Staff with Shifting Rune into Shield Boss / Spikes


Advice


Could you use a shifting rune to change a staff into a shield boss or shield spikes, apply them to another shield, and thereby end up holding both a shield and a staff in the same hand?


The long/short of this is:

RAW: You can shift a staff into whatever weapon you want, including boss or spikes and attach them to a shield. Most people believe that the staff will continue working as a staff when shifted, but that's not definite given the wording on shifting runes.

RAI: It's unclear. This is an open question, and there's a whole bunch around shifting runes currently that Paizo hasn't addressed.


You can Transform a melee weapon into another melee weapon which needs the same amount of hands to be used.

So no, you can't ( and I wouldn't either at my table, until further statements ).


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Shield Spikes: Hands: 1. Staff: Hands: 1.


tivadar27 wrote:
Shield Spikes: Hands: 1. Staff: Hands: 1.

Shields seem not weapons, but they seem to become one if you put an attached weapon on them.

Shields also need to be strapped or un strapped to the forearm in order to be used, and shifting the rune will simply Transform the object, so you will need to expend another manipulate action to fix it to the forearm.

It is not about the number of weapons ( even if I stated how the shifting rune works ).

I wouldn't simply allow it for a matter of balance.


Weapon Traits CRB pg 282 wrote:

Attached: An attached weapon must be combined with another piece of gear to be used. The trait lists what type of item the weapon must be attached to. You must be wielding or wearing the item the weapon is attached to in order to attack with it. For example, shield spikes are attached to a shield, allowing you to attack with the spikes instead of a shield bash, but only if you’re wielding the shield. An attached weapon is usually bolted onto or built into the item it’s attached to, and typically an item can have only one weapon attached to it. An attached weapon can be affixed to an item with 10 minutes of work and a successful DC 10 Crafting check; this includes the time needed to remove the weapon from a previous item, if necessary. If an item is destroyed, its attached weapon can usually be salvaged.

This is pretty grey territory. I would assume that most GM’s will reject the idea, even though i currently don’t see an issue with it via RAW. I think even personally i’m about 50/50 on if i’d allow it. Interestingly enough, Shifting it into a Gauntlet would do just as well as what you’re looking for; unless you really want it to be boss/spikes for some reason.


Not to mention that you can only enchant the attached weapon, but not the shield itself.

On the other hand, in terms of roleplay stuff, is also obvious that a shield is meant to be build with an attached weapon in it.

You won't then be able to separate your spikes from your shield because the item is a whole thing.

But I don't care about roleplay because it comes first to a matter of balance in terms of 3 action system and how shields, and what concerns me the most is that it would be too juicy to be allowed to swap a weapon into a shield.

Quote:
Why to expend the extra manipulate action to use the parry trait instead of turning the weapon into a shield?

Unless stated otherwise, I think players already have thighs balanced, in terms of choices and possibilities, the way it is written.


HumbleGamer wrote:

... On the other hand, in terms of roleplay stuff, is also obvious that a shield is meant to be build with an attached weapon in it.

You won't then be able to separate your spikes from your shield because the item is a whole thing. ...

I kinda disagree with the first part here. In 1e, shields and spikes were a single item, in 2e, the intent is clearly they're separate items until they're attached, and even then, they can be removed if the item is destroyed. Actually, this kinda makes sense historically for spikes, which I believe actually were screwed in in many cases (easier to replace if they broke). In game, I'd agree, it's really unclear what happens to "attached" things if they are shifted.

@Pumpkinhead11: I mean, I don't disagree about RAI, and I said that in my original post. You call it a grey area but say there's nothing to prevent it in RAW, so I'm a bit confused there. I wouldn't blame a GM for disallowing it, but at the same time, if, as a GM, you stated "I want to play my game strictly by RAW", then I don't see any way you prevent it.


tivadar27 wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

... On the other hand, in terms of roleplay stuff, is also obvious that a shield is meant to be build with an attached weapon in it.

You won't then be able to separate your spikes from your shield because the item is a whole thing. ...

I kinda disagree with the first part here. In 1e, shields and spikes were a single item, in 2e, the intent is clearly they're separate items until they're attached, and even then, they can be removed if the item is destroyed. Actually, this kinda makes sense historically for spikes, which I believe actually were screwed in in many cases (easier to replace if they broke). In game, I'd agree, it's really unclear what happens to "attached" things if they are shifted.

That's the point.

Currently everyone could either consider a spiked shield a weapon or not.

And because of that decides if allowing it to be shifted as a whole, partially or simply to consider the attached weapon not elegible for the shifting rune purpose.

As for the spikes, they can be both be added on a new shield.

Quote:
An attached weapon is usually bolted onto or built into the item it’s attached to, and typically an item can have only one weapon attached to it.

https://2e.aonprd.com/Traits.aspx?ID=171


HumbleGamer wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

... On the other hand, in terms of roleplay stuff, is also obvious that a shield is meant to be build with an attached weapon in it.

You won't then be able to separate your spikes from your shield because the item is a whole thing. ...

I kinda disagree with the first part here. In 1e, shields and spikes were a single item, in 2e, the intent is clearly they're separate items until they're attached, and even then, they can be removed if the item is destroyed. Actually, this kinda makes sense historically for spikes, which I believe actually were screwed in in many cases (easier to replace if they broke). In game, I'd agree, it's really unclear what happens to "attached" things if they are shifted.

That's the point.

Currently everyone could either consider a spiked shield a weapon or not.

And because of that decides if allowing it to be shifted as a whole, partially or simply to consider the attached weapon not elegible for the shifting rune purpose.

Hard disagree here, shield spikes are a weapon, that can be used when attached to a shield. That's pretty clear according to the rules. A shield is not a weapon, shield spikes are. Whether or not you can shift shield spikes when they're attached, I'd agree, is an open question.


HumbleGamer wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Shield Spikes: Hands: 1. Staff: Hands: 1.

Shields seem not weapons, but they seem to become one if you put an attached weapon on them.

Shields also need to be strapped or un strapped to the forearm in order to be used, and shifting the rune will simply Transform the object, so you will need to expend another manipulate action to fix it to the forearm.

It is not about the number of weapons ( even if I stated how the shifting rune works ).

I wouldn't simply allow it for a matter of balance.

Shield boss/spikes have hands needed as 1 listed on the weapon chart.

HumbleGamer wrote:
Currently everyone could either consider a spiked shield a weapon or not.

Actually the answer was in your quote: to have the attached trait it has to be a weapon [it's a weapon trait and unlike unarmed, it doesn't say it's not a weapon]. "An attached weapon must be combined with another piece of gear to be used. The trait lists what type of item the weapon must be attached to. You must be wielding or wearing the item the weapon is attached to in order to attack with it. For example, shield spikes are attached to a shield, allowing you to attack with the spikes instead of a shield bash, but only if you’re wielding the shield. An attached weapon is usually bolted onto or built into the item it’s attached to, and typically an item can have only one weapon attached to it. An attached weapon can be affixed to an item with 10 minutes of work and a successful DC 10 Crafting check; this includes the time needed to remove the weapon from a previous item, if necessary. If an item is destroyed, its attached weapon can usually be salvaged."


tivadar27 wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

... On the other hand, in terms of roleplay stuff, is also obvious that a shield is meant to be build with an attached weapon in it.

You won't then be able to separate your spikes from your shield because the item is a whole thing. ...

I kinda disagree with the first part here. In 1e, shields and spikes were a single item, in 2e, the intent is clearly they're separate items until they're attached, and even then, they can be removed if the item is destroyed. Actually, this kinda makes sense historically for spikes, which I believe actually were screwed in in many cases (easier to replace if they broke). In game, I'd agree, it's really unclear what happens to "attached" things if they are shifted.

That's the point.

Currently everyone could either consider a spiked shield a weapon or not.

And because of that decides if allowing it to be shifted as a whole, partially or simply to consider the attached weapon not elegible for the shifting rune purpose.

Hard disagree here, shield spikes are a weapon, that can be used when attached to a shield. That's pretty clear according to the rules. A shield is not a weapon, shield spikes are. Whether or not you can shift shield spikes when they're attached, I'd agree, is an open question.

Shield Spikes are an attached weapon.

A shield can be made with an atteched weapon built into it ( stated by rules as i quoted ). And if without any attached weapon, he can be modded with one of them.

Shield Spikes, and not the shield, can be enhanced as a Normal weapon, regardless the fact they are attached or part of the shield itself.

So Yes, the question is whether the whole shield or just the attached weapon could shift.

And if the latter, then it would be obvious that it wouldn't be elegible for the shifting rune, as you can't enchant a shortsword with the returning rune, even if you can easily throw it.

@graystone: no offense, but you don’t use hands to grip a shield Spike/boss. You have 1 hand occupied, and a strapped forearm, to use a shield as a weapon or just for the raise action. But you won't br swinging with an attached weapon alone, even if in the table it stats one hand ( which simply points out the nr of hands needed to hand le a shield, to perform an attack with the attached weapon ).


Honestly I'm not even sure a staff can be shifted into a shield boss for one simple reason:

Shifting wrote:

With a moment of manipulation, you can shift this weapon into a different weapon with a similar form.

Activate Single Action Interact; Effect The weapon takes the shape of another melee weapon that requires the same number of hands to wield. The weapon’s runes and any precious material it’s made of apply to the weapon’s new shape. Any property runes that can’t apply to the new form are suppressed until the item takes a shape to which they can apply.

A staff and a shield boss aren't even made of the same material: a staff is wooden, a shield boss is metallic.


HumbleGamer wrote:
And if the latter, then it would be obvious that it wouldn't be elegible for the shifting rune, as you can't enchant a shortsword with the returning rune, even if you can easily throw it.

What makes it "obvious" as I'm not seeing it. It's changing with or without the shiled doesn't make it not a melee weapon and that's all that's required for the rune.

FlashRebel wrote:
Honestly I'm not even sure a staff can be shifted into a shield boss for one simple reason:
Shifting wrote:

With a moment of manipulation, you can shift this weapon into a different weapon with a similar form.

Activate Single Action Interact; Effect The weapon takes the shape of another melee weapon that requires the same number of hands to wield. The weapon’s runes and any precious material it’s made of apply to the weapon’s new shape. Any property runes that can’t apply to the new form are suppressed until the item takes a shape to which they can apply.

A staff and a shield boss aren't even made of the same material: a staff is wooden, a shield boss is metallic.

Staves can be made of metal. Staff of Transmutation: "A glass orb atop this metal staff contains fine, undulating sand."


HumbleGamer wrote:
@graystone: no offense, but you don’t use hands to grip a shield Spike/boss. You have 1 hand occupied, and a strapped forearm, to use a shield as a weapon or just for the raise action. But you won't br swinging with an attached weapon alone, even if in the table it stats one hand ( which simply points out the nr of hands needed to hand le a shield, to perform an attack with the attached weapon ).

Hands: the chart CLEARLY states it take 1 hand to use one and it makes NO distinction between shield weapons and other weapons on hand use.

As to "you won't br swinging with an attached weapon alone", I'd ask 'so?'. What does that have to do with anything? It doesn't make it not a weapon or not use a hand. Nothing in "you won't br swinging with an attached weapon alone" means it somehow is ineligible for the rune.

Simple question: What exactly fails to meet the melee weapon prerequisite for the rune? I'm still not seeing an issue.


It means that given the fact the whole stuff is explained in a complicated way, it could be whatever you want.

You want to consider attached weapon as as a whole?

Be my guest.

You want to consider them a separate thing from the shield because you think it was not their intention to allow a shifting rune on a shield?

Be my guest too.

You want to state it is the way you say because of raw?

Not at all, but still be my guest.

As for the staff weapon

Quote:

PFS Legal Staff

Source Core Rulebook pg. 280
Price 0; Damage 1d4 B; Bulk 1
Hands 1
Group Club; Traits Two-Hand d8
This long piece of wood can aid in walking and deliver a mighty blow.

Where did you read that it could also be made of metal?


tivadar27 wrote:
@Pumpkinhead11: I mean, I don't disagree about RAI, and I said that in my original post. You call it a grey area but say there's nothing to prevent it in RAW, so I'm a bit confused there. I wouldn't blame a GM for disallowing it, but at the same time, if, as a GM, you stated "I want to play my game strictly by RAW", then I don't see any way you prevent it.

Then that’s on the GM? By RAW it’s unclear in the specifics with how this should work; which makes it a rather ambiguous rule even by RAW standards. Thus a grey area.

Ambiguous Rules CRB pg 444 wrote:

Sometimes a rule could be interpreted multiple ways. If one version is too good to be true, it probably is. If a rule seems to have wording with problematic repercussions or doesn’t work as intended, work with your group to find a good solution, rather than just playing with the rule as printed.

I can see even ‘Strictly RAW’ GM’s not allowing this. If something isn’t clear it’s up to the GM.


HumbleGamer wrote:

It means that given the fact the whole stuff is explained in a complicated way, it could be whatever you want.

You want to consider attached weapon as as a whole?

Be my guest.

You want to consider them a separate thing from the shield because you think it was not their intention to allow a shifting rune on a shield?

Be my guest too.

I'm saying, by the rules, it doesn't matter if it's whole or separate: I still haven't seen an explanation of what difference it makes in terms of the rune working: it only requires a melee weapon and in either scenario it it stay one. As to hands, that too remains the same. What's is vague here.

HumbleGamer wrote:
Where did you read that it could also be made of metal?

Ah... Didn't you notice where I quoted a metal staff in the rules, a "metal staff"?


That is a magic item, not a staff made out of metal.

About Precious materials, a staff can be made out of wood and darkwood, since it is a wood weapon.

As for the rules, it is not Clear if you will shift one part of a spiked shield or the whole spiked shield. There have been many discussions about it on the rules section if you want to search for them ( shifting rune as key word should do the job ).


HumbleGamer wrote:
That is a magic item, not a staff made out of metal.

A magic item that is a staff and made out of metal...


Squiggit wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
That is a magic item, not a staff made out of metal.
A magic item that is a staff and made out of metal...

So everybody with a transmutation staff because it could exploit the material rules with a shifting rune?

If that is what you want.

Personally, I wouldn't consider a transmutation staff a weapon. It is role is everything but to fight.

If they had wanted to allow metal staves, they would had wrote something about in its description.


HumbleGamer wrote:
If that is what you want.

It has nothing to do with what I want. Just pointing out the weirdness of you trying to claim a staff made out of metal isn't a staff made out of metal.


Squiggit wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
If that is what you want.
It has nothing to do with what I want. Just pointing out the weirdness of you trying to claim a staff made out of metal isn't a staff made out of metal.

Ok, but I was referring to the staff description. The fact that a magic staff is described made out of metal is an exception ( and that it is meant for a mage, and not to be used as a weapon ).

What I meant is that I don't think they meant to have any adventurer take a transmutation staff just to "exploit" the fact that staves are meant to be out of wood.


Squiggit wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
That is a magic item, not a staff made out of metal.
A magic item that is a staff and made out of metal...

Yeah, I'm not sure why a metal staff isn't a staff made of metal: question to HumbleGamer. If someone was making a Staff of Transmutation, would you require them to enchant a wooden staff or a metal one?

HumbleGamer wrote:
As for the rules, it is not Clear if you will shift one part of a spiked shield or the whole spiked shield. There have been many discussions about it on the rules section if you want to search for them ( shifting rune as key word should do the job ).

I'm understand it's not clear if it shifts the whole shield or just the spike/boss. What I don't understand is why either would prevent the shifting rune from working. You said "obvious that it wouldn't be elegible for the shifting rune" and THAT is what I don't get: you could shift a staff into a shield with the weapon attached which would be valid for the rune or you shift it into the weapon [boss/spike] which is valid and then attach it on the shield: in both cases the boss/spike is a melee weapon and has a 1 hand requirement, and both could take the rune. What am I missing?

As to searching, I have no interest as I'm only looking for one thing: in what situation would a shield boss/spike not be a melee weapon and I don't see that a particular issue with the rune.


FlashRebel wrote:
Honestly I'm not even sure a staff can be shifted into a shield boss for one simple reason:
Shifting wrote:

With a moment of manipulation, you can shift this weapon into a different weapon with a similar form.

Activate Single Action Interact; Effect The weapon takes the shape of another melee weapon that requires the same number of hands to wield. The weapon’s runes and any precious material it’s made of apply to the weapon’s new shape. Any property runes that can’t apply to the new form are suppressed until the item takes a shape to which they can apply.

A staff and a shield boss aren't even made of the same material: a staff is wooden, a shield boss is metallic.

Unless the staff is made of precious material, it doesn't matter.

If the staff were made of darkwood for example,it would shift into a darkwood shield boss or spikes.


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Because they put al the melee/ranged attacks on the weapon table.

That's why there are also shield bash, boss and Spike.

Since you can't use a returning rune on a weapon without the thrown trait, do you think it is intended that you can shift spikes into a sword, deattaching them from the shield, falling on the Floor because you are not holding them?

So that's why I am also considering that the table allows you to have not only all weapons, but also attacks and ammunitions ( you have ammunitions too, just to tell you the bulk ). Unarmed attack too.

That's why also you don't see shields, but shield bash, strike and boss.

@royon: Thanks, I got carried away and totally forgot about it. Problem solved.


HumbleGamer wrote:
Since you can't use a returning rune on a weapon without the thrown trait, do you think it is intended that you can shift spikes into a sword, deattaching them from the shield, falling on the Floor because you are not holding them?

What? This in incomprehensible to me: what does returning have to do with a staff? As for what happens, why does it fall to the ground? You interact with it as an action so why wouldn't be in your hand?

HumbleGamer wrote:

So that's why I am also considering that the table allows you to have not only all weapons, but also attacks and ammunitions ( you have ammunitions too, just to tell you the bulk ). Unarmed attack too.

That's why also you don't see shields, but shield bash, strike and boss.

This DOESN'T change hands needed or melee/ranged, and that's what we're talking about. Things like ammo aren't weapons[Category=ammo not simple/martial/advanced and "The damage die is determined by the weapon, not the ammunition." so ammo isn't a weapon]. Unarmed and shield bash are specifically called out as not a weapon. The chart+entries are pretty what's a weapon and what's an attack or supplementary equipment like ammo.


HumbleGamer wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
If that is what you want.
It has nothing to do with what I want. Just pointing out the weirdness of you trying to claim a staff made out of metal isn't a staff made out of metal.

Ok, but I was referring to the staff description. The fact that a magic staff is described made out of metal is an exception ( and that it is meant for a mage, and not to be used as a weapon ).

What I meant is that I don't think they meant to have any adventurer take a transmutation staff just to "exploit" the fact that staves are meant to be out of wood.

Attacking with a Staff CRB pg 592 wrote:

Staves are also staff weapons (page 280), included in their Price. They can be etched with runes as normal for a staff. This doesn’t alter any of their spellcasting abilities.

It’s actually pretty clear that Magical Staves are intended to be used as weapons; as well as meant for a Mage. They even go so far as to say that Runes don’t mess with the Spellcasting ability of said Magical Staff.


graystone wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Since you can't use a returning rune on a weapon without the thrown trait, do you think it is intended that you can shift spikes into a sword, deattaching them from the shield, falling on the Floor because you are not holding them?

What? This in incomprehensible to me: what does returning have to do with a staff? As for what happens, why does it fall to the ground? You interact with it as an action so why wouldn't be in your hand?

HumbleGamer wrote:

So that's why I am also considering that the table allows you to have not only all weapons, but also attacks and ammunitions ( you have ammunitions too, just to tell you the bulk ). Unarmed attack too.

That's why also you don't see shields, but shield bash, strike and boss.

This DOESN'T change hands needed or melee/ranged, and that's what we're talking about. Things like ammo aren't weapons[Category=ammo not simple/martial/advanced and "The damage die is determined by the weapon, not the ammunition." so ammo isn't a weapon]. Unarmed and shield bash are specifically called out as not a weapon. The chart+entries are pretty what's a weapon and what's an attack or supplementary equipment like ammo.

Attached weapon said you can't use them as a weapon alone, but you have to combine them ( it is ok that once modded they are a weapon ).

So what are you suggesting is a character with a free hand and a shield, which move his free hand to the spikes in order to morph them into another 1h weapon and holding it after its shifting?


HumbleGamer wrote:
Attached weapon said you can't use them as a weapon alone, but you have to combine them ( it is ok that once modded they are a weapon ).

So? Does that make them not weapons? Is a long spear held in 1 hand not a weapon because you can't use it until you wield it in 2 hands?: same difference.

HumbleGamer wrote:

So what are you suggesting is a character with a free hand and a shield, which move his free hand to the spikes in order to morph them into another 1h weapon and holding it after its shifting?

Yes. Me, I'm explaining it that way and IMO it makes perfect sense: Why make it harder than it has to be? Explain how the PC is manipulating the weapon with an action that doesn't require them to use free hand on it that makes more sense...


Uchuujin wrote:
Could you use a shifting rune to change a staff into a shield boss or shield spikes, apply them to another shield, and thereby end up holding both a shield and a staff in the same hand?

Bad question, because the boss/spikes are made part of a shield, really they should be part of the original design of the shield.

Also another bad part of your question, the staff is no longer a staff when it transforms...

But taking your idea and skipping the bad parts (as most have done here), I would say it's a GM call, because under the rules, no, you really could not.

But a GM allowing you to transform your weapon into a shield wouldn't be far fetched, tho if they gave you more than a buckler, think yourself lucky.


Parduss wrote:
Bad question, because the boss/spikes are made part of a shield, really they should be part of the original design of the shield.

Not true in PF2: they have the attached trait: "An attached weapon can be affixed to an item with 10 minutes of work and a successful DC 10 Crafting check." There is nothing suggesting that a shield has to be designed to accept one, just that it's a shield.

Parduss wrote:
Also another bad part of your question, the staff is no longer a staff when it transforms...

It stops being a weapon staff but nothing says it stops being a magic item staff: a magic staff has the staff trait and nothing suggests it goes away if the shape changes.


graystone wrote:
Yes. Me, I'm explaining it that way and IMO it makes perfect sense: Why make it harder than it has to be? Explain how the PC is manipulating the weapon with an action that doesn't require them to use free hand on it that makes more sense...

Yeah I also think it could do its job that way.

I was thinking with both hands occupied, and because so a character try to interact with the hand its forearm has the shield strapped to it.

That's why I couldn't understand how the morphed spikes couldn't have fallen on the Floor ( and also how it would have been possible to morph it given the occupied hand/forearm ).

But that way is both legit and scenical.
I like it.


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I don't think that this was the intent that the developers had. It seems really cheesy to me. I would MUCH rather a custom designed weapon with the properties of a staff be built for a player if they wanted to go down this rabbit hole.


Parduss wrote:
Uchuujin wrote:
Could you use a shifting rune to change a staff into a shield boss or shield spikes, apply them to another shield, and thereby end up holding both a shield and a staff in the same hand?

Bad question, because the boss/spikes are made part of a shield, really they should be part of the original design of the shield.

Also another bad part of your question, the staff is no longer a staff when it transforms...

But taking your idea and skipping the bad parts (as most have done here), I would say it's a GM call, because under the rules, no, you really could not.

But a GM allowing you to transform your weapon into a shield wouldn't be far fetched, tho if they gave you more than a buckler, think yourself lucky.

Greystone pointed out the fact that you missed the ‘Attached’ weapon trait that specifically says that you can attach spikes or boss with a 10 min activity.

Attacking with a Staff CRB pg 592 wrote:

Staves are also staff weapons (page 280), included in their Price. They can be etched with runes as normal for a staff. This doesn’t alter any of their spellcasting abilities.

The last specific line even says that it doesn’t alter their specific spellcasting ability. You can believe that it does otherwise but rather that the OP having bad questions; it seems your responses weren’t well researched.


Gloom wrote:
I don't think that this was the intent that the developers had.

Instead of unintended I think it was unthought of if anything. Whether it retroactively becomes intended or unintended is something we'll have to see.

Gloom wrote:
It seems really cheesy to me.

So you have to spend 35gp for a potency rune and 225gp for shifting for the sole reason of trading the hand needed for a specific staff, from that staff to a shield... 260gp doesn't feel particularly cheesy to me for that.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
Gloom wrote:
I don't think that this was the intent that the developers had.

Instead of unintended I think it was unthought of if anything. Whether it retroactively becomes intended or unintended is something we'll have to see.

Gloom wrote:
It seems really cheesy to me.
So you have to spend 35gp for a potency rune and 225gp for shifting for the sole reason of trading the hand needed for a specific staff, from that staff to a shield... 260gp doesn't feel particularly cheesy to me for that.

When I say cheesy I don't mean too powerful or broken. I mean that it seems like you're trying to skirt around just within the rules to accomplish a specific playstyle.

I don't think anyone actually WANTS to have a shapeshifting staff for the cool factor, more just so they can use whichever weapon they're wanting but with the specific casting properties of the staff.

I'd much rather just give them a cool item that did what they were wanting to do than say they have to shift a staff into it in order to accomplish it.


I'll be honest when I asked my thought was to go sword and board with a gish, and have two staves. Then I realized you can only prepare one staff per day, but obviously it was an interesting question anyway.


A staff can get a Shifting Rune and get turned into shield spikes (or a boss), which then can be attached to a shield. That seems clear & cheese-less (sans spells for now).

I'd say if somebody shifted it back, it'd still be attached to the shield, making the weapon unusable (and perhaps the shield too). Unless one changed it from a boss to spikes or spikes to a boss (or some later "attached to shield" weapon).
Still seems pretty clear, since you bolted that weapon to the shield.

I wouldn't go so far as to have bolts ruin the integrity of the weapon, but heck, realizing your error and shifting back might not even reattach the weapon well enough to function (since the non-attached weapon likely couldn't connect to all the right bolts and shifting back doesn't suggest reattaching for you.)

But that all seems a side issue to the question (or advice) that keeps popping up on these boards: Does a staff w/ spells & a Shifting Rune retain the ability to access those spells when the weapon's not a staff?

Can O' Worms
-What were the balance intentions? Were sets of spells meant to go on a weaker weapon only or is just using a classic fantasy trope? Or maybe the balance is that you don't have a better rune on the "not a staff anymore" weapon?
-If a non-staff weapon could function like a staff, why not put those spells directly into swords, axes, etc. instead? What makes staves special in that way and why would/wouldn't that carry over when it transforms?
-A Shifting Rune makes a permanent change to the weapon (as written, for better or worse), meaning you could borrow a Shifting Rune to transform your staff into a boss for your shield (even if you never intend to use it as a weapon). Remove Rune. (Too cheesy for my table, but technically doable until an errata/FAQ for the Shifting Rune clarifies the transformation only lasts while the rune's present.)
Or don't remove the Shifting Rune since you don't need a better rune on there anyway.

Should we expect a deluge of "Shield Bosses of Divination" (for True Strike) in the future? MCD dips FTW! (*groan*)
It may seem pricey, but at higher levels it's affordable.

(I do find the "Shield Boss of Abjuration", for Shield, funny though.)


Actually Abjuration was the staff I was considering. Use the cantrip if shield is broken, or use it first to absorb a hit without needing to repair the shield. All the rest of the spells help out with defense, so are thematic.


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Gloom wrote:
I don't think anyone actually WANTS to have a shapeshifting staff for the cool factor

Speak for yourself. I love my Wizard changing her staff into a bastard sword (well, katana refluffed as a bastard sword) and then going to town with it.

The build is barely functional with the way 2e handles proficiency and feats but I love the thematics of it.


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Gloom wrote:
I'd much rather just give them a cool item that did what they were wanting to do than say they have to shift a staff into it in order to accomplish it.

I guess I just don't understand why staying within the rules is "cheesy", while stepping outside the rules to make a new item is "cool".

Gloom wrote:
I don't think anyone actually WANTS to have a shapeshifting staff for the cool factor, more just so they can use whichever weapon they're wanting but with the specific casting properties of the staff.

Why isn't the ability to use the weapon you want while having staff properties part of the cool factor for them? I think shooting fire out of my shield has plenty of cool factor.


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graystone wrote:
Gloom wrote:
I'd much rather just give them a cool item that did what they were wanting to do than say they have to shift a staff into it in order to accomplish it.

I guess I just don't understand why staying within the rules is "cheesy", while stepping outside the rules to make a new item is "cool".

Gloom wrote:
I don't think anyone actually WANTS to have a shapeshifting staff for the cool factor, more just so they can use whichever weapon they're wanting but with the specific casting properties of the staff.
Why isn't the ability to use the weapon you want while having staff properties part of the cool factor for them? I think shooting fire out of my shield has plenty of cool factor.

At least to me it's much more impressive to have a weapon built that has the properties of a staff as is, rather than having a staff that's just shifted into the form of another weapon.

If I had a player that was playing a Fighter or Wizard with the other dedication that wanted to gish it up, I wouldn't mind at all giving them either a special reward or quest to obtain a weapon that matches their preferred weapon... but had all of the casting properties of a staff.


Gloom wrote:
graystone wrote:
Gloom wrote:
I'd much rather just give them a cool item that did what they were wanting to do than say they have to shift a staff into it in order to accomplish it.

I guess I just don't understand why staying within the rules is "cheesy", while stepping outside the rules to make a new item is "cool".

Gloom wrote:
I don't think anyone actually WANTS to have a shapeshifting staff for the cool factor, more just so they can use whichever weapon they're wanting but with the specific casting properties of the staff.
Why isn't the ability to use the weapon you want while having staff properties part of the cool factor for them? I think shooting fire out of my shield has plenty of cool factor.

At least to me it's much more impressive to have a weapon built that has the properties of a staff as is, rather than having a staff that's just shifted into the form of another weapon.

If I had a player that was playing a Fighter or Wizard with the other dedication that wanted to gish it up, I wouldn't mind at all giving them either a special reward or quest to obtain a weapon that matches their preferred weapon... but had all of the casting properties of a staff.

It most likely boils down to a matter of preference. While i like your idea of custom making a weapon for a player to help fulfill the concept, essentially cutting the middle man for the rule of cool; to me personally, it becomes more novel and impressive to find a unique idea like the Shifting Staff that doesn't need a GM's direct influence or approval; houseruling aside.

P.S. Shifting Fire Staff - > Shield Boss + Sturdy Shield = Forge Warden 2.0? o3o


Honestly I think the intent is that shifting should work with staves, though whether or not you can use them with things like free-hand and attached is an open question. People seem to think this is OP, but honestly, you're effectively losing 1d6 damage by installing a shifting rune, as an acid/fire/cold rune would have given you similar damage... It doesn't come at no cost (well, okay, it does with attached/free-hand, but if they fix those cases, I think it's fine).

Note: It's not a decided thing that shifting works for staves, as yes, you can *etch* a staff with anything you want and not have it lose its powers, but *shifting* it is a separate question. I *think* it should work, but shifting specifies a list of things that *do* work with it, and one *could* consider that list as exclusive.


Gloom wrote:
At least to me it's much more impressive to have a weapon built that has the properties of a staff as is, rather than having a staff that's just shifted into the form of another weapon.

When the end result is the same, I can't see either as more or less impressive: either way you end up with a weapon with staff abilities... Reinventing the wheel doesn't impress me in any paticular way.

Gloom wrote:
If I had a player that was playing a Fighter or Wizard with the other dedication that wanted to gish it up, I wouldn't mind at all giving them either a special reward or quest to obtain a weapon that matches their preferred weapon... but had all of the casting properties of a staff.

That all relies on a DM houserule. That's fine but not something that's reliable. That's the difference for me, that if you go out of your way you can do it under the rules and not relying on dm fiat for a special, unique, snowflake weapon only you have. I can't expect to go to an unknown table/game and expect a DM to think like you. Secondly, what happens if it gets lost, stolen, destroyed, ect? Does the magical unique weapon fairy just drop off another one if the player wants it? With the runes, you can change and/or upgrade your staff with ease as it's just part of the game.

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