Different Weapons, Shields, and Armour for WFRP

As I think about different weapon types there is a temptation to add new weapons with special qualities to spice up the selections available. Despite the fun I think adding too many special trick weapons distracts from the overall game. So the weapons below are listed so they might be found in an obscure market, or via specialist craftsmen.


Weapon Chain: a steel chain which attaches between a weapon and special mount on the wielder’s wrist or arm, which prohibits the weapon from being lost. Ignores dropped weapon results.


Explosive Shield Boss: an explosive shield boss like a claymore, so it fires outward toward the enemy. Could be an artificers proud work or could be as simple as a grenade glued onto the front of a shield. Could be activated by a draw strong which pulls past a flint and lights the fuse, or might need to be lit. Use the stats for Bomb.

Melee (Basic)

These weapons should use the closest skill to match their physical make-up; with most using the Melee (Basic) skill.

Shield Spike : Remove Undamaging (p.299) and add Imprecise (298) to any shield with this improvement.

Sharp Edge or Pointed Edge: Remove Undamaging and add Imprecise, and also add Dangerous. For those with the means, an engineering marvel may add a Shield spike or point which springs from a hidden spot on the push of a button.

Lantern Shield : a small shield combined with a lantern, used for night time activities. This adds slightly more weight to the shield, with the functionality of a hooded lantern. Repairing a damaged Lantern Shield is likely expensive.

Pervaise Shield :(Exotic, Expensive, Heavy, Shield 4), the largest shield possible, more like a movable wall used in large scale warfare, so that an archer can stand beside it for increased cover.

Punching Dagger : as per dagger, no change needed. Added here as they are a thematic pitfighting weapon, but didn’t have stats.

Gauntlet Dagger (SB+2, Shield 1, Defensive, Imprecise), a short blade or spike fixed to a metal sleeve which fits over the fist and forearm. Maybe suited for amputates. Very obviously a dangerous weapon, which will raise concerns outside battles or fighting pits.

Truncheon : a small wooden or metal and wood baton, commonly used by watchmen and enforcers. SB+2, with the Bludgeoning quality.


Net :Use the stats for lasso, and also add Blast(2) to indicate the net can entangle more than one person if used correctly. Larger areas a possible with very large nets.


Sap – SB only in damage, has the Undamaging quality and Bludgeoning quality.


Gamberson : added as a variant for inexpensive armour which acts in all ways as a leather jack, although made from layers of linen sowed together. Typically worn beneath heavier armour.

Enchanted Device: Paper Armour (stolen)

A neat idea lifted from Sea of Stars is a Paper Charm that gives the target better armour (that’s armor for you North American folks) by Sean Holland. In the example the AC is improved moderately, which implies the effect is overall shielding the target from harm; a form of damage reduction in non-DND speak.

The priestess walked slowly down the line of nervous villagers, each clutching a simple tool that they hoped to use as an effective weapon. Stopping in front of each, she placed a charm against each villagers chest and in a second, they were clad in white paper armor.  While the protection the charms gave was limited, it gave the villagers hope that they would be able to stand against those who would harm their homes and families.

These paper charm are marked with the symbols for protection and safety.  When the command words (or prayers) are spoken and the charm is placed on a person, it unfolds into a suit of paper armor to protect them for a short time.

The armor has no weight and causes no penalties, it lasts for three hours and then dissolves into a handful of shredded paper.

Here is the same effect written up as a device with charges (in effect a temporary magic device) for Ars Magica. Paper warrior from Kubo and the Two Strings
Continue reading

Carapace of Insects (stolen spell)

Another borrowed idea from Sea of Stars by Sean Holland, a spell that surrounds the target in armour made from insects, which also strikes and harms attackers. Awesome idea.

The last words of the spell were more of a sequence of clicking sounds than words and within seconds, the sorcerer’s body was swarmed by insects.  Moments later, the cover became living armor as the interlocked layers of beetles moved with his body.

Now in a typical rpg magic system you’d just figure how good the advantage was by comparison with other effects and plop the spell in – easy. Ars Magica on the other hand is more mechanical in how magic constructs a spell, which means some effects are easy and others brutally hard. And spells generally must also be balanced against the prior examples of similar spells.

  • It need Creo to instantly gather the bugs, or Rego to control a pool that already exist (somewhere),
  • Muto is probably needed to make the bugs behave as armour, and to toughen them,
  • The armour would look very creepy,
  • The mix of Animal baselines fo Creo, Rego, and Muto have the highest level of Base 5, which will be used.

Here is the same spell written up for Ars Magica,

Carapace of Insects

Creo Animal / Muto Rego 40, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Group

The target creature is covered in a carapace of interlocking swarming insects, which have enhanced toughness and durability. The armour will adjust to repair points of damage and shift as the target moves, so that encumbrance is minimsed. The carapace grants the target a +4 to Soak and adds +2 Load.

Although Target: group allows for a very large amount of insects, at  the storyguides discretion the swarm of insects might eventually be ablated away from the target if it suffers sustained severe damage over many rounds.

(Base 5 to create an animal, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Group, +1 toughness sub-effect, Rego and Muto free requisites, +1 complex movement)

It is a wonderfully wierd and overly complex spell.


Self repairing armor enchantments

Self repairing armor isn’t prevalent in any legends in the medieval setting that I’m aware of, however it is a mythic concept which an Ars Magica magus might choose. The Magi of Hermes source book introduced the spell level 15 guidelines (p.39 and p.139).

An enchantment effect placed within a suit of armor can be written up as:

The Eternal Suit (CrTeHeAn 29) This suit of full mail is enhanced to always appear new and unblemished.

Sustained Regeneration of Armor

Creo Terram Herbam Animal 25, R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Individual

The armor enchanted repairs all minor damage, scars, or nicks, immediately returning the armor to an “as new” condition after being damaged.

This spell will also protect against spell designed to harm the armor, although it cannot protect against total physical destruction or extreme physical damage which would render the armor immediately useless.

(Base 15, +2 Sun) (+1 two uses per day, +3 environmental trigger: sunrise/sunset)

This effect will keep an item in pristine condition, however it will also make the object subject to magic resistance. This effect is also probably more desirable in a device which contains other enhancements, rather than a lesser device with only this effect.

There is also the weakness that if the spell was ever removed or suspended all the repaired damage would return at once, likely wrecking the item. Pragmatically a spell which makes items inherently stronger is better (like strength of adamantine), although as detailed in Magi of Hermes p.139 a ritual spell could permanently repair and item, very expensively.

A similar effect using Range: Touch and Target: Group could be used to target multiple items worn by a warrior. This is obviously better for applying the effect to a changing set of equipment, although that flexibility increases the final level dramatically.

A design note of difference is to also alter the effect from a permanent effect to an activated power. I suggest the user temporarily discards any weapons before activating so that they will not be resisted by MR.

A further consideration is the warping the spell inflicts on the items, which maybe of concern over many years.

The Eternal Tools of War (CrTeHeAn 46)

Sustained Regeneration of Arms and Armor

Creo Terram Herbam Animal 45, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Group

All the arms, armor, clothing and equipment worn by the user will repair themselves against damage, nicks, cuts and scars, immediately returning the items to as new condition after being damaged.

This spell will also protect against spell designed to harm the wearers equipment, although it cannot protect against total physical destruction or extreme physical damage which would render an item immediately useless. This effect can target up to 100 separate items worn by the user.

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Group, +1 group size increase) (+1 two uses per day)

These spells are part of the free new spells compendium for Ars Magica.

Magic for mundanes – spells for ArM physical combat

These spells and effects demonstrate the use of hermetic magic in enhancing physical combat, typically for others. While it is easy for a magus to destroy or impair a mundane opponent in an overt manner, these effects can be used in combat in a far more subtle way than fireballs, walls of earth, or lightning bolts; and may also be the basis for effects in enchanted devices for companions.

Soaking Damage

A spell to increase Soak for a character matches the guidelines as a core effect. As a base effect a +2 bonus to soak is a significant combat advantage, while keeping the spell level small enough to not be considered a powerful effect.

The bonus to soak guidelines offer a +1 Soak for each +1 magnitude of spell, so the spells above could be raised or powered by a few levels to provide a different bonus subject to what the caster desires.

The Resistant Skin

Muto Corpus 20, R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Individual

The casters body is enhanced and toughened, gaining a +2 bonus to Soak for the duration. From the Ars Magica muto corpus guidelines p. 132.

(Base 10, +2 Sun)

This spell could be re-worked through to level 35 for +5 soak bonus, which is powerful enough to change a melee combat outcome if only mundanes are involved. Continue reading