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> Attacking With A Thagomizer, Am I doing this right?
Umidori
post Jan 30 2013, 02:53 AM
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So.

A changeling with a Functional Tail: Thagomizer. They want to split their dice pool between two melee weapons (one in each hand) and the Exotic Weapon of the tail. Simply take the lesser Attribute + Skill total of the two weapon types, split it three ways, and then modify each separate attack? It kinda feels like that's too simple, or that I'm missing something important somewhere.

Also, unlike Shiva Arms, the Thagomizer entry makes no mention of requiring Ambidexterity, so I assume it simply gets treated like a second "dominant hand" automatically?

Additionally, would the Sangre y Acero bonus "+1 die for Exotic Melee Weapon attacks using a cyber-implant in an unusual location" count for the tail? Because it's essentially the exact same thing as a cyber-implant in an unusual location, just biological in nature.

For that matter, how do you handle the Two Weapon Style maneuver in cases of more than two limbs? Can one limb be used for the Full Defense action while all the rest are used to attack?

~Umi
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Draco18s
post Jan 30 2013, 04:27 AM
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Don't think about it too much or the universe will implode.
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DMiller
post Jan 30 2013, 04:40 AM
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I really have no idea what RAW has to say about this. But if you are open to suggestions…

I think you are handling it correctly as far as smallest pool split 3 ways then apply modifiers. I would treat the tail as an additional “dominant hand” since it can’t grasp and is only basically a club. The martial arts maneuver could go either way, I’ll not make a suggestion on that either way as that should be a decision based on your style.

The question about “Two Weapon Style” with more than two limbs… I’d require the character to buy two-weapon style more than once, each instance of the ability allowing for an additional pair of weapons (or just an extra weapon in the case of odd-numbered limbs). I would allow a 3-limbed being with Two Weapon Style (bought twice) to be on full defense with one weapon while attacking with the other two.

Just my 2 ¥

-D
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Umidori
post Jan 30 2013, 07:31 AM
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Hrm. Okay, so I guess I wasn't too far off after all. Huh.

A couple other thoughts.

The Attunement Metamagic for Adepts. Can you attune a Thagomizer? Again, kind of a weird thought since it's a biological body part, but it's mechanically no different than attuning a cyber-implant. Naturally the familiarization roll would need to be tweaked - maybe something like Logic + Medicine since it's a piece of anatomy, instead of the usual Logic + Armorer for something like a sword or Logic + Cybertechnology for something like a cyberspur. Or maybe an Intuition + Body roll would be more suitable for a part of one's own body? Not really sure...

And there was something else... but I'm falling asleep in front of my books and I can't put my finger on what I was going to comment or ask about. Tomorrow, I guess.

~Umi
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DMiller
post Jan 30 2013, 07:38 AM
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I wouldn't allow attunement, unless you'd allow an adept to attune to his fists? However adept powers like killing hands and elemental strike (among others) would be able to be used with it.

-D
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Dakka Dakka
post Jan 30 2013, 09:06 AM
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QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 30 2013, 03:53 AM) *
A changeling with a Functional Tail: Thagomizer. They want to split their dice pool between two melee weapons (one in each hand) and the Exotic Weapon of the tail. Simply take the lesser Attribute + Skill total of the two weapon types, split it three ways, and then modify each separate attack? It kinda feels like that's too simple, or that I'm missing something important somewhere.
There are no rules for using more than two weapons outside shiva arms.

QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 30 2013, 03:53 AM) *
Also, unlike Shiva Arms, the Thagomizer entry makes no mention of requiring Ambidexterity, so I assume it simply gets treated like a second "dominant hand" automatically?
It is unclear. The thagomizer is wielded like a mace. A mace not in the domainat hand gets the penalty.

QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 30 2013, 03:53 AM) *
Additionally, would the Sangre y Acero bonus "+1 die for Exotic Melee Weapon attacks using a cyber-implant in an unusual location" count for the tail? Because it's essentially the exact same thing as a cyber-implant in an unusual location, just biological in nature.
No, they are similar, but not the same. The description of the thagomizer even says the exact opposite. It is wielded like a mace. A mace is not a cyber-implant weapon in an unusual position.

QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 30 2013, 03:53 AM) *
For that matter, how do you handle the Two Weapon Style maneuver in cases of more than two limbs? Can one limb be used for the Full Defense action while all the rest are used to attack?
There are no rules for that either. Make them up.
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Umidori
post Jan 30 2013, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jan 30 2013, 03:06 AM) *
There are no rules for using more than two weapons outside shiva arms.
Well that kind of sucks.

QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jan 30 2013, 03:06 AM) *
It is unclear. The thagomizer is wielded like a mace. A mace not in the domainat hand gets the penalty.
Except that weilding your tail like a mace would mean holding it in your hand and swinging it, rather than the tail itself operating as a third limb, which it does.

QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jan 30 2013, 03:06 AM) *
No, they are similar, but not the same. The description of the thagomizer even says the exact opposite. It is wielded like a mace. A mace is not a cyber-implant weapon in an unusual position.
Except that no, it's an Exotic Melee Weapon, not a Club. So no, it isn't weilded like a mace, at all, despite that poor choice of wording whose obvious intent was to suggest the manner in which the tail deals damage (id est, blunt force trauma rather than, say, constriction or something).

Also please note, attacking with a cyberspur or similar counts as Blades when it is attached to the hand or wrist, but anywhere else (elbow, knee, foot, et cetera) turns it into an Exotic Melee Weapon skill. Seems more consistent to treat the tail the same way. Because, ya know, they're functionally equivalent from a mechanics standpoint.

QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jan 30 2013, 03:06 AM) *
There are no rules for that either. Make them up.
Well that kind of sucks.

~Umi
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Dakka Dakka
post Jan 30 2013, 07:39 PM
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QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 30 2013, 07:08 PM) *
Except that weilding your tail like a mace would mean holding it in your hand and swinging it, rather than the tail itself operating as a third limb, which it does.
Duh. What I (and most likely the writers a well) meant was that is uses the same mechanics except where noted otherwise.

QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 30 2013, 07:08 PM) *
Except that no, it's an Exotic Melee Weapon, not a Club. So no, it isn't weilded like a mace, at all, despite that poor choice of wording whose obvious intent was to suggest the manner in which the tail deals damage (id est, blunt force trauma rather than, say, constriction or something).
Sorry for not paraphrasing enough of the text, I thought you were aware of it. Here is the quote:
QUOTE ('Runners Companion p. 113')
A Thagomizer (10 BP) is a powerfully muscled prehensile tail which ends in an array of dermal spikes (or a club) and can be wielded like a spiked mace in melee combat using the Exotic Melee Weapon: Thagomizer skill. The weapon has a Reach of 1 and a Damage Value of (Strength/2) + 2P.
So it behaves like a real mace except that another skill is used and the damage value is smaller than a real mace (Arsenal p. 17). There are no other benefits or restrictions.

QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 30 2013, 07:08 PM) *
Also please note, attacking with a cyberspur or similar counts as Blades when it is attached to the hand or wrist, but anywhere else (elbow, knee, foot, et cetera) turns it into an Exotic Melee Weapon skill.
No one disputed that.
QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 30 2013, 07:08 PM) *
Seems more consistent to treat the tail the same way. Because, ya know, they're functionally equivalent from a mechanics standpoint.
It may seem more consistent, but unless I am missing something there is no way you can attack with two melee weapons in the same complex action, not even with shiva arms. Ambidexterity and Off-hand training only remove the penalty for using the wrong hand (the latter only in conjunction with one skill) and Two weapon Style only allows you to use Full Defense (it probably should be Full Parry) while attacking with one weapon.

By strict RAW no one can use two cyber-implant weapons in unusual places for Two Weapon Style, because the character would not "wield a second melee weapon in his off hand."(Arsenal p. 160). I know that is stupid and could easily be houseruled, but those are the rules.
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NiL_FisK_Urd
post Jan 30 2013, 07:45 PM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jan 30 2013, 08:39 PM) *
It may seem more consistent, but unless I am missing something there is no way you can attack with two melee weapons in the same complex action, not even with shiva arms.

QUOTE (ARS @ p.163)
Two Weapon Melee Combat
When wielding two weapons in melee combat, it is assumed that a character only uses one weapon at a time, and so the appropriate skill for that weapon is used for attacks and parries. If a character wishes to attack with both weapons simultaneously (with the same Complex Action), then she must split her dice pool between the two attacks.
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Dakka Dakka
post Jan 30 2013, 07:49 PM
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That's what I get for stopping at indirect fire on p. 162.
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Umidori
post Jan 30 2013, 09:02 PM
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Been browsing through a few other similar threads. Over here, people seem to agree that for Shiva Arms, you can use Two Weapon Style to defend with a single weapon, then attack with all the other arms, modified for Off-Hand and et cetera. I'd argue there's no reason a tail shouldn't work the same way.

As for comparing a Thagomizer to a Cyberspur in an exotic location, even putting aside the matter of attacking with more than one weapon, Sangre y Acero's bonus die to "Exotic Melee Weapon attacks using a cyber-implant in an unusual location" applies even if you're only attacking with that single cyber-weapon alone.

If you implant a cyber-weapon anywhere other than your hands or wrists, it counts as an Exotic Melee Weapon in an unusual location. It can be a Spur in your elbow, an Oral Slasher in your mouth, a pair of Retractable Climbing Claws in your toes, or anything else you like. So long as it's a Melee Weapon that is attached anywhere other than the hands or wrists, it counts for the bonus (and requires an Exotic Melee Weapon skill). So... why not the Thagomizer? Simply because it technically isn't cyberware, despite operating pretty much exactly like it from a mechanical standpoint?

Anyway, for anyone curious as to why I'm so interested in Thagomizers, I'm finally getting around to statting up a T'skrang changeling adept and I decided I wanted to make the equivalent of a Taildancer of the Edo School, trying to strike a balance between acrobatics, melee combat, dancing, and social skills. It's proving an interesting challenge, and not just because there aren't quite enough rules to go around. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

~Umi
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X-Kalibur
post Jan 31 2013, 05:31 PM
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So... does that mean I could mount a monowhip in an unusual location and get damage dice added to it...?
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Dakka Dakka
post Jan 31 2013, 05:43 PM
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QUOTE (Umidori @ Jan 30 2013, 10:02 PM) *
Anyway, for anyone curious as to why I'm so interested in Thagomizers, I'm finally getting around to statting up a T'skrang changeling adept and I decided I wanted to make the equivalent of a Taildancer of the Edo School, trying to strike a balance between acrobatics, melee combat, dancing, and social skills. It's proving an interesting challenge, and not just because there aren't quite enough rules to go around. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
The pictures of T'skrang I found don't look like they have thagomizers. I'd think they'd have balance tails or prehensile tails.

QUOTE (X-Kalibur @ Jan 31 2013, 06:31 PM) *
So... does that mean I could mount a monowhip in an unusual location and get damage dice added to it...?
Nope, SR4 has done away with making specific weapons into cyberware.
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X-Kalibur
post Jan 31 2013, 06:25 PM
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Oh fine, rain on my parade (although really, it's just asking to have gremlins added to it if you do that.)
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Umidori
post Jan 31 2013, 06:35 PM
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Dakka, this is the second time in a single thread where you're offering opinion about something you haven't adequately looked into. If you'd done more than look at a few pictures and actually read anything of substance about T'skrang you'd know that attacks with their tails are a vital and inseparable basic attribute of their race and culture. So nyaah! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

You even had in-thread context to suggest this to you, as I commented on making a Taildancer, which is a Discipline that revolves entirely around the martial usage of the tail. And if I'm talking about emulating these Earthdawn details, presumably it's because I've actually looked into what they entail? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Now, maybe you're arguing that a Thagomizer isn't the appropriate way to emulate a T'skrang's tail in Shadowrun. I could see why you might think that, as a Thagomizer is associated with dermal spikes or plates on a tail, much like a stegosaurus or an ankylosaurus. But there are a few things that make it an acceptable choice. Firstly, the Earthdawn books themselves directly state that some T'skrang have dermal spikes. And secondly, all other Tail options in Shadowrun fail to allow an attack with the tail.

~Umi
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DMiller
post Feb 1 2013, 04:57 AM
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Not to derail the discussion, but something to keep in mind. The Thagomizer is a prehensile tail. It does not grant an additional attack, however the rules do not say that it can not be used by itself as an attack. They state that it is wielded like a mace and uses an exotic weapon skill. A prehensile tail is capable of holding a small object but is not capable of fine manipulation. Because the Thagomizer is the actual tail, it isn't holding an item. It should be up to the GM to determine if the tail is capable of wielding itself and swinging on its own as an attack.

As a GM I would rule that it is capable of being used like an additional arm, and as such with appropriate skills and dice pool splitting can be made into a second or third attack.

-D
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Draco18s
post Feb 1 2013, 01:33 PM
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QUOTE (DMiller @ Jan 31 2013, 11:57 PM) *
if the tail is capable of wielding itself and swinging on its own as an attack.


I...

*Facedesk*

Really?
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Umidori
post Feb 1 2013, 03:33 PM
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Okay, let's clear this up once and for all.

QUOTE ("RC @ p. 113")
A Balance Tail (5 BP) is usually between one and two meters long, but not under the character’s conscious control. It functions instinctively, twitching, swaying, and even wrapping around things at random. It does this to compensate shifts in posture and movement assisting the character’s sense of balance in a manner similar to the cybernetic Balance Tail (p. 39, Augmentation).

So you have a Balance Tail. You can't control it conciously, but it gives you +2 on balance related tests. Neat.

QUOTE ("RC @ p. 113")
A Prehensile Tail (10 BP) functions exactly like the Balance Tail, except that the character can consciously manipulate it as if it were an extra limb. The tail can pick up items, though it lacks digits and so cannot finely manipulate objects, pull triggers, and so on. Apply a –2 dice pool modifier to any attempt at fine manipulation of an object with the tail. The tail has an effective strength equal to half the character’s unaugmented Strength (round down), but it can hold the character’s entire body weight if he chooses to hang from it. Prehensile tails do not provide an extra attack.

For an extra 5 BP, you now get a Prehensile Tail. You still get +2 to balance tests, but you also get new bonuses. You can now use the tail to pick up and hold items, but you can't do anything that requires fine manipulation. So with your tail you can grab a gun, but not shoot it, or pick up a dropped wallet, but not open it up and take out a handful of change, et cetera. For purposes of lifting objects and the like, your tail has half strength rounded down, but you can hang your entire weight from it if you choose. And you specifically cannot make attacks with the tail.

QUOTE ("RC @ p. 113")
A Thagomizer (15* BP) is a powerfully muscled prehensile tail which ends in an array of dermal spikes (or a club) and can be wielded like a spiked mace in melee combat using the Exotic Melee Weapon: Thagomizer skill. The weapon has a Reach of 1 and a Damage Value of (Strength/2) + 2P.

For yet another extra 5 BP* (the book lists the price incorrectly, I have adjusted it above), you now get a Thagomizer. You can do everything a Prehensile Tail can, as listed above, but you can now also make attacks with the tail itself. You still can't finely manipulate objects, so no shooting guns, and while you might be able to wield a melee weapon in the tail's grasp, I'd definitely enforce the half strength rounded down factor. A Thagomizer is specifically allowed to be used as an Exotic Melee Weapon in combat. No wielding required, it's just a weapon you have built into your person, exactly like a cyber-implant such as a Spur.

Absolutely none of the above requires any sort of GM allowance whatsoever. Why is this so difficult? It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal.

~Umi
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cndblank
post Feb 1 2013, 08:00 PM
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If nothing else I expect it would really throw off most opponents.
Especially multiple opponents.
Trying to attack from the rear or side, is going to bring you right in to reach of the tail without and conscious effort from the PC.
Just naturally moving around will cause the tail to swing back and forth behind him. I'd treat it like a hand to hand attack with no off hand mod (using the Exotic Melee Weapon skill).)

And it is just the perfect height to REALLY get your attention.

I have personal experience with this.
Large happy 100 pound lab mix with a tail that curves up and over.

You learn fast to be very careful when he is happy and near you. ;o
Doesn't help that both ends are just above table height.

On the plus side he is pretty easy to see coming around the couch (Que the Jaws music).
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Draco18s
post Feb 1 2013, 08:26 PM
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QUOTE (cndblank @ Feb 1 2013, 03:00 PM) *
Large happy lab mix

Doesn't help that both ends are just above table height.


They're called "counter surfers" for a reason. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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DMiller
post Feb 4 2013, 03:59 AM
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QUOTE (Umidori @ Feb 2 2013, 12:33 AM) *
For yet another extra 5 BP* (the book lists the price incorrectly, I have adjusted it above), you now get a Thagomizer. You can do everything a Prehensile Tail can, as listed above, but you can now also make attacks with the tail itself. You still can't finely manipulate objects, so no shooting guns, and while you might be able to wield a melee weapon in the tail's grasp, I'd definitely enforce the half strength rounded down factor. A Thagomizer is specifically allowed to be used as an Exotic Melee Weapon in combat. No wielding required, it's just a weapon you have built into your person, exactly like a cyber-implant such as a Spur.


QUOTE ( 'RC@p113')
A Thagomizer (15* BP) is a powerfully muscled prehensile tail which ends in an array of dermal spikes (or a club) and can be wielded like a spiked mace in melee combat using the Exotic Melee Weapon: Thagomizer skill. The weapon has a Reach of 1 and a Damage Value of (Strength/2) + 2P.


This implies you have to put it in your hand to use it as a weapon. This also clears up my earlier post about "if it can weild itself".

-D
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Umidori
post Feb 4 2013, 04:46 AM
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*double rainbow facepalm, all the way across the forum*

~Umi
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DMiller
post Feb 4 2013, 06:49 AM
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**Confused by the facepalming**

QUOTE ("RC @ p.113")
A Prehensile Tail (10 BP) functions exactly like the Balance Tail, except that the character can consciously manipulate it as if it were an extra limb. The tail can pick up items, though it lacks digits and so cannot finely manipulate objects, pull triggers, and so on. Apply a –2 dice pool modifier to any attempt at fine manipulation of an object with the tail. The tail has an effective strength equal to half the character’s unaugmented Strength (round down), but it can hold the character’s entire body weight if he chooses to hang from it. Prehensile tails do not provide an extra attack.

And…
QUOTE ("RC @ p.113")
A Thagomizer (15 BP) is a powerfully muscled prehensile tail which ends in an array of dermal spikes (or a club) and can be wielded like a spiked mace in melee combat using the Exotic Melee Weapon: Thagomizer skill. The weapon has a Reach of 1 and a Damage Value of (Strength/2) + 2P.


If the tail is attacking by itself it should have a damage value (effective) of (Strength/4)+2P as the tail has a strength of (Strength/2) and the spiked mace has a damage code of (Strength/2)+2P, this gives you a final damage code of ((Strength/2)/2)+2P or (Strength/4)+2P. Thus I think debating if it can wield itself is a valid debate as it is not listed as having that damage code (to my knowledge there aten't any melee weapons that do (Strength)+xP damage). If the solid answer is "of course it can" than should the damage of a self-wielded Thagomizer be based on the tail’s strength or the overall strength? Also note that the tail does not provide an extra attack, so this also can lead to a similar question, if it’s not an extra attack, does it wield itself?

By strict reading I'd say no it can not, however that is not how I would run it. I would say that yes it can wield itself, however when doing so the effective strength of the tail is the strength used for damage calculation. This ruling falls in line with the rules about using cyber-limbs of differing strengths.

-D
P.S.
Honestly I'm not trying to be obtuse, I'm just trying to be sure I fully understand RAW vs RIA.
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Mantis
post Feb 4 2013, 07:16 AM
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My understanding of the rules would be that it works like a weapon when you want to consciously use it as such and the rest of the time it is just an added source of balance and something to hang off when you want to act like a monkey. When used consciously to attack then it would use the listed skill (Exotic Melee Weapon: Thagomizer) and hit with the listed damage ((Strength/2) + 2P). This seems pretty self evident.
As for Umi's original questions, well you have spent 15 BP or 30 karma on this thing so it should do something useful. I think the Exotic Weapon skill should cover the whole use of the thing and ambidexterity isn't really an issue. It isn't. You want a second attack with it? Fine, follow the rules for multiple melee attacks, splitting the lower of your two pools as shown in Arsenal but ignoring Ambidexterity. I can't see it being used to defend against attacks unless that opponent is behind you (say a 180 degree arc) (and you are aware of him of course). I wouldn't allow Sangre y Acero to help with it as the art specifically mentions cyberware and the cybernetic version of a tail is not a weapon. So I wouldn't assume that just because the Thagomizer is an exotic weapon it qualifies for this martial art.
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DMiller
post Feb 4 2013, 07:53 AM
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Hrmmm...

I guess for simplicity it might be better to assume that the tail wields itself and does S/2+2P.That keeps everything simple even if not internally consistent.

-D
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