2 Handed vs Dual Wielding


Advice

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I know this has been discussed before but the discussions I found were on specific classes. Anyway, I don't tend to play many melee characters and what I'm wondering is which is better in general or at least what the pros and cons are to each.

I've seen a high level dual wielding ranger and they were a flipping human blender on the battlefield. I've also seen a homebrew feat that gives additional attacks to 2 handed weapon users. This seemed horribly OP to me since it was my understanding that

dual wield = more attacks
and
2H = more damage per hit

and so, to get to do more dmg per hit AND get just as many attacks??!!

I also realize at higher levels you'll start running into more Dr X/- type creatures, 2H seems like it may be more effective at that point.

But as I said, I don't know. Is one better than the other or are they fairly equal provided you're the right build.

thoughts?


The general theory is that Dual Wielding is normally only competitive when you have a consistent way to get more damage per hit. Sneak Attack if you can trigger it consistently, Favored Enemy bonuses, etc. When you don't have these things, Two Handed is almost always the superior option. Also because of the stat requirements, you generally either need to be able to get Dex to damage on both weapons (Unchained Rogue) or be able to bypass the Dex prereqs (Ranger/Slayer Combat Stlyes), because having to have a high Dex for prereqs and using Str for hit and damage at the same time generally makes characters too MAD


TWF downsides:
- high feat requirement
- high dexterity requirement
- twice as much affected by DR
- double magic weapon cost (or lower bonuses, which further increases DR problems)
- half the profit from the most powerful buff in the game (Haste)
- doesn't normally profit from the most common melee support talent (Power Attack)
- weaker AoOs
- even more weakened when unable to make a full attack

TWF upsides:
- damage bonuses apart from ability modifiers and Power Attack are applied more often

Little comparison: 1st level unBarbarian, 18 strength, TWF has TWF feat and uses a weightened spear, 2H has Power Attack and uses a greatsword.
On a full attack, TWF attacks twice at +5 for 1d8+6 and 1d6+4, i.e. total average damage of 18; 2H attacks at +6 for average damage of 18 as well.
Same average damage, but the 2H has higher accuracy and is way ahead when they have to move.

As you can see, TWF starts behind, even without the dex requirement. It takes a lot of investement to make it reliably come out ahead. You desperately need some support from your class.


ok, so for dual wielding you're looking at a rogue, ranger or slayer and 2H is what? barbarian? Fighter?

I'm pretty sure I saw a dual wield fighter archetype, but I haven't really looked at what they get. It sounds like it probably wouldn't be as good as other dual wielding classes that can add dmg to their attacks.

Grand Lodge

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Let's do some basic pathfinder math. Let compare a greatsword (common TH weapon) to a Gladius (does half the weapon damage and same crit range) and let start a basic comparison at bab 4 when both builds have a -2 to attack. Let's also be clear that there is no need to compare gear that would be the same for both builds but TWF character is usually behind one weapon enhancement.

Static modifiers

2 hand with a greatsword: 2d6 + 1.5STR + 1.5PA

TWF Gladius Attack 1: 1d6 + Str
Attack 2: 1d6 + 1/2 Str

This leaves the only difference as power attack.

So if power attack 2 handed adds 6 damage at this bab you need to make up that 6 damage.

Let's now assume that if we are talking about comparing the 2 styles so we would compare within a class. You need class features, items or spells that recover the 6 damage. If were are comparing within a class the particular class feature will be added to both builds on the primary attack.

Barbarian (rage): assuming 18str adds 1 damage to the off had but loses one on the main attack. Not a good twf build at this level

Rogue at BAB 4 (sneak attack): 10.5 average damage on the secondary

Investigator (study target): is an additional 3

Fates Favored Divine Favor: +2 but inquisitors have bane and judgement putting them over, warpriest can get sneak attack, weapon specialization, weapon training, weapon of awe to get them there.

Slayers are close at this level: +1 study + 3.5 sneak. next level they pull ahead.

Crit chances

The amount this affects builds is pretty variable so I won't go through it all but crits always benefit TWF with sufficient static bonuses.

Haste

Haste adds one attack. That is one one-handed attack or one two-handed attack, thus it always helps THF more.

Weapon enhancement
Being one enhancement being on 2x the number of attacks favours TWF. +3 vs 2x(+2).

DR

Between big numbers on one attack and higher enhancements, THF has the lead here.

Stats
TWF is harder on stats unless you are a brawler, slayer, ranger, or an UnRogue. But it is possible for many builds to start with 18 Str and 15 Dex and boost your Dex with a belt, ioun stone or snakeskin tunic. This leaves you a point or so behind on attack and damage at some levels.

Greater TWF
For most of the game, you can count on TWF builds to be taking 2x the number of attacks on a full attack. At level 11 you can pick this feat but you are normally better getting two weapon rend. Double slice is bad most of the game but here it gives a bit of extra damage on your off-hand attacks, but gives you access to two weapon rend. This gives you a decently reliable means of doing a d10+1.5xstr.

Secondary natural attacks, bashing finish, shield master etc.
There are many other aspects of the game that are good for high static bonus builds.

Attack Penalties
Power attack starts smaller end larger.

You can't have it all but you can have most of it.
Classes with bonus feats can use a one-handed weapon for their main weapon and can often afford to take power attack.

If you have to get through hardness or DR two-hand the weapon and power attack. Have to get through a group of mooks or kill an ooze TWF and power attack those low ac targets.


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TWF offers more attacks, with penalties to accuracy on every attack. You want the increase in attacks to equate to more hits per round, so that static damage modifiers are applied several times in the same round. Whether or not this comes to fruition depends on your ability to overcome the penalties to hit associated with TWF.

Base damage of the weapons used in TWF is not necessarily lower, as you can dual wield Earthbreaker hammers as a Human using Shoanti Thunder and Fang, and Earthbreakers do 2D6, each. So you don't have to use kitchen knives to TWF. But most people focus on critical threat range with TWF builds, not base damage. And there are sound arguments for both sides.

In juxtaposition, 2H fighting gets to swing less per round. Relying on higher accuracy per swing, and generally doing more damage per hit. But this isn't the whole argument. 2H weapons include your reach weapons, and with that comes an entire realm of possibilities in battlefield control tactics.

With TWF, you are reliant on full attack action economy. And that lowers the options you have to be fully effective in any given round.

Whereas your options for effectiveness each round actually increase with 2H fighting.

These are pretty vague, but I feel you probably get the general gist of it. As others have mentioned, TWF is very feat intensive and has steep prerequisites unless you're using a Ranger or Slayer. On the other hand, anyone can pick up a Butchers Axe or a longspear with Power Attack, and pretty much have the base of their build complete for 2H fighting.

Silver Crusade

The only advantage of dual wielding is the higher number of attacks (duh!). This is important as soon as:
- you have reliable and relevant sources of bonus damage that apply to each attack. Twice as many attacks means that the extra damage is doubled. Dual wielding is worthless if your only (or main) source of damage comes from the weapon base die, Strength and Power Attack.
- you want to focus on a crit-fishing build. Twice as many attacks means twice the probability to trigger a crit. That's why TWF usually implies kukris or other 18-20/x2 weapons.

In any other circumstance, dual wielding is bad. It's a very feat intensive, expensive and MAD style, while 2H weapons only need Power Attack to be good to go, so you must be sure that the investment is worthy.

The best of the two worlds? Monk: multiple attacks per round while wielding a 2H weapon, with no feat investment.


LordKailas wrote:
ok, so for dual wielding you're looking at a rogue, ranger or slayer and 2H is what? barbarian? Fighter?

Fighter gets Trained Grace, which is very powerful at higher levels.


LordKailas wrote:
ok, so for dual wielding you're looking at a rogue, ranger or slayer and 2H is what? barbarian? Fighter?

2H is for everyone.


Rub-Eta wrote:
2H is for everyone.

Everyone who wants to win, at least.


VoodistMonk wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:
2H is for everyone.
Everyone who wants to win, at least.

Halfling Gunslinger, pikemen CHARGE!


There is now a lot of ways to boost flanking bonuses, including teamwork feats that allow for extra attacks on crits and flanking where you are positioned.

Because of this, the downsides of two weapon fighting are somewhat negated, because you'll flank more often and for bigger bonuses and get/give free attacks on crits with AoO, something you'll have a LOT of with a little bit of combat reflexes and all that DEX

The downside is that's more feats used up.

You'll also not go through DR very well so picking a class with some static bonuses will carry you.

This makes the fighter core class actually a very attractive option. Weapon specialization, weapon training and a lot of feats means you can get were you want quickly. The full BAB doesn't hurt either. You'll hit hard enough to break through DR with those static bonuses, and can use warrior spirit to boost the weapon to give a few tricks to help.

I think two handed is easier. But I think of you have the feats two weapon is a lot more competitive with some proper positioning and tactics than it was even 3 years ago.

The feats may be a chore to get through but the pay off is better now than it was, so the old way of thinking it doesn't pay off isn't exactly true.


To further this, gang up and outflank are two feats I'd look into.
Taking feats that affect one type of weapon like weapon focus, improved crit will pay off twice as much with a two weapon build.

Let's take a fighter. Give him a 16 str and 15 Dex. Couple of Kukri. Weapon training, weapon specialization.

Crits is what you'd want to make that damage pop big numbers to overcome DR and hand out extra attacks to friends with outflank. Your off hand penalties are completely erased with gang up and outflank.

Focus on one weapon to enchant and use warriors spirit on the other, so money wise you only have to focus on one weapon ( I would still give the other a base +1 anyways of course because it's fairly cheap) and then mostly boost static numbers because those will give even more to hit (twf needs that, doubly so on crit builds) and more damage on a crit.

With Gang up feats if make sure one weapon is Menacing. Now all your attacks and your flanking friends have +2 more to hit. +2 to hit for 3 people and minimum 4 weapons? For the cost of a +1 enchant, yes please.

You can always boost dex and str as you level too. So at level 6 you should really enjoy 4 attacks (assuming you boosted Dex to 17) at around... what like 18/18/13/13 with a 15 to 20 crit chance, and gaining free attacks when friends crit. Doing about 1d4 + 11.

Not enough to chop down trees but on a crit.. that's pretty crazy. And beats most other classes that aren't full BAB in sheer attacks anyways.

Just food for thought it is a pretty decent way to go around two weapon fighting, plus the group will enjoy teamwork feats and flank boosts with your menacing weapon.


If I made a TWF build I would either use a Viking Fighter or a Warpriest.

Viking has barbarian rage (extra damage bonus and compensates for attack penalty and stats) and the feats to actually pick up stuff like sword and board (good for accuracy) or weapon specialization or something like maneuvers.

Warpriest is nice because despite being 3/4 BAB they are treated as full for their bonus feats helping the feats come online quicker. Sacred weapon makes the kukri really nice for crit fishing.

When I experiment with builds I normally grab the minimum DEX for improved TWF (greater TWF isn't that nice) and dip into Barbarian to negate some if the penalty.

Something interesting is that Brawler's flurry counts as two weapon fighting for the purpose of feats and lets you skip double slice.


I'm not saying TWF can't be effective, it can. Especially now compared to even just a few years ago.

And anyone can get flanking bonuses if they have the right positioning or feats. Some people actually get to see the bonus, too, instead of it just balancing out a penalty.

I think that TWF, overall, offers fewer options and less versatility compared to 2H fighting. TWF relies on full attack action economy, and is often used with crit fishing. While they are not especially frequent, there are enemies immune to critical hits. There are enemies with high enough AC that breaking even with a flanking bonus isn't going to be good enough.

Whereas your typical Gorum worshipping Greatsword user has taken Furious Focus to negate Power Attack penalties, and is now enjoying the full flanking bonus, and charged the target to get here, receiving more bonuses. It's almost guaranteed to be a hit, almost every time.

What the person 2H fighting brings to the table is consistency! The value of that is yours to determine.

IF the TWF gets to use all his attacks, IF. He MIGHT even miss with all of them, because they are all penalized, every swing. IF he is flanking he MAY be able to balance, POSSIBLY overcome, these penalties. IF he hits, one or some or maybe even all of his attacks MIGHT be a critical threat, which he MIGHT confirm, IF the target isn't immune. All I see is an overwhelmingly inconsistent pile of what-if's and might-haves.


Opposite of that, if a two handed misses, he deals nothing. Two weapon can miss and still deal some damage.

So there's that too. Both have pros and cons, and two handers don't require much to deal all the have.

I'd say both are very viable, just one needs a lot of investment, for the trade off of not putting all the eggs in a the single swing basket.


At least if the person 2H fighting misses, it's just the next person's turn. TWF turns are exhausting to wait through. Swing, crit threat, fail, damage, swing, miss, swing, crit threat, success, double damage... So much to roll through and wait for, wake me up when it's my turn to swing.


This isn't a valid complaint. Every class gains extra attacks with leveling. Being happy your friend missed so you can go is not a great way to play.


Even the 2H person gets multiple swings, yes. But on the other hand, they don't have multiple swings with the other hand.


My general rule of thumb is, unless the class gets some sort of being static modifier to apply to each hit that it's generally better to 2 hand.

Certain classes can excel at this.

Some unexpected ones are:
A smiting paladin - however while not smiting you probably suck really bad. But when you get to add +10 damage per hit on your target and get to add your charisma to your attack bonus you will mow through evil enemies.

Cavaliers can do it well, thanks to Challenge and chain challenge. Reducing strength for dex can be made up by the damage bonus of the challenge. And with the right orders you can get bonuses to attack rolls.

Warpriest can do it well with their ability to self buff, especially arsenal chaplains that can still fighter's weapon training.

There are more, but just wanted to mention those.


I would also add samurai to that list. Perhaps more than Cavaliers, as they can look into fighter feat options.

But yes, I agree static is the best way to go.


TWF is really fun to play with a crit-fishing build. Get Greater Two-weapon Fighting and boots of haste, and you'll have 6 attacks a round at lvl 11ish and crit 30% of the time, so roughly 2 crits per round.

Slayers and Rogues with Cornugon Smash/Shatter Defenses can really pile on the damage with Sneak Attack every hit too.


Probably beating a dead horse, but Kasathas can do both. Having a bonus to dex can help them reach the requirements for TWF and its upgraded feats. Also, double slice can help you out with keeping consistent damage when using great swords or falchions.

Sovereign Court

Doesn't look like anyone has mentioned this, but why choose? Double weapons give you the best of both worlds!


Gummy Bear wrote:
Doesn't look like anyone has mentioned this, but why choose? Double weapons give you the best of both worlds!

This. If it really concerns you, just pick a weapon that gives you the choice.

Or take Spear Dancing Style, which can also allow you to switch between reach and non-reach with a polearm.


Grandlounge wrote:

Weapon enhancement

Being one enhancement being on 2x the number of attacks favours TWF. +3 vs 2x(+2).

You're ignoring the fact that lower enhancement bonuses also affect hit chance. Plus, at higher levels, they offer DR penetration.

Grandlounge wrote:
For most of the game, you can count on TWF builds to be taking 2x the number of attacks on a full attack.

Haste is a pretty common thing. If no one can/wants to cast it or Blessing of Fervor, Boots of Speed aren't expensive.

Gummy Bear wrote:
Doesn't look like anyone has mentioned this, but why choose? Double weapons give you the best of both worlds!

You still need to invest ability score recources, feats, and gold for weapon enhancements.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
LordKailas wrote:
ok, so for dual wielding you're looking at a rogue, ranger or slayer and 2H is what? barbarian? Fighter?
Fighter gets Trained Grace, which is very powerful at higher levels.

Vigilantes can ignore dex prereqs for sword&board or dual shield TWF, and they can end up with more bonus feats than a Fighter. The Sanguine Angel prestige class can also ignore dex prereqs for S&B TWF and builds fairly well off Fighter.


The Ranger/Slayer/Vigilante Avenger getting rid of the completely pointless dexterity requirements for TWF, or S&B for Vigilante, still do not lift the other feats you have to sink or the extra weapon enchanments you have to buy.

I am pretty disenfranchised by TWF now, honestly, having played it several different ways. I'd rather take Shield Focus/Unhindering Shield and use a 2H weapon.


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Derklord wrote:
Vigilantes can ignore dex prereqs for sword&board or dual shield TWF, and they can end up with more bonus feats than a Fighter. The Sanguine Angel prestige class can also ignore dex prereqs for S&B TWF and builds fairly well off Fighter.

Yes, some classes can ignore the DEX requirement for TWF.

But no class gets more static damage bonuses that work vs everything. Trained Grace is just the icing on the cake for static damage bonuses, doubling the damage bonus from Weapon Training.

That is going to add more than you loose by investing in DEX to hit and STR to damage.


Artful Dodge gives the occultists and the investigator a chance at TWF without dipping too much into dexterity.

The Investigor, (especially the psychic detective) can really benefit from it, since their abilities give a set bonus to all attacks.


Nothing gets rid of the horrendous penalties to hit unless you S&B/Shield Master, and that's just offhand. You can often do double damage with a 2H weapon and Power Attack, even eliminating all penalties with Furious Focus. Damage is never the problem with TWF, hitting the target to apply damage is the problem.

Accuracy Penalties suck, and thus, by default, so does TWF. In my opinion and experience.

If you want a -2 to hit for every attack, use a large size weapon.


If you don't get a lot of bonus feats or you want to spend feats on something else, 2H weapons make life easier. Also true if you want to switch between spellcastiing and attacking and you're not a warpriest or psychic caster.

TWF involves using light weapons which are finessable (good for high dex characters) and possibly concealable (good for the face character). If you want some different weapons it may be easier to afford a +1 merciful weapon, a +1 training weapon and a +1 vicious weapon than a +1 mercifultrainingvicious weapon and easier to draw the right two than to spend a standard action turning merciful off.


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It's just so easy to go with Shield Focus/Shield Brace, a Bardiche, Power Attack, Furious Focus and have a +3 AC, reach, no penalty to attack ever, and the ability to threaten inside of reach. This is without any special weapons or prerequisites. With shield spikes you can put Keen on it, too. With an Elven Branched Spear and light shield you can still go Weapon Finesse and Dex.


VoodistMonk wrote:

Nothing gets rid of the horrendous penalties to hit unless you S&B/Shield Master, and that's just offhand. You can often do double damage with a 2H weapon and Power Attack, even eliminating all penalties with Furious Focus. Damage is never the problem with TWF, hitting the target to apply damage is the problem.

Accuracy Penalties suck, and thus, by default, so does TWF. In my opinion and experience.

If you want a -2 to hit for every attack, use a large size weapon.

You get a -2 penalty for TWFing.

That is it, that is your huge to-hit penalty.

Grand Lodge

Which becomes equal to PA at bab 4.


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Enough BS: here's the builds + numbers.

Both builds are fully functional, meaning neither dumped AC or saves for the sake of inflated DPR. Both builds made equivalent choices where it made sense to do so and avoided race/religion.

Since I've done this comparison before, the numbers are pretty much as expected. The Two-Weapon fighter deals ~22% higher DPR vs the average equal CR encounter. The Two-Handed fighter has a substantially better AC.

Two-Handed Fighter:
Two-Handed Fighter
Male human (Garundi) fighter 10
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +4 (+8 while wielding a weapon from the Pole Arms group); Senses Perception +13
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 32, touch 13, flat-footed 30 (+13 armor, +1 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 natural, +5 shield)
hp 94 (10d10+30)
Fort +11, Ref +7 (+4 while wielding a weapon from the Pole Arms group), Will +12 (+3 vs. fear); +4 vs. effects that cause you to lose your grip on weapons
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +2 nodachi +24/+16 (1d10+26/15-20)
Special Attacks weapon trainings (pole arms +4, armed bravery)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 23, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 8
Base Atk +10; CMB +13; CMD 29 (33 vs. disarm, 33 vs. sunder)
Feats Advanced Armor Training, Advanced Weapon Training, Advanced Weapon Training, Blind-fight, Furious Focus[APG], Greater Weapon Focus (nodachi), Improved Critical (nodachi), Power Attack, Shield Brace, Shield Focus, Weapon Focus (nodachi), Weapon Specialization (nodachi)
Traits freed slave (andoran), reactionary
Skills Acrobatics +1, Climb +6, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +5, Knowledge (engineering) +5, Perception +13, Stealth +0, Survival +7, Swim +6
Languages Common, Osiriani
SQ armor training 2
Other Gear +2 full plate, +2 heavy steel shield, +2 nodachi[UC], amulet of natural armor +1, belt of giant strength +4, cloak of resistance +2, gloves of dueling[APG], headband of inspired wisdom +2, ring of protection +1, 820 gp
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Advanced Weapon Training You are specially trained to use your weapon skills in new ways.

Prerequisites: Fighter level 5th, weapon training class feature.

Benefit: Select one advanced weapon training option, applying it to one fighter weapon group you h
Advanced Weapon Training You are specially trained to use your weapon skills in new ways.

Prerequisites: Fighter level 5th, weapon training class feature.

Benefit: Select one advanced weapon training option, applying it to one fighter weapon group you h
Armed Bravery (+3/+6) (Ex) Add bravery bonus to will save, Intim. DC to demoralize you increases by amount shown.
Armor Specialization +2 (Full plate) (Ex) Increase armor bonus of chosen armor.
Armor Training 2 (Ex) Worn armor -2 check penalty, +2 max DEX.
Blind-Fight Re-roll misses because of concealment, other benefits.
Fighter's Reflexes (Weapon Training [Pole Arms] +4) (Ex) While not denied Dex bonus to AC, add training bonus to Reflex saves.
Furious Focus If you are wielding a weapon in two hands, ignore the penalty for your first attack of each turn.
Power Attack -3/+6 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Shield Brace Can use 2 handed spear/polearm with shield, but take the ACP of shield as pen to attack.
Trained Initiative (Weapon Training [Pole Arms] +4) (Ex) Wielding weapon from chosen group, add training bonus to initiative checks.
Weapon Training (Pole Arms) +4 (Ex) +4 Attack, Damage, CMB, CMD with Pole Arms
--------------------
+2 Nodachi +24/+16 (1d10+26/15-20/x2)

.95(31.5)+(.95)(.3)(31.5) = 38.9295
.65(31.5)+(.65)(.3)(31.5) = 26.6175

DPR = 65.547

DPR = 65.547

AC = 32/13/30

F: 11 R: 7 W: 12

Two Weapon Fighter:
Two Weapon Fighter
Male human (Garundi) fighter 10
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +8; Senses Perception +11
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 29, touch 15, flat-footed 26 (+13 armor, +1 deflection, +3 Dex, +1 insight, +1 natural)
hp 94 (10d10+30)
Fort +11, Ref +10, Will +10 (+3 vs. fear); +4 vs. effects that cause you to lose your grip on weapons
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +2 kukri +18/+13 (1d10+22/15-20) or
. . +2 kukri +18/+13 (1d10+19/15-20)
Special Attacks weapon trainings (light blades +4, focused weapon)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 18, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +10; CMB +11; CMD 31 (35 vs. disarm, 35 vs. sunder)
Feats Advanced Armor Training, Advanced Weapon Training, Advanced Weapon Training, Double Slice, Greater Weapon Focus (kukri), Improved Critical (kukri), Improved Two-weapon Fighting, Power Attack, Two-weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (kukri), Weapon Specialization (kukri)
Traits freed slave (andoran), reactionary
Skills Acrobatics +5, Climb +5, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +5, Knowledge (engineering) +5, Perception +11, Stealth +4, Survival +5, Swim +5
Languages Common, Osiriani
SQ armor training 2
Other Gear +2 full plate, +2 kukri, +2 kukri, amulet of natural armor +1, belt of physical might +2 (Str, Dex), cloak of resistance +2, cracked dusty rose prism ioun stone, dusty rose prism ioun stone, gloves of dueling[APG], ring of protection +1, 1,234 gp
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Advanced Weapon Training You are specially trained to use your weapon skills in new ways.

Prerequisites: Fighter level 5th, weapon training class feature.

Benefit: Select one advanced weapon training option, applying it to one fighter weapon group you h
Advanced Weapon Training You are specially trained to use your weapon skills in new ways.

Prerequisites: Fighter level 5th, weapon training class feature.

Benefit: Select one advanced weapon training option, applying it to one fighter weapon group you h
Armed Bravery (+3/+6) (Ex) Add bravery bonus to will save, Intim. DC to demoralize you increases by amount shown.
Armor Specialization +2 (Full plate) (Ex) Increase armor bonus of chosen armor.
Armor Training 2 (Ex) Worn armor -2 check penalty, +2 max DEX.
Focused Weapon (Weapon Training [Blades, Light] +4, Kukri) (Ex) Can deal damage as per Sacred Weapon class feature with chosen weapon.
Power Attack -3/+6 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Trained Grace (Weapon Training [Blades, Light] +4) (Ex) When using Weapon Finesse, double training bonus on damage rolls.
Weapon Training (Blades, Light) +4 (Ex) +4 Attack, Damage, CMB, CMD with Light Blades
--------------------
+2 Kukri +18/+13 (1d10+22/15-20/x2)
+2 Kukri +18/+13 (1d10+19/15-20/x2)

.75(27.5)+(.75)(.3)(27.5) = 26.8125
.5(27.5)+(.5)(.3)(27.5) = 17.825
.7524.5)+(.5)(.3)(24.5) = 23.8875
.5(24.5)+(.5)(.3)(24.5) = 15.925

DPR = 84.45

DPR = 84.45

AC = 29/15/26

F: 11 R: 10 W: 10


Very nice! thanks

This has given me a lot to go over


Volkard, can you break down your attack bonus and damage bonus numbers for both cases.

Also, I'm not sure what I would replace it with, but Furious Focus is actually kind of a wasted feat. As even with the -3 penalty to hit, you still hit the average AC of 24 on a 3 (vs a 1).


Claxon wrote:

Volkard, can you break down your attack bonus and damage bonus numbers for both cases.

Also, I'm not sure what I would replace it with, but Furious Focus is actually kind of a wasted feat. As even with the -3 penalty to hit, you still hit the average AC of 24 on a 3 (vs a 1).

THF: To-Hit

  • +10 BAB
  • +2 Enhancement
  • +2 Greater Weapon Focus
  • +6 STR
  • +4 Weapon Training
  • -3 Power Attack (iterative only)

THF: Damage

  • 1d10 - base damage
  • +9 Power Attack
  • +9 STR
  • +4 Weapon Training
  • +2 Enhancement
  • +2 Weapon Specialization

TWF: To-Hit

  • +10 BAB
  • +2 Enhancement
  • +2 Greater Weapon Focus
  • +5 DEX
  • +4 Weapon Training
  • -3 Power Attack
  • -2 TWF penalty

TWF: Damage

  • 1d10 - base damage (Focused Weapon)
  • +6/+3 Power Attack
  • +4 STR
  • +8 Weapon Training
  • +2 Enhancement
  • +2 Weapon Specialization


Thanks

I feel like what this illustrates is that trained grace, is the major saving bit for the TWF build. Which goes back to my earlier point about static damage modifiers. Without it each attack's damage drops by 4, which I suspect would put the two-hand build ahead of the TWF.


Claxon wrote:

Thanks

I feel like what this illustrates is that trained grace, is the major saving bit for the TWF build. Which goes back to my earlier point about static damage modifiers. Without it each attack's damage drops by 4, which I suspect would put the two-hand build ahead of the TWF.

It was always about the static damage modifiers.

Static damage modifiers make up an increasingly large percentage of fighter damage as level increases. 10th level is right around the tipping point for THF vs TWF fighter.

All those boring cumulative +1 modifiers add up over time.


To hit values also make a difference.

Strictly speaking TWF is theoretically only ever behind by a -2 penalty to hit, although that is compounded by the weapon enhancement you can purchase or you ability to otherwise enhance your weapon.

Which is something that I think you missed on the THF, you can (and probably should) pick up warrior spirit which allows you to further increase your enhancement bonus and even add special properties, like bane. It does have an action economy cost, but the benefit can be pretty huge on a THF.


Likewise a fighter could focus one one weapon and use warriors spirit to boost the other, making it more cost effective than a normal twf


Cavall wrote:
Likewise a fighter could focus one one weapon and use warriors spirit to boost the other, making it more cost effective than a normal twf

This

A TWF fighter gets just as much, or more, benefit from Warrior spirit as compared to a THF fighter.

It's essentially another static damage modifier. The DPR increase is the same, be it applied to a light weapon or a two-handed weapon.

In the specific case of the builds I posted, it would benefit the TWF fighter more than the THF fighter. The TWF fighter has room for improvement on his first attack (.25 miss chance), the THF does not(.05 miss chance).

I did not include Warrier Spirit in either build due to the Standard Action activation. I stuck to always-on abilities, avoiding anything that required rounds to activate instead of attacking and anything that was limited to rounds/day usage.


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Two weapon fighting as a brawler (2 level dip), skews things even further towards 2WF as the brawler can 2WF with one weapon, even a two handed weapon (sansetsukon) or weapon and shield. Using a 2H weapon still gives 1.0x STR, but 1.5x power attack.

At high levels, the only real way to increase damage dramatically is by getting more attacks. So I feel at low levels 2H fighting is good. At high levels, it can't compete with an optimized 2WF build.


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nicholas storm wrote:
Two weapon fighting as a brawler (2 level dip), skews things even further towards 2WF as the brawler can 2WF with one weapon, even a two handed weapon (sansetsukon) or weapon and shield. Using a 2H weapon still gives 1.0x STR, but 1.5x power attack.

Spear Dancing Style allows this with any polarm. Spear Dancing Reach lets you TWF with reach.

Any Polearm qualifies, including the Nodachi.

So yes, you can TWF with a nodachi, with reach, using DEX to hit and STR to damage, while using Trained Grace.

It's also insanely feat intensive, even for a fighter. It's also not an improvement over dual wielding focused Kukri, especially at levels over 10, where the kukri base damage moves up to 2d6.


Spear dancing style grants the weapon double special weapon feature. Double weapons normally are enchanted separately - the GM would have to decide on how weapon enchantments interact with this.

With brawler's flurry you can warrior spirit the one weapon and it affects all attacks.

Of course, without pounce, damage gets much reduced. That is the main drawback of fighters - the difficulty in getting pounce.


In looking over the archetypes, mobile fighter seems like the easiest solution over trying to get pounce. Rapid attack fixes the whole problem of TWF having trouble moving and hitting.

Granted, getting actual pounce is better.


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nicholas storm wrote:


Of course, without pounce, damage gets much reduced. That is the main drawback of fighters - the difficulty in getting pounce.

It's not difficult, just feat intensive.

If your spending resources on mobility, your not spending them on DPR/survivability. This is true regardless of chosen fighting style.

You can go Animal Ally + Mounted Skirmisher or Item Mastery: Teleportation + Dimensional Assault. Either way costs you 4-5 feats.

Figurine of Wondrous Power + Mounted Skirmisher is a little less feat intensive, but won't scale with character level.

Viking archetype eventually allows you to get Greater Beast Totem. Still costs 3 feats and delays access to Weapon Training.


Mobile fighter loses weapon training, which is bad as you lose access to things like warrior spirit. Better to take dawnflower dervish (or dervish of dawn on pfsrd).

Liberty's Edge

I should mention the old Artful Dodge Investigator. Replace the dex requirements with Int ones, grab an Inspired Quarterstaff, weave between TWF and THF while boasting Mutagen, Studied Combat, and Heroism, using inspiration to turn TWF's misses into big damage spikes.

It does suffer some rough caveats, like having high enough int to offset Mutagen's penalty, and generally being slow as molasses to get every feature online.

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