Thursday, August 11, 2016

How we use Armoury in DF

I was asked in a post's comments about Armoury in my DF game.

By the Book

Here are the ways you can use it, per the DF books.

Making your own gear (Dungeon Fantasy 2, p. 3). As written, this says starting gear. But there really isn't any reason a PC with access to the right tools and willing to front the cost of materials can't do this once play starts. You'd need a high level of Wealth to turn it into an effective job, though, which is nothing but a positive for a DF game.

Identifying superior gear (Dungeon Fantasy 2, p. 14) You can figure out what prefixes gear has with a successful skill roll. Clearly (and pretty much believably) being able to determine how good a given weapon is by handling and examining it is a trained skill.

Modifying gear to match a new user (Dungeon Fantasy 2, p. 14) You can fit armor to a new user.

Disarming weapon-based traps (Dungeon Fantasy 2, p. 19) If a trap is based on an accessible weapon, you can disarm it.

Making an improvised weapon and/or improving it (Dungeon Fantasy 16, p. 45)

Actual Play

In actual play, not all of the above come up. But equally, we've widened out what it applies to in a few cases.

Spotting better gear is the basic use for us - that comes up all the time. I go with a Per-based Armoury roll for spotting special gear, IQ-based for actually figuring out what it is. "It's better than usual" is what Per gets you, "It's Balanced and Fine" is what IQ gets you. I equally use it to spot not-obviously bad gear - cheap weapons aren't always clearly cheap, and sometimes something is fundamentally bad but looks good (call it the Muramasa problem.) Knowing something is particularly rare and valuable, though, or famous, or what it'll sell for, is Connoisseur. Bonuses will apply where it's obvious - a very famous weapon with clear identifying marks, Ornate +3 is easier to spot than +1, etc. These come up almost every single session. Merchant can tell you what the value of a given item is, but not identify them. So Armoury tells you it's Elven Thieves' Mail or a Balanced Fine Broadsword and Merchant tells you what it's worth on the local market and helps you sell it.

I've had Armoury rolls to temporarily modify, rig up, or otherwise change weapons. Getting a lanyard on or off quickly is a DX-based roll (no roll to just do it without time pressure). Re-rigging a broken bow string is also a DX-based roll. Fixing a damaged weapon or temporarily rigging up weapon furniture (sheath, grip, etc. or making a lanyard) is an IQ-based roll. This comes up every few sessions.

Rarely making an improvised weapon comes up - cutting down a good stick for a staff or short staff, or making a wooden spear - but it's happened.

IQ-based rolls in town help you find gear for sale with specific prefixes, or to find a weapon especially suited for a given task (a wooden sword for fighting rust monsters, a bronze weapon, fire arrows, etc.)

And any number of arrows have been modified by IQ-based rolls, since I don't believe you can just cut the head off an arrow and make it a combat-effective blunt. With a skill roll, though, you can blunt one and keep it an effective arrow.

General maintenance doesn't take a roll - failure isn't interesting, so why bother?


  1. Good uses; that was one of the things I felt the Knight template brought to the table.

    General maintenance shouldn't take a roll UNLESS failure's interesting - which for stuff like swords and whatnot, it probably isn't. Some highly intricate siege equipment or suchlike? Sure, it could break or be misassembled in ways that aren't going to end well. An axe? Nah, it's clear you sharpened it wrong, just roll again.

  2. Great, thank you

    Do you use (regular, non dwarven) whetstones for anything?

    1. It's just a basic tool for the job. If you don't have it, then you suffer penalties and/or need a roll when you wouldn't otherwise.


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