Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Damage as HD and 1d12 Improvised Weapons

While reading The Nightmares Underneath I encountered the radical notion of 'You roll your damage for any weapon based on your own HD.' While abstract and initially icky-feeling, I decided I actually like it. I like it a lot. Because otherwise weapon choice is pretty much just 'Human Fighter, I use the d10 greatsword' or 'I'll use the d10 axe because I'm Gimli' with the occasional guy who wants the d8 longsword+shield or the madman who wants to dual wield.

HD as damage means you just pick whatever weapon you want, and if you're a fighter you do in the realm of D10 damage because you're a fighter and by the gods, if you want to kill someone with a teacup YOU WILL.
If Vin Diesel wants me to take down this image I will
And if you're a noodle-armed mage, you do 1d4 damage even if you're wielding a double-ended orcish flamberge because while mages are welcome to contribute to combat, they steal enough showtime already and shouldn't be as rad/badass (Radass?) as fighters when it comes to fighting.

This lets you use whatever weapons you want aesthetically speaking. If you're a warrior, you can cleave people in twain with that greatsword or expertly ram a dagger into their hearts for the same amount of killy and you also get away from the implication that HP are meat points and every 'hit' makes the red water come out because big weapons no longer deal bigger damage. Keep HP abstract like Fate 'Stress' and have a death and dismemberment table for when people actually are having their limbs hewed, that's what I say.

I hear that back in the bad ol days of D&D, Gygax's (or maybe Arnesons?) players all used iron spikes because everyone did 1d6 damage and iron spikes were the cheapest weapon available, so weapons got a little more detailed to discourage that. Personally though, I am totally down for the early-game aesthetic of 4 rag-clad nobodies wielding an iron spike, a brick tied to a rope, a frying pan, and a femur as they venture into the dungeon.

1- Pointy broken bone from that skeleton you just found
2-Iron spike, recovered from tent equipment
3- Rusty portcullis lever that snapped when you tried to use it
4- Sack with some rocks at the end, whirled with much enthusiasm
5- Beast claw, still attached to hairy/scaly beast limb. Is not from a bear unless you want a pun overdose
6- Silverware, sharpened if spoon,somewhat rare and expensive in medieval economy if fork
7- Heavy cooking pot. Can be used as helmet in pinch too.
8- Extinguished but hefty torch
9- A dead giant rat, stiff with rigor mortis save for the long tail
10- The curved horn of a bull from the family farm
11- Clapper from church bell
12- A Shovel. Call yourself the Shoveller.

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