Buckler and torch...


Rules Discussion


The entry for buckler reads: You can Raise a Shield with your buckler as long as you have that hand free or are holding a light object that’s not a weapon in that hand.

The entry for torch states that it is light bulk.

I would not normally post because this seems obvious to me but I have had my second PFS GM tell me that this does not work. I kind of built key portions of my character around it, i.e., human ancestry and swashbuckler buckler expertise.

I have been told that I need a shield sconce, which specifically excludes bucklers (likely because one can already wield a torch with a buckler). I have also been told that torches are improvised weapons so it cannot be used but everything could be an improvised weapon.

I do not intend für this to be a discussion. It seems pretty cut and dry to me. I admit that it is a pretty powerful combination. If I had darkvision, I would simply swap the torch out for a potion and always save myself an action for healing. The trade-off being that bucklers are nearly useless for the shield block reaction and only give one AC (or two if you have access to the feat). I think that this perceived power is what causes GMs to ban it because it seems too good to be true.

One of the best reasons to play PF2e over other systems is how concise the rules are compared to other systems. It pretty much functions like a series of if/then statements. If a torch is light and does not appear in the weapon category, then it can be used with a buckler and the raise a shield action.

Maybe someone else is aware of some super secret errata that proves me wrong but I doubt that. I know that it is unlikely to happen but until someone official weighs in or they add a [Weapon] tag to weapons, good GMs will continue to fall for this trap. I will have to shelve my swashy for now.


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The rules on this are a bit confusing. This passage seems to say that Raising the buckler with a light, non-weapon object in that hand is allowed by default.

CRB, p. 277 wrote:
Buckler: This very small shield is a favorite of duelists and quick, lightly armored warriors. It’s typically made of steel and strapped to your forearm. You can Raise a Shield with your buckler as long as you have that hand free or are holding a light object that’s not a weapon in that hand.

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But this next passage from earlier on the same page makes it seem that Raising the buckler while holding a light, non-weapon in that hand requires special permission from the GM.

CRB, p. 277 wrote:
Raise a Shield is the action most commonly used with shields. Most shields must be held in one hand, so you can’t hold anything with that hand and Raise a Shield, and you lose its benefits if that hand is no longer free. A buckler, however, doesn’t take up your hand, so you can Raise a Shield with a buckler if the hand is free (or, at the GM’s discretion, if it’s holding a simple, lightweight object that’s not a weapon).

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I suspect you are looking at the first passage and thinking the GMs are overriding the default rules by disallowing this action, while they are looking at the second passage and don't think they should be overriding the default rules by allowing the action.

Sczarni

psyki wrote:
I have had my second PFS GM tell me that this does not work.

How many have allowed it to work?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

PFS Aside: Save yourself the hassle and wear your free wayfinder, which your character must certainly have earned by now as it only requires 2 games to have been played to earn the boon.


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Well I think that improvised weapons should only be counted as weapons while actually being used as such.

So holding a torch in the hand with a buckler will work fine as long as it is being used as a light source. During a round when you attack with it, it is then an improvised weapon and counts as a weapon, so you can't use the buckler in the same hand.


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Blake's Tiger wrote:
PFS Aside: Save yourself the hassle and wear your free wayfinder, which your character must certainly have earned by now as it only requires 2 games to have been played to earn the boon.

That's an excellent idea!

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Other options to consider.

- Hooded Lanterns are one-handed, light items, and unlike torches they don't have any text about being used as improvised weapons. They also shed light farther then torches. Only 7 sp plus 1 cp per 6 hours of oil. Being able to shutter them is also a nice option.

- Sunrods are one-handed, light items, and unlike torches they don't have any text about being used as improvised weapons. At 3 gp each they are pretty costly compared to torches or a lantern, though.

- Pay someone to cast Continual Flame on your gauntlet, helm, dull gray Aeon Stone, buckler, etc. It's a one-time cost of 6 gp, but it completely frees up your buckler hand for other tasks like Battle Medicine.

- Acquire Darkvision. Not needing a light source is nice for sneaking, and it frees up your buckler hand for other tasks like Battle Medicine.

- Acquire the Light Cantrip through methods other than the Wayfinder. (The action cost of sustaining Dancing Lights makes it a poor choice for in-combat lighting.)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Sometimes GMs just don't let you do things, even in PFS. Talk to them about it or find a new GM.


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psyki wrote:
I admit that it is a pretty powerful combination.

Light sources are trivial. If you have one that's not on fire, you don't even need a hand.

So it's really not powerful at all.

The downside to light sources is that they light you up, not that they're difficult to obtain.

Sczarni

Especially in PFS, where every other Scenario is like going on an Easter Egg hunt for Wayfinders.


Gisher wrote:

The rules on this are a bit confusing. This passage seems to say that Raising the buckler with a light, non-weapon object in that hand is allowed by default.

CRB, p. 277 wrote:
Buckler: This very small shield is a favorite of duelists and quick, lightly armored warriors. It’s typically made of steel and strapped to your forearm. You can Raise a Shield with your buckler as long as you have that hand free or are holding a light object that’s not a weapon in that hand.

.

But this next passage from earlier on the same page makes it seem that Raising the buckler while holding a light, non-weapon in that hand requires special permission from the GM.

CRB, p. 277 wrote:
Raise a Shield is the action most commonly used with shields. Most shields must be held in one hand, so you can’t hold anything with that hand and Raise a Shield, and you lose its benefits if that hand is no longer free. A buckler, however, doesn’t take up your hand, so you can Raise a Shield with a buckler if the hand is free (or, at the GM’s discretion, if it’s holding a simple, lightweight object that’s not a weapon).

.

I suspect you are looking at the first passage and thinking the GMs are overriding the default rules by disallowing this action, while they are looking at the second passage and don't think they should be overriding the default rules by allowing the action.

Thanks, I missed that. I hardly read the CRB anymore, I just build characters on pathbuilder, cross-referencing AON. It still feels bad but you have alleviated my indignation about it.

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