Author Topic: Tag-Based Armor and Weapons  (Read 1517 times)

Offline Amechra

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Tag-Based Armor and Weapons
« on: July 23, 2015, 01:05:54 AM »
Recently I've been musing about the fact that armor and weapons are boring stacks of numbers in D&D. Actually, most games that don't use rules-light weapons are kinda boring, and there's the fact that there will always be weapons and armor that are just plain better than the other choices, from a plain numerical standpoint.

So what if weapons and armor didn't give a bonus or penalty in and of themselves? In this happentrack, you'd have, for example, an Armed and Armored set of conditions.

So, I dunno, normally you can only deal 1d3 Nonlethal damage with melee attacks, which provokes an attack of opportunity. If you are Armed, you instead deal 1d8 lethal damage, and your attacks don't provoke AoOs. Similarly, let's say the Armored condition forces the person attacking you to roll twice on their attack rolls, taking the worse result.

However, weapons and armor have tags. Tags don't do anything by themselves - they are just places to hang mechanics off of. To an untrained person, wielding a dagger and wielding a greatsword are identical.

To an untrained person - if you're Proficient in weapons with the [Sword] tag, you might ignore the Armored condition of someone wearing [Leather] armor while wielding a [Sword]. If you have Power Attack, you deal 2d6 damage when Armed with a [Two-Handed] weapon. If you have Weapon Focus in weapons with the [Axe] tag, you can do a badass cleaving attack. Stuff like that.

Clever modifications of your weapon (shove your sword in burning pitch to fight ice monsters!) might add tags temporarily, allowing you to bypass the ice monsters' resistance to non-[Fire] weapons.

In other words, it doesn't matter what hunk of steel or wood you picked up - we're fighting a dragon here. What matters is what you can do with it.



I'm also musing that the bonuses would have to either be active stuff or situational bonuses, just for the purposes of adding some variation in combat. Add in a system for expanding your training in weapons horizontally (think Weapon Aptitude), and I think it could work out well.

One last note: being magical would be a binary condition under this system. That way, your magical sword that you found at 4th level will still be relevant when you're 12th level.
"There is happiness for those who accept their fate, there is glory for those that defy it."

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Offline Bronzebeard

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Re: Tag-Based Armor and Weapons
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2015, 10:51:00 AM »
Your writing is a tad too general to be replied to in a constructive way, I feel. I still would like to reply, so forgive me if what I say is not what you meant to discuss.


There are two variants that, I feel, should have been included as part of the basic rules:

I guess you can take it as is or refine it to your needs.
I tried to take it as basis but got stuck in the way.
Armor is simple: You're armed or your not. Each armor has it's own rating and some have additional defense against either bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing.
Shield acts differently. Not sure if to add it to armor rating (what happens if I bash with it) or to dodge/AC (and if I'm attacked from behind)?

Grouping is more interesting to me. There are the classics: Sword, Hammer, Axe, Bow. But then: Polearms? includes spear? and what with staff? glaive? Does Sword include dagger? zweihander?
Further thinking is needed.

 :D

Offline Amechra

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Re: Tag-Based Armor and Weapons
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 10:55:41 AM »
It's supposed to be general - it's vague musing that could lead to inspiration, not something concrete.

If you want to see a more concrete implementation (which doesn't go all the way), here you go.

For Shields... they give you a small AC boost, and you can choose to have a melee attack that hits you sunder your shield instead.
"There is happiness for those who accept their fate, there is glory for those that defy it."

"Now that everyone's so happy, this is probably a good time to tell you I ate your parents."

Offline Unbeliever

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Re: Tag-Based Armor and Weapons
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2015, 11:08:40 AM »
M&M and other effects-based systems have weapons as just descriptors for effects.  Thor's hammer, Cap's shield, and a Batterang are all built the same way as laser eyes and so on.  This allows you to create engaged, customized weapons and weapon effects at the cost of character resources.  The "weapons" are mostly just things to hang effects off of.

You can do something similar, but I don't know how that fits with something like D&D.  And, frankly, the only reason to do it is for a much richer system than the generic weapons one you linked to b/c that mostly just replicates the extant D&D system in a modular fashion. 

Offline Bronzebeard

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Re: Tag-Based Armor and Weapons
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2015, 03:57:15 AM »
Well...
Having the armor and equipment modular is a step up from the current system in d&d.
I always had a hard time wrapping my head around the disparity between the elven blades introduced in Races of the Wild and the "normal" blades, making the latter ones the superior ones because of low feat cost.

@Amechra - I'm  truly sorry. I don't understand completely what are we looking for.

Offline Unbeliever

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Re: Tag-Based Armor and Weapons
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2015, 04:51:59 PM »
Well...
Having the armor and equipment modular is a step up from the current system in d&d.
[shrug]  This seems highly non-obvious to me.  Virtually nothing in D&D is modular.  There's usually some guideline to it in the background, but that's just it, it's in the background.  It seems odd to single out weapons of all things, especially given how little they matter.