Unattended object


Rules Discussion

Shadow Lodge

Hi,

I’m trying to find what constitutes as ‘unattended’. Could anyone point me in the right direction?

Thanks!

Grand Lodge

I would think this term would mean "not held or touched by another creature. If an item is somehow in the possession of an inanimate creature or Hazard, then I would say it is not likely "unattended".

Why do you ask daresay?

NiftyB

Shadow Lodge

NiftyB,

Thanks for the reply.

I ask, as I was looking at the telekinetic projectile spell, it requires the object hurled to be ‘loose, and unattended’. Could something on your own person, on a bandolier let’s say be classed as unattended?

I agree with your take on it. It’s just I was looking in the traits, and in the glossary / index though could not find a clarification in the rules.

Simon


Unattended would be not under anyone's control: so not held, worn, ect. So a bandolier [or it's contents] fails on that.

Loose would mean not constrained or held in place: for instance a book in a drawer or a nail in a wall aren't loose. So a bandolier [or it's contents] fails on that too.

Combined, it means something just laying around like a rock on the floor or a book sitting on a desk.

Your best bet for telekinetic projectile is to but a pouch, fill it with what you want to throw and spend an action to dump it out. If you're lucky, you might get your DM to allow you to Release action to drop the items if you hold them in your hand already, saving you one of your 3 actions. For instance, if you walk around with several arrows in your hand all the time, you could use a free action to drop them when a fight starts.


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I see no reason to require a caster to release a held item to use with Telekinetic projectile. At worst they would have to "open their hand" which is as free an action as it gets.

I believe the intention of the "loose, unattended item," verbiage is to stop you from flinging another characters own possessions at or from them. Imagine if you could pluck a dagger or similar item from a sheath on another character and fling it away with a cantrip.

On the other hand, your own item is only "attended" as long as you want it to be or as long as it is physically tied to you. So you couldn't for instance telekinetic projectile a pendant form a chain that you wear about your neck. But you could totally hold a rock in an upward open palm and fling that.


beowulf99 wrote:
I see no reason to require a caster to release a held item to use with Telekinetic projectile. At worst they would have to "open their hand" which is as free an action as it gets.

Release IS a free action... It's how you drop things... It's on the list of basic actions... Core Rulebook pg. 470...

beowulf99 wrote:
I believe the intention of the "loose, unattended item," verbiage is to stop you from flinging another characters own possessions at or from them.

For me, it's both that and to avoid people trying to used stored items without pulling them out.

beowulf99 wrote:
On the other hand, your own item is only "attended" as long as you want it to be or as long as it is physically tied to you. So you couldn't for instance telekinetic projectile a pendant form a chain that you wear about your neck. But you could totally hold a rock in an upward open palm and fling that.

I could see 'releasing a hand' from the rock in your hand using the release action so I'm cool with that. Out of a sheath/bandolier though? not so much: if it's holding the item well enough it doesn't fall out during your adventures, it's holding it well enough you have to pull it out. It's an action to put in your hand so you can Release it.

Also, if you make a rock in your hand "loose" and "unattended", it means anyone can come up and take it so someone could ready an action and steal your rock before you can cast the spell on it. It's a reason bandolier idea doesn't work: it doesn't differentiate between you and others, ie it doesn't say 'or attended by you' or the like. Unattended means it can be targeted without targeted YOU. "Damaging an unattended item usually requires attacking it directly, and can be difficult due to that item’s Hardness and immunities. You usually can’t attack an attended object (one on a creature’s person)."

PS: that quote also gives a definition of attended: "on a creature’s person" which would mean unattended would be 'not on a creature’s person'.

Shadow Lodge

Thanks all,

That’s pretty much what I expected, and makes sense from the way that all action economy is.

Simon


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graystone wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
I see no reason to require a caster to release a held item to use with Telekinetic projectile. At worst they would have to "open their hand" which is as free an action as it gets.
Release IS a free action... It's how you drop things... It's on the list of basic actions... Core Rulebook pg. 470...

Fair dues, I suppose un clenching a rock or other small item would be a "release" action. In play however, I wouldn't pay attention to such a detail. It's largely unnecessary to do so.

graystone wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
On the other hand, your own item is only "attended" as long as you want it to be or as long as it is physically tied to you. So you couldn't for instance telekinetic projectile a pendant form a chain that you wear about your neck. But you could totally hold a rock in an upward open palm and fling that.
I could see 'releasing a hand' from the rock in your hand using the release action so I'm cool with that. Out of a sheath/bandolier though? not so much: if it's holding the item well enough it doesn't fall out during your adventures, it's holding it well enough you have to pull it out. It's an action to put in your hand so you can Release it.

Sure, I don't dispute that.

graystone wrote:

Also, if you make a rock in your hand "loose" and "unattended", it means anyone can come up and take it so someone could ready an action and steal your rock before you can cast the spell on it. It's a reason bandolier idea doesn't work: it doesn't differentiate between you and others, ie it doesn't say 'or attended by you' or the like. Unattended means it can be targeted without targeted YOU. "Damaging an unattended item usually requires attacking it directly, and can be difficult due to that item’s Hardness and immunities. You usually can’t attack an attended object (one on a creature’s person)."

PS: that quote also gives a definition of attended: "on a creature’s person" which would mean unattended would be 'not on a creature’s person'.

This is hilarious to me. So what if a creature could spend 2 actions on their turn to ready an action to snatch a rock from my hand? Is that really a factor when preparing to use a ranged cantrip?

We are saying the same thing really. I just don't care for the minutiae of requiring a character to "release" such an item. If they have to reach into a pouch to grab the item in the first place, so be it. However, usually I would assume that instead of any of that, they would simply target a loose rock lying about. Even in a castle or some other "civilized" area there are bound to be dozens of items lying about that make this entire thought experiment ultimately pointless. Knick knacks, doodads or what have you.

The real answer to the OP's question is, no, you don't get to snatch something out of someone's hand or pocket or belt pouch etc... with Telekinetic Projectile. The item must not be attended. The sole exception to this that I would allow is a rock that you hold in your own hand, since you wouldn't stop yourself from flinging said rock. I would even allow a player to use another item held by a willing ally, especially if they set up the maneuver before hand.

This may come up in my eventual Extinction Curse game as an act actually...


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Keep in mind that in this fantasy setting most buildings are made out of stone, wood, and other such natural materials. There are going to be loose pebbles, sticks, mulch,
poo, and other such items all over the floor. Requiring the caster to carry something in his hand to be able to release at all times is ridiculous.

Anyone who's been to a Renaissance Festival knows that there is no lack of small loose items, that could be thrown.


beowulf99 wrote:
This is hilarious to me. So what if a creature could spend 2 actions on their turn to ready an action to snatch a rock from my hand? Is that really a factor when preparing to use a ranged cantrip?

It illustrates a point: once you release, it's no longer under your control and others can attack, steal, ect the item. It might be niche if you cast it like you said [rock in hand] but what happens the next round? you spend an action to pull out another? Most people would just drop a pile of rocks so they could use that as they will throughout the fight but unattended means they are vulnerable. [for instance, a Gust of Wind spell might blow the items out of range]

beowulf99 wrote:
We are saying the same thing really. I just don't care for the minutiae of requiring a character to "release" such an item. If they have to reach into a pouch to grab the item in the first place, so be it.

This is different though as that's an Interact action ro draw, requiring you use a single action to use and has the Manipulate trait which triggers things like AoO. It's no different that pulling out a weapon.

beowulf99 wrote:
However, usually I would assume that instead of any of that, they would simply target a loose rock lying about. Even in a castle or some other "civilized" area there are bound to be dozens of items lying about that make this entire thought experiment ultimately pointless. Knick knacks, doodads or what have you.

I'd agree but that doesn't stop me from carrying a pouch in case there doesn't happen to be any small objects around [on none at all]. If I drop into a clean 30' deep stone pit, it's easier to just drop my pouch than look to see if items are around [maybe needing perception checks, special vision, ect to find]. A bit a vapor on the floor could be enough to make to impossible to see the small items there that you could throw for instance.

Grand Lodge

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I cannot imagine that there are DM's out there who are so nit-picky as to rule that there are no items laying about that would not allow this cantrip to work every time.

The only situation where this might be a possibility is an area that is perpetually cleaned by a persnickety entity of a "Rain Man" OCD caliber and is described in such a way that a signal is given to the players that this cantrip may not work reliably.

NiftyB


Nifty Butterfinger wrote:
I cannot imagine that there are DM's out there who are so nit-picky as to rule that there are no items laying about that would not allow this cantrip to work every time.

Something as simple as a Gelatinous Cube can clean up an area of all items laying about as could strong wind or other things. And as I pointed out, even if there are items you could use it on, there isn't a guarantee you can see them. I'd say you could normally find something to use but to say no matter where you are you'll always be able to is a stretch: are you telling me you'll easily find clutter on the elemental plane of air for instance? While walking on a frozen lake? On a windswept cliff ledge? It seems silly for a lot of places to have easily found items much less an infinite number of loose items.

Nifty Butterfinger wrote:
The only situation where this might be a possibility is an area that is perpetually cleaned by a persnickety entity of a "Rain Man" OCD caliber

If that's what you want to call Gelatinous Cubes, go for it.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

To gelatinous cube: "You missed a spot."


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graystone wrote:
Nifty Butterfinger wrote:
I cannot imagine that there are DM's out there who are so nit-picky as to rule that there are no items laying about that would not allow this cantrip to work every time.

Something as simple as a Gelatinous Cube can clean up an area of all items laying about as could strong wind or other things. And as I pointed out, even if there are items you could use it on, there isn't a guarantee you can see them. I'd say you could normally find something to use but to say no matter where you are you'll always be able to is a stretch: are you telling me you'll easily find clutter on the elemental plane of air for instance? While walking on a frozen lake? On a windswept cliff ledge? It seems silly for a lot of places to have easily found items much less an infinite number of loose items.

Nifty Butterfinger wrote:
The only situation where this might be a possibility is an area that is perpetually cleaned by a persnickety entity of a "Rain Man" OCD caliber
If that's what you want to call Gelatinous Cubes, go for it.

It seems more silly to allow what is essentially the fluff of an already subpar cantrip to prevent a player from using it. It's already just a worse Produce Flame.


Aratorin wrote:
It seems more silly to allow what is essentially the fluff of an already subpar cantrip to prevent a player from using it. It's already just a worse Produce Flame.

Well, here's the thing... it's an OCCULT cantrip and is one of only 3 attack cantrips there. [chill touch, daze and telekinetic projectile] Given the competition, it's not subpar AT ALL. 1d6/level + stat [that can crit] vs stat +1d6/2 levels after first and stun on crit fail vs touch 1d4/level + stat and enfeeble on crit fail. Procuce flame is kind of moot here: sure arcane has better cantrips, but so? A bard can't access those in class so you have to look at the balance for the different lists.

Secondly, if it was "fluff", it wouldn't impact mechanics at all but the spell not only requires an object but defines it as an unattended one and further requires it in range and gives a bulk limit... Seems like a LOT of detail for something you are meant to ignore... It could just have you create an object to throw if it always works and save space and complexity.


Ravingdork wrote:
To gelatinous cube: "You missed a spot."

LOL That's the best part about the cube: it perfectly fits a 10' hall, eating organic material while inorganic material just floats around in it's body. You want a sparkly clean dungeon, they are the way to go. ;)


There are going to be loose objects to use, unless in specific situations like the gelatinous cube one. And the game is going to be enriched by those situations, when the player has to find an alternative solution.

By the way, I think that one loose rock is enough to cast the spell multiple times.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm sure the gelatinous cube leaves inorganic "waste." If it didn't, it would quickly cease being gelatinous


Then, make sure that you PCs find the book "A Treatise on Gelatinous Cubes' Metabolism and Personal Hygiene, vol. I" and read it thoroughly so they are prepared for the battle to come! :D


Ravingdork wrote:
I'm sure the gelatinous cube leaves inorganic "waste." If it didn't, it would quickly cease being gelatinous

"A horde approaches!"

"A horde of what?"
"Random objects floating along very smoothly."
"What, pray tell, foul undead spirit could this be?"

Several anti-undead spells and a guard shift later.
"Where did our pair of lookouts go?"
"I don't know, but their armor's floating at us! ...really slowly?"

(Traditionally bones would often survive too, though that was likely for the ick factor.)

----
Having read 100s of modules, 1000s of encounters, I can recall few fights that happened in such pristine conditions. Descriptions (void, polished hallways, etc.) made it obvious you'd have to drop something, which as noted, would be reusable.


Ravingdork wrote:
I'm sure the gelatinous cube leaves inorganic "waste." If it didn't, it would quickly cease being gelatinous

It does, but generally only in areas where it has to squeeze to get through: so for instance if you've found a 5' archway to a room, that might have some items scraped off there. But that's only an issue with inorganics: it's plausible to have little to none of those around, like mostly animal/magic beasts with no need for tools and/or primitive humanoids with wooden weapons. Teeth, bones, wood, ect all vanish in the cube.

Castilliano wrote:
(Traditionally bones would often survive too, though that was likely for the ick factor.)

Harder organic material just survived longer: the reason it had a meal not long before the party meets it is most likely for that "ick" factor. ;)

Castilliano wrote:
Having read 100s of modules, 1000s of encounters, I can recall few fights that happened in such pristine conditions. Descriptions (void, polished hallways, etc.) made it obvious you'd have to drop something, which as noted, would be reusable.

I've had a few: different planes of existence, on a raft in the middle of the water, frozen lake [one big sheet of ice only], an area with several of those cubes, ect. I've been playing enough to plan for the unexpected. The time you say 'oh, I don't need to bring anything for the spell since there is ALWAYS items to throw' is the time you need some from my experience: a pouch of rocks is a cheap insurance policy IMO.


A pouch of differently shaped rocks.
Several blunt, some w/ an edge, and some pokey ones.
Funnily enough, they don't even have to be L Bulk, so a non-issue if you just write it on your sheet.

I had forgotten the ocean & water environments, clouds too.
That triples the amount of areas from rarely to seldom. :)
Not that I'd be using a 30' Cantrip much in such environs anyway.
Can't say I've seen much use of attack Cantrips past early levels except as battles winded down or to exploit a Weakness.


Castilliano wrote:
Can't say I've seen much use of attack Cantrips past early levels except as battles winded down or to exploit a Weakness.

I've seen them quite a bit, it just depends on the type of caster: One group had caster that'd cast a buff or heal as needed in combat but mostly cantriped and Compositioned with most spells utility type spells for out of combat stuff.

Castilliano wrote:
Funnily enough, they don't even have to be L Bulk, so a non-issue if you just write it on your sheet.

Yep, other than the pouch, it costs nothing and is no bulk. Win/win in my book.

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