Weapons and Harness

Blades, Chop Size Class  Wt. Cost
Axe Frankish (H) 3 Med 3 £0. 1s. 0d.
Woodsman’s (H) 3 Med 3 £0. 0s. 8d.
Battle – (H, 2) 4 M-Hvy 4 £0. 2s. 0d.
Battle, dbl-bit (H, 2) 4 Hvy 4.5 £0. 3s.
Broad – (H, 2) 4 Hvy 6 £0.2s. 6d.
Bearded – (H) 3 M-Hvy 4 £0. 2s. 3d.
Butcher Knife/Cleaver (H) 2 M-Lt 1.25 £0. 1s. 4d. 1hp.
Hatchet (H) 1 M-Lt 1.25 £0. 0s. 6d.
Mattock (2) ** 3 M-Hvy 5 £0. 0s. 8d. 1fg.
Sickle ** 2 Med 2 £0. 0s. 2d.
Sword Braquemart 3 M-Hvy 2.5 £0. 1s. 3d. 1hp.
Falchion 3 Hvy 3.5 £0. 2s. 6d.
Blades, Combination Size Class  Wt. Cost
Sword Common 3 Med 2 £0. 2s. 2d.
Bastard – (E) 4 M-Hvy 3.5 £0. 3s. 6d.
Great – (2) 6 Mass 8 £0. 8s. 7d.
Cutlass 3 Med 2 £0. 2s. 2d.


Blades, Cut/Slash Size Class  Wt. Cost
Backsword 3 M-Lt 1.75 £0. 1s. 10d.
By-knife (H) 1 Lt 0.25 £0. 0s. 3d.
Carving/Dressing (H) 1 M-Lt 1 £0. 1s. 0d.
Knife, common/Dirk (H) 1 M-Lt 1.5 £0. 0s. 4d.
Saber 3 Med 2.5 £0. 2s. 2d.
Side Sword/Cut & Thrust 3 M-Lt 2.5 £0. 2s. 2d.
Blades, Thrust/Pierce Size Class  Wt. Cost
Dagger/Poignard/Bodkin(H) 1 M-Lt 1 £0. 0s. 10d.
Pricker (H) 0 Lt 0.25 £0. 0s. 2d.
Sword Epée/Foil 3 Lt 0.75 £0. 0s. 9d.
Rapier 4 Lt 2.25 £0. 2s. 0d.
Short- (Gladius) 2 M-Lt 1.5 £0. 1s. 6d.
Small- 2 M-Lt 1.25 £0. 1s. 0d.
Tuck-/Estoc (E) 3 M-Lt 1.5 £0. 1s. 6d.
Bludgeoning Size Class  Wt. Cost
Mace Footman’s – (2) 4 M-Hvy 6 £0. 1s. 2d.
(morning star) (2) 4 Hvy 7 £0. 1s. 9d. 1hp.
Horseman’s – 2 M-Lt 5 £0. 1s. 0d.
(morning star) 2 Med 6 £0. 1s. 7d.
Flail Footman’s – (2) 4 Hvy 6 £0. 1s. 4d.
(morning star) (2) 4 Mass 7 £0. 1s. 11d. 1hp.
Horseman’s – 2 M-Hvy 4 £0. 1s. 2d.
(morning star) 2 Hvy 5 £0. 1s. 9d. 1hp.
Martel/War Hammer 2 Mass 10 £0. 6s. 3d.
Maul/Sledge Hammer (2) 3 Mass 8 £0. 0s. 10d.
Polearms, Combination Size Class  Wt. Cost
Halberd (2) 8 Hvy 9 £0. 1s. 4d.
Glaive (2) 8 M-Hvy 8.5 £0. 1s. 2d.
Gisarme (2) 6 Hvy 7 £0. 1s. 0d.
Pollaxe (2) 7 Med 8.5 £0. 1s. 2d.
Polearms, Cut/Slash Size Class  Wt. Cost
Bill Hook (2) ** 7 Med 5 £0. 1s. 0d.
Hoe (2) ** 4 Med 3 £0. 0s. 3d. 1hp.
Partizan/Spetum (2) 7 Med 4 £0. 1s. 0d.
Scythe (2) ** 4 Hvy 8 £0. 1s. 0d.
Spade (2, H) ** 4 Med 3 £0. 0s. 2d. 1hp.
Polearms, Thrust/Pierce Size Class  Wt. Cost
Military Fork (2) 6 Lt 3.75 £0. 1s. 0d.
Lance, Lt. (1, H) 10 Lt 6.5 £0. 1s. 4d.
Pike (2) 16 Lt 12 £0. 2s. 4d.
Pitchfork (2) 4 M-Lt 3 £0. 0s. 4d.
Spear, Boar – (2) 6 Lt 5 £0. 1s. 0d.
Spear, Footman’s (2) 7 Lt 5.5 £0. 1s. 1d.
Spear, Scots’ (2) 11 Lt 9.75 £0. 1s. 9d.
Missile Weapons Size  Wt. Cost
Bow Composite 5 4.5 £0. 2s. 0d. †
Long – 6 5 £0. 2s. 0d. †
Short – 3 2.5 £0. 1s. 4d. †*
Crossbow Light (2) 8 £0. 2s. 5d.
Heavy (3) 12 £0. 5s. 10d.
Specialty Weapons Size Class  Wt. Cost
Baling Hook 1 Lt 1.5 £0. 1s. 0d. 1fg.
Black Jack/Sap 0 Lt 0.5 £0. 0s. 2d.
Cat-o-Nine-Tails 2 M-Lt 3.75 £0. 1s. 0d.
Cestus 1 Lt 0.5 £0. 1s. 0d. 1fg.
Garrote 0 Lt 0.25 £0. 0s. 3d.
Featherstaff (2) 6 Lt 6.5 £0. 1s. 4d.
Fustibal (2) 4 Lt 5.5 £0. 1s. 1d.
Javelin/Pilum (H) 7 M-Lt 2 £0. 0s. 10d.
Lance, Heavy (1) 15 Lt 12 £0. 2s. 4d.
Lance & Target (shield) for the Joust (High) 19 £0. 18s. 0d.
Lash/Quirt/Whip 6 M-Lt 3 £0. 0s. 4d.
Quarterstaff, best oak (2) 6 M-Lt 5 £0. 1s. 0d.
Sling 2 Lt 0.5 £0. 0s. 1d.
Swordbreak 1 M-Lt 1 £0. 1s. 0d.
Weapon Gear Wt. Cost
1 Archer’s Brace 0.25 £0. 0s. 2d. 3fg.
2 Arrows Boson each 0.25 £0. 0s. 0d. 1hp.
dozen (12) 2 £0. 0s. 6d.
score (20) 3.25 £0. 0s. 9d. 3fg.
sheaf (24) 3.75 £0. 0s. 11d. 3fg.
2 Arrows Crescent each 0.25 £0. 0s. 6d.
dozen (12) 3.5 £0. 6s. 0d.
score (20) 5.75 £0. 9s. 11d. 1hp.
sheaf (24) 7 £0. 12s. 0d.
2 Arrows Flight each 0.25 £0. 0s. 4d.
dozen (12) 2.25 £0. 4s. 0d.
score (20) 3.75 £0. 6s. 3d. 3fg.
sheaf (24) 4.5 £0. 8s. 0d.
2 Arrows Garb each 0.25 £0. 0s. 2d. 1fg.
dozen (12) 2.25 £0. 2s. 3d.
score (20) 3.75 £0. 3s. 8d.
sheaf (24) 4.5 £0. 4s. 6d.
2 Arrows Sheaf/Proof each 0.25 £0. 0s. 8d.
dozen (12) 3.5 £0. 8s. 0d.
score (20) 5.75 £0. 13s. 3d. 1fg.
sheaf (24) 7 £0. 16s. 0d.
3 Baldric 1.5 £0. 0s. 8d. 1hp.
4 Belthook 1 £0. 1s. 0d.
5 Bolts common each 0.25 £0. 0s. 2d. 3fg.
dozen (12) 3 £0. 2s. 9d.
score (20) 5 £0. 4s. 6d. 3fg.
sheaf (24) 7 £0. 5s. 6d.
5 Bolts, “de ere pennate” each 0.25 £0. 0s. 6d. 1fg.
dozen (12) 3 £0. 6s. 3d.
score (20) 5 £0. 10s. 4d. 1hp.
sheaf (24) 7 £0. 12s. 2d. 1hp.
6 Bowcase (any bow) 2 £0. 1s. 8d.
Bow string, flax (any manual bow) £0. 0s. 0d. 1fg.
4 Crannequin/windlass 5 £0. 0s. 5d. 1hp.
7 Girdle 1 £0. 1s. 4d.
4 Goatsfoot 2.5 £0. 2s. 0d.
8 Mamillaire 1.5 £0. 0s. 11d.
9 Quiver box-type 3 £0. 1s. 4d.
open 1.5 £0. 1s. 0d.
10 Scabbard small 1.5 £0. 1s. 2d.
large 3 £0.1s. 8d.
11 Stinkpot, for fustibal, each 0.5 £0. 0s. 3d.
12 Sheaf, for arrows 1 £0. 0s. 8d.
13 Sheath (common knife) 0.5 £0. 0s. 3d.
14 Shot, for slings 1.25 £0. 0s. 1d.
15 Toyle 1 £0. 0s. 7d.
16 Wrist thong £0. 0s. 0d. 1fg.


** Though normally only roughly sharpened to an edge or point more suitable to their mundane farm uses, these weapons assume a fair quality of steel has been laid on the edge and honed to an edge/point strong and durable enough for regular use in armed combat.

† indicates that the price quoted is for the average man with a STR of 13, only. The price for any and all bows will be increased by 1d. for every point of the STR of the character who is to own and wield it over 13. This modifier will be used instead of the normal STR and STA modifiers determined in Character Generation.

Weapon Notes

The weapons on the equipment rosters are divided on the same lines as the weapon skills to make the weapons for the character’s skills easier to find.

In the column marked “Size” is a number that can be less than one or greater. This is a multiplier to be applied to the character’s height (in inches) and rounded to the nearest foot to reflect the fact that each of the character’s weapons are fitted to him in order to serve him best. When the Size is a set number, it is a commonly agreed-upon convention, but for human characters only. Players of demi-human or non-human characters must check the Notes for the weapon in question to get the proper Size for their race.

All weights quoted on the lists, found under the “Wt.” heading, are given in pounds and 1/4th’s of pounds.

The efficiency with which a character’s STR and STA are brought into play in striking a foe varies with and is indicated by the weight of the weapon used, or its Weight Class, found in the “Class” column on the lists. These range from Light (Lt.); Medium-Light (M-Lt.); Medium (Med.); Medium-Heavy (M-Hvy.); Heavy (Hvy.); to Massive (Mass.) and directly affect the amount of damage the character can inflict on a foe with it in battle, and also how well weapons stand up against one another when crossed in battle.

The main virtue of a weapon in combat is represented by its Damage Bonus (DB) or “Damage Multiplier” (advanced rules, GM’s discretion).

The DB is added directly to the Potence of a blow, which determines whether it gets past a target’s armor (if applicable) to count towards the Levels of Wounding. It is determined by its Class and Size, as shown on table 6-5., following.

The DM governs the amount of damage inflicted by virtue of the properties of a weapon itself, its edge, point and/or weight. The base amount of damage inflicted by a blow with a given weapon (determined from the character’s STR and STA) is multiplied by the DM noted for the weapon according to its Size and Class. The result is added to the original amount of damage, and in interacting with armor, the amount of damage generated by the DM is what is deducted from the AR of the armor, wearing it down.

6-5. Weapon DB’s, by Size & Class

Damage Bonus by Weapon Size & Weight Class






















































































Weapon DM’s, by Size & Class

  Weight Class
Size Lt M-Lt Med M-H Hvy Mass.
0-1 0.25 0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5
2-3 0.5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5 1.75
4-5 0.75 1 1.25 1.5 1.75 2
6-7 1 1.25 1.5 1.75 2 2.25
8-9 1.25 1.5 1.75 2 2.25 2.5
10-11 1.5 1.75 2 2.25 2.5 2.75
12-13 1.75 2 2.25 2.5 2.75 3
14-15 2 2.25 2.5 2.75 3 3.25
16-17 2.25 2.5 2.75 3 3.25 3.5
18-19 2.5 2.75 3 3.25 3.5 3.75

Those weapons that have a zero (0) DM allow the character to inflict full damage based on STR and STA, but add nothing to it of their own. This is an advantage over normal Brawling Damage, of which only 1/10th is real.

Ranged (missile) weapons (bows and slings) rely solely on the STR of the wielder; STA plays no part in the damage they inflict. Any DB to be applied is granted by the type of arrow and arrowhead being used, according to the notes provided on the different types under the heading “Notes on Weapon Gear”, following. Their true advantage lies in their ability to reach a target at range, without risk of being struck in return except by use of another ranged weapon, and their ability to pierce most types of armor.

As the player and GM read through the list of weapons offered for sale, he will note that some are marked “H”. Most of these are normally held in hand for use in the melée, but are also considered suitable for Hurling at foes at range, as well.

Hurled weapons, like missile weapons, do not allow for STA in the POT of the damage they inflict, only STR. Unlike the arrows and sling bullets of missile weapons, however, they will still inflict their normal DB based on Size and Class when they are Hurled.

The special conditions governing the uses of Specialty Weapons, special attacks, and the determination and application of damage inflicted by landing a successful attack are all discussed in their respective notes as well as in The Rules of the Game.

The numbers in the margins alongside the entries on the weapon rosters are Note references. These direct the player to the note of the same number in the passage headed “Weapon Notes”, in the same manner used in the Adventure Gear section, previously. The importance of reading this section to the proper use of the weapons described in these pages cannot be stressed too much.

All belts, scabbards, and other gear required to safely tote the character’s weapons about can be found following the weapons, under the heading “Weapon Gear”, with explanatory notes following in numerical order after the Weapon Notes passage. The player should make sure he buys enough gear (belts, scabbards” baldrics, girdles, sheaths, etc.) to carry his weapons comfortably, and enough ammunition of the proper sort (arrows, bolts, shot, pots, etc.) for his missile weapons to be ready for any conflict (as applicable).

The descriptions and any pertinent historical notes for the weapons may be found in the following passage headed “The Weapons”, as follows.

The Weapons


Frankish Axe

The Frankish axe, or “francisca”, is the weapon from which the French originally took their name. It was their weapon of choice as a people early in their history. This axe differs from modern axes in that it is much deeper in the blade, from edge to haft, and at the back of the head is a flared sharpened bill similar in form to the main blade of a mattock in shape and orientation, but much shallower. This is an axe of medium length, suitable for use both on foot and from horseback.

Woodsman’s Axe

The woodsman’s axe  is so similar to the francisca as to make no real difference for the purposes of play, except that it will be perceived for what it is, a commoner’s tool, only edged with good steel, when compared to an actual weapon of war like the francisca, blade made wholly of good steel purposely for battle, haft more finely turned and finished.

Battle Axe

The battle axe, unlike the two axes above, has a distinctly crescent-shaped blade, a well-rounded and deep curve to its edge.

The “dbl-bit” variety is “double-bitted”, having two of these crescent blades back-to-back, framing the haft, allowing strokes in both directions without having to shift the grip.

Because of the length of the haft, these axes are typified as “footmen’s” weapons, too long to be wielded safely from horseback.

For a savings of 2d., the character may be equipped with a cut-down horseman’s version of  either the single- or double-bitted battle axe.

The Size multiplier for these will be 0.36.

For an additional 4d. the player can have a dagger-like thrusting blade added to top of the axe-head. This was a popular fashion in the period of the game that enables the character to use the weapon for thrusting/piercing attacks, making it more versatile in battle. The attributes of a dagger will be substituted, as indicated, for those of the axe when the character is using that part of the weapon.

Broad Axe

The broad axe has the same depth of blade as a francisca from edge to haft, but the blade is larger, running upwards of 8 to 10 inches from upper to lower tip along the sharpened edge. The broad axe’s blade is much heavier than the francisca, though it has the same moderate curve along its edge. Because of the length of the haft, these axes are typified as “footmen’s” weapons, too long to be wielded safely from horseback. Because of the greater size and weight of the blade, cutting down the haft for use on horseback would eliminate the leverage that makes this such a formidable weapon, unlike the battle axe above.

Bearded Axe

The bearded axe takes its name from the eccentric design of the blade. The “beard” refers to extended bottom corner of the blade which hangs down and continues to curve around back into the haft where it is anchored again separated from the rest of the blade by about a hand’s-width of haft. This a medium length axe, suitable for use both on foot and from horseback.

Swords, Knives & Daggers

Many historic swords were actually compromises in design that attempted to combine in one weapon those elements best suited for both slashing and stabbing. The great variety of sword types are a testament to the many possible design solutions. There are types of swords with straight backs yet curved edges, and others that widen toward the point but then taper sharply. In most cultures, acutely pointed cut-and-thrust swords existed side by side with more dedicated cutting and chopping blades for centuries with neither replacing the other.

Falchions & Braquemarts

Falchions and braquemarts comprise a type of short sword, straight backed and single-edged with a thick, heavy chopping blade that widens towards the end where it curves up to meet the back, somewhat reminiscent of the Persian scimitar or shamshir. The braquemart is somewhat larger of the two. The falchion’s wide, heavy blade is weighted more towards the point so it can deliver tremendous blows. It is equipped with a quilloned cross-guard for the hilt in the same configuration as a long-sword. It combines the weight and power of an axe with the versatility of a sword. Indeed, so good were falchions historically for chopping that they were often used for chopping wood in peace-time. The falchion was a low quality sword made of iron with steel edges applied, and generally deemed unworthy of a knight. A rarer form of sword, it was little more than a meat cleaver, possibly even a simple kitchen and barnyard tool adopted for war. Indeed, it may come from a French word for a sickle, “fauchon”. It can be seen in Medieval art being used against lighter armors by infidels as well as footman and even knights of the West. The weapon is entirely European and not derived from eastern sources. More common in the Renaissance, it was considered a weapon to be proficient with in addition to the common sword.

Bastard Sword or Sword of War

The sword of war is also known as a bastard sword. Bastard swords were developed as a form of “long sword” in the early 1400’s (as early as 1418), when a form of “long-sword” became known as an Espée Bastarde or “bastard sword”, recognized by being equipped with specially shaped grips for one or two hands. The bastard sword receives its interesting name from its design. The length of the blade was not all that much longer than that of a common sword, around 2″ wide and 42″ long overall, typically more tapered and narrowly pointed. The weapon had longer handles, however, special “half-grips” long enough to fit about one and a half hands which could be used with either one or both hands at need. These handles have recognizable “waist” and “bottle” shapes (such grips were later used on the Renaissance two-handed sword), usually equipped with side-rings and finger rings to protect the hand (at least from slashing, cutting or chopping attacks).

This unique sword is also called a Hand-and-a-Half sword.

The bastard-sword half-grip was a versatile and practical innovation. In this sense they were neither a one-handed sword nor a true great-sword (two-handed sword), and thus not a member of either “family” of sword. It couldn’t really be categorized as either a one or two-handed weapon, making it a bastard as far as swords are concerned.

The executioner’s sword of the 16th century was inspired by the bastard sword design. The strong and fearless Swiss and Germans originally carried these early weapons, although bastard swords soon became popular in other regions the British Isles and Europe. This style of sword was much used by the German man at arms of the late 15th century. It is depicted in many illustrations of knights from the late 15th and early 16th centuries, “A Knight, Death and the Devil” by Albrecht Dürer being one of the most famous. In fact many of Dürer’s Knights carry such a sword.

Great Sword

A medieval great-sword might also be called a two-handed sword, a “twahandswerd” or “too honde swerd”. Those blades long and weighty enough to demand a double grip are great-swords. They are infantry swords which cannot be used in a single-hand. Whereas other “long” swords could be used on horseback and some even with shields, like the sword of war or bastard sword, great swords were strictly infantry weapons. One type of long German sword, the “Rhenish Langenschwert”, from the Rhenish city of Cologne, had a blade of some 4 feet and an enormous grip of some 14 to 16 inches long, not including the pommel. Their blades might be flat and wide or, especially later in period, more narrow and hexagonal or diamond shaped. These larger swords were capable of facing heavier weapons such as pole-arms and larger axes and were devastating against lighter armors. Long, two-handed swords with narrower, flat hexagonal blades and thinner tips (such as the Italian “spadone”) were a response to the fully developed suits of plate-armor. Against plate armor such rigid, narrow, and sharply pointed swords are not used in the same chop and cleave manner as with flatter, wider swords. Instead, they are handled with tighter movements that emphasize their thrusting points and allow for greater use of the hilt.

These weapons were used primarily for fighting against pike-squares where they would hack paths through lobbing the tips off the poles. In Germany, England, and elsewhere schools also taught their use for single-combat. In True two-handed swords have compound-hilts with side-rings and enlarged cross-guards of up to 12 inches. Most have small, pointed lugs or flanges protruding from their blades 4-8 inches below their guard. These parrierhaken or “parrying hooks” act almost as a secondary guard for the ricasso to prevent other weapons from sliding down into the hands. They make up for the weapon’s slowness on the defense and can allow another blade to be momentarily trapped or bound up. They can also be used to strike with. The most well-known of “twa handit swordis” is the Scottish Claymore (Gaelic for “claidheamh-more” or great-sword) which developed out of earlier Scottish great-swords with which they are often compared. They were used by the Scottish Highlanders against the English in the 1500’s. Another sword of the same name is the later Scots basket-hilt broadsword (a relative of the Renaissance Slavic-Italian schiavona) whose hilt completely enclosed the hand in a cage-like guard. Both swords have come to be known by the same name since the late 1700’s. Certain wave or flame-bladed two-handed swords have come to be known by collectors as flamberges, although this is inaccurate. Such swords developed in the early-to-mid 1500’s and are more appropriately known as flammards or flambards (the German Flammenschwert).


The cutlass is best known as the sailor’s weapon of choice, the naval side arm, likely because it was robust enough to hack through heavy ropes, canvas, and wood, while also being short enough to use in relatively close quarters, such as during boarding actions, in the rigging, or below decks. It is a  short heavy sword with a curved single-edged blade

Cutlasses are famous for being used by pirates. the use of cutlasses by pirates is well documented in contemporary sources, notably by the pirate crews of William Fly, William Kidd, and Stede Bonnet.

French historian Alexandre Exquemelin reports the buccaneer Francois l’Ollonais using a cutlass as early as 1667. Pirates used these weapons for intimidation as much as for combat, often needing no more than to grip their hilts to induce a crew to surrender, or beating captives with the flat of the blade to force their compliance or responsiveness to interrogation.


back-sword or Backe swerd  is a sword having a blade with only a single edge. It may be straight in the blade or slightly curved to aid in cutting and slashing attacks (player’s discretion). The back-sword is a less-common form of single-edged renaissance military cut & thrust blade with a compound-hilt (side-rings or anneus, finger-rings, knuckle-bar, etc.). The back of the sword is often the thickest part of the blade and acts to support and strengthen it. This later gave rise to the saber.

The weapon’s name was derived from the practice of slinging the weapon in a scabbard behind the trooper’s back while riding in order to prevent it from clanging against his or the horse’s side as they galloped.

This is one of the heavier blades, like the side-sword, that were in use concurrently with the rapier, preferred for war as opposed to the rapier’s use in the social arena. Most popular in England with a buckler or target from at least the 1520’s, the back-sword was long enough for both mounted and infantry and favored because its single-edge designed allowed for a superior cutting blow.

The smallsword is typified as the “Call of Honour”, the Back-Sword as the “Call of Duty”. The former was used more rashly for private matters, the latter was the sword of a soldier.

Two utterly different kinds of fence will be practiced : one, that of the back-sword; the other, what we would today call “foil-play”.


The common knife entry describes a regular, single-edged, small cross-guarded belt or boot-knife, but is also the proper entry for common knives such as kitchen paring-knives, and double-edged, even leaf-bladed, knives such as hiltless dirks.

To have a short, reverse-cut false edge ground on a common knife will cost the character an extra 1hp..

All double-edged knives will cost 1d. more. Fine steel blades such as those required for pairing-knives and similar kitchenware will cost an extra 1d., as well.

By-Knives & Prickers

These were actually the equivalent of a Warriors eating utensils, along with a dagger of the buyer’s choice they were commonly made in sets with grips that matched by type and finish of wood, or leather thong-wrapped, or wire-wrapped, or whatever the buyer preferred. The shortest of the three, the Pricker was a small, thin edgeless piercing tool used in place of the fork which had yet to be developed, at least for the common folk. Noble folk were still experimenting with forks, usually 3-tined, for use at table during the period of the game. The By-knife is the Warrior’s utility knife tamed and shrunk down for domestic use at table. While a skilled warrior could still commit mayhem with it, it was much smaller than the dagger it accompanied, hiltless, and as such best suited for the table.

When purchased all together it is very common  for the sheath for the by-knife and pricker to be sewn onto the sheath for the dagger so they may be carried together. Also just as common is the practice of having the sheath for the dagger, by-knife, and pricker sewn to the leather casing of a sword scabbard, especially one of the smaller, narrower blades that have the same general proportions, common in the Renaissance.


Over time, the medieval longsword became more tapered and rigid to accommodate thrusting. Also a series of protective rings were added to the hilt to protect the hand. This led to the birth of the “Side-Sword“. This is a single handed sword allowing both cutting and thrusting, used with dagger, buckler, shield or on its own. It is ideal for handling a mix of armored and unarmored opponents. This sword design eventually led to the development of the civilian rapier, but it was not replaced by it, and the side-sword continued to be used during the rapier’s lifetime. As it could be used for both cutting and thrusting, the term Cut and Thrust” sword is sometimes used interchangeably with side-sword. The open space in the rings of the large anneau guarding the hand were often filled in with decorative grillwork or shells–a design known as the Pappenheimer, named after German General Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim. This weapon often has a rather wide blade, since it evolved partially as a military sword.

Side-swords used in conjunction with bucklers became so popular that it caused the term swashbuckler to be coined. This word stems from the new fighting style of the side-sword and buckler which was filled with much “swashing and making a noise on the buckler”. Swashbuckler or swasher is a term that developed in the 1500’sto describe rough, noisy and boastful swordsmen.


A saber or sabre is a type of backsword that usually has a curved, single-edged blade and a rather large hand-guard covering the knuckles of the hand as well as the thumb and forefinger. The length of sabers vary, and most were carried in a scabbard hanging from a shoulder belt known as a baldric or from a waist-mounted sword belt. The saber first appeared in Europe with the arrival of the Hungarians in the 10th century. The original type of Polish saber was the Karabela. The name was derived from the Turkish words Kara, meaning dark, and bela, meaning curse. The Karabela was worn by the Polish, Lithuanian, and Ukrainian classes of nobility, the Szlachta. Originally, the saber was used as a cavalry weapon, but it gradually came to replace the various straight bladed cutting sword types on the battlefield.


Daggers differ from knives in that their blades are narrower and longer, MUCH moreso in the period of the game, and the cross-guards on most styles of dagger are much more pronounced than on a knife. Dagger blades are always double-edged, with a long taper to a wicked point, especially the long-bladed misericorde, the mercy blades used to reach deep within the joints of a foe’s field plate to relieve them of the burden of life. These can be as much as 18 in. overall in length. Despite its two edges, the dagger is used primarily for thrusting. The rondel is so called for the round disk-like guard for the hand at the base of the blade, the ballock for the round ball-like guard on either side of the base of the blade. The dagger’s lightness prevents its serious use in battle as a combination blade, with which by its design it would seem to fit in with more properly. The poignard is not so long as the misericorde or stiletto, and its blade a bit wider, almost 2in., tapering to a point only in the last few inches of blade, unlike the other sorts named. Any of the daggers named can be used as a main gauche (French : “left hand”) to fill the off-hand in what is popularly known as fighting “Florentine”, with a sword in the dominant or primary hand and a side arm of some sort (shield, buckler, cape or sidearm) in the off-hand.


The rapier was initially used as a cutting weapon, like its medieval predecessor. The first cogent book on a coherent rapier technique was the Opera Nova, written in 1536 by Achillio Marozzo de Bologne, which stated that cuts were to be delivered horizontally, vertically upward or downward, or obliquely.

While the blade might be broad enough to cut to some degree (but nowhere near that of the wider, slightly heavier swords in use around the Middle Ages), the strength of the rapier is its ability as a thrusting wea-pon. The blade might be sharpened along its entire length, sharpened only from the centre to the tip (as described by Capoferro)

The thrust was aimed primarily at the face and was often coupled with a motion that beat one’s opponent’s attack away. Defense was achieved by body movement (if a cut was coming, make sure not to be under it) or with a secondary or off-hand device. In Marozzo’s case, this was usually a buckler shield.

Medieval fighting texts are full of warnings as to the effectiveness of the thrust and how it was “deadly as a serpent”. The rapier’s innovative style of quick, deceptive, long-reaching stabbing attack quickly came to dominate both the urban street-fighting environment and the dueling field, but was never intended for the battlefield. Contrary to popular belief, rapier combat was not a gentleman’s affair. Kicks and punches were common and it frequently ended in grappling with both combatants drawing their daggers and stabbing each other to death.

One of the significant social aspects of the rapier was its status as a ‘civilian’ weapon. Prior to the Renaissance, the sword was a symbol of the titled classes. But, with the rise of an affluent merchant class, the sword came into use by the upwardly mobile. While it did not confer class, it suggested it, for apart from self-defense, a gentleman was expected to be capable of defending his honor (see “smallsword”).

The rapier was NOT universally accepted, especially as a weapon of war. Armor, although greatly reduced, was still worn, and military men preferred the reassuring weight of the heavy, single-edged blade, as exhibited in the so-called mortuary sword and the back-sword, to a thin rib-sticker like the rapier.

By the early 1600s, the first cup-hilt rapiers had begun to appear. Their name exactly describes their design. The swept hilt was replaced by a metal bowl, often 3 to 4 inches deep, inside which was the ricasso, flanked by pas d’âne (a ring-shaped guard). The knuckle bow was preserved, and the quillons became straight and often quite wide. This final form persisted until the early 1700s, especially in the hands of the Spaniards, who doggedly retained the rapier and their almost mystical school of the ‘magic circle,’ the Destreza.

In 1604, Camillo Agrippa wrote a treatise that simplified Marozzo’s 12 guardia to four, whose positions suggested that the point now held at least parity with the edge. The concept of parrying with the rapier had not yet been systematized, so it should be noted that the term guardia at this time referred solely to a position from whence an attack might be launched. The job of fending off a foe’s blade fell to the main gauche (left hand) dagger, a weighted cloak, or a gauntlet, the palm of which was often reinforced with mail

Around the same time as Agrippa, Giacomo di Grassi was teaching a style that favored the thrust. The thrust at that time was delivered directly from the shoulder from a stance that placed the left foot forward. That put the off-hand weapon (usually a dagger) forward of the rapier, where it could beat aside or deflect an opponent’s blade, thus clearing the way for a simultaneous attack with the rapier.

Angelo Viggiani then advanced the art by developing the lunge or, as he termed it, the punta sopramano

Vincentio Saviolo was the first master to insist on the total superiority of the point, which led to the further narrowing of the blade. According to one 1458 source on “Knighthood and Bataille”, “Thrusting is better than smiting, especially at the heart.”

Since the rapier no longer possessed the weight to cut by percussion, the draw cut was used. In that technique, the blade was placed against the target and rapidly pulled back under pressure, creating a slicing action that often involved a fair length of the overall edge. During that period, it was not uncommon for blades to exceed 40 inches in length.


The smallsword (also court sword or dress sword) is a light one-handed sword designed for thrusting which evolved out of the longer and heavier rapier of the late Renaissance. Eventually, the evolution of complex swordplay demanded the lightest, fastest possible weapon. The cup-hilt’s component parts (quillons, cup, knucklebow and pas d’âne) all shrank down to the most perfunctory size possible. The blade itself became much shorter, with a deeply indented fuller. The result was the ‘small sword’.

The original and particularly effective method of civilian foining fence (thrusting swordplay) arose in 16th century Europe and continued to be refined and specialized into the 17th and 18th centuries, first with the gentleman’s court or smallsword and then the dueling épée, both derived from the tuck-sword. The height of the small sword’s popularity was from the mid 1600’s to the late 1700’s. The small sword was the immediate predecessor of the French foil (from which the épée developed) and its method of use developed into the techniques of the French classical school of fencing, as typified in the works of such authors as Sieur de Liancour, Domenico Angelo, Monsieur J. Olivier, and Monsieur L’Abbat. Smallswords were also used as status symbols and fashion accessories; for most of the 18th century anyone with pretensions to gentlemanly status, whether civilian or military, would have worn a small sword on a daily basis.

Like the épée, foil and estoc or tucksword, the smallsword usually lacks a cutting edge entirely. The small sword guard is typically of the “shell” type, with two lobes that were decorated as clam shells. In some cases, the shells folded over to make the weapon more comfortable when slung at the hip. The shells were often replaced with a simple curved oval disk, which was still referred to as the coquille (shell). In later foils, the lobed type evolved into the “lunette” or figure-8 guard, and the disk became the modern foil “bell” guard, but the guards were still referred to as coquilles. The Small-Sword is typified as the “Call of Honour”, the Back-Sword as the “Call of Duty”. The former was used more rashly for private matters concerning ‘honor’, the latter was the sword of a soldier.

Tuck sword

The English “tuck” sword or French estoc or  is a variation of the long-sword focused primarily on fighting against mail or plate armor. As armor improved, so did the methods of attacking the armor. It was quickly realized that cutting weapons were losing their effectiveness as armor got heavier, so crushing weapons such as maces and axes were utilized; but thrusting weapons that could split the rings of mail, or find the joints and crevices of plate armor were also employed.

The tucksword is a long, straight and stiff sword, with nearly an equilateral diamond or triangular cross-section, roughly 1/4th-inch or 3/8th’s on a side. It has no cutting edge, just a point. This geometry virtually eliminated any cutting capability as a sharpened edge could simply not be ground, but allowed the weapon to become lengthy, stiff, and very acutely pointed. Early on, the tuck was hung from the saddle when on horseback and simply hung from the belt when the soldier took to the ground. As the weapon developed, however, infantrymen using it began to wear it in a scabbard.

Most varieties of tucksword provide a long grip like that of a great-sword, though others mimic the zweihänder in providing a long ricasso with a secondary guard or parrierhaken, allowing the tucksword to be used with both hands, unlike most swords of its weight class. As on the two-handed sword, this extended grip gives the wielder the advantage of extra leverage with which to more accurately and powerfully thrust the long weapon. Some other forms provided finger rings, curved quillons, or other forms of a compound hilt. However, few developed anything close to a full basket hilt.

A Word about “Longswords”

Longswordswar-swords, or great swords are distinguished from the common one-handed sword of the period by having both a long grip and a long blade. Medieval warriors did distinguish war-swords or great-swords (“grant espees” or “grete swerdes”) from “standard” or common swords in general, but the so-called “long-swords” were really just those larger versions of typical one-handed swords, except with stouter blades. They were “longer swords”, as opposed to single-hand swords, or just common “swords”. They could be used on foot or mounted and were sometimes accompanied with a shield. The term war-sword or sword of war from the 1300’s referred to larger swords that were carried in battle. They were usually kept on the saddle as opposed to worn on the belt.  This is why there is a “Common” sword on the roster but no entry for a “long sword” as a distinct type.

A Word about “Broadswords”

Arms collectors, museum curators, theatrical-fighters, and fantasy-gamers have made the word “broadsword” a common, albeit blatantly historically incorrect, term popularly misapplied as a generic synonym for medieval swords or any long, wide military blade.

The now popular misnomer “broadsword” in reference to medieval blades actually originated with antique arms collectors in the early 19th century, although many mistranslations and misinterpretations of medieval manuscripts during the 19th & 20th centuries have inserted the word broadsword in place of other terms, as well.  These historians described swords of earlier ages as simply being “broader” than their own thinner, contemporary ones.

The term “broadsword” does not appear anywhere in the English military texts from the 1570’s  to the 1630’s and does not show up in the inventories of sword types from the 1630’s. It most likely came into use some time between 1619 and 1630. Descriptions of swords as “broad” before this time are only incidental and the word “broad” is used as an adjective in the same way “sharp” or “large” would be applied. Leading arms collectors and curators commonly list the broadsword specifically as a close-hilted military sword from the second half of the 17th century.  Those cage- and basket-hilted blades used by cavalry starting in the 1640’s were in form, “broadswords”, especially in comparison to the thinner lighter blades in use at that time, such as rapiers and small-swords. If the player or GM was looking for a “broadsword” on the equipment lists, these are the reasons why it was omitted.

Maces, Flails & Hammers


The maces in RoM will be of the smooth, heavy globe-headed variety, due to the fact that the flanged sort and other types were used only briefly historically, failed experiments which were discovered to be too easily trapped in the armors they breached, too difficult to recover again after a stroke in battle.

The player and GM may be somewhat confused by the combined use of the familiar terms “mace” and “morning star”. “Mace” is the proper name for the weapon in and of itself, while “morning star” is in fact an adjective describing a treatment applied to a mace in which short, sharp spikes are attached to the business end of the weapon so that they radiate out like the rays of the “morning star”. This adds a penetrating factor to an already impressive high-impact attack.


Between the flail and mace, the main difference is that the mace’s head is firmly fixed to the end of the haft while the head of the flail does just that – it flails about on either stout ropes (which are subject to being cut by a skilled and savvy opponent) or chains (which can kink-up and become unwieldy). The player and GM may well have seen flails with wooden shafts hinged with a couple of chain links between, or the popular “ball-and-chain”, or those that consist of 2, 3, or as many as 5 or 6 smaller iron balls each with their own rope or chain.

For the purposes of play, these will all be considered equal in weight, price and effect in battle, regardless of actual configuration. The choice of the appearance of a character’s flail will be strictly cosmetic and completely up to the player’s discretion.

The virtue of the flail is the ability of the striking ball(s) to wrap around the edge of a shield by the virtue of its ropes or chains.

In game terms this will reduce the amount a shield adds to the defense DV according to its Size by half

This feature also allows the wielder to use the weapon for Entangling attacks against other weapons as the preparatory step to disarming an opponent, or rendering his weapon useless, at least.

The player and GM may be somewhat confused by the combined use of the familiar terms “flail” and “morning star”. “Flail” is the proper name for the weapon in and of itself, while “morning star” is in fact an adjective describing a treatment applied to a flail in which short, sharp spikes are attached to the business end of the weapon so that they radiate out like the rays of the “morning star”. This adds a penetrating factor to an already impressive high-impact attack.

Martel/War Hammer

The martel or war hammer looks surprisingly similar to the modern claw-back utility hammer, and is used in exactly the same way – to beat on an opponent with the flat, driving face of the head. It is much larger and heavier than a modern conventional hammer, however, the flat, driving face of the head is thinner in section and, instead of the nail-drawing claw-back, the back of the head commonly tapers to a slightly curved spike for its alternate use in battle as a piercing weapon, much like a can-opener on field plate.

The name “Martel” shown on the roster is short for the French martel-de-fer or “hammer of iron”, its Continental name.

For an extra 4d. the player can have a dagger-like thrusting blade added to top of the martel. This was a popular fashion in the period of the game that enables the character to use the weapon for thrusting/piercing attacks, making it more versatile in battle.




The halberd’s main strength lies in its trapezoidal, axe- or cleaver-like blade, but it is also equipped with a dagger-like thrusting blade affixed to the top of the weapon’s head. At the back of the cleaver- or axe-like head, extending from the other side of the haft, is a is a broad hook called a “fluke” or “lug”, commonly used to hook and entangle horsemen so to pull them from the saddle.


The glaive is essentially an 18” butcher knife on a 6 – 7’ pole. It has a blade shaped much like that of a falchion, single-edged with a partial false-edge, but not as heavy. This was the characteristic weapon of the Scots Guard of the King of France in the period of the game.


The gisarme is an extended crescent-bladed battle axe with a dagger-like thrusting blade attached to the top of the head, to be used for both chopping and thrusting.


The pollaxe, or poleaxe, has a cleaver-like blade with more of a regular rectangular shape, but the upper tip of the edge has been drawn out, elongated and ground into a spike-like beak that extends well past the end of the weapon’s haft, enabling it to be used for thrusting as well as chopping.


The billhook is based on the hedging bill, with its scythe-like blade (though much smaller, c. 18 inch) but, adapted for war, it also has a rear spike projecting from the opposite side of the head, on the other side of the haft. This is used just like the fluke on the back of a halberd’s blade, to hook and entangle horsemen so to pull them from the saddle.

For an additional 4d. the player can have a dagger-like thrusting blade added to top of the head.


The partisan is a spear-like weapon with a blade much like a short sword, though somewhat broader and beveled to a somewhat broader point, from either side of the base a short, inward-curving fluke  extends.

The spetum is very similar to the partisan, except that the blade is just a little narrower and the taper of the blade is a bit more extreme, coming to a very dagger-like point. The spetum’s flukes are three times longer than those of the partisan, and they curve outward from the base of the blade like the sides of a fleur-de-lys, framing a small recess at the base of the blade where the blades of smaller weapons can be trapped in the act of parrying, allowing the wielder to then attempt to break the trapped blades like a swordbreak.


The lance is a pole weapon based on the pattern of the spear but specifically adapted for mounted combat. They are wielded one-handed (or one-armed, anyway) while on the back of a horse or similar mount. The light lance can be used as a spear in addition to tilting in a mounted charge, however. Due to its size and weight, the character wielding a heavy lance will be required to wear at least a breastplate when wielding it (if not a full cuirass), which a lance rest has been added. Otherwise, the character will be unable to couch it steadily for use in the mounted charge as a piercing attack, for which it was designed.

Both sorts of lances have fixed Sizes in the interests of a fair contest, as the primary weapon of the chivalrous knights in the contest known as “tilting” or “jousting”. The lances must be of equal length in order for the knights to have an equal chance to strike one another simultaneously as their horses draw night in the lists.

The standard Sizes noted for lances are for humans, pumathars, wulvers and halfelfs.

For dunladdin, the standard Sizes will be 11ft. for heavy lances and 7ft. 3in’s for light lances. For dwarfs, the standard Sizes will be 12ft. 3in’s and 8ft., respectively.

For elfs and irdanni the standard Sizes will be 13ft. 6in’s and 9 ft., respectively.

For those who wish merely to be equipped with a lance to their own measure without regard for fairness or Chivalry may use a Size modifier of 1.74 for the light lance or 2.6 for the heavy lance.

The lances listed on the rosters have true steel, battle-worthy heads.

For a savings of 6d. each, the player can equip his character with lances fitted with coronels, blunt heads with three points turned out and curled over for the tourney, commonly used to substantially reduce the risk of deadly injury in the lists. These tourney heads are non-piercing, with a zero (0) DM allowing only impact damage to be delivered. These are commonly required to be used in peace-time tournaments.

For a savings of 4d. each, the player may alternately equip his character with lances of a somewhat lesser quality woof and/or partially sawn lances. These are designed to snap before any real injury can be inflicted, commonly used when the contest is simply a means for showing off technique for the benefit of their own reputations or just an excuse for a grand pageant for the benefit of the public.

The metal or leather guard for the hand or arm on a lance is called the vamplate.

Customizing Polearms

For an additional 8d. the player may add “cheeks” to his character’s polearm. These are metal reinforcing strips that extend down the haft of the weapon a good 2 feet from the socket of the blade-head, secured with heavy rivets at regular intervals down their length. These protect the weapon from having its head hacked off in battle.

For an additional 5d. the player can equip his character’s polearm with a “rondel” (a circular steel plate). The rondel can either be mounted at the base of the polearm’s blade, to limit the distance it can penetrate a body, or at the ends of the cheeks (if applicable) to protect the wielder’s hands.

The player and GM will please note that a rondel cannot be secured farther down the haft than the base of the head unless the weapon has cheeks to which to attach it.

Specialty Weapons

Baling Hook

The baling hook is a nasty-looking half-moon hook on a short stem, by which it is fixed to a wooden cross-handle. It is a tool of dockworkers, freight carriers and stevedores, used to hook and help grip and carry bales of goods. The hook is fixed to the middle of the handle, cross-wise, so the handle fits comfortably across the width of the palm, like any other weapon hilt. It is held so that the stem of the hook emerges from between the middle and ring fingers of the hand, the hook pointing in the same direction as the palm. It is listed among specialty weapons due to its common use in street-fighting among who use it to earn their daily bread, primarily for slashing and entangling attacks.

Black Jack

The black jack or sap is a small leathern sack or tube packed with lead shot for weight, used for bludgeoning attacks in close quarters, commonly to strike an opponent on the head from behind to render him unconscious. It is the perfect weapon for exercising the Head-Kosh skill.


The cat-o-nine-tails is a type of whip with a very bad reputation. It’s nine strands hang free, unlike the long braided lash, and the ends of these strands are commonly steel-studded or coated or have had glass ground into them, or the tips alone shod with steel, hence, the relatively high DM. Cats are commonly used for torture and sentences of physical punishment.

Due to the nature of the weapon, all damage generated will be compared the DR of any armor worn, it will inflict no more than one (1) point of impact damage per stroke landed. Thus, it is best used on non- or only lightly-armored areas, or unarmored opponents.


cestus (plural cesti) is an ancient battle glove, sometimes used in pankration, fighting competitions among the Greeks. In effect, it is the classical world’s equivalent to brass knuckles.

The first version of a battle cestus was a series of leather thongs that were tied over the hand. Greeks used them in their hand-to-hand competitions, where only knock out mattered. In this regard it fills the same function as a blackjack or sap, and may be substituted for it by those who have the Brawling/Grappling/Wrestling skill.

The Romans modified the cesti construction by adding metal parts, including spikes, studs, and iron plates for the gladiatorial arena.

The player may do the same for his character, raising the DM from zero (0) to +1/4th for an additional 10d. or as much as +1/2 for an additional 1s. 6d.

This may also be adapted to the originally Greek sphairai, thin leather thongs with cutting blades which will enable the character to also make slashing attacks. The DM for this will be +1/4th but the additional cost will be 1s. 6d.

The garrote is a thin, strong steel wire or group of thin wires twisted together that are strung between two handles or finger rings, designed to be wrapped around an opponent’s neck and provide maximum leverage for strangling and even cutting. This weapon is most effective when used with Stealth to gain Surprise, to entangle the victim before he knows what is going on. Thus, this is a weapon primarily employed by Assassins, Knaves and Rogues, and others of similarly questionable morals. Once entangled, it is very difficult to get away from such a weapon.


The lash works in much the same way as the cat-o-nine-tails, except that it is braided into one long, tough, narrow strip which has a few short thongs (3 to 5) at its tip, whose ends are also commonly shod or studded with steel in the same manner as the cat, above. It’s greater length allows the wielder to strike from a greater distance. This extra length also gives the lash its special property as an Entangling weapon, therefore its designation as a specialty weapon.


The featherstaff is a rather unusual instrument, appearing as a normal turned and finished walking stick or quarterstaff, and able to be used in that capacity like any other until the wielder chooses to reveal its secret nature. Concealed within the staff on one end is a largish steel spike and within the opposite end a narrow knife- or spear-like blade, both of which will lock into place once released, providing both cutting and thrusting/piercing attack capabilities. Both implements are spring-loaded and will have to be carefully returned the their hiding places by hand after use. Their release is triggered by a pair of concealed studs, usually somewhere towards the center of the weapon’s haft, enabling the wielder to release one or the other of the two implements independently or simultaneously, as desired.

The base DV for finding the concealed studs that release the featherstaff’s weaponry will be 10, but may be improved for a cost of 1hp. per point of additional DV desired.


The quarterstaff was a highly popular commoner’s weapon in the period of the game. It derived its name from the manner in which it was wielded – one hand in the center of the haft and the other hand at the one-quarter mark between the hand at the center and the staff’s nearer end. As a means of self-defense the quarterstaff was once held in high esteem, especially in the rural districts of old England. Common folk, unable to afford expensive weapons, were well versed in the art. The weapon was used among the populace for settling brawls as well as for self-defense. Its use became a popular sport. Annual competitions were held at local festivals. Because of its simple nature and the need of only basic skills, the quarterstaff was readily taught at the many martial art schools of “fence” found throughout the Middle Ages. These schools taught the fundamental elements of foot soldiery, self-defense and the use of weapons.


Missile Weapons


Composite bows are just that, made of a composite of materials, of select staves of yew laminated together and reinforced with strips of horn. The very strongest of them will be built around core staves of iron.

The strongest long bows will be made of selected staves of yew, but will be more commonly made of hazel, ash, or elm. Compared with the shorter composite bow of the Saracen, which had a shorter draw but was easier to use from horseback, the longbow had a draw from 30 – 36″, could launch an arrow more than 300 yards, deadly against opponents not defended by plate armor.

Edward III recognized the power of massed archers used in combination with dismounted cavalry and infantry and made the longbow the preferred weapon of the English after the middle 14th century.

Short bows may be made of elm or yew, but the stronger of them will be composites of horn, leather, and wood.

Bows of yew are status symbols, available for an additional charge of 1s. The use of yew for bows will be protected by law from “immoderate consumption”. Indeed, players generating characters who are particularly young should take note that those aged 17 years and younger among the human nations will be forbidden by law to shoot bows of yew unless they can prove ownership of 40M (£26. 13s. 4d.) in moveable goods, a noble sum, or show that their parents own estates having an annual value of £10. or more.

The player and GM will please note that a character cannot simply leave his bow strung or crossbow strung and cocked, day-in and day-out, in anticipation of trouble. It will ruin both the bow and the string. Strings are also very susceptible to dampness. For every full day that a character leaves his bow strung, its STR rating will drop by one (1), and with it, the amount of damage the character can inflict with it. For clean releases of arrows and some protection from the damp, bow strings are treated with beeswax.


Because crossbows are mechanical devices, the character will have no control over the amount of damage its quarrels will inflict. To reflect this, the “(3d10)” entry for light crossbows and the “(5d10)” entry for heavy crossbows in the “DM” column indicate the range in which the amount of damage inflicted by these bolts can fall. The advantage in these weapons lies in the bolt’s strength as a piercing weapon. Because it is mechanical and very strong, the light equivalent to a STR rating of 30 and the heavy to a STR rating of 50, any character trying to cock one of these with a STR score less than the crossbow’s rating will require a special tool to do so. These take the form of a belthook or goatsfoot tool, which can be found on the Weapon Gear roster.


The fustibal is a type of sling, a sling-staff to be specific. The staff gives the fustibal some extra range over a common sling, and allows heavier objects to be hurled than are normally used in conjunction with a common sling.


The common sling consists of a small patch of leather tied with a heavy leather thong on either side. A small projectile (pebble or small stone, rock, or purpose-made baked clay or lead shot, etc.)is slung in the patch at the center of the sling and then whipped about in a circle overhead by the thongs for speed. When one of the thongs is released the projectile goes careening off at a dangerous pace.

Ranged Weapon Notes

The cost modifier detailed in the note on bows overrides the cost modifier and STR simply doesn’t apply to the arrows, only the fact that larger characters must have longer arrows to suit the greater draw-length of their bows.

Ranges for all Ranged weapons should be converted to millimeters to mesh with the conventions of combat and tabletop wargaming displays used to keep track of battles, also described in the rules for tactical play and combat of Part III. The Rules of the Game.

Ranges for ranged weapons are defined in five categories; point-blank, short, medium, long, and extreme. These are used primarily to determine the modifiers which must be used to bring the chances to hit closer in line with real world results. What these distances will actually be for a given character will depend on his STR and whether he is using a hurled or a missile weapon.

The base range limits for the character’s ranged weapons can be found on the following table by weapon type.

Base Range Limits for Ranged Weapons

Range Category

Missile Weapons (in yards)





Bow, sling, fustibal, crossbow





Short Bow





Hurled Weapons (in feet)















Hurled ranges are read in feet.

Bow ranges are quoted in yards.

These ranges are based on the average human with a STR of 13.

To the short, medium, and long range entries the players should either add or subtract 1 foot (Hurled weapons), 2 yards (bows), or 1 yard (short bows) per point of STR above or below 13, respectively.

Point-blank ranges will be equal to (short range limit ÷ 4).

For the fustibal and sling, the range will be increased or decreased by 6 yards per point by which the character’s STR is greater or less than 13, respectively.

The “Polearms” row of Hurled weapon ranges are meant specifically for spears, light lances, and all polearm weapons rated for Hurling, as well as those other hafted weapons like spades, tridents, and the like also rated for Hurling.

Any distance beyond the limits of long range is said be Extreme. Because there is no actual limit to this range category, it isn’t recorded on the character sheet. The four spaces provided on the character record sheet should by used for the point-blank, short, medium, and long ranges.

Sling, fustibal, and crossbow ranges will be the same as those quoted for bows in general, as shown, the only thing that changes will be the type of missile.

IF a lighter missile is used, the character will NOT achieve greater range, he will lose control of the missile.

The effort will be futile, wasted.

Naturally, character STR cannot modify crossbow ranges, and they will have’ a definitive maximum (Extreme) range of 200 yards (light) or 225 yards (heavy).

The specific capabilities of a bow will vary with the arrows used. For further information see note #19 in the “Notes on Weapon Gear”, to follow, on the different types of arrows and their uses.

Unlike the balance of the weapons found here, the three types of bows will have maximum STR scores for which they may be made to accommodate (assuming common, mundane materials), as follows.

Bow Type

Max. STR

short bow


long bow


composite bow


Notes on Weapon Gear

1) The archer’s brace is a sort of half-vambrace to cover and protect the inner side of the archer’s forearm (or his sleeve, if wearing good cloth or finery) from being whipped by the bow string when letting shafts fly. If turned about and used as outside half forearm armor, it would have an DC of 1 and DR of  2.

2) The arrows fired from all bows will act as piercing weapons, but the specific effect will depend on the type of arrow, as follows. Arrows will generally be made of birch or ash and fletched with goose quills.

Boson arrows, also called “bougon” or “boujon” , are blunt arrows without steel heads used to hunt small game, inflicting entirely impact or concussion damage.

They will have a “0” DM.

Crescent arrows have flat, crescent-shaped heads (hence the name) set crosswise to the arrow shaft. They are designed to deliver a slashing wound, commonly to hamstring horses or cut ships’ rigging in battle, but they are effective only up to Medium Range.

They will have a DM of +1/4.

Flight arrows are the renowned “cloth-yard shaft”, and must be used in order to take advantage of the bow’s extreme range. They have a “0” DM, however, and will shatter if used on targets within short range. There is no standard Size for these arrows; they will be made for the specific archer according to his draw length, to go with his bow,

Flight arrows will be half the character’s height in length. Anyone within 3in. of the character’s height, taller or shorter makes no difference, will also be able to use them, but those whose height is beyond this margin in either direction will have a penalty to use them.

Garb arrows may be used for everyday hunting (except for small game) and target practice. They will have a DM of +1/4.

The maximum range that these arrows may be fired will be Medium Range.

Sheaf arrows are shorter, heavier arrows with larger, heavier “bodkin”-style heads. These are the only type that can be used to pierce metal and rigid armors (given a sufficient amount of damage is inflicted with them).

These arrows will not fly beyond Medium Range. They work best on extremely close (Point Blank) targets, with a DM of +1/2, falling to +1/4 beyond this.

3) The baldric is a leather or heavy fabric belt worn over the shoulder, cross-body, for the purposes of carrying any sort of weapon. The character may carry one weapon of up to (0.55) Size multiplier in length from the bottom loop of a baldric, at the waist, or any single weapon of up to (0.82) Size multiplier with a sheath or scabbard when secured by the baldric across the back, with the hilt or haft-grip accessible over the shoulder, or two weapons when one is deployed in each of these two ways. The character may wear two baldrics together at any given time, at the player’s option, one across either shoulder, BUT he may only have one weapon across his back, unless they are swords, daggers, knives, etc. in scabbards or sheaths. Otherwise, there would be too much difficulty with them getting fouled when the character tries to draw them for battle.

While weapons don’t generally require a scabbard or sheath when worn hanging from a baldric, unless worn across the back, a scabbard or sheath is always a prudent safety measure against the incidence of a fall.

4) The belthook is one of two devices that may be used to cock a light crossbow if the wielder does not have a 30 STR to cock it manually. It requires the character to wear a stout leather belt around his waist from which the hook will hang (hence, the name). To use the tool, the character puts the front of the empty crossbow down on the ground, putting a foot through the stirrup mounted there to anchor it in place, snags the string on the hook, and uses the full strength of his legs to draw the string into place  by standing up.

The goatsfoot is a lever-like instrument that may be used to span light and heavy crossbows equally well after they have been fired.

For an additional 4d., the goatsfoot may be built into the character’s crossbow as an integral part.

The crannequin or windlass is a reduction-geared mechanism that enables the character to span a (heavy) crossbow much more powerful than he is himself. This device must be lain atop the crossbow parallel to the stock and hooked onto the string, then the handles of the mechanism are cranked around until the string is drawn far enough back to cock it.

The belthook requires a successful STR check (DV 18) to use successfully on a light crossbow, while the goatsfoot requires no check to use on a light crossbow, but will require a STR check (DV 20) for use on a heavy crossbow. Unlike the other two tools, the crannequin requires no STR checks at all to use.

5) The bolts fired from all crossbows will act as piercing weapons. They differ from the arrows fired from conventional bows in that they are shorter (24 to 30 inches), thicker of shaft, and their heads are square in cross-section, looking like pyramids, as opposed to the generally flat section of an arrowhead.

Common bolts are those used to “proof” plate-armor.

Those designated “de ere pennate” are the heavier sort used to pierce even heavy field plate, though only at close or point-blank range.

6) The bowcase is a simple, oiled leather slipcase for carrying an unstrung bow, made with a drawstring top and a strap for slinging it across one shoulder.

7) The girdle is a leather or heavy fabric belt worn about the waist for the purpose of carrying a weapon, with special straps and harness for securing the scabbard or sheath of a primary weapon at a handy height and angle for ease of drawing. The character may carry one weapon of up to (0.55) Size multiplier in length on a girdle, and may wear no more than two girdles at any given time.

While weapons don’t generally require a scabbard or sheath when worn hanging from a baldric, unless worn across the back, a scabbard or sheath is always a prudent safety measure against the incidence of a fall.

8) A mamillaire is a contrivance that protects the character from losing his weapon in the middle of the fray, regardless of how he came to lose his grip on it, even if he should be disarmed by his opponent or his arm/hand is benumbed by a particularly hearty blow from an opponent. It is made up of a small circular plate, or “rondel”, which has a ring in its center to which the “guard chain” is attached. The rondel is worn secured to the breast of any garment of metal or rigid armor, while the other end of the guard chain is attached to a ring in the butt of the wood-hafted weapon of the player’s choice, OR to the pommel of a hilted weapon, as desired. The guard chain is measured to be slightly less than arm’s reach long so the weapon can be recovered easily.

The little anchor plate of the mamillaire, the rondel, has no value as armor whatever, and the character may wear no more than two (2) of these  to secure his weapons to his armor at any given time, one (1) on the left side and one (1) on the right.

The mamillaire is also commonly used to tether the helm to the breast armor, as well, so the helm cannot be lost if it be knocked off by an opponent, though with a substantially shorter chain, and rondel to which it is attached is commonly found high in the center of the front of the garment of armor, close to the base of the throat.

9) Either type of quiver can hold 36 arrows or 18 crossbow bolts. Both types of quiver will have adjustable leather straps for attaching to a girdle at the waist or to a baldric at waist or shoulder.

The open quiver is simply a stitched tube of heavy leather reinforced at the mouth to hold its shape and at the base to guard against piercing by the arrowheads. It will be c. 30in. deep, stopping just short of the fletchings of garb, crescent, or sheaf arrows, far short of the fletchings of flight arrows.

The box quiver is made of wood covered over with rawhide and will be c. 36in’s deep, enough to completely contain any type of arrow. The depth will vary the odd few inches to accommodate the flight arrows of taller characters when the STA modifier for weight and cost are applied. This quiver has a hinged lid angling down over the top to help shed the wind and weather, with a leather thong loop and bone tie-catch. If not completely water-proof it will be largely weather-proof for the purposes of the game.

10) Scabbards are strong casings for storing or carrying swords and longer daggers and knives. They are each made of two thin blanks of wood carven to fit the blade for which it is made, exactly, lined with unwashed wool, wrapped in rawhide, parchment, leather, or heavy fabric, and fitted with a metal guard on the mouth called a “locket” and on the tip called a “chape”, and carrying sufficient harness to be easily hung on girdle or baldric. The unwashed wool lining the scabbard is rich in lanolin, a natural oil, and every time the weapon is inserted in the scabbard it is coated with it anew to aid in protecting it from rusting.

11) Stinkpots are made of thin ceramic and are filled with smoldering sulphur or quicklime. These (3 to 4in.) pots will break upon striking any hard surface to spread their contents in roughly a (STR) feet diameter circle. The steeper the angle at which it hits the surface that breaks it, the more elliptical the area covered will become, until the impact results in a directional spray,  instead (GM’s discretion).

The standard DV for resisting the effects of a stinkpot’s influence once broken will be 10. The character can get more virulent pots at an additional cost of 5d. 1hp. per point of additional DV desired.

12) The sheaf is a contrivance for the carrying of arrows. It is a simple open wood frame supporting a shaped leather retaining ring at the top and a cup at the base to hold the points of the arrows, with fittings to allow it to be slung from girdle or baldric. The sheaf does not do well with lots of jolts or sharp movements such as those incurred on impact from a fall or a tumble down a hill or prolonged riding at high speed. Such movements tend to make the arrows jump out of the cup at the bottom and fall out. Archers who are deployed on the field so as to rain death upon their foes a good distance away without actually facing the foe hand-to-hand and those who stalk and hunt tend to make the best use of the sheaf for carrying their arrows.

13) Sheaths are soft casings primarily associated with daggers and knives, but also made to protect the more eccentrically shaped blades of axes and mattocks, sickles and scythes, falchions and braquemarts. They are made of leather lined in unwashed, unsheared sheepskin, carrying sufficient harness to be easily carried from girdle or baldric. The lanolin in the unwashed woos of the sheepskin lining is rich in lanolin, a natural oil, and every time the weapon is inserted in the sheath it is coated with it anew to aid in protecting it from rusting.

Sheaths for daggers and knives can be fitted to the shaft of a boot, outside (visible) or inside, or with an over-the-shoulder strap (narrower and lighter than a baldric, can be worn under clothing, especially if one has the skill to Conceal it) for wearing the hilt at the back of the neck. At the player’s option, these sheaths can be made with straps to belt them to calf, forearm, upper arm, or thigh, but these will only hold common knives, poignards, or dirks, nothing as large or long as a misericorde, stiletto, carving knife, or cleaver.

14) The shot indicated here are purpose-made of earthenware, kiln-baked to ceramic hardness. At the core of each is a small pebble. When used in battle, the earthenware shell of the shot shatters on impact, leaving only the pebble core, which is too small for an opponent to pick up and use in turn, if he also has a sling.

15) The toyle is a lance bucket or rest, small contrivance fixed to lay over a cuisse (plate armor, thigh guard) to hold the butt of a horseman’s lance (or any other polearm, for that matter) when carried upright on horseback, to save the character from the shoulder and arm strain and fatigue of having to hold up the whole weight of it up for long periods. This is particularly useful when traveling or when marching in long parades or processions.

16) The wrist thong is a strong braided leather strap knotted into a loop to the ring in the butt of a wood-hafted weapon of the player’s choice, OR to the pommel of a hilted weapon, as desired. The prudent character slips his hand through the looped thong before gripping his weapon and wading into battle. This protects the character from losing his weapon, having it fly out of reach in the middle of the fray, regardless of how he came to lose his grip on it, even if he should be disarmed by his opponent or his arm/hand is benumbed by a particularly hearty blow from an opponent.