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Mark Seifter wrote:
A 1st level fighter with Power Attack and a greatsword will do an average 10.5 damage with 1 action, 17 damage with both actions and Power Attack. If using longsword/shortsword and Double Slice (you take a penalty if neither weapon is agile, so longsword/longsword isn't going to outperform), that would be 8.5 damage with 1 action, 16 damage with both action and Double Slice. If you keep up all your + weapons, Double Slice pulls slightly ahead with magic weapons until Power Attack gives +2 dice, at which point Power Attack is back in the lead, barely, and Double Slice overtakes at the end when your modifiers get better, combined with further magic weapon dice. Double Slice also has an advantage when you have +damage buffs coming in from other sources. Two-handed weapon is always significantly better if you can't afford both actions. It seems reasonably balanced to me, and importantly to me, there aren't huge amounts of feats required like with TWF in PF1.

I can't help but notice that you did not mention differences in iterative attack bonuses. Does that mean that power attack skips you to -10 for additional attacks that round? :3


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Castilliano wrote:

One way I approached mortal PCs surviving lethal environmental effects is to RP it. Hit points are abstract and represent more than physical endurance, but also luck, blessings, agility, and whatever other heroic traits one can think of.

So, if one were trying to avoid the fall or the lava or whatnot, it'd be like when Rambo fell out of a helicopter in First Blood, grabbing branches along the way and softening his blow as best he could. Now if he'd chosen to swan dive out of the helicopter, I'd consider that a self-inflicted coup de grace.
Same thing with PF/DnD. Gygax gave the example of a 4th level fighter NOT taking several sword thrusts to the heart to kill, but turning such thrusts into glancing blows. Somebody intentionally taking a sword thrust to the heart (don't worry, even critting I have enough h.p.) would be asking for a coup de grace too. But I remember Shatterstar having to put his sword through his chest to appease a villain. He did so, but his knowledge of anatomy was used as justification for his survival. That would totally be okay.
I'd put diving willy-nilly into lava in the same boat. A PC forced into lava gets the 20d6 as they struggle who knows how, but heroically! But I'd have a hard time respecting a player who disregards even minimal verisimilitude & story just to flaunt their high h.p. count. "Look at me do the backstroke" wouldn't necessarily lead to insta-kill, but then again, I doubt I'd keep a player like that around into the higher levels anyway.

Your "disregard the verisimilitude" is my "understand the difference between low and high level play". A high level character is one badass m&~&+@*$++@*, of course he can overcome challenges that would be impossible for a mere mortal.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

I'm not surprised at all in how Double Slice works, mathematically it dwarfs Power Attack, with its trade-off being what happens to your third action.

I do not like action taxes on martial characters to initiate a combat style, this means the new feat abilities you have may not work either if they are all going to require an expenditure of actions.

With the clunky design they seem to be forcing, action economy will be worse in this edition of the game than in the previous. The difference? A paradigm shift in which combat methods are superior. Used to be Power Attack, now its Double Slice (since I'm pretty sure you can use weapons to grant yourself a shield bonus as well).

The maths are not aligned:** spoiler omitted **

Honestly, I'm a fan of everything in this edition but the classes and combat system. Everything out of combat aligns with my house...

Well, since magic items now multiply damage dice, power attack will tend to be the better option when you are wielding two handed weapons like greatswords and great axes. On a +5 weapon, the difference in expected value between a 1d8 weapon and a 1d12 weapon is 12 whole damage points and that is on top of the fact that you can still make a second iterative attack at a -5 rather than a -10 (in those admittedly somewhat uncommon situations where a "third" iterative attack is available).

But they only scale up to +5, and we don't know how reliably we will obtain said items.

Who's to say that TWF won't have just as much access to magic weapons?

More than likely, I'd expect the TWF guys to win overall, because agile weapons are a thing, which nets them +6 on their iterative attacks if I've read the blogs correctly.

What was the price difference in PF!? 50k for a +5 vs 64K for two +4's?

or worse, 40K for a +2 and a +4, which in our system yields the same average results.

The math is not on Power Attack's side, no matter how you slice it, unless the cost for magic weapons scales even more exponentially than it did in PF1.

You simply cannot use this function to balance the two styles, Power Attack will need its math redone during the play test. I know I don't want to take a feat that specifically makes me worse, especially when Double Slice is better in every way but bulk. It's the same action to use, but offers two full chances to crit (making power attack worse even on crits) and I feel less punished in the action system, in fact Double Slice is good design for what it is, an actual benefit to using your style since movement is supposedly supposed to be more active in this version. Not seeing it with all the action taxes though.

Action taxes are bad, if you have to use them to design the game around because of the new proficiency system's relationship with critical hits (which are meant to be a major part of the new game math), then in a vacuum those options need to be better than using nothing. Double Slice does this, Power Attack does not.

I also see they used my second option fix for haste in RAE, I like it, it's elegant. It also really shows how broken the game math is when a 'full attack' from a Power Attack player is +x/+x-5/+x-10, and a Double Slicer is +x/+x/+x-4/+x-4.

TWF lands more hits, more crits, just by virtue of the new d20 system. Having a maximum potential for 8 extra damage on max rolls does not counteract this. I can do the math if you like.


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All due respect marsh, but I'm gonna trust Mark's math on this matter more than yours, considering he has the whole picture and half of what you're talking about is just guesses.


master_marshmallow wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

I'm not surprised at all in how Double Slice works, mathematically it dwarfs Power Attack, with its trade-off being what happens to your third action.

I do not like action taxes on martial characters to initiate a combat style, this means the new feat abilities you have may not work either if they are all going to require an expenditure of actions.

With the clunky design they seem to be forcing, action economy will be worse in this edition of the game than in the previous. The difference? A paradigm shift in which combat methods are superior. Used to be Power Attack, now its Double Slice (since I'm pretty sure you can use weapons to grant yourself a shield bonus as well).

The maths are not aligned:** spoiler omitted **

Honestly, I'm a fan of everything in this edition but the classes and combat system. Everything out of combat aligns with my house...

Well, since magic items now multiply damage dice, power attack will tend to be the better option when you are wielding two handed weapons like greatswords and great axes. On a +5 weapon, the difference in expected value between a 1d8 weapon and a 1d12 weapon is 12 whole damage points and that is on top of the fact that you can still make a second iterative attack at a -5 rather than a -10 (in those admittedly somewhat uncommon situations where a "third" iterative attack is available).

But they only scale up to +5, and we don't know how reliably we will obtain said items.

Who's to say that TWF won't have just as much access to magic weapons?

More than likely, I'd expect the TWF guys to win overall, because agile weapons are a thing, which nets them +6 on their iterative attacks if I've read the blogs correctly.

What was the price difference in PF!? 50k for a +5 vs 64K for two +4's?

or worse, 40K for a +2 and a +4, which in our system yields the same average results.

The math is not on Power Attack's side, no matter how you slice it, unless the cost for magic...

If we are talking short sword vs. great sword then we are talking the difference between 1d6 and 1d12, if I am not mistaken. So, when you have a +5 weapon, you are looking at the following:

Pow(Greatsword)=12d12+STR+Bonuses
vs.
TWF(Shortsword)=12d6+2xSTR+2xBonuses

For expected values for just the first two actions
E(Pow(Greatsword)=78+STR+Bonuses
E(TWF(Shortsord)=42+2*(STR+Bonuses)

So, the expected value of the TWF damage will be higher when
42+2*(STR+Bonuses)>78+STR+Bonuses
or
STR+B>36
^^^THis will rarely be true, I think. And that is ONLY if you can keep both your mainhand and offhand weapons at full magic bonus.

I will admit though: the TWF damage will be more reliable while the power attack damage will be swingy (since a single missed attack will reduce the whole shebang to 0 or double it while that risk is decentralized to two separate attacks w/ double slice).

The iterative attack thing (with feats and agile reducing iterative attack penalties) are an interesting twist. I wonder now if the penalties of your third iterative attack repeat on your third attack and beyond or if attack penalties "cap out" at -10.


I think I read that "iteratives" cap out at -10. Although I suppose even if that's the general rule, no reason a special ability couldn't offer extra attack at -15. Especially if the base assumption for the ability is the character will probably be using other mean to lower that number anyways, it would be stranger to NOT offer such an option IMHO.


Arachnofiend wrote:
All due respect marsh, but I'm gonna trust Mark's math on this matter more than yours, considering he has the whole picture and half of what you're talking about is just guesses.

It's not guesses though, it's hard math, and Mark seems to have left some figures out.

The biggest one is the propensity for critical hits, which is equal for two attacks on Double Slice, and halved for Power Attack.

The issue I have is having the actions available, which seems to be a real problem with PF2. It would seem the devs are really enforcing the 1 big hit plus 1 other thing per turn (either move, or something equivalent).

An extra bigger die plus doubling isn't going to outweigh two dice plus bonuses plus doubling, ever. Even according to Mark's post Double Slice still pulls ahead when bonuses and magic weapons kick in, which is exactly what I'm pointing out.

If Power Attack's action cost is being designed around the fact that you want to crit more often, then there needs to be better math that balances how much that critical is worth compared to the other options that let me crit more often, especially when the threshold for when those bonuses come online (level 3) becomes a huge factor in determining how much bigger your average is going to be vs. what you could guarantee with better numbers and a better designed feat.

By no means should this be interpreted as me bashing Double Slice, I love it for what it does. If Double Slice had been previewed instead of Power Attack, my presence on these forums would have a very different tone.

Also, why bring up weapons types when we know Sawtooth Sabres exist? And we know they're designed around being used in pairs. If we're comparing straight damage, me feels TWF wins every time now.

If you care:

Spoiler:
Now that I've seen Double Slice, the simplest solution to the math is to remove the clause that gives Power Attack an extra die later on, and have it simply double your damage. That means 4x on a crit, and different spikes in damage by comparison to Double Slice, even though the formulae are the same.

Observe:

f(new Power Attack)= 2(dx + STR + bonus)
f(same Double Slice)= [dy + STR + bonus] + [dy + STR + bonus]

solve

dx = dy

this seems off, or does it?

Then calculate critical hits, for ease we'll say a full martial character expects a primary hit to crit .75 of the time, a secondary hit would then crit .5 of the time, and tertiary attacks .25 of the time. Or with agile weapons, .75, then .65, then .55.

g(new Power Attack)= .75c * .5c = .375c^2
g(Double Slice)= .75c * .75c * .55c = .309375c^3

x^2 doesn't compare to x^3, oh crap

derive
g'(double slice)= .928125c^2
g''(double slice)= 1.85625

g'(Power Attack)= .75

In other words, you'll have way better odds landing crits on the Double Slice build, when compared straight to Power Attack. This is due to the higher chance to land a crit with such weapons, and the fact that you get to make more attacks at those higher crit chances.

What does this do to damage? Compare average damage outputs that Mark gave us and we see that Double Slice wins every time, not just some of the time.


Mark Seifter wrote:
A 1st level fighter with Power Attack and a greatsword will do an average 10.5 damage with 1 action, 17 damage with both actions and Power Attack. If using longsword/shortsword and Double Slice (you take a penalty if neither weapon is agile, so longsword/longsword isn't going to outperform), that would be 8.5 damage with 1 action, 16 damage with both action and Double Slice. If you keep up all your + weapons, Double Slice pulls slightly ahead with magic weapons until Power Attack gives +2 dice, at which point Power Attack is back in the lead, barely, and Double Slice overtakes at the end when your modifiers get better, combined with further magic weapon dice. Double Slice also has an advantage when you have +damage buffs coming in from other sources. Two-handed weapon is always significantly better if you can't afford both actions. It seems reasonably balanced to me, and importantly to me, there aren't huge amounts of feats required like with TWF in PF1.

Mark,

Thank you for sharing your perspective on something like this. However, this raises the question of whether this approach to "balance" is self-defeating. For the years I've been on forums discussing builds, "balance" is frequently reduced to one or two metrics. Yet, you said this:

Quote:
Double Slice also has an advantage when you have +damage buffs coming in from other sources. Two-handed weapon is always significantly better if you can't afford both actions.

What I read here is that outcomes are context dependent, but you are defending the design decisions on the basis that they are some how "balanced." The only way this is true is if the context of only getting one attack comes up as much as getting two attacks. Is that true for 2e? It sure as heck wasn't true for 1e. When typical combats only last 5 or fewer rounds, the fact that that even one round of combat didn't allow a Full Attack action, means THF was going to come out on top.

Why not shed the paradigm of things having to "balanced" and transition the player base to the concept of things preferably based on the context . Yes, you hint at that with your explanation, but it doesn't feel like you're convinced.

As a player, I don't need or expect or even want TWF to do the same damage as TWF. What I value more is that there are specific situation where TWF has the advantage, and those situations are fairly obvious and discernible. I would submit that it is an asset to have situations where one choice is superior to the other and for Paizo to endorse that. For example allow TWF to give an auto +1 to AC versus melee attacks (without a feet). This gets the game out from under the DPR equations which are flawed and based on conjecture/context.

Honestly, it makes sense for THF > TWF > S&B for damage and S&B > TWF > THF for armor class. I would vote that 2e leverage the mechanics so that each style does something different, as opposed to trying to insist they are all somehow the same.

The problem is when you introduce feats, class abilities, enchantments, etc, so that THF is now suddenly getting better AC than TWF and doing more damage.


Quandary wrote:
I think I read that "iteratives" cap out at -10. Although I suppose even if that's the general rule, no reason a special ability couldn't offer extra attack at -15. Especially if the base assumption for the ability is the character will probably be using other mean to lower that number anyways, it would be stranger to NOT offer such an option IMHO.

Allow me to put this another way:

If a character has the haste 1 status effect and an agile weapon do they attack

-0/-4/-8/-8
or
-0/-4/-8/-10

I have not tracked down any evidence one way or another yet.


master_marshmallow wrote:
An extra bigger die plus doubling isn't going to outweigh two dice plus bonuses plus doubling, ever. Even according to Mark's post Double Slice still pulls ahead when bonuses and magic weapons kick in, which is exactly what I'm pointing out.

Doesn't power attack DOUBLE damage dice? Do you have a different interpretation of the rule than what I posted in my math above? In my post above, I that power attack pulls ahead.

I will note that STR bonuses will tend to be between +3 and +8 over the course of the game, it seems.

I am also confused as to why you think having two chances at crits is important when the higher power attack damage will also double on a crit.


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There was said that after the third attack the penalty didn't further increase if I remember it right

Paizo Employee Designer

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Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
An extra bigger die plus doubling isn't going to outweigh two dice plus bonuses plus doubling, ever. Even according to Mark's post Double Slice still pulls ahead when bonuses and magic weapons kick in, which is exactly what I'm pointing out.

Doesn't power attack DOUBLE damage dice? Do you have a different interpretation of the rule than what I posted in my math above? In my post above, I that power attack pulls ahead.

I will note that STR bonuses will tend to be between +3 and +8 over the course of the game, it seems.

I am also confused as to why you think having two chances at crits is important when the higher power attack damage will also double on a crit.

It does not double damage dice. If it did, then once magic weapons hit, d12 weapon Power Attack would be drastically better than all other options, especially TWF.

That said, you are absolutely correct that if you have, say, a 20% chance to crit, critting on the Power Attack doubles the whole thing whereas your two chances to crit on the Double Slice each only double half the total potential DS damage, leading to the same expected value increase of 20%. Similarly, Power Attack is better against resistances because you only need one hit to do the bigger amount of damage through resistance while Double Slice requires both to hit

Math:
consider a 50% hit chance at 1st level, and lay out the probabilities from best to worst for both PA and DS, without crits which have the same expected value. So there's a 25% chance DS double hits, 50% single hit, 25% no hit, while PA has 50% hit, 50% miss. On the 25% DS double hits, it does the damage of PA's single hit. On the 25% DS double misses, we can pair that up with some of PA's misses. That leaves us with 25% PA hits and DS single hits, 25% PA misses and DS single hits. That's on par normally, but if you subtract resistance, it's an advantage for PA
Double Slice is better when the enemy is low and you just need to do a bit of damage to end the fight, since you have two chances to hit.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
An extra bigger die plus doubling isn't going to outweigh two dice plus bonuses plus doubling, ever. Even according to Mark's post Double Slice still pulls ahead when bonuses and magic weapons kick in, which is exactly what I'm pointing out.

Doesn't power attack DOUBLE damage dice? Do you have a different interpretation of the rule than what I posted in my math above? In my post above, I that power attack pulls ahead.

I will note that STR bonuses will tend to be between +3 and +8 over the course of the game, it seems.

I am also confused as to why you think having two chances at crits is important when the higher power attack damage will also double on a crit.

Because the odds of landing a crit twice with Double Slice is way better. This is because they are both at your full attack bonus.

Just adding in the die, then doubling it will never exceed the math on landing a whole extra crit unless you can guarantee that the average damage on you extra dice will exceed the flat bonuses on the secondary attacks.

The odds of landing a crit needs to either change, or the weight of what that crit is worth needs to be better on Power Attack. Double Slice is explicitly superior not only because you get to make two attacks, but even your last attack will only be at -4 when Power Attack's secondary attack is at -5.

It only gets worse, unless you always roll amazing, and even then, the math is working against you when the TWF gets high enough bonuses to land crits on attacks other than the primaries.

Doubling the entire damage function for Power Attack from the start solves this discrepancy as factoring in the chances to crit boosts Double Slice's damage far above Power Attack's overall performance.

Arguably, the old system had way better math for balance purposes, though this system may have some promise if I only care about making a single big attack (or pair of attacks). That said, I still think action taxing is not the way to go with this edition, and reducing actions is instead the better way to go to grant more agency and better flow to the game.


THanks Mark - I really like the insights on TWF and Power Attack here


Mark Seifter wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
An extra bigger die plus doubling isn't going to outweigh two dice plus bonuses plus doubling, ever. Even according to Mark's post Double Slice still pulls ahead when bonuses and magic weapons kick in, which is exactly what I'm pointing out.

Doesn't power attack DOUBLE damage dice? Do you have a different interpretation of the rule than what I posted in my math above? In my post above, I that power attack pulls ahead.

I will note that STR bonuses will tend to be between +3 and +8 over the course of the game, it seems.

I am also confused as to why you think having two chances at crits is important when the higher power attack damage will also double on a crit.

It does not double damage dice. If it did, then once magic weapons hit, d12 weapon Power Attack would be drastically better than all other options, especially TWF.

That said, you are absolutely correct that if you have, say, a 20% chance to crit, critting on the Power Attack doubles the whole thing whereas your two chances to crit on the Double Slice each only double half the damage, leading to the same expected value increase of 20%. Similarly, Power Attack is better against resistances because you only need one hit to do the bigger amount of damage through resistance while Double Slice requires both to hit, and Double Slice is better when the enemy is low and you just need to do a bit of damage to end the fight, since you have two chances to hit.

Ahhh. I got ya. Rereading your post from just a little while ago, I see now that you gain additional damage dice from power attack at higher levels. Have you guys revealed how many extra dice this caps out at?

If that progression is too slow (or caps out too low), I worry that double slash (like with a short sword and shield) will tend to mechanically dominate power attack (with like a greatsword). I imagine you've looked at the math already, though.

I am also interested in how damage resistance works if my two weapons target an enemy's different damage reductions and/or weaknesses.


master_marshmallow wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
An extra bigger die plus doubling isn't going to outweigh two dice plus bonuses plus doubling, ever. Even according to Mark's post Double Slice still pulls ahead when bonuses and magic weapons kick in, which is exactly what I'm pointing out.

Doesn't power attack DOUBLE damage dice? Do you have a different interpretation of the rule than what I posted in my math above? In my post above, I that power attack pulls ahead.

I will note that STR bonuses will tend to be between +3 and +8 over the course of the game, it seems.

I am also confused as to why you think having two chances at crits is important when the higher power attack damage will also double on a crit.

Because the odds of landing a crit twice with Double Slice is way better. This is because they are both at your full attack bonus.

Just adding in the die, then doubling it will never exceed the math on landing a whole extra crit unless you can guarantee that the average damage on you extra dice will exceed the flat bonuses on the secondary attacks.

The odds of landing a crit needs to either change, or the weight of what that crit is worth needs to be better on Power Attack. Double Slice is explicitly superior not only because you get to make two attacks, but even your last attack will only be at -4 when Power Attack's secondary attack is at -5.

It only gets worse, unless you always roll amazing, and even then, the math is working against you when the TWF gets high enough bonuses to land crits on attacks other than the primaries.

Doubling the entire damage function for Power Attack from the start solves this discrepancy as factoring in the chances to crit boosts Double Slice's damage far above Power Attack's overall performance.

Arguably, the old system had way better math for balance purposes, though this system may have some promise if I only care about making a single big attack (or pair of attacks). That said, I still think action taxing is not the way to...

I think you might be missing a major point here: a "power attack" character will tend to be using a weapon with a higher damage die (like a greatsword or great axe) while a twf character will be limited to one handed weapons, one of which will be light.

Also, you really think strength and miscellaneous bonuses are going to be so high that they crack 36 (as I asserted in my post earlier, even if I misunderstood/mis-remembered the exact mechanics of power attack)? I kind of doubt it but I might be wrong, especially when you manage to attack an enemy's weakness.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Excaliburproxy wrote:
I kind of doubt it but I might be wrong, especially when you manage to attack an enemy's weakness.

Double Slice only applies resistance or weakness once, after totaling up, which is a huge quality of life improvement against resistant enemies but does mean you don't get double extra against a foe with weakness.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
An extra bigger die plus doubling isn't going to outweigh two dice plus bonuses plus doubling, ever. Even according to Mark's post Double Slice still pulls ahead when bonuses and magic weapons kick in, which is exactly what I'm pointing out.

Doesn't power attack DOUBLE damage dice? Do you have a different interpretation of the rule than what I posted in my math above? In my post above, I that power attack pulls ahead.

I will note that STR bonuses will tend to be between +3 and +8 over the course of the game, it seems.

I am also confused as to why you think having two chances at crits is important when the higher power attack damage will also double on a crit.

It does not double damage dice. If it did, then once magic weapons hit, d12 weapon Power Attack would be drastically better than all other options, especially TWF.

That said, you are absolutely correct that if you have, say, a 20% chance to crit, critting on the Power Attack doubles the whole thing whereas your two chances to crit on the Double Slice each only double half the damage, leading to the same expected value increase of 20%. Similarly, Power Attack is better against resistances because you only need one hit to do the bigger amount of damage through resistance while Double Slice requires both to hit, and Double Slice is better when the enemy is low and you just need to do a bit of damage to end the fight, since you have two chances to hit.

Ahhh. I got ya. Rereading your post from just a little while ago, I see now that you gain additional damage dice from power attack at higher levels. Have you guys revealed how many extra dice this caps out at?

If that progression is too slow (or caps out too low), I worry that double slash (like with a short sword and shield) will tend to mechanically dominate power attack (with like a greatsword). I imagine you've looked at the math already, though.

I am also interested in how...

There's a whole thread on it.

We got some really good looking numbers by the end of it, now that we have a good grasp on the damage calcs.

Really the only actual math we "need" is in how often do you expect to really see critical hits.

All we have are hints from Mark that you expect them to happen a lot more often, and it looks like every weapon more or less has a unique ability to trigger on a crit. It's interesting, but if the math is bad then we need a much more immersive action system to make us completely stop caring about if damage is balanced.

I'm pressed to find better solutions to the combat style dilemma, since I know none of it matters yet. Most of my negative commentary has been on what the implications are for the game as a whole when we look at how damage scales.

Just as Power Attack gets worse the better your secondary attacks get, it gets exponentially worse compared to Double Slice.

Short hand version of the math says Power Attack will likely deal 3x base damage overall per turn where Double Slice would deal 5x base damage in the same conditions.

Unless the extra dice you gain add up to be worth as much damage as two whole attacks overall, never take Power Attack.

Even taking away a crit from the TWF gets you a 3:4 ratio.

Add in haste and Power Attack is even worse.

The math doesn't hold.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
An extra bigger die plus doubling isn't going to outweigh two dice plus bonuses plus doubling, ever. Even according to Mark's post Double Slice still pulls ahead when bonuses and magic weapons kick in, which is exactly what I'm pointing out.

Doesn't power attack DOUBLE damage dice? Do you have a different interpretation of the rule than what I posted in my math above? In my post above, I that power attack pulls ahead.

I will note that STR bonuses will tend to be between +3 and +8 over the course of the game, it seems.

I am also confused as to why you think having two chances at crits is important when the higher power attack damage will also double on a crit.

It does not double damage dice. If it did, then once magic weapons hit, d12 weapon Power Attack would be drastically better than all other options, especially TWF.

That said, you are absolutely correct that if you have, say, a 20% chance to crit, critting on the Power Attack doubles the whole thing whereas your two chances to crit on the Double Slice each only double half the damage, leading to the same expected value increase of 20%. Similarly, Power Attack is better against resistances because you only need one hit to do the bigger amount of damage through resistance while Double Slice requires both to hit, and Double Slice is better when the enemy is low and you just need to do a bit of damage to end the fight, since you have two chances to hit.

Ahhh. I got ya. Rereading your post from just a little while ago, I see now that you gain additional damage dice from power attack at higher levels. Have you guys revealed how many extra dice this caps out at?

If that progression is too slow (or caps out too low), I worry that double slash (like with a short sword and shield) will tend to mechanically dominate power attack (with like a greatsword). I imagine you've looked at the math already, though.

...

At best, this is the argument you can make:

TWF allows for x5 damage (but you can’t use two handed weapons, decreasing your damage output when you can only make one attack)
PA allows for x3 damage (but you get to use a two handed weapon that will do a bunch of damage for you even when you make just one attack)

These two options can be balanced against each other just fine, especially given that option two will tend to be multiplying the larger number to begin with.

Consider The following:
One character can deal 6 damage with one action or 30 with two actions.
Another character can deal 9 damage with one action or 28 with two actions.

The better character will depend on the situations that they find themselves in.

Please acknowledge that being able to use heavy weapons is an advantage of power attack.

I agree that “effects on a crit” are gonna be an issue when comparing these two things, though. It is something the designers should worry about in their design consideration.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

Short hand version of the math says Power Attack will likely deal 3x base damage overall per turn where Double Slice would deal 5x base damage in the same conditions.

Unless the extra dice you gain add up to be worth as much damage as two whole attacks overall, never take Power Attack.

Even taking away a crit from the TWF gets you a 3:4 ratio.

Add in haste and Power Attack is even worse.

The math doesn't hold.

It's not the same base damage, though.

1d12 is worth almost as much as 2d6.

Crit chance being higher for double slice is balanced out by the crit damage being substantially lower (it's only critting on half the damage).

You said, "It also really shows how broken the game math is when a 'full attack' from a Power Attack player is +x/+x-5/+x-10, and a Double Slicer is +x/+x/+x-4/+x-4," but that's not true. Haste grants an extra action that must be used to strike or stride. It's not going to give you an extra use of Power Attack or Double Slice. Power Attack is attacking at +x(extra damage)/+x-5/+x-10, and Double Slice is attacking at +x/+x/+x-8/+x-8 (since Double Slice applies two attacks of penalty to your third action). Haste gives Power Attack an extra attack at x-10, and Double Slice an extra attack at x-8, but the Power Attacker has a much higher base damage for one attack, and makes the third-action attack at a higher bonus. (Additionally, Power Attack cares a lot about that third-action attack, so getting a stride to use helps it out more.)

I don't know if the math holds up or not, but the math we've seen definitely holds up more than what you were looking at.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
An extra bigger die plus doubling isn't going to outweigh two dice plus bonuses plus doubling, ever. Even according to Mark's post Double Slice still pulls ahead when bonuses and magic weapons kick in, which is exactly what I'm pointing out.

Doesn't power attack DOUBLE damage dice? Do you have a different interpretation of the rule than what I posted in my math above? In my post above, I that power attack pulls ahead.

I will note that STR bonuses will tend to be between +3 and +8 over the course of the game, it seems.

I am also confused as to why you think having two chances at crits is important when the higher power attack damage will also double on a crit.

Because the odds of landing a crit twice with Double Slice is way better. This is because they are both at your full attack bonus.

Just adding in the die, then doubling it will never exceed the math on landing a whole extra crit unless you can guarantee that the average damage on you extra dice will exceed the flat bonuses on the secondary attacks.

The odds of landing a crit needs to either change, or the weight of what that crit is worth needs to be better on Power Attack. Double Slice is explicitly superior not only because you get to make two attacks, but even your last attack will only be at -4 when Power Attack's secondary attack is at -5.

It only gets worse, unless you always roll amazing, and even then, the math is working against you when the TWF gets high enough bonuses to land crits on attacks other than the primaries.

Doubling the entire damage function for Power Attack from the start solves this discrepancy as factoring in the chances to crit boosts Double Slice's damage far above Power Attack's overall performance.

Arguably, the old system had way better math for balance purposes, though this system may have some promise if I only care about making a single big attack (or pair of attacks). That said, I still

...

You have to calculate probabilities over the max.

D12 averages 7.5, where d8 averages 3.5.

The difference is 4, so based on the difference you need to make sure those dice land there, as your level and damage progresses this becomes more difficult.

The extra die in power attack lessens the discrepancy, but doesn't balance it.

You have to compare the average extra damage to the weight of a whole attack, but thanks to Double Slice, you also have to compare it to double that because the odds of it being a crit you have to compare to are just as good. It takes the power attack problem that it had alone and completely wrecks the math.


QuidEst wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Short hand version of the math says Power Attack will likely deal 3x base damage overall per turn where Double Slice would deal 5x base damage in the same conditions.

Unless the extra dice you gain add up to be worth as much damage as two whole attacks overall, never take Power Attack.

Even taking away a crit from the TWF gets you a 3:4 ratio.

Add in haste and Power Attack is even worse.

The math doesn't hold.

It's not the same base damage, though.

1d12 is worth almost as much as 2d6.

Crit chance being higher for double slice is balanced out by the crit damage being substantially lower (it's only critting on half the damage).

You said, "It also really shows how broken the game math is when a 'full attack' from a Power Attack player is +x/+x-5/+x-10, and a Double Slicer is +x/+x/+x-4/+x-4," but that's not true. Haste grants an extra action that must be used to strike or stride. It's not going to give you an extra use of Power Attack or Double Slice. Power Attack is attacking at +x(extra damage)/+x-5/+x-10, and Double Slice is attacking at +x/+x/+x-8/+x-8 (since Double Slice applies two attacks of penalty to your third action). Haste gives Power Attack an extra attack at x-10, and Double Slice an extra attack at x-8, but the Power Attacker has a much higher base damage for one attack, and makes the third-action attack at a higher bonus. (Additionally, Power Attack cares a lot about that third-action attack, so getting a stride to use helps it out more.)

I don't know if the math holds up or not, but the math we've seen definitely holds up more than what you were looking at.

Where are you getting -8 from? It's only -2 on agile weapons, and thus -4 on tertiary attacks.

I never suggested you could make multiple attacks with power attack or double slice. You do get to make two more attacks, with haste. For Power Attack you get one at -5 and one at -10. With double slice, both these attacks are at -4. In all cases, you get better odds of a crit with two weapons, way more often.

Again, the odds don't linearly decrease when comparing crits on both builds. Average damage doesn't add up on the extra dice from power attack, which is what matters when you compare it to double slice.

The extra dice need to exceed the damage on a regular attack. It's possible with bigger dice, but not often likely, especially when your chances to crit get even better on the double slice build.

Power Attack could just start with the extra die to make up for the average not catching up, and you just deal with it from then on.

There's plenty of fixes, but math suggests that we need one.


master_marshmallow wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
An extra bigger die plus doubling isn't going to outweigh two dice plus bonuses plus doubling, ever. Even according to Mark's post Double Slice still pulls ahead when bonuses and magic weapons kick in, which is exactly what I'm pointing out.

Doesn't power attack DOUBLE damage dice? Do you have a different interpretation of the rule than what I posted in my math above? In my post above, I that power attack pulls ahead.

I will note that STR bonuses will tend to be between +3 and +8 over the course of the game, it seems.

I am also confused as to why you think having two chances at crits is important when the higher power attack damage will also double on a crit.

Because the odds of landing a crit twice with Double Slice is way better. This is because they are both at your full attack bonus.

Just adding in the die, then doubling it will never exceed the math on landing a whole extra crit unless you can guarantee that the average damage on you extra dice will exceed the flat bonuses on the secondary attacks.

The odds of landing a crit needs to either change, or the weight of what that crit is worth needs to be better on Power Attack. Double Slice is explicitly superior not only because you get to make two attacks, but even your last attack will only be at -4 when Power Attack's secondary attack is at -5.

It only gets worse, unless you always roll amazing, and even then, the math is working against you when the TWF gets high enough bonuses to land crits on attacks other than the primaries.

Doubling the entire damage function for Power Attack from the start solves this discrepancy as factoring in the chances to crit boosts Double Slice's damage far above Power Attack's overall performance.

Arguably, the old system had way better math for balance purposes, though this system may have some promise if I only care about making a single big attack (or pair

...

I think you have two rules misunderstanding at least:

1. Double slice and 3rd iterative attacks; Double slice should make your third iterative attack come out at a -8 even if you are making your second and third attacks with an agile weapon. Both attacks in double slice should accrue an iterative attack penalty.

2. Haste and double slice; you cannot double slice a second time with your extra action(s) from haste. Haste allows you to only stride and strike. I believe double slice is neither a stride nor a strike.

(on a less cogent note: 1d8 averages 4.5 and 1d12 averages 6.5 and their difference is 2 rather than 4; moreover, most one handed weapons that we are thinking about will be doing 1d6 which averages 3.5)


Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
An extra bigger die plus doubling isn't going to outweigh two dice plus bonuses plus doubling, ever. Even according to Mark's post Double Slice still pulls ahead when bonuses and magic weapons kick in, which is exactly what I'm pointing out.

Doesn't power attack DOUBLE damage dice? Do you have a different interpretation of the rule than what I posted in my math above? In my post above, I that power attack pulls ahead.

I will note that STR bonuses will tend to be between +3 and +8 over the course of the game, it seems.

I am also confused as to why you think having two chances at crits is important when the higher power attack damage will also double on a crit.

Because the odds of landing a crit twice with Double Slice is way better. This is because they are both at your full attack bonus.

Just adding in the die, then doubling it will never exceed the math on landing a whole extra crit unless you can guarantee that the average damage on you extra dice will exceed the flat bonuses on the secondary attacks.

The odds of landing a crit needs to either change, or the weight of what that crit is worth needs to be better on Power Attack. Double Slice is explicitly superior not only because you get to make two attacks, but even your last attack will only be at -4 when Power Attack's secondary attack is at -5.

It only gets worse, unless you always roll amazing, and even then, the math is working against you when the TWF gets high enough bonuses to land crits on attacks other than the primaries.

Doubling the entire damage function for Power Attack from the start solves this discrepancy as factoring in the chances to crit boosts Double Slice's damage far above Power Attack's overall performance.

Arguably, the old system had way better math for balance purposes, though this system may have some promise if I only care about

...

I have neither of these rules incorrect, at least according to what I can double check in the blogs.

Tertiary attacks with agile weapons should be -4, not -8.

I never did math for multiple uses of either feat.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Where are you getting -8 from? It's only -2 on agile weapons, and thus -4 on tertiary attacks.

It's -4 on agile, not -2. Thus, it's -8 on tertiary. A month ago, I mistakenly said -2, and I think it got circulated. They've clarified since. Now I understand where you're getting the idea that Double Slice makes you much better at crits.

master_marshmallow wrote:
I never suggested you could make multiple attacks with power attack or double slice. You do get to make two more attacks, with haste. For Power Attack you get one at -5 and one at -10. With double slice, both these attacks are at -4. In all cases, you get better odds of a crit with two weapons, way more often.

I misunderstood- I thought those two -4 attacks were you doing a second Double Slice in a weird way. It should be two attacks at -8, which compares more fairly.

master_marshmallow wrote:
(stuff after that)

I'm not following the rest of this, I'm afraid. I can't tell what's based on the assumption of -2 per iterative rather than -4 per iterative.


QuidEst wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Where are you getting -8 from? It's only -2 on agile weapons, and thus -4 on tertiary attacks.

It's -4 on agile, not -2. Thus, it's -8 on tertiary. A month ago, I mistakenly said -2, and I think it got circulated. They've clarified since. Now I understand where you're getting the idea that Double Slice makes you much better at crits.

master_marshmallow wrote:
I never suggested you could make multiple attacks with power attack or double slice. You do get to make two more attacks, with haste. For Power Attack you get one at -5 and one at -10. With double slice, both these attacks are at -4. In all cases, you get better odds of a crit with two weapons, way more often.

I misunderstood- I thought those two -4 attacks were you doing a second Double Slice in a weird way. It should be two attacks at -8, which compares more favorably.

master_marshmallow wrote:
(stuff after that)
I'm not following the rest of this, I'm afraid. I can't tell what's based on the assumption of -2 per iterative rather than -4 per iterative.

Perhaps I need to show more work.

With double slice, any strikes you perform after your feat are treated as tertiary strikes (normally -10), since an agile weapon's tertiary attack oughta be -4 (-2, twice) then with haste your two tertiary attacks have a better chance to hit than the Power Attack user's secondary and subsequent tertiary attacks.

This also improves their odds of landing a crit by a large margin.

I have no idea where you're getting -8 from. How is that calculated?
Ninjas


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I was going to comment but then got lost in some math for calculating the relative value of an accuracy boost in the new system.

Let R = Targets AC - Attackers Accuracy Bonus

If R > 10 Attacker only crits on a natural 20. Each Point of accuracy is worth 5% of weapon base damage to expected damage.

1 < R =/< 11 Chance of normal hit is constant 50%, crit chance and miss chance change with R. Each point of accuracy is wroth 10% of weapon base damage to expected damage

If R =/< 1 Attacker only misses on a natural 1. Each Point of accuracy is worth 5% of weapon base damage to expected damage.

Spreadsheet


master_marshmallow wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Where are you getting -8 from? It's only -2 on agile weapons, and thus -4 on tertiary attacks.

It's -4 on agile, not -2. Thus, it's -8 on tertiary. A month ago, I mistakenly said -2, and I think it got circulated. They've clarified since. Now I understand where you're getting the idea that Double Slice makes you much better at crits.

master_marshmallow wrote:
I never suggested you could make multiple attacks with power attack or double slice. You do get to make two more attacks, with haste. For Power Attack you get one at -5 and one at -10. With double slice, both these attacks are at -4. In all cases, you get better odds of a crit with two weapons, way more often.

I misunderstood- I thought those two -4 attacks were you doing a second Double Slice in a weird way. It should be two attacks at -8, which compares more favorably.

master_marshmallow wrote:
(stuff after that)
I'm not following the rest of this, I'm afraid. I can't tell what's based on the assumption of -2 per iterative rather than -4 per iterative.

Perhaps I need to show more work.

With double slice, any strikes you perform after your feat are treated as tertiary strikes (normally -10), since an agile weapon's tertiary attack oughta be -4 (-2, twice) then with haste your two tertiary attacks have a better chance to hit than the Power Attack user's secondary and subsequent tertiary attacks.

This also improves their odds of landing a crit by a large margin.

I have no idea where you're getting -8 from. How is that calculated?
Ninjas

In light of the revelation that 3rd+ iterative attacks are at a -8, does that change your opinion of TWF balance?

I think Double Slice is roughly balanced when exactly 2 actions outperforms a heavy weapons with power attack and heavy weapons w/ power attack outperform it otherwise.

Bardarok wrote:

I was going to comment but then got lost in some math for calculating the relative value of an accuracy boost in the new system.

Let R = Targets AC - Attackers Accuracy Bonus

If R > 10 Attacker only crits on a natural 20. Each Point of accuracy is worth 5% of weapon base damage to expected damage.

1 < R =/< 11 Chance of normal hit is constant 50%, crit chance and miss chance change with R. Each point of accuracy is wroth 10% of weapon base damage to expected damage

If R =/< 1 Attacker only misses on a natural 1. Each Point of accuracy is worth 5% of weapon base damage to expected damage.

Spreadsheet

Good stuff, my dude.

Liberty's Edge

Most other stuff has been dealt with, but I thought this bit needed a response.

master_marshmallow wrote:
Also, why bring up weapons types when we know Sawtooth Sabres exist? And we know they're designed around being used in pairs. If we're comparing straight damage, me feels TWF wins every time now.

Who says Sawtooth Sabres don't do 1d6 damage in this edition? They were 1d8 last edition, but that doesn't actually mean anything.


I kind of suspect that sawtooth sabres might have a function of doing additional damage on a double slice, but I also suspect that using them is gonna require and exotic weapon proficiency. That is all speculation though~


Excaliburproxy wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Where are you getting -8 from? It's only -2 on agile weapons, and thus -4 on tertiary attacks.

It's -4 on agile, not -2. Thus, it's -8 on tertiary. A month ago, I mistakenly said -2, and I think it got circulated. They've clarified since. Now I understand where you're getting the idea that Double Slice makes you much better at crits.

master_marshmallow wrote:
I never suggested you could make multiple attacks with power attack or double slice. You do get to make two more attacks, with haste. For Power Attack you get one at -5 and one at -10. With double slice, both these attacks are at -4. In all cases, you get better odds of a crit with two weapons, way more often.

I misunderstood- I thought those two -4 attacks were you doing a second Double Slice in a weird way. It should be two attacks at -8, which compares more favorably.

master_marshmallow wrote:
(stuff after that)
I'm not following the rest of this, I'm afraid. I can't tell what's based on the assumption of -2 per iterative rather than -4 per iterative.

Perhaps I need to show more work.

With double slice, any strikes you perform after your feat are treated as tertiary strikes (normally -10), since an agile weapon's tertiary attack oughta be -4 (-2, twice) then with haste your two tertiary attacks have a better chance to hit than the Power Attack user's secondary and subsequent tertiary attacks.

This also improves their odds of landing a crit by a large margin.

I have no idea where you're getting -8 from. How is that calculated?
Ninjas

In light of the revelation that 3rd+ iterative attacks are at a -8, does that change your opinion of TWF balance?

I think Double Slice is roughly balanced when exactly 2 actions outperforms a heavy weapons with power attack and heavy weapons w/ power attack outperform it otherwise.

Bardarok wrote:
I was going to comment but then got lost in some math for
...

It changes little, as our ultimate equating of power attack being tripled damage vs double slice being quintoupled still applies.

That means average die value needs to be adequate to make up for that 3:4 ratio. (Taking away that crit to account for the -8)

Spoiler:
Subtract flat bonuses, which means your dice need to make up for that ratio. The problem I fear, is that the damage doesn't add up, especially since we've done the math for when it doesn't have double slice applied to the other attacks.

Compare:
f(Power Attack) = 2(2d12 +6)
f(Double Slice) = 2(d8 +6) + 2(d6 +6)

Average results:
f(Power Attack) = 36
f(Double Slice) = 40

It gets worse the better your characters get until power attack gets you extra dice. Even then, you'll never get more dice with a power attack as you would get with two attacks.

My solution is to double the base damage as well, which puts power attack ahead in damage, but with less odds to hit and/or crit.


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It kinda blows my mind when people act on the assumption that everything that existed in PF1 will of course be in PF2.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm really not clear where you're figuring your math from.

At, say 7th level with a +2 weapon, Power Attack does 4d12+4 damage. Average 30.

The Double Slice guy can almost certainly not afford two +2 weapons, so they're doing 3d8+2d6+8. That averages 28.5 damage. And is less damage for more money.

At 10th level with a +3 weapon, Power Attack is 5d12+5 (37.5 damage) while Double Slice with one each +3 and +2 weapon does 4d8+3d6+10 (38.5 damage). So your average damage is one higher, but half your attack is at -1 to hit, and you're spending more money (to the tune of an extra +2 weapon) in order to achieve it.

The chances of rolling a crit on two dice are higher, sure, but one critting doesn't make them both do so, so you get almost twice as many cirs, but they aren't as powerful when you do get them.

I'm really not seeing any basis for you to say that Double Slice is so much better.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Most other stuff has been dealt with, but I thought this bit needed a response.

master_marshmallow wrote:
Also, why bring up weapons types when we know Sawtooth Sabres exist? And we know they're designed around being used in pairs. If we're comparing straight damage, me feels TWF wins every time now.
Who says Sawtooth Sabres don't do 1d6 damage in this edition? They were 1d8 last edition, but that doesn't actually mean anything.

The sawtooth sabres will probably be d8's because they're exotic weapons; they're supposed to be straight up better than their martial counterparts. As a corollary, factoring in that weapon's existence isn't fair to the discussion because you're giving the TWF fighter an extra damage feat over the two-handed fighter.

Liberty's Edge

Arachnofiend wrote:
The sawtooth sabres will probably be d8's because they're exotic weapons; they're supposed to be straight up better than their martial counterparts. As a corollary, factoring in that weapon's existence isn't fair to the discussion because you're giving the TWF fighter an extra damage feat over the two-handed fighter.

This is also very possible.


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It seems that reading comprehension trumps mathematical ability at the moment.

Power attack and double slice seem well balanced. Good work Mark et al.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"You" in this post refers to master_marshmallow in all cases, because he or she made some interesting and good observations and muddled them with some questionable math and when I wrote this it just came out as if I was writing it to master_marshmallow.

master_marshmallow wrote:

It's not guesses though, it's hard math, and Mark seems to have left some figures out.

The biggest one is the propensity for critical hits, which is equal for two attacks on Double Slice, and halved for Power Attack.

master_marshmallow wrote:
Really the only actual math we "need" is in how often do you expect to really see critical hits.
master_marshmallow wrote:

Because the odds of landing a crit twice with Double Slice is way better. This is because they are both at your full attack bonus.

Master Marshmallow, I have a few concerns on your math as it relates to understanding probability, and greater concerns around your conclusions, and hopefully by addressing them we can better understand these attack options. Mark already tried to explain this, but the value of the crit chance of a single (two-action) power attack is the same as the combined likelihoods of a single (two-attack/two-action) double slice. Exactly the same.

I'll also go over the math of the bonus damage, which is a good point, and try to clarify/examine the iterative attack numbers.
_________________________________________________
***Why critical chance is irrelevant for these 2-action options***

Spoiler:

Mark Seifter wrote:

If you have, say, a 20% chance to crit, critting on the Power Attack doubles the whole thing whereas your two chances to crit on the Double Slice each only double half the total potential DS damage, leading to the same expected value increase of 20%.

That's a great and concise explanation from Mark, and I'm going to give a long, wordy one that hopefully adds something, because this concept is important to understanding these two options.

This is a really key concept of probability that you are sometimes applying correctly (by ignoring it) in your math, but leaving out of your conclusions: The chances to crit (assuming the same bonuses from each weapon) will be the same for any given attack of these three options even though the number of opportunities are different. For the sake of simplicity, we'll drop the +10 critical hit condition, because all of these attacks are made at full bonus so it should be straightforward to understand that any of them are as likely to roll above the AC by 10 as any other, so I'm going to take the basic odds of rolling a 20: 5%

A 5% chance of getting 2x damage on a power attack adds 10% to expected damage. (.05 * 2)
A 5% chance of getting 2x damage on the first attack of a double slice also adds 10% to that attack's damage, and same with the second attack. However, since each weapon only provides a portion of the total damage of a double slice, compared to the total damage of the double slice, each individual crit only adds the same portion of that (.5 if each weapon does the same base damage), so each crit only adds that portion of 10% to the total double slice expected damage (.5 * .05 * 2) and both crits have to happen to add the full 10% to damage. Since the chances to crit are independent, over the long haul, they add 10% to expected damage, or exactly the same as a power attack crit.

If the weapons have unequal contributions to total double strike damage (say 60/40), then the crit contribution is similarly weighted, but ultimately still adds up to 10%.

And really, this is all already assumed by the expected damage calculations you're already using. If you completely ignore critical hits (since every attack is at full value), the same basic rule applies. If you have a 50% chance to hit (takes an 11), then the expected damage of a single hit is .5 * the damage/hit. If there's a 5% chance to crit and double the damage, it goes up to .6 * the damage/hit. If the power attack damage is twice the damage of a single hit of a double slice, then you're looking at (.6 * 2) vs. (.6 * 1)+(.6*1). Either way, it's 1.2.

On a given turn, you are more likely to hit with double slice once and do at least some damage (with 50% chance to hit you have a 1 in 4 chance of missing with both attacks), and similarly you are more likely to crit at least once in a given turn, but over time that evens out. The average (or mean) damage will be about the same (or exactly the same if we assume power attack does exactly 2x a single attack from double slice), but the deviation (or consistency) will be smaller/better for the double strike.

Now, the damage isn't exactly doubled from power attack to a single attack from a double slice, and as Mark noted, there are specific scenarios like resistance where power attack is better and low health enemies where a single double slice hit is better where even one attack would be enough to finish an enemy.

_________________________________________________
***Where Master Marshmallow's math makes the case for Double Slice***

Spoiler:

master_marshmallow wrote:

f(Power Attack) = 2(2d12 +6)

f(Double Slice) = 2(d8 +6) + 2(d6 +6)

So ignoring that we're assuming every hit's a critical hit (since as I've just explained, the math works out where the odds are the same over time), here's the meat of your math, which isn't actually about critical hits at all, so I'll remove the doubling.

2d12+6 < d8+6 + d6+6
Mean of 19 < 20
Power Attack < Double Slice

And that's a good point! Double slice is higher in this example. You seem to have made a minor error here, in that you have the average damage of a critical power attack at 36 instead of 38, so it's not as big a difference as you noted from a 2 crit double slice.

It's worth pointing out that there's another assumption here: Strength is added as a flat bonus to damage to all weapons, regardless of how they are held.
Old Pathfinder/3.x handled that by making two-handed weapons do Str*1.5 damage, and off-hand weapons do Str*.5 damage. That turns into:

If Strength worked like PF1:
2d12+9 != d8+6 + d6+3
Mean of 22 > 17
Power Attack > Double Slice

Math from Anydice: https://anydice.com/program/10223

As expected, double slice has a smaller deviation due to the extra chances to hit. This makes it more consistent, which has some value on its own.

I don't know if anyone has actually asserted one way or another how Strength modifiers affect 2-handed vs. main hand vs. off-hand weapons. If it's a flat bonus, it sure makes the math favor double slice over power attack by a tiny bit in this example. What about with higher bonuses? Well, Deadmanwalking has figured out that attributes are capping at about 22, based on the revealed info (and the magic gauntlet from the blog could bring it to 24). So the +6 being added in your chosen numbers is very close to the worst case scenario for Power Attack, with +7 being the absolute worst.

In other words, they'll be pretty close, and some situations will favor one option over the other.

_________________________________________________
***Iterative attacks, light weapons, and agile weapons: clarifications and speculation***

Spoiler:

master_marshmallow wrote:
Tertiary attacks with agile weapons should be -4, not -8.

Now, tertiary attacks.

I'm going to assume you didn't watch the panel (totally reasonable, but the question about two-weapon fighting is asked at about 1 hour and 36.5 minutes in) because there's one point where Mark called out Logan's assumption of a two-weapon fighter using a short sword talking about -8 on the last attack after a double slice because you really want to avoid the full -10.

You keep citing -2/-4, and I'm not sure which blog that's from, but the compiled info page on enworld ties that to Agile weapons (as you stated) and I do remember reading about that somewhere. Agile weapons are probably exotic or magic rune traits or something?

So it seems as though light weapons like short swords reduce the iterative penalties on 2nd/3rd attacks from -5/-10 to -4/-8, and agile weapons brings it down to -2/-4. (Or not, agile might just be the -4/-8 and the -2/-4 may not exist...I didn't see an exact number in the weapons blog or anywhere else authoritative in a quick search, but we can still take these numbers for quick discussion purposes as potential ranges.)

So the next (2nd) attack after a power attack is made at a -5 for a generic weapon, and the next (3rd) attack after a double slice is made at a -10, a -8 for a light weapon, or a -4 for an agile weapon.

Figuring out which of these is ever better than -5 with a typical weapon after a power attack requires digging into the math on the weapon damage, which is beyond the scope of this post. Similarly, twin weapons, which do bonus damage if both hit, aren't factored in at all. A few people have mentioned the extra costs of a second weapon, and you pointed out that a shield can be used for two-weapon fighting, so maybe that third action will be used to raise shield. Lots of interesting choices here, with trade-offs people will run numbers on for years.


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I did more maths and I cannot find a situation where double slice is vastly superior to Power Attack across character level or foe difficulty.

I assumed PA adds one extra die between lvl 10 and lvl 15 (Master Proficiency) and another between lvl 15 and lvl 20 (Legendary Proficiency)

I assumed TWF with some theoretical agile d8 weapons.

I calculated expected damage for both a two action attack and a three action attack at lvls 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 vs lvl appropriate foes with R values (defined above but basically minimum roll on d20 needed to hit) of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15.

The most baseless assumption I am making is what the static damage is. We have a decent idea of what the Str modifiers will be (I am assuming no more half modifiers to damage). So I made two different assumptions one in which there are no additional bonus damages only Str and magic weapon bonus die and another where static bonus damage comes on the order of +1 to +5 scaling with magic weapon die. I also assumed that the TWF can afford two weapons of equal +X quality to the Power Attacker.

Basically TWF is generally better if you are only going to spend two actions to attack wheras Power Attack is better if you get the followup strike. The difference in expectation damage is on order of 5 to 10 points of damage either way. It seems pretty balanced to me.

Spreadsheet


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I have not found any reference to "light" weapons. Only "agile". From the weapons blog "Agile weapons like the shortsword decrease the penalty for making multiple attacks in a single turn."

Is believe agile it is just a -4/-8, on secondary and tertiary attacks respectively.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Malthraz wrote:

I have not found any reference to "light" weapons. Only "agile". From the weapons blog "Agile weapons like the shortsword decrease the penalty for making multiple attacks in a single turn."

Is believe agile it is just a -4/-8, on secondary and tertiary attacks respectively.

In the actual playtest panel discussion, there was 100% no mention of light weapons, only a shortsword, and the word "agile" was used. Somebody/somewhere/somewhen must have claimed agile was -2/-4, because it shows it on the enworld.org thread, and obviously was a key part of master_marshmallow's conclusion.

So you're probably right, but since I couldn't find a quick/authoritative source with the exact numbers with the terms (or even one that matched what m_m reported seeing), I just ran through all of the options. It was definitely speculative, and I'll try to edit that section to clarify.

I definitely looked at the weapons blog and it didn't give actual numbers for agile, so...


Yep. Good stuff.

Liberty's Edge

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I agree with the general sentiment of RicoTheBold's post, but this leapt out at me:

RicoTheBold wrote:

It's worth pointing out that there's another assumption here: Strength is added as a flat bonus to damage to all weapons, regardless of how they are held.

Old Pathfinder/3.x handled that by making two-handed weapons do Str*1.5 damage, and off-hand weapons do Str*.5 damage.

Earlier in the thread, Mark Seifter (who's in a position to know) did a 1st level comparison of Power Attack to Double Slice and simply used full Strength Mod on the damage of all attacks.

That's not definitive, but it's good evidence that PF2 works in that way.

I don't think this effects any calculations much at all, but it seems worth noting for clarity and simplicity in regards to future analysis of this sort of thing.

RicoTheBold wrote:

In the actual playtest panel discussion, there was 100% no mention of light weapons, only a shortsword, and the word "agile" was used. Somebody/somewhere/somewhen must have claimed agile was -2/-4, because it shows it on the enworld.org thread, and obviously was a key part of master_marshmallow's conclusion.

So you're probably right, but since I couldn't find a quick/authoritative source with the exact numbers with the terms (or even one that matched what m_m reported seeing), I just ran through all of the options. It was definitely speculative, and I'll try to edit that section to clarify.

I definitely looked at the weapons blog and it didn't give actual numbers for agile, so...

While I'm fairly certain they didn't explicitly discuss agile per se, it was mentioned in the Playtest Panel, in regards to Double Slice, that the third attack would be at a -8 penalty at best. So I think that's pretty definitive that that's the best it'll give on a third attack.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Earlier in the thread, Mark Seifter (who's in a position to know) did a 1st level comparison of Power Attack to Double Slice and simply used full Strength Mod on the damage of all attacks.

That's not definitive, but it's good evidence that PF2 works in that way.

I don't think this effects any calculations much at all, but it seems worth noting for clarity and simplicity in regards to future analysis of this sort of thing.

I recall it mentioned (I think in a blog) that the bastard sword does more damage when use in two hands rather than one. I wonder if this is just a 1d8 vs 1d10, or similar rather than a strength based difference.


It would be nice if we have some sort of damage increase from weilding 1-Handed weapons 2-Handed. I know that they mentioned the “Two-Handed” weapon trait for the Bastard Sword, but I’m hoping that there will still be some form of mechanical benefit to swinging a Longsword, Morningstar, or Scimitar with 2 hands.

I’m not asking for spoilers, but it would be super nice if a certain handsome purple-faced red-eyed demon monster friend would put my mind at rest and say that at least some kind of appeal does exist for a Longsword user that isn’t holding a shield, 2nd weapon, or spell in his other hand.


graystone wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
graystone wrote:
Weather Report wrote:
All this talk of diving into molten lava makes me wonder, would people actually rule it with simply 20d6 fire damage or what-have-you; I mean, if a 15th-level human character, sans magic, did a cannonball into a pool of lava, I would adjudicate/rule them instantly dead.
I've seen lava vs PC a few times and it's ALWAYS been by the rules: 20d6 damage. If a DM killed me off like that, it'd be the last time I played with them... :P
What a shame, I would hate the integrity of the campaign to get thrown out the window like that, a character jumping into a pool of lava, splashes about and rubs it all over for 6 seconds or more, but, hey, he's okay, because he has X hp, that is one special approach.

IMO, "the integrity of the campaign to get thrown out the window" happens by ignoring the rules: the pathfinder world DOESN'T work like ours does. People don't go from perfectly healthy to KO'd in real life but do in pathfinder. People don't skydive off of cliffs without any protection in real life but pathfinder characters can repeatedly fall hundreds of feet, land on their feet and do it again...

So by imposing your perspective of real world physics instead of the game worlds rules of reality is what wrecks 'game integrity': It's no better to instant kill from a random meteor than it is to do so from lava as both are 100% DM fiat and not in the rules.

All of this is wrong - not how the "Pathfinder"/Golarian world operates (or any other D&D/fantasy world that I know of), and is indicative of a very strange approach that birthed with 3rd Ed.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Earlier in the thread, Mark Seifter (who's in a position to know) did a 1st level comparison of Power Attack to Double Slice and simply used full Strength Mod on the damage of all attacks.

That's not definitive, but it's good evidence that PF2 works in that way.

I don't think this effects any calculations much at all, but it seems worth noting for clarity and simplicity in regards to future analysis of this sort of thing.

It doesn't affect the calculations at all, since I listed both options by showing master_marshmallow's flat math first.

I agree with your view that's Mark's math is authoritative for obvious reasons. I was genuinely surprised that the flat bonus yielded a closer balance between double strike and power attack than the more confusing 3.x/PF1 approach, despite years of reading that 2-handers are amazing. That surprise wasn't reflected in the sentences I wrote before running the math. So yeah, it's almost certainly flat because that's how Mark showed it and it looks like it makes the two options much closer.

As for the tertiary attack thing, I agree that it looks like agile for a -8 is the best I have seen, and if you're saying it, probably the best they have officially shown so far. I didn't want to fall into the trap of thinking that it is the best available ever, and I wanted to acknowledge that at least one source of compiled information has the same -2/-4 that master_marshmallow was using. For all I know it was a decision change between announcement and sending the playtest for print.

Liberty's Edge

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RicoTheBold wrote:

It doesn't affect the calculations at all, since I listed both options by showing master_marshmallow's flat math first.

I agree with your view that's Mark's math is authoritative for obvious reasons. I was genuinely surprised that the flat bonus yielded a closer balance between double strike and power attack than the more confusing 3.x/PF1 approach, despite years of reading that 2-handers are amazing. That surprise wasn't reflected in the sentences I wrote before running the math. So yeah, it's almost certainly flat because that's how Mark showed it and it looks like it makes the two options much closer.

Yup, I figured. Just trying to keep people abreast of what we know in regards to playtest data. :)

RicoTheBold wrote:
As for the tertiary attack thing, I agree that it looks like agile for a -8 is the best I have seen, and if you're saying it, probably the best they have officially shown so far. I didn't want to fall into the trap of thinking that it is the best available ever, and I wanted to acknowledge that at least one source of compiled information has the same -2/-4 that master_marshmallow was using. For all I know it was a decision change between announcement and sending the playtest for print.

Fair enough. I'm basically just noting stuff that's been said by official sources thus far on the issue.


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ElSilverWind wrote:

It would be nice if we have some sort of damage increase from weilding 1-Handed weapons 2-Handed. I know that they mentioned the “Two-Handed” weapon trait for the Bastard Sword, but I’m hoping that there will still be some form of mechanical benefit to swinging a Longsword, Morningstar, or Scimitar with 2 hands.

I’m not asking for spoilers, but it would be super nice if a certain handsome purple-faced red-eyed demon monster friend would put my mind at rest and say that at least some kind of appeal does exist for a Longsword user that isn’t holding a shield, 2nd weapon, or spell in his other hand.

Well, from what we know so far, a longsword user will already have a substantial edge in flexibility. If gripping a weapon in two hands takes an action, a longsword user will be able to excel in everything from using potions to bombs to grappling to even just opening doors. That doesn't directly help their damage, but it does provide a niche.


Captain Morgan wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:

It would be nice if we have some sort of damage increase from weilding 1-Handed weapons 2-Handed. I know that they mentioned the “Two-Handed” weapon trait for the Bastard Sword, but I’m hoping that there will still be some form of mechanical benefit to swinging a Longsword, Morningstar, or Scimitar with 2 hands.

I’m not asking for spoilers, but it would be super nice if a certain handsome purple-faced red-eyed demon monster friend would put my mind at rest and say that at least some kind of appeal does exist for a Longsword user that isn’t holding a shield, 2nd weapon, or spell in his other hand.

Well, from what we know so far, a longsword user will already have a substantial edge in flexibility. If gripping a weapon in two hands takes an action, a longsword user will be able to excel in everything from using potions to bombs to grappling to even just opening doors. That doesn't directly help their damage, but it does provide a niche.

It also sounds like Fighters will have access to a free-hand style that does things like combine a maneuver and an attack.


Well, the issue is str isn't use in PF2 for shortswords, Dex is for hit.

Short swords have the finesse and agile property. So Double slice must max dex more than Str.

All agile does is Agile property means 0/-4/-8 for attacks.

I kept very good notes when playtest discussion started.

I predict Exotic Ranged: Bola, Hand Crossbow, Boomerang, Shurikens will all have agile. Normal ranged: Dart.
And many of the simple/Martial light weapons in PF 1 will get it.

Oh, and finesse is case it is unclear means: Dex to hit instead of Str.
I'm predicting: most Light weapons, Martial: Rapier, Exotic: Spiked Chain, Elven Curved Blade,

I'm adding Elven Curved Blade and Boomerang even though we won't get it in playtest document because why not.

Also has anyone calculated Double Strike when using Scimitar's?
They have the Forceful property and add +1 damage if same person in an additional attack (stacks).
I'm not sure if this meant if you have two scimitars would second get bonus when hit or does it mean +1 damage in second attack of that weapon hand.

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