Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weapon types

I was reading this blog post and I realized what a great idea this is.  Have different weapon types do something different in combat.  Ya, this post is from back in June and I remember reading the post on B/X Blackrazor that he references back then too, but I wasn't in the same frame of mind as I am now.  I like the simple weapon damage we're using now in Beacon (actually Blackrazor pushed me in that direction as well).  Maybe I glossed over it because I didn't want to mess with the mechanics I had for tho handed damage bonuses and duel wielding.  Anyway I like non-variable weapon damage in Beacon - mainly because it leaves little to memorize and players can grab up any old thing and start whacking away.  It lends itself to narrative weapon choices over optimization.  No more maxing out the statistics and figuring on which is the best weapon to use, more just figuring out what would be cool.  As mentioned in these fine posts, where it falls down is when players are buying weapons - why buy a nicely worked sword when a rusty crowbar will do the same damage?  Well prestige I suppose.  However, if each type of weapon had a special benefit or applicability then it would be a good reason for players to have different weapons, even carry and use different weapons at different times.  I already have pole-arms doing attack at range - I just need to figure out what the other weapons bring to the table.
Off the top of my head I can think of the following 'perks' for each type of weapon.
  • Only swords can be used to block as per the blocking rules.
  • Axes/hammers/clubs add full STR bonus as damage like two handed weapons do.
  • Pole-arms get the distance thing and first strike against rushes.
Very simple and they don't add any new mechanics to the rules, just spread the wealth a bit - both pluses in my book.  Strong guys are going to want to use the bashing weapons to get that strength bonus but might possibly carry around a sword to use in case they are fighting skilled opponents so they can increase their defense.

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