Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

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Talath
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Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by Talath » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:22 am

This is an un-playtested observation.

So you suffer a -4 penalty to your Initiative roll for using a two-handed weapon.

This game uses oddly-sided Zocchi dice.

Why not roll 1d16 for initiative with a two-handed weapon rather than 1d20? Makes calculating the result that much easier.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by mshensley » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:48 am

Talath wrote:This is an un-playtested observation.

So you suffer a -4 penalty to your Initiative roll for using a two-handed weapon.

This game uses oddly-sided Zocchi dice.

Why not roll 1d16 for initiative with a two-handed weapon rather than 1d20? Makes calculating the result that much easier.
I like it!

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by talmor » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:14 pm

+1d3

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by jmucchiello » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:53 pm

talmor wrote:+1d3
Hey, that's my meme. :)

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by talmor » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:50 pm

jmucchiello wrote:
talmor wrote:+1d3
Hey, that's my meme. :)
Now that others have started using it, it's a realy meme :)

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by stacktrace » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:01 pm

Brilliant idea!! And if ever there was some reason for quicker initiative, could use a d24 or even d30.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by goodmangames » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:48 pm

+d24
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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by talmor » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:27 am

Instead of giving warriors their level bonus to Init, why not let them roll their MDoA Die?

Everyone rolls D20, 1st level warrios roll D20 + D3, instead of D20+1?

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by jmucchiello » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:32 am

Cool idea and another reason to call it a "class die".

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by Kruvil » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:19 pm

Another option for warriors to cut out the math completely: Warriors roll d24 or d20 for two-handed weapons at 1st level. A 5th (or 10th whichever seems fair) level warrior rolls a d30 for initiative or a d24 (or d24+1 if needed) for a two-handed weapon.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by JRR » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:44 pm

The -4 penalty is too harsh. There are enough penalties already for using a two handed weapon. You do 1 point extra damage and lose either the ability to make an off hand attack or the benefit of a shield. Either is much more effective than one measly point of damage, a -4 to initiative makes two handed weapons useless. May as well not have them in game at all.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by nanstreet » Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:14 am

JRR wrote:The -4 penalty is too harsh. There are enough penalties already for using a two handed weapon. You do 1 point extra damage and lose either the ability to make an off hand attack or the benefit of a shield. Either is much more effective than one measly point of damage, a -4 to initiative makes two handed weapons useless. May as well not have them in game at all.
I agree. It does seem like a harsh penalty stacked on top of an already mediocre weapon choice. What's the reasoning behind the -4? I think when opponents crash together at the beginning of combat a longer weapon would be better, not worse, and DCC is using cycling initiative so it doesn't even matter after the first round.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by smathis » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:26 am

JRR wrote:The -4 penalty is too harsh. There are enough penalties already for using a two handed weapon. You do 1 point extra damage and lose either the ability to make an off hand attack or the benefit of a shield. Either is much more effective than one measly point of damage, a -4 to initiative makes two handed weapons useless. May as well not have them in game at all.
I prefer the d16 to the -4 myself. So... +1d7? I guess I have to lay claim to a funky die somewhere...

I agree, as well, that the initiative penalty is harsh. Especially considering it applies to bows. I understand why it applies to crossbows. But one would think bows would be fairly zip, zip, zip. Legolas would have a tough time in DCC.

I had a suggestion a while back for two-weapon fighting... namely that a character rolled only once to hit and rolled both damage dice taking the best one. I think DCC has two-weapon fighting covered and doesn't necessarily need that tweak.

So maybe it could be refurbished to help out two-handed weapons. If you are wielding a two-handed weapon with both hands, you roll two damage dice and take the best one. It would help out the crossbow, that's for sure. Personally, I think the crossbow should do 2d4 damage, so that would be roll 3d4 and take best two for the crossbow.

I'd also recommend removing longbow and shortbow from the two-handed weapon category. If anything, bows should get an initiative BONUS when attacking from range.

And perhaps adding in something that allowed a character with 16 strength to use a battle-axe or two-handed sword one handed with a d16 to hit. A character with 17 strength to do so with a normal action die to hit. And a character with 18 strength to be able to use two-handed sword or battleaxe paired with an off-hand weapon in a two-weapon combo.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by nanstreet » Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:00 am

smathis wrote:
JRR wrote:The -4 penalty is too harsh. There are enough penalties already for using a two handed weapon. You do 1 point extra damage and lose either the ability to make an off hand attack or the benefit of a shield. Either is much more effective than one measly point of damage, a -4 to initiative makes two handed weapons useless. May as well not have them in game at all.
I prefer the d16 to the -4 myself. So... +1d7? I guess I have to lay claim to a funky die somewhere...
The problem I have with using the different dice though is that initiate is only rolled once. What if you change weapons. What if you have a two-handed weapon in hand but end up doing something different than attacking with it? Or is initiative reordered every "cycle" by what characters are doing? That actually sounds like more of a headache than rerolling initaitve every round (different dice could work well in a pick your action and roll a new initiative every round system), and it would be even more difficult to do when different intitiative dice are used rather than straight penalties. I think a penalty to initiative in a cycling initiative system should only apply if someone is doing something that is slowing them up at the time that initiative is rolled. -4 or d16 for a two-handed weapon just doesn't make sense to me.
I agree, as well, that the initiative penalty is harsh. Especially considering it applies to bows. I understand why it applies to crossbows. But one would think bows would be fairly zip, zip, zip. Legolas would have a tough time in DCC.
I don't think it would take less time to fire a bow than swing a sword. With a bow, ammunition needs to be drawn from it's quiver, nocked, bow bent and aimed, and then the arrow must fly to it's target. A blade is swung. I think it should be skill not the type of weapon that makes the most difference. In DCC Warriors get their level added to initiative, which sounds reasonable to me.
I had a suggestion a while back for two-weapon fighting... namely that a character rolled only once to hit and rolled both damage dice taking the best one. I think DCC has two-weapon fighting covered and doesn't necessarily need that tweak.

So maybe it could be refurbished to help out two-handed weapons. If you are wielding a two-handed weapon with both hands, you roll two damage dice and take the best one. It would help out the crossbow, that's for sure. Personally, I think the crossbow should do 2d4 damage, so that would be roll 3d4 and take best two for the crossbow.
I agree that something should be done to make it worthwhile. Maybe two-handed melee weapons should count all 1's on the damage dice as 2's. I don't think this should apply to missile weapons, though. I agree that crossbows should do better damge though.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by meinvt » Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:46 am

nanstreet wrote: The problem I have with using the different dice though is that initiate is only rolled once. What if you change weapons. What if you have a two-handed weapon in hand but end up doing something different than attacking with it? Or is initiative reordered every "cycle" by what characters are doing? That actually sounds like more of a headache than rerolling initaitve every round (different dice could work well in a pick your action and roll a new initiative every round system), and it would be even more difficult to do when different intitiative dice are used rather than straight penalties. I think a penalty to initiative in a cycling initiative system should only apply if someone is doing something that is slowing them up at the time that initiative is rolled. -4 or d16 for a two-handed weapon just doesn't make sense to me.
I definitely see this as a problem. If you are going to have an initiative roll modifier I'd much rather tie it to the armor worn, as that is unlikely to change in combat and it is understandable that someone in plate has more inertia to overcome. I think I'll be 'neglecting' this rule as written in my playtests, and in the game if it stays as is.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by smathis » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:20 am

nanstreet wrote:The problem I have with using the different dice though is that initiate is only rolled once. What if you change weapons. What if you have a two-handed weapon in hand but end up doing something different than attacking with it? Or is initiative reordered every "cycle" by what characters are doing? That actually sounds like more of a headache than rerolling initaitve every round (different dice could work well in a pick your action and roll a new initiative every round system), and it would be even more difficult to do when different intitiative dice are used rather than straight penalties. I think a penalty to initiative in a cycling initiative system should only apply if someone is doing something that is slowing them up at the time that initiative is rolled. -4 or d16 for a two-handed weapon just doesn't make sense to me.
The origin of the idea behind -4 (at least as far as I can tell) is in older versions of D&D, those who wielded two-handed weapons went last. I'd almost rather see a round of combat be resolved in this manner...

1. Spellcasters announce if they're casting spells (using either a primary or secondary action)
2. Those using bows, darts and slings from range (not at point blank) fire their weapons (first shot of the round). Maybe crossbow wielders can fire here on the first round of combat as well.
3. Non-two-handed weapon Melee attacks happen, as well as all movement. Disengaging from melee offers a free whack, even against an opponent with a two-handed weapon. Engaging an opponent in melee who has reach (with a polearm or spear) gives that opponent a free whack as well.
4. Those using crossbows and two-handed weapons make their attacks.
5. Those using bows, darts and slings from range (who have not moved) fire a second time.
6. Any non-spellcasting secondary actions should occur (if a character has more than one action die). This includes additional melee or missile attacks.
7. Spells go off, unless they whiffed due to taking damage or losing concentration.

With an initiative roll used as a tie-breaker within the separate actions. Yeah, it's more complicated. Maybe overly so. But there are people that've been using this method since OD&D and Chainmail. And, frankly, once you've gone through it a few times it becomes second-nature because it is more rooted in wargaming conventions than simply a lucky d20 roll for initiative. Most people who can handle a boardgame could navigate through that Order of Actions.
nanstreet wrote:I don't think it would take less time to fire a bow than swing a sword. With a bow, ammunition needs to be drawn from it's quiver, nocked, bow bent and aimed, and then the arrow must fly to it's target. A blade is swung. I think it should be skill not the type of weapon that makes the most difference. In DCC Warriors get their level added to initiative, which sounds reasonable to me.
That's not entirely the point. The statement I made specified "at range". A person with a bow should get a shot off on a person with a sword before that person with a sword is able to charge 50' and attack. We give the same courtesy to spears and polearms. Whereas a person with a bow at point blank range, IMO, should not. In fact, firing a bow in melee should give the opponent a free whack, IMO. And those using bows at point blank range or within melee range should not get a second attack.
nanstreet wrote:I agree that something should be done to make it worthwhile. Maybe two-handed melee weapons should count all 1's on the damage dice as 2's. I don't think this should apply to missile weapons, though. I agree that crossbows should do better damge though.
Or maybe two-handed melee weapons get to re-roll 1s? That's easier than remembering to add +1, IMO. I think the crossbow needs more damage output too. Maybe 2d6? That would put it on par with a bow that gets to shoot twice at range. And there should be a "Light Crossbow" option for Halflings, perhaps doing 2d4 damage.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by nanstreet » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:08 am

meinvt wrote:If you are going to have an initiative roll modifier I'd much rather tie it to the armor worn, as that is unlikely to change in combat and it is understandable that someone in plate has more inertia to overcome.
That kinda makes sense. Personally, I would like to see armor training in the game as well as weapon training. Characters could still wear armor they don't have the training for, and this could include an initiative penalty. If a character has training in armor, maybe all penalties could be halved.
smathis wrote:
nanstreet wrote:I don't think it would take less time to fire a bow than swing a sword. With a bow, ammunition needs to be drawn from it's quiver, nocked, bow bent and aimed, and then the arrow must fly to it's target. A blade is swung. I think it should be skill not the type of weapon that makes the most difference. In DCC Warriors get their level added to initiative, which sounds reasonable to me.
That's not entirely the point. The statement I made specified "at range". A person with a bow should get a shot off on a person with a sword before that person with a sword is able to charge 50' and attack. We give the same courtesy to spears and polearms. Whereas a person with a bow at point blank range, IMO, should not. In fact, firing a bow in melee should give the opponent a free whack, IMO. And those using bows at point blank range or within melee range should not get a second attack.
Okay, I get what you mean now, though I don't think a bonus to initiative works well because of the reasons I mentioned above. Maybe characters with missile weapons should have a rule like they have for wizards duels, where they can go out of order. If an opponent takes a move action, and the archer has not gone yet in the round, the archer can interrupt the move with an arrow shot at their opponent. That becomes the archer's turn for the round, but it doesn't change his initiative in subsequent rounds. This should work with other missile weapons, too. So if an orc is charging a character who fights with sword and dagger, and the characters turn comes after the orc, she could choose to hurl her dagger at the onrushing orc and hope to kill it before it arrives, but then give up getting an attack on the orc after it closes, or she could wait until after it attacks and take her normal initiative count.
Or maybe two-handed melee weapons get to re-roll 1s? That's easier than remembering to add +1, IMO. I think the crossbow needs more damage output too. Maybe 2d6? That would put it on par with a bow that gets to shoot twice at range. And there should be a "Light Crossbow" option for Halflings, perhaps doing 2d4 damage.


Rerolling 1's would work. I'm not sure which would be easier to remember.

Crossbows should have a slow rate of reload. In quick battles they are only good for an opening volley. 2d6 and 2d4 sounds okay. We used to do d12 and d8 for AD&D.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by smathis » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:01 pm

nanstreet wrote:Okay, I get what you mean now, though I don't think a bonus to initiative works well because of the reasons I mentioned above. Maybe characters with missile weapons should have a rule like they have for wizards duels, where they can go out of order. If an opponent takes a move action, and the archer has not gone yet in the round, the archer can interrupt the move with an arrow shot at their opponent. That becomes the archer's turn for the round, but it doesn't change his initiative in subsequent rounds. This should work with other missile weapons, too. So if an orc is charging a character who fights with sword and dagger, and the characters turn comes after the orc, she could choose to hurl her dagger at the onrushing orc and hope to kill it before it arrives, but then give up getting an attack on the orc after it closes, or she could wait until after it attacks and take her normal initiative count.
I like that a lot. It does the same thing I was wanting to do with missile weapons but, IMO, is simpler. Allowing the missile group to go "out of turn" is elegant, IMO. I don't know of any other game that does that.
nanstreet wrote:Rerolling 1's would work. I'm not sure which would be easier to remember.
I don't know either. But rerolling ones seems to fit with the dice-on-the-table meme of DCC.
nanstreet wrote:Crossbows should have a slow rate of reload. In quick battles they are only good for an opening volley. 2d6 and 2d4 sounds okay. We used to do d12 and d8 for AD&D.
Yup. I agree on the reload. I chose 2d6 and 2d8 to give Crossbows a more reliable oomph. If you're only going to get to fire the thing once every other round or so, it better not be rolling a 1 on damage. At that point, might as well just turn it into a club. :lol:

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by maasenstodt » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:03 am

Given the several disadvantages to using larger two-handed weapons in DCC, I'd very much like to see it them offer characters the ability to get a first strike against approaching foes with shorter reaching weapons.

Once melee is engaged, I certainly understand the initiative penalty, but by offering an free attack (or even an Agility test to win a free attack) as the sides meet, there is much more reason (and logically supported reason, at that) for characters to use pole-arms, two-handed swords, and the like.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by bholmes4 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:10 am

maasenstodt wrote:Given the several disadvantages to using larger two-handed weapons in DCC, I'd very much like to see it them offer characters the ability to get a first strike against approaching foes with shorter reaching weapons.
To me this is why I don't like the -4 penalty to 2-handers and think it's probably best to remove it and make things simpler (and on the plus side it makes 2-handers a viable option). You could just as easily argue that in this abstract combat system a longer 2-handed weapon should have +4 to initiative, not -4, due to their "strike first" ability. Afterall why would a dagger wielder have a better shot at winning initiative when he squares off against a guy with a claymore? Shouldn't the guy with the claymore have initiative due to the reach of his weapon and thus have a chance to strike the dagger-wielding assailant dead before he even gets in close?


Some options:
1. Everyone rolls d20 (or even d6 if we want to play old school) for initiative and we embrace the abstract nature of this combat system.
Why add extra complications for minimal rewards?

2. Let 2-handers roll d30 and a d16 for initiative (the d30 applies to the first round only, thereafter they use the result of the d16). If the d30 is too high a d24 could be used instead.
Fiddly but may be interesting in play due to the tactical effect. I can see some Conan-style fun here, killing a guard before he can even draw his sword and then chopping off the head of his friend as he draws his. Again is it worth the complication though?

3. Give light, fast weapons a d24 for initiative and 2-handers a strike first ability.
Boosting a d4 weapon like the dagger to d24 initiative doesn't unbalance things and 2-handers could use a boost. That said I prefer 1 or 2.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by smathis » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:32 pm

I've been running it such that the guy with the dagger has to roll and Agility check (DC 12) to close on the guy with the claymore. If he makes it, cool. He closes and attacks with his dagger. If not, the guy with the claymore gets a free whack. Kind of like a threatening reach rule.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by Invincible Overlord » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:12 pm

I have to agree that if there is going to be a modifier to 2-hand weapons it should be positive. Having reach on your opponent is huge, and many 2-h weapons are very fast -- see Deadliest Warrior. But probably better if there were no modifier at all.

But even better, use initiative by side whenever possible. 3e's hyperspecific initiative had terrible effects on gameplay:
http://arsludi.lamemage.com/index.php/7 ... nt-killer/

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by maasenstodt » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:57 pm

I think bholmes4's options have merit, but I would propose the following:

At the start of any combat where a Warrior wielding a two-handed weapon is not surprised, the Warrior rolls their Attack die. If the result meets or exceeds the opponent's Hit Dice or Level, they receive a free attack as soon as their chosen opponent is within melee combat range.

This allows Warriors to make use of the range two-handed weapons provide without requiring any change in the initiative rules.

Thoughts?

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by bholmes4 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:03 pm

Invincible Overlord wrote:I have to agree that if there is going to be a modifier to 2-hand weapons it should be positive. Having reach on your opponent is huge, and many 2-h weapons are very fast -- see Deadliest Warrior. But probably better if there were no modifier at all.

But even better, use initiative by side whenever possible. 3e's hyperspecific initiative had terrible effects on gameplay:
http://arsludi.lamemage.com/index.php/7 ... nt-killer/
Thanks for the link. That has exactly been my experience with individual initiative and it was one of the first things I highlighted as something I will houserule in DCC. There are areas that DCC is too "3e-like" and this is one of them I think.

One thing I was considering was individual initiative on the first round (the DMs NPCs would likely act as a group or small groups) but after that, due to the chaos of battle, the initiative would be rolled as a group: DM vs. PCs.

Another option I might try was blending in Warhammer FRP 3rd edition rules where the players roll their individual initiatives and give their results (say 17, 14, 12 and 4 with the NPCs rolling 20 and 13). That means the action in this round would go: NPC - PC - PC - NPC - PC - PC . The difference is that when, for example, a PC is up, they as a team pick which PC acts from among those remaining that haven't acted that round. This system, which by the way fits in nicely with that posted link, forces the PCs to converse, figure out tactics and work together in determining who should act when.

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Re: Initiative and Two-Handed Weapons

Post by abk108 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:44 am

I wouldn't use funky dice in initiative at all, it just gets cumbersome if you don't have the proper dice and you have to go through all the strange calculations... it's fun when you do it for a spell effect or a MDoA, i think, but not if you're doing it all the time (some people suggested giving a class die to each class that applies in some class-related circumstances..)

That said, i didn't even notice there was a -4 Initiative for two handed weapons.
I would either get rid of it, or tweak those weapons as suggested, like rolling twice and choosing the best result, or re-rolling 1s...
On Xbows: i would say that if a character has a Xbow ready to shoot in his hands when the group finds a critter, the Xbow goes first (how long can it take to pull a trigger?), then initiative order with the Xbow rolling for the next round (and subsequent round) with a -4.
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