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Ok, I know this is a big spell and I'm not trying to break anything but I've always wondered if I could do this. Remember this is a 9th level spell so by the time this could be cast I don't think it would be too powerful. However, in accordance with the spell description it would have to be worded properly or risk unforeseen consequences.

If I used a (carefully worded) Wish could I get an extra pair of arms? "An identical pair of arms just below my original arms that function under my control and independently of my original arms while keeping the rest of me the same"? (last part is to keep me from being changed into another race as an unforeseen consequence)

The purpose of this is to have my Goliath be able to use 2 Large Goliath Warhammers at the same time. (I guess the 2nd part of the question would have to be, if I got the arms could I attack like this?)

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First look up Girallon's Blessing

It's a level 3 spell you can find in Savage Species 66 or Spell Compendium 106 (they have major differences, so make sure you look at both of them), and grants multiple extra arms based on caster level and size. It has limits and restrictions, but sets useful precedents:

  • One of the basic uses of wish is to mimic other spells. There's a level 3 spell that gives you extra arms; anyone who can cast wish could easily cast girallon's blessing to give you extra arms for more than two hours.
  • This means you're not inventing the wheel and it gives you a baseline to negotiate from: you're asking wish to give you a permanent non-magical improvement (e.g. no penalties if you fail the Will save, if you use the SS version) of the effect of an existing spell.
  • If a level 3 spell can do nearly exactly what you're asking, this gives you a strong argument that wish should be able to easily handle your request.

Do be aware that girallon's blessing is not explicit in saying that it would let you wield your extra warhammer, so that's another bump-up you're asking for, depending on the DM's reading of the spell.

Then ask your DM

As @SevenSidedDie's answer says, it's ultimately a DM's call and they're only instructed to twist a wish if the request is too powerful to be granted by the spell as stated. By invoking the "mimic lower-level spells" ruling and providing a remarkably low-level precedent, your DM is more likely to consider it a reasonable wish. [Remember that successive wishes can provide cumulative power, if the DM thinks that's too much for one wish (I don't think it is).]

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As a DM I would rule that gaining an extra pair of arms would not be unacceptable. However, I would also rule that it would not implicitly grant you the ability to dual wield the weapons. There would be consequences, both positive and negative.

  • First--The obtaining of extra arms and being able to control them is not the same as being competent in their use. The arms could easily get in each other's way for quite some time until you have become proficient in maneuvering and working with their presence. In fact, I would probably make you take a penalty for at least the next level of your character to any actions that include using your arms (attacks, climbing, crafting, etc). Once I deemed this penalty was no longer enforced, however, I would open up bonus opportunities to be obtained. For instance, bonuses to grappling would become an option as well as the Rend attack (which as a player I saw girallons use quite effectively against us).
  • Second--I would enforce all the normal dual wielding penalties that come from wielding two weapons. Those would never go away without the appropriate feats, class abilities or racial abilities that allow dual wielding without (or with limited) penalties.
  • Third--I would possibly consider as well some additional penalty or limit to your strength bonus to attacks & damage for dual wielding two large weapons. It would be a judgement call based on your other stats and the penalties that would come from the other two options above. I'd have to think about whether this would be temporary or permanent.
  • Last--I would apply penalties to Charisma and/or any Charisma based skills and checks. This would probably be the weakest of the penalties applied in your case, but come on: 4 arms is just wrong. :)

Basically, as a DM I would rule that what your asking for with your intent is ok, but there would have to be some short and long term consequences. With any wish spell, I think there has to be a cost far and above the cost of just casting the spell. But especially in your case I think what you're asking for is on the upper edge of what I would allow as a DM.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think some additional interesting (and non-trivial) consequences are: (1) you find your new arms are trapped inside that suit of plate mail you're wearing, (2) no magical (or mundane) armor in monster hoards fits you, (3) You have to keep a tailor on retainer. \$\endgroup\$ – JefferMC May 20 at 17:44
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That sounds pretty good to me, but the easiest way to get a Wish worded right is to just ask your DM – if they aren't concerned about it being too powerful, you might not need to worry overmuch. DMs vary in how they handle wishes, but the official guidance in the DMG is to twist the wording into something with unanticipated consequences only if the wish is too powerful.

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