Friday, January 26, 2018

Dwarven Whetstone - DFRPG vs. DF

Here is a small but significant change to a piece of equipment between DF and the DFRPG:

The Dwarven Whetstone in DF1 "Gives edged weapons +1 damage for sharpness with first blow that connects after sharpening".

The same item in DFRPG's Adventurers "Gives cutting or impaling weapons +1 damage for sharpness with frst blow that connects after sharpening".

We'd read, and played, the first one as specifically working on edged weapons - and thus, cutting attacks. Not impaling.

The second is a big change from how we'd played.

I'm curious if what is in DFRPG was intended all along, or it's an expansion to allow "first stab" benefits for otherwise weak impaling attacks.

One thing it's changed right away is that suddenly impaling arrows do +1 damage (sharpen them all before you enter the dungeon.) That's a significant difference - a Scout might be doing 1d+3 (2) pi with a bodkin but 1d+4 imp with a broadhead - and if your opponent is 0 DR, that's 3 injury to the vitals you gave up with the otherwise standard-use bodkin. Cornucopia quivers are nice, but produce arrows that do one point less damage than your store-bought (or homemade) impaling arrows. It's a noticeable wording difference, with a real game difference.


  1. I'd always figured broadhead arrows etc counted as edged so I let them count for Dwarven whetstones. I mean, they look like they have edges and I can easily imagine them doing more pain when dwarfy sharp

    So I always took it to mean 'anything that has edges', same as 'no edged weapons, no broadheads or daggers for that Vow

    I wouldn't have let it be used on a said or warhammer though as they seem to lack 'edges'

    So my ruling was very different than yours

    1. Yeah, you allowed it on more weapons than me - but less than DFRPG allows! Warhammers are impaling weapons, it'll work just fine on them.

    2. Yeah, so it's a good change. Cutting / Impaling are VERY concrete game mechanical terms. Edged is open to confusion and interpretation

    3. It's why I went cutting-only - it was equally a very concrete game mechanical term and a simple ruling in play. "Does it do cutting? "Yes." "You can sharpen it with a Dwarven whetstone."

  2. My interpretation seems to have been the same as Kalzazz. Anything that cuts or impales with a sharp edge could be sharpened by a regular whetstone, and therefore could benefit from the conditional +1 bonus. Anything that impales with an edgeless point or spike, could not be sharpened in same way, and therefore wouldn't benefit.

    What I am now wondering is whether every case of non-edged pointy attack is always considered as Piercing in GURPS 4e terms, rather than Impaling, or if there are any edge-cases (sorry can't resist bad puns).

  3. Sais and Warhammers come to mind

  4. I always had it apply to impaling damage. I felt the +1 to arrows was a fair trade off to actually having scouts spend a bit of cash. It also helps crossbow users (who shoot considerably less ammo!) out. Haven't seen it be much of a problem, melee has largely ignored it as too fiddly to remember. A Ninja (where someone to play one) would love a Whetstone though, given the focus on pulling out new weapons every few seconds!


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