Understanding of the Dual wielding ruling

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In the D&D next manual it states: "Dual Wielding: When you wield two weapons at the same time, you can attack using both of them using a single action, provided that one of them is a light weapon. 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. If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose)." This is what it means, in the most LITERAL way possible. - You need to have at least 1 light weapon equipped to make a dual wielding attack. - Only the light weapon doesn't add the bonus - If both weapons are light, 1 of them does not have the -2 to attack rolls. - If both weapons are not light, then you add your strength modifier to both, because there is no light weapon. What other peoples interpretations are: Even with having two light weapons, you take -2 to both. If you wield 1 regular weapon and 1 light, you use the light weapons damage for both with no strength modifier. Dual wielding two non light weapons means you only get the regular damage, not the strength modifier. That interpretation means that the dual wielding feat is useless, and the only way to effectively dual wield is with two light weapons. Im just trying to look at what it means literally in the manual, right there.


Edit:

It seems that we've come to a consensus about what the ruling should actually say. The Text should be rewritten to:

Dual wielding: You may declare a dual wielding attack as an action when you wield a light or medium weapon in your mainhand and a light weapon in your offhand. You take a -2 attack penalty to both attack rolls when you attack with both weapons while dual wielding. When you attack, your offhand weapon does not apply its ability modifier during damage.

Dual Wielding Feat: You may wield a medium sized weapon in your offhand as if it was light.


No. Because dual wielding feat allows you to wield non-light weapons. So you can have two longswords instead of two shortswords. So that's d8+d8 instead of d6+d6.
No. Because dual wielding feat allows you to wield non-light weapons. So you can have two longswords instead of two shortswords. So that's d8+d8 instead of d6+d6.



So d8+str and d8+str?
You always take the -2 on both attacks, wether you use 2 light weapons or one light and one medium.

If you weild a medium and a light weapon, the light one does not have your strength bonus 
if you weild 2 light weapon, one of them does not add your strength bonus. In that case, you get to choose which one.

The dual weild feat allows you to use 2 medium weapons (you still need to choose which one gets the strength bonus and which doesn't)
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You always take the -2 on both attacks, wether you use 2 light weapons or one light and one medium.

If you weild a medium and a light weapon, the light one does not have your strength bonus 
if you weild 2 light weapon, one of them does not add your strength bonus. In that case, you get to choose which one.

The dual weild feat allows you to use 2 medium weapons (you still need to choose which one gets the strength bonus and which doesn't)



I personally believe you're right on the medium and light weapon, the light one does not have the strenght bonus. And the choosing of the light weapon strength modifier.

I disagree on the "you take -2 on both attacks regardless." because if both weapons are light, 1 of them is not limited by both the strength modifier and attack roll. Because they are conjoined sentences.

If the section read: "You take a -2 Penalty to both attack rolls. You use only the light weapon's damage dice to determine its damage, you add no bonuses to it. If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose)." Then that would be correct. The way its written right now means that if you wield 2 light weapons, you get to choose which 1 is not limited by: "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."

I also disagree on the dual wielding 2 medium weapons. There is no light weapon, therefore there is no light weapon to suffer the "no bonus str." condition, therefore, both weapons will get the +str bonus.
You always take the -2 on both attacks, wether you use 2 light weapons or one light and one medium.

If you weild a medium and a light weapon, the light one does not have your strength bonus 
if you weild 2 light weapon, one of them does not add your strength bonus. In that case, you get to choose which one.

The dual weild feat allows you to use 2 medium weapons (you still need to choose which one gets the strength bonus and which doesn't)



I personally believe you're right on the medium and light weapon, the light one does not have the strenght bonus. And the choosing of the light weapon strength modifier.

I disagree on the "you take -2 on both attacks regardless." because if both weapons are light, 1 of them is not limited by both the strength modifier and attack roll. Because they are conjoined sentences.

If the section read: "You take a -2 Penalty to both attack rolls. You use only the light weapon's damage dice to determine its damage, you add no bonuses to it. If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose)." Then that would be correct. The way its written right now means that if you wield 2 light weapons, you get to choose which 1 is not limited by: "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."

I also disagree on the dual wielding 2 medium weapons. There is no light weapon, therefore there is no light weapon to suffer the "no bonus str." condition, therefore, both weapons will get the +str bonus.




this is my interpretation as well.
You always take the -2 on both attacks, wether you use 2 light weapons or one light and one medium.

If you weild a medium and a light weapon, the light one does not have your strength bonus 
if you weild 2 light weapon, one of them does not add your strength bonus. In that case, you get to choose which one.

The dual weild feat allows you to use 2 medium weapons (you still need to choose which one gets the strength bonus and which doesn't)



I personally believe you're right on the medium and light weapon, the light one does not have the strenght bonus. And the choosing of the light weapon strength modifier.

I disagree on the "you take -2 on both attacks regardless." because if both weapons are light, 1 of them is not limited by both the strength modifier and attack roll. Because they are conjoined sentences.

If the section read: "You take a -2 Penalty to both attack rolls. You use only the light weapon's damage dice to determine its damage, you add no bonuses to it. If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose)." Then that would be correct. The way its written right now means that if you wield 2 light weapons, you get to choose which 1 is not limited by: "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."

I also disagree on the dual wielding 2 medium weapons. There is no light weapon, therefore there is no light weapon to suffer the "no bonus str." condition, therefore, both weapons will get the +str bonus.

You may be right about the -2 penalty.

You are definitely wrong about Str bonus to both attacks.  The intention of the dual wielding rules is to make sure you cannot (ever) add your Str bonus to damage twice.  In 4e you couldn't add your Str bonus to two-weapon attacks at all, they're certainly not going to let you double down on your damage bonus now, it's just too powerful.

Obviously it's a very poorly worded rule.  They've tried not to multiply the terms by referring to "main hand" and "off-hand," but they've ended up muddying the waters.  If they fixed the wording so that the overall intent was clearer (re: the -2 penalty), and reworded the Dual Wielding feat to "You treat standard one-handed weapons as light weapons for the purposes of wielding two weapons," then things might make more sense.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

Souldoubt, I do agree that two medium weapons shouldn't have the strength modifier applied to both, but the way the rules states, it should. They need to fix this section ASAP. If there were a hotline to call the designer of the packet, I would call it right now.

 The way its written right now means that if you wield 2 light weapons, you get to choose which 1 is not limited by: "You take a -2 Penalty to both attack rolls...



The wording is definitively unclear, we are on the same page here...this mess needs to be fixed

but you can't choose which weapon is affected by the "you take -2 on both attacks" that makes no sense as a sentence.

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And even if this was what was intended, the literal meaning would still give us the same result: one of the weapons would grant you "-2 on both attack rolls"
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We all agree the ruling is unclear. What would we rewrite it too?

Dual wielding: You may declare a dual wielding attack as an action when you wield a light or medium weapon in your mainhand and a light weapon in your offhand. You take a -2 attack penalty to both attack rolls when you attack with both weapons while dual wielding. When you attack, your offhand weapon does not apply its strength modifier.

Dual Wielding Feat: You may wield a medium sized weapon in your offhand as if it was light.

That would make it perfectly clear, correct?
 
We all agree the ruling is unclear. What would we rewrite it too?

Dual wielding: You may declare a dual wielding attack as an action when you wield a light or medium weapon in your mainhand and a light weapon in your offhand. You take a -2 attack penalty to both attack rolls when you attack with both weapons while dual wielding. When you attack, your offhand weapon does not apply its strength modifier.

Dual Wielding Feat: You may wield a medium sized weapon in your offhand as if it was light.

That would make it perfectly clear, correct?
 



Change "strength modifier" with "ability modifier" (as dexterity can be used instead) and it would be perfect indeed.

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With the whole vague ruling on dual-wielding, what constitutes as a light, medium, or heavy weapon? Is it relative to the size and weight of the character/humanoid creature? Honestly a halfling should not be able to dual-wield with a longsword or any weapon of similar size since its too big and cumbersome compared to his/her own size. Or a large humanoid such an ogre should be able to dual-wield 2 large/heavy weapons such as a greataxe or greatclub since those weapons would be considered "medium".
Light, medium and heavy weapons are identified as such in the equipment section of the playtest packet

Halflings treat light weapons as medium and have to weild medium weapons 2-handed

So technically, halflings would need the dual weild feat just to use 2 short swords
(Although I personally would house-rule that they can dual weild daggers no problem) 
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In the D&D next manual it states: "Dual Wielding: When you wield two weapons at the same time, you can attack using both of them using a single action, provided that one of them is a light weapon. 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. If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose)."




I interpret the ruling that you have a -2 to to both attack rolls, and you only add your ablility mod to a single heavy weapon or a light weapon, if wielding two light weapons.

I understand needing to clarify this sentence, but doesn't the "," after "You take a -2 Penalty to both attack rolls," separate the intent of the rule?  (I'm asking, I'm not an editor).

I don't think the Dual Wielding Feat does anything but let you use 2 Medium weapons and treat the 2nd medium weapon just like it was a light weapon, or you don't get to add ability mod to one of the weapon's damage die. 

I think your new wording of the rule is excellent and a big improvement.
Light, medium and heavy weapons are identified as such in the equipment section of the playtest packet

Halflings treat light weapons as medium and have to weild medium weapons 2-handed

So technically, halflings would need the dual weild feat just to use 2 short swords
(Although I personally would house-rule that they can dual weild daggers no problem) 

I don't think that last part about halflings is accurate.  All it says in the Races document is that they can't wield heavy weapons.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

Light, medium and heavy weapons are identified as such in the equipment section of the playtest packet

Halflings treat light weapons as medium and have to weild medium weapons 2-handed

So technically, halflings would need the dual weild feat just to use 2 short swords
(Although I personally would house-rule that they can dual weild daggers no problem) 

I don't think that last part about halflings is accurate.  All it says in the Races document is that they can't wield heavy weapons.




You're right, my bad... I don't know where that came from then ... ???
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Light, medium and heavy weapons are identified as such in the equipment section of the playtest packet

Halflings treat light weapons as medium and have to weild medium weapons 2-handed

So technically, halflings would need the dual weild feat just to use 2 short swords
(Although I personally would house-rule that they can dual weild daggers no problem) 

I don't think that last part about halflings is accurate.  All it says in the Races document is that they can't wield heavy weapons.



Does that mean halflings can dual-weild with medium sized weapons? That doesn't sound right of that's the case.
You always take the -2 on both attacks, wether you use 2 light weapons or one light and one medium.

If you weild a medium and a light weapon, the light one does not have your strength bonus 
if you weild 2 light weapon, one of them does not add your strength bonus. In that case, you get to choose which one.

The dual weild feat allows you to use 2 medium weapons (you still need to choose which one gets the strength bonus and which doesn't)



I personally believe you're right on the medium and light weapon, the light one does not have the strenght bonus. And the choosing of the light weapon strength modifier.

I disagree on the "you take -2 on both attacks regardless." because if both weapons are light, 1 of them is not limited by both the strength modifier and attack roll. Because they are conjoined sentences.

However, the fact that the rule states that "only one is limited in this way" implies that only damage limitation is being discussed. The -2 is a penalty to the attack, not a limitation on the weapon.

EDIT: Plus, the sentances are conjoined at the semi-colon, so the second "sentance" or thought is separating the combined thought of the first "sentance" of the conjoined sentances. Therefore the backward reference should be interpretated as referring to the last, or most recent, "sentance" of the conjoined sentances.

If the section read: "You take a -2 Penalty to both attack rolls. You use only the light weapon's damage dice to determine its damage, you add no bonuses to it. If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose)." Then that would be correct. The way its written right now means that if you wield 2 light weapons, you get to choose which 1 is not limited by: "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."

I also disagree on the dual wielding 2 medium weapons. There is no light weapon, therefore there is no light weapon to suffer the "no bonus str." condition, therefore, both weapons will get the +str bonus.

I agree that this rule's wording is open to interpretation (too many interpretations). I believe the spirit of the rule both: applies the damage limitation to the off-hand weapon and  assumes/implies the light weapon (when using one non-light weapon and one light weapon) is always the off-hand weapon.

EDIT: Also, don't forget that the rule states "no bonuses" to damage; meaning any Ability Score bonus, Feat bonus, Magic bonus, etc.

In the D&D next manual it states: "Dual Wielding: When you wield two weapons at the same time, you can attack using both of them using a single action, provided that one of them is a light weapon. 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. If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose)."




I interpret the ruling that you have a -2 to to both attack rolls, and you only add your ablility mod to a single heavy weapon or a light weapon, if wielding two light weapons.

I understand needing to clarify this sentence, but doesn't the "," after "You take a -2 Penalty to both attack rolls," separate the intent of the rule?  (I'm asking, I'm not an editor).

I don't think the Dual Wielding Feat does anything but let you use 2 Medium weapons and treat the 2nd medium weapon just like it was a light weapon, or you don't get to add ability mod to one of the weapon's damage die.  I think your new wording of the rule is excellent and a big improvement.

Actually, the ";" (between "determine its damage" and "you add no bonuses to it" - which is misquoted by the OP) is what separates the the intent. Specifically separating the attack and damage rulings.

In the D&D next manual it states: "Dual Wielding: When you wield two weapons at the same time, you can attack using both of them using a single action, provided that one of them is a light weapon. 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. If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose)."




I interpret the ruling that you have a -2 to to both attack rolls, and you only add your ablility mod to a single heavy weapon or a light weapon, if wielding two light weapons.

I understand needing to clarify this sentence, but doesn't the "," after "You take a -2 Penalty to both attack rolls," separate the intent of the rule?  (I'm asking, I'm not an editor).

I don't think the Dual Wielding Feat does anything but let you use 2 Medium weapons and treat the 2nd medium weapon just like it was a light weapon, or you don't get to add ability mod to one of the weapon's damage die.  I think your new wording of the rule is excellent and a big improvement.

Actually, the ";" (between "determine its damage" and "you add no bonuses to it" - which is misquoted by the OP) is what separates the the intent. Specifically separating the attack and damage rulings.




Only misquoted because I was doing it partially from memory : P its ;you add no bonuses to it not ,you add no bonuses to it.
In the D&D next manual it states: "Dual Wielding: When you wield two weapons at the same time, you can attack using both of them using a single action, provided that one of them is a light weapon. 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. If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose)."




I interpret the ruling that you have a -2 to to both attack rolls, and you only add your ablility mod to a single heavy weapon or a light weapon, if wielding two light weapons.

I understand needing to clarify this sentence, but doesn't the "," after "You take a -2 Penalty to both attack rolls," separate the intent of the rule?  (I'm asking, I'm not an editor).

I don't think the Dual Wielding Feat does anything but let you use 2 Medium weapons and treat the 2nd medium weapon just like it was a light weapon, or you don't get to add ability mod to one of the weapon's damage die.  I think your new wording of the rule is excellent and a big improvement.

Actually, the ";" (between "determine its damage" and "you add no bonuses to it" - which is misquoted by the OP) is what separates the the intent. Specifically separating the attack and damage rulings.




Only misquoted because I was doing it partially from memory : P its ;you add no bonuses to it not ,you add no bonuses to it.

No offense intended; I was just clarifying the thought (or sentance) structure.

The semicolon, as opposed to a comma, signifies a new thought (or sentance); providing a clearer backward reference for the last sentance.

With that in mind (only the damage ruling being affected by the two light weapons ruling), you end up always applying the -2 penalty to both attack rolls.

I also think, personally, that the rules would, logically, imply that the additional drawback (the damage limitation) would always apply to the off-hand weapon; because you, naturally, would not be as good with using anything in your off-hand as you would with anything in your primary hand.

EDIT: Taking this last thought even further, I think the rules also imply that, while using one non-light weapon and one light weapon, the TWF character is using the light(er) weapon in their off-hand.

Two-­-Weapon Fighting:
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. 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. If both weapons are light, only one of them is limited in this way (you choose).



It is my understanding that Two Weapon fighting in this version (012813 DnD Next Playtest Packet) is very simple. It should read:



Two-­-Weapon Fighting:



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.  You take a -2 penalty to both attack rolls after applying all modifiers to each attack. If you hit with the off-hand weapon all the damage you can do is the light weapon’s damage dice, you add no bonuses to it, ability and magic.  In other words by taking a -2 penalty (to both attacks) you can only do an extra light weapon’s damage dice and if both attacks are successful. If your main weapon misses you do not get to add your damage bonus.   



Regaradless under no circumstances do you ever get to add your damage bonus to more than one attack.


If both weapons are light and you only hit once you have the benefit to add your damage modifiers (ability and  magic) to that attack. If both weapons are light, and both attacks hit you get to chose which attack you wish to add your damage bonus to.



I have not addressed Martial Damage Dice because I do not believe the rules are clear enough but if they can be added then they are only added once. (Personally, as a DM I would allow martial Damage Dice to be added as it is extra damage not a bonus)


It would be wonderful if we could get an official answer on this. Does anyone know how we can contact someone from WOTC on the D&D next playtest?

If any of my players were dual wielding, I'd run the rules as follows...

Two weapon attack rolls: both 1d20 + mods -2

Main-hand damage: main-hand weapon die + mods

Off-hand damage: off-hand weapon die (and that's all)

You can add your MDD to either attack, in any combination (e.g. 1 die to your main-hand attack and 2 dice to your off-hand attack, if you want).

In order to make the second attack, your off-hand weapon must be light, unless you have the Dual Wielding feat.  If both weapons are light, you can add damage bonuses to your off-hand attack instead of your main-hand attack.  This last part balances the lower damage die of an additional light weapon with added consistency, allowing you to add your ability mod to damage if your main-hand attack misses but your off-hand attack hits.


Personally, I'd like to see the -2 penalty eliminated somehow.  It doesn't fit with the overall mechanical aesthetic of D&DN.  Maybe if your damage die size was reduced by one step instead.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

They really need to clear up the wording, I mean, come on, guys.