Sunday, December 25, 2016

LotFP vs BX - weapons & armor

Merry Christmas!  In the spirit of the season here's a post all about murder technology.

Weapons

The biggest change in weapons rules in LotFP is that melee weapons have been more abstracted.
There are four categories, Great weapon, Medium weapon, Small weapon, and Minor weapon. If your melee implement requires no special rules, you buy one of these and designate it a sword or axe or whatever. This makes it easy to customize melee weapons to your campaign and your PC. I could see some people in some games going hogwild with these rules and decide they are using chainsaws or heavy books or a bar of soap in a sock.

Anyway, here's a chart comparing the BX weapons to their LotFP equivalents. Note that LotFP equipment tables include two columns for prices, the cost in the city and the cost in the country. Some items are not available in one of the other. Starting PCs use the cheaper cost of the two, which I have done here.
Basic weapon
Price (GP)
Damage*
LotFP equiv.
Price (SP)
Damage
Notes
Battle axe
7
d8
Great weapon
50
d10
Medium version 1 handed, 20sp, d8 dmg
Hand axe
4
d6
Small weapon
10
d6

Crossbow
30
d6
Light crossbow
25
d6
Ignores 2 AC points; heavy xbow does d8, costs 30sp, ignore 4 AC points
Long bow
40
d6
Long bow
45
d6

Short bow
25
d6
Short bow
25
d6

Silver arrow
5
d6
Silver arrow
5
d6
Any weapon can be silvered for 10x cost but 1 in 10 chance of breaking each time used
Dagger
3
d4
Minor weapon
5
d4
-2 to-hit Ac 15 or better (chain & shield or plate)
Silver dagger
30
d4
Minor weapon
50
d4
Any weapon can be silvered for 10x cost but 1 in 10 chance of breaking each time used
Short sword
7
d6
Small weapon
10
d6

Sword
10
d8
Medium weapon
20
d8

2-h Sword
15
d10
Great weapon
50
d10

Mace
5
d6
Medium weapon
20
d8
No reason why you couldn’t have a Great or Small version
Club
3
d4
Minor weapon
5
d4
-2 to-hit Ac 15 or better (chain & shield or plate)
Pole Arm
7
d10
Polearm
30
d8
Attack from 2nd rank, receive charge, +1 to hit Ac 16 or better (i.e. plate)
Sling
2
d4
Sling
1/2
d4
Bullets cost 2cp, stones are half range
Spear
3
d6
Spear
3
d6
Attack from 2nd rank, receive charge
Warhammer
5
d6
Small weapon
10
d6
No reason why you couldn’t have a Great or Medium version
Staff
2
d4
Staff
3
d4

Javelin
1
d4
none
none
none
LotFP does have darts though
Lance
5
d6
Lance
30
d10
BX lance damage double on charge, per LotFP a lance counts as a spear when on foot


*I should note for accuracy that variable weapon damage is optional in BX.  The default is all weapons do d6.


Other weapons available in LotFP that do not appear in BX: cestus, garotte, mancatcher, rapier, whip, blowgun, thrown rock, dart.  These all seem serviceable in terms of the rules that govern them and useful additions. Except the rapier. I don't get the rapier. It's a d8 sword that is -2 to hit heavily armored foes. It's only obvious advantage over a normal Medium weapon sword is that it is 5sp cheaper. There's no equivalent of 3e's weapon finess allowing nimble characters to use their Dex mods to attack with them. Unless the referee gives a campaign reason (rapiers are fashionable, other swords are illegal in major cities, etc), there's precious little reason for them to exist.

Early modern guns (and armor) appear in an appendix. The gun rules are realistic enough to be a big ol' pain in the ass, but I could see some PCs carrying a brace of pistols.


Armor

TYPE
BX cost
BX AC
LotFP cost
LotFP AC
Notes
leather
20
7
25
14

chain
40
5
100
16

plate
60
3
1,000
18

shield
10
(-1)
10
+1
LotFP shields are +2 versus missile attacks
barding
150
5
500
16
LotFP also has leather barding (250sp) and plate barding (1,000sp)
When fight time comes around leather, chain, and plate in the two systems offer equivalent protection.  Each upgrade of armor is a 10% shift in attack rolls against the wearer.

The big story of armor is economics.  In BX most newly minted fighters can afford platemail right out of the starting gate.  In LotFP chain is barely within reach at 1st level and platemail is a distant dream.  Magical plus items are basically non-existant, so making it take a bit of play to get the best mundane armor makes a lot of sense.  Also, I like that normal guards and soldiers all probably wear leather or no armor.  Knights and such probably wear chain and only bona fide Important People can afford platemail.

One other difference between BX and LotFP armor is found in the encumbrance rules.  If you keep the number of other items down to 5 or less (ten or less for dwarves) a character in chain can move the same rate as an unarmored man.