Melee Weapons (Action)

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A short intro will really improve this page by pushing the main table down a bit.

Weapon Table

This table shows the melee weapons of Action in one giant table, divided into six rough technology levels.

Ancient Weapons




Baton 1 Jacket + 1 Improvised, Stun
Battle Axe 1 Coat + 4 Great Blow
Bola 1 Jacket + 0 Entangle, Throw
Boomerang 1 Coat + 1 Throw, Return
Cudgel 1 Coat + 2 Improvised, Stun]], Parry
Dagger 1 Pocket + 2 Throw, Second Strike (offhand)
Flail 1 Coat + 4 Great Blow
Garrote 2 Negligible + 0 Improvised, Entangle
Gauntlet 1 Jacket + 2 Stun
Great Axe 2 Unconcealable + 5 Great Blow, Throw
Great Spear 2 Unconcealable + 4 Great Blow, Intercept
Hand Ax 1 Jacket + 3 Second Strike (offhand), Throw
Javelin 1 Unconcealable + 3 Throw
Large Shield 1 Unconcealable + 1 Block
Mace 1 Coat + 4 Great Blow
Maul 2 Unconcealable + 5 Great Blow
Net 1 Jacket + 0 Entangle, Throw
Nunchaka 1 Jacket + 3
Quarterstaff 2 Unconcealable + 3 Second Strike (double), Improvised, Parry
Rock 1 Pocket + 1 Improvised, Throw
Small Shield 1 Coat + 1 Improvised, Stun, Parry
Spear 1 Unconcealable + 3 Second Strike (butt), Great Blow, Improvised
Torch 1 Jacket + 1 Improvised, Extra Damage (fire)
Whip 1 Jacket + 0 Disarm, Intercept, Entangle, Parry
Modifications Cost an Item schtick each
Masterwork Weapon - - Add +1

Blacksmith Weapons




Broadsword 1 Coat + 4 Great Blow, Parry
Great Sword 2 Unconcealable + 5 Great Blow, Parry
Knuckleduster 1 Pocket + 2 Stun
Lajatang 2 Coat + 4 Second Strike (double), Parry
Lance 1 Unconcealable + 3 Charge
Naginata 2 Unconcealable + 4 Second Strike (butt), Great Blow, Intercept
Punch Dagger 1 Jacket + 3 Second Strike (offhand)
Shakram 1 Coat + 4 Disarm, Throw
Short Sword 1 Jacket + 3 Great Blow, Parry
Shuriken 1 Pocket + 1 Throw
Tiger Claws 1 Jacket + 2 Second Strike (offhand), Parry
Trident 1 Unconcealable + 3 Great Blow, Parry, Entangle

Clockwork Weapons




Halberd 2 Unconcealable + 4 Second Strike (butt), Disarm, Great Blow, Parry
Katana 1 Trenchcoat + 5 Great Blow
Man Catcher 2 Unconcealable + 2 Entangle, Intercept, Stun
Meteor Hammer 1 Jacket + 2 Entangle, Improvised, Great Blow
Rapier 1 Coat + 4 Great Blow, Intercept
Smallsword 1 Coat + 3 Great Blow]], Intercept, [[Melee Weapon Abilities (Action)#Parry|Parry
Swordbreaker 1 Jacket + 3 Disarm, Second Strike (offhand)
Warhammer 1 Coat + 3 Great Blow, Extra Damage (armor)
Zweihander 2 Unconcealable + 5 Disarm, Great Blow, Parry

Steam Weapons




Executioner’s Kiss 1 Trenchcoat + 2 Extra Damage (acid), Second Strike (offhand)
Molotov Cocktail 1 Jacket + 1 Extra Damage (fire), Improvised, Throw
Welding Torch 1 Coat + 2 Extra Damage (fire), Improvised

Combustion Weapons




Cattle Prod 1 Jacket + 1 Extra Damage (electricity), Improvised, Stun
Chain Saw 2 Unconcealable + 7 Great Blow

Nuclear Weapons




Hand Taser 1 Negligible + 1 Extra Damage (electricity), Stun
Hedgecutter 2 Jacket + 5 Great Blow
Modifications: Modifications cost an Items schtick each
Chain Blade + 1
Electro Weapon Extra Damage (Electricity)

Fusion Weapons




Afflox 1 Coat + 3 Great Blow, Entangle, Intercept
Charge Mace 1 Coat + 5 Great Blow, Parry
Karatand 1 Pocket + 2 Disarm, Parry
Multi Rod As a Club or Quarterstaff
Multi Sword As a Short Sword, Longsword, or Great Sword +
Power Fist 1 Unconcealable + 7 Great Blow, Extra Damage (Armor), Entangle, Second Strike (offhand)
Storm Hammer 1 Coat + 8 Extra Damage (Armor), Great Blow
Modifications: Modifications cost an Items schtick each +
Keen Edge - - Add Extra Damage (Armor)
Vibro Blade - - - Add Extra Damage (Sonic)

Hyperspace Weapons




Light Sword 1 Pocket +6 Extra Damage (Armor), Disarm, Second Strike (offhand), Parry, Intercept
Light Sabre 1 Pocket +6 Great Blow, Extra Damage (Armor), Disarm, Great Blow, Parry
Light Shield 1 Pocket + 4 Block, Second Strike (offhand)
Light Staff 2 Jacket + 6 Great Blow, Extra Damage (Armor), Second Strike (double), Disarm, Parry
Modifications: Modifications cost an Items schtick each +
Power Weapon - - + 2 Extra Damage (Armor)
Modifications: cost an Items schtick each

Magical Weapons




Boost - - + 1 -
Enchanted - - + - Add one maneuver
Force Weapon - - + - Bonus dice for Magic point
Shrinking - Negligible + - -

Ancient Weapons


Improvised, Stun

A baton is a short club (about 0.3 to 0.6 meters) made of wood or rubber-coated metal. It can be improvised using just about anything. Commonly used in brawls, by peacekeepers, or as a practice weapon. Also known as club, singlestick, tonfa, wand, switch, or swagger stick. A variant known as the sap is made from a bag holding sand or lead bullets. The various war-fans (or tessen) are also considered batons.

Battle Axe

Great Blow

A heavy axe often used for woodwork. About a meter long with a metal or stone head. Also known as the fire axe, francheska, bearded axe etc.


Entangle, Throw

Three weights connected by strings. Thrown by spinning, it does limited bludgeoning damage but more importantly ties up the target's limbs.



A curved stick used as a throwing weapon. Made of hardwood, light metal, or plastic. In Action, all boomerangs return to their thrower.


Improvised, Stun

A stout stick of wood or rubberized metal, about a meter in length, the cudgel is easy to improvise and is a part of many martial arts styles and as a practice weapon. Known as the Jo Staff in Japan or as the cane. Often used as a walking stick.


Throw, Second Strike (offhand)

A short blade of 0.1 to 0.3 meters in length, mainly used for thrusting but balanced to be thrown. Highly concealable and very common as a tool; in many cultures it is unthinkable not to allow someone to carry a knife for daily chores, eating etc. Can be made from bronze or obsidian, but steel is the preferred material until high-impact plastics or ceramics become available.


Great Blow

A hinged pole; the lose end can either be a ball or a stick. The hinge is usually made of chain, but primitive versions can use a joint or sinews instead. Used as a threshing tool in agricultural societies. Also known as the morning star, ball and chain, three-piece staff et al.


Improvised, Extra Damage (Damage)

A highly concealable weapon consisting of two handles with a thin wire or string between them. Used to strangle. This weapon is special in that it does full damage when used to entangle.



A weighted gauntlet, padded to absorb shock and studded to increase impact. The roman cestus counts as a gauntlet, as does a modern boxing glove.

Great Axe

Great Blow, Throw

An axe balanced for use in two hands only, the great axe is about 1.3 meters long. Often used by loggers.

Great Spear

Great Blow, Reach

A long spear, between two and five meters. Most often used in formation and always in two hands.

Hand Ax

Second Strike (offhand), Throw

A small axe suitable for use in the left hand. Used by some craftsmen, but less likely as a tool than other axes. A small sickle (known as kama in Japan) has the same function.



A light spear suitable for throwing and stabbing. Tricks like a throwing ladle called an atlatl used to extend the leverage of the throwing arm or a string tied around the shaft and pulled to increase leverage and induce rotation increases the power of this weapon.

Large Shield


A large shield used to take cover behind. Shields develop to match the striking power of weapons; early shields are made of wicker, later they are made of hardened leather or laminated wood, gradually reinforced with metal. Modern riot shields are made of steel or plastics.


Great Blow

A heavy club head mounted on a short (0.3-0.6 meter) stick. Early models use rocks fitted to bone or wood handles; later maces are often made completely out of metal.


Great Blow

A weighted staff, 1-2 meters long and wielded like a club. Known as the tetsubo in Japan.


Entangle, Throw

A small net, about a meter in diameter and fastened by a string. It can be thrown and is mainly an entangling weapon.


Extra Damage (Damage)

Two or three wooden sticks joined together by flexible joints, usually short chains. Similar to a flail but much lighter. Used as a threshing tool, this weapon has been made famous by karate.


Second Strike (double), Improvised, Parry

A stout stick of hardwood, sometimes reinforced with leather or metal. Slightly taller than the wielder, the quarterstaff is a surprisingly flexible weapon that can strike with either end, parry, and trip. Called the bo staff in Japan.


Improvised, Throw

A simple rock, held in the had or thrown. Often the only ranged weapon available to ogres and giants. Some small, heavy object that can serve as a rock in an emergency can be found almost anywhere.

Small Shield

Improvised, Stun, Parry

Usually round, a small shield is between 0.2 and 0.5 meters in diameter and often has a spike or knob in the center. So small that it must be used to parry actively, not just take cover behind. Delivers a surprisingly nasty punch. Early shields are made of wicker, wood, or turtle shells. More advanced small shields are all metal.


Second Strike (butt), Great Blow, Improvised

About two meters in length, the spear is long enough to hold opponents at bay, but short and flexible enough to be used staff-fashion in restricted spaces.


Improvised, Extra Damage (fire)

A flaming torch used as a weapon; has less striking power than a cudgel, but the fire adds some additional damage. Often the only option available when fighting supernatural creatures immune to material weapons. Made of wood and between a half and a full meter in length. A dedicated fighting torch is made of metal and uses a burning rag soaked in oil.


Disarm, Reach, Entangle

Between fur and six meters of corded leather, the whip tapers off to a narrow point. This amplifies the users movements; the end of the whip can move at super-sonic speeds to deliver smarting stings and create the trademark whiplash sound.

Blacksmith Weapons


Great Blow, Parry

The basic sword, known variously as broadsword, longsword, scimitar, tulwar, butterfly sword, panache and by a great many other names. The blade is about a meter long and can be straight or curved, with a sharp point and one or two edges.

Great Sword

Great Blow, Parry

A larger version of the broadsword, up to two meters in length and balanced for two hands.


A metal-studded leather glove or a metal frame allows harder blows without damaging the hand.


Second Strike (double), Parry

Two swords connected by a handle, this is wielded staff-fashion.


Great Blow, Reach

A great spear used mounted with stirrups, allowing the wielder to use the power of his mount. Used crouching in a charge or overhand in general melee.


Second Strike (butt), Great Blow, Reach

A blade fitted at the end of a pole, about two meters long. Used as a thrusting and slashing weapon and to deliver butt strikes with the other end. Known as a glaive in Europe, which later developed into the halberd.

Punch Dagger

Extra Damage (Armor), Second Strike (offhand)

A thin dagger usually wielded in the off hand and used with a punching motion (hence the name). Often fitted to a glove or on the back of the lower arm, and then called a cestus. Other names include main gauche and dirk. Not balanced for throwing.


Disarm, Throw

A steel ring or disk about half a meter in diameter; sometimes worn as a necklace. Used as a throwing weapon. In Action, the ring can snare an opponent's weapon and perform many similar stunts.

Short Sword

Great Blow, Parry

A short stabbing or chopping weapon suitable for tight formations. Also known as the falchion.



A small throwing blade, shaped like a dart, star, ring, disk, or needle.

Tiger Claws

Second Strike (offhand)

Claws fitted to the hands and often worn in pairs. The claws can hook an opponent's weapon and serve as armor to the lower arms, giving them some defense. The wounds inflicted looks somewhat like the claws of a wild animal, and the claws can also aid in climbing trees and wooden walls. Known as nekode in Japan, tough many nekode are much smaller and can be described better as slashing Knuckledusters.


Great Blow, Parry, Entangle

A short spear with a three-pronged, barbed head. Originally a fishing tool. Has less penetrating power than a normal spear, but useful for entangling foes and keeping them at bay. The sodegarami is a Japanese version, that uses several prongs in an irregular pattern.

Clockwork Weapons


Second Strike (butt), Disarm, Great Blow, Parry

In many ways the ultimate pole arm, the halberd combines details and qualities of the trident, spear, axe, and quarterstaff. It can stab, slash, parry, trip, and deliver a butt strike with the weighted nether end. Most late medieval and renaissances pole arms can be classified as halberds; variant names include various combinations of the terms glaive, guisarme, faucard, fork, vogue, and others.


Extra Damage, Great Blow

A curved sword of extreme sharpness, the katana is an extraordinary cutting weapon, valuing damage over every other consideration. Exceptionally fine sabres and scimitars might work in the same way. The smaller companion wakizashi is a much more conventional blade, and considered a short sword.

Many katanas were actually court swords intended more for display than for action; only heavy swords intended fro action do this much damage. Connoisseurs know them under a variety of specialized names.

Man Catcher

Entangle, Reach, Stun

A two-pronged fork on a long pole, the fork of the man catcher is used to grab opponents and keep them at bay. Often used as a police weapon.

Meteor Hammer

Entangle, Improvised, Great Blow

A weight fastened to a cord or chain. It is slung with a punching motion or twirled, and can be used to strike and entangle. Popular with 19th century gangs as well as ninja and other warriors of subterfuge because it is lethal and easy to conceal and improvise. Known as the manrikigursari in Japan.


Great Blow, Riposte

An early fencing weapon, the rapier is a thin thrusting sword, generally more than a meter in length. Often square or triangular in cross-section it lacks an edge and is somewhat clumsy. Its assets lie in reach, penetration, and counterattacks.


Great Blow, Parry, Riposte

A thin thrusting sword, about 0.6 to 0.8 meters long and with an elaborate hilt. A development of the rapier into a shorter, more flexible weapon, the smallsword is mainly a thrusting weapon but many also have an edge.


Disarm, Second Strike (offhand)

A robust dagger or metal baton fitted with prongs for catching an opponents weapon. Known as the jitte or sai on Japan.


Extra Damage (armor), Great Blow

A rod of metal or hardwood just under a meter in length, fitted with a weighted head that has a sturdy spike of quality steel for punching through armor and a hammer head to shock what it cannot piece. Also known as the armor-breaker or military pick, this weapon evolved from the mace - there are several intermediate forms. The estoc is a thrusting sword variant; a stiff pointed metal rod used like a short pike, but otherwise similar in game effect.

Demolition crews and miners use something similar even today.


Disarm, Great Blow, Parry

A development of the Greatsword, the zweihander has a shorter blade and longer handle, making it possible to wield it somewhat like a staff or halberd. The oversize hand guard and wide, sometimes serrated edge is ideal for cutting spears and pikes.

Steam Weapons

Executioner’s Kiss

Extra Damage (Armor), Extra Damage (acid), Second Strike (offhand)

A development of the punching dagger, the executioner’s kiss is a great syringe that injects the victim with acid.

Molotov Cocktail

Extra Damage (fire), Improvised, Throw

Usually improvised using a glass bottle filled with burning, sticky chemicals with a burning rag attached. A factory-made incendiary grenade would have a solid metal-burning mixture and improved ignition.

Welding Torch

Extra Damage (fire), Improvised

Another tool that can be used as a weapon to great effect, the welding torch is a gas tank fitted to a burner. It is very frail; cutting the hose usually results in a jet of flame directly from the gas tank and might lead to an explosion.

Combustion Weapons

Cattle Prod

Extra Damage (electricity), Improvised, Stun

A light rod fitted with electrodes that deliver an electric shock, sufficient to cause pain in cattle and stun humans. Runs on batteries.

Chain Saw

Great Blow

An petrol-powered chain saw is a terrible weapon, if heavy and unwieldy.

Nuclear Weapons

Hand Taser

Extra Damage (electricity), Stun

A hand held device with electrodes to deliver a stunning jolt of electricity, the hand taser can usually stun a human quite easily.


Great Blow

An electric chainsaw with a straight, light blade. Much easier to use than a regular petrol-driven chain saw. Uses a cord or runs on a rechargeable battery of short duration.

Fusion Weapons


Great Blow, Entangle, Reach

The Afflox is a spiked metal ball attached to a foot-long haft by a variable-length wire. It is a favorite weapon of some techno-barbarian gangs.

When stored, the wire is retracted and the weapons appears to be a mace. During combat the wire is deployed, and the operator swings the ball in a circular motion, lengthening the wire to send the ball crashing into the target. This results in range and a kinetic boost. A skilled operator can strike a target up to ten feet away, and can also use the Afflox to trip or disarm.

Note: This weapon appears in the novel The Face by Jack Vance.

Charge Mace

Great Blow, Parry

A singlestick using railgun technology to send a weight down to the head on impact, this high-tech club inflicts a lot of extra damage.


Disarm, Parry

A glove made of impact-reactive plastic, that instantly hardens when subjected to kinetic force. It works like an improved gauntlet and can be a very effective parrying weapon as well.

Note: This weapon appears in the novel To Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner.

Multi Rod

The Multiple Configuration Rod appears to be a metal cylinder, two inches in diameter and one inch in length. It is made of polymimetic metal alloys. When a hidden button is pressed, phased current is passed through the mimetic metal matrix, which causes the ring to lengthen or shorten. This allows the ring to transform into two weapon forms, a Cudgel or a Quarterstaff. In either form, the weapon appears as a smooth, lightweight metal pipe.

The Multi Rod is popular with monks, law enforcement officers and others who who want to keep a blunt implement handy. When collapsed into ring form the Multi Rod is easily concealed and can be worn as an ornament.

The weapon is powered by an integrated microcell. The morphic nature of the rod makes the Multi Rod incompatible with other technological modifications. A Multi Rod can be masterwork as per the standard rules.

Note: Babylon 5 affictionados will recognize this weapon as the Minbari fighting pike.

Multi Sword

The blade of the Multiple Configuration Sword is manufactured from polymimetic metal alloys. In its basic form it appears as a shortsword mated to a longsword hilt. A stud on the hilt is used is used to pass a phased current through the blade, causing it to lengthen or shorten.

The weapon has three settings: short, medium and long blade length. These correspond to Short Sword, Broadsword and Great Sword. Changing blade configuration takes no shots and can be done at any time.

The weapon is powered by a microcell which holds enough charge for 1000 uses. It is easily reloaded by plugging the weapon into a wall socket through a standard power cord. If the power cell runs out, the weapon remains its last configuration.

The morphic nature of the blade makes the Multi Sword incompatible with other modifications such as Keen Edge and Chain Blade technology.

Power Fist

Great Blow, Extra Damage (Armor), Entangle, Second Strike (offhand)

A large robotic fist, worn like an oversize lower arm and hand guard and used as a melee weapon. The hand cannot be used normally when the Power Fist is fitted. Sometimes worn in pairs. Power Fist uses hydraulic rams mounted in the fingers of the oversize mechanical hand to cause a crushing grip that can tear steel like paper.

It is commonly used with power armor units on shipboard assault missions.

Note: WH40K fans will recognize this weapon.

Storm Hammer

Extra Damage (Armor), Great Blow

The Storm Hammer is a massive warhammer with an impact activated kinetic energy booster that uses a burst of plasma to increase the force of the impact. This creates a thundering noise and bright flash when the weapon is used. The Storm Hammer is powered by a minicell which is good for 100 attacks. The cell is easily reloaded by plugging the weapon into a wall socket through a standard power cord.

Note: Battle Angel Alita and WH40K fans will recognize this weapon.

Hyperspace Weapons

Star Wars affictionados will recognize many of these weapons.

Light Sword

Extra Damage (Armor), Disarm, Second Strike (offhand), Parry, Riposte

A blade of focused photonic energy, the light sword is similar to a smallsword in appearance and use. When turned off, it appears as a basked hilt; often finely decorated. This is a high-tech dueling weapon, and as such is often a sign of nobility.

Light Sabre

Great Blow, Extra Damage (Armor), Disarm, Great Blow, Parry

A blade of focused photonic energy, the light sabre is similar to the katana in use and appearance when turned on. When turned off, it is a short rod about 0.2 meters in length. A prestigious weapon, the light sabre is associated with honor and fighting orders.

Light Shield

Block, Second Strike (offhand)

A field of focused photonic energy, the light shield forms a hourglass-shaped field of light when deployed. It is used like a large shield, for cover and to tackle opponents. When turned off, it is an oblong disk 0.2 meters in diameter, often worn as a bracer.

Light Staff

Great Blow, Extra Damage (Armor), Second Strike (double), Disarm, Parry

Two blades of focused photonic energy protruding from a central handle, the light staff is used like a quarterstaff or double sword. When turned off it appears as a metal rod about half a meter in length.