So what are we doing about Dervish Dance?


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Thomas Hutchins wrote:


PFS requires
  • GMs to run the scenario as is
  • GMs to run things by the rules as they know them
  • GMs to not use "house rules" which ties in to the rule above.
  • GMs to make a call on things for stuff that they don't know the rules of at the time.

The PFS guide does not use the clause "as they know them." GMs have to follow the rules. Not their version of the rules, but the accepted rules, whether they know them as such or not. THIS is the cornerstone of fair play. It is not a loophole for GMs in pretend the rules are ambiguous so they can impose their own version. And we've seen GMs do this in many occasions.

3/5

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What defines the "accepted rules"?

I don't know two GMs who understand the body of rules identically, much less the entire community.

Silver Crusade 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online—PbP aka Redelia

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NN, why are you assuming that anyone who disagrees with you must know that you're right and be 'pretending the rules are ambiguous'? Rational people can sometimes read the same text and come to different conclusions. Realizing this is the necessary starting point to any helpful discussion of any interpretation of a text.


Nefreet wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
PFS requires we observe RAW,

I will go out on a limb and say that you don't know PFS very well.

Not only is your statement incorrect, but Campaign Leadership has come out multiple times stating that it is incorrect.

Also, you've taken my post out of context to subvert its meaning.

The full quote is

N N 959 wrote:
PFS requires we observe RAW, not RAI

You omitted the part which provides the framework of what I mean.

Please show me a single instance where Campaign Leadership has said we follow RAI, not RAW.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

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N N 959 wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
PDT Spoiler wrote:
The PDT don't really make FAQs for softcovers because the PDT don't make those books.

The PDT didn't write the rules that govern spiked shield, but they had no problem telling us that it doesn't work with Bashing, despite the fact that it did in 3.5. The PD also told us how a [i]Sleeve of Many Garments[/] worked, despite not writing it.

Dude, I don't know what you're talking about. All of those come PDT books, Core, ultimate equipment.

N N 959 wrote:
Quote:
So that means that the need to meet up with the softcover team AND the freelancer who wrote it and stuff to find out what was intended on writing and what was intended when released and then the PDT can take that info and come to a solution

And yet, when authors have posted that they wrote and intended for a rule to say X, the PDT has come along and said not X.

The PDT will certainly overrule author intent, so that kind of undermines any requirement that they need to understand it. Reading between the lines, the PDT simply doesn't want to be held accountable and be expected to answer questions on all the softcovers, it's simply too much work.

The PDT has told us what would be needed for a FAQ on a softcover, that's what they said. Sure they don't need to follow the intent of the author, but they want to know it because they want to preserve their intent if possible, sometime it was just poor wording that ended up with people having a view that is opposite and OP so the FAQ could clarify to make the correct intent clear by people.

But sure, you're welcome to think what you want of them. I don't really care much about your views. I'm just trying to be helpful by sharing the info I know that seems like you don't know.


Christine Bussman wrote:
NN, why are you assuming that anyone who disagrees with you must know that you're right and be 'pretending the rules are ambiguous'? Rational people can sometimes read the same text and come to different conclusions. Realizing this is the necessary starting point to any helpful discussion of any interpretation of a text.

That's not what's going on here. I haven't seen any actual argument that Spell Combat says you "carry" a weapon. From the get go, the debate is really about whether DD should work given that SG doesn't. That's not what I'm addressing. The big problem with this debate is people want to conflate issues and tie a Gordian Knot so that one unanswerable question prevents us from addressing an answerable question.

Arguing whether something should be allowed is different than determining whether it is actually allowed.

3/5

N N 959 wrote:

You omitted the part which provides the framework of what I mean.

Please show me a single instance where Campaign Leadership has said we follow RAI, not RAW.

In regard to eidolons /companions:

John Compton wrote:
First, let me lead off with a quick word regarding the rules-as-written (i.e. RAW) approach. RAW is often the principal means of understanding existing rules, and it makes a solid starting point when interpreting other rulings based on past precedent. However, it need not be the be-all and end-all because we're not operating in a vacuum.

RAW is a good basis for most things. But, context matters, too.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

N N 959 wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:


PFS requires
  • GMs to run the scenario as is
  • GMs to run things by the rules as they know them
  • GMs to not use "house rules" which ties in to the rule above.
  • GMs to make a call on things for stuff that they don't know the rules of at the time.

The PFS guide does not use the clause "as they know them." GMs have to follow the rules. Not their version of the rules, but the accepted rules, whether they know them as such or not. THIS is the cornerstone of fair play. It is not a loophole for GMs in pretend the rules are ambiguous so they can impose their own version. And we've seen GMs do this in many occasions.

No, it says that they must follow the FAQs and clarifications that they know of. Also it does give power to GMs to rule on unclear situations. And since there's no list that means as the GM understands.

If you feel a GM is "pretend the rules are ambiguous so they can impose their own version." then tell the VA or VC or VL about it and they will deal with it.


Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Dude, I don't know what you're talking about. All of those come PDT books, Core, ultimate equipment.

The rules for those items came verbatim from D&D 3.5. The PDT team did not write them. The point being that the PDT does not need to know the intent of the rules to issue FAQs. The PDT decides what the rules mean for Pathfinder, they don't decipher them.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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N N 959 wrote:
Tallow wrote:
The semantic argument between the mechanical difference between wield and carry is kinda absurd.

Regardless of your emotional reaction, what matters is whether the rules make a distinction, and they do.

Except the rules don't make a distinction. And the common definition of Wield requires you to Carry the item you are Wielding. You can't Wield it unless you carry/hold it in your hand (or for some weapons on whatever body part is appropriate--boulder helmets, boot knives, armor spikes, etc.).

This wasn't an emotional reaction. Just because you don't agree with it, doesn't make it emotional. Please stop using false logic to attack the credibility of the poster, rather than the information itself.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
N N 959 wrote:

The full quote is

N N 959 wrote:
PFS requires we observe RAW, not RAI

You omitted the part which provides the framework of what I mean.

Please show me a single instance where Campaign Leadership has said we follow RAI, not RAW.

I left out that section of your post because I do not accept the term "rules as written".

There is no such thing as 'RAW':
There is no such thing as "Rules as Written". That's a fairly recent internet philosophy which really means "I believe my interpretation is correct, yours is wrong, and you should listen to me".

Reading is an interpretive activity. Two people can read the same passage and come to two entirely different conclusions. That alone should be strong enough evidence to show that "RAW" is a fallacy.

To lessen that chance of occurring, you not only need more text (which is difficult when you have a limited word count), but you need to have a firm grasp of the system itself and all its nuances and implied understandings (which is what GMs are for).

The first can be alleviated through FAQs and clarifications. Imagine how thick the Core Rulebook would be if it included the entire FAQ. The second can be alleviated by not stubbornly limiting your understanding to a narrow viewpoint using limited resources.


Given that there is no such thing as "RAW", and understanding that reading is an interpretive activity, Campaign Leadership would understandably never use what you call "RAW" in any of their rulings.

(and bringing up rules-as-intended would be a Red Herring fallacy)


GM OfAnything wrote:
RAW is a good basis for most things. But, context matters, too.

Context absolutely matters. I said so in my second post.

Scarab Sages 5/5

N N 959 wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:


The PDT has actually said that for softcover books, books that they don't normally FAQ, that they WANT the PFS team to make a campaign clarification and that stuff that gets a CC MIGHT actually gets a FAQ from the PDT. Cause that means that the PFS team went and got all the info for the PDT to be able to look at to make their FAQ.

So yeah, they SHOULD(can) be clarifying rules for softcovers.

Thank you for the info, if accurate. I would think it goes without saying that if the PDT says they don't FAQ certain publications, PFS should do so if necessary. Is either Dervish Dance or the Magus in a softcover?

This is 100% accurate. The FAQ for the ISWG was a huge surprise when it happened. And its not a surprise at all that it hasn't been FAQ'd since.

Consider that absolutely zero soft-cover books have been FAQ'd in the 10 years that Pathfinder has been published.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
But Dervish Dance, unlike 2WF doesn't care about distributed effort, it cares about what's in your hands at the moment you're making an attack.

I do not believe that this is the case. Raw doesn't explicitly parse that way, it opens up rules lawyery exploits, and very similar language has been clarified to explicitly NOT work that way. There is every reason to conclude this is not the case and no reason to conclude that it is the case.

The only thing RAW DD explicitly says is that you must not be carrying weapons in the off-hand, in the present tense. Nothing about whether you did earlier in the round or whether you might later in the round. Which is entirely different from 2WF penalties, which explicitly talk about applying throughout the whole action.

Rules lawyery exploits may or may not exist, but they're not an argument for why something does or doesn't work a certain way. They're an argument for why a rule shouldn't be a certain way, but not whether it is.

And the *Grace feats do not have similar language at all. They use different words and different sentences. You think that for balance or design consistency reasons that they should be similar, but they're not.

---

The *Grace feats were written (and re-written!) in an era when the magus was already out there for years, and to assist Swashbuckler builds. They really do have this whole fencing theme, where they don't want you to be doing anything with the other hand.

Dervish Dance on the other hand was written a year before the magus with the flavor of dervishes in mind; people who whirl and dance around and only strike with one hand. When asked about it, developers answered that they didn't want people using it together with weaponlike spells like Flame Blade, but that using it with unarmed strikes, claws or even touch spells that don't manifest a weapon (like Shocking Grasp) was fine. As long as you didn't try to get tricky with can't-believe-it's-not-a-weapon spells.

Then the magus comes along which is a class that's all about making all your attacks with one hand. It clearly moves touch spells to the weapon hand so by the time you're making the attack, the spell isn't in the off-hand anymore but on the weapon-hand. So the magus is fulfilling the intent of Dervish Dance neatly. He's not trying to attack with both hands, all attacks are rolled with the main hand.

---

In a way, the decision to limit the *Grace feats is the big intent-breaker. These feats were meant to boost one-handed weapon fighting and that's exactly what magi do. Swashbucklers were intended to use their off-hand (with bucklers, swordmasters' flair and other chicanery) and a heap of exceptions had to be written to keep all that going. Because a decision was made that dex to damage should not come easily, not because of thematic reasons but for a balance reason.

Silver Crusade 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online—PbP aka Redelia

N N 959 wrote:
Christine Bussman wrote:
NN, why are you assuming that anyone who disagrees with you must know that you're right and be 'pretending the rules are ambiguous'? Rational people can sometimes read the same text and come to different conclusions. Realizing this is the necessary starting point to any helpful discussion of any interpretation of a text.

That's not what's going on here. I haven't seen any actual argument that Spell Combat says you "carry" a weapon. From the get go, the debate is really about whether DD should work given that SG doesn't. That's not what I'm addressing. The big problem with this debate is people want to conflate issues and tie a Gordian Knot so that one unanswerable question prevents us from addressing an answerable question.

Arguing whether something should be allowed is different than determining whether it is actually allowed.

And Nefreet and Big Norse Wolf have both given their train of thought that says, not that it should not work, but that it _does not work_. And they are not discussing 'carry' because that is not necessary for their argument. And so, because they are not arguing with you on the grounds you prefer, you are refusing to acknowledge they even are making an argument.


Nefreet wrote:


Given that there is no such thing as "RAW", and understanding that reading is an interpretive activity, Campaign Leadership would understandably never use what you call "RAW" in any of their rulings.
PFS Guide, p. 11 wrote:
Scenarios are meant to be run as written, with no addition or subtraction to the number of monsters (unless indicated in the scenario), or changes to armor, feats, items, skills, spells, statistics, traits, or weapon.

Scarab Sages 5/5

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N N 959 wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:


PFS requires
  • GMs to run the scenario as is
  • GMs to run things by the rules as they know them
  • GMs to not use "house rules" which ties in to the rule above.
  • GMs to make a call on things for stuff that they don't know the rules of at the time.

The PFS guide does not use the clause "as they know them." GMs have to follow the rules. Not their version of the rules, but the accepted rules, whether they know them as such or not. THIS is the cornerstone of fair play. It is not a loophole for GMs in pretend the rules are ambiguous so they can impose their own version. And we've seen GMs do this in many occasions.

You do realize that you are not the expert on what is the exact RAW or not, right?

If a GM honestly feels there is gray area, then they are certainly allowed to make a ruling on it. If they don't know which interpretation is correct, they HAVE to make a ruling one way or another.

This doesn't make them disingenuous.

Are there some cases where GMs make disingenuous rulings to nerf classes or builds they don't like? Yes.

I don't believe either side of the argument int his thread is doing that.

Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

N N 959 wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
Dude, I don't know what you're talking about. All of those come PDT books, Core, ultimate equipment.
The rules for those items came verbatim from D&D 3.5. The PDT team did not write them. The point being that the PDT does not need to know the intent of the rules to issue FAQs. The PDT decides what the rules mean for Pathfinder, they don't decipher them.

I don't know what you think you know. But in Pathfinder, the game we're talking about, they are in PDT books. It's their intent that matters since that's the book for Pathfinder. Now a softcover for Pathfinder is a pathfinder rules source that wasn't written by the PDT.


Christine Bussman wrote:


And Nefreet and Big Norse Wolf have both given their train of thought that says, not that it should not work, but that it _does not work_. And they are not discussing 'carry' because that is not necessary for their argument. And so, because they are not arguing with you on the grounds you prefer, you are refusing to acknowledge they even are making an argument.

When the rule in question literally used the work "carry" and someone says you can't carry something in the off hand, and provides no contextual evidence to support that, it's not a valid argument. This is not me being dismissive. It's like someone arguing wheels can't have tires when the instructions for the wheel says to make sure your tire is properly inflated.

There are valid arguments about whether it should or should not work. I've got no interest in debating that, as it doesn't really matter to me.


Thomas Hutchins wrote:
I don't know what you think you know. But in Pathfinder, the game we're talking about, they are in PDT books. It's their intent that matters since that's the book for Pathfinder. Now a softcover for Pathfinder is a pathfinder rules source that wasn't written by the PDT.

lol...really? The PDT quote you gave, the PDT says the issue with Softcover is that they have to go talk to the authors. Well....the vast majority of rules in Core are taken verbatim from D&D 3.5, the PDT didn't write them, they published them. Big difference. The PDT doesn't claim that they can't FAQ the Core rules because they don't have access to the authors do they? Which suggests that access to the author's intent isn't really the obstacle for FAQing Softcovers.

Scarab Sages 5/5

N N 959 wrote:
Nefreet wrote:


Given that there is no such thing as "RAW", and understanding that reading is an interpretive activity, Campaign Leadership would understandably never use what you call "RAW" in any of their rulings.
PFS Guide, p. 11 wrote:
Scenarios are meant to be run as written, with no addition or subtraction to the number of monsters (unless indicated in the scenario), or changes to armor, feats, items, skills, spells, statistics, traits, or weapon.

Just like Level, RAW has multiple meanings based on the context.

When it comes to scenarios, they are to be RAW, with the exception of Table Variation, which allows for a GM to use descriptive information in the text of the adventure to add mechanics that aren't exactly spelled out in an adventure.

Examples would include:

  • It says the light is low in the room, but doesn't list whether its dim or not. A GM can decide its dim light in the room.
  • Text says that the ground is muddy and slick, but doesn't list mechanics for what this means. A GM can decide what it means from the poles of "no extra effect" through "difficult terrain and a penalty to acrobatics check" to "slippery enough that it works like grease."
  • The mechanics of stairs actually say they default to standard terrain unless the GM determines they are steep enough to count as difficult terrain. As most stairs in adventures don't list their grade of ascent and the rules don't determine when a grade becomes difficult terrain, a GM is well within their rights to determine, arbitrarily, if stairs are difficult terrain. I know many GMs, including myself, that determine all stairs are difficult terrain.

So yes, GMs must run scenarios as written. But this isn't really Rules As Written, but rather Run As Written.

That aside. RAW for a scenario is not the same as RAW for the complete rules set even when you made the R in the acronym Rules rather than Run.

Grand Lodge

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Nefreet, your philosophy degree is showing again ;)

3/5

N N 959 wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
I don't know what you think you know. But in Pathfinder, the game we're talking about, they are in PDT books. It's their intent that matters since that's the book for Pathfinder. Now a softcover for Pathfinder is a pathfinder rules source that wasn't written by the PDT.
lol...really? The PDT quote you gave, the PDT says the issue with Softcover is that they have to go talk to the authors. Well....the vast majority of rules in Core are taken verbatim from D&D 3.5, the PDT didn't write them, they published them. Big difference. The PDT doesn't claim that they can't FAQ the Core rules because they don't have access to the authors do they? Which suggests that access to the author's intent isn't really the obstacle for FAQing Softcovers.

The PDT adopted the legacy rules at their own. Is that difficult to understand?


Tallow wrote:


So yes, GMs must run scenarios as written. But this isn't really Rules As Written, but rather Run As Written.

Hilarious.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Nefreet, your philosophy degree is showing again ;)

Thank you! ^_^

It's one of my better traits.

3/5

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N N 959 wrote:
If PDT assumes the responsibility for material covering the Magus and Dervish Dance, then they should resolve this, not PFS.

Thanks for making this easy. The PDT didn't assume sole responsibility for the campaign line, so this issue is entirely appropriate for a PFS clarification.

Off Topic:
You are very cavalier about what assuming responsibility for a complex body of rules entails. The PDT doesn't do it lightly, and for good reason.


Tallow wrote:
Except the rules don't make a distinction. And the common definition of Wield requires you to Carry the item you are Wielding.

To use your own language, you're subscribing to a fallacy that because A is a subset of B. Then A=B.

Quote:
You can't Wield it unless you carry/hold it in your hand (or for some weapons on whatever body part is appropriate--boulder helmets, boot knives, armor spikes, etc.).

That's right. But we've never seen the rules use "wield" in the context of "a spell that is being cast." From the context of the word usage in the rules, wield is not applied to spells being cast. "a spell being cast" is what Spell Combat says is going on in the off hand.

So even if you can argue that you cannot wield without carrying, you haven't shown that wield is ever used in the context of describing "a spell being cast." You can certainly be "armed" with a spell, but being armed doesn't preclude DD.

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
When asked about it, developers answered that they didn't want people using it together with weaponlike spells like Flame Blade, but that using it with unarmed strikes, claws or even touch spells that don't manifest a weapon (like Shocking Grasp) was fine.

If Lau's account is accurate, it definitely answers the question. I'm sorry, but you simply can't go to where you're trying to go without distorting the language or taking it out of context. If Lau's account isn't accurate, or, if you can show me the use of wield when a spell is being cast then that would change my position.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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Out of curiosity, why are we still arguing about this? We know it is a grey area. Until a campaign clarification comes out, GMs can rule on this for themselves. Since we’re clearly not going to settle on an answer, why are we still here?

Okay, that was my existential moment.

Now I am off to shovel my walk, since that is an activity in which I will be able to see real progress today.

Hmm


GM OfAnything wrote:
You are very cavalier about what assuming responsibility for a complex body of rules entails.

That's not even remotely accurate. The PDT says whatever is expedient for them at the time. If Paizo decides it behooves Paizo for the PDT to issue FAQs on Softcovers, they'll do it.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:
Out of curiosity, why are we still arguing about this?

I imagine the answer to that question is, "There are people with Dervish Dance builds that don't currently feel comfortable with GMs ruling against them, and since a clarification may not come for some time (if ever), their only recourse is to defend their character build".

I could be wrong.

Also, comment count and the discussion of viewpoints somewhat helps to show that a topic is indeed "frequently asked". Rarely are questions with little debate ever FAQ'd.


Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Out of curiosity, why are we still arguing about this? We know it is a grey area. Until a campaign clarification comes out, GMs can rule on this for themselves. Since we’re clearly not going to settle on an answer, why are we still here?

Okay, that was my existential moment.

Now I am off to shovel my walk, since that is an activity in which I will be able to see real progress today.

Hmm

We now are not having an argument over if it works or not but instead it has become if PFS has the authority to rule on it and if they should.


Nefreet wrote:
I imagine the answer to that question is, "There are people with Dervish Dance builds that don't currently feel comfortable with GMs ruling against them, and since a clarification may not come for some time (if ever), their only recourse is to defend their character build".

I agree. The attraction of PFS, for me, is that I can sit down and have a firm grasp on how my character and the game rules work.

Whether DD works or does not work with Spell Combat is not something that should be left to Table Variation as I understand the philosophy of PFS.

Quote:
Also, comment count and the discussion of viewpoints somewhat helps to show that a topic is indeed "frequently asked". Rarely are questions with little debate ever FAQ'd.

Agreed. Continued discussion keeps the issue visible. Squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that.

I have no issue with people continuing to debate this and hope that the debate continues until it is clarified. I don't have a Magus or anyone with Dancing Dervish, but as a GM, I don't want to have to debate this with a player.

3/5

N N 959 wrote:
Whether DD works or does not work with Spell Combat is not something that should be left to Table Variation as I understand the philosophy of PFS.

Oh, I agree with your sentimentality about what should be. Unfortunately, we must deal with how things are.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

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GM OfAnything wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Whether DD works or does not work with Spell Combat is not something that should be left to Table Variation as I understand the philosophy of PFS.
Oh, I agree with your sentimentality about what should be. Unfortunately, we must deal with how things are.

I thought that was exactly what we were trying to do with this thread?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Designer

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Thomas Hutchins wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
PDT Spoiler wrote:
The PDT don't really make FAQs for softcovers because the PDT don't make those books.

The PDT didn't write the rules that govern spiked shield, but they had no problem telling us that it doesn't work with Bashing, despite the fact that it did in 3.5. The PD also told us how a [i]Sleeve of Many Garments[/] worked, despite not writing it.

Dude, I don't know what you're talking about. All of those come PDT books, Core, ultimate equipment.

N N 959 wrote:
Quote:
So that means that the need to meet up with the softcover team AND the freelancer who wrote it and stuff to find out what was intended on writing and what was intended when released and then the PDT can take that info and come to a solution

And yet, when authors have posted that they wrote and intended for a rule to say X, the PDT has come along and said not X.

The PDT will certainly overrule author intent, so that kind of undermines any requirement that they need to understand it. Reading between the lines, the PDT simply doesn't want to be held accountable and be expected to answer questions on all the softcovers, it's simply too much work.

The PDT has told us what would be needed for a FAQ on a softcover, that's what they said. Sure they don't need to follow the intent of the author, but they want to know it because they want to preserve their intent if possible, sometime it was just poor wording that ended up with people having a view that is opposite and OP so the FAQ could clarify to make the correct intent clear by people.

Hey everybody. Just want to comment here quickly because there's been some inaccuracies as to the process, even though many of you have done a great job at relaying the PDT's stance.

I want to separate something out here about process that I think has led to the greatest confusion:

For our current process, each book has many people who work on it:

Process:
1) Someone outlines the book, usually after several brainstorm meetings. Ideally this is someone who is later going to work on developing the book, though not always.

2) The outline is divided among usually many talented freelancers, though sometimes only a few (like Amber Scott and I freelanced all of Aquatic Adventures). These are the "authors." They sometimes work at Paizo incidentally, but mostly they don't, and either way, this isn't done during work hours. They submit raw text for the next steps of the process.

Stage 2 Exception: Some mission critical components in the Pathfinder RPG line are designed in house during work hours by the Pathfinder Design Team.

3) One or more talented developers get to work on that initial text, shaping it up into an amazing final product during the development process; in only the Pathfinder RPG line, the Pathfinder Design Team performs this step rather than developers most of the time, but sometimes you'll see Paizo rockstars like James Jacobs or John Compton.

4) Our meticulous editing team comes through in multiple stages to find the ambiguous wording choices, confusing language usage, and more, ensuring that the final result is easier to read.

5) The art team lays out the product and makes it look gorgeous, after which various folks work together to make sure the final product is copyfit (fits on the pages).

OK, so why does this process matter to this conversation? It matters because as soon as a product hits the beginning of stage 3 of the process, the freelance author is no longer the authority over the rules text, the developer is (for Pathfinder RPG products, the PDT fills this role). The developer might significantly change what she received in the turnover, but in a case that might be more challenging for the author, the wording might barely change or not change at all, but the developer's intent is different. Here's an example of this.

Example:
For whatever reason, Fred the freelancer decides to write a super powerful feat that will make whoever takes it extremely strong against all major enemies, so he starts with

Combat Genius
You gain a +2 bonus on all attack rolls and saving throws against all humans, undead, magical beasts, and outsiders.

But then the freelancer plays a scenario where his character dies to a dragon member of the Aspis Consortium, so he decides to specifically add only dragons who are members the Aspis Consortium to that list (but all the other creatures whether or not they are members), winding up with a feat saying.

Combat Genius
You gain a +2 bonus on all attack rolls and saving throws against all humans, undead, magical beasts, outsiders, and dragons who are members of the Aspis Consortium.

The developer receives the feat and reads it as +2 against Aspis only, across all those creature types, and decides the feat's power level is OK based on that reading, leaving the wording as is. Now both the developer and the freelancer have a contradictory reading on the same text. But which one counts?

The developer's intent is what matters; the freelancer cedes ownership upon submission. Now this is complicated by freelancers posting their intent as "the author", a term that, while correct, in the absence of a thorough look into our process is certain to lead most people who read it to misunderstand what that entails (as seen in the chain of posts I quoted above). In many ways, while it isn't inaccurate, it might be much less confusing if freelancers were to avoid doing this.

As to the question of the various lines of products and FAQs, there's an added wrinkle. The PDT are the gatekeepers for the ruleset as a whole. For an RPG line product that the PDT also developed, the chain of custody for rules adjudication is clear and simple: The PDT are the arbiters of the rule in question, and of the rule set as a whole, and so the PDT hashes out answer. But for any other book, there's more of a stumbling block: The PDT doesn't have custody over the specific rule in question, so it would be inappropriate to make a decision on that rule, but any decision can have rippling implications for the ruleset as a whole, so what that means is that both the design team and the development team have to get involved, and it becomes even more complicated to balance. Nonetheless, it is not accurate to say that there have never been FAQs for the other lines, it is simply very rare as they have to rise high enough in the FAQ queue for the more involved process to trigger, but due to their lower circulation among players, they usually don't. This is what Thomas means about "The PDT has told us what would be needed" in the post I quoted.


Mark, thanks for posting, lucidity on how things work is always appreciated.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Lau Bannenberg wrote:


The only thing RAW DD explicitly says is that you must not be carrying weapons in the off-hand, in the present tense.

English is not so precise that it distinguishes between immediate now and general now.

If you go to see black panther (and you should), midway through the movie head to the bathroom (hey, i'm old and those sodas are huge) and someone asks if you are here watching black panther the snarky but technically correct answer is "no, I'm watching this graffiti on the wall" but it is also correct to answer "Eyup" even though you are not at that precise moment in time watching the screen, its still your overall activity from 6 to 8.

Once you could answer either way correctly it becomes very clear which one is meant.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Seeing it tonight!

I will be seeing it tonight?

I'll also probably need to use the bathroom half... Nevermind.


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N N 959 wrote:


That's not what's going on here. I haven't seen any actual argument that Spell Combat says you "carry" a weapon. From the get go, the debate is really about whether DD should work given that SG doesn't. That's not what I'm addressing. The big problem with this debate is people want to conflate issues and tie a Gordian Knot so that one unanswerable question prevents us from addressing an answerable question.

Arguing whether something should be allowed is different than determining whether it is actually allowed.

Whereas: Two Weapon Fighting requires you wield a second weapon in your off hand; and

Whereas: Spell Combat functions like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast.
Ergo: casting a spell is wielding a weapon in the off-hand when using Spell Combat.

That is the crux of it right there (also in the first post). For the details and nuances additional to that please see the previous 450+ posts. :)

EDIT: Yes I did have to escape to the bathroom. And yes you should see Black Panther.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

A full round action is just that, a full round. If it is taken (and not held back after the first attack), then it is all in with that full round action.

It matters not if the off hand is free for a moment within the full round, it was used as a part of the full round action to cast the spell. The only thing that is being discussed right now is if that would be enough to disallow Dervish Dance while the character is using Spell Combat.

edit... Curaigh, you ninja'd me, I was responding to a couple posts back.

Yes, everyone needs to see Black Panther.

4/5

Hillis Mallory III wrote:

A full round action is just that, a full round. If it is taken (and not held back after the first attack), then it is all in with that full round action.

It matters not if the off hand is free for a moment within the full round, it was used as a part of the full round action to cast the spell. The only thing that is being discussed right now is if that would be enough to disallow Dervish Dance while the character is using Spell Combat.

edit... Curaigh, you ninja'd me, I was responding to a couple posts back.

Yes, everyone needs to see Black Panther.

And I assume that after drinking a movie theater Coke, using the restroom is a full round action.


Curaigh wrote:
N N 959 wrote:


That's not what's going on here. I haven't seen any actual argument that Spell Combat says you "carry" a weapon. From the get go, the debate is really about whether DD should work given that SG doesn't. That's not what I'm addressing. The big problem with this debate is people want to conflate issues and tie a Gordian Knot so that one unanswerable question prevents us from addressing an answerable question.

Arguing whether something should be allowed is different than determining whether it is actually allowed.

Whereas: Two Weapon Fighting requires you wield a second weapon in your off hand; and

Whereas: Spell Combat functions like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast.
Ergo: casting a spell is wielding a weapon in the off-hand when using Spell Combat.

That is the crux of it right there (also in the first post). For the details and nuances additional to that please see the previous 450+ posts. :)

First off, thank your for attempting to convey what some see as a valid argument. Second, thank you for doing so without being snarky.

Yes, this line of reasoning was essentially established by BNW in the very first post. At first I bought into it and even agreed with it. Lau's posts clarified the issue for me.

Rather than continuing to dissect the issues with that line of reasoning, (which, imo, would really not accomplish anything productive) I am going to point out that we are all on the same page of wanting this to be clarified by someone with the authority to clarify it. Regardless of why, if GMs in PFS are not all using the same rule, it needs to be addressed. This absolutely should not be subject to table variation.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Out of curiosity, why are we still arguing about this? We know it is a grey area. Until a campaign clarification comes out, GMs can rule on this for themselves. Since we’re clearly not going to settle on an answer, why are we still here?

Okay, that was my existential moment.

Now I am off to shovel my walk, since that is an activity in which I will be able to see real progress today.

Hmm

Because the previous couple of times when the thread died down, a few days later someone came along a few days later, replied to a post in the middle of the thread, and it came back to life.

Also, because nobody likes it when "the other side" is claiming victory because you haven't posted a reply yet.

By now we've drawn the lines of disagreement pretty thoroughly. It is absolutely something on which clarification would be welcome. And if we can all abstain from claiming victory because we happen to have the last word as of a few seconds ago (until the next post...), then we could just sit back and hope for clarification to happen.

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