PDA

View Full Version : Two-Fisted Shooter in the Order of the Stick?



Joseph Silver
2011-12-24, 08:13 PM
I'm currently playing a drow crossbow sniper in a 4e game on rpol.net, and while browsing my books for cool feats to take, I noticed Two-Fisted Shooter. Basically, the feat lets you treat hand crossbows as off-hand weapons that you can reload with one hand, and whenever you crit, you can make a ranged basic attack with a hand crossbow.

This sounds familiar.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0800.html

If Yukyuk were a 4e character, he'd probably be a rogue with Two-Fisted Shooter. But what about 3.5? How do you build a guns akimbo rogue like Yukyuk using that system?

KillianHawkeye
2011-12-24, 09:03 PM
Two-Weapon Fighting, and a pair of hand crossbows that appear to be magically self-loading. I know there's a magic item ability or two which do that, but I forget the details. Go back to the comic's thread, I believe it was heavily discussed at that time.

Lord Ruby34
2011-12-24, 10:15 PM
Two Weapon Fighting, and the feat Hand Crossbow Focus from Drow of the Underdark should work nicely.

Morty
2011-12-25, 09:05 AM
I suspect it works just as Belkar's fighting style, i.e. by handwaving if not outright ignoring the rules.

KillianHawkeye
2011-12-25, 09:29 AM
I suspect it works just as Belkar's fighting style, i.e. by handwaving if not outright ignoring the rules.

In what way is Belkar's fighting style in contradiction with the rules? :smallconfused:

Lord Ruby34
2011-12-25, 11:19 AM
It's not so much illegal as ineffective. Dual daggers only really work if you have some sort of bonus damage, like, say Sneak Attack. Belkar should be hitting for about 1d3+3~, which is piddly at best.

Morty
2011-12-25, 11:34 AM
It's not so much illegal as ineffective. Dual daggers only really work if you have some sort of bonus damage, like, say Sneak Attack. Belkar should be hitting for about 1d3+3~, which is piddly at best.

Pretty much, yes. By the rules, Belkar shouldn't be doing as much damage as he's obviously doing. Thus, the rules get handwaved as far as he's concerned and I suspect it's the same with Yukyuk.

Dr.Epic
2011-12-25, 12:59 PM
Yukyuk actually just has 4 arms and two of them are invisible.:smallwink:

Bastian Weaver
2011-12-25, 02:14 PM
And Belkar probably has 6 hands, four of which are invisible and wielding invisible halberds?

Goosefarble
2011-12-25, 06:53 PM
*obligatory pointing out of how Rich Burlew doesn't follow the rules and is a loose cannon etc*

mrmcfatty
2011-12-26, 03:14 PM
im sure that someone said something at some point, however im not sure if it was ever decided that he was using normal daggers. If he is then i agree but afaik it was never stated.

Manga Maniac
2011-12-26, 04:07 PM
And Belkar probably has 6 hands, four of which are invisible and wielding invisible halberds?

Yup. I thought that was a given.

Kish
2011-12-26, 04:09 PM
im sure that someone said something at some point, however im not sure if it was ever decided that he was using normal daggers. If he is then i agree but afaik it was never stated.
No, of course he's not using normal daggers. He's a level 12+ adventurer. Nonmagical equipment is a long way behind him.

Spookymurloc
2011-12-26, 08:58 PM
Pretty much, yes. By the rules, Belkar shouldn't be doing as much damage as he's obviously doing. Thus, the rules get handwaved as far as he's concerned and I suspect it's the same with Yukyuk.

Perhaps he's actually dual wielding longswords and is just suffering from severe weapon shrinkage, as seen in comic 1?
:smalltongue:

Querzis
2011-12-26, 10:48 PM
im sure that someone said something at some point, however im not sure if it was ever decided that he was using normal daggers. If he is then i agree but afaik it was never stated.

Of course he is not using normal dagger. Unfortunately, thats really doesnt change anything. Everyone of his level is not using normal weapons too. Its still utterly pitiful damage for a level 13-14 adventurers and he should also have a hard time actually hitting anything. Not to mention the fact that hes a ranger who cant use spells and, until recently, didnt have an animal companion.

Belkar just basically has the worse build ever. Well, except for the Ranger/Barbarian thing which was always one of my favorite class combo though its not because its optimal, its just because I think it really fit but I'm getting sidetracked here. The point is, its not that Belkar build shoudnt work, its that he should be a lot more useless then Elan and have a hard time taking on 15 level 1 hobgobelins back when the battle for AC happened, let alone an army of them. Of course, as far as I'm concerned, thats part of the joke and I dont really mind. I'm just explaining it.

But if you absolutely want a «meta» explanation for his battle prowess, Belkar litterally always crit and is simply the luckiest hobbit ever.

Zevox
2011-12-27, 12:35 AM
Its still utterly pitiful damage for a level 13-14 adventurers and he should also have a hard time actually hitting anything.
Um, no, there's no reason Belkar should have a hard time actually hitting anything. Both of his classes give him full BAB, his Ranger levels give him free two-weapon fighting feats and he's using light weapons so that he's taking the absolute minimum penalties for using that, he probably has a good strength score, and on top of that he gets his +1 to hit for being small size.

No, his problem is that each of his hits should barely knick opponents with hp worth a damn, not that he should have any trouble hitting things.

Zevox

Gandariel
2011-12-27, 11:04 AM
I think killing goblins shouldn't be so hard for him...
they are stated to be 1-HD hobgoblins, so weak enough for Belkar to kill them all in a shot (with enough magical plusses/something).
If the rogue guild people were weak enough, i don't see so many ignoring of rules

Morty
2011-12-27, 11:21 AM
He fought off Bozzok and Crystal, both of whom were high level. He also sliced off the hydra's heads and fought ogres. So yes, he's consistently ignoring the rules when he fights.

Querzis
2011-12-27, 11:40 AM
I think killing goblins shouldn't be so hard for him...
they are stated to be 1-HD hobgoblins, so weak enough for Belkar to kill them all in a shot (with enough magical plusses/something).

Actually no, not even that. Assuming great str stats for a hobbit (its Belkar so that part isnt much of a stretch) and 2 +2 dagger, he still woudnt always one shot hobgelins with 8 hp. And thats assuming all the hobgobelins were level one, we clearly saw lots of them have levels.


Um, no, there's no reason Belkar should have a hard time actually hitting anything. Both of his classes give him full BAB, his Ranger levels give him free two-weapon fighting feats and he's using light weapons so that he's taking the absolute minimum penalties for using that, he probably has a good strength score and on top of that he gets his +1 to hit for being small size.

He gets +1 to his armor class for being small size, you dont get any bonus to hit from that. Anyway, the problem is how constantly hes hitting people although I supposed you could make the case that the Giant isnt showing when he miss...or you know, he just crit everything.


He fought off Bozzok and Crystal, both of whom were high level.

As far as I'm concerned, the thing thats really ignoring the rules is not that he fought them off, its how he fought them. Belkar is wearing light armor and he was flanked. Even with a shield and the full defense action, it shoudnt have been a problem for them to hit him all that much, especially with Bozzok being around level 17. Seriously, I know theres lots of unknown factor (Belkar Dex, the bonus on the shield and his armor) but even if we assume the best (+4 to dex) it still would give him around 24 AC...and Bozzok, with a flank, at least a +2 sword and str bonus of +1 would get +17 to hit. Getting a 7 isnt hard. And once again, I'm assuming the worst for him and the best for Belkar, give Bozzok a better sword (which he should have at his level) and more str (hes an orc) and he could hit him on a 3. And lets just say that a sneak attack from a level 17-18 rogue when you're level 13-14? Yeah that hurt a lot.

Although maybe Belkar doesnt just always crit, he make everyone else fumble. That would be funny too.

Zevox
2011-12-27, 12:10 PM
Assuming great str stats for a hobbit (its Belkar so that part isnt much of a stretch) and 2 +2 dagger,
+2 daggers would be rather weak for Belkar's level. Remember that Haley and Roy are known to have weapons with better than +5 enhancements on them already (which is honestly a little high for their level, but still).


He gets +1 to his armor class for being small size, you dont get any bonus to hit from that.
Yes, you do. For every size category your are below medium you gain +1 to hit, just as for every size category you are above it you take -1 to hit. Just look at the description of halfling racial traits:


Small: As a Small creature, a halfling gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.


Anyway, the problem is how constantly hes hitting people although I supposed you could make the case that the Giant isnt showing when he miss...
No more so than anyone else. We don't generally see Roy missing either, because there's little point in showing it unless he's losing the fight, since it would just drag things out if he's supposed to be winning.

Zevox

Querzis
2011-12-27, 01:01 PM
+2 daggers would be rather weak for Belkar's level. Remember that Haley and Roy are known to have weapons with better than +5 enhancements on them already (which is honestly a little high for their level, but still).

Its definitly way too high for their level lol but Roy weapon is central to the plot so thats alright and Haley got her weapon by stealing it...not that I ever got why the Thief guild didnt steal Pete weapons when they blinded him, its not like he use them anymore. Otherwise, two +2 weapons for a level 12 adventurers (back in the battle for AC) sounds about right. Thats the problem with two weapon fighting, you gotta spend twice as much cash on weapons but you dont get more gold then anyone else. Anyway, even with two +3 weapons, he still isnt always one-shotting them.

Zevox
2011-12-27, 01:51 PM
Its definitly way too high for their level lol but Roy weapon is central to the plot so thats alright and Haley got her weapon by stealing it...not that I ever got why the Thief guild didnt steal Pete weapons when they blinded him, its not like he use them anymore. Otherwise, two +2 weapons for a level 12 adventurers (back in the battle for AC) sounds about right. Thats the problem with two weapon fighting, you gotta spend twice as much cash on weapons but you dont get more gold then anyone else. Anyway, even with two +3 weapons, he still isnt always one-shotting them.
Actually the Order appeared to be more level 13 back at the Battle of Azure City. And actually at lower enhancement levels (+1 and +2) it's cheaper to buy two weapons with that level of enhancement than one with the next level up - level 1 weapons with +1 are only (base cost of MW weapon, which is pretty negligible compared to the enhancement cost) + 2k, level 2 are base cost + 8k, and level 3 are base cost +18k. After level 3 two of each level starts exceeding the cost of one of the next, but only by a little (level 4 is +32k, while two level 3s is +36k total), so it doesn't really start looking that expensive until you go to +4 and above, you'll just be one enhancement level behind what someone wielding a single weapon would be.

Also, I believe you're forgetting the possibility of Belkar having Favored Enemy (Goblinoid) in your damage calculations.

Zevox

Querzis
2011-12-27, 03:03 PM
Actually the Order appeared to be more level 13 back at the Battle of Azure City. And actually at lower enhancement levels (+1 and +2) it's cheaper to buy two weapons with that level of enhancement than one with the next level up - level 1 weapons with +1 are only (base cost of MW weapon, which is pretty negligible compared to the enhancement cost) + 2k, level 2 are base cost + 8k, and level 3 are base cost +18k. After level 3 two of each level starts exceeding the cost of one of the next, but only by a little (level 4 is +32k, while two level 3s is +36k total), so it doesn't really start looking that expensive until you go to +4 and above, you'll just be one enhancement level behind what someone wielding a single weapon would be.

...so did you have a point there? Yes, you'll be one enhancement level behind the others...when did I deny that? Pretty sure that was my point. If you mean that Belkar probably had +4 weapons back in the battle for AC just because Roy had a +5 swords, yeah, once again, that weapon is plot central and you'd never find a level 12-13 (I dont see how it does much difference) with a +5 weapon otherwise. Not to mention the fact that the Order got most of the money they had gotten both from Xykon dungeon and their sidequest destroyed in an explosion so its not like they got much money to buy magic equipment in the first place. So yeah, I'm still gonna go with 2 +2 daggers. If you wanna make it +3, I cant say that I care anyway.


Also, I believe you're forgetting the possibility of Belkar having Favored Enemy (Goblinoid) in your damage calculations.

Look I was using the hobgobelins as an example. We have seen Belkar fight tons of different creatures. The only way for him to pull of that damage would be to have a +6 favored enemy: Everything! Which would be funny too I suppose but I think its pretty obvious he at the very least has Kobold as favored enemies.

theNater
2011-12-27, 03:42 PM
Actually no, not even that. Assuming great str stats for a hobbit (its Belkar so that part isnt much of a stretch) and 2 +2 dagger, he still woudnt always one shot hobgelins with 8 hp. And thats assuming all the hobgobelins were level one, we clearly saw lots of them have levels.
Hobgoblins are listed as having an average of 6 hit points in the SRD; it seems like monsters don't automatically get max health for their first level. With +3 from strength and +2 from the dagger, Belkar will always one shot a 6 hp hobgoblin.

As far as I'm concerned, the thing thats really ignoring the rules is not that he fought them off, its how he fought them. Belkar is wearing light armor and he was flanked. Even with a shield and the full defense action, it shoudnt have been a problem for them to hit him all that much, especially with Bozzok being around level 17. Seriously, I know theres lots of unknown factor (Belkar Dex, the bonus on the shield and his armor) but even if we assume the best (+4 to dex) it still would give him around 24 AC...and Bozzok, with a flank, at least a +2 sword and str bonus of +1 would get +17 to hit. Getting a 7 isnt hard. And once again, I'm assuming the worst for him and the best for Belkar, give Bozzok a better sword (which he should have at his level) and more str (hes an orc) and he could hit him on a 3. And lets just say that a sneak attack from a level 17-18 rogue when you're level 13-14? Yeah that hurt a lot.
If you give Bozzok a better sword, you also need to give Belkar a better shield, because it's Bozzok's shield. So the 3 is pretty unlikely.

Let's say for the sake of argument that Bozzok hits on a 6. The chances of him missing twice in a row are 1 in 16; unlikely, but totally within the realm of possibility. And you'll notice he only swings twice before deciding that he should be killing Haley instead of fighting Belkar.

Querzis
2011-12-27, 08:30 PM
Hobgoblins are listed as having an average of 6 hit points in the SRD; it seems like monsters don't automatically get max health for their first level. With +3 from strength and +2 from the dagger, Belkar will always one shot a 6 hp hobgoblin.

When I said high str for a hobbit, I was assuming +2 not +3. Hobbit start with -1 str, +2 is already pretty high. But really, it just come down to the fact that lots of those hobs have class level. This basically means rolled stats and hp, using the average is just a way for DM to simplify things...it also basically means theres bound to be a few of them who had one hp and could have been killed by a pebble. You cant all be born for greatness.


If you give Bozzok a better sword, you also need to give Belkar a better shield, because it's Bozzok's shield. So the 3 is pretty unlikely.

True although he discarded the shield pretty fast. But really, I dont see how it change all that much.


Let's say for the sake of argument that Bozzok hits on a 6. The chances of him missing twice in a row are 1 in 16; unlikely, but totally within the realm of possibility. And you'll notice he only swings twice before deciding that he should be killing Haley instead of fighting Belkar.

Yes, one for which Belkar hadnt picked up the shield yet and had just attacked Crystal which means he coudnt have used a full defense action. Thanks for actually making me go read that again, it prove that Belkar did indeed make people around him fumble, Bozzok quite simply coudnt have missed that unless he rolled a 1.

Zevox
2011-12-28, 12:05 AM
...so did you have a point there? Yes, you'll be one enhancement level behind the others...when did I deny that? Pretty sure that was my point.
I was pointing out that your claim that two-weapon fighters have to pay twice as much for their weapons was wrong, because they still get good weapon enhancements for their level for about the same price as a single weapon wielder up until the highest levels, they'll just be one degree behind. Which isn't going to be a big deal.


If you mean that Belkar probably had +4 weapons back in the battle for AC just because Roy had a +5 swords, yeah, once again, that weapon is plot central and you'd never find a level 12-13 (I dont see how it does much difference) with a +5 weapon otherwise. Not to mention the fact that the Order got most of the money they had gotten both from Xykon dungeon and their sidequest destroyed in an explosion so its not like they got much money to buy magic equipment in the first place.So yeah, I'm still gonna go with 2 +2 daggers. If you wanna make it +3, I cant say that I care anyway.
+3 seems much more likely there, yes, and +4 is not beyond the realm of possibility (nor is a single +5 weapon for a character like Roy). By level 13 characters have quite a bit of wealth - the DMG wealth-by-level table puts them at 110k for that level. If one were willing to invest a bit over half of that into weapons (high, but not unreasonably so for someone as focused on melee fighting as Belkar), two +4 weapons would be perfectly viable (total value 64k + cost of MW base weapon). Certainly the cost of two +3 weapons (36k + base) isn't an issue by then, while the price of two +2 is pretty darn low at that point (16k + base). A single +5 weapon, incidentally, is 50k + base, a bit less than half of that wealth-by-level amount, and also quite viable for a character that is very dependent on their weapon.


Look I was using the hobgobelins as an example. We have seen Belkar fight tons of different creatures. The only way for him to pull of that damage would be to have a +6 favored enemy: Everything! Which would be funny too I suppose but I think its pretty obvious he at the very least has Kobold as favored enemies.
True, Belkar certainly shouldn't be as effective as he seems to be, I don't contest that. I do think that claiming he shouldn't be one-shoting Hobgoblins even if they're at level 1 is overdoing it though, given they have single-digit hp at that point. A decent strength score and weapon enhancement for a character Belkar's level are enough to one-shot them on their own.

Zevox

SowZ
2011-12-28, 12:33 AM
While the game world isn't actually a tabletop game, many of the characters are based on gaming archetypes. One archetype is the guy who cheats with his rolls. Belkar, I think, is just exemplifying this archetype. Which is part of the joke.

Further, Belkar could have great Dex, (26 with magic items, even,) and have some magic item or homebrewed feat that adds dex to damage.

theNater
2011-12-28, 05:23 AM
When I said high str for a hobbit, I was assuming +2 not +3. Hobbit start with -1 str, +2 is already pretty high. But really, it just come down to the fact that lots of those hobs have class level. This basically means rolled stats and hp, using the average is just a way for DM to simplify things...it also basically means theres bound to be a few of them who had one hp and could have been killed by a pebble. You cant all be born for greatness.
Wait: which specific hobs with class levels does Belkar oneshot? The hobs I'm aware of him oneshotting are the ones in strip #439 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0439.html), who are all identical in appearance and using the standard equipment for hobgoblins. This is exactly the sort of situation the pregenerated statblocks and average hp values are for, and Belkar is totally capable of reliably oneshotting them(assuming 16 str or +3 daggers, neither of which is difficult for a halfling of his level).

True although he discarded the shield pretty fast. But really, I dont see how it change all that much.
It means that on Bozzok's second attack, any enhancement bonus from his sword will be cancelled out by the enhancement bonus from his shield. So the second attack should be closer to requiring a 7 than to requiring a 3.

Yes, one for which Belkar hadnt picked up the shield yet and had just attacked Crystal which means he coudnt have used a full defense action. Thanks for actually making me go read that again, it prove that Belkar did indeed make people around him fumble, Bozzok quite simply coudnt have missed that unless he rolled a 1.
Three questions:

1. Is it possible that Belkar has some defensive bonus we aren't aware of? In particular, he's always jumping around the way Durkon does while fighting giants, which suggests a dodge bonus.

2. Is it possible that Bozzok made the same rough calculations that you did and decided to power attack, making himself able to miss without fumbling?

3. If Belkar causes those around him to fumble, why do three rogues, of much lower level than Bozzok, all hit him just moments earlier? Getting improbably hit sometimes and improbably missed sometimes isn't "making people fumble", it's "living with d20s".

Kish
2011-12-28, 08:34 AM
But really, it just come down to the fact that lots of those hobs have class level.
I am unaware of any indication that any hobgoblins we've seen who weren't clerics or wizards had class levels. In O-Chul's pre-battle lecture to Haley, both of them presumed an army consisting almost entirely of basic 1-HD hobgoblins.

Gullintanni
2011-12-28, 02:48 PM
I would guess that Belkar's daggers do as much damage as is immediately necessary to win whatever battles the story portrays him as winning.

I mean seriously:

"If you are looking for moment-to-moment rules accuracy from this comic, you probably should stop reading. You are guaranteed to be continually frustrated and disappointed, because I don't care about that at all." ~The Giant

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11664910&postcount=11

Querzis
2011-12-28, 04:53 PM
Wait: which specific hobs with class levels does Belkar oneshot? The hobs I'm aware of him oneshotting are the ones in strip #439 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0439.html), who are all identical in appearance and using the standard equipment for hobgoblins.

He one-shot a cleric there:http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0445.html


This is exactly the sort of situation the pregenerated statblocks and average hp values are for, and Belkar is totally capable of reliably oneshotting them(assuming 16 str or +3 daggers, neither of which is difficult for a halfling of his level).


I am unaware of any indication that any hobgoblins we've seen who weren't clerics or wizards had class levels. In O-Chul's pre-battle lecture to Haley, both of them presumed an army consisting almost entirely of basic 1-HD hobgoblins.

Seriously guys? The Hobgoblin from the SRD has class levels in the first place! http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Hobgoblin Sure, NPC class level but still. Hobgoblins without class level are presumably noncombatants and civilians (yes they got those). If we go by the SRD, for a group of 300 hobgoblins there should be 15 level 3, 2 level 5 and one chieftain around level 7. And this is an army of 30 000 that has been shown to have lots of Clerics and Wizard in his ranks as well as a chieftain thats almost epic level. Hell, we saw random cleric cast Cure Serious wound : http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0465.html. Now I dont actually expect any other hobgoblins to be around that Redcloak level but still.


Three questions:

1. Is it possible that Belkar has some defensive bonus we aren't aware of? In particular, he's always jumping around the way Durkon does while fighting giants, which suggests a dodge bonus.

Dodge give a +1 bonus to AC. Really woudnt change much. There aint a lot of other feats that give AC bonus in the SRD. Also, pretty much every character with high dexterity dodge blows like that since, you know, its not like they are gonna stop blows with their armor.



2. Is it possible that Bozzok made the same rough calculations that you did and decided to power attack, making himself able to miss without fumbling?

It is but then Bozzok would be stupid to have done so. Once again, hes a rogue of level 17 or more. Having power attack in case he has to duel someone might be a good idea but using it when you can sneak is just stupid, a sneak attack from such a high-level rogue already hurt a lot, it would be silly to risk missing it.


3. If Belkar causes those around him to fumble, why do three rogues, of much lower level than Bozzok, all hit him just moments earlier? Getting improbably hit sometimes and improbably missed sometimes isn't "making people fumble", it's "living with d20s".

You mean the room full of rogues where he was flanked from all side? Honestly, he should have gotten hit more often. Also see Sowz post. Theres not much point in cheating with mooks. And really, dont take the 'Meta' explanation too seriously man, we're just poking fun at the fact that Belkar shoudnt be that strong.

Kish
2011-12-28, 05:03 PM
Seriously guys? The Hobgoblin from the SRD has class levels in the first place! http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Hobgoblin Sure, NPC class level but still. Hobgoblins without class level are presumably noncombatants and civilians (yes they got those).

And of course the SRD trumps the actual words in the comic*. *sigh* I'm mainly just posting to point out that you might want to check your attributions here, because only one of the paragraphs you just attributed to me is actually me.

*(Sixth panel here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0417.html), should anyone want to look up what I'm referring to.)

Querzis
2011-12-28, 05:12 PM
And of course the SRD trumps the actual words in the comic*. *sigh* I'm mainly just posting to point out that you might want to check your attributions here.

...Kish a hobgoblins without class level is not even a monster. Its a casualty. They dont have profiency with armor or weapons, nor do they have their first HD, they all gain that from their first level of warriors. Yes technically, a first-level warrior hobgoblin is 1 HD but that doesnt mean they suddenly cant get xp and go up in level. Beside, Haley is quite clearly mistaken about this being so easy so I dunno why you would expect her to be right about every hobgoblins in their army to be level 1, especially when we clearly thats false, plenty of their casters are above that. If everything every characters in the comic ever said was right and true, what would even be the point of these forums? Not to mention how confusing that would be since they contradict each others so often.

theNater
2011-12-30, 05:32 AM
He one-shot a cleric there:http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0445.html
He was already fighting that cleric when the comic cut to them; how do you know the cleric was completely uninjured? Even one or two points of damage(which may not be visible to us) puts him within easy Belkar finishing range.

Seriously guys? The Hobgoblin from the SRD has class levels in the first place! http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Hobgoblin Sure, NPC class level but still.
Yes, and that class level gives them 6 hit points, which Belkar's minimum damage can easily surpass.

If we go by the SRD, for a group of 300 hobgoblins there should be 15 level 3, 2 level 5 and one chieftain around level 7. And this is an army of 30 000 that has been shown to have lots of Clerics and Wizard in his ranks as well as a chieftain thats almost epic level. Hell, we saw random cleric cast Cure Serious wound : http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0465.html. Now I dont actually expect any other hobgoblins to be around that Redcloak level but still.
If a group of 300 hobgoblins has 15 level 3s, 2 level 5s, and one level 7, then it has 282 level 1 hobgoblins. Belkar carved up a lot of hobgoblins, but there's going to be over 20,000 level 1 hobgoblin warriors in an army of 30,000. He got through a lot, but he was nowhere near running out of targets to oneshot.

Dodge give a +1 bonus to AC. Really woudnt change much. There aint a lot of other feats that give AC bonus in the SRD. Also, pretty much every character with high dexterity dodge blows like that since, you know, its not like they are gonna stop blows with their armor.
The Dodge feat gives a +1 bonus to AC. Dodge bonuses have no upper limit, as they can stack with each other, and the PCs are not limited to SRD feats. If he's found some obscure feat that provides a +2 dodge bonus to AC and an item that provides another +2 dodge bonus, he's suddenly much harder to hit than your calculations suggest.

As for it being just a result of his dexterity, Haley almost certainly has a higher dex bonus to AC, but doesn't hop around like that during battle except when she's using Evasion. Not conclusive, I know, but it does leave the possibility open that he's got some defensive effect going on that we don't know about.

It is but then Bozzok would be stupid to have done so. Once again, hes a rogue of level 17 or more. Having power attack in case he has to duel someone might be a good idea but using it when you can sneak is just stupid, a sneak attack from such a high-level rogue already hurt a lot, it would be silly to risk missing it.
Bozzok is a rogue using a bastard sword and a shield. That is significantly nonstandard. I don't think we know enough about his fighting style to assume he never does anything crazy(like trying to power sneak attack).

You mean the room full of rogues where he was flanked from all side? Honestly, he should have gotten hit more often.
He was hit every time he was attacked. How would he get hit more often than that?

Also see Sowz post. Theres not much point in cheating with mooks. And really, dont take the 'Meta' explanation too seriously man, we're just poking fun at the fact that Belkar shoudnt be that strong.
I'm not arguing that Belkar isn't overall more effective than he should be; I'm just saying that these examples don't demonstrate that.

Ancano
2012-01-02, 12:29 AM
I was pointing out that your claim that two-weapon fighters have to pay twice as much for their weapons was wrong, because they still get good weapon enhancements for their level for about the same price as a single weapon wielder up until the highest levels, they'll just be one degree behind. Which isn't going to be a big deal.

You're right, two weapon fighters don't need to pay twice as much for their weapons, they need to pay five times as much. Two weapon fighting is so much worse than using a two handed weapon that you'll need to spend FAR more on equipment if you want to keep up. Being one enhancement level behind is like a death sentence.

On an unrelated note, someone should change the title of this thread to "Why does Belkar deal so much damage?"

Zevox
2012-01-02, 01:48 AM
You're right, two weapon fighters don't need to pay twice as much for their weapons, they need to pay five times as much.
That doesn't make any sense no matter how you think about it.


Being one enhancement level behind is like a death sentence.
Um, no, no it is not. Not unless you have an utterly sadistic DM, to the point where you have to be particularly well-optimized for your level just to scrape by.

Zevox

Fishman
2012-01-02, 02:30 AM
Pretty much, yes. By the rules, Belkar shouldn't be doing as much damage as he's obviously doing.Well, presumably, Belkar has a fairly decent strength bonus, if he's to be a warrior-type, considering he seems to have used his wisdom as a dump stat. So that could give him another +3-4 in strength bonii. With a warrior class's attack rates and Power Attack, he could still do some damage. Still, when has Belkar ever been really EFFECTIVE against anything other than low-level enemies? Belkar habitually murders a lot of mooks and low-level foes. He can't even begin to compare to Roy, for instance, and didn't really take out Bozzok either. His track record vs. foes of equivalent level is basically rather shoddy.

Icedaemon
2012-01-02, 04:57 AM
The only way for him to pull of that damage would be to have a +6 favored enemy: Everything! Which would be funny too I suppose but I think its pretty obvious he at the very least has Kobold as favored enemies.

I would say that it is not at all unlikely that Belkar's character sheet has 'humanoid' as the favoured enemy, to which someone forgot to add the subtype to.

Morty
2012-01-02, 06:46 AM
Well, presumably, Belkar has a fairly decent strength bonus, if he's to be a warrior-type, considering he seems to have used his wisdom as a dump stat. So that could give him another +3-4 in strength bonii. With a warrior class's attack rates and Power Attack, he could still do some damage. Still, when has Belkar ever been really EFFECTIVE against anything other than low-level enemies? Belkar habitually murders a lot of mooks and low-level foes. He can't even begin to compare to Roy, for instance, and didn't really take out Bozzok either. His track record vs. foes of equivalent level is basically rather shoddy.

Except he can't use Power Attack because he's using daggers.

Ancano
2012-01-02, 07:50 AM
That doesn't make any sense no matter how you think about it.
Really? How about the fact that a two weapon fighter needs to sink 3 feats into his style just to fight at a -2 attack penalty? Or that they have to spend tons of points on dexterity to even take those feats? Or that they can't actually fight with two weapons unless they full attack? Or that they are hurt twice as much by damage reduction? Or the fact that even a two weapon specialist hits more frequently and deals more DPR with a two handed weapon?

If your weapons aren't at least one enhancement bonus ahead of your two handed friend, you'll be so outclassed in combat it's downright pathetic.


Um, no, no it is not. Not unless you have an utterly sadistic DM, to the point where you have to be particularly well-optimized for your level just to scrape by.

Assuming equal point buys, character optimization, gold, and levels, if your DM makes an encounter hard enough to even challenge a two handed fighter, a two weapon fighter would get utterly demolished.

Istari
2012-01-02, 11:21 AM
Really? How about the fact that a two weapon fighter needs to sink 3 feats into his style just to fight at a -2 attack penalty? Or that they have to spend tons of points on dexterity to even take those feats?

Luckily rangers aren't really concerned by those two.

eulmanis12
2012-01-02, 11:51 AM
belkar used his divine powers as a "Sexy Shoeless God of War" to make his attacks do more damage.

or he has favored enemy (enemy)

jaybird
2012-01-02, 12:00 PM
You know, he very well could be a critfisher. Giant just doesn't want to draw kukris, so he draws daggers - a kukri is a type of knife after all.

Kish
2012-01-02, 01:02 PM
The Oracle called his weapons daggers.

I can't remember if anyone else specifically said what they are, but if they did, I'm pretty sure I would have remembered if they said anything other than "daggers."

KillianHawkeye
2012-01-02, 01:43 PM
You can still fish for crits with daggers. It's not as effective, but possible. OOTS isn't exactly known for showing the most optimal character choices.

I'd say a dagger to the eye definitely counts as a critical hit. :smallamused:

Zevox
2012-01-02, 02:42 PM
Really? How about the fact that a two weapon fighter needs to sink 3 feats into his style just to fight at a -2 attack penalty? Or that they have to spend tons of points on dexterity to even take those feats? Or that they can't actually fight with two weapons unless they full attack? Or that they are hurt twice as much by damage reduction? Or the fact that even a two weapon specialist hits more frequently and deals more DPR with a two handed weapon?
All unrelated to the prior discussion of the cost of weapons. And half of it is negated by being a Ranger and getting those feats for free.


Assuming equal point buys, character optimization, gold, and levels, if your DM makes an encounter hard enough to even challenge a two handed fighter, a two weapon fighter would get utterly demolished.
That's absurd. Two-handed fighters are not that great, nor are two-weapon fighters that underpowered. Only at high levels when dealing with the difference between casters and non-casters is such hyperbole applicable.

Zevox

SowZ
2012-01-02, 07:24 PM
All unrelated to the prior discussion of the cost of weapons. And half of it is negated by being a Ranger and getting those feats for free.


That's absurd. Two-handed fighters are not that great, nor are two-weapon fighters that underpowered. Only at high levels when dealing with the difference between casters and non-casters is such hyperbole applicable.

Zevox

It's far easier to make a high damage output two handed fighter than a two-weapon one. For one, you don't need a full attack and so can make a good charge/power attack build. So if you -2 for power attack, (making your hit rating the same as dual wielding,) the average damage output of a two-hander hitting is higher than the average damage output even if BOTH two handed weapons hit, (assuming you are using the highest damage martial weapons for both one and two handed weapons and a Strength score between 10 and 18.)

Dual wielding can be good as a rogue where most of your damage comes from sneak attack damage and it can be good if surrounded by multiple weaker enemies, but cleave can do that just as well. Dual wielding is pretty situational compared to two handing. For rogues and rangers it can be good. For Fighters and Barbarians it is rarely worth it. This doesn't bother me, actually, since two handed fighting should be more common than dual wielding. The only thing that bothers me is the lack of viability for sword and board fighters.

Ancano
2012-01-03, 01:27 AM
All unrelated to the prior discussion of the cost of weapons. And half of it is negated by being a Ranger and getting those feats for free.
Wrong. It's very related. Two weapon fighters need to buy weapons that are two enhancement bonuses ahead of two handed weapons in order to negate the -2 two weapon fighting penalty. Sure, you could say they don't NEED to, but technically a wizard doesn't NEED his spellbook either.

And the only thing that's negated for rangers is the dexterity. If you went for a two handed weapon you could pick the strong arm combat style, giving you Power Attack, Improved Sunder, and Great Cleave, (which is basically four feats, given that you can skip Cleave). Although any ranger worth his salt goes for archery anyway.



That's absurd. Two-handed fighters are not that great, nor are two-weapon fighters that underpowered. Only at high levels when dealing with the difference between casters and non-casters is such hyperbole applicable.
Two-handed fighters aren't great, but two-weapon fighting is easily the most suboptimal way to do combat. There are literally NO advantages unless you have a great source of bonus damage (favored enemy doesn't count) and there are countless drawbacks. You'll be around 1-2 effective levels behind a two handed fighter, and that can make an encounter go from challenging to deadly.

Zevox
2012-01-03, 02:54 AM
Wrong. It's very related. Two weapon fighters need to buy weapons that are two enhancement bonuses ahead of two handed weapons in order to negate the -2 two weapon fighting penalty. Sure, you could say they don't NEED to, but technically a wizard doesn't NEED his spellbook either.
Now you're getting even more absurd. Yes, a wizard needs his spellbook, it's the only way he can use his class features and be worth a damn at anything. That is not in any way comparable to a two-weapon fighter trying to make up for a -2 attack penalty that he's already getting compensated for by having twice as many attacks per round as he otherwise would. That's something that he doesn't need to do at all, since that -2 is too small of a penalty to make that big of a difference in most situations. It's a 10% reduction in his accuracy, nothing more, and not even that if dealing with opponents with particularly low AC. Those two-handed fighters you keep comparing two-weapon fighters to casually sacrifice that much for +4 damage to each of their attacks via power attack, and each extra hit from a two-weapon fighter's weapons is going to do more than 4 damage unless the character in question is either very low level or very bad at melee combat.


And the only thing that's negated for rangers is the dexterity.
And the requirement to spend a slot on the feats, since they're bonus feats.


You'll be around 1-2 effective levels behind a two handed fighter, and that can make an encounter go from challenging to deadly.
Again, that's absurd hyperbole. Short of ridiculous optimization, that will never be the case. And if you're talking about characters that have been ridiculously optimized you have to give the two-weapon fighter that extra damage from sneak attack, or levels in a psionic class plus deep crystal weapons, or whatever else you could use to get bonus damage dice on every attack, because otherwise you're comparing a ridiculously optimized two-handed fighter to an unoptimized or poorly optimized two-weapon fighter, and I shouldn't have to point out the pointlessness of an argument like that.

Simply put, you're hyperbolically overstating the disadvantages of being a two-weapon fighting character. Yes, two-handers statistically deal more damage on average over time when properly optimized, but that reality is a far cry from the picture you're painting. And it very often doesn't matter, since in any given situation it's the round-by-round results that count, not the broad averages used to judge such things by optimizers.

Zevox

Morthis
2012-01-03, 05:49 AM
Wrong. It's very related. Two weapon fighters need to buy weapons that are two enhancement bonuses ahead of two handed weapons in order to negate the -2 two weapon fighting penalty. Sure, you could say they don't NEED to, but technically a wizard doesn't NEED his spellbook either.

That's just silly, this statement is so over the top I don't even know what to make of it. Using your logic, I could say that if a level 10 2h fighter can beat 5 level 10 wizards who have no spells prepared, then the same fighter could also defeat 5 level 10 rangers who are dual wielding, since those two are apparently equally challenging. Want to make any bets as to what the outcome would be? I know which one I'll vote for. :P

SowZ
2012-01-03, 04:47 PM
Now you're getting even more absurd. Yes, a wizard needs his spellbook, it's the only way he can use his class features and be worth a damn at anything. That is not in any way comparable to a two-weapon fighter trying to make up for a -2 attack penalty that he's already getting compensated for by having twice as many attacks per round as he otherwise would. That's something that he doesn't need to do at all, since that -2 is too small of a penalty to make that big of a difference in most situations. It's a 10% reduction in his accuracy, nothing more, and not even that if dealing with opponents with particularly low AC. Those two-handed fighters you keep comparing two-weapon fighters to casually sacrifice that much for +4 damage to each of their attacks via power attack, and each extra hit from a two-weapon fighter's weapons is going to do more than 4 damage unless the character in question is either very low level or very bad at melee combat.

The dual wielding fighter gets compensated with an extra attack, sure, but he has to hit his target with both attacks to do even the same, (and usually less,) damage than a two handed weapon that only has to hit once with. Further, the dual wielder has to have a full attack action to get his advantage leaving the two handed fighter free to make full use of charging attacks, leap attacks, etc. Oh, and your weapon enhancements will also be behind the two handed fighters. And you have to spend at least one feat to dual wield.

Is this to say dual wielders are always suboptimal? No. I make them more often than any other type of melee fighter because they are a challenge to build effectively and I think it is really cool. Dual wielding also synergizes well with Sneak Attack and a few other abilities. But in general it has a lower damage output and higher feat/gold investment than two handed fighting. Seeing as dual wielding should historically be a very rare fighting style and hard to make effective, this doesn't actually bother me.

Ancano
2012-01-03, 04:56 PM
Now you're getting even more absurd. Yes, a wizard needs his spellbook, it's the only way he can use his class features and be worth a damn at anything. That is not in any way comparable to a two-weapon fighter trying to make up for a -2 attack penalty that he's already getting compensated for by having twice as many attacks per round as he otherwise would. That's something that he doesn't need to do at all, since that -2 is too small of a penalty to make that big of a difference in most situations. It's a 10% reduction in his accuracy, nothing more, and not even that if dealing with opponents with particularly low AC. Those two-handed fighters you keep comparing two-weapon fighters to casually sacrifice that much for +4 damage to each of their attacks via power attack, and each extra hit from a two-weapon fighter's weapons is going to do more than 4 damage unless the character in question is either very low level or very bad at melee combat.{Scrubbed} Even assuming that your enemy is stupid enough to stand in one place the whole fight while you full attack them, those extra attacks will net you virtually 0 extra damage over a two hander. Your strength bonus and weapon dice are split between the two weapons, and you don't even have the option of power attacking.

And a -2 penalty to attack rolls is a lot more significant than you're making it out to be, as your reduction in accuracy is greater than 10% unless you're fighting weaklings. Assume a warrior is attacking a foe and he needs to roll 9 or higher to hit (a 60% chance). Once you account for the two weapon fighting penalty, you need an 11 or higher to hit (a 50% chance). Over the course of a battle, the two weapon fighter will hit only 83% as often as the two handed fighter. Add on the fact that your weapons will be an enhancement bonus behind the two-handed fighter and you're looking at hitting only 75% as often as a two-hander. This problem only becomes worse as you fight harder foes (when a difference in attack bonus really matters) and this isn't even accounting for iterative attacks, which will be even less accurate. It's pretty ugly, especially considering that melee combat is one of the least efficient ways to fight to begin with. Oh yeah, did I mention you're spending 3 feats to fight like this?


And the requirement to spend a slot on the feats, since they're bonus feats.{Scrubbed} A two-handed ranger can choose the two-handed combat style, netting him virtually 4 bonus feats (cleave, great cleave, power attack, and improved sunder). If you choose the two weapon ranger, you give up these feats for the two weapon fighting tree. So you're effectively four feats behind a two-handed ranger.


Again, that's absurd hyperbole. Short of ridiculous optimization, that will never be the case. And if you're talking about characters that have been ridiculously optimized you have to give the two-weapon fighter that extra damage from sneak attack, or levels in a psionic class plus deep crystal weapons, or whatever else you could use to get bonus damage dice on every attack, because otherwise you're comparing a ridiculously optimized two-handed fighter to an unoptimized or poorly optimized two-weapon fighter, and I shouldn't have to point out the pointlessness of an argument like that.Even assuming the MOST favorable circumstances for a two-weapon fighter (full attacks), look at the difference in accuracy! Look at the difference in damage! And what if you can't full attack? You only have 2/3 of a two hander's strength bonus damage and weapon dice, no power attack, and STILL are behind in accuracy because of your lower weapon enhancement. Accounting for the fact that you'll also be up to four or so feats behind, and you're EASILY 1 or 2 equivalent levels behind a two-hander.

And sure, feel free to dip into psychic warrior or rogue and reduce your attack bonus even more. I hear it's a good strategy. Also, weren't we talking about rangers? Don't even get me started on how many more options two handed fighters have in terms of dips and prestige classes.



Simply put, you're hyperbolically overstating the disadvantages of being a two-weapon fighting character. Yes, two-handers statistically deal more damage on average over time when properly optimized, but that reality is a far cry from the picture you're painting. And it very often doesn't matter, since in any given situation it's the round-by-round results that count, not the broad averages used to judge such things by optimizers.Two handers deal more damage regardless of the situation, and sometimes a lot more. The only time a two weapon fighter deals more damage is against weak foes with low armor class and no strategy (who a two hander could easily beat anyway). No opponent is going to stand in melee range of a two weapon fighter. They can easily retreat and you can barely punish them with your subpar attacks of opportunity. Not only are you a melee fighter, you're a melee fighter who NEEDS to start his round within 5 feet of his opponent to do anything at all.

Honestly, I don't think you've actually played a two weapon fighter and a two handed fighter at similar levels. This isn't abstract optimization, you can easily feel the difference in effectiveness.



That's just silly, this statement is so over the top I don't even know what to make of it. Using your logic, I could say that if a level 10 2h fighter can beat 5 level 10 wizards who have no spells prepared, then the same fighter could also defeat 5 level 10 rangers who are dual wielding, since those two are apparently equally challenging. Want to make any bets as to what the outcome would be? I know which one I'll vote for. :P I never said "no spells prepared", I said no spellbook. Such a wizard could spend all of their feats on Spell Mastery and still trounce an equivalent level fighter. A 10th level fighter wouldn't stand a CHANCE against such a wizard, let alone five of them.

Is it a highly suboptimal way to build a wizard? Yes, in the same way that two weapon fighting is a highly suboptimal way to build a ranger.

SowZ
2012-01-03, 06:05 PM
{Scrub the post, scrub the quote} Even assuming that your enemy is stupid enough to stand in one place the whole fight while you full attack them, those extra attacks will net you virtually 0 extra damage over a two hander. Your strength bonus and weapon dice are split between the two weapons, and you don't even have the option of power attacking.

And a -2 penalty to attack rolls is a lot more significant than you're making it out to be, as your reduction in accuracy is greater than 10% unless you're fighting weaklings. Assume a warrior is attacking a foe and he needs to roll 9 or higher to hit (a 60% chance). Once you account for the two weapon fighting penalty, you need an 11 or higher to hit (a 50% chance). Over the course of a battle, the two weapon fighter will hit only 83% as often as the two handed fighter. Add on the fact that your weapons will be an enhancement bonus behind the two-handed fighter and you're looking at hitting only 75% as often as a two-hander. This problem only becomes worse as you fight harder foes (when a difference in attack bonus really matters) and this isn't even accounting for iterative attacks, which will be even less accurate. It's pretty ugly, especially considering that melee combat is one of the least efficient ways to fight to begin with. Oh yeah, did I mention you're spending 3 feats to fight like this?

{Scrub the post, scrub the quote} A two-handed ranger can choose the two-handed combat style, netting him virtually 4 bonus feats (cleave, great cleave, power attack, and improved sunder). If you choose the two weapon ranger, you give up these feats for the two weapon fighting tree. So you're effectively four feats behind a two-handed ranger.

Even assuming the MOST favorable circumstances for a two-weapon fighter (full attacks), look at the difference in accuracy! Look at the difference in damage! And what if you can't full attack? You only have 2/3 of a two hander's strength bonus damage and weapon dice, no power attack, and STILL are behind in accuracy because of your lower weapon enhancement. Accounting for the fact that you'll also be up to four or so feats behind, and you're EASILY 1 or 2 equivalent levels behind a two-hander.

And sure, feel free to dip into psychic warrior or rogue and reduce your attack bonus even more. I hear it's a good strategy. Also, weren't we talking about rangers? Don't even get me started on how many more options two handed fighters have in terms of dips and prestige classes.


Two handers deal more damage regardless of the situation, and sometimes a lot more. The only time a two weapon fighter deals more damage is against weak foes with low armor class and no strategy (who a two hander could easily beat anyway). No opponent is going to stand in melee range of a two weapon fighter. They can easily retreat and you can barely punish them with your subpar attacks of opportunity. Not only are you a melee fighter, you're a melee fighter who NEEDS to start his round within 5 feet of his opponent to do anything at all.

Honestly, I don't think you've actually played a two weapon fighter and a two handed fighter at similar levels. This isn't abstract optimization, you can easily feel the difference in effectiveness.


I never said "no spells prepared", I said no spellbook. Such a wizard could spend all of their feats on Spell Mastery and still trounce an equivalent level fighter. A 10th level fighter wouldn't stand a CHANCE against such a wizard, let alone five of them.

Is it a highly suboptimal way to build a wizard? Yes, in the same way that two weapon fighting is a highly suboptimal way to build a ranger.

Although I generally agree with you, I don't think going Rogue is a bad idea. If you are going to dual wield, it is probably the best option.

Lord Ruby34
2012-01-03, 06:38 PM
Okay, I'm going to correct you, Ancano, on several points you have mistaken.

1. A Ranger (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/ranger.htm) cannot pick two-handed as a weapon style. He has to choose archery or two weapon fighting. Most of them choose archery, because it's thematic.

2. Two weapon fighting is perfectly viable to base a build around, it's simply a matter of taking different feats than a two-handed fighter. While a Two Handed fighter might take power attack/leap attack/shock trooper, a Two weapon fighter won't. Instead he'll take a class that gives him bonus damage of some sort, or go the AoO route, Jack B Quick style. One good class combination for Two weapon fighting is Ranger 15/Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian 1/Scout 4 with Swift Hunter.

3.Two weapon fighting isn't the default melee build, but if you do build around it, it works just fine. Using two weapons allows you do benefit twice as much from several effects, like Bardic Music, Sneak Attack, or Skirmish. It is not as sub-optimal as you claim. Sure, a Two Handed Fighter might dish out more damage, but if you want to fight with two weapons you can still bring the pain.

Zevox
2012-01-03, 06:42 PM
{Scrub the post, scrub the quote} Even assuming that your enemy is stupid enough to stand in one place the whole fight while you full attack them,
Considering that anyone who isn't a caster class, archer, or spring-attack type benefits from doing the same and getting their own iterative attacks, that will usually be the case, yes. Unless you're engaging someone focused on a hyper-optimized style of play who is deliberately exploiting that weakness of two-weapon fighters, which is going to be exceedingly rare outside of PvP with a power-gaming focused player.

Also, while I'm not familiar with the material myself, I do recall a non-core feat being mentioned back in the Class Levels and Geekery threads which would allow Belkar to do full attacks when charging - looking up the last thread, it looks like it's called Two-Weapon Pounce. If that does indeed allow that, it would deal with that problem in many circumstances.


And a -2 penalty to attack rolls is a lot more significant than you're making it out to be, as your reduction in accuracy is greater than 10% unless you're fighting weaklings. Assume a warrior is attacking a foe and he needs to roll 9 or higher to hit (a 60% chance). Once you account for the two weapon fighting penalty, you need an 11 or higher to hit (a 50% chance).
Which is precisely what I said. Because of how d20s work, -2 to attack is a 10% accuracy reduction, pure and simple. And again, two-handers often take at least as much, if not more, voluntarily in order to use power attack, so there will often be no difference between the two in this regard, or the two-hander will even have less accuracy than the two-weapon wielder if he's going for more than 2 or 3 points of power attack.


Add on the fact that your weapons will be an enhancement bonus behind the two-handed fighter
Which may or may not mean anything depending on the enhancements chosen - there are plenty of things one could spend money on besides just +1 more to attack and damage after all. And again, even assuming both just took straight bonuses, is only 5% accuracy drop, which may again be made null if the two-hander is using power attack, as they often do.


{Scrub the post, scrub the quote} A two-handed ranger can choose the two-handed combat style, netting him virtually 4 bonus feats (cleave, great cleave, power attack, and improved sunder). If you choose the two weapon ranger, you give up these feats for the two weapon fighting tree. So you're effectively four feats behind a two-handed ranger.
Think about what you just said for a moment. How can two Rangers of equal level (and assuming the same race) ever be four feats apart from each other? That's simply impossible: same class, same level, same quantity of feats. They can only have spent their feats on different things, which is what you're describing, and is something completely different from being behind another character in number of feats.


Honestly, I don't think you've actually played a two weapon fighter and a two handed fighter at similar levels. This isn't abstract optimization, you can easily feel the difference in effectiveness.
Oh quite the contrary, I've played both (and quite a number of other character types), and in an optimization-oriented environment at that. Most of my practical experience with D&D comes from a forum on the Wizards boards called the Core Colosseum, which did (or does, I left it a few years ago when it switched over to 4E, I'm not sure if it's still around or not) weekly one-on-one battles between different players' character builds (with the restriction of only core, SRD material being allowed, hence the name), as well as allowing more normal D&D-like questing providing the monster encounters were appropriately balanced for your ECL. I know full well from my time there that two-handers tend to be more effective than two-weapon fighters: one of my most successful characters there was a Fighter/Wilder/War Mind who fought with two-handed weapons, while two-weapon fighters were a rare sight there at all because of how the highly-optimized PvP environment disadvantaged them, and even the best were rarely successful outside of the low levels.

But I also know full well that it is only in those kinds of environments that the difference will approach the levels you insist that it always is. And that will not be most situations in D&D. For your average adventuring party, the calculus is worlds different - you're fighting monsters that usually want to engage in melee and often aren't very bright, or facing soldiers or mercenaries that also most often want to engage in melee. Spellcasters and archers will give such characters a headache, but they'll do the same to any melee fighter in most situations, and that's what the party's spellcasters and archers are for. Only rarely will objections such as your claim that a character will have trouble getting full attacks actually come up, against specific foes that possess both multiple ways to engage you and the intelligence to give the party's melee fighters the run-around, such as some demons and dragons; and that will further depend on the kind of personality and fighting style the DM opts to give them.

In other words, in most situations in actual D&D, the disadvantages you identify two-weapon fighting possessing are pretty insignificant, and a character using that fighting style will do just fine.

Zevox

Querzis
2012-01-03, 07:37 PM
2. Two weapon fighting is perfectly viable to base a build around, it's simply a matter of taking different feats than a two-handed fighter. While a Two Handed fighter might take power attack/leap attack/shock trooper, a Two weapon fighter won't. Instead he'll take a class that gives him bonus damage of some sort, or go the AoO route, Jack B Quick style. One good class combination for Two weapon fighting is Ranger 15/Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian 1/Scout 4 with Swift Hunter.

Personally, I go for crit if I got two-weapons fighting. I just take two scimitar and improved critical and boom, I crit on a 15 (and considering my number of attack per rounds + the Power Critical feat, I'm pretty damn likely to). Now of course, since they are both not light weapons, I get -4 on both instead of -2 but honestly, it stop being an issue pretty damn quickly. I dont even care if my third attack with my off-hand weapon with greater two-weapon fighting got a -10 on it, its just one more chance to crit. Hell, I usually go for the full -5 penalty on my attack roll with combat expertise, I crit or I miss, simple as that.

Now the really annoying thing with this is that I always got accused of being a Drizzt clone even when if I was a frigging half-orc. That and the fact that my DM kept sending us undead just to screw up with me. It didnt even make sense to fight undead in that campaign, we were after a Great Red Wyrm not some lich sorcerer with a goblin cleric!

Lord Ruby34
2012-01-03, 07:40 PM
Eh, crit fishing isn't all that great without certain enchantments on your weapons, and as those enchantments don't care what weapon you use you might as well use Kukris. Light and 18-20.

Querzis
2012-01-03, 07:43 PM
Eh, crit fishing isn't all that great without certain enchantments on your weapons, and as those enchantments don't care what weapon you use you might as well use Kukris. Light and 18-20.

...why? If you're crit fishing, having a -4 instead of a -2 make absolutely no difference. And of course I had enchantment on it (which also meant I didnt had any money left to enchant my armor but meh, full combat expertise took care of that). I still had at least one crit pretty much every attack and, since even an unconfirmed crit is still a hit, yeah I really didnt care about my attack bonus at all.

Zevox
2012-01-03, 07:52 PM
...why? If you're crit fishing, having a -4 instead of a -2 make absolutely no difference. And of course I had enchantment on it (which also meant I didnt had any money left to enchant my armor but meh, full combat expertise took care of that). I still had at least one crit pretty much every attack and, since even an unconfirmed crit is still a hit, yeah I really didnt care about my attack bonus at all.
Yeah, two problems with that: one, the Improved Critical feat and the Keen weapon enhancement don't stack, so having both is redundant (you're better off with the weapon enhancement, since money is easier to come by than feats). Two, only natural 20s auto-hit. Unconfirmed crits that aren't natural 20s still need to hit the targets AC to hit, so yeah, your attack bonus will definitely still matter even if you focus on a wide crit range.

Zevox

Querzis
2012-01-03, 08:09 PM
Yeah, two problems with that: one, the Improved Critical feat and the Keen weapon enhancement don't stack, so having both is redundant

*blink* and? I dont remember him or me ever talking about the keen weapon enchantment, why would you ever get that enchantment when a bloody feat can do the same thing on absolutely every weapons? And since I was talking about critting on a 15, not a 12, why would you think I ever thought it stacks?


(you're better off with the weapon enhancement, since money is easier to come by than feats)

You simply cannot be serious, its a single feat with no big prerequisite and if you get keen weapons, you cant get another enchant on them. I cant believe you seriously think wasting two keen enchantment on two weapons is really easier then using a single feat. We didnt even have access to a whole lot of non-core feats, I started taking weird, kinda useless feats as soon as level 14. Hell, even if one feat really was more important then money (its not) I'm gonna get a better enchant then a bloody +1 price.


Two, only natural 20s auto-hit. Unconfirmed crits that aren't natural 20s still need to hit the targets AC to hit, so yeah, your attack bonus will definitely still matter even if you focus on a wide crit range.

*shrugh* whatever, thats how my DM read it. My crits were the real heavy hitter anyway.

Zevox
2012-01-03, 08:15 PM
*blink* and? I dont remember him or me ever talking about the keen weapon enchantment, why would you ever get that enchantment when a bloody feat can do the same thing on every weapons? And since I was talking about critting on a 15, not a 12, why would you think I ever thought it stacks?
You mentioned taking the Improved Critical feat in your first post on the matter, and in the one I quoted you were responding to a poster who referenced that enchantment (albeit not by name, but still pretty clearly referring to that, since it's the only enchantment that helps with crit-fishing), and you said that you had the enchantment he was referring to. Though re-reading it, perhaps you misunderstood and simply thought he was referring to generic enchantments, since your exact words, "And of course I had enchantment on it," are kind of ambiguous on the matter.


You simply cannot be serious, its a single feat with no big prerequisite and if you get keen weapons, you cant get another enchant on them. I cant believe you seriously think wasting two keen enchantment on two weapons is really easier then using a single feat. We didnt even have access to non-core feats, I started taking weird, kinda useless feats as soon as level 14.
What? That's not true at all. What would ever make you think that?

Zevox

Querzis
2012-01-03, 08:25 PM
You mentioned taking the Improved Critical feat in your first post on the matter, and in the one I quoted you were responding to a poster who referenced that enchantment (albeit not by name, but still pretty clearly referring to that, since it's the only enchantment that helps with crit-fishing)and you said that you had the enchantment he was referring to. Though re-reading it, perhaps you misunderstood and simply thought he was referring to generic enchantments, since your exact words, "And of course I had enchantment on it," are kind of ambiguous on the matter.


Yeah so, the weapon enchant you wanna start with when crit fishing is Icy burst (or shocking burst or flaming burst, depends on the type of enemy you expect to fight. But as I said, we were after a red dragon so frost felt like a good idea). Mind you, it is indeed just what I assumed but I'm pretty damn sure he meant that you need to right enchant to do good damage while crit fishing, not that you need bloody keen weapon for crit fishing but hey, I guess he can answer that himself if he want to.


What? That's not true at all. What would ever make you think that?

I had two +4 scimitar with 2 icy burst and 1 shocking burst on it. Do the math (if you dont know what I'm talking about: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicWeapons.htm «A single weapon cannot have a modified bonus (enhancement bonus plus special ability bonus equivalents) higher than +10». And once again, improved critical means the bonus stay if you get a better scimitar, change weapon for some reason or has to use ranged weapon.

Lord Ruby34
2012-01-03, 08:47 PM
Huh, I think you're just misunderstanding each other, and me. The enchantments I was talking about were things like Prismatic Burst, or the one that deals negative levels. Anything that activates on a critical that's not thundering or flaming burst really.

Anyway, I prefer kukri's over scimitars because they're more accurate, and the scimitar adds up to only a single point of damage per hit, at a penalty to accuracy. I like hitting more, so I'd go with the kukri's, and no one can call you a Drizzt rip off that way.

Querzis
2012-01-03, 08:54 PM
Huh, I think you're just misunderstanding each other, and me. The enchantments I was talking about were things like Prismatic Burst, or the one that deals negative levels.

Those arent core unfortunately. Mind you, I'm not sure my DM would have allowed it if it was, reading about it, it certainly seems a kinda too strong for a +3 enchant.

Zevox
2012-01-03, 08:57 PM
I had two +4 scimitar with 2 icy burst and 1 shocking burst on it. Do the math (if you dont know what I'm talking about: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicWeapons.htm «A single weapon cannot have a modified bonus (enhancement bonus plus special ability bonus equivalents) higher than +10». And once again, improved critical means the bonus stay if you get a better scimitar, change weapon for some reason or has to use ranged weapon.
Ah, not something you had mentioned before. And extremely surprising - I can't say I've ever heard of someone reaching a full +10 equivalent before (outside of theory anyway) even on one weapon, much less two. That's seriously expensive stuff. I'm not so sure that you can get two of the same enhancement though, so two icy bursts may have been illegal there.

Zevox

Querzis
2012-01-03, 09:09 PM
Ah, not something you had mentioned before. And extremely surprising - I can't say I've ever heard of someone reaching a full +10 equivalent before (outside of theory anyway) even on one weapon, much less two. That's seriously expensive stuff. I'm not so sure that you can get two of the same enhancement though, so two icy bursts may have been illegal there.

Zevox

I dunno, my DM allowed it. But yeah, we started at level 12 and finished around level 22-23 I think, its been a while. Bloody Great Wyrm had quite a lot of cleric levels and the DM didnt allow our wizard and druid to create new epic magic because, well, it would kinda go something like this wizard : «I designed a spell specifically to kill the dragon» DM «screw you». Anyway, the starting gold of a level 15 would be anough to get a +10 weapon really. Not that hard approaching epic level, as I said, my armor and bow pretty much had nothing on them. Anyway, even if I had the money to had keen on top of that and it was legal, I'd have gone with improved critical.

Zevox
2012-01-03, 09:35 PM
Anyway, the starting gold of a level 15 would be anough to get a +10 weapon really.
Yeah, if you went completely naked other than the one weapon. I think that most players would rather take it a bit more gradually than that though. There's lots of other useful magic items you could get just by dialing that down to +8 total that would serve you much better than an additional burst enchantment on the weapon. Plus unless you actually start at 15 odds are you'll have spent money on things other than your weapon by then.


Anyway, even if I had the money to had keen on top of that and it was legal, I'd have gone with improved critical.
*shrugs* Your choice I suppose. Me, I'd rather save the feat, and just take the weapon as a +3, or have one less burst power on it and make it +5 (not sure which). Or maybe even +4, two bursts, keen, and thundering. Though maybe if I were stuck with just PHB feats that would be another story, since there's only a limited array of those that are of use to melee characters, especially if you're not going to get use out of power attack and its tree. Then again, that also depends on whether we're talking about a Ranger or Fighter - the former I'd probably rather save the feat even then, the latter gets so many bonus feats that I probably would just got for Improved Crit as well.

Zevox

Ancano
2012-01-04, 05:46 AM
Considering that anyone who isn't a caster class, archer, or spring-attack type benefits from doing the same and getting their own iterative attacks, that will usually be the case, yes. Unless you're engaging someone focused on a hyper-optimized style of play who is deliberately exploiting that weakness of two-weapon fighters, which is going to be exceedingly rare outside of PvP with a power-gaming focused player.Are you kidding me? Any intelligent enemy is going to know that fighting with two weapons makes it much harder to attack on the run. It's a reality of the game world, it makes no sense that npcs wouldn't be aware of that little fact. If you are a two weapon fighter and you are against a two-hander, you can bet that they'll use every possible advantage they can to take you out. It would be common knowledge that movement is more detrimental to two weapon fighters than it is to two-handers. Though the movement would hurt their fighting style, they'd know that it hurts their two weapon opponent even more.



Also, while I'm not familiar with the material myself, I do recall a non-core feat being mentioned back in the Class Levels and Geekery threads which would allow Belkar to do full attacks when charging - looking up the last thread, it looks like it's called Two-Weapon Pounce. If that does indeed allow that, it would deal with that problem in many circumstances. So you get to spend yet another feat to do something that a two-hander can do for free. And you still have zero synergy with leap attack, which is one of the most useful feats for charging.



Which is precisely what I said. Because of how d20s work, -2 to attack is a 10% accuracy reduction, pure and simple. And again, two-handers often take at least as much, if not more, voluntarily in order to use power attack, so there will often be no difference between the two in this regard, or the two-hander will even have less accuracy than the two-weapon wielder if he's going for more than 2 or 3 points of power attack.A 10% accuracy reduction that equates to a 25%+ reduction of total damage output. A two weapon fighter is reliant on full attacks to deal damage, and that means using iterative attacks. Yet to fight with two weapons in the same round, he has to take a penalty on all attack rolls. The fact that attack penalties scale horribly with iterative attacks is a nail in the coffin.



Which may or may not mean anything depending on the enhancements chosen - there are plenty of things one could spend money on besides just +1 more to attack and damage after all. And again, even assuming both just took straight bonuses, is only 5% accuracy drop, which may again be made null if the two-hander is using power attack, as they often do. Power attack isn't something you blindly use, it's a strategic tool that lets you optimize your damage based on your estimation of the enemy's armor class. When full attacking against tough enemies you won't be using it at all (especially if you plan on hitting with iterative attacks), but when you do use it, it should ALWAYS increase your expected damage output for the round. It's very different from the persistent -2 two weapon fighting penalty and the weapon enhancement handicap.



Think about what you just said for a moment. How can two Rangers of equal level (and assuming the same race) ever be four feats apart from each other? That's simply impossible: same class, same level, same quantity of feats. They can only have spent their feats on different things, which is what you're describing, and is something completely different from being behind another character in number of feats.
I'm talking about EFFECTIVE feats. The two weapon fighting feats only let you do what a two hander could already do for free. Meanwhile, the two handed ranger is getting power attack, great cleave, and feats that ACTUALLY add something to combat.

Without a massive source of bonus damage, even a two weapon specialist deals more DPR if he uses a two handed weapon instead.