Level Up (A5E) Help with Mirror's Glint:Take Weapon confusion

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
One of my players picked up the take weapon maneuver & i'm not sure how to rule on a few parts of it so was hoping to piocj the hive mind a bit.

TAKE WEAPON​

(2 points)
2nd degree Mirror’s Glint reaction
You snatch your enemy’s weapon and use it against them.
When a creature misses you with a melee weapon attack against you using a weapon, you can use your reaction to flip it out of the creature’s hands. The creature makes a Dexterity saving throw, and on a failure it drops the weapon and you grab it from mid-air.
You can spend 2 exertion points to immediately use the weapon to make a melee weapon attack against the creature.

It starts out pretty clear where enemy misses & player uses Take Weapon as a reaction with 2 points exertion to trigger a dex save but things spider web from there if the attacker fails the save. The next line/paragraph does something unusual for maneuver descriptions by saying that "you can spend 2 exertion points to immediately...". What is not clear is:
  • if that second spend 2 exertion is the exertion from triggering it initially or if it is an additional two points for a secondary effect that can be triggered by spending two more exertion after defanging a now weaponless weapon using monster.
  • Regardless of if that second 2 points is the initial effect or a secondary bonus one baked into the maneuver that costs extra, what happens to the weapon after the maneuver user is able to "grab [the weapon] from mid air".
    • Does it go back to the attacker?
    • Does it fall to the ground where AG444 use an object action's text would either allow the attacker to pick up their dropped weapon to use "for free on your turn without spending an action" or more painfully at the cost of a "use an action" action?
  • Does the maneuver user now have the attacker's weapon in their hand(s) allowing them to play keepaway with a harmless foe?
    • If so how does the attacker recover their weapon?
  • Is that second spend 2 exertion just stating the base mechanics of a "stop hitting yourself" type maneuver that hits the attacker with their own weapon?
    • If so do they immediately recover the weapon have it fall to the ground or have the maneuver user now take possession of it & what is needed for them to recover their weapon in the case of multiattack foes & foes that survive the round to need a weapon next round?
 
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W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
if that second spend 2 exertion is the exertion from triggering it initially or if it is an additional two points for a secondary effect that can be triggered by spending two more exertion after defanging a now weaponless weapon using monster.
it's a secondary effect. if it was the exertion from triggering the maneuver initially it wouldn't specify that you can spend 2 exertion.
Regardless of if that second 2 points is the initial effect or a secondary bonus one baked into the maneuver that costs extra, what happens to the weapon after the maneuver user is able to "grab [the weapon] from mid air".
you...you keep it. the creature drops their weapon and you grab it, and the secondary effect specifies you use the weapon you just grabbed to make an attack. i'm pretty sure the maneuver would specify if you don't keep the weapon.

that said, there is one thing that boggles me about this maneuver - what if the weapon you disarmed from the enemy is two-handed (or, similarly, both your hands are full)? that's when things start getting weird. i guess in that case you'd drop it after activating the secondary effect (assuming you do)? i'd probably rule that either you drop what you're holding or you just can't trigger the maneuver, but that'd be a houserule.
 

niklinna

Abstraction is a tool that streamlines gameplay.
One of my players picked up the take weapon maneuver & i'm not sure how to rule on a few parts of it so was hoping to piocj the hive mind a bit.

TAKE WEAPON​

(2 points)
2nd degree Mirror’s Glint reaction
You snatch your enemy’s weapon and use it against them.
When a creature misses you with a melee weapon attack against you using a weapon, you can use your reaction to flip it out of the creature’s hands. The creature makes a Dexterity saving throw, and on a failure it drops the weapon and you grab it from mid-air.
You can spend 2 exertion points to immediately use the weapon to make a melee weapon attack against the creature.

It starts out pretty clear where enemy misses & player uses Take Weapon as a reaction with 2 points exertion to trigger a dex save but things spider web from there if the attacker fails the save. The next line/paragraph does something unusual for maneuver descriptions by saying that "you can spend 2 exertion points to immediately...". What is not clear is:
  • if that second spend 2 exertion is the exertion from triggering it initially or if it is an additional two points for a secondary effect that can be triggered by spending two more exertion after defanging a now weaponless weapon using monster.
Specifying "2 additional exertion points" would have been unambiguous, but there's precedent in other maneuver descriptions for this being additional, and the points are tied to an additional effect beyond what the name of the maneuver implies. I'd say it's an extra cost for an extra benefit.
  • Regardless of if that second 2 points is the initial effect or a secondary bonus one baked into the maneuver that costs extra, what happens to the weapon after the maneuver user is able to "grab [the weapon] from mid air".
    • Does it go back to the attacker?
Why would it? You took their weapon! You could give it back, of course. :)
    • Does it fall to the ground where AG444 use an object action's text would either allow the attacker to pick up their dropped weapon to use "for free on your turn without spending an action" or more painfully at the cost of a "use an action" action?
I don't think "Use an object" applies to weapons. If you "use" a weapon, you are making an attack with it (unless it has some non-attack ability/power), and attacks are covered by different rules. In any case, the text says you take the weapon, so it doesn't fall to the ground—but the weapon you were wielding has to go somewhere (assuming you don't have a free hand to snatch it with). You might wind up with the stolen weapon in your off-hand, by the way, not that that affects attack rolls in D&D (to my knowledge).

Interestingly, I see no rules for picking up an object from the ground during combat, which you'd think would at least require kneeling or bending over—generally a bad idea when engaged in melee, and at the least worth some guidance on adjudicating.
  • Does the maneuver user now have the attacker's weapon in their hand(s) allowing them to play keepaway with a harmless foe?
    • If so how does the attacker recover their weapon?
The maneuver user definitely has the attacker's weapon in their hands! Whether the foe is now harmless is very much not a done deal, however. Maybe they had more than the one weapon, or can draw another, or cast a spell. On the second point, I guess they better have the same maneuver, or another means of disarming their opponent. Maybe they have another weapon on them that they can draw.
  • Is that second spend 2 exertion just stating the base mechanics of a "stop hitting yourself" type maneuver that hits the attacker with their own weapon?
I'd say that would be a different maneuver. This one clearly states that you take your attacker's weapon from them, and optionally use it to attack them. A maneuver wherer you just grab their wrist and puppeteer them to hit themself would be quite fun, though. :LOL:
    • If so do they immediately recover the weapon have it fall to the ground or have the maneuver user now take possession of it & what is needed for them to recover their weapon in the case of multiattack foes & foes that survive the round to need a weapon next round?
Again, no, you've taken their weapon from them. They'd better have another weapon, or a means of getting one. Not a bad deal for 2 exertion points!

I looked up this video for something that turned out not to actually be there, but what the heck, enjoy!
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
it's a secondary effect. if it was the exertion from triggering the maneuver initially it wouldn't specify that you can spend 2 exertion.

you...you keep it. the creature drops their weapon and you grab it, and the secondary effect specifies you use the weapon you just grabbed to make an attack. i'm pretty sure the maneuver would specify if you don't keep the weapon.

It doesn't specify that the user keeps the weapon either, it's very possible to "grab" something without keeping or even having lasting control over it. Take the AG111 deflect missile ability.
You can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack. When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier + your adept level.
If you reduce the damage to 0, you can catch the missile if it is small enough for you to hold in one hand and you have at least one hand free. If you catch a missile in this way, you can spend 1exertion to make a ranged weapon attack with the weapon or piece of ammunition you just caught, as part of the same reaction. You make this attack with proficiency, regardless of your weapon proficiencies, and the missile counts as an adept weapon for the attack, which has a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet.
Deflect Missile is explicit in that the act of catching the missile is simply part of getting rid of it in one of a couple ways leaving little ambiguity like the drop & grab in take weapon does. Take weapon suggests that the grab could be part of something else but doesn't really lean towards either & doesn't have enough for the GM to confidently rule on things like your what if's below. There are tons of martial arts "grab" techniques used to deflect a punch or kick but none of them involve removing the opponent's arm leg fist or foot to stuff in a pocket.
that said, there is one thing that boggles me about this maneuver - what if the weapon you disarmed from the enemy is two-handed (or, similarly, both your hands are full)? that's when things start getting weird. i guess in that case you'd drop it after activating the secondary effect (assuming you do)? i'd probably rule that either you drop what you're holding or you just can't trigger the maneuver, but that'd be a houserule.
Yea there's a lot of ambiguity that makes it difficult to even rule on edge cases like those. It really feels like take weapon has the possibility of invoking flashbacks to the spiked chain era forcing either nothing to ever attack player(s) with it after seeing it in action or everything to start using impossible to take natural weapons. Even what to do after the failed save is a problematic grey area that either makes it a must take maneuver or feels like the player who used 2 exertion is being house ruled out of a meaningful ability

@niklinna Much like those grab & redirect techniques that inspires the scenes, martial arts movies have long included many examples of protagonists taking control of a weapon to attack a foe without taking it. Here's an example from Ip Man
Between Ip Man 1 &2 that kind of thing happens quite a few other times without breaking down into the sort of action comedy below
That one is especially notable in that he grabs the polearm & maintains control over it even seeming to hit the opponent at least once but doesn't take a weapon until the second broom is convenient to use just before it breaks into almost slapstick weapon takebacks & swaps really only ever seen in action comedy like he's known for.[/spoiler]
 
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lichmaster

Adventurer
Others have already replied to your questions and I agree with the overall answers you got: you have to spend the extra exertion to perform the attack, which you can only perform if you have enough free hands, and the weapon stays in your hands.

What just I wanted to comment on is that this maneouver alone can make for some very interesting (unique I'd say) combat sequences:
  • Imagine a BBEG who has minions that istead of being meat shield, they are very nimble, fast, and have this maneouvre. It can debilitate the classic heavy hitting berserker, who has to either change weapon, or chase those pesky minions in order to have his favourite weapon.
  • Even funnier: as above, but the minions play hot potato with this weapon! The free item interaction could be throwing it to a nearby (but not adjacent) ally, giving the weapon even greater mobility.
  • Same thing but in reverse: a heavy hitting melee adversary can become a much easier target if the party attempts to take its weapon. This could make for very interesting collaboration interaction, with the spellcasters/defenders upping the AC of the PC member who'll attempt this maneouvre (as the enemy has to miss him first), and the character using the reaction to take its weapon and then using disengage to move away as quickly as possible (or maybe using misty step).

RAW this would in principle be somewhat possible with O5e and the sleight of hand check in combat, but I've never seen it used this way (or read about parties using this trick). Here instead you can literally build a character around this concept. Imagine a PC who specializes into stealing enemies' weapons and throwing them in a ditch/chasm/lava/etc!
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Others have already replied to your questions and I agree with the overall answers you got: you have to spend the extra exertion to perform the attack, which you can only perform if you have enough free hands, and the weapon stays in your hands.

What just I wanted to comment on is that this maneouver alone can make for some very interesting (unique I'd say) combat sequences:
  • Imagine a BBEG who has minions that istead of being meat shield, they are very nimble, fast, and have this maneouvre. It can debilitate the classic heavy hitting berserker, who has to either change weapon, or chase those pesky minions in order to have his favourite weapon.
  • Even funnier: as above, but the minions play hot potato with this weapon! The free item interaction could be throwing it to a nearby (but not adjacent) ally, giving the weapon even greater mobility.
  • Same thing but in reverse: a heavy hitting melee adversary can become a much easier target if the party attempts to take its weapon. This could make for very interesting collaboration interaction, with the spellcasters/defenders upping the AC of the PC member who'll attempt this maneouvre (as the enemy has to miss him first), and the character using the reaction to take its weapon and then using disengage to move away as quickly as possible (or maybe using misty step).

RAW this would in principle be somewhat possible with O5e and the sleight of hand check in combat, but I've never seen it used this way (or read about parties using this trick). Here instead you can literally build a character around this concept. Imagine a PC who specializes into stealing enemies' weapons and throwing them in a ditch/chasm/lava/etc!

This is a good example of why questions left unanswered like what rules to use when a weapon is dropped or seized & the original user wants to recover it. @niklinna restated my original point where there don't seem to be any rules for "picking up an object from the ground during combat" making both the hardline interpretation & ambiguities problematic. Combine those and Take Weapon has the capability of operating on par with the old school Mage's Disjunction spell.


Round one
  • GM: "Ok Bob Berserker you are up first what are you doing?"
  • Bob: "I move up & attack the Kraken with a 23 & a 1+5+3...seven misses"
  • GM: As a reaction it uses take weapon, make a dex save.
  • Bob: "nat20+2... twenty two?..."
  • GM: "The Kraken grabs your+3 greataxe and... eats it... better hope it doesn't flee..."

Later:
  • GM:"Alice the herald you are up next"
  • Alice: "I attack this one of the Lich's body guard trolls with my hypothetical plus five holy avenger, 27 & 1+5+5... eleven"
  • GM: "The bodyguard took some good damage on that first hit but on that miss it's going to use Take Weapon as a reaction, make a dex save..."
  • Alice: "eek... 12 plus two... fourteen?....
  • GM: "the troll beats you with your precious like so & is that your whole turn?" ...
  • GM: "That brings it to the lich who steps up to the troll in question, puts a hand on it & casts dimension door to go somewhere"
Even later at a different table:
  • Cindy: "I notice nothing with weapons attacks my adept since the first time I used take weapon & shoved it in a bag of holding... Plus it seems like there is a suspiciously high percentage of natural weapon users facing the group since then... I feel like I'm being penalized for my choices."
  • GM: "Yea kinda, not even going to try and soften the blow on that one Cindy. Encounters need to stay interesting for the whole group & much as I want to interpret the take weapon differently, you guys put up quite the case for a hardline ruling against strength based weapon users showing up very often from there on way back at level 4 when you said "well does the statblock say they have other weapons cause a fist is 1+strength right?". Nobody in their right mind would go into combat heavy professions as a strength user if that was how the world worked."

Players almost always have much more investment in their weapons but take weapon +flee/keepaway is old school disjunction/flame strike level evil. If it's supposed to be disjunction level scary to hear the GM speak the words the ability needs to be more explicit. Even without the GM using it against players it's a 2 point second degree maneuver available as early as level 4 that hits way above other maneuvers if it allows players to steal weapons mid combat.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
This is a good example of why questions left unanswered like what rules to use when a weapon is dropped or seized & the original user wants to recover it. @niklinna restated my original point where there don't seem to be any rules for "picking up an object from the ground during combat" making both the hardline interpretation & ambiguities problematic. Combine those and Take Weapon has the capability of operating on par with the old school Mage's Disjunction spell.
I would say that's a Use An Object action.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I would say that's a Use An Object action.
AG444 not clear on that though... Retrieve a dropped/disarmed weapon from the ground to attack with is a common enough thing where there should be a clear "yea it says right there that it works like so"
Normally, you use an object while performing another action, such as drawing a sword while running forward or or an arrow as part of an attack. You are also able to interact with one object for free on your turn without spending an action (like opening an unlocked door, undoing a peace bond on a weapon, or tearing down a wanted poster). When an object otherwise requires your action for its use (like administering or drinking a potion), you take the Use an Object action, which can also be useful when you need to interact with more than one object on your turn.
When the game veers into things that will potentially crash right through a wall where monsters can steal prized weapons from players attempting to fill their class/group niche with those weapons that ambiguity is going to be poison.

My group decided it for me by both strength based melee players remaining silent when the dex based adept argued for a maximalist approach on all ambiguities* the first time he used it so I can just point at him or their silence if they don't like a dragon stealing their weapons or something but the second I do that those players are going to be walking on eggshells scared to attack anything forevermore.

* including the phrase "why would I ever spend the extra two points, I already have their weapon & we can ignore them"
 

Anselm

Adventurer
Why is it not simply you "interact with an object" part of your turn? (Pg422)

Most physical interactions with the environment
simply require a player to announce their intentions
to the Narrator. A statement like, “I open the ward-
robe,” is normally all that is necessary to set an
action into motion.
Some interactions, however, may require an ability
check. A wardrobe that won’t open might require
a Dexterity (thieves’ tools) check to pick a lock or
a Strength check to pull it open despite rusted hinges.

Depending on the situation... You just pick it up. If there's resistance... It requires a roll.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Why is it not simply you "interact with an object" part of your turn? (Pg422)

Most physical interactions with the environment
simply require a player to announce their intentions
to the Narrator. A statement like, “I open the ward-
robe,” is normally all that is necessary to set an
action into motion.
Some interactions, however, may require an ability
check. A wardrobe that won’t open might require
a Dexterity (thieves’ tools) check to pick a lock or
a Strength check to pull it open despite rusted hinges.

Depending on the situation... You just pick it up. If there's resistance... It requires a roll.
The bold bit in my last spoiler. Sometimes the use an object action takes an action, other times it is free as part of some other action like taking a potion or scroll out of your pack as part of the action used to drink/read it.
 

Anselm

Adventurer
The bold bit in my last spoiler. Sometimes the use an object action takes an action, other times it is free as part of some other action like taking a potion or scroll out of your pack as part of the action used to drink/read it.
I'm fairly sure that everytime an object requires an action to use it's specified in the rules. (IE the specific for those is that it's an action). Unless it's specified, the general rule is that it's one of the things you can do on your turn: "Within a single round, you can take an action, a
bonus action, and any free actions (like communi-
cating with allies, dismissing the effect of a thauma-
turgy cantrip you have already cast, or interacting
with an object) during your turn, and one reaction
at any time." (Pg438)
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I'm fairly sure that everytime an object requires an action to use it's specified in the rules. (IE the specific for those is that it's an action). Unless it's specified, the general rule is that it's one of the things you can do on your turn: "Within a single round, you can take an action, a
bonus action, and any free actions (like communi-
cating with allies, dismissing the effect of a thauma-
turgy cantrip you have already cast, or interacting
with an object) during your turn, and one reaction
at any time." (Pg438)
yea but draw a weapon as part of an attack with it is explicit. retrieve it & attack not so much. Rule one way & you have a reaction two point second degree maneuver that can end an attack chain and consume the opponent's action the next round hitting above it's weight since the maneuver user doesn't need to use their action defending the dropped weapon next round to contest recovery or keep the weapon in their offhand potentially imposing a cost.* Rule the other way & you have an ability that's going to have a massively reduced expected power level from table to table. being able to rummage through a mundane nonmagical backpack to draw out a scroll/potion as part of using it sets a pretty high bar that "grab the weapon from the ground & attack" should easily slide under or equal at worst.

* limiting themselves to one handed weapons & keeping a hand free, maybe having a non-adept weapon in their hand ,etc
 

Anselm

Adventurer
I'll try to answer in a more complete way later (on my phone, don't have time to formulate thoughts completely) but impression of your concern is very much that while there may be some specific interaction that really screws a single npc in a combat once in a while, that scenario is really unlikely to occur often or really have as much of an impact as you're concerned about. It really seems like a lot of "ifs" and dice roles to lead to the perfect storm of an NPC being completely useless in combat. Similarly, if you are giving the maneuver to every enemy your players face then, yes, it's going to be rough for them losing their favor weapon at the start of every combat. However, the dm has complete control over whether the monsters/npcs have that and if your dm is running this a "broken combo" every single combat... Talk to them about the game not being fun or find yourself another game.
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I'll try to answer in a more complete way later (on my phone, don't have time to formulate thoughts completely) but impression of your concern is very much that while there may be some specific interaction that really screws a single npc in a combat once in a while, that scenario is really unlikely to occur often or really have as much of an impact as you're concerned about. It really seems like a lot of "ifs" and dice roles to lead to the perfect storm of an NPC being completely useless in combat. Similarly, if you are giving the maneuver to every enemy your players face then, yes, it's going to be rough for them losing their favor weapon at the start of every combat. However, the dm has complete control over whether the monsters/npcs have that and if your dm is running this a "broken combo" every single combat... Talk to them about the game not being fun or find yourself another game.
Less if, more when. One of my players is an adept with a quarterstaff (a parry weapon). It's almost guaranteed to come up often.
 

Kinematics

Adventurer
Normally, you use an object while performing another action, such as drawing a sword while running forward or or an arrow as part of an attack.

The bold bit in my last spoiler. Sometimes the use an object action takes an action, other times it is free as part of some other action like taking a potion or scroll out of your pack as part of the action used to drink/read it.
This doesn't seem to be in conflict. If drawing a weapon can be done as part of an attack, doing so doesn't require the use of the free action on your turn, so you can use that free action for something else.

Drawing a weapon involves taking the weapon from a prepared location (typically a sheathe) and readying it. Picking up a weapon would involve collecting it from a non-prepared location, so doesn't get the free melding with the attack action itself. Thus it would require the separate object interaction in order to bring it to ready, followed by attacking with it.

Regardless, retrieving the weapon as the object interaction does not prevent you from then using your normal action to attack with the weapon. Any conflict here appears to be entirely imaginary.


That said, I'd probably add a condition that Take Weapon can only be used on a creature that's within 2 size categories of yourself. Otherwise the weapon is simply too large or too small to be manipulated like that and taken away (though getting the creature to simply drop the weapon still seems reasonable).

Even 2 size categories is a bit of a stretch. Could a normal human take and wield a cyclops's club? Or, in the other direction, a pixie's dagger?

So yeah, the maneuver seems completely reasonable against similar-sized opponents, but starts to get wonky against very large or very small creatures.
 

Anselm

Adventurer
Less if, more when. One of my players is an adept with a quarterstaff (a parry weapon). It's almost guaranteed to come up often.
TBF I did say that there's a lot of "ifs" to get to the condition where it screws an NPC, not that its a question of "if" the scenario will ever happen.

Just to hit a couple points on your scenarios of how I see this:

Players using it against NPCs -
1. Rendering an NPC useless by taking their weapon - This being possible assumes a great many things that would need to take place, all of them very easily mitigated by the DM if they don't want it be a "free win" by using a level 2 maneuver.
A. The NPC is unable to get the weapon back from the PC. Turning an encounter into a back and forth where the NPC attempts to use their whole action to get their weapon back could turn into a fun challenge for the PCs if the weapon is worth spending that much time on (a magical weapon or some other macguffin). This is mitigatable by the DM thinking ahead about what the roles for the NPC/PC to make in this scenario.
B. The NPC is unable to make attacks any more because their weapon is gone. This one applies to any old joe the PCs are fighting against, "Oh no my sword is gone, now all I can do is punch them!" seems a pretty silly conclusion to jump to. How many weapons to level 1 NPCs get from their recommended weapons or their O5E starting equipment? NPCs should be no different in that regard. Anyone worth fighting is going to have a backup weapon, whether that be a dagger or other simple weapon or something. I'd give the PCs a win by making the NPC have something that is not quite as good as the thing that was just stolen. Similarly, an NPC who has actually lost all their weapons can still use most basic maneuvers to be useful - a grapple or knock down among a large group can be more devastating that a common sword swing.
2. Super powerful monsters using this against PCs.
A. Why the heck would a dragon be using maneuvers to knock a PCs sword out of their hands? First they'd have to be close enough to the fighter or barbarian for them to hit back. Second, breath weapons, special attacks, or even their multi attack is going to be way more effective against a group of PCs. Additionally, giving just any monster a maneuver might be interesting as a reflavor but overall these things are meant to represent martial prowess. Most high CR monsters would not be trained as a martial (again not that you couldn't reflavor it as something else but how many times are you going to do that?)
B. High level NPCs having this and rendering a PC useless. I would argue that this is not a problem unless its overused. One time will be a "holy crap what do I do they took my awesome weapon" problem solving type of thing. Time after time would be very not fun but you have total and complete control over that. It's also not fun to fall into a pit trap 20 times while you walk through a dungeon... Just... don't do that. Mix it up.

Ultimately the ability is guarded by a saving throw and a 2 exertion maneuver. PCs (minus fighters/adepts since they get bonus exertion) can use it maybe 6 times between short rests at level 20. A more common scenario is a level 5-12 PC and they can use it 3 or 4 times there. Is that really more game breaking than an Adept stunning striking and forcing con saves twice as much? Getting the BBEG another weapon is way easier than avoiding death when stunned for a full round.

Really when compared to other abilities it doesn't seem like its going to break the game in the way you are presenting. It's possible it might become tedious to play against if a PC uses it all the time but you can always have a conversation with that player and explain what its like from your side of the screen. Find a way to mix it up so everyone has fun!

Edit: fun fact I just learned because I forget they exist all the time, this maneuver is just a slightly better version of the basic maneuver "Disarm". Literally everyone can do it, just not as effectively against two handed weapons or as a reaction. Disarm can be used to replace an attack, so someone who has had their weapon stolen can attempt to disarm back instead of their next attack and then pick it right up.
 
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lichmaster

Adventurer
Round one
  • GM: "Ok Bob Berserker you are up first what are you doing?"
  • Bob: "I move up & attack the Kraken with a 23 & a 1+5+3...seven misses"
  • GM: As a reaction it uses take weapon, make a dex save.
  • Bob: "nat20+2... twenty two?..."
  • GM: "The Kraken grabs your+3 greataxe and... eats it... better hope it doesn't flee..."

Later:
  • GM:"Alice the herald you are up next"
  • Alice: "I attack this one of the Lich's body guard trolls with my hypothetical plus five holy avenger, 27 & 1+5+5... eleven"
  • GM: "The bodyguard took some good damage on that first hit but on that miss it's going to use Take Weapon as a reaction, make a dex save..."
  • Alice: "eek... 12 plus two... fourteen?....
  • GM: "the troll beats you with your precious like so & is that your whole turn?" ...
  • GM: "That brings it to the lich who steps up to the troll in question, puts a hand on it & casts dimension door to go somewhere"
Even later at a different table:
  • Cindy: "I notice nothing with weapons attacks my adept since the first time I used take weapon & shoved it in a bag of holding... Plus it seems like there is a suspiciously high percentage of natural weapon users facing the group since then... I feel like I'm being penalized for my choices."
  • GM: "Yea kinda, not even going to try and soften the blow on that one Cindy. Encounters need to stay interesting for the whole group & much as I want to interpret the take weapon differently, you guys put up quite the case for a hardline ruling against strength based weapon users showing up very often from there on way back at level 4 when you said "well does the statblock say they have other weapons cause a fist is 1+strength right?". Nobody in their right mind would go into combat heavy professions as a strength user if that was how the world worked."
Without offense, but I think you summed up pretty well what a crappy Narrator would do: antagonistic behaviour.

Combat maneuvers are supposed to be very advanced tecniques that require specific training, ordinary monsters and humanoids without significant martial training are not supposed to have any. The Disarm action can indeed be taken by any creature that has prensile limbs, but that would cost 1 attack (which would make very low basic maneuvre damage), require a save, and then the weapon would simply be dropped, not be stolen and swallowed as a reaction.

Combat encounters can be designed to be simply an obstacle or a main plot point, in which case they can and should be interesting and present unique challenges, one of which I presented above. It's not meant to be a way to completely disable a PC, but more as a distraction (at least that's how I'd run it), and no normal PC would only have one weapon. It's a way to make one encounter (or maybe a particular enemy) memorable in some way.

Same thing in reverse: if the party is fighting against some very dangerous enemy wielding a strong melee weapon, it would totally make sense that the PCs would use their capabilities to their advantage. Not allowing them to do so once in a while is contrary to the spirit of the game itself (like making all monsters resistant or immune to fire now that the wizard can cast a fireball).
As a Narrator you're responsible for designing and running encounters. They should be varied, challenge the PCs but also reward their choices.
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Without offense, but I think you summed up pretty well what a crappy Narrator would do: antagonistic behaviour.
I think you are mistaken & the implied bad GM'ing is not helpful.

In the first example I chose a monster that should always be a dangerous big deal, it happens to also have a maneuver DC over what a strength build with a nat20 could achieve showing that a single dex save for such a powerful result is over the top.

In the second example I used a lich with trolls inspired by the War Trolls employed by the DoSK in eberron, surely plate clad weapon wearing trolls being used by a Lich qualify as monsters with significant martial training? It was an example though so I simplified it to troll bodyguards & a lich, is a lich not capable of plausibly employing guards with significant martial training?

In the third example, how would you answer Cindy's question without assuming the Narrator is a bad narrator? If you can't answer it wiuthout assuming bad GM'ing does that not present a problem that elevates Take Weapon into a disjunction adjacent redzone?
Combat maneuvers are supposed to be very advanced tecniques that require specific training, ordinary monsters and humanoids without significant martial training are not supposed to have any. The Disarm action can indeed be taken by any creature that has prensile limbs, but that would cost 1 attack (which would make very low basic maneuvre damage), require a save, and then the weapon would simply be dropped, not be stolen and swallowed as a reaction.
They were examples showing ways the ambiguities could cause problems, I simply chose monsters that fit the needs. Can you give examples with good monsters so we can talk about how the ambiguities create problems instead of attacking a hypothetical narrator?
Combat encounters can be designed to be simply an obstacle or a main plot point, in which case they can and should be interesting and present unique challenges, one of which I presented above. It's not meant to be a way to completely disable a PC, but more as a distraction (at least that's how I'd run it), and no normal PC would only have one weapon. It's a way to make one encounter (or maybe a particular enemy) memorable in some way.
That bold bit is the problem with Take weapon, it does that to both PCs & monsters. There's no save on later rounds like control & debuff spells it's just a single dex save with a save or lose payload attached on the failed save.
Same thing in reverse: if the party is fighting against some very dangerous enemy wielding a strong melee weapon, it would totally make sense that the PCs would use their capabilities to their advantage. Not allowing them to do so once in a while is contrary to the spirit of the game itself (like making all monsters resistant or immune to fire now that the wizard can cast a fireball).
As a Narrator you're responsible for designing and running encounters. They should be varied, challenge the PCs but also reward their choices.
With Take Weapon "very dangerous enemy wielding a strong melee weapon" is unlikely to be anything but a dex based opponent sporting a raging pressed spiderbulb addiction & excludes the vast majority of monsters that would fall under that "some very dangerous enemy wielding a strong melee weapon" label. Fire Giant is a CR11monster sporting multiattack with a +11 to hit with a 6d6+7 Greatsword. It also has a +4 dex save, a level 9 PC is likely to have a dc17 maneuver DC it will need to roll a 13 or better to not lose that 6d6+7 weapon attack.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I think you are mistaken & the implied bad GM'ing is not helpful.

In the first example I chose a monster that should always be a dangerous big deal, it happens to also have a maneuver DC over what a strength build with a nat20 could achieve showing that a single dex save for such a powerful result is over the top.
Take Weapon says you can take the weapon and spend two more exertion to use it. It says nothing about eating the weapon--which, since it's an edged weapon, should do some damage going down. Also, since maneuvers are learned abilities, not innate ones, you'd have to figure out how the kraken learned a maneuver involving weapons that are toothpick-sized to it.

In the second example I used a lich with trolls inspired by the War Trolls employed by the DoSK in eberron, surely plate clad weapon wearing trolls being used by a Lich qualify as monsters with significant martial training? It was an example though so I simplified it to troll bodyguards & a lich, is a lich not capable of plausibly employing guards with significant martial training?
Trolls aren't very bright, but I suppose they could learn stuff. Still, this is an outlier, and in your example Alice, who is wielding a holy avenger, seems to have a grand total +2 to her Dex save. Assuming that she's a herald, she should be getting a bonus to her saves equal to her Charisma modifier--which should be pretty high, because she's a herald. Also, liches are CR 21 and basic trolls are CR 5 each, then assuming four guards, that's CR 41, right there. By the time that this is anything other than an impossible challenge for the party, the Alice will have probably have lots of other tricks to help her retain her hold on her weapon, like expertise die. Even if she's not a herald, then she should have some other abilities--and possibly inspiration to spend on rerolling saves.

In the third example, how would you answer Cindy's question without assuming the Narrator is a bad narrator? If you can't answer it wiuthout assuming bad GM'ing does that not present a problem that elevates Take Weapon into a disjunction adjacent redzone?
You can't, because the Narrator is being a jerk here by deliberately targeting Alice. If the party was fighting a bunch of, say, brigands and they saw her take one person's weapon and so switched to weaponless fighting, that would be one thing. A dumb thing, unless they're all trained pugilists, but a thing. You could even get away with it if some brigands escaped, because you could claim that they warned their brigand friends. But if Alice keeps taking weapons so the Narrator presents mostly weaponless foes? Yeah, that's not good GMing. That's being antagonistic. If you want to be fair, you need to have a mix of foes using melee weapons, using ranged weapons, and using no weapons.

Also, Take Weapon costs 2 points to use and 2 points to then use the weapon immediately. Even if Alice never uses the weapon to make an extra attack, she's going to run out of points sooner rather than later--more so if she spends points on any of the many adept abilities that cost exertion. She's only going to be using this maneuver once, maybe twice in an encounter, if that. And there's still a saving throw to it.

They were examples showing ways the ambiguities could cause problems, I simply chose monsters that fit the needs. Can you give examples with good monsters so we can talk about how the ambiguities create problems instead of attacking a hypothetical narrator?
Sure: any example that makes sense. Of the three examples you provided, only one--the lich with the troll guards--makes any sense. There's no logical reason why a Gargantuan kraken would learn to grab weapons for Medium creatures when it can grab the entire Medium creature and throw it away. And deliberately targeting a single player to the point that the player notices and is upset is jerky.

So what monsters would learn maneuvers? The book describes maneuvers thusly: Combat honed by warriors devoted to learning the maneuvers encompass the techniques nuances of battle, discovered and perfected through innumerable fights and countless hours of practice.

Meaning, any monster who could logically have spent "countless hours of practice" into learning them. I.e., monsters with class levels, who are likely to be named individuals, not minions, which means that even those troll guards are a bit iffy.

That bold bit is the problem with Take weapon, it does that to both PCs & monsters. There's no save on later rounds like control & debuff spells it's just a single dex save with a save or lose payload attached on the failed save.
Which is why your monsters should have backup weapons. Oh, you stole his sword? Good thing he has another one. And drawing a sword doesn't take an action (see the Use An Object action).
 

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