does Two Weapon Defence require a full attack action?

cyrus

Mongoose
The description implies "yes" to me. However, it seems reasonable to allow an offhand weapon to be essentially used as a buckler/targe by characters having this feat when not making a full attack.
 

Trodax

Mongoose
As I read it, it doesn't require a full attack action per se. However, when not using the full attack action, you lose the only attack you have, so you would probably be better off either Fighting Defensively or using Total Defense. Therefore, just as you say, the feat will only be useful when using the full attack action.

Giving the bonus when taking a standard action (without losing any attacks) would make the feat a lot stronger, and I'm not sure it's such a good idea. Fighting with two weapons is good enough as it is in Conan.

Personally, I kind of like the D&D version; when fighting with two weapons you get a +1 bonus to AC, without losing any attacks.
 

pa11ad1n

Mongoose
I never considered using this on a standard action. I don't have the book on me at the moment...but I was sure you had to give up your best extra attack. Suggesting to me that you needed a full attack action.

It has been several months since I read it though...

Certainly not usable as part of a standard action not losing an attack, you would have to be a cheating munchkin to try that one.

Even by my dubious standards of (thereotically) bending the rules (D20 systems make this far too easy in general...).
 

Trodax

Mongoose
pa11ad1n said:
I never considered using this on a standard action. I don't have the book on me at the moment...but I was sure you had to give up your best extra attack. Suggesting to me that you needed a full attack action.
I never considered using it as a standard action either, and its probably not meant to be used that way.
What it says is that you give up one attack at your highest attack bonus with one of the weapons (so it doesn't have to be the off-hand weapon). I guess you could interpret that both ways, but my interpretation was that you could, in theory, use it with a standard action. But since that would mean you would be giving up your one and only attack it would kind of.....well....suck.

Maybe you could use it that way if you wanted to get as high a bonus as possible (you can potentially get +3 from this feat, which is more than from fighting defensively), but really wanted to be able to make attacks of opportunity (so you wouldn't want to use total defense)...... :roll:

pa11ad1n said:
Certainly not usable as part of a standard action not losing an attack, you would have to be a cheating munchkin to try that one.
Yeah, I totally agree; allowing that would be a houserule, and probably not a very balanced one.
 

cyrus

Mongoose
pa11ad1n wrote:
Certainly not usable as part of a standard action not losing an attack, you would have to be a cheating munchkin to try that one.
Yeah, I totally agree; allowing that would be a houserule, and probably not a very balanced one.

What I find odd about this interpretation is that your defense improves only when making a full attack. It makes more sense to me that the less attacking you do, the better you will be at defending yourself. Every mechanic I can think of follows this rule except for TWD (fighting defensively, combat expertise, etc.)

I've done some calculating, and here's a parry bonus table for your consideration:
Code:
without Two Weapon Defence:

off-hand item          move       attack       full attack

buckler                +2         +2           +0         
targe                  +3         +3           +0
large shield           +4         +4           +0
short sword            +0         +0           +0
short sword + targe    +1         +1           +0

with Two Weapon Defence:

buckler                +2         +2           +2
targe                  +3         +3           +3
large shield           +4         +4           +3
short sword            +0         +0           +2
short sword + targe    +1         +1           +3

with "munchkin" Two Weapon Defence:

short sword            +2         +2           +2
short sword + targe    +3         +3           +3
So far, I don't think this is unbalancing. Keep in mind a short sword is only slightly better than a buckler for attacking (d8 vs d6 damage, 19-20 vs 20 threat range), and that it can never protect against ranged attacks.

What if the offhand weapon is a one-handed weapon?
Code:
arming sword           +3         +3           +3
arming sword + targe   +4         +4           +4
The one-handed weapons are much, much better than the clumsy large shield when it comes to attacking. I'm not sure it's worth the -4 penalty to all attacks, though.

Where the munchkin interpretation really breaks down is when you apply it to shields:
Code:
buckler                +4         +4           +2
targe                  +6         +6           +3
large shield           +7         +7           +3
Hrmmm....
 

Trodax

Mongoose
OK, I think I see where you're coming from now. You're regarding the shield as a weapon that can be used offensively, as well as defensively, and then wondering why other weapons should be so different, right? I hadn't thought about it that way, and I think you have a point.

Thing is, as I've pictured it, using a shield for attacking won't be all that common; the targe and large shield have pretty lousy damage and, counting as one-handed weapons, will most likely give you a hefty -4 penalty to all your attacks (including your primary weapon attacks). So, in most cases, you'll probably be better off just full attacking with your primary weapon and saving the shield for its defensive bonus.

With the buckler its a bit different though; it has a pretty OK damage (as you point out) and, being a light weapon, won't mess up your primary weapon attacks. So yeah, I can see that being used offensively a lot more. But, although they're not all that different, the short swords slightly higher damage and better critical isn't negligible, and I think allowing a standard/move action bonus will make the short sword a pretty good and versatile off-hand weapon, probably better than any of the shields.
I dunno though; maybe its not as unbalancing as I first thought...

cyrus said:
What I find odd about this interpretation is that your defense improves only when making a full attack. It makes more sense to me that the less attacking you do, the better you will be at defending yourself. Every mechanic I can think of follows this rule except for TWD (fighting defensively, combat expertise, etc.)
But when full attacking this trend holds true; you sacrifice an attack to get a defensive bonus.... :)
Thing is, fighting with two weapons is set up as a very offensive way of fighting in the d20 rules (you get extra attacks, but usually no defensive bonus). I've heard people with fighting experience say that this isn't very realistic; that the main advantage of having an off-hand weapon is a defensive one. Myself, I have no idea since I never engage in fights that don't involve dice. :wink:
Anyway, thats the way things are set up in d20; you want lots of attacks; use two weapons, you want high damage; use a two-hander, you want to be defensive; use a shield. I think your variant slightly blurs this distinction, with two-weapon fighting coming out as winner.

cyrus said:
Where the munchkin interpretation really breaks down is when you apply it to shields:
Code:
buckler                +4         +4           +2
targe                  +6         +6           +3
large shield           +7         +7           +3
Hrmmm....
If you wanted to you could just say that the bonus from Two Weapon Defense is a shield bonus, and since such bonuses don't stack in d20, you would either get the regular bonus from the shield or the bonus from Two Weapon Defense, but not both. Just an idea, if you do decide to use this.
 

cyrus

Mongoose
With the buckler its a bit different though; it has a pretty OK damage (as you point out) and, being a light weapon, won't mess up your primary weapon attacks. So yeah, I can see that being used offensively a lot more. But, although they're not all that different, the short swords slightly higher damage and better critical isn't negligible, and I think allowing a standard/move action bonus will make the short sword a pretty good and versatile off-hand weapon, probably better than any of the shields. I dunno though; maybe its not as unbalancing as I first thought...
The upgrade from buckler to short sword is about the same as the move from arming sword to (one-handed/exotic) warsword - and (in my "munchkin" interpretation) both of these cost a feat. I'm sure most people wouldn't object to these short sword stats if it were marketed as an exotic "spiked buckler" :)
If you wanted to you could just say that the bonus from Two Weapon Defense is a shield bonus, and since such bonuses don't stack in d20, you would either get the regular bonus from the shield or the bonus from Two Weapon Defense, but not both. Just an idea, if you do decide to use this.
I thought of this, but rejected it because shield bonuses apply to ranged attacks. But, hey, if targes can have different shield bonuses for melee/ranged, then why not TWD? :)
 

Trodax

Mongoose
cyrus said:
The upgrade from buckler to short sword is about the same as the move from arming sword to (one-handed/exotic) warsword - and (in my "munchkin" interpretation) both of these cost a feat. I'm sure most people wouldn't object to these short sword stats if it were marketed as an exotic "spiked buckler" :)
Yeah, you're right; it does cost a feat. And it still can't be used against ranged attacks. Hmmm....

cyrus said:
If you wanted to you could just say that the bonus from Two Weapon Defense is a shield bonus, and since such bonuses don't stack in d20, you would either get the regular bonus from the shield or the bonus from Two Weapon Defense, but not both. Just an idea, if you do decide to use this.
I thought of this, but rejected it because shield bonuses apply to ranged attacks. But, hey, if targes can have different shield bonuses for melee/ranged, then why not TWD? :)
But what if its a shield bonus only to parry, which can't be used against ranged attacks? It's all about the wording, brother. :D
 
Maybe I missed something in these discussions, but if you use a shield (targe and buckler included) as an off handed attack, you do not get the shield bonus to your DV.

So comparing a shield that you can attack with to the benefits of TWF isn't apples-to-apples.
 

Trodax

Mongoose
Hyborian Apeman said:
Maybe I missed something in these discussions, but if you use a shield (targe and buckler included) as an off handed attack, you do not get the shield bonus to your DV.

So comparing a shield that you can attack with to the benefits of TWF isn't apples-to-apples.
Not sure I understand what you're saying; to me, that fact is what makes them comparable.
What cyrus is getting at is that when you use the full attack action and you have either a shield or Two Weapon Defense, you can choose between attacking like a madman with whatever is in your off-hand, or use it defensively. When taking a standard or move action, on the other hand, the shield gives you a bonus, but you gain nothing from having an off-hand weapon and Two Weapon Defense.
So basically something like this:

Shield
Full attack: Defensive bonus or extra attack
Standard/Move action: Defensive bonus

Short sword with Two Weapon Defense feat
Full attack: Defensive bonus or extra attack (well actually you can get both if you have ITWF, but still...)
Standard/Move action: No benefit

Don't know if that made it any clearer...
 
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