Does the “Follow up attack” feat work with a versatile weapon held in 2 hands?

Skryia
Level 10
3 weeks ago

In the playthrough I just finished I had my Paladin mostly running a great sword but took the defensive fighting style and ASIs at 4 and 8. This time around, I was considering leaning into the great sword and/or 2-handing some of the powerful versatile weapons one tends to run across in the main campaign (staying vague here to avoid spoilers). To do that, I think that means taking great weapon fighting as the style, and follow-up attack at 4 and an ASI at 8 for maxxxxx deeepsss. I could also see not bothering with great weapon style and keeping defensive, just to keep the survivability up. But all of that is pointless (IMO) if I‘m constrained by the availability of a good 2-hander (versatile Magic weapons seem way easier to come by overall).

Silverquick
Level 13
3 weeks ago

Well You could do it either way I suppose, but honestly... 

Greatsword with Follow Up, is going to be the most damaging with regards to Weapon Style when combined with Smite. The Greatsword fighting style lets you re-roll the 1s and 2s so you're guaranteed to do more damage than a one handed weapon. 

That said... if you are going with a primarily defensive Paladin, you'll be using sword/shield anyway and not dual wielding. 

I generally tend to take the Great Weapon Fighting Style on Paladin because of that. Then I can spend the first feat on Follow Up Strike, and the second feat on the Armor Wearer Feat for the +1 AC. 

I also don't tend to equip my paladins with Ranged Weapons... so I'll have Sword/Shield in one slot and Greatsword in the other. 


I don't generally use Paladins for Defense outside of testing, I usually run a Fighter-Mountaineer for that. And in the Official Campaign there aren't enough monsters to serious threaten a Paladins or Mountaineers AC that require that kind of AC anyway. 

That only happens in Player Made Dungeons.  

Skryia
Level 10
3 weeks ago

I ended up going defense fighting style for the free +1 AC. Great Weapon Fighting Style for rerolling a 1 or 2 on the weapon damage doesn‘t seem significant enough . But a 2nd and then 3rd attack with the strength bonus seems worth vs an ASI. Level 8 will be an ASI. Haven‘t quite made it 4, so haven’t gotten to test if Follow-up Strike works with a versatile weapon in 2 hands. Later in the game having a good 2-hander seems likely, but early game, not so much. I do agree that ranged weaponry on a Paladin is pretty meh, so I run like you do with a 1-hander plus shield in one slot and 2-hander in other. None of the Solasta Fighter subclasses interest me, so probably won’t be using one of those anytime soon.

TomReneth
Level 14
3 weeks ago

I do not think the Follow Up Strike works with versatile weapons, but a Lightbringer Gratsword has the same base damage (2d6 + 1d8) as the more powerful 1-handed options and is possible to craft a lot earlier in the story. For a Follow Up Strike character, the choice between Dragonblade and Lightbringer Greatsword doesn't matter much.

As an aside, the Spellblade Fighter will always count weapon attacks as magical for overcoming resistance and immunity, making you less dependent on magical weapons early on. I don't know how Expeditious Retreat will work with Follow Up Strike, but seeing as that spell is currently broken, you might be able to make 2 bonus action attacks, like dual wielding Spellblades can. 


Typos happen. More so on the phone.

Silverquick
Level 13
3 weeks ago

I ended up going defense fighting style for the free +1 AC. Great Weapon Fighting Style for rerolling a 1 or 2 on the weapon damage doesn‘t seem significant enough . But a 2nd and then 3rd attack with the strength bonus seems worth vs an ASI. Level 8 will be an ASI. Haven‘t quite made it 4, so haven’t gotten to test if Follow-up Strike works with a versatile weapon in 2 hands. Later in the game having a good 2-hander seems likely, but early game, not so much. I do agree that ranged weaponry on a Paladin is pretty meh, so I run like you do with a 1-hander plus shield in one slot and 2-hander in other. None of the Solasta Fighter subclasses interest me, so probably won’t be using one of those anytime soon.

Its not necessarily that, 

Its that you have to understand Paladin. 

The reason for Great Weapon style and rerolling 1s and 2s is that your average damage will be much higher. So you won't get the extreme low on a bad dice roll. But that's only part of it, and you tend to get the High Damage end more often. 

EXAMPLE: A dice roll that starts at two 1s ends up being a 4 and a 6 for 10 damage plus strength.  

The second part is that Paladins and the number of attacks they have increases the number of Smites that can be used. Follow Up Strike is a bonus attack. So they get 2 attacks at 4th level and 3 attacks at 5th level for 3 total Smites, Combined it with higher average weapon damage from Great Sword Fighting Style and the Paladin turns into a monster for damage burst when you need high single target damage. 

Plus they can also swap back to Sword/Shield in the other slot and go all defensive if needed and its only one AC less than with Defensive Style.  

Its is significantly more damage than either a Ranger or Rogue can do.  

Hence why GWF Paladin is considered the best configuration. 

Velnor
Level 12
3 weeks ago

Well You could do it either way I suppose, but honestly... 

Greatsword with Follow Up, is going to be the most damaging with regards to Weapon Style when combined with Smite. The Greatsword fighting style lets you re-roll the 1s and 2s so you're guaranteed to do more damage than a one handed weapon. 

I also don't tend to equip my paladins with Ranged Weapons... 

Oh for sure, TwoHand with that Smite is the best you're going to get. You can take most folks out in one round.

Are you kidding me? My Paladins always have the heavy crossbow and high Dex- by the time you get within sword range...you're already half strength.

Silverquick
Level 13
3 weeks ago (edited)

Won't matter, you can't Smite with a Heavy Crossbow. 

The Paladin can only shine in Melee. 

If you're running a group that does mostly ranged combat, then you may as well just replace your Paladin with Rangers or Rogues and you'll be better off in the end. 

While I am more than willing to talk up the strengths of a Paladin even the part that will outdamage Rangers and Rogues...  it also means I know what their weaknesses are. And Ranged combat is not their specialty. 

EDIT: Another thing I would suggest if you're mostly taking things down with Ranged, is to use a Fighter instead of a Paladin front liner. Unlike with Smite, the Fighter's Action Surge does work with Ranged weapons and he will far outdamage a Paladin in any Ranged Combat and if a Mountaineer specialization, will fill the "Tank" role much better than a Paladin. 

Skryia
Level 10
3 weeks ago

So,just hit the point of the story where I have a level 4 Paladin and could try it out. And indeed, Follow-up Strike does not work with a versatile weapon. However, if you hit with a versatile weapon and then swap to the weapon set with a 2 hander, it then allows you to do the follow-up strike with that 2-hande. Which was unexpected, yet cool. So sticking with that and hoping to come across a primed great sword soon! The extra smite opportunities is for sure nice.

Skryia
Level 10
3 weeks ago

Also found someone on Reddit actually did the math on great weapon fighting style (see https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/2hdg2e/great_weapon_fighting_style_math/). Math bears out my thought that it was a marginal damage increase (expected average, anyhow). Will have to give it a go anyway on next run, just to see if I can have that one ludicrous round of damage where all the stars align. 😈😎

Silverquick
Level 13
3 weeks ago

Well I'd hardly call that marginal, That's on average around 2 points more damage on Greatsword than any other weapon. 

That's about like increasing your STR score by 4 points. 

Like the thread though, the insight specifically on the Crits for Greatsword were enlightening as to just how strong the Two Handed Fighting style it really is. 

Silverquick
Level 13
3 weeks ago

I do actually have video of how powerful the Great Weapon Style plus Smite is on a Paladin. 

These videos were intended to show off the dungeon module, not the skills of the Paladin, however, But is does kinda become that. I mean he basically takes down a Crimson Spider with two Smites from Greatsword, and wipes out multiple elementals with it.

His counterpart in here is actually a Mountaineer fighter. Combat actually starts at 4:30, but the Crimson Spider fight is at 14:04



The second one is where he's wiping out Elementals with it. 



Velnor
Level 12
3 weeks ago

BTW, Silverquick......you were right about Firebolt vs crossbow.

I checked it out...wiz is 6th lvl now...holy cow!!!!!

15 points!

Dump the crossbow!