Players Are Never Going To Stop Calling Their Shots

Fallout VATSWhen a player says they’re attacking a specific part of an enemy’s body, that’s a called shot. In my experience, called shots aren’t really a thing. I’ve never allowed them in my games, nor do I recall ever playing in a game where they were allowed. In fact, most folks I’ve talked to are dismissive of the idea. The consensus is that allowing called shots would awkwardly complicate a combat system that is designed to be simple.

And yet, despite apparently being an uncommon, unpopular mechanic, I keep seeing players try to use it.

At some point during every campaign, a player will ask if they can try to hit a monster’s eye, or hand, or poison-gas-spewing-appendage. I’ve seen folks do this whom I know don’t allow called shots in their own games. I’ve done it myself. We all know full well that the referee won’t (and, by our own logic, shouldn’t) allow it. Yet, we ask anyway, because as players, representing our own interests, it’s what we want to do. So, it occurs to me that if players want to call their shots so badly, perhaps we should talk seriously about letting them do it.

But before we do that, I want to frame the discussion by first talking about why we don’t allow it.

Combat is not the central focus of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s an important aspect of the game, but fundamentally, D&D is about exploration and discovery. The game’s core mechanic is the Three Step Conversation:

  • The referee describes an environment.
  • The player describes how they interact with that environment.
  • The referee describes how the environment responds to the player’s actions.

That’s the essence of the game, and it’s where the referee should try to keep the game’s focus. However, combat is a frequent occurrence, and the 3 Step Conversation isn’t good at satisfactorily resolving it. A separate resolution mechanic is required. But, since combat is not the core of the game, part of that mechanic’s job will be to get us back to the 3 Step Conversation as quickly as possible.

Which isn’t to say combat needs to be boring. It needs to be simple, and it needs to be fast, but hopefully, it can be both of those things and still be fun. What we want to avoid is the mess that was D&D 3rd edition, where combats became so complicated, and so lengthy, that they were the de facto core of the game. Despite the fact that 3rd edition combat still relied upon systems that were designed with the intent of minimizing the role of combat. 3rd edition’s mechanics are literally working at cross purposes to one another.

Hit points are part of keeping combat simple and fast. They are meant as a convenient abstraction not only for a character’s level of physical injury, but also for their luck, their experience, their level of fatigue, etc. To quote the man himself:

It is quite unreasonable to assume that as a character gains levels of ability in his or her class that a corresponding gain in actual ability to sustain physical damage takes place. It is preposterous to state such an assumption, for if we are to assume that a man is killed by a sword thrust which does 4 hit points of damage, we must similarly assume that a hero could, on average, withstand five such thrusts before being slain! Why then the increase in hit points? Because these reflect both the actual physical ability of the character to withstand damage–as indicated by constitution bonuses–and a commensurate increase in such areas as skill in combat and similar life-or-death situations, the “sixth sense” which warns the individual of some otherwise unforeseen events, sheer luck, and the fantastic provisions of magical protections and/or divine protection.

-Gary Gygax, 1979
Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 82

Ergo, attempting to codify a system for called shots would require doing one of two bad things. Either you’d need to complicate combat by getting rid of overall hit points and coming up with some location-based hit method. OR, you’d have to stretch traditional hit points to fill a role they were never intended to fill, thus committing a the sin of 3rd editionism.

Obviously, the goal of this post is to come up with some method for including called shots in games. But how do we do it without also doing one of the two bad things?

Simple Called Shots

If a player wishes to make a called shot, they must first hit their foe, and roll damage in the upper 50% of their attack’s damage range. For example, if a character hits with a sword that deals 1d8 damage, they’ll need to roll a 5 or higher in order for their called shot to be successful. Likewise, if they’re dealing 3d6 damage (with a range of 3-18), they’ll need to roll 11 or higher.

When that happens, the player may choose to make a called shot. The hit point damage for called shots is reduced by 1/2 of the die’s potential maximum damage. So, if the attacker rolls a 5 on a d8, and opts to make a called shot, they’d subtract 4 from their damage, dealing only 1 against the target’s hit points.

In exchange, the referee should fiat some detriment upon the victim. It should be something appropriate to the body part targeted, the weapon used, and the amount of hit points the target has left. There are really no wrong answers, so long as the referee makes a good faith effort to respect the player’s success. Remember that in order to earn this, the player had to pass two tests  (first hitting the target, then rolling damage over 50%), and make a significant sacrifice by reducing the damage they dealt. The player has earned a cookie.

That’s it, really. What’s written above is all that is necessary to run the system, presuming a good referee. However, I’d like to make a further attempt to create guidelines for helping referees make good decisions. What’s written below boarders on complication, so feel free to disregard it and just use what’s written above if that works for you.

The severity of the detriment the referee comes up with can be determined by checking how many more hits from the player’s weapon it would take to kill the target, assuming they got maximum damage every time.

Let’s assume the player is using a d8 weapon, so that their maximum damage is 8. That would mean that:

  • Any foe with 8 or fewer hit points would take 1 hit to kill. (“Near Death)
  • Any foe with 16 or fewer hit points would take 2 hits to kill. (“Struggling”)
  • Any foe with 24 or fewer hit points would take 3 hits to kill. (“Injured”)
  • Any foe with 25+ hit points would take 4 or more hits to kill. (“Safe”)

This sounds complicated, but really it’s just taking the die type of a weapon, and multiplying it by 1, 2, and 3 to figure out whether a foe counts as Near Death, Struggling, Injured, or Safe. Of course, these are just terms. A perfectly healthy 1hd goblin will always be considered “near death” when attacked by someone wielding a two handed battleaxe.

If the target is Safe, then whatever detriment they suffer should be very temporary.  Perhaps 1d4 + [damage dealt] rounds. So, if the called shot is made against the creature’s eyes, then perhaps the hit caused a small cut in the creature’s brow. Blood obscures the its vision until it has a second to wipe that blood away.

If the target is Injured, then whatever detriment they suffer should last for the rest of the battle. If the attack was against their eyes, then perhaps it causes the eye to swell shut. It’s not a permanent injury, but it is something that will be impossible to take care of while mid-combat.

If the target is Struggling, they could be dealt an injury which will permanently reduce their effectiveness, but which is not debilitating. To use the eyes again, perhaps the attack causes the creature to lose one of their eyes. They can still see, but they lack depth perception. Or perhaps their corneas are scratched, causing their vision to become blurry.

If the target is Near Death, they could be dealt a permanently debilitating injury. Eyes will be cut out, arms or legs will be cut off, etcetera.

Hopefully that method is simple enough for the referee to easily memorize. The point is not to create an exact method which must be followed, but a guide to help referees make their own decisions at the table.


If there’s one skill that almost every specialist trains, it’s stealth. Stealth is almost an obligation. If the party wants the specialist to climb or to search, and they say “sorry, I don’t have any points in that,” then the group will just move on to other possible solutions. If the party wants the specialist to stealth, and they don’t have any points in that, they’re probably going to have to endure some jokes about how useless they are.

Stealth is also one of those things that every referee seems to run just a little differently. There’s no consensus on what can and can’t be done with the skill. Players end up learning one way of doing things in one game, then, they carry those assumptions into other games where the skill is run differently. Because they’ve got these false assumptions, they ignore opportunities that other referees wouldn’t have allowed to them.

For my own sake, I thought it would be a valuable exercise to articulate exactly how I run Stealth. Hopefully, someone out there will find something they like about my methods. Or, maybe somebody with better methods will share them in the comments.

And no, I totally haven’t done this before. This is the first time. Don’t look through the archives, you won’t find it.

When Should Stealth Be Checked?

If there’s nothing that might detect the player, then there’s no reason for them to roll a check. Every game has that player who announces the success or failure of their stealth check anytime the party goes anywhere or does anything. It’s boring. I want to find out what referee has taught them this behavior, and punch that neckbeardy fuck in the face.

In most cases, a stealth check can be reactive. If the characters are walking around through city streets, exploring the wilderness, or crawling through a mostly empty dungeon, it can simply be understood that the stealthy character is trying to move with some degree of subtlety.

When something does appear that a character would want to be hidden from (i.e., an encounter), then the character can make a check. If they’re alone, it means the encounter simply doesn’t see anyone. Maybe they thought they heard or smelled or saw something, but now there isn’t anyone for them to find.

If the character is with the rest of their party, then a successful stealth check probably means that the encounter is so distracted by everyone else, that they don’t notice the stealthy character blending into the shadows.

In other, rarer circumstances, the environment may be full of people the stealther doesn’t want to be detected by. This might happen if they’re infiltrating an enemy fortress, or trying to move around in an active combat zone. In these cases, the stealth check should be made up front.

When Does Stealth Need To Be Renewed?

When a check succeeds, stealth lasts until it is disrupted. Characters do not need to make a new check just because it has been awhile since the last one, or because they’ve entered a new area.

Rarely, a disruption may cause stealth to be forcibly ended. In most cases, though, a disruption only requires that a new stealth check be made. If the new check fails, then the disruption caused them to be discovered. If it succeeds, then they managed to skillfully avoid being noticed.

There are three types of disruption which require a new check to be made:

  1. The stealthed character makes a non-obvious attack. This includes stuff like a silent ranged attack made from a reasonably good hiding spot, or any attack which successfully kills the target. You can’t notice where the attack came from if you’re dead.
  2. The stealthed character ends their movement in an observed location. Quickly dashing across a guarded hallway is easy. There’s no need to check stealth for that. Moving down the length of that same hallway, however, would be significantly more difficult.

    In other words, a stealthed character can easily pass through someone’s line of sight, so long as they start and end their movement in a reasonable hiding place. If they can’t, that will require a new check.

  3. The character performs any action which requires them to disrupt their environment, or act in a conspicuous manner. This includes most actions other than simply moving around. Stuff like picking locks, searching rooms, listening at doors, or even opening doors if there are people on the other side. Some judgement calls from the referee are needed here to determine what can easily be done with subtlety, and what would be likely to draw attention.

What is a “Reasonable Hiding Place?”

Anywhere that no one is specifically looking, or which provides some kind of cover or shadows to hide in. Standing right behind an NPC is a reasonable hiding place from that NPC.

When Does Stealth End?

Aside from a failed check, there is only one way* for a character to be forced out of stealth.

If they make an obvious attack against someone, and that person isn’t killed, then the jig is up. The stealthy character has been spotted, and cannot attempt to re-enter stealth unless they escape from combat, or succeed on a Vanish check. (I’ll discuss the Vanish check more below).

An obvious attack is any melee attack, or a ranged attack made from somewhere out in the open.

It hardly seems worth mentioning, but Stealth also ends when the character takes any obviously non-stealthy actions, such as openly conversing / traveling with their non-stealthy party.

*If the game includes guns, then using a non-silenced gun is also enough to end stealth, whether the target is killed or not.

What Does a Successful Stealth Check Mean?

Stealth is not about crouch-walking, or wearing black clothing. It’s a whole suite of skills. Sometimes it does rely upon acrobatics or camouflage. Other times, though, it’s as simple as walking around with enough confidence to convince people that you’re supposed to be there. If all else fails, maybe they’re just scooting around in a cardboard box.

What Does a Failed Stealth Check Mean?

You’ve been spotted, and you’ve probably gotta either fight, or run away. If the stealthy character was making a specific movement when their check failed, roll a d% to determine how far along they were when they were spotted.

That’s how I run things. But, as you can see, I’m also pretty liberal with what stealth can do. I like to balance that with potentially harsh consequences for failure.

I’m going to divert for a moment here to mention a different way of resolving a failed check, which works well when the stealth skill is more limited.

When the check fails in my friend Brendan‘s game, it doesn’t mean the stealther has been noticed. It just means that they, as an expert in stealth, can’t see any way to do what the player wanted to do without being noticed.

So if the player says “I want to stealth across this room,” then rolls a failed check, Brendan will say “If you move across the room, you will be spotted. Do you still want to do it?” In most cases the player says ‘no,’ and the party goes back to the drawing board.

That’s some tasty retention of player agency, right there.

What is the Vanish skill?

The Vanish skills is a completely separate skill from stealth, which I use in my games. Unlike the Stealth skill, which can be trained by any character, the Vanish skill is available only to specialists.

A successful check allows the character to become stealthed, even in situations where stealth would not be allowed.

So, if a specialist is surrounded by a dozen men pointing crossbows at them–when they definitely would not be allowed to make a stealth check–they can make a vanish check. On success, everyone will have lost track of them, and they can then move around as though they are stealthed, using the same conditions listed above for when stealth ends, or needs to be renewed. (Renewals are rolled using the stealth skill. Vanish is used only for the initial disappearance).

In addition to requiring a whole separate skill, using vanish is also more costly than using stealth, in an ‘action economy’ sense. A stealth check can be made for free, as part of whatever else the character is doing. A vanish check requires a full round of action, so the character can’t do anything else until the next turn.

As an aside, I also allow my players to purchase flash pellets, an encumbering item which grants a +1 to their vanish check.

Can a Group move with Stealth?

A character with investment in the stealth skill can “carry” others who don’t have any subtlety of their own. For each person they’re carrying, they take a -1 penalty to their check. So, if a character with a 6-in-6 stealth wants to, they can take 2 unskilled characters along with them, and make their check with a functional 4-in-6 chance of success.

If the characters who are being carried have some stealth ability themselves, then every 2 of them provide a penalty of -1 to the trained character’s check, rounded down. So if you’ve got one character with a 6-in-6 stealth, and three characters with a 2-in-6 stealth, then the better trained character can make their check at -1 to carry the other three along with them.

Fighter’s Armies

Caesar in Gaul

This bonus post is paid for by my supporters on Patreon. If you’d like to see more frequent posts from me, a dollar or two a month would be phenomenal.

I spend a lot of time coming up with interesting subsystems for magic users. I’ve done this a bit for clerics as well, and I suppose specialists benefit from my extensive tinkering with skills–even if part of my tinkering is to make skills available to other classes. But what about fighters? Why don’t they get any love?

It’s not because I don’t love fighters. I actually think they’re the single most important class in the game.  But these days, when I sit down to roll up a new character, I’m never thinking thematically. I’m not choosing between the feeling of being a wizard or a fighter. What I’m choosing is how much complexity I want to deal with. If I play a magic user, I need to prepare myself for dealing with spells, and spell systems, contributing to combat without putting myself in direct danger, etc. If I’m a fighter, literally the only thing I have to worry about is the game itself. When combat happens, I jump forward. When I level up, some numbers increase in a pre-determined way.

The simplicity of the fighter is important. It allows the players to engage in the game without worrying about extraneous rules. To me, that simplicity is sacrosanct. It’s something I want to protect. However, there is one bit of complexity I want to explore: armies.

It’s an ancient tradition of the game that at some point the fighter reaches “Name Level,” and recruits an army. I’ve never seen it happen in play, but I’ve always wanted to try it out, tinker with it, make it work for me. And now, finally, I’ve got a player who is forcing me to do so. He’s high level, he’s recruiting some dudes, and he wants to start an army. So…how am I going to run this?

If, at any point during a fighter’s adventuring career, they establish a stronghold, then they may recruit an army. Strongholds can take many forms, but they all count so long as 1. they are large enough to house the fighter’s army; and 2. the fighter, or the party as a whole, can reasonably claim & assert ownership of the place. (For example, having a deed to an old castle doesn’t count, unless you’ve cleared out all the monsters first).

Eager young men and women will flock to the fighter, seeking to make a name and a fortune for themselves. For each experience level the fighter has, they attract 1d4 recruits, modified by their Charisma. So, (assuming LotFP’s ability modifier table), a level 4 fighter with 14 Charisma could recruit 4d4+4 young folk; while the same fighter with 7 Charisma could recruit 4d4-4.

Each recruit begins as a level 0 fighter, with a morale score equal to 1/2 their general’s level. Groups of soldiers check their morale collectively, and have a maximum morale score of 10.  If their general is leading them personally, add 3 to their morale score. (again, with a maximum of 10)

Recruits can be leveled up as a group. Each new level requires 1 month of time, and some amount of money. To get the recruits up to level 1 from level 0 costs 500 money per recruit. After that, the cost per soldier is equal to half the experience totals listed in the fighter’s class description. So, to reach level 2, the general must spend 1000 money for every soldier. Level 3 requires 2000 money for every soldier, and so on.

Soldiers can also level up through combat. After any session where a significant battle took place, each surviving soldier rolls a d6. If they roll over their current level, they level up once.

If the general wishes, they can elevate individual soldiers to become commanders. Commanders must be trained to at least 1 level higher than the rest of the troops, and this training must be done at full cost for each level. Normal hirelings can also be employed as commanders, so long as they are fighters who are at least 1 level higher than the troops they will be leading.

Each commander may lead a group of up to 10 soldiers at a time. That group gains +1 to their morale. This bonus does not stack with the +3 the troops gain from being led directly by their general.

If any soldier reaches 1/2 of their general’s level (rounded up), they must check morale. If the check is failed, then the soldier has chosen to strike out and seek adventure in their own right. This check is repeated each time they level, so long as they continue to be 1/2 or higher than their general’s current level. If a whole group of soldiers reaches this point, they check their morale individually.

During combat, each time a group of soldiers loses 25% of their total fighting force, they must check morale by rolling 2d6. If they roll higher than their morale, they will flee the field. If they roll equal to or lower than their morale, they hold. If a group of soldiers sees another group flee the field, then they must also check morale.

Combat with armies is based off of Zak Sabbath‘s rules for skirmishes, presented in A Red & Pleasant Land. Assuming there is no special strategy in place, friend and foe are paired off, one-to-one, in  groups of roughly equivalent level. In any battle that takes place between two NPCs, roll a d4 for each side, and add the NPC’s levels. Whichever side rolls higher has slain the other.

Given the low die and the matching of levels, ties will likely occur often. When there is a tie, neither side is killed, and the battle continues next round.

If multiple NPCs gang up on a single foe, each NPC rolls a d4, and adds them together. However, only one of the group (the one with the highest level) should add their level to the roll.

Note that these rules are only a loose groundwork, meant to keep battles fast-paced in a game which is not built for large scale combats. The referee should be flexible, making adjustments for any cleverness on the part of either their players, or their monsters. But do not bog yourself down attempting to create an accurate simulation of events. Since everyone involved is an NPC, it’s best to get things out of the way quickly so the actual players can resume playing.

Some (non-binding) thoughts on adjudicating tactics:

  • If the general has their soldiers swarm a target rather than stay organized into ranks, their soldiers will be vulnerable to flanking. Flanked soldiers cannot add their level to their d4 roll.
  • If the general equips their soldiers with spears, the folks in the second rank can also attack a target, effectively doubling the number of soldiers who get to roll d4s against a single foe.
  • If the general equips all their men with long pole-weapons, then the enemy troops will not approach close enough to be killed unless they also have long pole-weapons.
  • If the soldiers are heavily armored, are using a shield wall, are fighting defensively, or are otherwise trained/equipped to be well defended, then if their foes roll higher than them by 1, it is considered a tie. (They do not get +1 to their rolls).
  • If the soldiers are mounted, and there is room on the battlefield for them to move between their foes quickly, then they may also add 1/2 their mount’s hit dice to their rolls (minimum 1).
  • If a mounted soldier is attacking a fleeing soldier, it is an automatic kill, without any roll required.
  • If soldiers are under an arrow bombardment, they may roll as usual, but success only indicates that they survive, not that they kill their foes.
  • Soldiers equipped with ranged weapons in a melee combat take a -2 penalty on their rolls.

Replacing dead soldiers is difficult. A fighter’s army is not a mercenary force which can be sustained by throwing money at it. Men and women pledge themselves to the fighter, because the fighter is an inspiring figure. And so, to replace fallen soldiers, the fighter must do something inspiring.

Each time the fighter levels up, or their army wins some notable victory, the fighter may re-roll their recruitment dice. (1d4/level, modified by Cha). If they roll higher than their current army size, then they gain enough new recruits to cover the difference. So, if they currently have 10 soldiers, and they roll a 12, then they gain 2 level 0 recruits.

As a final note, I’ll point out that armies are a limited tool. It would be difficult, and pointless, for a fighter to drag their troops along on every adventure. Armies are noisy to move, require a lot of rations out in the field, and cannot fit into smaller areas, such as dungeon corridors. Furthermore, they’re bad at fighting anything which strays from what they would consider “normal.” In a historical fantasy setting, this would limit an army to fighting other groups of humans. Whereas anything like a wizard or a monster would require a morale check every time their foe did anything weird. (Eat a man whole? Morale check. Spray fire from its mouth? Morale check. Etc.)

LotFP Class: Totem Magician (FFX Lulu)

A couple years back, I took some of the more interesting Final Fantasy X characters, and turned them into LotFP Classes. At the time, I’d intended to take a crack at Lulu, but she’s tough. She’s a bog-standard black mage, which is just the Final Fantasy equivalent of the Magic User. What is there to say?

Then recently, as I was writing about Fighter’s Armies, I started really digging in to the idea of class choice being more about complexity than about mechanics. I choose a fighter when I want to play something simple, I choose a magic user when I want to play something complicated. Naturally, this led me to thinking about switching those roles around. Create a complex fighter, and a simple magic user.

It’s hardly an original idea. D&D 3.5 made dozens of attempts to simplify the magic user with the Sorcerer, Warlock, Warmage, and so on. Fighters, of course, got the notorious Book of Weeaboo Fightan Magic. So it doesn’t escape me that I’m on thin ice here. This is an oft-traveled road, and it has led to some truly questionable results in the past. To make matters even worse, I’m going to throw in a magical resource pool. A thing which every 12-year-old tries, and which has basically never worked. But what the hell? I do this shit for fun.

The Totem Mage
Totem Mages are faking it. They don’t have any magical powers of their own. They just happened to be in the right place at the right time to make friends with a disembodied intelligence that needed someone to carry it around. Usually this intelligence treats their host like shit though, so it’s not all good luck.

The real magician is the intelligence, which lives inside a totem. Totems can can take many forms: a teddy bear, a ceramic doll, even a sock puppet. The only real requirement is that whatever form it takes should have a mouth, so it can whisper things to its host.

If the totem is destroyed, the host will need to find a suitable replacement. Until it has a new totem to live in, the intelligence can’t cast any spells.

When the situation calls for it, totem and host can separate and move around on their own, allowing the player to functionally control 2 characters. However, the host cannot cast spells without the totem. And without the host, the totem has a movement rate of 20′(60′), an armor rating of 12, 1 hit point, and all of its saving throws require a 17 or better.

Totem mages share their hit dice and saves with the Magic User, and use the Fighter’s experience table.

Totem Mage Casting

All of the Totem Mage’s spells are evocations which deal 1d6 damage per caster level. Whenever they cast, the Totem Mage must choose what shape their spell will take, and what type of damage their spell will deal.

There are 5 possible spell shapes, most of which require the Totem Mage to spend some of their mana. For each level the Totem Mage has, they have 3 points of mana in their mana pool. The pool can only be replenished by a full night’s sleep.

Spell Shapes

Touch (0 Mana): Affects a single target after a successful melee touch attack. Since it costs 0 mana, this shape allows the Totem Mage to continue casting even after their mana pool is completely empty for the day.

Thrown (1 Mana): The caster forms a little ball in their hand, which they throw. Affects a single target after a successful ranged touch attack.

Line (2 Mana): The caster points a finger, and a line 60′ long and 5′ wide erupts from that starting point. Everyone along the line takes damage, but may attempt a saving throw versus Breath for half.

Cone (3 Mana): The caster splays their hands out, thumb touching thumb, and a cone of energy erupts from them. The cone is 60′ long, and spreads out to be 40′ wide at its terminus. Everyone within this area takes damage, but may attempt a saving throw versus Breath for half.

Sphere (4 Mana): The caster indicates a target individual or location within their line of sight. From that spot, a sphere of energy erupts out to a 30′ radius. Anything within this space takes damage, but may attempt a saving throw versus Breath for half.

Damage Types

Whatever shape the Totem Mage casts in, they need something to fill that space. It wouldn’t do much good to cast a cone of “gentle breeze” after all. The spell needs to pack some punch.

At every odd numbered level (1, 3, 5, 7, etc), the Totem Mage should roll to determine a new type of damage that they’ve managed to add to their repertoire. If they roll something they’ve already got, re-roll until you get something new.

At first, the Totem Mage must roll on the basic list. After level 6, however, they may choose whether they want to roll on the basic list, or the advanced list. Most of the advanced damage types allow the caster to sacrifice some number of damage dice from their roll. These sacrificed dice will lead to some additional effect on their targets.

Referee and player should both bear in mind that every damage type will have some things it is particularly effective against, and some things it may not be effective against at all.

Basic Damage Types

  1. Fire – A self-explanatory element. The referee should note any objects in the area which may catch fire. Using the Touch spell shape, this can also be used to light candles, burn ropes, cauterize wounds, etc.
  2. Cold – Heat drains away from the area, possibly forming little crystals of ice. Can also be used to freeze water, chill drinks, stave relieve heat stroke, etc.
  3. Acid – A liquid which melts organic material, such as flesh and wood. Has no effect on minerals, such as stone or metal.
  4. Metal Shards – Little spinning shards of metal fill the space, piercing and slicing everything they touch.
  5. Electricity – Lightning arcs between every available target. A caster using the Touch spell shape may be able to feed a machine a steady stream of electricity, turning them into a kind of walking battery.
  6. Sonic – Vibrations pierce the ears of anything that can hear, shatter glass or crystal, and may even shake a few screws loose from constructs.

Advanced Damage Types

  1. Poison Gas – The caster may sacrifice half of their damage dice to require anyone who failed their save to make a second save against Poison. On failure, the targets will fall asleep.
  2. Force – A relentless bludgeoning which strikes over and over again like a thousand fists. For each die of damage the caster sacrifices, targets who are hit must move back 10′. If a target makes their save versus Breath, then they only need to move back half the total distance.
  3. Pure Arcane Magic – Ignores all elemental or physical immunities, and does not allow for misses or saves. However, instead of dealing d6s of damage, the caster must roll d4s.
  4. Gravity – Targets are slammed prone against the ground with force. For each die of damage sacrificed, the earth gives way beneath the targets, pulling them down into a pit 5′ deep for each die sacrificed. (The pit is formed by the downward force of their body, so there is no falling damage). If a target makes their save versus Breath, then any pit they make is only half as deep.
  5. Vitality Drain – Eldritch tentacles reach into the targets’ bodies and rip out their essences. For each target which takes at least 1 hit point of damage, the caster gains 1 hit point, up to their usual maximum.
  6. Earth – A hail of stones and dirt rise up from the ground to pelt the targets. If the caster sacrifices half of their damage dice, they may bury their targets up to the waist. If they sacrifice all of their damage dice, they may bury their targets entirely beneath a heap of dirt and stone. If a target makes their save versus Breath, then if they would have been completely buried, they are only half buried. And if they would have been half buried, they are not buried at all.





1d100 Payments

giphyMoney may not always be sufficient for the goods or services that the players want. Extraordinary desires can only be satisfied by extraordinary payments.

Not every payment here will be suitable for every situation, so feel free to re-roll if the payment doesn’t fit your needs. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to massage your situation a bit to make an interesting payment type work.

Many of the payments listed below can work on several different levels. For example, if the roll indicates that the creditor wants a pig, that can mean a lot of things. They may want any pig, or they may want some specific pig which they are covetous of. They may want a pig of a certain quality, or the may want to force the indebted to experience what it is like to lose a pig, for some unknowable purpose. My point being: none of the payments should be taken simply as they are written. There is room for a bit of creativity with them.

  1. The indebted character must surrender a pound of flesh to their creditor. They may opt to take the flesh from anywhere they like, but regardless of where it is taken from, it will likely result in some degree of physical disability, determined by the referee. A chunk from a leg might result in slower movement speeds, a chunk from the torso might lower constitution, etc.
  2. The creditor requires the indebted’s soul. The consequences of soul loss must be determined by the referee. A reduced, or no response to clerical magics, a certainty of an unpleasant afterlife, a reduced ability to resist mind-affecting magics…many things might be said to be possible only through the benefit of a soul.
  3. The creditor requires a soul. It does not need to be any particular soul. In most cases, souls must be offered willingly, and the indebted may find themselves offering faustian bargains to others. The referee may also allow some means of forcibly extracting or binding a soul for this purpose. Souls can also be purchased from creatures of the lower planes, though these do not come cheap. Nor will their cost be measured in currency.
  4. The indebted must surrender one of their fingers. Assuming it’s the first one, they can probably get away with just one of their pinkies. There’s no penalty for that! Eventually, though, missing fingers start to add up.
  5. The indebted must endure the removal of one of their eyes as payment. They take a significant penalty to making ranged attacks.
  6. The indebted must be scalped. The process is immensely painful, and a severe shock to the system, reducing the indebted to a mere 1d4 hit points. Their hair never really grows back properly.
  7. 1d4 pints of the indebted’s blood are required. A loss of 1 may be fairly negligible. 2 will be a severe shock to the system. Any more than that will reduce the indebted to 1 hit point, and they will be unable to adventure for 3 or 4 weeks.
  8. The indebted must provide a sample of their reproductive legacy: either an egg, or some of their semen. (In the former case, some means of extraction will need to be provided). Presumably, whomever wants this has a way of making use of it.
  9. The indebted must seek out and retrieve a particular rare plant, which is an essential ingredient in some recipe their creditor wishes to prepare.
  10. The indebted must surrender one of their secrets. Incidental secrets will not do. They cannot reveal their mother’s maiden name, or any other fact which is not known simply because no one cares to know it. The secret provided must be something which would be damaging to the indebted if it became known. One example would be a shameful thing that would ruin the character’s reputation. (Players may opt to create a shameful backstory detail for their character if they wish). Another option is something which the character benefits from exclusive knowledge of: such as a spell or technique, the hiding place of a treasure horde, or even a piece of blackmail the character is using against an NPC.
  11. The indebted must subject themselves to torture, and allow the creditor to extract their suffering from them via a strange apparatus.
  12. The creditor has fallen in love with a particular person, who does not love them back. The indebted must make that person fall in love with their creditor. Or, if all else fails, kidnap that person and bring them to the creditor, who will hold them hostage until Stockholm syndrome sets in.
  13. The indebted must surrender a loved one to their creditor. It’s unclear what happens to this loved one, they may be killed, or enslaved, or experimented on, but regardless of the specifics, they will be taken from their normal life and put to some use deemed appropriate by the creditor. In this instance, not just any person will do. It must be someone the indebted cares deeply about. The creditor may have a means by which to verify this.
  14. The creditor wishes to be paid in slaves. They may come from anywhere, but must be of good quality: strong, attractive, capable, and able to understand a language the creditor speaks. Not so young or so old as to be useless.
  15. The indebted must betray an existing trust, perhaps with a friendly NPC, or a member of the party. There may, or may not be a specific sort of betrayal required, but in either case it must be significant enough to destroy the indebted’s relationship with that person.
  16. The indebted must violate some vow which they had previously taken upon themselves. The vow may be religious, contractual, filial, et al. If the character is not currently subject to such a vow, they may be given the opportunity to go make a vow.
  17. The indebted must gain the trust of a person specified by their creditor. Once they’ve successfully become close with that person, they are obligated to betray them in some specific manner.
  18. The indebted must relinquish their right to seek justice for some wrongdoing. This may be a past wrongdoing–such as the murder of the character’s mother which has driven them to adventure–or it may be a future wrongdoing, anticipated by their creditor. In either case, the indebted cannot pursue either legal or vigilante justice for that specific wrong.
  19. The creditor wants the indebted’s voice. Obviously, once it is taken, the indebted will be unable to speak. Furthermore, the creditor may use their acquired voice in any number of ways.
  20. The Indebted must surrender their first born child. If they already have children, this must be done immediately. If they do not, they may or may not be expected to make an immediate effort to produce a child.
  21. At a future time of the creditor’s choosing, the indebted will be require to take no action. Most likely, the inaction of the indebted will cause some preventable ill to occur.
  22. Credit for one of the indebted’s accomplishments must instead be given to the creditor. It may be a past or a future accomplishment, and the transfer of credit may be either mundane (It was not I who slew the dragon. It was Dave!), or it may be magical (Everybody just remembers that it was Dave who slew the dragon the whole time).
  23. The indebted must surrender all of their weapons to the creditor. It does not matter whether they are special or not, so long as it is every weapon the indebted currently has access to.
  24. The creditor demands a vow of of nonviolence from the indebted, which will last for 1d4 (1-2. Days, 3-5. Weeks, 6. Months).
  25. The indebted must perform an assassination against a target of the creditor’s choosing.
  26. The indebted must agree to become the template for a clone, or group of clones, which will serve the will of their creditor.
  27. The creditor wishes to implant a device in the indebted’s eyes. This device will allow the creditor to record and review anything that the eyes see, for the rest of the indebted’s life.
  28. The creditor requires a new color. This may be as simple as procuring a rare kind of paint, or it may entail visiting other realities where colors exist which remain unimagined by mortal mind.
  29. The debt cannot be resolved until the indebted produces a new kind of music for their creditor. It must be wholly original to the creditor’s experience, which may be more or less difficult depending on the creditor’s musical experience. For some fat king who never leaves his hall, this may be as simple as bringing them folk music, archaic forms of music, or music from a far off land. For more musically experienced creditors, the indebted may need to invent Rock & Roll or something.
  30. The indebted must produce the solution to some mathematical problem. Unless the character is unusually skilled with math, it’s unlikely they will be able to find the solution simply by solving the problem themselves. They will either need to embark on a great mathematical study (Treat as a Math skill starting at 0-in-6, with 1 attempt allowed each time a new point is put into the skill), or they must find someone capable of the task to do it for them.
  31. The indebted must make a vow to uphold some noble ideal (Honesty, Justice, Chivalry, etc.)
  32. The indebted must make a vow to always subvert some noble ideal (Honesty, Justice, Chivalry, etc.)
  33. The creditor wants a spell. If the indebted is a spellcaster, they can simply allow their creditor to copy down one of theirs. If they are not a spellcaster, they will need to acquire a spell elsewhere.
  34. The indebted must sacrifice the lives of one of their companions. They may choose who, so long as it is someone who is currently traveling with them. If needed, they must be willing to assist their creditor in the murder.
  35. The creditor wants the storytelling rights to the indebted’s life. Shortly after this deal is struck, population centers will begin to be flooded with dimestore novels about the indebted’s various experiences and adventures. Enough about the particulars will be changed that no one will believe the Indebted if they try to point this out. If the indebted attempts to share any of their own experiences outside of intimate conversation, they will promptly be sued for infringing on their creditor’s intellectual property.
  36. The indebted must become a thrall to their creditor. The next time they would gain a level in their class, they instead gain a level in the Thrall of [Creditor] class. They gain 1d4 hit points, and must work exclusively to further their creditor’s will until they gain enough money to level up again. Since they will not be paid for their work as a thrall, they will need to hoard money in secret in order to level.
  37. The indebted must provide their creditor with hostages, to be held in security against any future reneging on the agreement between the two.
  38. The indebted must serve as a human subject for some experiment their creditor wishes to perform.
  39. The creditor is currently suffering under a curse, which can only be alleviated if someone (the indebted) accepts that same curse onto themselves.
  40. The indebted must trade bodies with their creditor.
  41. The indebted must trade some of their life, rapidly aging a few years in order to keep their creditor young.
  42. The indebted must surrender one of their senses: (1: Sight, 2: Smell, 3: Hearing, 4: Taste). Once lost, the indebted will no longer be able to perform any actions which require this sense. If their lost ability is restored to them, it will be taken back from whomever is using it, and the indebted will be considered a thief. (Though there may be some way to gain a new sense).
  43. The creditor requires the indebted’s essence! The referee should roll the creditor’s ability scores if they haven’t. Compare these to the scores of the indebted. Randomly pick one score which the creditor has which is lower than the one the indebted has. The creditor wants to switch that score. If the indebted doesn’t have any higher scores, then they have nothing of value to offer the creditor, and cannot do business with them.
  44. The creditor demands some large number of foreskins, collected by the indebted. (Don’t look at me, this shit’s biblical. First Samuel, 18:25).
  45. The indebted must provide a boxed sample of their feces to their creditor. It’s unclear what they do with it, but apparently the indebted got off pretty easily. (Alright…I can’t blame the bible for this one.)
  46. The indebted must carry a message on their creditor’s behalf. The journey will not be easy, and should require at least a little adventuring. If the referee wants to rub a little salt in the wound, the message can be something completely trivial.
  47. The creditor requires a large amount of some specific trade good–flour, sugar, copper, lumber, etc. They will not accept the money required to buy what they need. They want it personally delivered by the indebted.
  48. The creditor requires a large delivery of military equipment. Armor, shields, weapons, enough to outfit a small army at least. They may even require experienced soldiers who can drill up new recruits.
  49. The indebted must deliver a massive quantity of foodstuffs. Quality and variety may vary, depending on the creditor’s requirements. There must be enough to feed a group all through the winter and summer.
  50. The indebted must deliver a map of an area which has not yet been explored, or which is kept secret.
  51. The indebted must never return to some place, ever again. This may be the town or country they are currently in, or some other place: their homeland, the territory of their creditor’s enemies or rivals, the territory of their creditor’s friends, etc.
  52. The indebted must accept the blame for something which is not their fault, allowing themselves to be scapegoated.
  53. The indebted must accept responsibility for some child, raising them as if they were the indebted’s own kin.
  54. The creditor will only accept the currency of some ancient civilization, which has not existed for eons.
  55. The indebted must give up their name. In doing so, any possible connection between their person and that name will be cosmically severed. Any legal documents which reference the indebted–such as deeds or contracts–will be rendered void. The indebted will also lose any reputation they had, as they can no longer be associated with what people have heard about them. They may choose a new name for themselves if they wish.
  56. The indebted must give up their ability to walk. Their legs will be sturdy enough to stand on, but the moment they try to move, they will collapse onto the ground.
  57. The creditor demands a poem, written and performed by the player.
  58. The indebted must vow to perform some great deed in their creditor’s name, eschewing any glory they might win for themselves on that occasion.
  59. The creditor must have an accurate prediction of the future. If the players are clever, they may say something like “the sun will rise tomorrow.” Barring some apocalyptic issue, this sort of answer will be acceptable to the creditor. Players may also attempt to find a reliable fortune teller, which can accomplish the same thing. If the prediction the indebted provides does not come true, their creditor will become angry, and put a price on their head.
  60. The indebted must provide their creditor with a certain value worth of items suitable for a magic lab.
  61. The indebted must seek out a magic staff for their creditor. It may be a specific staff, a specific type of staff, or just any staff in general.
  62. The creditor is a Bonemeister, and only accepts the bones of the indebted as payment. They are an expert at surgically extracting the bones, slicing their creditor open, carefully detaching all of the ligaments, and sewing the incision back up. When they’re done, it will be as if the bones simply teleported out of the indebted’s body, leaving part of them a bit floppy, but otherwise unharmed. Which specific bones the bonemeister requires will be negotiated in advance. The penalties for lacking those bones will be determined by the referee.
  63. The creditor want to be killed, and the indebted must do it. The creditor has wanted to die for a long time, but no one has yet been able to do it. When they are in danger, the creditor turns into a fearsome monster.
  64. The indebted must willingly agree to have an explosive device implanted into their brains. The creditor is happy to offer their services for free, but only if they can ensure that the indebted is incapable of ever working against them in the future.
  65. The creditor wishes to be entertained by a dance, which the player must perform for their group. A vote of the party will determine if the dance was sufficient for whatever purchase is being made.
  66. The indebted must seek out a true story or folk myth, and bring a full recounting of it back to their creditor. The creditor will then turn this story into a novel.
  67. The indebted must keep a steady watch over their creditor’s home for one night, defending it against the evils which will arise.
  68. The indebted must work towards some socially laudable goal within a specified kingdom. Something on the level of establishing gender or racial equality, raising the standard of living for the working class, etc.
  69. The creditor recently promised to grant someone’s wish. The indebted is tasked with ensuring that wish does come true.
  70. In indebted must make their creditor laugh.
  71. The indebted must give up their next critical hit, which will instead be a critical failure. The fortune of the critical hit will be transferred to their creditor.
  72. The indebted must provide a chunk of their brain. Not a big chunk, just a bit the size of a peanut. None the less, losing this chunk removes some knowledge from the indebted. Roll 1d6: (1-3. 1d2 Intelligence, 4-5. 1d2 Wisdom, 6. A point from a randomly determined skill.)
  73. The creditor wants an irreplaceable family heirloom from the indebted. Any object will do, regardless of value, so long as it is precious to its owner (whomever that may be).
  74. The indebted must provide the keys to their home, as well as any future keys which may result from moving or changing locks. The creditor is to have unfettered access to the indebted’s abode.
  75. The creditor wants a document, or other item, which would provide them with some kind of dynastic claim.
  76. The indebted must provide accurate and detailed information on the tactics of an enemy army, or, diagrams for an enemy stronghold or weapon.
  77. The creditor wants a letter of recommendation from the indebted.
  78. The indebted must agree to leave a certain location, person, or group alone. They cannot be pestered, regardless of the indebted’s needs.
  79. The creditor requires sanctuary from the indebted. They must be allowed to live on the indebted’s lands, and be protected from any and all forces which would threaten them.
  80. The indebted must provide a body part from a specific creature which will be difficult to hunt.
  81. The creditor wishes to know the location of an upcoming secret meeting. The indebted must find out, and provide it to their creditor, with enough time for the creditor to make arrangements either to spy on, or to ambush the meeting.
  82. The creditor demands a marriage take place between their family, and the indebted’s.
  83. The indebted must throw a sporting match in which they are favored to win. If they aren’t favored to win in any current sporting matches, they must enter a sport and achieve some note within it before their debt can be paid.
  84. The indebted must infiltrate some specified group and ferret out their secrets for the creditor.
  85. The indebted must find some way to drum up business for their creditor’s business venture.
  86. The indebted must allow their creditor to use their body while they sleep. Each morning, the indebted will awake within 1 mile of where they went to sleep. Sometimes they may have injuries, or be covered in someone else’s blood. They will not know what they did the night before.
  87. The creditor will establish some set amount of time. During that period, some or all of the experience points gained by the indebted will instead be gained by the creditor. To determine how much XP the creditor takes, roll 1d4 and multiply it by 25%.
  88. The indebted must contract a disease, which their creditor may or may not be able to provide. The creditor wishes to examine the progress of this disease in detail.
  89. The indebted must allow their body to host some parasite, which will constantly make suggestions within their brain, and may potentially even be able to influence their actions more directly.
  90. The indebted must offer themselves as host to a spirit. While possessed, they will be able to see what their body is doing, but will have no control over it. The possession will last until the spirit has finished what it left undone in life. What that is, is left to the referee to decide.
  91. The creditor wants 1d2 limbs from the indebted. They are prepared to safely remove these limbs, which they may attach to themselves, or use for some other insidious purpose. If only 1 limb is required, it may be either an arm or a leg at the referee’s preference. If 2 are required, it will be both one arm, and one leg.
  92. Someone the creditor cares about (perhaps even themselves) requires an organ transplant. Something which the body has two of, and which the indebted can live without. Something like a lung, or a bit of liver. The indebted has been determined to be a match for whomever needs this bit of guts, and must undergo the procedure to have it removed.
  93. The creditor is facing an issue in their lives, and needs someone to provide them with good advice. Whether the advice is good depends on how well their situation turns out when they follow it.
  94. The creditor requires that the indebted make a lifebond with them. Whenever the creditor takes damage, they will be healed by draining vitality from the indebted. Fortunately, the creditor lives a simple life. Anytime the indebted would be healed up to full, they instead are 1d6 – 2 hit points lower than their max.
  95. The indebted must donate their body to necromancy. The creditor will place a vile mark upon their body. When they die, the mark will automatically animate their body, which will then move with all haste to the creditor, so that it may be used in necromantic rituals. This prevents the indebted from ever being resurrected if they die.
  96. The indebted must perform a sacrilege, offending some certain god against which their creditor has enmity.
  97. The indebted must humiliate themselves in some fashion. In some cases this may merely be for the private enjoyment of their creditor. However, in most cases, their humiliation will need to be a public spectacle, severely damaging their reputation.
  98. The creditor, or someone whom the creditor likes, is currently due some punishment. The indebted must suffer this punishment in that person’s place. This may mean time spent in the pillory or dungeon, it may be torture, military service, or possibly even death. 
  99. The indebted must lie to someone who will trust them, misleading that person into making a bad decision, or thinking an issue has been taken care of when it actually hasn’t.
  100. The creditor is in a wonderful mood today, and will forgo any payment from the indebted. The simple act of helping is enough satisfaction for them.

As a closing note, I just want to point out that this is the single most challenging d100 table I’ve ever written. I’ve been tinkering with it on-and-off since early 2016. I don’t know if the time investment paid off, but if you like the amount of work I put into these posts, consider supporting me on Patreon. It goes a long way towards helping my writing along.

Guns in ORWA

Saturday Morning GunsAs I’ve discussed before, my ORWA campaign was meant to be a very standard fantasy game, with a post apocalyptic paint job. It’s only because the players managed to join a secret society of technologists, called The Internet, that I was thrust into the position of creating a more Sci-Fi world.

None the less, guns are heavily restricted. The players are meant to be relying on swords and bows, so I’ve made a point of keeping guns rare. The only way they can enter the game is during a Haven Turn, when there is a 2-in-6 chance that the Internet  has managed to find & repair a gun. When this happens, the gun is put up on eBay, where any member of the Internet can claim it. The cost is always exorbitant, to the point that players will usually need to pool their resources in order to afford it.

But after 14 months of running this game, with my players approaching level 9, that scarcity has begun to break down. Which is appropriate, the game should change as you reach higher levels. Nowadays, each player is wealthy enough that even the most expensive guns can be quickly snapped up. And there have been enough of the gun auctions that the party has quite the private arsenal on their hands. Not enough to equip every hireling, but certainly enough that every PC has a gun, or even two.

Because the game’s setting has a Saturday Morning Sci-Fi flavor, I like to get creative with the guns. They’re not normal equipment, after all. They’re more like magic items, which should have special abilities, and little peculiarities to keep them interesting.

So, seeing as I’ve now written this arsenal of ORWA guns, I figured I may as well share it.

The Spandau (Inspired by stories I’ve heard from WW2)
A fast-firing machine gun with poor accuracy. The Spandau attacks everything within a 10’x10′ hit box. Those within its area of effect must make a saving throw versus Breath, with a bonus of +2 to their save for each increment of 30′ away they are from their attacker. On a failed save, they take 2d4 damage. On a successful save, they take no damage.

Regardless of success or failure, any creature within the hit area must also check morale at a penalty of 2. On failure, they will dive for the nearest cover. They will not necessarily attempt to remove themselves from combat, but will move only very cautiously.

The Spandau and its ammo box are separate encumbering items. Each time the weapon is fired, roll 1d6. If a 1 is rolled, the ammo box is almost depleted and can be fired only once more before it is empty. Ammo boxes are sold for 50cc by The Internet.

The Uzi (Inspired by most video games where there are Uzis)
A weapon which fires so quickly it can be easy to run out of ammunition without even realizing it. Before making their attack roll, a player should announce how many d6s of damage they are going to deal. They can choose as few as 1, and as many as 6.

After their attack roll, whether it is a hit or a miss, they should roll a d6. If they roll equal to or lower than the number of damage dice they had announced, then they’ve used up their current ammo clip.

Each spare ammo clip the character carries is an encumbering item. They cost 50cc, and are sold by The Internet.

The Grappling Gun (Inspired by Batman: The Animated Series)
A small weapon, the size of a flare gun, with a folded grapnel protruding from the end of the barrel. When the trigger is pulled, the grapnel will launch out of the barrel, trailing a cord created by a liquid, micro-filament cartridge. When the trigger is released, the rope retracts into the gun, returning to a compressed liquid form, and pulling the wearer up to wherever the grapnel hooked to.

If time is passing in exploration turns, a grapple can be assumed on any location up to 25 stories high. If time is being measured in rounds, a hit roll is required. The armor rating of the shot is 1, per story of the target. (So, a 12 story building would have an Armor of 12 for this purpose).

If the gun is used to create a zipline, the grapnel and micro-filament rope may not be recoverable. In this instance, new ones may be purchased for 25cc.

The Auto-Crossbow (Inspired by a YouTube video)
Weaker than a standard crossbow, but that deficiency is compensated for by the sheer volume of bolts it can put out each round.

The wielder can make 3 attack rolls each round, which each deal 1d4 damage on a successful hit. Unlike normal crossbows, these do not ignore any amount of defenses from armor. After each round of fire, the wielder must roll 1d6. On a 1, the weapon is either out of ammo, or it has become jammed. They must spend 1 round reloading/clearing it before they can fire again.

(The Auto-Crossbow is not actually a gun. It was created by a player using the Tinker skill, after he found the above-linked YouTube video in an old archive. None the less, it seems an appropriate inclusion here.)

The Lasorator (Inspired by Star Trek)
An advanced weapon with many settings. Before making each attack roll, the wielder may choose how high the weapon’s energy usage is set. The higher the setting, the more damage is dealt; but also, the more quickly the battery will be drained.

If the weapon is set to deal 1d4 damage, then the player must roll a d12 after they fire. On a roll of 1, the weapon’s energy cell is exhausted. For each higher damage die the wielder sets the weapon to, (1d6, 1d8, 1d10, or 1d12); it has a lower exhaustion die (1d10, 1d8, 1d6, 1d4).

So, if the weapon is set to deal 1d8 damage, it will have a 1d8 exhaustion die. If it’s set for 1d12 damage, it will have a 1d4 exhaustion die, etc.

The Lasorator can be set to “Wide Beam,” which is ineffective in combat, but useful for silently melting barriers. Weak barriers such as glass windows require a d8 exhaustion die. While more robust barriers, such as those made of steel, require a d4 exhaustion die.

The weapon also has a stun setting, which requires the most energy of any of them. On a successful hit, the target must make a saving throw versus Paralyzation. On failure, they fall unconscious. The exhaustion die for the stun setting is 1d2.

Extra power packs for the weapon are encumbering items. They cost 150cc, and can be purchased from the Internet.

The Derringer (Honestly, Inspired by The Simpsons)
A small, easily concealable weapon with two barrels. The derringer deals 1d6 damage at a range of up to 30′. After 30′, attack rolls suffer a -3 penalty. After 60′, the bullets are moving so slowly, they would not cause any harm even if they did hit a person.

After every 2 shots, the derringer must be reloaded (which requires 1 round). Each time the weapon is reloaded, roll a d6. If a 1 is rolled, then the ammo pouch is empty, and the gun cannot be reloaded from it again. Ammo pouches are an encumbering item, and can be purchased for 20cc.

Because the derringer is so easy to conceal, it grants a +1 to any Sleight of Hand checks made with it.

Tranquilizer Pistol (Inspired by Metal Gear Solid)
On a successful hit, targets must make a saving throw versus Poison. On failure, they will fall unconscious after 1d4 – 1 rounds, and will remain unconscious for 1d6 + 2 turns.

Attacks with the Tranquilizier Pistol made from steal receive a +4 bonus to their attack roll. If the attack roll exceeds the target’s armor rating by 6 or more, then the target has been struck in the head or groin, and does not receive any saving throw. Instead, they fall unconscious instantly.

The gun can only hold a single round, and must be reloaded after each use. (As with all guns, reloading requires 1 round). A box of tranquilizer darts has an exhaustion die of 1d4, which should be rolled each time the gun is reloaded.

Some targets may be immune to being tranquilized for a variety of reasons, at the discretion of the referee.

The Bazooka (Inspired by classic FPS games)
A massive weapon which deals 6d6 damage on a successful hit. It ignores most forms of hardness & damage resistance, including personal armor and shields. This allows it to easily blow holes through most walls or floors. However, moving targets gain a bonus of 6 to their armor rating.

Functionally, this means that the base armor for a living target is 18, plus any bonus they may receive from dexterity.

Even if the bazooka misses, however, it will eventually hit something and explode. The referee should determine where this happens to the best of their ability. Anyone adjacent to the explosion must attempt a saving throw versus Breath. On failure, they take half the damage that was rolled. On success, they take only a quarter of the damage.

The bazooka can only hold one shot of ammunition at a time, requiring a reload after each shot. Each shot of ammunition costs 200cc, and counts as an encumbering item.

If the wielder jumps into the air and fires the bazooka directly beneath themselves, they will take 2d6 damage, and be launched high into the air, where they will hopefully find something to grab onto before they plummet back down to earth.

If you found this post useful, or interesting, or entertaining, consider checking out my Patreon campaign! It allows me to focus more of my attentions onto this blog, and also helps me improve the quality of my upcoming work.

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Thoughts and theories on tabletop games.