Fine Heavy weapon

(Axel) #1

Hey Guys,
Im doing my first BoB campaign and so far (we are at Plainsworth) its been awesome. Love the balance between missions and campaign play. But I have a question.

Does a fine heavy weapon grant potency in melee? Is there a reason to choose this over fine weapon + shield for the heavy?

(Joel Short) #2

Depends on what you’re trying to do with it. Mechanically, in most circumstances, I’d say it doesn’t grant blanket potency (it might in certain circumstances, but blanket potency would make Weaponmaster redundant), but in affecting fictional positioning, it might change your risk or effect on certain rolls.

So, if you’re trying to keep a perimeter clear of Rotters while you squad rigs explosives on a bridge, I’d say having a Fine wave-bladed zweihander would mean that scale is less of a dominant factor against your heavy. Given their Threat 2 and Fine equipment, they’d be in a Risky situation if outnumbered, with Standard effect - they can keep the Rotters off for two ticks/a Standard rig roll. If they had a sabre and shield, I’d argue they’t be at Desperate, Limited - they can’t hold off as many rotters and this means more risk for themselves and the squad. Maybe they need an assist or backup from some squadmates.

Conversely, if our Heavy is trying to cover the Medic from missile fire as they haul a key alchemist to safety, then having a shield is going to significantly reduce their risk - even more so if it’s a tower shield. Risky, potentially Controlled, with the shield, vs. Desperate without. It’s all about how your choice of weapon affects your fictional positioning. This will change your Position and Effect, as well as which rolls you can make.

(Axel) #3

then I’ve been doing it right. It´s good in certain situations but not always. The question came up since the the player who is playing the heavy felt like choosing the shield combe is always better and that the heavy weapon should grant potency in fight vs Ache the infamous heartless.

(Joel Short) #4

I think using Wreck with a Heavy Weapon would be a lot more viable than with a Hand Weapon - more risky than skirmish, but more potential damage.

(A B) #5

You’re right, it’s partly about Position and effect, but I think you have to be more prudent in the way you allow this.

Let’s take your first example. If the guy with a Zweihänder is in Controlled position, then, in fact, he is better protected than if he has a shield ! Because being in Controlled always reduce your damage by one, while a Shield will be mechanically useful only once. I think, in your example, it should be more a balance : the guy with the big sword could be in Desperate/Standard (less protected), the guy with the Shield could be in Risky/Limited (less efficient).

Another way to use the characteristics of the equipment is with Devil’s Bargains, that’s what is described on page 76 “the devil is in the details”. So to apply that to your first example, one could say that… I don’t know… maybe “Collateral damage, unintended harm” ? So : “You have a Zweihänder ? OK, so, you jump around like a madman and swing your big sword wildly, and they won’t be able to pass at all, even on a partial. But the guy who is rigging the explosives also takes a 1-Harm wound, because you hit him unintentionally in the back while preparing an upward stroke.”

(Joel Short) #6

I wouldn’t give the first situation a Controlled position at all unless the Heavy had Weaponmaster or Pushed for Effect and traded Effect for Position; unless it’s only, say, one enemy I’d say any PC who’s outnumbered in melee should be in at least a Risky position. That said, I’d also make a distinction about who the harm applies to; Even if both situations are Risky/Standard, I’d say that the Heavy Weapon user will be more likely to incur harm to themselves while the Shield user might be less able to protect their comrades, leading to their harm.

(A B) #7

O yes, that’s good. But (advice to GMs new and old, because I tend myself to forget), don’t forget to announce this kind of “fun” consequence before the roll, or some players won’t be happy… “WHAT ? HE FAILED AND I GET THE F**** HARM ?”

(Joel Short) #8

I’ve had players move for a Desperate position for themselves to guarantee their friends won’t take Harm.