This started life as a for-Pyramid article. Some of it (the parts *not* in this post) still are. This stuff below . . . I could never make work well enough that I thought it would work for general consumption. So here it is. It’s “unfinished,” so details have not been fully worked out.

**Still Sharp**

and narrow, will inflict cutting damage instead of crushing (a long, sharp

striking surface) or piercing or impaling (a penetrating, pointed striking

surface). Cutting attacks gain a 50% bonus to injury, using the wounding

multipliers on p. B379.

*base*damage, so if a blunt metal sword blank is wielded by a ST 13

user, it would do 2d cr. If it is then laboriously worked into a

*very fine*sharp blade (of the same

weight and length), it would end up doing 2d+2 cut, and has effectively gained

roughly 90% in ability to wound unarmored folk. It has also picked up a 30%

increase in penetration of armor. If we look at the increase from 2d cr to 2d+2

cut in terms of increases measured per die rolled, we have picked up +2

*per 2d*in armor penetration ability, and

nearly +7

*per 2d*in ability to wound!

blades – +2

*per 2d*– is plausible in

real-world weapons. It’s not a bad estimate (28% improvement in penetration)

for

*steels*relative to each other, but

is probably inaccurate for a high-quality sword swung against

*equally well-crafted*armor: both would have

been hardened appropriate to their function.

Whetstones,

**p. 25) suggest, there are**

*Dungeon Fantasy 1: Adventurers,*degrees of “sharp” in

**. Often the “sharper” the edge,**

*GURPS*the less robust it will be to

*staying*sharp

and un-chipped, especially in a situation where the blade meets hard

resistance or is swung with great force. Sharpness doesn’t always translate

well to punching through solid obstacles, either. A cheap soft blade can be

made quite sharp (for one blow at least), while even a hard one might be

brittle and shatter – the narrow edge is a great place for cracks to form and

propagate. To find a blade that is hard, sharp, and robust? That would truly be

a weapon from the sagas!

The sharpness rules are only meant to apply to weapons thatNo Cutting Maces!GURPS

gives the cutting damage type. It is not meant to give an opening to take a

flanged crushing instrument like a mace and turn it into some sort of “cutting

mace.” That sort of weapon is an axe for all intents and purposes; multiple

blades are more likely to impart a (0.5) armor divisor than to improve cutting

damage! The GM should feel free to veto such suggestions with extreme prejudice

. . . unless he decides that style trumps reality, and such a thing – evenwiththe (0.5) armor divisor – is too

cool not to use! In that case, multiple blades should give +1 damage and a

(0.5) armor divisor, with cost and weight being left intentionally vague. Pass

me my bad axe-chuks, please (the more mundane sword-chuks can of course be

found inp. 223)!GURPS Martial Arts,

*Cuts Like a Knife*injury, it will be treated as a continuum, from +1 to +10 for every

*two dice*of base damage (or per every 7

points, if adding up force-multipliers such as Weapon Master, All-Out or

Committed Attacks, and basic adds to damage from weaponry). Treat the

“standard” good edge you get on most

**weapons as +4**

*GURPS**per 2d.*It will prove more convenient to

convert adds to dice where practicable: Vryce the Mighty, with ST 19, Weapon

Master, and a two-handed axe, would do 3d+10 cut damage using the normal rules,

but using the +4 per 2d suggestion, this should be expressed as 5d+3 cut

(+4/2d).

*injury,*once the effects of armor

(including tough hide – anything with DR) are applied.

*after*calculating the effects of DR. There are several ways to effect this:

Giving the cutting damage increase a resolution perWhy Per 2d Damage?2dof damage may seem odd. Damage

bonuses insuch as those for Weapon Master or Karate, areGURPS,per die,notper 2d.Per diebonuses

are quick, easy, and avoid rounding issues. So why bother?

The 50% bonus usually given to cutting weapons is either

+1.75 per die, or +3.5per 2d– and

allowing a slight difference from +3perand +4

2dper 2dhas a certain

appeal in games were the more common cutting weapons areswungweapons, and normal people can often rack up 2d or more

damage, allowing them to take advantage of such.

The variable wounding modifier calls for new notation:

cut (+5/2d)is used to describe a

cutting weapon that inflicts +5 damage for every 2d of impact. If the weapon

has odd damage dice, such as 3d+1, youdoget partial credit! The modifier of +5/2d would give +5 for every 2d of

damage, and +1 for that last odd die: 3d+1 cut (+5/2d) adds +7 for cutting,

turning into 3d+8, or 5d+1 if converting adds to dice

*Armor as Dice:*Presented

in

*Armor Revisited*

**(**expressing DR as

*Pyramid*

#3/34: Alternate GURPS II),#3/34: Alternate GURPS II),

*dice*allows subtracting dice of armor from dice of damage, and then

applying the

*per 2d*cut bonus in a

straightforward fashion. So 3d cut (+4/2d) vs. 1d+1 armor (about DR 4-5) would

put 2d-1 through armor, and the cutting modifier would increase injury by +4 to

2d+3. To ease conversion, consult the

*Armor*

as Dice Tableat the end of the article.

as Dice Table

*Percentage Increase:*This

method allows following the normal “roll damage, subtract DR, apply modifiers” pathway.

The 3d attack might do 11 points of damage; applied to DR 4 mail would leave 8

points remaining. Consulting the

*Percentage*

Increase Table(p. 00), the cutting modifier of +4

Increase Table

*per 2d*converts to +60% and results in 4 extra injury, for a total

of 12. This is obviously easiest if you are using a calculator or computerized

game aid, such as a virtual tabletop or gaming app.

rounded for convenience.

The impaling damage type has a very large behind-armorArrows and Impaling Weapons

multiplier inequivalent to +7GURPS,perusing the scale used in this article. Arrows are usually impaling, but

2d

many bladed weapons, including spears, knives, and some swords, have a

thrusting mode that inflicts impaling damage.

If one sharpens a blade to inflict a larger cut multiplier

with a swing, what happens to thrust as you sharpen the edges and points?

Options include:

Nothing:The

impaling damage type is explained as reflecting the weapon’s ability to reach

deeply into the body to reliably strike the creamy fruit center. As such, it

matches best when targeting body parts with location-based injury multipliers

such as vitals (¥3) or skull (¥4) than as an enhanced wounding multiplier.

Leave impaling as-is, then doubling damage on an impaling hit to most locations,

and receiving the increased wound multipliers if you target and hit the skull

or vitals.

Bleed Like Crazy:An

impaling weapon with super-sharp edges won’t make a bigger hole (though it

might go a little bit deeper into flesh), but what clean cuts really do isbleed.Instead of a flat penalty of -1

to HT for every 5 HP (p. B420), consult theNastytable.

Bleeding

Size Matters:The

variable wound multipliers could also be used not as a proxy for sharpness, but

as a representation of the cross-section of the wound. Normal war arrows might

be imp (+7/2d), but a broad-bladed spear might well be imp (+10/2d) or more. A

bodkin arrow, which inprovides an armor divisor butGURPS

represents a hardened arrowhead on a 0.4-0.5” diameter shaft, might then do 1d

(2) imp (+3/2d) – less injurious than the standard arrow doing 1d imp (+7/2d),

but much better penetration, and consistent with the wound multipliers of

bullets with a similar diameter.

Nasty Bleeding Table

Using this table, a fairly blunt impaling weapon rated at

only +2per 2dsharpness would

inflict a -1 penalty to HT when checking for bleeding per 7 HP of injury taken.

At +8 through +10per 2d,the penalty

is -1 per every 2 HP of injury!

**Armor Penetration**

*Fine*and

*very fine*weapons get a boost to basic

damage, which also has the effect of increasing armor penetration. Some games feature

weapons with an armor divisor of (2), or perhaps even more in high-magic,

high-technology, or super-powered campaigns.

for finer gradations in armor reduction. Armor piercing capabilities will be

represented as a DR reduction per die (or

*per*

2d); an AP rating of -3

2d

*per 2d*

would be equivalent to a (1.75) armor divisor, while -1

*per 2d*would be roughly (1.2). Ratings of -1 to -4 DR

*per 2d*are

*fairly*realistic; -1 or -2 DR

*per*

2dmight represent hardened, high quality steel facing mild or poor metal

2d

armor, while -3 and -4 DR

*per 2d*can

be seen with high-tech alloys like tungsten carbide or depleted uranium. Or

magic.

per-die subtraction is probably -5 DR

*per*

2dof armor, the equivalent of an armor divisor of (3.5). A value of -6

2d

*per 2d*would be a (7), and -7

*per 2d*is basically “ignores armor,” so

applying the usual

**divisors of (5), (10), and (100) once you go past -5**

*GURPS**per 2d*point is probably best for ease

of play and extendibility.

*dice*

using the

*Armor as Dice Table*allows

the per die subtractions to be applied directly to armor. Alternately, apply

the partial armor divisors as a percentage reduction in DR. See the

*Hardening Craft Table*(p. 00) for guidelines

on converting

*per 2d*penetration

ratings into armor divisors (and vice versa).

*Example:*Striking DR 8

plate (2d+1) with a magic crossbow bolt rated at 1d+5 imp with an AP rating of

-3 DR

*per 2d*would apply the rating

to the 2d+1 of the

*armor,*resulting

in a reduction of DR by 3, for a net DR of 2d-2. Doing the math, (1d+5)-(2d-2)

is 7-1d imp – expressed a bit oddly for

**damage, but resulting in 1-6**

*GURPS*points of penetration. Using the equivalent armor divisor of (1.75), you’d face

1d+5 penetration with DR 8/1.75, rounded up to DR 5, for 1d penetration . . .

exactly the same result!

*Hardening Craft*

Table(p. 00) for guidelines on the cost of purchasing higher levels of

Table

increased armor divisor for bladed weapons.

*Hardening Defenses*reduce the penetration of incoming cutting, piercing, or impaling projectiles,

increasing the protection against that blow. The hardness rating can be

positive (+2 DR

*per 2d*damage)

representing well-made, hardened armor, or even negative (-1 DR

*per 2d*damage), representing materials

or construction that are weak vs. certain damage types. When AP rated damage

meets hardness-rated armor, simply add the modifiers. Thus, a hard sword or

arrowhead rated at -2 DR

*per 2d*that

encountered a similarly hardened scale harness rated at +2 DR

*per 2d*vs. cut/imp would cancel each

other out, and face each other on equal footing. This would also allow more

detail if using the optional rule for

*Blunt*

Trauma and Edged Weapons(

Trauma and Edged Weapons

**p. 102).**

*GURPS Low Tech,*