Tuesday, May 19, 2020

House Rules - Mundane Weapon and Armor Enhancements

Mundane Weapon and Armor Enhancements

Item
Cost
Weight
Armor-Piercing
+50% of base weapon cost
-
Basket Hilt
+15% of base weapon cost
-
Bent Grip
+15% of base weapon cost
-
Bow Sling
1 shilling
-
Bow Stabilizer
100 shillings
2 lbs.
Hollow Hilt
+15 shillings
-
Hollow Hilt, Masterwork
+45 shillings
-
Serrated Blade
+300 shillings
-
Shielded Grip
+25% of base weapon cost
-
Strengthened
+50% of base weapon cost
+50% of base weapon weight
Weighted
+100% of base weapon cost
+50% of base weapon weight
This is a collection of mundane weapon enhancements. There are no weapons or armor listed here, nor are there items that are specific to either arcane or divine spellcasters. Rather, these items are general-purpose gear that many characters will find useful to carry. This list does not include many items of interest to rogues, as those are found on the Black Market Items and Poisons page.

This list uses several abbreviations to show what sourcebook the entries were drawn from. For guidance as to what sourcebooks these abbreviations reference, see my key to Sourcebook Abbreviations.

All of the material contained on this page and other pages of this blog is presented in accordance with the terms of the Open Game License.

Armor-Piercing: (Path of the Sword) This may be applied only to light weapons that deal piercing damage. The weapon has been modified to slip between pieces of armor. Against any opponent with an armor bonus to Armor Class, this weapon grants a +1 bonus to attack rolls. This bonus does not apply to an opponent that only has a natural armor bonus to Armor Class.

Basket Hilt: (Path of the Sword) This is a complex grip that wraps around the wielder's hand. It can only be used on Medium-sized weapons or less that are to be wielded with one hand. The basket hilt grants the wielder a +2 bonus to resist disarm attempts.

Bent Grip: (Player's Guide to Fighters and Barbarians) A bent grip allows great control over a weapon, though at some cost of power. This grip has a number of flanges and a significant curve, allowing it to fit easily in the hand. Bent grips function properly on any light sword and on one-handed piercing swords. This grip may not be fitted on other weapons. Weapons with a bent grip gain a +1 enhancement bonus to their threat range (which does not stack with enchantments that also improve the threat range). The bent grip is commonly used in Enslem and the Gorovlic Isles.

Bow Sling: (Quintessential Fighter) The bow sling is a simple attachment that may be added to any greatbow, longbow, or shortbow, including composite versions of those weapons. Consisting of little more than a cured leather strap attached to an archer's hand, the sling will stop a bow from being accidentally dropped. A character with a bow sling gains a +4 circumstance bonus to all rolls made to avoid being disarmed of his bow. Using a bow strap makes it more difficult to drop the bow intentionally, and it requires a move-equivalent action to do so.

Bow Stabilizer: (Quintessential Fighter) Stabilizers are weights mounted on the front of a bow to keep the weapon stable during long-ranged shots. They increase the range increment of any bow by +20 feet. They may only be fitted to greatbows, longbows, and shortbows, including the composite versions of those weapons.

Hollow Hilt: (Path of the Sword) A weapon with a hollow hilt has a small compartment in the hilt, grip, or shaft, which can store 4 cubic inches worth of material in a Small weapon, or 6 cubic inches of material in a Medium weapon.

Hollow Hilt, Masterwork: (Path of the Sword) This is a small compartment in the hilt, grip, or shaft of a weapon, just as above, only applied to a masterwork weapon. The compartment can store 6 cubic inches worth of material in a Small weapon, or 8 cubic inches of material in a Medium weapon.

Serrated Blade: (Quintessential Fighter) Some weaponsmiths intentionally forge their weapons to have wickedly serrated edges, designed to cause the maximum amount of damage whenever they strike. Only the very finest weaponssmiths have the skill to hone blades to such sharpness as to have any appreciable effect. Only masterworked slashing weapons may be given a serrated edge, either while they are being forged, or as a later modification. A slashing weapon with a serrated blade will grant a +1 bonus to all damage rolls made with it.

Shielded Grip: (Player's Guide to Fighters and Barbarians) One of a number of protected grips, such as shell or basket hilts, the shielded grip is used in a variety of bladed weapons - including daggers, rapiers, and longswords. If a weapon with a shielded grip is employed in battle, and the wielder is using Combat Expertise, the Armor Class bonus gained through the use of that feat is increased by +1. This bonus increases to +2 if the Combat Expertise proficient character is using two shielded grip weapons, but only if they posses the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. Additionally, shielded grip grant a +1 circumstance bonus for the purpose of resisting disarm attempts.

Strengthening: (Path of the Sword) The weapon is made of stronger, thicker materials. This makes it considerably heavier, but also harder to break. A strengthened weapon has its hardness increased by 1 and its hit points increased by 25% (rounded up). This increases the weight of the weapon by 50%.

Weighted: (Path of the Sword) This improvement may only be applied to weapons that deal bludgeoning damage. The head of the weapon is designed to be extremely heavy by adding extra metal, wrapping it in steel bands, and so on. This increases the weapon's damage by +1 and increases the weight of the weapon by 50%.

Mundane Armor Improvements

It is possible to commission easily distinguished or customized pieces. Below you will find an outline of several of these enhancements, their costs, and the benefits of taking the time to be unique.

Precisely Fitted Armor: Armor can be tailored to a specific individual. Such armor must be crafted of masterwork quality and tailored specifically the the character as part of its construction. The character who wears the armor must be measured precisely before the work can commence, and then the cost of the armor is increased by 50%. Precisely fitted armor has some minor, but useful benefits, as follows:
  • Hasty donning time is reduced by one round if the armor is light armor, by two rounds if the armor is medium armor or heavy armor other than half-plate or full-plate, and by one minute if the armor is half-plate or full-plate.
  • The precise fit enables you to move more easily within it, reducing the apparent weight by 10% for purposes of load calculation. This weight reduction also applies to Swim checks.
  • Well-made armor simply looks better. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy checks in circumstance in which the target of the check would be favorably impressed by someone in high-quality armor.
Embossed and Decorated Armor and Weapons: Both armor and weapons can be covered with decorations, fine enameled designs, intricate embossed patterns, and so on. This does nothing for the functionality of the armor or weapon, but it does make the equipment extremely distinctive. Characters who are nobles, high-ranking military commanders, or successful merchants might desire such equipment to demonstrate their status and wealth. Decorated and personalized items grant the following benefits:
  • The items are much easier to locate if stolen. Add a +2 circumstance bonus to any Gather Information checks related to tracking down lost or stolen items that have been decorated.
  • Those likely to be impressed by wealth, especially ostentatious displays of wealth, are going to be favorably disposed towards a character wielding decorated arms and armor. Such a character gains a +2 circumstance bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy checks against such individuals.
The one major drawback to such items is that extensive field use can mar the fine craftsmanship. Any time a character sustains more than 50% of his hit points in damage, decorated armor has been marred and must be repaired. Likewise, if a character scores more than two critical hits with a decorated weapon in a single combat, it is also considered marred and must be repaired.

Decorated items cost a minimum of double the cost of masterwork items of the same type (although they are not necessarily masterwork - if a character wants a decorated masterwork item, they must pay the cost for masterwork quality as well). If the character insists on particularly costly decorations - for example, an image of the character slaying a green dragon to be placed on a large shield, with the dragon made from precisely cut emeralds, and the character formed of rubies - the price can be as high as the DM thinks is reasonable.

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