I hate Ambidexterity

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GranFalloon
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I hate Ambidexterity

#1 Postby GranFalloon » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:05 am

Seriously, it bugs me. Actually, it's not Ambidexterity exactly, it's not being dexterous with your off-hand, coupled with the Ambidexterity Edge.

Reason one: Ambidexterity feels underpowered. Two-fisted reduces your penalties by 4, Ambidexterity by only two. I know there are extenuating circumstances that would make Ambidexterity a little better, but basically that's what you get.

Reason two: It complicates things. So far, all the dual-wielders we've had in our games have used paired weapons. A pair of pistols, daggers, cutlasses, whatever. In the heat of combat, I hate having to make my players roll one pair of dice with one hand and one pair of dice with the other, just so we know where to put the penalty (this is assuming they have Two-Fisted and not Ambi).

Reason three: It feels necessary, despite being underpowered. Let's face it. Penalties in Savage Worlds suck. Not that they're badly designed, far from it. I prefer it to D&D, where a -2 to an attack is a minor annoyance. But that off-hand penalty every other attack, that's rough.

Really, is it overpowering to dual-wielders to just give everyone Ambidexterity? If so, what would folks suggest to mitigate how things work now?

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Re: I hate Ambidexterity

#2 Postby shadd4d » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:28 am

GranFalloon wrote:Two-fisted reduces your penalties by 4, Ambidexterity by only two.


Actually, it only lets you ignore the MAP when using both hands; if I'm dual wielding with only two-fisted, then my "dominant hand" attack is for free, but my off hand is still at -2 because it's my off hand. If you throw in a test of will or trick, that (the trick or test of will) would be at -4 while attacks would be as stated. Two fisted works to make it easier to attack with 2 weapons, both guns blazing or dual wielding while still intimidating, riding (think True Grit) pulling off agility tricks. In theory, you could do a trick, intimidate, swing the sword and fire a pistol, with the trick and intimidate at -6 while the dominant attack is unaffected and the off hand is -2. Clint will correct me if I'm wrong.

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#3 Postby GranFalloon » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:42 am

So, uh... you folks ever write a post and realize later, "I think I've written basically that same thing before"? Pretty sure I got the solution figured out, too. Ignore my griping. I'm just gonna give everyone Ambidexterity and rule that dual-wielders only get one wild die for their two attacks.

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#4 Postby shadd4d » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:42 am

GranFalloon wrote:So, uh... you folks ever write a post and realize later, "I think I've written basically that same thing before"? Pretty sure I got the solution figured out, too. Ignore my griping. I'm just gonna give everyone Ambidexterity and rule that dual-wielders only get one wild die for their two attacks.


But haven't you just reduced them to all having Improved Frenzy?

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Fear is when you worry about what might be.

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#5 Postby bloodshadows » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:30 pm

Don's right. You're essentially giving the players Improved Frenzy if you go that route.

I'm not sure if this would fit the campaign you're running, but what if (since it seems everyone likes using two weapons) you required that everyone use their free starting edge that they get for being human to buy Ambidexterity? That way, everyone has it from the start and you won't have to worry about it.
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#6 Postby FoxBlue » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:33 pm

Two fisted removes MAP for attacking with 2 weapons in 1 round, ambidexterity removes offhand penalty from anything and everything. They do work together well but they serve different purposes.

Allowing only 1 wild die would be confusing as dual wielders often use 2 different skills for their attacks. Once a character picks up Master, or some cyberware (using TAG's cyberpunk rules) things get icky.

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#7 Postby marshal kt » Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:17 pm

It's nice to see everyone only thinks of combat. [sarcasm]

Ambidexterious is good for other tests when only the off hand is available.
Being bound/tied, having 1 hand/arm held. Holding on to someone/something with one hand and trying to manipulate some with the other. [Picture hanging from a rope or holding someone hand/arm with the right hand/arm and trying to open a door or tuen a key, throw a swithc or the like; with the left.] That minus 2 penalty is important.
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#8 Postby SlasherEpoch » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:56 pm

Or danging off a ladder with one hand and using a cordless drill with the other...or casting a spell when one hand has been crushed by an iron golem...or arm wrestling the local champ...

Ambidexterity has intangible benefits.

At any rate: I don't think it's actually that difficult to keep track of four dice. Besides, the players ought to be doing that for you.

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#9 Postby Adam Baulderstone » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:43 am

Just one thing to consider: if you give every body duel-wielding then everyones damage per round goes up, making for a much deadlier game. All those extra dice work have a chance of acing, too. Ultimately, this works against the players as they face far more attacks in a campaign than any NPC. This isn't necessarily a problem if you and your players are comfortable with it. It's just a side effect you might want to discuss with them before you put it into play.

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Re: I hate Ambidexterity

#10 Postby Clint » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:36 pm

GranFalloon wrote:Really, is it overpowering to dual-wielders to just give everyone Ambidexterity?


To be straightforward about it, I'd say yes, it is overpowering. Ambidextrous is a Background Edge, meaning a commitment to taking it during character creation is required or working out with the GM a way to get it during the game. Either way, it's not a Combat Edge that can just be picked up any time like Two Fisted (which is Novice rank to top things off).

The baseline balance issue though is that it should take two Edges to remove all the penalties.

GranFalloon wrote:If so, what would folks suggest to mitigate how things work now?


Well, for the two Edges and not having separate penalties, the easiest solution is to remove Ambidextrouse and have Two Fisted reduce the penalty to -1 with each weapon, and then create an Improved Two Fisted Edge that removes the multi-action penalty entirely. I would say it would have to be at least a Veteran Rank Edge.

As far as trying to roll it like Frenzy, that will be a tougher nut to crack. One big issue is that unlike Frenzy, attacking with two weapons by definition means using two separate weapons instead of one. Unless the two weapons are exactly the same and used in exactly the same way, there is the situation of determining which die roll applies to which weapon.

For one example, a character attacks with a rapier (Str+d4) and a longsword (Str+d8) in each hand. He rolls two Fighting dice and one Wild Die. Every time that roll results in one hit, which weapon is used to roll damage? The player will choose the longsword every time, so in essence, using two weapons with one Wild Die makes the character more likely to hit with their prime weapon that someone using that weapon alone.

There are other things like shooting a pistol in one hand and a scattergun (+2 Shooting) in the other. The dice come up a two misses and a success; the shotgun bonus won't make the success into a raise, but it could make one of the misses into a success. So where the character might have only gotten one hit, they get two. Or maybe the misses are 1's so the bonus doesn't help, but the scattergun bonus would turn the success into a raise for an extra d6 damage that the pistol would not have gotten if rolled separately.

While players may use the same weapons by the current rules, there is no reason to presume they would continue to do so if the rules change to make it advantageous to use different weapons.

Anyway, there is a lot to take into account like that. Personally, I've never seen rolling for the two attacks be an issue. Most players either have different colored dice of the same type and differentiate which apply to what attack rolling them at the same time, or they just roll the same dice for each attack, one just following the other. Not to say it couldn't be an issue for a particular person or group, just not something I've personally encountered yet.
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