Following issues with weapon balance, a possible solution just came to me (and given the time lapse I felt like a new blog post was justified).
Basically, rolling 1 save per Strength made Strength extremely powerful - though this could be controlled by only offering Strength above 1 on weapons that you're not likely to tote around by habit. On the other hand, rolling one save felt to me like it made damage very swingy, especially with high Strength and good saves; you'd be likely to either ping off ineffectually or suddenly do massive damage, considering that wounds are pretty low in this game. Ironically, I could end up with a system where hard damage is binary and soft damage is variable!
However, it come to me sudden-like that you could cap the number of dice rolled at the target's Wounds. Perhaps their initial Wounds? This should:
- Cap the usefulness of Strength against weak targets, compared to other weapon features.
- Allow powerful weapons to do variable damage against stronger targets, which is mechanically more interesting.
- Make it less likely that powerful weapons will ping entirely off tough armoured targets, allowing them to soak some of the damage but still be injured. This feels narratively appropriate and mechanically appropriate, since lugging heavy weapons around is a pain and should be rewarded.
- Make it "cheaper" (balance-wise) and therefore easier to incorporate weapons of variable Strength, potentially allowing a more interesting selection of gear.