Chapter Four

Why Weapons?

"That is the law of the jungle—hunt, or be hunted—scrap, or BE scrapped."
—Dinobot, "Law of the Jungle"

Cybertron is war; it is a planet based on fighting and conquest. Thus, even the most peaceful-hearted Maximal will be protoformed with a number of weapons at her immediate disposal. She will emerge from her stasis pod knowing how to fight and who to fight.

Weapons can be attached to a Cybertron's main frame, or, they can be separate from it and hand-held. A Cybertron's weapons are "dedicated." They are always assumed to be handy in whichever mode they are purchased for, unless they are destroyed, knocked out of the hand, or lost.

Typically, the heaviest weapons are outfitted for robot mode use, though Transmetals can fit their beast modes with weapons as well. Players are given twelve points to purchase weapons for their character during character generation. Extra weapons can be purchased with freebie points at the cost of one freebie point per point of weaponry. It is not required for a player to spend all her weapon points if she does not want to; however, unused weapon points can not be reapplied to another part of the character. (They can, however, be "saved" for use in combination with Freebie points later, if a player wants one last weapon which is slightly more expensive than she can afford.) Weapons have default costs where a certain amount of weapon points must be spent to gain that weapon. Details for all weapon costs are listed below.

Each type of weapon has a certain skill which is required for use of that weapon. Weapons below are organized based on the Ability required for their use.

Characters can fit themselves with new weapons during the course of a chronicle by paying three times the weapon's listed cost in experience points. If they wish to have an internal weapon added on, or a weapon attached to their body, they must be rebuilt per the rebuilding rules outlined in the Mechanisms section. For an external weapon, they can make an extended Intelligence plus Repair roll to build the weapon themselves, or have an ally fashion the weapon.

Weapons in the list below do not have a concealment rating. Why? Most of the time, Cybertrons don't bother. Everyone knows everyone else was protoformed with arms. In beast mode, no matter the size of the weapon or the beast, all weapons save those attached to the beast mode are automatically concealed. Cybertrons that need to disarm other Cybertrons typically know where to look to take everything away, and attached weapons can't be taken away, only deactivated. If needing to conceal weaponry, use common sense. Eye-lasers are always a hidden weapon; a plasma cannon is going to take up more room.

Characters may use weapons they find or own even if they are not "purchased." However, this weapon will not last if the character should transform, unless he manages to carefully carry the weapon in all of his modes, and no attached weapon can never be ignored in purchasing.

Brawl

"You fight with a RAT...you'd better fight DIRTY."
—Rattrap, "Other Voices, Part One"

Brawl weapons are common accessories for beast modes, as normal melee weapons cannot be held with animal forms. All brawl weapons do standard damage.

Standard brawling maneuvers such as punches and kicks do not have to be purchased.

Claws
Form accessible: Any
Cost: one point per clawed hand/foot per mode.
Difficulty: 6
Using claws during a brawl situation causes Strength +1 damage. Beast modes with claws can still be attained without spending points on the claws, but these claws cannot be used as weapons. Claws affixed to hands in robot mode are common brawl weapons.

Hand blades
Form accessible: Robot
Cost: one point apiece.
Difficulty: 6
Blades on the hands, which are long as a knife and typically retractable, do Strength +2 damage. These blades can also be fitted to other body parts, such as elbows or knees.

Spikes
Form accessible: Any
Cost: one point per spiked area.
Difficulty: 6
Spikes are a common fixture for robot elbows and knees, but can be fitted to any part of the body. A kick with a spiked knee does Strength +2 damage, as does a shot with a spiked elbow. In beast mode, a "spike" is a horn.

Stinger
Form accessible: Any
Cost: Two points per mode
Difficulty: 9
A common feature for insects and arachnids, a stinger does damage as a spike, Strength +2, and can be adapted for Cybervenom. However, due to its often odd placing, it is difficulty 9 to hit. A Stinger can be declared as a projectile weapon if both a Stinger and a Dart launcher (see Firearms) are purchased; hitting a target with this weapon is the same difficulty as hitting it with a standard dart.

Teeth
Form accessible: Any
Cost: One point per mode
Difficulty: 5
Plenty of animals don't have teeth at all, or have flat herbivore teeth with no bite; therefore, teeth used as weapons must be purchased as such. This savage weapon is typically only accessed in beast mode, though there are those robots with nasty canines in their robot modes, as well, who don't fear getting in close and making the chomp. Biting an opponent does Strength +1 damage. (Avian characters can purchase a beak with this same cost and modifiers.)

Fangs
Form accessible: Any
Cost: Two points per mode
Difficulty: 5
Fangs are teeth which are designed to be used as weapons. The main difference between fangs and ordinary teeth is that fangs can be adapted as a vessel for cyber-venom weaponry, and a character who has taken the Cyber Venom Mechanism can inject this venom through the fangs. Fangs do slightly more damage, as well: Strength +2.

Pinchers
Form accessible: Any
Cost: Three points for two pinchers, per mode. (Cannot be purchased individually)
Difficulty: Special
Pinchers are commonly Predacon weapons, as they are most often used by crustaceans, arachnids, and insects. Pinchers are used as grappling weapons. A Cybertron with pinchers has a -2 to the difficulty of grabbing an opponent (Grappling successfully does damage equal to Strength). Larger Cybertrons may even be able to permanently capture an opponent this way. A Cybertron who has pinchers in robot mode probably does not have hands.

Vice
Form accessible: Any
Cost: Three points per mode.
Difficulty: Special
This single version of a pincher can be added as an accessory to a tail, arm, etc. It is typically a three-pronged claw which is used to grip and subdue an opponent; like the pinchers, allows a -2 to grappling difficulties.

Tail
Form accessible: Beast
Cost: Two points.
Difficulty: 7
A thick tail, used for bashing or tripping opponents, does Strength +1 damage. A Cybertron who has purchased a tail as a weapon need only pay two points to use this same tail as a Whip in robot mode, or three points for a Javelin, but cannot take advantage of more than one discount. (See Melee for details.)

Brawl Complications

Non-Cybertrons attempting to use simple attacks, such as fists, etc, on other Cybertrons will have a difficult time doing so, as all damage from ordinary organics who attempt brawling attacks is halved before it is soaked if the Cybertron is in a metal form. This does not apply to the attacks of other Cybertrons who are in beast mode, as they still have metal components beneath their coat of flesh, and teeth and claws are generally still metal. (It also does not apply to supernatural claws or their like in a crossover Chronicle.) However, an ordinary organic can take out a Cyberorganic beast in beast mode with normal brawling attacks.

During a brawl, a character may elect to block an opponent's attack rather than dodging it. As long as there is still dice in the character's pool, the block can be preformed. Due to the Cybertron's metal structure, unarmed blocks can be made against many types of attack, including attacks with melee weapons; however, these types of blocks are more difficult to make without causing damage. The usual difficulty for a block is the same as a straight dodge: 6. Roll Dexterity plus Dodge to dodge an attack, Dexterity plus Brawl to block it.

To grapple an opponent, the difficulty is normally 6. The action of the grapple takes one round, but immobilizes the opponent for one round. After this round, damage equal to the grappler's Strength is done, and characters make contested Strength plus Brawl rolls to see if the grappled foe escapes. To grapple with pinchers or a vice, the difficulty is only 4.

Cybertrons who are especially adept at brawling attacks may choose to take a few modified special attacks, as listed in other White Wolf books such as the Werewolf manual or Combat manual.

Melee

"What's a warrior without his weapons?"
—Quickstrike, "Code of Hero"

Melee weapons are only accessible in robot mode. While this list contains a number of common Cybertronian weapons, it cannot possibly contain every melee weapon available to the White Wolf player; consult your Storyteller if wanting to choose a weapon not listed below. White Wolf systems tend to be inconsistent about weapon statistics (certain weapons do different damage and have different difficulties depending on the age of the source book). Use the statistics below for all Cybertronian weapons. Use other White Wolf books as desired for alternate statistics, and use the point totals below as a guide as to the "weapon cost" of any addition to the list.

Knife
Cost: One point
Difficulty: 4
A small switchblade or knife, usually purchased in pairs. This very simple melee weapon does Strength +1 damage. It is too small to be an effective parry weapon.

Club
Cost: Two points
Difficulty: 4
An unadorned club does damage as a knife, Strength +1, but can be used to parry attacks.

Razor wheel
Cost: Two points
Difficulty: 8
A short-range weapon usually taking the form of a single, freely rotating razorblade. Getting a slice in with a single blade is very difficult, but does good damage for its size: Strength +3. Not an effective parry weapon.

Whip
Cost: Three points
Difficulty: 7
Cybertronian whips are usually of a thin metal or wire, and very rarely of cord; most have bladed ends and are fairly rigid in nature. A whip is a common conversion weapon for a Transmetal that has a long tail in beast mode. Whips can also be used to grapple opponents or even objects: the standard difficulty to entrap an opponent in a whip is 9. Whips do Strength +2 damage, and grant the Cybertron two extra dice for any roll to disarm his opponent.

Energon knife
Cost: Three points
Difficulty: 4
A knife composed of raw energon. This weapon is much like an ordinary knife, but rarely is more than one carried due to the penalties to Spark for wielding energon weaponry. Energon knives do aggravated damage, Strength +1, and can be used to pierce enemy sparks, with sometimes explosive results. Cybertrons of generations under Transmetal cannot soak damage from this weapon.

Straight staff
Cost: Three points
Difficulty: 5
A long, unadorned staff, as a bo. Made from metal, as Cybertronian weapons are never made from something as earthly and simple as wood. Strength +2 damage, and very useful for disarming opponents.

Sword (Standard)
Cost: Three points
Difficulty: 6
Use the above cost and statistic for most types of single swords, such as a broadsword or katana, or even a large knife such as a klave. These swords do Strength +3 damage.

Axe
Cost: Four points
Difficulty: 7
A battleaxe, whose appearance can vary greatly based on beast mode, does Strength +5 damage.

Barbed club
Cost: Four points
Difficulty: 4
A club adorned with sharp barbs, which does slightly more damage in an attack: Strength +2.

Javelin
Cost: Four points
Difficulty: 6
Javelins are most often used as a throwing weapon, though they can also be used to attack in close quarters. When used hand-to-hand, treat a Cybertronian Javelin as a sword, doing Strength +3 damage. A thrown Javelin does Strength +2 damage. The throwing range depends on the Cybertron's Strength; use a base range of 40 feet, and modify.

Rotary blade
Cost: Four points
Difficulty: 7
A common addition to the Drill-bit sword, listed below, a rotary blade is a propeller-like weapon with four to six sword-length blades that flower from the center and rotate freely. Its most common function by far is as a shield for deflecting enemy fire—it may not only be designated as a 1-3 point Shield (see Mechanisms), but has a +1 die bonus for deflecting projectile and energy weapons. (If its soak roll as a shield should result in a botch, the weapon is dropped.) Its rotation function is also useful for disarming foes (-1 difficulty). When used to attack an opponent, it does Strength +3 damage.

Spark staff
Cost: Five points
Difficulty: 5
A sort of wizard's staff, with a barbed head, typically only used by the more mystical members of the Cybertron race. This staff, when used in combat, does Strength +2 damage as a regular staff. However, this staff has an added function; when purchased, it may be given a single dot in a single Spark power (See Spark Powers, Chapter Five). It may also be given an additional dot in this one power for every extra Weapon Point spent when it is purchased. It may never have more than one power associated with it. For those powers which require that the Transmetal II's spark be drained, drain Spark from the wielder of the staff. Not to be used by the superstitious.
Spark staffs are very rare weapons, and, as such, each staff is unique to the character that purchases it. If this weapon should ever be lost or destroyed in combat, the character that wields it must find or fashion an entirely new staff, rather than having the weapon restored in ordinary repair cycle. The purchase cost for this weapon must be repaid if it is destroyed.

Paired swords
Cost: Five points
Difficulty: Special
A pair of thick blades is a common Cybertron weapon, as they can be used well for both attack and defense. This type of blade is almost always used with one weapon in each hand, allowing for two attacks per turn with no penalty to either, difficulty 9 to hit. A Cybertron who is taking only one attack with either blade has a difficulty of 6 to hit, as with a single sword. These swords vary greatly in appearance but often reflect the beast mode of the character. They do Strength +3 damage.

For a cost of four points, clubs can be paired, as swords. They are difficulty 7 to hit two attacks per turn; difficulty 4 for one attack, and do Strength +1 damage. Another common modification is to fight with paired javelins—hand-to-hand, these function as swords, above, but they may also be thrown. Spend 6 points for this weapon. Also spend 6 for paired axes (Difficulty 10 to hit with both attacks; Strength +5 damage), or a pair of barbed clubs (Difficulty as paired clubs, Strength +2 damage). Other weapons may be paired at Storyteller's discretion, but are not recommended.

If a Cybertron is declaring a double attack with a paired weapon, and the attack fails, neither the first nor second attack hits the foe.

Drill-bit sword
Cost: Five points
Difficulty: 6
A sword composed of several (4-10) freely rotating blades, layered on each other like the blades of a drill. This weapon, Predacon in origin, was designed for only one thing: piercing the spark. Because of this, the difficulty to pierce through an enemy is significantly lowered, and a called shot to the spark (provided the wielder knows the location) is at a -2 difficulty. The truest of Predacons believe that to take an enemy off-line is to show the greatest mercy. Maximals, however, have all but outlawed this weapon. Under normal circumstances, the drill-bit sword, also called an electron sword, does Strength +4 damage.

Two-handed sword
Cost: Five points
Difficulty: 6
Use this to purchase a large sword, like a claymore, which must be wielded with two hands and is incapable of being paired. This sword can vary in appearance based on beast mode, and does Strength +5 damage.

Energon saber
Cost: Six points
Difficulty: 6
A weapon whose power was utilized during the Great War. Today, few Cybertrons can summon the will to carry one, for even being in the same vicinity as such a weapon can cause injury among members of the race. An energon saber is a long, glowing blade made entirely of raw energon. It does aggravated damage which is unsoakable for Cybertrons of generations below Transmetal. The damage for an energon saber is Strength +4. Other large weapons made of raw energon are rumored to exist—for example, a raw energon axe once wielded by Optimus Prime. An energon axe would have the same purchase cost as an energon saber, and do Strength +5 aggravated energon damage; its difficulty would be 7. Most Cybertrons cannot wield an energon weapon of this size, unless they have advanced Energon Shielding or are otherwise immune to its effects. Even an Optimal who carried an energon weapon of this size would be forced to make soak rolls every other round simply from contact with the raw energon.
Heavy energon weapons of any type are considered rare enough that they are unique to the character who purchases them. If a "dedicated" energon saber is destroyed or lost in a combat situation, the character who lost that weapon must fashion a new one over time rather than having that weapon restored instantly in a repair cycle. However, the weapon cost does not need to be repaid.

Melee Complications

Add one to a weapon's normal difficulty if attempting to use that weapon to disarm the opponent. It takes at least three successes on the attack roll and successes greater than the enemy's Strength on the damage roll to disarm the opponent. A botch, and you disarm yourself instead. Roll Dexterity plus Melee to parry an attack instead of dodging it.

A called shot with a melee weapon is of variable difficulty. A called shot to the opponent's spark, if the location is known, is typically of difficulty 10, but variable depending on the situation. A Cybertron who is aiming for the spark but does not for certain know its location can guess at the area, and make the called shot as desired. At least four successes on a damage roll are required to pierce the spark, more if the opponent has special armor.



Part II: Weapons List: Firearms, Demolitions, Special


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