Weaponry Mechanics

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    • Weaponry Mechanics

      In my run up to starting my own game, I'm refreshing my read through the rules from, like, a month ago, and one thing I can't seem to find an answer to is: if your jenu has Natural Weapons, is there any MECHANICAL reason that you would ever use anything else?

      Besides the obvious advantage that ranged weapons would give you, and the general superiority of Martial Arts over everything, I can't find why, say, I'd ever want to bother to learn to use a medium-sized crystal flail when I could just kick someone for (if I'm reading it correctly) the same damage.

      Style is certainly its own justification, and given the general sense of Shard I wouldn't really be surprised if it were the reason, but I'm paranoid that I might be missing some mechanical nuance and I know my players will ask.
    • RE: Weaponry Mechanics

      Nope,...you've missed nothing, my friend!

      The idea behind the whole thing is that weapons are, essentially, "special effects" that allow the simple mechanics to determine the damage and results of combat regardless of (in a large number of cases) which weapons you might actually choose to use...

      We felt this actually encouraged the use of natural weapons like claws, fangs, and such for the shear effect of style, without worrying that a dagger or sword might be better... Instead of players worrying about what would better mechanically, we'd rather them be thinking about what feels/looks cooler to use....

      The Strength of the wielder is the key for most weapons other than siege weapons, firearms, or artillery... One's Strength determines the weapon's damage (added to the number of successes that penetrate the defense roll), and thus the size of melee-weapons as well as the range of missile and thrown weapons that a character may utilize...

      We think it cool that a savage attack with teeth or claws might be just as damaging as an attack with a crystal sword...

      Hopefully that clarifies it for ya!


      Scottie ^^
    • From a strictly story-sense, weapons outside of natural weapons seem logical to me. Just as the ways and culture of the zoics in Shard seem to derive from the subconscious minds of the two humans that were onboard that spaceship that pierced the veil of our universe, it seems that tendencies towards weapons would be there. Many zoics have fur or feather, yet still cling towards clothing. It stands to reasons that tendencies towards weapons would be there. These are in some ways vestiges of just where these zoics come from.

      From an ergonomics standpoint, weapons make sense. Physical weapons are equalizers in a way that its hard for an RPG to completely and naturally encompass. A lion may have razor sharp teeth and claws, but if you have a crystal sword, it doesn't matter if your own teeth are for chewing grass and your hooves aren't so sharp. From a game mechanics standpoint, it makes it a lot easier to play species that might not have much in the way of natural weaponry. Its not unlike how skill makes up for strength in many situations.

      I can certainly see the point that if I always had teeth and claw at the ready--if I were some wickedly fast and strong tigerman or gargantuan elephant with scary tusks, I might never pick up a flail or knife for use in combat. On the other hand, its going to suck when I get to bite or claw my adversary and he blocks my bite with large crystal sword. Clack! That's gotta hurt. There's a reason right there to keep your teeth in reserve.
      I imagine in a critical fail, teeth or claws are going to break.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Mulefoot ().

    • Originally posted by Mulefoot

      I imagine in a critical fail, teeth or claws are going to break.

      <shudders from the thought>

      But yep,...because of their origins, you are correct,...the concepts of weapons and clothes are only natural...

      But I also felt that making natural weapon/open-handed attacks just as powerful as weapon-based attacks made sense, not just for the sake of the rules' simplicity, or for the sake of making folks want to still use their non-weapon-based attacks, but because in my mind, in a world of animal-folks walking around, the amazing strength of a tiger's claws could easily match the power of a sword any day, depending on who's wielding it...

      Both attacks need to seem equally as good for the sake of the rules, and thus allow the players a chance to choose based on personal favorite coolness factor alone...

      Scottie ^^
    • Natural vs Melee Weapons

      It really is something that is up to the GM and the individual player. While what you say about possibly breaking teeth or tusks in a really bad Fumble (which is certainly possible, it's up to the GM to decide), some players may prefer to play a Zoic who primarily uses their natural weaponry. But just as there is a risk in shattering a crystal sword with a bad enough Fumble, that danger also exists for teeth or tusks.

      However, many Zoics would add all sorts of devices (such as armored sheaths, or protective coverings) to tusks, antlers, or even possibly claws to help protect them from shattering or breaking. In fact, mighty Gajah warriors (elephants) from Hathiyar tend to wear ornate decorative tusk sheaths made of chitin, amber, or even crystal to help protect their tusks in battle. Even so, tusks can and do break.

      But as Scott said, the choice will mainly be a stylistic one, but the GM is more than welcome to introduce practical matters (i.e. breakage) into their own campaigns and so direct what they would prefer to have used.

      But in Shard, a lion Zoic choosing to either slash my stomach open with a crystal sword or with his claws will result in my stomach being slashed open.

      Ouch! ;)
    • Weapons as a "special effect" is a noble purpose indeed... but realization suffers from some facts like: when you brawling you cant be disarmed and need not to waste one of your combat actions on drawing weapon... And you get brawling as starting skill.. too much reasons to choose brawling over meele combat.

      p.s. sorry for grammar - english is not my primary language
    • Hello there Minder!

      Yep,...Brawling's great for beginners, but it's not as versatile as many of the other combat skills... It can't be used at anything other than short range, it doesn't allow for all the cool effects of Martial Arts (without invoking an additional -2 penalty), it can only be used to defend against hand-to-hand attacks, and it represents your character as being an unskilled warrior (which limits your social options in a role-playing game that often focuses upon the use of weapons, martial arts, and other individuals skilled in more "ornamental" combat)....

      Its limited nature is exactly why it's offered for "free"...

      Melee combat has its similar limits as well, but that last one (the one concerning the social stigma of merely being a plain old weaponless "brawler"), is the one we'd rather focus upon, considering that regardless of any mechanics, we'd much rather focus on the role-playing aspects of the game and those characters within it...

      There will, of course, be those that will choose to focus on Brawling exclusively. Hopefully those folks will incorporate that concept into the fiction of their character... But Brawling will no doubt primarily remain the "less-skilled thing" folks do if they don't have Martial Arts, and/or if they suddenly find themselves without their favorite weapon (which most folks will have and treasure whether it gives them some sort of "bonus" in combat or not).

      Using weapons will always have a place in fantasy role-playing games... The very idea of it is far too iconic to escape! For us, however, weapons shouldn't become ways to tweak the rules so that one has more "power"... Instead, they should merely be extensions of the character's mind, body, and spirit,...as befits the very idea of a world where the martial arts are treasured at a cultural level (thus having a Warrior Caste).

      Scottie ^^
    • I've had the same "strange feeling" about a punch hitting as hard as a two handed mace..
      I still have to run my first session but I think I will apply some modifier to the damage dealt by solid weapons.
      Maybe a bonus to Strength proportional to the size of the weapon.. (e.g. short=+0, medium=+1, long=+2 etc)
      Moreover I think that a penality related to the Strength could be applied to allow also Zoics with a non exceptional Strenght to wield big weapons..

      By the way I love the lethality of combat in Shard!! The combined actions are really a cool idea!