What does a ring of fangs actually do?


Rules Questions

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Liberty's Edge

The dog that barks the loudest isn't always the one you want to follow, and all I'm hearing is a bunch of noise and projection, no actual factual backup or rules discussion that is grounded in the actual item in question.

If there is one lesson in all this I think it's that people obviously read things very differently, I, for example, think that bit is fluff because it's not backed up with any actual rules.

Maybe it would be a good idea to use different fonts or markups to indicate on items what is and is not fluff because that's the crux of my argument here.

Agree to disagree I suppose on the RAI but you're undoubtedly and irrefutably wrong when it comes to the RAW, and honestly that's all I'm talking about here. He asked what it does, not what was the designers intent.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
So yeah. When people are talking about bite attacks and natural weapons as it applies to PC characters, I think they are bringing in assumptions from Pathfinder.

And this is a bad thing because...?

Because using that assumption in place of understanding the rules as they are leads to arguments.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

How many more data points do you need? Whats the alternative? That there is an unwritten rule that PC natural weapons are archaic and it just happens that every playable race with natural weapons has been an exception to that rule. AND pc natural weapons pay no attention at all to other kinds of natural weapons.

Well, other than the fact that the rule is actually written, yes that is exactly what I am saying.

Is there a problem with that?

We already know that NPC and monster creation rules don't follow the same rules that PCs do. Why is this one such a shocker that it is different too?

BigNorseWolf wrote:
That's assuming that a deeper unknown level of rules exist AND that it works a certain way AND that the way it works is counter to our rather large at this point sample size.

Actually, the only assumption that it violates is the assumption that the name 'Ring of Fangs' and the description 'it gives you a powerful bite attack' should give the character a natural attack equivalent to the natural attacks normally reserved for monsters instead of players. That is the assumption that I am not following.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I agree. There's no "secret, unwritten rule" being referenced. Everything we need to know is stated within the item itself and the Core Rulebook.

To assume that this attack isn't archaic, and to assume you threaten, relies on unwritten rules and past experience with different systems.

I choose to just use Starfinder. And Occam's Razor.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I do have one related question, though, but it's not about the Ring of Fangs. It's just that this discussion made me think about it. It's regarding Adaptive Fighting:

Adaptive Fighting (Combat), Core Rulebook pg. 154 wrote:

You can adjust your fighting style to match specific conditions during combat.

Prerequisites: Three or more combat feats.

Benefit: Select three combat feats that you do not have but whose prerequisites you meet. Once per day as a move action, you can gain the benefit of one of these feats for 1 minute. Each time you gain a level, you can replace one of these three selected feats with a different feat that you don’t have but meet the prerequisites for.

My Ring of Fangs character has the Gloom Gunner Fighting Style. Since this feat allows me to "adjust my fighting style", what sort of action is it to switch from Gloom Gunner to, like, Blitz? Because that extra +10ft of movement can really come in handy.

I'm assuming it's a move action, but it's not clear.


breithauptclan wrote:


Because using that assumption in place of understanding the rules as they are leads to arguments.

For starters you are assuming, on absolutely no evidence, that you are right.

Secondly you are assuming against observable evidence that there would be agreement on how this item works if only it had been read in an ecumenically sealed chamber without the pathfinder people reading into it with their pathfinder logic and... okay. You want to sign on to the folks saying putting the ring on makes your shield do more pointy damage, space minotaurs can't gore people while holding teacups, and we have no idea how space minotaurs actually manage to hurt people? ?

Quote:

Well, other than the fact that the rule is actually written, yes that is exactly what I am saying.

Is there a problem with that?

Yes.

For starters you're strawmanning the unwritten rules I'm talking about as the unarmed strike rules when I was clearly talking about the PC natural weapon rules.

You continually make the circular argument that the rules want you to use the unarmed strike rules and NOT the rules for biting/natural attacks that the ring seems to be talking about.

Half of the item as it's actually written is telling you it's a bite attack. You can't ignore half of it and then claim to have what is "Actually written" as if i was making stuff up.

It actually says it's a bite attack. Black and white, clear as crystal. What I make of that is that they think you can figure out how teeth work without being all pedantic about it. What you figure that means is that they sat down with the unarmed strike weapon open and decided to F(x) it.

I don't think they did. I think if they had, it would look like the carnivorous spell where they spell out how the damned thing works. If that pessimism is formed by years of face palming over pathfinder rules arguments where something got cut so the page would look pretty? Listen to the voice of experience. I'm onto something a little more than a broken clock.

The ring NEVER tells you to ONLY change piercing and the scaling level damage. It tells you it is a bite attack, it tells you it is piercing damage, it tells you to change the scaling.

Quote:
Actually, the only assumption that it violates is the assumption that the name 'Ring of Fangs' and the description 'it gives you a powerful bite attack' should give the character a natural attack equivalent to the natural attacks normally reserved for monsters instead of players. That is the assumption that I am not following.

Absolutely not. Other PC races also have access to similar weaponry.

vesk sharp pointy teeth: not archaic
minotaur sharp pointy horns: not archaic
Formians sharp pinchy pinchers: not archaic
Uplifted bears sharp slashy... whatever. Not archaic.

Monster sharp pointy teeth: not archaic

Ring sharp pointy teeth? The best evidence and argument I can see weighing the preponderance of the evidence is that they are most likely not archaic.

That is a conclusion. not an assumption. An assumption has a meaning other than something you disagree with.


Nefreet wrote:

I agree. There's no "secret, unwritten rule" being referenced. Everything we need to know is stated within the item itself and the Core Rulebook.

To assume that this attack isn't archaic, and to assume you threaten, relies on unwritten rules and past experience with different systems.

I choose to just use Starfinder. And Occam's Razor.

It does not. All I have to ask is "what the heck is a bite attack and how does it work?"

vesk sharp pointy teeth: not archaic
minotaur sharp pointy horns: not archaic
Formians sharp pinchy pinchers: not archaic
Uplifted bears sharp slashy... whatever. Not archaic.

Monster sharp pointy teeth: not archaic

All within this system.

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).

That is how starfinder tells me to deal with something with big sharp pointy teeth. 1.5 was replaced with 2. The damage was clarified to be Piercing instead of.. not mentioned ever.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
So yeah. When people are talking about bite attacks and natural weapons as it applies to PC characters, I think they are bringing in assumptions from Pathfinder.
And this is a bad thing because...?

Because they are not the same game.

Seriously, they're not. Paizo is obviously trying something different with Starfinder than they did with Pathfinder. They learned lessons and implemented their conclusions. You haven't noticed that the math is tighter? That the philosophies behind building characters are different? That monsters and PCs, by design, have different rules?

Applying Pathfinder logic to Starfinder is not just erroneous, it's actively detrimental. As I said before, the two main potential culprits for your position were self-interest (which you say isn't the case, despite benefiting from a very, very liberal interpretation) and preconceived notions from other games. I guess we just figured out which one it was.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

I agree. There's no "secret, unwritten rule" being referenced. Everything we need to know is stated within the item itself and the Core Rulebook.

To assume that this attack isn't archaic, and to assume you threaten, relies on unwritten rules and past experience with different systems.

I choose to just use Starfinder. And Occam's Razor.

It does not. All I have to ask is "what the heck is a bite attack and how does it work?"

Luckily the sentence directly after tells you.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Because using that assumption in place of understanding the rules as they are leads to arguments.

For starters you are assuming, on absolutely no evidence, that you are right.

Secondly you are assuming against observable evidence that there would be agreement on how this item works if only it had been read in an ecumenically sealed chamber without the pathfinder people reading into it with their pathfinder logic and...

Oh good heavens, no. That statement of mine that you quoted is definitely not a statement of mine that my interpretation is always correct. It is, as it says, a statement that bringing in assumptions from other games (even ones from the same publishing company) is an error that causes unnecessary confusion and arguments.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

okay. You want to sign on to the folks saying putting the ring on makes your shield do more pointy damage, space minotaurs can't gore people while holding teacups, and we have no idea how space minotaurs actually manage to hurt people? ?

Yeah. I agree that this is somewhat silly. But I also realize that this is how the rules currently read. Houseruling it otherwise to make more sense would be fine.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
For starters you're strawmanning the unwritten rules I'm talking about as the unarmed strike rules when I was clearly talking about the PC natural weapon rules.

Ooh, ooh, ooh. Yes. Please point out those clearly stated PC natural weapon rules that you are using. I would love to stop strawman attacking you about those. An aonsrd.com link would suffice.

Until then, the only thing I have to go on is the Unarmed Attack rules that I linked to earlier. That is what PCs get as natural attacks unless otherwise stated in their race rules.


Nefreet wrote:
Luckily the sentence directly after tells you.

The way you're reading it is with an only there. ONLY change a base humans unarmed strike to be piercing and only change the modifier don't change anything else.

That gets more than a little wonky for me.


breithauptclan wrote:
Yeah. I agree that this is somewhat silly. But I also realize that this is how the rules currently read. Houseruling it otherwise to make more sense would be fine.

It is absolutely not house rules or home brew to take a second look at the rules , admit that it could be read more ways than one, and pick between different legitimate meanings that the words MIGHT mean and take the one that makes more sense.

It isn't unclean pathfinder pollution to notice that -I grammared the tech and the absolute true meaning of these words can only be...- is possibly impossible as a human endeavor, but definitely not something you can do with any assurances with paizo's writing. The writing is meant to be readable, it's meant to be interpreted by a human DM with common sense and I don't see either of those underlying assumptions changing to "this can be parsed like computer code. Grammarians, the universe is YOURRRRS!" just because it's a new game. Nothing I've seen in starfinder has convinced me paizo has suddenly thought it would be a good idea to write that way, and then started writing that way. Quite the opposite: it looks like exactly the same.

You do not HAVE to read the rules that way. English simply is not that precise. If you are reading a rule so that the natural weapon rules have to go through the unarmed strike rules but aren't allowed to swing by the natural weapon rules... maybe you missed an implication somewhere. Turn the book sideways, read it a different way with an understanding of what the words might mean, and see what results you might get.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
If you are reading a rule so that the natural weapon rules have to go through the unarmed strike rules but aren't allowed to swing by the natural weapon rules... maybe you missed an implication somewhere.

I don't read anywhere that "natural weapon rules have to go through unarmed strike rules". Nowhere. If such text existed, it would have been quoted by now.

What I see instead is a player option that mirrors every other player option in format and function: a fluff description followed by mechanical explanation.

What you're proposing is unique to this item only, and I don't see any strong reason why we should treat this one item differently.

I am a firm believer that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I can't accept that the RoF uses natural weapons unwritten rules from other games, when it seems to function fine using just the rules for Starfinder.

I don't have to turn the book sideways, reevaluate my life choices or even open up the Alien Archive. I just have to do what I would do for every other player option.

If you were new to RPGs, with no knowledge of Pathfinder, and you came across this item, how would you interpret it?


My interpretation: the ring creates a new weapon that could have its own entry in the weapons table. By RAW, such a weapon would only be Archaic if it explicitly says so, which it doesn't.


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whew wrote:
My interpretation: the ring creates a new weapon that could have its own entry in the weapons table. By RAW, such a weapon would only be Archaic if it explicitly says so, which it doesn't.

That is certainly an interpretation, but by RAW, the ring modifies your Unarmed Strike, which is already has an entry on the weapons table; it is naturally one-handed, Bashing damage, Archaic, and Nonlethal. The ring makes it so that it is Piercing lethal damage and affects the Weapon Specialization bonus. That's it.

Bite attacks are already listed in Unarmed Strike as one of the flavors you can apply to it. It's fluff; it doesn't matter for game mechanics.


Dracomicron wrote:
whew wrote:
My interpretation: the ring creates a new weapon that could have its own entry in the weapons table. By RAW, such a weapon would only be Archaic if it explicitly says so, which it doesn't.

That is certainly a homebrew option, but by RAW, the ring modifies your Unarmed Strike, which is already has an entry on the weapons table; it is naturally one-handed, Bashing damage, Archaic, and Nonlethal. The ring makes it so that it is Piercing lethal damage and affects the Weapon Specialization bonus. That's it.

Bite attacks are already listed in Unarmed Strike as one of the flavors you can apply to it. It's fluff; it doesn't matter for game mechanics.

I flagged you: I am offended by the "homebrew" part.

EDIT: Unflagged: You interpretation is more homebrew than mine, as it depends on declaring rules to be "fluff".


whew wrote:

I flagged you: I am offended by the "homebrew" part.

I apologize; I wasn't aware that "homebrew" was a slur.

I removed the offending language. The remainder of my post was accurate.

EDIT RE: YOUR EDIT: I respectfully disagree. There are no rules for a "bite" attack for a PC other than what are in the Unarmed Strike One Handed Basic Melee Weapon entry. It is the specific, textual interpretation of the rules that requires no presuppositions from other games or strained logical chains. You are stating that the ring "should" have its own entry on the weapons chart. I hate to use a slur, but that's, like, the definition of "homebrew" if you implement it that way. Homebrew is when you say to yourself that a game should have something different than what it already has, and play it that way.

The rules say that a PC biting someone is an Unarmed Strike, which is a One Handed Basic Melee Weapon. That's the rules as written AND intended. The Ring of Fangs doesn't change that.


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I edited my post as well. My true opinion is that I'm not sure how it should work and it really needs an FAQ.


Nefreet wrote:
I don't read anywhere that "natural weapon rules have to go through unarmed strike rules". Nowhere. If such text existed, it would have been quoted by now.

You absolutely are. You keep telling me that the bite is archaic because

unarmed strikes are archaic and the bite is an unarmed strike.

Quote:
What I see instead is a player option that mirrors every other player option in format and function: a fluff description followed by mechanical explanation.

You're going further than that

When you wear this ring, your teeth become long and sharp<--- this is fluff and giving you a powerful bite attack<--- this is also fluff

So what you're saying is that the entire first sentence has to be fluff. Not just the first statement. Lets go to the video tape.

Arquand Horns
A coronet made of an Arquand gazelle’s four distinctive horns, this headwear counts as a worn magic item unless you install it in armor, taking up one upgrade slot.

First sentence, the upgrade slot/worn magic item slot is DEFINITE crunch

Ring of Sustenance

This ring provides you with life-sustaining nourishment, negating the need for food or drink while the ring is worn.

Ring of Whispers

This simple gold band helps you hear when specific names are spoken.

Spellbane Weapon Fusion Level 6

Source SAP1

A weapon with the spellbane fusion gains the spellbane critical hit effect.

Serum of Appearance Change

Upon drinking this elixir, your coloration and the general form of your features instantly and permanently changes. (the duration is certainly crunch)

Efficient Bandolier

This bandolier fits over any Medium creature and contains five compartments, each corresponding to a specific type of weapon: melee weapons, small arms, longarms, heavy weapons, and explosives

annoying, but medium creature part is definitely crunchy.

If there is a style affectation that the entire first sentence is only fluff it isn't one that's adhered to with much regularity. Sometimes there's only a comma in between the crunch and the fluff.

Quote:
What you're proposing is unique to this item only, and I don't see any strong reason why we should treat this one item differently.

No. This is just wrong. Crunch in the first sentence happens constantly.

Quote:
I am a firm believer that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Big sharp pointy teeth work like big sharp pointy teeth. Not exactly tinfoil hat land.

Quote:
I can't accept that the RoF uses natural weapons unwritten rules from other games, when it seems to function fine using just the rules for Starfinder.

1) As a move action, you can aim through a scope. This can be done as part of the same move action required to aim a weapon with the sniper weapon special quality, or as part of a sneak attack where you do not take any movement even if you also aim a sniper weapon as part of that action.

2) It's not like I'm saying the bite gives you pathfinder bite rules where you can attack at -5 for free. All i'm saying is that the bite attack works like the other PC natural weapons in the game, and the monster natural weapons.

Placing that in the realm of an extraordinary claim is completely disingenuous.

Quote:
If you were new to RPGs, with no knowledge of Pathfinder, and you came across this item, how would you interpret it?

That big sharp pointy teeth let you bite people

I would not run biting people through the unarmed strike rules. (which would be wrong, they have to interact... somehow)

I DEFINITELY wouldn't conclude a space minotaur couldn't horn people because they're holding two teacups.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
I DEFINITELY wouldn't conclude a space minotaur couldn't horn people because they're holding two teacups.

They definitely can; they just need special training. Have you ever tried to attack someone with your horns while holding a teacup in each hand? It's not as easy as you might think. Space minotaurs aren't automatically expert martial artists. We get in trouble for that sort of broad racial thinking.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


What I make of that is that they think you can figure out how teeth work without being all pedantic about it..

4 Pages in, and it is pretty obvious that players cannot figure how this works since RAW is gospel and intent in language is apparently absolutely meaningless.

This thread is beyond absurd.


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Starfinder Superscriber
oldskool wrote:

4 Pages in, and it is pretty obvious that players cannot figure how this works since RAW is gospel and intent in language is apparently absolutely meaningless.

This thread is beyond absurd.

In SFS, we're required to use the gospel of RAW as GM's. The RAW here is unclear and while small groups of GM's are able to come to an arrangement (as it were) and individual GM's can make ad-hoc rulings, Organized Play as a whole has yet to. That causes problems for people that play SFS with multiple GM's (I.E. everyone that plays online, at large retailers, or conventions).

And before you say it, I tried having this conversation in the Organized Play forums first. I was told it needed to be in the rules forum. BNW started this thread as a response to that. This argument isn't absurd, for SFS it's necessary. It seems to be the only way to generate the un-Weydan-like amounts of attention needed to get a FAQ entry.

Liberty's Edge

I personally stick by my stance that Paizo needs to hire a full-time FAQ/Errata staffer to personally field, research and issue statements, and corrections for their products, especially with organized play being such a big part of their business.


Pithica wrote:
n SFS, we're required to use the gospel of RAW as GM's.

You're not. We have to obey the rules but we're not bound by any particular interpretation method to figure out what those rules are.

The PFS 201 guide actually warns you AGAINST that in some situations. (it also tells you to stick with it. Its not a very consistent guide)

For PFS RAW is run as written. No adding monsters, no changing DCs.
Rules are figured out by.. however you prefer to figure out rules.

Everyone that runs a sane game is going to use some balance, raw, and common sense to figure out what those rules are but how hard they lean on which one in which circumstances is up to each dm.

It's also rather pointless in this situation. It's not raw that you throw the bite into the F(x) of unarmed strikes and ONLY change the things it tells you and the raw being "bite attack" runs into the ill defined lanister speed dating between natural weapons and unarmed strikes in starfinder.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dracomicron wrote:
Space minotaurs aren't automatically expert martial artists. We get in trouble for that sort of broad racial thinking.

Did you just allude to racism? Poor form!

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
pithica42 wrote:
In SFS, we're required to use the gospel of RAW

I wanted to also chime in and say this is incorrect.

In Organized Play, "RAW" stands for "Run as Written", and refers to GMing a scenario within its set guidelines and not adding in your own story elements, extra enemies or bringing in your own personal PC to be the hero and save the party (happened more than you'd think in the early years).

The acronym does not refer to "Rules as Written", the popular ideology that text can only be interpreted in one manner, because there is simply no such thing. Reading is an interpretive activity, and this thread alone should demonstrate that two or more people are perfectly capable of reading the same text and coming to different conclusions.

We now return to your regularly scheduled broadcast...


Nefreet wrote:
pithica42 wrote:
In SFS, we're required to use the gospel of RAW

I wanted to also chime in and say this is incorrect.

In Organized Play, "RAW" stands for "Run as Written", and refers to GMing a scenario within its set guidelines and not adding in your own story elements, extra enemies or bringing in your own personal PC to be the hero and save the party (happened more than you'd think in the early years).

The acronym does not refer to "Rules as Written", the popular ideology that text can only be interpreted in one manner, because there is simply no such thing. Reading is an interpretive activity, and this thread alone should demonstrate that two or more people are perfectly capable of reading the same text and coming to different conclusions.

We now return to your regularly scheduled broadcast...

That's also not what Rules As Written means - the term is specifically in contrast to Rules As Intended, in acknowledgement of that fact that language is imprecise, humans are imperfect, and the way that a set of rules is written out may not properly reflect how it is meant to operate; it is generally accepted in most circles I've run in that once the intent is made clear, the intent becomes the actual rule.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

[tangent]

Understood.

For years in these forums I've made it my personal crusade to get people to stop using the term. I took a Linguistic Anthropology class during my undergrad long ago and my professor was similarly vehement in his objection to the idea that text can only be interpreted one way.

If "RAW" existed, we wouldn't need judges to interpret law, there would never have been a split between Catholicism and Protestantism (or any other religious sect based on written dogma), and teachers' professions would be a piece of cake.

On the darker side of the term, simply claiming that something is "Rules as Written" can be an attempt to stifle any opposition for the betterment one's own interpretation.

But regarding "Run as Written", in Organized Play, I am not incorrect.

[/tangent]


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pithica42 wrote:
oldskool wrote:

4 Pages in, and it is pretty obvious that players cannot figure how this works since RAW is gospel and intent in language is apparently absolutely meaningless.

This thread is beyond absurd.

In SFS, we're required to use the gospel of RAW as GM's. The RAW here is unclear and while small groups of GM's are able to come to an arrangement (as it were) and individual GM's can make ad-hoc rulings, Organized Play as a whole has yet to. That causes problems for people that play SFS with multiple GM's (I.E. everyone that plays online, at large retailers, or conventions).

And before you say it, I tried having this conversation in the Organized Play forums first. I was told it needed to be in the rules forum. BNW started this thread as a response to that. This argument isn't absurd, for SFS it's necessary. It seems to be the only way to generate the un-Weydan-like amounts of attention needed to get a FAQ entry.

Others have already pointed out about what organized play requires. A strict adherence to RAW isn't it.

We'll disagree on absurdity. This thread includes examples of "Space Minotaurs" not being able to gore while holding tea cups because Natural Weapons don't make them martial artists. This stems only from strict reading of the rules as presented in the books and being pedantic purely for the sake it. I'm sure those that wish to defend that stance don't see themselves as being pedantic for the sake of it. They may agree on being pedantic even. What they may not get is that for an outsider looking into these 4 pages, this level pedantic banter comes off as pure enjoyment for those doing it. Because the arguments do not hold good sense. They seem to be done purely to get the last word or cherry pick specifics out of personal pleasure to do it.

I don't speak for the game designers. However, having played games, like many of you, for decades I think we all understand these rules are frameworks.

Frameworks are intended to provide a base level of guidance. Game master and player interpretation are meant to be agreed upon terms. No, that won't stop all arguments but the caveats in books like these that include "GM has final say" should matter.

In this thread it really doesn't. Because the pedant aims to push for expanded text in these types of books so that each level of minutiae can be called out in the most hand holding of ways. While having a game book with truly concise and specific rulings is a noble goal, it isn't going to be practical in all accounts. There are financial (costs to print, page count, etc) and project limitations (time-to-ship, other deadlines, etc.) that will always prevent this. No game framework will be perfect. I know that's not what people think they are asking for, but this thread has pushed past what should be reasonably expected of the game authors. At least, that is my opinion on it.

Even calling for a full time FAQ writer for a business like Paizo is absurd. I'm going to bet they have one. It's called an project director or even an editor in some cases. In edition to having someone oversee a project, the authors put a certain amount of responsibility on to all of us to run games that our players enjoy. Much like what BNW stated in the sentence I quoted, it is pretty obvious to some that there is a level of intent that players will figure it out at their table. This assumption trims words and pages and speeds up the project.

Another thing, there is such a thing as author intent in writing. These arguments here ignore it in favor of trying to support a specific vision. This has led into arguments asking for expanded clarification on what terms like appendage might mean because it is part of the default unarmed strike definition. If appendage is to mean limbs, then a Space Minotaur clearly can't gore while holding a tea cup! Apparently appendage is limited to the hands holding the tea cups. EXCEPT, that the National Museum of National History defines things like horns and antlers as cranial appendages.

Skin is an appendage. Teeth are part of a creatures oral cavity, but can be included in the term appendage per Oxford Medicine.

Look, I agree and disagree with a lot of you here. I also don't disagree that a FAQ clearing up some unarmed strike/natural weapon wording is in order. If how several you wish to run the RoF works at your tables, then cool.

However, this thread is off the rails.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This thread is off the rail (cannon)...


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oldskool wrote:
I'm sure those that wish to defend that stance don't see themselves as being pedantic for the sake of it. They may agree on being pedantic even. What they may not get is that for an outsider looking into these 4 pages, this level pedantic banter comes off as pure enjoyment for those doing it. Because the arguments do not hold good sense. They seem to be done purely to get the last word or cherry pick specifics out of personal pleasure to do it.

You are certainly within your rights to say that this is a pedantic argument without good sense, but there are two (or more, sigh) sides to it, and you've clearly come down on one of them. If you think that people just want to get the last word, both sides of the argument are guilty of that. So what's your actual point? Do you want to argue against a textual reading of the rules, or that we should simply stop arguing? Or that we should stop arguing and accept your point?

Because, if it's the latter, that seems to come off as an attempt to get the last word. I won't speculate on the personal pleasure aspect.

Quote:
This thread includes examples of "Space Minotaurs" not being able to gore while holding tea cups because Natural Weapons don't make them martial artists. This stems only from strict reading of the rules as presented in the books and being pedantic purely for the sake it.

I'm not being pedantic there. That's actually an argument based on realisim. I was joking before, but let's look at this logically. I assume you are a humanoid like me. If you were to bite someone, say you and another person were 5' apart, how do you think you would bite them? Would you launch your face at them to the extent of your neck and bite them from maximum range, with only your teeth touching them, or would you move up to them, grab them by the shoulders or hair, and then chomp them, Dracula-style? Biting someone without using your hands is very difficult because it is a close-quarters attack.

In the old Vampire: The Masquerade games, you couldn't even bite someone without grappling first, and that is for frikkin' vampires, the OG biters.

Like all games, Starfinder uses certain abstractions by assuming an unarmed attack uses at least one hand. The flavor is punching, steadying your balance for a kick, or using it to grab or steady the foe for a bite or gore... it doesn't really matter; the point is, without specialized training represented by the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, you don't have the coordination to attack while your hands are full. Either you have to drop one of the things or shift your grip before you can do it.

That's the weird thing about all of this: it isn't like the "pedantic" side of the argument even causes any trouble or exposes any weakness in the system. You can still do everything you want the Ring of Fangs to do, base, if you put a little investment into the character build: Improved Unarmed Strike with Raw Lethality or Natural Weapons. It's almost as if there was some sort of... intent... of an... author.

The "real world logic" side of this argument comes down looking like the desire to get the best damage melee weapon in the game until level 12 (BNW's calculation) without any investment other than one cheap magic item, trivializing Natural Weapons races' advantage and blowing past other ways to grant Attacks of Opportunity while holding a two-handed ranged weapon (tail blades are expensive and do very little damage, bayonets have penalties if they're particular damage types and four-six armed races wouldn't get double specialization bonus).

If my side of the argument looks like it's pedantic, then the other side of the argument looks like they're trying to get away with something. I've accepted that y'all are not munchkins, so perhaps give us the same consideration and assume that we are legitimately concerned with the game balance concerns of upending the entire unarmed attack game with a back matter adventure path item.


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Dracomicron wrote:

So what's your actual point?

...we should simply stop arguing?

Or that we should stop arguing and accept your point?

My point is the "simply stop arguing" because the "accept ___ point" isn't possible. I haven't seen anyone in this thread, or threads like them accept another person's point of view. Doesn't matter how many pages they span, they all end the same way, and months later the topic comes back up.

I don't recall advocating my personal implementations on the subject in this thread so I don't know how my personal views on the matter are relevant to your response.

On the topic of realism, my point has nothing to do with what is realistic or not. I added expanded definition on the term appendage. There seems a blind eye being cast that the parameter of the term is not limited to what we puny humans have as arms and legs. Skin is an appendage.

The rules for VTM are neither here nor there. That game has additional mechanics attached to vampire blood drain that has severe implications to combat. Hence, you need a grapple because blood drain on humans makes them euphoric and basically helpless. It is also thematic to the horror tropes the game emulates to include the grapple for the bite.

Starfinder doesn't require a grapple for a bite unless expressed within a creature or effects text. Otherwise, having a maw of teeth is just another vector for making an attack.

The only thing about an appendage I find important in the context of Starfinder is what descriptive text precedes the mechanics. For Nuar, they are described as having horns. Horns are an appendage. When the Natural Weapons EX trait makes reference to what can be done, it is my interpretation that mechanic is referencing the creature's description. Therefore, a Nuar always threatens in melee range because it can attack with it's horn for piercing damage with an additional specialization modifier. If the Nuar wishes to punch with a fist, that is using a different appendage and follows other printed unarmed strike parameters. I apply that logic to all races with Natural Weapons. If a Reptoid is described as having claws, then the unarmed attacks being referenced are to the claws.

By extension of the above, I rule that the RoF gives the user a maw of fangs, or improves it if they had sharp teeth, and that in and of itself is the attack vector. The rest of the description on the mechanics is on how that new chompy chomp bite works in the context of doing damage.

I do not extrapolate from any of this that by wearing the RoF, growing a maw of teeth, now gives you license to have piercing damage punches with your fists. I'm fully aware that these text blocks do not explicitly describe my views on the matter. There is absolutely no point debating that with me. Likewise, I see no point in trying to convince everyone else here that this is 100% how it needs to be handled.

You guys do you. You resolve balance issues how you want.

My whole point though, is arguing ad nauseam about it is pretty pointless when it is clear there are various views that cannot be changed.

I hope that adds clarity to how I feel about it.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
oldskool wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:

So what's your actual point?

...we should simply stop arguing?

Or that we should stop arguing and accept your point?

My point is the "simply stop arguing" because the "accept ___ point" isn't possible. I haven't seen anyone in this thread, or threads like them accept another person's point of view.

I am going to have to say that you're suffering from confirmation bias, then.

If you reread this thread, you will indeed see at least one person changing their view when presented with evidence.

And having been a part of many FAQ threads over the years, I have likewise seen people change their mind multiple times (myself included).

But, although it's nice when that happens, the point isn't to change minds; it's to demonstrate to Paizo that this is a question in need of an answer.

When there's no argument, there's no problem. When there's something bigger at play (like "how do unarmed strikes work?"), there's more incentive for Paizo to answer.

They've literally told us exact thing in the past.


Nefreet wrote:
I am going to have to say that you're suffering from confirmation bias, then.

Everyone does. None of us are enlightened to the point of not making mistakes.

If by making that blanket statement it offended a party or parties that their mind was changed on new evidence, well then I owe them an apology. Perhaps it was hyperbolic of me to make such a statement, and that's my fault. I can accept that.


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No offense taken.


OldSkool wrote:
Even calling for a full time FAQ writer for a business like Paizo is absurd

While devoting someone SOLELY to that would be nuts, putting someone on it would be well worth it. (Owen K stephens was doing a pretty good job popping up on the forums but is apparently moving on, so it'll be a while to see if the new guy is going to do the same after they get up to speed)

These arguments are happening here.

I know they happen in organized play. If there's a rules disagreement over how one particular rifle works I think avoid that rifle is a pretty easy solution. For unarmed strike builds though the ring of fangs is a pretty essential cog in the watch. How/if it works decides a lot of other pieces work or won't work.

I don't think its unwarranted to say it happens in home games causing more than a little tension between DMs and players when the DM has to read the rules and tell the players no. Ask your DM ... technically works there but it's really not an optimal solution.

The entire point of rules is to get people on the same page so people know what to expect when they take and use a character option. If the rules aren't doing that it should be fixed. If the process for that happening only works once in a blue moon (faq friday shutting off in a stiff breeze because it required three very busy people to physically be in the same room talking and then vanishing completely) then the process should be different. Unless you can churn out a perfect product every time (no one can) Anything you make is going to need some level of upkeep and quality control. "Hey, there's a lot of people reading this rule this way and a lot of people reading this rule that way which is it supposed to be..." is the version of that you get when a good chunk of what you make are rules.

And much like a wedding or a funeral it isn't always about the person in the event. There's always the audience. If people see "oh well organized play is munchkin land where DMs are bound by the strict letter of the raw " without anyone going "oh hell to the no" they're going to walk into OP with misconceptions or walk away from it based on those misconceptions. If people ONLY see the "Well it's an unarmed strike and when you combine unarmed strike here with what this feat says over there then you wind up with a minotaur who can't hold teacups and gore people" they might think that has to be the rules because no ones saying anything different.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
The metric system wrote:
2) You can CHOOSE to (Not must) have ANY of your Unarmed Attacks deal Lethal Piercing Damage, bite or not.

Not that that does anything horribly game breaking with anything I'm aware of in the game but... how/why would growing big sharp pointy teeth suddenly make your fists all pointy?

I think someone tried to combine the ROFs with a playtest shield using that logic and.. it just really doesn't work.

Dont mind me playing catch up. But my two cents is guna slowly trickle in.

they make your nails harder and or sharper? I do not know of any player race that has more then one set of teeth.


Nefreet wrote:

Except the whole allure is the x2 level damage boost.

Coincidentally, tomorrow I'll be driving two hours away to a game store I've never set foot in and playing my Ring of Fangs Ysoki Gloom Gunner.

Curious to see how that GM will interpret things.

how did that go?

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

GM called in sick, another scenario was tossed up, and I'd already played/GMed it =\


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
OldSkool wrote:
Even calling for a full time FAQ writer for a business like Paizo is absurd

*snip*

I don't think its unwarranted to say it happens in home games causing more than a little tension between DMs and players when the DM has to read the rules and tell the players no. Ask your DM ... technically works there but it's really not an optimal solution.

*snip*

I feel like, if the players or the GM are incapable of handling this kind of thing maturely? Their game has problems which no amount of editing in the rulebooks will solve. A GM *must* be able to tell the players "No, it will not be good for the game", and players *must* be able to accept this.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Credit to a certain wolf for digging this up:

Jaysonstasis wrote:
Is arcane assailant viable with vesk unarmed? With the way it's worded as natural weapons, I was curious if I could pull that off. Thanks!
Since unarmed strike is listed on the table of basic melee weapons, and arcane assailant allows you to augment weapon, I'd certainly allow it in games I run at home.


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Asked during the starfinder rules panel if a nuar could gore people with their hands full and yes, they could.

Alien archive 3 is apparently going to have some clarifications about natural weaponry that might clear things up.


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AA3 leaked to 4chan briefly figured id lend a hand¿

Natural weapons (and natural attacks), such as acid spit, bite,
claw, or slam, don’t require ammunition and can’t be disarmed
or sundered.

In addition, a player character with this ability as a racial
trait is always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal
damage (of the listed type, or bludgeoning if no type is
specified) with unarmed strikes, and the attack doesn’t have
the archaic special property. They also 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).

enjoy¡

Sovereign Court

The interesting thing about the AA3 rules is that they still don't classify NPC/monster natural attacks as unarmed strikes (so they're never inheriting an archaic tag).

Specifically player characters treat their unarmed strikes in a particular way. A nuar NPC's gore is just a gore. It's not an unarmed strike, it's a natural weapon.

A PC nuar's unarmed strike is a non-archaic weapon, always armed and with a unique weapon specialization. NPC nuar don't get any of that; they don't need the first two things and NPC weapon damage is calculated differently from PC damage anyway.


This going to settle it for people or are people going to try arguing the ring isn't a racial ability so it has to go into the f(x) thing with unarmed strike?


TurnProphet wrote:

AA3 leaked to 4chan briefly figured id lend a hand¿

Natural weapons (and natural attacks), such as acid spit, bite,
claw, or slam, don’t require ammunition and can’t be disarmed
or sundered.

In addition, a player character with this ability as a racial
trait is always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal
damage (of the listed type, or bludgeoning if no type is
specified) with unarmed strikes, and the attack doesn’t have
the archaic special property. They also 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).

enjoy¡

Is that all the text? What exactly does this settle?

It's still an unarmed strike that does lethal damage without the archaic property. "Always considered armed" still isn't clarified with regards to AoO or free hands. RoF still modifies an unarmed strike, anyway.


Dracomicron wrote:


It's still an unarmed strike that does lethal damage without the archaic property.

Which it shouldn't be doing according to your rules paradigm. If your paradigm was right this shouldn't be happening, but it is.

Quote:
"Always considered armed" still isn't clarified with regards to AoO or free hands. RoF still modifies an unarmed strike, anyway.

They're pretty sure you don't need a free hand to gore or tailwhack someone

Between those two clarifications the -its like unarmed strike unless the rules say otherwise- argument is dead. An unacceptable house rule, not a ruling.

The Ring gives you a bite attack. It works how you'd expect a mouth full of big sharp pointy teeth to work. You're armed, its not archaic.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:


It's still an unarmed strike that does lethal damage without the archaic property.

Which it shouldn't be doing according to your rules paradigm. If your paradigm was right this shouldn't be happening, but it is.

Quote:
"Always considered armed" still isn't clarified with regards to AoO or free hands. RoF still modifies an unarmed strike, anyway.

They're pretty sure you don't need a free hand to gore or tailwhack someone

Between those two clarifications the -its like unarmed strike unless the rules say otherwise- argument is dead. An unacceptable house rule, not a ruling.

The Ring gives you a bite attack. It works how you'd expect a mouth full of big sharp pointy teeth to work. You're armed, its not archaic.

I didn't ask any of that. I just asked how the clarified rules fix the problem. It doesn't look like the text provided in the post above say any of the things that you are saying. It specifically does say that it is an Unarmed Strike, doesn't give any new exceptions, and it specifically calls out racial traits, which don't apply to the Ring of Fangs.

I'm not trying to argue any paradigms, I want to know how this fixes the pre-existing problem.


Dracomicron wrote:


I'm not trying to argue any paradigms, I want to know how this fixes the pre-existing problem.

DO you need a free hand to whack someone with a natural weapon? No. Linked in the starfinder Q&A. It works exactly like you would intuitively expect it to, a space minotaur gores people with their horns. It does not work through your argument that the normal rules from improved unarmed strike apply to a space bull.

What is a natural weapon? A bite counts. The ring gives you a bite.

The only argument left is that the rules we have don't apply to the ring (for some reason) and then we're left with no clarification at all rather than the clarification that you're wrong. But there's no reason for the rings bite to function differently.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:


I'm not trying to argue any paradigms, I want to know how this fixes the pre-existing problem.

DO you need a free hand to whack someone with a natural weapon? No. Linked in the starfinder Q&A. It works exactly like you would intuitively expect it to, a space minotaur gores people with their horns. It does not work through your argument that the normal rules from improved unarmed strike apply to a space bull.

What is a natural weapon? A bite counts. The ring gives you a bite.

The only argument left is that the rules we have don't apply to the ring (for some reason) and then we're left with no clarification at all rather than the clarification that you're wrong. But there's no reason for the rings bite to function differently.

So salty! :D

I can't click the Q&A from my current computer. Besides, a Twitch stream Q&A is not errata, per se. You're suggesting that the rules clarification from AA3 fixes the issue, but it doesn't actually say anything we didn't already know. It was already pretty intuitive that Unarmed Strikes and Natural Weapons don't require ammunition and cannot be disarmed/sundered. The rest of it is categorized under " a player character with this ability as a racial trait..." which would specifically exclude the Ring of Fangs, since it isn't a racial trait. It doesn't even clarify what "always armed" means, or imply that there are no free hand requirements!

That's why I asked if it was all the text: it doesn't actually clarify anything except that different rules apply to PCs than NPCs, which actually counters many of your previous arguments.


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Dracomicron wrote:


I can't click the Q&A from my current computer.

So you told me it didn't say what I claimed it said because...?

Quote:
Besides, a Twitch stream Q&A is not errata, per se.

Your argument from the rules is not so rock solid that it requires errata to overturn. Trying to apply the "normal" in a feat is always iffy and you were trying to apply normal (ie an unarmed human) to races with obvious non hand weaponry. You were (or apparently are) trying to make an argument to an incredibly counter intuitive end. There's no physical reason that a minotaur needs a free hand to gore people or a vesk can't whack someone with his tail.

Quote:
You're suggesting that the rules clarification from AA3 fixes the issue, but it doesn't actually say anything we didn't already know.

It counters a lot of arguments made by team f(x)

-That NPC natural weapon rules gave the natural weapons the not archaic property didn't mean that PC natural weapons had the same thing. The clarification says they do

-That NPC natural weapon rules have the the natural weapons the ability to threaten does not give that to PC natural weapons unless they say so: this gives them to PCs as well.

Quote:
The rest of it is categorized under " a player character with this ability as a racial trait..." which would specifically exclude the Ring of Fangs, since it isn't a racial trait.

And you expect the ring to work differently because....?

Monster natural attacks are things like bites and they work like this (armed, not archaic)

And PC natural attacks are things like bites and they work mostly the same way (armed, not archaic)

But the ring must work the opposite way because....

That doesn't follow. At all.

These are not erratta. They're not overturning anything. They're clearing up some wording that some people were misreading. Trying to argue they don't apply to the ring for.. reasons, still leaves you with a question mark in the rules, not the conclussion that the ring MUST work the opposite way.

Quote:
It doesn't even clarify what "always armed" means,

You're deliberately ignoring what everyone has told you it means and what common sense is telling you it should mean. Unarmed is the inability to threaten squares and flank. Armed is the ability to threaten squares and flank.

Quote:
or imply that there are no free hand requirements!

You are incorrectly reading the rules and making an argument that there is a free hand requirement. Specifically you are trying to apply the "normal" in the unarmed strike feat written by a soft fisted human for a soft fisted human to describe a space minotaur. Normal does not mean always without this feat.

Quote:
which actually counters many of your previous arguments.

... no. Absolutely nothing here in any way, shape, or form, counters any of my arguments. At all.

Nothing can be legitimately read in any way, shape or form to be countering my arguments.

You're just saying this to say this.

Putting restrictions on the ring of fangs that aren't there is less ruling and more house rule. You're sticking by a a logic chain that isn't 100% sure and ignoring a lot of evidence against your position.

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