Wednesday 8 May 2013

Weapon Damage: Notches

Some new house rules, adapted from a post by Logan over at Last Gasp Grimoire. He suggested that weapons could take damage (a notch) when the player rolls a 1 or 2 to hit, breaking when they get as many notches as their maximum damage. I thought that was awesome as shit so I promptly stole the idea and ran with it.

A weapon can receive as many notches as its maximum damage. Eg: knife d4, 4 notches; battle axe d8/d10, 10 notches; flail 2d4, 8 notches.

Weapons receive a notch when the PC rolls equal to or below their Quality when attacking, bashing doors etc

Price modifications are just guidelines for the most basic weapons of each Quality rating.

Quality 5 - 50% price
Improvised weapons (spades, pick axes)
Corroded weapons

Quality 4 - 75% price
Poorly made weapons
Fragile materials (toughened glass, silver)

Quality 3 - 100% price
Average craftmanship
Average materials (iron, hardwood)

Quality 2 - 150% price
Well made
High quality materials (steel, blood iron)

Quality 1 - 200% price
Ultra rare materials (polymer, ceramic)

Obviously this can be used as steel long sword 30sp, rusty dagger sp etc, but here are some weapons that make use of the quality level.

Bloodiron Axe (Bloodiron idea stolen straight from Logan, seriously go read his site, it's cool as fuck)
d8/d10, Qual 2
Made from fallen meteorites bloodiron ranges from black to rust coloured. It drinks the life of the enemy in order to repair itself, visibly absorbing the blood.

On a critical repairs 1 notch of damage. 

Can be left to soak overnight in fresh blood (1 pint of blood for each point of max damage. Eg: knife d4, 4 pints etc) in order to repair d1/2 max damage of notches.

Ceramic Sword with Rotary Blade
d8, Qual 1

Ceramic weapons are a rarely found relic of a past civilisation, highly prized for their light weight and strength.

Razor sharp blade, +2 to hit

Rotary blade starts up automatically when pressed against something (exploding dice, on a damage roll of 8, roll again until you don't roll an 8)

Glass Dagger
d4, Qual 4

Glass weapons are often used by the nomads that wander the desert, making use of the deposits of broken glass that are found scattered among the moving sand.

This glass knife leave slivers in the wound that vibrate, causing further damage, +d3 damage in second round after hit vs organic

Edit: Forgot to add the part about random breaking as pointed out by Logan.

So after the weapons gets 2 notches roll 2d(damage die) after every attack, hit or miss. If the roll is equal to or less the no. of notches the weapons breaks in some suitably dramatic way, spear snapping off in the ribs of the sheep headed skeleton or sword shattering against the chitin of the Many Eyed Terror of Barloon.


  1. Uuuuughh yeah that's what I'm talking about.
    The way you've laid out the quality levels is gorgeous and leaving Bloodiron in a bucket is genius. The Ceramic Sword and Glass Dagger give me happy Viriconium vibes.

    Are you going to be using the 'roll double damage die after every attack' rule for the chance of breaking during combat due to poor maintenance, or only have them break when they reach the limit?

  2. Glad you like it, I was happy with the blood soaking idea as well, though I don't know if it's the most elegant, mechanically.

    I've not heard of Viriconium, I take it it's worth checking out?

    I will be using the double roll to break, just missed it out. Post edited.

    1. Maybe not elegant but someone trying to get enough blood to fill a bucket so they can soak an axe in it is pretty metal.

      Viriconium is highly recommended, a collection of short stories set in the same city but the city is never quite the same, you need to get a copy.