# Two-Weapon Fighting Barbarian

Hey all, I'm relatively new to pathfinder, but I'm addicted to reading rules and coming up with character concepts. I was really wanting to make a Barbarian that fights with two weapons while raging, creating a whirlwind of very powerful attacks. I like thinking about these things with characters like barbarians that I'm building for combat because that's what they are supposed to do best. I would probably add Invulnerable rager or armoured hulk for the extra protection. I found a lot of posts saying that Two weapon fighting is not viable most of the time, which made me slightly saddened for my dual-wielding barbarian concept. I wanted to crunch the numbers my self to see if it was actually inefficient.

This is my method

method:
I compared 3 types of fighting styles for my Barbarian, with a great sword, a longsword, and a short sword, and two short swords. I know that the average damage over many many rolls for the greatsword is 7 damage, for the long sword it is 4.5 and for the short sword, it is 3.5. I assumed my barbarian had a 20 in strength since I enjoy the 20-25 point-buy system, and if I'm going to make a barbarian, I want to get my strength as high as possible. I assumed I was hitting an enemy with an AC made so that I always have and 0.85 probability to hit without feats and various skills (so just including strength and BAB) or a 0.75 probability while two-weapon fighting because of the -2 penalty (which would translate to -0.1 probability). To calculate the average damage that my character would do over many many full round attack actions, I used this formula: (strength bonus + average damage die roll + misc damage mod)(probability attack hits) + (strength bonus + averager damage die roll + misc damage mod)(Probability of critical)(probability of critical success)...(for each attack) = (The average damage over many many full-round attack actions)

a 20 crit and X3 multiplier does the same average damage as its sword equivalent (the short sword), and the same goes for the battle-axe and the long sword. This breaks down with the great axe and great sword because the great sword does slightly more average damage at 2d6 as oppose to the great axes 1d12

If you got through all of that, thank you very much for reading, I spent a really long time with these equations because I'm a math nerd that enjoys statistics.

For those of you that want the simple straight forward answer, wielding two of the same light weapons seems to be the best choices for a purely higher average damage, plus you will hit more often, even if each individual attack does slightly lower damage. If you wanna see those high numbers, add up all of your damage from a single round :). Second is a one-handed and light weapon (but don't do this cause you're better of going with a ridiculously large weapon like the butchering axe or a large bastard sword). And the last choice would be the two-handed weapon, although as I said, a butchering axe or large bastard sword should catch up and do around the same amount of average damage.
I would really like to know what people think about what I found, let me know if you disagree, if I messed up something, if you do a similar calculation with different weapons, or if there are better ways to increase damage.

Thanks again!!!

I did my best with your wall of text, but while the math is nice, the formatting needs serious work.

So, here's my rebuttal as to why a Barbarian two-weapon fighting build is inferior to a two-handed fighting build.

1st: Feat Tax

At a bare minimum, you need to take Two-Weapon Fighting as a feat. This puts you 1 feat behind other builds, which can wield a two-handed weapon without penalty.

2nd: Attack Bonus

You will have at best a -2 penalty to your attack rolls compared to a two-handed weapon fighter. This means an additional 10% of your attack rolls will miss the enemy's AC compared to if you were wielding a two-handed weapon.

3rd: Multiple Attribute Dependency

Whilst you shouldn't be dumping dexterity on a martial character, the dexterity feat prerequisites for Two-Weapon Fighting only get steeper the deeper you go into the chain. This costs you in other areas of your build, whether it be lower mental or physical attributes.

4th: Cost of Equipment

A two-weapon fighter needs two weapons. A two-handed fighter needs one weapon. A two-weapon barbarian using two +1 furious weapons spent over 16,000 gp on their weapons. A two-handed barbarian spent only 8,000 gp on their weapon. The two-handed barbarian will have better gear than the two-weapon barbarian.

5th: Damage Reduction

Any creature with DR will mean you deal less damage with many small hits compared to more damage with one big hit. Many creatures have DR.

Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it!

I apologize for the wall of text, I'm obviously crap at formatting and I'm used to just writing big blocks of text, so my bad. If I do it again I'm sorry, I will try to include more breaks.

That is all super true, and I agree with you that having at least two feats dedicated to it (as IMO Double Slice is a necessity) definitely puts you behind, and that may just be the trade-off to be able to fight with two weapons.

The -2 penalty is actually not necessarily a problem because you hit more often due to just having more attacks.

For instance, (this is just a crude example) the probability of NOT hitting a creature at all with, say, 11 AC, with a single attack with no bonuses is 0.5 because you just need to roll a 10 or lower to miss. This also means you have a 0.5 chance of getting an attack in. In this same situation, if you have two-weapon fighting, (with two light weapons), you have a 0.6 chance to miss on each attack, but the probability of NOT hitting a single attack is now 0.6*0.6 which is 0.36. This gives you a 0.64 chance of getting in at least one hit, so you are actually more likely to hit with the two weapons, even though there is a -2 penalty.

I personally don't have a problem with dumping a bunch of dexterity on a barbarian because they are expected to wear less armor, but maybe that's just my thing and me not being super experienced.

true equipment cost will be greater, I can't really argue with that, again, just a trade-off maybe, and same with damage reduction it seems to break down after about DR 5 when compared to the butchering axe, which it out-competes with no damage resistance, but if you can add a substantial amount of damage between 12th and 20th level it may not break down until DR 10 or so. The main thing is that two-weapon fighting benefits from adding damage to each individual attack more than two-handed fighting, so if you can find a way to do that than it can be better. That's why I kept adding the linnorm curses and also the reason for the elemental rage.

I also acknowledge that monks are just obviously better for this because they are built to do multiple attacks, I honestly just wanna play a barbarian that hits a lot per round and I wouldn't want to be like super low power level so I had to rationalize it XD. I never would have thought about the extra gold cost and damage reduction so thank you.

The biggest problem you have with TWF is that in general it's going to be worse unless you:
1) Have pounce, which barbarians can get but not until level 10. This locks you into Beast Totem
2) TWF doesn't benefit as much from a high strength score, and takes a lot of feats/abilities to get the same total bonus in terms of damage as two handing with power attack does.

There are ways to build TWF that work well, but Barbarian just isn't the chassis for it, IMO.

1)The problem with pounce, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you can only use it when you charge, which you only really do once when you fight a creature. So I can't really factor into the average damage because it's not something that is constant on every single hit, which over many many full-round actions. makes it negligible. A similar reason to why I can't factor in rage powers that can only be used once per rage.

2)Yes, that is another problem with two-weapon fighting is that is can't keep up with the 1.5x bonus that two-handed weapons have.

Also, that last number for the short swords was off by 1.525 for some reason I think. I'm pretty sure it should have been 71.61 instead.

Honestly, I had a fun time calculating the statistics, but I think the reality is that the butchering axe, and maybe even greatsword, although I still have my doubts about that one, will just be better. And I'll be ok with a two-handed weapon, just kinda wanted to see if there was really that much of a benefit.

I know I just said I was done, but it's possible that two weapon rend could make it work since you have a chance to benefit from 1.5 times your strength modifier plus another 1d10. and yikes I looking back at this again I think I messed up more than a few calculations, which might be due to me just being tired. It was really late my time when I did this

I'd like to challenge your claim that the attack penalty is worth the trade because you hit more often due to having more attacks.

In terms of combat potential, let's look at DPR, or Damage Per Round.

Let's take a pair of 6th level barbarians and see how much they can put out against an AC 19 enemy, both wielding masterwork weapons.

Our two-handed barbarian has taken Power Attack, Furious Focus and Weapon Focus (Greatsword). He has 22 Strength when raging.

Our two-weapon barbarian has taken Two-Weapon Fighting, Double Slice and Improved Two-Weapon Fighting. He has 18 Dexterity and 18 Strength when raging.

Here's the attack sequences:

Greatsword: +14/+7 (2d6+24)
Shortsword: +9/+4/+4/-1 (1d6+4)

Our greatsword will hit AC 19 80% of the time on the first attack, and 45% of the time on the second attack. It deals an average of 31 damage per hit. So per round, we'd have 125% chance of dealing 31 damage, for an average of 38 DPR.

Our shortsword will hit AC 19 55% of the time on the first attack, 30% of the time on the second and third attack, and 5% of the time on the fourth attack. It deals an average of 7.5 damage per hit. So per round, we'd have 120% chance of dealing 7.5 damage, for an average of 9 DPR.

This isn't counting criticals, but these overwhelmingly favor the greatsword build as well.

Iraklis:
There is nothing wrong with a two weapon barbarian unless you are specifically concerned about DPR compared to another, theoretical, option.
Optimization only matters if the other players and the GM are also optimizing.
Build whatever character concepts you like and play them if they're fun, amusing, or satisfying. A 'subpar' character only becomes an issue if it is holding back a party in some way.

I know it's a bit off the barbarian theme but a ranger in mithril full plate with a 1 level dip in warrior(around whenever you can afford the armour for free h.armor prof and other goodies)and maybe some ranger archetypes is my preference for strength twf.

Preferred Dwarf for armored rules, dwarvern waraxes(and lace on offhand one)and good stat mix. Or maybe half orc as you can get boon companion as well as beast rider(extra choices too) to offset animal companion levels being behind entirely(due to warrior dip) and otherwise a good flexible race.

But yeah barbarians are mechanically simple beasts, a single big two hander is a easier build. But chase your dreams it's not all about the numbers.

P.s forgot to mention dorn dugar(was concidering for an entirely different character), can be duel wielded if you want reach but that does cost extra feats heck dwarf barbarian with two of these could be fun too but again feat heavy!

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I would have agreed that two weapon fighting is bad for barbarian before unchained was released. As long as you are using unchained barbarian you're good to go. Unchained rage is a flat bonus, it adds equally to both weapons and is not multiplied by 1.5 for a two hander, nor reduced to .5 for an off hand.

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Iraklis wrote:

1)The problem with pounce, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you can only use it when you charge, which you only really do once when you fight a creature. So I can't really factor into the average damage because it's not something that is constant on every single hit, which over many many full-round actions. makes it negligible. A similar reason to why I can't factor in rage powers that can only be used once per rage.

2)Yes, that is another problem with two-weapon fighting is that is can't keep up with the 1.5x bonus that two-handed weapons have.

Also, that last number for the short swords was off by 1.525 for some reason I think. I'm pretty sure it should have been 71.61 instead.

Honestly, I had a fun time calculating the statistics, but I think the reality is that the butchering axe, and maybe even greatsword, although I still have my doubts about that one, will just be better. And I'll be ok with a two-handed weapon, just kinda wanted to see if there was really that much of a benefit.

Yes, the statistic don't show how important Pounce is because when you calculate theoretical DPR you're not including that every time you move you get only 1 attack without it. There's no "easy" way to account for it. As for "once per rage" abilities, finding ways to rage cycle is a classic move, so that those abilities become once per round.

Gnoams is right, Play an unchained barbarian, they're better at two weapon fighting than the core barbarian, use high crit weapons like kukri and go down the accurate stance tree and beast totem tree.

Claxon wrote:

The biggest problem you have with TWF is that in general it's going to be worse unless you:

1) Have pounce, which barbarians can get but not until level 10. This locks you into Beast Totem
2) TWF doesn't benefit as much from a high strength score, and takes a lot of feats/abilities to get the same total bonus in terms of damage as two handing with power attack does.

There are ways to build TWF that work well, but Barbarian just isn't the chassis for it, IMO.

Double Slice puts a TWF character into a position to get full STR on both weapons. TWF also gets more benefit from the unchained barbarian's rage power as the static moral bonus to damage is applied equally to all attacks.

Power attack breaks even. Between main hand and off-hand you get the same total damage damage.

Barbarian might not be the most common choice for TWF, but it can work.

JDLPF wrote:

I'd like to challenge your claim that the attack penalty is worth the trade because you hit more often due to having more attacks.

Our two-handed barbarian has taken Power Attack, Furious Focus and Weapon Focus (Greatsword). He has 22 Strength when raging.

Our two-weapon barbarian has taken Two-Weapon Fighting, Double Slice and Improved Two-Weapon Fighting. He has 18 Dexterity and 18 Strength when raging.

Here's the attack sequences:

Greatsword: +14/+7 (2d6+24)
Shortsword: +9/+4/+4/-1 (1d6+4)

You seem to have applied an additional -5 penalty to all off-hand attacks, and what's up with the +24 dmg modifier on the Greatsword? Power Attack (+6) and Strength (+9) would only result in a +15.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Claxon wrote:

The biggest problem you have with TWF is that in general it's going to be worse unless you:

1) Have pounce, which barbarians can get but not until level 10. This locks you into Beast Totem
2) TWF doesn't benefit as much from a high strength score, and takes a lot of feats/abilities to get the same total bonus in terms of damage as two handing with power attack does.

There are ways to build TWF that work well, but Barbarian just isn't the chassis for it, IMO.

Double Slice puts a TWF character into a position to get full STR on both weapons. TWF also gets more benefit from the unchained barbarian's rage power as the static moral bonus to damage is applied equally to all attacks.

Power attack breaks even. Between main hand and off-hand you get the same total damage damage.

Barbarian might not be the most common choice for TWF, but it can work.

Unchained Barbarian is very different proposition because of the morale bonus to attack and damage. And while Double Slice does put you into a position to get full strength bonus on both weapons, you also have a greater chance to miss the attack (getting 0 damage) and requires many more feats work and requires you to sacrifice some Strength for Dex as well.

This isn't to say that you can't make a TWF Barbarian, just that it's more effective to make a THW Barbarian in my experience.

From my perspective, the TWF version needs to exceed the THW build because otherwise you're spending more feats and gold on the build to achieve the same result. So unless it can significantly output more damage, it's not a "better" build because it requires more resources to reach the same goal.

Now for comparison, a Ranger which uses Instant Enemy and TWF to get his full Favored Enemy bonus to attack and damage is a terrifying TWF combatant because the attack and damage bonuses make up for sacrificing strength.

Fighter can also do well with Advanced Weapon training options allowing you double your weapon training damage with Trained Grace and can grab effortless dual wield to treat one-hand weapons as light (though kukris work just fine, weapon damage dice don't mean much in Pathfinder).

JDLPF wrote:

Here's the attack sequences:

Greatsword: +14/+7 (2d6+24)
Shortsword: +9/+4/+4/-1 (1d6+4)

Your math is a little messed up, even assuming you used Barbarian for both instead of unchained barbarian (Which is better for THF worse for TWF). (I'm going to assume human)

Greatsword: +6 BAB +6(+9) STR Bonus -2/+6 from PA, +1 WF, +1 MW

+14/+7 (2d6+15)

.8(22.5) + .8(.1)(22.5) = 19.8
.35(22.5) + .35(.1)(22.5) = 8.6625

DPR = 28.4625
------------------------------------------------------------------
Shortsword: (18 STR, 17 DEX) +6 BAB +4 STR, -2/+4/+2 PA, +1 MW, +2 moral, -2 TWF

+9/+9/+4/+4 (1d6+10)/(1d6+8)

.55(13.5) + .55(.1)(13.5) = 8.1675
.3(11.5) + .55(.1)(11.5) = 3.8

DPR = 23.935
--------------------------------------------------------------------

At 6th level, the THF does deal ~19% higher DPR.

The equations change as level increases. There are more feats and properties available to the TWF to increase DPR, or that grant static bonuses the TWF can apply more often. Weapon focus, for example, is obviously an option at 7th level. But there are plenty of other options:

• Two-Weapon Rend (1d10 + x1.5 str + other modifiers)
• Possessed Hand / Hand's Autonomy (+1 to-hit & damage / reduce TWF penalty
• Martial Focus (+1 Damage)
• Dual Balanced Weapons (-1 TWF penalty)
• Thunder & Fang (TWF with an Earthbreaker + Klar)
• Two-Weapon Grace - Slashing Grace with two weapons (DEX to damage)

Several things come to mind here.

• Thunder & Fang is barbarian themed.
• Dual Balanced Weapons + Haunted Hand = -1 TWF penalty while using a 1-handed weapon in your off hand. You can use much better weapons than short swords
• Two Weapon Grace = no more splitting stats. Go pure DEX build

You don't build a TWF barbarian the same way you build a THF barbarian, and it takes more feats to get going full steam than a THF character (which are always the strongest builds at low level). Once the TWF character gets going, however, it has a lot more room for growth and eventually overtakes the THF in both damage and defense.

Claxon wrote:
Fighter can also do well with Advanced Weapon training options allowing you double your weapon training damage with Trained Grace and can grab effortless dual wield to treat one-hand weapons as light (though kukris work just fine, weapon damage dice don't mean much in Pathfinder)

At higher level the fighter takes Focused Weapon and his kukri start dealing much higher base damage.

JDLPF,
Just so you know, when talking about statistics, probabilities are between 0 and 1, you cannot have a 125% chance of hitting, or dealing 31 damage.
Also, I was saying simply that even though there is an attack penalty, you are more likely to hit at least once per round.

I have organized my thoughts finally and have proofread this post about 3 times so hopefully, I didn't miss too much. Now that my thoughts are organized, I can prove to you that Two-weapon fighting is worth the penalty as soon as you get to level 8, although it's possible it might become beneficial at level 6 or 7 not sure. We'll get to that in a bit.

Also, I believe the barbarians with just the stats you presented would have stats more like this:

Greatsword: +13/+6 (+6 BAB, +6 strength, +1 weapon focus,/+1 BAB, +6 strength +1 weapon focus, -2 power attack)

Shortswords: +8/+8/+5/+5 (+6 BAB, +4 strength,-2 TWF/ +6 BAB, +4 strength, -2 TWF/ +1 BAB, +4 strength/ +6 BAB, +4 strength, -5 ITWF

you only add 1.5 times strength mod to damage rolls, not attack rolls.

"Your attack bonus with a melee weapon is:

Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + size modifier"

"When you deal damage with a weapon that you are wielding two-handed, you add 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus (Strength penalties are not multiplied). You don’t get this higher Strength bonus, however, when using light weapons with two hands."

With two-weapon fighting, the first two attacks should have the same bonus to hit, as it is a -2 penalty to hit with each weapon on the first two, and a -5 on the second two. Your BAB already has the -5 factored in which is why at 6th level it is +6/+1. Improved two-weapon fighting assumes that you would use your full BAB on your off-hand attack, which is why it gives a -5 penalty. This is why the Monk's flurry of blows at the same BAB is +6/+6/+1/+1 because they are essentially just using two-weapon fighting, they just get the feat for free instead.

When we calculate the expected damage per round, we want to find our expected values. To do this we add the average damage we roll with our damage die to our strength mod, or 1.5 strength mod if we are wielding a weapon with two hands, and any misc damage. For the shortswords, in this case, this damage is 3.5+4=7.5, which you said but for the long sword, this damage is 7+9+6=22 not 31. Now we can plug the values into our equation for expected (or average but in this case, the correct term would be expected I believe) damage per round. With AC 19 like you proposed the greatsword player needs to roll at least a 6 and then at least a 13 giving them a 0.75 chance to hit on the first roll and a 0.4 chance to hit on their second roll. We will multiply these values both by our average damage per die roll to get our expected normal attack damage per round.

We also have to account for critical hits which double our damage value on the rare occasions we get critical hits. With these swords, we get critical hits on 19 or 20 and then we have to confirm the critical by making a normal attack roll again. So we take the 0.1 probability of the critical hit and multiply that by our chance to hit which for the first swing was 0.75 and the second was 0.4 which gives us 0.075 and 0.04. We will multiply this value by our average damage per die roll to get the expected critical damage per round

We add all of the values together to get our total expected damage per round. So for the greatsword we get 22(0.75)+22(0.075)+22(0.4)+22(0.04)=27.83

For our shortsword, we do the same thing, but we have lower probability to hit and more attacks.

ok now we can compare expected damage per round, the long sword has 27.83 and the short swords have 14.025. This is to be expected as I mentioned in the original post, even though this matchup is heavily skewed in the greatsword barbarians favor, as I did not have my barbarian ahead in damage until level 7, and we haven't used the essential things that make this build work rage powers or the power attack feat, all of which are available at level 6. (plus you can't actually get improved two-weapon fighting at level 6 BTW)

The short sword barbarian also starts getting particularly good at level 8, so this is where I will choose to compare them now instead of level 6. Also using a 15 point buy (20 and 25 just make it easier), it is definitely possible to create a barbarian with 22 strength while raging while still having a 17 in dexterity so we will assume both have a 22 in strength while raging.

We can assume they have the same rage powers for purposes of comparing: lesser elemental rage, 2 linnorm death curses, and elemental rage

Greatsword: Feats- Weapon Focus(greatsword), Power Attack, Critical focus, and Furious Focus.
A full round attack would be
+15/+7 and average damage per die roll would be 30.5

Shortsword: Feats- Two-Weapon Fighting, Double Slice, improved two-weapon fighting, and Power Attack.
A full round attack would be +9/+9/+6/+6 and average damage per die roll would be 21.
This time lets say we use a CR 20 creature

so our equations are:
Greatsword: 30.5(0.8)+30.5(0.085)+30.5(0.4)+30.5(0.06)=41.0225
Short sword: 2(21(0.5)+21(0.05))+2(21(0.35)+21(0.35)=52.5

If anyone wants to put that in a calculator and check my math you are welcome to, I will say the original post had a lot of mistakes in it due to me being tired and all of the cross-referencing getting jumbled around in my brain, so this is a much better model of what I was doing. LMK if you find any mistakes here, I'll be happy to iron everything out. In any case, after this point of level 8, we can still gain more ways to deal damage on each individual hit, and once we get two-weapon rend as a feat it should catapult us ahead in terms of damage, especially since the damage from two-weapon rend is incredibly unlikely not to apply (approximately 0.0199 probability not to apply at level 11, possibly less with feats like weapon focus).

Anyway, statistics takes a long time to write out and explain so I apologize for that, the point is that I think it is reasonable aside from the gold cost maybe, and possibly DRs, plus sounds fun to play IMO. This is good enough evidence for me to play a two-weapon barbarian, even if it takes quite a lot of thinking.

Also Claxon, I can't account for like once per rage abilities which sucks but that's ok because I think it would balance out, possibly in the TWF favor.

Ryan Freire,
Gnome barbarian just sounds kinda hilarious, not sure how good, but hilarious XD.

not sure why that posted twice, but Volkard Abendroth basically what you just did was what I was doing, I would be super glad if you checked over the post I sent right before this one, I feel pretty good about how it outlines everything. Of course, I probably made a mistake but that's ok, definitely fewer mistakes than the OP.

wait it didn't post twice, I'm just tripin I guess XD.

I didn't even try to follow the math, because it doesn't matter much. I like the idea of a TWF Barbarian. I have an NPC in my campaign that does just that. He actually has some Rogue levels, getting some extra d6's in there with flanking attacks.

Is he optimized? No. Don't care. But I would happily play him as a PC. Because I think that people should just go ahead and play what they like. Make it work well enough to be an asset to the party and get in there!

My only advice is this: get yourself some flanking help. If nothing else, it compensates for the TWF penalties. Oh yeah, it is a party-oriented game. Maybe someone [i]wants[i] to help you....

I didn't see any mention of it but I think a half orc with an orc double axe is worth a mention. He loses the bonus feat humans get but trades that in for other orc goodies and that orc familiarity. I didn't crunch any numbers but a double weapon should as effective as two light weapons for slightly better damage as well as other bonuses inherent with double weapons namely being able to add str +1/2 when you move and attack and freeing up a hand for potions or what not.

Thunderlord,
The Half-orc could be great, I would say that the one thing about choosing a half-orc instead of a human is that the penalty you take from having to get the two feats to make two-weapon fighting viable feels worse, since you can only take the one feat at first level, meaning you can't apply full strength to your off-hand till 3rd level.

That said, I believe the rules could be interpreted in a way where with a double weapon you add 1.5 strength modifier to each hit, in which case, what I said above about half-orcs suffering greater penalty because of feats, is no longer a drawback at all (not sure if this is what you were saying, but I'm just gonna back it up with sources from the book). Now, let me know if I am completely wrong about this, or if there has been an official ruling, but the Core Rule Book states:

"You can use a double weapon to fight as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, just as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. You can choose to wield one end of a double weapon two-handed, but it cannot be used as a double weapon when wielded in this way—only one end of the weapon can be used in any given round."

And again in the combat chapter it mentions double weapons:

"Double Weapons: You can use a double weapon to make
an extra attack with the off-hand end of the weapon as if
you were fighting with two weapons. The penalties apply
as if the off-hand end of the weapon was a light weapon."

So with the two-weapon fighting feat, these attack penalties are obviously the -2 to each hit, but it should be noted that the 0.5 strength mod is due to using your off-hand weapon to attack, not for using two-weapons or for using a light weapon. The section on wielding a weapon two-handed states:

"Wielding a Weapon Two-Handed: When you deal damage
with a weapon that you are wielding two-handed, you add
1-1/2 times your Strength bonus (Strength penalties are
not multiplied). You don’t get this higher Strength bonus,
however, when using a light weapon with two hands."

Since Double weapons are still two-handed weapons (not light weapons) being wielded with two hands, even if they grant additional attacks, I believe they still fall into this category of applying 1.5 strength mod.

So what this means is not only does the wielder of a double weapon not have to take the Double Slice feat, they actually get to add the same amount of strength as a two-handed weapon fighter, except they attack twice as much with only a -2 penalty and an extra feat. Also, this means you avoid the cost of equipment penalty that JDLPF mentioned at the beginning of the thread since you now only have to worry about one weapon. Not to mention the Orc Double Axe does 1 more average damage per die roll than a short sword anyway (1d6 has an average roll of 3.5 and 1d8 has an average roll of 4.5). This could possibly make this the best way to deal damage as a barbarian, as far as I know, assuming the rules support this.

I do like that this provides a nice incentive to play half-orc barbarians for me personally because before I was just sticking with humans for the extra feat. The one thing I will say is that it doesn't feel as cool as using two weapons at once IMO, but we don't always get what we want.

If I did play with two weapons I would probably just go for a fighter because of all the bonus feats and weapon training, and the ability to use feats like a weapon specialization, and it still fills the melee combat focused role of the party, although it becomes harder for me to rationalize having such a high dexterity score.

Anyway, let me know what you think of this take on the double weapon ruling. Sorry again for the walls of text, I have a lot to say and I really appreciate it if you read through these. This isn't statistics intensive like my last post was so hopefully it'll be easier to follow.

Now the real question, can we make a half-orc Titan Mauler Barbarian wielding a butchering axe in each hand work XD.

(That's a -7 to hit at 3rd level and -6 at 6th level)

Probably not but I may still crunch some numbers just to see because my curiosity tends to get ahold of me. I'll let y'all know how it compares if/when I finish, and I won't go into the math do keep it short.

Iraklis wrote:

Now the real question, can we make a half-orc Titan Mauler Barbarian wielding a butchering axe in each hand work XD.

(That's a -7 to hit at 3rd level and -6 at 6th level)

Probably not but I may still crunch some numbers just to see because my curiosity tends to get ahold of me. I'll let y'all know how it compares if/when I finish, and I won't go into the math do keep it short.

I have a number of these. Now, generally I'm assuming human or half-elf but it's just so I can grab exotic weapon prof. butchering axe. So, you can do it with half-orc but the feats will be skewed. Otherwise, take your pick

Mobile Titan Mauler (Barbarian/Fighter)

Spoiler:

Key concepts: A warrior who uses 2 butchering axes and can move and attack
Race: Human or Half-elf
Racial Traits: Heart of the Fey and Focused Study or Military Tradition(Human), Ancestral Arms or adaptability (Half-elf)
Class: Barbarian(2) / Fighter(x)
Archetypes: Titan Mauler – Barbarian / Fighter – Mobile Fighter
Eldritch Heritage Bloodline: Abyssal
Feats: Skill Focus (1st), Exotic Weapon Proficiency [Butchering Axe](1st), Eldritch Heritage(3rd),Two-Weapon Fighting(3rd), Power Attack(4th), Furious Focus(5th), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting(6th), Weapon Focus(7th), Retrained Feat(10th), Greater Two-Weapon Fighting(11th), Improved Eldritch Heritage (11th)
Suggested Gear: Glove of Storing, Shrinking Growing Butchering Axe of Impact, Cracked Opalescent White Pyramid (Butchering Axe), Pauldrons of the Juggernaut, Amulet of the Blooded, Dual-Balanced (weapon mod)
Key Features: Base Damage for the Butchering Axe is 3d6
At 13th level you can move and make a full attack, losing your first primary attack

Titan Mauler Infiltrator (Barbarian/Ranger)

Spoiler:

Key concepts: A warrior who uses 2 butchering axes and can move and attack
Race: Human or Half-elf
Racial Traits: Heart of the Fey and Focused Study or Military Tradition(Human), Ancestral Arms or adaptability (Half-elf)
Class: Barbarian(2) / Ranger(x)
Archetypes: Titan Mauler (Barbarian) / Infiltrator (Ranger)
Eldritch Heritage Bloodline: Abyssal
Combat Style: Two-Weapon Combat
Feats: Skill Focus (1st), Exotic Weapon Proficiency [Butchering Axe](1st), Two-Weapon Fighting(3rd), Eldritch Heritage(5th), Power Attack (7th),Weapon Focus(9th), Improved Eldritch Heritage (11th)
Bonus Feats: Double Slice(4th), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting(8th), Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (12th), Two-Weapon Rend(16th), Two-Weapon Defense(20th)
Suggested Gear: Glove of Storing, Shrinking Growing Butchering Axe of Impact, Cracked Opalescent White Pyramid (Butchering Axe), Pauldrons of the Juggernaut, Amulet of the Blooded, Dual-Balanced (weapon mod)

Titan Mauler Goliath (Fighter/Druid)

Spoiler:

Key concepts: A druid that can shape change into a troll in order to wade into combat
Race: Human or Half-elf or Tiefling or Half-Orc
Racial Trait: Heart of the Fey and Focused Study or Military Tradition(Human), Ancestral Arms or adaptability (Half-elf)
Class: Barbarian (2), Druid(X)
Archetypes: Titan Mauler (Barbarian) / Goliath Druid (Druid)
Eldritch Heritage Bloodline: Abyssal
[b]Domain:
Rage
Rage Power: Beast Totem Lesser(2nd), Beast Totem(13th) & Beast Totem Greater(14th)
Feat Tree Pounce: Possessed Hand(1st), Hand’s Autonomy(1st), Two-Weapon Fighting(3rd), Double Slice(5th), Racial Heritage[Ogre](7th), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting(9th), Raging Brute(11th), Extra Rage Power(13th), Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (17th)
Feat Tree +6 CON: Skill Focus(1st), Exotic Weapon Proficiency [Butchering Axe](1st), Two-Weapon Fighting(3rd), Double Slice(5th), Eldritch Heritage(7th), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting(9th), Improved Eldritch Heritage(11th), Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (17th)
Suggested Feats: Die Hard, Deathless Initiate, Cleave,
Suggested Gear: 2x Shrinking Butchering Axes (Growing, Furious, Impact, Vicious or Furyborn), Cracked Opalescent White Pyramid (Butchering Axe), Irongrip Gauntlets, Cord of Stubborn Resolve, Pauldrons of the Juggernaut, Amulet of the Blooded, Dual-Balanced (weapon mod)
Key Features: • Base Damage for the enlarged Butchering Axe is 4d6
• With Enlarge person damage then becomes 4d6
• With Impact damage becomes 6d6
• At 3rd Level (assuming nat 20 str & E person) Dmg = 4d6+12 (24 avg dmg)
• At 13th Level you can assume the form of a troll gaining regeneration & rend
• At 15th level you can assume the form of a huge giant (24d6 butchering axe)
• At 19th level( (assuming nat 30 str & wildshape & rage) Base Dmg = 24d6+40 (Avg 124/184 max)
• Growing can increase the size again, but only if the weapon is already huge and only for 10 min. per day

Raging Titan Mauler (Barbarian/Bloodrager)

Spoiler:

Key concepts: A warrior who uses 2 butchering axes and can move and attack
Race: Human or Half-elf
Racial Traits: Heart of the Fey and Focused Study or Military Tradition(Human), Ancestral Arms or adaptability (Half-elf)
Class: Barbarian(2) / Bloodrager(x)
Archetypes: Primalist (Bloodrager) / Titan Mauler (Barbarian)
Bloodline: Shapechanger
Eldritch Heritage Bloodline: Orc
Rage Powers: Lesser Beast Totem(2nd), Beast Totem(10th), Beast Totem, Greater(10th), lose evolving aspect(10th)
Feats: Skill Focus (1st), Exotic Weapon Proficiency [Butchering Axe](1st), Eldritch Heritage(3rd),Two-Weapon Fighting(3rd), Power Attack(4th), Furious Focus(5th), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting(6th), Weapon Focus(7th), Retrained Feat(10th), Greater Two-Weapon Fighting(11th), Improved Eldritch Heritage (13th)
Suggested Gear: Glove of Storing, Shrinking Growing Butchering Axe of Impact, Cracked Opalescent White Pyramid (Butchering Axe), Pauldrons of the Juggernaut, Dual-Balanced (weapon mod)
Key Features: Base Damage for the Butchering Axe is 3d6
At 10th level you gain pounce

LordKailas,
Wow, that's pretty awesome, I said half-orc because for some reason I thought you had to be a half-orc to wield it, which in retrospect doesn't really make sense anyway, not sure why I thought that. Those look pretty cool though, do you find that it is more effective for these characters to multiclass?

One big advantage the THF has is that his one attack does a lot more damage than one attack with a one handed weapon. that's why pounce is so valuable - every time you have to move to engage (which can be multiple times in a combat) it really matters.

DR also changes the equation - often by quite a lot.

All that said, play what you want. One of the builds I really like is a dwarf Bbn. with twin waraxes...though I saw a PC try it at first level, and rarely hit anything...died at fourth.

Ryan Freire wrote:
Gnoams is right, Play an unchained barbarian, they're better at two weapon fighting than the core barbarian, use high crit weapons like kukri and go down the accurate stance tree and beast totem tree.

Here's a few more options:

1) Standard two-handed Power Attacking core/archetype barbarian who uses a polearm rather than a greatsword, and is built to achieve a lot of AoOs. You'll want either the Drunken Brute archetype or the Accelerated Drinker trait in order to slam portions of Enlarge Person as a move-action. The nice thing about AoOs is that they're at your full attack-bonus. Opinions varied, but I just love this build to death (see the follow-up post down-page for more detail in how its gears worked).

2) Halfling or goblin dex-rager (urban or savage-technologist barbarian or bloodrager). These guys (especially the goblin) are the TWF crit-fish champs. You'll finagle wakizashi or waveblade proficiency one way or another, and will have three or four levels of unchained rogue in the multiclass stack.

3) "Monkbarian": uses flurry instead of TWF so he can use a single weapon (typically a temple sword or sansetsukon with the Furious enchancement) in two hands (keeping Power Attack bonus up and costs down). Build uses the Martial Artist chained archetype, and is more monk than barbarian. At monk5th, you're immune to fatigue and can then effortlessly rage-cycle so you don't have to worry about your AC off-turn. Build path is normally something like 1.Barb1 w/Extra Rage, 2-X Monk(nth), and at least one more barbarian level at any point for rage powers (with Reckless Abandon being a total gimme in a rage-cycler). Given the awesomeness of the Martial Artist's "exploit weakness" ability (which basically eliminates the -2 flurry penalty as well as letting you crack DR or give you more AC when you need it), you'll be only two levels of barbarian, and all other levels will be monk, or other classes that count as monk (this, unfortunately, does not include Brawler). You'll have a move of 50 at 4th as a B1/M3 multiclass, and enjoy quite decent AC compared to the average barbarian despite not wearing armor. Works well in point-buy with a 15,15,14,14,10,7 20pt array with one of the 15s in wisdom (it will be advanced at 8th).

Iraklis wrote:

LordKailas,

Wow, that's pretty awesome, I said half-orc because for some reason I thought you had to be a half-orc to wield it, which in retrospect doesn't really make sense anyway, not sure why I thought that. Those look pretty cool though, do you find that it is more effective for these characters to multiclass?

Thanks! :)

For these kinds of builds I multi-class when it makes sense to do so. Barbarian doesn't get anything that makes it easy for them to dual wield. There are some things to keep in mind with dual wielding.

1. It's very feat intensive, anything you can do that helps with this is good.
2. As a dual wielder, the biggest problem you have is having to move before attacking. This means instead of getting 8 attacks you get 1. Anything you can do to get free movement or all of your attacks with movement helps.
3. DR can majorly dampen the damage output of any character that relies on multiple attacks instead of 1 big one. So, anything that can increase the damage per hit helps.
4. Accuracy can be an issue if you don't minimize your penalties in some way.

To this end. I looked at whatever helps deal with these four issues in the most efficient manner possible. In general IMO you should avoid multi-classing as much as possible. The reason I've done so in these cases is because titan mauler lets you dual wield butcher axes. Using magic items alone you can get 1 virtual size increase and 1 actual size increase making each weapon deal 6d6 damage. This helps address issue #3.

I've then mixed this with other classes that are either good at dual wielding or are able to push the butcher axes beyond just 6d6 on a regular basis. A straight barbarian can work with a build like this but as others have stated you're going to spend all of your feats on it and you might have accuracy issues.

EldonGuyre wrote:

One big advantage the THF has is that his one attack does a lot more damage than one attack with a one handed weapon. that's why pounce is so valuable - every time you have to move to engage (which can be multiple times in a combat) it really matters.

DR also changes the equation - often by quite a lot.

All that said, play what you want. One of the builds I really like is a dwarf Bbn. with twin waraxes...though I saw a PC try it at first level, and rarely hit anything...died at fourth.

Look into dual balanced weapons + Hand's Autonomy.

Hand's Autonomy is -2 to TWF penalties, to a minimum of -1.

Dual Balanced Weapons is a non-magical weapon property that costs 2,000 per weapon, but reduces the TWF penalty by -1

The prereq for Hand's Autonomy is Possessed Hand, which give +1 attk and dmg to one weapon.

You are effectively -0 to-hit/+1 dmg on one weapon and -1 to-hit on the second weapon.

Hand's Autonomy also has a bunch of situational abilities, like the ability to act while the character is unconscious or helpless. E.g. attack, feed you healing potions, wake you up etc.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
EldonGuyre wrote:

One big advantage the THF has is that his one attack does a lot more damage than one attack with a one handed weapon. that's why pounce is so valuable - every time you have to move to engage (which can be multiple times in a combat) it really matters.

DR also changes the equation - often by quite a lot.

All that said, play what you want. One of the builds I really like is a dwarf Bbn. with twin waraxes...though I saw a PC try it at first level, and rarely hit anything...died at fourth.

Look into dual balanced weapons + Hand's Autonomy.

Hand's Autonomy is -2 to TWF penalties, to a minimum of -1.

Dual Balanced Weapons is a non-magical weapon property that costs 2,000 per weapon, but reduces the TWF penalty by -1

The prereq for Hand's Autonomy is Possessed Hand, which give +1 attk and dmg to one weapon.

You are effectively -0 to-hit/+1 dmg on one weapon and -1 to-hit on the second weapon.

Hand's Autonomy also has a bunch of situational abilities, like the ability to act while the character is unconscious or helpless. E.g. attack, feed you healing potions, wake you up etc.

The whole possessed hand thing is interesting, but really wouldn't have the right flavor for my build. Dual balanced weapons is a definite, though.

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Iraklis wrote:

*snip

Since Double weapons are still two-handed weapons (not light weapons) being wielded with two hands, even if they grant additional attacks, I believe they still fall into this category of applying 1.5 strength mod.

*snip

I have never even considered this to be a possible ruling. Reading the light weapon penalties as only applying to attack (so not actually a penalty considering) would make this viable and rewarding to those who want to mix up the whole "humans are best at everything"

Another thing you can do is use the orc double axe and two weapon fight with that. You have to be an orc (or use traits or an ioun stone for prof) but you are a barbarian so orc is great anyways. It solves the cost problem since you only need to enhance one weapon, and it gives you better damage than most of the other weapons at 1d8/1d8. I’ve had a lot of fun with that build before.

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double weapons have to have each side enchanted seperately