One weapon vs two weapon rogue


Creating a Character


I want to use a sneak attack rogue build. If you have 2 weapons, does the 2nd weapon attack take a -5 penalty? And even if I had 2 weapons would I be able to get in only 3 attacks (at 0, -5 and -10 penalties) or can I get in more attacks?

Recommendations on what weapon(s) to use as a sneak attack rogue?

Is there a way to use dex for attack/dmg ?


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Crexis wrote:

I want to use a sneak attack rogue build. If you have 2 weapons, does the 2nd weapon attack take a -5 penalty? And even if I had 2 weapons would I be able to get in only 3 attacks (at 0, -5 and -10 penalties) or can I get in more attacks?

Recommendations on what weapon(s) to use as a sneak attack rogue?

Is there a way to use dex for attack/dmg ?

Yes to all questions.

Rogues probably use agile weapons though, so your second attack is -4, and third or fourth attack is -8.

Use rapiers or shortswords are good choices.

Rogues get Dex to dmg as a first level class feature, all characters can use dex for attack with finesse weapons.


Thanks for your response.

What is the advantage of using 2 weapons as opposed to a single weapon and an empty hand? (can I use a buckler/shield in other hand?)

How do the attacks work for a 2 weapon rogue in a 3 action economy?


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For Rogue, your two main options are:

Wield a non-agile finesse weapon (Maybe Rappier) in one hand, and an agile finesse weapon (maybe Shortsword) in the other. First action, attack with the stronger non-agile weapon. Other actions, attack with the agile weapon so penalty is -4 and -8 instead of 5 and 10. Not necessarily worth using your second hand though.

Or you could do Fighter Multiclass to get Double Slice, lets you spend 2 actions to strike once each with 2 weapons at full accuracy instead of full and -5.

Or Ranger multiclass to get Hunt Target and Twin Takedown, but that takes more feats.

Paizo has said final game will have better support for TWF Rogues.


Thanks for the response!

In regard to you mentioning using 2 weapons. As a rogue can I become an 'expert' or 'master' or 'legendary'in a certain weapon? In which case I'd have probably have to go short sword as my weapon in both hands.


In general there is little to no support for TWF unless your class has abilities to specifically support it, such as Double Slice.

And even then, it's possibly not worth it vs just using Two Handed Weapon class abilities.

For a rogue, which doesn't really have abilities that buff two-handed weapons or two weapon fighting...it doesn't make much difference.


Crexis wrote:

Thanks for the response!

In regard to you mentioning using 2 weapons. As a rogue can I become an 'expert' or 'master' or 'legendary'in a certain weapon? In which case I'd have probably have to go short sword as my weapon in both hands.

Rogues become expert in the all weapons that they normally are trained in (Siple weapons plus hand crossbow, short sword, rapier, and sap) at I think 13th level. No Master or Legendary.


Claxon wrote:

In general there is little to no support for TWF unless your class has abilities to specifically support it, such as Double Slice.

And even then, it's possibly not worth it vs just using Two Handed Weapon class abilities.

For a rogue, which doesn't really have abilities that buff two-handed weapons or two weapon fighting...it doesn't make much difference.

Debate on TWF vs 2H aside, Rogues with sneak damage to nearly the damage per hit of a strong 2H weapon (10d6+Dex vs. 6d12+Str at 20th, that is 35+Dex vs 39+Str, I've checked a few intervening levels and it holds fairly steady), so an ability like Double Slice or Twin Takedown could actually be well worth it.


I haven't run the exact math, but without abilities like Double Slice to reduce the 2nd attacks penalty to hit, you're going to be worse off.

With an ability that reduces the penalty to hit, you probably come out ahead.

TWF can be good, but only if you have special abilities to support it. But this also supposes no special abilities on THF, which isn't true.


TWF isn't worth it on a rogue in my opinion. You have to sink 2 class feats into fighter dedication and those feats are better spent on rogues class feats. Just use a short sword or something similar with agile and go to town. For my reoccurring Doomsday Dawn character I've been playing a goblin rogue and sank 2 ancestry feats into getting the crit effect on a dogslicer and it's been fine. (an extra way to get flat footed on enemies)


Thanks for the replies.

If I go the route of going 1 handed short sword, what should I put in the other hand. A buckler or small shield or leave it open?

I feel if I'm optimizing my guy that I should place something there.


honestly don't bother, rogues aren't proficient with shields and you'd have to spend a feat to get proficiency. Even if you did it takes an action to raise it and your third action is better used for movement. Just hold a potion in your off hand if you feel the need, healing or invisibility potions usually. It'll save you an action readying it.


Yeah, I feel like Rogues are well-off keeping a free hand. Though at early levels keeping a loaded hand crossbow in your other hand isn't a bad idea, lets you pop off a ranged sneak attack once per fight if the opportunity arises. Heck, it's good at later levels too if you get Doubling Rings to copy the Potency rune from your short sword to your crossbow. The Rogue in my level 17 party has this setup (Though it's actually for using Disintegration Bolts since she has ranged attack covered by a Returning Filcher's Fork).

As an aside, if you are a Halfling or otherwise can access halfling weapons, Filcher's Fork is an absolutely ace weapon for Rogues. It is down 1 damage per die from short sword but in addition to sharing agile and finesse it has deadly d6 which is fun, backstabber to make up part of the damage difference, and most importantly throw range of 20 feet. With a Returning rune this is awesome, lets yo sneak attack at melee and mid-range freely without any weapon-switching or anything. Again, the level 17 Rogue in my party has this and it is AWESOME.

(If you can't get Filcher's Fork then Starknife is almost as good, just trades Backstabber for being able to do both slashing and piercing damage).


Dual wielding, even with 0 feat investment translates to straight + damage on your best attack.

That's because every single non agile weapon deals more damage per than their agile counterpart.

Since you wouldn't use a shield on a rogue either way (- to skills with 0 ways to mitigrate that) there aren't that many uses for your second hand either way by default for rogue.

With feat investment (double slice) it's the single best damage, by a margin, that a rogue can deal.

Getting an effective +4 attack on your second strike is massive, and since your sneaks deal about 2 handed weapon damage, it makes a rogue with double slice something like getting a two handed attack at +4,which is massive.

Alternatively, rogue MC monk is also really nice.


shroudb wrote:

Dual wielding, even with 0 feat investment translates to straight + damage on your best attack.

That's because every single non agile weapon deals more damage per than their agile counterpart.

I am not sure how this works. Why not just wield a single weapon?

Sure, it won't be agile, but the +1 on your second attack is pretty minimal. (Full DPR on three attacks and having a +1 on each is worth about as much as a die size, so having the +1 only on the second (and third) attack, which only hits 25% of the time, only contributes to about 5% of your DPR while the increased die size helps all the time).


Draco18s wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Dual wielding, even with 0 feat investment translates to straight + damage on your best attack.

That's because every single non agile weapon deals more damage per than their agile counterpart.

I am not sure how this works. Why not just wield a single weapon?

Sure, it won't be agile, but the +1 on your second attack is pretty minimal. (Full DPR on three attacks and having a +1 on each is worth about as much as a die size, so having the +1 only on the second (and third) attack, which only hits 25% of the time, only contributes to about 5% of your DPR while the increased die size helps all the time).

The idea is the "Hit at full accuracy with a larger die weapon and then use the iteratives with a weaker agile" to get better results than just wielding a single agile, which is good because regardless of what any math calculations may say I've found Agile to be very useful in actual play.

But this doesn't actually mesh with Rogues because they have a d6 agile weapon and no d8 weapons, so there's no getting a bigger die on the first attack.

Though you could wield a Rapier and Short Sword, hoping to get a Deadly d8 crit on the first attack. Might just be better to go wit the Short Sword or another weapon though.


Deadly (and Fatal) aren't worth it. You're better off just using a weapon with a larger die size. You have to be attacking things a full 5 AC lower than "on-level" (so, hitting on 6s) before you start to see a DPR benefit.


Not sure I follow you... the highest damage die you get for a weapon you can sneak attack is a d6 in most cases. the exceptions I know of are a rapier or shortbow crit which you can't rely on, a normal crossbow, a longbow, which requires a feat, the sling staff which also requires one or more feats, 1 for halflings, 2 for human and 3 for anything else. Plus the ranged weapons are significantly harder to sneak attack with in most cases. sinking 2 feats into monk dedication for wolf style Or the easiest, go the new strength rogue build because half the point of it is being able to sneak attack with a d8 weapon...

Back to what I was talking about earlier, the other potential use for your off hand and keeping it free is taking the poison weapon class feat because that requires you to have an open hand. personally I don't think this feat is that great but hey, different strokes for different folks.


Raylyeh wrote:
the highest damage die you get for a weapon you can sneak attack is a d6 in most cases.

That's the bit of information I was missing. *Salute*


I honestly don't see the problem with having to use a d6 weapon... I currently have a 9th level goblin finesse rogue using a dogslicer and with only moderate optimization of feats, the intimidate skill tree and consumables I've been able to sneak attack on literally every attack I've made. I mean a few things have resistance or immunity to precision damage (oozes and elementals come to mind) but technically I still sneak attacked them. I guess my point is that there is also a barbarian in my group swinging around a d12 and I've been keeping pace with him and in some cases even outclass him damage wise.


Raylyeh wrote:
I honestly don't see the problem with having to use a d6 weapon...

I don't either, its just one of those things where if you've got two equally functional builds, but do DPR comparisons, the one with the higher die size does more damage.

In that way you can also translate other bonuses or penalties into equivalent numbers:

- A die size change equates to somewhere between 0.75 and 0.9 DPR

- A +1 (or -1) to attack equates to about one die size (so if your choices are "use an agile d6 weapon" or "use a d8 weapon and take a -2" you're better off with the agile weapon)

- Deadly and Fatal rarely appear on weapons with larger die sizes (there's one: the heavy pick, but its two handed) and those bonuses do not compensate for the lower effective die size as crits are rare (you need a +5 effective accuracy to achieve a 1.5 DPR round advantage compared to an equivalent weapon without that trait and the next die size)

- Double slice (using d8/d6 weapons) is about 1.5 DPR behind two handed d12 and attacking twice. Or roughly ~+2 bonus. The -2 for not using an agile weapon isn't worthwhile because of point 2: you only have to drop to d6 (a -1 equivalent) to get the agile trait and in so doing don't get afflicted with a -2.

Etc.


I'm really liking that halfling rogue weapon Filchers Fork. Thanks for that info!

Seems worth the 1 ancestry feat to use this weapon! To get the precision damage to be 2 and then 3 for 'legendary' can I get my proficiency as a rogue halfling to legendary level? Where does it max out?

It lists 'weapon finesse' as one of the properties. This uses dex to make attack rolls.

How can I/ what do I do - to get dex to damage for my halfling rogue?

Can I take the feat double slice as a rogue or do I have to take a dip into fighter class?


For the Backstabber precision damage, it is increased by the weapon quality, not your weapon proficiency. You can't get your proficiency with weapons higher than Expert as a Rogue (And to get Expert with the Filcher's Fork you will need to spend your 13th level ancestry feat on Halfling Weapon Expertise, added in the 1.4 errata).

Finesse using Dex for attack rolls is correct.

For Dex to damage, as of various errata there are 3 rogue subclasses to choose from; Finesse, Brute, and Feinter. The benefit of the Finesse path is to allow you to use Dex for damage on your Strikes with melee weapons instead of Str. (NOTE: as written the specific wording "Strikes with a melee weapon" does allow you to get the Dex to damage on weapon throws as well, since both melee and thrown attacks with a weapon such as the Filcher's Fork use the Strike action and throwing a weapon does not make it no longer a melee weapon. I do not know if this is intentional.)

For Double Slice, as it stands you do need to take Fighter Dedication and then Basic Maneuver to get Double Slice.


Thanks edge, just for clarity, if I go with Filchers Fork I can increase the backstabber precision damage if I can get the weapon quality increased.

How would one get that weapon quality increased? Can you train into it somehow, or buy one in a city?


Crexis wrote:

Thanks edge, just for clarity, if I go with Filchers Fork I can increase the backstabber precision damage if I can get the weapon quality increased.

How would one get that weapon quality increased? Can you train into it somehow, or buy one in a city?

To increase your weapon quality, you need to pay a certain sum of gold (35gp for Expert, 360gp for Master, 6500gp for Legendary) in order to upgrade your weapon.

If you obtain a magic weapon, it is the minimum quality required to have the potency rune attached to it.

+1-2 Weapon: Expert
+3-4 Weapon: Master
+5 Weapon: Legendary


Pramxnim wrote:
Crexis wrote:

Thanks edge, just for clarity, if I go with Filchers Fork I can increase the backstabber precision damage if I can get the weapon quality increased.

How would one get that weapon quality increased? Can you train into it somehow, or buy one in a city?

To increase your weapon quality, you need to pay a certain sum of gold (35gp for Expert, 360gp for Master, 6500gp for Legendary) in order to upgrade your weapon.

If you obtain a magic weapon, it is the minimum quality required to have the potency rune attached to it.

+1-2 Weapon: Expert
+3-4 Weapon: Master
+5 Weapon: Legendary

And if I recall correctly Master weapons are a level 7 item and Legendary are level 15. Expert weapons are level 2 items I think, but those don't do more backstabber damage than normal quality.


Okay before I say this I do apologize to you Crexis and any mods that read this because this is probably trolling and I know that that isn't cool. I am new to this forum and honestly haven't been on many forums in the first place. If I get flagged for this I understand but I just feel compelled...

I have been trying to be helpful in this thread but I have to state and ask. 90% of what we have mentioned in this thread is basic info that you can find in the basic 1.0 playtest rule book in the rogue, equipment or action areas, not the erratas or updated versions and they are not obscure, they are right there plain as day. Have you even tried reading it or are you just shooting in the dark?

I don't know, maybe I just personally do as much research as I can on a subject myself before asking others so it seems odd to me.


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I doubt deadly or fatal are worth the damage decrease for pure optimization, but they ARE really fun when they go off.

Drakus got crit by a scythe in my playtest for something like 30 damage and it was awesome. Completely turned that fight around.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

I doubt deadly or fatal are worth the damage decrease for pure optimization, but they ARE really fun when they go off.

Drakus got crit by a scythe in my playtest for something like 30 damage and it was awesome. Completely turned that fight around.

Very much this. There's a huge difference between the nitty gritty of DPR, optimizing, theorycrafting, etc. and then there's how it feels and plays out doing something in actual play.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I doubt deadly or fatal are worth the damage decrease for pure optimization, but they ARE really fun when they go off.

Pure numbers, they aren't. When it triggers though, sure, can be fun.

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