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Couple of examples that I wonder whether are or aren't possible, strictly RAW:

  1. Familiar sitting on Magic Staff during battle. Can it use spells from the staff?
  2. Same thing but Cohort, standing right next to PC and touching/wielding the staff at the same time as PC.
  3. Familiar sitting on a 2h weapon during battle. Can it profit from stat bonuses, for example +8 Initiative (combination of dueling enhancement and training enhancement)?
  4. Same thing but Cohort standing right next to PC and touching/wielding the weapon at the same time as PC.

I suspect this will come down to whether "wielding" is a deeply specified phrase or something that was never detailed enough to prevent "touching" from counting.

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something that was never detailed enough to prevent "touching" from counting.

You have the burden of proof here backwards: in the absence of any specific rules from Pathfinder itself, we fall back on the English-language definitions of these terms, and those are already detailed enough to prevent “touching” from counting as “wielding.”

For instance, the Britannica Dictionary definition:

  1. to hold (something, such as a tool or weapon) in your hands so that you are ready to use it

That’s already requiring more than merely “touching.” Wielding requires that you be able to attack with it. Thus, any claim that “touching” is sufficient requires the claimant to provide evidence from the Pathfinder rules.

Holding isn’t as clear. Again, we can look to Britannica for example:

  1. a: to have or keep (something) in your hand, arms, etc.

But if you follow that link, you’ll see that “hold” has a great many more meanings than “wield,” and even for definition 1a, an example is “holding the rail,” which has the sense of “hold on to” rather than “hold it up” or whatever. Pathfinder clearly means the latter in the context of held magical items, to the point that I would say that it is outright deceptive to claim otherwise, but I will address this issue in these particular cases.

Anyway, the only way to justify ignoring these definitions is if the rules themselves define these words differently. They do not: the rules are silent on this subject. Words like “touch” and “hold” and “wield” are used without defining them, relying on their English-language definitions (with the exception of touch spells, which are a different sense of “touch” altogether and one the game does define since our real world doesn’t have spells at all). But since the English-language definitions are plenty specific enough for this purpose, that poses no problem at all:

  1. Familiar sitting on Magic Staff during battle. Can it use spells from the staff?

  2. Same thing but Cohort, standing right next to PC and touching/wielding the staff at the same time as PC.

To activate a staff, a character must hold it forth in at least one hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for nonhumanoid creatures).

(Staves → Activation)

If the familiar or cohort was carrying the staff itself, and thus holding it, and it was otherwise capable of activating it, then the familiar or cohort could. However, if the staff was held by someone else, and the familiar is merely “sitting” on it, or the cohort is merely “touching” it, then no, that does not meet the stated requirement. Even if we get dodgy about the definition of “hold,” “holding it forth” requires that the entity activating the staff have control over its movements. Can’t do that if someone else is holding onto it.

This is clearly sort of nonsensical, from a narrative perspective—it’s not at all hard to imagine characters cooperating in the movements of the staff—but that

  1. is not what you asked,
  2. invites a lot of other non-legalistic arguments that do not work in your favor, and
  3. falls apart if you consider the broader context of the turn system.

Which is to say, the turn system is an abstraction for a lot of simultaneous action. We don’t have one person act, then freeze, and the next person act, then freeze, and so on. Instead, they’re all acting at once, and one person just has a slight “edge” on the others that, under the rules, allows their actions to resolve first. So if the leader is holding forth the staff to activate it, and then the cohort is holding forth the staff to activate it, they’re actually—in a sense—holding it forth near-simultaneously. The rules don’t let them do this kind of thing because the only reason it even seems to work is because of the abstraction that doesn’t quite precisely match the reality it’s trying to model.

That said, as one of the founders of this network famously said, all abstractions are leaky. There are corner cases where you could abuse this abstraction to allow this kind of “simultaneous-ish” activation, such as if the first activator were to drop the item and the other were to pick it up. (There doesn’t seem to be any rule for catching things dropped like this, so somebody ends up burning a move action here.)

But both people standing there with their hands (or whatever) on the item isn’t one of them. That would require rules for that kind of shared control over an item, which the rules don’t allow at all.

  1. Familiar sitting on a 2h weapon during battle. Can it profit from stat bonuses, for example +8 Initiative (combination of dueling enhancement and training enhancement)?

  2. Same thing but Cohort standing right next to PC and touching/wielding the weapon at the same time as PC.

This is going to depend on the wording of the precise ability in question. I am therefore only able to answer for dueling and training specifically, and cannot make a blanket statement about all abilities ever. It depends what each ability’s text states is required to get the bonus.

A dueling weapon (which must be a weapon that can be used with the Weapon Finesse feat) gives the wielder a +4 enhancement bonus on initiative checks, provided the weapon is drawn and in hand when the Initiative check is made.

(Magic Weapon Special Abilities → Dueling)

a training weapon grants one combat feat to the wielder as long as the weapon is drawn and in hand.

(Magic Weapon Special Abilities → Training)

Both of these don’t just refer to a “wielder,” but also specify that the weapon “is drawn and in hand,” just to be extra clear. Having something “in hand” requires more than just touching it, or sitting on it: it requires that your hand is in control of its movements. Being the object’s “wielder” requires that you be eligible to make attacks with it.

There is no way for two creatures to be simultaneously eligible to make attacks with the same weapon at the same time. There is no way for two creatures to simultaneously be in control of the weapon’s movements. The rules don’t allow for that kind of thing. Even when grappling or fighting over a weapon, the rules always have it in one creature’s control until the other creature manages to take it somehow (and then it is only in the other creature’s control and not the original creature’s). Any in-between state is handled by putting conditions on the wielder to prevent them from using it freely, e.g. grappled or pinned, but not having any notion that it’s half-controlled by each.

In short, no, none of this works.

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