Level Up (A5E) Is the A5e version of Two-Weapon Fighting better than the original?

Corinnguard

Explorer
The short answer to this question would be that it is slightly better than it's O5e counterpart.

1. Every class in A5e and O5e can pick up Two-Weapon Fighting and wield two weapons in either hand.
2. The weapon in your dominant hand, however, no longer has to have the Light weapon property (O5e) or the Dual-Wielding weapon property (A5e). As long as it doesn't have Heavy weapon property, you can wield a d8 weapon in that hand.
3. The weapon in your off-hand still has to have the Light weapon property or the Dual-Wielding property for Two-Weapon Fighting to work.
4. Two-Weapon Fighting still requires a bonus action for your offhand weapon, but if you belong to a class that has the Extra Attack feature, you can use your bonus action to make two attacks instead of one. I consider this A5e feature to be an improvement as Two-Weapon Fighting in O5e became pretty lopsided once you got past 5th level. From 1st to 4th level, you could make 1 attack and 1 bonus action attack. Action Surge in O5e would just give you two attacks and 1 bonus action attack. From 5th to 11th level things were still okay in O5e as long as you didn't use Action Surge for the attack action. But once you got past 11th level, things became pretty lopsided as you would be making many more attacks with your dominant hand and just one bonus action attack. You would need a homebrewed feat at this point to balance out the number of attacks you can make with each hand.
With the loss of a third Extra Attack and Action Surge for the A5e Fighter and the tweaking of the bonus action attack after 5th level, the number of attacks you can make two weapons doesn't feel so lopsided as it was in O5e. An 11th level Fighter using the Two-Weapon Fighting Style can now make 3 attacks with their dominant hand and 2 attacks with their offhand.

I am not into the damage potential that comes with Two-Weapon Fighting, just the number of times you can make an attack. Hitting an opponent multiple times when it's your turn matters slightly more to me than seeing whether or not I exceed the damage potential of another Fighting Style.

As for the Duel-Wielding Expert feat, it hasn't changed much in A5e except that you can now swap out the offhand weapon with the Dual-Wielding property for a d8 weapon now.
 

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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
The short answer to this question would be that it is slightly better than it's O5e counterpart.

1. Every class in A5e and O5e can pick up Two-Weapon Fighting and wield two weapons in either hand.
2. The weapon in your dominant hand, however, no longer has to have the Light weapon property (O5e) or the Dual-Wielding weapon property (A5e). As long as it doesn't have Heavy weapon property, you can wield a d8 weapon in that hand.
3. The weapon in your off-hand still has to have the Light weapon property or the Dual-Wielding property for Two-Weapon Fighting to work.
4. Two-Weapon Fighting still requires a bonus action for your offhand weapon, but if you belong to a class that has the Extra Attack feature, you can use your bonus action to make two attacks instead of one. I consider this A5e feature to be an improvement as Two-Weapon Fighting in O5e became pretty lopsided once you got past 5th level. From 1st to 4th level, you could make 1 attack and 1 bonus action attack. Action Surge in O5e would just give you two attacks and 1 bonus action attack. From 5th to 11th level things were still okay in O5e as long as you didn't use Action Surge for the attack action. But once you got past 11th level, things became pretty lopsided as you would be making many more attacks with your dominant hand and just one bonus action attack. You would need a homebrewed feat at this point to balance out the number of attacks you can make with each hand.
With the loss of a third Extra Attack and Action Surge for the A5e Fighter and the tweaking of the bonus action attack after 5th level, the number of attacks you can make two weapons doesn't feel so lopsided as it was in O5e. An 11th level Fighter using the Two-Weapon Fighting Style can now make 3 attacks with their dominant hand and 2 attacks with their offhand.

I am not into the damage potential that comes with Two-Weapon Fighting, just the number of times you can make an attack. Hitting an opponent multiple times when it's your turn matters slightly more to me than seeing whether or not I exceed the damage potential of another Fighting Style.

As for the Duel-Wielding Expert feat, it hasn't changed much in A5e except that you can now swap out the offhand weapon with the Dual-Wielding property for a d8 weapon now.
It's not clear which version your 12345 points apply to & it seems to switch at points. The a5e version requires the weapon have the dual-wielding tag."Dual-Wielding†. This weapon is designed to be wielded in concert with another weapon. When wielding another weapon in your main hand that does not have the heavy property, you can use your bonus action to make an attack with this weapon (see Two-Weapon Fighting on page 446 in Chapter 8: Combat). " that is very different from o5e & improves a lot of things when viewed in concert with the other weapon tags. Both the martials in my game (fighter & msarshal) are using heavy two handed weapons but I agree that the a5e version looks better both in terms of feel as a character advances as well as the math & versatility afforded from not needing to make feat/fighting style investments.
 



Corinnguard

Explorer
It definitely feels like two-weapon fighting is more of an active thing in A5E, rather than the after-thought it becomes in O5E.
Agreed.
Having the Extra Attack feature is binary—you have it or you don't, and the degree of your Extra Attack isn't part of the equation. If you have Extra Attack and use two-weapon fighting, you get two attacks with your offhand weapon (and that's where it ends).

The designer who was on two-weapon fighting (who frequents these forums and I bet has resisted commenting ;)) pushed very hard to have additional attacks like you suggest, but with the extra attacks coming through each round from combat maneuvers it was decided not to scale it any higher for the fighter and marshal lest we fall back into the days of 3.X's marilith-warrior PCs rolling umpteen times a round in higher tier play.
I am glad that our mysterious designer here was able to push for this change in TWF. :D
 

Stalker0

Legend
TWF is definately better in LU, just from the fact that a fighter with extra attacks still gets an equal number of TWF attacks as well.

But also maneuvers can play a roll here. Some maneuvers operate on every attack, and so makes the extra attacks of TWFs more powerful. Conversly you can focus on maneuver that don't allow extra attacks or consume bonus actions, which makes the character weaker for TWF.

In a nutshell, its easier to focus on TWF, and easier to use it casually. That last part is the big one for me, a big part of the coolness of LU is switching weapons for different circumstances. Sometimes you want the big sword, sometimes switching to more attacks is the preferred option, and sometimes you just want a flail against the guy with the parrying weapon and the big shield.
 

Corinnguard

Explorer
One such maneuver that really benefits from having the Two-Weapon Fighting style is the Rapid Strike maneuver from the Rapid Current combat tradition.

Rapid Strike (2 points) 3rd degree Rapid Current action
With an array of quick, carefully placed attacks against the same opponent you throw them off their guard. When you activate this maneuver, you take the Attack action and make a weapon attack, as well as any additional attacks granted by Extra Attack. After hitting a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can use your bonus action to make an additional attack against the same creature. On a hit with this additional attack, you can use your reaction to spend 2 exertion points and attack the same creature again

If you are a Fighter with the TWF style, the earliest you can pick up this combat maneuver is 8th level, but you might want to wait until you reach 11th level when you can apply the Maneuver Specialization feature and reduce it's Exertion cost by 1( as well increasing it's DC by 1 and increasing the damage output by 2) Two other reasons for waiting to 11th level is Extra Attack (2) and Reserves 2 (your exertion pool at this point would be a 10. 4 (your PB)*2+2)) You will be able to make 3 attacks with your dominant hand as a part of your Attack action, 2 attacks with your Bonus action and 1 additional attack as a Reaction. If I am reading this maneuver correctly that is. ;) 6 attacks in all if they all hit. I am also assuming that the Maneuver Specialization feature will reduce the exertion cost of the maneuver when you first execute it and when you spend exertion points for your reaction. So in all, it ought to cost 2 exertion points with that feature.
 

mrianmerry

Villager
After hitting a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can use your bonus action to make an additional attack against the same creature. On a hit with this additional attack, you can use your reaction to spend 2 exertion points and attack the same creature again
I think this doesn't work if you use your Bonus Action to make your Two-Weapon Fighting attacks, then you haven't scored a hit with the additional attack granted by the maneuver. (Goddamnit Grammarly, I hate the British English spelling of manoeuvre, can't we just agree to use some American words?)

That might be an overly strict reading, and I'm sure all but the most pedantic of Narrators would allow for using TWF here, but it's worth keeping in mind that as-written it doesn't support TWF.
 


Corinnguard

Explorer
Rapid Strike lets you use a bonus action to make one attack, and a reaction for one more. You can't use two-weapon fighting with it as written (unless you get a second bonus action somehow).
I was wondering about the bonus action part. On the one hand, when you gain Extra Attack (1) at 5th level you can use your bonus action to make two attacks with your offhand weapon with Two-Weapon Fighting. Then there is what you said about Rapid Strike allowing you to use a bonus action to make one attack and a reaction for one more. An 11th level Fighter who is using this maneuver with just a single weapon would make three attack actions, use a bonus action to make another attack, and then use their reaction to make their fifth attack (assuming once again they landed a hit before then).

Was this maneuver (and others like it) written up with just a single weapon in mind? curious It's hard to say at the moment. I am of the opinion that the bonus action for this maneuver and the bonus action for Two-Weapon Fighting could be the same.
 

mrianmerry

Villager
I agree that letting them be the same is probably the best fit here - the intention is allowing for extra strikes from your rapid movement, after all, but at that point, it will become 2 points of exertion for 1 extra attack; hardly a good trade, even if you can lower it to 1 exertion with Maneuver Specialization, as you suggested. (Although if the +2 damage applies to all attacks made as part of the maneuever, then there are grounds for still desiring it as a Two-Weapon Fighter; that could be +12 damage, which is not an insignificant amount.)
 

lichmaster

Adventurer
I think this Combat Manoeuvre makes more sense for combatants NOT using TWF.

The way I read it is that you only make 1 weapon attack with the bonus action, and if this hits you can use the reaction, spend the exertion, and make another attack. This comes at the cost of the exertion for the manoeuvre + the exertion cost for the reaction, and the reaction itself, and in total you get 5 attacks tops (3 with the action, 1 with the bonus action and 1 with the reaction). Even in the case could make 2 attacks with the bonus action, you still get only 1 additional attack for 4 exertion AND a reaction. Also, you'd spend the initial cost of the manoeuvre to make the 2 attacks with the bonus action, which normally cost you nothing.

I'd rather use this manoeuvre with a greatsword!
 

Corinnguard

Explorer
I think this Combat Manoeuvre makes more sense for combatants NOT using TWF.

The way I read it is that you only make 1 weapon attack with the bonus action, and if this hits you can use the reaction, spend the exertion, and make another attack. This comes at the cost of the exertion for the manoeuvre + the exertion cost for the reaction, and the reaction itself, and in total you get 5 attacks tops (3 with the action, 1 with the bonus action and 1 with the reaction). Even in the case could make 2 attacks with the bonus action, you still get only 1 additional attack for 4 exertion AND a reaction. Also, you'd spend the initial cost of the manoeuvre to make the 2 attacks with the bonus action, which normally cost you nothing.

I'd rather use this manoeuvre with a greatsword!
It's why I suggested tying Rapid Strike with the Maneuver Specialization feature at 11th level. ;) If it works reducing the cost of the maneuver when it's first executed and when you react, the total cost is reduced down to 2.

As for the number of attacks, an 11th level Fighter making 5 attacks with two weapons is still pretty impressive, with or without the maneuver. ;) I wish there was a combat tradition for Two-Weapon fighters. :)
 

lichmaster

Adventurer
It's why I suggested tying Rapid Strike with the Maneuver Specialization feature at 11th level. ;) If it works reducing the cost of the maneuver when it's first executed and when you react, the total cost is reduced down to 2.

As for the number of attacks, an 11th level Fighter making 5 attacks with two weapons is still pretty impressive, with or without the maneuver. ;) I wish there was a combat tradition for Two-Weapon fighters. :)
I think if you have TWF you already have plenty of attacks, sacrificing exertion for having one more is probably not a great deal.
All combat traditions that give maneuvers with effects that proc on every attack are particularly good for TWF combatants, stances in particular because they last all day (unless you activate another stance).
So if you have Strike the Crack Stance and you just roll a crit on 19-20, you have a 41% chance of critting at least once each turn!
 

VicWeave

Villager
I was wondering about the bonus action part. On the one hand, when you gain Extra Attack (1) at 5th level you can use your bonus action to make two attacks with your offhand weapon with Two-Weapon Fighting. Then there is what you said about Rapid Strike allowing you to use a bonus action to make one attack and a reaction for one more. An 11th level Fighter who is using this maneuver with just a single weapon would make three attack actions, use a bonus action to make another attack, and then use their reaction to make their fifth attack (assuming once again they landed a hit before then).

Was this maneuver (and others like it) written up with just a single weapon in mind? curious It's hard to say at the moment. I am of the opinion that the bonus action for this maneuver and the bonus action for Two-Weapon Fighting could be the same.
There is nothing to wonder about or interpret. They are two separate bonus actions that do not interact in anyway, and you cannot use one bonus action to take two separate bonus actions.
 

Corinnguard

Explorer
There is nothing to wonder about or interpret. They are two separate bonus actions that do not interact in anyway, and you cannot use one bonus action to take two separate bonus actions.
Okay. I know from reading the SRD for 5e that you get one bonus action on your turn, so if you have more than bonus action available to you, you have to choose which bonus action to use. An O5e Barbarian with Two-Weapon Fighting and Rage can't use both at the same time because both require a bonus action. You can only use the bonus action to Rage or to make an attack with your offhand weapon.

But what happens if the two bonus actions give you the same thing, an attack with your offhand weapon? Is it still a choice of one bonus action over the other? The bonus action to Rage and the bonus action to make an offhand attack are two completely things, so it's understandable that you can only do one and not both. Raging and make an attack with an offhand weapon might be a little OP. It might be the same with the maneuver and Two-Weapon Fighting's bonus action feature.

At any rate, it falls to the Narrator to interpret and decide. I am game either way.
 

VicWeave

Villager
They don’t do the same thing, and it doesn’t matter if two bonus actions have similar or even identical effects regardless. They are still two different bonus actions. They certainly don’t stack effects. The ability granting a bonus action tells you want it does, and that’s all it does unless something else explicitly modifies it. There is no ambiguity in how bonus actions work.

Edit: Continuing to use Barbarian as an example, a berserker doesn’t get to use their frenzy bonus action attack and a two-weapon fighting attack just because they both let you make an attack as a bonus action.

A game runner can make whatever house rules they want, that’s not relevant to how the rules in the book work.
 

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