Probably the most important pieces of equipment in the inventory of any adventure are the weapons that they carry. Choice of weapons defines how a character engages in combat as well as how effective they will be in delivering damage to an opponent. Some weapons are basic enough to allow any character to pick them up and make effective use of them; others require specialized training in order to unlock their deadliest potential. Some weapons are designed for close-in fighting, others for delivering damage from a distance.

Fighting Range and Style

Weapons are divided into three categories that determine the combat circumstances in which they can be used effectively (if at all)
Melee weapons are those used for close-in, hand-to-hand combat. The target of a character wielding a melee weapon must be adjacent to them. If a grid is being used, characters in melee combat must be in adjacent squares or hexes.

Melee Weapons are further subdivided depending on whether Fighting Style relies on Power or Finesse.
Reach weapons are handheld weapons that allow damage to be delivered from a slight distance - one or more squares or hexes away depending on the weapon when using a map grid. This extended reach makes them difficult to use in confined spaces, though. A -2 damage penalty may be applied by the Gamemaster when using a Reach Weapon in a narrow space, if adjacent to the enemy, or if allies are also too close.

Like Melee Weapons, Reach Weapons can rely on either Power or Finesse for most effective use.
Power Weapons rely on the strength of the wielder to maximize their damage potential. When using a Power Weapon, a character's STR bonus is added to the damage dice rolled. Finesse Weapons rely on the skill of the wielder to manipulate them quickly and precisely for best effect. With a Finesse Weapon, the DEX bonus is added to the damage dice rolled.
Ranged weapons are designed to deliver damage from a distance, either by throwing the weapon or propelling a projectile of some sort. These weapons have a Range Increment; striking a target within the specified increment does normal damage. Damage is halved if the target is between 1 and 2 range increments away. Attempts to hit a target beyond 2 range increments will not strike their targets.

Ranged weapons cannot be used on a target that is close enough to strike with a melee weapon. On a standard 5' (1.5m) grid, a character cannot be in an adjacent square or hex to the target.

Perception and innate sense are needed to judge the weapon's flight to the target. Add the wielder's WIS bonus to the damage dice rolled.

Wielding a Weapon

Some weapons require the use of two hands in order to use it effectively, if at all. Others require only one free hand, leaving the other to hold a shield, have a healing potion ready, or whatever. Still others can be used with either one or two hands; these usually allow for more powerful (and thus more damaging) blows if two hands are used.

If a weapon is being used two-handed, a shield cannot also be used. (Even a buckler strapped to the arm is ineffective if that arm is being used to direct a weapon rather than for countering attacks.)

Weapon Training

Any character can pick up and attempt to wield almost any weapon, and will be capable of doing some sort of damage. Historically in our world, many weapons were designed to allow common folk to use them when required to defend themselves, their homes, and their families, or when called to war by their liege.

Other weapons, while still dangerous in untrained hands, only reach their full damage-dealing potential in the hands of a trained wielder, i.e. someone who has gained the Weapon Specialization Acquired Specialty in that weapon.

Tables ?? through ?? list the various weapons, grouped by Fighting Range and Style. Weapons whose wielders will benefit from the Weapon Specialization Acquired Specialty include additional information, including any non-damage tactics that can be achieved with the weapon if properly trained.[tion] and are listed in Tables ?? through ?? below.

Weapons are described in more detail in the Appendix. Some of the listings there will identity a number of subtypes for a given weapon; for example, "shortsword" could mean gladius, cutlass, or others. Polearms are quite numerous as well. In these cases, they all function the same way for game mechanic purposes, but players and Gamemasters are encouraged to spice up their descriptions by using specifics.

Specialized Tactics

In addition to allowing a weapon to deliver additional damage, Weapon Specialization also allows additional tactics associated with a given weapon to be used. These tactics include:

  • Disarm - A successful skill check (STR for power weapons, DEX check for finesse) with DC of opponent's Armor Points will successfully disarm the opponent.

  • Fast Reload - The wielder can reload and fire in a single combat round. (Some weapons require multiple rounds to reload.)

  • Longer Range - Doubles the stated range increment of the weapon

  • Mounted Charge - Using this weapon while riding a charging mount doubles the damage delivered.

  • Receive Charge - Opponents incur damage on their combat turn if they begin their move outside melee range and end it within melee range.

  • Restrain - Opponent's arms are pinned to its sides, preventing them from using a weapon. They can use their combat turns to attempt escaping, which requires a DEX skill check at DC14. (This assumes the opponent has appendages; Gamemaster adjudication may be required in some circumstances.

  • Shove - Instead of doing damage, the opponent is pushed back 5' (1.5m) away from the attacker.

  • Smite - The attacker's damage is doubled. However, until the attacker's next turn, all attacks against them are also at double damage as the attacker is woefully out of position after delivering the smite.

  • Trip - A successful skill check (STR for power weapons, DEX check for finesse) with DC of opponent's Armor Points will successfully trip the opponent, knocking them Prone.

  • Unmount - A successful skill check (STR for power weapons, DEX check for finesse) with DC of opponent's Armor Points will successfully pull the target down from their mount, knocking them Prone.
  • Credits

    The Laurels and Loot Rule System is published by Bob O'Brien
    It is available to all in accordance with the Creative Commons (Attribution) license
    (Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

    Laurels and Loot Rules are derived in part from the following sources:
    Knave 2.0 TTRPG System Rules published by Ben Milton
    in compliance with
    (Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

    The banners on these pages was composed with art attributed to:
    b0red from Pixabay (treasure chest image)
    Gordon Johnson from Pixabay (laurels image)

    The side panels are composed with art attributed to:
    Evelyn Chai from Pixabay (dungeon passage)


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