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Author Topic: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.  (Read 1064 times)

Spazzer

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One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« on: May 13, 2023, 11:13:08 PM »
As the title says, currently the One-Handed dueling feats are sub-par by a large margin when stacked against two-handed weapons and shields.

As it stands, for the cost of three feats and 15 dex, a one-handed build gains +3 shield AC, while a shield parry requires one feat and 15 dex.

Quote
Base 10 + Chainshirt 4 + Tower Shield 4 + DEX 5 + Parry 3 = 26 AC vs Base 10 + Chainshirt 4 + Duelist Feats 3 + DEX 5 + parry 5 = 27 AC.

The above amount doesn't account for crafted gear, which makes the duelist feats quickly lag behind (A crafted shield for example can give +2 Shield AC, for example), quickly outdoing the AC total you gain from investing the three feats. Along with this, shield parry can be built for far sooner and let's players be stronger in early levels, while the One-handed Dueling feats require higher BAB and stat requirements.

When compared Two-Handed weapons, while yes the One-Handed Duelling Feats give more AC, it's still a large investment, and Two-handed weapons will always give far more damage, out-pacing them greatly due to the 1.5 STR mod.

If One-Handed Duelling Feats were allowed to stack, it would equal a total of +6 shield AC, which is only one to two points more of AC when compared to shields, which is comparatively fair when you account for the three feat investment needed.

Give some love to our duelist archetype characters.

zDark Shadowz

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2023, 12:20:41 AM »
The one handed duelist only needs 27 parry before modifiers for that, the shield parry user needs the full 30.

Often this results in Improved Parry also being taken, or an equipment slot used up for more parry over other more beneficial equipment. There's a tradeoff to squeeze out one or two extra AC.

The one handed duelist can also take Deflect Arrows, which in places like Naillat Estate and Cursts, darklings etc is its own form of damage avoidance that a shield user simply doesn't get. Are you making full use of the advantages of a free hand?

I know for my build I need an enchanted parry cloak +4, improved parry and won't properly benefit from shield parry until level 17-18. Until then, it's just a shield slot. I am legitimately putting my shield away into a bag just for carry weight because the one AC difference isn't worth the hassle, and it's only at the end of my characters' life that I will get some extra use out of it.

Before that point of lv 17-18, the AC progression between the two is pretty much equal, no one is playing at max parry before level 13 usually.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2023, 12:27:20 AM by zDark Shadowz »

Kireek

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2023, 02:07:24 AM »
Also don't forget your parry AC is counted as bonus Shield AC when you aren't using a shield. so you won't hit the dodge cap as easily.. so your theoretical max AC is actually higher- hitting that cap though requires some silliness/ideal scenarios.

The only thing that breaks in favor of shields, isn't shields themselves, but a specific spell, and it is by 1 single AC.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2023, 02:14:39 AM by Kireek »

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2023, 12:37:59 PM »
You're leaving quite a bit information out here Spazzer in your proposed senario and charcater builds.

For one, the three dualist feats require Dex 16+, Int 14+, Base Attack Bonus +11 https://nwnravenloft.fandom.com/wiki/Agrippa%27s_Fundamental_Guards

You're not mentioning the - 15 Armor Check Penalty incurred by a tower shield and wearing a chain shirt lowering all dex related skills. (including parry) If you've dumped enough strength to be able to move without encumberabce with a 45 lbs towershield and a 30 lbs chain shirt your character build has deteriments elsewhere. With a min dex requirement of 16, it changes how your character is built and I really don't see that in your proposed senario.

Lastly, these feats are meant to make PCs who are persuing a certain acestic for their charcter not fall completely behind. They are not meant to surpass or even equal a character who's a walking tank.

Zyemeth

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2023, 09:21:07 PM »
I think the current bonus is fine as is but the feat investment should be smaller. If it's a choice for flavor that already is costing you to be inferior by a feats and AC just make it only cost 1 feat and have the bonus increase by Char Level. Level 5=+1, Level 10=+2, Level 15=+3.

Grendel

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2023, 10:27:35 PM »
Lastly, these feats are meant to make PCs who are persuing a certain acestic for their charcter not fall completely behind. They are not meant to surpass or even equal a character who's a walking tank.

The prior critiques to this sentence are valid, so I won't bother addressing those. This sentence in particular however, I'll address as a matter of perspective and personal opinion; while I don't expect every single character build to achieve parity with one-another, the more options there are for a genuinely viable build the better for server health and player satisfaction. Contextually I believe the foremost problem with Duellist builds is that because they lack AC, they're more likely to drag aggro which in turn leads to them getting hammered. The encounters on the server are balanced towards specific breakpoints and as such, if you don't meet those breakpoints you're essentially dooming yourself to an untimely demise.

TL;DR, Duellist shouldn't be able to tank as well as a sword/board warrior, but a consequence of their lacking AC causes them to take a dirt nap.

myrddraal

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2023, 08:11:53 AM »
Lastly, these feats are meant to make PCs who are persuing a certain acestic for their charcter not fall completely behind. They are not meant to surpass or even equal a character who's a walking tank.

The prior critiques to this sentence are valid, so I won't bother addressing those. This sentence in particular however, I'll address as a matter of perspective and personal opinion; while I don't expect every single character build to achieve parity with one-another, the more options there are for a genuinely viable build the better for server health and player satisfaction. Contextually I believe the foremost problem with Duellist builds is that because they lack AC, they're more likely to drag aggro which in turn leads to them getting hammered. The encounters on the server are balanced towards specific breakpoints and as such, if you don't meet those breakpoints you're essentially dooming yourself to an untimely demise.

TL;DR, Duellist shouldn't be able to tank as well as a sword/board warrior, but a consequence of their lacking AC causes them to take a dirt nap.


I mean duelists get more ac than 2 handed tanks and they do just fine, so it sounds like there are other issues in their build to me.  Your dex ASIs, feats, parry and tumble ac wonít come online until later so you can always use a shield and armor appropriate to your dex until it does.  In the end youíll probably have MORE ac than full plate and tower shield once buffed.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2023, 09:11:28 AM by myrddraal »

Kireek

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2023, 10:04:09 AM »
One handed and two handed duel wield builds that invest only in parry and tumble and are willing to say pass on all other skills.. are probably the only builds on the server that can get away with having less than 13 int, problem is definitely getting to that point- As a level 15 character with a tower shield is probably already near their AC cap if they started enchanting aggressively at 15, the duel wielder is definetly beholden to their level/class more than their gear.

I will say though that most other servers do tend to roll the defense feats into 1-2 feats at most instead of the 3.. So performance wise, they are pretty decent, the feat tax is bonkers.. the dual wield tax is particularly onerous We are talking 7 feats just to function in your assigned fighting style as intended. I thought these bonus feats were supposed to round out a character.. and not be required.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2023, 10:06:49 AM by Kireek »

myrddraal

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2023, 11:32:51 AM »
One handed and two handed duel wield builds that invest only in parry and tumble and are willing to say pass on all other skills.. are probably the only builds on the server that can get away with having less than 13 int, problem is definitely getting to that point- As a level 15 character with a tower shield is probably already near their AC cap if they started enchanting aggressively at 15, the duel wielder is definetly beholden to their level/class more than their gear.

I will say though that most other servers do tend to roll the defense feats into 1-2 feats at most instead of the 3.. So performance wise, they are pretty decent, the feat tax is bonkers.. the dual wield tax is particularly onerous We are talking 7 feats just to function in your assigned fighting style as intended. I thought these bonus feats were supposed to round out a character.. and not be required.

DW pretty much demands being ranger, fighter, or multi classes ranger for all those feats.  If this change was made for the dueling feat, it equally should apply to the DW feats.  Especially since itís a much heavier investment.

But honestly if they stacked that would be insanely strong.  Would be +6 shield ac, plus your 6 parry, plus 4 tumble (Iím assuming youíre taking rogue to compensate for the low damage) plus your armor.  Then adding another +10 for improved expertise.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2023, 11:43:49 AM by myrddraal »

Maiyannah

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2023, 11:43:35 AM »
DW pretty much demands being ranger, fighter, or multi classes ranger for all those feats.  If this change was made for the dueling feat, it equally should apply to the DW feats.  Especially since itís a much heavier investment.

Agreed, but I don't see a compelling argument why this cannot be done for both, personally.
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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2023, 01:02:50 PM »
The current balance is fine, there are trade offs to everything. We've reviewed the numbers extensively and they are fine. All builds are viable with sacrifices.

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2023, 09:05:03 AM »
I do not think one-handed fighting style should be on par with sword and board in terms of AC.
However i do not see a unique advantage the style has over other options and i think this could be addressed in a different way.

Two-handed style offer high spike damage, due to weapon dice and str scaling.

Dual-wield also offers high damage, this time due to more attacks, which works favourably with additive damage like sneakattack, divine might, bard song etc.

Sword and board sacrifices damage in favour of the best defense, be it trough shield parry and/or being able to further increase shield AC with magic vestment/enchanting.

One-handed style in comparison offers less AC then sword and board even with all three feats, while putting out the same damage.
IMHO it would make a lot of sense to give one-handed style an advantage in AB. Not being encumbered by a heavy shield,
twohanded weapon or another weapon in the offhand, should give an advantage in accuracy.
Each of the feats could for example give a +1AC and +1AB when the offhand is empty, or not having an offhand equipped could give a +2 to AB in general.
This would greatly benefit the classes that tend to opt for such a style of combat, generally low/medium BAB classes (bards, rogues, the occasional wizard),
while not making it straight up a superior choice, just a trade of between damage/AC/AB.

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2023, 09:50:02 AM »
Quote
Two-handed style offer high spike damage, due to weapon dice and str scaling.

Two-handed style also gives you less AC since there are no AC feats for two-handed weapons, and you still need to invest in Improved Parry to benefit from Parry properly. Those are drawbacks.

Quote
Dual-wield also offers high damage, this time due to more attacks, which works favourably with additive damage like sneakattack, divine might, bard song etc.

This comes at the cost of a feat tax, as others have already pointed out, and also, ultimately with less AB.

Quote
Sword and board sacrifices damage in favour of the best defense, be it trough shield parry and/or being able to further increase shield AC with magic vestment/enchanting.

You also need to carry said shield around, and a tower shield is rather rather heavy. You still need to invest in Shield Parry to make the best of such a build AC-wise, and in the end you barely have more AC than a non-shield user (without factoring in buffs).

These are all things to take into consider when discussing balance of the one-handed line of feats.

Zyemeth

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2023, 11:52:50 AM »
I do not think one-handed fighting style should be on par with sword and board in terms of AC.
However i do not see a unique advantage the style has over other options and i think this could be addressed in a different way.

Two-handed style offer high spike damage, due to weapon dice and str scaling.

Dual-wield also offers high damage, this time due to more attacks, which works favourably with additive damage like sneakattack, divine might, bard song etc.

Sword and board sacrifices damage in favour of the best defense, be it trough shield parry and/or being able to further increase shield AC with magic vestment/enchanting.

One-handed style in comparison offers less AC then sword and board even with all three feats, while putting out the same damage.
IMHO it would make a lot of sense to give one-handed style an advantage in AB. Not being encumbered by a heavy shield,
twohanded weapon or another weapon in the offhand, should give an advantage in accuracy.
Each of the feats could for example give a +1AC and +1AB when the offhand is empty, or not having an offhand equipped could give a +2 to AB in general.
This would greatly benefit the classes that tend to opt for such a style of combat, generally low/medium BAB classes (bards, rogues, the occasional wizard),
while not making it straight up a superior choice, just a trade of between damage/AC/AB.


If it's going to cost 3 feats this sounds much more reasonable to me. Considering that single weapon users also often lack the str of sword and board they have less ab and damage output.

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2023, 12:24:31 PM »
It is very unlikely we'll change the setup. EO was exceptionally thorough in crunching numbers and comparing the various scenarios. The current investment required for the numbers achieved compared to all other options, is very fair as is.
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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2023, 12:26:43 PM »
Quote
If it's going to cost 3 feats this sounds much more reasonable to me. Considering that single weapon users also often lack the str of sword and board they have less ab and damage output.

They don't lack the Strength, they chose to put those points elsewhere, thus gaining other advantages in its stead.

Zyemeth

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2023, 01:40:07 PM »
They haven't gained any advantage over any other option though. One more reflex save is the trade off from the slightly higher dex mod compared to using a shield but a shield is enchantable thus meaning they are still shy a fort and will save. Less damage, saves, ac than sword/shield. Less ab/dmg than 2 handed and you could argue more damage than a dual wielder since it's very probably the dual wielder is finesse based but the Dev consensus is that dual wielding has more damage output.

Honestly I don't care that there isn't a single advantage I just wish the feats were less punishing myself. I did single weapon one time and it was pretty terrible mid to late game. Maybe by max level it might even out more but man do I regret it. And that's with fighter levels to get more feats. I couldn't imagine if I didn't take fighter levels. xD

A nicer trade off would be if it gained the 1.5x STR mod to damage like it should since you are technically wielding it with two hands. Not that I love 5E mechanics but they at least gave weapons a larger damage dice when used with two hands when a weapon is listed as "Versatile". But I imagine this would be more difficult to manage on a technical side.

TLDR: Doesn't necessarily need an advantage but at least the disadvantages could be addressed.

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2023, 02:18:47 PM »
There is nothing to address, the feats are not punishing. Choices come with consequences and all other builds also have their own disadvantages.
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Dardonas

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2023, 03:02:06 PM »
There is nothing to address, the feats are not punishing. Choices come with consequences and all other builds also have their own disadvantages.

It is punishing to take three feats to put yourself at a disadvantage for what is a roleplay choice and aesthetic. It is extremely taxing to build something like a fencer where not everyone wants to, or can, invest in three feats versus one feat and a small shield.

An interesting alternative I've seen is that dueling feats also give 1 AB per feat in addition to AC, not stacking. So with all three feats, you end up with 3 AB and 3 AC. It isn't exactly source material, but it is something that is done in KOTOR 1 and 2 which uses a very similar system to what NWN does.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2023, 03:05:28 PM by Dardonas »

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2023, 06:12:00 PM »
There is nothing to address, the feats are not punishing. Choices come with consequences and all other builds also have their own disadvantages.

It is punishing to take three feats to put yourself at a disadvantage for what is a roleplay choice and aesthetic. It is extremely taxing to build something like a fencer where not everyone wants to, or can, invest in three feats versus one feat and a small shield.

An interesting alternative I've seen is that dueling feats also give 1 AB per feat in addition to AC, not stacking. So with all three feats, you end up with 3 AB and 3 AC. It isn't exactly source material, but it is something that is done in KOTOR 1 and 2 which uses a very similar system to what NWN does.

Up until this moment, I thought the potm feats provided plus +1 AB and +1AC. I checked the wiki to prove you wrong, and alas, it is my dreams that have been dashed.

Isn't the traditional balence always one handed gets better AB, two handed gets more attacks, and shield gets more AC?

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2023, 07:02:37 PM »
Quote
It is punishing to take three feats to put yourself at a disadvantage for what is a roleplay choice and aesthetic. It is extremely taxing to build something like a fencer where not everyone wants to, or can, invest in three feats versus one feat and a small shield.

Actually you need one feat to equal a small shield's AC, and for that feat, you don't have any ACP, giving you 1 extra AC from Parry. Since you likely want Shield Parry on a small shield, you're not exactly spending a feat. You basically trade one feat for 1 more AC than a small shield, not accounting for buffs. You can do the math for the larger shields, you'll see you're not penalized as much as you think you are.

As for the other options:

-Two-Handed: You trade extra damage for extra AC (up to +3). You most likely want Improved Parry on a two-handed build, so it's a net 2 feat tax for 3 extra AC.
-Two-Weapon: In terms of AC, both are equal (though you need more Dex for a two-weapon build) since they both cost 3 feats. Two-weapon will get you more APR but lower AB and an even steeper feat tax.

Zyemeth

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2023, 09:11:10 PM »
Small shield=1AC+3 (+4 versus bludge/slash) when enchanted+5 parry AC=9 (10) for one feat plus saving throw and possible skill bonuses.

Single weapon =3+5(at most unless you don't wear armor) AC=8 no saving throw or skill bonus for three feats.

If in something like chainmail with small shield then you can argue same AC excluding slash/bludge minus save and skill bonus potential. Which means still three feats instead of one to get the same if slightly inferior turnout.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2023, 09:13:42 PM by Zyemeth »

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2023, 09:33:54 PM »
You're using best in slot enchanted values there, which means level 14+ up, and costing a good chunk of XP. Those are again all tradeoffs. One could argue that that extra point of AC isn't worth the XP cost compared to two feats.

Zyemeth

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2023, 02:21:39 AM »
Feats are far more valuable than xp because they are limited in number. The xp cost of enchanting a small shield is definitely one of the smaller to pay for the process.

 You also wouldn't normally see someone take the 2nd or 3rd defense feat until around that same level anyway. Unless you're just trying to compare pure fighters with this comparison then sure you could have all 3 by around level 11. As a bard you couldn't really even take bonetti's first feat until about twelve with the amount of class specific feats you need before you can take any combat related things.

God forbid if you're a weapon master or some kind of primary rogue build.

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Re: One-Handed Duelling Feats should stack.
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2023, 09:25:02 AM »
i will say after some thinking on this that it is strange..

that if you start doing the math, that a one handed tower shield users  are going to be able to do more consistent damage/higherish damage than a two handed/small shield users becuase if you think about how the ac is being built out here, the ormer users are more likley going to be able to get away with using power attack becuase  of how their AC is constructed- so instead of using expertise when they get all the good buffs, they are far more able to get away with using power attack. They are using less of their dodge cap- so their theoretical maximium ac is going to be higher.. hrm.