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Old 03-06-2018, 12:29 PM   #11
Anthony
 
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Default Re: What's the point of dual wielding?

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
The combat mode that's hardest to make effective isn't one-handed weapon/shield, one-handed weapon/one-handed weapon, or two-handed weapon – it's wielding a single one-handed weapon and leaving the other hand empty.
The realistic reason for this stance is that the stance required to use two weapons is either balanced or places your parrying weapon in the forward hand, while a single sword is used in your forward hand. This has a fairly significant effect on reach, though it's mostly below the resolution of GURPS.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:56 PM   #12
Kromm
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Default Re: What's the point of dual wielding?

I can't think of too many weapon-only, one-hand-forward fighting styles that aren't optimized for fighting other people who fight the same way. In a setting where you could quite literally face anything – teeth, claws, horns, knives, one-handed swords, two-handed swords, entangling weapons, flails, cinematic flails with a dozen spiked heads, clubs, 100-lb. clubs, hails of arrows, fireballs, magical death rays, etc. – leaving a hand empty seems ill-advised. I suspect that overall, weapon-and-shield is the safest bet, so even if you plan mostly to fight with a boldly presented sword, you'd be well-advised at least to carry a little buckler, "just in case."
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:55 PM   #13
Anthony
 
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Default Re: What's the point of dual wielding?

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
I can't think of too many weapon-only, one-hand-forward fighting styles that aren't optimized for fighting other people who fight the same way.
Well, they were originally optimized for use against people who were using a parrying dagger. They are, however, pretty strictly single combat styles.
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:00 PM   #14
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: What's the point of dual wielding?

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In a setting where you could quite literally face anything... leaving a hand empty seems ill-advised. I suspect that overall, weapon-and-shield is the safest bet, so even if you plan mostly to fight with a boldly presented sword, you'd be well-advised at least to carry a little buckler, "just in case."
The big problem with a shield is that useful ones are heavy - at least 8 lbs for a DB 1 small shield. If you're optimizing for low encumbrance to increase your Move and Dodge, and you don't want intend to engage in melee very often, it can make sense to fight with a single one-handed weapon when you have to fight in melee.

You mostly see it with Scouts, who don't really intend to fight in melee EVER, but might carry an emergency shortsword or long knife for dealing with things that are immune to ranged attacks. Thieves often want to do a single backstab and then go run behind the Knight, so learning a single weapon skill and carrying a single weapon without a shield can make sense.

I do agree that if you plan to fight in melee regularly, you need a plan to use both your hands. Dual weapon leverages a single skill and Weapon Master, so it's appealing out of the gate. I've seen more starting swashbucklers with Rapier-20 or Saber-20 and twin edged rapiers or twin sabers than I've seen swashbuckers with Rapier/Saber-19 and Shield-17/Main-Gauche-16 for exactly this reason.
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Old 03-06-2018, 04:21 PM   #15
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Default Re: What's the point of dual wielding?

I just want to make the simple observation that there are usually exactly two points when dual wielding, which is a point in its favour over single weapon styles.
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Old 03-07-2018, 01:28 PM   #16
DouglasCole
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Default Re: What's the point of dual wielding?

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Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
The big problem with a shield is that useful ones are heavy - at least 8 lbs for a DB 1 small shield. If you're optimizing for low encumbrance to increase your Move and Dodge, and you don't want intend to engage in melee very often, it can make sense to fight with a single one-handed weapon when you have to fight in melee.
Before I get too persnickety, I recognize that the use case I'm about to describe was pretty limited.

that being said: I had cause recently to make an historically accurate (ish) buckler-grip shield. It was 34" in diameter (half my height), made of aspen, with an oak handle, steel boss, and deer-hide edging, plus linen thread stitching the edging to the wood.

It weighed 5.4 lbs.

It would definitely not fare well against a great-axe (this is what was also observed historically) or a great-ogre. But the way it's used was not like I thought.

Certainly shields could be, and were, heavier. But a DB +2 shield is absolutely possible and plausible in the 4.5-6lb range. DR will be fairly low; the HT of the shield will be higher than you think: it's usually made of rived (the axe version of rift sawing) wood that has very good grain coherency and robustness.

Anyway, I recall that using Low-Tech one can apply Light and other mods to stuff, but it should be possible to have a lightweight DB +2 shield that weighs less than 6 lbs.
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: What's the point of dual wielding?

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Before I get too persnickety, I recognize that the use case I'm about to describe was pretty limited.

that being said: I had cause recently to make an historically accurate (ish) buckler-grip shield. It was 34" in diameter (half my height), made of aspen, with an oak handle, steel boss, and deer-hide edging, plus linen thread stitching the edging to the wood.

It weighed 5.4 lbs.

It would definitely not fare well against a great-axe (this is what was also observed historically) or a great-ogre. But the way it's used was not like I thought.

Certainly shields could be, and were, heavier. But a DB +2 shield is absolutely possible and plausible in the 4.5-6lb range. DR will be fairly low; the HT of the shield will be higher than you think: it's usually made of rived (the axe version of rift sawing) wood that has very good grain coherency and robustness.

Anyway, I recall that using Low-Tech one can apply Light and other mods to stuff, but it should be possible to have a lightweight DB +2 shield that weighs less than 6 lbs.
Given that shields in DF don't have DR, at least not in combat applications, I don't know that this is useful information for DFRPG, at least RAW. That said, I'd probably allow someone a lightweight shield, so long as they understood it would break like a regular melee weapon if used to block something heavy
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: What's the point of dual wielding?

I don't think there would be anything WRONG with permitting a lighter shield with the usual DB and cost, but a risk of breakage. Say:
Lightweight*: A wooden shield can have its standard DB at only 1/3 of its usual weight. Such a shield rarely survives past one combat. Roll 1d after any successful active defense anytime the shield adds its DB; it survives only on a roll equal to or less than DB+2 on a dodge or parry, DB+1 on a block. It's also ruined if it burns for seconds equal to reduced weight. Finally, it gives -1 to damage in bashes and shield rushes. For instance, a lightweight medium shield is DB 2, $60, and 5 lbs.; it breaks on roll of 5-6 on 1d on a dodge or parry, or 4-6 on a block, burns to a crisp in five seconds instead of 15 seconds, and bashes for just thrust-1 (no better than a punch). +0 CF.

* Lightweight is mutually exclusive with dwarven, meteoric, and orichalcum. It means the shield is of thin wooden construction.
This may look too good to be true, but in reality it's a huge drain on cash and encumbrance, because the fighter will probably end up needing one shield per battle, which means carrying extras. That might even be realistic.

And yes, the breakage rules are hugely simplified for the DFRPG, which doesn't track DR, HP, HT, etc. for shields. It also means that you can lose shields to low-ST halflings with daggers, arrows, and so on. If you want, replace my simplification with one that compares attack damage to DB in some way (maybe "Roll damage normally; if basic damage exceeds 5×DB, or just 4×DB on a block, the shield breaks."). This would need playtesting.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:15 PM   #19
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Default Re: What's the point of dual wielding?

A lightweight small shield is $40, 3 lbs. It only has a 50% of surviving a successful use in a Dodge or Parry or 33% if it used to Block.

I don't think my current Scout would bother (if he's resorting to his knife, he doesn't usually have time to put on a shield) but it might be useful for a Thief.
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