Fighting Fan a Useful Weapon?


Advice

Dark Archive

One of my players as a rather awesome character concept which involves fighting with a pair of fighting fans. Other than personality and some background info, everything else about the character (class, archetype, etc) is up for consideration.

However, I think the fighting fan as a weapon sucks. It looks fun, and is very stylistic, but just not an effective choice of weapon.

What can I do to make it effective, or at least an attractive option?

Thanks!


I would probably allow the player to just use the stats for short swords and change the damagetype to slashing. I would allow them as a martial weapon with just the short sword stats. If the player wants the extra properties (monk, distracting) he/she would have to spend the feat on the exotic prificency. 2 weapon special properties for a feat seems fair if not underpowered to me. If you're really generous, you could go with a trait, since the player will most probabls need all available feats for the two weapon fighting line.
I hate it, when a player is forced to decide between flavour and gaming power.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A character based on damage from something besides the fan, A magus who adds spells and damage abilities to the fan, a rogue based on bluffing and looking like its not wielding weapons until its too late. Dual wielding plus sneak attack means the difference in weapon damage doesn't matter that much too much. Or focus on combat maneuvers or something that isn't damage based. Doesn't matter what the weapon is if the target is helpless. Hope that helps.


No, they suck and you can't fix that. You can try to play up it's strengths by making a feinting based build, but, well, there's really no point in that ultimately.

Poison can work (though any weapon can be poisoned)--perhaps an Alchemist or Vivisectionist to be precise that would actually benefit from the Feint thanks to Sneak Attack?

Or just be a Fighter, suck up the lousy based damage, and pump the damage as much as you can with Weapon Training/Specialization, etc...

Yeah, this is just a lousy choice, sorry.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is it a city campaign? Because if you're players are somewhere they actually frown upon people wandering around wearing full plate and claymores then I could see an argument for a hidden weapon like the fighting fan.


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Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Is it a city campaign? Because if you're players are somewhere they actually frown upon people wandering around wearing full plate and claymores then I could see an argument for a hidden weapon like the fighting fan.

Fighting fans are not hidden weapons in Pathfinder. They get a bonus to feints, not to hide. If you want to hide weapons, you're much better off with daggers (which give a bonus to Sleight of Hand checks to conceal) or just taking Improved Unarmed Strike so you don't have to carry any weapon.

Further, unless the game took place in Tian Xia, carrying a fan like that would look extremely out of place in your typical Golarion city.

Sovereign Court

mplindustries wrote:
No, they suck and you can't fix that.

Hey, the DM can fix anything he damn well pleases. :P

Seriously, though, the main reason to use fans is for feinting purposes, and the main reason to feint is to get sneak attack. Thus, I'd have to recommend Rogue, Vivisectionist Alchemist, or lastly and most thematic, Ninja.

Having to use a feat to gain access to them sucks pretty hard though, IMO. I usually let my players use a trait to gain access to a particular weapon if I don't think they're just powergaming.

DISCLAIMER: I tried playing a TWF Rogue (with shortswords) and would NOT do so again. Especially considering that with Improved Feint, you're still looking at a move action to feint, which means you get only one attack.

To tell the truth, yes, this will be less powerful than a lot of other builds, especially with the feat tax of Combat Expertise and 13 required int. Depending on the other PCs, you might consider lifting or changing some of these requirements. Either way, I would encourage the PC to use feints in interesting ways. (Feint + Slight of Hand = easy pickpocket or item plant on some unsuspecting rube. "I swear, officer, I've never seen this before!")


mplindustries wrote:
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Is it a city campaign? Because if you're players are somewhere they actually frown upon people wandering around wearing full plate and claymores then I could see an argument for a hidden weapon like the fighting fan.

Fighting fans are not hidden weapons in Pathfinder. They get a bonus to feints, not to hide. If you want to hide weapons, you're much better off with daggers (which give a bonus to Sleight of Hand checks to conceal) or just taking Improved Unarmed Strike so you don't have to carry any weapon.

Further, unless the game took place in Tian Xia, carrying a fan like that would look extremely out of place in your typical Golarion city.

Yeah but if it isn't set in Tian Xia then looking out of place could be to it's advantage. Houseruling the Catch Off-Guard feat to work with them in this situation could be fun. Not improvised weapons but definitely would fit with the flavour of the feat I think. And if it really was a point of contention or houseruling isn't an option then I'm sure the character could carry around a parasol too or something. Or just normal fans of the non-fighting variety, and switch to fighting fans when the enemy says ow.

What sort of character outside of one that uses fighting fans is the player interested in? An assassin maybe? Fighter Weapon master 3 ninja or rogue archetype 2 assassin x? Could fit the poison, the feint uses, catching off guard, and stacking a bit of extra damage onto the fans with those "gloves of making weapon training better". Plus it doesn't matter how much damage they'd do if the enemy failed it's fort save vs death attack.

Dark Archive

The character is in fact, Tien, but the campaign is not taking place there. Kinda. It's for a PFS home game, so I'm not able to bend any rules just for concept.

So far we starting to think Rogue or Ninja for the sneak attack, though I'm leery of going the Improved Feint route in addition to a TWF. Perhaps she would be interested in picking one over the other.

Weapon Master/Ninja or Rogue wound interesting though.


Feinting is pointless anyway--just because your junky weapon gets a bonus to it doesn't mean it's a good use of resources.

Ninja is almost certainly the way to go here--or Vivisectionist. Don't bother with Rogue.


Ninja would be very fitting with this weapon...

Mock it up as a Dancing Geisha Assassin.

Optimal? No.
Fun as H***? Yes, yes it would be.


you know, this thread reminded me of mortal kombat and kitana.....

metal fighting fans!!!! hahahahaha, twice the wieght of regular fighting fans and twice the damage.... haha problem sovled.

no, you dont like it? cant say I blame you there, but Mortal Kombat was one of two thigs the thread made me think of, blow is the other.

a while back I was watching some odd ball movie oriental movie( might ahve been the house of flying daggers cant recall what)

but in it some character had a fighting fan, but concealed within the turns of the fan itself were sheathed 4 or 5 throwing daggers. The pointed ends of the daggers were removable or used as slashing weapons when used along with the fan itself.


Easiest fix: Use the Wakizashi stats, just describe it as looking like a fighting fan. If you really want, switch deadly for distracting. Advantage: Ninjas get wakizashi proficiency for free.

More complicated fix: Build a style feat tree for using fighting fans. Something Like:

Fan style: Requirements: Fighting fan proficiency, two weapon fighting. Benefits: Improve damage dice one step (to 1d6 damage). When wielding two fans, gain a +1 shield bonus. This bonus stacks with two weapon defense.

Distracting fans: Requirements: Fan Style, Improved Feint, BAB +3. Benefits: When performing a feint as a move action, as a standard action you may attack with both fans at the same time.

Fan Mastery: Requirements: Distracting Fans: BAB +8, improved two weapon fighting. Benefits: When wielding two fans, you may feint as a swift action, and the shield bonus increases to +2.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Vivisectionist sounds like decent approach.

Agile Fighting Fans sounds good too.

Grand Lodge

There is also the Brawler fighter archetype. You lose Armor Training, but you get an enhanced version of Weapon Training in Close weapons, which includes the fighting fan.


Weapon Master might also be a nice choice. If going High Dex with Agile you might look at the Two-Weapon Warrior Archetype.

Sczarni

If your friend is trying to Optimize his character then he should NOT use the fan. However, if our character wants to add more flavor with an exotic weapon the Fan is a great choice.

My Sound Striker Bard uses the Fighting Fan. With the Heirloom Weapon trait and Masterwork Transformation spell I am able to use the weapon with the cost of only a trait and 300 gold. I plan to add Spell Storing to it in which I plan to combine scrolls with. If your friend knows the game well he can still do damage. I have a whip paladin that I made to optimize within limits (bound by feats and the weapon) and I still do d3+14 (without using my Divine Bond) with 2 attacks. Add a 24 AC, Lay on Hands and threatening 15 feet and you got a strong character with d3 damage.


First of all concept is important. Second...what type of character does your player want to be? Focusing on damage output? Debuffing? Flanking buddy? Tank? Depeding on the answer there is usually feats, class abilities, magic items, etc. that can assist in this endeavor no matter what the weapon choice.

That being said a fighting fan is a 1d4/x3 weapon with distracting (+2 feint). Now there are several different feint feats that can be usefull including feint partner if there is a rogue in the group who is willing to buddy up. That is a good debuffing and helper style. Damage would either be TWF fighter with weapon spec or something with sneak attack. Tanking would have to use some sort of shield bonus from two weapon fighting and there are several magical enhancements that could also make you a efficient tank. They are also a monk weapon so flurry of blows could also be tactic with ki focus or ki intensifying for some of the monk abilities.

There are also 3 magical fans (wind, Black and Red feather) that do a variety of wind based spells and can even counter light and darkness spells. Since the player would be using fans it might fit the character.

In conclusion they are not the best weapons but they are not too horrible. Comparable to a dagger except a x3 instead of 19-20/x2. Remember that concept and having fun is always more important then mechanics. I wish they gave a shield bonus though as they were usually used as such historically (although they made a decent weapon as well).


Platycore, or call me Jack wrote:
My Sound Striker Bard uses the Fighting Fan. With the Heirloom Weapon trait and Masterwork Transformation spell I am able to use the weapon with the cost of only a trait and 300 gold. I plan to add Spell Storing to it in which I plan to combine scrolls with. If your friend knows the game well he can still do damage. I have a whip paladin that I made to optimize within limits (bound by feats and the weapon) and I still do d3+14 (without using my Divine Bond) with 2 attacks. Add a 24 AC, Lay on Hands and threatening 15 feet and you got a strong character with d3 damage.

Technically, you can't take Heirloom Weapon on a fighting fan because it's an exotic weapon. Also, you can't threaten 15 feet with a whip. Normally you don't threaten, with Whip Mastery you threaten adjacent, and with Improved Whip Mastery you threaten 10 feet.


Isn't this character going to be in a PFS Game?

Dark Archive

Yes, the character is for a PFS game. After talking to her a bit, she's willing to go ninja, but she's played several sneak attacking TWF types and seems to want to get away from that, but since she knows it she'll run with it if it works for concept. Her primary goal seems to be to dish out damage. If she needs to flank to do that, that's fine, so long as she's dealing lots of damage with each (or most) hits.

After our most recent conversation, she seems willing to work with ninja, but use a wakizashi instead of the fans. There's also the possibility of monk (she seemed interested in the martial artist due to not requiring a lawful alignment).


Hmm, can't remember the Characters name but she uses a Wakazashi and Fighting Fan so she might go that route.

And she might even look into a Katana, Wakazashi, & Fighting Fan combo all together.

On a quick side note for a Fighter is a Katana or Scimitar(fluffed to look like a special Katana) better?

Sczarni

RumpinRufus wrote:


Technically, you can't take Heirloom Weapon on a fighting fan because it's an exotic weapon. Also, you can't threaten 15 feet with a whip. Normally you don't threaten, with Whip Mastery you threaten adjacent, and with Improved Whip Mastery you threaten 10 feet.

Ouch, that really hurts to hear, but at least I can now make my characters legal.

Silver Crusade

If your TWF fighting fan player is willing to mix concepts with another player, look at Feint Partner. This could let her play any martial class she wanted, and her partner could be a Rogue or Alchemist(Vivisectionist), gaining that valuable sneak attack damage.

Also, is it critical she TWF? Just because she carrys two fighting fans, does it mean she has to attack with both of them each round?

I also second atleast a dip into Ninja, giving her access to poison. I think its one of the only ways to do so in PFS.

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