|Date Created:||January 31, 2008|
|Editing:||Please feel free to edit constructively!|
Catapults are most versatile siege weapons, that find their proper use across any medieval battlefield. They are easy to load and easy to use, perfect for breaching walls and plowing through dense enemy troops.
A catapult is a construction of wood, the most professional military catapults sometimes reinforced with iron plates. They range from 5 feet to 20 feet in size and use either single projectile or a bundled shot.
All types of catapults don't attack creatures, but rather target the terrain itself. A specific catapult generally targets a square that is of equal size category as itself. A square is defined as a patch of ground, having a Dexterity of 0. The Armor Class of a square is 5 (Medium), 4 (Large), 3 (Huge) or 1 (Gargantuan). A catapult's theoretical max range is a function of its attack bonus, its range increment and the Armor Class of the square it targets. If a natural 20 is insufficient to score a hit against the target AC, the catapult is considered to have insufficient range and misses even on such a roll. When a natural 20 is rolled on a target square within range, creatures within that square that are susceptible to critical hits are dealt double damage.
A catapult's effective range is the maximum distance at which a catapult hits the intended target half of the time (on a roll of 11-20). Most strategists use effective range as a guideline to maximize the effectiveness of their siege weapons.
Catapults of any size are treated as having a reach equal to its range increment. This is the effective minimum range of the siege weapon, and any creature that ventures within its minimum range can no longer be targeted.
Magical effects such as true strike are not applicable to shots made with a siege weapon.
Siege Weapon: A catapult of any kind is considered a siege weapon. A siege weapon deals double damage to unattended objects (such as walls, buildings and the like). A siege weapon requires 1d4 rounds to reload after firing when manned by a normal crew. A full crew can reduce the reloading time by 1 round (to a minimum of 1). See the individual descriptions for different siege weapons for information on the minimum and full crew complements.
The onager is a post-classical siege engine, which derives its name from the kicking action of the machine, similar to that of an Onager (a so called 'wild ass'). It is a type of catapult that uses torsional pressure, generally from twisted rope, to store energy for the shot. An average onager is 5 to 7 feet large, and weighs 300 to 400 pounds. Most onagers for war-time usage have solid wooden wheels fixed to its sides so that it can be comfortably pulled by a horse or any other ordinary domesticated pack animal, or even a pair of humanoids. An onager costs around 750 gp.
When fired, an onager looses a single projectile from a sling mount. It is especially effective against wood and stone walls. A group of onagers can thin out a marching force. Minimum crew complement for one onager is one person. If manned by a full complement of two people, reloading time is reduced by 1 round (to a minimum of 1 round).
Projectile: The onager fires a single projectile at every shot. Every creature contained within the square that the onager targets is dealt 3d6+6 damage (Reflex DC 16 negates the damage entirely). Fast moving creatures are harder to hit with a single-projectile siege weapon. For every 10 feet that a creature's speed exceeds 30 ft., that creature gets a +2 bonus to the Reflex saves made to avoid damage. For every 10 feet that a creature's speed is less than 30 ft., it suffers a cumulative -2 penalty instead. Stationary objects are not entitled to a saving throw. The save DC is Strength-based.
Range: An onager has a range increment of 50 ft, an effective range of 150 ft. and a maximum range of 350 ft.
A mangonel was a type of catapult or siege machine used in the medieval period to throw projectiles at a castle's walls. The mangonel threw a large bundle of projectiles on a low trajectory and a high velocity with the intention of destroying walls, rather than hurling projectiles over them. It was more suited to field battles, where its spread payload could also be used to thrash a close company of men. A mangonel is larger than an onager, at about 12 to 15 feet and weighing in at 1,200 pounds. It has large, solid wooden wheels fixed to its wooden chassis, allowing it to be pushed or pulled by one or two horses or other pack animals. A mangonel is typically too heavy to be pushed comfortably by a single humanoid. A mangonel costs 2,500 gp.
When fired, a mangonel looses a bundle of multiple projectiles from a ram scoop mount. It is effective against large walls, dealing much more damage than a normal, single shot siege weapon. and has a minimum crew of 2. If the mangonel is crewed by 4, its reloading time is reduced by 1 round (to a minimum of 1 round).
Bundled Shot: The mangonel's bundled shot pelts the targeted area with multiple scattered projectiles, dealing 6d6 damage to any creature or object within 15 feet of the blast epicentre (the center of the targeted square). Creatures are entitled to make a DC 19 Reflex save for half damage. The save DC is Strength based.
Flaming Payload: The ammunition on the mangonel's scoop can be made aflame with 2 pints of oil. Doing this will add an additional 2d6 fire damage to the mangonel's normal damage, but will tardy the reloading process by 1 additional round.
Range: A mangonel has a range increment of 50 ft, an effective range of 250 ft. and a maximum range of 450 ft.
This machine is specially bred for frequent usage in battles. The heavy catapult is a heavy duty siege engine that requires several horses to pull it, but when fasted on a battlement, or behind decent cover, it is a danger to buildings and troops alike. A heavy catapult is about 20 feet long, weighing in at 6,000 pounds. It's thick, wooden frame is covered by segmented metal plating to improve its durability when under fire. A heavy catapult costs 10,000 gp.
When fired, a heavy catapult looses a bundle of multiple projectiles from a ram scoop mount. It is effective against large walls, dealing much more damage than a normal, single shot siege weapon. and has a minimum crew of 2. If the catapult is crewed by 4, its reloading time is reduced by 1 round (to a minimum of 1 round).
Bundled Shot: The heavy catapult's bundled shot pelts the targeted area with multiple scattered projectiles, dealing 8d6 damage to any creature or object within 20 feet of the blast epicentre (the center of the targeted square). Creatures are entitled to make a DC 21 Reflex save for half damage. The save DC is Strength based.
Flaming Payload: The ammunition on the heavy catapult's scoop can be made aflame with 4 pints of oil. Doing this will add an additional 4d6 fire damage to the catapult's normal damage, but will tardy the reloading process by 1 additional round.
Range: A heavy catapult has a range increment of 50 ft, an effective range of 350 ft. and a maximum range of 500 ft.