Does the Carnivorous spell allow you to use your dex for attack rolls?


Rules Questions


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Carnivorous wrote:
Your mouth expands to twice its normal size,and fills with rows of razor-sharp teeth, giving you a bite attack. This attack is treated as an attack with a basic melee weapon with the operative special quality for purposes of proficiency and Weapon Specialization and for other abilities that function with basic melee operative weapons. You can make this attack without using any limbs and when pinned.

The tricky bit is the "for purposes of proficiency and Weapon Specialization and for other abilities that function with basic melee operative weapons" clause.

If it had just said 'This attack is treated as an attack with a basic melee weapon with the operative special quality" and ended it with a full stop, I would not be having this headache. Instead it goes on to say "for purposes of proficiency and Weapon Specialization and for other abilities that function with basic melee operative weapons." which seems to limit it as being a basic operative melee weapon for three specific purposes:
1. proficiency
2. Weapon Specialization
3. other abilities that function with basic melee operative weapons

Is the intention of that clause to prevent or enable the caster to apply his dex instead of str to his attack roll?


I think the part that specifically is confusing is "and for other abilities that function with basic melee operative weapons".

When I read that I think the idea is that it means you can use it with Trick Attack.

The proficiency part is about whether or not you take the -4 penalty on the attack rolls. The weapon specialization part is about how much bonus damage you get from specialization. The only confusing part is what I pointed out above.

And it specifies "abilities". Trick attack is an ability. Using dex to attack rolls is not an "ability", I think.

My answer is no, you can't. Or, if it's intended to be allowed it's not especially clear.

That said, it probably should allow you to use dex, and they could have just wrote "treat is as a basic melee weapon with the operative quality" which would have enabled dex to attack.


It says "abilities", plural. There are only two operative weapon abilities, so you must get both of them. So you can do trick attack bites with the spell, and also use DEX to hit.

If the author meant "only dex" or "only trick attacks" it's far more incompetent writing than if they didn't.

Is "multi-class operative/mystic that uses trick attacks" even a thing? Is there such a character in the adventure? (Maybe put that in a spoiler tag.)

Silver Crusade

Poorly worded but I'd say that of course it lets you use dex to hit. It is clearly intended for operatives, to force them to use Str to hit would be just punitive and silly.


whew wrote:

It says "abilities", plural. There are only two operative weapon abilities, so you must get both of them. So you can do trick attack bites with the spell, and also use DEX to hit.

If the author meant "only dex" or "only trick attacks" it's far more incompetent writing than if they didn't.

Is "multi-class operative/mystic that uses trick attacks" even a thing? Is there such a character in the adventure? (Maybe put that in a spoiler tag.)

The fact that abilities is plural doesn't really mean anything. It's written in the plural so that it's future proofed, instead of saying Trick Attack specifically they leave it open to other things that might require the use of operative weapons that is published in the future.

Besides which, the Operative special property is what say you can use dex to attack, but the way the ability is written is says it counts as an operative weapon for certain specific things. It doesn't seem to include dex to hit.

I agree it probably should, but that's not how it's written.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Claxon wrote:
I agree it probably should, but that's not how it's written.

Well... if you agree it probably should, then why argue that it doesn't say that? This is the thing I never understand - we all know what the rule should be, so why argue that it is something else? Sure, you can choose to interpret the language in the way that you are doing, but that is an explicit choice you are making, and one which I don't understand the motivation behind. Surely you can agree that language is unclear, yes?

I mean empirically, there is disagreement on what the language actually means, so unless you are going to attempt to defend the claim that language can mean one and only one thing (and good luck to you, I've tried that in the past and come to realize it is not the hill you want to die on), then it must be true that either interpretation is supportable from the text, so let's just all agree to play it the way that seems best, right?

Now, I suspect that you are already starting to formulate a response about why we need a consistent ruling, especially for Society play. To that I counter: 1) Why does it matter if different home games play the rule differently? How is that impacting the quality of the game at anyone else's table? 2) For Society play (where I'll concede that consistency is, if not NECESSARY, than at least desirable), why should it not be the case that we (the community) should form the norms that we expect, and then have the SFS leadership team conform to those norms, rather than vice versa? In other words, why should we concern ourselves with asking what the rule IS, when we could simply choose what the rule SHOULD BE?


MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
In other words, why should we concern ourselves with asking what the rule IS, when we could simply choose what the rule SHOULD BE?

Because sometimes the community decides what they think the rule should be, then the game designers come along and tell us it should be something else, and we'd like to avoid that happening if possible.

Also, the community as seen on the boards is a small section of the wider community.

And finally, getting the posters here to agree on anything is somewhere between difficult and impossible.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

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Yes, you can choose to use your Dex on your attack roll with the bite attack from carnivorous.


Like that


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@Floatinghead,

Precisely because the rules are unclear we need to try to understand what the rules are actually saying, so that if necessary they can be reworded to clarify the intent or changed to reflect the actual intent.

@Owen

I still contend that the wording of the spell should be changed to reflect that intent. You could simply say "This attack is treated as an attack with a basic melee weapon with the operative special quality". Enumerating the other stuff makes it seem like some qualities aren't included.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Claxon wrote:

@Floatinghead,

Precisely because the rules are unclear we need to try to understand what the rules are actually saying, so that if necessary they can be reworded to clarify the intent or changed to reflect the actual intent.

@Owen

I still contend that the wording of the spell should be changed to reflect that intent. You could simply say "This attack is treated as an attack with a basic melee weapon with the operative special quality". Enumerating the other stuff makes it seem like some qualities aren't included.

Except, we don't? These are game rules, not laws, and they serve exactly one function - to enable collaborative storytelling through role play. Since everyone seems to agree what that rule should be to serve that goal, how about we just all agree to play it that way, instead of furthering the norm that it is necessary or even desirable for there to be a "right way" to understand the rules. There are no consequences for us "violating the intent" of the rules if the result is a better game, and there is similarly no inherent value in conforming to the intent of the rules if the result is a weaker game.

I understand that this is a radical view to some, but that's honestly just because so many people have been doing this for so long that the question of "why does this discussion even actually matter, since we can all just play it the way it should be anyway?" seems absurd, but frankly you don't have an answer here besides a tautological "We need to know what the rules say so that we know what the rules say, or if the rules need to be clarified so that we can better know that the rules say what we know the rules say".

Why does "knowing what the rules say?" actually matter? How does it make the game better - and "Because I want to know how the rules actually work" is NOT a legitimate answer, it's just begging the question from another direction. It still does not provide an actual justification for WHY you want to know that - nor does it address the fact that semantic pedantry aside, we already knew what the rule was, so it's not clear why any kind of FAQ is actually needed in order for you to achieve the goal of knowing what the rules say for whatever reason that's important to you.

And yet, here we are, with an explicit clarification that STILL isn't good enough for you, despite the fact that Owen is making it clear(er) that we are right about how the rule should work, and thus making it perfectly clear what the rules actually say. What motivation do you still claim for pushing to "clarify" things further? Hell, nobody is even saying you're "Wrong" per se if you and your group get more pleasure from playing the game in an intensely legalistic way (though I do find your unquestioned assumption that having one true precise set of rules is "normal" even a good thing to be off-putting, to say the least). What I'm trying to say is that your project here strikes me as "Not even wrong" in the Pauli sense, since it is divorced from any real purpose that I can see and that anyone has been able to articulate thus far.


MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
Claxon wrote:

@Floatinghead,

Precisely because the rules are unclear we need to try to understand what the rules are actually saying, so that if necessary they can be reworded to clarify the intent or changed to reflect the actual intent.

@Owen

I still contend that the wording of the spell should be changed to reflect that intent. You could simply say "This attack is treated as an attack with a basic melee weapon with the operative special quality". Enumerating the other stuff makes it seem like some qualities aren't included.

Except, we don't? These are game rules, not laws, and they serve exactly one function - to enable collaborative storytelling through role play. Since everyone seems to agree what that rule should be to serve that goal, how about we just all agree to play it that way, instead of furthering the norm that it is necessary or even desirable for there to be a "right way" to understand the rules. There are no consequences for us "violating the intent" of the rules if the result is a better game, and there is similarly no inherent value in conforming to the intent of the rules if the result is a weaker game.

I understand that this is a radical view to some, but that's honestly just because so many people have been doing this for so long that the question of "why does this discussion even actually matter, since we can all just play it the way it should be anyway?" seems absurd, but frankly you don't have an answer here besides a tautological "We need to know what the rules say so that we know what the rules say, or if the rules need to be clarified so that we can better know that the rules say what we know the rules say".

Why does "knowing what the rules say?" actually matter? How does it make the game better - and "Because I want to know how the rules actually work" is NOT a legitimate answer, it's just begging the question from another direction. It still does not provide an actual justification for WHY you want to know that - nor does it address the fact...

This is exactly how many house rules start and many people have fun with them, but that’s not what this section of the forum is about...this is the rules section to understand the game mechanics as designed, if you want to discuss how different people house rule and adjust the game then scroll down to the home brew section, it’s there for a reason


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Robert Gooding wrote:
This is exactly how many house rules start and many people have fun with them, but that’s not what this section of the forum is about...this is the rules section to understand the game mechanics as designed, if you want to discuss how different people house rule and adjust the game then scroll down to the home brew section, it’s there for a reason

You are not following my position. I am saying that division between 'house rules' and "games mechanics as designed" does not have any inherent meaning or value. All I see are people insisting we need to have clarity in the rules so that we know "what the rules really are", without being able to give a single iota of reason for why that does or should matter in even the smallest way outside of the tautological underpinnings of "I want it because I want it".

Again, how does it make the game, the community, this forum, your life, or ANYTHING AT ALL better to harp on a need for clarity on a rule that so far everyone seems to agree should work in one way, even if it's hypothetically possible to pedantically interpret the meaning else-wise. Heck, even if you accept that there is a "reasonable" uncertainty here (and I don't), why is that bad? Because it causes disagreements between different groups? Who cares? They won't be playing with each other, so to each his own! Because it causes disagreements WITHIN groups? Do you not trust people to be able to work out a compromise solution that works for them? Do we really need an answer from up on high to resolve rules disputes so that people don't have to learn to cope with each other at the table?

Put bluntly, I understand that people accept that there IS a division here between "the real rules" and "house rules", but what I am questioning (in the grand philosophical tradition) is if there OUGHT to be such a division. Role playing survived for decades without access to things like comprehensive online FAQ and direct access to developers via the tweetzors etc. Indeed, my question is really if it would not be better to abolish the distinction between house rules and "real rules" such that "rules debates" weren't arguments about what the rules ARE and instead could be a discussion about what the rules SHOULD BE and why.

I am intensely frustrated by the idea that there is an inherent need to divorce the rules text from both intention and outcome, such that discussions of what makes for better game play gets dismissed with "Well, go talk about that in home brew if you want, but here we're talking about what the rules really are." How is that attitude making the game better? Why is RAI actually distinct from RAW, and why shouldn't the actual impact on gameplay be part of the discussion of how we interpret the rules? Why is it good to have a game community so enamored with policing the rules that they have to have rules clarifications for which rules clarifications really count as rules clarifications (like establishing that forum posts are only suggestions, not REAL FAQ). Why is ANY of that good? Is there an answer beyond "Because that's the way it is"?


Anyone can decide to interpret in any way they like, with varying levels of support for such interpretation. That presents a problem because you end up with arguments like "It doesn't say I can't do X so I can". So we have to assume that the rules mean what they say, to have a workable frame of reference that everyone can share.

Now, when we find rough edges of the games where things don't work, we can alter those rules to fit what we want. Those are house rules, and aren't shared between all gaming groups.

With regard to "who cares we all know how it's supposed to work", no, we didn't. Or else the OP wouldn't have started this thread. We all had the suspicion of how it worked. We suspected the intent. Owen made the intent known, but someone not in this thread or on the Paizo forums could read that same rules passage and have the same question in regard to the rules and reach the same conclusion I did, that with the way the rules are written it doesn't support dex to hit, and they wouldn't have the benefit of Owen's statement.

This is why it's important to:
1) Understand what the rules say
2) Understand the intent of the rules
3) If the intent doesn't match whats written, modify it to reflect that intention so there's less ambiguity.

Just because everyone in this thread agrees how it works doesn't mean anyone outside of this thread understands how it functions.


Is questioning the value of discussing the rules against the rules of the rules questions forum?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Claxon wrote:

Anyone can decide to interpret in any way they like, with varying levels of support for such interpretation. That presents a problem because you end up with arguments like "It doesn't say I can't do X so I can". So we have to assume that the rules mean what they say, to have a workable frame of reference that everyone can share.

Now, when we find rough edges of the games where things don't work, we can alter those rules to fit what we want. Those are house rules, and aren't shared between all gaming groups.

With regard to "who cares we all know how it's supposed to work", no, we didn't. Or else the OP wouldn't have started this thread. We all had the suspicion of how it worked. We suspected the intent. Owen made the intent known, but someone not in this thread or on the Paizo forums could read that same rules passage and have the same question in regard to the rules and reach the same conclusion I did, that with the way the rules are written it doesn't support dex to hit, and they wouldn't have the benefit of Owen's statement.

This is why it's important to:
1) Understand what the rules say
2) Understand the intent of the rules
3) If the intent doesn't match whats written, modify it to reflect that intention so there's less ambiguity.

Just because everyone in this thread agrees how it works doesn't mean anyone outside of this thread understands how it functions.

A) Provably we did all know how it worked in this thread. Even you said that you likely knew how it should work. Even if we were not 100% certain of the intent, we were 100% certain of what made sense to us, and that's really all that matters.

B) Someone NOT in this thread is axiomatically not going to be aware of this thread, and thus any consensus reached here would not have mattered to them anyway.
C) If they weren't aware of this thread and they were playing it "wrong", that still wouldn't be a bad thing, and you've still not been able to offer a cogent reason why it would be.
D) If they weren't aware of the thread, but later learned about it, and learned they have been playing wrong all along, that does not make their older games any "worse", nor their new games any "better". It might make them feel pressure to change how their game works to what they perceive is the "official way" to play, but I fail utterly to see how that can even be spun as a good thing.

Ergo, I still see no reason to ask this question (at least in the way that you are formulating it). The answer benefits no-one. The question benefits no-one. The entire intellectual project here is founded on assumptions that I think really need to be questioned - why should we CARE what the legalistic interpretation of the text says, particularly to the extent that we exclude examination of the intent our outcome of the rules in that discussion?

I suspect strongly it won't matter, but let me be clear - I am NOT saying that we shouldn't discuss the rules. I'm staying that it is wrong to assume that "discussing the rules" can properly mean only those discussions which seek to dissect the rules text in a highly legalistic manner, looking for linguistic aberrations and demanding they be clarified. I'm saying that the distinction between "house rules" and "real rules" is not a real distinction, but an arbitrary one, and nobody has been able to articulate an actual reason why that division SHOULD exist.

Again, this is a question of what OUGHT to be - I understand that there are separate forums for discussing house rules and advice. I'm asking why that division is good, and the closest I can imagine to an answer to that question (note that I have to imagine the answer, because nobody has actually bothered to give one so far) is "because some people want to just discuss the text of the rules, because it is important to them to do so" and I'm saying "Why is that important to them, and why is it good that we facilitate it - indeed why is that discussion good at all?"


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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
I'm saying that the distinction between "house rules" and "real rules" is not a real distinction, but an arbitrary one, and nobody has been able to articulate an actual reason why that division SHOULD exist.

Did you buy a Starfinder rulebook? Why bother, if real rules and house rules are indistinguishable? Just make up your own ruleset.

The rest of us buy the rulebooks because it's valuable to us for someone else to have put in the time and effort coming up with a ruleset that has hopefully been playtested to be fun to play, as well as letting us learn the ruleset once, then play under multiple GMs without needing to learn an entirely new ruleset every time. Standardization of rules has inherent value to any gamer.

That's why there's a distinction. In this specific context, I believe (correct me if I am wrong, Claxon), Claxon is making that very point - that the RAI Paizo came up with that was playtested to be fun is not being communicated clearly, and some people might interpret it differently, and have a less fun experience as a result. I don't think I saw Claxon bring it up, but the standardization issue also matters - it's intrinsically bad for the game if people learn one definition of Carnivore under one GM and another definition under another, despite both GMs honestly intending not to house-rule the spell.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
quindraco wrote:
MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
I'm saying that the distinction between "house rules" and "real rules" is not a real distinction, but an arbitrary one, and nobody has been able to articulate an actual reason why that division SHOULD exist.

Did you buy a Starfinder rulebook? Why bother, if real rules and house rules are indistinguishable? Just make up your own ruleset.

The rest of us buy the rulebooks because it's valuable to us for someone else to have put in the time and effort coming up with a ruleset that has hopefully been playtested to be fun to play, as well as letting us learn the ruleset once, then play under multiple GMs without needing to learn an entirely new ruleset every time. Standardization of rules has inherent value to any gamer.

That's why there's a distinction. In this specific context, I believe (correct me if I am wrong, Claxon), Claxon is making that very point - that the RAI Paizo came up with that was playtested to be fun is not being communicated clearly, and some people might interpret it differently, and have a less fun experience as a result. I don't think I saw Claxon bring it up, but the standardization issue also matters - it's intrinsically bad for the game if people learn one definition of Carnivore under one GM and another definition under another, despite both GMs honestly intending not to house-rule the spell.

I literally already answered every bit of this. I don't understand why you would think this is a persuasive response?


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MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
I literally already answered every bit of this. I don't understand why you would think this is a persuasive response?

You seem more interested in sneering at people rather than being persuaded anyways, so I'm not sure that's a real problem.

And you didn't address those issues so much as unilaterally declare those things don't matter. There's a difference and the latter isn't really persuasive or useful either.

What's this worst case scenario you're worried about that makes you so angry over people wanting more clarity in rules?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
swoosh wrote:
MrTsFloatinghead wrote:
I literally already answered every bit of this. I don't understand why you would think this is a persuasive response?

You seem more interested in sneering at people rather than being persuaded anyways, so I'm not sure that's a real problem.

And you didn't address those issues so much as unilaterally declare those things don't matter. There's a difference and the latter isn't really persuasive or useful either.

What's this worst case scenario you're worried about that makes you so angry over people wanting more clarity in rules?

First, if you interpret me as sneering at you or anyone else, that is your problem, not mine. I have been nothing but polite in this, and indeed if I seem salty now it's because exactly zero responses to what I have been saying have done me even the basic courtesy of bothering to actually try to process what I'm saying.

It's really not a hard position to understand. I am not stupid - I can see that people believe that consistency is desirable. What you seem to believe is me "unilaterally declaring that things don't matter" is actually a very simple point - there doesn't seem to be any justification for WHY people desire consistency beyond "It lets us be more consistent" (please read that in the same tone as "It's what plants crave") - How can that possibly be a good enough reason?! How can you claim that on balance consistency is good for the game when you can't even articulate what the good is beyond an unexamined sense that it feels "obvious" to you?

As for what harm I see? I mean, I've already been clear about that to, but in the vain hope that you or someone else will actually read it this time, here goes: I see that people have gotten so used to having the possibility of knowing the "right" interpretation of the rules that they can't even imagine the possibility of it being any other way. I see that over the past few decades, we as a community have forgotten that role playing (and gaming in general) survived and even thrived before widespread internet access allowed us all to get in touch with each other so that we could police each other's play. I see that like frogs in a heating pot we've allowed ourselves to become so accustomed to appealing to a game developer or rules team to settle arguments with a FAQ that we've been ignoring how corrosive that can be to the community, since it fosters an inherent sense of "right" and "wrong", and thus also "winners" and "losers". I see that the community becomes more and more focused on mechanics and optimization and play testing and balance, forgetting that other types of play are valid as well, and that not every character option needs to be mechanically equivalent to be great fun at the table. I see a community that increasingly demands unreasonable perfection in rules text from designers, and gets bent out of shape when those impossible demands for linguistic perfection aren't met (read some [later] Wittgenstein, for pity's sake!). I see that same community paradoxically rejecting the idea of there being value in discussing things like what WE feel the rules should be, preferring instead to abdicate that responsibility solely to the very same people we run down for not being good enough at writing rules the first time. I see people wasting Owen's time by making him clarify something that we really all agreed SHOULD be one way, and then telling him that clarification isn't good enough to slake the ever-thirsty demon of consistency. I see a community that is increasingly comfortable with closing voices and perspectives out of the "rules discussion" by unilaterally declaring that rules debates be only about what the rules ARE, instead of being open to talk about what the rules SHOULD BE. I see that we have allowed consistency unquestioned primacy in these discussions for so long that the mere act of questioning if that should be so is seen as either trolling or ignorant, since "everyone knows" that it's important for rules to be clear and consistent across the board, even though they can't really explain how or why we "know" that. I see people who are willing to put the hypothetical discomfort of a player who moves from one group to another and has to adapt to a potentially different rules interpretations above the real harm that is caused by trying to establish that only one of those two equally valid interpretations can be the "real one". I see all of this stuff happening, and it makes me sad to think that even the act of attempting to articulate why these things do not have to be so will be seen as an "attack", or as hypocritically trying to silence discussion to further my own (likely nefarious) agenda (or simply because I want people to feel bad about them selves, since I'm clearly such a sneering, superior jerk).

I see all this stuff, and to be clear, I don't think it's an existential threat to gaming or the community. I just think that it's highly likely that if we could move past the automatic assumption that "well, that's obviously just the way things are" and start questioning if these specific kinds of rules debates are actually doing us any good, we might end up with a healthier community. Thus, I try to explain this, knowing that it's difficult to resist the conceptual inertia here, and knowing that "challenging underlying and often unconscious assumptions" isn't necessarily in everyone's wheelhouse, I try to make my explanations as clear as possible, but also at least a little entertaining to read (though to be honest that has more with wanting them to be entertaining to write, but still, I try). Even if you disagree with what I am saying, I would hope that the thought I put into this and the care with which I try to respond clearly and completely would be worthy of respect, but what I get in return feels... unsatisfying to say the least.

Thankfully, I haven't yet gotten that most infuriating of responses of "You shouldn't be allowed to have this discussion here, because I don't understand how it's relevant and/or I don't desire having it here, so it's rude of you to have it", but I guess the thread is still young, so, fingers crossed I suppose. Still, what I have gotten is people using the neat rhetorical and psychological trick of impugning my intent for posting (ironic that the people that seem to think it's impossible to reasonably judge the intention of rules text have no problem judging the intention of MY writing...), and then using my supposed rudeness as a justification for essentially dismissing what I'm saying as overblown trolling or irrational nonsense. The beauty of this trick is that the more I try to clarify my position (including, of course, calling out this rhetorical technique for what it is), the more ammunition it gives for the idea that I'm just some crazed nut job who writes these long, convoluted posts to try to bully people who have the "audacity" to point out stuff that should be, like, obvious. I suppose I'm not really sure what else I can do at this point - unless anything significant changes in how this thread is going, I don't see any reason to continue to put in the effort. So, let the be either my final attempt to actually move the discussion forward, or else the final ravings into the dark of a trolling lunatic. Either way, it's nearly 2am here, I've spent literally the entire day trying to teach college students to think, and I'm exhausted (if you think reading these posts is tiring, try writing them sometime).

Shadow Lodge

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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Yes, you can choose to use your Dex on your attack roll with the bite attack from carnivorous.

Is there any reason not to say "the bite created by the carnivorous spell is a basic operative weapon" ? The convoluted language seems to be hinting at something but I can't for the life of me figure out WHAT. The "its sort of this thing but not quite that thing" seems to lead more to confusion than future proofing, so why does it keep cropping up?


Well....looking at how this thread is going...I'm out.

No point in arguing about the merits of rule clarity here.


@ MrTsFLoatinghead

You walked up to a group of strangers having a discussion about something. You told them that the conversation they were having had no value, and might just be meaningless. A few them gave half-hearted replies to you, the interrupting stranger. To those few, you informed them that their replies were not persuasive enough to convince you that the conversation they were having matters.

To suggest that these people owe you the amount of time and effort required to convince you that what they are doing matters, is ridiculous. All you are owed in this thread is ‘Unless you want to discuss adding the dexterity modifier to Carnivorous, please leave. You are welcome to start your own thread about whatever you like, and anyone who wishes to have that conversation will join you there.’

I don’t intend to be mean, I’m just trying to be as up front and clear as I can be. This isn’t the thread for the conversation you want to have.

Sorry I have nothing to add to the Carnivorous discussion, folks. And now, like Claxon, I’m out.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Pantshandshake wrote:

@ MrTsFLoatinghead

You walked up to a group of strangers having a discussion about something. You told them that the conversation they were having had no value, and might just be meaningless. A few them gave half-hearted replies to you, the interrupting stranger. To those few, you informed them that their replies were not persuasive enough to convince you that the conversation they were having matters.

To suggest that these people owe you the amount of time and effort required to convince you that what they are doing matters, is ridiculous. All you are owed in this thread is ‘Unless you want to discuss adding the dexterity modifier to Carnivorous, please leave. You are welcome to start your own thread about whatever you like, and anyone who wishes to have that conversation will join you there.’

I don’t intend to be mean, I’m just trying to be as up front and clear as I can be. This isn’t the thread for the conversation you want to have.

Sorry I have nothing to add to the Carnivorous discussion, folks. And now, like Claxon, I’m out.

Thank you for attempting to respond. I disagree with you, though -

First, this wasn't a private conversation, it was a public forum. The expectation of the posters was explicitly that other people would see/read/participate in the discussion of the rule - note the appeal to helping people better be consistent in their rulings. Given that, it cannot be reasonably assumed that I am being rude by participating in that discussion. The fact that I have participated in that discussion in a way that wasn't anticipated doesn't make me rude, it just means I have a different perspective. The reflexive instinct to discount that perspective as unreasonable or unwanted is a part of what I am talking about, and it boggles my mind that people don't seem to see why it is so problematic.

Second, I challenge you to tell me where would be a better place to have this discussion than a question that is an almost perfect microcosm of the issue that I am trying to raise? Again, just because it's not the rules perspective you expected or wanted doesn't mean it's not a valid rules perspective. The fact that it might make people uncomfortable doesn't make it inappropriate, and the fact that it is unpleasant to have to grope with questions of fundamental assumptions doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.

Third, I know that people are going to persist in attempt to cast me as saying that people should not be allowed to discuss the grammar and text of the rules, but I am 100% not saying that. What I am saying is that discussion should not be allowed to happen in isolation from a discussion about what the rules as intended likely are, or from what the rules likely should be to facilitate play.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Is there any reason not to say "the bite created by the carnivorous spell is a basic operative weapon" ?

My wild guess: if you say it that way, then the bite counts as a weapon, and people might argue that the bite can be sundered and weapon fusion seals can be added to it. Here's how I think it should have been written:

"The bite is a basic melee natural attack with the operative special weapon property."

Quote:
The convoluted language seems to be hinting at something but I can't for the life of me figure out WHAT. The "its sort of this thing but not quite that thing" seems to lead more to confusion than future proofing, so why does it keep cropping up?

Yep. Owen answered only half of the OP's question - the less interesting half.

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