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A fantasy RPG written by Sean K Reynolds, focused on easy gameplay, martial/caster balance, and rewarding social interaction.
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March, Playtest Update, Wuxia Weapons cronk

Posted by Sean K Reynolds (Creator)

Hello, backers!

Yes, it's March. Yes, I wanted to get the playtest document ready by the end of February, but I'm OCD enough that I'm wanting to get as many little details right as I can so I can minimize confusion during the playtest. I've been finishing major sections of the playtest documents (classes, monsters, basic combat, advanced combat, skills, cronks) and working on the last bits that need to be ready (other feats, spells, stunts, races, equipment, and magic items).

I've been tempted to blog about these so you get updates on what's going on, but given the deadlines I've felt it's more important to (frex) write 2,000 words for the playtest document than write 2,000 words for a blog explaining recent ideas.

To tide you over a little bit longer, here's how I'm currently planning on dealing with the "I want to play a monk who focuses on unarmed combat and doesn't use weapons at all." This allows you to get the benefits of using weapons without requiring you to actually carry or wield the weapons.

(So far this is also the longest feat in the game.)

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Wuxia Weapons (cronk): When you prepare your feats each day, choose one of your manufactured weapons. This is your focused weapon for the day. The focused weapon must be a one-handed or light weapon (see the Weapons chapter for more information).

When you make an unarmed attack, you may use the focused weapon’s game stats (attack bonus, damage bonus, and so on) if they are better than your unarmed attack game stats. For example, if you choose your +1 Flaming Longsword as your focus weapon, all of your unarmed attacks either use their own stats or the stats of your +1 Flaming Longsword, whichever are better.

You must be bearing the focused weapon to use this cronk (for example, if you don’t have it with you, you can't use its game stats for your unarmed attacks).

At level 5, you don’t have to bear the focused weapon to use this cronk, but you have to be holding it when you prepare it.

At level 10, your focused weapon can be any of your manufactured weapons that you have held in the past 25 days. For example, you can prepare this cronk, choose your focused weapon, then leave it in a safe place while you adventure.

At level 15, your focused weapon can be any of your weapons that you have held in the past 125 days.

At level 20, your focused weapon can be any of your weapons that you have held in the past year.

If your focused weapon is destroyed or is claimed by an enemy (including taking it from the safe place where you’ve hidden it), it is no longer your focused weapon and you can't use its game stats for your unarmed attacks.

Boost: Choose another one of your manufactured weapons to be a focused weapon. For the rest of the day, when you use unarmed combat, for each attack you make, you may use your unarmed game stats or the game stats from any of your focused weapons, whichever is best.

Boost: Choose a previous focused weapon even if you haven’t held it within the deadline time.

Boost: Immediately choose a new focused weapon.

Note: If you are using two-weapon fighting to make two attacks per round, your unarmed strikes count as whatever type of weapon your focus weapon is, so you’re better off using a light weapon and the Two-Weapon Fighting cronk (see Fighting With Two Weapons in the Advanced Combat chapter).

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I know this won't completely satisfy players who don't want their martial artist characters to rely on weapons at all, but for now it's a reasonable compromise (and is pretty easy to understand in the context of a cronk), and I can give a lengthier explanation in the GM section about how to accommodate "purely unarmed" characters.

And here's a Gerald Lee sketch of an evil door.

Art by Gerald Lee
Art by Gerald Lee

Thanks, and stay tuned!



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    1. Cyrad on

      Alright cool. Very exciting stuff here!

    2. Sean K Reynolds 2-time creator on

      {Are there any advantages to using unarmed strikes over manufactured weapons other than not having a weapon to get disarmed?}

      Yes. Off the top of my head, stuff like Stunning Fist requires an unarmed attack, performing a disarm with an unarmed attack lets you grab the weapon instead of the enemy just dropping it, and so on. A lot of the reason for this cronk is that some people REALLY want the flavor of being able to play an unarmed martial artist, without sucking compared to the fighter who has weapons with magical properties. But there are in-game benefits of fighting unarmed as well (some of which you suggested in your comment).

    3. Cyrad on

      Are there any advantages to using unarmed strikes over manufactured weapons other than not having a weapon to get disarmed? Like special cronks that only work using unarmed strikes? Cronks that augment the damage dice of unarmed strikes? If not, this feels like Crossbow Mastery for unarmed strikes. It makes them more like manufactured weapons at the cost of a readied feat slot while not really providing any interesting advantages or new fun aspects to it. Because if I have a +1 flaming longsword that I can wield, why don't I just use it? On the flip side, it might be better for TWF fighters that want to mix up their weapon attacks with unarmed strikes since it basically gives them a free weapon.

      I do really like the flavor of the feat. I find the idea of bonding with an item like this to gain some kind of innate benefit rather cool. I showed this feat to a friend who's been playing a monk for two and a half years, and they liked it, considering it a "welcome addition." Their character went through a lot of trouble to obtain cool monk weapons only for them to be worthless when the character's damage dice exceeded that of the weapon's.

    4. Doubhghall Brophy on

      I always wanted an ability like this one in the game...but I didn't know it until today. :)

    5. William Buxton on

      Interesting, sounds like you may still have ways to go, considering the volume of powers. I actually was guessing ye were going to release on a Tuesday ( figured your favorite release day or something). Anyway, some stuff wanted to point out:

      I'm guessing the "+1 Flaming Longsword" is just a D&D term ye said for our understanding. Otherwise, are you keeping +X weapons in the game?, if so why, and are they part of the expected math of the game? If so, then comes to question why not simply fold that into PC progression.

      Tiered progression on single abilities answers a query I've had on how going to handle "higher level" versions of given feats/powers.

      The Power itself...isn't bad, the level 5th upgrade wasn't obvious on a first read (I get its so can be anyones weapon, not needing to carry it), so concerned new players might not see that.

      {I know this won't completely satisfy players who don't want their martial artist characters to rely on weapons at all, }
      There are many things we want out of MA's methinks, especially Street Fighter Shenanigans, and awesome Greek wrestling. Want to be able to deliver FALCON-Kicks, Throw our enemies across rooms and through walls, shatter stone like paper, to snap necks, pressure-points, disarm & such in reasonable combat time without unneeded minigames and extra rolling. I otherwise think Fantasy-styled MA-type characters is totally doable in RPG's.

      Lastly, before I read the article, I thought ye were going to be calling "Cronks" as Wuxia for its powers now.