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Old 09-06-2020, 03:47 PM   #1
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Questions about fencing and two-weapons skills

I'm a bit puzzled about some aspects of the fencing skill, especially when using a main-gauche.

From the section on left-handed weapons, we see:
Left-Hand Weapons
The left-hand dagger, or main-gauche, acts as a shield to
parry 1 hit per attack, from non-missile, one-handed weapons
only, from your front hexes. If you take an attack option,
you can also make a separate dagger attack against the same
enemy. It is rolled at -4 DX.
A figure with the Two Weapons talent can fight effectively
So, a character (any character) with a main-gauche can decrease hits by one and attack with the main-gauche in the same turn. This doesn't require fencing or two-weapons skill.

In the Fencing skill we learn that Fencers get an extra die if they choose Defend (so that the attacker will roll five dice rather than four). Also, the Fencer has two-weapons skill when it comes to fencing weapons.

So, my first question is: suppose I parry with the main-gauche as a Fencer, while attacking with my rapier (say). Do I stop three hits (one for using a main-gauche and two for the two-weapons skill)? I tend to think so.

Edited to change my second question, which I see was off.

In the Two-Weapons skill, you can choose to parry with both weapons, adding one die to the to-hit roll and stopping four hits. So, just to check and see if I understand, the Fencer has two purely defensive options:

(1) He can defend and the attacker must roll five dice to hit. This choice stops none of the hits unless the Fencer is using main-gauche (in which case it stops one hit as usual).

(2) He can parry with both weapons. The attacker rolls four dice to hit and four hits are prevented (five if one of the weapons is a main-gauche).

Does that sound right?

Last edited by phiwum; 09-06-2020 at 10:41 PM. Reason: Reread the text and see where I was off.
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:27 AM   #2
JimmyPlenty
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Questions about fencing and two-weapons skills

You are reading that right as far as I can see. Pretty powerful stuff, mind you, it is all defensive and no aggression. But useful to try to escape and live another day.
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:54 AM   #3
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Questions about fencing and two-weapons skills

Thanks for the confirmation, Jimmy.

In looking carefully at these rules, I discovered I was making an error with my starting stats PC using a main-gauche. His stats are ST 9, DX 12, IQ 11, the bare minimums for a fencer. But a main-gauche has a DX -1 modifier, so he can use two rapiers, but not a rapier and main-gauche! A bit odd.

The two-weapons skill has an additional comment that makes me wonder. The text reads:
Any character can
fight with two weapons at once if one of the weapons
is a dagger, main-gauche, or spike shield, or if some
combination like net-and-trident or two cesti is being used.
Now, as far as I know, the only attack with a spike shield is shield rush. If we take this text literally, it seems to say that any character with a spike shield can attack with his primary weapon AND shield rush with adjDX -4 on the same turn. (Curiously, it does not seem that one can do this with a regular shield.)

This seems implausible, but it's what the text implies.

Another issue that seems to follow from this is that a character with two weapons and a spike shield (which is, after all, a weapon) can avoid two extra hits by "parrying" with the spike shield each turn. Again, on a literal reading, he couldn't do this with a regular shield.

Here's what seems sensible to me:
  1. A shield rush can't be a second attack. You can't hit with one weapon at the same time you're rushing forward to knock someone down.
  2. Maybe (maybe!) a two-weapon skilled character could get an additional hit-stopping benefit when using a shield, but it wouldn't depend on what kind of shield.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:42 AM   #4
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Questions about fencing and two-weapons skills

Personally, I do not support the interpretation that you add the hits-stopped by a main gauche used normally to those gained when it is used as a parrying weapon under the Two Weapons talent. The rules are not explicit in every case, but generally you don't get to stack capabilities that come from different options or talents - it's either/or - and most of the game breaking ideas people bring up result from violating this principle. So, I'd say you should either reap the benefits of the MG following the 'LH weapons' rules, or those from the Two Weapons talent, but not stack.
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Old 09-07-2020, 11:44 AM   #5
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Questions about fencing and two-weapons skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
Personally, I do not support the interpretation that you add the hits-stopped by a main gauche used normally to those gained when it is used as a parrying weapon under the Two Weapons talent. The rules are not explicit in every case, but generally you don't get to stack capabilities that come from different options or talents - it's either/or - and most of the game breaking ideas people bring up result from violating this principle. So, I'd say you should either reap the benefits of the MG following the 'LH weapons' rules, or those from the Two Weapons talent, but not stack.
Okay, that seems plausible, though it also should be explicit in the rules for Fencer.

Let's assume your interpretation is the right one. See if you agree with these options for a rapier/main-gauche combination, ignoring strange options like parrying with the rapier and attacking with main-gauche.
  1. Attack with both as normal. Main-gauche stops one hit, adjDX is -1 and main-gauche attack is additional -4 DX. (NOTE: DX13 required for this option, since the main-gauche has a 1 DX penalty.)
  2. Attack with rapier and parry with main-gauche. Stop 2 hits, no penalty for using main-gauche in this way and it can parry two-handed weapons.
  3. Parry with both weapons. Add one die to attacks against the Fencer and stop four hits.
  4. Defend. Add two dice to attacks against the Fencer. (If DX is 13, main-gauche can stop one hit?)
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Old 09-07-2020, 03:17 PM   #6
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Questions about fencing and two-weapons skills

I agree with Jimmy that I don't think Main Gauche is supposed to stack its hits stopped with the Fencing / Two Weapon talent's ability to stop hits by parrying with a weapon.

After all, I don't think a Main Gauche would be more effective than parrying with a full-sized sword in the left hand.
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Old 09-07-2020, 03:29 PM   #7
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Questions about fencing and two-weapons skills

Also, SJ has clarified in postings here that the MG does not get a -1 DX penalty. The book is obviously ambiguous, with its modifier of '1' instead of some negative number in the tables. But all the fighter cards assume zero penalty, and it appears to be correct. So, the basic trade off is, would you rather have -1 protection vs. all physical attacks from the front and access to Shield Expertise talentt (small shield) or -1 protection vs. only 1H melee weapon attacks, plus a little 1d-1 damage extra attack at -4 adjDX?
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Old 09-07-2020, 04:31 PM   #8
hcobb
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: Questions about fencing and two-weapons skills

"110 The DX penalty for a main-gauche should be -1."
by https://thefantasytrip.game/resources/errata/

What exactly are the talents that apply to the main-gauche?
__________________
-HJC
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:21 PM   #9
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Questions about fencing and two-weapons skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
Also, SJ has clarified in postings here that the MG does not get a -1 DX penalty. The book is obviously ambiguous, with its modifier of '1' instead of some negative number in the tables. But all the fighter cards assume zero penalty, and it appears to be correct. So, the basic trade off is, would you rather have -1 protection vs. all physical attacks from the front and access to Shield Expertise talentt (small shield) or -1 protection vs. only 1H melee weapon attacks, plus a little 1d-1 damage extra attack at -4 adjDX?
As hcobb points out, the current errata says the there's a -1 DX. I haven't seen SJ's posts to the contrary.

I laid out my current understanding of the rules in my previous post. Anyone see anything wrong with them? (I asked Lars originally since I was replying to him, but I'd take answers from anyone. He has no particular obligation to answer.)
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:22 PM   #10
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Questions about fencing and two-weapons skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I agree with Jimmy that I don't think Main Gauche is supposed to stack its hits stopped with the Fencing / Two Weapon talent's ability to stop hits by parrying with a weapon.

After all, I don't think a Main Gauche would be more effective than parrying with a full-sized sword in the left hand.
A good point.
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