Bastard Sword Proficiency: Terrible?


Advice

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If you are going to have a reliable way of gaining size increases, and can swing free proficiency, a bastard sword is a great weapon. If you can do one or the other, it's a flavourful option that is probably an overall wash. If you actually have to pay for the proficiency (and that includes making your race decision based around getting it) then you'd be better off going for a falcata and crit fishing.


One thing to think about: Even if the BS is exotic you can use it as martial and there are bound to be more BS available than falcatas. If you can rely on always getting your weapon upgrades through magic mart that's ok. If you hope to find/loot a good weapon it might be wise to take the less exotic option.


That's true, My2Copper, but it's also a reason to just use a long sword.

Silver Crusade

My2Copper wrote:
One thing to think about: Even if the BS is exotic you can use it as martial and there are bound to be more BS available than falcatas. If you can rely on always getting your weapon upgrades through magic mart that's ok. If you hope to find/loot a good weapon it might be wise to take the less exotic option.

If you're using it as a martial weapon, then you're using it two handed.

If you're using a sword two handed, then greatsword is better than bastard sword.


My2Copper wrote:
One thing to think about: Even if the BS is exotic you can use it as martial and there are bound to be more BS available than falcatas. If you can rely on always getting your weapon upgrades through magic mart that's ok. If you hope to find/loot a good weapon it might be wise to take the less exotic option.

It's pretty much guaranteed the only enchanted weapons you'll be finding are axes and whips. Unless you like using a greataxe, then it will be Ranseurs.


If you're using it as a single one handed weapon and spending a feat on EWP then the falcata is better.

If you're using it as a two handed martial weapon then the greatsword is better.

If you want to use two bastard sword and TWF (my god the penalties!) then EWP saw-tooth sabers is better (unless you are the Fighter TWF Archetype).


DOH, my bad, didnt realize you actually added all the str/weapon/misc damage bonuses to each extra die on a crit. Been playing wrong.


Spooky Kid wrote:
DOH, my bad, didnt realize you actually added all the str/weapon/misc damage bonuses to each extra die on a crit. Been playing wrong.

Precision damage isn't multiplied on a crit. An exampel would be sneak attack. Pretty much everything else gets added to a critical hit. If you have some question about whether it is added check the ability or source in question. They will usually tell you if it is not multiplied on a crit.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I will never use a Bastard Sword.

On principle alone.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Removed a baiting post and response to it. We'd really rather that the whole circular "role" vs "roll" playing debate and references to it stayed out of the Advice forum. It's divisive and doesn't really have a place here.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dragonchess Player wrote:

Bastard sword can work fairly well if:

1) You use a Large version two-handed,
2) can readily gain a size increase through enlarge person or similar spell/effect,
3) and/or can benefit from lead blades or a similar effect.

As an addendum to my original post, a hunter (divine hunter archetype) with the Growth sub-domain can make a decent switch-hitter with a Large bastard sword for melee (two feats: Exotic Weapon Proficiency and Power Attack) and composite longbow for ranged (at least two feats: Point Blank Shot and Rapid Shot; depends on how much you want to concentrate on it over spells). Hunter gets all 1st-6th druid spells and all ranger spells (including gravity bow and lead blades), while Growth domain gives a swift enlarge person effect and enlarge person as a 1st-level domain spell.

A human that keeps the bonus feat, half-elf with the Ancestral Arms alternate racial trait, or tengu that keeps Swordtrained can pull this off at 5th level (4d8 bastard sword or 2d6 bow*). Once you start hitting 8th-9th level, crit-fishing starts pulling ahead in melee damage.

*- 3d6 if you pull the "I put down the quiver of Large arrows before casting enlarge person, then pick them back up"


bastard sword proficiency and quick draw two weapon fighting. move to attack with bastard sword wield two handed for extra damage. next round quick draw the second bastard sword and full round attack with two weapon fighting.


bishopstaff wrote:
bastard sword proficiency and quick draw two weapon fighting. move to attack with bastard sword wield two handed for extra damage. next round quick draw the second bastard sword and full round attack with two weapon fighting.

if you have quick draw and two weapon fighting, the feats synergize and allow you to draw both weapons with the same action.


Here's a nasty combo if you're playing a Low level game -

Warpriest that has a deity with a Bastard Sword.

Use a normal sized Bastard sword till 3rd level and then switch over to a large bastard Sword.

The Warpriests first 3 feats will be Weapon of the Chosen, Improved Weapon of the chosen, Greater weapon of the chosen.
This grants your Large Bastard Sword good aligned, blind fighting, and you roll 2 D20 and take the high when making your single attack roll.

The rolling 2 D20 more then make up for suffering the penalty of -2 for using a over sized weapon.

There is a serious limit on the Greater Weapon of the Chosen, making it almost worthless once the warpriest hit 8th level or starts using powers that grant multiple attacks like Haste.

Scarab Sages

Matt2VK wrote:


There is a serious limit on the Greater Weapon of the Chosen, making it almost worthless once the warpriest hit 8th level or starts using powers that grant multiple attacks like Haste.

Eh, it's not terrible for the warpriest if you go vital strike. You can gain vital strike at 6, two levels before you get your first iterative attack. You will always be able to get the next vita strike feat before you get your next iterative. Greater weapon of the chosen combined with improved critical really increases your chance of a critical hit on a vital strike. It's not quite as good as a full attack unless you are using mythic vital strike, but it's still effective, and you are much more mobile when you aren't tied to a 5 ft step to make your full attack.


also the average difference in damage between the longsword (4.5)and bastard sword(5.5) is 1 point of damage which is a 22% increase in damage. if you compare that to power attack which is
+2)with -1 to hit, half damage benefit (on average) with no negative aspect. the benefit isn't bad math mathematically. assuming 3 successful strikes per combat encounter and say 20 encounters at first level thats an extra 60 points of damage vs the longsword at level one.
and the extra damage from a bastard sword is not based on a standard action so you get that benefit with both standard attacks and full round attacks.

Liberty's Edge

blackbloodtroll wrote:

I will never use a Bastard Sword.

On principle alone.

I use a Bastard Sword.

On principle alone.


I can think of one situation that's good for a Bastard Sword. In fact, I'm going to be playing it when I hit the proper level in PFS.

It's for my Eidolon.

I've got a Biped Eidolon that's rocking 4 claw attacks. When I reach the level to give it Multistrike, I'll give it 2 more arms and a Bastard Sword. It does good 2handed damage, and if I need to 1hand it for a wand or a scroll. A 1.5 Strength damage weapon plus a bunch of natural attacks (add also elemental damage evolutions and a Holy enchant amulet of natural armor if need be) can really add up.

Best part? It sort of overcomes the problem with bastard swords (needing the feat just to use it both ways) because you;ll need a the feat either way.


I have a second level Skald, he began the game with a bastard sword, using it two handed, martially,
Why not Two handed Sword? Because he could afford one with starting gold and get the armor and shield he needed.

At third and fourth level, he will take two levels of divine tracker ranger to get EWP Bastard sword (worships Feronia) and two weapon fighting style.

int he mid levels he will switch between fighting two handed with the bastard sword and two weapon fighting hand axe and bastard sword.

When he gets to where he's going, it will be TWF with bastard sword and shield master.

Silver Crusade

No one ever thinks of the great terbutje...


bishopstaff wrote:

also the average difference in damage between the longsword (4.5)and bastard sword(5.5) is 1 point of damage which is a 22% increase in damage. if you compare that to power attack which is

+2)with -1 to hit, half damage benefit (on average) with no negative aspect. the benefit isn't bad math mathematically. assuming 3 successful strikes per combat encounter and say 20 encounters at first level thats an extra 60 points of damage vs the longsword at level one.
and the extra damage from a bastard sword is not based on a standard action so you get that benefit with both standard attacks and full round attacks.

22% is a huge overestimation. As I mentioned before, you're forgetting any damage from Strength, specialization, magic, combat training, inspire courage, etc. Also, specialization in a Long Sword (not unreasonable if you are a fighter) makes it flat out better than a Bastard Sword for the same feat. Of course, you *could* specialize in Bastard Swords... But the point is that the one point of damage (on average) is not a whole lot, and it's literally all the bastard sword gives you under normal circumstances.


bishopstaff wrote:
bastard sword proficiency and quick draw two weapon fighting. move to attack with bastard sword wield two handed for extra damage. next round quick draw the second bastard sword and full round attack with two weapon fighting.

Not a bad idea, but you'd be better off taking EWP Two-bladed sword. An average of -1 damage, but your attack bonus will be +2 higher and you can switch from TWFing to 2handing the two-bladed sword as a free action without taking Quickdraw.


Kudaku wrote:
bishopstaff wrote:
bastard sword proficiency and quick draw two weapon fighting. move to attack with bastard sword wield two handed for extra damage. next round quick draw the second bastard sword and full round attack with two weapon fighting.
Not a bad idea, but you'd be better off taking EWP Two-bladed sword. An average of -1 damage, but your attack bonus will be +2 higher and you can switch from TWFing to 2handing the two-bladed sword as a free action without taking Quickdraw.

how does one fighting two handed with a two bladed sword without also gutting oneself?


Pendagast wrote:
Kudaku wrote:
bishopstaff wrote:
bastard sword proficiency and quick draw two weapon fighting. move to attack with bastard sword wield two handed for extra damage. next round quick draw the second bastard sword and full round attack with two weapon fighting.
Not a bad idea, but you'd be better off taking EWP Two-bladed sword. An average of -1 damage, but your attack bonus will be +2 higher and you can switch from TWFing to 2handing the two-bladed sword as a free action without taking Quickdraw.
how does one fighting two handed with a two bladed sword without also gutting oneself?

If I were to guess, I'd say you'd wield it more like a short polearm or a spear rather than a two-bladed weapon - ie more thrusting and less flurries. However if we're gonna bring up "how does one" - how do you EVER fight with a dire flail without braining yourself?

Don't get me wrong, like most of the double weapons I kind of think the two-bladed sword is an inherently silly weapon. But then again, the idea of dual-wielding bastard swords is pretty silly as well. Doesn't change the fact that they're entirely rules-legal options, or that with the right player even sword-chucks can be awesome. :)

Rules for using double weapons as two-handed weapons:
Quote:
Double: You can use a double weapon to fight as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, just as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. You can choose to wield one end of a double weapon two-handed, but it cannot be used as a double weapon when wielded in this way—only one end of the weapon can be used in any given round.


You can use a two bladed sword in the same way you can use a double light saber (aka Saber Staff) or quarter staff… pretty simple.
the dire Flail would work in the same way, not massively different than dual wielding nunchaku.

you can two hand a quarter staff because you can choke down on the handle and use it like a club.
this is also true of the dire flail.

but a dual sword? where do you holding but the pommel with is in the middle?

on a down swing, I've just castrated myself, and a side swing I've just disemboweled myself.

double weapons (witht he exception of the staff) are silly and worthless.

Urgorsh, gnome hooked hammer, etc?

Id love to hear the story behind how and why these weapons were included.

Edit: and dual wielding B-swords isn't that hard…. it's actually easier than fighting with two weapons of unequal length, at least for me anyhow… Im ambi dextrous.

I dont understand why the rules were included to make someone fight short sword/longsword. Instead of with two of the same weapon or whatever they chose.

I would find it harder to fight with say an axe and a flail, than two bastard swords.

Scarab Sages

Urgoshes are actually a real life weapon. Pole axes often had butt spikes, and stabbing with the spear and chopping with the blade was a common style.


Diminuendo wrote:
waiph wrote:
You cannot use a great sword one handed. Period-end-of-story. It is a two-handed weapon, and you cannot use 2-handers in one hand.
My Titan Mauler disagrees

Lol he does, but he had a specific rule that trumps the general "you can never use a two handed weapon one handed".

Malachai Silverclaw
Not arguing with you, but asking here:
If the Bastard sword really was simply an exotic one-hand weapon, (that could be used two-handed) it could be used one-handed at a -4 without proficiency.

But according to the FAQ you can't.
It acts like a great sword, can't be used as a one-hand weapon. If you have EWP it is one handed, and you can two hand it, like all one hand weapons.

Silver Crusade

wiaph wrote:

Not arguing with you, but asking here:

If the Bastard sword really was simply an exotic one-hand weapon, (that could be used two-handed) it could be used one-handed at a -4 without proficiency.

Exactly!!!

Er...what's the question?

Quote:

But according to the FAQ you can't.

It acts like a great sword, can't be used as a one-hand weapon. If you have EWP it is one handed, and you can two hand it, like all one hand weapons.

This new FAQ is actually stealth errata, adding something that was never, ever in the rules before. I'm not saying this is bad, because this FAQ actually gave it a pretty cool ability, and it was a very poor choice before.

But previous FAQs before this one admitted that it was a one handed weapon (the consequences of which logically means that using it one handed without proficiency would incur a -4 non-proficiency penalty), but gave rulings as if it were really a two handed weapon.

Even with the latest FAQ, where using it one handed means it counts as a one handed weapon, would mean that you can use it without EWP with the non-proficiency penalty.


It was very stealth apparently. They somehow managed to slip it in my CRB.


It's been mentioned already but my favorite aspect of the bastard sword is probably the way the d10 scales up with size increases. With Enlarge Person and an Impact weapon you can get 3d8 easy enough and with EWP you can get a Large bastard sword have 4d8. Works well with the Vital Strike line of feats but that's generally disliked on the boards.

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