[1e] Weapon Speed Factors and Extra Attacks

Discuss AD&D 1E here.
The Book-House: Find 1st Edition products.

Moderator: Blacky the Blackball

Post Reply
User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 2573
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

[1e] Weapon Speed Factors and Extra Attacks

Post by shesheyan » Sun May 12, 2019 12:08 pm

«When weapon speed factor is the determinont of which opponent strikes first in a melee round, there is a chance that one opponent will be entitled to multiple attacks Compare the scare of the lower-factored weapon with that of the higher. If the difference is at least twice the factor of the lower, or 5 or more factors in any case, the opponent with the lower factored weapon is entitled to 2 attacks before the opponent with the higher weapon factor is entitled to any attack whatsoever. If the difference is 10 or greater, the opponent with the lower-factored weapon is entitled to 2 attacks before the opponent is allowed to attack, and 1 further attack at the same time the opponent with the higher-speed-factored weapon finally is allowed to attack. Note that such speed factor considerations are not applicable when either closing or charging to melee, but after on initial round of combat, or in cases where closing/charging was not necessary, the speed factor considerations are applicable.»

Interesting concept. Did you use weapon speeds and did you allow extra attacks is per Gygax rules? I know my group used weapon speeds (and weapon lengths). I don't remember if we factored extra attacks based on weapon differences. This gives the thief an interesting advantage against opponents with slow weapons.

User avatar
Boneguard
Deep One Priest
Posts: 1047
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:00 pm
Gender: male
Location: Gatineau (Quebec) Canada

Re: [1e] Weapon Speed Factors and Extra Attacks

Post by Boneguard » Sun May 12, 2019 1:48 pm

In our AD&D game we usually do not worry about it instead going by initiative (D6). However in case of tied initiative, then our DM proceeds by speed factor with the quickest weapon going first (and getting multiple attack for really quick vs really slow weapon) and the slowest going last.

It does make a dagger vs polearm fight quite impressive.
Roleplaying is not a Hobby...it's a Way of Life.

Consolidated projet thread

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 2573
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: [1e] Weapon Speed Factors and Extra Attacks

Post by shesheyan » Mon May 13, 2019 1:43 pm

Boneguard wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 1:48 pm
In our AD&D game we usually do not worry about it instead going by initiative (D6). However in case of tied initiative, then our DM proceeds by speed factor with the quickest weapon going first (and getting multiple attack for really quick vs really slow weapon) and the slowest going last.

It does make a dagger vs polearm fight quite impressive.
That is a very clever way of doing it. I might use something like that for my 5e game. ;)

User avatar
Man in the Funny Hat
Hobgoblin
Posts: 75
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:03 pm
Gender: male
Location: The Inland Empire
Contact:

Re: [1e] Weapon Speed Factors and Extra Attacks

Post by Man in the Funny Hat » Tue May 14, 2019 4:07 am

Danger: Long answer ahead...
shesheyan wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 12:08 pm
Interesting concept. Did you use weapon speeds and did you allow extra attacks is per Gygax rules? I know my group used weapon speeds (and weapon lengths). I don't remember if we factored extra attacks based on weapon differences. This gives the thief an interesting advantage against opponents with slow weapons.
Really never used it as written. Technically, I vaguely recall that I may have run a session or three where I wanted to test it, but very quickly dropped it again. Currently I use an initiative system that does use WSF but the numbers are about halved from the PH and they are used FAR more simply and actually far more often.

To really break it down I'll basically quote what I said about it a few years ago...
Firstly, I believe that passage in the DMG is meant to just be about who strikes first, not about granting BONUS attacks. It's just not clearly written to make that apparent. It gives the combatant with the decidedly "faster" weapon the opportunity to take possible multiple attacks first, rather than granting them more attacks that they otherwise don't have. So, if this rule grants an advantage the combatant must ALREADY have multiple attacks with their weapon and the rule doesn't give them any more, just lets them take more of their multiple attacks before their opponent. The rules otherwise dictate that those multiple attacks are evenly staggered from one opponent to another.

The real kicker is that as written, no matter how you interpret it, it's just not gonna happen except in some quite infrequent circumstances. For one thing, this is only going to be possible AT ALL 1 round in 6 when you have tied initiative rolls between opposing weapon-users, because as written you have to have that before WSF even come into it. Next, one of those weapons has to have a remarkably low (ie, fast) WSF and the other has to be disproportionately slow and the practical reality is that's just not going to happen much given the actual WSF numbers that weapons have been given.

The slowest weapon in the book is the awl pike with WSF 13. Half that would be weapons of WSF 6 - and there already aren't many weapons that then qualify. Even weapons with WSF 5 lower than 13 is WSF 8. There are obviously more possibilities but still getting a more limited possible circumstance. And again, this is against the SLOWEST weapon in the game.

For another illustrative example, the dagger is WSF 2. Fastest weapon in the game except for the bare fist. There are lots of weapons that are at least twice that WSF (4 or better), and even 5 or more higher is still WSF 7+. But here's the deal - who uses a dagger in weapon-to-weapon combat? Magic-users you say? Correct, I say. But they don't get into melee weapon combat except as a last resort, right? Right. Bo, jo, or fist are the other really fast weapons, and who uses those? You're talking about Monks. So... Monks is pretty much who will see this rule, assuming they use those weapons. Anyone else is going to be using a more... standard weapon or not getting into melee at all if they can avoid it. Even other still-fast weapons then, like club, hand axe, and quarter staff have WSF 4. Twice or more that is WSF 8 or better. There are SOME possibilities but not many. 5 more would be WSF 9 and then the list of qualifying opposing weapons gets smaller very rapidly.

That "5 more in any case" just isn't a factor at all. With a WSF 5 weapon (like the ubiquitous long sword) the rule applies equally whether doubling the WSF, or just looking at 5 better. So that means WSF 10+ for the opponents weapon. How many weapons even fit that bill in the PH? Ironically, five do. Bill guisarme, guisarme-voulge, awl pike, two handed sword, and voulge. Anyone using a weapon ANY slower than 5 (so, WSF 6 or higher - which is the great majority of weapons) will only have this rule apply against the awl pike.

So, my own practical analysis is that this rule only will provide a benefit to ANY practical degree for a select list of five weapons that a PC would use in combat (again an ironic appearance of 5). Those five weapons are WSF 3 or less and are:
bo staff
dagger
fist
jo stick
short sword

They're the only weapons which are fast enough to have a reasonable chance of seeing use against opponents that have weapons both COMMON enough and slow enough to matter. Only if you feel THOSE weapons, and those weapons only, genuinely need to have a multiple-attack advantage of some sort should you give this rule a moments further consideration. For every other weapon, for all practical purposes, it does not apply because of the simple infrequency of the weapons you'd have to be matched against that are slow enough to trigger it, which basically are pole arms.

One more way to look at it then is that magic-users who pull out a dagger and wade in against a voulge should get an extra attack that no fighter will ever get against that voulge-wielder regardless of that fighters level, assuming only that the fighter happens to use a weapon more substantial than a short sword. Only a monk will potentially gain bonus attacks against most weapons he fights against - IF he uses one of the above-listed weapons. Of course, it must be repeated that this bonus attack will still only come into play approximately 1 round in 6 because the initiative die rolls first have to be equal.

A thief using a short sword? Maybe the PC would see some benefit, but not often enough or reliably enough to matter a whit.

I say this extra-attack WSF rule should just be flat out ignored.

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 2573
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: [1e] Weapon Speed Factors and Extra Attacks

Post by shesheyan » Tue May 14, 2019 12:24 pm

Man in the Funny Hat wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 4:07 am
One more way to look at it then is that magic-users who pull out a dagger and wade in against a voulge should get an extra attack that no fighter will ever get against that voulge-wielder regardless of that fighters level, assuming only that the fighter happens to use a weapon more substantial than a short sword. Only a monk will potentially gain bonus attacks against most weapons he fights against - IF he uses one of the above-listed weapons. Of course, it must be repeated that this bonus attack will still only come into play approximately 1 round in 6 because the initiative die rolls first have to be equal.

A thief using a short sword? Maybe the PC would see some benefit, but not often enough or reliably enough to matter a whit.

I say this extra-attack WSF rule should just be flat out ignored.
Thanks for the detailed answer. That is probably why I don't recall using WSF. Maybe a few games like you. But we dropped it quickly.

User avatar
Illuminatus
Hobgoblin
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:56 am
Gender: male

Re: [1e] Weapon Speed Factors and Extra Attacks

Post by Illuminatus » Wed May 15, 2019 1:24 pm

I never used speed factor because, to my mind, a weapon’s reach should have FAR more effect on initiative and the number of good attack opportunities in a round of combat than weapon “speed.” A mechanic that gave the dagger guy an advantage over the spear guy seemed fatally flawed.

User avatar
Dread Delgath
Storm Giant
Posts: 1612
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:09 pm
Location: "The Good Life"

Re: [1e] Weapon Speed Factors and Extra Attacks

Post by Dread Delgath » Fri May 17, 2019 9:37 pm

Our group tried a completely BTB 1e battle for one session and we attempted to use this rule, but the character with the dagger didn't go up against a foe with the higher WSF, so the rule wasn't used.

The whole session boiled down to failure because not every player (not even us 1e guys) completely understood how multiple attacks should work in tandem with the convoluted initiative rules. We (the 1e guys) had an idea how it all fit together, but no one else would listen to us. Mix in spell casting and segment timing, etc., it was a total fail.

Fun up until that point, and again, only after I realized the session had ended 45 minutes prior, I popped a bag of microwave popcorn and sat back in the living room watching the others argue.
A big THANKS! to Giant Space Hamster & Chimpman for the cookies! (Dark Side be damned!) :D

My D&D 5th edition Dakan Mar Campaign setting Conspectus and Campaign Rules here at The Piazza Forums, a Fool's Errand WIP.

User avatar
Man in the Funny Hat
Hobgoblin
Posts: 75
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:03 pm
Gender: male
Location: The Inland Empire
Contact:

Re: [1e] Weapon Speed Factors and Extra Attacks

Post by Man in the Funny Hat » Sat May 18, 2019 3:23 am

I also tried once - just once - to run a totally by-the-book 1E game about 30 years ago. It failed. I somehow thought that I could just read the DMG rules for the first time as we went and understand how it worked - that it was actually going to be just THAT simple a matter. I was so wrong it's actually funny to me now, though at the time I was crushingly disappointed and frustrated.

1E is my favorite edition for a number of reasons, but I will never run a 1E game using "btb" combat mechanics.

User avatar
Dread Delgath
Storm Giant
Posts: 1612
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:09 pm
Location: "The Good Life"

Re: [1e] Weapon Speed Factors and Extra Attacks

Post by Dread Delgath » Sat May 18, 2019 9:04 pm

Agreed. :cool: One thing that came out of that failed 1e "BtB" session was that when using 1e rules (especially Initiative) they are highly situational and not always applicable in every single circumstance.

There are successive levels of complexity to Initiative that indicate that if a tie-breaker to the d6 roll is needed, use the next step. If that step does not break the tie, go to the next step - and so on. We should never try to apply every initiative rule every time initiative is called for.

I hope this is not seem too off topic, but WSF is sometimes used as an initiative tie-breaker & Extra Attacks is a rule that does fit snugly within the initiative order.
A big THANKS! to Giant Space Hamster & Chimpman for the cookies! (Dark Side be damned!) :D

My D&D 5th edition Dakan Mar Campaign setting Conspectus and Campaign Rules here at The Piazza Forums, a Fool's Errand WIP.

Post Reply

Return to “AD&D 1st Edition”