Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Basic Weapon List

All right! So now I come to the end of my series (yesterday's post was really the last "concept" post) detailing my thoughts on the weapons that should be included in a basic fantasy adventure game like the one I'm currently working on. That was the real point of these posts (in case it wasn't clear)...this blog is serving as my "design notes," so that interested persons can see my thought process (and so that I don't have to include a bunch of sidebars in the game as to "why the designer is doing this"...don't you hate needless padding?).

However, before I post my final list, I wanted to post a few addendum thoughts regarding missile weapons: in an indoor or subterranean environment (like a "dungeon") there's really not much call for long range weapons. Not only are you working with fairly short distances before your arrow hits a wall, not only are you losing the ability to "arc" missiles (due to a capped ceiling), not only are the quarters cramped in general with monsters who (in the main) are trying to get into melee...not only that, but in the darkness you're probably going to be out-shooting your light sources.

So for my game, I don't need a lot of shooting weapons. Certainly not the seven found on the battlefields of Chainmail (short bow, horse bow, longbow, composite bow, light crossbow, heavy crossbow, arquebus). Heck, I don't even need all four to six of the ones in older "basic" editions of D&D. Give me bow, crossbow, and rock (thrown or "slung") and I'm good. And no, I'm not going to worry too much about ranges.

Having got that out of the way, here's the weapon list for my basic heartbreaker:

Ye Old Armory
- Battle Axe*
- Hand Axe (t)
- Dagger (t)
- One-Handed Sword
- Long Sword*
- Bow
- Crossbow
- Sling
- Club*
- Mace/Hammer
- Spear*(t)
- Two-Handed Weapon

* indicates weapon may be used with 1 or 2 hands
(t) indicates weapon may be thrown 

Weapon Notes
  • Unless stated otherwise, all weapons have a maximum damage of 6
  • Two-Handed Weapons have a maximum damage of 8
  • All axes add +1 to maximum damage
  • All swords add +1 to attack rolls
  • Crossbows, Maces, Hammers, and Two-Handed Weapons add +2 to attack rolls versus heavy armor (though the latter loses this bonus in tight quarters).
  • Daggers, Clubs, and Slings subtract 2 from attack rolls AND maximum possible damage
  • Crossbows require a full (10 second) round of combat to reload
Okay,  that should just about do it. The "two-handed weapon" entry includes all pole arms, zwiehanders, giant mauls, etc. The exact type of two-handed weapon doesn't matter as they are all...from the standpoint of game mechanics...effectively the same weapon.

Any questions? Comments? Additional thing I need to consider? Or should I just start working on my post about "wandering monsters?"
: )


  1. are daggers, clubs and slings d4 or d6-2? i guess d4, but it's not 100% clear (to me).

    i like the list and the special rules. tight and balanced.

    hope you are not too miffed about the seahawks. ;)

  2. @ Shlomo:

    Daggers and clubs carry a -2 penalty to their attack roll to inflict (life threatening) damage. Their maximum damage (i.e. maximum "rollover") is 4, unless using a two-handed club, which has a maximum rollover of 6 (8-2).

    Not terribly miffed, BTW. Without Harvin, they finally started playing like themselves (at least in the 2nd half); unfortunately, they've been decimated with injuries on the defense and they 're still bringing guys up to speed.

    The cheap-shit trick plays on special teams? It's frustrating but a crap ass team like the Rams needs to pull out that stuff to win, and the Hawks need to be ready for that type of desperation. It'll get better.
    ; )

    1. ahhh, i must have missed the post about the revised combat system! i was confused by "roll-over". my bad. now it makes sense of course.

    2. The Harvin trade never made sense to me. It struck me as one of those times when a GM goes out and gets a player the coaches either don't want or don't need just because their rival got one. Hey look, the 49ers got a shiny, we need a shiny too! Harvin was your typical down the field outside receiver and didn't fit the offense.

      I also don't buy the whole "they couldn't figure out what to do with him" BS. I think they knew exactly what to do with him but for some reason felt a need to make him a feature of the offense. I guess they wanted to prove he was worth the cost so their GM wouldn't have to admin it was a terrible idea from the start.

      I do give Seattle credit for being willing to walk away and not waste more time. While I do think Harvin is a good player, Seattle's offense is/was not the place for him.

  3. In case a newbie PC doesn't think of it, I put flaming oil on my basic weapon list (dmg per container size). Dungeon crawlers would likely have some anyway for torch/lantern use. The fun reason is the chaos caused by lighting foes/friends ablaze.

    1. @ Lee:

      There is no flaming oil in my game because, well, this:

      I am happy allowing a person using a torch for a hand weapon...it's treated like a one-handed "club."

    2. I'll resign my suggestion of a convenient incendiary for failing OS-Science. Yet, I'm not ready to give up on the use of oil and powders to debilitate. Can a weapon be "basic" if a component/crafting method is uncommon?

    3. @ Lee:

      Characters with an alchemy background could probably create flash-bang mixtures...but people without such a background would probably be reluctant to mess around with the stuff.