Are there weapons in Pathfinder that have reach and that can also be used to make attacks against adjacent targets, like the D&D 3.5 spiked chain can? I'm looking for actual weapons that do this; I don't want to rely on feats or spells.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You need to threaten adjacent foes, or you want to threaten with your reach weapon? \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 11:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras I'm pretty sure the answer is Both but check the question's edit history to confirm that this editor didn't make things unclear with his meddling! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 13:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean, if his worry is about not being able to threaten adjacent foes, he can simply pick a spiked gauntlet. But if he wants his reach weapon to threaten both adjacent and reach, then he will require some feats. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 13:15
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras I think the crux is like the D&D 3.5 spiked chain, which simultaneously threatens at reach and adjacent. If it were two separate weapons he wanted that could do this, yes, it's answered trivially, but because it's one weapon that Pathfinder changed from 3.5 and he's looking for a replacement, this seems fine. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 14:27

3 Answers 3


Short answer

No - there is no single weapon in Pathfinder for a Medium sized creature that naturally threatens a 10ft area.

Long answer

Any reach weapon plus spiked armour or a one-handed reach weapon plus spiked gauntlet (SRD Weapons Link) will do this fine however.

This doesn't require Two-Weapon-Fighting as long as you don't plan on attacking with both weapons in the same round. Although the spiked gauntlet/armour aren't optimal damage-wise they do let you threaten and attack adjacent squares.

As noted in another answer, whips fit the brief of attacking anywhere within a 15ft area, but they do not threaten, have poor damage and provoke attacks of opportunity when used. With significant feat investment they can be an interesting choice, but it doesn't sound like they meet your requirements.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Keep in mind that taking a hand off a weapon and putting it back on it again are free actions and limited by your GM (if he thinks you are abusing it, you probably are). So if he knows he will need to threaten an adjacent foe, he can remove his hand from his halberd and be able to attack with his spiked gauntlet. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 13:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras That's correct as per the question below, but you can normally only perform Free Actions in your own turn, so this wouldn't meet the requirement for freely being able to attack at 5ft and 10ft at will like you could with a 3.5 Spiked Chain. With a Halberd and Gauntlet you couldn't threaten at both 5ft and 1oft at the same time, for example. rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/86666/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Phlyk
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 13:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Which is why i said "if he knows he will need to threaten an adjacent foe", meaning that he must take off his hand on his turn. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 13:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Phlyk Do note that Halberds aren't reach weapons. \$\endgroup\$
    – Delioth
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 17:32

The whip can reach any target in its 15-foot range. But:

  • it's an exotic weapon (so you need Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Whip) to avoid the -4);

  • using it provokes an attack of opportunity, unless you get Whip Mastery (which need Weapon Focus (Whip));

  • it deals 1d3 non-lethal damage, and only if the target is not armored (a armor bonus of +1 or a natural armor of +3 is enough to be immune), unless you get Whip Mastery or a Scorpion Whip (1d4 lethal, but, as I understand, needs its own Exotic Weapon Proficiency);

  • it doesn't threaten, unless you spend a feat on Improved Whip Mastery (but only at natural reach + 5-foot, so 10-foot for a medium size).

On the other hand, you can disarm and trip at a distance (though with the risk of dropping the whip if you fail), and with Greater Whip Mastery, you don't have that risk and can even grapple.

So, quite a feat burner to make it efficient, but it exist.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, but the statement that a whip is “quite a feat burner to make it efficient” is false. If you burn a lot of feats on whips, they suck a little less but they still suck. They never become anything like efficient. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 1:34

No, but why do you care? I've seen people express a lot of concern about not being able to threaten adjacent while wielding a polearm. Many players hesitate to use a reach weapon because of this issue. In my experience this concern is not justified. In practice this issue rarely comes up in actual Pathfinder combat. My first few polearm-wielding Pathfinder PCs always had a way to threaten adjacent (e.g. armor spikes, improved unarmed attack, etc). Eventually I stopped bothering, because it hardly ever came up and didn't matter on those rare occasions. After about 25 levels of PFS play I decided that the extra weight or hassle of a 'threaten adjacent' weapon was not worth it.

@YogoZuno: I did not say that these situations never arose, only that they are such uncommon edge cases, and rarely important ones, that I've learned one can safely ignore the issue. E.g. My 3rd level Cleric just inflicted 47 hp damage with two AoOs, so I'm OK not getting off that adjacent 3rd AoO with an inferior low-damage weapon. I find reach PCs so effective there is no need to squeeze out that tiny bit of uncommon extra damage from adjacent AoOs.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What about adjacent foes provking AoOs, which a reach weapon won't be able to take advantage of? i.e. a spellcaster or missile attack, or even a combat maneuver, made by someone adjacent to you. \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 2:23

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