The Multiweapon Fighting feat clearly states that it Replaces two-weapon fighting for creatures with more than two arms. What does that mean?

I've given it some thought, and I can think of only three real possibilities.

1.) For all instances where 'two-weapon fighting' is mentioned, any creature with more than two arms replaces it within the rules with 'multiweapon fighting.' So, all feats, abilities, rules, etc., associated with two weapon fighting apply to multiweapon fighting as though it were the same feat, with any mention of a 'off-hand' referring to All off hand weapons, equally.

2.) The feat simply replaces the two-weapon fighting feat, and thus creatures with more than 2 arms just can't take two-weapon fighting and must instead take multiweapon fighting. By extension, they can not benefit from any of the other two-weapon feats, because they all have two-weapon fighting as a prerequisite, which can not be taken by a creature with more than two arms.

3.) The feat replaces two-weapon fighting as it does in example one, with the exception that all abilities, feats, etc. referring to an 'off-hand' apply to only one off hand, either per turn or in general.


5 Answers 5


The first option

In my opinion, the first option is the most likely interpretation of the rules as written, probably what the authors were going for, and the best way to run things at the table.

Multiweapon Fighting does exactly the same thing as Two-Weapon Fighting, it just affects more weapons. So if you have more than two weapons, you use Multiweapon Fighting instead of Two-Weapon Fighting, but they amount to the exact same thing.

The game works better if you basically pretend they’re the exact same feat; the distinction is only made because Two is such a common default, and Multi is usually reserved for more monstrous creatures (though there are plenty of ways to access it as a PC).


It's the first option. The rules for Multiweapon Fighting make it clear that one hand is the primary hand and all the others are off hands with the following statement.

(It has one primary hand, and all the others are off hands.)

Any other place in the rules that an off hand is mentioned, for example, in the following excerpt from the Two Weapon Fighting rules (that Multiweapon Fighting references), the rules for the off hand apply to all the off hands you have.

If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. When fighting in this way you suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand. If your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each.

As the above quote is written for the Two Weapon Fighting feat description it only mentions a singular off hand but the Multiweapon Fighting feat description makes it clear, by saying all other hands are off hands and by specifically referencing the Two Weapon Fighting rules, that you can have multiple off hands if you have enough arms.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the primary question is whether the Multiweapon Fighting feat counts as the Two-Weapon Fighting feat for things like requirements. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 24, 2014 at 13:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that of the three options the first makes the most sense. Pathfinder's wording of the Improved Two Weapon Fighting feat even sets it up for this as you would get a second additional attack with an off-hand weapon and it's already said (in Two Weapon Fighting) that every non-primary hand is an off-hand and so would qualify. The authors seem to have tried to simplify things so Multi Weapon Fighting can share the Two Weapon Fighting feat chain but in the process things have become more complicated. \$\endgroup\$
    – Haegin
    Apr 24, 2014 at 20:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I honestly am not able to follow you. I do not know what position you are supporting or what evidence you are citing in defense of that position. You say "the first option" but your description leaves me unable to even be certain that your understanding of that first option is the same as mine. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 24, 2014 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, I meant the first of the 3 numbered options in the original question. I hit the comment length limit and had to cut some things to fit everything in. Essentially, the rules seem to make it pretty clear that if you have 3 or more arms the only real difference is you don't need to be as dextrous to master fighting with all your arms (Multiweapon Fighting only has a Dexterity requirement of 13, not 15). I guess having all those limbs is assumed to give you some practice. \$\endgroup\$
    – Haegin
    Apr 24, 2014 at 21:41

2.) The feat simply replaces the two-weapon fighting feat, and thus creatures with more than 2 arms just can't take two-weapon fighting and must instead take multiweapon fighting. By extension, they can not benefit from any of the other two-weapon feats, because they all have two-weapon fighting as a prerequisite, which can not be taken by a creature with more than two arms.

This option seems correct if you look strictly at the rulebooks.

For creatures with more than two hands, it is required to take Multiweapon Fighting instead of Two-Handed Fighting. By extension, Improved Multiweapon Fighting replaces Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Greater Multiweapon Fighting replaces Greater Two-Weapon fighting, And Multidexterity replaces Ambidexterity.

The Two-Weapon and Multiweapon feat trees are separate. Feats that have Two-Weapon Fighting as a prerequisite, such as Two-Weapon Defense, clearly speak about Double Weapon or Two-Weapon fighting, and no Multiweapon equivalents exist of these feats. As a result, these feats are unattainable for creatures with three arms, unless house rules specify otherwise.

The Epic Level Handbook states in the Greater Multiweapon Fighting feat (p.69):

This feat replaces the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat for creatures with more than two arms (and functions identically to that feat if you have fewer than three arms).

Whether functioning identically means that it is regarded as the same feat, and can thus be used to replace the Two-Weapon fighting prerequisite, is unclear.

Improved Multiweapon Fighting and Greater Multiweapon Fighting also appear in Savage Species and Deities and Demigods rulebooks. The articles on Two-Handed Fighting mechanics by Skip Williams make no mention about creatures that have more than two arms. With a lack of elaboration, I feel the second option is the correct one.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Not to be offensive, but this answer is completely irrelevant to my question, as it's based entirely on 3.5 mechanics. I only used the pathfinder tag for this reason. The two systems do not mesh in this aspect, as there are no multiweapon feats beyond the first in PF. None of the rules or citations you mentioned are applicable here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zach
    Apr 18, 2014 at 6:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zach I think his point was that in 3.5 there were rules that allowed Improved/Greater Multiweapon Fighting whereas they are conspicuously absent in Pathfinder \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jun 6, 2016 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ While 3.5 and Pathfinder are often close enough it's reasonable to confuse one for the other, this really is a Pathfinder-specific issue where just quoting 3.5 text misses the question's gist just as much as mistaking the two-weapon fighting herein for 5th edition's would be. Therefore I am flagging this as not an answer \$\endgroup\$ Dec 6, 2017 at 4:27

By RAW, I believe option 2 is the current correct answer. If a creature has 3 or more arms, it cannot take the Two Weapon Fighting Feat, and can only take the Multiweapon Fighting Feat. No other feats use Multiweapon Fighting as a prerequisite, meaning most of the standard Two Weapon Fighting options are not at all available to creatures with 3 or more arms.

I suspect option 1 was what the authors intended, but it doesn't read that way, and opens up a bunch of worm-cans, since the subsequent feats are all written to assume a single off-hand. For instance, if Multiweapon fighting allows you to qualify for Two Weapon Defence, do you get additional defence benefits for the 3rd and 4th arms? How does Two Weapon Rend work with more than two arms - do you have to hit with at least one off-hand, or all of your off-hands?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps you could expand the answer to elaborate why? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Apr 9, 2014 at 4:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Seems silly to add extra details when the author has actually outlined the reasoning himself. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Apr 9, 2014 at 5:42
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes but without reasoning its therefore not bringing anything new to the discussion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Apr 9, 2014 at 8:07

There is a solution(of sorts) that involves going back to 3.5 rules(from which Pathfinder evolved). They can be found in Here under the section on Non-Epic General Feats.

Improved Multiweapon Fighting [General]
Prerequisites: Dex 15, three or more arms, Multiweapon Fighting, base attack bonus +9.
Benefit: In addition to the single extra attack a creature gets with each extra weapon from Multiweapon Fighting, it gets a second attack with each extra weapon, albeit at a -5 penalty.
Normal: With only Multiweapon Fighting, a creater can only get a single attack with each extra weapon. Special: This feat replaces the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat for creatures with more than two arms.

As well as:

Greater Multiweapon Fighting [General]
Prerequisites: Dex 19, three or more arms, Improved Multiweapon Fighting, Multiweapon Fighting, base attack bonus +15.
Benefit: The creature may make up to three extra attacks with each extra offhand weapon it wields, albeit at a -10 penalty on the third attack with each weapon.
Special: This feat replaces the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat for creatures with more than two arms.

Due to this, it would follow logically that for feats such as Two weapon defence, MWF replaces all instance of TWF in the description. The closest comparison I can think of is for archetypes that modify certain abilities such as the modification done to Throw Anything for the alchemist.

On further research however, I have found that Paizo has released a version of Multiweapon Defence(Found) which would incline me to believe that there are in fact no Pathfinder only ways of gaining access to the TWF chain for creatures that are fighting with 3 or more arms.

If however you wish to include a MWF progression to replace/complement TWF, it can be found here, but does require going back to 3.5 material.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Anyway, new or not, you don't seem to be answering the question; the issue of the lack of IMWF and GMWF came up in a comment but isn't the main thrust of the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 13, 2014 at 14:32

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