24 thoughts on “whats the difference between a vorpal sword and a weapon with a messy tag?”

  1. A Vorpal blade can sever not only bodies, but the very souls, it can be used to target a person’s bonds, memories.

    To wield it though, the person must sacrifice something to the sword, something personal and irreplaceable.

  2. To me, messy means it does a lot of miscellaneous collateral damage, rips up armour, sprays gore around, occasionally takes off chunks or even whole limbs.  These side effects are under the control of the DM, not the player, because the goddamn thing is messymessy could be an ogre’s stone maul or a kensai’s katana, but either way they’re not taking off heads with every blow: shit still needs to come together just right.

    vorpal means it’s a frickin light saber or monomolecular filament; it carves up diamonds like a salami slicer.  With the right strike, you could slice through a neck and have all the dangling molecules re-bond a half inch offcentre.  vorpal is not just sharp, it’s magic.

  3. there’s a different between being “unfinished” and “designed on purpose to have the players build their own world”. Can’t talk for DCC (incidentally, I’ll try it for the first time in a few hours) but DW clearly is better described by the latter.

  4. If a fighter got a weapon like a executioners axe with the messy tag could he sever a limb with every attack? i assume cutting the head off would only be possible if hp reach 0.

  5. Loco Tomo, in my opinion it’s up to the DM what happens to the monster after the fighter hits it.   Or after the fighter misses, for that matter.  The principles say to be a fan of the character, so you should describe stuff so that it sounds awesome.  The rules on purpose don’t say exactly what messy means, just that it “deals damage in a particularly destructive way, ripping people and things apart,” so it’s up to your table to decide what’s appropriate.  Personally, I’d think severing a limb with every attack would be excessive — the first few hit points you could describe how the foe dodges, just barely, taking a heavy blow off his shield as the mighty axe shatters the table behind him.  Property damage is messy, too.  When the foe is down to a few hit points, maybe a limb or a hand or a foot comes off, or is pulverized, and the killing blow could be decapitation or torso cleaving or pulping the head like a melon.  

    The fiction should follow from the mechanics, as well as vice versa, so you can and should use the amount of damage rolled as a guide to describing how bloody the hit was.  And then the mechanics follow from the fiction, so once the monster has lost a foot or an eye or whatever, then you should take that into consideration next time you make a DM move with the monster.

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