APM: Those are likely good changes for the time period you are focusing on. Javelins and slings abounded.
APM: I think this is a quite reasonable house rule. You may want to review the D@W: Battles "Actions in Lieu of Attacking: Defend" rule. It provides for troops to form a shield wall/tortoise formation that provides +2 AC v. melee and thrown weapons and +4 AC v. bows.
I'm thinking perhaps a cloak-wrapped forearm should be +1 AC vs one melee opponent as a simpler way of doing it.
Hmmm, on the smaller, skirmish scale is that going to be too powerful? Obviously it still requires that you have lots of buddies who all have shields, but if there's already a rule I'd rather use it than make something up myself. Consistency is something I value.
APM: There is a Net entry on the weapon's table, yes. Your approach sounds fine.
That's what I get for posting before I'd read the PDF properly! Given a net is already +2 on those maneuvers and I don't want a cloak to be as good as a purpose-designed object, I'll make it +1 to Wrestling and Knockdown with a weighted cloak.
That means using your cloak has some value, should you find yourself without shield and/or a weapon. A not altogether unlikely occurrence if you're not expecting an attack.
One other shield-related point, there's a fairly well-known maneuver where you grab the rim of an enemy's shield and spin it hard. Which if their arm is strapped to the shield can often break it. How would you handle that sort of maneuver?
Give the shield spinning rims?
I would probably go with either a new combat maneuver or proficiency. Breaking someone’s arm is pretty powerful, so I think having two tiers of success would be a good idea: the lower tier being some sort of sprain that deals damage and temporarily disables the shield-arm for a 1 or more rounds and the higher tier being a broken arm that needs a healer to fix. Sorry for the lack of details, but I’m no game designer.
That actually happened in my last session - a zombie tore a henchman’s arm off that way. It was color text to a Mortal Wounds roll result, which is how I think this should be handled at the ACKS combat system’s level of abstraction. This maneuver is intended to disable your opponent for at least the duration of the battle. You disable your opponent by reducing him to 0 hit points or less. You reduce his hit points by making a successful attack throw and damage roll.
It sounds like an unarmed sunder, right? You hurt the other guy’s arm making his shield “useless.”
Hmmm, that works.
mmm, on the smaller, skirmish scale is that going to be too powerful? Obviously it still requires that you have lots of buddies who all have shields, but if there's already a rule I'd rather use it than make something up myself. Consistency is something I value.
APM: It certainly could be. The D@W rule assumes you have enough men in formation to be able to shield front, top, left, right, and behind. You need at least a depth of two men to make room for everyone to form the tortoise. So that's a minimum of 6 men. I think you could rule that if you form a shield wall with 6+ men, you can use the D@W benefit but less than that it's a reduced value.
I think that's a good compromise. It means you need a minimum body of followers to pull it off, but if you can, it's extremely useful.
I'm planning a historical game, which has no magic. But it's very much a game which will have loot and valuable stuff. Including valuable arms and armour, when manufactured by a master craftsman. While there are no "magic weapons" or "magic armour", I'd still like there to be a mechanical impact for exceptional gear, which will be very occasionally happened upon, and possibly commissioned.
There's a very helpful section in Chapter 9: Treasure which gave me the idea on what those impacts should be, the table for scavenged gear on p210. There are two better-than-normal qualities for weapons and armour (but not shields or ammunition), good and exceptional. Good items cost four times the listed price, have one special property and give +2 against Sunder manuevers. Exceptional items cost ten times the listed price, have two properties, and give +4 against being Sundered.
The other mechanical impacts are as follows:
- Good weapons: +1 initiative or +1 damage.
- Exceptional weapons: +1 to hit and with either +1 initiative or +1 damage.
- Good armour: Reduce Encumbrance by one stone.
- Exceptional armour: Reduce Encumbrance by one stone and +1AC.
Are they worthwhile and expensive enough? Should the multiplier be even higher for armour? What should the impact be on manufacture itself (particularly if a craftsman PC wants to make their own)?
I had worked out something similar a while back, but I wanted the prices to flow naturally into the prices of magic items. I concluded that magic weapons had three powers - the bonus to hit, the bonus to damage, and the ability to hit magic creatures. I then noted that a magic sword was 500 times more expensive than a non-magic sword, so I decided this represent a cost of x^3, where x is the base multiplier for one benefit.
This led me to conclude that (in your terms) a "good" weapon should cost ~ 8 times a smuch and an "excellent" weapon should cost ~ 64 times as much. There's a thread about this in the forums with more details.
In any event, there's no particular economics driving it other than the above, and in the absence of magic weapons at 500x base cost, your system is quite reasonable.
After some further discussion, shields are amended as follows:
- Cloak-wrapped forearm +1 AC vs one-handed melee
- Buckler – Cost: 5dr +1 AC vs melee and thrown Enc: Item
- Small shield – Cost: 10dr +1 AC vs melee and thrown, +2 AC vs missiles Enc: 1 stone
- Medium shield – Cost: 50dr +2 AC vs melee and thrown, +3 AC vs missiles Enc: 2 stone
- Large shield – Cost: 100dr +3 AC vs melee and thrown, +5 AC vs missiles Enc: 3 stone
In mass combat, they're simpler. Bucklers and small shields are +1AC, medium and large shields are +2AC. Locking shields gives the +2AC in melee, +4AC vs missile.
Yes, shields are extremely effective (if cumbersome). That's also a good incentive to attempt a Sunder on a powerful foes shield.