Wielding a weapon 2 handed and power attack.


Rules Questions


Just a quick question I could use some of the RAW guys for.

My char has 18 St. and will sometimes use his longsword with 2 hands while power attacking. His sword is +1.

I have my damage figured as +13 when I do this, am I right?

My DM is saying that it should only be 11 because the 50% from simply using a weapon in 2 hands does not stack with Power attack. I think he is wrong and could use some advice on how to explain it to him... that is of course if I am right :)

Any info would be appreciated, thank you.


Vult Wrathblades wrote:

Just a quick question I could use some of the RAW guys for.

My char has 18 St. and will sometimes use his longsword with 2 hands while power attacking. His sword is +1.

I have my damage figured as +13 when I do this, am I right?

My DM is saying that it should only be 11 because the 50% from simply using a weapon in 2 hands does not stack with Power attack. I think he is wrong and could use some advice on how to explain it to him... that is of course if I am right :)

Any info would be appreciated, thank you.

What's your character's BAB?


How much BAB does your character have? (I.e., how much is he power attacking for?)

Assuming he has +4 BAB, then +13 sounds about right (+6 for Str, +6 for power attack, +1 enhancement).

EDIT: ninja'ed


Oh, sorry. His BAB is 7. So -2 for +6 right?


I'd absolutely give the 2-handed bonus if you're wielding a weapon two-handed, even if the weapon only requires one hand. After all, doing so gives 150% of your strength bonus. Since Power Attack is a glorified strength bonus, it makes sense to allow the 150% bonus there, too, yielding the standard -1:+3 ratio. I don't see anything in the rules that would disallow it.


Ok, so you guys are saying the bonus would be +13?

Any advice on how to explain this to my DM?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Power Attack (Combat) wrote:


You can make exceptionally deadly melee attacks by sacrificing accuracy for strength.
Prerequisites: Str 13, base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: You can choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls. This bonus to damage is increased by half (+50%) if you are making an attack with a two-handed weapon, a one handed weapon using two hands, or a primary natural weapon that adds 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier on damage rolls. This bonus to damage is halved (–50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon. When your base attack bonus reaches +4, and every 4 points thereafter, the penalty increases by –1 and the bonus to damage increases by +2. You must choose to use this feat before making an attack roll, and its effects last until your next turn. The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Just have your GM read the Power Attack entry and challenge him to prove to you that it doesn't stack. The language is pretty clear, I think.

If that doesn't work, find a few entries that state "does not stack with X" and ask him why there is no such exclusion in either the power attack or weapon entries.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vult Wrathblades wrote:

Ok, so you guys are saying the bonus would be +13?

Any advice on how to explain this to my DM?

You're using the weapon two-handed. It therefore counts as a two-handed weapon for Power Attack as it does for the strength modifier. There is precedent as a weapon used in your off-hand only counts as a light weapon even if it's a standard weapon.

But if he refuses, he's the DM. It's his call.


Heh. As Reckless points out, the Power Attack entry specifically allows the -1:+3 ratio for one-handed weapons wielded with two hands. Your DM doesn't have a (RAW or RAI) leg to stand on. He can rule whatever he wants, of course, but it's a purely arbitrary ruling in this case.


Thank you all.

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