For the abilities underneath the "+N to combat check", for instance, am I allowed to use them when I don't have them equipped? I believe the answer is yes but I was hoping to find documentation. I think most of these likely involve exhausting the card, which further makes me think it likely is allowed.

2 Answers 2


Page 6 of the Arkham Horror FAQ here says

Q: Do I have to be using the Bullwhip or Cross in combat to gain their special abilities?

A: No, in the case of these two cards, you do not have to use them in combat to make use of their secondary abilities.

This implies to me that any other such weapon that has a secondary ability (i.e. one that isn't +N to combat checks or something similar) can also be used similarly without being equipped.

  • I'd be careful generalizing too far - for example the shotgun's secondary ability definitely doesn't work if you're not using it.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 15:37
  • The shotgun ability is explicitly stated as not working unless the shotgun is used in combat, so that seems to further set a precedence that these "secondary" abilities are active and usable by default. I don't feel like reasoning the ability thematically helps me (how can a cross or bullwhip thematically give you a reroll without being equipped right). The sledgehammer says "Reduce the toughness of monsters you fight by 1 to a minimum of 1 (this does not affect their value as trophies)" but being treated in line with cross and bullwhip imply to me to allow its use when unequipped.
    – Joey
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 17:02
  • 3
    It's a little unclear how things like the sledgehammer are supposed to work. Mechanically and thematically it makes total sense for it to only work when equipped, but someone did manage to get an official ruling from FFG that said it works when not equipped: fose4.rssing.com/chan-3649870/all_p722.html
    – Cascabel
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 18:03
  • I would agree it isn't terribly logical, but then the cross and bullwhip allowing a reroll to combat checks when not in hand seems out there as well. Does he pull out the bullwhip last second as a quick attack (somewhat reasonable)? Why does the cross not only work on undead? The departure from making sense here makes me wonder if they intended to blanket activate the secondaries like they chose to for Eldritch Horror. A sledgehammer could be as intimidating to a live monster as a cross possibly when simply in view.
    – Joey
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 18:04
  • Great find on that official ruling. Sounds like they go the way of Eldritch's rulings with that then.
    – Joey
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 18:06

The limit on items you can use per turn is your hands, typically two.

Each item or spell will indicate how many hands it uses (if any).

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