What ways would you change Weapons and Armor in RPGs

I recently saw a discussion on a closed community I belong to on Facebook with a bunch of people on this topic, so I thought I’d extend the discussion here. So if you had a chance to go back and change how weapons and armor work in RPGs. Historically the best weapons were generally spears, but no one uses them in most RPGs. What would you do to get things to be more interesting, yet quick while playing.

A couple thoughts:

  1. Give Weapons and Armor Pre-Reqs for abilitiy scores. If you don’t meet the pre-req you pay for it with reduced effectiveness
  2. Give weapons and armor initiative benefits / costs.
  3. Give weapons additional reach stats. For example a dagger has the ability to be used while grappeled, while a sword doesn’t.
  4. Certain weapons could be more effective against certain armor types. A Flail ignores a shield. A Hammer ignores chain and plate.
  5. Some weapons might act differently at different reach ranges. A two handed sword might act as a sword at one reach category and a spear at another.

What are your thoughts? What would you do?

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LOL! AD&D 1e :slight_smile: has some of that!

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Yup! That’s what I recall as well.

Yeah. We never used that stuff.

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Know what’s interesting? Much of that fine-grained x vs. y stuff is/was implemented in MMOs. All pretty useless, as players would just keep bashing a thing with their favorite weapon(s) instead of optimizing for an extra hit there, or an extra point there against each and every specific foe.

No one bothered, because±5% is insignificant vs. the cognitive overhead (and encumbrance)…

The more rules you stack onto weapons and armor the less individual skill matters. There is no “realistic” solution, only satisfying/playable ones. I personally have embraced the simple armor class and d6 weapons of Delving Deeper way more than I ever thought I would. The argument for variable weapon damage isn’t as strong as you think it is over the course of a minute of combat. DD handles weapon difference in two ways: class restrictions (which weapons you can use) and initiative (longer/faster goes first). If you have every watched them test weapons on ballistic dummies and pig carcasses in Forged in Fire you may be convinced, like I am, that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Bigger is slower. And it can make a longer/deeper cut. But Doug Marcaida can FUCK UP a body with karambits and struggles to do much with something like a scythe or boar spear. There is a kind of sweet spot, it seems by body size. Landsknecht swords and claymores aren’t all that amazing. They are just too clumsy for most people to wield. Lighter, faster blades in the range of gladius to falchions seem to be the perfect zone for an average human. Just my observation. In the end, I don’t see the real difference in terms of damage. There is a difference in armor piercing/destroying qualities, which is rarely addressed in RPGs.

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Well, you should have played WoW and EQ with the people I played with. We min/maxed the sh*t out of those games. I have spreadsheets and software that I wrote to determine the best builds and the best gear and the best times to grind for said gear, and the best way to optimize Actions Per Minute vs. Damage Per Second.

Now I know we were in the minority, and the guilds I played with were many times in the top 5% of those on the server (heck some of the people I played with were employees of said company). But each of us played MMOs in the late 90’s with 20+ years of Gaming Experience under our belts. So perhaps we were in the top (or bottom) of MMO players.

Oh, I played with some of those folks.

But, did you change gear each and every foe? Sure - maybe a boss fight or two. But my point is that there is a complexity trade-off. It looks like you agree with that point. :slight_smile:

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Yup. We would switch out gear for pvp and for various bosses. But yep.

As for me the best weapon system was in linneage 2, that’s what I call a balance. Btw some servers now switched to pay-to-win model and by donating crypto instead of paypal gives you more OP weapons/armor, etc. Even tried it once. Hope it won’t go further than LA2 https://thejingstock.com/ru/