I was considering playing a Summoner in my next Pathfinder campaign, and I decided that I wanted my Eidolon to be a a four-armed giant (the character being a Gnome with a height complex).

Well, I thought to myself: If it has four arms, then shouldn't it be able to wield two two-handed weapons?

As far as I can tell, it should work. That said, how would that work, exactly? I would assume that it would work like usual two-weapon wielding as far as feats and the like, and it would gain all the bonuses from two-weapon wielding as well. However, as this isn't exactly something that happens often, and thus there are no rules for it (that I can find) I can't be sure of any of this. Does anyone know of anything that could help me with this?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I've been thinking... What exactly are you calling two-handed weapons ? Because, for a creature of Large size, a Medium-sized two-handed weapon is one-handed, IIRC... using Sean's answer, your Eidolon could technically be wielding 4 Greatswords. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nigralbus
    Dec 5, 2012 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Two-handed weapons as appropriate for the creature wielding them. Same concept as asking about a halfling wielding a great sword, I'm assuming that it's sized appropriate for all answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zach
    Dec 5, 2012 at 20:40

3 Answers 3


Information from http://www.d20pfsrd.com :

###Multiweapon Fighting (Combat)

This multi-armed creature is skilled at making attacks with multiple weapons.

Prerequisites: Dex 13, three or more hands.

Benefit: Penalties for fighting with multiple weapons are reduced by –2 with the primary hand and by –6 with off hands.

Normal: A creature without this feat takes a –6 penalty on attacks made with its primary hand and a –10 penalty on attacks made with all of its off hands. (It has one primary hand, and all the others are off hands.) See Two-Weapon Fighting.

Special: This feat replaces the Two-Weapon Fighting feat for creatures with more than two arms.

Table: Two-Weapon Fighting Penalties

\begin{array}{lcc} \text{Circumstances} & \text{Primary Hand} & \text{Off Hand} \\ \text{Normal penalties} & -6 & -10 \\ \text{Off-hand weapon is light} & -4 & -8 \\ \text{Two-Weapon Fighting feat} & -4 & -4 \\ \text{Off-hand weapon is light and} \\ \quad\text{Two-Weapon Fighting feat} & -2 & -2 \end{array}

  • \$\begingroup\$ As a note, the character being asked about would make use of the '-4 -4' line when wielding multiple non-light weapons. It takes no additional penalties for using a two handed weapon (other than having to use a two handed weapon) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 14, 2015 at 1:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Two two-handed weapons appear to be a -4 -4 but a two handed weapon and two lights appear to be -2, -2, -2. Does the second hand wielding the two handed count as an off hand holding a non-light weapon, or does it count as the primary hand as it is holding the primary hand's weapon? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 2, 2015 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lawtonfogle, I would count as the hands holding a two handed weapon would be considered a single hand/weapon, and the 3rd hand would be -2/-2 if holding a light weapon, and -4/-4 other wise. four hands wielding 2 two-handed weapons would end up as -4/-4 \$\endgroup\$
    – SeanC
    Oct 2, 2015 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lawtonfogle I believe the -2/-2/-2 would be correct if you're going for 3 'swings'. (It would also balance out because of the reduced damage using 2 light weapons). Note, however, that the current options (most notably Alchemist Discovery Vestigial Arms) for player characters to gain 4 arms indicate that you cannot use the arms to gain 'extra' attacks though, so this would only be viable on a monster or Eidolon. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jun 6, 2016 at 20:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would like to add that Ability Point bonuses would need a GM ruling; it should be 1x or 1.5x for one weapon (the one with your 'main' hand on it) but only 0.5x for the other (because it is an off-hand only weapon and would follow that damage). I believe there is a feat to modify off-hand damage bonus, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jun 6, 2016 at 20:07

It should be doable, but note that paired weapons that way would require the weapon to be wielded effectively with the two arms on one side. The feat, RAW, however, presumes 1-hand weapons.

Having fought with Case of Rapier in the SCA, you can't use the rapiers in the full range of options when dual wielding - in Case, you have to keep each out of the way of the other. I've also fought greatsword...

The same would be true for a dual wield of greatswords in a 4 armed species. It would be perfectly reasonable to reduce the damage from one or both, due to the changes in the way the biomechanics works, and/or to require increased strength, but the version I have doesn't discuss dual wielding in many-armed species.

So... I would suggest that, if allowing it, it would require a separate "2-handed dual-wield" giving a -1 damage penalty (for biomechanical reasons) if both are 2-handed, and none if the secondary is smaller, and the same to hit penalties as normal, and an "Improved 2-hand dual-wield" without the damage penalty.


I don't know what the rules would tell, but I find hard to imagine that creature fighting that way.

When you hit with a two handed weapon you don't use only two hands/arms. The whole body goes along to give the attack/parry strength. I don't know much about anatomy, but I think if you made two attacks with those weapon, or an attack and a parry, your back could break in two.

Also, I think that a sword would always be in the middle of the other, so I don't see that working.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Comments purged. Summary: The asker is looking for a RAW answer. This is a simulationalist answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Dec 3, 2012 at 15:10

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