Midian: Dark Fantasy Role Playing Game Wiki
Advertisement

Weapon and Armour Features[]

Adding features allows for a great deal of customisation of weapons and armour. For items with multiple features, add up the percentages before applying. For example, a weapon with three features—each costing 10%—would add a total of 30% to the weapon's final cost, rather than adding 10% three separate times. It's cheaper and easier this way. As a general guideline, features found on many historic weapons cost an extra 10%; things that are uncommon or fantastic double the base cost. Note that increasing the weight may also increase the encumbrance load. As nearly everything in the Midian Dark Fantasy Roleplaying Game stacks, many of these features can be purchased more than once. For example, an exceptionally heavy and strong axe could have Dense x2 for +2 to attack rolls, +40% to weight, two load levels higher, and quadruple the cost.

You can design your own personalised weapons with the Weapon Builder.

Optionally, secondary attacks (like the Hammer, Side Blade, and Spike features below) cause half the damage that the weapon usually causes. This is in addition to Strength damage (which is not halved), and any other bonuses that the weapon receives. You can figure this however you like: roll the damage and divide by two, use a half-sized die (if you have a 1D5 for example), or use half of the total damage value from the weapon builder. That third option is my suggestion. If you'd prefer—such as if it better befits the weapon—you can use the weapon builder rules to fully design this secondary attack. Ultimately, this is your weapon, and you may need to tweak the numbers below a bit to better suit the design. Mostly to keep things simple, the weapons published in the Codex or the Books of the Apocalypse will only use a single damage rating.

Some of these features modify the load level in addition to the actual weight. As weight changes can alter load, the encumbrance of the weapon or armour is whichever would be the greater change. If, for example, a doubly heavy armour would have its load increased by two levels because of the added weight, and the feature states a load increase of one level, the armour would instead use the two level penalty from weight. In another example, a doubly heavy weapon would still be the same encumbrance level, but the text states the feature increases load, the weapon's load would still be incremented. Yes, this can suck, but there are reasons why common historic forms were common, and used for so long.

For a ladder of quality, the order of features is: Crude, (normal), Quality, Masterpiece, Exceptional.

For weapons that essentially have a starting cost of zero, like rocks or sticks, assume that they instead cost one florin or ducat for purposes of increasing their price.


Accession
This is something of a catchall feature. The weapon or armour is given an additional minor utility, such as a scabbard that can act as a snorkel or has been reinforced to act as a parrying weapon. Other odd additions that have been added to real-world weapons include a can-opener on a bayonet, a garrotte hidden in a dagger (which seems pointless, but whatever) or a cleaning kit in the butt and/or alongside the barrel of a rifle. As a general rule, this bonus utility adds 10% to the cost, but exceptional uses of this feature can increase the cost by five times or more. The particular nature of the bonus must be specified, of course.
Accurate
This feature is mostly given to ranged weapons. This is largely because the price increases from triple to five times as much for melee weapons. Accurate weapons use careful balancing and precision manufacturing, giving them a +1 to attack rolls.
Aerodynamic
This feature is found with all sorts of ranged weapons, whether hurled or as ammunition. This increases the range by 1½ times. These weapons are also lighter, cutting weight by a third. This added utility as a missile comes at a cost of efficacy in melee; parrying is penalised by -2. The decreased mass and reduced striking point also causes a -2 penalty to damage, regardless of how the weapon is employed. There is no added cost for a weapon to be more intensively aerodynamic. This feature turns a sheaf arrow into a flight arrow, a heavy spear into a hunting one, and a short spear into a javelin.
Agile
Armour with this feature must also have the Customised feature. It is designed (or intensively refitted) to your body to maximise movement without sacrificing protectiveness. Each additional multiple of the cost (Customised is a prerequisite, remember) removes a point of skill penalty.
Alternate Material (type)
Rather than weapons-grade steel and/or stout oak, this weapon is made of a substance less suitable for the battlefield. This can be done for stylistic purposes (a shadow lord who uses a thigh bone for her axe handle) or due to circumstance (Oldelands Goths near the Rift Valley who use flint as they see all metal as cursed, or more isolated Highland Orck tribes who still work in only iron and bronze). Many weapons work just fine with replacement materials, such as a bone club or obsidian arrowheads, so the particular weapon must be carefully considered for this feature. As a general rule, alternate materials are less dense, but must be made thicker due to reduced strength. This lowers weight by about 10%. The cost is also reduced somewhat: alternate materials tend to be cheaper and easier to work (though less familiar to most weaponsmiths) resulting in a total 10% cost savings. The Midian combat engine was designed assuming high quality materials would be used. Generally speaking, weapons made of alternate materials have a -2 to initiative, attack, and damage. Armour has a -2 to armour class and damage reduction, as well as -20% to any listed damage resistances. Alternate materials also involve more maintenance, and become damaged into near uselessness much quicker. The specific mechanical effects can be tweaked to suit the materials in question.
Angled
An armour feature suitable for shields and plate, this is a sharp angle or curve designed so that attacks slide off. For heavy armours, the most common way this feature is represented is with ribs or large keels. Peaked helmets or the 'pig snout' visor of a bascinet are other uses of this feature. An attack that does penetrate does so at an angle, effectively increasing the material the weapon must punch through without actually adding to the thickness. This feature doubles the cost and increases weight by 20%. However, armour class is increased by +2.
Annellet
Think of this as a trigger guard for your sword. It is a ring attached to the hilt that increases control and provides some protection to the finger. Annellets are common features of compound hilts. +1 is added to parries, and 10% to cost. The improved grip also grants a +2 to avoiding disarm attempts. Needless to say, this feature can be used for an actual trigger guard. Another form of annellet is a harhari. This is a band around the handle that acts in much the same way as other forms of this feature. It offers no protection to the index finger, but does allow the weapon to maintain a smaller profile.
Armour Piercing
This is most commonly used with stabbing weapons. The fortitude armour class of the target is reduced by half, rounding up. As these weapons tend to be much thinner, they have a -2 to damage and parries. The base cost is tripled. Though less material is used in the construction, it must be denser and harder, so no cost-savings can be found there, nor is weight reduced. It is worth noting here that bodkin arrowheads were not armour piercing.
Assembled
This weapon is collapsible, folds, or breaks apart for easy storage and transport. This triples the price, and adds 10% to weight, mostly because the item must have additional reinforcements, especially at any connecting or pivot point. Even with reinforcements, moving parts and joints are much weaker than in fixed weapons. If combined with the Disguised feature—so that the item is disguised only in its component form—the total cost is only doubled, and the weight increased by 10% (based on the heaviest/most expensive roll, as per the Disguised feature).
Awl
This is a modification to a stabbing weapon or the Spike feature. The piercing tip is replaced or augmented by an awl. This is a straight, thin, needle-like implement. No modification is made to the cost or weight, but the total length of the weapon is a bit longer than usual. This blade loses any hacking ability, but gains +1 to attack rolls.
Balanced
By carefully weighting the pommel and handle with the blade, the weapon may be balanced so that it may be more easily wielded. A retrofit balancing-job adds +1 to the initiative of the blade, while a weapon specially designed and crafted by a master to be perfectly balanced gains +2 on initiative and +1 on attacks. Balanced (retrofit) adds 10% to the cost, while Balanced (design) doubles it.
Ballistic
Weapons with this feature cause ballistic damage, rather than hacking, stabbing, smashing, or burning. This allows them to better penetrate some armours. Ballistic weapons (unless otherwise stated) also cause the target to succeed on a system shock roll to survive. The number on that roll is also the amount of shock that the target receives. Pretty much only firearms get this feature, and they get it for free. In fact, not having this feature reduces the cost of a firearm by half (as with shotguns). Ballistic armour is designed to withstand bullets, and is called 'armour of proof'. Each level of this feature purchased increases the ballistic damage resistance by 10%, and quadruples the cost.
Barbed
Applicable to stabbing weapons, this is one or more backward sharp hooks or edges that cause an additional 3 points of damage when it's pulled back out. For melee weapons (such as a rear-facing prongs on a polearm) it takes an additional action to pull the weapon back out. Barbs add 10% to the cost.
Battojutsu
This is a feature added to a sheath, rather than the weapon proper. Normally, a weapon's initiative modifier is added to the action to draw it from its sheath. With battojutsu this is ameliorated by adding +5 to the initiative roll for purposes of drawing the weapon. These quick-draw holsters triple the normal cost, and aren't quite as comfortable or safe to wear.
Bezainted
Also called laminated, plaited, jazzeraint, lamellar, augmented, or laminar, this is an armour feature. I mean, you could rivet a bunch of scales to your axe, but it would be counter-productive and kind of stupid looking. Small rings, plates, or scales (often overlapping) are attached to armour. This adds: +1 to armour class and +2 to damage reduction, but increases the skill penalty by a further -2. It also doubles the cost and adds 20% to weight.
Black Box
Constructed with similar principles to flight recorders on airplanes, items with this feature are nigh invulnerable. This renders the item immune to features such as Damages Armour, Pilum, Shieldbreaker, or Weapon Breaker. This feature is also rather incompatible with Crude and Sacrifice without some serious justification. The weapon, armour, or (most commonly) shield, will weather many fights without undue wear. Weight is tripled (almost assuredly pushing it into a higher load category) and the cost is five times normal. Shields with the black box feature can still be sacrificed as an automatic block, as usual, but this feature allows them to be repaired afterwards. It may be expensive, but possible.
Blood Groove
Also called a fuller (though that properly refers to the tool used to make it) this is a way to lighten a weapon without losing strength. In fact, many types of fuller arguably add to the strength of the weapon. This feature reduces the weight by 20%, with the cost increased by 10%. Note that this is an extreme type of fuller. Most swords and many knives will have a mild fuller automatically, without additional alterations to any of the weapon's game statistics.
Bodkin
A feature primarily found only on stabbing projectiles, this is a way to cheaply increase range at the cost of some damaging potential. Range (or range increment) is increased by 10%, but damage is reduced by two points. The weight and cost are dropped by 10%. Bodkins are not (inherently) armour-piercing, even against chain. In fact if mail could talk it would be all like, "Brother links, let us make mock of these arrows."
Bullet
This weapon (specifically the ammunition for the weapon) has a ballistic form that allows it to retain greater force until impact. Damage is decreased by one point for every five full range increments, rather than every one. The ammunition must be made of a dense material—such as lead—and have a shape amenable to travelling through the air at high velocity, such as a sphere, almond, or, well, a bullet. The cost doubles and the weight triples.
Catch
Usually an addendum to weapons with the Fork or Spines features, this is a hook, notch, or projection (or a bunch of little ones) that is designed to latch onto something, such as your foe's weapon or sleeve. Typically this is specially angled for maximum efficiency. The thing to be captured must be specified parenthetically, as a subfeature: weapon, clothing, body, or whatever else. With weapon catchers, you may attempt to catch the specified item as a parry. If successful, the opponent's weapon has been snagged and neither weapon may be used until one of the combatants expends an action to disengage them. With mancatchers and sleeve entanglers, a successful attack grapples the opponent. This feature also adds an additional +2 on parries, and +4 on disarm attempts. Combining this feature with Curved, Fork, or Spines has no additional weight increase and only a 10% cost increase. Otherwise, it adds 10% to weight and 30% to the cost.
Cavalry
This weapon is reduced in size for use on horseback. Cavalry weapons are also much shorter—sometimes less than half as long—with the weight balanced more towards the handle. Damage is reduced by two points, as is any attack bonus (though this is not dropped to a penalty, only reducing any possible bonus). Ranges are reduced by a quarter. Rifles and muskets with the Cavalry feature are called carbines. Melee weapons with this feature are often prepended with horseman's. Weight is reduced by half, and the load is one level less. Cost is only reduced by 20% because these weapons need more careful balancing and craftsmanship, and because cavaliers have money. Cavalry weapons gain +2 on initiative and +2 to parry.
Chappe
Also called a rain-guard, this is a small flap of leather attached to a sword's crossguard that helps keep the scabbard interior dry. The cost is only three florins or ducats, and commonly comes embossed.
Cho
This is a distinctive feature of khukuri where it is commonly shaped rather like a cutout of the number 3 with a blunt tip inside the notch, but more ornate designs exist. Found on some Bowie knives, it is called a 'Spanish notch' and is a rounded droplet shaped cutout, perhaps separated further from the blade by small lobes. In all forms a cho is a notch near the top of the blade near the handle. It is widely believed that the cho allows blood (or tree sap, or other fluids) on the blade to drip down that point instead of down onto the user's hand. That's rubbish, as blood gets everywhere on a knife when you thrust it into someone's belly. The cho can be decorative, symbolic, or have a practical function, such as a tool to strip sinew or twine rope, a catch for securing the blade to a belt, or a bottle opener. Alternative names include kauda, kaudi, or kaura. Adding a cho increases the cost of the blade by 10%.
Clandestine
Sometimes you want to completely hide your materiel. Not just disguise it or have hidden features, but completely remove it from view. Clandestine items are easily concealed. These weapons or armours are designed to be hidden underneath clothing or otherwise obfuscated. Any noisy components are also at least somewhat stealthed. They can be safely carried or worn, and need no more than two actions to be made ready. Items with this feature must have a light load or no load. Other features may also be necessary to allow the item to be hidden. Balisong or pocket knives, shuriken in a wrist sheath, and super fine mail beneath clothing, are all examples of this feature. Clandestine items have double their normal cost, but weight is unaffected by this feature. This feature automatically includes any needed changes to scabbards or other containers to reduce noise or suspicious bulges.
Coloured
The cheap way to change the colour of weapons and armour is with paint or dye. For a few florins you can do it yourself. More involved methods include durable vitreous enamels baked into the surface, or certain alloys added to the metal that will permanently change its colour without unduly affecting the item's other material qualities. These latter processes double the item's cost.
Concealing
When pairing a concealing item as a secondary, with another (primary) weapon for attacks, you can hide part of your attack sequence. This gives you a +2 to attack with the other weapon. Note that you must be proficient in both items to at least proficiency level IV in order to receive the benefit of this feature. The concealing item can be used to parry or block, but cannot itself attack and still hide the actions of another weapon. Items with a wide surface area of at least four square feet—such as a large shield or a cloak—can have this feature for free. Additional levels of concealing double the requisite area. Three levels (requiring sixteen square feet) are pretty much the most you can gain before the item becomes too unwieldy to further hide an attack. For other items with this feature, the base cost doubles, and design elements must be included to justify how it can hide the actions of a weapon. It must also be noted that concealing items can potentially hide other actions, such as gestures to cast a spell, and not just attacks specifically.
Counterweight
This is commonly a large and heavy pommel, but could be any weight below the pivot point. Counterweights add 10% to the cost and weight. Swords and most daggers automatically have pommels (knives have butts, lol) that do not alter the balance of the weapon. An overly large pommel can be represented with this feature, however. Counterweights add +2 to parry and initiative, but subtract a point from both attack and damage. This feature is thus commonly added to defensive weapons such as a main-gauche or trident dagger. Pommels can also be used as a makeshift sap, doing two points (plus Strength bonus) with a punch and the Closed Fist Style skill.
Crew-served
Aristotle said that the antidote for fifty enemies is one friend. This has never been more true than with crew-served weapons. Most frequently these are siege weapons, but it is conceivable that a melee weapon could have this feature. Crew-served war machines have their own Strength, rather than simply using that of the wielder. This feature allows you to pool your Strength scores to load and shoot the weapon. You even get to use the weapon's inherent gearing for greater power. As with crossbows, ballistae can have up to an effective 4:1 gear ratio. This means you need one loader for every 40 points of necessary Strength. Catapults aren't quite as efficient (partly because you can only have so many hands on a stone at once); you need one loader for every 20 Strength. Counterweight weapons, commonly trebuchets, don't really have gearing ratios: they're gravity-driven. You still pool your Strength scores however, using one loader for every 10 points. Crew-served melee weapons likewise gain no gearing benefit. The number of loaders listed with a given siege weapon is based on typical Humans (averaging 10 Strength). Unfortunately, friction and other kinetic elements reduce the powerstroke somewhat, in much the same way that a 300 pound crossbow can have about the same impact as a 70 pound bow. Rather than use the typical damage bonus for a given Strength score, you'll need to do a bit more math first. For every 8 points of damage from the Strength bonus, the weapon instead causes 1D12 damage. Strength 37 (In a row?) would normally do 24+1D12 damage. A ballista of the same Strength would instead cause 4D12 damage in addition to the projectile. To find the Strength damage for crew-served melee weapons, add up the total Normal Lift for everyone involved. Then, find the lowest Strength score that can still lift that weight. For example, two average Humans with Strength scores of 10 add 170+170=340. The lowest Strength score that can lift 340 pounds is 16. If our two example characters were both working a battering ram to get through a door, the combined Strength is equal to a Strength of 16. For these melee weapons, use the normal Strength bonus damage, rather than the per-8 method for ballistae. Crew-served melee weapons have a -10 initiative penalty for each wielder, and only the lowest wielder's initiative bonus can counter this. Eight rounds of 'crew load' action is added to the reload stack for each expected crewmember for ballistae, five rounds per crewmember for trebuchets, and four rounds per crewmember for other catapults. Having fewer loaders than this decreases the firing rate significantly. Crew-served weapons are large and clumsy. Their weight is tripled and the load increases by one level. They also suffer an attack penalty triple that of the crew size; that is, -3 for every artillerist. Melee weapons may again only use the lowest attack modifier for anyone on its crew. War machines with this feature are ten times as expensive.
Crude
Simple, cheap, and ugly; if these are the qualities you are looking for in a weapon, you've come to the right place. Crude weapons and armour are manufactured quickly, and with poorer materials. No attention is given to aesthetics. Weight is increased by 20%, and the cost is reduced by half. Crude weapons have a -2 to attack, damage, and initiative. Low quality firearms also have a +2 to their misfire number. Crude armour suffers from -2 to armour class and damage reduction, and all damage resistances are cut by 10%.
Crushing
Also called blow-through, this is a feature mostly found in some very large smashing-type mass weapons. The cost and weight doubles, but shock damage is applied before damage reduction.
Curved
These weapons have a significant bend to them. They may even be semicircular in shape. This curve can be either of the damaging portion, or the handle. These weapons are designed to get around shields. They are hard to wield—giving them a -2 to attacks—but shields offer no armour class benefit when used against them. Examples of weapons with this feature are the shotel and ball-&-chain. Weight and cost are doubled with this feature. Flex weapons with a chain of medium length or greater with a handle of at least hafted length, or any long or extended chain, can have this feature for free without any weight or cost increase. The attack penalty still applies if you want the benefit. For armour with major curves and round design features, see Angled, above.
Customised
The entire weapon or armour is adapted for your personal use. Though the cost doubles, the effective encumbrance load (but not the actual weight) is lowered by one level.
Custom Grip
The handle of the weapon is modified to suit your hand especially well. This gives you a +2 to resist disarming attempts. Anyone else who uses this weapon has a -2 penalty on disarms. 10% is added to the cost.
Cutout
Throughout history, people have added all sorts of things to shields. Mostly, this involves cutting out a specialised section from said shield. This adds 10% to the cost, in addition to whatever you are adding. Cutouts are designed for a specific purpose. Lantern hooks enable a (somewhat) protected lantern to be added to a shield, either for lighting your way while protected, or to jam at an enemy's face. Pistol cutouts enable a firearm (or pistol crossbow, but it needs to stick out further and is a right pain to reload) to be attached to a shield. You can fire it from the safety of your shield. Lance cutouts, called a bouche, are carved from the top of a shield. They allow lances to be used one handed (while riding) in lieu of a lance rest. Legionnaires' shields had in-cuts to allow a spear to protrude while the shields were locked in a wall. Wrist cutouts can be found on rather small shields. These allow a shield attached to the forearm to not interfere with your wrist. You'd want a rather well armoured gauntlet to go with it, as it wouldn't protect your hand (or wrist, for that matter) at all. I really don't know how much function this last sort would add, but at least one example existed historically.
Damages Armour
Nasty jagged edges, hooks, barbs, serrations, square heads, thick collars, or a can-opener tip allow this weapon to destroy armour. Each attack not only harms the target, but makes successive attacks worse. One point is subtracted from the armour class and damage reduction of enemy armour with each strike. This doubles the cost of the weapon.
Defensive
Ranged weapons are pretty crap in melee. Not only does parrying with one ruin your shot, but it's likely to break the weapon as well. Also, if they're that close, you must not be a good shot. This feature allows a weapon to be used to block attacks and still be able to launch a missile. The weapon is reinforced &/or armoured plates are added. This feature applies to set and locked type weapons only; thrown or melee weapons don't need it. Defensive weapons see their weight doubled and their cost tripled.
Dense
These weapons and armour are made up of heavier metals. This adds either +1 to attack rolls (weapons) or +2 to damage reduction (armour). The item is 20% heavier in weight and one load level higher. The cost is doubled.
Disguised
This weapon is hidden in the form of something more innocuous. Sword canes are the stereotypical example. Or, a guitar may actually be an axe (not just metaphorically) or conceals a crossbow. As the item must be dual-purposed, it's usually kind of crap at both jobs; sword canes aren't great as either a sword or a cane, for example. The price is double that of the greatest component, and weight increased by 20%. For the guitar axe example above, it would be 1.2 times as heavy as a normal axe, twice as expensive as a normal guitar, and not be very good in either role. Cut damage and all bonuses by a quarter, rounding up. Penalties are not affected. Also see the Sneak Attack feature below; it may be closer to what you are seeking. Armour may have this feature as well. A doublet may cleverly conceal a brigandine breastplate, for example. Armour class, along with damage reduction and resistances, are similarly reduced by a quarter. The Disguised (foolproof) sub-feature is nearly flawless; it is a masterpiece of illusion-craft. Only the most extensive examination will reveal the hidden weapon, and it performs quite well in both roles (no reduction of damage or bonuses). Only the weight (still increased) really gives the trick away. Distinguished (foolproof) items cost ten times the base price.
Drusus
A nearly razor-sharp edge is added to a blade, with fine tempering to help it stay sharp and avoid notching. Add +2 to attack and damage and triple the cost. Drusus-style blades require quite a bit of care, and must be sharpened frequently.
Entangling
This is similar to the Catch feature, in that a weapon or body part is snagged by this weapon. This feature however, is used for bolas and whips rather than for sais and mancatchers. Entangling weapons need at least a couple feet of cordage, as with long and extended flex weapons. Unlike with catch, pretty much anything can be secured; you don't need to be specific as to which with a subfeature. Also, rather than a simple action to disengage, the target needs at least one free hand and an Agility check to get loose. Binding up the legs causes the target to fall, if they were moving. Chains are pretty crap at entanglement; targets get +3 to their Agility check (see also the Rope feature). This feature is free if the required cordage is already present.
Escutcheon
Most commonly this is a basket hilt: a hand guard that surrounds the handle. These may be full basket hilts, cup hilts (without quillons) or compound hilts, which may include design elements such as swept hilts, pas d' ane, knuckle bows, slide rings, and so forth. On some weapons this is a small armoured plate or buckler on the front of the weapon. In any case, this integrated mini-shield grants +1 to parry and armour class. The term means 'shield' (note that we aren't using the broader meaning as with European heraldry) and some of the earliest examples simply had tiny shields welded to the crossguard. Four ounces are added to the weight, and 10% to the cost. Hafted weapons and polearms can have basket hilts, but the cost and weight will increase in proportion to their added size. Ranged weapons with this feature require Defensive first.
Exceptional
These items are a cut above the usual weapons or armour. They are so finely made that they may be considered by some to be minor magic items. Weapons gain three points in all categories: attack, initiative, et al. Armour is likewise granted a +3 to armour class and damage reduction, 20% added to all extant damage resistances, and skill penalties are reduced by three points. Weight is decreased by 20%, and the item is so light and well-balanced that its load is dropped by one level. Exceptional items are expensive: the cost is twenty times that of a common item.
Extended
Unlike many other weapon features, this one is commonly added after a weapon has been built. The handle is extended by several inches to a couple of feet. The added leverage adds +2 to damage, but the weight and alteration of balance invokes a -2 parry penalty. An extended handle adds 10% to weight. The cost is two guilder or ten bezants. Though an after-market addition, the weight is based on the original because the handle must be matched, balanced, and fitted properly to the extant weapon. For an additional guilder or five bezants, the sub-feature Extended (detachable) allows the extended handle to be readily removed and reattached.
Flaming
These weapons are designed to catch on fire, or produce their own fire. The handles are constructed to prevent the wielder from being burnt by the weapon, and to prevent excess heat from transferring to the wielder's hand. In addition to the normal damage type, this weapon causes 3 points of fire damage. Weapons designed to deliver a fiery payload, or to withstand repeated burning without harming the wielder, double the base price. If the maximum damage is dealt, the fire spreads. This causes an additional 1D6 damage at the end of the next round. The fire can continue to spread if a 6 is rolled, adding a new 1D6 damage. This continues each round until the fire is extinguished, it goes out on its own, or there is nothing left to burn. A 1 on any flame damage die reduces the size of the flame by one die on subsequent rounds. Flaming missile weapons are harder to aim, and suffer a -2 attack penalty. Flaming armour is possible, but it is quintuple the base price, and the -2 attack penalty applies to all attacks, not just ranged. On the plus side, it offers 30% fire resistance, and causes 3 additional points of damage with hand-to-hand strikes, or causes 1D6 damage while grappling. Note that there must be some fuel and ignition source. Note also that your other equipment and the environment around you is not protected from the flames.
Flanges
Typically used for mass-type smashing weapons, these reduce the point of impact. These are typical of most maces. A flange adds +1 damage, and costs an extra 10%. The additional weight and cost is mitigated by the interior of the business end commonly being made of iron rather than weapons-grade steel.
Flexion
Weapons with this feature are crafted from materials that are able to bend slightly when force is applied. This is not the same as a true flex-weapon. This feature allows one to strike hard and unforgiving surfaces with little fear of the weapon breaking. It will instead bend with the impact rather than shatter. It then snaps right back. This adds 10% to the cost. As an added bonus, you get a forced retest against the Weapon Breaker feature.
Flowing
These armours have flutes, ribs, silky smooth textures, and rounded finishes that cause arrows to just slide harmlessly away. Horo use actual flowing, in the form of silk or other cloth strips to the same effect, albeit only while riding at a gallop or facing a stiff wind. Flowing armours add 20% to stabbing resistance. Weight is increased by 10% and the cost is tripled.
Foible
On a sword, this is the lower half of the blade, nearest the tip. This area is also called the debole or Schwech. In spite of the uncomplimentary names, this is where most attacks connect. The foible encompasses the center of percussion (the sweet spot for attacking) and has more speed and dexterity than the forte, or upper part of the blade. Weapons with this feature are designed to demonstrate those principles well. This doubles the cost of the weapon, and adds +1 to attacks and initiative. As we are using the term foible in a metaphoric sense ("a metaphor is like a simile") all sorts of weapons can potentially benefit from this feature.
Fork
Commonly found on polearms, this is a prong, fluke, or hook, which aids in defence. The fork is usually mounted on the back of a blade, or beneath it—in the case of stabbing weapons—and jutting outward. Sais are another example of weapons with this feature. Forks add +2 on parries, disarms, and attempts to unseat a mounted rider. Forked weapons often also have the Weapon Catch feature. This can also be a hook that snags an opponent. If you win a contest of Strength, you can pull them toward you, off their feet, or dismount them. Losing the contest however, costs you either the weapon or your own position. Hooks and forks add 10% to the cost. The added weight is negligible.
Forte
(This is pronounced with one syllable, like fort. It's French for 'strong' not Italian for 'loud'.) Also called the prime or stark, this is the upper portion of a blade—nearest the handle—where the center of gravity lies. This is where the greatest strength and control can be found on a blade. Weapons with the Forte feature reflect and enhance this, gaining +1 on parries and damage. This doubles the price. The term forte is used metaphorically; non-swords may have this feature as well.
Giant
Your twelve foot tall Troll might look silly with a toothpick-sized sword. Fix that with the Giant feature. Damage is increased to the next larger die, and any straight bonuses (plus whatever) are increased by one point. D6s become D8s, D8s become D10s, et cetera. D12s of damage are increased to 2D8. Initiative suffers from a -3 penalty. Damage reduction for armour with this feature is increased by 1½ times, rounding up. Weight is increased four times, which will almost certainly change the load. Other mechanics are unaltered. Not all giant weapons automatically gain the Reach feature. Usage and fighting techniques determine this as well as simple length. Since most forges and armouries aren't well equipped to handle such enormous items, and because of the significant increase in materials used, giant weapons and armour are five times their typical cost. If only the grip is embiggened, use the features Extended or Sized (large).
Hammer
Rather than the main feature, some weapons have a back hammer as an added combat option. This adds 10% to the cost and an extra half-pound of weight, but allows the weapon to also make smashing attacks. Beaked hammers—as found on the bec de corbin and lucern hammer—are designed to pierce heavy armour. As such, they are properly spikes (see below) and do stabbing damage.
Heater
While perhaps not the ultimate evolution of shield design, these are the iconic model that still comes to mind when one thinks 'shield'. The name was never used contemporaneously with the shields themselves; to the Victorian English, they looked like the bottom of clothing irons. Heaters trim down the edges of a round or square shield. The taper reduces weight while still projecting down enough to protect the legs and lower body. Corners are rounded for better visibility, and to better attack around. This feature adds 10% to the cost, but cuts the weight in half. Kite shields (the predecessor of the heater shield) essentially use this feature, but retain their pointed corners. There are no game mechanics differences between heaters and kite shields.
Heavy
Also called Thick, armour with this feature has increased thickness of material. This adds +2 to damage reduction at the cost of one level of increased load and two more points of skill penalty. Weapons with this feature increase their damage value (from the Weapon Builder) by two points. This boosts a 1D6 to 1D8, for example, rather than adding a straight +2 to to damage. Range is decreased by a third, and initiative by two points. Weight and cost are increased by 30%.
Hidden Compartment
This weapon or armour conceals a secret pocket or internal space. The space is concealed from view and inaccessible to those without knowledge of how to open it. Even discovering the compartment's existence doesn't make it easily accessible without several minutes of screwing with it. This feature adds 10% to the cost, but additional funds (like, a lot) can be spent to make the hidden compartment locked or even trapped. Weight is unchanged: the material surrounding the hollow space must be made much sturdier. Hidden compartments are not soundproofed (with just this feature and the 10% cost alone) nor do they provide special protection for the contents. One who is determined enough will eventually gain access to a suspected space, or destroy the item in trying.
Hi-grade
Only the finest materials were used for this weapon or armour. Typically, these items were only crafted by masters of their field, as these materials are also more difficult to work as well as being more expensive. Most weapons and armours already use pretty good quality steel (and for non-metal items, the quality of wood can only be increased so much) so the bonuses may seem a bit trim. Weapons add +1 to attack, parry, and damage. Armour adds +1 to damage reduction and 10% to listed damage resistances. In all cases, this adds 10% to the item's cost.
Hilted
Extended hilts—or adding a hilt to a weapon that normally doesn't have one—adds +2 to parries. This adds four ounces to the weight and 10% to the cost.
Ignore Armour
This is an incredibly rare feature that allows a weapon to ignore the fortitude of armour or toughness—like a hot knife through butter. Reflex bonuses to armour class are still applicable. You need some serious design justification before you can select this feature; even bullets coated with non-stick cooking spray don't get it. This feature increases the cost by fifty times.
Iron-shod
Iron-shod staves and plançons are common examples of this feature. Another common use is with enhanced langets. Nearly all mass and flex weapons have some langets, as do polearms. These are the bits of metal that extend from the head down the handle. This feature is for greatly extended and reinforced langets. These make the weapon tougher and give you more metal with which to parry. A +1 to parry is added in exchange for 10% added to the cost and weight.
Jagged
This is similar to the Serrated feature, but the edge of the blade has definite teeth. Prongs, barbs, hooks, flukes, and other edged extensions, can also be represented with this feature. These cause vicious wounds, but get caught on armour and other weapons quite often. This grants +4 damage, +2 to disarm, and +1 to parry, at a cost of -2 to hit. The jagged edge is easier for opponents to use against you as well; opponents get +2 to parry this weapon and +3 on attempts to catch or disarm it. There's more to this feature than cutting deep notches in your sword: that will ruin it, not give it this feature. Weight is increased by 10%, and the cost is tripled.
Kopis
As found with falcata, khopesh, falchions, kukri, or the feature namer, these weapons are curved forward. This brings the striking portion ahead of the handle, and is heavier towards the tip. Blades with this feature are more chopping instruments than cutting. Some swords with this feature are used to decapitate cattle. This feature adds +2 to damage in exchange for -2 to initiative and attack. Weight and cost are doubled.
Kusari
A weighted chain is attached to another weapon, usually at the base of the handle. This feature allows a weapon to be swung as a flex weapon, or used as its base variant (non-flex) with the attached weighted chain in the other hand. 10-50% is added to the cost and weight, based on the length of the rope or chain. The chief drawback is that you have to design three sets of statistics for this weapon: base, weighted chain, and swung as a flex weapon. Note that the flex and weighted chain stats must have 'one-hand exclusive' as the handle. This makes kusari-type weapons slightly better at defending, but slightly less destructive.
Laminated
Suitable primarily for blades, these items are made of layers of metal that have been piled or pattern welded, rather than forged from a single alloy. Originally, this was a way to produce quality items from inconsistent (and generally crappy) iron or steel. It is currently only used for its wavy appearance, as production methods have improved over the years. Traditional katana were made with this method/feature, as were Viking swords. As weapons-grade steels are readily available commercially, laminating a blade (or rarely, armour) is now seen as a more labour-intensive way of producing the same calibre of materiel. The cost is 10% higher. Sorry, katana fans, there are no game mechanics bonuses for laminated swords; this is a purely ornamental feature.
Lanyard
A cheap addendum to a weapon, this allows the weapon to be attached to the wrist for easy recovery if the weapon is lost (taking one action instead of having to play 'go-fish'). Most often this is a leather loop strap. Alternatively, a strip of coloured cloth or a braided and tasselled cord (sword knot) can be used instead of a leather loop. The cost is four florins or a single bezant. A neck strap for a shield, called a guige, is another example of this feature. For shields, the cost is eight florins or two bezants, but lets you sling it on your back, and takes some of the weight from your arm during use. Longarms (crossbows and rifles) can use a shoulder strap at the same cost as a guige.
Light
These weapons and armour are made up of lighter alloys that are still sturdy. This reduces the weight by 20% and the encumbrance by one level. The cost is tripled.
Mass
These are heavy, unbalanced, generally powerful weapons used to thwack the crap out of your opponent. Mass weapons don't cost any more, but are twice as heavy. The chief advantage of mass weapons is that the practice and wrist strength needed for one translates rather well for most of its ilk. That is, you can take advantage of the Melee (mass) skill for all mass weapons instead of just the skill based on weapon length. If you have both skills appropriate for that weapon, use whichever is greater. The chief disadvantage of mass weapons (other than their weight and likely increased load) is that their unbalanced heads cause a -3 initiative penalty.
Masterpiece
Forged by only the greatest armourers, these items are of the finest calibre. Armour is given a +2 to armour class, and all extant resistances are increased by 10%. Skill penalties are reduced by three points. Weapons gain a +2 to attack, initiative, and parry. Weight is decreased by 10% due to the finely made construction. The cost is five times normal.
Metallised
Metallised weapons and shields are made entirely of metal, rather than having much of their mass in the form of wood. This feature is only appropriate for items that are not already mostly metal. It could be argued that it represents a different metal, such as uranium. It could, but have fun with your cancer. Metalised weapons are much heavier and harder-hitting. They increase the size of the damage die to the next larger size: 1D8 becomes 1D10, for example. The weight is increased by fifteen times, which is guaranteed to increment the load category. The slower speed that the added mass causes brings with it a -3 initiative penalty. Metallising a weapon increases the cost by 2 1/2 times.
Micronized
A wonder of technomantic engineering, the mechanisms of this feature have been reduced to half their usual size. This is in all dimensions, including weight, as micronized devices need to be denser. This increases the cost by five times.
Minuscule
This is a weapon or armour designed to be size-appropriate for a very small user (half of an average Human). For example, a Goblin-sized spear will only be about four feet long. Damage or damage reduction is halved, rounding up. Initiative is increased by +2. Weight is quartered, which will likely alter the load. Parrying, blocking, armour class, and damage resistances are unaffected. Some features, such as Reach, may no longer be feasible. Though less material is used, it must be of a finer make, and the tiny pieces are harder to assemble. Price is decreased by 20%. If only the handle is modified, use the Sized (small) feature instead.
Modular
This isn't a special item: it's a part of one. This feature must be stacked with another, and is inherently an 'after-market' modification. Modular items can be added to an item to enhance it. This feature is a way for characters to customise special materiel in-game. Chaos guards are the classic Midian example. These are pauldrons or shoulder pieces that are oversized and spiked. Another example would be an enchanted pommel that can be added to a sword. Or, a bow could be made of necromantically enchanted wood that repairs itself with blood, like a Vampire, and is strung with a bowstring of magically intertwined silver and spider silk. In a few rare cases, one weapon is made from pieces removed from another, possibly reforged into a new item. An example of this would be a rune-inscribed bardiche with a blade of alchemically treated steel. The handle becomes a magic staff and the blade is reforged as an enchanted axe. To find the cost and weight adjustments you must first estimate the portion to be altered. The head of an axe may be 80% of the weapon, but the backspike of a pollax replaced with a modular magic dagger might only be a tenth of the total. This portion is then modified with one or more additional features, with the price and size adjusted accordingly. Finally, double the effective price modification. In our pollax example, a tenth of 500ƒ worth of features is only fifty florins; doubling this brings us up to a hundred.
Mortar
Primarily a feature of cannon and other firearms, these are weapons that are deliberately underpowered as a way to make the gun lighter for the same size projectile. These weapons are often prefixed with the word 'light', as with light cannon, but this should not be confused with the Feature light. Launching explosives is the usual reason for this option, such as with mortars, but some cannon or pistols are light guns, as are many shotguns. Halve weight, but also halve damage and range increments. Large light cannon also have half the weight of the shot. However, the rate of fire doubles in frequency (if a multi-round rate of fire). There is no cost modifier for light guns.
Necromantic
For extra-creepy weapons and armour, make them necromantic. By using such spells as Bone Bond, Petrify Bones, Reinforce Skeletal Construct, with embalming, and most certainly the bonecraft skill, bones and flesh can be fused with steel to make armour that is as scary-looking as it is deadly. Any skulls used as part of this armour (shoulderpads are common, codpieces are not unheard of) can have any skull-related spells woven within them, though this costs extra. Blood Blessings cast on necromantic weapons last until daybreak. Capes and cloaks made with Ectoplasmic Raiment while wearing necromantic armour requires neither hit point investment nor willpower; they last even if you are knocked unconscious. Using Ghost Form or any of the subset of spells can be done in half of the usual time, and your spectral form appears to be wearing the armour (appearance only; no actual armour bonuses). Additional bonuses include a +1 to saving throws against magic, and a further +2 against curses, while bearing any necromantic items. I was going to say that you only get this bonus once, not per item, but screw it: this is Midian, everything stacks. The cost is ten times the base price, but weight is normal. Powering all of this magic involves the sacrifice of a sentient being, though a powerful enough necromancer or shadow lord can use the soul of someone that they have already imprisoned.
Noisy
A hollow fluted tip, jinglebells, rattles, or whatever other sound-producing trait you can think of is added to this weapon. This adds additional aural colour to the nice wooshing sound that a weapon makes. The noise-maker is durable enough to withstand the rigours of combat, and doesn't get in the way. This adds 10% to the cost. The screaming and pleading of your foes is free.
Open
Similar to the Blood Groove feature, this is taken to the extreme; the blade is hollowed through. Much stronger steel is needed for the remaining bits. This increases the cost by only 20%, as you aren't using very much metal. Weight is halved, with a minimum one load level reduction. The weapon is much more likely to snag. Attempts to parry or Catch this weapon gain a +2 bonus in the attempt. Furthermore, the reduced mass causes a -2 penalty on parries made with this weapon.
Ornamented
Decorative flourishes and embellishments are added to this item. It's got bling. These are carefully designed so as to not interfere with the martial functioning of the weapon or armour. This adds 10% to the cost. The weight increase is negligible; even highly ornamented armours add less than a pound with this feature alone.
Padded
These armours are extra stuffed, like a parka or an extra thick comforter. Quilting, layers of soft leather, compressed cotton, a crap-ton of felt, or sometimes even foams or gels (for Scienced-up technomantic armours) give the armour additional cushioning. This adds 20% to crushing resistance, and +1 to damage reduction, at the cost of greater bulk (-2 skill penalty). The weight is doubled, and 10% is added to the cost. Lots of padding can get hot quickly, and doesn't breathe well. The Game Master may assign additional penalties in hot environments (doubling fatigue, typically).
Pavise
Whether it's one or two legs hinged at the top, kick-out stands at the bottom, spikes for jamming it into the ground, or even small skis, this adds a pound of weight and one guilder or five bezants to the cost. This is undoubtedly a feature primarily of large and door shields, but a creative armourer could probably find alternative uses for this feature.
Perceptive
Normally, the skill penalty of armour applies to Awareness checks made while helmeted. With this feature however, the penalty is halved. Perceptive helms are designed so that the wearer has a wider field of vision and sounds are not muffled. Perceptive gloves have thin layers at the tips of one or more fingers for greater touch sensitivity. Perceptive armour minimally sacrifices protection while allowing the senses to still operate as best as possible. These designs are not simple nor cheap. This triples the cost, though fortunately it really only needs to be applied to a specific part of the armour, not the whole harness.
Personalised
This weapon or armour was designed (or significantly altered) to suit your individual tastes. It will have decorative flourishes, your emblem, a custom paint job, superfluous straps, the entire movie's plot engraved along the blade, or anything else to make it uniquely yours. This feature increases the cost by 10%, and has no mechanical effects; it just looks really cool.
Pilum
Think of this as a single-shot shieldbreaker. These are weapons designed to sacrifice themselves against an enemy's shield, denying them that protection or even turning it into a liability. These are cheap weapons, usually made from bronze, and cost 10% less than the base price. There is no weight reduction, but the softer head has a -2 to attack and damage rolls. A successful strike against a shield causes a 1D12 penalty to armour class and blocking rolls. This renders the weapon useless (it's stuck in the shield and bent up) until it can be reworked after the battle.
Quality
This is a very well made item. If a weapon, it adds +1 to attack, damage, and initiative. If armour, it adds +1 to armour class and +10% to extant damage resistance; skill penalties are reduced by two points. Weight is unchanged, and the cost is increased by 10%.
Quick-release
Armour with this feature is designed to be shed rather quickly. Bascinet helms often had retaining pins that could be quickly pulled out to remove the visor. The mail of Formourian marines is stitched along the back with tough cord that allows a drowning wearer to ditch the armour and swim to safety. Rarely, larger shields are constructed with breakaway straps that allow it to be quickly discarded if need be. Quick release armour doubles the cost, but adds no appreciable weight. Weapons with quick-release components add 20% for each bit, but still no significant increase in weight. With a quick-release pommel on your sword you can more easily end him rightly.
Razor
Sharp enough for a smooth shave, but this blade isn't exactly sturdy. Razorbladed weapons lose their edge (either blunted or broken) if they strike hard armour, are parried, or even by repeated slashing into flesh. These blades get a +2 to attack and +4 damage, but armour (not toughness) is doubled against them. 10% is added to the cost, but the same is subtracted from weight as the edge is much thinner.
Reach
Longer weapons can attack or parry at a greater distance. Weapons with the Reach feature get first-strike capability over someone without a similarly-sized weapon (or a ranged one). This is a specialised interrupt, available whenever someone closes to attack, up to once per round. To avoid this, one must successfully in-fight. First, a successful defence roll (dodge, block, or parry) must be made against the attack. Then an action must be used to close the gap. Against multiple spearmen, for example, you must get past everyone who attacks you. In order to counterattack, the reach-wielding fighter must spend an action to either change the grip on their weapon for closer attacks, or step back to keep them at a distance and regain the reach advantage. Unless the opponent successfully gets past your weapon in this fashion, you can keep them at a distance. Reach weapons do not change the weight or cost of a weapon, but are generally only available to weapons that exceed six feet in length. For smaller weapons this increases the price five times and needs justification. Another advantage of reach weapons is that they allow attacks over a row of fighters in front of you. Six feet can reach over one rank, nine feet over two, twelve feet over three, and fifteen feet or more allows attacks over four rows in a formation. For a man-sized spearman however, about eight feet is the maximum; anything larger becomes unwieldy (increasing the effective load).
Rebated
These weapons are blunted, made of wood or bamboo, padded, or otherwise made less lethal. This makes the weapon suitable for practice, tournaments, or training. These are also called wasters, bavins, or practice weapons. All damage modes are changed to smashing, and either cut in half or reduced by five points, whichever would still cause more injury. You still have to be careful when sparring. Any bonuses (though not penalties) are likewise halved, as practice weapons are made quickly and cheaply. Range increments are quartered. Weight may be the normal full weight or reduced down to half. Rebated weapons cost a quarter of the price of proper weapons.
Refined
A low-cost alternative to Light and Ornamented, this item has lightweight, delicate, and elegant. It is attractively forged, maybe even ornate, without being garish. Refined items are 10% lighter, and the cost is increased by 20%. Their delicate nature does make them somewhat more fragile, however. Many ornamental or parade weapons combine this feature with Rebated, for additional cost savings, though the weapon is then purely for show.
Reflective
"Everything's shiny, captain." Items with this feature have been polished to a mirror finish, and/or are made of materials that naturally reflect indirect heat, such as aluminium. In any event, this is far easier said than done. Even silver is rather difficult to polish into such a fine mirror, and refining aluminium is extraordinarily difficult without the electric Bessemer process. Reflective armour is also difficult and expensive to maintain, as the scuffs and scrapes of battle quickly tarnish the finish. Armour with this feature (you could make reflective weapons, but what's the point?) costs five times as much, but gains 20% resistance to heat and fire. You technically also gain double that resistance to lasers or other similar energetic weapons, but those are admittedly quite rare in a Renaissance noir game. Highly polished, but not mirror-finish, are notably cheaper. Weapons or armour polished to a high-gloss satin ('white' finish) merely double the original price. This is the default degree of polishing for swords. There are no game mechanics, but the item looks much nicer.
Reliable
A feature of technomantic items, notably firearms, steam-powered crossbows, and such, the glitch or misfire number (or die) is improved by one point. As extensive testing and redesigns aren't cheap, this increases the cost by ten times.
Ricasso
Some swords, notably the bigger ones, have an unsharpened section of the blade that can be used as an additional grip. The hilt is also designed so that the wielder can place his or her index finger along the ricasso for additional torque. Ricassos allow a weapon to be functionally shorter in tight melee, by gripping it much higher. This is similar to half-swording, though the ricasso is usually too far back for that technique to be properly used without gauntlets or training. A second set of quillons are sometimes extended from the blade to protect the hand. Sub-hilts are another variation on this feature. These provide a stubby short half of a hilt, forming a sort of trigger grip for a weapon, usually a knife. Either version of this feature adds 10% to the cost, but no appreciable weight increase (a fraction of an ounce, at most). Ricassos also add +1 to attack rolls, due to the added options for controlling a swing.
Ricochet
When thrown or shot, these weapons tend to bounce, scatter, carom, or otherwise skitter about after they land. This feature mostly affects a weapon's shape. It is either round (as with cannonballs) or S-shaped (as with franciscas). The ricochet feature can also be created by the springiness of the materials, such as rubber; catapult stones bounce due to the tremendous force making the ground and the projectile effectively elastic. For bouncing weapons, a miss can potentially strike nearby targets. The thrower or shooter, and everyone within ten feet of the target, must each roll 1D12. These secondary targets are struck if the result matches that of the attacker. The effective attack roll is the same for secondary targets, but the damage is halved. War machines with this feature are even nastier. The dice used are 1D8s, and a ricochet occurs even on a successful hit of the primary target. As these weapons typically must either have a special shape or material, the the weight is increased by 10%, and the cost doubles.
Rifling
This is a fairly advanced bit of technomancy for firearms. As such, it is rare that a gunsmith will have the expertise, specialised tools, and familiarity with alchemy to make this work. Rifling is only feasible with smokeless powder; otherwise you have to clean the gun after every shot. This feature triples the cost, but increases the range increment by one and a half times. It also causes more fouling, and is tougher to clean: increment the misfire number by one.
Robust
This is the cheap way to make Sturdy weapons and armour. Lower quality materials are used; there's just more of them. Additional reinforcing may be added to further strengthen the weapon. These items are big, even bulky. There is no cost increase, but the weight is increased by 30%. Unlike Heavy items, other game mechanics are unaltered.
Rope
This feature modifies flex weapons and the Kusari feature. You swap the chain for rope. The 'construction' addition to cost and weight is cut in half. That is, a short chain adds 5%, medium adds 10%, et cetera. However, the rope may be cut by five points of damage by a single strike with a hacking weapon. You can still parry with the rope, as the hacking attack must deliberately target the weapon.
Runes
So, you want a magic weapon or armour? Some spells, such as rune-type magics, work quite well for magicking up an item. Others might require conversion or lunaruen. The cost depends on the type of spell: apprentice, basic, proficiency, or magical level bonus. Basic spells are the simplest. They cost one Formourian royal or five Bizzannite double-eagles. For proficiencies, double the skill level used, times fifty silvers (florins or ducats). Apprenticeships are similar, multiplying two, eight, or eighteen—depending on the skill level—by ten guilder or one double-eagle. Most magical effects will require lunaruen engraving. Pretty much all level bonus type effects added to weapons or armour do. This doubles the above cost for an apprentice engraver, or increases it by eight for a journeyman or eighteen for a master. Higher levels of the rune-maker's skill not only enhance aesthetics, but the durability and obviousness of the magical markings. Some level-based bonuses are suitable for magic weapons and armour, for example, the Slow Death curse of necromancers added to a dagger. Multiply the square of the class, tradition, or codicil level by five guilder or 25 bezants. This is in addition to the cost of lunaruen. A rare handful of mystic runesmiths can make the effects toggleable (lunaruen by itself only creates persistent, always 'on', type effects). These smiths use techniques such as Talisman Memory Mark to add a command word, a specialised conversion of the mystic tattooist skill, or similar. In any case, adding such an on/off switch increases the cost by another twenty times.
Sacrifice
While nearly any shield or weapon can be plunged into harm's way prior to the enemy's attack roll for an automatic defence at the cost of said item, the sacrifice feature allows you to decide to give up your shield (or other device with this feature) at any point during the attack sequence. It is designed with crumple zones or other similar safety elements in mind. That is, you can wait until the damage dice are rolled before sacrificing your shield and not suffering the effects of the attack. If an item has this feature explicitly, it can even block a critical hit. By selecting this feature multiple times, it can block one attack for each selection. However, all mechanical benefits of the item (damage, block bonus, damage reduction, et cetera) is reduced by two points everytime the item is sacrificed. With the final instance of this feature expended (just once, commonly) the item is destroyed. Weapons and shields can have this feature for an added 10% to the cost. Armour with this feature costs triple, but has the added benefit that it ejects from the wearer, auto-blocking nearly any attack, including explosions or multiple strikes. Multiple levels of this feature become increasingly expensive. A second level adds another 20% to the cost (or another four times as much for armour). A third level adds yet another 30% (or five times), and so forth.
Seric
Suitable for metal weapons, this is a form of crucible steel with a distinctive watery or wooden grain. These weapons are remarkably tough and hold an edge well. Stabbing or hacking weapons with this feature add +2 to both attack and damage, but the difficulty of manufacturing triples the price. Note that this is not common wootz or crucible steel (which is generally inferior to tool-grade alloys for weapons) but the denser, semi-ceramic, Damascus type of wootz steel.
Serrated
Weapons with a serrated edge (like a steak knife) cause nasty wounds, but are more likely to snag on armour. +2 damage, but -2 on attacks. Undulated or wave blades, such as a flamberge or kris, use this feature as well. Serration increases the cost by 50%. A more extreme version of this is the Jagged feature.
Sexy
Armour with this feature helps you to live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse, especially that last part. These armours are designed to highlight select areas of skin, show off the goods, hide the less flattering bits, and augment the rest. Needless to say, these armours are more for show than for combat. Common design elements include cleavage, fake abs or pecs, high cut sides, and high shoulder pads. This armour feature requires both Customised and Personalised. Weight is reduced by 30%, and there is no additional cost to this armour. However, damage reduction drops by three points, damage resistances by 20%, and armour class by five points. This is your boob-plate penalty. Sexy weapons, on the other hand, are much bigger than normal, often ridiculously so. These are three times the weight and double the cost. Load is increased by two levels. Additional flourishes tend to snag easily, subtracting two points from attack rolls, and giving opponents a +4 parry bonus. Sexy weapons also have a -4 initiative penalty, but fortunately shouting the name of your weapon or attack form doesn't add to this any further. The added mass of the weapon does add +2 to damage, however. It'd probably be more, but these sort of weapons also tend to be much thicker, reducing penetration. Uh, that wasn't an intentional pun there.
Shadowed
Favoured by thieves, assassins, necromancers, and all sorts of Goths, this makes your weapons and armour as black as your heart. Metals have a non-reflective matte finish with durable dyes and enamels to darken the colour. Noisy components are silenced. Shadowed gear is three times as expensive, but the leather wrapping your handles can be snakeskin or shark leather at no additional cost. Adding the Silent feature to Shadowed weapons or armour only increases them by a total of four times, not six, from the base cost.
Sharpshooter
A weapon feature associated with ranged weapons, tight tolerances and careful design adds 25% to range increments. Weight is unchanged, but the cost is ten times as much. Sniper rifles don't come cheap.
Shieldbreaker
These weapons are able to destroy a shield if its wielder chooses to do so. When this feature is utilised, make an attack roll as normal. If it is successful, or if the shieldbreaker weapon is successfully blocked, then the shield is destroyed (defender still takes no damage). If the attack is not successfully parried, then the opponent is not harmed, as your goal was to destroy the shield. If you miss, then of course none of this applies. Loser. Customising the striking surface specifically to chop through shields—without impacting the weapon's man-killing role—doubles the price.
Shock Hardening
Some armours have interlocking scales (such as star scale or mountain scale), alchemical gels that turn rigid with kinetic force, or many layers of ballistic cloth that stack together during impact. Regardless of the method, this provides 20% hacking resistance. These sword and axe resistant armours, while incredibly useful, are also incredibly expensive. Cost is five times normal.
Side Blade
An uncommon feature, this is a secondary blade on a weapon. Some few smashing or stabbing weapons may have this, but supplemental blades on a hacking weapon are more common. On rare custom-made weapons, an axe head is added to a weapon that really doesn't need it, like a pistol. Other than as a back-up blade, axe heads and other blades can turn any weapon into a chopping implement: add hacking to the damage modes. These blades add 10% the base cost, and add a pound of weight. A double-headed battleaxe is basically the (disputably) historic cheat of this feature.
Silenced
Sometimes you don't want them to hear you coming. Silenced armour reduces the skill penalty for moving silently by two points. Silent ranged weapons reduce the Awareness check to hear a shot by the same amount. This feature doubles the cost. For melee weapons, this feature is also applied to the scabbard or sheath for no additional cost, removing noise from drawing the weapon.
Silver
There's times when the Ornamented feature just isn't ostentatious enough. Silver is strong enough to take an edge, but just barely. After one fight it's going to be as beat up as a redheaded bastard stepchild. Silver armour is even worse: it has a -2 penalty to both armour class and damage reduction. Silver coated items triple the price; solid silver is twenty times as expensive. Though some Wolfblooded and Changing Folk do have a contact allergy to silver, weapons made of the stuff do no special damage to them. Other precious metals will fare even worse. Solid gold, for example, would have double the previous penalties, double the weight, not hold an edge past the first strike or so, and increase the base cost by 400 times.
Sized
This is actually two sub-features: Sized (small) and Sized (large). Weapons are first designed for a man-sized wielder (in the weapon builder) to determine its statistics. This feature then allows a very small or very large user to properly handle it. As this is primarily a modification to the handle, the weight is either increased or decreased by 10%. In any case, 10% is added to the cost. Resized weapons used by someone of inappropriate stature have a -3 to attack rolls. Yes, this all means that a dagger suitable for an Ogre is still pretty much just a dagger, albeit one with a humongous grip. For weapons that are much greater or smaller in all respects, see the features Giant, Micronized, and Minuscule.
Slick
These weapons and armour are made of, or coated with, low friction materials. Armour with this feature has a +2 on armour class (and does not count as specifically a fortitude bonus, but rather a blanket bonus). Weapons with this feature cause a -2 on opponents' chances to parry, catch, or disarm. The cost is tripled.
Sling
Taking advantage of the mechanical advantage offered by rotational acceleration, the ammunition that this weapon fires is either heavier, faster, travels in a high ballistic arc, or some combination of these factors. This adds an extra die to the damage. The sling itself is fairly light and cheap: it costs only a single florin for every pound of the weapon's weight, and adds no appreciable mass. Learning to use a slinging weapon can be difficult. The weapon uses a specific weapon proficiency—perhaps some form of ranged weapon (special)—and the non-familiarity penalty is doubled.
Smartgun
Only the greatest of alchemists can enchant a weapon with this feature. As such, the cost of the weapon is increased by fifty times. It is rumoured that someone must be sacrificed, and their soul trapped within the weapon, for it to work. The wielder of a smartgun does not need to worry about harming their allies. Arrows shot from a smartgun equipped bow will veer around a friendly, an enchanted blade will turn at the last instant. This feature will even protect your compatriots from sprays of bullets from an automatic weapon or a shotgun blast. In fact, this feature is often used with those types of weapons for that very reason. Part of the high cost of this feature is because the weapon must be bejewelled. Either one large or many small gems must be embedded in the weapon. This does not add significantly to the weight.
Sneak Attack
This item has a hidden weapon, usually a blade or spike. There must be sufficient room for this hidden implement, but that shouldn't be too difficult to find with a little imagination. If the hidden feature slides or folds out, weight increases by 10% and the price doubles. If instead it is spring-loaded with a hidden trigger, the mechanism adds 20% to the weight and the base price triples. As these hidden weapons are typically smaller and less robust, damage is halved. To find the statistics on an item that is not already a weapon (such as a spring-loaded barb in an umbrella's handle) I'm afraid you'll have to design it as a non-sneaky weapon (in this case with a hafted handle, et cetera). You may want to compare this feature to the Disguised feature above.
Socketed
Other features, rather than the weapon or armour proper, are modified with this feature. This adds the sub-feature (socketed) to the trait being modified. The added component, such as a spike (see below) is detachable, usually screwed on or attached with a lug. Bayonets are an example of this feature, both historic and modern. 10% is added to the overall cost, but multiple features can be modified without further expense.
Spike
Rather than many small spikes, this is a single large one. It can be a simple conical spike or a spearhead-type addition. In exchange for a half-pound of weight and 10% to the cost, the weapon can now make stabbing attacks in addition to its other damage modes. Many polearms have this feature, either at the tip, as a back spike, or as something akin to a hilt below the primary weapon. One or more spikes mounted perpendicular to the shaft also prevent the weapon from being buried too far into a target. The butt or handle of the weapon could also have a spike, as could a hilt or hand guard.
Spines
Nails driven into a bat is the simplest variant of this. Morningstars with seriously large and sharp spikes do more than just crush, they poke holes into the target. 10% is added to the cost in exchange for +1 stabbing damage. Spines require far more maintenance than simple knobs or small spikes, and are likely to break, bend, or become blunted in combat. Spiked armour, by the way, subtracts three points from armour class (weapons catch more often) without adding to damage reduction. Spiked armour is also double the normal cost. The main problem with spiked armour is that it catches on frelling everything, and is just as likely to injure your saddlemates as your enemies.
Studs
This is seen on morningstars, flails, clubs, or staves. These knobs reduce the striking surface, causing an additional point of damage. Knobs add 10% to the weapon's cost. Small spikes are essentially the same thing; they don't change the basic damage type to stabbing. Studded armour isn't really a thing: it's a misinterpretation of the rivets on a brigandine. Having metal plates under your leather: good. Knobs that require softer leather, involve holes punched in it, and catch weapons that would have otherwise slid off: bad. It may look badass, but would lower the armour class by two points and offer no added damage reduction. Historically, studded leather was really only used as the soles of footwear, as with hobnailed boots.
Sturdy
Forged out of the toughest materials, these items resist damage. They are strong and resistant to rust, scratches, and decay. Sturdy materiel flexes without bending, and is rigid without being brittle. The cost is increased by 10%. Sturdy items gain a retest against breakage, or a saving throw against a target value of 15 if none is otherwise allowed.
Tricky
More complex items are hard to use; more parts means more that can go wrong. Technomantic items with this feature require some instructions to use. Tricky items are prone to failure, or won't work unless you hold your mouth just right. The glitch or malfunction number (or die) is increased by two. With two levels of this feature, untrained users cannot operate the item at all. As this feature is common to prototypes, money hasn't been sunk into it for rebuilds; cost is halved.
Twinned
These companion weapons are designed to fit together in the same sheath. Not only is the scabbard altered, but the weapons themselves have to fit together in such a way that they are both easily drawn together or individually. Needless to say, both weapons need this feature. The cost of each is increased by 10%. Twin weapons do not need to be exact duplicates. In fact, the most common use of this feature is with companion weapons, as with katana and wakizashi. More than two weapons can be twinned as well, such as adding a tanto to the aforementioned daisho. Scabbard prices are not increased separately, as this is covered by the 10% increase in the weapon's cost. You need only pay for a single scabbard suitable for the largest weapon.
Undefendable
A rare feature for melee weapons, you need to be able to justify this by the design. Like missile weapons, attacks made by this weapon cannot be parried. Unlike ranged attacks, they cannot be blocked, either. Shields still provide their usual armour class bonus, and dodges are not affected. This feature costs fifty times the weapon's base cost.
Unusual Grip
This weapon is handled in an unconventional fashion. This could be strapped on, T or X handles, or something even stranger. There is no cost or weight change, but the skill to wield it is almost certainly Melee (special). If the handle is the only odd thing about the weapon, at the very least there is a -3 unfamiliar penalty without extensive practice.
Weighted
Many players like mass weapons. Some enjoy the visceral visual of smashing skulls and chopping limbs. Others simply prefer the broad crossover nature of the Melee (mass) proficiency. By adding weight to a weapon, especially towards the end, many types of weapons can be converted into mass weapons. For example, a sword may be given a thick inverted leaf shape or a T-tip. This conversion triples the weight and cost. It also adds +1 to attack and damage in exchange for -2 to initiative and parry. This is in addition to the normal mass penalty for a total -5 initiative modifier. This feature may be added to weapons that are already inherently mass-type weapons, such as axes or flails, by giving them an oversized head.
Weapon Breaker
A weapon with this feature will almost always also have the Catch feature. Without it, the cost is tripled rather than merely adding 20%, and 10% is added to the weight in any case. The typical use of this feature is, when a weapon has been caught, you may expend another action to attempt to snap the opposing weapon. Your opponent must make a saving throw to avoid breakage with a target value equal to your skill level with the weapon. The features: Dense, Flexion, High-grade, Masterpiece, Metallised, Quality, Robust and Wootz, each add +1 to the saving throw. Black Box, Exceptional, and Sturdy, each add +3 to the save. However, Alternate Material, Crude, Light, Open, Pilum, Refined, and Sacrifice, each subtract a point instead. Historically, self-loathing swords with this feature were called sword-breakers.
Willow Leaf
I'll admit it, I added this feature just for arrows. If you can think of another use for it, go right ahead. The broad leaf-shaped blade (or one shaped like a C, U, or Y) changes stabbing damage into hacking. There is no cost modifier for this feature.
Zing
A purely decorative feature, this is a modification to the weapon and scabbard (particularly of the throat, coincidentally) that provides a satisfying, scintillating, Hollywood-esque, metallic, ringing noise when the weapon is drawn. This costs one guilder or five bezants.
Advertisement