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Using Found Objects as Weapons
A description of any improvised object that a character grabs in the midst of a combat, with the intention of employing it as a weapon: pieces of glass or metal, stools, boxes, books, lamps, even tables or benches. In most cases, improvised weapons are used in situations where persons would normally not go armed - bar fights or ballrooms - or in situations where combatants cannot afford weapons, participating in lynch mobs or riots.
There are two varieties of found weapons.
The first sort includes objects that strongly resemble traditional weapons: a rake can be considered a token pole arm, a broken bottle is a sort of dagger, a tree limb is a club and so on. In each case, treat the found object as the weapon it resembles. The limitations on weapons of this sort will not be in the amount of damage done, but in the sustainability of the weapon, which will be difficult to grip and easy to fumble and break.
The second sort of found object are those whose intrinsic value as a weapon is found in their weight, not in their shape or use. This includes objects unlikely to break, such as heavy books, furniture, chests, bricks and stones.
As a guideline for determining the damage that can be done with any uncertain found object, use the following table:
The part of the table describing the distance that found objects can be thrown applies to both kinds of improvised weapon - those resembling traditional weapons and those that do not. As found objects, balance and streamlining are lacking, so these objects can be thrown effectively a shorter distance.
When rolling a d20 to hit with a found object, it is three times more likely for a fumble to occur: that is, on a die roll of 3 or less, a fumble occurs. As well, when a fumble occurs, it must be noted that some objects, such as bricks or stones, will not break; however, if the object can be broken, it will be broken. In some cases, this may not mean that the object will break clean through (as a tree limb two inches thick probably would not), but the object will become split or otherwise ineffective for use as a weapon (treat as -4 to hit with thereafter).
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