[Runequest] Weapon Damages

Nikk Effingham nikk.effingham at gmail.com
Sat Dec 11 20:05:16 EST 2010

Dagger damage was always nuts. Average damage is 4.5 which is a bit
absurd, Unarmed attacks are equally absurd just because of the damage
bonus. IMG we've reduced dagger damage to 1d6 and knife to 1d4. I've
stipulated that unless you have Martial Arts you don;t get a damage
bonus on your unarmed attack unless you special or better. To balance
this, I've introduced 'Boxing' and 'Wrestling' as martial arts, so
that even your occidental characters get to have access to deadly
unarmed combat if they want.

We've actually gone further, and changed the rules for what happens
when you special. IMG when a weapon specials you roll it's 'Special
Effects Die' (say a d6 for a dagger, or a d10 for a heavy mace). That
comes in both as extra damage and if you roll high enough you get a
special effec. So a dagger causes you to bleed out on a 4 or higher,
does an extra 10 damage if you roll a 6 (simulating hitting something
vital, which isn't as bad as you think - it is more or less equivalent
to saying it penetrates armour). A mace ignores soft armour on an 8+
(and 'crushes' which is to do with the fatigue system I'm

I've just noticed the same thing seems to apply to flails (2d6+2) -
same average damage as a greatsword (2d8), but the minimum damage is 4
and not 2, which is more deadly, as the maximum damage is irrelevant
more or less. Sure the flail only causes a max of 14 damage, but it's
not often that you're going to be in a situation where 14 damage plus
your magic and damage bonus don't do the trick, but the greatsword's
damage of 15 or 16 is superior. The only upside is that there's about
a 10% chance of doing 14+ with a greatsword and only 2% chance of
doing that with a flail. But given that the average damage is 9, 9
plus damage bonus and magic is likely to be enough (unless you're a
rune lord in a flush culture loaded down with enchanted iron, where
that higher damage will be useful) and if you roll below average,
you'll roll higher with the flail, it looks to me that the Military
Flail is the best weapon in the game (as I say, this will change when
you get to rune level and suddenly that greatsword's higher likely
hood of scoring iron-plate defeating damage will kick in). I'm sitting
here wondering whether this is a good thing or not.


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