When fighting with a weapon, characters incur 'hard' roundtime, during which the can perform only a very limited set of actions, like speaking, looking at things, or changing where they will aim their next attack. While a number of factors can affect this roundtime, it is primarily based on the speed of the weapon's base, the character's Agility bonus, and their Dexterity bonus.
Base Weapon Speed
All weapons have a base weapon speed, which is the standard roundtime before accounting any factors that may increase or decrease that number. All melee roundtime calculations start from the base weapon speed.
- See Base weapon speed for a list of all the base weapon speeds, or the Edged Weapons, Blunt Weapons, Brawling, Polearms, and Two-Handed Weapons pages for a comparison just of those types of weapons.
A character trained in Two Weapon Combat has the ability to attack with a weapon in each hand. These attacks happen simultaneously, and far faster than it would take to swing each weapon individually. When calculating the roundtime to swing two weapons at once, it is best to think of them as combining to make a single custom weapon base with its own base RT.
Assuming the character's off-hand weapon is at least as fast and as light as their primary weapon:
This means that most characters can use a 3-pound weapon with a base speed of 2 in their off hand as if it were not there. Characters with a 25 strength bonus can use a 4-pound weapon without penalty, and characters with significantly more strength can use further heavier weapons. Every additional second of base speed or pound of weight beyond that limit increases the base roundtime by 1 second.
This TWC base speed is used in all roundtime calculations, including the calculation of minimum weapon speed.
Minimum Weapon Speed
A weapon's minimum speed is the lowest roundtime at which a weapon can be swung under normal circumstances. The minimum speed is derived from the weapon's base speed, and always falls between 3 and 5 seconds.
|Base Speed||Minimum Speed|
|1 second||3 seconds|
|2 or 3 seconds||4 seconds|
|4 seconds or more||5 seconds|
Aiming an attack with the AMBUSH verb increases the minimum roundtime of the attack by 1 in addition to the 3 second increase in roundtime.
How can the minimum be greater than the base?
The interplay between minimum speed and base speed can at first seem contradictory for very fast weapons, such as the dagger with its base speed of 1. Despite a base speed of 1, a character would swing their dagger in 3 seconds. However, because the base speed is 2 seconds faster than the minimum speed, factors that increase roundtime are diminished.
For example, if a character with no armor training were to wear a leather breastplate, their roundtime would increase by 3 seconds. This is added to the dagger's base of 1, for a 4 second swing. If the dagger's base speed and minimum speed were both 3, the attack would have taken 6 seconds, not 4.
Going below the minimum
While a character's training and statistics cannot decrease an attack below its normal minimum, there are a few ways to attack faster. The quickstrike ability and combat maneuver provide a flat decrease to roundtime at a cost to the user's stamina. A warrior's bonded weapon can decrease roundtime as an occasional "flare".
Two spells also help: a bard's Song of Tonis provides a roundtime reduction to the entire group, and the Celerity spell reduces roundtime for a single target (via free and automatic use of a quickstrike).
Calculating Actual Roundtime
To find the actual roundtime an attack will take, start with the base roundtime, then account for armor, encumbrance, and the character's Agility and Dexterity bonuses.