Weapons are items that characters can equip to
perform attacks that deal increased damage. Weapons get their own inventory
separate from the inventory for normal items; the Weapon Inventory can hold up to
4 weapons, but only one of the four can be equipped at a time. The basic idea is
that the equipped weapon is actually brandished, while any others are sheathed or otherwise
stored; because of this concept, attempting to steal an equipped weapon is more
difficult than stealing something else, having only half the normal chance of
Weapons are divided into melee, projectile, and magic types.
Melee weapons are used for close combat and deal damage based on the user's stats (usually Attack Power). When equipped, they allow a character to perform an armed basic attack that does not cost any VP, or armed special attacks (which are specifically designed for melee weapon use and cannot be used without the weapon). Melee weapons are divided into various subtypes and levels which are explained below.
Projectile weapons are used to fire ammunition objects for long-ranged combat and usually ignore the user's stats, dealing damage based on the type of ammunition used. When they run out of ammo, they must be reloaded with extra ammo packet items stored in the regular item inventory. With the exception of Bows, projectile weapons require no training and can be used by anyone. In addition to firing ammo, characters can also pistol whip opponents with the weapon, but this will only deal the same damage as an unarmed basic attack except with rare weapons such as bayonets. Neither pistol whipping nor firing ammo cost any VP unless incorporated into an armed special attack specifically designed for use with a projectile weapon.
Magic weapons are used to cast magic spells, which are fueled by MP instead of VP. Any magic weapon can be used to cast any spell, and in most cases the type of magic weapon used has no effect on the spell's power. However, one can also whack people directly with the magic weapon, which does not cost any VP or MP and may have an augmented effect similar to an armed basic attack with a melee weapon (though often based on Magic Power instead of Attack Power). Magic weapons are never used in armed special attacks, since they're used to cast spells instead.
Further complications of weapon wielding only apply to melee weapons and Bows, and are as follows:
Characters and weapons both have Weapon Levels. In order to use a weapon, a character's
Weapon Level in that type of weapon must be equal to or higher
than the level of that weapon. Weapon Levels begin at "E" and progress
reverse-alphabetically to "A," the highest level. Every character, be they a player,
non-player, or enemy, has an E level in every weapon, therefore, instead of
writing "E" after each kind of weapon in the character sheets, if no Weapon Levels exceed E,
"n/a" is written instead, and only if some level(s) exceed(s) E will this be indicated
(following it will be "Other: E" to indicate that all weapons not mentioned are at E
Characters must train themselves in different subtypes of weapons if they want to have high weapon levels in each of those different types; however, any weapon labeled as that type can be used by a character with the necessary Weapon Level. So for example, a character with a D Weapon Level in Swords can use D-level swords, but also D-level baseball bats, which are labeled as Sword-type weapons. The character cannot use D-level knives, however, because Knife is a separate weapon subtype than Sword.
A character's Weapon Level increases after the character uses that type of weapon a certain number of times. Using an E-level weapon will always add 1 point to the weapon experience count; if the user's Weapon Level exceeds E, then using the highest possible level of weapon will add 2 points, and using a weapon of a lower level will still only add 1. So, for example, a character with a C Weapon Level will earn 2 points by using a C-level weapon, but only 1 point by using a D- or E-level one. The number of points required for a Weapon Level Up is higher with each new level:
- E » D: 11
- D » C: 21
- C » B: 32
- B » A: 42
If a Weapon Level-applicable weapon gets multiple hits for its basic attack, or is used in a
special attack, the user still earns the same number of points toward the next Weapon Level as if
they had used a basic attack. However, points are still awarded for armed attacks that miss the
target or fail to do any damage due to defenses (but no points are given for doing anything with
the weapon outside of battle). Special weapons that can only be used by one
character (such as Ike's sword Ragnell) will always give that character
2 use points.
Different kinds of weapons of each Weapon Level vary around a particular amount of damage, which is obviously higher for each higher Weapon Level. Do not expect every weapon of each level to deal the same amount of damage—after all, that would be rather boring. Nevertheless, keep in mind the default amounts of damage: for E-level, if the weapon is kind of jokey and lacks a sharp edge or anything that would actually be much of a threat in real life, then it will usually only deal x1 damage—in other words, the same amount as an unarmed attack; but if the weapon is more like a downgraded version of the D-level variety that would still be threatening, then it will generally deal +1 damage, for a small boost. D-level weapons normally deal x2 damage, C-levels deal x2 +2, and B-levels deal x2 +4. The sort-of default amount of damage for A-level weapons is x4, but because multiplication can produce numbers that are uncomfortably high in Paper Mario terms, I usually try to find a different way to make them stronger, such as x2 +6, or still x2 +4 but [/] or [X]. Notice that these amounts of damage are also the same as those dealt by the default magic spells and most of the default psyhic attacks.
Weapon Levels do not apply to guns because their strength is determined by the ammo loaded, and they do not apply to magic weapons because the default magic attacks already require weaker attacks to be learned before stronger ones, creating a similar mechanism. Player characters may start with one D Weapon Level, while the rest start at E.
The Weapon Triangle
The Weapon Triangle from Fire Emblem applies to melee weapons in Arpeggio. It takes the following form:
If one character uses a Sword to attack another character who has an Axe equipped, the damage will
be +1. Vice versa, if the Axe attacks the Sword, the damage will be -1. And
so on for the other two sides of the triangle.
Weapons that count as Sword-type would include normal swords, baseball bats, and lightsabers.
Weapons that count as Axe-type include axes, hammers, and boomerangs.
Weapons that count as Lance-type include lances and spears, brushes, and umbrellas.
If a character is holding more than one kind of weapon, then whichever one is currently equipped is the one that counts toward the triangle. When a character uses a weapon to perform any kind of armed attack, that weapon is equipped, moving to the top slot of their weapon inventory. The player characters can see which weapon an enemy has equipped but cannot see any of the other items that it is holding. If a character has one or more weapons but uses an unarmed attack, then no weapon is considered to be equipped until one is used. It is not possible to use an unarmed attack and then equip a weapon in the same turn, nor to attack with a weapon and leave it unequipped afterward; however, when using an item, running away, or doing nothing, a character can choose to equip or unequip a weapon beforehand, which carries through the opposing team's Phase of that turn, potentially affecting the Weapon Triangle.
"Reaver" weapons reverse the Weapon Triangle and double the damage modifiers to +2 and -2.
Certain melee weapons, such as Sticks and Saws, are unaffected by the Weapon Triangle. However, they are still given a subtype in their data sheet: this subtype does not affect damage dealt or received by the weapon, but is used for Weapon Level purposes; also, armed special attacks are designed to be performed with a particular subtype of melee weapon, and cannot be performed with a different type.
Additional Weapon Triangles
Starting back in Game 2, I have sometimes implemented a second Weapon Triangle separate from and unaffected by the first, but functioning similarly. This triangle is made up of Knives, Bows, and Whips.
- Knives › Bows
- Bows › Whips
- Whips › Knives
This triangle is more complicated than the first because the weapons involved are more complicated.
Knives tend to do less damage per strike than other weapons but hit twice per turn; Bows are
projectile weapons and also deal extra damage to flying characters in addition to their Weapon
Triangle effects; Whips are similar to Swords, Axes, and Lances in damage dealt, but protect the
user from contact damage despite being considered melee weapons. Which weapon beats which was
somewhat based on the observation that each of these three types has a different range, but like
the primary Weapon Triangle, logic is not the main point. This triangle is +1 and -1 just like
the primary one.
Since this triangle was not present in Fire Emblem, don't feel obliged to use it. If you have lots of player characters using lots of different types of weapons, though, it can make things more interesting. Feel free to create your own additional triangles, or to alter the ones that I use.
In order to use a Bow-type weapon, you'll need arrows to fire
from it, but a normal player character can only carry up to 10 items at a time,
and 10 arrows won't last very long, not to mention taking up room that could be used for other
items. That's where a Quiver comes in. A Quiver is a special type of
item that functions as a storage unit for arrows. This is
similar to the Strange Sack, an item that serves as a
size expansion to the item inventory, but where any item can be stored inside a Strange Sack
(with the exception of another Strange Sack), a Quiver can only hold arrows. That being said,
multiple different types of arrows exist, and these can be
mixed and matched such that the same Quiver might hold 20 regular arrows, 10 Fire Arrows, and 10
Ice Arrows, or any convoluted combination. Of course, a given Quiver has a limited number of
Because the number of slots is the only functional difference between different Quivers, instead of giving each of them different names, the number of slots is simply indicated in the Quiver's name, being written as, for example, "10-Quiver" or "50-Quiver." Increments of 10 are the most common, but a Quiver of any size can exist, up until a maximum size limit of 100. A Quiver may be magically enchanted or otherwise empowered to be able to hold an infinite number of arrows, in which case it would be called an "Infinite Quiver," but obviously such a thing would be exceedingly rare (and would probably moreso conjure arrows than store them).
In a similar manner to how a suit of armor that's currently being worn doesn't take up a slot in the item inventory, a Quiver can be equipped, at which point it is worn over the back and no longer takes up a slot. But just like how additional suits of armor being carried will each take up inventory slots, so will additional Quivers. A Quiver in an item slot will have the numbers and types of arrows that it's currently holding written after its name in parentheses, while outside of a Quiver, each individual arrow takes up an entire inventory slot all by itself. If a character has a Bow-type weapon equipped and a Quiver equipped at the same time, then the equipped Quiver's data is written after the Bow's name in the weapon inventory slot, for ease of access when using the Bow. It is possible to have a Quiver equipped at the same time as a non-Bow-type weapon, which does save the Quiver from taking up an item slot, but since it's no longer related to the equipped weapon, a separate "Quiver" section is temporarily added to the character sheet, coming after the "Armor" field, and the data is written there. As with suits of armor being worn, only one Quiver may be equipped at a time.
Quivers of different sizes do not require different Weapon Levels in order to be used. This means that, unlike in Fire Emblem where stronger Bows have fewer usage points, a larger Quiver can be used with any new Bow acquired, making the Bow's Weapon Level the only limitation. That being said, since the Bow and Quiver are separate items, stronger Bows and larger Quivers are separate acquisitions—though naturally, an enemy using a Bow will generally also have a Quiver, so both can be taken after the enemy is killed. For this reason, the Maestro may tend to give enemies smaller-sized Quivers, making a sought-after larger one a harder find.
Shields and the Defend Bonus
Shields are a special subtype of melee weapon (not present in Fire
Emblem). As you might guess, they are designed more for defensive purposes than as "weapons" per
se, but they are stored in the weapon inventory. Like other weapons, they can be used to perform
armed attacks, and stronger shields will even make such attacks more powerful. But unlike any
other type of weapon, shields also have the special property of modifying the wielder's
Defend command. Defending normally subtracts 1 damage from all
attacks taken by the character for one turn; when a character has a Shield-type weapon equipped
and uses the Defend command, the shield will provide a boost to the amount of damage
subtracted, and this will even reduce the damage from
[/] and [X] attacks, which pierce other forms of defense.
Shields may have other effects on the Defend command as well, such as a spike-covered shield
allowing the Defender to count as Spiky for that turn, thus
hurting direct attackers. Shields generally fall outside of any Weapon Triangles so as not to
interfere with their defensive bonuses, but they don't provide any kind of defensive effects when
the wielder isn't using the Defend command, and if the wielder becomes
Disarmed, any effects provided are lost until the
Very rarely, a non-Shield-type weapon may grant a Defend Bonus. This will be noted on that weapon's sheet, and functions the same way as with a shield, although the Weapon Triangle may come into effect whilst defending with it.
Inspired by the weapons in RWBY, which tend to have both melee and projectile functions, hybrid weapons... tend to have both melee and projectile functions. While, as noted, one can pistol whip somebody with a projectile weapon, this usually only deals the same amount of damage as an unarmed attack; hybrid weapons incorporate an intended melee function into the weapon, allowing it to be used effectively either way. By default, a character still needs to have the necessary Weapon Level in order to properly use the melee function of the weapon, but the projectile function can still be used freely by anyone, though it may require ammunition. Some hybrid weapons, however, may be complex enough to require the Weapon Level even to use the projectile function. It could also be possible for a hybrid weapon to allow the wielder to use it to cast magical spells (either in addition to both the melee and projectile functions or replacing one of them).
Breaking the Mold
In a tabletop RPG like Arpeggio, there is always the possibility that a player will question the
rules and attempt to do something that a video game would simply disallow. For the Maestro's
convenience, here are a few suggestions.
If a player attempts to use a weapon without having the necessary Weapon Level, you can allow the attempted attack to use up the character's turn but have the attack always miss and award no weapon use points. Further, you could render the weapon unequipped immediately after the execution of the failed attack, preventing defensive Weapon Triangle advantages. However, if the character does have a Weapon Level in that type above E but lower than the required level of the particular weapon, you might choose to award use points and/or keep the weapon equipped despite the attack always missing, since these are things that the character is capable of achieving with a lower-leveled weapon. A forced miss can also be used if the player attempts to execute an armed attack with the wrong type of weapon, even up to attempting an armed melee attack with a projectile or magic weapon, or a magic spell with a melee or projectile weapon.
With magic weapons, though, more of an argument can be made for the character possessing the magic power and the magic weapon merely being something through which to channel that power, and so, if a player attempts to cast a spell without a magic weapon, another option besides a forced miss would be to treat the character as though they are Confused, giving the spell a chance of working but also a chance of backfiring. If the character is already actually Confused, you should probably run the calculation again if the attack comes up as working the first time.