GURPS/DFRPG resource: New weapons

Edit 2020-04-09: Added two more weapons: arrows and crossbow bolts thrown with Thrown Weapon (Dart) skill.

Edit 2020-04-10: Removed a wayward ST score from the woomera.

Minding the gaps

This page concocts a handful of new weapons for GURPS and Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (DFRPG). These aren’t built from any fancy “design system” (including GLAIVE), nor are they conjured out of thin air; they’re simply extrapolated from the games’ weapon tables to fill in “gaps” among existing models. Wherever possible, data from the newer Low-Tech, Martial Arts, and DFRPG is used as reference, superseding information in Basic Set.

In short, these serve no great need, and are some of the most mundane weapons you can find. But hey, what adventurer doesn’t appreciate more choices in the murder tool rack?

Meet the weapons

The following constitute “designer’s notes” on the weapons and the stats I’ve set.

Arrow: An arrow, thrown. (Definitely not the preferred way to use an arrow, but in a pinch . . . ) Stats are purely my own conjecture; let me know if thrown arrows are already covered in some obscure corner of GURPS. I’ll further assume that arrows and crossbow bolts with any sort of head can be thrown, but throwing speed would be too slow for bodkin heads to gain their armor-piercing effect (i.e., they act as normal projectiles inflicting pi damage).

Boarding Cutlass: This name is merely descriptive; the stats could stand in for any variety of smallish shortsword. Falling between a cutlass and falchion in performance, the weapon adds a sw cut, thr imp damage combination not otherwise found in post-Basic Set books.

Bolt: A thrown crossbow bolt. See Arrow (above) for a note on special projectile heads.

Heavy Dart: Is it a long dart or a mini javelin? Hurled with the atlatl, this heftier version of the dart slots neatly between the dart and the javelin in terms of damage, range, and other stats. Thrown by hand, however, it needs to take on either the thr damage of the dart or the thr+1 damage of the javelin. I decided to go with the latter to add appeal to the little-loved (in my experience) Thrown Weapon (Dart) skill. The downside: the decision creates a weapon on par with the javelin in terms of damage, while a bit superior in range, cost, and compactness. On the other hand, the javelin still shines with far better Accuracy, as well as handiness as a melee weapon. Take your pick.

Heavy Javelin: This javelin packs a punch with weight between a javelin or short spear and a regular spear. It’s partly inspired by a note on Low-Tech Companion 2 p. 7, which says javelins came to replace bows on chariots as “…arrows were far less likely than javelins to punch through armor.” Although that’s only true for the javelin versus the short bow where game stats are concerned, it’s not an unreasonable claim, as archers on chariots likely did often use short bows. In addition, historical records depicting javelins as more powerful than bows might have been referring to something closer to what GURPS calls a spear. But whatever comparisons are made, this new weapon offers another choice for hurlers looking to out-perform the archers.

I’ve assumed that the “in-between” size of the heavy javelin and light spear (below) allows their use with both the atlatl and woomera (though with only Acc 2 for either projectile). If you’d like to be more restrictive, reduce Acc to 1 when throwing the heavy javelin with the woomera, or when throwing the light spear with the atlatl. (A tangent regarding these throwing tools in general: the ST scores for these tools are generally the same as the ST scores for the projectile being thrown. I’d argue that ST should be raised for any projectile thrown using these tools – say, by 1 for the atlatl and 2 for the woomera – to account for the wielder having to deal with both the projectile’s weight and the throwing tool’s weight.)

Light Flail: Filling the damage gap between nunchaku and morningstar, this weapon could also stand in for heavy nunchaku. (Note that Basic Set treats nunchaku as “lesser” flails that inflict only half the usual defense penalties of a flail; later GURPS books and DFRPG do not. Feel free to go with the Basic Set interpretation if you like, but consider reducing the cost of “heavy nunchaku” from $60 to $40 to compensate.)

Light Harpoon: Because some whales (and monsters) are smaller. There’s not actually much of a niche for this weapon, which differs little from the regular harpoon. But smallish monsters might choose this lighter model as the preferred tool to pin down PCs. (Any harpoons smaller than the light harpoon essentially become barbed and tethered versions of the spear and its smaller relatives; use the stats for those weapons.)

Light Spear: This spear is inspired by this video, in which a couple of long, serious-looking spears weigh in at only 3 and 3.5 lbs., less than GURPS‘ spear. (Feel free to think of the light spear as throwing-oriented, and the GURPS model as a more robust “melee spear”.) The light spear falls between the javelin and regular spear in its stats, and thus ends up identical to the heavy javelin (above), save for longer reach. To compensate, I’ve made the assumption that this spear is necessarily less robust than GURPS‘ hefty spear and the stout heavy javelin, with an increased chance of breakage. I’ve left its melee damage equal to that of the regular spear (otherwise it’d oddly deal less damage than the heavy javelin), while letting its lightness relative to the regular spear show up in lower ranged damage.

See Heavy Javelin above for added notes on the use of the heavy javelin and the light spear with the atlatl and the woomera.

Medium Katar: With stats (and a clunky name) that nestle semi-comfortably between the Knife-based katar and the Shortsword-based large katar, I see this weapon as bridging both skills, like the long knife.

6′ pole: The adventurer’s staple tool, pressed into combat service. I’ve handled this as a quarterstaff for its length, with -1 damage and +1 to odds of breakage as it’s lighter than a quarterstaff and presumably not made for fighting. I’ve left ST at 7, though, as there’s no open space between the quarterstaff’s ST 7 and the jo’s ST 6. (For Two-Handed Sword configuration, I’ve reduced ST by 1.)

10′ pole: The show-off adventurer’s staple. Length and weight are both on par with the long staff, so I borrowed its stats – but with +1 to odds of breakage for the cheaper cost and presumably less robust build. (Tangent: If you need to equip a party with just a pole, I’d think you could cut a 5-lb. long staff at the right spot to get both a 4-lb. quarterstaff and a 1-lb. short staff; or cut a 5-lb. 10′ pole to get a 3-lb. 6′ pole and a 2-lb. jo. Or whatever other combination of poles and jos and batons and short staffs seems right. Just don’t expect the moneys to add up!)

Melee Weapons Table

KNIFE (DX-4, Main-Gauche-3, or Shortsword-3)

WeaponDamageReachParryCostWeightSTNotes
Medium Katar
or
sw-2 cut
thr+1 imp
C, 1
C, 1
0
0
$240
1.5
7
7
[2, 7]
[8]

FLAIL (DX-6, Axe/Mace-4, or Two-Handed Flail-3)

WeaponDamageReachParryCostWeightSTNotes
Light Flailsw+2 cr10U$60410[1]

SHORTSWORD (DX-5, Broadsword-2, Jitte/Sai-3, Knife-4, Saber-4, Smallsword-4, or Tonfa-3)

WeaponDamageReachParryCostWeightSTNotes
Boarding Cutlass
or
sw cut
thr imp
1
1
0
0
$320
1.75
7
7
[2]
Medium Katar
or
sw-2 cut
thr+1 imp
1
C, 1
0
0
$240
1.5
7
7
[2, 7]
[8]

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

WeaponDamageReachParryCostWeightSTNotes
Heavy Javelinthr+2 imp10$3538
Light Spearthr+2 imp1*0$3539[3]
two handsthr+3 imp1, 2*08†[3]

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

WeaponDamageReachParryCostWeightSTNotes
6′ Polesw+1 cr1, 2+2$537†[3]
orthr+1 cr1, 2+27†[3]
10′ Polesw+2 cr2, 3+2$8510†[3]
orthr+2 cr2, 3+210†[3]

TWO-HANDED SWORD (DX-5 or Broadsword-4)

WeaponDamageReachParryCostWeightSTNotes
6′ Polesw+1 cr1, 20$538†[3]
orthr cr208†[3]

Ranged Weapons Table

SPEAR THROWER (DX-5 or Thrown Weapon (Spear)-4)

WeaponDamageAccRangeWgtShotsCostSTBulkNotes
Atlatl11(1)$20[4]
Heavy Dartsw imp1x2.5/x3.51.5$256-3[5]
Heavy Javelinsw+2 imp2x1.5/x2.53$358-5[5]
Light Spearsw+2 imp2x1.5/x2.53$358-5[5]
Woomera41(1)$40-6[4]
Heavy Javelinsw+2 imp2x1.5/x2.53$358-5[5]
Light Spearsw+2 imp2x1.5/x2.53$358-5[5]

THROWN WEAPON (DART) (DX-4 or Throwing-2)

WeaponDamageAccRangeWgtShotsCostSTBulkNotes
Arrowthr-2 imp1x0.5/x10.1T(1)$23-3
Boltthr-3 imp1x0.5/x10.06T(1)$22-2
Heavy Dartthr+1 imp1x2/x31.5T(1)$256-3

THROWN WEAPON (HARPOON) (DX-4 or Thrown Weapon (Spear)-2)

WeaponDamageAccRangeWgtShotsCostSTBulkNotes
Light Harpoonthr+4 imp2x1/x1.55T(1)$5010-5[6]

THROWN WEAPON (SPEAR) (DX-4, Spear Thrower-4, or Thrown Weapon (Harpoon)-2)

WeaponDamageAccRangeWgtShotsCostSTBulkNotes
Heavy Javelinthr+2 imp2x1/x23T(1)$358-5
Light Spearthr+2 imp2x1/x23T(1)$358-5

Weapon notes

[1] Attempts to parry flails are at -4; knives and fencing weapons (“F” parry) can’t parry at all! Attempts to block such weapons are at -2.

[2] The medium katar includes a closed metal hilt that protects the hand with DR 4 (and can be worn with gloves for added DR, but cannot be worn with metal gauntlets). The boarding cutlass can add this feature as a closed basket hilt for an additional $80 and 0.25 lbs., or as an open basket hilt for an additional $80 and no added weight; the open basket hilt’s DR protects the hand on 1-3 on d6. Either basket hilt adds +1 to punch damage. See Low-Tech Companion 2 p. 15.

[3] The weapon is cheaply built, light for its length, or otherwise less robust than more martial counterparts. Modify the odds of breakage when parrying a very heavy weapon by +1.

[4] Requires two hands to ready, but only one hand to attack.

[5] The projectile can be used with either the atlatl or the woomera. See weapon notes above.

[6] Tethered. See rules on Basic Set p. 411 or DFRPG Exploits p. 44.

[7] Use Boxing, Brawling, or Karate parry if better than weapon parry.

[8] Specifically designed to target chinks in armor. Reduce the penalty for this by -2.

Up next

I’ll likely add to these tables in future (perhaps with wholly new inventions, too, not just “filling in the gaps” entries). The stats above are also subject to change as I further tinker and test and turn up mistakes.

See any problems in the above? Or do you have some suggestions of your own for new weapons? Weigh in below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.