Sunday, September 26, 2010


In the current JAGS rules Axe is just plain "worse" than sword (for one version of Axe and Sword). Here's the current thinking:

Sword: 6 PEN, Med Reach, 1 hand, 5 REA to swing, 5 REA Back Swing, two attacks per round at L3
Axe: 8 PEN, Med Reach, 2 hands, 5 REA to swing, 7 REA Back swing, -1 to block, two attacks per round at L3

The numbers, for the 8 AP Herds balance.



  1. Have you thought of making loose categories, like "big, badass weapon", "light, long, and fast", "short, concealable, and fast"? You could then balance them and let folks beef them up with AP or something (for that *cool* set of knives). It always annoys me when systems punish me for trying to be cool and colorful.

  2. I'm not adverse to doing things that sort of thing. I want to have it both ways: It is my observersation that shopping/outfitting is a certain kind of fun and having specific pieces of gear help with that (for example, if the gun-guy can choose from several 9mm builds that all are subtly different and get the glock they love because it's reliable that's a plus).

    On the other hand, we're not likely to have "sickle and scythe" combat style and if you are making "The Red Terror" then you might want that (and those weapons) and then what do you do?

    So the idea would then be to have some kind of weapon-construction sub-system or just declare them to be like "an axe" and "a broadsword" and go to town.

    I suspect that the final optimal solution would look like a price list with each weapon listed and then some Advanced rules in the back for building your own (and, really, if someone wants an axe that works "like a broad sword" I don't honestly care so long as all the other players can tell it works that way and have the option to get that as well.


  3. I realize you basing this on the simulation tests, but I have to suggest that for some builds the axe will work out flat out superior; anyone who doesn't plan to take more than one swing anyway and doesn't have enough REA to take two and still get a defense won't care about the REA cost, and anyone who primarily uses a shield for defense won't care about the parry penalty. If anything, for those builds (and that strikes me as a lot of them in fantasy games) the difference in damage makes the axe too attractive.

    (Caveat: this assumes the axe involved is usable one handed, but the weapon table is generally pretty unclear about this).

    Also, I have to say I'm not a big fan of "big vague categories" in weapons, and I think its not a great match to a game as simulationist in bent as JAGS is.

  4. D'oh. I just noticed you mentioned in the post its assumed the axe is two-handed. I'm a doof, and disregard some of that.

    That said, since as far as I can tell you can still Dodge a melee attack, its still pretty trivial for the downside to not matter to you much, but the extra damage to matter a lot (naturally this varies as to what kind of Archetype abilities are available; the more other good ways there are to get damage, the less the base weapon damage will matter to you).

  5. In order to have a good dodge you have to have points invested in Acrobatics which is a separate skill: if people wish to use an axe and dodge and split their combat skills that way, I'm totally good with it (or just dodge and use their AGI--that's okay too: it costs 5 REA).

    It's also important to note that in some conditions any weapon will be better than another (for example, a gun is far superior to any sword if you can get and keep range). The simulated test has a number of scenarios involved that should give it at least some 'range of testing.'

    However, yes: if what matters most to the PC is the base damage AND they are planning on only swinging once per round? Then an axe is a pretty good choice ... and that's okay: given any set of parameters it's likely /some weapon/ will be the best choice.


  6. I just think that for non-shield users, that combination is going to be pretty common; you likely in most campaigns need something to do about ranged attacks, and unless I'm misremembering a melee weapon Parry is useless there.