10/29/12 Two Weapon Fighting

From a cursory look, I kinda like that anyone can do it, but I'm not sure about how it's Disadvantage only, and no ability modifier damage.  I kinda prefer the original set up.  Half Mod damage per attack.  However, I would say you can't ever get Advantage with it, BUT it doesn't automatically confer disadvantage.

This is a Fantasy game, not a real life simulator.

What do you guys think? 


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Any ability that gives you disadvantage will be an ability that is never used
I'm curious. The description on Two-Weapon Fighting says it can now be used with any weapon, as long as one is light. BTW... which weapons are "light?" I imagine it refers to finesse weapons (copy-pasting text from earlier editions can be a bad thing...)

It's more complicated than before, that's for sure.

I like that you have more freedom in the use of weapons, will allow members of races which get increased damage with certain weapons, to use those. Disadvantage is a bad thing though. The Composed Attack maneuver can be used to partially offset the disadvantage if you are a fighter or a rogue, and even on a miss, the Glancing Blow maneuver (fighters only) allows you to deal a single expertise die worth of damage, which will not be much worse than the damage the attack would deal anyway (without the ability modifier).

I wouldn't rule it out entirely, the bare ability is not awesome, but it could have some use. Perhaps with the release of feats and more maneuvers related to Two-Weapon Fighting, it can become a more viable option.
I hate it.  I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.  The original form, although flawed, was better because it didn't try to balance weapon damage dice against modifiers.  4e pretended they were equal, but I think most will agree that Twin Strike and its ilk were failures as far as balance is concerned.  I foresee similar problems arising with the current Two-Weapon Fighting rules as the new edition expands.

I do like that it's available to all characters; I think having to use smaller weapons and forego a shield (or whatever else you'd use your second hand for) would be enough of a deterrant for many of them, and it's a silly thing to waste a specialty on.  Still, to avoid unforeseen complications with future or existing rules, I'd prefer to see something along the lines of the following:

Show
Two-Weapon Fighting: When you wield two melee weapons at the same time, you can attack with both of them, provided at least one of them is a finesse weapon. Make two separate attacks, one for each weapon. You have disadvantage on the second attack. If the second attack hits, it does not benefit from any damage modifiers (including the relevant ability modifier).
Any ability that gives you disadvantage will be an ability that is never used


Never be used? That's a stretch. But Disadvantage is meant to dissuade you from doing whatever it is. That's the point of the mechanic. If you find something that gives you disadvantage that you WOULD use often, then that's a design flaw. Disadvantage is SUPPOSED to make you not want to use it all the time.
My two copper.
As it is, TWF is a worthless option. The highly criticized version from the last packet was much better.
Much better, Rahashe. I hope they pick up your suggestion! Just make sure the second attack is made with the finesse weapon, for style!

Show
Two-Weapon Fighting: When you wield two melee weapons at the same time, you can attack with both of them, provided at least one of them is a finesse weapon. Make two separate attacks, one for each weapon. You have disadvantage on the second attack. If the second attack hits, it does not benefit from any damage modifiers (including the relevant ability modifier).



Much better, Rahashe. I hope they pick up your suggestion! Just make sure the second attack is made with the finesse weapon, for style!

Show
Two-Weapon Fighting: When you wield two melee weapons at the same time, you can attack with both of them, provided at least one of them is a finesse weapon. Make two separate attacks, one for each weapon. You have disadvantage on the second attack. If the second attack hits, it does not benefit from any damage modifiers (including the relevant ability modifier).





But that still makes it a straight damage increase and therefore the correct choice.
My two copper.
Much better, Rahashe. I hope they pick up your suggestion! Just make sure the second attack is made with the finesse weapon, for style!

Show
Two-Weapon Fighting: When you wield two melee weapons at the same time, you can attack with both of them, provided at least one of them is a finesse weapon. Make two separate attacks, one for each weapon. You have disadvantage on the second attack. If the second attack hits, it does not benefit from any damage modifiers (including the relevant ability modifier).





But that still makes it a straight damage increase and therefore the correct choice.



this is the problem, TWF should not increase overall damage. if they fixed the last version to work with things that only apply once to do full damage it would be good.

the last thing WoTC should want is another twin strike
Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
Much better, Rahashe. I hope they pick up your suggestion! Just make sure the second attack is made with the finesse weapon, for style!

Show
Two-Weapon Fighting: When you wield two melee weapons at the same time, you can attack with both of them, provided at least one of them is a finesse weapon. Make two separate attacks, one for each weapon. You have disadvantage on the second attack. If the second attack hits, it does not benefit from any damage modifiers (including the relevant ability modifier).





But that still makes it a straight damage increase and therefore the correct choice.

Not always.  Since you can only use one-handed weapons, and at least one of them has to be finesse (which use smaller dice), the best you can do is 1d8+mod with your main hand and half of 1d6 with your other.  That's just over 6+mod damage.  You're still being shown up by the guy with the maul/greataxe/greatsword/lance, and that's assuming you always land your second hit.
Any ability that gives you disadvantage will be an ability that is never used


Never be used? That's a stretch. But Disadvantage is meant to dissuade you from doing whatever it is. That's the point of the mechanic. If you find something that gives you disadvantage that you WOULD use often, then that's a design flaw. Disadvantage is SUPPOSED to make you not want to use it all the time.


If you like missing five times in a row when you could have hit at least three times go ahead and use something with disadvantage. Combat will be over long before you ever hit.
Much better, Rahashe. I hope they pick up your suggestion! Just make sure the second attack is made with the finesse weapon, for style!

Show
Two-Weapon Fighting: When you wield two melee weapons at the same time, you can attack with both of them, provided at least one of them is a finesse weapon. Make two separate attacks, one for each weapon. You have disadvantage on the second attack. If the second attack hits, it does not benefit from any damage modifiers (including the relevant ability modifier).





But that still makes it a straight damage increase and therefore the correct choice.

Not always.  Since you can only use one-handed weapons, and at least one of them has to be finesse (which use smaller dice), the best you can do is 1d8+mod with your main hand and half of 1d6 with your other.  That's just over 6+mod damage.  You're still being shown up by the guy with the maul/greataxe/greatsword/lance, and that's assuming you always land your second hit.



every dice you go up is only 1 damage on average, even if we are talking 1d6->1d12 that is only 3 damage, easily worth it.

not to mention that level 6 duel weilding fighters will be making 4 attacks per round every round, so much for speeding up combat
Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
Much better, Rahashe. I hope they pick up your suggestion! Just make sure the second attack is made with the finesse weapon, for style!

Show
Two-Weapon Fighting: When you wield two melee weapons at the same time, you can attack with both of them, provided at least one of them is a finesse weapon. Make two separate attacks, one for each weapon. You have disadvantage on the second attack. If the second attack hits, it does not benefit from any damage modifiers (including the relevant ability modifier).





But that still makes it a straight damage increase and therefore the correct choice.

Not always.  Since you can only use one-handed weapons, and at least one of them has to be finesse (which use smaller dice), the best you can do is 1d8+mod with your main hand and half of 1d6 with your other.  That's just over 6+mod damage.  You're still being shown up by the guy with the maul/greataxe/greatsword/lance, and that's assuming you always land your second hit.

As near as I can tell, it is pretty much always.  You go down 1, maybe 2, die sizes with your main hand but gain a whole extra (small) die with the off hand.  Plus, if you whiff the main hand, you get a second chance (albeit with disadvantage) on the off hand, with which you can use Deadly Strike or any other maneuver.  And that's assuming you're not a rogue who would rather be using Finesse weapons anyway.  It's pure win for a rogue.

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I'm thinking they are preparing for the Ranger class.  There we will see a way to improve TWF to something more fun to use.  Still I've always wanted TWF to be a style that Rogues and Fighters could use fairly well.  Maybe we'll see another Specialization feat tree that improves it?
While I have not had the oppurtunity to playtest the new rules or see them in action as of yet since my gaming group can not meet more than once a week.  This is probably to reflect the more open combat options that older editions did and that forth edition did not seem to have much in the ways off (since the only one I can remember is grab).  The point of making it give the player in quesiton attack a disadvantage on both attack rolls might have something to do with on hit options or the possible way it may interact with the Fighter's Extra Attack option.

I do think it might be too harsh on one hand, but I do find that, if they keep it as open as it is now, then altering it might make it too alluring for characters to use.  Finding the balance they are looking for in Two-Weapon Attack is going to be quite a challenge because of all the different things the player base is seeking so many different things from the same otpion.

And while D&D is not a reality simulator (last time I checked, lobbing fireballs is not something I am capable of), certain details need to have roots in reality.  I think the mentioning of light weapons is an indicator that daggers or handaxes might be the intended off-hand to dual wield with, as these were the most common in reality, and leaving options such as two scimitars/rapiers for the classes meant to excel at it, such as the ranger.  I am not saying this is not the best route, nor is this a turn in the wrong direction.  It shows they are willing to try many variations to certain things established in the play test rules.
Much better, Rahashe. I hope they pick up your suggestion! Just make sure the second attack is made with the finesse weapon, for style!

Show
Two-Weapon Fighting: When you wield two melee weapons at the same time, you can attack with both of them, provided at least one of them is a finesse weapon. Make two separate attacks, one for each weapon. You have disadvantage on the second attack. If the second attack hits, it does not benefit from any damage modifiers (including the relevant ability modifier).





But that still makes it a straight damage increase and therefore the correct choice.

Not always.  Since you can only use one-handed weapons, and at least one of them has to be finesse (which use smaller dice), the best you can do is 1d8+mod with your main hand and half of 1d6 with your other.  That's just over 6+mod damage.  You're still being shown up by the guy with the maul/greataxe/greatsword/lance, and that's assuming you always land your second hit.

As near as I can tell, it is pretty much always.  You go down 1, maybe 2, die sizes with your main hand but gain a whole extra (small) die with the off hand.  Plus, if you whiff the main hand, you get a second chance (albeit with disadvantage) on the off hand, with which you can use Deadly Strike or any other maneuver.  And that's assuming you're not a rogue who would rather be using Finesse weapons anyway.  It's pure win for a rogue.

You're right.  My math was bad.  Still, I think they could probably come up with something that's a lot better than what they've got.  As it is now, it's always the wrong choice: you get two attacks, at half accuracy and less than half damage each.  Of course, as they release methods to get static damage modifiers, its damage output will skyrocket.  The main goal of my proposal was to find a method that doesn't become more and more abusable as the edition expands.  Still, stable brokenness is hardly much better than unpredictable brokenness.

What if it were just two attacks at half damage?  You'd deal less damage on average, but stand a higher chance of landing at least one hit.  That seems reasonable to me.  I also think you should have to target the same creature with both attacks, but that's probably an unpopular opinion.

What if it were just two attacks at half damage?  You'd deal less damage on average, but stand a higher chance of landing at least one hit.  That seems reasonable to me.  I also think you should have to target the same creature with both attacks, but that's probably an unpopular opinion.



That is, in fact, exactly how it worked in the previous packet. Well, actually you could target two different creatures if you wanted to, and both weapons had to be finesse. But the point is, they had a perfectly fair mechanic for it, and a lot of people didn't like it because they dealt less damage on average (and it was a feat at the time).
The previous version of twf was rather odd, I felt. An increased chance of doing *some* damage, but less chance of doing full damage, it seemed. The new version made me laugh, because it's what someone in my play group suggested it should be. 


  • I like that you can use any single handed weapon as the main, so long as the offhand is finesse.

  • I like that anyone can take it now, regardless of class.

  • I don't like disadvantage to all attacks, with no prospect of ever getting advantage. At the very least, you should be able to negate disadvantage and have a *regular* attack instead of full advantage. 

  • Not adding damage from attributes is a good way of implementing it. 


Some have suggested having disadvantage and no attribute damage on the offhand weapon is a good way of doing it too. I think that's reasonable considering you're giving up a shield for a little extra damage (considering it'll be 1d6 at best, if you can actually hit). 
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This is an overly finicky system that produces weird artifacts like "it's fine to fight with a battle axe and a rapier, but fighting with two clubs is right out".
This is an overly finicky system that produces weird artifacts like "it's fine to fight with a battle axe and a rapier, but fighting with two clubs is right out".



Not to mention fighting Drunk with a battle axe and a rapier while prone and restrained.
Well, yeah.

A much better weapon system would be

Basic weapon, 1d6 (daggers, clubs, hand axes, etc)

Single handed weapon, 1d8 (swords, axes, maces, morningstars, etc)

Two handed weapon or two weapons, 1d12 (greatswords, polearms, etc, or two weapons from Single Handed or Basic).

The whole "well this sword is curved and is therefore a finesse weapon, and shortswords and rapiers are exactly the same thing while needing different stat lines" thing is getting dumb.
I disagree with that list, but only because I want to see 'weapon types'.  Maces, clubs and D&D hammers would be 'blunt, and each would have a die size and maybe a tertiary effect.  Piercing like Shortswords and Rapiers, and Pikes.  And slashing, most other swords, axes and some polearms.

Yes, trimming the weapon list down is good (especially if the Short Sword and Rapier do the same damage) but other than that, no.  Otherwise you're getting to abstract in a system that is no longer designed to be. 
I disagree with that list, but only because I want to see 'weapon types'.  Maces, clubs and D&D hammers would be 'blunt, and each would have a die size and maybe a tertiary effect.  Piercing like Shortswords and Rapiers, and Pikes.  And slashing, most other swords, axes and some polearms.

Yes, trimming the weapon list down is good (especially if the Short Sword and Rapier do the same damage) but other than that, no.  Otherwise you're getting to abstract in a system that is no longer designed to be. 



That's also a good idea.

But I have a fairly large problem with the three damage types that are currently in the game. An axe and a scimitar are both "slashing", and that's really stupid. An axe doesn't slash like a scimitar or something, it chops. The damage of an axe is derived from a heavy head and the lever/fulcrum effect of the haft, so it's a heavy (or heavy-ish) weight smashing into the target at high speed and concentrating its power via a sharp(ish) edge. A scimitar does its damage by drawing a (very) sharp edge quickly along the target.

But an axe is currently shoehorned into "slashing" like a scimitar or sickle. Which means it does significantly less damage against certain things that are resistant to slashing damage. Which is dumb. Dumb because a dane axe (I dunno, a greataxe in d&d terms?), while not being AS effective against bone as a blunt, heavy clubbing weapon, could and did easily sever limbs and chop opponents right in half, as in shearing through flesh and bone with ease.

Look at an axe. Look at a scimitar. They're not the same thing, and they don't do damage the same way. Dividing weapons up by damage type isn't a bad idea, but you'd need to add "chopping" or "hacking" or something to make axes non-stupid. That's not even getting in to the multiple ways you would use a sword (such as halfswording and pommel bashing or the "murder stroke" that would all change its damage to blunt or piercing and were not some kind of rare unusual move but rather part of the basic set of sword blows you'd need to learn).
But I have a fairly large problem with the three damage types that are currently in the game. An axe and a scimitar are both "slashing", and that's really stupid. An axe doesn't slash like a scimitar or something, it chops. The damage of an axe is derived from a heavy head and the lever/fulcrum effect of the haft, so it's a heavy (or heavy-ish) weight smashing into the target at high speed and concentrating its power via a sharp(ish) edge. A scimitar does its damage by drawing a (very) sharp edge quickly along the target.
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Look at an axe. Look at a scimitar. They're not the same thing, and they don't do damage the same way. Dividing weapons up by damage type isn't a bad idea, but you'd need to add "chopping" or "hacking" or something to make axes non-stupid.

I don't think they're different enough that we need to distinguish them in D&D.  They both lop off tentacles and the like with equal ease, so they'll share nearly every instance of vulnerability/resistance.  If we're not going to mark a difference between saps (which spread concussive force to deal minimal damage with great effect) and hammers (which just tear you up), we don't need to do it for swords and axes.

That's not even getting in to the multiple ways you would use a sword (such as halfswording and pommel bashing or the "murder stroke" that would all change its damage to blunt or piercing and were not some kind of rare unusual move but rather part of the basic set of sword blows you'd need to learn).

Totally agree with this, though.  I don't know why the developers only have love for the morningstar.