Two-Handers and Two-Handed guns with a four armed Alchemist.


Rules Questions

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One level of gunslinger, nineteen levels of alchemist. I'm grabbing vestigial arms twice using the natural second level discovery + 'extra discovery' feat at level 3. Since this would give me a total of four arms, I'm planning on wielding a greatsword in my upper arms and a blunderbuss in my lower set, keeping the greatsword in the 'primary arms' pair and the blunderbuss in the 'offhands'. My questions for this playstyle are:

1. What penalty would I take when using the blunderbuss like this if I were to just fire it using my pair of lower off-hands, with and without multi-weapon fighting?

2. Am I able to re-grip my primary hand on my blunderbuss, leaving my greatsword in a my off-hands to fire my blunderbuss without/with less penalty? For instance:

Free-action let go of greatsword and grip blunderbuss

Fire blunderbuss as a standard action

Use Rapid Reload+Paper Alchemist rounds to move action reload B.Buss
(I could always just wait a round to reload if I run out of paper rounds)

Free-action re-grip greatsword and blunderbuss in original hands...

If not the above, then can I just 'swap out' which pair of hands is using either of the weapons, upper w/primary or lower w/double off-hands?

3. Are there any feats that might help this along? Would taking two-weapon fighting assist in using these abilities?

4. To make this really fun, would I be able to stick a buckler in the lower pair of hands and keep my AC bonus with all this handy-swapping?


1) I don't think you can wield a two-handed weapon without using your main hand at all.
2) Changing your grip is a free action (only limited by what your GM thinks reasonable). Doing what you describe doesn't change your options: you can still either attack with the blunderbuss or the greatsword, so multi-weapon fighting isn't relevant. Also, you can hold a greatsword in one hand (even an off-hand), you only need two hands to actually attack with it.
3) No idea what could help, but two-weapon fighting isn't relevant.
4) Not sure about that one.


So just swapping my 'primary grip' between the greatsword and the blunderbuss would allow me to either shoot or swing with no penalty if I just doubled up on two handers with 3 hands to hold them? Great. I'll use my last hand for a shield and go nuts.


if you use the sword & blunderbuss on the same round, you'd be two-weapon fighting

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).

and, given that you can't TWF with a two-handed weapon & something else (armour spikes, for example), I'd say that means you can't attack with both on the same round until you're able to do so using iterative attacks, at which point main & off-hand isn't relevant.

If you're attacking with all four arms, you're not getting a shield bonus from the buckler (and might be taking an attack penalty)

You're also not going to be attacking & reloading at the same time due to having all your hands full (I think)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The handful of examples of this in existence generally treat it as Two-Weapon Fighting (i.e. you are fighting with two weapons... you are just using four arms to do so). There are even fewer cases combining two-handed weapons with 2+ one-handed attacks via Multiweapon Fighting.

The problem is that nearly all such creatures have a special ability which eliminates penalties for fighting with 2+ weapons... which makes it impossible to determine the penalties for a two-handed weapon. The SOLE exception is the Kasatha Bow Nomad archetype. They can use two bows at the same time with -4 penalties after applying the TWF feat (e.g. as if each bow were a one-handed weapon). However, that is a class specific ability. Without it I'd probably apply a -6 penalty or not allow MWF with a 2h weapon at all.

On the buckler, if you use the hand for anything (e.g. reloading, attacking, retrieving a potion) then you lose the shield bonus to AC.


The examples described don't involve two-weapon fighting, since the character is only using one weapon at a time.

I'd allow fighting with multiple weapons without extra penalties if only one weapon is not light, and increase penalties for each light weapon replaced by a one-handed weapon or each pair of light weapons replaced by a two-handed weapon (assuming wielding a two-handed weapon normally requires a main hand and an off-hand). Say an extra -2 for each substitution (off-hand being used as a main hand).

So, for a Kasatha (4 arms):
4 lights: -2 (normal penalty if all off-hand weapons are light)
1 one-handed + 3 lights: -2
1 two-handed + 2 lights: -2
2 one-handed + 2 lights: -4 (normal penalty if one off-hand weapon is not light)
1 two-handed + 1 one-handed + 1 light: -4
3 one-handed + 1 light: -6 (2 substitutions)
1 two-handed + 2 one-handed: -6 (2 substitutions)
2 two-handed: -6 (2 substitutions)
4 one-handed: -8 (3 substitutions)


Whether you can wield two two-handed weapons in four hands is up in the air. I think it's fine for naturally four-armed creatures, and there's support for that in Bestiaries (but as noted above, most of those creatures have additional special abilities that allow for it specifically or make it much easier). However, you're using Vestigial Arms and based on the language of that ability, I'm going to give that a hard no. But the FAQ for that ability is kind of a mess, so enter at your own risk and make sure you and your GM are on the same page prior to actually attempting to go this route. If you're not trying to make use of extra attacks (just changing out which weapon is used during your iteratives), then you absolutely can do this and there are no penalties associated with it.

If you're trying to get attacks beyond what your BAB allows (in other words, making using of TWF or MWF for an extra attack), you cannot reassign your main hand once it has already acted. So no, you cannot switch around your hands to lessen penalties.

TWF likely isn't relevant. MWF would probably be the option. However (again), how that works isn't particularly clear in all cases so make sure you and your GM are on the same page. Some people allow MWF to simply substitute for TWF in pretty much any capacity (prereqs, etc.), others think that if you take MWF, you're limited to only that feat and can't take anything else that has TWF as a prereq.

As CB notes above, if you use a hand to attack, barring specific abilities otherwise, that hand is unavailable for granting an AC bonus from a shield. That's why you often see four-armed creatures wielding three weapons (or a two-handed weapon and a light weapon) and a shield in the fourth.


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Vestigial arms does not let you wield more weapons that you could without vestigial arms. Meaning if you are using a two-handed weapon, regardless of what arms it's in, you can't attack with any other weapons via TWF.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Chess Pwn wrote:
Vestigial arms does not let you wield more weapons that you could without vestigial arms. Meaning if you are using a two-handed weapon, regardless of what arms it's in, you can't attack with any other weapons via TWF.

+1

So a normal human can't use a two handed weapon and a two handed gun, so neither can a 4 armed (including vestigals) alchemist.


Vestigial is arm is not trivially different from a fully functional arm.


Vestigial arms has specific language to prevent this sort of thing.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Vestigial arms does not let you wield more weapons that you could without vestigial arms. Meaning if you are using a two-handed weapon, regardless of what arms it's in, you can't attack with any other weapons via TWF.

To clarify you could attack with one or the other though right?

So sword one round, gun the next?

For action economy it would help, no dropping or pulling out weapons.

Not sure what happens with AO's though.


Correct, If you have bab 6 you could do one and then the other. Use the gun twice. No matter which you can threaten with the sword on your off turns.

The real limiter is no extra Metaphorical hands of attacking can be done.
The benefit is the holding extra stuff like you noted, and being able to use a shield while having a two-handed weapon.


Lemartes wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Vestigial arms does not let you wield more weapons that you could without vestigial arms. Meaning if you are using a two-handed weapon, regardless of what arms it's in, you can't attack with any other weapons via TWF.

To clarify you could attack with one or the other though right?

So sword one round, gun the next?

For action economy it would help, no dropping or pulling out weapons.

Not sure what happens with AO's though.

or even in between attacks with high BAB. Hack someone on the first attack 5 foot back shoot them in the face and then still catch someone with the AOO if they step up and try to disarm you.


Lemartes wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Vestigial arms does not let you wield more weapons that you could without vestigial arms. Meaning if you are using a two-handed weapon, regardless of what arms it's in, you can't attack with any other weapons via TWF.

To clarify you could attack with one or the other though right?

So sword one round, gun the next?

For action economy it would help, no dropping or pulling out weapons.

Not sure what happens with AO's though.

You can not attack with ANYTHING that's being held by a vestigial arm, even if it's only part of the effort. You can't use vestigial arms to make yourself the equivalent of a kasatha, which have four real arms, not two semi functional ones.


yes you can, I quoted the rule earlier

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Andy Brown wrote:
yes you can, I quoted the rule earlier

You can use the vestigial arms to attack... provided you aren't using the REGULAR arms to do so.

Basically, you don't get any more attacks from having one or more vestigial arms... so any time you use those arms to attack you are effectively giving up potential attacks with the non-vestigial arms.


If I have 16+ bab and I have the 2 vestigial arms I can,
dagger with one hand, short sword with one, cestus with one, and club with one. Thus making attacks with all 4 weapons, 1 per hand, in a full attack. This is just using bab so you're good.


Good. That's how I was always doing it. :)


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Quote:

Alchemist, Tentacle/Vestigial Arm: What does "extra attacks" mean for these discoveries?

It means "extra," as in "more than you would be able to make if you didn't have that discovery."

For example, if you're low-level alchemist who uses two-weapon fighting, you can normally make two attacks per round (one with each weapon). If you take the tentacle discovery, on your turn you can make
* two weapon attacks but no tentacle attack,
* a weapon attack with your left hand plus a secondary tentacle attack, or
* a weapon attack with your right hand plus a secondary tentacle attack.
At no time can you make a left hand weapon attack, a right hand weapon attack, and a tentacle attack on the same turn because the tentacle discovery says it "does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round." This language is calling out that the tentacle is not a standard natural weapon and doesn't follow the standard rules for using natural weapons (which would normally allow you to make the natural weapon attack in addition to your other attacks).

Likewise, if you instead took the vestigial arm discovery and put a weapon in that arm's hand, on your turn you can make
* a weapon attack with your left hand and one with your right hand,
* a weapon attack with your right hand and one with your vestigial arm, or
* a weapon attack with your left hand and one with your vestigial arm,
At no time can you make a left hand weapon attack, a right hand weapon attack, and a vestigial hand weapon attack on the same turn because the vestigial arm discovery says it "does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round."
The exact same restrictions would apply if your race had claws or you had some other ability to add claws to your limbs: the text of both discoveries says they do not give you any extra attacks per round, whether used as natural weapons, wielding manufactured weapons, or adding natural weapons to a limb that didn't originally have natural weapons.

Remember that these two discoveries do not have any level requirements, and therefore are not especially powerful; permanently adding additional attacks per round is beyond the scope of a discovery available to 2nd-level alchemists.


From what I can tell from the above...

I could wield a two-hander in either set of arms and use one of them per-round to make single attacks, with more attacks with a growing BAB bonus, but not gain an 'extra attack' from either because the vestigial arms own text prevents that?

When I reach level 7, or so, and gain +6/+1 BAB, would that allow me to attack with one weapon twice at my BAB, or either weapon once with the first at 6 then the other at 1?

Honestly, just being able to keep two-two handers at the ready without using quick draw/sheath works fine for me. Reach weapon and a Greatsword sounds 'gross' enough for a feat/discovery at second, or in this case third, level.

As another added bonus, if I were to make an AOO against someone, would that be possible with either applicable weapon, such as the reach at range/greatsword up close and personal, or would something else govern which weapon I could use? Since I'm not making an 'extra attack' vestigial arms seems to permit using either weapon.


As far as I understand things, your interpretation here is correct.


Dakumi wrote:

From what I can tell from the above...

I could wield a two-hander in either set of arms and use one of them per-round to make single attacks, with more attacks with a growing BAB bonus, but not gain an 'extra attack' from either because the vestigial arms own text prevents that?

When I reach level 7, or so, and gain +6/+1 BAB, would that allow me to attack with one weapon twice at my BAB, or either weapon once with the first at 6 then the other at 1?

Honestly, just being able to keep two-two handers at the ready without using quick draw/sheath works fine for me. Reach weapon and a Greatsword sounds 'gross' enough for a feat/discovery at second, or in this case third, level.

As another added bonus, if I were to make an AOO against someone, would that be possible with either applicable weapon, such as the reach at range/greatsword up close and personal, or would something else govern which weapon I could use? Since I'm not making an 'extra attack' vestigial arms seems to permit using either weapon.

Yes. The rule is that you are considered to not have the vestigial arms for the purposes of what you can attack with in a given action, even if you have an effect which grants you attacks through those limbs (most commonly, the Feral Mutagen discovery, and is listed in the FAQ as an example).

Since you brought up attacking with multiple weapons, you are correct in that you can use either weapon with either iterative. Here's a relevant FAQ for more pertinent information, especially if you planned to TWF. Another relevant FAQ regarding Armor Spikes would suggest that you could theoretically TWF with the Greatsword and a Longbow (not Composite), as you aren't gaining more than 1.5x Strength to your damage rolls over the course of the action, but there is still debate as to whether that's possible or not.

With that being said, the whole "AoOs" thing is a gray area, as the rules (FAQ included) are silent on the matter. Realistically speaking, since both weapons require two hands to use, it makes sense that you would be using one weapon with your normal set of hands, and another with your vestigial hands, and that you would threaten with the weapon in your normal hands, and not threaten with the vestigial hands (because you are gaining potential attacks through the use of your vestigial hands than if you didn't have them to begin with).

But that's merely a possible interpretation of the RAI of the matter. At the end of the day, the GM has the final say on this sort of thing, so make sure you talk to him at the table you're playing on so you know how your group runs it.


The rules were written for PCs with only 2 hands. Races with more arms (such as the Kasatha) have only recently become available for PCs. So there was no need to forbid or allow dual-wielding two-handed weapons, because it simply wasn't possible due to lack of hands.
Also, the OP is not trying to dual-wield two-handed weapons, they're just using one while holding the other.


I you have 4 arms and two attacks from bab you can use a greatsword and then shoot a musket.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Paizo has actually released a FAQ on this topic.

When making ordinary iterative attacks, without the benefit of two-weapon fighting or anything that behaves as two-weapon fighting, you may decide what your main hand is (and therefore what weapon you are attacking with) on an attack-by-attack basis. This allows you to hit enemies with both carried weapons, even if they're both two-handed, so long as you're using iterative attacks to do so.

If utilizing two-weapon fighting to gain additional attacks, however, what your main hand is that round is 'locked in', and cannot be switched. A magus with iterative or additional attacks could not attack with their main weapon, cast Chill Touch, make a touch attack as part of casting Chill Touch, and then switch to using a touch attack as their iterative attack. (For the sake of this argument, assume Spellstrike is not a factor; a level 1 magus with Haste active, for example)

An alchemist with vestigial arms cannot make additional attacks; he still only has two 'hands of effort'. But he can still carry arms, and therefore can use them to fight with weapons so long as he doesn't breach the hands of effort unspoken rule.

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