Multiple Fast Draw

A successful Fast-Draw roll lets you ready a stowed weapon instantly, without taking a Ready maneuver; see Fast-Draw (p. B194). Realistically, this takes some time. Skill imposes a limit on how many weapons you can draw and still act.

Every turn, you may Fast-Draw one weapon per hand at no penalty - although draws with the "off" hand have the usual -4. If you give away or willingly discard a weapon, or hurl a throwing weapon - but not if you fail a Fast-Draw roll or lose a weapon on a critical miss - you may make further Fast-Draw attempts later on your turn. Repeated attempts with a given hand are at a cumulative -2 per Fast-Draw roll after the first. For instance, a fencer could Fast-Draw a rapier with his master hand at no penalty and a dagger with his

Who Draws First?

A staple of martial-arts drama is the standoff between two warriors who suddenly draw weapons and attack each other. Who draws first -and consequently gets the first strike - is crucial here!

If combat is in progress, resolve the situation using the turn sequence (p. B363). The faster fighter takes his turn first. If his weapon is ready, or if he can Fast-Draw it, he gets the first attack. If he must take a Ready maneuver, his turn ends. Then the slower fighter takes his turn. If he has a weapon ready - or can Fast-Draw one - he gets the first attack. If he, too, must take a Ready maneuver, it's the faster fighter's turn again . . .

If combat isn't in progress, use the following rules:

• Neither fighter has a ready weapon; one knows Fast-Draw, the other does not. The fighter with Fast-Draw may roll against his skill. If he succeeds, he strikes first. If he fails, resolve this as a standoff between two fighters, neither of whom knows Fast-Draw (below). If he critically fails, he throws away his weapon and his foe strikes first!

• Neither fighter has a ready weapon; both or neither know Fast-Draw. Roll a Quick Contest. Use Fast-Draw skill if both fighters have it, weapon skill if neither does (or if one does but failed his attempt). The winner strikes first. In a tie, they attack simultaneously; they may dodge or block, but not parry! Regardless of the skill used, apply the modifiers under Fast-Draw from Odd Positions, plus these special modifiers:

Grease: A greased scabbard gives +1 here, but the greasy weapon gives -1 to weapon skill on later rolls.

Hand on Weapon: A fighter with a hand already on his weapon adds +4. Both fighters can claim this bonus!

Length: The fighter with the longer weapon has -1 (his weapon takes longer to clear its scabbard).

Weight: The fighter with the heavier weapon has -1 unless he has at least 1.5 times the required ST for the weapon.

• One fighter has a ready weapon; his opponent knows Fast-Draw. Roll a Quick Contest. The ready fighter uses weapon skill; his only modifier is +1 if he has Combat Reflexes. The unready fighter uses Fast-Draw skill modified as for a Quick Contest of Fast-Draw (above), with an additional -10! The winner strikes first. In a tie, the fighter with the ready weapon strikes first.

• One fighter has a ready weapon; his opponent lacks Fast-Draw. The fighter with the ready weapon strikes first.

off hand at -4; however, he would have -2 if he cast aside his rapier and attempted to Fast-Draw a pistol and -6 if he pitched his dagger and tried to Fast-Draw another.

Two-handed Fast-Draw attempts count against the total for both hands. For instance, if a swordsman uses Fast-Draw to ready a greatsword with two hands and then discards it, he's at -2 to try another Fast-Draw with either hand.

Similarly, two-handed Fast-Draw attempts use the worst penalty accrued for either hand involved. If our swordsman Fast-Draws and hurls a knife using his right hand, he's at -2 to Fast-Draw his greatsword, even though he hasn't tried Fast-Draw with his left hand.

It's possible to Fast-Draw multiple, identical weapons at once for the purpose of Rapid Strike with Thrown Weapons (pp. 120-121) or Dual-Weapon Attack (Bow). The weapons must weigh less than 1 lb. and be worn in a way that lets you reach them all with one hand. Make a single roll at -2 per weapon. For the sake of future Fast-Draw rolls, this counts as one previous attempt per weapon. For instance, Fast-Draw (Knife) would be at -8 for four daggers at once, and an ensuing Fast-Draw (Sword) roll to draw a rapier with that hand would have -8 for four previous Fast-Draws.

Success and failure have their usual effects in all cases. Any failure ends your turn; no further Fast-Draw attempts are possible. Critical failure means you also drop the weapon - or all the weapons, if drawing multiple weapons simultaneously!

Heroic Archers and Weapon Masters may halve all multiple Fast-Draw penalties for weapons covered by their advantage. If both advantages apply, divide by 4 (round in the warrior's favor).

Fast-Draw from Odd Positions

The Fast-Draw skill assumes that you're standing still with nobody holding onto you, able to use your master hand to reach your weapon. In close combat and other cramped quarters, you must make a DX roll to reach a weapon before you can Fast-Draw it (see Readying in Close Combat, p. B391). For added realism, apply the following modifiers to Fast-Draw rolls and DX rolls to reach weapons:

Crawling or lying down: -4 Crouching, kneeling, or sitting: -2 Grappled: -4

Hanging upside down: -2 Move or Move and Attack: -2 during or after the maneuver Off-hand: -4

The weapon's location is another important modifier, the effects of which depend on the weapon and Fast-Draw specialty:

Arrow: +1 if stuck in the ground at your feet, +0 if in a quiver, or -2 if thrust through a belt. If you have multiple types of arrows, roll randomly for the type drawn. Attempts to draw a specific type of arrow suffer an extra -2.

Flexible: +0 if properly coiled and hanging at your belt, but -2 if worn as a belt or otherwise wrapped around your body.

Force Sword: +0 if hanging at your hip, -1 if hanging anywhere else, -2 if protruding from a boot*, or -3 if in a pocket or otherwise concealed.

Knife: +0 if sheathed at your hip or (darts only) in a quiver, -1 if sheathed elsewhere (bandolier, wrist, handle-down on chestt, etc.), -2 if carried in a boot* or thrust through a belt without a sheath, -3 if in a pocket or concealed, or -5 if carried in your teeth (and critical failure means you inflict normal cutting damage to your face!).

Shuriken: +0 if carried on pegs on armor or in a pouch, but -3 if carried any other way (in a pocket, up a sleeve, concealed in a belt buckle, etc.).

Sword: +0 if sheathed at your hip on the side opposite your weapon hand, or over either shoulder; -1 if sheathed at your hip on the same side as your sword hand, but +0 if you draw into a Reversed Grip (pp. 111-112). Add -2 if you lack a proper scabbard (e.g., a sword thrust through a belt). A sword cane or sheathed sword carried in hand gives +0.

Tonfa: +0 if carried in a loop at your hip on the same side as your weapon hand, -1 if in a loop on the opposite side, or -2 if carried in any other way.

Two-Handed Sword: +0 if worn over either shoulder in a proper back sling, or carried in hand but sheathed and resting on a shoulder; -2 if slung any other way.

* A weapon in a boot is easier to reach from low postures: when crouching, kneeling, or sitting, ignore the -2 for a weapon in a boot and the -2 for posture, and roll at +0.

t A knife carried handle-down on the chest gets -1 to Fast-Draw, but gives +1 to DX rolls to reach the weapon in close combat and lets you ignore the -2 for hanging upside down.

All of these modifiers are cumulative with each other and those under Multiple Fast-Draw (above). Shock, distraction, and afflictions have the same effect on Fast-Draw rolls and DX rolls to reach weapons as they do on attack rolls.

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