Claw and First Weapons for Labyrinth Lord

Claw and Fist Weapons for Labyrinth Lord

Some adventurers want to get close and personal with their foes and shred them to bits, pound them into the ground with a flurry of punches, or slip in like a deadly shadow to silently remove them with a hidden blade.

Whatever your preference, these will be helpful for any class that wants to be a bit more discrete or urban than more traditional adventurers.

Each weapon type lists some of the qualities of the weapon and a magic item you may add to your campaign along with a description for the item. Most of these weapons make use Class-based Weapon Damage, but I also included traditional weapon damage.

Claw weapons

Combat Claws:

  • 1d6 damage or as per one’s class
  • Cannot use objects in that hand without taking 3 rounds (30 seconds) to remove the claw. Requires same amount of time to attach properly; does half damage if not secured.
  • When attached correctly, the wielder cannot be disarmed.
  • 50 gp cost

Hashin’s Razorclaws +2; On a natural 19-20, hits cause a bleeding wound. The wound damage per round is equal to your STR bonus to damage. Can go into a battle frenzy 1d4 rounds per day; gain +2 to hit and damage. Cannot be disarmed.

Long steel claws, several inches long and made to resemble a bear’s, are attached to a steel frame padded with leather and fur. Overlapping plates and wide leather straps offer some protection of the forearms and allow some wrist-movement. A padded handle helps provide leverage during strikes. Magical symbols are painted onto each plate. Enchanted feathers and etched beads are braided into the leather straps.

Scissor Katar:

  • 1d6 damage or as per one’s class
  • May attempt to disarm opponent’s weapon; opposed Dex Saves; if failed, the katar is not dropped.
  • 150gp cost

Bladesunder or ‘Xotlicohl’ +3: Whenever a weapon is successfully disarmed using this weapon, the next successful hit also deals damage as if you’d used that weapon. The damage bonus from disarming a new weapon replaces any unused bonus. After being disarmed, that weapon deals a maximum of 1 damage and temporarily loses all magical ability for 1 Turn. Non-magical weapons that are disarmed by this weapon must Save vs Destruction; use a d6; wooden hafts Save on a 1, iron hafts and blades 1-2, steel and ironwood 1-3, adamantium 1-5.

Three blades fan out from the center; two shorter, thinner blades on the side and a wider, longer blade in the middle. Each blade is etched with graceful Elven lettering. The handle is braced on either side. A trigger near the grip causes the two smaller blades to snap inward with incredible force.

Warmage Power Claw:

  • 1d8 base damage or as per one’s class
  • Hits add +1d4 energy damage; it can only have one energy type
  • Unlike other claw weapons, the user can manipulate objects with limited dexterity using the claw.
  • Cannot be disarmed
  • This is a magical weapon, so it has no listed cost

Maelbolgian Witch-claw +3: Deals +1d4 force damage on successful hits. 1/day may make a ranged attack against a target within 40’ as if it were a melee strike (use Str instead of Dex). 2/ day may interact with an object up to 80’ away, within line of sight. This ability can’t apply or carry more than 5 pounds of weight or force.

The claw fits snugly over one’s hand and wrist and leather straps keep it in place. Each finger is several inches longer than normal and has an extra joint. The inner edges and the needle-like fingertips are razor sharp. Each knuckle is embedded with a smoky purple gem. The entire claw is covered with hundreds of tiny magical runes arranged in a spiral towards the sigil in the palm; the mark of the secretive magic school Maelbolgia.

Climbing Claws:

  • Technically a tool, not a weapon. Does 1d3 damage or improvised weapon damage
  • Provides +15% to climbing checks
  • Works best in softer materials; ie ice, wood and very rough, cracked stone. Experienced climbers can use these in harder materials, but causes damage 50% of the time.
  • Failed climb checks results in damage; it will wear out after 1d4 damage.
    • Note that this assumes regular repairs and maintenance
    • Adamantium climbing claws cost 100x as much and can take 3d4 damage
  •  30gp cost

These fur-lined gloves have leather fingertips, but a bulky palm that conceals the steel reinforcement that support a row of downward saw-toothed blades jutting from the palm. Two belted straps help to keep them in place.

Fist Weapons

Punching Dagger / Katar:

  • 1d4 damage or as per one’s class
  • Usable only by Thief, Assassin, and Monk
  • +5% chance to conceal it against discovery
  • 75gp cost

The Shank +2: When performing a Backstab and on a hit with an adjusted 20+ the dagger attacks twice more. Roll the extra attacks separately. Only the first attack is doubled.

The single blade is about six inches long and has a cruelly serrated edge. Engraved on the center of the blade are Dwarven runes that read: “Informants get stitches”, though something may have been lost in translation. The handle has holes to fit one’s fingers through while a bar rests against one’s palm.

Spiked Gauntlet:

  • 1d4+1 damage
  • If a Monk’s unarmed damage is higher, use the Monk’s damage.
  • Any weapon bonuses or effects are added to the Monk’s unarmed damage.
  • 30 gp per pair

Fists of the Earthquake +2: 2 / day slam the ground in a 15 ft square. All enemies in the area must Save vs Paralysis at -2 or be knocked down and take damage as if struck by an unarmed attack. Unattended items get no Save. The Slam area must contain the character or be adjacent to him.

These heavy gauntlets are made of polished iron and each knuckle has a short obsidian spike embedded into it. Thin lines of fiery rubies and tiger’s eye stones create a branching web on the palm and back of the gauntlets.

Brass Knuckles:

  • 1d4 damage
  • If a Monk’s unarmed damage is higher, use the Monk’s damage.
  • Any weapon bonuses or effects are added to the Monk’s unarmed damage.
  • +10% to conceal it against discovery
  • 15gp cost

Holy Jawbreaker +1: Used by a Monk or a Paladin this weapon becomes +4 and deals 1.5x damage to Demons and Devils. On a natural 19-20 the target’s jaw is smashed; he cannot talk, cast spells that require verbal components, or eat. Time or magic will cure this.

These knuckles are made largely of shining brass covered in silver filigree. Above each finger is a tiny rectangular capsule made of brass, capped with a diamond, and engraved with a different holy sigil. It’s said that each capsule contains holy water and a bone fragment from the hand of Saint Martinus, who is said to have fought demons bare fisted.


  • 1d4 nonlethal damage
  • Does x4 damage instead of x2 when used in a Backstab.
  • 25gp cost

Bounty’s End +2: When a target is knocked unconscious by this weapon, the wielder may choose to teleport the target anywhere within 60 ft. The destination must be a reasonable surface, not midair or inside another object. The destination must be known and familiar to the user. The creature being teleported cannot be larger in size than an ogre.

The sap resembles a very short club. Heavy rubber is covered by black silk embroidered with two intertwined jade dragons. From the wooden handle hangs a miniature set of silver manacles that jangle slightly.

Murderer’s Drop

Murderer's Drop

Murderer’s Drop

I ran this map for a new player to my campaign as an introduction to his particular plot. His troublesome partner had gotten in over his head and needed rescuing from the infamous Murderer’s Drop.

Built inside a seaside hill near the docks, this neglected home once belonged to a corrupt Harbourmaster. This monstrous man took payments in return for help disposing bodies. Being incredibly lazy to boot, he built a chute that led into a fetid pool beneath his own home. A rear entrance, only by rowboat, also sufficed.

Even after he was found out and executed, his abandoned home remained. The worst kind of derelicts moved in and broke down the walls that separated the civilized from the depraved. And in the dead of night they would deny seeing two men carrying a drunk friend into this building… to join the mass of others.

“They were faint, but Lucius followed the trail of blood droplets to this room. He’d passed quietly by several other rooms and was met with blank stares and mindless muttering. Behind a ruined wall was a cave where men fought bare-knuckled to a roaring audience, but they did not see him. He hoped that remained true. The only thing in this room was mold, encrusted filth, and a heavy-looking trapdoor. He opened it carefully, expecting the worst, but there was only a filthy metal slide. Lacking other options, he flung himself down it and hoped he would he would find his friend one way or another. Above him, a maddening laugh became a screeching wail. A murdered body had just sent itself down the Drop.”

Shipwright Professions – Part 2

This is Part 2 of the Shipwright Profession, detailing the cost of various items Shipwrights and sailors might need.

The Ram and the Catapult were added directly from the Labyrinth Lord book; they’re included mainly for the purposes of completeness.

Nautical Items

  • Spyglass: 1,000 gp base price, requires 2 weeks to craft
  • Sundial: 8 gp
  • Compass: 10 gp
  • Astrolabe: 15 gp
  • Sextant: 25 gp


  • Piers are 10 ft wide and as long as the vessel that’s meant to dock there, rounded to nearest 10 ft increment, plus 20 ft to get to deeper water, in most cases. They cost 30 gp / 10 ft length and 1 week construction time per 20 ft of length.
    • There are two types of piers: floating and fixed. A floating pier is easier for a single person to build, but may be more easily damaged or washed away during a storm or flood.
  • For example: a 40 ft long vessel would need a 60 ft pier, cost 180 gp to build, and take a single builder 3 weeks to complete.

Naval Weapons

Range: Touch
Attacks as: Monster of under 1 HD
Damage: (1d4 +4) x10 shp or 3d8 hp; (1d6+5) x10 shp or 6d6 hp
The different damages listed for a ram apply as follows. The first shp value listed applies to rams on small vessels when attacking another vessel. The first hp value listed applies to attacking large aquatic monsters. Similarly, the second damage values apply to rams on larger ships to other ships or large aquatic monsters, respectively.

Cost: 30% of the total ship cost

Rate of fire: variable; 1/5 rounds with 4 crew; 1/8 rounds with 3 crew; 1/10 rounds with 2 crew
Range: 150-300 yards
Attacks as: Fighter level equal to crew number firing
Area effect: 10′ square
Damage: 3d6 shp or 1d6 shp fire per turn
Catapults can be operated by a variable number of crew, and this will affect rate of fire and attack ability as indicated above. The standard 3d6 damage reflects firing a solid missile.

Burning damage from combustible loads and pitch do the indicated fire damage. In takes a minimum of 5 crew members 3 turns to extinguish flames caused by a fire attack. For every five additional crewmembers, this time can be reduced by 1 turn to a minimum of 1 turn. A catapult cannot be used to attack a ship that is closer than the minimum range indicated.

Cost: 20% of the total ship cost

Rate of fire: variable; 1/4 rounds with 4 crew; 1/6 rounds with 3 crew; 1/8 rounds with 2 crew
Range: 100-250 yards
Attacks as: Fighter level equal to crew number firing
Area effect: 5′ square
Damage: 2d6 shp or 1d6 shp (spear ballista)
Ballista require a crew to operate properly; two to crank the bow back, one to load the bow and the leader directs the others, sets the ammunition, sights the target, and fires. Damage represents holes punctured in the hull.

Ballista have the advantage of being able to be set inside the hull for their crews protection if the builder chooses. On the deck, “spear ballista” can be use against large flying targets, but deals only 1d6 shp (1d6 x 5 hp)

Cost: 25% of the total ship cost

Gunpowder Cannon
Rate of fire: variable; 1/4 rounds with 3 crew; 1/5 rounds with 2 crew
Range: 150-500 yards
Attacks as: Fighter level equal to crew number firing
Area effect: 15′ square
Damage: 5d6 shp
Cannons use gunpowder, a relatively new invention of the gnomes, to propel a heavy iron ball to punch huge holes in ship hulls. They hit so hard they are practically explosive.

These weapons are so heavy that only the largest vessels can bear to carry them or fire them without tearing themselves apart. Only Large Sailing Vessels, War Galleys, and Dreadnoughts can carry cannons.

Cost: 50% of the total ship cost. 30% when added to Dreadnoughts.


Rank 1 vessels

  • Raft:
    • Crew needed: 1
    • Builders needed: 1 (self)
    • Cost to build: 1 ep / sq ft
    • Base time to build: 1 week
    • SHP: 5 / sq. ft
    • Weapons: none
  • Canoe:
    • Crew needed: 1
    • Builders needed: 1 (self)
    • Cost to build: 25 gp
    • Base time to build: 2 weeks
    • SHP: 5 to 10 (1d6+4)
    • Weapons: none
  • Lifeboat:
    • Crew needed: 1
    • Builders needed: 5
    • Cost to build: 400 gp
    • Base time to build: 4 weeks
    • SHP: 12 to 18 (2d4+10)
    • Weapons: none
  • Sailing boat:
    • Crew needed: 1
    • Builders needed: 5
    • Cost to build: 1,000 gp
    • Base time to build: 8 weeks
    • SHP: 20 to 45 (5d6+15)
    • Weapons: none

Rank 2 vessels

  • River boat:
    • Crew needed: 10
    • Builders needed: 5
    • Cost to build: 2,000 gp
    • Base time to build: 8 weeks
    • SHP: 20 to 45 (5d6+15)
    • Weapons: none
  • Small Sailing Ship
    • Crew needed: 12
    • Builders needed: 10
    • Cost to build: 3,500 gp
    • Base time to build: 12 weeks
    • SHP: 65 to 90 (5d6+60)
    • Weapons: none
  • Small Galley
    • Crew needed: 100
    • Builders needed: 15
    • Cost to build: 6,000 gp
    • Base time to build: 12 weeks
    • SHP: 75 to 100 (5d6+60)
    • Weapons: Ram and one ranged weapon; added separately
  • Longship
    • Crew needed: 75
    • Builders needed: 10
    • Cost to build: 8,500 gp
    • Base time to build: 10 weeks
    • SHP: 65 to 80 (5d4+60)
    • Weapons: One ranged weapon; added separately

Rank 3 vessels

  • Large Sailing Ship
    • Crew needed: 70
    • Builders needed: 25
    • Cost to build: 11,000 gp
    • Base time to build: 14 weeks
    • SHP: 125 to 180 (5d12+120)
    • Weapons: Two ranged weapons; added separately
  • Transport Sailing Ship
    • Crew needed: 12
    • Builders needed: 25
    • Cost to build: 15,000 gp
    • Base time to build: 14 weeks
    • SHP: 125 to 180 (5d12+120)
    • Weapons: none
  • Large Galley
    • Crew needed: 250
    • Builders needed: 20
    • Cost to build: 16,000 gp
    • Base time to build: 12 weeks
    • SHP: 95 to 120 (5d6+90)
    • Weapons: Ram and two ranged weapons; added separately
  • War Galley
    • Crew needed: 400
    • Builders needed: 25
    • Cost to build: 32,500 gp
    • Base time to build: 18 weeks
    • SHP: 125 to 150 (5d6+120)
    • Weapons: Ram, included, and three ranged weapons that can be added separately.

Rank 4 vessels

  • Dreadnought (Complete stats
    • Crew needed: 500
      • 300 rowers, 150 per side
      • 200 regular crew, including command
    • Builders needed: 60
    • Cost to build: 64,000 gp
    • Base time to build: 36 weeks
    • SHP: 175 to 270 (5d20+170)
    • Weapons: Ram and six ranged weapons; all included
      • Cannons can replace a ranged weapon for 30% per cannon added.
    • Speed: 100 ft / round sailing, 60 ft / round rowing
    • Miles traveled per day: 60 mi / day sailing, 36 mi / day rowing
    • Cargo: 45,000 lbs
    • Size: 60 ft wide, 220 ft long, draft of 8-12 ft

Fort Narin

Fort Narin

Fort Narin

This small fort was built a few miles from the town of Narin in order to help protect the road from bandits. It was built at the top of a sheer-sided hill that overlooked the farmlands. After a brief conflict with hobgoblins a century past, the fort had been destroyed by fire. The people of Narin was disorganized, focused on their own defence, and weren’t able to properly reclaim the countryside again for another decade. By then, plans for rebuilding the fort were too expensive and dangerous to undertake.

Having fallen into ruin, only the basement is in reasonable condition. The armory is to the left of the anteroom, but is protected by a heavy steel portcullis. To the right is the brig where captured bandits were often kept until they could be tried in town. Otherwise, there is a small mortuary, a shrine to a minor god, a training room, and a newer hidden chamber that is used, perhaps, by an exiled mage who wants a bit of privacy.

This was the first dungeon I ran with a new group of players a few years ago and one the first maps I’d drawn with a pen. You might notice some corrections I made to the map to clean it up; my lines weren’t as straight as I’d like back then. The dungeon mostly contained animals; the breaks in two of the rooms indicate animal tunnels through the wall.

“The thief and the barbarian had heard there was treasure hidden away by the fort’s commander and were hoping to ‘liberate’ it. The thief noticed that a hole had been dug into the wall of the corridor adjacent to this room, so they entered cautiously. A warning hiss met their advance; a troupe of badgers had made a nest at the back of the room. The barbarian noticed the treasure chest behind the badgers and said, ‘Well, we’re in for a long fight…’”

Shipwright Profession – Part 1

A Shipwright looks over his design

For newcomers, I’ll refer you to Secondary Professions and Skill Checks and Training and Improving Secondary Skills.

For campaigns that take place on the high seas, having a fleet of ships at your command is extremely helpful. Even underground, exploring the still lakes and hidden rivers of the Underdark can be made easier with the addition of a Shipwright. This professions focuses on the construction of vessels, hiring crews, and influencing those who respect the Shipwright’s craft. Learning this craft is rather expensive, but so are the ships being constructed.

Major Stat: INT     Minor Stat: WIS or DEX

Rank 1: Requires logs, nails, rope, wood glue, parchment, geometry tools, pencil, feather pen, etc. 150gp initial cost.

  • Make a skill check to craft a raft, canoe, sailing boat, or lifeboat. Failure indicates that half the materials are lost and it must be reattempted.
  • Make a skill check to craft a dock. Failure indicates that half the materials are lost and it must be reattempted.
  • Make a skill check to determine if a vessel is sea-worthy. Failure indicates a false determination half the time, uncertainty the other half. It cannot be reattempted on the same vessel until the character levels up again.
  • Make a skill check to determine one’s location and/or date reasonably accurately. This does require the proper astronomical equipment and no significant travel can be made that day.

Rank 2:

  • Make a skill check instead of a CHA check to influence the disposition of dockworkers and sailors.
  • Make a skill check to craft a river boat, small galley, a small sailing ship, and a longship. Failure indicates that half the materials are lost and it must be reattempted.
  • All Rank 1 vessel types do not require a skill check to craft.
  • Make a skill check to hire an especially skilled construction crew. This reduces building time by 10% (rounded up to the nearest full day) but increases the cost by 10%. The reverse is also possible. Failure indicates only ordinary builders are available, though the DM may decide that no workers are available at all.
  • Make a separate skill check to add weapons to a vessel that is not described as having one by default. Adding a ram costs 30% of the base cost. Adding a catapult costs 20% and a ballista is 25%. Failure reduces the SHP of the finished vessel by 20%.

Rank 3:

  • Make a skill check instead of a CHA check to influence the disposition of dockworkers, sailors, captains, and pirates.
  • Make a skill check to craft a large galley, war galley, a large sailing ship, and a transport sailing ship. Failure indicates that half the materials are lost and it must be reattempted.
  • Make a skill check to build a dry-dock. Failure indicates that half the materials are lost and it must be reattempted.
  • Make a skill check to hire an especially skill construction team. This will reduce the construction time needed by 20% but increasing the cost by 10%. Conversely, make a skill check to reduce the cost by 20% by increasing the time required by 10%. This replaces the Rank 2 ability.
  • When rolling for the SHP of a new vessel (or if the DM rolls for SHP at the time of purchase), roll twice and use the better result. No check required. Alternatively, a shipwright can tell whether two vessels have more, less, or roughly equal SHP compared to one another. This ability does not provide an exact value.
  • Make a skill check to create nautical astronomic equipment, including a spyglass for 75% of the cost. Failure indicates that half the materials are lost and it must be reattempted.
  • Make a skill check to hire a ship crew that can repair SHP 50% faster than normal.

Rank 4:

  • Make a skill check instead of a CHA check to influence the disposition of dockworkers, sailors, captains, pirates, admirals, and pirate kings.
  • Make a skill check to craft a Dreadnought.
  • Adding a weapon to a vessel now requires no check.
  • Make a skill check to reduce the cost of adding weapons to a vessel that doesn’t have on by default by half. Failure doubles the cost of a single weapon (the most expensive one).
  • May purchase vessels built by others for 75% of the retail value

Notes on the construction of vessels:

As a general rule, building any sea vessel requires the following:

  • Lumber, materials, and construction crew totaling half the purchase price of the vessel. Each takes up a third of the total cost. It is possible to stockpile building materials. To make things simple, however, it’s easier to merely purchase the materials at the time of construction. I mention these mainly for players that want to minimize a price.
    • For Rank 1 vessels: 1 gp of lumber weighs 5 lbs. For Rank 2 vessels: 1 gp of lumber weighs 10 lbs. For Rank 3+ vessels: 1 gp of lumber weighs 20 lbs. This represents the fact that one is buying in bulk and the quality of the lumber. Smaller vessels need high quality, lighter woods. Larger vessels need mostly cut lumber. To stockpile lumber for Rank 2 vessels and above, characters must purchase lumber in bundles of at least 5x short tons (10,000 lbs total). When building a new ship, if a character’s stockpile has less what is needed, a lumberyard will often charge double if it is less than 10,000 lbs.
    • On average, 1 gp of miscellaneous materials weighs 1 lb. These can be purchased in any quantity.
    • Crews take up the final third of the cost and are paid up front for their work. Hiring double the crew will reduce the construction time by 50%, but double the pay the crew members will need. Doubling the crew again will reduce the time by an additional 50% (so a total of 75% reduced time), but again double the cost. Halving the number of workers keeps the total cost the same (due to accidents and screw ups on the job), but doubles the amount of time needed.
      • One cannot double a crew of one (yourself), but if the character hires or enlists another character to assist, pay the assistant his third. Even if payment is refused, it must be spent in some other way (food, lodgings, etc).
  • In the wild, building a raft or canoe still requires the expenditure of resources, even if the tools are makeshift and the wood is local. With proper tools, materials can found in 1 day, preparation takes 1 day, the remainder of the normal building time. Without proper tools, all aspects of construction take twice as long.
  • Creating a raft or a canoe does not require a dock because they are small and relatively lightweight. All vessels need to be built in a shelter protected from the elements. Anything that requires a crew to build may need a frame built, but that is included in the cost. However, a dock will be needed to launch the vessel. A dock is generally the same length as the vessel + 20 ft so that the water will be deep enough.
  • For very large vessels, a dry-dock may be desirable for repairs and for easy construction of new ships. A dry-dock reduces repair time by 25% and only the dry-dock is needed to launch ships.

Next week, I’ll be posting the prices, times, and crews needed for the various vessels and items I’ve described above.

A Return to Posting

The winter was long and full of terrors

“The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Road Goes Ever On

Okay, so here’s the plan. I’m going to be posting twice a week again!

Wednesday will be whatever’s on my mind that week, but it will always be something you can add to your game. Like before, it’s going to be mostly be Labyrinth Lord, but perhaps Pathfinder from time to time.

Saturdays will be maps of all types. Most of these are relatively small and meant to be finished in a game or two.

Since these are in no particular order, if any of my readers have any series they’d like to see continued or expanded upon, please let me know.

Rynth Flat-Dagger’s Hideout

Trapper's Fort

Trapper’s Fort

The main feature of this map is the extensive set of linked trap doors at the front entrance. When meddlesome adventurers come breaking down the door, they’ll find themselves dropped into a steel cage below. Once inside, the first two options for exploration offer the same fate. At the rear is a hidden exit, a supply cache, and a path down the cliffside behind the hideout.

“We had a good lead that Flat-Dagger was holded up at his manse overlooking the beaches. They told us he was paranoid… and rich too. The comically large ‘welcome mat’ was obvious and easily sidestepped. In hindsight, the two iron golems that charged towards us as soon as we opened the door must have been illusions; even he couldn’t afford the expense. Still, we ran down the first exit we saw and slid face-first down into a cage. The guard’s laughter shamed us… I hope someone pays our ransom soon…”