Dragon by Dragon – December 1979 (32)

Depending where you are when you read this, good morning, good afternoon, good evening or good night. It’s Sunday, which means it’s time to crack open the vault and review another issue of The Dragon. Technically not the last of the 1970’s (that would be December 1980), but for most folks, the end of the decade.

Let’s take a look at the Top 10 Cool Things in The Dragon #32

Side note – cover by Phil Foglio, which means his contributions to the magazine’s comics section shouldn’t be too far away. Always a highlight for me back in the day.

Yes, because of Dixie. I’m a red-blooded American male, and I make no apologies for it.


When question about super high level characters (as in, “no freaking way they got there fairly), ED gives the following sage advice …

“Cheating, yes, but who? If you refuse to play with these sorry individuals, they are only cheating
themselves of the feeling of accomplishment that comes from having honestly earned a level advancement. To each his own . . .”

Good advice then, and good now. Learn to enjoy losing spectacularly at games, and you will find them twice as enjoyable as you used to.


Charles Sagui has an article on “Poisons from AA to XX” that I enjoyed. I always like articles written from a position of authority concerning make-believe stuff, and this one has several firm rules for poisons that you might not have known:

1) Poison is restricted to Neutral and Evil characters when used against human or humanoid types … against dungeon monsters, anyone can use poison.

2) Alchemists alone distill and manufacture poisons – magic-users, thieves and assassins who are caught making poisons are told immediately to “cease and desist” – imagine, slapping a cease and desist order from the Alchemist’s Guild on a PC! Apparently, if the order is ignore, the PC “will receive a visitor who will see to it that he stops permanently.” – Sounds like a fun encounter to run.

3) Alchemists learn to make poison at one strength per level of experience up to the 5th, beginning with level 0, strength “AA”. At 6th, the alchemist can make strength “S” sleep poison. After 6th, he learns to make one strength per two levels, through strength “J” at 16th level. Type “X” can be made by 20th level alchemists, type “XX” by 25th level alchemists. Alchemists through 4th level make only ingested poisons. From 5th to 8th level, they make ingested plus water-soluble poisons. From 9th to 16th they learn to make contact and gaseous poisons.

4) Assassins are the main customers, and they dictate to the alchemists who can buy poison. Locksmiths are granted permission by the assassins to put poison needles and gases in locks and chests so the rich can keep their possessions safe. – This suggests that the thieves and assassins are not on the best of terms.

5) Any character is permitted to buy strength “S” sleep poison. Thieves, by paying the assassins 500 gp per level, are permitted to buy strengths “AA”, “A” and “B” poison. They may buy up to 60 vials of “AA” per year, up to 30 vials of “A” and up to 15 vials of “B”. Magic-users can pay 1,000 gp per level to get the right to coat darts and daggers with “AA” and “A” poison. The same buying restrictions for thieves apply.

6) A small vial of poison is enough to coat 6 arrowheads, 8 darts, 12 needles or 1 dagger or spear point. Two vials will coat a short sword. Three will coat a long or broadsword, four a bastard sword and five a two-handed sword. Each coating lasts for 2 successful hits, and up to 5 coats can be applied to a blade at a time. One vial is equal to one dose when swallowed.

7) Evil humanoids should never use more than “AA” poison. If they are employed by a powerful evil NPC, they may use up to “D”.

8) Poisons found in dungeons are:

0-50% – ingested
51-80% – water-soluble
81-90% – contact
91-100% – poison gas

9) Damage from poison is taken at a rate of the minimum hit point damage for the poison per melee round (which would have been a minute, back in the old days) until max damage rolled is met. So, a poison that deals 1-10 damage would do 1 point of damage per round. If you rolled “6” damage, it would deal 1 point of damage per round for 6 rounds. A poison that did 5-100 damage would deal 5 points of damage per round.

10) When you save vs. sleep poison, you act as though slowed for 3 rounds.

11) When using poison-coated weapons, each time you draw the weapon or return it to its scabbard, you have to save by rolling your Dex or less (on 1d20, I assume), minus 1 for water-soluble and -3 for contact, or you suffer max poison damage. You also have to make a Dex save every other round for water soluble and every round for contact poison that the weapon is used in combat to avoid poisoning yourself. This applies until the weapon is washed, even if the weapon does not have enough poison left to poison opponents in combat.

12) Silver weapons will not hold poison, not will magic weapons. Normal weapons that are poison-coated gives them a dark discoloration, so everyone will know the weapon is poisoned.

Lots of rules, but actually pretty useful ones. The article then goes on to detail the different poison strengths – I won’t reproduce those here.


This is a companion article to the armor article from last issue, also by Michael Kluever. Here’s a bit on the Chu-ko-nu, or repeating crossbow.

“An interesting variation was the repeating crossbow (Chu-ko-nu). It propelled two bolts simultaneously from its wooden magazine, which held a total of 24 featherless quarrels, each approximately 8.25 inches long. The bolts were contained in a box sliding on top of the stock and moved into firing position by a lever pivoted to both. The throwing of the lever forward and back drew the bowstring, placed the bolt in position and fired the weapon. Chinese annals relate that 100 crossbowmen could project 2,000 quarrels in fifteen seconds. The repeater crossbow was used as late as the Chinese Japanese War of 1894-95.”

Apparently I need to include it in Grit & Vigor.


You got some interesting articles back in the day. This one, by George Laking, is about aquatic megaflora, and its danger to adventurers. The info in the article was designed by the Mid-Columbia Wargaming Society of Richland, Washington. With a little searching, I found a picture of Mr. Laking and some society members from a 1978 newspaper. The internet!

So, you’re first thought it – screw seaweed, bring me dragons!

You fool!

Apparently, megaflora stands capture oxygen in vast bubble domes within their branches. Within this bubble dome, there is a bunch of dry limbs and twigs from this megaflora. The interior of the dome resembles a quiet, dry forest surrounded by thick trunks. Bubble dome heights range from 4 to 40 feet, depending on the size of the stand.

Where’s the danger. Well, the stands can capture ships for 1-12 hours, making them vulnerable to aquatic monster attacks.

The bigger danger is bubble dome “blows”! The domes are temporary structures. In some cases, the gas cannot escape and pressure builds up until it explodes, throwing dry branches and limbs 2d10 x 10 feet into the air in a huge fountain of water and foam! Ships will fall into the void left, and then be slammed by the walls of water rushing back in, possibly destroying the ship. A blown stand looks like a peaceful lagoon with walls of megaflora around it, quickly growing in to fill the clearing. This will be the lair of aquatic monsters, guarding the treasure left by ships destroyed in past blows.

A third danger is that pure oxygen is poisonous to people. Divide the height of the dome by 10 and take this as a percentage chance per hour that a character absorbs too much oxygen into her bloodstream. A character who reaches this threshold, upon leaving the dome, must make a save vs. poison or immediately die.

Also – pure oxygen is extremely flammable. Let’s say you light a torch inside the dome …

“(1) The initial explosion of gas would create a 6-20 die fireball of incandescent oxygen, depending on the size and depth of the bubble dome (depth of dome divided by ten equals hit dice). The size of the fireball would be half as large as the initial dome after the explosion of the gas. Saving throws would be applicable.

(2) Following the initial explosion, the fireball would immediately rise to the surface with a subsequent catastrophic inrush of ocean water onto the previously dry dome interior. Each character would have to undergo a check for system shock as the walls of water met with implosive fury. A character saving vs. system shock would only take 3-10 (d6) of damage. Failing to save means immediate death!

(3) Finally—should the character survive—an immediate check vs. oxygen poisoning would be necessary to determine if he/she had exceeded the critical threshold at that point. If so, that character would have to make an additional save vs. poison per oxygen poisoning (above).”

Frankly, a weird bubble dome dungeon would be awesome, and a great challenge. A ship gets stuck and attacked by aquatic ogres. Adventurers follow them down to retrieve something important, find a massive bubble dome with a dead, maze-like forest within it. They have to work fast to avoid being killed by too much oxygen, and there is a chance that it explodes and the ship is drawn down into sea and crushed.


From Gygax’s “Sorcerer’s Scroll”:

“In a previous column I mentioned that I would set up an adventure where the players would end up in the city streets of the 20th century. Well, I knocked together some rules, put the scenario together, stocked the place with “treasures” of a technological sort, and sprinkled some monsters (thugs, gangs, police, etc.) around.

Much to my chagrin, Ernie the Barbarian was leading the expedition. When his party emerged from the subway—and despite the general blackout in the city due to the power failure caused by their entry into this alternate world—he stopped, looked, listened and then headed back for the “safety” of the “real world!” Some people really know how to spoil a DM’s fun …”

Damn players.


From Jean Wells in “Sage Advice”:

“The subject is dwarven women and whether or not they have beards. Last spring when we were working on the final editing of the Dungeon Masters Guide, I tried to get Gary Gygax to change the section on dwarves so that dwarven women would not have beards. Needless to say, I was not very successful.

What I didn’t realize was that for some strange reason (completely unknown to me), I had started something. I did not understand the full impact of what I had done until I went to GenCon this year. Many people stopped me in the hall to either agree with me wholeheartedly, or disagree with me and then tell me that I was crazy. Everyone knows that dwarven women have beards, they said. It did not stop there. Oh, no! We have even been getting mail on this issue. It is not too bad, but I don’t like being accused of making an issue out of the subject.

One thing that everyone who has taken sides in this issue fails to remember is that Gary Gygax wrote the Dungeon Masters Guide and it is his book. He can say whatever he wants to. You can agree with him or side with me, but either way, the person who has final say in his or her campaign is the DM. So, for all the people who have written in to agree with me or to agree with Gary, and for those who haven’t yet but were planning to, please save your breath. Gnome women don’t have beards (this is true and I am glad). Dwarven women may indeed have beards, Gary, but not in my world.”

Yeah, there have always been gamers who A) didn’t get that it was make-believe, and there was therefore no right or wrong, and B) didn’t get that their own opinion isn’t law.

Also this question:

“Question: We are having an argument over an issue that has us divided. My friends say that with a ring of telekinesis they can make an arrow spin at the speed of light and then release it, having it do between 100 and 600 points of damage to their target. I say this is impossible! What do you think?”

God – I remember these fools.


“Question: I am having a romance with a god, but he won’t have anything to do with me until I divorce my present husband. How do I go about divorcing my husband?”

Ye Gods!


For sale – crappy t-shirts.

Actually, I would wear one of these with a ridiculous amount of pride. I’m super tempted to lift the graphic and make one online for myself.

Looks like the Barbarian Shop was in a private residence:


Len Lakofka presents in this issue his insectoids, which are just the humanoid races with insect characteristics grafted on. For example: Scorpiorcs. For Blood & Treasure, they would look like:

Scorpiorc, Medium Monstrous Humanoid: HD 2; AC 16; ATK 2 pincers (1d6) and weapon; MV 40; SV F15 R12 W13; XP 300 (CL 4); Special-Surprised on d8 (due to eye stalks), move silently (70%), back stab x2.

Scorpiorcs never use flaming swords or carry any sort of flame. They also never use armor, but may carry a shield. They speak Scorkish and broken Orcish. They can advance as fighters from a beginning “level” of 2 to a top rank of 4.

I also have to mention the “skags”, which are a blend of scorpion, kobold, ant and goblin. This is actually a sort of “monster class” – dig it:


Great title. Found HERE at Boardgame Geek. Stephen Fabian did the art, so it has be worth a few bucks based on that alone.


I’ve never played Traveler, so I can’t comment on the utility of this article about diplomats in the Traveler Universe. I can, however, draw attention to this table, which may prove useful to people:

I’m sure somebody can adapt this to their game, when trying to figure out an NPC’s s power base in some fantasy or sci-fi city.


William Fawcett has a long article on “The Druid in Fact and Fantasy”. A tough subject, because so little is known, or at this point, can be known. I’m not going to dwell on the historical bits in the article, but I did like this:

A new Druidic ability

Although the Druid, due to his involvement with life, is unable to turn undead, his role of the peacemaker gives him a similar ability with most humanoids. Before or during any armed combat if he has not struck any blow, a Druid has the ability to make a Declaration of Peace. This declaration has a 10% plus 5% per level (15% 1st level, 20% 2nd, etc.) chance of causing all armed combat to cease for two rounds per level of the Druid. This does not affect magical combat in any way, nor will it stop a humanoid who is in combat with any non-humanoid opponent. Once the combat is stopped, any non-combat activities may take place such as cures, running away (and chasing), blesses, magic of any form, or even trying to talk out the dispute.

After peace has been successfully Declared, combat will resume when the effect wears off (roll initiatives), or at any time earlier if anyone who is under the restraint of the Declaration is physically harmed in any way. This could be caused by an outside party or even by magic, which is not restrained by the Declaration. A fireball going off tends to destroy even a temporary mood of reconciliation. Once a Druid strikes a blow or causes direct harm in any way to a member of a party of humanoids, he permanently loses his ability to include any member of that party in a Declaration of Peace. The Declaration of Peace affects all those within the sound of the Druid’s voice, a 50’ radius which may be modified by circumstances.”

He also has quite a few magic cauldrons and some thoughts on herbs. Good read overall.


Well, it’s funny to DM’s


An adventure in this issue – “The Fell Pass” by Karl Merris!

Check out the map:

That hatching seems reminiscent! A also hereby challenge Dyson Logos to include more giant, disembodied hands on his very excellent maps.

The adventure takes place in geothermally heated caverns, and includes cave bears, ogres, a spidersilk snare, gray ooze, manticores, griffons, shadows, trolls, pit vipers, Vlog the Ogre …

… and Xorddanx the Beholder:

I love the heck out of that art, which is by Merris himself!

I did some searching, and I’m pretty sure I’ve found him online. He appears to be a Brony now, and might have no interest left in D&D, but if I can commission a piece of fantasy art from him, I’ll let you know …


When In Rome, Kill As the Romans Do

Rome looms so large in European history, and therefore on the ancient and medieval European wargames that informed so much of early fantasy RPG’s, that an article like this seems a bit useless. Of course, I’m writing it anyway, because – dang – you try generating this much web content without being useless once in a while.

Enough preamble. Let’s get down to Roman weaponry …

The bipennis, or labrys, is a double-headed axe that, depending on how one pronounces the word, could be a big hit at the gaming table. “You attack the orc with what?”

The weapons were most associated with Minoan civilization and the Greeks, and seem to have taken on quite a significant symbolic meaning, being adopted by Greek fascists, Greek metal heads and lesbians and feminists – clearly it’s a uniter and not a divider (unless used to separate somebody from their head). If you’re a cleric capable of wielding edged weapons, the bipennis might be a good one to wield.

Medium weapon; 1d8 damage; 6 lb.; 10 gp

Probably one of the first, “Dude, I want those” that I ever came across as a young geek getting into RPG’s. Essentially the anti-boxing glove, a cestus was made of leather strips, sometimes studded with metal or bladed, that was worn over the hands and used to beat the living crap out of people. For our purposes, we’ll use all three versions, and allow monks using the cestus, and any character with the Weapon Focus feat in the cestus, to treat them as either unarmed attacks or armed attacks, whichever is more favorable for the situation.

Cestus: Light weapon; +1 damage; 0.5 lb; 5 sp

Cestus, Studded: Light weapon; +2 damage; 1 lb.; 1 gp

Cestus, Bladed (Myrmex): Light weapon; +3 damage; 1 lb.; 1 gp 5 sp

The name is new, but the sword is old. Rome’s Iberian allies and mercenaries employed these slightly curved, thick bladed swords and impressed their Roman pals with how effective they were in a scrap. Because of their shape, and the weight of their blade, a falcata scores a critical hit (if you use such things) on a natural roll of 19 or 20.

Light weapon; 1d4+1 damage; 2 lb.; 15 gp

Falx are sickle-like weapons employed by the Dacians and Thracians, and later used by the Romans as siege hooks. The single-handed version was the sica, which is essentially just a sickle and is not covered here. The falx was the two-handed version, a pole weapon with a 3-ft. long wooden haft tipped by a long, sickle-shaped blade. The point could pierce helmets and the blade split shields.

Heavy weapon; 1d8 damage; 8 lb.; 8 gp

While not the first straight-bladed short sword, the gladius could be one of the best known due to their use by gladiators, who are undeniably cool. The gladius was adopted from the Celtiberians, and was known as the Gladius Hispaniensis, or “Hispanic Sword”.

Light weapon; 1d6 damage; 2 lb.; 10 gp

Hasta means “spear”, which is handy, since hastas are, in fact, spears. They were carried by early Roman legionaries, and gave them the name hastate. In later years, they were abandoned for the javelin and short sword, but they still have their place in classical Roman violence. Hasta were about 6.5 feet long.

Medium weapon; 1d8 damage; 6 lb.; 2 gp

The pugio is the Roman dagger, one of the basic weapons of the Roman soldier (along with short sword, javelins and shield). Nothing fancy here, just a cool name.

Light weapon; 1d4 damage; 1 lb.; 2 gp

I remember when I first got into AD&D, the darts confused me. The only darts I had ever seen were the ones used with dart boards, and I always pictured with a smile magic-users throwing those little things at people in dungeons. The plumbata is the real deal though, the mother of all lawn darts. These darts are weighted with lead and had barbed heads. Magic-users can hurl these bad boys with their heads held high.

Thrown weapon; 1d4 damage; 0.5 lb.; 5 sp

Yes, you can run with this. The scissor is a “maybe” weapon, about which very little is known. It might have consisted of a hollow, metal tube that was worn over the arm. The tube closes over the fist, and projected from this there is a semicircular blade. There was probably a crossbar in the end to assist in a gladiator controlling the weapon. The tube makes it useful as both a buckler and as a weapon.

Light weapon; 1d4+1 damage; 2.5 lb.; 15 gp

The spatha was the Roman long sword. Measuring about 3 feet in length, it was used in war and gladiatorial fights in first millennium AD Europe. Used primarily by the Germans, it replaced the gladius as the primary infantry weapon of the Romans.

Medium weapon; 1d8 damage; 4 lb.; 15 gp

All images found at Wikipedia

Weapon Showcase – India

Let’s get one thing straight – Indian weapons are awesome for the names alone. Firangis and kayamkulams and talwars sound wonderful, even if facing one in the hands of an angry kshatriya would be anything but pleasant. I was recently bumping around for the name of one type of sword in particular – the pata – when I came across the others and decided to write about them here, giving them some stats for Blood & Treasure. So, without further ado –

Note – all images come from Wikipedia


The aruval is an Indian machete-like weapon. The top section is curved and comes to a point, and gives wielders a +1 bonus to grapple attacks. The base is often kept razor sharp so it can be used for slashing.

Medium weapon; 1d4+1 damage; 2 lb.; 8 gp

Bagh nakh

The famous bagh nakh are also known as tiger’s claws. The bagh nakh consists of four or five short, curved, claw-like blades affixed to a metal cross-bar or a glove. Bagh nakh grant the user a +1 bonus to Climb task checks.

Light weapon; 1d3 damage; 1 lb.; 5 gp


The bhuj is also known as a gandasa, or axe-dagger. The dagger blade is affixed to an axe-like haft. The blade is short (7 to 10 inches) and broad, with a gentle curve. The haft is usually hollow and hides another slim, stiletto-like blade.

Light weapon; 1d6 damage (or 1d4 damage from stiletto); 4 lb.; 9 gp


The bichawa is a loop-hilted dagger with a narrow, undulating blade. Based on the maru, or horn dagger, of southern India, it is often used as an ornamental weapon. The loop hilt sometimes serves as a knuckle-guard. The weapons are about 1 foot long.

Light weapon; 1d4 damage; 1 lb.; 2 gp


The firangi is a long, straight-bladed sword imported into India from Portugal. The blades were manufactured in Europe, and the name of the sword is derived from the Arabic term for Europeans, al-faranji (i.e. Frank). Blades were usually 3 feet long, and either of the broadsword (double-edge) or backsword (single-edge) variety. Firangi had basket-hilts that provide the wielder a +1 bonus to save vs. disarm attacks. Because of its length, it was traditionally used as a cavalry weapon.

Medium weapon; 1d8 damage; 4 lb.; 15 gp


Monks don’t have to look like Bruce Lee

The gada is a Indian bludgeoning weapon not too different from a heavy mace. It has a large, heavy metal head in the shape of a ball on a thick, short shaft. It is often used as physical training equipment, and Hanuman favored it as a weapon. Because of the thickness of the shaft, it must be wielded with two hands save by those with a strength score of 16 or higher.

Heavy weapon; 1d6+1 damage; 9 lb.; 12 gp


The kalarippayatt is a 2-1/2 foot long wooden stick that is used as a practice weapon by young warriors learning dagger fighting. It is also used as a weapon in its own right. It is usually made from the wood of the tamarind tree.

Light weapon; 1d3 damage; 1 lb.; 1 gp

Kayamkulam vaal

The kayamkulam vaal is a stately, double-edged dueling blade favored by the aristocracy of Nair. The blade is of medium length and tapers from the hilt to the very sharp point. It was often wielded with a buckler.

Medium weapon; 1d6 damage; 3 lb.; 20 gp


The khanda is a broad, straight-bladed sword with very little point. A spike projects from the hilt. The khanda, having virtually no point, is not used for thrusting, but for hacking and slashing, somewhat like an axe.  The sword is double-edged and heavy.

Medium weapon; 1d6+2 damage; 4 lb.; 30 gp


The lathi is a long staff, usually measuring about 6 to 8 feet in length, and often tipped with metal. A weapon of Indian monks.

Medium weapon; 1d6 damage; 4 lb.; 1 sp


The maduvu is a unique Indian weapon used by the martial artists (i.e. monks) of India. Made from deer horns, it is treated as a double-bladed dagger. Monks using a maduvu keep a low profile, and use it more as a defensive weapon than offensive. Monks armed with maduvu can treat it as a shield rather than weapon during each round of combat.

Light weapon; 1d4 damage; 1.5 lb.; 5 gp

Malappuram Kathi

The malappuram kathi was an ancient form of dagger used in Kerala. The blade is about 2 feet long and thicker at the top than at the base. The hilt was made from deer horn. It is said that wounds from a malappuram kathi were difficult to heal and often became infected. This was owed either to the unique construction of the weapon or the metals used by the very few Keralan blacksmiths who knew the secret of forging the weapon.

Light weapon; 1d3+1 damage; 1.5 lb.; 2 gp


Moplah are very short swords with wide blades – wider at the tip than the base. Moplah were worn on the back, using special belts.

Light weapon; 1d6 damage; 2 lb.; 5 gp


The parashu is a large, Indian battle axe. Some were double-bladed, while others had a single-blade and a spike. Most were about 5 feet in length.

Large weapon; 1d8+1 damage; 12 lb.; 20 gp


The pata is a very unique Indian straight-bladed sword that incorporates a gauntlet as the handguard. The wielder places his hand in the gauntlet and the sword is held rigid pointing straight out from the wielder’s lower arm. Pata were most often wielded one in each hand, or a pata was wielded in one hand and a javelin, whip or axe in the other. Pata could be from 1 to 4 feet in length, so we can assume that dual-wielders probably used one long pata and one short pata. The gauntlet guard gives the wielder a +2 bonus to save vs. disarm attacks.

Short Pata: Light weapon; 1d4+1 damage; 2 lb.; 10 gp

Long Pata: Medium weapon; 1d6+1 damage; 4 lb.; 15 gp


The talwar is a curved sword that originated with the Turkic peoples of Central Asia. Wider than similar Middle Eastern swords, it usually had a disc hilt. Because the blade is not too tilted, it is useful for slashing and thrusting, and because the tip of the blade is especially heavy it was quite useful for amputating and decapitating opponents. When wielded by an attacker with at least a +3 attack bonus (and the Weapon Focus feat, if feats are used in your game), the talwar deals a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20; though a critical hit on a “19” allows the target a Reflex saving throw to avoid it.

Medium weapon; 1d8 damage; 5 lb.; 15 gp


The trishula is an Indian trident that also serves as a potent Hindu and Buddhist symbol. Although as a symbol it is often pictured without the haft, as a weapon is it usually hafted. Hindu clerics of war often choose the trishula as their weapon.

Medium weapon; 1d6+1 damage; 4 lb.; 15 gp


The urumi is a long sword with a flexible blade. The blade is sturdy enough to slice through flesh, but flexible enough to be rolled into a coil. The urumi is almost as dangerous to the wielder as it is to the target, and any time an urumi-wielder rolls an attack roll that is less than 20 – his attack bonus, he must pass a Reflex save or suffer 1d4 points of damage. Wielders with an attack bonus of at least +3 (and the Weapon Focus feat if this feat is used in your game) can choose to brandish the weapon, swinging it back and forth before them in arcs – when doing so, any creature attacking them in melee combat with a weapon shorter than 4-ft. must pass a Reflex save each round or suffer 1d4 points of damage.

Medium weapon; 1d6+1 damage; 6 lb.; 28 gp

Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Urmi-Payattu.jpg


The vel is a broad-bladed spear used primarily by the Tamils in combat. The weapon’s name is derived from the divine weapon of the Hindu deity Murugan.

Thrown weapon; 1d6 damage; range 40/80; 3 lb.; 2 gp

Murugan’s Vel: +3 holy vel; when hurled against a tree, it splits the tree into two halves, which become celestial animals of Murugan’s choosing

Weapon Art

I’ve been working on some simple illustrations for an article on weapons in NOD #2. Not the greatest stuff in the world, but I’m pretty happy with it.

Clubs, Staves and Maces

Axes, Picks and Chopping Blades

Quick Idea on Weapons

Thinking about the “all weapons do 1d6 damage” rules, I thought it might be useful to come up with some other reasons why one might choose one weapon over another and came up with the following. You’ll notice that I didn’t differentiate between long swords and short swords. It seems to me if all weapons are going to do the same damage, you only need to differentiate between forms rather than small differences between weapons with the same basic form.

And just for fun, consider it Open Game Content.

Axe/Curved sword/Pick/War hammer: +1 to damage due to all of the wielder’s force being concentrated on a small cutting edge or piercing point

Bow: -1 to hit (difficult to learn) but attacks twice during a round (on normal initiative and at end), +1 to damage due to all of the wielder’s force being concentrated on a small cutting edge or piercing point

Club/Staff: Nothing special

Crossbow: +1 to damage due to all of the wielder’s force being concentrated on a small cutting edge or piercing point

Dagger: Always lose initiative against longer weapons, but +1 to hit due to the greater versatility that comes with multiple angles of attack

Flail: Ignores shield bonus to AC, +1 to disarm attacks because of the chain

Javelin/Throwing spear: Nothing special

Mace: Nothing special

Sling: Nothing special

Spear/Lance: Always win initiative against shorter weapons

Sword: +1 to hit due to the greater versatility that comes with multiple angles of attack

Two-handed axe/Pole arm: +2 to damage due to all of the wielder’s force being concentrated on a small cutting edge and the heft of the weapon

Two-handed sword: +1 to hit due to the greater versatility that comes with multiple angles of attack, +1 to damage due to the weapon’s heft

Metal weapons (other than dagger) require a strength score of 9 or higher to wield properly, otherwise -1 penalty to hit.

Two-handed weapons (including bows and crossbows) require a strength score of 13 or higher to wield properly, otherwise -2 penalty to hit.