So, today in a game I was in, I ended up fighting against some Giant creatures, and they ended up giving me a hug (grapple). To free me, my friend put it to sleep, I climbed out and committed a Coup de Grace. I talked to my GM and they said they did not know about using both weapons on it, and well here I am.

By my logic, since they use the same attack bonus, the pretty much happen at the same time. In honest, it is like adding a rogue's backstab in my opinion, since they can't really fight against the sting of both blades being helpless.


2 Answers 2


Typically, you don't add two weapons to a coup de grace. The coup de grace represents taking the time to target and devastate a specific weak point on a creature (this is why sneak attack is added) with complete control - could you imagine trying to double-behead a creature with two axes? That's not how any executioner does it. They take the time to line up a single axe and chop off the head in one smooth blow. If you're using smaller weapons, you're probably cutting the throat or specifically targeting an important artery or organ, stabbing at the heart or piercing the brain through the eyes.

Note that if you want the thematic of slashing away with two weapons at your fallen foe, you can get it. A helpless creature is almost impossible to miss in melee, so there's no reason you couldn't take a full attack instead performing the coup de grace. They lend themselves to different themes; if your character is more likely to slash frantically at the foe while they're down than to carefully locate and pierce their femoral artery, do it!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I was imagining the sword-cross execution type deal. I am a dex wielder (whoo precision concept of fighting) and honestly nothing beheads better than a makeshift scissors. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2015 at 2:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ True enough. There's no reason a GM can't allow it, or better permit it with a trait or feat. Maybe include it as a side effect of Double Slice or Improved Two Weapon Fighting, or anything. By the rules as they're written, though, it's just the one weapon. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2015 at 2:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KyleAtterson "honestly nothing beheads better than a makeshift scissors" it scares me that you know this, especially since historically beheading is almost invariably done using a single sharp, heavy blade. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Jan 5, 2015 at 3:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Only caveat I have to add is about the second paragraph, if you simply full attack a helpless opponent instead of CDG, then they may not be helpless anymore after the first attack hits and may be harder to hit with successive blows. For instance, if you hit a sleeping person they'd wake and no longer be helpless (but would still probably be prone). It's a fine detail that won't matter most of the time, but you don't want to forget it the times it will matter. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2015 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you want to double behead them, I'm sure most DMs will let you roleplay it as such, even when you are just using one weapons crit damage for the mechanics. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mourdos
    Jan 5, 2015 at 17:05

Under the definition of the helpless condition, the rules state:

"As a full-round action, an enemy can use a melee weapon to deliver a coup-de-grace to a helpless foe. An enemy can also use a bow or crossbow, provided he is adjacent to the target. The attacker automatically hits and scores a critical hit. (A rogue also gets his sneak attack damage against a helpless foe when delivering a coup-de-grace.)"

Since it's a full-round action, it would include whatever a character could do as a full-round action, which would include attacking with all weapons (either with two weapons, or multiple attacks for a creature with the multi-attack feat.

Note that this is not an instant kill. It does a heinous amount of damage, especially for high-level rogues, but is not a guaranteed instant kill.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is wrong. CdG is a special full-round action that has no connection whatsoever to a full attack, which you are describing (apart from both being full-round actions). \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Jan 5, 2015 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have to agree with the above. A CdG only uses a single weapon. In addition, while it is not an instant kill, at higher levels it is often a "roll a 20 on your fort save or die". Think of it this way, you take your time to aim a precise blow (hence the auto crit) rather than just hacking away at them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mourdos
    Jan 5, 2015 at 16:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mourdos Or just use a scythe (or other x4 weapon) and even a 20 doesn't help when they've rolled past their Con by an insane amount. Always keep a light pick in your bag for when you need to cdg something. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2015 at 17:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @claudekennilol I thought about mentioning that, but I didn't really want to then have to go on and talk about quick draw or having to have taken a move action to get close, on your previous turn, etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mourdos
    Jan 5, 2015 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well sure, but you can always start a full-round action one turn and then finish it the next (see prd Start/Complete Full-Round Action). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2015 at 17:12

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