THE SWORD OR THE PEN: YOUR CHARACTER'S WEAPON PREFERENCE IN RPGS

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The Sword or the Pen: Your Character's Weapon Preference in RPGs

Times have changes, ideas have sparked, new worlds unfold to us from the minds of various creators. As we develop and creator our own unique worlds, we craft our own forms of technology, and even really on history to provide us with past and present forms of technology. Despite how long time goes on, and despite the innovation of our current time period, one tool still remains etched and engraved into the minds of many RPG Player. This tool is “The Sword”. Forged of iron, sharp to the point, this cutting tool is what can be labeled as “obsolete” if we look at all the modern technology which our world possesses. Of course the use of a sword in RPG's is dictated by the World and Time period, (Swords have evolved from simply metal, now we have seen Gunblades, Lightsabers, and such) however why is it that even in imaginary worlds, that the sword still remains at the top of the Weapons food chain. I mean honestly its nothing but a heavy piece of forged iron.
My main questions are:

1. What weapon selections are available in your RPG's ?

2. Do you plan to break away from the stereotypical “boy with a sword” in your RPG, if so then why. If not why do you believe that a sword is a useful choice of weaponry even in an environment ruled by futuristic technology?

3. Why do you believe swords constantly appear with RPG's despite the innovation seen in our modern day?

Lastly discuss anything in relation to the topic, enjoy :-*

I think I use a lot of selection of weapons in my RPG. Swords are used, but not by the main character in Vanity. Given that my RPGs take place in modern times, I shouldn't be using swords at all...but for some reason I do.

I don't know why other modern RPGs use swords either, not that it would make me like a game less or more if the MC used a sword. I guess it's just a tradition that game developers choose to keep...? I really don't know, it's probably mostly subconscious thinking.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20836
All of my games are set in a medieval fantasy settings, so swords are common. However, my "characters" are blank-slate avatars where the player gets to choose their class, so if they want a "boy with sword" they can pick the Soldier-type classes.

1.
I have the stock "sword/axe/spear/wand/staff/bow/knife" options for weapons. I eschew fanciful things like Gunblades.

2.
A sword has no real place in any modern setting, but I have to defend lightsabres because of their amazing ability to block blaster bolts and slice through anything. In a modern setting, knives are more acceptable than swords. At least you can conceal a knife.

3.
Swords have become iconic in storytelling, I suppose. We have Excalibur, the sword of kings in LotR, lightsabres, etc... they've transcended their role as a handy weapon to that of a symbol. People are drawn to that.
1) A wide selection of weapons, ranging from 'Force' to 'Burning'. Then again, there are no real weapon types in that game, just a list of silly names.

In serious setting land, its less colourful but it makes more sense. Ball 'n Chain, Spear, double Daggers, Stone Sword/Club, and a Swordstick.


2) Yeah. My "boy with not-sword" is more of a "boy who threw on a lot of armour and grabbed the biggest weapon available that can crush any opponent because that is obviously the best" so a sword didn't really fit with that premise.

As for the world of the future, I'm not too bothered by swords vs guns. Maybe I've played too many games that getting shot and taking some HP damage isn't really that bad. Its not like melee weapons aren't useful anymore (but they are lighter and easier to use than swords and only really work in certain circumstances, so I dunno)

If I ever do a modern/futuristic game and use a sword, I'd probably make it special in some way or something. Something akin to Lightsabers since those weren't bad at all (but I'd be damned if it'll be something stupid like a Gunblade)


3) Swords are the gentleman's weapon, weapon of nobility. You got your farmers with their spears and axes, brutes with maces, trained guards with halberds, ect. but it took men of gentle blood to use the sword. Plus it was the weapon of God since it resembles a cross if held upside down.

I dunno. I agree with Kentona that Swords=Awesomeness is part of our culture.
YDS
member of the bull moose party
2441
1. What weapon selections are available in your RPG's ?

Primarily guns.

2. Do you plan to break away from the stereotypical “boy with a sword” in your RPG, if so then why. If not why do you believe that a sword is a useful choice of weaponry even in an environment ruled by futuristic technology?

I do plan to break away from that, but not because I think its cliche, but because it wouldn't make sense to have swords in my game, considering the setting. Thus that answers the second part of this question!

3. Why do you believe swords constantly appear with RPG's despite the innovation seen in our modern day?

I don't really want to parrot what Kentona said. Mainly for iconic figures ... Or because "swords" are "kewl."
Ocean
Resident foodmonster
11243
1.. What weapon selections are available in your RPG's ?
Depends on when the game takes place. If it's not modern, then it'll likely be the typical swords, spears, maces, axes, bows and things that were used back then. If it's modern, it will instead be stuff like waterguns, volleyballs, hockey sticks, thinks like that.

2. Do you plan to break away from the stereotypical “boy with a sword” in your RPG, if so then why. If not why do you believe that a sword is a useful choice of weaponry even in an environment ruled by futuristic technology?
Paradise Blue is really sword heavy, because of FF1's influence (i.e. using their weapon list). However, normally I don't have a "boy with a sword" type of thing. Girl with a watergun or Boy with a lacrosse stick maybe. As for futuristic technology, swords wouldn't be used, but things like knives, concealed blades and others would still be very useful.

3. Why do you believe swords constantly appear with RPG's despite the innovation seen in our modern day
You rarely ever see The Legendary Axe or the Sacred Morning Star or things like that in stories. Swords have plenty of stories revolving around them, from the really well known Excalibur, to other swords such as Gram, Durendal, Caladbolg, Dainsleif, Almace, Joyeuse, and stuff like that. The legends about them are stuff like "Durendal which is so strong that when they tried to break it, it ended up breaking the rock it came from". Even spears seem to have more legends around them than axes do, so you have Longinus and Gungnir which are really well known spears.
The thing I find funny is the fact, The Bow and Arrow is honestly greater than the sword, however the Sword is still view superior to it in most RPG's. Think about it, with a cross bow, I can impale anyone from a far. With a sword I have to run up to you and swing a heavy piece of metal, hoping that I'll be fast enough to hit my enemy. I mean to me, its just weird how swords are viewed so highly, when you can just use a gun and take someone out with ease.
I like swords.

Sword have no place in modern settings though. Except ornamental swords of course. But they're not really useful for anyone except obsessive people. Even in close quarters knives are usually better. Though I suppose swords have a deterring effect. No one gets in a bar brawl with someone who is wearing a sword.

In fantasy I love swords. A sword is the ultimate back-up weapon. Weapon for those with slightly more money than the peasants. I can't imagine an officer without some kind of sword. (even if it's just a short one to be combined with his mighty longbow) I understand that the peasants can get their spears and that's that but if you're a hero you're nothing if you don't have a sword.

Except if you're carrying a battleaxe, have a beard and like to chew on mushrooms of course.

Axes have one advantage over swords in that they can be used for other stuff than battling. But actually even better is one of those shovels with one sharp end that you can cut firewood with. With a shovel like that you can dig a trench, chop firewood AND cut off people's heads.

All you need to be armed with after that is a bucket.
NoblemanNick
I'm bringing this world back for you and for me.
1390
Most battles in RPGs are close-combat which makes the sword more suitable for the situation than the gun.
If I had a choice between a gun or a sword when it came to combat, I'd pick the gun every time. Sorry Nick. =P
1. What weapon selections are available in your RPG's ?

Swords, yeah, but then you have stuff like hand to hand, tarot cards, axes, and even tarot cards and flintlock rifles and guns.

2. Do you plan to break away from the stereotypical “boy with a sword” in your RPG, if so then why. If not why do you believe that a sword is a useful choice of weaponry even in an environment ruled by futuristic technology?

I don't have a boy with a sword, but I do have a man with a sword, if that counts. As for the second point, I've noticed that swords in futuristic settings can be explained by a lot of creative ways.

In Star Wars, which I just finished watching for the 1000th time since I was six, you have lightsabers. The universe of SW is filled with blasters, lasers, and spaceships, yet there also exists lightsabers. Now why is that? SW's explanation is simple; lightsaber users are often skilled in the use of the magic like Force, and it's just as Darth Vader said; even the technology to destroy a planet means nothing in comparison to the Force. Do you know how many people with blasters get cut down by lightsabers? A lot. Why? Because of the circumstances that SW sets for itself, a lightsaber can channel the Force and abilities that come with it far better than a gun can.

This little example in itself is also paralleled in many RPGs, where swords can channel superhuman abilities far greater than a gun. Hell, even in the FFVII universe, members of SOLDIER can take on entire legions of enemies with machine guns simply because they can jump around and deflect bullets. Crisis Core even states that SOLDIERS use swords simply because a machine gun would be redundant when you're already superhuman.

3. Why do you believe swords constantly appear with RPG's despite the innovation seen in our modern day?

Because of the legends that RPGs draw from. Excalibur. Durandal. Greek legends. Star Wars (which is one of the biggest, if not biggest source of inspiration for most of the RPGs any of us have ever played). Swords are a symbol of a warrior, all over the world.
author=Ashramaru link=topic=1692.msg26833#msg26833 date=1218223855
The thing I find funny is the fact, The Bow and Arrow is honestly greater than the sword, however the Sword is still view superior to it in most RPG's. Think about it, with a cross bow, I can impale anyone from a far. With a sword I have to run up to you and swing a heavy piece of metal, hoping that I'll be fast enough to hit my enemy. I mean to me, its just weird how swords are viewed so highly, when you can just use a gun and take someone out with ease.

But you're forgetting one thing, you have to use two hands so you can't equip a shield. Of course if you're using a sword that needs two hands...
NoblemanNick
I'm bringing this world back for you and for me.
1390
author=tsimehC link=topic=1692.msg26854#msg26854 date=1218235728
author=Ashramaru link=topic=1692.msg26833#msg26833 date=1218223855
The thing I find funny is the fact, The Bow and Arrow is honestly greater than the sword, however the Sword is still view superior to it in most RPG's. Think about it, with a cross bow, I can impale anyone from a far. With a sword I have to run up to you and swing a heavy piece of metal, hoping that I'll be fast enough to hit my enemy. I mean to me, its just weird how swords are viewed so highly, when you can just use a gun and take someone out with ease.

But you're forgetting one thing, you have to use two hands so you can't equip a shield. Of course if you're using a sword that needs two hands...

In power though the sword is mightier than the crossbow as if you are hit in the arm with the full force of an arrow. it's stuck in you and you might die from blood loss. While if you are hit full force with a sword in your arm, it'll either be impaled right through your arm or your limb would be severed and that'll give you a greater chance of dying from blood loss. Also if a sword and a full force arrow hit each other with the same speed and on the same point, the sword would split the arrow into two.

author=Feldschlacht IV link=topic=1692.msg26853#msg26853 date=1218234243
1. What weapon selections are available in your RPG's ?

Swords, yeah, but then you have stuff like hand to hand, tarot cards, axes, and even tarot cards and flintlock rifles and guns.

2. Do you plan to break away from the stereotypical “boy with a sword” in your RPG, if so then why. If not why do you believe that a sword is a useful choice of weaponry even in an environment ruled by futuristic technology?

I don't have a boy with a sword, but I do have a man with a sword, if that counts. As for the second point, I've noticed that swords in futuristic settings can be explained by a lot of creative ways.

In Star Wars, which I just finished watching for the 1000th time since I was six, you have lightsabers. The universe of SW is filled with blasters, lasers, and spaceships, yet there also exists lightsabers. Now why is that? SW's explanation is simple; lightsaber users are often skilled in the use of the magic like Force, and it's just as Darth Vader said; even the technology to destroy a planet means nothing in comparison to the Force. Do you know how many people with blasters get cut down by lightsabers? A lot. Why? Because of the circumstances that SW sets for itself, a lightsaber can channel the Force and abilities that come with it far better than a gun can.

This little example in itself is also paralleled in many RPGs, where swords can channel superhuman abilities far greater than a gun. Hell, even in the FFVII universe, members of SOLDIER can take on entire legions of enemies with machine guns simply because they can jump around and deflect bullets. Crisis Core even states that SOLDIERS use swords simply because a machine gun would be redundant when you're already superhuman.

3. Why do you believe swords constantly appear with RPG's despite the innovation seen in our modern day?

Because of the legends that RPGs draw from. Excalibur. Durandal. Greek legends. Star Wars (which is one of the biggest, if not biggest source of inspiration for most of the RPGs any of us have ever played). Swords are a symbol of a warrior, all over the world.

Think about it, the lightsaber the reason why it's powerful than the blaster is simply, it's stronger. A lightsaber can block and/or deflect a blaster shot. If your hit with a blaster and you have armor you might live, while if your hit with a light saber. Armor or not your going to get something sliced off. That's why Jedi don't wear armor I believe because they can deflect blaster shots easily. So they don't need armor for that and the only thing that might kill them is a lightsaber. And Armor isn't going to do good against lightsabers.
Think about it, the lightsaber the reason why it's powerful than the blaster is simply, it's stronger. A lightsaber can block and/or deflect a blaster shot. If your hit with a blaster and you have armor you might live, while if your hit with a light saber. Armor or not your going to get something sliced off. That's why Jedi don't wear armor I believe because they can deflect blaster shots easily. So they don't need armor for that and the only thing that might kill them is a lightsaber. And Armor isn't going to do good against lightsabers.

Right, but in order to even know how to do any of those things, you have to be skilled in its use. A lightsaber by itself won't do shit. If you give any two deadbeats a lightsaber and a blaster, the guy with the blaster is going to come out on top every time.

You don't just pick up a lightsaber and start deflecting blaster shots willy nilly, most average citizens of the Star Wars universe couldn't even hope to do so. Which is why that mostly only Jedi, Sith, or other users skilled in the Force use them, because they're the only ones with the skill and the abilities who know how, and once you know how, blasters and such are usually redundant.

That same concept is emulated in many RPGs, such as the FFVII example.
Oh gosh, the Buster Sword is the least innovative weapon ever created. The sword is so bulk its works better as a shield. I love FFVII, but honestly Cloud's skinny ass arms probably couldn't even hold a gun. Anyways, if you can't tell I'm not the biggest sword a futuristic setting. Once the Machine Gun was created the Sword became utterly obsolete. Sadly in The Last Bible, I shamelessly have one character using a sword, and dub it off as a Holy Weapon. All in all I guess it depend on your games setting, I mean look at FFXIII swords are now, Gunswords, I mean hell thats the best weapon choice I've ever heard of.
Oh gosh, the Buster Sword is the least innovative weapon ever created. The sword is so bulk its works better as a shield. I love FFVII, but honestly Cloud's skinny ass arms probably couldn't even hold a gun. Anyways, i

Well, the Buster Sword wasn't probably made to be innovative, they were just going for the big ass sword look, especially considering that the Buster Sword helped start Big Ass Sword Fad. Also, Cloud being strong enough to hold the sword despite his physique is explained by him getting the SOLDIER treatment (even though he was never actually in SOLDIER).

Once the Machine Gun was created the Sword became utterly obsolete.

Not if you can deflect bullets en masse or channel magic through a sword.

See? They got their asses covered.
In power though the sword is mightier than the crossbow as if you are hit in the arm with the full force of an arrow. it's stuck in you and you might die from blood loss. While if you are hit full force with a sword in your arm, it'll either be impaled right through your arm or your limb would be severed and that'll give you a greater chance of dying from blood loss. Also if a sword and a full force arrow hit each other with the same speed and on the same point, the sword would split the arrow into two.

The first part is generally untrue.

If you were an unarmored target and got hit by a bow - or a crossbow, depending on its power - at close range, it might very well penetrate through the target and pass through the other side. In terms of sheer, raw force, the bowman wins hands down.

Of course, this was an unlikely scenario since the point of using ranged weapons is to stay far away from your enemy, and the farther away you were from your target, the less force you would hit them with. This is also not adding issues of armor(swords and bows both had trouble against plate, which is why maces and crossbows became more popular when plate was introduced) and what tactics are actually effective(the famous battle of Agincourt was primarily won through raining longbow shots on the enemy - who were wearing plate).

As for getting dismembered and in other ways maimed, blood loss wasn't always the biggest problem - since if you were losing a lot of blood, you were probably going to die anyway in the medieval days - infection was. Many metals, such as copper, have slightly toxic properties that, when opening a fresh would, would cause infection. This was a common cause of death after a battle.

As a side note, it is extremely difficult to cut off someone's entire arm with a sword, perhaps impossible. The amount of force required in the swing would need to be inhuman.
harmonic
It's like toothpicks against a tank
4142
1. What weapon selections are available in your RPG's ?

Lod and LoD2 use "slashing, piercing, and concussive" weapon elements. Slashing tends to be the baseline element, stronger against plantoids, and weaker versus inorganics. Piercing are low power, high crit, with bleed effects and stuff, whereas concussive are the high power, low crit stuff that is more effective against heavily armored targets.

2. Do you plan to break away from the stereotypical “boy with a sword” in your RPG, if so then why. If not why do you believe that a sword is a useful choice of weaponry even in an environment ruled by futuristic technology?

Boy with sword is cliche in a good way. It works. I tend to use *man* with sword, but eh, details. In an environment ruled by futuristic technology, a sword (lightsaber) would have to be pretty damn incredible at blocking bullets/lasers and slicing things to be viable. Any futuristic game I make would probably not include swords, MAYBE lightsaber types.

3. Why do you believe swords constantly appear with RPG's despite the innovation seen in our modern day?

Well if you want to look at it in a freudian theory type thing, swords are phallic! But seriously... swords look pretty. They're symmetrical, elegant, and agile. Axes and hammers tend to be ugly. People like pretty things.
In an environment ruled by futuristic technology, a sword (lightsaber) would have to be pretty damn incredible at blocking bullets/lasers and slicing things to be viable. Any futuristic game I make would probably not include swords, MAYBE lightsaber types.

Come to think of it, a lot of futuristic settings (including comic books) tend to get around this by making their swords made of incredibly durable metals according to their setting, like mythril or adamantium.
author=Feldschlacht IV link=topic=1692.msg26869#msg26869 date=1218241816
Oh gosh, the Buster Sword is the least innovative weapon ever created. The sword is so bulk its works better as a shield. I love FFVII, but honestly Cloud's skinny ass arms probably couldn't even hold a gun. Anyways, i

Well, the Buster Sword wasn't probably made to be innovative, they were just going for the big ass sword look, especially considering that the Buster Sword helped start Big Ass Sword Fad. Also, Cloud being strong enough to hold the sword despite his physique is explained by him getting the SOLDIER treatment (even though he was never actually in SOLDIER).

Once the Machine Gun was created the Sword became utterly obsolete.

Not if you can deflect bullets en masse or channel magic through a sword.

See? They got their asses covered.

Gosh I hate Final Fantasy. *Walks away.*

I did have the last laugh when Zack got gunned down in FFVII: Crisis Core.
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