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Old 05-26-2019, 08:21 AM   #1
MikMod
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Two Weapons + Spike Shield?

ITL p41: "Any character can fight with two weapons, if one is .. a spike shield"

ITL p41: you can "make an attack with one weapon, and parry with the other, which acts as a shield to stop 2 points of damage..."

So if I equip myself with a spike shield, I can use 2 weapons talent to turn it into a 2 point shield? Or is that a 3 point shield? Since I assume it still protects for 1 point if I 'use' it for a second attack, so why would I lose that point if I parry? And why on earth is the spike shield the only shield I can use like this?

Subsidiary point: Can any character simply use a left handed dagger as a '2 point shield' in every fight without needing shield skill or to lose a point of AdjDX?

I feel I must have missed something (again)

Last edited by MikMod; 05-26-2019 at 09:25 AM. Reason: Chris Rice being pedantic :)
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:52 AM   #2
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Two Weapons + Spike Shield?

I'm assuming you're talking about characters with 2 arms. If that's the case, the weapon is held in one hand and the spike shield in the other. There is no free arm for another weapon. If you have more than 2 arms then that's a different story...
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:08 AM   #3
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Two Weapons + Spike Shield?

The language concerning off handed weapons, spike shields and the main-gauche (as well as various paired weapons like net and trident) are quite confusing, particularly if you mix and match them. But a good common sense guide applies here: if a rules interpretation seems too good to be true then it is not a good interpretation.

My ruling in this case is that the spike shield is just a small shield that an be used to attack as an off handed weapon, making it closely similar to the maine-gauche (the differences being that the maine gauche does 1 point more damage but provides no protection against missiles, whereas a spike shield does protect vs. missiles). I only give the 2 point protection for using an off handed weapon as a shield if you actually know Two Weapons talent and if that weapon is not already a shield.

Two ambiguities of this sort that do concern me a bit are:

- It seems that if you might with a main-gauche or spike shield in the off hand that you retain their protective value on the same turn you use them to attack

- And, when you use one of these two things to deliver an off handed attack, you do not incur a penalty to attack with your main weapon.

Thus, the extra attack is always to your benefit and should be attempted every turn. These are the rulings I follow, but I'm not confident about them because the rules suggest them but don't clearly state them.

Also note that there are several paired weapons that can be used without Two Weapons talent but follow their own rules.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:33 AM   #4
MikMod
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: Two Weapons + Spike Shield?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
a good common sense guide applies here: if a rules interpretation seems too good to be true then it is not a good interpretation.
Totally agree! I'm just not quite sure what a balanced resolution of this would be.

Maybe the idea that 'any character can fight with two weapons if one is a dagger...' has to go - as you have suggested. I mean, you have to have a talent just to have a shield dangling around in your off hand for a start. Something along the lines of 'any character can fight with two weapons as long as one is a dagger, main gauche or spike shield, but with -2 DX' would be better? Although it still gives free access to the massively helpful double-parry option... :/
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:19 AM   #5
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Two Weapons + Spike Shield?

There is a rational set of trade offs that underlies a lot of the rules for stats, equipment and attacks:

1 ST = 1 DX = 1 point of damage = 1 point of protection ~ 1 special quality (e.g., an entangling attack) ~ 1-2 talent points

I think one should always try to interpret the rules in such a way that you stay close to those proportions. Off handed weapons are a little hard to parse this way. E.g., the 'exchange' between a main-gauche and a small shield is that you get a -4 DX 1d-1 damage attack in exchange for being able to use your protection vs. missiles. If you have an adj.DX of 11 to start with, that extra attack has an expected value (avg. damage times avg. chance of success) of 0.4 points of damage per turn, which is traded off against 1 point of protection 'sometimes'. That's close enough to a fair trade that I'd call it even-steven.

Another principle to keep in mind is that it is rare and always clearly specified when you get to stack benefits from multiple sources (e.g., multiple talents or spells). So, if you are thinking of layering a benefit of an off handed weapon on top of a special quality of a unique piece of equipment, that's probably not the intent of the rules.
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:45 PM   #6
MikMod
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: Two Weapons + Spike Shield?

Interesting viewpoint - thank you. That makes sense and is really useful generally!

I've also spotted that the Main Gauche is specifically mentioned as a 1 point parry from 'non-missile, one-handed weapons only' (ITL p111) making it fairly clear it is a fairly limited 1 point shield, but you can use it without a special skill and it allows a free dagger attack at -4 DX.
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:45 PM   #7
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Two Weapons + Spike Shield?

Some people have played so that Two Weapons talent also allows shields to block more hits.

I think it's clear that the intention of the rules is not to have Two Weapons talent be something that makes shields stop 2 more hits. For example:

* It doesn't fit the description.
* The rules would say so.
* There would be an example.
* It's a super-good ability that all shield users would want.
* It's a super-good ability that's kind of better than using Two Weapons with two weapons.
* It's better than the existing new Shield Expertise talent, which clearly DOES add to the damage stopped by shields, and is the talent intended to be used for that.
* It seems silly to me that all the super-duper good shield users would also be trained in the ability to fight with two weapons as a side effect, but most of them would never use that ability.
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:08 AM   #8
MikMod
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: Two Weapons + Spike Shield?

Skarg - can I ask how you would interpret/run these two weapons situations:

Person with AdjDX 12, broadsword and spike shield, sword and shield talents but not two weapons

(a) What DX- on their second attack?
(b) Any DX- on their first attack?
(c) How much damage stopped if they parry with the spike shield?
(d) How much damage stopped if they parry with both weapons?


Person with AdjDX 12, broadsword and dagger, sword talent but not two weapons

(a) What DX- on their second attack?
(b) Any DX- on their first attack?
(c) How much damage stopped if they parry with the dagger?
(d) How much damage stopped if they parry with both weapons?
(e) Is a dagger here exactly the same as a main gauche, or slightly different (since Main Gauche is 'listed' as a one point shield)?

Much appreciated if you have time to look at this. TY.


I also seem to remember we used to run a Parry option as an alternative to Defend, where you could choose to stop an extra 2 points of damage instead of forcing them to roll an extra die. I cannot find this in the RAW so I guess this was based on the assumption from Two Weapons Talent that parrying stops 2 hits.

Aside: I notice the DX requirement for this talent has dropped from 13 to 11... Actually this area has changed slightly from the original rules (Left Hand Weapons), which might explain why I am a bit confused

Last edited by MikMod; 05-27-2019 at 04:45 AM. Reason: to make talents clearer, compare to original rules
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:44 AM   #9
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Two Weapons + Spike Shield?

Some quick answers. All based on RAW from legacy edition materials, after a search for anything on spike shield, main-gauche and left handed weapons; my answers in ALL CAPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikMod View Post
Skarg - can I ask how you would interpret/run these two weapons situations:

Person with AdjDX 12, broadsword and spike shield, sword and shield talents but not two weapons

(a) What DX- on their second attack? NO SECOND ATTACK; THE SPIKE SHIELD DOES DAMAGE ONLY ON A SUCCESSFUL SHIELD RUSH, WHICH CANNOT BE ACCOMPANIED BY ANOTHER ATTACK
(b) Any DX- on their first attack? EITHER SHIELD RUSH OR DO SWORD ATTACK, EITHER AT DX 12
(c) How much damage stopped if they parry with the spike shield? YOU DO NOT 'PARRY' WITH YOUR SHIELD; IF YOU HAVE IT IT ALWAYS REDUCES DAMAGE FROM ATTACKS THROUGH YOUR FRONT HEX SIDE
(d) How much damage stopped if they parry with both weapons? THIS ISN'T A THING IF YOU LACK TWO WEAPONS TALENT. YOU CAN EITHER DEFEND (4D TO HIT YOU AND -1 DAMAGE FROM YOUR SPIKE SHIELD) OR FIGHT NORMALLY (3D TO HIT YOU AND -1 DAMAGE FROM SPIKE SHIELD).


Person with AdjDX 12, broadsword and dagger, sword talent but not two weapons

(a) What DX- on their second attack? -4 IF IT IS A PROPER MAIN-GAUCHE; -6 IF ANY OTHER WEAPON, IN PRINCIPLE INCLUDING A NORMAL DAGGER
(b) Any DX- on their first attack? NONE IF IT IS A PROPER MAIN-GAUCHE; -6 IF ANY OTHER WEAPON, IN PRINCIPLE INCLUDING A NORMAL DAGGER
(c) How much damage stopped if they parry with the dagger? THERE IS NO 'IF YOU PARRY'; IF IT IS A PROPER MAIN-GAUCHE, YOU GET -1 PROTECTION VS. 1 HANDED MELEE WEAPONS ATTACKING THROUGH YOUR FRONT HEX SIDES (ONLY); IF IT IS A NORMAL DAGGER YOU GET NOTHING. IF YOU WANT TO FIGHT DEFENSIVELY, PICK DEFEND OPTION (4D TO HIT YOU; NO PROTECTION)
(d) How much damage stopped if they parry with both weapons? NOT AN OPTION; YOU CAN DEFEND (4D TO HIT YOU, NO PROTECTION)
(e) Is a dagger here exactly the same as a main gauche, or slightly different (since Main Gauche is 'listed' as a one point shield)? THERE ARE PLACES IN THE TEXT WHERE A MAIN-GAUCHE IS DESCRIBED PARENTHETICALLY AS A LEFT HANDED DAGGER, PRESUMABLY TO HELP PEOPLE WHO DON'T RECOGNIZE THE WORD. BUT THEY ARE FUNCTIONALLY DIFFERENT THINGS IN THE RULES: DIFFERENT WEIGHT AND COST, AND QUITE DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS IN COMBAT, OFFENSIVELY AND DEFENSIVELY. THE BOTTOM LINE IS YOU NEED TO SPECIFY YOU ARE USING A MAIN-GAUCHE IF YOU WANT TO FIGHT WITH AN OFF HANDED DAGGER, OTHERWISE YOU WON'T GET MUCH OUT OF IT.

Much appreciated if you have time to look at this. TY.


I also seem to remember we used to run a Parry option as an alternative to Defend, where you could choose to stop an extra 2 points of damage instead of forcing them to roll an extra die. I cannot find this in the RAW so I guess this was based on the assumption from Two Weapons Talent that parrying stops 2 hits. THIS ISN'T A THING. I'VE USED HOUSE RULES LIKE THIS BEFORE, BUT IT IS NOT PART OF RAW, EITHER NOW OR IN THE ORIGINAL EDITIONS

Aside: I notice the DX requirement for this talent has dropped from 13 to 11... Actually this area has changed slightly from the original rules (Left Hand Weapons), which might explain why I am a bit confused
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:13 AM   #10
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Two Weapons + Spike Shield?

I think the rules are spread between three (or more?) places and are not entirely consistent with each other.

The Two Weapons talent (on ITL 41) is the most liberal in suggesting anyone can fight with two weapons if they have not only a main gauche but also they could use an ordinary dagger in the left hand, or a spike shield. However it is also more restrictive than Left-Hand Weapons on ITL 111 in saying that a figure who wants to fight with two full weapons "must have this talent".

ITL 107 is the most restrictive, saying humanoid figures without Two Weapons can only make one attack. But I think it can be considered overruled by more specific rules.

The Left-Hand Weapons rule on ITL 111 I take to be more specific and therefore expands on/overrules ITL 107, but it only mentions main gauche and the Two Weapons talent, and adds that anyone can try to fight as in the Two Weapons talent but at -6 on each attack.

If I were only using the RAW Legacy Edition rules, I would say that the Two Weapons description is the most specific and detailed and overrides all the other rules except the part of ITL 111 which specifically elaborates on Two Weapons saying you actually can try to use two weapons but at -6 on each.

So to Legacy-RAW answer your questions:

Person with AdjDX 12, broadsword and spike shield, sword and shield talents but not two weapons

(a) What DX- on their second attack?
(b) Any DX- on their first attack?
(c) How much damage stopped if they parry with the spike shield?
(d) How much damage stopped if they parry with both weapons?

Answers:
(a)(b) They don't get a second attack. SJ left that in Legacy Edition by mistake.
(c)(d) 1 damage stopped as usual for a Spike Shield. They can Defend with it if they want for enemy 4/DX to hit.


Person with AdjDX 12, broadsword and dagger, sword talent but not two weapons

(a) What DX- on their second attack?
(b) Any DX- on their first attack?
(c) How much damage stopped if they parry with the dagger?
(d) How much damage stopped if they parry with both weapons?
(e) Is a dagger here exactly the same as a main gauche, or slightly different (since Main Gauche is 'listed' as a one point shield)?

(a)(b) GM discretion. I would either say there is no 2nd attack, or they can attack as with a main-gauche attack (-0 for the first attack, -4 with the second attack).
(c)(d) None. Only an actual main-gauche or Two Weapons talent stops damage.
(e) No, since the 1980 Advanced rules, a main gauche has always cost twice as much and weighed more than a dagger.


However, what I would tend to do is also consult the original 1980 Advanced rules to get more info on what Steve changed in the Legacy Edition, because doing so gives me options and also shows what the Two Weapons bit about Spike Shields is talking about.

That is, if you look at the original ITL or Advanced Melee weapon tables, you will find that the notes on Spike Shield read "If used as 2nd weapon, does 1 - 2 damage. DX -4." Aha! Now, since that note changed in Legacy Edition to "If used in shield rush, does 1d-2 damage." it seems to me that Steve probably was trying to edit out the ability to get a second attack from a spike shield (probably for simplicity), but missed the reference inside the Two Weapons talent description.

Also looking at Advanced Melee for how main gauche and a dagger in the left hand work, the situation is also quite different, and also Steve was trying to simplify it for Legacy Edition. In Advanced Melee, a figure attacking with a sword and a main gauche has -4 DX on both attacks.

And in Advanced Melee, you can use two daggers in HTH, at -4 each.

However I don't see an elaboration on using a weapon and ordinary dagger in Advanced Melee - Two Weapons has the same language saying it's possible, but not what the mechanics are. The original weapon table does mention a section titled Combat with Daggers, but I think that's the section in AM with the HTH damage table, which I infer got renamed to "Combat with Bare Hands, Daggers, Cestus, or Club", which only talks about HTH damage.

As for your specific questions in the light of Advanced Melee, I would tend to allow both spike shields and normal daggers to do a second attack (normal daggers just don't stop any damage), but I would choose to play it as in Advanced Melee, where doing so puts both attacks at -4 DX.

How I would actually play would be to re-hash my favorite of the original and new rules, and/or invent how I want to play.
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