Weight in Combat in the War of Ashes

+Evil Hat Productions' latest hardcover release is War of Ashes: Fate of Agaptus, a Fate Accelerated-powered adaptation of Zombiesmith's "grimsical" miniatures games. I was very pleasantly surprised when I dug into the PDF of this game and saw the various new rules and systems that expand on the solid but slim FAE base.

One of those systems that I'm particularly impressed by and think can find a home in other designs is that of character weight and its impact on combat. Weight is an elegant new way to handle scale. In War of Ashes, each character and monster has a numerical rating of its overall impact on combat primarily based on size. PCs and many monsters on their scale are weight 1, while smaller creatures are weight 0. Large monsters range as high as weight 8 for the massive herbivores called foadstors.

In combat, you total the weights of each side within a zone. If one side outweighs the other by 2:1, you replace one die the larger side rolls with a + after rolling. If the difference is 4:1 or higher, you instead replace two dice with +s. Obviously, this increases the average of the larger side's rolls without boosting the maximum beyond the normal +4.

War of Ashes also lets you use weight in social conflicts. There it represents status, expertise, and influence. Mechanically, it works the same way, reflecting how physical and social conflicts are equal in Fate Accelerated Edition. In social conflicts, a commoner might have weight 1 to petition the government while the king has weight 8.

I love the weight system. It's tiny, adding a single line to any stat block that differs from weight 1. You can feel the impact without it overwhelming the core mechanic. It encourages tactics and positioning. And it applies equally well to both physical and social conflicts. I can see this rule being used in a lot of games.


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