Author Topic: Two-Weapon Fighting That Doesn't Suck (& Other Feats) [D&D 3.5, Feats]  (Read 15464 times)

Offline SorO_Lost

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I cried a little when I seen this on GitP.

TWF didn't suck to begin with and it never has. THF is simply easier to calculate and readily picked up by anyone opposed to the three feat investment of TWF. Whereas it is three feats for three attacks, you've gone and replaced it with one feat for double your attacks. Not only does it bring beyond full TWF to casters but you've depreciated THF as well.

Like for example say a Whirling Frenzy Barbarian* using any one, and only one, method to obtain another attack. With Leap Attack they would have something like +21/+21/+21/+18 melee (2d6+13 +40 PA) for an avg 240. Despite easily being able to buy the gloves or beg for Heroics to obtain TWF, let's remove Leap Attack for it and we'll come up with  +19/+19/+19/+16 melee (1d8+13 +10 PA) & +19/+19/+19/+16 melee (1d8+7 +10 PA), avg 316. The gap only widens as more and more attacks per round become obtainable.
*Said barb has +2 racial & +4 enhance to str and obtained greater rage though items.

And this is just the one feat I've spoke of so far. The inclusion of additional damage based on BAB found in the second feat does favor melees over casters (mere +5d6 per two attacks), but it favors pure melees over specialists like the Rogue, Factotum or Bard who prior to things were the goto TWF classes.

Then there is Daze and Death attacks tossed in there for as near as I can tell to spam the crap out of Save-or-Dies every round. Recall all those people that whined about the ToB was over powered? Yeah, all it had was a full-round action save or die with ONE attack, usable every OTHER round, not make twelve to twenty attacks and prompt save vs death each and every round.

In in light of everything. You have done things remarkable well. Your TWF is so damn powerful one could never say it sucks. Good job, but I don't think I'll be taking your advice on anything related to game balance.

Offline dman11235

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lol, my bad, I forgot I just changed the feat...

That was to me.  But that does remind me: you have effects on a failed save that also screws over other people.  Now, that in itself is not a bad thing, but you're having nausea essentially at will for everyone within 120' (an encounter is almost never at larger range than that).  Sure you need to hit with both weapons, but that's easy.  What's hard is the save, but eventually something WILL fail, and if you hit a mook?

Ooh, forgot about the save on the first feat.

But triggering it off of attacks should not be a problem.  The saves are the problem for this.  Your primary attack normally will not hit, so that's one creature almost assuredly needed to save, your second set shouldn't have that much trouble, but will have a chance of not hitting, your third, well, do they have any weaklings round you?

But I'm not a big fan of any SoD, really.  I'm with SiFir, control it a bit.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 08:35:02 PM by dman11235 »
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Offline Ziegander

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TWF didn't suck to begin with and it never has. THF is simply easier to calculate and readily picked up by anyone opposed to the three feat investment of TWF.

In order to be good at fighting with a two-handed weapon, one merely has to pick one up and have a high Str score. The goal of this thread is to make the same thing true of TWF. TWF sucks to many people because this is so far from being possible as to be worthy of ridicule.

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Like for example say a Whirling Frenzy Barbarian* using any one, and only one, method to obtain another attack. With Leap Attack they would have something like +21/+21/+21/+18 melee (2d6+13 +40 PA) for an avg 240. Despite easily being able to buy the gloves or beg for Heroics to obtain TWF, let's remove Leap Attack for it and we'll come up with  +19/+19/+19/+16 melee (1d8+13 +10 PA) & +19/+19/+19/+16 melee (1d8+7 +10 PA), avg 316. The gap only widens as more and more attacks per round become obtainable.
*Said barb has +2 racial & +4 enhance to str and obtained greater rage though items.

What level are these characters supposed to be? 10? Your numbers are wrong (the THF Barb's damage is actually 268) and fail to account for the fact that even DR 5 brings the TWF Barb down to 276. The TWF Barb is also 10% less accurate with each of its attacks. Unless they're both off the RNG, that means the TWF Barb deals 10% less damage, bringing it down to 285 (or 249 with DR 5).

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The inclusion of additional damage based on BAB found in the second feat does favor melees over casters (mere +5d6 per two attacks), but it favors pure melees over specialists like the Rogue, Factotum or Bard who prior to things were the goto TWF classes.

Okay? So, it doesn't make Rogues/Factotums/Bards less capable of using TWF well. It gives new toys to pure melees. But I guess that's forbidden.

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Then there is Daze and Death attacks tossed in there for as near as I can tell to spam the crap out of Save-or-Dies every round.

Most players don't hit with every attack, every round. Yes, it's possible. With ease. But most people just don't do it. At least in my experience. Building an Uber-Charger is spectacularly easy too, but again, in my experience, most people just don't. In the games that I've actually played the save-or-suck effects of these feats require significant investment and won't happen every round.

EDIT: I am tweaking the feats in some minor ways, but also adding a "once per round" clause to the improved and higher feats.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 09:33:30 PM by Ziegander »

Offline EjoThims

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Wow... No.

Just no.

Scrap this and start over.

Your single feat version of TWF is better than the current epic PTWF (the good interpretation even!) and cuts the dex requirement while rolling in crazy defensive fighting boosts as well.

Regardless of the current state of TWF (it does suck, huge feat tax for benefit to only a few character types), this is ridiculous.

Hell, I've been told that my versions, which is the limited version of PTWF for one feat (and a separate feat for worse defensive boosts) is broken, but yours blows it out of the water by far even before stacking addition feats on top.

Offline Ziegander

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If these feats are broken, then I don't see why, and I will require education before I make substantial changes. I've explored some math, and from the looks of things, the numbers say that a character with these feats, even with some modest optimization, is very comparable to another character that uses a two-handed weapon with generally less optimization. If these feats are broken, then I've missed something, and I would appreciate, rather than a response of, "lol, no," an effort to point out what exactly makes these feats so broken.

Offline EjoThims

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an effort to point out what exactly makes these feats so broken.

Let me recap, starting with just the first feat.

For one feat, with a prereq of only 13 Dex you are giving:

  • DOUBLE ALL ATTACKS - including AoOs, spring attacks, and standard action attacks
  • and the ability to exchange double attacks for enhancement bonus as shield bonus PLUS one for every attack made, including AoOs, at no penalty
Imagine, for example, how much easier this build, and how much more powerful. Imagine it without the body swapping  and the crescent knives even.

Improved TWF is right about where it should be... actually a little weak early game, especially since it's likely used by 3/4 BAB classes, when you get it you're doing at most 2d6 extra damage plus the strength, less than you're doing from sneak attack when hitting with both weapons. But remember, this triggers if you get an AoO or use spring attack, because you're attacking with both weapons on each. Oh, and of course, if you are trying to optimize you will always hit anything, because your weapons don't have to do damage to do damage based on your BAB. And my unarmed touch attacks hit super easy and just did 10d6+1.5 Str to you, you big scaly dragon that I can't pierce the skin of...  :-\

Third tier is an AoE debuff and a single target bleed, as a passive ability. It's not a strong debuff, but there's no limit to it's use or targets, so as long as you're not a completely suck character anyway, all opponents within 120 feet are debuffed each round. Remember, this triggers if you get an AoO or use spring attack, because you're attacking with both weapons on each. And it triggers on touch attacks... "I didn't do anything but touch you, yet you are gushing blood and all your friends are sick!  :P"

The fourth tier is not overpowered because of the save or die (unless you're grabbing it with a full BAB at level 12), it's overpowered because of a continuously usable, good AoE debuff with no save that spells out for any idiot to stack with other affects to make stupid powerful. 120' AoE panicked with no save? Every round? And all I have to do is make touch attacks??? "So I poked you last round and you squirted blood everywhere, and then this round I poked you again, and even though nothing happened your friends are pissing themselves in fear."





These feats are easily abusable, poorly written, and the base feat of the chain is stupid powerful.

Offline Ziegander

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I've altered the way fighting with two weapons interacts with fighting defensively, I've added a "and deal damage to" clause to the "if you hit" part of the feats, and I've made it explicit that a creature cannot be inflicted by more than one "grisly wound" at a time. Other than that, you fail to be convincing, large bold font notwithstanding.

EDIT: Other minor feats edits made.

EDITEDIT: Wow, I fail hard at typing today.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 11:25:25 PM by Ziegander »

Offline Bozwevial

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Just a note that the first feat in the chain is basically the same as the Tome TWF feat (and is actually a bit weaker, since the latter extends to ranged weapons and scales with BAB).

I know, I know, not all games are Tome games, but remind me why we'd rather make someone pay three feats to get their iteratives on when:

a) Dudes who are not fighters with a capital F are lucky if they ever get to seven feats before the game ends, and
b) Said dudes and dudettes should therefore not have to invest more than one into the Two-Fisted-Murderin' category in order to be any good at murderin', two-fisted style, because
c) Those feat slots could have been spent on other things like Shit, Let's Be Ninja or Tongue So Sharp I'll Cut Myself, which would
d) Add depth to the character, both mechanically and from a flavor perspective, and it doesn't even matter because
e) Attacking twice as often doesn't measure up at all to getting a pair of phlebotinum-toed boots that let you kick the universe in the teeth.

Apologies for that little wall of text. It's basically the grammatical equivalent of an atropal.

It's also written from the perspective that feat chains are icky and have cooties, so take that as you will.
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Offline dman11235

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I'm totally supportive of the first feat granting full iteratives.  But I did notice that you didn't keep the original penalties for claiming extra attacks.  Originally (in vanilla D&D) you have a -6 for on-hand, -10 for off hand.  TWF cuts taht penalty by 2 for on, and 6 for off.  Light weapon in off-hand reduces it by 2 for both.  I think those are about right, I just didn't see that you changed that until SiFir told me to re-read the feats and Ejo came in with his feat changes.

And yes, I'm going to be a little more against the GTWF and STWF you have now.  Ejo might be a little enthusiastic, but he is right.
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Offline EjoThims

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I'm totally supportive of the first feat granting full iteratives

So am I, but not with doubling every attack ever. That should be a separate feat, and should stipulate that it doesn't double up more attacks in a full attack than your BAB grants you (a wording that allows you still, though, to double up all of your full bonus ones  ;)  ).

So I still say clip that out of the first tier of this feat tree, but make it into a separate 2nd tier feat.

Ejo might be a little enthusiastic, but he is right.

Often the pattern... After all, sometimes I am sad to be right.  ;)


Also, it seems you have taken away the ability to fight with two weapons but only one attack progression. Was this intentional? After all, currently you could have a BAB of 6, be holding a sword and dagger, and make one sword swing at +5 and one dagger swing at +1 without having to use TWF.

Edit: Whoops, big important omission there. Emphasis added to correction.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 05:44:43 PM by EjoThims »

Offline SorO_Lost

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In order to be good at fighting with a two-handed weapon, one merely has to pick one up and have a high Str score.
See and right there is what you're doing wrong.

What you NEED to do is learn how to play a Rogue before you run off complaining about it.

What level are these characters supposed to be? 10? Your numbers are wrong (the THF Barb's damage is actually 268) and fail to account for the fact that even DR 5 brings the TWF Barb down to 276. The TWF Barb is also 10% less accurate with each of its attacks. Unless they're both off the RNG, that means the TWF Barb deals 10% less damage, bringing it down to 285 (or 249 with DR 5).
A. 2d6 (avg 7)+13 +40 = 60, times four for the number of attacks is 240. Not 268, you failed your math check not me.
B. Do you even understand what you are trying to say? Hits a Couatl on a 2, hits a Bebilith on a 3, hits a Fire Giant on a 3, hits a Clay Golem on a 2, hits an 11 headed Hydra on a 2, hits a Rakshasa on a 2. Most of those are because a 1 always fails. 10% less accurate is of ZERO VALUE if your hit rate is still pretty much capped to begin with.
C. None of the models acknowledge DR until now. Not my fault you didn't think of it before and are now grasping at it.

Okay? So, it doesn't make Rogues/Factotums/Bards less capable of using TWF well. It gives new toys to pure melees. But I guess that's forbidden.
No it doesn't I said that before.

Pure melees take melee feats, spellcasters take spellcasting feats. It's why melees would consider investing three feats into TWF for three additional attacks. You've dropped that in favor of a Wizard casting Herorics on him self to double his attacks. This is NOT a melee buff, this is making things easier for casters to simulate the melee rule with less effort than before.

Secondly, specialist classes derive their damage output from TWF. Like a Rogue would seek to deal +20d6+20, or +90 avg, over six or more attacks sporting a HIGHER damage rate than a tank. To balance this they have a less reliable hit chance and less viability. Core fundamental is less aim = more damage and can be observed in PA, TWF, Furry of Blows, etc, and in thousands of games outside of D&D. You went and gone to upset this by awarding bonus damage to the tank to bring them closer to the specialists. Combined with all casters picking up Full TWF, the specialist's nich is significantly reduced. The problem is, a specialist is still melee. You've debuffed the T3 classes to empower the T4/T5 classes and now everyone is T4. This is NOT a melee buff, this is a sloppy and overpowered award that depreciates the very people you wish to help.

Most players don't hit with every attack, every round. Yes, it's possible. With ease. But most people just don't do it. At least in my experience. Building an Uber-Charger is spectacularly easy too, but again, in my experience, most people just don't. In the games that I've actually played the save-or-suck effects of these feats require significant investment and won't happen every round.
As demonstrated,  the TWF Barb mostly only misses on a natural 1, you know, the always miss 1. So explain this most players don't hit if the examples always do.

The aforementioned Warblade's Feral Deathblow should have made you stop and think longer than thirty seconds. The ToB commands a lot of respect on these forums and is frequently banned for being too powerful. It awards a single save or die effect to 17th level characters as part of a SINGLE attack and can normally be done at best once every two rounds. Rather than dwelling on this you went with level 12 and once per four attacks. No, minor correction there. Once per two attacks since TWF double things, like even a 5th level Wizard would have four attacks per round.

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TLDR; what we're all tell you is it's insanely powerful.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 11:17:21 PM by SorO_Lost »

Offline Ziegander

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Soro, you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about. You failed at math twice in a row, you're foaming at the mouth that I've somehow debuffed Tier 3s, and you either think that Feral Deathblow is overpowered or perfect (either way = fail). I'm pretty sure you haven't actually even read the feats I wrote (I mean before I tweaked them), and your entire argument that these are OMFGWTFbroken is that a TWF Barbarian with a lot of Strength can slightly outdamage a THF Barbarian. Oh, and something about how casters can abuse these feats to be a better melee than melee, but WHO GIVES A FUCK THEY CAN DO THAT IN ANY NUMBER OF OTHER WAYS.

Normally, I wouldn't lower myself to this base level, but I guess flaming is the only language you understand. Seriously, until you can come up with a coherent argument, and master not only basic math but basic game rules, I suggest you shut the fuck up.

Offline SorO_Lost

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Soro, you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about. You failed at math twice in a row,
Google says 240.

Rest of your post, hell the above, doesn't even warrant a response. EjoThims and dman11235 agree with me on being over powered and Sinfire Titan does as well (abit nicer in tone) on several points. If you want to go broken as hell for mislead reasons and throw a little hissy fit then go right ahead. But remember this is a forum and not your private blog, if you want to post your fix and have zero feed back on it, post it on your twitter.

Offline Ziegander

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Soro, you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about. You failed at math twice in a row,
Google says 240.

How's this for math: If both of them have a Str modifier of +13, then the guy with a two-handed weapon deals 2d6+19 + Power Attack (meaning I failed at math too, but at least I didn't fail three fucking times in a row), and if PA is +40, that makes his damage 264. That damage is assuming a Strength score of 36 at 10th level, which god only knows how you're getting (start with 18, +2 racial, +2 from levels, +4 enhancement, +6 from item greater rage = 32).

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Rest of your post, hell the above, doesn't even warrant a response.

The feeling's mutual, buddy. If you think the rules are overpowered, then you're doing a shitty job arguing your point. Your example of "the typical two-handed Barbarian" is already capable of one rounding every CR 10 monster. Does it matter at this point if another super-strong TWF deals 50 more damage? No. If you think it's overpowered for any other reason, then explain instead of just throwing words at the screen.

Do I give a shit that if this gives casters that wish to capitalize on it yet another way to trivialize melee? No. It's already really easy for casters to trivialize melee without these rules, so why should I care?

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EjoThims and dman11235 agree with me on being over powered and Sinfire Titan does as well (abit nicer in tone) on several points. If you want to go broken as hell for mislead reasons and throw a little hissy fit then go right ahead. But remember this is a forum and not your private blog, if you want to post your fix and have zero feed back on it, post it on your twitter.

The difference between those three posters and yourself is that dman11235 and Sinfire are more concerned about the GTWF and STWF feats (now renamed Slashing Fury and Greater Slashing Fury and highly modified and restricted since they were first put up), and Ejo actually brings up good points that I have responded to and made changes in my feats as a result of. Maybe you should take a look at their posts and see what they bring to the table if you want me to listen to anything you have to say.

EDIT: And not that you'd notice, because you don't actually read the material I put up before you lose your mind over it, I actually did make changes to the rules in the OP based on your first post. Abusing rules that grant extra attacks in the round was something I didn't think to account for and was definitely not in the spirit of what I was trying to accomplish, so I clearly spelled out that you only get off-hand attacks equal to the number you are allowed by your Base Attack Bonus.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 07:45:36 AM by Ziegander »

Offline dman11235

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I think your base rules for TWF are still muddy Ziegander.  You should be able to use a dagger AND a longsword in the same round with no penalty, as long as you don't take extra attacks.  Longsword takes your first iterative, dagger your second.  Something like that.  But if you try and use longsword/longsword and then an extra attack with the dagger, you start to take penalties: first on the attack roll (personally I'd go with what the original penalties are, I think they are actually reasonable), and then on the damage roll.
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Offline Ziegander

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I think your base rules for TWF are still muddy Ziegander.  You should be able to use a dagger AND a longsword in the same round with no penalty, as long as you don't take extra attacks.

I agree. Any suggestions for wording before I dive in?

EDIT: Actually, how's this - "You may carry multiple weapons at the same time, even attack with more than one on your turn, without suffering the two-weapon fighting penalties. As long as you take no more attacks per round than you are allowed by your Base Attack Bonus, you make all of your attacks at your full attack bonus - regardless of whether or not you make some of those attacks with a main-hand Longsword and some of them with an off-hand Dagger. You only suffer penalties to your attack roll (and halve your Strength modifier) when you make extra off-hand attacks in a round in addition to all of the normal attacks you are allowed by your Base Attack Bonus."
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 08:13:39 AM by Ziegander »

Offline dman11235

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Danger though, before anyone gets into this:

What does it mean to claim extra attacks?  Can you attack with your longsword twice as much (claiming off-hand attacks with it) and thus effectively TWF with only one weapon?  Or is the act of using a second weapon granting you extra attacks?  Or can you mix and match which one is off-hand?  Either way, you MUST determine whether or not you are claiming extra attacks at the beginning of your turn.

The way you word it will determine which one this is.  If you end up wording it something along the lines of "you can attack with any weapon you are capable of attacking with, taking any appropriate penalty, but if you accept more penalties you can claim an extra attack with your off-hand weapon", you end up allowing potentially something like this: longsword/dagger///longsword/dagger, where the second set is your off-hand.  The way you word it there, your dagger is ALWAYS off-hand, that's another option.  I think that's the best way to do it, and when you start TWF you suddenly can't use the designated off-hand weapon as a main-sequence attack.  Doesn't make 100% sense logically, but I think that's the best balance point.
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Offline Ziegander

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A character that fights with two weapons, rather than one, may make one attack with his off-hand weapon during a full-attack action for every attack he makes with his main-hand weapon up to the number of attacks allowed by his Base Attack Bonus.

You may carry multiple weapons at the same time, even attack with more than one on your turn, without suffering the two-weapon fighting penalties. As long as you take no more attacks per round than you are allowed by your Base Attack Bonus, you make all of your attacks at your full attack bonus - regardless of whether or not you make some of those attacks with a main-hand Longsword and some of them with an off-hand Dagger. You only suffer penalties to your attack roll (and halve your Strength modifier) when you make extra off-hand attacks in a round in addition to all of the normal attacks you are allowed by your Base Attack Bonus.

Maybe I'm too tired to see the point of what you're saying, but it's also possible that seeing the two pieces of rules above together makes it more clear. You can't two-weapon fight without two-weapons. You can't "claim" to be two-weapon fighting, and thus get extra attacks at a penalty, without actually fighting with two-weapons. You can hold two weapons without two-weapon fighting.

At least that's how it's supposed to work. If I'm wording something poorly let me know where I need to change it.

Offline Tarkisflux

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I think a reshuffling of text might make that more clear actually. Starting with "you can carry whatever you want, and attack with any of them with your bab granted iterative attacks without penalty" then going in to "if you try to attack with 2 at the same time, in order to increase the total number of attacks you get in a round, you suffer penalties" might work better.

I'm a bit concerned about multi-weapon fighting though (well, concerned might be the wrong word, but I don't have a better one at present). The ability to sacrifice your primary for a big pile of secondary attacks makes it about equal to TWF if you have 3 weapons, and better if you have more. And if you pick a crappy weapon as your "primary", you can get a bunch of secondary attacks that you care more about out of the trade. The fact that it has an entirely separate feat tree also looks like a waste of conceptual space and energy. It might be as intended, but feels weird to me.

So here's a potential alternative. You could just write the feat such that it granted you one additional set of secondary attacks, rather like ITWF does right now. So if you take it and you have a longsword, shortsword, armor spikes, and blade boots you can get whichever of those is the primary and then two more each time you would get a qualifying attack with your primary. And let people take the feat multiple times so they can keep on adding additional secondary attacks to the pile, instead of taking it once and loading up on stuff. That also frees you from having to write multi-weapon versions of the TWF stuff, since each extra secondary is just another chance to make the regular rend style stuff take effect (as long as you hit with the primary first).

Offline dman11235

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@Ziegander:  No, I think that works.  I was just warning.  I do think that your intent statement is nice, no TWF with only one weapon.

@Tarkisflux: what?  So are you suggesting have TWF be just one attack, and then ITWF grants a second attack, and GTWF is a third?  Only with these, having three weapons would be two extra attacks with TWF, four with ITWF, 6 with GTWF, etc.?
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