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Can you use Effortless Lace & Lighten Weapon on double weapons and pole arms? The Effortless Lace can only be added to one-handed weapons, but Lighten Weapon lets you use a two-handed weapon in one hand.

Will they work with the Two Weapon Fighting rules and Two Weapon Fighting Feats?

Can I use them to hit with both ends of a pole arm or double weapon?

Will two weapon fighting penalties be reduced to minimum if I use these in tandem?

I basically want the effect of flurrying with pole arms/double weapons (a la Kilik and that new guy from Soul Calibur 1-6) without being a monk.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can the bit about double weapons be eliminated (i.e. "A creature wielding a double weapon in one hand can’t use it as a double weapon—only one end of the weapon can be used in any given round")? By pole arms do you mean 2-handed weapons with reach generally or actually pole arms? Finally, edit history reveals that an editor added the 3rd-party tag; has the GM already approved the use of the third-party feat Lighten Weapon? \$\endgroup\$ May 17 '18 at 2:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I added the 3rd-party tag because the Lighten Weapon feat (which is 3rd party) was given as part of the original question. Was the tag unnecessary? \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    May 17 '18 at 4:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MikeQ O, no, the tag's totally necessary. It's just helpful for the asker to acknowledge the feat's third-party status so users don't waste their time on what turns out to be an impractical question. \$\endgroup\$ May 17 '18 at 4:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ However, it has generally been decided that we should not use a '3rd-party' tag, and instead use tags for individual 3rd party companies. So I'm changing the tag to kobold-press \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 17 '18 at 12:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this for a Monk, Unchained Monk, another class that gets Flurry of Blows (or a facsimile), or whichever class offers you the best results? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 17 '18 at 12:43
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No, this combination does not work (at all)

Lighten weapon allows (emphasis added)

When using a weapon of that type you may reduce the effort required to wield it by one step but suffer a −2 penalty to hit with that weapon. This allows you to wield a weapon 1 size category larger as if it were your own size, use a two-handed weapon in one hand, or a one-handed as a light weapons.

but Effortless Lace requires that it

[be attached] around the grip of a one-handed piercing or slashing melee weapon for 24 hours...

Personally treating a two handed weapon as a one handed weapon does not make it a one handed weapon for the effects of what magic effects/items can be used on it. It's still a two handed weapon, and Effortless Lace does not help it at all.

There is a clear line between 'item is this' and 'item is effectively this'. Similarly, you couldn't apply Effortless Lace to a Small Quarterstaff just because you could wield it with 1h (with penalty for size difference) or a Medium Quarterstaff because that Giant over there could wield it with one hand.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this a common sense ruling or is it supported by the rules? I mean, I'm comfortable with common sense—no downvote from me—, but if the dude with the Lighten Weapon can for 24 hours continuously wield the otherwise inappropriate weapon so the weapon is appropriate for effortless lace to adhere so that he and others like him alone ca benefit from the lace on it, is there actual harm that's done or is this just so wacky as to be inconceivable? \$\endgroup\$ May 17 '18 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Unless Pathfinder has very strange conventions that I'm unaware of, or the text quoted in this answer is incomplete, the rules are pretty clear. The Lighten Weapon description clearly states "use a two-handed weapon in one hand" not "a two-handed weapon becomes a one-handed weapon". If it said "treat as a one-handed weapon" then there would be some ambiguity, but the description here is very narrow and I don't see anything in it which would allow the two-handed weapon to fulfill anything which specifically asks for a one-handed weapon. \$\endgroup\$ May 18 '18 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KamilDrakari With that in mind, does the creature gain all the benefits (like from the feat Power Attack) when wielding that still 2-handed weapon 1-handed? That is, so far as I'm aware, the game never makes it clear whether a weapon's effort (that is, light, 1-handed, or 2-handed) is dependent on the weapon in the abstract or on how this wielder is employing the weapon right now. That is, is a Small quarterstaff wielded by a Large creature a light weapon or a 2-handed weapon? (Although, in this case, honestly, I'm pretty sure your assessment's correct.) \$\endgroup\$ May 18 '18 at 14:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did skim the rules and didn't find anything that specifically said this, but I've been fairly busy and intend to go through again (I know a missed some of the DMG stuff relating to weapon use). However, these would be the default rules- it's not something that it doesn't say it is- if I don't find anything to contradict it. I do plan on trying to substantiate this weekend, if possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 18 '18 at 18:29
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Why on earth do you need to?

Ultimately, Ifusaso’s answer is correct about Lighten Weapon and effortless lace, but that’s irrelevant to accomplishing what you want.

You can use a double weapon to fight as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, just as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon.

You can use two-weapon fighting, and all two-weapon fighting feats, with a double weapon without needing any other feat or magic item. If you want to do it with a non-double polearm, you can use the Spear Dancing Combat Style feat to trade the brace and reach properties on your polearm for the double property.

However, please note that double weapons aren’t at all worth a feat: if you aren’t getting proficiency with one from your race, just stick with the quarterstaff (matches Kilik anyway). Spending a feat for proficiency with an exotic double weapon, or to turn a polearm into a weak double weapon, is a very poor use of an extremely limited resource.

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Can you use Effortless Lace & Lighten Weapon on double weapons and pole arms?
Double Weapons, no.

Lighten Weapon

Benefit: Choose one type of weapon. When using a weapon of that type you may reduce the effort required to wield it by one step but suffer a −2 penalty to hit with that weapon. This allows you to wield a weapon 1 size category larger as if it were your own size, use a two-handed weapon in one hand, or a one-handed as a light weapons.

If I choose a double weapon I can reduce the effort required to wield it by one step.
(a) Is the double weapon 1 size category larger than the wielder? No.
(b) Is the double weapon two-handed? Optionally yes, practically yes, RAW no. RAW (see below) indicates a double weapon is considered two-weapon fighting rather than two-handed fighting.
(c) Is a double weapon one-handed? No.

To qualify for Lighten Weapon you'd need to be using the double weapon in two hands which (as the following states) is an option but also states it is not being used as a double weapon when wielded this way.

Double: You can use a double weapon to fight as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, just as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. You can choose to wield one end of a double weapon two-handed, but it cannot be used as a double weapon when wielded in this way—only one end of the weapon can be used in any given round.

(Emphasis mine.)

So if you use the double weapon as it isn't intended and hold it in two hands and only use one end of it as threatening, then yes Lighten Weapon would apply. In this situation when Lighten Weapon applies you are now wielding a one-handed weapon and there doesn't seem to be anything which would prevent the Effortless Lace magical item from working in conjunction with that scenario. You might get into a semantics war over whether the text one-handed piercing or slashing melee weapon from the Effortless Lace description refers to a weapon wielded by a character in one hand after all modifications, feats, and magic has been applied OR a weapon from the weapons list under "one-handed" weapons, but that's up to the individual DM.

With polearms, assuming you mean these weapons (as outlined in Fighter's Advanced Weapon Training ability): "Polearms: bardiche, bec de corbin, bill, Boarding gaff, crook, fauchard, glaive, glaive-guisarme, gnome ripsaw glaive, guisarme, halberd, hooked lance, lucerne hammer, mancatcher, monk’s spade, naginata, nodachi, ranseur, rhomphaia, tepoztopilli, and tiger fork." Polearms mostly fall into the same situation as using the single end of a double weapon with two hands. Both Lighten Weapon and the Effortless Lace magical item should work together.

Will they work with the Two Weapon Fighting rules and Two Weapon Fighting Feats?
Too broad a question considering the number of feats involved which have to interact with one another. Each combo probably deserves its own question. Covered Two Weapon Fighting and Weapon Finesse below.

Can I use them to hit with both ends of a pole arm or double weapon?
No. Effortless Lace requires a one-handed weapon and using a double weapon or a polearm as a double weapon (the other end just being the butt of the haft) is a two-weapon equivalent fighting style which uses both hands on the single weapon. It is simply not a one-handed weapon when being used as a double weapon.

Will two weapon fighting penalties be reduced to minimum if I use these in tandem?
Two-weapon fighting with what weapons? Double weapons? Oversize weapons? In one or both hands? To many options to consider for the vagueness of this question.

I basically want the effect of flurrying with pole arms/double weapons (a la Kilik and that new guy from Soul Calibur 1-6) without being a monk.
Flurry only grants one extra attack, as does wielding two weapons. Lessen penalties as feats and magical items allow. Effortless Lace and Lighten Weapon don't work with double weapons. They should both work with a polearm but that would not grant any extra attacks unless you wield an off-hand weapon as well. Make the polearm with Effortless Lace on it your offhand (as with the Feat and magic lace it is considered light and one-handed) and you can wield another weapon for an extra attack in your primary hand but then you're two-weapon fighting with all those penalties which apply. [-4 to primary hand and -8 to off-hand]
Take Two-Weapon Fighting feat, Dexterity 15 requirement, and you're at -2/-2.
Use any one-handed weapon (in your primary hand) and the Lighten Weapon makes it a light weapon, and Take Weapon Finesse (Dex is at least 15 due to above feat requirement), and you're at +0/+0.
So, as I understand the feat and magic item, you could wield a longsword in your primary hand and a polearm (with Effortless Lace on it) in your offhand and by taking Two-Weapon Fighting and Weapon Finesse, you'd be at no penalties for both attacks.

Disclaimer: Any DM concerned with game balance should look sideways at the Player and ask them to justify how this situation can be explained by roleplaying and backstory.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ RAW, a double weapon is always a two-handed weapon. That’s where they are all found in the weapons table, after all. Even when wielding it using both ends, those ends are only treated as a one-handed weapon and a light weapon for the purposes of attack penalties for TWF and for no other purpose. RAW, that includes damage rolls, so you would get 1½ Str to damage and improved returns on Power Attack. And it also would include things like Lighten Weapon. But this is a blatant rules oversight (the wording comes from 3.5, which even had a class that granted that feature as a capstone). \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    May 17 '18 at 13:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ So it is all about the hyphen. If there is a hyphen then it is referring to a PathFinder category, style, or some other explicitly named rule. The difference between "two-handed" and "two handed" just became very significant in a PathFinder context. \$\endgroup\$
    – niekell
    May 18 '18 at 1:30

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