I am a small or medium Giant Instinct Barbarian with a large Free-Hand weapon, such as a large gauntlet. How does the Free-Hand trait work with the Titan Mauler ability?

The Titan Mauler ability states:

You can use a weapon built for a Large creature if you are Small or Medium (both normally and when raging). If you're not Small or Medium, you can use a weapon built for a creature one size larger than you. You gain access to this larger weapon, of any weapon type otherwise available at character creation. It has the normal Price and Bulk for a weapon of its size. When wielding such a weapon in combat, increase your additional damage from Rage from 2 to 6, but you have the clumsy 1 condition because of the weapon's unwieldy size. You can't remove this clumsy condition or ignore its penalties by any means while wielding the weapon.

Whereas the Free-Hand trait states:

This weapon doesn’t take up your hand, usually because it is built into your armor. A free-hand weapon can’t be Disarmed. You can use the hand covered by your free-hand weapon to wield other items, perform manipulate actions, and so on. You can’t attack with a free-hand weapon if you’re wielding anything in that hand or otherwise using that hand. When you’re not wielding anything and not otherwise using the hand, you can use abilities that require you to have a hand free as well as those that require you to be wielding a weapon in that hand. Each of your hands can have only one free-hand weapon on it.

To my reading I never wield a Free-Hand weapon, I am just able to use abilities that require me to wield a weapon, but is Titan Mauler one such ability? The Titan Mauler doesn't have a proper "requirements" entry like feats do because it is an Instinct Ability, but on the other hand it basically does nothing unless I wield a large weapon.

Moreover, when does a large Free-Hand weapon such as a gauntlet cause me to be clumsy?


1 Answer 1


To my reading, I never wield a Free-Hand weapon.

I would argue that is an incorrect interpretation (although I will admit this isn't the clearest case in the world). Breaking down the Free-Hand trait:

This weapon doesn't take up your hand... You can use the hand covered by your free-hand weapon to wield other items

So, interestingly, it's not that your Free-Hand weapon isn't wielded, but that it doesn't take up your hand's capacity to wield other things. The text never explicitly states that Free-Hand weapons aren't wielded; in fact, by saying that we can "wield other items" in that hand, it implies that we are wielding some item already (which would be the Free-Hand weapon). This should inform the context of the rest of the description, with the later mentions of "wielding anything in that hand" and "wielding anything" supposed to refer to the previously mentioned ability to "wield other items" in that hand.

Thus, Titan Mauler would always be in effect in combat, so you'd be clumsy whether or not you were wielding another weapon in that hand, since you are still wielding the Free-Hand weapon, despite being unable to attack with it.


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