weapons, tags, weirdness

  • 7 Replies
  • 5828 Views
*

Jeremy

  • 134
weapons, tags, weirdness
« on: July 08, 2012, 05:24:19 PM »
Some questions I've been meaning to ask for a while: 

1) What's the design decision behind daggers not having the "precise" tag?  If any melee weapon ever rewarded speed/precision/reflexes/agility over power/size/strength, it would be a dagger (or knife, shiv, whatever). 

It appears to me that the intent is to make "precise" a rare tag, via cost.  It costs 25 coin for a rapier (the cheapest precise weapon), and 8 coins for a short sword/axe/mace/etc.  The only difference is the precise tag. 

But why is Precise so valuable?  I mean, I get that it's basically a purchased stat substitution move.  But it's a situational stat sub move, one that's dependent on the weapon being at hand.  If I use up their resources, disarm them, take away their stuff... then the move is gone.  Plenty of ways to do that.

(And, yes, I know I can hack my games to make different tags apply to different weapons.  I'm wondering why Sage & Adam made this choice for the core rules.)

2) Aside from the fighter's signature weapons, no weapons (even magical ones) are Forceful or Messy.  No weapons at all have the Awkward tag.  Why not?  It seems to me you could easily have such weapons on the standard equipment list.  Like:
-Maul, greatclub:  close, two-handed, forceful, awkward, 12 coins, 3 weight
-Greataxe, claymore: close, two-handed, forceful, messy, awkward, 25 coins, 3 weight
-Spiked warchain: close, reach, two-handed, awkward, 15 coins, 1 weight

I'm not claiming these are "balanced" at all. Maybe the right thing to do would be assign a coin value (positive or negative) to each tag, as well as a coin value to the weapon's weight.

(Again, I know I could add these to my game.  I'm wondering why these tags aren't in any of the standard gear. And for Awkward, why it even exists as a tag if it isn't used with anything.)


Re: weapons, tags, weirdness
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 06:01:55 PM »
Waiting for an official answer, I want to just clarify some points.

But it's a situational stat sub move, one that's dependent on the weapon being at hand.  If I use up their resources, disarm them, take away their stuff... then the move is gone.  Plenty of ways to do that.
actually, every move is situational since they are based on the fiction. Moves are not something that's always granted; they just trigger when in the fiction happens a specific situation, a situation which has to make sense on its own. I can't count the times wizards and clerics in my games couldn't cast their spells because it had no sense in the situation at hand. (Obviously it's also true the opposite situation: you get lot of times where people are stabbing each other but it's not Hack and Slash).

For second, even in AW a lot of stat sub moves have some sort of restrictions. e.g: I go by memory since I played a Brainer a few days ago, and he has a move for which he rolls+weird instead of +hot just when seducing someone, but not when manipulating someone.

That said, I see the precise tag as for something that represents fine-crafted, precious weapons. Only rapiers have precise as a default tag, and a fighter's signature weapon with such tag has to be "perfectly weighted". Maybe you are thinking about weapon finesse in D&D, but it's not the same thing.

Aside from the fighter's signature weapons, no weapons (even magical ones) are Forceful or Messy.

no such tags could ever apply to a mundane weapon! Only a fighter's HUGE signature weapon could ever be so destructive. That said, a lot of monsters have the forceful and/or messy tags on their attacks (because they are huge, or use magic, or whatever), so these tags have to be explained somewhere. About magical weapons, the ones in the book are just examples. You should create magical objects that fit your setting and story.

The awkward tag could be a refuse of some old version. Or maybe they are planning to add some more weapons in the game. Let's see what they say about it.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 11:11:54 PM by (not that) adam »
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

*

noofy

  • 777
Re: weapons, tags, weirdness
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 08:15:26 PM »
What Stras says is golden :)

Also, if the common dagger was precise as a base, it leaves no 'fiddle' room to make precise elvish blades, or wickedly superior thieves shanks and so on. You need the mundane to make the special tags shine.


Re: weapons, tags, weirdness
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 11:16:31 PM »
What Stras says is golden :)
Stras' ears must be ringing wildly since a few weeks ;)
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 11:23:15 PM by (not that) adam »
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

*

stras

  • 130
Re: weapons, tags, weirdness
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 11:39:36 PM »
Aaa! My ears! They're ringing wildly! What did I say? ^_~

Re: weapons, tags, weirdness
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 06:28:08 AM »
Some questions I've been meaning to ask for a while:  

Hi All,

Also waiting for the official answer but I'd say it is a legacy thing. The people who made D&D originally didn't actually bother to do any research...on anything. Seriously, they made it all up.

Anyone who has done any historical fencing with accurate steel blunts can tell you that a rapier is not really more reliant on dexterity than a single handed sword.

Ironically, rapier fencing is quite reliant on strength as a rapier is longer and heavier than your average single handed sword and the lunge requires more leg strength and flexibility than the footwork used in early single handed sword systems.

Strength beyond a very low level makes little difference compared to skill at arms in terms of getting a hit and even when actually cutting and certainly not with a thrust unless you are trying to put a "can opener" type weapon through plate, a coat of plates or chain.

I actually think that strength modifying chance to hit is kinda bogus. I'd sooner see strength and Con melded into one ability and a skill at arms trait added.

Knife fighting *is* heavily reliant on pure reflex and judgement but you get hits from non telegraphic movement and clever feinting. (The real trick is avoiding the "double kill") There is no defence against a knife other than careful distance control. Trying to parry will get you cut unless your knife is of machete length and even then you are better off using distance to defend.  If you are going to award any weapon a tag that rewards high dex, it should be this one though so I definitely agree.

The best weapon against an unarmoured target in real life is a quarterstaff (or forest bill which is a Qstaff with a small light blade on it). The Qstaff has reach over all but a pike, is heavy but able to be manipulated easily, is fantastic both offensively and defensively as you can attack and defend with the shorter end (butt), the longer end (queue), or the section between your hands (mids)  

Quote
2) Aside from the fighter's signature weapons, no weapons (even magical ones) are Forceful or Messy.  No weapons at all have the Awkward tag.  Why not?  

There are a bunch of weapons that should be awkward. Anything with an axe or hammer head should be as these weapons sacrifice ability in defence for the ability to penetrate armour.  

Unless we are talking about truly massive swords, a two handed sword of average length, actually called a longsword,  is lightning fast. Much faster than a shortsword. A short sword is characterised by it's use in one hand, and is not necessarily all that short. My accurate replica shortsword has a 35 inch (ish) blade and my longsword is about 40 inches.

When I play Dungeon World I just let all this go and run with the fiction. :) Making it realistic would pretty much require dropping a lot of the D&D stuff entirely.

Cheers,

Stu.

*

noofy

  • 777
Re: weapons, tags, weirdness
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 07:12:26 AM »
Hey Stu, great discussion, have you checked out Riddle of Steel? It is far more concerned with 'realistic combat' than DW.
http://www.driftwoodpublishing.com/whatis/

 DW is more about telling an immersive and emergent fantasy adventure story. The tags give us as players hooks to hang our fiction on.

Quote
A weapon is useful primarily for its tags which describe what the weapon is useful for. A dagger is not useful because it does more or less damage than some other blade. It's useful because its small and easy to strike with at close distance.

It doesn't need to be any more detailed or specific to establish an evocative story. Adjectival tags allows our conversation to be tempered but not constrained by crunchy mechanical specifics and exceptions to the 'rule'.

Re: weapons, tags, weirdness
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 07:29:35 AM »
Hi Noofy,

Despite that post I wholeheartedly agree with you. It's the story that matters and the descriptive tags are golden for this.

Still, if you are going to use historical weaponry and descriptive tags why not make them real?

It costs nothing and can increase immersion for martial arts folks.

Stu