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SkipSandwich
2019-05-09, 09:45 PM
So ive been kicking around some ideas for a possible Fighting Style centered around versatile weapons.

Versatile Fighting Style. While wielding a Versatile weapon, you may add both your Strength and Dexterity modifiers to the attack and damage rolls, to a maximum bonus of +2 from each.

So obviously this allows you to hit an effective +4 modifier about 3 levels earlier than normally possible, however you still need a 20 to hit +5. This also does nothing to benefit AC, ability checks or saving throws.

In terms of pure optimization you are basicly trading -2 Damage (from a max bonus of only +4 and suboptimal weapon base damage) as well as -1 Attack for the ability to maximize what would normally be secondary or even tertiary stats in a normal build I.E. MORE VERSATILITY.

The ideal build would likely be a Gish that wears Medium or Heavy Armor and leaves Str/Dex at +2 to focus on pumping Con and Spellcasting mod as high as possible.

Additionally a Barbarian who splashes Fighter to gain the style could use it to stay relatively smashy while actually putting points into Dex/Con for maximun AC.

Thoughts?

Crisis21
2019-05-09, 10:49 PM
Interesting. However, you have apparently confused Versatile weapons with Finesse weapons.

Finesse weapons are melee weapons that a character can use either their STR or DEX modifier to attack with.

Versatile weapons are melee weapons that can be wielded in one or two hands, and have increased damage dice when wielded two-handed.

SkipSandwich
2019-05-10, 12:40 AM
Nope, not confused, this idea would make no thematic sense if applied to finesse weapons which rely on well, finesse.

Versatile weapons require both strength and dexterity in order to flow smoothly between one and two-handed use, which is why I chose to make the Fighting Style emphasise that. By allowing a character with 14 str and 14 dex to fight with a +4 ability modifier to weapon attacks means that suddenly you can grab an extra feat or pump up your secondary stats without worry of falling behind the accuracy curve.

Bjarkmundur
2019-05-10, 02:31 AM
It's a very creative idea, probably the most creative versatile fighting style I've seen yet! Cheers!

At my table, we we're not good at remembering how a versatile weapon was being wielded, so we use "When wielding a versatile weapon, you always use it's larger damage die, even when wielding it one handed. In addition, you gain a +1 to damage rolls with versatile weapons"

Now we don't have to remember it any more ^^

Blackbando
2019-05-10, 09:09 AM
Definitely a very strange fighting style. I'm not entirely opposed to it, though, as it does give versatile weapons an interesting niche.

Personally, I think it might make more sense if you had to wield it in two hands--you know, the actual purpose of the versatile property--to gain the benefit.

How I handle versatile style is stolen off of one of the Digits of Vecna (I think Finger - it's been a while), where if you wield a versatile weapon in both hands, you gain +1 to attack and damage rolls.

Your take isn't a bad one by any means, although it does have a unique fact in that, unlike other fighting styles, this one can actually become useless even if you use the weapons it's designed for. With Archery, Dueling, Great Weapon Fighting, all the fighting styles, they're stacking with your abilities, while with this, if you have +4 strength at any point, then this does nothing. If you get +5 strength, then this becomes actually less than worthless - it's detrimental to use. Same goes if you have a belt of giant's strength, or any other source of more than +5 strength.

Brother12
2019-05-10, 09:33 AM
I like it. Definitely creative and versatile. Not for dedicated warriors, but it allows for a spellcaster to be competent at fighting while focusing on other stats. It's interesting.

Cynthaer
2019-05-10, 02:38 PM
Personally, I think it might make more sense if you had to wield it in two hands--you know, the actual purpose of the versatile property--to gain the benefit.

[...]

Your take isn't a bad one by any means, although it does have a unique fact in that, unlike other fighting styles, this one can actually become useless even if you use the weapons it's designed for. With Archery, Dueling, Great Weapon Fighting, all the fighting styles, they're stacking with your abilities, while with this, if you have +4 strength at any point, then this does nothing. If you get +5 strength, then this becomes actually less than worthless - it's detrimental to use. Same goes if you have a belt of giant's strength, or any other source of more than +5 strength.
I'd argue that having it work either 1-handed or 2-handed is more in line with the purpose of Versatile weapons.

More to the point, I agree that it's a clumsy bit of asymmetry for this one fighting style to potentially become redundant, but I think that's an acceptable price to pay for the rest of the design.

Generally, I think it's well-targeted for its purpose: Making it easy to hit an effective 18 in your primary combat modifier, and then harshly disincentivizing hitting 20 in favor of putting points into secondary/tertiary stats. The +2/+2 Str/Dex it encourages fits nicely with the 15 Str requirement for Plate and the +2 Dex cap for medium armor.

In other words, I don't care that it becomes worthless if you do end up hitting 20 Str, because the assumption is that you'll max Con or something else instead.

I'm a little bit concerned that it could allow (for example) a sword-and-board Tiefling with Versatility to outshine a more standard Fighter at level 1, but...maybe not.

Standard Str or Dex build with Dueling:
- Level 1: +5 to hit, +5 damage
- Level 20: +11 to hit, +7 damage

Versatility build:
- Level 1: +6 to hit, +4 damage
- Level 20: +10 to hit, +4 damage

That seems reasonable at a glance.

My overall view: This is ready for playtesting. If there are any notable problems with it, I can't see them from an abstract analysis.

Good work!

Composer99
2019-05-10, 03:02 PM
So ive been kicking around some ideas for a possible Fighting Style centered around versatile weapons.

Versatile Fighting Style. While wielding a Versatile weapon, you may add both your Strength and Dexterity modifiers to the attack and damage rolls, to a maximum bonus of +2 from each.

So obviously this allows you to hit an effective +4 modifier about 3 levels earlier than normally possible, however you still need a 20 to hit +5. This also does nothing to benefit AC, ability checks or saving throws.

In terms of pure optimization you are basicly trading -2 Damage (from a max bonus of only +4 and suboptimal weapon base damage) as well as -1 Attack for the ability to maximize what would normally be secondary or even tertiary stats in a normal build I.E. MORE VERSATILITY.

The ideal build would likely be a Gish that wears Medium or Heavy Armor and leaves Str/Dex at +2 to focus on pumping Con and Spellcasting mod as high as possible.

Additionally a Barbarian who splashes Fighter to gain the style could use it to stay relatively smashy while actually putting points into Dex/Con for maximun AC.

Thoughts?


Nope, not confused, this idea would make no thematic sense if applied to finesse weapons which rely on well, finesse.

Versatile weapons require both strength and dexterity in order to flow smoothly between one and two-handed use, which is why I chose to make the Fighting Style emphasise that. By allowing a character with 14 str and 14 dex to fight with a +4 ability modifier to weapon attacks means that suddenly you can grab an extra feat or pump up your secondary stats without worry of falling behind the accuracy curve.


I am not a fan of this fighting style, at least insofar as it is being considered as a fighting style specifically for wielding versatile weapons.

(1) Whatever you may think about wielding versatile weapons conceptually, as a matter of game mechanics, none of the versatile weapons in the SRD rely on Dexterity. (I don't care to dig out my PHB, but I'm pretty confident there aren't any versatile weapons missing from the SRD).

(2) All other SRD/PHB fighting style options are ability-score-agnostic. They might indirectly relate to using specific ability scores because of the weapons they affect, but they themselves have nothing to do with ability scores. If you had a special ability that let you use your Strength when attacking with a ranged weapon, Archery fighting style would be just as good for you as it is for a Dexterity-based archer, for instance.

On account of these two considerations, it is IMO inappropriate to design a fighting style that directly relates to ability scores.

Continuing on to conceptual problems:

(3) Versatile weapons already benefit from great-weapon fighting, as long as you're wielding them in two hands, and from dueling if you wield them in one hand. In order to justify a distinct "versatile weapon" fighting style, IMO, the fighting style should play off the concept of what makes versatile weapons distinct - that is, the fact that they do something different (in the form of different damage dice) when you wield them in one hand versus in two. This fighting style doesn't do that.

(4) Being a "versatile fighter" (represented mechanically in this fighting style by being able to use both Strength and Dexterity in weapon attacks) is not identical to wielding "versatile weapons", especially not in D&D where versatile weapons key off Strength only. I suppose they're vaguely related, but it seems to me that the former is a far broader concept than the latter, and therefore does not really belong as a fighting style, at least as those are defined in 5e.

I actually do think it's a good idea to have a mechanic to allow you to make your build more versatile - so if this ability were part of a feat, I'd be all for it. I just think this is unsuitable as a fighting style for versatile weapons.

Scorpiomoth
2019-05-10, 07:37 PM
I am not a fan of this fighting style, at least insofar as it is being considered as a fighting style specifically for wielding versatile weapons.

(1) Whatever you may think about wielding versatile weapons conceptually, as a matter of game mechanics, none of the versatile weapons in the SRD rely on Dexterity. (I don't care to dig out my PHB, but I'm pretty confident there aren't any versatile weapons missing from the SRD).

(2) All other SRD/PHB fighting style options are ability-score-agnostic. They might indirectly relate to using specific ability scores because of the weapons they affect, but they themselves have nothing to do with ability scores. If you had a special ability that let you use your Strength when attacking with a ranged weapon, Archery fighting style would be just as good for you as it is for a Dexterity-based archer, for instance.

On account of these two considerations, it is IMO inappropriate to design a fighting style that directly relates to ability scores.

Continuing on to conceptual problems:

(3) Versatile weapons already benefit from great-weapon fighting, as long as you're wielding them in two hands, and from dueling if you wield them in one hand. In order to justify a distinct "versatile weapon" fighting style, IMO, the fighting style should play off the concept of what makes versatile weapons distinct - that is, the fact that they do something different (in the form of different damage dice) when you wield them in one hand versus in two. This fighting style doesn't do that.

(4) Being a "versatile fighter" (represented mechanically in this fighting style by being able to use both Strength and Dexterity in weapon attacks) is not identical to wielding "versatile weapons", especially not in D&D where versatile weapons key off Strength only. I suppose they're vaguely related, but it seems to me that the former is a far broader concept than the latter, and therefore does not really belong as a fighting style, at least as those are defined in 5e.

I actually do think it's a good idea to have a mechanic to allow you to make your build more versatile - so if this ability were part of a feat, I'd be all for it. I just think this is unsuitable as a fighting style for versatile weapons.

I completely agree, I've often seen the point of versatile weapons as being able to switch effectively between defensive (sword and board) and offensive (two-handed fighting styles). They also work for mages who want to fire off all their spells, put the focus away and switch to two-handing to be more relevant when their slots are gone.

A fighting style for versatile weapons should reflect that, how though I'm not entirely sure off the top of my head.

Ogrillian
2019-05-11, 11:31 PM
If you want to make the versatile effect a style Iíd go with: when wielding Versatile weapons you gain (1H) +1 to attack rolls and +5ft reach to melee attacks (2H) +1 to AC and damage rolls

sandmote
2019-05-12, 12:28 AM
I'd maybe turn this into a feat or half feat.

If you want a fighting style to work with versatile weapons, I'd instead give benefits for when versatile weapons are useful. A bonus to grappling or using a spell focus you hold, for example.


At my table, we we're not good at remembering how a versatile weapon was being wielded, so we use "When wielding a versatile weapon, you always use it's larger damage die, even when wielding it one handed. In addition, you gain a +1 to damage rolls with versatile weapons"
As far as I know taking a hand off or on a weapon isn't even an interaction, so you'd only need to know whether or not you currently have anything else in your other hand.