I'm sure that this question has been asked a ton, but I can't find it on the "search" feature (which absolutely sucks since it searches random postings instead of the TITLES of the original posts).
Anyways, how does two weapon fighting (i.e. one weapon in each hand) ACTUALLY work in 4e? I've tried looking it up in the compendium (again, a huge bust) and I can't ever seem to find a plain, simple explanation of it. I know that in 3.5 you would just equip two weapons and every round you would attack with both, but at a penalty to each attack. Is it the same in 4e? Or can you only ever attack with 1 weapon per standard action unless if a power specifically says that you can attack with both? I know that an action point allows you to attack again, ect, ect. That's NOT what I'm talking about. I'm just wondering for ONE standard action if both weapons always attack, or if it's just one weapon unless if the combat ability specifically says otherwise?
If anyone body can certifiably clarify this question in an easy to understand manner, I would be very appreciative.
Powers do what they say they do.
Compare Twin Strike (attack with both weapons in single standard action) with Careful Attack (attack just with your mainhand weapon).
You can only attack with both weapons in a single action if a power specifically says you can.
Assume. Thanks guys. I've looked up "dual wield" and "two weapon" in the compendium search and I was finding nothing. I've seen people play rangers and their powers say when to use one and when not to, but we could never figure out if that was just the ranger class or if that mechanic was consistent for all classes.
I needed to clarify it because I know someone is going to use a two weapon warrior in a game that I'm directing. In a previous game with another DM, he was trying to claim that every action allowed for both weapons to attack, and that actions that allowed for two attacks (on two different enemies) meant that he could roll 4 times for hitting the enemy. No one knew the rules well enough and we couldn't find them, so after agruing with him for 30min over it we just let him have his way. He seemed to completely break the power curve (making our two, dual wield rangers look like chumps). I'm glad that I was able to get a solid reply because I have no intention of letting him get away with that again.
You should have the PHB, it tells you exactly how wielding two weapons work. Particularly, the part where it says that when you use an attack power, you pick which weapon to use the power with, rather than being told to use both. Unless, of course, the power tells you to use both (like Twin Strike).
The idea that simply by having a second weapon you get extra free attacks is firmly a 3.5 notion, and does not exist anywhere in Next. Your gnome friend should have to point to something that clearly says that he can do what he wants. It's not your responsibility to find a rule to prove him wrong, it's his responsibility to find a rule that says he can do it. This is what exception-based design means: the things do only what they say, rather than doing things that they don't say they don't do.
PHB is the Player's Handbook, which you should have. The Compendium is not a replacement for the rulebooks, it is a reference. It has never been advertised as anything else. It's still incredibly useful (it's the primary reason I continue to pay for D&D Insider), but it is not nor has it ever been a replacement for the books.
The books tell you how to play the game, and you need to start there.
Player's Handbook. Or buy the Rules Compendium. The online Compendium and CB tell you most of what you need to know, but nowhere near all.
If you are trying to find the rule about this using only the compendium, the closest thing you're going to get is the glossary entry for Off-Hand - which contains this text:
"An adventurer can’t attack with both weapons in the same turn, unless he or she has a power that allows such an attack, but he or she can attack with either weapon."
But seriously, at least drop the $20 on the Rules Compendium so you have a real rules reference at the table. It is well laid out and actually has a fairly comprehensive index, unlike the PHB. Some would say there are errors in it but WoTC stands by its text as the definitive rules source for 4e.
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