View Full Version : [3.5] New Special Weapon Material: Hollowed [PEACH]

2013-01-14, 08:18 AM
Hollowed Weapons

Hollowed Weapons are typically weapon's created by Martial Characters in an event to make their strikes heavier, using the power of momentum generated by a free-flowing substance residing in the hollow to impart greater weight on the swing. Depending on the type of weapon used, a hollow weapon may be filled with Mercury if metal, or Incarnadine Blood-Sap if primarily wooden. Not strictly a Weapon material, rather a form of crafting, never-the-less the difficulties in balancing the attributes of either the crafting style or the material used has lead to the weapon being designed as one or the other.

Any non-light weapon dealing bludgeoning or slashing damage may be made a Hollowed Weapon. A hollowed weapon may never be used with any ability that allows the wielder to hit with their Dexterity Modifier.

A Hollowed Weapon gains a bonus to damage of +1 for each die of damage they do. Each time the wielder misses, this damage bonus increases by +1 per die until the start of the wielder's next round. If the wielder connects with an opponent on an attack, this bonus damage is reset to +1 per die.

Attacks made by a Hollowed Weapon are poorly balanced. Any wielder that is using a Hollowed Weapon suffers from -4 to hit and -2 to AC, unless they have at least 5 ranks in Balance or a Strength bonus of +3 or greater.

A Hollowed Weapon reduces it's weight by 1/5th (Rounding Up), and its Hit Points are reduced by a similar amount. The weapon remains the same hardness, but there is much less metal or wood.

Pricing; A Hollowed Weapon adds +6000 GP to the base cost of the weapon.

I'd appreciate any evaluations on the material. I hope it's not too powerful, and is a bit more flavourful than a go-to weapon material; after all, aside from probably +2 damage per swing, most of the benefits of the weapon come from actually missing. While it does increase a bit with Power Attacking, you still only get a static number increase; it just means that if you hit with 4 attacks, you get +8 Damage, if you only hit with the last of 4, you still get +8 (on a Greatsword, say). Considering that to get that benefit you still miss out on 3 Attacks of 2d8+3x Strength bonus from a Power Attacker, it just makes missing *slightly* less painful.

2013-01-14, 08:41 AM
Oddly I think a Hollowed Weapon should be heavier, not lighter. I mean if you're rocking a Steel Longsword, well Steel is made up of Carbon and Iron (Atomic Weights of 12 and 55 respectively), vs Mercury (Atomic weight 200), Mercury is a good deal heavier, I'd think. Though while the weapon obviously isn't being replaced at a 1:1 ratio of Steel mass to Mercury Mass it probably is at least equally heavy, if not more so.

I would remove the penalty evasion for a +3 Strength Bonus or 5 ranks of Balance. Basically by the time most characters could afford a Hollowed Weapon (And would reasonably want one) they'd be beyond those marks so it's not even worth mentioning.

I would require something instead like a feat cost to remove it. Which seems like quite a bit but that is a fairly powerful ability in my estimation and can turn some usually crappy weapons like those 2d4 rollers into something scary. 2d4 weapons, two weapon fighting, you're getting in a 2d4+2+Strength Bonus x 2 per round, on top of magic qualities. Not to mention some weird homebrewed kitbashed weapons I've seen that have weird damage dice like 3d4 or 4d3.

Random side note for curiosity's sake: This isn't by far the first time I've seen this "Liquid Core" weapon mechanic brought up for stuff. Seen it A LOT since I started running games with a younger generation or online. I have no idea where the boom in this idea came from though, any light you can shed on it? Just curious. It's not like back in 2005 when I ran into the "Reverse Blade" boom and knew it was from Kenshin coming on cable TV and all the kids jumping on that bandwagon. Just seems to come out of left field but I see it often enough that it seems it's a Thing.

Morph Bark
2013-01-14, 08:41 AM
This sounds less like a material and more like a non-magical weapon modification like in some of the Dragon magazines.

Why can't it apply to piercing weapons, while it is applicable to ranged weapons?

What is the reasoning behind the increased damage after a miss?

2013-01-14, 08:44 AM
I think the idea on the miss is the "Nunchuck" theory in that spinning your weapon and gaining momentum as you turn your "miss" into a big arching swing that circles back around to go at your foe again. Which I get. I don't necessarily subscribe to that theory, what I've seen from guys much more MATH and SCIENCE than I personally has suggested there is no real difference between say, how hard a Flail would hit and how hard a similarly headed/flanged/spiked mace would hit.

But it's a commonly accepted thing so it doesn't really bother me, falls under the Rule of Cool and such.

2013-01-14, 09:00 AM
@ArcturusV; My brother's in the Royal Marines, and told me that when he was in training in Borneo, he was shown a specially made Machete by one of the Survival instructors; apparently it had a liquid core which imparted greater force at the tip of the weapon when swung, made it easier to cut through forest vines, and extrapolating a bit here, people. Just decided to rule of cool it, I guess. Plus, you get your airsoft weekend warriors who play soldiers, and their guns have more modifications than a Navy SEAL's personal weapon, a bit of Tacticool Enhancement, really. Plus, I believe there was a particularly broken Mercurial Greatsword or something like in one of the 3rd Edition doing 3d8/19-20 or something daft.

Fair deal on the penalty evasion clause; after all a Heavy Weapon requires Proficiency in the Heavy [Weapon], can do the same here.

@Morph Bark; the idea behind it applying to none-piercing weapons is because I didn't feel it had the ability to impart the same amount of force. For example, a Hollowed Arrow, the liquid would be force to the rear of the arrow causing Imbalance in flight, likely loss of accuracy, and I'd assume a negligible benefit on penetration power. I suppose I could remove it from some ranged weapons; i.e Skipdisk, but other's like a Thrown Axe or Hammer - they spin in flight, causing the liquid to go to the extremities and hence causing the increased impact. As it's a Thrown Weapon, it doesn't get increased impact from a miss unless it's returning.

The increased damage in a miss; like a Cleave is intended to be the continuation of the blow, a Hollowed Weapon user continues the swing round through the full rotation, generating faster speed and imparting idea's garnered from the rudimentary Physic's tuition I got as a 15 year old 7 years ago, more speed+more weight=more force. Hitting someone forces said user to reverse the swing and slowing momentum/inertia.

2013-01-14, 09:04 AM
3.0e AEG had the mercurial series of sword blades, which were (fluff-wise) this weapon.

I think I read somewhere a physics analysis which showed that any benefit is purely psychosomatic and/or rule of cool.

Morph Bark
2013-01-14, 09:07 AM
Thing is, a thrown axe counts as a melee weapon first, ranged weapon second, hence why it is listed under the melee weapons, but with a range increment.

Things like shuriken, which also deal slashing damage, are listed under ranged weapons. With this, I could throw a flurry of shuriken, all but the last missing, with the last dealing massive damage.

2013-01-14, 09:12 AM
Why? If you miss with a Thrown Weapon, the weapon is still thrown. The next thrown weapon is entirely different. If you have a Single Hollowed Shuriken, you can throw it. Unless it's a returning one, you cannot make any further attacks with it that round.

If you have 4 Hollowed Shuriken; you can throw one for +1 Damage on each, but if you throw 4 and only the last one hits, the last shuriken is only thrown once, so the most you can get is +1 Damage.

Edit; I suppose I could word it better.

"Each time the wielder misses, attacks made with same weapon gain..."

2013-01-14, 09:14 AM
Good point. Easy fix though, the plus damage clause needs a "With this weapon" added on it. So you don't get silly things like the shuriken example but keep it firmly in the Liquid Core Great Maul or something category it's meant to be.