These are the Weapon Mastery rules that I use for my Labyrinth Lord game. They are very stripped down version of the rules from BECMI (Master set and Rules Cyclopedia). You can use them in pretty much any OSR clone. The rules have seen five yearly revisions in our game, and will likely see more. They are not focused on realism, but rather on emulating the classic Weapon Mastery rules without all the complexity of target types and defense matrices. If you have any thoughts or suggestion please comment below.
WEAPON MASTERY TRAINING
Characters must choose what weapons they are able to use proficiently. Each Weapon Mastery slot can be used for any weapon choice the character wishes, so a magic-user could choose dagger and battle axe for her two Mastery slots. These initial Mastery slots must be spent on different weapon selections.
- Dwarf Class, Elf Class, and Halfling Class begin with Basic Mastery in all weapons they are capable of using.
- Fighters, Paladins, and Rangers begin with 4 Mastery slots.
- All other classes begin with 2 Mastery slots.
All characters gain an additional Mastery slot every three levels (3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, etc). These additional Mastery slots can be used to train with new weapons or to increase the Mastery level of a weapon you have already trained with by one tier (Skilled to Expert for example). In either case, a character must seek out an Expert (or better) trainer and study under the trainer for a week or more. Each week of training costs a variable amount of gold based on the level of Mastery sought. A student can only advance one Mastery level at a time, and may only be training one weapon at a time. Each increasing tier of Weapon Mastery grants bonuses and maneuvers as follows;
- Untrained (No slots), -4 to hit.
- Basic (1 slot); normal hit and damage rules.
- Skilled (2 slots); +1 bonus to hit, criticals on a natural 20, maneuvers.
- Expert (3 slots); +2 bonus to hit, criticals 19-20, maneuvers, increased damage.
- Master (4 slots); +3 bonus to hit and defense, criticals 18-20, maneuvers, increased damage +2.
- Grand Master (5 slots); +4 bonus to hit and defense, criticals 17-20, maneuvers, double increased damage +4, despair.
There is a chance even after time and money has been spent, that the character will fail to advance, leaving his Mastery slot still open. After each week a student must make a success roll, if the roll is failed the student loses the time and money invested in training that week, but gains a cumulative +10% bonus to his chance of success on the following week. The trainer must have an equal or higher level of Mastery than what the student seeks to learn. An Expert trainer grants no modifier to the student’s chance of success, however a Master grants the student +10% to his chance of success, and a Grand Master grants the student +20% to his chance of success. During the training the character can take up to one week off for each four weeks of training. Any more time away from training will cause the character to fail entirely. Often this “time off” will be in doing quests for the Master trainer. Note that with the cumulative bonus to the chance of success for each week of failure, all persistent students will eventually succeed. In a pinch a Skilled trainer can teach a student, but the chance of success is only 1% and typically no money is exchanged.
- Basic, Requires 1 success at 100 GP each week of training. Chance of success 80%.
- Skilled, Requires 2 successes at 250 GP each week. Chance of success 60%.
- Expert, Requires 4 successes at 500 GP each week. Chance of success 40%.
- Master, Requires 8 successes at 750 GP each week. Chance of success 20%.
- Grand Master, Requires 12 successes at 1,000 GP each week. Chance of success 10%.
|Axe (hand),||1d6 slashing,||Throw, Critical Stun.|
|Club,||1d4 bludgeoning,||Critical Delay (includes torches and blunt objects).|
|Dagger,||1d4 piercing,||Throw, Critical Damage.|
|Light Flail,||1d6 bludgeoning,||Disarm.|
|Heavy Flail,||1d8 bludgeoning,||Disarm, Two-handed.|
|Light Hammer,||1d4 bludgeoning,||Throw.|
|War Hammer,||1d6 bludgeoning,||Critical Stun, Two-handed.|
|Lance,||1d6 piercing,||Charge, Set, Reach 10 ft.|
|Mace,||1d6 bludgeoning,||Critical Delay.|
|Morning Star,||1d6 bludgeoning,||Critical Stun, Two-handed.|
|Light Pick,||1d6 piercing,||Critical Delay.|
|Heavy Pick,||1d8 piercing,||Critical Stun, Two-handed.|
|Polearm,||1d10 piercing,||Deflect, Reach 10 ft, Two-handed.|
|Quarterstaff,||1d6 bludgeoning,||Critical Delay, Deflect, Reach 10 ft.|
|Spear,||1d6 piercing,||Charge, Set, Reach 10 ft.|
|Bastard Sword,||slash/pierce,||Either Longsword or Greatsword.|
|Long Sword,||1d8 slash/pierce,||Deflect, Disarm (includes scimitar and cutlass).|
|Short Sword,||1d6 slash/pierce,||Deflect, Disarm (includes rapier and saber).|
|Great Sword,||1d10 slashing,||Critical Stun, Two-handed.|
|Trident,||1d6 piercing,||Critical Skewer, Set, Throw.|
|Whip,||1d4 slashing,||Critical Delay, Entangle, Reach 10 ft.|
|Crossbow, light,||1d6 piercing,||Increased Range, Critical Delay|
|Heavy Crossbow,||1d8 piercing,||Increased Range, Critical Stun (reloading takes a move action).|
|Dart,||1d4 piercing,||Increased Range, Rapid-fire (includes shuriken and throwing knives).|
|Javelin,||1d6 piercing,||Increased Range, Critical Delay.|
|Longbow,||1d8 piercing,||Increased Range, Critical Stun.|
|Shortbow,||1d6 piercing,||Increased Range, Critical Delay.|
|Sling,||1d4 bludgeoning,||Increased Range, Critical Delay.|
EXPLANATION OF TERMS
Maneuvers are different for each weapon (deflect, entangle, etc). Either you attempt a maneuver or else it happens automatically whenever you roll a Critical, depending on the maneuver.
- Increased Damage: instead of using the listed damage for a weapon you used the next higher die. (1d4 becomes 1d6, etc).
- Double Increased Damage: roll additional dice and add the damage modifier once (1d4 becomes 2d6+modifier).
- Defense bonus: a proficiency bonus to the character’s AC as he uses the weapon to block, parry and threaten attackers.
- Despair: or once per encounter a using a move action to make a flashy presentation with the weapon, the wielder can force all opponents to make a morale check. Opponents who fail must attempt to flee on their next action, cowering if this isn’t possible. If a cowering opponent is attacked it will fight back at -4 penalty, until an opportunity to flee presents itself. Despair only affects opponents with greater than animal intelligence, who are not immune to fear (no golems, animated undead, insects, etc). Despair also occurs anytime the character rolls a Critical on an attack.
- Charge: If the attacker moves at least 60 feet in a straight line they may attack in the same action and the weapon deals double damage (multiply total damage result by x2). Any weapon can be used in a charge (move action) but they do not deal double damage without the Charge Maneuver (lance & spear). Note that a charging attacker suffers -2 defense until their next action.
- Critical: a natural 20 rolled on the attack causes a critical hit from a Skilled wielder. The damage rolled is multiplied by two after all modifiers. Increased levels of Weapon Mastery increase the chances of scoring a Critical. Maneuvers with Critical in the name occur in addition to this extra damage.
- Critical Delay: when a Critical is rolled to hit the target will act last (even after two handed weapons) until the end of their next round.
- Critical Skewer: when a Critical is rolled to hit, in addition to dealing damage the attacker may leave the weapon in the target, who must take an additional 2d6 damage each round until it is pulled out (strength check by attacker or target).
- Critical Stun: when a Critical is rolled to hit the target is delayed and is at -4 to hit until the end of their next round.
- Deflect: in addition to regular attacks, you can counter attack ONE incoming blow each round if you you can beat the attacker’s hit roll (compare against AC hit). At Expert you can attempt to Deflect 2 different attacks, 3 attacks at Master, then 4 at Grand Master.
- Disarm: on a successful hit, instead of dealing damage the attacker can force target to drop a weapon or item held. The attacker can also opt to Disarm on a critical (in addition to dealing damage).
- Entangle: on a successful hit, instead of dealing damage the attacker can entangle the target who then cannot take move actions until it uses an action to escape (save vs. Paralyzation) or somehow breaks the weapon.
- Increased Range: each of this weapon’s range increments is increased by +10′ at each mastery level starting with Skilled Mastery.
- Multiplying Damage: roll damage and add modifiers, then multiply the total result. If you ever have to multiply damage more than once you increase the multiplier one step. A weapon with x2 damage from mastery and x2 damage from a charge would deal x3 damage, and if the wielder was using a potion of giant strength it would be multiplied again for x4 damage total.
- Rapid-fire: the attacker may make one additional ranged attack with this weapon. At increased Mastery levels you may make more attacks (+2 attacks at Expert, +3 attacks at Master, +4 attacks at Grand Master).
- Set: as a move action this weapon may be set vs. a charging opponent. The Set attack is rolled before the Charge and deals double damage (multiply total damage result by x2). If this incapacitates the charger then the charge attack is cancelled.
- Throw: this weapon may be thrown, short range 10’/ medium range 20’/ long range 30′. At increased Mastery levels each range increment is increased 10 feet (short 20′ at Expert, short 30′ at Master, then short 40′ at Grand Master).
- Two Handed: this weapon requires both hands. The character cannot use a shield, and always strikes last in combat, during the melee step of the End phase. Two handed weapons are typically too big for a halfling character to use.
last revision 04/4/2017