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View Full Version : Gauntlets and attacks of opportunity



Gamebird
2007-08-01, 06:00 PM
I'm sure this has been covered a zillion times, but I'm also sure I can't remember exactly what the official ruling is.

A fighter finds a gauntlet and puts it on. The fighter does not have the feat, Improved Unarmed Attack. Then she pulls out her bow and fires some arrows at enemies. An enemy moves next to her and performs some action that would normally provoke an attack of opportunity. My questions:

1. Does the fighter threaten the area around her with the gauntlet, even though at this moment, she's technically using the bow?

2. Assuming she does threaten with the gauntlet and makes an attack of opportunity with it, does she provoke an AoO due to making an unarmed attack without having the Improved Unarmed Attack feat?

Jasdoif
2007-08-01, 06:13 PM
A gauntlet lets you deal lethal instead of nonlethal damage with your unarmed strikes. That's all. It's otherwise considered an unarmed attack, like the description says.

As an unarmed attack, without Improved Unarmed Strike or similar you don't threaten an area with the gauntlet, and you provoke AoOs when you make attacks with one.

Skjaldbakka
2007-08-01, 06:14 PM
A gauntlet is an unarmed strike, and as such, the fighter is not threatening the opponent in question. I am not sure if he could make an AoO if he were using a spiked gauntlet while using a bow, which does not require IUS to allow you to be considered "armed." Spiked armor would definitely work though.

Saph
2007-08-01, 06:16 PM
1. By RAW, I think the answer is that no, you don't threaten the area, as a bow requires two hands to use. You could make a reasonable argument that you should be allowed to be treated as if you have one hand free some of the time, though (the nocking/drawing hand).

2. Yes. A gauntlet attack is considered an unarmed attack. A spiked gauntlet attack, however, is is considered an armed attack.

- Saph

Matthew
2007-08-01, 06:20 PM
...and if your Character picks up and uses a Spiked Gauntlet, but at the end of his Round is using his Bow, he does not Threaten.

Fax Celestis
2007-08-01, 06:25 PM
...and if you pick up and use a Spiked Gauntlet, but are at the end of your Round using a Bow, you do not Threaten.

And why would that be? You're still armed with the gauntlets.

Matthew
2007-08-01, 06:28 PM
If at the end of the Round the Character changes his hold on the weapon as a Free Action, it's fine, if he is still 'using the Bow' it's not.

Fax Celestis
2007-08-01, 06:33 PM
Free Actions can be performed anytime, not just your turn. Therefore, it doesn't matter.

Jasdoif
2007-08-01, 06:38 PM
Free Actions can be performed anytime, not just your turn. Therefore, it doesn't matter.Some free actions can be performed outside your turn, yes. Not all of them, though. You can't drop prone during someone else's turn, for instance ("No free AC in reaction to ranged attack for you! Come back, one round").

You'll note that speaking is described as generally "a free action that you can perform even when it isnít your turn."

Skjaldbakka
2007-08-01, 06:39 PM
how do you figure you can take free actions at any time? I think you may be confusing free actions (like quickdraw or dropping a weapon) with non-actions (like speaking).

Matthew
2007-08-01, 06:41 PM
Indeed:


Free Action
Free actions consume a very small amount of time and effort. You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free.

Free Actions rely heavily on DM interpretation.

Fax Celestis
2007-08-01, 06:44 PM
//shrug. I'll concede the point then, but I still think it's silly that one has to "change grips" in order to threaten with gauntlets after using a bow--it adds a level of complexity I would compare to facing: it really doesn't need to be there.

Jasdoif
2007-08-01, 06:45 PM
If at the end of the Round the Character changes his hold on the weapon as a Free Action, it's fine, if he is still 'using the Bow' it's not.Really, I'd think that if the character attacked with the bow during the round it'd be unacceptable to switch weapons from the bow hands in the same round. I'd definitely rule out a free switch if the character full attacked with the bow.

Matthew
2007-08-01, 06:55 PM
//shrug. I'll concede the point then, but I still think it's silly that one has to "change grips" in order to threaten with gauntlets after using a bow--it adds a level of complexity I would compare to facing: it really doesn't need to be there.

Sure, it's silly alright, but, to be honest, I think it's silly that Spiked Gauntlets threaten at all. It's the same situation as with a Great Sword or a Reach Weapon and Spiked Gauntlets.


Really, I'd think that if the character attacked with the bow during the round it'd be unacceptable to switch weapons from the bow hands in the same round. I'd definitely rule out a free switch if the character full attacked with the bow.

Well, that would impact a number of other ideas, Jasdoif. Would you allow a Character with a Reach Weapon to change weapons after a Full Attack? What about a Character with Quick Draw dropping the Reach Weapon and Drawing a Dagger? Really, once the guy puts on a pair of Spiked Shoulder Pads it all becomes academic.

Jasdoif
2007-08-01, 07:04 PM
//shrug. I'll concede the point then, but I still think it's silly that one has to "change grips" in order to threaten with gauntlets after using a bow--it adds a level of complexity I would compare to facing: it really doesn't need to be there.If "changing grips" is allowed, I agree wholeheartedly: Having to declare an action that costs absolutely nothing to get a benefit is silly; it should be automatic if there's no downside involved.


Well, that would impact a number of other ideas, Jasdoif. Would you allow a Character with a Reach Weapon to change weapons after a Full Attack? What about a Character with Quick Draw dropping the Reach Weapon and Drawing a Dagger? Really, once the guy puts on a pair of Spiked Shoulder Pads it all becomes academic.In fact, those were exactly the conditions that led to my view.

If you're full attacking, you're making attacks throughout the entire six-second round. Are you really letting go with one hand midswing to take a punch at another guy then effortlessly reestablishing your two-handed grip to continue your attacks? Or grabbing a dagger as part of that?

And, frankly, armor spikes as weapons with any sort of reach is just weird to visualize. But since armor spikes do exist, I feel you should actually get armor spikes if you want to use their particular handless mechanical benefit.

Matthew
2007-08-01, 07:48 PM
Heh, see this where things start to get complicated for me. If I don't allow Characters to freely switch weapons via Quick Draw or what have you then what are the mechanical consequences for my game? As far as I can see, it would lead to more Characters wearing Spiked Armour and a greater frequency of Spiked Chains, neither of which I regard as particularly desirable ends (nothing says 3e to me like Spikes).

My options in this situation are:

1) Ban Spiked Armour and Spiked Chains, prevent free interchange of weapons.

2) Allow an even more free interpretation of the rules and allow Characters to switch weapons as an Immediate Action (which at least limits the situation)

3) Just allow things to continue as they are, keeping an eye on how many Free Actions are used and consistantly rule on what is and is not appropriate.

Fortunately, I don't really have to deal with this too regularly, as my long term campaign games are House Ruled 2e AD&D games, where this sort of thing just doesn't come up (we use Action Points).

Now, one final thing to consider is how this impacts the Monk. A Bow using Monk who cannot Deflect Arrows is just a low blow.

Jasdoif
2007-08-01, 08:04 PM
Well. I would allow armor spikes, however they have 0 reach. You could use it as a weapon against someone in your space or while grappling. Spiked chain, as I understand, is generally too good anyway. Perhaps it'd be unusable without a prestige class, if not simply unavailable.

As for Deflect Arrows...since you don't need to actually manipulate the arrow to deflect it, nor are you attacking, I'd allow it to work. Visualizing it as just slapping the arrow away from a short distance, as you might do with a fly buzzing around.

Gamebird
2007-08-01, 08:13 PM
So just to verify:

If a fighter (without Imp. Unarmed Strike) puts on a spiked gauntlet and has been fighting via throwing spears, and someone moves next to them and provokes an AoO, then can the fighter attack them with the gauntlet without provoking an AoO or taking a -4 penalty for making an unarmed attack?

I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, but I just want to be sure.


And whoa! I just found out that a huge bridge fell down here in the Twin Cities... 50+ cars destroyed, four lane interstate bridge over the Mississippi downed... bummer. Glad I wasn't there.

Matthew
2007-08-01, 08:20 PM
Yep, that is pretty much my understanding of the situation.


A bridge fell down? Well, here's hoping that the casualties are light.

Jasdoif
2007-08-01, 08:21 PM
So just to verify:

If a fighter (without Imp. Unarmed Strike) puts on a spiked gauntlet and has been fighting via throwing spears, and someone moves next to them and provokes an AoO, then can the fighter attack them with the gauntlet without provoking an AoO or taking a -4 penalty for making an unarmed attack?

I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, but I just want to be sure.Correct. A spiked gauntlet is different from a "regular" gauntlet in this respect, a spiked gauntlet is considered a weapon in its own right.

horseboy
2007-08-02, 01:41 AM
A buddy of mine does this in LG. He's a ranger, wears gauntlets so when mobs run by he can smack them with AOO. I'll ask him how he does it tomorrow when I call and see if he's found his old Mechwarrior stuff they want me to run.

CasESenSITItiVE
2007-08-02, 02:18 AM
i can't see why allowing an attack of opportunity because your wearing spiked gauntlets makes sense. why does wearing gauntlets make you more able to throw a punch out of reflex?

Charity
2007-08-02, 08:24 AM
I think you may have missed the crux of the problem.
Addressing your Q, why would wielding a dagger? or a sword ... or any weapon improve your reactions?

In 3rd ed AOO exist, you can make them if you're armed. The question is are you armed imeadiatly after firing the bow as you are with thrown weapon.

I think by raw you're not, but just get spikey knee pads and you're golden.
As a DM I rule you are armed in this situation.

Fhaolan
2007-08-02, 09:09 AM
I've been speculating about creating a new category of weapons, to extend the Two-Handed/One-Handed/Light categories. Creating a 'Close In' category. It's like Light, but any weapons in this category have a threat range of 0, so you can only AoO anything that moves through your own square. You can attack as normal, it's only AoO that would be affected. The weapons would include gauntlets of all types, armor spikes, daggers... all the weapons that are too short to extend your reach out 5' without a lot of effort. I haven't thought it all the way through yet, and it's probably a needless complication.

Kurald Galain
2007-08-02, 09:27 AM
I would allow this AOO only if the character took the free action to drop his bow (or has extra weapons like horns or knee spikes or four arms). Because regardless of what the rules say, it makes very little sense otherwise.

Arbitrarity
2007-08-02, 09:35 AM
What about if they actually have imp unarmed strike?

If not that, then how about monk unarmed strike?

Person_Man
2007-08-02, 09:38 AM
For what it's worth, here's something close to what we're arguing about:

FAQ pg 45
Is a character wielding a two-handed reach weapon (such as a longspear) and wearing spiked armor threatening all squares within 10 feet? Assuming he has Combat Reflexes, can he make an attack of opportunity with his longspear and then with his armor spikes in the same round?

A character wearing spiked armor threatens all squares within his normal reach (5 feet away). If he also wields a longspear, he would also threaten all squares 10 feet away. Any time a character wielding more than one weapon is allowed an attack of opportunity, he may use any weapon that threatens the opponent who has provoked the attack. In this case, imagine an enemy who charged the character and then tried to disarm him. The charge attack would provoke an attack of opportunity from the longspear as the enemy moved out of a threatened square (in order to move adjacent to the character and deliver the charge attack). Then, the disarm attempt would provoke another attack of opportunity (assuming the enemy didnít have Improved Disarm). This attack of opportunity could be made only with the armor spikes, since the longspear doesnít threaten an adjacent enemy.

FAQ pg 88
Can a creature make a slam or claw attack when both his hands are used for something else, such as holding a two-handed weapon?

As long as the creature can easily let go with one hand, yes. A two-handed weapon requires two hands to wield in combat, but not to hold. A frost giant could choose to make a slam attack instead of a greataxe attack without having to drop the greataxe. On the other hand, a frost giant carrying a heavy weight in both arms doesnít have a free hand to use for a slam attack. Heíd have to drop the object (a free action) before making a slam attack.

Emphasis mine.

So you can read this two ways.

One way to read it is that these examples specifically use armor spikes and natural weapons. Our discussion doesn't involve either of those. And both of those weapons aren't necessarily being wielded in the same slot as a bow.

But I read this to mean that you threaten with every weapon that you're wielding. And you can wield any number of weapons that you're physically capable of holding on any of your body slots (armor spikes, spiked gauntlets, natural weapons, whatever you can use or carry in your hands), and that its a free action to shift between them. Using a full attack action, someone with a bow and spiked gauntlets could shoot an arrow, then take a five foot step and punch a guy with his spiked gauntlet, and then shoot another arrow. Then if someone runs past him, he could punch him with the spiked gauntlets. And then if someone uses White Raven tactics on him, he could switch back to his bow again.

The second interpretation seems to make a lot more sense to me. But I have a long history of digging myself into a deep hole on rules arguments and then being proved wrong.

Thoughts?

Arbitrarity
2007-08-02, 09:49 AM
I tend to agree with Person's interpretation, though some may feel that you can't "Threaten" when what you are doing prevents you from using the body part which is threatening. It's an inevitable result of turn-based combat to simulate real-time. As a rules argument, it seems there is possibly minor dispute, but most of the suggestions here are ruling (house-rules?) to preserve what they consider to be logical continuity.

Now, on the other hand, if I have a character TWF'ing with darts, say, and he explicity draws his darts before the next round (as a move action), while wearing spiked gauntlets, can he make an AOO? What about armour spikes?

The_Werebear
2007-08-02, 11:10 AM
I recently got into a big discussion with my RL group about this concept. I had taken the idea of a warrior who fights with a glaive and a spiked gauntlet for reach and close proximity combat, but the two other rules lawyers were sure it didn't work. Eventually, rather than argue about how much of an action it would be to shift grips, we compromised. It was decided that we would treat it roughly like TWF in terms of penalties for the "off handed" gauntlet, and attacking out of turn with it would cause mainhand penalties for the glaive. It effectively ruined the build, and there wasn't much basis in the RAW, but it got them to shut up and accept my interpretation of the AoO rules.

Anyway, TWF is a good a way as any to describe it, though I am not sure if there is any RAW backup, or even comment.

Subotei
2007-08-02, 03:33 PM
I recently got into a big discussion with my RL group about this concept. I had taken the idea of a warrior who fights with a glaive and a spiked gauntlet for reach and close proximity combat, but the two other rules lawyers were sure it didn't work. Eventually, rather than argue about how much of an action it would be to shift grips, we compromised. It was decided that we would treat it roughly like TWF in terms of penalties for the "off handed" gauntlet, and attacking out of turn with it would cause mainhand penalties for the glaive. It effectively ruined the build, and there wasn't much basis in the RAW, but it got them to shut up and accept my interpretation of the AoO rules.

Anyway, TWF is a good a way as any to describe it, though I am not sure if there is any RAW backup, or even comment.

I think I'd rule that the player would have to drop the glaive to use the gauntlet, as otherwise he's trying to punch etc whilst effectively swinging the glaive with the hand he's punching with. I can visualize a character either punching with the gauntlet, or fighting with the glaive's staff, but not both. But thats just me.

Matthew
2007-08-02, 04:02 PM
Some good points being brough up here. For the record, this is the part of the FAQ I was thinking of:

Dungeons & Dragons FAQ (July, 2007), p. 36.


Can a character with Quick Draw and a base attack
bonus of +6 or better make a melee attack with one weapon
and a ranged attack with another weapon in the same
round? What if the melee weapon requires two hands to
wield?
Yes. Thereís nothing inherent in the full attack action that
requires all the attacks to be made as the same kind of attack or
with the same kind of weapon.
A character with a base attack bonus of +6 or better holding
a longsword, for example, could make a melee attack with the
longsword (using his full base attack bonus), drop the
longsword (a free action), use Quick Draw to draw a dagger
(another free action), then throw the dagger (using his base
attack bonus Ė5). If the character had both hands free (for
instance, if he didnít carry a light or heavy shield in his off
hand), he could even use Quick Draw to draw a bow (free
action), draw and nock an arrow (free action) and then shoot
the bow (using his base attack bonus Ė5).
This situation is actually improved if the melee weapon is a
two-handed weapon. A character can hold a two-handed
weapon in one hand; he just canít attack with it while itís held
like that. Thus, he wouldnít even have to drop the weapon in
order to draw and throw the dagger. If Krusk the 6th-level
barbarian had Quick Draw, he could swing his greataxe (using
his full base attack bonus), then leave the axe in his off-hand
while drawing a javelin with his primary hand (free action), and
finally throw the javelin (using his base attack bonus Ė5). If
Krusk were drawing a ranged weapon that required two hands
to use (such as a bow), heíd have to drop his greataxe.


Do the rules anywhere specify what kind of Action it is to release your grip on a weapon? All I can think of is this:

Dungeons & Dragons FAQ (July, 2007), p. 11.


My DM says that my cleric has to drop his morningstar
to cast spells. Is he right?
Yes and no. To cast a spell with a somatic (S) component,
you must gesture freely with at least one hand. (Playerís
Handbook, page 140) A cleric (or any caster, for that matter)
who holds a weapon in one hand and wears a heavy shield on
the other arm doesnít have a hand free to cast a spell with a
somatic component (which includes most spells in the game).
To cast such a spell, the character must either drop or sheathe
his weapon.
Another simple option is for the cleric to carry a buckler or
light shield instead of a heavy shield. The buckler leaves one
hand free for spellcasting, and you donít even lose the
bucklerís shield bonus to AC when casting with that hand. The
light shield doesnít give you a free hand for spellcasting, but
since you can hold an item in the same hand that holds the light
shield, you could switch your weapon to that hand to free up a
hand for spellcasting. (You canít use the weapon while itís held
in the same hand as your shield, of course.) The rules donít
state what type of action is required to switch hands on a
weapon, but it seems reasonable to assume that itís the
equivalent of drawing a weapon (a move action that doesnít
provoke attacks of opportunity).


Here is some food for thought, though. If a Character with a Two Bladed Sword or somesuch thing uses Two Weapon Fighting during his Action, can he treat it as a Two Handed Weapon for Attacks of Opportunity.

Subotei
2007-08-02, 05:48 PM
The above make sense to me - good find.

Person_Man
2007-08-02, 07:38 PM
Here is some food for thought, though. If a Character with a Two Bladed Sword or somesuch thing uses Two Weapon Fighting during his Action, can he treat it as a Two Handed Weapon for Attacks of Opportunity.

You know, that just made me think of the first real use for a Double Weapon. The Overpowering Attack (PHBII) option allows a 16th level Fighter top deliver a single double damage attack as a full round action, and then all other attacks before the start of your next turn deal double damage. You could do so, using your double weapon as a two handed weapon and getting the most out of Power Attack. Pick up Double Hit, Karmic Strike, and Robilar's Gambit. Now whenever someone attacks you, you get two double damage AoO in retaliation. And whenever someone hits you, you get four double damage AoO in retaliation. Not phenomenal, but not bad either. Does anyone know if there's a double weapon that's also a reach weapon?

You could do the same thing as a Decisive Strike Monk with a quarterstaff (double special Monk weapon) and the combo would work much earlier in your progression, though you'd end up with lower BAB/damage, fewer feats, etc.

Quietus
2007-08-02, 07:50 PM
I think I'd rule that the player would have to drop the glaive to use the gauntlet, as otherwise he's trying to punch etc whilst effectively swinging the glaive with the hand he's punching with. I can visualize a character either punching with the gauntlet, or fighting with the glaive's staff, but not both. But thats just me.

What about this? Picture yourself, and Obvious Mook #1 in the middle of a fight. You're using a glaive, and Mook's buddy, Obvious Mook #2, comes up behind you and tries to take away your glaive. You're telling me you can't imagine someone keeping both hands on the glaive and punching #2 in the mouth, WHILE keeping both hands on the glaive?

Arbitrarity
2007-08-02, 08:05 PM
As long as it's just keeping hands on the glaive, not a problem. Not moving the glaive, while keeping 2 hands on it, is a bit tougher, but I can visualize punching someone with spiky gauntlets while holding on to a glaive.

Subotei
2007-08-03, 01:19 PM
What about this? Picture yourself, and Obvious Mook #1 in the middle of a fight. You're using a glaive, and Mook's buddy, Obvious Mook #2, comes up behind you and tries to take away your glaive. You're telling me you can't imagine someone keeping both hands on the glaive and punching #2 in the mouth, WHILE keeping both hands on the glaive?

I've already said Matthew's find above is better than my idea - you can take a hand off a 2 handed weapon and punch, then its a draw action to use the 2 handed weapon again. Simple and easy to visualise.

As to the idea above - no I still can't see how it would work - you couldn't punch with a hand that was holding a glaive. Perhaps with a staff yes, but thats part of how a staff is designed to be used - smaller and lighter. Drawing back your fist to wind up for the blow would be doubly hard as you'd be constrained by the size and weight of the glaive - if it caught against an adjacent object (eg the other Mook or even an ally etc) there would be no way to launch the punch.

Put it this way - if you can punch with the hand on the glaive, then you must be able to hit with the glaive's staff, which is against the rules as you can't use it against an adjacent foe.