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Alright, so I've been thinking about how culture plays a large part in PE, and about how in real life cultures all over the world have exotic and unusual weapons that would baffle or at least be harder to use by people not of the culture.

I had an idea that I thought might be interesting; make specific weapons that are unique to each of the cultures of PE that are either:

 

1.) Unusable by other cultures, or

2.) Are usable by other cultures in the game, but provide bonuses to a character of the appropriate culture that has equipped the item.

 

This would allow for another interesting facet of the cultures in PE and how they apply to the game world.

 

What do you think?

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When in doubt, blame the elves.

 

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Culture is great, but yes I think the items should be usable despite cultural difference.

Maybe have cultures built around gods and their symbols as opposed to races, or why not have both?

 

Personally I think each culture-based item should have a trait, kind of like the gun manufacturers in Borderlands 2, but of course not as exclusive;

and should only be there to add variery and flavour to the world created.

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Having a trait that's usable by any old sot that gets their hand on the cultural weapon essentially makes it into a regular weapon and makes any differences between that and a normal weapon strictly aesthetic, which kinda defeats the whole point.

 

I'll pull an example of what I'm thinking out of the air.

 

Boreal throwing axe:

8-11 damage

+2 damage if equipped by a Boreal dwarf

+5% chance of critical hit if equipped by a Boreal dwarf

 

This would be usable by anyone, but the bonuses only come into play if the character using the weapon was a Boreal dwarf.

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When in doubt, blame the elves.

 

I have always hated the word "censorship", I prefer seeing it as just removing content that isn't suitable or is considered offensive

 

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Having a trait that's usable by any old sot that gets their hand on the cultural weapon essentially makes it into a regular weapon and makes any differences between that and a normal weapon strictly aesthetic, which kinda defeats the whole point.

 

I'll pull an example of what I'm thinking out of the air.

 

Boreal throwing axe:

8-11 damage

+2 damage if equipped by a Boreal dwarf

+5% chance of critical hit if equipped by a Boreal dwarf

 

This would be usable by anyone, but the bonuses only come into play if the character using the weapon was a Boreal dwarf.

Right, because cultural stereotypes are always true. Every black American is a Basketball pro, every Asian is great at math.

We know this is not true. Why would I somehow be better at wielding a long-sword, simply because I've been born in Europe, than a Japanese warrior schooled in kendo, iaido and jodo, even though I've never held a sword in my life?

Why would I not be able to eventually master the use of a cultural weapon like the katana if I trained hard for it?

 

I think it makes more sense for "cultural" weapons to have traits which are more desired by said culture, rather than absolute bonuses.

A culture dealing mostly with banded armour might favour slashing weapons over piercing weapons. A culture where battles are fought on an open field have weapons with longer reach, while those urban cultures have weapons more suited to confined quarters. cultures where the underclass is not allowed weapons which means that tools are re-purposed for combat. (like nun-chucks which were made for threshing)

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I'd not say that the bonuses should be NPC specific or race specific, BUT the cultural weapons can be presented as top of the line in chosen type of weapon, or with unique traits that generally fit the cultural background (flavor) of the craftsmen and the usual users of this type of a weapon.

 

For example Boreal boomerang, or some such.

Edited by Darkpriest

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Having a trait that's usable by any old sot that gets their hand on the cultural weapon essentially makes it into a regular weapon and makes any differences between that and a normal weapon strictly aesthetic, which kinda defeats the whole point.

 

I`d say that there is no point, unless a weapon is really exotic. If an insert-a-race-name-here axe handles like any other axe, anyone could use it to the same extent. So there is little point in giving bonuses for using dwarven axes exclusively to dwarves.

 

On the other hand, if a weapon is truly exotic (not D&D exotic, mind you) then culture-specific proficiency actually makes sense. It doesn't look too convincing if a western knight is proficient with a katar, for instance, or a mongol warrior is familiar with a morning star. But tying weapons proficiency to character background could be a little tricky.

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Having magical weapons enchanted such that only members of a certain race/culture/whatever could use it/the enchantment, like the good old dwarven thrower in D&D, would make sense. But there is no logical reason that nonmagical elven longswords should perform better when wielded by elves than when wielded by humans, as a quality of the weapon.

 

On the other hand, characters having proficiency/bonuses with certain weapons based on background would be fine - if I used to be a Orlan soldier, having prior training in Orlan Battle Forks, or in game terms free proficiency/bonus with Orlan Battle Forks, would be perfectly reasonable, as long as that's a trait belonging to me not the weapon.

 

I would also favour having material differences between different culture's weapons, just general ones. Like elven swords are more likely to crit, dwarven swords do more damage, and Orlan swords don't exist because they use Battle Forks instead.

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The Francisca (a throwing axe) was such a cultural weapon, like the flintlock pistol much later it was a ranged weapon that allowed melee combatants to attack on range, effectively confusing the enemy by blurring the distinction between ranged and melee combatants. It was so distinctive at that time that the weapon was named after its users (the Franks).

 

The English Longbow is another such weapon, here it was more of a state secret than a cultural thing, not every english soldier was a longbowman, but you would have a hard time to find non-english longbowmen for a very long time.

 

But those are exceptions, boomerang, net and spear etc. wouldn't work well in a military scenario, and mixing weapons from vastly different cultures really only works in D&D.

 

The fight between a samurai and an european knight will be over the first time their blades meet. The Samurai isn't trained in fencing, and his sword is made for quick cutting trough wooden armor and bone. The knight's sword is made by a culture that has quality metal in abundance, where even the average infantryman has his leather armor and shield reinforced with iron. The european longsword is designed for cleaving, not cutting, it is used to parry hammers and axes and break other swords. Using it against a Katana is like treating a razor blade with a can-opener.

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I like the idea of not so much a cultural weapon modifier, but an exotic weapon modifier. Where I disagree with the OP and Heresiarch is the bonuses. I think it would make more sense to implement penalties. If, like Heresiarch mentioned, a Western knight who spent all of his time in say England encountered a katar, he wouldn't know how to use that weapon effectively. In reality, he would use the weapon less effectively than a regular person from India who is more likely to have seen the katar used properly and thus doesn't have to make up a use for it. This would be a great mechanic to have if P:E ends up using an Arcanum-like backstory in character creation. Using that mechanic, you could add meaningful flavor to your Western knight by having a backstory of him spending time in India thus removing his katar penality. If the penality is one of a lack of familiarity, it would make sense to let the character outgrow it. This works well with BG's style of weapon proficiencies. All you would have to do is add a minus mark to a certain character's weapon proficiencies in certain weapons and allow that to be corrected with the next specialization point. Then that character would be able to use the weapon as if he were familiar with it.

 

I can understand using bonuses if they are based on race rather than culture. Perhaps a sort of weapon was build with a dwarf's size in mind and doesn't translate as well to average human stature. Well, it would make sense for the dwarf to permanently gain bonuses with that weapon type. The human would still be able to use the weapon type, it just wouldn't fit him as well. This of course only makes sense if there is significant physical differences between races.

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I think that unique or exotic cultural weapons could be interesting, but it seems odd to me that other cultures wouldn't be able to use them at all. At a penalty until they've learned how, that makes sense; but there are very few weapons that somebody couldn't pick up and make at least some use of, even if not the proper intended use. I do think it would make sense for people from that culture to not have the penalty, because presumably when receiving weapons training they would've received some training with their cultural weapons, or at least have seen them in use at some point.

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This is a bit tricky, I can see several factors here:

 

I don't like systems where a character is prevented from using a weapon due to lacking some requirements, I'm perfectly happy to have characters not able to use an item well as this is reflective of real life and allows the player to make their own mistakes.  I could go pick up a halberd or a handgun or some nunchuks in real life and I'd be able to vaguely use them, that doesn't mean I'd be competant with them by any stretch of the imagination.  

 

So generally speaking that should apply across all species, but there are two exceptions:

 

Racial ergonomics: The thing here is that as humans, we design objects to suit out own form, and therefore, if there was a species existed that was similar but differently proportioned to our own, then they would have different ergonomics.  So for instance, a human might have made himself a double ended weapon of some sort, perhaps just a staff with some heavy weights on each end, and that works for a human or elf or whatever fine.  Hand that same weapon to a smaller species like Dwarf or Orlan and suddenly you get problems, while the staff was in proportion to human height, now its about 2 foot over the top of the dwarfs head and so requires proportionally more skill to wield.    Equally though, with a lower centre of gravity, a dwarf is probably more stable on their feet than a human, so they can have some really beefy custom axe and hammer heads that would be harder for a human to weild than a human set of axes or hammers.  

 

Racial Magic: I think this is a funny one, and kind of also applies to class based magic.  My inclination would be that there are probably two forms of this: a fairly common race-locked magic, so, an enchanted elven bow which makes elves able to shoot faster and more accuratly could be wielded by a human or godlike or whatever, but, the magic just wouldn't activate for them and its just a normal non magical weapon in their hands.  Though you could of course include in the game somewhere a "magical unlocker" who charges ridiculous prices to open up enchantments on weapons.   The second would be far rarer, weapons that physically will not be wielded by somethign other than their makers.  But it wouldn't necessarily be races, but using a vaguely sword in the stone like setup so that only one who is worthy/meets certain criteria can use it, but there sould probably only be a handful of them as that would be a more complex enchantment.  

 

A slight variation that could be fun though: weapons which do work fully for any race, but not on certain opponents.  So a canny Dwarven weaponsmaster who sells a lot of stuff could enchant his weapons so they won't work on Dwarves so they won't use those weapons to hurt any of his own kind.  This is obviously a problem if you are facing legitimatly baddy dwarves, but still could be fun nontheless when the player realises.

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