Two handed weapons "treated as" one handed weapons.


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33 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ.

When a feat or other special ability says to treat a weapon that is normally wielded in two hands as a one handed weapon does it get treated as one or two handed weapon for the purposes of how to apply the strength modifier, and the power attack feat.


For bonuses from feats and Str it falls under the 1 handed rules.

But now you can wield 2 of them BWAHAHAHA


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The FAQ says to treat them as 2-handed for Power Attack.

The only two weapons I know of that allow you to do this is Lance (while mounted) and Bastard Sword (exotic weapon feat).

It's still open to debate whether you get to add the 1.5 str, or if it's just the power attack feat that get's the bonus.

I'd personally rule it's STR and PA feat, but that's only to keep the math simple. I have too many rules exceptions to remember as it is.


No, the bastard sword is a one-handed exotic weapon that can be wielded with 2 hands if you only posses Martial Weapon Proficiency, not a 2-handed weapon.
Thus it doesn't get anything here (leaving, at least of the obvious choices, only the mounted lance).

I just also checked the other two things were I was not sure if they could use a 2 handed weapon with one hand: The Phalanx Soldier Fighter and the Quarterstaff Master Feat.
But they both also say "use as a one handed weapon" and not "use in one hand". So they should only get the normal strength bonus either way, limiting this only to the lance (which says "use in one hand" without changing the type to one handed).

PURELY RAW I would here say it gets 1.5, RAI I would have said no until the PA FAQ. With the new FAQ I'm not sure anymore as the effect limited to the lance would not be that gamebreaking (though mounted chargers might get a few new damage records out of it...).


Really that just makes no sense to me but I guess that's how they ruled it.

I know in 3.5 you could get the Light Enchantment which reduced it by 1 category. The only weapon I know of that still carries it over is the Sun Blade.

I always have done it if you wield it one handed you treat it as a one handed weapon.

Silver Crusade

The weapon you wield when you use Thunder and Fang would also fall into this category. I can't remember what it's called.


If you are using a weapon in One hand, then you only apply your str, but if you are using a weapon with two hands then you apply 1 1/2 str to damage.

and power attack is the same way.

Quote:
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.

since the commas seperate the weapons, the bolded part applies to all 3 weapons. so if you are weilding your two-handed weapon One handed, then you do not get the bonus.


No, Thunder and Fang also say "as though it were a one handed weapon", thus not giving 1.5 strength or x3 PA.


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@Wilbur35 The rule that probably allows a two handed weapon wielded in 1 hand (but NOT a two handed weapon wielded "as a one handed weapon") is found under the rules about weapons:

Quote:
Two-Handed: Two hands are required to use a two-handed melee weapon effectively. Apply 1-1/2 times the character's Strength bonus to damage rolls for melee attacks with such a weapon

As with power attack there is no exception for wielding a 2 handed weapon with one hand. And the FAQ from PA says that since there is no exception is applies x3.


At the moment (and I say that because of how reviled the decision was), the FAQ Here states that a two-handed weapon (that is wielded as a two-handed weapon, but in one hand), is treated as two-handed (+50%) for purposes of Power Attack. The ruling matched the very strict RAW, which is specific.

The Strength rule on the other hand is equally specific. If it's wielded in one hand, it gets the normal strength modifier, not +50%.

Silver Crusade

Teller of Tales wrote:
No, Thunder and Fang also say "as though it were a one handed weapon", thus not giving 1.5 strength or x3 PA.

Which is exactly what the OP asked about, feats that tell you to treat a two-handed weapon as a one-handed weapon.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Gah, ok, no bastard sword then. That weapon always trips me up.


you just ponted my case. the Two hands are required to use a two-handes weapon. by using the 2 hands you get the bonus on str.

If you change the 2-handed weapon "as a one handed weapon" it is treated a a one handed weapon.

EDIT:i didn't know about the lance. know i know


Bigdaddyjug wrote:


Which is exactly what the OP asked about, feats that tell you to treat a two-handed weapon as a one-handed weapon.

Which is also what I already answered, in case of "as a one handed" it clearly doesn't, so Thunder and Fang doesn't.

The only corner case where a RAW argument could be made (and that I'm aware of) is the lance since it only says "in one hand".
And this is also the only thing the PA FAQ gave an answer for.


So basically you get enlarge cast on you then pick your weapons up off the ground and pummel people.


No, if you are large, a 2 handed weapon counts as one handed and gets only the normal x1 strength bonus:

Quote:
The measure of how much effort it takes to use a weapon (whether the weapon is designated as a light, one-handed, or two-handed weapon for a particular wielder) is altered by one step for each size category of difference between the wielder's size and the size of the creature for which the weapon was designed. For example, a Small creature would wield a Medium one-handed weapon as a two-handed weapon.

Liberty's Edge

The precedent has been set in the FAQ that as far as two-handed weapons go, it is the weapon, not how many hands that wield it, that allows for the 1.5 bonus.

Both the Power Attack feat and the description for two-handed weapons in the equipment section mention that it is the attack with the weapon, not an attack with both hands on the weapon, that allows for the extra bonus. Whereas, regarding one-handed weapons, it is specifically called out that wielding it two handed is required to get the extra bonus.

So, while the FAQ specifically addresses Power Attack, I'm pretty confident that if the PDT decides to comment on this FAQ request, they will rule in a similar manner.

EDIT: looking back over the question, I think it is being addressed towards the wording in the Phalanx Soldier archetype (and other similar situations). While the wording in the archetype specifically says that the two-handed weapon can be used as a one-handed weapon, it is still a two-handed weapon being used in one hand. In all practical purposes, there is no difference between a phalanx soldier using a lance and shield while mounted and a long spear and shield while on foot. Perhaps an easy way to fix this would be to change the wording in the Lance description to state that it can be used as a one-handed weapon, the FAQ still remains stating that it gets the bonus, but now it is clear that such situations apply to other similarly worded abilities.

The only question that would remain is if this only applies when a feat/ability/description allows a two-handed weapon to be wielded in one hand, or if any "joe schmoe" that decides to wield their great sword in one hand also benefits.


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See now it makes no sense.

To many underlying rules and FAQ making it Clouded... If I can pick a two handed weapon and swing it I am getting far less power than holding it with both hands... This being that I was Capable of doing by a Feat known as Awesomeness.

Now you saying a two handed weapon relies on Size and weight...

Why cant we keep things simple...

If its in 1 hand its one handed for everything.
If its in 2 its 2 handed for Everything.

BLAH I SAY BLAH!


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that FAQ make the things more complicated than they should be. I think I will just ignore the FAQ in my homegames.


I am with you Nicos...

That Ruling makes absolutely No Sense and they force it work only one way.

I do not approve.


Well, the difference is that one says "in one hand" (not changing the classification), the other "as a one handed weapon" (changing the classification). A spear wielded in one hand by a phalanx soldier is, for all intents and purposes, a 1-handed weapon since the ability say he wields it as such. A lance is not.

Don't understand me wrong, I'm not saying anything about the RAI, but for RAW those semantics matter and as long as no dev says anything else there is no indication that it is meant any different.

As for speculating the intent, I'm pretty sure they don't mean to give either the PA bonus or 1.5 strength to those feats/class abilities. Why? Because it would make the Quarterstaff instantly the by FAR best weapon in the game for pretty much every strength based build that can spare the feat.


Regardless it does not make sense...

You are taking a Feat that Allows you to wield a 2 handed weapon 1 Handed thus it should be treated as Such. There should be no exceptions it should be clear as glass.

How many Hands am I using

1 gives me this
2 gives me this

That is it. Teller I am not getting mad and I hope I am not coming across harshly. It just makes no sense.


You are trying to approach a rules discussion with common sense. That way lies only madness....

(Honestly, the problem is that the rules in general do not depend on what would makes sense inside the universe.
They are written down (as RAW) with a possible different intend than what they actually say (the RAI).
The specification that 1 handed uses 1, 2 handed uses 1.5 strength is also completely arbitrary after all. If the rules now say "but wielding a 2 handed in one hand is an exception" that would make exactly as much sense as them not saying it.
Whether one is a better rule than the other is a completely different question, but that is nothing that can be answered in the rules forum as it is a personal opinion.

The only question that can be answered here is "do the rules say....", not "should the rules say....")


Honestly, arguing that there's a difference between the lance's rules vs. Thunder and Fang's rules still strikes me as heavy rules lawyering. Given the FAQ's unpopularity in certain quarters, it comes across to me as a lot of people stretching to find any excuse they can to ignore it.


Well, I do not really care either way (don't play in any game where anyone does or wants to use a 2h-weapon in 1 hand), but as I said ruling that the FAQ extents to "as a one handed weapon" would completely break Quarterstaff Master.

Magus with spellcombat and 1,5 strength bonus? check!
2.handed weapon + shield(keeping AC bonus)? check!
A freaking Two-Handed Fighter Fighter dual wielding two quarterstaffs, getting x2 strength and x4 Powerattack on all hits (besides the first...)? check!!

So this semantic difference does have a pretty big influence.

Liberty's Edge

Teller of Tales wrote:

Well, the difference is that one says "in one hand" (not changing the classification), the other "as a one handed weapon" (changing the classification). A spear wielded in one hand by a phalanx soldier is, for all intents and purposes, a 1-handed weapon since the ability say he wields it as such. A lance is not.

Don't understand me wrong, I'm not saying anything about the RAI, but for RAW those semantics matter and as long as no dev says anything else there is no indication that it is meant any different.

As for speculating the intent, I'm pretty sure they don't mean to give either the PA bonus or 1.5 strength to those feats/class abilities. Why? Because it would make the Quarterstaff instantly the by FAR best weapon in the game for pretty much every strength based build that can spare the feat.

Well, the FAQ says that any time a two-handed weapon is used in one hand, stuff applies. So, even though Phalanx Soldier states that it wilds a two-handed as a one-handed, it is still a two-handed weapon being used with one hand. The classification of the weapon doesn't change. Power Attack and the two-handed STR bonus is applied due to the weapon classification, not the number of hands using it.

Now, I don't necessarily agree with this 100% because this essentially allows characters who don't have a special feature to benefit from the 2H bonus while using it 1H (albeit with appropriate penalties)—the wizard using the quarter staff one-handed and getting 1.5 STR, as a potential example.

So, do the special features (feat, class ability, etc) grant the exception, or can everyone do it and the special features only remove the penalties? That, I believe, is the real question.


The FAQ establishes a default position: It's the category of the weapon that most directly affects the damage output. A 2-h weapon is more massive and has different balance than a 1-h equivalent. If you're trained to wield such a weapon in only one hand, that presumably means training to leverage that weight to deliver blows just as solid as you could if you were only wielding in 1 hand. For example, whereas wielding an Earthbreaker in 2 hands, you might lift it high over your head and bring it crashing down, if you're wielding it via Thunder and Fang you might swing it laterally to their flank. In the one case, you exert strength to lift it up and then let gravity do most of the work from there. In the other, you're taking advantage of centripetal force for the same effect. So it's not just a matter of gripping the weapon but swinging it in the same way you would if you were wielding it normally. By contrast, this is precisely what Jotungrip does based on its exceptional clause to calculate damage and treat the weapon as if you were just wielding a 1-h equivalent. You're literally taking a Greatsword in hand but wielding it as you would a Longsword; rather than wielding it in such a way to take advantage of its weight and momentum, you're letting that weight and momentum slow you down, as reflected by the -2 attack penalty.

In the case of a 1-h weapon being wielded in 2 hands, you're wielding the longsword just the same but using a second hand for added force, rather than leveraging the weight of the weapon. Heavy, 2-h weapons rely more on momentum for their damage while lighter 1-h weapons rely more on technique backed up by strength. And then a Light weapon relies almost entirely on technique, such that adding a hand provides negligible benefit. Technically speaking, if I wield a dagger blade-down, overhead, and bring it down with all my strength, I should be able to deliver more power by wrapping my other hand around the wielding hand and using the force of both arms to bring it down. In the real world, this would deliver more force and have a greater chance of driving the blade deeper. But for the sake of mechanics, it doesn't work that way in Pathfinder. Likewise, even though you can't just raise the same Earthbreaker hammer overhead and bring it down with one hand with the same force that you could using two hands, you can swing it from the side or swing it under-hand to their legs for largely the same effect. It's backed up both by mechanics and cinematic realism. Checkmate.

Scarab Sages

No checkmate until clarified by Developer. You can have all that, but if they say "Nope", then "Nope" is so.


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Who knew so many people would cheese this much because of the way a lance is ruled to work specifically when the wielder is mounted. Regardless of the fact that said FAQ said nothing about any other weapon in any other circumstance. There is even precedent in the game for this mechanic with jotungrip. Munchkins will be munchkins until paizo rules on it officially I guess.

Liberty's Edge

master_marshmallow wrote:
Who knew so many people would cheese this much because of the way a lance is ruled to work specifically when the wielder is mounted. Regardless of the fact that said FAQ said nothing about any other weapon in any other circumstance.

Except the FAQ was in reference to using a two-handed weapon in one hand; the lance was just an example.


If you think about it, a lance wile charging has much more force hitting someone than 2-handed weapon weilded in one hand. So I can see how it works, thus the wording they gave the lance.

Liberty's Edge

Wilbur35 wrote:
If you think about it, a lance wile charging has much more force hitting someone than 2-handed weapon weilded in one hand. So I can see how it works, thus the wording they give the lance.

The lance is already noted to get double damage if used from the back of a charging mount to account for such force.


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I would just like to say that I don't care for that FAQ response and have house ruled it away. It over complicates things where a simple 1hand used=X, 2hands used=y setup would suffice.

That being said, it certainly looks like they wrote it to mean that any two handed weapon being used in one hand can use the +50% bonus from power attack. There certainly needs to be some clarification as to what this is supposed to mean. Is it supposed to apply to a bastard sword? A katana? Quarterstaff Mastery? Phalanx Soldier? Just the Lance but they wanted to leave it open ended for future weapons to be used from horseback?

I have hit the FAQ button!

EDIT: To clarify, I don't like this FAQ response.

Liberty's Edge

wraithstrike wrote:
When a feat or other special ability says to treat a weapon that is normally wielded in two hands as a one handed weapon does it get treated as one or two handed weapon for the purposes of how to apply the strength modifier, and the power attack feat.

I clicked the FAQ, but it seems fairly obvious to me that if you are wielding a weapon with one hand, you don't get the two handed bonus.

The bonus comes from giving up your other hand, which could be holding a shield, other weapons, etc...not from the weapon.

Liberty's Edge

ciretose wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
When a feat or other special ability says to treat a weapon that is normally wielded in two hands as a one handed weapon does it get treated as one or two handed weapon for the purposes of how to apply the strength modifier, and the power attack feat.

I clicked the FAQ, but it seems fairly obvious to me that if you are wielding a weapon with one hand, you don't get the two handed bonus.

The bonus comes from giving up your other hand, which could be holding a shield, other weapons, etc...not from the weapon.

I would tend to agree, but the FAQ to the Power Attack feat indicates otherwise. Furthermore, if you look at the description of the Power Attack feat as well as the two-handed description for weapons in the equipment section, it states that the use of the weapon, not the number of hands, is what grants the bonus (though, I grant you the theoretical reason that this is the case is because the weapon is being used two handed; unfortunately, the FAQ negated this understanding).

Wraith's question is that for those feats/abilities that allow a two-handed weapon to be used as a one-handed weapon, does that mean it gets the benefit of the FAQ (using a two-handed weapon in one hand), or is the two-handed weapon is literally considered a one-handed weapon under those conditions of the feat/ability, thus the FAQ doesn't apply.


ciretose wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
When a feat or other special ability says to treat a weapon that is normally wielded in two hands as a one handed weapon does it get treated as one or two handed weapon for the purposes of how to apply the strength modifier, and the power attack feat.

I clicked the FAQ, but it seems fairly obvious to me that if you are wielding a weapon with one hand, you don't get the two handed bonus.

The bonus comes from giving up your other hand, which could be holding a shield, other weapons, etc...not from the weapon.

I agree. The FAQ response was for a two-handed weapon being used in one hand without any language saying to treat it as a one-handed weapon.

When a feat says to treat it as a one handed weapon then it has to follow the one-handed weapon rules.

Specific trumps general all day long.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Honestly, arguing that there's a difference between the lance's rules vs. Thunder and Fang's rules still strikes me as heavy rules lawyering. Given the FAQ's unpopularity in certain quarters, it comes across to me as a lot of people stretching to find any excuse they can to ignore it.

I don't have to rules lawyer anything. I am the GM. If my interpretation of a rule does not go along with what I like I can just houserule it.

Anymore assumptions?


HangarFlying wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Who knew so many people would cheese this much because of the way a lance is ruled to work specifically when the wielder is mounted. Regardless of the fact that said FAQ said nothing about any other weapon in any other circumstance.
Except the FAQ was in reference to using a two-handed weapon in one hand; the lance was just an example.

The specific question was in regards to using a lance while mounted. The answer was to that question, you are inferring it to mean that you can get the bonus for using a two handed weapon by only using one hand.


wraithstrike wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Honestly, arguing that there's a difference between the lance's rules vs. Thunder and Fang's rules still strikes me as heavy rules lawyering. Given the FAQ's unpopularity in certain quarters, it comes across to me as a lot of people stretching to find any excuse they can to ignore it.

I don't have to rules lawyer anything. I am the GM. If my interpretation of a rule does not go along with what I like I can just houserule it.

Anymore assumptions?

Think we're going off different definitions of the term "Rules Lawyer," because whether or not you're GMing your current home game has less than nothing to do with the current issue. I've generally seen the term applied to those who who'll spend half an hour of gametime/write a multi-page post going into ridiculously convoluted arguments about why the simple, common-sense reading of the rules doesn't apply.

Positions like: 'The FAQ about using two-handed weapons with one hand doesn't actually apply to using two handed-weapons with one hand."

Liberty's Edge

wraithstrike wrote:
ciretose wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
When a feat or other special ability says to treat a weapon that is normally wielded in two hands as a one handed weapon does it get treated as one or two handed weapon for the purposes of how to apply the strength modifier, and the power attack feat.

I clicked the FAQ, but it seems fairly obvious to me that if you are wielding a weapon with one hand, you don't get the two handed bonus.

The bonus comes from giving up your other hand, which could be holding a shield, other weapons, etc...not from the weapon.

I agree. The FAQ response was for a two-handed weapon being used in one hand without any language saying to treat it as a one-handed weapon.

When a feat says to treat it as a one handed weapon then it has to follow the one-handed weapon rules.

Specific trumps general all day long.

The FAQ was in response to the Lance. Non-two handed weapons can be two handed weapons at time.

But we shall see.


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Chengar Qordath wrote:


Positions like: 'The FAQ about using two-handed weapons with one hand doesn't actually apply to using two handed-weapons with one hand."

No, the position is: "The FAQ about using two-handed weapons with one hand doesn't actually apply to using two handed-weapons as a one handed weapon(which is a clearly defined game term). It still applies to using a two-handed weapon with one hand."


ciretose wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
ciretose wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
When a feat or other special ability says to treat a weapon that is normally wielded in two hands as a one handed weapon does it get treated as one or two handed weapon for the purposes of how to apply the strength modifier, and the power attack feat.

I clicked the FAQ, but it seems fairly obvious to me that if you are wielding a weapon with one hand, you don't get the two handed bonus.

The bonus comes from giving up your other hand, which could be holding a shield, other weapons, etc...not from the weapon.

I agree. The FAQ response was for a two-handed weapon being used in one hand without any language saying to treat it as a one-handed weapon.

When a feat says to treat it as a one handed weapon then it has to follow the one-handed weapon rules.

Specific trumps general all day long.

The FAQ was in response to the Lance. Non-two handed weapons can be two handed weapons at time.

But we shall see.

I agree it was bcos of the lance, but the FAQ never mentioned a lance, which is why we have the problem we have now. I don't know of any other two handed weapon that can be used in one hand normally. They should have called out the lance specifically. :)


Teller of Tales wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:


Positions like: 'The FAQ about using two-handed weapons with one hand doesn't actually apply to using two handed-weapons with one hand."
No, the position is: "The FAQ about using two-handed weapons with one hand doesn't actually apply to using two handed-weapons as a one handed weapon(which is a clearly defined game term). It still applies to using a two-handed weapon with one hand."

Someone gets it. :)

Liberty's Edge

Are there any feats/class features/equipment, other than the lance, that we can definitively say that the FAQ is applicable?


HangarFlying wrote:
Are there any feats/class features/equipment, other than the lance, that we can definitively say that the FAQ is applicable?

No.The lance is the only weapon that works that way. I am guessing they did not call the lance out in case another similar weapon came out later.


Teller of Tales wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:


Positions like: 'The FAQ about using two-handed weapons with one hand doesn't actually apply to using two handed-weapons with one hand."
No, the position is: "The FAQ about using two-handed weapons with one hand doesn't actually apply to using two handed-weapons as a one handed weapon(which is a clearly defined game term). It still applies to using a two-handed weapon with one hand."

See previous statements about rules-lawyering and hair-splitting. Or were you too busy quote mining to notice that part of my post?

If you need to argue obscure technicalities that go against the common sense reading the rules, then you've already lost.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Teller of Tales wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:


Positions like: 'The FAQ about using two-handed weapons with one hand doesn't actually apply to using two handed-weapons with one hand."
No, the position is: "The FAQ about using two-handed weapons with one hand doesn't actually apply to using two handed-weapons as a one handed weapon(which is a clearly defined game term). It still applies to using a two-handed weapon with one hand."

See previous statements about rules-lawyering and hair-splitting. Or were you too busy quote mining to notice that part of my post?

If you need to argue obscure technicalities that go against the common sense reading the rules, then you've already lost.

That is not obscure. In the game whenever X is treated as Y it has to follow Y's rules.

That is how the game works. As an example if a weapon is a one-handed weapon, and a feat says to treat it as a light weapon then you would apply power attack as if it were a light weapon, and if it were in your off-hand it would be treated as a light weapon.

Following the same logic if a feat says treat a two handed weapon as a one-handed weapon, then you treat it as a one-handed weapon.

Treat as Y is another way of saying "ignore the normal rules and do what I say".

That is rules 101.


Well, to some extent every rules question is "rules-lawyering" since that is what it is: A question on the rules, answered by the rules.
A pure rules question can never say if it's good to follow that rule, just what the rule is. And since there is neither a contrary statement by any dev nor any other indication (such as an abilit that would be broken by the strict reading etc.) that they DON'T intend that differentiation, one has to assume it is deliberate.
Especially since ignoring the semantics does actually cause far more problem than to adhere to them.

The only thing I've seen in your argumentation so far is:
I want that the FAQ extents to 2-handed wielded as 1-handed and thus it has to be that way and any rules that say otherwise are not meant that way. Oh, and everyone who actually wants to follow the rules as written and says semantics matter is an evil rules lawyer working for their own gain and any argument against my view is thus invalid.
Also, an appeal to "common sense" has no place in a discussion where many different people have different opinions what "common sense" says.


So, the FAQ is meaningless and the devs are wrong? Because that's how the Official Rules board works...

Edit: Think I'd best bow out of this thread. Getting way too frustrated.


Remember, Jotungrip had text specifically to counter the FAQ on Power Attack for Lance. If it didn't, then Titan Mailer would be decent.

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