Are larger-sized light weapons, counted as one-handed weapons?


Rules Questions

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Are large-sized light weapons, counted as one-handed weapons?

Example, is a large-sized dagger counted as a one-handed weapon for the purpose of feats, etc?

Example feat wrote:


Two-Handed Thrower (Combat)
Source - Ultimate Combat
You hurl weapons with both hands and with great force, sometimes using a whirling technique to send your weapon flying through the air at tremendous speeds.

Prerequisites: Str 15.

Benefit: Whenever you use two hands to throw a one-handed or two-handed weapon, you gain a bonus on damage rolls equal to 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus. Using two hands to throw any weapon requires only a standard action for you. If you also have the Quick Draw feat, you can throw two-handed weapons at your full normal rate of attacks.

Normal: You add your Strength bonus on thrown weapon damage, regardless of available hands. Throwing a two-handed weapon is a full-round action.


Correct. And it does more damage than a Medium dagger. But beware of the penalty for inappropriate size.

Equipment wrote:

Inappropriately Sized Weapons: A creature can't make optimum use of a weapon that isn't properly sized for it. A cumulative –2 penalty applies on attack rolls for each size category of difference between the size of its intended wielder and the size of its actual wielder. If the creature isn't proficient with the weapon, a –4 nonproficiency penalty also applies.

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. If a weapon's designation would be changed to something other than light, one-handed, or two-handed by this alteration, the creature can't wield the weapon at all.

Scarab Sages

It works the other way as well. A medium character could wield a small sized greatsword as a one-handed weapon, taking the -2 size penalty.

Lantern Lodge

Added a feat as an example to my original post.

So for the purpose of the Two-Handed Thrower feat. Would a large-sized dagger or other light weapon with a range, counts as a one-handed weapon? or just a light weapon that is large in size?


Yeah, it works both ways but always remember the penalty for each size category difference.

Also remember that if a change in size would reduce it below light or above two-handed the weapon simply can't be wielded.

So a medium creature could wield a huge light weapon as a two handed weapon at a -4, or could wield a tiny two handed weapon at a -4.

Generally speaking the penalty to hit negates the slight bonus damage from going up in size on weapons.

Scarab Sages

Where it can be worth it is wielding an otherwise two-handed reach weapon in one hand. Want to go glaive and shield without being a phalanx soldier? A small polearm will let you.


Secane wrote:

Added a feat as an example to my original post.

So for the purpose of the Two-Handed Thrower feat. Would a large-sized dagger or other light weapon with a range, counts as a one-handed weapon? or just a light weapon that is large in size?

It counts for absolutely all purposes.


Imbicatus wrote:
Where it can be worth it is wielding an otherwise two-handed reach weapon in one hand. Want to go glaive and shield without being a phalanx soldier? A small polearm will let you.

I've always felt this is a horrible abuse of the rules. But strictly speaking there is no rule against it.

Scarab Sages

Claxon wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Where it can be worth it is wielding an otherwise two-handed reach weapon in one hand. Want to go glaive and shield without being a phalanx soldier? A small polearm will let you.

I've always felt this is a horrible abuse of the rules. But strictly speaking there is no rule against it.

Longspear and shield is a common historical fighting style, and until the introduction of the phalanx soldier it was impossible to match without using a smaller weapon. It does have penalties associated with it in a permanent -2 to hit and an average -1 damage for using a smaller die.

I don't see any difference between it and the iconic barbarian using a large bastard sword.


Imbicatus wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Where it can be worth it is wielding an otherwise two-handed reach weapon in one hand. Want to go glaive and shield without being a phalanx soldier? A small polearm will let you.

I've always felt this is a horrible abuse of the rules. But strictly speaking there is no rule against it.

Longspear and shield is a common historical fighting style, and until the introduction of the phalanx soldier it was impossible to match without using a smaller weapon. It does have penalties associated with it in a permanent -2 to hit and an average -1 damage for using a smaller die.

I don't see any difference between it and the iconic barbarian using a large bastard sword.

The iconic barbarian isn't getting reach out of the deal, which is where this one gets people's hackles raised. I probably wouldn't allow it, myself.


Exactly, getting reach out of the deal is the issue.

Besides, it totally possible to wield a shortspear and shield which seems just fine by me. The only real important difference is the lack of reach.

In general, the rules paradigm is reach weapons are two handed weapons.

The only exception I can think of is the whip, for obvious reasons and possessing substantial drawbacks.


As noted, unless the ability specifically mentions the weapon used must be of appropriate size for the wielder, this works.

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