Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Word About Weapon Choice

If all weapons do 1d6 damage, shouldn't I be a cheapskate and just buy daggers?

No. Don't be stupid. If you are swinging a dagger and the other guy has like a claymore you are in bad shape. We represent this by giving you a -2 penalty to your AP, because you just don't get as many opportunities to slip past his guard when his guard is like the length of your entire body. Get your self a grown-up weapon!

On the other hand, if you're bold enough to leap past that six feet of pointy death and like wrap your legs around the guy and just keep stabbing at him until he stops twitching, the advantage is yours, because it's really hard to use a claymore or a spear or something to scrape a crazy bastard off your chest. So that's useful.

Also, different weapons are good for different things. Like, chopping and stabbing isn't the best way to go against things that are already dead. They don't really bleed and the meat you cut off is probably just slowing them down. For those guys, you want to whack 'em with something blunt, like a mace, until the bones are powder. Stuff like that.


  1. Plus, weapons are tools. If you have a spear you've got a 6' pole right there which is nice for poking things outside of combat. Axes can be used for chopping wood and should be more effective on a door than a mace or sword. A pick is good for digging, a hammer for pounding in iron spikes, etc.

    Slightly heavier weapons than a dagger might have longer throw ranges - I'm not sure. The ability to throw a weapon in dire straits may be worth paying more for.

    Then again, smaller weapons are more concealable. If you're frisked quickly by the orcs they might miss your boot dagger. If you're in town people will look at you as a fighter type if you have big obvious weapons - but if you carry your dagger under your cloak you could have your weapon drawn without people noticing!

    You can also screw with people's expectations as to your class. If you're a Fighter you could wear your armor and a blunt mace and a holy symbol and people might assume you're a Cleric in a fight, directing attention away from your real Cleric.

    A sling might be nice just because you can pick up ammo anywhere, it's light and concealable, and you might be able to make one without too much trouble.

    Really it seems like swords are less desirable all around in a universal weapon damage system. Maybe the only benefit is that people respect a sword-wielder more, that it's a more civilized weapon?

  2. All good points. Nylian once used her hammer to open a secret door. As for swords, I give them a straight-up mechanical advantage: their compact design enables them to be drawn and used as a single action during melee, where most other weapons require a delay.

    I found that most of my players became attached to a particular weapon type, and stick to it even at the expense of possible upgrades. Nylian passed on a magical battle-axe because she's dedicated to the superiority of hammers. She gave the axe to Gottfried, who has since discovered that he can own the battlefield with any axe, but all other weapons fail him (or at least, the dice do when he uses anything but an axe). Ash is fond of axes, but as the only Lawful fighter in the party, he was the only one who could safely wield the rune-sword Seeker, and he's become rather attached to it.