Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Arms Race: The Ridiculous Weapons of D&D

This post is going to be a little shorter than my usual ones.  I felt obligated to make a post after so long, but was having trouble coming up with a topic.  So I decided to say "To hell with it" and right a little mini-rant.  Without further ado here we go.

Am I the only one who noticed that D&D 3.5 (and to a certain extent Pathfinder) has some of the most ridiculous weapons out of any RPG?  Today I was reading a couple of Equipment Books from the aforementioned Game/Edition.  The Arms & Equipment Guide by Wizards of the Coast and the Ultimate Equipment Guide Volume 1 (published by Mongoose Games under the OGL).  Mostly this was brought on by boredom more than anything.  (I am happy to report that it wasn't entirely in vain, I managed to find two little gems in the Ultimate Equipment Guide.  A Hauberk which would have been more historically appropriate to my Forest of Dean Campaign, than a plain chain-shirt.  As well as weapon stats for a Pitchfork, other than somebody yelling at me to just use a trident.  There are significant differences between the two, damn it!  I also found stats for a slingshot, in case I ever want to stat Kid Link from Ocarina of Time).  Other than the aforementioned eye-catchers, the two books were nothing particularly remarkable.  Unless you really want to add some stuff to the equipment list of your game, they're both kind of a pass.  The only thing remarkable about them is the amount of ridiculous looking/sounding weapons they have within their pages.  (Seriously they could give Manji from Blade of the Immortal's collection a run for its money).
The aforementioned collection of weird weapons, reproduced here as a line of toys. 
There was all manner of bizarre and impractical weaponry.  The obligatory smattering of double weapons, including the double scimitar, mace and the crown jewel of this house of oddities, the Elven Double Bow.  According to the description it possesses two bowstrings for the express purpose of loosing two arrows at once.  (Face it, if you're going for a that level of realism.  Just do what Prince of Thieves and every other self-respecting Robin Hood movie did, use a normal longbow).  Others of note were the Claw Bracer (for those of you who want play Medieval Wolverine) and the whip dagger (a whip in a competent user's hands can cut through skin to the bone, what's the point of having a dagger on the end).  There was also the Dwarven Armour Blades which were essentially armour spikes that did more damage.  (I've always wondered how Dwarves and other warriors walked around with all those spikes over their armour, without injuring themselves.  If anyone has an answer to this mystery, please tell me because I'm dying to know).  

The most ridiculous weapon I've seen in all my years of playing
tabletop RPGs and being a medieval warfare geek.
Last but not least, I've saved the dumbest one for the end.  I even went so far as to do a screen capture and edit it, for this weapon alone.  Ladies and Gentlemen allow me to introduce you to the Gyrspike.  "A what?" you ask, that was my exact reaction when I first saw this weapon.  Apparently this is a double weapon (I know I already covered them but hear me out) that combines a longsword with a flail (that's why I didn't include it with the other double weapons, which usually have double of the same weapon).  There are so many things wrong with this weapon I don't even know where to begin. Let's start with the obvious.  How in the Nine Hells are you supposed to swing the sword around without clonking yourself with the flail end.  It's already difficult enough not to hit yourself with a flail as is.  The weapon description says that the flail end can be used to disarm or entangle an opponent's weapon.  Wrong, the chain's too damn short in length to entangle jack-all.  Also can you imagine how awkward and unbalanced that thing must be.  You've got to carry around a five pound longsword and then add a length of chain and steel ball at the other end.  Who designed this?  It looks like something a thirteen year old version of me would come up with (I was a pretty dumb kid).  

Anyway that was my little rant to kickoff September.  What do you think?  What's the most ridiculous weapon you've ever seen in a Roleplaying game?  Leave it down below in the comments.  Be sure to +1 and re-share.  May you roll many crits and until next time have a great day.