Homebrew weapon-- the blackjack, or sap - RPG Crossing
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  #1  
Old Oct 24th, 2020, 08:08 PM
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Homebrew weapon-- the blackjack, or sap

Okay, so I want one of my NPCs, a Rogue, to carry and use this as one of his weapons. Range is... touch. This is not something you'll be using from 5' away, and is most likely to be used as a sneak attack.

Here's what I want suggestions on. The weapon is intended to deliver stun. Should it always deliver Stun on a successful hit? Should it only deliver Stun on max damage [4 on a 1d4]? Should it only deliver Stun on a critical hit?

For those who don't know what it is, it's a small weighted pouch designed to strike the unprotected head or neck of an opponent to stun them. I'm using the base characteristics of a club.
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Old Oct 24th, 2020, 08:15 PM
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If you mean knock them out, then a club works just fine. Every weapon can knock someone out at penalty.

Player's Handbook, p. 198 ("Knocking a Creature Out"). An attacker who reduces a creature to zero hit points with a melee attack may choose to knock them out instead of kill them.

If you want to make the weapon deal the drum condition, then we're in magical item territory due to the power of that status effect. If we're instead making a magic item, either give it limited uses per day, a low DC, or both! If it's all the time with a good/high dc then just up the rarity as you see fit.
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Old Oct 24th, 2020, 08:57 PM
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Well, I wanted it to work even if the target is at max hit points. But if I take "always stun" off the table, it has either 25% or 5-10% chance of adding stun. The first is a max damage mechanic, the second a critical strike. In 5e, some classes get improved critical, and get a critical result on 19 or 20. Of course, in the fiction, it always works so the infiltrator can sneak in without killing anyone. I'm leaning towards the max damage option.
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Old Oct 24th, 2020, 09:02 PM
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I think in those thematic one shot knock outs, it's just a club, with sneak attack damage against a level one mook.

It is an interesting mechanic though, but those sound more like class options than weapon options. Perhaps a homebrew infiltrator subclass that gets those abilities at various levels.

Or, what I would do, just say it happens because it's an NPC and it makes for a better story! Bonus points for players freaking out that this NPC casually uses such a strong ability
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Old Oct 24th, 2020, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imveros View Post



Or, what I would do, just say it happens because it's an NPC and it makes for a better story! Bonus points for players freaking out that this NPC casually uses such a strong ability


There's always that!
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Old Oct 25th, 2020, 02:32 AM
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Huh, I saw this thread title and was confused because this was an actual item in 3.5. Did they remove it in later editions?
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Old Oct 25th, 2020, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arucard View Post
Huh, I saw this thread title and was confused because this was an actual item in 3.5. Did they remove it in later editions?
I looked for the weapon in 5e Player's Handbook, and did not see it.

I thought I had remembered it from 1st edition, and perhaps so, because someone posted (on Facebook) a list of weapons from SECOND, and it was there then also. I use a variety of sources to get feedback, this is just one of them.

I saw an interesting excerpt from Unearthed Arcana someone had posted around two hours ago, that gave the chance for knocking the target unconscious at 5% per point of Strength. Which makes some sense, but that's unconscious rather than Stunned, which--you know--means the person is WORSE off.
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Old Oct 26th, 2020, 01:33 AM
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What if the target has to make a CON save of, I dunno, 12 + Attacker's STR mod or else be stunned for something like 1d4 rounds? To me that's more "5th Edition-y" than triggering on a crit.

Last edited by Astra; Oct 26th, 2020 at 01:34 AM.
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Old Oct 28th, 2020, 07:12 PM
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There is a sap in most versions, but that just does non-lethal damage.

I would make it a saving throw based on the attacker's Dex instead of Str. Knocking someone out in one hit is more of where you hit them than how hard.

For 5th ed, I would call the DC 8+Dex mod. Considered training if they have the sneak attack ability. I would have the target make a fort save vs that DC.

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Old Oct 28th, 2020, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jj_wolven View Post
There is a sap in most versions, but that just does non-lethal damage.

I would make it a saving throw based on the attacker's Dex instead of Str. Knocking someone out in one hit is more of where you hit them than how hard.

For 5th ed, I would call the DC 8+Dex mod. Considered training if they have the sneak attack ability. I would have the target make a fort save vs that DC.

-me
I have to agree that where you hit matters. That's why I'd give it to the character with sneak attack/back stab. Not nearly as effective if you see it coning.
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Old Oct 29th, 2020, 03:01 PM
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This is for your NPC, not a player, so it doesn't need to follow player rules.

Giving this to a low level ruffian like a Bandit, I would not make it a weapon effect but a trait wholly unique to thug-type enemies that comes into play when they are launching an ambush or coming out of hiding. They can do this with any blunt melee weapon. However, you don't roll a CON save every time you get hit with a mace in a combat encounter, so you logically wouldn't here. This is only for when the players fall for a thug's ambush.

I would give this to any enemies you plan on doing this:

Felling Strike. If the target of a melee attack by the thug is surprised, they must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw. On a success, they are stunned until the end of the thug's next turn. On a failure, they are knocked unconscious.
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Last edited by Vathe; Oct 29th, 2020 at 03:03 PM.
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Old Oct 29th, 2020, 05:49 PM
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Guaranteed stun would be too powerful unless it's a feat, even using the base rules of Advantage + Crit.
Even as a feat it would be considered one of the more powerful ones.

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Old Nov 18th, 2020, 04:52 PM
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The D&D Wiki homebrew page offers user-generated stats for a 5E blackjack and sap, though the description for a sap says "also called a blackjack."

I don't play 5E, so I don't know the details on lethal vs. nonlethal or critical thresholds in that game. The descriptions above make no mention of such things or of knockout chances. Just offering them for what they're worth.

Last edited by ruffdove; Nov 18th, 2020 at 04:53 PM.
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