Striding towards you. A hulking figure slowly emerges from the smoke of battle, swirling around this place of wreck and ruin. Screams and shouts of combat are masked by the thick oily smoke. You watch as two steel gauntleted hands reach back and grasp the pommel of a Greatsword. The sword is drawn forwards. You can’t help but notice it is a monstrosity of a weapon. Around five feet in length, a grey steel blade. The steel encased hands seem to fuse themselves to the massive handle. The figure grips and then turns into a stance, ready to engage. Paying no attention to the chaos around, the figure advances forwards, slowly. With purpose…
Who hasn’t wanted to have a character with a weapon that can cut down a multitude of foes in one swing? A weapon that if used properly can decimate opponents. I had a Black Numenorian character in Middle Earth who specialized in two-handed combat. I found I was getting some really good critical hits when I levelled up a bit!
Historically, it appears that the great sword or “two handed” was a much later addition to the battlefield requiring extra skills in its usage, as mentioned here. In a fantasy game setting though, players who intend to use such weapons are perhaps focusing their play style into maximizing the damage that their characters can do to an opponent. A few well placed hits would certainly cause serious injury or death to an enemy fairly quickly.
The one drawback of such a heavy hitting weapon is reduced defensive capabilities. Players will no longer be able to use shields and will have to rely on the armour that they are wearing and be able to dodge any incoming attacks. Also, depending on the GM it might be difficult to sneak around with five feet of steel hanging off your back!