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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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