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Two weapons and multiple parries

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7 hours ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

I like the idea that knowledge with a weapon helps use it in the other hand, basic principles apply and instincts are being built. 

Muscle memory is an entirely different matter, though, especially with most people having a dominant (read 'main') side.  As Morpheus said, "There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."

Edited by Yelm's Light

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19 minutes ago, Yelm's Light said:

Muscle memory is an entirely different matter, though, especially with most people having a dominant (read 'main') side.

Agreed. Anyone who's ever tried writing with the "wrong" hand knows how little of their skill carries over.

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1 hour ago, trystero said:
1 hour ago, Yelm's Light said:

Muscle memory is an entirely different matter, though, especially with most people having a dominant (read 'main') side.

Agreed. Anyone who's ever tried writing with the "wrong" hand knows how little of their skill carries over.

True for handwriting (not that my dominant hand reads any better...), but e.g. with fine manipulation in the lab I am ambidextrous.

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10 hours ago, deleriad said:

Historically the answer to that is "yes." If you invest in a lot of off-hand training, your off-hand skill will eventually be better than simply using half your normal hand skill. (Technically you also need 1.5 times the normal DEX requirement but that is only DEX 10 (after multiplication) for Broadsword so not really a big deal. 

Note that this is true for any weapon skill. Even though axe fighting is different from sword fighting, if you put an axe in the hands of a good fencer, he should be able to use it more effectively than someone with no combat training at all. 

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9 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

B) while Stormbringer has a simpler approach, DEX Ranks serves pretty much the same functions aren't they? What makes them work better then?

From my point of view, SR are just too complicated, and offer little benefit over the very simple reverse DEX order.

The only thing it does very well, IMHO, is integration of spells MP cost into initiative.

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I think we used to just subtract spell MP from DEX to get initiative rating (I used to use Elric! as the base system).

I always found the SR system difficult because of trying to integrate movement with anything over a few PCs/NPCs got messy. 

Edited by d(sqrt(-1))

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7 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

This is not the case, Creativehum. Jason has clarified that making a second attack does not impair your ability to parry in any way. Thus, even if you start very low with your secondary weapon, you still get a free second attack with it, and a full efficiency parry with the main hand. And once you connect with this second attack, you have an experience check that will eventually raise your skill. Whenever you are not expecting missile fire, using a secondary weapon for which you have the necessary Strike Rank instead of a shield has little or no counter-indications, and a world of advantages.

Plus Jason still has to reply about being able to attack with a shield and attacking and parrying with the weapon in the same round.

In pure game mechanics terms that is precisely the issue. If you can attack and parry with a shield in the same melee round while still being able to attack with your main weapon then you always will providing you have the SRs. Failing that you will attack with shield and weapon then parry with your weapon, remembering that your chance to attack with a shield is the same as parrying. If you can attack with a cestus while wielding a 1-h weapon you will. It won't take long for the experience rolls to stack up. (I realise that there is a risk to so-doing which is a failed attack vs a successful parry.)

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On 7/9/2018 at 8:03 AM, deleriad said:

In pure game mechanics terms that is precisely the issue. If you can attack and parry with a shield in the same melee round while still being able to attack with your main weapon then you always will providing you have the SRs. Failing that you will attack with shield and weapon then parry with your weapon, remembering that your chance to attack with a shield is the same as parrying. If you can attack with a cestus while wielding a 1-h weapon you will. It won't take long for the experience rolls to stack up. (I realise that there is a risk to so-doing which is a failed attack vs a successful parry.)

We really need @Jason Durall to clarify the last point in this chapter. 

We know we lose the chance to parry with a shield if we attack with it ( knockback or standard), but we don’t know whether you can still parry and attack with a weapon in the other hand if you attack with a shield? And likewise can you still dodge if you make an attack with a shield? 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp

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3 hours ago, Mugen said:

Note that this is true for any weapon skill. Even though axe fighting is different from sword fighting, if you put an axe in the hands of a good fencer, he should be able to use it more effectively than someone with no combat training at all. 

But would he be able to use it as well as someone who had experience with axes, or as well as he could use a sword?  I think not.

It's apples and oranges anyway; this is about using the same weapon in a different hand, a different proposition.

Edited by Yelm's Light

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16 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

B) while Stormbringer has a simpler approach, DEX Ranks serves pretty much the same functions aren't they? What makes them work better then?

 I’ll talk about Elric! as that’s the version I know and like best.

In RQG you have a movement rate per strike rank, preparing a missile takes 5 SR, preparing a spell takes 5 SR. So e.g. you can cast a spell then move, then engage in combat. The Strike Rank is clearly used as a fungible unit of time it takes to perform a variety of actions. This is not the case for DEX ranks, and I think my post was misleading in that regard.

There is only one case in Elric! where DEX ranks cost anything with respect to any other activity, and that’s a character moving half their move rate or less into combat, in which case they suffer a DEX rank penalty on their attack. You can’t use DEX ranks to reload, or move (directly), or prepare spells or do anything else. The only thing they do is decide when your attack(s) occur. Spells take a whole round, and go off on your INT rank. That’s pretty much it. SR are clearly more flexible and allow more tactical mixtures of magic, movement and combat but at a high cost in complexity IMHO.

EDIT: ok two cases, drawing a new weapon costs 5 DEX ranks. It’s not in the main combat chapter text, but in the spot rules. However reloading a missile weapon isn’t a thing by itself. You fire missile weapons on your dex rank and that’s it regardless of drawn arrows and such.

I also prefer the Elric! multiple-weapons rule. If you have two weapons (including weapon and shield) and your score a critical parry, you may immediately make an attack with the other weapon. Note that a Crit in Elric! is equivalent of a special success in RQ, at 1/5 skill chance.

Edited by simonh

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56 minutes ago, simonh said:

[When using DEX instead of SR to order actions] reloading a missile weapon isn’t a thing by itself. You fire missile weapons on your dex rank and that’s it regardless of drawn arrows and such.

For comparison, Call of Cthulhu also uses DEX order for actions in combat, and (in editions up through 6th) cycles down through DEX orders once for aimed/ready firearms, and then again for all weapons. (In 7th edition, there's only one DEX-order countdown per round; aimed/ready firearm attacks occur at DEX+50, which would be DEX+10 with the RQ/Elric! characteristic scale.)

I don't remember whether Elric! had anything like this for aimed/ready missile weapons.

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On 7/8/2018 at 2:40 AM, Russ Massey said:

It's too big a change, and I won't be using it.

Yep.  Bad idea.  Makes things too complicated.

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1 hour ago, trystero said:

I don't remember whether Elric! had anything like this for aimed/ready missile weapons.

Pretty sure it doesn't, I may have missed a spot rule somewhere. It makes sense for firearms, where for bows and thrown weapons maybe not.

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19 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

 

 

Sorry, I wasn't clear, I know how it works in Stormbringer. My questions to @Jason Durall (and others) were:

A) what does he mean by that: Sometimes they're a means of ordering attacks by first to last, sometimes they're an action point allowance. Both work in entirely different fashions. If I understand correctly, the former relates to actions raking place in SR order while the latter refers to actions being limited to a total of 12 SR. If it is the case, how does he see that as working in entirely different fashions?

B) while Stormbringer has a simpler approach, DEX Ranks serves pretty much the same functions aren't they? What makes them work better then?

In one we count from a top number down in the other from a bottom number up.  Both are identical but dex only is a simplistic way to calculate the starting point.  No reason for one to be considered more or less complicated than the other.

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19 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

B) while Stormbringer has a simpler approach, DEX Ranks serves pretty much the same functions aren't they? What makes them work better then?

I think it's a matter of opinion and preference. To those who prefer simplicity going by DEX "works better." To those who like to factor in other factors such as character reach, weapon length, distance moved, range and such, Strike Ranks "work better."

 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I think it's a matter of opinion and preference. To those who prefer simplicity going by DEX "works better." To those who like to factor in other factors such as character reach, weapon length, distance moved, range and such, Strike Ranks "work better."

Thanks everyone for the response. In the end, that is most likely the crux of if. I personally like both methods

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On ‎7‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 12:52 AM, deleriad said:

This is the biggest change to RQ2/RQ3 SRs since, well 1977. 

As a summary, providing you are wielding two weapons and have the SRs to use them you can attack with both them while still being able to parry/dodge. Shields are now considered to be a "weapon" for this purpose.

The sentence in the rulebook page 219: "It is possible to attack with a shield, giving up the chance of parrying that round" is no longer true?

At the risk of being philosophical - what else counts as a weapon?

  • Something like a cestus? Presumably yes.
  • A natural weapon something like a scorpion folk stinger or Broo headbutt? (In past RQ these were counted as additional attacks that could be made so would conform to the ruling.)
  • Another natural weapon like fist, kick or headbutt.

The result of this ruling is that any character with a Melee SR of 3 or less (i.e. DEX SR 1, SIZ SR 2) will always be able to attack twice each round with different "weapons" without needing to split attacks while parrying/dodging normally. I don't know if that's how RQG was played during playtesting but it is massively different to how RQ2/RQ3 worked. In the example of combat on page 206, Vasana drops her sword in order to make a shield attack.

During our RQ3 days in the 80s and 90s, we ended up house ruling combat in a similar way. RQ striked us as potentially very tactical but given the MR lasted for 10 whole seconds, after a while we ended up disliking the constraints it was artificially putting on attacks and parries. I am not sure how it came about but we house ruled that you could attack as often as your SR allowed and you could parry as oftened as you liked (I am a bit fuzzy on this but I believe parry was consuming 1 SR, so it wasn't a freebee and it did affect how many attacks you could do in a single round). The number of weapons you were wielding did not influence the number of attacks but were providing flexibility of choice has well as redundancy of weapon.

What we used was in retrospect very close to the rules found in the BGB from p.199 to p.201 and it can easily be recreated using RQG.   

Edited by DreadDomain

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20 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I think it's a matter of opinion and preference. To those who prefer simplicity going by DEX "works better." To those who like to factor in other factors such as character reach, weapon length, distance moved, range and such, Strike Ranks "work better."

The DEX rank approach in Big Gold Book etc is much closer to a standard initiative system than the SR system in RQG. To generalise:

  • With an initiative system, each character performs its action(s) on its initiative number. (There may be sub-phases in which all movement, all ranged attacks etc happen.)
  • With an impulse system, a character performs its first action on impulse X, then each subsequent action happens y impulses later. Y is variable and depends on "how long" the action takes.
  • Roughly speaking, an impulse system is action-based while initiative is character-based.

DEX ranks are a bit more complex because sometimes you end up performing additional actions with 5 DEX ranks between each one. So they have some impulse-like elements.

RQ SRs are much closer to an impulse system in that you perform your first action on a certain SR then any subsequent actions after a variable number of SRs based on how long it takes. Unlike a pure impulse system, your impulse count resets at 12 (unless you're casting spells). 

The authors have tried to make SRs act more like an initiative system but it is still, in my eyes, a hybrid that is further down the impulse line than DEX ranks. Historically speaking, Ringworld was a pure impulse system that was virtually un-managable. The earliest BRP book and CoC was basically a pure initiative system. Mythras is an unusual kind of initiative system where you act once on your initiative and if you have any actions left you act again when your initiative cycles back round.

Because I had a spare hour and I'm a bit of a game mechanic geek, I did have a look at whether it was possible to make SRs into a pure initiative system. Didn't look like it was going to work and you end up with a lot of numbers and overhead simply to figure out who goes first. 

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18 minutes ago, deleriad said:

The authors have tried to make SRs act more like an initiative system but it is still, in my eyes, a hybrid that is further down the impulse line than DEX ranks. Historically speaking, Ringworld was a pure impulse system that was virtually un-managable. The earliest BRP book and CoC was basically a pure initiative system. Mythras is an unusual kind of initiative system where you act once on your initiative and if you have any actions left you act again when your initiative cycles back round.

You can call it an impulse system with each action having the same cost in terms of impulses (1).

The impulse-like nature of classic RuneQuest and classic CoC is particularly evident with missile fire: you fire, then wait to reload, then fire again if you have enough SR. In CoC you fire twice or thrice, depending on the weapon. Melee combat resembles more a pure initiative system as you usually attack once on a given SR. However, this new dual wielding rule has made melee combat impulse-like, too, as you can strike, then strike again if you have the SR for that particular weapon.

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1 hour ago, RosenMcStern said:

You can call it an impulse system with each action having the same cost in terms of impulses (1).

The impulse-like nature of classic RuneQuest and classic CoC is particularly evident with missile fire: you fire, then wait to reload, then fire again if you have enough SR. In CoC you fire twice or thrice, depending on the weapon. Melee combat resembles more a pure initiative system as you usually attack once on a given SR. However, this new dual wielding rule has made melee combat impulse-like, too, as you can strike, then strike again if you have the SR for that particular weapon.

Yes, and one of the good things about it is that, unlike with a standard initiative system archers with readied missile weapons can shoot opponents 30 feet away before they can close the distance and attack in melee. 

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6 hours ago, deleriad said:

Because I had a spare hour and I'm a bit of a game mechanic geek, I did have a look at whether it was possible to make SRs into a pure initiative system. Didn't look like it was going to work and you end up with a lot of numbers and overhead simply to figure out who goes first. 

I guess this is what frustrated us back then. The SR method offered so much tactical possibilities but were constrained to be "only" an initiative system (at least in melee). In RQG, making it work more like an impulse system basically requires removing constraints and "special" rules. An exemple of that is the distinction between how combat works within melee and outside of melee. Remove the distinction, only keep the flow as per outside of melee. Also remove the constraint on number of attack per weapon and you move closer to pure impulse. Doing so greatly diminishes the need for distinctive rules around dual welding and splitting attacks.

Going back 30 years ago, removing similar constraints in RQ3 made fights simpler, more fluid and much more enjoyable to us. We found it very liberating. Choosing weapons were less dictated by how they could be used within the rules and more about the benefits they provided. Dual wielding provided flexibility and redundandy at the price of extra skills, 2 handed weapons provided extra damage and were favored by big burly warriors but they were vulnerable to losing the weapon and weapon and shield offered maximum defense.

 

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7 hours ago, deleriad said:
  • Roughly speaking, an impulse system is action-based while initiative is character-based.

I never thought about that but it's a very good observation.

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On 7/9/2018 at 3:49 PM, simonh said:

I also prefer the Elric! multiple-weapons rule. If you have two weapons (including weapon and shield) and your score a critical parry, you may immediately make an attack with the other weapon. Note that a Crit in Elric! is equivalent of a special success in RQ, at 1/5 skill chance.

I really like that rule and it jives nicely with my real life experience. I've fought plenty with two weapons (sword and dagger, mostly). Using two weapons is something that gives you a big benefit primarily via an increase in defense (and by increasing your offensive options after having made the parry, ie. as you make the parry you have a free hand with an unengaged weapon available to do it's thing right then while the opponent - who is in range because of having made the attack - has nothing). It doesn't really play out like a double your attacks kind of thing in practice.

Yes, a shield (or buckler, which is again something I have plenty of experience in) will usually be even better than another weapon for this, but requires a distinct skill set (then again so does two-weapon fighting vs. single weapon). For game purposes, I'd be inclined to give two weapons a distinct bonus of some sort over using a shield though (as long as the shield is clearly superior in a defensive sense) and the above rule seems about perfect.

Edited by Grievous

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35 minutes ago, Grievous said:

Yes, a shield (or buckler, which is again something I have plenty of experience in) will be even better than another weapon for this, but requires a distinct skill set (then again so does two-weapon fighting vs. single weapon). For game purposes, I'd be inclined to give two weapons a distinct bonus of some sort over using a shield though (as long as the shield is clearly superior in a defensive sense) and the above rule seems about perfect.

I think the main advantage of a shield is it's so easy to use. I know fighting effectively with a shield is a distinct skill and there are many ways to use it in specific defensive and offensive moves, but when it comes right down to it, a big shield is about as good a portable protective barrier as you can possibly get. How does this sound:

Any warrior can declare that they have also trained to fight with a shield, and get their full weapon skill chance to parry with a shield for free. This is due to the ease of use of a Shield in defence compared to other options. It just doesn't take all that long to train effectively with a shield.

Any warrior wanting to use another weapon such as an axe, sword or mace off-hand does so at a base of half normal chance, which can be increased from there. When doing so, if they score a special success parry against a failed attack, instead of the normal result they may instead choose to make a 'riposte' attack immediately.

That makes two weapon use a little more effective but at the cost of increased training/skill points requirements for the same skill chance. And of course shields also get the usual advantages of fighting in formation and defence against missiles and such.

Edited by simonh

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On 7/9/2018 at 5:53 PM, Atgxtg said:

I think it's a matter of opinion and preference. To those who prefer simplicity going by DEX "works better." To those who like to factor in other factors such as character reach, weapon length, distance moved, range and such, Strike Ranks "work better."

To me, there is also the fact SRs for the same kind of actions tend to be the same from one character to another. Most 1 handed melee attacks will occur on SR 7, for instance. And you'll have to rely on DEX to tell who goes first...

I also prefer to have as few derived attributes as possible.

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