Author Topic: Weapons Loadouts: Encumbrance is More than Weight!  (Read 159 times)

dubsartur

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Weapons Loadouts: Encumbrance is More than Weight!
« on: February 08, 2021, 03:20:55 AM »
Matt Easton has a handy video on why people rarely carried more than a staff weapon and a shield or a bow and arrows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeGe7L5zCkU  Computer games and some roleplaying games ignore the practical difficulties and the interesting decisions to make.  If one character in the party is the big axe guy, and another is the crossbowman, those are niches where their players can take the spotlight while the others watch and hold their breath! 

The only thing I would add is that in some places in the last few hundred years, we do see people who wandered around with say a long gun, a sword and shield, and some knives or pistols.  Men in Norway were dutifully following the old law which said they always had to carry their spear in public into the 17th century!  And travellers were very keen to get a donkey or a pack-horse or a mule or a camel, and there were baggage-animals for a wide range of budgets.  But he gives some good rules of thumb for the video-gamey instantaneous weapons swap.

Pentagathus

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Re: Weapons Loadouts: Encumbrance is More than Weight!
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2021, 03:51:46 PM »
This is something I'd probably like to include in a pen and paper RPG, but when it comes to computer games I'd mostly rather have fun than try to stick too much to realism (though I do tend to avoid immersion breaking stuff like equipping two shields in Mount and Blade for instance).

dubsartur

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Re: Weapons Loadouts: Encumbrance is More than Weight!
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2021, 03:20:47 AM »
There was that team vs. team game with an engineer and an assassin and a big freya-ing gun wasn't there?  Each has 2 or 3 options for weapons.  And those Battlefield WW II simulators also have primary and secondary weapons for each character type.  The Goldeneye or ... what was that Star Wars FPS where you start out with a little pistol and end up with a lightsabre and a concussion rifle? quick-swap between an arsenal of weapons can be a lot of fun though!

Jubal

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Re: Weapons Loadouts: Encumbrance is More than Weight!
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 12:01:21 PM »
I feel like more donkeys carrying stuff in RPGs would be a nice thing. The trouble is that they don't fit in the specific dungeoneering environment all the time and people would likely get frustrated or upset having to protect their donkey from being butchered by orcs as one of the main goals of ever fight.
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Pentagathus

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Re: Weapons Loadouts: Encumbrance is More than Weight!
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2021, 05:14:54 PM »
Dungeons and Donkeys?

There was that team vs. team game with an engineer and an assassin and a big freya-ing gun wasn't there?  Each has 2 or 3 options for weapons.  And those Battlefield WW II simulators also have primary and secondary weapons for each character type.  The Goldeneye or ... what was that Star Wars FPS where you start out with a little pistol and end up with a lightsabre and a concussion rifle? quick-swap between an arsenal of weapons can be a lot of fun though!
Oh yes, it works pretty well in FPS style games for sure, especially when you have teams and you can actually fulfil different roles. Not sure people would like it in an rpg style of game though, even on multiplayer for Mount and Blade folk like to customise their loadout.

Jubal

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Re: Weapons Loadouts: Encumbrance is More than Weight!
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 05:24:18 PM »
I think reduced weapon selection works in systems that involve mastery of a particular weapon - as I've said elsewhere I've been playing Hades a lot recently and obviously that's an RPG-Roguelike but it's very focused on "you are now using this weapon, it has this move set and the whole game feels kinda different now, each weapon is a skillset you need to learn." However, that requires you to make weapons really different, and have variation available via e.g upgrades (and the game still e.g. provides a casting ability which gives you a ranged option if you're focused on a close quarters weapon).

I think reduced weapon loadout for specific missions can work in party RPGs too. Whilst usually characters can carry 3-4 weapons in a Shadowrun mission for example, it could easily reduce to 1-2 without huge problems, because it's turn-based and tactical which allows you to maximise use of the "each character is a functionally different part of the team and they all have to work together" thing as a gameplay mechanic.
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dubsartur

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Re: Weapons Loadouts: Encumbrance is More than Weight!
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 11:14:00 PM »
In 1e AD&D it was taken for granted that you bring a team of pack horses, mules, donkeys, torch-bearers, scroll-caddies, and hangers-on as you go up in level.  You just can't carry enough stuff on your own bodies!  The Dungeoneer's Survival Guide went into the logistics in Gygaxian fashion.  And yes, in the 3e games I ran protecting the horses and/or wagon was a common goal in many fights!  But the way you become so godlike so quickly in 3e probably means that the help become too squishy as you go up in level.

Jubal

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Re: Weapons Loadouts: Encumbrance is More than Weight!
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2021, 11:27:32 PM »
Yeah, the help being squishy is definitely a general issue in RPGs.
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