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Re: (TFT) Reality vs. Game Mechanics

Aside from the physical properties of the weapons themselves, it's difficult to get people to agree on their usage and effectiveness, and the more people think they know, the more muddy the water gets. It's a game, so within the parameters of the game as designed, it seems like there's an attempt to match the realistic damage from a small impaling rapier and a massive war axe. As people seem to acknowledge, GURPS provides a much more detailed approach that appears to be more realistic.

The main muddle seems to be between the various versions of Melee (at least two) and Advanced Melee / TFT. Probably the best way to correct something or fill in details, would be to steal it from GURPS. Certainly if you wanted to go into great detail in a specific period (Rome, Renaissance fencing, whatever) it would be worth picking up a GURPS book or two.

-----Original Message----- From: PvK
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2011 1:08 PM
To: tft@brainiac.com
Subject: Re: (TFT) Reality vs. Game Mechanics

--- barnswallow@sbcglobal.net wrote:
"In the end it looks like SJ just decided to use names of weapons based
on how powerful they sounded, rather than how accurately they reflect
reality. The problem could be fixed by just renaming weapons things
like, "Sword wielded by a ST X figure", or "Wimpy Sword" vs. "Giant
Honking Sword". But that just doesn't have the same ring to it."

PvK: Yes, though there are also differences in the sizes of the weapons. In GURPS, SJ has it as (from memory): Shortsword, ST 7, cutting swing +0 reach 1, impaling thrust +0 reach 1, 2 pounds Broadsword, ST 10, cutting swing +1 reach 1, crushing thrust +1 reach 1, 3 pounds The actual damage is done based on both the user's ST, and the weapon modifiers, where you have a progression like:
ST 10 swing 1d, thrust 1d-2
ST 11 swing 1d+1, thrust 1d-1
ST 12 swing 1d+2, thrust 1d-1
ST 13 swing 2d-1, thrust 1d
So ST 10 with a broadsword does 1d+1 cutting swing, or 1d+1 crushing thrust
ST 13 with a shortsword does cutting swing 2d-1, or 1d impaling thrust

"As far as rapiers and Two Weapons... if you have that talent, you
should be able to wield any two weapons you have the ST for (given
practice with that particular combination). If you're ST 20-odd and
can wield two Giant Honking Normally-Two-Handed Swords (aka
greatswords), why not? PC's with that many attribute points are death-
on-legs anyway."

PvK: You can do that. The only limit to rapiers is when you try to combine Fencing with Two Weapons. That's where the porous reasoning about teaching habits of the Florentine school are cited (maybe it was a joke like "For Greeks Only" - a hint that a house rule could reasonably allow it?).

"I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on the relative merits/
drawbacks of axes vs. swords, and how that could be reflected in terms
of game mechanics."

PvK: I think an axe tends to be heavier, less balanced so generally slower, shorter so harder to defend with, have less edged surface, usually no hilt and a wood handle, be easier/cheaper to make, and to concentrate more force on a point, and be better at getting through armor. If you're just trying to hit an unarmored target with a sword, it's easier since a sword tends to be faster and to sweep out much more area with blade, but a sword doesn't get through heavy armor as well. GURPS tries to represent a fair amount of that, but doesn't go far enough making axes get through armor better, and goes too far making them slow (for realism and balance purposes).
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