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The Savage Worlds Official (kinda) Min / Maxxer Thread
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Do you Min / Max ?
Yep, proudly
26%
 26%  [ 24 ]
not unless it fits my character concept (or some other justification)
56%
 56%  [ 52 ]
Nope never. Period
17%
 17%  [ 16 ]
Total Votes : 92

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JackAce
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: Didn't want to open a new thread for this... Reply with quote

Lucullus wrote:
On the flipside, a character with high str, shield (non-magical), armour, and high toughness will make it very hard for any fighter to damage him/her.

A defensive melee fighter doesn't need to rely on Strength and Toughness either. You can just as well go the route of maximum Parry, especially in settings where firearms are rare or non-existant. This route can even be combined with the maximum-number-of-attacks-per-round route.

For example, meet Mareike ten Uhlenbusch, Swashbuckler of Doom (Based on the SWoSK rulebook):

Starting Character:

Arrow Mareike ten Uhlenbusch
Attributes: Agility d8; Smarts d6; Spirit d6; Strength d4; Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d10, Guts d6, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Taunt d8
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6(d6); Parry: 10; Toughness: 6(1)
Hindrances: Heroic, Loyal, Outsider (Female Swordfighter in the 1600's)
Edges: Acrobat, Ambidextrous, Quick
Gear: Leather Armor (+1), Rapier (2d4; Parry +1), Main Gauche (2d4; Parry +1)

Level-Ups until 60 XP (Heroic Rank):

(5) First Strike; (10) Two-Fisted; (15) Spirit d8; (20) Smarts d8; (25) Fighting d12; (30) Florentine; (35) Riposte; (40) Strength d6; (45) Block; (50) Improved Block, (55) Improved Riposte; (60) Improved First Strike

And at some point during her adventures she's replaced her Rapier with a Kodashi.

So we get this impressive display of martial prowess at 60 XP:

Arrow Mareike ten Uhlenbusch
Attributes: Agility d8; Smarts d8; Spirit d8; Strength d6; Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d12, Guts d6, Intimidation d6, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Taunt d8
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6(d6); Parry: 13; Toughness: 6(1)
Hindrances: Heroic, Loyal, Outsider (Female Swordfighter in the 1600's)
Edges: Acrobat, Ambidextrous, Improved Block, Improved First Strike, Florentine, Quick, Improved Riposte, Two-Fisted
Gear: Leather Armor (+1), Kodashi (2d6; Parry +1), Main Gauche (d6+d4; Parry +1)

She's Quick, so she's got a good (not overwhelming, but good) chance of going first. If she does, she goes on Hold.

Every enemy who attacks her will suffer a free attack from her. After that she tries to interrupt him (being on Hold) and immediately strike back.

When her enemy tries to hit her and fails (quite likely with a Parry of 13), he suffers an additional free attack from her.

When it's her turn to attack, she makes two attacks per round for free.

She can defend herself against two enemies without penalty, and as long as they're not using shields or two hand weapons, she gets a +1 bonus to all of her own attacks.


To make her even more scary, she could use use the following Level-Ups to get Improved Frenzy, Increase her Vigor and get Improved Nerves of Steel, Combat Reflexes and Improved Trademark Weapon (Kodashi).

And then, of course, there are the Legendary Edges: Professional, Expert & Master (Fighting) and Weapon Master & Master of Arms. For a total Parry of 16!
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Clint
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject: Re: Didn't want to open a new thread for this... Reply with quote

Lucullus wrote:
AFDia wrote:
In SWEX there are much more edges for the offensive fighter and only a few for the defensive one.


Yes, one of the primary reasons for my concern...


Well, I wouldn't say that. There are 28 Combat Edges. I'd categorize 9 as purely "defensive." 1 as definitely both. 4 as general combat "support." And that leaves 14 as "offensive" with a couple of those that are setting dependent as their use (Rock & Roll is worthless in a standard fantasy game, and Giant Killer is basically the same in a modern espionage game).

Still 9 to 14 isn't a big imbalance of defense versus offense. Considering there are only 16 level-ups to Legendary with 4 of those one-time chances to raise an Attribute, I don't think the defensive guy is hurting for options, especially since the "support" Edges have a pretty strong use for defense as well (Fleet Footed can get you to cover or even out of range of an attack).

I'd also point out that an offensive melee fighter is going to have to look at a higher Agility if they want to meet the requirements for some of those Edges. He can't have Two Fisted or First Strike without an Agility of at least d8, which means Attribute points that can't go into Strength.

Ultimately, I haven't really seen anyone go purely offensive or defensive as a fighter in SW. Doing so means leaving an obvious weakness that can be exploited.

The purely offensive character is still probably not going to take out a major opponent or entire group of Extras in one shot (Bennies to Soak can counter that), so when the attack comes back that they have no defense against, they are slammed hard.

And the purely defensive character doesn't have a strong offense to take out opponents, so inevitably a shot will bypass their defense because no defense in SW is absolute.

Really though, the key to SW is that it isn't what the character can do, but what the player can do with the character.
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Wiggy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:45 am    Post subject: Re: Didn't want to open a new thread for this... Reply with quote

Lucullus wrote:
You can just as well go the route of maximum Parry, especially in settings where firearms are rare or non-existant. This route can even be combined with the maximum-number-of-attacks-per-round route.


For maximum defense, you need Improved Dodge as well. A Parry of 16 is little use against the guy throwing rocks at you who only needs to get a 4 to hit. And with low Toughness they'll hurt as well.
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JackAce
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: Didn't want to open a new thread for this... Reply with quote

Wiggy wrote:
JackAce wrote:
You can just as well go the route of maximum Parry, especially in settings where firearms are rare or non-existant. This route can even be combined with the maximum-number-of-attacks-per-round route.


For maximum defense, you need Improved Dodge as well. A Parry of 16 is little use against the guy throwing rocks at you who only needs to get a 4 to hit. And with low Toughness they'll hurt as well.

I think the greatest danger to her at the moment would be archers. Thrown weapons have notoriously short ranges, meaning they'll either face range penalties, or be within Mareike's range of Pace to attack them in close combat. Firearms and crossbows suffer from their long reload time, giving the shooters fewer shots in the time it takes Mereike to reach them.

But of course the Dodge Edges might come in handy anyway. They'd push back the developement of Mareike's offensive capabilities a bit, though...

Or, she needs to find herself a capable Marksman who can keep enemy ranged fighters pinned down in cover while Mareike moves in on them...
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Lucullus
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Didn't want to open a new thread for this... Reply with quote

JackAce wrote:
Lucullus wrote:
On the flipside, a character with high str, shield (non-magical), armour, and high toughness will make it very hard for any fighter to damage him/her.

A defensive melee fighter doesn't need to rely on Strength and Toughness either. You can just as well go the route of maximum Parry, especially in settings where firearms are rare or non-existant. This route can even be combined with the maximum-number-of-attacks-per-round route.



Mareike is impressive, in both forms!

To play on your imagination once more, I'm wondering what you'd come up with if you didn't want to take ambidexterity. Would the new character be as good as Mareike?

To Clint: I believe it is a bit of both. What your character can do is just as important as what you can do with your character. At least, my RPG'ing has forced me to think along these lines.
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JackAce
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:01 am    Post subject: Re: Didn't want to open a new thread for this... Reply with quote

Lucullus wrote:
Mareike is impressive, in both forms!

To play on your imagination once more, I'm wondering what you'd come up with if you didn't want to take ambidexterity. Would the new character be as good as Mareike?

Dropping Ambidextrous would reduce her offensive capabilty but do nothing to her defense. I guess I'd go ahead and drop Two-Fisted as well and use these two Edge-Slots to get Dodge and Improved Dodge, as Wiggy suggested.
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Judge Holden
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For an optimal fighter build I think everyone can agree that first and foremost you need your Fighting up to d12 as soon as possible. Without a doubt (while still entertaining arguments to the contrary) the second most important attribute is Strength. Strength does damage, and lets you wear more armor and carry more weapons. Strength is your second most important attribute in a well built fighter.

With those two hard and fast build points set aside, I personally feel that any good SW character needs an Agility of d8 unless they aren't going to ever set foot on a battlefield. Why? Well because d8 agility is the make or break point for many combat Edges (Dodge, First Strike, Florentine, etc), it makes your fighters rise to d12 Fighting cheaper and it improves your chances of both surviving many area attacks as well as winning any 'on hold' contests that come up.

Lucullus was originally asking about the inherent advantages of ambidextrous and I would wholeheartedly encourage the taking of that Background Edge for any good fighter build. Unless there is a very strong reason why you don't want to be able to fight proficiently with both hands then it is best to take ambidextrous right off the bat. It is a background edge and you can only take background edges at charcter creation. Now I know that Clint will often correct people for saying Background edges can only be taken at character creation, but the only way you can take a background edge after character creation is if you come up with a reasonable explanation. So good luck with coming up with a reasonable explanation on how you became equally adept at using both your hands all of a sudden half way through the campaign.

In my experience GMing and playing Savage Worlds I have found that the two one-handed weapon approach is more effective than the single two-handed weapon approach for the simple fact that you will be taking two attacks. In Savage Worlds two attacks is almost as good as getting double damage (assuming a d12 fighting and d12 strength).

The weapon damage obviously matters, but if you are doing d12+d8 (a long sword) and in your off hand a d12+d4 (your shield or a Rapier, or a dagger or heck even a pistol-butt in some settings) this is two chances at Acing your damage as opposed to d12 +d10 with a Great Sword, which also lowers your parry by -1 and only gets one chance to Ace.

After you have you two weapon fighting, you need Frenzy as well so that you are making three attacks in a round. Frenzy means you are getting three chances to ace damage.

JackAce - for the amount of times someone is going to lob a rock at you or peg you with an arrow it might make more sense to simply consider laying prone when there are opponents with ranged attacks around. Its the same negatives to the opponents attacks and you get to keep ambidextrous and two weapon fighting instead of wasting two edges on Dodge and Improved Dodge. In no way is it as good as those two edges, I'm just saying if ranged attacks are not a big threat in the campaign, why waste the Edges? My 2 cents and all that jazz
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Tuesday
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In Savage Worlds two attacks is almost as good as getting double damage


Uh, I suspect you are cracked, here.

If the target is Shaken, then anything up to their Toughness+7 is a single Wound. Assuming a fairly average toughness of 6, this means that you need to get a *14* in order to deliver a second wound on a hit. Doubling damage, however, means that you don't have to dig through that Toughness+7 again - instead, every 4 damage is an extra Wound.

You rolled 12 damage, two hits in a row: That's a single Wound, and a single Wound. Both of which are soakable separately, and each soak roll only needs a 4 to eliminate both the Shaken *and* the Wound.

You rolled 24 damage, once: That's *4* Wounds, and requires a single Vigor roll of *16* in order to Soak it all.

Assume a tough, unShaken, armored opponent with Toughness of 10. If you roll 10 damage twice in a row, you Shaken him and then Wound him. The spends a Benny and rolls a 4 or better on Vigor, and your attacks did nothing. You roll 20 damage once, and he's shaken with two Wounds: He needs an *8* on that Vigor roll to ignore you.

Every time you deliver a new hit, you need to dig through the Toughness and the "Shaken" result on the target from scratch, again. Doubling damage gets around this. Doubling is better in just about every case.
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Judge Holden
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tuesday, you are right that was a bad choice of words for what I meant to say. I didn't mean 'double damage'. How about two times as much destruction? Or Doubly Effective against opponents. Or maybe Dual chances of killing opponents.

In your example if we were talking about an Extra there is no need to do a second wound on them since one wound kills an extra. What I was getting at was that with your second attack you could take out a second Extra as well. In the same example if it was a Wild Card, that is two bennies the Wild Card is going to spend. So two times as effective. Not Double damage.

Sorry about the poor choice of adjectives and such, upon rereading it I was wrong to write it that way.

Two attacks is twice as good as one attack. Three times is even better.
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Lucullus
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judge Holden wrote:

After you have you two weapon fighting, you need Frenzy as well so that you are making three attacks in a round. Frenzy means you are getting three chances to ace damage.



Increasing the odds of acing damage is very tempting. This is what pulls me to get ambidexterity. However, I don't want to do it, and have a fighter just as good, but different.

As Tuesday has added, double damage is more effective. With that said, doesn't the nature rolling multiple times increase the odds of acing on damage as well?

I like the idea of having a really tough character withstand the barrage an ambidextrous character throws at him, but the soak rolls are vital. The ability of the ambidextrous fighter to ace with attack and damage mean that the single weapon fighter will be going through his soak rolls at a higher pace. Or is this not so?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucullus wrote:
I like the idea of having a really tough character withstand the barrage an ambidextrous character throws at him, but the soak rolls are vital. The ability of the ambidextrous fighter to ace with attack and damage mean that the single weapon fighter will be going through his soak rolls at a higher pace. Or is this not so?


It's six of one, half dozen of the other really.

The ambidextrous/two fisted character had to sacrifice something to get that ability. If instead of Ambidextrous, the other character took Brawny, so he has +1 Toughness and the ability to carry heavier armor and a larger shield to defend against the two-handed fighter that's just a use of one of the two level-ups he has free (three if we include Florentine, which is countered for him just carrying a shield).

Basically, the two-weapon character is giving up something for that ability. They either have a penalty to attack or they take Edges to remove the penalties. Those are increases to character abilities that are not going to increase Strength for more damage or increase Vigor to resist damage or any other option in the game.

I mean look at JackAce's example character above. Even at 60 XPs, the character has a d6 Strength. To get a higher Strength, something in that build has to be sacrificed. That means despite the multiple attacks, average damage is going to be low. The chance of acing does increase with multiple hits, but consider that this character will be Shaken by a hit doing just the same 2d6 damage 72% of the time, and when Shaken, she will get no attacks at all.

Compare to the opponent with a d8 Vigor, Brawny, and +3 Armor. He has a 10 Toughness, that 2d6 damage will Shake 30% of the time. Even with two attacks coming in, the odds aren't up to 72%.

Ultimately, "theoretical" characters could be discussed until everyone is blue in the face, but when the actual character is built, the strengths and weaknesses are much more obvious.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judge Holden wrote:
For an optimal fighter build I think everyone can agree that first and foremost you need your Fighting up to d12 as soon as possible. Without a doubt (while still entertaining arguments to the contrary) the second most important attribute is Strength. Strength does damage, and lets you wear more armor and carry more weapons. Strength is your second most important attribute in a well built fighter.

With those two hard and fast build points set aside, I personally feel that any good SW character needs an Agility of d8 unless they aren't going to ever set foot on a battlefield. Why? Well because d8 agility is the make or break point for many combat Edges (Dodge, First Strike, Florentine, etc), it makes your fighters rise to d12 Fighting cheaper and it improves your chances of both surviving many area attacks as well as winning any 'on hold' contests that come up.


I don't think you can dismiss Vigor to being less important than Strength and Agility. In my experience, if vigor isn't clearly the most important stat, then it's at least tied for first place. Toughness, soaking, and rolls on the incapacitation table are huge. Not to mention, you have vigor checks verses poison, disease, spells, endurance, and so on.

There is no ability I would put ahead of vigor. Maybe it's just my grim and gritty game, I don't know, but soaking and rolls on the incapacitation table come up all the time, and the fate of the characters hinge on the results of those checks.

That's another thing, every vigor check is usually extremely important. What's more important, to have a high strength, allowing you to carry a wider range of weapons, or to make your vigor check on the incapacitation table? How about when rolling verses poison and disease?
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Judge Holden
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put Strength second after fighting only if we are talking about a damage-dealer and not necessarily a well rounded character. If you have a d6 in Vigor, thats pretty bad but its not that much worse than a d8. For any additional steps to Vigor you have to trade off on gaining more a) fighting or b) strength and thats not optimal because your goal is to be constantly swinging at and (hopefully) hitting something.

With Vigor, its like a negative prophecy. You can build a damage soaker, but he's not going to be a damage dealer. Why weaken your damage dealer worrying about getting hit? Who cares if he goes out in a blaze of glory, thats what the damage dealers fate is going to be. If you dont want to be targeted by all the GMs nasty little minions you probably shouldn't be the guy who is killing dozens of his extras every single night. Hopefully someone else on the team is into healing people or defending against getting hit.

An important aspect of Vigor is how it boosts your Toughness and to make up for this shortfall I say - Armor. Wear it. Thats why the damage dealer has a Strength of d12 and maybe even Brawny if you can squeeze it in. Get some Plate Mail and a full helmet and then try and get some magic armor if you can.

These suggestions are in no way steps to a well rounded character. I'm saying these are helpful build points to strive to achieve if you want to min/max an uber-damage dealer. If you want to be able to survive lots of damage that guys better described as a brick or a tank and then you want stuff like Spirit and Vigor but thats not this guy.
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Tuesday
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In your example if we were talking about an Extra there is no need to do a second wound on them since one wound kills an extra.


...unless they soak it.

That Ogre may be an Extra, but he's also sitting on a D10 Vigor and the GM's entire supply of Bennies. He's got a *70%* chance of making a single Wound go away, along with the Shaken, and then smashing the PC who did it into a pulp. If the GM's willing to risk a second Benny, that's a *91%* chance of a single Wound going away and the Ogre being unShaken to take his action.

More attacks *absolutely* helps you against a horde of wimpy minions, sure - but for the five Edges you spend on two-weapon combat, Conan over there can buy Sweep and four other miscellaneous things. And when you hit a guy with a Toughness of 17, your 2D6 damage three times a round still isn't likely to get through, whereas Conan's D12+D10+2 has a much better chance.

There's ALWAYS tradeoffs. Multi-weapon and many-attacks is an entirely workable way of doing things, but it's not inherently superior to the degree you seem to imply.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tuesday I'm no whizz at statistics and probabilities, but I think each separate roll of the dice is its own percentage chance. If you make two separate rolls, then those are two separate chances. The GM who spends two bennies makes both at 70%. I'm not positive, but I think thats how it goes.

Also, I think its a misrepresentation to say that Ambidextrous + Two weapon fighting is five edges - its only two. If we are including Improved Frenzy then thats another two. And if Conan is swinging for d12+d10 +2, then I think we should at least give my hypothetical Whirling Dervish a d12+d8+2 and another d12+d8+2 and then his wimpy off hand with d12+d4+2 instead of three times 2d6.

In Savage Worlds there are only a few ways to get more than one attack per round. I can only think of: Frenzy, Two Weapon Fighting and possibly spells like Quickness. I think if you want to build a combat monster, you should very strongly consider building a character who can attack more than once per round. Optimally you would want to be able to attack three times with no penalties by the time you reach Veteran.

Sorry if it seems like this thread is degrading into one of those 'my build is better than your build' but I do feel the need to defend what I have written. If I come off as being overly confrontational to anyone I'd like to apologize and hope that we all remain buddies when the dust settles Wink
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Alazabba
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can throw in test of wills attacks to give yourself an extra attack too.
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Tuesday
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm no whizz at statistics and probabilities, but I think each separate roll of the dice is its own percentage chance. If you make two separate rolls, then those are two separate chances. The GM who spends two bennies makes both at 70%. I'm not positive, but I think thats how it goes.


Not quite! Statistics *are* one of my strong points. The thing you're missing is that while each die roll has the same chance to succeed, we're looking at the *total* possibility across *all* die rolls that *at least one* will succeed.

He's got a 70% chance of succeed.
*if and only if that 70% fails*, he spends a benny and gets a NEW 70% chance to succeed.

Meaning, in order to fail, he has to fail *twice in a row*.
Since there's a 30% chance of failing the first time, and a 30% chance of failing the second time, the odds of failling *both* times is .3*.3=.09 = 9%.

9% chance of failing is 91% chance of succeeding.

Quote:
And if Conan is swinging for d12+d10 +2, then I think we should at least give my hypothetical Whirling Dervish a d12+d8+2 and another d12+d8+2 and then his wimpy off hand with d12+d4+2 instead of three times 2d6.


You're assuming a D12 Strength (and a D8 one-handed weapon) on a character who *also* has at least a D8 Agility? Either your Spirit and Vigour are really low, or you've got a really crazy amount of XP on there.

Quote:
Optimally you would want to be able to attack three times with no penalties by the time you reach Veteran.


That means, by definition, ambidexterity, two-weapon fighting, Frenzy, Improved Frenzy.

Which, again, I don't think is necessary. Improved Sweep lets you attack multiple enemies (more than three, even!) but benefits from having a strong single weapon, a single-weapon fighter can get more hits, more raises, more armor-ignoring called shots, and more damage by taking Trademark Weapon, and a shield can make a *huge* difference to the survivability of a single-weapon fighter against ranged attacks.

Quote:
Sorry if it seems like this thread is degrading into one of those 'my build is better than your build' but I do feel the need to defend what I have written. If I come off as being overly confrontational to anyone I'd like to apologize and hope that we all remain buddies when the dust settles


Not a worry!

Multi-attack fighters can be very, very strong.

I'm just saying that they're not the be-all and end all. There are cases where a single-weapon fighter will be much more effective.
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Godna
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know...I don't often see Rapidattacks mention here. I know 3 melee attacks at -4 doesn't sound too good, but 6 ranged attacks you can do some horrible things. (especially with that earlier deadland Card drawing build)

All for 0 investment...although if you are Rapid attacking in Melee...go ahead and Wild attack squeeze out all the damage you can.
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Wibbs
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's because they didn't exist in 2008 when the last person posted to this thread Laughing
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Jounichi
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Deadlands: Reloaded...

Edges: AB (Magic), Rebel Yell, Strong Willed, Whateley Blood
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Mean, Ugly.

That's a cool +12 Intimidate in a LBT, amigos.

Oh, and hooray for thread necromancy!
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