View Full Version : Advanced Improvised Weapon Rules

2008-01-12, 02:44 PM
A while ago I had an idea for a Base Class which was based around improvising weapons. In the end I abandoned the idea when I realised it would either end up as a cleric or rogue with a slightly different flavour or a fighter without access to magic weapons. As a resutl I've modified the main class feature to create a more detailed set of rules for improvised weapons and a couple of feats to take advantage of them with.

What you want vs. As is
When looking at obtaining a weapon from one's immediate enviroment there are two ways of looking at it which I've called the "What you want" and the "As is" approaches. Using the What You Want approach means trying to find something from the enviroment which can be used as a specific weapon. The As Is approach means picking an object from the enviroment and using it as a weapon. The As Is approach allows the player to obtain a weapon more easily however the What You Want approach allows for a more effective weapon with less harsh penalties.

What-You-Want Weapon Improvisation [Martial]
You have trained with your weapon to the point that you can pick out objects in your enviroment which could be used in place of it.
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus (Apropriate Weapon)
Benefits: You may treat a weapon you improvise as whatever weapon it deals damage as for the purpose of feats and class skills as long as it fits the correct dimentions.
Normal: Improvised weapons are not subject to feats or class skills
Special: A Fighter may take this as a bonus feat. You may not take this feat if you have the As-Is Weapon Improvisation Feat.

As-Is Weapon Improvisation [General]
You have learned to use whatever you can find lying around as a weapon in a pinch.
Prerequisites: Must have defeated at least one opponent with an improvised weapon
Benefits: The penalty to using an improvised weapon is 1 lower than usual and you gain a +1 bonus to rolls to avoid breaking an improvised weapon.
Normal: No bonuses
Special: You may not take this feat if you have the What-You-Want Weapon Improvisation Feat.

The Effectiveness of an Improvised Weapon
The effectiveness of an improvised weapon is defined by three things: Size, Material and Shape.

Material This defines the hardness and HP of the weapon, as well as its physical hardness, in addition it can apply some bonuses and penalties to attack and damage rolls. Use this table to decide the bonuses or penalties a given material will have based on its physical hardness (in this case "physical hardness" refers to the ability of a material to give damage, rather than its ability to take it as hardness does in the core rules);

{TABLE=head]Physical Hardness|Example|Attack Bonus|Damage Bonus

Very Soft|wet clay, soil, ripe peaches|-2|-2
Soft|lead, rubber, pineapples, leather|-1|-1
Medium|Wood, hardened leather|0|0
Hard|Iron, rock, glass|+1|+1
Very Hard|Diamond|+2|+2[/TABLE]

The following table gives the HP and Hardness of some materials which may be used as improvised weapons. Remember that a physically hard material may be brittle giving it a low hardness and HP. See here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/exploration.htm#tableSubstanceHardnessAndHitPoints ) for the materials with values already provided by the core rules.

{TABLE=head]Material|Hardness|HP (per square')

Compressed Snow|0|2
Crustless Bread|0|1
Soft Clay|1|3
Hard Clay|7|10
Burnt/burning wood|3|7[/table]

Compound Weapon A compound weapon is one which is made up of more than one material. In this case the Hardness and HP are defined by the weakest material and the Physical Hardness is defined by whatever material connects with the target.

For example if a piece of metal is tied to the end of a wooden pole with rope, the spear would have its physical hardness defined by the metal tip and its hardness and HP defined by the rope.

Size and Shape An object being improvised as a weapon may be used as any weapon which it is a similar shape to. The size is then taken into account (for example if a 2 foot plank of wood is used as a two handed club then it is a medium weapon, as a light club it is a large weapon). Ammunition for weapons is bound by the same rule (if it could be conceivably placed in and fire by the weapon, its usable). The shape also defines the type of damage done (i.e. bludgeon, slashing or piercing) with the part of the weapon that connects deciding the type. The size and shape define the damage a weapon deals.

Using an Improvised Weapon

The base penalty for using an improvised weapon is -2 to both attack and damage rolls, this is increased to -4 if the improvised weapon is being used in the manner of a weapon that the character is not proficent with. Next, add any modifiers based on physical hardness and feats. An improvised weapon may not have an attack or damage bonus higher than +2.

Damage to an improvised weapon

When the weapon is used to (successfully) strike something roll: d20 + Weapon's Hardness + 1/2[user's BAB). Next, roll: d20 + [target's flatfooted AC] + [user's strength modifier]. If the first roll is lower than the second then the weapon takes half the damage it would have dealt to the target, while the target takes the other half of the damage.

For example if the spear mentioned above is used to attack a monster with a flatfooted AC of 5 by a Fighter with a strength modifier of 3 and a BAB of +5. With rolls of 5 and 6 respectivly then the equations would be;

5 + 0 + 2 = 7 and 6 + 5 + 3 = 14 meaning that the weapon was damaged.

Assuming that the strike from the weapon dealt 6 points of damage then the spear would take 3 points and the target would take 3 points.

Has anyone got any comments/criticisms/suggestions or materials to add to the table/feats?

2008-01-13, 02:16 AM
Hasn't anyone got any comments?

2008-01-13, 08:46 AM
I dunno, pineapples can do real damage when shoved somewhere sideways :smalleek:

looks cool to me

2008-01-13, 04:45 PM
I dunno, pineapples can do real damage when shoved somewhere sideways :smalleek:

looks cool to me

I'd think of a sideways pineapple as more of a coup de grace than an attack:smallamused:

2008-01-20, 11:21 PM
No one has any comments or suggenstions for improvments then?

2008-01-20, 11:58 PM
This looks really, really cool. I approve entirely. :smalltongue:

Seriously, this is a much more realistic way of modeling improvised weapons than the current ruleset. I also very much like the two different styles of finding and fighting with them.

2008-01-21, 12:07 AM
You've got a cut-and-paste paradox in As-Is Improvised Weapons. Says if you take the feat, then you can't take the feat.

2008-01-21, 12:11 AM
You've got a cut-and-paste paradox in As-Is Improvised Weapons. Says if you take the feat, then you can't take the feat.

Oops, fixed.