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Can you two weapon fight with a two handed weapon?


Rules Questions

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Rules issues aside, if a character has made the appropriate opportunity cost to have four arms specifically so they can duel-wield greatswords, or wield a Greatsword, a Shortsword, and a Heavy or Light Shield. Then I don't really see a problem with allowing them to do so.

But then again, I wrote Helmets and Sabatons as items that a normal humanoid can use Two-Weapon Fighting with in combination with a Two-Handed Weapon (by giving such items an appropriately explicit clause permitting it)... So I'm a little biased.

The Exchange

Cantriped wrote:

Rules issues aside, if a character has made the appropriate opportunity cost to have four arms specifically so they can duel-wield greatswords, or wield a Greatsword, a Shortsword, and a Heavy or Light Shield. Then I don't really see a problem with allowing them to do so.

But then again, I wrote Helmets and Sabatons as items that a normal humanoid can use Two-Weapon Fighting with in combination with a Two-Handed Weapon (by giving such items an appropriately explicit clause permitting it)... So I'm a little biased.

Again, here I agree completely, rules aside I don't care if a Bazu beard gets labeled as part of the close weapons group and a brawler wants to do a full brawlers flurry with it built as his primary and only weapon. If he wants to provoke 5+ AoO's per round just to be able to chin slice things to death go ahead.

I don't care if someone two weapon fights with a weapon that offers such a horrible penalty. Just with everything I see, between the rules as written on TWF and the FAQ on armor spikes. Even though armor spikes do not require an "off hand" to use, same as barbazu beard. you are still required to use your "off hand" to get your extra attacks from Two weapon fighting, and even per the FAQ, your "off hand" is being used to wield the two handed weapon.

NOTHING stops the use of these items with two handed weapons, as the barbazu beard clearly points out can be done, armor spikes as well can be used with a two handed weapon. However they are only use as either iterative attacks, or attacks of opportunity. NOT Two Weapon Fighting!


Armor Spikes actually do require an off hand to use, they are classified as Martial Light Melee Weapon, and unlike the Barbazu Beard they lack a no-hands clause. In fact, Armor Spikes go a step further and explicitly state: "You can't also make an attack with armor spikes if you have already made an attack with another off-hand weapon, and vice versa."

The FAQ simply clarifies and explicitly states what would have been obvious if people were reading the rules literally and holistically, instead of selectively ignoring the parts they didn't like.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"... rules doesn't say that the character can't wield multiple Two Handed Weapons..."

Neither do the rules say that a character can wield multiple Two Handed Weapons. It mentions one handed and two handed use for a Light weapon, and off handed use. It mentions one handed and two handed use for a One Handed weapon, and off handed use. This is not the case for the Two Handed Weapon.

The Bow Master for the Kasantha uses two Bows, which are not technically two handed (Melee) weapons. Typically, a character can not wield two bows, no matter how many arms they have.

Notice the Bestiary entries (with Weapon Mastery, most of the time) only ever have one (1) Two Handed weapon in their entries.

If the Two Handed Weapons were to be used by a Four Armed Creature, they would only get the 1.0/0.5 str bonus for the Main/off hand attacks when Two Weapon Fighting.

This is not the main subject of this thread, though, as the Barbazu Beard is not a Two Handed Weapon and can be wielded/worn while wielding a Two Handed Weapon. The main question is if it can be used in conjunction to using the Two Handed Weapon Ala TWF. Likely, this is not going to be the case because of the Armor Spike FAQ. If it was intended to be used in such a manner when written, the item needs updated to either supersede the FAQ for that item only, or have the properties of the item make it a natural attack for the character wearing it.

Shadow Lodge

Cantriped wrote:

never reference weapon handedness at all;

Look closlier

able: Two-Weapon Fighting Penalties Circumstances Primary Hand Off Hand
Normal penalties –6 –10
Off-hand weapon is light –4 –8
Two-Weapon Fighting feat –4 –4
Off-hand weapon is light and Two-Weapon Fighting feat –2 –2

hanD. Not hands. Your one, primary hand. A greatsword takes 2.


Than Xill have been outright cheating for going on eight years then?
Good to know...

You can be obtuse if you want, and make up restrictions that don't exist based one whatever imagined evidence as long as you like. Thankfully having four arms at all is a rare corner case in pathfinder, so few players will have to suffer for it. I've made my points and cited the rules I used to come to those conclusions. I can only hope that Starfinder does a better job of explaining itself considering that one of their core races is likely to have an unusual number of hands.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Cantriped wrote:

never reference weapon handedness at all;

Look closlier

able: Two-Weapon Fighting Penalties Circumstances Primary Hand Off Hand
Normal penalties –6 –10
Off-hand weapon is light –4 –8
Two-Weapon Fighting feat –4 –4
Off-hand weapon is light and Two-Weapon Fighting feat –2 –2

hanD. Not hands. Your one, primary hand. A greatsword takes 2.

"hand' is short hand for main weapon and secondary weapon. We know that not all weapons take a physical hand, primary or otherwise. Much the same, a primary weapon could use more than one hand as it's referencing the primary/secondary weapon.

After all we KNOW armor spikes can be used in two weapon combat and it's NOT a second weapon in your off hand. And we know the intent of the chart was not as you infer because it's a direct copy of 3.5's chart and they FAQ'd two weapon combat to confirm two handed weapons could be used in two weapon fighting. Then we have an AP with an NPC using two two handed weapons, so someone in the company doesn't agree with you either.

Anyway, I'll agree with Cantriped and hope some thought has been put into multi-armed combat with the inclusion of a 4 armed race into starfinder.

Shadow Lodge

Graystone wrote:
hand' is short hand for main weapon and secondary weapon. We know that not all weapons take a physical hand, primary or otherwise. Much the same, a primary weapon could use more than one hand as it's referencing the primary/secondary weapon.

So the argument that its absolutely allowed in the rules is that the rules say that it's allowed because its absolutely allowed in the rules...

No.

It is a monk esque leap of logic to go from hand to "main hand like thing that may be one hand or two hands." You don't know that thats what it means, that's definitely not what it says.

Shadow Lodge

Cantriped wrote:


You can be obtuse if you want,

You can insult other posters because you don't have an argument all you want. It's not going to change the fact that the attempt to read the rules for a mechanical advantage are on less than solid grounds and you should expect a DM to put the kybosh on them, for good reason.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This item comes from an 8-year-old publication from a softcover product line. I'm more inclined to believe the designer made a mistake and didn't understand the rules correctly, which is shockingly not uncommon for campaign setting and player companion books.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

well, there are multiple comments about faqs only applying to the thing the faq applies to, on the other hand they come so slowly and tend to be so narrow in scope that we have to interpolate in between the gaps.

BNW, any chance you can point me in the direction of any of these comments on FAQ applicability?

I posited earlier in this thread my theory on such comments, but I'd like to see some of the actual comments to understand it batter.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
You can insult other posters because you don't have an argument all you want. It's not going to change the fact that the attempt to read the rules for a mechanical advantage are on less than solid grounds and you should expect a DM to put the kybosh on them, for good reason.

I don't think that word means what you think it means...

I'm reading the rules precisely as they are written, and I've made several arguments supporting my case. Choosing to ignore or disagree with them doesn't make them disappear. Further, my interpretation is supported by entries from both the Bestiary 1 and the Occult Bestiary, and likely several other sources as well. Not that it matters, you are obviously far too invested in your opinion to accept any amount of evidence which contradicts it.


Here is a list of creatures I've found with three or more hands and stat-blocks which include the use of one or more Two-Handed Weapons while using Two-Weapon/Multiweapon Fighting (the Multiweapon Fighting feat uses the Two-Weapon Fighting rules). Every single one of these creatures has some form of Multiweapon Mastery (to ignore the -4 penalties they would suffer for doing so), and not one of these creatures has an ability explicitly giving it permission to use a Two-Handed Weapon while Two-Weapon/Multiweapon fighting.

Asura, Upasunda (Bestiary 3 27)
Gegenees* (Bestiary 5 118)
Inevitable, Lhaksharut (Bestiary 2 164)
Xill** (Bestiary 283)
Xill Matriarch** (Occult Bestiary 60)

*The Genenees is technically using a One-Handed Weapon with two hands.

**For those who have argued that the Longbows used by the Xill and Xill Matriarch do not qualify as "Two-Handed Weapons" please refer to Ultimate Equipment page 32: "You need two hands to use a bow, regardless of its size."

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cantriped. The bow is a Ranged Weapon. It takes one (Main) hand to use and the other (off) hand to draw and fire the arrows. The same is the case for a sling, which is why it only ever does 1.0 str mod damage.

The overall point is that while the Kasatha can wield two bows with an Archtype, it is not two Melee Two Handed weapons.

Keep in mind, the Bestiary breaks rules that the player characters abide by, sometimes by mistake by the writers, sometimes on purpose (like using Multiweapon Mastery as a blanket allowance) Not everything in the bestiaries are going to be available for the player characters to use. (less so in PFS)


Bows are Two-Handed Ranged Weapons. The rules explicitly state they require two hands to use, which is pretty much all that the section on Two-Handed Weapons says on the subject as well.

Ranged Weapons still have handedness, and the Two-Weapon Fighting rules don't care at all whether the weapon is a Melee or Ranged weapon. Which is why humans with only two hands can Two-Weapon Fight with Pistols, but not Muskets.

The designers simply chose not to have Ranged Weapons broken down into separate sections by handedness because there fewer of them, and some of them have weird exceptions that Melee Weapons typically lack. For example, most crossbows are "Two-Handed", requiring two hands to load and fire, but they can be fired with one hand if the user accepts a penalty. Similarly, Slings requires two hands to load, but only on hand to fire; so if they were already loaded a character can technically Two-Weapon Fight with a pair of Slings (At a -4 penalty because neither is a Light Weapon).


Handedness classification is for melee weapons only.

Quote:
Light, One-Handed, and Two-Handed Melee Weapons: This designation is a measure of how much effort it takes to wield a weapon in combat. It indicates whether a melee weapon, when wielded by a character of the weapon's size category, is considered a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon.

Needing two hands to use and being a two-handed weapon does not mean the same thing.


Not "only".
Hand-Crossbows are treated as Light Weapons for example.
Firearms are classified as One-Handed or Two-Handed Ranged Weapons by their tables.
The rules for Shadowcraft Weapon (from Blood of Shadows) also assume that Ranged Weapons have Handedness classifications.


Quote:

Crossbow, Hand: You can draw a hand crossbow back by hand. Loading a hand crossbow is a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

You can shoot, but not load, a hand crossbow with one hand at no penalty. You can shoot a hand crossbow with each hand, but you take a penalty on attack rolls as if attacking with two light weapons.

Hand crossbows are ranged weapons, not light weapons. They are treated as light weapons for the purposes of two weapon fighting.


Quote:

Longbow: At almost 5 feet in height, a longbow is made up of one solid piece of carefully curved wood. You need two hands to use a bow, regardless of its size. A longbow is too unwieldy to use while you are mounted. If you have a penalty for low Strength, apply it to damage rolls when you use a longbow. If you have a Strength bonus, you can apply it to damage rolls when you use a composite longbow (see below), but not when you use a regular longbow.

Longbow, Composite: You need at least two hands to use a bow, regardless of its size. You can use a composite longbow while mounted. All composite bows are made with a particular strength rating (that is, each requires a minimum Strength modifier to use with proficiency). If your Strength bonus is less than the strength rating of the composite bow, you can't effectively use it, so you take a –2 penalty on attacks with it. The default composite longbow requires a Strength modifier of +0 or higher to use with proficiency. A composite longbow can be made with a high strength rating to take advantage of an above-average Strength score; this feature allows you to add your Strength bonus to damage, up to the maximum bonus indicated for the bow. Each point of Strength bonus granted by the bow adds 100 gp to its cost. If you have a penalty for low Strength, apply it to damage rolls when you use a composite longbow.

Longbows do not even have the "treat as" provision. Requiring two hands to use does not automatically mean it is a "two-handed weapon."


I think it does. The definition of a "Two-Handed Weapon" is a "Weapon which requires Two Hands to use". Trying to argue otherwise is absurd. I think now is as good a time as any to remind everyone that Pathfinder wasn't written to be parsed like a C++ Script or a Magic: The Gathering card. It was written "conversationally", and in that vain, I think it is safe to assume that a weapon that requires one hand to use is a One-Handed Weapon.


Light, One-handed, and Two-handed are Melee Weapon classification.
Thrown and Projectile are Ranged Weapon classification.

Quote:

Melee and Ranged Weapons: Melee weapons are used for making melee attacks, though some of them can be thrown as well. Ranged weapons are thrown weapons or projectile weapons that are not effective in melee.

Light, One-Handed, and Two-Handed Melee Weapons: This designation is a measure of how much effort it takes to wield a weapon in combat. It indicates whether a melee weapon, when wielded by a character of the weapon's size category, is considered a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon.


if a bow is not a two handed weapon that means i don't have to use two hands to shoot it and thus would normally be able to two weapon fight with them seeing as how that is not the case and bows do need two hands to use they are then two handed weapons


A bow is not a two-handed weapon because it is not a melee weapon. A bow is a projectile weapon that requires two hands to use.


Harry is trying to prove that a bow can be a Ranged Weapon which requires Two Hands to use, without being a Two-Handed Ranged Weapon. A strict reading of only the rules he has quoted supports his argument. But other extant rules, as well as plain old (un)common sense indicate otherwise.


Just to note: Harry is my rules-quoting alias. I apologize for any confusion.

Two-Handed weapon is a classification of weapon, not a description.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Kasatha is still using the Bow two handed (using a set of arms for each bow) with the archtype (Monster or character), but the difference between ranged and melee is more than a turn of phrase. When one wields a Two Handed weapon, it is using more than just the hands to swing and wield it, the character turns his shoulders, swings his arms, and put power behind the swing. This is for all melee weapons that are used two handed. Imagine a brawling bar fighter using a haymaker, twisting his body around to swing an impact onto the unruly drunk and ending up looking like the thinker at the end of the swing.

One simply can not do this with two (2) Two Handed weapons, the body can not twist in two different directions at once.

Now, reasoning behind the rules aside, having two ranged weapons being used at the same time is not the same. The wielding hand guides the weapon as the other draws and lets loose the arrow. The Archtype likely would target the same creature with the attacks, or the same basic area. Swinging the bows is not a problem in this respect.


thaX wrote:

The Kasatha is still using the Bow two handed (using a set of arms for each bow) with the archtype (Monster or character), but the difference between ranged and melee is more than a turn of phrase. When one wields a Two Handed weapon, it is using more than just the hands to swing and wield it, the character turns his shoulders, swings his arms, and put power behind the swing. This is for all melee weapons that are used two handed. Imagine a brawling bar fighter using a haymaker, twisting his body around to swing an impact onto the unruly drunk and ending up looking like the thinker at the end of the swing.

One simply can not do this with two (2) Two Handed weapons, the body can not twist in two different directions at once.

Having actually been trained in a one-handed martial weapon, I can assure you that realistically speaking you have to use your full body with most one-handed weapon swings as well. Which is why characters who lack the appropriate training (represented by the Two-Weapon Fighting Feat) suffer severe penalties for trying to fight with two weapons simultaneously. I can also assure you that it is physically impossible for any normal human to fire a muzzle-loading musket 4-5 times in a 6 second period, yet a high-level Musket Master does just that. So realism obviously isn't a prerequisite for something being done in Pathfinder.

Regardless, the rules for Two-Weapon Fighting do not prohibit a character from using a weapon that requires two hands to use, as evidenced by no less than five separate bestiary entries doing so without a special ability giving them permission to do so.
The only relevant prerequisite to use Two-Weapon Fighting is that you must have a second weapon in an off-hand.
Having to use more than one off-hand is no more prohibitive to meeting this prerequisite than having a 16 STR is prohibitive to taking Power Attack (which requires a 13 STR, and never stipulates "13 STR, or more").
However, a character wielding one or more weapons with two hands will always suffer at least a -4 penalty to all of their attacks (barring a special ability like Multiweapon Mastery) because regardless of how many hands you possess you only ever have one Primary Hand. So one of your Off-Hands will be holding a weapon which isn't considered "Light".

The Bow Nomad's Twin Bows ability is simply giving them explicit and defined permission to do something the rules already gave them tacit permission to do. The ability mainly just serves to explain how Rapid Shot and Many Shot interact with this unusual course of action. The ability basically doesn't do anything. It wasn't the first or the last poorly written Archetype to be published in an obscure supplement.


It's difficult having a rules discussion with someone who casually dismisses so many rules.


Likewise it is difficult to hold a discussion with people who misread the rules and then casually ignore evidence which disagrees with their misconceptions.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cantriped wrote:

I think it does. The definition of a "Two-Handed Weapon" is a "Weapon which requires Two Hands to use". Trying to argue otherwise is absurd. I think now is as good a time as any to remind everyone that Pathfinder wasn't written to be parsed like a C++ Script or a Magic: The Gathering card. It was written "conversationally", and in that vain, I think it is safe to assume that a weapon that requires one hand to use is a One-Handed Weapon.

Cantriped has the true RAW and RAI meaning of all the rules, trying to argue otherwise is absurd.


Your "witty sarcasm" wounds me so Glorf! How will I ever survive the "injury" caused by your "cutting remarks"!?

Shadow Lodge

Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:


Cantriped has the true RAW and RAI meaning of all the rules, trying to argue otherwise is absurd.

The second someone insists that there is one true raw is when they lose all credibility in their ability to read it.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The myth of "One True RAW" stops all rules discussion that can be obtained. It shuts out new posters. It just generally destroys collaboration.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cantriped, we continue to disagree. I will say that the Kasatha Archtype is expressly giving an exception to something that can not be normally done. To me, it is giving a second main hand to enable the wielding of the second bow.

The main point of my previous post is that the Bestiary is not a good rules source for player character's exposition of what can or can not be done. Monsters sometimes break the rules, hard.


thaX wrote:
Monsters sometimes break the rules, hard.

so do adventure paths and some paizo devs but that doesn't mean we don't follow those examples

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