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Weapons stats


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Directed primarily at those who have played or own multiple editions:

Are the Fantasy Hero weapons stats something that have been reprinted, more or less unchanged, edition to edition? Or have their been significant revisions? For instance, has the pike always been -1 OCV, 2d6+1 K?

 

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There have definitely been some changes to STR Mins (not just the Limitation values, but the STR Mins themselves as well). Before 5E, STR Mins were based on the Active Points in the weapon.  This was often fine, but could sometimes result in STR Mins that seemed to defy common sense.  From 5E onward, STR Mins are simply chosen to suit the weapon, and the value of the Limitation they get is just based on how high the STR Min is.

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On 5/8/2021 at 1:57 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

There have been slight changes over the years, but not major ones.  I've been doing a lot of research and study on fantasy weapons to try to get a better handle on how tough, heavy, etc they are to try to create better stats.

 

nicely done, even if unintentional... :)

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Sorry to be late to this thread, but I had to go dig up all my copies of FH to see if I had lost my mind.  Because I love all you guys, but I have no idea what you're talking about: every edition of FH has made significant changes to the weapons chart.

 

Bear in mind that I have played a lot of FH so it's very close to my heart.  There is no more important chart in any fantasy RPG than the weapons table, because fantasy campaigns are almost by definition melee combat campaigns, and many fantasy archetypes are literally defined by what weapon they carry (swordsman, knight, archer, samurai).  Thus even "minor" changes, like, aren't.  Follow me as we trace a handful of weapons through Fantasy Hero history!


FH 1st/3rd:

Pike (Long Spear)    Str Min 15, -1 OCV, 2D6K, 2H, Long
Boar Spear            Str Min 10, -1 OCV, 1.5D6K, 2H, Long
Broadsword            Str Min 12, +1 OCV, 1D6+1K
Francisca            Str Min 13,  0 OCV, 1.5D6K
Heavy Long Bow        Str Min 19,  0 OCV, 2d6K, 2H, -1/4"

 

The original FH notably did not have many options for sharp stick: Pike, Boar Spear, and Generic Polearm are your choices.  We also see the beginnings of the FH concept that Every Weapon Type Has A Gimmick, so axes do damage, picks are AP, and (most) swords get +1 OCV (but not you, Bastard Sword, you bastard).


FH 4th:

Pike                Str Min 15, -1 OCV, 2d6+1K, 2H, L3, Set
Long Spear            Str Min 13, -1 OCV, 2d6K, 2H, L3, Set
Medium Spear        Str Min 10, -1 OCV, 1.5d6K, L, 1.5H, Set
Broad Sword            Str Min 13, +1 OCV, 1d6+1K
Francisca            Str Min 13,  0 OCV, 1.5d6K, Thrown
Heavy Long Bow        Str Min 17, +1 OCV, 2d6K, 2H, +1 RMod, no horse

 

4e FH did the math and revamped the entire weapons chart according to active points and limitations.  It is the most balanced of all the weapons charts, at the expense of granularity (most Str Mins being 10/13/15/18).  

 

Here the Pike splits from the Long Spear, and the Medium Spear is invented (along with a host of identically-statted polearms).  Broadswords gain a space which I guess makes them slightly heavier, and axe technology takes a leap with flingable Franciscas.  The Heavy Long Bow gets a reduction in draw weight, and the Very Heavy Long Bow appears taking the 19 Str Min slot.  Horses are now banned from wielding longbows, presumably because they lack opposable thumbs. ;)


Hero 5th:

Spear, Long            Str Min 13, -1 OCV, 2d6K, 2H, L
Spear, Medium        Str Min 11, -1 OCV, 1.5d6K, 1.5H, L
Spear                Str Min 10,  0 OCV, 1.5d6K, Thrown!
Sword, Broad        Str Min 12,  0 OCV, 1d6+1K
Axe, Francisca        Str Min    12,  0 OCV, 1.5d6K, Thrown
Longbow, Heavy        Str Min 15,  0 OCV, 2d6K, 2H, +1 RMod

 

5e Hero took the carefully balanced chart from 4e, laughed contemptuously, and stomped it into a gurgling pulp.  Pikes are not present in the abbreviated Big Black Book weapons table.  Long and Medium Spears come through almost unchanged, but look at the shiny new entry for Generic Spear!  The new sharp stick does 2d6+1K at Str 20, with one hand and no OCV penalty, and you can throw it!  Why you wouldn't lop off the back 2-3 feet of Medium and Long Spears in 5e, I'll never know.

The other weapons we're looking at get a little lighter, but the Broadsword loses its OCV bonus and becomes purely inferior to all other weapons (but especially spears).

 

FH 5th:

Pike                Str Min 15, -1 OCV, 2d6+1K, L2, 2H, Set
Spear, Long            Str Min 13, -1 OCV, 2d6K, L2, 2H, Set
Spear, Medium        Str Min 10,  0 OCV, 1.5d6K, L, Set, Thrown
Sword, Broad/Long    Str Min 12,  0 OCV, 1d6+1K
Francisca            Str Min 12,  0 OCV, 1.5d6K, Thrown
Heavy Long Bow        Str Min 15,  0 OCV, 2d6K, 2H, +1 RMod, no horse

 

Universal systems aren't: the 5e FH weapons chart is almost the same as the 5e Hero weapons chart, but there are still minor differences here and there.  The Pike returns in this full-length chart, while Spear 2.0 officially becomes Medium Spear and gains Set.  Seriously, Medium Spear is a full DC better than any other weapon in 5e FH.


FH 6th:

Pike                 Str Min 15, -1 OCV, 2d6+1K, EL, 2H, Set
Spear, Long            Str Min 14, -1 OCV, 2d6K, EL, 2H, Set
Spear, Medium        Str Min 12,  0 OCV, 1.5d6K, Set, Thrown
Sword, Broad/Long    Str Min 12,  0 OCV, 1d6+1K
Francisca            Str Min 12,  0 OCV, 1.5d6K, Thrown
Longbow, Heavy        Str Min 15,  0 OCV, 2d6K, 2H, +1 RMod, no horse

 

6e FH sees relatively few changes to the weapons chart, though thankfully someone noticed that sharp sticks were out of line.  


FH Complete:

Pike                 Str Min 15, -1 OCV, 2d6+1K, EL, 2H, Set
Spear                Str Min 12,  0 OCV, 1.5d6K, Set, Thrown
Sword, Broad/Long    Str Min 12,  0 OCV, 1d6+1K
Longbow                Str Min 12,  0 OCV, 1.5d6K, 2H, +1 RMod, no horse

 

FHC keeps stats the same (as far as I can tell) but does away with half the weapons, so Franciscas and Long Spears are no more, and only the Medium Longbow is kept.  Given short shrift throughout FH history, the Bastard Sword not only has no OCV bonus, it doesn't even have an OCV bonus entry in the table due to one of the egregious typos.  Katanas are added though, so that's something?


I'd do a more thorough analysis but I'm leery of posting too much copyrighted material here and, besides, I'm supposed to be working.  I hope this little post is enough to show that the Fantasy Hero weapons chart has constantly evolved.  In my opinion the 4th ed chart is the best out of all of them, since it penalizes players the least for arming their characters however they want.

 

 

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