All manners of grenades & grenade launchers!



Hey guys, we’ve been playing a couple of sessions set in a custom Warp Shell setting of Old Gods & Space Opera and I’ve had a few questions concerning some rules I wanted to implement.

Mostly about Grenades and all of their delicious varieties: how would you guys handle it?

So far, I’ve come up with this solution with one of my player: if you make it roll on the floor to a CLOSE location, the check is easy (unless of course you’re trying to make it go in a tiny hole).

If you try to lob it to a destination, it’s a normal check. If you try to throw it on someone: HARD.

I assume a grenade launcher would make normal checks easy? Or perhaps you can shoot more since you have the gun for it?

Obviously I do not intend to play with the “roll 1d8 to know where the grenade lands AROUND the target” like in Starfinder because automatic damage still does 1d6 and it would simply be automatic damage… which is bad in my opinion especially if you missed with an explosive…

I’m also trying to implement suppression fire & overwatch (or ready an action) into the game just to make sure I don’t surprise my players with these kind of actions when they happen.

I’m thinking suppression fire exposes you (EASY rolls to attack you) but makes it that if the NPC fails to touch you he eats damage… but I’m still not sure about it.

What do you guys think? :smiley:


You could always make grenades a reactive check. Enemy needs to make a dex or con or whatever is higher or take damage. That’s how I handle them. It’s an easy check if they’re in some kind of hard cover.


Remember players and enemy has different rules, different rolls.

On explosives I’d give players a dex check for half damage.
For enemies, you can go with dex checks, auto damage, or have the players roll a 1d4 for number of enemies affected.

I would have a d20 for it to do intended effect. Target or above and it hits where it’s wanted and d4 is rolled, below target single target is hit for half damage.

Suppressive fire, enemy must make a will save to move Through it. If they move allow player to roll normal attack roll for single attack per enemy that moves.
Or on their turn have the player take 2 attack rolls and 2 damage rolls, average them out and that what everyone coming through takes. But Will save to go through suppressive fire is important.

Unintelligent or other types that would not know or care about suppressive fire, allow the person who is providing suppressive fire attack rolls. You can allow an advanced version for them to make the suppressed area close and allow 3 attack rolls against those coming through. ( this would work for doorways).

For overwatch…have the player state their attack on their turn. Allow two ifs. Then they make their attack rolls and damage rolls. When enemies go, if first trigger happens, it takes that damage, if both triggers happen, player chooses effect, one or the other.

While this seems overpowered by giving the player 2 attacks to choose from. You have prescience to the action and can adjust if it is important enough, but let them use it to their hearts content when it is not too important. This way it seems cool. If all your players are doing it, you will need something to mark and note the effects. But it shouldn’t hold up combat too much.

Alternatively the player pre rolls an attack and damage on the first thing that crosses that area. If they want a choice, it requires a will roll. But on occasion someone will use the hat on a stick trick.

Anyway my 2 cents for the night.


Remember suppressive fire is about keeping the enemies pinned, limit their opportunity to maneuver. Sometimes keeping their heads down while your side maneuvers. Simulation of this is very difficult. So will save or enemy looses their turn is ok for the enemy, not fun for players. Letting players know they’ll take 6 points of damage if they pop their head up, or run through the area, has a similar effect, but the player chooses.

Suppressive fire is also used to counter overwatch/sniping. If overwatch is noticed, you suppress them, and then maneuver.

So suppressive fire can be simply take cover or take 2x weapon damage on your turn. No attack rolls, no will saves. That weapon requires a reload after it does a suppressive event. With really high target numbers, I’d use that to ensure damage.

Want your AC 22 Shield to seek cover??? High Automatic damage or seek cover, your choice.

Allow cover to be near/prone from their position.


Reactive check sounds like they could work. I’ll keep searching for ideas and mechanics but thanks!


I usually use the same rules for everybody to make sure I can balance the whole thing. I mean, aside from the NPCs having to touch AC, that is, when the players are concerned.

The idea of rolling 1d4 sounds fun, tho. Makes the grenade less reliable without being really useless… the dice could go up if they throw more powerful grenades!

Will saves against suppressive fire is interesting, makes sense you’d need to gather your courage before standing up to random bullets flying off in your direction!


My wanting to randomize the people affected is from a tri-burst of explosive munitions, a successful hit, can clear a room full of enemies. If the target numbers are on the low side…one guy is taking over the fight…this way it’s not ensured, and you can skip hard ammo tracking. With a turn or 2 to reload the 3 shots.
With D4, 3 shots can take out between 3 and 24 hit points. With a D6 it would be it’s 3 and 36 hit points, assuming d6 for weapon damage, and no critical hits. Not taking everyone out in one burst almost every time. And not having to roll a dex save for every NPC.

Slowing the game down, and the arms race or DPS/DPT obsession are what I hope to avoid.

Gradually increasing How many are affected or specialized ammo, reducing number affected, for increased damage (d8+2 damage) (d2 affected) or reduced damage for wider/more affected (d4 damage) (2d4 affected) keeps the players mind tactically focused a bit more.

In a sci-fi game they can even declare it at point of attack. Wide air-bust for low damage wide area, Armor piercings for concentrated high damage. … there are dozens of ways to play it out.


I’d like to avoid hard maths & tracking, yeah… the DPS obsession is quite real at my table but I always enjoy methods to mitigate it…

What about I allow the d12 damage and roll 1d4 for the amount of hit people, see how the player divide his damage, after that?


So assuming I roll a 6 for damage and a 2 for number of people…I would just focus all my damage to one target. and if I am doing the tri-burst grenades…it can be a slow down point at the table as the player tries to distribute his 18 points of damage in the most efficient way possible. after it rattling in my brain my brain I really like the interposition of D6 Vs D4…default is d6 damage to D4 people in a close area…but you can do D4 damage to D6 people in a close area…

For larger than normal people, tanks and such…a tank or an ogre who has more hearts in due to size…they can take that damage per heart or per 2 hearts, i’d let the players know per creature…grenade on an Ogre, or a swarm… D4 is number of hearts, D6 is damage per those hearts. and with a natural crit…you can augment the D4 to D4+d12 or the D6+d12 players choice…both would be devastating, but not game changing per say.

anyway, I’m thinking this might be how I deal with area effect damage going forward…hell I might be generous :stuck_out_tongue: and say you can default to a 2 for numbers or roll a D4, 3 for a D6 and 4 for a D8…
Or close area= D4 numbers affected
near area = D6 numbers affected
Far area= D8 numbers affected
but you can exchange effort for number of those affected if you wish, before the roll or if the dice match, just roll them and choose.

I like it cause it’s elegant. 2 rolls and it is limiting the silly damage they can do but provides a lot of flexibility. also I don’t typically break out the measuring devices, unless I think someone is being silly or constantly trying to get a little advantage.

The only complaint on it is it is limiting Area Of Effect effort. But in my view, It allows more AOE effort cause I’m more willing to allow it in my games. everyone wants to run AOE damage weapons??? why not!!! just have reload or recharge times…1D4 effort per turn :stuck_out_tongue:

It might not be what players want at all, but I think it covers a lot of bases, and seems to fit. something like an RPG or anti armor rocket (single target explosive)…D6 damage…to 1D2~1d8 hearts…depending on how the enemy is built, a swarm hit by an anti armor rocket would be 1d2 hearts, against a human sized robot with 5 hearts…d6 hearts seems appropriate. and D6 for damage… 2 players hit it with anti armor rockets and it might be toast. Right tool for the job and all that.

Simple, elegant, flexible as hell, and not really over powering, not a total NERF as a miss with an AOE still hits one target for 1/2. I don’t have to make 10 saves every time they attack my swarm of goblins…

we can stop counting ammo except for tri-burst attacks or other silliness. A tri-burst forces a reload.

players will be adding +1s to weapon damage ASAP…getting their weapon/grenade damage to over 10. instead of other improvements.

Choose your own way. I’m a bit too enamored with this at the moment to see all the downsides it probably has.