The Art of Fighting Section 2: One Handed Blades

Copyright Johs. Sondrup © 2011

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

"More than any other weapon in history, the sword has a special status in many cultures as a symbol of the warrior's strength, rank and honor."

Editor's Note: The following is the second in a series of 13 articles that enhance the combat rules for Rolemaster (RM2). It is our intention to publish another article in this series every month for the next year. This month's article introduces a new set of weapon categories and a host of new bladed weapons. Next month's article will discuss hafted weapons in detail.

Weapons

There are a great many weapons in the world and many of those are described in the various Rolemaster Companions. Whereas the core books lack Martial Arts and Oriental weapons, many of these are described in Oriental Companion (RM2), Arms Companion (RM2), Martial Arts Companion (RMSS) or The Armory (RMFRP). Especially The Armory contains many Oriental weapon attack tables.

Many weapons have been invented that can be used both in one and two hands, such as the bastard sword, long sword, bastard axe and katana. This doesn't normally present a problem since you simply use the appropriate weapon skill and look up the result up on the corresponding attack table. However not everyone has the books where these attack tables are found, so here's a simple rule for these weapons: If the weapon is used one handed, simply use an appropriate one-handed weapon attack table, while if the weapon is used two-handed use a two-handed weapon attack table with a -15 penalty. E.g., the bastard sword uses the broadsword attack table when used in one hand, but when used in two hands it strikes as a two-handed sword with a -15 penalty to OB.

It's important to note that there are high-quality and low quality weapons everywhere in the world. Not every katana or jian is a masterpiece and master smiths are rare and cannot equip whole armies.

Also, there are very few bad weapons, but many weapons that can be used badly or in the wrong situation. A two handed sword is very good for hacking at trolls, but it is kind of unwieldy when you're walking around in town. Meanwhile, a rapier is very handy in town but not the wisest choice of weapons when combating an armored knight.

Thus, warriors should (and will often) develop different weapons to use in different situations and Pure Arms users excel at combat of every kind: They have the opportunity to learn a variety of weapons, whereas Semi Spell users often excel in only one or two weapon categories.

Alternate Weapon Categories

The standard RM weapon categories are:

  • One-Handed Slashing
  • One-Handed Concussion
  • Pole Arms
  • Missile
  • Thrown
  • Two-Handed Weapons

In this article, those categories are changed to the following:

  • One-Handed Blades
  • One-Handed Hafted
  • Pole Arms
  • Missile
  • Thrown
  • Two-Handed Weapons

This separates axes from swords, which makes sense from the perspective of both construction and technique. One problem that arises is how to handle attacks that do not use a regular weapon, such as Shield Bash, but for simplicity place these under Hafted weapons as well. This new categorization makes it somewhat easier to identify similar weapon groups.

One-Handed Blades

The one-handed blades category starts with the knife, which is one of the most basic tools known to man: Like the club, it has been used by every culture around the world.

Knives consist of a blade attached to a hilt or grip. Most knives have a point so that they can be used to thrust as well as cut, but knives without points do exist. Throughout history, knives of all shapes and sizes have been used although in general they were considered tools rather than weapons. Knives more than 40 cm (16 inches) long are considered short swords in this system.

A Sword is a long blade attached to a hilt or grip. The blade may be one- or two- edged, straight or curved depending on the use of the sword. A sword used for delivering powerful chopping blows is almost always straight or only slightly curved and can be single or double edged, while swords used to deliver slashing attacks usually have curved blades and single edges. Swords used for thrusting attacks have straight blades and sometimes no edge at all, relying on the point alone to deliver the damage.

While this sounds rather simple, the reality is somewhat different because swords that can be used for more than one type of attack have been developed all over the world depending on the attacker's fighting style and the opponent's armor.

More than any other weapon in history, the sword has a special status in many cultures as a symbol of the warrior's strength, rank and honor.

In Europe it became the symbol of chivalry and the knight and its cross-shaped form became the symbol of the church and crusades. The warrior class of India venerated the khanda, while in Japan the katana was the symbol of the samurai and the Bushido code. Because of this special status, the sword will be described here in more detail than any other weapon category.

Common Terms: When describing swords there are terms normally used to refer to different parts of the sword. Please note that this is a very simplified version that covers only the most common expressions.

Blade Terminology:

Central Ridge
The thickest part of the blade.
Edge
The sharpened portion of the blade.
False edge (or back edge)
A sharpened portion along the back side of a single-edged weapon. A false edge enables the wielder to make cutting strikes without turning his wrist and improves thrusting penetration.
Fuller
The blades of swords were often lightened by including fullers or grooves, which also strengthen the blade. (They were not designed as a kind of 'blood gutter'.)
Middle Section or Terso
The middle part of the blade, between the strong portion and the weak portion.
Ricasso
The section of a blade between the cross guard and the edge. Longer swords would sometimes have an extended ricasso, allowing the wielder to grip the blade with an entire hand for more leverage when parrying.
Strong or Forte
The lower third of the blade of a sword, nearest the hilt. It is the strongest part of a blade and is the part used when parrying.
Weak or Foible
The upper third of the blade, ending in the point. It is the part of the blade most used to attack.

A straight double-edged sword:

straight double-edged sword

A curved single-edged sword:

curved single-edged sword

Hilt Terminology: Over time, the hilt developed from a simple grip to a protective unit. This became especially important after the gauntlet fell out of use because it left the hand somewhat unprotected. This led to the addition of the knuckle guard, which slowly developed into the basket hilt, which protected the hand almost as well as a gauntlet.

A basket hilted sword should be the weapon of choice for people that do not normally wear gauntlets, such as rogues, thieves, and the various semi-spell casters, who need their fingers free for spell casting. On the other hand warriors who do wear gauntlets cannot use a basket hilted sword because there is no room for the gauntlet (unless the sword has been specially made to accommodate the gauntlet).

Arms
The part of the hilt extending on each side from the cross guard toward the blade and having the form of a small arc.
Basket
An arrangement of bars, plates, and rings that form a "cage" around the hilt, creating a protective basket around the wielder's hand.
Counterguard (Inner guard)
A system of rings, loops, and bars in a sword guard that protects the inner side of the hand and body.
Cross-guard
The part of the hilt positioned crosswise to the blade and grip. In some swords cross-guards were extended forward and backward to form the fore and rear quillions.
Grip
The part of edged weapons gripped by the hand.
Guard
A device or a part designed to protect the user's hand.
Hilt
The whole of the grip and the guard, generally consisting of the pommel, grip, and cross guard.
Knuckle-guard (or Knuckle-bow)
A guard extending from the cross guard to the pommel, to protect the hand from cutting blows.
Pommel
The end of the grip, which has the dual purposes of balancing the weapon and improving the wielder's hold on it.
Quillion
One arm of the cross guard. In some types of hilts the forward quillion was curved toward the pommel, serving as a knuckle-guard.
Quillion Block (Ecusson)
A small block of metal through which the tang passes. It is the base for the cross guard, the knuckle-guard and the arms of the hilt.
Shell Guard
A guard shaped like a shell.
Side Ring (Ring Guard)
A guard for protecting the hand during a parry, it is located at the center of the cross guard, at a right angle to the blade.

Important note about European swords: There are many misunderstandings about European swords. Despite what has been depicted in countless movies, medieval swords were well-made, light, agile fighting weapons equally capable of delivering dismembering cuts or cleaving deep wounds into the body.

They were not bars of iron with edges, nor did they weigh 10 to 15 pounds and more. We have all seen films where people struggle under the weight of a sword ("The 13th Warrior" is a good example, but there are many more), but in reality Arms Law is correct in stating the weight of a broadsword as 3-5 pounds. Perhaps it's even a bit on the heavy side, since the average weight of swords from the 10th to the 15th centuries was 1.3 kg, while in the 16th century it was 0.9 kg. Even the heavier bastard swords did not exceed 1.6 kg.

So unless the characters in these movies are incredibly weak or exhausted from fighting all day, they shouldn't have a problem lifting any sword. Most examples of heavier swords are called "bearing swords": symbols of status and power to be used on formal occasions rather than in combat.

European swords were also very well made, since they needed to be light, agile, well balanced, sharp and while fairly stiff, still flexible and resilient. It needed to survive hitting a shield, or cutting into a torso or a leg. If it wasn't flexible, then it would bend easily. The edge had to be hard: Bone is tough, as is a steel-rimmed shield. Metallurgical analysis has confirmed that sword smiths had considerable knowledge of how to produce resilient high-carbon blades with hard steel edges.

This is also the reason why you do not parry edge to edge, since doing so will destroy the edge. Instead parrying was done by deflecting the opponent's blade before it reaches its target. The difference is one of defense by counter-striking rather than rigidly blocking or directly obstructing their sharp edge with yours. Parrying edge to edge not only leaves you vulnerable and less able to attack, but it also damages your sword by producing stress and fracture lines that will eventually cause it to break.

As in Asia, several European schools of sword fighting were established. The difference is that these combat systems mostly died out as a living art in Europe, while they survived in Asia. However, this does not imply that European swords or swordsmanship were somehow inferior.

European Bladed Weapons

  • Bastard sword (Hand and a half): A straight bladed sword with a hilt that was long enough to be grasped with both hands, so that it could be used as a two handed weapon.
  • Cutlass: A European slashing sword with thick, curved blade and a half or full basket hilt. It was used by many European sailors in boarding actions.
  • Cinquedea: An Italian shortsword with a very wide straight and double-edged blade. The name of the sword means "five fingers," which refers to the width of the blade near the hilt. It has quillions that curve towards the blade and a hilt that is most often made of wood.
  • Espada ropera: Developed in the mid-15th century in Spain, the Espada ropera ("dress sword") was designed for civilian use and is a cross between a rapier and a long sword. It has a cross-guard and despite having a narrow blade for thrusting, it maintains an effective cutting edge.
  • Falcata: The falcata has a one edged blade that pitches forward towards the point, the edge being concave on the lower part of the sword, but convex on top. This shape makes the falcata capable of delivering very hard blows, since most of the weight of the sword is behind the blade, almost as if chopping with an axe. Unlike the axe, however, the shape also allows for cutting. The hilt is typically hook-shaped, with a stylized pommel in the shape of a horse or a bird. There is often a thin chain connecting the tip of the hilt with the upper section.
  • Gladius: The most famous Roman sword, the gladius is a straight bladed, double-edged short sword. Despite its fame, it was normally only used when the spear (pilum) was broken or lost.
  • Grosses Messer A Grosses Messer (meaning "great knife") was a type of German single-edged sword, similar to a falchion, that was used during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. Much less expensive than other types of available swords, it was the weapon of the common man. Like the kopis, it was used for menial work in addition to battle. Its hilt included a straight cross-guard and Nagel (A quillion set at a straight angle from the blade) to protect the wielder's hands. Quite notable in its construction was the attachment of blade to the hilt via a slab tang sandwiched between two wooden grip plates that were pegged into place.
  • Katzbalger: A straight, double edged sword wielded by the German Landsknecht mercenaries as a backup weapon. The name Katzbalger means cat-fight and refers to the close-up fighting in which it was used. It has an S-shaped guard and flaring grips, which made it very easy to recognize. There was no set blade length , and both short and long versions of the Katzbalger exist.
  • Kopis: An ancient Greek sword. The kopis was a sword with a forward-curving blade, with an average length of about 3 feet. Not only a weapon, it was also used as a tool for cutting meat, for slaughter and animal sacrifice. It is shorter than the Nepalese Kukri and the Iberian Falcata and may be their predecessor.
  • Longsword: The typical Knight's weapon, a longsword is a straight bladed, double-edged sword with a straight crossbar. Unlike the German version it is a one handed weapon, designed to be used with a shield. For the hand-and-half version, use the bastard sword instead.
  • Makhaira: Makhaira is a large knife or shortsword with a slight backwards curve. It's generally thought of as a Greek sword, but the regions around Greece also developed weapons that look a lot like it.
  • Pallasch: A German broadsword with a straight, single-edged blade, and a closed hilt. It was designed mainly for cutting, although thrusts with the point were also possible. Double-edged versions of the Pallasch also existed.
  • Riding sword: A riding sword was a lighter and smaller version of the war sword (broadsword or longsword) and was used as an everyday weapon by warriors. While not good against heavy armor, they were well suited for defense in a civilian setting (especially since regular war swords were illegal to carry in some areas). Riding swords were one of the first steps towards the development of civilian swords like the rapier.
  • Sabre: The sabre or saber is a curved, single-edged sword with a large hand guard. Originally, the sabre was used as a cavalry weapon that gradually came to replace the various straight bladed cutting swords on the battlefield. Because of this, there are many different kinds of sabers from different regions.
  • Schiavona: An Italian broadsword, the Schiavona was a straight bladed, double-edged weapon. It was widely recognizable for its distinctive basket shaped hand-guard made up of many leaf-shaped brass or iron bars that was attached to the cross-bar and knuckle-bow rather than the pommel.
  • Shashka: A Russian saber, the shashka is a very sharp single edged sword with a false edge that made it effective at slashing and thrusting. In appearance the shashka is midway between a full sabre and a straight sword. The blade is either hollowed or fullered. It has no guard, but a large, curved pommel.
  • Small sword: A shorter and lighter version of the rapier, designed entirely for civilian use. The small sword was used for thrusting attacks and in the hands of a skilled user it could be quite deadly, especially against unarmored opponents.
  • Spatha: A roman cavalry sword, the spatha was a long, straight bladed double-edged sword. Around 200 AD it replaced the gladius as the weapon of the Roman Legions.
  • Viking Sword: The sword most used by the Vikings was a straight double-bladed broadsword with small guards and a pommel about the same size as the guard.
  • Xiphos: The Xiphos was a straight, double-edged short sword used by the ancient Greeks. It was a secondary battlefield weapon for the Greek armies after the spear or javelin. The classic blade had a leaf shaped design that was widest about two-thirds of the way from the point. Its long point lent itself to both cutting and thrusting.
European Bladed Weapons Table
Name of weapon Type Wt Len F Table Armor modification Parry mod Special
17-20 13-16 9-12 5-8 1-4
Bastard sword (Hand and a half) 1HS 3-4 3-4 4 Broadsword +5 0 0 -5 -10 0
2H 5 2H-Sword -10 -15 -15 -15 -15 -5
Cutlass 1HS 4 2 3 Scimitar -5 -5 0 +5 +5 +5
Cinquedea 1HS 3 2 3 Shortsword 0 0 0 0 +5 0
Espada ropera 1HS 2-3 3-4 3 Broadsword -15 -5 0 +5 +15 +5
Falcata 1HS 4 3 4 Hand Axe -5 0 0 +5 +5 0
Gladius 1HS 3 2 3 Shortsword 0 0 0 0 0 -5
Grosses Messer 1HS 3 3 4 Falchion +5 0 0 0 0 0
Katzbalger (long) 1HS 3 3 4 Broadsword +5 0 0 0 -5 0
Katzbalger (short) 1HS 2 2 3 Shortsword +5 0 0 0 -5 0
Kopis 1HS 4 3 4 Hand Axe -5 -5 0 +5 +5 0
Longsword 1HS 3-4 3-4 4 Broadsword +5 +5 0 -5 -5 0
Makhaira 1HS 2-3 2-3 4 Scimitar -5 -5 0 0 0 0
Pallasch 1HS 3 3-4 3 Broadsword 0 0 0 0 0 +5
Riding sword 1HS 2 2-3 3 Broadsword -20 -10 0 +5 +15 0
Sabre 1HS 3 3 4 Scimitar 0 +5 +5 +5 +5 +5
Schiavona 1HS 2 3 3 Broadsword 0 0 0 +5 +5 +5
Shashka 1HS 2 3 3 Scimitar -5 -5 +5 +5 +10 -5
Small Sword 1HS 1 2-3 3 Rapier -10 -5 -10 -5 0 0 Puncture crits only
Spatha 1HS 4 3 4 Broadsword 0 0 0 0 0 -5
Viking Sword 1HS 4 3 4 Broadsword 0 0 0 0 0 0
Xiphos 1HS 3 2 2 Shortsword -5 0 0 0 +5 0

Oriental Bladed Weapons

  • Batak: A short sword or long knife used by the Batak tribe of Sumatra.
  • Butterfly swords: Typically, butterfly swords come in pairs that are cleverly nested together so they appear to be one sword, not two. When they are drawn, they can be quickly separated and wielded in both hands to make wickedly effective chops, slashes and thrusts.
  • Dao: Dao blades are slightly curved and single-edged, often with a slight back edge. The moderate curve allows them to be effectively thrust.
  • Dah: The national sword of Burma. It is a slightly curved single-edged sword with a long unguarded hilt. The Dah comes in many sizes, but the long grip allows for it to be used in two hands no matter what the size of the blade.
  • Jian: A double edged straight sword. The Jian have been used in China for at least 2500 years. While the design has changed slightly and its construction improved over time, it remains an elegant weapon-one that is considered a gentleman's weapon. It is also used in many Martial Arts Styles as a weapon for katas.
  • Kampilan: The kampilan is a long single-edged sword widely used in the Philippine Islands. The hilt is quite long to counterbalance the weight and length of the blade. It is equipped with a cross guard and a pommel shaped like an animal's open mouth. Like some other swords, it was not only used for combat, as the blade was tough enough to be used as a tool to chop through vegetation or meat.
  • Katana: The Japanese samurai sword and one of the most famous swords in the world. The katana was often worn paired with the wakizashi. The paired weapons were referred to as daisho (the big and the small). The katana has a long single edged curved blade with a chisel like point and can be used as both a slashing and thrusting weapon.
  • Klewang: A single-edged Indonesian machete with an unguarded hilt. Used all over Indonesia, there are many variations of this weapon, but most are slightly curved.
  • Kukri: A Nepalese knife or sword. The weapon is usually carried in a leather sheath along with two smaller knives, which are shaped the same way. Like the falcata and the kopis the shape makes it capable of delivering very hard blows, since most of the weight of the sword is behind the blade.
  • Kris: A wavy double-edged knife or short sword, designed primarily for thrusting. It is perhaps the most famous weapon in Indonesia and has many legends surrounding it. When the kris was used to executions, the condemned kneeled before the executioner, who placed a wad of cotton on the subject's shoulder. The blade was thrust through the padding, piercing the heart. Death came within seconds.
  • Miaodao: A single edged sword that can be used with both one and two hands.
  • Pinuti: The Pinuti is a Filipino sword used in the Eskrima Martial Arts. It has the same machete form as the klewang, but the hilt is equipped with hand-guard in the form of a vertical cross-guard. Like the klewang and the kampilan, it was not only used as a weapon, but as a tool as well.
  • Tsurugi: A straight-bladed double edged sword with straight cross-guards and a ring-shaped pommel used in Japan before the development of the katana.
  • Wakizashi: Japanese short sword. The samurai carried a wakizashi along with a katana.
Oriental Bladed Weapons Table
Name of weapon Type Wt Len F Table Armor modification Parry mod Special
17-20 13-16 9-12 5-8 1-4
Batak 1HS 2-3 2 2 Shortsword -10 -5 0 0 0 -5
Butterfly swords 1HS 2-3 2 2 Shortsword -5 0 0 +5 +5 +5
Dah (medium) 1HS 5 3-4 3 Broadsword 0 0 +5 +5 +5 -5
2H 3 2H-Sword -10 -10 -5 0 0 -5
Dah (short) 1HS 3 2-3 3 Shortsword 0 0 +5 +5 +5 -5
2H 4 Broadsword -10 -5 0 0 0 -5
Dao 1HS 4 3-4 4 Falchion 0 0 0 +5 +5 0
Jian 1HS 3 3-4 4 Broadsword 0 0 0 +5 +5 0
Kampilan 1HS 4 3-4 5 Falchion 0 0 0 0 +5 -5
Katana 1HS 5 3-4 3 Broadsword 0 0 +5 +5 +5 0
2H 4 2H-Sword -5 -5 -5 0 0 0
Klewang 1HS 4 3-4 5 Falchion 0 0 0 +5 +5 -5
Kris (long) 1HS 2 2 2 Shortsword -5 0 0 0 +5 0
Kris (short) 1HS 1 1 1 Dagger -5 0 0 0 +5 0
Kukri 1HS 4 2-3 4 Hand Axe -5 0 0 0 +5 0
Pinuti 1HS 4 3-4 5 Falchion 0 0 0 0 +5 0
Tsurugi 1HS 4 3 4 Broadsword 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wakizashi 1HS 2-3 2 2 Shortsword 0 0 0 +5 +5 0

Indo-Persian Bladed Weapons

  • Katar (Punching sword): Also known as a Bundi dagger, a katar is a type of short punching sword that is native to the Indian subcontinent. The hand grip is horizontal, which results in the blade of the sword sitting above the user's knuckles. The blades are always double-edged and are generally straight.
  • Khanda: A double-edged Indian sword, with a broad, heavy blade that ends in a blunt tip. It has a disk-shaped pommel and a spike that acts as an arm-guard. It is primarily a hacking and slashing weapon.
  • Kilij: Also known as a Turkish scimitar, the Kilij is a Turkish sword with a curved blade.
  • Pata (Sword gauntlet): A Pata or sword gauntlet is a bladed weapon from Northern India much like the Katar, except that the blade is integrated in a gauntlet. The Pata can be used as both a punching and slashing weapon. The blades are always double-edged and are generally straight.
  • Saif: An Arabian sword, the Saif is a straight bladed double-edged sword that bears a strong resemblance to the Greek xiphos and the Roman spatha. The Saif was one of the most used swords in Arabia until contact with the Turks and Persians made the curved sword popular.
  • Sassanian Sword: A Persian Sword with a straight double-edged blade, straight cross-guards and a disk-shaped pommel, much like the English longsword.
  • Savaran Sword: The sword used by the Persian Savaran Elite Cavalry was a straight double-edged sword with an unguarded hilt. The grip has two indentations on it: a shorter one for the index finger and a longer one for the remaining three fingers. Being a nobleman's weapon it was normally made of high quality Indian wootz steel.
  • Shamshir: The shamshir is a Persian one-handed, curved cavalry sword featuring a slim blade that has almost no taper until the very tip. It was normally used for slashing unarmored opponents.
  • Talwar: An Indian Saber, looking somewhat like the Persian shamshir and the Turkish kilij. The difference is that the blade of a talwar is wider and thicker than the blade of a shamshir. The distinctive Indian wootz steel was known across Asia as flexible and strong and was used to construct many of these weapons.
  • Yatagan: A Turkish single-edged sword with a marked forward curve and a hilt formed of plaques attached through the tang. It bears a strong resemblance to the Spanish falcate and Greek kopis. The hilt has no guard and is typically made from bone, ivory or silver. It spreads out in two wings to either side at the pommel to prevent the sword slipping out of the hand in battle.
Indo-Persian Bladed Weapons Table
Name of weapon Type Wt Len F Table Armor modification Parry mod Special
17-20 13-16 9-12 5-8 1-4
Katar (long) 1HS 2-3 2 2 Shortsword -5 +5 -5 0 0 -5
Katar (short) 1HS 2 1 2 Dagger -5 +5 -5 0 0 -5
Khanda 1HS 3-4 3-4 5 Falchion 0 0 0 +5 +10 0
Kilij 1HS 3-4 3 4 Scimitar 0 0 0 +5 +5 0
Pata 1HS 3 3-4 4 Broadsword 0 0 +5 +5 +5 0 +50vs. disarm
Saif 1HS 3 2 3 Broadsword -5 0 0 0 +5 0
Sassanian Sword 1HS 3-4 3-4 4 Broadsword +5 +5 0 -5 -5 0
Savaran Sword 1HS 3-4 3-4 4 Broadsword +5 +5 0 0 -5 -5
Shamshir 1HS 3 3 4 Scimitar 0 0 0 +5 +5 0
Talwar 1HS 3-4 3-4 4 Scimitar 0 0 0 +5 +5 0
Yatagan 1HS 3 3 4 Falchion +5 0 0 0 -5 0

African Bladed Weapons

  • Flyssa: Flyssa is the traditional sword of the Kabyles tribe of Algeria and Morocco.
  • Kaskara A Sudanese sword, the Kaskara is a straight double-edged sword. With its straight cross-guards and flat pommel, it bears a strong resemblance to European broadsword.
  • Mameluke sword A Mameluke sword is a cross-hilted, curved, scimitar-like sword historically used by Mamluk warriors from whom the sword derives its name.
  • Nimcha A Nimcha is a single-edged straight sword from northwestern Africa, especially Morocco. They often have hilts that sport forward pointing quillions, and wooden handles with squared off "hooked" pommels. The cross guard will often have a knuckle guard that starts beneath the quillions and runs to the bottom of the pommel. On the opposite side of the hilt there is normally a 3rd quillion.
  • Takouba The sword of the Tuareg. Like the Nimcha it's a straight sword, but unlike the Nimcha it's double edged. It has short cross-guards and a disk shaped pommel.
  • Yaka sword The Yaka sword is a short sword used by the Yaka people of Zaire. The blade is straight and double edged with an elongated leaf shape. The grip is normally covered with animal hide and the pommel has a long tubular pommel spike.
African Bladed Weapons Table
Name of weapon Type Wt Len F Table Armor modification Parry mod Special
17-20 13-16 9-12 5-8 1-4
Flyssa 1HS 3 3 4 Falchion -5 -5 -5 0 0 0
Kaskara 1HS 3 3 4 Broadsword 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mameluke Sword 1HS 3 3 4 Scimitar 0 0 0 0 +5 0
Nimcha 1HS 3 3-4 3 Broadsword 0 0 0 0 0 +5
Takouba 1HS 3 3 4 Broadsword 0 0 0 0 0 0
Yaka Sword 1HS 2 1 3 Shortsword -5 0 0 0 +5 0