People were asking why the single option was there. I simply gave an example of when and why it would be applicable.duncan_disorderly wrote:That's 'cos the rulebook is a generic one, rather than being tied to a setting/culture. The rules tell us that even if you can't currently use a shield, you might as well learn to use it since it costs the same, and you can use the same skill without having the shield to hand...
I apologise if anyone took offense at my answer, none was by any means intended. But just because a rule has a little leeway in it, it doesn't necessarily mean you should always manipulate it to maximum technical effect. It is there for a specific reason, usually that of setting adaptability.
Historically people learned a combination of techniques all together. With sword and shield not only do you learn how to use the s&s as a cohesive style, but you also learn what to do if your shield gets hacked off your arm, or your sword is knocked from your hand, or one of your arms is incapacitated.This is having your cake and eating it though. Your chance of parrying an attack using your "Sword & Shield" style without a shield is undiminished because even when using a shield you use your sword to parry some blows - This also doesn't affect our chance if you have the shield but not the sword. However if you have some other weapon it does?
This is because fighting is not a sport where where you can say, okay Fred, you got my arm, lets reset and try again. In a real fight you don't get a second chance, so you also train in all the contingencies of what might go wrong.
In RQII the default model is that the warrior learns this style as a cohesive whole. He doesn't just train with the sword and shield in combination, but he also practices for those other situations where things have gone wrong. Of course he is still at a tactical disadvantage when he loses a weapon (shields don't inflict much damage, whereas swords don't parry as much damage), but we don't reduce his skill since he would have trained for this circumstance.
It may sound odd to be allowed to switch to the best two weapon combination style when you are reduced to a single weapon which is common to both, but it is in my experience realistic.
Now we could break down the model into individual skills for sword and shield. But then we're back to the metagame issues of requiring two separate skills for one fighting style, placing it Improvement Rolls-wise at a disadvantage, which Styles were introduced to fix.
Oh I agree, its probably not normal for every weapon skill to be equal. Just like I'd never expect Climbing, Jumping and Throwing to be exactly the same either. Yet these are clustered under one skill for ease of use, and saving of Improvement Rolls.Mongoose Pete wrote:but not, surely, normal for everyone to be equally proficent with every cultural weapon. If we were going to go this route, we might as well simplify the entire system down to 3:16's "Fighting ability" and "Non-Fighting Ability" and save space on the character sheet!
However I can say that in general, an athlete can outperform me in those particular skills, just as a professional soldier is better at rifle shooting, knife fighting, wrestling and grenade throwing than most bankers. So a group skill can still be differentiated between professions or individuals.
If the GM want's to focus more on non-combat skills then he's at liberty to condense the weapon skills as he wants. Just like the GM can set the number of spells catered for under the Grimoire skill too.
Umm (assuming I haven't misinterpreted you), Combat Styles are a designed flexibility within the core rule set, not a house rule. Whether you apply them inclusively or exclusively they still work.I don't really like this as an answer (I like it as a solution. - I prefer the traditional attack and parry skills with each weapon as it allows more variation and choice). While any game will inevitably attract house-rules, the more that are necessary, the less attractive the rules are, especially when they affect a major element of the game. If you have to tell potential new players to ignore every other section in the book, you might as well be playing a different game to start with!