Monday, February 25, 2008

Fantasy: Weapons

For the most part, weapons have a far greater place in fantasy than in pulp, so greater differentiation is needed between them than SotC generally allows. The solution I usually see for this -- weapons granting a bonus to stress dealt on a successful hit -- is a start, but I have a few problems with that method. One, it can quickly lead to an arms race of steadily increasing bonuses such that even getting a single shift on an attack means dealing a disproportionate amount of damage. Two, that leads to the necessity of making armor both direly necessary and a damage soaker. Three, and maybe most importantly, it doesn't take enough advantage of FATE's most interesting feature: Aspects.

"Spirit of the Sword" deals with the first problem by keeping damage modifiers down to a minimum: +0 for small, light weapons (dagger, short sword), +1 for medium weapons (longsword, mace), and +2 for two-handed weapons (greatsword, maul). That much is unavoidable, IMO. I'd have a really hard time with a fantasy game that didn't treat big heavy man-cleavers as... well, big heavy man-cleavers. This also partially gets rid of the armor issue, but we'll get to that later. The real way weapons are differentiated, though, is via Aspects. Every weapon has at least one; the most versatile have three. These Aspects are invoked, tagged, and compelled just like any other Aspects. You could invoke your pike's "Long" Aspect to help keep someone at bay, or it could be tagged as a hindrance if fighting in a confined space. A "Slashing" weapon is great against a living opponent, but not so much against an animated statue. A whip's "Entangling" Aspect could be invoked simply as part of an attack, or to enable you to maneuver an Aspect -- say, "Entangled" -- onto your opponent. And so on. Magic weapons could do even more, such as a flaming sword tagging your target with the Aspect "On Fire" or the like.

In addition, a few weapons have additional qualities besides damage bonuses and Aspects. Melee defense made with a rapier is at +1, a dagger has a range of 1 Zone, etc.

So here's a partial list of weapons and their various stats. Apologies for the tiny font; Blogspot isn't especially friendly to tables.

Edit: Actually, it's so unfriendly to tables that I can't really post much of anything here and have it be legible. Grr. So... I dunno. Here are some examples in an inconvenient but legible format.

Weapon: The name of the weapon.
Skill Used: As indicated. Some weapons can be thrown (Missile) as well as wielded in melee (Melee).
Aspect(s): Pretty self-explanatory.
Type: 1H = one-handed, 2H = two-handed
Damage: Additional stress dealt on a successful attack.
Special: Ranges, etc. FP = "Spend a Fate Point to impose a Consequence instead of stress."

Dagger
Skill: Melee, Missile
Aspect: Stabbing
Type: 1H
Damage: +0
Special: Range: 1 zone

Stiletto
Skill: Melee
Aspect: Armor Piercing
Type: 1H
Damage: +0
Special: None.

Broadsword
Skill: Melee
Aspect: Stabbing, Slashing
Type: 1H
Damage: +1
Special: None.

Battle axe
Skill: Melee
Aspect: Slashing, Bashing
Type: 1H
Damage: +1
Special: None.

Troll Axe
Skill: Melee
Aspect: Slashing
Type: 2H
Damage: +1
Special: Spend a Fate Point on a successful attack to force your opponent to take a consequence instead of stress.

Pike
Skill: Melee
Aspect: Stabbing, Long
Type: 2H
Damage: +1
Special: None.

Mace
Skill: Melee
Aspect: Bashing, Armor Piercing
Type: 1H
Damage: +1
Special: None.

Morning Star
Skill: Melee
Aspect: Bashing, Flexible
Type: 1H
Damage: +1
Special: +1 when perfoming the Disarm maneuver

Sling
Skill: Missile
Aspect: Bashing
Type: 1H
Damage: +0
Special: Range: 2 zones.

Longbow
Skill: Missile
Aspect: Armor Piercing
Type: 2H
Damage: +2
Special: Range: 3 zones.

Crossbow, Light
Skill: Missile
Aspect: Stabbing
Type: 2H
Damage: +1
Special: Range: 2 zones. +1 Missile.

Crossbow, Heavy
Skill: Missile
Aspect: Armor Piercing
Type: 2H
Damage: +2
Special: Range: 2 zones. +1 Missile.

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