Shadows Gather Darkly
EMPORIUM - Descriptions
An almanack is an annual publication that includes information such as weather forecasts, the positions of the sun, moon and planets for the next year, stated festivals of churches, general horoscopes, as well as information on what has happened locally and further abroad. Quite popular with the middle and upper classes to remain informed of what is happening locally and abroad.
Aniseed is a simple plant derived flavouring that can also be used to ruin the efforts of a dog to track his sent. Dropping a vial of aniseed down at a suitable place (e.g. by the bank of a stream the thief crosses) will ensure that the dog’s sense of smell is utterly ruined for 1d4+1 hours. The dog gets a save versus poison to evade the aniseed, but even on a success the dog’s sense of smell is still lost for 1d4+1 rounds. Spells such as neutralise or slow poison will eliminate the effect of the aniseed.
The baggepype is an ancient instrument that is used throughout the continent, though the Glissom and Thuland versions are perhaps the most well known. Algandy, Kurland, Lalkovnia, the Duchy of Lavasse, Albion, Tierra, Asmulia, Emphidor, the Mercanian Coast, Krarth, Lamordia, and the Klavic states all have their own version of the baggepype. There have even been versions that some merchants claim come from Opalar and Marazid. The baggepype was developed by the poorest people and is made using animal skin, usually from a goat or sheep, and a reed pipe. The player blows air into a bag and squeezes it out through pipes.
The balalaika is a stringed musical instrument from Krarth, with a characteristic triangular body and three strings.
Bells, hollow metallic vessels usually shaped like a cup with a flaring mouth and containing a clapper or tongue, produce a ringing sound on being struck. Bells, have been made in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The cosmetic kit is helpful when preparing for formal affairs, such as audiences with a member of the upper class, or a formal banquet, etc. A typical kit includes a vial of sheep fat to make the skin glisten, powered rouges to tint the cheeks white or pink, lightly perfumed talc for the body and a salve to smooth the face. When used in the appropriate setting, it can add a +2 bonus on reaction and proficiency checks where the character is trying to influence or befriend someone from the upper or middle class.
Dog Pepper is a herb that can be dropped on the floor, like aniseed, to put dogs off the scent. It is less effective than aniseed, with the dog allowed a save to avoid the effect of the dog pepper absolutely. If the save is failed, the dog is unable to continue pursuit for 20 to 50 minutes (1d4+1 turns).
A percussion instrument consisting either of a hollow cylinder, usually made from wood but also clay and metal, over each end of which is stretched a piece of skin or vellum, to be beaten with a stick.
Played with a bow or plucked and usually held under the chin or in the crook of the arm. Easily portable and one of the most popular street and town musical instruments. This instrument has four strings and a hollow body and an unfretted fingerboard and is played with a bow.
Similar to our modern flutes, flutes are slender tubes closed at one end with finger holes on one side and an opening near the closed end across which the breath is blown. Typically, flutes are made of wood, but new metal flutes are starting to be created and played by troubadours and minstrels.
The Harp is a favourite instrument of the troubadours and minstrels and is about 30 inches in length, consisting of a triangular frame furnished with strings, held upright, and played with the fingers.
The Harpsichord is a harp-shaped instrument of music set horizontally on legs, like the grand piano, with strings of wire, played by the fingers, by means of keys provided with quills, instead of hammers, for striking the strings.
Horns are usually made of an ox or chamois horn with tone holes down the front, like a recorder.
Horses are very important on in Ipeiran society – they are essential for agriculture, transport, and war. Horses on the continent differ in size, build and breed from the modern horse and are on average smaller. Another difference is that horses in Ipeira are differentiated by their country of origin and use (type), rather than by breed. So horses are commonly referred to as an Algandarve Rounsey, or a Tierran Palfrey.
The different types of horse available in Ipeira are the Courser, Desert Pony, Destrier, Dray, Hackney, Palfrey, Rounsey, and Sumpter.
Light, fast and strong, the Courser is a swift horse frequently used as a warhorse and occasionally for hunting.
The Desert Pony is the native horse of the Eastern Steppes. Despite its name and small size they are horses and not ponies. They have a stocky build, with relatively short legs and a large head, very long manes and tails and robust hooves. They range in size from 12 to 14 hands high. They are frugal, arduous, somewhat wily, and tread carefully in rough terrain. Once familiarised with carry a rider they are calm, friendly and very reliable but can be high spirited and head strong with people they are unfamiliar with. Consequently, all desert ponies can be considered to have the single rider trait.
The Destrier, also called the Great Horse, is highly prized by knights and armsmen to carry them into battle. While well known, they are not actually that common and most knights ride other horses, such as coursers and rounseys. Considered the finest and strongest warhorse, destriers are bred and raised for the needs of war. They have powerful hindquarters, have a straight head profile, with strong wide jaws. Destriers stand 15 to 16 hands in height.
The Dray Horse is a large horse bred for hard, heavy tasks such as ploughing, farm labour and drawing carts and wagons.
The Palfrey is popular with nobles and highly-ranked knights for riding, hunting and ceremonial use. Palfrey’s are prized for the ambling gait, a desirable trait because it allows the rider to cover long distances quickly in relatively comfort.
The Rounsey is an ordinary, all purpose horse. Often used for riding, it is more commonly trained for war, though it is not unknown for them to be used as a pack horse. Useful for swift travel and pursuit. Rounseys, Courses and Destriers are collectively referred to as Chargers, a reference to their use as warhorses for light, medium and heavy cavalry.
The Sumpter is used as a packhorse, along with mules, donkeys and ponies. Goods are carried on their backs using sidebags or panniers. Sumpters are heavily used in the transport of goods in Ellesland, especially away from the main routes. Their usage has left a network of paths across wilderness areas called Packhorse Roads and distinctive narrow and low sided stone arched Sumpter Bridges at various locations. For similar, the term Sumpter and Packhorse feature commonly in inn and tavern names across the island.
All nations breed their own horses, but some are especially renowned for the quality of their horses. Tierran chargers and palfreys are highly prized across the continent. They are characterised by their strong and elegant build with long thick manes and tails and known for their intelligence, sensitivity, docility and athleticism. Tierran horse coats are commonly grey, but all colours are frequent found, including spotted patterns, and they typically stand a half to a full hand taller than normal for their type.
Unsurprisingly, Tierran horses are the most expensive and rarest to buy. A Tierran horse costs four times (x4) the amount a normal horse costs. However, their movement rate is 150% the base rate and their carrying capacity is 133%. The availability of Tierran horses is reduced by one level – that is a Destrier is Very Rare and a Courser Rare.
Mercanian horses, of all types, are also highly considered. Mercanian horses typically smaller than horses of other countries, standing between 12 to 14 hands in height regardless of their type. Mercanian horses are noted for being high spirited and possessing great strength and endurance. Mercanian horses are also prized for their pleasant natures and light and smooth actions, resulting in a more comfortable ride. Their coats are thick and enable these horses to endure rough winters with minimal care. Nearly all Mercanian horses are brown dun in colour, with the other common colours being red dun, grey, pale dun, gold or yellow dun.
Mercanian horses are also quite expensive, costing three times (x3) the normal amount for a horse of that type. Their movement rate is 133% the base rate and their carrying capacity 150%.
Algandarve Blacks are considered to be a high quality chargers. Algandarve Blacks, despite the name, are usually bays or browns, with black being found infrequently, as well as the occasional roans, greys and chestnut. Algandarve Blacks are tall and elegant, and are highly considered for their ability to provide swift pursuit of enemy forces. They are a stronger than most horses, but not nearly as strong as a Mercanian or Tierran. Algandarve Blacks cost twice (x2) the normal amount, their movement and carry capacity are both 120% the base rates. Algandarve Blacks are natural leapers, making corrals and fences only an occasional barrier.
Some nations are, unfortunately, renowned for the lack of quality of their horses. The Glissom Horse is not very well renowned, and are regularly referred to as Glissom Nags. Glissom horses are characterised by a dislike of galloping, and will rarely do so even if forced. This is probably fortunate as their gait is bone-jarring at any pace faster than a walk. Glissom horses, if identified as such, normally sell for 90% of the normal price in nations other than Glissom.
Buying a horse carries various amount of risk. There is a world of differenece between a quality horse and a nag and it is not always apparent to the eye. Buying a horse is something that should always be approached with care, lest some unscrupulous merchant try to sell a broken-down horse past its prime as quality horseflesh or a hackney as a rounsey or palfrey. Further, many horses can have quirks and irritating traits that can make them less than pleasant to be around or ride. They might not be trained – while it is relatively easy to identify a horse not trained for the saddle it is a lot harder to tell if it has been trained for war.
The ride proficiency can help a character avoid many of the hazards of buying a horse on a successful check. An ordinary success will reveal the true quaity of a horse (i.e. nag, broken down, average, quality horse), a good check will also reveal any quirks it might have, and an excellent success will help determine if the horse is likely to be of special descent (e.g. Tierran), though it doesn’t guarantee it. Animal Training (Horse) will assist in confirming if the animal has been trained for war (on a successful proficiency check), and animal handling and teamster will provide the same information as riding for Drays and Sumpters.
Horse Grooming Kit
A horse grooming kit allows for efficient and thorough horse grooming. The kit includes a currycomb (brush with stiff bristles to remove dirt from the coat), a shedding blade (a flexible serrated blade to remove loose body hair), a body brush, hoof picks and a mane and tail comb. Horses generally form closer bonds with people who use such a kit on them regularly. After a months regular attention from the same person using the kit, Animal Handling, Animal Training, Ride and Teamster all receive +2 bonuses whenever that person is in control of the horse.
The lute is a plucked instrument with a pear-shaped body, a usually bent neck, and a fretted fingerboard. The lute is a very common and popular instrument.
The Mandolin can be described as a small and beautifully shaped string instrument resembling the lute.
The pipe is an extremely basic instrument usually having only three melody holes. Pipes consist of a tube or tubes of straw, reed, wood, or metal and this also includes the pan pipe.
The recorder is an extremely basic instrument consisting of a vertical wooden pipe, 8 finger holes and a whistle mouthpiece.
Relics are the physical remains of a holy person (such as a chosen) or site, or an object that they have had contact with. The Selentine belief in the power of relics is as old as the faith itself and developed in parallel alongside it. Relics are more than mementos, and are considered to have touched by the power of Uriel and to be a link to it.
Unfortunately, there are some entrepreneurs who pretend to be monks or have a falsified relic trade charter who sell spurious relics (i.e. fakes). Many unprincipled persons have found a means of enriching themselves by trading in fraudulent relics and doubtful relics abound.
Reliquaries are containers designed to store and sometimes display relics. As the relics themselves are considered “more valuable than precious stones and more esteemed than gold” reliquaries are often crafted from or covered in gold, silver, gems and enamel. Reliquaries come in many different shapes and forms. A popular design is that of a miniature casket, another is an unremarkable container that is covered with narrative scenes from the life of the Chosen whose remains are contained within, or even more generic Seletine themes. Other forms include full bodied statues or bust images of Chosen. A new fashion is the addition of apertures and vials of rock crystal to allow the relic within to be glimpsed.
The tambourine consists of a flat wooden or metal ring, over one end of which is stretched a parchment or vellum head. In the circumference of the ring nine or ten metal disks or small bells are fitted which jingle as the tambourine is struck by the hand, or just waved through the air. The tambourine is traditionally used by women
This wind instrument is much used in war and military exercises. and consists of a long metallic tube, curved (once or twice) into a convenient shape, and ending in a bell. Unlike our modern instrument, the trumpet has no valves and the notes available on the trumpet are limited to the sounds the player can produce and the quality of the mouthpiece.
This string instrument is played with a bow and held on the lap or between the legs. It is similar in form to the violin, but larger, and having six strings.
Vitriol is a highly corrosive substance, meaning that it can destroy or irreversibly damage another many surfaces or substances with which it comes into contact. Vitriol comes in different types – white, blue, green, and yellow. The different colours represent the different substances used to create them and also their different strengths.
Vitriol can be thrown as a splash weapon. It counts as a range touch attack with a range of 10/20/30. The colour of the vitriol determines the amount of damage taken. White and blue vitriol is the least corrosive. A jar of white vitriol causes 1d6 points of damage and all creatures within 5 feet take 1 point of damage from the splash. A jar of blue vitriol causes 2d3 points of damage on the first round but no splash damage occurs to those nearby. If either are used on a lock or clasp, it forces an item saving throw with a +2 bonus.
Green vitriol is strong enough to eat through nearly all metals. As a result, it is often used by thieves to eat through locks. If used for this purpose, the vitriol successfully eats through the lock if it fails it saving throw versus acid. If the lock succeeds in its save, it must make a second save. If it fails this save, the lock is ruined and unopenable. If used as a weapon, a vial of green vitriol causes 2d6 points of damage and all creatures within 5 feet take 1d2 points of damage.
Yellow vitriol is the strongest kind, and can even dissolve gold. If used as a metal eater, metals suffer a -4 penalty to their saves. A vial of yellow vitriol thrown at a creature causes 3d6 points of damage and 1d3 points to all within 5 feet.
All vitriol is carried in ceramic jars or glass vials that are fragile. If they are subject to sufficient impact (such as the backpack carrying them is hit with a weapon or a fall that causes damage) they must make a saving throw or break.
Weaponblack is a thick oily substance that is used to smear the surfaces of weapons and metal armour to coat them with a pasty, matte black finish and reflection free. If used to coat metal armour or weapon it negates the penalties imposed by the armour or weapon on the hide check. After a typical melee the weaponblack will be wiped off and the blade or armour needs to be touched up to continue to be effective. A jar or vial of weaponblack contains enough to coat one full set of plate armour, two sets of chain mail or coat a long sword 12 times.
Arms & Armour
Literally hundreds of variations of axes exist. Battles axes are any one handed half heavy axe that is designed for military purposes. Though considered a heavy axe, battle axes are generally lighter and slimmer than axes used to fell trees. Common modifications involve the addition of a spike, hammer, or smaller blade backing the primary blade (see weapon modifications). In some cases, both blades are equal in size in weight and can be used interchangeably.
Hand axes are a medium sized axe, many of which are balanced to be thrown. The Kurlish make excellent use of thrown hand axes as a shock weapon; the Kurlish line halts just short of the enemy and hurls a murderous volley of axes before closing for hand-to-hand fighting. With a called shot, an axe can be thrown at an enemy’s shield, which must then roll a successful saving throw vs. normal blow or be ruined.
The Orcish Axe, is known by a number of names, including the Orc Axe, Elleslandic Longaxe, the Hafted Axe and the Great Axe. The Orcish Axe consists of a wide, thin blade with pronounced ‘horns’ at both the toe and heel of the bit. This design gives the wielder a wide cutting surface with less weight in the blade. It is a large axe, longer than the battle axe, with the haft measuring 3-5 feet in length. This type of axe is widely used along the Mercanian Coast, particularly by the Orcs. It can be wielded as a hand and a half weapon, but is more commonly used one-handed in conjunction with a shield. Recently, the Orcish Axe has gained popularity in areas outside the Mercanian Coast where Orcs are common, such as the nations of Ellesland.
If a character has an unusually low Strength score, he must apply any attack or damage penalties to his archery. He is forced to use bows that have a lighter pull. However, for a character to gain his bonuses for a high Strength score, he must get a custom-made bow, which costs 3-5 times the normal price. A higher-Strength character can always use a lower-Strength bow, gaining bonuses up to the maximum permitted by the bow. For example, a character with a Strength of 18/35 can use a bow made for a Strength of 17, gaining a +1 to hit and +1 to damage instead of his normal full bonuses.
Short, or self, bows can be found in all nations. Even if they are not used for war, they are the weapon of choice for many hunters. Short bows fire flight arrows. Long bows are simply bigger short bows. They are drawn to the cheek, instead of being drawn to the chest as the short bow and can fire flight and sheaf arrows. Long bows cannot be used from horseback. Desert Bows are made from laminated horn, and occasionally wood, by the nomads of the Eastern Steppes. They are very popular with horse archers and fire flight arrows. The Cornumbrian Longbow cannot be used from horseback and can fire flight and sheaf arrows. Flight arrows are the basic war or hunting arrow. They fly farther than sheaf arrows, which have a broader and heavier head for more damage.
The Desert Bow originated on the Eastern Steppes, has a characteristic ‘double humped’ or w shape and are made of horn and different types of wood. The Desert bow is far more powerful than the short bow, firing arrows over incredible distances. However, it requires considerable strength to draw, therefore a minimum strength of 13 is required to use this weapon or suffer a -4 to hit and halve all ranges.
The Longbow is an efficient and formidable weapon. Indigenous to the Ellesland isles, it is stiffer and longer than the short bow and used to shoot larger and heavier arrows. Its design is based on the Cornumbrian longbow but uses more readily available wood.
The Cornumbrian Longbow, also known as the Cornumbrian Warbow, is a fairly simple yew bow, often made with a piece of hardwood inserted at the compression point in the centre. It has a fearsome draw, requiring a Strength of 14 to use this weapon or suffer a -4 to hit and halve all ranges. It uses relatively heavy yard-long arrows and is too large to use from horseback. Even though it is a quintessential Cornumbrian weapon, there are some arms makers in other parts of Ellesland who know how to construct this deadly missile weapon.
Clubs range from something as simple as a heavy stick to a well-balanced work of art. Heavy sticks are effective free, and represent random tree branches, table legs or pieces of wood that have enough heft to cause some damage. Cudgels are stout sticks carried by peasants that functions as a walking staff, and for hunting or personal protection rather than warfare. They are hard and heavy enough to cause damage while also light and balanced enough to wield in combat. Cudgels are made of a relatively hard wood and shaped to cause injuries with mace-like striking heads, knobs or other protrusions. Clubs can also be modified to have flange-like striking surfaces and thrown like axes or daggers, though not as effectively as war clubs.
War clubs are more formidable versions of the standard cudgel, usually made of hardwood or incorporating stone or metal. The war club is carefully shaped and balanced for use as a weapon and are balanced for throwing in addition to being used for melee. The Great Club is a two-handed version of the regular club, often equipped with nails, spikes or bands of iron. It is similar to the morningstar but of all wood construction that ends in a natural or artificial knout or swelling of the wood. It’s greater size and mass gives it a better damage potential than its smaller forebear.
A crossbow is a short, powerful bow mounted on a rifle-like stock. It is aimed and fired like a rifle. Crossbows are more powerful than bows and have better hitting power at a greater range, but they are also far slower.
The light crossbow can be cocked by hand, but the heavy crossbow requires the use of an attached cranequin to draw it. Crossbows gain the armor penetration ability. At medium range, light and heavy crossbows reduce the AC of an armored opponent by 2 points. At short range, light and heavy crossbows reduce the AC of an armored opponent by 5 points.
Daggers are short, stabbing blades ranging from six inches to more than a foot in length. Their size and utility have made them a very popular weapon used in many times and places. Many daggers are balanced for throwing as well as thrusting and slashing.
The poniard is a specialized thrusting dagger, characterized by either a stiff and narrow blade that is either long and thin or triangular in shape. It is designed to punch through armor and slip between the links of chainmail and finish off fallen armoured foes. This gives the poniard a special +2 bonus to attacks against armoured opponents. The Poniard is also called a Stiletto and a Rondel dagger.
War darts are about 24" long with vanes similar to an arrow, featuring a hardened steel point and is thrown by hand. Lavasse arrows are not necessarily Lavasse and is not really an arrow but a small war dart (about 18 inches in length) with a notch in it close to the fletching for the use of a modified spear thrower (or throwing thong, see weapon modifications) giving it better range and penetration. The Lavasse arrow is also called the Veshanti arrow and Gipsy arrow.
Though archery may be easier to learn and can cause more damage, the Lavasse arrows advantage is that its ammunition is easier to make, transport and conceal.
A fauchard consists of a curved blade mounted on the end of a stout 6’ to 7’ pole. The curve of the blade is moderate to strong and makes it resemble a sickle or scythe. Fauchards can be modified to have one or more spikes or lance points attached to the back or top of the blade. Such a modified weapon is called a fauchard-fork and also allows a piercing attack (see weapon modifications).
The heavy flail was developed by the Karameikans and was clearly inspired by the very similar farmer’s threshing tool. As a result of their demonstrated success, flails have become a common weapon on Ipeiran battlefields.
The heavy flail, consists of a sturdy shaft with 4 or 5 feet long connected to a smaller 1 to 2 foot long cudgel by a hinge or 2 or 3 heavy iron links. Both the cudgel and sturdy haft are typically reinforced with iron bands, langets and the business end is often mounted with heavy duty iron spikes. It is used with two hands and can deliver crushing blows of great power. The footman’s flail gains a special +1 attack bonus against opponents in any kind of plate armour and cannot be used from horseback.
The light flail, though inspired by the heavy flail, is a different weapon entirely designed for use by cavalry. It uses iron weights and linked with a sturdy chain. The light flail gains a +1 bonus on attacks against targets using shields, since it can easily strike around them. In addition, light flails gain a +2 bonus on any attempts to trap or offensively disarm an opponent’s weapon.
Spikes are a common modification of both versions of flail.
The pitchfork is the simple, common farmer’s tool used for pitching hay and mucking stalls. It has been adopted as a ready means of defence by farmers throughout the ages but makes for a fairly clumsy weapon. Almost any farm or town has a plentiful supply of pitchforks. The military fork is nothing more than a war version of the peasant’s pitchfork.
The guisarme (also called a gisarme, giserne, or bisarme) consists of a pruning hook onto a long wooded haft. Some guisarmes include a small back spike on the back of the blade (see weapon modifications). A guisarme provides a +2 bonus to pull/trip attempts against riders.
The halberd is one of the most effective hand to hand weapons is use. Pioneered by the Duchy of Lavasse, it is quickly becoming a popular weapon across the continent. It is essentially a big meat cleaver or axe mounted on a pole with a pointy tip and back spike. The back spike is a kind of armour piercing can opener and the tip of the blade into an armour piercing thrusting spike. While most halberds made around Ipeiros are iron, halberds bought from Lavasse are made using tempered steel (see weapon modifications for cost and game effects). Halberds gain a +2 bonus on attack rolls against any type of plate or mail armour.
A common weapon is the humble knife. Almost everyone carries small knives for eating, as an all-purpose tool, or for personal defence. Knives are shorter than daggers and are used to both slash and stab. They can be easily concealed in a variety of specialty sheaths, ranging from a dandy’s hatband to spring-loaded wrist sheaths. Bone and stone knives can be manufactured in settings where iron and steel are unavailable.
The lance is the horseman’s spear. As a rule of thumb, a rider must be mounted on a horse appropriate for his lance, or else his weapon will be reduced in effectiveness. A heavy lance requires a destrier, a medium lance requires a courser, and so on. If the lance is too heavy for the horse, it does damage as if it were the correct type, so a heavy lance used from a rounsey does damage as a light lance.
Lances are an exception to the size requirement rules; a rider with stirrups can use any lance in one hand, but a rider without stirrups has to use two hands for the lance. A rider with stirrups can couch the lance for a mounted charge, which causes double damage.
In addition to the light, medium, and heavy lances, there is also the jousting lance. This weapon is blunted to prevent its target from being severely injured during a tournament.
The mace essentially consists of a wooden haft with a striking head of metal (usually iron) that is knobbed or shaped to enhances it effectiveness. Though not a nimble weapon, they can be used to knock out or stun armoured opponents. The heavy mace is a hafted weapon with a heavy iron head. Normally the head is spherical, but flanges, spikes and knobs are common modifications. The heavy mace is especially useful against flexible armours and receives a +2 bonus to attacks against enemies in mail of any kind.
The light mace has a smaller metal head and is a popular cavalry weapon, often wielded with a wrist thong to aid in weapon retention when striking someone during a ride by attack, as well as being capable of being thrown at a target as well. The light mace receives a +1 bonus to attacks against opponents in any kind of mail armour. Some light maces have been modified to feature basket hilts, though this restricts the weapon to being single-handed rather than a hand and a half weapon.
The mancatcher is a short pole-arm with two curving, fork-like prongs at the business end. The prongs are hinged so that they can be pushed tightly closed around the intended captive. The man-catcher only works against Size M creatures. Like crossbows and firearms, mancatchers ignore armor—only Dexterity and magical adjustments apply. If a hit is scored, the victim suffers the listed damage. Each round, the mancatcher’s user can push and pull the victim about for an automatic 1d2 points of damage, and can try to pull/trip his victim by succeeding in an opposed Strength check.
Once caught, the victim loses all Dexterity and shield adjustments to AC. He can only escape by hacking through the weapon’s haft (AC 4, 10 hp, size M type S weapon to damage) or making a bend bars/lift gates roll, which causes an additional 1d2 damage. Mancatchers are used by town watches and gendarmes to capture armed criminals.
Also known as the Morgenstern (‘morning star’) and the Godendag (meaning ‘good morning’), the morningstar is a hafted weapon three to five feet in length with a heavy, spiked head. It is designed for two-handed use and often features a polearm-like spike at its end. Like the Great Hammer, the morningstar is built to penetrate a knight’s armour, receiving a +1 bonus to attack rolls against any type of plate armour.
A pick features a short, beaked back spike designed for punching through heavy armour. The light pick is designed for use on horseback and provides a +1 bonus to attacks against opponents in plate armor of any type. The heavy pick is a larger version for use by infantry and wielders gain a +2 bonus versus plate armours. Many picks are modified with a hammer or axe blade on the reverse side of the head.
Most shields are thin and used to cause glancing blows by deflecting a sword blow to the side rather than blocking it head on, rendering the attacker open to a counterattack. This allows the shield to be made lighter and more easily wielded.
The Buckler is a small round shield, typically between 8 and 16 inches (20 to 40 cms) in diameter, usually made of metal. Small and light, easily carried by being hung from a belt. Gives little protection from missile weapons and is reserved for hand to hand combat. 1d4 points of damage. Can be thrown as a weapon for 1d3+1 points of damage.
The Targe (Target) is a concave shield fitted with enarmes on the inside, mostly made of iron or iron-plated wood. A rounded shield between 18 and 21 inches (45 – 55 cm) in diameter. Some targes have central bosses of metal (often brass) and some can accept a long steel pike, which is screwed into a small section of lead fixed to the wood under the boss. When not in use, the spike can be unscrewed and placed in a sheath on the back of the targe. A targe can be wielded with a small weapon in the hand on the same side. No guige strap so cannot be carried over the shoulder / on the back. Used by infantry, though could be used from horseback, and considered a commoner’s shield. The targe is a larger version of the buckler shield usually big enough to protect the torso. Causes 1d6 points of damage if used as a weapon.
The Kite shield is rounded at the top and tapered at the bottom, giving it a reverse tear-drop style of appearance. The tapering point extends down to either a distinct or rounded point. Designed to protect a whole flank when in combat. Either flat in section or features a gradual curve to better fit the contour of the human torso. Closely associated with the Algandarve, especially the Burvoyians, who were one of the first to use it widely. A new fashion is for the top of the kite shield to have a flat top. Kite shields have leather straps (enarmes) used to grip the shield tight to the arm. Some kite shields feature a boss (a large domed metal centrepiece) as decoration. Kite shields are usually made from stout but light wood such as lime and faced in leather or toughened fabric such as canvas with a rim reinforced by toughened leather or metal. Kite shields can be slung across the back with a guige strap when not in use. A foot shield and not useable on a horse. Causes 1d6+1 points of damage.
The Heater shield is typically made of several layers of laminated thin wood overlaid with leather and having a gentle curve in cross section. Smaller than the kite shield. The heater is flat topped and more triangular in shape than the kite shield. It is more manageable than the kite shield and can be used on foot or on horse. The typical mounted knight’s shield, it covers a little more of the hip than does the targe. Square or rounded at the top and coming to a point at the bottom. Causes 1d6 points of damage.
The Bouche shield has a lance rest cut into the upper corner of the lance side to help guide it in combat. Otherwise as the heater. +1 to hit with a lance.
The Pavise Shield is a large convex shield used to protect the entire body. Comes in a smaller size for use in hand to hand combat and for wearing on the back. Characterised by a prominent central ridge. Primarily used by archers and crossbow men, particularly during sieges. Due to its size, the Pavise is essentially a 2 handed shield, meaning that it cannot be carried whilst using a weapon. However, it can be used freestanding, deployed in the ground with a spike attached to the bottom. Archers, especially crossbowmen, use them to take cover while reloading their weapons. They are often painted with coats of arms of the town where they were made. Most pavises are covered in a coarse, carpet like canvas before being painted. 1d8 points of damage.
The Tower Shield is a smaller version of the pavise that can be used in hand-to-hand combat. An infantryman’s shield suitable for hiding behind. The best use of it is to form a shield wall and fight from behind it with short swords. Has a bottom point made for stabbing into the ground to support its own weight. 1d6+2 points of damage.
The sling is a deceptively simple weapon, easy to make, easy to use but quite difficult to use accurately. It hurls small lead bullets with lethal force and is a favourite weapon of hin and shepherds. The sling is a simple length of cord or cloth with a cup in the centre. The projectile is placed in the cup, and the sling is whirled rapidly in a sidearm or overhead motion. Slings can be improvised from many materials, and are among the cheapest of weapons.
Ordinary stones can be hurled using a sling, but they are not as dense or round as bullets. As a result they cause less damage (1d3/1d3)
Spears come in a staggering variety and in many sizes though the basic design is of a length of wood between 5’ to 12’ in length with a sharpened blade fixed to one end. This makes the spear a very economical weapon – quick to manufacture, only requires a amount of iron and steel, and requires less smithing skill than a sword to make – and is a popular weapon of the common armsman and warrior. The Orc warriors of the Mercanian Coastline, for example, though often portrayed with axe or sword in hand, are mostly armed with spears, as are their Elleslandic and continental contemporaries. The spear is a hand and a half weapon.
Broadly speaking, spears are designed either to be thrust or thrown. Thrusting spears consist of a leaf or lozenge shaped metal head. Thrusting spears are very versatile – they allow the wielder to keep his opponents at a distance but can also be used at close range, can be used effectively from both foot and horseback, and can be thrown if required.
The long spear is nothing more than a heavier thrusting spear with a longer reach. A normal spear ranges from 5-8 feet in length, but a long spear is about 10-12 feet long. The long spear is a two-handed weapon and is not designed for throwing.
Mercanian spears are large bladed spears designed for hunting or military purposes. Specialised for one on one combat as a two handed weapon, it can be used one handed. The Mercanian spear has a long, broad spear blade, rather than a mere point, that is suitable for cutting like a sword as well as piercing. It features lugs for parrying and to prevent an impaled boar or opponent from pushing themselves down the shaft to get at the wielder as well as langets to protect the shaft. Originally developed on the Mercanian coastline, they have been adopted by their continental counterparts who often call them Boar Spears. Like the long spear, it is not designed to be thrown.
Finally, throwing spears are shorter and have smaller heads than thrusting spears and rely on the additional momentum from being thrown to penetrate targets. They can be used as a thrusting weapon, but they do not cause as much damage as a thrusting spear as a result.
High quality spears have longer blades and are often with a barbed and a long narrow metal socket or shank mounted on the wooden shaft. The barbs are designed to lodge in an opponent or their shield so that they could not be removed without much care or pain.
The hin staff sling simply consists of a short wooden staff with a leather sling at one end. The staff sling was designed by Hin for protection against bandits. It can be used to throw larger and heavier projectiles than a normal sling, but can’t throw them as far or as accurately. The sling has no short range category; instead, any shot from 0-12 squares away is considered a medium range shot. In addition to throwing stones, staff slings can also be used to throw stinkpots— small clay vessels filled with noxious burning materials causing 1d3/1d3 points of damage on a successful hit. If a stinkpot misses its target, it still scatters and breaks open. Any character within one square of a stinkpot hit must roll a successful saving throw vs. death or suffer a -2 penalty to all attacks due to choking and coughing for 1d6 combat rounds.
A quarterstaff is a stout fighting pole of ash, oak, hickory or yew between 6’ to 8’ in length and fairly thick. It is a formidable fighting staff made to be a weapon and not just a walking stick. A quarterstaff is a versatile weapon that is used with a number of techniques. The typical fighting stance involves holding the rear quarter and used like a spear to thrust and strike from range, in a slinging manner to increase its effective reach for fending off multiple enemies and then at closer ranges the wielder shifts to a half-guard to strike with both ends. The quarterstaff is also effective for hooking opponents legs, shields and weapons.
Its iron-shod ends are used to strike powerful blows or jab at an enemy. Quarterstaves count as double weapons and as reach weapons, depending on the fighting stance a character takes with the weapon, but it cannot be used as both in the same phase. It counts as a half-move action to chance from using a quarterstaff as a reach to a double weapon and vice versa. As a double weapon, you can fight with it as if using 2 weapons, including all bonuses and penalties. Two weapon fighting style does not offset these penalties but Double Weapon Style does (treat as two weapon fighting style for terms of cost and effect). As a reach weapon, you can strike at foes 10 feet away but you cannot use it against adjacent enemies in this fashion. As a reach weapon it follows all of the reach rules.
In Algandy, the quarterstaff is also called le baton, in Tierra staff fighting is called the ‘Game of Sticks’ (Jogo Do Pau) and in Asmulia as the bastone.
Swords are the most efficient weapons of ancient times, combining ease of use with excellent armor penetration.
Bastard swords are also known as hand-and-a-half swords and are a very versatile weapon. They are nothing more than longer, heavier long swords. The extra weight of a bigger blade enabled the sword’s wielder to cause more damage than the long sword if used in two hands. Bastard swords can be used from horseback if used one handed.
Broadswords have a straight, double-edged blade used for cutting and slashing. Broadswords have a small hand grip, heavy pommel and a broad blade. It is a popular weapon used throughout the continent. A common modification is the addition of a basket hilt.
The falchion is a single-edged slashing weapon with a slightly curved, broad, blade and a rounded or squared-off point. It is nearly useless for thrusting, but its blade design concentrates the weight of the blade near the end for excellent chopping power.
The long sword, also called an arming sword, is the typical knight’s sword consisting of a medium-length straight blade designed for both slashing. The advent of heavy plate armour has made the less effective than some other weapons, but no less popular.
The rapier is a light, long thrusting weapon designed for piercing armour. The rapier is considered a gentleman’s weapon in Chaubrette, Duchy of Lavasse, Country of Braeburg, Lamordia and the Ferromaine League. It gains a +2 bonus to attacks against opponents in any kind of mail, and a +1 bonus to attacks against opponents in any kind of plate.
The sabre was originally a Klavic weapon, and is especially linked to Hudristania and Lalkovnia. It is a fast weapon with a curved slashing blade of medium length. Modern sabres are built with a basket hilt and are specialised for draw cutting – the delivery of a lethal cut while riding at full speed.
The Hudristanian Sabre (also called the Szabla) is a two-handed infantry sabre, essentially a formidable single-edged curved sword up to 4’ long with a hand and a half grip. It is a devastating weapon that is well balanced and relatively light to handle in combat (compared to the greatsword) but retains its ability to shred armour (the Hudristanian Sabre provides a +1 bonus to hit opponents in any kind of leather, mail, or plate armor). As a hand and a half weapon, it does not have a basket hilt.
The short sword is the most common and popular sword, especially as a sidearm. It is primarily a thrusting weapon, ranging from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet in length.
The greatsword is the largest and most powerful sword and is is a true 2 handed weapon unlike the bastard sword. It has an overall length of at least 6 feet and weighs around 15 lbs. They typically have a large and complex guard that is often has spikes or parrying lugs (see weapon modifications). It is a specialised chopping weapon and a reach weapon. The greatsword, in addition to having its own techniques, can also be wielded with bastard sword techniques allowing them to be wielded with considerable agility even at close range and rather amazingly these immense weapons are starting to gain popularity for judicial combat. In battle, greatswordsmen are often used as shock troops, as well as using the greatsword to target enemy reach weapons, snapping of the heads of spears for example. The great sword gains a +2 bonus to attacks against opponents in any kind of mail or plate armour, since its heavy blade can easily penetrate even the heaviest armour.
The great warhammer is a military sledgehammer designed for two-handed use. It is about three to four feet in length with a heavy square head. It causes devastating injuries and metal armour provides little protection, providing a +2 bonus to attacks against opponents in plate or mail armours. Traditionally, the maul was carried by lightly armoured troops such as archers for use against dismounted knights. A great hammer is also useful for knocking down doors, breaking holes in walls, and breaking locks and chests.
The light warhammer is similar in size and balance to the light pick but instead of a point for piercing armour it is equipped with a blunt striking head. It can be used to stun an opponent with killing them or needing to penetrate plate armour. Elleslandic archers famously use them to subdue enemy knights so that they can be taken captive and ransomed after battle. The heavy pick has a heavier head and is more commonly an infantry weapon though it can be used from horseback. Both light and heavy warhammers gain a +1 bonus to attach versus plate and mail armours.