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Old 02-11-2018, 02:51 AM   #31
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Pole Weapons and Charges

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Originally Posted by ecz View Post
I do not know what do you think, but in my imagination great swords and full plates should be much much more expensive and clearly beyond the possibilities of a police recruit or of a school teacher or of a petty thief.
The price of things like swords and metal armour varies hugely through the period TFT might try to address. In the migration period only rich people and nobility had swords. By the early modern period ordinary people who aren't even soldiers will buckle on a rapier as protection against muggers. I think it's similar for armour: Scale suits in the migration period cost a fortune, let alone chain. By the fifteenth century ordinary men at arms have beautifully-articulated drop-forged chemically-hardened plate armour, and rich people are covering their horses with it. Armour got so good toward the end it forced swords to become enormous two-handers, and then even those were bouncing off and the sword became obsolete, at least on battlefields, in favour of penetration-focused weapons like the pollaxe, bill, pike, Lucerne hammer and aahlspiess.

So the prices make sense, for some levels of sophistication of the ambient culture. And less sense for other levels. Maybe some guidelines on how to address that would be helpful.

An issue with making weapons expensive is that after most battles you can expect the heroes to walk home with quite a few that belonged to the recently deceased.

I've sometimes tried to guess when TFT technology is supposed to represent and I'm thinking maybe the 1300s, but in some ways it can sound earlier and later. The Mnoren setting implies Cidri is heir to a society far more sophisticated than ours, so they'll have a lot of things the mediaeval period didn't, like the germ theory of disease. And scholars at least will know what makes lightning. I think it's a nice effect because of course the players know those things and can't forget, so their characters might as well too. Probably there are dusty tomes in Cidri that record information about faster than light travel, and immortality, and other things our culture has no clue about.
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:06 AM   #32
Dave Crowell
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Pole Weapons and Charges

One issue I see with simply raising the cost of arms and armour as a control mechanism is the dominant paradigm in RPG adventuring of "kill it and take its treasure." Adventuring characters have a tendancy to become wealthy, if not outright rich, fairly quickly. Defeat a foe with better equipment? Take it and upgrade yourself. Otherwise pawn it.

Higher costs for better equipment will limit beginning adventurers, but it won't be long before they are walking tanks.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:17 AM   #33
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Pole Weapons and Charges

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Originally Posted by ecz View Post
According the rules an Army/Police recruit or ausiliary earns about $30/week.
This basically means anyone -at the starting level making an honest low skilled job - can buy a great sword, the mother-queen of the melee weapons, in less than 40 days of work, and a full plate in less than 5 months.

I do not know what do you think, but in my imagination great swords and full plates should be much much more expensive and clearly beyond the possibilities of a police recruit or of a school teacher or of a petty thief.
I partly agree, but the best greatswords (+1 DX, +2 damage) cost 200 times as much, so more like 20 years at $30/week. Fine Plate in about 3.2 years.

And yeah, it was very common in our TFT campaigns for the party to travel with a wagon which would tend to get stacked with a growing arsenal of weapons and armor and other loot stripped from the bodies of brigands and so on. So no matter what the cost of non-fine weapons, there tended to be plenty of non-fine weapons available to a party that was regularly defeating armed opponents.

What was wanted however were guidelines for what it takes for a bunch of adventurers returning from mayhem and off-road travel with a wagonload of bloody used weapons and armor to manage to sell it off, and what prices they might expect for it.

"What do you mean, you don't want to buy 23 bloody hacked suits of Lower-Class Clothes! They only need a bit of wash and mending!"
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:59 AM   #34
ecz
 
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Default Re: Fantasy Trip Pole Weapons and Charges

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
I partly agree, but the best greatswords (+1 DX, +2 damage) cost 200 times as much, so more like 20 years at $30/week. Fine Plate in about 3.2 years.

And yeah, it was very common in our TFT campaigns for the party to travel with a wagon which would tend to get stacked with a growing arsenal of weapons and armor and other loot stripped from the bodies of brigands and so on. So no matter what the cost of non-fine weapons, there tended to be plenty of non-fine weapons available to a party that was regularly defeating armed opponents.

What was wanted however were guidelines for what it takes for a bunch of adventurers returning from mayhem and off-road travel with a wagonload of bloody used weapons and armor to manage to sell it off, and what prices they might expect for it.

"What do you mean, you don't want to buy 23 bloody hacked suits of Lower-Class Clothes! They only need a bit of wash and mending!"
Yes, that is a common problem. Often my group tried to carry weapons and armor of the enemies fallen to sell them later, but usually with scarce sucess.

In fact :

- swords and armor of the deceased, with all due exceptions, were low quality items very cheap and/or rather used and/or damaged;

- it's hard find someone interested to buy second-hand weapons/armor of a died orc or bandit. This is a time-consuming activity that requires weeks and IQ/tests, with the risk to attract unwanted attention;

- where is easy find someone interested (in a big town, for example), it's also easy to find someone that could dislike a new commerce of weapons begins next his door, like the local Armourer and his noble friends...

- carrying a large amount of weapons while not in war and without a permission is often prohibited. In any case is very incautious (again attracts unwanted attention).

Thus, most times the PCs sold off any captured equipment as soon as possible for very low prices being this the best option.

notable items apart, of course.
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:47 PM   #35
Steve Jackson
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Pole Weapons and Charges

An in-story way around this might be a local noble who offers a bounty on bandits - but he doesn't just want heads, because those could come from anywhere. He wants to see a set of hacked lower-class clothing, shoddy armor, and a cheap weapon; for THAT he will pay a bounty. Then the clothes are discarded or go to the poor, and all but the worst weaponry goes into his armory for militia use in emergencies.
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:20 AM   #36
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Pole Weapons and Charges

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson View Post
An in-story way around this might be [...]
That would be a solution if the objective was to make sure the party was well-recompensed. But the previous posters were actually asking for either (a) a way to prevent the party getting too much money from this revenue stream or (b) for the system to provide guidelines so that the decision as to how much they should get wasn't thrown onto the GM.

A solution might be to add rules support for what ecz's first bullet point does ad hoc. Introduce weapons at the other end of fine, that are less effective than regular ones and very, very cheap. Player characters are always attacked by enemies with slings, clubs, inferior spears and wooden flails. (Numbers of enemies are increased to compensate.) From any battle you might get one decent weapon carried by the leader while everyone else has something it's hardly worth carting to the next town. But it wouldn't work for every campaign or story: some enemies logically should be well-equipped.
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:00 PM   #37
red2
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Pole Weapons and Charges

I love pole weapons. I have a whole campaign going on with my two kids where the overall objective is for them to hunt down and kill a big orc with a spear that has killed their previous characters. Last time they caught him, he came out of nowhere with a charge attack and stabbed one of them unconscious, and then escaped while the other one was engaged with the other orc that was with him. It was great.

However I agree they are too strong. In the original melee rules, you had to move 3 straight hexes to get the charge attack advantage, so maybe going back to that would do the trick.

Or maybe give the pole weapon user a DX penalty if he is confined somehow (next to a wall, or another figure, friend or foe). This might make combat more interesting as players strategize where to force the pole weapon user, while the pole weapon user tries to stay in the open.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:16 PM   #38
Kirk
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Pole Weapons and Charges

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Originally Posted by red2 View Post
In the original melee rules, you had to move 3 straight hexes to get the charge attack advantage, so maybe going back to that would do the trick.
I don't believe this is accurate. I have the original 1977 Melee booklet and I do not ever remember seeing this 3 hex charge rule. I do know it was added someplace in some subsequent suggested rules or perhaps even in a later edition which I do not own.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:36 AM   #39
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Pole Weapons and Charges

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Originally Posted by Kirk View Post
I don't believe this is accurate. I have the original 1977 Melee booklet and I do not ever remember seeing this 3 hex charge rule. I do know it was added someplace in some subsequent suggested rules or perhaps even in a later edition which I do not own.
It was added by Metagaming in later printings of Melee.

It's kind of a lopsided nerf though since it only applies to certain conditions, and IIRC it doesn't have any corresponding explanation for whether or how to limit the effects of pole weapons defending against Charge Attacks, which is inconsistent.

Another adjustment many people have mentioned liking/using over the years, which AFAIK wasn't ever an official rule even in later Melee printings, was simply to change the double damage effect to be a +1 die of damage.

In the article on Pole Weapon rules in Interplay #7, Codex editor William Gustafson discusses the advantages and disadvantages of polearms and his thoughts about them and he offers a couple of tweaks. One is a DX penalty for using one against a target one hex away if the hex on the opposite side of you is blocked.
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Old 03-17-2018, 02:38 PM   #40
Jackal
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: New England
Default Re: Fantasy Trip Pole Weapons and Charges

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Looking at this source http://medieval.ucdavis.edu/120D/Money.html and a few others, here are some guidelines (all prices converted to shillings; 20 shillings per pound; 12 pence per shilling):

Mail - 100
Squire's armor - 136-156
Lance Armor - 66-80
Armor of Proof - 282
Cuirass of Proof - 26
Leather - 5 (estimated)
Armor for Prince of Wales "gilt and graven" - 6800
Cheap sword for peasants - 0.5
Normal sword - ~10 (my estimate based on armorer's wage of 6 per week, assuming a week's work, 1s for steel and 50% markup)
War Sword (from other source) - 3.5
Longbow (from other source) - 7
Ax (tool) - 0.5

From 1261-1520 AD, a thatcher made from 4.3 to 11.4 shillings per month (assuming 26 working days/mo). Or, 2-5.25 pence per day. The average was around 8-9 per month or 4 pence per day.

A mercenary man at arms made 1 shilling per day. A mercenary knight, 2 shillings per day. A mercenary knight banneret 4 shillings per day. An average army infantryman made 2/3 shillings per day.

TFT already imposes a harsh DX penalty for heavy armor. Many characters eschew it for that reason, not because of its cost.

Making it more expensive may not affect its use that much.
Very useful. Thanks!

I believe there were also laws against commoners wearing heavy armour. But I may be wrong. And I doubt any peasant could save up much money anyway. Most of their wealth was in rights to common land for grazing and a portion of the harvest. There was very little need for money, as I understand it, other than paying for the gabelle and similar taxes.
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