Search Results for forged in fire

Fantasy Pollaxe for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Once again, I was watching the show Forged in Fire, and found myself moved to write Pathfinder Roleplaying Game stats for the features weapon. In this case it was a pollaxe, which is similar in some regards to the halberd and lucerne hammer, but distinct enough (and was common enough) I think it deserves its own write-up.

Martial Two-Handed Weapon

Name    Cost       Dmg (S) Dmg (M)    Crit    Weight   Type      Special
Pollaxe  30gp      1d8           1d10           x2       7 lbs.        B/S/P     Brace, Trip

A pollaxe is a common weapon among knights and those who must face heavily armored foes on foot. It has a wooden haft between fix and six-and-a-half feet long, with languets running along the top third or half. A metal head is mounted to the top, which features an axe blade, hammerhead, and spike. It is often confused with the halberd (which has a larger axe blade and normally no hammer), and the lucerne hammer (which has a clawhead rather than an axe blade).

A proficient character can use a pollaxe one-handed. Whenever a pole-axe is used one-handed, it is a one-handed weapon, and it’s damage die is reduced by one step (to d8, for S/M weapons).

A proficient character using a pollaxe two-handed, and who has the Lunge feat, can use Lunge with the pollaxe while taking only a -1 penalty to AC (rather than the normal -2).

A proficient character using a pollaxe two-handed, and who has the Combat Patrol feat, can use Combat Patrol as a standard action (rather than the full round action).

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Falx for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

The falx is a weapon so powerful, it forced the Romans to make the only change to their armor (reinforced helmets) that was recorded as occurring specifically because of an enemy weapon. Used by the Dacians and Thracians, the falx was a curved blade sharpened on the inside edge. Contemporaneous accounts suggest it was made in both one-handed and two-handed versions, but the one-handed may also have been used in both hands at least sometimes. It seems to have come in both swordlike and polearm-like designs, and while its most powerful swing appears to have been a devastating overhand chop, it may also have been used to thrust. It seems related to the rhomphaia (as featured on a recent episode of the television show Forged in Fire), and went through many design evolutions. During much of the time it was a popular weapon, creating a long, sharp, strong blade required particularly skilled smiths, so the longer-bladed falx may have been weapons of prestige as well.

In short, it is exactly the kind of weapon rpg players love to argue about by finding specific references or illustrations that support one concept of what it looked like and how it was used, while ignoring others. And there’s just no need for that in an rpg setting. There’s room for lots of falx ideas to all be lumped together in one game mechanical weapon, the same way the pathfinder Roleplaying game combines numerous distinct weapon designs into the broad categories of shortsword” or “longsword.”

(Martial) Two-Handed Melee Weapons Name    Cost       Dmg (S) (M)        Crit         Weight  Type      Special

Falx        75 gp     1d4        1d6        19-20*, x4             8 lbs.     P or S     Disarm, trip

*See description

Falx: A falx is a two-handed martial weapon, but if Exotic Weapon Proficiency is taken with it, it can be wielded as a one-handed weapon. It is part of the axes, heavy blades, and polearms weapon groups. A falx is considered to have a threat range of “20” for the purposes of all abilities that increase threat ranges, but after making all such calculations its threat range is increased by 1. For example, a keen falx doubles its normal threat range of 20 to 19-20, then increases that threat range by 1 (to 18-20).

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Fantasy Tabar-Shishpar for Pathfinder

Welcome to more things inspired by Forged in Fire, where I do fantasy Pathfinder version of weapons I was introduced to by the television show Forged in Fire. Given how cool many of the weapons they feature on that show are, I decided to go back to this idea do another one. And while doing so, I thought I would continue to explore the design space created by using odd-sided dice (d5s, d7s, and so on) such as those available from Impact Miniatures (who are running a Kickstarter right now for more of these dice—I have nothing to do with the campaign, but I own a lot of their dice and are very happy with them).

This is an effort at a fantasy pathfinder version of the Tabar-Shishpar, a weapon from the Deccan region of India that appears to have existed in the 17th and 18th centuries, though it was always rare. “Tabar” means axe (the tabar was a horseman’s axe) and shishpar means mace and refers to a flnged mace introduced by the Delhi Sultanate. The Tabar-Shishpar is thus an axe-mace, with a single-bladed axe at one end and a mace at the other end of a roughly 3-foot-long metal haft.  The same stats can also be used for the Tabar-Zaghnal (“axe-hammer”).

This is a game option inspired by the real-world history of the weapon, and is designed to be no more accurate than the Pathfinder versions of the longsword or falchion.

Although the Tabar-Shishpar has a weapon head at each end of the haft (like a gnomish hook-hammer), it is not a double weapon—only one end is designed to be used at a time, with the haft being flipped by the user when switching which head to attack with. As a result magic weapon properties (and abilities that emulate them) affect the entire Tabar-Shishpar, rather than only one end of it.

When the mace head is used, the axe is held facing outward to prevent self-injury.

Tabar-Shishpar (Two-Handed Martial Weapon)

Cost 20 gp     Weight 1.5 lbs.

Light: Dmg (S) 1d9 (B, S)     DMG (M) 1d11 (B, S)     Crit 20, x3     Switch-hit

Switch-Hit: The Tabar-Shishpar does either bludgeoning or slashing damage, depending on how you hold it. Changing between the two damage types is a swift or move action. If you are not proficient with the Tabar-Shishpar and you roll a natural 1 on an attack roll (a “1” shows on the d20), you must either drop the weapon or do half base weapon damage (ignoring all modifiers) to yourself.

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Fantasy Yatagan for Pathfinder

Welcome to more things inspired by Forged in Fire, where I do fantasy Pathfinder version of weapons I was introduced to by the television show Forged in Fire. Given how cool many of the weapons they feature on that show are, I decided to do another one. And while doing so, I thought I would continue to explore the design space created by using odd-sided dice (d5s, d7s, and so on) such as those available from Impact Miniatures.

This is an effort at a fantasy pathfinder version of the Yatagan, a weapon from the Ottoman Empire often used by janissaries. This is a game option inspired by the real-world history of the weapon, and is designed to be no more accurate than the Pathfinder versions of the longsword or falchion.

A Yatagan is a single-edged, light long knife or short saber, with a pronounced forward curve and a handle with a two-lobed pommel of “ears” that make the grip easy to hold on to. Despite being a one-handed (rather than light) melee weapon, you can use a Yatagan with Weapon Finesse, and any feat or ability that allows you to use your Dexterity modifier, rather than Strength modifier, with melee weapons.

Yatagan

Cost 20 gp     Weight 1.5 lbs.

Light: Dmg (S) 1d3     DMG (M) 1d5     Crit 18-20, x2,  gripping

Gripping: Gripping weapons give you a +2 bonus to your CMD against disarm, steal, and sunder maneuvers directed at that weapon.

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Fantasy Khanda for Pathfinder

Welcome to more things inspired by Forged in Fire. I already did a full fantasy Pathfinder version of the fascinating Akrafena (and a quick conversion for the Ida on my Patreon), both swords I was introduced to by the television show Forged in Fire. Given how cool many of the weapons they feature on that show are, I decided to do another one. And while doing so, I thought I would explore the design space created by using odd-sided dice (d5s, d7s, and so on) such as those available from Impact Miniatures.

This is an effort at a fantasy pathfinder version of the Khanda, a weapon from India with deep ties to various religions and philosophies. I am certainly not an expert on India, its history, or its religions. This is a game option inspired by the real-world history of the weapon, and is designed to be no more accurate than the Pathfinder versions of the longsword or falchion.

The Khanda is a one-handed martial weapon that is a double-edged straight sword, with a blade that widens near the tip (which is blunt). A Khanda’s grip guard is sufficiently encompassing to allow the weapon to deal damage as a gauntlet (though it still counts as a one-handed, rather than light, weapon). The blade has a reinforcement partway along the back, which is both stronger and dull (allowing the weapon to be grabbed at this point to reinforce the user’s grip for parrying powerful blows). A Khanda often has ornate religious iconography on its guard and blade, and a masterwork Khanda can act as a holy symbol for one specific deity.

Cost 20 gp     Weight 4 lbs.

1-handed: Dmg (S) 1d5     DMG (M) 1d7     Crit 19-20, x2  blocking, reinforced, trip

Reinforced: Reinforced weapons have their hardness increased by +1, and their hp increased by +25%.

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Fantasy Akrafena for Pathfinder

So, I am a huge fan of the show “Forged in Fire.” And, to my surprise, they sometimes forge weapons I am unfamiliar with. One of those is the Akrafena.

I can’t claim to be a scholar of the Akrafena, though I am fascinated by what little I have learned so far. So this is only a stab at a fantasy version of the weapon, no more accurate than the Pathfinder versions of the longsword or falchion.

Akrafena

The Akrafena is a sword with a curved blade roughly 2-1/4 feet long with heavy round elements in the handle, and cut-outs within the blade. It can be wielded as a 1-handed martial weapon, but if Exotic Weapon Proficiency is taken with it, it also can be used as a 2-handed weapon with different damage dice (noted below). Additionally, the markings on an Akrafena and how it is carried can convey information about its use and the intent and position of its user. Anyone with Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Akrafena) can make a single special Bluff check to convey a specific message about their intent and status when they strap on an Akrafena each day. Only people with 1 or more ranks in Knowledge (nobility) and those who also have Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Akrafena) can receive this message. The character wishing to send this message can make a base attack bonus check, rather than a Bluff check, to make the desired message clear.

Cost 40 gp     Weight 8 lbs.

1-handed: Dmg (S) 2d3     DMG (M) 2d4     Crit 19-20, x2
2-handed with EWP: Dmg (S) 2d4     DMG (M) 1d4+1d6     Crit 18-20, x2

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Let Me Tell You About My Character (Velor)

Seriously, this is nothing more than a character history for a Pathfinder game I’m playing tonight. I wrote it yesterday, and decided to post it. There’s nothing particularly special here, it’s just a quick look at what I consider a typical character history for a d20 game PC.

Velor Varrison

Velor was born to the warrior-hero Varri in a yurt belonging to the Wildtusk following of the realm of the Mammoth Lords during the depth of winter. She passed him to a shaman within minutes of birth, saying the infant would carry her name but in no other way be a child of hers. She left the following within a day, and though her name and deeds echoed back to Velor many times, he never again laid eyes on her.

Her words were repeated to him many times, “In no other way a child of mine.” Velor knew Varri had great deeds to perform, and did not begrudge her wishing to do it without the responsibility of raising a child. At the same time, the two married women shamans who did the work of raising him took the duty of his upbringing seriously, though they owed him no debt of blood or kinship. Velor came to believe that responsibility could not be forced upon you, but once you took on some duty it could not be put down until fulfilled or another is found to replace it. Raising a child was a sacred duty, but the childless are more free to take risks and struggle to end the evils of the world without needing to worry about their need to care for a younger being.

Velor sought to follow in his birth-mother’s footsteps, to be strong and able to defeat evil. But his two mothers also ensured he was well-educated, by Mammoth Lord standards, and taught him the basics of the spiritual world and the gods. In particular, he was struck by tales of ancient Thassilon, an empire that had long since ended but the evils of which insisted on lingering to the modern day. Obsessed with the idea that the rightful time of Thassilon and all its works had passed, Velor learned the ancient language and considered becoming a shaman so he could use spirts to seek out and remove the evils of Thassilon. Following in his adoptive mothers’ footsteps, he began spending nights deep in the dark snow, alone, meditating and seeking to make contact with a spirit of his own, a creature to guide and serve him. Weeks passed. Then months. Then years.

Then something answered.

As Velor knelt in darkness, so far from the Wildtusk camp that its fires were little more than points of light, a great black rose grew from the ice before him. It spoke to him, a quiet whisper in the wind he could barely hear, but which also filled his mind with every word. But this was not a spirit, and what it offered was not to serve Velor but to burden him with responsibility.

Some things, it said, must end. And if they continue on past their time, they must be destroyed. Velor could become an agent of those endings, to shoulder the holy duty of annihilating those things that should no longer exist. It would cost him everything. He would have no child to carry on his name, would have no place within his following. He would be forever struggling, with no home to call his own and no rest or reward in this life for constant toil. He would suffer, and fail, and watch friends fall, and someday die, in abject failure, with blood on his lips.

And in the next life, he would be reforged as an even greater tool of rightful ends. He would continue to struggle, and destroy, and act as an agent of the sunset of evil, eternally. His path would not be that of his birth-mother, or his life-mothers, but the path of a weapon of the gods. A bringer of destruction, for those evils that could only be ended through violence. There would be no paradise for Velor. Only an eternal existence of bloody service, for the greater good. But Velor felt the righteousness of the Black Rose’s cause, and knew it sought only to destroy those things that were blights on the world, wicked forces that, like boils, could only be cured with a sharp blade.

Velor did not hesitate. He swore his service to the Black Rose, to become the executioner of those things that must be stopped. He took up arms, naming his javelins the Black Thorns, and the specially-forged curved two-handed blade Woundgiver. He stayed with his following long enough to ensure he was capable, that he could survive on his own and be useful to the Black Rose, rather than immediately placing himself in situations where others would have to risk themselves to save him.

But before he was sure he was ready, word came from a fur trader, that Thassilon’s name was spoken more and more to the South and West, in the lands of Varisia.

Within a week Velor left his home, to fulfil the responsibility he had undertaken.

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OGL Declaration: This post is not released under the OGL. No part of it is open content.

Microsetting: The City of Hoard

Microsetting: The City of Hoard

I’ve been on a bit of a Starfinder RPG and general essay kick recently, but I’m still a big fan of fantasy RPG settings in general, and Pathfinder in general. So as a palate cleanser, here is a microsetting, the City of Hoard!

The City of Hoard

It’s not formally called “Hoard” of course. It’s listed as Draconis Rekai Achael in the old Imperial Charter of Settlements, Drakkenhelt in the dwarven tunnel-maps, and Aerivermaeli in the elven Songs of Places. Among the academic writings and speech of most dragons and draconic-oriented scholars, it’s Brarguren’s Canton, an acknowledgement that the mighty Brargured has carved out land acknowledged by other nations as hers, and hers alone. But even those learned individuals generally call it “Brarguren’s Hoard” in casual conversation, and from that long title most common folk have taken to just calling the city “Hoard.”

Brarguren was an active dragon in her youth, traveling extensively as soon as she ceased to be a wyrmling, claiming temporary territories, exploring lands with no sapient creature settling them. There are numerous credible accounts of her worldwide, suggesting she did not limit herself to any one continent or trade route. Many of those tales speak of her establishing herself on the edges of major civilizations, speaking to their scholars and acting as patron for their great artists. Though she spent no more than a few decades in any one place in her first few centuries of life, she was intellectually active and curious during these visits, each year doing as much research and learning as any member of the shorter-lived races could manage, and thus compiling numerous lifetimes of knowledge in just a few hundred years.

She gained cunning and power in equal measure. Early descriptions of her make it clear her coloration was “bright” and “metallic,” but never matched her to a single hue. She can breath fire, but has also proven to have draconic and magic talents that allow her to breath acid, and ice, and even frozen acid. She can access the power of sorcerers, druids, and even witches, leading some to suggest she has studied as a shaman. She is also a mistress of illusion, or transmutation (or both), and certainly her appearance in the past few centuries has shifted and changes enough to suggest she is keeping her true nature secret, though she always has the same piercing, nearly glowing, amber eyes.

No one is sure when she became fascinated by architecture, urban planning, and landscaping. Perhaps it was when she carried out a vendetta against the Order of the Broken Claw as a young adult, joining and leading armies to sack the order’s cities on both sides of an ocean. Perhaps her visits to the continents of the Ivory Empire, Jade Kingdoms, or the lands of the Spice Road as an adult and mature adult piqued her interest in how different cultures build and grow settlements. Certainly her Guild of Masons was established at that time, and she forged alliances with dwarves and elves both to aid and learn from their greatest artificers, fort-builders, and urban engineers and planners.

What is known for certain is that as an old dragon, more than 4 centuries ago, Brarguren stopped her regular travels and claimed her Canton, a rich land with access to ocean, trade, field, and ore. The land surely would have been claimed by some nation before her, located between small kingdoms and in a route between major empires as it was, if not for the gorynych that laired there, and the twisted mutant cult that worshiped it. Brarguren was not the first dragon to seek to destroy the wicked creature known as “The Three Sinners,” but she was the first to succeed in destroying the gorynych and scattering the cult.

And to mark her success, she claimed the piles and piles of treasure the Three Sinners and its minions had collected…. And built a city.

People claim that early on no one lived in Hoard, but of course that’s not true. Expending money as a waterfall expends water, Brarguren hired hundreds of planners and thousands of workers. Even before Hoard had a finished building, it has inhabitants. Nor where buildings the first permanent structures to be raised. Brarguren had roads laid, and aqueducts, canals, wells, and cisterns built, long before any buildings. She gave broad guidance to her lord architects, and insisted their plans be revised many times, but did little of the direct planning herself. The first city was to be designed to house 10,000 citizens in wealth and comfort, and to have a network of towns to support it, but she also demanded plans be in place for it to grow. Even the names of its major sections, “First Ward, Second Century Ward, Third Century Ward,” showed what her plans were for its expansion.

Now, Hoard is 310 years old, a city of nearly 50,000, and one of the most powerful and wealthy trade cities in the world. Though Brarguren is the unquestioned owner and ruler of the city and the surrounding valley, including it’s roads, dozens of supporting towns and farms, minor auxiliary ports and shipyards in nearby islands, she rarely takes a direct hand in ruling or protecting it. The Canton Guard serve as both city guard in Hoard, and ranging military force throughout Brarguren’s lands, and the Dragonfire Wardens act as scouts, investigators, and game wardens further from the city. Both answer directly and separately to Brarguren, though their Lord Commanders (Guard Commander Alvric Krakarral—a human investigator—for the Guard, and Warden Commander Jealis Irontusk—a half-orc hunter—for the Wardens) are cagey about how how those reports are delivered. But 72 years ago when Brarguren devoured the then-Guard Commander Thurgen Thurgenis, the dragon made it clear she would react if her forces failed to report as she expected them to. Her lack of direct action since is taken as proof the Lord Commanders are doing as they are supposed to.

However, neither of those forces run the city (or any of the townships),and lack the power to makes laws or edicts. Laws are made only by Brarguren herself, and she hasn’t changed the short list of basic rules (outlawing slavery, insisting on equal basic rights for all sapient creatures, establishing the civil and paramilitary organizations in her lands) in almost a century. Edicts come from the Council of Stakeholders—made up of guild leaders, religious heads, neighborhood alders from Hoard and town magistrates from supporting settlements, representatives of the Guard and Wardens, hereditary members from important families, one judge from each court circuit, and ministers of various Hoard city offices—and are signed by the Marshal of the Exchequer (or become law without the Marshal’s signature if 2/3 of the Council of Stakeholders agree to do so after 90 days… which almost never happens).

The Marshal of the Exchequer acts as the chief executive of Hoard, oversees legal cases against any member of the Council of Stakeholders or judge within Hoard, and is in charge of the budget of the entire region. Since taxes are surprisingly low in Hoard, and city services are quite high, there’s a persistent rumor that the Marshal of the Exchequer pays for things directly out of some vast supply of wealth Brarguren has accumulated. While every Marshal of the Exchequer has always denied this is the case, and the city has had budget troubles many times over its three centuries of existence, the rumor remains common.

As for where such a vast pile of treasure might be kept… no one knows for certain. Brarguren dives into and flies out of the ocean harbor on most of the rare occasions she makes an appearance in the city itself, but no one has ever found any sign of an aquatic lair. The city center includes a massive, round, fortified building known as The Vault when used as a landmark, but it has no known entrance and its purpose is secret. The mountains that border the valley Hoard sits at one end of have numerous caves, but none have ever shown size of draconic habitation. Everyone agrees Brarguren must have at least one secret lair, but no one can agree on where it is, what it’s like, or how much treasure is piled up in it.

But it is known what treasure has gone into it, at least on some occasions. Brarguren does not directly defend Hoard or its lands, unless a threat arises so great only an old dragon could oppose it (such as the arrival of the Archtitan Oceator, more than two centuries ago), or when the Guard and Wardens have already suffered major losses and are clearly being overwhelmed (such as during the Wightblade Plague nearly a century ago). When she does become directly involved, however, she takes everything of value possessed by any foe she defeats—from Oceator’s Trident of the Wave-Gods to the ghost swords left over from the Plague. Hoard is safe from nearly any direct threat, but does not receive the spoils of war from foes it’s draconic owner finishes.

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