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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Dec 2020
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    Area 51

    Default Weapons Theory: Speed, Accuracy, and Strength

    I've been toying with a new mechanic for an old homebrew game abandoned some time ago until now.

    I got into thinking about stuff like a man swinging a heavy mace like hammer or trying to pick up speed with a big long Bo staff.

    A light weapon can be accelerated quickly, and draws its damage/momentum mostly from how fast you make it go.

    A heavy weapon, or a weapon with a lot of required torque to fight the leverage disadvantage (like trying to swing a 6ft rod of iron an inch or 2 thick from the end), doesn't go very fast even on impact, but it has a lot of momentum, and most of its damage comes from that.

    You can throw a super light object, like a hollow plastic ball, at someone, even really fast, and something like a winter coat or 2 layers of flannel and a plastic button can be sufficient to reduce the "damage" to zero. This is the principle of nerf weapons.

    Likewise, you can be Graceful, or accurate and precise, and find your blade tip between the cracks in armor, or in the slits of a helmet, whereas a big fat hammer is going to be doubly difficult to pull that off, since the giant surface area wont fit through the crack without some mad skills of repositioning points,

    and the momentum of the big fat hammer is so heavy that zipping it back and forth in dart-like motions akin to a humming bird just isn't happening.

    So it seems the accuracy attribute should be better at modifying criticals, but methinks big heavy clunker weapons don't benefit as much, if at all from this.

    Likewise, truck-like momentum from a razor sharp stiletto doesn't seem to make any difference against a well positioned attack. Like, your thin blade doesn't seem to benefit in terms of damage, if it goes all the way through someone's shoulder fast, or all the way through someone's shoulder slow, or all the way through someone's shoulder while flexing huge muscles.

    If its going all the way in, without some raking or modification to how it's wielded, the hole isn't changing size.

    With bullets, i typically think of them as tiny hammers which smoosh their way through a target, with the exception of perhaps flechete fragments and pointy AP rounds, which seam to have more cutting or piercing power. I don't want to bother with Hydrostatic effects of an exploding lung,

    because frankly, who has Speeds so high that tissue explodes on impact? Generally, your weapons would snap like twigs, the blade still hovering in the air at 100,000 frames per second slow motion. Making such considerations only useful for gods and superhero stats using alien and magical weapons (Beskar?)


    So what really got my goat in this redesign of weapons/stats theory, was the notion that whole categories might only benefit from SOME attributes, and in some cases, the way in which the attributes benefit classes of weapons might be different.

    Like, if you slash a blade faster, it probably chops more for more damage.
    But if you poke a rapier into a pig, once you reach the other side, faster doesn't make a bigger hole.

    but if your weapon is designed to penetrate resistant targets, like thick hide or steel plates,
    then poking faster with something like a reinforced tri-edged trench knife might have better Penetration...

    and the bonus to damage wouldn't be from the speed itself, but from the amount of extra depth penetrating the armor granted?

    spoiler: trench knife
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    Last edited by anthon; 2021-01-07 at 04:53 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Weapons Theory: Speed, Accuracy, and Strength

    Most games do this to some extent. Not every game does it well, but it only matters so much as doing so helps their combat.
    D&D has damage dice and type, critical, and properties (depending on edition). That is all that matters to them, and many groups ignore the damage types.
    Phoenix Command is the far end of this spectrum, as it takes into account everything it can. But I have never met anyone who has actually ran it.
    Each version of Exalted has done this using a combination of Accuracy, Damage, Defense, (Speed for 1e and 2e) and Tags.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Weapons Theory: Speed, Accuracy, and Strength

    EDIT: after thinking, I realized I should probably preface the below with: your theory sounds right. I'm not real familiar real life with weaponry, but it sounds legit. Below are some ways I think it could play out mechanically. Or, rather, some systems that do it (to some degree) well that you might find interesting or inspiring reads.

    If you can find (and comprehend) the mechanics of Riddle of Steel, that might give some neat inspiration. Especially the splatbook that goes into additional weapons. The system is incredibly granular in some elements, but I think it probably does something like what you envision. At least, it could be a good read and comparison point. I think weapons were divided into (using the wrong words here) slashing (like chopping swords), poking (like rapiers), and bludgeoning (like hammers) -- and it could differ drastically what sort of damage you do and how it plays out. Weapons also had stats and stances and stuff that could factor into accuracy/damage vs. self-defense.

    Also second Exalted. In 2nd edition, every action took a certain amount of time (measured in ticks). Lighter weapons tended to do less damage, but also took less ticks, so you could attack again sooner.

    Something to consider: if you can magically increase your damage, this can break the balance of the system to a degree. Examples:
    1. In an oWoD Mage game, we did most of our damage via magic on our weapon attacks. The actual weapon damage was minimal, so what mattered was that the weapon actually hit successfully. Thus we focused on things that easily hit, like knives, as opposed to things that did better damage. I heard oWoD Vampire with Potence-users was similar.
    2. In Exalted 2nd edition, Exalts also do a certain minimum number of damage dice if they hit. There were also ways to manipulate that, and powers that let you do multiple hits in the same round. So I wound up deciding it was better to focus on a fast (less ticks) weapon, since that wound up (on average) doing more damage than a weapon that innately would have heavier damage.
    Last edited by JeenLeen; 2021-01-09 at 11:32 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Jan 2021

    Default Re: Weapons Theory: Speed, Accuracy, and Strength

    I'd say different types of weapons should probably receive different multiples of the attackers strength bonus to damage.

    Light weapons, for example, should probably receive almost no bonus from strength. A cut from a knife is equally dangerous whether administered by an offensive lineman or a member of the chess club. No STR bonus or maybe 1/4 STR bonus.

    Piercing and slashing weapons should probably receive normal strength bonus. In both cases, this represents the weapon penetrating further into the target. A stronger person will do more damage with these, but most of the damage still comes from the point/edge.

    Damage from blunt weapons, OTOH, comes entirely from the impact of the weapon striking. A strong user will be MUCH more effective with a mace or hammer than somebody of average strength. If I were designing a game from scratch, I'd give blunt weapons a slightly lower base damage than S/P ones, but give them a 2x or 3x bonus damage from the user's STR.

    Effectiveness of armor against different types of weapons will be highly dependent on the armor type. As an extreme example, chainmail is almost 100% effective against slashing weapons (if my sword can't cut you, it's basically a light club), but provides almost no protection against blunt weapons.

    A skilled warrior would almost certainly be proficient in a variety of weapons, and pick his based on the battlefield and what he is fighting. Riding down rebellious peasants?
    Sword is fine. Opponent wearing wearing chainmail? Warhammer. Plate or thick scales? Military pick (AKA the can opener). Fighting in a narrow hallway with no room to dodge? Large shield and short sword.
    Last edited by Slipjig; 2021-01-17 at 09:08 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Dec 2020
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    Area 51

    Default Re: Weapons Theory: Speed, Accuracy, and Strength

    i was reviewing different editions of DnD and noticed back in 1e they had like 10 different damage types sorted by "armor", like chain mail, leather, or full plate, but didn't list if weapons were pierce/blunt/slash...

    then in 2e that had the p/b/s but got rid of the 10 damage variables. The asterisks in either edition(set to receive a charge, double while charging, etc.) were the best modifiers though. Weapon speed existed, then it stopped existing. For a brief time combat and tactics argued stabbing someone completely through the eye into the brain with a dagger would cause temporary blindness and bleeding, while a wooden stick would cause catastrophic head explosion because it was "large".


    when designing my system, i concluded i didn't want to give "benefit of the doubt" to weapons based on size anymore. Watching what a karambit did to a side of beef told me weapons are more finicky on how they do damage than I thought.

    Watching people chuck spears in weapons tests on TV also told me what looks like it will be devastating (like a big classic spear or some famous swords) and what will actually happen are totally different.

    In that old tv show with deadliest warrior, clipping someone's head with the edge of a spartan shield punch is as deadly as being clubbed with a metal warhammer, but some games would have you get like 1d2 or whatever.


    i agree that damage modifiers from Stats should follow a flow of weapon category. If you are looking for a sick weapon that is surprising, check out the Sica on youtube. Surprised the heck out of me!
    Last edited by anthon; 2021-01-17 at 09:50 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Craig, Co
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    Default Re: Weapons Theory: Speed, Accuracy, and Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipjig View Post
    I'd say different types of weapons should probably receive different multiples of the attackers strength bonus to damage.

    Light weapons, for example, should probably receive almost no bonus from strength. A cut from a knife is equally dangerous whether administered by an offensive lineman or a member of the chess club. No STR bonus or maybe 1/4 STR bonus.
    This actually became a optional rule for 2e D&D, limiting damage bonus to max die damage. Although the reasoning was to stop high strength fighters from using darts. Darts did 1d4 damage, but at 1st level you could make 3 or 4 attacks per round. But that was for game balance(?), and not any other reason.
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    Warforged Upgrades
    Blade Lord Vestige
    Soulforged PrC
    Transformers RPG Now Updated as PDFs on Google Drive.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Weapons Theory: Speed, Accuracy, and Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by lightningcat View Post
    This actually became a optional rule for 2e D&D, limiting damage bonus to max die damage. Although the reasoning was to stop high strength fighters from using darts. Darts did 1d4 damage, but at 1st level you could make 3 or 4 attacks per round. But that was for game balance(?), and not any other reason.

    game balance usually gets invented in bad places because of some major oversight on the pros and cons.

    weapon +3 status
    weapon +6 encumbrance
    weapon +2 hurts my hand

    weapon +1 memento
    weapon +5 my dying father gave me this
    weapon +10 ammo cost $$$$$

    weapon +2 does anyone still make these?
    weapon +4 trying not to get arrested buying one
    weapon +1 this matches my eyes

    weapon +7 holy crap that's loud

    and so on. There's such a thing as weapons that do more damage, or have more range. 155mm Howitzers are Top shelf, just ask Those who hunt elves or your favorite warlord... but they gouge you on the price tag, ammo, and weight.. and they are ever so slightly noisy, alerting bad guys.

    The problem when a game pretends these factors don't matter, is players just go for what ever gives the most bonuses, because the game, or its master don't enforce any drawbacks. Even tossing in just a handful of drawbacks can save the rest of us from quirky balance rules, like Swordless Gandalf...

    a travesty indeed:
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

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    Waterdeep
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    Default Re: Weapons Theory: Speed, Accuracy, and Strength

    Have weapon damage dice scale with strength, with different weapons capped at certain levels?

    For example:
    dagger caps at 1d6 (low strength required before it stops helping)
    Battleaxe caps at 1d10 (slightly above-average strength for best performance)
    Heavy mace caps at 2d8 (virtually hit the strength cap before you hit significant diminishing returns)

    If we’re following a vaguely D&Desque stat system dexterity would determine how fast you can attack in almost the exact opposite direction, with smaller lighter weapons having a higher speed cap.

    Combining both str and dex influences how likely you are to land an effective blow, that is to say the attack roll.

    Edit: then on top of that layer on your damage types and special features (setting for charge, easily concealable, different critical hit effects, etc)
    Last edited by Kane0; 2021-01-18 at 04:47 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Weapons Theory: Speed, Accuracy, and Strength

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Have weapon damage dice scale with strength, with different weapons capped at certain levels?

    For example:
    dagger caps at 1d6 (low strength required before it stops helping)
    Battleaxe caps at 1d10 (slightly above-average strength for best performance)
    Heavy mace caps at 2d8 (virtually hit the strength cap before you hit significant diminishing returns)

    If we’re following a vaguely D&Desque stat system dexterity would determine how fast you can attack in almost the exact opposite direction, with smaller lighter weapons having a higher speed cap.

    Combining both str and dex influences how likely you are to land an effective blow, that is to say the attack roll.

    Edit: then on top of that layer on your damage types and special features (setting for charge, easily concealable, different critical hit effects, etc)
    variable damage I think is important through stat projection, but it has to be done carefully. Strength Bows in ADnD were a headache for some people because the rules weren't easy to find. Getting people accustomed to associating certain weapons with certain stats early on in character creation core rules would help avoid later rules clashes.
    Last edited by anthon; 2021-01-19 at 01:26 AM.

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