Overcomplicated Addendum

Overcomplicating Labyrinth Lord weapons for fun
2013-08-14 13:46
On further reflection, here is a table of Labyrinth Lord weapons with both reach and variable damage, as well as adjustments made to bring up prices and make weights more historically accurate.

The following table, except for the last two entries, unarmed and pike, is the same set of weapons as found in the Labyrinth Lord rules. I have made the following changes:

  • Introduced reach value.
  • Increased cost of many weapons, especially swords.
  • Modified weight, mostly reducing the weight of swords, which were a lot lighter than you might think.
  • Changed damage amounts. Since damage is moderated by relative reach, weapons such as daggers, which can do plenty of damage at close range, tend to do more damage, whereas bigger weapons do less - but will in practice get a major bonus from their reach.
  • Introduced an Availability value from 1 to 4. 1 means the weapon is a common tool, 2 means it's available in larger villages, 3 is available in cities or armories, and 4 requires a skilled weapon-maker. Obviously these are guidelines, but you are unlikely to find a village smith turning out long swords.

The Table

NameDamageReachWeight (lbs)Price (gp)SpecialClose Quarters PenaltyAvailability

Axe, battle1d84620-24

Axe, hand1d622201

Club1d4240.301

Dagger1d6113Carry concealed, surprise attacks01

Flail1d4334-12

Flail, heavy1d6487-23

Hammer, light1d412201

Hammer, war1d83815-13

Mace1d624502

Morningstar1d63810-13

Pick, heavy1d8368-11

Pick, light1d6335-11

Pole arm1d851514-33

Quarterstaff1d4443-22

Scimitar1d8224004

Spear1d6545May use from 2nd rank-32

Sword, long1d83330-14

Sword, bastard2d43440-14

Sword, short1d6211503

Sword, two-handed1d104650-24

Trident1d6485-23

(unarmed)1d2000Carry concealed, surprise attacks (duh)00

Pike1d67205May use from 2nd and 3rd rank. The fighter must be flanked by friendlies, or is considered in close quarters.-53

Additional Musings and Rules

Looking at the table, I really don't think it would be a major issue to leave all damage at 1d6, if you wanted to simplify the rules. I would rather play with reach but 1d6 damage across the board than with the complex damage rules from LL.

Another thing to consider with reach is that very large or small humanoids would intrinsically have more or less. The suggested rule here is that humanoids under 4 foot (Halflings, Goblins, etc.) have -1 reach whereas humanoids above 7 foot have +1 (Trolls, Ogres, etc). For each additional 3 feet of height, add another reach bonus, up to maybe +3. Obviously these reach bonuses/maluses are ignored for purposes of calculating the close quarters penalty.

Figuring this out for non-humanoids is trickier: in general, any un-, er, armed attack is going to be at reach 0, but there may be exceptions for e.g claws or tails.

The term "close quarters" also needs some clarification: This is fighting in a corridor or cramped room or in a large pressed melee, rather than in a room or out in the open. If the fighting is too close to use a longsword effectively, it's close quarters. In such a fight, reach doesn't matter, and short weapons are at an advantage.

As mentioned before, it might be interesting to also offer higher or lower-quality weapons for sale at the DM's discretion. My suggestion here is that crude (-1) versions of select weapons can be purchased at half price and fine (+1) weapons at 5x price. Hence, a long sword +1 would cost 200 GP, and a long sword -1 would cost 20.