Extra CA for Shield and Second Weapon

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sdavies2720
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Extra CA for Shield and Second Weapon

Postby sdavies2720 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:06 am

I'm reading the rules in more depth as preparation for GMing this weekend.

On page 83, the core rules mention that "Shields allow the user an extra Combat Action per round...using two weapons simultaneously also permits the wielder an extra Combat Action per round."

That's a pretty big benefit, and I was expecting to see rules somewhere else that limited it a bit more. But I don't see any other mention.

Is that right: Use a shield and you get another unrestricted CA per round? A character can use it to Charge, or Change Stance, Cast Spell, or Ready Weapon (to pick the more problematic activities).
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ThatGuy
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Postby ThatGuy » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:18 am

Strictly by the book, yes- 1 free CA. But alot of people on the boards have expressed that they house rule the extra CA to be limited to the Shield/extra weapon.
I am one of the house rulers. Seems to make for more balance, but does require a little more attention to who-did-what during book keeping
Let's say, just for argument's sake, you're right...
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Postby Deleriad » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:51 am

I do the same, however players use tokens to track their CAs and I use a different colour token for the bonus CA. E.g. if using poker chips they get 3 white chips for regular CAs and 1 blue one for the bonus.

Strictly speaking, PCs get a bonus CA for a dual-wield combat style while using both weapons: I don't say that they must use the extra CA for the off hand weapon. So someone with a sword & shield style, 3 regular CAs and 1 bonus CA could attack four times with a sword or even parry 4 times with a sword if they wish. However they couldn't cast 4 spells simply because they are holding a shield.
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Postby dbhoward » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:57 pm

Yeah, that's the way we've been playing it too. 1 additional CA that is something you could do with the weapon or shield in hand.

From most of the designer's comments I've read on this forum, it seems Pete and Loz had in mind an unspoken, "Be sensible; look, you're grownups, this is a game for experienced players, so don't rules-lawyer," in many of the rules as written.

And of course we know the first three rules in the game, right?

Rule #1: Have fun

Rule #2: Don't be a jerk [or whatever word you prefer...]

Rule #3: The GM's rulings override the rules

Deleriad: *Great* idea with the poker chips. I'll be using that immediately, don't know why I didn't think of it!
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Postby HalfOrc HalfBiscuit » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:36 pm

Personally, I'm not going to limit the extra CA to an action with the shield/off-hand weapon - for instance I can easily visualise the situation where a combatant feints with the off-hand weapon but strikes with the main weapon. But I do think the extra CA should be limited to attacks/parries/CMs requiring use of CA.
sdavies2720
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Postby sdavies2720 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:43 pm

Yes, but it gets odder. If I have a weapon style that is "Sword" (in one hand), I don't get the extra CA, but if I have a style that is "Sword and brass knuckles" I do (two weapons). And what if "my hands are weapons" and I want a kung-fu type style? Do I get an extra CA? -- no, as the rules are written.

But in a lot of the weapon sparring videos I see, combatants DO use that 'off' hand, even with no weapon in it, as part of their combat style. Those mostly real-life videos support the position that those fighters would get an additional CA for that off hand.

Instead of running as written, I may try adding a Heroic Ability that gives an extra CA for a shield or for a second weapon/unarmed attack. That way I don't get into an argument that everyone not using a 2H weapon should get an additional CA, but still give a way for players to gain that combat advantage and balance the extra damage of a 2H weapon. They just have to pay for the Heroic Ability.

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Postby Lord High Munchkin » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:27 pm

I'd just use common sense and house-rule it.

The rules as written are just a tool-kit... they are purposefully designed not to cover all eventualities in order to be flexible.
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sdavies2720
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Postby sdavies2720 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:57 pm

Well, yes. I've been running this campaign for twenty years. I have binders of houserules. I'd hoped (and still hope) to have a set of rules that I'd just use, rather than spending half my time working on the campaign and the other half tinkering with the rules.

The beauty of RQ has always been its relative simplicity and ease of modification. For me, that's also been a downside -- it's been too easy for the rules tinkering to take on as much of a life as the story. I'm trying hard to stay with the RAW and make as few modifications as possible.

The additional CA is one rule I'm going to have to evaluate.
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Postby ThatGuy » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:22 am

I will also say this- one of the reasons that CA gets house ruled is because it can become extremely effective in the right hands. Eg. a smart, quick character casts Co-ordination and suddenly he is laying about, dropping at least on foe per round- even a halfling. So, regulation of that CA, for a GM, allows for some regulation of PC's going willy-nilly hack and slash happy, or casting disturbingly powerful sorcery spells on their 2nd or 3rd CA that take effect on the 1st CA of the next round Wracking, flying and Palsying every enemy- and they never used that shield...(not the best example, as you must have one hand free for sorcery, therefore you don't really have the bonus CA- unless you threw a spear or something- but you get my drift...)
Let's say, just for argument's sake, you're right...
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Postby Mugen » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:08 am

Is this additional CA such an advantage when you consider two weapon styles ?

You can only have a Medium weapon in your main hand, and a Small one in your off-hand.

Small weapons have poor damage ratings when compared to shields : 1D4 for Main Gauche, 1D4+1 or Dagger, 1D6 for Hatchet. And, due to their size, not very effective for parrying.

It is still better than having only one one-handed weapon but, in my opinion, not very effective when compared to two-handed weapon or sword & shield styles.
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Postby dazzah » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:29 am

I play I imagine what is the most common house rule.

The extra CA for Dual wielding weapons or weapon and shield - must be used for the off hand weapon, whether that be attack or parry. otherwise it is lost.

It does provide a significant benefit. but 2H weapons are much more damage potent.

PS I also applied a house rule that using a weapon 2H increases the DM by 1 step. (usually extra 1-2 damage) All my plays were happy with this.
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Postby simonh » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:49 am

I concur with allowing the extra CA, but it must be used with the off-hand weapon.

I would not allow unarmed combat attacks in this way, except possibly as a Heroic Ability. I'd have to play the game and try out the closing rules first because they would need to be taken into account.

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Postby Deleriad » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:02 pm

simonh wrote:I would not allow unarmed combat attacks in this way, except possibly as a Heroic Ability. I'd have to play the game and try out the closing rules first because they would need to be taken into account.
Actually I think that most of the unarmed attacks are simulated by Combat manoeuvres. E.g. if you're tripping, bashing, blinding, grabbing etc then the CMs do all that work for you.

Thinking about it, if you wanted to give a bonus to a combat style which only used 1H then you could give it a bonus for pulling off CMs where having a free hand might make a difference.

I could imagine special combat styles of the 1h weapon plus unarmed that have either bespoke Combat Manoeuvres. I've recently been using Klanth+Dance style for 2nd stage dragonewts. The Dance gives them an extra CA. The beauty of combat styles is that they let you play with them this way.
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Postby sdavies2720 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:26 pm

Mugen wrote:Is this additional CA such an advantage when you consider two weapon styles ?

You can only have a Medium weapon in your main hand, and a Small one in your off-hand.

Small weapons have poor damage ratings when compared to shields : 1D4 for Main Gauche, 1D4+1 or Dagger, 1D6 for Hatchet. And, due to their size, not very effective for parrying.

It is still better than having only one one-handed weapon but, in my opinion, not very effective when compared to two-handed weapon or sword & shield styles.
In most cases I think that extra CA will be used to parry (if using the house rule that the extra CA must be used for that weapon or shield). Even a small weapon that halves damage, with some armor, is effective. Having the extra CA for a parry frees up the main weapon for another attack.

That extra CA generally gives you an attack against an undefended opponent (or neutralizes their exra CA advantage). That pretty much means a CM out of it, which is a huge advantage in my book, far outstripping the extra damage from a 2H weapon.
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Postby Mugen » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:13 pm

sdavies2720 wrote:In most cases I think that extra CA will be used to parry (if using the house rule that the extra CA must be used for that weapon or shield). Even a small weapon that halves damage, with some armor, is effective. Having the extra CA for a parry frees up the main weapon for another attack.

That extra CA generally gives you an attack against an undefended opponent (or neutralizes their exra CA advantage). That pretty much means a CM out of it, which is a huge advantage in my book, far outstripping the extra damage from a 2H weapon.
I agree. Yet small weapons are a very poor option when compared to shields.

Daggers ans Hatchets do 1 dmg more than a Heater shield, and are terribly less effective at parrying.

Mains Gauches do the same damage as a Heater shield, but they don't handle 2H weapons very well.

Note that maybe the point is in the damage Shield can do, and not in the small weapons...
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Postby Lord High Munchkin » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:24 pm

However, metal bucklers are exceedingly good at parrying....
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Postby dbhoward » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:33 pm

I agree with not allowing unarmed attacks this way. I don't have the rulebook in front of me but I think it was only supposed to be for allowing shields and parrying weapons. Otherwise you would get oddities like someone unarmed getting an extra CA, but a person with 1H sword and a free hand getting no extra CA; which someone would argue, well he could throw things or punch, etc., etc....

Best to use maneuvers for that.
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Postby kintire » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:52 pm

I agree. Yet small weapons are a very poor option when compared to shields.

Daggers and Hatchets do 1 dmg more than a Heater shield, and are terribly less effective at parrying.

Mains Gauches do the same damage as a Heater shield, but they don't handle 2H weapons very well.

Note that maybe the point is in the damage Shield can do, and not in the small weapons...
Well, shields were the overwhelming choice for serious warriors over two weapons throughout history, with the only advantage two weapons have is that shields are annoyingly cumbersome and heavy.
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Postby Mikko Leho » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:18 pm

Mugen wrote:Yet small weapons are a very poor option when compared to shields.
Many small weapons can Bleed and some like daggers Impale. These make them interesting option for a more offensive fighter.

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