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Imryn

House rule: Dual wielding

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I have read the rules on this topic, and read the “Egregious munchkinnery” thread, and think they have nailed exactly how the rules work in RQG but I just don’t think they are very good.

I started to think about how I would implement off hand weapon use and dual wielding, and decided to come up with some house rules to cover it. And then I decided to post it here so I could get all of your input on it.

Firstly, the RAW makes it way too easy to learn off hand weapon use. The RAW classifies off hand weapon use as a “similar weapon” to main hand weapon use and that’s just not right (IRL terms).

A very few weapon skills are similar enough when switching from right to left hand to have the “similar weapons” rule apply – for instance using bows and crossbows it is possible to switch and still retain a fair degree of accuracy. I am basing this on my training in the military and I know that shooting left handed is not that different to shooting right handed, so I think the 50% of right handed skill is reasonable.

My problem is with almost all of the melee weapons. Wielding a sword is a complex three-dimensional task, and intense training does two things:

·       It develops specific muscles which can’t really be developed any other way.

·       It instils specific reactions that transcend conscious thought.

Trying to wield a melee weapon in the off hand you would not have the specific muscle development, and more importantly every one of the specific reactions that you have learnt would be the opposite of what they should be. Moreover, the more highly trained you were with the weapon in your main hand the harder it would be to use it in your off hand.

So, on to the house rules:

Ground Rules

 

1.       The “half effectiveness” rule is superseded by these rules.

2.       At the GM’s discretion the “half effectiveness” rule can be applied to specific weapons – argue your case!

3.       To use a weapon in the left hand the character must have 1.5 times the minimum DEX needed to use the weapon.

4.       During character creation all skill bonuses must be applied to either a left-hand skill or a right-hand skill. No single bonus can be applied to both.

5.       During character creation if a left-hand skill and a right-hand skill for a weapon are selected the bonuses must be applied so that at the end of the character creation process the two skills are within 5% of each other. (The reason for this is explained below).

Learning Off Hand Weapon Skills

 

All off hand weapon skills start at 5% plus manipulation bonus. Any character can pick up a weapon in their off hand and use it with this level of skill without penalty. If a character decides to train (defined as any activity that results in their skill with that weapon in their left hand increasing) with a weapon in their left hand their skill with that weapon in their main hand decreases by the same number of points as they gain with their off hand.

Example: Our hero has a 70% skill with dagger in their main hand, and decides to train with the dagger in his left hand. His base skill with the dagger in his left hand is 15% (5% plus bonus) and he gains 4% through training. His skill with the dagger in his left hand is now 19% however his skill with the dagger in his right hand drops to 66%.

 

This reduction in ability with the main hand represents the character “un-learning” the reactions he has developed while training with his main hand only.

(The GM should ensure that the during the “retraining” period the player is not simply using the weapon in their left hand until they get a skill check and then reverting to right hand – award skill checks for right hand use as well to slow their progress if they are not being diligent)

During this “retraining” period the skill points can drop on either skill; i.e. if he gains skill points on his right-handed skill, he loses the same number on his left-handed skill. This situation continues until either the characters ability with the weapon in their off hand drops back to 5%+ bonus (representing them giving up on the idea) or their skill with the weapon in their off-hand exceeds their skill with it in their right hand.

This represents them having “unlearned” all of the bad habits they had developed when they only used the weapon in their right hand.

This is the point that newly created characters who have put points into both left- and right-hand skills are assumed to be at.

At this point the character can choose if they want to develop both skills or continue to develop the left handed skill only. If they want to continue with the left-handed skill only, they continue to train that skill and the right-handed skill continues to drop until it reaches 5%+ bonus (This may be lower than the base skill for that weapon – the character is considered to be left handed with this weapon from now on, and the right-handed skill is considered to be the off-hand skill).

If the character wants to develop both left and right handed skills he must train the lower of the two skills, in sequence. He stops losing points from either skill but is only able to increase the skill which has the lowest chance until both left and right handed skills have been mastered (reached 90%)

Example: Our hero has persevered with his left handed dagger training and has raised his skill with the dagger in his left hand to 48% (a total gain of 33%). His skill with the dagger in his right hand has dropped by the same amount, so that is now 47%. He wants to develop both skills so at this point, he must raise the lower of the two skills. He trains with his right hand and gets a 3% increase, giving him 50% with his right hand and remains at 48% with his left hand. Next, he must train with his left hand, and so on, until he reaches 90% with both.

 

Once the character has reached 90% skill with both hands, he is considered to have mastered the weapon and can develop either skill at will.

Learning to Dual Wield Weapons

 

Learning to use a weapon in your left hand does not confer the ability to use the weapon in both hands and combine the attacks successfully; it just teaches you to use the weapon in your left hand.

This allows you to use a sword in your left hand and a shield in your right (assuming you have learnt to use a shield in your right hand) in just the same way as using the sword in your right and the shield in your left.

You can also fight with a weapon in each hand, but you can only attack with one and defend with the other. During the intentions phase you state which hand will attack and which will defend, and then during the round you can make as many attacks with the nominated weapon as SR and attack splitting allow. When parrying you can nominate which weapon you will use for each parry, with the usual cumulative -20% penalty for each parry after the first. This allows you to make a parry with one weapon, and if it is damaged switch to the other weapon for the next parry.

Dual wielding is the ability to fight with a weapon in each hand and use both to attack and parry at the same time. Dual wielding is a separate skill to using either weapon and has to be trained separately.

The basic requirement for dual wielding is have mastered both of the weapons (90% skill), and once this requirement is met you can start a skill to dual wield two specific weapons. Dual wielding broadsword / dagger is a different skill to dagger / broadsword – the first weapon is the one in the right hand and the second is the one in the left hand. Each combination of weapons and hands is a separate skill.

A dual wielding skill should be written on the character sheet in the format “right handed weapon / left handed weapon” to prevent any ambiguity and the character must receive training in order to start the skill at 5% + manipulation bonus. Such training can only be obtained from a master of the skill (the specific skill associated with the specific combination of weapons) or via divine intervention.

The skill can be advanced via experience, research, and training at the GM’s discretion (if I was GM I would make trainers rarer than hens teeth, and obtaining research materials a hard quest).

The player can now opt to use his dual wield skill instead of his individual weapon skills, and successful use of the dual wield skill can gain experience check marks for both that skill and each of the two weapon skills. If the player opts to not use the dual wield skill each of the weapons is used in the manner described above and both can gain an experience check but the dual wield skill cannot.

Using the dual wield skill should be declared in the intentions phase and allows the player to make both attacks and parries with both weapons, but with the dual wield skill chance and not the individual weapon skill chance. Each weapon can be used to attack as many times as normal SR and attack splitting allows, and each weapon can be used to parry with the player able to nominate which weapon will be used for each, with the usual cumulative -20% penalty for each parry after the first. When splitting attacks the dual wield skill percentage is used but each weapon benefits from the full value; if the dual wield skill is 100% each weapon can make 2 attacks at 50%.

Example: Our hero has mastered the dagger in both his right and left hand and wishes to dual wield a broadsword / dagger. Despite the fact that he has a 90% skill with dagger in both his right and left hand, and 90% with broadsword in his right hand, his skill with broadsword / dagger (after he has obtained training) is only 5%+bonus, so only 15%. At the start of each round he must state if he is dual wielding or not, and if not, which hand he is attacking with. If he elects to dual wield, he attacks and parries with both weapons at 15%; if he does not dual wield, he attacks with his nominated weapon at 90% and parries with both at 90%. On mature reflection he decides that a bit of practice and training might be best before he tries dual wielding in combat.

Our hero has a DEX SR of 1, a SIZ SR of 2, the broadsword has an SR of 2, and the dagger has an SR of 4. If our hero were to use dual wielding in combat, he would attack once with the broadsword in SR 5 and once with the dagger in SR 7 with an attack chance of 15% for each attack.

 

Once our hero has trained his dual wield broadsword / dagger skill to 100% he is able to split attacks and would hit once with the broadsword in SR 5, once with the dagger in SR 7, and a second time with the broadsword in SR10. Note that because of the high SR of the dagger he cannot hit more than once regardless of his skill. If his SIZ SR had been 1 instead of 2 he could potentially hit three times with the broadsword (SR’s 4, 8, & 12) and twice with the dagger (SR’s 6 & 12), assuming his skill was high enough to allow that many attacks.

 

 

So, what do you think? I’ve tried to make it a bit more “true to life” without adding too much complexity - I think I have made using two weapons quite a bit less effective than the current rules allow, and made dual wielding two weapons quite a bit more effective, and in the process added a pretty steep hill for the players to climb to get it, that has to be climbed in game and not during character creation.

Edited by Imryn
correcting utter nonsense
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6 minutes ago, Imryn said:

I have read the rules on this topic, and read the “Egregious munchkinnery” thread, and think they have nailed exactly how the rules work in RQG but I just don’t think they are very good.

 

Lovely encapsulation of your thoughts.

Long though, I will have to read and digest to go beyond gist. I did want to note that I think I will use rules as written and just assume that a left handed weapon is not a right handed weapon for all the reason you mention, and conclude that it can be assumed to not be a similar weapon category and to be a difficult weapon to use and as such should have a base of 5%.  as I have mentioned elsewhere. This is all assumed as a right handed guitar player with left handed guitar playing friends.

Still, onwards to reread your tome and think about it. 

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11 minutes ago, Imryn said:

So, what do you think? I’ve tried to make it a bit more “true to life” without adding too much complexity - I think I have made using two weapons quite a bit less effective than the current rules allow, and made dual wielding two weapons quite a bit more effective, and in the process added a pretty steep hill for the players to climb to get it, that has to be climbed in game and not during character creation.

I am hardly a swordmaster, but my experience with latex-foam weapons have shown me that half proficiency as a starting ability is about right. There are numerous things that you have internalized conceptually like balancing, how to translate vertical down movement effectively into weapon speed etc. which translate from primary hand to off-hand without much trouble, but then training two-handed techniques with only one hand with a shinai was one way my intro to kendo has influenced both my two-handed and my off-hand wielding.

The "unlearning the main hand" effect is in my opinion and limited experience way out of the realm of realism. If your default weapon use is "a hand and a half" (two-handed with the option to let go with one of the hands) with a blade that is within single hand use length in relation to your body, then it comes rather natural to use "a hand less" as much for the off-hand as it for the regular leading hand. At 6'5 other peoples' (e.g. folk at 5'2) notion of a claymore is my notion of a spatha.

Off-hand and off-eye archery is a much bigger problem for me than off-hand stick-bashing, parrying etc., as the muscle memory for archery out of motion with some real weight during release is at least as much an issue for this (if your experience is with compound bows, try a recurve or longbow for offhand to see what I mean). The "just hold the weapon still and prepare for the thing kicking upon release" stuff for crossbows, black powder and other such triggered, forceless weapons may be less of an issue.

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I'm not sure why you'd want an off-hand weapon at all. You could always use a two-handed weapon and get more damage.
If you're in an environment where such a weapon's use is limited by law or society, just use a dagger in your off-hand to discourage closing/grappling. Otherwise use that shield!

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I have completely changed the last example. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote it but it was utter nonsense as written.

It is long - longer than I thought it would be when I started writing it, but it just grew as I kept adding specificity to nail down exactly what I meant. A better writer could probably halve the word count without losing any of the meaning.

To expand a bit on my idea of "unlearning the main hand", I was not thinking just of the movements of the arm and hand. A good comparison might be to think of a martial artist doing a kata. A very long and complicated series of punches, kicks, leaps, and tumbles all executed precisely. As I understand it (i'm not a martial artist) the practitioner approaches a zen like state while performing the Kata, thinking only in the moment and the perfect execution of the current movement. The movements flow from one to the next without conscious thought.

Now tell that guy to do the Kata in reverse - every punch with the opposite hand, every kick with the opposite leg, every leap off the opposite foot and every turn in the opposite direction. It would be hilarious to watch. He would have to think about every action he was performing and there would be no flow, no rhythm and absolutely no zen like state. As time went by and he practiced he would get better, but the act of learning the reverse Kata would affect his ability to perform the original kata, because now he would have to remember at each stage which way round the next move needed to be performed.

People with a modicum of skill with a weapon (represented in today's world by casual re-enactors, serious LARPers etc) would have a skill level in game of maybe 40% and would not take long to train in left handed use with my system. People with a very high skill (represented by serious martial artists, competitive fencers etc) would have a skill level in game of 90% or better and would have a much harder time learning to fight with their left hand.

I take your point about bow use, my experience with them is limited to compound or pretty light weight types. I hadn't considered that a serious bow requires a push / pull action to draw and considerable strength to hold at full draw. The muscles used are different for each side of the body so maybe the half experience rule shouldn't apply.

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13 minutes ago, ChalkLine said:

I'm not sure why you'd want an off-hand weapon at all. You could always use a two-handed weapon and get more damage.
If you're in an environment where such a weapon's use is limited by law or society, just use a dagger in your off-hand to discourage closing/grappling. Otherwise use that shield!

Simple answer - I created a character and got a geas not to use shields, so I started thinking of alternatives. A two handed weapon is great but compare a greatsword (2d8 damage plus bonus) with two battleaxes (1d8+2, 1d8+2 plus 2 x bonus). Also, without a shield you have to use your weapon to parry, and eventually it will break. If its a two handed weapon you are now defenseless (and also offenceless, if that's a real word), whereas if you have two battleaxes you just lose one. I agree that shield is the way to go for almost everyone, but an alternative is nice to have.

Edited by Imryn

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I suppose if it was a geas or some other artificial thing like a city ordinance then you'd see that sort of thing. Good point!

Still, I'd be prone to just using a dagger off-hand. Realistically you can swing an axe twice as fast as you can swing two axes once, and you don't leave yourself horribly open while doing so

Edited by ChalkLine

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20 minutes ago, Imryn said:

To expand a bit on my idea of "unlearning the main hand", I was not thinking just of the movements of the arm and hand. A good comparison might be to think of a martial artist doing a kata. A very long and complicated series of punches, kicks, leaps, and tumbles all executed precisely. As I understand it (i'm not a martial artist) the practitioner approaches a zen like state while performing the Kata, thinking only in the moment and the perfect execution of the current movement. The movements flow from one to the next without conscious thought.

Now tell that guy to do the Kata in reverse - every punch with the opposite hand, every kick with the opposite leg, every leap off the opposite foot and every turn in the opposite direction. It would be hilarious to watch. He would have to think about every action he was performing and there would be no flow, no rhythm and absolutely no zen like state. As time went by and he practiced he would get better, but the act of learning the reverse Kata would affect his ability to perform the original kata, because now he would have to remember at each stage which way round the next move needed to be performed.

While I never made it to the kata level in kendo, some of these actually have dual wielding forms. Likewise, escrima has a number of dual wield forms. It is a bit like dancing both left turn waltz and right turn waltz.

There are two ways to approach the zen-like state - blanked out pure muscle memory, or hyper-aware sword-trance like movement where you consider and appreciate the form you are going through. At least the hyper-aware state is something I have experienced on occasion, and that allows you to do things most beautifully effectively with whatever hand you are using.

The kata isn't reversed. It is a different kata, the left-turn waltz rather the right-turn waltz. (Or vice versa, depending on whether you are the leading or the led dancer.) Doing things in the opposite direction doesn't wipe out your proficiency in the original direction.

 

20 minutes ago, Imryn said:

People with a modicum of skill with a weapon (represented in today's world by casual re-enactors, serious LARPers etc) would have a skill level in game of maybe 40% and would not take long to train in left handed use with my system. People with a very high skill (represented by serious martial artists, competitive fencers etc) would have a skill level in game of 90% or better and would have a much harder time learning to fight with their left hand.

Serious martial artists would have already gone through forms using the other hand, too - if only in the teacher role in non-solo katas (which I've been told are the harder ones to do even though or maybe because you are obliged to lose the exchange).

Much of the eskrima training appeared to me related to the active-reactive exchange of blows and deflections in kung fu rather than formal katas. Both for single hand and dual wielding.

20 minutes ago, Imryn said:

I take your point about bow use, my experience with them is limited to compound or pretty light weight types. I hadn't considered that a serious bow requires a push / pull action to draw and considerable strength to hold at full draw. The muscles used are different for each side of the body so maybe the half experience rule shouldn't apply.

Holding at full draw is something you don't really do with heavy draw weights (my main beef with Hollywood depictions of historical archery - if you threaten to shoot someone with a bow, you do so at at best half draw, not at full draw). The good instinctive archers take aim during the drawing process and go through a fluid motion rather than attempting to micro-manage the last millimeters on target. Even if you are a systematic arrcher, you don't want to lose your tension trying to micromangage, so you aim to take less than a second between full draw and release.

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it sounds to me from what you have described is that the martial arts you mentioned teach right and left hand at the same time. With my system there would be no hindrance to learning right and left from scratch. The hindrance only comes in when someone is highly trained with right hand and completely untrained with left.

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14 minutes ago, Imryn said:

it sounds to me from what you have described is that the martial arts you mentioned teach right and left hand at the same time. With my system there would be no hindrance to learning right and left from scratch. The hindrance only comes in when someone is highly trained with right hand and completely untrained with left.

Which would be the result of training sword-and-shield combat styles.

Reasons to learn an off-hand attack would be e.g. using a tomahawk or similar throwing axe or maybe a javelin as secondary weapon, especially with a weapon that can be used both in one-handed and two-handed fashion.

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15 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Which would be the result of training sword-and-shield combat styles.

Reasons to learn an off-hand attack would be e.g. using a tomahawk or similar throwing axe or maybe a javelin as secondary weapon, especially with a weapon that can be used both in one-handed and two-handed fashion.

Missile weapons like throwing axes, daggers, darts, javelins etc would be prime candidates for my house rule. Trying to throw something left handed is an embarrassing nightmare that most of us have experienced at one time or another. Now imagine trying to throw left handed with both accuracy and power!

After writing that it occurred to me that you wouldn't really lose any ability with your right hand while learning to throw with your left. Throwing is not a complex learned skill, it is mostly instinctual. maybe I need more words in my epic length house rule 😱

Edited by Imryn

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Just now, Imryn said:

Missile weapons like throwing axes, daggers, darts, javelins etc would be prime candidates for my house rule. Trying to throw something left handed is an embarrassing nightmare that most of us have experienced at one time or another. Now imagine trying to throw left handed with both accuracy and power!

It is possible to wield a long-hilted sword with the off-hand and using the main hand to wield and later let go of the javelin or the tomahawk, without having to ready the longer blade afterwards.

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2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

It is possible to wield a long-hilted sword with the off-hand and using the main hand to wield and later let go of the javelin or the tomahawk, without having to ready the longer blade afterwards.

I don't think you can do it effectively - to effectively wield the sword with your off hand you would have to reverse your body position or you would be off balance and unable to apply any force with the sword. I would say you could release the sword with your right hand long enough to throw the javelin (or whatever) but during that time you could only parry with the sword, not attack.

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This is funny, because not everyone can do this.
For example, I am so horrible right-hand-dominant that I only use two handed weapons. If I try and use a buckler it just follows the right hand weapon around in stupid circles. I've been trying to break this habit for over ten years to no avail

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The main thing I can do worse when taking off one of the hands (regardless which one) is to stop the blow at the end of the swing. Accelerating the blade in a two-handed grip is primarily the job of the left hand, the right hand is mainly responsible for the superior guidance the two-handed grip gives me and to help stop the swinging motion in a two-handed wringing motion. With a secondary attack option in the other hand, immediate retrieval of full control over the long blade is a little less urgent, as the threat or parrying potential from the other hand remains. I have hardly any experience with one-headed head-heavy weapons (heavier axes, hammers, maces), so I cannot comment on that.

I'll have to add that I find the grip of a shinai rather short for my hand size, which might illustrate why I regard its use as a single-handed weapon with either hand as feasible. One-handed off-hand use of a field-hockey club to intercept a ball that might otherwise be outside of my range was definitely a thing I would do, often with enough force to block the opposing player's two-handed grip's force on the ball, too. On the other hand, I suck way more at any racket sport in the off-hand than in the main hand.

In the lab, I use the main hand for operations with the spatulum when moving minuscule amounts of grains of salt into a narrow vessel on the scales, but when it comes to pouring liquids I am effectively ambidextrous.

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13 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The main thing I can do worse when taking off one of the hands (regardless which one) is to stop the blow at the end of the swing...

This is probably irrelevant in Glorantha - you fight for sport (kendo) and fun (foam weapons), not to kill people.

In Glorantha the sword stops on its own once it's stuck into your opponent, so that's one less thing to worry about, right?

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I'm pretty sure the rules say (in a very confusing way) that you have 5% starting in your left hand, and you do not follow the half rule. 

I would just keep that as is to be honest. It's simple and makes sense.

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"As is" is the similar weapons rule applying - i believe Jeff dropped that into the rules clarification thread somewhere. it doesn't matter though, you can play with my rules, or your rules, or Jeff's rules - its your game at the end of the day

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Well I gave it a try and started down the rabbit hole. After a half hour of working though answers it came to me. I have to say that it just seems to be way to much work for a game that I have already paid $160 cdn (shipping sucks) just for a portion of the core rules. Each to their own. 

As a young man in college I discovered D&D. Then I discovered that I disliked this, that and the other about the rules. I quit playing D&D at the point house rules were taking up a page of loose leaf per rule. Had a Notebook full. I had a book I had just been given that seemed to do everything that my home rules and the three core books (PHB DMG and the MM) did in one small book, RuneQuest 2. Figured you might not want to see this in the thread and but I promised an answer, so...

Alas, I do agreed with gochie (even if you have to HR left hand starting at 5%) I like simplicity these days, but was reluctant to say so again (hesitated in sending this post) for fear of setting shit off< I mean,  who needs a flamewar defending his pet project while in the middle of working on his pet project.... In your defence (and the young man who used to be me) tinkering with rules systems is fun, I wish you well, but I will back out of this and seek simpler HRs.

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian
clarity and spelin
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Thanks for the honest assessment Bill. I realise I have written a book to cover something that is simple as in the RAW, and tbh the concept for my house rule is pretty simple in my head, I'm just not able to articulate it in a simple form. I posted it here to get some feedback, and when you ask for feed back you better be prepared to take whatever comes :D

I also started out in D&D and later AD&D and also have boxes full of rule books and notebooks in my storage unit. One bad review isn't going to stop me, but it might inspire me to take a crack at explaining it in a simpler more concise way.

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1 hour ago, Imryn said:

Thanks for the honest assessment Bill. I realise I have written a book to cover something that is simple as in the RAW, and tbh the concept for my house rule is pretty simple in my head, I'm just not able to articulate it in a simple form. I posted it here to get some feedback, and when you ask for feed back you better be prepared to take whatever comes :D

 

Well it is a pain in the ass, to offer an honest opinion in this case. It makes one look weak, but I would rather look it than dive down the hole, be wrong, spend an inordinate amount of time proving I was right, and proving beyond a doubt one is truly pathetic ;)

1 hour ago, Imryn said:

 I also started out in D&D and later AD&D and also have boxes full of rule books and notebooks in my storage unit. One bad review isn't going to stop me, but it might inspire me to take a crack at explaining it in a simpler more concise way.

Nothing wrong with elegance, I think the early Turney Perrin stuff had it in spades. One book, 120 pages with appendices and index! Zounds! Anyway, glad I did not discourage you by stating my opinion. That would have been a waste.

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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So, I've finally taken the time to read through the full tome of the.OP :P

IMO, training off-hand shouldn't penalise your main hand so badly. To do so completely ignores muscle memory and the trained instincts that get developed.Especially from 100% all the way down to a barely competent 50%... 

And, once you do return to the main hand, it doesn't take months (or years) for it to come back.

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Hmm, I think dual wielding is something that games consistently get a bit wonky and I'm saying that as someone who is pretty confidently trained (and teaching) in sword and sword and dagger fighting. The best way to think about it is to see single sword as a skill in itself, and sword and dagger as a skill in itself (also, similarly sword and shield should be a skill unto its own). The idea that without any significant specific training in dual wielding, you'd get half the skill of the main weapon isn't really bad at all - whether half is exactly the right amount is a question, but really gets into the weeds/minutia and raises questions about simulating actual fighting via dice rolling in general.

Another really curious thing to note is that dual wielding isn't really something that lowers your effectiveness overall - quite the contrary. If you give me a sword and dagger, and I'll face an opponent with a single sword*, I will be able to beat fighters of much greater skill due to this disparity in weapon sets  and I don't need much training in sword and dagger to accomplish this advantage. This is a bit difficult to explain very illustratively in words, but I could demonstrate the principle of the thing very easily in real life. The crux of it is, when I parry with the dagger, there is nothing left for you to parry my sword with (and because I just parried your attack, you are almost by definition in measure/range, which means my attack will likely also land).

* if the opponent has a two-handed sword, the situation is different: the mechanics of using a two-handed sword and it's probable greater reach give it a fairly clear advantage against a single, shorter sword. In this case, I'd say the addition of a dagger for the 1h sword fighter helps with bridging the gap, but I would still want to be the 2h sword wielder in this instance in pretty much 100% of the cases. A shield, on the other hand, would change things.

Also, I've spoken mostly about sword and dagger here because of my experience with it, but all this is equally relevant to dual wielding in general. Two equal length swords are a little more difficult to use together than a sword and dagger (you could argue for a larger negative modifier to untrained use), but the principle of a "case of swords" as a style in itself remains.

Edited by Grievous
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Also, it bears saying that the idea that the main benefit from dual wielding is extra damage or an extra attack is very dubious. The main benefit is defensive.

Again, this is difficult to put into text, while it would be very easy to physically demonstrate. You can only really attack with one weapon at a time* - for sure, you can follow that up with a secondary attack fairly quickly if you go all out offensive, but the defender can parry one after the other. What they can't do - as I pointed out above - is attack and defend at the same time, which is what the dual wielder CAN do, and which is the core of the advantage of using two weapons instead of one.

* I'm sure you can argue this with me, but discussing the details of this on the forum is difficult. Yes, you can swing two swords (for example) at the same time in certain ways, but I wouldn't consider that optimal.

BTW, this topic was also discussed on an earlier thread here: 

 

Edited by Grievous
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