Assuming I have a creature, with four natural arms (or a person with extra vestigial arms — RAI I know this is unintended, but RAW it's seemingly legit) and they decided to, instead of quad-wielding one handed weapons, dual wield two handed swords. According to the rules, the offhand weapon gets 1/2 Str bonus. However two handed weapons use 1+1/2 Str bonus.

How would this strength bonus/penalty work, assuming said creature or player could not access the Double Slice feat?

The similar question Can two-hand weapons be dual-wielded by something with four arms? does not explain how the bonus damage to strength is handled.


1 Answer 1


Your issue made me think about Primary and Secondary Natural attacks, because we resolve it in the same way.

Two-Weapon fighting Rules

By RAW, you need to apply the two-weapon fighting in a strict manner.

Just like Natural attacks, you have one Primary Hand, and the others are considered off-hands. With the TWF Feat you get reduced penalties to both your hands but the concept of Primary and Off-hands stay the same

After that, just apply the rules.

Are we carrying light weapons in all of our off-hands ?

No, so the full penalty applies (-6 to Primary and -10 to Off-hands without TWF, -4 to Primary and off-hands with TWF)

For strength bonus, just apply the rules as well.

Your primary hand(s) keep their usual bonus so 1.5x Strength bonus in this case, while your off-hands always have a 0.5x Strength bonus.

In the end, you're better off using 1 two-handed weapon and multiple light weapons in your additional hands.

Oh and also, you'll need the Multiweapons Fighting Feat instead of the standard TWF.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A marilith with a great sword and four scimitars? Do not want. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ What about with the feat Double Slice? would offhand be 1x str? or 1.5x? \$\endgroup\$
    – Erudaki
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erudaki It says to "Add your strength bonus to attacks made with your off-hands" so its 1x str. Even with Two-handed weapons in off hand. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dastardly
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 14:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is a good answer, though it's notable that Power Attack might still give the extra 50% damage from itself, since that only requires wielding a two-handed weapon (or a one-handed weapon in two hands). Or it might give standard damage (+50% due to two-handed, -50% due to off-hand). Still more efficient to use a two-hander and two light weapons. \$\endgroup\$
    – Delioth
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 15:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Its also worth noting that Vestigial arms cant give extra attacks, so the best option then is dual wielding two-handed weapons. (Despite this not being RAI it is still legal by RAW) \$\endgroup\$
    – Erudaki
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 17:39

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