Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Weapons List

I've built a spreadsheet with weapons data, originally intended for C&C. I figured I'd post the key points here as a musing.

PRINCIPLES

Names. One particular weapon in C&C may stand for several real-world items. For example, a morningstar could be mechanically described as a mace. A machete, messer, or other single edge blade might be represented by the same item. If you don't like the idea of using a trident, call it a military fork or steel spear.

Skill Level. Basic weapons can be used by anyone. Martial weapons require some training. Simple weapons are somewhere in between. See the Weapons Allowed table for info. The purpose of this is to give more martially oriented classes more, better weapons choices. The cleric gets to choose their spells, so they have fewer weapons options available to them than the fighter, who only gets to pick his weapon.

Category. Weapons are categorized as light, one handed, or two handed. These are their BASIC characteristics.
Light Weapons (EV 1, base damage 1d4, finessable)
One Handed Weapons (EV 2, base damage 1d6)
Two Handed Weapons (EV 3, base damage 1d10, reach)

Cost. Expressed in gold pieces. Some weapons are free and can be scavenged. Note that cost is not really a significant balancing factor beyond the lowest levels except for arming large bodies of men, unless you allow magic items to be bought by using some sort of multiple of the base cost.

Type. This is how the weapon inflicts harm: Piercing, slashing, or bludgeoning.

EV. The encumbarance value of the item. (NOTE - I would reskin this based on STONES).

Damage. The amount of damage done by the weapon.

Range. For hurled and missile weapons, this is the range increment. For each multiple of the range increment, a -2 penalty is imposed. Maximum range is 5 x Range Increment.

Family. Weapons are organized into groups with shared characteristics. For example, all maces are good against heavy armor.

Ability. Some weapons may differ from the norm or have a special ability.

Space Required. If you must know the space required (radius) to use the weapon, use these guidelines: Piercing polearms such as spears or pikes require 1' regardless of size/length. Multiply the EV of the weapon by 2 in most cases. Multiply the EV of the weapon by 1 if it needs less space or is fast (single edge blades?). Multiply the EV of the weapon by 3 if it is very unwieldy (flails, whip).

SUGGESTIONS: Pick a weapon that thematically appeals to you. All weapons within the types have been balanced against each other. That is, all simple weapons are roughly balanced and are of similar "power." In the long run, a mace will be as useful as a spear, so it is really personal preference. Choose whichever weapon appeals most to you!

Martial weapons are usually superior to simple weapons. Warriors with high STR/CON may be able to select and carry multiple weapons in order to gain a tactical advantage. For example, a paladin may use his horseman's mace against heavily armored foes but then switch to his sword to finish off enemies wearing lighter armor.\

GUIDE TO WEAPON FAMILIES

Clubs & Staves. Clubs and staves are free and easily improvised .
Generally, these are poor weapons. But they can be used by anyone and are cheap. Ideal for peasant levies or characters who must scavenge for weapons.

Maces. All maces are +1 to hit foes in heavy armor.
This is your entry level bludgeoning weapon. Little more than a weighted club, a mace is nothing fancy but quite effective against skeletons, plate-mail clad knights, and other heavily armored creatures. Mounted characters benefit from the horseman's version.

Hammers. +2 to hit foes in heavy armor
Hammers are an upgrade to maces. They are the best anti-armor weapons.

Flails. +1 to hit foes in heavy armor; +1 bonus on any check to trip or disarm a foe
Also an upgrade over a simple mace, the flail trades some of the armor penetration of a hammer for tactical options. Knights may appreciate the horseman's version. Flails require a lot of space; this is good if you want to control an area but bad if you fight in formation.

1 Edge Blades. +1 to hit foes with no armor or light armor
The entry level bladed weapon. These weapons are crude but effective against foes who lack armor protection.

Swords
. +1 to hit foes with no armor or light armor; Swords also do extra damage
An upgrade compared to Single Edged Bladed weapons, swords are highly versatile. The bonus to damage is useful all the time. Any warrior is safe selecting a blade.

Axes. +1 to hit foes with no armor or light armor; On a "20" to hit, axes score a critical threat (2x).
Axes are also an upgrade to Single Edged weapons. Warriors with many bonuses to damage -- as from high strength -- will benefit greatly from the occasional "critical" hit. Use a STR check to confirm a critical for double damage! If the STR check fails, the axe instead does maximum damage. This makes axes the ideal weapon for a berserker type character.

Spears. Spears deal 2x damage vs. charging foes; -1 penalty to hit vs. heavy armor.
Spears are an ancient and effective weapon. They excel at forcing foes to keep their distance, but are not so effective against heavier armors.

Picks. +2 bonus vs. heavy armor; very similar to hammers but less variation in damage dealt
Picks are similar in many ways to hammers. The damage dealt is comparable but is less random. Mounted warriors may appreciate the horseman's version!

Lances. Lances deal double damage on a mounted charge
Any mounted character -- especially those with high strength or knights -- can make good use of a lance. They are somewhat useful as polearms dismounted.

Advanced Polearms. Various effects, including 2x damage vs. chargers and bonuses to trip/disarm foes.
These are generally variations on spears. They will keep foes at a distance. Some are designed to unhorse knights or tear weapons out of hands.

Hurled Weapons. Hurled weapons are light, and one can carry two per assigned EV
Darts or javelins have been used since ancient times by skirmishers to soften up enemies before entering melee.

Slings. +1 damage vs. large foes; May add STR bonus to damage
David may have slain Goliath with a sling, but most characters will find them to be the least effective of the missile weapons. They are widely available however.

Crossbows. Crossbows require about 1/2 round to reload; one can only move 5' if reloading and firing in same round
Crossbows are ideal for characters with low STR, or for those who want a ranged option but have little martial training.

Bows. Bows are capable of volley fire, firing multiple shots with the two-weapon fighting penalties.
While they require years of training, bows are the best ranged weapons available.

I have this info in spreadsheet form; post a comment with your email address if you want the nicely formatted spreadsheet!



CAT TYPE COST EV DAM RANGE ABILITY
BASIC WEAPONS







Clubs & Staves All clubs and staves are free and easily improvised






Club LT B 0 2 1d4 10

Staff 1H B 0 4 1d6


Quarterstaff 2H B 0 6 1d6
Reach; Can be dual-wielded at -3/-6

Single Edged Blades +1 to hit vs. foes with no armor or light armor






Dagger/Knife/Sickle LT P/S 2 1 1d4 10

Slings +1 damage vs. large foes; May add STR bonus to damage






Sling LT B 1 1 1d4 50 Cost includes bullets... free if using stones: -1 damage

Staff Sling 1H B 5 5 1d6 50 Arc trajectory - Cannot hit foes in first range increment
SIMPLE WEAPONS







Maces All maces are +1 to hit foes in heavy armor






Horseman's Mace LT B 5 2 1d4
+1 to hit when used mounted

Footman's Mace 1H B 10 4 1d6


Heavy Mace 2H B 25 6 1d10
Reach

Single Edged Blades +1 to hit foes with no armor or light armor






Machete/Messer/Scimitar 1H S 5 3 1d6


Voulge/Bill/Bardiche/Glaive 2H S 10 5 1d10
Reach

Spears Spears deal 2x damage vs. charging foes; -1 penalty to hit vs. heavy armor; only 1' space required






Short Spear LT P 1 1 1d4 20 Considered 1H for dual-wielding purposes

Spear 1H P 3 3 1d6 10

Long Spear 2H P 5 5 1d10
Reach

Hurled Weapons Hurled weapons are light and inexpensive, and one can carry two per assigned EV; all sales 2 for 1






Dart LT P 1 1 1d4 20

Javelin 1H P 3 3 1d6 30

Pilum 2H P 5 5 1d8 20

Crossbows Crossbows are slow to reload, limiting the user's mobility and rate of fire






Light Crossbow 1H P 35 4 1d6 80 Requires 1/2 action to reload

Heavy Crossbow 2H P 100 6 1d10 120 Requires full action to reload
MARTIAL WEAPONS







Hammers +2 to hit foes in heavy armor






Throwing Hammer LT B 1 1 1d4 10

War Hammer 1H B 5 3 1d6


Maul 2H B 10 5 1d10
Reach

Flails +1 to hit foes in heavy armor; +1 bonus on checks to trip or disarm a foe; require lots of space to use!






Horseman's Flail LT B 5 2 1d4
+1 to hit when used mounted; Requires ~3' radius

Footman's Flail 1H B 10 4 1d6
Requires ~6' radius to use

Dire Flail 2H B 15 6 2d4
Reach; Requires ~9' radius to use

Swords +1 to hit foes with no armor or light armor; Swords also do extra damage as shown below






Short Sword LT S 10 1 1d6


Long Sword 1H S 15 3 1d8


Great Sword 2H S 30 5 1d12
Reach

Axes +1 to hit foes with no or light armor; On a roll of "natural 20" to hit, axes score a critical threat (2x)






Throwing Axe LT S 5 1 1d4 10

Battle Axe 1H S 10 3 1d6


Danish Axe 2H S 20 5 1d10
Reach

Picks +2 to hit vs. foes in heavy armor; very similar to hammers but less variation in damage dealt






Horseman's Pick LT P 5 2 1d4
+1 to hit when used mounted

Footman's Pick 1H P 10 4 1d4+1


Bec-De-Corbin 2H P 20 6 1d6+2
Reach

Lances Lances deal double damage on a mounted charge






Lance 1H P 5 5 1d6
Reach; requires 2H when dismounted

Heavy Lance 2H P 10 7 1d10
Reach; Must be mounted on heavy warhorse

Advanced Polearms Piercing polearms require only ~1' of space to wield, making them ideal as a second rank weapon






Trident/Military Fork 1H P 10 4 1d6
2x damage vs. charge

Halberd 2H P/S 10 6 2d4
No reach; 2x damage vs. charge; +2 to Trip

Ranseur 2H P 10 6 1d10
Reach; +2 on all Disarm checks

Guisarme 2H S 10 6 1d10
Reach; +2 on all Trip checks

Pike/Partisan 2H P 10 6 1d10
Reach; 2x damage vs. charge

Bows Bows are capable of volley fire, firing multiple shots with the two-weapon fighting penalties






Shortbow 1H P 30 3 1d6 60

Shortbow, Composite 1H P 75 3 1d6 70 Can be built for high STR

Longbow 2H P 75 5 1d8 100 Cannot be used on horseback

Longbow, Composite 2H P 100 5 1d8 110 Can be built for high STR

Unusual Weapons A grab bag of miscellaneus weapons! All are martial weapons unless otherwise noted.






Saber 1H S 15 3 1d6
+1 to hit if mounted; +1 to hit foes with light/no armor

Crossbow, Hand Lt P 100 2 1d4
Requires 1/2 action to reload

Whip LT S 10 2 1d4
Reach; Deals subdual only; +2 to trip/disarm

Sap LT B 1 1 1d4
Deals subdual damage

Bastard Sword 1H/2H S 25 4 1d8
Deals 2d4+1 when wielded two handed; +1 vs. light/no

Open Fist (not monk) LT B 0 0 1d2
Deals subdual damage; basic

Main Gauche LT S 25 1 1d4
If TWF, sacrifice off-hand attack for +1 to AC in melee

Featherstaff 1H B/S 50 4 1d6
Blades are concealed until use; +2 to Disarm

Shield, Light LT B c.f. c.f. 1d3
Lose shield bonus for round if attacking; TWF penalties

Shield, Heavy 1H B c.f. c.f. 1d4
Lose shield bonus for round if attacking; TWF penalties

Hrm... Looks like the Range and Special ability columns got cut off. Curses on you, Blogger Formatting! Although its likely more just operator error on my part...

4 comments:

DL said...

So, given your recent 7+/-2 thing (with which I totally agree), what are your feelings on this chart now? Would you still use it?

Vedron said...

Hrm. I think the basics might be decent. Fundamentally, a character follows this decision path:

1) Melee, Ranged, or Both?
2) Light, One Handed, or Two Handed?
BASIC WEAPON USERS -- STOP
3) Piercing, Bludgeoning, or Slashing?
SIMPLE WEAPON USERS -- STOP
4) Select from specific family (i.e., bludgeoning breaks down into Flails and Hammers)

Each step presents the player with fewer than 7 choices. In fact most are around 2-4 choices.

Nazim said...

Wait. Did you type "Dire Flail" ?

But I agree with your decisionmaking flowchart.

Vedron said...

I did type Dire Flail. :(

Imagine the ball & chain dudes from Hyrule Castle in The Legend of Zelda, Link To The Past if that makes you feel better. ;)