Improvised weapons

Anything related to personal combat and archaic weapons
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Marras
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Improvised weapons

Postby Marras » 11 Jan 2016, 14:40

Agamemnon's post made me think of a situation where characters (PCs and/or NPCs) are armed with improvised weapons like meathooks and chains or even chairs and bottles. It would be unrealistic to think that all of the possible items would have stats for combat but how these are handled in BoB?
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thirtythr33
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby thirtythr33 » 11 Jan 2016, 20:32

I gather that you select a weapon type it most closely matches (usually mass weapon) and it has those base stats as well as disadvantage (+1 TN).
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby Agamemnon » 11 Jan 2016, 20:40

So this is an interesting conversation that higgins and I had ages ago. Improvised weapons are a thing that comes up a lot in fiction, so we didn't want to make it too cumbersome or players would never do it.

The quick rule of thumb is - if it seems similar to an actual weapon, use that weapon's base stats. A chair leg and a club aren't generally all that different. I don't see a good reason to treat a chair leg, lead pipe, crowbar, whatever as anything other than a club and be done with it. For our purposes, a broom handle is a perfectly acceptable staff.

When the improvised weapon is a tool variant of a real weapon (for instance, the hatchet that was used in the demo adventure) we treat it like the weapon it is similar to, but it attacks/defends as a disadvantage. It's not weighted for that. Hefty Tree branches, woodsman's axes, sledge-hammers, grain flails, all fall under this category.

If something is way off being a proper weapon (most commonly a chair) then our system is easy enough to improvise. It attacks/defends at a disadvantage, and the damage is pretty simple to figure out by comparison. Most smallish things (say, knife length or less) are going to be St+0 with cutting/piercing/blunt depending on what the item actually is. Something the size of a table leg, or generally comparable with the length of a sword is going to be st+1. An item you need two-hands for is probably st+2 at most. From there, just think about the item itself - unless it's especially solid or a tool, it's probably going to break after an attack or defense or two. I've had someone use a broken bottle for a dagger, with the caveat that it can't parry and will break after a use.

So, the quick version:

Is it basically identical to an existing weapon?
Yes - use that weapon's stats.
No - Proceed to next chart.

Is it a tool version of a weapon, or just especially heavy/unweildy?
Yes - disadvantage when attacking/defending
No - Proceed

How big is it?
Between the size of a baseball in hand, and a dagger - St+0c/b/p
Short-sword to long-sword sized - st+1c/b/p
Requires two-hands to swing it around, or is especially hefty - St+2c/b/p

Is it going to break?
Yes - Make it break dramatically!
No - That's less fun, but cool.

Just use common sense. Particularly after you've gotten the hang of how the weapon codices build weapons, assigning weapon stats to improvised weapons is pretty intuitive.

Edit:
thirtythr33 wrote:I gather that you select a weapon type it most closely matches (usually mass weapon) and it has those base stats as well as disadvantage (+1 TN).

Beat me to it! But yeah, this is a big part of it.
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby Marras » 12 Jan 2016, 02:29

Cool! I am really looking forward to seeing those weapon codices in action.

Related to this, how detailed the weapon skills are? Do we have a shortsword skill, rapier skill etc. or a common skill like melee for armed close combat? This relates to this topic because sometimes it is a bit hard to think what skill an improvised weapon should use.
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby thirtythr33 » 12 Jan 2016, 02:55

I believe the categories are one-handed sword, two-handed sword, mass weapons, pole-arms, daggers, bows, crossbows, pistols, long guns and shield. An "exotic" category could be useful for things like nets or whips, but I don't think there has been word on that.
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby higgins » 12 Jan 2016, 04:16

Close, but no cigar. :twisted:

Melee: Brawling, Daggers, Longsword, Mass Weapons, Messers, Polearms, Sabers, Sword & Buckler, Sword & Shield; Ranged: Bows, Crossbows, Firearms, Slings

We considered a Flexible Weapos category, but decided against it, as they're usually used in combination with some other weapon. Say, you're using Sword & Buckler proficiency with rapier and a cape. Clearly, you can't do maneuvers that require a buckler, but you could technically Hook with your cape and attempt to tangle your opponent's weapon. Same thing with trident & net.
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby thirtythr33 » 12 Jan 2016, 05:06

higgins wrote:Melee: Brawling, Daggers, Longsword, Mass Weapons, Messers, Polearms, Sabers, Sword & Buckler, Sword & Shield; Ranged: Bows, Crossbows, Firearms, Slings.


What falls under the category Longsword? I can't figure out how a Gladius, Arming Sword and Zweihander would be treated under your system without using misnomers.

Speaking of misnomers, since "Sword & Shield" applies equally to Mass Weapon and Shield, why not just name the category "Shield"?
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby Marras » 12 Jan 2016, 05:57

So, if I pick up a lead pipe I would use mass weapons skill and daggers skill for broken bottle?

What about a chair? Mass weapons, too?

BTW, what is messers?
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby thirtythr33 » 12 Jan 2016, 06:16

Yup and yup.

A messer is the german word for knife. It refers to a type of "sword" that is single edged and is attached to the grip by a tang instead of a pommel. I'm not sure if it is true or not, but some people think these particulars in construction meant the messer was legally a "very large knife" and not a sword, making it was legal for civilians to wear them historically.

More familiar weapons that would be in this category are a machete or a falchion and other dirty great big choppers.
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby EinBein » 12 Jan 2016, 06:55

I'm curious about the differences between Messers and Sabres then. Would it be hard to design custom weapon classes?

So for example in a vikings campaign, one would obviously not use Longsword, Sword & Buckler and Firearms and either use Messers or Sabres for Sax's and Polearms for very long axes (like the Dane Axe) and add styles for Spear & Shield, Throwing Axes and maybe also a Mass Weapon & Shield.
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby thirtythr33 » 12 Jan 2016, 09:15

I assume the main difference between a Messer and a Sabre is in what maneuvers will be allowed for each. A Messer is more about chopping and hacking, with maneuvers like Power Cut or something and a Sabre is more about Push and Draw cuts; aiming to cause long bleeding gashes. But I do see your point. I personally see more a distinction between Short Sword, Long Sword and Two handed sword than I do between Messer and Sabre... Which goes back to why I was asking what exactly "Longsword" encompasses.
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby higgins » 12 Jan 2016, 10:42

Multi-quote challenge on a phone! I hope I don't lose/butcher this, haha. :lol:
thirtythr33 wrote:What falls under the category Longsword?
Basically any hand-and-a-half or two-handed sword.
thirtythr33 wrote:Speaking of misnomers, since "Sword & Shield" applies equally to Mass Weapon and Shield, why not just name the category "Shield"?
Mace and shield would fall under Mass Weapon. Spear and shield would fall under Polearm.
Marras wrote:So, if I pick up a lead pipe I would use mass weapons skill and daggers skill for broken bottle?

What about a chair? Mass weapons, too?
Basically. If you can't think of any proficiency that makes sense, use Brawl.

Now, I notice two things getting muddled here. Half of you are talking about the weapon itself (chair damage being kinda like mass weapon) and the other half is talking about the weapon use (chair not having a dedicated proficiency, so it falling under Brawl). Just pointing out the distinction.
EinBein wrote:I'm curious about the differences between Messers and Sabres then. Would it be hard to design custom weapon classes?
Now that I think of it, it may have been me that created the confusion here. :oops: To clear it up:

There's codices to generate weapons. The one-handed sword codex can generate, say, an arming sword. That's what thirtythr33 was taking about.

And then there's proficiencies, which are fighting styles, meaning that the aforementioned arming sword could easily fall under either Sword & Shield, or Sword & Buckler depending on how you use it. That's the list that I provided.

For codices list, thirtythr33 was spot on. *hands over a cigar*

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thirtythr33
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby thirtythr33 » 12 Jan 2016, 11:52

In regards to proficiencies:

I am holding only an arming sword.
> I make rolls with my "Sword & buckler" proficiency?
>> But I don't have access to buckler requiring maneuvers like shield bash?

I am holding an Axe and a Buckler.
> I make rolls with my "mass weapons" proficiency?
>> I want to use a "shield bash" maneuver. Do I roll Mass Weapons or Sword and Buckler?

What proficiency do I use if I'm equipped with a Rapier and Main Gauche? Do I use Dagger to parry and Sword & Buckler to attack? WTF? It just seems infinitely simpler to me to break proficiency down to specific weapons instead of these assumed pairs.

It also doesn't make much sense to me that the Codecies, Proficiencies and Maneuvers all divide up weapons differently, seemingly only to cause confusion.
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby EinBein » 12 Jan 2016, 13:52

I'm sure all these mysteries will be answered in the beta document. As far as the predecessor system went, it was fairly easy to include custom fighting styles if one wanted to. So if you/they don't change this circumstance massively, I'm sure everyone is good to go.

But you made me curious as well about using shield maneuvers with a spear and shield or mass weapon and shield combination ;)

Is two-weapon fighting no issue in Bastards'? Not that I'm too fond of this, just out of curiosity...
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Re: Improvised weapons

Postby higgins » 12 Jan 2016, 14:08

thirtythr33 wrote:I am holding only an arming sword.
> I make rolls with my "Sword & buckler" proficiency?
>> But I don't have access to buckler requiring maneuvers like shield bash?
> Or with Sword & Shield, whichever you prefer.
>> Yes, you won't have access to maneuvers that require a secondary weapon.

thirtythr33 wrote:I am holding an Axe and a Buckler.
> I make rolls with my "mass weapons" proficiency?
>> I want to use a "shield bash" maneuver. Do I roll Mass Weapons or Sword and Buckler?
> Correct.
>> If your primary weapon is an axe, you're using Mass Weapons. The secondary weapon has little effect on the proficiency used.

thirtythr33 wrote:What proficiency do I use if I'm equipped with a Rapier and Main Gauche?
Sword & Buckler.

thirtythr33 wrote:WTF? It just seems infinitely simpler to me to break proficiency down to specific weapons instead of these assumed pairs.
Well, having a just One-Handed-Sword proficiency would mean that a Ragnar (from Vikings) and D'artagnan would be using the exact same fighting style. And that style would also be used by those Polish guys in Deluge. On top of that, messer fighting would be 100% indentical as well.

However we've broken all those things down as different and given each proficiency an Emphasis. For example, while using the Saber proficiency, you never pay activation costs on Draw Cuts. Ever. You definitely can draw cut with other proficiencies, but Saber guys get them for free.

On the other hand, with Sword & Shield, shield strikes and binds you initiate using a shield are always counted as advantaged -- which promotes a completely different fighting style. Every proficiency benefits from such unique Emphasis.

And even when it comes down to JUST arming swords, they were used in conjunction with round shields, triangular shields*, as well as bucklers (extensively documented in I.33), in conjunction with daggers, then of course rapier and buckler, rapier and main gauche as you pointed out yourself. Plus I'm convinced that rapier/round shield combo will come up eventually in gaming**. Where do you draw the line if you want to differentiate D'artagnan and Ragnar? Especially considering that in history, retrofitting arming swords with elaborate hand guards was a popular practice, which essentially made what is now called sideswords out of them. Where would we draw the line between the two proficiencies? Having a complex hand guard vs plain, could be one point, but that's completely arbitrary. And are finger rings and side rings still considered plain? More arbitrary. And then there's the unenviable task of naming those things. We decided to draw the line with size of the off-hand weapon. A large one vs small. Shield vs Buckler.

*also known as heater shield, but discussing shields with Roland Warzecha, I've become to use the term triangular shield instead, as it avoids the necessity of referring to a modern item (clothing iron) when describing the shape.
**well, actually scratch that -- we don't need even gaming to reach that point.
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