Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Weapon Master: What to do in DF?

Based on my other posts on Weapon Master, here is what I think makes the most sense in Dungeon Fantasy for me. It's in the game and here to stay. Haves and have-nots exist, and the have-nots struggle to stay relevant with the haves in combat and the monsters too able to fight the haves. So what to do?

I think I need to build around it because:

- DF really embeds Weapon Master as a core trait;

- WM creates a strong have/have not split;

- and WM and its effects are core to the high-power experience;

Therefore I think the optimal solution is to expand access to Weapon Master.

Right now, the only combatant template that lacks any kind of Weapon Master is the Holy Warrior as far as I can tell. I think a simple fix is to allow the Holy Warrior to buy Weapon Master in some fashion:

- Limited to a specific class of weapons

- Limited to the "All Weapons" version

- Unlimited

I don't think anything is really harmed by allowing them access to any level they want.

There is a slight temptation to make it a Holy Ability, and thus dependent on their holy disadvantage - violate it, lose it. But in practice, I've found it's not that common to violate your holy disadvantage. So that would just be a discount for a power to be always on, and have weird effects like losing it in No Sanctity. It's not a bad idea, I'm just not sure it's worth it.

Moreso the idea of limiting to the "only against Undead or Demons." Ugh. Now I'll get the annoyance of this nonstop: "Is this undead or a demon? If so, my Rapid Strike is only -3/-3 not -6/-6 so I want to make my Deceptive Attack -2 not -1. If not -1 is fine, I'm just checking." Plus what if you don't know it's undead? Or you're attacking a vague shape in the darkness and it turns out not to be a cultist but a demon, instead, do I tell you that by modifying your roll? Ugh. Nevermind that.

Another option is to say they have Weapon Master (Holy, -10%, only weapons with the Holy modifier, -20%). They'd be standard warriors without it, but for 14 to 32 points, they could have the advantage usable with any Holy weapons - see DFRPG Magic Items for a description. This is pricy, but you get guys who are hell on wheels with a sword that fits their idiom (if that's the best word for it here), but not otherwise.

Giving Holy Warriors some kind of access to WM might be the only way to take an existing campaign and level the playing field at least on the side of the PCs. The non-fighters will have to just cope - bards, thieves, clerics, druids, wizards, and the like should recognize that fighting isn't their thing and avoid it when possible.

I'm not certain what approach I'll use, but allowing Holy Warriors access to WM seems like the only way to keep them relevant when everyone else has access to multiple attacks, multiple defenses, and skill-based-per-die damage modifiers and they do not. You can easily copy this approach on other templates if they, too, use weaponry but lack the firepower to keep up with everyone else.

1 comment:

  1. I've allowed it to everyone, Holy Warriors, Clerics, Barbarians, jet using wizards whatever


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