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EQUIMENT - WEAPONS
Descriptions of ranged weapons follow. Some are considered simple weapons (covered by the Simple Weapon Proficiency feat), some are archaic (covered by the Archaic Weapons Proficiency), and some are special in that they do not require a feat to be used effectively.
Air Pistols and Air Rifles: These low powered weapons are used to fire darts or pellets, typically to deliver a chemical payload (see Craft (chemical)). They are very quiet when fired. Air pistols require a CO2 cartridge to operate, which allows the gun to fire 10 times before needing to be replaced (purchase DC 3).
Bolas: A bolas consists of two or more wooden spheres connected by lengths of cord. The bolas is a ranged weapon that can be used to entangle a Small or larger opponent. First, you make a ranged touch attack against the target. The target must be at least 10 feet away, as the bolas cannot be used against adjacent opponents. If the attack roll succeeds, the target is entangled. A target can free itself from the bolas as a full-round action or make an Escape Artist check (DC 15) on its turn to escape from the bolas as an attack action. The bolas has 5 hit points and can be broken with a successful Strength check (DC 20) as a full-round action.
If you entangle a creature with the bolas, you may attempt to trip it on your next attack. A failed trip with bolas does not allow the target to make a trip attack against you.
Blowgun: The blowgun is a long tube through which you fire needles. A needle can deliver poison of either the injury or contact type (see Craft [chemical] for poisons).
Crossbow, Grapple-Firing: This device helps heroes scale unclimbable walls, bridge chasms, escape down buildings, and the like. A grapplefiring crossbow is a heavy crossbow modified to fire a special, grapple-headed metal bolt attached to 100 feet of thin, light line.
A successful shot at an appropriate target indicates that the grapple has hooked onto something, anchoring the rope firmly enough for a character to ascend it with a successful Climb check (DC 15). Failure brings one of three results: the grapple simply failed to snag anything, it has lodged but is not secure enough to support a character’s weight, or there’s simply nothing up there for it to catch onto. In the first case, the user can simply recoil the rope and try again. In the second case, a successful Intelligence check (DC 10) made before anyone tries to climb reveals the instability. The user cannot free that grapple but may try to fire another. (Should anyone try to climb the unstable rope, the grapple gives way after the climber has progressed 2d10 feet. Determine damage normally for the resulting fall.) In the third case, retries automatically fail.
A character can easily anchor a grapple-bolt by hand in a niche or use pitons to secure it on smooth stone. This provides the same aid for descent without the need to fire the weapon.
Crossbow, Hand: This exotic weapon is common among spies and others who favor stealth over power. Assassins also use these weapons to launch poison-coated bolts at the target. You can draw a hand crossbow back manually. Loading a hand crossbow is a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
Crossbow, Repeating: The repeating crossbow holds five crossbow bolts. When loaded, you can shoot the crossbow according to your normal number of attacks without reloading. Loading a new case of five bolts is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
Flare Gun: Normally used as a signaling device, a flare gun can be used as a weapon in a pinch. If fired in the air, it releases a brightly colored flame that can be seen for miles, depending on surrounding terrain. A flare gun automatically ignites flammable items.
Net:A fighting net has small barbs in the weave and a trailing rope to control netted opponents. You use it to entangle opponents.
When you throw a net, you make a ranged touch attack against your target. A net’s maximum range is 10 feet, and you suffer no range penalties to throw it even to its maximum range. If you hit, the target is entangled. An entangled creature suffers a –2 penalty on attack rolls and a –4 penalty on effective Dexterity.
The entangled creature can only move at half speed and cannot charge or run. If you control the trailing rope by succeeding at an opposed Strength check while holding it, the entangled creature can only move within the limits that the rope allows. If the entangled creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 15) or the spell fails.
The entangled creature can escape with an Escape Artist check (DC 20) that requires a full-round action. The net has 5 hit points and can be burst with a Strength check (DC 25, also a full-round action).
A net is only useful against creatures within one size category of you. For instance, a Small character wielding a net can entangle Tiny, Small, and Medium creatures.
A net must be folded to be thrown effectively. The first time you throw your net in a fight, you make a normal ranged touch attack roll. After the net is unfolded, you suffer a –4 penalty on attack rolls with it. It takes 2 rounds for a proficient user to fold a net and twice that long for a nonproficient one to do so.
Net Launcher: This is a bulky, compressed air rifle with a conical muzzle that throws a weighted net when fired. Police and animal control personnel use net launchers, as well as big game hunters and the occasional field researcher hoping to bag a live Shadow creature.
Net launchers have a much greater range than a regular thrown net. It takes 10 minutes to reset a net that was previously fired or 1 minute to set the net launcher with a prepackaged net (purchase DC 6, 2 lb. per package).
Paintball Gun: Paintball guns offer a way for the average person to experience what it’s like to be in a “live fire” scenario, but without the possibility of taking lethal damage. A paintball deals no damage, but a successful hit will spatter the target with a large splotch of bright, degradable paint. Getting struck with a paintball stings and, if the target is not aware of the circumstance, they might believe they have been shot with an actual bullet.
A critical hit with a paintball gun deals 1d6 points of nonlethal damage.
Sling: The sling, commonly used by primitive people, hurls lead bullets to kill small game. It’s not as easy to use as the crossbow or as powerful as a bow, but it’s cheap and easy to improvise from common materials.
You can hurl ordinary stones with a sling. Stones are not as dense or as round as bullets, so you deal only 1d3 points of damage and suffer a –1 penalty on attack rolls.
Slingshot: Less powerful than a regular sling, a slingshot has a strong pair of rubber bands attached to a V-shaped handle. The damage listed in the table is for lead bullets (as the sling above), but you can also hurl other small objects like firecrackers, paintballs, rocks, and the like.
Speargun: A speargun uses a powerful set of bands to propel a stainless steel shaft at the target. Most speargun shafts are tied to a thin, strong line (DC 20 Strength check to break). This line is attached to a reel, allowing the shooter to draw the shaft back.
If you deal damage to your opponent, the shaft may lodge in the victim if the victim fails a Reflex saving throw against a DC equal to 10 + the damage dealt. The creature moves at only half speed and cannot charge or run while a spear is lodged in its body. If you control the trailing rope by succeeding at an opposed Strength check while holding it, the harpooned creature can only move within the limits that the rope allows (the trailing rope is 30 feet long). If the speared creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 15) or the spell fails.
The speared creature can pull the shaft from its wound if it takes a full-round action, but in so doing it deals 2d6 points of damage to itself. Reloading a speargun is a full-round action.
Sticky Foam Sprayer: This bulky and unusual weapon looks similar to a flamethrower, with a fuel tank and sprayer nozzle. However, instead of jellied flaming fuel, the sticky foam sprayer launches a stream of liquid goop that hinders movement and can create impromptu barriers.
The sticky foam sprayer has a range of 15 feet and fills a 5-foot square per round. A creature hit by the sticky foam suffers a –2 penalty to attack rolls and a –4 penalty to effective Dexterity. The entangled character must make a Reflex save (DC 15) or be glued to the floor, unable to move. A creature simply moving into a square with the foam also must make this save, but does not suffer the penalty to attack rolls or Dexterity. Even with a successful save, it can only move at half speed. Creatures that are Huge or larger are unaffected by sticky foam.
A character who is glued to the floor can break free with a successful Strength check (DC 20) or by dealing 15 points of damage to the sticky foam with a slashing weapon. A character trying to scrape sticky foam off himself, or another character assisting, does not need to make an attack roll; hitting the sticky foam is automatic, after which the character who hit rolls damage to see how much of the goo he scraped off.
A character capable of spellcasting who is bound by the sticky foam must make a Concentration check (DC 15) to cast a spell. The sticky foam becomes brittle and breaks apart easily after 10 minutes.
Super Watergun: The super watergun is a toy gun that shoots a thin stream of water. The tank holds enough water to shoot 5 times before needing to be refilled. A super watergun has a maximum range of 10 feet. No attack roll is required to hit, and thus no feat is required to operate one effectively. Any creature caught in the path of the stream can make a Reflex save (DC 15) to take half damage (if applicable). Creatures with cover get a bonus on their Reflex save.
Regular water deals no damage, but special substances (such as holy water) can be used for different effects. If you make a full-round attack against a target, it deals the same amount of damage as a vial of the substance—an attack action does not produce enough of a stream to deal damage.
The super watergun has a handle that must be pumped to shoot, thus requiring both hands to use effectively. A super watergun cannot hold acid, which will eat through the thin plastic tank in a matter of seconds. The entire tank of water must contain the given substance to be effective— mixing with regular water will negate the effect.
Water Cannon: Used for crowd control and riot dispersion, water cannons are essentially mounted fire hoses built into vehicles with a large tank. A water cannon can fire continuously for 2 minutes before needing to be refilled.
A person struck by a water cannon takes 1d10 points of nonlethal damage per round, and must make a Reflex save (DC 15) or be knocked prone by the force of the blast.
A water cannon that is attached to a vehicle cannot be removed. Use these same statistics if attacking someone with a firehose.
This section covers unique and exotic ammunition that a hero might use during an adventure.
Armor Piercing: Armor-piercing ammunition reduces the effectiveness of armor. When fired at an opponent wearing any type of armor, the attack receives a +2 bonus. It has no benefit against targets that are not wearing armor.
Beanbag: Riot police use this type of ammunition for crowd control. Loads are available for shotguns and grenade launchers only. It deals the same amount of damage as a normal load, but the damage dealt is nonlethal.
Birdshot:This is a lighter shotgun ammunition. It reduces the damage dealt by a shotgun by 1 die.
Flechette:Flechette rounds fire bundles of razor-sharp, fin-stabilized tungsten darts. A weapon that fires this ammunition improves its critical threat range by one, but takes a –1 penalty on attack rolls.
Frangible:This ammunition scatters through a target rather than punching through and hitting something else. It increases the damage dealt to unarmored targets by +1. This bonus is negated if the target is wearing any sort of armor or has a natural armor bonus of +2 or more.
High Explosive:High explosive ammunition is used mostly in grenade launchers and occasionally shotguns, but can be found for other weapons. It is very expensive and difficult to come by. High explosive ammunition deals 1 extra die of damage of the appropriate type for the weapon.
Rubber Rounds:Rubber rounds exist for all types of handguns and longarms. Rubber ammunition deals nonlethal damage.
Silver:Silver ammunition is useful for dealing with some types of Shadow creatures. Silvered ammunition deals lethal damage to regular targets and bypasses the damage reduction of any creature that is vulnerable to silver. It is never mass-produced and must be made by hand, as reflected by its high cost. Because silvered ammunition must be manufactured by hand, it is not licensed. It requires a Craft (mechanical) check (DC 12) to manufacture a single silver bullet.
Subsonic:Assassins and snipers use subsonic ammunition; it is rarely found outside those circles. Its primary use is to reduce the noise of a shot, making it more difficult to spot the shooter after the gun is fired. Subsonic ammunition reduces damage dealt by –2 points, but the DC to Listen checks to hear the gunshot is increased by +10. Subsonic ammunition decreases the range increment by 20 feet. It is available for handguns and longarms, except shotguns.
Tracer:These phosphorous-coated rounds aid the shooter of an automatic weapon in leading bullets to a target, but makes them easier to spot in turn. Tracer ammunition provides a +1 bonus to attack rolls made with a weapon when fired on autofire only. Opponents gain a +5 circumstance bonus on Spot checks when trying to find someone firing tracer ammunition.
Tranquilizer:This ammunition is actually a large dart with a reservoir that is used to deliver a tranquilizer (or poison) to the target. It is only available for air rifles and pistols. For more information on poisons, see the Craft (chemical) skill.
White Phosphorous (WP):White phosphorous-tipped rounds can inflict terrible burns on a target. These rounds go off if they strike anything between the shooter and the target. Any target damaged by a “Willie P” shot takes an additional 1d6 points of fire damage and risks catching on fire.
Melee weapons are used in close combat and are generally among the simplest weapons to use. The feat that provides proficiency with these weapons varies from weapon to weapon; some are considered simple weapons (covered by the Simple Weapon Proficiency feat); others are archaic (covered by the Archaic Weapons Proficiency feat) or exotic (covered by the Exotic Melee Weapons feat).
Axe, Orc Double:An orc double axe is a double weapon. You can fight with it as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, as if you were wielding a one-handed weapon and a light weapon A creature using a double weapon in one hand, such as an ogre using an orc double axe, can’t use it as a double weapon.
Battleaxe:The battleaxe has a large metal head and is popular with cultists and others who like to leave big, bloody wounds.
Club, Spiked:Also called a morningstar, this simple weapon combines the impact of a club with the piercing force of spikes.
Cutlass:The cutlass is a short, heavy, slightly curved blade useful for both stabbing and slashing. Its heavy basket hilt gives the wielder a +2 equipment bonus on any checks to resist being disarmed.
Dagger, Punching:Also called a katar, the punching dagger puts the full force of the wielder’s punch behind it, making it capable of deadly strikes.
Falchion:This sword, which is essentially a two-handed scimitar, has a curve that gives it a keener edge.
Flail, Dire:A dire flail is a double weapon. You can fight with it as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A creature using a double weapon in one hand can’t use it as a double weapon. With a dire flail, you gain a +2 bonus on your opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an enemy (including the opposed attack roll to avoid being disarmed if you fail to disarm your enemy).
You can also use this weapon to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the dire flail to avoid being tripped.
Flail, Light and Heavy:With a flail, you gain a +2 bonus on your opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an enemy (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if you fail to disarm your enemy). You can also use this weapon to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the flail to avoid being tripped.
Gauntlet:These metal gloves protect your hands and let you deal lethal damage with unarmed strikes rather than nonlethal damage. A strike with a gauntlet is otherwise considered an unarmed attack. The cost and weight given are for a single gauntlet. Medium and heavy archaic armors (except breastplates) come with gauntlets.
Gauntlet, Spiked:Your opponent cannot use a disarm action to disarm you of spiked gauntlets. The cost and weight given are for a single gauntlet. An attack with a spiked gauntlet is considered an armed attack that deals lethal damage.
Glaive:A glaive has reach. You can strike opponents 10 feet away with it, but you can’t use it against an adjacent foe.
Greataxe:This big, heavy axe is a favorite of large Shadow creatures or anybody else who wants the capability to deal out incredible damage.
Greatclub:A greatclub is a two-handed version of a regular club.
Greatsword:This huge sword, including the Scottish claymore, can deal tremendous damage in the right hands.
Guisarme:A guisarme has reach. You can strike opponents 10 feet away with it, but you can’t use it against adjacent foes. Because of the guisarme’s curved blade, you can also use it to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attack, you can drop the guisarme to avoid being tripped.
Hammer, Gnome Hooked:A gnome hooked hammer is a double weapon. You can fight with it as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A creature using a double weapon in one hand, such as a human using a gnome hooked hammer, can’t use it as a double weapon. The hammer’s blunt head is a bludgeoning weapon that deals 1d6 points of damage (x3 crit). Its hook is a piercing weapon that deals 1d4 points of damage (x4 crit). You can use either head as the primary weapon head. The other head is the off-hand weapon.
Ketch-All Pole:A ketch-all pole is designed to capture opponents with a minimum of harm. A wielder who hits an opponent with a ketchall pole can immediately initiate a grapple (as a free action) without provoking an attack of opportunity. In addition to the normal options available to a grappler, the wielder of a ketchall pole can attempt to pull his target to the ground (the equivalent of a trip attack, though no attack roll is necessary).
The ketch-all pole has reach and cannot be used against adjacent opponents. A ketch-all pole can only be used against opponents within one size category of the wielder.
Khopesh:This bizarre sword is popular with cultists of Egyptian gods. The khopesh looks like a normal longsword whose blade suddenly turns sickle-shaped about a foot from the hilt. It is heavy and awkward to use without a lot of training. You can use the khopesh to make trip attacks due to its hooklike blade.
Lance, Heavy and Light:A lance deals double damage when used from the back of a charging mount or vehicle (like a motorcycle or bicycle). A heavy lance has reach. You can strike opponents 10 feet away with it, but you can’t use it against an adjacent foe. Light lances are primarily for Small riders.
Maul:Bigger than a sledgehammer, the maul is a two-handed warhammer of enormous size. Ogres and other brutes favor it.
Naginata:A naginata is a finely crafted Japanese polearm. A naginata has reach. You can strike opponents 10 feet away with it, but you can’t use it against an adjacent foe.
Nekode:A nekode is a strap or glove fitted with spikes in the palm, favored as both a weapon and a climbing tool by ninja. Your opponent cannot use a disarm action to disarm you of a nekode. An attack with a nekode is considered an armed attack. Using a pair of nekodes while climbing gives a +1 equipment bonus on Climb checks. This bonus does not stack with the +2 bonus provided by a climber’s kit. The bagh nakh (“tiger’s claws”) is similar to the nekode, but wielded more like brass knuckles. Its statistics are the same, but it does not give a bonus on Climb checks.
Ninja-to:The ninja-to—a short, straight sword similar to a wakizashi —is the standard sword of the ninja. True to a ninja’s methods, the scabbard of the ninja-to is a multipurpose tool. It is open at both ends, allowing it to be used as a blowpipe for powders or poisons or as a breathing tube. It is also stiff and strong, allowing it to be used as the rung of a ladder or even as a weapon (use the statistics for a club).
Pick:A pick is designed to concentrate its force on a small, penetrating point. It is a small, one-handed instrument that includes rock cutting picks and picks designed for combat.
Pickaxe:This is a heavy, two-handed tool commonly used for mining and digging dirt. The version listed here is strengthened for martial use.
Quarterstaff:You can strike with either end of a quarterstaff, allowing you to take full advantage of openings in your opponent’s defenses. A quarterstaff is a double weapon. You can fight with it as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you are using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A creature using a double weapon in one hand, such as a Large creature using a quarterstaff, can’t use it as a double weapon.
Ranseur:This curious-looking polearm has reach. You can strike opponents 10 feet away with it, but you can’t use it against an adjacent foe.
With a ranseur, you get a +2 bonus on your opposed attack rolls when attempting to disarm an opponent (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if you fail to disarm your opponent).
Saber:The saber is a long, heavy sword specialized for use in mounted combat. You gain a +1 equipment bonus on your attack rolls when you use a saber while mounted (horse or a vehicle such as a motorcycle).
Scourge:A scourge is a multitailed, barbed whip. The scourge is often dipped in a poison delivered via injury. With a scourge, you get a +2 bonus on your opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an enemy (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if you fail to disarm your foe). You can also use this weapon to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the scourge to avoid being tripped.
Scimitar:A curved sword. The curve on this blade makes the weapon’s edge effectively sharper.
Scythe:The scythe can be a powerful weapon in the right hands. The design of the scythe focuses tremendous force on the sharp point as well as allowing devastating slashes with the blade edge.
Sickle:This weapon is like a farmer’s sickle, but it is strengthened for use as a weapon.
Shikomi-zue:This ninja weapon appears to be a stout bamboo or wooden staff, but a quick twist or press of a button causes a spearhead to spring from one end. Without the blade, the shikomizue deals the same damage as a quarterstaff (1d6, x2 crit), and can be used as a double weapon. With the blade out, it has the statistics shown on Table: Melee Weapons.
Shortspear:A smaller spear that can be thrown.
Sword, Bastard:A bastard sword is too large to use in one hand without special training, thus it is an exotic weapon. A Medium character can use a bastard sword two-handed as a martial weapon, or a Large creature can use it one-handed in the same way.
Sword, Short:This sword is popular with heroes for its concealability.
Sword, Two-Bladed:A two-bladed sword is a double weapon. You can fight with it as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light. A creature using a double weapon in one hand can’t use it as a double weapon.
Trident:This three-tined piercing weapon can be thrown just as a shortspear can be, but its range increment is shorter because it’s not as aerodynamic. Scuba divers and aquatic Shadow creatures make use of tridents.
Urgosh, Dwarven:A dwarven urgrosh is a double weapon. You can fight with it as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light. A creature using a double weapon in one hand can’t use it as a double weapon.
The urgrosh’s axe head is a slashing weapon that deals 1d8 points of damage. Its spear head is a piercing weapon that deals 1d6 points of damage. You can use either head as the primary weapon head. The other is the off-hand weapon. If you use an urgrosh against a charging character, the spear head is the part of the weapon that does damage. An urgrosh is also called a spear-axe.
Wakizashi:The wakizashi is a Japanese masterwork short sword, granting a +1 bonus on your attack rolls. A masterwork weapon’s bonus to attack does not stack with an enhancement bonus to attack.
A samurai’s wakizashi is part of a matched pair with his katana, and—like the katana—is an important part of his honor. Its most prominent use is in the suicide ritual called seppuku.
Waraxe, Dwarven:A dwarven waraxe is too large to use in one hand without special training; thus, it is an exotic weapon. A Medium character can use a dwarven waraxe two-handed as a martial weapon, or a Large creature can use it one-handed in the same way.
Warhammer:This is a one-handed sledge with a large, heavy head. It includes large work hammers such as those that can be found around construction sites.
War Fan:This weapon appears to the untrained eye as nothing more than a beautifully crafted fan. In fact, the vanes of the fan are crafted from steel, and the tips are needle-sharp. When first brought into melee, the wielder may attempt a Bluff check against an opponent’s Sense Motive check. If the wielder wins the contest, he adds a +4 bonus to the attack roll for his first round’s attack(s).
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