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House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:50 am
by TheoOfSilverton
So, a quick introduction...

I've played fighting fantasy since the early days, and have been a big fan of roleplaying in general. For a similar amount of time, I've done martial arts, and have black belts in judo and iai, or japanese swordfighting. When we get free time, we play with a range of weapons at the club, testing and experimenting with all sorts of weird stuff. Short sticks, big sticks, huge sticks. Swords, two swords, sai, nunchaku, sabres, knives, tonfa... You name it we've probably played with it. One of my friends has done fencing with a rapier and a sabre, and has a claymore. One week we cobbled together what would have been a spiked flail (but we missed off the spikes for safety) to test out. Another friend and club member has recently acquired a throwing axe and is practising with it...
I'm far from being an expert, but for what it's worth, here's my simplified observations about various techniques for different styles of weapons, and how they relate to different types of armour. Oh, and how it can add flavour to Fighting Fantasy combat, possibly adding a new tactical dimension to encounters.


Historically speaking, arms and armour were locked in an 'arms race'. Armour was developed to counter the most common weapons that were in use, and then in response, new armour was developed.
So in situations where a wide variety of weapons are used (such as Titan, where different races and cultures have different preferences or manufacturing abilities) it is possible to find that armour which offers an adventurer or soldier excellent protection in their own environment can be more of a hindrance when in foreign lands.

Leather is only really fully effective against relatively crude weapons. It behaves like a tough hide, and can minimise damage inflicted by slashing, crushing and piercing damage: unless the weapons are particularly sharp, in which case it's effectiveness is reduced.
So in game terms, I use the full Leather armour statistics against foes with either poor quality weapons or dull blades, such as goblins, orcs, and the like, but reduce the Armour roll by 1 when receiving blows from opponents whose weapons will be well-maintained, such as human, dwarf or elf soldiers.
Individual adventurers will no doubt spend varying amounts of time looking after their kit, so may or may not gain this extra effectiveness. However it certainly gives the players an incentive to spend some time around their campfire sharpening their blades when travelling through goblin territory...

After slashing weapons (primarily swords) became better quality, chainmail was developed to counter it. And it does a fine job against slashing weapons. However because of it's flexibility, it is less effective against crushing blows. Also, piercing weapons with sharp points can easily split the rings apart, also reducing the armour's effectiveness.
So I reduce the armour roll of chainmail by 1 if struck by heavy smashing weapons such as maces, or being jabbed with a small focused strike, such as the end of a quarterstaff, or if shot with an arrow or crossbow bolt, etc.
A lance or a pick, or even a rustic spear is unlikely to have a point fine enough to split the rings, so I wouldn't apply the penalty against those.

Plate armour is the ultimate in protection. A hard outer shell, articulated at the joints, it offers excellent all round protection. If it was a good fit, it didn't hinder movement too much, and as it was worn instead of carried, great strength wasn't required to wear. Well, not for a short battle anyway. Of course no-one wears full plate day-in-day-out as a wandering adventurer. And plate is very expensive.
Also, while a fully enclosed helmet offers great protection for sport combat such as tournaments and jousting, where the participants were expected to survive, but they practically blinded the wearer except for a small area directly in front.
As far as damage goes, plate is fantastic against bladed weapons, and pretty damn good against crushing blows. Cheap plate could crumple though, and the highest quality had ridges incorporated into the design to reinforce it.
So, with the advent of plate, weapon design moved on again. It was soon discovered that the best way to deal with plate was something spikey with a lot of weight behind it. Hence the development of the morning star. The weight of the head (which was fixed onto the shaft, not on a piece of chain... that was a spiked flail... see below...) gave the spikes enough energy to punch through the plate just like a can opener, and could do devastating damage.
I'd give anyone wearing plate armour being smashed by a morning star a -2 penalty to their armour roll. Thankfully, the morning star isn't a common weapon.

Weapon properties

There is a tremendous variety of weapons, most of which are handled in quite different ways in order to inflict optimum damage with it.

The weight and durability of a weapon needs to be taken into account. With the right technique, a man with a stick can effectively take on a swordsman. With the wrong technique, the man will rapidly end up with several small sticks.
And how does the weapon deal damage? If it is a heavy weight on the end of a long stick, then swinging it is great, but it also makes it very hard to defend with. A sharp pointy bit on the end of a long thin pole requires jabbing attacks and a totally different fighting style.

Many weapons have a simple one-handed grip. The main benefit is that it allows a shield to be used at the same time.
It also means that if the weapon is being swung around slashing while it is only gripped at a single point, it is hard to bring it back under control rapidly. In order to be able to be able to defend effectively with a one-handed weapon, it is generally kept with the tip pointing at the opponent, and making small moves to parry, and fairly tight cuts. Of course, if a shield is used, then the shield offers reasonable protection, and so the sword's purpose becomes less of a concern for defence.
Being shorter and lighter, the shortsword is much more agile, and so can be used to parry easier, while a longsword can be unweildly in one hand, and is best put to use as a simple slashing weapon.

There are several different ways to hold a weapon with both hands.
Those which are gripped by the user with their hands fairly close together can be used to parry and thrust, but if the weapon is heavy, then a simple swinging action is the only real option. This tends to be pretty useless for a controlled defence, and instead relies on aggression to smash opponents out of the way or into submission. Because of the large arc needed, even attacks can be slow, and it they require a lot more space to fight.
I really wouldn't want to be anywhere near a barbarian swinging his war axe in a narrow dungeon corridoor...

If a weapon can be gripped with a wide grip, such as a quarterstaff, spear, halberd, etc then it can be very quickly and accurately controlled to parry and attack. The extra leverage offers greatly improved control, but removes the possibility of using a shield.
And returning to our narrow dungeon corridoor, multiple adventurers could contribute to a fight by standing shoulder-to-shoulder brandishing spears, jabbing at whatever is approaching.

The quarterstaff has an added bonus in which either end of the weapon can be used as to attack, giving the opponent twice as much to worry about. It is quick and easy to alternate between thrusting or swinging attacks, and it is incredibly easy (for instance) to make a feint at an opponent's head, then rapidly switch and strike with the opposite end at their lower half. This if far harder to do if swinging either a standard sword in one hand, or a heavy two-handed sword.
This is why Japan's most legendary swordmaster was only ever bested by a man with a staff.

Now, not all of a blade is sharp for cutting. Generally the end third is the sharpest, while the third nearest the hilt is pretty much blunt, and mostly only used for blocking. It wasn't uncommon for this bottom third of a greatsword or claymore to be wrapped in cloth and leather, and the weapon held with a wide grip like a spear, allowing it to effectively parry and thrust, in addition to swinging it around the head. This allowed the same weapon to be used with totally different fighting styles in different situations.

It is no coincidence that the most popular weapons are those like swords, axes and hammers which can be used in one hand, and are good 'all rounders'. Great swords, halberds and the like are great in specific circumstances, but can prove to be a hindrance in many more circumstances.

Flails. A flail is a weapon which has a section which is gripped, and a section which deals the damage, and the two are often joined by chain. The end bit that you hit your enemy with can be another stick, or a metal ball with studs or spikes on it. (Or several metal balls with studs or spikes on them). Because of the control issues, the handle has to be long enough that you don't smack yourself with the heavy spikey bit when you change your swing to a different direction. The upside of this though, is that if your attack is blocked, the chain simply wraps around and can still hit whatever is behind the weapon or shield, such as the flank, or back of the head.

So, how does all this work in game terms?

Well the most obvious thing to take into account is 'narrow corridoor' or 'very narrow corridoor'. Different weapons will fall into these definitions at different times.
Ottar the barbarian, swinging his greatsword and screaming insults, chases two goblins wielding daggers, who retreat into a cave only a few yards across and with a low ceiling. Ottar will soon find himself at a massive disadvantage, whereas the goblins will be in their element.

The combat options can be fleshed out a little too.

All out attack
Especially suited to heavy swinging weapons which repeatedly pummel the opponent. I let these inflict +2 STAMINA damage instead of the usual +1.

Much harder to manage with swinging weapons. I only give these a +1 combat bonus.
I'm inclined to not allow heavy swinging weapons to be able to fight defensively at all, unless they are held with a very wide grip.
Fighting Defensively can be very effective with a quarterstaff or a spear, so a +3 bonus is given instead.
If fighting Defensive against a flail, reduce the defensive bonus by 1 point.

These are most effective with light, agile weapons. Shortswords, spears, quarterstaffs and similar can gain a +1 to the Combat Total, thus increasing the likelihood of a successful feint.
Heavy swinging weapons such as two-handed warhammers, maces, greatswords, flails, etc are slow and unweildly, and so suffer a -1 penalty to their Combat Total.

Push Back
If there is enough room, weapons swung in large arcs are very effective at keeping oppponents at bay, or encouraging them to back off. A +2 Combat Total bonus can be granted, but this can be reduced or nullified by their opponent's ability in the Dodge Special Skill.

If the weapon to be disarmed is: held in two hands; is held with a wide grip; or is heavy, a -1 penalty is applied for each that applies.
Also, if the weapon used to enable the disarming has specific prongs or a hilt designed for this purpose, an attempt to disarm doesn't cost 1 LUCK point. However these design features tend to be designed for use against relatively light weapons, and could easily break if used against other weapons.


A fundamental part of close combat is for warriors to make full use of both arms in combat, regardless of what they are holding. Fighting with a weapon in each hand doesn't neccessarily give any amazing bonus to combat. And shields are popular for one very good reason: they are a lot cheaper than a second weapon.
People who train to fight soon learn the neccessity of using both arms effectively without needing to be ambidextrous, and when fighting, the shoulders often alternate their actions, like the action of a rower with a double-ended paddle, regardless of what is being held. For this reason, I prefer for shields to be accounted for as part of the Combat Total rather than being treated as passive pieces of armour. However, having a shield doesn't increase your chances of landing a blow of your own.

So, I suggest that if a Small Shield is used, the opponent must beat their Combat Total by at least 1, and if a Large Shield is used, they must beat their Combat Total by at least 2. Otherwise, it counts as a draw.
And as with fighting Defensive, a flail can cancel out 1 point of a shield's benefit.

eg Ottar is swinging a two handed axe at Throffghar, who has a shield. Ottar's Combat Total is 16, and Throffghar's is only 15. However, as he has a shield, Ottar needed to beat him by an extra point, which in this instance is a 17 or more. The axe strikes the shield, and combat continues.

Two evenly-matched combatants who are both using shields, may spend a good while exchanging blows before they get past the other's defences.

So, if you're still reading after all that, thoughts..?


Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:41 am
by Nuvole!
In general I do think that using a simple dice system for managing fights "reallistically" is really tricky, as there are so many subtleties.
However, I appreciate that in your proposal things are just a bit more complicate than in the "plain" rules.

Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:41 pm
by Lorian
As someone who strives for realism in his games I find this very helpful! It is great but you left out daggers - the weapon of choice for one of my players.
All I need now is to convince my players to use these rules!


Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:12 pm
by Ruffnut
I would be good if you could write this up In a reference list with just the new rules. This is epic I am using it!

For a while I have been thinking about making armour a lot more complex e.g roll a D6 to see what part of the body you hit, then the part of the body is split into 6 sections, and has a different armour table depending on what material is the majority of the part covered by, so you would have weak spots at your joints etc.

Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:44 pm
by TheoOfSilverton
Cheers guys, I really appreciate the positive feedback.

Condensing the ideas into a concise list of options is a great idea. I'll get on that real soon... :)

This whole aspect of combat started as a realistic combat game of my own, as a standalone game, but with a simple roleplaying system included. The combat element got too unwieldy and slow, and the roleplaying element became very close to what Advanced Fighting Fantasy is now (though it developed independently). When I discovered that Graham had done such a wonderful job of AFF, I unceremoniously dumped my own work. No point in reinventing the wheel.

These ramblings are just a much simplified way to add the variety and tactical thinking from my combat game into AFF, without adding loads of extra dice rolls. And most of the time they'll not be needed. They only really need to come into play when combatants have an unusual combination of arms and armour.

Ruffnut - I also started using a hit location chart, having the possibility of each body part protected by different (or multiple) types armour, but soon came to love the simplicity of AFF's approach. The more armour they are wearing, the less zeroes on their armour track, and the better the armour, the higher the numbers which are there. I kinda see the results on the armour track as representing different areas of the body, but only so far as the amount of coverage, rather than specific locations. If a character takes damage, and they roll a 1 for armour, and the result is a zero, I'd simply describe it as a strike to a part of their body which I knew wasn't armoured.
AFF's approach of having a die roll which combines varying levels of coverage AND effectiveness into a single die roll is sublime. I truly wish I'd come up with it! :)

Knowing which parts of the body is armoured with what, becomes less important. In a martial arts sense, if I try to focus my attack on a specific area, I'm gonna make it obvious to my opponent, (which will make that particular attack even less likely to be successful) AND miss out on lots of other attacks that may well have been successful.
You're far better just hitting what you can, when you can. In a fight, you want to finish it as fast and as efficiently as possible. The one thing you don't want to do is drag things out, and tire yourself out, and give your opponent time to do something heroic or unexpected.
Hanging back, trying to target a specific part of their body is a surefire way to let your opponent do something sneaky. Especially if they know they've nothing to lose... Just take 'em down, hard and fast.

Lorian - Thank you for the suggestion of daggers! It ties in nicely to something else I'd forgotten about...

Weapon's effective arcs

All weapons have an optimum distance at which they should be used to hit someone. This much is fairly obvious. Someone with a short sword or even a dagger, being kept at bay by someone swinging a great sword, is never going to land a blow, no matter how angry they get. In order to strike, they have to first get past the longer weapon.

If they wish to get inside their opponent's weapon, a successful Combat Total with their Dagger Special Skill would not inflict any damage, but would allow them to get within their opponent's weapon's arc. (If their Dodge Skill is higher they could use that instead, but any skilled knife-fighter will have mastered ducking and diving as part of that skillset anyway, so it would be unfair to INSIST that they have to learn Dodge as well)

If up against a slow, heavy swinging weapon, then a bonus would be appropriate. If up against a nimble thrusting weapon such as a spear, then a penalty would probably be in order.
Their opponent would make a normal attack roll, and if wins the opposed roll, hits as normal, and keeps at their preferred range.

Dodging inside long weapon's arc:
Weapon is heavy and swinging +2
Weapon is swinging +1
Weapon is held with wide two-handed grip -1

If it succeeds, the character with the dagger is now inside the arc of their opponent's weapon, which has now become pretty much useless. It can no longer be used to do what it was designed to do, and is now just dead weight in their hands. I'd make them fight at -2 or -4, depending on the weapon.
Whoever is using it has two sensible choices. They can retreat (if they have somewhere to fall back to) and increase the range again, and hope that their enemy isn't smart enough to just follow close. Which they probably will be if they're used to taking on folks with bigger swords...
Or alternatively, they could just drop their big weapon, and draw something more suitable for really close combat, or switch to hand-to-hand.
Of course, if someone with a dagger gets inside their opponents' space, and then deliberately lets them retreat, that is effectively a Push Back.

Daggers against other short weapons tends to involve a lot of circling and tentative slashing, followed by frenzied stabbing at vulnerable spots once in close. Parrying with a dagger is really not a practical prospect (unless you're a Time Lord armed with your favourite spoon...) and stabbing from a distance is a bad idea, as you are likely to get your extended arm badly slashed unless you're really quick, or well-armoured.
Your best bet is to make lots of jerky twitch movements to keep them off balance, (basically making continuous feint attempts) and then catch them before they can move, twist out of the way, or slash you back.
In fact, try it. Grab someone, and make them play a game... One of you has to thrust their hand out and touch you. The other has to slap the side of their arm. Whoever manages it has to use their other arm next time. Once one or both of you have 'lost' both arms, it's over. It's a quick and fun game, which can be over is seconds.
Once they've warmed up, tell them that the loser has to pay the winner £100. Players will be a lot more cautious, and the game will last a LOT longer... :)

Combat options for daggers or very short weapons

All out attack
You can't go 'all out' against someone with a sword if you are two yards away and armed with a piece of cutlery.
Only possible if you are an appropriate distance from your opponent. If you have a weapon that is shorter than your opponent's then a -1 penalty could be applied to the Combat Total.
If your weapon is a lot shorter than your opponent's (eg greatsword v shortsword, or longsword v dagger, etc), then you can only make an All Out Attack once you are inside their arc. (Of course, they'll be at a massive disadvantage by this point...)

If using a dagger, I'd say full defensive is more or less ducking and diving. The Dagger skill could be used as part of their normal Combat Total, or alternatively let the characters use the Dodge Special Skill and it's 'armour' effects if they prefer.

Daggers would get the same +1 as all other light, agile weapons.

Push Back
Treat it like getting inside their arc, and if successful, just let them retreat a bit.

Not even remotely practical with a plain dagger, but some exotic weapons are basically long daggers with prongs on the guard, designed for just this sort of thing.

Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:32 am
by Lorian
Thanks for all this information! This is great!

Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:55 pm
by TheoOfSilverton
Hi guys,

Quick update. I've tweaked a couple of modifiers, and put together a condensed guide onto a single page of A4 as a PDF... (Hmmm.. don't seem to be able to upload PDFs... Have saved it as a png instead...)

I changed my mind on the armour modifiers being applied to the armour ROLL, realising that the weapon effectiveness won't affect the chances of hitting an unarmoured body part, and instead decided to use the bonus to modify the RESULT of the armour roll. I also lowered the bonus of a morning star vs plate. Before checking the actual game stats, I always forget that both the benefit of plate and the damage of a morning star are lower than I remember...

If any of you try these extra options, I'd love to hear how you find them,


Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:53 am
by Nuvole!
Looks compact enough! :)
I think it would suite well a campaign where fighting is a very important element (i.e. often).
I have another house rule (that I used on and off) and you may or may not want to add: the damage roll is equal to the difference between the winning attack roll and the losing attack roll. This way if you have a wider margin in the roll you can deal more damage.

Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:15 pm
by HedgeWizard
Thank you for this, really interesting.

I've been mulling it over during the weekend and would like to propose an alternative (and slightly simpler) approach if I may.


One of the issues I have in AFF (and in most RPG's and Amy wargames) is that once you get into combat you sit there taking turns to roll dice without much interaction. There are few meaningful decisions which you can make beyond attack attack attack. Having done some martial arts myself (Fencing, Jodo, Naginata...) I disagree with the comment that you just hit where you get the chance. Yes you go for the openings but in a combat you also work to create openings proactively and you never go for a well armoured spot in real life. If the person is wearing a steel breastplate then whacking it with a sword is pointless and a wasted use of the opening.

Also weapons also (in the right hands) have multiple usages. If you look at late medieval broadsword manuals you'll notice that they are often holding a guard where you are pointing at the enemy to thrust. This makes sense since a sword (of anytype) is little more than a club when faced with good plate. You need to use the point to get to the weak spots. Even the techniques used with an épée today in fencing coming as it does from weapons like the 16th century rapier were designed to be used against someone wearing at least partial plate armour (armour only really disappearing in the 17th century). Yet both of these also had sharpened edges so there was an expectation to need to be able to cut when facing an opponent who is not in plate.

So you have not only a race between weapons and armour but also a race in technique. Defensive techniques looking to defend where there are weaknesses in the armour and offensive techniques trying to create openings and hit those weak points.

The point you mentioned of the most famous samouraï swordsman (Miuamoto Musashi) illustrates this beautifully. Miyamoto Musashi first defeated Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi who was a master with the staff by blocking an overhead attack and moving into the guard of Katsuyoshi who could not bring the staff around quickly enough to defend himself nor step back quickly enough. During a later dual Katsuyoshi had cut his staff (Bo) down to the length of a long stick (Jo). He attacked in the same way, Musashi blocked in the same way but now was able to bring his weapon round much more quickly to defeat Musashi. He had created an opening by leading his opponent where he wanted to go and then striking the weak spot. Here we see that technique, planning and skill can be as important (if not more so) than the apparent difference between weapons and armour. It's all about know how to best use what you have in your hand in the situation which you find yourself!

Rules suggestions:

Sorry for the long part before I'll try and keep this more to the point ;-)

When fighting the player writes on a small piece of paper (post it note) maximum of two bullet points describing how he will attack and how they will use their weapon. The GM or opponent does the same. Both are then revieled and compared. The group then votes on which has the advantage, they then gain a bonus of +1 or + 2 depending on how strong everyone thinks it is.

Subsequent attacks follow on from the situation of the previous round.

Round 1
I step back
Parry with award

Orc (GM):
Lunge forward with my spear

Result +2 to player but cannot cause damage.

Round 2
Repost off the paried spear
Lunge into the opening

Orc (GM):
Try and body slam and knock back

Result +2 to player plus an additional +2 damage as the orc impails himself on the sword.

This obviously only works if your group are more narrative based and relies on everyone being fair and honest but can add much more to he combat. I can also be something which you use for specific combats where you don't mind taking more time and then do the run of the mill combats as usual or with the proposed rule additions above.

Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:36 pm
by TheoOfSilverton
Hi Hedgewizard,

Thanks for your thoughts. I've been meaning to respond for a while now, but work has been a bit mental...

There are few meaningful decisions which you can make beyond attack attack attack.
I generally agree. There is a great article floating round the internet with ways to make combat more tactically engaging. I'll try to find it, but you may well have already seen it.
My preference is for the character's Special Skills to take care of the specifics of parry thrust, etc, and get the players to decide their style of fighting, their aims, their tactical maneouvers, etc. Some players will know cool sword moves that their character wouldn't, and I've known one badass character whose player struggled to tie his own shoelaces.
My suggestions were aimed at giving players a fresh layer of combat tactics to consider when weighing up an opponent without expecting them to become experts in copmbat themselves.

I disagree with the comment that you just hit where you get the chance. Yes you go for the openings but in a combat you also work to create openings proactively and you never go for a well armoured spot in real life.
Totally agree. 100%. When I said "You're far better just hitting what you can, when you can." I was musing generally about combinations and counters, and wasn't talking specifically about armoured opponents. Obviously if your opponent has various bits covered up by armour that your weapon is no good against, then those areas will not be on the shortlist of targets worth hitting.

Also weapons also (in the right hands) have multiple usages. If you look at late medieval broadsword manuals you'll notice that they are often holding a guard where you are pointing at the enemy to thrust. This makes sense since a sword (of anytype) is little more than a club when faced with good plate. You need to use the point to get to the weak spots.
Yep. In my original combat game/ideas, a standard sword (and many other types of weapons) were classed as 'balanced' in which it was good for slashing and thrusting as appropriate. My classifications of 'swinging' and 'thrusting' weapons are those which, through their design, meant that they were far more effective at a particular type of attack. A claymore is only good for thrusting if held and handles likea spear. Otherwise it's length and weight necessitates that it is swung around.
There's good reason that the most common weapons were good 'all-rounders', and adaptable to many circumstances.

Miyamoto Musashi first defeated Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi... Here we see that technique, planning and skill can be as important (if not more so) than the apparent difference between weapons and armour.

Again, totally agree. Also, in movies, it is common for the heroes to have an early encounter with the big baddie, in which they get their arses kicked, but gain some understanding of their enemy's fighting style, weapon, weaknesses, etc. Then they can prepare for the final showdown, tooled up with different weapons and knowledge which they know can exploit their enemy's particular weaknesses.
It's all about know how to best use what you have in your hand in the situation which you find yourself!
Yeah... Kindof... But some weapons are just rubbish against certain other weapons, and a different selection could make the difference between success of failure. As Gonnosuke discovered. Lucky for him, his duel with Musashi wasn't to the death, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to adapt his weapon and technique for a rematch.

Sorry for the long part...
Hey, don't apologise! It's nice to know other people are into this stuff too!

Rules suggestions:
Your rules suggestions remind me a lot of the original Skirmish Wargaming rules (by Donald Featherstone?). They do have merit, but for me personally a bit to much record keeping for standard combats. I could definitely see them coming into their own in a big boss-battle though... But as you say, they'll suit different styles of gamers more than others, but that's the great thing about AFF - it's easy to adapt and tweak.


Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:09 pm
by HedgeWizard
Hi Theo,

Thank you for taking the time to give such a detailed reply! I agree with all the detailing and nuances which you pointed out, I wonder how many new techniques were lost through duels to the death? It was a pleasure for me too to discover that there are other people who sit there pondering on how to model something as complex and dynamic as individual combat.

Yes I believe it was that great pioneer Donald Featherstone who wrote that particular set of rules. On another thread:( viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2297 ) there was a similar comment that such a set of rules would fit best within a duel setting or with a big boss. What one could do is use the normal rules when slicing ones way through the minions and then use a combination/sampling of both our rules for creating a really in depth battle of body and mind with the arch-enemy.

I agree 100% that the joy of AFF is that it's simplicity and robustness means that you can add all sorts of tweaks and particular flavours to it without it falling over.

Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:23 pm
by TheoOfSilverton
Something I meant to add, inspired by one of your comments... AFF gives the option for an All Out Attack, in which a bonus if given to the Stamina damage inflicted. I think there should also be an option for something like a 'Targeted Strike', where the effect is a greater chance of hitting an unarmoured area.
Just thinking off the top of my head, how about for every -2 to Combat Total, the victim has a -1 modifier to their armour roll. With the cost being -1 if attacking with a thrusting weapon, or -3 if using a swinging weapon..?

I always wanted my own combat game to be fast and fluid, and it kind of started with a rock,paper scissors, approach to different types of weapons. But then different weapons are defined by numerous different properties such as length, weight, type of damage inflicted, style of handling, etc... It became almost like several rounds of rock, paper, scissors made simultaneously, and all interconnected. And that was before the different armour properties came into play. It stopped being as quick and fast as I wanted. I may revisit it sometime.

Oh, and I found the article I mentioned about making combat more tactical for players... definitely worth a read. ... t-systems/


Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:19 pm
by HedgeWizard
I like your suggestion! It makes perfect sense.

Yes I did see that one during my search for answers about how to solve this issue. Here are some other ones which I found, a particular writing style and rather long but some great ideas: ... r-enemies/ ... ttlefeels/ ... s-already/

Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:55 am
by TheoOfSilverton
I like those articles, thanks for posting them. He's very good at breaking down GMing into simple components. I think a lot of experienced GMs will do much of this already, but sometimes having it pointed out in nice clear and simple terms helps people realise what they're doing right, and what they can improve on.
I've only been able to read them quickly, and definitely want to read them again at a more leisurely pace.

I'm updating my sheet for those combat modifiers to include 'Targeted Strike', then plan to jot down a few similar ideas for Mass Battles...

Re: House Rules: Weapons & Armour...

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:31 pm
by HedgeWizard
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to explain something simply... I know I struggle there at times 8)

Looking forward the new sheet and to your thoughts on mass battles!