I admit I do not have a lot of experience with practical 2d20, so I may be wrong.
Nevertheless, if such advantageous Dual Wielding rules were working in REH stories....Conan is definitively an idiot.
Even if a lot of art depicts him with sword & axe, Conan mostly wields just a sword and nothing else in the offhand in REH stories.
If that dual wielding rule was working in REH stories maybe Conan could have held a knife in the offhand and get that momentum discount for second attack....
I do not know.
Dual wielding to me sounds advantageous.
But maybe when I'll see more practical gameplay I'll change my mind.
Another thing about dual wielding: I think that discount should be valid ONLY IF one uses the offhand weapon for the second attack.
Nevertheless, reading the text, it looks like the discount is given even if one attacks twice with the main weapon.
This makes no sense to me.
Just like this game isn't the real world, it's also not the stories. It's a game, with game mechanics. While they are intended to help facilitate stories within the setting they are not an exact representation of every aspect of the setting. Nor to they somehow retroactively mean Conan was an idiot.
Also, some people don't make characters thinking of only the best way to game the system, and it's not the system's job to stop the people who do. If my character is not a dual-wielder he does not dual wield.
As for the roll... How about and Insight test? Or just roll a d20. The problem here is you're trying to shoehorn a mechanic into a system that was not designed for said mechanic, after saying that you don't actually have much experience with the system. You are free to come up with a houserule of course, but "Initiative", as you are thinking of it, is not a mechanic used in this game. I have run the system numerous times with several different groups and never had a problem with this game's turn order rules. And I have never heard a single player complain abut them either.
As a 'real practioner' wielding two weapons is harder than weapon and shield. Shields are designed to be used to block, not attack. You can attack with one, but it's not as effective as a weapon.
The advantage of a shield in the game is it can be sacrificed to ignore a wound.
The dual-wielding rules have worked fine in Mutant Chronicles - even in a setting where dual-wielding includes guns. It's also worth noting that there are a lot of potent two-handed weapons that you've not seen yet.
The fact that there's already a +1 difficulty on the second attack, and that people who aren't dual-wielding can do it, just for slightly more Momentum, means that dual-wielding isn't a colossal bonus. It's a nice benefit, and it's simple to resolve (which was one of my aims), but it's not a massive boon, merely a discount on something everyone can do.
Game Development - 2D20 System
System Design - Star Trek Adventures
Thank you for the explanation. I'm maybe starting to understand.
What about the difference between wielding a knife or a sword in the offhand? The Second should be more difficult to wield as a second weapon...or not?
Why should one choose a short and not a big weapon in the offhand, other than for style and preference?
Maybe some different weapon qualities?
@Luca - that would be a Reach preference. Reach is HUGE when it matters in this game. If you weild two weapons of the same size, you have no defense against people slipping under your guard, and you can do more if you slip under someone elses.
You are of course giving up some damage, but thats some of the tactical part of this rules system I love so much.
@Thank you David!
The whole combat system looks interesting. I've always been interested in such things and tweaked my games to make knives matter more at close range.
Your comment makes me more eager to play this game.
@David Thomas, I re-read page 121, and I can see what you mean, now. I think that on page 121 for Dual Wielding, to prevent people like me, who are clearly reading too fast, from misunderstanding, it might be better to say, "the cost of the Momentum spend for that Swift Action is reduced to 1." In hindsight, I really should have seen the connection, but that clarity only costs 4 additional words, so I think it is worth it.
Page 113, "Once per turn, a character can perform each of the following: a single Standard Action, a Minor Action, and any number of Free Actions. The character may exchange a Standard Action for a Minor Action and/or a Minor Action for any number of Free Actions." Since a character's turn already includes "any number of Free Actions", exchanging "a Minor Action for any number of Free Actions" is absolutely pointless. Rewrite as "Once per turn, a character can perform each of the following: a single Standard Action, a Minor Action, and any number of Free Actions. The character may exchange a Standard Action for a second Minor Action." (SEE PAGE 119 BELOW)
"but once a character begins the turn" should be "but once a character begins its turn" or "but once a character begins his/her turn"
Page 115, "This does not prevent the gamemaster coming up with elaborate environments" should be "This does not prevent the gamemaster from coming up with elaborate environments"
Page 116, "A character cannot move to Extreme range in a single turn" is not always true. A character could use his turn's Standard Action to move to Long Range, and then his Minor Action to Close range, assuming the Extreme Range in question was just one zone away from the first Long Range zone. It's all a matter of how the zones are connected. Rewrite as "Extreme range is defined as anything beyond Long range. Extreme range is a distance of three or more zones. A character cannot move to Extreme range in a single turn unless the distance is exactly three zones (using both his/her Standard and Minor actions)." (SEE PAGE 119 BELOW)
"Creatures or objects that are particularly noticeable — casting a spell, roars or shouting, or a fast-moving or brightly-colored object — may reduce the Difficulty further." should be "Creatures or objects that are particularly noticeable —casting a spell, roars or shouting, or a fast-moving, brightly-colored or very large object— may reduce the Difficulty further."
In the paragraph discussing smell, it may be worthwhile to add a sentence describing how a smell's pungency/subtlety or the air's motion (stagnant, breeze towards or away from the character, strong wind) may affect difficulty.
Page 117, "The People Of The Black Circle" should be "The People of the Black Circle" (note how on page 116 you have "The Pool of the Black One").
Page 119, "As he leaned there he caught a sound on the other side that his ears instantly identified it was the creak of rusty iron, like a lever scraping in its slot." is missing an em-dash: "As he leaned there he caught a sound on the other side that his ears instantly identified —it was the creak of rusty iron, like a lever scraping in its slot."
"As part of a normal turn, a character can perform a single Standard Action, a Minor Action, and a Free Action. The character may exchange a Standard Action for a Minor Action and/or a Minor Action for any number of Free Actions." contradicts page 113. On the other hand, now swapping a Minor Action for more Free Actions makes sense. So page 113 needs to be fixed!
"Any character can only perform a single Movement action during each Round." This explains the page 116 interdiction of movement to Extreme Range. Thus on page 113 you should change "A character cannot perform the same type of action more than once in each turn." into "A character cannot perform the same type of action more than once in each turn; for instance, a character can only perform a single Movement action." And then on page 116: "A character cannot move to Extreme range in a single turn." should become "A character cannot move to Extreme range in a single turn (because he/she can only perform a single Movement action)."
"A character may not stand up and drop prone in the same turn." should be "A character may not stand up (minor action) and drop prone in the same turn."
"If the character wishes to roll the dice for a Simple (D0) skill test, then the Use Skill action (page XX) must be taken instead." There is no "Use Skill" action. Rewrite as "If the character wishes to roll the dice for a Simple (D0) skill test, then the Skill Test standard action (page XX) must be taken instead." Likewise, "For such actions, the Use Skill action should be used instead." should be "For such actions, the Skill Test standard action should be used instead."
Page 120, "Ridding self or an item from an ongoing condition" should be "Ridding self or an item of an ongoing condition"
The "Movement" minor action should be "Move", and the "Treatment" standard action should be "Treat". This is because all other actions are verbs. For the same reason, "Skill Test" should be "Use Skill" (which voids a couple of remarks from above) and "Simple Task" should be "Do Simple Task".
"carried on his person/stowed in his gear" should be "carried on their person/stowed in their gear" (since you've elected to use the singular they elsewhere). Personally I think the singular they is a grammatical abomination, but I do grant it can lighten the text somewhat.
Page 121, "Regardless of the method used, however, a character cannot take more than two Standard Actions each round." should be "Regardless of the method used, however, a character cannot take more than two Standard Actions each round, and cannot do two Actions of the same type (such as Movement)." because this restriction needs to be stressed.
"When a character performs the Brace action, these penalties are removed from future attacks made with the braced weapon. Once a character performs the Brace action, the weapon remains Braced until it is moved. If the character moves the weapon, then the benefits of being Braced are removed." is unclear on two counts. First, the use of "attacks", plural, seems to imply the Brace removes the Unwieldy penalties for several attacks. Second, what counts as "moving" a weapon? As a GM, I would tend to treat attacking and reacting as "moving". Thus: "When a character performs the Brace action, these penalties are removed from the next use of the braced weapon. Once a character performs the Brace action, the weapon remains Braced until it is used to attack or react."
Page 122, "The benefits of this action are only gained once per round." So if a player Exploits in one round and on the next round manages to get two Standard Actions, he could Exploit again then Attack? This feels like a loophole. Thus: "The benefits of this action are only gained once per attack."
Page 122, "Because the character focuses on recovery and foremost," should be "Because the character focuses on recovery foremost,". "until the start of the next turn." should be "until the start of his/her next turn." (You must specify whose turn) (Applies to Recover and Sprint, and also to Confidence on p. 124)
"equal to the number of Harms of that type the ally is suffering from, or Average (D1)." should be "equal to Average (D1) or the number of Harms of that type the ally is suffering from, whichever is greater."
Page 123, Defend does not require a guard be established, which seems to make the Regain Guard minor action pointless. Are you sure Defend does not require a previous Regain Guard? And when is a guard lost? As soon as an attack or reaction is made, I would surmise (very much like Brace). But then the Break Guard momentum spend also seems curiously phrased: if used with an attack, it prevents the target from defending, which is fine. But what would be the point of adding this to a defend reaction? The attacker does not have his guard up, and won't regain it until he spends the minor action, *after* the attack is done.
Retaliate should specify it does not apply to Reactions, because "when an enemy attempts to make a non-attack skill test" can be understood to include the Defend skills (and therefore the Protect skills): Parry, Acrobatics, or Discipline. This exclusion is required to avoid almost infinite recursion (A attacks B, B defends, C retaliates on A, A defends, B retaliates on A, etc.).
Making an Attack: after explaining the steps, a paragraph needs to be added to cover a Protect reaction: "The target could also be protected by a Protect Reaction by an ally aware of the attack. This is a Struggle similar to the Defend case, except that if the protector wins the Struggle, the attack hits him/her instead."
"the target’s Defense Reaction uses" becomes "the target’s Defense Reaction (or the protector's Protect reaction) uses" (three times, under melee, ranged, and threaten).
If a ranged attack does indeed expose the attacker to retaliation, then the retaliate description should be amended accordingly: "This reaction may be used when an enemy attempts to make a non-attack skill test (or a ranged attack) when within Reach of the character". It seems odd that a threaten attack does not expose the threatener to retaliation under similar circumstances (i.e. target at Close range or further, third party within Reach). It really should.
Page 124, Second Wind: "each Momentum spent in the associated capability." The term "capability" is not explained in any of the chapters up to this point. I think Stress is meant instead.
Secondary Target: Presumably this can be defended or protected?
"The following table" should be "The above table" (or else move the table *below* these two half-columns of text).
"fear, doubt, and Threaten)." should be "fear, doubt, and threaten)." (threaten is not capitalised in the text that went immediately before)
Page 126, "Conditional Soak [...] is always a number of [CD], providing a quantity of Soak equal to the total rolled on those [CD]." but several entries, such as Drop Prone on p. 119, specify Soak in fixed point values (2 in Drop Prone's case). Which is correct?
"If multiple of these conditions apply" should be "If several of these conditions apply".
Page 127, "When attempting to recover their own Vigor during battle or treat their Wounds naturally, characters should use the Resistance skill. Characters attempting to recover the Vigor or treat the Wounds of an ally should use the Healing skill." is incorrect. One recovers one's own stress, one treats an ally's stress (that's how the actions are defined). This is confusing because harm is also "treated" later on (p. 128 and later). Thus: "When attempting to recover their own Vigor or to treat the Vigor of an ally during battle, characters should use the Resistance or Healing skill, respectively."
"or vice versa" ahould be "and vice versa".
"For objects, Stress is called Structure, while Harms are called Breaks" but the table on p. 127 and the text of p. 124 use "Fault" instead of "Break".
"The attacker may spend two Momentum on the attack in order to choose which hit location is struck instead." should be "The attacker may spend two Momentum on the attack to obtain a Called Shot, allowing him/her to choose which hit location is struck instead."
Sacrificial Armor: I would be tempted to interpret the rule as replacing a character Wound with a Break (or Fault) of the armor or shield. Most armor and shields could take just one Break/Fault, but better quality stuff would be able to take more.
Page 128, "Characters attempting to recover their own Resolve during battle, or treat their Traumas naturally, use the Discipline skill. Characters attempting to recover the Resolve or treat the Traumas of an ally use the Counsel skill." should be "When attempting to recover their own Resolve or to treat the Resolve of an ally during battle, characters should use the Discipline or Counsel skill, respectively."
"Spending 1 point of Momentum (Immediate, Repeatable) allows a character to recover 1 point of any Stress." should be "Spending 1 point of Momentum (Immediate, Repeatable) buys Second Wind, allowing a character to recover 1 point of any Stress."
"Alternatively, characters can spend actions to try to recover their own or an ally’s Stress during an action scene." should be "Alternatively, characters can spend Recover or Treat actions to try to regain their own or an ally’s Stress during an action scene."
To lift the double meaning of "treatment", maybe harm should be "cared for and healed" rather than "treated and healed". E.g. "To care for Harm, the caregiving character must choose what kind of Harm is being cared for and must [...]", etc.
Page 129, "Each melee weapon counts as a single shot: once a sword has been thrown, it is no longer available for use until it has been recovered." should be "Each melee weapon counts as a single shot: once a sword has been thrown, it is no longer available for use until it has been recovered (using a Draw Item action)." (I presume you pick up dropped items using Draw Item once within Reach)
All my surmise regarding Guard is cast in new light by the section on Reach and Guard here. This should definitely be referred to from pages 120 and 124 (e.g. "and Regain Guard may be used as a Free Action. For the mechanics of Guard, see p. 129.")
You should also clarify what is meant by "if the character’s defenses are overcome". Is this achieved *only* by the Break Guard momentum spend? And now that I think of it, can Brace (p. 121) be used with non-unwieldy weapons? It would provide an advantage when facing an enemy that can use the Disarm momentum spend.
Page 130, "Displays, are described in Displays, following." should be "Displays, are described below."
"may be needed in order to meet a Display’s requirement." should be "may be needed in order to meet a Display’s requirements." (because requirements, plural, was used in the preceding sentence)
"Instead of the usual Persuade skill, Displays may sometimes use a different skill test" (implying that all displays have the option of switching to a different skill test) is a weird way of putting it since the follow-on table of displays lists Persuade in a single case. I would prefer the Skill column of that table to read "Persuade or ..." every time.
Page 131, "is either notorious enough for this to work, or isn’t." should be "is either notorious enough for this to work, or not."