Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Metal is rare on Athas, and weapons crafted from it are expensive. Most metal weapons date back to when Athas was green, or were crafted from the meagre resources of Tyr’s iron mines. Due to the high cost of metal, most weapons are constructed from inferior, but functional, materials. Most common are chitin, bone, and stone such as flint, or obsidian, but treated agafari wood is used as well.
In this week's blog, we're presenting rules for weapons in Dark Sun, as they appear in our streamed game. These are basically the same rules used in standard 2e Dark Sun, but with a few tweaks to smooth out the kinks, make them easy to use in-game, and make sure that each weapon is a viable choice for your character. We've added in a few ideas from the Skills and Powers series and developed some of the weapons that appeared in Dragon magazine back in the day.
Metal weapons work as described in the Player's Handbook. Weapons made from non-metal materials (referred to as inferior materials) are usually less effective than metal weapons - see below for details on this. Some weapons are designed to be constructed from non-metal materials, and do not suffer from inferior materials penalties. All other weapons (listed in italics on the weapons table in the attached pdf) are affected by the material used, as shown on the following table:
Weapons made from inferior materials are prone to breaking. Two events will cause accidental weapon breakage when using a non-metal weapon:
If you roll maximum damage with an inferior weapon, there is a 1 in 20 chance the weapon breaks.
When you roll a natural 20 with an inferior weapon, you can choose to deal maximum damage automatically. However, this will also cause the weapon to break automatically.
Weapons (and armour) can also be broken intentionally using the Sunder action.
Dasl Weapons and Breakage
Dasl (a crystal made by the thri-kreen) is an exception to this rule. Dasl weapons never risk accidental breakage.
Metal Weapons and Sundering Inferior Weapons
When you roll a natural 20 with a metal weapon, you can choose to deal maximum damage. You can instead deal no damage, but make a free Sunder attempt against your opponent’s inferior weapon or armour.
The attached pdf has descriptions and game stats for all the weapons that appear in the PBH as well as all the main Dark Sun weapons (a few that appeared in Dungeon magazine will be added in a later blog). Images for most of the Dark Sun weapons are also included. As noted above, any weapon listed in italics in the weapons table is normally made from metal - apply the inferior materials rules when the weapon is made from some other material. Weapons not listed in italics can be made from non-metal materials at no penalty.
That's all. Grab your lotulis and go make some templar pay for his lack of an awesome hat!