Can you two weapon fight with a two handed weapon?


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The Exchange

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People keep trying to say that the Barbazu beard is Off-Hand and it says 'thus it can be used with a two handed weapon' so it is clearly intended to be used for two weapon fighting with a two handed weapon.

Fact is the barbazu beard can be used when two weapon fighting so they include text to cover that (the weapon can be used as an off-hand weapon if you choose). It also does not require a free hand to use, so they confirm that it can be used while also wielding a two handed weapon.

This is A=B (Beard can be used two weapon fighting) and C=D(beard can be used with a two handed weapon) so A=D type thinking. There is nothing joining these two directly.

Description: A barbazu beard can be used as an off-hand weapon that requires no hands to use; thus, a warrior could combine use of a barbazu beard with a two-handed weapon.

Lets break this down.

"A Barbazu beard CAN BE used as an off-hand weapon." So when you're two weapon fighting, you can say that the barbazu beard is an off-hand weapon, in other words, it does not have to be the primary weapon. The text does NOT say it "IS ALWAYS" or "MUST BE" it only says that it "CAN BE" so there is the OPTION to use it that way.

"requires no hands to use" This means that even if your hands are completely full with other items you can still use this weapon to attack. Be it 2 weapons, a single two handed weapon, or even 2 pails of water as you do your Jack & Jill impersonation, you can use the weapon even if your hands are full.

"thus, a warrior could combine use of a barbazu beard with a two-handed weapon" This means that because the weapon requires no hands, you can use the weapon while also using a two handed weapon.
So for example, you can attack a creature that moves up to you with your Glaive as an attack of opportunity, but when it is standing next to you, and you're backed into a corner with nowhere to move. Even though your hands are full with a two handed weapon, you can still attack the creature with your Barbazu Beard.

Absolutely nowhere in this item's description does it give a statement that stipulates that the item can be used to achieve two weapon fighting while wielding a two handed weapon. As even creatures with 3, 4, 10... arms could still NOT do the same thing. A creature with 10 arms could wield 5 different 2 handed weapons and attack with all 5 in a single round, but they are not two weapon fighting. They are attacking with a primary attack and 4 different iterative attacks due to high BAB.


in 3.5 you could. In pathfinder you cannot, because there are different assumptions when reading the text. pathfinders more restrictive reading means that the designers were free to open up more non handed weapons without said weapons leading to a KILLER COMBO of dwarven helmet, barbazu beard, left hand weapon , right hand weapon, spiked armor, bladded boot bladed boot.


James Risner wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
The specific rules text references the off-hand, which only exists while TWFing.
That is your opinion, there is no rule than suggests or proves that. There are many that reject that.

And nobody has provided errata that reverses item specific RAW.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Snowlilly wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
The specific rules text references the off-hand, which only exists while TWFing.
That is your opinion, there is no rule than suggests or proves that. There are many that reject that.
And nobody has provided errata that reverses item specific RAW.

Nor have you provided errata or RAW that proves it means what you say.

At best we have ambiguous RAW with two meanings.
At worse you are wrong and we will need to burn a FAQ slot on "covered in FAQ on Armor Spikes".


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James Risner wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
The specific rules text references the off-hand, which only exists while TWFing.
That is your opinion, there is no rule than suggests or proves that. There are many that reject that.
And nobody has provided errata that reverses item specific RAW.

Nor have you provided errata or RAW that proves it means what you say.

At best we have ambiguous RAW with two meanings.
At worse you are wrong and we will need to burn a FAQ slot on "covered in FAQ on Armor Spikes".

No reading of the language present on the barbazu beard that does not severely twist the English language would com to the conclusion that cannot use a barbazu beard with a two-handed weapon.

That is, literally, what the language present on the item says. There is, and never was, any ambiguity in the language, only people overreacting to having their toys taken away by attempting to take away every else's toys.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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Can you calm down on calling anyone who disagrees with you someone who can't read English?

I was fine with you saying it says anything you like, if you acknowledge it has an alternate meaning saying something else. That's how RAW works. There is only interpretations, so there are multiple RAW interpretations when people disagree.

The Exchange

Snowlilly wrote:

No reading of the language present on the barbazu beard that does not severely twist the English language would com to the conclusion that cannot use a barbazu beard with a two-handed weapon.

That is, literally, what the language present on the item says. There is, and never was, any ambiguity in the language, only people overreacting to having their toys taken away by attempting to take away every else's toys.

You are correct the item description absolutely says that you can use the Barbazu Beard with a two handed weapon. But I don't think there is a single person saying that you can't use it with a two handed weapon.

The item does NOT say that you can use the Barbazu Beard to achieve two weapon fighting while using it with a two handed weapon.

There are absolutely zero instances where someone can use two weapon fighting with a two handed weapon. An ability, item, or feat that was going to make such a fundamental change that even having 3+ hands doesn't bypass would certainly call it out more specifically than just saying that a weapon can be used as an off-hand weapon then later saying that since the weapon does not require a hand to wield that it can be used with a two handed weapon.


Snowlilly wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
The specific rules text references the off-hand, which only exists while TWFing.
That is your opinion, there is no rule than suggests or proves that. There are many that reject that.
And nobody has provided errata that reverses item specific RAW.

Nor have you provided errata or RAW that proves it means what you say.

At best we have ambiguous RAW with two meanings.
At worse you are wrong and we will need to burn a FAQ slot on "covered in FAQ on Armor Spikes".

No reading of the language present on the barbazu beard that does not severely twist the English language would com to the conclusion that cannot use a barbazu beard with a two-handed weapon.

That is, literally, what the language present on the item says. There is, and never was, any ambiguity in the language, only people overreacting to having their toys taken away by attempting to take away every else's toys.

You say that this is what the item literally says but it doesn't. It says something that you interpret that way, but it never actually says "can be used while two=weapon fighting with a two-handed weapon". That would be literally saying it.

Your stance is that the mere use of the term "off hand" proves twf is meant because, you claim, the "off hand" doesn't exist outside of twf. That is your interpretation of the text not the literal meaning.

I am sincerely wondering why you think that the "off hand" does not exist outside of twf. I gave examples showing otherwise. Perhaps if you shared your reason for thinking that it would be more productive to the discussion than simply stating your opinion as fact and attacking those who disagree.


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I feel, "off-hand is only TWF" is a thing, maybe something SKR said?
But I can also easily believe that this "rule", if it ever was one, hasn't always been followed.


The sheer stupidity of this debate is why I put the following clause into several of the custom non-handed weapons I've written (such as Helmets and Sabatons (which are like Gauntlets for your feet).

"Because a helmet is worn on your head, it does not require a character use their hands to make attacks with it. This allows the wielder to use a two-handed weapon, wield a weapon in each hand, or wield a weapon with one hand and carry a shield, and still make off-hand attacks with the helmet as though it were being wielded in your off hand."

But to be fair, I also believe that any argument that relies on the "Hands of Effort Rule" is inherently flawed because that rule doesn't actually exist, and won't until they release a FAQ that confirms the existence of "Hands of Effort" as it relates to Two-Weapon Fighting, or better yet, Errata the Core Rulebook.

The Armor Spikes FAQ only applies to the items covered by the FAQ, Armor Spikes and Gauntlets. Both of which are listed a Light Weapons (one martial and the other simple), and it is also worth noting that neither Armor Spikes nor Gauntlets have a clause stating they do not occupy a hand when used.

Unlike the Barbuzu Beard; which is a light melee weapon and explicitly states that it can be "used as an off-hand weapon which requires no hands to use" (making it an exception to the standard rule that light and one-handed weapons are wielded in the primary or off hand).

The real (and stupidly nit-picky) reason you cannot Two-Weapon Fight with the Barbuzu Beard is that per RAW, you can only use Two-Weapon Fighting "If you wield a second weapon in your off hand" and an off-hand weapon that doesn't actually fill your off hand doesn't qualify unless a more specific clause than the Two-Weapon Fighting rules (such as a feat or item description) allows it.


Chess Pwn wrote:

I feel, "off-hand is only TWF" is a thing, maybe something SKR said?

But I can also easily believe that this "rule", if it ever was one, hasn't always been followed.

this is probably what they are referencing

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

"Off-hand" attack penalties and "off-hand" damage penalties"* only exist in the context of using the two-weapon fighting option (Core Rulebook page 202).

Thus, as the FAQ says,

"Basically, you only incur TWF penalties if you trying to get an extra attack per round."

I deliberately wrote that FAQ entry so it wouldn't mention "off-hand" attacks until the section on using the two-weapon fighting option. That's because the concept of an "off-hand" only applies when you are using the two-weapon fighting option in the Combat chapter.

Thus, if you're not using the twf combat option, there's no attack penalty and no Str bonus reduction, because those are penalties* that only apply when using the two-weapon fighting option to gain an extra attack.

* Using "penalty" in the English sense of the word, meaning, "at a weaker value than normal," such as a reduced Str bonus to damage for off-hand weapons. Not necessarily in the game sense of the word, meaning "a modifier that is not a bonus."

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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Another thing that can't easily be discarded is that the dev team thinking on the meaning of off-hand, whether you can TWF with a THW and another weapon, and how exactly the beard works could be a work in progress. Changing over time.

The Exchange

Ok.. Lets look at this fresh as if someone were asking "can I two weapon fight with a Barbazu Beard?"

Keep in mind, those that are arguing that you can use a Barbazu Beard and a two handed weapon to two weapon fight, make the argument by stating that since it is an "off-hand" (hyphenated) weapon it is clearly referencing that "off-hand" (hyphenated) is only used when referencing two weapon fighting.

Combat (PRD) wrote:

Two-Weapon Fighting

If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. 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 when you fight this way. You can reduce these penalties in two ways. First, if your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light. Second, the Two-Weapon Fighting feat lessens the primary hand penalty by 2, and the off-hand penalty by 6.

By RAW, Barbazu beard (while an off-hand weapon) is not wielded in your "off hand", and per the description of two weapon fighting, you only get extra attacks per round from the weapon in your "off hand". So while you can two weapon fight with the Barbazu Beard you can not use it for the extra attacks that you gain from Two weapon Fighting; thus, you can only use it for the primary attacks and use a weapon held in your "off hand" (not in both hands) for the extra attack per round!

Thank you!

Have a nice day!


Cantriped wrote:

The sheer stupidity of this debate is why I put the following clause into several of the custom non-handed weapons I've written (such as Helmets and Sabatons (which are like Gauntlets for your feet).

"Because a helmet is worn on your head, it does not require a character use their hands to make attacks with it. This allows the wielder to use a two-handed weapon, wield a weapon in each hand, or wield a weapon with one hand and carry a shield, and still make off-hand attacks with the helmet as though it were being wielded in your off hand."

But to be fair, I also believe that any argument that relies on the "Hands of Effort Rule" is inherently flawed because that rule doesn't actually exist, and won't until they release a FAQ that confirms the existence of "Hands of Effort" as it relates to Two-Weapon Fighting, or better yet, Errata the Core Rulebook.

The Armor Spikes FAQ only applies to the items covered by the FAQ, Armor Spikes and Gauntlets. Both of which are listed a Light Weapons (one martial and the other simple), and it is also worth noting that neither Armor Spikes nor Gauntlets have a clause stating they do not occupy a hand when used.

Unlike the Barbuzu Beard; which is a light melee weapon and explicitly states that it can be "used as an off-hand weapon which requires no hands to use" (making it an exception to the standard rule that light and one-handed weapons are wielded in the primary or off hand).

The real (and stupidly nit-picky) reason you cannot Two-Weapon Fight with the Barbuzu Beard is that per RAW, you can only use Two-Weapon Fighting "If you wield a second weapon in your off hand" and an off-hand weapon that doesn't actually fill your off hand doesn't qualify unless a more specific clause than the Two-Weapon Fighting rules (such as a feat or item description) allows it.

The other issue is that RAW we have no rules of how to TWF with one of them being a THW.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Chess Pwn wrote:
The other issue is that RAW we have no rules of how to TWF with one of them being a THW.

Which isn't a barrier to the "it works" version of RAW. I guess that means you TWF with -0 penalty right?


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Actually double checking it just cares if the off hand is light or not light. So being TH or ranged doesn't seem to matter to it.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
The other issue is that RAW we have no rules of how to TWF with one of them being a THW.

We actually do have rules for what happens if you use Two-Weapon Fighting with one or more Two-Handed Weapons (CRB 136 & 202)...

If you have four hands (and the Two-Weapon Fighting Feat), you have enough hands to use Two-Weapon Fighting with two Greatswords. Because none of the weapons being wielded in your three off hands are Light Weapons, you suffer a -4 penalty to each Attack.

Neither the Two-Weapon Fighting feat nor the Two Weapon Fighting combat rules ever say anything about being limited to Light and One-Handed Weapons... in fact the phrase "One-Handed Weapon" never appears at all in either section. The only times the Core Rulebook mentions weapon handedness in relation to Two-Weapon Fighting is in reference to the penalty being reduced if the character uses (a) Light Weapon(s) in (all of) their Off Hand(s).

The Exchange

Cantriped wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
The other issue is that RAW we have no rules of how to TWF with one of them being a THW.

We actually do have rules for what happens if you use Two-Weapon Fighting with one or more Two-Handed Weapons (CRB 136 & 202)...

If you have four hands (and the Two-Weapon Fighting Feat), you have enough hands to use Two-Weapon Fighting with two Greatswords. Because none of the weapons being wielded in your three off hands are Light Weapons, you suffer a -4 penalty to each Attack.

Neither the Two-Weapon Fighting feat nor the Two Weapon Fighting combat rules ever say anything about being limited to Light and One-Handed Weapons... in fact the phrase "One-Handed Weapon" never appears at all in either section. The only times the Core Rulebook mentions weapon handedness in relation to Two-Weapon Fighting is in reference to the penalty being reduced if the character uses (a) Light Weapon(s) in (all of) their Off Hand(s).

Actually any creature that gains extra attacks from two weapon fighting with 2 two handed weapons is breaking the rules by RAW.

The rules don't limit it to light and one-hand weapons but it does limit it to weapons in your "primary hand" (Singular) and "off hand"(Singular). it makes no stipulation or even optional 's' added anywhere to allow it to be used with more than two hands, a singular primary, and a singular off hand.

Combat (PRD) wrote:

Two-Weapon Fighting

If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. 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 when you fight this way. You can reduce these penalties in two ways. First, if your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light. Second, the Two-Weapon Fighting feat lessens the primary hand penalty by 2, and the off-hand penalty by 6.


See also Multiweapon Fighting ( a monster feat from the Bestiary ) rather than Two-Weapon Fighting for creatures with more than 2 hands.


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You're reading into the rules a prohibition which simply doesn't exist. Prerequisite Conditions are inclusive.

If you have a Strength of 14 you can take Power Attack, whose prerequisite is a Strength of 13. Even though Power Attack doesn't specify "STR 13, or more."

Likewise, as long as you are wielding a second weapon, and it is in an off hand, you meet the prerequisite condition for Two Weapon fighting. Even if you are using your other two off hands to wield first and second weapons two-handed. You also still meet the prerequisites for Two Weapon Fighting if you are wielding four daggers (one in each hand), at the reduced penalty for having a Light Weapon in your off hand. Though you would only get one extra Attack, because Two-Weapon Fighting is not Multiweapon Fighting.

It also bears mentioning that there aren't any four armed PC races in the Core Rulebook. So it stands to reason that Two-Weapon Fighting would have been written from the perspective of humanoids with two arms.
This is no different from the fact that the rules related to spellbooks only refer to Wizards, because there weren't any other spellcasters who used a spellbook in the core rulebook.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Thread exploded...

I will iterate these things and not get into the back and forth.

1. As the beginning of the thread, we did come to the conclusion that, from the current standpoint, one can not Two Weapon Fight with both the barbazu beard and a Two Handed Weapon. Though the item itself does state an exception, it is one from a stand point before a FAQ that clarified otherwise (using Armor Spikes as the example in the FAQ), and is outdated.

2. Natural Attacks not using the limbs with which Manufactured weapons are wielded can be used in concert with Manufactured weapons at a -5 penalty. (I suspect the Beard would be a Gore attack) Though it has no bearing to the situation now, the Barbazu Beard could get a clarification some time down the road to allow for such a combination. (It is how it can be used for the devil that has the natural version of the item in question)

3. There is no rules for off hand use with a Two Handed Weapon. It matters not how many arms/hands a creature has, he can ever only use one (1) two handed weapon at a time, TWF or no. If allowed (such as by an Archtype ability or other class ability) in a future publication, it would likely be with an additional -2 penalty and for normal str bonuses for the hits (1.0 main, .5 off).

4. Two Weapon Fighting denotes that only a Light or One Handed weapon can be in the off hand. It says nothing about Two Handed Weapons.

Now, it is assumed that almost all characters are two handed. The overall text only allows for the normal humanoid holdovers, two hands, two feet, one head, one torso, and so on. When getting into more exotic races and creatures, the Bestiary has some feats and rules that cover more than the normal amount of appendages, such as more legs means harder to trip, and multi-fighting and Multi-weapon fighting for creatures with more than two arms. (and Mult weapon mastery for no penalties at all for higher CR creatures)

The omission of Two Handed weapons and their off hand use is not one from allowance, but from the assumption that both hands are being used to wield the weapon, thus off hand use is not needed to be addressed. If there was an errata for it, it would add the sentence at the end of the Two Handed Weapon entry in the Core Rule Book "Two Handed Weapons can not be use in the off hand."

I would like give kudos to some here for pointing out (As I did earlier) that the Beard can be used to threaten adjacent squares while wielding a reach weapon.


thaX wrote:

3. There is no rules for off hand use with a Two Handed Weapon. It matters not how many arms/hands a creature has, he can ever only use one (1) two handed weapon at a time, TWF or no. If allowed (such as by an Archtype ability or other class ability) in a future publication, it would likely be with an additional -2 penalty and for normal str bonuses for the hits (1.0 main, .5 off).

4. Two Weapon Fighting denotes that only a Light or One Handed weapon can be in the off hand. It says nothing about Two Handed Weapons.

That is just a giant pile of misinformation. The rules for Two-Weapon Fighting never make reference to the handedness of the weapons used, except to note that the penalties for doing so are reduced if you wielding a Light weapon in your off hand (the off hand wielding the weapon with which you are getting the extra attack that is).

I have never seen a rule anywhere in Pathfinder which explicitly states that a creature can "only use one (1) two handed weapon at a time". The rules for Two-Handed Weapons simply state that it requires two hands to use them effectively.

Further, the Xill Matriarch (Occult Bestiary 60) respectfully disagrees with your points. This monster has four arms, a pair of Masterwork Composite Longbows, Two-Weapon Fighting (which is technically being granted by an awesome racial feature), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting and a stat block which includes the following:
Ranged mwk composite longbow +18/+13/+8 (1d8+5/x3), mwk composite longbow +18/+13


The Standard Xill (Bestiary I 283) also disagrees. He also has four arms, and wields a pair of longbows in its stat block.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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It's pretty obvious we need a new FAQ. I'll try to find time to write up a good one next week after Magic Amonket prerelease and try to get some FAQ clicks.


Yeah, especially with Starfinder's release fast approaching. Doesn't one of its core races have four arms?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

The same race that is already published. Kashast or something.


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Right. My point is that if a race with four arms is gonna be in the Starfinder Core Rulebook, it cannot really be called a "corner case" for that system. So they should make sure to clarify (in that ruleset at the very least) how having more than two hands impacts fighting with multiple weapons.


Cantriped wrote:
The Standard Xill (Bestiary I 283) also disagrees. He also has four arms, and wields a pair of longbows in its stat block.

there is also a ranger archetype that uses 2 bows at a time...

"When a bow nomad makes a full attack with two bows, two weapon penalties apply and can be offset with Two- Weapon Fighting feats. Since bows aren’t light weapons, a bow nomad with Two-Weapon Fighting takes a –4 penalty on attacks with each of her bows."

There is also METWESKA in iron gods that uses 2 chainsaws. [and with JUST TWFing feats]

"Melee +1 shock chainsaw +16/+11/+6 (3d6+5/18–20 plus 1d6 electricity), +1 chainsaw +16/+11 (3d6+4/18–20)"

"Chainsaw Cost 2,700 gp
Type two-handed melee; Proficiency exotic; Weight 10 lbs.
Damage 1d12 (small), 3d6 (medium); Damage Type S; Critical 18-20/x2"

Liberty's Edge

I see alot of talk about the beard being an off hand weapon but the reality is that it's a special attack in only can use under certain circumstances. "Beard (Ex) If a bearded devil hits a single opponent with both claw attacks, it also lashes at the same target with its spiky, filthy beard. The victim takes 1d8+2 points of damage and must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or contract devil chills. The save DC is Constitution-based.Devil Chills: Disease—injury; save Fort DC 17; onset 1d4 days; frequency 1/day; effect 1d4 Str damage; cure 3 consecutive saves.

If the beard where an actually natural attack it wouldn't be using any hands and could be used with a full attack with a 2handed weapon but at a -5 penalty just like if you had a bite and 2hand weapon that could be used after the 2 handed attack with -5.


This thread is talking about the equipment item "Barbezu Beard" rather than the monster's special attack.

Liberty's Edge

kadance wrote:
This thread is talking about the equipment item "Barbezu Beard" rather than the monster's special attack.

Ah I didn't know of such an item. My mistake

Lantern Lodge

My 2c.

While as written, this specifically does let you attack with the beard and a two hander. And as noted specific trumps general. However as also noted this is an old item.

While it is unlikely there will be an official errata on such an old source book, it is worth noting that the beard is not a PFS legal item. That generally is a good proxy for "there is something dodgy going on here".

End of the day, check with your GM about whether it is allowed. If you are the GM, it may be worth taking a steer from the PFS campaign management on it unless you really want your players using this, in which case more power to you.

And lets face it, this is not exactly an overwhelmingly powerful item. You would need to have invested in TWF, which probably means DEX points, on someone using a two hander, which generally means a strength build. You will also have to have invested in Exotic WP - on a light weapon - so only getting half your str bonus. They are likely also Power attacking, and only getting a +1 on damage from that on the exotic weapon. On the surface this doesn't look like it is likely to break much.


yes you can 2wf with a 2hw if you have either more than 2 arms that can make attacks of an ability to hold a 2hw in one hand.

The Exchange

graystone wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
The Standard Xill (Bestiary I 283) also disagrees. He also has four arms, and wields a pair of longbows in its stat block.

there is also a ranger archetype that uses 2 bows at a time...

"When a bow nomad makes a full attack with two bows, two weapon penalties apply and can be offset with Two- Weapon Fighting feats. Since bows aren’t light weapons, a bow nomad with Two-Weapon Fighting takes a –4 penalty on attacks with each of her bows."

There is also METWESKA in iron gods that uses 2 chainsaws. [and with JUST TWFing feats]

"Melee +1 shock chainsaw +16/+11/+6 (3d6+5/18–20 plus 1d6 electricity), +1 chainsaw +16/+11 (3d6+4/18–20)"

"Chainsaw Cost 2,700 gp
Type two-handed melee; Proficiency exotic; Weight 10 lbs.
Damage 1d12 (small), 3d6 (medium); Damage Type S; Critical 18-20/x2"

First the Xill, and similar beastiary entries that have "Multiweapon Mastery (Ex) A xill never takes penalties to an attack roll when fighting with multiple weapons, and treats claws as primary attacks even when also wielding weapons." This is basically a free pass to do whatever they want with as many weapons as they want with no penalties. These creatures can attack with 4 weapons all at full BAB, and it has absolutely ZERO relevance on what is permitted with Two weapon Fighting!

As for your 'Metweska' in iron gods. One specific creature in one specific AP does not establish a standard for all Players to be able to follow the same system. There are PFS Scenarios with Potions of Invisibility it does not mean a player can craft or even find a potion of invisibility (unless they buy it off that chronicle sheet) it does not exist anywhere else. There are wonderous items that you literally can not make if you follow strict item creation rules. Tower Sheilds are described as being made from wood, thus you can not have them made out of mithral/adamantine, but there is a Wonderous Mithral Tower Shield... There are a lot of one-of cases that don't change the underlying fundamentals of how the game is played.

Then for the Bow nomad, I was unaware of this archetype, otherwise I would have brought it up myself. Here is an instance where someone is able to two weapon fight with weapons that normally do not allow it, it is also the perfect example for the type of text you would expect to see when such a thing is permitted. It clearly states in plain language that the bow nomad is able to two weapon fight with two bows, even detailing how the penalty to attack is applied.

The Barbazu beard makes no such clear distinctions. It simply references that it is considered an off-hand weapon (which would apply when you are trying to two weapon fight with it and a weapon in your primary hand) Then states that it does not require an open hand to be used, thus is can be wielded while also using a two handed weapon. Being able to wield a weapon at the same time as a two handed weapon does not automatically mean you can gain extra attacks via two weapon fighting. Case-in-point Armor Spikes, that have had a FAQ released that clarified the point saying it can not be done.

This Trolling thread about the Barbazu beard is just an attempt by some to achieve the same effect as was covered in the FAQ by another item under the guise of "They didn't specifically name the Barbazu Beard, that FAQ applies ONLY to Spiked Armor" It may have a different name, but the same mechanics still apply.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
GM Aerondor wrote:

My 2c.

While as written, this specifically does let you attack with the beard and a two hander. And as noted specific trumps general. However as also noted this is an old item.

While it is unlikely there will be an official errata on such an old source book, it is worth noting that the beard is not a PFS legal item. That generally is a good proxy for "there is something dodgy going on here".

Not necessarily dodgy by intent either (since the connotation of dodgy is usually so negative). I take it to mean there's ambiguity that hasn't been resolved so they're just going to work around it.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
"They didn't specifically name the Barbazu Beard, that FAQ applies ONLY to Spiked Armor" It may have a different name, but the same mechanics still apply.

I agree, that is a stance. We also have developer comments that there is not "general" concept of FAQ not applying to other similar situations. They obviously wouldn't apply to different situations. The trouble begins when people differ on what is similar or different.


James Risner wrote:
Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
"They didn't specifically name the Barbazu Beard, that FAQ applies ONLY to Spiked Armor" It may have a different name, but the same mechanics still apply.
I agree, that is a stance. We also have developer comments that there is not "general" concept of FAQ not applying to other similar situations. They obviously wouldn't apply to different situations. The trouble begins when people differ on what is similar or different.

well, there are multiple comments about faqs only applying to the thing the faq applies to, on the other hand they come so slowly and tend to be so narrow in scope that we have to interpolate in between the gaps.

on the one hand, nothing prevents armor spikes and a longsword

On the other hand, there is no mechanical option allowing it either. There's no two handed two weapon fighting option in the rules: what are the penalties when your main hand is a two hander? It's not listed.

Allowing it gets very silly very quickly. Every martial character would be piling on dwarven helmets barbazu beards armor spikes gauntlets boot blades...


Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
First the Xill, and similar beastiary entries that have "Multiweapon Mastery (Ex) A xill never takes penalties to an attack roll when fighting with multiple weapons, and treats claws as primary attacks even when also wielding weapons." This is basically a free pass to do whatever they want with as many weapons as they want with no penalties. These creatures can attack with 4 weapons all at full BAB, and it has absolutely ZERO relevance on what is permitted with Two weapon Fighting!

I'm aware of Multiweapon Mastery (the Matriarch has an even more awesome version of Multiweaon Mastery). However those racial features do not give it a "free pass" to fight with multiple Two-Handed Weapons. They simply allow the Xill to use Two-Weapon Fighting or Multiweapon Fighting without penalties.

Neither the rules for Two-Weapon Fighting (CRB 202) nor the rules for Two-Handed Weapons (CRB 141) ever prohibited using multiple Two-Handed in the first place. The only rule prohibiting a character from doing so is the number of hands they possess. Since most humanoids only possess two hands, they can only use two hands worth of weapons.

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Every "FAQ only applies to thing it applies" comment I've seen is akin to "don't apply a melee rule to a ranged attack". We have many examples of "see this FAQ that is similar it applies here too" examples. Case in point the Gang Up FAQ was used to apply to using being in flanking position trying to get sneak attack with a ranged attack.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
On the other hand, there is no mechanical option allowing it either. There's no two handed two weapon fighting option in the rules: what are the penalties when your main hand is a two hander? It's not listed.

You are incorrect. The rules for Two-Weapon Fighting (CRB 202) never reference weapon handedness at all; except to make the provision that using a Light Weapon in the off hand reduces the penalty, and when discussing the effective handedness of certain Thrown Weapons (which aren't obviously categorized as Light, One-Handed, or Two-Handed by the Weapon Tables).

Two-Weapon Fighting:

Two-Weapon Fighting
If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. 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 when you fight this way. You can reduce these penalties in two ways. First, if your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light. Second, the Two-Weapon Fighting feat lessens the primary hand penalty by 2, and the off-hand penalty by 6.
Table: Two-weapon Fighting Penalties summarizes the interaction of all these factors.
Double Weapons: You can use a double weapon to make an extra attack with the off-hand end of the weapon as if you were fighting with two weapons. The penalties apply as if the off-hand end of the weapon was a light weapon.
Thrown Weapons: The same rules apply when you throw a weapon from each hand. Treat a dart or shuriken as a light weapon when used in this manner, and treat a bolas, javelin, net, or sling as a one-handed weapon.
TABLE 8-7: TWO WEAPON FIGHTING PENALTIES
Normal penalties | -6 | -10 |
Off-hand weapon is light | -4 | -8 |
Two-Weapon Fighting feat | -4 | -4 |
Off-hand weapon is light and | -2 | -2 |
Two-Weapon Fighting feat


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Every martial character would be piling on dwarven helmets barbazu beards armor spikes gauntlets boot blades...

No they wouldn't, because Two-Weapon Fighting still only gives you one additional Attack, regardless of how many additional weapons you wield, and the Multiweapon Fighting feat requires that you actually have three or more hand (not three or more weapons).


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Cantriped wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Every martial character would be piling on dwarven helmets barbazu beards armor spikes gauntlets boot blades...
No they wouldn't, because Two-Weapon Fighting still only gives you one additional Attack, regardless of how many additional weapons you wield, and the Multiweapon Fighting feat requires that you actually have three or more hand (not three or more weapons).

I agree. This is one reason I felt that hands of effort, mechanical tradeoffs, and normal PC race rationalizations in the unwritten rule posts were really hollow. Even if you allow TWF with a two-handed weapon (assuming the PC wants to kick, headbutt, hip check, use a barbazu beard or a helmet spike or spikes), reasonable mechanical limitations like the limitation of one additional attack are already there.

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Cantriped wrote:
Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
First the Xill, and similar beastiary entries that have "Multiweapon Mastery (Ex) A xill never takes penalties to an attack roll when fighting with multiple weapons, and treats claws as primary attacks even when also wielding weapons." This is basically a free pass to do whatever they want with as many weapons as they want with no penalties. These creatures can attack with 4 weapons all at full BAB, and it has absolutely ZERO relevance on what is permitted with Two weapon Fighting!

I'm aware of Multiweapon Mastery (the Matriarch has an even more awesome version of Multiweaon Mastery). However those racial features do not give it a "free pass" to fight with multiple Two-Handed Weapons. They simply allow the Xill to use Two-Weapon Fighting or Multiweapon Fighting without penalties.

Neither the rules for Two-Weapon Fighting (CRB 202) nor the rules for Two-Handed Weapons (CRB 141) ever prohibited using multiple Two-Handed in the first place. The only rule prohibiting a character from doing so is the number of hands they possess. Since most humanoids only possess two hands, they can only use two hands worth of weapons.

Rules are inclusive not exclusive, the rules do NOT have to exclude the use of two handed weapons when two weapon fighting, because they only include a weapon in the "primary hand" and a weapon in the "Off hand". There is no mention of combining a two handed weapon with any other option at all that is permitted.

They don't have to create a rule saying that if you have 4 arms that you can't 4 arm a single two handed weapon to be able to do weapon dmg + x3 strength mod or anything like that because it is not permitted by the rules so it can't be done!


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Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
Rules are inclusive not exclusive, the rules do NOT have to exclude the use of two handed weapons when two weapon fighting, because they only include a weapon in the "primary hand" and a weapon in the "Off hand". There is no mention of combining a two handed weapon with any other option at all that is permitted.

I am well aware of fact the rules are read permissively as opposed to prohibitively. Have you actually read the Two-Weapon Fighting Rules recently!?

The rules for using a Two-Handed Weapon only require you have the appropriate number of Hands, and the rules for Two-Weapon Fighting simply state that you have to be wielding "a second weapon in your off hand". At no point do said rules declare what handedness categories that weapon must fall into; therefore you are permitted to use any weapon you can wield as the "second weapon" so long as it is being held in an off hand. The fact that you may or may not be using a second off hand to wield said weapon is completely irrelevant.
You can be stubborn and obtuse all you want, but the RAW and several published examples support my arguments, and you've yet to quote an actual rule that refutes it.

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Bill Dunn wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Every martial character would be piling on dwarven helmets barbazu beards armor spikes gauntlets boot blades...
No they wouldn't, because Two-Weapon Fighting still only gives you one additional Attack, regardless of how many additional weapons you wield, and the Multiweapon Fighting feat requires that you actually have three or more hand (not three or more weapons).
I agree. This is one reason I felt that hands of effort, mechanical tradeoffs, and normal PC race rationalizations in the unwritten rule posts were really hollow. Even if you allow TWF with a two-handed weapon (assuming the PC wants to kick, headbutt, hip check, use a barbazu beard or a helmet spike or spikes), reasonable mechanical limitations like the limitation of one additional attack are already there.

I will even agree that it is not excessively over-powered, certainly nothing like the scale of builds that get 5+ Natural attacks that all go off at full BAB with no penalties.

But TWF with a two handed weapon does make TWF OP compared to a normal TWF build and could start a trend towards all melee builds running a Two-Handed weapon and TWF.

Personally I don't even see why anyone would want to use a Barbazu Beard for two weapon fighting. You are reducing your hit chance on a weapon that might do 2d6+18* so you can have a chance to hit for an extra 1d4+6* with an exotic weapon that either costs you another feat or even further reduces your chance to hit? AND you provoke an attack of opportunity from anyone around you just for trying to hit them?

This item seems more custom made to threaten adjacent squares even when you couldn't normally attack them, and very little more.

*estimating dmg numbers for reasonable values from a two-handed attack and off hand attack


Technically, the RAW doesn't allow you to use Two-Weapon Fighting with the Barbazu Beard regardless of what other weapons you're wielding; because the Barbazu Beard doesn't occupy an off hand, and you can only Two-Weapon Fight if you are wielding "a weapon in your off hand" (and can only take the additional attack with said weapon held in your off hand).


In contrast, the Dwarven Boulder Helm is classified as a Light Weapon and says nothing about not occupying a Hand when used. So while you can use Two-Weapon Fighting with a Dwarven Boulder Helm, it occupies a hand while doing so, preventing you from wielding a Two-Handed Weapon that round (unless you have three Hands) regardless of how little sense that makes.
As my wife often says, Pathfinder puts things into strange, ugly boxes.

The Exchange

Cantriped wrote:
Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
Rules are inclusive not exclusive, the rules do NOT have to exclude the use of two handed weapons when two weapon fighting, because they only include a weapon in the "primary hand" and a weapon in the "Off hand". There is no mention of combining a two handed weapon with any other option at all that is permitted.

I am well aware of fact the rules are read permissively as opposed to prohibitively. Have you actually read the Two-Weapon Fighting Rules recently!?

The rules for using a Two-Handed Weapon only require you have the appropriate number of Hands, and the rules for Two-Weapon Fighting simply state that you have to be wielding "a second weapon in your off hand". At no point do said rules declare what handedness categories that weapon must fall into; therefore you are permitted to use any weapon you can wield as the "second weapon" so long as it is being held in an off hand. The fact that you may or may not be using a second off hand to wield said weapon is completely irrelevant.
You can be stubborn and obtuse all you want, but the RAW and several published examples support my arguments, and you've yet to quote an actual rule that refutes it.

I already have, the same rule you try to quote but choose to omit what it actually says. Combat rules on two weapon fighting. At no point in TWF does it permit the primary hand weapon to occupy more than the primary hand. It is always referred to as applying penalties to the "primary hand", not the 'primary-hand weapon' not the 'primary hands' not the 'main weapon' or anything else to be interpreted as anything other than a weapon being held in one single primary hand. All of the examples offered are cases where a creature or archetype is given a specific ability and you are instructed specifically that it works with two weapon fighting (so it is a specific rule overruling the general). Barbazu Beard does not have anywhere near that level of specific wording that it is able to be combined with a two handed weapon to achieve a two weapon fighting style.

Two-Weapon Fighting
If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. 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 when you fight this way. You can reduce these penalties in two ways. First, if your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light. Second, the Two-Weapon Fighting feat lessens the primary hand penalty by 2, and the off-hand penalty by 6.


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I've omitted nothing. You are inferring from the rules restrictions that do no exist!
You are reading the phrase "a second weapon in your off hand" to mean "a second light or one-handed weapon in your off hand". Which is not what the text actually says at all.

The racial features of the creatures I cited to support my argument never say anything about giving them the right to use two-weapon fighting with two-handed weapons. Yes both the Xill and Xill Matriarch (monsters published many years apart) both use Two-Weapon Fighting with Longbows (which are Two-Handed Ranged Weapons.

A "penalty" it not the same as a "prerequisite". The Xill and Xill Matriarch are not ignoring the prerequisites of Two-Weapon fighting, they are ignoring the penalties for doing so. Without said racial feature, the penalties for doing so would be -4 & -4 if the creature had Two-Weapon Fighting (the feat) or -6 & -10 if they did not.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:


But TWF with a two handed weapon does make TWF OP compared to a normal TWF build and could start a trend towards all melee builds running a Two-Handed weapon and TWF.

Personally I don't even see why anyone would want to use a Barbazu Beard for two weapon fighting. You are reducing your hit chance on a weapon that might do 2d6+18* so you can have a chance to hit for an extra 1d4+6* with an exotic weapon that either costs you another feat or even further reduces your chance to hit? AND you provoke an attack of opportunity from anyone around you just for trying to hit them?

This item seems more custom made to threaten adjacent squares even when you couldn't normally attack them, and very little more.

That's partly the issue with most TWF options if you allowed TWF with a two-handed weapon. It's spikes, bizarre close weapons that go in odd positions like the helmet spike or barbazu beard and have weird rules, or unarmed strikes that provoke AoO without a backing feat.

But if the worry is that TWF+two-handed weapon could make TWF OP compared to a normal TWF build, then maybe the problem lies with the two-handed weapons themselves - the very weapons that also tend to dominate over sword+board builds as well. If there's a problem, I think that's where it tends to lie and that's there whether you allow TWF with them or not.

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