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With sunder,

The wielder of a two-handed weapon on a sunder attempt gets a +4 bonus on this roll, and the wielder of a light weapon takes a -4 penalty. If the combatants are of different sizes, the larger combatant gets a bonus on the attack roll of +4 per difference in size category.

If a medium sized character wielding a two-handed weapon was attempting to sunder a large creature's light weapon, what would the creature size and weapon size modifiers be?

Does the large creature get a penalty for the light weapon? Or does that only affect the "sunder attempt" and not the opposed attack roll?

Does it matter that the large creature's light weapon would be a one-handed weapon for a medium sized creature?

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  • Medium size creature

    • Smaller creature (no bonus)
    • Two-handed weapon (+4 bonus)
    • Total bonus: +4
  • Large size creature

    • Larger creature, one size category larger (+4 bonus)
    • Light weapon (−4 penalty)
    • Total bonus: +0

So, ceteris paribus, the Medium creature gets a +4 bonus over the Large creature. Both combatants, sunderer and sunderee, are making the same roll with the same rules, and yes, the Large creature takes the −4 Light weapon penalty.

If a Medium creature wielded the Large creature’s Light weapon, they would be forced to treat it as a One-handed weapon. They therefore would not take a −4 penalty from it being Light. However, they would also not get the +4 bonus for being Large, so they would wind up with the same +0 bonus.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Why does the large creature take a penalty for the light weapon? He's not making a "sunder attempt". \$\endgroup\$ – Wyrmwood Apr 13 '15 at 22:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wyrmwood Literally the immediately-previous sentence: “You and the defender make opposed attack rolls with your respective weapons.” On a sunder attempt, both sunderer and sunderee make a roll. The “on a sunder attempt” is defining the time at which you get this bonus. It does not mean only the one attempting the sunder. They use different verbiage for that. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 13 '15 at 22:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wyrmwood While it may seem weird for the larger creature to take a penalty for a light weapon since it would be the equivalent of a light weapons for the smaller creature that is accounted for separately, while ironically the hardness is the same regardless of the weapons size, it's HP is doubled for every size larger than medium! KRyan, great answer but could be improved by adding that tidbit, imho \$\endgroup\$ – Ben-Jamin Apr 13 '15 at 23:32

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