From what I can tell, using Two-Weapon Fighting and having a Light weapon in your offhand at best reduces the penalty to -2/-2. Is there an official 3.5 method of completely eliminating this penalty? I do intend to eventually progress into further TWF with Improved TWF as well, but planning out my feats and the like I'd like to find a way to get rid of that last -2/-2 penalty if I can.


4 Answers 4


Yes, if you can get yourself a second head (since multiheaded is an inherited template with at least +2LA it's probably quite difficult to get until later on where adjusting your character's race/templates becomes cheap and easy). Also, this is obviously not something you "progress into" at all, you either have it (and make all TWF feats obsolete) or you're stuck with the last -2/-2, so if the chance of your DM allowing the growing of a second head mid-campaign (or you starting with a +2LA template) are slim, you should go with normal TWF feats anyway.

Savage Species page 125:

Superior Two-Weapon Fighting or Superior Multiweapon Fighting (Ex): Because each head controls one arm (or analogous weapon-using limb), a multiheaded creature has no penalty on attack rolls for attacking with multiple weapons, and the number of attacks and the damage bonus for each weapon are calculated as though the weapon were held in a primary hand.

It basically allows you to wield two weapons of your choice (even two non-light weapons) and get each of those weapons' full attacks at no penalty whatsoever.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 just because this suggestion made me laugh. It's not often that you see a question for which "grow yourself a second head" is a valid answer. :) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2015 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ What are some ways to gain two heads without a template? I'm sure there are a few two-headed races but I can't think of any off the top of my head. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dorian
    Apr 27, 2015 at 22:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Y'know, if you can get that second head thing going, you can take the deeply obscure feat Multiple Head Casting. Just putting that out there. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2015 at 22:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IlmariKaronen Let's not forget Zaphod Beeblebrox (in some versions) growing a second head to split his brain in two :) \$\endgroup\$
    – PRX
    Apr 28, 2015 at 13:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ The explanation doesn't make much sense, though. If you have each head independently controlling one hand, sure, you'd lose the concentration penalty, but realistically (insofar as that word applies to such a scenario!) wouldn't this be offset by new difficulty in coordinating the two sides so they don't get in each other's way? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 28, 2015 at 17:23

There is the Tempest prestige class in Complete Adventurer (pp. 81-82).

It reduces the penalty to 0 at Tempest lvl 4 (with light offhand weapon), but restricts you to light armor. This is also somewhat offset by a +3 unnamed bonus to AC (at Tempest level 5).

You also get benefits of some weapon-dependant feats (like Weapon Focus) to both weapons (you get Weapon Focus for a scimitar and also apply it to the dagger you hold offhand).

To become a Tempest you need BAB +6 and several feats, all Spring Attack and TWF related.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Whether getting stuck with six levels of tempest is better than a -2/-2, on the other hand, is not a thing we're considering ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Apr 28, 2015 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tempest has 5 levels only. \$\endgroup\$
    – burlap
    Apr 28, 2015 at 20:32

Yes. The Tempest prestige class (Complete Adventurer page 81), available to sixth-level fighters, gains the Ambidexterity ability.

Ambidexterity (Ex): For a tempest of 2nd lvl or higher, her attack penalties for fighting with two weapons are lessened by 1 (from -4 to -3, or from -2 to -1 if the off-hand weapon is a light weapon). At 4th lvl, the attack penalties are lessened by another 1 (from -3 to -2, or to +0 if the off-hand weapon is a light weapon). The character loses this ability when fighting in medium or heavy armor.

(Read about in Jonathan Drain's answer to a related question.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Umm.... I do remember that PrC but... dandwiki? Bad source to be linking to, as anything that isn't SRD gets thrown into "homebrew" and is technically illegal to be put up there anyways. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dorian
    Apr 27, 2015 at 20:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is an SRD, but that's d20srd.com and pretty much only has content from the core books and some alternate rules and such from UA for the most part. Content from most of the other books is considered "intellectual property" and never made it to the SRD. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dorian
    Apr 27, 2015 at 20:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dorian Homebrew isn't illegal—I mean, it might be at your table, but not in a cops-and-courts sort of way. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2015 at 20:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan: He worded that poorly: danddwiki is a bad source, as everything there that isn't SRD is either homebrew or is illegal in a cops-and-courts sort of way. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2015 at 20:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan: I assume Dorian was referring to the fact that transcribing material not published under the OGL (or the GNU FDL) into the wiki may count as a copyright violation, if not done with the original publisher's permission (which I assume, in this case, they don't have). The Tempest page, in particular, seems to be a blatant copy-paste from Complete Adventurer. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2015 at 20:46

Two levels of the Bloodclaw Master prestige class from the Tome of Battle gives superior two weapon fighting, negating the penalty, but it only works with daggers or tiger claw weapons. You also need 9 ranks of jump to get in, and three tiger claw manoeuvres.

Given how synergistic those manoeuvres are with TWF, I'd recommend doing it anyway, and a single level dip into Warblade, from the same book (and recommended by me to anyone who uses a weapon heavier than a dagger) will give you all three, along with a d12 and full BAB.

Alternatively, if you're more of a rogue build, Swordsage gives a lighter combat chassis, but with a few more manoeuvres known, and the shadow hand manoeuvres in particular complement a rogue nicely.


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