How many weapons may a character carry and have be considered ready?


Homebrew and House Rules


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I've looked for a rule about this.
I have a player in my campaign that has 8 different weapons that he uses (and draws them as move actions). I was wondering if there was any ruling about how many weapons a character can have ready to draw in combat as it would be kinda weird to have a character with 8 different weapons on his waist in sheaths (for getting over different DR).
I have a house rule that if you are not carrying a crossbow at the ready in combat you have to spend an action to load it if you draw it (as the bolt would fall out if you don't hold it level.
As a houserule I was thinking maybe 2 medium sized weapons (longswords, axes)on the waist and 2 large ones on the back (spears, bows, greataxes)
and 2 small weapons (daggers) unless they have bandoleers, wrist sheaths or such. All other weapons would be in the backpack or rolled up in a leather weapon carrier roll).


I don't think there's an official rule, partly because "weapon" is such a vague term. I have no problem with someone having 8 weapons available for quick draw if they're suitably described and plausible.

For example, I could easily have 10 daggers or similar sized weapons available for use:
* Neck sheath, hilt towards my primary hand, drawn over the shoulder.
* Back sheath, hilt towards my secondary hand, drawn from behind the waist.
* Belt sheath, left side.
* Belt sheath, right side
* Second belt sheath, primary hand
* Boot sheath, left side
* Boot sheath, right side
* Brass knuckles or punch dagger in secondary hand.
* Spring loaded wrist sheath on primary hand
* Poisoned hatpin in hair

and still have a hand free to open doorknobs with. Or to hold a longbow with.

I could keep a dozen throwing knives in a bandoleer across my chest.

On the other hand, I'm not putting a greatsword in my boot sheath, and I'm not wearing a longbow on my forearm.


depends on the weapons, but with just long swords, i could see at least six, two on each side of the waist and 2 across the back.


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I once got accosted by the police for walking down the downtown sidewalk with 22 weapons. I could draw/deploy any of those in under 3 seconds. The cop who frisked me only found 8 of them (more accurately, he failed to find the 14 I had concealed). He let me go since I wasn't breaking any laws.

So, my houserule, if I made one, would be to set the limit at 22.

Actually, there really is no limit in the RAW.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Orfamy Quest - yes, I agree that it should be plausible.

This player just adds weapons to his character each time he loots, he currently has:
2 sawtooth sabres
a great axe
silver shortsword
composite short bow
2 daggers
adamantine dagger
cold iron longsword
adamantine great club
oversized scimitar
mithral rapier
strength bow (composite long bow)
short spear
halberd
And wants to be able to draw any of these as a move action.


Did you check for encumbrance?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So my character could buy 15 greataxes, have each enchanted with a different bane and carry them all on his waist.


I would say if he's encumbered that already comes with it's own penalties and if he's so strong that he can haul that arsenal around, more power too him. Let him draw them as a move action as the rules state.


Ask him how he wears them. (And check for encumbrance, but that's probably less of an issue. I have a druid that can carry around a Japanese motorcycle in case he needs a quick getaway.)

I count at least seven weapons -- the axe, two bows, great club, scimitar, halberd, and spear -- that are too big for a normal sheath. I could see two of them being worn across the back, but probably no more. Quite frankly, it's hard to "draw" an axe or halberd (specifically) from the back in the first place (the weight and balance are wrong).

So I would probably tell him to get real, but I may be overlooking something about how he's visualizing the character.


There's a magic item for that. A quiver or a sheath or something that's the weapon equivalent of a Handy Haversack.

It's like an extra dimensional golf caddy for hurt-sicks.

If you really have a problem with it say that he can have 2 Large or medium weapons + 5 small weapons. If he wants more he needs that magic sheath or something like it.


So back to reality.

This is a rules questions forum. There are encumbrance rules but there are no rules for maximum number of weapons. That's all you need to know.

If this were an advice forum, we might advise to play the game according to your own tastes. Looney Tunes characters have a back pocket big enough to carry around anvils, lions, even cars - they just reach behind their backs and pull out whatever is funny and advances the looney story. Gritty quasi-realistic games might not be so friendly about letting semi-real characters break laws of physics or disregard verisimilitude.

But that's all up to each gaming group to decide for themselves.

Me, I error on the side of verisimilitude. Weapons bigger than longswords don't go on belts, and weapons bigger than greatswords don't go on backs. More than two weapons on a belt or back is extremely improbable. Very small weapons, like multiple daggers, might break the rule (Merisiel comes to mind). But then, so do my players, so we're all in agreement on stuff like this.

None of which has anything to do with the actual RAW. So assuming your character can lift all that weight, he can have as many weapons on his body as he wants, and draw each of them as a normal move action.


As far as I'm aware there isn't specific RAW limiting the number of weapons. Encumbrance would play a major factor here; I'm calculating those weapons as weighing 62 pounds.

Anything below a 15 STR is going to put him into medium encumbrance, and that's assuming he's not carrying anything else; going to guess from the weapon arsenal he's probably wearing at least a breastplate, which is another 30 pounds (or let's say 15 since it's probably mithral) so now he's look at minimum 18 STR to not be pushing into medium encumbrance...


Rules answer: As many as he wants, up to his max encumbrance.

"Advice" Answer: As many as you let him.

I personally would let him do it because why not? If he wants to be the walking arsenal, more power to him.

And it's not like the Pathfinder Iconics have much of a problem with carrying around tons of stuff/weapons.

If it REALLY bothers you on a verisimilitude level, let him find Weaponmaster Gauntlets (perhaps houserule adjusted to carry more weapons, and without the Greater Heroism 3/day which I'm pretty sure is why it's so costly) in the loot and explain to him that it's for your own piece of mind. Ask him not to trade it or anything, it's just there to give him a plausible magic reason why he can carry 15 weapons comfortably without your head exploding.


I would point out that, depending on setting, carrying that many weapons around could lead to some interesting social situations. I'm sure that the guards in a lot of the fantasy cities are used to people carrying around a sword or two openly, but someone who looks like he just robbed the entire Adventurer's Armory might run into some social penalties and have a contingent of guards following him everywhere 'just in case'.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks for the info. )

Shadow Lodge

You can carry as many weapons as you like. However, if you think of things from a realistic standpoint, a guy walking down the street with 99 greataxes on him will be investigated by just about every man in town who has the guts to walk up to the guy with 99 Greataxes. Why? Because he has 99 F~(>!?& GREATAXES! I would houserule you could have as many light weapons as you like+2 1h weapons, and a single 2h weapon, because you will only ever have a single greatsword on your back, you won't have 2/3/4/5, you might have a longsword back there, and most could fit on your belt, and then daggers can be stuck anywhere.


Doormouse wrote:

Orfamy Quest - yes, I agree that it should be plausible.

This player just adds weapons to his character each time he loots, he currently has:
2 sawtooth sabres
a great axe
silver shortsword
composite short bow
2 daggers
adamantine dagger
cold iron longsword
adamantine great club
oversized scimitar
mithral rapier
strength bow (composite long bow)
short spear
halberd
And wants to be able to draw any of these as a move action.

As others have already stated aplenty, he is legit rules-wise.

As a DM, I would say...
pick one bow, pick two 2handers (crisscrossed on back underneath bow), daggers are fine (bandolier for them maybe?), pick two 1handers for either hip (so 4 total), and carry one 2hander in your hand. The others have got to be sold or tossed aside. How much of a walking armory do you have to be, really? Don't forget he needs quivers of arrows, too, and his hips are pretty full as is not to mention his back.

Be reasonable, and ask the player to be as well. Good luck!


With swords you can easily get two per hip and still draw as well as a buckler. The real problem would be corners, sitting and the like more than being able to draw a weapon.


DM_Blake wrote:

So back to reality.

This is a rules questions forum. There are encumbrance rules but there are no rules for maximum number of weapons. That's all you need to know.

Not quite. There is Rule 0.

As was pointed out, there are a number of magic items that only make sense in a universe realistic enough to enforce non-encumbrance limits on weapon accessibility.


kikidmonkey wrote:
depends on the weapons, but with just long swords, i could see at least six, two on each side of the waist and 2 across the back.

I would impose a rather stiff penalty to combat rolls in this situation. It would be relatively easy for a semi-competent foe to take advantage of the ridiculous amount of gear you've got strapped on to cut you to ribbons.


Depends on the form of the sheath, how they are set and what method of draw is used.

Grand Lodge

DM_Blake wrote:

I once got accosted by the police for walking down the downtown sidewalk with 22 weapons. I could draw/deploy any of those in under 3 seconds. The cop who frisked me only found 8 of them (more accurately, he failed to find the 14 I had concealed). He let me go since I wasn't breaking any laws.

So, my houserule, if I made one, would be to set the limit at 22.

Actually, there really is no limit in the RAW.

For the record he let you go because he failed to catch you breaking the law. :) (at least depending where you live, and the permits you are carrying, concealing 1 weapon is breaking the law.)


Orfamay Quest wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

So back to reality.

This is a rules questions forum. There are encumbrance rules but there are no rules for maximum number of weapons. That's all you need to know.

Not quite. There is Rule 0.

As was pointed out, there are a number of magic items that only make sense in a universe realistic enough to enforce non-encumbrance limits on weapon accessibility.

Rule 0 doesn't have much application in the rules forum though since rule 0 is, in essence, if you don't like how something works, house rule it to something you like - and at the point of making house rules it is no longer RAW discussion material.


bbangerter wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

So back to reality.

This is a rules questions forum. There are encumbrance rules but there are no rules for maximum number of weapons. That's all you need to know.

Not quite. There is Rule 0.

As was pointed out, there are a number of magic items that only make sense in a universe realistic enough to enforce non-encumbrance limits on weapon accessibility.

Rule 0 doesn't have much application in the rules forum though since rule 0 is, in essence, if you don't like how something works, house rule it to something you like - and at the point of making house rules it is no longer RAW discussion material.

Well, it can. There are places where the rules aren't clear enough to state with 100% certainty that X happens; in that case, the only viable answer is, "It's up to the GM," which isn't necessarily a house rule.

I agree, though, that normally 'rule 0' shouldn't be invoked on the Rules forum as an argument.


Past couple sessions I've been dragging behind me some large sized javelins that I've been flinging around with Telekinesis. My DM asked me about encumberance. I showed him the chart for it in the CRB, showed him my strength. Turns out, my light load consists of my armor, my glaive-guisarme, and about 86 javelins (large). I keep those on a quick release loop-knotted rope so I can release the load as a move, then cast. I'm going to sell most of those though.

Digital Products Assistant

Removed a post and reply. Do not call other posters "trolls."


By RAW only weight affects his encumbrance, and if he has such insane strength that this puts him at no/light encumbrance then what can you do? Since it's only a move action to draw a sword from a scabbard (or another equivalent action of grabbing and pulling an object out of something when you know where it is) he could theoretically have as many dangling scabbards as he wanted. The rules would only have an issue with this as soon as he carries them in a bag or backpack of sorts.

The limit on how many weapons he could have ready is nearly arbitrary; as soon as they're in a bag or complicated jumble of items they aren't considered "ready" anymore.

As for the 99 greataxes... If they're all the same exact kind of greataxe and he knows where the bundle is? He can just grab something in that area by the handle and pull, knowing he'll draw a greataxe.

(Personally, I think at that point you should get DR 1/piercing.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This hole thing reminds me of Hunters from Phantasy Star Online. His inventory is a bit silly and it is really GM call but many reasons why including it be more efficient for him/her to sell off some of those to upgrade or by better versions of the weapon...or save up for the Weapon Ability of weapon changing...Transformation I think?

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