Re: 3.5 E Spear Warrior
- From: Some Guy <someguy@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 05 Oct 2005 22:49:07 -0700
Donald Tsang wrote:
Bradd W. Szonye <bradd+news@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Geoff Watson wrote: Ed Chauvin IV wrote:
Nothing stops you from doing an unarmed trip while holding a sword.
True, although you must decide to either take TWF penalties or cease threatening with your sword.
Why? TWF penalties are only appropriate if you try to attack with the sword and a trip at the same attack bonus. Likewise, there's no reason to cease threatening when you make an unarmed attack.
There's some very-old FAQ entry (may even be 3E, but I'm too lazy to look it up) that states that, in order to threaten with a weapon *and* attack with an Unarmed Strike, you must take TWF penalties, even if you don't actually attack with the weapon. Otherwise, you're considered to be "holding but not weilding" your weapon (and thus not threaten the squares around you with the weapon; if you don't have IUS, that means your don't threaten the squares around you at all).
That would be from the 3.0 FAQ:
"If a monk wields a one-handed weapon, can she use her unarmed damage if she kicks or headbutts someone? Or does the monk have to actually be unarmed to get this damage? What if the monk is armed with a two-handed weapon?"
"A monk wielding a one-handed weapon (other than a special monk weapon) can use the rules for fighting with two weapons and can use her unarmed strike as an off-hand attack, with all the appropriate penalties (see page 39 in the Player’s Handbook). The unarmed strike is considered a light weapon. Although the Player’s Handbook mentions using the unarmed attack only as an off-hand attack, there’s no reason why a monk couldn’t make her unarmed attack her primary attack. In this case, the monk still must use her (lower) armed attack rate. If the monk wields a two-handed weapon, she can use a kick or similar attack as an off-hand attack. This works just like an off-hand attack made along with a one-handed weapon attack."
However, the 3.5 FAQ seems to reverse this with a related article on armor spikes (I know armor spikes aren't unarmed strikes, but humor me for a second). I've only copied the relevant parts of the Sage's response, not the whole entry:
"If you attack only with your armor spikes during your turn (or use the armor spikes to make an attack of opportunity), you use them just like a regular weapon. If you use the full attack action, you can use armor spikes as either a primary light weapon or as an off-hand light weapon, even if you’re using a shield or using a two-handed weapon. In these latter two cases, you’re assumed to be kicking or kneeing your foe with your armor spikes. Whenever you use armor spikes as an off-hand weapon, you suffer all the penalties for attacking with two weapons (see Table 8–10 in the Player’s Handbook). When using armor spikes along with a two-handed weapon, it is usually best to use the two-handed weapon as your primary attack and the armor spikes as the off-hand weapon. You can use the armor spikes as the primary weapon and the two-handed weapon as the off-hand attack, but when you do so, you don’t get the benefit of using a light weapon in your off hand. You cannot, however, use your armor spikes to make a second off-hand attack when you’re already fighting with two weapons. If you have a weapon in both hands and armor spikes, you can attack with the weapons in your hands (and not with the armor spikes) or with one of the weapons in your hands and the armor spikes (see the description of spiked armor in Chapter 7 of the Player’s Handbook)."
This ruling seems inconsistent with (for example) throwing your dagger, Quick-Drawing another one, and continuing to threaten, but my opinions aren't "canonical", and The Sage's are.
Since the 3.0 FAQ says that monks can't make off-hand attacks and the 3.5 FAQ says they can, the 3.5 FAQ has more weight.
To my mind, since armor spikes can be used at no penalty even with a weapon in both hands, a character should be able to make unarmed strikes the same way. And if a character can make unarmed strikes, with a weapon in both hands, why not an unarmed melee attack to trip?
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- From: Bradd W. Szonye
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