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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Weapon Damage Tables

I had an idea that popped up in a dream a couple days ago. No, seriously. Not exactly a new idea: I dreamed I was using tables to determine weapon effects. Each weapon type had its own table. That’s been done before, but what was different here was that these were simple 1d6 tables, indexed by the damage roll.

Now, I’m not keen on a bunch of tables you’d have to use frequently, so I’ve never thought about writing tables like that. Instead, I use the damage roll as an ad-hoc test for special effects: a net immobilizes on 5+ damage, a flail or whip can disarm an opponent on 5+. But it occurs to me that I could use tables like that to introduce the exact same effects, as a teaching aide. And those who prefer tables to ad-hoc rulings could keep using the tables.

General Rules:
  • 1 point of damage means something bad happens if some other condition is true.
  • 2 to 4 points of damage is standard, no special features.
  • 5 to 6 points of damage is a special effect.
  • 7+ damage (not normally possible with standard weapons, except for spears set for a charge) may include an extra-special effect.
First example table is for one-handed melee weapons with blades or points.

Damage Damage Effect
1 Cheap blades snap after doing damage. Otherwise, normal effect
2-4 Normal effect
5-6 Severe cut. Save vs. Adversity after combat or bleed to death
7+ Crippling wound, Move 3 and -1 to actions until healed.

The “bleeding” result would also apply to the crippling wound. I didn’t include the bleed time – it would be 1d6 hours, at my table – but bandaging or caring for the wound may stop bleeding. Crippling results are for generic torso hits; a crippling head injury would also cause confusion and loss of spells, while crippled arms or legs would be unusable unless cared for by a leech.

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