pinned creature cannot move and is denied its Dexterity bonus


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"On a side note to that, only feint and flat-footed (that I am aware of) causes a loss of a dex to AC. The other mentions are all things that either trigger off that loss to AC specifically, or re-asserting rules that are already in place."

Arcane Trickster can make a target lose their Dex bonus to AC-
Beginning at 3rd level, once per day an arcane trickster can declare one melee or ranged attack she makes to be a sneak attack (the target can be no more than 30 feet distant if the impromptu sneak attack is a ranged attack). The target of an impromptu sneak attack loses any Dexterity bonus to AC, but only against that attack. The power can be used against any target, but creatures that are not subject to critical hits take no extra damage (though they still lose any Dexterity bonus to AC against the attack).

Blinded Condition -

The creature cannot see. It takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class, loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), and takes a –4 penalty on most Strength– and Dexterity-based skill checks and on opposed Perception skill checks. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Perception checks based on sight) automatically fail. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) against the blinded character. Blind creatures must make a DC 10 Acrobatics skill check to move faster than half speed. Creatures that fail this check fall prone. Characters who remain blinded for a long time grow accustomed to these drawbacks and can overcome some of them.

Invisible -
Invisible creatures are visually undetectable. An invisible creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against sighted opponents, and ignores its opponents’ Dexterity bonuses to AC (if any). See the invisibility special ability.


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bbangerter wrote:
Let's assume for the moment, that the only place the rules talked about loss to dex was the pinned condition (written as it currently is) and the sneak attack ability, written as it currently is?

Let's not. You're trying to construct a hypothetical situation so that you can avoid having to face all the other evidence that the actual situation comes with.

Fact 1: The pinned description was edited in, i.e. writter way after the other parts of the CRB.
Fact 2: There wasn't enough space to add "to AC" without having to redo the formatting of the whole section.
Fact 3: Every single other instance of the phrase "denied (...) dexterity bonus" in the CRB explicitly and only is about AC.

If we don't focus on the word "denied", it gets even more one-sided. The CRB more often talks about losing (or retaining) dexterity bonus, these instances can be found on pgs. 34 (x2), 55 (x2), 69 (x2), 87, 91 (x3), 119, 130, 132 (x2), 135, 169, 172, 178 (x2), 184, 188, 194, 195 (x2), 200, 201, 250, 286, 294, 347, 378 (x2), 379 (x2), 392 (x2), 433, 527, 565, and 567 (x2). All of them are explicitly about AC.

Sure, there's plenty of duplicates there, but the fact is that there are a total of 50 instances where the CRB talks about (potentially) losing the dexterity bonus, and 49 of them are indubiously about AC. And here you are arguing that the one case that doesn't say it is (also) about something difference, without being ably to present any evidence that actually supports it.

bbangerter wrote:
On a side note to that, only feint and flat-footed (that I am aware of) causes a loss of a dex to AC.

Other situations that cause a loss of dexterity bonus to AC: Invisibile attacker, blinded/being in darkness, climbing, run action, squeezing (through or into a space less than half your space’s width), the stunned condition, and being off-balance underwater. Squeezing and stunned are specially interesting, as the "movement is especially restricted" argument applies to them just as much as to pinned, both also impose an (additional) AC penalty and both also prevent attacking, and yet neither lose the dexterity bonus to skills or saves.

bbangerter wrote:
No, because context is extremely important.

My argument was solely based on the number of apperances. For that argument, the individual context is utterly irrelevant. You're only trying to focus on context to hide the fact that you can't beat my argument.

bbangerter wrote:
It already mentions it is a dodge bonus to AC. So when it mentions "this bonus" the context already tells us to AC, because it was a dodge to AC bonus. Adding "to AC" again in the paragraph is superflous.

The whole second sentence is superfluous. Doesn't change or invalidate my argument the slightest.

bbangerter wrote:
Finally, if the best you can do to counter my argument is make veiled insults about my intellectual honesty

Veiled insult? There was no veiled insult. I openly accused you of trying to hide the truth. That's not an insult, though.

Here, I'll be even more explicit: I think your entire post is just trying to distract from the fact that you don't have an answer to my argument of "there literally was no space to write 'to AC'".


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I'm not looking back through 50+ posts, but where do you get that there was no space to write "to AC"? That's an interesting little tidbit if a writer actually said that, otherwise that doesn't really seem to pass the sniff test with "force justify" or other layout option being a thing.

Dark Archive

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yukongil wrote:
I'm not looking back through 50+ posts, but where do you get that there was no space to write "to AC"? That's an interesting little tidbit if a writer actually said that, otherwise that doesn't really seem to pass the sniff test with "force justify" or other layout option being a thing.

It was edited in after the original printing, meaning there's a limited space to make changes without it altering the format or page count of the printed books. It's often not worth changing the format in a lot of pages just to correct a seemingly small issue.


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Name Violation wrote:
yukongil wrote:
I'm not looking back through 50+ posts, but where do you get that there was no space to write "to AC"? That's an interesting little tidbit if a writer actually said that, otherwise that doesn't really seem to pass the sniff test with "force justify" or other layout option being a thing.
It was edited in after the original printing, meaning there's a limited space to make changes without it altering the format or page count of the printed books. It's often not worth changing the format in a lot of pages just to correct a seemingly small issue.

They changed it from "Flat Footed" to "Lose your Dexterity Bonus" (or however it's worded). There was an actual mechanical reason for the change (you can now take immediate actions while Pinned, such as a Liberating Command), but it seems unlikely they intended to introduce a completely new mechanic for Pinned rather than simplifying the immediate action issue.


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Honestly this question has been answered as thoroughly as it's going to be. 99% of people here seem to be in agreement, and those who aren't are not likely to be persuaded. I'm happy to call this thread done.


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yukongil wrote:
where do you get that there was no space to write "to AC"?

The wording was errata'd for the 5th printing of the CRB: "Page 568—In the Pinned condition, in the second sentence, change “flat-footed” to “denied its Dexterity bonus.”"

Now, if you look at the actual book/PDF, you'll see that the pinned condition description is pretty much full (it's set as justified text, so check the spaces between words. Those spaces were much larger prior to the erratum, by the way.). Adding "to AC" would have made not only the third, but every consequitive line of the pinned description roll over, and while there is a little bit of space left at the last line, I don't think it would have fit at all (the "grappler's" from the third-to-last line would have rolled over, which would have forced the "more severe" in the second-to-last line to roll over, and that would not have fit in the last line).


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ah, thanks for the replies on that everyone. That is pretty interesting/wild.

I too agree that this is pretty clear, though I do like the idea better of having it drop the Dex bonus to everything and might use it as such as a house rule in the future. Mostly as I just really want someone to grab/pin the badguy and yell for the wizard to fireball them both!


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I see the problem. I had missed this post here. Given the FAQ and change in wording, then yes, pinned is dex to AC loss.

Derklord wrote:

The phrase appears in the CRB nine times. Eight of these are absolutely clearly only about AC. Saying that the ninth occurence is not just about AC when the concept isn't adressed anywhere else (not in the skill rules, for instance), is, in my opinion, disingenuity.

Also note that originally (up to the 4th printing of the CRB), Pinned made the target flat-footed, they changed that to the "denied dexterity bonus" in the 5th printing (after this FAQ, which talks about "dexterity bonus" while the actual erratum also added "to AC"). Since such changes mustn't break the formatting, adding "to its armor class" was simply not possible with the limited aviable space.

The CRB isn't written to be the most precise rule document. The devs have said so, and there are plenty examples of where one cannot play the game as strictly written without it breaking down (that the polymorph rules RAW don't apply to Wild Shape even though they reference that ability being a perfect example).


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yukongil wrote:
I do like the idea better of having it drop the Dex bonus to everything

That is still what the rules say.

Pinned wrote:
denied its Dexterity bonus.

It doesn't say Denied its Dexterity Bonus to AC. It says "denied its Dex Bonus."

Mr. Charisma wrote:
it seems unlikely they intended to introduce a completely new mechanic for Pinned rather than simplifying the immediate action issue.

It says what it says. The probability of it saying that is 100%.

My saucy remark aside, It is not that unlikely. The Grappled Condition also lowers your Dex Mod to your Escape Artist Check to Escape a Grapple.

Grappled wrote:
take a –4 penalty to Dexterity.

The actual Dex score is lowered; so is your Escape Artist Check. And since Pinned is a more severe form of Grappled,

Pinned wrote:
Pinned is a more severe version of grappled

it is not implausible that your ability to use Escape Artist would also be more severely limited.

Derklord wrote:
There wasn't enough space to add "to AC" without having to redo the formatting of the whole section.

That does not matter. The rules do not say what the writers would have liked to have said if only they had had more space to write that in. The rules say what they say.

Derklord wrote:
there are a total of 50 instances where the CRB talks about (potentially) losing the dexterity bonus, and 49 of them are indubiously about AC.

50 of them talk about losing dex bonus. 49 of them are indubitably about AC (only?), and one of them isn't. So? One of them isn't.

Derklord wrote:
the one case that doesn't say it is (also) about something difference, without being ably to present any evidence that actually supports it.

We don't need further evidence. The rules say "denied Dexterity bonus," not denied Dexterity bonus to AC only. But the fact that they took care to specify "denied Dexterity bonus to AC" all 49 other times implies to me that the one time they left off "to AC" they left it off because they meant to.

Also, the Pinned creature takes an additional -4 penalty to AC in addition to losing their Dex bonus to AC.

Pinned wrote:
A pinned creature cannot move and is denied its Dexterity bonus. A pinned character also takes an additional –4 penalty to his Armor Class.

They mentioned Armor Class in the very next sentence, but they didn't mention Armor Class as the sole thing lost by the loss of Dex mod. I think that is more significant than 49 other, disparate instances of Dex Mod loss from 49 other causes. Armor Class was clearly on the writer's mind. Escape Artist was clearly on the writer's mind. If they meant to say that Pinned denies your opponent their Dex mod just to AC, then they really should have said so. But even while they were clearly thinking about Dexterity, Armor Class, and Escape Artist, they did not make the distinction that you seem to feel should be understood.

bbangerter wrote:
Given the FAQ and change in wording, then yes, pinned is dex to AC loss.

FAQ trumps the rules. But I failed to find the FAQ that specified that "denied its Dexterity bonus" actually means "denied its Dexterity bonus to AC." But I've missed things before. Could you quote that to me and link to it, please?


Scott Wilhelm wrote:


FAQ trumps the rules. But I failed to find the FAQ that specified that "denied its Dexterity bonus" actually means "denied its Dexterity bonus to AC." But I've missed things before. Could you quote that to me and link to it, please?

FAQs trump rules, except when those rules have been updated in the print AFTER the posting of the FAQ. The FAQ was posted in 2011, and includes 3 items of text that would be updated in the next printing of said rules (aka errata) - that is those printed rules in future printings have the highest authority in this case.

From the FAQ wrote:


Update: Page 195—In Table 8–6: Armor Class Modifiers, in the entry for Grappling, delete the superscript “1” after the +0 in the Melee and Ranged columns. In the third footnote, change “flat-footed and cannot add his Dexterity bonus” to “denied its Dexterity bonus

But the text in the actual rulebook got updated to "denied its Dexterity bonus to AC".

Also from the FAQ wrote:


Update: Page 568—In the Pinned condition, in the second sentence, change “flat-footed” to “denied its Dexterity bonus.”

Full FAQ link if you want to look it over

Now here the rulebook received the exact text change listed, without the inclusion of "to AC". But if you look at an older copy of the CRB (I went and found mine a couple days ago), there was a small amount of space left at the very end of the paragraph that describes the pinned condition. If you look at a newer CRB, that small amount of space was used up by the wording change. To even include the extra word "to" let alone "to AC" or "to Armor Class" would have resulted in the paragraph shifting onto the next line in the book, which would have resulted in the text coming after that paragraph also being shifted, resulting in issues for the book layout.

So, technically, yes, the RAW is it is a loss to dex bonus. But given the previous reading, flat-footed, which causes a loss of dex to AC, and given the table footnote printing including that, and given the page layout in the book, I believe the RAI is indeed loss of dex to AC. Note this is a reversal of my previous position prior to my seeing that FAQ and looking at the actual book text from a physical copy of the book.

I'm in agreement with you in regards to all the other references in the book of "to AC" being irrelevent to the discussion.


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bbangerter wrote:
Now here the rulebook received the exact text change listed, without the inclusion of "to AC".

There you go. The rules don't limit the loss of Dex Mod to AC.

bbangerter wrote:
So, technically, yes, the RAW is it is a loss to dex bonus.

Then it is settled.


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bbangerter wrote:
there was a small amount of space left at the very end of the paragraph that describes the pinned condition. If you look at a newer CRB, that small amount of space was used up by the wording change. To even include the extra word "to" let alone "to AC" or "to Armor Class" would have resulted in the paragraph shifting onto the next line in the book, which would have resulted in the text coming after that paragraph also being shifted, resulting in issues for the book layout.

I think this argument is just terrible. It's not like they compose these books on manual typewriters. And you can make it fit.

aon, Conditions, Pinned wrote:
A pinned creature cannot move and is denied its Dexterity bonus. A pinned character also takes an additional –4 penalty to his Armor Class.

That's 139 characters including spaces.

make it fit wrote:
A Pinned creature cannot move, is denied its Dexterity Bonus to Armor Class, and suffers an additional -4 to AC.

That's 112 characters including spaces. There. You see? It would have been well-possible to fit in the allegedly proper rules and make it fit. What right fools you must think the PDT if you think they aren't up to that level of writing. Paizo REALLY needs to make me a job offer to write for them if that level of writing is out-of-reach of their current bull pen.

bbangerter wrote:
I believe the RAI is indeed loss of dex to AC.

Even if the available-space argument were a good argument, intention can only be a matter of speculation. Meanwhile, remember that you and I are paid customers. We are not responsible for what Paizo meant to say. Paizo is responsible for what they did say.

Meanwhile, remember that Paizo has no moral standing of authorship and no right to dictate RAI. Paizo ripped the Core Rulebook whole-cloth from the Dungeons and Dragons Players' Handbook. The intent of the author of the Core Rulebook is that they be used for Dungeons and Dragons, not for Pathfinder. When Pathfinder player uses the rules in the way that was not intended, they doing what Paizo themselves did and are therefor playing the game in the highest and oldest tradition.

I'm not accusing Paizo of doing anything illegal. I'm sure their work is well-protected under the Open Source Gaming License, but it does mean they have no moral standing to dictate intent since they themselves are not the authors of the original work. Wizards of the Coast did a lot of things Gary Gygax opposed as well.


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The available space argument is a valid argument with things like player companions, small batch small page count 15 dollar supplements. It doesn't really fly in a core rulebook with as many revisions as this ruleset has had.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:


Even if the available-space argument were a good argument, intention can only be a matter of speculation. Meanwhile, remember that you and I are paid customers. We are not responsible for what Paizo meant to say. Paizo is responsible for what they did say.

Sure. And the rules don't tell us that dead characters can take no actions. Just because something isn't written in the rules does not mean we cannot extrapolate (ie, speculate) with a very high degree of accuracy. In fact most of the text of the rules requires some degree of interpetation (ie, speculation). The fact that there are thousands of threads in the rules forum with no concrete answer available is an indication of that.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:


Meanwhile, remember that Paizo has no moral standing of authorship and no right to dictate RAI. Paizo ripped the Core Rulebook whole-cloth from the Dungeons and Dragons Players' Handbook. The intent of the author of the Core Rulebook is that they be used for Dungeons and Dragons, not for Pathfinder. When Pathfinder player uses the rules in the way that was not intended, they doing what Paizo themselves did and are therefor playing the game in the highest and oldest tradition

I disagree with this. Just because PF was based on 3.5, does not mean it has not evolved, or that rules haven't been adjusted from the 3.5 rules. They have absolute right to dictate RAI for their game - especially when they have specifically changed rules from what the original 3.5 rules were.


bbangerter wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Even if the available-space argument were a good argument, intention can only be a matter of speculation. Meanwhile, remember that you and I are paid customers. We are not responsible for what Paizo meant to say. Paizo is responsible for what they did say.

Sure. And the rules don't tell us that dead characters can take no actions. Just because something isn't written in the rules does not mean we cannot extrapolate (ie, speculate) with a very high degree of accuracy. In fact most of the text of the rules requires some degree of interpetation (ie, speculation). The fact that there are thousands of threads in the rules forum with no concrete answer available is an indication of that.

That's actually not true.

The rules say that when a character takes massive negative damage or total Constitution loss, he's dead. "Dead" is an English language word that has an understood meaning that includes an inability to take actions.

The Dead Condition states that the character's soul is not in his body. Magic Jar states that when your soul leaves your body, your body is lifeless. And when you use Magic Jar, any body your soul possesses is the body you control. That means that when your soul is not in your body, like when you are Dead, you do not control it.

Further it states that a character with negative hit points that have not been stabilized have the Dying Condition, and it does state that Dying characters can take no actions. That does unambiguously imply that a character that died through hit point loss cannot take any actions.

The rules state that an unconscious character has the Helpless Condition and the Helpless character can take no actions. So it is the case that any character that had the Unconscious Condition prior to gaining the Dead Condition and did not have that Unconscious Condition removed, cannot take Action.

I suppose there might be conditions under which a character dies and still might able to take actions: it is a fantasy game, you know.


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bbangerter wrote:
I disagree with this. Just because PF was based on 3.5, does not mean it has not evolved,

But that is my point: the game evolves. It evolves beyond the intent of the authors. Paizo themselves drove the evolution of the game by going against the intent of the rules.

bbangerter wrote:
They have absolute right to dictate RAI for their game - especially when they have specifically changed rules from what the original 3.5 rules were.

It would be the acme of hypocrisy for them to try to lord intent over others. Whoever finds a use for Pathfinder Rules that is different from the intent of Paizo is doing exactly what Paizo did in the first place when they created Pathfinder.

Violating Pathfinder's RAI is in fact playing Pathfinder in the highest and oldest tradition of the game.

This simple fact is probably the reason why they created 2nd Edition in the first place.


Is anyone still arguing that you lose your bonus to skill checks when pinned?

I think there was dev(official rule makers) commentary on this that backs up only losing sex to AC but I'm not going to look for it that part of the debate is over.


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wraithstrike wrote:

Is anyone still arguing that you lose your bonus to skill checks when pinned?

I think there was dev(official rule makers) commentary on this that backs up only losing sex to AC but I'm not going to look for it that part of the debate is over.

Maybe a Scaled Fist Monk?

Bow-chicka-bow-bow.


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Losing sex to AC is a major drawback I'd say.

♫ I would do aaaaaaanything for AC...
...but I won't do thaaaaaaaaat! ♪♫


wraithstrike wrote:
Is anyone still arguing that you lose your bonus to skill checks when pinned?

More than that, I proved it rather conclusively.


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Of course, it's all irrelevant, because as we all know a pinned character is bound...

Quote:
Pinned: A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions.

...and a bound character is helpless...

Quote:
Helpless: A helpless character is paralyzed, held, bound, sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise completely at an opponent’s mercy.

...and a helpless character has a Dex of 0...

Quote:
A helpless target is treated as having a Dexterity of 0 (–5 modifier).

...so you don't have a Dex bonus to lose in the first place.


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GM PDK wrote:
Losing sex to AC is a major drawback I'd say.

Especially for a succubus in a grapple...


MrCharisma wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Is anyone still arguing that you lose your bonus to skill checks when pinned?

I think there was dev(official rule makers) commentary on this that backs up only losing sex to AC but I'm not going to look for it that part of the debate is over.

Maybe a Scaled Fist Monk?

Bow-chicka-bow-bow.

LOL. This is why we need longer edit times for post.


This topic has come up before, and I remember someone explaining it pretty well, but I couldn't find the post that talked about the loss of dex only applying to AC.

So all I can say is you can think that Paizo changed the ruling and forgot to make text clarifying they're doing things differently from 3.5, or you can keep playing like most people play which is to only have the loss apply to AC only.


wraithstrike wrote:
So all I can say is you can think that Paizo changed the ruling and forgot to make text clarifying they're doing things differently from 3.5

I think it is abundantly clear that Paizo does Grappling differently from 3.5!

In 3.5, you began a Grapple by making a Touch Attack. In Pathfinder, you don't.

In 3.5 you make a Grapple Check by making Opposed Rolls. In Pathfinder, you make a Combat Maneuver Attack Roll opposed by the target's CMD.

In 3.5, you can't even Grapple someone more than 2 sizes bigger than you. In Pathfinder that Size restriction has been removed for Grappling.

In 3.5, if you break a Pin, you are still Grappled. In Pathfinder, if you break a Pin you can elect to either be the one in control of the Grapple, or elect to just be free of it.

In 3.5, Grapplers were in the same square as their opponents. In Pathfinder, they are in adjacent squares.

So, an argument based on it being somehow unlikely that Paizo changed something about Grappling from 3.5 is an astonishingly poor argument! Paizo has changed a great deal about the Grappling Rules between 3.5 and Pathfinder!

wraithstrike wrote:
most people play which is to only have the loss apply to AC only.

So, what I'm doing here is reporting what the rules say. I have quoted and linked to the rules backing my findings. Can you back your findings? Have you identified a compelling sample size of Pathfinder 1E players around the world and confidently say you have a mathematically representative n?

I find it unlikely that even if you could back your appeal-to-popular-opinion argument with real evidence that it would be especially compelling. This thread is in the Rules Forum, after all, the rules do not support your claim that you can add your Dex Mod to your Escape Artist Check while you are Pinned.

wraithstrike wrote:
the debate is over.... I couldn't find the post

The debate looks over to me, too!


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
So all I can say is you can think that Paizo changed the ruling and forgot to make text clarifying they're doing things differently from 3.5

I think it is abundantly clear that Paizo does Grappling differently from 3.5!

In 3.5, you began a Grapple by making a Touch Attack. In Pathfinder, you don't.

Did you speedread my quote "forgot to make text" which would actually account for the grappling rule change since they actually did change the grappling rules in a very distinct manner?

I'm seriously asking. If you didn't miss it then I'm not understanding what how your comment actually disagrees with what I said.


Scott I wasn't trying to be rude, but I do see how it came across that way.

In any event I found that old text I was looking for. It explains how " denied its Dexterity bonus" came to be.

There was a contradiction between the grapple rules and the pinned rules. So in order to avoid saying you were flat-footed they use the " denied its Dexterity bonus" term, assuming everyone would know what it meant.

Here is the flow:

1. The old pinned rule said:

CRB/PRD before update wrote:
A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions. A pinned creature cannot move and is flat-footed.

2. Then there were various discussions about it on the forums, and contradictions were noticed.

3. They then made an FAQ and Errata that says this:
"Update: Page 568—In the Pinned condition, in the second sentence, change “flat-footed” to “denied its Dexterity bonus."

That's only part of the FAQ.

I'm going to link to the FAQ, but above it I'm going to put the entire FAQ text below.

In the quoted section I'm going to put my own verbiage in italics and bold it so it's clear where the rules and my words are separate.

FAQ wrote:


Grapple: There are some contradictions between the various rules on grappling. What is correct?
To sum up the correct rules:

1) Grappling does not deny you your Dex bonus to AC, whether you are the grappler or the target.

2) A grappled creature can still make a full attack.

3) Being pinned does not make you flat-footed, but you are denied your Dex bonus.

Update: Page 195—In Table 8–6: Armor Class Modifiers, in the entry for Grappling, delete the superscript “1” after the +0 in the Melee and Ranged columns. In the third footnote, change “flat-footed and cannot add his Dexterity bonus” to “denied its Dexterity bonus”

This "“denied its Dexterity bonus" is referring to the bonus to AC. That's why it's under "Armor Class Modifiers" as mentioned above. If you go to the table and look at "pinned" this matches up to show that it's talking about AC.

Update: Page 201—In the If You Are Grappled section, in the fourth sentence, change “any action that requires only one hand to perform” to “any action that doesn’t require two hands to perform.” In the fourth sentence, change “make an attack with a light or one-handed weapon” to “make an attack or full attack with a light or one-handed weapon”

Update: Page 568—In the Pinned condition, in the second sentence, change “flat-footed” to “denied its Dexterity bonus.”

This also had to change under the pinned condition to show that you don't get your dex bonus to AC

Now it can be argued that they wanted to make it more severe, and go from flat-footed to denying the dex bonus across the board, however it would made sense to be more clear in such a statement since this FAQ was supposed to be a clarification of intent, not a rules big rules change, which is what it would be if dex based characters had to try to escape pins without using their dex bonus. It would be almost impossible, and in some cases it would be impossible

FAQ link


wraithstrike wrote:
Now it can be argued that they wanted to make it more severe, and go from flat-footed to denying the dex bonus across the board, however it would made sense to be more clear in such a statement since this FAQ was supposed to be a clarification of intent, not a rules big rules change, which is what it would be if dex based characters had to try to escape pins without using their dex bonus. It would be almost impossible, and in some cases it would be impossible

I think it is problematic to make RAI arguments at all. I have a few reasons for saying this:

In most cases, the intent of the rules can only be a matter of conjecture. On this thread, I have shown that it can be at least as compellingly argued that their intent was indeed to change the rules.

The basic relationship between Paizo and us is customer-business. We are the paying customers, and we have rights to a certain basic level of quality. In other words, we are not responsible for what Paizo meant to say. They are responsible for what they did say. The gatekeeper-pushback I get from stating this simple truth is mystifying, like some contributors to this thread must actually be Paizo-paid sock-puppet posters or something. You get that, right, Wraithstrike? When I say this, I am actually advocating for you, for your rights as a customer.

Paizo themselves went against the rules when they created the Pathfinder Core Rulebook in the first place. While they did make changes, most of the text of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook was lifted whole cloth, cut, and pasted from the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Players' Handbook. The intent of the rules, the intent of the authors, therefore, was that the rules be used to play Dungeons and Dragons, not Pathfinder! Paizo's intent of the rules can only be to go against the intent of the rules! When you do go against the intent of the rules, what you are doing is what Paizo itself did, and therefore you are playing the game in the highest and oldest tradition.

wraithstrike wrote:
this FAQ was supposed to be a clarification of intent, not a rules big rules change,

I disagree. The FAQ is a place where official rules changes are posted, and in this FAQ that you linked to, they actually posted errata: literal rules changes. It may have been the initial intent of this FAQ when it was first written to be a statement of intent but not a rules change, but that's not what the FAQ is now.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Now it can be argued that they wanted to make it more severe, and go from flat-footed to denying the dex bonus across the board, however it would made sense to be more clear in such a statement since this FAQ was supposed to be a clarification of intent, not a rules big rules change, which is what it would be if dex based characters had to try to escape pins without using their dex bonus. It would be almost impossible, and in some cases it would be impossible

I think it is problematic to make RAI arguments at all. I have a few reasons for saying this:

In most cases, the intent of the rules can only be a matter of conjecture. On this thread, I have shown that it can be at least as compellingly argued that their intent was indeed to change the rules.

The basic relationship between Paizo and us is customer-business. We are the paying customers, and we have rights to a certain basic level of quality. In other words, we are not responsible for what Paizo meant to say. They are responsible for what they did say. The gatekeeper-pushback I get from stating this simple truth is mystifying, like some contributors to this thread must actually be Paizo-paid sock-puppet posters or something. You get that, right, Wraithstrike? When I say this, I am actually advocating for you, for your rights as a customer.

Paizo themselves went against the rules when they created the Pathfinder Core Rulebook in the first place. While they did make changes, most of the text of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook was lifted whole cloth, cut, and pasted from the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Players' Handbook. The intent of the rules, the intent of the authors, therefore, was that the rules be used to play Dungeons and Dragons, not Pathfinder! Paizo's intent of the rules can only be to go against the intent of the rules! When you do go against the intent of the rules, what you are doing is what Paizo itself did, and therefore you are playing the game in the highest and oldest tradition....

Every rules argument is an RAI argument since every rule has to be interpreted. Even when someone says "RAW" they're still making interpretation.

If you look at some "RAW" based arguments/disagreements two people can be reading it differently because their interpretation is different. If there was only one way to read the rules we'd all read them the same way.

A specific example of this was whether or not a multiclassed cleric can use spells from another class to turn into cure/inflict spells.

The verbiage is:

Quote:
"Spontaneous Casting: A good cleric (or a neutral cleric of a good deity) can channel stored spell energy into healing spells that she did not prepare ahead of time. The cleric can “lose” any prepared spell that is not an orison or domain spell in order to cast any cure spell of the same spell level or lower (a cure spell is any spell with “cure” in its name)."

Nothing there limits them to casting only cleric spells to use cure spells, but an FAQ makes it clear what the intent was. The character is still a cleric, even if it has levels in wizard.

You have to use context to figure out the way the devs intended things to work.

Part of getting the rules right is understanding developer intent. Honestly it shouldn't be that way, but things are what they are.

That's how I've been able to get my predictions of what an FAQ will be, even when the exact wording disagrees. I can count on one hand the number of times the dev team came back with a different ruling.

As an example the haste spell was once written to rule out unarmed strikes. It wasn't intentional. It was just a byproduct of how the text was written. I brought attention to it, and the dev team(Actually SKR when he was still here) said that was not the intent, and there was clarification on in a later FAQ.

In theory I understand this could add to that total of me being wrong, and I understand that me being confident because I've been mostly correct in the past doesn't make me correct this time.

If you're going to make a big change like that, you have to be clear about it.

They even had a blog post around grapple, and they didn't mention it then either.

Just to be clear, I wasn't saying the FAQ has never been used to change the rules. I'm saying that was the case here. The FAQ specifically calls out clearing up a contradiction. The contradiction was the interaction of being flat-footed with regard to losing dex.

The distinction matters because being flat-footed is worse than just losing dex. When you're flat-footed you can't take attacks of opportunity, in addition to losing dex.

It even says "To sum up the correct rules" right after it mentions a "contradiction".

Now if they're using it to change a rule, why not just say that?

There's a big difference between "We're going to give you the correct version of the rules." vs "We're going to make a big change with regard to how this works and make being pinned a lot more powerful.

In that case why bother with making it sound like you're trying to fix a contradiction if you're doing a rewrite on how pinned works?
---

Making the core rulebook is no more going against the rules that if I created Wraithfinder based off the 3.5 rules or some 3rd party company creating their own version. The rules are open for this reason.

You are right we're not responsible for what they meant to say, but that doesn't mean they're going to word things in a way that's clear to everyone.

They've even said, and I'm paraphrasing, "The book isn't written in legalese and they expect us to interpret things".

Maybe you don't think that's what they should do, and I understand.

I don't completely disagree, and I partly wish they had more standardized wording when it came to writing rules.

They intentionally avoided this partly because some of their material is written by freelancers, and they wanted them to have more freedom with how they write things.

I know Paizo switches words up too. As an example in the perception skill section they use "creatures" and "opponents", but if your buddy is invisible, I'm sure you don't get to autodetect him if he's hiding in a room you happen to enter. This is also another example knowing when to use context. Otherwise a player can say "He's not an opponent so despite the 55 stealth check I know exactly where he is."

I'd expect more GM's to give you the raised eyebrow look.

Part of them not wording things in a better manner is partly why it took forever to get people to understand that you could sneak attack from a stealthed/hidden position.

PS: The stuff written by freelancers is checked, and sometimes rewritten by Paizo. I didn't want you to think they had people write the rules, and made no attempt to check the quality of the submission.


wraithstrike wrote:
Nothing there limits them to casting only cleric spells to use cure spells, but an FAQ makes it clear what the intent was.

I'm not familiar with the FAQ you are quoting, but it sounds like an actual statement of rules, maybe even a changing of the rules or new rules: RAW, not RAI. But the conversation is going further from the OP of the thread.

wraithstrike wrote:
You have to use context to figure out the way the devs intended things to work.

Arguing about the intent of the rules is problematic, but I'm not blind to context. Pinned says you can use Escape Artist to escape a grapple. It says lose your Dexterity Bonus, and it also says that you take a -4 penalty to Armor Class. In this context, they are clearly thinking about Dexterity bonuses; they are clearly thinking about Armor Class, and they are clearly thinking about the Escape Artist Skill. In this context, if they meant that you only lose your Dex Mod to AC, then that is really what they needed to say. But they didn't: they just said that you lose your Dexterity bonus, and outside the context of any limiting statement, that means you lose your Dexterity bonus to everything you might apply it to.

Further context: Pinned is considered to be a more severe form of Grappled. When you are Grappled, you actually lose 4 points of Dexterity. That results in a -2 to your Dexterity Mod, and that definitely applies to anything you would use your Dex Mod for, including Escape Artist. Given this context, it is far from unreasonable to suppose that the more severe form of Grappled would also come with a more severe penalty on using Dex-based skills such as Escape Artist. And since the rules really say you lose your Dex bonus, not just your Dex bonus to AC, I really don't think there is any justification to trump what the rules actually say with conjectures about what they meant to say.

I also think the best context to look at the rules is that the writers and editors are professionals who know what they are doing, that they said what they meant, and they meant what they said. And you need very compelling evidence to break what the rules say in the name of intent.

wraithstrike wrote:
If you're going to make a big change like that, you have to be clear about it.

But the rules are clear. They say you lose your Dex bonus. I think you mean the rules change should have been announced, and if that is what you meant, then you are right. But Paizo has often failed to do that.

wraithstrike wrote:
The distinction matters because being flat-footed is worse than just losing dex. When you're flat-footed you can't take attacks of opportunity, in addition to losing dex.

That's not a very important distinction in the context of the Pinned Condition. When you are Pinned, you already can't make Attacks of Opportunity. Actually, the only distinction I see is that when you are Pinned, you can't use the Sap Master Feat to score extra nonlethal Sneak Attack Damage. A distinction, but not very important. If they'd left well-enough alone and just left it at Flatfooted, then the Pinned would be suffering the Dex Bonus loss to AC only. But they went out of their way to rephrase it to mean the Pinned opponent loses all Dex Bonuses, not just the Dex penalty to AC.

wraithstrike wrote:
You are right we're not responsible for what they meant to say, but that doesn't mean they're going to word things in a way that's clear to everyone.

Here we have a simple disagreement. I think it means exactly that. They are responsible for making their game playable by making their rules clear to all the players. Where they fail to do that, it reflects negatively on them.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
The distinction matters because being flat-footed is worse than just losing dex. When you're flat-footed you can't take attacks of opportunity, in addition to losing dex.
That's not a very important distinction in the context of the Pinned Condition. When you are Pinned, you already can't make Attacks of Opportunity.

I think Wraithstrike meant to say Immediate Actions in there as well, and this IS an important distinction. This is basically exactly the moment the spell Libersting Command was designed for, but if you were flat-footed you couldn't use it.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:


That's actually not true.

Nothing in that link says dead characters can't take actions. So it actually is true.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:


The rules say that when a character takes massive negative damage or total Constitution loss, he's dead. "Dead" is an English language word that has an understood meaning that includes an inability to take actions.

Eg you've extrapolated (speculated) on their intent. It's an accurate assessment of their intent. But it's still not codified RAW.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:


Further it states that a character with negative hit points that have not been stabilized have the Dying Condition, and it does state that Dying characters can take no actions. That does unambiguously imply that a character that died through hit point loss cannot take any actions.

Just like pinned is a more severe form of grappled, so all the grappled conditions also carry over to pinned? Except that they don't. We can reasonably (with a high degree of certainly) infer that dead, like dying, can take no actions. But again, we are getting into RAI here, not RAW. The very fact you had to use the word "imply" to describe it tells us that is the case.

Seems you've just proven my point for me.


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:


Arguing about the intent of the rules is problematic,...

That depends.

See "Dead characters can take no actions"
See "What's the DC to jump a 10' pit"
See "What does a metamagic wand of magic missiles cost to create (pre-metamagic FAQ on taking the worst case for the caster)"
See "Combat manuevers where they all say beat or exceed CMD (except one that says exceed CMD, I can't remember which one)"

No doubt there are hundreds of other examples that could be pulled from these forums - places in the rules where it is possible to come to different conclusions based the actual wording of the rules. Somtimes its really clear what was intended like in the above examples. Sometimes it is not. But we use RAI all the time when we read the rules to draw meaning from them.

In other cases arguing RAI can be problematic, but its not a blanket coverage. It again, as almost always, comes back to context.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:


I also think the best context to look at the rules is that the writers and editors are professionals who know what they are doing, that they said what they meant, and they meant what they said. And you need very compelling evidence to break what the rules say in the name of intent.

This makes an assumption that those changes were edited into the rulebook by a Sr Editor, and not (as is more likely for minor changes like this) by a Jr Editor/Intern. That doesn't necessarily excuse the mishap. But there is a lot of context surrounding this issue from original wording, to FAQ, to new wording, etc.


I wish they'd publish two documents, a physical one, concise, enough to play - literally a handbook, and a digital one, in which they aren't limited length, where they could explain, develop, anticipate ambiguities and provide meaningful examples of instances of implementation of the rules. For this whole thread is nothing but the result of constraints of the physical book.


bbangerter wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:


That's actually not true.

Nothing in that link says dead characters can't take actions. So it actually is true.

To back this up the paralyzed condition specifically calls out not being able to take actions.

Quote:
Paralyzed: A paralyzed character is frozen in place and unable to move or act. A paralyzed character has effective Dexterity and Strength scores of 0 and is helpless, but can take purely mental actions. A winged creature flying in the air at the time that it becomes paralyzed cannot flap its wings and falls. A paralyzed swimmer can't swim and may drown. A creature can move through a space occupied by a paralyzed creature—ally or not. Each square occupied by a paralyzed creature, however, counts as 2 squares to move through.

This isn't the only situation where movement or actions are restricted. Stunned and a few other conditions also call out not being able to take actions, or at least severely limit what can be done.

The dead condition says no such thing so...

If Paizo intended for someone with the dead condition to not be able to take actions or move it would say so. ;)

Even if it were argued that someone going from being unconscious to or dying to dead still has those conditions, it's possible to go from full hit points directly to being dead.

So the person/creature with the dead condition still has no RAW limitation preventing them from taking actions or movement.

PS: I houserule it at my table that someone with the dead condition can't take actions or move, but that's a houserule.


Agénor wrote:
I wish they'd publish two documents, a physical one, concise, enough to play - literally a handbook, and a digital one, in which they aren't limited length, where they could explain, develop, anticipate ambiguities and provide meaningful examples of instances of implementation of the rules. For this whole thread is nothing but the result of constraints of the physical book.

The issue is that they still need to spend time to make the ruling, and for a long time they were not doing it. SKR ended up being the one to handle a lot of it when he was here. After he left it seemed to fall to the guy who does the Twitch channel. He was giving answers on his Twitch channel for a while during the time when PF2 was new. That didn't last more than a few videos, and eventually the rulings stopped coming altogether.

Now that PF1 is an old product they're definitely not going to devote any time to it.

The only way any of the leftover questions possibly gets answered now is if we someone took up a collection fund in some way to pay them extra money.


bbangerter wrote:


No doubt there are hundreds of other examples that could be pulled from these forums - places in the rules where it is possible to come to different conclusions based the actual wording of the rules.

There used to be a thread that listed these. IIRC it was done more to make light of the situation than to collect answers.

I couldn't find it the last time I looked for it so I'm wondering if it got removed.


wraithstrike wrote:

This isn't the only situation where movement or actions are restricted. Stunned and a few other conditions also call out not being able to take actions, or at least severely limit what can be done.

The dead condition says no such thing so...

If Paizo intended for someone with the dead condition to not be able to take actions or move it would say so. ;)

Even if it were argued that someone going from being unconscious to or dying to dead still has those conditions, it's possible to go from full hit points directly to being dead.

So the person/creature with the dead condition still has no RAW limitation preventing them from taking actions or movement.

PS: I houserule it at my table that someone with the dead condition can't take actions or move, but that's a houserule.

This wouldn't quite work.

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 562

In most cases, a death attack allows the victim a Fortitude save to avoid the effect, but if the save fails, the creature takes a large amount of damage, which might cause it to die instantly.
Raise dead doesn’t work on someone killed by a death attack or effect.
Death attacks slay instantly. A victim cannot be made stable and thereby kept alive.
In case it matters, a dead character, no matter how he died, has hit points equal to or less than his negative Constitution score.
The spell death ward protects against these attacks.

You'd still be at negative hitpoints with everything that goes with it.

Having said that, Ferocity/Diehard/etc can keep you acting below 0hp, so the point is still valid.

Generally if the game doesn't give us a definition of a word we use the doctionary definition.

There is no Pathfinder definition of the words "AND" or "OR", but we know what they mean. Defining these words would be very important for feat prerequisites.


*dictionary


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There's a debate in the PF2 forums at the moment about what 'Requirement: You are touching the ground' means for a martial arts feat. Is the deck of ship at sea "the ground", for example? Does it refer to natural earth, or a strong stable surface, or what? People came to very different conclusions.

Writing unambiguous rules is almost impossible.


LOL ref. 'Touching the ground'... unbelievable! :)


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I once played at a table with a notoriously difficult game master. I thought I could manage as long as I was in good faith.

During the first game, I had my character go to the town market, looking to purchase a pint of oil for her lamp. The game master told me I had found a merchant that had oil, the price was acceptable. I signalled that my character makes the purchase. The game master described that the merchant took the coins then proceeded to pour a pint of oil at the feet of my character, as I had not specified my character also wanted a container.

Hearing this, I waited a bit less than a minute, closed my notes, packed my dice, declared my character died for I had not said she kept on breathing and I left the table in the middle of the game.

No role-playing of quality will come from one of ill faith.

Willingly reading the rules in a way that is legalistic so as to thwart the validity of the characters of other players is ugly behaviour.

The rules aren't sent by a deity nor written in marble, there can be issues of all kinds in them and they can be amended.

- trivia : There is a spelling mistake in the current French constitution. Would you rule it makes the relevent passage inapplicable as the sentence doesn't mean anything in correct French or would you, like every one else, rule that the meaning is obvious, this is only a language problem, not a rules problem? -


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MrCharisma wrote:
*dictionary

Sometimes I wonder why the word dictionary is in the dictionary. I mean, if you don't know what the word "dictionary" means, are you going to look it up in the dictionary?


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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:
*dictionary
Sometimes I wonder why the word dictionary is in the dictionary. I mean, if you don't know what the word "dictionary" means, are you going to look it up in the dictionary?

It feels very lawful neutral, which is exactly what the dictionary should be.


Agénor wrote:

I once played at a table with a notoriously difficult game master. I thought I could manage as long as I was in good faith.

During the first game, I had my character go to the town market, looking to purchase a pint of oil for her lamp. The game master told me I had found a merchant that had oil, the price was acceptable. I signalled that my character makes the purchase. The game master described that the merchant took the coins then proceeded to pour a pint of oil at the feet of my character, as I had not specified my character also wanted a container.

Hearing this, I waited a bit less than a minute, closed my notes, packed my dice, declared my character died for I had not said she kept on breathing and I left the table in the middle of the game.

I would have pinned the DM.

Me: You have lost your dexterity bonus to armour class.

DM: Urk...*gasp*...yes but I still have my dexterity bonus to escape artist.

Me: Are you sure about that??? I myself don't know...let's see if we can figure this out!!!

DM: Urk...mmrrr...mrr...mmrrmm...mmrrmm...mrrrrmm...Urrrrck!

Me: You now have the unconscious condition.

DM: Zzzzzzz...

***Disclaimer: No I do not actually approve of violence or even yelling at the gaming table especially in our new humour dead era. Thank you for your time.***


bbangerter wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
That's actually not true.
Nothing in that link says dead characters can't take actions. So it actually is true.

Yes, it does say that when you have the Dead Condition, you can't take any actions.

The rules for Dead Condition actually wrote:
he’s dead.

Do you acknowledge that the rules actually say that when someone has the Dead Condition, they are dead?

Dead is an English Language word that has a meaning.

google, what does dead mean wrote:
no longer alive... characterized by a lack of activity

So the rules literally say that when you have the Dead condition, you lack activity.

bbangerter wrote:
you've extrapolated (speculated) on their intent. It's an accurate assessment of their intent. But it's still not codified RAW.

The closest thing I am doing to extrapolating or speculating is taking it as a given that the Pathfinder Design Team, when "writing" the rules, said what they meant and meant what they said. They said "dead," and yes, I assume dead means dead.

And remember the real topic here:

the rules for Pinned wrote:
denied its Dexterity bonus
the rules for Pinned did NOT wrote:
denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class

I assert you need compelling evidence to disregard what the rules say in the name of intent, and the evidence presented that they didn't mean it is just not as compelling as the evidence that they did. They specifically mention Armor Class, Dexterity, and the Escape Artist Skill, so they must have been thinking about these things when they wrote it because they wrote it! They made the decision not to limit the loss of Dex Mod to AC while they were clearly thinking about Dex, AC and Escape Artist.

I think it is fair to say I am making the assumption that the Pathfinder Design Team is thinking about what they are writing.


bbangerter wrote:
Just like pinned is a more severe form of grappled, so all the grappled conditions also carry over to pinned? Except that they don't. We can reasonably (with a high degree of certainly) infer that dead, like dying, can take no actions. But again, we are getting into RAI here, not RAW. The very fact you had to use the word "imply" to describe it tells us that is the case.

Just because I am weighing your argument doesn't mean I am agreeing with it. You completely missed the point I was making. You were giving reasons why you think they didn't mean what they said. I am giving reasons why they really might have meant what they said.

Anyway, they said it.


MrCharisma wrote:


This wouldn't quite work.

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 562

In most cases, a death attack allows the victim a Fortitude save to avoid the effect, but if the save fails, the creature takes a large amount of damage, which might cause it to die instantly.
Raise dead doesn’t work on someone killed by a death attack or effect.
Death attacks slay instantly. A victim cannot be made stable and thereby kept alive.
In case it matters, a dead character, no matter how he died, has hit points equal to or less than his negative Constitution score.
The spell death ward protects against these attacks.

You'd still be at negative hitpoints with everything that goes with it.

I wasn't calling out death attacks specifically, but they should still work. You still skipped the dying condition. At no point were you every bleeding out.

The fact that death effects take you directly to the number of hit points needed to make you dead meets the claim I made.

Feel free to explain it to me like I'm 5 if you have too. I'm not understanding why being at negative hit points is a factor.

Another way to die instantly is to take enough hit point damage all at once. As an example if you go have 60 hit points, and a 14 con, and someone hits you for 75 points of damage you go directly to having the dead condition.

The following should be another post, but I don't feel like making two posts.

Other methods of going bypassing the dying condition:

Death by con drain or damage also works, not as an insta-death method, but it bypasses the dying condition.

For the record, and those who don't know me, I don't think it was intended for dead people to take actions. This is just an experiment with regard to how rules can be use incorrectly if we read them as literally as possible. I really wish I could find that other thread that talks about similar situations where the rules fall apart if you read them too literally.

Bonus:There is a rule(shieldmaster feat) saying you get to ignore penalties. It meant penalties in a specific situation, but as written it applied to all penalties with regard to attacking with a shield so in theory it could have applied to Power Attack penalties.

Nethys wrote:
You do not suffer any penalties on attack rolls made with a shield while you are wielding another weapon.

They did FAQ it, so don't try to pull one over on your GM's. :)

No, they did not errata the text to my knowledge. They expect for you to know the proper context, and not try to ignore the penalties beyond using a shield while TWF'ing.


Scott, Pathfinder has specific definitions for things. Those overrule the normal usage. Nothing in the pathfinder version of having the dead condition says you can't act or take actions.

Another example of PF having it's own terms is how it multiplies damage.

In real life if I triple the number 3 I get the number 9, and if I double it I get 18. 3x2= 6 6x3=18

In pathfinder you add multipliers, not in stead of multiply them. So if I try to add use an ability that triples damage, and one that doubles damage I end up with 5x damage not 6x damage. So in PF land that 3 only comes up to a 15.

If you have rules text that says dead people can't move or take actions then simply provide a quote from the book.

AKA

IF you're going to say the rules for pinned didn't say

Quote:
denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class
then you have to acknowledge the rules for dead didn't say
Quote:
you are not allowed to move or take any actions

If you are going to say the rules make this claim that it is in the rules then the burden of proof is on you to provide the reference.

Now maybe you're thinking that I don't think dead people should act. You're correct, but I'm also not arguing that going by intent is a bad thing.

Now maybe you'll say there are exceptions in extreme cases, but what's extreme will vary by person, and even if you say it makes sense to not go by exactly what's in the book in extreme cases it still means we have to go by intent, no matter if it's for 99% of the rules or 1%.

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