2H-Weapons weak?

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ziegenpeter
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2H-Weapons weak?

#1 Postby ziegenpeter » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:01 pm

Good day fellow SW-players!
My group is about to pick their equipment, but I wonder if anyone lese in this forum thinks that 2 handed weapons are relativly weak compared to single handed ones. Not when you look at the stats per se, but when considering that every sane person would carry a shield (at least in our setting, but there are no large shields) and that almost gives you +1 parry flat.
Or am I perhaps missing something?

Thank you

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#2 Postby Zadmar » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:51 pm

The spear is a fine choice for characters with Strength d6, as is the staff for characters with Strength d4. Aside from that, I agree that most of the two-handed weapons are a bit weak.

This has been discussed before though. Check out the following threads for example:

On the balance of 2 handed weapons

One handed and two handed weapons

Two weapons vs one weapon

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#3 Postby OSIAdept » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:38 pm

I think style also comes into play when choosing equipment, what is you character concept would he use a sword and board or spear, bastard sword.

Also another fact is the setting it self, how are certain fighting styles viewed.

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#4 Postby ValhallaGH » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:05 pm

Lot of folks agree that the Greatsword and Greatax are weak weapons.
The -1 Parry is incredibly nasty - Zadmar's math shows that +1 parry is as good as +2 Toughness for close combat.

Savage Worlds pulls us away from the giant two-handed blades and back to the "sword and board" style. Which is a lot more accurate, historically.
If that's not the kind of game you want then modify the weapons. Negate the parry penalty, give the great- sword and ax +1 AP above what they already have, and maybe a +1 Parry for "teh awesome". You'll be back to buster swords in no time. :cool:
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#5 Postby Vinzent » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:44 pm

Don't forget Reach. I know it's not in the rules but I rule that if you try to close on someone with a Reach weapon, I give the person with the Reach weapon a free attack. If it succeeds in hitting, the charging character is stopped at the 1" range (and likely Shaken).

After all, that's the purpose of Reach weapons.
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#6 Postby SeeleyOne » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:37 pm

Perhaps two-handed weapons could get a benefit from using the two hands? Maybe when using a two-handed weapon your strength sccore could be considered to be one die higher. That is a simple solution that is also realistic enough.
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#7 Postby Vinzent » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:26 am

SeeleyOne wrote:Perhaps two-handed weapons could get a benefit from using the two hands? Maybe when using a two-handed weapon your strength sccore could be considered to be one die higher. That is a simple solution that is also realistic enough.


That's really not necessary as they already deal more damage than single handed, except for spear and staff (which is where my Reach rules would apply).
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#8 Postby Zadmar » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:11 am

SeeleyOne wrote:Perhaps two-handed weapons could get a benefit from using the two hands? Maybe when using a two-handed weapon your strength sccore could be considered to be one die higher. That is a simple solution that is also realistic enough.

It's been proposed before. It's a definite improvement, but it still leaves the greatsword lagging behind longsword and shield. However if you drop the Parry penalty as well, they become a lot more closely matched.

Vinzent wrote:That's really not necessary as they already deal more damage than single handed, except for spear and staff (which is where my Reach rules would apply).

Spear and staff are already excellent weapons due to their +1 Parry and the synergy of reach with First Strike, they don't need buffing. It's the high damage two-handed weapons that do badly. If you want to play a character with a two-handed sword, you're actually better off using a longsword and just describing it as being really big.

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#9 Postby ziegenpeter » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:10 am

Well I think I'ill rework the weapons a little bit after our first session.
I going to make swords a lot mor expensive (long- bastard and greatsword at least) I think +500$ and that will give them either +1 parry or +1 attack (according to the fantasy companion, you get fighting+1 for 1k$, I figured 500$ is ok). This is mainly to show that they are weapons of nobility and much harder to acquire (in our settting)

I also want to introduce a "true" longsword or one-and-a-half sword which is basically a bastardsword but without the single handed wielding and with ap1 or ap(rigid)1 since it was designed during the late medieval times as an answer to the fullplate advancements.

As for the Greatsword, im not sure whether that should represent the greatswords of the 13th and maybe early 14th or those real Renaissance doppelhänders that you associate with Landsknechten...

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#10 Postby Zadmar » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:28 am

ziegenpeter wrote:I going to make swords a lot mor expensive (long- bastard and greatsword at least) I think +500$ and that will give them either +1 parry or +1 attack (according to the fantasy companion, you get fighting+1 for 1k$, I figured 500$ is ok). This is mainly to show that they are weapons of nobility and much harder to acquire (in our settting)

+1 Fighting is the same as Trademark Weapon, and +1 Parry is the same as Block, so that's a pretty hefty bonus. I'd be tempted to make it an Edge. In fact, I'd probably just make it a trapping of Trademark Weapon.

However it also doesn't address the original issue. If you're applying the same bonus to longswords, then they're still going to be better than greatswords.

ziegenpeter wrote:I also want to introduce a "true" longsword or one-and-a-half sword which is basically a bastardsword but without the single handed wielding and with ap1 or ap(rigid)1 since it was designed during the late medieval times as an answer to the fullplate advancements.

The Fantasy Companion has a bastard sword, which is basically a longsword with -1 parry that inflicts +1 damage if wielded two-handed. That makes slightly better than the greatsword, but still weaker than the longsword.

However you could also just use the longsword in the core rules, and apply the (fairly common) house rule that characters can use weapons two-handed as if their Strength were one die step higher. That would allow someone with average Strength (d6) to wield a longsword two-handed. Although once again, that doesn't address the issue of greatswords being undesirable.

ziegenpeter wrote:As for the Greatsword, im not sure whether that should represent the greatswords of the 13th and maybe early 14th or those real Renaissance doppelhänders that you associate with Landsknechten...

I'd use it for any sword that requires two hands to use. But if you're planning to design your own swords, check out this thread.

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#11 Postby farik » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:41 am

If I was going to tweak the 2 handed weapons I'd probably giver them an AP bump rather than bump their damage dice or adjust parry.

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#12 Postby Vinzent » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:35 pm

Funny, I didn't notice that the Greatsword has a -1 Parry. I get it for the Greataxe because of the weight distribution (also an axe typically deals a lot more damage than a sword).

The idea that a two-Handed sword is heavy and hard to swing is a Hollywood myth. They were actually very versatile (see 35 seconds in).

I suppose it all depends on what you want to emulate. And yes, the Hollywood Greatsword is useless.
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#13 Postby ziegenpeter » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:39 pm

these are not really 2handed swords(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zweih%C3%A4nder) but relativly small bastardswords

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#14 Postby Clint » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:30 pm

Personally, I have yet to see an actual "proof" that the greatsword is worse than the longsword (or any other weapon) for the system as a whole.

All the sample combat runs have been X1 character vs. X2 character where the different between them is the weapon or weapon combo in question (or some other minor variance between those two otherwise identical characters). A true system-wide proof would require not testing those characters against each other but against every other potential foe or foes they could face. Simply because they could have different strengths or weaknesses when facing different conditions that a direct face-off will never reveal.

To use a basic analogy, it's kind of like saying Scissors is broken in Rock-Paper-Scissors by only comparing it to Rock which always beats it. Only in this case, there are actually hundreds of potential combinations of Paper to consider.

And that doesn't even touch on actual character builds and full rules applications as opposed to the inherent limitations of theoretical identical characters.

To be clear, I'm not saying the hypothesis is inaccurate, just that an extremely restricted sampling results in an equally restricted result, not a universal one as seems to be implied.

Zadmar's samples provide some useful information, but I think he would be the last one to want folks to presume conclusions from them they weren't intended to provide.
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#15 Postby ziegenpeter » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:38 pm

hmmm good point.

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#16 Postby amerigoV » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:12 pm

Clint wrote: it's kind of like saying Scissors is broken in Rock-Paper-Scissors by only comparing it to Rock which always beats it. Only in this case, there are actually hundreds of potential combinations of Paper to consider.

And that doesn't even touch on actual character builds and full rules applications as opposed to the inherent limitations of theoretical identical characters.



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#17 Postby Vinzent » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:47 pm

ziegenpeter wrote:these are not really 2handed swords(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zweih%C3%A4nder) but relativly small bastardswords


True, but the fighting style was very similar in that the weapon was treated more as a staff instead of a typical sword. The user's hands were not relegated to only gripping the hilt, which you can see in the Battle of Kappel engraving.
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#18 Postby Planecreek » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:58 pm

I'd be interested to see what situations people think 2 handed as currently written are better? None of the Std10 characters in our game ever take it (its always d8 weapon and large shield)

My thoughts:
If you have St d10 or more and one or more of the following
- attacking something with very high toughness (maybe in the high teens to the 20s)
- not the target of attacks or you are very tough vs your opponents so don't care (so the parry loss doesn't matter)

That's about all I can come up with. Edges that give free attacks that don't rely on parry (frenzy, sweep, first strike) or ones that affect damage (no mercy, mighty blow) should be slightly more beneficial for 2 handed weapon users, but I'm not sure they would make up for the difference. Although maybe the legendary improved first striking, improved sweeping tank may be better with a 2 handed weapon.

What tactics, edges and/or situations do people think make it a good option?

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#19 Postby SeeleyOne » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:31 pm

Vinzent wrote:True, but the fighting style was very similar in that the weapon was treated more as a staff instead of a typical sword. The user's hands were not relegated to only gripping the hilt, which you can see in the Battle of Kappel engraving.

Not trying to argue, but I just want to point out that we can't really base tactics from what an artist has drawn or otherwise illustrated. While it may be engraved into a picture, it isn't necessarily accurate. I have seen a LOT of pictures that are not accurate depictions of reality.
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#20 Postby Vinzent » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:06 pm

SeeleyOne wrote:
Vinzent wrote:True, but the fighting style was very similar in that the weapon was treated more as a staff instead of a typical sword. The user's hands were not relegated to only gripping the hilt, which you can see in the Battle of Kappel engraving.

Not trying to argue, but I just want to point out that we can't really base tactics from what an artist has drawn or otherwise illustrated. While it may be engraved into a picture, it isn't necessarily accurate. I have seen a LOT of pictures that are not accurate depictions of reality.


I seem to remember stuff on the History channel where they are recreating the fighting styles from actual manuals of the time. The bastard sword video I posted was definitely a part of that, but I'm certain if the bastard sword was used like that, it would also apply to the Zweihander. It just seems logical, and many of the Landskenecht reenactors I've come across wield the Zweihander in a similar fashion. However I have no specific links to back up this claim.
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