View Full Version : -1 arm

2008-03-25, 11:05 PM
I’ve recently been entertaining the idea of a character that had lost an arm due to a powerful magic effect rendering the injury impervious to the regenerate spell.

Now as this character is melee based I’m predicting the injury would be devastating to her effectiveness, but I’ve never seen any hard and fast rules for what exactly this would mean (outside the obvious).

Anyone ever dealt will a character like this, or has any input? Additionally any ideas on fair compensation, that stays away form the popular “disability superpower” trope.

Atticus Bleak
2008-03-25, 11:14 PM
In an old Knights of the Dinnertable issue they had a trap that disabled one of your arms and gave you a negative to strength...i would say -half your strength bonus..or perhaps a set number, 3 or 5......also, i would say wielding double weapons would be impossible.....but maybe to compensate allow the character to wield two-handed weapons in one hand or something.
Interestingly in Arms & equipment there is a stump blade, a knife fastened to the stump of an arm that gives a bonus on initiative...

2008-03-26, 02:40 PM
Probably a penalty to grapple, since you get a +4 for every extra pair, so I'd guess a -4 for having 1?

Also, I don't think lacking an arm should cost you strength. Perhaps a penalty to strength based checks and skills but not an outright penalty to the stat, since disabled people learn to compensate for their disabilities. Strength is overall, not just in your arms, since you use more then muscles in your arms when doing a lot of things, like in your back or legs.

As for making up for it, I'd look at the Einhander tactical feat in PH2, if you have access to that, since it focuses on one hand weapon wielding, which you're now forced to deal with.

Atticus Bleak
2008-03-26, 08:37 PM
:smallredface: oooops, i acually ment a penalty to checks, not to the stat itself. My bad.
This is probably a little more of a benefit than you would like but the half-golem template or a graft could replace the arm...there was also a Savage Species magic item...Arm's of the Naga? its like a vest that gives you a pair of animate three-fingered arms...

2008-03-27, 05:43 AM
You could always ask your DM in advance if he would mind you making some of your stats higher to compensate for the missing arm. As long as you plan it to stay missing that is....

Tempest Fennac
2008-03-27, 05:53 AM
If your not familiar with D&D modern, there are mutation rules where lacking an arm can be a flaw: http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/MSRD:Mutations#LOST_ARM_.5BDRAWBACK.5D (being as the penalties are probably for someone who was born with only 1 arm, I'd recommend doubling the penalties and applying them to any skills which need 2 hands).

2008-03-28, 05:30 PM
So –4 penalty on Climb, Swim, and grapple checks sounds fair so far.

The problem with the Einhander feat is that it specifically indicates you need to have a free hand to use it, not simple use one hand

2008-03-28, 05:36 PM
I'm a fellow who often has wanted to play such a character as well. I think it acts well as a flaw, and as such deserves to receive a bonus feat in return. That may be too typical, but it doesn't have the superpower problem you spoke of.

2008-03-28, 06:02 PM
-2 balance. humanoids use their arms to help balance, losing one would make balancing a on a tight beam more difficult.
-8 climb. climbing is more about using your legs to push you up than it is about lifting with your arms. however, your hands are what keep you from falling backwards off of the surface your climbing. not so hard with just one hand, until you have to reach for the next handhold. nearly impossible to do, unless the surface your climbing is a slope and you can use friction from your body to keep you from sliding down - in which case a lesser penalty could apply.
-4 disguise checks when trying to conceal your missing limb.
-8 escape artist checks when trying to escape bonds.
-2 ride checks (depending on the creature being ridden, at DMs judgment). riding a horse at least makes use of both arms, and would be more difficult with one arm.
-4 swim checks.
-4 use rope. tying knots and otherwise manipulating a rope is difficult with only one hand.
-4 grapple checks.

obviously no using two-handed weapons. perhaps a further ad hoc penalty to Str and Dex checks on any action that normally requires the use of two hands.

reminds me of an NPC one of my DMs had us meet briefly a a scummy pirate town. he had two stump knifes to replace his hands. I think his name was Lucky.