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Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

Tag Archives: Equipment

D&D 5E – Sedan Chairs

The Sedan Chair

This are my house rules for sedan chairs.  Sedan chairs are essentially carts carried by strong humanoids, referred to as chairmen. All sedan chairs have silk tarps and heavy leather curtains to protect against snoops or the weather.

These portable covered chairs sport side windows and a hinged door at the front. Sedan chairmen insert long wood poles into metal brackets on either side of the chair. The poles are long and springy and provided a slightly bouncy ride. They are arranged in such a manner that the chair will remain in a horizontal position as the chairmen climb up steps or steep slopes. Passengers enter and exit between the poles.

For the more ornate sedan chairs, painters will create beautiful scenes on panels mounted on the sides, and many are extravagantly upholstered in silk on the inside. The less affluent have plainer, leather covered chairs.

Because these portable chairs can be carried inside buildings, people can be transported around the city without being identified. This makes it easier for people who were evading the law to go about their business, or for public personages to carry on trysts.

Chairmen have to be strong, fit and healthy as they are often standing outside in all weathers.

Cost for chairmen.

Permanent employ: 10 gp per week (5 gp for each chairman)

Per day: 2 gp per day (1 gp for each chairman)

Speed: The chair weighs 60 lb. If the total weight carried is under 200 lb. then the speed is 30 ft. If the total weight carried is 200 lb. or more, the speed is reduced to 20 ft. (Unless both chairmen have a strength of 20 or higher.)

 

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D&D 5E – Non-standard weapon/armor materials

Special Weapon Materials

With the exception of Adamantine armor and weapons, and Mithral armor, fifth edition does not (yet) have any official rules for weapons and armor made from other non-standard materials. If your campaign includes primitive lands, you might need rules for stone or bone. Here are some house rules you may want to use.

The metal weapons and armor in the PHB are assumed to be steel. In primitive areas, steel may not be available. In other areas more advanced materials such as Adamantine or Mithral might be available. Some of these materials grant the item the fragile property – a property that can be applied to both weapons and armor.

The Fragile Property

Fragile Weapons
Fragile weapons cannot take the beating that sturdier weapons can. If you roll a natural 1 on an attack roll with a fragile weapon, you must then make a DC(10) Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) save or that weapon is damaged and only does half damage after that. If already damaged, the weapon is destroyed instead.
Fragile Armor
Armor with the fragile property falls apart when hit with heavy blows. If you are wearing fragile armor and are hit with a critical hit, you must make a DC(10) Dexterity (Acrobatics) save or the armor is damaged and the AC bonus it provides is halved. If already damaged, the armor is destroyed instead.

Adamantine

This is one of the hardest substances in existance.
Adamantine armor
Can be any Medium or heavy armor, but not hide. While you’re wearing it, any critical hit against you becomes a normal hit.
Adamantine weapons
Melee weapons and ammunition made of or coated with adamantine are unusually effective when used to break objects. Whenever an adamantine weapon or piece of ammunition hits an object, the hit is a critical hit.
Cost
The adamantine version of a suit of armor, or a melee weapon or of ten pieces of ammunition costs 500 gp more than the normal version, whether the weapon or ammunition is made of the metal or coated with it.

Mithral

Mithral is a light, flexable metal.
Mithral armor
Can be any Medium or Heavy armor, but not hide. A mithral chain shirt or brestplate can be worn under normal cloths. If the armor normally imposes disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks or has a Strength requirement, the mithral version of the armor doesn’t.
Mithral weapons
An item made from mithral weighs half as much as the same item made from other metals. Mithral is too light to be used for Heavy weapons. If the weapon isn’t Heavy, it becomes Light. If it is already listed as Light it gains the Finesse property. If the weapon is Two-Handed it is now instead Versatile. Mithral ammunition it too light to be effective.
Cost
The mithral version of a suit of armor or a melee weapon costs 200 gp more than the normal version.

Cold Iron

This iron, mined deep underground, known for its effectiveness against fey creatures, is forged at a lower temperature to preserve its delicate properties. Items made of cold iron weighs one and one half times as much as the same item made from steel.
Cold Iron armor
Can be any Medium or Heavy armor, but not hide. Medium armor imposes a -1 penalty to the DEX modifier for calculating the Armor Class (AC). Heavy armor requires a Str score 2 points higher than that listed in the PHB. Cold iron armor grants a +2 bonus to armor class against any attacks from fey creatures.
Cold Iron weapons
Items without metal parts cannot be made from cold iron. An arrow could be made of cold iron, but a standard quarterstaff could not. Cold iron weapons lose all Light and Finesse properties.  A cold iron weapon grants a +2 bonus to hit against fey creatures. If the creature wielding it has a strength score of 15 or higher,  and the weapon does bludgeoning damage, a +1 bonus is added to damage rolls.
Cost
The cold iron version of a suit of armor or a melee weapon costs twice as much as the normal version.

Steel

Steel is the default metal used for weapons and armor.
Steel is iron ore with unwanted impurities removed and other impurities introduced. These impurities strengthen iron, making it far more resilient.

Iron

Items made of iron weighs one and one half times as much as the same item made from steel.
Iron armor
Can be any Medium or Heavy armor, but not hide. Medium armor imposes a -1 penalty to the DEX modifier for calculating the Armor Class (AC). Heavy armor requires a Str score 2 points higher than that listed in the PHB.
Iron weapons
Items without metal parts cannot be made from iron. An arrow could be made of iron, but a standard quarterstaff could not. Iron weapons lose all Light and Finesse properties.
Cost
Armor and Weapons made from Iron cost the same as those made from steel.

Bronze

Before the advent of iron and steel, bronze ruled the world. This easily worked metal can be used in place of steel for both weapons and armor. For simplicity’s sake, similar or component metals such as brass, copper, or even tin can use the following rules, even though in reality bronze is both harder and more reliable than those metals.
Bronze Armor
Bronze can be used to create any medium or light armor made entirely of metal or that has metal components. It protects a creature as well as steel armor does, but it has the fragile property. Bronze armor has the same weight as normal steel armor of its type.
Bronze Weapons
Bronze weapons have the same weight and do the same damage as steel weapons of the same type but also have the fragile property.
Cost
Armor and Weapons made from bronze cost half as much as those made from steel.

Stone

Stone Age weapons almost always utilize stone in some way. From rocks lashed to wooden hafts to create early maces and axes, to flint knives and stone arrowheads, these primitive weapons are still deadly.
Stone Armor
Armor cannot usually be constructed from stone, but advanced, often alchemically enhanced stone armor made by dwarves or other stone-working cultures does exist. They are one third the weight of their base armor, and have the fragile property.
Stone Weapons
Light and one-handed bludgeoning weapons, spears, axes, daggers, and arrowheads can all be made of stone. Weapons made of stone are one third the weight of their base weapons, and have the fragile property.
Cost
Alchemically enhanced stone armor cost twice its standard cost. Weapons made from stone cost one quarter as much as those made from steel.

Bone

Bone can be used in place of wood and steel in weapons and armor. Other animal-based materials like horn, shell, and ivory also use the rules for bone weapon and armor.
Bone Armor
Studded leather, scale mail, breastplates, and wooden shields can all be constructed using bone. Bone either replaces the metal components of the armor, or in the case of wooden shields, large pieces of bone or shell replace the wood. They are one quarter the weight of their base armor, and have the fragile property. The armor/shield bonus of bone armor is reduced by 1. If the armor normally imposes disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks or has a Strength requirement, the bone version of the armor doesn’t.
Bone Weapons
Light and one-handed melee weapons, as well as two-handed weapons that deal bludgeoning damage only, can be crafted from bone. Hafted two-handed weapons such as spears can be crafted with bone tips, as can arrowheads. Other two-handed weapons cannot be constructed of bone. Bone weapons have the the fragile property. Bone weapons take a –1 penalty on damage rolls (minimum 1 damage).
Cost
Armor and Weapons made from bone cost one tenth as much as those made from steel, but they are not normally available except in those cultures that use them.

Rustic Wood

We are talking here about non-tempered wood that is fashioned by hand with primitive tools into armor or weapons.
Rustic Wood Armor
Studded leather, scale mail, breastplates, and shields can all be constructed using roughly worked wood. Wood replaces the metal components of the armor. They are one quarter the weight of their base armor, and have the fragile property. The armor bonus of rustic wood armor is half that listed in the PHB, except no AC reduction for rustic wood shields. If the armor normally imposes disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks or has a Strength requirement, the wood version of the armor doesn’t.
Rustic Wooden Weapons
Light and one-handed melee weapons, as well as two-handed weapons that deal bludgeoning damage only, can be crafted from roughly worked wood. Hafted two-handed weapons such as spears can be crafted entirely of wood, as can arrows. Other two-handed weapons cannot be constructed of wood. Rustic Wood weapons have the the fragile property. Rustic Wood weapons take a –2 penalty on damage rolls (minimum 1 point damage).
Cost
Rustic Wood Armor and Weapons are not normally available except in those cultures that use them. A PC might make them himself, or barter for them.

D&D 5E – Using Shields as Weapons (House Rule)

Attacking With A Shield

I have addressed the fifth edition rules for using a shield in a previous post (HERE). But I recently had a player ask if he could use a spiked shield. I couldn’t think of a good reason that he shouldn’t be allowed to do that, but the rules as written don’t specifically address the issue.
Time for a new house rule.
I soon realized that to do this I really needed to re-examine all of the rules for attacking with shields. What I came up with is a redefining of a normal shield – when it is used as a weapon – as well as spiked shields and a couple of other issues.

Normal Shields

Simple weapon: Normal shields can be used as simple light melee weapons.
Damage: 1d4 + STR bonus (bashing).
Proficiency: You are only proficient with normal shields used as weapons if you are proficient with all simple weapons.

Spiked Shields

(This shield is constructed with a sharpened spike at its center.)
Martial weapon: A spiked shield is a light martial melee weapon.
Damage: 1d6 + STR bonus (piercing).
Cost: You can add a spike to a normal shield for an additional cost of 2 gp. (Adding more than one spike does not change the damage.)
Proficiency: You are only proficient with spiked shields used as weapons if you are proficient with all martial weapons.

If you lack proficiency:

They can still be used as an improvised weapons, doing 1d4 + STR bonus damage. The damage type will be bashing for normal shields, or piercing if it is a spiked shield.

Two weapon fighting:

When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a shield that you’re holding in the other hand, but only if you are proficient with using it as a weapon. You don’t add your ability modifier to the shield attack damage, unless that modifier is negative

Effect on armor class:

Using a shield to make an attack doesn’t deprive you of the +2 AC bonus.

Dual wielder feat:

You do not gain a +1 bonus to AC while you are wielding a shield (spiked or not).

D&D 5.0 – Weight of Standard Equipment Packs

Nodwick

The Basic Rules for Dungeons and Dragons are available as a free pdf download from Wizards of the Coasts. If you don’t have yours yet they are available here. I am very excited about these and will post a full review later. For now, here is something I hope you will find helpful.

The rules for encumbrance is a variant. However, if you choose to use them it would help if the weight of the various equipment packs were listed in the D&D Basic Rules. I have added up the weight of each of the individual items in each pack and have listed them here. These weights assume a full waterskin, for the packs that contain one. You can subtract 5 lb. for an empty waterskin.

Just out of curiosity, I also added up the cost of the packs if the items were purchased separately. It turns out that most of them really are a bargain, so if you like most of the items they contain, you may as well go with a pack.

Burglar’s Pack (16 gp): Total Weight 46.5 lb (Over 21 gp. if purchased separately.)

Diplomat’s Pack (39 gp): Total Weight 46 lb (Slightly over 39 gp. if purchased separately.)

Dungeoneer’s Pack (12 gp): Total Weight 61.5 lb (Over 17 gp. if purchased separately.)

Entertainer’s Pack (40 gp): Total Weight 38 lb (Over 63 gp. if purchased separately.)

Explorer’s Pack (10 gp): Total Weight 59 lb (Same cost of 10 gp. if purchased separately.)

Priest’s Pack (19 gp): Total Weight 25 lb (Over 27 gp. if purchased separately.)
The Priest’s Pack contains items that are not listed for purchase separately. Here are the values I used.
alms box, [a well-made small wooden box about 1 gp and 1 lb.]
2 blocks of incense, [2 smaller blocks of cheap incense should cost about 1 gp, the weight is negligible]
censer, [a light weight brass censer and chain should be about the same as a holy symbol 5 gp 1 lb]
vestments, [Fine clothes cost 15 gp and weigh 6 lb. so we can use that]

Scholar’s Pack (40 gp): Total Weight 11 lb (Cost of a little over 40 gp. if purchased separately.)
This assumes a small knife cost 2 gold pieces and a little bag of sand is 1 lb.

//

Starting Equipment

If you ever need to quickly equip a character, here is what I use in my D&D Lite house rules.

For first level characters, you can use the starting package listed below

Clothing:

Your character has one outfit of normal clothes. Your can ignore the weight of your clothing when calculating the weight you are carrying.  This will typically include sturdy  boots,  leather breeches  or  a  skirt,  a  belt,  a  shirt  (perhaps  with  a  vest  or  jacket), gloves,  and  a  cloak. The clothes have plenty of pockets (especially the cloak).  The outfit can also include any extra items you might need, such as a scarf or a wide-brimmed hat.

Equipment:

Your character has this equipment: backpack, waterskin, one day’s trail rations, bedroll, sack, flint and steel, and three torches. Add to this the equipment and money listed below for your character’s class.

Barbarian: Studded leather armor, greataxe, shortbow, quiver with 20 arrows and 8 gp.

Bard: Studded leather armor, longsword, light crossbow, case with 10 crossbow bolts, lute (common), spell component pouch and 8 gp.

Cleric: Scale mail armor, heavy wooden shield, heavy mace, light crossbow, case with 10 crossbow bolts, wooden holy symbol and 4 gp.

Druid: Hide armor, heavy wooden shield, scimitar, club, sling, pouch with 10 sling bullets, holly and mistletoe and 6 gp.

Fighter: Scale mail armor, greatsword, shortbow, quiver with twenty arrows and 8 gp.

Monk: Quarterstaff, sling, pouch with 10 sling stones and 8 gp. (no armor)

Paladin: Scale mail armor, heavy wooden shield, longsword, shortbow, hooded lantern, three pints of oil, quiver with 20 arrows, wooden holy symbol and 24 gp.

Ranger: Studded leather armor, longsword, short sword, longbow, quiver with 20 arrows and 8 gp.

Rogue: Leather armor, short sword, light crossbow, dagger, thieves’ tools, hooded lantern and three pints of oil, case with 10 crossbow bolts and 16 gp.

Sorcerer: Shortspear, light crossbow, hooded lantern, 5 pints of oil, spell component pouch, case with 10 crossbow bolts and 12 gp. (no armor)

Wizard: Quarterstaff, light crossbow, ten candles, map case, three pages of parchment, ink, inkpen, spell component pouch, spellbook, case with 10 crossbow bolts and 18 gp. (no armor)