Two-handed Or High damage melee Dexterity builds?


Advice


Two-handed weapons have raw strength that seems essential early in the game. Its easy to one-shot early enemies rather than trade blows. Other fighting styles exist in two-weapon and Shield+One-handed weapons but those have handicaps in damage and/or hit chance.

An Alternative, especially for caster classes is to stick to one-handed weapons. Weapon Finesse allows dexterity to be used instead of strength for hit rolls, but not damage. There are a few class features that allow the damage to also count, but not picking a two-handed weapon does far lower damage. Raising critical chance is one thing, but unless every hit is a critical Its unreliable gambling.

So is there a way to either use a powerful Two-handed weapon with Weapon Finesses or rack up a one-handed weapon it terms of damage?

Scarab Sages

Unchained rogue can get 1.5 Dex with a two handed weapon at third level.

The vigilante talent lethal grace: use strength to damage with finesse weapons but also half level to damage.


Swashbuckler can get dex-to-damage and +level in precision damage.

Magus can dex-to-damage + spellstrike


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

3-4 levels unchained rogue, exotic weapon proficiency estoc or elven branched spear, then unchained barbarian.


3 lvls of Unchained Rogue, rest into Slayer or Ranger with Two-handed weapon combat style for Power Attack. Add to that favored enemy or studied target....


Why do you specifically want to do a dex based build over a strength based build?

Unchained rogue can wield a elven branched spear or an estoc to get two-handed weapon with dex to damage, but still suffers the general problems of being a rogue.

There are other classes that can do dex based but don't get dex to damage, but get bonus damage. Fighters (or any class with weapon training) can get Trained Grace Advanced Weapon Training which doubles weapon training bonus to damage, Vigilante talent can add your level to damage.

It's also worth noting that the damage dice part of a weapon really isn't very important. It's the 1.5 strength and the enhance power attack damage with two-handed weapons that really make the difference. And those things don't work out with dex to damage (you can't take power attack without 13 strength, and only unchained rogue will get 1.5 dex).


Hayato Ken wrote:
3-4 levels unchained rogue, exotic weapon proficiency estoc or elven branched spear, then unchained barbarian.

Why no urban barbarian for more dex-pumping?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Swashbuckler gets from +1 (5th level) to +4 (17th level) to damage plus Improved Critical. They can also qualify for Weapon Specialization since starting at 4th level their Swashbuckler levels count as Fighter levels. They also can look at the Slashing Grace or Fencing Grace feats for Dex to damage.


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Claxon wrote:

Why do you specifically want to do a dex based build over a strength based build?

Clearly because DEX brings initiative, reflex saves, and dodge bonuses...Makes perfect sense


Deyvantius wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Why do you specifically want to do a dex based build over a strength based build?

Clearly because DEX brings initiative, reflex saves, and dodge bonuses...Makes perfect sense

And that's why methods to get dex to damage are generally sub-par compared to just going strength based. This is intentional since dex does so much more for a character than strength does.


Deyvantius wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Why do you specifically want to do a dex based build over a strength based build?

Clearly because DEX brings initiative, reflex saves, and dodge bonuses...Makes perfect sense
  • Because I enjoy the image of a lightly armored, mobile fighter.
  • Because I enjoy using acrobatics to increase my battlefield mobility, instead of just standing in one spot.
  • Because most of my favorite classes/archetypes cannot wear medium/heavy armor.
  • Because I find the concept of the heavily armored juggernaut with a massive sword to be less than enjoyable.

Yes, there are mechanical advantages to dexterity, but you pay a price in feats to gain those advantages. It's a trade off in opportunity cost that is well balanced, mechanically while allowing people to play a character that fits their chosen style of play.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sumutherguy wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:
3-4 levels unchained rogue, exotic weapon proficiency estoc or elven branched spear, then unchained barbarian.
Why no urban barbarian for more dex-pumping?

Works as well, but i think UC barbarian is generally better to mix with uc rogue.


Strength is important a default statistic, but it doesnt work on some classes, weapon setups, or feat builds. Any class that doesnt use heavy armor will have more use out of dexterity.

For example in another open thread there is an almost opposite thread about making a Magus with Two-handed weapons viable. a Fighter with full plate armor is going to survive longer than a Magus with a Chain Shirt using the same build.

1 Dervish Dance takes only 2 feats. I didnt know how to make a Bard or Magus before I found it.

2 Fencing Grace take longer to work because you have to take Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus beforehand. It does allow you to pickup the signature Rapier earlier as the rapier works with Weapon Finesse at level 1, just no damage boost then.

3 Slashing Grace is a three feat chain, and can work on any one handed slashing weapon. That could be potentially useful if you wanted to use a Cutlass instead of a Rapier.

All three are specialized to use a single one-handed weapon. Unchained rogue has a major advantage in that it can duel wield with Finesse Training at level 3.

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Get an Elven Curved Blade, and 14 Strength. You can still Power Attack with the 1.5x bonus for going two-handed, and you probably won't miss the few points of damage you're losing compared to a high-Strength fighter.


Elven Curved Blade only works for a Unchained rogue. For anyone other Dexterity build its specific one-handed weapons. And For a strength build a Nodachi is better and doesnt require an exotic weapon proficiency.

Liberty's Edge

I admit, I've not yet been able to play Magus at higher levels but it really did seem that Strength vs Dexterity was entirely a playstyle choice. Strength provided higher, steadier and more consistent damage at low levels (gotta love the option to two-hand scimitars), at the cost of sacrificing spells/spell combat for defence if necessary.

Dexterity builds had stabler defences but are more reliant on spells for damage. Both even out at higher levels as armour proficiency turns on and spell slots become abundant.

-

Honestly though, this just seems like the general trend in the two stats though. The big outlier that messes the formula up is going to be Power Attack. As RainyDayNinja suggests though, 14 strength and power attack is a healthy option as long as you can budget some ability score.

It's easy to get trapped into trying to get everything and say, attempt to have 14 con, the damage of a 2-hander and not sacrifice skill points/spellcasting/will saves. Dex-to-damage will not do that (agile enchant certainly helps, though).

It's worth noting that pretty much all the classes that care about going for Dexterity have mechanics to offset it, though. Most of them are short-term or temporary measures, which seems like a reasonable balance factor. The exceptions that come to mind are Trained Grace and Lethal Grace, which require keeping strength to damage anyway, and Precise Strike which doesn't do enough without Power Attack helping it anyway.

I don't know, I don't think a 100% dex-based build should really do the same degree of damage as big stupid fighter without being a class built around doing exactly that (read: Slayer).

Notably, the Slayer and U-Rogue are also the only dex-dependant classes that don't have class features to further augment their defenses. This seems entirely ententional.

Should the barrier to doing any damage at all with pure Dex combatant be lowered? That is a question I am more interested in exploring.


Fundamentally tying weapon SKILL entirely to STRENGTH rather than anything else such as the ability to learn(INTELLIGENCE) or physical flexibility(dexterity) was a mistake.

That it has to be corrected by special Feats after so many years just shows how people dont want to change the Status Quo.

Now damage on the other hand is more fair. a two-handed sword almost as tall as the person using it is going to do alot more damage than being pierced by a thin blade.

Its personal preference to do more damage. Its because the alternative, criticals, are very unreliable by comparison. If the system of critical confirmation didnt exist it would be more balanced. Right now even the BEST critical chance has around a 15% chance of getting a critical each attack.

Put a d6 scimitar vs a 2d6+strength+two-hander bonus. even if you did get a critical, it wouldnt matter. Adding dexterity to damage makes it more fair, but still critical dependent. Considering the classes who would take it are more jack-of-all-trades classes it balances out.

the reason to use a dexterity build? because you have to with classes like a Magus, Bard, or Unchained Rogue.

Liberty's Edge

ChaosTicket wrote:
Elven Curved Blade only works for a Unchained rogue. For anyone other Dexterity build its specific one-handed weapons.

Not with the Agile weapon property. Or a Vigilante's Lethal Grace.

ChaosTicket wrote:
the reason to use a dexterity build? because you have to with classes like a Magus, Bard, or Unchained Rogue.

Huh? Str Bards and Magi are entirely viable. Even an Unchained Rogue can be made Str-based (though that wastes some Class Features).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have to agree with Deadmanwalking here, a Strength based Magus or Bard can be very effective.

Unless you want one of the archetypes for something special, a slayer probably works better as a Strength based Rogue than an Unchained Rogue.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Huh? Str Bards and Magi are entirely viable. Even an Unchained Rogue can be made Str-based (though that wastes some Class Features).

People say that, but I havent seen any. Light armor Vs Heavy armor disagrees heavily. I dont know what some people consider "viable". Ive seen builds with massive AC but low damage, and "glass hammers" with Low AC but high damage and others, but no strength builds for "light" classes.

That is a playstyle choice. Strength doesnt effect Armor Class, initiative, or most skills. Dexterity effects alot more outside raw damage and carrying capacity.

Ive seen strength builds, but none that avert being slow, easily hassled if not killed by common obstacles like climbing or swimming.

Thats no even going into how important Initiative is.

Sovereign Court

You don't have to wear heavy armor if you choose to have a high strength though. Unless I have a way to mitigate the move speed penalty, mithral medium armor is the heaviest armor my characters take, regardless of strength.

To answer your original question of:
"So is there a way to either use a powerful Two-handed weapon with Weapon Finesses or rack up a one-handed weapon it terms of damage?"

Yes, as has been said above, going rogue twohanded is easy enough. To increase onehanded weapons, look at classes like the inquisitor. Bane and judgement can really help you out in terms of damage. Sneak attack is a good (but unreliable) damage boost. Picking a weapon with a high crit chance is good for this too. Not reliable, but that doesn't mean it can't help you out. When you start making full attacks, the opportunity to crit goes up and becomes a little more reliable.

Liberty's Edge

ChaosTicket wrote:
People say that, but I havent seen any. Light armor Vs Heavy armor disagrees heavily. I dont know what some people consider "viable". Ive seen builds with massive AC but low damage, and "glass hammers" with Low AC but high damage and others, but no strength builds for "light" classes.

Strength Magi are definitely a thing, getting Heavy Armor eventually and making do with Shield to jack up AC until then. Str Bards can get heavy armor too, and even without that Mithral Breastplates are available eventually. Their AC suffers a bit, but the Feats saved are significant.

This isn't to say Dex-based options aren't good for Bards and Magi, they are, but they aren't required, and Str-based options are good and viable as well.

ChaosTicket wrote:
That is a playstyle choice. Strength doesnt effect Armor Class, initiative, or most skills. Dexterity effects alot more outside raw damage and carrying capacity.

True. But getting it to be effective offensively tends to be at least 2-3 Feats as compared to the one needed for a Str Build (Power Attack, which that 2-3 doesn't even count the equivalent of)...which can also jack damage up quite a bit with a two-handed weapon.

There are Class-specific options that make this easier, but not for Magi or Bards, and an equipment based option, but not until mid-levels at least.

ChaosTicket wrote:
Ive seen strength builds, but none that avert being slow, easily hassled if not killed by common obstacles like climbing or swimming.

IME, the higher Str score builds tend towards about the same bonuses on Climb and Swim as the low Str one. A Str 18 and a -5 ACP equals -1...the exact same as a Str 8 character with no ACP.

ChaosTicket wrote:
Thats no even going into how important Initiative is.

Eh. IME, it's mostly only really necessary for people who are really weak on flat-footed AC (unlike people in heavier armor) and offensive spellcasters who use area-effect spells.

And even if it is needed, grabbing Improved Initiative is easily doable with the saved Feats from going Str-based.


Dex to AC is a lie unless you're a monk or otherwise unable to wear armor. The AC+max dex bonus is higher on heavier armor with lower max dex bonus. Dex only really boosts initiative and reflex and reflex is the least important save. Strength dictates carrying capacity.

Some people houserule away carrying capacity, but for those who don't strength matters. And even those who do get shirty if you try to stuff your unconscious teammate in a handy haversack.


Deyvantius wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Why do you specifically want to do a dex based build over a strength based build?

Clearly because DEX brings initiative, reflex saves, and dodge bonuses...Makes perfect sense

Plus it has several useful skills, while strength has none.


No matter if you use strength or dexterity, to achieve the highest levels of DPR requires getting extra attacks. On most non-caster builds I work on, I try to work in monk (for flurry of blows) or brawler for brawler's flurry.

Adding a single level of unchained monk to any build allows you get one extra full BAB attack. This extra attack is invariably going to be better on strength builds.

Adding two levels of brawler opens up brawler's flurry and stacking on improved two weapon fighting and greater two weapon fighting all while attacking with one weapon. This does require you to use a close weapon or monk weapon, but there are some decent choices. Again, weapon choices favors strength builds.

I worked out a fighter 10/brawler 2 build that has 6 attacks with a 9 ring broadsword that can be enchanted with warrior spirit to +5 bane.

Liberty's Edge

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Atarlost wrote:
Dex to AC is a lie unless you're a monk or otherwise unable to wear armor. The AC+max dex bonus is higher on heavier armor with lower max dex bonus.

This isn't really true. Celestial Armor (which is Light) has a Max Dex + Armor total AC of +14 (not counting Enhancement), which is two points higher than the Max Dex + Armor of Mithral Plate of +12. That ignores the +15 of Celestial Plate, of course (since that's technically a 3.5 item). But either way, up to Dex 22 provides a meaningful AC boost (up to Dex 26 with Celstial Chain).

And to get the most out of even Mithral Plate, you need Dex 16. So eventually more Dex stops giving most people AC, but that's a pretty long ways off, really. The guy with Dex 12 is getting out-ACed by something like 4 points by the Dex 26 guy at 12th level or so.

Atarlost wrote:
Dex only really boosts initiative and reflex and reflex is the least important save. Strength dictates carrying capacity.

Carrying Capacity is really easy to compensate for in most circumstances by the time you get a little over 3000 GP together (ie: really early). You need 20 lbs of light load or so (10 for Mithral Chain Shirt, 5 for Handy Haversack, 5 for weapon) and you're likely workable. That's doable with a Str of 7. Small races actually only need a 6, since armor and weapons weigh less for them (they could get by with 5 if their weapon is light enough).

Eventually you'll need more like 30 lbs (for that Celestial Armor at 20 lbs), but by that point, you can add to it in various ways (Ant Haul being the obvious solution...a Pearl of Power for it is 1k, a custom Item adding Muleback Cords to your Cloak is 1.5k...both easily within your price range if spending 22k on armor).

Atarlost wrote:
Some people houserule away carrying capacity, but for those who don't strength matters. And even those who do get shirty if you try to stuff your unconscious teammate in a handy haversack.

Having to carry unconscious party members is one of the few times carrying capacity matters, it's true. But that's what having high Str party members and/or Potions of Ant Haul are for.

No, the real advantages of Str are damage (which it just does better), and economy. Str is way cheaper to use in terms of Feat and Item investment than Dex is, and thus frees up your Feats for other things. The downsides in Reflex, Initiative, and AC are real, it's just that the upsides really do make up for them in many cases.


This has gone too much into Strength Vs Dex argument. People have their own opinions, but still gloss over things to support their opinion.

But that isnot important to the overall topic. Some classes just dont work as with strength. Usually because of armor available or restrictions can only use one-handed and/or light weapons.

So I have a Magus and am planning to start with Weapon Finesse and move to Dervish Dance. If there a strength build that gave 18 AC, +4 Initiative, and no move or Armor Penalty at level 1 maybe.

Ill just have to accept low damage for several levels.

I dont know about a Bard as they dont have default proficienct with scimiars outside an Archetype, so that is 3 feats for Fencing Grace

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ChaosTicket wrote:
Elven Curved Blade only works for a Unchained rogue. For anyone other Dexterity build its specific one-handed weapons.

But with 14 Strength, you don't even need Dex-to-damage. My wife plays a fighter with an ECB like that, and still does amazing amounts of damage, even when not getting crits.

For a magus, sure, you need a one-handed weapon for spell combat. But for a bard, a two-handed weapon works fine. And a tengu or half-elf can get proficiency without spending any feats.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Dex to AC is a lie unless you're a monk or otherwise unable to wear armor. The AC+max dex bonus is higher on heavier armor with lower max dex bonus.

This isn't really true. Celestial Armor (which is Light) has a Max Dex + Armor total AC of +14 (not counting Enhancement), which is two points higher than the Max Dex + Armor of Mithral Plate of +12. That ignores the +15 of Celestial Plate, of course (since that's technically a 3.5 item). But either way, up to Dex 22 provides a meaningful AC boost (up to Dex 26 with Celstial Chain).

And to get the most out of even Mithral Plate, you need Dex 16. So eventually more Dex stops giving most people AC, but that's a pretty long ways off, really. The guy with Dex 12 is getting out-ACed by something like 4 points by the Dex 26 guy at 12th level or so.

Mithral Plate + Dex tops out at +20 for a fighter, with a 22 dexterity, without taking extra feats.

For the same character, Celestrial Armor + Dex tops out at a +21 ac, but would require a 34 dexterity to realize that cap.

I have a strength based fighter (sword & board, twf) that went the first route


ChaosTicket wrote:

This has gone too much into Strength Vs Dex argument. People have their own opinions, but still gloss over things to support their opinion.

But that isnot important to the overall topic. Some classes just dont work as with strength. Usually because of armor available or restrictions can only use one-handed and/or light weapons.

So I have a Magus and am planning to start with Weapon Finesse and move to Dervish Dance. If there a strength build that gave 18 AC, +4 Initiative, and no move or Armor Penalty at level 1 maybe.

Ill just have to accept low damage for several levels.

I dont know about a Bard as they dont have default proficienct with scimiars outside an Archetype, so that is 3 feats for Fencing Grace

So I feel this is a little unfair. The str needs to have it all at lv1, but the dex version gets to wait till level 3 when it can pick up dervish dance.

so here you go. take improved init, now that covers you +4 initiative, swap it for either weapon finesse or DD. Sometime in lv3 you can afford mithral kikko and take the dodge feat. Stats like 16+2/14/14/14/9/7 or 16+2/14/12/14/12/7 that's getting you 18 AC and +4 initiative and damage from lv1. but this build has AC 16 if you just go chainshirt with that 14 dex.

I feel going STR works with all classes if their intent is to hit stuff. Dex based is the one I see that can only work for a few classes.


I will add my input that Unchained Rogue definitely is your best option for two-handed finesse builds, or at least a 3 level dip to get your Dex to damage option. If you are only interested in a dip into Unc Rogue, then I would suggest maybe even doing 4 levels to get Debilitating Injury for some very nice debuffs.

After that start taking levels in Slayer and use one of your talents to pick up a Ranger Combat Style (Two-handed) to pick up Power Attack. That way you don't even have to put any points into Strength that you don't want.


johnlocke90 wrote:
Deyvantius wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Why do you specifically want to do a dex based build over a strength based build?

Clearly because DEX brings initiative, reflex saves, and dodge bonuses...Makes perfect sense
Plus it has several useful skills, while strength has none.

Strength has swim, climb and intimidate. I wouldn't call those useless. True you need the feat Intimidating Prowess to add Str but it adds Str on top of you Chr bonus so worth it for intimidate build.

Dex has acrobatics, disable device, escape artist, fly, ride, sleight of hand, and stealth. Most of the skills you'll never use. So par that down to acrobatics, ride, and stealth. That's about the same as Str skills except if you invest(feats and magic items) a lot in acrobatic and stealth you get more than than swim and climb give you. That's really the only edge is skills that Dex has.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ChaosTicket wrote:

But that isnot important to the overall topic. Some classes just dont work as with strength. Usually because of armor available or restrictions can only use one-handed and/or light weapons.

So I have a Magus and am planning to start with Weapon Finesse and move to Dervish Dance. If there a strength build that gave 18 AC, +4 Initiative, and no move or Armor Penalty at level 1 maybe.

I'm going to assume you want the normal AC at 18 or better, flat-footed doesn't matter.

AC 19, Init +6 on starting funds of 150 gp:
Hermie
Human (Shoanti) magus 1 (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic 9)
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +6; Senses Perception +0
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+3 armor, +2 Dex, +4 shield)
hp 11 (1d8+3)
Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +2
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee cold iron dagger +3 (1d4+3/19-20) or
. . scimitar +3 (1d6+3/18-20) or
. . silver light mace +3 (1d6+3)
Special Attacks arcane pool (+1, 4 points), spell combat
Magus Spells Prepared (CL 1st; concentration +4)
. . 1st—shield (2)
. . 0 (at will)—arcane mark, dancing lights, detect magic
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB +3; CMD 15
Feats Improved Initiative
Traits affable, captain's blade
Skills Acrobatics +1 (+2 while on a vessel afloat on water), Climb +2 (+3 while on a vessel afloat on water), Diplomacy +0 (+2 to gather information.), Knowledge (arcana) +7, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +7, Knowledge (planes) +7, Profession (scribe) +4, Spellcraft +7
Languages Common, Shoanti, Varisian
Other Gear studded leather, cold iron dagger, scimitar, silver light mace, magus starting spellbook, 81 gp
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Arcane Pool +1 (4/day) (Su) Infuse own power into a held weapon, granting enhancement bonus or selected item powers.
Spell Combat (Ex) Use a weapon with one hand at -2 and cast a spell with the other.

By second level, the AC would go up one and the ACP would go to zero.


I dont see how you have +4 shield save without a shield. Is the Tower Shield invisible?

This thread is a runaway train like most Ive made. I just wanted to know if there was a way to combine Weapon Finesse with two-handed weapons like a Greatsword, Noadachi, or Lucerne Hammer.


ChaosTicket wrote:

I dont see how you have +4 shield save without a shield. Is the Tower Shield invisible?

This thread is a runaway train like most Ive made. I just wanted to know if there was a way to combine Weapon Finesse with two-handed weapons like a Greatsword, Noadachi, or Lucerne Hammer.

Shield spell.


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it's the shield spell. You're a magus so you can basically quick cast it when a fight starts to have the AC there.

you've received your answer, in like the first 4 posts.
if you're wanting 1.5 dex then it's only the rogue.
if you just want a two-handed there's the Elven curved blade, any class can gain this with a feat.
a fighter with AWT can as well 5+, but that is just finessing, nothing that exciting.

But the reason for the "derail" is because we asked you why you're asking this, what are you hoping to gain and then you answered that. If you don't want a thread to derail don't respond to derailing posts, and re-post your question if you still feel you don't have an answer. But whenever you post something like "a bard has to go dex based" you're going to get a lot of people posting to "correct" you.


RainyDayNinja wrote:
ChaosTicket wrote:
Elven Curved Blade only works for a Unchained rogue. For anyone other Dexterity build its specific one-handed weapons.

But with 14 Strength, you don't even need Dex-to-damage. My wife plays a fighter with an ECB like that, and still does amazing amounts of damage, even when not getting crits.

For a magus, sure, you need a one-handed weapon for spell combat. But for a bard, a two-handed weapon works fine. And a tengu or half-elf can get proficiency without spending any feats.

Tengu can. Half-elf can't. Skill Focus is a throwaway for a lot of classes, but on a bard it's a pretty solid feat because of versatile performance. It's also a feat worth taking on intimidate builds even without versatile performance because greater margins of success translate into longer duration. There's also options to swap for psychic sensitivity and abilities equivalent to iron will and spell focus transmutation. Classes with slow will save progressions are usually advised to take iron will. Between those options a lot of the time you are giving up a feat for your proficiency on a half-elf.

Liberty's Edge

Snowlilly wrote:

Mithral Plate + Dex tops out at +20 for a fighter, with a 22 dexterity, without taking extra feats.

For the same character, Celestrial Armor + Dex tops out at a +21 ac, but would require a 34 dexterity to realize that cap.

I have a strength based fighter (sword & board, twf) that went the first route

Huh? No. That math is off and Celestial armor maxes at +23 (at 34 Dex, as you note). Assuming a GM allows +4 or +5 Celestial Armor Anyway (which they should, nothing in the rules really prevents it). And, actually, the Mithral Plate maxes at +21 with Dex 24 on a Fighter...but Dex 22 or 24 isn't exactly a small investment on a Str character, and is needed to get that kind of AC.

But Fighter is a super specific case anyway (and not translatable to any other Class) due to Armor Training, and requires craploads of Dex to take advantage of that Class Feature anyway. So yeah, Fighters specifically are more likely to want Heavy Armor than other people...though even there, light armor and being Dex-based are the route to the highest AC.


Chess Pwn wrote:

it's the shield spell. You're a magus so you can basically quick cast it when a fight starts to have the AC there.

you've received your answer, in like the first 4 posts.
if you're wanting 1.5 dex then it's only the rogue.
if you just want a two-handed there's the Elven curved blade, any class can gain this with a feat.
a fighter with AWT can as well 5+, but that is just finessing, nothing that exciting.

But the reason for the "derail" is because we asked you why you're asking this, what are you hoping to gain and then you answered that. If you don't want a thread to derail don't respond to derailing posts, and re-post your question if you still feel you don't have an answer. But whenever you post something like "a bard has to go dex based" you're going to get a lot of people posting to "correct" you.

1 I dont think I ever asked about classes but builds(feats, traits, spells maybe). Available for basically any class, not for specific setup of race, class or multiclassing, etc. The most likely classes I would use it are on classes, Magus and Bard, that I already have characters for.

2 I should have been more specific about using ANY two-handed weapon instead of letting people think I wanted to make an Elven weapon build.
---------------
I really would like to be able to close my own threads. Also the ability to edit my original post.


to close a thread for you go to the listing and click the circle with a slash in it that if you hover over says "hide thread" and boom, it's gone.

Either create a new thread with your edited original post or just post you edited original post at the bottom of the thread.

Your question in the OP was "So is there a way to either use a powerful Two-handed weapon with Weapon Finesses or rack up a one-handed weapon it terms of damage?" so you didn't limit it to anything.

the answer to your new question is no. There's nothing because the designers have certain views of how the game works. Two handed weapons run off of str, barring 1 or 2 exotic weapons that can be finessed, elven curved blade and spiked chain are two I know. Anything else will be limited to a certain option.

tangent) See your question makes no sense, why are you looking to finesse a two handed weapon? You say that dex is the only viable solution for some classes, many disagree. I've not made any character that plans on using a weapon without 18 starting str. That includes my oracle/medium build and my investigator. both classes are d8 hit die and light armor from class. My investigator is lv12 in Eyes of the ten and the oracle/medium is level 10 and doing great. I have plans for a str based bard, magus, vigilante, medium and occultist. all are d8 with light armor. This is why we don't get it when you say that dex is the only viable way for such classes.


If you are allowed 3rd Party, Deadly Agility allows you to Dex-to-Damage AND doesn't reduce the bonus on off-hand attacks, so combine that with, say, dual kukris, and you could have a high-crit, high-damage machine. (I played that in a one-shot with a Dervish Defender/Dragon's Fury Path of War character, it was fun!)


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
Dex to AC is a lie unless you're a monk or otherwise unable to wear armor. The AC+max dex bonus is higher on heavier armor with lower max dex bonus.

This isn't really true. Celestial Armor (which is Light) has a Max Dex + Armor total AC of +14 (not counting Enhancement), which is two points higher than the Max Dex + Armor of Mithral Plate of +12. That ignores the +15 of Celestial Plate, of course (since that's technically a 3.5 item). But either way, up to Dex 22 provides a meaningful AC boost (up to Dex 26 with Celstial Chain).

And to get the most out of even Mithral Plate, you need Dex 16. So eventually more Dex stops giving most people AC, but that's a pretty long ways off, really. The guy with Dex 12 is getting out-ACed by something like 4 points by the Dex 26 guy at 12th level or so.

Atarlost wrote:
Dex only really boosts initiative and reflex and reflex is the least important save. Strength dictates carrying capacity.

Carrying Capacity is really easy to compensate for in most circumstances by the time you get a little over 3000 GP together (ie: really early). You need 20 lbs of light load or so (10 for Mithral Chain Shirt, 5 for Handy Haversack, 5 for weapon) and you're likely workable. That's doable with a Str of 7. Small races actually only need a 6, since armor and weapons weigh less for them (they could get by with 5 if their weapon is light enough).

Eventually you'll need more like 30 lbs (for that Celestial Armor at 20 lbs), but by that point, you can add to it in various ways (Ant Haul being the obvious solution...a Pearl of Power for it is 1k, a custom Item adding Muleback Cords to your Cloak is 1.5k...both easily within your price range if spending 22k on armor).

Atarlost wrote:
Some people houserule away carrying capacity, but for those who don't strength matters. And even those who do get shirty if you try to stuff your unconscious teammate in a handy haversack.
Having to carry unconscious party members is...

Don't forget about skills.Dexterity is way more useful for skills.

Liberty's Edge

johnlocke90 wrote:
Don't forget about skills.Dexterity is way more useful for skills.

True, but only if you care about those skills. You get the same number of skills either way and can focus on non-Dex based ones as a Str character.


Finessing a non-light weapon does allow power attack. Agile weapon enchants will give dex to damage on a 2 handed finessable weapon but you do not gain the 1.5 modifier for 2 handed.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Don't forget about skills.Dexterity is way more useful for skills.
True, but only if you care about those skills. You get the same number of skills either way and can focus on non-Dex based ones as a Str character.

again? Sigh. On some classes its personal preference. i personally like having no movement penalty, little to no penalty to Dex and strength skill checks, and bonuses dexterity skills like Acrobatics and stealth which are be commonly used.

On a Magus dexterity seems pretty good except for that bad area between Weapon Finesse and Dervish Dance. Compare that to a Fighter at level 1 swinging a Greatsword with an extra 6+++ damage and extra combat feats.

Both are specialized. dexterity requires certain feats to make it viable. Strength doesnt raise Initiative, Armor Class, or any of the more important skills. So its brute Force Vs Finesse.


str based character don't need movement penalties. The majority of Str based builds I see specifically stop taking armor that would limit movement. So movespeed is the same regardless of dex or str.

Since you're moving full speed you have little to no penalty to dex an strength based skill checks. Mithral breastplate, the most common armor I see has ACP of 1, the same as a masterwork chainshirt.

I personally don't feel that stealth or acrobatics are used all that often. The main time I see acrobatics rolled is people trying to move and not provoke. But if you don't need to attempt that then I don't know how acrobatics would come up often. Especially how those two skills are coming up significantly more often than climb or swim checks. personally with many of the classes that you said basically require dex based I would be investing in non-dex or str based skills.

Yes, many people like dex magus, since their main fighting style works with the limitations that dex to damage usually gives and likes the weapons that are needed for dex to damage.

We've shown that a str v dex build can raise initiative by taking improved init instead of weapon finesse, and that the ac can quite easily be close to the dex builds.

Now I'm not wanting to imply that dex based is bad or worse. But that str based is not really what you're saying it is.


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It would be hard to put together another Dex to damage build that out-damages the Rondolero Swashbuckler. A human with this class could take Weapon Focus (Falcata) and Slashing Grace as his initial feats, for Dex mod +2 to hit and 1d8 + Dex mod damage at 1st level. At 3rd level, he gains the Precise Strike deed, which allows him to add his level to damage against most foes. At 5th level, Swashbuckler Weapon Training gives him Improved Critical and +1 to hit and damage, with a further +1 to hit and damage every 4 levels thereafter.


Magic methods for adding damage bonuses can work well for bringing dex-based builds up to a solid level of damage. For example, a Strength Witch/ EK using Divine Favor + Fate's Favored + Arcane Strike is adding a lot of damage to attacks, regardless of fighting style. A level 9 Fighter/Witch/EK wielding a curved blade with 14STR can deal: (1d10+3) +3STR +4Favor +2Arcane +2Specialization +6Power = ~25.5 damage on a hit. The same character with Fencing Grace will end up with pretty much the same damage; a bit more attribute bonus, a bit less weapon and Power Attack bonus. If the Agile property is available, the curved blade user can rest at 13STR and end up doing almost 30 damage per hit at 9.

Going two-weapon on builds that run a ton of damage bonus can be monstrously powerful, but it's typically more effective to go strength-based with 17DEX than to go dex-based.


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Warpriests are really good for DEX builds as well.


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