Gear in Beyonder: Weapons

What’s in your travel Sack?  Blades, bows, and more!

We continue our series about items in Beyonder with a look at weapons.  As we have said, when creating our game mechanics we didn’t want the game to devolve into an endless quest for more powerful gear.  In fact, many of the aspects of the system involve a sliding scale that allows for a rich variety of game experiences using a single mechanic.  For most actions, a single roll determines both success and the outcome of that success*.  With that in mind, we created our weapon system.  

Beyonder has general categories of melee weapons (blades, clubs, spears, etc.)  and ranged weapons (bows, javelins, throwing knives, etc.).  These categories can include a variety of specific items, depending on factors such as size of the user and quality of the materials:  

  • For a size(0) human, a size(-2) blade might be used as a dagger  
  • For a size(-3) wellyn, the same blade might be used as a greatsword
  • For a size(3) crawn, that blade might be used as a table knife

In a similar way, a throwing knife could be a shuriken or a chakram or any number of other similar weapons.  In each of these examples, the weapons could be standard, run-of-the-mill gear or top-of-the-line, finely crafted artifacts.  

Each type of weapon has a slightly different set of qualities with respect to damage, cost, and special abilities.  Larger weapons deal an proportionally larger amount of damage, as do more well-crafted ones. Generally, more expensive types of weapons either deal more damage or grant a bonus in certain circumstances.  For instance, the blade type weapon and the mace type weapon both deal +5 damage, but the blade also gives a +2 bonus to Stunts; as a result, blades have a cost of 2 rather than 1.  Similarly, both blowguns and bows have a cost of 2, but the bow deals +7 damage with no special abilities, and the blowgun deals no damage but can administer poison very effectively.  

Let’s imagine that you want your character to wield a specific weapon, but it doesn’t seem to fit in any of the types listed.  If this happens, we encourage you to create an “exotic weapon type” with the help of your Moderator.  If you come up with a good one, please tell us about it ( so we can share it with the Beyonder community!

Finally, let’s look at a rule that some people overlook, which touches on the benefit of carrying a weapon for self-defense.  Our combat system is balanced under the assumption that a standard fight is between two armed, armored combatants.  If you are not using a weapon to defend yourself, your opponent will get a +5 bonus to hit you.  Similarly, if you do not have armor to protect your body, your opponent gets an additional +5 bonus.  That means that if you have not weapon or armor, you are basically guaranteed to be poked full of holes in no time flat.  

We hope that you enjoy these tips and insights.  Stay tuned for an in-depth exploration of defense and armor, coming soon!

* See “Degrees of Success,” Beyonder: The Science of the Six, page 1.

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