Questions about Two-Weapon Fighting

Wow... aren't these guys supposed to be writers?

Two-­Weapon Fighting:
1) When you wield two melee weapons at the same time, you can attack with both of them using a single action, provided at least one of them is a light weapon.

2) You take a -2 penalty to both attack rolls, and you use only the light weapon’s damage dice to determine its damage; you add no bonuses to it.

3) If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose). 

Sentence 1... clear enough.

Sentence 2... clear enough.

Sentence 3... exsqueeze me? It doesn't make sense that the third sentence is modifying the entire second sentence, and I believe then intent was to allow a choice of which light weapons got the damage limitation, and not remove the -2 to-hit from one of the weapons if both were light.

Bad Writing, Bad Writing, Bad Writing.

-KW
 
the -2 penalty is a penalty, not a limitation.

limiting the damage is a limitation.
seems pretty straightforward to me
Bad Writing, Bad Writing, Bad Writing.

-KW
Bad Writing, Bad Writing, Bad Writing.

-KW


i still dont see how, like i explained. a penlaty is not a limitation
Bad Writing, Bad Writing, Bad Writing.

-KW

Yep. Now take dual weilding once. Pick up two one handed weapons then read 1-3. With no light weapon, both weapons get damage dice and stat bonuses since you only drop the damage bonus off the light weapon. Wink

Now, is the -2 a limitation? Hard to say, since it isn't defined. It could mean either, though is I had to guess, I'd say they didn't mean for the -2 to be one.
First - I really don't care at all about the quality of writing in a playtest packet.  That isn't the point.  As long as the intent is clear.   Reality Lesson:  "Writers" typically suck at writing.  That is why they pay Editors to edit their writing.

And here, the intent is clear.

If you have two weapons - one light, one not - you have penalties to your attacks with both weapons and the light weapon is limited in its damage. 

If you have two weapons - both light - they work the exact same way.  The purpose of the 3rd sentence is to clarify that the limitation specific to the second/ light weapon only applies to one of the two weapons in the second case, not to both. 

In other words - whether you have a light or non-light weapon in the other hand, the attacks work the same way.

It is not intended to suggest that the attack penalty goes away in any case. 

Carl
I just wanted to add..

When attacking with two light weapons, it doesn't make sense to take away the -2 penalty for one of the attacks simply because that'll be exactly like attacking with just one light weapon

There'd be no reason to attack with just one light weapon. Everyone using light weapons would dual-wield. 
To complicate the matter...

What about polearms? If I take Polearm Training it says that my halberd acts as a double weapon that has a second end that deals 1d6 damage. The double weapon designation means that I am considered to have a different weapon in each hand when I wield it two-handed and that the secondary damage (1d6) for the blunt end is used only when I attack with BOTH ENDS.

So...is that two attacks then? Do I deal with it as mentioned above with the penalties for two-weapon fighting.

Talk about confused <---------- me.

Any help is MUCH appreciated!
I would say two attacks as TWF if you choose to use it that way. It seems like it's based on the 3.X version of double weapons.
I think it is mostly clear. It is saying you get full mods on your bigger weapon (str, magic, weapon focus, etc.) but none on your lighter weapon. The third paragraph just clarifys that if you use two light weapons, you still get modifiers on one of them.

What the feat is hopelessly unlcear on is the timing. If I am using two light weapons can I wait till I see which one of the two weapons hits before deciding to apply damage mods to that one? Or do I have to decide ahead of time which one is the important attack and which one isn't?

The feat is adjusting how damage is calculated, not the attack, so it seems like you can decide after you see which one hit. This is probably not intended to work this way though as it is clearly giving two light weapons a substantial advanatge over one-light, one normal.
I think it is mostly clear. It is saying you get full mods on your bigger weapon (str, magic, weapon focus, etc.) but none on your lighter weapon. The third paragraph just clarifys that if you use two light weapons, you still get modifiers on one of them.

What the feat is hopelessly unlcear on is the timing. If I am using two light weapons can I wait till I see which one of the two weapons hits before deciding to apply damage mods to that one? Or do I have to decide ahead of time which one is the important attack and which one isn't?

The feat is adjusting how damage is calculated, not the attack, so it seems like you can decide after you see which one hit. This is probably not intended to work this way though as it is clearly giving two light weapons a substantial advanatge over one-light, one normal.


well its the second attack that doesnt get it. so there is no deciding otherwise.
An official solution will eventually come up, but until then, and since this is a playtest, I use the following procedure to clarify such questions when they rise up:

a) Check the forums for any kind of reference to an official source (e.g. twitter post).
b) Go backwords through the playtest packages until a clarification is encountered in one (example: Blindsight is explained in the May 2012 playtest package).
c) Go back to the last official edition which mentioned a similar ability/spell/effect. Use the rules there, along with any official errata/FAQ to determine a solution for the current case.
d) You're the DM - everything else failed, so come up with a solution of your own.

Regardless of the choice, if it's not a), I'd also make a post on the forums (like everyone does), pointing out the issue.

Right, Two-Weapon Fighting. Option (a) fails, option (b) fails as well, since the 2WF incarnations of the previous playtest packets have nothing to say on the issue. Option (c): In 4E 2WF was a feat that didn't allow an extra attack, and the Ranger (the de facto two-weapon warrior in 4E) had an At-Will ability which allowed one attack with each weapon, but with only weapon damage for each. Still does not help here. 3E was much more liberal in terms of damage bonuses applied, and did not offer any clarifications on the use of two weapons in the PHB, but the FAQ stated that if you fight with two weapons, you must designate which weapon is in your main hand and which in your off-hand before attacking. I'd say this works well enough in our case, and that's what I would adopt, at least until we have an official ruling on the issue.

So, if someone is fighting with two weapons, let them designate which is the one gaining the full damage bonus, before making attacks on his turn. He should also state whether he intends to attack with both weapons (as that applies the -2 attack penalty). Whether he will actually attack with both weapons or not, is irrelevant; as long as he plans to, his character grips both weapons in a combat-ready fashion, and attempts to maintain his balance in such a way as to allow him to attack with both (which translates in game mechanics to the -2 penalty).
Two-­Weapon Fighting: 
1) When you wield two melee weapons at the same time, you can attack with both of them using a single action, provided at least one of them is a light weapon. 

2) You take a -2 penalty to both attack rolls, and you use only the light weapon’s damage dice to determine its damage; you add no bonuses to it. 

3) If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose). 


Two-Weapon Fighting (Fixed):

1) When you wield two melee weapons at the same time, you can attack with both of them using a single action, provided at least one of them is a light weapon.

2) You take a -2 penalty to both attack rolls, and only apply damage bonuses to one of the two attacks, choose which before rolling the attack roll.  The other attack only does weapon damage.
I agree that when you attack with two weapons you get a -2 to hit on each attack. However I beleive that there need to be a line added to Duel Weilding: "The -2 penalty is negated when weiding 2 weapons.". As a Dm I have been using this rule and it works for our group.

I partially disagree that the second attack gets no bonuses at all. (see below). If a character has Duel Weilding I am allowing them to get their normal weapon damage.

Also, has anyone ever thyought to ASK people who fight with 2 weapons in the Society for Creative Anachronism for their opinion on this? I have watched some of them fighting with 2 weapons and it seemed to me that they were hitting as hard with both weapons as they were when using sword-and-shield.
Also, has anyone ever thyought to ASK people who fight with 2 weapons in the Society for Creative Anachronism for their opinion on this? I have watched some of them fighting with 2 weapons and it seemed to me that they were hitting as hard with both weapons as they were when using sword-and-shield.


It is a very underpowered feat. Dual-wielding was OP in past editions because they got to double all their static mods. The power of dual-wielding is 100% tied to how many static modifiers get to be used. When they took that away in this edition they did not merely reduce the power of dual-wielding, they essentially removed it altogether. It is now a feat that gives a penalty to hit and reqiuires your offhand for a non-scaling chance at a small die of damage. Awesome.

I think dual-wielding was handled better in Gama World, the other wizards game. In that dual-wielding let you roll two dice on each attack, with a small increased damage if both hit and normal damage if one hit. It was a better model.
Also, has anyone ever thyought to ASK people who fight with 2 weapons in the Society for Creative Anachronism for their opinion on this? I have watched some of them fighting with 2 weapons and it seemed to me that they were hitting as hard with both weapons as they were when using sword-and-shield.


Hi there, I can field that question for you - but first I will have to say this: opinion varies wildly amongst those of us that even attempt wielding paired weapons.

No way at all do I feel like I am as powerful with my off-hand, and I am nearly 100% ambidextrous in all other activities (throwing, catching, lift strength... basically everything but guitar playing and writing, both of which I can do with either hand as primary at greatly reduced proficiency on account of having barely ever practiced in that manner) - but then I am also not relying upon the power of a blow.

Two-weapon fighting is a strategy, and I tend to use either a broad blade for blockin or a bearded axe paired with a typical one-handed sword. The strategy for the style relies upon the secondary weapon to redirect the opponent's weapon or shield while striking the created weakness with the primary weapon.

The best way to translate that to D&DN mechanics is that feat that lets you forgo the attack of the off-hand weapon in order to gain advantage on the primary weapon attack.

...as for wielding weapons of the same size, with each being what D&DN would consider one-handed (but not light) weapons... it is actually really difficult and tiring - and in my experience tends to be an extremely sloppy or predictable string of wild attacks meant to harry the opponent until they are unable to adequately defend, much like one would use a mace or heavy hammer to intentionally bludgeon an opponent's shield and wear them down rather than attempt to attack past the shield.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

I have to agree with Aaron here. In most cases where two separate weapons were used, the fighter employed the off-hand weapon either as a more lightweight substitute for a shield, or as a means to create an opening, or to assist his primary attack. However, wielding two light weapons, such as daggers, small axes, or short blades (and having sufficient training) generally allows one to make a full-force attack with either hand; a light weapon is much easier to maneuver and balance. Double weapons on the other hand, which were essentially wielded two-handed, were used to deliver full-force attacks with either end.

Here's my suggestion:
Basic 2WF: As a single action, make attack with light off-hand weapon at -2, which deals no damage, but if successful grants advantage on primary attack, which is also made at -2.
Dual Wielding Feat: Off-hand weapon need not be light. If one of the two wielded weapons is light, the attack penalty for that weapon is negated.
Two-Weapon Strike Feat: If off-hand attack hits, in addition to granting advantage to primary attack, it also deals weapon damage (including magic bonuses, but no others). Primary weapon takes no attack penalty, even if it is not light.
Double Weapons: Fighting with a double weapon is equivalent to fighting with a two-handed weapon (no longer is the secondary end treated as a different weapon). A proficient character can make a second attack (with the secondary end) as a move action, and each attack deals full damage. It is not possible to make only the secondary attack in a round; a character either makes a primary attack with the double weapon, or both.
I hate to be a downer, but that idea for the Dual Wielding feat doesn't affect ANYTHING if you choose to fight with two large weapons...

Also, mechanically speaking, fighting with two weapons can still be incredibly useful, due to the Martial Damage Dice system. Even if you don't get a static mod to the off-hand weapon, if your primary weapon missed, you can do 1d6-6d6 extra damage with the offhand and apply the Martial Damage Bonus, dwarfing the mods you missed out on. It seems really weak in theory, looking at that flat 1d6 you get, but when used with the other game systems, it allows you to split up your martial damage dice and use multiple attack-based maneuvers.
The problem with balancing TWF right now is that weapon damage gets marginalized at higher levels.  A more elegant way of wording base TWF would be:


Fighting with Two Weapons:
When you wield two weapons, at least one of them must be a light weapon (see weapon properties.)  You may make two attacks as a single action, one with each weapon, but both of these attacks will be at a -2 penalty to hit.  Your Martial Damage Dice and other damage modifiers may only be applied to one of these attacks, meaning that if both attacks hit, one of them will only deal the weapon's base damage.

That would make TWF mostly balanced - you forego the opportunity to wield a shield for the option to increase your overall accuracy (and your damage to a very marginal extent).  The problem with it is that the Dual Wielding feat doesn't have any real benefit - it's just there to satisfy people who want to play at being Drizzt and increase the opportunity cost of Two Weapon Strike.  If they can find a balanced way to make a weapon's damage die size more meaningful at higher levels, then Dual Wielding might have some compelling benefit of its own.  That would also make two-handed weapons a compelling choice.  
"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
I hate to be a downer, but that idea for the Dual Wielding feat doesn't affect ANYTHING if you choose to fight with two large weapons...


Uhm... It lets you fight with two non-light weapons... Isn't that enough?


Also, mechanically speaking, fighting with two weapons can still be incredibly useful, due to the Martial Damage Dice system. Even if you don't get a static mod to the off-hand weapon, if your primary weapon missed, you can do 1d6-6d6 extra damage with the offhand and apply the Martial Damage Bonus, dwarfing the mods you missed out on. It seems really weak in theory, looking at that flat 1d6 you get, but when used with the other game systems, it allows you to split up your martial damage dice and use multiple attack-based maneuvers.


If you refer to the current implementation, not quite. Unless you are wielding two light weapons (in which case you can choose which one does not receive damage bonuses), if you miss with your non-light weapon, you can't apply MDD for extra damage, or the Martial Damage Bonus to the light one.
As for multiple attack-based maneuvers, you can do that now, even with a single attack - spend two MDDs, one to Trip and another to Shove Away. Nowhere does it say that you can use only a single maneuver per attack.

I hate to be a downer, but that idea for the Dual Wielding feat doesn't affect ANYTHING if you choose to fight with two large weapons...

Also, mechanically speaking, fighting with two weapons can still be incredibly useful, due to the Martial Damage Dice system. Even if you don't get a static mod to the off-hand weapon, if your primary weapon missed, you can do 1d6-6d6 extra damage with the offhand and apply the Martial Damage Bonus, dwarfing the mods you missed out on. It seems really weak in theory, looking at that flat 1d6 you get, but when used with the other game systems, it allows you to split up your martial damage dice and use multiple attack-based maneuvers.


I'm pretty sure this is wrong. The feat says you only get to use the die of damage with no modifiers. I interpret "no modifiers" to mean any and all static modifiers including weapon focus, magic enhancement, strength, iron armbands type crap if it makes it in this edition, and also any class bonuses including martial damage dice and the martial damage bonus. 
@Eric888: I generally agree, with one reservation:
Assuming the weapon is magical, shouldn't its enhancement bonus be part of the expression "weapon damage"? Bonuses from buffs (like prayer) or other magic items (like armbands/whatever) are indeed excempt, but I believe a weapon's enhancement bonus and other, passive damage bonuses (including dice) of the weapon should be part of "weapon damage."
Where am I wrong? (Has there ever been a clarification on this matter, in any edition?)
I had a chuckle about the idea of asking the SCA about their opinion about anything related to fencing

OTOH, when you Google "Spanish Rapier & Dagger", there's some authentic stuff in the first few hits. I fence myself, and the idea of wielding two backswords at the same time is ludicrious...  However, it's a fantasy game.
@Eric888: I generally agree, with one reservation:
Assuming the weapon is magical, shouldn't its enhancement bonus be part of the expression "weapon damage"? Bonuses from buffs (like prayer) or other magic items (like armbands/whatever) are indeed excempt, but I believe a weapon's enhancement bonus and other, passive damage bonuses (including dice) of the weapon should be part of "weapon damage."
Where am I wrong? (Has there ever been a clarification on this matter, in any edition?)


It's all just guesswork. I can see your argument as I can also see how martial damage dice are a seperate pool of damage that does not care about "only the weapon die" or not and only cares if an attack hit this turn or not. 

I don't think the designers can effectively try to attack the stacking static modifiers problem without first defining it and creating an ingame term for it.
When I said that lok's dual wield feat doesn't accomplish anything, what I meant was... It functions entirely independent of what your off-hand weapon is. You can take an entire feat to wield a bastard sword in that offhand, but it offers you no difference than if you were wielding a pencil. It's essentially a false choice, something that requires character resource investment but doesn't change gameplay whatsoever. It's like if you were to burn five talent/skill points in an MMO on getting a new skin for your weapon- Any other choice that actually changes gameplay is better and preferable. If you want to make it a satisfying choice to take a feat, it needs to improve your character in some way. Not all feats need to be equal, per se, but all feats need to feel like you made the right choice in taking it. 
When I said that lok's dual wield feat doesn't accomplish anything, what I meant was... It functions entirely independent of what your off-hand weapon is. You can take an entire feat to wield a bastard sword in that offhand, but it offers you no difference than if you were wielding a pencil. It's essentially a false choice, something that requires character resource investment but doesn't change gameplay whatsoever. It's like if you were to burn five talent/skill points in an MMO on getting a new skin for your weapon- Any other choice that actually changes gameplay is better and preferable. If you want to make it a satisfying choice to take a feat, it needs to improve your character in some way. Not all feats need to be equal, per se, but all feats need to feel like you made the right choice in taking it. 


Oh, sry, now you make more sense... :D
Well, in defense to my Dual Wielding feat suggestion, I wish to note that it also allows you to negate the -2 attack penalty if you wield a light weapon (and it can potentially affect both primary and off-hand weapon attacks).
In essence, I opted to have the Dual Wielding feat work for both light and non-light weapon wielders. I also opted to suggest a basic version. If anyone has an improvement to add, please feel free.

Some thoughts: I could have Dual Wielding negate the primary weapon penalty, light or not (what Two-Weapon Strike does), but then I need something to add to Two-Weapon Strike in its place... oh well, back to the drawing board :D
Instead of starting my own thread I just want to confirm one thing.

Can you attack two targets with TWF as it's written / intended?

ty
@Nivek_Loneshadow: Yes, nothing prevents you from directing each attack made while wielding two weapons, at a different target.