clarification on the ring of fangs


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So it gives you sharp teeth that you can bite people with. but it also gives you the option to unarmed attacks lethal piercing damage. so that means you're Fists, right? And if your higher then third lvl you do double your level in damage. At level 5 that would be 10 dmg? Can I then also add my strength model to that dmg? Also does you fist dmg jump 1d3 to 1d4 since it's now lethal?

Go to [https://www.aonsrd.com/MagicItems.aspx?ItemName=Ring%20of%20Fangs&Family=None]Ring of Fangs[/url].


I don't think it gives you a damage dice increase, but everything else is still accurate as far as I'm aware. They have not changed the double weapon specialization damage.

Which makes it one of the best melee options available.


Your unarmed attacks are lethal and piercing because they are a bite. Starfimder unarmed strikes and natural weapons are kinda the same thing.If you want to re flavor that as punching I don t see the harm in it, but it's not going to interact with every unarmed strike option.

Yeah at level 5 it s plus 10. It's a really good weapon but remember baring another ability the strikes are still archaic and will do 5 less damage against anyone in high tech armor


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I'm sure I remember that there are old threads of people arguing about this that you could find with the forum search function, but I don't have links on hand right now, so I'll start with the parts that are undisputed.

Yes, 5x2 is 10 points of damage from specialization.

Yes, you still add Strength.

No, your damage die does not change.

Now, regarding it being your fists, this is where arguments come in. A lot of people read this item as "the teeth are just flavor text" and say yes, decoupling the item description from the rules. I think that reading things in that way is a terrible approach.

That being said, there is no huge harm in allowing players to adjust flavor a bit, and allow it to be used with other unarmed strikes, until it gets combined with other things.

That's how I ended up starting an argument that went in big circles a while back about RoF being combined with tactical shields, which would be allowed by simply reading it as "any unarmed strike", and which no one should ever alliw, because RoF is already too strong for its price without allowing a flavor change to be translated into a power upgrade.


But it says "You can choose to have your unarmed attacks deal lethal piercing damage". But it also gives you a bite attack. At least that's how I am currently reading it.


I am looking hard at this item because all current weapons I am using do a d6+2 dmg which is 3-8 dmg. I tend to roll on the low end as well for damage. And as a quasi frontliner mysticism find my dmg output wanting. Getting this ring would be a boon. Since my group is currently in the middle of this part of the adventure path.


ghostunderasheet wrote:
But it says "You can choose to have your unarmed attacks deal lethal piercing damage". But it also gives you a bite attack. At least that's how I am currently reading it.

And on an item called a ring of fangs you re not seeing any connection there... at all?


ghostunderasheet wrote:
But it says "You can choose to have your unarmed attacks deal lethal piercing damage". But it also gives you a bite attack. At least that's how I am currently reading it.

...well, how much damage does the bite attack do? If the bite attack is separate from the unarmed lethal piercing damage, then what rules govern it?


BigNorseWolf wrote:


And on an item called a ring of fangs you re not seeing any connection there... at all?

I wouldn't use a vague name like that for determination. I assumed it was a ring made out of the fangs of various space monsters. Until I read the fluff.


Zwordsman wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


And on an item called a ring of fangs you re not seeing any connection there... at all?
I wouldn't use a vague name like that for determination. I assumed it was a ring made out of the fangs of various space monsters. Until I read the fluff.

You do realize that "fluff" is still raw right?


Dracomicron wrote:
ghostunderasheet wrote:
But it says "You can choose to have your unarmed attacks deal lethal piercing damage". But it also gives you a bite attack. At least that's how I am currently reading it.
...well, how much damage does the bite attack do? If the bite attack is separate from the unarmed lethal piercing damage, then what rules govern it?

1d3 (unless you have improved unarmed strike, which I'm 99% sure works with natural attacks) Its not seperate from the unarmed lethal piercing damage it IS the 1d3 unarmed piercing damage.


Honestly, does it make much difference if it's a bite rather than a fist?

Honestly a bite would be better since it doesn't "use up" a hand slot.

Barring abilities that specifically work with punches/fists vs general unarmed strikes I can't see it being a determent.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
ghostunderasheet wrote:
But it says "You can choose to have your unarmed attacks deal lethal piercing damage". But it also gives you a bite attack. At least that's how I am currently reading it.
...well, how much damage does the bite attack do? If the bite attack is separate from the unarmed lethal piercing damage, then what rules govern it?
1d3 (unless you have improved unarmed strike, which I'm 99% sure works with natural attacks) Its not seperate from the unarmed lethal piercing damage it IS the 1d3 unarmed piercing damage.

Yes, I know this. My point was that ghostunderasheet seemed to think that they were different, and I was trying to work out the rationale, when the rules text is very clear.

Claxon wrote:

Honestly, does it make much difference if it's a bite rather than a fist?

Honestly a bite would be better since it doesn't "use up" a hand slot.

Barring abilities that specifically work with punches/fists vs general unarmed strikes I can't see it being a determent.

You still need a hand free to make an unarmed bite attack unless you have Improved Unarmed Strike. I know some folks disagree (and I would rather it not be the case), but it's rules as written. I'd welcome some errata on it.


That is a fair point, they did make it so you can't use natural attacks/unarmed strikes without a free hand unless you have IUS.

This is a change from PF that I hadn't noticed before.

In any event, this thread really makes me want to build a armor storm soldier with a ring of fangs using unarmed strikes which benefit from a free damage dice increase, double weapon specialization damage, etc.


But Hammer Fist specifies that it acts like you were using a battleglove, so wouldn’t anything having to do with unarmed/natural weapons not stack there?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

That's correct. You would use Ring of Fangs OR Hammerfist on an attack, not both.


Claxon wrote:

That is a fair point, they did make it so you can't use natural attacks/unarmed strikes without a free hand unless you have IUS.

They didn't. People are making that argument. Not the same thing.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Claxon wrote:

That is a fair point, they did make it so you can't use natural attacks/unarmed strikes without a free hand unless you have IUS.

They didn't. People are making that argument. Not the same thing.

It is RAW, though. Point out where it says that you don't need a hand free when making a Natural Weapons attack.

Common sense does not apply, I want to see the actual rule.


Dracomicron wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Claxon wrote:

That is a fair point, they did make it so you can't use natural attacks/unarmed strikes without a free hand unless you have IUS.

They didn't. People are making that argument. Not the same thing.

It is RAW, though. Point out where it says that you don't need a hand free when making a Natural Weapons attack.

Common sense does not apply, I want to see the actual rule.

Point out where it says that you can't make a natural weapon attack while holding things in your hands. I want to see the actual rule, not something that people say says that.

Passing a burden of proof entirely to the other side is not legitimate or productive.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


You do realize that "fluff" is still raw right?

You do realize I never said it wasn't? I also referenced that the Fluff corrected and gave context to the title.

The title is vague and needs the context of the fluff.
Title alone wasn't useful to the discussion without the inclusion of the fluff and crunch together.

I'm in the "its a bite and not anything else" school of thought.


Normal: You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks,
and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.

Vesk are always considered armed.

A vesk doesn't need a free hand to make an unarmed attack because they're not making an unarmed attack. They're armed. If you think being "considered armed" is different than being armed in this instance... how?


All I saw was it gives you a bite attack and allows you to choose to make your unarmed attack lethal with stabby damage. And since I am above third level I would get the stacking double your level damage. As for the d3 or d4 I was just checking. My total recall is a 9 on instant memorization. And really 13-15 damage is so much better then 3-8 damage i am currently dishing out at level 5.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Normal: You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.

Vesk are always considered armed.

A vesk doesn't need a free hand to make an unarmed attack because they're not making an unarmed attack. They're armed. If you think being "considered armed" is different than being armed in this instance... how?

If vesk are "considered armed" as you say, then their natural attacks shouldn't work with Improved Unarmed Strike, because it's for (wait for it) unarmed attacks.

We know that Natural Weapons DO work with IUS, so therefore the "always armed" bit is mostly fluff.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
ghostunderasheet wrote:
All I saw was it gives you a bite attack and allows you to choose to make your unarmed attack lethal with stabby damage. And since I am above third level I would get the stacking double your level damage. As for the d3 or d4 I was just checking. My total recall is a 9 on instant memorization. And really 13-15 damage is so much better then 3-8 damage i am currently dishing out at level 5.

Let me see if I can clear up what the argument is here. When I was saying that people read it in two different ways, at the beginning, what I meant was:

Reading 1: This item has two effects. Effect one: you gain a bite attack, with no further explanation. Effect two: you can make unarmed attacks do piercing lethal damage with 2x level specialization.

Reading 2: This item has one effect. You gain a bite attack. The following sentence explains that when using your bite attack, you make an unarmed strike that deals lethal damage with 2 level specialization.

Reading 1 is very common. Reading 2 makes more sense.

The following debate about needing hands to make an unarmed strike is because the Improved Unarmed Strike feat states that normally a free hand is needed to make an unarmed strike. No other rule that I have seen mentions needing hands or not.

So BNW says that the vesk being always considered armed removes that requirement. Draconomicon disagrees. The vesk-specific part of this is separate from the effects of the ring, but related, because if the text of IUS establishes a hand being needed for all unarmed strikes without IUS, and bite is a variant unarmed strike, then a hand would be required.

Does that clear the argument up?


If you have knives for finger tips then you would always be armed. A cat is not always armed because they can retract their claws. Dogs bare their fangs when they are about to attack. Pretty sure the vesk can not retract their claws and thick club like tail and so they are always armed with their natural attacks. Fluff maybe fluff but how is a vesk guna put their natural weapons away. And they are natural unarmed attack because they do not have to be drawn. Retracted or bared ahead of time. So they are always a threat in a hostile situation. You can disarm a soldier but you can't really disarm a vesk unless your willing to cut off their means of attack. And if you do that you might as well just kill the prisoner. Well you could cuff them with padded mittens and weight their tail so much that it could not be used as a club. but you would have to have that on hand ahead of time.


Dracomicron wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Normal: You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.

Vesk are always considered armed.

A vesk doesn't need a free hand to make an unarmed attack because they're not making an unarmed attack. They're armed. If you think being "considered armed" is different than being armed in this instance... how?

If vesk are "considered armed" as you say, then their natural attacks shouldn't work with Improved Unarmed Strike, because it's for (wait for it) unarmed attacks.

We know that Natural Weapons DO work with IUS, so therefore the "always armed" bit is mostly fluff.

Armed is not fluff. Armed is a very specific game term with very concrete meaning. It means they don't take attacks of opportunity when they claw/bite/tail/whatever people, it means they can make attacks of opportunity when presented, and it means that they don't need a free hand to use because they are functionally not making unarmed attacks.

You cannot reasonably claim that you have the raw answer and then dismiss the rules that disagree with that as fluff. DOUBLY so when its a specific, very crunchy game term like armed. You cannot use the non distinction between considered armed and armed to simply render the term armed meaningless.

As to improved unarmed strike, if "armed" unarmed attacks sound silly its the exact working pathfinider used to describe the situation.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
You cannot reasonably claim that you have the raw answer and then dismiss the rules that disagree with that as fluff. DOUBLY so when its a specific, very crunchy game term like armed. You cannot use the non distinction between considered armed and armed to simply render the term armed meaningless.

I did say "mostly" fluff.


Dracomicron wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
You cannot reasonably claim that you have the raw answer and then dismiss the rules that disagree with that as fluff. DOUBLY so when its a specific, very crunchy game term like armed. You cannot use the non distinction between considered armed and armed to simply render the term armed meaningless.
I did say "mostly" fluff.

This is a completely irrelevant and totally vacuous reply. If you need to quibble instead of making a counterpoint please re consider the evaluation of your argument.

Sovereign Court

It literally says it in the race description in the CRB:

Vesk wrote:

Natural Weapons

Vesk are always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic. Vesk gain a unique weapon specialization with their natural weapons at 3rd level, allowing them to add 1–1/2 × their character level to their damage rolls for their natural weapons (instead of just adding their character level, as usual).

Note that a ring of fangs doesn't do anything about normal folks' natural attacks being archaic. You get an archaic bite attack.


HammerStrike wrote:
the text of IUS establishes a hand being needed for all unarmed strikes without IUS,

There's a devil in the details. Or well, an agathon in the details at the exact wording is more in line with the intent than the paraphrase you're using.

Normal: You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.

an "unarmed attack". Not an unarmed strike. A vesks attack is an unarmed strike but it isn't an unarmed attack because it's considered armed. Confusing, but it IS both the exact raw and the sensible answer.

That's even assuming that you can parse the normal to all. The rules don't actually say that. Normal is just the baseline normal character without any other abilities. Other abilities can definitely change that, everything from a ysoki drawing a weapon faster by spitting it out of their mouths (its fine the safety was on) to doing an attack move attack with a haste spell.

If you're going to argue that a minotaur needs to drop one of their daggers to gore you you need ALL the ducks in a row, and there's a few out of line here.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Normal: You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.

an "unarmed attack". Not an unarmed strike. A vesks attack is an unarmed strike but it isn't an unarmed attack because it's considered armed. Confusing, but it IS both the exact raw and the sensible answer.

Okay, so your argument is that those rules don't apply to Vesk Natural Weapons because they are not Unarmed Attacks, just Unarmed Strikes made while Armed. So... let's look at the rest of the "exact raw" of IUS:

Improved Unarmed Strike wrote:
Benefit: Your unarmed attack damage increases to 1d6 at 4th level, 2d6 at 8th level, 3d6 at 12th level, 5d6 at 15th level, and 7d6 at 20th level. You threaten squares within your natural reach with your unarmed strikes even when you do not have a hand free for an unarmed strike. If you are immobilized, entangled, or unable to use both legs (or whatever appendages you have in place of legs, where appropriate), you lose the ability to make unarmed strikes without your hands. When making an unarmed strike without your hands, you can’t use such attacks for combat maneuvers or similar abilities—only to deal damage.

*Emphasis mine

So, from the bolded part... by your "exact raw and sensible answer" reading... Vesk Natural Weapons also don't get the damage bonus... The primary reason you take the feat... because they're always armed and thus not making an unarmed attack.

And then the Italicized part further spells out that you do in fact normally need a free hand for an unarmed strike. Something that Natural Weapons never contradicts. Oh, and also let's look at Armor Storm:

Hammer Fist wrote:
You treat any unarmed attack you make while wearing heavy or powered armor as being made with a battleglove (see page 187) with an item level equal to or lower than your soldier level, and you calculate damage for these attacks as if you had the melee striker gear boost (see page 112).
Smash Through wrote:
...If you successfully push the target back 10 feet or more, you can also damage the target with an unarmed attack (and can use your hammer fist ability when doing so).

Guess some of the more popular parts of this Style are off the board for the Vesk too. And unless I'm mistaken, those are the only ways to actually improve your Unarmed Strike damage to keep it relevant. This reading really kinda bones anyone that actually wants to build around Natural Weapons. Maybe it's just me, but this does not seem like the 'sensible answer' in my eyes.

EDIT: On further thought I remembered Powered Armor can increase your Unarmed Strike damage.... oh wait.

Powered Armor - Damage wrote:
When you make an unarmed melee attack

Looks like that's also an Unarmed Attack, and you're never unarmed.


Shinigami wrote:
So, from the bolded part... by your "exact raw and sensible answer" reading... Vesk Natural Weapons also don't get the damage bonus... The primary reason you take the feat... because they're always armed and thus not making an unarmed attack.

Reason numbers 1 5 and 8 I'm not an exact raw advocate. The system isn't consistent enough to hold up to it. (This isn't a failing on the part of the writers, they're only human(oid) its a failing on trying to zoom into the minutia. )

That would be entirely more reasonable to me than a minotaur needs to drop one of his two pistols to horn someone.

Quote:
And then the Italicized part further spells out that you do in fact normally need a free hand for an unarmed strike. Something that Natural Weapons never contradicts.

It is made irrelevant by the fact that the attack is armed. Restrictions on unarmed attacks do not apply to attacks that are considered armed.

It also contradicts it (or at least puts it up in the air) by no longer being normal. An unarmed strike by a horned toothed scaled tail kwan doing space lizard that can bite through tungsten armor is not a "normal" unarmed attack from the point of view of a system written by and for puny humans with ineffective teeth and soft breakable fingers as our main striking point.

Vesk specifically call out being able to unarmed strike with their tails.

Natural weapons and unarmed attacks need some big picture rules spelled out all in one place. As it is you need to infer the rules to them. They're going to go wonky somewhere.

edit re the hammer fist

As said above, a natural weapon is an armed [unarmed attack]. An attack that is an [unarmed strike] but uses the rules for an armed attack (which is what is considered means)

If that sounds silly thats how pathfinder described it. I think that fits the raw and solves the problems and compatibility issues.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:


So, from the bolded part... by your "exact raw and sensible answer" reading... Vesk Natural Weapons also don't get the damage bonus... The primary reason you take the feat... because they're always armed and thus not making an unarmed attack.

Reason numbers 1 5 and 8 I'm not an exact raw advocate. The system isn't consistent enough to hold up to it. (This isn't a failing on the part of the writers, they're only human(oid) its a failing on trying to zoom into the minutia. )

That would be entirely more reasonable to me than a minotaur needs to drop one of his two pistols to horn someone.

And yet you're the one calling it a 'sensible answer'. And whether a Minotaur needs to drop anything to gore you with it's horns... frankly they probably don't, because Minotaurs aren't a playable race (or even a defined race in AA, though I will be touching on the next best thing Nuars in a moment) and thus can frankly get away with anything they want.

As for the Nuar, the alien equivalent of a Minotaur, and a playable race in AA1, well the cheeky side of me wants to say that they can easily Gore you without a free hand because their Gore is just a penalty-less Charge attack. As a more serious answer though, for the NPCs, the Specialist is fine, it's choosing between a one-handed weapon or it's horn anyways, but yes if I was GMing I would require the Enforcer to spend a Swift Action changing grip to use it's horn. Not that it would probably want to generally, since the Cryopike is the stronger weapon and hits the better AC. The horn's pretty good for getting in an attack between weapons though, since it's seemingly designed to be a switch-hitter.

As for PC Nuar though, yes they'll need to burn a feat to be able to strike people with their horns while wielding a two-handed weapon too. Because like the Vesk, their Natural Weapon feature says nothing about over-riding the default need for a free hand.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
And then the Italicized part further spells out that you do in fact normally need a free hand for an unarmed strike. Something that Natural Weapons never contradicts.
It is made irrelevant by the fact that the attack is armed. Restrictions on unarmed attacks do not apply to attacks that are considered armed.

Reread the part that is italicized. Or easier yet, I'll just quote that sentence again:

Improved Unarmed Strike wrote:
You threaten squares within your natural reach with your unarmed strikes even when you do not have a hand free for an unarmed strike.

Bolded this time, that stands out better. It is clearly calling out that the normal for an Unarmed Strike, not Unarmed Attack but Unarmed Strike, is that you need a free hand. And while yes, the Physical Description does call out that some Vesk Martial Arts incorporate Tail Slaps, Natural Weapons at no point references not needing a free hand for Unarmed Strikes, and it could easily be ruled that the training in the some Vesk Martial Arts that do so is the training taken for the Improved Unarmed Strike feat.


Shinigami02 wrote:


And yet you're the one calling it a 'sensible answer'.

That the Sensible answer is at odds with some piece of exact persnickity raw (or an argument that originates from raw and goes from there) would not in any way undermine it being the sensible answer.

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And whether a Minotaur needs to drop anything to gore you with it's horns...

really not helping the narative that you've got your persnicket meter cranked too high.

Quote:
Because like the Vesk, their Natural Weapon feature says nothing about over-riding the default need for a free hand....

Motorcycle riders need helmets

Tricycle riders are treated as car drivers

Do tricycle riders need helmets? No. They're treated like they're driving a car.

Quote:
The default need for a free hand is being created

It's not called out DIRECTLY/specifically that's not the same as it being changed.

Quote:
It is clearly calling out that the normal for an Unarmed Strike, not Unarmed Attack but Unarmed Strike, is that you need a free hand

Exactly. So what is the definition of an unarmed strike ? I don't think it's any unarmed attack. I think its an unarmed person trying to use their soft squishy "not intended for this purpose" fingers to karate chop someone.

A LOT of other abilities change what is normal. its normally a move action to pull a weapon. Quickdraw changes that, but A ysoki can spit a pistol into their hand as a swift action. You normally become flat footed when you run and the run feat changes that, but a moderately leveled operative doesn't become flat footed either. Standing up is normally a move action without kip up. But it's a swift action for ysoki.

Normal isn't "this is the way it is without this feat and nothing else matters"


BNW, I understand your argument, and it makes sense from a logical perspective, but it simply does not hold up from a game perspective.

Natural Weapons
Vesk are always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic.

Unarmed Strike
An unarmed strike can be dealt with any limb or appendage. Unarmed strikes deal nonlethal damage, and the damage from an unarmed strike is considered weapon damage for the purposes of effects that give you a bonus to weapon damage rolls.

Improved Unarmed Strike
Benefit: Your unarmed attack damage increases to 1d6 at 4th level, 2d6 at 8th level, 3d6 at 12th level, 5d6 at 15th level, and 7d6 at 20th level. You threaten squares within your natural reach with your unarmed strikes even when you do not have a hand free for an unarmed strike. If you are immobilized, entangled, or unable to use both legs (or whatever appendages you have in place of legs, where appropriate), you lose the ability to make unarmed strikes without your hands. When making an unarmed strike without your hands, you can’t use such attacks for combat maneuvers or similar abilities—only to deal damage. Normal: You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.

Reach and Threatened Squares
Your reach is the distance at which you can attack foes in melee combat. If you are wielding a melee weapon or are otherwise capable of making a melee attack (e.g., if you have your own natural weapons), you threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn (the exception is unarmed strikes—if you’re making unarmed strikes, you don’t threaten other squares).

Emphasis mine.

If an unarmed strike can be dealt with "any limb or appendage," then, by your logic, you do not need a hand free, even without IUS.

IUS affects Unarmed Strikes. Unarmed Strikes and "unarmed attacks" are the same thing. It's right in the title of the feat. You're taking a slight variation on verbiage and basing an incorrect ruling on it.

It's splitting hairs, but even if it were correct, the "Normal" section of IUS applies to "unarmed attacks." We know from the devs that IUS works with Natural Weapons; by all evidence they use the same rules as unarmed strikes, except where noted in "Reach and Threatened Squares," which SPECIFICALLY mentions the distinction between Natural Weapons and Unarmed Strikes (specific beats general, by your own admission).

TL;DR: Either you need a free hand to make a Natural Weapons attack without IUS, or the devs were wrong about IUS working with Natural Weapons. This is just RAW, maybe not RAI, and of course individual gamemasters can make rulings about it. We shouldn't ASSUME any ruling, though, especially for Society play... at least until we hear from the devs to clarify.


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Draconomicon wrote:
If an unarmed strike can be dealt with "any limb or appendage," then, by your logic, you do not need a hand free, even without IUS.

So why is it not a possibility that the contradiction resolves in favor of any limb being usable rather than the requirement for a free hand?

I don't know why people expect rules written by multiple authors bouncing off of 5 different parts of the rules touching on how something works without ever spelling it out to somehow come together with perfect coherence such that one position can be called "the raw". Even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Draconomicon wrote:
If an unarmed strike can be dealt with "any limb or appendage," then, by your logic, you do not need a hand free, even without IUS.

So why is it not a possibility that the contradiction resolves in favor of any limb being usable rather than the requirement for a free hand?

I don't know why people expect rules written by multiple authors bouncing off of 5 different parts of the rules touching on how something works without ever spelling it out to somehow come together with perfect coherence such that one position can be called "the raw". Even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!

...The RAW is the RAW. There isn't a contradiction in the current rules. Unarmed Strikes can be used with any limb or appendage, but you need a hand free to do them, just as with Natural Weapons that otherwise use Unarmed Strike rules, without IUS.

For what it's worth, I see the hand requirement being the fact that you need to stabilize yourself to make an unarmed attack, or make some other supporting action. Biting someone's face off is easier if you've grabbed their collar, right?

If we are simply questioning whether or not we can trust that the CRB was written accurately, well, then all bets are off. Black is white, up is down, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

We know that Paizo is happy to issue errata when things actually do contradict. The fact that they have not for this issue tells me that they are good with the rule how it stands, which is that natural weapons need a hand free unless you invest in a feat that gives natural weapons-users a pretty good value anyway.

Remember, Paizo still wants vesk on the upgrade treadmill. Depending on your build, Natural Weapons allow you to avoid buying a melee weapon for quite some time. IUS basically gives you a free upgradable Basic Weapon, but better than that, it lets you use your Natural Weapon while still packing a longarm or heavy weapon.


Dracomicron wrote:


If we are simply questioning whether or not we can trust that the CRB was written accurately, well, then all bets are off. Black is white, up is down, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

Absolutely not. This is the either or fallacy.

It is silly to think that either the core rulebook is a perfect contradiction free document OR it means absolutely nothing it says. We know that it isn't a perfect contradiction free book. The Starfinder DCs got faqratta'd, interupting spells isn't possible by the rules but is referenced in the magic section. Assuming perfect or nothing gets you.. nothing.

Instead take the pieces of the rules as providing evidence for or against a position. Common sense is also evidence (not proof mind you, but evidence) to consider. When different parts of the rules contradict each other and or common sense, balance, or other parts of the rules you have to weigh them against each other, not just pick one rule and hold it against all others.

You're not only arguing that the rules are perfect, but that interpretations made from those rules are also perfect. Your position has a big glaring subjectivity that "normal" applies to someone with a different but similar special ability. That is not the rules, that is what you THINK the rules mean. They're not the same thing.

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We know that Paizo is happy to issue errata when things actually do contradict.

And we also know that it's a slow and incomplete process. There are still questions about contradictions from the pathfinder rulebook that never got an answer.

When the raw, or things people infer from the raw, seem inane to the point of violating common sense, the tendency has been for the common sense plain english answer to win out over the persnickety one.

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The fact that they have not for this issue tells me that they are good with the rule how it stands, which is that natural weapons need a hand free unless you invest in a feat that gives natural weapons-users a pretty good value anyway.

This is both worse than unevidenced and entirely circular. They only do errata when they do a reprint, so there is a LONG amount of time between people reading something oddly, them noticing people read something oddly, getting everyone together to decide how to reword it, and then getting that published for an actual errata.

It also presumes that they're fine with the way you're reading the rules because they're reading the rules the same way and haven't corrected you. Which ignores that this goes for both sides.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
It is silly to think that either the core rulebook is a perfect contradiction free document OR it means absolutely nothing it says. We know that it isn't a perfect contradiction free book. The Starfinder DCs got faqratta'd, interupting spells isn't possible by the rules but is referenced in the magic section. Assuming perfect or nothing gets you.. nothing.

I don't assume that the CRB is a perfect contradiction-free document. It is, however, all we have to go on until errata is issued, and the rules as written are the rules as written, which is what we have to use for Starfinder Society.

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Instead take the pieces of the rules as providing evidence for or against a position. Common sense is also evidence (not proof mind you, but evidence) to consider. When different parts of the rules contradict each other and or common sense, balance, or other parts of the rules you have to weigh them against each other, not just pick one rule and hold it against all others.

I'm not sure you read my previous posts. There isn't a contradiction. The rules aren't particularly clear, but they are consistent. There are no rules that specifically give Natural Weapons some sort of bonus ability to attack without a hand free other than IUS. It's all there in the sections I quoted.

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Your position has a big glaring subjectivity that "normal" applies to someone with a different but similar special ability. That is not the rules, that is what you THINK the rules mean. They're not the same thing.

No... you yourself state that specific trumps general. There is no specific rule that supports you. Just a feeling and "common sense." I understand this. It feels right. But just because it feels right doesn't mean that it IS right. I feel like I should be able to take a 5' step between attacks in a Full Attack because that's how we did it in the old days, but my feeling doesn't change the fact that the Guarded Step rules in Starfinder are different.

Honestly, it's okay that you want to make a house rule like this. If you were my gamemaster in a non-Society game, I would probably be grateful. But it's just that, it's a house rule.


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Honestly, it's okay that you want to make a house rule like this.

And we are done


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If the rules for unarmed attacks say you can use any limb, but a Feat’s “normal” section says you need a free hand, doesn’t that just make the “normal” entry incorrect?

The actual rule for doing it mentions no such restriction. The “normal” entries aren’t meant to introduce rules that otherwise don’t exist, right? If I were checking the rules for how a person kicks somebody, I wouldn’t be looking at a Feat the character doesn’t have.


Super Zero wrote:

If the rules for unarmed attacks say you can use any limb, but a Feat’s “normal” section says you need a free hand, doesn’t that just make the “normal” entry incorrect?

The actual rule for doing it mentions no such restriction. The “normal” entries aren’t meant to introduce rules that otherwise don’t exist, right? If I were checking the rules for how a person kicks somebody, I wouldn’t be looking at a Feat the character doesn’t have.

It makes one of them incorrect, but there's no telling who wrote which rule and their relative power/influence on what the "real" rule is. I suspect the reason a lot of amateur hour stuff like this hasn't been FAQ'd is because the development team doesn't agree on what the rule actually should be.


Super Zero wrote:

If the rules for unarmed attacks say you can use any limb, but a Feat’s “normal” section says you need a free hand, doesn’t that just make the “normal” entry incorrect?

The actual rule for doing it mentions no such restriction. The “normal” entries aren’t meant to introduce rules that otherwise don’t exist, right? If I were checking the rules for how a person kicks somebody, I wouldn’t be looking at a Feat the character doesn’t have.

Nowhere in the "Normal" section of Improved Unarmed Strike says that you actually use the free hand for the unarmed strike, just that you need a free hand to do it (just like nowhere in Natural Weapons for the Nuar does it say that you are using your horns, just that you are making a Piercing attack with your Unarmed Strike). You could infer it, but it doesn't say it explicitly, nor does it matter, rules-wise.

Anyway, it isn't a contradiction, and it does make rules sense; longarms are already considerably better than small arms; establishing an action economy tax for making a melee attack while wielding a rifle instead of a pistol makes sense. It isn't even that onerous; you can bypass it with a no-requirement feat or with 150-300 credits worth of bayonet bracket.

I don't see why it's so upsetting.


edit: I should add that starfinder has been a LOT better about it than pathfinder for having some clarifications/ corrections pop up quickly


But the rule the “normal” entry refers to doesn’t actually exist. That’s the contradiction, not that you can’t apply both.


Super Zero wrote:
But the rule the “normal” entry refers to doesn’t actually exist. That’s the contradiction, not that you can’t apply both.

It doesn't exist anywhere ELSE, you mean. It exists in IUS.


meepothegreat wrote:
How about this, the unarmed strike listed in the basic melee weapons section say it counts as archaic and does nonlethal.The ring says you can choose to have your unarmed attacks deal lethal piercing damage. That is really the only alteration mentioned. Does this mean the attack you gain from this ring is also considered archaic?

The attack is archaic UNLESS you have something that makes your natural attacks not archaic (unarcheic? Modern? Fancy?) Natural weapony does this (since it applies to all your natural attacks) as does the raw lethality gear boost.

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Reading it RAW to me means yes and the ring can be used with unarmed attacks other then the bite you gain in flavor. It doesn't specifically call out it requiring the bite, simply that you gain one.

It says you gain a bite attack and "these attacks". its pretty clear that means your bite attacks. Reaching another conclussion isn't raw its willfull misreading.

Its a ring of fangs. you're doing piercing attacks with that attack because you now have big sharp pointy teeth.

Races such as Vesk, Morlawmaw, and Nuar, (insert race with natural attack type racials) seem to benefit most. They wouldn't have to take three levels of soldier to remove the archaic quality. They also don't have to take Improved Unarmed Strike to be able to threaten. (But who wouldn't take it for the damage increase?)

No one needs to take improved unarmed strike to need to threaten with natural weapons. You're considered armed. The definition of armed is that you threaten.


Your reach is the distance at which you can attack foes in melee combat. If you are wielding a melee weapon or are otherwise capable of making a melee attack (e.g., if you have your own natural weapons), you threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn (the exception is unarmed strikes—if you’re making unarmed strikes, you don’t threaten other squares)

So natural weapons are specifically listed as something that lets you threaten


Dracomicron wrote:


We know that Natural Weapons DO work with IUS, so therefore the "always armed" bit is mostly fluff.

It's been a while since I tried to keep up with this forum, but do you have a link for that?

I asked about this interaction a lot when the game was still early, and post Alien Archive 1 which seemingly muddied the waters.

The best statement I found to support Natural Weapons and Improved Unarmed Strike working together was from Owen mentioning they specifically don't call out what you can't do.

Also, to further muddy the waters, the description for Pistol Whip Exploit (Armory, pg 150) states:

"If you have an ability that gives you a special version of Weapon Specialization that allows you to add 1-1/2 × your level to natural or unarmed attacks as damage (such as vesk natural weapons), you add your level to pistol whip unarmed strikes; otherwise you add half your level as normal for an operative weapon"

Which leads me to believe that there is little difference between the actual delivery method on natural weapons and unarmed strikes under RAW. Since this exploit addresses that any race with a natural weapon is just more naturally suited to booping targets upside the head with the butt end of a pistol over any other race. It doesn't make sense to me, but there it is.

I think I prefer to separate natural weapons and unarmed strikes ala Pathfinder, but I'd still really appreciate seeing an official ruling if there is one.

Thanks!


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Another combination of rules:

Holding and Wielding Weapons, page 168 wrote:
You can attack with a weapon (or threaten an area with it, for all melee weapons except unarmed strikes) only if you are wielding it with the correct number of hands.

Unarmed Strikes are listed as a One-Handed Basic Melee weapon. The fact that Unarmed Strikes are called out as an exception to Threatening but not attacking in this sentence implies that they are still subject to this rule. So normally you would need one hand to wield an unarmed strike. Improved Unarmed Strike then removes that requirement.

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