[d20a] All About Weapons

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[d20a] All About Weapons

Post by Ashtagon » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:13 pm

Please discuss this topic here.

Sources mined so far: PHB, Sandstorm, Stormwrack, Planar Handbook Complete Adventurer, Complete Warrior.

Weapon Properties

There are a number of standard properties common to many different weapons. Rather than list detailed descriptions each time the weapon appears, it is easier to just give the weapons one or more keywords, and refer to a separate section for their meanings. This is that separate section.

Properties
  • trip - This weapon does not provoke attacks of opportunity if used to trip an opponent. If you fail in your trip attempt, and your opponent succeeds in his counter-trip attempt, you may drop the weapon to avoid being tripped.
  • disarm +n - Your weapon gets a bonus on all rolls to disarm an opponent, or to resist being disarmed.
  • resist disarm +n - Your weapon gets a bonus on all rolls resist being disarmed. It has no bonus on attempts to disarm an enemy.
  • locked - Your weapon is firmly attached to your hand. Short of physically amputating the arm or hand, you cannot be disarmed.
  • monk - This weapon can be used in conjunction with the monk's flurry of blows special ability. (nb. This weapon property needs to be re-written, as the monk class has been replaced by the mystic).
  • double - This weapon can be used to attack with either end. You may fight as if armed with a single weapon, or as if armed with two weapons, attacking once with each end.
  • finesse - Attack rolls with this weapon use Dexterity, not Strength.
  • reach (n) - This is a reach weapon. The default value allows attacks against targets exactly 2 squares (10 feet) away. If a number is specified, this indicates the range (in squares) at which attacks can be made. There is an additional capability if the weapon also has the set vs charge property (see below).
  • DR bypass - This weapon is especially good at getting past armour-based DR. Normally, a weapon ignores any armour-based DR on a natural attack roll of 20. These weapons ignore any armour-based DR on any successful attack roll in which an even number was rolled.
  • crit ×n - This weapon deals extra-devastating critical hits. Instead of dealing x2 damage on a critical hit, the damage is multiplied by the number indicated.
  • set vs charge - If you use a ready action to prepare and do not move, you can deal double damage against a charging enemy. Additionally, if the weapon also has reach, and you hit the charging opponent when you use the set vs charge manoeuvre, his charge is checked at a distance. He may make an immediate sunder attempt against your weapon, and finish his charge if he manages to destroy your weapon.
  • throwable - This melee weapon can be thrown.
  • 1H or buckler - This item can be used as either a one-handed (usually light, depends on item's overall size) weapon to attack, or as a buckler shield. You can change mode from round to round. If you do not declare, the DM should assume you are using it in the same mode as the previous round.
Weapon Size
  • light - a weapon generally about 1-2 feet in overall length, with a grip that allows it to be wielded with one hand only.
  • one-handed - a weapon generally about 2-4 feet in overall length, with a grip that allows it to be wielded with one hand only.
  • versatile - a weapon generally about 2-4 feet in overall length, with a grip that allows it to be wielded with either one or two hands.
  • two-handed - a weapon generally about 4-8 feet in overall length, with a grip that requires it to be wielded with two hands.
Index of Melee Weapons
Index of Missile Weapons
  • Bows
  • Crossbows
  • Slings (and Spear Throwers)
  • Blowguns (and blown weapons)
  • Thrown
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Re: [d20a] All About Weapons

Post by Ashtagon » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:15 pm

Flails

The characteristic property of a flail weapon is that it has one of more rigid sections attached to a length of chain. A distinguishing characteristic between chain weapons and whip weapons is that whips tend to be wielded using a "flicking" action, whereas chains tend to be spun to the side or above the head prior to striking, and using that rotational energy to put power behind the strike. Of course, some chain weapons are used in other ways, especially in some martial arts.
  • nunchaku - light, disarm +2, monk
  • light flail - one-handed, disarm +2, trip
  • heavy flail - two-handed, disarm +2, trip
  • dire flail - two-handed, disarm +2, trip, double
  • spiked chain - two-handed, disarm +2, trip, finesse, reach 1-2
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Re: [d20a] All About Weapons

Post by Ashtagon » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:28 pm

Picks and Sickles

The primary characteristic of a pick is a sharp pointy end which is swung at the target. Sickles (including the scythe) feature a blade with a well-defined curve. The inside of this is sharpened. The normal usage of such weapons in combat will often result in the sharpened tip also causing wounds. For this reason, the two groups of weapons are merged into one weapon proficiency family.

Picks
  • light pick - light, DR bypass, crit ×4
  • heavy pick - one-handed, DR bypass, crit ×4
  • dire pick - versatile, DR bypass, crit ×4
Sickles
  • sickle - light, trip
  • kama - light, trip, monk
  • heavy sickle - one-handed
  • scythe - two-handed, trip (note: entirely unrealistic; needs serious re-writing; the basic agricultural tool would be a two-handed improvised weapon, that allows your opponent to make trip attacks against you, but grants multiple attacks if your opponent is 3 size classes smaller than you.)
  • lajatang - two-handed, monk, double
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Re: [d20a] All About Weapons

Post by Ashtagon » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:49 pm

Blades

The other pointy stick (cf archery). Design note: I need a weapon property to distinguish curved blades from straight blades. In the SRD, the main difference is a crit value of 19-20/x2 (straight) compared to 18-20/x2 (curved). Statistically, this would account for an extra half-point or so of damage per attack. Increasing the damage die to the next larger size might be the simplest way to reflect this difference. Straight swords should probably have some feature too, to make sure their users don't feel gimped.

Straight Blades
  • short sword - light
    • Blade is typically 24-32 inches. Includes bronze age swords, langsax (a type of scramasax), and Roman gladius.
  • broad sword - one-handed
    • Blade is typically 34-38 inches. This includes the Roman spatha, viking swords, arming swords, side swords, Chinese jian, and "modern" claymores. The term "broadsword" is slightly anachronistic, but I justify this by noting that the SRD never used the term.
  • longsword - versatile
    • Blade is typically 42-54 inches. This includes the longsword and the bastard sword. Historical longswords had a grip just as capable as the bastard sword of being used two-handed, and were often just as long. When looking at the raw physical dimensions in numbers, there really wasn't enough to justify a specific distinction between them in game terms. Add in the fact that, with gauntleted heavy armour, it wasn't uncommon to wield the sword with one hand gripping the lower part of the blade, and the difference between long and bastard sword becomes all but meaningless.)
  • great sword - two-handed
    • Blade length is typically 54-72 inches. This includes the traditional Scots claymore, the German zweihander.
  • two-bladed sword - two-handed, double (as used by Darth Maul. This is a fantasy weapon.)
Curved Blades

I have revised my earlier view of placing Japanese swords among the "straight blades" category. This is based on the fact that the Chinese characters used for the katana (and related blades) corresponds to the Chinese dao, also a curved blade. Peacetime construction katana (and related blades) tend to be masterwork quality; wartime construction blades tend to be standard quality. IN east Asian terminology, the principle distinction is whether one or both edges of the blade are sharpened for use as cutting edges.

刀 (zh: dao) (kr: do) (ja:katana, -tou)
劍/剣 (zh:jian) (kr: geom) (ja: tsurugi, -ken)
  • falcata - light (These are essentially identical to short swords in function, but are distinguishable by having a forward-swept blade. Includes Iberian falcata and Greek kopis)
  • scimitar - one-handed (various names, depending on geographical region. Includes falchion, tulwar, sabre, cutlass, yatagan, machete, wakizashi, and dao)
  • great scimitar - versatile (includes Japanese katana, Chinese dadao)
  • falchion - two-handed (includes Japanese zanbato, nodachi, Chinese zhanmadao)
  • nagamaki - two-handed (This is a blade 2-4 ft long, mounted on a huge grip 2-3 feet long)
Thin Blades
  • epee - light, finesse, DR bypass
    • (Examples include the modern fencing foil and the small sword. "Epee" is not strictly an accurate term, but the most common weapon of the class (small sword) had a name too similar to the short sword, so I picked something radically different. When it became unfashionable for gentlemen and nobles to openly carry swords, epees were often hidden inside walking canes instead.
  • rapier - one-handed, finesse, DR bypass
    • rapiers were traditional duelling weapons in the Age of Reason and beyond. Early modern cavalry regiments commonly used rapiers, having used sabres (a type of scimitar) in earlier centuries.
  • estoc - versatile, finesse, DR bypass
    • The actual length of historical estocs varied greatly. This specifically refers to the longer versions. The shorter versions were functionally identical to rapiers.
Weird and Exotic Blades
  • lynxpaw (RotW) - two-handed, double, trip, disarm +2 , finesse (also requires flails to use alternate end)
  • fingerblade (Sa) - light, DR bypass
  • butterfly sword - light, monk (in OA, this is otherwise functionally similar to a short sword)
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Re: [d20a] All About Weapons

Post by Ashtagon » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:26 pm

Axes
The primary characteristic of a pick is a sharp pointy end which is swung at the target. Sickles (including the scythe) feature a blade with a well-defined curve. The inside of this is sharpened. The normal usage of such weapons in combat will often result in the sharpened tip also causing wounds. For this reason, the two groups of weapons are merged into one weapon proficiency family.

Axes
  • throwing axe - light, crit x3, throwable
  • hand axe - light, crit x3
  • battle axe - one-handed, crit x3 (should probably be rated as versatile, as the entire haft is usable as a grip really)
  • dwarven war axe - versatile, crit x3
  • great axe - two-handed, crit x3
Weird and Exotic Axes
  • halberd - two-handed, crit x3, set vs charge, trip (confirmed: not a reach weapon; halberds were 4-6 feet long)
  • orcish double axe - two-handed, crit x3, double
  • dwarven urgrosh - two-handed, crit x3, double, set vs charge (axe-spear; benefits from extra weapon proficiency feat)
  • dwarven buckler-axe - light, crit x3, 1H or buckler
  • khopesh - one-handed, crit x3, trip (not sure about the tripping functionality)
  • pole axe - two-handed, crit x3, reach, set vs charge (reach ability confirmed: historical poleaxes were mostly 4-6.5 feet long, but extreme examples up to 8 feet long existed)
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Re: [d20a] All About Weapons

Post by Ashtagon » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:18 pm

Maces and Clubs

Blunt wooden or metal sticks, of varying lengths, sometimes with interesting bits attached.

Maces

Although not generally made of metal, a modern baseball bat can be considered a light mace, due to its careful balancing and machine-tooled finish.
  • light mace - light
  • heavy mace - one-handed
  • morning star - one-handed, (does bludgeoning or piercing damage, at attacker's option)
  • war mace - versatile
Clubs

Note that there are no "light" clubs, reflecting the relatively unwieldy nature and inferior craftsmanship required for a club.
  • club - one-handed
  • jo stick - one-handed, monk
  • great club - two-handed
  • quarterstaff - two-handed, double, monk (includes the bo stick)
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Re: [d20a] All About Weapons

Post by Ashtagon » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:42 am

Spears

Long, pointy things. Because a spear is typically much longer for a given weight than other weapons, the length designations for one-handed (2-4 ft) and two-handed (4-8) feet are not really accurate measures.



Spears
  • javelin - light, throw 30 (typically 5-6 ft long)
  • spear - versatile, set vs charge, throw 10 (typically 5-6 ft long, but heavier, and not properly balanced for throwing; I have merged the short and medium spears into a single entry)
  • long spear - two-handed, set vs charge, reach (typically 7-10 feet long)
  • pike - two-handed, set vs charge, reach 2-5 (The longest spears reached up to 22 feet in length. When a pike is purchased, select a reach range of 2-3, 3-4, or 4-5, reflecting the length of the weapon).
Weird and Exotic Spears
  • trident - one-handed, set vs charge, throw 10 (Probably needs revising. The Roman era trident was 5-6 feet long, but light enough to be used one-handed (versatile?).)
  • lance (Sto) - two-handed, cavalry (1H when mounted, x2 damage on charge when mounted)
  • harpoon (Sto) - two-handed, entangle (entangle rules are kinda complex, and need standardising))
  • spear, double (RoS) - two-handed, set vs charge, double
  • sasumata (mancatcher) - two-handed, reach, grapple (needs special rules, revised in BoED)
  • sodegarami (sleeve tangler) - two-handed, reach, grapple (needs special rules, revised in BoED)
Notes on historical weapons

* spiculum (Roman, 250 AD+), thrown, 1.9 m
* pilum (Roman), thrown, 2 m, 2-5 kg, effective range 15-20 m, typically 2 were carried,
* verutum (Roman, 300 BC - 125 BC), thrown, 1.1 m, typically 7 were carried
* modern javelin (olympic event), thrown, ~2 m, 0.8 kg (max range 104.8 m)

* hasta (Roman) melee, 2 m
* atlatl dart - not really suited for use as a melee or thrown weapon, due to the unique construction involved. These should be pi x the length of the atlatl for maximum efficiency, according to atatl Bob. link and link. Historical atlatl darts apparently averaged about 5 feet in length.
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