My wife wants to play a Bloodrager in our upcoming campaign. She asked me to run some numbers and compare damage options. She is deciding between sticking with natural weapons and using a two-handed weapon.
This chart shows the 8th level options trying to compare a Bloodrager (arcane) to a Bloodrager (draconic)/Dragon Disciple.
For the Arcane Bloodrager, I've included a +2 Greatsword and strength bonuses for 4th and 8th level and magic item, as well as Haste Bloodrage.
The Draconic Bloodrager includes Amulet of Mighty Fists and strength enhancements for level, magic items, and Dragon Disciple, as well as the Improved Natural Attack feat.
All of the attack options are with and without Power Attack. The options I have listed are:
Pure Natural Attack (Claw/Claw/Bite)
Bastard Sword (Sword/Sword/Claw/Bite)
Bastard Sword two-handed (Sword/Sword/Bite)
I attempted to find the average damage for each weapon type. I then found the average chance of hitting each AC from 1-25. I assumed a 20 always hits and a 1 always misses. Then I multiplied the two together. I think that finds the average damage per round for each weapon type vs AC 1-25.
If anybody has any suggestions, comments, or concerns I would love to hear them. If I made some glaring mistake or assumption I didn't realize.
If I've got it correct, then two-handed is really the best option.
Edit: Though maybe this works better somewhere else. Advice?
Strength 30 for the Dragon Disciple (Starting 18+4(rage)+2(DD)+2(Level)+2(enhancement)+2(enlarge person).
The greatsword is without the +2 for DD.
Though, now that I type that, I realize that the bite did not include the size increase for the damage die.
In regards to the AoMF, yes it is the same as the greatsword. For the attack options that include the bastard sword though, both the sword and the AoMF are only +1.
so lv8 looking at average DPR against a CR8 enemy.
hasted greatsword DPR = 71
Natural attacks With Rageshaper archetype to claws DRP = 66
Natural attacks DPR = 59
Natural attacks With Rageshaper archetype to claws with Haste DRP = 89
Natural attacks DPR = 81
The moral of the story is haste is strong.
but if your bloodrager gets another natural attack or two then it just skyrockets.
Well, the simplest answer: probably, you would have a much better time just 2 handing. It is the simplest style and highly effective. But going pure natural attack is fine too. Both work well on str builds, and blood ragers make fine str builds.
I don't think blood rager is a good class to go with a mix of natural attacks and manufactured weapons. Those tend to go better on classes with things like sneak attack, which get massive bonuses from just getting another hit in. The mixed style does not work well with str builds, since all the natural attacks only get 1/2 str/power attack damage (...those are your main damage boosters). Now, if you were going with an unchained barbarian, this would be different (since they don't get str bonuses, but bonuses to every hit).
Also, even when you have the right build to make the mixed style ok, it still hurts due to the nature of equipment. To upgrade both paths, you have to pay THREE TIMES as much as just a guy with a 2 handed sword. You have to not only buy a magic sword, but the amulet of mighty fists. Overall, a huge drain on your wallet.
Depends. The benefit to any martial is getting to a Pounce mechanic... otherwise you are going to be seeing a lot more of a difference on single attack rounds, where the greatsword is going to be better off with the extra dice and the higher power attack ratio.
Want a crazy build?
Ragebred Skinwalker, take the feat that gives you extra beast traits for 2 hooves and a gore that are primary all day long, or secondary used with that same greatsword until level 4 when you get beast claws...
Rageshaper/Primalist Bloodrager with the Arcane Bloodline... give up 4th and 12th level bloodline abilities for Beast Totem Line and one other rage power (that can be taken by a 4th level barbarian)
Now... 5 primary natural attacks, anytime you are bloodraging.
You have Power Attack, the Extra traits Racial feat, Arcane Strike and Blooded Arcane Strike, and either Disruptive(if you fight lots of casters) or any other feat (if you wait til 6 to get Power attack with your bloodline feat).
At level 8, +8BAB, +8 Str(18 base, 2 level, 2 item, 4 rage).
So... +16/16/16/16/16 doing d6/d6/d6/d4/d4 +18. With Power Attack, +13 x 5, doing +22 damage each.
You lose 2 Str, but get 2 more attacks, and pounce at level 12(without a spell).
Thank you for the input. I'd like to keep the discussion to the chart if possible though. I'll add in the rageshaper, which helps any of the natural attack builds. I included the bastard sword just to see what happens. I though that it might be useful to take advantage of iterative attacks and against a foe with DR or situations in which higher single damage is more useful than volume of attacks.
Updated Graph Here's an updated chart. This is the original excel sheet, so you can see where the data comes from.
If I've created the chart correctly, then I have three observations:
1) At ACs less than 13, the bastard sword combined with natural attacks does more damage.
2) At ACs higher than 25, the purely natural attacks without power attack does the most.
3)Between 13 and 25, hasted greatsword with power attack does the most.
For the ACs after 13 though, pure natural attack and greatsword are within 2 points of damage and therefore the hasted greatsword is not that clear of a winner.
This does not account for situations in which you are unable to get a full attack. Because of improved natural attack and rageshaper, I'm not sure that a greatsword even wins in those cases. It looks like the extra strength on the bite is enough to even the playing field there too.
Well, the greatsword is a winner when you consider it costs 1/3 as much. Which could give you an extra +1 or +2 enhancement, or maybe some defensive items.
Also, don't forget to account for damage reduction. A mixed style is going to be TERRBILE against that. Even a dedicated natural attacker has the advantage, since it can buy a +3 amulet way faster (which allows it to deal with silver/cold iron).
Meanwhile, you could just have spare, cheap swords made of cold iron and silver just...laying around. Even when faced with DR, a 2 handed power attack is better, since it is more damage per hit to punch right on through.