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Build suggestions for Two-Handed Weapon Fighter


Advice


Hello. I'm interested in making a two-handed weapon fighter. I'd like to stick to Pathfinder material, no book restrictions. I'm thinking human, but I'm open to suggestions. Does anyone have any build suggestions that they could recommend? Is the two-handed fighter archetype worth taking? Thanks in advance!!


TheCarrionCrawler wrote:
Hello. I'm interested in making a two-handed weapon fighter. I'd like to stick to Pathfinder material, no book restrictions. I'm thinking human, but I'm open to suggestions. Does anyone have any build suggestions that they could recommend? Is the two-handed fighter archetype worth taking? Thanks in advance!!

If you're not opposed to Pathfinder material from 3pps, there's one from Necromancers of the Northwest called "Into the Armory" that has a sword called the Zanbato (historically a large katana or "[n]o-dachi") but easily re-imagined to fit any two-handed sword archetype. I gave my Ftr/Bbn character one, but renamed it Bidenhander after the German Lansdknecht Two-Hander, to represent that specialized weapon instead of a Core Greatsword.

It offers 2x Str bonus to damage, the brace quality (for large or larger opponents, at any rate) and all for the low low cost of an EWP feat and a -2 atk penalty. But when it hits vs. a large and charging enemy, with power attack and rage...flippin' sweet!


TheCarrionCrawler wrote:
Hello. I'm interested in making a two-handed weapon fighter. I'd like to stick to Pathfinder material, no book restrictions. I'm thinking human, but I'm open to suggestions. Does anyone have any build suggestions that they could recommend? Is the two-handed fighter archetype worth taking? Thanks in advance!!

Start out as a Human as you get an extra feat at first level, cant beat that! Also, as you progress go with two weapons feats i.e. shield and double slice. Try to have a decent dexterity and dont wear heavy armor.


Alex the Rogue wrote:
TheCarrionCrawler wrote:
Hello. I'm interested in making a two-handed weapon fighter. I'd like to stick to Pathfinder material, no book restrictions. I'm thinking human, but I'm open to suggestions. Does anyone have any build suggestions that they could recommend? Is the two-handed fighter archetype worth taking? Thanks in advance!!
Start out as a Human as you get an extra feat at first level, cant beat that! Also, as you progress go with two weapons feats i.e. shield and double slice. Try to have a decent dexterity and dont wear heavy armor.

Huh? He's talking about using one weapon with both hands, not using two weapons...

@CarrionCrawler: I see your search fu is weak, young grasshopper. The two-handed-fighter archetype is widely regarded as redundant, if not outright worse. Full move-speed in fullplate is great. Two handed fighter types in general, however, are (though I hear UC changed this up some) typically considered the "best" build. As such, I don't doubt you can find builds for them all over these boards, especially in threads that have "DPR Olympics" in the name.

Also a plug for RogueEidolon's guide:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/extras/community-creations/rogue-eidolon-s-lab/rogu e-eidolon-s-guide-to-fighters

Edit: Word to the wise: This guide covers Core only. Things have changed since then. Not all, but quite a few. Eldritch heritage (orc) would like a word with cha-dumping fighters, etc. So...guide gives guidelines. Go figure. If you build based on only this, you'll probably do well for yourself, but don't restrict yourself to its semi-dated recommendations.

Grand Lodge

If it were me doing this, id go with the thf variant and take the vital strike chain. Yeah, not being able to move at full speed in full plate sucks, but getting double str on all attacks after the first at 11 and later double the power attack penalty seems damn worth it to me. As for the vital strike stuff, there's going to be times when you don't have a straight line to charge or difficult terrain to deal with. Just walk up to whatever and hit it really really hard. The 3rd level of thf doubles your str when making a single attack. After that round, do your full attack stuff. There's a feat in UC that gives you a trip attempt after a pa, you have the feats to take that, just use a heavy flail.


Thank you all for your help.

@Irulesmost. Actually, I looked pretty thoroughly...I just didn't find anything that suited what I wanted. RogueEidolon's fighter guide is ok, but he lumped the 3 most common fighter types all together and didn't really spend the time each one needed. It also seems like the Archer fighter is the favored of the three types. (This is, of course, my opinion). Plus, the guide only suggested two armors, both of which are expensive and doesn't help a low level character. It also doesn't include any sample builds. Which I've seen in other Guides and that makes the guide more valuable. Walter's Magus guide, for instance, is an excellent example.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The following fighter archetypes can be useful for a character based on a two-handed weapon: mobile fighter (Rapid Attack at 11th level and Fleet Footed at 15th are better than Armor Training 3 and 4; since you still get Armor Training 1 and 2, you can run around in full plate with no movement penalty), polearm master (most polearms can be used for maneuvers and many have reach, with Pole Fighting at 2nd level allowing you to use a reach weapon agains adjacent targets; great for a character interested in battlefield control and tactics instead of just damage), two-handed fighter (if you want to concentrate on dealing damage, this is the archetype to take), and weapon master (if you want to concentrate on a single weapon; Weapon Training bonuses starting at 3rd level and AC bonuses starting at 9th are nice; also a good choice for characters focusing on critical hits).

Weapon choice depends on what you want out of the character. Elven curve blade (exotic), falchion, and scythe have the best damage potential with Improved Critical/keen and Power Attack (and the scythe can be used to make trip attacks), probably with the mobile fighter (can make a good alternative to a pouncing beast totem barbarian) or two-handed fighter archetype; if you want to focus on the Critical Focus chain, then a weapon master using an elven curve blade or falchion is the way to go; if you want to fight with reach, use maneuvers, and have several other options, then a polearm master with a bill would make sense.


TheCarrionCrawler wrote:

Thank you all for your help.

@Irulesmost. Actually, I looked pretty thoroughly...I just didn't find anything that suited what I wanted. RogueEidolon's fighter guide is ok, but he lumped the 3 most common fighter types all together and didn't really spend the time each one needed. It also seems like the Archer fighter is the favored of the three types. (This is, of course, my opinion). Plus, the guide only suggested two armors, both of which are expensive and doesn't help a low level character. It also doesn't include any sample builds. Which I've seen in other Guides and that makes the guide more valuable. Walter's Magus guide, for instance, is an excellent example.

Ahhh, fair point. My bad for assuming too much.

And as the above poster said, Mobile fighter is pretty excellent. And the others are alright. But I'd have to disagree on the two-handed-fighter archetype. But that's mostly because I like the vanilla class features a bunch. Thunderstriker in UC helps the 2H-fighter's AC a bit.

High damage-dice weapons are good at low levels, but high threat-range weapons win out in the end (plus, loads of crits can be fun)

You need power attack, but will also want w. focus to offset the penalty at lower levels (when it still matters). Try and get your STR to start at 19 (17 +2 Racial). 14 is the most efficient number for point buy, so keep that in mind, depending on how many points you get. Need STR, CON, at least 12 in Wis (failing will saves as a fighter is common. Also, it Suuuuuucks), and your Dex kinda depends on the archetype (how many armor training increments it has)

IMO, don't do Vital Strike. The feat investment isn't worth it. This is because most of your damage as a 2h fighter is going to come from bonuses, not the dice rolled. By 10th level, your damage range on a non-crit will be around 27-33 if you do it right. with vital strike, this goes up to 29-39. That seems good, but deadly stroke is much better as a standard action attack, as you get to apply str/power attack etc. bonuses. If you manage to get (and be able to wield) a super-huge weapon (3d6 damage dice or more,) then vital strike IS a good way to go. Otherwise, maybe look into combat maneuvers when you only have a standard action to attack.

It seems like with a feat every level, you don't have to worry too much, but when you make a build, those get eaten up way faster than you'd expect.

but anyway. For a 2H fighter, my level 1 build would go:

H-Iron Will or Improved Initiative
1-Power attack
B1-W. Focus (favored weapon)

Later I'd probably pick up a maneuver feat or two. Maaaayyybe shield of swings if AC is a real problem for you (it shouldn't be unless allofthe monsters are brawly-types and have high to-hit) Cleave can be useful, but I've never really NEEDED it.

get specialization at 4th, always. No excuses.

If you don't have easy access to enchanting/buying custom magic weapons, get improved critical at 8th, unless you reaallly need that +1 from Greater W. Focus (pick that up soon, though)

Greater Specialization at 12th. Every time.

Penetrating strike is super-handy if you run into DR you can't bypass/overcome frequently, and there is no ability simulating it for non fighters (IIRC), but it may be a better investment to just get a golf bag full of different material weapons. Improved Iron Will is something you'll want before delving into the higher levels. By the time things can dominate, be sure you already have it.

If you have spare feats to toss around, go ahead and look into improving skills with a longbow, since you should have one that uses your full strength bonus as a backup weapon, and it sucks to be completely unable to hit enemies who fly/are across chasms/are running, and this comes up often.

Finally, there are plenty of feats that branch off intimidate attempts that can be good with the right party (esp if you want your rogue to love you forever.)

Grand Lodge

Irulesmost wrote:


IMO, don't do Vital Strike. The feat investment isn't worth it. This is because most of your damage as a 2h fighter is going to come from bonuses, not the dice rolled. By 10th level, your damage range on a non-crit will be around 27-33 if you do it right. with vital strike, this goes up to 29-39. That seems good, but deadly stroke is much better as a standard action attack, as you get to apply as you get to apply str/power attack etc. bonuses. If you manage to get (and be able to wield) a super-huge weapon (3d6 damage dice or more,) then vital strike IS a good way to go. Otherwise, maybe look into combat maneuvers when you only have a standard action to attack.

Deadly Stroke is just as big of a feat investment as the Vital Strike chain and I would argue that it's worse than VS. First, you have to spend a full round action to intimidate everything to make them shaken, a lot of creatures at higher levels are immune to intimidate stuffs. After that, since you just made a full round action, you have to hope something is near you to provoke an AoO. That seems MUCH more situational than Vital Strike. If he goes the THF route, then whenever he uses VS, he gets to add double his str to it.

As for the "super-huge weapon," just get someone to cast enlarge person on you. Gives you a "super-huge weapon" and reach.

Andoran

TheCarrionCrawler wrote:
Is the two-handed fighter archetype worth taking?

IMO, it's not as good as the Weapon Master archtype, and especially not if you're using a single weapon 90% of the time. Fighter in a two-handed build usually includes (or is included within) barbarian or ranger.

(The most destructive base weapon attack in the game is an Enlarged ranger buffed with Lead Blades wielding a large-sized bastardsword = 4d8.)

Sam McLean wrote:

If you're not opposed to Pathfinder material from 3pps, there's one from Necromancers of the Northwest called "Into the Armory" that has a sword called the Zanbato (historically a large katana or "[n]o-dachi") but easily re-imagined to fit any two-handed sword archetype. I gave my Ftr/Bbn character one, but renamed it Bidenhander after the German Lansdknecht Two-Hander, to represent that specialized weapon instead of a Core Greatsword.

It offers 2x Str bonus to damage, the brace quality (for large or larger opponents, at any rate) and all for the low low cost of an EWP feat and a -2 atk penalty. But when it hits vs. a large and charging enemy, with power attack and rage...flippin' sweet!

What's base damage and crit-range?
Quote:
Deadly Stroke is just as big of a feat investment as the Vital Strike chain and I would argue that it's worse than VS. First, you have to spend a full round action to intimidate everything to make them shaken, a lot of creatures at higher levels are immune to intimidate stuffs.

Emphatically agreed, especially if you're blitzing your CHA and aren't an orc or half-orc.

Cheliax

I am going to go out on a virtual limb and disagree with some of the opinions that people have posted.

Vital Strike line? Not worth the feat investment. You want to focus on standing in the pocket and using full attacks, that's whey you wear heavy armor and swing a big weapon. Don't waste your feats on something (single attacks) that you don't want to be doing.

Exotic weapon proficiency? Hell yes. Shoot for an Elven Curveblade, or take a look at the versatility of the Falcata. 19-20 x3 is nothing to sneeze at -- and you can use the Falcata with a shield, if you need to turtle up for whatever reason (see Animated Shields for good reference).

Pick a weapon, exotic or otherwise (see advice, above). Grab weapon focus ASAP. Improve the crit range on it when you can. Weapon Specialization is NOT as cool as it sounds, especially if you are using a two handed weapon: you have a ton of ways to improve your damage (Power Attack figures importantly into this conversation!), the +2 from Weapon Spec just isn't that big of a deal.

Bonuses to hit (weapon focus, furious focus) are more important to a 2 handed fighter (or any other fighter, for that matter) than a +2 to damage -- especially when you start getting iterative attacks, or have regular access to Haste. Improved Crit is nice for the extra damage (similar to Weapon Spec, actually), but really shines when your crits do extra "stuff" as you progress into the crit feats.

The Two Handed and Weapon Master archetypes don't give you enough for what they take away, although I do like Weapon Master better than many of the other archetypes. Getting the weapon training bonuses earlier just isn't worth giving up Armor Training. Armor training is one of the best class abilities in the game.

Cleave kinda sucks after level 6, IMO. If just HAVE to have Cleave, take it as your 2nd level fighter bonus feat, so that you can train out of it at level 8 and pickup something more useful.

Iron Will and Improved Iron Will are very important, whether it is because you don't like to be FEARED during fights, or if the real fear is that your fellow adventurers don't want to feel the bite of your blade when you are charmed/dominated. Iron Will gives a solid +2 to Will saves. The daily reroll for the Improved version doesn't sound like much, but when you NEED it, it is priceless.

Grand Lodge

Argus The Slayer wrote:

Vital Strike line? Not worth the feat investment. You want to focus on standing in the pocket and using full attacks, that's whey you wear heavy armor and swing a big weapon. Don't waste your feats on something (single attacks) that you don't want to be doing.

Just because you take the vital strike line doesn't mean you have to make just one attack each round (unless you really want to for whatever reason). You use it for those times when you CAN'T get a full attack for whatever reason. There's also a couple feats in UC that help out with vital strike. The first adds +2 to damage for each extra set of weapon dice you roll and the second adds that same bonus to confirming crits.


I'd have to say that the Vital Strike line combined with the Called Shot line can be VERY impressive.

Sure, you're only doing one attack per round, but those attacks can be devastating.

Take a 10th level Fighter
Weapon Training Heavy Blades +2 Hit/Damage (We'll say he's a great sword swinger)
You popped an 18 into strength, bumped it to a 20, now it's a 22 (you're very dedicated) after your 4th & 8th level ability boosts. You're human.

1st Weapon Focus Greatsword +1 to hit
Bonus Power Attack -1 to hit +3 to damage (-3 to Hit + 9 Damage 10th lvl)
2nd Combat Expertise
3rd Improved Called Shot
4th Weapon Specialization (+2 Damage)
5th
6th Vital Strike (one attack doubles dice pool)
7th Greater Called Shot
8th Improved Critical (doubles threat range)
9th
10th

+10 BAB +6 STR +2 Weapon Training +1 Weapon Focus = +19 to hit with a generic greatsword. -3 for Power attack gives you a base +16 (realistically you should have a pretty sweet sword by this point or your DM is a dick and you haven't been spending your money right, so let's assume it's a +2) Puts you at a +18 to hit.

A vital strike'd called shot attack would look like this +16 to hit (chest, arm or leg) or +13 to hit (head vitals or hand) 4d6 + 24 Crits X2 17-20 So, if you MADE a critical hit (1 in 5 chance) You're looking at 2d6 (X2) + 2d6 (vital strike doesn't double on a crit) + 48... and all the REALLY horrendous Called shot affects happen if you break 40 points of damage in a single hit. Soooo.... yeah. You can simply smash your opponents body to RUBBLE one blow after another. Sure it's a bit slower, but it's hideous.

Cheliax

I'm still of the opinion that feats that are only helpful when you use a single attack don't give you that much bang for the buck, unless you are extremely focused on that type of action/attack. For instance, if you have something really powerful that you can do as a move action (and you plan to frequently use that action and a single attack), that might make sense.

The problem that I see is that the classes that are likely to have something cool to do with a move action (eg a cleric or paladin that channels energy, through the feat, as a move action), isn't going to be a fighter, so they aren't going to have the extra feats to spend on something like vital strike.

Feats like that are a trap for most players/builds: they are pretty cool for niche builds, but aren't useful frequently enough to be very valuable to a fighter.

Back to the whole vital strike thing, including idwraith's build from above. Do yourself a favor if you are going to focus on single attacks: get rid of Weapon Specialization and pickup Furious Focus instead. +3 to hit (Power Attack w/ level > 8) is going to be MUCH more useful than +2 damage...especially if you are taking attack penalties for things like Called Shot (which I admittedly know NOTHING about ;).


Argus The Slayer wrote:

I'm still of the opinion that feats that are only helpful when you use a single attack don't give you that much bang for the buck, unless you are extremely focused on that type of action/attack. For instance, if you have something really powerful that you can do as a move action (and you plan to frequently use that action and a single attack), that might make sense.

The problem that I see is that the classes that are likely to have something cool to do with a move action (eg a cleric or paladin that channels energy, through the feat, as a move action), isn't going to be a fighter, so they aren't going to have the extra feats to spend on something like vital strike.

Feats like that are a trap for most players/builds: they are pretty cool for niche builds, but aren't useful frequently enough to be very valuable to a fighter.

He's a fighter, he's got LOTS of feats to use on extra stuff. The aren't even really that many feats that are truly necessary for a two handed fighter to rock the damage beyond power attack and maybe furious focus. Its all gravy after that.


There were like 3 empty feat slots in that build I posted, nothing stops you from putting Furious Focus in there in one of the empty slots.

A Fighter gets a feat EVERY level. I 20th level human fighter has 21 feats. There's absolutely no reason you can't customize the crap out of them.

Adding Furious Focus to that mix and that power shot first attack would be a +21 to hit the arm, leg or chest in a called shot or +19 to hit the head or hand.

Nothing says that you can't make ADDITIONAL attacks when using Vital Strike, the just say that the feat only applies to ONE attack. Same with Called Shot, you can only do ONE per attack. So you'd still get your secondary attacks, they just wouldn't be as crippling.


Mike Schneider wrote:
Sam McLean wrote:

If you're not opposed to Pathfinder material from 3pps, there's one from Necromancers of the Northwest called "Into the Armory" that has a sword called the Zanbato (historically a large katana or "[n]o-dachi") but easily re-imagined to fit any two-handed sword archetype. I gave my Ftr/Bbn character one, but renamed it Bidenhander after the German Lansdknecht Two-Hander, to represent that specialized weapon instead of a Core Greatsword.

It offers 2x Str bonus to damage, the brace quality (for large or larger opponents, at any rate) and all for the low low cost of an EWP feat and a -2 atk penalty. But when it hits vs. a large and charging enemy, with power attack and rage...flippin' sweet!

What's base damage and crit-range?
Quote:

Base damage is 2d8, crit is 19-20/x2. The penalty to attack and EWP feat requirement balances that big damage and STR bonus, though. And it's the only thing, flavor-wise, which made sense as a true bidenhander, though I have yet to get UC on .pdf. (Why can't it be Thursday?!) Really looking forward to perusing the archetypes therein, since it could bolster my big damage potential. Some of them sound better than the two-handed fighter archetype from APG, for sure.

Cheliax

idwraith wrote:


Nothing says that you can't make ADDITIONAL attacks when using Vital Strike, the just say that the feat only applies to ONE attack. Same with Called Shot, you can only do ONE per attack. So you'd still get your secondary attacks, they just wouldn't be as crippling.

Actually, the Vital Strike feat itself says that you can't use it when you make more than a single attack because it says "when you use the attack action".

By definition the attack action is a single attack.

If you could use Vital strike as part of a full round attack it would be amazing....amazing enough that it would be broken. But you can't.


Argus The Slayer wrote:
idwraith wrote:


Nothing says that you can't make ADDITIONAL attacks when using Vital Strike, the just say that the feat only applies to ONE attack. Same with Called Shot, you can only do ONE per attack. So you'd still get your secondary attacks, they just wouldn't be as crippling.

Actually, the Vital Strike feat itself says that you can't use it when you make more than a single attack because it says "when you use the attack action".

By definition the attack action is a single attack.

If you could use Vital strike as part of a full round attack it would be amazing....amazing enough that it would be broken. But you can't.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/combat.html#attack

That's actually debatable because they talk about things being part of an "attack action" and the only other references to that phrase its a hyphenated full-attack action whereas they just say Standard Attack, never standard attack-action so personally I'd like to see an errata on the matter.

Vital Strike (Combat)
You make a single attack that deals significantly more damage than normal.

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +6.

Benefit: When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the weapon's damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision based damage, and other damage bonuses. These extra weapon damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total.

I'm actually inclined to AGREE with you, but the wording of how you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus implies that you can make OTHER attacks at lower attack bonuses you just can't apply the vital strike. So, like I said, I'd like to see errata on it to clear up the wording.

Ultimate Combat's feat Death or Glory allows for use of Vital Strike and it's tree in a full-attack vs large or larger opponents but they get an attack against you in return with the same bonuses (those given by the feat, not vital strike)

Ultimate Combat's feat Devastating Strike gives you an extra +2 (up to +6) for each multiplier given by Vital Strike which is added to your base damage AND gets multiplied on a critical hit.

So, ultimately yes, I agree with you.

I still maintain that trading multiple attacks for an attack capable of crippling your opponent for MINUTES if not killing him outright through called shot is worth it. Especially with the additional feats in the Ultimate Combat. You can design a two-handed fighter that simply devastated his opponents in slow methodical combat, taking them apart in a brutal fashion.


I just started a 5th level Fighter who is going to be focused on a big, sword wielding bruiser type.

Some of my thoughts:

- Vital Strike: I think is probably O.K. against big, bad bosses where you have one guy to focus down and they have great AC. Otherwise, you lose too much damage by not being able to get multiple attacks.

- Deadly Stroke: Too situational for me to like it, and you're also giving up your full attack. There are plenty of things that aren't going to be too impressed by your intimidate and ergo, render this feat useless. Not to mention you have to spend a round simply intimidating then.

- Trip Path: Great if you have a trip weapon. I am very worried about the possibility of having to lose your weapon however. Hopefully you've got a backup ready to go.

- Two-Handed Warrior vs. Normal: I initially spent a lot of time debating between this. The only two parts I really like are the option to get a free Bull Rush/Trip(?) and the Greater Power attack. Ultimately, however, I don't think its worth losing the Armor Training, movement is just too important.

The build I am going to go with:

Human (L5): Str: 20, Dex: 12, Int: 13, Con: 18, Cha:

L1 Power Attack, Cleave, Iron Will
L2 Combat Expertise
L3 Shield of Swings
L4 Weapon Focus
L5 Weapon Specialization
L6 Second Chance
L7 Lunge
L8 Improved Critical, (Trade Sh. of Swings for Combat Reflexes)
L9 Stand Still
L10 Critical Focus
L11 (??)
L12 Bleeding Critical, (Trade Cleave for Gr. Weapon Focus)
L13 Crippling Critical
L14 Critical Master
L15 Greater Weapon Specialization

Beyond the general critical stuff, I wanted to highlight one thing:

Second Chance: I'm amazed this feat doesn't get more press. You can basically read it as: "If you miss your first attack, immediately take your second attack with full BAB." Doesn't that strike anyone as ridiculous? It might not be as useful later on when you have more attacks, or against some lightly armored opponents, but I think that this has many applications, particularly if you're between level's 6-10. You could even retrain it once you hit 12.


For a 2 handed weapon build, consider using a polearm with the basic fighter as well and use things like pushing assault etc to constantly push your enemies to force them to provoke and using Lunge for a 15ft reach is pretty fun as well. You'll get all the passive bonuses of Power attack and Strength like with a regular 2 handed weapon.

Andoran

idwraith wrote:
I'd have to say that the Vital Strike line combined with the Called Shot line can be VERY impressive.

It's very impressive without it, and outperforms Weapon Specialization for any weapon whose dice damage is 1d12/2d6 or larger (i.e, Enlarged or Lead Blades'd or both). Supposing, for the sake of argument, that you get full-attacks 50% of the time, and other times you must move to reach your target without charging (a common example being you killed your adjacent opponent last turn and now need to march through the fray to the next) -- in such a case you're better off taking Vital Strike instead of Weapon Specialization at 6th if the choice is between the two. Given one move+attack and one full-attack over each "set" of two rounds, WS grants +6dmg with a greatsword's three total attacks while VS grants +2d6(~7)dmg from the one that qualified.


idwraith wrote:

A Fighter gets a feat EVERY level. I 20th level human fighter has 21 feats. There's absolutely no reason you can't customize the crap out of them.

Actually a 20th level Human fighter gets 22 feats. You forgot his first level fighter bonus feat.

but that only proves your point that much more...


Mike Schneider wrote:
It's very impressive without it, and outperforms Weapon Specialization for any weapon whose dice damage is 1d12/2d6 or larger (i.e, Enlarged or Lead Blades'd or both). Supposing, for the sake of argument, that you get full-attacks 50% of the time, and other times you must move to reach your target without charging (a common example being you killed your adjacent opponent last turn and now need to march through the fray to the next) -- in such a case you're better off taking Vital Strike instead of Weapon Specialization at 6th if the choice is between the two. Given one move+attack and one full-attack over each "set" of two rounds, WS grants +6dmg with a greatsword's three total attacks while VS grants +2d6(~7)dmg from the one that qualified.

Your math is off. With the exception of over coming DR it's better to have more attacks the one "ultra" attack. If that one misses you've lost less. Also more chances for a critical.

Your math also ignores the various haste effects, AoO, miss chance, Weapon Spec being multiplied on a critical, and the fact that to get the +2 from Weapon Spec doesn't ever take a spell so it doesn't influence economy of action.

If you want to take this feat that's fine BUT it should be a fill a blank spot or for roleplay reasons not because you think it holds up to other feats.

Cheliax

I like Mike's point about comparing +2 damage for Weapon Spec over three attacks (+6 damage) to the added Vital Strike damage on the one single attack in his example (+7 avg damage with Vital Strike). The math makes sense there IF you are getting 50/50 on standard/full attacks. And you are assuming that people consider Weapon Spec to be a viable feat for a fighter (I would enthusiastically called it 'meh"!).

Having said that, I would argue that with most of my D&D experience playing fighters (I've always been a melee nut and I like playing fighters), I probably get to use full attack options fully 2/3 to 3/4 of the time. Most of that is because I like to put myself in a place where I generally attract enemies like a magnet - and because I make myself a good target. If you frequently have multiple enemies around you during combat, you're going to be able to make that many more full attacks. Most of the other times, when I CAN'T full attack, I would prefer to charge, for the +2 bonus to attack, than move my speed and then vital strike.

Cheliax

I hate when people tear apart individual posts, but I really don't understand the point that is being made here, so I will try to break it down and understand it - and respond to it.

dunelord3001 wrote:


Your math is off. With the exception of over coming DR it's better to have more attacks the one "ultra" attack. If that one misses you've lost less. Also more chances for a critical.

Your math is actually off, sir: if the average damage for one big attack is the same as the average damage for a bunch of small attacks, they are equivalent: one is not better than the other. You just have to make sure that you are accounting for all of the appropriate variables when you do the math. Making generalizations like this doesn't help people understand anything - it just creates confusion

dunelord3001 wrote:

Your math also ignores the various haste effects, AoO, miss chance, Weapon Spec being multiplied on a critical, and the fact that to get the +2 from Weapon Spec doesn't ever take a spell so it doesn't influence economy of action.

What does spell casting and economy of action (wow - that seems to be some sort of exciting new catch phrase!) have to do with the Vital Strike feat?

dunelord3001 wrote:

If you want to take this feat that's fine BUT it should be a fill a blank spot or for roleplay reasons not because you think it holds up to other feats.

I don't particularly like Vital Strike, but I think it is just as viable as Weapon Spec. Is that another one that fits into the "only if it fits your roleplaying style" category?


I don't think its fallacious to suppose that one big attack does more damage than many multiple ones for several reasons, not the least of which is the scaling of strength bonuses and power attack. In addition, one has to consider that DR is significantly less of a hindrance to a person dealing lots of attacks, than many small ones.

That said, I think it is very situational. If you are fighting a monster with very high AC, for example. One big attack might be better since the odds of you hitting with multiple follow-up attacks might be fairly low. On the other hand, if you are fighting something with relatively little AC the advantage to having multiple attacks probably is greater.

Andoran

dunelord3001 wrote:
Your math is off. With the exception of over coming DR it's better to have more attacks the one "ultra" attack.

If I could force the DM to give me full-attacks every single round, that would be so sweet.

Andoran

Quote:
I don't particularly like Vital Strike, but I think it is just as viable as Weapon Spec. Is that another one that fits into the "only if it fits your roleplaying style" category?

Amiri, the iconic barbarian, fights with a large bastardsword. Suppose, by 16th level, she's running around Enlarged and buffed with Lead Blades via some fashion (beads, potion, ranger multiclass, whatever). With Greater Vital Strike, her weapon dice on a move+smack is 16d8, or ~72 before all the strength and power attack and magic and everything else gets added. ~48pts of the damage is generated by the three feats.

A fighter with Greater Weapon Specialization needs nine attacks to match that on a damage-granted-per-feat-per-round basis (since WS/GWS is a two-feat chain).


Currently running a Two-Handed Weapon Fighter in a Rise of the Runelords Campaign. Started off at level 3 and am currently level 11 and the one thing I can say is damage can be tremendous using the THF archtype.

Since I wanted to also have to RPing potential, I decided to invest feats into Intimidate, notably Persuasive, Skill Focus(Intimidate), and Intimidating Prowess. Not only has it helped with certain RPing situations, it knocked down enemies a peg or two by giving them penalties to their rolls. Now that I'm level 11, Dreadful Carnage and an unbuffed intimidate check of +29 does wonders in and out of battle.

Currently toting an Earthbreaker, but I'm considering retraining to the Tetsubo. 2 less damage is okay to me in exchange for a x4 crit, exotic weapon or not. It'll be fun if I ever get him to level 19, then 20. I calculated that with my stats, a single Devastating Blow would do a minimum of about 230 damage which I'd say is pretty good.

I think the feat that made the biggest difference was Furious Focus. That and Overhand Chop dominated lower levels, Backswing + Power Attack + Furious Focus make the first attack some guaranteed pain, with additional attacks being even worse if they hit despite the penalty. Otherwise, Piledriver + Overhand Chop + Power Attack + Furious Focus give some good battlefield control.


Argus The Slayer wrote:
I hate when people tear apart individual posts, but I really don't understand the point that is being made here, so I will try to break it down and understand it - and respond to it.

I didn't just pick apart one post. The point in general was that Vital Strike was a feat that was either on par or even better then Weapon Spec. The simple fact is that this just isn't true, if anything it's almost a fail tier feat.

Argus The Slayer wrote:
Your math is actually off, sir: if the average damage for one big attack is the same as the average damage for a bunch of small attacks, they are equivalent: one is not better than the other. You just have to make sure that you are accounting for all of the appropriate variables when you do the math. Making generalizations like this doesn't help people understand anything - it just creates confusion

You are incorrect. If the average damage is the same precritical you are better with more attacks. Further the higher damage is useless once you get past the number of hit points needed to kill a creature. In a fight against several creatures it's better to have several attacks then one large one.

Argus The Slayer wrote:
What does spell casting and economy of action (wow - that seems to be some sort of exciting new catch phrase!) have to do with the Vital Strike feat?

If someone casts a buff on you that you are unable to get the most use out of (such as Haste when using Vital Strike) then your party isn't as effective as one that is getting the most out their buffs. Further many of the people who claim, falsly, that Vital Strike is equal to Weapon Spec do the math after the character in question has been Enlarged. Enlarging a character takes a action, either of a allied spell caster or by drinking a potion. This further slows down the party, were as a character with Weapon Spec doesn't need that.

Argus The Slayer wrote:
I don't particularly like Vital Strike, but I think it is just as viable as Weapon Spec. Is that another one that fits into the "only if it fits your roleplaying style" category?

You can thinking anything you like, but Vital Strike objectivly just isn't a feat that has the same game impact as Weapon Spec.

Mike Schneider wrote:
If I could force the DM to give me full-attacks every single round, that would be so sweet.

Or you could take reasonable steps to increase the number of full attacks that a character has access to such as Lunge, Quick Draw, a weapon's cord, and some throwing weapons. Or play an fighter with weapon spec in a bow.

Andoran

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Quote:
Quote:
If I could force the DM to give me full-attacks every single round, that would be so sweet.
Or you could take reasonable steps to increase the number of full attacks that a character has access to such as Lunge, Quick Draw, a weapon's cord, and some throwing weapons. Or play an fighter with weapon spec in a bow.

Do I also have PBS/PC/RS/Manyshot/Deadly/WF/WS/GWF/GWS and 50% more cash to make this bow not a worthless piece of garbage in the hands of my Hasted GVS two-hand barbarian who would rather just normal-move up and smack the monster one time for way over 100pts damage by 16th, then let it chew on my mountain of hitpoints rather than have it flounce over to kill the squishies? Sure, I'll be making some allowances for things like dragons -- but Gorum help anything else that isn't made of fifty tons of flubber when I hit it.

There are roughly ten-dozen different ways to deny full-attacks (including archery); and if your DM's bad guys don't know a fifth of them, you're cake-walkin'.

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