Why is it so hard to get good with multiple weapons?


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I've been mulling over a few ideas for switch hitting characters lately and I've been kind of stunned at how incredibly hard it is to build someone who can use two or more weapon styles effectively.

Even with access to fighter bonus feats or ranger styles or something similar it still takes quite a while to get online and you still end up hitting some sort of roadblock eventually. With a rogue or investigator or cavalier or barbarian or swashbuckler or something else I've decided it's more or less a lost cause to even try.

This seems really weird, especially given how common the concept of someone with two or more fighting styles is in fiction.

It really seems unnecessary.


Pathfinder rewards specialization.

Also, why would you want to be a "switch hitter"?
If you're ranged, just used ranged. If people close in on you just step back and keep using ranged.

If melee close in and hit things. The only time you'd use a bow is if you're fighting a flying enemy that doesn't do melee attacks.


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Thematics, mainly. They're mostly roleplaying ideas rather than optimization ones, you're right.

And then I got to thinking about how many characters in TV shows, books, movies, comics, video games and other forms of fictional adventure story do something that's basically impossible to functionally do without being incredibly high level and having a massive pool of gold.

So I made a post on the forums to whine about it.


If you look at many anime/video games/etc. characters they only use 1 weapon. FF, cloud only uses a buster sword, tifa is only using fists, etc. Inuyasha uses only that one sword. Most characters aren't switch hitters. Sure they all could use a bow/gun but it's not like they can do cool tricks with them like they do with their main weapon.


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I think it depends on how you define effectively. If you insist that it is only effective if it is as good as it is possible to get, then pretty much you are correct, developing more than one weapon is pretty much impossible.

That isn't so true though if you just consider effect to be enough to be a serious threat. And even less if you think in a tactical manner.

For example, a switch hitting ranger, with perhaps only rapid shot as a bow feat and some basic two-handed feats for melee (power attack most obviously). With a strength build and a composite bow he is able to do fairly good damage at range, enough at least to force an enemy to close with him. And of course any full bab power attacker is probably going to put out pretty good damage close up.

Obviously, focusing on one or the other will get you more damage in either, but if used tactically a switch hitter can be very effective.

For example, if our ranger is paired up with a standard reach cleric you can use your ranged damage to pretty much force the enemy to come to you, possibly taking at attack of opportunity on the way in and only getting a single attack. If you are able to get quick draw, then you can full attack on your turn.

A pure melee would likely have to move to engage the enemy and wouldn't be able to force the provocation. A pure ranged character could of course deal out some DPR (no one says archers can't do enough damage in pathfinder) but there are some things that foil them, and they can't fulfill the function of holding the line like a melee character can.

Basically, multiple styles can be effective by giving you different options to force the enemy to do what you want, or make their tactics less effective at forcing you to do what they want. That can make it very effective, but only if you think tactically (and generally that includes an entire group, not just an individual.)


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
swoosh wrote:

I've been mulling over a few ideas for switch hitting characters lately and I've been kind of stunned at how incredibly hard it is to build someone who can use two or more weapon styles effectively.

Even with access to fighter bonus feats or ranger styles or something similar it still takes quite a while to get online and you still end up hitting some sort of roadblock eventually. With a rogue or investigator or cavalier or barbarian or swashbuckler or something else I've decided it's more or less a lost cause to even try.

This seems really weird, especially given how common the concept of someone with two or more fighting styles is in fiction.

It really seems unnecessary.

Is this a question about being "effective" or "optimized"? I don't find it that hard to be effective with a couple of styles, but lots of people have differing definitions of effective.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
If you look at many anime/video games/etc. characters they only use 1 weapon. FF, cloud only uses a buster sword, tifa is only using fists, etc. Inuyasha uses only that one sword. Most characters aren't switch hitters. Sure they all could use a bow/gun but it's not like they can do cool tricks with them like they do with their main weapon.

On the other side. Aragorn and Legolas from lord of the rings both have bows and melee weapons and are very good with both. Harsk from Pathfinder itself is supposed to be good with his crossbow and axe. For more modern characters, Taskmaster(Marvel Comics) has a bow, a gun, a sword and shield and can fight with his fists extremely effectively. Good luck getting the 40 feats for that.

Quote:

That isn't so true though if you just consider effect to be enough to be a serious threat. And even less if you think in a tactical manner.

For example, a switch hitting ranger, with perhaps only rapid shot as a bow feat and some basic two-handed feats for melee (power attack most obviously). With a strength build and a composite bow he is able to do fairly good damage at range, enough at least to force an enemy to close with him. And of course any full bab power attacker is probably going to put out pretty good damage close up.

While true, at that point you're running into the issue of splitting your feats and funds enough to start struggling... and honestly probably end up worse than the ranged character in melee combat if they used empty quiver or a five foot step.

Bill Dunn wrote:


Is this a question about being "effective" or "optimized"? I don't find it that hard to be effective with a couple of styles, but lots of people have differing definitions of effective.

Generally reasonably optimized, because if you're not that good at it it's not worth bothering.

But how about just.. reasonably effective as a baseline? Two weapon fighting plus archery. Pretty thematic. Weapon Finesse, Two Weapon Fighting, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot.

That puts you at level 9 before you even have your bases covered and frankly you aren't even that good at either at that point. Nevermind that you probably want quick draw in there to switch between them, so now it's level 11. If you wanna pump that up with manyshot and improved two weapon fighting, well now it's level 15. Campaign's already been over for three levels and you're still barely getting your act together.

It's ridiculous.

I can't believe that so many people seem to think it's fine that you need to invest so much effort just to make a combat style function. I mean, just imagine if each school of magic required 3-5 feats to even function at all.


I'm running into this a bit myself. I've got a PFS CORE character, level 3 human fighter, mainly doing 2H stuff with a great sword (current feats are toughness, weapon focus (great sword), power attack, improved overrun, step up). Then I discovered how fun a composite longbow can be (I'm fairly new), so I'm considering branching into ranged combat a bit. Obviously this character was built on strength, but I'm considering using a couple feats to dip into some ranged skills, namely Point-Blank Shot and Rapid Shot. I'll break those feats up with Combat Reflexes to compliment Step Up, so by level 6 I'll be able to do some serious damage at range and up close, keep my enemies close when I need to keep their attention off the squishies, provide multiple AoO's per round, and have a decent combat maneuver for some extra fun. Oh, and I took a trait to get Diplomacy as a class skill and plan to max it out so I'm not useless outside of battle either.

Now, obviously I'm not gonna be able to pull some ridiculous trick shots like a pure archer, and I'm cutting out a few of the bread and butter 2H feats (Cleave is not that interesting to me honestly, and I feel like I'm doing plenty of damage without weapon specialization or crit feats), but I still feel like I've got a capable, pure-martial character that is also well-rounded in terms of fighting "styles".

Like Bill Dunn said, it's kind of a question of optimization vs effectiveness, and in my opinion, you can easily be effective without being an uber-optimized god of any particular style. In fact, having some diversity in your build is a good way to help ensure you remain effective, even when not in your usual wheelhouse.


swoosh wrote:

I've been mulling over a few ideas for switch hitting characters lately and I've been kind of stunned at how incredibly hard it is to build someone who can use two or more weapon styles effectively.

Even with access to fighter bonus feats or ranger styles or something similar it still takes quite a while to get online and you still end up hitting some sort of roadblock eventually. With a rogue or investigator or cavalier or barbarian or swashbuckler or something else I've decided it's more or less a lost cause to even try.

This seems really weird, especially given how common the concept of someone with two or more fighting styles is in fiction.

It really seems unnecessary.

What's your standard of "good"? Fighters can be very good at switch hitting. Fighters can get enough combat feats to be very effective at multiple weapons. It just all depends on what your standards are, you can be pretty devastating with more than one weapon or ultimate gonzo with a particular one.


Well... 2-Hander + anything is pretty easy: Get Power Attack (and maybe Cornugon Smash and Hurtful for extra fun and mobility. Eventually Improved Critical, if you can afford it) then devote your feats to the other style. Fighters, Rangers and Slayers make good switch hitters for that.

But you're right. It's needlessly taxing to be moderately good at more than a single combat style. TWF + Archery is pretty much infeasible.

You could use a few house-rules to make that easier... Like fusing feats (PBS and Precise Shot, for example), scaling feat chains (TWF->ITWF->GTWF), making weapon-specific feats (such as Weapon Focus) affect the whole weapon group... Give IUS and maybe Weapon Finesse to all character for free... And so on.


Mobile fighter/human,Half-elf or half-Orc that use Spears and has quick draw make great switch hitters. Give you access to martial versatility feats you can get access to all your bonus on all your spear weapons. the Spear weapon group, it the most versatile group of weapons. Have Reach, Range via throwing and normal melee uses. Also There maybe easier way of doing that now with weapon master books. I have not really looked that book yet.

edit: Also wanted to note in the spear weapon group this is Philum I think it is called, can be used for minor battle field control or debuff, as it take out targets with a shield bonus, shield bonus or it makes them have to use a action to get it that bonus back. so it could be a great debuff or it is away of preventing full attack on your allies.


swoosh wrote:

ut how about just.. reasonably effective as a baseline? Two weapon fighting plus archery. Pretty thematic. Weapon Finesse, Two Weapon Fighting, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot.

That puts you at level 9 before you even have your bases covered and frankly you aren't even that good at either at that point. Nevermind that you probably want quick draw in there to switch between them, so now it's level 11. If you wanna pump that up with manyshot and improved two weapon fighting, well now it's level 15. Campaign's already been over for three levels and you're still barely getting your act together.

It puts you at 3rd level as a human fighter or Ranger or rogue.


I still don't see any reason WHY you'd want to do this.


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What are you trying to do? I've made characters who are very effective with 2 or 3 weapons and effective with a bunch more. I think you are trying to be Robin Hood and Conan with the same character. That may be harder to pull off.


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Real people fight with multiple styles.

Post-Marian Legionnaire: sword and shield (with bashing even though they're using the most tower shield like of all tower shields) and thrown weapon.

Pretty much every military archer ever: bow or crossbow and some sort of secondary weapon (usually a sword).

Actual German combat instructor Hans Talhoffer: two handed sword, sword and shield, sword and spiked shield, sword and dagger, poleaxe, and two handed spiked shield off the top of my head.

Anyone with a ranged weapon will be proficient in a back up melee weapon. Anyone who aspires to be a teacher of combat must master several styles because he'll be expected to train more than one kind of troop.


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Atarlost wrote:

Real people fight with multiple styles.

Post-Marian Legionnaire: sword and shield (with bashing even though they're using the most tower shield like of all tower shields) and thrown weapon.

Pretty much every military archer ever: bow or crossbow and some sort of secondary weapon (usually a sword).

Actual German combat instructor Hans Talhoffer: two handed sword, sword and shield, sword and spiked shield, sword and dagger, poleaxe, and two handed spiked shield off the top of my head.

Anyone with a ranged weapon will be proficient in a back up melee weapon. Anyone who aspires to be a teacher of combat must master several styles because he'll be expected to train more than one kind of troop.

To be fair... It's difficult to tell if their training is better reflected by mere weapon proficiency/BAB or by actual feats/class features. Most of those people would be low-level warriors, so probably the former.

Any martial with good Str and Dex makes an acceptable switch-hitter by real world standards... After all, they can use multiple weapons without problem, consistently hit their targets and deal good damage. add Power Attack and Deadly Aim, and you have a good archer, compared to real-world warriors... Not so good when compared to mythological/fantastical ones, though.

It's easy to overlook weapon proficiency in Pathfinder, since so many classes get proficiency with countless weapons.... But we have to remember that most people don't have levels in those classes.


Chess Pwn wrote:
I still don't see any reason WHY you'd want to do this.

I haven't exactly done the math, but with those x1.5's floating about, I'd imagine a 2 hander 'could' get more damage than an archery character on a full attack.

'Could' being the operative word here. Archery is considered so powerful since it can full attack from anywhere. But if you just had to wait until enemies were in melee range anyway... you could do well, since you don't waste time getting next to the thing you want to attack.

It isn't like being good at 2 handing is that hard for an archer. One feat (power attack), and they do fine, sinc ethey need strength anyway for archery damage. You don't need that much specialization.

Also, for the 'step back' thing for archers in melee- you might not be able too. If you just stay in one palce full attacking a bunch, then it isn't exactly hard for enemies to flank you, or something with reach to get up on you.


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swoosh wrote:
But how about just.. reasonably effective as a baseline? Two weapon fighting plus archery. Pretty thematic. Weapon Finesse, Two Weapon Fighting, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot.

As others mentioned, this can be readily (mostly) accomplished with a fighter, ranger, (Unchained) rogue, or slayer by 3rd-5th level; the Unchained rogue even gains Dex to damage with one type of melee weapon.

Fighter
1st- Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse
2nd- Point Blank Shot
3rd- Precise Shot
4th- Rapid Shot

Ranger
1st- Two-Weapon Fighting
2nd- Combat Style (Archery; Rapid Shot)
3rd- Weapon Finesse

Unchained Rogue
1st- Finesse Training (Weapon Finesse), Two-Weapon Fighting
2nd- Rogue Talent (Combat Trick; Point Blank Shot)
3rd- Finesse Training ([weapon]), Precise Shot
4th- Rogue Talent (Bleeding Attack)
5th- Rapid Shot

Slayer
1st- Two-Weapon Fighting
2nd- Combat Style (Archery; Rapid Shot)
3rd- Weapon Finesse

Alternately, a human fighter, ranger, or slayer can take Quick Draw as the 1st level bonus feat and go with thrown chakrams (or amenta) using both Two-Weapon Fighting and Rapid Shot (3 ranged attacks per round by 3rd-4th level) instead of a bow; alternately, a starknife is shorter ranged and more expensive, but allows you to focus on a single weapon type for both melee and ranged.


Str 14 for an archer?
dex 18 of course.
Power attack, deadly aim, PBS, rapid

greatsword +2-X for 2d6+3+X*3
Bow +4+1-2-X for (1d8+2+1+X*2)*2

DPR higher for ranged. And it only gets worse as you add Weapon enhancements, weapon specific feats and class abilities, Manyshot, belt of dex, etc...

TWF is even worse because then your statline is just a worse version of your bow.


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If I'd go for switch-hitting, I'd go for dual daggers (stab with them, throw them, unequip one for a free hand) or a mix of spears (longspear for reach, normal spears for close melee and throwing). Heck, you can even combine a Small longspear with a shortspear. If there is a battle on really long range, you can still pull out the composite longbow for a little bit of damage.

There are not many feats around switch-hitting, but I consider the following useful: Quick Draw, Opening Volley, Snap Shot, Sword and Pistol. Feats only helping melee or ranged are less attractive than normal, so I'd look more into general feats like Weapon Focus or Martial Focus.

Relying on a single combat style can have significant drawbacks - two-handed is helpless vs. foes out of reach, screwed when grappled and has the risk of overkilling, two weapons relies a lot on full-attacks and the absence of damage reduction and ranged is lost at bad sight, small areas or teleporting foes. As a switch-hitter, you are more competent to deal with suboptimal situations. Maybe you achieve less in optimal situations, but those are the ones where you don't really need it anyway. Maybe for the ego ('woah, that damage') but not for the successful encounter.


I've gone with axes. Use throw anything and have a great time!


I'd have to agree that one can still be a competent threat with multiple weapons, and it's a good idea to. Golf-bagging may look odd but everyone needs a backup weapon. And have both melee and ranged options, as our party cleric once found out when fighting a quasit. His choices were 'throw mace' and 'run'. (The rest of us? Lousy Will saves.) Once my barbarian upgraded to a composite bow she forced her old sling into the cleric's hands almost at axepoint. That quasit had a bad day when the party came back ...

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Qaianna wrote:
I'd have to agree that one can still be a competent threat with multiple weapons, and it's a good idea to. Golf-bagging may look odd but everyone needs a backup weapon. And have both melee and ranged options, as our party cleric once found out when fighting a quasit. His choices were 'throw mace' and 'run'. (The rest of us? Lousy Will saves.) Once my barbarian upgraded to a composite bow she forced her old sling into the cleric's hands almost at axepoint. That quasit had a bad day when the party came back ...

That's weird. A ranged weapon is on all of my level 1 character sheets (either sling or javelins) right along with rope & torches. It's standard operating procedure.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
I still don't see any reason WHY you'd want to do this.

Because you're referencing film or literature (or real life) for your inspiration, rather than mechanics.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
swoosh wrote:

I've been mulling over a few ideas for switch hitting characters lately and I've been kind of stunned at how incredibly hard it is to build someone who can use two or more weapon styles effectively.

Even with access to fighter bonus feats or ranger styles or something similar it still takes quite a while to get online and you still end up hitting some sort of roadblock eventually. With a rogue or investigator or cavalier or barbarian or swashbuckler or something else I've decided it's more or less a lost cause to even try.

This seems really weird, especially given how common the concept of someone with two or more fighting styles is in fiction.

It really seems unnecessary.

It's something coming out of 3rd edition that was never changed with PF. It's another huge problem for martials but one often overlooked: you need to specialize in order to be very good with a weapon and cannot do it with more than one because feats (generally) don't extend their scope to other weapons.

Unfortunately with 3rd ed the developers really went overboard in order to make life painful for martials. With PF it could have been a feature for fighters to be able to extend their "one weapon" feats to weapons of the same martial group but sadly this has only been introduced recently and with more than a few limitations.

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Rogar Valertis wrote:


It's something coming out of 3rd edition that was never changed with PF.

Weapon Specialization was a thing in 2e as well. One of the Fighter's advantages was being able to specialize further than even other martials. (If I remember - it was basically their only advantage over paladin/ranger other than leveling a bit faster.)


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:


It's something coming out of 3rd edition that was never changed with PF.
Weapon Specialization was a thing in 2e as well. One of the Fighter's advantages was being able to specialize further than even other martials. (If I remember - it was basically their only advantage over paladin/ranger other than leveling a bit faster.)

It was a little thing, though. Pathfinder really amps up the benefits of specialization over generalization. A couple points here or there is all you could really add in 2nd edition. With Pathfinder, you get bonuses that far outweigh the importance of the damage dice.


Rogar Valertis wrote:
swoosh wrote:

I've been mulling over a few ideas for switch hitting characters lately and I've been kind of stunned at how incredibly hard it is to build someone who can use two or more weapon styles effectively.

Even with access to fighter bonus feats or ranger styles or something similar it still takes quite a while to get online and you still end up hitting some sort of roadblock eventually. With a rogue or investigator or cavalier or barbarian or swashbuckler or something else I've decided it's more or less a lost cause to even try.

This seems really weird, especially given how common the concept of someone with two or more fighting styles is in fiction.

It really seems unnecessary.

It's something coming out of 3rd edition that was never changed with PF. It's another huge problem for martials but one often overlooked: you need to specialize in order to be very good with a weapon and cannot do it with more than one because feats (generally) don't extend their scope to other weapons.

Unfortunately with 3rd ed the developers really went overboard in order to make life painful for martials. With PF it could have been a feature for fighters to be able to extend their "one weapon" feats to weapons of the same martial group but sadly this has only been introduced recently and with more than a few limitations.

It wasn't a "huge problem for martials". It was a huge boost to them. In 2nd edition, a 10th level fighter with an 18/51 strenght (not guaranteed but not impossible) with a longsword +2 maybe has some magic items to get his attack rolls up some but he's going with two attacks every three rounds doing 1d8+7 points of damage. (+2 magic sword, +3 strength, +2 weapon specialization). That's it. That's as good as he can reasonably expect to get.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
If you look at many anime/video games/etc. characters they only use 1 weapon. FF, cloud only uses a buster sword, tifa is only using fists, etc. Inuyasha uses only that one sword. Most characters aren't switch hitters. Sure they all could use a bow/gun but it's not like they can do cool tricks with them like they do with their main weapon.

Counterpoints:

Guts, Dante, Bayonetta, Vincent, etc.

Most RPG characters arent switch hitters because the player is playing all the characters, so they can be specialized.

Most anime characters arent switch hitters because its boring when one character is great at everything (but even then any Mech anime is nothing but switch hitters)

When youre playing a single character though, its nice to be able to have something to do every round.

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Baval wrote:


Counterpoints:

Guts,

I've gotta disagree with that one (at least in the anime; I never read the manga). He's pretty obviously specialized with his huge sword. Sure - he had a crossbow, and it's effective against mooks, but it's certainly not his focus.

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MeanMutton wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:


It's something coming out of 3rd edition that was never changed with PF.
Weapon Specialization was a thing in 2e as well. One of the Fighter's advantages was being able to specialize further than even other martials. (If I remember - it was basically their only advantage over paladin/ranger other than leveling a bit faster.)
It was a little thing, though. Pathfinder really amps up the benefits of specialization over generalization. A couple points here or there is all you could really add in 2nd edition. With Pathfinder, you get bonuses that far outweigh the importance of the damage dice.

Yes - it was only a couple points of damage/accuracy. (Plus potentially an extra swing each round.) But as you point out - all static damage was much lower, so another couple points was pretty huge % increase.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
MeanMutton wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:
swoosh wrote:

I've been mulling over a few ideas for switch hitting characters lately and I've been kind of stunned at how incredibly hard it is to build someone who can use two or more weapon styles effectively.

Even with access to fighter bonus feats or ranger styles or something similar it still takes quite a while to get online and you still end up hitting some sort of roadblock eventually. With a rogue or investigator or cavalier or barbarian or swashbuckler or something else I've decided it's more or less a lost cause to even try.

This seems really weird, especially given how common the concept of someone with two or more fighting styles is in fiction.

It really seems unnecessary.

It's something coming out of 3rd edition that was never changed with PF. It's another huge problem for martials but one often overlooked: you need to specialize in order to be very good with a weapon and cannot do it with more than one because feats (generally) don't extend their scope to other weapons.

Unfortunately with 3rd ed the developers really went overboard in order to make life painful for martials. With PF it could have been a feature for fighters to be able to extend their "one weapon" feats to weapons of the same martial group but sadly this has only been introduced recently and with more than a few limitations.
It wasn't a "huge problem for martials". It was a huge boost to them. In 2nd edition, a 10th level fighter with an 18/51 strenght (not guaranteed but not impossible) with a longsword +2 maybe has some magic items to get his attack rolls up some but he's going with two attacks every three rounds doing 1d8+7 points of damage. (+2 magic sword, +3 strength, +2 weapon specialization). That's it. That's as good as he can reasonably expect to get.

AD&D was another kind of game entirely. Monsters were much less beefy back then for example. And the "huge problem" part refers to post 3rd ed D&D btw not to AD&D. Case in point: fighters needing to specialize a lot of combat feats in a single weapon and not being able to extend the (limited) benefits they gain from such feats to other similar weapons (I'm aware some recent options opened a window for this though) while spellcasters effortlessly grow into world shattering wonders. It's a blatant example of how post 3rd ed D&D screwed over martials and fighter in particular.


Brawler with their free floating feats seem like a good multi-weapon user.

Switch Hitter as a role is fairly easy too so long as you pump STR and DEX up. Power Attack + enchanted weapon with a class that grants a static damamge boost and then the rest of your feats feed into your ranged combat.

Fighters and Rangers can pull this off at low levels fairly easily.

While not using multiple weapons to do it, a Kineticist can be a superb switch hitter at level one using any race. Take Weapon Finesse as your feat and Kinetic Blade as your Talent and done.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Baval wrote:


Counterpoints:

Guts,

I've gotta disagree with that one (at least in the anime; I never read the manga). He's pretty obviously specialized with his huge sword. Sure - he had a crossbow, and it's effective against mooks, but it's certainly not his focus.

Not his focus no, but in situations where its smart for him to use it he uses it, not just as a last resort when he physically cant use his sword.

But fair enough, replace Guts as the anime example with almost any Gundam pilot. Theyre all good at shooting and swordfighting.


you really can't compare anime to or any fantasy novel hero a pathfinder character, because to accurately build them you are talking mythic and epic level characters. well beyond 20th level. To cover everything they can do. Conan is a good example of based his stats were actually made for 3rd edtion and publish. He was like level 25 multi class character. Gutz would be the same.

The OP need to define what he means by good. because I think they really talking about being great with two weapon or specializing with two weapons and that should be hard. I regular build character that are great with one weapon and good with 2 others. I regularly hit and able to do decent damage with those other weapons. That is what i consider good.


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KainPen wrote:
you really can't compare anime to or any fantasy novel hero a pathfinder character, because to accurately build them you are talking mythic and epic level characters.

And yet if you look at what they do and who they fight, they're mid levels at best.

Which seems to really only highlight the problem, if you need more than 20 levels just to express the flexibility of a character who should reasonably probably be level 6.

Quote:
The OP need to define what he means by good. because I think they really talking about being great with two weapon or specializing with two weapons and that should be hard.

Why should it be hard? From a roleplaying standpoint it's a very common fantasy character archetype, so from that perspective gating it doesn't seem like a great idea. From a mechanical standpoint it's not very strong either because realistically most characters can accomplish most goals with their weapon of choice, your second weapon adds less than your first and your third weapon adds even less than that to the point that it rapidly becomes negligible, so from that perspective making it hard doesn't make much sense either.

Silver Crusade

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It almost seems like feats should be awarded in a more front-loaded manner. Like, you get 3 base at level 1, then 1 per level until 5, then one every other until 11, then every 3 until 20. Besides, having a bunch of low requirement feats can't really break the game, can it? Especially given how much we complain about these "feat tax" feats.

Also, all classes should be awarded feats base on their other class features. Fighters get OMFGsomany; wizards get scribe scroll, then one at 5, then one at 10...


KainPen wrote:

you really can't compare anime to or any fantasy novel hero a pathfinder character, because to accurately build them you are talking mythic and epic level characters. well beyond 20th level. To cover everything they can do. Conan is a good example of based his stats were actually made for 3rd edtion and publish. He was like level 25 multi class character. Gutz would be the same.

The OP need to define what he means by good. because I think they really talking about being great with two weapon or specializing with two weapons and that should be hard. I regular build character that are great with one weapon and good with 2 others. I regularly hit and able to do decent damage with those other weapons. That is what i consider good.

OP defined it later - basically, a 3rd to 5th level fighter, unchained rogue, ranger spending all of his feats to do it would be "good" by OP's standard.

Frankly, I don't see that as too difficult.


Riuken wrote:
Besides, having a bunch of low requirement feats can't really break the game, can it?

Archery has a lot of nice feats accessible at level 1. And this change would affect NPCs too - any creature with 1 HD (and Int 1+) would suddenly have 3 feats instead of 1. Finally it would reduce the point of classes and races with bonus feats.

I'd prefer some more feats (etc.) which encourage working with different weapons...


^I can think of one example off the topp of my head: Net and Trident. And then somebody mentioned Sword and Pistol above, although that one is highly expensive in terms of prerequisites (at least Net and Trident is only moderately expensive, or even fairly cheap if you are the right kind of Elf, or even Human with a Retiarius gladiatorial style Military Tradition).

I've been working on the idea of a switch-hitter Myrmidarch Magus, but I'm going to wait to post this until after I have rested up from being on airplanes much of the day.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^I can think of one example off the topp of my head: Net and Trident. And then somebody mentioned Sword and Pistol above, although that one is highly expensive in terms of prerequisites (at least Net and Trident is only moderately expensive, or even fairly cheap if you are the right kind of Elf, or even Human with a Retiarius gladiatorial style Military Tradition).

I've been working on the idea of a switch-hitter Myrmidarch Magus, but I'm going to wait to post this until after I have rested up from being on airplanes much of the day.

If you intend on doing Sword and Pistol, just take the significantly easier route, and take levels in Savage Technologist.


Soilent wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^I can think of one example off the topp of my head: Net and Trident. And then somebody mentioned Sword and Pistol above, although that one is highly expensive in terms of prerequisites (at least Net and Trident is only moderately expensive, or even fairly cheap if you are the right kind of Elf, or even Human with a Retiarius gladiatorial style Military Tradition).

I've been working on the idea of a switch-hitter Myrmidarch Magus, but I'm going to wait to post this until after I have rested up from being on airplanes much of the day.

If you intend on doing Sword and Pistol, just take the significantly easier route, and take levels in Savage Technologist.

Or one of the special archetypes, like Picaroon, or so.

You do not need many feats to be quite good in many styles.
Barbarian: Beast totem, Power attack, and for ranged some javelins.
Two weapons, one big and ranged.
Ranger: Go sword and board, grab power attack and precise shot, deadly aim and you are good to go.
Be human and you got the martial versitality feats.
There are quite a few options.


Isn't there a feat that allows fighters to do all their feats on one weapon to all of the same group? I'm almost sure there is.

Given that some groups are a little varied you could do a lot of things there. Even thrown weapons and two handers.

Investment? Minimal.


^Not minimal, but:

Method for Human (or in non-PFS, at least Half-Human): Martial Versatility + Martial Mastery -- eventually gives the greatest benefit, but takes a long time to get fully online, and doesn't scale automatically at intermediate levels.

Method that requires Weapon Training but doesn't require being Human: Advanced Weapon Training (Weapon Specialist) -- scales slowly to give more benefit at intermediate levels, but never gets the massive benefit that the other method does at high levels.

Still to do: Myrmidarch Magus switch hitter build.


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Okay, here's a first shot at a switch-hitting Myrmidarch Magus:

Human, 15 point buy (non-PFS): Str 16 (+2 went here), Dex 13, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 11, Chr 7 (I hate dumping, but it is unavoidable for this)
Human, 20 point buy (PFS): Str 16 (+2 went here), Dex 15, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 10, Chr 7

Traits: Campaign/PFS trait, Pragmatic Activator (gets us UMD-to-Int, and we already have it in-class, so just need to move it away from dumped Charisma onto boosted Intelligence)

Myrmidarch Magux all the way

Favored Class Bonus all goes to Hit Points

1: Level 1 Character Feat = Combat Reflexes; Human Bonus Feat = Combat Expertise (alternatively Dirty Fighting, but the spell Blade Tutor's Spirit actually lets us make good use of Combat Expertise); use your melee weapon of choice (preferably a one-handed weapon with the Trip quality, such as the Flail); also use a (Composite) Longbow; use True Strike (with Spell Combat) as needed to make sure that enemies go down when really urgent; more economically, use Long Arm and/or Enlarge Person to get Reach that lasts through multiple attacks
2: -
3: Level 3 Magus Arcana = Maneuver Mastery (Trip); Level 3 Character Feat = Improved Trip
4: Level 4 Ability Score Increase goes to Dexterity (and here we also get the Myrmidarch's lousy Ranged Spellstrike, which we aren't going to use very much; we would have rather kept Spell Recall, so start looking into getting Pearls of Power to compensate for this and Diminished Spellcasting); use Bull's Strength and Cat's Grace to self-buff
5: Level 5 Magus Bonus Feat = Deadly Aim (which Blade Tutor's Spirit actually lets us make good use of since we usually don't Combat Expertise simultaneously); Level 5 Character Feat = Ranged Trip; use True Strike as needed to make sure that even distant enemies go down when urgent, even when you are operating under non-ideal conditions for archery
6: Level 6 Myrmidarch Weapon Training = Bows (replaces a Magus Arcana -- well worth the trade, and this is what we went Myrmidarch for)
7: Level 7 Character Feat = Ace Trip (which requires the Weapon Training we got at the previous level); use True Strike as needed to make sure that even flying enemies go down when urgent, even when you are operating under non-ideal conditions for archery
8: Level 8 Myrmidarch Armor Training; Level 8 Ability Score Increase goes to Intelligence
9: Level 9 Magus Arcana = Spell Blending (Staggering Fall, and choose some other low-level spell -- use Staggering Fall as an Immediate Action on enemies you Trip, including Ace Trip, and you don't even need Spell Combat or Spellstrike to do this); Level 9 character feat = Greater Trip
10: -
11: Level 11 Magus Bonus Feat = Persistent Spell (especially for use with Staggering Fall -- suddenly enemies' save every round to throw off the effects doesn't look so good); Level 11 Character Feat = Combat Casting (has to be rather late, but makes up for not getting Improved Spell Combat)
12 (post-PFS or if you have the right PFS boon): Level 12 Myrmidarch Weapon Training = Flails (or whatever Weapon Group includes your melee weapon; replaces a Magus Arcana); Level 12 Ability Score Increase goes to Intelligence
13-on: Start investing in archery feats

This switch-hitting build gets its basics online fairly fast -- just 2 levels behind a Fighter (except 3 behind a Weapon Master who chooses the composite longbow, but who is then a 1-trick pony who can just use 1 shoe size) Myrmidarch's Ranged Spellstrike is mainly a feature tradeout tax for us, since we usually want to use an arrow to do Ranged Trip/Ace Trip with optional True Strike to boost the attempt, not to do a Spellstrike (and we don't get Eldritch Archer's Ranged Spell Combat, which would trade out the standard Spell Combat that we really want to keep). If you manage to find a use for Ranged Spelstrike, it's icing on the cake. We're into Myrmidarch for the Weapon Training (and to a lesser extent Armor Training). A non-Myrmidarch Magus VMC Fighter could also get these, but with the Weapon Training coming much later, and leaving us very feat-starved.


Late additions to above:

Maneuver Mastery Magus Arcana (taken at level 3) lets you use your Magus level instead of your Base Attack Bonus for calculating CMB.

Probable other best spell to put in Spell Blending Magus Arcana (taken at level 9): Dazling Blade (Swift Action cast on your own weapon, so no Spell Combat/Spellstrike needed, helps keep you from being Disarmed, and can be discharged to blind opponent for 1 round).


I want to take another shot at a Magus switch-hitter, this time using Martial Focus (Bows) to qualify for Ace Trip without needing Myrmidarch for Weapon Training, not because it is bad, but because I want to put Hexcrafter in, which is not compatible with Myrmidarch (and it helps to avoid losing spells per day).

Human, 15 point buy (non-PFS): Str 16 (+2 went here), Dex 13, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 11, Chr 7 (I hate dumping, but it is unavoidable for this)
PFS version removed, because this is slower to get online -- if you are in PFS, forget the Hexes and use the above build instead!

Traits: Campaign/PFS trait, Pragmatic Activator (gets us UMD-to-Int, and we already have it in-class, so just need to move it away from dumped Charisma onto boosted Intelligence)

Hexcrafter Magux all the way

Favored Class Bonus all goes to Hit Points

1: Level 1 Character Feat = Combat Reflexes; Human Bonus Feat = Combat Expertise (alternatively Dirty Fighting, but the spell Blade Tutor's Spirit actually lets us make good use of Combat Expertise); use your melee weapon of choice (preferably a one-handed weapon with the Trip quality, such as the Flail); also use a (Composite) Longbow; use True Strike (with Spell Combat) as needed to make sure that enemies go down when really urgent; more economically, use Long Arm and/or Enlarge Person to get Reach that lasts through multiple attacks; benefit already from being a Hexcrafter by using Ill Omen to debuff enemies
2: -
3: Level 3 Magus Arcana = Maneuver Mastery (Trip); Level 3 Character Feat = Improved Trip
4: Level 4 Hex (replaces Spell Recall) = Evil Eye (the most versatile low-level Hex); Level 4 Ability Score Increase goes to Dexterity; use Hex Vulnerability in case you need to re-Hex something
5: Level 5 Magus Bonus Feat = Deadly Aim (which Blade Tutor's Spirit actually lets us make good use of since we usually don't Combat Expertise simultaneously); Level 5 Character Feat = Ranged Trip; use True Strike as needed to make sure that even distant enemies go down when urgent, even when you are operating under non-ideal conditions for archery
6: Level 6 Hexcrafter Magus Arcana = Cackle Hex -- squawk like a chicken while you lay on the Evil Eye hurt (remember that it is several Hexes in one), all the while dealing out Attacks of Opportunity
7. Level 7 character feat = Extra Hex (Misfortune) (to lay on the bad luck) -- alternatively, we just qualify for Martial Focus (Bows) on the way to Ace Trip, but without pre-existing rapid-fire archery feats it isn't very useful by itself (+1 damage per attack is nearly insignificant), so let's wait until level 11, when we get a Magus Bonus Feat at the same time
8: Level 8 Ability Score Increase goes to Intelligence
9: Level 9 Hexcrafter Magus Arcana = Spell Blending (Staggering Fall, and choose some other low-level spell such as Dazzling Blade as in previous post -- use Staggering Fall as an Immediate Action on enemies you Trip, and you don't even need Spell Combat or Spellstrike to do this); Level 9 character feat = Greater Trip
10: -
11: Level 11 Magus Bonus Feat = Martial Focus (Bows); Level 11 Character feat = Ace Trip (which also works with Staggering Fall), and you get to keep Improved Spell Recall (even though Hexcrafter trades out the original Spell Recall)
12: Level 12 Hexcrafter Magus Arcana = Agony Major Hex or Ice Tomb Major Hex (either way, after you dump enemies' Saves through the floor with your other Hexes and Curse spells, take them out of the fight) Level 12 Ability Score Increase goes to Intelligence
13: Level 13 Character Feat = Persistent Spell (makes it harder to save against your spells)
14: -
15: Level 15 Hexcrafter Magus Arcana = Bane Blade or Disruptive or Ghost Blade (depending upon whether you need overall versatility or have to worry more about spellcasters or Incorporeal enemies); Level 15 Character Feat = Accursed Hex (makes it even harder for enemies to save against your Hexes)
16: Level 16 Ability Score Increase goes to Intelligence
17: Level 17 Magus Bonus Feat = Point-Blank Shot; Level 17 Character Feat = Precise Shot -- normally you want to switch over to melee yourself when things are in melee with your friends, but sometimes you may be situated so that this is not possible (at least not right away)
18: Level 18 Hexcrafter Magus Arcana = Life Giver Grand Hex (in case one of your friends kicks the bucket -- you'll be glad to have this even though it has no synergy with your other Hexes or spells)
19: Level 19 Character Feat = Quicken Spell -- normally this is bad for a Magus due to bumping low level spells almost through your span of levels of spells, but in this case, it gives new life to Ill Omen, which has no Save but normally suffers from being removable with a Move Action; if you Quicken it, targets won't have time to get rid of it before you hit with your next thing that ruins their life; also useful for things like True Strike; Quickened Magic and Spell Trickery are available as Magus Arcana without increasing spell level, but each can only be used once per day, and the latter depends upon being spec'ed for Dirty Trick instead of Trip
20: Level 20 Ability Score Increase goes to Intelligence, and you get to keep True Magus

An alternative possibility is to be something that has a prehensile tail (such as the right kind of Tiefling, which will also require some ability score tweaking) instead of a Human, and push feats back by 1 (2 levels) on the average (due to not getting the Human Bonus Feat), but don't get Quicken Spell, instead using a Metamagic Rod of Quicken Spell that you can hold in your tail. At a casual glance, seems like six of one and a half dozen of the other, but in many cases you can get a Rod of Quicken Spell a LOT earlier than you could make Quicken Spell usable.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
swoosh wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
If you look at many anime/video games/etc. characters they only use 1 weapon. FF, cloud only uses a buster sword, tifa is only using fists, etc. Inuyasha uses only that one sword. Most characters aren't switch hitters. Sure they all could use a bow/gun but it's not like they can do cool tricks with them like they do with their main weapon.

On the other side. Aragorn and Legolas from lord of the rings both have bows and melee weapons and are very good with both. Harsk from Pathfinder itself is supposed to be good with his crossbow and axe. For more modern characters, Taskmaster(Marvel Comics) has a bow, a gun, a sword and shield and can fight with his fists extremely effectively. Good luck getting the 40 feats for that.

Aragon is straight up melee fighter who happens to have a good dex because he never used heavy armor, and has a composite longbow.

Similarly Legolas is a straight up archer (up to pint blank master) who takes the penalty when he duel wields his swords. Notice he only uses the swords maybe 3 times.. He is so much better with the bow that even when provoking, her prefers to use the bow.

Both of these are war veterans.. prolly about 10-15th level. The one true switch hitter in LotR is Borimir

We have Harsk's stats at 1st, 4th, 7th, and 12th. He's good with his crossbow and effective with his axe.

Taskmaster is a varient fighter in his teens for levels who can swap out his fighter feats as a full round action (possibly 2-3 per round) but doesn't get armor training.


Atarlost wrote:

Real people fight with multiple styles.

Post-Marian Legionnaire: sword and shield (with bashing even though they're using the most tower shield like of all tower shields) and thrown weapon.

Pretty much every military archer ever: bow or crossbow and some sort of secondary weapon (usually a sword).

Actual German combat instructor Hans Talhoffer: two handed sword, sword and shield, sword and spiked shield, sword and dagger, poleaxe, and two handed spiked shield off the top of my head.

Anyone with a ranged weapon will be proficient in a back up melee weapon. Anyone who aspires to be a teacher of combat must master several styles because he'll be expected to train more than one kind of troop.

And a fighter CAN do this. And she can do it more than any other class. Again, you haven't defined your goal posts. A fighter can be very good with a variety of weapons or be ultimate Gonzo at few or one. It's a matter of choice.


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Its thematically appropriate that wizards are immediately masters of any spell they learn but fighters have to work really hard for a long long time.

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