A Matter of Britain
This article will be amended as new equipment becomes available.
Plating, sometimes added before now for extra protection for elbows and knees, has been extended to include legs and body. A fair amount of chainmail is still used, though, so this armor is called partial plate (14-point). Helmets are closed, with slits provided for vision.
Trappers are common for Andalusian horses, being the heaviest armor they can wear, and also on the few destriers seen in this Period.
Destriers are strong enough to wear heavy battle caparisons known as “trappers” without penalty to movement. Only a destrier can bear armor beyond the basic caparison.
Both light and heavy chainmail bardings are also possible for destriers, but these are exceedingly rare, made only in the private smithy of a duke or king, and not for sale. Barding is available in the game only if and when the Gamemaster allows it.
Caparisons, trappers, and barding all work exactly as human armor. Their reduction value stacks with the horse’s usual (natural) armor value, so a charger with a caparison has an armor value of 5 + 1 = 6.
|Armor Type||Reduction||Move Modifier|
As with armor, weapons too improve with time, the two evolving hand in hand. Each of the following weapons derives its own weapon skill. For completeness’ sake, all weapons currently available (both new and old) are listed.
This skill dictates the use of a battle axe, a one-handed weapon. A battle axe easily shatters or splits open shields. Defenders using a shield against an axe get 1d6 protection from it, not the usual 6 points. A fumble indicates that the axe broke.
This skill and the weapon for which it is named are favored by many Saxons.
This skill dictates a character’s skill with the bow, a missile weapon usually of wood or horn, normally used by peasants for hunting and by foot soldiers in war. Knights normally do not use bows in combat, although they often use them for hunting.
A bow deals 3d6 points of damage regardless of the user’s Damage statistic. It is a two-handed weapon, so no shield can be used while shooting a bow. The bow’s maximum range is 150 yards. Modifiers must be applied for mid-range or long-range shots, small or covered targets, and so on.
A fumble indicates that the weapon has a broken string or, worse, is cracked.
This is a mechanical missile weapon invented, some say, by the devil. The Pope has outlawed its use against Christians, but the damnable commoners seem not to have heard. Knights generally scorn the use of crossbows in combat, although some may welcome their use in hunting (only!).
As with any missile weapon, negative modifiers must be used for longer ranges.
The light crossbow is known to all. After the Roman War, medium crossbows become increasingly (and alarmingly) common among mercenary units.
Different strengths of crossbows do different damage, and take different times to reload and shoot.
|Crossbow Type||Damage||Rate of Fire||Maximum Range|
|Light||1d6+10||1 per round||150 yards|
|Medium||1d6+13||1 per 2 melee rounds||200 yards|
|Heavy||1d6+16||1 per 4 melee rounds||250 yards|
This skill includes the use of all one-handed knives, daggers, and even short swords — in fact, it covers anything from the ancient Roman gladius to a common table knife. The tool is usually steel, but particular daggers might be of bronze, iron, or even possibly of stone or some other material.
The weapons covered by the use of this skill are generally ineffective against heavily armored knights, but a simple knife or dagger is carried by virtually everyone in Cymric society, including women and priests. A knight usually has a dagger sheathed on his sword belt, ready for use in close quarters.
Due to its small size, a dagger does 1d6 less damage than the user’s normal Damage statistic when it strikes, to a minimum of 1d6 damage (so even a shriveled, weak old woman still does 1d6 damage). Thus, a character who normally does 4d6 points of damage on a hit deals only 3d6 with a dagger.
A fumble indicates the weapon has broken.
Special: If an enemy wielding a 2-foot-long dirk attacks a character with a tiny table knife, for instance, the Gamemaster might wish to adjust the relative damage done slightly to reflect the difference between the two similar but not identical weapons.
This skill dictates a character’s use of the flail, a wicked weapon having many spiked heads mounted on the ends of chains, which are in turn attached to a handle. The flail is a one-handed weapon and can be used with a shield. This weapon is sometimes erroneously referred to as a “morning star” because of its spiked heads (but see the entry below for the real morning star).
A flail ignores all protection from an enemy’s shield, wrapping around the obstacle to damage its target. It also does an extra 1d6 points of damage to any opponent wearing chainmail armor. However, the weapon is extremely clumsy, and on a natural roll of 1 (the raw number on d20, before any increases due to values over 20) it instead strikes its wielder, doing full damage.
With a normal fumble, the weapon breaks.
This skill dictates a character’s use of the great axe. A two-handed version of the battle axe, this weapon cannot be used with a shield. However, due to its great mass, it does an extra 1d6 points of damage against all foes, and defenders using a shield against a Great Axe get 1d6 protection from it, not the usual 6 points.
A fumble indicates the weapon broke.
Many Saxons fighting against armored knights favor this weapon.
This skill dictates a character’s use of the great spear (sometimes called a “pike”), a heavy two-handed spear used to strike and stab. A great spear grants a +5 modifier when used by foot soldiers against horsemen (thus negating the footmen’s normal disadvantage). The great spear is long enough that it also negates the +5 lance modifier versus non-lance weapons.
A fumble indicates that the spear has broken. A great spear may not be thrown.
Boar Spear: This skill is also used by a hunter wielding a boar spear, a large, broad-bladed spear with a metal crossbar located a short distance below its head. A boar that takes damage equal at least to its DEX score (i.e., typically 15) from a boar spear may not thereafter attack the foe wielding the boar spear.
This skill dictates a character’s use of the great sword, a two-handed sword that thus cannot be used with a shield. However, due to its great mass, the great sword does an extra 1d6 points of damage against all foes.
On a fumble, the great sword is dropped but not broken, and can be recovered. On a tied resolution roll, the great sword breaks the opponent’s weapon unless it is a great sword as well.
The Hammer skill affects a character’s use of the military hammer, a blunt, beaked weapon particularly useful against plate armor. It is normally used one-handed with a shield. The military hammer deals an additional 1d6 points damage against opponents wearing partial plate, full plate, or gothic plate armor.
A fumble indicates that the hammer has broken.
This skill dictates a character’s use of the javelin, a short, light spear that can be thrown at a nearby opponent or game animal. A javelin’s maximum range is 30 yards.
Due to its lightness and the fact that it is hurled, a javelin deals 2d6 less damage than the user’s normal Damage statistic, to a minimum of 1d6 damage. Thus, a character who normally does 4d6 points of damage on a hit deals only 2d6 with a javelin.
A fumble indicates that the weapon has broken.
Throwing Spears: This skill also covers hurling regular spears at targets. Due to the fact that spears are not balanced for throwing and are considerably heavier, maximum range is only 10 yards.
This skill dictates a character’s use of the lance, a stout, lengthy spear used in a mounted charge. It is held in the right hand and crossed over the horse’s neck, allowing the knight to crouch behind his shield and impact his target directly. The lance thus protrudes out to the left; if it were held any other way, the impact would dislocate the lancer’s shoulder.
When charging with a Lance (but not a Spear), the charger receives a +5 bonus to his skill unless his opponent is also armed with a Lance or Great Spear.
Fighting with a lance but without a mounted charge is the same as using a spear: use the character’s Spear skill, not Lance.
Special: The Lance skill is also used in jousting; there is no separate “Jousting Lance” skill. A jousting lance is a piece of sporting equipment, not a lethal weapon; it is designed not to destroy the loser of a joust, but merely to knock him from his horse.
This skill dictates a character’s use of the mace, a heavy one-handed bludgeoning weapon often augmented with flanged edges or spikes. A mace deals an additional 1d6 points of damage against foes in chainmail armor.
A fumble indicates that the mace has broken.
This skill dictates a character’s use of the morning star, a long two-handed clubbing weapon ending in a wickedly spiked head. A morning star cannot be used with a shield, but, due to its mass and its deadly spikes, it deals an extra 1d6 points of damage against all targets; further, it deals an additional 1d6 against foes wearing chainmail armor.
A fumble means the morning star breaks.
This skill dictates a character’s use of the spear, essentially a short pole or long stick with a pointed head (usually of metal) on one end. The spear is used one-handed, unlike the Great Spear.
A fumble indicates that the spear has broken.
Special: The spear can also be used from horseback as a lance; like a lance, when used in a mounted charge, it calls for the Lance skill rather than the Spear skill. It does not, however, receive the +5 Lance bonus for charging against non-Lance-armed opponents.
Sword skill quantifies how well a knight fights with his sword. Swords are a special weapon for knights, and a badge of office. Knights may wear swords anywhere they wish, especially at court, these days. The standard sword, whether referred to as an arming sword, spadone, langschwert, longsword, broadsword, spaetha (by the Romans), seax (by the Saxons), cleddyf mawr (by the Cymri), or by any other name, is a one-handed weapon normally used with a shield. Swords may be of varying lengths, thicknesses, and shapes, but they are always of the best possible steel.
The sword has two distinct advantages over all other weapons: (i) swords do not break when their wielder fumbles, but are instead dropped and can be recovered, and (ii) if a tie occurs in any opposed resolution against a different weapon, a sword always breaks a non-sword.
This skill dictates a character’s use of the warflail, which is essentially a two-handed flail. A warflail does an extra 1d6 points of damage against all targets, and, like a standard flail, ignores any protection provided by an opponent’s shield. The warflail also does an additional 1d6 damage to chainmail-armored foes. However, because it is a clumsy weapon, the warflail is sometimes dangerous to its wielder: on a natural roll of 1 (before any increases due to values over 20), the weapon always strikes its wielder for normal damage.
On a fumble, the warflail breaks.