D&D4e features far fewer weapons than the previous edition. Part of this, I think, is due to standardisation of weapon types—a gladius is a wakizashi is a short sword—and part is due to a design philosophy of simplification; I doubt we’ll ever see the profusion of polearm types that confused AD&D1 players again.

But there are still some interesting weapons that don’t fit quite comfortably into the pigeonholes in 4e. I present a few of them here.

Weapon Prof. Damage Range Price Weight Group Properties
Simple melee (one-handed)
Iron rod +2 1d4 3/6 1gp 2lb. Mace Heavy thrown, off-hand
Simple melee (two-handed)
Quarterstaff (shod) +2 1d8 10gp 5lb. Staff Brutal 1
Military melee (one-handed)
Pilum +2 1d6 10/20 7gp 3lb. Spear Heavy thrown, versatile
Military melee (two-handed)
Longstaff +2 1d8 10gp 10lb. Polearm, staff Reach
Staff-sling +2 1d6 15/30 8gp 4lb. Sling, staff Load minor
Superior melee (one-handed)
Misericorde +3 1d4 4gp 1lb. Light blade Brutal 2, high crit, off-hand
Scizore +3 1d6 8gp 2lb. Heavy blade Defensive, off-hand, high crit
Simple ranged (one-handed)
Dart +2 1d4 5/10 5sp 2lb. Spear Heavy thrown

Dart: A far cry from the indoor recreation popular in taverns everywhere, the darts used in combat were about a foot long and weighted with lead. They can be mounted on the insides of shields for easy access—a light shield can comfortably hold one, and a heavy shield three.

Iron Rod: A good last-ditch weapon, the iron rod is greatly prized by warlocks, who may also use it as an implement.

Longstaff: As its name suggests, the longstaff is simply a longer staff. Often, it’s used to train troops to wield polearms, but it occasionally sees use as weapons in its own right.

Misericorde: The misericorde is a vicious dagger often used to inflict coups de grâce on the field of battle. Its square cross-sectioned blade leaves gaping wounds that are difficult to heal. A rogue proficient with the misericorde can treat it as a dagger for the purpose of the Rogue Weapon Talent class feature.

Pilum: The pilum is a javelin with a unique feature: a portion of its shaft is made from lead or other soft metal. When the pilum’s head embeds in an enemy’s shield, the shaft bends and the pilum’s weight seriously hinders the enemy mobility. A hit against a shielded opponent renders the pilum useless as a weapon thereafter; however, the target suffers a -1 penalty to their AC shield bonus per embedded pilum (to a minimum shield bonus of -2). An enemy can negate these penalties by removing the pila from his shield; removing a pilum is a standard action.

Quarterstaff (shod): The quarterstaff in the Player’s Handbook is a simple length of wood; with the addition of metal caps or nails in the staff’s end, the weapon does slightly more damage. (See also my earlier post, Staves Get the Short End of the Stick, for a discussion of staves’ versatility.)

Scizore: A gladiatorial weapon, the scizore consists of an enclosed punch grip with a razor-sharp, fan shaped blade. It can be used both to slash and punch to dramatic—and often fatal—effect.

Staff-sling: The staff-sling is an ancient weapon which saw use well into the Renaissance and beyond, and may have been the prototype of the trebuchet. Its shaft acts as a lever, giving sling missiles greater range, and it can be used in a pinch in melee as well. However, the sling’s position at one end of the staff prevents it being used as a double weapon.

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