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Fixing medieval weapon weights in Black Edition

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  • Fixing medieval weapon weights in Black Edition

    Crazy-high weights for medieval weapons have plagued RPGs for a while, but D&D 5e has finally fixed their weapon weights (for the most part) and I think it would be nice if Black Edition did so too, since it's fairly easy to find correct weapon weights online these days, so it wouldn't be too much work to fix.

    An actual one-handed arming sword, which is erroneously called a longsword in many RPGs (longswords are generally two-handed or at best hand-and-a-half swords), weighs around 1.1 kg, or 2.2 lbs. But unfortunately SWD lists the weight at a whopping 8 lbs! That's actually as much or more than many cermonial oversized Zweihanders, which were too unwieldy to be used in combat. An actual Zweihander for combat use would weigh in around 4.4--7.1 lbs., but in SWD it s weight is listed at 12 lbs.

    Anyway, as you can see the trend is that medieval weapons in SWD weigh up 4 times as much as they should.

    I personally use the significant items encumbrance system from Zadmar's Savage Armoury or Gold & Glory, so it's not really a big deal for me mechanically, but it bothers me when players get the wrong impression that weapons are ridiculously heavy.

    While we're at it, could we please have the katana nerfed, or just have OP katanas as a setting rule? A katana is just a short hand-and-a-half sabre, and shouldn't have AP 2 or Str+d6+2 damage. Curved cutting swords like the katana, sabre, shamshir, messer etc. extremely poor against most forms of armour, and shouldn't have AP; they are meant for chopping up unarmoured or very lightly armoured opponents, and are very good at that role. I know Hollywood often has katanas cutting through robots and stuff, but it would be nice to have that as a setting-specific sort of thing rather than being in the default weapon list.

    Edit: I don't mean to sound like I'm attacking the system or asking for full-on simulationist gameplay like GURPS. I'm just a history and HEMA nerd, so it's in my nature to be pedantic about this sort of stuff.
    Last edited by Shoggoth; 04-09-2018, 12:45 AM.

  • #2
    The Arming Sword lines up with the Savage short sword. The longsword fits the hand-and-a-half (or bastard) sword.

    The other thing to remember is that the listed weights are the encumbrance of the item, including all normal paraphenalia (sheath, maintenance kit, harness, etc.). While the mass of the weapon may only be one to three kilograms, the bulk of the weapon and its accessories make is as much bother as double that.


    PEG is well aware that the listed katana is the "Hollywood katana" seen in many live action movies.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

    Comment


    • #3
      ValhallaGH You know that's actually a good point that the weapon weight could take into account scabbard weight and stuff. I unfortunately don't own any wood-core scabbards and harnesses to weigh, but I assume they would have a similar weight to the blade itself.

      However, a lot of those weapons, such as halberds or great axes (Dane axes), don't use scabbards or harnesses; they're just carried around.

      As for the maintenance kit, it would be strange that a warrior carrying three swords would have three different maintenance kits. I assume probably it would be better to have that sort of thing listed separately.

      I'm not sure that the SWD longsword is intended to be a hand-and-a-half sword, since the notes state that it represents scimitars, which are typically even lighter than your average arming sword, and are strictly one-handed weapons like sabers. Moreover, the fantasy companion lists bastard swords as heavier 10 lb. weapons, and bastard swords are basically small longswords, intermediate between arming swords and two-handed longswords.

      I figured that PEG was going for the Hollywood katana that cuts robots in half, but it would be nice to have that as a setting-specific option instead of the default.
      Last edited by Shoggoth; 04-06-2018, 01:53 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        It would be nice to have a more genuine katana available for those interested in a setting that's a bit less febrile. One actually based in medieval Japan, for example.

        but then again the Fantasy Companion introduced "studded leather" too, so what's one more abomination?
        History teaches us that men behave wisely, once they've exhausted all other alternatives.
        - Hughie, "Still Crazy"

        Comment


        • #5
          A lot of the nomenclature and statistics come from earlier, more popular RPGs who got the information wrong in the first place. And because of that, GWG decided to more or less adhere to that standard. It makes picking up and adapting easier. Heck, when SW was first released it actually had conversion rules for people coming over from D20. What we have now has become something more akin to a holdover. D20 mixes things up, including gear, with every iteration. Savage Worlds came out at roughly the same time as D&D 3.5, and the latter is now halfway or so through its 5th edition. The biggest change I can cite for SW was The Way of the Brave in 2007; which is where we get our current damage numbers from.

          Pinnacle might change it, but they might not. It's worked well enough for them so far. And encumbrance is largely ignored by the rules unless it's "dramatically appropriate." Which is to say nothing of how common it is for groups to dump encumbrance altogether.

          If you want simulationist-style medieval play, then I recommend HarnMaster nearly enough.

          Comment


          • Shoggoth
            Shoggoth commented
            Editing a comment
            I'm pretty happy with Savage Worlds as a system; there's just a few nitpicks here and there that could be easily fixed.

          • Jounichi
            Jounichi commented
            Editing a comment
            Your nitpicks aren't with the system, though. This is about historical/realistic idiosyncratic measurements in a game which isn't meant to be either. And most games have similar issues.

          • Shoggoth
            Shoggoth commented
            Editing a comment
            @Juonichi I'm not unhappy with Savage Worlds or attacking it; I'm just saying that it would be nice to have corrected weights listed. It's not a big deal, but being a history and HEMA nerd, I have an irresistible urge to be pedantic. It seems that most of the guns and other gear have accurate weights, so why not swords? If there's a new edition coming, why not?

            I agree that lots of games have similar issues; but D&D 5e finally fixed their weapon weights after 40-something years of listing 20 pound greataxes.

            Ideally we'd have the Gold & Glory encumbrance system since it's more FFF, but I have a feeling it won't make it into Black Edition.
            Last edited by Shoggoth; 04-07-2018, 12:08 AM.

        • #6
          Originally posted by Shoggoth View Post
          ValhallaGH You know that's actually a good point that the weapon weight could take into account scabbard weight and stuff. I unfortunately don't own any wood-core scabbards and harnesses to weigh, but I assume they would have a similar weight to the blade itself.
          You keep focusing on weight, but PEG has repeatedly stated that the listed values are about encumbrance. So change the name of that column. Change it from "weight" to "Encumbrance".
          Because the short sword doesn't weigh four pounds. It uses four pounds of Encumbrance.
          Last edited by ValhallaGH; 04-06-2018, 04:18 PM.
          I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

          Comment


          • Shoggoth
            Shoggoth commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, I hadn't realized that it was PEG's intention all along; maybe they could add a sentence saying "weights given represent encumbrance values rather than actual weights" in the next printing (I believe they say that for armour, but it makes it seem like it doesn't apply to other gear) so that pedants like me are satisfied.

            Seems pretty reasonable that bulk stuff should have a higher encumbrance value. They should fix some of the encumbrance values though, like spears having lower encumbrance value than one-handed swords. A spear is generally a superior weapon to a sword in a fight, but people carried swords around for self-defense precisely because they were less encumbering (and also because it was usually more socially acceptable to carry a sword around than a spear).

        • #7
          It's not just weight for equipment (including extras or not), but bulk and encumbrance. See Clints posting here.
          Last edited by Enno; 04-06-2018, 05:00 PM.
          TAG Hellfrost Line Editor
          High Priest of Hoenir & Champion of Qedeshet

          Comment


          • Shoggoth
            Shoggoth commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the link! Fair enough, that's a reasonable thing to do: big bulky stuff should be more cumbersome than smaller items.

            But it seems like this reasoning wasn't applied to guns and other gear as far as my brief googling can tell: their weights listed are generally the same as their actual weights, even for big bulky guns like the SAW machine gun. In fact, the SAW gun in SWD is just-slightly underweight (20 vs 22 lbs) if it's assumed to include a standard belt and ammo box. If a sword's encumbrance is more than double it's actual weight, shouldn't the same be true for a SAW, which is even more unwieldy to carry?
            Last edited by Shoggoth; 04-06-2018, 10:57 PM.

        • #8
          Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post

          You keep focusing on weight, but PEG has repeatedly stated that the listed values are about encumbrance. So change the name of that column. Change it from "weight" to "Encumbrance".
          Because the short sword doesn't weigh four pounds. It uses four pounds of Encumbrance.
          Weight (Encumbrance) of a sword is 8 (a sword is very handy item), but a spear weighs 5 (and is very cumbersome). Something is wrong with this Encumbrance…
          I think that the new edition should use Encumbrance system from Gold&Glory – this one is more FFF and more realistic (in G&G a sword's weight =1, a spear = 2).
          Last edited by wyzimir; 04-06-2018, 10:08 PM.

          Comment


          • Shoggoth
            Shoggoth commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah I agree, it wouldn't make sense for a spear to have a lower encumbrance than a sword. I'd like to see the Gold & Glory encumbrance system become core as well.
            Last edited by Shoggoth; 04-06-2018, 10:45 PM.

        • #9
          Originally posted by wyzimir View Post

          Weight (Encumbrance) of a sword is 8 (a sword is very handy item), but a spear weighs 5 (and is very cumbersome). Something is wrong with this Encumbrance…
          I think that the new edition should use Encumbrance system from Gold&Glory – this one is more FFF and more realistic (in G&G a sword's weight =1, a spear = 2).
          You do know they can't just copy someone else's system wholecloth, right?

          Comment


          • Shoggoth
            Shoggoth commented
            Editing a comment
            Brickulos Ah I thought it was a Licencee for some reason. Well the first point still stands.

          • Enno
            Enno commented
            Editing a comment
            Does 12 to Midnight ring a bell? ETU started out as their pet project way back in 2005, was submitted to PEG in 2010, revised in 2012, and kickstarted in mid-2014.
            http://12tomidnight.com/page/9/

          • Brickulos
            Brickulos commented
            Editing a comment
            Which makes it licensed

        • #10
          Totally OT: why to concentrate on weights when (IMHO) there's so much to do, if you want to polish the system I'd remove other "leftover" things from the tabletop miniature game (how many times you used the 60° template to steer the vehicles?), shield protecting 2 faces (and absolutely no other rules use facing - including close combat, no flanking or backstabbing etc.), removing the 2 types of "Defend" maneuver, maybe reducing the power of Wild Attacks (turning them into a "Stance" things - Offensive, Powerful, Defensive - a la Zadmar style), returning the 2handed weapons (and the bastard ones) 'cause 2handed fighters are so underpowered. Some Edge fine tuning (Block, anyone?) Etc. Etc.
          "Balance is the key, Trapping is the word." - - Lord Lance


          Proud reviser of the SAVAGE FREE BESTIARY

          Comment


          • Shoggoth
            Shoggoth commented
            Editing a comment
            Lord Lance. Por que no los dos? You're welcome to make a separate thread asking for the other stuff; I agree that Zadmar's stance rules are much better and more balanced than core Wild Attack, Defend, etc and that the facing rules for shields are awkward. I disagree that Block needs a boost. Block and Improved Block are already one of the top edges, as shown by Zadmar's combat simulator (http://www.godwars2.org/SavageWorlds...parison.html); +2 Parry would make them must haves for every single character. The fact that it's better to max out Fighting before taking Block doesn't mean that Block needs a boost, since +1 die step in Fighting is better than taking almost every edge except Tricky Fighter. It would make more sense to nerf the Fighting skill (which I'm not advocating) than to boost Block, which is already a very good edge.
            Last edited by Shoggoth; 04-08-2018, 11:40 PM.

          • Brickulos
            Brickulos commented
            Editing a comment
            Lord Lance Block does add to Full Defense, you add the Parry Bonus to your roll. And it already adds to the Defend maneuver by increasing their flat Parry.

          • Lord Lance
            Lord Lance commented
            Editing a comment
            Brickulos with "and/or interact in some cool way with the "Defensive stance" or with weapons and shields" I mean gaining some extra effect when interacting with some Edge or Equip. For example:
            Hypothetical Block: Gives +1 Parry, AND gives +2 Parry if you use Defend (or other Defensive Stance).
            Hypothetical cool Shield: It's like a small shield, BUT if you have Block edge, it gives the stats of a medium shield.
            etc.

        • #11
          Originally posted by Shoggoth View Post
          Crazy-high weights for medieval weapons have plagued RPGs for a while, but D&D 5e has finally fixed their weapon weights (for the most part) and I think it would be nice if Black Edition did so too, since it's fairly easy to find correct weapon weights online these days, so it wouldn't be too much work to fix.

          An actual one-handed arming sword, which is erroneously called a longsword in many RPGs (longswords are generally two-handed or at best hand-and-a-half swords), weighs around 1.1 kg, or 2.2 lbs. But unfortunately SWD lists the weight at a whopping 8 lbs! That's actually as much or more than many cermonial oversized Zweihanders, which were too unwieldy to be used in combat. An actual Zweihander for combat use would weigh in around 4.4--7.1 lbs., but in SWD it s weight is listed at 12 lbs.

          Anyway, as you can see the trend is that medieval weapons in SWD weigh up 4 times as much as they should.

          I personally use the significant items encumbrance system from Zadmar's Savage Armoury or Gold & Glory, so it's not really a big deal for me mechanically, but it bothers me when players get the wrong impression that weapons are ridiculously heavy.

          While we're at it, could we please have the katana nerfed, or just have OP katanas as a setting rule? A katana is just a short hand-and-a-half sabre, and shouldn't have AP 2 or Str+d6+2 damage. Curved cutting swords like the katana, sabre, shamshir, messer etc. extremely poor against most forms of armour, and shouldn't have AP; they are meant for chopping up unarmoured or very lightly armoured opponents, and are very good at that role. I know Hollywood often has katanas cutting through robots and stuff, but it would be nice to have that as a setting-specific sort of thing rather than being in the default weapon list.

          Edit: I don't mean to sound like I'm attacking the system or asking for full-on simulationist gameplay like GURPS. I'm just a history and HEMA nerd, so it's in my nature to be pedantic about this sort of stuff.
          I agree with the katana. I wish you had the option to do a Hollywood style version or a more realistic one. Also, do note that most katanas were made of poor quality metal. In one of the recent Savage Worlds products one NPC gives a speech on how the katana is the best weapon and I remember wanting to wretch after that and several other things in the adventure that were the result it seemed of poor research.

          Anyway you might find this article amusing as it talks about Hollywood and swords

          http://www.cracked.com/personal-expe...side-look.html

          Comment


          • Deskepticon
            Deskepticon commented
            Editing a comment
            "Also, do note that most katanas were made of poor quality metal."

            Yes and no.

            The tachi (the katana's predecessor) was often of poor quality simply because it was a early style of sword, before certain advances in metalurgy and smithing. The nihonto (what we commonly call "katana") was typically a blended metal (sometimes called pattern-welded, or damascus steel), but with a higher carbon content on the edge, rather than throughout the whole blade.

            This made the nihonto very good at slicing (aided also by the curve of the blade), but brittle and prone to breakage.
            ______

            The thing to keep in mind is that the "katana" in SW core is very much a template; you can easily substitute it for a German langeschwert or Chinese dao and keep the same stats, no problem.

            ...much the same way the SW "long sword" is a one-handed weapon, modeled along the lines of the English sabre, Turkish kilij, Iberian falcutta, or medieval arming sword. The SW "short swort" describes weapons like the Roman gladius, Viking seax, or French basilard, while SW "dagger" is really just throwing knives (and a quick substitute for shuriken).
            Last edited by Deskepticon; 04-09-2018, 11:25 PM.
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