Posts Tagged ‘siege weapons’

Unapologetically I tell you Exploration Age has mechs. In fact you may remember my original post about mechs which I created using the rules in the final D&D Next playtest packet. Well I’ve updated those mechs to fit into the official Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition rules now that we have all the core rule books.

So take a look at the excerpt from the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide below and let me know what you think of these sweet, sweet mech suits.

This is in my workplace right now and I think of it as our mech.

Mechs

Mechs are special suits of mechanically powered armor which completely surround a single driver. Mechs are designed to handle tasks of manual labor and war. A driver inside the mech can uses its action to perform one of the mech’s actions and it can use its own movement to make the mech move. Getting into or out of a mech requires an action.

Destroyer

Large mech

Armor Class: 17

Hit Points: 150

Speed: 15 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

The heavily armored destroyer is a bipedal tank. Its slow speed doesn’t hinder it in combat as much as other mechs, since it can attack a distance with a powerful miniature cannon arm. For those creatures which get too close, the destroyer has a backup defense – a mighty hammer arm.

Multiattack. The destroyer makes two attacks with its hammer, or one attack with its hammer and one with its cannon.

Cannon. Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 100/400ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

Hammer. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

Explosive Shot. Every destroyer carries a special explosive cannon ball. The ball can be shot 100 feet and explodes in a 20-foot-radius sphere on impact. Creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creature who fail take 22 (4d10) fire damage. Creatures who succeed take half damage. Because of the sensitive way this ball must be carried, each Destroyer can only carry one explosive ball at a time.

Gladiator

Large mech

Armor Class: 16

Hit Points: 125

Speed: 20 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

The gladiator is one of the first mechs designed for combat. It stands tall, is quicker than most mechs, and has an impressively long trident arm. The mech suit sports a second arm capable of launching nets into throngs of enemies.

Multiattack. The gladiator makes two attacks with its trident, or one attack with its trident and uses its Net Launcher ability.

Trident. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8 + 6) piercing damage.

Net Launcher. The gladiator launches a net 30ft. The net covers a 15-foot-square area. Creatures within the area must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or become restrained in the net. On its turn a creature use its action to make a DC 10 Strength to free itself or another trapped creature from the net. Dealing 5 slashing damage (AC 10) to the net also frees a creature.

Knight

Large mech

Armor Class: 20

Hit Points: 200

Speed: 20 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

The knight is fast, super armored, and ready to cut through anything with its powerful sword arm. Its heavy metal shield arm protects the mech and allies in battle.

Multiattack. The knight makes three melee attacks.

Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10 + 7) slashing damage.

Shield. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d6 + 7) bludgeoning damage and the target is knocked prone.

Shield Defense (Reaction). When a creature adjacent to the knight is targeted with an attack, the knight can impose disadvantage on that attack roll. The knight’s driver must declare the use of this ability before the result of the attack roll is announced.

Lifter

Large mech

Armor Class: 14

Hit Points: 30

Speed: 15 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

This mech suit was created to do some heavy lifting. Anywhere physical labor is being done might have a lifter – shipping yards, warehouses, mines, forests, and more. The huge suits are equipped with two strong arms ending in claws meant for lifting everything from lumber to boxes.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 13). The lifter has only two claws, each of which can grapple only one target.

Lumberjack

Large mech

Armor Class: 15

Hit Points: 50

Speed: 15 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

This mech was built to aid in the lumber industry. One arm of the mech is a mechanical saw. The other is a large, three-pronged claw made for picking up several logs at once.

Chainsaw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d8 + 4) slashing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 13). The lumberjack has only one claw, which can grapple only one target.

Miner

Large mech

Armor Class: 16

Hit Points: 75

Speed: 15 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

These mechs were built to carve tunnels through the hearts of mountains. As a result, they are heavily armored to avoid damage from the debris their pickaxe and drill arms kick up. The feet of the miner sports large scoops which can kick debris in several different directions to keep the path before them clear.

Drill. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage.

Pick. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d8 + 4) piercing damage.

Drill Press. The miner makes a drill attack against a prone creature. If the attack hits, the target is pinned to the floor and restrained. At the start of the miner’s driver’s turn if a creature is restrained in this way it automatically takes damage from the miner’s drill attack and the miner may still make a pick attack. If the miner attacks another creature with the drill or moves to a space not adjacent to the target, the creature is no longer restrained.

A restrained creature can use its action to make a DC 14 Strength check to free itself from the drill.

Scoop Kick (Bonus Action). Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: Target is knocked prone.

Pyro

Large mech

Armor Class: 17

Hit Points: 150

Speed: 15 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

Sometimes it’s all about making your enemies fear you. That’s certainly what the pyro’s inventors had in mind. The mech moves through the battlefield, spouting flame out of one arm and hacking down enemies with the axe in its other.

Multiattack. The pyro makes two attacks with its axe.

Axe. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 6) slashing damage.

Fire Spray. The pyro shots a line of fire 100 feet long and 5 feet wide. Creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 33 (6d10) fire damage. Creatures who succeed take half damage.

Flame Jet. The pyro shoots a 15-foot cone of fire. Creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 33 (6d10) fire damage. Creatures who succeed take half damage.

Time For a Change!

Of course the way I’ve updated my rules for siege weapons and mechs now means that to operate them proficiency is no longer necessary. That means I’ve needed to update my original backgrounds. The demolitions expert, harvester, and tinkerer had proficiency in these bad boys, so I’ve swapped those for other proficiencies. The PDFs have been updated below and on the Free Game Resources section of the site.

Demolitions Expert

Harvester

Tinkerer

All Backgrounds

PDF

Speaking of PDFs, if you like these rules for mechs and want to use them in your campaign, they are now available in a downloadable PDF from the link below.

Mechs

If you want to grab this PDF at a later date, it will live in the Free Game Resources section of this site along with monstersD&D fifth edition rules modules, backgroundsspells, magic items, and more.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Last year I created some siege weapons using only the Basic D&D rules and some information I had in the final D&D Next playtest packet. A lot of the weapons I gave statistics for are now part of the official fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons rules because they made an appearance in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

Update Time!

Siege weapons inspired by Labrynith are good, right? Right?

Well I’ve decided to update the arcane cannon and create a new weapon dwarven drill into the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide. I’ve also added some new ammunition for the cannon, mangonel, and trebuchet in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Take a look at the rules below and let me know what you think.

New Siege Weapons

These new siege weapons are meant to be used with the rules found on pages 255 – 256 in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. They can be added to any game at the DM’s discretion.

Arcane Cannon

Large object

Armor Class: 20

Hit Points: 100

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

Special alchemical canisters are loaded into the muzzle of these magically reinforced cannons. The gems along the barrel of the cannon can be charged with magical energy which is used to propel and explode the canister.

An arcane cannon is usually supported in a metal frame with wheels. Before it can be fired the cannon must be loaded and aimed. It takes one action to load the weapon, one action to aim it, and one action to fire it. The weapon must be fired by a spellcaster, who feeds an amount of magical energy akin to casting a cantrip into the cannon.

Acid Canister. An acid canister explodes as soon as it leaves the cannon’s muzzle, spraying acid in a 30-foot cone from the front of the cannon. Creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 22 (4d10) acid damage and can use their next action to roll on the ground to wipe the acid off their bodies. Creatures who do not use their action to wipe the acid off their bodies take another 11 (2d10) acid damage at the end of their next turn as the acid continues to each at their flesh. Creature who succeed take half damage and do not need to wipe the acid off their bodies.

Fire Canister. The fire canister explodes as soon as it leaves the cannon’s muzzle, shooting fire in a line 100 feet long and 5 feet wide. Creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 33 (6d10) fire damage. Creature who succeed take half damage.

Force Canister. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 800/3,200 ft., one target. Hit: 55 (10d10) force damage.

Frost Canister. The frost canister can be shot 800 feet. It explodes in a 30-foot-radius sphere on impact. Creatures within the area must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. Creatures who fail take 22 (4d10) cold damage and have their speed reduced by 10 feet for one minute. Creatures who succeed take half damage and do not have their speed reduced. A creature whose speed is reduced in this way may repeat the saving throw at the end of its turn, ending the reduced speed effect on a success.

Lightning Canister. The lighting canister can be shot 800 feet. It explodes in a 20-foot-radius sphere. Creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 33 (6d10) lightning damage. Creature who succeed take half damage.

Poison Canister. A poison canister explodes as soon as it leaves the cannon’s muzzle, spraying poison gas in a 30-foot cone from the front of the cannon. Creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. Creatures who fail take 22 (4d10) poison damage and are poisoned for 1 minute. Creatures who succeed take half damage and are not poisoned. A creature poisoned in this way can repeat the saving throw at the end of its turn, ending the poisoned condition on a success.

Dwarven Drill

Large object

Armor Class: 20

Hit Points: 150

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

This tread-lined wheeled vehicle has an enormous, rotating wheel covered in drill bits large and small. It was originally designed for digging large mining tunnels, but the vehicle has proven effective in destroying enemy walls and breaking enemy ranks so it is now used in war.

The drill can seat up to two creatures in an enclosed, window-lined carriage and requires at least one creature to operate. A creature seated in the drill can use its action to make the drill move forward 80 feet in the direction it is facing or it can use its action to turn the drill so it faces a new direction.

Drill Press. When the drill runs into a large structure (such as a building, mountain, or wall) it deals 1d10 piercing damage to the structure for every 10 feet of movement it has remaining. If the drill runs into a creature or smaller object, the target must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail are pushed along for the rest of the drill’s movement and take 1d10 piercing damage for every 10 feet of movement the drill pushes them. Creatures who succeed dodge out of the way into an adjacent space the drill did not pass through. If they are unable to get out of the drill’s way, a creature automatically fails this saving throw.

New Siege Weapon Ammunition

The siege weapons on pages 255 – 256 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. The listed weapon can be loaded with the proper ammunition and then fires as described. The ammunitions can be added to any game at the DM’s discretion.

New Cannon Ammunition

Canister Shot. This canister is full of bullets and explodes in a 30-foot cone immediately when it exits the cannon. Any creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 22 (4d10) piercing damage. Creatures who succeed take half damage.

Chain Shot. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 600/2,400 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (4d10) slashing damage. Special: This attack deals triple damage to cloth targets such as a ship’s sails.

Shell. A shell is a special cannon shot which can be fired 600 feet and explodes in a 20-foot-radius sphere on impact. Creatures within the area must make a DC 15 Reflex saving throw. Creatures who fail take 22 (4d10) piercing damage. Creatures who succeed take half damage.

New Mangonel Ammunition

Mangonel Flaming Barrel. Flaming barrels of oil and pitch can be loaded onto a mangonel and up to fired 200 feet (and no less than 65 feet). The barrel explodes in a 10-foot-radius sphere on impact. Creatures in the area must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 16 (3d10) fire damage. Creatures who succeed take half damage.

The ground in the area where the barrel exploded is filled with burning pitch and oil until the start of the turn of the creature who fired the mangonel. Creatures and objects which start their turn in or enter the area take 5 (1d10) fire damage.

New Trebuchet Ammunition

Trebuchet Flaming Barrel. Flaming barrels of oil and pitch can be loaded onto a trebuchet and fired 300 feet (and no less than 65 feet). The barrel explodes in a 15-foot-radius sphere on impact. Creatures in the area must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 27 (5d10) fire damage. Creatures who succeed take half damage.

The ground in the area where the barrel exploded is filled with burning pitch and oil until the start of the turn of the creature who fired the trebuchet. Creatures and objects which start their turn in or enter the area take 5 (1d10) fire damage.

PDF!

Did you like these rules? Hey, if you did, go ahead and use the link below to grab these siege weapons in a free PDF.

Siege Weapons

If you want to grab this PDF at a later date, it will live in the Free Game Resources section of this site along with monstersD&D fifth edition rules modules, backgroundsspells, magic items, and more.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Several months ago, I published a post with a module for firearms I was going to include in the Exploration Age Campaign Guide. Some kind folks in the Wizards D&D forums pointed out to me that Chris Perkins has also released his own rules for firearms in his new Valoreign homebrew setting.

Similarly, Mike Mearls and the rest of the Wizards D&D R&D team have mentioned several times that an optional rules module for firearms will be in the Player’s Handbook or Dungeon Master’s Guide. These may be very close to the rules I proposed months ago, especially when I look at what Chris Perkins has already created and consider he is part of the aforementioned R&D team.

Excerpt from Chris Perkins' Valoreign document

Excerpt from Chris Perkins’ Valoreign document

So they got to it before me, and I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that their design is probably better realized and tested than my own. I’ll wait to see it completely before I pass judgement though, because I may still like my own way better for reasons listed in the initial post. Whatever the case may be, at the very least I will be keeping the rules for magical aberrant firearms in the Exploration Age Campaign Guide, if not the rules for gunpowder weapons, since it seems that their rules module deal only with the latter. Based on what Wizards of the Coast throws out there and the size of their weapons cache, I may even add a powder weapon or two of my own.

Things That Make You Go Boom

When I posted On Firearms, I got a great comment from a reader that gunpowder changes things in a world. It means cannons, grenades, and more are available for armies, mercenaries, bandits, and evil-doers. The comment was meant as a caveat, but for me it was a good thing. There was always a plan to put these weapons in Exploration Age.

I know a lot of you are probably groaning and saying, “I was ok with firearms sorta, kinda, but now you’ve gone too far, Introcaso.” Well, just remember that firearms and explosives are all optional. The Exploration Age Campaign Guide can be used as a bible for your world, but I welcome and encourage stealing, scavenging, harvesting, and modifying any and all ideas you please from the text. That’s what tabletop RPGs are all about! So get those imaginations flowing. If you do anything like that, drop me a line and let me know how it works out!

Grenades

As you can see above, Mr. Perkins has already supplied us with a grenade in his setting. This beast does a whopping 4d6 piercing damage (half damage on a successful DC 10 Dexterity saving throw) in a 20-foot radius. I like this model, since the grenade doesn’t outdo the fireball spell in terms of damage. I’d never want the classic fireball to feel like it has been replaced by a (even possibly uncommon) item, because the magic-using classes would feel less powerful (and the PCs would be too powerful with easy access to weapons like that).

Fireball spell from Basic D&D

Fireball spell from Basic D&D

In Valoreign, the grenade has no price, meaning it must be found or specially made. In Exploration Age, I’m thinking grenades may operate a little differently, with grenades for sale, but at a high price, so adventurers can’t stock up on them easily, but powerful governments and mercenary groups, like the Explorers’ Guild and The Society of Seekers, could. Also, I wanted the save DC to be related to the skill of the attacker and not just have a static number.

Also, why have one kind of grenade when you could have a whole bunch of bombs? Check out this excerpt from the Campaign Guide.

Your classic bomb.

Explosives

Grenades and bombs are martial weapons, with a special exploding feature. Use the chart and descriptions below when attacking with these weapons.

Since all grenades and bombs have fuses which must be lit before being thrown, you may only attack with one grenade per turn. Grenades have a range of 50 feet.

Name Price Damage Explosion Radius Weight Properties
Grenade 500 gp 4d6 piercing 20-foot 1 lb. Exploding
Fire Bomb 300 gp 3d6 fire 10-foot 1 lb. Exploding, see description
Frost Bomb 400 gp 3d6 cold 10-foot 1 lb. Exploding, see description
Lightning Bomb 400 gp 3d6 lighning 30-foot 1 lb. Exploding
Thunder Bomb 300 gp 3d6 thunder 10-foot 1 lb Exploding, see description
Special Bombs

Fire Bomb. When a fire bomb explodes, any unattended flammable objects in the radius of explosion ignite.

Frost Bomb. Creatures who fail their Dexterity save against cold damage in the radius of the frost bomb’s explosion have their speed reduced by 10 feet for 1 minute.

Thunder Bomb. Creatures who fail their Dexterity save against thunder damage in the radius of the thunder bomb’s explosion are deafened for 1 minute.

New Weapon Property

Exploding. A weapon with this property doesn’t require an attack roll. Instead you throw the weapon within its range and the weapon explodes within its given radius. Creatures within the radius of the explosion must make a Dexterity saving throw DC 8 + your Dexterity modifier + proficiency bonus if applicable. Creatures take full damage on a failed saving throw, half on a successful one.

Variant: Oops, Explosion

Grenades can be a hazard to the user – especially in the hands of a novice. Each time you throw a grenade, roll a d20. On a roll of 1 the grenade explodes in your hands. If you are not proficient with grenades, then it explodes in your hands on a roll of 1 or 2.

Pretty fun, eh? Picture a halflings rogue running in circles around and chucking bombs at a big dragon or an elf lobbing fire bombs into a zombie throng. That’s the stuff legendary sessions are made of! Hope this makes you think imaginary explosives are fun. You can even see that if gunpowder isn’t your scene, Exploration Age has some more alchemically charged bombs for your enjoyment.

Cannons… and More!

Obviously cannons are also a huge advancement in the world of warfare which came after the invention gunpowder. I was told by others I would need rules for these as well, though I’m not sure I do. Cannons are siege weapons and the same way you won’t find catapults and ballistas in the equipment section of the Player’s Handbook, you won’t find cannons in the Exploration Age Campaign Guide…. unless I’m also including statistics for catapults and ballistas in said Exploration Age Campaign Guide… which I am ! (Go ahead and pickup those pieces of your mind. I’ll wait.)

So I wanted to share with you some ideas I had for siege weapons in the wonderful world of Canus. Take a look at the excerpt below.

Here is a ridiculous cannon.

Siege Weapons

Siege weapons are an enormous part of Canus’ war-torn history. Take a look at some of the types of siege weapons PCs may come across in their travels. The chart below indicates their size, damage, range, required number of crew to operate, and rounds between reloads.

While price is also indicated on the chart, siege weapons are not easy to buy. In general an independent buyer needs to purchase them on the black market, where prices could be marked up as high as five times the indicated value. Adventurers with international reputations on the side of a specific recognized government or global cause may be able to purchase such weapons for market value, and large, legitimate mercenary operations and federal armies may also purchase siege weapons for their indicated price.

Unless otherwise indicated, siege weapons have a hard time with smaller, moving targets. Any time a siege weapon is used to target a single creature of Large size or smaller, the attack roll has disadvantage.

Name Price Damage Crew Required Reload Time Size Properties
Cannon 10,000 gp varies – see ammunition 2 1 round Large Siege Weapon (range 1,000/3,000), see description
Catapult 3,000 gp varies – see ammunition 2 2 rounds Large Siege Weapon (range 400/1,200), see description
Trebuchet 5,000 gp varies – see ammunition 4 3 rounds Huge Siege Weapon (range 700/2,100), see description
Ballista 2,000 gp 4d6 piercing 2 2 rounds Large Siege Weapon (range 500/1,500)
Arcane Cannon 50,000 gp varies – see ammunition 2 1 round Large Siege Weapon (range 1,000/3,000), see description

Each siege weapon’s crew has a designated leader who decides when to fire and aim the weapon. Each member of the crew must use his or her action to attack with the weapon. The attack bonus of a siege weapon is calculated by using the leader’s Intelligence modifier and adding it to the leader’s proficiency bonus (if applicable). The leader’s Intelligence modifier is also added to the damage of the siege weapon.

Once a siege weapon is fired, it’s crew must remain adjacent to the weapon and use their actions for the number of reload rounds indicated before the weapon may be fired again.

Siege weapons which require a crew of two may be operated by one person, but reloading takes three times as long.

Cannon. These muzzle-loading cannons can be mounted on a ship, castle, or wheeled around slowly, by person or by mount and fire various kinds of shot (see below). They are powered by gunpowder.

Catapult. This onager model catapult is winched down, loaded, then released. It travels on four wheels and is usually pulled by horse or other pack animal. Sometimes diseased bodies of humanoids or animals are loaded into the catapult and fired over the walls of enemy forces with hopes of infecting their soldiers. A target must be at least 30 feet away in order for a catapult to attack it.

Trebuchet. This trebuchet catapult is larger than a onager model and has a much longer range. It uses a counter-weight system to hurl its ammunition great distances. These wheeled behemoths require teams of humanoids or pack animals to be moved. A target must be at least 50 feet away in order for a trebuchet to attack it.

Ballista. Basically a ballista is a giant crossbow, which can be mounted on the wall of castle or deck of a ship. These siege weapons can also be wheeled around by pack animals and shoot large, iron-tipped arrows. Ballistas are more accurate and do not have the usual siege weapon disadvantage when attack single target creatures of Large size or smaller.

Arcane Cannon. Special alchemical canisters developed from aberrant technology are loaded into these jeweled cannons, which hurl elemental and arcane energy at foes on the battlefield. The cannons are wheeled, like their mundane counterparts, and can be transported similarly.

Siege Weapon Ammunition
Name Price
Cannon
Round Shot 50 gp
Chain Shot 25 gp
Cannister Shot 50 gp
Shell 100 gp
Catapult/Trebuchet
Stone 20 gp
Fire Barrel 50 gp
Ballista
Arrow 25 gp
Arcane Cannon
Acid Shot 250 gp
Force Shot 250 gp
Fire Shot 250 gp
Frost Shot 250 gp
Lightning Shot 250 gp

Round Shot. Round shot is a large metal ball, which is loaded into a cannon and fired at a single target. Round shot deals 6d6 bludgeoning damage to a target.

Chain Shot. Two small balls linked together by a length of bladed chain, often fired at sails of enemy ships in order to cause maximum damage. Chain shot deals 2d6 slashing damage, and deal quadruple damage to cloth targets.

Canister Shot. A large canister full of small bullets which immediately explodes when fired. Instead of a normal attack, the bullets spray an area within a 30-foot cone in front of the cannon. Any creatures within the cone must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + the siege weapon’s crew leader’s Intelligence modifier + proficiency). Creatures who fail the save take 4d6 piercing damage, creatures who succeed take half damage.

Shell. Shells are explosive rounds which detonate on impact. Instead of a normal attack, the shell can be fired 1,000 feet and explode in a 20-foot radius. Any creatures within the blast must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + the siege weapon’s crew leader’s Intelligence modifier + proficiency). Creatures who fail the save take 4d6 piercing damage, creatures who succeed take half damage.

Stone. These are literally big, heavy stones hurled from a catapult or trebuchet and deal 5d6 bludgeoning damage to a target.

Fire Barrel. Flaming barrels of oil and pitch can be thrown from a catapult or trebuchet. Instead of a normal attack, choose an area within the weapon’s normal range. The barrel explodes in a 20-foot radius. Any creatures within the blast must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + the siege weapon’s crew leader’s Intelligence modifier + proficiency). Creatures who fail the save take 3d6 fire damage, creatures who succeed take half damage. Unattended flammable objects within the area ignite.

Acid Shot. Acid shot is a green canister which explodes upon being fired and sprays all over enemy forces. Instead of a normal attack, the acid sprays an area within a 30-foot cone in front of the arcane cannon. Any creatures within the cone must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + the siege weapon’s crew leader’s Intelligence modifier + proficiency). Creatures who fail the save take 6d6 acid damage, creatures who succeed take half damage.

Force Shot. A humming blue canister, force shot is the strongest type of siege weapon ammunition around. It deals 10d6 force damage to a target.

Fire Shot. A warm, red canister which glows, fire shot explodes on impact. Instead of a normal attack, choose an area within the weapon’s normal range. The fire shot explodes in a 20-foot radius. Any creatures within the blast must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + the siege weapon’s crew leader’s Intelligence modifier + proficiency). Creatures who fail the save take 6d6 fire damage, creatures who succeed take half damage. Unattended flammable objects within the area ignite.

Frost Shot. A cold, black canister, frost shot explodes on impact. Instead of a normal attack, choose an area within the weapon’s normal range. The frost shot explodes in a 30-foot radius. Any creatures within the blast must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + the siege weapon’s crew leader’s Intelligence modifier + proficiency). Creatures who fail the save take 4d6 cold damage and have their speed reduce by 10 feet for 1 minute, creatures who succeed take half damage and no penalty to speed.

Lightning Shot. A white canister, lightning shot attacks in a single line which is 100 feet long and 5 feet wide. Each creature in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + the siege weapon’s crew leader’s Intelligence modifier + proficiency). Creatures who fail the save take 8d6 lightning damage, creatures who succeed take half damage.

You can see a few things going on in the excerpt above. First of all, siege weapons have several types of ammunition, which really determine how their attacks plays out. Siege weapons meant for brining down walls, ships, large groups, and big baddies – not attacking just a few humanoids. These are crazy mechanical machines, so their attack and damage bonus come from an operator’s Intelligence modifier – representing the crew leader’s knowledge of the mechanics of the weapon.

For the most part, I imagine many PCs will not encounter siege weapons often. When they do, they’ll more likely be on the business end of a cannon or catapult. Still, I could see PCs investing in their own ship or castle and outfitting it with some siege weapons. The encounters that could come from a battle on the high seas or defending a fortress could be memorable indeed with some cannons in the mix! Or imagine the PCs turning the tide of battle by commandeering an enemy ballista for themselves.

Siege weapons and PCs seem perfect for each other in the proposed Battlesystem rules, which we will see fully in future D&D products. In this Legends and Lore article, Mike Mearls tells us each turn in the mass combat rules are a minute, which means a PC could lead a crew in firing a siege weapon several times on his or her turn. Not to mention mass combat seems the most-likely place you’d find one of these siege weapons.

Let me know what you think! What did I get right? What can I do better? You guys rock!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!