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Improving Two-Weapon Fighting

FrogReaver

Explorer
Anyone looked at having a feat allow 2 bonus action attacks instead of 1 for twf?

If if you take off mod damage from fighting style I think this could work.

Mod damage age comes from dual wielded feat.

Fighting style adds adds a small amount of Dana age per attack. Might scale up to +2. I don’t think adding 1 more attack drastically throws off balance of anything.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
If the fighting style allows you to wield non-light weapons, it works out to +2 damage, just like the duelist feat. At Extra Attack, it would fall behind unless offhand attacks continue to scale.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
What about this?

1) The base rule stays as-is. Two light weapons, you gain a possible BA of a no stat-mod light weapon attack.
2) The fighting style lets Extra Attack classes use two weapons to do about equal damage to heavy weapon users, no BA required. if your class/subclass gives you a better BA, great. If not, you can use the dual-wield bonus action. This keeps things equivalent in featless games.
3) The Dual Wielder feat buffs up the dual-wield BA to be competitive with PAM and XBE in games with feats. A feat that gives damage scaling to one-handed weapon users is added.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
What about this?

1) The base rule stays as-is. Two light weapons, you gain a possible BA of a no stat-mod light weapon attack.
2) The fighting style lets Extra Attack classes use two weapons to do about equal damage to heavy weapon users, no BA required. if your class/subclass gives you a better BA, great. If not, you can use the dual-wield bonus action. This keeps things equivalent in featless games.
3) The Dual Wielder feat buffs up the dual-wield BA to be competitive with PAM and XBE in games with feats. A feat that gives damage scaling to one-handed weapon users is added.
My questions/issues:

1) Still costing a BA for no gain, except for the rogue and other characters that stack on hit effects (raging barbarian). Is this okay to you? If the BA was only to split damage (fighting two opponents), I might be more inclined.
2) How are you proposing this? I'm sure you're not saying Action equal to GWFer, bonus action for more?
3) I'm down with this. Personally, I hate that Sharp Shooter and Great Weapon Master can be stacked with Crossbow Expert and Polearm Master; to me, the -5/+10 is for two-handed weapons, and squeezing the extra attack out feels like turning a two-handed weapon into a double weapon to use 3E terms (Power Attack was -X/+X, except with two-handed weapons where it became -X/+2X, and I think that's more fair).
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Again, please consider using these two features as the base:

1. The TWF fix is offered thru a feat. (Feat-less games unaffected; no cascade effects)

2. The TWF fix allows you to use your Bonus Action on other things. (No minmaxer choose TWF since it makes you unable to later utilize any of may magic effects and items) Ideally from the get go but at level 11+ at the very least.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
My questions/issues:

1) Still costing a BA for no gain, except for the rogue and other characters that stack on hit effects (raging barbarian). Is this okay to you? If the BA was only to split damage (fighting two opponents), I might be more inclined.
2) How are you proposing this? I'm sure you're not saying Action equal to GWFer, bonus action for more?
3) I'm down with this. Personally, I hate that Sharp Shooter and Great Weapon Master can be stacked with Crossbow Expert and Polearm Master; to me, the -5/+10 is for two-handed weapons, and squeezing the extra attack out feels like turning a two-handed weapon into a double weapon to use 3E terms (Power Attack was -X/+X, except with two-handed weapons where it became -X/+2X, and I think that's more fair).
Yea, this is more of a list of possible criteria to hit, not really a proposal yet.

I'm still debating. I'm starting to go back to the beginning of this discussion, and I'm thinking that there should be some baked in scaling in the base rule, no style or feat required. Turn the fighting style into a small damage bonus (like Dueling), and use the DW feat to enable the BA attack (to parallel PAM and XBE). Add in a feat to allow one-handed weapon damage to scale, much like GWM. This would benefit both DWers and SnBers.

The "followup attack on a miss" concept might be a good concept for the base rule. Less max damage than a 2H weapon, but more consistency.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
Yea, this is more of a list of possible criteria to hit, not really a proposal yet.

I'm still debating. I'm starting to go back to the beginning of this discussion, and I'm thinking that there should be some baked in scaling in the base rule, no style or feat required. Turn the fighting style into a small damage bonus (like Dueling), and use the DW feat to enable the BA attack (to parallel PAM and XBE). Add in a feat to allow one-handed weapon damage to scale, much like GWM. This would benefit both DWers and SnBers.

The "followup attack on a miss" concept might be a good concept for the base rule. Less max damage than a 2H weapon, but more consistency.
Honestly, I was getting ready to fight and then what you said seems really interesting.

2d6+3 at 65% hit is 6.85 with crit. 1d6+3, reroll miss (without ability mod) at 65% hit would be 5.2575 with crits. Leaving the ability modifier on would up it to 5.94, which is still lower than great weapon but not significantly so. It fits into an image of TWFing that I think people can get behind. I'd allow default to just attack two separate targets for 1d6+3 instead.

Style could allow for use of non-light weapons.
Feat could grant a bonus action attack and an AC boost.

I'm not sure I'd want a separate one-handed weapon feat for -5 to hit/+10 damage. I'd like to leave that in the hands of the two-handers (light crossbows are two-handed since you need a loading hand still). I'd like one-handed weapon wielders (sword and board and TWFers) to have a different feat they pick up for that.

The rogue would gain big here, so we'd want to address that. The monk may gain too.

I kind of like this. It's different from just having TWFing deal equal damage with GWFing, and it avoids stacking issues with on-hit effects (it still favors once per turn on hit effects, since you have more chances for it to proc, but those gains drop rapidly once you have 2 attacks: 65 for one attack goes to 87.5 for two goes to 95.6 for three.

Would you let them get this reroll for each attack from extra attack? I'd say yes. It kind of works like psudo advantage (but doesn't stack well with advantage). I'd even suggest players roll 2d20 and pick the highest, but that would enable critfishing.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
In a featless game without mod damage to offhand a +1 damage per attack isn’t enough to keep up with a GWF style fighter.
In a featless game, missed attack gets a reroll offhand with ability modifier is only slightly behind greatsword.

Though I can see a player asking if they can reroll a shield bash, punch, or kick and I can't come up with a good reason to say no if I'm letting someone with two weapons do it.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
I've attached a chart detailing the proposed changes below for a fighter and comparing them with some popular fighter builds.

1. Replace the current TWF style with "Gain +1 Damage to all attacks. When you gain extra attack this increases to +2. If you are able to make more than two attacks with an attack action this bonus increases to +3"

2. Keep Dual Wielder feat the same

3. Add a new -5/+10 feat for TWF

Below are the damage comparisons. I'll have to check for a few other classes but I think overall this will be much more balanced, even for those that have something additional to use a bonus action for.

Attached are the damage comparisons. As you can see these proposed changed balance the Fighter nearly perfectly across all tiers.

Capture10.PNG

Also if desired the rules for this same result could be slightly altered such that: "
the style adds a flat +1 damage per attack while altering two weapon fighting rules to give +1 and +2 damage respectively for extra attack and any additional attacks on extra attack." I think that would likely make other classes like barbarians/monks/paladins more unbalanced.
 
Last edited:

Xeviat

Explorer
You left out comparison of GWFing with Style and TWFing with Style (because fighter's fight with style?), but I can see that it lines up with the "damage per attack needed" field you made.

Your style lines up, but it's oddly written (like I know how to apply it, it's just not pretty looking). I'm assuming the Bonus Action is still required, which is my second sore point of the existing mechanic.
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
You left out comparison of GWFing with Style and TWFing with Style (because fighter's fight with style?), but I can see that it lines up with the "damage per attack needed" field you made.

Your style lines up, but it's oddly written (like I know how to apply it, it's just not pretty looking). I'm assuming the Bonus Action is still required, which is my second sore point of the existing mechanic.
Nice dismissive comment. It’s balanced and it works and I even understand it but I don’t like how it’s written..
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Again, please consider using these two features as the base:

1. The TWF fix is offered thru a feat. (Feat-less games unaffected; no cascade effects)


2. The TWF fix allows you to use your Bonus Action on other things. (No minmaxer choose TWF since it makes you unable to later utilize any of may magic effects and items) Ideally from the get go but at level 11+ at the very least.
I'm a little torn on these. I value the idea of making just a single change to one feat to validate the concept. The cascading effect is certainly real. I don't think the balance of the current game is sacred (if a rule change makes rogues and monks a little better, or paladins a little worse, I'm not going to cry about it), but I don't want to invalidate already present rules content in my game (to say nothing of the copious amounts of homebrew I use).

The second point is more interesting, and something I keep flip-flopping on. My major argument against removing the BA via feat is this. Every serious martial damage build leverages either feats, or sorcerer metamagic, to gain a weapon attack bonus action. (SS/XBE BM fighter, PAM/GWM barbarian or paladin, PAM/GWM Hexblade w/ Darkness&DS, Blasting Sorlock) So why take away a sought after feature via feat, when most martial builds are seeking to add it? I'd argue it's better to utilize the feat to change the scaling of the Attack action while dual-wielding, and leave the BA the way it is. Then the only discrepancy between DW and the other builds is the need for some sort of -X/+Y scaling.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I'm a little torn on these. I value the idea of making just a single change to one feat to validate the concept. The cascading effect is certainly real. I don't think the balance of the current game is sacred (if a rule change makes rogues and monks a little better, or paladins a little worse, I'm not going to cry about it), but I don't want to invalidate already present rules content in my game (to say nothing of the copious amounts of homebrew I use).

The second point is more interesting, and something I keep flip-flopping on. My major argument against removing the BA via feat is this. Every serious martial damage build leverages either feats, or sorcerer metamagic, to gain a weapon attack bonus action. (SS/XBE BM fighter, PAM/GWM barbarian or paladin, PAM/GWM Hexblade w/ Darkness&DS, Blasting Sorlock) So why take away a sought after feature via feat, when most martial builds are seeking to add it? I'd argue it's better to utilize the feat to change the scaling of the Attack action while dual-wielding, and leave the BA the way it is. Then the only discrepancy between DW and the other builds is the need for some sort of -X/+Y scaling.
You use one of my arguments to shoot down the other, and vice versa...

One of the reasons GWF is so good is that it leaves your BA open for other options.

Choosing PM or CE locks down your BA, for good but also for bad.

TWF is unique in how the BA is locked down already from the beginning. This is not an advantage, even though newbs think it is. Since you can readily find a use for your BA in games with feats, why choose the fighting style that can't be augmented thusly? You will only exist for three levels without that feat, after all.

As I said before, there's (at least) three stages where we want (rough) fighting style equality: before the feat, with a feat, and with "another" usage of your BA.

But the first case is only really important in feat-less games.

For feat-enabled games, our main comparison is between the second and third cases.

Basically, you want to choose a fighting style that's significantly improved by a feat while still leaving the BA open for other opportunities.

GWF passes with flying colors. TWF currently fails both tests.

This is the core conundrum that you all need to take into consideration to succeed.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Honestly, I was getting ready to fight and then what you said seems really interesting.
Let's fight anyway! Dork. :)

2d6+3 at 65% hit is 6.85 with crit. 1d6+3, reroll miss (without ability mod) at 65% hit would be 5.2575 with crits. Leaving the ability modifier on would up it to 5.94, which is still lower than great weapon but not significantly so. It fits into an image of TWFing that I think people can get behind. I'd allow default to just attack two separate targets for 1d6+3 instead.

Style could allow for use of non-light weapons.
If you allow non-light weapons baseline, that brings dual-wield and great weapon into a virtual tie. (6.85 to 6.89 at 65% hit rate.) Great weapon does better as AC drops, DW better as AC increases. At really low ACs, it actually becomes worthwhile to drop one longsword and switch the other to 2H, which is kind of awesome. (Just as a personal thing, I'd love to see more reasons to stance-swap with versatile weapons on a round-to-round basis.)

Feat could grant a bonus action attack and an AC boost.
As I mentioned to CanZapp in a prior post, I'm not sold. I think there's a lot of good reasons to maintain the base structure of two-weapon fighting. My current position is if you need to make changes to the base rules, I'd rather it be an add-on of additional features, not removal of the base BA.

I'm not sure I'd want a separate one-handed weapon feat for -5 to hit/+10 damage. I'd like to leave that in the hands of the two-handers (light crossbows are two-handed since you need a loading hand still). I'd like one-handed weapon wielders (sword and board and TWFers) to have a different feat they pick up for that.

The rogue would gain big here, so we'd want to address that. The monk may gain too.
I don't see a problem with making the feat different in scale, but how does one make it different in concept? It ideally needs to something that scales with each attack, to keep up with Extra Attack and bonus attacks. Maybe the rend concept from earlier? (2 consecutive hits does +X damage.) Or extra dice? Dice fiddling? Turn hits into crits?

I'm worried less about rogues and monks because rogues aren't going to sacrifice accuracy for damage unless the damage is really large, or their accuracy is already really high. Rogues are looking for off-turn attacks. (Which is why stuff that gives reactions for dual-wielding is a problem.) Monks are less of a problem because they can't use their flurry of blows with a weapon.

I kind of like this. It's different from just having TWFing deal equal damage with GWFing, and it avoids stacking issues with on-hit effects (it still favors once per turn on hit effects, since you have more chances for it to proc, but those gains drop rapidly once you have 2 attacks: 65 for one attack goes to 87.5 for two goes to 95.6 for three.

Would you let them get this reroll for each attack from extra attack? I'd say yes. It kind of works like psudo advantage (but doesn't stack well with advantage). I'd even suggest players roll 2d20 and pick the highest, but that would enable critfishing.
I don't like the 2d20 pick highest right off the bat because it doesn't track with the narrative, and you'd have to not use it every time your damage expression changes. (Different weapons, different buffs on weapons, etc.)
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
You use one of my arguments to shoot down the other, and vice versa...
Well, yea. It's one of those cases where their multiple criteria that are valid considerations, but might be mutually exclusive. I'm mostly just trying to lay out all the relevant criteria and see how many of them can be addressed by any one set of fixes.

One of the reasons GWF is so good is that it leaves your BA open for other options.

Choosing PM or CE locks down your BA, for good but also for bad.

TWF is unique in how the BA is locked down already from the beginning. This is not an advantage, even though newbs think it is. Since you can readily find a use for your BA in games with feats, why choose the fighting style that can't be augmented thusly? You will only exist for three levels without that feat, after all.
I agree that GWM is the superior feat, both in terms of efficacy and in design (the proc-based BA is quite fun.) I think my issue is that where you see the BA from those feats as "locking out", I see it as "enabling". If there were bonus actions available via class or subclass that were better than PAM/XBE, wouldn't people be taking those? The BAs that are just as good, if not better, are already for classes that don't value PAM or XBE. (Spiritual weapon, Cunning Action.) I can see the argument for classes with powerful BA buffs that you want set up in the first round, like barbarians and rangers. But that's why my (current) argument is to make the feat scale the Attack action only and leave the BA action alone.

I can also see an argument that PAM/XBE/DW BA are all problematic because they're better than almost all class and subclass gained bonus actions, but that's way beyond the bounds of "let's just fix one feat."

Basically, you want to choose a fighting style that's significantly improved by a feat while still leaving the BA open for other opportunities.

GWF passes with flying colors. TWF currently fails both tests.

This is the core conundrum that you all need to take into consideration to succeed.
I think my core point of disagreement is that I believe you can redesign the DW feat to scale like GWM without requiring the BA but keeping the option to use it intact. It would probably need one feat that scales like GWM/SS, and a second feat that buffs the BA and gives other benefits like PAM/XBE.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Okay, trying an alternate approach. This rework of Dual Wielder enables a lot of builds that didn't previously work, by tying together Dual Wielder with GWM and SS. It also enables round by round switching between shield and weapons as needed, so it also synergizes with Shield Master if desired.

Dual Wielder

You are a savant of weaponry. You are able to use any combination of weapons in unconventional yet effective ways; you gain the following benefits:

-You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one-handed melee weapons you are wielding aren't light.

-Any versatile weapon you wield is also considered a heavy weapon. If you are Small, you do not suffer disadvantage when wielding a versatile heavy weapon.

-Any thrown weapon you wield is considered both a melee weapon and a ranged weapon.

-You can draw or stow two one-handed weapons when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one. You may treat a shield as a weapon for purposes of drawing or stowing.

-When you make an attack with a light weapon, you may take a -3 penalty to the attack roll you make to gain a +5 bonus to damage.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
I'm okay with that.

Remember that in 2E and 3E you always added Strength to damage.

In fact 5E removed or lessened maybe nine different limitations on Dex, which is definitely way too many.

I really go find the old post where I enumerated the long long list of things WotC did to appease the demand for svelte lithe action heroes with no need for brawn, despite D&D not being a kung-fu movie...
Are you really seeing a shortage of strength characters in your games?

IME, the overwhelming majority of characters are built on a story concept, not on an analysis of CharOp forum consensus about making the most powerfully SAD character possible for average DPR wiith the fewest possible weaknesses.

Most Dex characters don't have as high AC as the plate guy, and people who want to play a beefcake who weilds a huge hammer just...do that. Including in the games I've run that were set in Kung Fu movie style settings.
 

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