Monday, November 12, 2007

Advanced Weapon Qualities

I've mentioned a time or two that I think Martial Arts20 (MA20 to the cool kids) will do as much for armed as unarmed combat.

It's time to put my cards on the table.

I present to you, Advanced Weapon Qualities:

Advanced Qualities: To add more flavor to melee combat, Martial Arts20 adds the concept of advanced qualities to weapons. Advanced Qualities are only available to wielders who possess certain feats or perks and represent the ability of a wielder to use his advanced training in combination with the unique qualities of a melee weapon to even greater effect.

Block (Armed Defense, Two-Weapon Defense): The weapon has qualities that make it ideal defensively. If a wielder has the Armed Defense feat, his Weapons skill is considered +2 higher for purposes of that feat.

If a wielder has the Two-Weapon Defense feat and is using a weapon with this quality in his off hand, his Defense bonus is improved by +2.

Bruising (Attack Specialization): A bruising weapon is functionally identical to a penetrating weapon, except it causes bruising rather than bleeding (see below and the Condition Summary in the Modern20 core rules).

Brutal (Attack Focus): A brutal weapon can inflict tremendous damage in the hands of a skilled wielder with the Attack Specialization feat. When making a called shot with a brutal weapon using the Precision Strike perk, the damage multiplier is increased by one-half. So for example, if the damage modifier of a location was one-half, with a brutal weapon it would be one (normal damage). A location with a damage modifier of 1.5 would have its damage modifier increased to 2 and so on.

The brutal advanced quality is meant to simulate a weapon that can take a limb off entirely in as “gameable” a way as possible.

Disarm (Improved Disarm): The DC of the free disarm check granted by the Improved Disarm feat is reduced by 5.

Grappling (Improved Grab): The DC of the free grab check granted by the Improved Grab feat is reduced by 5.

Penetrating (Attack Specialization): A penetrating weapon causes tremendous blood loss on hits to the throat, chest and stomach for wielders who possess the Attack Specialization feat. A hit to one of these locations (whether determined randomly or through a called shot made with the Precision Strike perk) causes mild bleeding. A second hit to one of these locations increases the bleeding to serious and a third hit increases the bleeding to severe (see the Condition Summary on page 84 of the Modern20 core rules for more information on bleeding).

A penetrating weapon can cause bleeding even if the optional injury rules are not being used. If the injury rules are being used, a hit with a penetrating weapon to the proper locations as described above always causes bleeding, and if an injury calls for bleeding, that bleeding is one category more severe (mild becomes serious, serious becomes severe).

Precise (Weapon Finesse): A precise weapon handles well and aids a wielder with the Weapon Finesse feat in landing carefully targeted blows. Reduce the penalty of a called shot made with the Precision Strike perk by 2.

Set (Attack Focus): A weapon with this quality allows a wielder with the Attack Focus feat to make a free attack whenever anyone comes within 10 ft. of his location. If the wielder of this weapon is charged, he inflicts double damage on this free attack.

Now you might be asking yourself, do these take the place of weapon martial arts? And the answer is no. Meaning, you will be able to combine these with a weapon martial art.

Also, not every weapon has all these qualities available. What qualities a weapon has available depend on the weapon's uh, qualities.

Like so:

Fan: The seemingly simple fan, like the chain, is a deadly weapon in the hands of a master. This weapon can serve to deflect attacks, disarm an attacker and even inflict damage, usually in conjunction with precise strikes to nerve clusters.

Advanced Qualities: Block, Disarm, Precise

I'm almost more excited about this aspect of the book, which was a relatively late stage of design, than the unarmed stuff.

Nahhh, who am I kidding.



the other charles said...

whoa, that sounds really good. I realize that the weapon quality idea isn't revolutionary on its own, but the ones you listed seem to mesh with the existing Modern20 rules really well.

Just so you know, the Brutal weapon quality states a different feat in its text than it does in the parantheses.

Quick question: I house-ruled over the weekend that a PC can switch out their 1st level class feature (say, Need for Speed) when they gain a new level to the feature of whatever class they just gained a level in (Friends in High Places, if they just gained a level in Star), as long as the PC had at least 5 levels in the newer class. Is there any problems to switching the 1st level class feature that I am not thinking of?

Chuck said...

On the feat difference, I caught that too while posting this, but thanks!

On switching out your core ability, I don't see that as a problem if a PC has 5 levels in the class they wanted to switch core abilities with.

The main reason to restrict core abilities is to include a potent class ability that PCs get at low level, without allowing everyone to dip into that class and cherrypick the best ones.

The solution you came up with solves that issue nicely.

In early playtests, I had a feat that allowed you to switch core abilities, but I ultimately scrapped it. It just seemed like extortion in a way.