Sunday, August 10, 2014

Are Your Weapons Indestructible?

Are your weapons indestructible? From the earliest versions of Legend Quest we had optional rules to handle damage to weapons and damaged weapons. They were optional because we knew they would add additional time into combat; time we didn’t want the players to spend. But even with intentions this old, we’ve never really released rules on weapons breaking due to excessive wear and tear.

In Legend Quest Optional Weapons, we introduced the Breech/Break/Batter rules for when people would target your weapons. I always kind of hate the idea there because I don’t want to be the GM who gives a guy a great magical sword and then has the next villain try to break it. We also have other optional rules covering weapons breaking due to fumbles and weapons used too long in combat without being sharpened. Here the long use in combat lowers damage but does not actively weaken the weapon itself, only its usefulness. Still, I think I’m OK with that. Your weapon can take damage and it can become less effective. Of course weapons that are magically sharp don’t need to be sharpened, making even the lowly simple sharpness spell of great value.

To me, indestructible weapons (as you find in most games) are like combat systems without bleeding damage. You stand there toe to toe with a dragon right up until you fall over dead. Right up until that last point of life, you are fighting at full strength. Fantasy game or not, I don’t like it. My biggest issue here is that by most game rules, an armored knight with a magic long sword fighting against a farmer with a hoe - and there is no risk to the hoe at all. Of course, the farmer will be dead in less than 10 seconds without ever having had any chance, but the hoe - indestructible. I get that doing it right takes more time, but sometimes it’s worth it!

Oh, and on Legend Quest optional rules: 2016 is our 25th anniversary. We’re planning an omnibus edition of the rule book which will contain the optional rules that have been appropriately playtested. OK, maybe some that haven’t, but that’s where you’ll see the optional rules. Oh, and you’ll have a chance to playtest them before publication. We’re still planning, but we’ll let you know everything as we get closer. 2016 is the Year of Legend Quest! It’s really not as far off as you think!

1 comment:

  1. House rule. I like to keep a die for keeping track of hit points, armour bonus, melee bonus, etc. If my D10 for my sword is at 3 (+2 for STR, +1 for level proficiency) add a +1 or a +2 (so the D10 is rolled over to 5 or 6 for a round) for a newly sharpened sword. After the first round of banging on bone and armor, you lose it. Alternately, if you just sharpened your sword before battle, add you DEX bonus to the d10's attack umber. You as a player must tell the GM why you deserve a sharpness bonus, say a sharp sword vs. a backstab on an unarmoured opponent. It gives the players an incentive to be creative and keep their gear in good shape if they can innovate that perk.