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Thread: [3.5] The TWF OffHandbook.

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    Default Re: [3.5] The TWF OffHandbook

    c. Racial, Tactical, and Weapon Style feats:

    Anvil of Thunder (Complete Warrior). Save vs. daze is very nice... but FIVE prereqs? And WTF is Improved Sunder going to do for you? I can see this might work on a Dwarven Fighter 20 build with Oversize TWF + Power Attack, but I don't think anything else would have enough feat slots.

    Axespike (Races of Stone). When you make a full attack with your greataxe, this feat allows you to attack with your armor spikes as if they were an offhand weapon (-2 penalty, 1/2 Str bonus). In essence, this is TWF: Armor Spikes only, but it also begs the question... what if you already have TWF and are already attacking with armor spikes as your offhand weapon? By my reading, you get two offhand attacks with a -5 penalty. Other than the annoying Weapon Focus prereq, very nifty.

    Bear Fang (Complete Warrior). This feat gives you the equivalent of Improved Grab if you hit with both an axe and dagger in the same round. I have no idea why a TWFer would want to be in a grapple, though.

    Bestial Charge (Complete Champion). No prereq feats, but this tactical feat requires Wildshape... not only requires it, but the feat can only be used on the round after you use Wildshape to change forms. It offers three options: pounce, +5' reach, and one change of direction on a charge. Fortunately, they can all be used on the same charge attack. Unfortunately, once you're in an animal form without any hands, TWF is generally not available.

    Bladebearer of the Valenar (Player's Guide to Eberron/Races of Eberron). This feat is somewhat redundant (Valenar elves already treat the double scimitar as a martial weapon), but it has a few other perks: +1 damage, you can apply Weapon Focus/Specialization/Improved Critical to three different weapons, and you get some additional damage when you spend an action point. But the main reason to take this feat is to get into the Revenant Blade PrC, which is one of the best PrCs for TWF.

    Blood-Spiked Charger (PHBII). There's one marginally ueseful option here:"Spiked avalanche" allows you to attack with both armor spikes and a spiked shield on a charge using the TWF rules, and you get double your strength bonus on damage, but this isn't the same as Pounce (Ex), and the rest of the options are useless for TWF.

    Catfolk Pounce (Races of the Wild). Even if you didn't have to be catfolk to take this feat, it would still be lousy: you can full attack on a charge, but only against a flat-footed opponent.

    Clarion Commander (Tome of Battle). The stand-out here is "Perpetual Flank": spend a standard action to Intimidate an opponent, and if successful you must hit your opponent with a melee attack on your next turn. If you can pull this off, then you and your allies can treat that enemy as flanked for 1 minute (so... not exactly perpetual, but close enough for most combats). The tricky part here is Warblades and Crusaders aren't really the sneakiest Martial Adepts, although Martial Study/Martial Stance may be able to fix that. Unfortunately, there's no mention here if Perpetual Flank trumps Improved Uncanny Dodge or not. The other two options don't really do anything for TWF.

    Combat Cloak Expert (PHBII). Despite the historical evidence that cloaks were often used as an alternative to an offhand weapon, there is nothing all that useful here for TWF.

    Confound the Big Folk (Races of the Wild). This feat is one of the lynchpins in LogicNinja's I May Be Tiny, But You're Dead: the other, melee Killer Gnome build. After you use Underfoot Combat to move into your opponent's square, you can use "Knee Striker" to make your enemy flat-footed for all your attacks. With a good sneak attack build, this lets little people tear apart some very big creatures. However, I find the prereqs for both Underfoot Combat and Confound the Big Folk to be infuriating, as they both require 10 ranks of Tumble. This means you may not be able to get this combo working until 12th level.

    Crescent Moon (Complete Warrior). If you hit with your sword and dagger in the same round, you get a free disarm attempt... which gets you bupkis if your opponent never bothers to wield a weapon. If you want free disarm attempts, you're probably better off with EWP: Flind Bar (Monster Manual III). Or, you know, do it the old-fashioned way: kill your opponent, then take the weapon out of his cold dead fingers.

    Darguun Mauler (Races of Eberron). A goblin-only feat, similar to Bladebearer of the Valenar, that offers several benefits for using a flail-type weapon or a spiked chain. You treat the dire flail and spiked chain as martial weapons, you get +1 damage, can combine Weapon Focus/Specialization/Improved Critical with several weapons, and get additional damage when you spend an action point on an attack roll. Most goblins are small-sized, which bumps the damage on spiked chain down into "not worth it" territory, but on a medium-sized Bhuka (Sandstorm), this feat might be an acceptable upgrade from having to take EWP: Spiked Chain.

    Drow Scorpion Warrior (Secrets of Xen'drik). The only thing this tactical feat really offers TWF is "Rending Sting": If you hit with two different drow long knives on the same round, on the next round you get +1d4 additional damage with your drow long knives. "Deadly sting" may add some constitution damage if you manage to confirm a crit with a drow long knife, so that might be useful with a crit-hunter build, but if you're TWFing with long knives, then "Lunging Sting", which requires charging with a drow scorpion chain, would be completely useless. Overall, just not worth it.

    Drow Skirmisher (Races of Eberron/Secrets of Xen'drik). This is a racial feat, similar to Bladebearer of the Valenar, but for two drow-specifc weapons: the drow long knife (a shortsword that can be thrown with a 10' range increment) and the drow scorpion chain (variation on the spiked chain, only 1d6 damage but crits on 19-20). You get +1 on damage whenever you attack with either weapon and move more than 5' during the same round (somewhat useful for skirmish builds), you can swap around Weapon Focus/Specialization/Improved Critical with various weapons, and you get some bonus damage when you spend an action point on an attack roll. Unfortunately, there is no drow equivalent of Revenant Blade, and the unique drow weapons aren't interesting enough to warrant taking this feat.

    Eilservs School (Drow of the Underdark). If you're TWFing with a magical staff, this feat offers two interesting effects: first, you get +1 damage for each 10 charges in the staff (rounded up!), and second, if you hit with both ends of the staff in the same round, you can discharge a spell in the staff as a swift action. For the first effect, you don't even have to be a spellcaster, so a fully charged staff gives you +5 damage on all your attacks. The cheapest staves for this cost 13,500 GP: Staff of Oaken Battle (Complete Divine) and Staff of Tricks (Complete Mage). And don't worry if you have the wrong skin complexion to take this feat: being drow isn't part of the prereqs.

    Einhander (PHBII). Despite the name ("Einhander" is German for "one-handed"), clever TWFers may realize they can take this feat and use armor spikes or unarmed strikes as their offhand weapon... which would be great if this feat actually did anything useful or improved any kind of fighting, one-handed or otherwise. "Narrow profile" gives you a +2 dodge bonus when fighting defensively or using total defense, but using either of those options is generally synonymous with "I don't want to be playing D&D". "Off-hand balance" gives you a +2 bonus on Tumble checks to avoid AoOs, but that ceases to be useful once you can reliably hit a DC 15 Tumble check. "Off-hand swap" is kind of interesting, and gives you a feint attempt as a free action on your next turn if you hit an opponent at least twice, but it uses Sleight of Hand instead of Bluff (which stinks if your build was actually designed to use Bluff in combat) and can only be used once against an opponent regardless of whether it succeeds or fails.

    Elusive Target (Complete Warrior). You may consider this a consolation prize for being forced to take Dodge + Mobility to qualify for some other feat/PrC. While none of the options really help TWF directly, for once all of the options are actually *useful* (which may make Elusive Target unique among all the Tactical feats). "Negate Power Attack" does exactly what it says it does, and removes the most important source of extra damage from the whole THF/Ubercharger combo while sticking them with the penalties. If you ever get flanked, "Diverting Defense" automatically causes one of your flankers to attack the other one. "Cause Overreach" gives you free trip attempts whenever your movement triggers an AoO and your opponent misses, which can be quite handy Trip-focused builds.

    Faith Unswerving (Tome of Battle). The only option here TWFers might find useful is "Keep Up the Pressure": if you charge an opponent, and they move away from you before your next turn, you can move up to your speed as an immediate action to stay adjacent to them, allowing you to full attack them on your turn. However, if you already have Pounce (from Spirit Lion Totem Barbarian or something similar), then you don't really need this option, as you can just charge them again.

    Flying Tiger (Secrets of Sarlona). I'm not entirely sure how this feat is supposed to work. By hooking your two hook swords together, you turn both weapons into a reach weapon that can still attack adjacent squares... but if they are connected, does that mean you can still use one of them for offhand attacks? If so, do your offhand attacks have reach? It's a free action to connect or disconnect, so... yeah, every time you finish a primary or offhand attack, it's a free action to connect/disconnect, so you can continue to swap the two swords in and out of both hands whenever you want. And since your other hand is now free, regrip the hooked sword with two hands for Power Attack multipliers. And if that's not crazy enough for you, you can use Flurry of Blows with these things. Huh. You're going to need Oversize TWF to make the penalties manageable, EWP: Hooked Sword and Weapon Focus: Hooked Sword, but if you can fit all that in... I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

    Gloom Razor (Tome of Battle). You may not have room for it, but if you're doing anything with Shadow Blade, see if you can work this feat in as well. All three options help you set up sneak attacks. If your opponent misses you due to concealment and you can beat his Spot check with a Hide check, "Lingering Gloom" gives you a non-magical greater invisibility effect until the end of your turn. If you deal damage to an opponent and move at least 10' on your turn (Pounce or Travel Devotion anyone?), "Moving Shadows" makes your opponent flat-footed for your first attack on your next turn. If you hit a flanked an opponent and he manages to step out of flanking, "Shadow Slip" lets you move around to any adjacent square as a free action with a DC 20 Tumble check.

    Hammer's Edge (Complete Warrior). If you hit a target with both your sword and hammer, make a Fort save or be knocked prone. Or, you know, just trip them and do the same thing without a Fort save. Why exactly does this require Improved Bull Rush?

    High Sword Low Axe (Complete Warrior). If you hit with both your sword and axe, you get a free trip attempt, and if the trip succeeds, you get a free attack via Improved Trip. You can get Improved Trip without Combat Expertise via Wolf Totem Barbarian 2, but then you need to shoehorn in two Weapon Focus feats, so... might be worth it, if you can fit in all the prereqs.

    Inlindl School (Drow of the Underdark). I'm not sure if anyone has ever actually tried this, but every so often someone suggests wielding two shields and just attack everything with shield bashes. Assuming the DM has clarified that shield bashes can be primary attacks as well as offhand attacks, this is possible, but unfortunately you can't add both shield bonuses to your AC, because shield bonuses don't stack with each other. However, there are a couple things you can do with that extra shield bonus to gain another benefit, and this feat is one of them: you can trade in your shield bonus to get an attack bonus with light weapons equal to 1/2 your shield bonus. The other thing you can do is make one shield out of Riverine (+4000 GP, Stormwrack p. 128), which means half of the shield bonus becomes a deflection bonus, which does stack with your other shield bonus. So... this feat should probably be red, but there may be an Agile Shield Fighter build out there that might find this useful.

    Jaws of Death (Races of Eberron). For warforged, an excellent no-fuss way to add another natural weapon to your attack routine.

    Lightning Mace (Complete Warrior). The biggest problem with this feat is that light maces are terrible for crit-hunting, since they only crit on a "20". The Impact property helps somewhat (+1 enhancement, Magic Item Compendium), but the most popular method of exploiting "crit = free attack" is by using the Aptitude property from Tome of Battle with two other weapons, usually Keen kukris for the better crit range. However, some DM's consider that abusive and ban it outright. If your DM is so inclined, then as far as style feats go, this one doesn't have a lot of onerous prereqs, and a free attack on a crit is still a free attack.

    Mror Stalwart (Races of Eberron). This is the dwarven version of Bladebearer of the Valenar, but unfortunately there is no dwarven equivalent of Revenant Blade. Even worse, you don't get the +1 damage if you move at all (even a 5' step), which makes this nearly useless for TWF. You can still mix/match Weapon Focus/Specialization/Improved Critical with favored dwarven weapons, and you get a damage bonus when you spend an action point on an attack, but it's just not worth it.

    Net and Trident (Complete Warrior). Normally, this feat would be red along with most of the other style feats, but there's a quirky little combo in here that can be used to trigger skirmish damage on a Swift Hunter build. But it's complicated. First, take a 5' step to put yourself at least 5' away from your opponent (and hope he doesn't have reach). Second, throw your net (you'll probably need Quickdraw or lots of Least Crystals of Return for this) and win an opposed Str check to control your opponent's movement. Third, drop the net, pull out another trident (Quickdraw + Oversize TWF), take a free 5' step towards your opponent, and full attack with both tridents. Next round, drop your offhand trident (or stow it in a Glove of the Master Strategist as a free action), rinse & repeat. See "Section V: A Show of Hands" for a sample build that uses this strategy.

    Quick Staff (Complete Warrior). I'm not a big fan of Combat Expertise: it makes combat last longer, and gives your opponent more time to finally land a crit. That being said, if you can combine this feat with the longstaff from Complete Adventurer, then dumping two BAB into Combat Expertise may be worth it: you get an additional +2 dodge bonus, and you're immune to flanking for the round. Unfortunately, it still has too many useless prereqs.

    Reaping Talons (Tome of Battle). While all the options here require TWF with Tiger Claw weapons, only "Cornered Predator" stands out as a "must have": On the round after you hit an opponent with two Tiger Claw weapons (which, if you're doing TWF right should be almost every round), you get a +2 attack bonus against that opponent for every enemy that threatens you. So if your opponent is still standing there, then that's at least one easy +2 attack bonus. "Focused Assault" is sort of a mini-Whirlwind Attack, but you have to fight defensively/total defense/use Combat Expertise to set it up, and you have to hope your DM surrounds you with lots of enemies that are dumb enough to attack you and then stay adjacent to you. If you hit an opponent with two Tiger Claw weapons and fight defensively/total defense on your next turn, "Talon Shield" gives you a +2 shield bonus to AC.

    Second Slam (Races of Eberron). Not quite as elegantly simple as Jaws of Death, but another good way to add another natural weapon attack to a Warforged. However, it begs the question... does a second slam incur the "One Slam Good, Two Slams Bad" rule? No. The text says you get the second slam whenever you get a slam as part of a full attack, so if your hands are occupied, and you still get a single slam, you get the second slam with a -5 penalty. Oddly, however, this second slam is not identified as a secondary attack, so it's not clear what the Str bonus on damage should be. Since the text says it gets your "normal slam damage", in this case I'd just follow what the first slam gets: if it's a primary attack, you get full Str bonus, and if it's secondary, you get 1/2 Str bonus.

    Shadow Marches Warmonger (Races of Eberron). This is the orc version of Bladebearer of the Valenar, and offers similar effects: +1 to damage, mix/match Weapon Focus/Specialization/Improved Critical for various axes, and additional damage when you spend an action point on an attack roll. For an orc/half-orc looking to TWF with an orc double axe, this is probably an improvement over just taking Exotic Weapon Proficiency. However, I cannot forgive the travesty of forgetting about the orc shotput as a racial weapon.

    Shards of Granite (Tome of Battle). Stone Dragon tends to favor two-handed weapons, but heavy mace and unarmed strike are pretty TWF-friendly. "Battering Smash" lets you ignore hardness on your target if you take at least a -5 penalty on Stone Power. This may be useful for destroying/sundering objects, which Mountain Hammer kinda does already, but this option can be used with a full attack if you can stomach the -5 attack penalty. "Eviscerating Strike" gives you a bonus on confirming criticals if you're using Stone Power. "Unstoppable Onslaught" lets you ignore DR if you're attacking with a Stone Dragon weapon and taking a -5 penalty with Stone Power, which may solve a lot of your DR problems if you can still hit with the -5 penalty.

    Shield of Blades (Player's Guide to Eberron). *Five* feats are required to get an additional +1 AC bonus when using Combat Expertise? WTF?

    Shielded Axe (Races of Stone). This feat is similar to Improved Buckler Defense, allowing you to keep that all-important +1 shield bonus to AC, but only when attacking with a dwarven waraxe in your primary hand and a handaxe in your offhand. The other thing it does is it gets rid of that annoying -1 attack penalty when wearing a buckler and attacking with that arm. The nice thing about it is the way the feat is worded, you get rid of that -1 attack penalty even if you're not attacking with a dwarven waraxe/handaxe combo, which would be fantastic if it didn't cost an entire feat to get rid of that annoying little penalty.

    Shock Trooper (Complete Warrior). This is a staple in many Ubercharger builds, but not so useful to TWF unless you're actually mixing Ubercharging with TWF (hey, Fighter 20's got to put all those bonus feats somewhere, right?) "Heedless Charge" allows you to dump your Power Attack penalty into your AC, which means if you don't kill whatever you're charging, you're probably going to be in a world of hurt. "Directed Bull Rush" and "Domino Rush" don't really help TWF, since you'd probably much rather prefer your opponent stay right next to you where you can hit him with all those attacks. Unless you're trying to Dungeoncrash your opponents into a wall/floor, you can skip this one.

    Spellrazor (Races of Stone). This feat allows you to combine a touch attack with an offhand gnome quickrazor attack, which I suppose might be a nice feature for a gish, depending on the spell, but I'm having a hard time imagining an entire TWF build based on this style. More importantly, it locks you into one touch attack + one offhand attack, so if your full attack routine has multiple iterative and offhand attacks, why would you bother?

    Spinning Halberd (Complete Warrior). When combined with armor spikes or unarmed strike as an offhand weapon, this feat becomes one of the most potent weapon styles: +1 dodge bonus to AC, and an extra attack at a -5 penalty. Essentially, this turns a halberd into a double weapon... only it doesn't. You still get your normal complement of offhand attacks. Another odd quirk: you don't have to enchant the "haft" end of the halberd separately. Near as I can tell, if the halberd has an enchantment, it works just as well on the "extra" attack as it does with your primary attacks (although you might want to clear this with your DM first). I'm a little disappointed that the designers didn't consider the halberd a reach weapon, but at least you get a tripping bonus. Only three prereq feats is nice to see, compared to some of the other style feats, and if you were going to pick up Double Hit later, you needed Combat Reflexes anyway.

    Steal and Strike (Drow of the Underdark). If you successfully disarm your opponent with your rapier, you get a free attack with your kukri. *yawn*. The five prereq feats don't help much, either.

    Stone Breaker (Secrets of Sarlona). This feat gives you some rending damage when you hit with two picks in the same round. Unfortunately, it requires four prereq feats, one of which is Improved Sunder (again, why?) and another is Power Attack, which is difficult to use in TWF without Oversize TWF. Even worse, the feat requires a swift action to rend, which annoys me. You may need that swift action for something else, like Travel Devotion or a boost/counter.

    Stormguard Warrior (Tome of Battle). This tactical feat can be very difficult to pull off, but can result in some mind-blowing attack routines. You need enough feats to get Ironheart Aura, Stormguard Warrior, Combat Reflexes, and all the TWF feats on the same build. Then there are two options to buff your damage output: "Channel the Storm", where you coax/goad your opponent into triggering AoOs against you (via Robilar's Gambit or Karmic Strike, if need be), and then you can choose not to attack. On your next turn, each AoO you gave up becomes a +4 bonus on attacks and damage on that opponent. If your opponent is too smart to risk any AoOs, then you can try "Combat Rhythm" instead: on your turn, make touch attacks that do no damage instead of your normal attacks. On your next turn, you unload your "real" attacks, and get +5 on damage for each successful touch attack from your last turn. This is a great way to blow through lots of Damage Reduction. Even better, you can use White Raven Tactics to load up on touch attacks on your first turn, and then take a second turn immediately after your first. So, complicated setup, but pretty impressive when you finally pull it off.

    Talenta Warrior (Races of Eberron). This is the halfling version of Bladebearer of the Valenar, but with Talenta weapons: sharrash, tangat, and boomerang. The weapon familiarity is already redundant for halflings from the Talenta region. As with the other racial weapon feats, you get +1 on damage, but only while mounted, which is disappointing until you remember that "mounted" in this case means riding a dinosaur, which is of course awesome. You can also mix/match your Weapon Focus/Specialization/Improved Critical, and you get some bonus damage when you spend an action point on an attack roll. The sharrash is a pole-armish scythe thing with reach, and initially had a 19-20/x4 crit range, but errata knocked this down to 19-20/x2 (and I checked... this was not reprinted in another Eberron book after the errata with the 19-20/x4 crit multiplier restored). The tangat sounds like some kind of oversized scimitar or falchion. And the Talenta boomerang is somewhat infamous for the Boomerang Daze feat (and rightly so), but not of immediate interest for TWF purposes. Riding around on dinosaurs is indisputably awesome, but unfortunately the borked mounted combat rules don't mix well with TWF.

    Three Mountains (Complete Warrior). It looks like this feat is geared more towards two-handed fighting, but you can still work a heavy mace or morningstar into TWF, particularly with Oversize TWF (Complete Adventurer). Even a greatclub will work, if you use unarmed strike or armor spikes as your offhand weapon. If you hit a creature twice with a heavy mace, morningstar, or greatclub (the text doesn't say it has to be the same weapon, so you can use two), the target has to make a Fort save vs. nausea, which as far as status conditions go is one of the nastier ones (can only take a single move action per turn). The biggest drawback for TWFers is four prereq feats that don't involve TWF, so this feat only makes sense for Fighter 20ish builds that are drowning in fighter bonus feats.

    Tormtor School (Drow of the Underdark). This feat was designed to let you stab people with a javelin and then throw the javelin at another target within 30' as a swift action. However, since javelins are not designed to be melee weapons and normally incur a -4 improvised weapon penalty, the designers included this little gem: "You take no penalty when making a melee attack with a javelin." So... welcome to the ULTIMATE TWF feat! By RAW, the text doesn't specify which penalty, so it applies to all penalties: improvised, weapon size, TWF, Power Attack, Combat Expertise, Str penalty, fighting defensively, etc.

    Wind and Fire (Secrets of Sarlona). Every time you hit a creature with both cutting wheels in the same round, they take 1 point of bleeding damage every round until they get a DC 15 Heal check. The really nifty part is this damage is cumulative, so if you manage to do this three rounds in row, they take 3 bleeding damage every round. It's not quite ability damage, but the cutting wheel is pretty decent for a light exotic melee weapon (1d6, 19-20/x2, piercing and slashing), and you can flurry with it.