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Re: (TFT) How often should TFT swords Break

At 09:01 AM 4/2/04 -0500, you wrote:
And again, I expect very high quality weapons to mostly survive such things
where poor quality weapons would break (except for maybe the stone pillar - but IMC fighting near a stone pillar is a noteworthy event in its own right).

How about stone floors and ceilings? Or wood ones - embedding a sharp swung weapon in soft wood can take it out of a fight. Getting an axehead stuck inside a corpse's breastplate or even ribcage might also force someone to abandon a weapon. Getting a weapon stuck, snapped, or twisted away while penetrating someone's shield is another possibility. Or, perhaps the most common - simply swinging full-on against someone else's weapon coming the opposite direction - might usually not break, but sometimes...

I guess so. I'm not denying that weird shit can and does happen in combat.
Rather I'm arguing over the position of the decimal point. Or to put it another way, if combat in your campaign is both variable and extreme enough that the best weapons still break on an "18 confirmed by two dice rolling sixes" (1 in 7776) then I'd expect poor-quality weapons in that enviroment (what you call the standard weapons) to break on a roll of *14* or better, rather than on an 18.

Well that is the main disagreement - not necessarily how often weird stuff happens, but how often the weird stuff by its nature either overpowers weapon quality, or makes it irrelevant. Part of it is the lack of interesting ways to goof up in TFT. Unless you're swinging into HTH, the only mishaps are to miss, drop weapon, or break weapon.

Having read accounts of weapons having broken in combat (including a prince's axe in a formal duel simply breaking on an opponent's helmet [opponent died] - no comments were made about him being a fool for obviously having a cheap axe if it broke), the frequency with which broken weapons appear in contemporary illustrations of battle aftermath, and examples such as "sword breaker" weapons and jitte designed to snap fine samurai sword blades, or zweihanders used to cut pikes, etc., strongly suggest to me that there would be a significant chance for even a good weapon to get broken, one way or another, in serious combat.

And as for the lack of imagination, I think that the real exercise of
imagination lies in keeping rare events appropriately rare, rather than creating situtations where "one-in-a-million shots pay off nine times out of ten."

I do sympathize with trying to get odds right. One in 7776 is a long way from 9 in 10. One in 7776 * 5 seconds = 10.8 _hours_ of non-stop combat. But that sounds too rare to me... at least for the chance that _some_ more troublesome (or at least, different) mishap than a dropped weapon to occur. Even if I believe your advertising about the indestructibility of your wonder weapons, I would still say that even a great fighter is going to find himself in an unexpected tough spot about as often as they would roll an 18. I think TFT's chances of special good and bad events cover that adequately, though they aren't very detailed or varied in the possible results. I'm talking about the chance something will happen like tripping, slipping, straining a joint or muscle, hitting a funny-bone on something, bumping into an obstacle, losing grip on equipment, etc. If TFT players prefer not to have detailed rules for such things, sticking to dropped and broken weapons, removing the broken weapon result gets you down to one bland "lose a turn" type event.

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