Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ghaundan

Two-handed weapon damage and balancing encounters

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone. I've played a fair bit of Warhammer Fantasy now and so far it's been great. I love the system, my players love the system and it apart from some players been slightly annoyed with the "draw 3 pick 1" career choice. 

The thing I've myself had problems with though is scaling encounters for players with two-handers. Even a low level combat character, like a slayer, or even a normal human fighting career can do ALOT of damage to things like trolls, which are supposed to be super scary! And if you only have one-handers, they are. How do you people work around the whole two-hander dilemma? I don't want to take away my players weapons but i also struggle with the huge difference in damage depending on weapons used. Any tips are welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've upped a point of "Defense" to adding a Challenge Dice rather than a Misfortune Dice, and I've found this solves a lot of problems. Now Two-Handers are only wielded by my Dwarf, who soaks up crazy amounts of damage, and my Wizard who can't afford the penalty to spellcasting. For enemies with shields now, they get that extra die of survivability which helps a lot, but not to the point where my players ever feel like they can never win - it just makes the tradeoff between defense and offense a lot starker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The answer to most problems of this kind is to not introduce harder enemies, but to introduce MORE enemies. When you are fighting one or a few dangerous enemies, dealing one heavy blow is very effective. But when you are fighting a bunch of weaker enemies, it doesn't help as much. This also helps mitigate the advantage of people with really good defenses; If they are attacked more than three times in a round, they run out of defensive actions.

I've found that "boss monsters" are not nearly as dangerous as a mob of minions because with a boss monster, all the players pour all their damage into the monster and kills it in 1 or 2 rounds. With a bunch of minions they start running out of powerfull actions as everything is on cooldowns. In addition, some monsters might skirt around and attack the ranged guys etc. It gets a lot more chaotic very quickly. And WFRP just loves Chaos ;)

Edited by Ralzar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have ignored the "draw 3 pick 1" when starting most of our campaigns. Mostly since my players have a clear idea of a character concept that they would like to play and that's more important than following that part of the character creation rules. Some players have decided to draw 3 and pick 1 when they had not idea what they wanted to play, or when I've GMd short adventures.

 

Two-handers do a lot of damage, but often they miss out on defence cards. But I've never felt that it's problem specific to 2H-weapons, a combat oriented character can do a lot of damage with 1H weapons as well. The great weapon "only" does 2 more damage than a hand weapon, and the great weapon costs more, and you can never use block. I'm all for what Ralzar is saying, often when you fight one tough monsters, like a troll, they will lose as all players will focus their attacks on them. Meaning that a group of 4 players will get 4 attacks in a turn while the Troll will get only one. The troll will probably loose even if the players only use hand weapons.

 

So to make things harder more enemies is the way to go. There might be a bunch of goblins with the troll for example, meaning that either the party will have to focus on the troll, or split up to deal with multiple threats. 2H weapons are overkill against smaller opponents, like goblins. As you often can do one-hit kills with hand weapon against weaker opponents. Then the Great Weapon will mean that you don't have block.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another trick when having the party fighting a big monster and a bunch of minions: Start with the minions. Players often do not think strategically and burn whatever defense actions they have straight away. So a character might try to parry the first skaven, dodge the second skaven and then go "oh fff..." when the rat ogre attacks ;)

And if a player tries to anticipate this, you could allways attack someone else, so he "wastes" his oppurtunity to use the defensive action.

Edited by Ralzar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer to let big damage hulks be big damage hulks. If some contemptible fool has had the temerity to try and min-max your game, I say you drown the bastard in insanities. But generally, if someone wants to go for a big damage guy, then yes, throw lots of small monsters at him. That usually works.... But also, remember, in the Old World, the lucky ones die by the sword.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll defineatly look into more mooks in the future then :) But even against them a two-hander may end up being more effective.
Let's take an average character, 3 strenght, and a hand weapon. That's 8 damage.
With a two-hander he does 10.

Pluss whatever action he uses, and some of the two-handers tend to add even more damage, but lets go with standard melee attack.

A soldier mook will take 2 damage, or 5. and if he's a mook the 5 will kill him, the 2 won't. So i'd have to scale it up so he survives 2 two-hander hits or down so he dies from 1 1-handed hit.

I'll defineatly look into it though :) Thanks for the tips! Adding purple sounds interesting, but that also makes chaos stars ALOT more likely which is increadibly good for the defender depending on how i play it, and since they tend to suffer it's only fair the good guys suffer too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually a soldier has a Toughness of 3 and a Soak of 2, meaning 8 damage becomes 3 so a One-Hander will take out a Soldier mook as well. The Two-Hander will take out a Mook and severely injure his friend, so more accurately it's that in three rounds, a Two-Hander will kill 5 Soldiers while a One-Hander kills "only" 3.

 

The thing is, I don't have too much of a problem with this because Aido put it best - let the people who are good at something be good at it. If your campaign is mine then the Two-Hander is a Dwarf who went into a Weapon Skill starting Career, 5 Strength and has two dots of training in Weapon Skill already, while the One-Hander is a human with 4 Fellowship who went Roadwarden. Yes, my group just points Bissil at the biggest thing around in a fight, but he's already gone down in two encounters, and doesn't have quite as much to do in social or investigative scenes where the other characters get to shine.

 

No matter how much they min-max, there's always going to be that round where Joe Nobody rolls incredibly on his attack and crits your Two-Hander, and could seriously mess him up. With Bissil again, he has a 2 Intelligence, no training in observation, and also managed to once defeat a Gutter Runner's 5+Training Stealth roll. While drunk. And then win an Initiative roll and kill him in one shot. Similarly he did go down against the subsequent Rat Ogre, and my other players finished it off and everyone was happy about it.

 

Anyway if you want to kill people, just use Longbows at Extreme range so that a Melee character has no chance to charge in before he's peppered with arrows to death. Problem solved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I generally don't use the henchmen rules unless it's particularly suitable (usually swarms of really easy enemies).

 

About grinding combat-specced characters in combat: You will most of the time not be able to do this, HOWEVER if you use the Critical rules there are a lot of NPC attacks that have a really easy time causing Criticals. For example giant wolves cause criticals all the time with their basic attack. This doesn't kill the character right away as long as he doesn't go down, but it will start to lessen his abilities and make combat a lot more threatening. If he goes into a combat with 4 Criticals he is aware that if things don't go his way he will probably die.

Note: For situations like this to actually happen, you have to limit healing. Make sure to keep the pressure up. Give good story reasons for why they can only stay at the tavern for a single night to rest up for example.

Edited by Ralzar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had one comment like "wow, we heal up fast", and i noticed...they were, not because I wasn't hurting them but because of travel times and resting. I put a stop to that nonsense soon and their barber surgeon with delusions of grandeour has been calling them wimps every time she fails a first aid check since. Good times.

Henchmen I'm somewhat...hesistent about? They're still low lvl, soon going into their second career and not alot of things they meet should be easy to kill. Also, if i do start using henchmen, any good tips for none gamy ways to hint that they're henchmen? Because the difference between a henchman and  none henchman can be quite huge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The stands are useful for that. Tell people "These ones represent groups of [NUMBER OF PCs] whereas this guy represents just one and they'll figure it out. If you use the stand bases, maybe give your "boss" enemies a stand marker to indicate which ones are important? Also for henchmen I either have them retreat or be knocked out, and then presumably if combat is won the PCs go around finishing everyone off or moving on.

 

I don't allow for first aid checks while travelling because Empire travelling is less a gentle sightseeing and more a desperate sprint from safe town to safe town in order to not be out at dark and get eaten by Beastmen. It has only come up once for me because I like to try to keep my big climax in a confined time frame for that reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long travel is a problem if you just follow the rules as stated and it catches you a bit off guard. There are two problems:

1: The party heals all damage, criticals and diseases.

2: You spend a LOT of time rolling recovery checks.

 

Here is how I solved it:

1: Recovery in the wild and while trying to progress on a journey allways has penalties. Usually 1 or 2 Misfortune dice, but bad weather etc can make it worse. Equipment can sort of make up for it, which creates a sink for any extra cash the characters have. (Recovery check Chaos Stars can have tents being blown away, sleeping furs catching fire etc.)

2: For longer journeys of a week or more, I give them 1 Recovery check for each week with one less Difficulty Dice. So there is a lot less recovery being done, but the odds of getting rid of something serious is much higher.

Edited by Ralzar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Henchmen I'm somewhat...hesistent about? They're still low lvl, soon going into their second career and not alot of things they meet should be easy to kill. Also, if i do start using henchmen, any good tips for none gamy ways to hint that they're henchmen? Because the difference between a henchman and  none henchman can be quite huge.

 

Intuition can be specialized to sum up your opponent (think it's called "asess opponent" or something similar). If they have that, let them know, if not they are going to have to learn the hard way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Henchmen I'm somewhat...hesistent about? They're still low lvl, soon going into their second career and not alot of things they meet should be easy to kill. Also, if i do start using henchmen, any good tips for none gamy ways to hint that they're henchmen? Because the difference between a henchman and  none henchman can be quite huge.

 

I use them for the weakes members of races/societies. For example, the skavenslaves, beastmen brays, mutant cultists, starving peasants etc. A group of the weakes representatives of their race.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...