Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

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SkinnyOrc
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Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby SkinnyOrc » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:27 am

The Weapon Special Skills are per weapon type, but most characters just use one melee weapon or a bow, or maybe both. There isn't really a lot of reason to put experience points into more WSS than that. I thought it would be interesting to look at why historical warriors might have carried a wider variety of weapons and how that might translate to AFF2.

In addition to their main weapon, warriors commonly carried a throwing weapon of some sort (axe, hammer, spear, javelin, knife, etc.) to get an extra attack before melee was closed. Thrown weapons are used one handed so you can attack and then draw a single handed melee weapon, all with a shield in the other hand. Also unlike a bow you have nothing left in your hands to have to take time to sling back over your shoulder.

So how do you make it worthwhile in AFF2 for players to put XP into the Thrown WSS as a secondary weapon? Obviously unless a combat starts at point blank range you need to generally allow at least one round where only ranged attacks are possible. Also someone using a bow (or sling) shouldn't be able to switch to a melee weapon and attack in the following round without dropping it on the ground and it potentially getting broken or lost in what follows. If a troll steps on your longbow the result's not pretty. Safely stowing a bow and readying a melee weapon takes one round.

The other sort of weapon often carried was a reach weapon. The internet seems pretty convinced that swords were equivalent to a side-arm. So people might wear one around town but into battle their primary weapon would be something with more reach, plus a sword as a backup. The main advantage that made them so popular is a sheathed sword is easy to carry. Of course adventurers often need to fight indoors and such so it's not surprising they often use the versatile sword, but it might be interesting to make the long weapons more attractive.

I've played around with reach rules before in other systems and seen similar rules here, grouping all weapons into reach categories with modifiers for the differences. The conclusion I've come to is it's not worth the effort taking it that far. It doesn't matter a sword has more reach than a dagger, the dagger is already rubbish and it doesn't have a useful effect in game to make it more rubbish. I'm open to suggestions on this one but I'm thinking a simple +1 AS for all two handed weapons is the way to go. That would be balanced by them having a penalty instead when used in tight spaces and of course you still can't use them with a shield.

It was also common in the later medieval, when armour had become so effective, to use concussion weapons like hammers and maces. I'm not suggesting that it's worth modelling that but there are some AFF monsters that only take 1 point of damage maximum from bladed weapons, most commonly Skeletons, but also Boulder Beasts and no doubt others. Encountering a few of these might encourage some players to skill up in non-bladed weapons.
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby SkinnyOrc » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:43 am

Occurred to me that there's a lot less motivation to train up in other weapons if you can already use them all with no penalty. At least until you become quite skilled in a main weapon, no plus but no minus either is fine for the rest. It's a different story if you're applying the -2 penalty I suggested for fighting without the relevant Weapon Special Skill. That was as part of adjusting the AS bonuses you get with those skills (http://arion-games.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=737&start=15#p8906) but there's no reason the penalty can't be used without the rest.
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby Dupont » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:04 am

Just a couple of thoughts:

The thrown weapon damage seems really low, maybe that was on purpose to steer play in certain ways etc, but it still seems low. I wouldnt want to get hit by a dagger, no matter which end hit me, and I have thrown a throwing axe into a felled man sized tree trunk and if they hit you... Thats it you're on the trainto Valhalla, they're also really easy to throw and hit target
What if Thrown Weapon had a generalised damage of its own with some weapons having a slight variation when encountered - Some types of throwing axes etc, to change their stats from normal, like an improvised thrown damage rating?

I like the idea of a segment in the round, just before normal melee where 'Reach' weapons if you have them can be used in a battle formation ( that would require enough people having them in your group). Surprised parties wouldnt be able to do this I think. You can then have magicians and others throwing spells or various objects over the front line's head. The winning side at this stage can maintain this style of fighting, forcing the opposition to do the same or fight in a rather unpleasant disadvantage.

This is similar territory to the recent thread about combat feats but I think its complimentary rather than the same. I think a general skill might be quite useful here to fight like this and also divert experience points.
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby SkinnyOrc » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:27 pm

Dupont wrote:The thrown weapon damage seems really low, maybe that was on purpose to steer play in certain ways etc, but it still seems low
If you mean a throwing dagger then yeah it is, but only very slightly lower than a dagger in melee. Which in turn seems about right compared to a sword. So maybe what we're saying is all the weapon damages are kind'a low? That's even if a normal man only has 5 STAM, which might match OotP but the rulebook says 7 or 8.

But putting that one on the side, I have the thrown axe and hammer damage the same as a hand axe and warhammer. As a single use weapon I think you can get away with that to keep it simple. Range is as a "heavy object". A spear doesn't have a range for throwing either but you can use the same for that.

Dupont wrote:where 'Reach' weapons if you have them can be used in a battle formation ( that would require enough people having them in your group)
I was thinking along these lines too, I was going to make a Combat Option called Shiltron! But most fight re-enactment and martial arts people on the net agree a guy with a spear beats a guy with a sword and shield in single combat most of the time, even if the spear guy is less skilled. Assuming that's true, reach weapons don't need to be used in formation to give an advantage. So in the interests of keeping things simple I suggested the straight +1 to AS.

But you could also allow more characters to fight in a choke point like a corridor if some had reach weapons. The extra numbers you can get into the fight that way are a real advantage. Guys in the front with single handed weapons and shields, guys fighting past them with spears and polearms. Hmm sounds a lot like a shield wall :)

Dupont wrote:This is similar territory to the recent thread about combat feats but I think its complimentary rather than the same.
Yep agree. What they all have in common is giving the players more possibilities to choose from in combat. I need to read the Viscera and Manuevers threads, sound interesting. But the suggestions above all work within the existing mechanics and a lot of people here like the simplicity of those.
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby LordArioch » Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:06 am

Dupont wrote:Just a couple of thoughts:

The thrown weapon damage seems really low, maybe that was on purpose to steer play in certain ways etc, but it still seems low.


I agree. As a knife-thrower, I know that the lack of respect for thrown weapons in RPGs is commonplace. IMC, I expand the critical damage range from 6-6 alone to 6-5, 5-6 and 6-6 (8.33 percent chance).

If you want to include a hit-location mechanic, a direct hit to the centre of mass (say, anywhere around the sternum), throat or head does 3x damage on the above rolls. That should take out pretty much any human(oid) target. May be worth playtesting. How does that sound? :)
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby Ruffnut » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:56 am

LordArioch wrote:
Dupont wrote:Just a couple of thoughts:

The thrown weapon damage seems really low, maybe that was on purpose to steer play in certain ways etc, but it still seems low.


I agree. As a knife-thrower, I know that the lack of respect for thrown weapons in RPGs is commonplace. IMC, I expand the critical damage range from 6-6 alone to 6-5, 5-6 and 6-6 (8.33 percent chance).

If you want to include a hit-location mechanic, a direct hit to the centre of mass (say, anywhere around the sternum), throat or head does 3x damage on the above rolls. That should take out pretty much any human(oid) target. May be worth playtesting. How does that sound? :)


I like it! One of my players uses throwing knives at a range and his claws at melee. He is a lizardman
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby Dupont » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:44 am

LordArioch wrote:
Dupont wrote:Just a couple of thoughts:

The thrown weapon damage seems really low, maybe that was on purpose to steer play in certain ways etc, but it still seems low.


I agree. As a knife-thrower, I know that the lack of respect for thrown weapons in RPGs is commonplace. IMC, I expand the critical damage range from 6-6 alone to 6-5, 5-6 and 6-6 (8.33 percent chance).

If you want to include a hit-location mechanic, a direct hit to the centre of mass (say, anywhere around the sternum), throat or head does 3x damage on the above rolls. That should take out pretty much any human(oid) target. May be worth playtesting. How does that sound? :)


Thats in interesting way of tackling it, I can try it out and let you know. There is another use for throwing weapons than damage too, distraction and interruption, it would be cool to be able to implement that. That seems to tie in again with the thread about feats I think.

I've thrown a big throwing axe, it is accurate, easy to throw and it hits really hard, even if you miss its going to ping off shields or the floor too and still likely hurt someone even in a small group.

What sort of knives do you throw?
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby Robb 1 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:22 am

As an ex medieval reenacter agree that a spear or quaterstaff reach weapon can beat a sword and shield unless the shield user can deflect the point which though difficult can be done once the reach is negated you have them. However an experienced spearman can twist the spear and hook or twist the sword come an attackers girl quite painfully in game terms I suppose this would be either a special skill or luck test possibly modified by special weapon skill
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby Robb 1 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:35 pm

As an ex medieval reenacter agree that a spear or quaterstaff reach weapon can beat a sword and shield unless the shield user can deflect the point which though difficult can be done once the reach is negated you have them. However an experienced spearman can twist the spear and hook or twist the sword from an attackers grip quite painfully. In game terms I suppose this would be either a special skill or luck test possibly modified by special weapon skill

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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby Dupont » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:06 pm

Robb 1 wrote:As an ex medieval reenacter agree that a spear or quaterstaff reach weapon can beat a sword and shield unless the shield user can deflect the point which though difficult can be done once the reach is negated you have them. However an experienced spearman can twist the spear and hook or twist the sword from an attackers grip quite painfully. In game terms I suppose this would be either a special skill or luck test possibly modified by special weapon skill

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I will always remember catching the train to work one day in when I lived briefly in Southampton and a saxon warrior got onto the train, beight red and green quartered target shield slung across his back... I hated my job and I felt nothing but envy lol
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby Lorian » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:52 am

I once went to a car boot and sae a group of people dresses as full on larp medieval warriors and I immediately thought, where did they buy their stuff?
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby Dupont » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:15 am

We need to not anger Robb in case he brings down Odin's wrath on us, but do you think he knows he posted the exact same thing twice?
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby Robb 1 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:03 pm

Dupont wrote:We need to not anger Robb in case he brings down Odin's wrath on us, but do you think he knows he posted the exact same thing twice?


No anger brought down only on my own incompetence with electronic media. Personally I think I'll blame Loki for it :lol: comes to something when I'm probably more adept with archaic pointy weapons than a smart phone or Tablet :oops: Need to work on summoning Odins wrath too :lol:

Now where did I leave my Runes and books on Runemagic so I Can get some practice in? :mrgreen:
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby Ruffnut » Mon May 01, 2017 9:43 am

Robb 1 wrote:
Dupont wrote:We need to not anger Robb in case he brings down Odin's wrath on us, but do you think he knows he posted the exact same thing twice?


No anger brought down only on my own incompetence with electronic media. Personally I think I'll blame Loki for it :lol: comes to something when I'm probably more adept with archaic pointy weapons than a smart phone or Tablet :oops: Need to work on summoning Odins wrath too :lol:

Now where did I leave my Runes and books on Runemagic so I Can get some practice in? :mrgreen:


:lol:
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Re: Increasing Weapon Special Skill variety

Postby Dupont » Mon May 01, 2017 10:52 am

:lol:
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