I Hate Feats


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Boomerang Nebula wrote:

@ AdrastusDarke

You make some excellent points. If you look up the common definition of: "feat" it will be something like: "a great achievement of skill or strength". Feats are poorly named if they only let you do things that ordinary people can do.

I have always said that when you select a character option like a feat in an rpg it should feel like you're breaking the rules a little bit, it should let you do something special that most people cannot do or let you do something in a particular way that is not usually available. That is alot more interesting than +1 to hit when doing something for example and it makes the characters feel more unique and like they have specialised skills.

I think powered by the apocalypse games like dungeon world and sagas of the icelanders do this well with moves, blades in the dark does it well too and the feats in 5e are usually pretty good because most of the time instead of giving you bonuses to something they give you new abilities that flesh out your character.

I hope that makes sense, I am starting to get very tired so I should probably stop posting and go to sleep.

Adrastus


AdrastusDarke wrote:

I am fine with the extra attacks honestly, it's not realistic but it is a fantasy game and that's ok. What I really want and what the reason for me posting in this thread is, is for the game to not require you to take feats to do things that normal people can do anyway. Normal people are more effective with an off-hand weapon than they are with nothing in their off-hand without needing a special skill so why can't our character's do the same thing?

Adrastus

So would you be happy if they said that it was rolled into the baseline assumption of the game? That combat is an abstraction and that your BAB represent that skill? That having a two-handed weapon allows you to put more force into an attack and makes it harder to block, that wielding two weapons gives you more avenues for attack making it easier to hit (alternatively giving you extra attacks), and a shield and sword gives you defense and the ability to parry and block.

Really all I'm hearing is that maybe if you're not doing anything with your off-hand in combat it should give you penalties compared to the other styles. And if that's the way you want to go sure, no one does that anyway so it doesn't matter and it leaves the other three exactly where they are without any changes necessary. You just roll it into the abstraction of the game's combat system.

Makes sense to me, and only requires you think of it in a slightly different way.


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Two-Weapon Fighting strikes me as something you would probably need the training represented by a feat to do noticeably better than a normal person picking up two weapons and trying to fight with them. My problem with it is that TWF/ITWF/GTWF means that you are buying what is essentially the same feat three times to make it scale properly with your increasing battle prowess. A similar problem exists for Vital Strike, where Improved Vital Strike makes Vital Strike entirely useless to you but unable to be retrained and Greater Vital Strike means you have what are essentially two dead feat slots.

I'm fine with there being an entry feat for a number of fighting styles but I feel like PF feats are a little too keen on forcing you to buy something you already bought to make it relevant instead of acting like spells or class features and naturally getting stronger as you level up. No investment is required to make a fireball bloom from 5d6 to 10d6 damage, after all, and you don't need to spend resources to make Bardic Performance boosts grow greater. So why do you need to buy what is essentially the same feat three times to make its effect remain relevant to your class level?


Feats exist to allow you to do something g beyond the normal limits.

Which allowed wizards to pick up a long sword and use it. Because before, and by before I mean all editions before, you couldn't.

And having play those editions for many years before, and having over 23 years of rpg of all shapes and sizes I can say it's ok to have feats to say "this is what makes me special."

The real issue here is you've been given so many feats that some are better than others so some fall wayside and now are spurned. Book bloat has given way to snobbery.

It's ok to admit it. It's even clear just in this topic thread alone you can spot it. Whatever. At least I can pick what I like and have fun beyond the rules I'm given. It's a pretty rigid system and feats help flex that. There's others that are far less rigid.


AdrastusDarke wrote:
mourge40k wrote:
Claxon wrote:

So what you want to see is having an weapon in your off-hand gives you an attack bonus rather than extra attacks?

That's just not how fantasy combat systems have worked ever.

And now I have a new houserule! Thanks guys!

Hope it works out for you, that would be more realistic than the current way it works (although as I said I am fine with the extra attacks thing as an abstraction) let me know how it works out for you! :)

If you want to see a really good example of realistic dual-wielding rules check out the two fisted fighting rules from burning wheel, that also falls into the trap of requiring special training to do but it is otherwise very similar to how it was done historically. In fact check out all of burning wheel because it's amazing!

Adrastus

Two fisted fight, well let's call it boxing.

A normal guy, say a farmer npc, will never be as good as a trained boxer. The trained boxer will win that fight almost 100% of the time. The farmer can fight with two fists but the guy who spent training time(feat) on it is much better.

Same for TWF, the one trained will be much better than the one not trained. Farmer dude CAN fight with two weapons. Trained fight can do it better, and the more he trains the better he gets.

What's the problem? Feats are training in pathfinder, you wanna do something better than average, then spend training (feats) on it.

Liberty's Edge

Tequila Sunrise wrote:

“I hate feats, because they implicitly exclude PCs from doing things that they’d otherwise be able to do without feats.” It’s been a complaint since 2000, and I can understand it. For example, the Call Truce feat sets up a specific mechanic for parleying with enemies. If you take the feat and abide by its circumstantial restrictions, you can make a Diplomacy check to temporarily cease combat. For a core example, Power Attack sets up a specific mechanic for taking a wild but powerful swing.

This is the internet so I’m sure someone will disagree with me, but I think that most of us can agree that attempting parley and taking wild swings are both things that any character ought to be able to do. (We’ll have different opinions about which situations exclude the possibility of parley, and which if any mechanics ought to be used for it, but we can agree that parley ought to be possible in at least some situations with or without a feat.)

That said, I don’t remember this ever being an issue. I’ve never played in a campaign where a Call Truce type feat excluded the possibility of anyone attempting parley. (Or at least, I wasn’t aware if there was.) And I’ve never heard a player without Power Attack say “I want to swing wild and powerful. Can I get modifiers to reflect that?” (Admittedly, players may have assumed that the existence of PA would shut them down, and so not bothered to ask.)

If this sort of thing has been an issue for you, how did you deal with it?

As a DM, it occurs to me that these sort of feats can be used as guidelines for universally-accessible house rules. For example, if a PC without PA takes a wild swing, I might rule that she gains all the penalties but only half the bonuses described in the PA text. If a PC without Call Truce tries to parley, I could rule that it works as described in CT except that it takes two turns instead of one to attempt. Or that trying to parley without CT increases the DC by 5. Or that CT simply allows parley attempts in situations which I would otherwise tell...

Honestly, it sounds like you want a less rules-focused system. I would recommend Dungeon World.


I always find it a bit odd in threads like this that I always see posters say something like "Oh you obviously hate rules, so here you should play X system because it basically doesn't have any rules at all!"

As if to somehow imply there's no middle ground between Pathfinder's gratuitous list of feats that waffle between mandatory, useless or conceptually restrictive as the OP complains about and playing a system where half the rules are "IDK just make it up".


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Mulgar wrote:
AdrastusDarke wrote:
mourge40k wrote:
Claxon wrote:

So what you want to see is having an weapon in your off-hand gives you an attack bonus rather than extra attacks?

That's just not how fantasy combat systems have worked ever.

And now I have a new houserule! Thanks guys!

Hope it works out for you, that would be more realistic than the current way it works (although as I said I am fine with the extra attacks thing as an abstraction) let me know how it works out for you! :)

If you want to see a really good example of realistic dual-wielding rules check out the two fisted fighting rules from burning wheel, that also falls into the trap of requiring special training to do but it is otherwise very similar to how it was done historically. In fact check out all of burning wheel because it's amazing!

Adrastus

Two fisted fight, well let's call it boxing.

A normal guy, say a farmer npc, will never be as good as a trained boxer. The trained boxer will win that fight almost 100% of the time. The farmer can fight with two fists but the guy who spent training time(feat) on it is much better.

Same for TWF, the one trained will be much better than the one not trained. Farmer dude CAN fight with two weapons. Trained fight can do it better, and the more he trains the better he gets.

What's the problem? Feats are training in pathfinder, you wanna do something better than average, then spend training (feats) on it.

The problem which you would know if you had read what I have posted carefully is that without the feat you are worse using a weapon in your off-hand than you are using nothing in your off-hand. If the feat simply made you better at using two weapons than you would be without the feat I would be fine with that but as it stands you need to take the feat in order to do something that anyone can do, that being fight better with two weapons than they can with one and no off-hand item at all.

Adrastus

*Edit I feel like I may have been too aggressive here and I would like to apologise for that. I am just frustrated that some people are misinterpreting the point that I am trying to make but that is my fault for not making it clear enough and it was wrong to take that out on you. I am sorry for my rudeness and I will endeavour to be less aggressive in future, everyone here deserves respect.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

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Have you ever watched someone who had never used two weapons before try to do so truly effectively against a trained opponent. I have. For years. I'm among other things a sword teacher.

Inevitably no matter how skilled, the first time someone starts working with two weapons their effectiveness goes down. There's an adjustment period to adapting the way you move your body, getting used to making certain movements with your non-dominant hand, and stringing together attacks in a cohesive sequence.

If you've found different for yourself personally, you're rare exception (which in game would be categorized by a trait that reduces the TWF penalty) but I can tell you by observing and training countless students, it definitely takes a period of focused training to be as good with two weapons at once as you are with one.


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Mark Thomas 66 wrote:

Have you ever watched someone who had never used two weapons before try to do so truly effectively against a trained opponent. I have. For years. I'm among other things a sword teacher.

Inevitably no matter how skilled, the first time someone starts working with two weapons their effectiveness goes down. There's an adjustment period to adapting the way you move your body, getting used to making certain movements with your non-dominant hand, and stringing together attacks in a cohesive sequence.

If you've found different for yourself personally, you're rare exception (which in game would be categorized by a trait that reduces the TWF penalty) but I can tell you by observing and training countless students, it definitely takes a period of focused training to be as good with two weapons at once as you are with one.

I have both watched and sparred with beginners using two weapons at the same time as well as having been in that situation myself, every time using a second weapon has been more effective than using one.

Your experience intrigues me though, which martial art do you teach? I study HEMA (historical European martial arts for those of you who are unaware of it) focusing mostly on rapier but I dabble in other European swords. I wonder if the difference between our experiences comes down to the weapons used or the style that we fight in.

Adrastus

*Edit I have had another potential thought of what could be causing the disparity in our experiences. When the people you teach and observe start working with two weapons have they had extensive experience with only one weapon beforehand? If the person trying out the use of two weapons has alot experience of fighting with one beforehand then I would expect their effectiveness to go down because they are trained to fight one way and are then expected to fight in another way that they have no experience with, this would not be an indicator that fighting with two weapons is inherently much more difficult but rather that that person has more skill with the other style. In gameplay terms that person would have invested all of their feats in using a single weapon and then upon switching to two found that those feats no longer applied and thus they were less effective. This would be similar to me switching from rapier to longsword, my effectiveness would go down immediately not because longsword fighting inherently is more difficult or requires more training than rapier but because I have experience with rapier fencing and no experience with longsword fencing so all I would have is a basic sense of distance and timing that I learned using other weapons.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Two-Weapon Fighting strikes me as something you would probably need the training represented by a feat to do noticeably better than a normal person picking up two weapons and trying to fight with them. My problem with it is that TWF/ITWF/GTWF means that you are buying what is essentially the same feat three times to make it scale properly with your increasing battle prowess. A similar problem exists for Vital Strike, where Improved Vital Strike makes Vital Strike entirely useless to you but unable to be retrained and Greater Vital Strike means you have what are essentially two dead feat slots.

You'd prefer to see TWF as something akin to this?

Two-Weapon Fighting

Pre-requisite: Dex 15

Benefit: Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 2 and the one for your off hand lessens by 6.

When your BAB reaches +6, in addition to the standard single extra attack you get with an off-hand weapon, you get a second attack with it, albeit at a –5 penalty.

When your BAB reaches +11, you get a third attack with your off-hand weapon, albeit at a –10 penalty.

Normal: If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. When fighting in this way you suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand. If your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light. Without this feat, you can only get a single extra attack with an off-hand weapon.

Note - I left the scaling Dex requirement out, as it read cleaner - for balance purposes, that might need to stay in along with the BAB increases.


dysartes wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Two-Weapon Fighting strikes me as something you would probably need the training represented by a feat to do noticeably better than a normal person picking up two weapons and trying to fight with them. My problem with it is that TWF/ITWF/GTWF means that you are buying what is essentially the same feat three times to make it scale properly with your increasing battle prowess. A similar problem exists for Vital Strike, where Improved Vital Strike makes Vital Strike entirely useless to you but unable to be retrained and Greater Vital Strike means you have what are essentially two dead feat slots.

You'd prefer to see TWF as something akin to this?

Two-Weapon Fighting

Pre-requisite: Dex 15

Benefit: Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 2 and the one for your off hand lessens by 6.

When your BAB reaches +6, in addition to the standard single extra attack you get with an off-hand weapon, you get a second attack with it, albeit at a –5 penalty.

When your BAB reaches +11, you get a third attack with your off-hand weapon, albeit at a –10 penalty.

If you made this [perhaps including the Dex Requirement] a simple facet of the combat rules rather than a feat, we'd be about right.


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To be accurate, fighting with a weapon in your offhand doesn't actually impose any penalty unless you attempt to swing with both weapons simultaneously. If you have iterative attacks you may even switch with which weapon you make each attack with no penalty. But it doesn't grant any benefit.

So the important question is should you gain a mechanical benefit for wielding a weapon in two hands / wielding a weapon in each hand? Or the flip side, should a player be mechanically punished for chosing to fight in an iconic rapier style, with a weapon in one hand and a free spare hand? On the one hand yes because verisimilitude, but on the other hand no because a player shouldn't be at a mechanical disadvantage for trying to play a stylized character.


Ranishe wrote:

To be accurate, fighting with a weapon in your offhand doesn't actually impose any penalty unless you attempt to swing with both weapons simultaneously. If you have iterative attacks you may even switch with which weapon you make each attack with no penalty. But it doesn't grant any benefit.

So the important question is should you gain a mechanical benefit for wielding a weapon in two hands / wielding a weapon in each hand?

The important fact is that the present rules for Two Weapon Fighting suck. They're barely on par with fighting with a two-handed weapon.

Quote:
Or the flip side, should a player be mechanically punished for chosing to fight in an iconic rapier style, with a weapon in one hand and a free spare hand? On the one hand yes because verisimilitude, but on the other hand no because a player shouldn't be at a mechanical disadvantage for trying to play a stylized character.

The problem here is the Combat Maneuvers. If Grapple were an Attack rather than a Standard Action you could actually have traditional one-handed combat.

As it stands the closest one can come is having Improved Unarmed Strike and using Two Weapon Fighting, in which case integrating Two Weapon Fighting into the Core Rules still drastically helps someone using that style.

Sovereign Court

Ranishe wrote:


but on the other hand no because a player shouldn't be at a mechanical disadvantage for trying to play a stylized character.

If you're never at a disadvantage for choosing inferior options, you can't really have mechanics at all.

Though of note - you do have mechanically viable options. A Magus uses that style. You could TWF with the blade & armor spikes (easier/better than unarmed). Or play a Swash/Daring Champion. (With a buckler your hand is still free.)


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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Ranishe wrote:


but on the other hand no because a player shouldn't be at a mechanical disadvantage for trying to play a stylized character.

If you're never at a disadvantage for choosing inferior options, you can't really have mechanics at all.

Though of note - you do have mechanically viable options. A Magus uses that style. You could TWF with the blade & armor spikes (easier/better than unarmed). Or play a Swash/Daring Champion. (With a buckler your hand is still free.)

This is why many people have no issue with mundane / martial characters being less influencial than casters. The question is really what should be considered an inferior option that should be at a disadvantage? For example, assuming fighting with a weapon & shield was more effective historically than fighting with a two handed weapon (I don't know if that's the case or not), should the encoded rules make weapon & shield the most effective & reliable fighting style? I don't mean a trade off where a two handed weapon gains offensive power while sacrificing defense for a net neutral power differential, I mean that it's strictly inferior to a weapon & shield.


dysartes wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Two-Weapon Fighting strikes me as something you would probably need the training represented by a feat to do noticeably better than a normal person picking up two weapons and trying to fight with them. My problem with it is that TWF/ITWF/GTWF means that you are buying what is essentially the same feat three times to make it scale properly with your increasing battle prowess. A similar problem exists for Vital Strike, where Improved Vital Strike makes Vital Strike entirely useless to you but unable to be retrained and Greater Vital Strike means you have what are essentially two dead feat slots.

You'd prefer to see TWF as something akin to this?

Two-Weapon Fighting

Pre-requisite: Dex 15

Benefit: Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 2 and the one for your off hand lessens by 6.

When your BAB reaches +6, in addition to the standard single extra attack you get with an off-hand weapon, you get a second attack with it, albeit at a –5 penalty.

When your BAB reaches +11, you get a third attack with your off-hand weapon, albeit at a –10 penalty.

Normal: If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. When fighting in this way you suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand. If your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light. Without this feat, you can only get a single extra attack with an off-hand weapon.

Note - I left the scaling Dex requirement out, as it read cleaner - for balance purposes, that might need to stay in along with the BAB increases.

Yes. I feel this is pretty much exactly what the TWF feat should look like. All other TWF-related feats should add new behaviors to fighting with two weapons rather than "spend feats to keep it scaling."

Ideally every fighting style would be like Archery where while there are SOME taxes pretty much every feat lets you do something NEW with the style.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

AdrastusDarke wrote:
Mark Thomas 66 wrote:

Have you ever watched someone who had never used two weapons before try to do so truly effectively against a trained opponent. I have. For years. I'm among other things a sword teacher.

Inevitably no matter how skilled, the first time someone starts working with two weapons their effectiveness goes down. There's an adjustment period to adapting the way you move your body, getting used to making certain movements with your non-dominant hand, and stringing together attacks in a cohesive sequence.

If you've found different for yourself personally, you're rare exception (which in game would be categorized by a trait that reduces the TWF penalty) but I can tell you by observing and training countless students, it definitely takes a period of focused training to be as good with two weapons at once as you are with one.

I have both watched and sparred with beginners using two weapons at the same time as well as having been in that situation myself, every time using a second weapon has been more effective than using one.

Your experience intrigues me though, which martial art do you teach? I study HEMA (historical European martial arts for those of you who are unaware of it) focusing mostly on rapier but I dabble in other European swords. I wonder if the difference between our experiences comes down to the weapons used or the style that we fight in.

Adrastus

*Edit I have had another potential thought of what could be causing the disparity in our experiences. When the people you teach and observe start working with two weapons have they had extensive experience with only one weapon beforehand? If the person trying out the use of two weapons has alot experience of fighting with one beforehand then I would expect their effectiveness to go down because they are trained to fight one way and are then expected to fight in another way that they have no experience with, this would not be an indicator that fighting with two weapons is inherently much more difficult but rather...

Asian sword styles primarily. Jian, katana, dao. And yes usually teaching the use of two weapons comes after a certain level of proficiency with one. First learning the weapon and using it in tandem with your body, then more advanced techniques in practice, then using two weapons at once. After that open hand, opponent has a weapon and you don't. The better you know the weapon the better you understand how to deal with it.


Mark Thomas 66 wrote:
AdrastusDarke wrote:
Mark Thomas 66 wrote:

Have you ever watched someone who had never used two weapons before try to do so truly effectively against a trained opponent. I have. For years. I'm among other things a sword teacher.

Inevitably no matter how skilled, the first time someone starts working with two weapons their effectiveness goes down. There's an adjustment period to adapting the way you move your body, getting used to making certain movements with your non-dominant hand, and stringing together attacks in a cohesive sequence.

If you've found different for yourself personally, you're rare exception (which in game would be categorized by a trait that reduces the TWF penalty) but I can tell you by observing and training countless students, it definitely takes a period of focused training to be as good with two weapons at once as you are with one.

I have both watched and sparred with beginners using two weapons at the same time as well as having been in that situation myself, every time using a second weapon has been more effective than using one.

Your experience intrigues me though, which martial art do you teach? I study HEMA (historical European martial arts for those of you who are unaware of it) focusing mostly on rapier but I dabble in other European swords. I wonder if the difference between our experiences comes down to the weapons used or the style that we fight in.

Adrastus

*Edit I have had another potential thought of what could be causing the disparity in our experiences. When the people you teach and observe start working with two weapons have they had extensive experience with only one weapon beforehand? If the person trying out the use of two weapons has alot experience of fighting with one beforehand then I would expect their effectiveness to go down because they are trained to fight one way and are then expected to fight in another way that they have no experience with, this would not be an indicator that fighting with two weapons is inherently

...

Thanks for the reply, thats very interesting. I have not come across many practitioners of asian weapon based martial arts (although I have fought against katana users before on a couple of occasions) so I know relatively little about how those weapons are used, the katana seems to be used quite similarly to a longsword.

Adrastus

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

There's definitely a similarity but the curvature and edge of a katana is maximized in generating a slicing motion by drawing the blade in through the path of the cut.

Essentially you drag the length of the weapon through the point of impact.

The Jian, though technically a longsword would be more comparable to a rapier, focused very much on finesse and precision, piercing soft tissue and easily finding it's way between ribs and into nerve and artery clusters.


Mark Thomas 66 wrote:

Have you ever watched someone who had never used two weapons before try to do so truly effectively against a trained opponent. I have. For years. I'm among other things a sword teacher.

Inevitably no matter how skilled, the first time someone starts working with two weapons their effectiveness goes down. There's an adjustment period to adapting the way you move your body, getting used to making certain movements with your non-dominant hand, and stringing together attacks in a cohesive sequence.

If you've found different for yourself personally, you're rare exception (which in game would be categorized by a trait that reduces the TWF penalty) but I can tell you by observing and training countless students, it definitely takes a period of focused training to be as good with two weapons at once as you are with one.

But in PF you never actually get as good with two weapons as you are with one.

If I want to make a Barbarian who wields a War Axe in one hand and a War Hammer in the other I'm eating a -4 penalty on all attacks, even after taking all the TWF feats. Unless my PC is fighting a very low AC enemy I'm going to be better off dropping one of the weapons and wielding the other two handed.


Ninja in the Rye wrote:


But in PF you never actually get as good with two weapons as you are with one.

If I want to make a Barbarian who wields a War Axe in one hand and a War Hammer in the other I'm eating a -4 penalty on all attacks, even after taking all the TWF feats. Unless my PC is fighting a very low AC enemy I'm going to be better off dropping one of the weapons and wielding the other two handed.

What defines "as good as"? Assuming you mean with no penalty, two weapon fighting would net you two attacks, each with the same hit chance as a single attack of a non two weapon fighter. That reads to me as "superior" rather than "as good as". I expect "as good as" should mean equal projected damage per round (although only being as good as two handed fighting would be disappointing as the twfighter invested feats the two handed fighter did not.)


Ranishe wrote:
What defines "as good as"? Assuming you mean with no penalty, two weapon fighting would net you two attacks, each with the same hit chance as a single attack of a non two weapon fighter. That reads to me as "superior" rather than "as good as". I expect "as good as" should mean equal projected damage per round (although only being as good as two handed fighting would be disappointing as the twfighter invested feats the two handed fighter did not.)

Well I mean, when one of them requires four feats and the other requires one, as good as isn't actually as good as.


Ranishe wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:


But in PF you never actually get as good with two weapons as you are with one.

If I want to make a Barbarian who wields a War Axe in one hand and a War Hammer in the other I'm eating a -4 penalty on all attacks, even after taking all the TWF feats. Unless my PC is fighting a very low AC enemy I'm going to be better off dropping one of the weapons and wielding the other two handed.

What defines "as good as"? Assuming you mean with no penalty, two weapon fighting would net you two attacks, each with the same hit chance as a single attack of a non two weapon fighter. That reads to me as "superior" rather than "as good as". I expect "as good as" should mean equal projected damage per round (although only being as good as two handed fighting would be disappointing as the twfighter invested feats the two handed fighter did not.)

As good as would imply similar DPR against level appropriate AC/DR, I believe that TWF falls behind even with the feats (at least that's what I recall more math oriented people than myself saying), unless you're going against a low AC low/no hardness or DR enemy.

And, yes, if you're spending multiple feats on TWF as a fighting style Vs the other guy who picks up a longsword with two hands with no further investment than Power Attack, then you might expect TWF to actually become, uh, better at some point.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Thaine wrote:

I don't think there's a systematic issue of feats being written for things that would normally be allowed. We seem to keep bringing up the same handful of feats for this whenever this topic comes up.

But I do think there's a problem with how 90% of feats are sub-par or bad options.

Paizo needs to figure out how strong a feat should be, and what kind of options a feat should allow you to do that you couldn't before, because based on what they've published it really seems like they don't know and are just publishing feats for anything they can think of.

I mean look at this feat:

Bloody Vengeance:
If an opponent within line of sight has damaged you within the last minute, you may study that opponent as a standard action. Thereafter, if you hit that opponent with a melee attack, you deal 1 point of bleed damage to that creature in addition to the normal damage dealt by your attack.

Really? Paizo thinks this is how strong a feat should be?

Um, monkey lunge.


Ninja in the Rye wrote:

As good as would imply similar DPR against level appropriate AC/DR, I believe that TWF falls behind even with the feats (at least that's what I recall more math oriented people than myself saying), unless you're going against a low AC low/no hardness or DR enemy.

And, yes, if you're spending multiple feats on TWF as a fighting style Vs the other guy who picks up a longsword with two hands with no further investment than Power Attack, then you might expect TWF to actually become, uh, better at some point.

Well according to this thread two weapon fighting with kukris is just short of the damage a two handed fighter can pull with a falchion, with higher feat investment and lower effectiveness on standard action attacks. But I agree that two weapon fighting should be better. Scaling attack number naturally with iteratives, providing better standard action attacks (eg double slice changes to let you swing with both your main & offhand as a standard action), perhaps other options to get hit riders akin to sneak attack to give further benefit to multiple attacks so having to spec dex doesn't hurt as much, or rather has a way to compensate.


I hate the way 3.X and PF does feats, where there end up being a metric ton of them and 80% of them never see use. One of the few things I really like about 5E is their implementation of feats (not as an either/or with stat increases though, I would keep those independent of each other), where characters get fewer of them, but each one has multiple benefits and is much more versatile. If I could wave my hand and make it where PF used the 5E feat system, I would in a heartbeat.

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AdrastusDarke wrote:
Rysky wrote:
AdrastusDarke wrote:
Rysky wrote:
.... Eating with a knife and fork and fighting/defending yourself with two separate weapons are two very different things.

And they are both incredibly easy to do without specialised training.

Adrastus

I'm pretty sure anyone whose ever fought with two weapons at the same time will vastly disagree with you.

I don't think they will, I for example have fought with two weapons at the same time and noticed an immediate increase in my effectiveness as opposed to fighting with a single sword (I fence rapier) and I had no specialised training at the time in using two weapons at once.

Here is an interesting video on the subject

https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=1zqvwl6wv#/watch?v=4rewvqm4pdw

Fighting with two weapons is somewhat difficult but it is not a special skill that requires intense training to have even a chance of hitting your opponent, a completely untrained person will fare somewhat better given two swords than they would if only given one. If two-weapon fighting normally worked as if you had the two-weapon fighting feat and the two-weapon fighting feat improved it further then I would not have a problem with it, my problem is that without this feat picking up a second weapon which would give you a second line of attack and defense would immediately make you completely useless whereas it should make you more effective.

Adrastus

You are human and Two-Weapon Fighting is your bonus feat. You got natural talent. Congrats.


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Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
AdrastusDarke wrote:
Rysky wrote:
AdrastusDarke wrote:
Rysky wrote:
.... Eating with a knife and fork and fighting/defending yourself with two separate weapons are two very different things.

And they are both incredibly easy to do without specialised training.

Adrastus

I'm pretty sure anyone whose ever fought with two weapons at the same time will vastly disagree with you.

I don't think they will, I for example have fought with two weapons at the same time and noticed an immediate increase in my effectiveness as opposed to fighting with a single sword (I fence rapier) and I had no specialised training at the time in using two weapons at once.

Here is an interesting video on the subject

https://m.youtube.com/?reload=7&rdm=1zqvwl6wv#/watch?v=4rewvqm4pdw

Fighting with two weapons is somewhat difficult but it is not a special skill that requires intense training to have even a chance of hitting your opponent, a completely untrained person will fare somewhat better given two swords than they would if only given one. If two-weapon fighting normally worked as if you had the two-weapon fighting feat and the two-weapon fighting feat improved it further then I would not have a problem with it, my problem is that without this feat picking up a second weapon which would give you a second line of attack and defense would immediately make you completely useless whereas it should make you more effective.

Adrastus

You are human and Two-Weapon Fighting is your bonus feat. You got natural talent. Congrats.

And so is everyone I have ever trained with apparently, strange how we are all so gifted in the same thing among all of the other stuff that pathfinder makes you take feats for. With all the bonus feats we apparently have we must be pretty high level from a young age.

the idea of me being naturally talented in anything requiring coordination is pretty funny to me, multitasking has always been a weakness of mine and mild dyspraxia has made it so that anything requiring hand-eye coordination requires a huge effort on my part to be competent in and yet I can still gain a benefit from using a second weapon.

Adrastus

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I will say - TWF with rapier/dagger is almost nothing like Pathfinder TWF assumes. Using rapier/dagger is mostly about using their different reach at different times rather than even threatening with both at once like kung fu TWF is. (Which is I think more like what Pathfinder TWF is trying to simulate.)

Also of note - in fencing you don't have to deal with armor, which is the biggest portion of most ACs. I could see an argument (or at least a rationalization) that a lot of the accuracy penalty for TWF is that trying to swing with both gives you less precision/leverage to punch through armor.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:

I will say - TWF with rapier/dagger is almost nothing like Pathfinder TWF assumes. Using rapier/dagger is mostly about using their different reach at different times rather than even threatening with both at once like kung fu TWF is. (Which is I think more like what Pathfinder TWF is trying to simulate.)

Also of note - in fencing you don't have to deal with armor, which is the biggest portion of most ACs. I could see an argument (or at least a rationalization) that a lot of the accuracy penalty for TWF is that trying to swing with both gives you less precision/leverage to punch through armor.

I would agree with you that the historical use of dual wielding and the use in movies and fantasy are two very different things.

Even if you take armour into account a -4 main hand penalty and -8 off hand penalty is way too much and realistically you probably shouldn't be using a sword against heavy armour if you can help it, you ideally want a polearm or a blunt weapon for that or you want to wrestle them to the ground and stab in the gaps which is not something the game represents (and rightly so because in the fantasy that the game is tryingto portray these things are not commononly taken into account). I think the lessened penalty normally associated with the two weapon fighting feat should be the default assumption of the game.

Adrastus

P.S sometimes in fencing we actually do take armour into account, this isn't something we do in rapier fencing usually because the rapier was primarily used by civilians in unarmoured combat (although it did also see battle and was used to good effect) but when fencing with other weapons that were more likely to face an armoured opponent or when specifically training for armoured combat we do take it into account.

Sovereign Court

AdrastusDarke wrote:


Even if you take armour into account a -4 main hand penalty and -8 off hand penalty is way too much

I'd guess that they wanted you to hit/damage about the same TWF with no skill as you would one-handed.

Going by CR 1 monster chart (used for DPR calc) then they should average AC 12. If a martial has an 18 STR, at level 1 he'll have at least a +5 to hit, and probably more at least some of the time.

So with a mere +5 to hit, he would hit 70% of the time using a single weapon. When TWF (and no feat) he would hit an average of 80% of the time (including times he hits with both as two). With the off-hand doing less damage, that seems about right.


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(1) I'd advise not trying to bring in too much RL experience into a discussion of game mechanics. For example, I'm agile as hell, but I can't shoot worth a damn, and am not very good at the hatchet toss. Does that mean Pathfinder is WRONG for using Dex mod for ranged attacks? No. (Using Str for thrown weapons and Wis for projectiles, as I'm doing at home, is a fun experiment but has no bearing on how the game "should" work.) "Simple" and "well-balanced" should pretty much always trump "realistic" in the hierarchy of design goals for a published RPG.

(2) Always beware of your own subconscious fanboyism. I love TWF, which makes me want to err on the side of making it LESS good, not more so. There have been too many threads demanding a 2d6/15-20/x4 finesse katana for me to discount the role this plays, and why it's not good for game design.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
With the off-hand doing less damage, that seems about right.

Not really. If you land both hits with d6 weapons you're doing the same damage someone would manage if they land one hit with the great sword. The greatsword is much more accurate and much more mobile too. If you bump those up to longswords you manage slightly more damage featless if you can land both hits, but you're dramatically less reliable and less mobile still.

Not sure that's 'about right' personally.


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There are multiple feats that really, really need to be fixed.

For instance, Two Weapon Fighting being a chain.

Why. Just why. Make it one and done.

Or combat expertise tree-and in general, all of the various "you don't take attacks of opportunity while doing X" feats. They severely limit how and when people do anything actually interesting in combat, without a clear reason for them existing. Tons of monsters cheat and aren't subject to them, multiple classes cheat and aren't subject to them, why doesen't everyone with serious martial training cheat and not be subject to them? Why do you need eight feats to effectively utilize tripping, bull rushing, etc.?

Feat taxes were always a terrible idea, and this merely exaggerates it.

Power attack is also a problem. As is Weapon finesse. Required feats for most builds or useless.

In fact, I have problems with every single feat chain for martial fighting. Fighters get 20 feats! But, if they do anything more interesting than swing a sword, four or five of those are locked into making their fighting style work to begin with. It's fake, stupid, and exaggerates the disparity between martial classes and casters. Casters generally get interesting tricks online with every single feat, rather than enabling their casting at all.

Some of it is okay-I don't include most Archery feats there because they tend to be at least somewhat situational and might not be what you want for your archer-but a ton of them are strictly always useful and strictly always improvements.

If I was fixing it, here are the list of my changes.

Combat expertise acts as the "improved" version of every single combat maneuver, instead of it's (rarely if ever used) current capacity. No opp attacks for trying a Maneuver, that's what the feat represents in it's fundamental and immediate capacity. The greater versions are switched for the improved ones elsewhere.

Same story with the Power Attack dependent ones. There are specifics to work out, but this massively improves the validity of using maneuvers in combat and allows more improvisational fighting.

At level 1, most full martials or heavily attack dependent 3/4 ones gain a limited selections of free feats (a-la unchained Rogues), either Power attack, Point-Blank, Weapon finesse, or Two-Weapon fighting, depending on what the class is supposed to do. Many classes already get this, but this fills in the gap. It's in addition to everything else, and Fighters can choose between any of those.

Two-Weapon fighting gives you the iterative attacks as part of it at appropriate level.

If there aren't enough useful feats after that, then this is an issue with the creativity of content. But just looking around, there are tons of things fighters could do-intimidate builds, branching off into item creation, saves, things like Eldritch Heritage, any number of interesting feats that would be viable without oppressive feat taxes. At current, every single one of them is a trap if a feat tax feat is avaible at your level.

Compare Pathfinder to 5e. Play that. Come back. Tell me there isn't a problem with how Pathfinder does feats. I dare you. 5e is simplified, has less depth, etc., but DEX builds aren't inherently disadvantaged, feats are fun rather than tedious and it rarely feels like I'm forced to do something to make my character function. It does, in fact, still "tax" you in limited ways, but those ways are built into the the class instead of teasing you with all these wonderful feats you're not allowed to get.

The rest of the OP's complaints, regarding feats that make it appear that you can't do things which you thought you could, generally has to do with either the feat being actually worthless, or the feat being nearly worthless, or the feat doing something different. In his example, the parley feat is a "reliable" parley with creatures that aren't virtually compelled to fight, basically, as opposed to a simple DM call if they are open to diplomacy being used. It contains too many caveats, but it's at least supposed to work like that.


Mr.Lute wrote:
Power attack is also a problem. As is Weapon finesse. Required feats for most builds or useless.

I don't think Power Attack is a problem. As it exists it's a "required" feat, but that's because it's the only reliable way to increase damage feat wise to such an extent, granting more benefit than weapon specialization albeit with a cost. Through spells & situational modifiers, martials can have a high enough hit chance that the hit penalty doesn't have a significant impact, especially when compared with the damage gained. It's one of the few feats that scales, has a relatively inconsequential cost, and a large benefit. One could say power attack should be brought down, but I'm sure most would agree that other feats should be brought up to meet its standard.

Importantly, unlike weapon finesse, power attack isn't necessary to realize a concept. But if you want to play the quick and agile fighter or rogue, weapon finesse is necessary to make the build feasible, which is why I'd support having it (and agile maneuvers) an innate ability for everyone. Feats should be spent realizing your build, not getting it off the ground in the first place.


Would it be possible to simply ignore some of the pre-requisite requirement for feats? I'm talking about just the feat pre-requisites, not: ability, BAB or level requirements. For example if you want Spring Attack you just take it, you don't need Dodge or Mobility. Also allow retraining of feats when increasing in level to allow Improved Two Weapon Fighting to replace Two Weapon Fighting when BAB gets to +6. Would that break the game?


I think a lot of contention around feats can be solved with some bravery around simply not picking the "core must haves." For example, play a wizard that takes all arcane discoveries. Mind you, I too hate the feat bloat, but there's some fairly interesting builds out there when you don't pin your character on power attack or TWF.


Buri Reborn (emphasis added) wrote:
I think a lot of contention around feats can be solved with some bravery around simply not picking the "core must haves." For example, play a wizard that takes all arcane discoveries. Mind you, I too hate the feat bloat, but there's some fairly interesting builds out there when you don't pin your character on power attack or TWF.

This is the problem. If you play a wizard you get interesting feats, though I'm pretty sure what you describe is illegal. Arcane Discoveries aren't feats with wizard level prerequisites, they're pseudo-feat class abilities that can be taken in place of a wizard bonus feat and only a wizard bonus feat.

Casters don't need specific feats and most caster feats are good. You could take fleet every time and your wizard would still be a wizard and if you actually printed a list of caster feats and threw darts at it you'd probably only get one or two you'd actually regret.

You can't take just any feat and do well if you're a martial.


From UM

Quote:
A wizard can learn an arcane discovery in place of a regular feat or wizard bonus feat.

And, granted I'm sourcing the following from the Archives of Nethys site, the following are the categories of feats available:


  • General
  • Achievement
  • Betrayal
  • Combat
  • Critical
  • Damnation
  • Faction
  • Familiar
  • Grit
  • Hero Point
  • Item Creation
  • Item Mastery
  • Meditation
  • Metamagic
  • Mythic
  • Panache
  • Performance
  • Stare
  • Story
  • Style
  • Targeting
  • Teamwork
  • Weapon Mastery

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy you have to stick with a few "needed" feats to make an interesting build, martial or not.


Buri Reborn wrote:

From UM

Quote:
A wizard can learn an arcane discovery in place of a regular feat or wizard bonus feat.

And, granted I'm sourcing the following from the Archives of Nethys site, the following are the categories of feats available:

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy you have to stick with a few "needed" feats to make an interesting build, martial or not.

pfsrd has the same statement, but as a tiny (REALLY tiny) footnote of the arcane discoveries listed on the wizard's page.

Also, interesting martial build? Sure. Effective? Less so. I mean I could play a fighter, taking skill focus in every skill for my general feats and using my combat feats to fill out combat rolls. I'm still (probably) worse off than had I played a rogue, investigator, slayer or especially ranger at being a skill monkey combatant. Which is the issue. In a game like pathfinder, while it's all well and good to say "just play the character,"...well it's really hard to play the suave yet athletic combatant when the class given to you doesn't have the mechanical ability to back that up.

Everything is balanced vs everything else. So, your fighter may be suave compared to the commoners he's surrounded by (or some at least), but compared to the rogues, the slayers, the inquisitors, the rangers, he falls behind. And when that happens, your character mechanically simply doesn't live up to the story he's meant to be. And if you're sacrificing combat prowess for all these interesting things, you're no longer as much of the mighty knight that the character may be.


Quote:
pfsrd has the same statement, but as a tiny (REALLY tiny) footnote of the arcane discoveries listed on the wizard's page.

The size of the text is wholly irrelevant. It is simply how arcane discoveries work.

I made a chart (oooh, I know...) that took the average monster stats by CR and had relative numbers for PC stats that would save, hit, block, etc. half the time. Sticking to that general line is fine for rough measures of effectiveness, and it's pretty easy to do. Where I find this forum's definition of effectiveness is to get that as close to 95% or 100% as possible. That requires trade off and is where I think a large amount of the unhappiness comes from, that people can't have their ideal "fluff" feats, as it were, and the raw mechanic feats that let them stay at that 95+ measure at the same time.

Sovereign Court

swoosh wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
With the off-hand doing less damage, that seems about right.

Not really. If you land both hits with d6 weapons you're doing the same damage someone would manage if they land one hit with the great sword. The greatsword is much more accurate and much more mobile too. If you bump those up to longswords you manage slightly more damage featless if you can land both hits, but you're dramatically less reliable and less mobile still.

Not sure that's 'about right' personally.

Thanks for not actually reading my whole post before commenting on it. /sarcasm

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
I'd guess that they wanted you to hit/damage about the same TWF with no skill as you would one-handed.

Use that as my baseline. I never claimed that TWF without the feat would in any way be comparable to using a two-handed weapon. That would be dumb if it was.

Liberty's Edge

swoosh wrote:

I always find it a bit odd in threads like this that I always see posters say something like "Oh you obviously hate rules, so here you should play X system because it basically doesn't have any rules at all!"

As if to somehow imply there's no middle ground between Pathfinder's gratuitous list of feats that waffle between mandatory, useless or conceptually restrictive as the OP complains about and playing a system where half the rules are "IDK just make it up".

If this was about my recommendation for Dungeon World, I can only honestly say that it was a recommendation in good faith. It is a system that I have GM'd, and I thought it was very fun.

It is also very definitely the sort of system where you could say, "I want to strike with more power, but make my accuracy suffer a little," and a typical DW GM wouldn't bat an eye and would let you do it. The system focuses on both the GM and the players building a world, and everyone gets input on things (not just the GM.)

I have to admit that I like the more rules heavy systems, but I have very often played with people for whom Dungeon World would be a dream game. They just want to socialize, and imagine that they are heroes, and not sweat the details.


Figure out somekind of a point system for feats so you can get buttload of crap ones instead of one good one.


Envall wrote:
Figure out some kind of a point system for feats so you can get buttload of crap ones instead of one good one.

That was exactly the (unfortunate) idea behind feat chains.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Envall wrote:
Figure out some kind of a point system for feats so you can get buttload of crap ones instead of one good one.
That was exactly the (unfortunate) idea behind feat chains.

Nah, the idea of feat chains is progression.

I am talking about actually crap feats.
Stuff like "use spear as a quarterstaff" kind of feats some books are full of.


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You missed Kirth's point.

The theory is that the really good feats are behind feat chains [or other similarly challenging prerequisites] whilst the crap feats are all roughly equal and accessible.

Unfortunately it's nowhere near accurate.


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and i'm pretty sure Envall was suggesting purchasing feats with some kind of point system tied to their actual value rather than all feats being worth "one feat". that way you get the same value for each "feat slot" (now worth so many feat points instead) regardless of whether you take one good feat or a bunch of crappy ones with the points you get every other level (or whenever you'd get them).

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