Dual Wielding

16 posts / 0 new
Last post
Can someone clarify what are/where to find the two weapon fighting rules?  I know in 1e it was -2/-4 by default, but you could make an attack with each weapon per round.  3rd edition was similar I believe.  What are the rules in 4th?  I'm talking for say a fighter who is NOT a tempest fighter that chooses to dual wield weapons.
They are very limited. Unless you have a power that says otherwise:

- You pick which weapon you attack with for every power
- Unless one of your weapons has the Off-hand property, once you pick a weapon to swing, you're stuck with it until the start of the next turn
- You are eligible for Feats like Two-Weapon Fighting and Two-Weapon defense

That's it. You can't swing both weapons in one attack unless you have a power for it, like Dual Strike or Twin Strike. 
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Even if you do a basic weapon attack without using a power?
Yes. Even a basic attack swinging with two weapons would blow most at-wills clear out of the water. Remember that Twin Strike is basically just what you're suggesting and it's considered one of the most powerful At-Will powers in the game.

Swinging twice is a huge bonus for many reasons, and thus not given out lightly. 
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Even if you do a basic weapon attack without using a power?



Yep, even then - the only circumstance in which you actually get to make two attack rolls is if the power you are using says you can do so. Otherwise, the only addition a second weapon makes to your attack rolls, damage rolls, or defenses is based on feats such as those mentioned. 

I suppose there is one other circumstance - you could swing your off-hand weapon (assuming it has the "off-hand" property) if you spend an Action point to take another action, but single actions don't let you use both weapons unless they are part of a power.


edit: ninja'd 
Even if you do a basic weapon attack without using a power?


Basic Attacks are still powers.  They're just powers that everyone has.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition

Basic Attacks are still powers.  They're just powers that everyone has.



This fact is what really clarified things for me regarding my recent difficulties understanding how modifiers work for different powers.  It's really laid out quite well in HoFL pp26-27 that basic attacks are really just powers that everyone has.  I was thinking of basic attacks as something seperate from other powers.
Thanks for the clarification.
Even if you do a basic weapon attack without using a power?

That is not possible. Melee Basic Attack and Ranged Basic Attack *are* powers. (They are non-class powers that everyone has. Well, pretty much everyone - but creatures that have no feet, fists, heads, or any other means of making an unarmed attack, and therefore can't do an MBA, generally don't make interesting PCs. To make an RBA you need either some sort of an ammunition-launching weapon, or any object that can be thrown.)

Dual-wielding, for most characters, is simple in 4E. ANYONE can carry a one-handed weapon (including improvised weapons) in each hand, and use either weapon in any action that includes a weapon attack. There is no bonus or penalty involved.

Being able to use both weapons in one action is more complicated. First, it requires a power that says you can do so. As far as I can recall there are three classes with such powers: Fighter, Barbarian, and Ranger. Alternatively, a feat might do; I think that under certain circumstances a Rogue with certain Paragon feats can do it. Second, for most characters at least one of the weapons must have the Off-hand property, and if the power used distinguishes between the main weapon and the off-hand weapon then the weapon used as the off-hand weapon must have that property.

(Two-Weapon Rangers, Whirling Slayer Barbarians, and non-Ranger characters with the Two-Blade Warrior multiclass feat are exempt from the Off-hand requirement; the wordings of the exemptions are not the same and the differences have some consequences.)

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Note: nothing stops you from describing the action however you want.  You could flavour your attack as a single big stab with one weapon, or a flurry of dozens of tiny cuts, punches, kicks, headbutts etc etc with all your limbs, gear, weapons, hair, whatever.  As long as you roll one attack roll, with one weapon, from a mechanical point of view.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

- Unless one of your weapons has the Off-hand property, once you pick a weapon to swing, you're stuck with it until the start of the next turn 



Do you have a rules source to support this claim?

PHB 217

Off-Hand:  An off-hand weapon is light enough that you can hold it and attack effectively with it while holding a weapon in your main hand.  You can't attack with both weapons in the same turn, unless you have a power that lets you do so, but you can attack with either weapon.

You may have thought he meant "until the start of your next turn" but what he said was accurate, the start of the next turn.

The "unless" clause isn't correct though, because that's what it means when you have an Off-hand weapon.  If you have two one-hand weapons without a feature allowing you to fake off-hand at least one of them, you can't attack at all.

So, by strict RAW, using an AP isn't good enough to switch weapons (though I think it should be).  Only a Twin Strike-ish power that calls out the offhand specifically lets you attack with both.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Sometimes people will build a dual-weapon fighter to have a "attacking" weapon and then a "opportunity attack weapon."  I forget what the enchantment is that's good for fighters making opportunity attacks.

Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
Sometimes people will build a dual-weapon fighter to have a "attacking" weapon and then a "opportunity attack weapon."  I forget what the enchantment is that's good for fighters making opportunity attacks.


That is a good point. Also, you might want to have a your chosen main weapon in your main hand and a different weapon in the other hand for dealing elemental damage (flaming weapon when you are fighting trolls or whatever). Some feats also do stuff when you are wielding two weapons/implements (dual implement spellcaster, two fisted shooter etc.) even if you don't actually attack with both of the weapons/implements.

If a non-dual wielding class wants to dabble in dual wielding, he could just power swap a power or two that let him swing with both weapons via MC feats.

But basically, dual wielding is a component which requires certain classes to make it into your "main" style of fighting (ranger, whirling barbarian, fighter).
Assuming you don't have two-blade warrior or the like, under what circumstances can you nominate which hand counts as your "main hand"?

Let's say you have two weapon opening. You attack with MBAs. However, sometimes you like to attack with an axe, and sometimes you like to attack with a flail.

Regardless of which weapon you choose to attack with in a given turn, do you get to nominate that weapon as your main hand?

I'm guessing that this is the case, but only if both of your weapons have the offhand property. If one of your weapons doesn't have the offhand property, then it always counts as your main hand. So let's say you're using a battleaxe and a scourge. If you make an MBA with the scourge, TWO doesn't trigger, as the scourge counts as your offhand. However, if you're using a handaxe and a scourge, attacks with the scourge would trigger TWO (you're free to nominate either hand as your "main" hand, on a turn by turn basis).

Is this right? I can't seem to find the rules for dual wielding either.
Assuming you don't have two-blade warrior or the like, under what circumstances can you nominate which hand counts as your "main hand"?

Let's say you have two weapon opening. You attack with MBAs. However, sometimes you like to attack with an axe, and sometimes you like to attack with a flail.

Regardless of which weapon you choose to attack with in a given turn, do you get to nominate that weapon as your main hand?

I'm guessing that this is the case, but only if both of your weapons have the offhand property. If one of your weapons doesn't have the offhand property, then it always counts as your main hand. So let's say you're using a battleaxe and a scourge. If you make an MBA with the scourge, TWO doesn't trigger, as the scourge counts as your offhand. However, if you're using a handaxe and a scourge, attacks with the scourge would trigger TWO (you're free to nominate either hand as your "main" hand, on a turn by turn basis).

Is this right? I can't seem to find the rules for dual wielding either.

I'd say I think this is the best way to do it:

.... If one of your weapons doesn't have the offhand property, then it always counts as your main hand. ...



If you use two offhand weapons, the only reason to define main and offhand is for specific powers. If you use twin strike, you have to attack with both weapons, once with each.

If you have a power that says it uses off-hand weapon but only makes one attack, I´d let you use either weapon you have. That is, as long as the weapon has the offhand weapon property or if you have a feature that lets you use one handers as offhand weapons.