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D&D General Attacks With Two Weapons, Game Design, And the Evolution of D&D

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
A topic that has come up now repeatedly (first arising in the context of my posts regarding Drizzt and Rangers) is the idea of Dual Wielding, aka Two Weapon Fighting, aka Attacks with Two Weapons. I think that it's worth developing into a separate post given that the topic is more general than just two-weapon fighting, and delves into a few subjects that I think are interesting on their own- how we look at rules, how the system affects gameplay (and vice versa), how 1e and 2e are both similar and different, and how time affects the way we look at rules and remember events.

NOTE: I will use TWF as a general acronym for dual wielding, two weapon fighting, and attacks with two weapons.

1. The Difference Between "Attacks with Two Weapons" in 1e and Two-Weapon Fighting in 2e.

I’ve been going to this high school for seven and a half years! I’m no dummy!

I'm going to detail the history briefly here. If you're not into the history, the TLDR is that in 1e, you could attack with two weapons, which meant that you were able to attack each round an equal number of times with each weapon. So an illusionist with two daggers got two attacks a round; a high level fighter with a sword and a dagger would have four attacks a round. In 2e, this rule was changed to provide no more than one "extra" attack with the off-hand. If you think this is incorrect, there are plenty of other threads to argue this point! I am more interested in the design implications of this. However, I think it is important to "show your work." So-

OD&D didn't have explicit rules, that I am aware of, for TWF. The first appearance of it is for the Drow in G3, which provides that they are able to use both hands to attack and defend, and provides that they either get one or two attacks per round (implying that it depends on what they are using and whether or not they are using a shield or extra weapon). Notably, the Drow are equipped with a secondary weapon of a dagger- this is important for the DMG rule. The Drow's TWF continues in the remaining modules in the series (D1 on) as well as the Fiend Folio (1981). We see that TWF also exists in the campaign setting for "high dexterity" NPCs through the existence of same in Deities and Demigods (1980). The actual rule for TWF is contained on page 70 of the DMG (1979) and states in full, under the heading of Attacks With Two Weapons:
Characters normally using a single weapon may choose to use one in each hand (possibly discarding the option of using a shield). The second weapon must be either a dagger or hand axe. Employment of a second weapon is always at a penalty. The use of a second weapon causes the character to attack with his or her primary weapon at –2 and the secondary weapon at –4. If the user’s dexterity is below 6, the Reaction/Attacking Adjustment penalties shown in the PLAYERS HANDBOOK are added to EACH weapon attack. If the user’s dexterity is above 15, there is a downward adjustment in the weapon penalties as shown, although this never gives a positive (bonus) rating to such attacks, so that at 16 dexterity the secondary/primary penalty is –3/–1, at 17 –2/0, and at 18 –1/0. The secondary weapon does not act as a shield or parrying device in any event.

I'm not going to parse this any farther, but there are some notable things about this passage- first, it allows for any character class to TWF, although the implication is that Clerics would not be able to take advantage of this due to weapon restrictions, it was also the case that at the time, there was precedent for some Clerics to have different weapon restrictions. Second, there was absolutely no limitation on the number of attacks- there is no hint, or limit, stating that the secondary weapon only received a "single" or "bonus" attack. That's just not how the rule read or worked. The limiting principle, as was clear, was the type of weapon used, and that you gave up the use of a shield or parry (defense). In other words, you sacrificed defense for a limited ability on offense.

Later, we see that in 1985, we have examples of a class getting explicit TWF (the Kensai, in OA, as a 7th level ability) as well as a PC race (the Drow, in UA), and it was put into a setting as well (Grey Mouser, et al, City of Lankhmar). To the extent any of this was unclear, Roger Moore had a definitive article in Dragon Magazine in 1982 explaining the rule (and slightly expanding the weapon list).

Now, when 2e came around, you had a different ruleset; it changed many rules, for example. When it came to TWF, it added it as a class ability for Rangers (at no penalty) and also allowed it for Warriors and Rogues (at a penalty). It massively expanded the weapon choice (the second weapon had to be smaller, but so long as it could be wielded in one hand, you're good to go), and it made a new explicit limitation- you get one additional attack per round with your secondary weapon, "regardless of the number of attacks he may normally be allowed." (PHB 2e 96).

To sum up the rules and the differences between TWF in 1e and 2e (core rules):
1e: You could use a dagger or hand axe only as your secondary weapon. Any character could TWF (but clerics might be restricted due to weapon choice). You had an effective "doubling" of attacks. Attacks were at a penalty (high dex could ameliorate the penalty).
2e: Only warriors and rogues could TWF. attacks were at a a penalty (except ranger) and high dex could ameliorate the penalty. You could use any smaller and lighter weapon as the secondary weapon. You could only get one extra attack with the secondary weapon.


2. Why 2e Changed the Rule, and What it Says about the Evolution of D&D and the Design of the Game from 1e to 2e.
Remember – Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three rights make a left.

Let's start with something which may not be obvious to people today; I am sure that there are people who read the section above and are salivating. "Double the attacks? Just wait until I optimize that, suckers!" Here's the thing, though ... 1e didn't play like that. At least ... not at first. To understand why, we have to take a brief detour into how 1e was played (pre-UA).

Let's start with the basics- we are going to ignore all the classes except Fighters (and I will only say this once- Fighter subclasses are included unless I say otherwise). Maybe it would be cool for your high-dexterity Illusionist to TWF. Maybe your Thief or Assassin will do it. But having a secondary attack with a dagger isn't going to affect much in the game. But what about the Fighter? What about DEATH WIELDER MOWING DOWN THE OPPOSITION?

We need to start with a few basic principles- first, high level play tended to be rare (I am going to ignore Monty Haul campaigns, because TWF was the least of the problems). So the Fighter didn't get an additional attack until level ... 7. And that was 3/2. They didn't get to 2/1 until LEVEL 13 (15 for Rangers).

Second, the Fighter probably took that Dex penalty. Remember that in 1e, for a Fighter, strength was king- Dex was good, but hadn't yet evolved into the god-stat, and what we now call "dex builds" were exceedingly rare. Fighters were the only class that were able to get percentile strength, and excess constitution bonuses, so it was almost inevitable that the Fighters would put their two highest scored in Strength and Con, and Dex would be a distant third. Prior to ability inflation, that meant that those dex penalties could hurt.

Third, and most importantly, defense really mattered in 1e. We are now used to the whole "whac-a-mole" and "attrition of hit points" style of play, but in 1e, the best way to survive was to not get hit. So (ignoring the parry rules for now) when you gave up a shield as a fighter, it was a big deal. Because magic shields were a dime-a-dozen in 1e. Every low-level module had +1 and +2 shields practically littering the ground like peanut shells at a baseball game, and it was not uncommon at mid-levels to get a +3 or +4 shield. Which meant that by the time you were really benefitting as a fighter from the extra attacks, you were trading 5 points of AC. Which was massive.

Fourth, and finally, the weapon restriction mattered. Daggers and hand-axes? Not only did they do very little damage, but (unlike swords) it wasn't like there were super-powerful example of them in terms of magic. Dagger +1? Sure. But the d4+1 (d3+1) for a magic dagger hardly seemed worth it. And while a hand-axe was d6/d4, magic ones were less common in play than daggers.

So that's why it didn't really matter that much. Of course, if you have someone who is true optimizer, I am sure that they can squint at this, and find examples of edge cases where it does matter! For example, Fighters get to attack critters under 1hd at a number of times equal to their level, so a TWF fighter could theoretically be, "Conan, killer of small vermin and kobolds with daggers." A very high level Fighter with a girdle of giant strength could apply the strength bonus to both attack, and get up to four per round. A high level ranger could be devastating against "giant class" (aka, humanoids). But if you're high level, you're going to be pretty, pretty good anyway. It should hardly be surprising that martial characters find ways, if they really want to, to shine at high levels! Getting some dagger attacks thrown in wouldn't break the game.

So what changed? The same thing that everyone who has played 1e will say- Unearthed Arcana. Unearthed Arcana is what eventually led to the 2e rule change. Because of the addition of Weapon Specialization, and the addition of Method V of rolling abilities. In reverse order- people can, and do, argue about the best way, or the proper way, or the default way, to roll abilities in 1e. But while methods (from 3d6 to 4d6k1) in the past would provide you with mediocre, decent, or sometimes good abilities, the addition of Method V in Unearthed Arcana would often give you a GREAT character. Suddenly, it became that much more likely you would have a high Strength, Con, AND Dexterity.

But what really began to change the balance was Weapon Specialization. For the first time, fighters could get multiple attacks at first level. So, if you specialized in a hand axe (for example), you suddenly had 3 attacks at first level if you used TWF. Instead of this being a secondary consideration, a Fighter could double specialize in hand axe and receive +3/+3 in addition to their strength (melee) or dex (thrown) bonuses with the hand axe. In other words, the addition of more rules suddenly made the original rule ... not work. As the rules accumulated, the original limiting principles that governed TWF in 1e no longer acted as a break.

Which meant that when 2e came around, and Specialization was codified, there had to be some new limits. It was no longer neither necessary nor sufficient for the limits to solely be on the weapons; in fact, since those limits were being partially lifted, you needed new ones. As new rules interacted, a more stringent rule had to come in to take the place of the prior rule.


3. On Rules and Memory- Reading 2e Back into 1e.
It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes.

Whenever I make one of these posts, I do my very best to scrupulously check dates and original sources. Partly it's because I enjoy doing the research, and partly it's because I am fallible. My memory of things is not always correct; for example, I have a strong memory of playing a certain module at a certain time, but I know for a fact that it couldn't have happened because the module wasn't released for several years after that memory! It's not that I want to be deceitful- either to myself, and certainly not in recounting the story, but just that after the passage of decades, events can morph, change, and bleed into one another. It happens.

The whole of the TSR era can often act like that type of confused memory. The primary issue is that all of the TSR products were largely interchangeable and interoperable. It was possible to, for example, play through B2 - a module designed for OD&D and released for B/X - using rules for 2e. In addition, the prevalence of homebrew, 3PP, semi-official rules (Dragon, Strategic Review), and lack of internet at the time for standardization can make things incredibly confusing, not to mention the nomenclature ... (Oh, Basic? Do you mean Holmes, Moldvay, or Mentzer?).

Nevertheless, there often is a strict delineation in those rules. 1e was different before UA ... and different than 2e. Holmes Basic (which is OD&D) is not Moldvay Basic (which is the BECMI line, or "Basic"). People often "read into" certain rules other rules that they remember from other eras in TSR - for example, I have seen that it is exceedingly common for people to "read back" 2e rules into 1e, primarily because they played 2e more recently.

I mention this both because I have seen it (for example, Gygax was famously again crits, and they did not exist in 1e in the core rules*- in fact, even rolling a 20 did not guarantee that you hit (it did in BECMI/RC). This changed in 2e, with the optional critical hits in the DMG that many adopted. However, there are those that still remember core rules (as opposed to homebrew) that provided for critical hits in 1e. Memory is funny that way!

It's interesting, because the way you approach the game continues to inform your decision. Arguably, from what I have seen, the approach to certain rules and rulings in 5e that is taken by people who are most used to 1/2e, 4e, and 3e/PF are very different, despite the fact that the actual rule in 5e is the same for all of them.

But that's a different topic.

*There was always 3PP and optional rules; I believe there is an article back in '76 for a variant samurai class.
 

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Whenever I make one of these posts, I do my very best to scrupulously check dates and original sources. Partly it's because I enjoy doing the research, and partly it's because I am fallible. My memory of things is not always correct; for example, I have a strong memory of playing a certain module at a certain time, but I know for a fact that it couldn't have happened because the module wasn't released for several years after that memory! It's not that I want to be deceitful- either to myself, and certainly not in recounting the story, but just that after the passage of decades, events can morph, change, and bleed into one another. It happens.

This is why it's silly to harp on somebody misremembering something. I mean, I remember the Berenstein Bears just as clearly as anybody else...
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Let's not forget TWF reaching its apex with 2e Combat and Tactics. A fighter (or other classes if you're using S&P) could spend their starting proficiency slots to gain Ambidexterity, Two-Weapon Fighting Style, and Weapon Specialization, which essentially gives them 5/2 attacks with +1/+2 bonuses (scaling to +3/+3 with Mastery at level 5) in addition to their Strength bonuses.

It was the weapon fighting style for pretty much every melee character in late 2e, and became so synonymous with munchkinism that both 3e and 5e hit the style so hard with the nerf bat it never truly recovered.
 

S'mon

Legend
You had an effective "doubling" of attacks.
It (1e) doesn't actually say or imply this anywhere, does it? In fact from what you say, there's no actual indication that TWF gives ANY extra attacks?

I always thought it gave +1 attack, but I'm not too surprised to hear it doesn't actually say that.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
It (1e) doesn't actually say or imply this anywhere, does it? In fact from what you say, there's no actual indication that TWF gives ANY extra attacks?

I always thought it gave +1 attack, but I'm not too surprised to hear it doesn't actually say that.

Pretty sure I went through the history. That said:
"If you think this is incorrect, there are plenty of other threads to argue this point!"

It's not an interesting topic to me, given that the later interpretation tends to cloud people's minds.

Note that the whole "+1 attack" is a rule that did not exist until the 2e PHB. The same thing happened in the Basic line- the RC (published after 2e) makes the rule that you get one additional attack per combat round. (RC 110).

Compare and contrast the rules in the Masters set (BECMI), which was written when AD&D (1e) was still the system, and does not have the "+1 attack" limitation- instead providing a second attack at a mastery level lower, and at -4 (so one lower on the matrix, AND -4). (Master 19).
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
For example, Fighters get to attack critters under 1hd at a number of times equal to their level, so a TWF fighter could theoretically be, "Conan, killer of small vermin and kobolds with daggers."
I'd say that the rule about fighters getting extra attacks against certain exceptionally-weak monsters deserves a look-back thread of its own, but there's already a great blog post about it over on Song of the Blade.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I'd say that the rule about fighters getting extra attacks against certain exceptionally-weak monsters deserves a look-back thread of its own, but there's already a great blog post about it over on Song of the Blade.

That was always one of my favorite obscure rules, although, given that it was in the text of the class in the PHB (albeit not in the main text), I never understood why it was obscure.

I did not know the Chainmail history- that's cool! The rule always made sense to me given that the combat round in AD&D = 1 minute.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Was checking if there was any basis for your statement. I saw your 'don't dispute this statement' line. :p

Other than ... the fact that the alternate rule that people keep citing .... doesn't exist until 2e (and the later RC)?

Or that contemporaneous sources (such as the Dragon Article from 1982) indicate that the natural reading of the rule is the correct one?

Or any one of innumerable other reasons? The reason I put that in there (and most of the essay) is there are only so many times I can respond to someone saying, "But wait, how do you know it isn't just +1 attack per round" when that rule did not exist until the 2e PHB.*

It makes me feel like I'm taking crazy pills. How do I know, for sure, that a rule that didn't exist for 10 years ... didn't retroactively apply? I don't know ... trust me. I guess. shrug ;)
 

S'mon

Legend
Other than ... the fact that the alternate rule that people keep citing .... doesn't exist until 2e (and the later RC)?

Or that contemporaneous sources (such as the Dragon Article from 1982) indicate that the natural reading of the rule is the correct one?

Or any one of innumerable other reasons? The reason I put that in there (and most of the essay) is there are only so many times I can respond to someone saying, "But wait, how do you know it isn't just +1 attack per round" when that rule did not exist until the 2e PHB.

It makes me feel like I'm taking crazy pills. How do I know, for sure, that a rule that didn't exist for 10 years ... didn't retroactively apply? I don't know ... trust me. I guess.

I'm asking about "TWF doubles attacks" - this doesn't seem to be stated anywhere? Maybe in a Dragon article?

My reading of the 1e DMG (sans 2e) was that TWF with dagger or hand axe gave +1 attack, but I'm not too surprised to learn it doesn't actually say how many extra attacks you get, if any. BTW in Classic by default the answer is 0, AIR says so in Dawn of the Emperors.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Other than ... the fact that the alternate rule that people keep citing .... doesn't exist until 2e (and the later RC)?

Or that contemporaneous sources (such as the Dragon Article from 1982) indicate that the natural reading of the rule is the correct one?

Or any one of innumerable other reasons? The reason I put that in there (and most of the essay) is there are only so many times I can respond to someone saying, "But wait, how do you know it isn't just +1 attack per round" when that rule did not exist until the 2e PHB.*

It makes me feel like I'm taking crazy pills. How do I know, for sure, that a rule that didn't exist for 10 years ... didn't retroactively apply? I don't know ... trust me. I guess. shrug ;)
To me, the biggest factor is that doubling your attacks seems so strong by my modern standards that I'd expect to see a positive statement of the rule (your second weapon gets as many attacks as the first); judging what rules meant by 1978 standards is really difficult.

Not that I think it's wrong, of course, I never played 1e, it's just weird not to see it expressed definitively.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
To me, the biggest factor is that doubling your attacks seems so strong by my modern standards that I'd expect to see a positive statement of the rule (your second weapon gets as many attacks as the first); judging what rules meant by 1978 standards is really difficult.

Not that I think it's wrong, of course, I never played 1e, it's just weird not to see it expressed definitively.

That was one of the main reasons I wrote this- it only seems odd if you aren't thinking in the same terms. We all tend to read rules in a certain way and carry baggage into it.

Prior to concepts like Weapon Specialization, the idea that the doubling of attacks was "Overpowered" would be laughable when those attacks would be with a dagger or handaxe, especially given the tradeoffs and that it was a long time before you got extra attacks.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm repeating myself?
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Third, and most importantly, defense really mattered in 1e. We are now used to the whole "whac-a-mole" and "attrition of hit points" style of play, but in 1e, the best way to survive was to not get hit. So (ignoring the parry rules for now) when you gave up a shield as a fighter, it was a big deal. Because magic shields were a dime-a-dozen in 1e. Every low-level module had +1 and +2 shields practically littering the ground like peanut shells at a baseball game, and it was not uncommon at mid-levels to get a +3 or +4 shield. Which meant that by the time you were really benefitting as a fighter from the extra attacks, you were trading 5 points of AC. Which was massive.
This part strikes me as worth expounding upon in some future thread. Personally, I can remember having an impression that "sword and board" fighters were a poor choice compared to using either a two-handed weapon or dual-wielding, but I can't remember where I got that idea from (my guess is PHBR1 The Complete Fighter's Handbook, what with specialization and all).
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
This part strikes me as worth expounding upon in some future thread. Personally, I can remember having an impression that "sword and board" fighters were a poor choice compared to using either a two-handed weapon or dual-wielding, but I can't remember where I got that idea from (my guess is PHBR1 The Complete Fighter's Handbook, what with specialization and all).

I definitely will do that- it was a common perception in my area in 1e, but I'll probably have to do the math.

Also, I forgot to add this for people interested in the DMG text. It has to do with the weird phrasing for "attack routines" on DMG 62-3 (emphasis mine):

When one or more creatures involved in combat are permitted to use their attack routines twice or more often during the round, then the following initiative determinants are employed. When the attack routine may be used twice, then allow the side with this advantage to attack FIRST and LAST with those members of its group who have this advantage. If it is possessed by both parties, the initiative roll determines which group strikes FIRST and THIRD, which group strikes SECOND and LAST. If one or both groups have members allowed only one attack routine, it will always fall in the middle of the other attacks, the order determined by dicing for initiative, when necessary. If one party has the ability to employ its attack routines thrice, then the other party dices for initiative to see if it, or the multi-routine group, strikes first in the mid-point of the round. Extrapolate for routines which occur four or more times in a round by following the method above. Note that a routine is the attack or attacks usual to the creature concerned, i.e. a weapon (or weapons) for a character, a claw/claw/bite routine for a bear (with incidental; damage assessed as it occurs - the hug, for exomple). A 12th level fighter is allowed attack routines twice in every odd numbered melee round, for example, and this moves up to three per round if a haste spell is cast upon the fighter. Damage from successful attacks is assessed when the "to hit" score is made and damage determined, the creature so taking damage having to survive it in order to follow its attack routine.

I don't know how much more clear it could be!

Well, I do know ... someone other than Gygax could have written it. But still. Can people stop citing the 2e rule already? :)
 

Well, you have your "I am absolutely right and cannot be refuted" idea of what 1e rules are, but legions of players didn't agree with your interpretation, lets just leave it at that. You can try to dismiss them all, but you will never overcome the sheer murkiness of the AD&D rules (especially 1e, but 2e is pretty unclear as well). It is probably not worth rehashing this argument, though in brief many groups simply interpreted TWF in 1e to mean you got one extra attack PER ROUND. This is perfectly consistent with D&DG, Drow, etc. Yes, Roger Moore is in your camp, and nobody disputes that was a common interpretation, just that it is FAR from the only one!

You dismiss the optimization value of TWF in the original rules under your interpretation (or even our more limited one except at high levels). DEX is not the dump off stat for fighters which you make it out to be, if you take a really sophisticated view of things. We played vast numbers of hours of 1e, probably several thousand hours before 1980 even (I played every day at a club that had 100's of players from 1977 to 1980). So we may have been a bit unusual in our level of focus on the rules, but still...

DEX will get you out of trouble a lot better than CON will, unless you are a dwarf (obviously). It adds to your AC, and thus effectively to a lot of situations where you'd need to avoid poison and other nastiness. It can also apply in a lot of uncodified situations. So it is a really good defensive stat, and avoiding damage is better than a CON bonus, certainly a lot better at lower levels.

And then we come to OFFENSE. First of all, missile fire is greatly superior to melee. Not always available, but when the other guy cannot hurt you back, and you can move and retreat easily, its gold. DEX improves your missile fire (later 'strength bows' became a thing, which allowed STR to add a damage bonus, assuming your DM allowed them, though they were a bit expensive and most magic bows don't have that attribute). So there is that, plus the reaction adjustment, meaning you get to STRIKE FIRST most of the time with a high DEX. This is also gold, a dead guy cannot hurt you, make him dead before he even gets a swing, gold.

Now, think about TWF. That extra attack, granted it is a d6 weapon, is still effective. With an 18 in DEX it is barely penalized at all. So, yeah, an 18/nn% STR is pretty tempting, but gauntlets are a thing, and not super rare, plus there's that nn% role, which is often low (1-50% is all the same bonus). Unless you role better than 50% an extra attack for d6 will give you about the same DPR. Yes, you don't get your +1 for shield (sometimes) to AC, but you DO get an AC bonus, which is not limited to 1-3 attacks from a certain angle per round. So, are you really giving up much by putting that 18 in DEX?

You mention shields and magic shields. Again, good for SOME situations, but there's always another PC in the party who can use it just as well as you can. I never encountered the "shield like peanut shells" thing, magic shields were a thing, you would be likely to get one at some point. Also magic armor, rings, bracers, cloaks, etc. which are all things that showed up at some degree of frequency and can grant similar bonuses. So, yes, you personally MIGHT be giving up a bit of AC (usually 1 point in my experience) but you already GAINED up to 4 points!

And there certainly are magical daggers and hand axes, though perhaps less common than magical longswords, sure. However, you can still wield the magical longsword! The dagger/axe is in the off hand anyway. Sure, there may be a situation where it isn't worth using against some large creature, maybe, though that is pretty situational.

I would note that my Ranger, a completely 1e character, has Gauntlets of Ogre Power, and wields a highly magical bastard sword in one hand, and a magical hand axe in the other, and indeed has an 18 DEX (and a magical longbow/some magic arrows too). It is a classic optimization, and the character was stupid deadly, which is the only way you survived in the murder hole that was most of the campaign. Heck, the whole character's main characterization was wiping out the Demogorgon cultists who murderized all the other members of his first party. I think that character was sole survivor of SEVERAL wipe outs. We never missed a beat on optimization, for sure.

Of course, you could go the high CON or high STR route also, or be stupid fortunate and have 2 or 3 high stats and have your cake and eat it too. STR at least is the only one where there are items to increase it. I won't really disagree that STR as the high stat is the obvious choice, and a good one. CON is more of a nice thing for dwarves or at high levels where the +3 or +4 (yeah, how often) can stack up a whole bunch. Low level PCs don't really gain much from a CON bonus. DEX I've already outlined. In our understanding of the rules DEX was pretty much the 'god stat' not STR or CON!

So, for the rest, you are right, UA borked things good. If you used Weapon Specialization then TWF went from a pretty good optimization for say 50% of fighters and all thieves and some wizards, to ridiculously optimum. You could cancel out most of the TWF penalty with DEX, and then build on top of that, AND your missile attack rate increased too! It was broken, just like ALL of UA, all broken. Doesn't even take the silly 9d6 method to make it broken, its just broken.

So, yeah, 2e absolutely clarified the rules and set a fixed, and lesser, increased attack rate for TWF. Given that it still incorporated most of the Specialization rule, TWF was still really good. In fact overall I think it is still better in 2e than in 1e, and given the relaxation of the restrictions on off-hand weapon, that much better. 2e hand axe machine guns are definitely a thing, though I think that level of specialization is a bit limiting overall and probably more of a trick build.
 



One small intervention. The haste spell double the number of attacks you make on a particular round. It does not increase your attack rate. The fighter will not go from 3/2 to 3/1 . He will do 2 attacks one round, and the next he will do four. Which might look like 3/1 but it is not. The difference is a slim one, but it can mean a lot with certain magical items.
 

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