did not say to my statement. I have been consistently arguing against the idea that the extra damage occurs on every check.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Please do not apply things i did not say to my statement. I have been consistently arguing against the idea that the extra damage occurs on every check.

Apologies, I misinterpreted your last post.

You are correct however, that there are checks when you are not using them. Am I to understand that you believe this is a forced situation where using them after the initiation is not permitted?

I think I have shown unequivocal evidence that every check includes a choice on whether or not they can be applied.


Tyrant Lizard King wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Please do not apply things i did not say to my statement. I have been consistently arguing against the idea that the extra damage occurs on every check.

Apologies, I misinterpreted your last post.

You are correct however, that there are checks when you are not using them. Am I to understand that you believe this is a forced situation where using them after the initiation is not permitted?

There are checks when you have armor spikes and do not use them.

Therefore, Armor Spikes must inflict 1d6 damage on all successful grapple checks/attacks.<----- This does not follow if there are checks where the armor spikes don't do anything, either if you chose not to use them OR they don't apply to the check.

So your logic only works if armor spikes apply to all the checks which... is the conclusion you're trying to reach with your logic.


I think we are trying to say the same thing...

You can wear armor spikes and choose whether or not to use them on a grapple check.

I never said that they MUST be used in every check, only that they CAN be used in every check.


Tyrant lizard king wrote:
herefore, Armor Spikes must inflict 1d6 damage on all successful grapple checks/attacks

I am disagreeing with that statement. The logic you used to get there is entirely circular.


Scott keeps pounding the table saying all grapples are attacks.

No one is contending they are not. But what is very much in contention is what "grapple attack" is or means.

Look at this, however:"a single melee attack can be a disarm or sunder combat maneuver, but not both), but they can be combined with options that modify an attack action or are standard or full-round actions.

Followed by:
6 Some combat maneuvers substitute for a melee attack, not an action. As melee attacks, they can be used once in an attack or charge action, one or more times in a full-attack action, or even as an attack of opportunity. Others are used as a separate action.

Followed by:

Deliver coup de grace Basic Full-round action
Dirty trick Combat maneuver Standard action
Disarm Combat maneuver Melee attack
Drag Combat maneuver Standard action
Fight defensively Basic Standard action or full-round action
Gorgon’s Fist Feat Standard action
Grapple Combat maneuver Standard action
Great Cleave Feat Standard action
Greater Weapon of the Chosen Feat Attack action
Overrun Combat maneuver Standard action
Power Attack Feat Free action
Reposition Combat maneuver Standard action
Spring Attack Feat Full-round action
Steal Combat maneuver Standard action
Stunning Fist Feat Melee attack
Sunder Combat maneuver Melee attack
Trip Combat maneuver Melee attack
Weapon of the Chosen Feat Swift action
Whirlwind Attack Feat Full-round action
Vital Strike Feat Attack action

My initial position was that a grapple attack was undefined. That seems to be in error.

A grapple attack seems to be a standard action to establish a grapple.


Perfect Tommy wrote:


My initial position was that a grapple attack was undefined. That seems to be in error.

A grapple attack seems to be a standard action to establish a grapple.

Hey, a potential convert!


Tyrant Lizard King wrote:

I think we are trying to say the same thing...

You can wear armor spikes and choose whether or not to use them on a grapple check.

I never said that they MUST be used in every check, only that they CAN be used in every check.

It says that they "deal extra piercing damage on a successful grapple attack." There's no permissive language present, which means the idea that they can be used optionally isn't supported.

@ Perfect Tommy: Some issues with your action claims. For starters, several feats aren't actions in and of themselves (Power Attack, Vital Strike, etc). They are riders of existing combat actions, and only apply when you perform relevant activities.

Next, Grappling is a Combat Maneuver, not an attack, which is why there is a major hangup with the "grapple attack" notation. There are many more instances in the rules that refer to a grapple check instead of a grapple attack. While it's a safe assumption that they are synonymous in this case, I still disagree with that sentiment due to the amount of abuse that can arise from it.

Let's take some Grab and Constrict creatures and say they now have armor with Armor Spikes on it. So, whenever they attack, they deal their normal damage, then Grab (which is likely successful since they have stupid amounts of scaling and bonuses) for Armor Spike and Strength damage, then Constrict for their Constrict and Armor Spike damage (both of which apply full Strength modifiers). Not escaping from them, they can Constrict (same as above), release, Attack (as normal), Grab (with Armor Spikes), then Constrict (same as above) again.

And that's with ONE NATURAL ATTACK. Creatures on average have 2 or 3 that are capable of this if this is their schtick, and that's not including obvious creature choices that can obviously abuse this (such as Squids and Octopi, with 8 Grab and Constrict natural attacks). A Kraken with +5 Armor Spikes can now solo a Tarrasque, boys!

Even if it's RAW, no sane GM, PFS or otherwise, would run them this way. Or, they can run them this way, throw a bunch of these sorts of creatures at you, and laugh as you just caused your own TPK with the silly rules you tried to abuse, while you sit there and complain about how broken it is, even though you knew full well how broken it was, and went with it anyway.

As for myself, I'd rather follow an interpretation that DOESN'T cause the game to break in an unintended consequence. Hence why I'd find the PDT to rule option 1.


Perfect Tommy wrote:

My initial position was that a grapple attack was undefined. That seems to be in error.

A grapple attack seems to be a standard action to establish a grapple.

I'm not following your logic there, at all.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:

My initial position was that a grapple attack was undefined. That seems to be in error.

A grapple attack seems to be a standard action to establish a grapple.

I'm not following your logic there, at all.

Came back to check the tail end of the thread to see where we ended up.

...

Oh my.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:

My initial position was that a grapple attack was undefined. That seems to be in error.

A grapple attack seems to be a standard action to establish a grapple.

I'm not following your logic there, at all.

Because if you search for disarm attack, sunder attack I found 2 instances of these usage.

By extrapolation, while the rules do not define "grapple attack" I think the inference is reasonable.

It is, however, not all roses for the (non-option 1) crowd. If Grapple Attack is an attack to establish (posit) it therefore follows that attacks to damage while already in a grapple is NOT a grapple attack.

In this second instance, you may make a damage roll to use a light weapon, OR armor spikes. And you get no bonuses that are phrased as bonuses to grapple attack (not that I am aware of them).

The rules are also clear that rolls to maintain are *also* not grapple attacks; they are specificlly enumerated as grapple maneuver checks.

Enumerating:

Grapple Maneuver Checks ecompasses a variety of things
- Grapple Attacks
- Grapple Maintains
- Grapple attempts to pin
- Grapple attempts to damage.
etc.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


@ Perfect Tommy: Some issues with your action claims. For starters, several feats aren't actions in and of themselves (Power Attack, Vital Strike, etc). They are riders of existing combat actions, and only apply when you perform relevant activities.

My comment was a direct cut and paste from the PFSRD. So they are not action claims - they are action quotes.

Quote:


Next, Grappling is a Combat Maneuver, not an attack, which is why there is a major hangup with the "grapple attack" notation. There are many more instances in the rules that refer to a grapple check instead of a grapple attack. While it's a safe assumption that they are synonymous in this case, I still disagree with that sentiment due to the amount of abuse that can arise from it.

Agree that Grapple attack is not defined. However there are other instances where terms like sunder attack, disarm attack are used. And while it is only extrapolation, it seems a reasonable (and internally consistent) extrapolation.

Quote:


Let's take some Grab and Constrict creatures and say they now have armor with Armor Spikes on it. So, whenever they attack, they deal their normal damage, then Grab (which is likely successful since they have stupid amounts of scaling and bonuses) for Armor Spike and Strength damage, then Constrict for their Constrict and Armor Spike damage (both of which apply full Strength modifiers). Not escaping from them, they can Constrict (same as above), release, Attack (as normal), Grab (with Armor Spikes), then Constrict (same as above) again.

Balance questions, while important, are irrelevant to rules discussions.


Perfect Tommy wrote:


Balance questions, while important, are irrelevant to rules discussions.

No, they really aren't. When the rules can be read multiple ways, and one or more of those ways are demonstrably stupid, they can safely be ruled out as valid options.


Re balance issues.

If RAW says something then raw says something.

But when raw says nothing really then you have to use something else.


Perfect Tommy wrote:

Scott keeps pounding the table saying all grapples are attacks.

No one is contending they are not.

It seemed to me that people were. That being no longer the case, I would stop.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:

Scott keeps pounding the table saying all grapples are attacks.

No one is contending they are not.

It seemed to me that people were. That being no longer the case, I would stop.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Grappling is a Combat Maneuver, not an attack

Um, pound?


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Constrict for their Constrict and Armor Spike damage (both of which apply full Strength modifiers).

I don't think you would get to double dip on your Strength Bonus to Damage. The Damage in question would come off of a single Attack Roll, so the St Mod to Damage would only be applied once.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Let's take some Grab and Constrict creatures and say they now have armor with Armor Spikes on it. So, whenever they attack, they deal their normal damage, then Grab (which is likely successful since they have stupid amounts of scaling and bonuses) for Armor Spike and Strength damage, then Constrict for their Constrict and Armor Spike damage (both of which apply full Strength modifiers). Not escaping from them, they can Constrict (same as above), release, Attack (as normal), Grab (with Armor Spikes), then Constrict (same as above) again.

I think you have an extra action slipped in there. I think you said, Hit/Grab to Grapple + Constrict+ Armor Spikes/Constrict/release/Hit, grab, and damage again. Constricts only happen in conjunction with successful grapple attacks. And remember that the Grab Ability can only be used to start a Grapple. If you want to use Grapple to inflict damage multiple times in a round in conjunction Constrict and/or Armor Spikes, than that depends upon mulitple successful attack rolls. While it looks, on paper, that a character with multiple attacks with Grab and constrict simply get multiple attacks, the fact that half of those attacks can't even be made unless those first attacks are successful makes them, probablistically speaking, significantly less good than actual extra attacks. I don't think it is as broken as you think

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
And that's with ONE NATURAL ATTACK. Creatures on average have 2 or 3 that are capable of this if this is their schtick, and that's not including obvious creature choices that can obviously abuse this (such as Squids and Octopi, with 8 Grab and Constrict natural attacks). A Kraken with +5 Armor Spikes can now solo a Tarrasque, boys!

So now we are talking about an Armored Squid? Wow, who would do such a thing?

*looks away demurely and innocently, whistling*

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Even if it's RAW, no sane GM, PFS or otherwise, would run them this way.

Well, in PFS, why not? Remember in PFS, that the Multiattack Feat is pretty much not allowed, and Tentacles are Secondary Natural Attacks. So sure a Druid who Wildshapes into a Giant Octopus and then puts on Octopus-Shaped Spiked Lamellar Horn Barding might get Tentacle Attacks, all with Grab and Constrict, but remember that Druid is not a Full BAB Class and remember that all those Tentacles get a -5 to hit, and the following Grapple checks still require successful attacks of their own before they get to do that proposed Constrict + ASD. Actually, this seems like a weak melee character. Better to put your +5 on some other weapon, not your Armor Spikes.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Or, they can run them this way, throw a bunch of these sorts of creatures at you, and laugh as you just caused your own TPK with the silly rules you tried to abuse, while you sit there and complain about how broken it is, even though you knew full well how broken it was, and went with it anyway.

A player who brings a character like that into a campaign is also making a statement about the challenge levels he wants. The GM is always supposed to up the power level of the challenges to match the abilities of the PCs. Such a PC would have little room to complain. I agree with you.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
As for myself, I'd rather follow an interpretation that DOESN'T cause the game to break in an unintended consequence. Hence why I'd find the PDT to rule option 1.

As for myself, I think unintended consequences are splendid. I think when you find a new way to play the game, you elevate the game; you don't diminish it. Did the Wright Brothers intend F16s or 747s? Did Henry VIII intend Serena Williams? Did whoever it was that invented Chess intend the Queens's Gambit or the Petrov Defense? I don't think so.

Did the creators of 3.5 intend for their description of Armor Spikes to be lifted, cut-and-pasted whole cloth out of their rulebook to be used in Pathfinder? I highly doubt that. When a player goes against the Rules as Intended by Paizo Publishing, he is playing in the highest traditions of Pathfinder as established by the people who created Pathfinder in the first place.

After all, the game is called Pathfinder, not Go-Down-the-Same-Path-Just-Like-Everyone-Else-Has-Always-Done-Er.


Perfect Tommy wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


@ Perfect Tommy: Some issues with your action claims. For starters, several feats aren't actions in and of themselves (Power Attack, Vital Strike, etc). They are riders of existing combat actions, and only apply when you perform relevant activities.

My comment was a direct cut and paste from the PFSRD. So they are not action claims - they are action quotes.

Quote:


Next, Grappling is a Combat Maneuver, not an attack, which is why there is a major hangup with the "grapple attack" notation. There are many more instances in the rules that refer to a grapple check instead of a grapple attack. While it's a safe assumption that they are synonymous in this case, I still disagree with that sentiment due to the amount of abuse that can arise from it.

Agree that Grapple attack is not defined. However there are other instances where terms like sunder attack, disarm attack are used. And while it is only extrapolation, it seems a reasonable (and internally consistent) extrapolation.

Quote:


Let's take some Grab and Constrict creatures and say they now have armor with Armor Spikes on it. So, whenever they attack, they deal their normal damage, then Grab (which is likely successful since they have stupid amounts of scaling and bonuses) for Armor Spike and Strength damage, then Constrict for their Constrict and Armor Spike damage (both of which apply full Strength modifiers). Not escaping from them, they can Constrict (same as above), release, Attack (as normal), Grab (with Armor Spikes), then Constrict (same as above) again.

Balance questions, while important, are irrelevant to rules discussions.

If by PFSRD you mean the D20PFSRD, then it's not really an official answer. The Combat Actions table doesn't mention Vital Strike, Power Attack, or a lot of those other feats as being their own actions, and the feats themselves refer to pre-existing actions, or being riders on said actions. That doesn't make the feats actions in-and-of-themselves like you're claiming they are.

I never said it wasn't reasonable (hence my reference to "safe assumption"), all I said was that A. It's not a term that's consistently used within the rest of the book compared to "Grapple check," which is much more obvious in what it applies to, and B. It's broken if it really does apply for every Grapple check, even though there's already a specific mention of Armor Spikes in the Damage portion of grappling that didn't need to be mentioned if there wasn't some sort of special implication for that.

Disagree on the balance portion, on two fronts. First is that balance is considered when an option is created, whether we want to admit it or not. Second is that this is a nice thing Martials can have. And we all know Paizo's golden rule when it comes to balance: Martials can't have nice things. Therefore, this cannot be a rule because it's overpowered, and because it's mostly a Martial benefit, which cannot be given to martials because it's nice.

@ Scott Wilhelm: Yes, you would "double dip" with Strength, because you're rolling for two separate sources of damage, one for Armor Spikes (because it's on a "grapple attack," which Constrict can feasibly fit the definition of), and one for Constrict.

The action flow is Attack->Grab+Armor Spikes->Constrict+Armor Spikes->Release->Repeat until out of natural attacks, in which case don't Release until next round. Following Round, then you Constrict+Armor Spikes->Release->, then repeat the above steps until every enemy is dead from this combo. Sorry if I didn't make that action flow clear enough.

The fact that you know how broken it is, and would do it anyway only demonstrates the necessity for Paizo to nuke this combination from orbit like they do with every other subject they nerf. And that's assuming your interpretation of the rules is even correct.

Druid doesn't need full BAB with Wild Shape bonuses, and each of his attacks are at full BAB anyway via Natural Attacks. You can have both +5 AoMF and +5 Armor Spikes, they aren't mutually exclusive. It's more expensive, sure, but you can still do it, but I wouldn't bother with +5 Armor Spikes until way later in the game anyway, since it's just a damage boost, and you aren't attacking with them.

Problem with that sort of concept is that PFS can't change or accommodate their playstyles to fit the players' assumed challenge levels. It's the same reason why they opted to nuke the Crane Style feat chain from orbit, because with the MoMS dip abuse, getting the Crane Wing feat by 1st or 2nd level and having ridiculous AC trivialized every encounter, even though a normal GM would've included options to counter such a playstyle. Since you're a PFS regular, I'd figured you'd know that.

Negative impacts toward the rules by abusing certain options is by no means elevating the game, and going against the intent of the rules means you're going against the spirit of the game when you do so. That's the entire definition of the word "intent" here. Tables play however they want, and that's fine. They just shouldn't expect their table to be considered a traditional Pathfinder game, and that we aren't arguing their rules, but the original rules of a traditional Pathfinder game.


Agree with a lot you say there dark.
Disagree with some things.

Power gaming is just as valid as any other form. I find role players tedious, but I wouldn't say pathfinder doesn't have a place for them. Or that they should be nuked from orbit, no matter how much I think it.

Agree, druid is full bab. 1/2 str on armor spikes.

Disagree that armor spikes take effect any other time than an attack made to grapple.

Not during maintain checks, not during attacks to dmg, unless the spikes are the only weapon used.


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picking good mechanical options out of the game is fine.

making absurd mechanical options out of gray areas in the rules by aggressively arguing for those gray areas to be ruled in your favor sucks the fun out of the game for most DMs.


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Power Gaming and following the spirit of the rules aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, a Power Gamer that follows the spirit of the rules is less likely to be disruptive at a table than a player who does, and I'm sure there are GMs who appreciate those kinds of Power Gamers. That's actually a key difference between a Power Gamer and a munchkin, just FYI.

The Armor Spikes in this case aren't a secondary natural weapon or an off-hand weapon (since TWF isn't taking place), so they aren't at half value.

Armor Spikes work on a "grapple attack." Constrict is an attack that occurs while grappling. Same goes for other Grab abilities, and even Swallow Whole. Spiked Worm eating a PC and dealing armor spike damage while they're inside their body? Permitted by RAW, but as I've stated prior, no sane GM would run the rules that way. This is precisely why BNW is saying the "grapple attack" term is absurd and poorly defined.


Yep. Constrict is an attack that occurs while grappling. It is not a grapple attack.

They're listed as light weapons. The faq says only if no other off hand weapon is used, iirc. What evidence us there for any other position?


BigNorseWolf wrote:

picking good mechanical options out of the game is fine.

making absurd mechanical options out of gray areas in the rules by aggressively arguing for those gray areas to be ruled in your favor sucks the fun out of the game for most DMs.

Or you could say, right or wrong, that's not how it will run at my table, not argue about it and move on.


toastedamphibian wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

That's interesting! Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you are saying that once you have Initiated a Grapple, everything that the Grappler does following that is all part of the same, single, grapple attack. So, you Initiate a Grapple, you have just made a successful grapple attack, and so you inflict Armor Spike Damage. The next round, you roll to Maintain, and Pin. This second Check is not a separate grapple attack, but rather part of the same attack when you Initiated the Grapple in the first place, and therefore you don't get the Armor Spike Damage.

Is this your contention?

Yes. Unless you choose to deal damage with them using the "deal damage" option instead of pining, of course.

I do think this is an interesting position. But I don't think this interpretation is square with the rules as written. I think it depends on assumptions that are not supported by the rules. The whole setup of the game mechanic is that grappling is a series of individual actions. Each action, a separate action; you take is taken with a single attack roll. When you Full Attack, that is a a single, full round action, but it is multiple attacks defined by multiple attack rolls, and every one of those attacks gets its Damage Bonuses.

Interestingly enough, your interpretation would not significantly impact the way I would design any character.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The fact that you know how broken it is, and would do it anyway only demonstrates the necessity for Paizo to nuke this combination from orbit like they do with every other subject they nerf. And that's assuming your interpretation of the rules is even correct.

It is not a fact that I know it to be as broken as you think it is.

I wrote:
While it looks, on paper, that a character with multiple attacks with Grab and constrict simply get multiple attacks, the fact that half of those attacks can't even be made unless those first attacks are successful makes them, probablistically speaking, significantly less good than actual extra attacks. I don't think it is as broken as you think

Don't make presumptions about my intentions.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Problem with that sort of concept is that PFS can't change or accommodate their playstyles to fit the players' assumed challenge levels. It's the same reason why they opted to nuke the Crane Style feat chain from orbit, because with the MoMS dip abuse, getting the Crane Wing feat by 1st or 2nd level and having ridiculous AC trivialized every encounter, even though a normal GM would've included options to counter such a playstyle. Since you're a PFS regular, I'd figured you'd know that.

I will leave it to Paizo Publishing to decide whether or not they want to change the rules of their game. I am giving my best counsel in good faith according to what the rules say. I am in support of Pathfinder Society's position that their GMs should be tolerant of diverse styles and philosophies of play. I think everyone should be allowed to play the game their own way according to what the rules say.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Negative impacts toward the rules by abusing certain options is by no means elevating the game,

"Abuse" is a very loaded word. You should probably stop using it. No one is in favor of abuse. It sounds like you are accusing me of being abusive.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
going against the intent of the rules means you're going against the spirit of the game when you do so. That's the entire definition of the word "intent" here.

Rules-as-Intended arguments are deeply problematic. Paizo itself is going against the intent of the rules when they used the 3.5 description of Armor Spikes for Pathfinder! Are you accusing Paizo Publishing of being abusive? I do not believe that Paizo Publishing was doing anything dishonest, illegal, or sneaky. In fact, I remember when Pathfinder was a new product, their posters said, "Pathfinder, where 3.5 Thrives!" But I find it highly unlikely that the author of the 3.5 Players Handbook intended that his rules be used to describe some other game. I just don't see a morally-defensible position that a player is somehow doing something unethical when all he is doing is what the creators of the game themselves are doing: using the rules creatively to make something new. The intent of the rules is that you are supposed to use the rules to be creative, just like what Paizo Publishing is doing.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Tables play however they want, and that's fine. They just shouldn't expect their table to be considered a traditional Pathfinder game, and that we aren't arguing their rules, but the original rules of a traditional Pathfinder game.

I think it is deeply problematic to talk in terms of a traditional Pathfinder game. I think would require coming up with a definition of traditional and imposing that on others. And I don't think any of us has the right to do that.


That sort of statement doesn't hold water when you don't suffer iterative penalties for each attack you make, the biggest cause of missing numerous attacks. At best, you suffer a -5 and only half strength for secondary attacks, but that doesn't apply to static Armor Spike application with each "grapple attack", which is really the heart of the problem with this combination.

PFS is incapable of change to accommodate different playstyles, and is the reason why one playstyle that was easily abusable was nuked from orbit when, in a more flexible game, where such changes could be accommodated, its actually an easily managable playstyle. So, leaving it for "Paizo" to decide how PFS runs their games is essentially no different than persuading a brick wall to change. Spoiler Alert: It's not going to, not in millions of years, when senescence starts to take its toll.

In some cases, it is loaded. But I find that in this context, when the entire point of doing something is for the sole purpose of unintended utilization, "abuse" becomes a fairly accurate definition. If I can't call stuff how it is (at least to me), then I can't have an acceptable conversation.

The only problematic thing about arguing rules intent is determining what the intent actually is, especially when multiple interpretations are plausible. For this case, however, I highly doubt the intent is that Armor Spikes are supposed to have this kind of power, or have this sort of intended function. If we don't take intent into consideration, then we lose out on the point or reasoning of why the developers may clarify or change rules text, which is why simply reading rules as a vacuum is not usually the most accurate of answers.

While it's fair to say that it's difficult to determine what "traditional games" truly are, it's really a tool to rule table outliers, such as "Everybody's got the Vampire template," or "Everybody has 80 point buy," table rules that one can't realistically expect to take place, compared to most tables that run things like 15 or 20 point buy, or Core only, and so on.


Scott, your full action analogy is not, in fact, an analog.

Any die roll that occurs during a grapple, is not in fact a grapple attack.

The only support for what a grapple attack is, comes from extension of disarm attacks, dirty trick attacks etc.

Especially when things like your chance to maintain are labeled as combat maneuver checks.
I'm not saying you're wrong - paizo could certainly come down with a ruling that says you were right all along. Just that as written I don't see any support for your position in the rules.


Perfect Tommy wrote:
The only support for what a grapple attack is, comes from extension of disarm attacks, dirty trick attacks etc.

That's.... very. very. tenuous logic. Its pretty much what showed up in a boolean search.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
The whole setup of the game mechanic is that grappling is a series of individual actions. Each action, a separate action; you take is taken with a single attack roll.

Okay, now search the PRD for any other actions that use the word "Maintain". A spell is not a new spell when you spend a standard action to maintain concentration. A "Bardic Performance" is still that same performance when you spend actions to Maintain it, etc.

Quote:
When you Full Attack, that is a a single, full round action, but it is multiple attacks defined by multiple attack rolls, and every one of those attacks gets its Damage Bonuses.

And something that triggers "Whenever you Full Attack" would trigger once per round, not on every attack roll in that full attack.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That sort of statement doesn't hold water when you don't suffer iterative penalties for each attack you make..

Um, what are you talking about? CMB checks absolutely take that penalty on multiple attacks.


toastedamphibian wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That sort of statement doesn't hold water when you don't suffer iterative penalties for each attack you make..
Um, what are you talking about? CMB checks absolutely take that penalty on multiple attacks.

Not with natural weapons.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Not with natural weapons.

Ah, missed that you where speaking about natural attacks.


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Gah!

I knew I should have stuck to my guns. But I couldn't remember why. But perusing another thread - This question has *already* been answered by the Design Team.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qsrb&page=3?Amulet-of-Mighty-Fists-and-Gra ppling-Can-We#135

Quoting: "The answer is no. An amulet of might fists "grants an enhancement bonus of +1 to +5 on attack and damage rolls with unarmed attacks and natural weapons." [bold] You make a combat maneuver to grapple.[/bold]

Not an attack - a combat maneuver....

So. Despite that you can take Weapon Focus: Grapple; despite the fact that humans make a grapple attack with empty hands or take a -4 to the check; despite the fact that hands are either natural weapons or unarmed strikes: Making a grapple with them is a combat maneuver, and not an attack (or the AOMF would apply).


Linkified

Thanks for that post, as that's another (official) big point towards "Grapples aren't attacks" in the specific sense, since the PDT account states Combat Maneuvers don't benefit from bonuses made with unarmed strikes or natural weapons that may be limbs used to grapple.

Again, this isn't me saying that combat maneuvers aren't attacks in the general sense, just that things which work for attacks won't (usually) work for combat maneuvers, and vice-versa.


Perfect Tommy wrote:

Gah!

I knew I should have stuck to my guns. But I couldn't remember why. But perusing another thread - This question has *already* been answered by the Design Team.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qsrb&page=3?Amulet-of-Mighty-Fists-and-Gra ppling-Can-We#135

Quoting: "The answer is no. An amulet of might fists "grants an enhancement bonus of +1 to +5 on attack and damage rolls with unarmed attacks and natural weapons." [bold] You make a combat maneuver to grapple.[/bold]

Not an attack - a combat maneuver....

So. Despite that you can take Weapon Focus: Grapple; despite the fact that humans make a grapple attack with empty hands or take a -4 to the check; despite the fact that hands are either natural weapons or unarmed strikes: Making a grapple with them is a combat maneuver, and not an attack (or the AOMF would apply).

That is not a ruling that a Grapple is not an attack, only that a Grapple is not an Unarmed Attack for the purposes of Amulet of Mighty Fists.

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