The Game Mechanic: Wax Slugs.

All the colors of the rainbow… the murder rainbow!

Player Characters are a wildly creative bunch. Improvising a solution that inflicts the most collateral damage with the fewest resources is a mark of pride among most gamers, so today’s article is all about getting a little more bang for your buck.

We’ll be talking about Wax Shotgun Slugs, an improvised round your characters can quickly and easily make in order to accomplish a variety of mayhemjustice-related tasks with nothing but a little preparation and a few boxes of crayons. We’ll also have stats for the items in NWoD and Savage Worlds.

Disclaimer: Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not attempt to do this at home. It is remarkably easy to blow your hands/face/head clean off messing around with hand-made ammunition. Please keep it on the tabletop, folks.






What is it? 

The Wax Slug is a solid projectile made from mixing the pellets from birdshot (which takes the form of a bunch of tiny, lightweight spheres) with melted wax, ideally from crayons. The process doesn’t really require any special tools but must be performed fairly delicately, care being taken not to detonate the shell, either in the firearm or during the crafting process. When fired, the wax slug is reasonably accurate with a fairly short distance, but quickly loses accuracy with range.

What does it do? 

Containing the pellets from the original shotshell in a matrix of candle wax, the slug uses granular impact theory to convey a massive amount of force directly to the target. Just like the granules in a sandbag will effectively absorb the energy from most small-arms fire, a cluster of granules can also convey a great deal of force by transferring their energy into whatever you happen to be shooting at with more efficiency than a larger projectile might. The wax is only strong enough to keep the lead together in flight, and disintegrates upon impact, which allows the vast majority of the inertia to pass into the target instead of just zipping through the target.

What is it good for? 

Because the wax slug packs a lot of punch over a larger impact area than most bullets, it excels and blowing through locks and doors as well as penetrating thin layers of metal. It’s also a fantastic way to convert a lighter-damage birdshot round into something that hits a little harder, ideal for a monster-hunter or zombie apocalypse survivor on a budget. It has it’s limitations in that it has short range, can be dangerous to use and manufacture and might raise an eyebrow or two with law enforcement if the PC gets caught them in their possession.


Savage Worlds 

Ammo: Wax Slug  Weight: 4/50 Cost:8/50  Notes: Range reduced to 5/10/20, AP 1, 3d6 damage, +2 damage on rolls made to destroy an object. Loses AP against anything with an Armor of 5 or more.

New World of Darkness 

Mechanics: Reduce the given range of the shotgun firing the wax slug by 50%. The dicepool becomes 3L (8 Again) and gains an Armor Penetration value of 1. The slugs confer an additional +2 die bonus against rolls made to destroy an object. The rounds can be manufactured from birdshot with a successful Intelligence + Crafts roll, though a botch indicates that everything seems to have gone perfectly… and that a surprise explosion is probably somewhere in the character’s future.


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