This page covers all the gear we use in combat. To see more of the Rules return to the Player's Guide
Ribbons and StripsEdit
Ribbons (also called cloths or strips) are used to denote special effects that need to be identified quickly. All ribbons must be at least one inch wide and twelve inches in length (at least six inches should be able to hang freely), and clearly visible
from 50 feet away. Armbands and headbands act in all ways like ribbons and must follow their rules.
Besides a few magical weapons, only non-explosive, non-chemical weapons that might have been in
existence before 1700 AD are allowed. All weapons can be broken into four parts:
Strike-Legal: the weapon segment that is at least 2.5 inches in diameter (flat blades require 1.5 inches of foam on a striking surface) and will not leave marks, bruises, or broken bones when used to hit your opponent. This is the only area of a weapon that counts as a valid hit. Stab-only weapons are required to have at least six inches of strike-legal surface on any stabbing end.
Padding:the weapon segment that has at least half an inch of foam over the weapon core. It is meant to prevent injuries from accidental contact. All non-handle and non-striking portions of a weapon must be padded. (Strike-legal areas also count as padded by default.)
Handle:the unpadded weapon segment where it is held. Padding requirements cannot force the total length of the handle and pommel to be less than six inches long.
Pommel:The end of the weapon next to the handle
including non-striking protrusions such as crossguards and baskethilts. Pommels must be at least two inches in diameter and padded well enough to prevent the weapon core from being felt under reasonable pressure.
Each weapon can perform different attacks based on real-world counterparts. These are as follows;
Slashing: a slash or chopping attack relying on the edge for effect. Swords, polearms, and similar weapons can slash.
Bludgeoning:relies on blunt impact rather than an edge. Clubs, maces, staves and flails are bludgeoning weapons.
Thrusting:the force of the attack is focused on a very small sharp point to amplify its effect. Spears, arrows, and similar weapons are thrusting weapons.
Axes and Falchions: Axes and Falchions are two of the few weapons that can be both slashing and bludgeoning with the same attack. Axes are designed to combine a heavy striking force (bludgeoning) on a sharp edge (slashing). Falchions
use the opposite approach. It is a short, thick sword that uses heavy mass to augment its chopping/slashing attack. Falchions can also thrust. Most axes must be equipped with special thrusting spikes to legally thrust.
Dagger:A slashing or piercing weapon between 12 inches and 18 inches long. At least half of its total length must be strike-legal.
Short:slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning weapons more than 18 inches long up to 3 feet. The pommel and handle of the weapon can be no longer than 1/3 of the weapon's total length. If used to slash, at least 2/3 of its length must be strike-legal. If a bludgeoning weapon, at least 1/3 of the length must be strike-legal.
Medium:slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning weapons more than 3 feet long up to a maximum of 4 feet. The pommel and handle of the weapon can be no longer than 1/3 of the weapon's total length. If used to slash, at least 2/3 of its length must be strike-legal. If a bludgeoning weapon, at least 1/3 must be strike-legal.
Long:slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning weapons more than 4 feet up to a maximum of 6 feet. The pommel and handle of the weapon can be no longer than 1/3 of the weapon's total length. If used to slash, at least 2/3 of its length must be strike-legal. If used to bludgeon, at least 1/3 must be strike-legal. Weapons may only exceed 5 feet if they conform to the standards of Great Weapons.
Flails:Weapons with a single articulating (chain-like) head. The chain of a flail is not a legal striking edge. Chains on these weapons must be wrapped in foam with less than half an inch of the rope exposed at any point. The combined rope and striking edge of a flail may not exceed 18 inches in length and the total length of the weapon may not exceed 3 feet.
Spear:Stabbing-only weapons at least 5 feet long and should not be confused with the javelin, which may be thrown. Spears must be padded on the upper 1/3 of length and between 6 and 12 inches of legal striking surface. Considered
wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or affecting monsters. Thrusting only. Spears over 8 feet long must have a thrusting end 5 inches in diameter or more.
Staff:bludgeoning weapon (ends may be used to thrust, but it is a bludgeon attack) of 5 to 8 feet that must be strike-legal for at least 1 foot of length on both ends. Must have padding on upper 1/3 of each end. Considered wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or affecting monsters. Staves are never considered Great Weapons.
Polearm:Between 5 and 10 feet in length. May also have slashing edges. Polearms must have padding on upper 1/3 of length, and the striking edge must be between 1 and 2 feet long. Polearms over 8 feet long must have a thrusting end 5 inches in diameter or more, and must have a striking edge between 2 and 3 feet long. Considered wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or affecting monsters. Any class that can use a polearm may also use a spear. All polearms are Red weapons.
Madu: A shield joined to a spear or polearm. The spear/polearm portion of the madu may be shorter than the normal five feet. Only usable if a class can use both a spear and shield, or a polearm and shield. If any portion of the weapon is broken, heated, or otherwise rendered unusable, all of it is disabled. Considered wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or affecting monsters. Magic and abilities that affect any part of the madu, such as Enchant Shield, affect its entirety. Madus may never be considered great weapons. If a madu is built to slash at least 1/3rd of its length (excluding the shield portion) must be strike legal and the rest must be courtesy padded.
Bow:Longbows do four points of damage. Shortbows and crossbows do two points of damage. Crossbow pistols do one point of damage. See the Archery section for more complete descriptions. Bows, crossbows, and arrows are considered
wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or affecting monsters.
Javelins:Stab-only thrown weapons that may also be used in melee combat (thrusting only). They must be greater than 12 inches long and less than 5 feet long, have at least 6 inches of strike-legal surface on the end, and be padded on its entirety. Exposed soft fletching is allowed. Considered wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or affecting monsters. These are the only thrown weapons that may have a rigid core, and the core should be lightweight and very durable.
Projectiles:Up to 12 inches long, fully padded with no rigid core. Semi-rigid cores must be approved on a case-by-case basis. These may not be used in melee or used to block. There is no limit to the number of projectiles you can carry. A hit by any portion of the weapon regardless of style or design is counted as a hit. (NOTE: In many cases, the term projectiles’ also includes arrows. However, arrows may NEVER be thrown.)
Boulders:A special type of Projectile used by Barbarians and some Monsters. Boulders are a large padded ball at least 1 foot in diameter and in all other ways conform to the rules for Projectiles. They cannot be used unless specifically allowed inthe class description. (NOTE: Weapons not classified as Javelins, Projectiles, or Boulders may not be thrown, i.e. you may not throw your sword. All these weapons do one point of damage to armor and can be blocked by melee weapons without damage).
Other Weapon Types:This list is by no means exhaustive. A variety of weapons have been developed over the centuries that are not presented above. Unusual weapons are considered case-by-case, but several points should be kept in mind;
1) A weapon type usually doesn't stay in use very long if it doesn't work well or has a serious tactical flaw. Common weapons are common because they work well for their assigned tasks.
2) Fighting styles varied by region, and the native weapons reflect this. Not all weapons can be effectively used against a foreign style, despite their effectiveness in their native land.
3) When designing an unusual weapon, try to find a historical equivalent and how it was used. This will go a long way toward convincing the Reeve to allow it and you learning to use it.
4) Some weapons are inherently unsafe, even when they conform to every safety standard.
Red:A Red weapon does two points of damage to armor and can destroy a shield with three called hits (the attacker must shout 'shield!' before each attack). Great weapons are always Red weapons. Magical enchantments and the Enrage ability of barbarians can also make a weapon Red. In all cases where a one-handed weapon is Red, the weapon or the user must have a red strip to indicate the effect.
White: A White weapon kills on contact, even if it hits the head, feet, or hands. It ignores all armor and magical defenses. It is considered engulfing and destroys all carried equipment. It is stopped by Invulnerability (lose 1 point when hit). White weapons are normally found in some types of siege weapons, some large monster attacks, and other super-awesomely-powerful attack types.
Great:If a weapon is over 5 feet in length, is strike-legal over at least 2/3rds it’s contiguous length, and a minimum diameter of five inches over the entire striking surface, then it is considered Great and becomes Red when wielded two-handed.
Magic: Relics and weapons bearing an enchantment other than Stun Weapon. NOTE: Some weapons may have multiple effects.
The maximum limit for a bow's pull is 35 pounds with a maximum 28-inch draw length. Crossbows are limited to no more than 450 inch-pounds. Crossbow pistols are limited to no more than 300 inch pounds. No compound bows are allowed.
Broken or mended arrows cannot be used. All wood arrows must be taped with fiber tape on the entire shaft. Arrows may never be used as hand or melee weapons. The "points" must have at least a 2.5-inch diameter. Arrows score hits like any other weapon. Any class that can use a shortbow may also use a crossbow.
At close range (20 feet or less) bows must be no more than half drawn and crossbows may not be used. Crossbow pistols may be used as close as 5 feet (beyond melee reach). Arrows from shortbows and crossbows do two points of damage to armor. Arrows from crossbow pistols do one point of damage to armor. Arrows from longbows do four points of damage to armor. A weapon in hand that is hit by an arrow is destroyed. If a bow is struck by a weapon of any type, the bow is destroyed.
1) Shields are considered wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or monster abilities.
2) Small shields may be strapped to the arm instead of held in-hand (Bucklers).
3) Effects that break shields (such as Red weapons) are cumulative regardless of the source.
4) A blow that strikes a non-wielded shield strikes the player as if the shield was not there.
5) A player may wield two shields and may carry a weapon in the shield-bearing hand, but cannot fight with that weapon. The exception is a buckler, which may be used with a weapon in the same hand.
6) Weapon-type implements (such as boss-spikes) may not be mounted on a shield. All shield measurements are the exterior surface on a flat plane.
- A small shield is no larger than 3 square feet.
- A medium shield is no larger than 6 square feet.
- A large shield is no larger than 9 square feet.
Many people prefer to use round shields, but converting to square feet can be confusing. Here's the formula;
R x R x 3.1416 / 144 = square feet.
Radius (R) is from the center of the circle to the edge of the shield. Therefore (roughly),
- 3 square feet = 2 feet across
- 6 square feet = 2 feet 9 inches across
- 9 square feet = 3 feet 5 inches across
Nobody really cares if you’re a fraction of an inch off, so close is good enough. Any class that can use a shortbow may also use a crossbow.
Combat with ArmorEdit
Armor is rated on its ability to stop blows. The rating ranges from 1 to 6 points. Each strike will remove one point of value from the armor. Certain weapons and affects deal more damage to armor as noted in their descriptions. When the armor value has reached zero, the next hit will wound or kill. Damage only applies to the armor on the hit location that was
struck. Armor the entire hit location evenly. In cases where a part of a hit location is protected and another is
not, the armor is averaged for an overall value. If armor is layered, ignore the lesser value. Armor cannot be "stacked" to increase it's value.
Gambeson= thick padding sewn between two layers of heavy cloth, or several layers of heavy cloth sewn together.
Light leather= leather of at least 1/16" thick.
Heavy leather= leather of at least 3/16" thick.
Chainmail = the standard chainmail uses 16-gauge wire with an internal diameter of 3/8-inch. Ends are simply butted together.
Augmented Chain= chainmail which has added protection, such as doubling the rings, small metal plates, riveting the links shut, using very thick wire or very small rings, etc. Some Oriental weaves are considered augmented because of their density.
Lamellar= plates that have all been joined in an overlapping fashion by cord or chain link.
Brigandine = closely spaced or overlapping plates riveted between two layers of leather.
Plate = solid metal armor with riveted metal articulations to increase mobility.
No armor list can be completely exhaustive, and armors not mentioned should be ranked according to their composition (metallic vs. non-metallic) and their protective value relative to other armors in the table.
Plates are made of at least 18-gauge steel and must be attached to each other or a backing in such a way that all four edges or corners are held into continuous rigid contact with each other or the backing.
Cuir bouilli is the process by which leather is hardened using wax or other treatments to produce significantly harder leather.
Studs are composed of metal, and must be spaced no further apart than twice their own diameter to receive the bonus. Studs cannot be added to metal.
Rings are composed of metal (not to be confused with chain mail), and must be at least 1/8 inch thick, have an internal diameter between 1 and 2 inches. They can be spaced apart no further than their own diameter to receive the bonus. Rings may not be added to metal armor.
Scales are composed of metal (+2) or 3/16" hardened leather (+1), and must be overlapping. Scales may not be added to most metal armor, although metal scales on chainmail counts as augmented mail. Scales need only be attached to the armor along one edge.
Obviously non-authentic materials refer to materials that were not in used to create armor prior to the 1700's, such as plastic. However, if the material is suitably covered or built to resemble an authentic material, the penalty does not apply (such as plastic painted and textured to realistically simulate the look of steel). For full value, the armor should have the
same approximate weight and performance abilities (ex: simulated plates should not bend and flex.) The standard of comparison is low-grade steel, so lighter or softer metals such as aluminum will incur a penalty while stainless steel will not. Completely inappropriate materials may receive no points (i.e. aluminum foil, cardboard, etc). Appearance refers to the overall look of the armor and how well it resembles historical armors.
Workmanship refers to the skill of the assembly (or lack thereof). Armor appearance is very dependent on a player's persona, and the armor may be rated accordingly. However, workmanship IS NOT persona-based, as even a scrap of savaged armor worn by the poorest caveman would be maintained as well as he could manage.
These are the base armors: Gambeson or light leather = 1
Heavy leather = 2
European ‘4 in 1' chain mail = 3
Augmented chain = 4
Brigandine or lamellar = 5
Plate = 6
Construction additions and subtractions: Superior construction = +1
Obviously non-authentic materials = -1
Heavy gauge material = +1
Shoty an /or artificial appearance = -1
Superior appearance an artistry = +1
Poor workmanship = -1
These Materials can increase non-metallic armor values:
Cuir bouilli = +1
Studs / Rings = +1
Scales = +2
Heavy gauge material is material that is at least twice as thick as the listed standards. Gambesons and light leather cannot get this bonus. The total of all modifications cannot raise or lower an armor's base value by more than 2 points. Also, no armor can exceed 6 points, regardless of modifications. Only special abilities can raise an armor value beyond 6 points.
Weapon Construction NotesEdit
A safe weapon is one that will not leave welts, bruises, or broken bones or teeth when it strikes a person. If your weapon hurts you when you are struck, it is not safe. Materials that have been approved for weapon cores are carbon/graphite rods (golf shaft), kite spar, bamboo, PVC tubing and fiberglass. Other materials will be checked for safety on a case-by-case basis. Metal and wooden cores are will never be considered legal. All sharp edges must be removed from the core and other building materials. Weapon surfaces must be padded as per the weapon descriptions in Weapon Types above. Foam must be fixed to the shaft in some way to prevent slippage or accidental removal. Weapon tips (points, guards, pommels, etc.) and striking surfaces must be at least 2.5 inches in diameter (flat blade weapons must not be able to pass their tip through a 2.5 inch diameter ring). All weapon cores must be blunted by capping them with a layer of foam and
tape. Stabbing weapons should include extra padding on the tip to ensure safety. Magic components used in combat spellballs, etc.) must also be padded and be at least 2.5 inches in diameter. Weapons must be covered in a durable, opaque cloth. No tape can be exposed on the striking edge.
Funnoodle™ is the dominant weapon material at the moment. It is a long tube of foam that is drilled out through the middle and sold as a pool toy. The use of 'noodle as striking-edge padding is the only way a weapon may legally have less than a 2.5-inch diameter, and cannot be less than 2.25 inches.
A typical shield has some sort of backing, arm straps, handle, foam padding, and a cover. Rigid backing must be of a material that will not or shatter into sharp pieces if broken. Approved cores include plywood, plastic, aluminum, and fiberglass. Other materials will be checked for safety on a case- by-case basis. Strapping and handles may be attached in any sturdy manner. Bolts shanks and screw tips must be set to the inside of the shield (heads toward the shield face), shortened to a functional height, and blunted or capped to prevent accidental injury. Nails are not allowed.
The shield face must be padded. Rigid-backing requires at least one inch of foam over the face and edge secured in a manner to prevent accidental slipping. There should be enough padding so that the core and bolt heads cannot be significantly felt. Shields made without backing must not be excessively flexible but must still retain a safe amount of "cush". High-compression foam (such as conventional Styrofoam) is too rigid to be used without additional padding.
Shields require covers over the face and edge. This does not have to be cloth. Vinyl, leather, and plastic have all been successfully used. The cover must be sturdy enough to take repeated abuse without tearing but not cause friction burns during routine bumping and brushing with other players.
Arrow shafts may be made from aluminum, plastic, graphite, or wood. Wood shafts must be taped their entire length with fiberglass strapping tape. The striking end of the arrow must be built up or reinforced to prevent tearing through the padding after repeated impacts. Arrow length from the back of the nock to the base of the head cannot exceed 28 inches. The shaft itself may be longer, but there must be a physical stopper in place to prevent over-drawing.
Tips must meet the same standards as melee weapons, but a tip that is deemed too rigid will not be allowed. The original metal tip must be removed. All arrows must be at least 2.5 inches in diameter, even those made with pool noodle. Fletching and nocks must be in good repair, and tips should be checked regularly for degrading foam. Properly colored covers may be used in lieu of ribbons for specialty arrows.
A blow by any part of a thrown weapon counts as a hit, so all parts of these weapons need to be strike-legal. Javelins must strike point first to count as a hit, but must have courtesy padding along their entire length. All projectiles must be at least 2.5" (or pool noodle width) in diameter. Thrown projectiles, with the exception of javelins, may not have rigid cores. Materials you may use for projectile cores include foam, fabric, and other soft, non-granular materials. Pennies, sand, and the like may not be used.
Armor must be partially visible, and must be announced if asked. Armor should weigh close to historical equals to receive full value. Straps and other material that hold your armor on do not count as part of the armor, for either coverage or averaging, unless they are specifically built as such. Standard criteria are 16-gauge steel for metals and 1/16 inch for leather layers. All armor must be safe to others and the wearer, with no sharp or protruding edges.