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Fighting with Two Weapons


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Hello all,

Apologies in advance if this question has been asked before.  Was just wondering if there is a RAW provision for fighting with two weapons at the same time -- i.e., one weapon in each hand.  Could be a sword and a dagger, two swords, an axe and a dagger, or whatever.

If there is such a rule, what is the reference?

If not, and if you've allowed it in your game, how have you handled it?

Thanks,

WP6

Edited by Wolfpack Six
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Adventure of the Circle of Gold has that rule (Tales of Mystic Tournaments). You have to have a skill for each weapon, and then you need to have a Two-Weapon Fighting skill. You use the lowest skill of the set, and obviously you don't get to use a shield. If you win, you get two damage rolls, one for each weapon, but they are two separate hits as far as the target is concerned: armor and shield protect against each in turn, and they are not summed up for Knockdown nor Major Wound purposes.

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I have a player who's interested in this option for his next character, and I'm not a huge fan of the rules as written. My tentative ruling is the same in regards to how the skills work, but you get 2 rolls, both made with a -5/+5 reflexive bonus; however, you don't have to split your skill to attack 2 targets (of course, more than 2 does require splitting). I also think it might be okay to fight with the defensive tactic on one weapon, but not the primary one. Haven't playtested this yet though, I'm really split as to whether or not this is just good enough to be a viable option, too punishing, or so good everyone will want to do it. Not sure if the reflexive makes it all work, or if maybe I should add an additional -5 to the fighter.I do also play a high power, high Glory game, and the player's current character has an Axe skill of 39, and it hasn't broken the game at all (sure, he's unbeatable in one-on-one combat, but add just a single additional enemy and it's no longer a guaranteed crit, plus to get it this high he had to sacrifice damage capability, so he's not necessarily felling his foes with his hits). It's a few years in game before his heir even becomes of age though, so I haven't gotten too far down with it.

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I came up with the following hoserule as I didn't have Tales of Mystic Tournaments at the time :

  1. The character's might have skill in each weapon.
  2. The character uses the lower of his DEX score or the weapon skills for his skill score with both weapons.
  3. Each attack is treated separately (like with animals that get two claws) and opponents must split their skill. 
  4. A character can opt to give up one of his attacks to get 5 points of protection on a partial success with the other weapon.

For instance, let's say that a Young Knight had DEX 12, Sword 18, Mace 15. If he fought with Sword &Mace he would fight at a skill of 12 (his DEX, the lower of the three scores) for both weapons. If his DEX were 16 or higher, then he'd be limited by his Mace skill of 15. 

 

Overall it's pretty close to the official rule except that:

  1.  I used DEX instead of creating a new skill (There are pros and cons to each approach- the skill makes a lot of sense, while DEX really limits this to well coodinated people)
  2. I treated the attacks as two separate attacks, as with most animals.
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2 hours ago, Baba said:

My personal taste: I would want this to be purely a stylistic choice for the player, not a mechanical/strategical choice.

So I would treat it like I treat all the two-handed weapons: +1d6 damage, but no shield.

THat's a perfectly fine take, except that two weapons aren't the same as a two-handed weapon. The idea behind the bonus for two handed weapons is that you'll get more force behind a heavier weapon used two handed, something that wouldn't happen with two lighter weapons. Two swords just don't hit like one greatsword.

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

THat's a perfectly fine take, except that two weapons aren't the same as a two-handed weapon. The idea behind the bonus for two handed weapons is that you'll get more force behind a heavier weapon used two handed, something that wouldn't happen with two lighter weapons. Two swords just don't hit like one greatsword.

I agree. Still, I am fine with that - it is a simple, unfinicky solution.  Fighting with two weapons seems like a less defensive choice than a shield. If the player wanted a more defensive two-weapon style, I guess I would alternatively allow a secondary weapon to give him 6 additional armor reduction on a partial success - but then it would always work like that for him.

Without having playtested it, the houserule you propose seems to make fighting with two weapons:

* Very good if you have average weapon skill and above average dexterity, much better that existing options. It would make players feel a bit like losing out if they DIDN’T fight with two weapons. Every young knight should do it.

* Increasingly worse the better weapon skill you get. You would loose out on high crit chances and no chance of failures/fumbles. So if his weapon skill got very good, the knight would be tempted to drop his signature style because of it’s mechanical shortcomings.

I would want the players to make weapon choices based on how they envision their characters, not on what works best mechanically.

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14 minutes ago, Baba said:

I agree. Still, I am fine with that - it is a simple, unfinicky solution.

Yup, it is.

14 minutes ago, Baba said:

 Fighting with two weapons seems like a less defensive choice than a shield.

It depends. Most two weapon styles are actually defensive in nature.

14 minutes ago, Baba said:

If the player wanted a more defensive two-weapon style, I guess I would alternatively allow a secondary weapon to give him 6 additional armor reduction on a partial success - but then it would always work like that for him.

For you variant, I'd suggest letting them swtich between the extra d6 damage or an extra d6 protection on a partial success. That way it's not quite as good as a shield on defense.

14 minutes ago, Baba said:

Without having playtested it, the houserule you propose seems to make fighting with two weapons:

* Very good if you have average weapon skill and above average dexterity, much better that existing options. It would make players feel a bit like losing out if they DIDN’T fight with two weapons. Every young knight should do it.

Not really. Keep in mind that the splitting of attack also keep the character open to getting hit more. In Pendragon two attacks at 10 aren't as good as one attack at 20. 

14 minutes ago, Baba said:

* Increasingly worse the better weapon skill you get. You would loose out on high crit chances and no chance of failures/fumbles. So if his weapon skill got very good, the knight would be tempted to drop his signature style because of it’s mechanical shortcomings.

Or raise his DEX. Imagine what a knight with a 22 DEX could do. Two attacks at 22 is going to devastate most opponents. Mechanically, the high DEX requirment not much different than having another skill except that age will eventually play a factor, making it much tougher to maintain.

14 minutes ago, Baba said:

I would want the players to make weapon choices based on how they envision their characters, not on what works best mechanically.

That's nice,but it leads to a lot more dead characters. Like it or not, "what works best mechanically" is going to be a huge factor in determining the outcome. It's why most of my PKs tend to stick with Sword & Shield. Mechanically, it surpasses all the other options. Someone with Sword at 20 essentially has 6 extra points of armor, and doesn't have to worry about his weapon breaking.

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I would wonder if there could be an additional penalty for trying to do this from horseback to a single unmounted opponent.  Intuitively, it seems like it would be easier to lean to the right to strike at someone below you with a single weapon in your right hand than to lean enough to strike at them with a second weapon in your left hand as well.

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32 minutes ago, Voord 99 said:

I would wonder if there could be an additional penalty for trying to do this from horseback to a single unmounted opponent.  Intuitively, it seems like it would be easier to lean to the right to strike at someone below you with a single weapon in your right hand than to lean enough to strike at them with a second weapon in your left hand as well.

Probably. To strike with the second weapon weapons the rider would have to twist and lean over more than normal, not to mention exposing more of hisemlf to attack in order to get within reach. I could see negating some or part of the mounted bonus. Maybe +2/-2 instead of +5/-5? I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble though. There are a lot of reasons for a mounted knight to carry a shield, or even to dismount.

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