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Now that Low Tech has become available, this section is under revision and will be changing rapidly through November 2010.

Armor and Shields

Note: Pre-Low Tech content of this section has been moved to Old Armor.

Use this Armor Table instead of the one in Basic Set or building your own armor pieces per Low Tech. It incorporates several house rules which are all in your favor over either of the above sources.

Armor not on the table may occur in game, and if you really want something not on the list, talk to me and we might be able to work something out, but in general you should be shopping off the list. It's simpler.

I will provide a GDF with the replacement armor table.

Armor for Odd-Sized Characters

Beyond the issues for non-Zero SM characters, characters with Skinny, Fat, or Very Fat pay a premium for armor for being oddly shaped. The box is on Page 20 of the Basic Set, but has a typo: the sentance "Otherwise, you will have to pay an extra 10% or 20% for Gigantism or Very Fat – to have something made for you." should read "Otherwise, you will have to pay an extra 10% (or 20% for Gigantism or Very Fat) to have something made for you."

I am using this rule for armor, and only for Skinny, Fat, or Very Fat characters. Note this does not impact armor weight. Also note that characters with Dwarfism or Gigantism use the usual non-Zero SM rules, not these rules.

Revised Hit Locations

These are based on the hit locations in Low Tech, but have some adjustments. This mostly addresses partial armor and naming partial coverage, but I have also adjusted the proportions of limbs slightly. The low-tech limb proportions are to be used for normal quadruped barding and for any races that have quadrupedal proportions and cannot share armour with humans.

Note that Catfolk, Dragon-blooded, and Minotaurs have a highly anthropomorphic body-plan and use the armour table below.

Location Cost and Weight Hit Location Sub Loc
Everything 300% 3-18
Head 30% 3-5
  Skull 20% 3-4
  Face 10% 5
Neck 5% 17-18
Torso + Groin 100% 9-11
  Chest 75% 9-10
  Abdomen 25% 11
  Groin 5% ­
Arms 60% 8, 12
  Shoulders 15% ­ on 6
  Upper Arms 20% ­ on 4-5
  Elbows 5% ­ on 3
  Forearms 20% ­ on 1-2
Hands 10% 15
Legs 80% 6-7, 13-14
  Thighs 35% ­ on 4-6
  Knees 10% ­ on 3
  Shins 35% ­ on 1-2
Feet 15% 16

Revised or New Armor Types

I have revised or added several types of armor - these are not necessarily historically accurate statistics! Instead, these are "appropriate for DF".

Torso Armor DR Cost Weight TL Notes
Layered Cloth, Light 2* $150 9 0
Layered Cloth, Medium 3 $350 18 0
Layered Cloth, Heavy 4 $600 27 0
Leather, Light 1/0* $40 3.75 0 Split DR vs Crushing, Impaling, Piercing
Leather, Medium 2/1* $100 9 0 Split DR vs Impaling
Leather, Heavy 3/2 $200 16 0 Split DR vs Impaling
Layered Leather, Light 2* $145 11.25 1
Layered Leather, Medium 3 $270 18.75 1
Layered Leather, Heavy 4 $450 26.25 1
Scale, Light 3/2 $320 16 1 Split DR vs Crushing
Scale, Medium 4/3 $550 22.5 1 Split DR vs Crushing
Scale, Heavy 5 $1,000 32 1
Hardened Leather, Light 1/0 $75 4.75 2 Split DR vs Impaling
Hardened Leather, Medium 2 $125 11.25 2
Hardened Leather, Heavy 3 $250 20 2
Jack of Plates 3/2 $300 17 2 Split DR vs Crushing
Mail, Fine 4/2* $900 15 2 Split DR vs Crushing
Mail, Heavy 5/3* $1,200 20 2 Split DR vs Crushing
Mail, Light 3/1* $500 10.5 2 Split DR vs Crushing
Segmented Plate, Light 3 $600 14 2
Segmented Plate, Medium 4 $900 20 2
Segmented Plate, Heavy 5 $1,200 26 2
Mail and Plates 5/4 $1,250 21 3 Split DR vs Crushing

Expert Tailoring

Expertly Tailored armor from Low Tech p110 is a "lower grade" of Fine (and Very Fine below). Expertly Tailored cannot be combined with Fine or Very Fine. Wherever this wiki or DF rules refer to Fine armor being difficult to fit/wear/whatever, the notes also apply to Expertly Tailored.

The CF for Expert Tailoring is reduced to +2.


Fine gains the "increase penalty to hit chinks by -1" effect that Expertly Tailored armor has.

The CF for Fine is reduced to +3

Masterfully Tailored

Cost Factor is reduced to +9 CF but otherwise as listed. Counts as "Very Fine" when the rules or these pages refer to it being difficult to refit.

New Modifier: Very Fine

Very Fine*: TL 4 only. Uses advanced construction techniques to provide the same protection with thinner materials - corrugations, deflecting angles, advanced material composition, etc. Offers full DR at 1/2 the usual weight, and increases penalties to hit chinks by -2. Only fits wearers whose height, weight, species, build traits (Skinny, fat, very fat, dwarfism, gigantism) and gender match the original owner's! Any armor: +19 CF.

Other Armor Quality Modifiers from Low Tech or DF1

Fluting, Hardened Steel/Duplex Plate, Silk, and Leather of Quality are all available as listed in Low Tech (including with listed CFs).

Spider Silk (from Low Tech) is adjusted to +59 CF but otherwise as written. Unlike in real life, regular sized spiders can be controlled relatively easily with Animal college spells.

Giant Spider Silk (from DF) now adds +1* DR to any cloth armor against all damage types, plus +1* DR against cutting and impaling.


All kinds of "fantastic" leathers count as luxury materials, in addition to their protective benefits. Prices for DR +5 through +7 are listed solely for the convenience of players who want to eyeball the value of looted dragonscale armor, or are contemplating a large dragon and drooling over how much its scaly hide might be worth on the open market.

Replace Dragonhide from DF1 with the following modifiers:

Dragonhide*: Medium Hardened Leather armor can be dragonhide. This provides from +1 to +4 DR, depending on the dragon's age (elder dragonhide has up to +7 DR, but isn't for sale). It also gives -3 reactions from dragons!

Name Weight CF
Young Dragonhide × 1/2 +25 CF
Dragonhide +1 DR × 2/3 +33 CF
Dragonhide +2 DR × 5/6 +47 CF
Dragonhide +3 DR × 1 +61 CF
Dragonhide +4 DR × 1 1/6 +75 CF
Dragonhide +5 DR × 1 1/3 +89 CF
Dragonhide +6 DR × 1 1/2 +105 CF
Dragonhide +7 DR × 1 2/3 +121 CF

Other tough-skinned beasts might use the Dragonhide rules, but will give different reaction penalties - often from dismayed elves and druids when they discover the last female Lesser Variegated Giant Ground Sloth was made into an adventurer's jerkin.

Dragonscale*: Light Scale armor can be made from Dragonscale. Even the smallest dragons make armor that is half the weight of traditionally manufactured scale armor. Larger dragons provide heavier armor and from +1 to +4 DR, depending on the dragon's age (elder dragonscale has up to +7 DR, but isn't for sale). It also gives -3 reactions from dragons!

Name Weight CF
Young Dragonscale × 1/2 +14 CF
Dragonscale +1 DR × 2/3 +24 CF
Dragonscale +2 DR × 5/6 +34 CF
Dragonscale +3 DR ×1 +44 CF
Dragonscale +4 DR ×1 1/6 +54 CF
Dragonscale +5 DR ×1 1/3 +64 CF
Dragonscale +6 DR ×1 1/2 +74 CF
Dragonscale +7 DR ×1 2/3 +84 CF

The following table shows the relationship between the SM of the dragon, and the number of complete suits of armor that can be made from it for a specific size of humanoid:

Relative SM Suits of Armor
-1 0.75
-2 3
-3 6
-4 12
-5 18
-6 27
-7 36

EG: you can make 6 complete suits of SM 0 armor from a SM 3 dragon's hide, or 3 suits for SM +1 barbarians and ogres.

Mixed SMs are handled such that the material to make one suit of SM X is sufficient to make 1/3 of the number of suits on the line for SM X-1. For example with the SM 3 dragon above, if the adventurers make two suits of SM +1 armor, the material for the third is sufficient to make 2 suits of SM 0 armor, or 4 suits of SM -1 armor, or 6 suits of SM -2 armor. And so on.

Notes on Specific Hit Locations

I will be using the alternate Groin/Abdomen/Chest rules from Low Tech. I will not be using the other detailed hit location rules from Low Tech or Martial Arts - this includes not-using such sub-locations as joints and veins/arteries.

I am using the rule that the Skull is +2 to hit from behind, and the Face is -2 to hit from behind.

Partial coverage armor is available. This is either "Front only" or "Back only" for 1/2 cost and weight, or X/6 coverage for X/6 cost and weight. You can combine the two options for X/12 cost and weight.

The detailed Helmet construction rules are 'not being used. Armor that covers the head will be built as generic "Face", "Skull", and "Neck" armor, with partial coverage where appropriate. Armor that covers the Face completely (giving it's DR to the Eye hit location) gives No Peripheral Vision and cancels out the Peripheral Vision advantage. 5/6 or less Face coverage can be declared to not cover the Eyes as a 0% feature - if so, it does not penalize vision and covers the face location fully, but offers a 0/6 chance of protecting the Eyes.

Targeting the eyes through a helmet that protects them is at -9 and faces full DR. Targeting the eyeslits of such a helmet is targeting chinks in armor, at -10, and applies half DR, as usual.

Revised Shields

New shield statistics are provided below - use these instead of the shields and statistics from Low Tech or Low Tech Companion 2 or Basic Set. Shield damage rules will be used, using the provided, revised statistics. Shields have HT 12 unless otherwise noted.

All shields now have a MinST rating, like weapons. Like weapons, for each ST point under the minST rating, you take a -1 penalty to your Shield skill using the shield. This affects attacks and defences with the shield.

Differentiating between Bucklers and Shields

"Bucklers" in GURPS are any size shield held in the hand by a handle. "Shields", which for clarity I will call "Arm Shields", are strapped to the arm. Arm shields take longer to put on, but cannot be dropped in combat, only knocked crooked (takes one Ready action to fix). Bucklers can be snatched up in a single Ready action, and are dropped as a free action (where they must be recovered from the ground, like a weapon).

Arm Shields, by virtue of being strapped to the arm, leave the hand free. Skills performed with the shield hand are at -2, and if an object is held in hand then the Shield is at -2 Shield skill as well (-1 Block). Leaving the hand empty avoids this penalty.

Bucklers take up the hand, making holding other items "in hand" nearly impossible.

Houserules: Arm shields (being less agile than bucklers or weapons held in-hand) give a -1 to Shield skill when used to Feint.

Bucklers are by necessity slightly smaller than Arm shields, reducing weight by -10% (and HP proportionately) but suffering -1 to DB. Due to being able to fully use the wrist, bucklers are agile and give +1 to Blocks over and above their DB and do not suffer Feint penalties. This means that Bucklers provide less passive protection when Dodging and Parrying, but are just as good for their primary role of Blocking. Bucklers suffer a -1 to damage when shield-rushing (B406) due to being less-well-braced. Combined with the relative DB reduction, this gives Bucklers a notable disadvantage when rushing.

New Modifier: Light

Light: Made solely of wood, lacquered wicker, or hardened/lacquered/stuffed leather, and omitting the steel reinforcements, boss, and edge of a normal shield. Light shields give -1 per die to shield-bash damage and have less DR (-2) and HP (HP are recalculated based on new weight). This modifier is mutually exclusive with Dwarven, Dwarven Slab, and Bronze.

Light shields are safe for use by iron-sensitive fae and do not count as metal if affected by various environmental hazards. For example, Light shields are set on fire easier than standard shields, and will burn quicker due to low DR and lower HP. On the plus side, Light shields are not affected by Shape Metal, rust monsters, or giant loadstones.

-50% to weight, -0.25 CF.

New Modifier: Bronze

This shield uses Bronze instead of iron or steel for facing and hardware. Bronze shields are safe for use by iron-sensitive fae, ignore magnetic effects, and frustrate Rust Monsters.

+1 CF for normal shields, +3 for Dwarven and Dwarven Slab shields. No other statistical effect.

New Modifier: Dwarven Slab

Dwarven Slab: This modifier is mutually exclusive with Dwarven and Light, but Dwarven Slab shields may be Bronze. This shield is made to Herculean proportions, an inch thick slab of solid iron plate in the shape of a shield, with leather-padded iron arm-bands and an extra neck strap to help support its weight. Dwarven Slab shields have a very high MinST, but a wielder may use its HP instead of his own when Slamming with it.

Shield DR becomes 55. x10 weight, +19 CF. Recalculate HP based on the new shield weight.

Dwarven Slab shields are never bucklers. Players may visualize a Dwarven Slab shield as a manhole cover with some extra hardware attached to it.

A Note on the Fine Modifier

Fine shields have the same HP as the heavier, non-modified version, and no penalty to shield-bash damage despite the weight reduction. They also get a +2 to HT. It is possible to have a Fine Light shield - weight reduction is multiplicative, for a total of -62.5%, but it will have the HP and DR of a Light shield.

New Shield Weights and HP/DRs

Use the following table for SM 0 shields. Calculated costs and weights for Light and Dwarven shields provided for your convenience.

Name DB Bash Dmg MinST Cost Weight Cover DR DR HP
Large Shield 3 thr 12 $90.00 20 15 4 22
Medium Shield 2 thr 10 $60.00 14 14 4 19
Small Shield 1 thr 7 $40.00 6 12 4 15
Large Shield, Light 3 thr-1/die 9 $68.00 10 11 2 17
Medium Shield, Light 2 thr-1/die 7 $45.00 7 10 2 15
Small Shield, Light 1 thr-1/die 5 $30.00 3 8 2 12
Large Shield, Dwarven 3 thr+1/die 17 $450.00 40 22 8 27
Medium Shield, Dwarven 2 thr+1/die 14 $300.00 28 20 8 24
Small Shield, Dwarven 1 thr+1/die 9 $200.00 12 17 8 18
Large Shield, Dwarven Slab 3 thr+1/die 37 $1,800.00 200 79 55 47
Medium Shield, Dwarven Slab 2 thr+1/die 31 $1,200.00 140 76 55 42
Small Shield, Dwarven Slab 1 thr+1/die 20 $800.00 60 71 55 31
Large Buckler 2 thr 11 $90.00 18 15 4 21
Medium Buckler 1 thr 10 $60.00 12.6 14 4 19
Small Buckler 0 thr 6 $40.00 5.4 11 4 14
Large Buckler, Light 2 thr-1/die 8 $68.00 9 11 2 17
Medium Buckler, Light 1 thr-1/die 7 $45.00 6.3 10 2 15
Small Buckler, Light 0 thr-1/die 5 $30.00 2.7 8 2 11
Large Buckler, Dwarven 2 thr+1/die 16 $450.00 36 21 8 26
Medium Buckler, Dwarven 1 thr+1/die 13 $300.00 25.2 20 8 23
Small Buckler, Dwarven 0 thr+1/die 9 $200.00 10.8 17 8 18

Shields for Giants

An SM +1 fighter, such as a barbarian with Gigantism, may use an oversized shield (not normally covered under usual scaling rules). Add 1 to the shields final damage, after adjusting for dice of damage. Also multiply final weight and cost, after all modifiers, by 1.5! Recalculate HP based on final weight as per the usual object HP rules.

Name DB Bash Dmg Min ST Cost Weight Cover DR DR HP
Large Shield 3 thr+1 15 $135.00 30 17 4 25
Medium Shield 2 thr+1 12 $90.00 21 15 4 22
Small Shield 1 thr+1 8 $60.00 9 13 4 17
Large Shield, Light 3 thr-1/die +1 10 $102.00 15 12 2 20
Medium Shield, Light 2 thr-1/die +1 9 $67.50 10.5 11 2 18
Small Shield, Light 1 thr-1/die +1 6 $45.00 4.5 9 2 13
Large Shield, Dwarven 3 thr+1/die +1 20 $675.00 60 24 8 31
Medium Shield, Dwarven 2 thr+1/die +1 17 $450.00 42 22 8 28
Small Shield, Dwarven 1 thr+1/die +1 11 $300.00 18 19 8 21
Large Shield, Dwarven Slab 3 thr+1/die +1 45 $2,700.00 300 82 55 54
Medium Shield, Dwarven Slab 2 thr+1/die +1 38 $1,800.00 210 79 55 48
Small Shield, Dwarven Slab 1 thr+1/die +1 25 $1,200.00 90 73 55 36
Large Buckler 2 thr+1 14 $135.00 27 16 4 24
Medium Buckler 1 thr+1 12 $90.00 18.9 15 4 21
Small Buckler 0 thr+1 8 $60.00 8.1 12 4 16
Large Buckler, Light 2 thr-1/die +1 10 $102.00 13.5 12 2 19
Medium Buckler, Light 1 thr-1/die +1 8 $67.50 9.45 11 2 17
Small Buckler, Light 0 thr-1/die +1 6 $45.00 4.05 9 2 13
Large Buckler, Dwarven 2 thr+1/die +1 19 $675.00 54 23 8 30
Medium Buckler, Dwarven 1 thr+1/die +1 16 $450.00 37.8 22 8 27
Small Buckler, Dwarven 0 thr+1/die +1 11 $300.00 16.2 18 8 20

A Note On Items In The Shield Hand

Even though the off hand is gripping a shield, it is possible to hold another item in that hand – such as a dagger, a couple of javelins, a bow, a potion vial or grenade, or a torch. If you have a small shield, it is even possible to attack with the weapon. Apply a penalty of -2 to both weapon and Shield skills for attempting to take two actions at once, but both items are considered to be ready all the time (remember that this effectively gives -1 to Block and Parry with the shield hand). Alternatively, the hand can simply hold the weapon; it isn’t considered ready, but there is no penalty to the Shield skill.

Note that a potion ready to drink is uncapped and likely to spill if the arm holding it is used to Block (You may Block at -2 to preserve the potion).


The weapons chart from Low Tech will generally be used - note however that many exotic weapons are on the table; I ask the players to generally pick weapons that seem to match their characters style/apparent background. The campaign is pseudo-Mediterranean in flavor - this is DF, however, so there's always some wiggle room if your Greek knight is determined to use a kusari.

Bladed Hands

Boxing, Brawling and Karate do not give their damage bonus to swing attacks with Bladed Hands. These skills only give their full benefit to thrust damage effects. Remove the note [5] from the swing damage line for this weapon.

Bladed Hands are more comparable to Large Knives than swords, but without this adjustment a skilled user could do as much swing damage as a Shortsword, Broadsword, or even better due to the per-die bonus. This is much too effective for a one-pound weapon.

Bows and Crossbows

Every bow and crossbow has a "Rated ST". This is the ST used to calculate base damage from the bow or crossbow, and is the effective ST needed to draw the bowstring. A given bow or crossbow size, absent interesting modifications, can have effective ST ratings ranging from the listed MinST to 2xMinST.

Bows are typically sold with a Rated ST equal to Min ST+2 (to account for the Strongbow perk bonus). Crossbows are typically sold with a Rated ST equal to 1.2 * Min ST (round down), and a stirrup for drawing them. Nonstandard ST ratings (both stronger and weaker) must usually be custom-made, and thus are subject to Special Order taxes. As usual, equipment bought at character creation is "tax exempt".

Drawing a bow uses the strength of one arm and takes one second. If the character has mis-matched arm strengths or ST ratings, use the ST + Arm ST + Extra Striking ST of the characters strongest arm. This still requires two hands to perform, but since one arm is merely braced its ST can be ignored. A character with ST 10 and no other traits can draw a bow with Rated ST 10 using this method.

Crossbows, due to their design, are juggled around to brace the stock against the shoulder and use both arms to draw the string back, taking two seconds. This uses the lower ST + Arm ST + Striking ST of the two arms involved. The mechanical advantage from this technique is canceled out by the short bow-staves on crossbows. A character with ST 10 and no other traits can draw a crossbow with Rated ST 10 in two seconds using this method.

Crossbows may also be drawn one-handed like a bow with an effective ST reduction of -30% - a character with ST 10 and no other traits can draw a crossbow with Rated ST 7 in one second using this method.

Crossbows with a foot stirrup takes five seconds to draw, but give a +20% strength advantage. This takes two-arm ST, like drawing a crossbow against the shoulder. A character with ST 10 and no other traits can draw a crossbow with Rated ST 12 in five seconds using this method.

Calculate the characters effective ST (including bonuses from perks etc) before applying the percentage modifier, and round down the final result. EG: William, with ST 10, Arm ST +2, Striking ST +1, the Strongbow perk (specialized in crossbows), and Crossbow at DX+2 has an effective ST of 15; William can draw a Rated ST 10 crossbow one handed, a Rated ST 15 crossbow against the shoulder, and a Rated ST 18 crossbow with the use of a stirrup.


Harpoons are less useful for harpooning a target on land, where there is more resistance to dragging, than in water. The force to drag a struggling (or even a limp) target across the ground is usually far more than the material strength of muscle and skin, and the harpoon comes out instead of dragging the victim. This is why hunters don't harpoon deer to stop them from running away.

To "hook" a harpoon target firmly enough that they can be dragged on land, you must penetrate the targets armor and deliver at least the targets HP in damage (before wounding modifiers), indicating that the harpoon has "blown through" the target and out the other side. Optionally, targets in rigid armor with more than DR 3 have a 3/6 chance of having their armor snagged firmly enough if the rigid armor is penetrated. If hooked only by the armor, re-check the 3/6 chance after every round of tugging to see if the harpoon has pulled free.

If the target is hooked, the harpooner may attempt a contest of ST with the target as an Attack action, pulling the target in by 1 yard per 3 MOS (1 foot per margin of success if it matters).

If the target is not hooked, any attempt by the harpooner to draw the target in is treated as an attempt to pull the harpoon free.

The harpooner may also choose to merely restrict the targets movement, as per a lariat (see B411).

Revised Weapons

I will provide a GCA data file to make these changes before the start of the campaign.


TL    Name                 Dmg           Reach    Parry  Cost     Wt    ST      Notes
 1    Long Knife          sw-1 cut        C,1      -1    $120     1.5    7
        or                thr imp         C,1      -1    


TL    Name                 Dmg           Reach    Parry  Cost     Wt    ST      Notes
 1    Long Knife          sw-1 cut         1       -1    $120     1.5    7
        or                thr imp         C,1      -1    

Long Knives get a -1 to Parry like other knife type weapons, even when used with Shortsword skill - they are knives, and have a (non-parrying) knife's minimal crossguard. A proper parrying hilt may be added as per the rules from Low Tech Companion 2, page 15 - adding a Hilt and a Basket Hilt will make the Long Knife appropriate for use as a very large Main Gauche, with the 0F parry; this changes the base cost to $180, and base weight to 1.875 lbs.
Reason: This is a game-balance change, to force more distinction between Long Knives and Shortswords.


TL    Name                 Dmg           Reach    Parry  Cost     Wt    ST      Notes
 2    Great Axe          sw+5 cut        1, 2*     0U    $100     8     12‡

Great Axes get a further +1 to damage on top of their Low Tech stats.
Note that some two-handed weapons get improved parrying ability in Martial Arts (-2 per parry instead of -4) and I will be extending this rule to Two-Handed Axe/Mace weapons, as well as with the Rules-As-Written polearms and two-handed swords. This is difficult to make use of due to the U parries and ‡ minSTs in this category - cornered Two-Handed Axe/Mace wielders are advised to make Defensive Attacks or to All Out Defend.
Reason: Great Axes are a fictional weapon type born of exaggerated storytelling and stylized art. See Long Axes and various kinds of polearm for the historical equivalents. Since Great Axes are a fantasy staple weapon, I want to encourage players to consider them.

New Weapons

Two-Handed Axe Mace (DX-5, Axe/Mace-3, Polearm-4, or Two-Handed Flail-4)

TL    Name                     Damage     Reach    Parry  Cost    Wt    ST     Notes
2^    Unnatural Axe            sw+2d cut  1, 2*      0U   $400    15    14‡    [1,2]

[1] Count weapon bonus damage dice along with native Swing damage when figuring any per-die benefit, such as Weapon Master bonus damage, Mighty Blows, etc.

[2] Without the new perk "Axe Crazy", an Unnatural Axe is -2 to skill to use due to completely unwieldy construction, even if the wielder is sufficiently strong enough to one-hand it (ST 42!!).

The Unnatural Axe is the ramped up, extreme-fantasy version of the two-handed Great Axe. It's still unwieldy, swinging once every other turn and difficult to parry with. It's still heavy, requiring great strength but very tough in combat. But it cuts off limbs real good like.

The Unnatural Axe benefits normally from Pickaxe Penchant and similar talents. When scaling the Unnatural Axe up, perform the math on number of dice as if it were a flat modifier - ie a SM +1 Unnatural Axe does sw+3d cut. It gets worse when it gets bigger.

Staff (DX-5, Polearm-4, or Spear-2)

TL    Weapon                  Damage     Reach   Parry    Cost    Wt    ST    Notes
3^    Bladed Longbow          sw+1 cut     1      +2      $900    5     9†    [3, 4]
      or stabbing             thr+1 imp    1      +2      –       –     9†    [3, 4]
      or dual weapon attack   thr cut      1      +2      –       –     9†    [3, 4]

Spear (DX-5, Staff-2, Polearm-4)

3^    Bladed Longbow          thr+1 imp    1       0      –       –     9†    [3, 4]

Bow (DX-5)

TL   Weapon           Damage      Acc   Range     Weight   RoF   Shots   Cost   ST    Bulk   Notes
3^   Bladed Longbow   thr+1 imp   2     ×10/×15   5/0.1    1     1(2)    $900   13†   -10    [3]

[3] Without the new perk 'Melee Blade Archer', the Bladed Longbow is -2 to Staff and Spear skill to use in melee due to its flexible construction and having to avoid getting tangled up in the bowstring. Unstringing the Bladed Longbow before combat reduces this penalty to -1, but makes it unsuitable for use as a bow. The perk removes the basic -1 skill penalty but cannot compensate for the bowstring (the GM is considering a second perk for this, for really enthusiastic Bladed Longbow owners).

Without the new perk 'Ranged Blade Archer', the Bladed Longbow is also -1 to Bow skill to use in ranged combat, due the weight and awkward balance of the blade caps. This is a separate perk from the one to remove the melee skill penalty.

[4] If successfully used to parry a cutting weapon while strung, make an additional Staff-4 roll or the bowstring is severed, rendering it useless as a bow until replaced (but reducing the melee skill penalty from -2 to -1 as if the bowstring was entirely removed).

The Bladed Longbow may have its origins in an elaborate gnomish practical joke on an elf, but it has found its niche in the hands of delvers. This is a hybrid between a composite longbow and a long bladed, double-ended spear, heavily reinforced for use in melee combat. This naturally penalizes its ranged capabilities, but gives an archer forced into close quarters a valuable defensive and melee weapon without having to take his hands off his bow.

The Elvish racial talent Forest Guardian applies to using the Bladed Longbow in ranged combat, but not in melee.

Dedicated Bladed Longbow users will likely also be interested in the Form Mastery perk.

Rumours abound about elvish master artisans producing Bladed Longbows from exotic, flexible materials (for reduced weight and better range and bow damage). Further rumours are whispered about magical Bladed Longbows with magically self-stowing bowstrings, enhanced parrying capabilities, along side the more usual bow enchantments.

Designers Note: This is effectively a flexible Qian Kun Ri Yue Dao with a badly made bow attached to it. It is probably a terrible choice for most characters in this incarnation. Exotic versions made of impossible or magical materials may perform like normal or composite longbows. Good candidates are dragonhorn and sinew, fey wood and unicorn-hair strings, or orichalcum lathes and wire. These will be ridiculously expensive.

Weapon Change Under Consideration

Under Consideration at the moment is a suggestion to reduce the damage for every 2-handed weapon by 1, and then implement a general rule that any weapon wielded two-handed adds +1/die to damage.

Currently there's an unwritten assumption that wielding a weapon two-handed increases damage by +1. This is not explicitly mentioned in the Basic Set when the rules for wielding a two-handed weapon in one hand are discussed, but is in Martial Arts. This "rolls back" the bonus, making it clearer what happens when you one-hand something, and also grants a bigger bonus for wielding a weapon two handed that may partially compensate for "not having a shield".

If implemented, the Unnatural Axe's base damage would be sw+2d-1 (+1/die), and the per-die bonus would count the +2d along with the users base ST.

Scaling Rules for other equipment

Note that DF scaling is weird, and is best used for DF games only.

  • Shields scale as weapons, as they have many weapon-like features. Shield DR does not scale, Shield HP is recalculated based on the new weight.
  • Until the official rules come out for general equipment, other equipment scales using the same values for Weapon cost and weight (obviously the other parts of the weapon statistics is largely irrelevant).
  • Containers scale their possible weight carried using the same proportion used for scaling their own weight. IE a SM +1 Small Backpack can hold 1.5× or 60 lbs and weighs 1.5× as much as a regular Small Backpack, or 4.5 lbs. It costs 1.5×$60 or $90. SM+1 characters may be tempted to buy a SM0 Frame backpack - basically just don't, or the GM may have to make up the rules for DX penalties for wearing something not fit properly to your body size and shape and then things just get more complicated than the GM wants to deal with.
  • Note that Rations and water needed scale up or down like other miscellaneous equipment - fae characters with Reduced Consumption get extra reductions on top of this for their advantage! Pixies eat bread crumbs, pollen, and drops of dew. Ogres and barbarians just plain eat. SM+2 Ogre Barbarians eat everything.

Armor and Weapons for Really Big Characters

The largest PCs should generally get (without enchantment, shape-shifting or other unusual circumstance) is SM +2.

SM +2 Weapons and Shields

SM +2 weapons and shields multiply final cost, weight, and MinST by 2. Also multiply the listed damage bonus by 2, with a minimum of a +2 increase in damage bonus. eg. sw-2 becomes sw, thr+1 becomes thr+3, thr+2 becomes thr+4, and the Unnatural Axe becomes sw+4d

SM +2 Armor

SM +2 armors multiply final cost and weight by 4.

Even Bigger

SM +2 characters using outsized weapons, subjects of the Enlarge spell... the general rule of thumb is that cost, weight, minST, and damage of weapons and shields scale up with linear scale, while cost and weight of armor scales up with linear scale squared and then rounded to the nearest whole number.

See Also


GURPS DF Borderlands