- Art 🎨
Throughout history, there has always been a place for the humble melee weapon. In the past spears were used to hunt. Over the ages swords have seen use as objects of ceremony and power. And today such weapons range from a primitive shiv – all you might need to win a desperate fist fight – to colossal mauls sheathed in fields of crackling energy.
You may have any number of type 1 enhancements on your blade.
You may only have one type 2 enhancement on your blade unless you have also purchased the Massive enhancement in which case you can have two.
Enhancing physical force, melee weapons are designed to aide their user by amplifying the damage they are capable of producing themselves – either through increased mass and momentum or a dramatic focusing of the physical energy onto a fine point. Optional components may modify this.
These weapons only ask that you keep them clean and well cared for. Occasional sharpening or the like may be required as constant use can degrade the quality of the implement depending on the material used.
In general, a weapon’s type determines its purpose. Its specific purpose is determined by the environment surrounding its uses and – in some cases – cultural traditions. Regardless of what sort of weapon you choose however, it is important to note that each type lends itself to a certain style of fighting, method of use and type of situation.
Comparable to a knife in function, the hatchet (or hand axe) is a small implement designed more as a tool than a weapon of war. Usually between 20cm and 30cm with a blade mounted perpendicular to the haft, the hatchet can cause grievous injury when swung well. Though there are undeniably better weapons.
Much larger than its hatchet cousin, the battle axe is nominally used as a main weapon where a sharp edge with a lot of force behind it can prove very effective. The exact length of a battleaxe depends on many factors, but generally they fall between 90cm and 120cm (some battleaxes going so far as to be two handed). The blade itself is designed to be light and fit for slashing with a blade that could be as long as one quarter of the haft in some cases – making it an excellent choice to maim or otherwise deal with the opposition.
In the same vein as the maul, a waraxe (or Danish axe) is an axe blade mounted onto a very large haft that measures between 150cm and 200cm. In weapons like this, the size of the axe blade itself mattered little – with Danish axes using hatchet blades to devastating effect simply because the forces generated by the swings from a weapon of this size are immense.
In general, a knife (regardless of its specific type) is a bladed weapon with a hilt and an edge of around 30cm (1ft) or less. The uses of a knife vary greatly: many, such as the ubiquitous kitchen knife or the Star Army survival knife are meant to be used primarily as tools; switchblades and crude shivs are small, concealable and designed to give their user an edge in a fist fight; while combat knives, daggers and other large, rugged blades are often backup weapons or dedicated for CQB combat.
The katar is a punching dagger, popular among fighters for it's swift a deadly strikes. Typically, katars are used in close range hand-to-hand combat, and are effective in armour piercing. Some knives have a mechanism responsible for making the blades split. This happens when the user pulls the hand grips together. In this variety of katar, two hand grips are used, so that the mechanism can be activated. This feature was often used to inflict a greater damage to the enemy, having the blades splitting inside of them and slashing their insides. The average katar blade is around 35cm to 45cm long.
Unlike a knife, short swords are far harder to conceal and usually don’t lend themselves well to being tools. Usually measuring between 50cm and 95cm, these weapons are much larger than their previous brethren. Short swords excel in close combat where quarters are too tight for a fully sized sword but the extra range and power over knives and unarmed combatants is invaluable. Generally speaking, this is also about as large as you can get before a sword’s bulk becomes an issue during day to day activities. Also, the extra size over the knife allows the short sword to equip more modifications to its base construction and a larger array of add-ons can be installed.
Purely designed for combat, these large blades can measure between 100cm and 140cm. Depending on their construction, they can either be slashing weapons or thrusting weapons, single handed or intended for two hands. Massively versatile, history has proven that the long sword is a most balanced melee weapon and well suited to a variety of situations. Given adequate space, someone used to sword fighting can dispatch those using smaller blades in relative safety. However, their size means they suffer in the closest of quarters. While manageable, long swords can be awkward to carry around during daily activities and usually aren’t equipped unless a fight is expected.
Specialist weapons, swords of this size are truly terrifying to behold. Measuring anywhere from 130cm to 180cm and almost exclusively two handed, these behemoths are normally unsuited for general combat without extensive training. It would be unwise to assume they’re cumbersome weapons though – as a master can easily achieve dazzling speeds and score multiple hits with all parts of his weapon. All but impossible to use in tight spaces, the user of such a weapon must be very conscious of his surroundings.
Essentially what amounts to a small club, a baton (or Blackjack, Jitte, Sap, Truncheon, etc) is generally a length of some material between 40cm and 80cm. Not specifically designed as an actual weapon per se, the baton is more generally an aide for either defence or assisting its user in hand-to-hand brawling…though implements such as the blackjack are made specifically to be concealable tools for clubbing a target unconscious.
Unlike the baton above, the mace (also warhammer, morning star, etc) is made to be a weapon. At least 90cm long, the mace and its cousins are usually weighted towards a striking end and useful for delivering bone crushing blows to your enemies. Very effective, maces are generally cheaper to manufacture than swords and more useful for defeating armour wearing opponents as a rule of thumb.
The Maul (or Lucerne Hammer) is a rather unsubtle weapon. Very large, it would be right to think of them as combat sledgehammers. Seen normally (when they’re seen at all) a maul can be between 150cm and 200cm in most cases and are almost always two handed weapons. The effectiveness of such an implement cannot be disputed as a heavy object swung at high speed has a tendency to ruin your opponent’s day no matter who they are.
One of the most simple weapons even developed, the staff is nothing more than a length of material between 90cm and 180cm. Commonly employed (or disguised as) walking sticks or similar, a staff can be a very dangerous weapon in skilled hands simply because of its size.
The humble spear has been a staple weapon of war since the dawn of human civilization. Measuring between 90cm and 180cm, the spear is nothing more than a length of wood with a short and pointy end. Effective spear use can be taught in weeks and their length makes them excellent formation weapons but with mastery a spear can become a fearsome weapon when given space to be used effectively. Remember always the novice’s maxim: pull, thrust, repeat.
The bastard child of a spear and a sword, glaives are polearms with a long blade on top or, more rarely, a very long blade counterbalanced by a very long handle. Historically speaking, the most common sorts of glaive came from the orient with the naginata and no-dachi being prominent examples though weapons such as the war scythe should also be considered glaives.
A pike can only be described as a super long spear. So long in fact that their use is generally restricted to formation fighting where their unwieldy nature can be offset by forcing your enemy’s to fight the end of your weapon rather than simply stepping past it. Their length ranged between 300cm and 450cm and they are a rare weapon for obvious reasons.
The materials used to construct any sort of blade are dependant on two things: where your blade is made and how much you are willing to pay for it. This is not a decision taken lightly though; the vast multitude of alloys, metals and even plastics available make this an essential choice which will drastically determine the quality of the final weapon.
In a universe full of fearsome monsters, weapons of mass destruction and shield systems that could stop a tactical nuke without blinking exactly what you make your weapon from usually has little meaning unless you venture into the exotic. In this category, you could easily find blades made from industrial, laser edged plastics, titanium or even rusty steel. Such different factors will only affect how these tools handle like materials and do little to affect the over all cost.
Of special mention is the solid diamond construction used in all Star Army survival knives. Very sharp and exceedingly hard to cut when the edge is used, these tools are nonetheless unsuited to taking strikes on the sides. Generally speaking, this particular material doesn’t differ from the basic materials above – though being solid diamond they can be a useful bartering tool.
Sometimes you just need quality and this quality comes from metallic alloys like Durandium and its ilk. Employed in armour for military grade equipment, that alone speaks volumes about its usefulness for a weapon. While substantially more expensive than your basic materials, you are provided with a much tougher, sharper weapon.
Arguably the most coveted material for a melee weapon, obtaining anything made from this material is likely impossible - being completely restricted to the Empire of Yamatai and its military forces. Sometimes, zesuaiaum weapons can be found in the possession of Samurai-type Nekovalkryja and other similarly important persons.
The type of knife or sword or club one purchases is very likely dependant on personal preferences. There are innumerable designs each with their own disadvantages and advantages: from three pronged spears, to swords that curve outwards and deliver cleaving strikes with every blow. Detailing them all would be impossible and for this reason, this section is more concerned with how the weapon is constructed rather than its actual shape.
There is nothing special about a regular weapon. It is simply a crafted piece of material – varying dramatically in quality from manufacturer to manufacturer. There is no additional cost associated with a weapon made like this.
Rarely seen, these weapons are essentially combat chainsaws. Utilizing a mass of motorized biting teeth that saw and rip themselves through their target, they are undeniably gruesome when it comes to inflicting damage. They are, however, loud and far heavier than a standard weapon and less suited to actual fighting…though that’s the price you pay for the power they afford.
Blades of this sort are capable of folding into the hilt in some manner. Generally useful to conceal the weapon, this addition is usually only found on short swords, clubs and knives – with other types being too large to be easily hidden.
While melee weapons usually rely on physical strength to deal their damage this is not always the case nowadays. Thus, with the proper modifications, weight is not needed to cause an acceptable amount of damage. Hollow blades were developed to remove all unnecessary weight and make for very light, very quick to use weapons. However, it looses a great deal of physical striking ability and requires other modifications to make it a useful weapon. Hollow blades with powered additions usually have such components internalised to preserve their balance.
With modern technology so advanced, edged weapons are capable of being forged with an eye towards the microscopic. Blades with a monomolecular construction are essentially forged to perfection. Far tougher due to the bonds between individual particles being joined together in an impossibly strong knit, and far, far sharper due to the edge being only a single molecule thick. Weapons of this calibre are capable of penetrating incredibly hard materials or slashing their way through thick armour.
While almost impossible to create a blade of pure energy, there are workable substitutes. A bladeless modification usually works by igniting some form of gas as it is ejected from the hilt of the weapon to essentially create a ‘blade of fire’. Impractical for piercing armour of any kind without sustained contact, the blade is nevertheless able to cause lethal injury to flesh and other such lightly armoured substances. Bladeless modifications require Gas packs to run.
A rather odd modification inasmuch as it isn't intended for human use. The massive enhancement is designed to render a melee weapon suitable for power amours. It does this by using denser materials, reinforcing the construction and, in some cases, making them far larger than normal. The end result is still a highly effective weapon though one that would be far too cumbersome for all but the very strongest people to use. When in proper hands however, this extra makes a fearsomely powerful tool even more dangerous. Due to the weapon being far larger than normal, a massive weapon - in addition to its other properties - can mount a second Type-2 Enhancement on it.
Considering the advancements to weaponry in other fields, it seems silly to assume that a melee weapon would suffer from a lack of such enhancements. Indeed, there are a great many interesting and varied extras that can be added to your weapon. Generally, these additions are separate to the business end of the weapon – improving rather than replacing it.
These normal blades don’t have any special additions to them and are in general just normal weapons.
All things considered, normally constructed blades are incredibly fragile when compared to the destructive capabilities of most modern weapons. This is even true when two melee weapons engage in combat - with a plethora of options avaiable its very possible to create a weapon so sharp that it would simply slice straight through the opposing weapon or shatter on impact. The Molecular Knit is designed to combat this problem by reinforcing the base construction of the weapon in question; improving its composition and making it far more durable. Even a Monmolecular blade would find difficulties in penetraiting a Molecular Knit, and for the serious melee fighter this upgrade can be worth its weight in gold.
A small container located near the base of the blade, as its name suggests the poison reservoir contains a toxin of some sort designed to augment the weapon's damage in some way. The poison is usually released down a special channel near the blade's edge and is designed to enter those who are cut. It's worth noting that poison's can't be administered while a power blade modification is active, and special types of poison are needed for heat blades (to resist the heat) and vibro blades (to stay on despite the vibrations) if the buyer intends to use such modifications together.
Occasionally, non-lethal force is required to peacefully subdue your target. Shock modifications achieve this by using concentrated bursts of electricity to disrupt and stun someone impacted by such a weapon. Even a simple poke will discharge this jolt and cause disorientation – or unconsciousness if directed near the head. Backed up by a strong blow this proves an effective enhancement. For obvious reasons these are usually only found on blunt weapons because trying to be non-lethal with an edged weapon is not the best option…though such weapons have been known to exist. This requires a battery.
Usually incorporating a power device into the hilt and mounting an ultrasonic generator along the back edge of the blade, a normal blade can be turned into a vibro weapon. This special addition sends thousands of millisecond vibrations throughout the weapon – producing a noticeable hum – which are then imparted into any target struck by the weapon. While the vibro modification does not improve the penetration capabilities of the weapon, it does improve the damage – with the ultrasonic vibrations pushing apart any material struck. In this manner, even a glancing blow can become a gaping wound.
The exact system used for this modification is one of circumstance, but no matter what you use the effect remains much the same. As the weapon impacts a solid surface, concussion modifications release a pulse of energy that enhance and amplifies the blunt force of the blow. Effective, even against armoured opponents, this enhancement is rather unsuited for swords and is more often seen on blunt weapons and axes or the like. A concussion modification requires a battery which is normally stored in the haft of the weapon.
Again, the power device for a heat blade is usually incorporated into the hilt of the weapon. The modifications necessary to the base blade include a special heat resistant treatment (for alloys that may need it) and thin strips of a special heat conducting alloy near the blade’s edge. The purpose of this modification is to super heat the weapon’s edge - primarily to aid material penetration by weakening their structure (through heat obviously) though secondarily it also immolates organic tissue (burning wounds shut instead of leaving them open to bleed).
With the standard power device again usually mounted in the hilt, the entire back of the weapon is replaced with an energy projector. Sheathing the weapon in a blue/white field, a power blade works by disrupting (or rather, destabilising) matter it comes into contact with. This protects the actual blade (giving it a measure of defence against energy weaponry) and lessens the amount of force needed to penetrate the target. Highly dangerous, power blades are capable of shearing through even incredibly tough materials provided they're backed up with a strong sword arm. When used against flesh, energy discharges cause horrific burns and char tissue that comes into contact with the field. Unfortunately, the technology behind power blades are expensive and as such they’re rarely seen.
By creating a powerful wedge-shaped forward shield, the user is able make more effective melee charges, without being cut down by ranged units. If the shield is at the same or similar frequency as the defender's, it can bypass or overload it, leaving him defenseless for a fatal strike. Also makes the user more aerodynamic. Because of the high power requirements and rarity of shielded infantry, this upgrade is only suitable for massive weapons.
Adding engines to a massive weapon can dramatically increase the striking force of a weapon, but place strain on the user's sword arm and can difficult to use. The user's weapon can actually drag him towards his target, and allows him to plow into the opposition. Speed depends on engine type. Due to their hazards and impracticality, FTL and Space-Folding engines are unusable. The sheer sizes and weight of the engines also make them unsuitable for normal weapons.
Any number of basic bits and bobs can find their way onto a blade. From lanyards and belt clips to colourful tassels and ornate hand guards. Also included here are such things as straps and sheaths, scabbards and ornamental stands. These little odds and ends usually have nothing to do with the blade itself and serve only as extras.
Depending on where the weapon was produced, all blades with a power consuming addition will need a battery. For those built with access to Yamataian goods, most weapons are set to accommodate the BR-28 Rechargeable Battery Magazine, as the power source was designed to accommodate energy hungry weapons.
Essentially a complete replacement for the hilt and the blade's base, a combi mount provides a way to combine your weapon with a gun. Generally limited to small pistols, such a modification can prove a cunning surprise against the unwary opponent.
Quite simple, gas packs are small containers designed to accept an asortment of flamable and dangerous compounds under exceptionally high pressure. When exposed to the built in igniter, these gases have a tendancy to shoot from the pack in a long, thin projection of heat and fire. Depending on the size of the pack (which depends on the size of the “sword”) the gas itself burns up after a distance of only a few feet.
The weapons below are a demonstration of exactly how to use this page. They provide a description of the weapon itself, an overview of its function and the breakdown of exactly how the weapon was constructed. The modular nature of the components above allow similar mixing and matching to achieve almost any sort of weapon type desired.
Total Cost: 30ks
Description A simple club that’s carried by primitive police officers the galaxy over for its cheap cost, generally unthreatening design and relative lack of lethality. All in all, a basic and easily maintained weapon.
Total Cost: 250ks (poison sold separately)
Description The Devil’s Fang is a fighting knife. The blade is double edged and tapered to a wicked point; the weapon is well weighted and balanced. Its specialized augmentations make it easy to conceal, easy to kill with…this is an assassin’s knife. And it makes no pretence to be otherwise.
Total Cost: 460ks (ammunition sold separately)
Description The Praetor or its equivalents are designed to be a weapon employed by professional guards in less developed societies. Its staff-like design not only make it an effective melee weapon in trained hands, but it makes the plasma projector surprisingly easy to aim. Basic training with such a weapon can be measured in short weeks, and variants on the Praetor’s basic theme are popular among militia groups.
Total Cost: 1300ks (including battery)
Description A monstrous weapon, the Goliath is a huge axe of truly bone-shattering proportions. It is designed to be used solely by power armours for use against power armours, reinforced structures and even tanks. The weight and leverage, combined with the super fine edge and power modification allow this heavy weapon to crush and separate even the heaviest armour. Suffice to say, getting hit by this weapon is probably the last mistake you’ll make.