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Weapon System, Compiling what we have thus far.
Knight of G
post May 26 2013, 01:10 AM
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Updated weapon system proposal! Still incomplete.

Types of Weapons: Click Here To Show/Hide This Text




System Basics: Click Here To Show/Hide This Text
Unlike previous systems, there is no system for weapon materials or spell complexity, as it is mostly irrelevant and based on flavor; please note, however, that exotic and expensive materials, especially if they function better than more ubiquitous materials, are more commonly found in higher-quality weapons. Use that information as you will.

Materials are in order from cheapest to most expensive: Bronze, Iron, Steel, Silver.

What magic can do is also mostly flavor; below are some suggestions as to what a given level of spell might be capable of doing. Keep in mind that beginner spells probably have fewer modifiers than more advanced spells, if only to keep the novice mage from exploding his or her own face.

Please note that some modifiers that were in previous systems simply don't exist as weapon modifiers, such as Shade, ???Slayer, Defensive, and Mercy, as these make more sense as abilities of the character than of the weapon. One must be trained in a fighting style to maximize one's defensive capabilities, or to know how best to strike an opponent in order to deliver the least harm and leave them alive, or maintain a level of stealth, or know how best to attack an armored/mounted/airborne/sword-wielding foe. The weapons, once you know how to use them properly, would give only marginal (and thus negligible) aid—except for flavor. That said... please include that flavor in your posts if you want it.

Melee Modifiers: Click Here To Show/Hide This Text

Below are melee modifers, usable for physical weapons:
• Heavy/Oversized: This weapon is larger and heavier than others of its type, adding more crushing force to its blow but detracting from swing (or draw) speed.
• Light/Finesse: This weapon is lighter and slimmer than others of its type, adding more swing (or draw) speed to its movements but detracting from the force per hit.
• Venin: This weapon is coated in poison, which ails the enemy even after the hit. Take care not to cut yourself!
• Conduit: This weapon is designed specifically with battle enchantments in mind, and provides a slight boost to their effectiveness.
• Thrown: This weapon is balanced in such a way that it can be thrown as a projectile. It does not guarantee that it will return to you after you throw it. (Not available for Bows)
• Reach: This weapon has a longer blade or haft (or can fire farther) than others of its kind, allowing you to attack from a slightly greater distance. Polearms have this as a free modifier and do not need to state it.
• Sturdy/Flexible: This weapon is less likely to shatter upon impact than others of its type, nor will it snap with pressure. (NOTE: Use your best judgment for which weapon type should be Sturdy and which should be Flexible. These were too similar in purpose to keep separate.)
• Brittle: This weapon is more likely to shatter upon impact than others of its type, leaving shards inside of a wound. Keep a spare handy!
• Cruel: This weapon has spikes, barbs, serrations, and other nasty things to make a wound less harder to heal or to cripple a foe.
• Balanced: This weapon has been properly weighted and feels right in your hand, lending it well to many combat styles. It has few weaknesses.
• Segmented: This weapon has detachable parts for greater distance and versatility, usually attached by a chain. Not for beginners. (Not available for Bows or Crossbows)
• Blunted: This weapon is kept dulled for extra bludgeoning force; Maces have this as a free descriptor and do not need to state it.
• Keen: This weapon (or its projectiles) are kept sharp for extra piercing or slashing precision.
• Compound: This bow has been made to maximize energy efficiency, and packs much more punch.
• Repeating: This crossbow has been constructed to fire multiple bolts in rapid succession.
• Double-Sided: This weapon is comprised of two sides, and requires extra training to use effectively, but is extremely versatile. (Not available for Bows or Crossbows)
• Brace: Weapons with this modifier can be planted against the ground for greater stability, or to set against a charge. Only Polearms, Bows, and Shields may have this modifier.

Note that there may be more such modifiers—like Ceremonial. Keep your minds open and impress us with what you come up with for individual weapons.

Magic Mechanics and Lore: Click Here To Show/Hide This Text
There are many things that the ignorant would call "magic." The learned, the scholars, the educated, and the mages themselves, however, classify the following types:

• Anima magic, also known as Elder magic as it stems from the world itself, refers to the very forces of nature. Practitioners of these arts tap into the elements of the natural world—the powers of wind, fire, earth, and the like—and command them to do their bidding. There are many schools of thought among Anima casters, and the philosophy of use varies across national borders.
• Dark magic manipulates primal concepts that have few names now recorded, along with shadows, fear, death, decay, and the very essences of life itself. Practitioners of Dark magic are little trusted outside of Atelrun, where it is known that the spirits of old speak to mages through the gentle shelter of darkness. Originally, it developed out of the use of staves, when a small cabal tried to cut out the focus objects and assume the magic themselves. As such, Atelians know that control and subtlety, not raw power, is the key to mastering this obscure gift.
• Light magic, or Divine magic to the Risvholi, includes in its purview the very workings of magic itself, and stems from faith; the stronger one's convictions and purity of belief, the more at peace one is with oneself, the more capable one is of drawing from the well of power that exists within the energy that stems from light itself. This does not mean that Light is innately good, however; Risvholi tutors tell warning stories of powerful heretics who were utterly convinced in the evil of their ways.
• Staves can also contain and channel magic of their own. Ages ago, Atelian (some even suggest pre-Atelian) woodland mystics encountered, and learned to channel, the powers of nature through objects tied to their respective elements. Through practice and refining, these have become the staves of today. Historically, they have been used to better treat wounds that even the potent Atelian elixirs could not heal immediately. More recently, however, the world at large has begun researching their effects on the flow of magical energy as a whole, and how best to utilize them offensively.
• Summoning is a more uncommon sort of magic that literally calls some sort of being to the caster's side. These can be used in many ways, from combat to menial chores to mounts, to simply asking advice... and the summoned entities themselves range from ghosts of ancient heroes to great creatures wreathed in flame and monstrosities built of earth. The debate of whether such demands on otherworldly entities is disrespectful or unethical, and how to treat them, rages on.
• Bardic talents are perhaps the oldest and least understood of all magical abilities; those who use them content that they are innate, hard to master, and almost impossible to teach unless the student has a true spark. Once properly developed, however, bardic performers can achieve near-impossible feats of inspiration, emotional manipulation, and ability augmentation, driving allies and armies on to greater and greater deeds—or preventing them.

Most contend that Anima, Dark, and Light are the three types of "magic" proper, and that Staves, Summons, and Bardic abilities are subsidiary "pseudomagics." Those who brag of how much they know say that the three proper magics form a trinity where one defeats a second defeats a third defeats the first, and that the pseudomagics are outside of this order.

However, a closer look at the history and development of these strange powers reveals that is not the case. The concept of a Trinity of Magic still holds, but is as follows:

Dark and Light align on a primal force axis, which most easily translates to direct damage.
Dark and Staves align on a life force axis, which most easily translates to healing and curses and slow-acting ailments.
Staves and Light align on a supranatural force axis, which most easily translates to resistance-piercing and spell-dampening.

Light is strong against Dark, and scatters the shadows and fears with brightness and surety.
Dark is strong against Staves, and overwhelms the mediated manipulations with raw channeled force.
Staves are strong against Light, and counters that confidence by altering the flow of the magic.

Like Summoning, which draws upon other beings, and Bardic performances, which draw upon the performer's own talent, Anima both affects and is affected by the Trinity in turn, depending on circumstance. It is, in fact, entirely separate from these; it functions within its own confines and in general has neither overt strengths nor glaring weaknesses in contest with members of the Trinity.

Magic Modifiers: Click Here To Show/Hide This Text

Spells can be one of two types:
-General: General spells are basic spells that are highly versatile. They can be used for practically anything, from an attack, to tasks around a home. This is the default type of spell.
-Specialized: Specialized spells are more complex spells constructed solely for the purpose of combat, and as such are more potent than a general spell.

Below are sample magic modifers, usable for magic weapons:
• Homing: A spell with this modifier actively seeks out its target.
• Discerning: A spell with this modifier, if it covers multiple targets, will only affect those chosen by the caster. The higher the complexity, the more targets can be discerned.
• Controlled: a spell with this modifier can move in a way other than a projectile path/straight line, as directed by the caster.
• Close-Range: This spell cannot be cast over a distance of more than an arm's length.
• Burst: This spell has an area of effect. The higher the complexity, the larger the radius.
• Lingering: This spell's effects last for a short while after the spell itself ends. The higher the complexity, the longer the effects linger.
• Delayed: This spell's effects occur after a short pause. The higher the complexity, the longer the delay can be.
• Illusion: This spell conjures a sensory illusion. The higher the complexity, the more realistic the illusion and the more senses it covers (i.e. no more than three senses at Complex).
• Entangle: This spell ensnares a foe. The higher the complexity, the longer the foe is ensnared, as the spell either dissipates or the obstruction can be cleared away.
• Vampiric: This spell drains life energy from the foe into the caster. (Dark only)

These sample modifiers are there to guide a player's thought process, not as hard-and-fast rules, as magic by default is adaptable and Generalized. Players are encouraged to refrain from Specialized spells, but if you choose to use them, you are not restricted to the list here—only to how strong you and your weapon are. Keep the other players in mind, and don't godmod.

Staves: Click Here To Show/Hide This Text
First developed in Atelrun in days long passed but by no means limited to that place and time, staves have long been the equipment of choice for priests, healers, and visionaries. The commonfolk are most familiar with the village healers mending a crippling injury in mere moments, but staves are in fact far more versatile.

Staves can heal, of course, through a few means; more accurately, they can manipulate the flow of life and magical energies. The truly skilled staff wielders know how to balance these tools for optimal use of defense, offense, and support.

Example staff modifiers include, but are not necessarily limited to:

• Curative: Staves with this property can heal those the wielder wishes. This is the most common modifier.
• Purifying: This staff purges ailments like curses, poison, or disease.
• Luminous: This utility-oriented staff can be used to produce a light source of some kind, stationary or otherwise. Stronger wielders mean brighter light.
• Remote: This staff need not be touched to the recipient of its magic, but can be directed at the target rather at a bowshot's range.
• Divinatory: Some rare staves allow the wielder to scry upon a known object, location, or being somewhere else in the world. This takes great concentration.
• Dampening: These staves leech power from offensive spells that pass through, for diminished effect.
• Discerning: Staves with this ability can allow limited differentiation in the staff's spell itself. For example, if also Divinatory, their wielders can cast spells on, communicate with, drop small items to, or otherwise affect the targets of their scrying. If also Dampening, the wielder may choose to have spells function normally in one direction. If also Curative, the wielder may choose which injuries to heal and which to leave. It cannot, however, single out individuals among all subjects within a Dome.
• Sharpening: The opposite of Dampening, these staves feed mana into spells that pass through their effect, increasing effectiveness.
• Absorption: This staff erects a one-time barrier around the target that nullifies a spell cast and converts it into some other form, be it magical energy for the staff wielder's next spell (Mana Absorption) or life energy for the target of the absorbed spell (Life Absorption).
• Debilitative: These staves have been adapted from their beneficial uses to inflict an ailment on the target, such as poisoning them, putting them to sleep, or limiting spellcasting ability. These effects can be resisted with by means of other staves, or apothecial concoctions like Pure Water.
• Stormguard: Originally used as rain-shields for Atelian travelling mystics, these utility staves protect the wielder from natural phenomena. They can, for example, provide a skintight warmth in extreme cold, or allow underwater breathing for a brief duration.
• Drain: Pioneered by Atelian cabalists of antiquity, some staves have been altered such that their flow of power is not outward, but inward. These draw power directly from their target into the wielder, either as an altered cure spell that sucks life force or as a tool to drain another spell's static power as mana.
• Dome: Extremely powerful staves create an effect over a large radius; the stronger the caster and staff, the larger the dome. This staff's magic affects everything under the dome. Originally constructed by Baltaneans to power several automatons at once with mana feed, some have been repurposed for war or other uses.
• Teleportation: These extraordinary staves, created by Risvholi summoners, can distort the field of space-time and provide instantaneous travel to the target from one to another specified location (though it may not always be entirely accurate, especially if the target resists the teleportation). It is considered bad form to try and teleport unwilling subjects. Unattended objects do not count as unwilling. This takes immense power and concentration, compounded by such qualifiers as unwilling targets and by the number of targets. There are stories of powerful sorcerers from antiquity teleporting themselves, but none alive today can perform such a feat.

Summoning: Click Here To Show/Hide This Text
Some extraordinarily talented individuals have learned to conjure up the very spirits of the world themselves to do their bidding, from the ever-practical Baltanese utility automatons to the animated torch-dervishes of Risvholi festivals. While many Atelians frown upon such acts, seeing them as disgraceful to those very spirits (and their own ancestors), others counter that as long as they are properly respectful of those entities they summon, a tasteful request for aid is not unacceptable.

Summons draw continuously on their summoner's magic power to sustain them, so unless they are supplied with an alternate power source or are destroyed, they will eventually drain their summoner to exhaustion and vanish. Most summoners therefore describe a duration. Unless otherwise stated, Summons are mindless and obey only those who have summoned them; trying to wrest control of another's summon is frowned upon, but possible—if you can convince it, willingly or otherwise.

Example Summon modifiers are listed below.

• Snapcast: This summon materializes immediately, but has not the potency of others.
• Ritual-bound: This summon is pulled into existence by means of a complicated ritual, which takes much more time than most summons, but leaves it much more potent.
• Utility: This summon's primary purpose is a particular monotonous, mundane task, and as such it is not well-suited for combat. Examples include an assembly-line automaton, plowing a field, etc.
• Mount: This summon's primary purpose is to serve as a mount.
• Semi-Intelligent: This summon can perform more complicated sets of directions, once provided, and has limited reasoning capability, but cannot truly think for itself.
• Intelligent: This summon is sentient and does not blindly follow directions, but can problem-solve in such a way as to fulfill even vague orders... if it approves.
• Puppet: This summon is directly controlled by its summoner... to the detriment of its caster's body, as it takes extra concentration.
• Puppet-Transfer: This summon serves as a new body for the summoner's mind for its duration, leaving the original body defenseless.
• Thoughtlink: Such a summon shares a psychic bond with its summoner, sharing sensory stimuli... and sometimes mental commands.
• Draining: Some particularly nasty summons can drain magic or life energy from other sources to fuel themselves.
• Manifest: The summon is literally the walking embodiment or construct of a substance, and can employ its own material in combat or otherwise. Risvholi favor such summons for their versatility, and often create such things as white-blazing battle chariots or great wind elementals to fill their sails.
• Possessing: This summon can take control of the body of a willing creature or inanimate object. It is considered taboo to attempt to possess an unwilling subject. By summoning a being's consciousness into a pre-prepared mechanical body and power source, Baltanese summoners have discovered how to keep such a summon around indefinitely... so long as the body remains intact and power source active.
• Swarm: This summon is, in fact, multiple entities that together constitute the abilities of a single ordinary summon, exchanging sheer quantity for one singly potent construct. The larger the swarm, the smaller each individual component of the swarm. Once, it was thought, Atelian mages could conjure up great numbers of powerful beasts or cadaver-soldiers, but none today wield that kind of arcane might.

Note that the kind of summon is, mostly, left to flavor. It could be a heroic ghost, or an earthen golem, or an animated suit of armor, or whatever works. (Or for non-animate summons, formed of shadow, or steel, or...) Feel free to construct such a modifier to describe your summon.

You may notice the absence of a summon that creates equippable objects. That sort of thing fits better, in this system, under the joint use of magic and melee, or perhaps summons and melee.

Bardic Performance: Click Here To Show/Hide This Text
From the work songs and marches of Baltanea, to the elegies and epic sagas of Atelrun, to the comic theatrics and orchestral spectaculars of Risvhol, some performers are exquisitely capable with channeling powerful forces through their arts. These arts can be anything from chanting verses to wild gyrating dances to slapstick pantomimes to operatic arias to anything in between... and their effects only last as long as the subjects can hear, see, or otherwise sense them.

Like magic, there are two kinds of Bardic performances, but this is where the similarity ends. Bardic performances can be either Global or Local.

A Local performance affects a select number of individuals, which the performer must choose by singling them out somehow at the onset of (or during) the performance. This might be eye contact, a tap on the shoulder, or a chanted name. A Local performer might therefore be required to join the fray to keep his subjects under his effects. Local performances do not affect unwanted subjects, but cannot cover the masses that Global performances can.

A Global performance affects anyone and everyone within eyeshot, earshot, or whichever pertinent sense-shot that can hear/see/whichever and understand the performance. Global performers might benefit from standing behind an allied army, granting their boons to all who can hear them. To affect foes, however, Global performers might need to find creative ways to limit their audience: like granting allies earplugs, singing in code. Global performances affect as many people as are within range, but cannot easily control for individuals.

Bardic performances also have modifiers that might apply, though these are only examples:

• Sensory: This performance increases (or decreases) the audience's sensory perception, such as sharpening vision.
• Focused: This performance aids (or hinders) the audience's aptitude at a specified manual task, such as distracting them from their work.
• Energizing: This performance affects the energy reserves of the audience, increasing (or decreasing) their physical prowess, such as inspiring them to run farther.
• Relaxing: This performance affects the audience's natural state, increasing (or decreasing) the natural ability to (and thereby likelihood of being able to) ward off unwanted effects by enemies, such as slowing poison.
• Reflexive: A performance with this modifier acts upon the audience almost passively, boosting (or diminishing) their split-second timing and decision making, such as dodging blows.
• Contemplative: Such a performance clears (or muddles) the minds of the audience for mental tasks, such as reasoning through a puzzle.
• Politic: This performance either aids (or hinders) the perception of the target's demeanor, affecting diplomatic outcomes, such as smooth-talking a trade dispute.
• Attentive: This performance directs attention toward (or away from) the bard and other targets, perhaps for a mass distraction.
• Emotive: This performance can affect the moods of audience members, from boisterous to valorous to amorous to morose.
• Compelling: The master performer may even attempt to direct audience members to perform specific actions, such as rioting. There are even rumors of some virtuosos who can wipe an audience's memory clean afterward, or give unheard commands, but no such rumors have ever been confirmed.
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