Fading Suns and Flaming Heresies
Primitive Ranged Weapons
Knife: Throwing knives are not like normal kitchen implements; they are usually specially balanced to fly through the air and to hit a target with the blade rather than the pommel. They can also act as small knives if a melee is required.
Star: A small disk with serrated edges designed to be thrown quickly at targets. This can include any variety of shuriken (“throwing stars”).
Dart: A pointed needle with small feathers or wings (like an arrow) designed for accuracy in throwing. These are not the common variety darts found in bars, but are larger and more deadly versions of the same. A favorite of assassins when the point is dipped in poison.
Bows and Arrows
Bows are a standard weapon among the poor and lowtech denizens of the Known Worlds, used for hunting or target practice at local carnivals and tourneys. Bow damage is 1d for every 15 lbs. of pull. For example, a 60 lb. pull bow will deliver four dice of damage. Additionally, certain types of arrowheads may modify the damage or goal roll.
Hunting Bow: A 60 lb. pull bow designed to be drawn and fired quickly (as the deer bolts from the woods or the bird takes flight). It is smaller than other bows since it must be carried through sometimes thick underbrush. The rarer recurve bows have the same traits as a hunting bow; they are designed to be fired from horseback.
Long Bow (Military Bow): A 90 lb. pull bow designed for warfare, to fling arrows over long distances — usually over battlements or onto armies across the field. It is as tall or taller than most people. This is based off the English longbow but could just as easily be a Japanese bow.
Target Bow: A 45 lb. pull bow designed for target shooting at tourneys or carnivals rather than for killing. It is larger than a hunting bow but not as large as a long bow.
Arrows: Arrowheads come in many different varieties (see below), but the shafts are usually pretty similar for most bows, although some are longer and shorter and some have real feathers while others have plastic feathers.
There are a variety of special arrowheads designed for special jobs. Here is a sampling:
• Jags: Sharp heads with jagged edges. They deliver no extra damage when entering a target, but will deliver one die of damage (ignore armor) when removed from the wound, as its jagged hooks catch in the flesh. Minor surgery is required to remove the head without causing damage
(roll Dexterity + Physick).
• Streamers: Arrowheads streamlined to fly faster and more accurately. Add one to the goal roll, but subtract one die from the damage.
• Boomers (TL5): Truly nasty arrowheads that explode upon entering the target. They are “smart,” designed to explode only after the head has pierced armor (or energy shields) and entered flesh. In other words, if the arrow inflicted as least one wound point on the target, roll an extra three dice of damage and ignore armor (including shields).
However, subtract two from the goal roll due to the bulkiness of this arrowhead.
Crossbows are less common among the peasantry than traditional bows, but they are found among low-tech militia and noble guards.
Assuming the character has enough Strength to handle the pull of the crossbow, it takes two actions to recock and load the bow. He does not have to roll to recock a bow; he simply needs to spend time doing it. If he wants to fire and reload in the same turn, he must perform his full three actions doing so, and his shot will suffer from the multiple action penalty (-6). If the character does not have the required Strength to draw the bow, it takes an entire turn to reload the bow — unless the bow has a crank or he has a tool to aid him.
Hand Crossbow: A small, hand-held 45 lb. pull bow. Some models may be strapped to the wrist and fired with a flick of the wrist (just don’t scratch your nose the wrong way). The bolts are smaller than usual and so must be specially manufactured.
Medium Crossbow: A 90 lb. pull bow which is the standard for most low-tech but important guardsmen.
Heavy Crossbow: A 120 lb. pull used for warfare. This monster can pound through shields, but usually takes longer to reload than lighter bows.
Bolts: Standard size for most crossbows.