Savage Borderlands Melee Weapons

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The following weapon generation rules replace the weapons on p. 87 of Savage Borderlands. Remember that anyone can pistol-whip or butt-stroke, using Fighting, for Str+d4 damage.

If your Strength is lower than the weapon's, its damage die is reduced to match and you lose any positive features found in its "Notes" (except special damage): Fighting bonus, Parry bonus, Reach, Compact, Thrown, and/or improved critical damage. Only its flat damage bonus, AP, and special damage still apply -- along with any drawbacks, of course! Melee weapons are one-handed unless specified otherwise. A weapon held in the off-hand still provides its Parry bonus, even if the user is not ambidextrous; remember that Parry bonuses don't stack (use the best one), but Parry penalties do!

For thrown weapons, Reach does not affect Range in any way, and vice-versa. Thrown weapons digistruct back into your hands at the end of your action(s). You must meet a weapon's minimum Strength to throw it!

1. Weapon Category

Before the campaign starts, the group should decide if melee weapons should be common or uncommon. This affects the table for Step 1 on p. 46. You can set this via a drop-down menu in the gear generator.

Common: A roll of 1 or 20 now generates a melee weapon instead.

Uncommon: A roll of 20 now generates a melee weapon instead.

2. Type of Melee Weapon

Roll 1d20 on the following table.

ResultWeaponDamageWeightNotes
1-2AxeStr+d88-
3-5BuzzaxeStr+d6+2152 hands. A natural 1 on the Fighting die (regardless of the Wild Die) hits the user instead.
6-7ChainsawStr+d8+220Parry -1, 2 hands. A natural 1 on the Fighting die (regardless of the Wild Die) hits the user instead.
8DaggerStr+d41Can be thrown (Range 3/6/12).
9-10GreataxeStr+d1015AP 1, Parry -1, 2 hands
11-12GreatswordStr+d1012Parry -1, 2 hands
13HalberdStr+d815Reach 1, 2 hands
14-15HandclawsStr+d62Always equipped (even when firing guns or using a different melee weapon), so no action required to switch to or from, but -1 to Fighting.
16RapierStr+d43Parry +1. A light fencing version that prioritizes speed over power.
17-18SpearStr+d65Parry +1, Reach 1, 2 hands. Can be thrown (Range 3/6/12).
19-20SwordStr+d64-

3. Manufacturer

Most companies don't bother with melee weapons. Roll 1d20 on the following table.

ResultManufacturerEffect
1-8BanditDamage +1, Parry -1.
9-15DahlAs written.
16-20MaliwanDamage -1. Add 1 level of elemental damage (table, p. 61).

4. Improvements

Use the standard rules to calculate number of improvements, then roll d20 on the following table that many times. If the limit is reached, reroll (that is, everything has "More: d20").

ResultImprovementLimit
1-2AP: Improve AP by 1.twice
3-4Balance: Adds +1 to Fighting rolls when using the weapon. This does not improve Parry!twice
5-6Critical Damage: Improves the bonus damage die for hitting with a raise to d8, then d10, then d12.d12
7-8Damage: Add a flat damage bonus of +1 (e.g., Str+d6 becomes Str+d6+1).twice
9-10Parry: Improve Parry by +1. Rapiers and spears can go as high as Parry +2; other weapons as high as Parry +1.special
11Reach: A weapon with no Reach gains Reach 1. This usually means the weapon can extend (like a collapsible baton). Not available for handclaws.Reach 1
12-13Lightweight: If the weapon weighs 8+ lbs. and hasn't rolled this improvement yet, halve its weight (round down). Otherwise, if the weapon uses two hands, it gains the note "Compact (Can be used one-handed)." Otherwise, reroll.half weight, one hand
14-16Special Damage (d20)
1-4. Corrosive +1 (Limit four times).
5-8. Incendiary +1 (Limit four times).
9-12. Shock +1 (Limit four times).
13-16. Slag (Limit once).
17-19. Explosive (Limit once; see note below!)
20. Heavy Weapon (Limit once, can co-exist with elemental damage).
special
17-18Strength: Increase the damage die type by one level (e.g., Str+d6 becomes Str+d8).

Optionally, to make mid-level strength more common than high-level, roll d12+4 and increase the damage die only if the result is higher than the existing die type (e.g., for a Str+d6 spear, the d12+4 would need to roll higher than 6 to bump it to Str+d8); otherwise, reroll. The gear generator does this.
d12
19-20Thrown: The weapon can do damage at Range 3/6/12 using Throwing skill. If this result is rolled again or the weapon is already innately thrown, improve Range to 5/10/20. Not available for weapons weighing 10+ lbs. or for the handclaws (reroll).twice

Explosive Weapons: These are designed to blast in every direction except at the wielder; everyone else in an SBT must deal with the explosion. This protection does not apply if thrown, however, as there is no longer a "wielder"; if the thrower ends up in the SBT, they are affected normally.

5. Go Kill Something!


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