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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Weapon Damage Vs Size - Do You Use It?

I was introduced to role playing games with AD&D 1e and weapon damage vs size was my baseline. Now that I'm playing and running clones for the most part, I appreciate the lack of a single die type regardless of monster size.

Still, I do remember the damage charts for a good 80% of the weapons from 1e. Many of them didn't make much sense to me (such as broadsword) but we didn't stress it back in the day. After all, it was canon ;)

Do you use weapon damage vs size these days?

19 comments:

  1. Haven't used it in years. It flies in the face of HP as something other than meat.

    It makes sense that some weapons are better against larger foes (no one hunts elephants with handaxes or hammers afteral.) but outside a few weapons the disinctions used in old time damage s size were a pointless exercise in fiddly rules.

    What real sense is weapon that does 1-4 vs SM that does 1-3 vs large foes? All the large foes have more HP then the mos common S or M foes so what's the point ?

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  2. I remember transcribing the weapon damage values into my copy of Holmes when the PHB came out. In that scene in the movie of my life Jimmy Carter would be on the TV, addressing the nation. God that would be one horrible movie. Er, but yeah, the weapon damage by size? Terrible. I like some variation by weapon, but making the upper end of damage range 3d6???? Nutty.

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  3. I hated the weapon v. size mechanic. I don't think we ever properly used it back in the 80s anyway... Just one more thing to forget during an already over-complicated combat system.

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  4. Haven't used it since my last 1e campaign. On a similar note and likely anticipating your next question -we NEVER used the armor class to hit adjustments.

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  5. We used it recently in Ken Harrison's Monteport campaign. I personally haven't used it since the early 80's. It was one of those mechanics that never bothered me, but I didn't see the point of it either. But for me, no. Less fiddly parts the better.

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  6. Never used it when I ran 1E/2E. It was also the first thing to be cut when I converted Dragon Fist into Flying Swordsmen.

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  7. Never used it or those AC adjustments. I think in the case of weapon damage, however, we got so used to the normal die that we forgot the other die existed when we fought giants.

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  8. My thoughts on variable damage vs. opponent size:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDGlN6mluGA

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  9. Always used in BITD. But once we began trying other systems and revising the AD&D weapons tables (which my brother must have done dozens of times), we almost never used different damage for large. Big monsters already have more HP, right? BUT -- we've been playing 1e again, mostly by the book, and right now we're fighting tons of hill giants so I'm glad the fighters can take 2-handed swords and mow them down. BTW a two-handed sword of giant-slaying, in the hands of a dwarf fighter, is crazy powerful. No idea how the player got the DM to agree to allow that (we had a chance to commission magic items to be made...bad idea!)

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  10. Heh. This was back when I was about 10-11 years old, and I could not, for the life of me, figure out why I wouldn't want a LARGE two-handed sword, for higher damage, rather than a small or medium one.

    I think by the time I realized that was the size of the TARGET critter, I was playing other games, but it was my first real rules whoopsie of my RPG career.

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  11. I'm in a 1E game now that uses it. The DM originally house ruled it out, but a player complained that he'd chosen his weapon based on the rule. So now we have varying damage dice due to opponent size. Whatever. :)

    I don't care about the rule, one way or the other. I don't think it ruins the game but I don't think it adds either. So long as the mechanic doesn't slow play, it's fine.

    In reply to Rod Thompson, I've never used (or been in a game that's used) armor class to hit adjustments.

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  12. Still using it, as recently as last night.

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  13. My feeling is that L creatures have HP based more on size and mass, while S/M creatures are based more on skill, luck, agility, endurance, and divine favor, of the various factors that make up HP. So, to me, that there are differences based on the size of the creature makes some sense.

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  14. That rule never made any sense to me.

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  15. I think it adds unnecessary complexity but that's par for the course with AD&D. Some people find unnecessary complexity to be fun, so more power to them.

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  16. I'm sure when I first started playing AD&D when I was twelve it made perfect sense. Now twenty+ years later it seems awfully silly.

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  17. Yes, for 1e AD&D.

    Thinking about dumping it, to make bigger creatures more of a threat.

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