We just played Exalted 3 last night and one of our characters had 2 weapons (a main and an off-hand). We could find reference to several charms that affected/removed the "off-hand penalty" but could not actually figure out what the off-hand penalty was in the first place.

Are there rules for fighting with off-hand weapons, and if so what/where are they?


1 Answer 1


You suffer a -1 Penalty to attacks with the Off-Hand

Locating this was not straight forward because the information was not where I would have expected it to be. But, I don't have the final release version of the rulebook with me; I put this together from the In-Dev version that I do have with me. So, the final version of the Exalted 3 rulebook may have this oversight corrected and put the penalty in the correct place, with the normal rules for Dual-Wielding.

First, we have the normal rules for Dual-Wielding

Characters can wield one weapon in each hand as long as both weapons lack the two-handed tag. Even with a weapon in each hand, characters can still only make a single attack on each turn. However, if the character is wielding a different weapon in each hand, she is free to choose between the weapons and their associated tags each time she attacks or parries, and may stunt her attacks and defenses however she wants, as with a Crane stylist defending with her hook sword’s Parry value while describing her blocks as performed with her war fan. Characters who dual-wield two identical weapons gain a +2 bonus to Clash attacks. “Unarmed” is considered a single weapon.

But this doesn't specify any sort of modifier to using your offhand weapon. However, if we look in Merits, we see this:

Ambidextrous (• or ••)—Innate The character doesn’t suffer a -1 penalty to actions using his off-hand.

This clearly implies that attacks using your off-hand suffer a -1 Penalty, by stating that you don't take said penalty.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As an aside: This makes sense given the 'Martial Penalties' listed on p188. Things like "poor lighting" or "slick terrain" impose a -1 modifier. Things like "fighting blind" or "fighting while balancing on a rope" imposes a -3 modifier. Fighting with your offhand is much more comparable to poor lighting/slick terrain than it is to blindfighting \$\endgroup\$ Mar 14, 2017 at 17:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Update: The final version does not identify what are off-hand penalties anywhere other than the Ambidextrous and Tail merits. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 1, 2019 at 8:35

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