Valyrian Weapons

Talk about Green Ronin's A Song of Ice and Fire RPG, based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling fantasy series. Winter is here!

Valyrian Weapons

Postby Lord Ben » Sun May 13, 2012 4:30 pm

I'm slightly less impressed than the book makes them out to be I guess. +1 hit/damage doesn't seem like anything super special.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby SerJerk » Sun May 13, 2012 7:34 pm

The original printing had Valyrian weapons grant an extra degree of success on all hits in addition to the Extraordinary benefits. Not sure why it was removed.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby coldwind » Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm

SerJerk wrote:The original printing had Valyrian weapons grant an extra degree of success on all hits in addition to the Extraordinary benefits. Not sure why it was removed.


I always thought that was just part of the Heirloom benefit.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby SerJerk » Sun May 13, 2012 9:34 pm

coldwind wrote:I always thought that was just part of the Heirloom benefit.


You may be right on that. My interpretation was that all Valyrian weapons had that quality, but that Heirloom was the only (mechanical) way to acquire Valyrian weapons. I also read it as all Valyrian weapons were Extraordinary, but not all Extraordinary weapons were Valyrian.

Either way, new printings seem to do away with that bit of the Heirloom benefit entirely.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Legate » Mon May 14, 2012 1:02 am

I think +1 to Fighting and +1 damage is pretty good for a weapon in the game.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Reinard » Mon May 14, 2012 2:23 am

A Valyrian weapon is as good as its wielder. The way I see it - half the fame that Valyrian blades have today is due to the fact that all of them were wielded by great knights (some not so great knights also posses valyrian blades, but those knights compensate their lack of battle prowess with influence and allies that make sure they never have to pull the blade out of its sheat).
In other words - it is really good, really sharp and really hard to break sword. It might be crafted by magic, but by itseld it is not a magical sword - it does not fight instead of you. +1hit/damage multiplies quite a bit in the hands of a master swordsman who regularly hits by 2-3 degrees of success... add the bonus of long blade fighter I and he can cleave in half a knight in plate armor. But if you give the same sword to a peasant - he won't be able to do the same.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Legate » Mon May 14, 2012 10:28 am

If you are looking to give Valyrian weapons some "magical" abilities then you I suppose you could negate certain negative qualities certain weapons have; remove the slow quality from a Valyrian Great Sword, as the steel is lighter then normal, or (to step away from swords) you give Valyrian made arrows the vicious or Piercing or Valyrian Dagger could be give the Fast quality; it is really up to you as Narrator. Another instance is from something I read on a (un)official wiki site about The Others being affected by something called "Dragonsteel" which could be Valyrian steel.

As it is I find the +1hit/dam sufficient. As stated above it augments the skill of the wielder, and doesn't become a power it self. Valyrian weapons are a very subtle type of weapon, definitely not a D&D type of magical sword.

What I would like to know is how would weapons like the sword used by the Knight of Morning (I think I have that right) called "Dawn" work. I can't remember the full description, but the steel was said to look like "milkglass" and that it was forged from a meteorite.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Lord Ben » Mon May 14, 2012 2:16 pm

Well, you're better off taking expertise (long blades), weapon mastery (longblades) and you get +1D to hit and +1 base damage than you are with heir/heirloom benefits.

It's not bad for a weapon but mechanically speaking it's kind of a weak weapon for something that is described as being so awesome.

I'm okay with +1/+1 and I'm okay with them being such rare weapons that impoverished lords wouldn't even sell them to the Lannisters for a huge pile of wealth but not both. If they're so rare and valuable it should at least be treated that way mechanically. +2B on all status tests as well as the damage, etc.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Zorbeltuss » Mon May 14, 2012 2:36 pm

heir/head of house supposedly isn't really a fair comparison since that benefit comes with implications of it's own.

However, given that castle forged swords, by default, is +1 to hit, heirloom benefit doesn't do anything weapon specialization doesn't.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Lord Ben » Mon May 14, 2012 2:58 pm

And a fair bit less by applying to one specific weapon instead of multiple plus it has a prerequisite benefit.

It should be beefier in combat or provide benefits outside combat IMHO.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Legate » Mon May 14, 2012 8:01 pm

I have to say that I am not exactly up on what the books say about the poweres of Valyrian weapons. However, from online sources I really have not found any proof that they are anything more then ancient, and exceptionally well made examples of the weapon in question. Could someone post an example of what kind of powers are mentioned in the books?
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Lord Ben » Mon May 14, 2012 8:30 pm

Legate wrote:Could someone post an example of what kind of powers are mentioned in the books?


Well, this is the passage I was reading when it occurred to me the sword was nowhere near as good in the game as Brienne describes it. Not to mention she has a sword without having the heir quality...

"He was better than Pyg but he had only a short throwing spear and she had a Valyrian steel blade. Oathkeeper was alive in her hands. She had never been so quick. The blade became an angry blur. He wounded her in the shoulder as she came at him, but she slashed off his ear and half his cheek, hacked the head off his spear, and put a foot of rippled steel into his belly through the links of the great chainmail byrnie he was wearing."

Sounds a lot nicer than the same hit bonus as castle forged steel and +1 more damage to me. Game balance should always come before awesomeness from the books but +1 isn't that great yet when you have to consider the difficulties in acquiring it mechanically.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Legate » Mon May 14, 2012 9:45 pm

Playing Devil's Advocate, but I really only see one point in the above description that seems to describe a quality of the sword itself; the "blurring" speed could be a result of the Valyrian steel making the blade in question lighter then a normal sword. The point in favour of Valyrian steel imparting a special ability is that you mention the cutting through the chain mail, which could be duplicated with the Piercing quality I guess.

Though in the end it is your game and a Valyrian weapon should be as powerful as you think it should be.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby theharper » Mon May 14, 2012 11:13 pm

I would use/create Slashing instead of Piercing, but I agree. Assigning/devising qualities for weapons (and for almost everything else as Carriker mentioned) is a very convenient way of making them different/interesting.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Azai » Tue May 15, 2012 8:48 am

I think I might be the outcast here. But I've made a house rule that Valyrian weapons ignore Armor Rating up to the user's skill in fighting.

There are also some extra weapon qualities I gave them.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Legate » Tue May 15, 2012 9:15 am

I think ignoring armour rating might be a little steep. To be honest I really don't see Valyrian steel weapons as being anything more then exceptionally well crafted items. The descritpion of the forging techniques is pretty much the system that has been used in Japan for centuries. The folding steel technique allows for an edge to be kept sharp while maintaining blade strength.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Mrjamespj » Tue May 15, 2012 10:21 am

The Game of Thrones D20 game has them with +3 to attack and damage, as well as halving an armours damage reduction. I am tempted to steal these rules for Valyrian weapons in my own game.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Lord Ben » Tue May 15, 2012 1:04 pm

Legate wrote:The descritpion of the forging techniques is pretty much the system that has been used in Japan for centuries.


I'd like to see this forging technique in Japan where they weave spells into the metal. It's not in the wikipedia entry on their traditional metalworking skills....
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Legate » Tue May 15, 2012 1:46 pm

Yes, but from what I have been able to find in my research about the Valyrian weapons the whole spell forged thing has not been verified in the storyline. It seems to me to be more myth then an actual part of the Valyrian Weapon making art. This is another reason why I say they are exceptionally well made items and not magical. Now, I am only 3/4 the way through the first book, perhaps Martin does lend fact to the spell forged part of the process in later novels? :wink:

What I was referring to was just the description of the folded metal technique that is used, which explains why the Valyrian Blades have wave like "designs" along the length of the blade. Also, the traditional Japanese weapon smiths still cleanse themselves and pray to the spirits before they even start work on a new blade to imbibe the blade with their "power"...So, in a way they are spell forged, if you want to look at things in that light. :wink:
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Lord Ben » Tue May 15, 2012 2:35 pm

They can take a valyrian steel sword and melt it down and refold it to create a new valyrian steel sword. What they cannot do is create more valyrian steel. The folding techniques is known and able to be reproduced in the setting, the spells to create the steel no longer function.

The RPG is far less magical than the books are. Magic is awakening all over the place in the setting but the RPG doesn't cover it much. Glamors, amulets vs poison, fire ladders, shadow binders, obsidian candles, love potions, raise dead rituals/spells, etc.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Legate » Tue May 15, 2012 5:10 pm

I think that is because it is (magic) is very rare even though it is starting to re assert its hold (ie Dany's Dragons).Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Beric Dardarrion the only one to have a raise dead spell successfully cast on him in the story? What are the magic powers of the Valyrian weapons that have been listed (other the then the "speed" of the weapon that has been mentioned.) What is the power of Ice, for example? Or, Widow's Wail and Oathbreaker since they forged from Ice's steel?
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Lord Ben » Tue May 15, 2012 6:02 pm

No "powers" listed. But they're treated as far more special than simple quality blades.

He is not the only one. Lady Stoneheart also has risen from the dead.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Legate » Tue May 15, 2012 8:28 pm

Right they are venerated as prized items of a Houses history, and are exceptionally well made weapons. So, why is +1 fighting/dam underwhelming?

If you want to give a weapon power in a game just naming a blade gives it "power" in the game and the eyes of the player in whose possession it is. "All great swords have a name" after all.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby nakraal » Wed May 16, 2012 4:00 am

Maybe assigning all current qualities plus piercing 1-3.
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Re: Valyrian Weapons

Postby Erryk » Wed May 16, 2012 4:13 am

nakraal wrote:Maybe assigning all current qualities plus piercing 1-3.


I agree...

I've previously considered that Valyrian Steel was a bit on the weak side, so I upped the damage making it +1 hit, +2 dmg, however, given the discussion in this thread, I would think a piercing quality would best suit Valyrian Steel Weapons. Make away with the extra damage and just add the piercing quality. That way the game effects mirror the descriptions of the book; they're powerful, much more so than mere castleforged weapons, but they not over-powerful as the extra damage is not multiplied through degrees.
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