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Consensus about two-weapon fighting?

FrogReaver

Explorer
There were also a lot of times where my fighter could attack from range while closing or target the enemy spell caster more easily. Things that are practically impossible to quantify on a spreadsheet. Ultimately, I had fun with the PC so it worked. YMMV.
Well not impossible to quantify - but impossible to quantify a meaningful SINGLE value that will be meaningful for different campagins

If there's 1 turn per day that you can attack but another PC can't attack, we can quantify that impact. We can do the same for 2 turns etc. What we can't do is get a meaningful average number of rounds per day you can't attack because it's too sporadic and too campaign dependent etc. So those numbers can't be meaningfully calculated into DPR.

However, when looking at total accuracy weighted daily damage output they can at least be viewed there. You can then use that to calculate an adjusted DPR etc. It's the best way to handle such situations and not that much work on a spreadsheet. So in a way I can factor such a thing into a DPR style number - it's just you need multiple of them to show anything meaningful for different campaigns.
 
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Zardnaar

Adventurer
I think it's mostly fine as you are trading damage for versatility for outright damage. The great weapon fighter will stink at ranged combat, twf Dex based can pull out a bow and not suck.

White room theory crafting dpm is hard because of things like surprise rounds.

The main problem is the -5/+10 feats. I allow some 3pp feats into the game that buffs light weapons.

It's the best for damage lvl 1-4, competitive 5-10, level 11+ fighter is where it breaks down.

Str based twf sucks.
 
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Zardnaar

Adventurer
Not familiar with term dpm but assuming it's anything like DPR or damage per day - what do surprise rounds have anything to do with it?
I had a Dex based dual wielder and used stealth a lot. Surprise round means more damage in the twf column.

Basically I had a skill based fighter that was competitive with the big weapons. Later on I used a 3pp feat that I would consider a wash with the -5/+10 feats.

Also with the twf feat you can draw or put away two weapons. Carryv1 around and you can put it away and switch to a bow same round. Or draw another blade.

Versatility that adds to damage, I didn't feel penalized at all vs the -5/+10 feats.
 
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Quartz

Explorer
In your example you use a rapier and a short sword. A rapier is not a light weapon - it's finesse only.
You're right. So GWF does +1 HP / round damage over TWF at Str 18 in tier 2. At Str 20 (not unreasonable in tier 2 in a game without feats) they're even.
 

ad_hoc

Explorer
Damage comparisons should be compared to the total damage the party is inflicting rather than per individual character.

Dealing +1 damage from 20 to 21 dmg is small, and what some would consider insignificant. Dealing +1 damage from 80 to 81 is what most would consider insignificant.

+1dmg/round might not make a difference for the entire campaign.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
You're right. So GWF does +1 HP / round damage over TWF at Str 18 in tier 2. At Str 20 (not unreasonable in tier 2 in a game without feats) they're even.
They aren't though. You are neglecting the impact of all the other fighter features when you say that. As already shown, the total sum of action surge and precision attack on DPR greatly favors the Great Weapon user in tier 2. That's a big buff.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
Damage comparisons should be compared to the total damage the party is inflicting rather than per individual character.

Dealing +1 damage from 20 to 21 dmg is small, and what some would consider insignificant. Dealing +1 damage from 80 to 81 is what most would consider insignificant.

+1dmg/round might not make a difference for the entire campaign.
This is a great point and something too many forget. Your damage isn't done in a vaccum. The damage your party is inflicting matters and it makes increases of 1 or 2 dpr on an individual PC nearly meaningless in the grand schemege of things! Spot on ad_hoc
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
I had a Dex based dual wielder and used stealth a lot. Surprise round means more damage in the twf column.
Case 1: You were engaging enemies without the rest of your party and thus deserve surprise but that's not really something we want to count in the positive category...

Case 2: The creatures in question must effectively not spot anyone in the party for you to surprise them. That's a very very rare event and one that the dex dual weapon user might make happen 2 to 4 times as often as if he were replaced by a str heavy armor user - however, 4 times of a really tiny number is still a really tiny number and will have virtually no impact.

Basically I had a skill based fighter that was competitive with the big weapons. Later on I used a 3pp feat that I would consider a wash with the -5/+10 feats.
That's something else to consider, that dex fighters typically get better skills and better initiative. Maybe their damage should be a little less than a heavy armored great weapon user?

Also with the twf feat you can draw or put away two weapons. Carryv1 around and you can put it away and switch to a bow same round. Or draw another blade.
DM in my games always ignores the drawing sheathing 2 weapons. If your DM's don't and you think TWF absolutely sucks - this goes a long way toward helping it.

Versatility that adds to damage, I didn't feel penalized at all vs the -5/+10 feats.
The ability to compentently use a bow is one of the biggest benefits of TWF over great weapon fighting. That's also a reason their damage maybe should be lower overall.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
Mechanically this works well. I'm not quite sure how to wrap my head around why some characters mechanically TWF differently than others. Great mechanical solution - but totally not fiction driven - which makes it feel a bit less elegant.
What would the numbers look like if the bonus action allowed each weapon to apply the ability bonus?

Flavorwise, the bonus represents two separate thrusts, as opposed to the weapons maneuvering in concert.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
What would the numbers look like if the bonus action allowed each weapon to apply the ability bonus?
Probably too strong. As it stands any class that has a bonus action will do 2d6+mod damage on any turn they want to use their bonus action and then do 1d6+mod+(possible damage buff) per attack on the turns they don't need to bonus action. Effectively you are making the style hands down better than Great Weapons for all classes. Especially for rogues and barbarians and paladins.

On second thought, Rangers already have this issue. Which means the proposed mechanic isn't quite as mechanically balanced as I first thought...

Flavorwise, the bonus represents two separate thrusts, as opposed to the weapons maneuvering in concert.
Doesn't make sense to me.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Case 1: You were engaging enemies without the rest of your party and thus deserve surprise but that's not really something we want to count in the positive category...

Case 2: The creatures in question must effectively not spot anyone in the party for you to surprise them. That's a very very rare event and one that the dex dual weapon user might make happen 2 to 4 times as often as if he were replaced by a str heavy armor user - however, 4 times of a really tiny number is still a really tiny number and will have virtually no impact.



That's something else to consider, that dex fighters typically get better skills and better initiative. Maybe their damage should be a little less than a heavy armored great weapon user?



DM in my games always ignores the drawing sheathing 2 weapons. If your DM's don't and you think TWF absolutely sucks - this goes a long way toward helping it.



The ability to compentently use a bow is one of the biggest benefits of TWF over great weapon fighting. That's also a reason their damage maybe should be lower overall.
That party everyone was Dex based or trained in stealth. One or two may have had 14 Dex.

It's not hard to beat npc passive perception.

I don't think it's a problem that a great weapon deals more damage. Even then it's competitive tier two or even tier 3 if there is no fighter with a 3rd attack.

You get other benefits if Dex based. Switching to bows, stealth, skills. Without feats it's fine, it's the -5/+10 feats though that blow it out.

I let in a 3pp feat that lets you Stack str and Dex on light weapons. Extra 2-4 damage per attack helps. .

I recommend you buy that for $1 or houserules. Unless you play AL only.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Even with feats, the TWF guy likely has two magic weapons later on, and can take greater advantage of bonuses to all attacks, along with all those other benefits, and the damage difference just isn’t that great even in later levels.

Its fine that GW fighters do more damage. Seriously, there is nothing wrong with that. Balance isn’t just DPR parity.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
That party everyone was Dex based or trained in stealth. One or two may have had 14 Dex.

It's not hard to beat npc passive perception.

I don't think it's a problem that a great weapon deals more damage. Even then it's competitive tier two or even tier 3 if there is no fighter with a 3rd attack.

You get other benefits if Dex based. Switching to bows, stealth, skills. Without feats it's fine, it's the -5/+10 feats though that blow it out.

I let in a 3pp feat that lets you Stack str and Dex on light weapons. Extra 2-4 damage per attack helps. .

I recommend you buy that for $1 or houserules. Unless you play AL only.
I have thought about boosting the dual Wielder feat to give a small damage bonus on attacks while wielding two weapons, or perhaps adding a reaction attack when a melee attack misses you. Or both.

As for ambushing, there’s also group stealth checks. And magic heavy armors that don’t impose disadvantage on stealth, and Pass Without Trace.

We ambush people a lot, even in the campaign that has two plate armored heavies. With PWT, even a roll of 5 beats most monsters passive.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Getting two light weapons is a problem, two magic weapons not so hard.

If you ignore things like needing a free hand to cast or drawing more than one item a round contributes towards making twf suck since that feat allows you to switch to bows same round vs putting great weapon away, missing your turn and then drawing a javelin or whatever (that situation makes the Battlemaster very good).

If you ignore rules you don't like and it contributes towards making things overpowered the problem isn't the rules.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
I have thought about boosting the dual Wielder feat to give a small damage bonus on attacks while wielding two weapons, or perhaps adding a reaction attack when a melee attack misses you. Or both.

As for ambushing, there’s also group stealth checks. And magic heavy armors that don’t impose disadvantage on stealth, and Pass Without Trace.

We ambush people a lot, even in the campaign that has two plate armored heavies. With PWT, even a roll of 5 beats most monsters passive.
Big fan of PWT. Individuals can still get surprise rounds and I had a halfling hiding behind others so lots of surprise rounds.

I still think the numbers are close enough except maybe fighters using the -5/+10 feats and the third attack. Action surge obviously but you don't really get enough to drastically alter the math.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Big fan of PWT. Individuals can still get surprise rounds and I had a halfling hiding behind others so lots of surprise rounds.
I think RAW surprise only happens for a whole “side”, but I do prefer to rule differently. If nothing else, the assassin is basically garbage in a game that isn’t lenient with getting surprise.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
I think RAW surprise only happens for a whole “side”, but I do prefer to rule differently. If nothing else, the assassin is basically garbage in a game that isn’t lenient with getting surprise.
Yep we allow individual surprise. We couldn't make the assassin work but we missed the interaction with cross bow expert which would make the class sing.

The stealth party thing works as well.
 

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