# Question for you math / BAB gurus ...

The second level aspect thingy has one option that gives you two d6 slam natural attacks ...
So, would it be better on average to ...

Use a scimitar in one hand(same damage, better crit range) and a natural attack at minus five in the other ... Or the two slams at full? Instinct tells me the two slams probably work out to higher damage, but ...

A little more context, please? Second level aspect of what? What class are you talking about?

In general, the scimitar will have the advantage in the long run, since you will get iterative attacks, and it's easier to enchant in order to overcome DR.

At low levels, two slam attacks at full is generally going to be better than a single scimitar attack.

Depends on how low of a chance your iterative has of hitting. If that extra +5 is a significant enough increase, the Slams will probably be better (though counting in crits it may be a net wash).

Ape shaman Druid - Second level aspect has several options, one of which is two natural attack d6 slams.

Rudy2 wrote:

A little more context, please? Second level aspect of what? What class are you talking about?

In general, the scimitar will have the advantage in the long run, since you will get iterative attacks, and it's easier to enchant in order to overcome DR.

At low levels, two slam attacks at full is generally going to be better than a single scimitar attack.

It's scimitar and a slam at minus five vs two slams.

Depends a bit on the AC of your opponent but almost always the two slams (unless you've met something with DR/slashing).

The scimitar has three times the chance of a crit. Let's assume it's masterwork since you appear to be level 2, so it's actually 6 ahead of the second slam.

If you need a 10 to hit with the scimitar, then you need a 16 with the slam. That's an average of 0.55 scimitar hits, and 0.25 slam hits. There's also an 0.0825 chance of successful crit with the scimitar, and a 0.0125 chance with the slam. Counting a crit as an extra hits, you're getting an average of .89 of a hit per round.
With the two slams, both hitting on an 11, you're getting 1.05 hits per round. So the slams are better in this case.

If you need a 5 to hit with the scimitar and 11 with the slam, average success is 1.425 hits. With two slams hitting on a 6, you're getting 1.575 hits per round.

That's what I was figuring, but its good to see the math written up.

Could you include your actual attack bonuses & damage for the two proposed routines? I've got a nifty DPR spreadsheet that's great for this sort of thing.

Scimitar would be 1d6+3 damage, 18-20 crit x2, +5 to hit with masterwork scimitar
Slam used with the scimitar would be -1, 1d6+3 damage, 20 crit, x2

The two slams would be 1d6+3 at +4 to hit.

You are also forgetting some other relevant comparisons, like:

* Single attack with the scimitar and a +2 natural armor bonus, since that's another thing your totem can give you.

That may be better in some cases for two reasons. One, if you're tanking the AC can be important. Two, you can't assume you'll always be able to do full-attacks; a lot of the time you are stuck doing single attacks regardless, due to having to move.

avg dmg vs AC 15:

scimitar 0.55*1.15*6.5 = 4,11

Slam 0.5*1.05*6.5 = 3,41

Slam secondary 0.25*1.05*6.5 = 1,70

So, 2 slams deal 6,82 dmg on average,

scimitar + secondary slam deal 5,81 dmg on avg.

That is another option, absolutely. If I'm doing that, a wooden shield also comes into play. This was mainly to confirm my main choice of attack when NOT doing that.

Rudy2 raises some good points. Also, consider what the future will look like: on the one hand, the scimitar will be easier to enhance, but on the other hand you'll probably end up casting spells more often as you level and making fewer melee attacks. And of course the main question is, what sort of character do you want to play! Qualifications in mind, here are my results.

At 2nd level, when making a full attack, slam-slam is *always* better than scimitar-slam, but only by a margin of approximately 1.6-1.3 DPR (targeting a CR 1 and a CR 5 creature, respectively).

Inputs:

* Your numbers are slightly off in the above post, it looks like. Since the slam counts as a secondary natural attack when used with a weapon, it only gets 50% of your Str mod. So in the scimitar-slam routine, the slam's damage should be 1d6+1.

* Let's use a CR 5 monster and a CR 1 monster for our boundaries, since CR 5 is about where a boss monster will fall for a lvl 2 character. Looking at the Compiled Bestiary 1 Statistics, the median AC for a CR 5 monster is 18, the median AC for a CR 1 monster is 14.

Slam-Slam DPR:

2 Slams +4 (1d6+3)

AC 14 = 7.5
AC 15 = 6.8
AC 16 = 6.1
AC 17 = 5.5
AC 18 = 4.8

Scimitar-Slam DPR:

Scimitar +5 (1d6+3/18-20), slam -1 (1d6+1)

AC 14 = 5.9
AC 15 = 5.3
AC 16 = 4.7
AC 17 = 4.1
AC 18 = 3.5

Just for curiosity with a few things other than that, does anyone have a google docs version of such a spreadsheet?

RDM42 wrote:
Just for curiosity with a few things other than that, does anyone have a google docs version of such a spreadsheet?

HERE is a link to mine, though it's Excel-based rather than Google Docs. Feel free to make a copy and use it if it works for you.

RDM42 wrote:

Just for curiosity with a few things other than that, does anyone have a google docs version of such a spreadsheet?

Not my work, but I keep a copy.

So, once more into the breech ...

Is it more valuable when not having those natural attacks to wield a scythe with two hands or a scimitar and heavy wooden shield?

Is the extra damage and x4 crit but only critting on a twenty and having a two lower ac better, or the lower damage, lower crit but higher crit chance and having a two higher ac worth more? For reference;

Str 16, dex 17, con 15, hp 13(with toughness) ; ac 17 with the shield, ac 15 without.

Higher crit is better, especially since you can also shield bash. Scythes are good for coups de grace and scaring 1st-level PCs.

The Viking Irishman did the math here. The scythe is 0.82 damage behind the scimitar by itself. With the added AC and possible shield bashes, sword/board beats scythe except for the two scenarios I outlined earlier.

A scimitar with two hands is likely going to be better than either, but when the scythe crits, it's beautiful. However, a club with shillelagh is going to lit harder than both.

Imbicatus wrote:
A scimitar with two hands is likely going to be better than either, but when the scythe crits, it's beautiful. However, a club with shillelagh is going to lit harder than both.

Shillelagh is the best low level spell in the game.

You can disagree, and you're probably right, but damn does it feel good to use. I need to get around to playing a melee/shifter Druid again.

NB, if you do go with sword-and-shield, you probably want a light shield instead of a heavy shield so that you can still cast spells without dropping your weapon.