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I realize this is a very strange and seemingly useless question, but hear me out on this. I've recently been assessing more creative uses of spells that seem useless in combat but may be made useful under the right conditions. I ran into the spell allfood. It's a rather useful spell that can turn anything into a consumable food so long as it falls within the weight parameters of the spell: 5 lbs. per caster level. Of course, the limitations on this spell are huge in that an attended item gets a Will save to negate the effect and SR must be overcome.

The way I see it, it should be possible for a character to disarm their opponents, steal their weapons, and make those weapons into food to be eaten. But there's the devil in the details, specifically for the act of eating. Eating food seems to be an out-of-combat task that's to be done during rests, so no rules seem to cover how long eating takes or if it's even feasible to do so in combat.

The first question: What action should it be? According to the rules, it seems like a standard action would be necessary to hold a weapon and bite into it, much like how you hold an enemy and attack it in a grapple, only the object (usually) won't fight back in this case. However, it could be argued that it should be a full-round action. Obviously, despite whatever action it may take, the action should provoke attacks of opportunity.

And that's about the only simple part of this whole ordeal that I can reason out, and even that's not decisive. The rest of the details seem to be very difficult to find information on if any info exists. These details are as follows:

  • How much damage does eating deal to the object? As the allfood spell states, the hardness is dropped to 0 only for the sole purpose of eating the affected object (and not damaging the object in any other way) so the damage should affect the object's hit points directly, but what is that damage and how is it calculated?
  • Can a creature with a bite natural attack use it to eat a weapon that is under the effects of allfood and have its bite damage bypass the hardness of the weapon, or would this be considered a sunder action that would still take the object's hardness into account?
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can't help but think that were it written now this older spell—apparently untouched since 2010—would have a casting time of 1 minute or more just to avoid questions like this. I mean, really, what level 20 hunter needs to turn into food 100 lbs. of rocks or whatever as a standard action? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 23 '18 at 11:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan My DM and I were actually unaware that objects can't be critically hit. We got so wrapped up with the spell application that that detail ended up being one of the things we actually forgot to check for. The DM is really reliant on the base rules, so coup de grace has been ruled out. That's one confusion out of the way. \$\endgroup\$ – Apathy_of_the_Eggs Nov 23 '18 at 12:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ You say that magical items would get a saving throw, but actually the text of the spell states "You cannot use this spell to transform objects with magical or other exceptional qualities" \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Costa Nov 23 '18 at 14:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Assuming that answers will have to resort to house rules doesn’t make the question about house rules. The question is currently about a spell that does exist in the game and how to use it, so those are the tags to use, and I’ve removed that part from the question. (“The discussion” is not what tags are used to label here, only the question post itself. It’s not a discussion site anyway.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 23 '18 at 15:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaveCosta I've gone ahead and fixed that from magic to attended and made a few minor adjustments as well. (I don't think anything I changed has any impact on potential answers, but, please, if you disagree, feel free to make further changes. You, too, Apathy.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 23 '18 at 16:16
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This GM assumes that when a creature actually finishes eating an entire object, the consumer's dealt to that object enough damage to destroy that object. By extension, this GM would rule that a consumer that eats only part of an object removes a proportionate amount of hit points from that object. (This means that eating 1 lb. of 4-lb. longsword depletes of its 5 hp just 1 hp due to rounding.)

However, this GM would rule that a creature that wants to consume entirely or partially a typical allfood-affected object must usually take several rounds—if not minutes—to consume that object, all the while provoking attacks of opportunity. Even dining gracelessly on a longsword is an act not to be rushed. In addition to the perils already present in chowing down on a pointy-and-razor-sharp murder implement, for example, that allfood Medium longsword still possesses 5 hit points, the same number of hp as a healthy kobold and more than an angry but ill human farmer. (Because both kobold and farmer are far bigger than that longsword, maybe that allfood longsword is—even moreso than normal allfood material—almost impossibly chewy?) In other words, this may be a more daunting task than the ranger initially considered. Sitting down to a leisurely meal of allfood rocks or some slices of allfood splint mail? Sure. Take your time. Noshing on allfood arrows or an allfood greatclub during a battle? Unwise… and probably a little rude.

(This assumes the allfood-affected object is noteworthy in its heft, size, or shape in comparison to the consumer; this GM would rule that a Medium average human consumer could gulp down an allfood-affected sized-appropriately-for-him sling stone or shuriken pretty quickly but that it may take even a famished Medium average human consumer at least several days to eat his way through an allfood-affected 50-lb. tree trunk!)

"What about the mechanics?"

Much to the despair of rules lawyers—among whom I sometimes count myself—Pathfinder doesn't mechanize everything, and, so far as I'm aware, one of the things without rules is the mundane task of just eating. If a GM really wants to extrapolate, examples and possible precedents exist, though. There's the heroes' feast spell that creates a magic spread that takes a creature an hour to consume. There's the extraordinary ability swallow whole, which isn't really eating per se but eventually can lead to digestion. There's taking a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity to chug a potion and even eat a magic apple. And so on.

But when a typical human-shaped adventurer retrieves a hunk of cheese in the middle of battle then tries with his mouth to reduce that hunk of cheese's hp, this reader anthropomorphizes the game throwing up its hands and saying, "Really? I'm outta here. They're your players! You deal with them!"

Further, because the allfood spell's description says that an object affected by the spell "becomes no more vulnerable to sunder attacks, break attempts, or any other action typically directed against objects," this GM would rule that a creature's bite attack when its used to deal damage to the affected object during combat is still covered by the combat maneuver sunder or damaging objects, even if the creature doing the biting plans to consume the allfood affected object eventually. There is a difference between, for example, a devil monkey trying to snap with its teeth a foe's allfood-affected longsword and a devil monkey snacking on a banana or even—due to the prestidigitation spell—a banana-flavored allfood longsword.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So it's still as hard as a sword, the only real difference is that you can digest it? Man, what a weird spell. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Nov 23 '18 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DanielZastoupil It is a weird spell. I mean, the allfood transformation is instantaneous so the object's forevermore changed, yet the transformed item doesn't rot because it's now food. I don't know what to do with that, but that's out there, as is, of course, adventurers just eating murder weapons or any other evidence of their wrongdoing. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 24 '18 at 1:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ The DM and I have, after much deliberation of magic, eating, and combat, decided that minutes of eating is justified in this scenario. This obviously makes it not so worthwhile to do unless you're really trying to provoke an enemy. Each pound takes half a minute to consume (5 turns). If more than half the weight of the item is consumed, the item is no longer considered as a proper weapon and is treated as an improvised weapon for the rest of combat, though it takes no other penalties beyond that. Obviously, if the item is completely consumed, then it's just gone. \$\endgroup\$ – Apathy_of_the_Eggs Nov 26 '18 at 2:53

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