[Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

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Darkholme
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[Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Darkholme » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:50 am

So; I'm putting together a character, and I want to take Fencer's Finesse. I can't figure out how to get the required knowledges as a class skill though. Is the only way to get them by paying double points?
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Supplement Four » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:40 pm

Balance is a class skill for Pirate or Thief, so as long as your character is at least multi-classed as a Pirate or Thief, you've got that covered.

If your character is Zingaran, Balance is a background skill, plus Zingarans get other bonuses to Balance.



As for Knowledge...

Remember that Hyborians benefit from both racial benefits in the Races chapter. For example, a Zingaran benefits from he Hyborian section and from the section on Zingarans.

One of the Hyborian benefits is Adaptability. See page 20 of the Second Edition Core Rulebook. This allows the character to pick any two skills and treat them as Class skills, even if they are not normally Class skills.





Also, any skill points that you receive from having a high INT (INT 12+), you can use for ANY skill as if it were a Class skill, even if the skill is not normally.

For example, a 2nd level Pirate gets 4 points plus INT mod. If INT is 15, then the Pirate gets 6 points total. 2 of these points (the bonus for high INT) can be used on any skill as if it were a Class skill, even if it is not a class skill. In other words, these 2 points could be put into Knowledge-Fencing-Zingaran School as a class skill, even though it's normally a Cross-Class skill.

Between Adaptability and High INT points, it should be easy to get the required points in Knowledge without spending double for a 2nd Level or higher character.
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Darkholme » Tue Feb 17, 2015 8:12 pm

Hmm. Thanks!

Question the second:
I'm contemplating using it with a Hyrkanian archer, to get Dex to Damage with my bow. RAW, it looks like it works (Fencer's Finesse requires you neither to be finessing, or to use any particular weapon).

I'm a little fuzzy on how that interacts with Str ratings on bows, however. Could anyone help me clarify?
Corebook 147 wrote:"All bows are made with a certain ‘pull’. The greater the pull, the more force can be put behind the arrow but the harder the bow is to draw. In game terms, all bows are made with a strength rating. A strength rating is given as the Strength modifier the weapon is ideally suited for and is given in brackets after the bow. For example, a longbow made for a character of Strength 8 to 9 would be written as a ‘longbow (–1)’ whereas a bow made for a character of Strength 16 or 17 would be written as a ‘longbow (+3).’ The strength rating of a bow indicates the maximum amount of additional damage from Strength that can be added to the damage of its arrows. A character shooting a bow always modifies damage and Armour Piercing ratings with the worse of his Strength modifier and the strength rating of the bow. In addition, a character whose Strength modifier is less than the strength rating of the bow has a –2 circumstance penalty on his attack rolls with that bow.
For longbows with strength ratings of +1 or above, the cost to buy the bow is increased by +20 sp for each +1 of the strength rating.
For example, a character of Strength 16 has a Strength bonus of +3. If he were proficient with the longbow, the ideal weapon for him to wield would be a longbow (+3), at a cost of 80 sp. He would deal 1d10+3 damage with this weapon and it would have an Armour Piercing value of 8. If he instead chose a longbow (+2) at a cost of 60 sp, he would only deal 1d10+2 damage (AP 7). If he picked up a longbow (+4), he would still deal only 1d10+3 damage (AP 8) and suffer a –2 penalty on his attack rolls with it.
If, on the other hand, a character with Strength 8 picked up a longbow (+1) he would deal 1d10–1 damage with an Armour Piercing value of 4, and suffer a –2 penalty on his attack rolls with it."
So far it looks like they should work together, but I'm not exactly sure how they would interact.
  • Would my ability to use the bow still be based on my Str? (My gut says yes).
  • Would Str damage bonus limits apply to my Dex-based archery damage? (My gut says no).
  • Would my Str or my Dex affect my bow's Armor Piercing? (My gut says Str).
So if I have Str 14, Dex 16, and a Hyrkanian +2 Str Bow;

I *Think* I would have a bow that does would have a +3 to hit from dex, 1d10+3(dex) damage, and AP5. And as I raised my dex, my damage would go up with it.

Do I have that right?
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Supplement Four » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:12 am

First off, know that Hyrkanians are not Hyborians, and thus do not get the Adaptability I mention above. Knowledge-Fencing-Zingaran School would have to be purchased without spending double points by high INT. And, since you need 5 ranks, then you'd need at least an INT 16+ in order to get the skill high enough by 2nd level.

2nd level is the minimum level for a character with 5 ranks in any skill.



Plus, the favored class for Hyrkanians is the Nomad, where as the prohibited class for a Zingaran is a Nomad. A Hyrkanian Pirate or Thief would not get the benefits the favored class.



A Hyrkanian living in Zingara is a very rare thing. Though Zingara is very cosmopolitain, the Hyrkanians tend to stay on their steppes. Even the bonus languages for each race do not match--showing how rarely the two races meet.



You probably should also read the last paragraph of the Finesse rules on page 171 of the 2nd Edition Core Rules where it says that Ranged Weapons may never be used for Finesse attacks with the sole exception of the Range Finesse Feat. So, there goes using Fencer's Finesse (which, as I say, is used for melee weapons only).




Darkholme wrote: I'm contemplating using it with a Hyrkanian archer, to get Dex to Damage with my bow. RAW, it looks like it works (Fencer's Finesse requires you neither to be finessing, or to use any particular weapon).
Where are you getting that you can use DEX for damage with a bow? Fencer's Finesse is for melee weapons only (and, rightly so, some GMs would restrict the Feat to one-handed Finesse weapons only--but that can be debated). Rightly, the Zingarans favor the broadsword (two handed) and the arming sword (they get a +1 attack racial bonus on those two types of swords), and the Finesse Feat should only apply to those two types of swords.

No matter how you slice it, the Feat was intended for melee weapons only. Read the section on Swordsmanship on page 48 of Argos and Zingara.

Also note the Knowledge - Fencing - Zingaran School skill. It references swordplay only. There's nothing about archery.




If you want to be able to Finesse attack with a bow, then you need the Feat called Ranged Finesse. But, that's not an easy Feat to get. It requires the Feats Precise Shot and Point Blank Shot (leaving little room at the low levels for the Fencer's Finesse Feat. Your character will most likely be in the mid-levels before he can put all that together.

The Soldier class might be useful for all the Feats that is granted.





Special Note: Power Bows still have a STR requirement to use them, even if being used for Finesse attacks. For example, if a Hyrkanian bow is strung for a +3 rating, then the character using the bow must have a STR 16 or greater to use the bow, even if the bow is being used for a Finesse attack.

Otherwise, use a Hunting Bow, as it has no STR requirement.








Would my ability to use the bow still be based on my Str? (My gut says yes).
Yes, as stated above. It takes a certain amount of personal strength to pull the string and nock the arrow.


Would Str damage bonus limits apply to my Dex-based archery damage? (My gut says no).
No. But, also note that even in a regular melee Finesse attack, DEX bonus is not applied to Armor Piercing or Damage. A ranged Finesse attack would do the damage of the arrow only (but, if the attack is successful, armor is ignore--see the requirements for a Ranged Finesse Attack under the Ranged Finesse Feat.)


Would my Str or my Dex affect my bow's Armor Piercing? (My gut says Str).
Not for a Finesse Attack--the same as with a melee Finesse Attack.




So if I have Str 14, Dex 16, and a Hyrkanian +2 Str Bow;

I *Think* I would have a bow that does would have a +3 to hit from dex, 1d10+3(dex) damage, and AP5. And as I raised my dex, my damage would go up with it.

Do I have that right?
Not quite.

You could use the bow because you have the STR requirement. If attempting a Finesse attack, you would need the Ranged Finesse Feat.

You use DEX bonus on the attack roll. If the Finesse shot is successful, then you would ignore Armor but roll normal, unmodified damage (1d10 for Hyrkanian Bow).

If your shot was good enough to hit but not good enough for Finesse, then you can consider the AP of the bow to see if damage is scored. A Hyrkanian Bow has an AP rating of 3 at Short Range (AP decreases with range). If you pierce, then damage is 1d10 minus half the Armor Value. If you do not pierce, then damage is 1d10 minus full Armor Value.
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Darkholme » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:25 am

Supplement Four wrote:First off, know that Hyrkanians are not Hyborians, and thus do not get the Adaptability I mention above. Knowledge-Fencing-Zingaran School would have to be purchased without spending double points by high INT. And, since you need 5 ranks, then you'd need at least an INT 16+ in order to get the skill high enough by 2nd level.

2nd level is the minimum level for a character with 5 ranks in any skill.
Noted. Campaign is starting at level 3; so that shouldn't be a problem. Aquilonian Fencing is also an option; Zingaran is not the only way to get it.
Supplement Four wrote:Plus, the favored class for Hyrkanians is the Nomad, where as the prohibited class for a Zingaran is a Nomad. A Hyrkanian Pirate or Thief would not get the benefits the favored class.
True; Zingarans are not going to be Nomads. But there's nothing stopping a Hykanian Nomad from taking some levels in thief (I was thinking 3; but maybe I will take more).
Supplement Four wrote:A Hyrkanian living in Zingara is a very rare thing. Though Zingara is very cosmopolitain, the Hyrkanians tend to stay on their steppes. Even the bonus languages for each race do not match--showing how rarely the two races meet.
Hmm. Okay, Fair enough, I would be an odd duck if I went Zingaran.
Supplement Four wrote:You probably should also read the last paragraph of the Finesse rules on page 171 of the 2nd Edition Core Rules where it says that Ranged Weapons may never be used for Finesse attacks with the sole exception of the Range Finesse Feat. So, there goes using Fencer's Finesse (which, as I say, is used for melee weapons only).
I had read that in advance; but aside from some flavor text that suggests that's its primary purpose, nothing in Fencer's finesse (Player's Guide to the Hyborian Age, page 63) actually says I need to be finessing or even using a finessable weapon in order to use it. It just says I apply Dexterity to my damage rather than Strength.
Supplement Four wrote:Where are you getting that you can use DEX for damage with a bow? Fencer's Finesse is for melee weapons only (and, rightly so, some GMs would restrict the Feat to one-handed Finesse weapons only--but that can be debated). Rightly, the Zingarans favor the broadsword (two handed) and the arming sword (they get a +1 attack racial bonus on those two types of swords), and the Finesse Feat should only apply to those two types of swords.
You seem to be conflating rules with setting here. I can see those being houserules some GMs might make to make the ability more exclusive, but I don't see anything in the feat that backs that up. In the case of my GM, that's out the window from the beginning. He doesn't know much about the hyborian age besides what he's read in my books over the past two weeks; and he's been talking about mixing in elements of Dark Sun. So if he's not going to deliver a faithful Hyborian Age setting, he's also not going to mind using a feat in a way that is less than 100% faithful to the setting.

The reason I'm getting to play Conan is not so much the rest of my group being enthused about a Hyborian Age game. I read Conan, and have a large interest in the setting. But most of them knew nothing about the setting going in. They are familiar with d20; they didnt want something radically different mechanically, but they wanted to do a sword and sorcery thing (and Pathfinder (what the guy was going to use) is seriously not suited for the job. So I get to play in something vaguely Hyborian, and they get their low magic campaign. Win–win. Bonus points if this campaign actually turns them onto Conan fiction and/or the setting; opening the door for me to run a full-blown hyborian age campaign at some point in the future.
Supplement Four wrote:No matter how you slice it, the Feat was intended for melee weapons only. Read the section on Swordsmanship on page 48 of Argos and Zingara.
Yep; Zingarans have good swordplay.
Supplement Four wrote:Also note the Knowledge - Fencing - Zingaran School skill. It references swordplay only. There's nothing about archery.
I did note that. I would have had to study some swordplay.
Supplement Four wrote:If you want to be able to Finesse attack with a bow, then you need the Feat called Ranged Finesse. But, that's not an easy Feat to get. It requires the Feats Precise Shot and Point Blank Shot (leaving little room at the low levels for the Fencer's Finesse Feat. Your character will most likely be in the mid-levels before he can put all that together.
I was unsure whether I wanted to finesse with a Bow, actually. I just saw a Dex-To-Damage feat that seemed a good way to help keep my damage competitive as I leveled up, where having to keep raising str&dex, alternating, would have me lag behind. Once I pick out the things I do, then I tend to come up with a backstory to explain where I picked up those skills. I am aware some people do it in the other order.
Supplement Four wrote:The Soldier class might be useful for all the Feats that is granted.
I considered it. I'd have an extra two feats to work with (an extra 3 for straight-soldier over a nomad/thief multiclass), but my dodge and my skillpoints would be really bad, and I'd have all those formation abilities that don't really fit what I want to do in-game.
Supplement Four wrote:Special Note: Power Bows still have a STR requirement to use them, even if being used for Finesse attacks. For example, if a Hyrkanian bow is strung for a +3 rating, then the character using the bow must have a STR 16 or greater to use the bow, even if the bow is being used for a Finesse attack.

Otherwise, use a Hunting Bow, as it has no STR requirement.
Yeah; I figured as much. Thanks for the disclaimer, though.

Supplement Four wrote:
Would my ability to use the bow still be based on my Str? (My gut says yes).
Yes, as stated above. It takes a certain amount of personal strength to pull the string and nock the arrow.
Would Str damage bonus limits apply to my Dex-based archery damage? (My gut says no).
No. But, also note that even in a regular melee Finesse attack, DEX bonus is not applied to Armor Piercing or Damage. A ranged Finesse attack would do the damage of the arrow only (but, if the attack is successful, armor is ignore--see the requirements for a Ranged Finesse Attack under the Ranged Finesse Feat.)
Would my Str or my Dex affect my bow's Armor Piercing? (My gut says Str).
Not for a Finesse Attack--the same as with a melee Finesse Attack.
I wasn't referring to Finesse, however; just the feat, which Mechanically seems to do what I think it does, but thematically you disagree with that. I was only asking about the RAW, however.
Supplement Four wrote:
So if I have Str 14, Dex 16, and a Hyrkanian +2 Str Bow;

I *Think* I would have a bow that does would have a +3 to hit from dex, 1d10+3(dex) damage, and AP5. And as I raised my dex, my damage would go up with it.

Do I have that right?
Not quite.

You could use the bow because you have the STR requirement. If attempting a Finesse attack, you would need the Ranged Finesse Feat.

You use DEX bonus on the attack roll. If the Finesse shot is successful, then you would ignore Armor but roll normal, unmodified damage (1d10 for Hyrkanian Bow).

If your shot was good enough to hit but not good enough for Finesse, then you can consider the AP of the bow to see if damage is scored. A Hyrkanian Bow has an AP rating of 3 at Short Range (AP decreases with range). If you pierce, then damage is 1d10 minus half the Armor Value. If you do not pierce, then damage is 1d10 minus full Armor Value.
Thanks for the information regarding finesse attacks.

I really was just trying to discuss the RAW of the feat, however; which mentions finesse weapons in a flavor way, but not in terms of actual mechanics, and makes no mention whatsoever of only applying while making a finesse attack. I read "Apply your Dexterity
modifier to damage, rather than your Strength modifier." Thee was no mention of "When using a finesse weapon" or "When making a finesse attack". If my dex is higher than my STR, I can use it (for damage) for every attack from then on, with any weapon I pick up. Swinging a hammer with Fencer's Finesse? Str to hit; Dex to Damage (if you want to). Am I misreading something, or are you just telling me what the houserule is at your table?

To be clear, I'm not saying it's a bad houserule. I can see why you wouldn't want to have people using dex to damage on sledgehammers. Even if you only limited it to one-handed blades, from an in-setting perspective I can see why you might do that. But unless I missed something; that's not how it works by default.

As for how to justify that in-character; perhaps I studied under a well learned Zingaran or Aquilonian wanderer for a time; learned the principles, and now apply that to my combat style in general. Maybe as a result I now have a deep seated respect for the skill these western warriors possessed, despite their supposedly softer upbringing. Perhaps it's motivation for me to leave the steppes. See the world, improve my skill, go on some kind of warrior's pilgrimage; bring back new techniques - that sort of thing.

If I were GMing; I would be fine with opening this up to most fighting styles. It makes some more Khitan Martial Artist builds more viable; Dagger-fighters, too. You know, characters who aren't necessarily all that strong, but they're able to keep up in combat because they're quick, or accurate, or agile. It seems unlikely to break the game.
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Supplement Four » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:13 pm

It is your game. Play as you like. But, what I said above is RAW as well as "flavor", as you say.
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Darkholme » Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:12 pm

I'm beginning to suspect the discussion isn't going anywhere; as you seem to be arguing from the point of what you think it should do (RAI), and I was trying to clarify, based on what the hard limits of the written rules are (RAW), how they interact. But rather than discussing how those hard limits would make them interact, you're getting hung up on stating how you wouldn't let them interact at all based on your perceived RAI; and then suggested several houserules to make the option even more restricted. This also probably means we have very different groups; with your group being significantly less permissive about what you're allowed to do.

But; I'm curious, sine you say you're not just providing how it works at your table, but that it is RAW. Is there actually a part of the rules text in the feat you can point to that explicitly states it only works when finessing, or that it only works when using a weapon that you can finesse with? Is it printed differently in a newer source than the PGttHA?
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Supplement Four » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:04 pm

Darkholme wrote:But; I'm curious, sine you say you're not just providing how it works at your table, but that it is RAW. Is there actually a part of the rules text in the feat you can point to that explicitly states it only works when finessing, or that it only works when using a weapon that you can finesse with? Is it printed differently in a newer source than the PGttHA?
I believe the Feat is only printed in two places. Originally, it was presented in the Argos and Zingara hardback as a Zingaran-focused Feat. When second edition came out, it was reprinted in the Player's Guide.

What does the first line of the Feat description say?

"You wield a finesse weapon like a scalpel."

That,right there, tells you that RAW means the Feat is meant for finesse weapons (plus, the name of the Feat is Fencer's Finesse.).

Having this Feat allows you to use DEX mod instead of STR mod when doing finesse attacks.




Since bows can only be finesse weapons by using the Ranged Finesse Feat, you must have that feat and Fincer's Finesse in order to use DEX mod on damage.
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Darkholme » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:49 pm

Hmm.

I would argue that the description is just that, descriptive flavor text with no bearing on the rules, which are explicitly defined in their own sections; but say I agree with your assertion that that line acts as a limiter on the rules text of the feat (I don't, but for argument's sake);

"You wield a finesse weapon like a scalpel." There's a mention of finesse weapons, but no mention of finesse attacks. So that would only restrict the type of weapon I can use, to one that is listed as a "Finesse Weapon", not limit its use to when I am using a finesse attack with that weapon. Making a finesse attack would be irrelevant. So I could apply dex to damage for unarmed attacks under any circumstance, but under no circumstance would it apply to ranged attacks.

But; now that I am clear on where you're getting your position from; There's not much left to say on the matter. I can see a position to argue for RAI in either direction, but I don't consider what you seem to be pointing out as an implied restriction to be nearly explicit or clear enough to consider it an actual restriction, by the "Rules As they are Written".

And, in case you are wondering; I don't think this is an error; I think this is what they intended: I think the fact that no such restriction is mentioned explicitly is deliberate; and I think the intention is that it's a feat that will be most useful for characters whose fighting styles will incorporate finesse attacks; but not only when they are finessing, and not only when they are using a weapon they can finesse with (otherwise they would have explicitly stated such a restriction under; like they do for Combat Maneuvers such as "Circumstance: Making an attack with a Finesse Weapon", or "Circumstance: Making a finesse attack", or "Circumstance: Making a finesse attack with a finesse weapon.", or "Benefit: When making a finesse attack ..." or "Benefit: When making an attack with a finesse weapon...".
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Supplement Four » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:15 am

Darkholme wrote:I would argue that the description is just that, descriptive flavor text with no bearing on the rules, which are explicitly defined in their own sections; but say I agree with your assertion that that line acts as a limiter on the rules text of the feat (I don't, but for argument's sake);

"You wield a finesse weapon like a scalpel." There's a mention of finesse weapons, but no mention of finesse attacks.
I can write the author of the Feat if you like. It's been a while, but I've spoken with him several times over e-mail. He may tell us what his intent was with the Feat.

I do believe you are wrong in your assumption that the "descriptive flavor text with no bearing on the rules". Look through the chapter on Feats. All of that opening text speaks to the intent of the Feat.

What you describe as the "descriptive flavor" that has no bearing on the rules is, actually, a brief summary of the Feat's function.

Check out page 89. There, every part of the Feat listing is explained.

Thus, I am correct in saying that RAW for the feat, Fencer's Finesse, is that a finesse weapon is used.




I think you might be too close to this. Step back. Take a breath. Then, look at it again logically. The brief explanation of the feat describes using a finesse weapon. The name of the Feat is Fencing Finesse. The prerequisite is a Knowledge skill about fencing, not archery. The description says that you use elegance and speed to make exacting, deadly cuts (does that sound like punctures from a bow?). And, the Feat was originated in a book about a people who prize the finesse fighting style (Zingarans) so much that they have established majestic schools for that effort.

The Feat write ups that contradict established rules do so clearly (as with Improved Unarmed Strike or Improved Feint). This Feat says nothing about using a bow, making a Ranged Attack, breaking the no-finesse attacks for ranged weapons rule, or replacing the Ranged Finesse Feat.

Plus, I can't think of one other Feat that addresses both melee and ranged weapons. The Feats address one or the other, but not both.

That's a lot of RAW evidence that I am correct.
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Darkholme » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:40 am

Supplement Four wrote:Check out page 89. There, every part of the Feat listing is explained.
Hmm. Not in my book it isn't. Are you referring to Atlantean edition?

Here's what I found, page 120.
Feat Name
(Type of Feat)
Prerequisite: (Describes Prerequisites)
Benefit: "The benefit is what the feat enables the character (‘you’ in the feat description) to do."
Normal: (Describes the situation without the feat)
Special: (Is a mention of special information that may prove useful)
So, going by that; the Benefit is where all of the rules for what the feat allows you to do are contained.
Supplement Four wrote:Thus, I am correct in saying that RAW for the feat, Fencer's Finesse, is that a finesse weapon is used.
That may well have been the intention, but that is definitely not what is written.
Supplement Four wrote:The Feat write ups that contradict established rules do so clearly (as with Improved Unarmed Strike or Improved Feint).
I believe it does state the exception clearly, though I am starting to think the author may have meant something closer to your stance and just not stated what he meant explicitly.
Benefit: You use elegance and speed to make exacting, deadly cuts on your opponents. Apply your Dexterity modifier to damage, rather than your Strength modifier.
"You use elegance and speed to make exacting, deadly cuts on your opponents." is not a game mechanic. It's descriptive text. It is useful for making a guess at the author's intent, but it is not a game mechanic. The only explicitly mentioned game mechanic in the feat is "Apply your Dexterity modifier to damage, rather than your Strength modifier." There are no explicitly mentioned quantifiers on this. There are a couple options that you could infer from context, but nothing explicitly stated. Even if you assume some of the things you could infer are correct, you have 3 possible interpretations, none of which are explicitly stated. So, going back to the rules text.

"Apply your Dexterity modifier to damage, rather than your Strength modifier."
RAW only; If I would apply Strength to damage; I apply Dexterity instead. With the most conservative reading of RAW, this applies in all situations; and I can't choose not to use it. If for some reason my strength gets higher than my dex, I still apply my dex to damage.

That's RAW, with no layers of interpretation added in.
Supplement Four wrote:I think you might be too close to this. Step back. Take a breath.
No need to worry there; I'm not getting worked up about this; I've just been trying to avoid any hassles as you seemed to be getting upset.
Supplement Four wrote:I do believe you are wrong in your assumption that the "descriptive flavor text with no bearing on the rules". Look through the chapter on Feats. All of that opening text speaks to the intent of the Feat.

What you describe as the "descriptive flavor" that has no bearing on the rules is, actually, a brief summary of the Feat's function.
Hmm. That does seem to be the trend; in this case the description does not match the printed mechanics. That does seem to point to his intentions, though it still doesn't affect the RAW, just gives you some idea about the RAI.
Supplement Four wrote:Then, look at it again logically. The brief explanation of the feat describes using a finesse weapon. The name of the Feat is Fencing Finesse. The prerequisite is a Knowledge skill about fencing, not archery. The description says that you use elegance and speed to make exacting, deadly cuts (does that sound like punctures from a bow?). And, the Feat was originated in a book about a people who prize the finesse fighting style (Zingarans) so much that they have established majestic schools for that effort.
This points toward you being at least partially right about what you think the author intended; but this is all situational/circumstantial information that you would have to use to guess what the feat does, rather than explicitly printed mechanics.
Supplement Four wrote:Plus, I can't think of one other Feat that addresses both melee and ranged weapons. The Feats address one or the other, but not both.
This is true. This points to an error; or at least draws attention to the feats vagueness (I would say vagueness is an error as I think game mechanics should be nearly impossible to interpret differently than intended, but YMMV).
Supplement Four wrote:This Feat says nothing about using a bow, making a Ranged Attack, breaking the no-finesse attacks for ranged weapons rule, or replacing the Ranged Finesse Feat.
True. There's also nothing about requiring you to be finessing, or using a finesse weapon, in the rules text. There is a line that you can assume meaning that is not present in the feat's mechanics, and the book it came from; and you're making further assumption of meaning based on the feat's name, but none of that is actually present in the feat's mechanics.
Supplement Four wrote:That's a lot of RAW evidence that I am correct.
None of that was RAW evidence. It's a lot of circumstantial tangents that hint that you are at least partially correct in what the author intended; but none of which are things explicitly stated about the feat's capabilities in any way.
RAW is what's written. If it's not explicit, it's not RAW. Here's the idea behind reading things RAW: You cannot know for certain what the author intended when he wrote a thing. So make no assumptions about said intention beyond what's explicitly printed. Make no guesses (educated or otherwise) at the author's intentions. If you're basing your point about how something works based on assumptions of the author's intentions, you're not discussing RAW.

What you have been claiming as RAW throughout this thread is your opinion of RAI; as in: what you think the author intended. Now; I have a different view on the author's intentions since I made this thread. I think you made some good points that hint at the author's intentions. I do not think he intended it to be used with all weapons, all the time. I do not think he intended it to be used with bows. I have not, however, heard anything to make me think I misinterpreted the RAW. RAW is a single statement with no qualifiers, and no mention of any choice to use or not use dexterity for damage. RAW is also very likely not at all what the author intended.
Supplement Four wrote:I can write the author of the Feat if you like. It's been a while, but I've spoken with him several times over e-mail. He may tell us what his intent was with the Feat.
I am interested in hearing what his intention was with the feat. I do think it is very unlikely that his intentions do not match the RAW.

However, I think your assertion of his intentions (That it only works while making a finesse attack) is unlikely, based on the evidence you posted; so I would like to hear the author's intentions if that's not too much trouble.

I do think he intended it to only work with Finesse Weapons. I do not think he intended it to only work when you are making a Finesse Attack.

As an aside; you mentioned normally not adding your strength to damage when you make a finesse attack – where did you find that rule, because I cannot locate it?
Supplement Four
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Supplement Four » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:48 pm

Some things...

1. Me getting worked up? No, not at all. Just talkin' 'bout gamin'. That's all. I don't mean to come across as if I'm getting upset at all. Don't think that I am. Everything's cool on this end.

2. I'll write Vincent and see what he says.

3. If you look at page 119 (2nd ed), right under the title "Feat Descriptions", it tells you what that introductory text is on Feats. It's, "a brief summary of the feat's function." Keep reading, and it will describe the other sections of the Feat descriptions.

4. I incorrectly wrote, above, that STR mod is not normally added to damage from a Finesse strike. It was Armor Piercing for a Finesse strike that I was thinking of. Thanks for the correction.
Supplement Four
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Supplement Four » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:38 am

It's been a couple of years since I've spoken with Vincent. The address I came back as undeliverable.

I guess you'll just have to play the feat as you see fit.



EDIT: BTW, a search turned up THIS THREAD from four years ago. And, there, my take on the Feat is supported.



2nd EDIT: You didn't say if you have the Argos & Zingara book. If you don't, you'll be interested in the write-up on Knowledge-Fencing-Zingaran School. Page 81 of that book. There are several combat maneuvers available at different levels of that skill. The Aquilonian version is listed in the Player's Guide.
Darkholme
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Re: [Conan] Fencer's Finesse Question

Postby Darkholme » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:35 am

Supplement Four wrote:2nd EDIT: You didn't say if you have the Argos & Zingara book. If you don't, you'll be interested in the write-up on Knowledge-Fencing-Zingaran School. Page 81 of that book. There are several combat maneuvers available at different levels of that skill. The Aquilonian version is listed in the Player's Guide.
I've got it. I'll go check it out, thanks.

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