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Limit Weapon Master


Gandalf970
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I am sure you have all seen this.  Everyone of my players is a weapon master.  I find it unrealistic, but don’t want to totally outlaw it.  We use hit locations, impairments, criticals and bleeding rules in our game.  I was thinking of having the complete a certain amount of criticals and or impairments to qualify.  
 

I would appreciate your thoughts on what you have done in your games.

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46 minutes ago, Gandalf970 said:

I am sure you have all seen this.  Everyone of my players is a weapon master.  I find it unrealistic, but don’t want to totally outlaw it.  We use hit locations, impairments, criticals and bleeding rules in our game.  I was thinking of having the complete a certain amount of criticals and or impairments to qualify.  

 

Your post is a little vague. Do they all have the Weapon Master talent, or do they all have broad weapon-related skills? ("Weapon masters," in the colloquial sense)

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Yes I am talking about the talent Weaponmaster 12, 20 or 24 points for +3 DC.  It really overpowers my Fantasy Games as everyone save the Mage takes it automatically.  I just wanted to see everyone's perspective on the use of it.  Thank you steph for answering my question.

8 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

Your post is a little vague. Do they all have the Weapon Master talent, or do they all have broad weapon-related skills? ("Weapon masters," in the colloquial sense)

You missed the last sentence of my post, I would appreciate your thoughts on what you have done in your games.  It is any Weapon Master, but they have only been using the 12 pointer.

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I'm a little late to answering but the way I'd approach it is "what the hell is everyone not taking which leaves them with 12 points laying around to take a very expensive power"? They have to be gimping themselves on characteristics, skills, perks, or powers in order to have 12 points available. 

 

If everyone has 10 INT, for example, their perception rolls will be crap. 

 

And if everyone has 12 points to spend, why don't the vast majority of the bad guys have Weapons Master?

 

Honestly, that kind of thing is best addressed during character creation when you can point out the various character's weak spots and have them make adjustments. You can let them know that they don't have enough PER, enough BODY, enough STUN, enough non-combat skills, etc. and that you'll be running a campaign in which if they don't run a fairly balanced character, they'll pay for it.

 

Or you can tell them that if everyone is a Weapons Master that most everyone they meet will also be a Weapons Master. Combat will tend to be bloody and characters aren't likely to last long.

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It's just expensive. If everyone is talking it, either 1) you are giving them too many points for your concept, or 2) they all want to play weapon masters. If you ban it, they will do slightly less damage, but with the option of instead being very accurate when they feel like it. Literally, you are saying, "You can take CCLs at very high levels, but only if you don't put Limitations on them."

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My Fantasy Hero Characters are based on the Heroic standard of 175 Total Points with 50 matching complications and 25 maximum points per complication.   Archer that is the conversation I have had with them and I was just looking for what you did in your campaign.  We have only been playing Hero for a year and a half so we are still learning the system.  We have played together for 40 years as a group, so they understand when I limit them or ask the questions.  As a rookie GM to Hero I was unfamiliar with the power curve and now understand some of the things I must limit.

 

OCV + DCV 6 max, Weapon Master, skill level max of 13 and small other things that have caused various issues in our game.  Thank you for the help.

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I am not a big fan of hard limits.  When I run what I usually do is to let the players know that if the players create characters that are too powerful in an area I will up thing to match.  For example I normally prefer the DEX and SPD of the characters in a fantasy hero game to keep the DEX and SPD at moderate levels.  If all the characters end up with high DEX and SPD I will boost up the opposition.    Since as GM I have unlimited points to spend this is a war they can never win.  After a while the players get the idea and don’t go overboard.   

 

Players want their characters to have cool power that makes them unique.  Spell casters can create spells so can easily accomplish this.  For characters who don’t use magic this can be a problem.  The talents can often solve this problem, but there are not a lot of talents even with the extra talents in Fantasy Hero.  The hero system martial arts book can add more options for your players.  You can also allow them to create their own talents subject to your approval.  

 

If you are going to set limits keep them broad.  Instead of putting limits on weapon master put a limit on the total DC they can achieve.  Make sure to account for all the ways that a character can get his damage up and set a realistic limit.  Many GM’s when they do this set the limit too low because they fail to factor in things like pushing and haymakers.  So instead of putting a restriction on the base OCV and another one on skill levels combine them and put a limit on how high the OCV can go period.  The same goes for DCV and damage.  Trying to control the individual methods of how a character achieves the results is like herding cats.  Maybe allow one player in the group to be able to go slightly over one of the limits to give them something unique.   So maybe the thief in the group can get his DCV slightly over the limit, while the barbarian can go slightly over in damage.  
 

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There are a few talents in Fantasy Hero and Champions which I suspect were added in because they mimic D&D feats, and the writers wanted to show how you'd do it in this game.  They are talents I do not like or want in my game (Weapon Master, Deadly Blow, etc).  They're DC cap breakers and unbalancers.

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I give my players an idea of the average number of Damage Classes their characters should consider being able to dish out.  The axe-wielding dwarf character gets to that level of damage with brute strength and heavy weapons.  The reformed assassin character doesn't have the dwarf's muscles, and so might use Weapon Master to reach that level.  The master swordsman might have a Fencing Martial Arts package.  The barbarian character might have a Berserker's Rage ability bought as an Aid to buff their combat prowess.  The grizzled veteran soldier might just have lots of Combat Skill Levels.  Any one of them might exceed the soft DC cap doing a Haymaker or high damage Martial Arts maneuver, but the regular damage each one of them does is within a DC or two of each other even though they all have very different combat styles.

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I use 6 DC as my target at the beginning of the campaign usually.  That tends to creep up as players gain experience and magic weapons, but it starts everyone off at about the same point.  Because it is easy to exceed 6 DC mechanically, this means players spend points elsewhere rather than focusing on how much damage they can dish out which tends to make for characters that are more well-rounded (although to be fair, frequently those points end up in OCV and DCV).  But my players understand that they will be facing opponents that are geared for their power level.  Invariably someone has a character conception that focuses on lots of damage and I let them through with a 7 DC attack, but I have also had players who go with a 4 or 5 DC attack so they can focus on other skills with the knowledge that while they might not be the most effective in combat they won't be useless either.

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On 12/12/2020 at 11:17 AM, Christopher R Taylor said:

There are a few talents in Fantasy Hero and Champions which I suspect were added in because they mimic D&D feats, and the writers wanted to show how you'd do it in this game.  They are talents I do not like or want in my game (Weapon Master, Deadly Blow, etc).  They're DC cap breakers and unbalancers.

 

Maybe? Weapon Master has only a familial relationship to Weapon Specialization, whereas Deadly Blow reflects things I've been doing for decades. Every since 4e Ninja Hero gave me to go nuts with modifying skill levels, I've been doing all kinds of stuff. +2 PSL, only versus vitals is the closest thing to D&D sneak attack, but it's a completely vanilla Hero option. I think Weapon Master was added so someone with STR 15 could reliably put down an orc in one or two hits, like they do in the movies, as an alternative to Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting.

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The thing is, its a mistake to think of Martial Arts as being exclusively Asian formalized combat.  Martial Arts in hero (and honestly, the real world) is much much broader: boxing, Roman Legionnaire training, jousting, etc.  Its any kind of system of fighting trained to multiple people using the same methods.  It doesn't have to be Karate or Savate, it can simply be "here's how you avoid being punched" or "this is the best way to use a knife in this situation".  That kind of training makes a hell of a lot more sense than just "I hits real hard lulz"

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12 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

The thing is, its a mistake to think of Martial Arts as being exclusively Asian formalized combat.  Martial Arts in hero (and honestly, the real world) is much much broader: boxing, Roman Legionnaire training, jousting, etc.  Its any kind of system of fighting trained to multiple people using the same methods.  It doesn't have to be Karate or Savate, it can simply be "here's how you avoid being punched" or "this is the best way to use a knife in this situation".  That kind of training makes a hell of a lot more sense than just "I hits real hard lulz"

 

Of course. I see you correctly identified I was referring to the Martial Arts rules. Of course, Weapon Master is based on CSLs and therefore represents the same kind of training as a Martial Arts build, with a slightly different mechanical focus.

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