What penalties do you get from a weapon dangling from a lanyard? Can you Fast-Draw a weapon dangling from a lanyard?
DF Adventurers, p. 24 / DFRPG Adventurers p. 111 have only the following to say about lanyards:
"Lanyard, Chain. Lets you retrieve dropped weapon on a DX roll. Each attempt requires a Ready maneuver.
And that's it.
In my own campaign, I allowed someone to Fast-Draw a weapon from a dangling lanyard. It's stuck as a basic ruling, although it's not actually a rule. That's had some very cinematic moments - PCs regularly take turns like this:
- Drop lanyarded weapon.
- Fast-Draw a potion and drink it.
- Fast-Draw the sword (at a cumulative -4 for multiple attempts.)
You can substitute other actions in there, too - throwing a potion, drawing and throwing a weapon, etc. It's very awesome, but also can get a little wonky. Even if it's not the same turn, the weapon hanging from a lanyard never seems to do anything but hover out of the way, as if a dancing weapon released into the same hex. It's right there for use, entirely out of the way.
There should be a penalty for the weapon hanging there, though, to any and all actions done with the hand which has the weapon lanyarded to the wrist.
Given that the basic set rules for grappling give a -4 for grappling, and weapons of large to small sizes have hit penalties of -3 to -5, it occurs to me that might be a way to go. Having your arm grappled is pretty bad, but doing anything with a hand while a weapon dangles from it - especially razor-sharp swords, spiked chain weapons, axes (!), some of which will be Flaming, poisoned, dripping corrosion, etc. - is going to be hard.
I'm debating either -4 flat to doing anything with the same hand other than readying the weapon (which takes a DX roll, as above, and a Ready maneuver) or a -3 for a small weapon, -4 for most, -5 for large weapons. It would even be fair - not popular, but fair, to apply that penalty to a Fast-Draw roll. So you dropped your broadsword and want to re-ready it and strike back on your next turn? Fast-Draw (Sword)-4. Want to do it slow-and-steady? Flat DX roll. Want to do it really slow and steady? I'd allow automatic success in two turns with a crouch, extra hand free, or other way to steady the weapon.
Any thoughts on this? I like lanyards and I'm fine with heroic reality . . . but I didn't give you 250+ points, DX 14+ on almost everyone, and supernatural support to mollycoddle you. And it should be less-than-ideal to use a hand or arm with a weapon dangling freely from it. I'm leaning towards the scaled penalties so I don't have people lanyarding on SM+1 greataxes and being only as impaired as the guy with a lanyard on his shortsword.