1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

Is TWF as bad as it looks?

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale 2' started by Mr.Goodkat, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. Mr.Goodkat Gems: 1/31
    Latest gem: Turquoise


    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Hey there,

    I just did some math on Two-Weapon-Fighting vs. Two-Handed and noticed in the process that your off-hand attacks don't progress with BAB. Accordingly TWF doesn't look very impressive compared to TH.

    Here's what a mid-game comparison could look like. As an my "average" weapons I used a +3 enchantment with +1d6 random elemental damage. Sample 1 dual-wields Bastard Swords while Sample 2 uses a Greataxe. Sample 2 gets to use PA4 because Sample 1 receives a -4 To Hit penalty. Both characters are assumed to have 3 attacks per round and 22 Strength.

    Sample 1: (1d10 +3 Enchant +2 WS +6 Strength +1d6 elemental)*3 +(1d10 +3 Enchant +2 WS +3 Strength +1d6 elemental) = 49-105 damage per round

    Sample 2: (1d12 +3 Enchant +2 WS +9 Strength +4 Power Attack +1d6 elemental)*3 = 60-111 damage per round

    Results:
    Min Damage: 2>1
    Max Damage: 2>1
    Required Feats: 5 vs 3 => 2>1
    To Hit: Sample 1 makes 2 out of 4 attacks at his max attack bonus so that roughly 50% of the DPR is very likely to hit. Sample 2 only hits 33% of his DPR very likely. => 1>2


    These are obviously flawed and idealized calculations but that also means things could get even worse for TWF. For example, more attacks per round make the additional off-hand attack even less impactful. On the other hand, the lower your BAB, the more useful the extra attack gets.

    To make a long story short, is it worth it?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  2. lefuet Gems: 3/31
    Latest gem: Lynx Eye


    Resourceful

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    13
    I think it's only worth it for enchanted weapons with special effects (golden heart of ..).
     
  3. Mr.Goodkat Gems: 1/31
    Latest gem: Turquoise


    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Ya, might also be worth it for certain guaranteed drops I guess. A Paladin can dual-wield Holy Avenger + Short Sword of Brilliance for example, even in normal mode.
     
    claudius likes this.
  4. Keneth Gems: 27/31
    Latest gem: Emerald


    ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,742
    Likes Received:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    ... why? The additional -2 penalty on all attacks is not worth the +2 damage over wielding a light weapon in off-hand. If anything, you're better off using PA and normal weapons.

    It's like idiots monkey gripping two-handed swords just for the cool factor. Missing every attack gets old pretty fast.

    Also, what exactly are the "required" feats in each case? Ambidexterity, and TWF in the first case (plus EWP for a useless feat tax). And... Power Attack in the second case? Where did you get 5 vs. 3?

    Obviously, TWF is gonna have a larger feat overhead either way, I'm just curious.

    But to answer the question, it is generally accepted that two-handed weapons are the way to go in 3E unless you have special effects that trigger on each hit (i.e. a rogue's sneak attack).
     
  5. Mr.Goodkat Gems: 1/31
    Latest gem: Turquoise


    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Why Bastard Swords? Because they are the highest single handed damage weapons in the game. I actually used them to make things a bit more favorable for TWF. With full Fighter BAB you can afford the -4 AB penalty. If you use a small weapon off-hand you need even more feats to compete(WF:SB, WS:SB, and PA if you want to trade the +2 AB you get for additional damage)

    Why 5v3? WP, WF, WS, AD, TWF vs WF, WS, PA.

    Thanks for pointing it out though, I forgot to add the bonus damage from Weapon Specialization to my calculation.
     
  6. Keneth Gems: 27/31
    Latest gem: Emerald


    ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,742
    Likes Received:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    You seem to be mistakenly under the impression that weapon damage dice actually matter. Here's a hint: They don't unless you have some way of substantially increasing your (weapon's) size category. In PnP, it can make the difference between 8d6 and 12d6 points of damage. In IWD2, diddly squat. You're just wasting a feat on Exotic Weapon Proficiency when you could just as easily use a martial or simple weapon and use that feat for Power Attack.

    Disregarding the fact that there might not be any good ones in the game, using two short swords would be more efficient.
     
  7. Mr.Goodkat Gems: 1/31
    Latest gem: Turquoise


    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    You seem to mistakenly under the impression that your opinion is a universal truth. Using Bastard Swords instead of Short Swords is a +4 max damage or +2 average damage. No more, no less. Everyone has to decide for themselves if that difference "matters" or not.

    If anything the -2 to hit penalty for BS vs SS doesn't matter because your buffed up frontliners will be at 100% chance to hit anyway.
     
  8. Keneth Gems: 27/31
    Latest gem: Emerald


    ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,742
    Likes Received:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    It is though. A feat for +2 to damage is a bad tradeoff. That goes for Weapon Spec too, of course. Not that there's a whole lot of better choices in IWD2, and fighters have feats to spare.

    I admit that I am entirely unsure whether that's possible in IWD2. For instance, it's easy in ToEE with Fragrach and Scather which literally always hit, so it's worth investing into bastard swords. But this is a theoretical case, and as such a -10% chance to hit for +2 damage is horribly inefficient in terms of optimization.

    Anyway, going for the weapon with the highest damage die is a typical beginner move in D&D. After the first few levels, the weapon damage dice generally become largely irrelevant since the majority of damage comes from strength, power attack, and other flat damage modifiers.
     
  9. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    62
    Rather than calculating all possible scenarios, let's compare them as they progress.

    Low level: TWF wins due to 2 attacks per round (daggers need not apply). STR bonus is the same for both, you just get 100%+50% for each hand rather than 150% for the single swipe with TH.

    Medium level: TWF hits 3 times per round, of which two with maximal attack bonus. TH gets only one unpenalized swipe. STR bonus applies at 250% for TWH and at 300% for TH. Gain some, lose some.

    High levels: The use of Power Attack depends much more on enemy AC vs your toHit bonus than your BAB so that you don't risk missing the last low AB swipes. But when you CAN use PA, it also favors TWF due to more attacks to apply it on. However, the STR bonus favors two-handers instead. Once again, a wash.

    Epic levels: Both reach the cap at 5 attacks per round (haste assumed), favoring two-handers heavily. However, TWF has the bonus of getting the "last" swipe at full BAB rather than at zero BAB. Unless you have like +25 ToHit from other sources besides BAB, that's still quite a boon for TWF, so the difference remains smaller than you'd think.

    Also, IWD2 is rather special in how much raw damage addition you can get via buffs and items. All of that favors TWF until you get to attack rate cap.
     
    claudius and Stuntman like this.
  10. Mr.Goodkat Gems: 1/31
    Latest gem: Turquoise


    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    I beg to differ. +2 damage is as good as it gets for a feat in IWD2. Most other feats are highly situational while WS for example is always beneficial.

    Would you say +4 strength is irrelevant? Would you say spells like 'Aid', 'Chant', 'Prayer', 'Recitation' or 'Emotion: Hope' are irrelevant?

    Holy Power gives you +4 damage. Hey, why not make it +2 instead? 2 damage more or less don't matter after all. Oh, wait...

    If you do the math you will notice that a flat +2 damage is even better than the beloved Improved Critical feat in many scenarios.

    Anyway, thinking that small bonuses do not matter is a typical beginner move in D&D. It's easy to overlook that these things stack. If +2 damage coming from Weapon Specialization or another Weapon Type didn't matter, the same logic would have to apply to *all* sources of +2 damage.

    When it comes to the trade-off between AB and damage you might have point but this is again highly situational. If you are below 100% to hit, +damage loses to +AB in most cases. But then again, assuming that you are *always* below 100% to hit would make PA a pretty useless ability for example.


    Back on topic: Sir Rechet pretty much nailed it I think. Maybe my initial wording was a bit misleading. TWF isn't bad by any means, it's just less powerful than I expected considering it's so heavy on the feat-side.
     
  11. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
    Latest gem: Black Opal


    Resourceful Veteran

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,590
    Media:
    16
    Likes Received:
    67
    Gender:
    Male
    Ok, I give up. What is this "PA" you guys keep referencing? I thought it was Power Attack, but from the context it might be something else.
     
  12. Mr.Goodkat Gems: 1/31
    Latest gem: Turquoise


    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    It's Power Attack ;D
     
  13. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,633
    Media:
    13
    Likes Received:
    121
    Gender:
    Male
    Sir Rechet summed it up nicely. I was going to say that maths aren't as relevant as the weapon availability and their bonuses, but I was wrong.

    I personally favour TWF because I love having more bonuses.
     
  14. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    62
    Weapon availability is also a factor in that you can find several +2 one-handed weapons before you find your first +2 two-hander. By the same reason, all three readily available +5 weapons before chapter five (Short sword of sure striking +1, Club of Disruption and Brilliant Short sword +5) are one-handed.
     
  15. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
    Latest gem: Black Opal


    Resourceful Veteran

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,590
    Media:
    16
    Likes Received:
    67
    Gender:
    Male
    Other than the rare times you need something better than a +1 weapon to hit something, the sword of sure striking isn't a true +5 weapon, as it doesn't give the BAB bonus or damage bonus. It only is +1bab and +1 to damage, not +5.

    For most foes, a +2 weapon is better than that sure striking short sword.

    Just thought I'd point it out, since that extra to-hit and extra damage is often important.
     
  16. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    62
    True. Sure striking is seldom a deciding factor, but those three weapons happen to be the only ones besides a few rare ammo that can hurt Iron Golems and several types of Battlesquares mobs prior to Underdark. :-)
     
  17. SlickRCBD Gems: 23/31
    Latest gem: Black Opal


    Resourceful Veteran

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,590
    Media:
    16
    Likes Received:
    67
    Gender:
    Male
    I'm pretty sure you can hurt anything spawned by battle squares by changing weapon types. Some require blunt damage, others slashing.
    Some can be hurt by anything. I can't think of anything that requires piercing damage.

    I might be confusing Iron Golems with Ice Golems (champions), but I'm pretty sure you can beat them up with +1 or +2 blunt weapons instead of +5 weapons.

    Some enemies can only be hurt by certain types of damage, and others have resistance so they only take half or less from some kinds of damage.
     
  18. Sir Rechet

    Sir Rechet I speak maths and logic, not stupid Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    62
    Elder Elementals from BS require +3 weapons as well.
    Seems like some monsters have percentage resistances on top of the standard x/+y type, for example skeletons only take half damage from anything but bludgeoning.
     
  19. claudius Gems: 4/31
    Latest gem: Sunstone


    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'd like to add the point that ambidexterity isn't (necessarily) needed at high level (for a character that sometimes uses dual wielding) because the -4 to off hand (without ambidexterity) is only applied to your SINGLE offhand attack at high BAB. There is no Improved, Greater, or Perfect two weapon fighting implemented. Ambidexterity is worth it at low levels in that it might double your attacks (and the extra attack not 'Gimped') but by 11 BAB dual wielding is only adding 1 extra attack to your base 3 and a +4 at highest BAB of the offhand attack is possibly not worth a feat but that depends what other feats are available and the needs of the party and character.

    Two Weapon fighting (the feat) on the other hand is needed because you don't want to mess up your main hand attacks in any case and is also the same reason why not to put a non-light weapon in your offhand in most circumstances.
     

Share This Page

Sorcerer's Place is an independent project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of time and money on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!