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TheWanderingJewels

L5R RPG: Short handled Tetsubo

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I definitively like the Ararebo! I'm also trying to come up with decent stats for it, trying to make comparisons using  http://lynks.se/probability/#4k4

The basis guide is the relationship of the one-handed axe "masakari" (2k3) with the two-handed axe "ono" (0k4).

Off course the comparison is worthy only for Str 4 bushi: in this way the average damage of the Masakari is 4 pts less than the damage by the Ono.

 

Trying to do the same with Tetsubo/Ono could sound tricky, especially since in this game Tetsubo is so good in terms of DR (maybe even too good).

To get an average damage of 4pts less than the Tetsubo (3k3) my proposal is that we should give to the Ararebo a DR of 5k2.

I'm tempted to scale it down to 4k2, but if I do that it will become weaker than the same-sized masakari.

What do you think about it?

 

 

Edited by LucaCherstich

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I would agree with AtoMaki and Okuma there is not enough there to warrant is own stats.

I would eather use it as Tonfa or a small Tetsubo.

On the 1-hand vs 2-hand thing there is not much difference in the game besides if you can use it in two-weapon fighting.

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I don't usually like to get too fussy/wanky about "accuracy" in RPG weapon stats, but I think the Ono:Masakari analogy doesn't quite work. You don't want to get hit by an axe because... it's sharp. A little extra weight and length in the shaft, and a bit of extra force from a two-handed swing, will make it hurt a bit more, but in the end it is sharp regardless of how much weight and leverage there is behind the blade.

You don't want to get hit by a tetsubo because it's long and heavy. That's it. Making a tetsubo shorter and one-hand-able causes it to weigh less and hit with less momentum--i.e., subtracts from the only characteristics that allow it to do damage. So if you really want to have separate stats for such a weapon, it should probably reduce the DR more than when you scale down an axe from ono to masakari size.

As a tangent, I kind of get the impression from its description in the rulebook that a masakari is only a "heavy weapon" because the system doesn't have (and to be clear, doesn't need) separate weapon skill categories for Axes, Hammers, etc. They didn't have anywhere else to stick a medium sized axe, so it went in the same skill category as the big one. If I had a player that wanted a small iron club/studded short stave, I'd probably let them wield it with either Heavy Weapons or Staves depending which skill they had/how they used it.

 

Tl;dr: I agree with other posters that if you want to make a heavy club weapon that's one-handed it's probably easier to just add a few rolled dice to a tonfa or jo.

In any case 5k2 seems way off to me--that's the DR of a dai-tsuchi, which is an enormous two-handed hammer. Nothing else in the core book gives more than +3 rolled dice to damage, I believe.

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1 hour ago, locust shell said:

As a tangent, I kind of get the impression from its description in the rulebook that a masakari is only a "heavy weapon" because the system doesn't have (and to be clear, doesn't need) separate weapon skill categories for Axes, Hammers, etc. They didn't have anywhere else to stick a medium sized axe, so it went in the same skill category as the big one. If I had a player that wanted a small iron club/studded short stave, I'd probably let them wield it with either Heavy Weapons or Staves depending which skill they had/how they used it.

 

The weapon groupings are a little wonky, yeah. Polearms and Spears are separate only because they didn't want one skill to cover too many weapons (one of the designers actually said that at one point; I'm not pulling it out of my ear), and I can only assume tonfa and nunchaku are in the Staves category on the principle that hey, they're made of wood -- even though the way one uses them is nothing like a staff. (One of my house rules takes those two, jitte, sai, and machi-kanshisha, and puts them all into a Bludgeons category. I'm usually against skill bloat, but in that case I felt it was justified.) So yes, since there's no Axes skill, Heavy Weapons is the next most natural place to put the masakari.

I agree that there's no real need to give a short tetsubo its own special snowflake stats -- its effect wouldn't be meaningfully different from a tonfa, which is kind of overpowered as written. :-P

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Historically, the different types of Kanabo (which includes the Tetsubo and Ararebo) were designed to break bones, regardless of armor/thick skin. Bladed weapons were good against unarmored or lightly armored opponents, but had a hard time wounding real warriors and animals (remember that the katana were nowhere as sharp as Hollywood wants you to believe)

The Tetsubo was an enormous and heavy weapon, with a momentum that was very ahrd to control. Miss you enemy, and the sheer weight of the weapon would thrown you off-balance, leaving you open to a dangerous counterattack. That was the main asset of the ararebo. A lughter version of the tetsubo would not be as devastating, but could easily break your arm or a few ribs. And that alone is enough to take you out of action. And misses would be much easier to control.

 

Since the Tetsubo, as written, offer no similar drawbacks (like -10 TN until your next turn if you miss, for example), the Ararebo has no use, gameplay-wise.

 

It doesn't make the weapon any less fun to draw and look at, which explains its presence on the cards, however.

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