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 Post subject: Eldritch Questions!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:22 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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So I just heard about ERP today and had a number of questions. I'm a big fan of y'all's Wicked Fantasy Factory line, by the way, own them all.

1. The first cut of reading about it (more narrative, stats measured in dice) seems a bit like Savage Worlds. Why a new system and not use SW or something else? What differentiates it from "the pack" of SW, C&C, OSRIC, Pathfinder, or the other options out there?

2. To what degree does Goodman look to support ERP vs. D&D 4e? I see that you've carefully said "we're not going to NOT support 4e" but is this intended to be your preeminent fantasy line? Guesses on future adventure count splits 4e vs ERP?

3. Why not open from the get-go? It seems like with Wizards being bungholes about 4e there's a lot of fragmented fantasy games coming out, and if it was open then, since you're very early to market, could get more publishers rallying around it potentially.

4. I'm intrigued by the references to interpretation-sharing between DM and player. How much? We talking indie-game much, or just "more than D&D," like a Feng Shui level of player authorship?

5. What kind of "feel" are you going for? With the limited info and art it kinda says "Midnight" to me. Or, I just found the description of Ainereve - hmm, more Pendragoney or even... What was that French fantasy game... Reve the Dream Ourobouros (http://www.malcontentgames.com/index2.shtml)? Hmmm, that's actually a little problematically close - y'all aware of that one?

Thanks...


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:58 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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I'd like to know how social abilities work, if we're having a Q&A.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:59 am 
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Hi, I asked a few of my "Team Eldritch" people their opinions too, especially since some of them are quite familiar with Savage Worlds, so I'm posting them here too. Note that my team's opinions (as well as mine) may differ from that of Goodman (i.e. we're not speaking for him here).

mxyzplk wrote:
1. The first cut of reading about it (more narrative, stats measured in dice) seems a bit like Savage Worlds. Why a new system and not use SW or something else? What differentiates it from "the pack" of SW, C&C, OSRIC, Pathfinder, or the other options out there?


Dan Cross: Sure, Eldritch, like Savage Worlds uses the ascending ranking according to polyhedral dice, which is found in other games as well (Earthdawn, Sovereign Stone, etc). Why a new system? I believe my character creation and action system, as well as the "layered defense" combat lend themselves to a different "feel" in play. It's difficult to explain further without demonstrating (which is why I'm getting that Quickstart out ASAP).

Jason Toney: ERP is it's own system. Truly, you have to play it to see it (which will be possible soon with the Quick Start Rules). Active defense and Passive defense allows for more engaging fast-pace combat. Other systems have a role and see approach (exchanging blows until someone dies or runs), where as ERP has a role and participate approach, allowing the players to truly chose a defense to a GM's attack. Your fate is a shared story between the player and the GM, not just the GM.

Seth Clayton: Also, the action system lends an incredible amount of flexibility, allowing you to easily and intuitively take your character in directions the rules don't specifically cover.... This can let players really define the character they want without having to wade through a dozen books to find just the right rule... There is no rule interpretation involved... Look at your sheet and if you've got it, you've got it.... AND you know how to use it (very few sub-systems or 'mini-games' )


Quote:
2. To what degree does Goodman look to support ERP vs. D&D 4e? I see that you've carefully said "we're not going to NOT support 4e" but is this intended to be your preeminent fantasy line? Guesses on future adventure count splits 4e vs ERP?


Jason Toney: Only Goodman can answer this question, but as a rule, if the game sells well the support will be there because it is profitable to do so.

Dan Cross: What he said.

Quote:
3. Why not open from the get-go? It seems like with Wizards being bungholes about 4e there's a lot of fragmented fantasy games coming out, and if it was open then, since you're very early to market, could get more publishers rallying around it potentially.


Randall Petras (co-author): It is a good question, and the answer is, we did look into things like OGL, and actually found it to be a bit restrictive to where we wanted to take the game. Our skills system and combat system are unique, and that is something we wanted to maintain.

Jason Toney: OGL is a wonderful tool for a large company trying to "claim" the market, but isn't prudent for a small company trying to at least make its money back (although, we are gamers who have a passion for gaming, money is the necessary evil). We are being careful with ERP to release quality products, and to ensure this we have to have control of the license. Otherwise, we could become associated with mediocre or sub-par versions of ERP. The future of ERP depends that "quality" reigns, not mass quantity of material.


Quote:
4. I'm intrigued by the references to interpretation-sharing between DM and player. How much? We talking indie-game much, or just "more than D&D," like a Feng Shui level of player authorship?


Dan Cross: I don't think it's really "indie" in design, if that word implies "way off the beaten path". The interpretation-sharing comes in a great deal in combat, where the players choose their mode of defense against each strike, but without a formal "to-hit roll", they then interpret how harm is mitigated. In contests of skills I'd say the "interpretative" part is no different than other RPGs, but in character creation you can definitely create a persona according to whatever fantasy vision you wish.

Randall Petras: The system was meant to be flexible. One of the things that separates pen and paper RPGs from video game RPGs is the ability of the players and the GM to adapt the system to their needs. The rules were designed to allow the player a large range of character description through the selection of skills and abilities. In fact the rules, rather than pigeonholing you into stock, often useless, skills allows the selection of skills to form a deep and robust character with which the player can identify.

Jason Toney: In D&D a player's fate is complete in the GM's hands once combat begins. ERP strives to allow a player to "actively" challenge his fate! Players are also not "tied down" to a "class" as none is tied to a class in real life. One major problem with most class based games is they assume characters are 2 dimensional. ERP assumes the opposite, people are not 2d, so the characters we create shouldn't be 2d either. Just because a character likes to swing a sword, doesn't mean he isn't adept at arcane knowledge, or a skillful thief. Other systems spend to much time "balancing" classes, thus creating a video game approach versus the true intent of Role-playing games, Role-playing.

Quote:
5. What kind of "feel" are you going for? With the limited info and art it kinda says "Midnight" to me. Or, I just found the description of Ainereve - hmm, more Pendragoney or even... What was that French fantasy game... Reve the Dream Ourobouros (http://www.malcontentgames.com/index2.shtml)? Hmmm, that's actually a little problematically close - y'all aware of that one?


Randall Petras: The setting, like the game engine, is adaptable to the players. The "dreamworld" nature of the setting allow for quite a bit of adaptability on the part of any one specific game group. It also allows any game group to come up with as much of their own stuff as they wish, but still use the stock setting materials should they choose to do so. In some games I've played I often felt trapped in their setting. While I could add my own flavor, I could never break out of the stock setting of their game.

Dan Cross: I'd say the game engine itself was designed to "feel" like the original fantasy role-playing game, before the line ultimately morphed into something more of a tactical skirmish extravaganza.

Jason Toney: Eldritch itself has no feel, as it currently exists as a "toolkit" which can be used to design your own fantasy, Scifi, or pulp adventure. Your reference is to Ainereve, which like all settings shares things in common with many other created settings, and of which share things in common with ancient mythology and lore. We are a product of our upbringing, and are therefore influenced by the myths and legends we knew growing up, so therefore this makes similarities appear in any newly created setting. Ainereve is a dream world, but it's not the dream world of Reeve the Dream the similarities end at the word "dream". Midnight is a dark fantasy setting in which evil has won, and good is few and far between. In Ainereve the world is of yet undetermined to that level. Pendragon is King Authur, nothing in common here other than the influence the Authorian Legends has on any fantasy creator.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:20 am 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

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Posts: 530
WyzardWhately wrote:
I'd like to know how social abilities work, if we're having a Q&A.


There are no soft "social abilities" per se. I see that all in the domain of Role-Play and character concept. However, there are some skills that I think required some "mechanical backup", such as when a character is trying to lie or detect lies, or has a talent for coercion. Here are some examples (basic skill > specialization > mastery).

Coercion (R) > Interrogation > Torture, Inquisition
Scrutiny > Sense Mood > Anger
Scrutiny > Sense Motive > Guilt
Skullduggery > Lie > Bluff
Skullduggery > Sense Motive > Bluffs
Willpower * > Resist Control > Mind, Body

There are also some advantages or disadvantages according to appearance that can affect NPCs in the game, which I felt best expressed in game terms.

GMs will have no trouble adding to that list, according to taste.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:48 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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Posts: 9
dancross wrote:
WyzardWhately wrote:
I'd like to know how social abilities work, if we're having a Q&A.


There are no soft "social abilities" per se. I see that all in the domain of Role-Play and character concept. However, there are some skills that I think required some "mechanical backup", such as when a character is trying to lie or detect lies, or has a talent for coercion. Here are some examples (basic skill > specialization > mastery).

Coercion (R) > Interrogation > Torture, Inquisition
Scrutiny > Sense Mood > Anger
Scrutiny > Sense Motive > Guilt
Skullduggery > Lie > Bluff
Skullduggery > Sense Motive > Bluffs
Willpower * > Resist Control > Mind, Body

There are also some advantages or disadvantages according to appearance that can affect NPCs in the game, which I felt best expressed in game terms.

GMs will have no trouble adding to that list, according to taste.


Interesting.

Thanks for getting back to me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:03 pm 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

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From the Tomb of Knowledge (Creatures) on the Eldritch Web Site:

Quote:
Kobld's invisibility: Those attempting to attack an invisible kobold must roll Scrutiny + (any specializaitn in detecting invisible creatures) + any Weapon mastery possessed for the weapon wielded.

The rules do not specifically address mixing die-ranks from different ability branches, but this is one such acceptable and powerful use.


Would 'mixing die-ranks' be applicable in situations such as:
- fighting while climbing on a ship's rigging (combat + climbing)
- fighting from horseback (combat + riding)
- etc


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:43 pm 
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Banesfinger wrote:
Would 'mixing die-ranks' be applicable in situations such as:
- fighting while climbing on a ship's rigging (combat + climbing)
- fighting from horseback (combat + riding)
- etc


Oh yeah, 7th Sea RPG did something like that with the assumption being that if you're fighting in the rigging it doesn't matter how good a swordsman you are if you can't climb well, so you used your climbing dice for fighting while climbing.

I would think that if you did that in Eldritch it would be more like Climbing + any Weapon mastery possessed for the weapon wielded. In other words, the climbing replaces your base combat dice, but you'd still gain some advantage from knowing a lot about specific uses of a particular weapon.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:13 pm 
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mythfish wrote:
Banesfinger wrote:
Would 'mixing die-ranks' be applicable in situations such as:
- fighting while climbing on a ship's rigging (combat + climbing)
- fighting from horseback (combat + riding)
- etc


Oh yeah, 7th Sea RPG did something like that with the assumption being that if you're fighting in the rigging it doesn't matter how good a swordsman you are if you can't climb well, so you used your climbing dice for fighting while climbing.

I would think that if you did that in Eldritch it would be more like Climbing + any Weapon mastery possessed for the weapon wielded. In other words, the climbing replaces your base combat dice, but you'd still gain some advantage from knowing a lot about specific uses of a particular weapon.


ERP can handle this sort of house ruling with no problem. I'd be inclined to do that sort of thing myself (which is why I included it in the monster sample). Even though I might allow a mix die-ranks from different abilities, I'd still retain the rule that no more than 3 dice can be thrown at a time (ADC, or ability-dice-chain).

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:24 pm 
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TeamEldritch wrote:
ERP can handle this sort of house ruling with no problem. I'd be inclined to do that sort of thing myself (which is why I included it in the monster sample). Even though I might allow a mix die-ranks from different abilities, I'd still retain the rule that no more than 3 dice can be thrown at a time (ADC, or ability-dice-chain).


Out of curiosity, are there any situations where the ADC (3-dice) rule is broken?
For example, how does ERP handle multi-weapon fighting? (E.g., weilding a dagger and sword).


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:55 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

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Banesfinger wrote:
TeamEldritch wrote:
ERP can handle this sort of house ruling with no problem. I'd be inclined to do that sort of thing myself (which is why I included it in the monster sample). Even though I might allow a mix die-ranks from different abilities, I'd still retain the rule that no more than 3 dice can be thrown at a time (ADC, or ability-dice-chain).


Out of curiosity, are there any situations where the ADC (3-dice) rule is broken?
For example, how does ERP handle multi-weapon fighting? (E.g., wielding a dagger and sword).


Multiple weapon fighting...

1. The primary weapon is the weapon readied when first entering combat.

2. The primary weapon determines, in conjunction with it's relavant ability branch, the maximum number of dice that can be rolled in a single or split attack in a round, barring use of the Extra Attack action. This is the normal rule. However, when using two weapons, this is automatically considered a split-attack, and the maximum ADC is reduced to two dice (basic (weapon 1) > specialization (weapon 2, if specialized). Using two weapons disallows three dice to be rolled for a single attack action because it breaks the logical succession of basic > specialization > mastery.

3. Only allow the initiative bonus based on the first weapon wielded

4. A two weapon attack cannot be performed if one of the two weapons has a max-split of 1.

So yes, the optional rule of "crossing ability branches" can be used. I'll probably have to write an article for the website on this. We'll use a basic fighter type to illustrate this and call him Sir Wraith of the Hidden Blade (why not?). Let's give sir wraith some narrowly focused combat stats and ignore the rest for now...

Sir Wraith of the Hidden Blade: 1D6 melee > Knife specialization at 1D8.
1D6 melee > Chain specialization at 1D6
1D8 Ranged > Crossbow specialization at 1D10

My critics will note I avoided the use of short swords in this example :lol: Anyway, Wraith has a short loose chain in one hand and regular dagger in the other. The short, loose chain has a max split of 3, and the dagger does as well. So under the normal rules Wraith could split his attack up to three ways with a single weapon. Here it's a moot point, because Wraith cannot attack with more than two dice with a single use when using two weapons. Also, the secondary weapon must be smaller and lighter (and only the combination of Ambidexterity and Extra Attack advantages can trump that rule).

In round one the player wants to strike once with his chain and once with his dagger. The GM allows this as follows:

Wraith is using a chain as his primary weapon (max-split 3), as has two dice in is ADC.

Round 1: So, Wraith swings the chain 1D6 (using basic rank, +1 PH) then his knife 1D8 (using his knife specialization, +0 PH). So we've allowed crossing over branches within the same skill tree. I'd only allow the initiative bonus based on the first weapon wielded in such a case, and for the loose chain that would be +2 (if he had a Reflexes of D6 that would give him an effective D8, making him faster to act).

Round 2: Wraith sheaths his dagger, lowering his max-split of attacks by 1. His immediate foe has fallen, so he draws his light crossbow, lowering his max-split by another points. He then attacks with his crossbow, rolling 1D8 + 1D10 (+3 PH), gaining no initiative advantage. He shoots and fells another enemy.

Round 3: Remembering suddenly his own skill, Wraith invokes his Advantage of "Extra Attack", which he gained last level. He decides to throw a dagger and use an extra attack with his loose chain. Rather than split his primary attacks, he lowers his crossbow, grabs his dagger again (lets pretend no penalty using quick draw for daggers), and throws it. The player asks if he can use his knife specialization to throw it, but GM disallows that on the grounds it's a different focus of fighting with a knife (thus no cross-branch ADC permitted), so Wraith only gets to throw it at 1D8 (his base Ranged, with no weapon specific bonuses possible because he is not specialized in ranged combat with knives). But then, not disheartened, he uses his Extra Attack (which was purchased to 'mirror' his basic Melee plus Chain specialization, at 4 pts), and rolls 2D6 against a close foe. At this level of Extra attack, no splitting of the dice is allowed, which is explain on page 9 of the core rules.

Any way, taking the Extra Attack advantage along with ambidexterity is a more powerful way to use two weapons, especially of the same size, because then you're potentially rolling up to six dice of Potential-Harm in a single round (the last three coming after all other attacks, in the last phase of a round). That doesn't break the max 3 dice in an ADC rule either. The disadvantages of Extra Attack is a) you cannot split dice for the weapon wielded, b) the advantage must 'mirror' an existing Ability Branch, c) you cannot add specific weapon bonuses to harm or initiative if already applied to the character's action earlier in the round, unless Extra Attack itself is mastered.

I haven't written an "Extra Attack equivalent" for Harm Effect spells based on an Arcanum ability branch, but that would work great too.

Edit: I had to rewrite this several times, because I had introduced "Extra Attack" to cover two weapon fighting as an advantage, but had not considered a fairly easy and fair "breaking of the rules" to allow two weapons without taking the extra advantage.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:21 am 
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dancross wrote:
Sir Wraith of the Hidden Blade: 1D6 melee > Knife specialization at 1D8.
1D6 melee > Chain specialization at 1D6
1D8 Ranged > Crossbow specialization at 1D10

Round 1: So, Wraith swings the chain 1D6 (using basic rank, +1 PH) then his knife 1D8 (using his knife specialization, +0 PH). So we've allowed crossing over branches within the same skill tree. I'd only allow the initiative bonus based on the first weapon wielded in such a case, and for the loose chain that would be +2 (if he had a Reflexes of D6 that would give him an effective D8, making him faster to act).


So let me see if I understand this correctly. In this example, Sir Wraith doesn't seem to really be gaining much mechanical benefit from attacking with two weapons. He could simply use the dagger alone and split his dice into 2 attacks for 1d6 (basic rank) and 1d8 (knife specialization). So all he's really getting out of this is the initiative bonus from the chain while still being able to use his d8 knife specialization. Well, and the +1 PH on the chain attack too I suppose.

If he had mastery with "Ghost Cult Knives" at 1d8, could he make a knife attack at 2d8 and a chain attack at 1d6? Or are both attacks of a split attack still considered "a single attack action" and he'd be violating the rules by using 3 dice in an attack action while wielding 2 weapons?

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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:07 pm 
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mythfish wrote:
...doesn't seem to really be gaining much mechanical benefit from attacking with two weapons.


I agree mythfish, it doesn't seem to give you any advantage to fight with two weapons.

Cons of fighting with a weapon in each hand (instead of just using your primary weapon):

Disallows 3-dice (lose mastery ADC)
Does not use initiative bonus from the second weapon
Restricted to Max split 2 or greater for both weapons
Restricted to smaller and lighter weapon in off-hand

Pros:

?


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:32 pm
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Quote:
So let me see if I understand this correctly. In this example, Sir Wraith doesn't seem to really be gaining much mechanical benefit from attacking with two weapons. He could simply use the dagger alone and split his dice into 2 attacks for 1d6 (basic rank) and 1d8 (knife specialization). So all he's really getting out of this is the initiative bonus from the chain while still being able to use his d8 knife specialization. Well, and the +1 PH on the chain attack too I suppose.

If he had mastery with "Ghost Cult Knives" at 1d8, could he make a knife attack at 2d8 and a chain attack at 1d6? Or are both attacks of a split attack still considered "a single attack action" and he'd be violating the rules by using 3 dice in an attack action while wielding 2 weapons?


Just as a reminder, the core rules would indicate that the attack must be within a single ability branch, which basically disallows two weapons without purchasing the "Extra Attack" advantage (if using a mastery rank anyway). Makes it simple. But we're talking about "breaking the rules", so this is territory where I'm making it up as an experiment. I wrote the Extra Attack advantage to cover the two-weapon fighting, so the rules are there, but I felt there was no reason why there couldn't be optional rules to cover it in other ways. So, please don't take this discussion to be something official.

In your example, rolling the D8 knife specialization and D8 Cult Knife mastery + the D6 basic Melee with the Chain looks okay, mainly because you're not rolling a basic rank, specialization rank, or mastery rank twice. Also, in my original writeup (done last night) I was seeking to limit the benefit of this on purpose---to encourage the purchase of the Extra Attack action (which is already in the rule book). This optional two-weapon attack stuff could get complicated depending on the max-split of primary weapon wielded.

So to revise my write-up...

1. The primary weapon is the weapon readied when first entering combat.

2. The primary weapon determines, in conjunction with it's relavant ability branch (the actual ADC), the maximum number of dice that can be rolled in a single or split attack in a round (the weapon's max-split), barring use of the Extra Attack action.

3. 3. Only allow the initiative bonus based on the first weapon wielded

4. A two weapon attack cannot be performed if one of the two weapons has a max-split of 1.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:00 pm 
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dancross wrote:
But we're talking about "breaking the rules", so this is territory where I'm making it up as an experiment.


Oh, gotcha. And even if it doesn't provide much mechanical benefit, I can certainly see wanting to do it for character or situational reasons. The skill system seems incredibly flexible in the sense that it allows you to do things not explicitly covered by the rules, and I like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:01 pm 
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Banesfinger wrote:
mythfish wrote:
...doesn't seem to really be gaining much mechanical benefit from attacking with two weapons.


I agree mythfish, it doesn't seem to give you any advantage to fight with two weapons.


Hiya! 8)

The advantage of fighting with two weapons is realized with the "extra attack" advantage, sometimes in conjunction with ambidexterity. There is a serious advantage because you're rolling extra Potential-Harm dice at the end of each round. However, there is *some* advantage to using two weapons with the optional rules we're tossing back and forth here. You can pick the weapon with the highest related ADC, max-split and initiative bonus, and then splitting your attacks, substitute another weapon with a greater harm bonus, and maybe a greater die-rank for Potential-Harm. That isn't zero advantage.

Quote:
Cons of fighting with a weapon in each hand (instead of just using your primary weapon):
Disallows 3-dice (lose mastery ADC) ... Restricted to Max split 2 or greater for both weapons


We can revise these points, or you could as GM, since this is all optional rules discussion anyway. ;-)

Quote:
Pros: ?


choosing the higher initiative weapon but using a higher die-rank for Potential-Harm with another weapon, plus sometimes a higher bonus to Potential-Harm (although that might be unusual if the secondary must be lighter and smaller).

But hey, I hope this discussion is demonstrating how easy it is to tweak the system to taste. I haven't playtested mixing ranks between different ability branches, so that might take a bit to finalize and balance, but it shouldn't be too bad to improvise.


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