S&WAD: RAYGUNS & Wizardry

SW-Appr-Day-LogoContinuing my trend of science-fantasy related material for Swords & Wizardry, I give you RAYGUNS!  These were designed with S&W Whitebox in mind, but should work well enough with standard S&W (or any other version of The Game you prefer).

RAYGUNS & Wizardry

Rayguns may be used by any class, and by any intelligent humanoid physically capable of wielding such weapons (and possibly other intelligent creatures, left to individual GM’s judgement).

When found a raygun possesses 0 to 10 charges (2d6-2 shots).  At the GM’s discretion it may be possible to recharge discharged rayguns (replacement batteries, power crystals or perhaps a power generator of some sort).  Note, however, that rayguns cannot hold more than 10 charges.

Unless otherwise specified, the range of all rayguns is 120 feet, affecting a single target.  Most rayguns allow a saving throw to mitigate or negate their effects.

About 5% of rayguns possess multiple barrels.  Multi-barrel ray guns allow the user to switch between barrels, or to discharge all barrels at once (and at the same target; make a separate saving throw for each barrel’s effects).  Each time you roll another barrel for the raygun, roll again to determine if the weapon has yet another barrel.  One charge is consumed for each barrel discharged.  Roll randomly to determine each barrel’s effect (duplicate effects are okay).

(01-04) Atrophic Ray – On a failed saving throw, some portion of the target (randomly determined by the GM) withers and shrinks.  Atrophied limbs are nearly useless; should the torso or head be struck by the ray, the victim will have severe health complications, possibly resulting in death.  Much here is left to the GM’s discretion, but getting hit by this raygun is a really bad thing.

(05-08) Daze Ray – If the target fails their saving throw, they are put into a state of confusion, per the Magic-user spell.  No effect on robots, machines, constructs or the mindless.

(09-12) Death Ray – Death rays have a maximum range of 60 feet.  On a failed saving throw a living target falls dead, instantly slain.  Plants receive a +2 to their saving throws.  Robots, machines and constructs are unaffected by death rays.  The undead are healed for 2d6 points of damage.

(13-16) Desiccation Ray – This dreaded ray sucks the vital juices out of living targets.  A failed saving throw results in 3d6 points of damage.  Victims reduced to 0 or fewer hit points are reduced to a dusty pile of their constituent elements.  As such, desiccating rays are favored by certain spell casters who rely upon these elements as magical components.  Desiccating rays have a maximum range of 30 feet.

(17-20) Disintegration Ray – Any target hit by a disintegration ray that fails a saving throw falls to dust (including any possessions, though the GM may allow a saving throw for magic items to survive).  Inanimate objects (such as a door or section of wall) are not normally permitted saving throws.  Anyone protected by some form of force field is completely immune to disintegration rays.

(21-24) Entropic Ray – Complex machines (such as robots, computers, etc.) hit by an entropic ray immediately break down on a failed saving throw.  Constructs (i.e. golems), simple machines and solitary objects (such as a rock) are unaffected by entropic rays.  Against the undead entropic rays act as the Turn Undead ability, as a 3rd level cleric.

(25-28) Freeze Ray – Inflicts 2d6 points of cold damage (save for ½).  If the target fails their save, they are also slowed, moving at half rate for the duration of the combat.

(29-32) Gate Ray – Any object struck by a gate way that fails a saving throw is instantly transported to another dimension or plane of existence.  Each gate ray is calibrated to send its victims to a different dimension/plane, but it will consistently send all of its victims to the same dimension/plane (so such a weapon could be an effective tool for transporting a large number of people to another dimension; getting back is another matter).  The maximum range is 30 feet.

(33-36) Heat Ray – Inflicts 2d6 points of heat damage (save for ½).  If the target fails their save, one or more combustible items on their person burst into flames (GM’s discretion), inflicting additional fire damage.

(37-40) Mez Ray – On a failed saving throw, an intelligent being is rendered into a suggestible state by the mez ray.  They will compulsively follow the first instruction given to them by anyone.  They will not do anything obviously contrary to their nature, like commit suicide or kill a loved one, but may be tricked into self-destruction.  Mez rays have no effect on machines, constructs, the undead or the mindless.

(41-44) Morphic Ray – Man-sized targets failing a saving throw morph into a chalky, 1-inch cube.  A second application of a morphic ray upon the cube will return the subject to its original state.  Larger than man-sized targets take 2d6 points of damage as the ray only affects a portion of their bodies.

(45-48) Mutagenic Ray – Living creatures that fail their saving throws immediately develop a random mutation (such as one of these).  Mutagenic rays have no effect on machines and constructs or the incorporeal undead.  However, undead of a (former) biological nature (such as zombies or ghouls) will mutate on a failed saving throw.

(49-52) Paralysis Ray – Living creatures failing a saving throw are paralyzed for 3d6 rounds.  Losing control of all motor action, they slump to the ground in a heap, fully aware but incapable of doing anything more than breathing.  However, psionic abilities may still be used by paralyzed victims.

(53-56) Petrification Ray – These are terrifying rayguns that impose a calcification effect on biological targets.  Man-sized and smaller subjects are turned into calcified ‘statues’ on a failed saving throw.  Larger targets take 2d6 points of damage as portions of their body are calcified.  A large creature reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by a petrification ray will become a calcified ‘statue’ as well.

(57-60) Regenerative Ray – Living subjects hit by a regenerative ray are instantly healed for 2d6 points of damage.  The undead take 2d6 points of damage on a failed saving throw.  Machines and constructs are unaffected.

(61-64) Rez Ray – Rez rays have a maximum range of 30 feet.  Dead creatures are brought back to life with a successful saving throw, provided the corpse is intact and the subject not more than 24 hours deceased.  Undead are instantly destroyed on a failed saving throw.

(65-68) Singularity Ray – Singularity rays generate a micro-black hole lasting just a fraction of a second.  However, this is still sufficient to suck in all matter within a 30 foot radius of the point of origin.  Anything sucked into the black hole is destroyed (alternatively, they’re transported to an alternate dimension; GM’s choice).  A saving throw is allowed to avoid such a fate.

(69-72) Stasis Ray – On a failed saving throw the target is cocooned in a static energy field which divorces them from contemporary space-time (i.e. time does not pass for the subject).  They may not move (in fact, they appear to be frozen solid, in mid-action) or even use psionics and they may not be affected by any force external to the stasis field.

(73-76) Stealth Ray – Stealth rays have a maximum range of 30 feet.  The subject is cloaked by a light deflecting field that renders them invisible; involuntary targets are permitted a saving throw to negate the effect.  The invisibility persists for 1 hour.

(77-80) Stun Ray – Living creatures failing a saving throw are stunned for 1d6 rounds.  While stunned they may not take any actions.  Maximum range is 60 feet.

(81-84) Telekinetic Ray – TK rayguns emit a steady, mass-neutralizing beam that allows heavy objects to be more easily moved or manipulated by motioning the gun about.  The ray will counter 100 kg at a range of 15 feet.  Each round the ray is active consumes one charge.

(85-88) Tractor Ray – On a successful saving throw the ray ‘locks’ onto an object or surface and pulls that object towards the wielder (if trying to grab an object in another’s possession, the target gets a saving throw to negate).  When locked onto a solid surface (such as a wall or ceiling), the ray pulls the wielder towards that surface instead, covering the distance in a single round.

(89-92) X Ray – X Rayguns emit a form of radiation that allows one to see through solid matter.  When used on people, skin becomes translucent, exposing internal organs and bones (and revealing metallic objects, such as concealed weapons).  When used on an object, it will pierce about a foot of wood and approximately six inches of stone or dirt.  Even the thinnest layer of metal will inhibit the ray.  Maximum range is 10 feet.

(93-96) Defective – The raygun appears normal (roll again to determine type), but explodes in the user’s hand the first time it is discharged, inflicting 1d6 points of damage per charge (save for half).  Alternate optional rule:  Instead of damage, the raygun explodes, affecting everyone within 10′ per charge radius.  For example, a defective Petrification ray with 3 charges would explode and calcify everything within a 30′ radius.  Fun times for all!

(97-00) Booby-trapped – For unfathomable reasons, the raygun has been booby-trapped such that it affects the wielder instead of the intended target.  Roll again to determine the type of raygun.

Note:  Optionally, any of these rayguns may be treated as magical wands, if you don’t want to introduce a science-fiction element to your game.

Here’s a PDF version for download:  Rayguns & Wizardry


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7 Responses to “S&WAD: RAYGUNS & Wizardry”

  1. mwschmeer Says:

    Brilliant as always! I’m thinking this is definitely tech left behind by the aliens from Carcosa.

  2. jim Says:

    Great stuff!

  3. Henry W Says:

    I love the sheer variety and the limitations set into the rayguns.

  4. edowar Says:

    Thank you! I had a lot of fun putting the rayguns together.

  5. Paul Gorman Says:

    I like it. Good work.

  6. Venger Satanis Says:

    That is cool. You could also use this table for a ray gun with multiple random effects. First shot it x-rays something and then next it uses telekinesis.

    Also, I vote for a slime ray as well.


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