Weaker and Stronger Weapons: Different weapons may have different damage capabilities. A single Improvement can either increase all damage by 1, or increase it against a specific common target type by 2 (such as opponents wearing metal for an electrical charge, or against the effects of physical cover or armor for AP rounds.) Weaker weapons, such as a pocket knife, may suffer a -1 (or more) decrease in damage in exchange for another improvement (such as âAdditional Capability: Swiss Army knife - a dozen tools in one!â or a whipâs ability to grab things at range and intimidate animals or a poisoned dart that does little physical damage but requires an Endurance check to resist the toxin).
A successful hit always does a minimum of 1 point of stress, even with the penalty. The penalty simply makes it less likely you'll do 2 or more Stress in a single attack.
Bonus damage from more deadly weapons can never do more than double the Margin of Success achieved on the attack. So if you barely hit someone with a 2-handed sword (1 MoS), you canât apply the full +3 bonus, you are limited to doubling the MoS to 2 total stress.
Here are some sample weapons:
**-1 **: Blowgun dart, pocket knife, whip
**0 **: Punches, dagger, holdout pistol, sap, short bow arrow, sling stone
**+1 **: Kicks, short sword, spear, hand ax, club, staff, standard pistol, longbow arrow
**+2 **: Long sword, battle ax, heavy pistol, light rifle, flail, morningstar
**+3 **: 2-handed sword or ax, heavy rifle, machine gun, polearm
**+4 or more **: Bombs, heavy weapons, death rays, magical weapons
Shotgun: A shotgun slug does +2 damage with a range of 3 zones. Buckshot does +3 damage within the same zone and +1 one zone away (its maximum range).
Kicks: While a kick is more damaging than a punch, it also leaves you slightly more vulnerable to attacks. You receive a -1 penalty to any defensive Fists tests you make until your next turn.
Fists: Kickboxer (Kung Fu, requires Martial Arts) â This Stunt eliminates the -1 on defense after making Kick attacks.
Iron Fist (Kung Fu, requires Martial Arts) â This stunt increases all Fist attack damage by +1.
Together, these Stunts and existing ones should still allow fairly good balance between the 3 attack skills, yet also provide some variety in weapons. It may be a genre convention that fists are as strong as weapons, but it just strains my credibility a bit too much. Since the rules for Weapon Improvements already exist, it only makes sense to use them here. I tried to keep the spread small enough that a highly skilled attacker using his fists or a whip can still beat an unskilled guy with a machine gun.