Thursday, March 5, 2020

Weapon Whoopin'

This is a post about my sword and sand game, Sand in the Bone - a work-in-progress.

There are many elements to this game that I wish to explore, such as the food and drink and how people in the city of Kanebok sleep. Not in a boring way, mind you. All of it is focused on play, not on me telling you all about my super-special world.

Weapons are one of the things I am focused on because I wanted to have a unique list and I wanted each item on that list to have it's own character. I had spoken before about how I disliked the idea of homogeneous weapon damage in old versions of D&D. Since this game started out as a bit of an OD&D hack, I very early-on started thinking about how to treat weapons in such a way that they weren't just interchangeable color.

The idea I settled on was to basically have two tiers of weapon skill. So tier one is just the base weapon. Anyone who picks up a sword and strikes you with it will have the same basic damage range. But Players will have the option of being Mastered with a type of weapon. So a PC who is Mastered with the sword will do the normal damage range plus they can access the sword's special properties, such as an additional damage die or long reach or whatever the case may be.

The resource that lets you become Mastered is probably just going to be called Mastery. Why complicate things? So at certain game increments you'll have the opportunity to allocate Mastery where you wish. Some will choose a weapon, others will chose something else. This is not going to be a class-and-level system, so PCs can be a mixed bag of skills and talents just like sword and sorcery heroes are always a mixed lot.

ASIDE: The basic weapon damage range is the d20 attack roll minus the target. So if your Prowess is 10 then you need to roll 10+ to strike a blow. A roll of 15 means you caused 5 points of damage. The target's armor absorbs that damage, with a minimum of 1 point getting through. That's the basic idea. Nothing new, nothing too fancy. I've seen this mechanic in a number of games over the years and it seems to work out pretty well.

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