As I read today’s primary prompt, I was excited. Weapon. Look, I play a lot of games, but another hobby of mine for a long time was the study of the medieval longsword. I also have a fondness for the arming sword and the viking sword and axe. I love weapons of all eras, really. I grew up on a farm in the country, so I learned to shoot guns at a young age and I was a competitive archer until my mid-teens. I was a crackshot with a slingshot. I had an impressive martial arts arsenal growing up as well, with katanas, ninja-to, bokkens, sai, throwing stars and even a homemade kusari-gama. I couldn’t begin to tell you how many swords, knives, machetes, and the like I have had and still own.
All this to say, I am intimately familiar with all kinds of weapons. And I realize how few RPGs get them right. Truth be told, they’re hard to simulate in gameplay.
The RPG I have played the most, by far, is Dungeons & Dragons. It’s comfortable and familiar. Even as the editions have changed, it’s still, in essence, D&D. I confess… I love it. But does it even come close to being a good combat simulator? Not by a long shot.
And that’s okay. To be fair, it just doesn’t have to be. It just has to be consistent.
I do appreciate games that try to make a believable combat/weapon simulation, but it’s near impossible to get it right. Hit Points. Damage Dice. Armor Class. None of these things come anywhere near reality, and that’s okay. It’s a conceit I have come to terms with…