Question about Alchemist limb upgrade surgery


Rules Questions


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Ok, so I've got a question about a couple of Alchemist discoveries that happen to add/replace arms. Specifically, I'm wondering if I could, as an Alchemist, take the vestigial arm discovery, then take the Monstrous Graft discovery to replace my vestigial arm with one from another humanoid. In the answer got his I'd like to know:

1. Can a vestigial arm (as an arm) be replaced by Monstrous Graft?
2. If yes to 1, then can this grant an additional natural attack in the form of a claw or slam?

My reading thus far is a yes to both, as Monstrous Graft only requires that you swap out an arm without further restriction, and the rules governing vestigial arms would cease to be applicable as the vestigial arm is replaced by a different one with different governing rules. Am i missing something here, or is my four-armed, four-slam-attack alchemist build a go?


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You can replace the Vestigial Arm with something else, but you still can't use it to get extra attacks.


Why not? Doesn't it cease to be a vestigial arm at that point, and therefore no longer an applicable subject for the vestigial arms restrictions? It becomes a monstrous graft, which explicitly stated that such limbs can grant extra natural attacks.

From Monstrous Graft:
"Benefit(s): The alchemist can replace up to four of his own amputated limbs with those of a monstrous beast of the same size category. If the grafted limb is an arm, the alchemist gains either a climb speed of 15 feet or a claw or slam natural attack that deals 1d6 points of damage (1d4 for a Small alchemist)."


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If you think you’ve found a way to get extra attacks with vestigial arms, you’re probably wrong.


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Here's the official Paizo FAQ on this. To summarize: "No. Hell no. Hell to the f%~~ no. You think you've found a loophole? Nope, there are no holes, loopy or otherwise. Don't even think about it. NO."


Ok, but all of those examples pertain to trying to add things to or otherwise employ a vestigial limb. Monstrous Graft replaces them entirely with different limbs, which that faq doesn't address. Thus it is not a matter of trying to get extra attacks with vestigial limbs so much as getting rid of them as fuel for more monstrous grafts, which by my reading results in sidestepping the extra attack restrictions entirely by removing any valid target for then.

Seeing a lot of flat denial here, with a marked absence of explanation or argument.


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Read it again:

FAQ wrote:
The exact same restrictions would apply if your race had claws or you had some other ability to add claws to your limbs: the text of both discoveries says they do not give you any extra attacks per round, whether used as natural weapons, wielding manufactured weapons, or adding natural weapons to a limb that didn't originally have natural weapons.

Even if you replaced the limb with a Monstrous Graft, the only reason you were able to do so is because of the Vestigial Arm. And you may NEVER gain an extra attack because of a Vestigial Arm.


I don't see how that quoted text is relevant, as Monstrous Graft is a different mechanism than all three restricted there. It is not adding a natural attack to a vestigial limb, nor is it modifying the limb. It is removing the vestigial limb entirely and replacing it with a new monstrous graft limb. The vestigial limb is gone, it does not exist.

My core argument is unaddressed, which is simply that the vestigial limb is not present.

Shadow Lodge

Step 1) Take Vestigial Arm.
Step 2) Remove Vestigial Arm.

Problem: You still have the discovery, but not the arm. You can't retrain it, because then you don't have an arm to replace with the graft.

I'd have to rule a big no on this. I think most GMs would too, since it creates a problem AND gets around what is supposed to be a limit on Vestigial Arm.

Loophole closed.


Replace your vestigial arm with a monstrous graft and you have a vestigial monstrous graft.


Dragonborn3 wrote:

Step 1) Take Vestigial Arm.

Step 2) Remove Vestigial Arm.

Problem: You still have the discovery, but not the arm. You can't retrain it, because then you don't have an arm to replace with the graft.

I'd have to rule a big no on this. I think most GMs would too, since it creates a problem AND gets around what is supposed to be a limit on Vestigial Arm.

Loophole closed.

That still seems to be a statement of preference, not legality. You do end up with a discovery with no target, but I'm not sure how that's a problem per se, given that you could already lose vestigial arms via injury or surgery as is.

Is the concept of an extra two slam attacks at the cost of a permanent 4 wisdom penalty really so egregious to you?

Quote:
Replace your vestigial arm with a monstrous graft and you have a vestigial monstrous graft.

Can you point me to the precedent for a replacement for a given feature to still bear the same restrictions as that feature by default, or for the "vestigial" qualifier to be something that attaches to anything that replaces it?

I find zero language in either monstrous graft or vestigial limb to indicate that the vestigial qualities are somehow transferred to what is an entirely separate and new limb from a whole other creature.

I've yet to see any real argument for how a. Vestigial arms are not valid targets for monstrous graft, b. Monstrous graft arms somehow inherit vestigial arms qualities, or c. The vestigial limb discovery prevents loss (and thereby replacement) of the limb that it grants. A lot of "i dont like this", "this is impossible" without explanation, and "read these rules" in reference to rules that are not justified in their applicability, but that's it.


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Quote:
Vestigial Arm (Ex): The alchemist gains a new arm (left or right) on his torso. The arm is fully under his control and cannot be concealed except with magic or bulky clothing. The arm does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round, though the arm can wield a weapon and make attacks as part of the alchemist's attack routine (using two-weapon fighting). The arm can manipulate or hold items as well as the alchemist's original arms (for example, allowing the alchemist to use one hand to wield a weapon, another hand to hold a potion, and the third hand to throw a bomb). The arm has its own "hand" and "ring" magic item slots (though the alchemist can still only wear two rings and two hand magic items at a time). An alchemist may take this discovery up to two times.
Quote:

Alchemist, Tentacle/Vestigial Arm: What does "extra attacks" mean for these discoveries?

It means "extra," as in "more than you would be able to make if you didn't have that discovery."

For example, if you're low-level alchemist who uses two-weapon fighting, you can normally make two attacks per round (one with each weapon). If you take the tentacle discovery, on your turn you can make
* two weapon attacks but no tentacle attack,
* a weapon attack with your left hand plus a secondary tentacle attack, or
* a weapon attack with your right hand plus a secondary tentacle attack.
At no time can you make a left hand weapon attack, a right hand weapon attack, and a tentacle attack on the same turn because the tentacle discovery says it "does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round." This language is calling out that the tentacle is not a standard natural weapon and doesn't follow the standard rules for using natural weapons (which would normally allow you to make the natural weapon attack in addition to your other attacks).

Likewise, if you instead took the vestigial arm discovery and put a weapon in that arm's hand, on your turn you can make
* a weapon attack with your left hand and one with your right hand,
* a weapon attack with your right hand and one with your vestigial arm, or
* a weapon attack with your left hand and one with your vestigial arm,
At no time can you make a left hand weapon attack, a right hand weapon attack, and a vestigial hand weapon attack on the same turn because the vestigial arm discovery says it "does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round."
The exact same restrictions would apply if your race had claws or you had some other ability to add claws to your limbs: the text of both discoveries says they do not give you any extra attacks per round, whether used as natural weapons, wielding manufactured weapons, or adding natural weapons to a limb that didn't originally have natural weapons.

Remember that these two discoveries do not have any level requirements, and therefore are not especially powerful; permanently adding additional attacks per round is beyond the scope of a discovery available to 2nd-level alchemists.


I can't find any official statements specifically on the subject of replacing a Vestigial Limb with another limb, with the closest being the FAQ and some very old comments against using the Vestigial Limb to TWF with Two-Handed Weapons.

Though if you want an official answer, you'll need to get people to hit 'FAQ' for the team to consider addressing it, since Dev comments on the forums are generally not to be taken as official rules statements.

People are against it because it gets around a very deliberate drawback. This idea isn't new, since people have tried to get around it with Clockwork Prosthetics, Demonic Implants, Fleshwarping, Necrografts, and anything else that is out there that replaces limbs.


I can understand that it rubs some folks the wrong way, but this is the rules forum, not the gut feeling forum. Guess I'll flag it for faq.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It is very simple: the rules say that the vestigial arm discovery don't grant any extra attack. You have found a way to replace the limb, but you get the ling through the discovery, so it can't grant a extra attack. In a Society game it will not work, in your home game ask the GM, he can allow that, but there is no rule forcing him to grant the extra attack.

Sumutherguy wrote:
I can understand that it rubs some folks the wrong way, but this is the rules forum, not the gut feeling forum. Guess I'll flag it for faq.

Exactly, the rules say "no extra attack through the vestigial arm discovery". Without the discovery you don't have anything to replace, so the discovery is the base of your idea. And that base say "no extra attack".


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What if you replaced your legs with arms to get 2 additional attacks and replaced your vestigial arms with legs so you can still walk.
This way you’re not attacking with your vestigial arms, although you probably look pretty stupid.
Maybe you could even replace the wings of the flight discovery with arms as they are also limbs of some sort.
For additional cheese you could try picking up racial heritage: Derro to avoid the wisdom penalty.

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