I'm a little confused about the wording of Girallon's Blessing.

First of all, it describes the new pair of arms as "Secondary Limbs", but I'm not sure what this means. Does it mean that the claw attacks from the new arms are secondary natural attacks? I would think not, since all of the claw attacks deal 1d4 + Str modifier damage and secondary natural attacks normally only get 0.5x Str modifier to damage; also the spell text makes no mention of the normal -5 attack bonus modifier for secondary natural attacks. However, I don't know what else this would mean.

Also, how does this spell interact with existing claw attacks? Say I cast this on a Black Bear animal companion, for example - does he now just have two extra 1d4 claws, or does it "downgrade" his existing claws?

Does the claw damage scale with creature size?

Finally, could a character wield a shield with one of the new/secondary arms, in order to get both the shield bonus and have both primary arms free for claw attacks?

  • \$\begingroup\$ probably related to the fact that they are not the dominant hand thus would gain the same effect than hitting with a left hand on a right handed fighter. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mouhgouda
    Jun 30, 2015 at 16:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mouhgouda D&D 3.5 does not have handedness so that cannot be what it means. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 30, 2015 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


Primary arms vs. secondary arms

The wording appears to have been lifted from the original girallon’s blessing in Savage Species, despite the near-total overhaul of the spell. Originally, Savage Species defined within the context of the spell itself what primary and secondary arms meant:

The new limbs can be confusing. In a stressful or demanding situation, such as combat, the subject must make a Will save (DC 19) or take a −2 penalty on all attack rolls, saves, skill checks, and ability checks until the situation passes.

Spell Compendium still has girallon’s blessing define one’s original arms as primary, and the new arms as secondary, but it applies no inherent meaning to this distinction.

Existing (better) claw attacks

Unlike almost all sources of natural attacks, girallon’s blessing does not specify that, if you had existing claw attacks on your primary arms,1 you use whichever is better. This is very unusual, to the point where it seems more likely an oversight than an intentional omission. Moreover, it’s not actually stated that one loses any existing claws – thus, strictly speaking, you get to pick which set to use for any given full-attack (you cannot use your original claws and the claws that girallon’s blessing puts on your primary arms in one full-attack, because those “limbs” are used – though you could use one and one if you wanted to mix‘n’match).

  1. Hey, the term is useful for me, anyway, to refer to each pair of arms – which in itself might have been reason enough for Spell Compendium to retain the “primary” and “secondary” designations.
  • \$\begingroup\$ That makes sense. I think I'm going to have a bit of a hard time convincing my DM that the new claws aren't secondary natural attacks, but I'm convinced :) \$\endgroup\$
    – shaydwyrm
    Jul 1, 2015 at 20:42

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