Novel Weapons in Shadow World & Rolemaster

The Katar…is that a lizard man motif?

Every now and then I stumble upon another blog or reference to odd or unusual real life weapons. Some seem very impractical, but they still fuel the imagination. (Beside, impracticality is of little importance in a fantasy setting!)

Rolemaster has some “fantasy weapons” that are really Shadow World specific available HERE, and I’ve posted a couple of blogs about some alternate and odd weapons:

Helmet in the shape of a conch shell
Conch Helmet

I’ve also had the opportunity to see some fantastic collections of armor and weapons at the Army Museum in Paris, and the Higgins Armory Museum that was relocated to the Met in New York.

Since I had already written about the Urumi, I was delighted to stumble across THIS BLOG‘s post on eastern blades. Of particular interest, besides the Urumi, is this:

Assamese Dao

Like the Adya Katti, the Assamese Dao lacks a guard and gets broader towards the tip, but there the resemblances end. This is a straight sword rather than the curved one, and though it seems somewhat simple, the unusual shape of the blade adds enough character.

In my Priest-King module, I have a similar weapon that is basically a battle machete. These weapons were designed to be used by the Kinn Rangers to hunt Quarnaks–thus the lack of a hilt that is necessary against other bladed weapons. the Assamese Dao provides a good model for that weapon.

The blog post describes several other cool looking weapons that would add flavor to a fantasy setting. Do you have any unique or strange weapons in your game?

5 Replies to “Novel Weapons in Shadow World & Rolemaster”

  1. I have always had culture-specific weapons, most recently I made an attack table for a scourge/cat-of-nine-tails, and a Tear-Rip crit table needed to make it work. It’s more combat-oriented than scourges used for punishment. I’ve also been binge watching Forged in Fire, and about half of the episodes are weapons I’ve never heard of before. I’m always thinking, “what culture could that come from?”

    1. Indeed, I am the Other Brian, who wrote Nomads. The Jan really only has one special weapon, the super-heavy crossbow used by the humans on the Elburz Plateau. But neighboring Balaan has a pile of them, my two favorites being a short sword and a thrown mussel shell. The short sword has an upcurved blade edge, and the back is serrated with big teeth angled so they go in easily, but tear things up coming out. The mussel shell is an almost complete circle with sharp ends. Users file the edges to razor sharpness, and they learn to throw it so that it can bank around obstacles.

      1. It’s been years since I read your book, but I’m going to go through it again. We should trade some notes; my module Priest-King is in the same neighborhood, just north of you. IIRC the Jan are similar to Mongols or native americans? I have several tribes that are loosely inspired by central/south american (incan/mayan) and some of the place names are central asian. Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing your whip chart/crits–I have whips being used by the baddies in Chaal-chu. I’m also fleshing out Nontataku, which will have various embassies or trade posts in the city–does it make sense to have a trade presence from the Jan? I don’t think the concept of the Alliance was out when Nomads was published? They control much of the territory now to the North and Northeast of you.

        1. You’re right, the Jan is plains horse-people, very much Mongol-Native American inspired. I cringe sometimes when I see stuff I wrote, though, because I’ve since gotten into mounted archery and know better on a lot of things. Rule change! While Nomads=the Jan in Shadow World, I have always run the Jan in my own world, and so actually I don’t have any other SW modules. That said, your Priest-King module could be perfect to build into a neighboring culture that’s always been a blank spot on my map. I’d love to correspond more, if you want to PM me on the Forums we can start there and/or jump to email.

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