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Knife fighting character and doing enough damage

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  • Knife fighting character and doing enough damage

    I have a neat idea for a character who's main form of offense is a pair of knives for a fantasy setting game we have coming up. However, I am worried that an average strength character wielding knives might not do enough damage to be very useful. Does anyone have any ideas for making knives a bit deadlier in savage worlds combat?

    Thanks much,

  • #2
    I assume you will be taking the Two Fisted and Ambidextrous Edges.

    I have seen a dual knife wielding PC go from Novice to Legendary in a fantasy game and they never really seemed underpowered compared to the other PC's. To start with they tended to do more Shaken than Wounds but as two Shaken results on the same target is a Wound then their kill rate was not very different from the sword wielding muscle PC. Remember the d4 has a 25% chance of Acing so will contribute a bit more damage than you might envisage.

    Really the best way to up your damage is through getting a Raise when you hit so make use of anything that will give you bonuses to hit such as Gang Up, The Drop or Wild Attack (which will also boost your damage) as much as possible. Start with a high Agility (d8?) and try some Agility Tricks to reduce the opponents Parry by 2 and maybe even a Shaken before engaging. Taking Acrobat will somewhat offset the -2 for multi action Trick/Knife Attack and then it is down to Initiative whether you can further benefit from the Trick with two more knife attacks. Maybe Quick would be a good Edge. It is all in the timing.

    After that I might look at First Strike, Counterattack and Extraction to really maximise the number of hits you can get in.
    Last edited by Mavis; 03-13-2018, 05:54 PM.


    • #3
      The obvious option go for the Drop with stealth and Assassin Edge, target vitals in a way that bypass armor (head). Depending on the situation, it might not always work, if you just walk in a tunnel and come face to face with a group of monsters, you cannot rely on getting the drop bonus. But you can still target your attacks.

      Maybe you could convince the GM to consider the pair of knives together for the purpose of Trademark Weapon edge.
      Maybe go for Mighty Blow, Level Headed, Quick, No Mercy : Hope for more jokers (good if your GM is using for joker's wild setting rule, more bennies for rerolling damage with No Mercy).
      Maybe Ambidextrous, Dual wield, rapid attack, quick draw : Throw 6 knives in a single round with your GM's approval. You might still face issues wounding high toughness enemies though.

      Honestly, there's really nothing that you can do with a pair of knife that couldn't be done with a long sword and knife. Sticking with two knives is really just a cosmetic thing. Unless you need to infiltrate and keep your weapon hidden, whereas you could not hide a sword. Which is not likely to happen that often.


      • #4
        Close Fighting edge (and Improved Close Fighting) are a good place to start. You can find them in a lot of Savage settings. Or, you could throw a search in google and see what come back...
        Also, you probably will be not the top damage guy, still you should aim to lot of attacks (frenzy, two fisted etc.), combo with Tricks (Dirty Fighter edge), going first (Level Headed, Quick Draw) so you can extract your blades when the enemies have no weapons out, so you can gain +2 to your attacks 'cause they are unarmed defenders. Also, Florentine and Acrobat are usually chosen for your trope.
        "Balance is the key, Trapping is the word." - - Lord Lance

        Proud reviser of the SAVAGE FREE BESTIARY


        • #5
          Originally posted by erc1971 View Post
          I have a neat idea for a character who's main form of offense is a pair of knives for a fantasy setting game we have coming up. However, I am worried that an average strength character wielding knives might not do enough damage to be very useful.
          Stop doing that.
          Average Strength is d6. Knives deal Str+d4. So average damage is 4.2+3.3 = 7.5 with Acing accounted for. By comparison, dual swords would be 2d6 (8.4) damage.
          Average person has Toughness 5, or 6 (1) with leather armor and 7 (2) in chain armor. Damage 7 is enough to cause Shaken reliably.
          If you include individual tactics like Wild Attack (+2 Fighting result and +2 damage result) and Called Shots to head / vitals (-4 Fighting, +4 damage), edges like Two Fisted, Ambidextrous, and Florentine, and cooperative tactics like Tricks then you'll reliably hit your foes in their vitals for an additional +6 (or more) damage. That's enough to reliably kill a knight (Vigor d8) in plate armor (Armor +3; Toughness 9 (3)) by stabbing him in the heart really hard.

          So, stop worrying about how "weak" knives are. I've got a dozen players terrified of 2d4 damage, just because a few rat swarms rolled 42, 35, 27, and 19 damage. In the same round of combat.

          Originally posted by erc1971 View Post
          Does anyone have any ideas for making knives a bit deadlier in savage worlds combat?
          Of course I do. But given the deadliness of knives in the system, those ideas are unnecessary and likely to unbalance combat.
          I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


          • #6
            There isn't much I can say that probably hasn't already been said better by someone else. Knives do, technically, rank among the "weakest" weapons. But all that means is they have a slightly lower chance of outright killing most foes in one attack. Mechanically, there are only two reasons I can think of why someone would want to stick with knives. The first is Lord Lance's idea of leaning on the Close Combat chain. The second is, in most settings, knives can also be thrown without a penalty. This turns the character into something of a switch hitter; dishing out both ranged and melee attacks in the same round. As such, I recommend Quick Draw be added to the list of possible Edges. Knives are also both inexpensive and light. A character could carry a half-dozen on a bandolier of sorts, easily. And unlike arrows, they don't run the risk of breaking on impact.


            • ogbendog
              ogbendog commented
              Editing a comment
              And you have full parry. A bow weilder is either an unarmed defender or has an improvised weapon

          • #7
            Thank you everyone. This gives me plenty of useful information to make my character as I envisioned.


            • #8
              Knife fighting means you can lower strength and up agility. Which means you can pump fighting higher for cheaper. Which means you can have more skills like throwing. You are more accurate so you can do called shots and raises. More skill points for stealth which leads to more drops. Higher Parry means wild attack is easier.

              A proper knife fighter does 1d4+2d6+10 on an attack, killing most things.


              • Jounichi
                Jounichi commented
                Editing a comment
                Not on every attack. You can't just get the drop whenever you want.