Houserules for Weapon Breakage

I’ve been thinking about how to make weapons breaking a thing in my game to spice things up. I think Logan Knight from Last Gasp perfectly describes my motivation here:
“I find it really boring for characters to be able to pick a weapon when they start out and then hold onto it forever unless they find something magic or wake up naked in a pit. I mean sure, it’s nice to have a weapon with history, but don’t you want that history to actually mean something? I also want some kind of indication that all this murdering necessitates equipment maintenance, but I don’t want that to be a gaping pain in the arse.”
The breakage rules from the GLOG are pretty close to what I’m aiming, but also I really, really like the ideas in Last Gasp’s (namely, notches and weapon quality).

My goals
  • Weapons take damage on a critical fail.
  • Weapons take get progressively worse as they take damage (they don’t break immediately).
  • Keep it as simple and system-neutral as possible.
  • Dice rolls should only have one > or < check.
  • Add as few additional rolls as possible.
  • Add as few variables as possible.
Thematically related Yu-Gi-Oh! card: Shattered Axe

Weapon Breakage

Whenever you roll a natural 1 on an attack or do something that would obviously damage it (like stabbing a stone golem with a dagger), roll a d6. If the result is equal to or under your weapon's quality, it withstands the hit. Otherwise, it’s damage die is reduced one step (1d10>1d8>1d6>1d4). If it can’t go any lower, the weapon snaps in two. The standard rate for repair is 50% of the item's full cost per die.

Every weapon has a quality rating that depends on material and craftsmanship. Higher quality weapons are less likely to break but also more expensive.

Improvised weapons; corroded or rusted metal.
Poorly made; soft metal like gold or silver.
Average craftsmanship; average quality steel.
Well made; high-quality material.
Superb craftsmanship, rare material (something like mithril).
Rare artifacts; the stuff of legends.


  1. Too much! Here's what I'd do:

    After a fight, roll on this table secretly:

    1. Someone's shield is cracked (you need a new one).
    2. Someone's armor is messed up (-1 AC).
    3. Someone's weapon is messed up (-1 ATK).
    4. Someone's weapon is broken (can't use it).
    5. Nothing!
    6. Someone is exhilarated! +1 HP.

    Decide who it applies to based on what happened in the fight.

    1. Hey! Sorry, missed this and only saw it today.

      This is indeed simpler and achieves a very similar result. I kind of like the weapon quality thing, though. Could use it to do something like:
      Ater a fight, roll 1d6. If under quality score, it breaks (damage die 1 step lower / -1 Attack or damage).

  2. It’s very informative and you are obviously very knowledgeable in this area. You have opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content. https://www.apesurvival.com/giveaways/strikepen


Detect Evil And Making Spells Unique

  Mad Magic-User by Henrik Pettersson A couple weeks ago, Jack Graham tweeted about the possible implications of the old-school Detect ...