Optional Rule Custom Quality Levels

The GM may opt to allow attractiveness, balance, and materials to vary independently. Pick the desired features below, add their price modifiers, and apply the final percentage to the weapon's price after all other modifications. If this gives a discount larger than -80%, limit it to -80%. "Balance" refers to the previous rule; "materials" describes the quality ratings in the Basic Set.

Fine (Balance): All weapons but sticks and improvised weapons: +400%.

Cheap (Materials): Melee and thrown weapons only: -60% at TL0-6, -80% at TL7+.

Good (Materials): All weapons: +0% at TL0-6, -60% at TL7+.

Fine (Materials): Arrows, bolts, and crushing-only or impaling-only melee or thrown weapons: +200% at TL0-6, +0% at TL7+. Fencing weapons and swords: +300% at TL0-6, +0% at TL7+. Other cutting melee or thrown weapons: +900% at TL0-6, +0% at TL7+. Blowpipes, bows, and crossbows: +300%.

Very Fine (Materials): Fencing weapons and swords only: +1,900% at TL0-6, +300% at TL7+.

Presentation: All weapons: +400% or more. There's no upper limit! Such weapons fetch more when resold. Start with the inflated original purchase price and halve any discount or depreciation for a second-hand weapon.

Silver: Solid silver arrows, bolts, or melee or thrown weapons can only be of "good" materials quality, yet break as if cheap: +1,900%. Silver-coated or -edged weapons can be of any quality: +200%. See Silver Weapons (p. B275) for rules. While valuable, not all silver is "presentation" quality.

Example 1: Sir Liam, a TL3 knight, wants the ultimate werewolf-slaying sword. He commissions a thrusting broadsword that has fine-quality balance (+1 skill, +400%), very fine-quality materials (-2 breakage, +2 damage, +1,900%), and silver edges (+200%). The total modifier is +2,500%. Applying this to the sword's $600 list price gives a final cost of $15,600!

Example 2: General Schwarz, a TL7 officer, is presented with a dress saber. The blade is almost worthless for fighting, with cheap-quality balance (-1 skill, -60%) and materials (+2 breakage, -80%). However, it's of presentation quality - the rubies and gold look great (+400%). The final modifier is +260%. List cost for a saber is $700, so this one costs $2,520. If Schwarz ever sells it, he'll get most of that sum.

Forest Bill - England. A Dueling Bill (pp. 229-230).

Fukiya - Japan. A Blowpipe (p. B275), favored by ninja.

Fuscina - Ancient Rome. A Trident (p. 229). Often used by gladiators in conjunction with a MELEE NET (p. B276).

Gada (p. 230; illustration, p. 174) - India. This giant mace symbolizes strength. Wielded two-handed, it can be swung or gripped near the head to "punch." The listed gada is small; the GM may scale up damage bonus, cost, weight, and ST together; e.g., x1.2 gives sw+6, $120, 18 lbs., ST 19. Reach doesn't change - the head just gets bigger.

Garrote (p. B272) - Universal. Any length of cord, wire, or rope used to strangle.

Gladius - Ancient Rome. A Shortsword (p. B273).

Glaive (p. B272) - Europe. A polearm consisting of a pointed cleaver on a long haft, which evolved from the

Heavy Spear (p. 229) in ancient times. A shorter version - the Dueling Glaive (p. 229) - was used for individual combat in the Middle Ages.

Great Axe (p. B274) - Universal. A large, two-handed axe, "weaponized" from the woodsman's (or executioner's!) axe.

Greatsword (p. B274) - Europe. A true two-handed sword. It usually has a sharp tip (a Thrusting Greatsword, p. B274). A typical European greatsword has a ricasso ending in two protruding spikes that protect the wielder's hand.

Halberd (p. B272) - Europe. A heavy polearm with an axelike head that sports both a back-spike (enables the Hook technique, p. 74) and an axial spike (used like a spear). The battlefield version may be shortened to a Dueling HALBERD (pp. 229-230) for individual combat.

Hanbo - Japan. Treat this "half-staff' (which is what the name means) as a Jo (pp. 227, 230).

Han-Kyu - Japan. Literally, "half-bow" - a Short Bow (p. B275) sometimes modified by ninja to fit in a sleeve.

Harpoon (p. B276) - Universal. A barbed hunting spear with a line attached. Not an entangling weapon; pulling on the line tends to yank it out (see footnote 8, p. B276). In melee, treat it as a clumsy HEAVY SPEAR (p. 229) with reach 1, 2* and -2 to skill.

Hatchet (pp. B271, B276) - Universal. A light, short-hafted axe suitable for throwing.

Hook Sword (pp. 226-227; illustration, p. 73) - China. A blunt weapon shaped like an inverted "J," with an edged handguard for punching. The crook enables the Hook technique (p. 74) - and the inside is edged, ostensibly for crippling horses! Usually used in pairs.

Horse-Cutter (p. 229; illustration, at right) - China. A polearm with a heavy chopping blade similar to that of a Dao (p. 227), intended for use by footmen against horsemen. The Heavy Horse-Cutter (p. 229) is half again the length and mass of the Light Horse-Cutter (pp. 229-230).

Hungamunga (p. 231; illustration, p. 52) - Sub-Saharan Africa. A flat "throwing iron" with multiple sharp points - typically between five and eight - and a handle. Most hungamungas require Thrown Weapon (Knife), but the Large Hungamunga (p. 231) uses Thrown

Weapon (Axe/Mace). TL2 models are soft iron and may bend on impact. Roll 1d after a throw; on a 1-3, it bends and is useless. Bending it back takes 10 seconds and an Armoury+3 roll. TL3+ steel blades may ignore this rule. Also called a "mongwanga."

Iklwa - Zulu. A Short Spear (p. 229) with a long, broad head, unbalanced for throwing.

Jang Bong - Korea. A Quarterstaff (pp. B273-274).

Jang Gum - Korea. A long, curved sword used in one or two hands. Treat as a Katana (pp. B271, B274).

Javelin (pp. B273, B276) - Universal. A slender spear, balanced for throwing but also useful as a light melee weapon.

Jian (pp. 227, 229; illustration, p. 69) - China. A straight, one-handed sword with a long, narrow blade that's light enough for fencing but strong enough for cutting. A tassel often decorates the handle.


Jitte - Japan. A sharp, spearhead-like blade with two side prongs for disarming. Treat as a Sai (pp. 227-228, 231). The name of this weapon and that of the JUTTE (below) are occasionally exchanged, or used for both weapons -the result of a shift in transliteration practices.

Jo (pp. 227, 230) - Japan. A four- to five-foot stick normally used with two-handed staff techniques.

JuTTE (pp. 227-228; illustration, p. 169) - Japan. A blunt baton with a single prong for catching parried blades for disarming. Confusingly, some sources swap the name of this weapon and that of the jitte (above), or use the same term for both.

Kabutowari - Japan. The so-called "helmet breaker" is a curved metal truncheon. Its handle and sheath resemble those of the wakizashi (p. 225), letting a non-samurai look as if he's carrying a sword without breaking the law. Some evidence suggests that it was used alongside the tachi (p. 225) as a secondary and parrying weapon. Treat as a BAToN (p. B273) that's both presentation quality and fine quality. It gets +1 to swinging damage and costs $150; other statistics don't change.

Kakute (p. 227) - Japan. A ring with small teeth or "horns," used to get a firm grip on an opponent and assail pressure points. A pair - one on the ring finger, one on the thumb -gives +1 to rolls to prevent a grappled foe from breaking free and +1 to Pressure Points skill while grappling, but Bad Grip 1 (p. B123) with weapons. Twisting the rings into position for grappling or out of the way for other tasks takes a Ready maneuver.

Kama - Japan. A Sickle (p. 226) with a straight, pointed blade sharpened on the inside edge.

Katana (pp. B271, B274) - Japan. A slightly curved, single-edged sword designed for one- or two-handed use. The Basic Set describes an early Tokugawa-era weapon in transition from the two-handed nodachi (p. 221) to a blade short enough to wear thrust through a sash. Use the LATE KATANA (pp. 227, 230) statistics for later-era katanas, including modern ones.

Katar (pp. 228-229; illustration, p. 62) - India. A blade with a perpendicular handle equipped with hand or arm guards, awkward for slashing but ideal for thrusting. Grip mechanics permit the use of armed or unarmed combat skills to parry, as with the ToNFA (p. 226). Typically knife-sized, but the Large Katar (p. 229) is shortsword-sized.

Kettukari - India. A Quarterstaff (pp. B273-274).

Kittate - Japan. A one-piece iron pick with an L-shaped spike on the peen, intended as a portable candle-holder. Stuck in a wall pick-first, with a candle on the spike, it can provide hands-free light. It's also an effective weapon - treat as a Pick (p. B271).

Knife (pp. 228-229, B272, B276) - Universal. Any one-handed blade smaller than a sword, built for effective cutting and stabbing. Lightest is the SMALL KNIFE (pp. B272, B276), which may be balanced well enough to throw. The next size up is the Large Knife (pp. B272, B276), which is often purpose-built for combat but rarely throwable. Largest -at a total length between 15" and 23" - is the Long Knife (pp. 228-229), which is only marginally less substantial than a Shortsword (p. B273) and never throwable. For throwable knives, see Throwing Knife (p. 231).

Hidden Weapons

Martial-arts tales (especially ninja stories) often feature concealed weapons. Normally, warriors who wish to hide weapons use the Holdout skill. The GM rolls in secret for each weapon. The roll is usually unopposed, but against an alerted observer it becomes a Quick Contest vs. Observation skill if watched or Search skill if searched. Treat potential foes as "alerted" on any failed uncontested roll. A badly hidden weapon is grounds for suspicion!

For a ranged weapon, Holdout has a penalty equal to Bulk. For a rigid melee weapon, add weight in lbs. (treat "neg." as 0) to longest reach in yards (treat "C" as 0), round up, and apply a penalty of that size. For a flexible weapon (kusari, whip, etc.), do the same calculation but use shortest reach.

Examples: A dagger is 0.25 lb., rigid, and has longest reach C; 0.25 + 0 = 0.25, which rounds up to give -1. A kusari is 5 lbs., flexible, and has shortest reach 1; 5 + 1 = 6, so the penalty is -6.

The carrier's size also matters. If the reach used above exceeds his height in yards (round up), don't bother rolling - the weapon is simply too long to hide. Otherwise, apply his Size Modifier to the roll; a bigger person has more hiding places. There are many ways to get further bonuses.

Kittate Japanese Candle Holder
Knife Throwing Techniques of the Ninja

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