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Guidelines for Creating a Custom Weapon for your d20 system campaign

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Creating Custom Weapons

 

Creating custom designed weapons is a simple process.  You take the base weapon determined by size of the wielder and modify it with the bonus steps determined by if it is simple, martial, ranged, or exotic.  In addition, with martial and exotic weapons you can reduce the die damage of the weapon by one step to improve the critical multiplier, critical threat range, or both.  Ranged Weapons also have access to ranged weapon features.  Only exotic weapons can take exotic weapon features.  These guidelines can be applied to any d20 System campaign.

 

Table I

Basic “One Handed” Weapons

DIE DAMAGE

CRITICAL THREAT

CRITICAL MULTIPLIER

Small Creature

D4

20

X2

Medium Creature

D6

20

X2

Large Creature

D8

20

X2

 

Table II

Weapon Die Steps

 

 

 

 

Initial Weapon Damage

Max for Simple Weapons

 

Max for Martial Weapons

Small Creature

NA

1

D2

D3

D4

D6

D8

D10

Medium Creature

1

D2

D3

D4

D6

D8

D10

D12

Large Creature

D2

D3

D4

D5

D8

D10

D12

2D8

 

Simple Melee Weapons

 

Simple Melee Weapons are easy to create and simple in function. They usually inflict less damage than martial weapons and lack any special abilities. Simple weapons have one free weapon step that can be applied to increase its damage, critical threat, or critical multiplier.  In addition, the base weapon can be altered to become a thrown weapon, a light weapon, or a two handed weapon.  Simple weapons inflict bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage.

 

Free Weapon Step:  Choose one of the features below

  1. Increase Die Damage by one step (i.e.: 1d6 to 1d8).
  2. Increase Critical Threat by one (19 to 20 max for simple weapons).
  3. Increase Critical Multiplier by one (x3 max for simple weapons).

 

Simple Thrown Weapon:   A simple thrown weapon can be created by lowering the Die Damage of the weapon by one step.  In exchange, the weapon gains a range increment.  Bludgeoning and Slashing weapons have a RI of 10.  Piercing weapons have a RI of 20.

 

Light Simple Weapon: A simple weapon is converted into a “light” weapon by dropping by one size step.  The smaller weapon inflicts one step less damage.

 

Simple Two-Handed Weapon:  A simple weapon can be enlarged one step.  This increase provides the 2H weapon with one bonus Die Damage step.  The total die damage can not exceed the maximum given above (see table II).

 

Martial Melee Weapons:

 

Martial Weapons inflict more damage than simple weapons and often have special properties.  Martial Weapons require labor and special materials to manufacture and are more difficult to use than simple weapons.  Unlike simple weapons, martial weapons provide two free weapon steps.

 

Two Free Weapon Steps: Choose two features from below, but not the same one twice.

  1. Increase Die Damage by one die size (i.e. 1d6 to 1d8)
  2. Increase Critical Threat by one (18 to 20 max for martial weapons).
  3. Increase Critical Multiplier by one (x5 max for martial weapons).
  4. Two Special Functions:  The weapon has TWO of the special functions listed below:
    • Disarm: This weapon provides a +2 bonus to disarm attempts.
    • Finesse: Regardless of size, this weapon can be used with the Weapon Finesse feat.
    • Hand Guard:  This weapon provides a +2 bonus to resist disarming attempts.
    • Mounted: This weapon inflicts double damage when use to attack from the back of a charging mount.  A 2H weapon can be used one handed while mounted.
    • Multifunctional: This weapon inflicts two different types of damage (i.e. Morningstar, Axe-Pick, or Torch) rather than the standard single type.
    • Reach:  If this weapon is Two-Handed, it extends the reach of the user by 5ft.  (This weapon normally can not be used against opponents within the weapons reach).
    • Set for Charge: If this weapon is use as part of a “readied” action against a charging opponent, the weapon inflicts double damage.
    • Tripping:  This weapon can be used to make trip attacks.

 

 

Sacrifice Die Damage:  You can sacrifice one die step to gain one additional point for Critical Threat or Critical Multiplier.  This can only be done once.

 

Martial Thrown Weapon:   A martial thrown weapon can be created by lowering the Die Damage of the weapon by one step.  In exchange, the weapon gains a range increment.  Bludgeoning and Slashing weapons have a RI of 10.  Piercing weapons have a RI of 20.  Lowering the Die Damage by an additional step increases the RI by 10.

 

Light Martial Weapon: A martial weapon is converted into a “light” weapon by dropping by one size step.  The smaller weapon inflicts one weapon die step less damage. 

 

Martial Two-Handed Weapon:  A martial weapon can be enlarged one step.  This increase provides the 2H weapon with two bonus Die Damage steps or increases the Critical Multiplier of the weapon by one.  The total die damage can not exceed the maximum given above (see table II).

 

Exotic Melee Weapons

 

Exotic melee weapons are created just like martial weapons.  In addition to all the features of a martial weapon, an exotic weapon also has an exotic weapon feature.

 

Exotic Weapon Features: Choose one from below

  • Double Weapon:  A double weapon is created by linking two one handed martial weapons together.  A double weapon can be used as if the character is holding a one handed weapon and a light weapon.
  • Hand-And-A-Half Weapon:  If the weapon is a two handed martial weapon, reduce the Weapon Die by one step and allow the weapon to be used by any creature with the proper exotic weapon proficiency as a One Handed Weapon.
  • Monastic Weapon: A “light” weapon can be used as a special “monk” weapon with the proper exotic weapon proficiency.  This weapon can be used by a monk in concert with her “flurry of blows” class ability.
  • Payload Weapon:  This weapon delivers a liquid payload with a successful blow.  This fluid can be a flask of oil, holy water, acid, or an alchemical grenade.  The weapon must be refilled after a successful attack.  The target suffers a direct hit by the liquid held in the weapon.
  • Weighted Weapon:  This weapon is intentionally unbalanced so that it can hit harder than normal.  Increase the Weapon Die by one step.  Examples of weighted weapons include a leaden glove, a sledgehammer, a mercury filled sword, or a petrified tree war club.

 

Ranged Weapon

 

A ranged weapon is any weapon meant to be thrown or fired.  Using a thrown weapon as a melee weapon, results in a -4 attack roll penalty.  Ranged weapons can be simple, martial, or exotic.  Create weapon as a one handed melee weapon.  Then add any range weapon modifiers. The range increment of the weapon is determined by the weapon’s relative size.  A weapon of equal or less size to the wielder usually can be used one handed.  A ranged weapon more than one size level larger than the wielder can not be used as a hand weapon.  The smaller a projectile weapon is the less damage it inflicts, but the easier it is to conceal.

 

Relative Ranged Weapon Size

 Range Increment

Palm Sized (Fine)

10ft or less

Hand Sized (Tiny)

30ft or less

Undersized (Small)

60ft or less

Equal Sized (Medium)

80ft or less

Oversized (Large)

100ft or less

 

Ranged Weapon Modifications:

 

Palmed Weapon:  These miniature weapons are designed to be easily concealable and easy to draw.  Reduce the Weapon Die by four steps, but you can draw the weapon as a free action.

 

Hand Sized: These weapons are designed to use with one hand without penalty.  Reduce damage die by two steps.  There is no penalty in firing this weapon with one hand.

 

Undersized: These weapons can often be fired with one hand at a slight penalty (-1 AB). Reduce damage die by two steps.

 

Equal Sized: These weapons can be fired with one hand at a heavy penalty (-2 AB). There is no penalty due to the size of the weapon.

 

Oversized:  This is the maximum size of hand held ranged weapon.  It always requires two hands to aim and fire.  An oversized weapon increases the Weapon Die by one step.  The weapon die can not exceed the maximum given on table II.

 

Special Projectile Features:  A projectile weapon can choose on of the below features.  These features increase the cost of the weapon dramatically.

  1. Mechanical Advantage: This weapon ignores the STR of the user. A low or high STR score has no effect on the weapons damage.  By slowing the reloading speed of the weapon, the weapon gains a bonus to its Weapon Die. In addition, the RI of the mechanical weapon is increased by 50%.
    • Free Action to Reload: No bonus
    • Move Action to Reload: Increase DIE DAMAGE by one step
    • Full Action to Reload: Increase DIE DAMAGE by two steps
  2. Composite: This projectile weapon requires a certain STR to use.  The required STR modifier of the weapon can be added as a damage bonus.  In addition, the RI of composite weapon is increased by 10%.

 

 

Other Factors:

 

Cost:   The cost of a non-magical weapon only has relevance to low level characters.  A weapon will either be too expensive for a character to purchase or not.  The cost of a “Simple” weapon ranges from free to up to 50gp.  The cost of a “Martial” weapon is usually less than 100gp.  The cost of an “Exotic” weapon can very dramatically.  Double weapons cost at least twice the cost of the two martial weapons they combined.  Exotic Weapons rarely cost more than 400gp.

 

Weight:  Weight is relative to the size and material composition of the weapon.  Use a weapon of similar size and structure a basis of comparison.

 

All text in the document is considered Open Game Content in accordance to OGL version 1.0a.

 

OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a

 

The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc ("Wizards"). All Rights Reserved.

 

1. Definitions: (a)"Contributors" means the copyright and/or trademark owners who have contributed Open Game Content; (b)"Derivative Material" means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; (c) "Distribute" means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute; (d)"Open Game Content" means the game mechanic and includes the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent such content does not embody the Product Identity and is an enhancement over the prior art and any additional content clearly identified as Open Game Content by the Contributor, and means any work covered by this License, including translations and derivative works under copyright law, but specifically excludes Product Identity. (e) "Product Identity" means product and product line names, logos and identifying marks including trade dress; artifacts; creatures characters; stories, storylines, plots, thematic elements, dialogue, incidents, language, artwork, symbols, designs, depictions, likenesses, formats, poses, concepts, themes and graphic, photographic and other visual or audio representations; names and descriptions of characters, spells, enchantments, personalities, teams, personas, likenesses and special abilities; places, locations, environments, creatures, equipment, magical or supernatural abilities or effects, logos, symbols, or graphic designs; and any other trademark or registered trademark clearly identified as Product identity by the owner of the Product Identity, and which specifically excludes the Open Game Content; (f) "Trademark" means the logos, names, mark, sign, motto, designs that are used by a Contributor to identify itself or its products or the associated products contributed to the Open Game License by the Contributor (g) "Use", "Used" or "Using" means to use, Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of Open Game Content. (h) "You" or "Your" means the licensee in terms of this agreement.

 

2. The License: This License applies to any Open Game Content that contains a notice indicating that the Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of this License. You must affix such a notice to any Open Game Content that you Use. No terms may be added to or subtracted from this License except as described by the License itself. No other terms or conditions may be applied to any Open Game Content distributed using this License.

 

3.Offer and Acceptance: By Using the Open Game Content You indicate Your acceptance of the terms of this License.

 

4. Grant and Consideration: In consideration for agreeing to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Game Content.

 

5.Representation of Authority to Contribute: If You are contributing original material as Open Game Content, You represent that Your Contributions are Your original creation and/or You have sufficient rights to grant the rights conveyed by this License.

 

6.Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder's name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open Game Content you Distribute.

 

7. Use of Product Identity: You agree not to Use any Product Identity, including as an indication as to compatibility, except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of each element of that Product Identity. You agree not to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark. The use of any Product Identity in Open Game Content does not constitute a challenge to the ownership of that Product Identity. The owner of any Product Identity used in Open Game Content shall retain all rights, title and interest in and to that Product Identity.

 

8. Identification: If you distribute Open Game Content You must clearly indicate which portions of the work that you are distributing are Open Game Content.

 

9. Updating the License: Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.

 

10 Copy of this License: You MUST include a copy of this License with every copy of the Open Game Content You Distribute.

 

11. Use of Contributor Credits: You may not market or advertise the Open Game Content using the name of any Contributor unless You have written permission from the Contributor to do so.

 

12 Inability to Comply: If it is impossible for You to comply with any of the terms of this License with respect to some or all of the Open Game Content due to statute, judicial order, or governmental regulation then You may not Use any Open Game Material so affected.

 

13 Termination: This License will terminate automatically if You fail to comply with all terms herein and fail to cure such breach within 30 days of becoming aware of the breach. All sublicenses shall survive the termination of this License.

 

14 Reformation: If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.

 

15 COPYRIGHT NOTICE
Open Game License v 1.0 Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

 

 

 

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Most pages on this website include open gaming content. Unless specifically stated consider any text open gaming content.

 

OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a

The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc (“Wizards”). All Rights Reserved.

1. Definitions: (a)”Contributors” means the copyright and/or trademark owners who have contributed Open Game Content; (b)”Derivative Material” means copyrighted material including derivative works and translations (including into other computer languages), potation, modification, correction, addition, extension, upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or other form in which an existing work may be recast, transformed or adapted; (c) “Distribute” means to reproduce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, transmit or otherwise distribute; (d)”Open Game Content” means the game mechanic and includes the methods, procedures, processes and routines to the extent such content does not embody the Product Identity and is an enhancement over the prior art and any additional content clearly identified as Open Game Content by the Contributor, and means any work covered by this License, including translations and derivative works under copyright law, but specifically excludes Product Identity. (e) “Product Identity” means product and product line names, logos and identifying marks including trade dress; artifacts; creatures characters; stories, storylines, plots, thematic elements, dialogue, incidents, language, artwork, symbols, designs, depictions, likenesses, formats, poses, concepts, themes and graphic, photographic and other visual or audio representations; names and descriptions of characters, spells, enchantments, personalities, teams, personas, likenesses and special abilities; places, locations, environments, creatures, equipment, magical or supernatural abilities or effects, logos, symbols, or graphic designs; and any other trademark or registered trademark clearly identified as Product identity by the owner of the Product Identity, and which specifically excludes the Open Game Content; (f) “Trademark” means the logos, names, mark, sign, motto, designs that are used by a Contributor to identify itself or its products or the associated products contributed to the Open Game License by the Contributor (g) “Use”, “Used” or “Using” means to use, Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate and otherwise create Derivative Material of Open Game Content. (h) “You” or “Your” means the licensee in terms of this agreement.

2. The License: This License applies to any Open Game Content that contains a notice indicating that the Open Game Content may only be Used under and in terms of this License. You must affix such a notice to any Open Game Content that you Use. No terms may be added to or subtracted from this License except as described by the License itself. No other terms or conditions may be applied to any Open Game Content distributed using this License.

3.Offer and Acceptance: By Using the Open Game Content You indicate Your acceptance of the terms of this License.

4. Grant and Consideration: In consideration for agreeing to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Game Content.

5.Representation of Authority to Contribute: If You are contributing original material as Open Game Content, You represent that Your Contributions are Your original creation and/or You have sufficient rights to grant the rights conveyed by this License.

6.Notice of License Copyright: You must update the COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open Game Content You are copying, modifying or distributing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and the copyright holder’s name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any original Open Game Content you Distribute.

7. Use of Product Identity: You agree not to Use any Product Identity, including as an indication as to compatibility, except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of each element of that Product Identity. You agree not to indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open Game Content except as expressly licensed in another, independent Agreement with the owner of such Trademark or Registered Trademark. The use of any Product Identity in Open Game Content does not constitute a challenge to the ownership of that Product Identity. The owner of any Product Identity used in Open Game Content shall retain all rights, title and interest in and to that Product Identity.

8. Identification: If you distribute Open Game Content You must clearly indicate which portions of the work that you are distributing are Open Game Content.

9. Updating the License: Wizards or its designated Agents may publish updated versions of this License. You may use any authorized version of this License to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License.

10 Copy of this License: You MUST include a copy of this License with every copy of the Open Game Content You Distribute.

11. Use of Contributor Credits: You may not market or advertise the Open Game Content using the name of any Contributor unless You have written permission from the Contributor to do so.

12 Inability to Comply: If it is impossible for You to comply with any of the terms of this License with respect to some or all of the Open Game Content due to statute, judicial order, or governmental regulation then You may not Use any Open Game Material so affected.

13 Termination: This License will terminate automatically if You fail to comply with all terms herein and fail to cure such breach within 30 days of becoming aware of the breach. All sublicenses shall survive the termination of this License.

14 Reformation: If any provision of this License is held to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.

15 COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Open Game License v 1.0 Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Modern System Reference Document Copyright 2002, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Charles Ryan, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Richard Baker, Peter Adkison, Bruce R. Cordell, John Tynes, Andy Collins, and JD Wiker.

System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2004, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.: Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

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