Weapons Masterby Peter Wyche (Peter.Wyche at hr-m.b-m.defence.gov.au)
When one reads the Dragonquest rulebook one fairly fundamental thing becomes clearly evident, and that is to create a really powerful DQ character the Player has to become a mage. But what of the player who does not want to be a mage? Clearly there is a need for a skill which provides for an alternative powerful character type to be developed.
A question I think you will ask is if we are trying to create a non-mage type character, why then do these rules allow for limited magic for the character? The reason is that the mages in our Canberra group have become heavily into investing items for use while campaigning, especially for use within the fights. As a consequence, it was seen that the weapons master when he/she has achieved higher levels in the skill should be able to do these investments for him/herself.
I am aware at least two articles have been published on this topic in the past. However, here is our groups answer to that problem, a skill we call weapons master. I would appreciate any comments about the rules via the Dragonquest Newsletter or directly to me via e-mail. Enjoy!
I wish to acknowledge the aid from Ken Ward and Clinton Moore-Crouch (the GM at the time these were drafted) as they were involved in the discussions which lead to the drafting of the first set of these rules.
An underlying fundamental tenet to the basic Dragonquest rules is that all players will aspire to being mages. The most powerful characters within Dragonquest are the mages and non-mages are weak by comparison. The skill of weapons master allows players to take a different avenue of development other than the one which is fundamental to the Dragonquest Rules; that is to develop characters which are warriors by nature. This does not preclude this player from eventually using limited magics to support this line of development, but it does preclude that individual from ever becoming part of any magic college. Conversely, no member of a magic college can ever aspire to the skill of weapons master. In order to develop this skill, the weapons table which is currently broken into a number of categories must be broken into a more diverse set of categories. These are documented at the end of this section. The ability for a player to open this skill and advance in this skill is dependant upon the number of weapons categories they have known weapons in and the relative ranks of those weapons.
The grouping of weapons is based upon the basic use of the weapon. Hence, the breaking of swords into stabbing versus edged swords. The basic use of a stabbing sword can be applied to any of the other stabbing swords even if the individual is not trained in the use of that particular weapons. A basic tenet of the weapons master training is the ability to adapt their knowledge of one weapon within a category to use another weapon from within that category.
The cost in experience points for weapons master is
A weapons master may use other weapons that the individual does has not been trained in providing they are within one of the categories in which the weapons master has a known weapon at a rank of weapons master Rank /3 rather than at the unskilled rank. A weapon outside of the known categories is still used as unranked.
To be able to open weapons master the player must have at least one weapon at rank 4. If the weapon in question has a maximum rank of less than 4 then it can only be counted for this purpose if it has the highest max rank within its category. To advance ranks in this skill the player must have additional weapons in unique categories at rank 4. To make rank 2, weapons must be known in 2 categories. To achieve ranks 3, 5, 7 and 9, the character must have 1 additional weapons for each in a new category at rank 4 or better. Thus to achieve rank 9 the character must have weapons to rank 4 in at least 6 categories. No weapon may be used to meet the requirements in more than one category.
To achieve rank 10 the weapons master must have a shield and a missile weapons from these categories. These may be part of the 6 categories required for rank 9. In addition, a weapons master may take a weapon to one rank greater than the maximum allowed under the rules providing their current weapons master rank is equal to or greater than the rank sought in the weapon. The cost in experience points for this rank is equal to the highest rank cost for that weapon even if this cost is not for that weapons maximum rank. If a character's strength is grater than 20 then he/she may reduce the experience cost in gaining ranks by 10%. If the characters strength is less than 14 then he/she increases the cost to gain ranks by 15%. Being a weapons master will allow the character to use knowledge from this skill to be used to make the learning of others that much easier.
There is a mutual relationship between weapons master and ranger. The cost in experience points to learn a new rank in the reciprocal skill is reduced by 50% if the current rank in that skill is less than its partner. The cost to open and subsequently learn healer is reduced to 75% of the original cost providing the current weapons master rank is greater than the sought rank of healer. If the player's healer rank ever equals or is greater than their weapons master rank then that player may never learn more ranks in weapons master. At rank 3 or more in weapons master, the cost to learn military scientist is reduced to 75% of the base figure, providing the military scientist rank being sought is less than the current weapons master rank.
A weapons master gains benefits while fighting as part of this skill. At rank 2 the weapons master may increase his/her defence by rank. At rank 4, the chance of a critical hit is increased by rank if attacking from the front or side but not from the rear. At rank 6 the chance of direct to endurance hits is increased by Rank/2. At rank 8 there is a decrease in the chance of a critical hit on the character by Rank/3. This negates the assassin critical hit skill. At rank 10 the chance of direct to endurance hits is decreased by rank. Finally, a weapons master may use a select range of magics to aid them in the use of weapons. This ability becomes available at rank 8 and if the player has an MA of 15 or more. Two spells can be learned at rank 8 with 1 additional spell being available with each additional rank. The spells of Enchant Weapon, Enchant Armour, Weapon of Flame, Weapon of Cold, Investiture, Purification and Force Shield. All of these can only be applied to the weapons masters own weapons if cast during combat but any item can be invested at other times.
The Guild fees for this skill are 200 sp per weapons Master rank plus the purchase cost for each weapon known multiplied by the known rank or 1,000 sp whichever is the greater.
The weapons groupings are as follows:
Last modified: 2002-Jun-13 20:18:16
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