Shields are weapons too

I am rebuilding Advanced Fighting Fantasy to be what I want it to be. This requires separating the bits and interrogating them, demanding answers on why they do not excite me. Armour has been twiddling its thumbs and looking at the floor while everyone else engages in vigorous defence.

Weapons in AFF go like this:

Roll a D6 for damage, compare to the weapon's table. Do that damage.

Sword
(7s can be rolled due to miscellaneous potential bonuses)
  1. 2
  2. 3
  3. 3
  4. 3
  5. 3
  6. 4
  7. 5

Easy peasy, allows for all sorts of variety and characterisation of weapons without much overhead. A sword is reliable, for instance, whereas an axe is awkward but hefty (below),

Axe
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
Not miles away from a sword, but it produces more glancing blows while also having the possibility of hewing your head from your shoulders (or vice versa).

Armour in the first edition wasn't even considered. A short paragraph informed us that the game works out damage under the assumption that the players are wearing something, and that if they are ever caught naked they should take more damage. In the second edition we're given a mirror of the weapon tables, with them reducing damage according to a roll of the dice.

Chain
  1. 0
  2. 0
  3. 0
  4. 2
  5. 2
  6. 3
  7. 4
On top of this you'll get shields which add bonuses:

Small Shield
  1. 0
  2. 0
  3. 1
  4. 1
  5. 2
  6. 3
  7. 4
But how are shields significantly different to blocking with weapons? Blocking, parrying, same thing. Treating shields like just another bit of armour is terribly dull, plus I reckon I could kill you with a shield pretty reliably.

Shields are weapons.

Shield, Small
  1. 1
  2. 1
  3. 1
  4. 1
  5. 2
  6. 2
  7. 3
Which means weapons are shields

Sword
attack/defence
  1. 2/0
  2. 3/1
  3. 3/1
  4. 3/1
  5. 3/1
  6. 4/2
  7. 5/3


So you've got some protection from the weapons you use and the armour you wear. Add 'um all together and you have some numbers. Armour applies to wherever you're wearing it, weapons protect you all over. Write them in the little boxes, done.

At first it seems a lot of hassle, but when you consider the rigmarole involved in AC or attack bonuses in any randomly determined edition of D&D and you'll feel a lot better.


When using a shield and a hand weapon you may pick which one to defend with.


The numbers are rough, but now weapons are nuanced enough to enable you to make a million of the damn things without resorting to weirdness, if you're inclined. Everyone can feel like they're making choices past the aesthetic when picking up that spear and shield, know they're being reckless and cool by not wearing a helmet.

No comments:

Post a Comment