Weapon Breakage

According to the 4th ed. Pendragon rules, a weapon that is not a sword automatically breaks during combat when the wielder rolls a fumble, or ties in combat against a sword-using opponent. In fights involving characters with weapon skills of 20 of less, this means each round there is a 5% chance of breakage (i.e., 1 in 20 chance of a fumble), or 10% if the opponent has a sword (i.e., 2 in 20 chance of a fumble / tie). At first glance, this seems fair because the increased benefits of a non-sword ought to come at a cost (otherwise, everyone would use maces, axes, etc. and sword smiths would go out of business). Unfortunately, I think the system starts to break down with weapon skills in excess of 20, at least in terms of combat against a sword-wielding opponent, because of the much greater chance of a tied roll. In light of this, I will start playtesting a new system in which one rolls percentage dice to see if a breakage occurs. The percentage is based upon the weapon skill of the non-sword (I could have other things factor in, but I want to keep the rule quick and simple so as not to slow down combat).

Weapon Breakage During Fumble
The 4th ed. rule concerning fumbles is still in effect. In other words, a fumbled roll with a non-sword automatically results in it breaking. This, in and of itself, insures the popularity of swords in the Huntington Campaign (especially in light of my House Rule where a “natural 1” is always a fumble, regardless of bonuses). Note that Damascene and magic weapons still have Fumble Resistance rolls and Shatter Resistance rolls.

Non-Sword vs. Sword
The below-listed skill concerns the weapon skill of the non-sword. Moreover, one considers the skill at its base value (i.e., prior to any bonuses or penalties, or the division of the skill between opponents). The idea is that the higher someone’s expertise is with the weapon, the harder it is for it to be broken in a tied roll against a sword. In the case of a Damascene or magic weapon, even if the below percentage roll indicates breakage, the weapon still gets its Shatter Resistance roll.

Weapon Skill and Percentage Chance of Breakage:
4 or less: 70%
5 – 7: 60%
8 – 10: 50%
11 – 13: 40%
14 – 16: 30%
17 – 19: 20%
20 or higher: 10%

Weapon Breakage

The Huntington Campaign Celtic_Cleric