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Skip Navigation LinksHigh Fantasy HERO>Content>Campaign Guidelines>Weapons & Armor
Armaments
Weapons Deadly Blow Armor Shields
Combat Luck Stacking Defenses Variants Killer Shrike Variant Arms & Armor Rules
This document discusses various concerns related to Weapons and Armor in Fantasy HERO, including considerations of Combat Luck, Deadly Blow, and stackable defenses. Finally some coverage of alternate approaches is provided.
OFFENSE
The two primary considerations for Offensive capability in Fantasy HERO for non Magic User are Weapons and Deadly Blow. These two subjects are covered in depth below.
WEAPONS
Intrinsic to any Fantasy Campaign are the trappings of ancient Weaponry. What would fantasy be without swords and axes after all? Weapons are so important to the genre that the selection of a type of Weapon for a character can often be a significant part of that characters definition; what would Druss the Legend be without an axe in his hand, or D'Artagnan without a rapier?
WEAPONS LIST
The standard means of using Weapons in a Fantasy HERO campaign is to simply use the write ups provided on page 481 of the HERO System Fifth Edition Revised rulebook, or the much more detailed coverage starting on page 164 of Fantasy HERO for HERO System 5th Edition. Characters purchase their Weapons with in game currency (or otherwise acquire them through play), take proficiencies with them via the Weapon Familiarity Skill, and wield them for the listed effects. This is an adequate and perfectly workable approach.
PROFICIENCY
As noted, Weapons require Proficiency via the Weapon Familiarity Skill.
CUSTOM WEAPON GROUPS
The Weapon Familiarity Skill already provides some Weapon Groups, such as Common Melee and Common Missile Weapons. However, a GM can also allow Custom Weapon Groups. To do this the GM simply defines a selection of Weapon Familiarities and bundles them into a Weapon Group. Characters may then purchase that Group for 2 points rather than having to take each Weapon Familiarity separately. This provides an easy method to inject a little flavor into Package Deals.
DEADLY BLOW
Deadly Blow, presented in the Fantasy HERO genre book on pg 105, is expected to see heavy use in many Fantasy HERO games, particularly High Fantasy campaigns. Deadly Blow is an interesting ability that is flexible enough to model a large number of common effects, and serves as a perfect foil to Combat Luck and Magical defenses.
However, Deadly Blow can also get out of hand if left unchecked. To keep damage from getting out of hand it is recommended that some form of control be implemented.
RESTRICTION BASED ON CHARACTER POINT TOTAL
It is recommended that a House Rule be implemented limiting access to Deadly Blow based upon a character's total Character Points. Under this sort of control, a character is restricted to a number of levels of unlimited Deadly Blow equal to their Character Points divided by 75. For limited circumstance Deadly Blow, they may have a number of levels equal to their Character Points divided by 50, and for very limited circumstances their Character Points divided by 25.
DEADLY BLOW CAPS
Unmodified Deadly Blow: 1 Level per 75 Character Points
Modified Deadly Blow: 1 Level per 50 Character Points
Heavily Modified Deadly Blow: 1 Level per 25 Character Points
A GM may allow some character concepts to exceed this cap, and may forbid others from doing so at their discretion. Deadly Blow always requires GM permission to purchase.
OVERLAP VS STACKING
The allowed number of Deadly Blow Levels overlap rather than stacking. Thus if a 150 point character wanted a mix of Deadly Blow, he could have no more than 6 total Levels (his Heavily Modified limit), up to 3 of which could be Modified and up to 2 of which could be Unmodified.
ROUNDING
The normal HERO System Meta-rule of rounding in the characters favor applies when dividing a character's Point total by 75, 50, or 25 to determine the number of Deadly Blow Levels they may have. Thus, a 175 point character may have 7 Heavily Modified Levels, 4 Modified Levels, or 2 Unmodified Levels of Deadly Blow. As soon as the character reaches 188 points he may have 3 Unmodified Levels of Deadly Blow, but then may not gain another Unmodified Level until he reaches 263 point.
INANIMATE OBJECTS
Deadly Blow adds damage to a character's attacks. This causes the odd side effect of characters being able to hack through inanimate objects with ridiculous ease.
To prevent this from occurring, I recommend that a House Rule be implemented stating that Deadly Blow does not affect inanimate objects unless specifically purchased to do so. A character cannot normally Deadly Blow through a wall with their sword for example.
A character could conceivably buy a Modified Deadly Blow defined as "Only vs Inanimate Objects" or a Heavily Modified Deadly Blow defined as "Only vs [Specific Group of Inanimate Objects". Thus a character might take "Sunder; Deadly Blow Only vs Weapons" as a Heavily Modified form of Deadly Blow.
AUTOMATONS
For this purpose Automatons are considered "inanimate", though the SFX for various Automatons may not be clear cut. Regardless, under this House Rule Deadly Blow will only affect Automatons if specifically defined to do so, though this can be categorical.
Thus Deadly Blow (Any Weapon, Any Circumstance) and Deadly Blow with Swords will not affect Undead Zombies designed as Automatons, but Heavily Modified Deadly Blow vs Zombies, or Modified Deadly Blow vs. Undead both would since they both target Zombies either specifically or categorically.
Similarly the "Any/Any" and "Swordmaster" versions of Deadly Blow would not affect Slime-based monsters (Slimes, Molds or Oozes), Golems, or some "Magical Constructs" if they are designed as Automatons, but Deadly Blow (Slimes, Molds, Oozes), Deadly Blow (Golems), and Deadly Blow (vs. Magical Constructs) would respectively.
BASE DAMAGE
Deadly Blow adds to base damage as indicated in Fantasy HERO. However this causes some odd side effects that should be addressed.
To prevent this it is recommended that a House Rule be implemented stating that Deadly Blow only adds to base damage for purposes of determining maximum damage.
BOUNCEBACK DAMAGE
One odd side effect of Deadly Blow adding to base damage is that in some circumstances a character or a character's Weapon can be affected with some or all of the damage they inflict. This rarely makes sense for Deadly Blow damage; a character using great skill to cause extra damage or a character smiting something with Holy power shouldn't be affected by this sort of bounce back damage, for instance. Similarly a character doing a Move By and using Deadly Blow shouldn't break their own Weapon due to the extra damage coming from their dice of Deadly Blow. The suggested House Rule eliminates these issues.
KNOCKBACK AND KNOCKDOWN
Another odd side effect of Deadly Blow is its effect on Knockback and Knockdown. Each die of Deadly Blow results in an extra 3" of Knockback or 1.5" of Knockdown on average which can get ridiculous quickly. The suggested House Rule eliminates this issue.
To facilitate the House Rule, Deadly Blow dice should be differentiated from normal damage dice. Typically different colored and/or sized dice are used to accomplish this quickly and easily.
FORGETFUL PLAYERS
If a player forgets to differentiate their Deadly Blow dice and rolls for damage, simply add the same number of dice as they rolled for Deadly Blow to the Knockback roll or take an average of the damage inflicted times the correct number of non-Deadly Blow dice if using Knockdown. This is a flawed solution due to the potential for the Deadly Blow damage dice to roll abnormally high or low, but it is generally preferable and less disruptive to the game than forcing the player to reroll the damage completely.
DEFENSES
Intrinsic to any Fantasy Campaign are the trappings of ancient personal defense systems. What would fantasy be without plate and chain? As the default type of damage in a Fantasy HERO game is Killing Damage, defenses are very important for the continued survival of a character. A lost encounter is much more likely to result in death than unconsciousness.
ARMOR
Armor is by far the most common form of defense in a Fantasy HERO Game. In fact, for most characters it is their only means of protection from serious harm. Thus the subject is worth a little consideration from the GM before the campaign starts.
ARMOR LIST
The standard means to use Armor is to reference the charts on pages 487 - 488 of the HERO System Fifth Edition Revised rulebook, or the much more detailed coverage starting on page 190 of Fantasy HERO for HERO System 5th Edition. Characters purchase their Armor with in game currency (or otherwise acquire them through play), and wear them for the listed effects. This is an adequate and perfectly workable approach, however it leaves some potential for abuse, and warrants some additional consideration.
ARMOR PROFICIENCY HOUSE RULE
In addition to some inherent drawbacks stemming from the general awkwardness of wearing Armor, it is recommended that a House Rule be implemented requiring characters to be proficient with Equipment based Armors or else suffer stiff penalties.
 This is handled via two point Armor Familiarities (AF) for each of several categories of Armor, and a one point Armor Familiarity for Shields. Characters lacking the appropriate proficiency may wear Armor, but suffer major penalties for doing so for both Equipment and Magic based Armors designed with the "Real Armor" Limitation.
The following chart describes the Categories of Armor, the DEX Roll and DCV Penalties always incurred by wearing that Category of Armor, and finally the penalty incurred by characters lacking the appropriate Familiarity for that type of Armor. These penalties are described in more detail following the chart.
CATEGORY NON PROFICIENCY PENALTY DEX ROLL PENALTY DCV PENALTY
LIGHT -2 DEX Rolls, -1 DCV -0 -0
MEDIUM -4 DEX Rolls, -2 DCV -1 -1
HEAVY -6 DEX Rolls, -3 DCV -2 -2
SHIELD, Buckler Standard -0 -0
SHIELD Standard -1 -0
SHIELD, Tower Standard -4 -0
SHIELD PROFICIENCY
Shield Master: AF: Shield
Real Cost: 2 Points
LIGHT ARMOR PROFICIENCY
Light Armor Master: AF: Light Armor
Real Cost: 2 Points
MEDIUM ARMOR PROFICIENCY
Medium Armor Master: AF: Medium Armor
Real Cost: 2 Points
HEAVY ARMOR PROFICIENCY
Heavy Armor Master: AF: Heavy Armor
Real Cost: 2 Points
NON PROFICIENCY PENALTY
Characters lacking the appropriate Familiarity may still wear Armor, but they suffer penalties as indicated in this column.
DEX ROLL AND DCV PENALTY
Equipment based Armor is cumbersome and imposes penalties upon the wearer. Whenever attempting a DEX Roll or using a DEX Based Skill the Character sufferers the listed penalty; further if the character is taking a physical action which the GM determines is precarious or awkward the Character must make a DEX or Skill Roll at the listed penalties to avoid falling over or otherwise inconveniencing themselves at the GM's discretion. These penalties can be counteracted with the use of Penalty Skill Levels as described later.
EXAMPLE: The warrior Soratosa wears a suit of Full Plate, a Heavy Armor. He is proficient, but he still suffers a -2 to DEX Rolls and a -2 DCV while wearing his Armor. Soratosa later acquires a squire named Jared and kits the lad out in a suit of training plate, a Medium Armor; Jared is not proficient with Medium Armor yet and suffers -4 to DEX Rolls and -2 DCV until he is. After weeks of training Jared becomes proficient with Medium Armor and thenceforth takes only a -1 to DEX Roll and -1 DCV while wearing Medium Armor.
ARMOR BOUGHT AS A POWER AND MAGIC ARMOR
Magic or ostensibly mundane Armor built as a Power and paid for with Character Points do not suffer these penalties normally, unless the Real Armor Limitation is applied.
EXAMPLE 1: The warrior princess Vasalia was blessed at birth with a mystical Gift of Aegis defined as Armor 8 PD 8 ED; the player has paid 24 Character Points for their character to have this ability and did not take the Real Armor limitation (or a Focus for that matter) on this ability. Thus Vasalia does not need an Armor Proficiency for this ability and does not suffer the listed penalties for using it.
EXAMPLE 2: Later the warrior princess Vasalia is given a suit of Chainmail as a gift from another nation's ruler. Vasalia must wear the Armor during a diplomatic event out of courtesy, but she never bothered to learn how to wear Armor correctly since she doesn't need it. Chainmail is Medium Armor and Vasalia is Non Proficient, and thus she suffers -4 to DEX Rolls and -2 DCV while wearing the bulky suit of Armor.
EXAMPLE 3: Years later the warrior princess Vasalia discovers a suit of magical Armor while on a quest. The Armor is designed mechanically as Armor 10 PD 5 ED, Hardened (+1/4), OIF (-1/2), Independent (-2). The Real Armor Limitation was not taken, so Vasalia would suffer no penalties if she chose to wear the Armor. Part of it's magic makes it unrestrictive and easy to wear.
ENCUMBRANCE
If using the Encumbrance rules on page 379 of the HERO System 5th Edition Revised Rulebook, do not count the weight of Armor when determining the DCV / DEX Roll penalty, but do count it for determining Movement and END Cost per Turn penalties.
If this is to much bother for an individual GM, then just ignore the DEX Roll and DCV Penalties assessed above and use the Encumbrance based Penalties instead as a Campaign Ground rule. If a character has bought Armor Penalty Skill Levels (PSL's) to offset Armor Penalties, allow them to apply them to the portion of the Encumbrance Penalties stemming from the weight of their Armor.
ARMOR PENALTY SKILL LEVELS
A character can purchase Penalty Skill Levels (PSL's) to offset the DEX and DCV Penalties of wearing Armor. The character can purchase the 1.5 point Single Penalty Levels vs. either DEX or DCV, or the 2 point Tight Group levels vs. both DEX and DCV, at their discretion. It is almost always more efficient to purchase the Tight Group levels and it is assumed in the listing below that characters opt to do so.
ARMOR PENALTY SKILL LEVEL OPTIONS
SHIELD PSL
Shield DEX Offset: PSL: +1 to Offset DEX Penalty of Shield
Real Cost: 1.5 Point each
ARMOR DCV PSL
Armor DCV Offset: PSL: +1 to Offset DCV Penalty of Armor
Real Cost: 1.5 Point each
ARMOR DEX PSL
Armor DEX Offset: PSL: +1 to Offset DEX Penalty of Armor
Real Cost: 1.5 Point each
ARMOR FULL OFFSET PSL
Armor Total Offset: PSL: +1 to Offset DEX and DCV Penalties of Armor
Real Cost: 2 Points each
SHIELDS
The rules on pg 199 of Fantasy HERO apply to Shields and are fine as is.
EXPANDING SHIELDS
In Fantasy HERO Shields are based on a two slot Multipower with a DCV granting slot and a Hand Attack granting slot. A GM's might consider adding additional slots to Shields but require extra Weapon Familiarities for characters to use them.
THROWN SHIELD
The most obvious use of this is to add the ability to throw a Shield as a Weapon. The amount of damage done will vary by Shield type, but as a rule of thumb it will be equal to the damage for the Shield Bash slot already part of every Shield. The proficiency for this ability is a one point Uncommon Missile Weapon Familiarity, and the Power slot would be defined as follows:
THROWN SHIELD SLOT
Thrown Shield Slot: Energy Blast vs. PD with OAF (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4), STR Minimum 15-17 (-3/4), Lockout (-1/2)
THROWN SHIELD PROFICIENCY
Shield Tossing: WF: Uncommon Missile Weapon Familiarity (Thrown Shield)
Real Cost: 1 Point
COMBAT LUCK
Combat Luck is a new Talent in the HERO System 5th Edition and 5th Edition Revised that is essentially a limited form of Armor. It models the heroic "just missed me" effect very well, and is a great addition to campaigns where dexterous warriors are competitive with Armor clad warriors, and any campaign where a certain heroic "fudge factor" is desired.
It is assumed that many characters will opt to take a level or more of Combat Luck in Fantasy campaigns where it is allowed. However to keep defenses under control it is recommended that some form of control be implemented to limit Combat Luck to manageable levels.
RESTRICTION BASED ON CHARACTER POINT TOTAL
It is recommended that a House Rule be implemented limiting access to Combat Luck based upon a character's total Character Points. Under this sort of control, a character is restricted to a number of levels of Combat Luck equal to their Character Points divided by 50 for unlimited Combat Luck, or their Character Points divided by 25 for Combat Luck with at least -1/2 in Limitations upon it.
COMBAT LUCK CAPS
Unmodified Combat Luck: 1 Level per 50 Character Points
Modified Combat Luck: 1 Level per 25 Character Points
A GM may allow some character concepts to exceed this cap, and may forbid others from doing so at their discretion. Combat Luck always requires GM permission to purchase, but for my campaigns Combat Luck up to the limits listed above are considered auto-approved..
OVERLAP VS STACKING
The allowed number of Combat Luck Levels are intended to overlap rather than stacking. Thus if a 150 point character wanted a mix of Combat Luck, he could have no more than six total Levels (his Modified limit), up to three of which could have less than -1/2 in Limitations (his Unmodified limit).
ROUNDING
The normal HERO System Meta-rule of rounding in the characters favor applies when dividing a character's Point total by 50 or 25 to determine the number of Combat Luck Levels they may have. Thus, a 175 to 224 point character may have four Unmodified Levels of Combat Luck, and a 225 point character may have five Unmodified Levels of Combat Luck.
COMBAT LUCK AND AREA OF EFFECT ATTACKS
To maintain some sense of realism it is recommend that a House Rule be implemented stating that Combat Luck will not protect a character from an Area of Effect that effects the hex that the character is in and all the hexes around them.
ADJOINING OPEN HEX
If there is at least one open hex to any side of a character which is not in the Area of Effect, then that character may opt to use their Combat Luck vs. the AoE Attack but must move into the adjacent open hex of their choice as a Non-Action which takes no time; this can be done even if the character is unable to move normally because they have already acted in that Segment or would not act in that Segment, but may not be done if the character is immobilized. However, the character is prone in the new hex and at 1/2 DCV, just as if they had performed a failed Dive For Cover maneuver.
In this circumstance, the character subtracts their defenses from the AoE Attack, including applicable Combat Luck, and takes the remainder as normal.
Stacking Defenses
A concern when running Fantasy games is characters who layer defenses to the point where they are invulnerable. The average "goon" level opponent is capable of generating attacks of between 2d6+1 to 3d6 Killing damage, so a character with an 18 rPD is basically invulnerable to run of the mill opponents. At higher point levels this is not entirely inappropriate, but can be a problem early on.
The commonality of layered defenses becomes more prevalent if Magic Items are more common, and also in the case of Magic Users who might have several defense-oriented Magical Effects at their command. For instance, what happens when a character puts on an Amulet of Stone Skin and wears Plate Mail, both built using the Armor Power for instance? Or when a Wizard casts Mage Armor and Protection from Swords on themselves?
To limit the ability for a Character to stack several small defenses on themselves of the same type and attain Tank-like resistance to harm, it is recommended that a House Rule be implemented stating that if a Character has more than one Defense based upon the same HERO System Base Power, they may only apply one of them to any given attack.
Thus if a character has two Defenses based on Force Field, only one can apply to the same attack, or if a character has two Defenses based on Armor, etc.
For the purposes of this House Rule, the following are considered to be distinct Defenses.
DISTINCT DEFENSES
  • Armor
  • Damage Resistance
  • Force Field
  • Damage Reduction
  • Combat Luck
  • Flash Defense
  • Mental Defense
  • Power Defense
  • Triggered Missile Deflection
  • Triggered Dispel
  • Triggered Suppress
NOTE: Force Wall is not on this list. A Character protected by multiple Force Walls gets the benefit of all of them.
NOTE: A Force Field can also contain Flash Defense, Power Defense, and Mental Defense. This would add to each of those Defenses bought seperately if a Character had both.
EXAMPLE: Zeilos is an experienced adventurer that has been around and picked up a few Magic Items along the way to supplement his natural fighting skills. Zeilos wears Chainmail Armor (DEF 6), has three Levels of Combat Luck (DEF 9, hardened), has a Ring of Protection (defined as 25% Resistant Damage Reduction, Physical, Energy, Mental), and an Amulet of Purity (defined as +10 MD and +10 Power Defense), and finally a Belt of Unscathing (defined as a 0 END Persistent Force Field with 5 rDEF, +5 Flash Defense to Sight, +5 Flash Defense to Hearing, +5 Mental Defense, and +5 Power Defense.
All of these abilities are stackable, yielding an impressive 20 rDEF when his Combat Luck applies, or 11 rDEF otherwise, with +15 MD, +15 PowD, 5 Flash Defense vs Sight & Hearing, and 25% Resistant Damage Reduction. Zeilos is very impressive when fully kitted out.
However, if Zeilos also had the ability "Disciplined Mind; +5 Mental Defense" as a personal ability, it would not stack with the Amulet of Purity; Zeilos would get the benefit of one or the other (the higher of the two typically).

WEAPONS & ARMOR VARIANTS
For added fun, a GM might prefer to try a variant means of handling either Weapons or Armor or both. Variants range from extensions of the normal rules to completely alternate methods of handling the concepts. Fantasy HERO describes several variants for Weapons and Armor, but a few more are included here.
KILLER SHRIKE ARMS & ARMOR VARIANT
This option is in effect in my Campaigns
I use a slightly more complicated custom system for Arms and Armor in my campaigns. It is fully detailed in a separate document located here. It is not recommended for people new to the HERO System or Fantasy HERO, but it provides and interesting alternative for more advanced players.
ALTERED LETHALITY OPTION
This option is not in effect in my Campaigns
If an individual GM wants to use the standard Weapons and Armor rules but wants to adjust this the lethality level up or down, that is easily accommodated.
For less lethality, simply add 3 to all of the Armor DEF values given for various Armors. This cancels 3 Damage Classes (1d6) of Killing damage on average, making each hit less harmful.
For more lethality, simply add 1d6 to all of the Weapon damage listings given for various Weapons. This cancels 3 DEF of Armor on average, making each hit more lethal.
COST BASED ON EFFECT
This option is not in effect in my Campaigns
The cost of Equipment is a major controlling factor restricting its proliferation. However, since the economies of every setting vary, it is left to the GM's discretion to arrive at a cost list they are comfortable with. Between the list in Fantasy HERO on page 143, or the Equipment Lists from other Fantasy settings, or a custom setting-specific list a GM's might have, there are plenty of available options to choose from to determine the relative monetary costs of various Weapons and Armor. As long as the GM is consistent with the price list they use, it is effectively unimportant which list is used.
However, if an internally consistent means of determining cost from the actual effect of Weapons and Armor is desired, then a GM could simply charge 1 gc per 1 Damage Class (DC) for Weapons, and 2 gc per 1 DEF for Armor as a base, modified up or down by other factors such as rarity. Thus a "Very Light" Dagger is 2 DC (1/2D6 Killing) and would cost around 2 gold or 20 silver at the fairly standard 1 gold = 10 silver conversion rate found in several other games, while Leather Armor is 3 DEF and thus would cost 6 gold or 60 silver.
xD&D WEAPONS AND ARMOR LISTS
This option is not in effect in my Campaigns
While the Fantasy HERO Weapon and Armor lists are compendious, a GM might be more comfortable using the Weapon and Armor lists from some version of Dungeons and Dragons (xD&D). This is easy to do, and a couple of charts are provided to assist in this endeavor.
xD&D DAMAGE CONVERSION
Use the following chart for damage conversion from xD&D.
xD&D DAMAGE CONVERSION
xD&D DAMAGE HERO SYSTEM DAMAGE
1, 1d2 1 pip Killing Attack
1d4 1/2D6 Killing Attack
1d4+1 1D6-1 Killing Attack
1d6 1D6 Killing Attack
2d4 1D6+1 Killing attack
1d8 1 1/2D6 Killing Attack
1d10 2D6-1 Killing Attack
2d6, 1d12 2D6 Killing Attack
1d20 3D6 Killing Attack
xD&D ARMOR CONVERSION
Use the following chart to convert Armor from xD&D into the HERO System.
xD&D ARMOR CONVERSION
AD&D 2e
ARMOR
(PHB2e pg 75)
D&D 3e
ARMOR
(PHB3e pg 104)
HERO SYSTEM
DEF
(FH5e pg 190)
AC 10 +0 0
AC 9 +1 1
AC 8 +2 2
AC 7 +3 3
AC 6 +4 4
- +5 5
AC 4,5 +6 6
AC 3,2 +7 7
AC 1 +8 8
WEAPONS CONVERT STR TO KILLING
This option is not in effect in my Campaigns
Another option for handling Weapons is to remove the premise of different sorts of Weapons having different Power builds and instead handle them as objects that simply convert a characters STR into Killing Damage.
To do this, the standard idea of Weapon lists is discarded and instead Weapons are broken down into size groups relative to the wielder.
STR TO KILLING OPTION
Size Normal Size Example STR Needed DC Modifier
Miniscule Needle -30 Extra STR in DC, -6 DC
Tiny Dart -25 Extra STR in DC, -4 DC
Very Small Dagger -20 Extra STR in DC, -2 DC
Small Short Sword -15 Extra STR in DC
Medium Long Sword -10 Extra STR in DC, +2 DC
Large Great Sword -5 Extra STR in DC, +4 DC
Huge Zweihandler Sword 0 Extra STR in DC, +6 DC
To use this method, the relative size of a Weapon to it's wielder is considered to determine several key factors. For each full 5 points of STR beyond the STR Needed to use a Weapon the wielder does +1 Damage Class (DC) more damage. The relative size of the Weapon modifies this up or down.
Thus a Dagger is "Very Small" to a normal sized character, but Miniscule to a character four times larger (such as a Giant). If a Human with 15 STR were to wield the Dagger, they would have 35 more STR than needed to use the Dagger (15 - -20 = 35) which converts to +7 Damage Classes; however the Dagger's small size mitigates some of this potential with a -2 DC penalty. The final result is 5 DC's, or 1 1/2d6 Killing damage.
If the same character were to wield a Short Sword they would do 2d6 Killing damage (30 Extra STR = 6 DC's = 2d6 K).
WEAPONS AS MARTIAL MANUEVERS
This option is not in effect in my Campaigns
Another option for handling Weapons is to make a collection of Martial Maneuvers using the expanded Maneuver list and if necessary the rules provided for Custom Maneuvers in the Ultimate Martial Artist.
To use this system, take the Normal Damage Strikes and convert the Damage Classes to Killing Damage rather than building them with the Killing Damage base where possible.
Most Weapons can be handled with a single Strike and several Weapon Elements, but some of the more unusual Weapons might take several Maneuvers to handle. Thus a character with Martial Strike could take several Weapon Elements to cover Long Swords, Broad Swords, and Sabers with that one Maneuver.
Usually buying a Weapon Element with Martial Arts allows a character to apply all their Maneuvers to that Weapon if possible, but if this approach is used a little restraint must be practiced by players to only use the Maneuvers appropriate to a particular Weapon even though technically they could use all of their Maneuvers with it if they have the appropriate Weapon Elements.
Weapons As Maneuvers Example
Type of Weapon Maneuvers
Dagger Basic Strike, Basic Shot
Short Sword Defensive Strike, Martial Block, Martial Disarm
Rapier Counter Strike, Fast Strike, Martial Block, Weapon Bind
Katana Fast Strike, Passing Strike, Defensive Block, Martial Disarm
Long Sword Martial Strike, Martial Block, Martial Disarm
Great Sword Offensive Strike, Sacrifice Strike, Defensive Block
Battle Axe Offensive Strike, Takedown, Rapid Attack
Whip Legsweep, Martial Grab, Martial Disarm, Choke Hold.
Spear Fast Strike, Moving Shot, Quick Shot, Martial Block
Club Offensive Strike, Shove, Defensive Strike
EXAMPLE: Julius uses a Greatsword primarily, which he buys as Offensive Strike, Sacrifice Strike, and Defensive Block, with the Greatsword Element. Later Julius learns to use the Whip and buys Legsweep, Martial Grab, Martial Disarm, and Choke Hold with the Whip Element. Technically by the letter of the rules Julius could use his Legsweep and Choke Hold Manuevers with a Great Sword, but this defies both common sense and intent and should not be allowed if this variant system is used.