Ranged Weapons
9 Votes


Hits: 8439
Comments: 16
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.2778
Condition: Normal
ID: 3119


July 31, 2009, 3:25 pm

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Cheka Man

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Abadra Siege Barrel


One had best be careful before opening up one of these barrels…

Abadra Siege Barrel

Full Item Description
A sturdy, bronze bound barrel of obviously ancient origin.
Numerous engraved spears and arrows adorn it, all pointing to the top, which is covered by a metal lid.


The Siege Barrels where created as a means to deliver short barrages of heavy missile fire with a minimal number of troops, primarily for use in ambushes or even as traps.  They were used extensively in the many minor wars between the Abadra and Helena-Thoth empires in the years leading up to the Dire Wars.

Most of these devices were powered by Thaumatrium, which has become depleted and have since lost all power, but a number of more conventionally constructed specimens have been recovered as grave goods.  These have rapidly found employment in many a Lord’s arsenal.

Magic/Cursed Properties

The barrels are capable of ‘storing’ missile fire indefinitely.  All one has to do is open the bottom of the barrel and fire missile weapons into it.  These projectials are held in stasis until such time as the top of the barrel is opened, where they will continue their flight.

When firing into the barrel, it is best that skilled archers perform the task, as a stray arrow may damage the barrel if the edge is hit.  If the barrel is seriously damaged, any stored projectials will escape in a wide burst.

Generally, these barrels could contain 10 normal projectials (arrows, bolts, sling stones, etc), or 3 large projectials (Spears, ballista bolts).  Larger projectials such as catapult ammunition, Giant-thrown projectiles will not fit and trying to load the barrel with these will destroy the barrel. 

Grenade-like missiles (flasks of harmful substances, explosive devices, etc) can also be used, but the risks of damaging the barrel during loading or transport may make this approach risky.

These are NOT accurate weapons, with the intent to provide fire against massed formations of troops, or in point-blank use.

Plot Hooks/Usage

A loaded barrel could be found in a dungeon, Evil Cultist’s armory, etc.  It either could be intentionally used as a boobytrap or simply stored as a weapon for later use.  In any case, a PC who ignores the warning given by the inscribed arrows and spears (one way of saying - this side towards enemy :)) will be in for a suprise.

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Comments ( 16 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted axlerowes
September 21, 2006, 11:45
So it is like a "snake in a can" with arrows in it.

So would the PCs be rolling this thing around or it just a gag trap?
Voted Cheka Man
September 21, 2006, 12:50
I like it.
Voted Scrasamax
September 21, 2006, 12:50
Now this is an interesting idea, a magical pot-de-fers or siege mortar. While it is interesting, it is hard to tell if this is something that PCs would actually be interested in, or if it would be silly Snakes in a Barrel gag item.
September 21, 2006, 13:05
Well, it is intended primarily as a form of artillery - with normal Archer/javaline throwing range. The culture which developed them would have deployed many of them and used them primarily as an ambush weapon - stop a calvary charge, or as point defence similar to using cannon with grapeshot.

This is not intended as a PC weapon or adventuring gear. I did not figure that all Items had to be PC items.

And yes, it could be used as a booby trap or rather lethal gag.

It was also part of a list of military oriented magic items I was working on, but this item ended up being described enough to be better then a scroll entry so I added it as a general entry. Maybe a backstory with it's intended use would have better set the stage...
Voted Murometz
September 21, 2006, 13:00
What Cheka and Scras said.
Voted Wulfhere
September 21, 2006, 14:19
Perhaps living creatures (vipers, scorpions, nests of wasps, unruly children, etc)could be hurled into the barrel and kept in stasis, as well?

Snakes in a barrel, indeed!
September 21, 2006, 14:33
Yep. While we are at, dump a bunch of carnivorous monkeys too :)

Sigh, never intended for it to be silly... :)
September 21, 2006, 14:36
"You open the barrel and out bounces... The Cutsman!"

September 22, 2006, 1:58
Heheheh, good idea...
Voted MoonHunter
September 22, 2006, 9:56
I personally did not see the "fun" aspect of this. This is not a personal item for PCs or anyone, but the kind of toy that would be used in the world around them.

The format and language of the post work for me. The content is useful. I would link to Thaumatrium, so people will realize what it is. Linkage is one of the important aspects of posts here, as you can make simple posts "richer" and "more complete" by adding other submissions to it.

Useful item. Good job. Post some more.
September 22, 2006, 10:01
So noted! Thanks for the feedback.
Voted manfred
September 22, 2006, 14:27
Items do not have to be PC items - though this can be certainly used by the PCs. And even with some silly applications, this is a serious battlefield item. With a dozen of these (which, alas, are hard to come by nowadays), you get an instant volley of arrows. Well-aimed, it guarantees a massacre in the right place.

Good work.
Voted necromancer
September 22, 2006, 19:43
your item is silly but I think you have a good idea in it and i think you should continue posting these things.
September 23, 2006, 16:37
While not all items should be PC items (not every PC is going to need, want or find interesting an evil silver writing desk, an enchanted spinning wheel or the technocolor dream coat) but everything should be something that PC will have to interact with or respond to. So every item should be in this way be PC directed, and thus the only reason to design a complex item (for game terms anyway) is to have a complex PC interaction with that item.

As a battlefield item this could be interesting cause it can be captured and used/reused by a small group (aka capturing the machine gun nest). As a PC item, I don't know about you guys, but I always have one player that loves set traps/snares.
September 26, 2006, 11:44
One way to increase the utility of this item would be to mount one on a chariot.
Voted Chaosmark
October 27, 2008, 1:41
I remember this from a while ago, and I'm shocked I never voted on it.

While the outside is covered in spears and arrows pointing towards the exit hole, perhaps the inside is covered in the magical scripts that give the barrel it's momentum-capturing enchantment, and that is why hitting the inside is dangerous? (Just a bit of extra PC-interaction fluff for when you're describing it to them)


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