Off Hand Longbows


Rules Questions

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What if it's a Large Longbow, and a Medium sized player? How many hands do you need to use, wield or fire it?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

What if it's a Large Longbow, and a Medium sized player? How many hands do you need to use, wield or fire it?

A medium Bow requires two hands to use.

Now, surprisingly, the Longbow has the words "You need two hands to use a bow, regardless of its size".

In the end, we are not discussing inappropriately sized weapons.

You are missing the point.


Thanks, I missed the point bbt. And missed the part about bows and two hands. My mistake. Sometimes I misremember things.

Not sure why the need to say "inappropriately" sized weapons. Inappropriate for whom?

I detect snark in your final comment. Sorry if I hurt your feelings. ;)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Does a Sling Glove eat up the "off-hand"?

Adventurer’s Armory wrote:

Sling Glove

This curved, scooped-shaped, 2-foot-long wicker basket attaches to your wrist, allowing you to throw fist-sized stones at great speed merely by whipping your arm forward.

Action: Loading a sling glove is a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity so long as you have a free hand.

Drawback: You take –4 penalty when throwing a stone at an adjacent target and cannot use the weapon to attack creatures in your space.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

Thanks, I missed the point bbt. And missed the part about bows and two hands. My mistake. Sometimes I misremember things.

Not sure why the need to say "inappropriately" sized weapons. Inappropriate for whom?

I detect snark in your final comment. Sorry if I hurt your feelings. ;)

No snark.

The rules for inappropriately sized weapons, are a whole other beast.


thaX wrote:


This FAQ means that TWF with a Two handed weapon (or a Bow) is still not able to be done with gauntlets and the like. A Monk can still flurry while holding a Bow (he has no off hand).

It does? Your conclusion is the same as saying because all squares are rectangles, all rectangles must be squares and that's just not true. No where does it say weapons that use two hands MUST be treated as two handed weapons. In fact I know that they aren't because THW gets 1.5 strength bonus and a bow doesn't. With that being the case, why should a THW FAQ have anything to do with a bow either?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

See, you can't have it both ways.

Does the Overhand Chop, and Backswing ability of the Two-Handed Fighter work with Bows?

Two-Handed Fighter wrote:

Overhand Chop (Ex)

At 3rd level, when a two-handed fighter makes a single attack (with the attack action or a charge) with a two-handed weapon, he adds double his Strength bonus on damage rolls.

This ability replaces Armor Training 1.

Two-Handed Fighter wrote:

Backswing (Ex)

At 7th level, when a two-handed fighter makes a full-attack with a two-handed weapon, he adds double his Strength bonus on damage rolls for all attacks after the first.

This ability replaces Armor Training 2.

Note: Neither of these abilities specify Melee weapons. So, if a Bow is a Two-handed Weapon, then these abilities must apply.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

Thanks, I missed the point bbt. And missed the part about bows and two hands. My mistake. Sometimes I misremember things.

Not sure why the need to say "inappropriately" sized weapons. Inappropriate for whom?

I detect snark in your final comment. Sorry if I hurt your feelings. ;)

No snark.

The rules for inappropriately sized weapons, are a whole other beast.

D'oh. I forgot different sized weapons were termed Inappropriately Sized Weapons in the CRB. My mistake. Again. Gaaaaah.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It's cool.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

See, you can't have it both ways.

Does the Overhand Chop, and Backswing ability of the Two-Handed Fighter work with Bows?

Two-Handed Fighter wrote:

Overhand Chop (Ex)

At 3rd level, when a two-handed fighter makes a single attack (with the attack action or a charge) with a two-handed weapon, he adds double his Strength bonus on damage rolls.

This ability replaces Armor Training 1.

Two-Handed Fighter wrote:

Backswing (Ex)

At 7th level, when a two-handed fighter makes a full-attack with a two-handed weapon, he adds double his Strength bonus on damage rolls for all attacks after the first.

This ability replaces Armor Training 2.

Note: Neither of these abilities specify Melee weapons. So, if a Bow is a Two-handed Weapon, then these abilities must apply.

Can you use either of those abilities with a one-handed weapon when using two hands?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It would seem not.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You could do it with a Bastard Sword, as it transforms into a two-handed weapon, when wielded in two hands.

Special exceptions noted in the description, and a FAQ.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
It would seem not.

Then why do you think you would be able to use them with a ranged weapon when using two hands?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, apparently, they are two handed weapons.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Well, apparently, they are two handed weapons.

No, they are Ranged weapons, they require two hands to use.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Well, apparently, they are two handed weapons.
No, they are Ranged weapons, they require two hands to use.

Which, are two handed weapons, sometimes, but not, other times?

They sometimes count, but other times don't?

When does this occur?

Why would rules, and FAQs, covering two-handed weapons, apply to the Bow, if the Bow is not a two-handed weapon?

Are there written rules noting when Bows do, and do not, count as two-handed weapons?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Well, apparently, they are two handed weapons.
No, they are Ranged weapons, they require two hands to use.

Which, are two handed weapons, sometimes, but not, other times?

They sometimes count, but other times don't?

When does this occur?

Why would rules, and FAQs, covering two-handed weapons, apply to the Bow, if the Bow is not a two-handed weapon?

Are there written rules noting when Bows do, and do not, count as two-handed weapons?

Are Light weapons one-handed weapons? They require one hand to use.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Well, apparently, they are two handed weapons.
No, they are Ranged weapons, they require two hands to use.

Which, are two handed weapons, sometimes, but not, other times?

They sometimes count, but other times don't?

When does this occur?

Why would rules, and FAQs, covering two-handed weapons, apply to the Bow, if the Bow is not a two-handed weapon?

Are there written rules noting when Bows do, and do not, count as two-handed weapons?

The rules do not need to point out obvious things like how a bow works.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Well, apparently, they are two handed weapons.
No, they are Ranged weapons, they require two hands to use.

Which, are two handed weapons, sometimes, but not, other times?

They sometimes count, but other times don't?

When does this occur?

Why would rules, and FAQs, covering two-handed weapons, apply to the Bow, if the Bow is not a two-handed weapon?

Are there written rules noting when Bows do, and do not, count as two-handed weapons?

Are Light weapons one-handed weapons? They require one hand to use.

No.

You are, sort of proving my point.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Well, apparently, they are two handed weapons.
No, they are Ranged weapons, they require two hands to use.

Which, are two handed weapons, sometimes, but not, other times?

They sometimes count, but other times don't?

When does this occur?

Why would rules, and FAQs, covering two-handed weapons, apply to the Bow, if the Bow is not a two-handed weapon?

Are there written rules noting when Bows do, and do not, count as two-handed weapons?

The rules do not need to point out obvious things like how a bow works.

Is the "common sense" thing? Whose "common sense"?

Do you remember the "common sense", of two flurry FAQs, one changing another?

Are you saying a Bow counts as a two-handed weapon?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Let me ask: Can Rapid Shot be used with improvised weapons?

If yes, then could one not attack with a Bow, then throw an arrow, as an improvised weapon, or Quickdraw a dagger, and throw it?

So, what if, instead, of throwing the arrow, you used it to attack an adjacent foe, using it as an improvised weapon?

How does that fall into some people's idea of "common sense"?


Light, One-Handed, and Two-Handed Melee Weapons: This designation is a measure of how much effort it takes to wield a weapon in combat. It indicates whether a melee weapon, when wielded by a character of the weapon's size category, is considered a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon.

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

Bolding mine.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, how do rules, and FAQs, that apply to weapons that are two-handed weapons(a mechanical term), apply to Bows, that, whilst require two hands to use, are not, by your own words, two-handed weapons?

Heck, look at Durngrun Stonebreaker's example of Light weapons, which, whilst require one hand to use, are not One-handed weapons.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Again, extrapolation, from rules and FAQs, regarding two handed weapon(the mechanical term), to apply to all weapons that require two hands to use.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, how do rules, and FAQs, that apply to weapons that are two-handed weapons(a mechanical term), apply to Bows, that, whilst require two hands to use, are not, by your own words, two-handed weapons?

Because as quoted above, "two-handed weapon" is a category that only applies to melee weapons. A bow is a missile weapon.

Quote:

Heck, look at Durngrun Stonebreaker's example of Light weapons, which, whilst require one hand to use, are not One-handed weapons.

Which is evidence of my point, not... whatever point you're pretending you're not trying to make. There are specific mechanical game terms that you cannot simply equivocate your way through.

You should know by now that your attempts at extrapolation usually meet with a no. You are trying to "extrapolate" through something clearly spelled out in the rulebook. You cannot just handwave "extrapolate!" and expect to get whatever results you want. You are reading the in game term "two-handed weapon" as "any weapon that it takes two hands to use" and that simply isn't the case.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, how do rules, and FAQs, that apply to weapons that are two-handed weapons(a mechanical term), apply to Bows, that, whilst require two hands to use, are not, by your own words, two-handed weapons?
Because as quoted above, "two-handed weapon" is a category that only applies to melee weapons. A bow is a missile weapon.

Well, then why is being argued that certain rules, and FAQs, that apply to two-handed melee weapons, apply to projectile weapons?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, how do rules, and FAQs, that apply to weapons that are two-handed weapons(a mechanical term), apply to Bows, that, whilst require two hands to use, are not, by your own words, two-handed weapons?
Because as quoted above, "two-handed weapon" is a category that only applies to melee weapons. A bow is a missile weapon.
Well, then why is being argued that certain rules, and FAQs, that apply to two-handed melee weapons, apply to projectile weapons?

Because you've had almost as much caffine as I have?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, how do rules, and FAQs, that apply to weapons that are two-handed weapons(a mechanical term), apply to Bows, that, whilst require two hands to use, are not, by your own words, two-handed weapons?
Because as quoted above, "two-handed weapon" is a category that only applies to melee weapons. A bow is a missile weapon.
Well, then why is being argued that certain rules, and FAQs, that apply to two-handed melee weapons, apply to projectile weapons?
Because you've had almost as much caffeine as I have?

Seems as good a reason as any other provided.

:)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Let me give you an example of a weapon, that actually falls into both a Ranged weapon, that requires two hand to use, and, is a two-handed weapon:

The Spear.


Here's common sense:

I have four iterative attacks.

I shoot someone with my bow, shift grip and bash someone with it. Shift grip and punch someone, then draw and fire an arrow for my last attack.

I just saw this sequence on Arrow last night.

What rules does this sequence break in pathfinder? Why couldn't I tack on TWF?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Nobody is denying switching weapons for iterative attacks.

Tacking of TWF, is being debated.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Oh, and what is the "power" difference between using a feat to attack with two Bow attacks(Rapid Shot), and using a feat(Two weapon fighting) to attack once with a Bow, and an unarmed strike?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Are we not directly discussing "what the rules allow", along with "what the rules disallow"?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

graystone wrote:

since it doesn't say ALL projectile weapons require two hands unless described otherwise...

Even if we assume the 'general rule' is true, how do we assume it's not talking about most needed two hands to reload? Use, wield and attack don't have to be the same thing. (though I'll admit sometimes they can)

Well I disagree, as I see it does in fact say that all projectiles use two hands unless otherwise specified.

The rules also don't get into minutia. They don't spend words to articulate small points when they can make overall statements. So they are not going to add multiple lines expanding the page count to explain that you can TWF with a Longbow if you make all your bow shots then quickdraw a weapon.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Nobody is denying switching weapons for iterative attacks.

Tacking of TWF, is being debated.

I don't see how you could possibly allow the iterative attacks and NOT allow tacking on TWF. That is what defies common sense.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Can you use either of those abilities with a one-handed weapon when using two hands?

A "Two-Handed Weapon" is a category of weapons. Longbows are not in that category.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
James Risner wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Can you use either of those abilities with a one-handed weapon when using two hands?
A "Two-Handed Weapon" is a category of weapons. Longbows are not in that category.

I thought he was talking about the Two-Handed Fighter archetype...


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The original question was "Does firing a Longbow, or Shortbow, make my off-hand unavailable?" The answer is "yes, because the description of these bows specifies that they require two hands to use".

I now return you to your… melee. :-)


Obviously you're not attacking with the off hand while you are using two hands to fire the bow. When you are done firing, your hand is free to draw another arrow. Why isn't it free to punch someone?

Sovereign Court

I think the crux really comes down to what is considered wielding a weapon. If you run with what I believe the intended definition of wield to be, that is in hand and able to use said weapon for an attack, then when you draw that second weapon, you are technically not wielding the bow (as you cannot fire it with a single hand). Since the TWF feat merely reduces the penalty for wielding two weapons from the normal penalties for doing so, and the rules for fighting with two weapons states (emphasis mine):

PRD from the TWF feat wrote:
Normal: If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. When fighting in this way you suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand. If your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light.

Since you would no longer be wielding the bow, you no longer are wielding a second weapon (you are wielding a single weapon, which is in your off-hand) and the TWF feat would not apply.

This is how I would rule at a PFS table.

That said, for a home game, if the player states they are going to use TWF at the start of the combat, applies the penalties to all attacks, and either uses a gauntlet, makes an unarmed attack, or has quick draw to pull a weapon as a free action, I would probably allow it purely for cinematic reasons (since it is not technically, IMO, RAW and probably not RAI, but it could make for some cool combat sequences).

Community Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed posts and their replies. There appears to be some confusion on how to interpret this particular rule. I would suggest requesting a FAQ, rather than going back and forth and insulting posters on how they would interpret it.


James Risner wrote:
graystone wrote:

since it doesn't say ALL projectile weapons require two hands unless described otherwise...

Even if we assume the 'general rule' is true, how do we assume it's not talking about most needed two hands to reload? Use, wield and attack don't have to be the same thing. (though I'll admit sometimes they can)

Well I disagree, as I see it does in fact say that all projectiles use two hands unless otherwise specified.

The rules also don't get into minutia. They don't spend words to articulate small points when they can make overall statements. So they are not going to add multiple lines expanding the page count to explain that you can TWF with a Longbow if you make all your bow shots then quickdraw a weapon.

If this was actually true, not goinging into the minutia, then things like the light crossbow wouldn't reiterate that it used two hands but it does. this is by far NOT the only example there they added "multiple lines expanding the page count" to reiterate or make redundant statements.

The fact is it doesn't make an absolute statement and tells you to check the actual item for the actual rules on it.

zylphryx: Think about your post in terms of throwing weapons. You can start off a round without ANY weapons and quickdraw into a rapid shot, TWF round or ranged combat. The fact that you don't wield a weapon at some time during the round doesn't matter.

Unless you are ruling against TWFing thrown styles in PFS.

Secondly, where does it say the bow requires two hands to wield? This means that everytime you load the weapon you stop wielding it. You'd make abilities that require wielding to flicker on and off all round? Seems like a pain in the butt IMO.

Sovereign Court

With thrown weapons though, you need a single hand to throw them, hence no conflict with my interpretation. The bow requires two hands to use, a throwing axe, javelin, etc does not.

As to where it says the bow requires two hands to wield, show me where it states that you need only one hand to wield it. You won't be able to. Wield is one of those terms that is not explicitly defined, hence the reason I listed what I believe the intended definition of wield is.

And it is not a "pain in the butt", aside from the fact that it would pose an issue against utilizing TWF with a bow RAW. And technically, unless you have a nocked arrow, the bow is not usable, hence it would not be wielded (unless you wanted to go the improvise weapon route and have it be a quarterstaff equivalent with significant penalty). Besides, drawing and nocking an arrow is a free action, so it really becomes a moot point in the way of mechanics.

An odd analogy would be if you were holding a sword by the blade instead of the hilt. Sure you are carrying it, but you are not wielding it (unless you go the improvised weapon route). A bow without an arrow would be similar.

But again, this is how I would rule in PFS (which is, truthfully, the only place that RAW matters).

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

graystone wrote:

things like the light crossbow wouldn't reiterate that it used two hands but it does.

require wielding to flicker on and off all round? Seems like a pain in the butt IMO.

Light crossbow gives you ways to use the item one handed, and reiterates it is normally 2 hands. Otherwise there might be confusion that it is always a one handed weapon. Isn't your stance "it doesn't say I can't"?

It isn't going to flicker. A longbow requires two hands. Either you have one on an arrow and one on the bow, or you have one on an string & arrow and one on the bow. When not using, but just holding, you have only one hand on the longbow. You have used both hands to draw and shoot that arrow, just like when using a two handed weapon you have used both hands to swing. How is that hard to grok?


The difference being that the bow doesn't incur the unwritten expenditure of the off hand since it is not a two handed weapon nor provides 1.5x str bonus. There is nothing in the rules that prevents the available free hand (when just holding the bow) from punching or otherwise attacking, regardless whether I just fired it or not.

You would be able to do the same thing with a two handed weapon after a free grip shift EXCEPT for that off hand FAQ, a FAQ that does not apply to bows.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Well, apparently, they are two handed weapons.
No, they are Ranged weapons, they require two hands to use.

Which, are two handed weapons, sometimes, but not, other times?

They sometimes count, but other times don't?

When does this occur?

Why would rules, and FAQs, covering two-handed weapons, apply to the Bow, if the Bow is not a two-handed weapon?

Are there written rules noting when Bows do, and do not, count as two-handed weapons?

Are Light weapons one-handed weapons? They require one hand to use.

No.

You are, sort of proving my point.

Short sword-Light Weapon-requires one hand

Long sword-One-Handed Weapon-requires one hand
Great sword-Two-Handed Weapon-requires two hands
Longbow-Ranged Weapon-requires two hands

Requiring one hand does not make a weapon a One-Handed weapon.
Requiring two hands does not make a weapon a Two-Handed weapon.

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