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 Post subject: Weapons Without Pluses
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 11:38 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:15 am
Posts: 32
So I have read several posts where posters have talked about their dislike of weapons with +1, +2, etc....so they modify the damage instead. So a longsword does 2d4 instead of 1d8. I like this concept but I have a few questions.

One, what about the -to hit bonus that would normally be attributed to a +1 weapon. I know often, in other games, players are really looking for that extra + to be able to hit, sometimes meaning the difference between a miss or a hit. Do you just not apply a -to hit bonus? I could see the benefit of this. I play in a 2e dnd game and the warrior rolls a three and hits because of sword bonuses, specialization bonus, str bonus, etc... I feel it gets a little unspectacular.

Two, One of the reasons given for the change in weapon damage was that you are finding better made equipment but not necessarily magical equipment. Do you change anything when the weapon is indeed magical. Alter a to hit die up the chain?

And one last unrelated to this topic question, whips? I know the design is to stay simple and I love it. But I also like whips. I'm thinking 1d3 or 1d4 with the chance to entangle. I can't remember the entangle rule right off but I do recall reading one....

-Stretch

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-Stretch
If you survive a crucible you grow the stronger for it. - Arrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Weapons Without Pluses
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 8:29 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:27 am
Posts: 156
Location: Ohio
So I may be speaking out of turn, but I think what people really have issue with are not necessarily magic weapons with bonuses to hit and damage, but moreso magic weapons that have a bonus to hit as the only attribute. +1 longsword, huh? Booooring!! Do the rules starting on page 366 create something a little more powerful than you want to make available to a low level character? Here are some other ideas for magic weapons that are relatively minor effects and still don't provide some boring to hit and damage bonus: A spear that provides +5 to initiative and reduces the chances of being surprised; A wicked cruel obsidian dagger that adds +3 to rolls on the Critical Hit's table; A short sword that does not fumble on a roll of 1 unless the wielder saw a murder of crows that day; A war-axe that can be thrown once per hour at an enemy and will magically return to the owner's hand the next round; A sword that adds 2 to my character's armor class whenever he fights reptiles; A mace that does an extra 1d4 damage against Undead. None of those weapons give a bonus to hit, but they're all unique and since they are magical, they will also be prized just for their ability to hit certain creatures that can only be harmed by magical weapons.

I have tended to place magic items like these in my dungeons, but often they have latent powers that will be awakened if the wielder performs some action, so that later in their career as they advance in level, these weapons might be of a more appropriate power level. That mace that does an extra 1d4 damage vs Undead will become +1/+1 and add +2 to turning checks of anyone within 10' after it is used to slay a ghoul (but the wielder may feel compelled to attack any Undead he sees at this point, too). I have occasionally put weapons of legendary quality into a dungeon, that have simple bonuses to hit and damage because of superb craftsmanship, but they are as rare and unique as any magic item. But the 3E ability to just go to any blacksmith and shell out extra cash for higher quality items is not available in games that I run. Now, if the party is willing to journey to the home of a famous dwarven blacksmith and negotiate with him they may be able to acquire something along those lines...

In a nutshell, I think the key is to try to make everything unique and interesting. Give each weapon a backstory, and let the new owner find out the details as time marches on. It's one thing to see a lawful cleric happily pulling out his magic mace in every fight, but what will he do with it when he finds out that when it was created 200 years ago the magic was bound to it by it's creator when he used it to murder sixteen virgins? Given a good back story, even a simple +1/+1 weapon can be unique.


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 Post subject: Re: Weapons Without Pluses
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 8:41 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer
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Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:15 am
Posts: 32
That sounds along the idea that I am interested in accomplishing. I think before I start adding in weapons that have a plus as well as something else that makes it more unique I may introduce weapons that are just finely crafted. Something that they could find in a dungeon or have a blacksmith make that adds to the damage but in smaller degrees, such as 2d4 instead of 1d8. And then also having weapons that do less than the d8 such as a d6 or d5 because they are rusted or are inferior quality. I am basically looking at some other options and as I have read a few people no the boards here have a few different systems already in place I thought I might get some ideas. Thanks.

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-Stretch
If you survive a crucible you grow the stronger for it. - Arrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Weapons Without Pluses
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 8:57 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:30 pm
Posts: 1094
Location: In a galaxy far, far, away (Missouri)
I've added a longsword, the milky bladed sword from Sailors on the Starless Sea, that grants its welder a reduction in the fumble die by one. The blade is so well crafted that fumbles are reduced.


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 Post subject: Re: Weapons Without Pluses
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:43 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot
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Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:15 am
Posts: 51
Location: Portland, OR
I'm not a fan of the +X magic items myself, but I still think it's nice for players to experience finding those types of items. So to compromise, I mostly get around this by injecting mundane items made from rare/special alloys; e.g. orichalcum, meteoritic steel, adamantium (i.e. tungsten).

In the back of mind I know that there's nothing mechanically different going on than having bog standard magic items with plusses attached, but I find it a lot more satisfying to tell my players that they find a gleaming orichalcum byrnie of chain links, than a +1 chainmail.

The added bonus is that if they find something enchanted, they're a lot more wary and excited because there's no telling what they've stumbled into.


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 Post subject: Re: Weapons Without Pluses
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:14 am
Posts: 467
Location: Cube Farm of Alien Geometry
More ideas:

Adding lucky items: Found or becoming lucky through use (score a crit the first time you use it? It might be lucky!) From Crawl!

Having items scale with the possessor: It becomes magical because it was used by you, a legendary adventurer!


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