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I am building a Marelith as a mastermind villain for my campaign. I was going to give her levels of fighter (or maybe ranger) in addition to her racial hit dice.

The various Multiweapon Fighting feats all say "This feat replaces the Two-Weapon Fighting feat for creatures with more than two arms." (That is, each feat names the equivalent level Two-Weapon Fighting feat.)

While I realize there is already a question about exactly what is meant by Multiweapon Fighting replaces Two-Weapon Fighting, the OP of that question specifically only wanted Pathfinder system answers and I need 3.5 system answers.

Is the "replace" a full replacement, in that for creatures with more than two arms, those feats now become the fighter bonus feats they would have access to if they had two arms and are they the feats they will receive if they select melee combat style as a ranger?

I am already aware that RAW does not specify either of these in the actual feats. I wish to know if 1) has this already been officially ruled on/issued errata and, if not 2) what is the RAI for "replaces", preferably with support via other similar material that has already been ruled on/issued errata.

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So it is my personal position that Two-Weapon Fighting and Multiweapon Fighting should be considered the same feat. Every feat that affects two-weapon fighting also affects multiweapon fighting, and no, you don’t need both feats.

The only reason they were printed separately, I suspect, is because most player characters only have two arms, and they were trying to simplify what is already a very complicated part of the rules. We have many, many questions about two-weapon fighting on this site, so I think they were just trying to limit confusion by avoiding getting into more than two arms in the basic feat.

But since Multiweapon Fighting “replaces” Two-Weapon Fighting, it is my estimation that they are really the same feat, just two different versions of it. And if you have one, you also have the other, because they are the same. There are no feats for two-weapon fighting that should be unavailable to multiweapon fighting—every feat should be copied across.

This seems most consistent with the idea of “replacing” to me, and it also works best in-game, in my experience.

So yes, in my games, a fighter or ranger could definitely get Multiweapon Fighting, Improved Multiweapon Fighting, Greater Multiweapon Fighting, Multiweapon Defense (in the fighter’s case), and so on and so forth, all as bonus feats, because these feats are the same thing as the Two-Weapon versions of them. I have always felt my games were better off for this approach.

If you don’t take this approach, you are left with a very unclear situation: the entire concept of a feat that “replaces” another is not defined anywhere in the rules. You end up having to make something up, and when you do, you end up restricting multiweapon fighters for no apparent reason, aside from getting hung up on one feat having two names.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Man, it's a shame the 3.5 revision couldn't've killed more sacred cows. Just renaming all the two-weapon feats to multiweapon feats would've been fine. I mean, two is a multi, right? (Bonus Confusion: Multiweapon Fighting has as a prerequisite 3 or more hands while the later feats in the chain require three or more arms. So, tentacles, huh? Tough luck!) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 1 '18 at 18:56
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There has not been an errata to address this.

As I have always read it, the monstrous feats are intended more as DM content than player content, and as such apply rules a little differently. For example, it says right in the monster manual that you can freely alter all of a monsters feats, as long as it still meets all the requirements. And because of this, RAI becomes "any time you would give a creature the two weapon fighting feat and it has 3 or more arms, you give it this feat instead"

The monster manual never intended a player to be a monster with 3+ arms, any monster that was playable from the manual had a section "Monster as player" and I dont believe it took into account the pile of 3.0 material that had multiarmed monsters PCs could be. Thus it never included "fight class skill" as part of the multiweapon fighting since the DM could replace it at will anyway. The special "this replaces two weapon fighting" was enough to instruct the DM on that replacement.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is explicitly incorrect; players taking monster feats was an intended and expected part of the system from the very beginning. Craft Construct doesn’t even take any particular shenanigans to take; a core spellcaster of a high enough level can easily take it. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 1 '18 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not saying players taking monster feats in general wasn't intended, but the list specifically in the monster manual does not have any monster that qualifies for Multi weapon fighting that a player can choose, so the writer likely never considered it. \$\endgroup\$ – Drew Major Aug 1 '18 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ From there most of the content to get extra arms that hold weapons, or races that have multiple arms were in 3.0, and are technically not intended to run with 3.5. - and races in 3.5 (Diopsid for example) have their own multiweapon rules or (Ormyrr ) come with multiweapon fighting already \$\endgroup\$ – Drew Major Aug 1 '18 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ But 3.5e was intended to be used with 3e, just adjusting some things. Especially early on, 3.5e would have relied on a lot of 3e content that just hadn’t been adjusted yet. And selling 3.5e hinged on assuring people that the books they’d already bought wouldn’t go to waste. So it being 3e material would not have been a strike against it. And denying multiweapon fighters access to later developments in the two-weapon fighting line of feats would be odd and limiting. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 1 '18 at 18:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Savage species actually specifically calls out its compliance with 3.5 as well... Given that I am skeptical that all of 3e is intended to function well with 3.5. But that said creatures like anthromorphic octopi have 6 arms, can be a player, and if they take fighter level, by raw cant take multiweapon as a fighter feat... I still think that is an oversight, and I think that oversight stems from what i mentioned about not listing a PC monster in MM that could multiweapon fight. \$\endgroup\$ – Drew Major Aug 1 '18 at 18:41

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