Time for the second part of the Continium II Martial Arts Rules Module – the weapons design system and sample weapons. Since Continium II treats weapons as martial arts in themselves, complimentary to personal martial arts systems, individual weapons can have their own built-in maneuvers, be especially useful for particular kinds of attacks, and work at their best when used in conjunction with a personal martial art designed to fit the weapon. The same factors make it easy to generate modified weapons; simply trade out a few option choices.
The Martial Arts; Weaponry
Despite the unarmed-combat enthusiasts, nobody has ever had much luck fielding an army without weapons. There’s no denying the simple fact that it takes a lot of training to make an unarmed man as dangerous as one with a weapon and a little bit of practice with it. It takes superlative training to make an unarmed man the equal of a reasonably skilled weapon-wielder, and even the most skillful unarmed master martial artists have always fared poorly against master swordsmen and such.
Similarly, an awful lot of people have spent a lot of time, effort, and money, looking for the “ultimate” blade, polearm, or what-have-you. If there was one, by now it ought to be in use around the world.
Various weapons are better for various purposes, in various situations, and for various styles. The katana is marvelously designed for fast, slashing, combat. It is incredibly sharp – and it is incredibly fragile. It can be ruined by a fingerprint.
If you’re up against someone in plate armor, you’re probably better off with a claymore.
In Continium II, weapons are treated as martial art forms in themselves. This has the useful side effect of allowing for innumerable variations, although a few special “abilities” are needed to represent them. Like any other martial art, weapons are built with options – in their case, a base of 6. Weapons are usually fully compatible with the martial arts through Weapon Kata. Notably, many weapon options have a negative cost: this may result in weapons with as many as 24 positive options.
Basic Weapon “Abilities”:
Weapon Bulk: Simply describes how large and heavy this weapon is. Options here include Immobile (moving it requires a major operation, -5), Semimobile (weapon must be hauled into position and set up, -4), Mounted (usually on vehicles and such, -3), Heavy (man-portable – but usually must be broken down/set up, -2), Clumsy (great swords, staves, and so on, -1), Standard (most swords, pistols and rifles, 0), Light (daggers, smaller pistols, 1), and Concealable (this means easily concealable – things like shuriken, hold-out pistols, garrotes, etc. 2).
Tech Level: A major factor in weapons, this value describes their “level of sophistication” – as well as how fragile, difficult to make, prone to malfunctions, complicated to use, and sensitive to dimensional shifts, they are. Available levels are Low- (0), Mid- (-2), High- (-4), and Ultra-Tech (-6). Modifiers include Expensive (-1, usually indicates tech at the upper end of the category or high quality) and Cheap (very simple for the category, or just shoddy, 1). The technology type (psychic/mystic/physical), used makes no difference in the options – but may have a major impact on play.
Utility: Simply enough; how useful is this weapon / item outside of combat? Marginally? (military pick, quarterstave, light battle axes, warhammer, 1), Fairly (pitchfork, climbing claws, firewood / hand axe, whip, 2), Very (entrenching tool, survival knife, adjustable plasma projector, hammer, 3), and Extremely (pot, energy converter, ice axe, adze, swiss army knife, most items that aren’t really intended to be used as weapons, 4).
Strike: Weaponry may achieve strike values beyond seven. Strike 8 inflicts 5D6, and strike 9 inflicts 6D6, points of damage. Strike 10, 11, and 12 (8D6, 10D6, and 12D6) are not available in personal weaponry. They are only used in installation and strategic weaponry.
Projectile: Actually, this includes various forms of energy projectors as well as physical projectiles – but the effects are similar. Such weapons are divided into five basic categories; Thrown (missiles propelled by direct muscular action, usually lowtech, a base range of about 60 feet), Leverage-Assisted (normally missiles launched using some sort of simple device; bows, spear throwers, blowguns, and so on. Usually low or midtech, base range of about 180 feet), Personal Storage (items which accumulate and store personal energies to propel missiles; crossbows, catapults, psilances. Mid-tech and up, base range of about 480 feet), Propellant (weapons which use non-personal energy sources to propel things ranging from slugs to subatomic particles. High-tech and up, base range of about 1200 feet) – and Energy (weapons which project pure forces. Lasers, “Death Rays”, and so on. Usually ultra-tech. Range varies, but is generally only limited by the accuracy of the targeting system). The ranges listed are about the usual maximum at which a hit can be expected to produce an injury. Of course, many weapons have either Reduced (about 50% or less, -1) or an Extended (to the next category or whatever seems reasonable – although targeting difficulties may put most of this into the “extreme” range category. +1) Range. Whatever the category of weapon, “Projectile” costs two options.
Obviously enough, “range” has a considerable impact on whether or not an attack actually connects. It is, somewhat coincidentally, divided into five categories; Point Blank (AR +1), Short (AR +/- 0), Medium (AR -3), Long (AR -6), and Extreme (AR -12. Most people shouldn’t even bother trying). Unfortunately, what these ranges mean varies with the weapon, with conditions, and with the skill of the user. In practical terms, decisions about range are left up to the game master. As a rough guide, “point blank” might be taken as within 10 feet, “short” as out to around 30 or 40 feet, “medium” as up to about half the effective range, with long and extreme going out beyond that.
Uses: Actually this may represent the quantity of fuel available, the ammunition in a gun, or the energy in some esoteric power system – but the idea is pretty much the same; After you use the weapon for a bit, you have to stop for a while. 60-120 uses or 20-40 melee rounds; -1. 20-30 uses or 7-12 rounds; -2. 4-12 uses or 1-4 rounds; -3. 1-2 uses or 1 round; -4. Any weapon which destroys itself in use (Grenades, etc), receives a -5 modifier. Weapons with limited uses may be built with autofire capabilities (Expends 3 shots to inflict double damage, or at least 12 to perform a sweep) at a cost of one option. Beware of stray shots. Especially vulnerable systems (E.G., a flamethrower fuel tank) gain a -1 modifier, a -2 if, like said flamethrower, damage to the system is a potential disaster. This modifier can only be applied to items you have to stop using to reload. Items such as bows, crossbows, and spears (you just pick up another) are generally not eligible.
Special Functions and Limitations:
Accessories: A weapon equipped with handy devices such as a light-amplifying telescope, motion detector, or an automatic rangefinder, costs 1-2 extra options – depending on how useful the GM decides said attachment or device is.
Apparently Harmless: A weapon which can easily be mistaken for a toy, decoration, common implement, ceremonial prop, or some such. 1 if anyone familiar with such weaponry will recognize the weapon, 3 if it takes a careful or expert examination (E.G.; pen guns, wallets with gas cartridges, explosive shirt buttons, and so on)
Bonded: A weapon which can be “imprinted” so that only it’s “rightful” owner can use it. Guns which scan their user’s fingerprints, items which need a specific code, or devices which only respond to specific types of auras all fall into this category. 1 option.
Bothersome: Weapons with this “modification” have annoying problems. A massive recoil, emitting clouds of toxic fumes when fired, creating so much smoke that they make it hard to see, being deafeningly noisy, and so on. -1 to -2, depending on just how bothersome the problem is.
Note that, while misfires, magazine detonations, and so on, certainly fall under this category, such things are generally rare enough so that they only come into play at the option of the GM.
Delayed: This indicates that a “hit” may not take effect for some time. While most common in chemical or biological weapons, this may also apply to missiles and other “fire and forget” weaponry. 2-4 rounds; -1, 4-8 rounds; -2, 9-12 rounds -1. Up to one hour; 0, +1 for longer delays. Triggered “Delays” cost +3 options.
Evadeable: A weapon which permits some defensive action – dodging a missile, rolling to extinguish the flame, or whatever – which will reduce or negate the effects of a successful hit. -1 if this involves much time, a roll, or a complex action, -2 if it’s simple, easy, and obvious.
Explosive: Explosive weapons inflict twice their base damage in a small area – and have partial effects in radius about that. Sadly, they are also difficult to control, conspicuous in use, and are prone to causing secondary damage, fires, collapses, and so on. 2 options.
Impractical: A relatively rare modifier applied to those occasional weapons which just don’t make sense – multibladed swords, harpoon arrows, staves with blades all over them, and similar monstrosities. These simply don’t work very well. 1 or 2 options depending on absurdity.
Secondary Effects: This covers weapons which have major side effects – covering the area with napalm, an electromagnetic pulse, emitting great clouds of smoke, saturating an area with radiation, breaking windows in a wide radius, and so on. Such effects usually involve the environment, the surroundings, and equipment, rather then directly affecting characters. This is something of a catch-all, and therefore has a “cost” of from +3 to -3 options, although lesser values are far more common. The GM is advised to be cautious as to what he allows.
Setup: Using this weapon requires both a resisted, and an unresisted, action. -1 if the unresisted action is essentially automatic (Waiting for a power pack to charge up, setting a brace), -2 if it requires a roll (Establishing a targeting lock, getting a cannon ready to fire, and so on).
Strategic: These weapons generally require a crew, an elaborate activation procedure, and an awfully good explanation. Heavy weapons may upset the neighbors, but nuclear warheads, stockpiles of nerve gas, and other such devices, tend to upset everyone in a two thousand mile radius. They’re grossly expensive as well – but they do inflict triple effects to everything within an extremely wide area. No option cost. The drawbacks of this modifier compensate for its dubious advantages.
Structural Only: Indicates weapons which must use “breaking technique” – and therefore have their innate attacks per round reduced by one. Those wielding such weapons should beware misses – especially in confined areas or inhabited places. 1 option.
Sample Weaponry; Firearms
Light Pistol: 1D6 (2), +5 AR (4), +2 Attacks (4), MidTech (-2), 4-12 “Uses” (-3), Propellant Projectile (2), Reduced Range (-1), Light (1) – and Expensive (-1). GM’s who want extra realism – at the cost of increased complication – may apply Bothersome (Noisy, and rather conspicuous, -1) – and “Resistance” to Defense (Halves targets DR from martial arts skills). Magical versions are usually called “Dart Pistols”.
- Medium Pistol: 2D6 (5), +1 Attack (2), “Standard” Bulk (0). Otherwise as Light Pistol.
- Heavy Pistol: 3D6 (6), +1 Attack (2), Bothersome (Heavy Recoil, -1), “Standard” Bulk (0). Otherwise as Light Pistol.
- Machine Pistol: Autofire (1), 20-30 “uses” (-2), +3 AR (2). Otherwise as per any pistol, above. “Heavy” versions are usually called Submachineguns.
- Hair Trigger: HighTech (-4), Flurry (2), Otherwise as per any pistol, above.
- Targeting: +4 AR on “Called Shots” (2), but takes an extra action and a roll to sight in (-2). This includes telescopic and laser sights.
- Explosive Ammo: Hightech (-4), Strike +1, Bother- some (Clip may blow), Explosive (1), Impractical (1)
- Smartgun: UltraTech (-6), Targeting (+6 to AR for called shots, 3), Sweep (1). May be applied to Light/ Medium/Heavy/Machine pistols.
- Cheap Pistol: +3 AR (2), Cheap (-1). Otherwise as Light/Medium/Heavy Pistol, above.
- Snub Pistol: +3 AR (2) and Concealable (2). Otherwise as per Medium or Heavy Pistol, above. The “light” versions are not “Expensive” – and are usually made of plastic to evade basic detectors.
- Power Holster: Ultratech (-6), Lightning Draw (1), Fast (-2 on initiative, 1), and Flurry (+2 attacks, on first round of use only, 1). May be applied to Light/ Medium/Heavy/Machine pistols.
- Rifles and Carbines: Basically identical to pistols (Light/Medium/Heavy/Machine), but increase bulk by one step (-1), and eliminate the Reduced Range problem (+1). Targeting, Hair Trigger, and Smartgun variants are fine.
- Sniping Rifle: 3D6 (6), +5 AR (4), High Tech (-4), 4-12 “Uses” (-3), Propellant Projectile (2), Targeting (+6 to AR for called shots, 3), Setup (Brace and sight in, -2), Extended Range (1), Accessories (Scope, noise and flash suppression, 1), Clumsy (-1), and Expensive (-1)
- Shotgun: 3D6 (6), +5 AR (4), Resistance (Defense, Halves DR bonuses for Dex and Martial Arts skills, 1), Propellant Projectile (2), and Continuing Effects (Pain, bleeding, etc, 2). MidTech (-2), 4-12 Uses (-3), Very Reduced Range (-1), Clumsy (-1), Clumsy (-1), Bothersome (recoil, noisy, scatters pellets without becoming a decent area-effect weapon. -1).
- Sawed-Off Shotgun: Standard Bulk (0), 2 Uses (-4), Small Area Effect (1), Outlawed (-1). Sadly, the range is extremely limited. Otherwise, as Shotgun, above.
- Automatic Shotgun: HighTech (-4), Autofire (1), 20-30 uses (-2), Otherwise as Shotgun, above.
- Double-Barreled Shotgun: 1-4 Uses (Two, -4), Cheap (1), otherwise as Shotgun, above.
- Flintlock/Matchlock (Pistol or Musket): 1D10 (4), Stunning Combination (4), Propellant Projectile (2), 1 Use (Double-barreled variants have two. -4), MidTech (-2), Cheap (1), +3 AR (2), 1D6 with Bayonet/Hilt (2), Bothersome (Smoke, recoil, unreliable when damp, -2) and Reduced Range (-1). Rifled variants aren’t Cheap, but don’t suffer from Reduced Range either. Variants using inserted percussion caps aren’t cheap either, but they don’t have problems with dampness. These modifications can be combined – but that makes the weapon Expensive.
- Light Machine Gun: 2D6 (5), Propellant Projectile (2), Autofire (1), Extended Range (1), Small Area (1), +5 AR (4), Bothersome (Noisy and Conspicuous, -1), Heavy (-2), 1-4 Rounds of Use (-3), and MidTech (-2).
- Heavy Machine Gun: 1D10 (4), Structural Only (1), +1 Attack (Net; no modifier, 2), +3 AR (2). Otherwise as Light Machine Gun, above.
- Early Cannon: Strike 2D6 (6), Structural Only (1), Cheap (1), Extended Range (1), Bothersome (Noisy, Smoky, and occasionally misfires, -1), Propellant Projectile (2), Killing Combination (Vital Points, 7), Setup (-2), One Shot (-4), Semimobile (-3), MidTech (-2). The massive impact of early cannon derived chiefly from the heavy, solid, projectiles they fired. If loaded with chain, or cannister, shot, they cover a small area, but don’t inflict structural damage.
- Ultraheavy Artillery: 6D6 (9), Structural (1), Explosive (1), +3 AR (2), Propellant Projectile (2), One Shot (-4), Setup (-2), Immobile (Short of battleships, -5), HighTech (-4), Cheap (OK, so it’s lower-end high- tech, 1), Combination Stun (4) – and Extended Range (1). Expensive setups include radar and computer targeting, raising the AR bonus to +5. Light Artillery is usually Mounted (-3), 2D6 (5), and MidTech (-2), and otherwise the same. Heavy Artillery is usually Semimobile (-4), 3D6 base (6), and MidTech (-2), and otherwise the same.
- Hypogun: Paralyze/Knockout, Disruption, Cumulative (All Vital Points – total of 7), +5 AR (4), Propellant Projectile (2), Reduced Range (-1), MidTech (-2), 4-12 Uses (-3), Delayed 2-4 rounds (-2), Critical (Inflicts a 1D6 penalty on the targets resistance roll if struck on the head or neck, 1). This version assumes a fairly sophisticated cartridge-powered air rifle – and can also be used for taser weaponry, or to administer a variety of other substances.
- Rapidfire Cannon: 1D10 (4), Structural (1), Auto- fire (1), Extended Range (1), AR +5 (4), Mounted (-3), +2 Attacks (Net; +1 Attack, 4), HighTech (-4), 60-120 Uses (-1), Setup (Requires a targeting lock, -1) – and Accessories (Radar and communications gear, 1). Anti- aircraft versions usually use 1D8 explosive shells.
Hand Gunne: 1D10 (4), Impractical (2), Cheap (1), Light (1), Utility (easily convinces everyone that the user is a reckless fool who might do anything, 2), Can be used in melee as a club for 1D6 in emergencies (2), +2 on users DR when so used (1). One Use (-4), MidTech (-2), Bothersome (smoky, noisy, blows up when fired if the user failed a Dex roll while loading it, -2) – and Propellant Projectile with a Reduced Range (1). This silly thing is about the earliest “gun” ever made. It consists of a tube on the end of a stick, and is fired with a slow match. It left a lot of one-handed gunners around, but took no skill whatsoever to use. They were quick and easy to turn out too.
Sample Weaponry; Melee Weapons
- Spear: 1D6 (2), Projectile (2), Critical (Double damage if “set” against a charging opponent, 1), Long (1), Clumsy (-1), Cheap (Extremely LowTech, 1)
- Quarterstave: 1D6 (2), +2 bonus to users DR (2), Dual Range (Combat and Long, 2), Clumsy (-1), and Utility (1). This listing may also be used for Bo Sticks, Jo Sticks, and most other sticks. Shorter sticks may no longer be “Clumsy”, but they’re no longer useful tools either (Utility 0). Much shorter sticks – such as the Tonfa – normally need handles, and are useful at Short and Combat ranges, rather then Long and Combat ranges. Very short sticks, such as Yawara, no longer offer the +2 bonus on the users DR, but are Concealable instead.
- Halberd: 1D10 (4), Long Range (1), Critical (Does double damage if set against a charging foe, 1), Throw (Usually used to dismount people, 1), and Clumsy (-1).
- Lance: 2D6 (5), Long Range (1), Critical (Doubles damage if used from a charging mount, 1), Clumsy (-1). Heavy Lances are Expensive (-1), but their finely made lanceheads and greater mass cause 3D6 damage (6).
- Club: 1D6 (2), Cheap (Extremely lowTech, 1), +3 AR (2), Utility (1). Clubs are essentially simply sticks that are heavier at one end. More sophisticated clubs include Maces and Morningstars (1D8, and no longer Cheap), War Hammers (Utility 2, also no longer Cheap), various Flails (These gain leverage, and are difficult to parry, due to a flexible section in the haft. 1D8, Resistance To Defense (Halves DR due to parries, blocks, and such), but are relatively Expensive).
- Sap: 1D4 (1), Vital Points (Combination/Knockout, 5, only really effective from behind or with surprise, -2), Concealable (2).
- Disruptor Wand: Hold (1), Enhanced (1), Disabling (3), Knockout (2), Touch Mastery (1), +5 AR (4), Light (1), Damaging (1D4, 1), Bothersome (will not work on a target with too weird a nervous system, -1), UltraTech (-6), and Expensive (-1). This light “wand” disrupts the nervous system on contact, with various effects. The “overall” effects fade reasonably quickly once contact is broken, extremities may be paralyzed for some time.
- Stungun: 1D4 (1), Combination/Knockout (5), Touch Mastery (1), +3 AR (2), Cheap (1) – and HighTech (-4). Expensive (-1) models often add flashing lights and lots of noise; Sensory Stun (Visual, noise is an alarm, 2).
- Frying Pan: 1D4 (1), Utility (3), Critical (double damage if currently hot, 1), Apparently Harmless (1).
- Tear Gas Spray: Knockout (3) and Sensory Stun (2), Cumulative (2), Small Area (1), +5 AR (4), Concealable (2), 4-12 Uses (-3), Bothersome (can’t be used if it’s overly windy, and can easily backfire, -1), and HighTech (-4).
- Manriki-Gusari: 1D6 (2), DR +5 (3), Weapon Catch and Throw (used to entangle and remove opponents weaponry, or to trip them up, 2), Expensive (-1).
- Battle Axe: 1D8 (3), +2 AR (1), Sweep (1), Utility (1). Firewood axes and Hatchets only do 1D6 (1) – but have a utility rating of (2).
- Great Axe: 3D6 (6), Clumsy (-1), Sweep (1).
- Energized Monowhip: 6D6 (9), Concealable (2), Long Range (1), Finger Force (1), UltraTech (-6), Expensive (-1). This also includes items such as the “Variable- Sword”. Arguably the ultimate hand-held melee weapon.
- Wire Garrote: 2D6 (5), Critical (double damage if/ when used on the neck, 1), Light (1), Concealable (2), MidTech (-2), Bothersome (pretty much ineffective (1D4 slashing damage), unless used to strangle by surprise, -1). Garrots are generally illegal. :
- Rope Garrote: Knockout + 1D4 Hold (4), Concealable (2), Light (1), Utility (1), Bothersome (Quite useless unless used to strangle by surprise, -2). This listing also includes cloth garrotes – such as were used by the Thuggee.
- Trident: 1D8 (3), Long (1), +2 AR (1), +2 DR (Very good at fending people off you, 1), Critical (Inflicts double damage if set against a charging opponent, 1) and Clumsy (-1).
- Military Pick: 1D8 (3), Bypass (capable of punching through most armor – reducing it’s benefits to 1/3 of normal, 3).
- Knife: 1D4 (1), Utility 3, +1 Attack (+2). Knives may be thrown – but it takes skill to make it a decent combat tactic unless they’re made for it.
- Throwing Knife: 1D4 (1), Utility (2), Light (1) – and Thrown Projectile (2).
- Longsword: 1D8 (3), +2 AR (1), Marginal Tool (1), “Cheap” (bronze-age technology, 1). This weapon type includes a wide variety of similar weaponry – such as scimitars and broadswords.
- Katana: 2D6 (5), +2 AR (1), Expensive (-1), Sweep (1). Rather fragile, requires skilled care.
- Shortsword: 1D6 (2), +1 Attack (2), Close Quarters (1). One option towards Dual Weapons (usually shield).
- Rapier: 1D6 (2), +1 Attack (2), Fast (-2 on users initiative check, 1), +2 AR (1). Variants such as the “Sword Cane” are clumsy, and are “Apparently Harmless” at the expense of the +2 AR.
- Two Handed Sword: 3D6 (6), Clumsy (-1), Sweep (1), Long Range (1), and Expensive (-1).
- Vibro- and Mono-Blades: High-Tech (-4), +2 strike levels on damage, +3 AR (2). Blade types which already have AR bonuses may gain slightly different bonuses.
- Electroweapons: High-Tech (-4), Combination (2) and and Stun (2).
- Forceblades: Ultratech (-6). +3 Strike grades for damage, +1 Attack (2), Light (1). More powerful forceblades can be used to inflict structural damage (using Breaking, 1) – but drain their energy cells relatively quickly (20-40 rounds, -1).
Sample Weaponry; Ranged Weapons
Longbow: 1D6 (2), Extended Range (1), Clumsy (-1), +1 Attack (2), Leverage-Assisted Projectile (2). Other types of bows abound. Most common are Short Bows (No extended range, but less clumsy), Composite Bows (1D8, but Expensive), Incendiary Arrows (Reduces damage by 1 step due to increased drag, but adds in fire secondary effects), Whistler Arrows (Useful for signaling – 1D4, but loud sonic secondary effect), Cutting Arrows (With broad, half-moon or “V” shaped tips, 1D4 damage, but a +2 AR bonus for called shots), Linebearing Arrows (1D4 only, reduce range one step, secondary effect [carries a cord, 1], Impractical [Arrows are much too light for this, and so will be severely unbalanced. Heavier arrows don’t fly very well, -1), Broadhead Arrows (+1 step on damage, half damage to those in medium / heavy armor), and Pellet Bows (1D6 (2), Leverage-Assisted Projectile (2), Cheap (1), +1 Attack (2), Impractical (1), Clumsy (-1), and Reduced Range (-1)).
- Crossbow: 2D6 (5), Extended Range (1), +3 AR (2), MidTech (-2), Clumsy (-1), Storage Projectile (2), and Bothersome (Takes 2+ counts to load and fire, -1). Heavy versions do 3D6 damage, but are rather Clumsy and take at least 4 counts to load and fire. The siege version has a +5 AR, and does 3D6 damage, but is clumsy and must be set up for each shot individually (Requires an unresisted action, -1). On the extremes, Ballistas inflict 4D6 points of damage and are quite capable of injuring everyone in a small area (They can go through people), but are Heavy (-3) and have to be set up.
- Hand Crossbow: 1D4 (1), +5 AR (4), Light (1), Im- practical (1), Storage Projectile (2), MidTech (2) – and Reduced Range (-1). These look neat, but the leverage arms of the bow are too short to provide much power.
- Repeating Crossbow: 1D4 (1), 4-12 Uses (Generally 12, -3), Autofire (1), Storage Projectile (2), Reduced Range (-1), +1 Attack (2) and +5 AR (4). These are very effective in their own way, and are often built entirely of bamboo. For the movie-addicted, the Ultratech (-6) version inflicts 3D6 (+5), Explosive (+1), damage.
- Javelin: 1D6 (2), Thrown Projectile (2), Extended Range (1), Cheap (1). This listing covers a variety of pointed sticks. They can be thrown, or used to jab at opponents directly. Variants include the Pilum (with a soft iron shaft that bends on impact, tangling things, and making them useless for throwing back. One Use (-4), 1D8 (+1), Weapon Catch with Enhanced Hold (3), Harpoon (with a detachable head and, often, a rope fastened to it. One Use (-4), Continuing (+1/Round until removed / torn free, 2), Secondary Effect (the target and the user are linked with the rope, +1), 1D8 base), and the Atlatl (a “throwing stick” used to add force to short, light, javelins. 1D8 (3), Leverage-assisted Projectile (2), Extended Range (1), Light (1), Expensive (early stone- age technology, but should be carved and fitted to the user for best effect, -1).
- Dart: 1D6 (2), Light (1), Thrown Projectile (2), and +1 Attack (2), Bothersome (half damage against anyone, or thing, with a thick hide, heavy / leather clothing, or similar protection. -1). Blowgun darts do only 1D4 base damage, but have an extended range.
- Shuriken: 1D4 (1), Concealable (2), +1 Attack (2), Thrown Projectile (2), “Entry Requirements” (effective use requires either training or Dex 14+, -1). Shuriken come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The basic distinction is simply that they’re blades that haven’t got a hilt to hold onto.
- Throwing Knife: 1D4 (1), Utility (2), Light (1) – and Thrown Projectile (2). For those who insist, most of the “Tech. Improvements” under melee weapons apply.
- Sling: 1D4 (1), Leverage-Assisted Projectile (2), Cheap (1), Concealable (2), Apparently Harmless (1), and Reduced Range (-1). Surprisingly effective for one of the simplest of all projectile weapons. “Expensive” slings use metal bullets, and inflict 1D6 damage. Modern slingshots (MidTech, -2), enjoy a +3 AR (2).
- Rock: 1D4 (1), Thrown Projectile (2), Cheap (Very cheap. 1), Utility (they make adequate hammers, good fireplaces and walls, and so on. 2), +1 Attack (2) – and Bothersome (causes only one point of damage unless a called shot is made, -2). Well, somebody always asks. Smaller rocks are basically ineffective. Bigger rocks (“Clumsy” ones) can be Evaded, but don’t suffer from a need to make called shots. They hurt anywhere. If a character is that desperate, rocks can also be used as melee weapons.
- Flamethrower: 3D6 (6), “Explosive” (1), Propellant Projectile (2), 4-12 Uses (with vulnerable fuel tanks, -5), Secondary Effects (fire and smoke, also extremely intimidating. 3), MidTech (-2), Clumsy (-1), Utility (firestarting, jungle-clearing, and creating “instant” flaming barriers, 2), Delayed (3D6 initial, 2D6 on the second round, 1D6 on the third, for the total 6D6 from the explosive effect, +1), Limited Range (-1). “Flame Rifles” aren’t clumsy, but are only good for 1-4 uses. One-use phosphorous shell launchers are light weapons. Vehicle-mounted versions normally have fuel for 60-120 uses, but the effects of fire are fairly standard.
Sample Weaponry; Miscellany
Blasters, Needlers, and Laser Weapons: Basically the ultratech versions of firearms, these normally enjoy 2 to 4 options of improvements. Common packages include;
1) More Uses (+1), +1 Attack (2), and Structural (1). Usually applied to medium and heavy pistols, producing “Blasters” (weapons which fire near-lightspeed “bolts” of subatomic particles). Blasters take a few seconds to recharge between shots, a problem which costs users one attack.
- 2) Normal Range (+1), More Uses (+1), Lighter (by one step, +1), Fast (+1). This package is usually applied to pistols, producing “Needlers” – extremely light and fast weapons that fire ultrafast metal slivers.
- 3) Normal Range (Extended for Rifles and Carbines) (+1), More Uses (+1), Targeting (+4 AR for called shots, due to the use of a low-energy beam as a targeting system, +2). This package can be applied to almost any pistol or rifle, producing laser weaponry.
- 4) +2 Damage Steps (2), Small Area (1), and Secondary Effects (concussive effect generally knocks the target or targets flat – unless they successfully resist, 1). This package can be applied to most pistols/rifles, to produce “Ion Blasters” – powerful, but poorly-focused, relatives of regular blasters. On the other hand, they recharge faster.
- Stunner: Knockout (3), and Disruption (2), Energy Projectile (2), Concealable (2), +3 AR (2), Small Area (+1), Autofire (1), and +1 Attack (+2). Ultratech (-6), 120 Uses (-1), Reduced Range (-1), and Expensive (-1). Less expensive models are simply light weapons, rather then being concealable. Where stunners are available, they are often the favored weapons for everyone except the military; it doesn’t matter who you shoot, they’ll just wake up with a headache a few hours later.
- Bolo: Enhanced Hold (Limblock only, 1), +3 AR (2), 1D4 Damage (1), +2 AR (1), Thrown Projectile (2) – and Cheap (1). Variants include the Netgun (MidTech (-2), Propellant Projectile (2), Reduced Range (-1), One Use (Occasionally two, -4), Impractical (2), Bypass (3), and Small Area (1)), “Tanglers” (HighTech (-4), 20-30 Uses (-2), Otherwise as per Netguns), “StunWebs” (UltraTech (-6), Combination Knockout (5), Expensive (-1), otherwise as Netguns) – and Energized Bolos (UltraTech (-6) and 2D6 Continuing Damage (7)).
- Neural Disruptor: Kill (5), Energy Projectile with Reduced Range (1), Autofire (1), +5 AR (4) and +1 Attack (2), Concealable (2) – and Critical (+2D6 to resist on a called shot to the head, +1). UltraTech (-6), 20-30 Uses (-2), Illegal (-1), and Expensive (-1). The effect is almost undetectable – “He just died” – and the weapon itself is small, silent, and has no visible beam. It’s an extremely popular assassins tool, and so is illegal virtually everywhere it’s been invented.
- Grappling Hook: 1D6 (2), Utility (2), Long Range (1), Hold (1). Not a very effective weapon, but better then nothing in a pinch. It’s also a good model for most other tools being used as weapons (E.G., Pitchfork; 1D6 (2), Utility (2), Long Range (1), +2 DR (It’s good for keeping people at a distance, 1)).
- Lasso: Utility (2), Long Range (1), Hold (1) and +3 AR (2).
- Kinetic Enhancer: These UltraTech (-6) variants on clubs (Q.V.) include a drive field generator which locks onto the target, vastly increases the impact – and then returns the weapon to whoever’s wearing the gloves with the control mechanism. Usually +5 levels of damage and Breaking Technique.
- Repulsion Guantlets: Automatic Long Throw (4) with 1D4 Damage (1), DR 11 (7), Bypass (3), Long Range (1), UltraTech (-6), 20-40 Rounds (-1), Expensive (-1), and Bothersome (They make it extremely difficult to handle anything while they’re in use, -2). The circuitry of these gloves generates powerful kinetic force fields – an effect which is extremely useful for keeping anyone from bothering you.
- Bioneedler: +5 AR (4), Propellant Projectile (2), +2 Attacks (4), “Secondary” Effects (actually the only effect – the tiny needles simply serve to deliver some obnoxious disease or toxin, 3), Reduced Range (-1), 20 to 30 Uses (-2), and HighTech (-4). OK, so this thing isn’t exactly an immediate weapon.
- Nightmare Lance: Paralyze (3), Storage Projectile (2), Bypass (3), Continuing (2), and Utility (As an implement of torture, 1). HighTech (-4), Expensive (-1). This psychic weapon unleashes all the targets personal psychic horrors – an effect that results in continuing nightmares and sleeplessness long after the paralyzing initial effect wears off without psychotherapy.
- Scrambler: UltraTech (-6), Energy Projectile (2), Minor C’hi (Hypnotic, normally 3 possible suggestions; “Your friends have betrayed you”, “Nothing important’s going on”, and “You’re confused” – determine which takes effect randomly, 1), Continuing (2), Bypass (3), +5 AR (4), Concealable (2), Reduced Range (-1) and 60-120 Uses (-1). Another psychic weapon, this gadget can be quite devastating in a fight – if you get lucky. Otherwise, it often has no effect at all.
- Poisons: Thanks to their highly variable effects on various creatures, these aren’t treated as weapons. See; Drugs, Poisons, Lifeforms, etcetra.
Multiweapons: OK, this is a note, not a weapon. If you insist on designing weaponry which can be switched between radically different functions (EG – Stun/Kill/ Disintegrate), simply design them independently (Hopefully with the same bulk) – and then give them Lightning Draw (Switchable). Bothersome (a common energy reserve of some sort, -1) is often applicable as well.
Sample Weaponry; Heavy Weapons
Catapult: 6D6 (9), Propellant Projectile (2) with Extended Range (1), +5 AR (4), Bothersome (AR bonus is only for hitting structures and such, takes 2-5 rounds to reload, -2), Semimobile (-4), One Use (-4). Related weaponry includes the counterweighted “Trebucket” (5D6 structural damage – otherwise about the same), hurling a bunch of small stones (5D6 to a small area), Onagers (Only 5D6 and +3 AR – but lighter (“Mounted”, -3) and less of a bother (Only 1-3 rounds to reload, retains the +3 when firing at individuals, -1) – and Scorpions (These fire a LOT of arrows; 2D6 (5), “Explosive” (1), Clumsy (-2), Propellant Projectile (2), +5 AR (4), Bothersome (Individuals in the area affected will be hit by 1D6-3 individual arrows each, not by a 4D6 attack, takes 4-7 rounds to reload, -2), One Use (-4), Impractical (1) and Secondary Effects (May be used with incendiary, or any other special, arrows; 1).
- Grenade: 1D10 (4), Explosive (1), Light (1), Cheap (1), Thrown Projectile (2), Critical (Double effect if detonated in an small, enclosed, place – such as under some poor, self-sacrificing, fool, 1), and Combination Stun (5). One Self-Destructive Use (-5), MidTech (-2), and Bothersome (Very noisy, can scatter shrapnel quite widely, sometimes goes off early, and can be thrown away again if reached in time, -2). Rifle grenades and small rockets are simply propellant-projectile versions. The Grenade Launcher is a HighTech (-4) Propellant Projectile version with 4-12 Uses (-3), but is otherwise the same. Antitank grenades do structural damage, but are shaped charges with little area effect and are useless against living targets (They move). Stun grenades only do 1D4, but raise the “Stun” effect to “Knockout”, are deafening (Sensory Stun, Secondary, +1) – and are less trouble (No shrapnel, and less time to do anything about them, reduces “Bothersome” to -1). Incendiary grenades do only 1D8, but have fire Secondary Effects (1). The ever-popular Flash grenade does 1D4 with Sensory Stun, Primary (Visual, 2) and reduced problems (No shrapnel, and little time to get rid of them, reduces “Bothersome” to -1). High- and UltraTech grenade variants may be a good deal more powerful, or simply much smaller. The “Satchel Charge” variant is Clumsy (-1) – but does 2D6 points of structural damage (Strike +1, Structural 1).
- LAW Rocket Launcher: 4D6 (7), Structural (1), +5 AR (4), Propellant Projectile (2), Extended Range (1), Explosive (1), Clumsy (-1), HighTech (-4), Bothersome (shaped charge, explosion base is only 1D6, -1), and One Shot (-4). Variants abound. The most common ones have a +4 AR on “Called Shots” (2), but suffer from Reduced Range, due to their trailing guidance wire. Expensive “smart missiles” enjoy an extra +6 AR (counters normal range penalties only, basically Targeting 3), but also require a targeting lock (Setup, -2).
- ICBM/Nuclear: 10D6 (11), Explosive (1), Structural (1), Strategic (1), Secondary Effects (EMP, Heatflash, Radiation, Fallout, Etcetera, 2), Propellant Projectile (2), Extended Range (1), +5 AR (4), Utility (great for threats, 1). Self-Destroying (-5), Evadeable (Thru the use of countermissiles and such, -1), Delayed (Transit time, 9-12 Rounds, -1), Immobile (-5), Expensive (-1), Setup (-1) – and HighTech (-4). This monstrosity is a H-Bomb class citykiller. It inflicts an average of 210 points of structural damage and a variety of secondary effects to everything within a huge radius. It’s also a 24-option weapon/art. The 12D6 version is usually an antimatter-based UltraTech weapon. It’s actually quite a bit lighter (Mounted – usually on a space ship, -3), and has far smaller radiation/”secondary” effects (1).
- Neutron Bomb: 1D10 (3), Explosive (1), Structural (1), Strategic (-), Combination Kill/Bypass/Continuing (Lethal Radiation, penetrates most shielding, 12), and Delay (Hours or days on radiation deaths, 1). HighTech (-4), One Self-Destructive Use (-5), Heavy (-2), Setup (-1), Bothersome (Despite the idea of leaving the area intact and just killing the people, this thing still has quite a blast, starts fires, and contaminates the area somewhat, -1). Despite the hype, this thing still does 6D10 points of structural damage in quite a radius – and still has nuclear side effects. On the other hand, the radiation area is larger. Smaller/tactical models can be fired by artillery pieces. Most are dropped or put on missiles (Propellant Projectile (2), Extended Range (1), Semimobile (-2 beyond “Heavy”), and Evadeable (-1)).
- Antimatter Needler: 6D6 (9), Structural (1), Autofire (1), Explosive (1), Propellant Projectile with an Extended Range (3), Bonded (1), Impractical (2), +5 AR (4). UltraTech (-6), 60-120 Uses (With a far too “vulnerable system” – breaching the antimatter containment is a truly bad idea, -3), Bothersome/Secondary Effects (A mixed bag; They’re incredibly noisy, generate quite a light-and-radiation flash, and have a somewhat “fussy” computerized safety which occasionally refuses to fire on legitimate targets, -4), Illegal (-1), Clumsy (-1), and Expensive (-1). Arguably the ultimate handgun. Of course – you have to be utterly insane to actually use a weapon that fires near-lightspeed antimatter streams at relatively nearby targets. It also tends to reduce a fight to “Who shot first”, as the average is some 84 points of structural damage – to an area.
Anti-Vehicle/Naval Mine: 3D6 (6), Structural (1), Triggered (3), Apparently Harmless (Normally buried or underwater, 3), Critical (double effect if hit squarely, usually about a 1 in 6 chance, 1), Cheap (1) – and Impractical (Requires careful record keeping and marking to avoid blowing up your friends – and secrecy to make them really effective against your enemies, 2). Clumsy (-1), One Self-Destructive Use (-5), Bothersome (mines are very hard to remove safely, and often blow up things you didn’t want to, even long after the conflict, -2), MidTech (-2), Setup (have to be planted, -1).