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Ancient Weapons

This Module follows the convention to give prices in $. Most ancient societies, however, used a large variety of regional currencies that required constant exchange. Luckily, most of the coins had material value that kept the exchange rates somewhat constant. The $ in the following tables represents a small silver coin of about 5g, like the Denarius in Republican Rome. The $ sign is best read as "silvers" in this context. Often, coins of other materials were used in parallel. As a rule of thumb, gold coins of the same weight are worth about ten silver coins, brass coins a tenth and copper coins a hundreth.

Melee Weapons

Size Damage Rng Wgt. Cost The way melee weapns are hand weapon 1/S-1 0m 0,5kg 20$ handled in GMS is somewhat light weapon 2/S-1 1m 1kg 50$ abstract. Their properties are one handed weapon 2/S 1m 1,5kg 100$ mainly determined by their Size, two handed weapon 3/S+3 2m 2kg 200$ and the specific Type only changes some details. The Skill used to pole arm 3/S+2 3m 3kg 250$ wield a weapon is given by (and named after) its Type, with two exceptions: Pole arms always have either the Type Spear or Staff and up to two other Types. All of them are wielded with the same Skill: Pole Arms. The Type to be used needs to be decided before attacking. Hand weapons are only available in two types: Dagger and Brass Knucles, with the latter also including armored gauntlets, saps and other small blunt weapons. Both use their own Skill; Brass Knuckles deal Stun Damage.

Range in Melee
Melee weapons have a range. It describes the optimal distance to the target. The effective Skill is reduced by one for every meter the distance is different. The character can only deal damage with a successful attack if the difference is not larger than 1m. He can, however, use his Net Successes to change the distance by one meter per Success. These Contests are only necessary if one of the characters can actually deal damage to the other at the current distance and they want to fight at different distances.

Weapon Types

The Types listed here stand for a broad category of similar weapons that may have different names in different cultures and may deviate in apperance or small details. There are dozens of names for swords alone. Just pick something with the properties you want and call it whatever you like.


Axes are simple and reasonably cheap melee weapons. Axes with a broader blade deal more Damage, but have less Penetration. Damage +1/+1 or 0/+2


Flails reseble Maces that have head and shaft connected with a chain. This makes them hard to parry, but also hard to parry with. The winner of the Melee Contest may use all Successes (not just the Net Successes) to increase Damage or Penetration. Shields do not protect against Flails. Damage 0/+1 (Stun if blunt)


Hammers are most effective against heavily armored opponents. War hammers usually have a surprisingly light head with a pointy and a blunt side. The attacker needs to decide whether he wants to deal Stun Damage before attacking. A hammer will get stuck if it penetrates armor with the pointy side and the attacker rolls less Successes than the armor's Hardness. Damage +2/0 Version 1.00 EN

CC BY-NC-SA, Adrien Pfeuffer, 2012


Swords are versatile weapons used to cut and thrust. The attacker may distribute two points on Penetration or Damage before attacking. Such a sword costs twice as much as other weapons of the same Size. Some swords are specialized on either cutting or thrusting; they can't use both points on either Penetration or Damage (depending on type), but only cost 50% more and weigh 20% less. Damage -1/+1

Spears are simple and cheap weapons offering additional Range. A Spear can also be used as a Staff of the same Size (with the right Skill). Damage +1/-1, Range +1m, Weight -33%, Cost -50%


Staffs are probably the oldest and simplest weapns around. With some patience, a Staff of the desired Size can be found in any forest; The cost is for Staffs made by a skilled craftsman. Damage -1/-1 Stun, Weight -50%, Cost -90%

Maces have a weighted head at the end of a shaft. Some Maces have a blunt head, while others have one with spikes or sharp edges. The former deal Stun Damage. Damage +1/+1 (Stun if blunt)

Two handed weapons and pole arms are also available in shortened versions. Shortened two handed weapons may be used as a one handed weapon of the same type, but deal one point less damage when used two handed. Short pole arms sacrifice one meter of range for one point of damage. Weight and cost does not differ substantially from the long versions.


The rules assume all weapons and armors to be made from materials of similar quality. The GM may adjust Penetration or Hardness if a material is a lot softer or harder than the ones most used at the time (like a steel sword in bronze age). Such exceptional items are often assumed to have magical properies.

Throwing Weapons
Hand weapons and light weapons can be balanced for throwing, which increases their cost by 50%. They use the rules for ranged combat; their Range is the thrower's Strength. The Skill Throwing Weapons is linked to Melee, though. Rocks are also considered Throwing Weapons and deal a damage of 1/S-1 Stun. Slings can be used to throw rocks and special throwing spears called darts built for this purpose. They use the Skill Sling linked to Ranged and doubles the effective Range. It is still possible to throw unbalanced weapons. They use Throw linked to Athletics. Their Range is reduced by one meter per kg, and there's a 50% chance they only deal Stun Damage.

Ranged Weapons
Ranged weapons drawn with muscle power have a fixed Pull. It represents the Strength required to comfortably draw and aim the weapon by hand. Ranged weapons are used with Bow and Crossbow. All ranged weapnons have a Penetration of P/2 and a Damage of P. A character using a bow with a Pull above his Strength has his effective Skill reduced by the difference. Crossbows with any Pull can be fired without penalty, but stronger crossbows need special mechanisms to draw: Levers and belt hooks for small differences and windlasses for large differences. Each missing point of Strength requires an additional Round to reload. The mechanism costs 10% of the crossbow multiplied by the difference between Pull and Strength to be compensated. Version 1.00 EN

CC BY-NC-SA, Adrien Pfeuffer, 2012

Short Bow

A roughly 1,20m tall bow made from wood mainly used for hunting. Range P*2m, Weight 1kg, Cost (P+2)*10$

Composite Bow

Composite bows come in different sizes and are made from laminated layers of wood, horn, bamboo, leather and/or sinew, which increases their elasticity compared to wooden bows. They are very popular with nomads in the steppes. Range P*4m, Weight 1kg, Cost (P+4)*20$

Long Bow

Long bows are made from wood (preferably yew or elm) and are 1,80m to 2m tall. Their size makes it impossible to use them from horseback. Range P*5m, Weight 1,5kg, Cost (P+2)*20$

A crossbow has a shaft with a trigger mounted perpendicular to a bow. This makes it possible to keep a crossbow ready almost indefinitely. Crossbows using a mechanism to draw can not be used from horseback. Range P*3m, Weight 2kg, Cost (P+7)*10$

Every multiple of the weapon's Range the target is away from the shooter reduces his effective Skill by one. If the taget is further away than five times the Range, damage drops by -1/-1. Targets further away than ten times the Range can not be engaged.

Arrows cost 5$ and weigh about 100g apeice. Crossbow bolts cost 4$ and weigh 60g. A quiver can carry 15-30 arrows or 25-50 bolts and costs 20-40$. Arrows are only interchangable between bows of the same type and Pull. Using the wrong arrows reduces the shooter's effective Skill by one. There are also bodkin arrows (+1 Penetration) and broadhead arrows (+1 Damage) available. They cost 50% more.


Type thick clothing The table on the right lists a few common types of armors. Types not listed will usually gambeson have similar properties to the listed ones; leather armor scale, for example, is similar enough to mail to mail armor have virtually identical stats. plate armor It is possible (and often done) to wear one

Armor 0/1 0/2 1/1 2/1 3/2

Flx 8 7 7 6 5

Wgt. 1kg 1,5kg 2kg 8kg 15kg

Cost 20$ 50$ 100$ 500$ 2000$

armor over another. In this case the higher Hardness is used and the Absorption added. The most common example is the gambeson worn under metal armor. The stats in this table represent munitions grade armor worn by common soldiers or city guards. A character can also have his armor custom made, which increases its Flexibility by one and costs twice as much. He can also get an especially thick armor; it has its Hardness and Absorption increased by one, weighs twice as much and costs 50% more.


The armor listed above only covers the torso. It is also possible to increase the protection for arms, legs and head. This is done by extending the armor with up to six parts; usually, but not necessarily, in this order: Helmet, arms, legs, gauntlets, boots, visor. These parts don't directly increase Hardness or Absorption, but each part requires the attacker to expend an additional Success before he can increase his weapon's Penetration. Each part costs and weighs half as much as the armor being extended. It is also possible to cover two parts with ligher armor or only partially. This is treated the same way as one full part of the same type. Protecting a part with heavier armor is also possible, but does not give additional benefits. Version 1.00 EN

CC BY-NC-SA, Adrien Pfeuffer, 2012

A character may carry a shield in his free hand. This increases his armor's Hardness by up to three points against attacks coming from the front or his shield side. A shield weighs Hardness*Hardness kg and costs Hardness*50$.

Called Shots
The GM may allow to target specific body parts instead of expending Successes to increase Damage or Penetration in an abstract way. This must be decided on before attacking. Hitting a specific body part requires more than one Success: Two for torso, arms or legs, three for head, four for face, hands or feet. Only armor actually worn on this body part protects against this. Damage to the torso reduces the target's Endurance by its amount until healed, damage to arms and legs reduces the target's Strength and Dexterity for all actions using that body part. Reducing one of these Attributes to zero renders the limb unusable. Hits to the head have the same effect on Focus and Intelligence and deal double damage. Hits to the face are treated the same, but will also reduce Charisma. If a hit to the hands or feet deals more than one point of damage, that damage is reduced to one but the hand or foot will be unusable until the damage is healed. A loss of at least 10 HP (5 for hands or feet) at once will result in a complete loss of the body part. This means instant death for hits to torso or head.


Heavy armor makes movement more difficult and exhausting. This can be simulated by assigning each piece of armor a Flexibility. A character's Dexterity and Endurance can not exceed his armor's Flexibility. Talents which have at least two of their relevant Attributes be Dexterity or Endurance (Athletics, Fitness, Melee, Stealth) are also limited to the armor's Flexibility, while Talents containing these Attributes only once (Driving, Ranged, Technics) can only exceed it by one. Increasing Coverage inhibits even more. Every two full points of Coverage reduce Flexibility by one. Helmets also affect Perception. A helmet without visor reduces it by one, a helmet with visor by two.

Version 1.00 EN

CC BY-NC-SA, Adrien Pfeuffer, 2012