Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A&A Quickstart Guide Weapons

Alright!  This should be for a short post which is great for the work week.  Today we'll have a quick run through for choosing a weapon for your character.  Behold!

As a new character you have four slots to load up with Armaments be it weapons, shield, tomes or staves you have quite a lot of options to go with.  Choose what will be fun, what will be helpful and if there's any doubt you can always roll to randomly decide on a weapon for you.  Here are a number of things you may want to consider when choosing a weapon:  Number of hands needed, ITS values, Quality, mix of melee and ranged capabilities.  The first is pretty easy, if it requires two hands it requires two slots.

Yesterday we talked about ITS types, the three values that describe how you dish out punishment, Impact, Thrusting and Slashing which correspond to a Attack bonus to an armor type, Heavy, Medium and Slashing respectively.  When choosing a weapon it is important to be mindful of this since if all your weapons are slashing you're not going to be very effective when you encounter someone wearing plate mail or your first unfortunate run in with the animated statue of an old god.

Next up we have Qualities, I wrote about this a while back--Golly! 2013 where does the time go!  Qualities are a boost given to someone becoming proficient in a weapon, rather than apply a penalty for being unproficient.  Qualities are also a way for weapons to firmly differentiate themselves from each other, aside from the small variations with ITS values.  Rather than balance a game around variable damage dice I find it's a lot more interesting and quite a bit more depth to tussle around with giving each weapon a quality.  Each provide their own benefit and are not necessarily directly comparable, meaning that isn't always a right or wrong choice from an optimizing standpoint, something many folks can appreciate it.

For character creation we only spotlight a few qualities, each of these were selected to fit the theme of the weapon and because it ties in directly with core game mechanics.  Brutal and Pierce for example are answers to Armor on both sides of the spectrum.  Harrier teaches people about engagements; someone has to be quick on their Reflexes Save or they'll get a few lashes.

Last up in weapon choice is being able to function in different ranges.  Being able to fight in both melee and ranged combat is a great boon, as you'll learn later in the Book of Fire fighting in combat allows for the defender to strike back provided they can function in that range.  Wielding a melee and a ranged weapon allows you to counterattack both types of offenses.

The exception to this of course is Reach & Hand-to-Hand weapons.  If you have superior Reach your foe cannot strike back.  Hand-to-Hand weapons offer two attacks in the Combat Clash but because of their poor range they can rarely counter-attack.  Now if you can move in close you turn their reach into your advantage since who has room to use a polearm when you're being mauled by a bear. 

As a closing note while there are many fun weapons to try out you've only got four slots and you may decide your character has some magical aptitude or elemental affinity so you'll need to save a slot or two to provide them some additional versatility and literal firepower.

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