I have a Strix, a size Large creature, who wields a bastard sword in his main hand and a long sword in his off-hand. He has the two weapon fighting feat, Strength 20, and Dex 23.

Do these weapons count as one size smaller for my Character, as in, should my penalty be not −2/−2 but rather −1/−1?

Furthermore, can I use the Lighten Weapons Feats to negate or reduce the two weapon fighting penalties?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Like virtually all playable races, Strix are medium-sized. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Jun 5, 2015 at 9:06

2 Answers 2


You seem to be confusing a bunch of stuff.

The measure of how much effort it takes to use a weapon (whether the weapon is designated as a light, one-handed, or two-handed weapon for a particular wielder) is altered by one step for each size category of difference between the wielder's size and the size of the creature for which the weapon was designed. For example, a Small creature would wield a Medium one-handed weapon as a two-handed weapon. If a weapon's designation would be changed to something other than light, one-handed, or two-handed by this alteration, the creature can't wield the weapon at all.

If those are Medium weapons (Sized for Humans), and you don't have the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword) feat (makes it one-handed rather than two-handed), then the Bastard Sword counts as One-Handed and the Longsword counts as a Light Weapon. Thus, if you have the Two Weapon Fighting feat, according to the Two Weapon Fighting feat and table, you would take a penalty of -2 on your main-hand attacks, and -2 on your off-hand attacks.

You gain no benefit from your Main-Hand weapon being light - only your off-hand, so Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword) will not change anything except your ability to use the Weapon Finesse feat on both weapons - which is relatively meaningless, as your str is roughly the same as your dex (difference of only +1).


Inappropriately Sized Weapons: A creature can't make optimum use of a weapon that isn't properly sized for it. A cumulative –2 penalty applies on attack rolls for each size category of difference between the size of its intended wielder and the size of its actual wielder. If the creature isn't proficient with the weapon, a –4 nonproficiency penalty also applies.

You get an additional -2 because you're a Large creature and the weapons are sized for Medium creatures.


Buy a Large-sized sword. It will be far better than almost anything you are trying to do here, even with two weapon fighting. 'Dual Wielding Bastard Swords!' seems like optimization, but it really, really isn't.

Remember that you only get half your strength modifier added to damage from off-hand attacks. If you're doing this for coolness reasons, go nuts, but if you're thinking it's superior - it is not. A greatsword is better in almost every way.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. Furthermore, I took on two weapon fighting for the purpose of having more attacks per round. I realize a larger weapon will allow me to do more damage, but I was interested in playing a dual wielding character to which I haven't played before. :) He's a level 10 now, and I am looking forward to playing around with the "Two Weapon Rend" feat when I reach level 11. \$\endgroup\$
    – Will
    Jun 5, 2015 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Will - The major issue is that melee fighters tend to have a rough time in PF if they are in a party with casters that know what they are doing. If that isn't the case in your group, that's fine, but generally they want to be avoiding suboptimal things like not having weapons sized for them. In your case, i'd just go with a Large Longsword and a Large Shortsword - similar damage figures, no -2 from inappropriately-sized. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Jun 5, 2015 at 9:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Will - Given that there is a fairly obvious progression of dagger->shortsword->longsword->bastard sword->greatsword, you could (and probably should) argue that you can wield a Medium Bastard Sword as a Large Longsword, and so on and so forth, so you can use loot designed for medium creatures. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Jun 5, 2015 at 9:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should probably mention how (in)effective the feat Lighten Weapon is for this character, too. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2015 at 10:39

The Large strix is wielding two inappropriately sized weapons, a bastard sword designed for a Medium creature in his main hand, and a longsword designed for a Medium creature in his off-hand.

While a Large creature wielding a weapon designed for a Medium creature reduces the effort needed to wield such a weapon by one step (from two-handed to one-handed and from one-handed to light), the Large creature still suffers the penalty for wielding a weapon designed for a creature not of his own size category according to the section Weapons on Weapon Size under Inappropriately Sized Weapons.

This strix suffers a –2 penalty on attack rolls when making standard attacks with these weapons and when making a full attack with one weapon or the other. But when two-weapon fighting using both weapons the strix uses the chart below, which I've modified and extended owing to your circumstances from the section Combat on Two-weapon Fighting.

Table: Two-Weapon Fighting Penalties (Extended)

                                   | Main  | Off-  |
Circumstances                      | Hand  | Hand  |
Normal penalties                   |   –6  |  –10  |
  & main weapon 1 size wrong       |   –8  |  –10  |
  & off-hand weapon 1 size wrong   |   –6  |  –12  |
  & both weapons 1 size wrong      |   –8  |  –12  |
  & off-hand weapon is light       |   –4  |   –8  |
    & main weapon 1 size wrong     |   –6  |   –8  |
    & off-hand weapon 1 size wrong |   –4  |  –10  |
    & both weapons 1 size wrong    |   –6  |  –10  |
With the feat Two-weapon Fighting  |   –4  |   –4  |
  & main weapon 1 size wrong       |   –6  |   –4  |
  & off-hand weapon 1 size wrong   |   –4  |   –6  |
  & both weapons 1 size wrong      |   –6  |   –6  |
  & off-hand weapon is light       |   –2  |   –2  | <- This is where you want to be.
    & main weapon 1 size wrong     |   –4  |   –2  |
    & off-hand weapon 1 size wrong |   –2  |   –4  |
    & both weapons 1 size wrong    |   –4  |   –4  | <- This is where you are.

The strix's current bastard sword and current longsword deal 1d10 and 1d8 points of damage, respectively. Were the strix to employ a longsword designed for a Large creature and a short sword designed for a Large creature, the strix would no longer be using inappropriately sized weapons and with this new longsword and short sword would deal 1d10 and 1d8 points of damage, respectively.

Yes, that's exactly the same amount of damage. (For reals!) In other words, this strix would be far better off with weapons appropriate to his size. The only thing good about these littler weapons is that they're probably easier to find.

The feat Lighten Weapon only helps with bigger weapons

The third-party feat Lighten Weapon says

Choose one type of weapon. When using a weapon of that type you may reduce the effort required to wield it by one step but suffer a −2 penalty to hit with that weapon. This allows you to wield a weapon 1 size category larger as if it were your own size, use a two-handed weapon in one hand, or a one-handed as a light weapons.

As evidenced by the feat's example, here type means a specific weapon (in the same way one must choose a weapon for the feat Weapon Focus, for example), so a Large strix possessing the feat Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword) who takes the feat Lighten Weapon (bastard sword) could use a bastard sword designed for a Huge creature (that deals 2d8 points of damage), but that weapon would also be inappropriate by 1 size category and, as per the feat, the strix would take an additional −2 penalty on attack rolls with such a weapon.

The trait Giant-blooded should probably only help with bigger weapons

The campaign trait Giant-blooded (Giantslayer Player's Guide 6) says that

When you wield a weapon that is larger than your size, the penalty on attack rolls for using inappropriately sized weapons is reduced by half.

One could argue that while a creature wields a weapon that's inappropriately sized because it's bigger, the creature could simultaneously wield another weapon that's inappropriately sized because it's smaller, gaining the trait's benefit with both. That's pretty shady, though.


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