# Staff Sweep in Staff Acrobat

### Rules Discussion

I have a question about the wording of the Staff Sweep level 6 ability from the Staff Acrobat dedication. An excerpt from the rule states "Roll an athletics check to Shove or Trip, and compare the result to the appropriate DCs of up two foes, each of whom must be within your reach and no more than 5 feet apart".

Does this mean the foes must be in adjacent squares, or does this mean the foes must have no more than one 5' square between them? If they must be in adjacent squares, why would they not phrase it that way?

 1 person marked this as a favorite.

They can have 1 square between them. If they had to be adjacent, it would say that, like Swipe does.

If they could have 1 square between them, they should probably have said they could be up to 10 feet apart, which is consistent with how distance works in all the other parts of the game.

Coldermoss wrote:
If they could have 1 square between them, they should probably have said they could be up to 10 feet apart, which is consistent with how distance works in all the other parts of the game.

That would be 2 squares. I don't understand the confusion. Each square is 5 feet. Apart is the amount of empty space.

Aratorin wrote:
That would be 2 squares. I don't understand the confusion. Each square is 5 feet. Apart is the amount of empty space.

Please don't say "I don't understand the confusion".

If you and I stand five feet apart, Aratorin, we stand in adjacent squares.

The OP's confusion is entirely understandable.

Zapp wrote:
Please don't say "I don't understand the confusion".

I'll say it then: I don't understand your confusion. The Size, Space, and Reach rules [core, pg#473] tell you that small and medium creatures take up their entire squares: as such, what Aratorin said is 100% correct. You and the square are the same thing as far as the game is concerned so to be 5' apart means your squares aren't touching with 1 space between. We aren't talking reach or range but the distance between instead. Reach/range doesn't work as that are measured from you and not the creatures themselves so you must you apart instead.

Zapp wrote:
If you and I stand five feet apart, Aratorin, we stand in adjacent squares.

Not the way the game does things: is you're in adjacent squares, then there is no distance between you: it why you can Touch someone without any movement involved. Now it's 5' reach, but that's not the same thing.

It's correct, but still confusing to a lot of people.

If you don't think about it in just the right way, you might think something like center of square to center of square is 5ft, so they'd need to be adjacent.

It's very much confusing and a bad way of witing the intention.

If they had said can have "up to one 5ft square between them" then it would be clearer.

Claxon wrote:

It's correct, but still confusing to a lot of people.

If you don't think about it in just the right way, you might think something like center of square to center of square is 5ft, so they'd need to be adjacent.

It's very much confusing and a bad way of witing the intention.

If they had said can have "up to one 5ft square between them" then it would be clearer.

I don't think it's confusing after reading the Size, Space, and Reach rules. Add to that nothing in the game measures things from "center of square to center of square" that I know of. If it was framed as 'it could be misunderstood by people that are new to the game and used to a different measuring system' I could see it but within the PF2 game and reading all the rule it doesn't seem an issue.

As to "up to one 5ft square between them", that's functionally the same as "no more than 5 feet apart". IMO, adding squares becomes problematic as tiny or smaller creatures don't take up a whole square. As such, a tiny creature might be less than a square away or even in the same space so framing it as being strictly square based or requiring a square distance between them seem more confusing that a simple distance or less.

I think the big problem is defining things not in terms of squares, even though most of the game isn't.

Squares is more relevant, because that's what people are typically looking at.

Regardless, I maintain that's in confusing as written and unless you refer back to the size, space, and reach rules you could easily misunderstand what it's saying. Most people don't have encyclopedic memories, they're going to read through that section and say "Yeah, I get the gist".

Claxon wrote:
Regardless, I maintain that's in confusing as written

And I'm saying that your rewording could be just as confusing as it can make you think is must be measures in square instead of lesser distances that are completely possible with tiny creatures. So what I'm trying to say is that the suggested 'cure' isn't any better than the current situation. The game doesn't make reverence to quarter squares so making it be a square measurement when distances might be in those quarter distances IMO is a more confusing prospect.

Claxon wrote:
unless you refer back to the size, space, and reach rules

These are pretty integral rules for movement and combat so it doesn't seem onerous it know them or where they are.

My point is that someone would probably read the passage for staff sweep thinking that they know about the rules for space, size, and reach and just say "Yeah...this just means adjacent".

As for my proposal making it more confusing...I don't really see how. If you play on a grid, and each creature occupies it's grid square (which is 5ft by 5ft) then saying you can have 1 5ft square between you makes it pretty clear to me.

But is it optimal, probably not. If I spent more than 5 minutes thinking about how I could make it really clear I could probably come up with something good. But that doesn't change the fact that the original rules are quite open to being interpreted incorrectly.

This isn't about whether or not my wording is superior or more confusing. It's about the fact that whats written in the rule book is confusing.

Claxon wrote:
It's about the fact that whats written in the rule book is confusing.

The only thing I can say is that I didn't find it so and was only confused with wording trying to fix it.

Touch is range 0 and 5' away is... 5' away. Trying to make it adjacent is confusing.

 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I can see why someone might get thrown off. 5' reach is adjacent. Moving 5' is moving to the adjacent square, whereas moving the next square over would require 10' of movement.

Makes sense to me that someone might have those ideas internalized and see 'no more than 5 feet' as no further than opposite edge of the adjacent square, even if that's not correct.

Squiggit wrote:
I can see why someone might get thrown off. 5' reach is adjacent. Moving 5' is moving to the adjacent square, whereas moving the next square over would require 10' of movement.

We're dealing with range though, where adjacent/touch is range 0. That and there is no reason to mention range at all if the intent was adjacent: why say "compare the result to the appropriate DCs of up two foes, each of whom must be within your reach and no more than 5 feet apart" when you could say 'compare the result to the appropriate DCs of up two foes adjacent to each other and within your reach"? I just can't see it meaning anything other than actual distance between them instead of them touching.

Maybe it's just me and Aratorin what's not seeing it as confusing. I can't even think of a way it could be made clearer that it is. I think this might be a situation to agree to disagree.

So reach says it allows you to "attack creatures up to 10 feet away instead of only adjacent creatures". Does that mean one square between the two of you or two? Because the "up to one square between" interpretation of staff sweep would suggest two squares in the case of reach.

 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Coldermoss wrote:
So reach says it allows you to "attack creatures up to 10 feet away instead of only adjacent creatures". Does that mean one square between the two of you or two? Because the "up to one square between" interpretation of staff sweep would suggest two squares in the case of reach.

Away and Apart are two completely different words with completely different meanings.

10 feet away means 1 square between.

10 feet apart means 2 squares between.

So space is measured differently depending on whether the words "apart" and "away" are used? That seems far fetched to me. Could you please explain your reasoning in further detail? Specifically how the two words are different.

Edit: nevermind, I figured out what you're going for. It still seems like two separate ways to determine distance, and the intention of staff sweep could have been made more clear by saying "two creatures within 10 feet of one another" instead of "no further than 5 ft apart" but I suppose we'll just have to disagree there.

 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Aratorin wrote:
Away and Apart are two completely different words

They're synonyms, at least according to the thesauruses I was looking at.

Just to be clear:
Two creatures that are five feet apart are also ten feet away from each other.

And if you're five feet away from me we're zero feet apart.

And we really can't figure out why this might throw some people off?

 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I do kind if wonder if this was not a carefully chosen word choice, such that "5 ft apart" must be different than "adjacent." The weird wording makes me wonder if the writerm turned in an ability that said "10 ft apart" and the developer reduced it to 5 before publication, but didn't change the phrasing, just the number.

Squiggit wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
Away and Apart are two completely different words
They're synonyms, at least according to the thesauruses I was looking at.

We should probably keep this to the rulebook definition. If there is one :-(

In English the words away and apart can be very different.

For distance, we are 5 feet away from that tree, and 5 feet apart from each other. You would not say 5 we are feet apart from that tree.

Not in distance, they is very little overlap. I take away my food, and take apart my car.

 2 people marked this as a favorite.

Again, I agree the only practical ruling here is that the two foes can stand with one empty square between them.

The controversy is instead whether the phrasing can be considered confusing. I submit this thread as evidence that, yes, the language used has a clear potential to be confusing.

Zapp wrote:

Again, I agree the only practical ruling here is that the two foes can stand with one empty square between them.

The controversy is instead whether the phrasing can be considered confusing. I submit this thread as evidence that, yes, the language used has a clear potential to be confusing.

Exactly this, I understand what is the correct answer here. But 100% the wording is confusing.