Improvised Weapons


Hello all, I am in the process of putting together my first campaign and thanks for the help. I have some thoughts on my group being unarmed in the beginning and wanted to ask if anyone has used improvised weapons at all and if so what did you find to be fair and enough for the player to succeed with some thinking. Basically the rules state that if something is improvised we should match it with something of a similar size and design and come up with damage that seems appropriate also that it crits on a D20 and is x2. So If someone used a lit torch say, do you have any thoughts on whether or not the victim would incur fire damage or perhaps catch fire? Thought that would be cool if battling some robed enemy.

Or another thought was basically having the player use their shackles and chains as a weapon to either whip (giving reach) Or perhaps to Grapple and bust a choke on someone.

ALso maybe breaking chairs and such.

Any ideas you may have would be great particularly for what I had in mind.

I've always treated torches as clubs that deal 1d4 bludgeoning damage plus 1 point of fire damage. On a critical hit, a target wearing flammable clothes (robes, fancy dress, etc) must make a Reflex save (DC 15 or so, depending on your judgement) or catch on fire per standard rules.

Chairs can be broken to make serviceable clubs.

Chains actually have stats, check the Oriental Adventures book (IIRC). I would definitely let them be used to choke, check WotC's "Song and Silence" for rules on garrotes.
I was also seriously considering starting the campaign arch with my players in chains, having been the surviviors of a caravan struck and smashed by raiders. I might give them the freedom from their cages one night during travel, but they will need to snatch up heavy rocks, torches, and their chains to fight their way clear of the caravan, and then they will have to fend for themselves. I'm thinking that, to be nice, I will forego giving them money or equipment at the beginning of the game, and instead exchange it for an extra Fate Point or two.
Heh, I'd say a grapefruit sized stone (about as big as can be held in one hand) would do something around 1d4 and weigh 3 lbs.

But hey, who says you need to use some wimpy stone like that? Nothing to stop a PC from grabbing some melon-sized rock weighing 10-12 pounds with both hands and whacking a guard with it. I'd say this would be around d8/d10 damage.

Perhaps a guideline for rocks is that a 3 lb rock does 1d4 damage, and every time you double that weight, it goes up a die. So a 6 lb rock does 1d6, a 9 lb rock 1d8, a 12 lb rock 1d10, etc., and that anything above d6 damage is two-handed due to the clumsy nature of trying to hold a large stone sphere in one hand.
Or maybe make any "rock attack" some sort of unfamiliar weapon, with all attendent penalties (thus, IIRC the Barbarian would be more effective smacking things with rocks, which seems appropriate).
Actually, I'd just use the stats for a club when someone uses a rock. Maybe give a +1 damage modifier to it. There's no need for a complex but accurate representation of different sized rocks. Just pick a weapon that seems about the same damage and move on! 8)

Alternately, you can choose several types of weapons to simulate the rock's damage. If it's a small rock, use a gauntlet or a club. A big rock, use a mace. A really big rock, a warhammer. It's not like the character looked at all the rocks around him and did a statistical analysis to find the perfect rock, he just grabbed one and smacked a guy! Do the same as GM - just grab the nearest weapon to the rock and use it's damage to smack the guy! :p

As as that guy said <points up> he would have a non-proficiency penalty as appropriate....
Good thought, Excuse my ignorance, but can you please tell me what IIRC stands for? I've seen it before.Thanks for the suggestions.
IIRC = If I Remember Correctly. Sorry about that! Sometimes I forget that these little internet abbreviations aren't as universal as I'd think...

And yeah, Elfman's got a good point. Little rock = gauntlet, big rock = club, really big rock = war club, and give a non-proficiency penalty. Problem solved. As a guy who generally donesn't like super number-y systems, I have the urge to fiddle with numbers a lot more than is healthy!

And to all you UK folks - THANK YOU for inventing Strongbow Ciders! One cold frosty pint made my day at lunch today.
tagnetti said:
Good thought, Excuse my ignorance, but can you please tell me what IIRC stands for? I've seen it before.Thanks for the suggestions.

If I Recall Correctly