Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Consolation Prize-based weapon mechanics

A great source of player disappointment occurs when, upon finally hitting that jerk with a tough AC, they then roll minimal damage.

So many people are opposed to non-variable weapon damage (i.e. 'everything does d6 damage') because there is no other mechanical distinction made between swords and daggers.

It would be nice if the Fighterly types could do cool things with weapons that are beyond the ability of other users of implements of death.

New rule: Every time a Fighter type rolls a '1' for damage, consult the list below.

Axe, Hand - roll Str or less to chop any wood-hafted weapon

Axe, Long - roll another d6 of damage

Bow - fire another arrow immediately

Club - foe must save or be stunned, losing next action

Crossbow - roll Dex or less to do trick shot

Fussart - weapon breaks

Glaive - foe with shorter weapon -4 to-hit on next attack

Knife - start grapple with foe, free stab each round grapple continues

Mace - smash foe's helmet or shield, if no helm or shield then stun as per club

Quarterstaff - parry next attack but if long axe, knightly sword or big monster then staff breaks

Spear/Lance - foe with shorter weapon -4 to-hit on next attack

Sword - choice of reroll damage or parry next attack

Shortsword/Dagger - choice of parry next attack against medium or small weapon or start grapple as per knife

Winged Spear (a.k.a. boar spear) - foe with shorter weapon -4 to-hit on next attack, parries spear/glaive/quarterstaff

Definitely not worth forgoing the shield.Note that the above list is restricted only to those weapons that I give a crap about right now. Since I'm working on a pseudo-historical setting I have the luxury of ignoring many weapons.

The Fussart is basically a glaive with a handle too short to be useful as a polearm. I'm not sure it existed in England c.1140 (or even at all) but it's in the Maciejowski Bible  a century later.  More to the point, it's clearly too dumb not to use. I want a weapon even less useful than the club and the fussart neatly fills that role.