Medieval Weapons Prices and Rules


This stuff was heavily influenced by the work of David Kuijt who did a lot of work on oriental weapons for my Sengoku game.

WHY MAKE CHANGES?

The changes to the weapons list involve primarily three things - damage, OCV bonuses and STR mins. The first has only been changed where weapons have damage which is clearly out of line. OCV mod.s have been altered to reflect the fact that some weapons have significantly different handling characteristics than others. As it stood so many weapons had the +1 OCV bonus that there was little to differentiate them. Finally STR mins were changed for a number of reasons. First, STR mins were too high for many weapons, requiring people of ordinary strength to take penalties for using many common weapons. Secondly, factors other than damage were taken into account when figuring STR min under the old list. This meant that a finely balanced knife which could be thrown, required more STR to use than a similar knife that was not. Finally, the costs (and therefore STR mins) of some weapons have changed somewhat due to the altered cost of HA, as noted in the house rules section. The mechanisms for these changes are detailed below.

 

MAJOR FUNCTIONAL CHANGES

1) ALL the OCV mods have been re-examined. In the finished list below, the only weapons that are given a +1 OCV are those that are abnormally fast (much faster than other weapons, usually doing correspondingly LESS damage) or abnormally hard to block and dodge (like the flail or morningstar). Note that this OCV bonus REPLACES the "ignores shield DCV" advantage in the HSR. A chain weapon might be harder to block - but a kite shield still gives you better protection than nothing. The only weapons that are given a -1 OCV are ones that are unusually unwieldy (Pike, for example).

2) Every weapon with a +1 Stun Mod has been re-examined. In some cases they may be unchanged; in some they may be 0 Stun Mod, and in others they may be still +1 Stun Mod but -1 DC

 

NEW COMBAT RULES

1) Some few weapons are listed as "Dangerous to the user" (mostly chain weapons). Anyone fighting with such a weapon who rolls a natural 3 in combat will hit themselves, doing normal damage. Anyone without a WF in this weapon who fights with it will hit themselves as above on a 3, 4, 5, or 6.

2) In situations where a fighter has time to prepare himself (such as setting a (long) spear against a charge, entering a one-on-one duel, defending a portal and so on, they can act out of DEX order and go before an opponent with a shorter weapon.

Note that this also applies to readied missile weapons - you can't "run down" that crossbowman menacing you if he knows what you are up to and has an action ready.

Once melee is joined, weapon length is less important and is ignored - unless combat become *really* close (the opponents clinch, fight under a table, etc) in which case the user of the shorter weapon gets to act out of DEX order and act first.

This rule is intended to give a "real" feel without too much fuss, and should be applied to relatively simple duels and small engagements (2 vs 1, 1 vs 1). A weapon user may attempt to alter his strike priority by changing weapons or using an unarmed strike or throw.

3) The way STR Min works is changed: the STR Min listed is the STR Min at which you do FULL DAMAGE. For every full 5 pts STR over the STR Min, the character gets +1 DC. For every 5 pts of STR (or part thereof) _under_ the STR Min, the character loses 1 DC (-1 DC). And it is not possible to use a weapon at all if your STR is more than 10 pts under the listed STR Min. Use of weapons that require greater than the characters STR is very tiring: the character must pay 2 END per point of STR lacking.

STR MINS: STR Min is calculated using Active Pts/2. OCV Mods, whether positive or negative, do NOT figure in. Stretching DOES figure in. HAs are calculated at 5 pts active each, not 3, to make calculation standard at 5 pts per Damage Class. Finally, Two-handed melee weapons get an automatic -5 STR Min; 1.5H weapons have two STR Mins listed (one for one-handed fighting, the other for two-handed). The STR Min for a normal weapon used two-handed is -3 STR Min. Weapons that are +1 Stun or AP use their active points for calculating STR Min; ones that are -1 Stun have their STR Min calculated as if they were -1 DC from their listed damage.


Below is a list of hand to hand weapons. If you want missile weapons, go here. In most cases, the cost and weight is necessarily approximate (though prices are based in some cases, on 16th century Italian records from those ever helpful Sforzas) and both include the necessary carrying gear, such as scabbards. As for the other equipment lists, all costs are given in "generic" silver pieces and will be modified in different areas, by the actual currency in use. You should see the currency pages of the different kingdoms to calculate actual prices in those areas. The unnecesary profusion of polearms was driven by the requests of players who have been irrevocably corrupted by exposure to a Certain Roleplaying System (TM). Given that countless experts have wasted reams of ink over the topic, if you disagree with my interpretation of the weapons as listed (for example - was a morningstar really a spiked ball and chain arrangement, or a heavy spiked club like a Godentag) - my answer is: probably both. Go away. That said, here's the list.

Hand to Hand Weapons

Item

Cost

OCV Mod

Damage

STUN x

STR Min

Weight (Kg)

Notes

Axe : Battle

60 sp

1.5d6K AP

15/12

4.0

1.5H

Axe : Battle

50 sp

1+1d6K AP

12

3.5

Axe : Hand

35 sp

-2 Rng

1d6 AP

10

3.0

can throw

Axe : Throwing

40 sp

-1 Rng

1/2d6K AP

7

2.0

can throw

Axe : Two handed

100 sp

2d6K AP

12

5.0

2H

Bardiche

79 sp

2d6K

10

4.0

2H

Bec de corbin

55 sp

1.5d6K AP

10

5.0

2H

Billguisarme

75 sp

2d6K

12

4.0

2H, +1"range

Club : great

15 sp

6d6N

10

5.0

2H

Club : small

3 sp

4d6N

10

3.0

Club : war

8 sp

5d6N

12/7

4.0

1.5H

Dagger : fighting

25 sp

1d6K

7

0.4

Dagger : misericorde

50 sp

1/2d6K AP

7

0.3

Dagger : throwing

30 sp

+1

1/2d6K

5

0.3

Flail

125 sp

+1

1.5d6K

+1

18/12

3.0

1.5H, Dangerous

Flail : 2handed

150 sp

+1

2d6K

+1

17

4.0

2H, Dangerous, +1"range

Glaive

88 sp

2d6K

12

4.0

2H, +1"range

Halberd

110 sp

2d6K AP

12

5.0

2H, +1" range

Hammer : battle

80 sp

1d6+1K

+1

15

3.0

Hammer : lucerne

90 sp

-1

1.5d6K

+1

13

5.0

2H, +1" range

Hammer : throwing

90 sp

1d6K

+1

11

2.0

Lance

50 sp

1.5d6K

13

5.0

+1"range

Mace : Great

90 sp

2d6K

10

5.0

2H

Mace : Footman's

60 sp

1d6+1K

10

3.0

Mace : Horseman's

45 sp

1d6

7

2.0

Mancatcher

110 sp

-1

1pt HKA

7

4.0

+1"range, +2 to grab, disarm etc.

Morningstar

60 sp

+1

1.5d6K

12

3.0

Dangerous

Pick

65 sp

1d6K AP

11

4.0

Pike

50 sp

-1

1.5d6K

12

5.0

2H, +2" range

Spear

30 sp

1.5d6K

11/7

3.0

1.5H, can be thrown

Spetum

45 sp

-1

1.5d6

10

4.0

2H, +1" range, +2 OCV to block

Staff

2 sp

+1

4d6N

5

2.0

2H, +1" range

Sword : bastard

250 sp

1.5d6K

12/7

3.0

1.5H

Sword :broad

150 sp

1+1d6K

11

2.5

Sword :long

200 sp

1+1d6K

11

2.0

Sword :scimitar

175 sp

+1

1d6K

7

1.5

Sword :short

85 sp

1d6K

7

1.0

Sword :two handed

250 sp

2d6K

12

3.5

2H, +1" range

Trident

65 sp

1+1d6K

13/8

3.0

1.5H, +1"range

Voulge

45 sp

-1

2d6K

15

4.0

2H, +1" range

Note that all polearms (including the spear) can be used to deliver a blow with the butt for 4d6 normal damage. However they do so at -1 OCV, since they are not balanced primarily for this use.

 

Description of weapons

Axe : Battle

Heavy axes such as those favoured by knights from the 11th to 13th century or the weapons wielded by Dwarves in legends. Need not have a long haft.

Axe : hand

Heavy one handed axes, such as the later era knightly axe, or the Francisca favoured by the Frankish invaders of the Roman empire

Axe : throwing

A lighter axe, similar to a hatchet, usable as a light one handed weapon, but primarily for throwing.

Axe : two handed

Large, long handled axe such as the Danish axe.

Bardiche

Large 2-handed axe with a very broad blade

Bec de corbin

A polearm with a heavy, spiked or sometimes pick-like head

Bill-guisarme

A polearm with a long blade backed by a spike or hook. Similar to a Billhook

Club : great

Covers all heavy two-handed club often bound in metal, sometimes with a heavy head, like a maul.

Club : small

Light wooden clubs about the size of a baseball bat

Club : war

Larger clubs, or those with heavy heads or metal reinforcing

Dagger : fighting

Heavy daggers such as the Bowie knife, or the broad-bladed Cinquada

Dagger : misericorde

Narrow bladed weapons such as the English Ballock Dagger, designed to slip through gaps in armour or between ribs.

Dagger : throwing

Lighter daggers balanced for throwing.

Flail : 1-handed

This covers an assortment of weapons with a weighted arm attacked to a handle by a short chain or leather strip.

Flail : 2-handed

Heavy head attached to a long handle by a chain or leather strip. Derived from the peasant tool, but military versions often substituted a wickedly spiked head.

Glaive

Polearm with a long heavy blade coming to a point on top, backed by a spike. There are a hundred different variants of this weapon.

Halberd

Polearm with a heavy axe-like blade normally backed by a hammer head or smaller blade, and often incorporating a larger thrusting spike on top.

Hammer : battle

Basically a light sledgehammer, sometimes backed by a small spike.

Hammer : lucerne

A polearm with a heavy head - normally decorated by small spikes, and sometimes also incorporating a larger thrusting spike on top.

Hammer : throwing

A smaller version of the sledge hammer.

Lance

The horseman's spear.

Mace : Great

Any of the many weapons with a longish handle and a heavy (normally spiked) head.

Mace : Footman's

A medium weight mace - normally a bit unwieldy in one hand

Mace : Horseman's

All the lighter one-handed maces - not just those actually used by horsemen.

Mancatcher

A variety of polearm with barbed hooks or double fish-hook-like arms which spring open and thereafter tightly hold a limb. Designed for catching troublesome warriors.

Morningstar

Either a spiked metal ball (or balls) on chains, or a heavy club decorated with nasty spikes.

Pick

A short handled weapon with a sharp beaklike head - sort of like a pointed hammer. Designed to punch holes in armour. Often backed with a hammer head.

Pike

A very long spear - a bit unwieldy for normal combat but designed to be used en masse to present a wall of points

Spear

The typical footman's spear - anywhere from 2 to 3 metres long.

Spetum

A spear in which the main blade is supplemented by two smaller ones jutting out at about 60 degrees from the main one.

Staff

A simple wooden staff - from 1.5 to 2.5 metres long - often given metal caps at either end.

Sword : bastard

Swords with a longer blade and a handle big enough for one or two hands. Examples are the Japanese katana or the knightly swords popular in central europe after about 1400.

Sword : broad

All the many heavy swords designed primarily for slashing (the Scottish claymore, the Indian tulwar, cutlasses etc)

Sword : long

Swords designed for both slashing and thrusting - the traditional knight's blade.

Sword : scimitar

Light slashing swords such as the scimitar or saber. Favoured weapons of horsemen

Sword : short

Short stabbing swords. The Roman gladius or Spanish Spatha, for example

Sword : two handed

Really big swords such as the flamberge.

Trident

A three pronged spear, basically. The traditional weapon of Poseidon or the retarius in Roman gladiatorial combat.

Voulge

A polearm with a heavy slashing blade.