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They make sense on paper, I think. But not really in practicality. They'r far too rigid for an RPG, that stresses the uniqueness and freedom of character development. For one thing, it doesn't make much sense for you to gain a talent, after you've begun your adventure for the purposes of the game's narrative, that encompasses so many different weapon types. If you only got to choose the groupings at character creation, that would make a lot more sense, but it's still too rigid, since EVERY single character who's ever had training with weapon X ALSO has training with weapons A, B, C, D, and E. It's a bit contrary to the whole "you can also be a Wizard, but have completely different stats, a different fighting style, be from a different race, with a different cultural heritage and different individual background! Oh, but you can't ever be good with a longsword unless you're also good with a handful of other specific weapons, u_u..."

 

I'd recommend splitting them all up into individual proficiency lines (or what have you), and maybe allowing the player to choose any given 3 (or some other number...) at character creation. Then, have unique talents become available as you go to build upon that.

 

Very similar to the way D&D does proficiency, although... I think it'd be better if it weren't such a linear track. I'd like to see actual options for becoming different types of "better" with a given weapon. "Cause more bleeding," or "greater chance of knockdown," or "chance to overcome shield blocks with axes (by pulling the shield down with the bottom 'hook' of the axe head)", etc.

 

But, that's just ideally. I realize there are constraints. At the very least, eliminating some of the rigidness of the groupings would be nice. I realize they maybe want people to always have sort of feasible proficiency combos, but I think that could be achieved with an individual selection-system by offering numerous starting choices and capping proficiency values by character level, etc.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Yeah, I think splitting them up into either individual weapons or very small bundles would be the most prudent. IMO the best decision would just be to split the weapons up into completely individual talents, then allow someone to just pick 3-5 of them when they take a weapon proficiency talent. If there is more than 1 level of proficiency for weapons, then just keep them split up but don't allow someone to take multiple levels at once.

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I normally only lurk in this mechanics stuff, but I'm really hoping I don't end up having to do a name search for Matt when the game hits the shelves just to see if he's managed to provide a simple explanation for the underlying mechanics.  To be fair, with other games out, and not wanting to be spoiled, I haven't played much of the beta since the first run, but some of the wiring under the hood was a little on the opaque and/or confusing side.  :Cant's fading back into the shadows icon:

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I think each character marrying a specific weapon type is both unrealistic and unfun. Unrealistic, because by doing the same thing over and over you're not likely to get any new insights. Specialists tend to be narrow-minded. Not fun, because it's limiting and you keep seeing all these weapons you (practically) can't use.

 

In many games, particularly roguelikes, your character is like a blank slate. The world is full of possibilities ! You can shape the character any way you like, try anything ! Learn this skill or that skill ! Too often leveling up is like crystallizing conrete. Like putting the character in chains.

 

--------------

POWDER the roguelike has a weapon specialization system that's simple, but has very different characteristics. Rather than shutting off options you once had, it makes new opportunities open up. It still has weapon specialization of sorts, but it's clever:

 

You have three kinds of weapon skills:

 

1. Size-based

Small Weapons/Medium Weapons/Large Weapons

 

2. Damage-based

Blade Weapons/Piercing Weapons/Blunt Weapons

 

3. Weapon specific

Stun for club/Impale for spear/Riposte for shortsword/knockback for warhammer/disarm for rapier/...

 

Each specific weapon (such as mace, dagger, spear) can benefit from 3 skills. One size-based, one "damage"-based, and one unique to that weapon. For example a Spear is a Large weapon dealing Piercing damage. You can learn the third skill unique to spears: Impale, which allows you to hit two enemies is a row. But learning "Large Weapons" is not just good for spears, it also helps you with warhammers. Similarly, learning "Piercing Weapons" also makes you better with Daggers and Rapiers. So if you want to specialize for spears, you want to learn Large Weapons, Piercing Weapons and Impale. But that will make you decent at Daggers, Warhammers, Rapiers for no extra cost ! If an artifact of that type falls into your hands and it's not a spear, there's no reason to despair. Weapon skills in POWDER are like partially overlapping layers, and you can only get specialization by learning a few skills which cover a specific weapon.

This works especially well in roguelike games, because they have random world and item generation, and you can't just memorize that Grey Wolf drops Varscona which is an artifact sword.

 

MORAL OF THE STORY

 

Swords1, Sword2, Swords3, Swords4, Swords5, Swords6... is not the only way to implement weapon skills in a game.

Edited by b0rsuk
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Swords didn't last very long when used for fighting. Or actually, any weapon used to hit the enemy.

 

Weapons were very disposable from the moment the Romans invented logistics ~1500 years ago. Before that they were extremely expensive, so they did see use until they broke. Like in Japan.

 

Then you have myths: Long swords were actually most often used two-handed. Katanas are actually shorter and heavier than long swords, and inferior to even cheap European swords. The most effective weapon was a simple spear, the metal head being optional. Etc.

 

 

Then again, large-scale battles were extremely rare as well. But as an "adventurer", you're mostly being a successfull bandid. One of those who settles down becoming a petty king.

 

Actually, weapons were very rare. You didn't stuble upon armed peasants or robbers. Mostly underlings of your petty ruler, demanding taxes.

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I like bundling the weapons together, too, so long as there are narrower specializations available. If you adhere too hard to groupings, you run into the situation where your game doesn't really allow a given player's character to wield, say, a warscythe and throwing knives. "Oh, that warscythe belongs to a different group than throwing knives."

 

Doesn't mean get rid of all groupings, but, you don't want to neglect invidivualization with the weapon aspect of character customization, either. An RPG isn't about being like lots of other people. It's about being like you. :)

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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