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 Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E

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thanson02
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PostSubject: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:36 pm

So here is a question of curiosity.....

I recently got into a conversation with someone about the lack of two weapon fighting in 4E.  It is made clear in the PH that unless you have a power that lets you do it, two weapon fighting is not an option for you.  Personally, I think this seems odd that it would be limited to fighters and rangers this way (only classes with said powers, as far as I can tell), especially with other marital classes like the warlord and the rouge who would have a lot of fun with this option.

So what is everyone's take on this?  Do you like it or hate it?  Have you house ruled two weapon fighting as a regular combat option and if you did, what did you do to keep it fun and balanced?  If not, why not?
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:05 pm

I guess what should two weapon fighting do? If I recall correctly, besides specific class builds that gain two attacks, the main feats mainly add a a bonus to attacks or a defensive bonus.

What should be the mechanical representation be? is multiple attacks what make two weapon fighting? Is a bonus to attacks or defense the best way to represent it?
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:04 am

herrozerro wrote:
I guess what should two weapon fighting do?  If I recall correctly, besides specific class builds that gain two attacks, the main feats mainly add a a bonus to attacks or a defensive bonus.

What should be the mechanical representation be?  is multiple attacks what make two weapon fighting?  Is a bonus to attacks or defense the best way to represent it?

When I got into the discussion with said person, the main difference of opinion was getting two attacks for one standard action vs. using an action point to get two standard actions to make two attacks.  If you have a power that allows two attacks for one standard action, then if you use an action point, you would get 4 attacks instead of 2 (thinking of Ranger power Twin Strike).  Personally, I thought the issue was splitting hairs, but it got me thinking and since many of the folks on this list are not looking to make 4E into something it is not (like 3.5), I thought I would bring up the question here.

I do agree with you points though.  When I am not doing normal life stuff (work, spending time with my wife, ect), I train in martial arts.  My area of focus is weapons fighting and I love sword work.  Two weapon fighting is one of those area where if you have the right equipment, you can get the basics down with a little practice and make it work, but it takes years to master the fundamentals so you can pull off complicated maneuvers.  That is why I didn't mind the fighter and the ranger having two weapon maneuver options in their powers.  It made sense.  And since 4E allows attacks with off weapons, you can simulate variations of two weapon fighting, but it is limited and I was wondering what folks have done with this area of combat.


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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:55 am

The idea that wielding a weapon in each hand should give you 2 attacks per round is dumb. Fighting with 2 weapons is incredibly hard compared to a single weapon or a weapon and a shield. It takes a huge amount of coordination to pull that off and usually the maneuvers are a feint with one to one an attack with the other or using one for offense and one to parry attacks (in this case a shield would be much more effective).
2 weapon fighting in other editions was extremely overpowered/broken. I like the way it is handed in 4e with powers that work for fighters, rangers, and barbarians, and feats for anyone that give you a small boost to damage or defense with 2 weapons. I basically says the character has specialized/focus/trained for a very difficult style of fighting and has spent resources toward that.

I usually wave off "realism" for heroic fantasy, but 2 weapon fighting is one of those where it is hard for me. Having a weapon in each hand just simply does not mean you can use both with a single standard action. You brain is not really capable of doing that without a lot of training and practice.

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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:59 am

thanson02 wrote:
herrozerro wrote:
I guess what should two weapon fighting do?  If I recall correctly, besides specific class builds that gain two attacks, the main feats mainly add a a bonus to attacks or a defensive bonus.

What should be the mechanical representation be?  is multiple attacks what make two weapon fighting?  Is a bonus to attacks or defense the best way to represent it?

When I got into the discussion with said person, the main difference of opinion was getting two attacks for one standard action vs. using an action point to get two standard actions to make two attacks.  If you have a power that allows two attacks for one standard action, then if you use an action point, you would get 4 attacks instead of 2 (thinking of Ranger power Twin Strike).  Personally, I thought the issue was splitting hairs, but it got me thinking and since many of the folks on this list are not looking to make 4E into something it is not (like 3.5), I thought I would bring up the question here.

I do agree with you points though.  When I am not normal life stuff (work, spending time with my wife, ect), I train in martial arts.  My area of focus is weapons fighting and I love sword work.  Two weapon fighting is one of those area where if you have the right equipment, you can get the basics down with a little practice and make it work, but it takes years to master the fundamentals so you can pull off complicated maneuvers.  That is why I didn't mind the fighter and the ranger having two weapon maneuver options in their powers.  It made sense.  And since 4E allows attacks with off weapons, you can simulate variations of two weapon fighting, but it is limited and I was wondering what folks have done with this area of combat.

You know, I haven'y put much thought into it either. I guess I never really played Two Weapon Fighting characters. Though, I guess what I might do to modify it, is to create a feat chain with some more options. In the core PHBs, for generic feats we have Two weapon fighting (+1 damage bonus to main weapon), Two weapon defense (+1 Shield bonus to AC and Ref) and Two Weapon Threat (+3 damage to opportunity attacks).

The main thing missing is multiple attacks. What I might do is add another feat Two weapon ... Attacks. (Once per round when you make a successful attack with your main weapon, make an attack with your offhand weapon.) It's kinda stepping on the toes of the essentials ranger i think, it may be too powerful for a generic feat.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:01 am

Another feat I might add would be Two weapon entanglement. When wielding two weapons, any creature you attack takes a -2 to it's next attack. Something like parrying their weapon with the offhand and keeping it busy?
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:21 am

In fact using two weapons is sensible for a lot of classes, due to the ability to use a second enchantment. It also opens up the two-weapon fighting/two-weapon opening (that's an additional attack on a crit in paragon)/two-weapon flurry (an additional attack when you hit with an opportunity attack in epic) tree. Arcane classes also get dual-implement spell-caster.

Melee Ranger
Scout
Tempest Fighter
Whirling Barbarian

These specifically call out the need to use two weapons. But for most melee characters, gaining a second weapon enchantment slot is pretty good from an optimising standpoint.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:01 pm

Fardiz wrote:
In fact using two weapons is sensible for a lot of classes, due to the ability to use a second enchantment. It also opens up the two-weapon fighting/two-weapon opening (that's an additional attack on a crit in paragon)/two-weapon flurry (an additional attack when you hit with an opportunity attack in epic) tree. Arcane classes also get dual-implement spell-caster.

Melee Ranger
Scout
Tempest Fighter
Whirling Barbarian

These specifically call out the need to use two weapons. But for most melee characters, gaining a second weapon enchantment slot is pretty good from an optimising standpoint.

Thank you to both you and Durriken for pointing out the Barbarian.  I totally missed it. Very Happy

I also noticed that there are certain types of equipment that grant additional attacks.  Take the Harmony Blade from the Blade Dancer's Regalia set in AV 2.  It is a heavy blade that when you get a critical hit, it does +1D6 damage per plus, and you can make a melee basic attack with your off-hand weapon.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:43 pm

As a student of arnis/kali, where I trained in two-weapon stick-fighting, while I do understand that having two weapons does let you attack more frequently, the maximum attack speed granted by dual wielding (relative to someone of the same skill) would be around twice, which is why Twin Strike and action points make total sense to me, as I doubt I would be able to utilize both of my weapons in an offense-oriented manner if I lacked the opportunity and/or training to do so, and would more likely use the off-hand as a parrying weapon or a shield (using my better arm for attack).

With the more abstract nature of hit points, defenses and combat in general, I'm much more forgiving of the idea that a single attack roll and hit doesn't mean that you only attacked with just one weapon and one strike, but rather that in the multiple blows exchanged by you and the enemy within that 6-second iteration time, one of your attacks slipped past the enemy's defenses (or vice versa).

I'm also of the idea that because D&D's round iteration has shortened from 1 minute per round to 6 seconds per round, what used to be 6+ attacks per round makes more sense as 1 attack per round, because you're still doing the same number of attacks over the same period of time (6+ attacks per minute), but with more things happening between attacks.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:54 pm

thanson02 wrote:

I also noticed that there are certain types of equipment that grant additional attacks.  Take the Harmony Blade from the Blade Dancer's Regalia set in AV 2.  It is a heavy blade that when you get a critical hit, it does +1D6 damage per plus, and you can make a melee basic attack with your off-hand weapon.

You can make all your attacks with your off-hand weapon so that enchantment doesn't require you to use two weapons. But it certainly doesn't hurt you if you do.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:33 pm

According to one source I read indicated that Musashi Miyamoto. The fellow who in real life made two sword fighting (with Katanas) famous is purported to have not done so originally because it was better - it isnt its harder to do and each limb lacks leverage and is easier to push aside if you want an example of a reason.  It was actually a training exercise to encourage ambidextrous fighting in case a limb is disabled.

Of course that seems to be too much "realism" even for most legendary takes on it... let alone D&D. I would build him with ranger as the base class.

That said a readily available feat to give you a bonus to defense for main gauche work seems sufficient to me.

I think having the powers enable things of this sort seems appropriate. A duellist rogue getting an extra attack in because they riposte and the offhand weapon is parrying to make better opening.. works for me.

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One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:43 am

I had thought of making a PC Theme that basically said you were from a Special Two Weapon Fighting Dueling School or something like that. This way it could be added to any Class. And it would have an At-will starting feature that was basically Twin Strike and powers for Encounter and Daily attacks that the PC could take instead of Class Powers for the Heroic Tier. For Paragon/Epic, their could be upgraded versions of the Powers, perhaps. I haven't gotten it done much more than that, but if someone was interested in it, I could make a rough draft of it at least.

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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:26 am

Twin strike being overly good is an established element of the game ... its generally rated the best at-will.

I am pretty sure we have seen threads about bringing TS more inline with other at-wills. The conclusion I usually draw from them is that the ranger was designed around it and others have sufficient cost to access it that it is ok... I have also seen perfectly interesting ideas about making at-wills so they are available across class they end up being re considered because of TS.

I admit I have a habit of saying if everyone wants something why not give it to all. But this is an instance where I would say it needs umm adjusted/nerfed if you want to make it available to all.

As far as the flavor of snickety snick? I can easily present the fighter cleave maneuver as a combination strike usiing a lesser secondary weapon against an adjacent enemy I dont think the uber mechanics is needed .

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One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:21 pm

As presented, 4e would be ill served by the ability to use two weapons to make multiple attacks without a power to do so. The mechanics behind two weapon usage and the benefits that come with it are not strictly applicable to such powers only, so it's not like there is no strict mechanical benefit for using two weapons with a single attacker, and it is those benefits that make multi attackers as powerful as they are to begin with.

In order for two weapon fighting to be closer to what it was in older editions, the melee attack system would have to be rewritten, and would either suffer because of it, or become even more powerful of an option than it already is. As it is right now, it's powerful, but niche enough so that not all characters can abuse it without some serious twinking towards it.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:31 am

ToeSama wrote:
As presented, 4e would be ill served by the ability to use two weapons to make multiple attacks without a power to do so. The mechanics behind two weapon usage and the benefits that come with it are not strictly applicable to such powers only, so it's not like there is no strict mechanical benefit for using two weapons with a single attacker, and it is those benefits that make multi attackers as powerful as they are to begin with.

In order for two weapon fighting to be closer to what it was in older editions, the melee attack system would have to be rewritten, and would either suffer because of it, or become even more powerful of an option than it already is. As it is right now, it's powerful, but niche enough so that not all characters can abuse it without some serious twinking towards it.

Well for starters, In case there was some confusion on this, I have no interest in making 4E like older systems.  The conversation I had reminded me that "haters are going to hate", and they can #@&% off for all I care. Very Happy 

And like I said, the difference between getting two attacks for a standard action vs. using an action point to get two standard actions to attack twice (which doesn't limit which weapon you attack with) is splitting hairs, hairs that players who are motivated by power gaming and slaying monsters get huffy about.

Two weapon fighting is diverse and can get complicated.  From what I found and from what you folks have brought to the table, you can use the second weapon to keep your opponent off, (Two weapon defense feat), use the one blade to distract your opponent so you can land a strike with the second weapon (Two weapon fighting feat), in rare cases you can get a rush of adrenalin and seize a possible second opening (action point), or the equipment you have distracts the opponent enough when you hit them that it allows you to get another attack in (Harmony Blade in AV2).  Then there are those who train their butt off and make it their specialty and develop special combat maneuvers (powers) with two weapons.

I added some story flavor to this outline obviously, but I think it works.   Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:35 am

Garthanos wrote:
As far as the flavor of snickety snick? I can easily present the fighter cleave maneuver as a combination strike usiing a lesser secondary weapon against an adjacent enemy I dont think the uber mechanics is needed .

See, and that tells me that people need to get more creative in how they apply the power structure.  Good idea Garthanos, I will have to tuck that one away for next time I game. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:18 pm

thanson02 wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
As far as the flavor of snickety snick? I can easily present the fighter cleave maneuver as a combination strike usiing a lesser secondary weapon against an adjacent enemy I dont think the uber mechanics is needed .

See, and that tells me that people need to get more creative in how they apply the power structure.  Good idea Garthanos, I will have to tuck that one away for next time I game. Smile

I think the point of the page in the players handbook saying you can flavor your powers for your characters is not that the color of your magic doesnt really make a difference... but more that the flavor will matter more to you if you make it your own. When one of my characters does a come and get it he might pretend to stumble with a look of confidence that floods out of his face. Another might emulate Bilbo taunting the spiders. (Bilbos ability has better range than CaGi).

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One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:24 pm

CaGi Make a swipe of blood across your chest to goad the more bestial animals reliant on smell of course ;p has to have the wind blowing in the right direction and other situational details plus if the scene is already too bloody well describe how it works differently ;p...

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One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:40 am

herrozerro wrote:


What should be the mechanical representation be?  is multiple attacks what make two weapon fighting?  Is a bonus to attacks or defense the best way to represent it?

I'd go two separate attacks. Call me a traditionalist but I think it represents the flavor the best.

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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:20 am

CHIA wrote:
herrozerro wrote:


What should be the mechanical representation be?  is multiple attacks what make two weapon fighting?  Is a bonus to attacks or defense the best way to represent it?

I'd go two separate attacks. Call me a traditionalist but I think it represents the flavor the best.

Your a Traditionalist. Razz

And I agree, two attacks need to be in there too.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:30 am

thanson02 wrote:
Two weapon fighting is diverse and can get complicated.  From what I found and from what you folks have brought to the table, you can use the second weapon to keep your opponent off, (Two weapon defense feat), use the one blade to distract your opponent so you can land a strike with the second weapon (Two weapon fighting feat), in rare cases you can get a rush of adrenalin and seize a possible second opening (action point), or the equipment you have distracts the opponent enough when you hit them that it allows you to get another attack in (Harmony Blade in AV2).  Then there are those who train their butt off and make it their specialty and develop special combat maneuvers (powers) with two weapons.

I added some story flavor to this outline obviously, but I think it works.   Smile

Oh, and I noticed that the DMG2 under Grandmaster Training has Davros Elden's Blinding Strikes which gives players two basic attacks for one standard action with a -2 as a Daily Power.  So Grandmaster Training is an option too. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:45 am

That seems a bit weak for a daily honestly.

I would probably knock it down to an encounter. That is, if you get strength bonuses.

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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:39 am

Felorn Gloryaxe wrote:
That seems a bit weak for a daily honestly.

I would probably knock it down to an encounter. That is, if you get strength bonuses.

I was thinking the same thing.  I haven't used Grandmaster training in my games yet.  The closest to it was when our Runepriest leveled up right at the end of an adventure and we did a maintenance session where folks went shopping and he hunted down another Runepriest to learn his new power that he got with his level.

If you use Grandmaster training as a way to get additional powers, you could run it like how the system handles Multiclass Feats.  You get a At-Will Power as an encounter and an Encounter as a Daily.  So basically the would get either Twin Strike or Dual Strike as an Encounter Power.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:10 pm

So is that a potency translation between a magic item and a power? A daily item power or boon/blessing/grandmaster training is analogous to an encounter personal power?

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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thanson02
Heroic Adventurer
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Posts : 155
Join date : 2013-10-22
Age : 39
Location : Eau Claire, WI

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Name: thanson02
Class: Monk
Race: Human

PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:24 am

Garthanos wrote:
So is that a potency translation between a magic item and a power?  A daily item power or boon/blessing/grandmaster training is analogous to an encounter personal power?

From what I have seen between AV 1 and PH1, yes.  Many of the Daily powers presented in AV1 at least from what I saw matched up power-wise to the class encounter powers in the PH.  Take Battering Weapon in AV1, p. 63.

Battering Weapon, Lv. 11
Power (Daily): Standard Action.  Make a Melee basic attack with this weapon against all enemies within a close blast 3.

Now with the fighter class:

Giant's Wake, Lv. 13 (closest example level-wise in PH1)
Power (Encounter): Standard Action.  Attack Primary target.  Make a second attack against each target adjacent to the primary target within your melee reach.

So not the same, but similar.  With the example with Davros Elden's Blinding Strike, which is the same as Gauntlets of Blinding Strike in AV1, you have:

Power (Daily), lv. 11: Standard Action.  Make two melee basic attacks with a -2 penalty to the attack roll.

Now, looking at the Ranger, they basically get this power without the penalty as an at-will at lv. 1 and at lv. 5, they get Two-Wolf Pounce as a daily, where they can shift, make an attack, shift again and make a second attack.  I did not see any twin attacks at level 11 for the ranger, but I was just looking in PH1.  So in this case, they didn't seem to match up.  And from what I read in DMG2, they encouraged working with variations of powers to mix things up and keep the boons from feeling like magic weapons or regular powers.

The only thing I am thinking that would be a hiccup would be how much the Grandmaster Training would cost if you decided to use class powers instead of magic item powers.
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PostSubject: Re: Lack of two weapon fighting in 4E   

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