Mind Blade and Two-weapon fighting


Rules Questions


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Hey all!
Got a question here...

At 7th level you get:

d20pfsrd.com wrote:

Dual Weapons (Su)

At 7th level, a mindblade can maintain two psychic weapons at a time or a psychic double weapon, though each weapon (or each end of a double weapon) has an enhancement bonus 1 lower than normal. Starting at 12th level, each of the two psychic weapons (or each end of a double weapon) instead has an enhancement bonus 2 lower than normal. When using two-weapon fighting with two psychic weapons or a psychic double weapon, the mindblade can use her spell combat ability as though she had a hand free.
This ability replaces medium armor.

Emphasis mine.

Does this mean:
A) If I were to take two-weapon fighting, I could, in a full attack, use all the melee attacks this affords and cast a spell with spell combat; or
B) Get all the two-weapon fighting attacks, and save one off hand to use for casting with spell combat; or
C) If I want to use spell combat, I only get the main hand attacks, and one spell, and lose all offhand attacks for the spell.
Or phrased another way:
A) +20/+15/+10/+5 | +20/+15/+10 & spell
B) +20/+15/+10/+5 | +20/+15 & spell
C) +20/+15/+10/+5 | spell


Bump.


I'm not clear where your numbers are coming from, but you can make your full attack using two weapons and also cast a spell using Spell Combat.

For example a 15th level Mindblade normally has three iterative attacks with BAB of +11/+6/+1. Throw in the two-weapon fighting feat, perhaps with a pair of short swords, and that becomes a BAB of +11/+11/+6/+1 but the -2 penalty will bring that down to +9/+9/+4/-1.

If you also want to use Spell Combat then you incur another -2 penalty so you would have +7/+7/+2/-3 + the spell.

If that spell is a touch spell, then you can use the free touch attack to deliver the charge through Spellstrike. This lets you cast a touch spell and also deliver weapon attacks at +7/+7/+7/+2/-3.

You can make a lot of attacks, even getting more with Improved and Greater TWF, but the -4 penalty is tough to overcome for a 3/4 BAB class.


Oh, yeah the character I'm building is gestalted with fighter...so he'll have full BAB.
I'm more concerned with how spell combat will actually work with TWF.


It works fine. You can have a weapon in both hands, make full attacks using the TWF feats, and still cast a spell. Remember that you are a psychic caster so you don't need a free hand for somatic or inexpensive material components either.

So at level 20, with TWF, ITWF, and GTWF, a pair of shortswords, and Spell Combat with Shocking Grasp things might look like this:

Iterative Attacks: +16/+11/+6/+1
TWF: +16
ITWF: +11
GTWF: +6
Spellstrike: +16

For a grand total of +16/+16/+16/+11/+11/+6/+6/+1 + Shocking Grasp. (Do keep in mind that the Shocking Grasp gets you +3 to hit against opponents with metal armor until it is discharged).


It lets you use Spell Combat as if you WEREN'T TWF'ing, even though you are. You take a -2 penalty on all attack rolls for Spell Combat, and now you also take TWF penalties. Gestalting into Fighter will help with this a lot, especially if you take the Two Weapon Warrior archetype, which lowers TWF penalties.

So at 7th level, (assuming a 20 in Dex and Weapon Finesse) your full attack will go:

[attack bonuses: +7 BAB, +5 Dex, +2 Enhancement, +1 Fighter] // [ attack penalties: -2 Spell Combat, -2 TWF]

+11/+11/+6/+6/[spell combat attack roll +6]

While I can't find anything to confirm one way or the other, I believe Spell Combat keeps the -5 penalty even after you get Greater TWF, so eventually, it'd look like this:

[primary]/[offhand]/[primary -5]/[offhand -5]/[primary -10]/[offhand -10]/[Spell Combat; primary -5]


Why the double penalty?


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It's not that you are doubling your penalty, it's that you are adding two separate penalties.

Spell Combat imposes a -2 penalty on all attack rolls.

UM wrote:
Spell Combat (Ex): At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.

Two-Weapon Fighting also imposes penalties to attack rolls. In the best case scenario (you have the TWF feat and are using a light weapon in your off-hand) that penalty is -2 for each attack. In other situations it can be much worse than -2.

So in the best case scenario, you have (-2) +(-2) = -4 on each attack roll if you are using both Two-Weapon Fighting and Spell Combat.


Hmm. I considered spell combat as the same penalty for TWF. It's a -2 to all attacks for using your off-hand. In my mind those wouldn't stack, because there are no somatic components for psychic spells, so it's not like you're "over using" your offhand, but I can see the RAW argument.


Kryzbyn wrote:
Hmm. I considered spell combat as the same penalty for TWF. It's a -2 to all attacks for using your off-hand. In my mind those wouldn't stack, because there are no somatic components for psychic spells, so it's not like you're "over using" your offhand, but I can see the RAW argument.

think of it more of a -2 in exchange for a spell and another -2 for a free attack. i would be very surprised to see a table let a sole -2 pay for both.


Depends. Is it a -2 simply because the offhand is in use, or specifically because you are casting a spell? If the offhand isn't needed to cast the spell (no somatic component) then it doesn't make sense to pay twice, when you're already paying to attack with it.


i dunno man, this is the first time i have heard anyone interpret one ability's cost covering down for another ability's cost.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

You don't get things for free. You pay -2 atk for an extra attack, and you pay another -2 to cast a spell (which may include another attack).


That's fine, I'm not saying you guys are wrong, was just defending my interpretation. Spell combat is supposed to emulate TWF, where as instead of using your off hand for attacks, you cast a spell. RAI, you're using your off hand for somatic components for said spell. If casting with psychic magic you don't use somatic components, so the off hand isn't needed for the casting of the spell. You're paying a -2 for nothing, essentially, other than "just cus'".


For the record, here are all the different TWF penalties:

Normal penalties: -6 main hand, -10 off-hand
Off-hand weapon is light: -4 main hand, -8 off-hand
Two-weapon Fighting feat: -4 main hand, -4 off-hand
Off-hand weapon is light with TWF feat: -2 main hand, -2 off-hand

So Spell Combat's penalties AREN'T the same as Two-weapon Fighting; if they were, your weapon attack would take a -6 penalty, and your spell attack roll would take a -10 penalty. You're taking penalties that happen to be the same as if you had the TWF feat and your spell attack roll was considered a Light Weapon. A Mindblade Magus who DIDN'T have the TWF feat would still be taking AT BEST a -4 penalty on his main hand and a -8 penalty on his off hand. Adding Spell Combat would introduce an entirely different -2 penalty on...

Spell Combat wrote:
all of his attacks with his melee weapon.

Taking a feat to make the former penalties also a -2 doesn't mean the latter -2 penalty goes away.

Granted, TWF wasn't even possible in conjunction with Spell Combat at first, so the need to explicitly state that the penalties would be separate wasn't necessary, and when the Mindblade finally made it not only possible, but expected (within the Archetype), there wasn't anything explicitly stating it either, so for RAW, we're not left with a whole lot, except for what I've stated above, and the line in Spell Combat that says "This functions much like two-weapon fighting". "Much like" implies it's almost the same, but not, and since it's not, the penalties are separate and stack.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cuup wrote:

For the record, here are all the different TWF penalties:

Normal penalties: -6 main hand, -10 off-hand
Off-hand weapon is light: -4 main hand, -8 off-hand
Two-weapon Fighting feat: -4 main hand, -4 off-hand
Off-hand weapon is light with TWF feat: -2 main hand, -2 off-hand

So Spell Combat's penalties AREN'T the same as Two-weapon Fighting;

...unless the Spell Combat ability is treated as 'TWF feat with one of the weapons being a spell' and the spell being cast is treated as a 'light weapon'. Then you'd have a -2 penalty to all attacks... just like regular TWF.


CBDunkerson wrote:
Cuup wrote:

For the record, here are all the different TWF penalties:

Normal penalties: -6 main hand, -10 off-hand
Off-hand weapon is light: -4 main hand, -8 off-hand
Two-weapon Fighting feat: -4 main hand, -4 off-hand
Off-hand weapon is light with TWF feat: -2 main hand, -2 off-hand

So Spell Combat's penalties AREN'T the same as Two-weapon Fighting;

...unless the Spell Combat ability is treated as 'TWF feat with one of the weapons being a spell' and the spell being cast is treated as a 'light weapon'. Then you'd have a -2 penalty to all attacks... just like regular TWF.

Except the Spell Combat description doesn't say that; the only thing it says about TWF is that "it functions much like two-weapon fighting, but your off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast". It doesn't say the penalties are supposed to be equivalent, or that it functions like TWF if you had the TWF feat, or even that the spell you're casting is considered a Light Weapon for the purposes of TWF. It's simply stating that you can make an extra attack roll with your spell at full BAB -2, and all other attacks also take a -2 penalty.

...Now that I think about it, a much better and less confusing comparison for this ability would have been Rapid Shot, which covers everything Spell Combat does, except that it's for ranged attacks, and the extra attack in Rapid Shot would instead be your spell, and there's no needless off-hand references, which always complicates everything; just state that you need a free hand to cast the spell, like you need a free hand to reload a crossbow; crossbows don't reference off-hands, but they have the same limitation, just with simpler language.


Is this FAQ worthy?


Kryzbyn wrote:
Hmm. I considered spell combat as the same penalty for TWF. It's a -2 to all attacks for using your off-hand. In my mind those wouldn't stack, because there are no somatic components for psychic spells, so it's not like you're "over using" your offhand, but I can see the RAW argument.

The need to have that hand free has nothing whatsoever to do with using a hand for somatic components.

UM wrote:
Spell Combat (Ex): At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.


Kryzbyn wrote:
Is this FAQ worthy?

You can but i think a lot of the responses will be why? If they are seprate abilities than you pay for them separetely, if they are the same ability or a variant of the same ability than you xouldnt double dip on them. If a class gave you rapid shot as an ability and then you took the rapid shot feat you couldnt pay -2 for three attacks at your full BAB.


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Torbyne wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Is this FAQ worthy?
You can but i think a lot of the responses will be why? If they are seprate abilities than you pay for them separetely, if they are the same ability or a variant of the same ability than you xouldnt double dip on them. If a class gave you rapid shot as an ability and then you took the rapid shot feat you couldnt pay -2 for three attacks at your full BAB.

And the general rule is that penalties stack rather than overlap.

CRB wrote:
Penalty: Penalties are numerical values that are subtracted from a check or statistical score. Penalties do not have a type and most penalties stack with one another.


It's not FAQ worthy. The penalties are clearly different and both apply.


Also, while rolling with -4 to hit on all your attacks sound nasty, there is a spell to reduce the penalties you take to your attacks and an arcana to switch to touch AC or add your INT to attack rolls, also you shouldnt need to spell combat every round, TWF magus loves Chill touch, Frostbite, or any other spell with a round/level/charge/level duration.

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