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View Full Version : Oops, I broke my battleaxe (on an orc's head)



DMMike
10-04-2009, 09:14 PM
In my last game session, I brought up the concept of weapons (and armor) that are not actually indestructible. It's a way to add value to the Craft (3.X) skill, and to keep warriors investing in weapons, like magic users invest in scrolls and potions.

Do weapons in your game break? How often? How many times can you swing a three pound hunk of sharpened, tempered metal at bones and metal and other weapons, before it breaks?

Or better yet, why would you become a weaponsmith, when each indestructible weapon you make could be the last one ever needed?

outrider
10-04-2009, 09:35 PM
read the rules for sunder. Lots of potientally dead weapons.

Arkhemedes
10-04-2009, 10:05 PM
Are you kidding me? I have a very good and realistic fumble chart just for this sort of thing. It's very easy to use, doesn't slow the game down and doesn't cause ridiculous things to happen. Plus all weapons receive a saving throw vs. crushing blow if the chart indicates a broken weapon, which only happens occasionally. Nevertheless, from time to time, a weapon does get broken, giving us the opportunity to introduce new weapons.

Sascha
10-04-2009, 11:46 PM
Unless it adds to the narrative (in the sense that it was deliberate, the result of a spectacular maneuver), no; items, fragile or not, are stuff I'd rather not have to keep track of. There's more important things afoot, like the mook gang eying your Shiny Sword (Armor, Hair, whatever) aspect ...

The main exception is an improvised weapon, which would get a substantial bonus but become useless after one round. Gotta have the barstool-to-the-back-of-the-head maneuver in any tavern brawl~!

(Then again, I tend towards games where items aren't important, unless they're important; FATE/SotC has spoiled me on equipment rules :P)

DMMike
10-06-2009, 02:23 PM
Outrider: I'm a big fan of Improved Sunder. I consider that a parallel to weapon weakening.

Sacha: weapon weakening could add to the narrative. It would mean that the warrior might spend an adventure using a weapon other than his favorite, a character with smithing in his history becomes more useful, or the party hires a weaponsmith to travel with them to a war-torn land, and finds adventure getting the smith set up in his new smithy. Weapon breaking adds value to the arms merchant as well, and who doesn't like the morals debate involved with arms merchants?

Sascha
10-06-2009, 04:49 PM
Sacha: weapon weakening could add to the narrative. It would mean that the warrior might spend an adventure using a weapon other than his favorite, a character with smithing in his history becomes more useful, or the party hires a weaponsmith to travel with them to a war-torn land, and finds adventure getting the smith set up in his new smithy. Weapon breaking adds value to the arms merchant as well, and who doesn't like the morals debate involved with arms merchants?
Well yeah, but FATE doesn't work exactly like other games; I'd rather not keep track of items, as a player or a GM, let alone their durability, and FATE's excellent, in the sense that items are largely fluff. Likewise any sort of currency: Resources is tracked as a vague skill, not as a 'real' quantity of money. As for the crafting bits, I'd certainly not push for it, since it's mostly background stuff, anyway (Ash making his mechanical hand in Army of Darkness aside, it's a non-roll cut-scene action at best ;)).

If players invest Aspects, Stunts or Skills into any of it, that means it's important to them, and it goes into the game. If not, it's a footnote at best; a standard broken weapon is replaced as soon as a player wants it, unless there's a compelling reason *not* to have it available (and even then, it could be worked in). Fate points and minor declarations are awesome tools for player agency, 'specially in this regard.

DMMike
10-08-2009, 10:52 AM
FATE sounds like movie-style roleplaying; Last Action Hero lampooned that sort of thing. I'm also thinking Princess Bride, when Fezzik pulls a holocaust cloak out of his pack (conveniently enough).

Well, I guess you don't count then Sacha :laugh:
since I prefer a more concrete, realistic game. My game is less video game (where the heroes carry unlimited gold), and more Hobbit, where Bilbo realizes that of the horde of gold to which he's entitled, realistically, he only wanted two small chests that a pony could carry.

Sascha
10-08-2009, 04:34 PM
FATE sounds like movie-style roleplaying; Last Action Hero lampooned that sort of thing. I'm also thinking Princess Bride, when Fezzik pulls a holocaust cloak out of his pack (conveniently enough).

Well, I guess you don't count then Sacha :laugh:
since I prefer a more concrete, realistic game. My game is less video game (where the heroes carry unlimited gold), and more Hobbit, where Bilbo realizes that of the horde of gold to which he's entitled, realistically, he only wanted two small chests that a pony could carry.
It's not so much "can carry unlimited resources" as "don't want to play accountant." A haul from a treasure trove's still limited by carrying capacity; it's just not defined by numbers :P Also, unless the Resources skill gets swapped up (raised in value, at another skill's expense), that treasure means nothing to a character's net worth; it's assumed to have otherwise been spent away on wine and women (and who can't appreciate that? ^_^).

Anyways, it's all about the base assumptions. Some folks like realistic; me, not so much. Or at all :P To which I return to my original response; if it's deliberate (ie. a character's willful intent to break a weapon, or a player's choice of Consequence), then yes~! But I won't track every weapon in every fight for chances of breakage ;) Unless it's a barstool /table/bottle/some guy's (wooden) limb, in which case, bonus! Then the object's no longer suitable to be a weapon.

Arkhemedes
10-08-2009, 06:37 PM
Hmm. At the risk of getting into a debate with Sascha, which I generally try to avoid due to the fact that in my opinion she rarely if ever loses a debate ;), I will add this:

First of all, I realize that Sascha prefers a less crunchy playing style than some of us. Which is fine of course. We all have our different tastes and to each their own. But what I don't get is why keeping track of PC weapons seems to be such a chore. In my game (and I assume this is the case with most games) weapons are written on a character sheet and they stay there until they get lost, stolen, sold or broken, at which point, they get erased. It's really not that difficult. We're not talking higher mathematics here. And if the problem is keeping track of when a weapon breaks, it's as simple as this: Whenever a character (PC or NPC) rolls a 1 on an attack, I have the player (or myself) roll percental dice. Then I look the number up on a fumble chart, which I keep attached to my GM's screen at all times, and which has a wide variety of realistic possible outcomes on it (including nothing happens at all). Sometimes characters hurt themselves, sometimes they hurt their allies, and sometimes they break a weapon. And the great thing is it's all determined in less time than it takes to read this. Plus, in my experience with it, rather than detract from the game or slow it down, I feel that it adds tension, drama and excitement to the game because the players and I know that almost anything can happen and unexpected setbacks, both for and against the PCs, can occur. And as I said earlier, it helps to eliminate older weapons and makes room for new ones.

I'll send you a copy of my fumble chart if you'd like Sascha. Eh, but then again, I think I know what you're answer to that would be - No thanks, too much to keep track of. :biggrin:

Sascha
10-08-2009, 09:04 PM
Hmm. At the risk of getting into a debate with Sascha, which I generally try to avoid due to the fact that in my opinion she rarely if ever loses a debate ;), I will add this: <snip>
:biggrin:

Yeah, default FATE 3 sheets lack space for weapons and armor, unless they're Aspects and/or Stunts. Mostly 'cause they don't actually, y'know, *do* anything special, mechanically ;)

XeroDrift
10-08-2009, 09:15 PM
Arkhemedes fumble chart is quite good and well executed. Personally, Im a detail freak (what color is your cloak and in what condition?), it can be challenging to balance this against good game flow, but it can be done. I guess i like my games with the texture of grape nuts, as opposed to cream of wheat...

Arkhemedes
10-08-2009, 09:27 PM
No space for weapons and armor? Well, that's certainly different. Obviously I've never played the game. Mmmm. Not sure I care to either. But then again, I know nothing about it. :biggrin:

Sascha
10-08-2009, 10:18 PM
Yep, no point in it being listed. All gear does is provide an advantage, which is mechanically only a +1 to attack/defense, and can be ignored via good tactics narration. There's no separate damage roll, as it's part of a successful attack: the margin of success, specifically.