Showing posts with label fighter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fighter. Show all posts

Friday, August 21, 2020

House Rule - The Magic of Magic Swords (Part 1)

Magic swords are special in my campaigns. In the various rule sets +1 swords are denoted as special, but aren't the first magic weapon the characters get their hands on. These special weapons and tools are found right in the equipment lists. 

Silver daggers, holy water and symbols, wolvesbane and garlic are all magical weapons. So why can't a player purchase a magic sword right from the get-go? 

Because it's annoying and unbalancing for players to get a bonus right of the gate. In my campaigns, I have a system in place to limit the use of magical weapons.

Being a history buff, magical equipment in my campaigns mirrors the idea of Cursus Honorum from ancient Rome. Sulla was an exiled Roman who managed to set himself up as dictator for life. Since his ultimate plan was to step down from power, he set up the Cursus Honorum to prevent other people from making the power grab he did. Basically, he set up a system of term limits, age and rank requirements for every level government. If one wanted to be a Concul, one need to be 42 years of age and must have held the rank of praetor. Every rank on the Curus Honorum had criteria for eligibility. 

Although not intended by Sulla, the Cursus Honorum created a concept of superiority. This came about when people coming up for office were elected to that office in their very first year of eligibility. This was referred to as "in your year". A praetor who was elected in his year put on the airs of being superior by virtue of nailing his election to office the first time he was eligible. He was better than a praetor who was elected later in life. 

Anyway, back to magic swords. In pretty much all versions of D&D actually have this concept baked in. On the to hit tables, characters are sorted by levels and their relative combat effectiveness. Fighters beat clerics who are better than the lowly magic user.The tables prefer actual skill (level) over a magical weapons. Each bracket improves the to hit roll by two. So a 3rd level fighter with a +1 sword is not better than a 4th level fighter with a non-magic sword. The only negative for a higher level fighter with a non-magic sword is the ability to hit magical creatures. 

In an effort to get around this in my campaigns, I count silver weapons as magical, whether or not they impart a bonus or not. In this way, a high level character can hit magical monsters with silver, rather than a magic one. I have to do less adjustments on my monsters and encounters, because I can just follow the to hit table to determine how hard the event will be. 

An additional house rule is, one must have "ranks" necessary to hold a plussed weapon. Anyone can hold silver, but characters must be within a specific band to hold a weapon with a bonus and of a higher band to use it. Sort of like, "in your year". 

Silver  1-3 levels
+1       4-6 levels
+2       7-9 levels
+3      10-12 levels
+4      13-15 levels
+5      16+ levels

I like this schedule as a first level fighter could be given an heirloom +1 sword but can't use it. They don't need to search for a great weapon, they have it. 

At levels 1-3, they can merely carry it. At level 4, they can use it. The sword will refuse to be drawn for low level characters. If the character somehow figures out a way to draw it, it operates in reverse in the hands of the unworthy. It imparts a minus. This simulates a battle of wills between the magic of the sword and the would-be wielder. In the case of an heirloom, the character is fighting the spirit of the former owner(s) for control. It still counts as magical, even if the magic is a detriment to the player. 

This method also creates a game logic to specific tools. Characters, especially fighters, have a mechanical way to assess weapons which is linked to the settings. 

(I have all kinds of wiley player who find ways to get swords out of containers. I'm ready for them.)

Please let me know what you think of the classic +1 sword in the comments below. 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Post About Fighters

Gurwinder as Keeper
Welcome back. I haven't posted much about D&D and AD&D lately.

Gurwinder as Warrior
Let's fix that with some thoughts on fighters. In B/X D&D fighters were characters who specialized in putting their weapon on someone and hard. Exactly what kind of guy or gal he was was totally in the theater of the mind. They could be any kind of fighting man or woman.

Not so in AD&D. Fighters gained sub-classes, the ranger and the paladin. For years, no decades, I always thought of paladins as being the guys with great armor and heavy weapons and rangers were archers due to the their outdoorsy nature and good dexterity. Plain old fighters were a mix of the two, using a short bow, sword and board. While fighters might have horses that they use and care for, the paladin has a horse built into their character but rangers often had dogs and wolves as companions. And these animals were not so friendly company.

However, the big thing that sets rangers and paladins apart from fighters is their use of magic. Paladins have spiritual magic while rangers have arcane spells.

Not Venus Genetrix,
but Venus Bellatrix. 
In the campaign I have been playing, there is a fighter, Gurwinder A’flumine. She is a small woman with a bow and knife. She wears a stola, palla and tunic at all times. She is reserved and calm, but the player has done her best to make her the leader of a band of misfit rangers, mages and daredevils. There was no declaration of intent, but she leads from the front.

While I rolled her up and foisted her off on the player, that player accepted her as she was designed, a fighter. But as she played, the character changed.

A slight change her stats to that of a paladin mechanically alters very little, except retainers. Gurwinder would have a modest boost in strength and constitution, which would not change her combat stats. Her charisma would climb by 7, which is huge but not out of character as with a 10, she was the de facto leader of this motley band. She retains no monies for herself, has not sought a horse or armor, or even better weapons. This player has redefined how I thought of fighters and their subclasses since I began playing.

What do you think? Let me know if I should offer to retroactively reclass this character as a paladin in the comment below.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Spaceship Study

Here are some draft ideas for a spaceship, perhaps a snub fighter. I will ink this one at some point but the design idea was fun verse realistic.

The initial design was rather slight.


A few details that I wanted to look at where the cockpit and shielding for the crew. The movable panels came from details of the drooping nose on the Concorde.


I decided to make the ship beefer. Those rounded rectangles are fuel tanks, not engines. Although parts are rounded, this ship is not aerodynamic. 


Each square is about a meter, so the ship stands 8 meters high. It is loaded out with 14 missiles, a centerline minigun and two large wing tip pods. There are 4 retractable radiators, the items with the 2x3 grids on them.


I hope to revisit this design again with ink, smoother lines and better proportions. This ship would be good in several rule sets like Traveller or Star Frontiers.