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Consensus about two-weapon fighting?

Xeviat

Explorer
The trouble with comparing the paladin to the fighter is that the paladin can use their spell slots for healing and utility as well, while the fighter/battle master just has combat. It's something to think on.
 

Gladius Legis

Explorer
The trouble with comparing the paladin to the fighter is that the paladin can use their spell slots for healing and utility as well, while the fighter/battle master just has combat. It's something to think on.
In a pure combat (well, damage) comparison, that would favor the Fighter even more, as the Paladin would be giving up a certain degree of their damage potential per day to do those other things.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
In a pure combat (well, damage) comparison, that would favor the Fighter even more, as the Paladin would be giving up a certain degree of their damage potential per day to do those other things.

It does. I'm suggesting that maybe it's okay if the fighter eeks out a little ahead since it's all they can do.
 

Flamestrike

Registered User
How about this for a fix?

New Feat:

Advanced Fighting Style.
Prerequisite: Knowledge of at least one fighting style; extra attack class feature.
Benefit: You gain +1 to Strength or Dexterity to a maximum score of 20.

In addition, select one fighting style you know. You gain extra abilities based on that fighting style:

Archery: Opening volley: During the first round of combat and before your first turn, if you are not surprised, you may use your reaction to make a ranged weapon attack with ranged weapon (or melee weapon with the thrown property) in response to a hostile creature you can see moving from its space or taking any action. You must have the weapon in hand, and loaded to take this reaction.

Defense: Armor mastery: While you are wearing armor, any critical hit against you becomes a normal hit.

Dueling: Weapon specialization: When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain +1 to hit with that weapon, and its damage dice increases by 1 die step (d4>d6>d8>d10>d12).

Great weapon fighting: Brutal strikes: When using a two handed melee weapon, or a versatile melee weapon in two hands, the critical range for the weapon increases by +1 (normally to a 19-20). In addition, a versatile melee weapon you wield in two hands increases its damage dice by 1 step.

Protection: Aegis: You no longer need to use your reaction to impose disadvantage on attack rolls against creatures other than you, and within 5 feet of you. You must still be using a shield, and be able to see the creature making the attack to impose disadvantage on the attack roll.

Two Weapon Fighting: Drizzt wanna-be: When you are fighting with two weapons, you may make 2 attacks with the weapon you wield in your off hand as part of the same bonus action.
 

Esker

Explorer
Well at least you've corrected course on 1 of the 4 blunders from that one post. Now just 3 more to go! ;)

BTW: You'd be surprised at the difficulties that arise from calculating precision attack. It's not a trivial problem. @Esker may be able to help more there.
This is a long thread that I haven't been following... What are we talking about?
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
This is a long thread that I haven't been following... What are we talking about?
Since FrogReaver has't replied, allow me to chime in.

We were comparing the expected damage of a Fighter vs. Paladin. His post #171 (top of page 18) show a table he made. We are now discussing how much of a greater impact the Battle Master using precision attack instead of one of the maneuvers that simply add damage. That is why he replied to my post about calculating the value of precision attack in this scenario and mentioned you if you want to do it.

I think that about covers it. :)
 

Xeviat

Explorer
Since FrogReaver has't replied, allow me to chime in.

We were comparing the expected damage of a Fighter vs. Paladin. His post #171 (top of page 18) show a table he made. We are now discussing how much of a greater impact the Battle Master using precision attack instead of one of the maneuvers that simply add damage. That is why he replied to my post about calculating the value of precision attack in this scenario and mentioned you if you want to do it.

I think that about covers it. :)

So not TWFing, got it. 😂
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
So not TWFing, got it. 
Nope. Unfortunately. I recall a long time ago trying to move the discussion to a new thread... but alas, it never happened. :(

And sense there wasn't much hope of reaching a consensus on TWF, might as well talk about something else. ;)
 

Esker

Explorer
Since FrogReaver has't replied, allow me to chime in.

We were comparing the expected damage of a Fighter vs. Paladin. His post #171 (top of page 18) show a table he made. We are now discussing how much of a greater impact the Battle Master using precision attack instead of one of the maneuvers that simply add damage. That is why he replied to my post about calculating the value of precision attack in this scenario and mentioned you if you want to do it.

I think that about covers it. :)
Ah, ok, thanks. Yeah, [MENTION=6795602]FrogReaver[/MENTION] and I had a very in the weeds discussion about that recently.

Since there seems to be no hope of a new thread, here's how I think about precision attack in a nutshell.

Suppose you need to roll a natural 9 to hit. The simplest approach is to assume you use a precision die any time you're within x of a hit (where x is the size of the die). So, if you're of a level where your superiority dice are d8s, then you'd use a die on a roll between 2 and 8 (1 is an auto-miss). With no advantage, rolls fall in this range 7/20 of the time, so you're averaging about one die every three attack rolls.

Okay, so how effective is each die at creating an extra hit? Well, if you're off by 1 it's effective 8 times out of 8. Off by 2 it's 7 out of 8, etc., on down to 2 out of 8 if you're off by 7. Each of these 7 possibilities is equally likely if we don't have advantage, so the chance that we get an extra hit out of rolling a die is:

1/7 * 8/8 + 1/7 * 7/8 + ... + 1/7 * 2/8

In this example, that's 0.625; that is each die is worth an extra 5/8 of an attack. If we're a greatsword-wielding fighter with 18 Strength, our attacks average 11 damage, so that means each precision attack die is worth 5/8 * 11 = 6.875 damage. Well over simply adding d8 damage to an attack, which would be worth 4.5 (which makes sense, since the maneuvers that add the die to the damage also have another effect). If our chance to hit is less than the 5/8, the precision die is worth even more damage than getting a whole extra attack attempt (from riposte, for example).

We can improve this even further if we are more conservative with our dice; maybe we don't risk wasting it if we're off by more than 5. In that case, each time we roll, we're off by somewhere between 1 and 5, with between an 8/8 and a 4/8 chance of converting the miss. If no advantage, those are equally likely, so each die has a:

1/5 * 8/8 + 1/5 * 7/8 + ... + 1/5 * 4/8 = 0.75

chance of giving us an extra hit. For the greatsword wielder that's worth 8.25 damage, more than adding d8 to damage can possibly do, and usually more than getting an extra attack attempt with riposte. And of course, if we're using the GWM power attack for example, we do even more damage on a hit, so the value of precision attack goes up even more.

However, now we're only going to roll the die 5/20 of the time, or one in every four attacks, which means if we're not getting twenty or so attacks between short rests, there's a decent chance we're going to get to a rest with unspent dice.

At the other extreme we could be super-conservative and only use our dice when we're within 1, so they always make the conversion, but unless it's a day with long combat stretches, we're very unlikely to use all our dic

If you make an assumption about how many combat turns you're likely to have between rests, you can calculate for each triggering threshold how likely you are to use all your dice, waste one, waste 2, etc. Obviously if you're level 3 and you're only making one attack per round, you want to be pretty liberal; probably just rolling any time it has a chance of working. But as you get more attacks, it makes sense to be more conservative, both to stretch out your dice through the day, and to get more value from each one. At any given point you can strike a balance between getting more value out of each die and having less chance of leaving dice on the table, so to speak.

Something counter-intuitive about this (it was counter-intuitive to me, at least, before doing the math) is the effect that advantage has on how useful precision dice are. You might think that if you already have advantage you get less value from precision attack, because you already have a better chance to hit. But actually the opposite is often true: Because higher rolls are more likely when you have advantage, for any given to-hit threshold, you're more likely to miss by a little than to miss by a lot. So that shifts the weights in calculating the conversion rate of a die toward the higher probabilities, giving you a better success chance per die.

If we need a natural 9 to hit as in the previous example, and we use a die any time we roll between 4 and 8, without advantage the number of extra hits per die was

1/5 * 8/8 + 1/5 * 7/8 + ... + 1/5 * 4/8 = 0.75

But with advantage, it's no longer 1/5 on each possibility; it turns out to be

0.27 * 8/8 + 0.24 * 7/8 + 0.20 * 6/8 + 0.16 * 5/8 + 0.13 * 4/8 = 0.80

So that each die is worth 8.8. However, a caveat is that with a relatively easy target like this (where a natural 9 hits), we will have fewer opportunities to use our dice if we stick to rolls that are within 5. Instead of coming up one time in four, this situation comes up less than one time in seven. So we may need to be more liberal with our dice to avoid having left overs, which will cut down some on the value per die.

But for a GWM or SS character where we're taking penalties to hit, or if we're facing really tough enemies, we can get the best of both worlds: being choosier with our dice and having less chance of wasting them. If we need a natural 14 to hit, we have a slightly more than 1/4 chance of missing by 5 or less, and more uses will be smaller misses, so we'll get about 0.77 extra hits per die and go through them slightly faster than if we didn't have advantage (therefore, with less chance of wasting any). So rather than diminishing returns when we combine advantage and precision attack, we actually get a synergy between them.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
That didn't end up being much of a nutshell, did it?
I just used combinatorics and, in our specific scenario, found the probabilities, to determine how much damage the fighter would expectedly benefit from during 20 rounds of combat. If you do the math for our particular scenario, I would be interested to see if the results jibe. If not, no worries. :)
 

Esker

Explorer
I just used combinatorics and, in our specific scenario, found the probabilities, to determine how much damage the fighter would expectedly benefit from during 20 rounds of combat. If you do the math for our particular scenario, I would be interested to see if the results jibe. If not, no worries. :)
This is based on the level 11 characters in FrogReaver's table? So, maxed STR, dueling style, vs AC 17, no relevant feats?
 
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dnd4vr

Explorer
This is based on the level 11 characters in FrogReaver's table? So, maxed STR, dueling style, vs AC 17, no relevant feats?
Yep. It sprung from my comparison of the general classes of Fighter vs. Paladin, with action surge vs divine strike. I was looking at 20th level, but his was at 11th so I just went with that.
 

Esker

Explorer
Yep. It sprung from my comparison of the general classes of Fighter vs. Paladin, with action surge vs divine strike. I was looking at 20th level, but his was at 11th so I just went with that.
Ok, sure, I can add precision attack to that. Won't be until at least tomorrow night though; I'm traveling sans computer til then, and I don’t really want to do the calculations on my phone... Based on a quick estimate though, I think the precision dice should buy the battlemaster around 120 or so extra damage over the course of a 20 round day, assuming two evenly spaced short rests, all enemies at AC 17, and no advantage ever. The gain should be close to twice that if they have GWM, and more still if they have PAM too (since with the bonus action attack they can afford to be really choosy about using them without worrying about having enough chances before the rest).
 
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Esker

Explorer
I just used combinatorics and, in our specific scenario, found the probabilities, to determine how much damage the fighter would expectedly benefit from during 20 rounds of combat. If you do the math for our particular scenario, I would be interested to see if the results jibe. If not, no worries. :)
My back-of-the-envelope estimate was slightly low, but pretty close. Doing the exact calculations, assuming you use a precision die any time you are within 6 of a hit (which at AC 17 and an attack mod of 9 is the largest gap you can get outside nat 1s), then precision attack adds 132 damage [edit: nope; 171. see the post just below] on average to a 20 round day with two short rests. On top of the 516 base damage that the fighter gets, that's a total of 648 [edit: 687], for an average DPR of 32.4 [edit: 34.4].

It will be less than this in practice, since you usually don't know the enemy's precise AC right away (I mean, assuming we're not actually in a world where every enemy has an AC of 17), so you'll have some turns when you use your dice inefficiently.
 
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Esker

Explorer
Actually, that's wrong. I found some errors in my code; the right number (unless I didn't find them all) is 171 damage added, for a total of 687. It turns out that for this particular AC, since the precision range lines up perfectly with the bottom of the d20 range, winding up with dice leftover is associated with higher damage than using them all, since almost all rolls outside the triggering range are already hits (the only roll that isn't is a nat 1). So you end up averaging an extra 11.4 damage per die (almost your full DPH) compared to not having precision attack, even though your average damage on attacks where you actually use a die is lower than that.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
Actually, that's wrong. I found some errors in my code; the right number (unless I didn't find them all) is 171 damage added, for a total of 687. It turns out that for this particular AC, since the precision range lines up perfectly with the bottom of the d20 range, winding up with dice leftover is associated with higher damage than using them all, since almost all rolls outside the triggering range are already hits (the only roll that isn't is a nat 1). So you end up averaging an extra 11.4 damage per die (almost your full DPH) compared to not having precision attack, even though your average damage on attacks where you actually use a die is lower than that.
I am glad to see you revised your answer, because I got 171.5 (roughly), only 1 point away from perfect potential IIRC. I remember someone saying the math was hard... guess not LOL. ;)
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
I love you guys. The stats are important to me and I love them, but I have neither the time, nor inclination, nor, to be honest, skills, to run complex probability. I have great skills with massed d6 rolling and that's about it (quick, guess my other hobby...). So, from all of us following along at home, thanks for being mathematically inclined. Now back to our regular programming...
 

Esker

Explorer
I love you guys. The stats are important to me and I love them, but I have neither the time, nor inclination, nor, to be honest, skills, to run complex probability. I have great skills with massed d6 rolling and that's about it (quick, guess my other hobby...). So, from all of us following along at home, thanks for being mathematically inclined. Now back to our regular programming...
Is it Yahtzee?
 

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