09 February 2012

Rules Cyclopedia Weapons Mastery

Was reading over the Weapons Mastery rules when I realized there were some good ideas in here. Some very good ideas indeed, stuck in between arcane phrasing, bizarre charts, and a general lack of polish.

It shows, for example, the realization that warriors as written are at a distinct disadvantage later in the game. Too, it shows that a character's increasing martial skill should provide some sort of material benefits in the form of increased damage and increased armor class.

To be honest, it's a lot more modern than it looks to be at first, and could really benefit from better organization and a cleaner way to look at things. It's the basis for something very cool, and I regret not paying more attention before now. But that formatting! The prose! The endless columns of text! It's a lot to take in, and the presentation doesn't do anything at all towards helping you out, meaning that it might as well not even be there.

The Rules Cyclopedia was a pretty cool document, but it really could have benefitted from a better editor.


  1. as I recall there were some common effects to higher mastery (intimidation checks, basically, and I believe typically higher damage), but various weapons could have additional effects at higher mastery. For instance, being able to effectively throw bastard and/or two-handed swords. Impalement with spears and/or tridents. And so on. (The book is at home, but I can check later.)

    I reviewed it briefly when considering weapon mastery talents for Echelon and ended up not really pursuing it at the time because I had a different approach in mind. I think I'll take another look, though.

  2. You are correct, Keith. High enough mastery, you could throw all kinds of crazy shit.

    Okay, not crazy shit but weapons. Weapons normally not thrown.

    Damn fine idea.

  3. Definitely an under appreciated system. Not only is it fairly easy to use (once you get past the wall of text and the weird chart) but it really gives the warrior some interesting options.

  4. Weapon Mastery was fun, but the Fighter should have had some of the combat options it presented (disarm, impale, entangle) ex officio.

    PS: I Liek Yr Zouave.

  5. looking it over (book is upstairs, but I looked last night) I think it could fit in Echelon d20 without too much trouble (... as most things do, really), but I suspect it would be toward the lower end (say, up to Heroic or maybe Master tier -- levels 5..8 or 9..12 in D&D 3.x terms). After that things get a little more extreme.