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 Post subject: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:07 am 
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A discussion about the stats of the rhomphaia sparked off a broader discussion about the weapon stats in TFoB at large. It was suggested I post the weapon stats I have drawn up myself, so that they can be reviewed and discussed, for which I have now started this new thread. But at first a few preliminaries from the old thread about my basic method in statting out the weapons and my reasoning behind it:

Quote:
The intrinsic problem with any TN-system is that there are very few viable difficulties. When assigning TNs to attack modes a weapon is intended for, I think that one should only in rare exceptions go as high as 8, or even higher; an attack mode with TN 8 is not attractive anymore to the user. So a designer has basically two options: He can use the entire spectrum of TNs up to 9 and accept that many weapons will receive stats that suck so much that they will never make it out of the rulebook and into actual play; that’s the approach of TFoB. Or he can limit himself to TNs 5, 6, and 7, with the consequence that many weapons with a clear difference in their ease of handling will have to receive identical TNs. I’d say it is a matter of which devil you want to chose. I chose the one where weapons that were clearly quite effective in reality, like the rhomphaia, are also effective in the game, and consciously accept that many handling differences can’t unfortunately be accounted for.


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1) I decided that the arming sword would be the cornerstone of the entire system, an unalterable point of refrnce to check all other weapon performances against. My assumptions about the arming sword’s performance might be even wrong and my stats for it maybe even somewhat arbitrary or controversial, but still they are the point from which everything else takes off.

2) Attack and defense TNs reflect as much as possible solely my assumptions about the ease of exectuing movements with a weapon (its maneuverability, if you like), not its capacity to wound. Executing an accurate thrust is no more difficult with a walking stick than with an arming sword, I’d say.

3) With bladed weapons, I work from the basic assumption that the weapon becomes more difficult to handle (and thus the attack TNs higher) with increasing length; this is true for both swings and for thrusts, but for the latter even more so. With my weapon stats, hitting accurately with a kitchen knife is actually easier than hitting accurately with an arming sword, and hitting accurately with an arming sword is easier than doing so with a greatsword. This can be easily reality-checked (as I have done) by taking sticks of various lengths and trying how accurately one hits a markd spot with thrusts and swings from them.

4) To avoid the scaling up of these differences across the stats of a number of weapons, perceived minor differences in the handling of the weapons are acknowledged, but not mirrored in a change of TNs. It is my conviction that every weapon should, if at all possible, have at least one viable mode of attack with a TN of no worse than 7.

5) In assigning damage stats, I used the only method I could. As I cannot judge what difference skillful weapon use does make in dealing damage, I asked myself how much damage might I myself (Reflexes 4 + Proficiency 0 = CP 4) cause if hacking or stabbing at an unsuspecting opponent who does not defend (+2 dice bonus for a total CP of 6 dice).


Quote:
The arming sword, point of reference for the entire system:

Cut TN 6, Cut Damage ST (TFoB ST+1), Thrust TN 6 (TFoB 7), Thrust Damage ST+1(TFoB ST), Draw Cut +0, Reach Medium, Defense TN 6


I decreased Thrust TN form 7 to 6 while this is more in keeping with my thrusting experiments; thrusting accurately with a rod of 3 feet length is not that difficult. The damage values where assigned from me imagining myself hacking or thrusting from behind at the torso of some unsuspecting guy walking down the street in front of me. With my CP of 6, that would yield an average of 3 successes on both cut und thrust. Now I feel that I would wound somebody more grievously in driving a sword point deep into him than in chopping at him (a wound much larger on the surface, but far less deep). A wound level of 4 seemed just right for the thrust – a grievous and debiliating wound from which the recipient will most probably die eventually if he does not get medical help; that’s what I imagine what would really happen if an untrained person like me sticked an unsuspecting victim with a sword.

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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:12 am 
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To continue with one of the arming sword’s closest relatives, the Norse sword:

The blades are very similar; the Norse sword has a much more rounded tip and very little taper along its length. This means that its point of gravity would be slightly nearer the tip than the arming sword’s; it is slightly more tip-heavy. This in turn means that the Norse sword is slightly harder to thrust with accurately and slightly slower in the swing, but does hit with more impact (the increased lever action from a point of gravity closer to the tip). Still, I am quite convinced that these differences in the handling are so minor as not to warrant any changes in the attack and defense TNs. By the same reasoning, the increased impact of a swing does not justify an increase in cutting damage over the arming sword, I’d say (if somebody disagrees he might console himself that the top-heaviness of the Norse sword should make it somewhat “slower” than the arming sword, so that we have got a slight advantage not represented in the stats and a slight disadvantage not represented, cancelling each other out). The rounded tip does of course mean that the Norse sword does less puncture damage.

So here are its stats:

Quote:
Cut TN 6, Cut Damage ST, Thrust TN 6, Thrust Damage ST *, Draw Cut +0, Reach Medium, Defense TN 6

* Damage –1 against any type of armour.


So, with these stats, “Mr-Untrained-Guy-Stabbing-At-An-Unsupecting-Victim” inflicts on the average a level 3 puncture wound – debiliating, but not a killer. That seems just right to me. With this weapon, thrusting is still an option, at least as long as the opponent doesn’t wear any armour, in which case you’ll only ever want to swing at him. Please note also that the Norse sword is with these stats a worse weapon than the arming sword. In my opinion this goes very well with the Norse sword being eventually abandoned in favour of the arming sword.

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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:51 am 
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Hey, this is great.

I see the arming sword's thrusting capability almost never used, since it's inferior (ATN 7, ST) versus the strike. The strike is so much better with the +1 CP advantage for aiming at the arms.

I'd never have thought of actually messing with the arming sword's stats, since it is to me also a corner stone of the whole weapons offering.

I see you have slightly tuned down the damage, which I think is great. The thrust's +1 damage is actually quite on par with the strike's, since many thrusts (e.g. at the head area) get -1 CP die, and strikes often get +1 CP for targeting arms or legs (and can also expend 1 CP for +1 damage). Your stats make the sword very versatile: one can choose whether to strike to arms (for bonus dice) or head area (for relatively easy threat), or to thrust at the vital organs (at no penalties but great damage if not armored) or the head (more difficult but lethal).

But if you tune down all damages by 0.5 to 1 point, does that increase the importance of armor?

By the way, there is still one more way to differentiate weapons without affecting stats too much: Increase the amount of range increments. Drifter Bob once explained his house rule of 2 CP dice per increment, which probably many think is too much. Then how about having around 1.5 times the range increments as we do now? (i.e. H S M L VL EL -> around 8 or 9 increments?)

Edit: Another way of creating differences is really re-working the "heavy weapons" rule. I do feel that for a short sword or stick, parrying a long staff would be more difficult than for a long sword. Maybe introduce also a few weight categories, and penalize lighter weapons in some cases? Anyone with relevant experience (I don't!), please comment!


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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:37 pm 
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Overdrive wrote:
But if you tune down all damages by 0.5 to 1 point, does that increase the importance of armor?


If it does, and I don’t think it does, as I am not tuning down the damage right across the board, I think that wouldn’t be a drawback.

Overdrive wrote:
By the way, there is still one more way to differentiate weapons without affecting stats too much: Increase the amount of range increments.


Changing the range increments might actually do some good for some weapons, but without having thought it all the way through, one objection comes to mind immediately: What about the weapons of S and M reach that currently do have abominable stats? Falchion and saber remain poor weapon choices even with changed range increments.

Overdrive wrote:
Another way of creating differences is really re-working the "heavy weapons" rule. I do feel that for a short sword or stick, parrying a long staff would be more difficult than for a long sword. Maybe introduce also a few weight categories, and penalize lighter weapons in some cases? Anyone with relevant experience (I don't!), please comment!


I really wouldn’t know either. That’s the major problem with my approach – I have no actual combat experience. But not wanting to become entirely speculative, I consciously chose to omit all but the most basic considerations of weapon balance. This is a drawback, bt one I think that is infinitely preferable to loads of weapons simply not being viable choices at all, as is the case with TFoB.

But anyway, on with the weapon catalogue. After having with the norse sword taken one step away from the versatile arming sword into the “cut, not thrust” direction, I’ll take one towards “thrust, not cut”. The first sword one encounters along the way is the cut-and-thrust sword. TFoB uses this term for a basically military sword that is a bit lighter than the arming sword, has a narrower blade with a more pronounced taper; it is optimized for thrusting while still udeful for cutting. The narrower blade with the srtonger taper means that the center of gravity sits closer to the hilt then with the arming sword, which should lead to the cut-and-thrust being somewhat more agile. Now this increased agility might warrant a change in the TNs, but with the sidesword being yet more agile, and the rapier more so than the sidesword, and the dress sword yet more agile, representing all of these differences with different thrust TNs becomes unpractical. I have therefore decided to leave them unchanged from the arming sword. So, without further ado, the stats:

Quote:
Cut TN 6, Cut Damage ST*, Thrust TN 6, Thrust Damage ST+1**, Draw Cut +0, Reach Medium, Defense TN 6

* -1 damage against hard armour
** +1 damage against any type of armour


You will note that against an unarmoured opponent, the cut-and-thrust does now fare exactly like the arming sword. Chosing the cut-and-thrust sword only makes increased sense when facing armoured opponents (which seems fair enough for a blade for military use); in this case you get increased effectiveness at stabbing for a tradeoff in effectiveness in slashing. Overall, the sword is now better than the arming sword if the wielder sensibly choses to forgo cutting in favour of thrusting.

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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:12 pm 
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Quote:
By the way, there is still one more way to differentiate weapons without affecting stats too much: Increase the amount of range increments. Drifter Bob once explained his house rule of 2 CP dice per increment, which probably many think is too much. Then how about having around 1.5 times the range increments as we do now? (i.e. H S M L VL EL -> around 8 or 9 increments?)


It's already handled well, 1 CP per increment is fine. To DB, he may feel like it's more of a 2 CP per increment cost from his own experience, but you must take into account that he is morbidly obese (thus the difficulty) and that it is already handled by the encumberance modifiers on him, not the length of the weapons. I.e. it's his ability influencing it, not the situation.
A related note is that he changed the lengths of many of the weapons in TFoB to be inconsistent with the MRB. He took many same-length weapons, and gave them disparate lengths based on his perceptions of how they were used. Another wrong move throwing up even more inconsistency based on a personal preconception rather than a rule that was already in place.


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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:44 pm 
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Quote:
Another way of creating differences is really re-working the "heavy weapons" rule. I do feel that for a short sword or stick, parrying a long staff would be more difficult than for a long sword. Maybe introduce also a few weight categories, and penalize lighter weapons in some cases? Anyone with relevant experience (I don't!), please comment!


Others may disagree, but weight is the least of the problems when defending with lighter weapons vs. heavier. I wouldn't include it in the consideration. I don't use the "heavy/light" weapons rules, personally. With any weapon, it's only a slight adaptation of technique. Whether directly interposing your weapon to defend or striking with it to deflect (both mechanically parries in TRoS, unless using a meneuver like "expultion"), the same basic defenses are used whether setting aside a thrust of a rapier, or stopping the swing of a mace, and they work just fine.

Mass is a slight irrelevant factor. Say, it'll be easier to stop a strike with any portion of a mace because it has a lot of mass where the leverage fades, but because of it's balance, it is difficult to parry or deflect weapons with because it's harder to maneuver it into position when frantically defending. Thus perfectly handled with no rules governing mass and giving it a higher DTN.
Say you're defending against a mace and using a rapier. You defend with the area of greatest leverage, which is roughly the same regardless of the mass of the weapon (the portion of blade, or even hilt, closest to the hand). And thus the mass of the weapon is irrelevant. But the rapier is far more maneuverable and agilely balanced, giving it a good DTN.
These examples are postulating a direct interposing, not a deflection, which is mechanically the same parry (or possibly expulsion) but more likely to be done and even less effected by mass on the recieving end.

Now let's say you're using a dagger vs a mace. Same concept applies, but still using subtle, mechanically inconsequential concepts to adapt, thus it simply has a higher DTN. You may have to stifle, adding to the DTN, you must still either take the blow near the hand (though with a dagger, that area is smaller), or you might add your second hand to the blade, increasing the range of leverage, or you might lay the blade on your arm, again increasing the leverage or backup. The dagger being shorter gives far less margin for error in defense and requires somewhat more adaptation in some circumstances increasing the difficulty, but it's all handled by the higher DTN, even vs. other daggers which are hard to parry w/a dagger because of their agility and deceptiveness, not length and mass.

Then there are flails; weapons also using more mass to injure. They already cancel out parry/block successes because of their joint. No further steps required.

How about extremes? Then, say, we have an 8 foot bill or something similar vs. say, a dagger. Without stifling or deflecting (which I don't know why, in game, you couldn't just assume is done) you certainly wouldn't want to absorb it in it's main power stroke by simply interposing the dagger. There's only so much you can reasonably take. Should you rely on assuming the player will have the sense to evade (again, assuming you're not assuming his parry includes stifling, bracing or deflecting, for some unknown reason), or do you want to enforce it with a hard and fast rule? It would be easy enough to say, on GM call, something like "Because of the power and mass of this weapon and you're just standing there to parry, it will cancel out 4 successes." Or would you want some mechanically or basically dictated, premade rule on exactly how many successes that would take?

As for thrusts, to paraphrase someone, a child could put by a thrust with his little finger. Mass is even less consequential.

So overall, length and handling ability are important factors in ability to defend vs. various types of weapons, not mass, within reason. Leverage, deflection and other sublte technique variation defeat mass when defending.
To sum up, I largely ignore rules about mass. At most, it's a narritivistic element. I put the heavy weapons rules up there with other pointless stuff like hilt AV, draw cut modifiers, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:57 pm 
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Interesting what you have to say about the whole parrying thing, Caz. It makes a lot of sense, but still, I will go on to post my weapon stats the way I have drawn them up two years ago, using heavy weapon rules. As fencing weapons are coming up now, I would be interested what you have to say about differentiating their defense TNs, or if this should be done at all.

However, after the cut-and-thrust sword, the next step away from slashing and towards a specialization for thrusting is the sidesword. TFoB uses this term to refer to a sword “intended primarily for civilian or quasi-military use” (TFoB p. 194). Its blade is lighter still than the cut-and-thrust’s and is optimized for thrusting, even though cutting is still a viable option with it, and the weapon has already a somewhat elaborate guard, with siderings as a bare minimum. The fact that it is lighter still than the cut-and-thrust should mean that it is more agile and quicker than the latter; even without being good at chopping deeply into flesh, the actual movement of cutting should therefore by no means be more difficult than with the clumsier cut-and-thrust or arming sword. The lightness of the blade does also mean that it should be quick in the parry, but that it does already start to suffer from the problem of fencing weapon – being too light to knock aside incoming enemy weapons with ease.

To simulate the optimization for thrusting without yet dropping the TN, I resort to a mechanic of my own which is simple, but surprisingly used nowhere else in the rules:

Quote:
Any time this weapon is used with a thrusting maneuver, the dicepool for this maneuver is increased by 1. As thrusting maneuvers qualify primarily Feint-and-Thrust and Thrust, but also Bind-and-Strike, Double Strike, and Simultaneous Block/Strike, if these maneuvers are executed with a thrust from the weapon in question.


With a thrusting TN of for instance 6, this yields on the average 1/2 additional success on every thrust. Note that this additional die is not added outright to the CP, but to the actual thrusting pool, meaning that it can be added from zero to two times per combat round. Now that that’s said, the stats of the sidesword:

Quote:
Cut TN 6, Cut Damage ST*, Thrust TN 6**, Thrust Damage ST+1***, Draw Cut +0, Reach Medium, Defense TN 7 (6 against fencing weapons)

* -1 damage against any type of armour
** +1 die for thrusts (see above)
*** -1 damage against hard armour


If you compare this to the cut-and-thrus sword, you will notice that the sidesword fares more poorly at cutting against armoured opponents; TNs and basic damage are the same, but where the the cut-and-thrust had –1 damage against hard armour, the sidesword has –1 damage against any armour. In the thrusting, the situation is less clear. Basically, the sidesword hits with greater ease (the additional thrusting die) and thus in extension also with more lethality (1/2 additional wound level because of the additional die). But as soon as the opponent is armoured, especially with hard armour, the cut-and-thrust wins hands down – it causes +1 damage against any kind of armour, wheras the sidesword causes –1 damage against hard armour. So, in thrusting at a fully armoured Renaissance knight, the sidesword might hit slightly more often (1/2 additional success per thrust), but only with ST, wheras the cut-and-thrust will hit with ST+2. This seems appropriate for weapon intended primarily for civilian use, as does the poorer defense TN versus heavy weapons – the sidesword is intended to face unarmoured or lightly armoured opponents using fencing weapons, not to appear on a battlefield.

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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:50 pm 
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Everything that has been said of the sidesword in comparison to the cut-and-thrust is equally true of the rapier in comparison to the sidesword. Its blade is even lighter and more agile, optimized for thrusting at an almost total expense of chopping power, and due to its lightness even more unsuitable to parry heavy weapons, however quick it may be. In the progression into ever lighter blades we have now also reached a point where I think that the greater ease of swinging it should also be accounted for. It is hard for me to imagine that a swing of the rapier is not a great deal quicker than a swing of the much heavier arming sword, let alone the Norse sword, and therefore harder to defend against.

My stats for the rapier:

Quote:
Cut TN 5, Cut Damage ST-2*, Thrust TN 5, Thrust Damage ST+1**, Draw Cut +1, Reach Medium, Defense 8 (6 against fencing weapons)

* -2 against soft armour, -3 against hard armour
** -1 against soft armour, -2 against hard armour


You will notice immediately that this weapon is exceedingly good at scoring a hit, wether with a swing or a thrust. Its damaging capacity on a swing is limited, though – just an average of 1.6 wound levels in the hands of “Mr-Untrained-Guy-Attacking-An-Unaware-Opponent”, or 2.6 if he is clever enough to draw cut. On a thrust, though, it is a killer even in these untrained hands, with no less than 4.6 wound levels. But if the hit body part is armoured, you are out of your luck – even against soft armour, a cut damage stat of ST-4 means that swinging is right out of the question. Under the same circumstances, the thrust is at ST still viable, especially in highly proficient hands able to hit joints in the armour – the low TN assures this effect. But with the abominable defense TN against heavier weapons, one steers at best clearly away from proper battles against armoured opponents using them. Which is exactly as it should be with the rapier.

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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:32 pm 
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I don't have much time to comment from now until next week, but I absolutely applaud your excellent usage of horizontal granularity with those weapons, especially with the not-much-before-used use of +1 CP to thrusting. It has worked out very well. Granted, I personally don't use/agree with a couple of the side mechanics (draw cut, heavy/light weapons) but those aren't required to enjoy the other aspects for the most part. They turned out quite well.

The one thing I might change as to how the arming sword relates to the C & T, however, is the ST cut DR of the arming sword being the same as that of the more slender C & T. One of the primary ways we moderns seperate the terminology is that the arming sword has a primarily broader, flatter, and thus geometrically sharper blade oriented towards producing more catastrophic cutting injury than the more slender and tapered thrust oriented C & T. I'd leave the arming sword's cut at ST+1.

Also, keep in mind that a slender, tapering blade that we might call the C & T, which came into it's own as a still viable military weapon in the days of the rapier has similar if not identical blades on the field of war alongside the arming sword, particularly in the 15th century, though the hilts were generally simpler than the 16th century ones, among those who preferred the improved thrusting performance at the expense of the cut.

And a short commentary on the "norse sword." I agree with the stats you have given for it. It certainly has values different from that of the arming sword, but they aren't covered by TRoS stats. The rounder pointed sword of course takes away some small point agility and the ability to pierce well with it, but it also allows it improved cutting performance along its entire length, not to mention more point durability. The arming sword can cut just as well, but not at the point, not along it's entire length, which is sacrifices to pierce. Thus in game mechanics the "norse sword" does no extra cutting damage, but it does do less piercing damage. The qualities are clear in real life; the arming sword is not an improvement, it just uses a bit more trade off to be more versatile/fight different conditions. They are real, but unfortunately intangible to our game mechanics without being assinine.


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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:14 pm 
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I am very glad to hear that you think that most of my assumptions about the actual differences in the weapons are tenable, especially as this is coming from somebody with a clearly much better knowledge of the handling of these weapons than myself. I’ll go on posting my weapon stats, and maybe you’ll eventually find the time to point out anything you perceive as particularly weak spots.

Pertaining to the arming sword, I have two reasons for my cut damage rating of ST. First of all I think that a wound level 3 is quite appropriate for my “Untrained-Guy-Hacking-At-Unsuspecting-Guy”, and then I face the issue of having to step up the damage stat for choppers as murderous as the bardiche to be clearly above the arming sword’s (at least that’s how I perceive it). With the arming sword already at ST+1, the chopping polearms will all end up with damage stats where any hit of an unarmoured body part causes a level 5 wound, and I think that’s not desirable.

That said, I shall continue with the weapon catalogue. Here, the ultimate in fencing weapons is reached with the dress sword. The purely civilian dress sword is not a development towards even greater thrusting power, it is, as the name implies, rather a development of the tastes in fashion. An exceedingly slender blade, it is next to useless in cutting, and actually worse in penetrating armour. In regard to parrying, a case could be made that it should be even worse than the rapier at deflecting heavy weapons, but I think that TN 8 is already sufficiently high. Here then are my stats for it:

Quote:
Cut TN 5, Cut Damage ST-3*, Thrust TN 5, Thrust Damage ST+1**, Draw Cut +1, Reach Medium, Defense 8 (6 against fencing weapons)

* -2 against soft armour, -3 against hard armour
** -2 against any kind of armour


Compared to the rapier, you will notice that the dress sword basically isn’t any worse at thrusting (TN 5, Dam ST+1). The only difference is in going against soft armour – here, the rapier causes ST damage, and the dress sword ST-1. In slashing, the dress sword causes 1 less wound level across the board. Chosing the dress sword over the rapier is therefore not a matter of utility, but done almost exclusively for cultural reasons.

And that’s it with the fencing blades, as I have chosen to outright omit the Colichemarde. Providing it with separate stats does in my opinion only cater to the the exaggeration of differences I have critizised.

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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:30 am 
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Having dealt with the more elegant relatives of the straight-bladed arming sword, on to its equally straight-bladed shorter brothers. Let me start out with the shortsword. This is the somewhat generic name for a number of short, straight-bladed swords intended mainly for thrusting, but also capable of slashing. The shorter blade length should mean that this sword’s center of gravity is closer to the hilt than the arming sword’s, meaning that it is slightly more agile in the swing. The shorter length does also mean that the point is easier to control on a thrust than the arming sword’s. Still, I feel that both differences are too slight to warrant a difference in cut and thrust TNs. On a thrust, stabbing power is not influenced by blade length, but only by blade shape, so the mere fact of the shortsword being shorter does in itself not warrant any change in the thrust damage stat. On a swing, the blade’s nearer center of gravity means less lever action and therefore a less powerful hit; if this warrants a change in the cut damage stat is debatable. Whatever little drawback the weapon may due to its shorter length have in deflecting other weapons (and I don’t think it has any) should be offset by the increased swinging speed on account of being shorter, so that the defense TN may remain unchanged from the arming sword. After these considerations the weapon’s stats:

Quote:
Cut TN 6, Cut Damage ST*, Thrust TN 6, Thrust Damage ST+1, Draw Cut +0, Reach Short, Defense TN 6

* -1 against any kind of armour


This short thrusting sword is in many respects identical to the arming sword. The only real drawback in comparison to the latter is a reduced effectiveness in cutting against armoured opponents to somehow account for the less powerful swing of the shortsword. And then there is of course the reach of only Short, which will often be a drawback, but can be an advantage.

Please note that I use exactly the same stats for the Roman gladius. Differences between the latter and other short, straight-bladed, two-edged thrusting swords are too cosmetic to warrant any differences in the stats.

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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:26 pm 
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All that has been said about the handling of the shortsword is equally true of the handling of the katzbalger. The only difference is that the katzbalger is intended for cutting and has thus a much more rounded point and no taper for most of its blade’s length. The point is similiar to the Norse sword’s, but I still think that the katzbalger might have caused more damage on a thrust, as power can more easily be put into a stab with a shorter blade than with a longer one (a matter of less-than-perfect alignment of target, weapon, hand and arm becoming ever more pronounced the longer the weapon is).

Quote:
Cut TN 6, Cut Damage ST*, Thrust TN 6, Thrust Damage ST*, Draw Cut +0, Reach Short, Defense TN 6

* -1 against hard armour


A perceptive observer will notice that the katzbalger is worse a cutter than the shortsword is a stabber – the shortsword stabs no less well than its big brother the arming sword all across the board, but the katzbalger doesn’t cut as well as the arming sword against all targets; against hard armour, it does 1 less damage. This is intentional. The very shortness of a blade does commend it more for a powerful stab than for a powerful swing, which is easier delivered with a long blade – in using a knife for maximum damage, one doesn’t swing it, but stab with it. By specializing itself in swinging, of all things, the katzbalger does therefore go against its very nature as a short blade, wheras the shortsword follows it.
Equally, in comparing the stab of the katzbalger to the stab of the Norse sword, which has a similarly shaped point, one notices that the katzbalger lacks the –1 damage reduction against any kind of armour, suffering from only in respect to hard armour. This has been chosen to reflect that it is easier to punch through resistance with a short blade than with a long one, as mentioned above in the remark about the alignment of target, weapon, and arm.

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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:46 pm 
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Another short blade used very similiarly to the katzbalger is the Anglo-Saxon and Norse sax. It is a one-edged blade designed mainly for cutting, but with an acute, albeit decentral point. The fact that these weapons have at best very rudimentary guards and pommels would place their center of gravity a considerable distance away from the hilt, meaning that they are somewhat blade-heavy. On both the swing and the thrust, they should be somewhat slower than the katzbalger, but should upon a swing impact with more power, due to the increased lever action. All these differences are in my opinion so minor as not to warrant a change in TNs from the katzbalger. The slowness in the parry and the lack of a crossguard to use in a deflection if compared to the katzbalger let me resort to this rule:

Quote:
Any time this weapon is used with any kind of parrying maneuver, the dicepool for this maneuver is decreased by 1.


You could also say that the activation cost for all maneuvers where the sax is used to parry, intercept or deflect is increased by 1. But however the wording, here are the stats of the sax:

Quote:
Cut TN 6, Cut Damage ST*, Thrust TN 6, Thrust Damage ST*, Draw Cut +0, Reach Short, Defense TN 6**

* -1 against hard armour
** -1 die for defenses (see above)


You will notice that this sax handles almost exactly like the katzbalger, the only difference being the sax’s slightly reduced effectiveness at parrying.

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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:43 am 
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Not another short sword, but sufficiently close to the sax to be dealt with now, is the long sax or scramasax. Its blade is basically shaped exactly like the sax’s, it is merely longer, and together with the underdevelopment of guard and pommel this places the center of gravity even further down the blade. I assigned it these stats:

Quote:
Cut TN 6, Cut Damage ST, Thrust TN 7, Thrust Damage ST+1*, Draw Cut +0, Reach Medium, Defense TN 6**

* -1 damage against any kind of armour
** -1 die for defenses


Comparing the long sax to the sax, the former is of course longer, but it is also more effective at cutting, namely at armoured targets; this was chosen to reflect the increased lever action. Both weapons defend exactly alike; whatever small advantage the scramasax’s length may offer can be considered offset by its greater slowness. On a thrust, the scramasax is more clumsy than the sax, but hits with more power. Now I readily admit that this is an unattractive step, but I felt compelled to chose it thus to get the scramasax more in line with the Norse sword, which was used alongside it and as a close alternative. In comparing these two, you will notice first that the scramasax is worse at parrying – that seems reasonable considering its blade-heaviness. The same top-heaviness does also infer that it is harder to thrust accurately with it, but as it is more pointed than the Norse sword, it does on a hit have a greater wouding capacity – where “Untrained-Guy-Stabbing-At-Unsuspecting-Guy” achieves an average of 3 attack successes and thus inflicts 3 wound leveld with the Norse sword, he achieves an average 2.4 successes with the scramasax, thereby inflicting 3.4 wound levels. On the cut, they handle identical, even though one might argue that the broader blade of the Norse sword should hit with greater impact – but I feel that this is once again one of the differences that are too slight to express in stats.

But now for a more personal announcement:
Would gentle readers of this thread who find the stats useful and consider using them please post, just once, and say so? This is not a request born of vanity. It's just that writing down the reasoning behind my stats, which I think is a vital part of the process, is quite a lot of work, and if the revised stats are only met with polite and benigng curisosity, the benefit others derive from me writing them down is too slight for me to bother with continuing. So please say so if you desire to see this thread continued.

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 Post subject: Re: Revised Weapon Stats
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:54 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
Would gentle readers of this thread who find the stats useful and consider using them please post


Is there this much detail on every single weapon? It might be quicker to post the table and then answer people's questions -- if they have any. From what I've seen it all makes perfect sense.

Many thanks for taking the time to post this one -- it has been very interesting.

Regards,

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