Stone Weapons for a Aztec-Inspired Setting

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
PiratesWrath
Joined: 2018-11-04 21:18
Stone Weapons for a Aztec-Inspired Setting

Hello all. First time posting here and I'm hoping to pick your brains. I picked up tha ACKS rulebook a bit over a month ago and really enjoy the system and have been contemplating a setting for it, one revolving around a kind of prehistoric jungle continant with an Aztec-inspired Empire. I liked the idea of PC's exploring acient ruins from lost civilizations, fighting serpentmen and dinosuars, and eventually founding their own city-states. 

I was wondering if people here might have any thoughts or houserules they'd use for a setting like this which wouldn't have armors/weapons made from metal, as I like historical accuracy in my dino-riding, magic-filled adventures.

One of my first thoughts on the matter was just ruling that "most weapons that use metal in the book are instead made with monster parts". So plate armor could be made out giant bug chitin, or monster-crab carapace. Are there any consequences, economic or otherwise, of this kind of ruling that might pop up using ACKS? At most I figure that the demand modifier for Monster Parts would be higher in most settlements.

I was also thinking about stone weapons, like the Aztex Macuahuitl (one of the coolest weapons ever, in my opinion). I was trying to decide if I should make them mechanically different that metal ones, or just make their stone construction mostly cosmetic and just use the same stats for approximate weapons from the rulebook. If I did make them different mechanically I'm not sure what I could do that would also be fun to play.

 

Hope I wasn't unclear with my questions. If anyone had some thoughts on the matter I would be very appreciative!

 
 
 
 
sneakers
Jard
Patreon SupporterDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara ContributorLairs And Encounters ContributorBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2012-07-11 23:23

there are rules for scavening weapons in the core rulebook with a table of defects armor and weapons can have.  I'd say the easiest way to simulate lower quality materials from iron is either A) roll those immediately when making the weapon to see how it's inferior or B) having an increasingly wide range from 1 to X on the d20 that prompts a roll on that table due to the inferiror materials breaking.

Monster parts might produce some unexpected results since the lore is related to capturing magical essence.  For example, at 10xp each, you would theoretically have enough monster parts from 6 orcs to craft a suit of plate.

Welcome to the ACKs community, btw! We're pretty active on our discord server.  If you're interested in real time chatting with other acks enthusiasts, send me a direct message and we'll get you a link to join.

Aryxymaraki
Aryxymaraki's picture
Patreon SupporterDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2014-01-04 02:20

Monster parts might produce some unexpected results since the lore is related to capturing magical essence.  For example, at 10xp each, you would theoretically have enough monster parts from 6 orcs to craft a suit of plate.


-Jard

Wouldn't you only need the raw materials cost to craft it nonmagically?

That would be 25% of the base cost, or 15 gp worth, or 1.5 orcs.

Which seems like very few orcs to make a suit of plate, but on the other hand, that's something in the general vicinity of 200-300 pounds of orc.

(One thing this does make me want to do is different masterwork items based on monster parts by category; masterwork swords created out of beastman bones vs masterwork swords made of construct metal, masterwork armor made of animal hides vs masterwork armor made of dragon hide).

PiratesWrath
Joined: 2018-11-04 21:18

 

Wouldn't you only need the raw materials cost to craft it nonmagically?

That would be 25% of the base cost, or 15 gp worth, or 1.5 orcs.

Which seems like very few orcs to make a suit of plate, but on the other hand, that's something in the general vicinity of 200-300 pounds of orc.


-Aryxymaraki

Yeah, I had the book "Lairs and Encounters" that talks about how some monster parts can be used by an armorsmith to make armor, counting as 25% of the base cost. I should have mentioned I had that book when I made the thread! Though I wouldn't have monsters like Orcs used to make plate armor. I figured as gm I would say that only creatures with natural armor could be made into such things, like a Giant Crab or Insect. 

One setting location I had in mind was a "Giant Ant City", a walled off location with a giant anthill in the middle. Occasionally the Emperor will send in warriors to cull the ants to bring them back to make armor out of their chitin. 

 

I like what Jard said about using the weapon scavenge rule for stone weapons. I figure I'd focus on the more brittle nature of stone weapons, so having them roll on that when rolling a 1 makes sense. Perhaps with a wider range when attacking people with harder armor. I wanted to avoid flat damage penalties all-around since I feel, barring armor, getting stabbed with stone kills you just as well as getting stabbed with steel, but after they break make sense.

 

I did want to find a good place for stone (obsidian) weapons like the Macuahuitl though, since they are just so cool, but wasn't sure how to keep them relavent if I have monster-part weapons that wouldn't break as easily. I did some reading yesterday though and some sources were saying how the weapons wern't designed to kill per say, but just to maim the enemy until they couldn't fight back. That way, assuming they don't bleed out, you could take them back with you as slaves/sacrifices.

So, I was thinking what might be cool is to have the Macuahuitl have a special property where a portion of the damage always counts as nonlethal. So eneimies/monsters would get a bonus to survival checks when hitting 0 hp. It stil has the break chance though, and wouldn't be as effective against highly-armored opponents, but is still viable when you're hunting for components/prisinors. 

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

One setting location I had in mind was a "Giant Any City", a walled off location with a giant anthill in the middle. Occasionally the Emperor will send in warriors to cull the ants to bring them back to make armor out of their chitin.

-PiratesWrath
I'm curious. What do the ants eat? Do they have tunnels that surface outside of the city, making them a hazard to travellers? Or does the city supply them with food in some way, perhaps by dumping their rubbish around the anthills?

PiratesWrath
Joined: 2018-11-04 21:18

I'm curious. What do the ants eat? Do they have tunnels that surface outside of the city, making them a hazard to travellers? Or does the city supply them with food in some way, perhaps by dumping their rubbish around the anthills?


-GMJoe

It's still a work in progress, but I had a few ideas:

  • Giant ants do pose a threat to travelers, so they keep a careful watch. If they see some popping up outside the walls that's a signal for 'culling time'

  • For food, I think the ants have that real-life thing where they have fungus farms. So they gather plant life from above and carry it below. This is supplemented by stuff thrown into the area by the people, which can include refuse, animal sacrifices (might be a religious thing), and human sacrifices (criminals and captured prisoners).
Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

I think that what matters should be the relative strength of the weapons and armor, less than their absolute strengths.

For instance, if you're using bronze age swords against bronze age armor, I wouldn't redo all of the weapon and armor to be "bronze sword" and "bronze plate", it's just sword and plate. Maybe add a bit of flavor on breaking or dulling but that's it.

In your campaign it sounds like there are no metal armor and weapons. So I might handle it as follows:

1. Bone, stone, or beast-part weapons and bone/hide/scales armor become the "default" materials. ​They are exactly the same as normal weapons except that if the attacker rolls a natural 1, he must make a saving throw as if his weapon had been struck by a sundering attack.

2. Obsidian weapons are the equivalent of masterwork, as are various monstrous beast part-based weapons and armor. Obsidian weapons might still break on a 1 as above.

 

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

For my campaign, I decided that weapon material had no effect except when attempting to sunder weapons, in which case attempting sundering a weapon made of an inferior material (say, iron) with a weapon made of a superior material (e.g.: steel) caused a penalty to the saving throw, while attempting to sunder a weapon made of a superior material with a weapon made of an inferior material resulted in a penalty to the saving throw.

I later abandoned this system because no-one in my campaign ever tired to sunder anything.