14 September 2012

Weapon Behaviour - Simplifying

So, this was the weapon behaviour matrix I proposed before. I've been thinking that it's far too complicated to remember. Does the 3-inch blade length difference between an arming sword and a long sword matter? Do we really need three levels of Vs. Armour? Do we need variable damage just to accommodate complex polearms?

 Weapon Attack Defense Damage Vs. Armour Hands
Dagger 1 1 1 1 1
Arming Sword 2 2 1 0 1
Long Sword 2 2 1 1 2
Axe/Mace 1 1 1 2 1
Spear 2 2 1 1 2
Poleaxe 2 2 2 2 2

I've drafted a new, simpler version. Six columns to four, reduced all stats to two levels, and damage will now be classed by small, one-handed, and two-handed.

Weapon Attack Defense Vs. Armour Hands
Daggers, etc. 1 1 1 1
Swords, Spears, Staffs 2 2 1 1/2
Axes, Maces (1-handed) 1 1 2 1
Halberds, Poleaxes, etc. 2 2 2 2

The new version can be summarized as - daggers are good at nothing, swords and spears are good at attack and defense, axes and maces are good at penetrating armour, and complex polearms (halberd, poleaxe, etc.) are good at everything.

This sacrifices some of the detail I'd like, but I think the ease of learning and remembering is worth it.
It's a damn sight prettier than the weapons list from the D20 SRD - that list is incredibly complicated, has no internal logic, and no relation to the real world.


  1. Is there some penalty to wielding a staff or spear one handed? Or is just objectively better to have a shield?

    1. Damage is based on handed-ness, so you sacrifice damage. 2-handed is 2d6-TH, 1-handed is just 1d6.