Weapons in the World
The world is a dangerous place for mortals and immortals alike. Even with the magic of the land at ones back or in the hand, so to speak, the mortal dangers are still real. Teeth, and claws of brutal monsters and hungry animals are the oldest dangers and those that mortals have long sense learned to defend against. But even since ancient times the dangers have extended to include bronze, iron, steel blades, and weapons made from even more powerful materials.
There are those in the lands such as Ampara who believe that spells alone can protect the realm. While The trained wizard or the fire wielding sorcerer are powerful protectors there are those creatures to whom spells have little effect, who surprise from stealth, and who hunt the magic users with arcane arts of their own. To these creatures a blade may speak louder than the incantation. This is the task of the fighters of the land. Are you brave enough to go toe to toe?
Running with Swords
Some weapons you hold in your hand and smash, cut, or stab your enemy with. These we call Hand-to-Hand (HTH or H2H). You can also refer to these as melee weapons. You can increase the damage melee weapons do by using your STR and training.
Running with Bows and Arrows
Some weapons you shoot at people. Nothing special. Pull, load, or whatever and then shoot.
Throwing vs Shooting
Some weapons you want to throw at enemies. They are special. You can add damage using your STR and training.
Running with a poisoned stick
Some weapons aren’t dangerous enough. For those times you can apply some poison to help out.
Can my Cleric have a longsword?
The use of weapons is a simple function of every character. There are no restrictions on who can learn and use a weapon. Any character can learn to use any weapon to the same degree anyone else.
Even though our aim is equal opportunity a few things about your character make a difference in melee weapon use:
- Stronger characters can effectively use heavier weapons
- Smaller weapons can do as much damage as heavy weapons with the right training
- Characters can push damage with Hand-to-Hand weapons by with STR and Training Combat Levels (CLS).
1000 hours in the courtyard training
To increase effectiveness each character develops skill levels with weapons in the form of CLs.
There are various types of CLs in the Hero System rules and this should be discussed with the game master as to why kind and how many CLs you want your character to have.
There are limits to your effective OCV. See House Rules for more details.
The nature of real weapons
To further explore the use of real weapons we need to understand the nature of the mechanics of the weapons themselves. Weapons do not take character points to obtain but they do work to the same mechanics. So the relative power can be evaluated using the point system. The GOLD cost of a weapon is determined by the active point value of the weapon. However, complex weapons that have multiple effects will cost dramatically more. For example a sword is fairly simple to obtain materials for and make but a sword that releases flying barbs is much more complex.
In Hero System weapons use the same mechanics as spells. However in the campaign here certain limitations and advantages must always be applied to weapons.
- Real Weapon: a real weapon is one that is made and crafted from material. It needs to be sharpened, cleaned, and otherwise maintained. Additionally if enough pressure is applied to the weapon or if the weapon takes enough damage it can be broken or destroyed.
- Crafted: a weapon is made from a real material by a craftsman.
- Minimum strength: a weapon has a minimum strength to use. This is the case for all the weapons be they bow, sword, or dagger. The minimum strength is needed to wield it effectively. If you do not have the minimum strength you suffer a penalty to hit and damage with it.
- Obvious Focus: a weapon can be targeted by spells and attacks.
- Speed Modifier: a weapon attack takes time to use. See Turn Sequence for more details.
Additionally, some other weapons may be built with additional limitations or advantages. e.g. ammunition, extra reload time, armor piercing, etc…
Since weapons are built by craftsman and as such their grade can vary greatly. In addition the materials they are made from can vary greatly. A weapon made of steal will be much harder to break than one made of iron. However, the craft to work with steal is harder and the material more rare and expensive. When you purchase a weapon the price is based on the material and the craftsmanship.
In addition some of the materials available to make a weapon can have a variety of effects as well. For Example: Silver is the bane of regeneration for example.
So when obtaining a weapon from a local merchant you might consider the following:
- The material’s durability: this effects how far a weapon can be pushed before it might break.
- The craftsmanship of the weapon: this effects how far a weapon can be pushed before it might break as well as other factors.
- The material’s availability: this effects how common the material is and thus the cost. Also, the more rare a material the less the normal craftsman will know of how to work with it and thus the harder they are to craft.
- Special properties of the material: some materials such as Silver, mentioned above have direct effects. Other materials have special properties that one would be inclined to consider for magical effects. For example, if one is planning on obtaining a demon slaying weapon they might consider a material based on the effects it will have on enchantments.
The most common weapons in the world are iron. The material is readily available, very versatile, useful, relatively easy to work with and fairly durable. For more information on particular weapons check the normal [[weapon lists.]]
Above it was noted that HTH attacks damage can be increased by STR. In this way a character can add damage based on the difference between their actual STR and the STR minimum of the weapon.
So a common way to make a more powerful fighter is to simply increase their STR. In this way the character can both use larger and heavier weapons as well as increase the damage of that weapon beyond its basic level. There is no theoretical maximum for how far this can go. Only the limits imposed to create a sense of reality to the campaign world. Typically these come in the form of racial characteristic maximums and available weapons.
Another common method for increasing the power of a fighter is to use CLs. This method is for character concepts of lighter faster combatants or to further augment a high STR fighter. Instead of a using STR to boost damage the character uses CLs. The disadvantage for this approach is that you’ll more often run up against the risk of weapon breakage. Because characters with high CLs tend to push the weapons to the breaking point more often because they use lighter weapons in alignment with their STR.
Of course you’ll need both some CLs and STR for any character to be even minimally effective with a weapon. Since all weapons have a minimum STR and CLs improve your basic ability to hit. The question of a particular build will be how many points will you put into STR and how many in CLs.
That is to say if you stick to concepts that don’t further needs for the concept to work. For example, in most Fantasy stories there is no one as deadly as the assassin. The fighter who is determined to kill with a single blow. The deadliest of attacks of these fighters are similar in many ways.
There is no correct way to build them, but likely they will avoid the pure STR build at they’ll need those points for other effects. Be that they are masters of poison, aimed shot, or attacking from stealth. However, they gain the upper hand the assassin is a master of combat maneuvers. Here are a couple of ideas for builds that one might go with in trying to create the ultimate killer:
- Poisoner: learning to use poisons is a skill and the side effects of failure can be deadly. The use of poisons in a fight complicates the fight and can make the timing tricky. For more on this read the rules on using poisons
- Night Stalker: any character can learn to be stealthy. It is the Night Stalker that learns to make attacks from these positions. A common form of this build it to maximize attacks from stealth by applying a limitation to CLs that the CLs can only be used with surprise.
As you develop your character to match you concept this guide above can help inform you. The details will be in the weapons you know how to use, the STR you have to use them, and the CLs that apply to the weapon of choice or at hand.