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How to build an Elf rogue (unchained) to be able to fight with two "Blade boot" and (in my case) two "Dagger" at the same time?

I am doing a two-weapon fighting Rogue Unchained. I found in the list of available weapons the Blade Boot, and since then I can only think about how to be able to use them effectively in combat!

  1. Would having 2 blade boots and 2 daggers still qualify for the "Two-Weapon fighting" feat? Or, does this feat evolve to "Multiweapon Fighting" by having Blade boot equipped? I would think that it does evolve.
  2. How to reduce the drawback of having Blade Boots equipped? I am thinking of taking both rogue talents: "Ledge Walker" and "Light Walker". Any other talents, feats, or skills that will help my build?
  3. What archetype helps this character concept? I was going to take "Knife Master" and "Scout", but it seems that Blade Boots don't qualify for Knife Master. Is there a better choice?
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Talk to your GM—the rules here are hopelessly broken and need judgment

First, we have the entire Multiweapon Fighting “replaces” Two-Weapon Fighting mess, which is confusing and unclear. It’s not even clear what that is supposed to mean, much less how it does or doesn’t help here.

Second, the prerequisite for Multiweapon Fighting, as well as the special clause that triggers the “replacement,” specifies that this is for creatures requiring 3 hands—ignoring all the myriad ways to use three weapons without three hands, like the blade boot (which didn’t exist at the time) and armor spikes (which did). This is nonsense.

Third, Paizo has an FAQ entry that is utter nonsense, and literally cannot be consistently applied, but it does suggest that you need a free hand to use a weapon that doesn’t use a hand like armor spikes or, in this case, blade boots. Ignoring the inanity of the ruling itself (how? why?), the FAQ doesn’t even address what that actually means. There are a great many rules holes and inconsistencies surrounding this FAQ entry. For more details, see this answer, and especially its associated chat discussion log.

My (strong) recommendation here is to simply ignore the fact that they wrote two separate feats entirely, and (even more strongly) ignore that incredibly-dumb FAQ entry. Neither is going to improve your game. Neither is going to provide a useful balancing factor for any character. And neither is at all clear on its face.

But no matter how strongly I feel this way, or how much you might agree with me, you have to talk to your GM about this. Unfortunately, in this instance, Paizo has let you both down utterly and now it’s up to the two of you to pick up the mess. And that may mean that your GM simply doesn’t want to go to that much effort for your character. You therefore may be out of luck here.

Other issues...

Ledge walker and light walker are both decent, and very good if they solve the problems that blade boots cause. Double-check that with your GM, though: the order of operations here should work in your favor, but your GM shouldn’t be caught off-guard by it either.

As for the archetypes, yes, knife master will not treat a blade boot as a dagger for sneak stab. You could ask your GM to change that, or just suck it up, but then you don’t get much out of sneak stab (\$x\$d8 + \$x\$d4 has the same expected damage as \$2x\$d6). Scout, on the other hand, is quite good, and I’d recommend it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I did the math to check which one was better between 2xd8 + 2xd4 and 4xd6, and that's the 4xd6 one. But not by much. \$\endgroup\$ – vdubus Nov 14 '18 at 8:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @vdubus Expected rolls on d4, d6, and d8 are 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5, respectively. \$2\times 2.5+2\times 4.5=5+9=14\$, \$4\times 3.5=14\$. Their minimum (4) and maximum (24) are the same too. Anyway, one other thing to be aware of here—the Pathfinder rogue just doesn’t give much reason to play it. The ninja or vigilante cover everything the rogue does but does it better. Vivisectionist alchemist, too. Or the unchained rogue, which is very good. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 14 '18 at 13:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's for an unchained rogue as told in the post. As for the math: anydice.com/program/12464, there is 58.82% chance to do damages in the range of [72, 96] for 4×6d6. And 69.69% chance to do damage in the range of [72, 96] for 2×6d8 + 2×6d4. Seems like I didn't correctly made my math previously… And so, I would be better to have the "Knife Master" Archetype. Both still have the same average damage output. \$\endgroup\$ – vdubus Nov 14 '18 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @vdubus Any increased chance of a high roll on one is offset by an increased chance of a low roll—that’s what it means for the expected roll to be the same. There really isn’t any mathematical advantage here. We can’t say one is “better” than the other, they’re almost exactly the same and the only difference between them (consistent vs. swingy) can’t be called an advantage or disadvantage either way really. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Nov 14 '18 at 14:30
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Compared to daggers, blade boots are not very effective in combat.

The blade boot is a very circumstantial weapon. It may be useful if someone took your other weapons, and you need to quickly draw a hidden weapon. It may also be useful if you use 2-handed ranged weapons (bows, crossbows, etc.) and want a backup option for melee attacks.

Otherwise, the blade boot is a poor combat option compared to a dagger. It has a smaller crit range (20 vs 19-20), higher price, can't be thrown, and can't bypass DR/slashing. More importantly, the blade boot is a martial weapon, so by default Unchained Rogues are not even proficient with it. You would need the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat to become proficient with blade boots.

1. Blade boots can be used with Two-Weapon Fighting, but they don't give you more attacks than your other offhand weapon.

You mentioned in comments that this rogue is an elf. Regardless of how many weapons they have ready (2 daggers, 2 blade boots, spiked helmet, armor spikes, improved unarmed strikes, etc.) they still have a limited action economy, and are therefore limited to a certain number of attacks.

When making a full attack, you get a number of iterative attacks based on your BAB, plus one extra attack from one offhand weapon. Certain natural weapons can also be used for additional attack rolls. Otherwise, any further offhand attacks must come from class features, or feats (such as Improved Two-Weapon Fighting), or magical effects (such as Haste).

The blade boot is just an alternative option for your offhand weapon. It does not grant you additional attack rolls. So at 1st level, you could attack with both daggers, or 1 dagger and 1 blade boot, or both blade boots.

Elves are humanoid and do not qualify for Multiweapon Fighting. The feat requires at least 3 hands as a prerequisite, and the blade boot does not count as a third hand.

Prerequisites: Dex 13, three or more hands.

2. The Light Walker rogue talent is useful.

At early levels, difficult terrain can make a simple encounter very challenging. Even if you don't use blade boots in combat, being able to bypass difficult terrain is a powerful option for melee characters.

3. Knife Master is a great archetype for dual-wielding dagger builds.

Most of the core Rogue archetypes are compatible with Unchained Rogue. If you can play strategically to consistently get sneak attacks, then the Knife Master archetype will improve your sneak attack damage with dagger attacks. Furthermore, if you choose daggers as your level 3 Finesse Training option, then you add your Dexterity modifier to all attack and damage rolls with daggers.

tl;dr Daggers > Blade boots.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree that "arm" is pretty un-ambiguous. You wouldn't ever claim that humans have 4 arms. If they'd said limbs then all PC's could easily qualify for it, so they didn't. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Nov 15 '18 at 15:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MikeQ I was able to find that YES you can make extra off-hands attacks with Blade Boots. Check my answer for more details. TL;DR: Barbazu Beard and Multiweapon Fighting. \$\endgroup\$ – vdubus Nov 22 '18 at 9:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ But it's wrong. The "more weapons = more attack rolls" only applies with natural weapons, which isn't the case here. Otherwise a creature is limited by their BAB and action economy. \$\endgroup\$ – MikeQ Nov 22 '18 at 13:39
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What race is your character?

If the answer is human (or any other race with only 2 arms) you can't fight with 4 weapons simultaneously since you are limited to two weapon fight feat-tree. You can use a combination of your 4 weapons but you will still use two weapon fight since you have only "2 hands".

It's a tricky argument so i will try to be as clear as possible but in Pathfinder the number of weapons you can use during your iterative attacks are limited to the number of "hands" you have. If you have two "hands" (because you are a human for example) you can only use two weapon fight...so even if you can equip 4 weapons you will use only 2 of them every round (you ofcourse can choose what weapon to use every round).

Anyway if you want to go with a 4 weapons build here is a race that can help you:

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's an elf. But, it seems strange to need more arms to be able to use boots… \$\endgroup\$ – vdubus Nov 14 '18 at 8:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's because Pathfinder is based on how much "arms/hands" you have. It is not important what kind of weapon are you using. For example if you have a spiked armor (so you fight with your armor not with your hands) and a greatsword...you can't use both. The only way for an elf to use 3 or more weapons at the same time is to grow extra arms. The other way, ofcourse, is using natural attacks...but that type of attack follows other rules (and in that case you can go for multiattack feat). For further read i link here the FAQ on spiked armor: paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fm#v5748eaic9qw9 \$\endgroup\$ – Mouza Nov 14 '18 at 8:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not exactly the same case as the FAQ is about trying to make TWF with a Two-Handed weapon and still trying to get an off-hand attack. And it seems, from KRyan's answer that's this FAQ entry caused more problems than it tried solve… Well, whatever, it seems that it's completely up to the GM on this case. \$\endgroup\$ – vdubus Nov 14 '18 at 9:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ The GM ofcourse can houserule this case...but the rules are clear. If you have two hands you can fight with two manifactured weapon at a time. It's not important what kind of weapons are you using the blade boot is an off-hand weapon (the same case of spiked armor) and your off hand is already taken by your sword. In the item rules is clearly written that blade boot IS an off-hand weapon: d20pfsrd.com/equipment/weapons/weapon-descriptions/blade-boot . So, to make short, if you want to use 2 blade boots and 2 swords at the same time you need 4 arms. Stupid or not that is. \$\endgroup\$ – Mouza Nov 14 '18 at 9:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ You need three arms, not four. You don't need 1 arm per weapon, just enough arms to trigger not-BS-TWF-FAQ. Also that FAQ doesn't actually work this way or otherwise. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Nov 15 '18 at 6:45
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You cannot use two Boot Blades with two daggers.

Blade Boot(s) do not confer the ability to make use of Multiweapon Fighting any more than having Improved Unarmed Strike does. A Blade Boot "takes up" your off-hand weapon. You cannot also use a dagger in your offhand, nor does having a second Blade Boot allow you to attack with both unless your hands are not making any attacks. Think of it as needing to use 2 limbs for stabilization.

You can use a blade boot as an off-hand weapon.

What you can do:

  • Wield a dagger and blade boot
  • Wield 2 blade boots
  • Equip 2 daggers and 2 blade boots, and vary which you use on a given attack
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  • \$\begingroup\$ "You can use a blade boot as an off-hand weapon", and not "You can use a blade boot as the off-hand weapon". Semantically, that don't mean the same thing. And that's why I took it as allowing the Special from Multiweapon Fighting to kick in. Also, you can use acrobatic fighting to use all your limbs to hit the opponent. \$\endgroup\$ – vdubus Nov 15 '18 at 10:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @vdubus Does any weapon say it can be used as the offhand weapon? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 15 '18 at 10:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan, I don't know, and I don't care. Maybe some state that they can't be used as off-hands weapons? Is that relevant in any way? If you think so, explain us why. \$\endgroup\$ – vdubus Nov 15 '18 at 10:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @vdubus RE: "'You can use a blade boot as an off-hand weapon', and not 'You can use a blade boot as the off-hand weapon'. Semantically, that don't mean the same thing." If that's the case, using any combination of weapons that say an instead of the opens the door to Multiweapon Fighting. This ceases to be a blade boot issue and becomes an issue with multiple an off-hand weapons generally. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 15 '18 at 11:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @vdubus A humanlike creature could have, in one hand, a longsword, in the other a spiked shield, be wearing spiked armor, and have out 2 boot blades… but, without feats, that creature still only makes one off-hand attack as per two-weapon fighting: "If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon," and the creature must pick from among those weapons which is its second weapon. It's only Multiweapon Fighting—and 3+ hands—that adds a third or more weapon to that. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 17 '18 at 16:48
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TL;DR:

You can make as many off-hands attacks that you have off-hands available to attack. The Blade Boot add another off-hand attack (with the feet) to your pool of available attacks (just like the Barbazu Beard with the head).

The Two-Weapon Fighting and Multiweapon Fighting feats are a mess. They should work to reduce the penalty in making all off-hands attacks, but check with your DM to see that he does allow it. If not, then you will only have the primary hand and first off-hand attack which would have a reduced penalty.

The Light Walker rogue's talent would indeed compensate the drawback from fighting with a deployed Blade Boot.

And as always, the DM have the final word.


Lets explain:

It seems that there is a lot of confusion going on…

To make this build possible, we need to answer the following questions :

  1. Is it possible to make more than one off-hand attacks in a round?
  2. Would the Two-Weapon Fighting feat work for more than one off-hand?
  3. What about the Multiweapon Fighting feat?
  4. Does the Blade Boot count as an extra off-hand weapon?

1) Is it possible to make more than one off-hand attacks in a round?

Yes, it is possible, but as much as you have off-hands available. Yet, there isn't any explicit rule on that. So how can we know that?

First, we have the Armor Spikes, the Tentacle and the Vestigial Arm Alchemist Discoveries. Each of them explicitly state that they can't be used to add another attack in the round, but can only be used to replace one that you already have.

You can’t also make an attack with armor spikes if you have already made an attack with another off-hand weapon

The tentacle does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round

The (Vestigial) arm does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round

Second, we have the Kasatha with the Multi-Armed trait which state that they have one primary hand and three off-hands. And be able to have two additional off-hands cost 8 Race Points… This drawback clearly show that having more than one off-hand is an advantage which need to be balanced.

A Kasatha has four arms. One hand is considered its primary hand; all others are considered off hands.

Third, in the normal description of the Multiweapon Fighting feat, it is specified that fighting with more than one off-hand work just like with only one.

A creature without this feat takes a –6 penalty on attacks made with its primary hand and a –10 penalty on attacks made with all of its off hands.

Fourth, just like for the Blade Boot, the Barbazu Beard explicitly say that you can use the part wearing it as an off-hand, and when clearly explain that it mean to have an extra off-hand! (thanks to @HeyICanChan for pointing me out this weapon)

A barbazu beard can be used as an off-hand weapon that requires no hands to use; thus, a warrior could combine use of a barbazu beard with a two-handed weapon.

Fifth, nowhere it is said that you can't make as many off-hands attacks than you have off-hands available… (-_-')

With all of that, we can conclude that indeed, you can make as many (un)armed off-hands attacks that you have off-hands available.

2) Would the Two-Weapon Fighting feat work with more than one off-hand?

Here the answer would be MEH… Like @MikeQ said, the Two-Weapon fighting whole stuff is a mess…

First, why do we need the Two-Weapon Fighting feat? That's because we have a huge penalty in using more than one weapon in each hands to fight, as state in the Two-Weapon Fighting section from the combat entry. Meaning that yes, you can attack with multiple weapons, but you will probably miss… And the Two-Weapon Fighting feat is needed to be able to correctly fight with more than one weapon.

Second, does the Two-Weapon Fighting feat work with more than one off-hand? By the book, the answer would be MEH as it does specify that this feat is for Two Weapons. Yet, it don't say anything about more than two weapons… And so the rule does also apply with three or more weapon as each combination IS a Two-Weapon fighting style… So, by applying the rule, two case scenario:

  • The feat apply on all attack as the feat apply to each off-hands weapons in combination with the primary weapon.
  • The feat only apply to the first attack made with an off-hand weapon. Meaning that all others off-hands weapons take the full penalty on their attack roll.

The first case seem good, but then why would the Multiweapon Fighting feat exist? And the second case seem quite strange… As the penalty is already quite heavy, why would we need to add a drawback on a weapon adding another off-hand attack?

3) What about the Multiweapon Fighting feat?

Here again, the answer would be MEH… The conditions on the feat aren't even coherent with themselves: the special has a condition on the number on arms when the prerequisites have a condition on the number of hands… Because of that, yet again, two case scenario:

  • The special condition should have used the word hands. In this case, having more off-hands could work.
  • The prerequisites conditions should have used the word arms. In this case, having more off-hands won't work.

The most likely would be "hands" as that's the word generally used when considering fighting and other actions. And even the Tentacle and the Vestigial Arm discoveries make sure to use the word "hands" to describe the power.

Now the problem would be: Does an off-hand account for a hand in this case? And the answer is yet again MEH… In the context of the feat, which is to modify the penalty on off-hands attacks, it should be yes… But, the wording don't really make this clear.

4) Does the Blade Boot count as an extra off-hand weapon?

YES, it does. Unlike for the Armor Spikes, it isn't specified otherwise.

Benefit: You can use a blade boot as an off-hand weapon.

And there is even a drawback to balanced the whole thing.

Drawback: When the blade is extended, you treat normal terrain as difficult and difficult terrain as impassable.

Just like the Barbazu Beard with said that you can make an extra off-hands attack, with a drawback too…

Attacking with a barbazu beard provokes an attack of opportunity. Because it is so close to the wearer’s face, using a barbazu beard against creatures harmful to touch (such as fire elementals and acidic oozes) has the same risks as using a natural weapon or unarmed strike against these creatures.

Conclusion:

You can fight with all limbs using Blade Boot. But two scenario:

And in the end, we would need extra talents and/or feats to compensate the drawback.

Bonus:

By rewording all "two-weapon fighting" stuff as "Multi-weapon fighting", and making sure that we only use the word "off-hands" in descriptions, everything about that would be fixed… No more Multiweapon Fighting feat and the like needed. No more mess…

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to be clear, this answer's making the case that a typical level 1 human-shaped creature with no feats to its name that's armed with 2 daggers, 2 blade boots, spiked armor, and a barbazu beard can take the special attack two-weapon fighting and make attacks with all 6 weapons? And, perhaps, also make a nigh-infinite number of unarmed strikes? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 21 '18 at 16:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regarding unarmed attacks: monks can make unarmed strikes with hands, elbows, knees, feet, even their forehead. By this answer's logic, they could make as many attacks as they have body parts. Which is untrue. \$\endgroup\$ – MikeQ Nov 22 '18 at 14:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MikeQ, by this answer's logic, the monk can only make as many attack that he has primary and off-hands. Meaning that an Elf monk can only do 2 attacks. I don't see how you can understand otherwise? Did I wrote something wrong? If you think so, can't you elaborate on how a monk can do that using my statement? For my part, when I read the monk Flurry Blow description, I think that a Kasatha monk can only make 2 attacks at most… Probably because they didn't think that later on, some races would have more than 2 hands… (-_-') \$\endgroup\$ – vdubus Nov 22 '18 at 19:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan, First, the Spiked Armor can't be use as an extra off-hand attack (check its description). Unlike the Barbazu beard. Second, nowhere it is said that you need the TWF feat to be able to make off-hands attacks. But without it, good luck in hitting anything. Third, unarmed strikes also use the primary and off-hands rules which mean that you can only make as many unarmed strikes that you have unused "hands". Last, is there a problem in making more than 2 attacks per round? If you think that an infinite number of attack is possible, then please explain us how. \$\endgroup\$ – vdubus Nov 22 '18 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ (My 3.5 is showing with the spiked armor; my apologies.) Nowhere does the barbazu beard or the boot blade say they provide extra attacks beyond the normal second allowed by two-weapon fighting (that is, the special attack—I haven't mentioned the feat). And can you point to how "unarmed strikes… use the primary and off-hands rules which mean that you can only make as many unarmed strikes that you have unused 'hands'"? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 23 '18 at 2:44

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