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> Emulating First Edition Combat, Weapon Classes are back
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derek_holland, Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation submitted 0 Resources has rated 10 resources, submitted 0 artworks and is involved with 0 projects.

I was skimming 1e a few days ago looking for something else and reread the combat section for the first time in years. What I forget was Weapon Classes. Instead of character level the ability to harm a foe depended mostly on the weapon. Here is the table:

1 Clubs, hammers, lances, maces, spears
2 Axes, daggers, flails, morning stars
3 Pole arms, swords
4 Vibro dagger*
5 Vibro blade, energy mace
6 stun whip
7 Robotic tentacles
8 Grenades, javelins
9 arrows, crossbow bolts, sling projectiles
10 Pistol slugs
11 Needler
12 Stun ray pistols and rifles
13 Laser pistols and rifles
14 Mk V Blaster and Mk VII rifle**
15 Black ray pistol
16 Fusion rifle, micro missile, mini missile

(No, I do not want to get into why Jim came up with the order of that table. It isn't relevant anyways.)

* Vibro weapons are force fields and obviously much wimpier in this edition than lightsabers.

** Blasters are combination weapons, but the primary effect is a particle beam.

The game then used a chart to compare Weapon Class versus Armor Class (in this case 10 to 1, and 1 meaning some serious powered armor) to see if the attack hits. Level advancement can improve the chances of a character hitting in combat, but it is but one of many different possible rewards.

So how to use this idea in Alternity? The easiest way is to disallow the heroes from taking any offensive skill except both martial arts and brawl. Instead each weapon has its own skill rating. The only way to improve it would be through Achievement Benefits (maximum of 2, cost as Wound Rating Increase).

Doing this would get players interested in finding better weapons not just for damage, but the ability to just hit in the first place. It also allows the GM to create weapons that are just that good in killing or incapacitating foes. And the best thing, it is very easy to use in Alternity. Trying to emulate it in Mutant Future is a headache and I wouldn't even try to in D&D of any edition. Though I can see how it could work in the 4th edition of Gamma World- THAC is easy to tinker with.

So, does this interest you at all? Is there any other setting where it would be appropriate?
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