Before anybody points it out, I’m well aware that not being proficient in a weapon doesn’t mean that the character can’t use it. But when it keeps you from getting a bonus you’d otherwise be enjoying with a simpler weapon, like a stick, it really keeps my players from venturing into the realm of weapons-I-can’t-handle-but-want-to-anyway.
At my gaming table, the short sword never really enjoyed much success, probably because it had the word “short” attached to it. I personally always thought it was weird that a short sword did less damage than a long one, since both are easily longer than my body is thick and at the moment of being run through with one I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter how many centimeters are left over. Same goes for the slashing part, I’d guess. I suppose that having a longer sword means you’ll be able to hit harder with it (and that only if you’re swinging it) and you’ll have better reach, but it’ll also make it more difficult to control and you won’t be as fast. In the end, it all comes down to how each sword is different but I’m not sure that making one do more damage than the other at their base values is the best way to reflect such differences.
Still, beyond objectivity, you gotta admit that Lion-O’s (wang) sword of omens looked kind of ridiculous when it wasn’t extended. It must’ve added to the coolness factor, however, because I can imagine all his enemies laughing at him when he took it out of its sheath. They’d be all like “hey kitty, where’s the rest of yer sword?” (say it with pirate accent… I’m not sure why, but it just sounds better). Then Lion-O would do his whole “THUNDERCATS, HO” thing and the sword would extend to full length – although I think it’d be much more bad-ass if he did it silently, adding a “how do you like the rest of my sword, bitches?” to the end of it.
Keeping with the whole idea that the sword is actually a phallic symbol, I wonder if yelling “THUNDERCATS, HO!” in bed (while the appropriate extension is taking place) is considered a turn-off. What’s the verdict on that, ladies?
NOTE: If you don’t “get” what’s going on in the last panel, please don’t ask. You’re probably better off not knowing yet, anyway.
NOTE 2: I submit that “THUNDERCATS, HO!” would be an excellent name for erectile disfunction pills. You could print the Thudercats logo on them and everything!