New Weapon Combat Tables
Copyright Norman Schaschke and Raymond Ward ©2001
Edited by Rich Kirkland for The Guild Companion
Are you a fighter using a two-handed sword, who is tired of trying to hit those nimble elves that don't wear armour? Or are you an elf who would like a weapon that uses more agility than strength in melee? Or perhaps you are a swashbuckling type who would like a weapon that allows you to show off your abundant skill in combat? Or are you a noble who would like to preserve both your life and your honour when you next duel? If you are, then the answer for you is the fastest and most accurate melee weapon of all - the foil.
Please note that the non-standard statistics found on the combat table are explained in the article titled "Rolemaster Weapon Attributes" from the November, 1999, issue of the Guild Companion and additional clarification of Speed can be found in "Continuous Tactical Resolution" from the March, 1999, issue of the Guild Companion.
When firearms were developed, they radically changed the nature of warfare and fighting. Basically, firearms made armour obsolete. If your opponents don't wear armour, then you don't need the heavy weapons that were made to penetrate it. Metal technology was coincidentally advanced enough to allow the manufacture of thin metal weapons that were reasonably robust. So consequently swords became lighter and faster and fencing became the preeminent style of hand to hand fighting. Especially for nobles, who having the time to learn the intricacies of fencing, went to great pains to maintain their honour and took great pride in displaying their skill.
The foil is basically a long, thin metal spike. The "blade" does not have an edge, however a slash with its point could cause a cut. It really is only used for thrusting, which it can do faster than any other weapon.
In a fantasy environment, magical metals and smithing practices would easily allow the foil to exist. As a weapon it is very fast, has a good reach, and hits opponents more easily than any other weapon. However in the chaos of melee, which adventurers often find themselves in, the foil is prone to breakage and for that reason alone would not be very popular. Additional reasons for not using a foil are that it only does small amounts of damage and its effectiveness against armour is extremely poor. It is thus best used in post-medieval settings where armour is redundant.
Click here to see the Foil Weapon Chart.