Rules for the Armorer skill.

I probably brought this issue upon myself for modding some weapons to make dual wielding possible and balanced but anyway. My players wanted to crate their own weapons. One of them started reading the rulebook (why I let him do this is beyond me :)) and found this on page 243.

Armorer uses some special factors so you can build your own weapons in play.

Paw-to-Paw (start counting at 1): Short and Quick, Useful, Deadly, Versatile, Hooked, Hard to Defend

Spears and Missiles (start counting at 2): Spear, Throw, Missile

Does this mean that the Ob for a paw-to-paw weapon has base one and then each additional quality adds another? For example, I want to make a Sword of Infinite Improbability. It will be paw to paw (base 1) Useful (+1) Hooked (+1) Deadly (+1) Hard to Defend(+1) Short and Quick (+1) and have a total Ob of 6? If created, would it then be a sword without negative qualities and the abilities: +1D to any action; +1D, +1s to Maneuver; +1s Attack; +1D Attack vs. Def.; Any successful maneuver against a longer weapon counts as a disarm?

Also, is mixing qualities allowed across types since the standard bow has Hard to Defend, and, if so do the same principles apply? Example Bladed Bow of You Probably Can’t Roll Enough Dice and I Will Enjoy Making it Heavy and Cumbersome. Bow (base 2) Missile (+1) Deadly (+1) Hard to Defend (+1) Versatile (+1) Hooked (+1) Short and Quick (+1) Useful (+1) with a total of Ob 9.

Coincidentally, I was just reading this section earlier today. I don’t have the book handy right now, but here’s my take from memory:

Using Armorer is just like any other skill check. You pick one attribute from one or more categories. Each attribute costs 1 more than the one before it. So to make a Useful weapon (you can call it whatever you want, but it follows the rules for Swords) is a level 2 test, but to make a Deadly weapon (i.e. an Axe) is level 3.

Can you take attributes from multiple categories? I think you have to have that ability, because it is the only way to make a standard Knife. If you want to make something Short and Quick, i.e. a stabbing or slashing knife, it costs you 1. But to make a regular knife such as you can choose at the beginning of the game, you need to be able to make something that is Short and Quick (Paw-to-Paw level 1) but also can be Thrown (Spears and Missiles level 3), for a test with a total difficulty of 4. This is consistent with other skill checks, like Boatcrafter, where you take x number of points for the size of the point, y number for whether the boat is intended to be used once or multiple times, and I think something else from another category, and add them up for the total level of difficulty for the test.

Can you take multiple attributes from a single category? I don’t think the rules explicitly answer this question, but I don’t see why not. So if someone wants to make a javelin that is a Spear that can Thrown, that’s 2 + 3 for a level 5 test - a fair challenge to make a potentially superior weapon.

Also, note that to make a Halberd, instead of trying to combine Spear and Deadly, you just make a level 4 test (Paw-to-Paw, Versatile) - that’s because a Versatile weapon only uses one attribute at a time. However, you could make a weapon that is both a Spear and Deadly simultaneously, but that would be level (2+3=5) instead of just 4 for Versatile.

So to make the ridiculously OP Sword of Infinite Improbability would cost 1 (Short and Quick) +2 (Useful) +4 (Versatile, no reason to make it Deadly as well) +5 (Hooked) +6 (Hard to Defend) = a level 18 test, essentially impossible.

I hope this helps (and that my interpretation is correct)!

EDIT: Looks like I’m right

I don’t think you’ve got that quite right.
As I understand it, the Sword of Infinite Improbability would be: Useful (+2) Hooked (+5) Deadly (+3) Hard to Defend(+6) Short and Quick (+1) and have a total Ob of 17.
In turn, the Bladed Bow of You Probably Can’t Roll Enough Dice and I Will Enjoy Making it Heavy and Cumbersome would be: Missile (+4) Deadly (+3) Hard to Defend (+6) Versatile (+4) Hooked (+5) Short and Quick (+1) Useful (+2) for a total of Ob 25.

So would one make one roll to add all those weapon qualities in one go? Could the player make the objection that they’ll just upgrade the item one quality at a time and improve it one test after another to avoid such a high obstacle?

I would consider that objection and suggested ploy a Weasel behavior. Not only that, but in such a pursuit, I would require they meet the Ob of the existing properties of the weapon in addition of the desired new properties: they must maintain its other qualities before they may attempt to improve or enhance.

At that point, it would detract from the meaning of having unique weapons with very small influences on the course of combat. I think I would dislike participating in a game session wherein one mouse can fulfill all the desired benefits of several weapons. What purpose would remain for teamwork and collaboration?

I wouldn’t combine effects from categories. Mouse Guard isn’t about making über weapons, so there’s really no reason to even tweak the rules in that direction.

Luke: sorry, are you saying

  1. no combining effects from the same category (no Short and Quick + Deadly)
  2. no combining effects from different categories (no Deadly + Spear)
  3. no combining effects period? (you take one effect and that’s it!)

I think the system gives the GM ways to discourage such behavior without outright banning it.

So you could let the player keep making his weapon better and better - assuming he can justify it, i.e. arrows from a bow could be poisoned to make them Deadly, but I’m going to have to hear a really good excuse to let a player make his Sword or Halberd Throwable. However, the player only has to miss one roll, and then you can nail them with multiple conditions for the weapon, undoing much of their work. If they continue to abuse the system, you can force them to lose a weapon as a compromise in a fight.

Then again, maybe they’d rather you just told them ‘no’, than to spend multiple sessions building the Super Weapon of Awesome only to have it get busted when they take it out for a spin!