An excellent weapon (C&G p.69) adds a bonus of +1 or more to one of its "features" (examples include strength, beauty, or durability), and to all activities it used in [implicitly, where the feature plays a role]. As an example, an excellent sword adds its bonus to all attack and defense rolls in combat. How about initiative? I think that for a lot of weapons one could make the case of "excellent balance" or "excellent speed", and such a feature should add the bonus to all attack, defense AND initiative rolls. Or not?
I think the wording of the bonus as "to one of its features" strongly implies it only adds to ONE feature, so you have to choose ONE of initiative, attack or defence.
Obviously not, since C&G is very explicit about the fact that, unlike what happens to superior items, excellent weapons can add their bonus to both attack and defence. I was simply wondering if initiative could be included too!
C&G doesn't say that it can be, but I don't see anything problematic with choosing to have bonuses with initiative and attack or initiative and damage instead of attack and damage.
Speaking as someone without access to C&G, I am just going to speculate on real world physics
There is a limit to how sharp you can make a weapon. Most of the damage comes from having a lot of mass with momentum behind it. Especially if the target is armoured.
Likewise, a lot of defense requires having enough mass to deflect the attack. Though I accept a really skilled swordsman need only make a small deflection where the attack is a long way off to cause a miss.
A lot of the time attack and defence come down to mass of the weapon, and to a lesser extent sharpness, hardness and elasticity/flexibility.
But mass mainly. In a world of muscle power, more mass means it is usually weilded slower. Hence penalties to initiative.
Would be fascinating to see a pareto maximum of attack, defence and initiative.
Higher mass would equal slower swingtimes, its true; As an observation however, the chart in the main ArM boo seems to follow that the +initiative modifier on weapons is lined pretty directly to the weapon's length, rather than any other factor.
I think this may be a leftover from previous editions. I seem to remember the idea that longer weapon = you reach your target first, meaning higher initiative (since init mostly only matters in the first round)