Ruins of Adventure
Angon: Thick of body and long on edge, this battle spear looks every bit as fierce as the famed northlanders who wield them. The first angon was developed by shortening the haft length on a spetum to a more manageable 6 to 10 feet. Most angons have a crossbar mounted below the trefoil blade to prevent dying foes from closing upon the haft. Some also possess a spiked or bulbed buttcap or are shod with metal for the entire length. Although many incarnations have appeared since then, two forms—the serrated and the fork-bladed angons—have become commonplace.
The fork-bladed angon is cumbersome to use, imposing a -1 penalty on attack rolls, but doubles the standard damage against large-sized creatures. While certainly not a missile weapon, the common angon can be sent aloft for short distances by characters with a Muscle score of 15 or higher. An angon of at least 9 feet in length can be set to receive a charge.
Arquebus: An arquebus is an early form of the musket, almost as dangerous to its user as it is to the target. The arquebus was a long, heavy weapon that had to be fired from a forked rest or balanced on a wall. To use an arquebus, you must have a supply of Smoke Powder and shot and a piece of slow-burning match or cord. These items may or may not be commonly available. he weapon can be fired only once every three rounds, and then only if the character is not attacked while loading. When firing an arquebus, all penalties for range are doubled.
If the attack roll for the arquebus is 5 or less (unmodified), the weapon backfires (roll 2d6 and consult the misfire results). It is also fouled and cannot be used again until it has been cleaned, which takes about 30 minutes. When a arquebus scores a hit, it normally does 1 to 9 points of damage on 1d10. When a 10 is rolled, the die is rolled again and this amount is added to 10. Each time a 10 is rolled, the die is rolled again and added to the previous total. Thus, in a rare instance, a single shot could inflict 37 points, for example, if three consecutive 10s were rolled, followed by a 7. The damage caused by an arquebus is never modified for a high Muscle score.
An explosion inflicts 2d6 points of damage on the character holding the gun, or 1d6 if a saving throw vs. death is successful. The gun is destroyed by the misfire. A fouled barrel ruins the shot and renders the gun useless until it is carefully cleaned—a process that will take a good 10–30 minutes. A hangfire goes off 1d3 combat rounds later than it should. If the user keeps the gun trained on its target, he can make a normal attack.
Arrow, Adamantine: This is a stone-biter arrow, save that adamantine is used in its manufacture. This makes the arrow capable of biting into all but the hardest stone surfaces, but also makes it extremely expensive. Used in combat, an adamantine arrow’s penetrating power ignores all armor bonuses to the target’s armor class (excluding magical plusses).
Arrow, Armor Piercer: Armor piercer arrows have a narrow spike-head and are designed to punch through different types of armor. They receive a +2 bonus to the attack roll when fired at metal armor.
Arrow, Bird: Fletching on an arrow provides stability during flight, but the feathers also create drag, which slows the missile. A quick arrow is necessary to bring down a bird on the wing, which is the purpose of these arrows. Bird arrows use minimal fletching, a short shaft made of light wood, and a small head—all of which increase speed in flight. Because of the reduced stability, all attacks made with bird arrows suffer a -1 penalty. Because they are so quick, however, the target gains no bonus to AC for high dexterity.
Arrow, Flare: Designed so that the archer may be more easily found or so that a distraction for enemies can be created, the flare arrow produces an intensely bright light in the skies, visible for long distances on clear nights. The arrowhead is a special detachable piece. It houses a small air-catching device that slows the arrow on its descent, allowing it to drift to the earth instead of plummeting. The interior of the arrow is filled with a slow-burning powder that flares brightly when ignited.
To send a flare arrow, one simply touches a flame to the fuse trailing behind the fletching and shoots the arrow into the sky. The head detaches when the arrow reaches the top of its flight, releasing the parachute, which ignites the powder. The arrow burns merrily all the way to the ground. Naturally, flare arrows can only be used once. Unfortunately, they are somewhat fragile, and they break rather easily.
If fired at an enemy, a flare arrow shatters, causing 1d4 points of damage and spreading its load of powder all over the target’s body. There is a 50% chance that the arrow’s fuse will light the powder on this enemy, causing 1d4 points of damage per round for three rounds. It can only be extinguished by immersing one’s entire body in water. Simply beating at the flames or throwing water on them will not extinguish them.
Arrow, Flight: The flight arrow, as its name implies, is built for distance. A flight arrow increases the base range of a bow by 20% in all range increments. These are lightweight arrows and are often used for hunting. Most of these arrows are made of ash or birch and are 30 to 40 inches long.
Arrow, Frog Crotch: Frog crotch arrows have heads that form a V, the inner edge of which is sharp. These arrows are used to cut standards and armor cords, and inflict terrible woulds on anything caught between its jaws. To successfully use the cutting action, the archer must make a called shot to hit the specific point on the rope to be severed.
Arrow, Humming Bulb: Humming bulb arrows are fitted with carved wooden heads that whistle loudly when fired. The sound can be heard up to one mile away. This type of arrow is normally used for signaling, but the bulb can also be fitted with oil-soaked cloth or straw and used as a fire arrow. When used this way, it causes an additional ld3 hp damage from the impact and flame. It also starts fires in flammable materials unless put out quickly.
Arrow, Incendiary: An incendiary arrow is any arrow type (except bone or stone) with a wad of hemp soaked in a bituminous substance (such as tar) placed just beneath the head. The hemp is lit before the arrow is fired. In addition to its normal damage, the arrow causes one additional hit point of fire damage on the round of impact unless the target makes a saving throw vs. death magic. At the DM’s option, flaming arrows may ignite combustible materials contacting it.
Arrow, Major Grapple: The major grapple is a far more complex piece of apparatus than the minor grapple. The head of this arrow at first appears to be a fairly long arrowhead of normal width. Its true function is shown only when fired. The rope must be securely fixed at one end by the thief, and as the major grapple arrow closes in on its target and reaches as far as the rope will allow, the sudden tension pulls at the head of the arrow, which opens out into a large three-pointed grappling hook. This is some 6 to 8 inches in width, fully the equal of most ordinary grappling irons. The major grapple has better aerodynamics than the minor grapple and a better chance of gripping, but a considerably reduced range.
Arrow, Message: Sometimes, one needs to get an urgent message to a distant compatriot in a hurry. The elves developed message arrows for just this purpose. They resemble normal arrows outwardly, although the head is rather more rounded than most other arrows. It is the interior that makes the message arrow special. The shaft is hollow, enabling the archer to fit a tightly rolled scroll inside. The arrow can accommodate no more than one sheet of papyrus or paper. If used as a weapon, the message arrow will cause 1d6 points of damage, only a quarter of which is permanent. Because of its fragility, it will most likely break if it is used offensively. In such cases, it must make a save vs. crushing blow as thin wood or be permanently splintered.
Arrow, Minor Grapple: This has a small, three-pointed grappling hook as its head, perhaps some 3 inches in total width. This is usually shot through a window, over a palisade, etc., in much the same way as a conventional grappling iron is thrown.
Arrow, Sheaf: Sheaf arrows, also known as war arrows, are heavier arrows with less range than flight arrows, but cause more damage. The arrowheads are steel and quite sharp. Sheaf arrows are used in warfare and can be fired only by long bows. These arrows range in length from 20 to 27 inches.
Arrow, Stone Biter: The stone biter has a narrow, heavy head of metal, with small ridges rather than barbs. Careful craftsmanship is needed to produce these arrows, with high-quality metal being used and the arrow sharpened to the greatest possible extent. It is designed to give a grip when shot into stone, but will only work on relatively soft stone such as sandstone or brick.
Arrow, Wood Biter: This has a broad, flat head with backward-facing barbs. It is specifically designed to give a good grip when shot into wooden surfaces.
Artengak: Mainly used by arctic barbarians to hunt seal, the artengak consists of a wooden shaft, 4 to 5 feet long, with a needle-like bone point. A long leather cord attaches to the blunt end of the shaft. The user loops the cord around his wrist; the cord helps prevent an impaled animal from escaping with the weapon.
Atlatl: The atlatl is a curved piece of wood with a hand grip that is used to propel javelins greater distances. A javelin is placed along the ridge in the atlatl, and then the wielder throws the javelin while holding on to the atlatl. The atlatl itseld is not a weapon and causes no damage.
Augur/Awl: For starting holes or scribing lines upon wood, a needle-tipped awl is the perfect choice. We offer a 3-inch awl for setting nails as well as a 6-inch auger for setting spikes.
Awl pike: Also known just as a “pike” and a Morris pike (corruption of Moorish), this is an infantry spear ranging 16 to 22 feet in length. Awl heads are usually leaf or lozenge-shaped. The pole is made of a strong wood, such as ash. Many pike heads are made with two tongues of steel, nailed down the sides of the shaft in order to prevent the head from getting hacked off. The grip is often bound with cloth and the butt capped in steel to prevent the shaft from splitting. The awl pike has the dubious distinction of being the slowest polearm available. Add to this its mediocre damage against man-sized opponents, and one is left with a weapon of questionable value, except when used en masse on the battlefield and set to receive a charge.
The main use of the pike is to protect bowmen and musketeers from cavalry; under no circumstances can a horse be coaxed into impaling itself on a all of pikes.
Because of its exceptional length, a character armed with a pike always gets a first attack against a charging opponent. If he hits the charging opponent he deals double damage and the opponent’s movement is stopped at pike’s length — well outside the reach of any weapon other than another pike. On following rounds, the attacker cannot close until either: he wins the initiative; the pikeman wins initiative but misses; or the attacker lops the head off the pike with an attack vs. AC 18 dealing 4 or more points of slashing damage. Once the opponent succeeds in closing, the pike becomes useless. BUT, if there is a second or third row of pikes, they must be dealt with in the same way.
Axe, Battle: Contrary to popular artwork, the most common version of the battle axe is a stout pole about four feet in length with a single-edged, trumpet-shaped blade mounted on one end. Battle axes are also called broad axes. The battle axe is a footman’s weapon, giving these soldiers a longer reach and a fighting chance against mounted opponents. Its long handle allows the wielder to put considerable force into his swing. Despite the shaft length, a battle axe is a one-handed weapon.
The typical dwarven battle axe is a double bladed weapon, usually with a spiked top. Dwarves favor these weapons since the long handles compensate somewhat for the shorter dwarven stature, especially against large humanoid opponents. They are often wielded with two hands. In many dwarven cultures, the battle axe is a symbol of dwarven might. A thrust with the spiked head of a battle axe inflicts 1d3 hit points of damage.
Axe, Forearm: The forearm axe resembles a stone axe head with one or more spiky projections. Instead of lashing the head to a handle, the user lashes it to his forearm, enabling him to grip the head with the projections pointing outwards.
Axe, Hand/Throwing: The hand axe or throwing axe is also known as a hatchet. The axe blade has a sharp steel tip, counterbalanced by a pointed fluke. The short handle has a point on the bottom and the head may have a spike on top.
This weapon is often used by barbarian tribes. Some hand axes are carried on the saddles of knights and horsemen, who respect this weapon after seeing barbarians wield the axes effectively. Despite this acceptance by civilized folk, the throwing axe is often relegated to backup weapon status since the creation of the battleaxe, whose longer handle gives the wielder greater force in his swing. The maximum length of the hand axe’s handle is about 18 inches, not very great, though better than a dagger’s reach in hand-to-hand combat. The throwing axe’s last advantage, its ability to be hurled, was eclipsed with the advent of better bows such as the long bow.
Axe, Two-handed: The two-handed battle axe has a longer haft than a standard battle axe and must be wielded with two hands. With two large blades extending from it, it allows the user to swing it in an arc without having to change the angle of the blade.
Axe, Woodsman’s: Among the simplest and most versatile tools of the woodsman is the axe. Whether used to cut firewood or to cleave hobgoblins, a keen axe can be a lifesaver.
Bardiche : The word bardiche is the corrupted spelling of berdysh. The berdysh (Russian term) is in effect an elongated battleaxe with a large, narrow, curved axe head measuring 24 to 32 inches long, mounted on a pole five to eight feet long. The upper part of the head can be used for thrusting, while the lower part is in the form of a langet. A langet is an iron strap used to increase the strength of the head and protect the most exposed part of the weapon from blows. Berdysh require more room to wield than a pike or a spear, but the weapon has a unique function: it can be used as a gun rest. The smaller berdysh have two rings for attaching to a shoulder strap. This arrangement is popular among horsemen.
Bec de corbin: Also called the bec de faucon, the names mean “crow’s beak” and “falcon’s beak” respectively. This pole weapon has a hook much like a bird’s beak and is ideal for cutting open armor like some great can opener. The weapon also has a hammer or axe side that delivers a solid hit. This is a highly specialized weapon, designed for the purpose of cutting armor then striking the now unarmored victim with the other side of the weapon. The pole shaft is eight feet long.
Belaying Pin: Not intended as an actual weapon, the belaying pin is a wooden or metal rod that is inserted in holes bored through a ship’s rail. Ship’s ropes are secured to these belaying pins. The pins are usually found in rows, bringing a series of ropes together to one location. The pins may be pulled out and used as a melee weapon, more often than not during boarding actions at sea when no other weapons are in reach. The pin is a one-handed weapon. If hurled in combat, it is treated as a club.
Bill: If farmers have any true enemy, it is fire—which can steal not only one’s livelihood, but also one’s life. Though scythes can cut a firebreak to save a field, this billhook can remove thatch from a roof to save a home. A pole, once assembled, lets you raise this hook 15 feet to the crown of a roof to pull loose the thatch before the fire reaches it. The sharp and barbed tip makes this weapon also effective against vermin who make their homes in many thatched roofs. A bill hook is usually disassembled for carrying (reducing to three five-foot polls).
Bill-guisarme : This weapon is derived from an agricultural tool, the bill hook. Throughout its years of use, the bill’s head went through many changes. Its most common head form is a sharp spike with a sturdy hook whose inside and outside edges were sharpened, and a cutting blade reminiscent of a cleaver. The pole length ranges around eight feet.
Bladeboots: Captured thieves are typically stripped of their weapons, but not of their shoes. If a thief has a shoe for a weapon, odds for escape improve significantly. Solid leather construction, a broad steel blade, and a heel-click trigger mechanism add kick to any escape
Blowgun: Blowguns are long, hollow tubes composed of wood or metal, ranging from four to seven feet in length. They are used to fire darts, needles, and pellets. The weapons date back to primitive times, when they were used mostly for hunting. Blowguns may have had a part in the invention of guns, since the blowgun demonstrated that one end of a tube needs to be closed off in order for the propelling force to shoot the missile in the proper direction.
Tribes still exist, especially primitive peoples in tropical jungle cultures, that use the blowgun. In most cases, these tribes are not advanced in terms of inventions, especially weapons of war. Some tribes use stands to brace their blowguns. If a stand is used, the firer gains a +1 bonus to his attack rolls.
The blowgun dart is a small arrow with a wad of cotton or other plant fibers instead of fletching. This allows for a build-up of pressure from the user’s wind. The fibers make a better seal in the tube, allowing more force to gather behind it. A blowgun dart is not the same as a regular dart, and the latter cannot be shot out of a blowgun.
Needles are sometimes used to deliver a poison, often a paralytic poison such as curare. Needles do less damage than other blowgun missiles, but this is not a disadvantage, since their function is to carry the poison to the target, not to cause damage.
Most blowgun pellets are of hardened clay, and are used for hunting. A solid hit from a pellet can stun a small bird.
Bo Stick: The bo stick is an ordinary hardwood staff, the height of a man or slightly taller. Bo stick shares a proficiency with Quarterstaff. If you can use one, you can use the other. (This doesn’t mean that the two styles are identical; an oriental bo stick fighter looks very different in combat than a western quarterstaff combatant. But if they traded weapons, they’d be just as good with the other guy’s weapon…each in his own style.)
Bo sticks are common everywhere; any 6’ or 7’ hardwood walking staff is a bo staff. To use it as such, however, you have to have the bo stick/quarterstaff weapon proficiency. The primary difference between the weapons, and the reason the quarterstaff does more damage against Large monsters, is that the combat quarterstaff has iron-shod, even lead-weighted ends. (A quarterstaff which does not have these features should do damage identical to the bo stick.)
Bolas: The bola is a missile of prehistoric origins. Currently, it is still used by arctic tribes and by savages who dwell on temperate plains. The main function of the bola is to provide a hunter with a good missile weapon that will catch the prey off guard and entangle it so as to make escape impossible.
The bola is basically a leather strap or straps with weights fastened to the ends, although there are many variations to the design. Arctic bolas are generally used for hunting birds. The bola may have four, six, or ten weights made of walrus ivory or bone. The weights are egg-shaped, spherical, or carved into the likeness of animals. All of the straps or cords join together to make a sort of handle. The thrower grasps the handle, jerks back the strand to straighten them, whirls the bolas over his head, and releases them. Each bola strand is about 28 inches long and each weight is about two inches in diameter.
Temperate plains bolas are usually twice as large and consist of a single leather thong with a leather-covered stone at each end. Often a second cord is fastened in the center of the first cord, with a small weight attached at the end. This weight is held by the thrower. This version of the bola can bring down a man-sized target. When a bola hits, the victim is held fast and must take a round to make a Muscle check in order to get free. Failure means the bolas are still holding fast.
If an attacker makes a Called Shot to the target’s legs and succeeds, the bolas wrap themselves tightly around the victim’s legs and prevent further movement. The target must make a Balance check in order not to fall down, incurring a -3 penalty if the victim was moving when the bolas hit.
If the attacker succeeds in a Called Shot to the victim’s arms, the bolas wrap themselves tightly around the torso, preventing the victim from using a weapon or employing the protection of his shield until he frees himself. Muscle checks are made at -2 penalty due to lack of leverage.
A successful Called Shot to the victim’s head wraps the bolas around his neck, strangling him (unless the character is wearing a great helm, closed-face helm, or a gorget). The bolas cause normal damage on the round in which they hit, then an additional 1d3 hit points of strangulation damage every round the bolas are still in place.
Boomerang: This curved throwing stick can hit targets at long distances. There are two types of boomerangs, both less than 2 feet long, weighing under half a pound, and typically made of wood.
The nonreturning boomerang is curved at an angle of less than 90 degrees and can strike targets as much as 100 yards away. If it misses its target, the nonreturning boomerang continues in the same direction until it drops to the ground.
The returning boomerang is curved at an angle of 90 degrees or more and can be thrown at distances up to 60 yards. If the boomerang misses its target, it arcs in the air and may return to the thrower. If the thrower makes a successful Aim check, the boomerang returns within a few feet of the thrower, allowing him to catch it. If the Aim check fails, the boomerang misses the thrower by a number of yards equal to the difference between the die-roll and the Dexterity score, multiplied by 10 (roll 1d8 for direction).
Bow, Composite: Composite bows are long bows or short bows whose staves are made from more than one type of material. This gives greater flexibility, and thus better range. These were developed after the normal long bow. The second material that makes up a long bow may be anything from another type of wood to bone, sinew, or metal. The different materials are usually glued together.
An adventurer who wishes to gain a damage bonus from high Muscle when wielding a bow must purchase specially crafted composite bows. Such a bow costs the normal price for a bow plus the normal price again for every point of bonus damage desired. These bows can be strung and drawn only by characters of that Muscle or higher. Others attempting this must make a successful bend bars/lift gates roll.
Bow, Elven: During their years of experience, elves have found that often archers are attacked without much chance to defend themselves. They have therefore created the elven bow. It is designed to fire with the same rate of fire and accuracy, and yet the elves can use it to fend off attacks until they can defend themselves with a better weapon or spell.
The elven bow is a utilitarian piece of work, carved mostly from wood as other bows, but to fulfill its function, the elf crafters have also given it heavy metal inlays. These enable the bow to be used as a parrying weapon until the elf can draw a more suitable weapon. Meanwhile, the elf’s bow has not been damaged by the attack and can be used again.
If used as an offensive weapon, the elven bow acts as a club.
Bow, Folding: Bows are very useful, but are very hard to conceal because of their size and shape. A folding bow solves this problem, dividing neatly in half when unstrung, making it a much more suitable size and allowing concealment—for example, in a thigh sheath. Only short bows have folding-bow equivalents.
The joint in the middle of the bow weakens it, however, reducing the effective ranges, and also making it -1 on damage rolls.
Bow, Long: The long bow is similar to the short bow, except that the staff is about as high as the archer, usually 6 to 6 1/2 feet. It has better range than the short bow, and can fire any type of arrow.
Bow, Pellet: Although almost identical in construction and use to a normal bow, the pellet bow has a small pocket in the bowstring for holding a stone or pellet of lead or clay. The pellet can be fired with more force than from a sling, giving the weapon extra range, though not extra damage. Pellet bows use sling ammunition.
Bow, Short: Short bows were the first to be developed, although they were not called such. This is more of a default term that refers to anything which is not a long bow. Short bow staves are about 5 1/2 feet long on the average. As the years passed, attempts were made to increase bow ranges. Bows were either given longer staves or flexibility was increased with no change to the length. The former resulted in what is now called the long bow. Bows fell into decline with the spread of handguns. It was reasoned that while a wounded or weakened soldier might lack the strength to pull a bow, he could still pull a trigger. In fantasy settings, there is no danger of the bow being replaced so quickly. Short bows can fire only flight arrows.
Branding Iron: In a time of prosperity like this one, when a man may well have two asses and ten oxen, a branding iron is a welcome tool. We offer irons in every letter of the alphabets (specify Thorass, Espruar, or Dethek and character when ordering).
Bridle Cutter: A bridle cutter is a sharp, hooked instrument used in battle to cut the reins of an enemy and essentially strip him of his ability to control his mount. These tools look like short, bladed axes with several wicked, angled cuts. Bridle cutters are sometimes used by front line troops who face cavalry. Many bridle cutters find their way into kobold, orc, or goblin brigades and are used as melee weapons rather than to cut reins.
Caltrops: A caltrop is a metal ball bristling with metal spikes or prongs. When a caltrop is left on the ground, there is always at least one spike standing more or less upright, ready to pierce the foot of the unwary.
In order to be effective, at least 10 caltrops must be dropped in an area of 25 square feet (a 5-ft. × 5-ft. square). Each character entering the area must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation. Failure means that the pursuer has stepped on a caltrop, suffering 1d4 hit points of damage. The character will be able to move at only one-half his normal rate until the caltrop is dislodged from his foot. The victim must also make a second saving throw vs. paralyzation, with failure indicating that the character is lame for 24 hours (unless magically healed), and can move at only one-third his normal movement rate. In any case, the victim must spend one round removing the caltrop from his foot.
If half the number of caltrops are dropped in an area (five in a 25 square foot area), the first save is made with a +4 bonus. For every five extra caltrops over the required 10 dropped in a 25 square foot area, the saving throw is made at a -2, up to a maximum penalty of -6. A new saving throw must be made for each five-foot section entered in which caltrops have been dropped.
Characters moving at less than one-third their normal movement rate through an area of caltrops need not make a saving throw. They are moving slowly enough to avoid the caltrops (although they must be able to see the terrain in order to do so).
Celt: A prototype of the battle axe, a Celt resembles an axe head, roughly oval in shape, less than a foot long and a few inches wide. Celts are made of flint, quartz, granite, or obsidian. If a suitably sized stone or mineral fits comfortably in the hand, no modifications are necessary. Otherwise, the edges is chipped to make it easier to hold. Holes may be bored into flat Celts; the user inserts his thumb and fingers into the holes, then grips the Celt in his fist. A Celt may be polished by grinding the surfaces in water and sand. When not wielded as a bludgeoning weapon, a Celt serves as a chisel or woodsplitter.
Cestus: The cestus is a leather glove that has spikes and razor edges on the back and across the knuckles. Other forms of cesti are loaded with lead or other heavy filler in order to give a punch more force. The weapon is mainly used as a gladiator weapon in the arenas of sport. The damage caused by the cestus (1d4 vs. small and medium creatures; 1d3 to large) replaces the damage caused by a punch. Although this may seem to be a disadvantage, remember that punching damage is temporary while damage from the cestus is permanent until healed. There is no proficiency in the cestus, though a warrior can spend a proficiency slot and specialize in it.
Chain: This weapon is a 6’ or 10’ length of chain with weights at both ends. In combat, it’s whirled very fast, the weighted end inflicting the damage on the target. The chain combines some of the useful traits of melee weapons and the lasso. You can attack with it for normal Called Shots, Disarm, Parry, and Strike/Thrust maneuvers. Additionally, you can perform three of the lasso’s five special functions: Pull/Trip by striking at a target’s legs, Dismount a Rider, and Snag a Rider’s Head.
The chain is easy to conceal, and (at least in western lands) is not usually recognized as a weapon until wielded as one.
Chijiriki: A length of weighted chain is added to the butt end of a normal spear. This weapon can be used as a normal spear, or the butt-chain can be swung out, entangling the opponent.
Chopsticks: Chopsticks can be used as a weapon in case of emergency. They are not very effective but are better than nothing, and they are commonly available.
Club: Most clubs are stout, hardwood sticks, narrow at the grip and wider at the end. This simple weapon has been used since mankind first began using tools. Anyone can find a good stout piece of wood and swing it; hence the club’s widespread use.
The club is the ancestor of the mace, since warriors eventually fitted their clubs with spikes and metal heads in order to increase their deadliness. As centuries passed, cultures began embracing civilization and advanced technology. They looked down on the club as a primitive tool and a barbarian weapon. Peasants often arm themselves with clubs, sometimes adapting them by adding iron spikes.
Club, Great: This may be a long cudgel lovingly carved from a finely-worked length of oak, or a crudely fashioned bludgeon. Its effects are identical to those of a morning star, though it may be blunt or spiked.
Club, Spiked: An ordinary club may be improved by imbedding it with sharp objects, essentially transforming it from a bludgeoning to a piercing weapon. Typical additions include shark’s teeth, obsidian insets, nails, and porcupine quills. The spikes tend to fall out, however, requiring the user to replace them at regular intervals. Whenever the user rolls a natural 20 on an attack roll, the weapon loses some or all of its spikes; it then functions as a normal club. It takes 1-2 days to find and attach replacement spikes.
Club, Throwing: This is a blunt, slender club light enough to hurl but heavy enough to bludgeon. It may be made of wood, stone, or bone, and is 1-2 feet long. If used in melee combat, a throwing club inflicts only half the listed damage.
Crook, Shepherd’s: Over the centuries, the shepherd’s crook has become a symbol of pastoral care and watchfulness—a gentle reminder for straying lambs, and a wicked weapon against the roving wolf. Our shepherd crooks are each unique, taken from branches roped up to grow into knotted staves and harvested for this purpose. Used as a weapon, its butt is held and head swung in a horizontal arc. Its hooked head grants a +1 bonus on disarm and pull/trip combat maneuvers.
Crossbow, Cho-ku-no: This crossbow is capable of firing several bolts before it must be reloaded. It is similar to the western light crossbow, but mounted on top is a magazine that can hold up to 10 light quarrels. The cocking and reloading action is worked by a single lever, pushed forward and then pulled back. This allows a faster rate of fire than normal. Up to two quarrels can be reloaded in the magazine per round. Thus, five rounds are required to completely reload the chu-ko-nu. A character cannot fire and reload in the same round. The chu-ko-nu is heavier than a normal light crossbow and has a shorter range.
Crossbow, Doublebow: This weapon is a type of crossbow produced by the dwarven master weaponsmiths of the Dragonspine Mountains. Based upon the light arbalest, the body of the doublebow is cored and slotted through the lower portion of the tunnel. The casting string is doubled for about three-fourths of its length, the second string threaded through the tunnel slots and attached at the opposite end. One quarrel is placed atop, as usual, with a second inserted within. The basic benefit of the doublebow is that it launches two quarrels at once, both at the same target (using a single attack roll).
The added draw reduces the range compared to other crossbows, but the doublebow was not designed for sharpshooting. The design is intended to increase initial damage, presumably before switching to a melee weapon. Another advantage involves the use of the string block mechanism. If a quarrel is loaded on the lower string before the block is set, it too is effectively held in place.
With practice, a user specialized in the doublebow can affect a “quick shot” from a harnessed doublebow when needed. The weapon speed factor improved by 3 (to 4), and the shot suffers a -2 penalty on the attack roll, due to lack of aiming time.
Crossbow, Hand: This deadly little bow is a pistol-sized weapon made with a steel tiller. It is more easily concealed than the light crossbow and its use is considered unethical in civilized society. Hand crossbows have a reloading mechanism built into the tiller.
Hand Crossbows are traditional weapons of the Drow, but almost unknown outside of Drow society. Those found on the surface are almost always imported from Drow manufacturers and tend to be prohibitively expensive.
Crossbow, Heavy/Light: A crossbow is a bow mounted crosswise on a wooden or metal shaft, the latter called a tiller. The bow is usually made of ash or yew. The crossbow fires a quarrel (also called a bolt). Crossbows are loaded by pulling the string back until it locks onto a nut fitted on the tiller. A man’s strength is enough to pull the bow to the locking position, although heavier crossbows with more powerful bows require a mechanical aid. The most effective of these devices is the windlass, a series of pulleys and crank handles fitted at the crossbow’s stock. For crossbows that do not have the windlass, a stirrup is fitted on the front of the crossbow. When resetting the bow, the firer places his foot in the stirrup in order to keep the bow off the ground while he is pulling the string up to the locking position with both hands.
The main differences between the light and heavy crossbows are the size of the quarrel and the presence of a stirrup, which is found only on the heavy crossbow. Heavy and light crossbows are more correctly referred to as two-foot and one-foot crossbows, respectively. This term refers to the length of the quarrels. The one-foot crossbow is made with a steel tiller and is quite rugged. It may be easily concealed beneath flowing garments such as cloaks or robes. It is frowned upon by the more lawful, civilized cities.
Although bows cannot be used underwater, the crossbow can, since the tension produced by the weapon overcomes the water resistance.
Dagger: The typical dagger has a pointed, usually double-edged blade, as opposed to a knife, which has a single edge and is a bit shorter than the dagger. The dagger is one of man’s oldest weapons. The first daggers were most likely hand-held spearheads used by cavemen, made of bone or stone. Bone daggers are made from the bones of large animals such as reindeer and bison, with one end sharpened and the handle carved to resemble the animal from which the bones came. Such daggers are relatively fragile, and stone replaced bone when early man discovered how to work with stone.
Stone daggers are more difficult to make due to the composition of stone. Most stone daggers are made of flint, a hard stone that can be worked easily. The flint is chipped until the proper shape is achieved, usually that of a broad leaf, then it is sometimes lashed to a wooden handle. This sort of stone dagger has a major weak point: the place where the blade is attached to the handle. Primitive tribes know that the best stone dagger is made from a single piece of stone with the dagger’s handle consisting of a straight section of stone. The handle is then wrapped in hide for a good grip. The average stone dagger measures 12 inches long.
When man began working with copper and bronze, the technique of making a dagger’s handle and blade from a single piece of material remained. Blade lengths increased up to 24 inches long, and when the length exceeded this, a new weapon, the short sword, was born. Some weaponsmiths have turned dagger making into an art form, decorating the handles, crossguards, and even the blades, with beautiful carvings. Some daggers are decorated with carved scenes derived from a culture’s mythology.
Daggers with steel blades became necessary in order to penetrate armor. Although knights carried daggers, they were considered a weapon of last resort. The modern handshake derives from a habit used by bodyguards. They would take the hand of anyone visiting the king and shake his arm, hoping to dislodge any dagger concealed in the visitor’s sleeve.
Dagger, Climbing: Daggers have been used to aid climbing for generations, so it is to be expected that a more specialized form has been developed for this task. Climbing daggers have relatively short blades (some 6 to 8 inches long) which are stiff, strong, flat, and very sharp. This allows the dagger to be inserted into wood or between bricks with greater ease than an ordinary dagger. They can be used in all surfaces other than very smooth ones. The handle is also flat and quite broad, and usually bound with leather strips or thick string to give the hands a good grip, or even to allow feet easy purchase when the dagger is used as a step. Also, in place of a normal pommel is a broad, smooth iron ring. This allows a rope to pass through, or it can be attached to one of the straps of a housebreaker’s harness.
Climbing daggers add +10% to wall climbing chances, although their main use is with a housebreaker’s harness. They may be used in combat, but because of their very different design from that of a normal dagger a separate weapon proficiency is required for their use and damage caused is but 1d3/1d2.
Dagger, Parrying: This specialized type of dagger is used in conjunction with a sword. It is used to catch or break an opponent’s sword. Some versions of this dagger are equipped with spring blades that split into three blades at the push of a button. When such a dagger is employed in this fashion, it cannot be thrown successfully.
Most parrying daggers have long, straight or curved quillons, and a tough side ring that extends perpendicular to the blade in order to protect the user’s fingers. Unlike the main-gauche, the parrying dagger is made for a specific purpose, to deflect or break an opponent’s weapon. The main-gauche, while also good for parrying, is less of a weapon-breaker.
Dart: The dart is a small, easily concealable missile weapon that is thrown rather than fired from a bow or other launcher. Darts are known to exist among advanced caveman tribes. These darts are usually small, wooden shafts fitted with a head of bone or stone.
In modern cultures, darts have leaf or arrow-shaped heads and stabilizers on the shaft’s butt end, much like miniature arrows. Many cultures use darts for sport, hunting, and warfare on land and sea.
Dart, Barbed: This is a crude, heavy throwing dart that is both fletched and barbed. Measuring two to three feet long, it is used by lizard men. It has a range of 30 yards, and is invariably hurled just before a charge.
Elbow/Knee Spike: These are spiked guards used in close combat to elbow and knee opponents. When not in use they appear to be decorative stubs at the center of the knee and elbow cups, but, activated by pressure, spiked blades jet out and lock in place. Since they are strapped to the character as part of his armor, it is virtually impossible to disarm him. When a fighter is being grappled or wrestled he may elect to make an attack with his spikes, instead of boxing or wrestling. This attack is made with a -2 attack penalty.
Fang: This heavy iron weapon is similar to a large animal goad. It is about the length of a short sword. One end is sharp, with a heavy hooked point below it.
Fauchard: Developed from the common agricultural sickle or scythe, the fauchard consists of a long, curving blade with a large, pointed head and a fluke (a small, curved hook found on many polearms). The head is mounted on a wooden pole about eight feet long. Peasants can often change scythes into fauchards. The fauchard is classified as a glaive. It is not very good as a thrusting weapon, but is used mainly as a slashing weapon. It fulfills the need for a weapon that puts some distance between the wielder and his enemy. Since the fauchard is not an instrument designed foremost as a weapon but rather a farm tool adapted for war, it is inefficient as a weapon of war, being rather bulky and needing a large area to be used properly.
Fauchard-fork: This term denotes a fauchard with the fluke attached. The fluke was added in order to improve the weapon’s thrusting capability, but the effort was fruitless. It is still a bulky weapon, requiring much space to be wielded effectively.
Flail: The flail is a sturdy wooden handle attached to an iron rod, a wooden rod with spikes, or a spiked iron ball. Between the handle and its implement is either a hinge or chain link. The weapon was originally used as a tool for threshing grain. Whether a flail is used by a foot soldier or a horseman, the principle is the same. The footman’s flail has a handle approximately four feet in length.
The horseman’s version of the flail has a two-foot-long handle. The horseman already has a good positional advantage, sitting atop a horse, and consequently does not need the greater reach afforded by the long handle of the footman’s flail. This is a one-handed weapon.
Flail, Bladeback: This heavy two-handed flail has a head that resembles a pair of double-bitted axes set perpendicular to each other.
Flail, Chain: The chain flail is a 6-foot length of weighted chain. In combat it is whirled around very fast and swung at the enemy’s legs. A character who is proficient with a chain flail will use it to knock his opponent off balance. He must state that he is attacking the legs, and rolls at -4 attack. If he succeeds, he rolls for damage normally. In addition, his target must succeed in a Balance check or be knocked to the ground by the chain’s impact.
Flail, Grain: This consists of a leather strap two or three feet long that connects a wooden handle to a block of wood about a foot long. Farmers use the grain flail to thresh wheat, barley, and other grassy crops. It also makes a good bludgeoning weapon.
Flail, Winnowing: After taking such scrupulous care of their crops, young farmers are sometimes hesitant to flail them. Seasoned farmers are not. Our 4-foot maple flail is topped by four 1-foot steel rods that make quick work of knocking grain from chaff. With a grain sieve, this tool lets one person work like two.
Flindbar: A flindbar is a pair of chain-linked iron bars. In combat, the bars are spun around at great speed, allowing the wielder to make one additional strike in a round. In addition, flindbars can be used to disarm opponents. Each successful hit requires the victim to save vs. wands. If the saving throw is failed, the victim’s weapon becomes entangled in the chain and is torn from his grasp.
Fork, Military: The military fork is the warrior’s version of a simple agricultural farming tool. The head consists of two parallel spikes, often fitted with hooks for pulling horsemen off their mounts. Certain versions of the fork have a blade mounted just below the spikes. The wooden staff is about seven feet long. Forks are useful not only as thrusting weapons, but as tools for climbing the defender’s ramparts, setting up ladders, and hoisting baskets of supplies.
Fukimi Bari: These small darts are held in the mouth and blown into the face of any opponent as a surprise attack. Up to ten of them can be carried in the mouth. They can be fired singly or all at once. When fired singly, a normal attack roll is made for each dart; a successful hit does ld2 hp damage. When fired in bursts, the die equal to twice the number of darts fired is rolled to determine the damage. Thus, if four darts are fired at once, ld8 is rolled to determine the damage.
Obviously, since the darts are carried in the mouth, they cannot be poisoned (unless the user is willing to suffer the effects of the poison as well). Furthermore, the darts have a very poor range and are almost never effective against any type of armor; wielders of this weapon suffer a -6 penalty to the attack roll when firing at an armored target. However, these darts do have the advantage of surprise and distraction because they are a hidden weapon.
Gaff Hook: The gaff or hook is actually a tool used to hook and land fish. It is commonly found where fishing boats are encountered, and the hooks are in plentiful supply, affording the disarmed adventurer a weapon of last resort.
The gaff consists of a metal hook with a wooden or metal crossbar at the base. A one-handed tool, the hook protrudes from between the middle and ring fingers. Some sailors who have lost a hand have a cup with a gaff hook attached to the stump, guaranteeing that they are never without a weapon.
Garotte: Only the worst and most vile of thieves would garotte a guard when a more cunning and less brutal method commends itself. Garottes are constructed of strong wire and hardwood handles—and all are damnably effective.
A garrotte may only be used against a humanoid target of the same size or smaller than the user. The wielder gains a +3 bonus on his attack roll against a target he surprises, but suffers a -3 penalty on attacks against a victim that is not surprised. Once a successful attack is made, the user can maintain a hold on his victim, as per the wrestling rules, dealing damage each round. If you maintain a hold on the victim for three consecutive rounds, the victim dies, regardless of the damage dealt.
Glaive: The glaive is a pole weapon with a large head shaped like a knife or a sword mounted on an eight- to ten-foot long shaft. The blade usually turns outward in order to increase the cutting area. Some glaives are fitted with flukes. Overall, the glaive’s damage potential is not spectacular, but its long reach makes up for this. It effectively takes a normal sword blade and gives it a great reach.
Glaive-guisarme: This term describes a glaive with a fluke mounted on the back of the blade. It is slower and heavier than a glaive, and its potential damage is nothing noteworthy.
Glove Nail: This is a gauntlet constructed of iron or steel, with a large spike protruding from its face. Warriors usually wear glove nails on both hands. Used for slashing, generally at an enemy’s face, these are sometimes called “face rippers.”
Goad, Elephant: Also called an ankus, this tool is primarily designed to help control and direct the movement of elephants. It may also be used as a weapon. There are two goads, each with similar qualities: a “riding” ankus with a 14- to 18-inch handle, and a “foot” ankus with a 5-foot handle.
Goblin Stick: A goblin stick is a forked and hooked pole arm, used first by bugbears trying to catch the smaller goblins. The goblin stick is a wooden staff, six to nine feet long, gripped in the middle. Each end is tipped with three wicked blades. One hooked blade is used to extract hiding creatures. The other blades are pointed, sharp, and set at slightly different angles to poke into the hardest to reach locations.
Greyclaws: These resemble leather gauntlets with brass knuckles from which razor sharp blades project. They are similar to the bagh-nakh worn by certain eastern peoples. These weapons are unique to The Vast are not generally available for purchase elsewhere. Because of the awkward placement of the blades, a rogue wearing greyclaws suffers penalties to his thief skills (excluding Climb Walls) as if he were wearing studded leather armor. The straps on a set of greyclaws requires a full round to don or remove.
Guisarme: Also called the gisarme or the giserne, the guisarme is an elaborately curved blade, much like the crescent blade of an axe, attached to a six-foot long staff. Thrusting spikes are often attached to the top of the shaft. The guisarme is supposed to have come from the farmer’s pruning hook. The weapon may have contributed to the development of the berdysh and the halberd.
Guisarme-voulge: This term describes the guisarme in its later stages, with a curved axe-head. It features a back spike, the fluke, for punching through armor, and the blade’s end tapers for thrusting attacks. Often, the fluke is replaced with a sharp hook for use in dismounting riders. It is a slower weapon than the plain guisarme but causes comparable damage.
Gut Hook: The task of butchering is as distasteful as it is necessary. We offer tools to help speed the work, and minimize the pain for the animal. This small, hooked knife is used to cut through an animal’s hide without disturbing the viscera.
Halberd: By far the oldest and most often used polearm, the halberd consists of a cleaver-like axe blade mounted on a staff averaging six feet in length. The axe blade is balanced at the rear with a fluke, and surmounted by a sharp spike, usually of quadrangular design. The fluke is sometimes replaced by a hook used to dismount cavalry. A halberd can be best described as a cross between a spear and an axe. Though a halberd’s main function is to dismount cavalry, it may also be employed as a thrusting weapon and a cutting weapon. It is not a fast weapon, even compared to other polearms. Still, it does more damage to a man-sized opponent than all other polearms.
Hammer: One cannot escape amazement when considering all the problems that can be righted by a whack from a good hammer. We stock nail hammers with special claws for nail removal, spike hammers, chisel hammers, peg-setting mallets, and stone-setting mallets.
Hammer, Lucern: The lucern hammer is a hammerhead with a spike at its rear, mounted on a long pole, reaching as much as ten feet in length. In some cases, the end is fitted with a spike to keep enemy soldiers at bay. It is one of the heavier pole weapons and is rather slow. The entire weapon is usually made of steel, including the pole, and often it is decorated with carvings and precious metal gilding.
Hammer, Smith’s: No self-respecting smith would ever use the hammers of a joiner or stonemason. We supply smithy hammers with solid steel heads that weigh nearly four pounds, and duskwood handles to keep your hands cool. The nose of the hammer is broad and flat, and the tail slopes into a triangle to allow detail work.
Hammer, War: Mounted knights cannot effectively use long pole weapons while on horseback, and as a result, many weapons have been fitted with shorter shafts so they may be wielded with just one hand. Maces and flails are two previous examples of this—the war hammer is another. The horseman’s war hammer is the descendent of the Lucerne hammer. It is made entirely of steel, with rondels protecting and strengthening the grip. Rondels are small disks of metal, often shaped into decorative designs. The shaft is about 18 inches long.
Dwarves favor war hammers as a primary weapon. It is guessed that, given the dwarves’ skill in using the hammer for non-combative purposes, they naturally developed the skill for using it as a weapon of war. The war hammer personifies the dwarven race: short, tough, and blunt. Some war hammers are fitted with a spike at the top. This can be used as a thrusting weapon and causes 1d3 points of damage.
Hanbo (half-staff): This 2-3 foot stick is used as a weapon; practitioners often carry one in each hand. The statistics for the hanbo are used when a sword sheath is used as a weapon.
Harpoon: The harpoon is a hunting weapon, which, in times of duress, may be used for defense. Its development by primeval man was for hunting marine mammals and large fish. The first harpoons were merely pointed sticks. Later, these became sticks with a sharp head of horn or bone. The heads often had hooks cut into them for increased damage and to hold the harpoon fast in the beast’s flesh. The head was then fitted or attached to the end of the shaft, secured by animal sinews.
Metal harpoon heads evolved later, most with pointed or barbed heads. These heads are usually detachable from the shaft, but are connected to the thrower by a cord attached between the point and the barb. When a hunter throws the harpoon and hits an animal, he follows the victim as best he can, playing out as much rope as needed until the beast tires and dies.
Some creatures may be of sufficient intelligence to try to free themselves from the harpoon. If the target has Intelligence of 2 or greater and some means of dislodging the hook or breaking the line, it is allowed a saving throw vs. paralyzation. Success means the victim is freed. Failure means the harpoon is still attached, the victim takes another hit point of damage, and is drawn 10’ closer to the harpoon’s wielder. The victim is pulled toward the wielder only if a concentrated attempt is made and the victim is of a size and weight that makes this possible (e.g., a harpooned whale cannot be hauled in by a fighter with 13 Muscle).
Harpoons may be used one- or two-handed, and there is no change in speed factor for using it one way or the other. This is a definite advantage. On the other hand, the harpoon has a poor throwing range, and damage potential is less when it is used one-handed, much like a bastard sword. The harpoon is a common weapon in coastal areas, but its primary function is not as a weapon against an intelligent opponent.
Hatchet: This one-handed woodsman’s axe has a broad blade, a smooth wooden handle for a good grip, and its own leather scabbard for the head, which can be strapped to the wearer’s belt. The hatchet is useful for chopping wood and serves as an excellent melee weapon.
Head Spike: This unusual weapon consists of an iron helmet with a large (1 to 2 foot) spike on the top, sometimes called a “belly skewer.” A fighter employs this weapon when charging. Running, bent forward, he attempts to spear his opponent in the stomach. The attack roll is made at a -3 penalty, and he loses any armor class benefits high Dexterity may give him. If he impales his enemy, he scores double damage.
Hoe: A simple tool with a thousand uses, the hoe ranks with the shovel in importance among the farmer’s tools. The typical hoe features a 6-foot long hardwood handles and an iron head.
Hook fauchard: Like the fauchard-fork, the hook-fauchard is another attempt to improve the fauchard. This weapon has a hook fitted on the blade’s back. The hook is used to dismount cavalry. Like its predecessors, it was not a very effective weapon. Its damage potential is horrible compared to the fauchards that it was supposed to improve upon, and it is slower than the original fauchard.
Iuak: Also called a snow blade, the iuak resembles a machete made of bone, about two feet long and six inches wide. The end is flat rather than pointed. Mainly used by arctic rangers to slice blocks of snow to make shelters, the snow blade also doubles as a weapon.
Jambiya: This curved, double-edged dagger is the common tool used by peoples of the desert. In addition to a fighting weapon, it serves as an all-purpose cutting blade and an eating utensil that’s both knife and fork. Unlike the standard western dagger, the jambiya (JAHM-bee-yah) is a poor throwing weapon; its maximum range is 1.
Javelin: Javelins are classified as light spears, suitable for melee or missile combat, usable either on horseback or on foot. The weapon has been around since man’s earliest days. The javelin head is not very large, and is usually leaf-or lancet-shaped. Javelin heads may have barbs. As a weapon of war, the javelin has low popularity, though it is often used for hunting purposes. Javelins are also used as a ceremonial weapon of bodyguards in civilized nations. Halberdier yeomen are often assigned javelins. Javelin throwing is a common contest of the games of sport of ancient civilizations.
Javelins may be used either one- or two-handed, and like the harpoon, there is no difference in speed factor between the two styles. The javelin has a respectable throwing range, certainly better than that of a spear, with damage potential comparable to the spear. Like the harpoon, the javelin gives the adventurer the advantage of a weapon that may be used effectively either as a melee weapon or as a missile weapon.
Javelin, Uchi-ne: This is a short, heavy javelin that looks like an oversized arrow. It can be thrown effectively for short distances or used for thrusting and jabbing. The uchi-ne is often carried by nobles when traveling.
Jitte: This tapered iron bar has a short hook projecting near the handle. It is not sharp. The jitte is used to block attacks and catch weapons. It can also be used to strike blows. The jitte shares a weapon proficiency with the sai.
Jo Stick: This stick weapon is about 4 feet long, between the bo and hanbo in size. It can be used one-handed and in pairs. The jo is a favorite weapon of rogues because it is innocuous.
Kama:This straight-bladed sickle is a farmer’s tool that can also be used as a weapon to great effect.
Katar: Also called the punch dagger, the katar is a short, easily-concealed weapon. It differs from other daggers in that its handle is perpendicular to the blade, not in line, allowing more force to be applied. The katar cannot serve as a thrown weapon.
Kau Sin Ke: This weapon consists of four to six short iron bars connected by several links of chain. Its origins can be traced to the agricultural flail. Used properly, it can be a deadly weapon; the iron bars can wrap around shields to land crushing blows. However, because it is not as flexible as a normal chain or rope weapon, it cannot be used to make entangling attacks
Kawanaga: This a length of rope, with a grappling hook at one end and a weight at the other, is both a tool and a weapon. It can be used as a weapon by swinging the hook or the weight at an opponent. The grappling hook can also be used for climbing, and the rope can be used to entangle an opponent. This type of weapon is popular with ninja because it has several uses and is easily concealed.
Kick-slasher: These are crude blades attached to boots or other footwear. The kickslasher slices into opponents when the user lashes out with his feet. They are not retractable.
Kiseru: This is a tobacco pipe made of metal. Its innocent appearance disguises its use as a clubbing weapon. It is popular with peasants and monks because it is cheap and easy to make and does not appear to be dangerous. It can also be used for smoking.
Knife: A knife consists of a single-edged, pointed blade with a handle mounted asymmetrically. It is an early weapon, used even by primitive tribes. In these cultures, a knife is little more than a flint blade with one or two cutting edges. Bone knives are little more than a sharpened piece of bone, often decorated in the same way as daggers. Like other bone weapons, bone knives are apt to shatter.
True knives appeared when man began using alloys such as bronze. A knife was cast from a single piece of bronze, with a single straight edge or slightly curved blade. The curvature is often accentuated near the point. When man began using iron, knife handles went through a change. The malleability of iron made it easy to create and keep a sharp edge, while also enabling the maker to extend the blade into a flat tang, which was then covered with sidepieces of wood, bone, or horn. This made the handles easier to decorate. In primitive civilizations, knives are used as an all-purpose tool, on the hunting grounds, and as a tool of sacrifice.
Different forms of knives may be found among the different peoples who depend heavily on this useful tool. Small knives are made for domestic uses, longer knives for hunting and war.
Small knives exhibit their own evolution, resulting in the common man’s small knife with a four-inch blade and a plain handle of bone or horn. The more influential citizen may have a knife with a handle of rock crystal or other stone, enclosed in a precious metal. Despite the great value of these knives, they are not as effective in combat as the larger knives (-1 to attack and damage rolls).
Non-domestic knives, or outdoor knives, have stronger blades and sharper points. They are carried in their own sheaths, or in the scabbard of a larger weapon, such as a sword, creating a specialized set. In some areas, knife makers are prohibited from selling knives with leaf-shaped blades. Such decrees are an effort to prevent such knives from being carried casually. The leaf shape causes a large, gaping wound that bleeds heavily.
Knife, Death: This sinister instrument can appear to be a bladeless knife, but it is more often disguised as something more innocent such as a case for a comb or spectacles or quill pen, a tool of some sort, etc. The disguise will not fool any close inspection, however. The blade of the knife is within a barrel inside the handle and is spring-loaded. The knife is triggered by pressing a catch on the handle; the blade shoots forward with considerable force. The weapon deals an additional one point of damage for a first strike when the blade is triggered.
The obvious advantage of the death knife is its capacity for surprise. Since it doesn’t look like a weapon until the blade is sprung, a victim can be taken totally off guard by its use. If the target does not realize a blow is coming and the thief manages to get the weapon close to the body of the victim so that a lunge can be made with it, any strike is treated as a backstab, with standard hit and damage bonuses, given the surprise element. A backstab is not always literally a stab in the back!
Knife, Skinning: The task of butchering is as distasteful as it is necessary. We offer tools to help speed the work, and minimize the pain for the animal. This 8-inch full-bellied skinning knife is extremely sharp and used for the tough but delicate work of skinning a beast.
Kumade: This dual-purpose tool consists of a spear-length wooden shaft with a rake head fitted at one end. By setting the rake prongs in a crack, ledge, or sill, a character can climb up the shaft. The kumade can also be used as a weapon. Because the kumade has multiple uses and can be carried without arousing suspicion, it is a common item for rogues to use.
Kusari-gama: This variation on the kama (sickle) was designed specifically for combat. It is a kama with a length of weighted chain attached to the butt end of the handle. The kusari-gama can be used in several ways: The user can attack with the kama in hand, he can club and entangle with the weighted chain, or he can whirl the kama at the end of the chain. This weapon is relatively easy to make and is favored by both peasants and assassins.
Kyogetsu-shogi: This is a simple length of rope with a sharp hooked blade at one end and a heavy iron ring at the other. Its uses are similar to those of a standard chain weapon. The rope can be swung to attack with the blade or weight, snapped around the feet or arms to entangle, thrown to entangle, or held while striking with the blade. Although the rope is far easier to cut or break than a chain, the weapon is often used by ninja because it is almost silent. It is easy to conceal and can be worn as a belt or under a sash.
Lajatang: This rare weapon is most often found in the hands of a martial artist skilled in its use. It consists of a 3 to 5 foot shaft with a crescent blade fitted at each end. Some individual weapons have smaller barbs projecting downward from the outer edges of the crescent. The weapon is held with two hands, much like a staff.
Lance: The term “lance” originally referred to spears wielded by footmen and cavalry. It eventually referred only to cavalry spears. Lance design varies between cultures and eras. Generally, the lance is a long shaft of tough wood, usually ash, with an iron head in the shape of a laurel or willow leaf, with cutting edges and a sharp point meant to penetrate armor. Lances are meant to be gripped close to the bottom, putting a great distance between the wielder and his target. As a rule, the lance is aimed diagonally above the horse’s neck. The opponents face each other with their left sides oncoming.
Along with almost any variety of sword, the lance is considered the best offensive weapon for mounted soldiers. Some knights carry a small fabric pennant affixed just below the lance head. These pennants are either triangular or square, and carry the colors or symbols of the knight’s family or liege. In parades, lances are held vertically, with the butt set in a stirrup or on the horseman’s right thigh. On a march, the lance is held across the shoulder, across the saddlebow, or horizontally alongside the horse.
Through evolution, weaponsmiths sought to increase the damage caused by the lance by making them heavier. One of the biggest problems with using a lance is the jarring impact on the user. In order to address this problem, a thick leather ring called a graper is fitted to the shaft just behind the wielder’s hand. This acts as a stop against the armpit, halting the lance’s rearward motion upon impact. Another important part of a lance is a rest. The rest is a small, sometimes folding bracket fixed to the right side of the knight’s breastplate armor. The graper is leaned against this rest when the lance is in use. The rest enables the knight to get the maximum push from his lance, inflicting the most damage.
The difference between the light, medium, and heavy, lances stems from the length (10’ for a light, 12’ for a medium, and 14’ for a heavy), and weight (five pounds, ten pounds, and fifteen pounds for light, medium, and heavy respectively). Each lance type can be used only if the rider is on a horse of corresponding type or greater. Thus, a knight on a heavy warhorse can use any lance, while the scout on a light warhorse is limited to the light lance.
Lance, Flight: This lance has a 10-foot long shaft of tough wood with a sharp stone head, and fletched ends. It is used by flying humanoids as a shock or impact weapon, The flight lance is hurled at the end of a swooping attack and can impale the target.
Lance, Jousting: Jousting lances, used in “jousts of peace,” are the heaviest lances, weighing 20 pounds and measuring at least 13 feet long. These lances are fitted with a three-pronged head in order to prevent armor penetration. The prongs are short, blunt projections that emerge from the headpiece, as opposed to a sharp point. This lance is also known as a “courtesy lance.” In a full tilt, a joust of war, the head is blunt and may actually cause fatalities.
Lasso: A lasso is a length of rope with a loop at one end, tied with a knot that enables the loop to be tightened. The wielder twirls the lasso and throws the loop at the intended target. If it hits, the lasso has encircled the target, enabling the attacker to dismount the victim, make him fall, pin him, strangle him, etc. The wielder must specify exactly what he wants the lasso to accomplish before making his attack roll. A successful hit does not cause damage to the target, but incidental damage can occur from the results of certain actions performed with the lasso, such as making someone fall or strangling a victim. A lasso may be severed by 2 hit points of cutting damage. A victim can break a lasso, using a Feat of Strength. Only one attempt can be made on any one lasso.
Lassos are also called lariats. Characters can take lasso as a weapon proficiency, but they should remember that the Rope Use nonweapon proficiency gives a +2 bonus to hit with a lasso.
Mace: The mace is a direct descendant of the basic club, being nothing more than a wooden club with a stone or iron head mounted on one end. The head design varies, with some being spiked, others flanged, and still others with pyramidical knobs. The mace has existed since man began working with metal. The first maces were made in order to give the club wielder more power in his swing.
Footman’s maces originated as heavy wooden truncheons, about two and a half feet in length and covered with iron studs. As time went by, flanged heads similar to the horsemen’s mace were used instead. This mace is a two-handed weapon. There are two different types of footman’s maces: an emergency weapon made from materials at hand and thrown together by a blacksmith, and the maces made by professional weaponsmiths for troops. In order to reflect the difference between the two types, the homemade mace should be given a -1 penalty to attack and damage rolls. The hasty, emergency maces are usually a wooden handle with any sort of metal head attached.
The first horseman’s maces were a wooden handle, about 18 inches long, with a leather wrist strap at the bottom of the handle so the weapon would not be dropped, and a metal head. As time progressed, knights preferred to have maces made entirely of metal. The horseman’s mace became an important weapon to the knight. Knights usually keep a mace slung over a hook on the saddlebow. Not surprisingly, an alternate name for the horseman’s mace is the knight’s mace. This type of mace is a one-handed weapon.
Mace, Bladeback: This footman’s mace, sometimes called a great mace, has a short, thick, two-handed grip, and an over-sized, flanged, metal head. The head flanges are often ornately carved, and may even be sharpened or serrated. It is particularly popular among certain lizard-man tribes.
Machete: Farmers in tropical regions use this 3-foot-long flat blade to chop cane and clear undergrowth. Wielded like a sword, it can inflict serious damage. The price of a machete includes a canvas sheath.
Main-Gauche: The main-gauche (French for “left hand”) is a large dagger with a basket hilt. Since most swordsmen use their right hand to wield a sword, this dagger is meant for the left hand, wielded as a defensive weapon when a warrior is using the two-handed fighting technique. The main-gauche is also called a “left-hand dagger.”
The heavy basket of the main-gauche is the equivalent of an iron gauntlet for the purposes of hand-to-hand combat. Fighters proficient with main-gauche gain a +1 bonus to hit with Disarm and Parry maneuvers.
Mallet: Anyone who works on a farm knows that many problems can be dismissed by a large mallet swung liberally. Our mallets have oaken heads with flared striking surfaces reinforced with bands of steel. We offer a 20 pound mallet of solid oak, as well as a 30-pound sledge of oak core-filled with lead.
Mallet, Cording: Though axes may be best for felling trees, a cording mallet is best for splitting the wood thereafter. With a solid steel triangular head that weighs 20 lbs, the woodsman needs only to lift the corder high and let it drop onto the wood to be split. Lumberers say that a cording mallet can split twice the wood an axe can, merely because cording mallets never bind. The steel handle prevents breakage if the wood is missed.
Mancatcher: A mancatcher is a polearm with a special function: to capture an opponent without killing him. The weapon consists of a long pole with a set of spring-loaded, sharpened jaws at one end. The victim is caught between the jaws, which then snap shut. The target, regardless of armor and other defensive devices (magical or otherwise), is treated as AC 10, though appropriate Dexterity bonuses are allowed. If a hit is scored, the opponent is caught, losing shield and Dexterity bonuses. In addition, the victim can be pushed and pulled around at the whim of the mancatcher’s wielder.
While caught in the mancatcher, the victim suffers 1d2 hit points of damage per round. There is a 25% chance that the trapped character will fall to the ground. The victim may attempt to escape the grip of a mancatcher by making a successful bend bars/lift gates roll, but he suffers an extra 1d2 points of damage while breaking away.
Manriki-gusari: This simple length of chain with weights at each end can be whirled quickly, striking with hard blows from the weights. One end can be swung out to entangle an opponent, or the entire weapon can be thrown, entanghng and causing damage at the same time. The manriki-gusari is popular in areas where the lord has forbidden the use or wearing of other weapons, or when secrecy is required. It can easily be worn as a belt or hidden under a sash. It is often used by rogues because it has a great number of uses.
Maul: The Maul is a polearm with a heavy bludgeoning head at the end. It is therefore a bludgeoning weapon, and is popular among clerics and specific priests who aren’t allowed to use bladed weapons.
Meat Hook: The task of butchering is as distasteful as it is necessary. We offer tools to help speed the work, and minimize the pain for the animal. A meat hook is esentially a large iron hook with a ring for a handle, used for carrying and hanging slabs of meat.
Morningstar: The morning star was derived from the Swiss “morgenstern” (literally: “morning star”), and was used during the 16th and 17th centuries, especially in England. The weapon had the perverse nickname of “holy water sprinkler.” The morning star is a wooden shaft topped with a metal head made up of a spiked iron sheath. Morning stars have an overall length of about four feet. Some such weapons have a round, oval, or cylindrical shaped head studded with spikes. Extending from most morning star heads, regardless of design, is a long point for thrusting.
The weapon is designed to allow the wielder to inflict greater damage with his swing. The weighted, spiked head adds to this ability significantly. Long-handled morning stars are used by foot soldiers, while the short-handled versions are used by horsemen. It is a very popular weapon due to its effectiveness and its simplicity of production.
Nage Teppo: These small grenade-like weapons are described under Alchemical Items.
Nagimaki: This shortened version of the naginata is used primarily by horsemen. It consists of a 4 to 6 foot shaft capped by a curved, sword-like blade.
Naginata: This is a polearm, a 6’ to 8’ shaft with a curved, sword-like blade at the end. It’s the favored weapon of the female fighters of the orient, but they are not limited to it, nor is it limited to them. Naginatas are readily available in oriental ports, and such weapons are readily exported.
Needle: Although hardly an effective weapon, needles are occasionally carried by ninja for distraction or surprise. Like the fukimi-bari, they are carried in the mouth and fired by spitting or blowing (using the tongue as a blowpipe). Up to 20 needles can be carried in the mouth. The needles can be fired singly or all at once. When fired singly, a normal attack roll is made for each needle with a successful hit doing 1 hp damage. When fired in bursts, the die equal to the number of needles fired is rolled to determine the damage. Thus, if all 20 needles are fired at once, roll ld20 to determine the damage. Because needles are carried in the mouth, they cannot be poisoned (unless the character is willing to sacrifice herself to complete the mission). As with fukimi-bari, needles have a very poor range and are almost never effective against any type of armor. They suffer the same -6 attack roll penalty when firing at an armored target.
Nekode: This dual-purpose ninja tool is a pair of straps or gloves fitted with spikes in the palm. By hammering the spikes into cracks in a wall or cliff to give a better grip, the user of nekode receives a +10% bonus to his Climb Walls skill. Nekode can be used to claw an opponent for small amounts of damage. While wearing nekode, a character can still wield other weapons without penalty.
Net: The net is a tool that has been used as a weapon since the days when emerging civilizations held gladiatorial arena combat. This version of the net is an eight- to twelve-foot diameter circular net with weights around the edges and a trailing rope used to guide the net and pull it away. It is usually folded in such a way that it twirls open when thrown. It is tossed with one hand, with the attacker holding onto the guide rope with the other hand.
A successful hit with this weapon means that the victim is netted and must try to break free by making a Muscle check once per round until successful. The netted victim cannot make any sort of attack until the net has been shaken off. On the round after the victim is netted, the attacker has several options for his next action, including using another weapon to strike the entangled victim. The victim loses his Dexterity and shield bonuses to armor class until he is freed.
The attacker may improve his grip on the victim by looping the trailing rope around the netted character. This requires a normal attack roll for success, and the victim loses 4 points of effective Muscle (for determining success of freeing oneself from the net) per successful round of attack. If the victim’s effective Muscle is reduced to zero, he is hopelessly tangled and cannot escape unless helped by someone outside the net.
If a warrior throws a net and misses, it is open and unfolded. It may still be thrown, but it is no longer folded correctly and is consequently an unwieldy weapon. Attackers suffer a -3 penalty to hit when throwing an unfolded net. A properly folded net allows the attacker to perform Disarm, Parry, and Pin maneuvers. Such attacks are at a -3 to hit if the net is unfolded.
Nunchaku: The nunchaku consists of two lengths of hard wood connected by a short length of chain or rope. The weapon can be used to perform Called Shots, Disarm, Parry, and Strike/Thrust maneuvers. Nunchaku are readily available in oriental ports, and such weapons are exported; western collectors are quite enthusiastic about them, even if these collectors usually cannot use them.
Partisan: The partisan (alternatively spelled “partizan”) is a staff weapon consisting of a long, tapering, double-edged spear blade with two diagonally-set flukes at the base. The shaft is about eight feet long. The partisan’s flukes may be used to catch and break opponents’ weapons, as well as to inflict extra damage. Partisan heads are large enough to allow engraving and ornamentation.
Pick: The medieval military pick was a specialized weapon. It probably originated from the common mining tool. As armor grew heavier, the pick’s form and function were soon adapted to a specialized role. This role was to penetrate the heavier armor types, from chain mail up through full plate armor. The military pick was a modification of a weapon called the martel-de-fer, a type of war hammer that had a hammerhead balanced by a thick, curved piercing fluke or “crow’s beak.” The military pick generally consists of a heavy piercing fluke mounted on a haft. The weapon might have either one or two flukes, and the haft might be spiked.
The horseman’s pick is lighter (about 4 pounds) and has a shortened haft (about two feet), making it easier to wield from horseback. It is commonly used by knights and heavy mercenary horsemen, who face more heavily armored opponents.
The footman’s version of this weapon has a longer haft (up to 5 feet), enabling it to be wielded with two hands. The weapon weighs about six pounds and can be swung with great penetrating force.
Pick, Ice: This special type of metal awl is used to break holes in frozen lakes for ice fishing and to chip away ice chunks when building snow houses. (Note, however, that the snow blade, or iuak, is the primary tool for such a job.) Consisting of a bone or wood handle and a sharp metal point about six inches long, an ice pick also can be used as an impaling weapon.
Pick, Miner’s: A good pick can rescue otherwise unplantable land by breaking up hard ground and
splitting rocks too large to move. Our miner’s pick has a head of pure steel to pierce the ground well, and a duskwood handle that allows much power for prying
Pitchfork: Seafarers call it the “land trident,” and for good reason: a pitchfork is as mighty in battle as in planting and tilling.
Punch-cutter: This is a crude blade attached to open-finger leather gloves. The blade rests on top of the hand, protruding above the knuckles when the fist is closed. When the wearer throws a punch, the punch-cutter slices into his opponent.
Quarterstaff: The simplest and humblest of staff weapons, the quarterstaff is a length of wood ranging six to nine feet in length. High quality quarterstaves are made of stout oak and are shod with metal at both ends. The quarterstaff must be wielded with both hands.
Quarrel: All crossbows fire quarrels (also called bolts). Unlike arrows, quarrels typically have a metal shaft and rely on speed, rather than fletchings to maintain stability in flight. Quarrels come in three sizes: Hand (which have a length of approximately 5 inches), Light (which have a length of approximately 12 inches), and Heavy (which have a length of approximately 24 inches). A crossbow can only fire quarrels of the appropriate size — you cannot fire a hand bolt from a heavy crossbow, nor a heavy bolt from a light crossbow.
Specialized bows, such as the Repeating Crossbow and Double Crossbow, are typically built to use Light quarrels.
Rabbit Stick: A favorite weapon of horsemen, the rabbit stick can be used to dispatch small game and injure unmounted enemies. To make a rabbit stick, two flat strips of wood about three feet long and three inches wide are tied together at one end. Long notches are cut into the untied ends, then sharpened to fine points. Several holes are pierced in the center of the strips to reduce wind resistance. The user holds the rabbit stick by the tied ends, then smacks or slashes the notched ends at the target.
Ranseur: Also known as the rancoon and the rawcon, the ranseur resembles a partisan, except that the ranseur’s flukes are longer, resulting in a three-pronged head. The flukes are, however, shorter than the middle blade. Partisans are sturdier than ranseurs. The three prongs are large enough to puncture armor or trap a weapon and disarm the opponent.
Razor: A barber’s tool, the razor is not usually intended as a weapon for combat. However, since barbers often find their lives taking an odd turn, they may be required to defend themselves with this “tool of the trade.”
Reaver: An old Vaasan saying states that “A reaver is a scythe gone mad.” Indeed, those who have seen reaving laborers in the field might think so, for the whirling flash and scissoring scrape of the blades fills the air. In fact, reavers are simple, dual-bladed devices hinged at the tip. When swung, the blades extend until they strike an obstacle, whereby they fold and scissor together. Some say reavers halve their harvest time. Our reavers come with a leather strap for binding the blades when not in use.
A natural 20 on an attack roll with a reaver automatically severs an extremity on the target (roll hit location as per a Critical Hit). A natural 1 causes the wielder to inflict full damage on himself.
Riding Crop: Unpleasant though it may be, riding crops, also called quirts, are sometimes necessary to move a stubborn team or mount forward. A crop consists of a flexible pole of one to three feet in length, ending in a thick loop of hard leather. It usually includes a wrist strap to keep it from being dropped.
Ritiik: This 6-foot-long weapon consists of a wooden shaft with a point and a hook on the same end. Primarily used by primitive tribes of arctic and tundra regions for hunting bear and other large game, the ritiik is thrust, not thrown. When the point pierces the animal, the user jerks and twists the shaft to embed the hook.
Sai: This is a short, defensive weapon, consisting of a metal bar with a hilt, and oversized upward-curving quillions. When used by someone with proficiency in the weapon, sai confer a +1 to attack rolls bonus when using the Pin and Disarm maneuvers. Sai are readily available in oriental ports, and are exported.
The Sai is listed as having two types of damage: P (piercing) and B (bludgeoning). That’s not quite right; the normal sai is only a Bludgeoning-damage weapon. However, certain warriors prefer for it to be a sharp stabbing weapon, so the damage may be Piercing instead. A sai may only have one type of damage, not both.
Sang Kaw: This weapon comes in two forms. The basic form is a double-headed spear with a loop handle in the center. The weapon is used with one hand to parry and attack. Its other form is almost identical; a small buckler is fitted in the center with a dagger blade projecting from it. When the second form is used, the character is considered to be wielding a small shield for the purposes of AC.
Sap: Alternatively called a blackjack, the sap is a small leather bag filled with sand, lead shot, coins, or other weighted materials. It is used to quietly knock out a victim by administering a blow to the head or back of the neck. Thus, the sap has no effect on helmeted targets. If the sap strikes any other part of the body, the damage is halved and there is no other effect. Of the damage caused by the sap attack, 25% is actual physical damage, and the other 75% is temporary damage that wears off in 1d6 turns.
In order to effectively use the sap, the attacking character makes a Called Shot at -8 to hit. If a hit is scored, damage is determined normally. The attacker then has a 5% chance per hit point of damage to knock out the victim, up to a maximum of 40%. This maneuver works only against targets that are man-sized or smaller. When a sapping maneuver is performed on a sleeping or magically held victim, the maneuver automatically hits, but the chance of knockout increases to 10% per hit point of damage, to a maximum of 80%.
Scourge: The scourge is a short whip with several leather tails or thongs. Each thong has metal barbs, broken glass, or any other sharp fragments attached along its length. A similar device, the cat-o-nine-tails, is a nine-tailed whip with knots tied in each thong.
The scourge is not so much a weapon as it is a means of inflicting great pain. Still, it causes damage and can be used as a weapon. The scourge is truly a monument to man’s ability to cause suffering. When a scourge hits a victim, the thongs curl around the trunk and limbs, with the barbs digging into the flesh. The torturer then pulls the scourge away, ripping even more of the victim’s skin. In ancient Rome, certain soldiers were trained with the scourge to cause the maximum amount of pain without killing the victim. Roman citizens were exempt from scourging, while subject peoples were not.
Scythe: Like any normal scythe, this one consists of a long wooden handle topped with a curved blade, which is often used to cut hay. In this case, the blade can be locked into two positions: 1) perpendicular to the handle (as is common), and 2) extending straight out from the end, parallel to the handle. Changing the blade’s position requires a full round. In position one, the scythe can be swung effectively by a character on horseback, provided the rider can guide the mount without reins. In position two, the blade can be set to receive a charge. The scythe is a two-handed weapon.
Shakujo Yari: This is a spear concealed with a sheath to look like a staff. It can be used as a bo when the sheath is in place.
Shovel: A farmer’s main weapons in battling the land, shovels come in as many varieties as do swords. All shovels (or at least those that can double as weapons) have hardwood handles, solid steel spades, and smith-sharpened, fire-hardened tips. Shovels, with their ready availability and decent reach, make great mob weapons.
Shuriken: Shuriken, often called throwing stars, are small thrown weapons. They do as much damage as a thrown dagger, and are considerably more concealable. Ornamental shuriken can often be worn as jewelry and not recognized as weapons, and a pocketful of shuriken weigh no more than many other single weapons.
Spike shuriken look like large hair pins, tapering to a sharp point. Large star shuriken are larger. They may also be gripped in the fist, with one sharpened point projecting between the fingers, and used as a punching weapon. Small star shuriken have three or more razor-edged points, ensuring that at least one point will strike the opponent (if a successful attack roll is made).
Siangham: This weapon hardly appears useful at all. It looks like a metal-shafted arrow with a small wooden handle replacing the feathers. It is normally used in pairs, one for each hand. The siangkam can be used to jab, thrust, slash, and parry. It cannot be thrown effectively, even though it has the appearance of an arrow.
Sickle: The sickle is a farming implement consisting of a crescent-shaped blade mounted on a short handle. It is used in combat primarily by peasants or adventurers who have no weapon and are forced to make do with whatever they can find. Most farms have sickles, which are used for cutting weeds, grass, and grains. Druids favor the sickle due to its strong association with agriculture. Golden sickles are used to harvest mistletoe as components for druid spells. As a weapon, the sickle is as effective as a dagger, but is slower overall.
Sling: Slings have existed since the beginning of recorded history. The basic sling consists of a leather or fabric strap with a pouch for holding the missile. The weapon is held by both ends of the strap and twirled around the wielder’s head. When top speed is attained, the missile is launched by releasing one of the strap’s ends.
The sling is a cheap weapon and is easy to make. Thus, it is common among peasants, especially since it makes a good hunting weapon. The sling’s missile is either a smooth, rounded stone or a ball of lead. While stones are easier to find (most shallow streams have an abundance of smooth stones), the lead bullet causes more damage and flies farther than the stone. A sling’s projectile is capable of producing severe bruising or even broken bones against a man or his mount. Against armor, however, the sling loses most of its effectiveness.
Sling, Staff: Also called the fustibalus, the staff-sling consists of a wooden rod, three to four feet in length, with a sling attached to one end. The rod is used to increase the range that a heavy object can be thrown by enabling the slinger to twirl the sling harder. It is not meant to increase the distance of the average sling bullet. In fact, it has poorer range for stones or bullets.
An optional form of ammunition is the stinkpot, a clay vessel filled with burning sulfur or quicklime. This is considered a grenade-like weapon . For range, the stinkpot has a short range of 20 feet, medium range of 40 feet, and long range of 60 feet. When the stinkpot breaks, everyone in a 20-foot diameter circle who does not leave the area within one round must save vs. poison or be unable to attack or move at greater than half their movement rate. Those who save successfully attack at a -2 penalty due to nausea and watering eyes. The effects last as long as the subject remains in the area and for 1d4 rounds thereafter. The stink cloud lasts for 1d3+1 rounds, then dissipates. Optionally, stinkpots in underground settings may give off clouds that last 1d6+1 rounds due to lack of open air.
Due to the trajectory that a staff-sling gives a missile, it cannot fire at short-range targets. It has less range than a sling and is a slower weapon, but the staff-sling can hurl a heavier object.
Sling, Stick: This weapon is made from a flexible tree branch, about two feet long and no more than an inch in diameter. A notch is cut a few inches from the far end of the stick. The user places a disk-shaped piece of flint, 2-3 inches in diameter, in the notch. Whipping the stick flings the disk at a remarkable speed
Sling, String: The end of a vine or thin strip of leather, about 2-3 feet long, is pressed into a grooved stone sphere. The user gently rotates the vine or strip over his head, than snaps it with a flick of the wrist, firing the sphere at the intended target.
Snuffing Bell: A common sight across Toril, snuffing bells are large enough to douse even the largest altar candles. The tip also holds an oiled wick for lighting candles, and the small blade positioned between the wick and bell arms even the youngest acolyte to defend the faith.
Sode Garami: This highly specialized weapon is used to catch and entangle an opponent without causing great harm. It is normally made as a pole and crossbar set with a large number of spikes and hooks. On a successful hit, it hooks and catches the clothing of the opponent, who is allowed a saving throw vs. paralyzation to escape. If the saving throw is unsuccessful, the character is entangled. When used specifically to catch an opponent, the sode garami does no damage. However, forceful blows can also be struck with the weapon, resulting in the same effect and the damage listed. This weapon is often carried by palace guards or city constables.
Spear, Long: A long spear is like a normal spear, except that its shaft ranges 12 to 13 feet in length and cannot be thrown.
Because of its exceptional length, a character armed with a longspear always gets a first attack against a charging opponent. If he hits the charging opponent he deals double damage and the opponent’s movement is stopped at spear’s length — well outside the reach of any weapon other than another polearm. On following rounds, the attacker cannot close until either: he wins the initiative; the spearman wins initiative but misses; or the attacker lops the head off the spear with an attack vs. AC 18 dealing 4 or more points of slashing damage. Once the opponent succeeds in closing, the spear becomes useless.
Spear: One of man’s earliest weapons, dating back to the most primitive of times, the first spears were simply wooden poles or sticks sharpened at one end. When fire was discovered and mastered, spear points were hardened by charring. As man became more adept at using tools, spears were either fitted with a stone head or the point was reinforced with splints of stone or bone. When man mastered metals, spear heads were made from iron and steel. Having reached this end, weaponers began experimenting with different types of spear heads, thus leading to the development of certain polearm types such as the ranseur.
Spear shafts are usually made from yew or ash, since these woods are both flexible and strong. The shafts range five to eleven feet in length. In melee, spears may be used either one or two handed, with more damage inflicted if used in the latter mode. Spears 10 feet or longer cannot be wielded with one hand.
Though spears are normally used for thrusting, they can also be thrown. Special devices exist for hurling spears. These devices are variously shaped pieces of wood, horn, or bone with hooks, hollows, or grooves meant to house the spear butt. When using one of these throwers, the spear’s throwing range is doubled. The cost of a spear thrower is 1 gold piece. The thrower weighs two pounds.
A character wielding a spear gains an attack bonus for high Aim and a damage bonus for high Muscle.
Spetum: Spetums are similar to ranseurs, except that the side blades sometimes angle backward, increasing the damage when the blade is pulled out of a wound. When the weapon is pulled out of a victim, he suffers an additional 1d2 hit points of damage due to the side blades. The spetum’s shaft is eight feet long.
Staff, Hornhead: A variation on the quarterstaff, the hornhead staff is typically half-again as tall as the wielder, and has numerous barblike protrusions. Older or more primative versions of this weapon have animal horns lashed to them in random places along the shaft. More developed variants may have metal spikes, or even pole-arm-like blades attached at numerous points. Unlike a pole-arm, the hornhead is wielded as a staff, with either end and any point along its length being used for striking. Because of the awkward and unpredictable placement of the blades, a wielder suffers a -1 penalty on all attack rolls with a hornhead staff.
Stiletto: Also known as a stylet, the stiletto is a short dagger with a strong, triangular or square-sectioned blade that tapers to a sharp point at the tip. The stiletto is designed for thrusting, in particular to pierce armor such as leather or mail. Therefore, the stiletto gives the wielder a +2 bonus to attacks against plate mail, ring mail, chain mail, and all forms of leather armor. Most stilettos are made completely of steel.
Most cities, except those involved in a war, prohibit the carrying of a stiletto since it is an easily concealed weapon. Stilettos are narrow enough to be concealed in sword canes or even in the handle of a large sword, such as the long, bastard, or two-handed swords.
Sword Stick: This is simply a long, slender, rapier-like blade concealed within what appears to be a simple walking stick or cane. The long and thin blade requires a weapon proficiency slot to be used most effectively. Swashbucklers are particularly fond of this weapon. Damage done by the blade is as per a short sword. It takes one round to draw the blade from the sword stick and ready it for use. The main use of the weapon, obviously, is the possibility of smuggling it into places where weapons are not permitted.
Sword, Bastard: Also known as the hand-and-a-half sword, the bastard sword derives its name from the fact that it is halfway between the two-handed sword and the long sword. The bastard sword has a double-edged blade and a long grip, which can accommodate both hands if preferred. The overall length of the bastard sword ranges between four feet and four feet ten inches. Some bastard swords are equipped with knuckle guards, and others have asymmetrical pommels shaped like animal or bird heads.
Sword, Bokken: This is a wooden copy of the katana, designed to simulate that sword’s weight and other characteristics. It is used to practice swordsmanship since it does not cause cutting injuries. Wielded aggressively, however, it can cause injury from the force of the blow. The bokken shares a weapon proficiency with the katana.
Sword, Broad: The broad sword is a heavy military sword with a double-edged blade. Overall sword length is about three and one-half feet, and the sword is designed mostly for cutting. Most broad swords have a basket hilt or a shell guard. A favored cavalry weapon, the broad sword is known in different cultures by different names, usually dependant on the hilt configuration. The basket hilt broad swords offer a +1 bonus to Parry maneuvers. In addition, punching attacks done with the basket hilt are treated like a metal gauntlet.
Sword, Claymore: The claymore is a large, cross-hilted sword consisting of a straight, broad, double-edged blade and long quillons angling toward the blade. The grip is leather-covered and topped with a wheel-shaped pommel. The sword is slightly shorter than the two-handed sword. Claymores are treated as bastard swords in terms of damage, weight, and weapon speed. Claymores are greatswords of Scottish origin, used by Highlanders and Scottish mercenaries in Ireland. The sword was popular from the end of the 15th century to the early 17th century. The term claymore is from the Gaelic claidheamohmor, meaning great sword.
Sword, Cutlass: The cutlass is a sword with a single-edged, curved, broad blade attached to a basket hilt. The blade is short and heavy. The sword is favored among pirate crews and is easily found in port communities, but is rare inland. Cutlass users enjoy the same advantages in Parrying as broad sword users.
Sword, Drusus: The Drusus is a Gladius (short sword) of Exceptional quality. It looks just like an ordinary gladius; only by testing the sharpness of the blade can someone tell the difference. The Drusus has been forged so that the metal is better-tempered and holds an edge better, and then sharpened until it has a razor-like edge. Because of this, it does slightly more damage and confers a +1 bonus to attack rolls.
The Drusus also has a disadvantage. In order to keep its keen edge, it must be regularly sharpened with a lot more attention and time than an ordinary weapon requires. After any day in which the Drusus has been fought with, someone with the Blacksmithing, Armorer, Weapon Sharpening, or Weaponsmithing non-weapon proficiency, must sharpen the blade for half an hour, or, on the next day, it will act as an ordinary short sword. Exposure to high heat (a smith’s forge, dragon’s breath, lava, etc.) will ruin the temper on a Drusus, turning it into an ordinary short sword and forever destroying its bonus on attack and damage rolls.
The Drusus uses the same weapon proficiency as the short sword. If a character can use a short sword, he can use a Drusus with equal proficiency. Weapon specialization with one does transfer to the other. In cultures where there are gladiators, any weaponsmith with a weaponsmithing score of 14 or better can make a Drusus for the cost shown. These weapons are seldom exported, as local demand is high for the few made.
Sword, Falchion: The falchion is a sword with a single-edged, heavy blade. The blade’s back is usually straight, while the edge has a curve. The blade also broadens close to the tip, which gives the blade a cleaver-like appearance and increases the damage inflicted. The sword is heavy, which also contributes to a fearsome cutting blow.
Sword, Finhead: This one-handed, double-edged sword has a blade that widens slightly over its length, then flairs outwards at the point, giving it a broad, spade-like head.
Though used mainly for hacking, the widened tip allows for thrusts that leave broad, shallow wounds, allowing the wielder to weaken his opponent by blood-loss without damaging major organs. The blade’s tip may also be equipped with harpoon-like barbs for capturing and controlling an opponent. These features make the finhead sword popular with wizards and alchemists hoping to capture monsters and harvest them for parts.
Sword, Great Scimitar: This weapon has a huge, curved blade. It is most commonly wielded by the local ruler’s executioner, which is why it is also dubbed the “headsman’s sword.” Deadly but cumbersome, a headsman’s sword is the best weapon to use against an opponent who is going nowhere.
Sword, Katana: The katana is the samurai’s sword. It’s a medium-length, slightly curved blade with no quillions (only a small, circular guard) and a hilt suitable for one-handed and two-handed use. The blade is sharpened only along one edge and at the tip, but it is sharpened to a razor’s edge. It is forged with a special technique known only in the east, where layers of steel and iron are sandwiched, heated, folded, stretched, re-folded, stretched, re-folded, on and on until the blade consists of microscopically thin layers of alternating metals, providing strength, resilience, and the ability to hold a remarkable edge. This is why the katana has the excellent speed and damage listed for the weapon.
Sword, Khopesh: This Egyptian weapon has approximately six inches of handle and quillons. The blade extends straight out about eighteen inches from the handle, then curves into a slight sickle shape for another two feet. In effect, this only adds another eighteen inches to the overall length. The entire sword is usually made of bronze or iron.
Sword, Long: These swords are usually referred to as doubled-edged swords, war swords, or military swords. In many cases, the long sword has a single-edged blade. There is no single version of the long sword; the design and length vary from culture to culture, and may vary within the same culture depending on the era. Among the most common characteristics of all long swords is their length, which ranges from 35 inches to 47 inches. In the latter case, the blade is known to take up 40 inches of the total length.
Most long swords have a double-edged blade and a sharp point at the tip. Despite the tip, the long sword is designed for slashing, not thrusting. Often, long swords have two grooves that run the length of the blade, one on each surface. These grooves are called fullers, and are meant to make the sword lighter and more flexible. If a sword did not have some elasticity, it would shatter when it hit a target.
The handles of all long swords fit only one human-sized hand. Most long swords have a small, oval, metal plate between the blade’s base and the grip. This oval protects the grip from getting damaged against the metal in the mouth of the sheath. It also offers some modest protection to the hand. A second piece of metal, either oval or round, is fitted onto the pommel.
Sword, Ninja-to: This is the ninja’s standard sword. It is approximately the length of a short sword, making it easy to conceal on the body. The blade of the ninja-to is strait and of lower quality than other swords. However, in keeping with the ninja’s methods, the sword and scabbard have multiple uses, which vary from ninja to ninja. Some of these uses include secret compartments in the hilt of the sword or tip of the scabbard for carrying powders, poisons, or daggers.
The scabbard is normally longer then the sword and open at both ends, allowing it to serve as a blowgun or breathing tube. The stiff, strong scabbard can also be used as a hanbo or as the rung of a ladder.
Sword, Parang: The parang is both a tool and a weapon—a heavy-bladed machete capable of delivering chopping blows of great force. It is commonly found in the hands of primitive tribesmen, who use it for everything and are seldom found without it.
Sword, Rapier: The rapier is a light weapon with a straight, double-edged, pointed blade. It is designed to be a light, thrusting sword. The term rapier is often used to describe a civilian weapon, as opposed to the heavier and deadlier swords of soldiers and mercenaries. Rapiers are fashionable among nobles and gentlemen.
As a new art of fighting evolved with emphasis on thrusting with the blade as opposed to slashing, a new weapon was required. This art is known as fencing, and it requires a rapier. As the sport grew in popularity, the rapier was required to be narrower and lighter. It became not a slashing weapon at all, but a weapon purely for thrusting. The early rapier handles have straight quillons (cross guards), side guards, and knuckle bows. The later versions have shell guards, similar to the basket hilts of the broad sword and cutlass. As a result, the rapier wielder enjoys the same Parry and punching bonuses outlined earlier.
Sword, Sabre/Scimitar: Alternatively spelled saber, this sword is a long, curved, single-edged blade intended mostly for horsemen. It is a popular weapon for light cavalry. The sabre’s hilt grants the user the Parry and punching bonuses of the broadsword.
The sabre was initially developed in Central Asia, used by tribes that wandered the steppes. By the 9th century, the Slavs, who battled the Asians, had adopted the weapon. The term sabre is Slavic-Hungarian. Sabres were used extensively in central and eastern Europe and by the Turks.
The Persian style of the sabre was discovered by Napoleon’s troops. This version was known as the shamshir, which is commonly called the scimitar. This blade has a greater curve to it and is tapered to an elongated, sharp point.
Sword, Short: The short sword is the first type of sword to come into existence. In the simplest of terms, a short sword can be considered a dagger with a blade so long that it can no longer be called a dagger. The term short sword does not exist in sword classifications. However, it has come to be used to describe a double-edged blade about two feet in length. The sword tip is usually pointed, ideal for thrusting. Short swords are fitted with a handle that can accommodate only one hand.
The short sword is a descendant of the Roman gladius. In essence, it is a gladius made by improved metalworking techniques. The Germans developed the baselard short sword, common in the 16th century, while the Italians had the cinquedea, a short sword with a blade that was broader at the base. Both versions of short sword were popular with civilians, not professional soldiers or knights.
Sword, Tetsu-to: This odd weapon is basically an iron bar shaped in the fashion of a two-handed Oriental sword. It is a heavy weapon used for strength training, not combat, and is very slow to use. It suffers a -3 attack-roll penalty because of its awkwardness. However, when the tetsu-to does hit in combat, it does a lot of damage.
Sword, Two-handed: The two-handed sword is a derivative of the long sword. Weaponsmiths have always looked for ways to improve existing weapons. In an effort to improve the long sword, the blade was lengthened (having a longer reach than one’s enemy is always preferable). Eventually, the handle had to be extended and two hands became necessary in order to properly swing the sword. The primary function of two-handed swords is cleaving mounted knights and breaking up pike formations.
The blade on the two-handed sword is a long, double-edged blade. The blade point may be sharp or rounded. The hilt has straight or slightly curved quillons. The pommel may be faceted, triangular, or pear shaped, though whatever the shape, it tends to get larger toward the top, as a counterbalancing measure. As its name implies, this sword is a two-handed weapon and cannot be used in one hand, even if the wielder has high Muscle. The weapon and its hilt are balanced for two-handed use. An average two-handed sword measures five to six feet in length. It is a favored weapon among foot soldiers.
Sword, Wakizashi: The wakizashi is the short-sword companion of the katana. Its blade is forged the same way, and the weapon looks like a shorter version of the katana. It is often part of a matched set with the katana, and is of almost equal importance as the katana to the samurai. Only samurai can wear both katana and wakizashi.
Tetsubo: The tetsubo is a long walking-staff, its upper end shod with studded iron strips.
Tetsubos can be had in oriental markets, but none are exported because it is a relatively simple weapon to make.
Three-Section Staff: This weapon is another derivative of the agricultural flail. It is made of three 2-3 foot sections of hard wood connected by short stretches of chain. It can be used to strike an opponent, block an attack, or catch and break a weapon.
Tonfa: This is a hardwood rod with a small handle sticking out off-center from the side. The entire length is about 2-3 feet. It was originally the handle of a millstone. With this weapon, a trained fighter can block, catch weapons, break weapons, and attack effectively. The tonfa is often used in areas where normal weapons are outlawed.
Trident: A trident is a long pole measuring four to eight feet with a metal, triple-bladed fork on one end. It is not used as a weapon by professional armies, but has seen some limited use from peasant guerrillas. The trident is normally a tool used for fishing, with some limited uses as an agricultural or hunting tool. It is a two-handed weapon.
Voulge: Also called the vouge and the Lochaber axe, this weapon is a large, long blade, narrowing to a spike at the top, with a hook-shaped fluke at the blade’s rear. The staff is eight feet long. Though it is a simple weapon to make, this advantage is offset by the fact that it is one of the slowest polearms available.
War Fan: This iron fan‘s main use is defensive, counting as a small shield. However, it can also be used to strike blows. It is normally considered a fallback weapon.
Weeding Claw/Rake: This small metal claw should not be passed over as a useless item. Held in
hand, this claw easily removes weeds, without filling one’s nails with dirt. The weeding claw can also be mounted on the end of a pole (typically 4 to 6 feet) and be used as a rake.
Whip: The whip or bull whip is a long, heavy, plaited lash usually made of leather or rawhide (untanned hide). The braided leather is thicker toward the handle, narrowing to a slender cord at the end. Some handles are wooden rods attached to the lash, while others are part of the same piece of rawhide. The whip’s length varies from 15 to 25 feet. A whip is carried coiled and attached to the user’s belt. Common uses for the whip include leading herd animals and as a tool for punishment.
If a character wishes to knock a weapon out of an opponent’s hand, this may be attempted with a whip using a Called Shot with intent to disarm. The attacker gets a -4 penalty on his attack roll. A character proficient with the whip can entangle an opponent’s limbs or weapon. Before rolling the attack die, the user declares whether or not he intends to entangle. If a hit is scored, some sort of entanglement occurs. If wielded by a non-proficient user, the chance to entangle is only 5%. If wielded by someone proficient, there is a 5% chance per level that entanglement occurs (to a maximum of 95%). Percentile dice are rolled to determine the exact effect. The entanglement chances are 50% (01-50 on 1d100) for one limb, 10% (51-60) for two limbs, 20% (61-80) for the weapon arm and the weapon, and 20% (81-00) for the head.
Yoroi-toshi: This weapon is shaped like a dagger-sized wakizashi but is designed a bit differently. Its tip, rather than blade, is reinforced and sharpened. This makes the weapon good for piercing armor, and the yoroi-toshi gets a +2 bonus when striking against metal armor.