Moreover, it really means players will make sure to always keep a backup weapon handy in case their primary weapon is in danger of breaking.
Yeah, that’s exactly the idea. I’ve been playing around with upping the weights of all items in the 2da as well, on the principle that players should have to make some genuine choices around carrying 1) that extra treasure from the dungeon, 2) a couple of spare weapons, and 3) enough food and water for everyone. (Although perhaps if they lose their shield, they can craft something from the chitin of that giant insect they just butchered…)
Does the system allow for repairing a weapon before it breaks?
Yup, it’s just a matter of setting the local int back to zero (and Rami handily included a ‘repair all’ script in the package). I’m thinking it might make sense to have that as a merchant option, and then a purchasable ‘repair kit’ that can be used on individual weapons.
not a big fan of item breakage. such mechanics only lead to gaming around the system like you described, or hauling around whole troves of weapons in case something breaks at an inopportune time. additionally you need to update the hud to include the item’s current condition to minimize frustration. it’s also not really fitting for bludgeoning weapons - those are sturdy and seldom break.
Well, it’s an interesting one, right? I imagine item breakage is quite divisive among a lot of people, but it’s such a famous part of the Dark Sun setting, and it brings something to the table for the basic gameplay loop (you’re a desperate scavenger who’s constantly struggling to survive in the wasteland, not a wealthy hero carrying his +1 Longsword around all campaign) and in the world-building (there’s nearly no metal, so the most common weapons are cruddy bone, obsidian or flint - even a bludgeoning bone club can shatter).
I was picturing something along these lines:
- Weapons are breakable, and have significant weight (so while a player is wise to carry a spare bone spear with them, they’re never going to be tooling up with a dozen different spears)
- There’s always unobtrusive chat messaging to indicate when a weapon hits certain key milestones of degradation, and the player themselves can check items in their inventory with a special tool (again, this is already in Rami’s system, thankfully!).
- The vast majority of weapons are common, basic-level bone until very late into the module, when unbreakable, highly precious iron weaponry might start to crop up. (So a player won’t get too mad if their spear shatters - it’s just a spear. They can always grab another one and coat it in deadly venom.)
- Enemies always drop their own weapons when appropriate (so if a player’s sword breaks during or after a conflict, they have a good chance of being able to find something else to defend themselves with - at least as a short-term replacement).
- Replacement weapons can also be crafted with a skill roll if the player uses certain animal parts found on their corpses (beast ribcages or insect chitin, say)
To me, that’s actually less intrusive than a dulling system, and fits the setting better; weapons are disposable and commonplace, rather than a permanent commodity that needs its own upkeep management (which is itself frustrating).