The leShay (originally Epic Level Handbook 202-3) was overhauled during the 3.5 revision, but its supernatural ability leshay weapons remained unchanged:

Each leShay carries two personal melee weapons that he or she manifests from his or her own life essence. The weapon can change form as he or she shifts from class to class, typically appearing as a bastard sword (one in each hand). When not in combat, the weapons simply do not exist, but leShay can “draw” their weapons from nowhere as a free action. LeShay weapons are considered light weapons for a leShay, regardless of their size.

The printed and SRD leShay has the feat Power Attack, but can the leShay actually employ the feat Power Attack with its leShay weapons or must the leShay employ an actual 1-handed or 2-handed melee weapon if it wants to benefit from the feat Power Attack? That is, because the leShay weapons are considered light weapons for a leShay, should the weapons also be considered light weapons for the leShay's Power Attack feat?

"Who cares?" I'm considering a leShay as an archvillain for an upcoming campaign. The creature's weaknesses are many—for instance, no energy resistance, no freedom of movement or evasion, no immunity to dazing or stun, no immunity to death effects or energy drain, no extra actions, no movement abilities beyond walking and greater teleport at will—, but these weaknesses can be mitigated by picking for it better feats and with magic items that are part of its CR 20 +8 major items hoard, but I don't know if the leShay needs a melee weapon beyond its 2 built-in +10 brilliant energy bastard swords so that it can deal more than 1d10+15 points of damage per attack. I mean, it probably does anyway in case it encounters an undead or whatever, but still. Keep in mind that despite their 3.5 revision, some epic monsters remain a bit jumbled.

Also, addressesing the meaning of as he or she shifts from class to class would be greatly appreciated but isn't required. It's probably just an editorial oversight, a leftover from a previous draft.

  • \$\begingroup\$ A DM considering using the leShay as written should be aware that it doesn't meet the prerequisites for the feat Spell Stowaway as a printed leShay (stupidly) has no Spellcraft skill ranks. (Also the leShay and some other epic monsters apparently meet the Spell Stowaway feat's caster level prerequisite with the caster level of their spell-like abilities!) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 16, 2016 at 1:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NFeutz Sorry, bounties can't be used to change a question or add new dimensions to an existing question. After discussing it amongst the mods, I've refunded your bounty. If you want to know more, you can just ask a new question about it — and then it not only earns you rep, but it's also under a focused, searchable title for the benefit of others. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28, 2017 at 4:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie - Ah, apologies for inappropriately using the bounty function. I wasn't trying to subvert the question, though on considering it further, asking for the answer to cover more than what the question asks is exactly that. Thanks for pointing out how I was using the bounty wrong, I'll be mindful of that moving forward. \$\endgroup\$
    – NFeutz
    Oct 28, 2017 at 6:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NFeutz Do feel free to ask new questions if you want, like SSD suggested. It's ordinary for people here to ask questions along the lines of "this question covered A+B, but what about A+C?", or "the answers here said X, but what's that mean for Y / how's it compare to Y?", or stuff like that. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28, 2017 at 13:09

2 Answers 2



Technically yes, but not in a useful way. Light weapons do not gain the benefits from Power Attack, although you can still attempt a Power Attack with a light weapon and receive the penalty if that is something you are interested in for whatever reason.

This is purely speculation, but I believe they gave the sample leShay Power Attack so that it could meet the prerequisites for Cleave.



As the weapons "count" as light weapons, even when they are not actually light weapons, therefore they can be used for power attack; if they are summoned as a weapon that is otherwise compatible with Power Attack.

This is the same as a Dervish counting a scimitar as a light weapon. In either case, this ability doesn't affect the weapon, but rather the character handling the weapon.

As another example, if the LeShay was able to find a way to use the bastard sword in such a fashion that met both the requirements of Power Attack and Weapon Finesse, then the LeShay would benefit from both effects simultaneously.

The ability is additive in nature: it adds options, it does not subtract or prevent previously existing options.

Comparing to an ability which does change the weight category of an item, if we look at mithral special materials entry in the DMG, it uses the language "...are one category lighter than normal..." rather than "counts as". I believe this lends credence to the idea that where "counts as" language is used, it does not change the actual weight category, but only allows the character a special exception when convenient.

Comparing to the powerful build trait, it is sadly noted that this language is more precise and doesn't use the phrase "counts as". Instead, it directly states that the character is treated as one size category larger when it would be advantageous. Had this language matched exactly, then it would have clinched the argument for certain. Despite this, the similarities are worth examining, and lead this one to believe that "counts as" should be treated in the same way as powerful build, and not as mithral.

As many other feats or class features break rules previously established in the general rules text by making special exceptions, so too is this ability a special exception that does not limit other uses, allowing odd combinations that would otherwise not be possible.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's interesting. So while "LeShay weapons are considered light weapons for a leShay, regardless of their size," the weapons are not considered light weapons by, for instance, the feat Power Attack? Could the leShay then, for example, manifest but one weapon and wield it two-handed for additional damage? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 3, 2017 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yup. And were it possible for a LeShay to hand off the weapon for someone else's temporary use, that second person couldn't use it as a light weapon. Pretty much the same as a dervish handing off a scimitar. Not a light weapon for anyone else but a Dervish. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jan 3, 2017 at 18:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll upvote this in a second--I enjoy alternative readings--, but, to clarify (and consider editing into your answer these edge cases!) would the leShay still benefit from its Weapon Finesse feat when using its manifested bastard sword two-handed? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 3, 2017 at 18:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think a Dervish can do that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Jan 4, 2017 at 11:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Dervish can power attack with scimitar. It also happens to count as a light weapon for them when convenient, such as two-weapon fighting. Of course, power attacking and two weapon fighting at the same time has certain disadvantages. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Jan 4, 2017 at 17:36

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