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Shield vs Sword


Godweyn

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I always wonder, why a player would chose a shield over a sword in a fight. Don’t misunderstand, I’m pro shields.

Example, two warriors, one with a broadsword and a medium shield vs other with two broadswords, neither with more than 70% skill, lets suppose that the SR allows the two to attack with the all weapons, and the hp is the same of the shield, but the damage is much better. The parry doesn’t have SR, so is the same for both of them.

 

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3 minutes ago, Godweyn said:

I always wonder, why a player would chose a shield over a sword in a fight. Don’t misunderstand, I’m pro shields.

Example, two warriors, one with a broadsword and a medium shield vs other with two broadswords, neither with more than 70% skill, lets suppose that the SR allows the two to attack with the all weapons, and the hp is the same of the shield, but the damage is much better. The parry doesn’t have SR, so is the same for both of them.

 

The biggest is that the second broadsword of the second warrior isn't going to be protection against missile weapons. There can be tactical reasons why someone might want to do this, but if you know or think missile weapons might be a thing, then going this route is an open invitation to becoming a pin-cushion.

SDLeary

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The main advantages I have been able to find for Shields is that they can have much more HP than a typical Bronze weapon without any special contruction or additional magic. They will also protect you from missiles either by actively parrying missiles, or by passively allowing the shield to cover certain locations, depending on the size of the shield. 

 

Dual wielding is definitely advantageous in certain situations, especially when most enemies can't penetrate your non-parry armor and you're glowing with the Light of the Gods. There is a decent reason both Jar-Eel and Harrek dual wield, heck Harrek hits multiple times WITH EACH HAND every swing, (claws and axes, in our Glorantha anyway). OP much?

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2 hours ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

The main advantages I have been able to find for Shields is that they can have much more HP than a typical Bronze weapon without any special contruction or additional magic. They will also protect you from missiles either by actively parrying missiles, or by passively allowing the shield to cover certain locations, depending on the size of the shield. 

They have the exact same hp that a medium shield, and even more than a small one.

I agree that they are the only passive defence towards missile weapons, but they cannot be actively parry, they are likely to be an extra armor for the locations the cover.

 

All this without considering any magic, of course.

Edited by Godweyn
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15 minutes ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

Shields can actively parry thrown missile weapon, rather than mechanically propelled missiles. Shields dramatically increase the chances of surviving a hail of missiles. Covering the Chest, Head, and abdomen, or any two of them can make a difference between Resurrection and some spot Healing. Lol

 

Thrown weapons can be parried if the target is aware of the attack and is ready to parry. Missiles shot by projectile weapons cannot be parried. However, a shield can be used to provide coverage against projectile weapons, if it is not used to parry that round.

 

Literaly from the RQ:G, they cannot parry an arrow.

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Also worth considering the advantage of having a secondary parrying weapon such as shield in prolonging the life of your primary attack weapon - It’s going to be taking a lot of hits that would otherwise be going to damage your primary attacking weapon. If the shield does break at least you can still attack and parry with the remaining weapon.  Could be the difference in a close fight.

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15 minutes ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Also worth considering the advantage of having a secondary parrying weapon such as shield in prolonging the life of your primary attack weapon - It’s going to be taking a lot of hits that would otherwise be going to damage your primary attacking weapon. If the shield does break at least you can still attack and parry with the remaining weapon.  Could be the difference in a close fight.

that's... that's a really good point there

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1 hour ago, Godweyn said:

I always wonder, why a player would chose a shield over a sword in a fight. Don’t misunderstand, I’m pro shields.

Example, two warriors, one with a broadsword and a medium shield vs other with two broadswords, neither with more than 70% skill, lets suppose that the SR allows the two to attack with the all weapons, and the hp is the same of the shield, but the damage is much better. The parry doesn’t have SR, so is the same for both of them.

 

It depends on which version of RQ you are using, and depends mostly on how much damage a parring weapon/shield stops and how breakable such objects are. In RQ2 swords had hit popints and could break after a few parries while shields were basically indestructible.In RQ3 shields were a bit tougher and stopped a little more than most swords, as well as being more effective against missile weapons. In game such as Strombringer, where a parry stopped all damage, shields could parry missile weapons while swords could not. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Three reasons:

1. Missile protection.

2. Hit Points. Any even remotely min-maxing player is going to go for the Large Shield, and it's sturdier than any non-Iron weapon. And let's not even get started on how good Earth Shield is.

3. Annoyance of learning off-hand weapon skill.

Much of the time, a two-handed sword is going to be at least as useful as two swords anyway, if you're aiming for damage output, plus if you're a Humakti you likely only want the one sword anyway.

(You can also join a shield wall if you have a shield, which is mandatory for an Orlanthi free man who is not a weaponthane.)

Edited by Akhôrahil
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14 hours ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Also worth considering the advantage of having a secondary parrying weapon such as shield in prolonging the life of your primary attack weapon - It’s going to be taking a lot of hits that would otherwise be going to damage your primary attacking weapon. If the shield does break at least you can still attack and parry with the remaining weapon.  Could be the difference in a close fight.

That would be my number one reason right there, now combine that with the price of a shield vs broadsword and it makes it bit of sense. 

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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15 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

3. Annoyance of learning off-hand weapon skill.

 

58 minutes ago, JustAnotherVingan said:

Another reason for using sword and shield is that warrior characters will tend to start with a better shield skill than offhand weapon skill, and training in offhand weapons should be rare and expensive. If your shield skill is 90% and your offhand weapon skill is 50% that's a pretty good reason to use a shield.

Fact is, you don't need to learn that second skill, as you'll still be able to use half you main hand weapon's skill to attack.

What you'll do is attack once with each weapon (using half your weapon skill with the second attack), and parry with your main hand.

And when your main hand is nearly destroyed, you just switch weapons.

On the other hand (wink), you need to learn the shield skill to use it effectively in melee. If you have a sword skill of 80 and a shield skill of 60, using the shield is definitely a good idea to prevent your main hand weapon to break, but not so much if you want to survive.

Edited by Mugen
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2 minutes ago, Mugen said:

I thought the rules said that, by default, you could use your off-hand weapon using half your main hand skill.

Am I wrong ?

Like I said, you will have to look it up.

It makes sense that it's not the same thing to just use a weapon in the wrong hand as using the weapon at the same time as another weapon. The first is just about your clumsiness with your off-hand, the second comes with a whole slew of coordination issues.

You can probably write (if poorly) with your off hand. You probably can't write two things at once using both hands.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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8 minutes ago, Mugen said:

I thought the rules said that, by default, you could use your off-hand weapon using half your main hand skill.

Am I wrong ?

The rulebook does say the half effectiveness rule applies so you're right. OTOH  I think Akhôrahil is right about what Jason ruled. 

For a lot of beginning characters this is still going to be below their shield skill.

For berserkers and characters who might get banned from using a shield by a geas I think learning to use an offhand weapon is commonsense, for others they may have higher priorities for their 1 lot of training a season.

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26 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Like I said, you will have to look it up.

It makes sense that it's not the same thing to just use a weapon in the wrong hand as using the weapon at the same time as another weapon. The first is just about your clumsiness with your off-hand, the second comes with a whole slew of coordination issues.

You can probably write (if poorly) with your off hand. You probably can't write two things at once using both hands.

Well, the ruling says " It's up to your gamemaster but I would say absolutely not." So it's explicitely a houserule, and of course a wrong rule can be houseruled.

I also strongly disagree with your example. I tried, and having a pen in my main hand doesn't make my off-hand more clumsy than it already is. Of course, when I tried to write with both hands at once it was a disaster. But I don't picture people with a good weapon skill trying to attack with both weapons at once. :)

13 minutes ago, JustAnotherVingan said:

The rulebook does say the half effectiveness rule applies so you're right. OTOH  I think Akhôrahil is right about what Jason ruled. 

For a lot of beginning characters this is still going to be below their shield skill.

For berserkers and characters who might get banned from using a shield by a geas I think learning to use an offhand weapon is commonsense, for others they may have higher priorities for their 1 lot of training a season.

Again, I'm suggesting that you'll use your main hand to parry, not your off-hand.

Edited by Mugen
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17 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

And like I said - at least until you rack up huge bonuses to damage (damage bonus, large static modifiers), a two-handed weapon does more damage, while being easier to learn. This goes double if you're not even competent with your off-hand, or if you don't have the time or magic points to buff that weapon.

Well, it's easier to break one two-handed weapon than two one-handed weapons. If your two handed weapon is broken, you're out of options. If your main hand is broken, you can rely on the weapon in your off hand.

Anyway, I think we'll agree the rules make two-handed weapons just too good and shields not interesting enough.

That would be excellent for a game set in medieval japan (Vormain ?), but not so much for a game set in DragonPass

 

Edited by Mugen
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Using a one-handed weapon in the off-hand after the main hand has been taken out is different from dual wielding in the main hand and the off-hand. I would allow half effectivity as basis for hand replacement, but I see a point in making dual wielding a different proposal - there is more to a weapon attack than just flailing around with your arms. Getting in an effective attack with the off-hand after having done so with the main hand requires a shift in the stance if you want to use more than half your damage bonus, for instance.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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5 hours ago, Mugen said:

I thought the rules said that, by default, you could use your off-hand weapon using half your main hand skill.

Am I wrong ?

Yes. You are.
The rules (page 225) are actually saying the opposite:

Quote

.Every adventurer is assumed to be right-handed, unless otherwise determined by the player during adventurer creation.
Use of a weapon in the “off ” hand must be started at 05%, with the usual addition or subtraction for their Manipulation skills category modifier
Also, an adventurer’s DEX must be at least 1.5 times the minimum DEX needed to use the weapon (always round up) before they may use it off-handed.
.To learn how to use a weapon left-handed means finding an instructor (gamemaster’s discretion on how difficult this is at any time).
.The player must keep track of the individual weapon expertise of the adventurer with each weapon as used in each hand. Training or experience in using a weapon left-handed does not help the right-handed attack or parry with the same weapon, except that the half effectiveness rule applies. For example, use of a dagger left-handed, allows the adventurer to use it right-handed at half the left-handed ability.

So, some people want to ignore that the half effectiveness rule applies from left hand ability to right hand ability, not the other way (other way = you start at 05% LH as written) but it is then a house rule, nothing more.

Confirmed by Jason at
https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com/home/catalogue/publishers/chaosium/runequest-roleplaying-in-glorantha-players-book-print/cha4028-runequest-roleplaying-in-glorantha-qa-by-chapter/cha4028-runequest-roleplaying-in-glorantha-chapter-08-combat-qa-part-2/

Quote

 

When learning a weapon offhand, the base is 05%, but is it possible to use the half normal chance, as it is another skill with a weapon in the same category?

It’s up to your gamemaster but I would say absolutely not.

Learning to do something in your “off” hand isn’t simply making similar movements with something slightly different in your hand, it’s writing all new motions and habits, which is a lot more difficult. 

Think of it as the difference between switching from cursive to printing to calligraphy (same group) vs trying to write with your left hand.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, 7Tigers said:

So, some people want to ignore that the half effectiveness rule applies from left hand ability to right hand ability, not the other way (other way = you start at 05% LH as written) but it is then a house rule, nothing more.

Ok, that balance the thing a little bit, plus the "protect the main weapon" stuff, I am satisfied with this answer.

Thanks !!

Edited by Godweyn
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