Tuesday Magic Item – Sling Bullets

21 July, 2009

Slings are an often neglected weapon in fantasy games.  A popular weapon in the ancient world, sling bullets were every bid as lethal as arrows.  Today I present three magical bullets for slingers.

Hail Stone– These blue or crystal veined white stones carry a winter’s chill within them that is released upon impact.

These stones have a +1 bonus to attack, use sling bullet ranges and cause 1D6+1 points of damage plus it carries a chill (like that of a chill touch spell) causing 1d6 points of cold damage and the target hit must make a Fortitude save (DC 13) take 1 point of Strength damage.  The hail stones shatter upon impact and as such are good for only one use.

Aura faint necrourgy; CL 5h
Slot none; Price 207; Weight .2 lbs
Construction Requirements
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, chill touch, spectral hand; Cost 100 +7 for stone

Take that indeed“Take That” Bullet– These get their name from the motto “Take That” that is usually stamped onto these lead bullets.

A one shot (successful or not) enchantment provides them with a +2 enhancement bonus to attack and they cause 1D10+2 damage on a successful hit.

Aura faint transmutation; CL 5h
Slot none; Price 207; Weight .2 lbs
Construction Requirements
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, bull’s strength; Cost 100 +7 for stone

Wailing Stone– On a successful hit these glossy black stones wail loudly with the voices of the unlamented dead, a sound that drives those who hear it into despair.

A Wailing Stone has a +1 to attack and ranges as a sling bullet but it only inflicts 1D4 points of damage on a successful hit.  Following a successful hit on a living target it starts to wail and continues to do so for 1D4+4 minutes.  All of those within 20m/ 60 feet are at a -1 morale penalty to saves (raised to -2 against fear-effects), and characters of 1st level (1HD) or lower must make a Will save against a DC of 10 or are Freightened and  flee from the sound until the wailing ends or they can no longer hear it.

Aura moderate necrourgy; CL 7h
Slot none; Price 307; Weight .2 lbs
Construction Requirements
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, fear, ghost sound; Cost 150 +7 for stone

Notes: These were originally created for my Ancient Greece-themed campaign.  As mentioned above, I feel that slings have been neglected in fantasy.  The “Take That” bullets are based on actual sling bullets found stamped with that motto.

Update: Here is a Victorian monograph about inscribed sling bullets!

Also updated mechanics to Pathfinder and added a photo by Wolfgang Sauber found on Wikimedia Commons and used the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.



  1. Fate mechanics for these bullets:

    Hail Stones
    +1 to hit, +1 stress on hit
    Force a Fortitude test against a 1. Failure means victim takes the fragile Aspect “Chilled.”

    “Take That” Bullet
    +1 to hit, + 1 Stress
    Force a Fortitude test against 2. Failure means victim takes a Minor Consequence!

    Wailing Stone
    +1 to hit
    On hit places a Scene Aspect “Dread” in the Zone of the target. Aspect last whole scene.

  2. I think you miss an opportunity if you create them with ‘craft magic arms and armor’. While strictly speaking they are arms their flight properties are so simple that they should be simply ‘craft wondrous’.
    A lot more casters have craft wondrous = more sling stones.


    • No reason that some of them cannot be made with either feat as a GM I tend to be fairly flexible in such things. But, by the rules, I think that do fall squarely under ‘magic arms’ just like magic arrows.

  3. I think that the inscriptions are also mentioned in Xenophon’s ‘Anabasis’ in his descriptions of his slingers and peltasts, who he used quite effectively to protect the army’s flanks

    • I know that inscribed sling bullets are surprisingly well documented and supported by archeological evidence. It really show that people are people across the ages.

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