Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Melee Weapon Damage (2) - Weapon vs Armor Class

I like the idea of making characters think more about their weapon choice than always choosing normal sword and shield or two-handed sword. Moving to class based damage helps this but I want more choice / weapon consideration. But I do not wish to go overboard this is B/X, afterall. Therefore for simplicity there are 2 armor types and two weapon types:

Armor: metal (eg chain/plate mail) vs non-metal (eg leather/none). 
Weapons: bludgeoning (b) vs stabbing/slicing/splitting (s). 

Bludgeoning weapons (b) are more effective (more likely to deliver a meaningful attack) against metal armor +1 to-hit, but less effective against the softer more bouncy leather/none, -1 to-hit. 

Slicing/stabbing /splitting weapons are the opposite, they just don’t penetrate metal armor so well, sliding off the well connected hit, but ‘slice’ through the lightly armored, very well. 

Axes have a sharp edge but are more bludgeoning in the way they are used in combat, therefore I am giving them neither bonus or penalty to damage for armor type. Yep zip – deal with it, it’s just the way they are wielded – they are not specialised. 

Now, I concede that what applies to axes could also apply to some other weapons or the way the weapon is used, large 2-handed swords for example, so like axes 2-handed swords will have no bonus or penalty BUT I have no desire to increase the complexity further and recreate the AD&D table I never ever used, so simplicity will have to do. As for padded, scale and plate armor, metal and non-metal will also have to suffice not forgetting the better AC one gets with better armor. 

This will also only apply to combats where weapons and armor are used, so for many monsters it will not apply; if a monster has a AC independent of wearing armor it will not apply, likewise bites and claws have no bonus or penalty to damage; a giants club probably would. My hope is that along with class based damage, this system will encourage more varied weapon choice or the carrying of a back-up weapon at the very least. The proof will be when I DM I will see a party where everyone is wielding different weapons, not because of class restrictions, but because they want to!

Weapon vs Armor Type

Armor Type
-1 to-hit
+1 to-hit
+1 to-hit
-1 to-hit

Axes and 2-handed swords have NO bonus/penalty.

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