I thought of swords In Dungeon World last night, and I wondered, ‘What’s the difference between a short sword, long…

I thought of swords In Dungeon World last night, and I wondered, ‘What’s the difference between a short sword, long…

I thought of swords In Dungeon World last night, and I wondered, ‘What’s the difference between a short sword, long sword and a 2-handed sword?’  So, I searched the word ‘sword’ in the pdf and, as far as swords with stats, this is what I got: 

short sword (close, 1 weight) 8 coins

Long sword (close, +1 damage, 1 weight) Paladin Gear option 

Long Sword, (close, +1 damage, 2 weight) 15 coins 

Fighter’s Signature Weapon [base] (hand, close, or reach; 2 weight)

So, the Paladin’s long sword is the same as a Fighter’s signature weapon (with Serrated edges and Well-crafted).  Which is really cool for the Paladin.  But I’m kinda thinkin’ it sucks for the fighter.  I know, I’m looking at this too hard, but I think the fighter’s weapon should really be special.  They did make a move, several in fact, just for it.  

So, now I I’m thinking, instead of a generic base weapon with 2 weight, the fighter’s base weapon can be any weapon listed in the equipment list, then let him apply his improvements upon it.

Has anyone dealt with this before?

6 thoughts on “I thought of swords In Dungeon World last night, and I wondered, ‘What’s the difference between a short sword, long…”

  1. Well the “weapon” could be adamantine gauntlets, or maybe tattoos metaphysical weight, or even handwraps that are imbued with so much magic it makes it weigh more. There’s a lot of ways to justify it.

  2. The fighter can’t lose his sword, at least without having a chance to get it back. If a paladin at my table triggers a hard move, I would have no problem having his sword tumble into the darkness, never to be seen again (or break, or turn into a snake, or whatever).

     I wouldn’t be able to do that to a fighter’s signature weapon.

  3. I think that it’s important to remember that Dungeon World is a “fiction first” kind of game. In other words, what some might think of as flavor or fluff in other games trumps things like “+1 damage, 2 weight.”

    While in your example you show one instance in which the weapon provided by the equipment list for the Paladin is numerically equivalent to one particular pair of options that a Fighter could choose for their Signature Weapon (if I were looking to maximize somehow I’d probably go after the forceful and messy tags over a measly +1 to damage), this entirely misses the crucial difference between the two weapons. 

    The Paladin is carrying the same long sword that was dispensed to the militiaman in the backwater village bordering the swamp of the lizard folk (I’d wager that there was no intention of having the Paladin’s long sword being different from the general equipment list long sword).

    The Fighter wields Kalvela, the Sky-Splitter, forged from ore mined from the lightning-wracked plateau of Kastos, and the sky itself  shudders in fear of retribution every time it is raised high.

    As Aaron Pavao points out, and as the rules say,

    “Your signature weapon is special—not just a typical mundane item. Unless you take action that clearly risks it your signature weapon will never permanently leave your possession.”

    and “Most items are mundane—not magical or intrinsically unique in any way. Any item that is magical or one-of-a-kind is not mundane for the purposes of moves. The fighter’s signature weapon is never mundane.”

    and “If someone asks about the fighter it’s more useful to tell them that the fighter has a signature weapon that’s one of a kind then to go into detail about how the signature weapon move works.”

    So, with all that being an argument why the numerical equivalence doesn’t make the weapons even equivalent, that same argument means that it wouldn’t be a bad thing if you did what you proposed and let the fighter build their Signature Weapon on top of a base weapon. I just think if you do that, but ignore the fictional impact of the Signature Weapon (as called out in the rules several places), that you haven’t gone far enough making the Signature Weapon awesome.

  4. The thing that makes the Fighter’s signature weapon better than any other weapon is that it is more awesome. I’m being totally serious here; that’s the distinction. It’s akin to a living thing it’s so awesome. The stats don’t necessarily reflect that, but then the stats are probably the least important part of the Fighter’s weapon.

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