Friday, June 19, 2020

GLOG: Weapons, Armor, and Combat

In this post I'm going to set out the rules for combat in my Carolingia GLOGhack. It's probably overcomplicated and is certainly unplaytested.

Edit: This post has been significantly edited as of 9/1/20


Classes have specified damage dice. All weapon attacks a character of that class makes use their damage die (multiclass characters just take the highest, and this is why I'm aiming to make class capstones really good - so people don't just dip Fighter to get that sweet sweet d10). Primary fighters get a d10 damage die (Fighters, Cavaliers), spellcasters get a d6 damage die (Chanters, Mages, Witches), and anything in between gets a d8 (Scout, Wanderer).

Because classes determine damage, weapons have certain to-hit bonuses and other properties to distinguish them.

Unarmed-2--Grapple, 1 damage
Dagger-12 d.1/3Grapple, thrown -2 10/25
Handaxe02 d.1Close, thrown 0 10/25
Club07 p.1Close
Shortsword04 d.1/3Close
Javelin03 d.1/3Close, thrown +1 45/90
Sword+17 d.1Close, horseback
Spear+12 d.3Reach, horseback, thrown 0 20/40
Battleaxe+12 d.2Close, horseback
War Club+11 d.2.Close, horseback
Greataxe*+210 d.4Close, two-handed, +1 vs shields
Hewing Spear**+210 d.4Reach, two-handed
Lance***+22 d.3Reach, horseback only, shatter
Hunting Bow03 d.2Two-handed, ranged 100/300
Sling+11 d.1/3Ranged 100/1000
Bow+17 d.2Two-handed, ranged 200/600

* The greataxe, often known as the Dane axe, only came into use around 900 CE, and only became widespread outside of Scandinavia around 1050 CE, towards the end of the Early Medieval Period.
** There is dispute over the actual existence of the hewing spear, also known as the
atgeir or the "Viking halberd". No archaeological evidence has been uncovered.
*** A lance, in this context, is just a spear when used from horseback.

What does all of the stuff in properties mean? Every melee weapon has a range: grapple, close, or reach. Grapple weapons are usable in a grapple or at 5 foot range. Close weapons are usable at 5 foot range, and reach weapons are usable from 5 feet to 10 feet. Next, some melee weapons are throwable. The modifier next to the thrown property is that weapon's to-hit modifier when thrown, and the numbers after that are the close and maximum range in feet. Horseback weapons are usable from horseback, and no others are. Two-handed weapons, as is probably self-evident, may only be wielded with two hands. Ranged-only weapons have the ranged property, and the two numbers following are the close and maximum range in feet. Unarmed attacks, the greataxe and lance have unique properties as well - unarmed attacks deal 1 damage regardless of your class damage die, the greataxe has +1 to hit vs. enemies with shields, and the lance may only be used as a practical weapon from horseback. The lance also has a 3-in-10 chance of breaking when hitting an enemy, and must be dropped on a hit even if it doesn't shatter.

Armor and Shields

Base AC is 10. In addition to your armor's AC bonus, AC is also modified by your Dexterity modifier. You cannot cast spells while wearing armor other than a helmet.

Leather Helmet +1 5 d. 1 -
Helmet +2 15 d. 1 -
Lamellar Leather* 11 200 d. 3 -
Mail Shirt 12 30 d. 4 -2
Scale/Lamellar* 13 400 d. 4 -2
Mail Hauberk14100 d.5-2

* These types of armor are as expensive as they are because they're from Far Away and aren't common in the slightest in the usual areas of play in my setting.

Shields increase your AC by their AC modifier while you're wielding them. You can't use that arm for anything else or cast Witch or Mage spells while wielding a shield. If you take damage from an enemy's attack while wielding a shield, you can choose to sunder the shield, breaking it irreparably, to negate the damage.

Small Shield +1 1 d. 1
Shield +2 1 d. 3

How To Use It All

Combat is pretty standard (add Str to melee and Dex to ranged, one attack per round, etc), other than a couple of things. Death & dismemberment is standard GLOG.

Critical Hits and Misses

On a critical hit (natural 20 on the attack roll), you automatically hit and deal double damage. On a critical miss (natural 1) you automatically miss and mark a notch on your weapon. If you reach 3 notches the weapon breaks. If an enemy gets a critical hit against you, in addition to the double damage, you mark a notch on your armor - helmet if you have one. If you reach 3 notches the armor breaks.

Fighting From Horseback

Fighting from horseback generally works like combat on foot. However, you cannot use a non-thrown ranged weapon from the back of a horse unless you're stationary. If you charge an enemy (move at least 20 feet before making a melee attack against them), you get +1 damage if you hit. You can only fight from a trained horse.


First, each side rolls 1d20 + the Wis of the combatant with the highest modifier (NPCs generally have +0 Wis). Second, each side declares their intended actions. The side who won initiative declares their actions after the side who lost. Third, you go through the following order and resolve:
  1. Check morale for monsters and hirelings if appropriate.
  2. Movement (30 ft base)
  3. Ranged weapon attacks
  4. Melee attacks with reach weapons
  5. Melee attacks with close weapons
  6. Melee attacks with grapple weapons
  7. Any other actions
  8. Spellcasting
 Every action within each segment takes place simultaneously. Repeat to taste.

Attacks of Opportunity

You may make a free attack against an opponent who leaves the reach of your melee weapon if they are not wielding either a melee weapon or a shield.


Melee combat works straightforwardly. You can attack an opponent in range once per round (unless you've got the Fighter D template), dealing damage on a hit. Grappling works somewhat differently - you can use your reaction to initiate grappling. Your opponent makes a free melee attack against you. Now neither combatant cannot attack each the other or move. Instead, during the other melee phase of initiative, both combatants roll 1d20 + Str + wrestling skill, if any. The winner of this contest (ties are a loss for both sides) can leave grappling or can inflict damage with a weapon of grappling range, if they're wielding one and if their grappling roll beats the loser's unshielded AC. If you win three grappling contests in a row, your opponent is pinned and is at your mercy.

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