Home >Gamemastering >Other Rule Systems >Variant Rules (3rd Party) >4 Winds Fantasy Gaming >The Loss of a Body Part >

Prosthetics

The adventurer’s life is not an easy one, and odds are that sooner or later, someone is going to be missing something. While magical healing is an amazing thing, the truth is that most parties aren’t going to have a healer of sufficiently advanced level to cast regenerate and replace a missing limb, or even lesser regenerate to reattach one. At lower levels, the amount of money required for such healing may be unattainable. In short, there are going to be times when someone’s going to need an artificial replacement for their own flesh and blood, at least in the short term.

There are many ways in which a character can lose a limb (not the least of which is the sever combat maneuver) but not all are described in detail. It is mentioned that someone who is turned to stone, damaged, and then turned back to flesh suffers the same “deformities” that were suffered while petrified. Presumably this would mean a missing arm or leg. Others are more vague, but the description of the regenerate spell clearly states that it regenerates lost limbs, indicating that such a thing can happen. There are also products available from other companies, usually products that detail critical hits and fumbles, that specify the loss of limbs on occasion.

Prosthetics

There are several different levels and types of replacements for a missing limb, from the incredibly basic, such as hook hands and peg legs, to mechanical and magical replacements that are nearly as capable as the genuine article.

Types of Prosthetics

Prosthetics come in two types: mundane and magical. Mundane prosthetics are further categorized into Basic, Cosmetic, Intermediate, Mechanical, and Combat.

Basic prosthetics, such as the gaff hand, peg leg or crutch, are very simple prosthetics that do not resemble the actual lost limb at all and have the most basic functionality. Basic prosthetics do grant a character some sense of wholeness and capability, however. Basic prosthetics are the least expensive of all prosthetics.

Cosmetic prosthetics are sculpted, high quality replacements that look life-like (at least at first glance) but aren’t actually functional. In this sense, cosmetic prosthetics are not as functional even as basic prosthetics but do more for a character’s self esteem and hide his injury from the eyes of others.

Intermediate prosthetics are partially functional replacements capable of grabbing and releasing objects, or allowing one to walk stiffly but at a reasonable pace. Intermediate prosthetics include hinged forearms and calves, to which other types of prosthetic can be attached.

Mechanical prosthetics are fully articulated prosthetics with multiple moving parts, such as clockwork arms and hands capable of grasping and holding most everyday objects, even up to and including weapons, or clockwork legs capable of walking and running. Other mechanical prosthetics include clamps and haft locks, which make holding and gripping things much easier. Mechanical prosthetics are often extremely expensive.

Combat prosthetics are technically a basic prosthetic in the form of a weapon, an artificial limb that sacrifices appearance and function for lethality.

Magical prosthetics are just that – a variety of prosthetic types that provide the full function of the missing limb, and sometimes more. Magical prosthetics are the most expensive of all prosthetics.

Standard magical prosthetics perfectly mimic the body part they are replacing, except they may be dispelled, which leaves them useless but still attached. More advanced magical prosthetics offer new abilities superior to the limbs they are replacing.

All prosthetics, mundane and magical alike, can be sundered, and the hardness and hit points of each prosthetic is noted in the tables.

Table: Mundane Prosthetics

Type of Prosthetic Cost Hardness Hit Points
Basic Prosthetics
Blunt Fist 50 gp 10 10
Blunt Foot 50 gp 5 10
Crow’s Foot 60 gp 5 5
Crutch 5 gp 5 5
Fork Hand 35 gp 10 2
Gaff/Hook Hand 25 gp 10 2
Hoof, Animal 45 gp 5 10
Hoof, Steel 55 gp 10 5
Peg Leg, Metal 55 gp 10 10
Peg Leg, Wooden 35 gp 5 10
Cosmetic Prosthetics
Sculpted Arm 100 gp 5 10
Sculpted Foot, Stone 80 gp 8 15
Sculpted Foot, Wooden 80 gp 5 10
Sculpted Hand 80 gp 5 10
Intermediate Prosthetics
Hinged Calf 75 gp 5 10
Hinged Forearm 75 gp 5 10
Pocket Shaft 120 gp 5 10
Shin Sheath 120 gp 5 10
Talon 65 gp 10 5
Wooden Leg 95 gp 5 10
Mechanical Prosthetics
Clamp 65 gp 10 10
Clockwork Arm 500 gp 10 30
Clockwork Leg 800 gp 10 35
Haft Lock 150 gp 10 10
Combat Prosthetics
Crossbow Arm 110 gp 5 5
Spiked Limb 75 gp 10 10

Table: Magical Prosthetics

Type of Prosthetic Cost
Boneless Leg 10,180 gp
Clay Arm 5,140 gp
Clay Foot 2,600 gp
Clay Hand 2,600 gp
Clay Leg 5,140 gp
Dart Launcher 5,100 gp
Dexterous Leg 16,100 gp
Energy Palm, Cold 2,080 gp
Energy Palm, Electricity 2,080 gp
Energy Palm, Fire 2,080 gp
Grafted Arm 4,300 gp
Grafted Foot 1,700 gp
Grafted Hand 1,700 gp
Iron Arm 3,700 gp
Iron Hand 2,600 gp
Limber Leg 1,700 gp
Mechanical Arm +2 4,000 gp
Mechanical Arm +4 16,000 gp
Mechanical Arm +6 36,000 gp
Mechanical Legs 7,500 gp
Mithral Arm 16,500 gp
Rabbit’s Foot 25,080 gp
Responsive Leg 9,100 gp
Retractable Tendril 15,140 gp
Swift Heel 2,080 gp
Wizard’s Hand 1,000 gp
NOTE: Weights are not listed for the prosthetics as they are assumed to roughly equal the weight of the lost limb they are replacing. They are thought of as part of the body, not as carried equipment.

Mundane Prosthetics Details

The mundane prosthetics listed in Table: Mundane Prostethics are detailed below.

Blunt Fist

A blunt fist is a type of combat prosthetic. It is a solid ball of metal, or sometimes it is shaped like a fist or hammerhead. It can be used as a tool, but it’s most practical application is as a weapon. A blunt fist does 1d6 bludgeoning damage per strike. It is considered a light martial weapon.

Blunt Foot

A solid wooden sphere with the base shaved flat, the blunt foot allows its wearer to move at a normal rate. The wearer may not run, charge, bull rush, or overrun.

Clamp

A spring-loaded, metal, crab-like claw originally designed by gnomes to improve their grip. As a prosthetic, it negates the -4 penalty to grapple, and can be used as a gauntlet attack. In all other ways it is identical to the sculpted hand.

Clockwork Arm

The clockwork arm appears to be a normal arm sleeved in plate armor, but when one listens closely the sound of gears whirring and clicking can be heard whenever the arm moves. First perfected by gnomes, clockwork arms are now built by several master smiths. The clockwork arm provides a near-perfect semblance of full functionality, but is quite expensive. Wearing a clockwork arm grants a character a +2 bonus to Strength when determining lifting/carrying capacity and for attacks and damage with weapons wielded by the clockwork arm (the bonus does not apply to weapons wielded by the other arm, except for two-handed weapons), as well as for grappling. It also negates the wearer’s penalties for losing an arm at the shoulder or elbow.

Clockwork Leg

Similar to the clockwork arm, the clockwork leg appears to be an armored leg that clicks and whirs as it moves. The clockwork leg was another gnomish invention. The leg provides a near-perfect return to full functionality and mobility for the wearer, but is very expensive. The clockwork leg negates the wearer’s penalties for losing a leg at the knee.

Combat Prosthetics

Combat prosthetics are weaponized replacements for a character’s hand or arm, designed for bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing. Piercing hands are generally a sturdy steel spike or dagger-like blade, slashing hands are either an array of knives or one large, often curved blade like a kukri, and bludgeoning hands are often solid metal fists or mace heads. None are suitable for manual tasks but are too well-secured to be disarmed in combat. As a rule of thumb, any light melee weapon can be made into a weapon hand at 1 ½ times the weapon’s cost. The wearer must be proficient in the type of weapon in order to use the combat prosthetic without penalty.

Combat prosthetics – and the people who wear them – are impressive to behold. Any character wearing one receives a +5 circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks.

Hardness and Hit Points: as weapon type

Note: A few specialized combat prosthetics are individually detailed in this listing. Many other prosthetics can be used in combat, but are not specifically combat prosthetics.

Crossbow Arm

The crossbow arm is a light crossbow designed to be loaded and fired with one hand. It is out of the way when at rest. Bolts fired from the crossbow arm deal 1d8 (19-20/x2) piercing damage. It is considered a light simple weapon.

Crow’s Foot

Y-shaped with built in stump grip, the wooden crow’s foot returns the feel of a normal foot to the wearer, negating the penalty to Climb skill checks. In all other ways it is identical to the blunt foot.

Crutch

A Y- or T-shaped implement of wood used to help support one’s weight when one’s leg cannot. A character’s speed is reduced by 5 ft. while using a crutch. The crutch can be used as an improvised melee weapon, but without the Catch Off-Guard feat, wielders suffer a -4 penalty to attack rolls.

Fork Hand

A pair of straight or slightly curved tines like those on a pitchfork, mounted on a harness that fits over the character’s stump. It is otherwise similar to a sculpted hand. A fork hand can be used for melee attacks, delivering 1d4 piercing damage on a successful strike. It is considered a light simple weapon for combat purposes. The character wearing a fork hand also receives a +5 circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks, if the fork hand is used as part of the intimidation. A fork hand reduces the penalty to Climb, Craft, Open Lock, Sleight of Hand, and Use Magic Device checks from -5 to -3.

Gaff/Hook Hand

A simple metal gaff hook, like those used by sailors and longshoremen, mounted on a harness that fits over the character’s stump. It is only capable of the crudest manipulation and does not have a grip. It is impossible to hold a tool or weapon with this hand, but it can be used for opening doors or loosely holding onto things. It is otherwise similar to a sculpted hand. A hook hand deals 1d4 (19-20/x2) piercing damage when used in combat, and is considered a light simple weapon. The character wearing a gaff hand also receives a +5 circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks, if the hook is used as part of the intimidation. The gaff hand reduces the penalty to Climb, Craft, Open Lock, Sleight of Hand, and Use Magic Device checks from -5 to -2.

Haft Lock

A vice that provides a great deal of grip, but unlike the clamp, the haft lock must be adjusted manually to achieve the proper tension. As a prosthetic, it allows the wearer to wield a weapon two-handed. Adjusting a haft lock takes one full round. In all other ways it is identical to the sculpted hand, and like the clamp, it can be used to make a gauntlet attack.

Hinged Calf

This tight jointed prosthetic mimics the knee-to-ankle area of the leg. Ankle/foot prosthetics can be attached to its ankle end. The hinged calf is made of leather and metal. The hinged calf negates the wearer’s penalties for losing a leg at the knee. The wearer still suffers the penalties for losing a foot.

Hinged Forearm

This tight jointed prosthetic mimics the elbow-to-wrist area of the arm. Wrist/hand prosthetics can be attached to its end. The hinged forearm is made of leather and metal. The hinged forearm negates the wearer’s penalties for losing an arm at the elbow. The wearer still suffers the penalties for losing a hand.

Hoof

Sometimes made of steel and designed to look like a horse’s foot, other times these are real animal hooves. Dense, durable, light, and aerodynamic, the hoof allows the wearer to run, overrun, and bull rush normally. In all other ways it is identical to a blunt foot.

Peg Leg, Metal

A higher quality peg leg than the standard wooden peg. Like the wooden leg, it includes a leather cup and straps to tie onto the stump of the leg. A metal peg leg allows the wearer to run and charge, it reduces the penalty to Acrobatics, Climb, Ride, Stealth, and Perform checks by 3, from -5 to -2. It also allows the wearer to run and charge, but still at a reduced speed.

Peg Leg, Wooden

The standard in foot/leg prosthetics, this device is a wooden peg with a leather cup and straps to tie onto the stump of the leg. A peg leg can be made to fit anything from a missing foot to an entire missing leg. A wooden peg leg allows the wearer to run and charge, it reduces the penalty to Acrobatics, Climb, Ride, Stealth, and Perform checks by 2, from -5 to -3. It also allows the wearer to run and charge, but still at a reduced speed.

Pocket Shaft

A pocket shaft gives every impression of being nothing more than a hinged forearm without a wrist attachment. However, a pocket shaft actually contains a hidden repository. The pocket can hold as much as a belt pouch, and is padded to muffle the sound of items moving inside. Discovering the existence of the pocket shaft requires a DC 25 Perception check. In all other ways it is identical to a hinged forearm.

Sculpted Foot

This prosthetic is a wooden or stone foot which resembles a real foot. Sculpted feet are often painted in flesh tones to match the skin of the character wearing them and can only be identified as a prosthetic with a successful Perception check (DC equals the Craft skill check of the individual that sculpted the prosthetic). If the character is wearing socks, shoes or boots, no one can identify the prosthetic. The sculpted foot is not at all fully functional. It is otherwise similar to a blunt foot.

Sculpted Hand

This prosthetic is a wooden or ceramic hand, usually in a generally relaxed pose, which looks real at first glance. Sculpted hands are often painted in flesh tones to match the skin of the character wearing it and can only be identified as a prosthetic with a successful Perception check (DC equals the Craft skill check of the individual that sculpted the prosthetic). It can hold mundane objects weighing 10 pounds or less, such as cups and pouches, between its opened fingers, but cannot be used to wield weapons. A sculpted hand reduces the penalty to Climb, Craft, Open Lock, Sleight of Hand, and Use Magic Device checks from -5 to -2.

A sculpted arm functions in the same manner as a sculpted hand.

Shin Sheath

The distance between the knee and the ankle is exactly the same length as the average dagger. Resembling a hinged calf, the shin sheath is the dream of any rogue who has lost a leg. Finding a dagger hidden in a shin sheath requires a DC 25 Perception check. In all other ways it is identical to a hinged calf.

Spiked Limb

The spiked limb is a solid piece of oak covered in metal spikes. An ever-present weapon, it delivers 1d6 points of bludgeoning and piercing damage on a successful strike, and is treated as a light simple weapon. It is otherwise identical to a ceramic hand.

Talon

A modified fork or hook, with three metal digits that can open and close, allowing them to hold objects somewhat well. The claws are manipulated by using the muscles of the upper arm and turning the remnants of the limb. Some look like a set of simple metal hooks capable of pivoting, while others are more ornate, shaped to resemble the talons of predatory birds. The talon hand can be used as a weapon, delivering 1d6 points of slashing damage. It is treated as a light simple weapon. Talons are otherwise similar to sculpted hands. It is identical to a gaff/hook hand in all other ways.

Wooden Leg

A simplified and not very life-like wooden leg which has a hinged knee and jointed ankle. The wooden leg allows the character to walk stiffly. It is otherwise similar to a wooden peg leg.

Magical Prosthetics Details

All magical prosthetics completely negate any and all penalties for losing the limb which the prosthetic replaces, in addition to the magical abilities/bonuses mentioned in each individual description.

Armor for Prosthetics

Armored prosthetics are easily achieved by adding armor-grade leather or steel to a prosthetic. A character with funds to spend can choose to add mithral or adamantine armor to a prosthetic. Typically, only full-length prosthetic arms or legs are armored. Rather than granting an armor class bonus (as armor worn by a character would), armor for prosthetics instead increases the hardness and hit points of the prosthetic, making it less vulnerable to damage from an enemy’s blade.

Leather armor adds:

Steel armor adds:

Adamantine armor adds:

  • DR 1/-, +20 hardness and +10 hit points to a prosthetic arm. Cost: 1,500 gp; Weight: 6 lbs.
  • DR 1/-, +20 hardness and +20 hit points to a prosthetic leg. Cost: 2,000 gp; Weight: 10 lbs.

Mithral armor adds:

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Strategists and Tacticians. Copyright 2010, 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming; Author Ryan Costello, Jr.