Atlas Rules Resources Adventures Stories FAQ Search Links
Simpler Weapon Masteryby Håvard
We liked that it gave different weapons different benefits and that all weapons had some unique things that made them cool.
The fact that it made the PCs deal more damage per round meant that combat at higher levels was quicker even if the opponents had more Hit Points.
These days I would make it simpler:
Unskilled: -4 to Hit, 1/2 DMG
Basic: No bonus/penalties
Skilled: +2 to Hit, +1 1d6 DMG
Expert +4 to Hit +1d8 DMG
Master +6 to Hit +1d10 DMG
Grand Master +8 to Hit, +2d6 DMG
Example 1: A Magic user attacks with his dagger (expert mastery) at +4 to hit and does 1d4+1d8 points of damage (STR not included).
Example 2: A Fighter attacks with his 2H Sword (Grand Mastery) at +8 to hit and does 1d10+2d6 points of damage (STR not included).
- Attack and DMG bonus is regardless of weapon type, but DMG is added to base damage. This levels the field between different weapons. The main rules also do this, but through additional effects. This system penalizes 2H weapons a bit, so I might rule that at Skilled Mastery, 2H weapons no longer lose initiative.
- I would allow the Fight Defensively option to add the To Hit Bonus to AC instead of Attack if declared at the beginning of the turn. This replaces deflect etc.
- I could add the Primary/Secondary system, but then simply rule that Secondary Targets are treated as one Mastery Lower than Primary. It does add a bit of complexity so it depends on your tastes.
- Special weapons like Whip, Bolas, Blowgun etc still use the standard rules.
- Note that Fighters still have more options to train, so will end up with Higher Mastery in multiple weapons, but not necessarily cause much more damage than other classes. This is where the Smash Option comes into play. Magic-Users will also have a chance to deal a lot of damage with their allowed weapons, but since they should be doing spell research, create magical items etc, they will not have as much time for training as the Fighter. Weapon Mastery also beefs up the Thief Class.
Note that Weapon Mastery is never granted automatically. You need to find a trainer, spend time and in the end may not succeed. Masters and Grand Masters are difficult to find and may have better things to do than teach others. They may ask for favors in return. This can lead to many adventuring opportunities and roleplaying situations.