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Old 03-07-2023, 02:43 PM   #1
Shostak's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Two-handed Weapons Disincentivized

The Shield Expertise thread brought up the notion that two-handed weapons are disincentivized by the Legacy Edition, and it seems worth breaking the subject off to explore in its own thread. What follows does not necessarily reflect what I think are good decisions for character building from a role-playing perspective--far from it, in fact.

Aside from the polearms, the lowest-ST standard two-handed weapon appears at ST 13óthe bastard sword, which inflicts 3d-2 damage (average 8.5). Consider the following two 36-point characters (attribute values in parentheses are starting values for 32-point characters, and talents in parentheses were obtained with XP expenditures).

ST (9) 13
DX 12
IQ 11
MA 10

Sword 2
Shield 1
Shield Expertise 2
Weapon Expertise (Sword) 3
Wojciak starts out with a rapier and then bumps up to a larger weapon ever time he spends XP on ST, but he enjoys the benefits of Shield Expertise and Weapon Expertise right from the start, so with a small shield, stops 2 hits from the front with no DX penalty. He also imposes -2DX on all foes from the front, thanks to his expertise talents. Counting his damage bonus from Weapon Expertise, his swords do the following average damage:
ST 9 rapier: 4.5
ST 10 saber: 6
ST 11 shortsword: 7
ST 12 broadsword: 8
ST 13 bastard sword (one-handed): 9
As can be seen, with 700XP, he has doubled his average damage.
It is worth pointing out that, as a starting character, Wojciak can learn talents IQ 11 and below.
ST 13
DX (11) 12
IQ (8) 11
MA 10

Sword 2
(Weapon Expertise [Sword] 3)
Dzonka begins play with a two-handed bastard sword, which on average deals 8.5 points of damage). In a fight against Wojciak, heís at a distinct disadvantage, making attacks with an adjusted DX of 9 if he goes unarmored and at 7 if he wears leather. Wojciak will, on average, inflict more points of damage each turn than Dzonka, and his shield will protect from most of the damage inflicted by Dzonka. It will take Dzonka 700 XP to raise DX and IQ sufficiently to learn Weapon Expertise [Sword], which will cost him an additional 1500 XP. Even after he learns this talent, heís still at a serious disadvantage when fighting Wojciak, since his foe will strike first, hit more frequently, and stop more hits, and, after the benefit of Weapon Expertise, a one-handed bastard sword does almost the same damage as Dzonkaís expertly weilded two-handed one (9 versus 9.5).
As a starting character, Dzonka is limited to IQ 8 talents.
What other aspects of the Legacy Edition might disincentivize two-handed weapons?
* * * *
Anthony Shostak
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