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Old 03-10-2011, 05:09 PM   #1
NMatuzic
 
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Default Help a n00b - Wielding dual weapons

Hi all,

Recently I began running a GURPS campaign in a fantasy setting. It's been going pretty well, but combat is slow due to us all still learning the rules. That being said, things are beginning to speed up... slowly... =P

One thing I am wondering about is how wielding dual weapons work? I'm not sure what the benefits are, and whether I'm understanding the rules correctly or not, so can someone please clarify things for me?

Do you only get to attack with two weapons using the All-Out Attack? Because if that's the case I don't see any benefit over wielding a single weapon.

If someone can set things straight, it'd be most apreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help a n00b - Wielding dual weapons

See the Dual Weapon Attack rules on B417, and the Dual Weapon Attack technique on B230. If you have Martial Arts, there is also a little more about the technique on p. 83.

The other reason to wield two weapons is that you can parry with either. The Main-Gauche skill (B208) is very valuable here.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help a n00b - Wielding dual weapons

An untrained fighter can perform two attacks instead of one, but suffers -4 to both attacks and another -4 to the off-hand.

The Dual-Weapon Attack (skill) technique can be learned to remove the first -4 (it must be specialized by weapon skill or unarmed skill). Ambidexterity (universal) or Off-Hand Weapon Training (either the thechnique or the perk) can be used to negate the -4 to the off-hand.

Finally, you get to parry with your other weapon too.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help a n00b - Wielding dual weapons

You want to see p.B417 for the full lowdown that Basic gives, though if you had been observant you might have noticed the technique on p.B230, or the entry in the melee attack modifiers section.

To summarize, you may exchange one attack for a dual-weapon attack. (Yes, you could even do this in an AoA(Double), just remember you can only trade one attack.) This let's you use two ready weapons to make two attack rolls, each at -4 plus the off-hand penalty if applicable. If you target one foe they will find it harder to defend against your attacks.

Of course even without using both weapons offensively, you always the defensive benefits for dual wielding. You can make multiple parries with either weapon, meaning more parries total, and can use both weapons against one attack if you are taking an AoD(Double). Importantly, Main-Gauche skill is exempt from off-hand penalties for parrying.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help a n00b - Wielding dual weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinadon View Post
Importantly, Main-Gauche skill is exempt from off-hand penalties for parrying.
And from the -1 when Parrying using a knife. Note that Attacking with an MG still suffers a -4 unless you have OHWT.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help a n00b - Wielding dual weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by NMatuzic View Post
Do you only get to attack with two weapons using the All-Out Attack? Because if that's the case I don't see any benefit over wielding a single weapon.
Usually there isn't much benefit. GURPS is brutal about the difficulties of using two weapons at once. Unless you have points in Dual Weapon Attack and or Ambidexterity it simply isn't worth doing, even then the gain isn't a huge one.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help a n00b - Wielding dual weapons

I may cover the same ground as preceding posts, but I'm trying to make this answer comprehensive.

I. By default, you may attack once per turn, and parry/block once per turn per hand, unpenalized. Thus, the main benefit of a second weapon is the extra defense. A really good choice for the second weapon is a shield, because it gives a defense bonus. If you won't need to make an extra defense, you can use the second weapon to cross-block to get +1 to parry. Otherwise, the reasons for using a second weapon are for versatility, frex a sword in one hand for reach, and a knife in the other for close combat. Of course, you also get redundancy; if you drop one weapon, you still have another.

II. All-Out Attack has several options, and one of them is to attack twice. That can either be two attacks with the same hand, or one attack with each hand. If the latter, your foe suffers a -1 penalty to defend against each attack, as he has to pay attention to both threats, unless he has a special trait (such as a certain cinematic technique) to waive the penalty.

III. If as a non-cinematic fighter you buy the advantage Extra Attack, the second attack in one turn must be with a different limb than the first. You can also buy Dual-Weapon Attack as a technique, which is cheaper, but specific to a certain weapon. As a non-cinematic fighter, you can raise the Dual-Weapon Attack technique above default with a style perk, Unusual Training, which may carry a GM-imposed limitation like "both attacks must target the same foe" in order to make it more realistic. Extra Attack is more cost-effective if you want to be able to use this trick with lots of skills. Again, your foe takes a -1 penalty to defend against both weapons. Also, you can combine Rapid Strike with Dual Weapon Attack (or Extra Attack), although the penalties pile up.

IV. If as a cinematic fighter (Trained by a Master or Weapon Master) you have Extra Attack with the enhancement Multi-Strike, then you may choose a Dual-Weapon Attack for one of the strikes, and you can Rapid Strike with each, leading to some crazy attack frequency but that's why it's cinematic. Of course, there's still no reason to ignore the shield as a choice for a second weapon, for you can punch with it for thrust damage, attack with the rim for swing damage, shove, and feint quite effectively all the while benefitting from its bonus to defense.

EDIT: V. If you use a hafted weapon, you may be able to make a "dual attack" with it, treating the second attack as a staff blow. Two-handed weapons don't give you a second unpenalized defense, but per Martial Arts they halve the penalty for multiple parries. With many of them, you may have to use a Defensive Attack in order to parry on the same turn.

Hope that's clear!

GEF

PS: Summary of costs to be maximally effective with dual weapons:

[1] Style Perk: Off-Hand Weapon Training for secondary weapon (omit if Ambidextrous or if secondary weapon is a shield)
Note: If secondary weapon is a natural weapon, replace with Style Perk: Extra Option, or omit if allowed by GM
[1] Style Perk: Unusual Training for cinematic technique Dual Weapon Attack (omit if a Weapon Master or Trained by a Master)
[1] Style Perk: Technique Mastery for Dual Weapon Attack
[6] Technique: Dual Weapon Attack raised to level of skill+1, for primary weapon skill
[6] Technique: Dual Weapon Attack raised to level of skill+1, for secondary weapon skill (omit if same as primary)

Total cost 15 or less, may require at least 5 points in the two weapon skills of an appropriate style which includes these perks, otherwise may require a total of 18 points in combat skills not including these techniques, in order to support the needed number of style perk slots.

This is not a cheap build, and a comparable 16 extra points in a weapon skill gives +4, with all of the options that entails (calling shots, rapid strikes, using other techniques effectively even from default, fighting in torchlight, making room for other style perks). It is not clear to me that being good at dual weapon attack is better than just being good.

Consider this houserule: Require Dual-Weapon Attack to specify a combination of weapons. Thus, DWA (dual axe/maxe) is different from DWA (axe/mace and shield). However, the axe'n'shield fighter, who already bears the cost of raising two separate combat skills, needn't also buy two separate DWA techniques. Suppose he has Shield 16, Axe/Mace 15, and DWA at skill -2; then he could attack once with the axe at full skill of 15, or with both weapons at 14 and 13 respectively. Note that shields are really good for shoving, especially with the "Shoves and Tackles" perk from Power-Ups 2. If you succeed in toppling a foe with a shove, he has a harder time both attacking and defending unless he's proficient with the Groundfighting technique. It can end the fight, especially if he's wise enough to surrender, so a cut'n'shove combo is one chance to injure and one chance to gain a decisve advantage. Damage from a shield is relatively weak, but the strong shove makes a Feint credible. A weapon-and-shield fighter would be wise to buy up Shield to a higher level and raise Feint to max. Then he can switch between sword, spear, axe, mace, or pick in his primary hand as the occasion demands, always using the shield to control the opponent, for instance to open him up for a relatively clumsy attack from the primary weapon.

Last edited by Gef; 03-10-2011 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help a n00b - Wielding dual weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
And from the -1 when Parrying using a knife. Note that Attacking with an MG still suffers a -4 unless you have OHWT.
If you use a Main-Gauche instead of a Knife (aka one with the right type of hilt) there is no -1 for parring with a knife.

Dual Weapon Technique (Rapier) would let you fight with fight twin raipers with reduce penalty (equal to how many level you bought it)

Like wise Dual Weapon Technique (Main-Gauche) would let you fight with fight twin Main-Gauche with reduce penalty

But to attack at the same time with a mixed Rapier/Main-Gauche you need to by both.

But a common house rule is to allow Dual Weapon Technique (Rapier/Main-Gauche) which would let you fight with the combo... how ever will not help you fight with twin forms.
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help a n00b - Wielding dual weapons

My longest lasting PC in a now defunct arena game was a dual wielding Rapier fighter.

This was very exciting for me.

Here're some things other people have said that were useful:

1. Dual Weapon Attack, which I maxed out as a technique. This gives me two attacks, and the opponent has a -1, *without* having to AoA.
2. I could parry with either hand. Let's say I had to parry twice and I had one weapon, I'd have to parry once, then parry again with a penalty to that parry. But with two weapons, I could parry with my right hand, then parry with my left hand. No penalty.

Now, here are some other things that were really useful:
1. I can cross parry. Sure that gives you a +1 to parry, but more importantly, it adds the weapons's weights together for the purpose of parrying heavy weapons. Which means I could parry a heavier weapon than I otherwise could without risking weapon breakage.

2. You can not parry an attack from the opposite side of your weapon. With dual weapons, you have a weapon on both sides...so you can always parry (unless of course the enemy starts their attack from the rear...but that's a different situation).

3. Let's say you have 24pts to spend on skills. And let's say you also have a DX 12.

Broadsword and Shield spends 12pts on Broadsword (DX/A for DX+3 or Skill-15) and 12pts on Shield (DX/E for DX+4 or Skill-16)
Broadsword-15
Shield (Medium DB2)-16
So...Parry 10 +2DB, Block 11 +2DB
Feint-15.

Double Rapier guy? spends 24pts on Rapier (DX/A for DX+6 or Skill-18)
Rapier-18
Parry-12
Feint-18

The Double Rapier guy is going to be able to target hit locations more easily, will be able to deceptive attack more easily...basically will be able to absorb more penalties than Broadsword/Shield guy will be able to do.

Also while it looks like Broadsword and Rapier both have Parries of 12, that isn't always true. If you attack the Broadsword guy from his weapon side, he loses his Defense Bonus and that parry goes down to 10. The Rapier guy keeps the 12 no matter the side.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: Help a n00b - Wielding dual weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
Broadsword and Shield spends 12pts on Broadsword (DX/A for DX+3 or Skill-15) and 12pts on Shield (DX/E for DX+4 or Skill-16)
Broadsword-15
Shield (Medium DB2)-16
So...Parry 10 +2DB, Block 11 +2DB
Feint-15.
I suspect it might look more like EITHER 24pt for Broadsword-18, carrying a shield for the defense bonus without a skillful block, or ELSE 20pt for Shield-18 and 2pt for Spear-12 and 2pt for Axe/Mace-12. Either yields a higher Feint and better defense against one attack per turn, and the latter gives some versatility.

GEF

Last edited by Gef; 03-11-2011 at 10:05 AM.
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