Dual Wielding Two-handed Weapons and Two-weapon fighting


Rules Questions


3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

An Alchemist takes the Vestigial Arm Discovery twice. He has four arms (two right and two left). He takes the Two-weapon Fighting Feat.

1: Can he effectively wield two two-handed weapons at no penalty (minus the one for two-weapon fighting?

2: Do his attacks take a penalty because his "off-hand" attack is not done so with a light weapon?

3: Do his "off-hand" damage rolls only add half his strength damage?

Logic tells me 1: yes, 2: no, 3: no. Is there an official ruling on something like this? Does anyone have any input? Thank you in advance :)


There's a different feat for that, Multiweapon Fighting. It works just like two weapon fighting in that the off hand weapon must be light.

I can't find any rule info on that but I think a good call would be that things get bumped up one step when you're wielding in two hands. EG: A 1 handed weapon is light, and a two handed weapon counts as one handed for the purposes of Multiweapon Fighting.

Therefore I would say that without penalties he could wield:

A) A two-hand weapon in his right pair of hands and a one handed weapon in his left pair of hands. (EG: 1 Greatsword and 1 Longsword)

B) A two handed weapon in his right pair of hands and a light weapon in each of his off hands. (EG: 1 Greatsword and 2 Shortswords)

C) A one handed weapon in his main hand and a light weapon in each of his other hands. (EG: 1 Longsword and 3 Shortswords)

Shadow Lodge

1.)Should be allowed to but not sure because of all the confusion
2.)If allowed to you should take the penalty for wielding 2 one handed weapons because they are harder to aim, but effectively work like a 1h weapon.
3.)You get 1/2 strength because it is an off hand attack unless you take double slice.
These are based off of opinion, so I can't prove this, but it seems like common sense (note that my version of common sense may very wildly from your GM's version of common sense) to me.

Scarab Sages

1. Yes. He can wield two greatswords
2. Yes. If the off hand weapon is not light, he suffers full penalties.
3. Yes. Half strength only.

Having extra arms changes nothing in the rules regarding penalties incurred.

Consider an eidolon with 16 arms. Would you argue in favor of it swinging 8 greatswords with no penalty and full strength bonuses?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Really, with the new FAQ, I wonder if you are allowed to touch a second greatsword, as far as some are concerned.

Scarab Sages

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Really, with the new FAQ, I wonder if you are allowed to touch a second greatsword, as far as some are concerned

The FAQ only addresses the general case, characters with the standard number of limbs.

A two level dip in alchemist allows for a specific case where characters can bypass quite a few limits.

Consider an alchemist 2/Magus X with two vestigial arms. Dervish Dance while two-handing a scimitar, carrying a shield, with a free hand.

Sczarni

But the "unwritten" rule is that once you wield a two-handed weapon, the rest of your body goes numb.

Scarab Sages

Nefreet wrote:
But the "unwritten" rule is that once you wield a two-handed weapon, the rest of your body goes numb.

Unwritten is not RAW.

There were always ways to get extra attacks while using a two-handed weapon. Armor spikes were just never intended to be one of them.

Vestigial arms is one way, even under the current FAQ. Toothy, Angel Wings, and kobold tail weapons also work.

Shadow Lodge

Look here for reasons why people think you can't wield 2 2h weapons. I disagree with the theory though.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Unwritten is RAW now.

We all better read up on them.;)


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Unwritten is RAW now.

We all better read up on them.;)

Do I need detect thoughts or see invisibility for that? There isn't a magic mart in the next few miles...

Anyways, the FAQs is stupid... That's my opinion.

To answer the question, I have no idea. I've been running it as penalty as though your wielding two one handed, but you get all the perks of using a two handed weapon for purposes like power attack. Not optimal at all, but pretty cool and no reason to disallow it.

Scarab Sages

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ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
Look here for reasons why people think you can't wield 2 2h weapons. I disagree with the theory though.
FAQ wrote:

No.

Likewise, you couldn't use an armored gauntlet to do so, as you are using both of your hands to wield your two-handed weapon, therefore your off-hand is unavailable to make any attacks.

—Pathfinder Design Team, 07/25/13

Emphasis mine.

The key word is both. The ruling is made in regards to characters with only two hands.

A character with a 3rd hand would have an available hand, usable for any purpose an off hand could be used for.

A character with 4 hands would have 2 hands available for any purpose for which 2 hands may be used (such as a weapon that requires two hands).

Scarab Sages

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Unwritten is RAW now.

We all better read up on them.;)

Not quite.

It is in writing now.


You only have one primary arm, no matter how many secondary arms you have. So you can only wield one large weapon (assuming medium size).

Also, the alchemist arms can't be usex for attacking. But the tentacle can, as well as bites/claws.

Shadow Lodge

Artanthos wrote:

The key word is both. The ruling is made in regards to characters with only two hands.

A character with a 3rd hand would have an available hand, usable for any purpose an off hand could be used for.

I agree but there is still an issue of the weird hand rules in pathfinder.


Tandriniel wrote:

You only have one primary arm, no matter how many secondary arms you have. So you can only wield one large weapon (assuming medium size).

Also, the alchemist arms can't be usex for attacking. But the tentacle can, as well as bites/claws.

Actually the tentacles can't be used for additional actions.

The primary/secondary arm thing atm is kind of silly. It really isn't prepared for odd things like characters with multiple arms. It makes perfect sense to wield two weapons for two weapon fighting. Its arbitrary.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You could still use twin bows, without dealing with the hell that is the new FAQ.


I apologize for not being clearer: In my mind,the four-armed alchemist is wielding one two-handed weapon with his upper right, and upper left hands, and the other in his bottom right, and bottom left hands. With this stance, both a "main-hand" and an "off-hand" would be wielding a two-handed weapon. They wouldn't get in the way of themselves so long as the top weapon focused on slashing high, and the bottom weapon focused on slashing low.

Tandriniel wrote:
You only have one primary arm, no matter how many secondary arms you have. So you can only wield one large weapon (assuming medium size).

That does make sense. So the "off-hand" weapon would need to be a one-handed weapon to scale as a "light weapon", like Nails said.

Scarab Sages

Tandriniel wrote:

You only have one primary arm, no matter how many secondary arms you have. So you can only wield one large weapon (assuming medium size).

Also, the alchemist arms can't be usex for attacking. But the tentacle can, as well as bites/claws.

Rules wrote:
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.

Usage of the primary hand is not a requirement. Only the availability of two hands.

Vestigial Arm wrote:
The arm does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round, though the arm can wield a weapon and make attacks as part of the alchemist’s attack routine

Vestigial arms don't grant extra attacks, but those arms can be used as part of a normal attack sequence.

I am not receiving an extra attack from my vestigial arms. Any character wielding two weapons has the option to make a second attack as part of the standard combat rules. What the vestigial arms allow is two hands per weapon.

Cuup wrote:
That does make sense. So the "off-hand" weapon would need to be a one-handed weapon to scale as a "light weapon", like Nails said.

Nothing in RAW alters the weight category of a weapon just because you grip it with two hands.

Scarab Sages

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blackbloodtroll wrote:
You could still use twin bows, without dealing with the hell that is the new FAQ.

As unpopular as the FAQ may be with certain people, there is nothing unclear about it.

If you want to wield a weapon in your off hand, you need a hand available.

.

.

I just find it ironic that many of the same people that pushed for the spell combat ruling are now screaming about the armor spikes ruling.


Please read the full explanation over the FAQ that Jason posted. It makes it clear. The two handed weapon description does not say the two hands have to be primary and off, but the context of the weapon wielding rules as a whole makes it clear (they are the only two hands available normally).

Nothing in vestigial arm notes that it grants the user another off hand. The fact that you can't make an extra off hand attack with it (by using it for multiweapon fighting implies the exact opposite.


Since the Alchemist is wielding each weapon with two hands (regardless of size), and grated he took Double Slice, would both weapons qualify for 1.5 Str bonus to damage?


Crash_00 wrote:
Nothing in vestigial arm notes that it grants the user another off hand. The fact that you can't make an extra off hand attack with it (by using it for multiweapon fighting implies the exact opposite.
I'm not trying to gain additional attacks with this, I'm trying to figure out if using four arms combined with the Two-Weapon Fighting feat would yield any sort of advantage.
Quote:
The arm does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round, though the arm can wield a weapon and make attacks as part of the alchemist’s attack routine (using two-weapon fighting). The arm can manipulate or hold items as well as the alchemist’s original arms (for example, allowing the alchemist to use one hand to wield a weapon, another hand to hold a potion, and the third hand to throw a bomb).


Crash_00 wrote:
Nothing in vestigial arm notes that it grants the user another off hand. The fact that you can't make an extra off hand attack with it (by using it for multiweapon fighting implies the exact opposite.

It states a lot of things. It doesn't state that you can't use the hand to wield something in two hands. Handedness isn't anywhere in the description. In fact holding things is pretty much the only thing it can do, and it even enforces fluff that its an non-concealable one from your torso. Holding things is pretty much the only thing it can do. Its also specifically for a 3/4 bab class that might have trouble taking the hit to their to hit!


It can make an attack just fine. It's just nothing says that it gets it's own off hand to use for the purpose of wielding.

A character has a Primary hand and an Off Hand (assuming two arms). That character gets a new arm. He can use that arm to wield a weapon in, but nothing says that he gets a second off hand to go with it.

To wield a two-handed weapon, you need to use a Primary Hand and Off Hand. These are not actually your physical hands. Growing a new physical hand does not automatically grant you another off hand.

If the arms do not come with additional Off Hands, then you still only have a primary hand and a off hand to wield weapons with.

Scarab Sages

Crash_00 wrote:
It can make an attack just fine. It's just nothing says that it gets it's own off hand to use for the purpose of wielding.

False: it is explicitly stated that vestigial arms can be used to wield weapons.

Quote:

A character has a Primary hand and an Off Hand (assuming two arms). That character gets a new arm. He can use that arm to wield a weapon in, but nothing says that he gets a second off hand to go with it.

To wield a two-handed weapon, you need to use a Primary Hand and Off Hand. These are not actually your physical hands. Growing a new physical hand does not automatically grant you another off hand.

False: the rules regarding two-handed weapons do not use the terms primary hand and off hand. The sole requirement is two hands.

As the rules for vestigial arms explicitly permits the wielding of weapons, I suppose the actual existence of hands is moot. Of course, nothing in the rules states humans start with hands.

Quote:
If the arms do not come with additional Off Hands, then you still only have a primary hand and a off hand to wield weapons with.

An off hand is any hand that is not the primary hand.

Which hand this is can change from attack to attack within a single iterative attack sequence.

More to the point. A vestigial arm can wield a weapon as the primary hand one turn, as an off hand the next turn and be used to qualify as a free hand on turn three after passing the weapon it was holding to another hand.

An alchemist with 4 arms could hold 4 weapons, and declare any of them as his primary weapon at any point in time.

What he cannot do is benefit from multiweapon fighting using his vestigial arms.


In the case of vestigial arms I'd say no to two two-handed weapons. Vestigial arm states that they grant no additional actions/attacks. An alchemist without them gains no attack after the first attack with a two-handed weapon and the vestigial arms cannot be utilised to get more attacks.


Not even counting extra arms, where in two weapon fighting are the modifiers for two handed weapons? They list penalties for light and medium weapons. They do not even list 2 handed weapons as an option.


This has been specifically declared against RAI. RAW you cannot use two handed weapons in two weapon fighting. It would be a very easy house rule if you dislike the FAQ.


Isil-zha wrote:
In the case of vestigial arms I'd say no to two two-handed weapons. Vestigial arm states that they grant no additional actions/attacks. An alchemist without them gains no attack after the first attack with a two-handed weapon and the vestigial arms cannot be utilised to get more attacks.

Except you don't get any extra actions or attacks if you use a two handed weapon in two weapon fighting. The guy using armor spikes/greataxe and the guy using Kukri/Kukri and the guy using Greatsword/Greatsword are all using the same number of attacks. No extra actions or attacks. In fact your actually taking attacks away from the character by not letting them utilize the two weapon fighting(though they would probably hit more often without the -4.)

Gilfalas wrote:
Not even counting extra arms, where in two weapon fighting are the modifiers for two handed weapons? They list penalties for light and medium weapons. They do not even list 2 handed weapons as an option.

It doesn't list it. Its likely no one thought someone would do something crazy like dual wield sawtooth sabres on a four armed, flying vivisectionist alchemist with a parasitic twin. Somehow it happens though!

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
This has been specifically declared against RAI. RAW you cannot use two handed weapons in two weapon fighting. It would be a very easy house rule if you dislike the FAQ.

Its likely I will.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I do wonder why it's easier for a four armed creature to attack with two Longswords, each in one hand, than it is to attack with the exact same two Longswords, but each held with two hands.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
I do wonder why it's easier for a four armed creature to attack with two Longswords, each in one hand, than it is to attack with the exact same two Longswords, but each held with two hands.

The same reason why PCs can only sell items at half cost: because sometimes the fluff and in-game logic must be trumped by rules in order to maintain balance.

The developers have decided that it's overpowered, so they have said that it's not allowed. The same developers constantly encourage house rules so that you can enjoy the game the way you want to.

Whether or not it is actually overpowered is a moot point. The developers are the ones who decide what the canon rules are based on their view of the game, their experiences, and their math. That's what the canon rules are and always will be. If you disagree, use their other suggestion and house rule.

Silver Crusade

Quote:
1: Can he effectively wield two two-handed weapons at no penalty (minus the one for two-weapon fighting?

Yes.

Quote:
2: Do his attacks take a penalty because his "off-hand" attack is not done so with a light weapon?

Yes, but even with TWF his mods would be -4/-4.

Quote:
3: Do his "off-hand" damage rolls only add half his strength damage?

Yes. "Off-Hand Weapon

When you deal damage with a weapon in your off hand, you add only 1/2 your Strength bonus. If you have a Strength penalty, the entire penalty applies." Core Rulebook.

Quote:
4: Since the Alchemist is wielding each weapon with two hands (regardless of size), and grated he took Double Slice, would both weapons qualify for 1.5 Str bonus to damage?

This is RAI vs RAW. Double Slice says apply your strength bonus to your off-hand attack, but designers may have never thought about a 2 level Alchemist dip for dual greatsword shinanigans. So RAW would by strength x1, RAI may be x1.5.

Also, decide how Power Attack will effect his off-hand damage, as the condition of using two hands increased it to 1.5 damage, but being an off-hand attack reduces it by 0.5, so RAW it evens out to x1.


Mr Sin, the new FAQ specifies that attacking with a THW eats up all attack actions (for two-armed creatures; and vestigial arm specifically does not change action economy as per its description) so you don't get to TWF with them


MrSin wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:
Not even counting extra arms, where in two weapon fighting are the modifiers for two handed weapons? They list penalties for light and medium weapons. They do not even list 2 handed weapons as an option.
It doesn't list it. Its likely no one thought someone would do something crazy like dual wield sawtooth sabres on a four armed, flying vivisectionist alchemist with a parasitic twin. Somehow it happens though!

Exept they DO have rules for creatures with 3 or more arms utilizing multiple weapons. Seems to me like some thought was put into it. IMO it was poor wording on vestigial arms that is causing issues.

After all vestigial usually means they are there but mostly useless.

Silver Crusade

You want a really complicated discussion, can a Titan Mauler 3/Achemist 4 with 2 vestigial arms dual wielding Dwarven Dorn Dergars using Darting Viper, TWF and Chain-flail Master change their threat from normal to reach as a swift action with either weapon? What if they're oversized? How does this interact with Lunge? Just thinking of Mutagen+Rage strength on that...bejeezus.


Apparently, they failed to understand their own rules in the APs.

In Rasputin Must Die: they have 2 handed spear and armor spikes TWFing (with the feat). So they need to errata that AP now.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Sean K Reynolds is a credited author of "Rasputin Must Die".

I am seeing a trend here.


Vendis wrote:
The developers have decided that it's overpowered, so they have said that it's not allowed. The same developers constantly encourage house rules so that you can enjoy the game the way you want to.

Balance? You know I see all sorts of ideas on why these rulings are made. A ruling for balance would be errata, a ruling for something that's a clarification is a FAQs(frequently asked question. Hey you asked a lot, here's your answer!) A FAQs should Never! change the rules of a game. Rules also shouldn't restrict things arbitrarily, that's something I can do on my own.

Isil-zha wrote:
Mr Sin, the new FAQ specifies that attacking with a THW eats up all attack actions (for two-armed creatures; and vestigial arm specifically does not change action economy as per its description) so you don't get to TWF with them

Your confusing the term action. Holding an object is a non action. Drinking a potion is an action.


attacking with a two-handed weapon is an action as well, which is the action I was referring to


MrSin wrote:
Balance? You know I see all sorts of ideas on why these rulings are made. A ruling for balance would be errata, a ruling for something that's a clarification is a FAQs(frequently asked question. Hey you asked a lot, here's your answer!) A FAQs should Never! change the rules of a game. Rules also shouldn't restrict things arbitrarily, that's something I can do on my own.

Oh, I agree. And I think this could have been handled better by the design team, in reference to the channel and the transparency (they haven't really given a whole lot of rationale except that it's for balance - though it's hard to blame them for using it, because so many people are hating on them on how they use the FAQ system). That being said, just because the channel used is not the official, primary one for balance changes doesn't make the issue any less about balance or the ruling any less official. And I don't think the ruling was about arbitrarily restricting things - as I said before, I think it was about the developers deciding it was overpowered.


Isil-zha wrote:
attacking with a two-handed weapon is an action as well, which is the action I was referring to

Right its an attack action. Your not getting any extra actions still. If I wield 2 two handed weapons I'm not getting any more attacks than a guy using 2 light using two weapon fighting.

Vendis wrote:
as I said before, I think it was about the developers deciding it was overpowered.

I would think if they cared about balance related to two weapon fighting something would be done about two weapon fighting.


MrSin wrote:
I would think if they cared about balance related to two weapon fighting something would be done about two weapon fighting.

Apples and oranges, MrSin.

The rules for standard TWF - that is, a character with exactly two hands that wields one weapon in each hand - are spelled out very clearly. I do not believe there is any debate on how it works, and yes, if you ask the average forum goer, I do not believe there is any debate that it is sub par.

The developers were answering a specific FAQ where the rules were not clear enough to explain the intent (noted by the fact that it was asked enough to become a FAQ in the first place). It was neither the time nor the place to address the weaknesses of standard TWF, and such a fix should be in a very visible and highly noted place, definitely more than FAQ and probably more than errata. I'm thinking PF 2.0. Or maybe 1.5.

Personally, I'm not worried about them fixing it, at least not until a new edition of Pathfinder comes out. The most appealing aspect of this game to me is that anything can happen and everything I know can change and I can do whatever I want. The fact that THF comes out on top of TWF means nothing to me. I have a living, breathing, thinking person sitting across the table who wants to make sure I have fun, the math on the paper be damned.

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