Hey folks. I'm getting ready to DM a Black Crusade campaign for a group of 5 Black Legionnaires. As part of my preparation, I noticed that the Black Crusade book was woefully inadequate when it comes to many types of weapons, and generally inconsistent in their weapon stats. I statted up some variant bolters, expanded shields, and re-worked two-handed weapons, and some basic weapons. I figured since I bothered to write up notes for my game group, I may as well share them with you all. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the changes I've made.
Here's the copy+paste of my notes. It could probably be arranged a bit better, but it's all understandable.
New Weapons, Weapon Variants, Gear, Upgrades, etc...
Note on Rarity: Extremely Rare is -30. Near Unique is -50. There is nothing in between to represent -40, so I'm simply referring to it as -40.
- Legion Grenade Launcher:
As normal grenade launcher, but may fire Legion sized grenades. Weight 20kg. Rarity Extremely Rare.
- SAW Bolter:
A machine gun style belt-fed bolter that sacrifices range, accuracy, and reliability for a punishing spray of bolts. When fired on full auto, it gains Inaccurate and Unreliable, and halves its effective range.
Basic, 100m, S/-/5, 1d10+9X, Pen 4, Clip 100, Rld: 3 Full, Tearing, 12.5kg, Rarity: -40
- Stalker Bolter:
A sniper bolter with an extended barrel and enhanced sights. Fire rate is scarified for accuracy and stability.
Basic, 100m, S/-/-, 1d10+9X, Pen 4, Clip 24, Rld: Full, Tearing, Accurate, 12.5kg, Rarity: -40
- Underslung grenade launcher:
A normal bolter with an underslung grenade launcher, as above. Holds one shot. Reload Full Action. Weight 15kg. Rarity -40.
A normal bolter with an underslung meltagun that may be fired once before it requires reloading. Weight 15kg, rarity -40.
A normal bolter with an underslung flamer that may be fired once before it requires reloading. Weight 15kg, rarity -40.
A normal bolter with an underslung plasma gun that may be fired 3 times on singleshot, once on semi auto (2) or once on Maximal setting. Weight 15kg, rarity -40.
- Legion Shield:
A marine sized shield. Thick, heavy, and durable.
Melee, 1d10 I, Pen 0, Defensive, Weight 10kg, Rarity: Scare.
- Tower/Boarding Shield:
More a mobile piece of cover than a shield, these are designed to be held by the front man in a squad during boarding actions. They are durable, but cumbersome. They always cover the arm holding them. Their awkward weight causes a -20 to agility and athletics tests. As a free action, the user may hunker down behind it, and can cover the torso and leg of the same side as well. While hunkered down, the shield-bearer may not run or charge. If they attempt to dodge or parry, they leave the cover of the shield.
The shield only covers the arm holding it in close combat, and the shield may not be used for attacks. The cover bonus of the shield depends on the quality. Poor: 6, Normal: 8, Good: 10, Best: 12. Best quality shields also have an armor-glass view slit, allowing the bearer to keep their head covered, but it's value is only 4. Weight: 30kg, Rarity: Rare.
- Shield upgrade: Powered
Shields with a built in power field will not break if they block power weapon attacks, and change their damage type to Energy. Tower/Boarding shields with Powered negate any hits against them. However, when taking hits from Energy weapons, they have a chance to overload every time they are hit for more damage than their normal cover value. The chance is equal to the amount by which the damage exceeded their normal value. (So, if a normal shield with cover 8 took 30 damage from a lascannon, that'd be a total of 22 over, meaning a 22% chance to overload.) Overloaded shields may be fixed with a Very Hard (-30) Tech Use test.
- Shield Ability: Ready Block
When using a normal shield (not Tower/Boarding) you may use the ready action to cover a certain body area from ranged attacks. If shot in that body part from the covered direction, you may attempt to parry with the shield. If you can parry multiple times, you may attempt to parry multiple shots.
2 Handed Weapons re-work.
The way the book currently handles 2-handed weaponry is crap. It is very inconsistent, and generally 2 handed weapons are vastly inferior to one handed weapons. This is because they gain only a point or two of damage and/or pen, and usually become unbalanced or unwieldy. There are also no 2-handed specific talents to advance their use, but one handed weapons quickly overtake them in usefulness due to dual-wielding.
So, 2 handers are being re-worked. The goal is for them to fill a different slot. Dual-wielding will allow for a greater amount of attacks, and more total damage. 2 handing will have less hits, but hit harder. The total damage will be less, but since it is delivered in fewer hits, it will better overcome armor and toughness. However, it should require some talents to reach the full potential of 2 handed weapons, just as it does for dual-wielding.
Most basic weapons deal 1d10 damage, and then maybe get +1 damage or a different damage type depending on what sort of weapon they are. They may also become unbalanced, unwieldy, or balanced. This means that some are blatantly better than others. Mainly, swords are always the best choice due to being Balanced. The paltry +1 damage you gain from an Axe isn't worth it being Unwieldy (unable to parry at all.) Great weapons have a single stat-line for all their types. 2D10 damage, unbalanced. It is silly to lump them all together.
So, the basic change, is that 2 handed variants of weapons will be exactly the same as their 1 handed version, except they gain 1d10 damage. They keep the same penetration and +damage. If the base weapon was unwieldy, they remain unwieldy. If it was unbalanced, it becomes unwieldy. If it was normal, it becomes unbalanced. If it was balanced, it becomes normal. So, one step down in other words.
Here are the new talents you can take to improve 2-handed weapon use:
Leverage: Tier 1, Unaligned.
The heretic has learned to take full advantage of the greater leverage afforded by the long hafts and handles of two-handed weapons, improving their speed. The weapon moves one step closer to balanced, but cannot become more balanced than the base weapon. (In other words, it can't become more balanced than the 1 handed version. If there is no 1 handed version, don't worry about it.)
Mighty Grip: Tier 2, Unaligned.
The heretic has learned to put the full force of both hands into their swings. They add half their strength modifier again to weapon damage (So 1.5 times strength modifier total.) This includes bonuses from Unnatural strength (unlike powerfists, which double strength bonus but not Unnatural Strength.) This talent applies to any melee weapon that can be gripped in both hands, not only 2 handed weapons.
Cleaving Swings: Tier 1, Khorne.
The heretic knows how to get the most out of the superior reach of 2 handed weapons. When attacking hordes with a 2 handed weapon, they inflict 1 additional Magnitude damage for every 2 hits with the weapon. This stacks with Whirlwind of Death.
Felling Blows: Tier 3, Khorne. Prerequisite: Mighty Grip.
The heretic is adept at striking mighty blows with their two handed weapons. When using a 2 handed weapon, they gain Felling equal to half their strength bonus (Including Unnatural Strength.) When making an All Out Attack, they gain Felling equal to their whole strength bonus. This stacks with any Felling the weapon already possessed.
Mighty Blows: Tier 3, Khorne. Prerequisite: Mighty Grip.
The heretic uses the full weight of the weapon to stagger his target. When making an All Out Attack, the weapon counts as Concussive (0). This stacks with other sources of Concussive.
New two-handed weapon upgrades:
Same as the suspensors already in the book, but can be applied to weapons with considerable length and/or haft. They improve the balance of a two-handed weapon by one degree (Unbalanced becomes normal, normal becomes balanced, etc.)
The opposite of Suspensors, additional weight is added to increase the power of a swing. The weapon becomes unbalanced, or unwieldy if it was already balanced (By choice, any weapon can be given enough weight to be unwieldy.) It cannot be made better by talents or the Suspensor upgrade without negating this upgrade. The weapon gains Concussive (0). If the weapon is unwieldy, it gains Concussive (1).
General Weapon re-works.
Currently, all normal (primary) weapons have pretty boring stats (some seem to be statted for very specific uses. The 'spear' statline is obviously meant to be used for melee attachments, not actual spears made from combat.) Swords are blatantly better than axes, hammers, spears, and scythes. Swords are balanced, the rest are unbalanced, unwieldy, or even primitive for no real benefit. Here's the current stat of each weapon, and what I'm altering them to. These are just for basic weapons, but we can extrapolate them to chain, power, and force weapons.
Sword: 1d10 R, Pen 0, Balanced (staying the same.)
Axe: 1d10+1 R, Pen 0, Unwieldy. — 1D10+2 R, Pen 0, Unbalanced
Hammer: 1d10+1 I, Pen 0, Unwieldy. —1D10 I, Pen 0, Unwieldy, Concussive (0)
Spear: 1d10 R, Pen 0, Primitive. — 1D10 R, Pen 1
Staff: 1d10 I, Pen 0, Primitive (7), Balanced, 2-handed. — 2D10 I, Pen 0, Balanced, 2-handed.
Scythe: 1d10+4 R, Pen 3, Unbalanced, Felling (1), 2-handed. — 2D10+1 R, Pen 1, Felling (1), Unbalanced, 2-handed
So in short, swords do the least damage but are balanced. Axes gain some damage but become less balanced. Spears gain some pen. Hammers become very unwieldy, but can stun people. Staves are roughly equivalent to swords, but have a less useful damage type and only come in two-handed forms. Scythes are less balanced, but gain some damage, some pen, and Felling.
All of these weapons are statted to reflect proper combat versions, not primitive ones. This is the statline of a battleaxe, not of a fire or wood axe. Most of these changes were based on the differences in Chain and Power versions of the weapons.
So, following the above logic, here's stats for unlisted force weapons, and a re-done force scythe:
Force Sword (Current): 1d10+2 R, Pen 2, Balanced, Force.
2-Handed Force Sword: 2d10+2 R, Pen 2, Force, 2-handed.
Force Axe: 1d10+4 R, Pen 2, Unbalanced, Force.
2-Handed Force Axe: 2d10+4 R, Pen 2, Unwieldy, Force, 2-handed.
Force Staff: 2d10+2 I, Pen 2, Force, Built in Psy Focus, 2-handed.
Force Scythe: 2d10+3 R, Pen 3, Felling (1), Unbalanced, 2-handed, Force.
Of course, Legion versions of weapons are stronger. There are no Legion Force weapons in the book, but there should be. Legion Melee Weapons gain +1 damage and +1 pen.