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Cutlass

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Cutlass

Postby CourtFool » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:31 am

One (valid) complaint I can see being leveled at M&M is a lack of granularity in weapons. In a Supers campaign, this is usually of little concern. However, I enjoy using M&M for other more mundane campaigns. Yes, yes. I know, why don't I use True20 or some other system. I find M&M to be superior. If True20 works for you, fantastic.

I am considering using M&M to run a 17th century Caribbean Pirate campaign. For the most part, I really do not need to tinker with the rules at all. However, being a perfectionist, I like to tinker and tweak. The first thing I thought to tinker with were the weapons. Sword is a pretty broad category and there were a lot of different long blades used in the 17th century. So I thought I might begin with the Cutlass, a pirate favorite.

Reviewing the Wikipedia entry, I see three advantages of the Cutlass over most other swords.
    Heavy enough to cut through rope
    Short enough to be useful in close quarters
    Simple to use

So I propose the following tweaks.
The Cutlass is +4 instead of +3 vs. inanimate objects.
The Cutlass may ignore up to one rank of penalties from close quarters (a -4 becomes a -3).
The Cutlass grants a +1 Attack bonus for anyone with a base +0 Attack bonus.

Criticisms? Thoughts? Are these bonuses too generous? Are they so limited as to be useless?
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Re: Cutlass

Postby peregrine » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:43 am

If you really want to run a pirates game, with that kind of specificity, I honestly don't think M&M is the right system to use. It's ok for a lot of stuff, but it really is designed for super heroics. You might want to look at Seven Seas, which is designed for pirates and that sort of game from the ground up.
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Re: Cutlass

Postby kenseido » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:24 am

CourtFool wrote:The Cutlass is +4 instead of +3 vs. inanimate objects.

Maybe just Improved Sunder

CourtFool wrote:The Cutlass may ignore up to one rank of penalties from close quarters (a -4 becomes a -3).

Not familiar with this penalty.

CourtFool wrote:The Cutlass grants a +1 Attack bonus for anyone with a base +0 Attack bonus.

Sounds more proficiency based, which in a pirate type game, I would adapt the D&D 3E proficiencies and put Cutlass in Simple Weapons Proficiency.
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Re: Cutlass

Postby Inviktus » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:46 pm

I would suggest adapting some True20 weapons charts, such as the one in the True20 Freeport Companion.

That book has a Cutlass as a martial weapon that does +2 damage and crits on an 18.
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Re: Cutlass

Postby poodle » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:08 am

I probably wouldn't mess with it myself. A cutlass will do similar damage to a longsword, khopesh, falchion, kukri, sabre etc etc... I probably wouldn't tweak it more than adjusting damage values maybe. A cutlass does have a heavy curved blade designed for slashing so tweak crits or make it +4 damage. Inbuild feats is a good idea though. I guess the question is a) how much work you are willing to put into it b) is it really necessary or just a matter of descriptors.
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Re: Cutlass

Postby Jack Crow » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:25 am

The Warriors & Warlocks supplement has a little broader weapon list. It's still not ideal (and it doesn't do much to improve the cutlass), but if you're running that kind of campaign anyway it might be a useful resource.
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Re: Cutlass

Postby Arkrite » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:24 pm

CourtFool wrote:So I propose the following tweaks.
The Cutlass is +4 instead of +3 vs. inanimate objects.
The Cutlass may ignore up to one rank of penalties from close quarters (a -4 becomes a -3).
The Cutlass grants a +1 Attack bonus for anyone with a base +0 Attack bonus.


I would just give it Improved Sunder (for the rope coment), for ease of use you could just add the Accurate feat (+2 to attack) to cover how easy it is to use.

There are no penalties for fighting up close, and I suspect any that would pop up are more due to complications. ("Trying to swing your flamberge around below decks? Sorry, it's stuck in a beam, you're going to need a round to pull that out")

My usual approach is "Keep it simple", so once you have an idea of what you want it to do just skim through the feats section and see if any of the stuff there covers what you want the sword to do. They're easy enough to slap onto the sword, and a feat or two on two or three different swords can make the same amount of damage feel different. For example:

Broadsword (Improved Critical, Power Attack)
Rapier (Improved Initiative, Defensive Attack)
Cavalry Sabre (Takedown, All-Out Attack)

And those are probably bad examples of the swords listed, but it's more to illustrate how they can give a different feel without having to change the weapon too much.

Edit: whoops, removed refference to wrong edition of rules.
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Re: Cutlass

Postby Rabbitman » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:20 pm

I agree with the suggestions to use feats, it makes it easier to price/value equipment exactly as they do in the M&M 2e rules.

All of them are built using the Strike power and then translated to equipment points instead of pp.

Minimum cost is 2 points (Damage 1, Mighty), Improved Critical is an extra point, Accurate (+2) is an extra point, Thrown is an extra point etc.

If a Sword is damage 3, Crit on 19-20 and Mighty then you could make a Cutlass damage 4, Crit on 20, Mighty and Accurate (+2 accuracy) and it would be 6 points instead of 5.

That would represent the Cutlass being heavier for more damage, more accurate for easier to use but potentially less dangerous in the hands of a skilled swordsman due to the lower crit chance.
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