My gaming tastes have changed over the years. When I was a young gamer I was compelled to create (recreate) a very Tolkien-esque gaming experience in D&D. I regularly jumped over to other games on and off to get my sci-fi fix. It was not until years later that I discovered that in its earliest days D&D was much more of a sci-fantasy game. Laser pistols and dinosaurs were not uncommon in the old days. As I have matured so have my gaming tastes and sticking to the vanilla/Hobbit canon has gone out the window.
I like guns and grenades in my games. Typically gear like this is scavenged archeo-tech from the times of the ancients. But it is out there in crumbled bunkers full of zombies, waiting to be uncovered.
I have hit on a neat, simple way to model the explosive damage grenades give off at the center of their blasts, which dissipates as the concussive waves move away from the explosions’ centers.
Joesky’s Tax: BLAST!
Explosive grenades have a simple statistical profile. They just have a damage rating which is equal to the amount and type of dice rolled when the device is used. For example a typical Frag Grenade does 4d4 damage. The amount of damage indicated is the amount of damage done to any targets within the 5-foot square in which the device lands. As the blast moves from the point of impact, its explosive power is reduced. To model the reduced damage capacity subtract one (1) die from the devices damage for each 5-foot square that the target is removed from the center of the blast until there are no dice remaining. Typically, targets do get a saving throw for half damage to indicate that they either have hit the deck or dodged behind whatever cover is available. A grenades range is usually equal to the thrower’s STR, and half that when indoors or underground because of the lower ceilings which the thrower must take in to consideration when chucking the device.
A missed to-hit roll requires the thrower to randomly determine the direction in which the device goes as well as determining the distance that the throw is off target. For grenades thrown outdoors, roll 1d8 to determine the distance. For grenades thrown indoors or underground, roll 1d4.
Criticals and Fumbles:
Any time a critical or fumble is rolled, roll on the table below to determine the effect. When a critical is rolled add either the thrower’s STR or DEX modifier (whichever is higher) to the result to determine the actual result. When a fumble is rolled subtract either the thrower’s STR or DEX modifier (whichever is lower) to the result to determine the actual result.
Roll 1d10 and add/subtract STR or DEX mod
1- Drooped at your feet… BOOM!
2 Get Down! Rolls 1d4 5-foot squares in a random direction and detonates
3 Sorry, Buddy. Hits randomly determined party member, henchman, or ally
4 That’s not a Grenade! Other randomly determined item thrown. Scatter for a miss.
5 Forget Something? Scatter for a miss. You never armed the device. It’s lying on the floor.
6 Cough! Scatter for a miss. The blast area is filled with thick smoke (dissipates in 1d6 rounds)
7 Airburst. Detonates in the air above the target. Add one (1) 5-foot square to blast radius. Any targets within the blast radius take 1d8 damage with no save.
8 Delay. Detonates in 1d4 rounds (DM rolls)
9 Good Toss! Target gets no save.
10+ Explosives Expert! All in area of effect get no save.
These rules are easy to implement and require, other than a little table, no extra crunch at the gaming table. Enjoy! Please send me any feedback you may have about how my take on grenades has worked in your own games.