Monday 13 April 2020

On non-variable weapon damage (and why it's cool)

In the game In Darkest Warrens every weapon does 1 damage, no matter whether you're using a dagger or a goblin skull tomahawk (a weapon a current player is using). In the same way, OD&D has 1d6 weapon damage for all weapons.

So how does a weapon differentiate itself? If you think about it, most weapons are designed to kill or maim, they just have different ways of doing it. Your warrior can't slit a throat with a hammer and can't crush a kobold's head with a dagger. Either way, the weapon is destroying its target in some way.

Even with non variable damage, every weapon is different and there's a different reason for a PC to choose one over another. One is the roleplaying potential. An elf may prefer using an ancestral elven blade than a human-forged sword. A dwarf's axe may be the only thing tying them to their family. Full sized bows may be impractical for halflings so they opt for a sling.

Then there's use in play. A dagger can be more easily secreted away on your person, so getting in to that masked ball just got a whole lot easier. Polearms can reach objects and switches out of reach. Axes can better cut up logs for the campfire or break down wooden doors. That goblin skull tomahawk might shake the morale of goblins you come against. The flat of a sword can slip under a door to slice the feet of whoever's listening on the other side.

So that's it. You don't need variable damage to differentiate weapons. There are some real practical and roleplay situations to consider when choosing a weapon for your character.

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