May 29, 2019

Borderlands Manufacturers

Article
Comments from the Palm: I don't know if we've mentioned this, but Go Listen to Hero Club! We'll have some actual PDFs about the new season next week (we promise), but in the meantime, just get in there and listen to it.

Welcome all to a series of articles I’m calling Borderlands-ng your Dark Matter Game!

Okay, that’s a bad title.

I love Borderlands. I’ve played several hundred hours of BL1, BL2, TPS, TFTB; all the acronyms. I’ve beaten Crawmerax, shot the crap out of Pete the Invincible, and done my fair share of OP8 Digistruct Peak runs. I’ve leveled almost every character to max at least once, and a couple twice (hello Gaige). You could say I like the franchise.

Now, with the upcoming release of Borderlands 3, my Borderlands hype levels have never been higher. With the upcoming physical release of Dark Matter, my 5E hype levels have ALSO never been higher. So, like rakk milk chocolate and skagnut butter, I thought I’d combine these two great tastes together into something that will hopefully taste great (and not give me turbo-salmonella, like the aforementioned skagnut butter)!

Over the next couple articles, I’d like to give you a few guides on how you can add a bit of Borderlands to your spacefaring 5e game.

Oh, and if it wasn’t clear, my prospective Vault Hunters, these rules are made to modify the weapons and gear available in our Dark Matter setting and in both the Complete Craftsman and Complete Gunslinger. Weapons made by these manufacturers gain new, unique weapon properties, of which a weapon can have only one. (Free firearm rules are found here.)

Manufacturers Warning: Implementing these changes into a 5e game may seem like it throws balance out the window. Just remember: what is good for the players is good for the bad guys.

Borderlands Gun Manufacturers

Central to the narrative of any game set in the 6 galaxies of the Borderlands universe are the weapons manufacturers that control the whole lot of them. More than simply companies, these manufacturers are unchecked capitalism taken to the logical extreme: massive, intergalactic corporations with their own private armies, citizenry, planets, and laws. Most have even more power than the local governments of the planets they operate on, to say nothing of the intergalactic government.

But whatever about that, here’s how they make your guns more awesome.

Atlas
"It is said that the Greek god Zeus fought for 10 long years against the titans, only to have the battle end in a draw. We at Atlas like to believe Zeus could have won the fight in half the time if only he had one of the guns from our legendary line of firearms. All Atlas guns offer exceptional rate of fire, damage, and an epic level of high technology. Regardless of your god, you need not look to the heavens for salvation from adversity. Atlas weaponry can answer your prayers and grant you a power few mortals have ever experienced. Prove yourself as a true believer. Join the select ranks of Atlas owners and become a god among men!"
- Primarch Kaliden Tannor, Atlas lead sales rep

Atlas guns are the cream of the crop. Highly expensive and always of exceptional quality, an Atlas gun might be the greatest treasure you ever hold in your hand.

Atlas manufactures all types of firearm available in the 6 galaxies. Atlas weapons cost twice the normal amount to purchase on the open market. There are two distinct flavors of Atlas guns, which reflect the differences in old vs. new leadership. They are:

Classic:
Masterwork. This weapon is of exceptional quality. You gain a bonus to your attack and damage rolls when making attacks with this weapon equal to half your proficiency bonus.

Modern:
Replay. This weapon features dynamic tracking rounds. When you hit a target with this weapon, you have advantage on all attacks made against that target until the start of your next turn.


Bandit/Scav
"They're guns. They shoot bullets. We scavenged this crap after Hyperion wrecked what was left of the Crimson Lance, so they only shoot kinda good nowadays. What the hell else do they really want me to say about this stuff?"
- Lilith, Commander of the Crimson Raiders.

Basically, kinda crap. On the plus side, the weirdos that make these things seems to have figured out how to stuff way too many bullets into their mags. And they’re, like, covered in skulls and spiky bits, which must be more intimidating right?

You can find Bandit/Scav versions of almost any gun available in the 6 galaxies. While bandits do make a blaster, those gain no benefits. Scav weapons that use ammunition always have the Reload (3) property at a minimum, and gain the following property:

Overloaded. This weapon can hold three times the normal amount of ammunition; for example, a Reload (6) weapon can hold 18 rounds of ammunition and can be fired 18 times before it needs to be reloaded.

Children of the Vault
"Praise the almighty Vault, and the wonders held within! Receive the blessings of the vaults, and your cup shall never run dry, your bowl will always be filled, and your magazine will never run empty! Praise the vault, and carry its blessings to all who can hear them! PRAISE THE VAULT!"
- Chewer-of-Meat-Flesh, Children of the Vault cultist

Not much is known about the Children of the Vault, a new cult that has recently taken over major portions of Pandora. What is known is that they have some amazing weapons technology, far better than the bandits of old. How these weapons digistruct their ammunition on the fly is still a mystery, one that many of the other manufacturers would like to unravel (if for no other reason than it’s eating into bullet sales). The only saving grace at this point is that the tech still seems to be in its infancy, generating dangerous levels of heat when used for too long.

Children of the Vault only manufacture projectile weaponry, seeing blasters as an affront to the Vault. All CoV guns gain the following properties:

Blessing of the Vault. This weapon self-generates ammunition, and as such never needs to be reloaded. This weapon always has the Heat property.

     Heat. This weapon gains a heat point whenever an attack is made with it and loses one heat point whenever you begin your turn. If the weapon gains 3 heat points, it overheats and loses all heat points. An overheated weapon can't be used to make an attack again until the end of your next turn.

Dahl
"In the heat of battle, there are only two things you can count on: your gut, and your Dahl equipment. When the mercs of Tantalus held off an entire Atlas armada, they chose Dahl. When the Last single-handedly defeated the swarms of the Devoted, a Dahl assault rifle smoked in her hands. Through thousands of conflicts across just as many planets, the career soldier knows there's only one weapon they can truly count on: Dahl. Because sixty-eight billion enemy corpses can't be wrong."
- Commander Amanda Bryant, Dahl head Sales rep

Dahl represents the standard by which all other guns are measured, in both the best and worst ways. While not nearly as flashy as some other weapons, a Dahl by your side will never fail you, and always comes equipped to tackle the job at hand.

Dahl primarily manufactures projectile weapons, but dabbles a bit in the blaster market. Dahl does not manufacture weapons that have the Loading property. All Dahl weapons can swap between multiple modes of fire:

Select Fire. As a bonus action, you can change your weapons firing mode to one of  three available options:
     Single Shot: You gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls made with this weapon
     Burst fire: You deal +2 damage on all attacks made with this weapon
     Full auto: When you take the Attack action and make all of your attacks with this weapon, you can use your bonus action to make one additional attack. You do not add your Dexterity modifier to the attack roll of this attack.

Hyperion
"There are many weapons in this world, but only the best have what it takes to bear the Hyperion insignia. Every gun that leaves our facility has been tested by multiple independent inspectors and is guaranteed to meet our impossibly high standards. All Hyperion guns are meticulously calibrated by our...holy hell, who wrote this freakin' copy?! Blake! Blake, did you write this garbage? This is BORING as hell. Look, just buy our guns: they’re fancy, they’re gold plated, they have these kick-ass auto-stabilizers that kick in after you shoot them once, and they’re way more expensive than the other guys guns. Remember, kids: If it’s expensive, that means it’s quality! ."
- Handsome Jack, ex-CEO of the Hyperion Corporation

The select weapon of businessmen, celebrities, and pretty much anyone who can claim the title of “disgustingly rich douchebag”, Hyperion makes a gun for the discerning customer. Also, they make guns for disgustingly rich douchebags.

While they have prototyped blasters in the past, market analysis shows that people stop buying bullets if they don’t need them anymore; as such, Hyperion exclusively manufactures projectile weaponry. Weapons made by Hyperion cost three times the normal amount on the open market, and ammunition for them is similarly expensive (though not technically better). There are two styles of Hyperion weapons, Those made while Handsome Jack was in power and those made after. They are:

Jack:
Auto-Stabilizers. This weapon becomes more accurate the more you fire it. The second attack you make against a target with this weapon gains a +1 bonus to the attack roll; the third, a +2 bonus; and the 4th and all subsequent attacks gain a +3 bonus. This bonus goes away, resetting to 0 if you stop firing at the target for any length of time.

Post-Jack:
Blast Shield. This weapon creates a holo-shield in front of the wielder’s face when aimed. While wielding this weapon and not wielding a shield, you gain a +1 bonus to your AC.


Jakobs
"Montgomery Jakobs here. When I was a young boy, my grandfather gave me a piece of advice I'll never forget. Grandson, he said, there's only one thing in this world more satisfyin' than the love of a fine woman, or the taste of a hand-rolled cigar. And that's splittin' a man's head in two with a single bullet. Down through the generations, the Jakobs company has held true to those words. My family believes all the accuracy in the world don't mean a great deal if you don't got the power to back it up. Hence our family creed: if it took more'n one shot... you weren't usin' a Jakobs."
- Montgomery Jakobs, CEO of Jakobs Arms

Jakobs guns, like their founder, are just a little old-fashioned...but in a good way. Every piece produced by Jakobs Arms is fitted with wood furniture, custom inlay and scrollwork, and a hand-stamped Jakobs seal right on the magwell. While some other guns might be for protection or merc work, a Jakobs is an heirloom.

Jakobs only produces non-explosive projectile weapons, and even produces a small amount of more archaic weaponry, such as muzzle-loading rifles and crossbows (for exceptionally discerning collectors). Jakos also doesn’t manufacture any weapons that have the Automatic property. Jakobs guns are known for their stopping power. All Jakobs weapons gain the following property:

Old Fashioned. Attacks made with this weapon add your Dexterity modifier to the damage roll. This weapon deals an additional die of damage on a critical hit.

Maliwan
"Isn't it time you take your weapons to the next level? Sure, old-fashioned slug throwers have served you well in the past, but so did Bologna sandwiches. You've grown. Your tastes have changed. They've refined. It's time you had a gun that evolved with you and didn't feel like a family heirloom. Maliwan believes in honoring the past by embracing the future. Every Maliwan weapon is designed by the skilled technicians in our bleeding-edge laboratories to pack as much elemental punch as possible. Our staff of artisans craft each weapon to look as good as it performs. Maliwan offers a full line of pistols, shotguns, rifles, and rocket launchers to fit every style. If it's not elemental, it's not a Maliwan."
- Hiro Yamada, Lead Engineer and Lead Sales Rep, Maliwan R&D

While most people believe Maliwan to be style over substance, nothing could be further from the truth. Maliwan claims a long history of bleeding edge technology in their weapons, and it shows; while other companies still use bullets, Maliwan knows that the best way to kill your enemy is with plasma to the forehead.

Maliwan manufactures all forms of firearms, as well as several styles of archaic weapons such as knives, swords, and bows. All Maliwan weapons deal either acid, cold, fire, or lightning damage instead of their normal damage type. Additionally, Maliwan leads the forefront in Blaster tech in the 6 galaxies. Maliwan ranged weapons gain the following property:

Elemental Grace. This weapon gains the Blaster property. If it already had the Blaster property, it deals an additional 2 damage on a hit, and you can change its damage type  to acid, cold, fire, or lightning as a bonus action.

Tediore
"Mrs. Tediore here! I'm not going to tell you that spending exorbitant amounts of money on weapons with silly features like elemental tech or increased damage will break the bank, leaving you so poor you're incapable of buying food, shelter, or medicine when you need it most, to the point where your desire for excessive personal protection ironically results in your own death. I'd never say that! I'm simply here to suggest that Tediore's weapons are so cheap, that you could easily buy an entire arsenal and still have enough money left over to, say, buy a car! Buy a house! Not starve to death! Tediore: because breaking your enemies shouldn't break the bank."
- Mrs. Tediore, CEO and Founder of Tediore Firearms

Tediore occupies a signature niche in the firearm market of the 6 galaxies, that of the budget option. Though cheap, Tediore weapons are nothing to turn up your nose at: while not flashy, classy, or street-cred garnering, a Tediore weapon can explode a bandit head with the best of them.

Utilizing a proprietary digistruct technology, Tediore guns come fully loaded and ready to fire; when you’re done, you toss the weapon away, allowing it to explode like a grenade, and a fully loaded copy appears in your hand. As such, Tediore only manufactures projectile firearms. All Tediore firearms gain the following property:

Budget Friendly. This weapon can be reloaded at any time as an action. When you do so, you throw the weapon at a target or point within 30 feet that you can see. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 1d4 fire damage, plus 1d4 per bullet remaining in the magazine. When this weapon explodes, a new, loaded copy immediately appears in your open hand, drawing ammunition from your reserves.

TORGUE
"We at Torgue Munitions work tirelessly to bring you, our values customer, the toughe--
*static* 
THIS GUY IS BORING AS F**KIN HELL! I'M EXPLODING THE 4TH WALL HARDER THAN MY GUNS BLOW UP THE SH*T YOU SHOOT THEM WITH TO SHOUT DIRECTLY AT YOU, THE READER, BECAUSE META HUMOR IS F**KING AWESOME! 
I'M MR. TORGUE, AND I LOVE THREE THINGS: COOKIES, PUPPIES, AND BLOWING SH*T UP! EVERY LAST ONE OF MY GUNS FIRES EXPLODING ROCKET BULLETS THAT FRAG YOUR ENEMIES INTO TINY CHUNKS; ALSO, WE MADE EM LOOK LIKE SHOTGUNS THAT GOT IN A THREE-WAY WITH A RACE CAR AND A FIGHTER JET! IF THAT DOESN’T BLOW YOUR F**KIN NUTS OFF WITH EXCITEMENT, THEN YOU HAVE SOME SERIOUS ISSUES WITH BEING HAPPY AND MAY WANT TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING! 
OUR GUNS ARE THE ONLY THING TO USE WHEN YOU’RE TRYIN’ TO SHOOT BANDITS IN THE HEAD WHILE PULLING A WHEELIE ON YOUR MOTORCYCLE, RAMPING OVER A PIT OF F**KING LAVA, WHILE ALSO RIPPING SICK GUITAR SOLOS, SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! GO F**KIN BUY ONE! 
WHMEDELEMDMELEMDLEMELDMYYLEMDLEMELYMYYYYMOOOOOWWWWWWW!
- Mr. Mister Torgue "High Five" Flexington, founder and Mascot of Torgue Munitions

Wow...that guy screams. Like, a lot.

TORGUE Munitions manufactures guns that follow one simple design philosophy: explosions are awesome. Every TORGUE firearm uses their proprietary Gyrojet munitions in place of bullets, which has the knock-on effect of turning nearly every gun in their arsenal into small rocket launchers.

TORGUE Munitions does not manufacture blasters, as they have yet to figure out how to make lasers explode (the beams themselves, not the guns; they can make those blow up just fine). All TORGUE weapons gain the following property:

BOOM. This weapon gains the Explosive property, and it deals an additional 2 points of damage on a hit. If this weapon already had the Explosive property, the weapon also deals an additional 1d4 fire damage per hit.

     Explosive. When this weapon’s projectile hits a target, it explodes in a 5-foot radius. The projectile can be fired at an unoccupied space within its range. Each creature other than the target within the blast radius must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw, taking half the damage rolled on a failed save or no damage on a successful one.

Vladof
"Vladof guns are - 
*static* 
TORGE GOT MORE BOOM, MOTHERF**KERS! GET ONE! 
*static*
"We see the pain in your eyes. We sense your anger, your feelings of betrayal, and your disgust. And we at Vladof are with you. The time is coming, comrades! The time to stand up and be heard is nearly upon us and you must be prepared. You must be armed! Vladof firearms were designed for this moment in time. Seize it! When you shoulder a Vladof, you will know at once that you are not alone and that you can be heard. You will be heard! All Vladof weapons are constructed in the factories of your brethren and designed to pack the highest firing rate possible. The oppressors will be fast - we know this - Vladof helps you to be even quicker. Rise with Vladof. Together we will forge a better tomorrow!"
- Comrade Nikolai Vladof, Leader of the Vladof People's Liberation Manufacturing Guild

Revolution: that’s what Vladof is about, both in its mindest, and in its weapons. While other weapons may be flashy, or powerful, or accurate, a Vladof will put so many rounds downrange that none of that will matter.

Vladof creates a wide array of firearms and blasters, though interestingly does not produce explosive weapons such as rocket launchers or grenade launchers. All Vladof firearms gain the following property:

Revolutionary. This weapon gain the Reload (10) property if it had either the Loading property or a lower capacity Reload, both of which are replaced by the new property. As well, this weapon gains the Automatic property. If it already had the Automatic property, you can make three attacks at disadvantage instead of two when firing the weapon automatically.

     Automatic. When you make an attack with this weapon on your turn, you can choose to make two attacks with disadvantage instead. These attacks always have disadvantage, regardless of circumstance.

- - -

And there’s the first article! I’ll try to get you guys at least one of these a week till I run out of ideas, but I have a lot planned. Happy hunting, Vault Hunters!

6 comments:

  1. Fantastic! I can't wait to show my GM this.

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  2. WE AT THE COMMENT SECTION SINCERELY BELIEVE THIS IS F****** AWESOME!

    *Air guitars verbally and physically*

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  3. Squeeeeeee! Pre-ordered bl3 and am impatient since gearbox is being a tease has us on a drip feed of info. For Maliwan should add poison (radiation) and necrotic (slag). Hyperion should also have a pre Jack option (accuracy was their shtick in bl1) and some could have slag since under Jack they were the ones doing slag experiments. Have idea 4 bl type character but dm banned me from doing it. Warforged wild magic sorc and either satire or lore bard mc aka clap trap.

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  4. So quick question for the Craftsman is it for final or complete Craftsman.

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  5. Awesome stuff! Big Borderlands fan myself, keep it coming :)


    P.S. Torgue's interruption in Vladof's section mispelled 'Torgue...' not that that's out of character...

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