Saturday, March 19, 2011

Splitting Hairs

In my clean-up draft, I’m going back and taking out that arms and aspect allow you wield things rated at the ability +1, and changing it to the ability rating. It’s an extra step, and not particularly intuitive, to think that because I have arms +3 I can wield a weapon +4… since I have arms +3, I should be able to use weapons and armor +3. The problem comes in with the hero who decides not to purchase arms at all… he cannot wear a suit of padded armor or pick up a dagger? That’s not intuitive either, although it’s more easily solved. I was giving every archetype at least arms +1 to reflect this, although this penalizes casters a little, who have to devote 1 CP to something that doesn’t really help them at all… it just covers over a flaw in the ability system.

Or is it a flaw? +1 in an ability is a considerable step. A +1 dagger is a decent weapon, assuming it’s being used by a capable wielder. A hero with no particular training in combat picking up a weapon has no particular ability to do damage with it. Will he be able to deal more damage with a dagger or sword than with his bare hands? Absolutely. Is this negligible in Resolute terms? Ehhhh. But here's the more important question: is it HEROIC for a wizard to pick up a dagger and stab at a foe with it? Only if he’s using a Resolve point- then he gets to use his lore +8 to bump his arms +0 up to +8 for this one attack, making him a butt-kicking physical combatant for a single great swing. That’s heroic. On a moment-by-moment basis, he just doesn’t use the dagger, leaning on his other abilities (as he should).

Wow. I love it just the way it is.