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Author Topic: Ambidexterity  (Read 3135 times)
Flash
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« on: August 26, 2002, 08:31:12 AM »

Got a quick question about Ambidexterity.

I don't understand what the last sentence of the Ambidexterity Gift is trying to say.

"Other uses for this Gift are outlined in the Schools section in Book Four: Combat."

Now maybe I just missed the Schools section in Book Four, but I didn't see anything relating to the Ambidexterity Gift. Could someone give me a hand here to clarify.

Thanks,

Flash
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2002, 12:30:27 PM »

Hey Flash,

I guess everyone was waiting for me on this one. What you've encountered is a case of "my editor was sleeping that day." Sorry.

Here's my thoughts on Ambidexterity--it allows you to fight like Wesley and Inigo in the Princess Bride--you're capable of fighting like a lefty or a righty at no disadvantage. It doesn't provide "extra attacks" or anything of the sort, but is very usefull if you've recently lost a hand or something like it.

Is this a valuable gift? Not really, unless you've got the amputee flaw on your right hand, in which case I'd rush out to buy the ambidexterity givet ASAP. I hope that helps. If not, ask away.

Jake,
who wonders how much work his 3(!!) editors really do
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Flash
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2002, 09:29:23 AM »

That's exactly what I needed to know.

Thanks for the reply.

Flash
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Thirsty Viking
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2002, 11:04:13 AM »

Hey Jake,

As far as ambidexterity goes....  What are the penalties for attacking with the off handed weapon?

In your duel like situations....  I assume that is because opponents aren't used to facing left handed attacks. Where as a lefty is used to facing and dealing with righties.

I'd consider a minor form of gift  to be left handed. perhaps in flower of battle.  The gift would then be akin to ...  HANDEDNESS  with minor being lefthanded (don't forget accompanying social stigma),  and major being ambidextrous.

As for usefullness...  assuming a weapon in each hand,  you'd still get the bonus die on the left handed weapon when attacking.  even if executing a double attack...   and you avoid the negative for off handed weapon use... (What are they? I missed them in my two readings of the book,  but I'll look for it this  saturday)


As for the duel in the PRINCESS BRIDE  if memory serves me correctly  the both started out fighting left handed.

Weasley was winning, Inigo switched to his right hand...  started to win so weasley switched to his right hand  to win battle.  I always interpreted this as they were so bloody good  that they started fighting the people they met off handed because they were not being chalenged... And it wasn't till the fought each other  that they had  met a true challenge for thier skill.  If say off handed removes 2d or 3d  from CP  or raises  ATN + DTN then  this would outweigh the +1d bonus for fighting left handed.  Any way..   they were VERY good with thier lefthands,   but the movie argues they were BETTER with thier right.   Your Thoughts?
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2002, 08:57:26 PM »

Off the top of my hand I don't have any off-hand modifer in mind. Perhaps the loss of a few CP. I'll think on it, and maybe do some in-hand practice to see how far off I feel (it's a lot, though, as I recall. A LOT).

Jake
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2002, 11:04:23 PM »

Doing SCA style combat, where a strike on the arm means you lose it can be quite awkward if you lose your dominant hand, and are forced to wield the weapon in your off-hand. However, I have still managed to win against an equal opponent with my off-hand (using what is essentially a light two-handed weapon, at that.) fairly often, considering. I think that many games apply far too large a penalty to off-handed attacks.

Also, I don't think that there should be a penalty for fighting with a dual weapon style when attacking with the second weapon. It is what you are used to. However, if you had to switch your primary weapon to your off-hand, I would apply a penalty, as it is not how you were trained to fight.
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~Lance Allen
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Thirsty Viking
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2002, 12:48:17 AM »

Quote from: Wolfen

Doing SCA style combat, where a strike on the arm means you lose it can be quite awkward if you lose your dominant hand, and are forced to wield the weapon in your off-hand. However, I have still managed to win against an equal opponent with my off-hand (using what is essentially a light two-handed weapon, at that.) fairly often, considering. I think that many games apply far too large a penalty to off-handed attacks.


A few things....   a baseball pitcher.  if they could throw at major league levels with either hand it would extend thier career because of less strain on the arms.....   These are guys where only 1 more year means millions of dollars....  where are they?  How many ever made the switch in handedness when injury took the edge off thier main arm...
Ok you can say they only trained one arm....  why?  batters train to switch hit...  (not many of them can do it well though)

Perhaps you think thats a stretch,  but  Isn't a baseball esentially a thrown weapon being aimed at a relatively small area with a fairly high TN doue to distance.  and a Battter making a defensive roll essentialy a mass weapon parry?  or a dodge if the pitcher tries to hit him?  is the pitcher splitting his attack pool for accuracy and speed?  needs the accuracy to get it over the plate.....  if he throws an intentional ball is it a Feint?

Sorry guys,  i shouldn't be on after three am  lol   i'll be writing a full fledged baseball supplement to TROS if i don't go to bed soon.  And i'm not a baseball fan...  5-6  games a year i watch  50% of those in the series.  What a beautifuly flexible  combat system..   LOL

Assuming same target numbers. weapons, and same high skill....   a close fight indeed.  fight them 100 times...  the guy fighting off handed wins  what? 1/3  2/5ths?
Lets assume for argument sake two fighers with sabers and 16 CP if one fights offhand loses 2d from the CP then the combat pool variation is  14 - 16,   an average of 7 success to 8 success  . we've all seen non average rolls.  If he has ambidexterity the pool difference is 16 - 16 but with a +1d on all attacks in his favor!  not bad for a one handed man at all.

Lastly,  depending on how much you've put into the SCA it could be that you have purchased ambidexterity with your spiritual points.


Quote

Also, I don't think that there should be a penalty for fighting with a dual weapon style when attacking with the second weapon. It is what you are used to. However, if you had to switch your primary weapon to your off-hand, I would apply a penalty, as it is not how you were trained to fight.


Then you are assuming that everyone is ambidextrous.  looking back through the rules...  it seems to me there is an implied -1d for off handed. or I have simply never  applied the +1d bonus when someone does double strike with say rapier and dagger, or perhaps one is used to set up the other  and thier are bonus dice cancelling out more negatives.

Jake when someone does a double strike and takes oh 11 dice out of thier combat pool with case of rapiers,  and pay activation cost of 1 (even trained two long weapons are more awkward than rapier and dagger is the reason for this i assume),  then splits the dice evenly between attacks....  they get 5 on the right,  do they get 5 or 6 on the left....  under ambidexterity you say that a onehanded weapon in the left gets +1d to attacks....
 
If they don't get it without ambidexterity then there is definately a 1d penalty (on each attack) factored in at least  ...   since this is a 2 weapon school, trained to coordinate strikes....  argument could be made for more.
I'm now considering a 2-4d penalty from the combat pool,  for game purposes i'd not impose this on top of the substancial pain/shock penalties in the combat that loses the arm but assume they were built in.  

After healing, these dice just wouldn't come back.   In Fact  I'd probably Slow the resoration of the final pain dice like this  to make charachter want to heal all the way not just stop at theoff hand penalty.

example if off handed is -2 CP  
Pain    CP mod
5            -5
4            -4
3            -4
2            -3
1            -3
0            -2

This would prompt the charachter  to either TRAIN Himself to ambidexterity (20 spirit but a +2),  or give him a passion for aquiring magical regrowth of his arm....  A plot hook....
If only one mage in the party,  he'll surely wish to travel to another one,  preferably with high disciplin and an apprentice(for that 3 in the circle bonus).....
[/b]
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2002, 08:19:28 AM »

I've not yet put a lot of time into the SCA. When I said I win fairly often against an equal opponent, I meant an opponent with an equally low skill with the same weapon type as I am used to. So I've definitely not trained myself to any level of ambidexterity..

However, it can also be argued, I suppose. I am a lefty, and the opponent I was most used to was my cousin. We would fight several times a day, so it is quite possible that my moderate level of success is due to the fact that he's used to facing me fighting to my left, or with my left hand when I go to a one-handed style, which I sometimes did just for variety. While it was considerably more awkward for me, it might likewise have been so for him to fight a suddenly right-handed Lance. If this is the case, however, it could also be argued for others. People, in general, will be used to fighting right handed opponents. The off-hand penalty that you mention could be assumed to be offset by the fact that an opponent is less likely to be familiar with left-handed styles, or not quite so likely to expect an attack from the off-hand weapon.

By the way... I think we might have made a misunderstanding. By the rules, there are no penalties for attacking with your off-hand weapon alone. There are activation costs for some styles' double attacks, of course, but this is due more to having to split your attention on two separate simultaneous attacks. I have, using Tiberius, had many occasions to use my off-hand weapon instead of my primary weapon (arming glove, rather than the shortsword) the only penalty I had to deal with was the range penalty (as the glove is Hand, and the shortsword is Short)* There is no penalty assessed in the rules for doing so otherwise. If you wish to add some at your option, that is of course your option. I think it's unnecessary though, due to the balancing factors I mentioned above. This is, of course, only my take on the subject.



*Why would I attempt to punch someone rather than hack at them with my sword, you might ask? Because Tiberius is a bounty hunter, and more often than not, they want the bounty alive. Tiberius will almost always attempt to take his bounties alive, though he doesn't promise pristine condition if they resist capture.
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Thirsty Viking
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2002, 08:42:56 AM »

As for low skill people,  a -2d  CP modifier is still just 1 success less a round with most swords,  is the TN are higher than 6,  it is less of a difference than that.

for all i know  you started out in SCA as ambi,  just prefered your left
:-)    Your the one who says you fight almost equally right and left..

In the rules,   there is a 1d bonus on attack roles if you fight left handed with a one handed weapon in a duel like situation, also a note that in mass combat it is less effective (probably because you don't line up in formation with your typical allys as well).  this is on page 43 under the ambidexterity gift.

This is the reason I said there was an implied bonus because people are used to fighting righties  (my view for the 1d bonus justification).  Therfore an implied negative if non-ambidextrous (read right handed since currently lefthanded isn't a published option) people don't get it when doing double strikes with two weapons (the opponent is still concentrating more on the right hand....  but thier left hand of the attacker is less skilled).

Gaming systems are simplified summation....  in real life closing to punch a guy you would make an efforts to use your sword to prevent his sword from skewering you.  If unarmed  some little basic evasive manuvers etc...  I view all these things as being involved in the CLOSING costs.
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2002, 11:45:25 AM »

This is my experience fighting left-handed. If you are fighting an opponent of any skill at all, even if it's less than yours, but you're left-handed, you're in trouble. Today I went out with the Cut & Thrust and sparred for several rounds.

I learned:
The left arm is a LOT weaker than the right one, and was suffering from intense fatigue (not me, my arm) after about 3 bouts. Accuracy was much poorer due to a dramatic lack of control (I'm a very controlled fighter on the right). Power was down. Edge placement was off. Parrying was abysmal.

I think that one could train up to a point where these things were less true--in fact, I know it was done. However, it would take quite a bit of training to reach the -2CP level (prior to the +1 for lefties, for a total -1).

In game terms you would have to:
-buy a minor version of ambidexerity that left you with a final -2 or -1 CP after all bonuses, or...
-buy a separate proficieny for the off hand, starting at a -4 or -6 default, maybe.

Those are just two options that come to mind. I think that in actual, honest-to-goodness combat, the off hand is at a horrible disadvantage without some kind of compensatory training.

Now for a few qualifiers:
Any maneuver in the book that uses the off-hand weapon is at NO additional penalty for off-handedness. That maneuver was learned from day one using the off hand in said fashion. Likewise, I'd say that learning to thrust from the off hand is tremendously easier than cutting or bashing.

Jake
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Thirsty Viking
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2002, 12:41:31 PM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood


I learned:
The left arm is a LOT weaker than the right one, and was suffering from intense fatigue (not me, my arm) after about 3 bouts. Accuracy was much poorer due to a dramatic lack of control (I'm a very controlled fighter on the right). Power was down. Edge placement was off. Parrying was abysmal.



Quote
-buy a separate proficieny for the off hand, starting at a -4 or -6 default, maybe.



I'll assume all Left handed comments from you as OFF-Handed for Game purposes  default being right handed.  (still thinking of my racial lefties)

In a world where issues of life and death are at stake I was giving thought to people being made to spend some time training as a lefty....  probably unrealistic...   i was just hearing the player gripes in advance.  I did say i was debating the range of -2 to -4  I Like the off handed being trained seperately from a -5 default value to a max of -2 default value.  Training costs bassed on what those values are.   All further improvements being the  cost of rasing the normal skill.

Note to self: when playing sword slinger  spend three proficencies in
OFF HAND FIGHTING at charachter creation to minimize these penalties.   maybe this will be in TFOB?  with AMBI only being an option for purchase at char, creation.

Quote

Those are just two options that come to mind. I think that in actual, honest-to-goodness combat, the off hand is at a horrible disadvantage without some kind of compensatory training.

Now for a few qualifiers:
Any maneuver in the book that uses the off-hand weapon is at NO additional penalty for off-handedness. That maneuver was learned from day one using the off hand in said fashion. Likewise, I'd say that learning to thrust from the off hand is tremendously easier than cutting or bashing.


As I said in my previous post, or thought I did...   that all off handed manuvers involved many factors not mentioned,  includeing that they were the off hand, and that the opponent was expecting more from the main/lead weapon.  And that the lead weapon is used to set up the off weapon....  etc...   AND all those are factored into the Activation cost.

If the person was ambidextrous  then i'd give them a +1d in attack if thier stance had it coming from thier left hand.  Maybe I'm  wrong because i'm not a swordfighter,  but i'd expect the ambi people to be better at OFF Hand attacks than the non ambi.
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2002, 04:18:11 PM »

Quote
for all i know you started out in SCA as ambi, just prefered your left
:-) Your the one who says you fight almost equally right and left..


You mistake me. I never said I fight anywhere near equally. I just fight better off-handed than I think most RPGs would reflect with the penalties they give to the offhand.

However, the way the SCA does things, it's quite possible that I just have a moderate amount of off-hand training. I tend to overextend, so I've lost my left arm many times while sparring my cousin, which forced me to switch to my off hand. I eventually got used to it, I suppose.. I also eventually stopped over-extending quite so much.

I think the numbers being thrown around here are actually quite good, though. I think it definitely needs to be added to the house-rules compilation thread once you get it hashed out.
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