New Weapons

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New Weapons

Post by Inox » 2012-03-06

I am reposting to the new board my post on new weapons designs; what is and isn't allowed in Darkon. Maybe a mod can sticky this? Note that this post represents my opinion as an NC member and longtime player, but is not a guarantee of what the game will or will not allow in the future.

Multiple Head Chained Weapons: The three-headed flail existed in Emarthengarth (Darkon's predecessor), and it was called a Scorpion. With two or three-headed weapons, if the heads are big enough to be safe for striking, they bobble and tangle and are generally extremely difficult to control, making them unsafe. When the heads are smaller, they lash painfully, and are also unsafe.

Most people suggesting these over the years have wanted to call multiple Yellow hits when using them, too, which is a very munchkin way of looking at things. Should a trident be triple Red?

Long Flexible Weapons: In Darkon, weapon chains are limited to 1' in order to prevent players getting wrapped up by the 'chain' in a dangerous way. It is far too easy to wrap a longer cord around someone's neck, or to tangle his or her limbs and cause unsafe falls or dislocations.

To be clear, we specifically ban bullwhips, bolas, scourges/cat o' nine tails, manriki gusari, kyoketsu shoge, kusarigama, meteor hammers, flying darts, etc. In addition to the dangers I just mentioned, if you can get it moving like a whip, it's probably going to be able to deliver painful lashes like a whip. Also, the longer the flexible weapon, the less control in a group melee situation.

Finally, even the very short, semi-flexible whips such as the sjambok are not suitable. For both safety and playability reasons, we do not allow weapons with large amounts of flex. Flex is a lengthy topic beyond the scope of this primer.

Slashing and 'Draw Cut' Weapons: There are a great many very effective real life examples of weapons that function effectively with close-in slashing motions. Whether a draw cut with a katana or a pakal grip karambit slash, they are absolutely devastating to anyone not in heavy armor.

However, in Darkon, we are often all bunched up against one another, and we need a hit system that easily differentiates between incidental contact/misses, and an intentional, solid hit. For that, we require that all weapons be swung (preferably with the arm moving in at least a 90º angle) and come to a stop on the player struck. Accordingly, all weapons and techniques that can't meet those criteria are invalid.

While it has it's own section, I will mention it here as well: Everything that I just said goes triple for any silly RPG/anime weapons like Tira's hoop hubajube from Soul Caliber.

If you were thinking claws for your furry character...don't.

Punch Weapons: The katar, manople, and other punch weapons were all tried. For the record, a punch weapon is any weapon able to deliver a straight-wristed stab when the blade is in line or parallel with the forearm. It doesn't matter if it's a weapon with a crossgrip, if it's a spiked gauntlet, or whatever.

In every case, no matter the padding, the amount of force that some players could generate, and which was concentrated at a small point, made them unsafe. This makes sense, really, since in real life, these weapons were designed to penetrate armor.

I'd be willing to say that with modern weapons construction techniques, this is a problem that could potentially be solved. The tip would have to absorb an incredible amount of force, and there would have to be some sort of hand covering (courtesy padding) so that you couldn't accidentally punch that was another historical problem.

Basically, if you are already a master foamsmith, and you work up something really neat and safe, bring it to the NC.

Double-sided Weapons: These are notoriously difficult to control, and are primarily illegal for safety reasons, much in the same way using two spears at one time is illegal. That is, people tended to swing them chaotically.

Also, double ended weapons tend to be silly things, like double-sided flails, which could only ever be even theoretically viable made out of foam. We have enough problems agreeing on what constitutes a valid hit without allowing weapons that wouldn’t work in the real world.

That said, quarterstaves being allowed a stab tip at both ends is something that probably should go before the NC again.

Spiked Shields: These existed for a short time in the early days of Darkon. They came in two distinct varieties: those with a center spike, and those with one or more spikes radiating from the shield edge.

One of them was even constructed as an oval buckler, with what looked like a javelin protruding from the front and rear edges, allowing for a punch or elbow strike movement.

The radial spikes were unsafe for the same reason that punch weapons are unsafe (see above), with the added risk of occasionally punching someone with the edge of your shield. Unlike punch weapons, I am not sure this could ever be solved with better foam tech.

However, the center-mounted spikes were worst of all. If they weren't firm, it was too hard to tell whether you got hit by the spike or by the shield, and naturally people with those shields expected to do 'Red' every time any part of their shield made any contact with a player. If the spikes were firm, then the ridiculous amount of force that you can get behind a shield bash made them far less safe than punch weapons.

Tabletop RPG Weapons: Dungeons and Dragons is a great game. I started playing it back before a lot of you were born (c. 1980), and it will always have a place in my heart. That said, many of the weapons in modern versions are entirely goofy and impractical...especially almost all of the "double weapons". Keep in mind that if a weapon exists in D&D and not in the real world, it's probably not because no one ever thought of it before. It's probably because it works poorly if at all, and likely presents a danger to even the wielder.

Martial Arts Weapons: When the Monk class was new, we tried it all: nunchaku, tonfa, etc. Many of them would currently be illegal because of other Darkon rules or regulations, and the ones that do exist are best represented in our game by existing weapons, such as using a glaive or a spear instead of a tiger fork.

Weapons Attached to the Body: Due to anviling rules, these are illegal already. Also, see Punch Weapons, above.

Anime & Sci-Fi Weapons: Anime is an even greater offender than D&D. I mentioned it earlier, but Tira's hoop from Soul Caliber is a perfect example of untenable weapons. It's like a hula bat'leth, making the already mediocre-for-actual-combat bat'leth even worse. In addition to most of the weapons failing for some other reason, or just not being practical for Darkon, they have the added detriment of being recognizable as hailing from another genre. Darkon needs no Klingons or Jedi.

Random Thrown Weapons: Darkon used to have throwing axes and throwing hammers, and in addition to them being difficult to construct safely due to their "spinning in flight" aspect, they became a sincere nuisance during combat. So many people carried them that fights opened up with a constant barrage of them.
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Re: New Weapons

Post by jayjay » 2012-03-06

one question for when i'm checking weapons at check in; from my experience in amt (15 years) i'm not a big fan of whippy weapons. how much whip is allowed in darkon? if i were checking stuff at amt, more than 15% of whip on a long weapon pole, great sword, spear, etc, would get it disallowed on the field. if i disallow that at darkon am i being a dick or a good weapons marshall?

also, what of madus? there something we have in amt and come in two forms. one is basically a small down spear (three to four foot) with a small shield attached to it. the shield is generally buckler size, but not strapped to the arm. the other form is a middle madu. the same small shield but with two stab only spikes coming off of it. the spikes tend to be what would be a dagger in darkon and used in much the same way. i think belkev managed to salvage his middle madu from the fire. i'll see if i can get it off of him to bring out and show at some point.
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Re: New Weapons

Post by Lord Cailen Sendor » 2012-03-06

Madus currently is not allowed because you can not attach a weapon to a sheild.

You can on the other hand have a buckler then hold a short spear in the same hand that is legal.

As Inox stated clearly no spikes are allowed on any sheild.

As far as wip ... it depends on many factors... how long the weapon is ... what type of weapon it is ...ect ... as far as swung weapons if you raise a sheild 3" over your shoulder and the weapons "whip" allows it when striking your sheild edge in a downward swing toward the shoulder to actually strike the sholder then it is too much whip.

If in question ask your head weapon marshal on anything that is questionable to you - they should have the answers at the time that you seek and based on thier answer you can then apply that to the next time you see a similar weapon.
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Re: New Weapons

Post by LordTyrantCort » 2012-03-07

Inox, use your
To put this in the rule book
Live for the slaughter

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Re: New Weapons

Post by Taggart MacBannion » 2012-03-07

Does it need to be? Personally I like waiting to see someone to post some ludicrous weapon design before someone whips this sucker out.
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