Friday, August 29, 2014

OSR extras (9) – Double Handling, Dual-wielding and Focus tactics, new rules

I would like to present some nifty and simple tactics to be used in OSR games. They are very easy to implement and may give some flavor and variety to attacks.

Double Handling (Full-force attacks): Very common in many games (like Dark Souls), double handling means using two hands instead of one when using a weapon, augmenting its damage output. In mechanical terms, when double handling, your attack suffers -2 penalty, but increase the size of the damage die by 1. So, a dagger (d4) would cause d6 damage, a short-sword would cause 1d8 damage and a long-sword would cause 1d10 damage. Weapons that are naturally two-handed could also be 'double-handled', although what this means is that the user would attack with 'full-force', increasing the dice damage (a great sword would deal 1d12 damage instead of 1d10, fro example).

Dual Wielding: I would like to present some slightly different rules from the main book for dual-wielding. In real life, dual-wielding was an odd style, mostly used in special situations, normally duels and probably never in real army combat. The second weapon functioned also principally as a form of 'shield' instead of a second form of attack. The nature of dual wielding makes effectively using the weapon extremely hard and, specially if the weapons are both big or of the same size. So, to emulate those characteristics in your game, dual wielding function as a shield, giving +1 AC, but you receive a penalty in your attack depending on the size of the weapon used in your off-hand (so, a tiny weapon give 0 penalty, a small gives -1, a medium -2 and a great weapon giver -4). Besides that, if you want to attack with both weapons in a turn, the main-hand weapon receives another -2 penalty and the off-hand weapon receives -2. So, if you are using a small sword in your off-hand, you naturally receives -1 to attack. If you want to attack with both weapons, you will receive -3 in your main hand and -5 in your off-hand.

Focused Attacks: Waiting for striking the right place in order to deliver a critical strike. With that tactic, you suffer -2 to your attack, but increase the critical margin by 1 (normally, this means that the hit is critical on either 19 or 20 instead of only 20) and the damage multiplier by 1 (so, it's 3x damage instead of 2x). This tactic can be used to either ranged or melee attacks.

Weapon proficiency: If you are using the skill rules for weapon proficiency, a character that puts a point in any of those tactics will receive +2 to using them. So, focus and force attacks will have no penalty, for example.

So, what you folks think? I like giving options to my players attacks so everything don't fall into the boring 'I attack' action. I will be posting more tactics eventually.

Until next time,

Images 1, 2

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