If a bonus action attack for Two-Weapon Fighting involves multiple ability modifiers, which ones are added to the damage roll?

This question is entirely inspired by the following:

  • Bonus action attack ability score modifier (5E Question)

That question, however, happens to ask about a homebrew method of adding multiple ability modifiers to the bonus action attack of Two-Weapon Fighting and so, ultimately, has a homebrew solution. This question concerns non-homebrew methods of creating this scenario.


Two-Weapon Fighting states:

[…] You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative. […]

But what happens when you would add more than one ability modifier to the damage roll? There are a few ways of doing this, and I’ll list the ones I know of below:

The Way of Mercy Monk’s Hand of Harm feature:

[…] When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike, you can spend 1 ki point to deal extra necrotic damage equal to one roll of your Martial Arts die + your Wisdom modifier. […]

The Devotion Paladin’s Channel Divinity: Sacred Weapon feature:

[…] For 1 minute, you add your Charisma modifier to attack rolls made with that weapon […]

The Oathbreaker Paladin’s Aura of Hate feature:

[…] Starting at 7th level, the paladin, as well any fiends and undead within 10 feet of the paladin, gains a bonus to melee weapon damage rolls equal to the paladin’s Charisma modifier […]

The Ranger’s Foe Slayer feature:

[…] Once on each of your turns, you can add your Wisdom modifier to the attack roll or the damage roll of an attack you make against one of your favored enemies. […]

The Warlock’s Lifedrinker Eldritch Invocation:

[…] When you hit a creature with your pact weapon, the creature takes extra necrotic damage equal to your Charisma modifier […]

Note, that perhaps some of these aren’t quite the same as the others, but what I’m asking remains the same: When a feature actually does cause you to add multiple different ability modifiers to an attack made as part of Two-Weapon Fighting which ones are not added to the damage roll?

Swift casting using a Warpriest’s Fervor, while two-weapon fighting

I am looking at creating a TWF Warpriest for an upcoming campaign and was wondering how the action economy works if I am wielding two kukris but then want to swift cast using Fervor. Am I going to need to have Quick Draw in order to put one weapon away and then redraw it so I have an empty hand for, say, swift casting divine favor, or can I swift cast with both kukris in hand? It would just be a bummer to have to wait until 3rd level to have to pick up Quick Draw due to the 3/4 BAB.

Two-Weapon Fighting Mechanic Alterations

Back again with some more refinements on my thoughts in altering Two-Weapon Fighting based on the input I got from folks answering these posts:

Is this change to the Two-Weapon Fighting fighting style balanced?

Two-Weapon Fighting Mechanic Balance.

As can be seen, I’ve a desire to make Two-Weapon Fighting be an equal with Sword+Board and Great Weapon in terms of damage (between them) and having it’s own niche (reliable damage and crowd control) without making it too complicated or strong. As it stands in vanilla, it fails to keep up with the other styles on both fronts

For ease of reference, I’ll briefly reiterate and expand on a few of the problems that I have with the TWF style so you all don’t have to swap between tabs as much:

  1. It starts too strong from levels 1-4 then falls off level 5+ due to abnormally low scaling.

  2. It’s disproportionately expensive in the action economy in comparison to it’s competition.

  3. What it does is imitated by two separate feats, Great Weapon Master (albeit conditionally) and Polearm Master, but even better and with a base style that grows well.

  4. It disencourages traditional TWF styles of using a bigger and then smaller weapon, leading to silly weapon loadouts (other than lances, I love that look).

To address these issues, I’ve put together the following alterations to the TWF mechanic. Please don’t include the fighting style or feat since I’ll be posting revisions of those later if this one works out.

The questions I hope to have answered here are:

  1. Does the mechanic I’ve presented address the issues I have listed?

  2. Is it intuitive, easy, and fast to both understand and play with?

  3. Is it balanced in comparison to Sword and Board and Great Weapon?

  4. Are there any weird interactions caused from these changes?


Mechanic:

When you take the Attack Action and you attack with a light melee weapon that you are holding in one hand, you can make an equal number of attacks with a different light melee weapon in your other hand. When you do this, halve damage modifiers for both attacks and the second weapon’s weapon damage die is a d4.

If either weapon has the Thrown property, you can throw the weapon, instead of making a melee Attack with it.

Does it matter which weapon I attack with first when two-weapon fighting?

The PHB on p. 195 (or the corresponding section of the basic rules) says:

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.

The rules do not make a distinction between “main-hand” and “off-hand” weapons.

My character dual wields a shortsword with her right hand and a dagger with her left hand.

Could my character attack with her left hand dagger first, doing 1d4 + STR/DEX mod damage, then attack with her right hand shortsword, doing 1d6 damage?

Does it matter which weapon I attack with first when two-weapon fighting?

How does the Extra Attack class feature impact Two-Weapon Fighting?

A level 11 Fighter makes 3 attacks per Attack action as per:

Extra Attack

Beginning at 11th level, you can attack three times, instead of twice, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

According to Players’ Handbook, any character can attack with both hands:

Two-Weapon Fighting

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.

If a level 11 Fighter is brandishing a light weapon in each hand, how many attacks do they make per turn?

4: 3 from the Attack action + 1 from the bonus action?

Or 6: 3 from the Attack action + 3 from the Bonus action?

WHY is Soulknife’s second attack NOT Two-Weapon Fighting?

Ask about Soulknife rogue, D&D 5E

Hello, I know there is a question "Do you add your ability modifier to damage for the Soulknife’s second attack?" with reply being "Yes you do because it is not two weapons fighting". This is not IF, but WHY.

Recently I encountered this problem while playing Soulknife and pretty much my entire group was like "it’s in off-hand, it’s two weapons fighting because you are literlly using two blades, it should not apply".

Why wouldn’t Soulknife’s second blade be considered Two-Weapon Fighting while using bonus action to use second blade?

Is it because both are not held at the same time or something like it? Some wordplay on second and two not being the same word? I honestly do not understand why two weapons are not two weapons fighting. I am not english native so maybe there is something crucial and obvious escaping me.

Also, am I correct to assume that if second blade is not considered two weapons fighting, then it goes like this:

First blade: Attack roll 1d20 + prof + mod; Damage roll 1d6 + mod

Second blade: Attack roll 1d20 + prof + mod; Damage roll 1d4 + mod

When attacking with Two-Weapon Fighting, can you break up your movement and attack a different target?

When you get the Extra Attack action, you can break up your movement and attack different targets at varying distances from your starting point.

Does the same apply with TWF? As in, can I approach my first target, use my attack action, then move, and use my bonus action to attack a different target?

From PHB 195:

“When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand.”

The key seems to be how to interpret “when:” either “immediately after” or “whenever (during your turn).”

Are monks only allowed to use non-unarmed weapons as off-hand when two-weapon fighting?

Do the special rules regarding monks’ unarmed strikes prevent monks from using unarmed strikes as off-hand weapons when using two-weapon fighting?

The monk class’ unarmed strike section states:

There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed.

The context of this is dealing with 1x vs. 1/2x strength, but as a side effect, does it mean a monk must use a weapon rather than an unarmed strike when using two weapon fighting to generate more attacks per round?

Two-weapon fighting states:

If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon.

It then states later on, confirming that unarmed strikes may normally be used:

(An unarmed strike is always considered light.)