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Old 03-16-2018, 03:21 PM   #1
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Distinguishing Edged Weapons from Hafted Weapons

TFT more or less treats edged weapons and hafted weapons the same. They do about the same damage at given ST levels. In ITL, I think hafted weapons weigh more and cost a little less, but that's it.

For no particular reason, I'd like to tweak the rules so that there are some meaningful differences between edged weapons and hafted weapons. So here's a list of possible tweaks.

1. Reduce hafted weapon damage by 1 point. Classify them as BASHING WEAPONS. Bashing weapons will cause a normal figure to be staggered (i.e. suffer -2 to DX) if the figure takes 5+ hits BEFORE armor is considered. A normal figure will be knocked down if it takes 8+ hits BEFORE armor is considered. The knockdown rule may be too powerful; I haven't playtested it so I don't know. You could change the bash rule so that 8+ damage taken before armor will cause a -4 to DX instead of knocking the target down. Or only allow a -2 DX when the figure takes 5+ points of damage before armor.

2. Perhaps swords generally do more damage, but Hafted Weapons are a little easier to use. Reduce hafted weapon damage by 1 point, but make the Ax/Mace talent only cost 1 IQ point. Alternatively, reduce hafted weapon damage by 1 or 2 points, but allow a +1 DX when using them.

3. Morningstars/flails could be reduced in damage, but allowed to ignore shields.

4. Are hafted weapon shafts more vulnerable to breaking in combat? If so, a 16+ could be a broken ax/mace.

Thoughts? Other suggestions?
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:46 PM   #2
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Distinguishing Edged Weapons from Hafted Weapons

I've said before that I like the idea of the "bash." My concern is that the heavier hafted weapons are pretty much guaranteed to cause a knockdown. For instance, even taking 1 point of damage from the battleaxe leaves it 3d6-1 (average 9.5). Perhaps damage should be reduced by 1 point per die. This would make the battleaxe 3d6-3 (average 7.5). The concept is still very appealing to me but I think it needs some work.
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:37 PM   #3
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Distinguishing Edged Weapons from Hafted Weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
I've said before that I like the idea of the "bash." My concern is that the heavier hafted weapons are pretty much guaranteed to cause a knockdown. For instance, even taking 1 point of damage from the battleaxe leaves it 3d6-1 (average 9.5). Perhaps damage should be reduced by 1 point per die. This would make the battleaxe 3d6-3 (average 7.5). The concept is still very appealing to me but I think it needs some work.
Yes, I think I agree. Being knocked down in TFT is a big deal.

I don't think it would be unbalancing to make the bash a -2 DX at 5 points of damage and that's it.

I dunno about reducing a 2 handed ST15 battleaxe to the same average damage as a 1 handed ST12 broadsword, though.
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:06 PM   #4
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Distinguishing Edged Weapons from Hafted Weapons

Why lower damage? In general if you're trying to demolish large objects you use a hafted weapon or tool, blades are mostly for things that are relatively hard to hit. That argues for a damage increase and a DX penalty.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:26 PM   #5
Kirk
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Default Re: Distinguishing Edged Weapons from Hafted Weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
TFT more or less treats edged weapons and hafted weapons the same. They do about the same damage at given ST levels. In ITL, I think hafted weapons weigh more and cost a little less, but that's it.

For no particular reason, I'd like to tweak the rules so that there are some meaningful differences between edged weapons and hafted weapons. So here's a list of possible tweaks.

1. Reduce hafted weapon damage by 1 point. Classify them as BASHING WEAPONS. Bashing weapons will cause a normal figure to be staggered (i.e. suffer -2 to DX) if the figure takes 5+ hits BEFORE armor is considered. A normal figure will be knocked down if it takes 8+ hits BEFORE armor is considered. The knockdown rule may be too powerful; I haven't playtested it so I don't know. You could change the bash rule so that 8+ damage taken before armor will cause a -4 to DX instead of knocking the target down. Or only allow a -2 DX when the figure takes 5+ points of damage before armor.

2. Perhaps swords generally do more damage, but Hafted Weapons are a little easier to use. Reduce hafted weapon damage by 1 point, but make the Ax/Mace talent only cost 1 IQ point. Alternatively, reduce hafted weapon damage by 1 or 2 points, but allow a +1 DX when using them.

3. Morningstars/flails could be reduced in damage, but allowed to ignore shields.

4. Are hafted weapon shafts more vulnerable to breaking in combat? If so, a 16+ could be a broken ax/mace.

Thoughts? Other suggestions?
My thoughts would be don't mess with it, play GURPS if you want more detailed combat. Differences between swords and axes are somewhat built into the damage table. Most axes have a damage curve that has a higher minimum and a lower maximum, whereas swords give you more min and max.

Off the top of my head, if I remember correctly, shortsword is 2-1 and small axe is 1+2. So for the sword, a "wider" bell curve, the axe, more "narrow" flat results. You might get an 11 or a 2 with a sword, with varying chances, but with the axe, no less than 3 nor more than 8 and an even chance across the way. The sword has an average hit value of 6, and the axe 5.5.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:20 PM   #6
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Distinguishing Edged Weapons from Hafted Weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Why lower damage? In general if you're trying to demolish large objects you use a hafted weapon or tool, blades are mostly for things that are relatively hard to hit. That argues for a damage increase and a DX penalty.
Well, in GURPS, the ST12 2 handed Greatsword and the ST12 2 handed Great Axe both do +3 damage. But the hatred weapon is unready after each turn, so it will get fewer attacks. Also, cutting damage that penetrates armor is increased by 50%. Bottom line - the Greatsword will do more damage on average.

A ST 10 mace does +2 swinging damage; a ST 10 broadsword does +1 swinging damage. But the broadsword’s damage is cutting damage so it’s increased by 50%. At ST 11, for instance, the mace does 1+1 or 4.5 damage on average. The broadsword does 1d (3.5 puts damage on average), but it will get more attacks and penetrating damage will be increased by 50%. Bottom line - the broadsword will do more damage on average.

Of course, you can treat hafted weapons any way you wish.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 03-16-2018 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:40 PM   #7
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Distinguishing Edged Weapons from Hafted Weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk View Post
My thoughts would be don't mess with it, play GURPS if you want more detailed combat. Differences between swords and axes are somewhat built into the damage table. Most axes have a damage curve that has a higher minimum and a lower maximum, whereas swords give you more min and max.
Then don’t use any of these rules. But as the purpose of this thread is to explore ways to distinguish hafted and edged weapons, I think I’ll continue.

Also, your assertion about the damage curves is mostly incorrect. The hatchet, mace, morningstar, military pick do the exact same damage as their sword counterparts of the same ST. A ST15 battleaxe uses the same 3d6 bell curve that ST14 Two Handed Swords, ST16 Greatswords and ST13 2 handed Bastard Swords use. At ST 8,the club does exactly the same damage as a dagger.

Only the hammer, small axe and great axe have higher minimums and lower maximums than their edged weapon counterparts. That’s only 3 of the 9 hafted weapons.

And there’s no particular rhyme or reason as to why these weapons use different probability curves. The hatchet, small axe, great axe and battleaxe are all axes, but some use bell curves, while others use single die linear probabilities. The club, mace and hammer are bashing weapons, but the mace uses a 2d bell curve and the other two use 1 die linear probabilities.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 03-17-2018 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 03-17-2018, 01:46 AM   #8
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Distinguishing Edged Weapons from Hafted Weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
Well, in GURPS, the ST12 2 handed Greatsword and the ST12 2 handed Great Axe both do +3 damage. But the hatred weapon is unready after each turn, so it will get fewer attacks. Also, cutting damage that penetrates armor is increased by 50%. Bottom line - the Greatsword will do more damage on average.
I'm not sure why you're quoting GURPS, but (a) the great axe was increased to Sw+4 damage in Low Tech, and (b) no, the greatsword doesn't do more damage, it hits more often.
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:11 AM   #9
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Distinguishing Edged Weapons from Hafted Weapons

I suppose if we look at the original tools the weapons were derived from this gives us a clue to their usefulness. (These are just my ideas not scientific facts!)

Blades (daggers and swords) were designed for cutting flesh, leather, bark and rope/twine. They should therefore be at maximum effectiveness against unarmoured opponents or the very lightly armoured (thick skin or cloth armour)

Axes. A modification of the blade with more weight behind the edge. These were designed to cut wood. These should be at maximum effectiveness against medium armour (leather and chain) and against shields.

Maces and Hammers. The weight is concentrated in the head but does not rely on a sharp edge as the axe does. These were designed for working with stone and metal and so should be effective against the heaviest armours (plate, stone golems etc.)

Spears were designed for hunting larger game. They have a small blade or piercing point at the tip but put a lot of extra weight behind it. They were effective at killing an animal before it could get close enough to harm the wielder.

I'd like a system that incorporated these ideas without too much extra rules overhead. The idea that a weapon would be chosen for a specific purpose or situation appeals to me. So if your warrior is facing a heavily armoured knight, he'd be better to take that warhammer from his belt. If facing a horde of unarmoured goblins he'd be better of with a sword. If charged by a wild boar he'll wish he had a spear, and so on.

I think it will require more than just fiddling with damage values to achieve this which was why I liked the "Bash" idea.

What about something simple like this:

Swords do +1 damage per die against bare flesh or cloth.

Axes do +1 damage per die against shields (or things made of wood)

Maces and Hammers either: ignore armour as far as the results of reactions to injury results are concerned (Bash) or do +1 damage per die against heavy armour.

Spears do double damage against beasts and large creatures.

Just some rough ideas at this point for consideration and comment.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:54 AM   #10
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Distinguishing Edged Weapons from Hafted Weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I'm not sure why you're quoting GURPS, but (a) the great axe was increased to Sw+4 damage in Low Tech, and (b) no, the greatsword doesn't do more damage, it hits more often.
Each of which is a distinction without a difference.

I quoted GURPS because (a) I figured most folks would be familiar with it and (b) it might offer some insight into the TFT designer’s mind. I kinda thought that would be obvious.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 03-17-2018 at 06:57 AM.
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