Can a TWF paladin use lay on hands while wielding weapons?


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

Is there a way for a TWF paladin to always be able to use Lay on Hands each round while still being able to full attack that round using both his weapons?


Coinshot Colton wrote:
Is there a way for a TWF paladin to always be able to use Lay on Hands each round while still being able to full attack that round using both his weapons?

Not without feats. If you hadn't drawn it yet, you could LoH then draw it with Quick Draw then full attack.


First, it's a standard action to use LOH on anyone other than yourself. So, if you're using your standard action to heal someone, you cannot even make one attack that round, let alone making a full-attack with TWF.

But you can LOH on yourself as a swift action, which would allow you to make one attack normally or, with a little trickery, make a full-attack with TWF and/or iterative attacks.

Su abilities don't require gestures like spells - the paladin simply "wills" the positive energy into his hand and then lays that hand on whomever he wishes to heal.

Given that, you might be able to justify an argument that you don't have to touch yourself. Or more accurately, that you're always touching yourself. So if you want to heal yourself, you fill your hand with healing energy and then it just dissipates into your body, no "touch" necessary. The rules are a bit fuzzy here so make sure your GM is OK with it. If he allows it, then you can heal yourself with a weapon in both hands. If not, then there's more trickery to try.

The Quick Draw feat (as previously mentioned) is one way to do it, but it assumes your weapon is in a scabbard. Since you cannot quickly put weapons INTO your scabbard, this might be a problem except at the start of combat. But, maybe you can carry several spare weapons. If you need a heal, drop one weapon as a free action, heal yourself as a swift action, Quick Draw a spare weapon, and then full-attack.

Or, you might talk to your GM about Weapon Cords. It is normally a move action to retrieve a weapon from the cord, just like it is normally a move action to draw a weapon from wherever you carry it. But, if you have Quick Draw, you can draw a weapon as a free action, so maybe your GM will allow you to Quick Draw a weapon dangling from a weapon cord as a free action too. Technically, the feat doesn't work this way with weapon cords, but it's an easy argument to justify - you use the feat to turn a move action into a free action to "draw" a weapon from a convenient sheath or from a convenient weapon cord. If he allows it, then you can use a weapon cord and Quick Draw to drop a weapon, heal yourself, and retrieve your weapon in any round.

Finally, if you don't want to carry around a bunch of spare weapons and your GM won't go for any of the other tricky stuff above, spend 10,000gp on a Glove of Storing and you can pop your weapon into the glove as a free action, heal yourself, pop your weapon back into your hand as another free action, and still full-attack - and you don't have to waste a feat on Quick Draw.

As for healing your allies, you might be out of luck there - it's pretty much always a standard action which prevents you from attacking at all that round AND it requires a free hand, so you could sheathe a weapon as a move action, heal an ally as a standard action, then Quick Draw your weapon as a free action and NEXT round you can full-attack. Even with a Glove of Storing, you still cannot heal an ally and attack in the same turn.


Scavion wrote:
Coinshot Colton wrote:
Is there a way for a TWF paladin to always be able to use Lay on Hands each round while still being able to full attack that round using both his weapons?
Not without feats. If you hadn't drawn it yet, you could LoH then draw it with Quick Draw then full attack.

Which rule(s) would lead you to believe a TWF Paladin can't full attack and self heal in the same round?


Silas Hawkwinter wrote:
Scavion wrote:
Coinshot Colton wrote:
Is there a way for a TWF paladin to always be able to use Lay on Hands each round while still being able to full attack that round using both his weapons?
Not without feats. If you hadn't drawn it yet, you could LoH then draw it with Quick Draw then full attack.
Which rule(s) would lead you to believe a TWF Paladin can't full attack and self heal in the same round?

The text of LOH says: "Despite the name of this ability, a paladin only needs one free hand to use this ability."

Since it says "needs one free hand" and since it doesn't say "Healing himself doesn't need any free hands", it seems to be more than just a "belief" that paladins can't full attack and self-heal in the same round. Not without a little help.


They can lay on hands on themselves and full attack in the same round but unless they have one weapon currently sheathed and the quickdraw feat, they will need to make their full attack with only one weapon.

Liberty's Edge

Ah, sorry, I was talking about self-heal with LoH. And I was also thinking mid-combat, so weapons already drawn. Any way to do it?


DM_Blake wrote:
Silas Hawkwinter wrote:


Which rule(s) would lead you to believe a TWF Paladin can't full attack and self heal in the same round?

The text of LOH says: "Despite the name of this ability, a paladin only needs one free hand to use this ability."

Since it says "needs one free hand" and since it doesn't say "Healing himself doesn't need any free hands", it seems to be more than just a "belief" that paladins can't full attack and self-heal in the same round. Not without a little help.

Switch the hold between 1 handed and 2 handed is a free action, so if you have already drawed your weapon you can:

1) change hold 1h (free action)
2) loh yourself (Swift)
3) return to 2h (free)
4) full attack (full round action)

There's no point in the rules against that sequence. So I can't see why you're saying that you can't heal yourself and full attack. Obviously, if you have yet to draw your weapon you still need quick draw to get this accomplished.


Blackstorm wrote:
So I can't see why you're saying that you can't heal yourself and full attack. Obviously, if you have yet to draw your weapon you still need quick draw to get this accomplished.

Umm... the OP was asking about TWF, not THF.


Well you can do that with a double weapon.


Yeah, double weapon is one way. Or if your off-hand weapon is a spiked gauntlet, armor spikes, or other weapon that doesn't actually occupy the hand that is using it or is using no hands at all.


I thought with the offhand weapon faq those (like armour spikes) do count as occupying a hand?


Rikkan wrote:
I thought with the offhand weapon faq those (like armour spikes) do count as occupying a hand?

No as far as that faq goes, it is concerned with availability of your off-hand for off hand attacks. It doesn't say your hand is occupied by armor spikes or spiked gauntlets, but that you can't make off-hand attacks because both hands are occupied by your two-handed weapon.


Oh my. I'm sorry, totally misread the op.

Dark Archive

What about a one-handed weapon and a cestus?


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

So long as you only need to heal yourself every other round, you can do it with weapon cords.

Round 1: Full attack, drop one weapon (dangles from weapon cord) as a free action, heal self as swift.

Round 2: Retrieve weapon corded weapon as swift, full attack.

Round 3: Repeat round 1

Dark Archive

SlimGauge wrote:

So long as you only need to heal yourself every other round, you can do it with weapon cords.

Round 1: Full attack, drop one weapon (dangles from weapon cord) as a free action, heal self as swift.

Round 2: Retrieve weapon corded weapon as swift, full attack.

Round 3: Repeat round 1

Weapon cords have received a change. It's a move action that does not provoke to retrieve a weapon now.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

So the PRD entry for weapon cord is incorrect ? I'm searching the errata now ...

EDIT1: Nothing under the FAQ and Update tab for Ultimate Equipment

EDIT2: Found it, HERE


Mergy wrote:
What about a one-handed weapon and a cestus?

Same thing as spiked gauntlet.


A paladin can still use lay on hands as a swift while TWF with a light shield.


While it may not be what you're looking for if one of your weapons is a light shield you should be able to use Lay on Hands.

James Jacobs has indicated that Lay on Hands should work with a light shield

Scarab Sages

Basically, the answer to your question is that, in order to heal, you need to have an offhand weapon that doesn't occupy your hand, if that makes sense.

Weapons of this nature include armor spikes, light shields (and bucklers if you wanna go the Falcata/Buckler approach), and gauntlet weapons.

Liberty's Edge

Okay, well, there goes the kukris I guess. D'oh!


As JJ points out in Artoo's above quote, there's no defined action for switching weapons between hands. You can't fight with two weapons in one hand, but you're not trying to do so - you're just holding them.

Put both kukri in one hand, heal yourself, then put one kukri back into the other hand. This would likely be either 'not an action', or a free action, because it takes very little time and effort to do.


Xaratherus wrote:

As JJ points out in Artoo's above quote, there's no defined action for switching weapons between hands. You can't fight with two weapons in one hand, but you're not trying to do so - you're just holding them.

Put both kukri in one hand, heal yourself, then put one kukri back into the other hand. This would likely be either 'not an action', or a free action, because it takes very little time and effort to do.

This seems plausible, though it's not really supported by the rules.

I have never fought with kukris and I don't own any, but I have trained a lot with sai and tonfa, using them as paired weapons. So I just tried it. It's easy enough to quickly swap my right sai to my left hand so I'm holding both sai in that hand, then swap it back. Or I should say, it's no harder than moving my broadsword from my right hand to my empty left hand - and since that action is free to do by Pathfinder rules, then based on my own experimentation, I'd say combining two small weapons in one hand is essentially the same difficulty.

Still, gonna take a little buy-in from your GM.


Kukri would probably be more equivalent to a tonfa, although they'd likely be a bit heavier. Regardless, it's the same concept.

But yes, this would fall into the realm of GM rule. I don't think it's technically disallowed by the RAW because the action isn't defined anywhere. And JJ's feeling is that it's probably acceptable (at least with a light shield, which would be of a similar weight\encumbrance to a one-handed melee weapon).

Liberty's Edge

Play a Champion of irori ;-)


DM_Blake wrote:
Xaratherus wrote:

As JJ points out in Artoo's above quote, there's no defined action for switching weapons between hands. You can't fight with two weapons in one hand, but you're not trying to do so - you're just holding them.

Put both kukri in one hand, heal yourself, then put one kukri back into the other hand. This would likely be either 'not an action', or a free action, because it takes very little time and effort to do.

This seems plausible, though it's not really supported by the rules.

I have never fought with kukris and I don't own any, but I have trained a lot with sai and tonfa, using them as paired weapons. So I just tried it. It's easy enough to quickly swap my right sai to my left hand so I'm holding both sai in that hand, then swap it back. Or I should say, it's no harder than moving my broadsword from my right hand to my empty left hand - and since that action is free to do by Pathfinder rules, then based on my own experimentation, I'd say combining two small weapons in one hand is essentially the same difficulty.

Still, gonna take a little buy-in from your GM.

When I need to do something with my hands, I usually just tuck one weapon under my arm or with my elbow.


Xaratherus wrote:

Kukri would probably be more equivalent to a tonfa, although they'd likely be a bit heavier. Regardless, it's the same concept.

But yes, this would fall into the realm of GM rule. I don't think it's technically disallowed by the RAW because the action isn't defined anywhere. And JJ's feeling is that it's probably acceptable (at least with a light shield, which would be of a similar weight\encumbrance to a one-handed melee weapon).

I don't really disagree with the idea, either. But I don't think you can look to the light shield for a rules-oriented answer because the light shield actually says your hand is still free to grab other items.


fretgod99 wrote:
Xaratherus wrote:

Kukri would probably be more equivalent to a tonfa, although they'd likely be a bit heavier. Regardless, it's the same concept.

But yes, this would fall into the realm of GM rule. I don't think it's technically disallowed by the RAW because the action isn't defined anywhere. And JJ's feeling is that it's probably acceptable (at least with a light shield, which would be of a similar weight\encumbrance to a one-handed melee weapon).

I don't really disagree with the idea, either. But I don't think you can look to the light shield for a rules-oriented answer because the light shield actually says your hand is still free to grab other items.

Specifically, the light shield states:

Light Shield (Steel or Wooden) wrote:
You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A light shield's weight lets you carry other items in that hand, although you cannot use weapons with it.

So the reason you can carry something else in that hand is because the shield doesn't weigh much.

I'd say using that same logic you could 'double hold' any items up to the weight of the light shield in one hand. A kukri weighs 2 pounds, so you'd only be holding 4 pounds in that hand.


If someone readied an action to attack you, and you were holding two weapons in one hand, I might make you take a Dex check to avoid dropping one or both. Also, for that brief moment, you wouldn't be armed. I don't see a problem with this concept.


RJGrady wrote:
If someone readied an action to attack you, and you were holding two weapons in one hand, I might make you take a Dex check to avoid dropping one or both. Also, for that brief moment, you wouldn't be armed. I don't see a problem with this concept.

Yup, exactly. It'd be unlikely that it would ever come up, but I would go the same route - you might drop them and you wouldn't threaten at that moment.

Dark Archive

Never had any issues with this in my campaign. One of the PCs is a paladin wielding a two-handed sword, and he uses LoH often in combat. We have assumed that he can switch to one-handed grip as a free action and then LoH as a swift action.

I'd allow it with large shields, as well (at least if the shield is strapped to your arm). If a paladin or cleric needs to drop their weapons each time they cast spells or use LoH in melee, it'd be a pain to play these characters, IMHO.


Mergy wrote:
What about a one-handed weapon and a cestus?

That is an excellent idea, and I resent your comment only because I had already written a reply about that for an earlier comment before I had read further in the thread. Anyway:

The cestus
is a light, simple weapon that is similar to a spiked glove, but has the stats of a dagger (1d4, 19-20/x2). It explicitly states that you can hold and use other items while using it (and does not appear to interfere with arcane spells since it lacks the specific rules for that found with brass knuckles, which were released at the same time with the same intention of giving monks something better to use; mostly bringing this up to justify how unrestricted you are, and thus able to use LoH). Overall, a slight downgrade from using two kukri, but still very acceptable.

Have this as one or both of your weapons, and you will not see any problems with lay on hands, no matter the interpretation.


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And if anyone asks why a paladin is wearing a a cestus, just tell them it's the fist of righteousness. :)


RJGrady wrote:
And if anyone asks why a paladin is wearing a a cestus, just tell them it's the fist of righteousness. :)

Or skip the pleasantries and go right to demonstration mode.

Silver Crusade

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Without doubt, double weapons or wearable weapons (spiked gauntlet, armour spikes, boot blade, etc.) will all work.

However, a more contentious answer is this: LOH is a touch-range ability. The 'only need one hand, not two' bit is so that no-one tries to make out that that you need to use two just because the name of the ability is Lay On Hands, plural.

However, like any touch-range ability, you always count as touching yourself, so you don't need a free hand at all to LOH on yourself.

BTW, you don't need any hands at all in order to use it on another creature! If you have hands then, sure, you'll likely use them to touch the target. But any physical contact (even through gauntlets, armour, mage armour, whatever) will do, even if you use any other (non-hand) part of your body. You could be tied back-to-back and still use any touch-range ability on your mate, including LOH.


"a paladin only needs one free hand to use this ability"
I don't think you can reasonably claim that by RAW a Paladin can use LoH without a free hand.


Matthew Downie wrote:

"a paladin only needs one free hand to use this ability"

I don't think you can reasonably claim that by RAW a Paladin can use LoH without a free hand.

Define 'free hand'.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Blackstorm wrote:
Switch the hold between 1 handed and 2 handed is a free action

No where in the rules is this defined. We all operate that way, probably because in 3.5 there were some FAQ answers stating as much.

Remy Balster wrote:
Define 'free hand'.

I guess your point is the rules don't define what "one hand free" means and as a result, we get to chuck out english meaning in real world of a "free hand"?

Whatever choice you make on the meaning of free hand, will open up the same meaning for spell casters with (S) spells which also require a free hand.

My definition is "a hand not holding something and not using a Heavy Shield or anything else that takes up the hand.


The rules do actually have a definition of 'free hand':

Snatch arrows definition: "You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat."
Combat chapter: "Drawing a weapon so that you can use it in combat, or putting it away so that you have a free hand, requires a move action."
Skills chapter: "You need both hands free to climb, but you may cling to a wall with one hand while you cast a spell or take some other action that requires only one hand."


James Risner wrote:
Blackstorm wrote:
Switch the hold between 1 handed and 2 handed is a free action

No where in the rules is this defined. We all operate that way, probably because in 3.5 there were some FAQ answers stating as much.

The CRB doesn't define this, but the FAQ does.

And the 3.5 FAQ actually claimed it as a move action.

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