Playing a Bladebound Magus in a campaign and wondering if it's practical to use the Dancing weapon enchantment while I focus on spellcasting. According to the entry on the Dancing enchantment on the SRD:

As a standard action, a dancing weapon can be loosed to attack on its own. It fights for 4 rounds using the base attack bonus of the one who loosed it and then drops.

Does this mean a Dancing weapon uses only my BAB or does it get the full attack bonus (BAB+STR+other enhancements) of my character? (Additionally, if the weapon is already at +4, would that be included in its attack bonus even if it only uses my BAB for its attack rolls?)


1 Answer 1


The answer is pretty clear: the Dancing weapon uses its wielder's BAB as its own, but not the wielder's STR or DEX.

Being a magic weapon, it would also get its enhancement bonus to attack.

It may also get a size bonus to the attack, depending on the type of weapon it is (see Weapon Sizes).

So, a +1 Dancing dagger wielded by a creature with a +5 BAB would be a tiny object and have a +2 to attack because of that. Thus, it would have a total of +8 on its attacks (+1 enhancement, +2 size, +5 BAB), and would deal 1d4+1 damage on a hit. With a BAB of +6, it would get one attack at +9 a second attack at +4.

I see nothing in Bladebound Magus that would change that, nor do I see anything that would prevent a Dancing Black Blade from allowing the Magus to use (eg.) Life Drinker.

In short, Dancing gives the wielder some free attacks at a penalty in exchange for being able to do other "stuff" during their turn.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That's an interesting line of logic on the size modifier; getting the size modifier from the the weapon itself, rather than the size modifier of the weapon's (intended) wielder. Seems a bit odd, but I do see the reasoning. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wyrmwood
    Jan 8, 2016 at 1:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting mention of the size bonus. Is there any official literature on that or is it speculation? The GMs for this game are very strict about RAW. \$\endgroup\$
    – SableGear
    Jan 8, 2016 at 2:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SableGear: d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat#TOC-Attack-Roll explicitly states that attacks include a size modifier, and d20pfsrd.com/equipment---final/damaging-objects#TOC-Armor-Class calls out that objects have a size modifier to their AC. ... also, note that the weapon probably has a STR of - and not 0, so it doesn't have a -5 STR penalty to attack. \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Jan 8, 2016 at 4:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras: The weapon isn't a tiny creature, it's a tiny object. Plus which, the size adjustment to damage has already happened: a dagger does less damage when wielded by a small creature than a medium creature not because of the size of the creature but because it's a physically smaller dagger (a medium creature's dagger is closer to a small creature's short sword). \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Jan 8, 2016 at 14:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well you seem to be interpreting it in a way that is not explicitly written in the Dancing Weapon description. Nowhere says a magical creature made of force is wielding the weapon, nor that the weapon is wielding itself. The item will do exactly what the description says it does. Since no size modifier was mentioned anywhere, we assume it uses the default text "it is considered wielded or attended by the activating character". \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jan 11, 2016 at 20:25

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