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Bladestorm: STR Ranger's guide to TWF for Fighters


Advice

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Hi,

I think TWF gets a bad wrap on the Boards. I find it to be a VERY effective and awesome style.

Some people have seen my TWF guide for Rangers and Now I present the Fighter Guide.

Bladestorm: STR Ranger's guide to TWF for Fighters

It's a work that may need updating so if you think I've missed anything, let me know.

Spoilerd Version:
Bladestorm: A Fighters Guide to TWF

*Before we begin- I’d like to thank Treantmonk for his own guides that inspired me to write this one. Note I have copied his Guide style and borrowed some text to make this a style we are familiar with. Also to Rogue Eidolon for his excellent Fighter Guide.
The Reason for the Guide:
Often TWF is seen as a substandard build for a Pathfinder Character. Most critics site the fact it takes 5 feats to master, makes you MAD, splits weapon enchant wealth and requires constantly full attacking to outdo your 2handed buddies. For MOST classes this argument is valid.
Some of us still love the idea of TWF and certain Classes (Paladin, Rogue, Ranger, Cavalier, Samurai) are able to do it well enough to justify the feat cost. Fighters in particular have 3 archetypes that work brilliantly with it.
Only Archery has the potential for more damage and it is even more feat intensive.
So WHY TWF over Two handed? Well, firstly TWF is mostly worth it if you have some sort of free damage bonus you can apply to all your attacks. Fighters, between Duelist Gloves, Weapon Training and Gtr Weapon Specialization can add 10 damage per strike and with 7attacks for Gtr two weapon fighting and a high likelyhood of landing most of them TWF becomes worthwhile. Extra chances for burst damage via critical hits are tough to calculate but are a huge boost if you fight with High Crit weapons. These things coupled together can have turn your Fighter into a death machine.
How do we eliminate the problems with TWF?
TWF’s suffer from the same problem as Monks. They NEED to be full attacking nearly all the time to be good, but poor tactics and smart enemies force movement which takes away your full attack. Thankfully, with the release of the APG, UM and UC these problems have been minimized for us. You just need to know where to look.
Make enemies come to you. If you can make enemies close with you, do it. They don’t get to full attack and you do.
Plus the Fighter Archetypes have class abilities that fix the usual problems.
Ratings:
RED* This is a choice I don't recommend – Waste of a feat.
ORANGE** This option is good in the right circumstance, but not always useful.
GREEN*** I recommend this option
BLUE**** This is AWESOME! Pretty Much an auto selection.
Simple enough, like a movie review. So lets move into the Archetypes skills and abilities that will help you become a Master TWFer.
Two Weapon Warrior****- A fantastic Archetype that does more damage per full attack, if done right, than any other. They get the ability to TWF when they move but most of it’s class abilities center around Full Attacks and AOO’s, so we need to build it to pin down foes and create AOO’s to reach it’s full potential.
Bravery**- Not a useless ability, but for a class that has a Weak Will save and no reroll class ability, it could have been so much better. Still, fear is a common effect so it does stop you from Wussing out when a dragon shows up.
Defensive Flurry***- You lose armour training and the ability to move at full speed in heavy armour. Mithral Breastplate is the heaviest you’ll go. A nice AC boost, but it only applies when you full attack. You’ll need to build your warrior to be good at pinning foes.
Twin Blades****- In some ways better than Weapon Training, since you get the full bonus regardless of what you fight with, even a pair of chair legs in a barfight will get the job done. Only applies when you full attack :( but it does make Quickdraw TWF Throwing Chakrams a decent ranged option over actually moving till level 8 when you can swap it for something better.
Doublestrike****- At level 9 you can TWF as a standard action. Now moving to close doesn’t suck anymore and gets better when feats like TWR and Dazing Assault come online.
Improved Balance/Perfect Balance****- Gradually eliminates the penalty for TWF. This ability means you will be getting your 7(8 Hasted) attacks without penalty with Kukri’s or suck a -1,-1 and dual wield Falcata’s if you want.
Equal Opportunity****- Make 2attacks instead of 1 when you AOO. Awesome, now your AOO’s outdo a 2handed guy and you get another chance to crit. We need to create more chances to use this so trips and disarms are pretty good for this archetype.
Deft Doublestrike***- Nice. A FREE CM attempt whenever you hit with 2 weapons (which is pretty much all the time). Comes in late, but pretty sweet since it will let you trade out Breakguard for another useful feat at 16.
Deadly Defense****- Now when you full attack, foes that hit you provoke TWF AOO’s (lay Dazing Assault on it for pure win)
Weapon Mastery****- Standard Fighter Capstone here but a good one. Auto confirm all crits and an increased multiplier? Oh Hell Yeah!
Mobile Fighter****- Not as good on a full attack as the Two Weapon Warrior but better mobility. You don’t need to specialize in lockdown with this Archetype.
Agility***- A little better than bravery. The bonus now applies to conditions that impede movement and the Archetype relies on that.
Armour Training1,2****- You have kept the most important part of this ability. You can still Move at full speed and tumble in heavy armour.
Leaping Attack****- In some ways better than Weapon Training, since you get the full bonus regardless of what you fight with, even a pair of chair legs in a barfight will get the job done. Only applies when you move at least 5ft but that is easy to do almost every round and it does make Quickdraw TWF Throwing Chakrams a decent ranged option till level 8 when you can swap it for something better.
Rapid Attack****- This is Sort of a Pounce type ability, letting you take a full attack (minus your first iterative) when you move. You have no need for lockdown feats now since you are essentially full attacking all the time.
Fleet footed****- Kinda cool if a bit underpowered for a late ability. You shouldn’t be failing acrobatics checks with this and the speed boost is nice.
Armour Mastery***- Standard Ability Here. Pretty good but doesn’t stack with adamantine, but you’ll be in Mithral anyway.
Whirlwind Blitz****- It supersedes Rapid Attack, but in terms of Damage? One more attack is not gonna turn a BBEG 2 round kill into a 1 round kill. Whirlwind as a standard action is also ok, if you found room for the 5 feats needed on top of your TWF feats.
Dawnflower Dervish****- This IMHO, is even better than the Mobile fighter. It plays pretty much the same but with nicer tradeoffs for Amour Training.
Bravery**- Not a useless ability, but for a class that has a Weak Will save and no reroll class ability, it could have been so much better. Still, fear is a common effect so it does stop you from Wussing out when a dragon shows up.
Burst of Speed****- Losing Armour training bites. Negating the AC penalty for charging is useful though, since this Archetype should be charging as often as possible.
Weapon Training****- Identical to the Normal class ability. It locks you into your main weapon group (But thankfully Scimitars, Falcatas, Katanas and Chakrams are all in the same one)
Desert Stride****- This is very good. 10ft is enough room to charge and difficult terrain is a huge problem on a class that relies on movement.
Rapid Attack****- This is Sort of a Pounce type ability, letting you take a full attack (minus your first iterative) when you move. You have no need for lockdown feats now since you are essentially full attacking all the time.
Lightning Strike****- Functionally similar to the Mobile Fighter’s Capstone ability but you get it 5 levels earlier. Sweet.
Armour Mastery***- Standard Ability Here. Pretty good but doesn’t stack with adamantine, but you’ll be in Mithral anyway.
Weapon Mastery****- Standard Fighter Capstone here but a good one. Auto confirm all crits and an increased multiplier? Oh Hell Yeah!
Traits: Fighters unfortunately don’t get alot of skills. Some traits can expand their out of combat options, skills or shore up that will save.
Good Traits are: Defender of the Society, Reactionary, Blade of Mercy, Missing Sibling, True Believer, Ancestral Weapon (+2 to a CM)
Skills:
Handle Animal **: You can use this mostly for training dogs or avoiding combat with animals. Probably too small a payoff for the skill points.
Perception ****: Simply the most used skill in the game period. Stops bad guys getting the drop on you and makes you semi useful searching for things. Ride **: This is a definite maybe. Most things you ride will die, but it helps to have a point or two in it. Stealth ****: Since all 3 Archetypes have a high dex and wear medium or light armor, you can be good at this. At least enough to back up the rogue. Survival****: Get along in the wild. Includes all your MAN skills. Intimidate****: Cha is not your strong suit, but you are a fighter, so knowing how to bully people is helpful.

Race:
When choosing Race you want something that is going to boost your your Strength, Dexterity or Wisdom (since fighters will save blows). A movement score of 30 is definitely a primary, because we need to close and stay close so we can Full Attack more (TWF remember). Access to Racial Double Weapons is great too.
Half Elf ****: The ability bonus can be put in STR, and low light vision is good for Scouting. The skill focus feat is nice for stealth or perception (if you put it in perception that will stack with the racial +2 bonus). The elven immunities are decent as well. The multiclass bonus may be helpful too depending on your build. Alternatively the APG weapon Prof feature is nice to get either a Katana, Falcata or Double Longsword Prof (since TWF’s count on crits to boost damage)
Half Orc ****: The ability bonus can be put in STR, and Darkvision is very helpful (better than low light in dungeons when scouting). This would be green, but access to the Orc Double Axe Makes it blue, just a bit behind Half-Elf.
Elf **: The Dex and INT bonus is nice. The Con penalty sucks, since we like melee. Low Light vision is very helpful, as are the bonuses to Perception and vs enchantment (the school with those nasty dominate effects). The Spellcraft and Spell DC bonuses don’t do squat for you. Not Bad.
Human ****: +2 goes into STR, and the bonus feat is very handy, especially at low levels. The extra skill point will come in handy. Having no special vision type hurts, but it isn't the end of the world. Given the feat intensive nature of the TWF chain, possibly the best choice. Dwarf**: The Bonus to WIS and CON is great for saving on a Point Buy, and saves. We don’t care about CHA. +2 vs spell saves rocks, as does the Dwarven Urgosh Prof. BUUUTT the speed penalty is a big deal. If you wanna play a dwarf closing and Pinning a foe is Vital so you need to get boots of speed ASAP.
Gnome/Halfling*: Small Size, Small Weapons, low speed and no stat boost to anything we care about (besides Dex). NO.

Feats:
Well, naturally you are going the TWF route, so some of your feats will come from that, but beyond the combat style feats, we need to find ways to full attack more often. Fortunately, there are plenty of choices:
Iron Will/Improved Iron Will- Absolute MUST, for any fighter. Nothing worse than getting dominated and killing your party.
TWF ***: The Start of your TWF journey. Take it, love it live it.
Doubleslice*: This feat kinda sucks. You need a MASSIVE strength score to see more than one or two points of Damage increased to your offhand attacks only. The only reason a TWF’er takes this is as a Preq for Two Weapon Rend. Learn it later (8-11) to qualify for Two Weapon Rend. Quickdraw**: Never a bad feat to take, and it makes throwing viable for you at low levels. Meaning you don’t cripple your DPR by moving. Throw and let them come to you.
ITWF***: Next step in the TWF chain. Still fairly likely to hit and at the level you take it, it’s what makes your full attacks better than the 2handed guys.
Two Weapon Defense**: Not a great feat. Gives a +1 Shield AC and there are better feats in the chain to take.
Two Weapon Rend***: Now We’re talking. 1d10 plus 1 ½ your Str bonus when you full attack is great. Needs the Crappy Doubleslice but if you were smart you got that via retraining. Take it at 12th level.
Gtr Two Weapon Fighting***: Completing the TWF chain. Taken at 16th level or later when you can stack enough to hit bonuses to make it stick.
Big Game Hunter****: This feat is an Awesome feat. Check the Bestiary, the majority of foes CR9 or above are large or bigger. This is basically Wpn Fcs and Wpn Spl for Both Weapons you wield reguardless of type and stacks with those feats.
Weapon Focus/Gtr **: We are gonna have alot of attacks. Let’s make them all hit shall we?
Stepup**: If an enemy 5ft steps away from you, then you can 5ft step next turn and still full attack. However it’s use in threatening casters IS useful.
Following Step***: A better feat. If an enemy moves more than 5ft away, they burned a move action and provoked an AOO for leaving a square you threaten. If they only moved 10ft away, you can still full attack next round or 5ft step then full attack, if they moved 15ft. Also good for staying close to a polearm user or inside a big creatures reach.
Improved Critical ***: If your wielding 2 of the same weapon (and you should) this is awesome. By the time you are high level and wearing boots of speed, that’s 8chances to crit.
Critical Focus *: By itself nothing special, but it opens up all the nice critical options.
Staggering/Blinding/Sickening Crit**: You’ll be Critting a lot, so adding a Status effect is nice, but guess what? Only Stunning Critical stops foes from Moving/acting. That’s not available till the game is nearly over. You need to PIN foes to full attack every round. I usually stop at staggered, if I take it at all.
Dazing Assault****: Now THIS is a feat. -5 to all your attacks in exchange for a always on save or lose effect. And it’s available from level11! Yes please. Note- most people rule 1 save per attack action.
Full Attack- 1save
AOO- 1save Standard Action Attack- 1save (The trick is to force multiple saves per round!) Gtr Weapon Specialization***- Stack it with your weapon training and Duelist Gloves for +10 to damage on every attack you make. (Note some DM’s are picky with this. The item description says they work for WEAPON TRAINING and the archetypes get a similar ability of a different name.)
Hammer The Gap*: Looks good on paper, but relies on consecutive hits to work. You need to land 5 hits in a row to add 10 damage. Worth as Much as Doubleslice.
Teamwork Feats: Needs an ally to take them as well, but some good payoff.
Coordinated Charge***: OK for the TWW, useless for the Dervish/Mobile Fighter. You and your buddy get this and you get free immediate action moves around the battlefield, when it’s not your turn. This allows you to use your buddies charge to let you close. Then you full attack when it’s your turn.
Outflank***: TWF carries a -2 to hit, so grabbing a +4when you flank is great and the extra AOO’s are awesome.
Precise Strike**: OK effect, but there are better teamwork feats above.
Other Chains you may want to consider for your Archetype:
Improved Initiative/Dodge/Mobility- Great for the Mobile or Dervish Archetypes. They get Rapid Attack, so go first and get killing when you close. Dodge/Mobility should be an auto select for classes that focus on moving alot.
Pin Down/Combat Expertise/Imp Disarm/Breakquard****- Awesome for the Two Weapon Warrior. Lets you hit them with AOO’s to stop them moving away. Breakguard gives you your attack back if you succeed on a disarm and the enemy provokes TWF AOO’s from you. Disarm is a great debuff that makes the enemy waste actions getting a weapon back. Make a foe drop his Magic Sword? Great. Or make the wizard drop his staff? Cool.
Improved Shieldbash/Shieldslam/Shieldmastery/Imp Bullrush/Gtr Bullrush/Bashing Finish****-: With this build instead of Debuffing via Disarm you are getting AOO’s Via Gtr Bullrush. Doesn’t make the enemy drop his weapon but your AC is a heap better. Bashing Finish grants an extra attack when you crit.
Both methods become less effective Past 13, because you encounter less foes with manufactured weapons (for Disarm) and bigger foes to effect with bullrush. That’s ok though, because smart enemies will use 5ft steps or withdraw to move away normally. Guess what Pindown does? Retrain out the feats at 16 and 20 for something better when they aren’t effective anymore.

Build Suggestions: A Two Weapon Warrior would look something like this:
1-TWF, Weapon Fcs: Scimitar,H- Iron Will
2-Bravery, Quickdraw
3-Defensive Flurry +1, Power Attack
4-Weapon Specialization: Scimitar
5-Twin Blades +1, Combat Exp
6-Improved Disarm
7-Defensive Flurry +2, ITWF
8-Gtr Wpn Fcs: Scimitar, Retrain Quickdraw for Breakguard
9-Twin Blades +2, Double strike, Doubleslice
10-Combat Reflexes
11-Improved Balance (-1/-1), Defensive Flurry +3, Improved Iron Will
12-Dazing Assault,
13-Twin Blades +3, Equal Opportunity, TWR
14-Pin Down
15-Perfect Balance (0/0), Defensive Flurry +4, Penetrating Strike
16-Gtr Wpn Spl, (retrain Breakguard for Gtr Penetrating Strike)
17-Twin Blades +4, Deft Double strike Improved Critical
18- GTWF
19-Deadly Defense, Defensive Flurry +5, Gtr Disarm
20-Weapon Mastery, Big Game Hunter
swap Dazing Assault for Stunning Assault

Tactic:
Basically, the idea is to throw chakrams at low levels till the enemy closes with you. Then quickdraw you scimitar/kukri and full attack. I doesn’t really matter if you go first (because you want enemies to close with you, so you can full attack them)
By 9th level, you have stopped throwing and are Doublestriking with your move. Breakguard means you can Combine a disarm with a full attack or even a doublestrike and get the attack back. Your foe provokes when he picks up his weapon or draws another.
Later Dazing Assault lets you start laying a save or lose effect on foes you attack and Equal opportunity makes AOO’s awesome and you are getting plenty of those from your disarm attempts and foes moving.
Pin down is great since it lets you use an AOO on 5ft steps and withdraw actions (which normally do not provoke) to stop your foe moving away. By now anything you can close with is pretty screwed by being unable to move away, losing it’s weapon and saving vs daze alot. All while eating bucket loads of damage. While Disarm is less relevant, Pin down keeps working- you only goal is to stay adjacent to full attack.
Later Gtr Penetrating Strike has you ignoring DR which is common at this level. Improved Critical comes late, unfortunately but saves money on wpn enchants and ups DPR considerably. Big Game Hunter comes in late but nearly every decent for is large now so it’s great. Stunning Assault also comes in late but if the Fort save sticks, they don’t only lose a turn but their AC lowers AND THEY DROP THIER WEAPON!

Any Suggestions for a 3.5 Game?
Sure- PHB2, TOB, Complete Warrior
Melee Wpn Mastery, Melee Wpn Supremacy, Combat Focus, Stability and Vigor, Martial Study: Defensive Rebuke, Martial Stance: Martial Spirit, Leap Attack, Rolibars Gambit
TWF, Weapon Fcs: Scimitar, Wpn Fcs: Shortsword
Bravery, Combat Fcs
Defensive Flurry +1, Power Attack
Weapon Specialization: Scimitar (retrain Wpn Fcs: Shortsword for Combat Reflexes)
Twin Blades +1, Double slice
Two weapon pounce
Defensive Flurry +2, ITWF
Melee Weapon Mastery (Slashing) (retrain TWP for Leap Attack)
Twin Blades +2, Double strike, Combat Vigor
Martial Study: Vanguard Strike
Improved Balance (-1/-1), Defensive Flurry +3, Martial Stance: Martial Spirit
Dazing Assault (swap Vanguard Strike for Rolibar's Gambit)
Twin Blades +3, Equal Opportunity, TWR
Penetrating Strike
Perfect Balance (0/0), Defensive Flurry +4, Gtr Wpn Fcs
Combat Stability
Twin Blades +4, Deft Double strike (immediate disarm/sunder when you hit with 2 weapons), GTWF
Gtr Wpn Spl
Deadly Defense, Defensive Flurry +5, Melee Wpn Supremacy
Weapon Mastery, Defensive Rebuke, (retrain Rolibar's Gambit for Iron Will)
Creates a build that while not being great at Combat Manuveres, instead has Fast Healing 4, +8CMD, Will +4, Can interrupt enemy attacks, generate heaps of AOO’s and heals another 2hp per strike.
Sources: CRB
APG
UM
UC
Seekers of Secrets
Still need to read- ISWG, ISM

Cheers.

Grand Lodge

Nice work - enjoyed it.


Nice catch on big game hunter, i'm going to try and squeeze that into my build around the shield feats. If you want i'll do a shield spec write up for you to add in.


Sure. I had no energy to write up a suggested build for the Shieldbasher
or the Dervish or Mobile Warrior.

Lost the first copy without saving and redid the 2nd all in one hit. So having a few days off to collect energy before making changes.

Dark Archive

If you want to optimize a 2WF /ranger, usually the shield bash variant is "just better"; more tricks, better AC. The other option is high-crit small weapons; you're better off taking the 1 point damage penalty so focus/specialization all goes to both weapons.

Sohei monks also tend to do this better than regular fighters; because again they can ignore the dex requirement (a la ranger), but they also get the TWF for free (effectively).


No worries. That was touched on in My ranger guide to TWF

Dark Archive

Ah, missed the paragraph; my fault :). Solid overall though.


As long as you're putting a focus on bonus damage per hit, have you considered a bard build? Dance of a hundred cuts nabs you +1 to hit, damage and AC per 3 caster levels, and there are several archetypes that allow you to dance instead of sing (essentially the same, except you concentrate all the bonuses on yourself) and boost your weapon with on-the-fly enhancements. Just an idea I've been toying with, and I thought might strike your fancy to follow up on.


I LOVE that spell. Have it on my arcane deulist. But this is a FIGHTER guide.

I may do a bard guide one day...

Next on my list though is a Cavalier/Samurai Guide, but I won't be writing any for a while.


Added your guide to Guide to the Guides


Just looking at the Brawler archetype.

I may have to add some stuff on this build as well.

Things to note:

TWF with the close group has a bigger payoff in raw bonuses.
+5 to attack and +7 on damage. (unlike the other archetypes though this ability is NOT functionally the same as weapon training so I'm not sure many dm's would let them work.)

Particularly suited to weapon/shield TWF because of the extra bonus to bullrush.

Gets an ability similar to pin down for free (2levels earlier than the feat is available (but it doesn't stop a foe moving away, so does not negate the need to take the feat)

I'll look at it some more.

I need sample builds to add for the
Mobile Fighter
Dawnflower Dervish (fighter version)
Brawler

Also worth noting that any TWF fighter will have quite a high dex and so likely won't use heavy armor.

That makes the gladiatior a pretty decent select that combines with most others. (only swaps heavy armor, tower shields and bravery)

Free Performance weapon Mastery feat,
Auto +1AC when using at least 2 piecemeal armour pieces
Free Fame

even if you use none of that it nets you
3 more skills (give you something to do with your skill points if you have any.

The payoff is not big, but you don't give up anything you care about either.

Liberty's Edge

Wakizashis. Get 'em.


Can't believe I missed the cheap, spring loaded wrist sheath.

Similar to the glove of storing trick but works from level 1.

Early- fight with Scimitar/Dagger. Carry dagger in spring loaded wrist sheath in your off hand.

Combat Starts. Close with a 2handed chop with your Scimitar. Next round, swift action, draw dagger from your spring loaded sheath and TWF Full Attack.

I've updated the Guide to include this.

If you took Quickdraw early an retrained it at 9 (which I reccomend) you don't need this. Still handy if you didn't take quickdraw.


Wouldn't the agile weapon enhancement be particularly good for a two-weapon fighter?

Dark Archive

Turgan wrote:

Wouldn't the agile weapon enhancement be particularly good for a two-weapon fighter?

TWF Rangers don't typically have high dexterity, so no.

Edit: I can't read apparently.


I thought this thread is about fighters. They need high dex for the twf-feats, no?


It's not bad if you have a better dex. I'll add it.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So even though there would be a drop in damage, wouldn't Wakizashis be a pretty nice weapon choice since the TWF penalty will only be a -2/-2 and its a great option for the Critical Tree?? Also what would be a recommended Dex score for a Dawnflower Dervish build and can they actually use Med and Heavy Armor?? I don't have the source book and the OGC doesn't say anything about it but I could swear you were restricted to light


.Recommend dex score depends on point buy and race AND available dex boosting items.

Generally GTWF is a waste UNLESS you can get it to hit alot. To do that you need a Damn high STR score, WPN training, and a menacing weapon. I'd shoot for a 15(use 1 and 2 level bonuses for 17) or 17dex, depending on point buy
and a 15(with another racial +2)strength

Wazaikashi are only +1 damage over Kukri and you blow a feat for them. Waste.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Well, if you're talking 3.5, things can get really crazy, really fast.

Tempest Stormwind and I were going at it with Rogue vs Fighter builds for TWF, with him claiming the extra SA blew away the Fighter in TWF builds. So we both off and posted builds.

We kept it pretty basic up until the end. The thread is still sort of active.

Add in Paizo's Weapon Training, and things can get really ridiculous, really fast for this build.

And auto confirm crits, with a triple multiplier. Ye Gods.

Here's what I ended up with.

Swash3/Fighter17. So, no auto confirm. Ah well.

Weapons: 2 Large Heavy Sun Swords of Shadow Hand and Subtlety. Um, +5, sure. Base dmg is 3-24.
Gauntlets of War - +2 dmg if you worship a war god.
Strongarm Bracers - Wield weapons one size larger, no penalty.
Boots of Speed (Haste on demand)
Knowledge Item to give +7 To Knowledge Checks so can take 10 to make all DC 35 checks.

Str: 20
Int: 20
Dex: 32 (yes, we stayed restrained).

Feats:

Weapon Finesse (free, swash)
Greater Weapon Spec (+2/+4) (4 feats)
EWP, Heavy Short Swords.
Weapon Supremacy (Various benefits)
Assassin's Stance (+2d6 SA).
Greater TWF (3 feats)
Knowledge Devotion (DC 35 = +5/+5 all attacks)
Educated (all Knowledge skills are class skills)
Improved Critical, Short swords
Craven (+20 SA dmg)
Power Attack.
Shadow Cloak via Martial Study.
Shadow Blade (add Dex to dmg for Shadow Hand weapons, = Shortsword)
Graceful Duellist (Swash and Fighter levels stack for benefits)
Melee weapon Mastery (Piercing)

==20 Feats.

Extra Class abilities: Int to dmg with piercing weapons (Swash), Weapon Training +6 (include Gloves/Duelist on War Gauntlets).

Spells: Enlarge (Sword dmg becomes 4-32) via Permanency or various means. Str to 22, Dex to 30, -1 TH

Racial: Build was done with no race. If human, add Furious Focus.

Why a Dex based build? Because Dex to offhand was 100%, and str is 50%. Likewise the swashbuckler's Int to dmg is 100% off hand, and we double it up with a high Int powering Knowledge Devotion.

Um. Okay...let's assume flanking for the SA dmg. I could tack on Big Game hunter, we've 1 feat to spare, but I won't.

TO Hit: +55 (BAB 20, +10 Dex, +11 Sword, +6 Weapon Train, +4/+6 Spec/Mastery, +5 Knowledge Devotion, -1 Size, -2 TWF, +1 Haste))

Dmg: 4-32 17-20/x2 +2d6 SA + 67/64 (+6/+3 Str, +5 Int, +10 Dex, +5 Knowledge/Dev, +9 Sword, +20 Craven, +6 Spec, +6 Weapon train, Weapon Supremacy benefits).

Because of the High To Hit, basically full power attack all the time, for -6/+12 with both hands. One attack per turn ignores the PA penalty. Weapon Supremacy gives you +5 on one iterative, and take 10 on one attack.

Final tally is: +49/+49/+49/(49)/+40 with Main Hand, and +49/+49/(49) with off hand.

Dmg is 4-32 (18 avg) +2-12 (7 avg), +79 Main Hand and +76 Off hand. The dice for SA are added on afterwards, and so not part of a crit.

So, basically 97 and 94 +2d6.

Main Hand against AC 40 (note, hits everything except on a 1).

95/95/95/100/95 = 480% of 104 (499.2), Crit is 380% of .20 x 97 (73.72), = 572.92, main hand.

Off hand: 95/95/100 =290% of 101 (292.9), Crit is 190% x .2 x 94 (35.72)
= 328.62 off-hand.

So, um, against any AC of 40 or less, delivers 901.54 damage on a full attack if gets Sneak Attack.

Up Str, Dex and Int, it does more. (inherent bonuses, etc).

It MIGHT do more dmg with no swash and level 20 Fighter...at level 20. The Int to dmg from the swash will be MUCH better then any other fighter feat before that time.

Oh, and Paizo bravery offsets Craven. How sweet is that?

Without SA, it loses Craven (+20), Subtlety (+4/+4), Flanking (+2 TH?), and +2d6. Craven especially is a large loss.

We'd be down to a base of +49 (+43 with PA) TH and avg 66/63 per hit (with PA). DoT is only going to be in the 500 area.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

And I forgot the Gauntlets of War dmg at +2. meh. Add +16 to final dmg tallies of DOT.

==Aelryinth

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
STR Ranger wrote:

.Recommend dex score depends on point buy and race AND available dex boosting items.

Generally GTWF is a waste UNLESS you can get it to hit alot. To do that you need a Damn high STR score, WPN training, and a menacing weapon. I'd shoot for a 15(use 1 and 2 level bonuses for 17) or 17dex, depending on point buy
and a 15(with another racial +2)strength

Wazaikashi are only +1 damage over Kukri and you blow a feat for them. Waste.

Well if you go Waki route, like you suggested earlier then go Half-elf and gain profs with Wakis and go Dawnflower Dervish in light armor...normally I would go dual Katanas but its a -4/-4 and early game thats not something you want to have to put up with.


TWF seems to need support. TWF fighters love having inspire courage from a bard, evangelist, or sensei. TWF fighters love good hope. TWF fighters absolutely adore enlarge person if they have enough dex that it doesn't deny them their highest TWF feat. TWF fighters also love having someone drag or reposition foes for them.

A TWF fighter with no support is sad. A TWF fighter regularly getting buffs with a combat maneuver specialist feeding him is happy.


Flash Attack by 4 Winds Fantasy is a feat I find essential on my Fighters that use Two Weapons.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Flash Attack by 4 Winds Fantasy is a feat I find essential on my Fighters that use Two Weapons.

And that makes Wakizashis that much more yummy if 3rd party stuff is allowed


Atarlost wrote:
TWF fighters absolutely adore enlarge person if they have enough dex that it doesn't deny them their highest TWF feat.

Actually, I don't think enlarge person would deny them use of a TWF feat. The spell gives you a size penalty to dex. Penalties are treated like ability damage and ability damage wouldn't prevent you from meeting the dex requirement of the feat.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/basics-ability-scores/ability-scores#TOC-Ability-Sc ore-Penalties

Quote:

Ability Score Penalties

Some spells and abilities cause you to take an ability penalty for a limited amount of time. While in effect, these penalties function just like ability damage, but they cannot cause you to fall unconscious or die. In essence, penalties cannot decrease your ability score to less than 1.

Technically even if the enlarge person is permanent, I believe you would still qualify for the feat.

Liberty's Edge

Small races given a 1-star, eh?

Halfling urban barbarian gonna ginsu you with Agile wakizashis for that....

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mike Schneider wrote:

Small races given a 1-star, eh?

Halfling urban barbarian gonna ginsu you with Agile wakizashis for that....

Now thats just a fun picture all in all haha


Just a note I will be updating the guide to include the Orc blooded TWF.
This works with any archetype and really ups your DPR as well as your manuvere attacks. Far better to take Lunge and apply your strength of the beast to all attacks, CM's, lifting capacity, damage etc and get cool buff powers, Than blow the same number of feats with expertise and one manuvere feat chain....

Only really possible on a 20 or 25 point buy because of the cha requirement..


Updated. Orc blooded TWF is awesome dpr and actually pretty well rounded.

Liberty's Edge

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The most important thing to know ahead of time about any campaign in which you'll be building a TWF: "Is the 'Agile' weapon-enhancement permitted?"

If the answer is "yes", then the next question is: "How soon can I buy a Haversack or Efficient Quiver to carry my junk so I can dump my STR as far south as I dare?"

Oddly enough, STR is probably more useful for throwing stuff to a TWF. E.g., a TWF ninja with Flurry of Stars can toss a crap-ton of those things every round.


I do actually recomend throwing for a TWW archetype (since your.twin blades wprks.with it) by taking quickdraw. It falls away at 8 th level when you retrain it out (you can move+twf at 9 anyway)


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I never have been able to understand how Weapon Focus is never a top-rated feat. . . especially with builds that focus on multiple attacks or use attack roll penalties to do extra effects. I guess I must be bad at math and have played with too many silly DPR calculators |:


Huh? I did give them a blue rating.


STR Ranger wrote:
Huh? I did give them a blue rating.

Oh. I read the spoilered version that gave them ** (which I think means: this option is good in the right circumstance, but not always useful). The Google Docs version has ** and a blue rating.

Well then we agree (:

Liberty's Edge

I note halflings are still a 1-star race.

-- Anything with an automatic +2 to attack off DEX+small in a finesse build cannot be one star, especially with Agile weapons.


Mike Schneider wrote:

I note halflings are still a 1-star race.

-- Anything with an automatic +2 to attack off DEX+small in a finesse build cannot be one star, especially with Agile weapons.

I second this, at least a note should be made to point out the advantages of a dex bonus, small size and I'd add the +1 to saves which imho is a stellar bonus and is easily worth more than a human bonus feat.


Did we mention pirahna strike for a pure dex build with agile enchantments? Its a slight feat tax on power attack but its still handy.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Goblins are awesome for dex builds.

Dark Archive

I still don't like agile weapons. I think if you're dumping your strength for a weapon that you're not feasibly going to get for the first 4-5 levels, then you're not going to have a lot of fun with your character for quite awhile. Nevermind for a TWF build, where two +1 agile weapons would cost a little over 16,000gp and likely only be available after 7th level.

Add to that the feat tax of weapon finesse (although I know Fighters get no shortage of feats) and you're going to be having a poor time for a good part of your career.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Goblins are small, have a +4 to dex, and are fast. That's +3 to hit off the bat.


Mergy wrote:

I still don't like agile weapons. I think if you're dumping your strength for a weapon that you're not feasibly going to get for the first 4-5 levels, then you're not going to have a lot of fun with your character for quite awhile. Nevermind for a TWF build, where two +1 agile weapons would cost a little over 16,000gp and likely only be available after 7th level.

Add to that the feat tax of weapon finesse (although I know Fighters get no shortage of feats) and you're going to be having a poor time for a good part of your career.

This is the reason I don't rate small races (+ the movt penalty) sorry guys. The guide is how toOPTIMALLY twf. Not how to blow tons of extra cash and even more feats to make dex fighting viable. Being a twf and not sucking is taxing enough. Lets not make it harder for ourselves.

Now if this were and acher guide...

Liberty's Edge

Mergy wrote:

I still don't like agile weapons. I think if you're dumping your strength for a weapon that you're not feasibly going to get for the first 4-5 levels, then you're not going to have a lot of fun with your character for quite awhile. Nevermind for a TWF build, where two +1 agile weapons would cost a little over 16,000gp and likely only be available after 7th level.

Add to that the feat tax of weapon finesse (although I know Fighters get no shortage of feats) and you're going to be having a poor time for a good part of your career.

So take classes with a lot of built-in payoff, like rogue or samurai -- they do a lot of damage regardless.

Dark Archive

But we're talking about fighters right now.

Yes, goblins are good finessers, but most games aren't exactly goblin-friendly.


I agree, but in low point buys making a dex focused build with finesse and pirahna strike might make you more effective than trying to split your points to get a high enough str to be effective, especially if your going to play a high dex small race. Having pirahna making up for damage until agile is available could help out, bear in mind single stat stacking means a higher to hit so more hits while power attack/pirahna striking.

Edit: another down side may also be losing some damage due to double slice not interacting with agile weapons.

While the guide is about optimisation not every character everybody makes using the guide will be hyper optimised, plus that goblin sounds amazing for an npc. My group would laugh at him and his small kukri's, then cry when he hit them.


I'd like to point out that in your shield feat chain, you state that you're getting free AoOs from Gtr Bull Rush, but that combo doesn't actually work. If you initiate the Bull Rush, you don't get the AoO, but all of your other allies do.


Fixed.


With the Archetype Twin Blades replaces Weapon Training meaning that the Gloves of Dueling no longer provides the +2 bonus.


DM dependant. Most I have encountered allow it to work since the ability is effectively the same thing. (Actually a bit weaker since it only works on a full attack) or Allow you two Craft "Twin Blade gloves" or A set of gloves appropriate to your weapon style.

Sczarni

Some good stuff for halflings in the ARG that will help boost their DPR. Improved Low Blow and Risky Striker I think they're called. Risky Striker in particular. Stacks with both Power Attack & Piranha Strike and boosts damage at the same rate but instead if a penalty to hit you take penalty to AC.

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