I have a question on an ability to add +stun to a weapon.

I have a question on an ability to add +stun to a weapon.

I have a question on an ability to add +stun to a weapon. A player of mine is using the Peerless Fighter playbook and took the Disabling enhancement which means his axes have +stun.  Now, in the past couple of fights he basically kept the monster stunlocked the entire fight (which is an issue of itself, but easily fixed by having more than one monster in the fight) however, he feels that his weapons should be dealing damage at the same time as opposed to just causing stun damage. I can see the point either way as it is written +stun which implies it’s an additional effect. Anyway, just curious if anyone else has ruled on this.

25 thoughts on “I have a question on an ability to add +stun to a weapon.”

  1. DW is not a war game to be min-maxed, so be careful of things like this. Do what the fiction says is possible.

    1) “Stun locking” is only possible if you let it be possible. Someone rolls a 5 while trying to punch the stunned ogre? Awesome, he actually gets the punch in, but it pushes the ogre back towards the wizard. He shakes his head to clear it and lunges toward the wizard. Wizard, what do you do?

    2) Stunning and dealing damage – I have no idea what a Peerless Fighter is, but let me say this: unless it is magical or something, the stunning is probably from pulling the strike and using the flat or the butt of it. I’d say that this implies he is not striking with full force/skill and would not allow the damage.

    That said, fights shouldn’t be about whittling down HP either. If it has come to this, you need to think about other ways to make fights challenging. Set something on fire! Add innocents! Have a follower turn on them!

  2. Yeah, I know how to counter it and I have had the character miss on a followup attack which meant it wasn’t as stunned as he thought it was, but that’s not really my question. It’s more the +stun as opposed to stun tag and if anyone else has had a player use the peerless fighter playbook. The peerless fighter doesn’t have a signature weapon but rather he gets to pick from a list of tags to add to a class of weapons when he uses it. In this player’s case he took +piercing and +stun with his axes. So when I said that the stun meant he used the axe to do stun damage and not normal damage he told me that he saw it as him fictionally hitting so well with his axes that he left them injured and dazed. Trying to be a fan of the player here.

  3. +stun sounds like an attribute mechanic. So you would roll+Stun – or is that not how it is interpreted here? Perhaps roll damage, then add your STUN number to the damage. Then that would be the weapon’s damage +stun as well. I feel like I only remember a + being related to damage or your roll, specifically. Tags usually are italicized, and not utilizing a + symbol.

    Is there a way to build your stun attribute in the playbook, such as gaining Hold? I’ve also not heard of this playbook. I don’t think I understand why a weapon would automatically stun on a hit, precisely for this problem you’re having.

  4. I just saw your last post… sounds like it’s just a syntax thing then, and not related at all to what + usually indicates. So that negates my thoughts.

    However, since he is a warrior character, and they should be physically bad ass, then yea, sure, let him do damage and stun. Just make sure that when a 6- rolls around, or even a 7-9, it makes him think of how to deal with this particular nail without using just a hammer. Maybe on a 6-, the reverberation from his axe is so powerful that he can no longer control it for some time, or unless he figures out a clever way to do so once again.

    Basically, anything is possible and everything is fair game. I give my players some crazy powers sometimes, but I always take advantage of the negative consequences as well, hence Turning a Move Back on Them. Perhaps remind the player why a certain situation might be better with a precise dagger versus a big hammer. Let him have his fun with a somewhat powerful mechanic for the battle – just make him earn the victory of the war.

    But you sound like you know how to do that pretty well. :)

  5. I showed that to him but then he argued that weapons tend to say [stun] and this says [+stun] which implies the stun is in addition. For what it’s worth he’s cool either way…just getting opinions. I am leaning towards he can either do stun damage or normal damage but that doesn’t feel like being a fan of the player either

  6. That seems like a silly argument.

    Sit down and talk to your players. Tell them that the GM is not out to get them, and is not their enemy. Tell them you plan to make an awesome story, not try to kill them.

    Arguing about the rules is pointless, all that matters is that you agree. Remind the guy that it isn’t really all that fun to stun lock a goblin and roll and roll and roll and roll until they die. Remind them that it’s surmounting difficulty that makes this stuff exciting.

    And then ask the whole table: how do you guys think this works? Pick an explanation and just go with it.

  7. That’s what I was trying to clarify…there’s no argument. Just a polite discussion and he is fine with whatever I decide. I am just feeling for opinions

  8. He provided it…I’m not sure if he paid for it so been reluctant to post it. I have decided that since the official book says stun damage is in place of normal damage that he can choose to do stun or normal damage. That way if he’s in one on one combat (like the situation that caused me to solicit opinions) he can’t kill his opponent without any issues. It wasn’t interesting to watch him stun lock his opponent and whittle down his hitpoints at the same time

  9. The fiction is that the tags are added because of the fighting style that the fighter has learnt. It’s not that it’s a flashbang axe it’s more that he has learnt how to stun opponents with it (and to bypass their armor)

  10. I think I heard of a great Lord Crecksus with this same ability. His Spiked Gauntlets can stun an Ice Behemoth.

    Have him battle to the stunny death lol

  11. On page 22, it says “a GM character that takes stun damage doesn’t count it against their HP but will act accordingly, staggering around for a few seconds, fumbling blindly, etc.” Since the tag is added to a weapon, the target takes the normal damage from the weapon, and is ADDITIONALLY stunned for a while, as described above. Giving +stun to the weapon doesn’t remove the weapon’s normal damage dealing, it just adds stun capability.

  12. I went with the player having to choose, with a given attack, if he wanted to do stun damage or normal damage. Otherwise, it made what should have been climatic scenes boring as he kept the monster stunlocked and did damage at the same time until it was dead. He agreed that it made the game less fun.

  13. Paul Sheppard That sounds right to me. If a weapon such as a kosh or sap had the “stun” tag intrinsically I’m not sure I’d allow a choice (it just always stuns, it doesn’t deal your class damage), but given that the +stun is from a fighting technique the Peerless Fighter is using, it makes sense for them to be able to apply it or not on any given blow.

  14. The book says it does stun damage instead of normal damage, so I would say the stun part of it only comes into play if he were to kill whatever it is he’s hitting. It would knock the creature out instead of slaying it. Kind of like non-lethal damage in Pathfinder and D&D.

  15. That’s how I understood it Scott Selvidge​​​​​​​​​​


    (Hand, Stun)

    Used by the Elite Gaurd of Castle Str’ah, its people have lived in peace for milenia and only require non-lethal weapons to breakup the occasional brawl.

  16. Scott Selvidge I don’t think that’s how stun damage works… I don’t believe you even roll your class damage if you’re using a weapon with the stun tag. See for example Sage’s description here: http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=6353.0

    Admittedly that’s a PC taking stun damage rather than inflicting it, but see also the write-up of Stun Damage in the SRD, which says: A GM character that takes stun damage doesn’t count it against their HP but will act accordingly, staggering around for a few seconds, fumbling blindly, etc.

  17. Robert Rendell​​ That was just how I use it. I see the way Sage mentioned it working well for damaging PCs and that would be how I would use it as well. It seems like the best method. If one of my NPCs takes stun damage I just keep track of how much damage the PC would have done. If it ever exceeds the normal health they have I consider them unconscious. I still narrate the fiction of the NPC being knocked silly if it doesn’t get knocked out though. It’s just my method. 

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