D&D 5E Can you use dueling and TWF at the same time? I think you can RAW.


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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Ok hold on, let me just copy the relevant text and maybe you can see what I'm seeing.

All bonus action says is: you can take a bonus action only when...states you can do something.

Two weapon fighting says: when you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon you are holding in one hand (requirement), you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon you are holding in the other hand.

The only requirement for the bonus action attack is attacking with one weapon using the Attack action, and that the weapon must be held in the other hand. It doesn't magically take away the bonus action just because you lose the weapon after you are granted the ability to take it.
 

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Composer99

Adventurer
I would disallow. You can't use a bonus action you no longer qualify for. If you used your bonus action to throw a weapon you would no longer have two weapons and therefore would not qualify for a bonus action. Ergo you would have to use your attack action to throw the weapon and would get no bonus action attack. If you had two attacks you could throw a weapon and then make a duelling attack, but you would still not qualify for a bonus action attack.

Remember bonus actions do not exist independently. You only have a bonus action if you meet the requirements.
This seems is mistaken since the rules for fighting with two weapons explicitly allow you to throw either weapon.
 
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Ok hold on, let me just copy the relevant text and maybe you can see what I'm seeing.

All bonus action says is: you can take a bonus action only when...states you can do something.

Two weapon fighting says: when you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon you are holding in one hand (requirement), you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon you are holding in the other hand.

The only requirement for the bonus action attack is attacking with one weapon using the Attack action, and that the weapon must be held in the other hand. It doesn't magically take away the bonus action just because you lose the weapon after you are granted the ability to take it.
You do realise what you just said makes no sense? If you are only holding one weapon you are not holding a weapon in the other hand. ergo you do not qualify for a bonus action.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
You do realise what you just said makes no sense? If you are only holding one weapon you are not holding a weapon in the other hand. ergo you do not qualify for a bonus action.
Look, the requirement to take the bonus action is merely that you have a light melee weapon in one hand. The bonus action itself, once granted, is merely to attack with a weapon held in the other hand. And as the quoted section points out, and Composer99 just pointed out, you are allowed to throw weapons with the thrown property instead of making a melee attack.

Nothing takes away the bonus action once granted. So if I throw a weapon in one hand by taking the Attack action, I still can throw a different weapon in my off hand with the bonus action.
 

Oofta

Legend
Lol, I edited this post as fast as I made it, but I guess you saw it. It wasn't really relevant to what the OP was trying to do.

Ok, so, how about this. Take an attack action with the main hand weapon, drop it (or throw it if you have the attack available), then, since you satisfied the conditions for Two Weapon Fighting (by taking the attack action), then bonus action to attack with the off hand?
At the point you take the attack action, you have two weapons equipped or you don't. A PC doesn't get multiple attack actions, they may may get multiple attacks using their attack action. The OP is conflating an attack with the attack action.

So you have two options:
  1. You take the attack action with two weapons equipped. Because of this, you get a bonus attack.
  2. You take the attack action with one weapon equipped. You get the +2 bonus from dueling.
The only way to get around this would be to use an action surge to get a bonus attack action. Which makes it even more pointless.
 


James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
At the point you take the attack action, you have two weapons equipped or you don't. A PC doesn't get multiple attack actions, they may may get multiple attacks using their attack action. The OP is conflating an attack with the attack action.

So you have two options:
  1. You take the attack action with two weapons equipped. Because of this, you get a bonus attack.
  2. You take the attack action with one weapon equipped. You get the +2 bonus from dueling.
The only way to get around this would be to use an action surge to get a bonus attack action. Which makes it even more pointless.
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other Weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to Damage Rolls with that weapon.

I don't see any requirement to have taken the attack action here, just, I attacked with one weapon currently equipped.
 


If someone is that invested for a minor benefit in unfavourable conditions. Why not allow it.
At best it is +5 damage once per eencounter...

Edit: Although you can argue about the timing of those actions. But then again, it is a very minor benefit for a heavy investment.
 



Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
As written it works but if you have access to both combat techniques, TWF will be a better technique as it will add your modifier damage to the damage, which is likely to be more than +2. But if you can take both, technically, Dueling would work on the second attack.

But i think they intent is that to gain the +2 damage, you must not have wielded another weapon in your other hand at any point during the attack sequence.
 


Dausuul

Legend
As written it works but if you have access to both combat techniques, TWF will be a better technique as it will add your modifier damage to the damage, which is likely to be more than +2. But if you can take both, technically, Dueling would work on the second attack.
That was my initial thought, but OP clarified it's for a very specific scenario. The character has Dueling and will normally attack with just the one weapon (they have a lot of bonus action abilities). However, the character also has a racial ability which grants a big damage bonus to each attack at the start of combat, so they want to make as many attacks as possible on the first round.

That being the case, OP wants to see if they can find a way to get the Dueling bonus on some of those initial attacks.

By the book, I see no reason this wouldn't work. And given the extremely narrow use case and the tradeoff of not getting to use a shield, I don't think it presents a balance concern, either. I prefer to keep my house rules limited to a single page, so I'd allow it.
 
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This isn't rules lawyering, it's power gaming.

We need a "cheese" category for threads like these.

Now THIS is where the rules lawyering comes in. What is the definition of "is" and such like.
Whichever term is deemed accurate, it is certain a case where people just playing the game without thought to using the hyper-specifics of the ruleset will be playing vastly differently from those that are. It'd be great if there was a neutral term for this kind of thing, as whichever way people want to play the game is fine so long as there is in-group consensus.
Ok hold on, let me just copy the relevant text and maybe you can see what I'm seeing.

All bonus action says is: you can take a bonus action only when...states you can do something.

Two weapon fighting says: when you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon you are holding in one hand (requirement), you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon you are holding in the other hand.

The only requirement for the bonus action attack is attacking with one weapon using the Attack action, and that the weapon must be held in the other hand. It doesn't magically take away the bonus action just because you lose the weapon after you are granted the ability to take it.
The issue this raises is that 5e doesn't have a clear-cut resolution metric for if-thens (especially with regards to temporality), that bonus actions in particular break up often otherwise atomic processes, and that thrown weapons role as being in-hand and not at various points in an attack sequence are not well defined.

Exactly when you need to meet the qualifying standard for your bonus action isn't spelled out. It says when you take an attack action, but not when in the attack action you must qualify. Your interpretation that you check for qualifying at some point, and thereafter you retain that permission even if you lose the requirements is not inherently wrong (so far as I can see, someone else might dig up the relevant text here before I'm done typing), but neither is the counterpoint position. We can apply a 'but this or that position leads to nonsensical results' analysis to the situation, but this is a RAW discussion, and there isn't really a requirement that that RAW make sense, not induce paradoxes, or anything else.
 

Oofta

Legend
Whichever term is deemed accurate, it is certain a case where people just playing the game without thought to using the hyper-specifics of the ruleset will be playing vastly differently from those that are. It'd be great if there was a neutral term for this kind of thing, as whichever way people want to play the game is fine so long as there is in-group consensus.

The issue this raises is that 5e doesn't have a clear-cut resolution metric for if-thens (especially with regards to temporality), that bonus actions in particular break up often otherwise atomic processes, and that thrown weapons role as being in-hand and not at various points in an attack sequence are not well defined.

Exactly when you need to meet the qualifying standard for your bonus action isn't spelled out. It says when you take an attack action, but not when in the attack action you must qualify. Your interpretation that you check for qualifying at some point, and thereafter you retain that permission even if you lose the requirements is not inherently wrong (so far as I can see, someone else might dig up the relevant text here before I'm done typing), but neither is the counterpoint position. We can apply a 'but this or that position leads to nonsensical results' analysis to the situation, but this is a RAW discussion, and there isn't really a requirement that that RAW make sense, not induce paradoxes, or anything else.

No rule set with the complexity of D&D is going to be perfect, there will always be some things that are open to interpretation. This is one of those edge cases that really does come down to "ask your DM".

I'd tell a player to either just go with two-weapon fighting or duelist and use a shield. The difference in combat effectiveness is minimal, but literalist interpretations that ignore the context of the rules is just something I don't want to deal with.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I don't see how this ignores the context of the rules at all. You can use Two Weapon Fighting to throw weapons or make melee attacks. I mean, it literally says that. So if I choose to throw a dagger, I can make a bonus action attack with the off hand, even though the dagger was thrown.

And all Dueling says is "you have one weapon equipped". If I was carrying two weapons and something forces me to drop one during my turn (say, a readied action if using the optional Disarm rules) the game doesn't go "now hold on buddy, you had two weapons at the start of your turn, no bonus damage for you".

This isn't a Pathfinder Style Feat that requires you to enter a stance or anything. If you can figure out how to use multiple Fighting Styles at once, they totally combine their benefits.

Looking at a rule and following what it says to do isn't rules lawyering. If you want to rule that there are extra conditions in your game, because that makes sense to you, that's your prerogative, but 5e's rules are supposed to be simple to follow, do what it says to do and nothing else.

The real question is, is the juice worth the squeeze. I don't think contriving to find a away to get Duelist to work in the same turn as Two-Weapon Fighting is; not only is this a niche situation, Two-Weapon Fighting is actually not that great once you get Extra Attack.
 

Stormonu

Legend
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other Weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to Damage Rolls with that weapon.

I don't see any requirement to have taken the attack action here, just, I attacked with one weapon currently equipped.
Hmm...does this mean you can use Dueling with Monk's unarmed attacks (if you had a monk weapon in your primary hand) and Flurry of Blows?
 

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