More realistic weapons

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More realistic weapons

Postby Dragon Son » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:48 pm

Hey all, this is an idea I had in which weapons are given certain properties in order to differentiate them more with an eye towards realism, as always feedback is welcome.
This little variant is not yet completed obviously, prices and strength requirements are yet to be determined.

Melee weapons

Melee Base damage. This is the basic damage for all melee weapons and it depends on their size.
Light: 1d6/Min. Str. -1
Medium: 2d6/Min. Str. 1
Two-handed: 3d6/Min. Str. 3

Melee Properties
Axes - +2 damage
Bludgeons – piercing damage/(if the stunt that halves armor comes up, penetrating damage instead)
Blades – +1 attack, +1 defense
Polearms - +1 melee range, +1 defense/ no penalty for attacking someone that is mounted (he gets no bonus to defense)
Flails – ignore shields bonus to Defense


Ranged weapons

Bows, user adds Strength to damage, reload time: Minor action
Self Bow – 1d6
Longbow - 2d6 (cannot be used from horseback)

Composite bow could be an enhancement to the self bow and essentially reduce, or negate, the penalty for shooting from horseback.

Crossbows, +1 attack, deal piercing damage, reload time: Major action, (if the stunt that halves armor comes up, penetrating damage instead).
Light crossbow – 2d6
Heavy crossbow – 3d6

Repeating crossbow could be an enhancement that allows shooting up to 5 bolts without requiring a reload action, however when actually reloading the time needed is increased by two Major actions. This enhancement is only available to more technologically advanced nations/domains.
Last edited by Dragon Son on Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby Vaelorn » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:49 am

Check out the "Esoterica from Thedas Volume 1 - Vault" - I'm not sure where it's hosted at the moment but if you search the forums you should be able to find it. They also update the weapons, adding various properties (piercing, crushing etc) to the various weapon groups.
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby Dragon Son » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:37 am

I've checked it actually and I can't say I really like it, it's got great art and presentation though!
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby shonuff » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:27 pm

I've done something similar to this in a D&D campaign because long swords were the only weapons really worth using. DA has an equal problem in that there is alost no difference between the weapons.

The main flaw that I see in your approach is that it seems to be fairly imbalanced. Axes and bludgeons seem to be greatly improved, the others not so much.

What about:
Axes - +1d3 damage on a dragon die roll of 6
Bludgeons - ignores 1 AR of plate armor
Blades - +1 attack/defense
Polearms - no penalty for attacking mounted; reduces Skirmish by 1 SP
Flails - ignores shield defense

And I personally prefer keeping the bow damage bonus with Perception, but your mileage may vary.
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby Dragon Son » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:49 pm

shonuff wrote:The main flaw that I see in your approach is that it seems to be fairly imbalanced. Axes and bludgeons seem to be greatly improved, the others not so much.


The reason that you believe makes them imbalanced is that in DA you usually attack successfully, so attack/defense is less important than damage?
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby shonuff » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:58 pm

Basically, yeah, and especially in such minute quantities as +1. +1, IMO, won't make enough of a difference when a low level character is going to have a +5, and by level 10 could be at +9. Then, there are other classes with attack buffs.

The problem with the bell curve is also one of its strengths -- extremes are much less likely to be rolled. IIRC, someone figured out the a mid-level character would be hitting like 95% of the time, and that by increasing attack by 1 would only increase their percentage by like 1 or 2. In those cases, yeah, raw base damage (and penetrating/piercing damage) would trump attack.
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby Dragon Son » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:21 pm

shonuff wrote:Basically, yeah, and especially in such minute quantities as +1. +1, IMO, won't make enough of a difference when a low level character is going to have a +5, and by level 10 could be at +9. Then, there are other classes with attack buffs.

The problem with the bell curve is also one of its strengths -- extremes are much less likely to be rolled. IIRC, someone figured out the a mid-level character would be hitting like 95% of the time, and that by increasing attack by 1 would only increase their percentage by like 1 or 2. In those cases, yeah, raw base damage (and penetrating/piercing damage) would trump attack.


I've actually been thinking about this, however another thought pops to mind, averagely an attacker will have a +3 compared to a defender, a +3 in the 3d6 system is obviously a huge bonus, however add to the defender a +1 (let's say from his sword or spear) and another +1 or +2 from his shield, with such bonuses Defense could get decently high and set the attack success ratio to about 50%. Your thoughts?
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby shonuff » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:38 am

If you go only dex and shield, I think your defense will top off at 21 at level 10, so a +9 would be hitting about 40% of the time from their abilities alone. But most mobs don't have a 21 defense; IIRC, most have around a 15, and rolling a 6 or better on 3d6 is like a 95% chance.
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby Loswaith » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:59 pm

When playing around with weapons I tend to work with the damage unless it gives some decent bonuses on the side.
As an example of what I mean, a sword will be more average damage, an axe higher maximums but lower minimums too, a mace having good reasonable damage but some armour piercing.
Using a typical output for 2d6 the weapons may look something like this;
Sword: 1d6+3
Axe: 2d6
Mace: 1d6+2 with 2 Armour piercing.
This is some what harder to achieve without multiple dice to get the inherant variance but it give some variation without realy changing that all weapons do about the same amount of damage.

I do agree with Shonuff though for the most part a +1 to attack or the like just wont realy make much of a difference for most players at the higher end, though for lesser NPCs and creatures it may make a difference.

A while back I did something with stunts to allow for some weapon/style variations which could be a way to go too (you may want to go a simpler path than what I did). Here is a link if your curious; Stylised Stunts.
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby shonuff » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:23 pm

One other problem with customizing weapons in DA is that speed isn't a factor. Typically, larger weapons have a significant penalty to initiative and/or fewer attacks than light weapons. But with one attack/round, you can't really do anything.
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby Dragon Son » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:07 am

Loswaith wrote:When playing around with weapons I tend to work with the damage unless it gives some decent bonuses on the side.
As an example of what I mean, a sword will be more average damage, an axe higher maximums but lower minimums too, a mace having good reasonable damage but some armour piercing.
Using a typical output for 2d6 the weapons may look something like this;
Sword: 1d6+3
Axe: 2d6
Mace: 1d6+2 with 2 Armour piercing.
This is some what harder to achieve without multiple dice to get the inherant variance but it give some variation without realy changing that all weapons do about the same amount of damage.

I do agree with Shonuff though for the most part a +1 to attack or the like just wont realy make much of a difference for most players at the higher end, though for lesser NPCs and creatures it may make a difference.

A while back I did something with stunts to allow for some weapon/style variations which could be a way to go too (you may want to go a simpler path than what I did). Here is a link if your curious; Stylised Stunts.


Thanks for your detailed response, I don't want to show the differences between weapons through different stunts though, I thought about it, but it doesn't really suit our playstyle.
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby Disemvowel » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:10 am

What about making damage rolls ace/explode on 6? It adds more danger to combat, and can make some blows particularly lethal. And, since the GM will always make more combat rolls than the players, make it PC and Special NPC only.
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Re: More realistic weapons

Postby shonuff » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:10 am

I believe Dragon Son's intention was to differentiate between the weapons, and if they all explode.... well, they're not really different, right? :)
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