OGL Sommlending Arrows

blue crane

Hi there!

Some of you, who own 'The Magnamund Companion' by Joe Dever and Gary Chalk, may have wondered about some of the equipment in that said book that unfortunately did not make it into 'Lone Wolf The Roleplaying Game'. Things like 'Sommlending Arrow-heads' certainly come to my mind. Below, is my interpretation* of those ammunition types...

Sommlending Arrows
Ammunition Name Cost Damage Critical R/I Weight Type
Ammunition Type
Armour-piercing (20) 2 gc * - - 3 lb. Piercing
Double-barbed (10) 2 gc ** - - 3lb. Piercing / Slashing
Incendiary (10) 3 gc *** - - 2 lb. Piercing / Fire
Regular Army issue (20) 1 gc - - - 3 lb. Piercing
Rope-cutting (20) 2 gc **** - - 3 lb. Slashing

* This arrow is designed to bypass armour. When used, it makes armour - in effect - redundant: a character loses his armour / shield bonus.

** This arrow makes life very difficult for the one who tries to remove it from his person. When a character attempts to remove this type of arrow, he should succeed at DC 15 or take an additional 1d4 slashing damage for each round he fails this check.

*** This arrow is designed to set objects (like buildings) and items (like clothing) alight. The arrow does normal damage but in addition, puts the item or object at risk of catching fire (See 'Catching on Fire', p. 157 of 'Lone Wolf' for details about characters at risk). If a structure is set alight (DC 15) it will suffer 1d4 points of Endurance damage (per 10 ft. by 10 ft. section) per round until the fire is extinguished (See 'Wall Statistics', p. 167 of 'Lone Wolf' for examples of Endurance for structural features).

**** This arrow will cut through rope up to 2 inches in diameter. Any rope thicker than this will have its Endurance reduced by half (See 'Object Statistics', p. 167 of 'Lone Wolf' for further details).

Kind regards,
Blue Crane

*Note: Although Colin Chapman gave us a useful set of statistics for the very same ammunition types, I disagree on a couple of points with regards to his interpretation of the said ammunition. Further, I am of the opinion that additional detail may prove helpful to the reader. Thus, my own interpretation. So, you now have the opinions of two old teachers from which to choose :D ....
The AP arrow is way too cheap and ovepowering. The Drakkarim would copy the design and then you would have an even higher death toll combined with their black iron bows. That design needs a heavy amount of work.

How about this?

An AP arrow is designed to penetrate armor. Give the arrow the ability to ignore 4 points of armor bonus (allowing it to go through most light armors), 6 with masterwork AP arrows, 8 with superior arrows, and 10 with sublime arrows. Increase the cost for 20 of them from 2 gold crowns to 20 gold crowns per 20 arrows, and add the appropriate cost multiplier for the upgraded arrows.

blue crane

Hi there!

Armour-piercing armour is just that: it is meant to bypass armour! If you are concerned about 'balance' issues then I may concede that d20 / OGL is all about (in my opinion) an arbitrary 'balance' of game-play. However, in my experience my games tend to allow 'balance' to make way for 'drama' and 'real-life' - hence, the lethality of 'AP'.

With regards to cost, the fact that there was only a slight increase was due to the fact that the manufacturing process is only 'slightly' more complex over a regular arrow-point.

Kind regards,
Blue Crane


mm i agree about the way too powerful armour piercing arrows. They would have to be near magical to penetrate an opponents armour entirely, since an armour value represents not just physical stopping power, but its deflection and amount of coverage. It would also have the effect of making armour practically ineffective, which may or may not be historically accurate, but certainly not good for game balance. Personally, i would just say you half the AC bonus(round down).Maybe the range increment would be reduced since the arrows heavier?


Double-barbed arrow makes life very difficult for the one who tries to remove it from his person. When a character attempts to remove this type of arrow, he should succeed at DC 15 or take an additional 1d4 slashing damage for each round he fails this check.
Which kind of saving throw would that be ? Fortitude?
In a real-life scenario, armor-piercing tips add to your chance of penetrating armor, but don't guarantee it - fire an armor-piercing arrow at someone in full-plate, and it will bounce right off.

The strength of the bow affects this - a smallbow doesn't have as much pull as a longbow, and the draw strength directly affects the speed of the arrow. The faster the arrow is moving when it hits, the more likely it is to penetrate armor (the reason Welsh, and later British, archers became so dominant was because they used longbows when everyone else were still using short).

Crossbows, with their MASSIVE pull strength, could easily fire even through plate armor - and, along with gunpowder, helped to phase-out full armor entirely.

An armor-piercing tip helps channel that speed and force into a single point, maximizing the penetration.

Because of that, one means of representing armor-piercing tips would be to count the weapon as one better (ie, a shortbow with APs counts as a longbow for damage, a longbow counts as a crossbow).

Another method would be to bypass a certain amount of armor - say, enough to penetrate leather armor (which APs could do easily), but less than plate. I'd personally say give it an automatic +3 added to the roll to hit, but NOT applied to the actual damage done. That way, certain armors are more or less rendered useless (leathers, hides), while other armors still retain some ability to protect their wearer.

THAT being said, there is an additional quirk with arrows of all kinds. As the Mongols discovered, if you wear a silk shirt, it won't protect you from most attacks, but it DOES allow you to remove arrows much easier than normal. This is because, when shot with an arrow, silk doesn't BREAK, but wraps around the arrow.

The point of this is, if there is a silk-equivalent in Magnamund, I'd say it should offer a +2 Armor bonus versus arrows ONLY, and entirely negate the advantages of armor-piercing arrows.

This comes into play if, for instance, if someone were to wear a silk undershirt under their armor.