5E Fighting Style for Melee Knife/Dagger Use

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
their extra properties such as thrown often make them worth using over a shortsword
Ive always liked one short sword and one dagger in the off hand for two weapon fight precisely becomes of their ability to throw if I down my current target.

That said, I don’t mind a fight style that boosts them
 

Esker

Explorer
Just that one style though, so that's maybe not the right standard for comparison? That same style already buffs the dagger to d4+2 as well, so the comparison within characters with that style works just fine. I'm not poo-pooing the thread idea here either btw, just wondering if flavor and increased range of weapon use can't be accomplished in ways other than damage buffs.
What do you think about my proposed dagger feat above (post #29)? That was an attempt to give flavorful benefits to dagger use without just straight boosts to damage or accuracy.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
The first two benefits of the feat apply to daggers since, right, they refer to "ranged (weapon attacks)", but the third benefit (the -5/+10 option) refers to "ranged weapons", so that one doesn't work with daggers.
Gotta love the interpretation of 5E... :D

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You read this as "ranged (weapon attacks)" and I read it as "(ranged weapon) attacks", so I wouldn't let this, by my interpretation of the feat, apply to anything that is not actually a ranged weapon as listed on the weapon table. Especially when you consider the first lines is about "ranged weapons".

But would I care if someone did it the other way? Nope. :)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Gotta love the interpretation of 5E... :D

View attachment 116188

You read this as "ranged (weapon attacks)" and I read it as "(ranged weapon) attacks", so I wouldn't let this, by my interpretation of the feat, apply to anything that is not actually a ranged weapon as listed on the weapon table. Especially when you consider the first lines is about "ranged weapons".

But would I care if someone did it the other way? Nope. :)
Well, interpretation aside, “ranged weapon” and “ranged weapon attack” are distinct phrases in 5e, in spite of the “natural language” goal of the rules text.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Well, interpretation aside, “ranged weapon” and “ranged weapon attack” are distinct phrases in 5e, in spite of the “natural language” goal of the rules text.
Oh, I don't know... they are distinct phrases, but when you consider the language used throughout 5E I think it follows well enough.

A "ranged (weapon attack)" could be throwing a longsword at someone, for example, because it is a "weapon attack" and since I have thrown it, it is "ranged". So if you follow this then you could apply the feat's first two features to throwing a longsword.

As where a dagger cannot be a "(ranged weapon) attack" because it is not a "ranged weapon", it is a melee weapon, as defined by its designation under "Simple Melee Weapons" in the PHB. Since it is not a "ranged weapon", you cannot make a "(ranged weapon) attack" with it.

So, yeah, take your pick and have fun either way. :)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Oh, I don't know... they are distinct phrases, but when you consider the language used throughout 5E I think it follows well enough.

A "ranged (weapon attack)" could be throwing a longsword at someone, for example, because it is a "weapon attack" and since I have thrown it, it is "ranged". So if you follow this then you could apply the feat's first two features to throwing a longsword.

As where a dagger cannot be a "(ranged weapon) attack" because it is not a "ranged weapon", it is a melee weapon, as defined by its designation under "Simple Melee Weapons" in the PHB. Since it is not a "ranged weapon", you cannot make a "(ranged weapon) attack" with it.

So, yeah, take your pick and have fun either way. :)
Well, right, that’s the correct reading. You can use the first two parts of the feat on any attack made at range, ie a “ranged weapon attack”.

You cannot use the final part of the feat on the thrown long sword or the thrown dagger, because neither is an “attack with a ranged weapon”.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This. The simplest and most straightforward solution is usually the best for me.
I’d be fine as well with something like “+1 attack and” some very simple secondary benefit, but honestly I really like the idea of the expert with such weapons just being deadly accurate with them, to the point where it’s comparable to someone with “better” weapons.

I’d make the fighting style work for a few weapons, maybe all Light Simple weapons?
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Well, right, that’s the correct reading. You can use the first two parts of the feat on any attack made at range, ie a “ranged weapon attack”.

You cannot use the final part of the feat on the thrown long sword or the thrown dagger, because neither is an “attack with a ranged weapon”.
No, that is your reading. I was actually pointing out why it is absurd given that by your reading I could throw a longsword and you would consider it a "ranged weapon attack". So, I was actually arguing against how you read it, as in my post to @Esker .

And actually, your reading goes against the language used in the PHB. The Thrown property allows you to make a "ranged attack", not a "ranged weapon attack." Making an attack at range is not the same thing as making a "ranged weapon attack", i.e. an attack with a ranged weapon.

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You can only make a "ranged weapon attack" by attacking with a "ranged weapon".

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"Every weapon is classified as either melee or ranged." A dagger, as listed in the PHB, is classified as melee. So, the thrown property allows you to make a ranged attack with a dagger, but does not make it a "ranged weapon" and therefore you cannot make a "ranged weapon attack" with it, you can only make a "ranged attack" with it.

This language is also what prevents Sharpshooter from working with spells. You can make "ranged attacks" with spells, but they are not "ranged weapon attacks", and they are thus designated "ranged spell attacks". If Sharpshooter took out the word "weapon" from the first two benefits, it could apply equally well to weapons or spells because it would simply be "ranged attacks."

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The final benefit was written as it was because of the "proficient" rider clause. It would be redundant to write:

"Before you make a ranged weapon attack with a ranged weapon that you are proficient with,"

They simply didn't need the first "ranged weapon" and it sounds awkward to include it.

So, in summary: Thrown weapon = "ranged attack", not "ranged weapon attack". Thus, none of the benefits of Sharpshooter can work with Thrown weapons, only "ranged weapons" as classified in the PHB.

THAT is my interpretation and why I wouldn't allow Sharpshooter (any part of it) to work with thrown weapons. Especially, as I stated before, when the opening sentence is about "ranged weapons" and the feat is not called "Sharpthrower". :)

Now, hidden out there somewhere might be a tweet or SA note to the contrary, which is cool if there is, and I am fine with having Sharpshooter apply to thrown weapons if the table wanted it as I don't see it hurting anything and only makes thrown weapons more appealing. But, by a strict reading of the rules, I would say "No. No, sir, indeed."

(Jeez... that was long and I hate myself for it! See? See what I had to do! Bad dnd4vd, bad! :( )
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
No, that is your reading. I was actually pointing out why it is absurd given that by your reading I could throw a longsword and you would consider it a "ranged weapon attack". So, I was actually arguing against how you read it, as in my post to @Esker .

And actually, your reading goes against the language used in the PHB. The Thrown property allows you to make a "ranged attack", not a "ranged weapon attack." Making an attack at range is not the same thing as making a "ranged weapon attack", i.e. an attack with a ranged weapon.

View attachment 116219

You can only make a "ranged weapon attack" by attacking with a "ranged weapon".

View attachment 116220

"Every weapon is classified as either melee or ranged." A dagger, as listed in the PHB, is classified as melee. So, the thrown property allows you to make a ranged attack with a dagger, but does not make it a "ranged weapon" and therefore you cannot make a "ranged weapon attack" with it, you can only make a "ranged attack" with it.

This language is also what prevents Sharpshooter from working with spells. You can make "ranged attacks" with spells, but they are not "ranged weapon attacks", and they are thus designated "ranged spell attacks". If Sharpshooter took out the word "weapon" from the first two benefits, it could apply equally well to weapons or spells because it would simply be "ranged attacks."

View attachment 116221

The final benefit was written as it was because of the "proficient" rider clause. It would be redundant to write:

"Before you make a ranged weapon attack with a ranged weapon that you are proficient with,"

They simply didn't need the first "ranged weapon" and it sounds awkward to include it.

So, in summary: Thrown weapon = "ranged attack", not "ranged weapon attack". Thus, none of the benefits of Sharpshooter can work with Thrown weapons, only "ranged weapons" as classified in the PHB.

THAT is my interpretation and why I wouldn't allow Sharpshooter (any part of it) to work with thrown weapons. Especially, as I stated before, when the opening sentence is about "ranged weapons" and the feat is not called "Sharpthrower". :)

Now, hidden out there somewhere might be a tweet or SA note to the contrary, which is cool if there is, and I am fine with having Sharpshooter apply to thrown weapons if the table wanted it as I don't see it hurting anything and only makes thrown weapons more appealing. But, by a strict reading of the rules, I would say "No. No, sir, indeed."

(Jeez... that was long and I hate myself for it! See? See what I had to do! Bad dnd4vd, bad! :( )
Yeah, no. I’m not going to rehash the whole argument, but feel free to check out Crawford’s Sage Advice ruling on the matter.

Any ranged attack made with a weapon is a ranged weapon attack, but is only an attack with a ranged weapon of it is made with a weapon in the Ranged category.

This is related to the fact that Unarmed Strikes arent weapons, but are used to make melee weapon attacks.
 

Esker

Explorer
Now, hidden out there somewhere might be a tweet or SA note to the contrary, which is cool if there is
There is

The fact that the phrasing is different between the first two benefits and the third is a signal of intent.

As to the longsword, nothing in the rules allows a longsword to be thrown, thus you can't make a ranged attack with it, unless the DM allows you to do so as an improvised weapon. However since it has no listed range, the "attack at long range w/o disadvantage" clause is meaningless. If the DM wanted to allow you to throw a longsword as an improvised weapon, then I suppose sharpshooter would allow you to ignore cover.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
... or you could play the GLOG, where a dagger does 1d6 dmg and few weapons do more :D

Seriously, a dagger is an 8-12 inch blade of steel. Why does it do less damage than a rapier again?
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Yeah, no. I’m not going to rehash the whole argument, but feel free to check out Crawford’s Sage Advice ruling on the matter.

Any ranged attack made with a weapon is a ranged weapon attack, but is only an attack with a ranged weapon of it is made with a weapon in the Ranged category.

This is related to the fact that Unarmed Strikes arent weapons, but are used to make melee weapon attacks.
Yeah, I knew you would go to the unarmed strikes thing, but since it was after 1:30 AM when I posted, I was too tired to bother addressing that last night.

Unarmed Strikes are a special melee weapon attack. The only reason they had to alter it was because they removed Unarmed Strikes from the PHB Weapons Table:

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Oh, look, there it was... Too bad, it made it all so much easier and you didn't need to make the exception:

1574945580368.png


Of course, they did it because they didn't want certain features working with Unarmed Strikes.

Now, he had to explain it further in the SA. I found it for you, didn't want you to have to exert yourself:

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So, clearly he says "Similarly, 'ranged weapon attack' means a ranged attack with a weapon."

Except there is that little thing at the end, that "bit of wording minutia". They have never, as far as I can recall, written "melee-weapon attack" with a hyphen in any text. Nor have they written "ranged-weapon attack".

So, again there are features that Crawford doesn't want to work with melee weapons used as ranged attacks, such as the -5/+10 of Sharpshooter, right? Big surprise. Just like he didn't want some features working with Unarmed Strikes. Considering his track record for reversing his position on things, I wouldn't rely on Crawford.

Finally, consider this:

A Fighter with a blowgun and a Fighter with a handaxe both have Sharpshooter. They both gain the first features, so ignore disadvantage for Long range and 1/2- and 3/4-cover, but only the Fighter with the blowgun can use the -5/+10 feature. A 1 damage blowgun can do 11 points, but the handaxe can't... So, that makes lots of sense... :rolleyes:

Since you don't want to go over this again, you don't have to reply. This is more for everyone. As I have stated repeatedly, I am fine with SS working with thrown weapons, but the language dictates otherwise. Only the "special" considerations make it "official", but then the feat only half-works for thrown weapons, which is a ridiculous IMO. These silly nuances of attack language could easily have been avoided.

Besides, these long posts are startin' t' aggrevate me. ;)
 

Esker

Explorer
@dnd4vr, this last post confuses me. That "ranged weapon attack" means "ranged attack with a weapon" is right there. It confirms what @doctorbadwolf and I have been saying -- the first two benefits (but not the third) work with thrown weapons -- and contradicts what you said earlier.

BTW, the GWM feat has a parallel structure. Only the -5/+10 clause requires a heavy two-handed weapon.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I accomplish the knife fighter thing for the player who wants it the easiest way of all.

Player figures out what is the best damage they would ordinarily do for how they wish to fight based on the best weapon they could legally take for the job. Then they use those dice numbers and fluff the weapon that accomplishes it however the hell they want.

Player wants to dual-wield a pair of sickles? Great! They use the mechanics of dual-wielding a pair of scimitars and they call what they are holding sickles. Or in this case... player wants to dual-wield a pair of knives? Then they use the mechanics of shortswords and call them knives. And no additional fighting style is necessary.

The only time I'd ever make a fighting style would be if I wanted the style to have a new mechanic they wouldn't ordinarily get just by taking a different weapon. And additional damage to make a weapon merely on par with other weapons the player could already take wouldn't be that.
 
Knife Fighter
When using a dagger you gain a +1 bonus to hit and deal 2d4 damage instead of 1d4, and when you grapple a creature you can make a free attack on that creature with advantage.

Design notes:
2d4 is close to 1d4+2, but it is doubled on criticals unlike static damage bonuses. It also works with dual-wielding or dueling style (if you stack styles). OTOH, if you go knife+free hand, you can use the free hand to grapple and get an attack anyhow. The +1 to hit makes it extremely tempting for rogues, who want to connect more than anything.

This also permits the two-knife build that throws one knife, then grabs and stabs, etc.
This is brutal, I like it. I'd specify that it applied when using a single dagger in one hand, and maybe that the free attack with grapple applied every turn they were grappled.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
@dnd4vr, this last post confuses me. That "ranged weapon attack" means "ranged attack with a weapon" is right there. It confirms what @doctorbadwolf and I have been saying -- the first two benefits (but not the third) work with thrown weapons -- and contradicts what you said earlier.

BTW, the GWM feat has a parallel structure. Only the -5/+10 clause requires a heavy two-handed weapon.
Sure, I get all that. I was just pointing out how silly the distinction is IMO. It is another issue with how the books and features were written. To make the distinction between a ranged weapon attack and an attack with a ranged weapon and such... oy.

It creates strange things, like throwing a longsword. Even if it is an improvised weapon (which has a range of 20/60 incidentally) means you could throw a longsword up to 60 feet without disadvantage and ignore most cover.

But the point is moot. As I've said I am fine with it working with thrown weapons, even the last feature, since it doesn't make sense not to IMO.

At any rate, time to work on other things. :)
 

Larnievc

Explorer
Due to the nature of rules a dagger is the weakest weapon around, something that's only used as a last resort weapon by most classes, and only effective (in it's versatility as something that can be thrown) by Rogues and Monks of a high enough level. But a dagger in the hands of someone who knows how to use one effectively can be a very deadly. I don't want to bother for now in a Fighter subclass that specializes in dagger fighting. So my ideas so far are.

Knife Fighting
When attacking with a dagger in melee it does 1d6 damage, while grappling an opponent the dagger does 1d8 damage instead.
I made up a feat that lets a dagger wielder do 2d4. Seemed okay.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
There is

The fact that the phrasing is different between the first two benefits and the third is a signal of intent.

As to the longsword, nothing in the rules allows a longsword to be thrown, thus you can't make a ranged attack with it, unless the DM allows you to do so as an improvised weapon. However since it has no listed range, the "attack at long range w/o disadvantage" clause is meaningless. If the DM wanted to allow you to throw a longsword as an improvised weapon, then I suppose sharpshooter would allow you to ignore cover.
Improvised ranged weapon attacks have a range of 20/60. That includes throwing Melee weapons.
It would, oddly, only do 1d4+strength damage.

It’s in the PHB, under Improvised Weapons.
 

NotAYakk

Adventurer
Improvised ranged weapon attacks have a range of 20/60. That includes throwing Melee weapons.
It would, oddly, only do 1d4+strength damage.

It’s in the PHB, under Improvised Weapons.
And get +2 to hit from archery style?

Which means sharpshooter dagger throwers should use strength and throw the daggers as improvised weapons. If an improved dagger throw resembles a dagger, you are considered proficient and can take a -5/+10 sharpshooter benefit even!

(this is a joke)
 

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