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[SWD] On the balance of 2 handed weapons
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Sidney
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newForumNewName wrote:

That aside, this entire discussion comes down to Sidney's comfort with Savage Worlds as a simulation of reality.


While I don't disagree with the idea of moving on, I'll just say this isn't accurate.

Realism is definitely not what I look for in SW (and I very rarely look for it in any RPG system); realism was never my point. It actually came into the discussion when someone tried to justify the Parry penality 2 handed weapons suffer from.

But in all honesty, I'm not looking for an exceedingly realistic system, and I'd even argue that SW covers most of the bases pretty well, without obsessing with them. 2 handers require a lot of strength to use fully, and are generally harder to use than other weapons. I started arguing "realism" when it was brought up to defend the Parry penality, but it's not the point of the discussion.
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AFDia
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sidney wrote:

Main gauche: d4 damage, +1 Parry against One Handed weapons, -2 Parry against 2 Handed weapons.

Longsword; d8 damage, -1 Parry against 2 Handed weapons

Greataxe: d10 damage, -1 Parry


Instead of having a special parry against 2 handed weapons, you could also give 2-handed weapons +1 Fighting.

You could also assume that this +1 is already included in the rules, but there is a -1 Fighting, because such weapons are unwieldy which results in +0 Fighting.
So 2 handed weapons are harder to parry, but also very unwieldy and therefore harder to attack which compensates this advantage.
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77IM
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One advantage of the maul is that characters with only Str d8 can still wield it effectively.

I don't think it breaks the game to remove the parry penalty from a greatsword. It's also not too unrealistic: it may be harder to maneuver, but it has great reach compared to other weapons.

Once you start down the path of perfectly balancing all weapons, you wind up in a place with abstract weapon rules, like Zadmar (who should post his abstract weapon rules for us!).

-- 77IM
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AFDia
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

77IM wrote:
One advantage of the maul is that characters with only Str d8 can still wield it effectively.
-- 77IM


... unless the Str d8 guy wants to carry other stuff too. Then a Maul would be too heavy for him in most cases. Wink

I think the Maul should at least do d10 damage, because it's just smashing damage, so I would guess strength plays a much more important role if you're using such a weapon.
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Zadmar
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

77IM wrote:
Once you start down the path of perfectly balancing all weapons, you wind up in a place with abstract weapon rules, like Zadmar (who should post his abstract weapon rules for us!).

Well the first approach I used was based on P&P, except with the bonus damage die matching the normal damage die, so you'd have:

Tiny: d4 damage, +d4 on a raise, +2 parry.
Small: d6 damage, +d6 on a raise, +1 parry.
Medium: d8 damage, +d8 on a raise.
Large: d10 damage, +d10 on a raise, -1 parry.
Huge: d12 damage, +d12 on a raise, -2 parry.

Although my combat simulator showed that the above was well balanced, it felt a bit too abstract during play, so I had a go at breaking the bonuses down. The first draft was a fairly simple point-buy system (weapons start at d4/d4, with 5 points to invest), but then I redid them based on the rules for race creation. I tried removing the concept of "two handed weapons" entirely (instead just adding rules for using a weapon in two hands), but I had difficulty deciding how to handle reach weapons. This is what I'm currently thinking of using for my next campaign:

Making Weapons

This system allows the creation of weapons. The Game Master can use it to create pre-built weapons for his world, or allow players to design their own (with guidance). The recommended approach is to first describe the weapon, then select the abilities that best fit the description, and finally apply any appropriate trappings.

Weapons begin with d6 damage and 2 points of Weapon Abilities. Additional positive abilities must be countered with an equal value of negative ones. The Weight of the weapon is equal to its damage die, plus any modifiers.

+3 Abilities

* Strong Offence: +1 to Fighting and Throwing rolls made with this weapon.
* Strong Defence: +1 Parry while holding this melee weapon.
* Bonus Die: On a raise, weapon inflicts +d12 instead of +d6.
* Long Range: Weapon can be thrown with a range of 5/10/20.

+2 Abilities

* High Damage: +1 step to the weapon's damage die (eg d6 becomes d8).
* Bonus Die: On a raise, weapon inflicts +d10 instead of +d6.
* Medium Range: Weapon can be thrown with a range of 4/8/16.
* Ammo: Add to a ranged weapon. It now fires ammunition instead of being thrown.
* High Penetration: Weapon has 2 AP (doesn't stack). Final Weight is doubled.

+1 Abilities

* Two-Handed: Either give the weapon 1" reach, triple range, or +2 steps to its damage die.
* Bludgeoning: Weapon has 2 AP vs rigid armour (doesn't stack). Final Weight is doubled.
* Penetrating: Weapon has 1 AP vs all armour types (doesn't stack with other AP).
* Charging: Weapon has 2 AP when charging on a mount (doesn't stack with other AP).
* Short Range: Weapon can be thrown with a range of 3/6/12.
* Reinforced: Weapon has +1 Weight and +2 Toughness (this usually means 12 instead of 10).
* Bonus Die: On a raise, weapon inflicts +d8 instead of +d6.
* Shield: +2 armour vs ranged attacks. Final Weight is doubled.
* Concealable: +2 Agility to draw, opponents suffer -2 Notice to spot the weapon.
* Secure: +2 Strength when rolling to resist being disarmed.
* Light: The Weight of the weapon is decreased by 2.

-3 Abilities

* Weak Offence: -1 to Fighting and Throwing rolls made with this weapon.
* Weak Defence: -1 Parry while holding this melee weapon.
* Slow: Requires an action to ready/reload after each attack.

-2 Abilities

* Low Damage: -1 step to the weapon's damage die (eg d6 becomes d4).
* Carried: Must always be carried (cannot also take Unwieldy).
* Dangerous: Uses Innocent Bystander rules in melee, always hit yourself on snake eyes.
* Awkward: This melee weapon doesn't count as a melee weapon for the Unarmed Defender rule.

-1 Abilities

* Bonus Die: On a raise, weapon inflicts +d4 instead of +d6.
* Unwieldy: -2 to conceal, requires an Agility roll to draw (cannot also take Carried).
* Fragile: Weapon has -1 Weight and -2 Toughness (this usually means 8 instead of 10).
* Low-Penetration: Weapon has -1 AP (i.e., -1 damage vs an armoured opponent).
* Heavy: The Weight of the weapon is increased by 2.

Some examples:

Longsword: High Damage (+2).

Shortsword: Penetrating (+1), Light (+1).

Shield: Strong Defence (+3), Shield (+1), Reinforced (+1), Secure (+1), Low Damage (-2), Heavy (-1), Unwieldy (-1).

Spear: Strong Defence (+3), Two-Handed: reach (+1), Short Range (+1), Carried (-2), Fragile (-1).

Great Axe: Penetrating (+1), Two-Handed: damage (+1).

Staff: Strong Defence (+3), Two-Handed: reach (+1), Bludgeoning (+1), Reinforced (+1), Low Damage (-2), Carried (-2).

Dagger: Bonus Die d8 (+1), Concealable (+1), Short Range (+1), Light (+1), Penetrating (+1), Low Damage (-2), Fragile (-1).

Bow: Medium Range (+2), Ammo (+2), Two-Handed: range (+1), Light (+1), Awkward (-2), Fragile (-1), Unwieldy (-1)

Crossbow: Long Range (+3), Ammo (+2), High Penetration (+2), Two-Handed: range (+1), Slow (-3), Awkward (-2), Fragile (-1)

Sling: Medium Range (+2), Ammo (+2), Bonus Die d8 (+1), Concealable (+1), Light (+1), Low Damage (-2), Awkward (-2), Fragile (-1)


Reproducing the maul from SWD (Str+d8, Weight 20, AP 2 vs rigid armour, Parry -1, two-handed) would come out as:

Maul: Bludgeoning (+1), Two-Handed: damage (+1), Heavy (-1), Low Damage (-2), Weak Defence (-3)

You've got another 6 points to spend Smile

How about this:

Maul: High Damage (+2), Bludgeoning (+1), Two-Handed: damage (+1), Light (+1), Weak Defence (-3)

It still has Weight 20, AP 2 vs rigid armour and Parry -1, but now it inflicts Str+d12 damage.


EDIT: Updated to make ranged weapons work a bit better.


Last edited by Zadmar on Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sean-Khan
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My issue with weapon unbalance is that players end up with similar weapons as they usually want to make as effective builds as possible. While I don't like that, I think the easiest solution to overcome this is to let players find superior weapons of less-superior type. A masterwork or magical greatsword is likely to find good use!
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AFDia
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the "weapon generator". There is a similar one in the Low Life book, but this one also sounds great.

The Bonus Die entry sounds redundant, it could be like:
Bonus Die: a +1/-1 ability which can be taken more than once (up to +3 to get d12 or down to -2 to get nothing)

And I would split "Two Handed" from "Range" like
-2: Two Handed
+2: +1 Range (can be taken up to 2 times)

I'm not sure about the weight part and the IMO too specific abilities which influence the weapons toughness.
Perhaps it would be better to assume a certain toughness if you really need it in a situation (it's almost never important).
Weight could be part of other abilities:
Bludgeoning: +5 weight
High Damage: +3 weight
and so on

So the weight could be just the sum of all weight modifications of the abilities.

But in general the table is really nice, I would love to see something like it in a future SWD release. (the most common melee weapons can still be listed like now but based on such creation rules)
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Zadmar
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFDia wrote:
The Bonus Die entry sounds redundant, it could be like:
Bonus Die: a +1/-1 ability which can be taken more than once (up to +3 to get d12 or down to -2 to get nothing)

I wrote it that way originally, but when I was splitting up the abilities into their categories I thought it might make it easier to understand if each option could only be selected once.

AFDia wrote:
And I would split "Two Handed" from "Range" like
-2: Two Handed
+2: +1 Range (can be taken up to 2 times)

I wanted some of the abilities to be exclusive to two-handed weapons - reach being the obvious one. To keep the weapons more in line with the official ones, I also decided to limit d10+ damage weapons to two handed use (although it shouldn't unbalance the weapons if you allowed High Damage to be taken multiple times for one-handed weapons). If you wanted Two-Handed without any benefits, I would consider it a -3 ability (you're giving up +1 Parry from the buckler you could be holding in your other hand).

As this is for a fantasy setting, I wanted to be able to reproduce thrown weapons, slings, bows and crossbows, and it's the two-handed weapons that have the higher range. Thrown axes, knives and spears have a range of 3/6/12, while slings have 4/8/16, and I figured 5/10/20 would be reasonable for something like a hand crossbow (it's the same range as a flintlock pistol). However tripling those values gives 9/18/36, 12/24/48 and 15/30/60 respectively. Bows are 12/24/48 and crossbows are 15/30/60, so it fits pretty well.

For a modern setting you'd want an emphasis on ranged weapons, and probably wouldn't care about melee weapons other than knives and baseball bats. In that case I'd suggest something more generic, like the gun categories in Agents of Oblivion. But for a fantasy setting, I think my approach does a reasonable job of representing ranged weapons.

AFDia wrote:
I'm not sure about the weight part and the IMO too specific abilities which influence the weapons toughness.
Perhaps it would be better to assume a certain toughness if you really need it in a situation (it's almost never important).

Weight was more of an afterthought, but I tried to make it match up with the official weapons. You could also just ignore Weight entirely, and treat encumbrance in a more abstract way. However Toughness is pretty important if your opponent decides to break your weapon.
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Zadmar
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I've still not addressed with my weapon changes is the advantage two-fisted characters have over two-handed weapon users. Although I did previously propose an edge which does a passable job, the balance gets out of whack when the two-fisted character uses Frenzy as well.

But I was thinking about Rapid Attack recently, in particularly the fact that it can't be combined with two weapons, and after some searching I came across some interesting ideas in this thread.

The basic idea is as follows:

You can use Frenzy and Sweep without the appropriate edge, but suffer -2 parry. Frenzy and Improved Frenzy are changed to Novice edges, and add two new Novice Edges - Rapid Frenzy and Improved Rapid Frenzy.

These edges then work as follows:

Frenzy: You no longer suffer -2 parry when making two attacks.
Improved Frenzy: Second melee attack incurs no penalty, thus Rapid Attack is at -2/-2/-2.
Rapid Frenzy: You no longer suffer the -2 parry penalty using Rapid Attack for melee.
Improved Rapid Frenzy: Ignore the MAP for your third melee attack (so -0/-0/-0).

Each requires the edge before it - so you have to take Frenzy to unlock Improved Frenzy, which then unlocks Rapid Frenzy, which unlocks Improved Rapid Frenzy. Also note that the above edges are specific to melee combat, they don't effect ranged attacks.

Two-Fisted is still a bit better because of the independence of the other hand - each hand gets its own wild die, they can use different weapons, and if you lose a limb you only lose one attack. But it does give the two-handed weapon user a close equivalent for regular melee combat.

With no edges:

Dual wield: -2/-4
Two-handed: -2/-2 and -2 parry

With 1 edge:

Dual wield: -0/-2 (added Two-Fisted)
Two-handed: -2/-2 (added Frenzy)

With 2 edges:

Dual wield: -0/-0 (added Ambidextrous)
Two-handed: -0/-0 (added Improved Frenzy)

Dual wield: -2/-2/-2 and -2 parry (using Frenzy without the edge)
Two-handed: -2/-2/-2 and -2 parry (using Rapid Attack)

With 3 edges:

Dual wield: -2/-2/-2 (added Frenzy)
Two-handed: -2/-2/-2 (added Rapid Frenzy)

With 4 edges:

Dual wield: -0/-0/-0 (added Improved Frenzy)
Two-handed: -0/-0/-0 (added Improved Rapid Frenzy)
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