The Guy That Wrote This (uhlrik) wrote in roleplayers,
The Guy That Wrote This

  • Mood:

Swords and Sorcery.... or is that Maces and Magic, Axes and Alchemy etc..?

Crossposted to my personal journal. On an RPG design egroup, we're discussing some genre-related theory stuff, and I felt like porting part of the discussion over here mostly just out of curiosity as to what y'all think.I didn't initially raise the question and have a number of thoughts on it (as most gamers do), and so here it is.

Assuming a Conan-type fantasy genre (you know, one with mighty, half-naked barbarians like the ones below),

how much differentiation do you feel different types of weapons need from one another in the rules system? I'm providing a list of categories with somewhat modified explanations from the ones that he used.

  1. All weapons equivalent - differences between weapons are just flavor text. Character capability (or some other non-equipment factor) is all that really matters.

  2. Weapons mostly equivalent - weapons might calculate damage or the like differently
    (say, d10+1 versus d12), but the variation is slight enough that almost all that really matters is personal preference. Again, equipment deemphasized in favor of other factors.

  3. Some differences - weapons are not all made the same, and have individual advantages and disadvatnages (say, raw damage potential, speed, utility for tricky maneuvers, defensive qualities etc) but are still not vastly divergent. Sub-classes of weapons are not particularly important (say, different types of one-handed sword).

  4. Substantial systemic differences and detail - Here's where things get more complicated. Varied effects versus different armor types, different possible maneuvers, wide variation in damage based on weapon type and so on. Here, curved swords might be better at certain tasks (slashes, for a possible example) than straight-bladed swords (which might compensate with superior thrusts or whatever), maces smash helms readily while spears keep foes at a distance and so on and so on.

Now, he was mostly talking about damage traits, but I think that this involves combat maneuvers, defensive qualities and a whole lot more, so I've expanded the scope.

This is obviously opinion-based, so I'm not expecting there to be one right answer.

Note: Yes, I know the "real" Conan had better things to do than run around fighting monsters wearing nothing but a helm, boots and a loincloth, but you know what I'm getting at anyhow and the pics were provided for amusement so let's skip that particular inevitable nitpick.
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic