Two-Handed Weapons Houserule

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BASH MAN
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Two-Handed Weapons Houserule

Post by BASH MAN »

Something I notice in the PHB is that there is no special benefit to wielding a weapon two-handed. Thus, bastard sword users will always use it in 1 hand, and some 2 handed weapons are likely never to be used as there are 1 handed weapons that do the same damage.

However, I have a thought. When wielding a weapon 2 handed, you get to apply DOUBLE your strength bonus to the damage. If you have a strength of 12 or less, add +1 to the damage instead.

Thus, a fighter w/18 str picks up a quarterstaff (which he has no specialization in) and swings it two-handed-- 1d6+6 dmg. He has his specialized bastard sword (assuming a level 2 fighter here) and does 1d10+7 in two hands or 1d10+4 in one hand.

A conscript with a STR of 10 picks up a bastard sword. He can do 1d10 with it in one hand, or 1d10+1 in two hands-- giving an advantage in either case (shield can be used vs. higher damage).

A weak wizard, with a STR of 7 is out of spells and forced to attack with a weapon. He could use his two-handed quarterstaff for 1d6+0 (1d6-1+1) or his dagger with one hand for 1d4-1. He chooses the quarterstaff.

Thoughts?
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Birthright
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Post by Birthright »

Sounds good to me, although I'd add the proviso that you only get the bonus for wielding a weapon that doesn't already require two hands.

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Post by Treebore »

I think I would just give a flat +2 bonus to damage for it. Having an 18 STR fighter dealing 7 points of damage is just too scary. Especially with a Bearded Axe (3d4+7). So +6 is tolerable since it will give a better "kick" to PC's with 17 (3d4+5) and lower STR's. Kind of even the fighter playing field a little bit.
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Beyondthebreach
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Post by Beyondthebreach »

Treebore wrote:
I think I would just give a flat +2 bonus to damage for it. Having an 18 STR fighter dealing 7 points of damage is just too scary. Especially with a Bearded Axe (3d4+7). So +6 is tolerable since it will give a better "kick" to PC's with 17 (3d4+5) and lower STR's. Kind of even the fighter playing field a little bit.

Isn't a Bearded Axe already a two-handed weapon? I'd go with Birthright's suggestion and not allow extra damage when the weapon requires two hands.

When playing fighters, I love to wield axes, but I'd be afraid to choose a Bearded Axe - I'd want to specialize, of course, which really makes it the main weapon you are likely to utilize from 1st level on . . .

I'd just be worried that I'd never find a magical one!

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Post by Matthew »

I move the Damage Die up. So that a Long Sword used Two Handed moves from 1D8 to 1D10. Furthermore, I give 'true' Two handed Weapons a +1 Bonus to Hit and Damage when used Two Handed.

So:

Long Sword (One Handed) - +0 to Hit, 1D8 Damage

Long Sword (Two Handed) - +0 to Hit, 1D10 Damage

Great Sword (One Handed) - +0 to Hit, 1D10 Damage [Only possible for Ogres or other similar large creatures)

Great Sword (Two Handed) - +1 to Hit, 1D12+1 Damage
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bighara
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Post by bighara »

My house rules use a "streamlined" weapon list. The "medium" weapons that are normally 1H -Mace, Broadsword, and Battle Axe- offer the option of 2H wielding for +1 damage. The trade-off is no shield, of course.
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Post by Matthew »

The thing about doing it that way, for me, is that the advantage of a Two Handed Weapon over a One Handed Weapon becomes negligable.

For instance:

A Fighter with a Long Sword has either the choice of One Handed 1D8+(X) Damage or 1D8+(X+1) Damage versus a Two Handed Sword, which offers 2D6+X. That extra 1.5 of Average Damage just isn't worth never being able to use the weapon One Handed.

A Specialised Fighter with 16 Strength has the choice of 1D8+4 (Av 8.5)versus 2D6+3 (Av 10.0). This is even more pronounced with a Two Handed Axe, where the difference is 1 point of Average Damage.
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Post by Beyondthebreach »

Warhammer 2nd edition has an interesting way of handling two-handed weapons. They are given the "impact" quality. Essentially, this means that the weapon does d10, but the player rolls a d10 twice and chooses the higher result.

Granted, its a different game that only uses one kind of die to begin with . . . I have no idea how it would work in gameplay with C&C, but it could certainly be an option - all two-handed weapons (and weapons one-handed weapons wielded with two hands) get to roll twice and choose the best result. Higher damage on average, but not a higher max damage.

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Post by Matthew »

Actually, that's Philotomy Jurament's solution for his OD&D game. It's not a bad idea at all.

The reason I go with +1 to Hit is on account of the Weapon versus Armour Tables in the 1e Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook. The trend there is for Two Handed Weapons to have a Bonus to Hit. The primary example being the Two Handed Sword. I took the easy way out with +1 to Hit and Damage for all Two Handed Weapons.
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Post by Fizz »

I'd probably just up the die-size by one type, but only for weapons that specifically say they can be used either one or two handed.

-Fizz

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Post by serleran »

If you are wielding a one-handed weapon two-handed, you should get a flat bonus. Having it modify the Strength bonus makes no sense, unless you already have a high strength. You would penalize the normal PC? And yes, it is a penalty to have normal strength in such a case because you miss out on any doubling, but, if you give a flat bonus, everyone who does the same thing gets the same thing... or, as some like to call it: "balance." I would suggest the bonus be something like +2 or +3, which for some is the same thing as doubling, but for the weakest of PCs through the most average, it actually gives them a reason to do such things, and that's more in line with the reality of the action anyway.

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Post by Breakdaddy »

This is one of the reasons that I do not use weapon damage out of the book, but instead base it on the class of the character wielding the weapon. ANY weapon wielded two-handed by a PC will do the same damage because that weapon will be limited by the PCs ability to properly wield it. You give a rogue a short sword or a bastard sword and if he wields it two handed it does the same damage. Why? Because while the bastard sword might be heavier and capable of dealing more telling blows generally, the rogue is trained in the use of finesse and locating critical locations on the enemy to attack. The advantages of the larger weapon are mitigated by the fact the smaller weapon has more utility in the hands of the rogue. The only time the rule has concessions is for a two handed only weapon in the hands of a warrior, in which case the damage goes from 1d12 to 2d6. If the same warrior wields a one handed weapon in a two handed fashion, he does 1d12. It works for me.
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Post by Matthew »

serleran wrote:
If you are wielding a one-handed weapon two-handed, you should get a flat bonus. Having it modify the Strength bonus makes no sense, unless you already have a high strength. You would penalize the normal PC? And yes, it is a penalty to have normal strength in such a case because you miss out on any doubling, but, if you give a flat bonus, everyone who does the same thing gets the same thing... or, as some like to call it: "balance." I would suggest the bonus be something like +2 or +3, which for some is the same thing as doubling, but for the weakest of PCs through the most average, it actually gives them a reason to do such things, and that's more in line with the reality of the action anyway.

I totally agree with this, as it has always been my beef with the 3e Dungeons & Dragons Two Handed Weapons rule. The other option is to make it a multiplier of Strength, but with a minimum of +1, which is my House Rule for 3e.
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Post by moriarty777 »

What I've done which worked well for my game was this:

If using a one-handed weapon with both hands, you get a +1 to damage.

Um... that's pretty much it. The rationale I used was that a two-handed weapon was designed to be two-handed and this is reflected in the typically higher damage that they do.

Now... I did modify one weapon in my campaign: The Bastard Sword. Depending on how you use it, it will do 2d4 damage if used one-handed and 1d10 if using it two handed.

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Post by BASH MAN »

Breakdaddy wrote:
This is one of the reasons that I do not use weapon damage out of the book, but instead base it on the class of the character wielding the weapon. ANY weapon wielded two-handed by a PC will do the same damage because that weapon will be limited by the PCs ability to properly wield it. You give a rogue a short sword or a bastard sword and if he wields it two handed it does the same damage. Why? Because while the bastard sword might be heavier and capable of dealing more telling blows generally, the rogue is trained in the use of finesse and locating critical locations on the enemy to attack. The advantages of the larger weapon are mitigated by the fact the smaller weapon has more utility in the hands of the rogue. The only time the rule has concessions is for a two handed only weapon in the hands of a warrior, in which case the damage goes from 1d12 to 2d6. If the same warrior wields a one handed weapon in a two handed fashion, he does 1d12. It works for me.

So in your game nobody uses two handed weapons? (I suppose npcs would, just to show that such weapons even exist). There seems to be no benefit to doing so, while the penalty of no shield is pretty glaring...
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Post by BASH MAN »

Birthright wrote:
Sounds good to me, although I'd add the proviso that you only get the bonus for wielding a weapon that doesn't already require two hands.

Yeah, but what I am saying is that 2 handed weapons themselves don't give enough extra damage to make it worth sacrificing a shield. 2d6 instead of 1d10 is not enough of a benefit, IMO.

Maybe a flat +2 DMG with 2-handed weapons is the way to go... Makes that bastard sword attractive without making the greatsword a tough choice...
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Post by Fizz »

BASH MAN wrote:
Yeah, but what I am saying is that 2 handed weapons themselves don't give enough extra damage to make it worth sacrificing a shield. 2d6 instead of 1d10 is not enough of a benefit, IMO.

Maybe a flat +2 DMG with 2-handed weapons is the way to go... Makes that bastard sword attractive without making the greatsword a tough choice...

That's a bit confusing. The max roll of 2d6 is 12. And the max of 1d10 is 10. That's a difference of +2. The averages are 7 and 5.5 respectively, a +1.5 difference. So, if you don't think that's enough, why are you just giving a flat +2?

Personally, i think it is enough. That's why i just improve the damage die by one type. I don't like the flat bonus because it removes the potential for `scratches', near-hits, and the like. I'd prefer to stretch the curve and not just shift it. I like variability, i guess.

-Fizz

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Post by BASH MAN »

Fizz wrote:
That's a bit confusing. The max roll of 2d6 is 12. And the max of 1d10 is 10. That's a difference of +2. The averages are 7 and 5.5 respectively, a +1.5 difference. So, if you don't think that's enough, why are you just giving a flat +2?

Personally, i think it is enough. That's why i just improve the damage die by one type. I don't like the flat bonus because it removes the potential for `scratches', near-hits, and the like. I'd prefer to stretch the curve and not just shift it. I like variability, i guess.

-Fizz

No, I am saying +2 on top of the dice difference. To make up for the fact that you don't multiply your STR bonus in C&C for 2 handed weapons, but if you wield 2 weapons you apply your full STR bonus to each...
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Post by Fizz »

BASH MAN wrote:
No, I am saying +2 on top of the dice difference. To make up for the fact that you don't multiply your STR bonus in C&C for 2 handed weapons, but if you wield 2 weapons you apply your full STR bonus to each...

So, you're suggesting...

bastard sword 1 handed, 1d10

bastard sword 2 handed, 1d10+2

two-handed sword, 2d6+2

Is this what you're suggesting?

Seems too potent for me personally, but i don't think it'd horribly break the system either.

-Fizz

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Post by Matthew »

Bastard Swords are problematic; I am inclined to dump them from the game and be content with Short/Long/Great. Makes my life just that bit easier.

The main problem, though, is as modifiers go up, Two Handed Weapons look less attractive. A blanket +1 to Hit and Damage goes some way towards rectifying that, in my opinion.
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Post by Treebore »

Fizz wrote:
So, you're suggesting...

bastard sword 1 handed, 1d10

bastard sword 2 handed, 1d10+2

two-handed sword, 2d6+2

Is this what you're suggesting?

Seems too potent for me personally, but i don't think it'd horribly break the system either.

-Fizz

I don't see it as over powering, but thats because I consider the fact that the bad guys can do it too as "balancing". Plus, fighter types still don't deal out the kind of damage as Wizards. The only time they came close to doing that was with Whirlwind attack in 3E.
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Post by Craig C »

I agree 100% with moriarty777. Damage for 2 handed weapons is factored in already- hence the larger damage die/range for msot weapons. For 1 handed weapons used 2 handed I give a bonus of +1 to damage (I think I grabbed that from 2E, or was it always one of our house rules?).

One of the many things that bugged me about 3E was the extra damage for using a 2 handed weapon (an additonal + 1/2 str bonus IIRC) when the damage bonus was already factored in by the large damage die.

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Post by bighara »

IMC you have -for your basic 1H large weapons- Broadswords (which covers longswords as well), War Hammers (which includes things like morning stars and flails), and Battle Axes (any 1H large Axe). These weapons all do 1d8 which the option of wielding them 2H (no shield) for a +1 to damage.

Heavy Weapons are 2H and include: Great Sword, Great Axe, and Maul. The Axe & Sword both do 1d12 and the Maul does 1d10 (less damage, but usable by clerics).

I deliberately use a fairly abstract weapon list, along the lines of WFRP's "Hand Weapon" etc. I leave describing what the weapon is to the player (unless it's an item he found) and keep the stats more or less uniform so as to prevent too much minmax number-crunching.
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