The Two-Weapon Fighting feat by base definition gives bonuses to negate the usual penalties of dual wielding. Does this have any effect on a monk's Flurry of Blows ability, where the penalties disappear completely after two levels?


2 Answers 2


Two-Weapon Fighting does not reduce the penalties from Flurry of Blows, since Flurry is not the same thing as fighting with two weapons:

Two-Weapon Fighting: If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon.

Unarmed Strike: A monk’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.

Flurry of Blows: When unarmored, a monk may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round.

The only thing Two-Weapon Fighting and Flurry have in common are that they grant an extra attack. The Two-Weapon Fighting feat only reduces the -6/-10 penalties for fighting with a second weapon in your off-hand, but even with flurry a monk using unarmed strikes has no off-hand. All his unarmed strikes are considered on-hand.

Interestingly, according to the D&D 3.5 FAQ, a monk can use Two-Weapon Fighting to make an extra off-hand attack, even on top of Flurry, but the penalties from Two-Weapon Fighting stack the penalties from Flurry:

Can a monk fight with two weapons? Can she combine a two-weapon attack with a flurry of blows? What are her penalties on attack rolls?

A monk can fight with two weapons just like any other character, but she must accept the normal penalties on her attack rolls to do so. She can use an unarmed strike as an offhand weapon. She can even combine two-weapon fighting with a flurry of blows to gain an extra attack with her off hand (but remember that she can use only unarmed strikes or special monk weapons as part of the flurry). The penalties for twoweapon fighting stack with the penalties for flurry of blows.

In other words, a first-level monk with the Two-Weapon Fighting feat has four options: make one attack at +0, Flurry for two attacks at -2/-2, TWF for two attacks at -2/-2 (but one of those is off-hand and applies only half Strength modifier), or combine Flurry and TWF for three attacks at -4/-4/-4 with one of those an off-hand attack. You can't use the Two-Weapon Fighting feat on its own to reduce Flurry's penalties.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer is sort of confusing. Your answer sounds like it's saying "Monks can't use two-weapon fighting", but then you provide an FAQ quote that says unequivocally "monks can use two-weapon fighting". Could you try to clarify this answer a bit better? \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Sep 15, 2013 at 7:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DuckTapeal Edited to clarify: A monk can take Two-Weapon Fighting, but it won't reduce the penalties on his Flurry. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 15, 2013 at 17:54

No, no feat of the TWF tree helps negate the bonuses from monks flurry of blows. However, remember that Two Weapon Fighting can be used together with the flurry, although one has to be careful not to stack too many penalties.

Also, saying that the TWF feat gives bonuses is a rather liberal interpretation:

Two-Weapon Fighting [General]

Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 2 and the one for your off hand lessens by 6. See the Two-Weapon Fighting special attack.

This doesn't in any way suggest bonuses that counterweight the penalties -- it simply reduces the penalties, "modifying the penalty rules", you could say, in your case.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you back up your claim that Two Weapon Fighting can be used with Flurry of Blows? I would have thought otherwise. \$\endgroup\$
    – dlras2
    Sep 10, 2013 at 19:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @dlras2 There is nothing to suggest otherwise. TWF says add extra attack, Flurry says add extra attack, but there is nothing to stop them applying at the same time. A 1st lvl monk can strike 3 times a round, albeit at a -4/-4/-4 routine. \$\endgroup\$
    – kravaros
    Sep 10, 2013 at 20:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @filkin wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20070403a The flurry of blows here states a monk using the full attack action can make one extra attack when attacking without a weapon or when using a special monk weapon. It does not say flurry replaces a full-round attack, thus it is stack-able with TWF \$\endgroup\$
    – Colin D
    Sep 10, 2013 at 20:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ColinD The FAQ isn't a part of the rules, and unfortunately is frequently wrong (though not here). It would be more relevant to refer to the rule in Flurry of Blows itself, which states that not only does a Flurry not replace a Full Attack, but that making a Full Attack is necessary to use Flurry of Blows. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Sep 10, 2013 at 21:57

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