Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

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Stonebreaker
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Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by Stonebreaker » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:58 pm

I have noticed one thing in the rules that I feel needs to be addressed (sorry if I'm re-hashing something)
The damage for two-handed weapons is not so great. Why take a battle axe (1d8) and lose your AC bonus for a shield and take an init. penalty to boot when you could take a long sword and shield (+1 AC) for the same damage and no init. penalty.
I believe the problem could be solved in two ways;
1.) Double the strength modifier, i.e. +1 damage is now +2. A negative modifier could be doubled the same way. -1 is now a -2. These two-handed weapons are so great in size that only the strong have a chance of wielding them properly.
and/or
2.) Instead of 1d8 (battle axe) and 1d10 (great sword) roll 2d4 and 2d5 respectively. The bell curve for damage might make these weapons a bit more appealing. For the above mentioned battle axe, it would be harder to roll an 8 on 2d4 (1 in 16 chance), but you would never roll a one and 4's,5's, and 6's would be common (10 in 16).
Just some thoughts.
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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by bholmes4 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:22 pm

Stonebreaker wrote: 1.) Double the strength modifier, i.e. +1 damage is now +2. A negative modifier could be doubled the same way. -1 is now a -2. These two-handed weapons are so great in size that only the strong have a chance of wielding them properly.
Double the strength modifier is probably too much but I would like to see stronger characters get a bonus with these sorts of weapons. To me it always seemed odd that an 18 strength character is almost doubly scary with a dagger than a normal man (4-7 damage vs. 1-4) whereas with a 2-handed sword they don't do all that much more (4-13 vs. 1-10). If anything I imagine strong warriors can more effectively apply their strength to longer, heavier weapons and that is where you would see the larger disparity.

That said I have toyed with the notion of variable damage ie.: they do 1d10 for most characters, 1d12 if you have strength of 14+ . I hate these sorts of extra complications that start to slowly, one by one, bog games down though.

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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by finarvyn » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:51 am

Actually, I kind of like the "double the strength modifier" suggestion for two-handed weapons.
1. It's easy to remember, and kind of intuitive. One arm does one thing, two arms do twice as much.
2. Modifiers in the DCC RPG are typically low, so I think that it shouldn't have a huge impact most of the time.
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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by JediOre » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:33 am

finarvyn wrote:Actually, I kind of like the "double the strength modifier" suggestion for two-handed weapons.
1. It's easy to remember, and kind of intuitive. One arm does one thing, two arms do twice as much.
2. Modifiers in the DCC RPG are typically low, so I think that it shouldn't have a huge impact most of the time.
Ditto.

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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by Harley Stroh » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:08 am

As long as you enforce the init penalty, it seems like it should work. Hrm. Need to try this out at the next playtest.

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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by bholmes4 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:33 am

That d10 weapons becomes equivalent to a:
d12 with +1 strength
d14 with +2 strength
d16 with +3 strength
Are you really comfortable with a d16 weapon on the starting equipment list? If the strength bonus is also x2 for to-hit bonus you now have a d16 weapon with an extra +3 to hit. That may be the best magical sword I have seen in a long, long time...
finarvyn wrote: 2. Modifiers in the DCC RPG are typically low, so I think that it shouldn't have a huge impact most of the time.
I guess having skipped 3rd and 4th edition maybe I have a skewed view point but the modifiers are low? Sure individually none are overly high but there are so many ways to add them in they quickly add up. Example. A lucky warrior with the proper birth augur, who picks 2-handed weapons as his "lucky weapon", could potentially be doing d10 + 12 + Attack Die. At 1st level he could be hitting for 14-25 damage per attack and threatening on 19-20. By 5th level this guy is pumping out 14-29 damage with 2 attacks / round(up to 58 damage per round!!), threatening to crit on 18-20. And of course we haven't even introduced magical weapons in to the equation or magical strength boosts.

I know, I know, the roll 3d6 method should stop this (and to those that want to change it to 4d6, this is what may result) but remember Luck can be raised through play, so having a +2 or +3 bonus in luck is not that difficult to imagine. Of course that said I do like the fact a Conan could be rolled up through pure luck, I am just not comfortable with that sort of average damage output. I have no problem with Conan lopping off an ogre's head in one swing with a 2-handed sword. I don't want every dragon he faces to be dead in 2 rounds and 4 swings of his sword though.... at 1st level no less.

I'm not really sure what the answer is mind you. There are so many things inter-playing here: threat ranges, birth augurs, lucky weapons, attack dies, multiple attacks/round, magical weapons, strength bonuses, luck points, MDoA dice and so on. You have to be very careful I think to just start boosting things like this when it's already such a swingy system. Personally if I am adding anything then I am taking something else away (ie. Lucky weapons) to keep it from getting any more out of whack.

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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by bholmes4 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:48 am

I still think 2-handed weapons are being done backwards. To simulate a "strike first" potential I would actually have an init bonus (d30 instead of d20). I run with individual initiative on the first round only, then switch to party vs. party (d6) so it works well together. If the 2-hander is surprised, his init bonus doesn't matter. Either way once the first round is done and the chaos of melee begins he loses it anyway. If that dagger wielding rogue wants to kill the 2-hander, he would be wise to sneak up on him for surprise to ensure he loses that "strike first" bonus.

Nice and a simple bonus that works for me both thematically and from a fun gameplay stance.

I still haven't decided if they should do d12 damage or not. I also wouldn't mind see the strength modifier x2 if it's negative though. Keeps the 2-handers in the hands of the strong (or at least average strength guys) which is what I want.

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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by Harley Stroh » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:14 am

Good point about the first round reach. I hadn't thought about that ... hrm.

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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by Hamakto » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:55 am

bholmes4 wrote:I still think 2-handed weapons are being done backwards. To simulate a "strike first" potential I would actually have an init bonus (d30 instead of d20). I run with individual initiative on the first round only, then switch to party vs. party (d6) so it works well together. If the 2-hander is surprised, his init bonus doesn't matter. Either way once the first round is done and the chaos of melee begins he loses it anyway. If that dagger wielding rogue wants to kill the 2-hander, he would be wise to sneak up on him for surprise to ensure he loses that "strike first" bonus.

Nice and a simple bonus that works for me both thematically and from a fun gameplay stance.

I still haven't decided if they should do d12 damage or not. I also wouldn't mind see the strength modifier x2 if it's negative though. Keeps the 2-handers in the hands of the strong (or at least average strength guys) which is what I want.
I will throw out three ideas for people to hash over... I am not married to any of them, but they are all workable and fun. They are in order from most complex to VERY simple. I LIKE to complex ones, because they are more realistic... but it may be too complex for what Joseph is looking for.

1. Give weapon stats:
----------------------
Each weapon has a minimum strength score to use the weapon. If you have a strength score < the minimum for the weapon, you take -1 to hit per STR point less than the minimum for the weapon. When using two hands on a weapon, your STR score counts as two points higher.

Weapons with higher strength scores do a higher base damage than weapons with lower requirements.

Strength does not increase you chances to hit, but Dexterity does. The more agile you are helps determine if you can react fast enough have a higher chance to hit your enemy.

example: (just made up numbers)

Long Sword (Min STR 9) d8
Dagger (Min STR 6) d4
1-H Battle Axe (Min STR 10) d8
2-H Battle Axe (Min STR 15) d10 or 2d5 or 2d4+1 (when it hits, it does more damage) --- Please note that since you are using two hands, the real effective STR score required is only 13).

Why go through this?

First, it allows you to add one extra column to the weapon charts. The damage that is 1-handed and the damage that is 2-handed (if they weapon can be used both ways).

Second, this system allows for some simple extensions to other situations that come up. You find a giant sized Short Sword +3 of Black Death? It has a minimum strength score requirement of 18. Now you know if you can use it and how effective it will be for you. Conan (STR 18) would be able to use it one handed, where a less strong person would need to use it two handed.

OR

You want to pick up a door and use it to bludgeon someone. The DM picks STR 16 as the required STR to use a door effectively and assigns d7 damage (due to the mass of the door). Everything flows the same way.

Idea #2: Limit effectiveness of Strength bonuses for items and provide bonus damage for using a weapon 2-handed

When using a melee or thrown weapon 1-handed, use your standard strength bonus
When using a melee or thrown weapon 2-handed, use your strength bonus +1 (to simulate extra power for 2-h weapons). Yes, this means that a battle axe does (d8) damage one handed and (d8+1) damage 2-handed. The +1 bonus could be +1 or +2 depending on how it works game wise.

The above works as written albeit with a small limitation. You cannot apply more strength bonus to a damage roll than what your actual weapon damage roll is. Good example... 18 STR fighter using a dagger 2-handed. They would normally get a +4 bonus on damage (assuming +1 bonus for 2-h), but it would be limited by the actual die roll of the d4. So if a 1 was rolled, only one point of strength could be applied.

If we go with a +2 bonus for using a weapon 2-h, the warrior above would never be able to apply all +5 points of damage to the roll because a dagger can only do a maximum of 4 points of damage.

This system has the simplicity of allowing any weapon to be used one or two handed. And two handed weapons to still exist.

Idea #3: Really simple way to handed 2-handed weapons

If you are using a weapons two handed, just roll two damage dice and pick the higher one. This simulates doing more damage on a hit and would probably make it worth ditching a shield. No need to give out extra damage for a weapon used two handed, you just get a far better chance to do more damage on a hit.
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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by fjw70 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:51 am

bholmes4 wrote:That d10 weapons becomes equivalent to a:
d12 with +1 strength
d14 with +2 strength
d16 with +3 strength

This isn't true. The averages are the same but the higher dice also have higher max (and min) damage. So they aren't equivalent.

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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by Hamakto » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:37 am

Harley Stroh wrote:Good point about the first round reach. I hadn't thought about that ... hrm.

//H
If you roll initiative every round, then you can do something like this:

Simple but not applicable to all situations:

1st round initiative (closing)
2nd round initiative (once you are in melee)

Slightly more complex, but should still flow easily.

A weapon has initiative range of X (for our example a 2-h sword has a 4).

When someone closes to combat range, if their imitative number is X or less more than your roll, then you get to attack as they close.

Example: Orc got a 10, you rolled a 7 with the 2-h sword.

DM says orc moves on a 10, you go I swing at him as he closes. Your initiative order does not change, but you get one closing attack at a higher number. Once you are in melee range, then you use the lower initiative number.
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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by bholmes4 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:59 pm

fjw70 wrote: This isn't true. The averages are the same but the higher dice also have higher max (and min) damage. So they aren't equivalent.
Ok I shouldn't have said "equivalent" but I think we all know what I was getting at... :roll:

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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by fjw70 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:51 am

bholmes4 wrote:
fjw70 wrote: This isn't true. The averages are the same but the higher dice also have higher max (and min) damage. So they aren't equivalent.
Ok I shouldn't have said "equivalent" but I think we all know what I was getting at... :roll:
Yes I did know what you meant. That is why I clarified you post. :)

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Re: Two-Handed Weapons are not "Great" weapons

Post by geordie racer » Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:46 am

bholmes4 wrote:You have to be very careful I think to just start boosting things like this when it's already such a swingy system.
I agree with this, having played and DM'd at 5th Level, all the little modifiers do add up, it's not equivalent to the old school power level at all.
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