When exactly should the GM announce what weapons they’re using? The rules say before the first action, but does that mean I should include them when scripting (for each enemy), wait for the players to announce they’ve scripted and what weapons they will be using, and then announce what weapons I’m using for the round? It seems weird for me to announce my weapons before they’ve scripted and unfair for me to change what weapons I will use after hearing what they’ve scripted. This presumes a given monster can only use one weapon at a time (below).
Can the GM have a critter use more than one weapon in the same round? For example, The Barrow Wights’ Unyielding (attack) and Stench of Death (defend). Or do I get to pick at most one weapon to be using for that round? If so, is that the only weapon that can be disarmed by a Maneuver? Or do I get access to all weapons (with reason, e.g., not using a sword and a crossbow in the same round) or one weapon per attack type (e.g., both of the Wights’ weapons in a Drive Off conflict).
I always announced what weapons my monsters were using when the players announced what they were using. That is, after generating disposition and all that, but before actually scripting. I always assumed that, like players, each monster could only have a single weapon. But if I had more than one monster and they had stats for multiple weapons, I’d give different monsters different weapons.
p69 “Choosing Weapons Before the start of the round, all players declare what weapon they’re using—including spells, prayers and shields. The GM also announces what weapons his critters are using.”
But pseudoidiot makes an interesting point about the number of weapons a monster has. I just assumed the monster could wield any and all weapons listed for a particular conflict type.
Weapons are chosen at the start of each round (p. 72); this works the same for the players and the GM, i.e., only one weapon each round.
The conflict example on p. 176 has the GM (Dro) announcing his weapons first, then the players. After this, the GM chooses his actions, then the players. (The example, however, differs a bit from the conflict procedure on p. 67, where the GM chooses his actions first, then the players select and announce their weapons, then the players select their actions. Anyway, p. 69 is clear: both players and GM declare their weapons before the start of the round.)
Fair enough, although the kobolds don’t have more than one weapon to choose from. Can a Black Dragon use both Corrosive Venom and Lashing Tail? In the fiction I can see this making total sense, but I’m not sure, mechanically, if it’s allowed. But, if I can only use one of them a round, that does make things a lot more interesting…
I guess in that case, there’s no restriction to what weapon the players can disarm as part of a maneuver, assuming they explain what they’re doing.
Well, being kobolds, they could always throw bombs.
P.S. Also, there don’t seem to be any restrictions on which weapons you can disarm. After all, you can also disable a piece of gear or a trait.
Declaring your weapon can hint about what you’re thinking of scripting. Could you declare you’re using, say, Ancient Runed Blade and then not script any Attacks? I guess this matters more if you’re solo, where the weapon is locked in for the round.
That’s part of the fun, right there.
In the last game I ran, the players were up against a bugbear with a shield. At the start of the second round he pulled out his shield. Then it turns into a game of them trying to guess when I’ll play my defend, and me trying to not get bit by a feint. Moments like that are exactly why picking weapons at the start is awesome.
But, I think that doing like you said is a totally valid strategy. Describe the big bad pulling out the runed blade, so the players are all ready to go defensive, then throw in some maneuvers or even a feint.
Whatever weapon you pick is the weapon you use for the round. You can switch between rounds. This holds true for players and GMs. A dragon could use its Corrosive Venom for one round and then switch to its Lashing Tail the next.
If you have a large group, you can specify which weapons each of them are using. If you have a large group of kobolds, two could use slings and one could use bombs, for instance. You’re supposed to declare weapons before anyone chooses actions. As Okeefe said, announcing your weapons gives your opponents a snippet of information that they can use to inform their action choices.
If someone equips a shield for the round, you may not know when they’ll act, but there’s a good chance one of the three actions during the round will be Defend. Unless that player is faking you out and intends to play another action entirely…
Then you just have to outguess your opponent on where the iocane powder is…
Aah, right. That’s not how I understood things. Clearly I’ve been giving the monsters too many nasty bonuses. Oops.