Daring Champion TWF?


Rules Questions


So nowhere in the lettering does it say that the Daring Champion needs a free hand for champion's finesse. So can they dual wield and maintain champion's finesse?

Also, does slashing grace require a free hand? Could I dual wield scimitar with this build?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Neither require a free hand.


Nothing stops you from dual wielding scimitars except for the usual penalties for dual wielding one handed weapons.

Which would be an increase of TWF penalties to -4/-4.


Yeah, both things work with TWF'ing. What doesn't work is Precise Strike.


Thanks for the answers. I can now build a true Dervish!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Precise Strike can still be used, whilst another weapon is in your other hand, but you just can attack with both.


The Daring Champion is probably the best TWF class in the game.

You can use a single weapon until your wealth is up to snuff and you have enough Challenges. Then switch to TWF.

You bypass a lot of the traditional challenges of TWF. Easy access to Sawtooth Sabres + Slashing Grace means that you can use one-handed weapons without being required to sink resources into Effortless Lace (though if you want to, Scimitar + Effortless Lace works just as well). Challenge is an efficient form of static damage for TWF to work with. Orders can boost accuracy.

And, perhaps most importantly: you're not boned with a charge or an AoO. As BBT points out, you can use Precise Strike with a weapon in both hands, so long as you're only attacking with one of them. So, Sawtooth Sabre in each hand, charge, attack with one, you get Precise Strike damage. AoO with a sabre in each hand, attack with one, Precise Strike damage. TWF, no Precise Strike damage but more attacks to hit Challenge damage with.


kestral287 wrote:

The Daring Champion is probably the best TWF class in the game.

You can use a single weapon until your wealth is up to snuff and you have enough Challenges. Then switch to TWF.

You bypass a lot of the traditional challenges of TWF. Easy access to Sawtooth Sabres + Slashing Grace means that you can use one-handed weapons without being required to sink resources into Effortless Lace (though if you want to, Scimitar + Effortless Lace works just as well). Challenge is an efficient form of static damage for TWF to work with. Orders can boost accuracy.

And, perhaps most importantly: you're not boned with a charge or an AoO. As BBT points out, you can use Precise Strike with a weapon in both hands, so long as you're only attacking with one of them. So, Sawtooth Sabre in each hand, charge, attack with one, you get Precise Strike damage. AoO with a sabre in each hand, attack with one, Precise Strike damage. TWF, no Precise Strike damage but more attacks to hit Challenge damage with.

Not that great. No attack bonus above full BAB, and there are double weapons that can allow you do the same thing- you can choose to 2 hand it (which precise strike basically does- make 1 handed attacks=2 handed attacks)

Heck, you can do much better wtih double weapons. There is now a simple double weapon (weighted spear- well, quarterstaff was there, but it is wood only, so no) and there are plenty of core races with racial double weapons. So you do not even need to spend a feat on exotic weapon proficiency, as well as slashing grace, in order to get this to work. Saving two feats seems worth the slight split of stats to get strength based TWF (which is not that hard with a decent point buy- most races can pull it off without using any kind of dump)

Daring champion has some advantages (mostly the challenge ability for a lot of static damage), but nothing I would say propels it too far ahead. Particularly of slayers (who can get their bonus damage in circumstantially, but without a use/day limit)


And honestly, using a single weapon with both precise strike and challenge working at the same time gives you the same damage as wielding two weapons with challenge active. But, you have a 20% better chance to hit because you're not wielding two one-handed weapons while TWF. The only way to get around that is two use effortless lace (which is a b!**&@$@ item in the first place, and shouldn't just be assumed to be available) or to use saw-tooth sabres, which requires an extra feat. And then you're still 10% less likely to hit. And you need to enhance two weapons for double the cost compared to one.

The daring champion is honestly much better at just wielding a single weapon and stacking challenge and precise strike damage to have damage on par with (and exceeding) a two handed weapon user. Which, is why I know that it's going to be better than TWF fighting because TWF has pretty much been mathematically proven to be worse than wielding a single big weapon.


Claxon wrote:

And honestly, using a single weapon with both precise strike and challenge working at the same time gives you the same damage as wielding two weapons with challenge active. But, you have a 20% better chance to hit because you're not wielding two one-handed weapons while TWF. The only way to get around that is two use effortless lace (which is a b@*~~!~~ item in the first place, and shouldn't just be assumed to be available) or to use saw-tooth sabres, which requires an extra feat. And then you're still 10% less likely to hit. And you need to enhance two weapons for double the cost compared to one.

The daring champion is honestly much better at just wielding a single weapon and stacking challenge and precise strike damage to have damage on par with (and exceeding) a two handed weapon user. Which, is why I know that it's going to be better than TWF fighting because TWF has pretty much been mathematically proven to be worse than wielding a single big weapon.

Well, it depends on what you use.

Static bonuses to damage (which the cavalier has a ton of) can leverage it in your favor. I mean, it works better if you have something that increase attack too to offset the TWF costs (and if the costs weren't an extra 10% because of your weapon choice)....

I cite slayer as a fine example because it has both an attack/damage boosting mechanic in studied target, adn it gets sneak attack on top of that.

It also helps your DPR in actual practice when you can get 2 handing or precise damage when you need to make a move. 2 handing is the standard for damage because it can keep damage even if you move.

Sovereign Court

If you really want that build style (dex to damage TWF) you're better off dipping into Swash and then going Fighter. The fighter gets more than half as much damage bonuses all the time as Challenge gives some of the time, and they get bonuses to hit, and their AC would be much higher. (Armor training.)


lemeres wrote:

Well, it depends on what you use.

Static bonuses to damage (which the cavalier has a ton of) can leverage it in your favor. I mean, it works better if you have something that increase attack too to offset the TWF costs (and if the costs weren't an extra 10% because of your weapon choice)....

I cite slayer as a fine example because it has both an attack/damage boosting mechanic in studied target, adn it gets sneak attack on top of that.

It also helps your DPR in actual practice when you can get 2 handing or precise damage when you need to make a move. 2 handing is the standard for damage because it can keep damage even if you move.

My point was however that 1 weapon with challenge (level to damage) and precise strike (level to damage) is approximately equal to two weapons with challenge (level to damage x 2).

With one you add twice you level on one weapon, with the other your add your level to two weapons. Works out effectively the same. With the difference being the weapon damage and str/dex damage you deal in addition. However, you also have extra penalties to hit with both weapons, and have to separately enhance each.

We could run the math, but I think the one weapon version will come out ahead due to not having to-hit penalties and not having to invest in two weapons.

I think the only way the TWF comes out ahead is if precise strike is denied (due to concealment or such).


Another complication to the math is that precise strike does not multiply on a crit, while I believe challenge does. Since we are looking at high crit weapons this can be significant.


Isn't there a way to spend panache to allow you to multiply your precise strike damage on a crit? I'm thinking there is, because I had a fellow player do so in a game, but I can't find what ability it is.


Quote:
Precise Strike (Ex) : At 3rd level, while she has at least 1 panache point, a swashbuckler gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon (though not natural weapon attacks), adding her swashbuckler level to the damage dealt. To use this deed, a swashbuckler cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield other than a buckler. She can even use this ability with thrown light or one-handed piercing melee weapons, so long as the target is within 30 feet of her. Any creature that is immune to sneak attacks is immune to the additional damage granted by precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a creature from the additional damage of a precise strike. This additional damage is precision damage, and isn't multiplied on a critical hit. As a swift action, a swashbuckler can spend 1 panache point to double her precise strike's damage bonus on the next attack. This benefit must be used before the end of her turn, or it is lost. This deed's cost cannot be reduced by any ability or effect that reduces the amount of panache points a deed costs (such as the Signature Deed feat).

Not related to crits, but I'm guessing it was this.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Claxon wrote:
Isn't there a way to spend panache to allow you to multiply your precise strike damage on a crit? I'm thinking there is, because I had a fellow player do so in a game, but I can't find what ability it is.

I don't think that it's inherently on a crit. I think that you can just spend panache as a swift action to double precise strike any time you want.

Your fellow may have done it right after a crit as it's generally a good idea to never be at full panache as a Swash or you miss out on recharging. (When you fill up to max - generally spend one ASAP as your next swing may be another crit.)

Edit: mostly ninja'd


lemeres wrote:
kestral287 wrote:

The Daring Champion is probably the best TWF class in the game.

You can use a single weapon until your wealth is up to snuff and you have enough Challenges. Then switch to TWF.

You bypass a lot of the traditional challenges of TWF. Easy access to Sawtooth Sabres + Slashing Grace means that you can use one-handed weapons without being required to sink resources into Effortless Lace (though if you want to, Scimitar + Effortless Lace works just as well). Challenge is an efficient form of static damage for TWF to work with. Orders can boost accuracy.

And, perhaps most importantly: you're not boned with a charge or an AoO. As BBT points out, you can use Precise Strike with a weapon in both hands, so long as you're only attacking with one of them. So, Sawtooth Sabre in each hand, charge, attack with one, you get Precise Strike damage. AoO with a sabre in each hand, attack with one, Precise Strike damage. TWF, no Precise Strike damage but more attacks to hit Challenge damage with.

Not that great. No attack bonus above full BAB, and there are double weapons that can allow you do the same thing- you can choose to 2 hand it (which precise strike basically does- make 1 handed attacks=2 handed attacks)

Heck, you can do much better wtih double weapons. There is now a simple double weapon (weighted spear- well, quarterstaff was there, but it is wood only, so no) and there are plenty of core races with racial double weapons. So you do not even need to spend a feat on exotic weapon proficiency, as well as slashing grace, in order to get this to work. Saving two feats seems worth the slight split of stats to get strength based TWF (which is not that hard with a decent point buy- most races can pull it off without using any kind of dump)

Daring champion has some advantages (mostly the challenge ability for a lot of static damage), but nothing I would say propels it too far ahead. Particularly of slayers (who can get their bonus damage in circumstantially, but without a use/day limit)

Attack bonuses aren't hard to come by. Order can do it: Blue Rose, Dragon, Shield, and Vengeance are the easy four. Dragon and Vengeance are by far better than the other two though.

Double weapons don't give the same advantage on single strikes-- to my knowledge, there isn't a double weapon that qualifies for Precise Strike. Solid for, say, a Str-based TWF Slayer (very solid; easily their best choice), but not so much for the Champion, who is going to do better with one-handed weapons.

As for Challenge vs. Sneak Attack... we're going to have to agree to disagree there. At the early levels, sure, I'd take Sneak Attack, but by level five or so when the Daring Champion can start dropping feats into stuff like Chain Challenge, not so much. It's easier to get more Challenges than it is to get easier Sneak Attacks.

Admittedly, I do think in terms of the mid-to-high levels, which might be outside the norm. But within that framework, the higher you go up the harder Sneak Attack gets and the easier Challenge gets.

Here though that's kind of a non-issue, because at the low levels I'd stick with a single weapon for the Daring Champion, not TWF. TWF can wait until you have the wealth and the feat slots to support it.

Claxon wrote:

And honestly, using a single weapon with both precise strike and challenge working at the same time gives you the same damage as wielding two weapons with challenge active. But, you have a 20% better chance to hit because you're not wielding two one-handed weapons while TWF. The only way to get around that is two use effortless lace (which is a b#@~%#&% item in the first place, and shouldn't just be assumed to be available) or to use saw-tooth sabres, which requires an extra feat. And then you're still 10% less likely to hit. And you need to enhance two weapons for double the cost compared to one.

The daring champion is honestly much better at just wielding a single weapon and stacking challenge and precise strike damage to have damage on par with (and exceeding) a two handed weapon user. Which, is why I know that it's going to be better than TWF fighting because TWF has pretty much been mathematically proven to be worse than wielding a single big weapon.

Sawtooth Sabres would be (and were) my recommendation, with Effortless Lace in second place. Half-Elf or Human can pull this off easily enough. Or Tengu if you're feeling snazzy, I suppose.

Precise Strike doesn't equate to the same damage though.

If I'm using Sawtooth Sabres at, oh, let's say level 7 and +10 damage from other sources (Dex, magic, whatever):

One weapon: 4.5+10+7, +7 precision damage (thus not boosted on a crit)
Two weapons: (4.5+10+7)*2

Ignoring accuracy, one clearly does much better damage. 28.5 versus 21.5*2=43. Not even close. Now, obviously that +10 is pretty much pulled out of a hat, but, well, here are some quick and dirty numbers. Everything is run at level 7:

At an 80% chance to hit with a single weapon (70% TWF):

TWF equals a single weapon at -3 static damage (beyond Challenge and Precise Strike). That means pretty significant DR.

At a 95% hit rate with a single weapon, that drops back to about -3.5.

And here's the fun one: At a 50% hit rate for the single weapon, the amount of static damage needed for two-handing to be better is... -1.

Yeah. That's not hard to get at all.

Off challenge, of course, you'll generally drop back to one weapon. Which is why you shouldn't bother with TWF until you have the resources to mainline two weapons and lots of Challenges anyway.

And, fair's fair, this isn't accounting for the feat differential. The more detailed comparison would involve either running something like katana vs. sawtooth sabres and giving the katana Power Attack, or running both with katanas and calculating for some kind of value gained by 5,000 gold for Effortless Laces alongside the one feat. But I've run those numbers before, and the TWF came out ahead once you had the resources to support it. Heck, last time I ran them in detail I even massively screwed up by not deducting from the attack bonus for the Power Attack I assumed the single-hander had and he was still behind.

Sovereign Court

kestral287 wrote:
Double weapons don't give the same advantage on single strikes-- to my knowledge, there isn't a double weapon that qualifies for Precise Strike. Solid for, say, a Str-based TWF Slayer (very solid; easily their best choice)

Though Str-based TWF Slayers are probably best off going double-shield (or at least one since they don't have much weapon focus) since they can get Shield Mastery at 6.

Also - it's not just SA vs Challenge. It's SA & Studied Target vs Challenge.


SA & Studied Target vs. Challenge and Order then, to be full.

Assuming a to-hit boosting Order (probably Dragon, since yanno, Dragon is awesome): +1 damage/lvl and +1 to hit; additional +1 to-hit per four levels. Versus +3.5/3 levels and +1 damage and attack at 1, 5, 10, 15, 20.

Bonus to attack comes out +1 to Cavalier by the end game, but the difference won't be noticeable for a long while-- most of the time Cavalier is +1 ahead only for a level or two. Admittedly the Cavalier is boosting allies, but that's a minor one. Bonus to damage is marginally higher for the Slayer while TWFing (caps at +26 versus +20). The Cavalier does leverage crits better though-- only 5 of the Slayer's bonus damage is boosted on a crit (net +31) compared to all 20 of the Champion's (net +40). Between that and the attack bonus, they're ~equal.

However, the Slayer is behind whenever he has to make a single attack. When that happens, using level 20, even with a double weapon we'd need to have a Str bonus of +28 before the two were equalized (giving an additional +14 damage from two-handing, adding the Slayer's minor edge in damage to equalize against Precise Strike). That's a really, really ridiculous scenario, so most of the time it's safe to say that the Champion will be ahead on those single attacks. Since Parry & Riposte and a greater desire/use for Combat Reflexes allows him to better leverage those single attacks, I'll take the Champion's flexibility over the very minor damage edge of the Slayer.

Slayer's ability to TWF Shields is nice, but in this comparison it hurts more than it helps. It reverses things to a net +1 to hit for the Slayer, but cuts into his damage pretty harshly since shields are pretty crappy weapons-- 1d6/x2 is pretty crappy next to 1d8 19-20/x2 (or 1d6 18-20/x2, depending). And he's probably still behind in AC, between Nimble and the Dex of the Champion.

He can, however, go TWF sooner than the Champion, so there's that.


kestral287 wrote:
Double weapons don't give the same advantage on single strikes-- to my knowledge, there isn't a double weapon that qualifies for Precise Strike. Solid for, say, a Str-based TWF Slayer (very solid; easily their best choice), but not so much for the Champion, who is going to do better with one-handed weapons.

Never claimed it did. I am saying that, comparing a 2 handed strength build with a 1 handed precise strike build....it is not going to be that different assuming good stats and items.

I was commenting on the general claim that the daring champion was the best TWF class, when its main gimmick, the use of precise strike to get in good damage when you can't TWF, has been found in the double weapon since CRB.

Heck, ignoring double weapons, you could just use a 1 handed weapon and a gauntlet/cestus. For slayers at least, this isn't too much of a problem, since they are not as reliant upon weapon specific feats. Just put your offhand on the sword when doing standard attacks, and off the sword when you are doing TWF. It also gives access to a fairly good set of critical ranges (18-20/x2 sword, 19-20/x2 cestus)

You thus have to qualify the statement with other abilities (and you have certainly provided enough that it is at least on par with other full martials in this regard).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Taiaha is an One-handed B or P Double weapon.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Taiaha is an One-handed B or P Double weapon.

Interesting find. Not all that useful unless a DM allows Deadly Agility though. Or, for whatever reason, you want a Str-based TWF Daring Champion, which... I suppose works? Even then, you're going to be better off with Precise Strike.

Cool weapon though.

lemeres wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
Double weapons don't give the same advantage on single strikes-- to my knowledge, there isn't a double weapon that qualifies for Precise Strike. Solid for, say, a Str-based TWF Slayer (very solid; easily their best choice), but not so much for the Champion, who is going to do better with one-handed weapons.

Never claimed it did. I am saying that, comparing a 2 handed strength build with a 1 handed precise strike build....it is not going to be that different assuming good stats and items.

I was commenting on the general claim that the daring champion was the best TWF class, when its main gimmick, the use of precise strike to get in good damage when you can't TWF, has been found in the double weapon since CRB.

Heck, ignoring double weapons, you could just use a 1 handed weapon and a gauntlet/cestus. For slayers at least, this isn't too much of a problem, since they are not as reliant upon weapon specific feats. Just put your offhand on the sword when doing standard attacks, and off the sword when you are doing TWF. It also gives access to a fairly good set of critical ranges (18-20/x2 sword, 19-20/x2 cestus)

You thus have to qualify the statement with other abilities (and you have certainly provided enough that it is at least on par with other full martials in this regard).

Ah. Okay, I see what you're going for.

To me, there is really no 'main gimmick' of TWF with the Daring Champion. It rests on a combination of factors, though I'll admit the single-hand advantage is the most glaring one:

-Lots of classes have high static damage modifiers, but once you get past the early levels the Cavalier can leverage its static modifier more consistently than any other class I can name with a comparable damage: Paladin only works against selected targets, Slayer's Sneak Attack is somewhat volatile, Rogue's and Vivisectionist's Sneak Attacks are also volatile (less so for the Vivi) and have accuracy issues (again, less so for the Vivi).
-High stat synergy. While most classes can pull off a Str-based TWF build if they really have to, they still need to hit 17 Dex. That's probably magic item territory, and thus it's expensive; adding to the concerns Claxon has already noted regarding costs. A Dex-oriented build has more feat concerns (a need to buy Weapon Finesse, though to be perfectly fair many martial classes get more bonus feats than the Cavalier-- but only the Slayer has a high static damage modifier and a decent selection of bonus feats). The new Monk and the Brawler do seem to have the easiest access to (pseudo) TWF with strong stat synergies, but neither of them have the static damage modifiers of the Cavalier.

I do think it's worth noting that Str-based TWF will often have to start with 15 Dex, while Dex-based TWF can easily run with 10 Str, and at most will go for about 13.
-Champion's Finesse. Opening up Sawtooth Sabres without a dip means that the Daring Champion is virtually the only option in PFS, or any other game which outlaws Effortless Lace (which doesn't seem all that uncommon, and is thus worth noting I think).
-And yes, Precise Strike. By the time the Daring Champion should be switching styles to TWF (level 7 or 9, probably), Precise Strike is going to add greater damage than a double weapon. While a double weapon certainly allows for the same conceptual advantage of better damage when making one attack, the realities of the numbers is that it would take a massive Str bonus to actually match Precise Strike. The advantage of the double weapon is +50% Str, which means the base Str bonus needs to be a +14 by level seven just to match. That's literally impossible even at level 20 barring an Orc (or other +4 Str race) or stat influences beyond levels/Belt/Wish. Certainly well beyond any reasonable level 7 PC. That is eased by Power Attack, but Power Attack and TWF... are not things I'd combine readily.

So: anyone with a double weapon can do it, the Daring Champion can do it better. Not necessarily by much, but every point counts.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Daring Champion TWF? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.