Weapons

Metal is rare on Athas, and many weapons ordinarily crafted using metal components are extremely expensive. Unworked iron is worth 100 cp per pound on average, but can cost much, much more in some places. Worked metal is even more expensive, as craftsmen who actually know how to craft metal items are rare at best. Most metal weapons are items dating back to the Green Age, or have been crafted from the meager resources of Tyr’s iron mines.

Due to the rarity of metal, weapons and other items constructed primarily from metal are priced at their listed cost in the Player's Handbook – they are not converted to ceramic pieces. For example a metal longsword costs 15 gp (or 1,500 cp).Weapons and items containing only small quantities of metal are priced at half their Player’s Handbook listed cost in gp. Divide the listed Player’s Handbook price by 2. For example, 12 metal-tip flight arrows cost 15 cp (1.5 sp).

Due to the extremely high cost of metal weaponry on Athas, most weapons from the Player’s Handbook are constructed from inferior, but functional, materials. Most common are bone and stone such as flint or obsidian, but treated wood is sometimes used as well. Weapons constructed from inferior materials, such as a bone longsword or an axe with a head made from stone, suffer a -1 penalty to attack and damage rolls. This penalty cannot reduce damage dealt below 1. These weapons cost 0.5% of the listed price in the Player’s Handbook. Convert the listed Player’s Handbook price to cp, then divide the cost by 2. For example a bone shortsword costs 5 cp.

The following weapons from the Player’s Handbook can be constructed from non-metal materials without penalty: blowguns (with barbed dart or needle), all bows, clubs, all crossbows, darts, daggers, harpoons, javelins, all lances, all maces, quarterstaves, scourges, slings (with sling stones), spears, staff slings (with sling stones), and whips. They weigh the same as listed in the Player’s Handbook. These weapons cost 1% of the listed price in the Player’s Handbook. Simply convert the listed price in the Player’s Handbook from gp to cp (sp convert to bits). For example, a short bow listed at 30 gp in the Player’s Handbook costs 30 cp.

Obsidian, bone, and wood weapons are prone to breaking. Whenever a successful attack inflicts maximum damage, there is a 5% chance that the weapon will break, which is a roll of 1 on 1d20. For example, Bruth is sent to the arena armed with a bone battle axe. In the first round of combat, Bruth cleaves through the skull of an opponent (making a successful attack roll) and takes him down (rolling an 8 on his 1d8 die for damage). Unfortunately, the shock of the blow splinters the bone of the axe head. (Checking for breakage, Bruth’s player rolls a 1 on 1d20—indicating a break.) This leaves Bruth weaponless as his other opponents close in.

Furthermore, due to the rarity of metal, Athas has its share of unique weapons designed to be constructed from non-metal materials; as such, they do not suffer from the inferior materials penalties described above. These athasian weapons are listed in Table XXX: Athasian Weapons.

TABLE XXX: ATHASIAN WEAPONS — Damage —
Weapon Cost † Weight ‡ Size Type Speed S-M L
Alhulak 9 cp 9 M P/B 5 1d6 1d6
Bard’s friend 10 cp 3 S P/S 3 1d4+1 1d3
Cahulaks 12 cp 12 M P/B 5 1d6 1d6
Carrikal 8 cp 6 M S 5 1d6+1 1d8
Chatkcha 1 cp 1/2 S S 4 1d6+2 1d4+1
Crusher 24 cp 9 L B 10 1d4 1d3
Datchi club 12 cp 10 L B 4 1d6 1d4
Dragon’s paw 15 cp 9 L P 8 1d6 1d6+1
Forearm axe 2 sp 4 S P/S 3 1d6 1d6
Gouge 6 cp 12 L P/S 8 1d8 1d10
Gythka 6 cp 12 L P/B 9 2d4 1d10
Impaler 4 cp 5 M P 5 1d8 1d8
Lotulis 15 cp 10 L P/S/B 8 1d10 1d12
Master’s whip 6 cp 3 M P 8 1d3 1d2
Puchik 6 cp 1 S P/S 2 1d4+1 1d4+1
Quabone 1 cp 4 M P/S 7 1d4 1d3
Singing sticks 5 sp 1 S B 2 1d6 1d4
Talid 4 cp 1 S P/S/B 2 1d6 1d6-1
Tortoise blade 9 cp 5 M P/S 5 1d6 1d6+1
Trikal 12 cp 8 L B/S 8 1d10 1d10
Weighted pike 6 cp 15 L P/B 12 1d6 1d12 or 1d4
Widow’s knife 5 cp 4 M P/S 3 1d4 1d4
Wrist razor 1 sp 1 S S 2 1d6+1 1d4+1

† Costs are for items made from non-metal materials. Change to reflect the use of metal.
‡ Weights are for items made from non-metal materials. Change to reflect the use of metal.

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Alhulak: The alhulak is primarily a rope with a four-bladed grappling hook on one end. The other end of the 5-foot rope is secured to a 2-foot long handle, which can also be used to block attack from other weapons. The four-bladed head of the alhulak is commonly carved from mekillot ribs (the price given here is for a steel set of blades). The haft securing it to the rope is usually of wood or bone.
Proficient Use: A proficient user of the alhulak can use it in combat without fear of snaring himself or his companions. Furthermore, he can use another medium sized weapon in his other hand with only a -2 penalty. Small weapons can be used along with the alhulak with no penalty.
Specialized Use: The specialized warrior can use the alhulak to ensnare her target as though she were grappling. A successful attack means the foe suffers 1d3 points of damage and is automatically grappled. Once grappled, the wielder can try to keep her enemy off-balance by making a successful Strength check against those of her own size who fail a save vs. petrification. Smaller foes are automatically off balance. Large enemies cannot be unbalanced by the alhulak.

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Bard’s friend: Popularized by the bards of Balic, this weapon sports several blades and prongs. The blades are carved from obsidian, then strapped and mounted to a wooden grip. The prongs are made of sharpened wood, though fangs can be used to similar effect. The grip either has finger holes or leather straps for gripping. Bards normally coat the blades with poison.

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Cahulaks: A pair of four-bladed heads tied to either end of a 12-foot length of rope, this weapon can be employed in melee or as a thrown weapon. As a melee weapon, the wielder holds one blade cluster in each hand and swings them in unison or in succession at his opponent. As a thrown weapon, cahulaks tangle around its target and also cause damage when the blades strike. The blades are carved bone, usually, mekillot, while the hafts are solid lengths of wood or sturdy bone.

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Carrikal: The carikkal is made by lashing a length of mekillot bone to the jawbone of a jozhal. The sharp ridges of teeth run down half the length of the bone handle, while the hinges of the jaw are sharpened to a keen edge. This makes the carikkal resemble a battle axe with both heads pointing in the same direction. A leather thong protrudes from a hole drilled in the bottom of the bone shaft, so that the user may retain his grip in even the bloodiest of battles.
Specialized Use: A specialized user of the carikkal can use the sharp teeth on the haft of the carikkal to damage opponents during his extra attack.
As an example, a 3rd-level specialist in carikkal has 3 attacks every 2 rounds. On the third attack, the teeth come into play. In addition to the damage of the blades of the carikkal, the teeth cause an additional 1d3 points of damage. The wielder does not need to roll to hit for this damage to happen; his expertise with the weapon is such that it happens automatically. However, the extra damage does not receive a Strength bonus, although magical damage applies normally.

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Chatkcha: This thri-kreen throwing weapon is common among the steppes tribes. It’s a crystal wedge that can be thrown up to 90 yards and, due to its spin and effect upon the air, returns to the thrower if it misses the target.

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Crusher: A spiked stone (or, rarely, metal) ball at the end of a 20- to 25-foot-long flexible pole makes up this unique melee weapon. The user plants the end of the pole into the ground, then whips the weighted end back and forth until it nearly strikes the ground in front and behind. This weapon is difficult to use in individual combat, but it makes a formidable weapon in troop battle.

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Datchi club: This specialized arena weapon inflicts horrible wounds. A 4- to 5-foot-long head made of either dried insect hive or dried roots is attached to a 3-foot-long wood or bone handle. Teeth, claws, or (rarely) metal razors are embedded into the head, which is then swung with lightning-quick strokes.

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Dragon’s paw: This weapon, made popular in the arenas of Tyr and Urik, has two blades, one attached to either end of a 5 to 6-foot-long wood shaft. The blades can be fashioned from any suitable material. A centrally located curved bar or basket protects the wielder’s hand and features a protruding blade that juts perpendicularly to the shaft.

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Forearm axe: Worn on the forearm like a buckler, this weapon consists of a large, double-bladed axe on either end of a bracer with a spike protruding perpendicularly from the upper sheath. This weapon is particularly formidable in close-quarter fighting.

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Gouge: The shoulder-strapped gouge was developed by the army of Nibenay for use by its infantry. A wide bone, obsidian, or chitin blade is mounted on a 3-foot-long wood shaft. The weapon requires a two-handed grip: a small handle bar that protrudes from the shaft, just behind the blade, and a grip at the rear of the shaft.

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Gythka: This thri-kreen polearm has wicked blades at either end. The weapon’s thick shaft allows it to be used like a quarterstaff against similarly armed opponents.

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Impaler: An impaler is a weapon developed for arena combat. It has a single shaft about 4 feet long with a pair of long pointed blades, splitting to each side and forming a deadly "T". The weapon can be swung horizontally or vertically over the head.

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Lotulis: Crescent blades with barbed spikes near the points and mounted at either end of a long shaft make this a particularly nasty melee weapon.

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Master’s whip: Used by task masters and arena guards, the master’s whip has a carved bone or ivory handle inlaid with decorative elements appropriate to the rank of the wielder. The whip is fashioned from leather or giant’s hair (the latter increasing the cost by 15 cp). A bone head sports five separate hollow-tipped barbs, setting this weapon apart from normal whips.

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Puchik: This punching and parrying weapon is designed for close-quarter fighting. It’s a 2-foot-long dagger with hand guards and a grip positioned perpendicularly to the length of the blade.

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Quabone: This weapon is constructed from four identical shanks of bone, lashed together to form a radially symmetrical, sword-length rod. With its lightness and crudely sharpened end, the quabone is a fairly ineffective weapon. However, it’s often used in arena situations where combat is intended to be drawn out for a long period of time.

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Singing sticks: Singing sticks are used in pairs, one wielded in each hand. Each stick is made from a springy, straight wood and measures 1 inch in diameter and 2½ feet long. The ends are slightly wider than the center. Extremely light, singing sticks rely more on agility and ability than on brute force. When twirled, the sticks produce whistling and moaning sounds, thus giving them their name.

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Tortoise blade: This weapon is basically a small shield with a protruding blade. Though named for a specific creature, its protective shell can be carved from bone or chitin, or fashioned from hardened leather. The blade, made from stone, bone, or sometimes metal, is mounted to the underside of the shell, and the entire ensemble is worn on the forearm. The shell counts as piecemeal armor and provides a one-point bonus to the wearer’s Armor Class.

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Trikal: This small polearm is a 6-foot-long, mostly wood shaft. The uppermost 12 inches consist of three blades projecting from a central shaft. Beneath the blades is a series of sermtions, generally extremely sharp. The other end of the shaft is weighted to increase the momentum of the weapon.

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Weighted pike: This weapon combines the effectiveness of a pike with the impact damage of a mace. The 8-foot-long shaft has a blade of bone or fang at one end and a weighted, spiked bail at the other, usually made of baked ceramic.

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Widow’s knife: Named for a similar-looking harvesting tool used in the verdant belts, this weapon has a wide blade on one end of a wood or an ivory handle. Hidden within the handle are two spring-loaded prongs. A thumb latch on the handle releases the prongs. It takes a full round to reload them. The widow’s knife can also be thrown as a missile weapon.

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Wrist razor: Wrist razors consist of a trio of blades that protrude from a heavy arm band. The razors project out over the back of the hand, are extremely sharp, and can be up to 6 inches long. Wrist razors can be worn on one or both forearms.

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