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Re: (TFT) How often should TFT swords Break

Hmmm, one important thing missing from all this is what, precisely, broke?
Are we talking swords, spears, arrows, what? In the case of axes, and the
like, is the haft made of wood or iron? Makes a BIG difference in assessing
odds! In the axe example you mentioned, I would think it likely that it was
a wooden haft that broke, and not the head of the axe. This is an important

By way of example, I have a couple of old Arms & Armor weapons - an axe and
a mace - in my collection that have all steel hafts. As solidly built as
they are , I frankly cannot conceive of *any* way of breaking them, in
anything even remotely approaching a normal battle. You could smack them
against a stone wall all day and not truly *break* them (bend flanges and
chip edges, perhaps, but not shatter them). Heck, you could probably run
over the dratted things with an M1A2 Abrams and merely scuff them up...

>From a game standpoint, at least, I would make such weapons unbreakable for
all intents and purposes, with the exception of a Break Weapon spell,
perhaps (though I would think it would be much harder to break - perhaps
getting a save or maybe requiring more energy to cast the spell?)

On the other paw, if the hafts were wood, then there is a fair chance they
will break in a fight - though whether 1 in 216 is a good representation is
hard to say. I would use it, though - I think that seems reasonable given my
experiences with wooden shovel hafts, etc.

As for swords, they can be highly variable, owing to vagarities in
metallurgy, construction, and the fact they endure stresses above and beyond
most weapons (this is because they are trying to make them as light and
balanced as possible; they can't beef up the construction without
eliminating the essential quality that makes a sword a sword). Even the best
sword should not be truly unbreakable, unless made  of some fantasy (or
ultra modern) alloy.

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter von Kleinsmid <pvk@oz.net>
To: <tft@brainiac.com>
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2004 2:48 PM
Subject: Re: (TFT) How often should TFT swords Break

> How about stone floors and ceilings? Or wood ones - embedding a sharp
> 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...
> 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.
> 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
> 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.
> PvK
> =====
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