If you don't have multiple attacks from your BAB but you have a double weapon like a quarterstaff, do you get multiple attacks if you take a full-round action or do you still need the bonus from the BAB for that to be valid?


Yes, a creature that wields a double weapon and that takes the full attack action can make 1 extra attack

Even if a creature lacks the feat Two-weapon Fighting and the creature's base attack bonus is less than +6, when wielding a double weapon and taking the full attack action the creature can make 1 additional attack. That's because according to the Combat Section on Double Weapons...

You can use a double weapon to make an extra attack with the off-hand end of the weapon as if you were fighting with two weapons. The penalties apply as if the off-hand end of the weapon was a light weapons. [sic]

But without the feat Two-weapon Fighting or similar ability the standard penalties for two-weapon fighting apply: a −4 penalty on the attack roll with the first attack with either head of the double weapon, and a −8 penalty on the attack roll for the second attack with the other head of the double weapon.

So while a creature untrained in the art of two-weapon fighting could make that extra attack, it probably shouldn't unless circumstances are really stacked in its favor.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Anonymous User: Absent the feat Two-weapon Fighting, the penalty for fighting with two weapons (when the off-hand weapon's a light weapon) or for fighting with a double weapon (while using it as a double weapon) is, in fact and for-reals, −4 for the first attack and −8 for the second. However, if the wielder possesses the feat Two-weapon Fighting, the −4 and the −8 penalties are reduced to −2 each. Again, it says exactly that on the linked table. (Also, editing an answer to dispute it is really bad form.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Apr 13 '16 at 17:38

The comment from the anonymous user misrepresented the penalties for two weapon fighting a bit...

Completely untrained and not using a light off-hand weapon, the penalties to attack are -6 (primary) and -10 (off-hand). If your off-hand weapon is light the penalties are reduced to -4 and -8. With the Two-Weapon Fighting feat your primary attack is the same but your off-hand attack improves to also only being at -4. Finally, with the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat those penalties decrease to -2 each.

Double weapons count as wielding a light off-hand weapon when using them for TWF, so untrained the penalties are -8 and -4. If you want to go the TWF route with double weapons I would highly recommend the TWF feats. There are some other ones that might compliment your build as well like Double Slice and Two-Weapon Rend.

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  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The Two-Weapon Fighting feat and a light weapon in the offhand results in a −2 on each attack, not −4. Improved Two-Weapon Fighting does nothing for the character’s overall attack penalties (it just adds another attack, and that attack has another penalty). I’m not sure where you’re getting this information, but it isn’t correct. Are you perhaps referring to a different game? This question is about Pathfinder 1e. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Feb 10 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome! You can take the tour as an introduction to the site. Please keep in mind that this site's format is different from a forum. This was posted as an answer but it doesn't seem to address the original question, being more of a comment on another answer. You can edit the answer to change this. Otherwise, it risks getting removed. Good luck and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Feb 10 at 17:07

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