Friday, March 22, 2013

Pangea: Stone Age Armor and Weapons

In the world of Pangea, the majority of mankind is still well into a Stone Age level of development. This means that most communities, tribes and races use the readily available materials of Stone, Wood, Bone and Animal Hide for everyday use and in the making or armor and weapons. Though the city-states are at a Bronze Age level of development (see Bronze Age Weapons Arms and Equipment), the average person of Pangea does not yet have access to a steady supply of bronze-age goods and skills. And so a mixing of the two is common.
System: Stone Age level items can be made and possibly repaired by any character with the Survival skill. When the necessary components are available (GMs are advised to reward creativity on the players part), a skill check produces one such item.

Chopper: These items were designed to be tools to dig through rough ground to find food (tubers and grubs) as well as in chopping or shaping soft woods and skinning animals. They could be pressed into service as a weapon and would eventually become much more effective when combined with a haft in the form of a handaxe.

Club: Most Stone Age examples of this oldest weapon are improvised, simply a large sturdy branch found after a storm or broken off a tree. The bone club is found among the remains of animal kills. The hardwood club is the one exception, and is an extremely rare and potent weapon due to the difficulty of shaping hardwoods with stone cutting implements. The hardwood club is the one Stone Age example of this weapon that is not a weapon of convenience and will often feature such minor improvements as leather wrapping around the handle of the weapon, making it easier to grip in combat.

Hammer: These weapons are a variation on the Handaxe, though employing a blunt stone. These weapons are used to bludgeon prey and foes and are also used in construction.

Handaxe: One of the major technological advancements of the Stone Age, these items were valuable as both tools and weapons (some argue more the former than the latter) and developed from the “choppers”, axe heads held in the hand to skin animals and chop wood. With these items came the ability to shape wood for specific purposes, including more sophisticated clubs, but also hafting. With hafting both the axe and spear were born and humans went from prey animals to hunters in their own right.

Knife: Like the chopper, the knife was more of a tool than a true weapon although sharpened bone stakes were probably intended to be stabbing devices. Like the chopper, these items benefited from hafting, when they were transformed into spears.

Maul: Effectively a really big Hammer, and usable only by the very strong. Kabiri, giants and the very strong enjoy the power of this weapon. Only those with a Strength of at least 16 can wield a Stone Maul, all others suffer a -2 penalty.

Spear: As mentioned above the spear was developed by the addition of a haft to a knife, allowing the attacker to increase his reach and keep his enemy at bay while increasing the force of his thrusts. These weapons could also be thrown, allowing the attacker to extend the range of his attacks even further.

Atlatl: The atlatl is a “spear thrower” designed to increase the velocity (and thus the range and damage) of the javelin and the dart. These items are modified as listed in the equipment table above, gaining an improved Range Increment and (in the case of the weighted atlatl) a damage bonus.

Dart: The dart is a tiny javelin used as a weapon by primitive cultures, often in conjunction with either poison or the atlatl.

Javelin: The javelin is one of the most effective ranged weapons of the Stone Age, especially when combined with the atlatl. Because of its superior range, many armies use these weapons for ranged attacks with soldiers carrying only a single true spear for melee combat.

Shortbow: The shortbow is one of the most important weapons ever invented and has a great deal of impact on hunting and warfare. The ability to hurl missiles accurately and with great force across great distances allows the attacker to keep his enemy at bay, hopefully killing an attacker or animal before they can close to injure him. Shortbows do not allow the wielder to add his Strength modifier to bow damage.

Stone, thrown: One of the simplest weapons imaginable, this is nothing more than a rock that has been chosen (or shaped) to extend its throwing range. This is also the ammunition for the sling.


Cured Hide: Animal hide needs proper treatment or it will rot. Use of hide is common in making clothing, particularly trousers, shirts, gloves and shoes. Cured hide armor uses thick layers of hide stitched together , making an effective armor and are fairly warm (though a bit stuffy in warm weather).

Furs: Animal furs are widely used to make clothing. Such clothing are usually kilts or skirts, shirts, cloaks, gloves, leg warmers and hats. As armor they are somewhat useful, and are favored by hunters and those wishing to move freely and stay warm.

Bone: Bone is used in the making of tools, buttons, needles, jewelry and more, but it is sometimes employed in the making or armor. Bone armor uses the bones of hearty animals (such as dinosaurs) into armor plates stitched over leather. Such armor can be impressive, but can rattle a bit.

Bone: Bone weapons offer some advantages over stone, but also some significant drawbacks. Bone weapons can be brought to a much finer point than stone or wood, making these weapons some of the most dangerous encountered in a Stone Age society. Where bone weapons suffer in comparison to stone is in their durability.
A bone weapon breaks on a natural attack roll of 1. If a weapon breaks during a successful attack normal damage is still inflicted on the target.

Wood: The advantages of wooden weapons are that they can always be fashioned with ease and materials are in ready supply. Still, these weapons are primitive even by Stone Age standards.
A wooden weapon breaks on a natural attack roll of 1. If a weapon breaks during a successful attack normal damage is still inflicted on the target.
Wooden piercing and slashing weapons suffer a -2 circumstance penalty to attack rolls against armored targets, including creatures with a natural armor bonus of +2 or higher.

Stone: A step up from wood, weapons made of stone can be honed to a sharp point by a well-equipped craftsman, increasing the damage potential of the weapon being made. While still prone to flaking and shattering these weapons are also more durable than those made of wood alone.
A stone weapon breaks on a natural attack roll of 1. If a weapon breaks during a successful attack normal damage is still inflicted on the target.

Some of the items listed on page 38 and 39 in the Blood and Treasure PHB can be produced with Stone Age level skills, but will be made with Stone, Wood, Bone, Hide or similarly "primitive" materials. The following items may be produced with Stone Age materials.

Clothing: Artisans Outfit, Cloak, Cold Weather Outfit (see below), Explorers Outfit, Peasants Outfit, Travelers Outfit.

Miscellaneous Items: Backpack, Basket, Blanket, Block and Tackle, Firewood, Fishhook, Fishing Net, Grappling Hook, Hammer (see Melee Weapons), Pole (10'), Pouch, Rope (Hempen), Sack, Sledge, Torch, Waterskin.

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