Are daiklaves bad for the fiction?

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Gensh
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tl;dr Am I correct in thinking there are fewer large weapons these days because they're hard to write in combat?

It's not something you really think about normally. You see the illustrations, and they look great. You think back on past shows and games you love, and you think all is fine with the world. Then you sit down and try to write something. Maybe it's regular fiction; maybe you're working on a stunt in a play-by-post.

Then it hits you -- it's really difficult to actually fit your giant weapon into combat. That's not to say that you can't write anything about it. It's a giant slab of godkilling metal at least, and it probably shoots lightning or something. You can use it for all sorts of environmental tricks. But with the exception of throwing it and then jumping on to ride it like an aerial surfboard, it doesn't really do anything that a more reasonably sized weapon could.

The problem is that if you want to actually write combat with it instead of just a single moment of awesome. Again, it's not impossible -- and I used to play a game called Kingdoms Rise, which might as well have been called Daiklave Duels. It's just that all the detail shifts to your secondary stuff -- your throwing knives or your movement gimmicks or whatnot. It takes a build specifically written around your oversized weapon to really fight with it. There are some noteworthy examples -- Nightmare from Soul Calibur -- but seeing characters with the same weapon fight with the same moves in Exalted is pretty common in my experience.

I'm decent at writing combat, and I've done a few characters outside Exalted who have used similarly-scaled weapons. The combats with them are often interesting because of the difference in how such a weapon behaves. Exalted has had a bit of the "floaty combat/foam sword" problem in the past. I feel like lately, I've seen a decline in the typical large weapons. Even if a player takes them, the weapons will be described as smaller than what used to be standard.

What have everyone else's experiences been like? Do you have a strong opinion on weapon sizes or the abundance of artifact weapons?

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Jutlander
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Right now I play in a game where we use the setting of Exalted, but not its rules. Instead we use a homebrew system that is more descriptive and narrative.

And really, when descriptions are more important than weapon stats, it is a lot more fun to have a whip, a pair of sai, a nunchaku, a net, a boomerang, or a blowgun than it is to have a big-ass sword.

So I get what you are saying.
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Lioness
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I get you.

I broadly prefer what 3rd edition considers light artifact weapons unless I have a clear mental image of how the character fights going in and for medium weapons I'm more likely to go for Grimcleavers, Goremauls and Longfangs because those offer more of an aesthetic.
Flare
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This is actually part of a larger article I was writing for the site on Evocations, but I do bring up an idea like this in it.

I think that the idea of every artifact being a massive, cumbersome object really hurts character design and stunting, and isn't really needed anymore in a world of Evocations and every Artifact having a legend. To me, I always assume a character's Artifacts these days are appropriately sized, unless specifically the idea is that they're oversized is part of the weapon's concept or what the player want. I think that actually makes artifacts, as a whole, better.

It's not just, to me, about stunts and how it can be weird to imagine them; I think the idea of heavily oversized swords really does change your character's 'profile' as you see it in your head, and I think that, in a game like Exalted, your belief of how your character should look is paramount, and I feel like the game should encourage customization on those arcs.
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Epiphany
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I've noticed a similar issue, but with Archery/Thrown instead. Big weapons are fairly easy to stunt with, they're just a specific kind of stunt. But Archery/Thrown stunts end up with limited variations of "the arrow flies really fast!" or "the sun glistens off the arrowhead as it flies towards its target!". Most of the ways one could spice up an Archery/Thrown attack involve either movement (the classic roll and shoot, taking cover and firing over a barrier) or upscale the difficulty of the attack (bounce the arrow off a surface to hit a target, the knife hilt smacks the guy in the face and rebounds to stick them in the hand), which ends up disincentivizing players from doing more than "I throw a knife with the force of a thousand typhoons", etc.

Maybe it's just me.

I'm a big fan of goremauls and daiklaves and I rarely find them hard to stunt with. But maybe that's also just me. :)
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Maseiken
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Personally I think of it as a problem with Stunts rather than a problem with Dailklaives, but it's certainly somewhere in there.
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BogMod
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Gensh wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:19 pm
But with the exception of throwing it and then jumping on to ride it like an aerial surfboard, it doesn't really do anything that a more reasonably sized weapon could.


I find it also doesn't do anything less than a more reasonably sized weapon could do either. When the weapon is by nature designed to be as light and quick, or even quicker, in hand than its normal equivalent you don't loose out on anything with it to me I have found.
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Gensh
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Epiphany wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:20 pm I've noticed a similar issue, but with Archery/Thrown instead. Big weapons are fairly easy to stunt with, they're just a specific kind of stunt. But Archery/Thrown stunts end up with limited variations of "the arrow flies really fast!" or "the sun glistens off the arrowhead as it flies towards its target!". Most of the ways one could spice up an Archery/Thrown attack involve either movement (the classic roll and shoot, taking cover and firing over a barrier) or upscale the difficulty of the attack (bounce the arrow off a surface to hit a target, the knife hilt smacks the guy in the face and rebounds to stick them in the hand), which ends up disincentivizing players from doing more than "I throw a knife with the force of a thousand typhoons", etc.

The problem with ranged weapons isn't unique to Exalted, but it does hurt a lot more here, doesn't it? Similar to the complaints regarding snipers in FPS games.

I haven't seen a whole lot of solutions, but I felt like my very casual playthrough of Monster Hunter World as a heavy bowgunner handled it well enough. It was more of a thoughtful playstyle, very much the sort which used to be intended for tabletop wizards, before it was blatantly obvious how broken they were.

As a heavy bowgunner, I had to be thoughtful with my positioning because I had very little mobility. Likewise, I had to predict what sorts of ammo I would need in the near and medium future. That both meant actually crafting enough ammo and looking forward to what capacity each bowgun had. What would be most effective in a vacuum vs what I was probably more comfortable with.

That is to say, it's all planning-based. And it's a shame that Exalted still hasn't done much to support multiple weapon and ammo types for ranged. If I were to write stunts for such a character, I would emphasize the thought put into it. It may not be a spectacle like the sword master carving their name into a foe's chest, but each shot from my ranged weapon would be a matter of the finest motor control, keenest sense of timing, and most methodical preparation.

Even if I'm literally walking around with a ship's cannon under my arm.
BogMod wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:10 pm I find it also doesn't do anything less than a more reasonably sized weapon could do either. When the weapon is by nature designed to be as light and quick, or even quicker, in hand than its normal equivalent you don't loose out on anything with it to me I have found.

It does actually limit your actions quite a bit for cinematic combat. It's possible to muscle around the limitations sometimes, but using those gimmicks more than a couple of times tends to wear out their welcome.

By sheer length, a great deal of attack angles are cut off. Non-Lunars are similarly limited in their ability to throw attacks with the rest of their body, because rare is the Exalt whose legs are long enough to kick into a daiklave's guard. Daiklaves in particular over other great weapons seem like they'd pose a problem for half-swording due to their own thickness.

And that's still assuming an outdoors fight. Your ability to have interesting fights indoors is much lesser unless you don't mind always knocking the roof down.
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BogMod
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I mean maybe I am not seeing something on exactly how it cuts off angles. You can sword lock, you can slash, you can stab, you can deflect and spin and whirl. You can miss then turn the edge of your blade at someone and then try to drag the sharp edge against them as you pull back. You can unleash a flurry of sword swings slowly forcing them to give ground, each swing knocking their weapon aside and them only barely able to bring their own back into place to stop the next. Like maybe I am treating daiklaives different here but when the books have talked about attunement making the weapons as light as a knife and as easy to maneuver as holding a willow switch that is how I treat them.
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Maseiken
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I'm actually going to argue Against including variable ammunition, because those are your stunts right there. An Archer with a Quiver full of subtly different arrows, making split-second decisions sounds rad as hell.
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Sandact6
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Wanting artifacts in general to be enormous weapons was nothing more than fanwank on Grabowski's part, especially as it seemed the artists all promptly ignored it ever since first edition.

I discard it entirely.
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Lioness
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I think things have gotten better this edition, in 2nd edition a lot of characters ended up with a grand daiklave because it was the weapon king and not because they wanted a big two-handed sword as part of their aesthetic.

We've subsequently swung pretty far the other way with heavy weapons mostly being a good source of Overwhelming.
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Sandact6
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Now heavy weapons are often lamblasted for having terrible accuracy stats. How the mighty have fallen.
steamfunk
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Artifacts benefit from a variety of ways of expressing "sword what does the big dammy." Grabowski favored size because it was pragmatic, direct, and broadly represented in Final Fantasy and anime. There should be other options on the table too. I tell my players that artifacts can look like whatever they want as long as they tend towards visibly having something to justify being more destructive than a regular sword.
Blackwell
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I think 3e has done a big favor for writing/stunting with heavy weapons. Withering attacks mean you're describing how you gain advantage, and they have a lot to offer there. Using your massive weapon to dominate the fight, deny ground, push back opponents, and the like. I find that easier than when the assumption is that the attack is actually to hurt someone; at that point narratively you'd expect the pillar-on-a-stick hammer or sharpened-metal-surfboard sword to splat them if it connects, so you spend your time explaining why opponents keep surviving being hit with them instead of how cool the attack was.

That said, and this was controversial at one time, I don't happen to like the giant weapon trope anyway and usually prefer artifact weapons to be only _slightly_ oversized compared to their mundane equivalents.
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