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As typical in D&D a friend and I are having a debate, this time about whether or not Monkey Grip (3.5 complete warrior feat) allows a medium creature to wield a 2-handed medium weapon with one hand. He cites (PH p113):

"For instance, a Small greatsword (a two-handed weapon for a Small creature) is considered a one-handed weapon for a Medium creature, or a light weapon for a Large creature. Conversely, a Large dagger (a light weapon for a Large creature) is considered a one-handed weapon for a Medium creature, or a two-handed weapon for a Small creature."

As well as the feat itself (especially the bolded part):

You can use melee weapons one size category larger than you are with a -2 penalty on the attack roll but the amount of effort it takes to use the weapon does not change. For instance a Large longsword (a one-handed weapon for a Large creature) is considered a two-handed weapon for a Medium creature that does not have this feat. For a Medium creature that has this feat, it is still considered a one-handed weapon.

Basically saying that a two handed medium weapon and a large one handed weapon are the same and thus should be treated the same for purposes of this feat.

I counter that nowhere in the feat does it say specifically that there is any affect on weapons of your size, it just references weapons larger. Requote basis/first line of the feat:

"You can use melee weapons one size category larger than you are with a -2 penalty on the attack roll but the amount of effort it takes to use the weapon does not change."

Note I don't disagree with any of his text as stated, I just don't believe it counters my side. I was pretty sure I had read about this before but did not see anything in the 3.5 FAQ or the CW FAQ. A general internet search seems to back me up as far as % agreement (as well as the belief this feat for normal characters is terrible; essentially trading -2 to hit for an average of 1 damage) but no specific quotes. This furthers my belief that either he or I are missing something quite obvious.

Does anyone have any (further) citations or quotes that can help steer or answer this question (even if I am wrong)?

Thanks, in advance and Merry Christmas.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Titan's Grip Fury Warrior? \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut Dec 29 '14 at 7:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ That'll do, Pathfinder. That'll do. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 20 '16 at 3:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Though the accepted answer suggests that the official answer is "No, you cannot do that," I would recommend that you relax the rules lawyering on this one. This feat is so underpowered, people generally taking it for RP value, that you might as well let it go. It does not break anything to let the character use a medium-great-sword in one hand instead of a large-long-sword, which this feat would let them use in one hand. Rule of Cool vastly outweighs raw rules on this one. \$\endgroup\$ – Aaron Aug 31 '17 at 16:04
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In One Specific Case, Yes...

A creature possessing the feat Monkey Grip wielding a one-handed weapon designed for a creature one size category larger than the wielder can wield that one-handed, inappropriately bigger weapon one-handed.

For most other creatures--like those without the feat Monkey Grip--, that one-handed weapon designed for a creature one size larger than the wielder must be wielded as a two-handed weapon.

...But, Otherwise, No

The feat Monkey Grip (Complete Warrior 103) says

You can use melee weapons one size category larger than you are with a −2 penalty on the attack roll, but the amount of effort it takes you to use the weapon does not change.

Thus if the weapon is not designed for creatures one size category larger than the creature that is attempting to employ the weapon, the feat Monkey Grip has no effect.

Example

Without the feat Monkey Grip a Medium creature attempting to wield a Large weapon...

  • wields a Large light weapon as a one-handed weapon and suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls.
  • wields a Large one-handed weapon as a two-handed weapon and suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls.
  • can't wield a Large two-handed weapon at all.

With the feat Monkey Grip a Medium creature attempting to wield a Large weapon...

  • wields a Large light weapon as a light weapon and suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls.
  • wields a Large one-handed weapon as a one-handed weapon and suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls.
  • wields a Large two-handed weapon as a two-handed weapon and suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls.

With or without the feat Monkey Grip, a creature wields a two-handed weapon that is designed for a creature of its own size category as a two-handed weapon. Just because a creature can use something designed for bigger creatures easier doesn't mean the creature can use something designed for creatures of its own size even more easier.


When the feat says in its example...

[A] Large longsword (a one-handed weapon for a Large creature) is considered a two-handed weapon for a Medium creature that does not have this feat.

...the feat's trying to make clear that it's not referring to the actual size of the longsword. That was the case in Dungeons and Dragons, 3rd Edition (where a greatsword for a Medium creature was actually a longsword for Large creature), but the weapon size rules changed significantly between 3rd Edition and 3.5. In the example in the feat Monkey Grip, the Large in Large longsword refers to the size of the creature for which the weapon is designed rather than the weapon itself. Thus, no, for the purposes of this feat a two-handed Medium weapon and a Large one-handed weapon are not the same and shouldn't be treated the same for purposes of this feat.

Mathematically, it's really not a very good feat. For role-playing, though, it enables a creature to use a ridiculously big weapon, and that's worth it to some folks.


The Sage's Succinctness

The Dragon #357 Sage Advice column "Official Answers to Your Questions" (83-4) contains this exchange between a reader and then-sage Andy Collins:

If Monkey Grip (Complete Warrior, 103) can be used to wield a weapon one size category larger without extra effort, can you instead wield a two-handed weapon of your size category with one hand?

Technically no--the feat specifically applies to weapons one size category larger than you.

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    \$\begingroup\$ For those looking for a more roleplay-esque reason as to why the feat works this way, consider the following: A light large dagger is basically a light medium dagger, scaled up. A two-handed weapon however is an entirely different thing, it's designed with a different point of balance and a longer hilt to accommodate wielding it with two hands. You are still going to be using a large dagger pretty much the same way as you would a medium dagger, you just need a special technique to grasp it with your smaller hands. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Dec 31 '14 at 15:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ However, this technique doesn't translate to being able to wield a weapon inherently designed for two-hands with one hand, as it would simply be too awkward and clumsy for you to handle in one hand, regardless of special gripping techniques. Being larger than the weapon on the other hand allows you to grip more of the handle to counter-balance the weight, thus allowing you to wield a two-handed weapon with only one hand, something a grip-technique can't replicate. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Dec 31 '14 at 15:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Dragon must be where I saw the answer. Thanks Hey for the late edit ref add! \$\endgroup\$ – joedragons Jan 9 '15 at 15:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is an interesting turn of events. If my memory serves me, Neverwinter Nights 2 (or perhaps it was a custom module; it's been ages since I've seen this) had a Monkey Grip feat that allowed you to wield two-handed weapons one-handed, which gave me the misconception that the feat worked that way. I haven't ever played a campaign that included Monkey Grip, but it's good to know for the future. \$\endgroup\$ – Lucas Leblanc Jan 9 '15 at 22:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that the feat Monkey Grip was printed later in Weapons of Legacy. The text is identical, so there should be no disputes, but latest printing wins arguments. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 8 '15 at 20:57
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Is there any practical difference between weilding, for instance, a large longsword one handed versus a greatsword? Same damage, same crit range. The only real difference is that the large longsword is actually 20gp cheaper. A large battleaxe IS a greataxe.

The answer to this question is that the answer doesnt matter; the damage die increase so regularly for everything except falchions and scythes with their wonky 2d4's that every two handed weapon worth wielding has a perfect large onehand analog. And if someone wants to burn a feat to use a greatclub onehanded with a penalty instead of burning a feat on bastard sword or dwarf waraxe, i say let 'em, a d10 is a d10.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The difference in the conversation we had which caused me pause was reach. My first reaction was the same as yours. Consider dual wielding spiked chains as a counter-example of a difference that matters. \$\endgroup\$ – joedragons Nov 24 '15 at 16:01
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Ultimately it is up to the DM but as written, a medium creature can wield a LARGE weapon as though it were a Medium weapon albeit at a -2 penalty. (A light weapon is two size catagories lower than the wielder, a one handed is one lower, and a two handed is the same size as the wielder). I do hope this is kinda helpful ^w^

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. I can't tell by the answer if it's addressing the feat Monkey Grip or if it's discussing the general way weapons can be wielded. If you could make that clearer, that'd be great. Thank you for participating and have fun. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 20 '16 at 3:25
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Monkey grip allows you to wield a 2 handed weapon with one hand but you have a -2 penalty to attack rolls.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG Stack Exchange! Would it be possible for you to add some more detail to this answer? When you do, please clarify how this differs from the existing answer. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$ – Aza Apr 8 '15 at 3:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you cite this? This appears to be unrelated to what Monkey Grip has to say. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 8 '15 at 4:41

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