The Thri-Kreen playable race from Unearthed Arcana 2021: Travelers of the Multiverse has the following property:
Secondary Arms. You have two slightly smaller secondary arms below your primary pair of arms. The secondary arms function like your primary arms, with the following exceptions:
- You can use a secondary arm to wield a weapon that has the light property, but you can’t use a secondary arm to wield other kinds of weapons.
- You can’t wield a shield with a secondary arm.
As soon as I heard about this, I thought of the many fun ways you could make use of a multi-armed character, many of which involved Two-Weapon Fighting. But I took pause when I read the Dual Wielder feat in detail: particularly the first bullet point (PHB, p. 165, bold added).
- You gain a +1 bonus to AC while you are wielding a separate melee weapon in each hand.
My original thought was that you could use one of the Thri-Kreen's primary arms to hold a shield, then the other three arms (one primary, two secondary) to hold weapons of various kinds. But when I read the above feat's requirement, I was unsure if it would apply!
On the one hand (snicker), the word "each" implies that every hand the character has would need to be holding a weapon, which is not the case. On the other hand (hehe... still funny to me), when the feat was originally written, the requirement that you are wielding "a separate melee weapon in each hand" would only require you to be holding two melee weapons, and this character is holding three! So it seems to satisfy the requirements the Feat originally had... in a way?
I'm at an impasse on this one, so I'm throwing this question to the community:
Can a Thri-Kreen character use a shield with a primary hand, and one-handed melee weapons with the other three, and still get the first benefit of the Dual Wielder feat?