Saga of the Northlands
This campaign uses the following modular weapon system, rather than going to the trouble of enumerating all of the weapon types appropriate to an Iron Age/Viking Age technology level.
Every weapon has both a size category and a skill level. The weapon’s size category determines its base characteristics and its skill level determines its additional qualities. Weapons can appear however is appropriate for a weapon with its particular properties, and a weapon’s appearance can often identify its creator or area of origin.
|Size||Base Cost||Damage||Range Increment (Thrown/Projectile)||Hands to Wield||Off-Hand?||Drawing Action||Example Weapons|
|Diminutive||5 sp||1d3||10 ft./20 ft.||One||Yes||Free||Belt knife, fists, sling|
|Tiny||10 sp||1d4||10 ft./40 ft.||One||Yes||Swift||Club, handaxe, round shield|
|Small||20 sp||1d6||5 ft./60 ft.||One||No||Move||Warhammer, straight sword, throwing spear|
|Medium||40 sp||1d8||—/80 ft.||Two||No||Full-Round||Double axe, hand-and-a-half sword, hunting bow|
|Large||80 sp||2d6||—/100 ft.||*||No||*||Ballista, battering ram, light catapult|
|Huge||160 sp||3d6||—/120 ft.||*||No||*||Heavy ballista, mangonel, heavy catapult|
By default, all weapons use Str for attack and damage rolls (even ranged weapons), and they threaten a critical hit on a natural 20 and deal double damage on a critical hit. All weapons may be thrown, but unless they have the Thrown property (see below), throwing a melee weapon treats it as an improvised weapon instead of a normal weapon of its type, meaning (among other things) that it suffers a -4 attack penalty and does not benefit from any proficiency abilities. Thrown and projectile weapons have a maximum range of 5 range increments. The “Off-Hand?” column indicates whether a character can wield a weapon of that size in his off hand and still attack with two weapons using the Dual Weapons proficiency; a character can always wield two weapons but attack with only one weapon per hand, regardless of proficiencies.
As with all other equipment, weapons made entirely of iron are priced in gold marks rather than silver pennies, and items composed of a noticeable amount of iron cost a number of gold marks equal to half their price in silver pennies.
- Weapons larger than Medium size cannot be wielded normally in combat without special abilities allowing a character to do so. These weapons must have the Siege property (see below).
Each weapon belongs to one (or more; see below) weapon groups. The group to which a weapon belongs determines the proficiency or proficiences that apply to it as well as its damage type(s):
|Weapon Group||Damage Type|
|Swords||Slashing and piercing|
There are three skill levels into which a weapon can fall.
Simple weapons belong to a single weapon group and require basic proficiency in that weapon group to avoid the nonproficiency penalty for wielding them.
Martial weapons cost 1.5 times the normal price and either belong to a single weapon group, have a single special quality (see below), and require expert proficiency in that weapon group to avoid the nonproficiency penalty for wielding them, or belong to two weapon groups and require basic proficiency in both groups to avoid the nonproficiency penalty.
Exotic weapons cost double the normal price and either belong to a single weapon group, have two special qualities, and require master proficiency in that weapon group to avoid the nonproficiency penalty for wielding them, or belong to two weapon groups, have one special quality, and require expert proficiency in both groups to avoid the nonproficiency penalty.
The following are special qualities that can be applied to martial and exotic weapons. The same quality cannot be chosen twice for an exotic weapon unless there is a benefit listed in the Second Benefit column.
|Aerodynamic||Thrown or projectile only||Range increment increased by 50%||—|
|Braced||—||Deals double damage against a running or charging target||Deals double damage on a charge|
|Finesse||Melee only||Uses Dex instead of Str to attack||Uses Dex instead of Str to damage|
|Flexible||Melee only||Ignores shield bonus to AC||—|
|Massive||—||+1 damage step||—|
|Polearm||Melee only||+5 foot reach (does not threaten adjacent)||—|
|Siege||—||Becomes a siege weapon (see below)||—|
|Specialized||—||+2 to one kind of called shot||+2 to second kind of called shot OR additional +3 to first kind of called shot|
|Thrown||Melee only||Weapon may be thrown without penalty||—|
The full damage step chart can be found here, but a quick reference is provided below:
Siege weapons trade mobility and accuracy for improved damage and range.
Siege weapon drawbacks:
- Siege weapons are stationary weapons, able to be moved only if they are built onto wheeled platforms, ships, or the like.
- Siege weapons of size Large or larger require multiple characters to operate them. Large weapons require 2 people, Huge weapons require 4 people, Gargantuan weapons require 6 people, and so forth.
- Siege weapons require a separate Siege Weapons proficiency to use without the normal -4 nonproficiency penalty to attack rolls.
- Reloading a siege weapon requires a Strength check, with a DC varying by the weapon.
- Siege weapons change facing very slowly.
Siege weapon advantages:
- Siege weapon damage is increased by +2 steps.
- Siege weapons have a base critical rating of 19-20/x3.
While most axes, swords, and spears are similar if not identical across cultures, every culture has a few special techniques for constructing weapons easily recognizable as originating from that culture, to better fit the fighting styles and circumstances of that culture. Apply the changes below to arrive at the statistics for weapons of the corresponding culture.
To construct a weapon using the techniques of a certain culture, a character must possess Expert proficiency with the region corresponding to that culture in addition to the proficiencies required to construct the weapon normally. Culture-specific weapons cost triple the normal amount to craft or purchase if the crafter has Expert proficiency with the appropriate region, or double the normal amount if he has Master proficiency.
The signature weapons of the Angles of Angland are oversized longbows as thick as a man’s forearm that can easily send arrows flying for hundreds of yards.
Advantages: An Anglic weapon deals +1 die of damage and halves its attack penalty for firing beyond the first range increment.
Disadvantages: Due to the weapon’s heavy pull, a wielder of an Anglic weapon must have at least Str 14, and he cannot make more than one attack per round with it.
Restrictions: Projectile weapons only.
The signature weapons of the Saxons of Angland are specially balanced for use in the off-hand, as they favor paired weapons over weapon-and-shield.
Advantages: A Saxon weapon deals damage equal to the wielder’s full Str modifier with off-hand attacks instead of half Str modifier, and Small Saxon weapons can be wielded in an off hand even though Small weapons are usually too large for this. Additionally, when using a [Weapon Style] feat the wielder gains +2 to attack rolls with the weapon and any save DC for the feat’s effects.
Disadvantages: A Saxon weapon requires one step greater proficiency in any relevant proficiencies to wield.
Restrictions: Small or smaller melee weapons only, cannot possess the Massive weapon quality.
The signature weapons of Scotland, Gael are much longer and wider than normal, meant to be used to intimidate foes with the sheer strength and power of their wielders.
Advantages: Albannaich weapons deal +1 die of damage with the first attack the wielder makes on his turn.
Disadvantages: Albannaich weapons cannot be used to make attacks of opportunity and cannot be used to attack into the wielder’s flanks.
Restrictions: Two-Handed melee weapons only, cannot possess the Finesse, Flexible, or Thrown weapon quality.
The signature weapons of Ireland, Gael are more compact and sturdy than normal, meant to be used in heavily-forested terrain where range is limited.
Advantages: Éireannaigh weapons allow their wielder to spend a move action aiming to gain +2 to attack and +1 die of damage to targets within the first range increment of the weapon; if the wielder possesses Expert Projectile proficiency, he may activate both this ability and Take Aim with the same move action.
Disadvantages: Éireannaigh weapons have their maximum range decreased by 3 range increments, for a maximum range of 7 increments if the wielder possesses Basic Projectile proficiency or 2 increments otherwise.
Restrictions: Projectile weapons only, cannot possess the Aerodynamic weapon quality.
The signature weapons of Andalusia, Iberia are slightly longer and more curved than normal, meant to be used to harry and outmaneuver foes from horseback.
Advantages: Andalúz weapons grant their wielder the benefits of the Ride-By Attack feat; if the wielder already possesses that feat, he may treat any attack made after his mount moves as a charge attack even if it did not meet the normal requirements for a charge attack.
Disadvantages: Andalúz weapons cannot be wielded two-handed.
Restrictions: Light and One-Handed melee weapons only, cannot possess the Massive weapon quality.
The signature weapons of Iceland, Nordland have shorter hafts and wider blades than normal, meant to be used in the cramped conditions of ship-to-ship combat.
Advantages: Isländsk weapons double the attack or damage bonus gained from being in a fighting stance regardless of their actual size.
Disadvantages: Isländsk weapons are one step slower to draw (swift action for Diminutive, move action for Tiny, standard action for Small, 1 round instead of full-round for Medium).
Restrictions: Light and One-Handed melee weapons only, cannot possess the Aerodynamic, Braced, Polearm, or Reach weapon qualities.
The signature weapons of Sweden, Nordland are larger and bulkier than normal, meant to be used against the giants and dragons that are more common to those lands.
Advantages: Svensk weapons that are light, one-handed, or two-handed ignore 1, 3, or 5 points of damage reduction, hardness, or natural armor, respectively
Disadvantages: Svensk weapons are one step heavier (1/3 stone for light, 1/2 stone for one-handed, 2/3 stone for two-handed).
Restrictions: One-Handed and Two-Handed Axes and Mauls only, cannot possess the Thrown weapon quality.