- Jun 2005 -
19235 Posts

Next Weapons: Design

This is the third of three articles describinig an optional rules module for people who want more ways to distinguish weapons that do not depend on class features. 

This article comes in three parts: 
1. The "basic" rules for those who want a quick and simple weapon rules
2. The "weapon module" that offers a bit more complexity and differentiation.
3. The "weapon design" guidelines that allow you to design your own weapons.


If a player wants a character to wield a weapon that is not listed, you can design your own as follows:

Step One
: Determine what family the new weapon should possess. The weapon uses that family's benefit.  

Step Two
: Determine what length the weapon should possess.  A thrown bladestaff, and unarmed weapon, and a close staff, get access to no family benefit.

Step Three
: Determine the weapon's damage based on an analogously long or ranged weapon, as follows:
• d2: Tiny
• d4: Close
• d6: Short, thrown, or hand crossbow
• d8: Long, short bow, or crossbow
• d10: Great, long bow, or arbalest
• d12: Reach
• 3d4: Large
• 3d6: Huge
• 3d8: Gargantuan
Damage dice for ranged weapons for tiny, large, huge, or gargantuan creatures should be adjusted upwards or downwards from the analogous weapon based on the number of size categories away from medium the creature is.  (I.e., a huge weapon would have its damage die increased two steps.)

Step Four
: Determine the weapon's damage type, which is usually the same as other weapons of that family, but may be changed to a different damage type as appropriate.  (For instance, a rapier may be in the blade family, but inflict piercing rather than slashing damage.)

Step Five
: Determine the weapon's cost, based on an analogously long, ranged, or unarmed weapon, as follows:
• 2 gp: Closethrown, quiver of 20 arrows/bolts, pouch of 20 stones, or cestus
• 4 gp: Short or pair of gauntlets
• 8 gp: Long
• 10 gp: Reach, atlatl, or sling
• 12 gp: Great
• 20 gp: Crossbow
• 30 gp: Short bow
• 40 gp: Arbalest
• 50 gp: Long bow
• 75 gp: Hand crossbow 
There is generally no market for tinylargehuge, or gargantuan weapons.  

Step Six
: Determine the weapon's weight, based on an analogously long, ranged, or unarmed weapon, or shield, as follows:
• 1 lb.: Thrown or cestus
• 2 lbs.: Close, atlatl, sling, hand crossbow, or pair of gauntlets (when worn without heavy armor)
• 3 lbs.: Short, quiver of 20 arrows/bolts, or pouch of 20 stones
• 4 lbs.: Long, shortbow, or buckler
• 6 lbs.: Great, longbow, crossbow, or thrown/small shield
• 8 lbs.: Reach, arbalest, or large shield
• 10 lbs.: Great shield
• 20 lbs.: Tower shield 
The weight of a tiny weapon is half of its analogue.  The weight of a largehuge, or gargantuan weapon is five times, fifty times, and five hundred times the weight of its analogue, respectively

Step Seven
: If the weapon possesses range, determine the range of the weapon by analogizing it to other ranged weapons as follows:
• Thrown weapon: 15'/30'
• Thrown weapon with launcher: 30'/60'
• Hand crossbow: 30'/60'
• Crossbow: 60'/120'
• Shortbow: 90'/180'
• Arbalest: 120'/240'
• Longbow: 150'/300'
Range for tiny weapons are halved. Range for largehuge, or gargantuan weapons are increased by 50%, 100% and 150%, respectively.

Some common weapons not on the above chart may include:
• Chakra (thrown axe, d6 slashing, 2 gp, 1 lb., 15'/30')
• Falchion (great blade, d10 slashing, 12 gp, 6 lbs.)
• Rapier (short blade, d6 piercing, 4 gp, 3 lbs.)
• Scimitar (long blade, d8 slashing, 8 gp, 4 lbs.)
• Scythe (great axe, d10 slashing, 12 gp, 6 lbs.)
• Sickle (short axe, d6 slashing, 4 gp, 3 lbs.)
• Throwing knife (thrown spear, d6 piercing, 2 gp, 1 lb., 15'/30')

Exotic Weapons: 
You could also create unique weapons that break the rules, but these should be exceedingly rare, such as:
• Battle yo-yo (thrown stone, d6 bludgeoning, 10 gp, 1 lb., stone returns, cannot use with atlatl)
• Garotte (close unarmed, d4 slashing, 2 gp., 1 lb., requires two-hands, grants advantage to strangle foe)
• Whip (reach flail, d4 slashing, 10 gp, 2 lbs., allows you to hold an object in one hand, but not use as weapon or shield)

Read more at Unearthed Wrecana!

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