'Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue 11: Optional Combat Rules' Bonus Content

Chris Van Deelen

When I set out to write Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 11: Optional Combat Rules , my goal was to provide the Mutant Lord a plethora of new (and familiar) simple rules to add a little more spice to her game. It was not until after I submitted this issue for final edits did it occur to me that one thing needed to be covered... improvised weapons.

So without further adieu, here are some very simple rules to cover using improvised weapons.

Improvised Weapons

There will be times in a ML’s game where the players will end up having no weapons to use, and will attempt to use anything at hand (if they do not possess natural weapons or mutations). For example, a group of pure humans could be relaxing in a bar, just minding their own business when a drunk decides to pull a hidden weapon. The pure humans were being lawful and had checked their weapons at the door and have no time to get them. So one of the humans uses his mug as a weapon, while another grabs the stool he was sitting on, while a third smashed the bottle he was drinking from.

Another example is that the characters are under the effects of an anti-mutation field and are in a prison cell when things get ugly. One is able to use the bench they were sitting on, while another finds a loose stone that he ends up prying from the wall, while another picks up a much smaller mutant (much to the creatures chagrin) and uses it as a bludgeoning weapon.

As you can see these are just a few examples of times that the characters may need to improvise in combat. This optional rule set allows the ML to come up with weapons and the appropriate damages on the fly, making it quick and easy.

Improvised weapons will come in three types: Impact, Slashing or cutting and piercing. Also, improvised weapons will come in three basic sizes: small, one handed and two handed.

Examples of impact or bludgeoning weapons will include intact bottles, mugs, chairs, pieces of wood or furniture, stones and so forth. Slashing or cutting weapons could include chunks of shattered glass, jagged stones, rough pieces of metal plating, broken bottles and the like. Lastly Piercing weapons would include pointed sticks, a snapped tree (or even body) limb, spoons, forks, kitchen cutlery etc.

Below is a simple chart that the ML can refer to, but it will require a little bit of imagination on her part. For example, the character wants to use a wooden stool. The ML determines that the character can wield it using one hand, and that the damage it will do is impact or bludgeoning.  So the ML compares the chart and decides that it will do 1d6 damage. Another example is that the character grabs a long branch that has a jagged end. The ML will have to decide if it is one or two handed and if the character is going to use it as a club