Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Berserk Armor

Berserk 26 provides Guts with his power up. Now since he's not going to get rid of his sword, what else is there?
Most characters can be defined in game terms by how hard they hit and how hard they are to hit. Guts has some great armor crafted by a master smith, but it is still only human armor.
Here, the title comes into play again, Berserk, as he's giving, the Berserk armor. Now in the past, we've seen the title referred to as part of Guts standard fighting style. We've seen the title as part of Guts being possessed. Now we see it as a magic item that Guts gains.
But the item is both beneficial and harmful. See, it doesn't care how injured you are and it doesn't actually patch you up, it merely allows you to keep fighting.
In many ways, this type of armor is perfect for Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition. As a minor action, it would allow a user to burn off a healing surge and keep the user fighting to the point of death. However, if there are no active foes around, the user must make a save or attack the nearest creature, even if it's a comrade. It would also have to have a high enchantment but the bonus of the armor is minor compared to the ability to keep fighting. In 4th ed, the healing surges represent every ability to recover, but usually they have to be burned off with help like from a cleric or warlord. The ability to burn through your own healing surges makes the armor very powerful but once it's done, it's done. There are no extra points off life to keep going.
On another venue, the book continues to explore perception. Here, Grunbeld, the draogn night, battles a very weakened Guts and is vastly disappointed that Guts proves to be so weak. Expectations versus reality. What are the players expecting to fight against what they are fighting. It works both ways though. If a dragon goes all out on the party using allies, minions, traps, and the environment to best the party, it may think the party weak. When the party gets the dragon on their terms, they may be able to show the monster the error of its ways.
And lastly, a look at motivation again. If the players understand the motivation of those they're battling, it makes it easier for the players to relate and see how things work in that manner. For example, Grunbeld, despite being a monster, much like Zodd, wants the thrill of fighting an equal. He wants to showcase his loyalty to Griffith. In this case, that's by attacking an old woman in a remote forest. But by having a chance to cross weapons with Guts? Makes it all worth it.
Earlier, Guts encounters one of the five angels. The female member of the God Hand, Slan, materializies in the lower reaches to toy with Guts, she does so because of her fascination with him and his ability to survive on hate and fear and pain. However, she also enjoys the pain and agony that comes to herself when fighting someone like Guts. Being a member of the God Hand, merely having her physical form destroyed though is no guarantee of her destruction and hence, may in part expalin her love of pain, both her own and others.