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From Stone to Steel

Written by: Aaron Stimson Editor: David K. Hurd & Kle Hall Cover Art: Allan Pollack Interior Art: Weapons & Armor Jim Branch, Vignettes Fred Rawles Graphic Design: Lawrence Whalen Jr. Production: David K. Hurd & Lawrence Whalen Jr.

Table of Contents

Introduction Sticks and Stones Chariots of Bronze Iron and Empire Rome The Far East A Dark Age, A Golden Age Pagentry, Platemail, and Pistols Myth and Magic Materials Appendix Master Tables Index
2003 MonkeyGod Enterprises LP. For information concerning what constitutes Product Identity and Open Gaming Content refer to the License page.

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Contact Information 36 The Arcade 65 Weybosset Street Providence, RI 02903


elcome. You hold in your hands the product of hundreds of years of research, based on thousands of years of testing, application, refinement, and innovation. From the dawn of mankind to the modern age, human existence has been a testament to the struggle for survival and the will to overcome obstacles. Though this book is far too small to dedicate to the whole of the human experience, it will focus on one aspect of that experience. It will attempt to chronicle the development of arms and armor over the span of human existence, from the time of Prehistoric Man to the Renaissance Period. We will try to encompass the diversity of weapons and armor across the globe and through civilizations, and make their development, significance, and use clear and available. And we will attempt to allow you insight into the art of warfare, from its most primal to its most elegant.

point for Players and DMs alike, allowing them new inspirations and insights into the craft of war, and, in turn, the craft of peace.

Why From Stone to Steel?

o role-playing game on the market can afford to be exhaustive in one area to the exclusion of another. Publishers and writers need to choose carefully which elements of a work are unnecessary, or extraneous. In most fantasy roleplaying games the authors seek to make each element unique and indispensable. If two spells do the same thing, with only minor differences, why maintain them as two different spells. If a snee and a stiletto do relatively similar damage, why duplicate the listing? Thus daggers are often grouped into one group, given a uniform set of statistics, and a basic cost. This is a useful and important to the RPG writer, and prevents the game from becoming awkward and unwieldy.

This book should be considered a supplemental source book for any D20 product. It provides new material for use in any campaign world or setting that is written within the limits of the D20 product line, and is completely compatible with the Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbook. It should provide you with valuable source material, ideas, and applications, to make your game worlds more real, or merely to spice them with interesting cultural or historical accents. Moreover, this book should be a jumping

There is no such limitation on supplemental material. By its very nature, supplemental material can be as extensive as it chooses to be. DMs, in the end, can decide how much of the supplemental material they wish to use, and how much they wish

From Stone to Steel

to leave alone. This, in turn, allows us to add realism and depth to our game worlds. One of the best ways to make a game world really come alive is to give it history. We often attempt to envision new and fantastic worlds, far different from our own, where people can do what we only dream of, and where the enemies they face are equally impressive and detailed. But we always tend to base our fantasies on something weve read, something weve heard, something weve experienced. This is because those familiar elements in our fantasy experience give our players common points of understanding, common frames of reference, landmarks to guide ourselves in an unfamiliar realm. Those who experiment with historical gaming or pseudo-historical gaming often find the experience entrancing. The depth of material available from actual history is immense, and the variations of our own world are often stranger than any fantasy we can individually imagine. It is our hope that while looking through this book you will discover some facet of history, some period of time, some exotic weapon that you had no idea existed, or perhaps just never viewed in the light we present. Because history, especially shared history, has a depth that can make your two-dimensional fantasy world into a fully fleshed, multi-dimensional experience. One of the reasons we drape this tapestry of arms and armor on the frame of history is to show the rationale of why a specific weapon or armor is used, why a material is used, or why it took a certain form. The purpose of this book isnt to restrict the usage of these items only to the historical settings we describe. The point of source material is to provide the DM with sources of inspiration, not confine them. As you pause on an illustration or a specific description in this text, think about other ways to make use of the same item in your campaign world. Perhaps the Gnolls in your campaign world are rudimentary savages, hunting by simple pack tactics and wielding prehistoric stone weapons. Or maybe the neighboring kingdom survives on slave labor, and its able-bodied men are in service to the crown for most of their productive lives, like in Sparta. Or perhaps you desire to mix historical themes and cultures in unexpected ways, maybe having Vikings encounter a well-established Incan empire, or War Elephants in your Medieval Europe-like world. This book will provide you with enough material to do that: And more. From Stone to Steel should, in fact, provide a benchmark, a viable way to allow cross period or genre gaming. What you find within should allow you to simulate war and combat in any fantasy realm you can imagine, and give you the tools to merge radically different periods. Using all the materials within will allow Babylonian Soldiers to fight Japanese Samurai, with realistic and fair guidelines to determine such outcomes. Envision a world where elegant drow wield rapiers and wheel lock pistols against hordes of wode-covered dwarven barbarians? Well give you rules and ideas aplenty. From the simple rock to the primitive hand mortars of the Renaissance period, from the lion skin to the full plate mail suit, all weapons and armor will be written and measured by the same scales, and balanced equally. In short, even if it never happened historically, if you want to do it, you can.

What Is This Book?

rom Stone to Steel is a historical record of the evolution of arms and armor over time. It draws from many exhaustive works, examining tactics, materials, developments, social stimuli, even dead end concepts, and works to express their impact on the art of warfare and the cultures that used them. This book may not necessarily take you through every battle of Rome, but it will talk about the changes that Rome brought to war, the formation of the Legionnaires, the tactics and innovations they used, and the impact that Rome had on later society. It will also explore the unique armaments of minor cultures, like the shark tooth weaponry and armors of certain Pacific Islander cultures, or the hunting weapons of Australian Aboriginal people.

From Stone to Steel contains rules that can make weapons and armor more realistic. It also contains new rules additions to diversify combat, and introduces subtle new concepts to spice it up. You will find new skill concentrations for existing skills and new knowledge skills. And there will also be new feats to learn, and new prestige and NPC classes available. In the Fantasy Appendix, you will also find new guidelines for enchantment, construction materials, spells, and new artifacts and magical items. And then, of course, there are the weapons and armors themselves.

How To Use This Book

se this book to deepen your current campaign world. Each rule, item, and concept we introduce here becomes a tool for you to develop your campaign the way you want to. It our intent that any new rules we introduce will not overwhelm the already elegant mechanism of the D20 system, but instead enhance it. Thus, everything in this book builds on what is discussed before. Materials, weapons development, tactics, each of these things are refined over time, and so it is in the book.

This does not mean, however, that you have to include everything that we give you in your game. Each concept, rule, skill, or class will be listed independently, so that you can include or exclude items as you see fit. If the durability system is difficult for you, you may still use the fantasy stats of your favorite weapons with our blessing. If the barbed weapon rules seem too powerful, you can bypass them and still use the rest of the book. This book should be a resource, not a hindrance, and it is written with that express intent in mind.

Sticks and Stones

Prehistory Sticks and Stones Animal Resources Further Refinements Technological Advances Shields The Pack Mentality War, Infection, and the Dead First Aid & Healing Table 1-1: Amputation Natural Ingenuity Native American Developments Native American Weapons Native American Armor Meso American Developments The Aztecs Table 1-2: Eagle Knight Other Aztec Orders

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Table 1-3: Jaguar Knight Meso American Weapons Meso American Armor Islander Developments Polynesian Weapons Polynesian Armor African Developments European Developments Other (Australia, Asia, etc.) Aborigines Asia Forces of Change Leather The Science of Warfare Table 1-4: Stone Age Weapons Table 1-5: Stone Age Armor

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From Stone to Steel

They were there. Just at the edge of its vision. Strange, indistinct shapes, crouched behind brush or standing in tall grass. Too long and thin, supported by two spindly legs, smelly. Some stood upwind from it, and it tasted strange scents of animal fat and char. There were also smaller forms, moving restlessly among the taller ones; smell like almost-wolves.

below a rise. It followed, determined to gore a few, so the rest would be warned away. But over the rise it found a steep drop, and the ground it charged onto was loose. Its own weight began to push the earth from beneath; it lurched forward, off balance, and down a cliff-face into a ravine. It landed on its side, and felt bone splinter. The pain was incredible. It labored to breathe. The strange creatures gathered on the cliff above, and began to drop large rocks down. Some struck it, stunning it, breaking more bones. Ropes were lowered down, and a few of the creatures descended them. They climbed like baboons, but with less cleverness. When they reached the ground, they approached, their sticks raised like tusks, their pace careful. It watched them, and tried to move, only to find that movement made the pain and the breathing worse. The creatures began to make more sounds amongst each other. The rocks slowed, but the pain did not. More creatures were climbing down, now. Some did not carry the big sticks, but instead had strange, pointy rocks. It shuddered, and fought the darkness that threatened it. But as the first of the creatures approached it, it knew it could do no longer do anything against them. Wood bit through flesh...

Why were they here? Why did they watch it? It resumed its scratching, rubbing its hide against the tree bark, trying to reach the spot on its flank that itched. It paused to strip bark away from the tree with its tusks and trunk, then scratched again. There was a loud noise behind it. It turned around, to see more of the frail creatures, yelling and cavorting. Lower sounds drifted among them, and they began to approach a little, coming into view. Hairy faces and hairy bodies. Skins like antelope, wildebeest, even plains lion, hung loose about them. They had long sticks in their hands, and waved them. Almost-wolves ran around their feet. What did they think they were doing? They couldnt possibly think they could threaten it. Something bit it in the flank. It shivered on the impact. Then another, higher up, more to the right. Stings. Pain. It turned, growing angry. What bit it? Strange long thin sticks flew at it, some tickling as they skidded across its rough skin. One tore at the skin of its ear. Pain! It moved forward a little, listening to the sounds of the yelling creatures behind it, looking for why the sticks were flying, and where from. More of the strange creatures were the culprits, doing something that made the small sticks jump far distances at it. A number now bit in its shoulders, but the damage was superficial, mostly just a little pain. It would show these creatures why they should not attack it. It lowered its tusks, and began to walk more purposefully towards them. The creatures behind it suddenly began to move quickly towards its flank. Something was wrong. These creatures were hunting like jackals. And if small sticks were all they had, they could not hope to hurt it. The almost-wolves snapped at its hind legs. It was being hunted! It trumpeted in warning. The small sticks still flew, and then a few of the creatures stood and hurled larger sticks at it. These bounced off of its skin, but now it was quite angry and flustered, and it charged the creatures in front. The creatures began to run away, but one was not quite fast enough, and its tusks slid across its hide, knocking it to the side and away, but not piercing the stolen skin. Still there were more noises from the creatures, and now it knew they feared it. This was the way it expected things to go. Let the strange creatures know their place. The frail things disappeared

rehistoric Man had a number of substantial disadvantages. He was not the top of the food chain. Though a pack animal, he had no natural weapon to hunt with, such as claws or fangs, nor did he have any major physical defense, like a thick hide or protective coloration. Without some form of physical adaptation, man needed to focus on what few advantages he did have.

Man was a pack species. Gregarious and prone to group identity, mans primary strength as a species came from its numbers. By banding together, humans could accomplish more than individuals could, both in dealing with natural obstacles and with hunting. Like all pack animals, man developed communications, and this allowed him to coordinate movements over a distance, which made hunting more efficient, and allowed more elaborate planning possible. Man, as well, is an innovator. He is curious and imaginative, and through trial and error, persistence and drive, man is able to find newer and better solutions to problems. If a water source is controlled by superior predators, man is likely to find better ways to access that water source, whether its finding the source, or finding a way to distract the predators to allow access. Eventually mankind found ways to deal with those superior predators as well, and improve their place on the food chain, eventually separating itself entirely from the natural order.

Sticks and Stones

2 1 3

7 4

Key: 1. Throwing Rock; 2. Long Stick (Quarterstaff); 3. Short Stick (Club); 4. Bone Club; 5.Spike Bone; 6. Long Tusk; 7. Short Tusk

Sticks and Stones

The first weapons that mankind used were simple. They were typically those things closest at hand, things that could be found wherever a person was. Typically this was sticks or stones. The best stones were those useable with a single hand, and preferably round ones, which flew best. Sticks were best slightly flexible, so that they wouldnt shatter or snap on use, and the straighter they were, the more useful, either to throw or to strike with. Sticks with too many bends were more likely to break, or to catch on things.

Animal Resources
Mankind, ever the innovator, was not content to stay with whatever it found. People experimented. Since a portion of mans diet was meat, the portions of an animal that were inedible were experimented with. Bones of larger prey were particularly effective as blunt weapons, or for making impaling weapons from. Tusks and teeth could be used to create stabbing or edged weapons. And hides from animals were often tougher than human skin, and offered the chance to avoid an indirect blow. Furs and hides, thus, kept a person warm in the cold, and safe from danger.

Rock, Throwing
Throwing rocks are generally considered diminutive in size. If a given stone is larger, the weight is obviously more, and it will do more. A 30 lb. or better stone is suggested when dropping from 100 foot high cliffs.

Club, Bone
When wood is at a premium, bone may be a desirable substitute. Bone, although also brittle, is slightly more flexible than wood, thus bone may last a tad longer than wood.

Stick, Long (Quarterstaff)

The proto spear/staff, a long stick is simply that, long and wooden. Although it could be thrown, it is not inherently aerodynamic. Due to its length, it is a double weapon. You can fight with it as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you are using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A creature using a double weapon in one hand, such as a Large creature using a long stick, cannot use it as a double weapon.

Spike, Bone
Bone can be shaped to form a point. The thrusting damage may not cause as extensive wounding as a club might, but it has a much better chance of striking something vital thus the improved critical range.

Sometimes tusks need not be carved to form a point. Tusks are a natural goring weapon, both for animals and for people. Shorter tusks may be carried like the bone spike, but do not require manufacturing. They may also be mounted on armor or shields, as per the rules on adding spikes to armor and shields in the Players Handbook. Damage by mounted tusks is 1d4.

Stick, Short (Club)

The short stick is the first club. Usually stouter than a long stick, it doesnt encumber the off hand.

From Stone to Steel

Note that anyone attacking the spikes with a weapon leaves himself open to an attack of opportunity. the first knives, and these were primarily used for cutting up meat. Sticks were given points. These improved the damage when thrown, or the defensive use of sticks, as a point could be used to impale a charging opponent. At some point the trick of fire hardening was learned. Wood, when held over a fire (but not in it) eventually begins to blacken. People discovered that this slightly scorched wood was harder than normal, and held a point longer. This signified a definite step forward.

Skin Armor
Skin armor is made from cured (but not tanned) animal skins, and usually only covers the torso and upper leg region of the body. Flimsy, prone to molding and getting stiff, it is still better than just plain skin.

Furs and Hides

This kind of armor is similar to the skin armor above, but it consists of layers of skins, some of which still possess the animal hair. Very popular with the barbarian set, furs and skins are very useful in cold climates. Unfortunately, their protection comes at the expense of a little maneuverability.

Knife, Rock
This knife is really just a rock that has been chipped off a larger piece to produce a sharp cutting edge.

Javelin, Primitive Wooden

This javelin is a wooden weapon with a carved point on either end. Usually thrown before a charge, javelins may be carried in a long quiver. It can be used in melee, but since it was not designed for such, all characters are treated as non-proficient, conveying a -4 to all melee rolls.

Further Refinements
Cave paintings and archaeological evidence from many areas show that prehistoric man developed a variety of weapons and tactics to improve hunting. Rocks began to be shaped for their use. Some were made sharp, so as to cut or stab. These became

11, 13 10

12, 14 Key: 8. Skin Armor; 9. Furs and Skins; 10. Rock Knife; 11. Wooden Javelin; 12. Wooden Spear; 13. Hardened Wood Javelin; 14. Hardened Wood Spear

Sticks and Stones

Spear, Primitive Wooden
This spear is a weapon, between 45 feet in length, with a sharpened head. It tends to be slightly thicker than the javelin, and does not fly as far. The spear can be readied against a charge, and it may also be used as a double damage weapon if set against a charge. This weapon is the premiere weapon of its age.

Javelin, Primitive Wooden Hardened

Similar in description to the primitive wooden javelin (above), this version has been hardened by fire, and is more durable. It will take more abuse before needing to be replaced. As with other javelins, it can be used in melee, but since it was not designed for such, all characters are treated as non-proficient, conveying a -4 to all melee rolls. 15

Spear, Primitive Wooden Hardened

This spear is similar in description to the primitive wooden spear (above), however this version has been fire-hardened and is more durable as a result.


Technological Advances
Later, primitive man began to put different materials and concepts together. Archaeological evidence exists to suggest that certain prehistoric cultures wove nets. Made from plant fiber (grasses, primarily), and woven with patience, these nets were intended to entrap prey. Nets were usually thrown as a precursor to closing in on a beast with either spear or club ready to take advantage of the entrapped creature. Primitive man began to combine clubs with stone heads and tips to produce axes and maces. Although essentially just another club, the stone axe and mace have a harder head, and does not wear down as quickly as a club would. Spears got their improvement, also a stone head, which made them more penetrating and durable, although more difficult to construct. Indeed, the stone headed spear was a real improvement. But the most potent development of prehistoric man would have to be the bow: A supple stick, capable of bending, but strong enough to desire to return to a specific form with a string, the bow was either made from the tendons of a strong animal, or braided plant material (often strips of bark). The tension between string and stick could be used to fling arrows over long distances. 17 16b

18b 18a

Net, Grass
The grass net is made of woven grasses, usually with stones tied along the edges to weight it down and make it more likely to hold its victim. In order to throw it optimally, it must be gathered together carefully, and launched as a ranged touch attack against the target. The nets maximum range is 10 feet, and there is no penalty for trying to strike a target even up to the nets maximum range. If you hit, the target is entangled. And entangled creature is a -2 on attack rolls, and a -4 penalty on effective Dexterity. The entangled creature can only move at half speed and cannot charge or run. Unlike the fighting net listed in the players handbook,

Key: 15. Grass Net; 16a. Stone Axe (flaked stone); 16b. Stone Axe (ground stone); 17 Stone Adze; 18a. Stone mace (based on Iroquois war club); 18b Stone mace

From Stone to Steel

grass nets usually had no trailing rope. If an entangled creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 15) or be unable to cast the spell. The entangled creature can escape with an Escape Artist check (DC 15) that is a full-round action. The grass net has 4 hit points, and a damage threshold of 1. Once torn, it must be repaired to be used effectively. A grass net can be burst with a Strength check (DC 20, also a full-round action). A net is only useful against creatures between Tiny and Large size, inclusive. The first time a net is thrown in a fight, it must make a normal ranged touch attack. After it has been unfolded, any further attempts suffer a -4 penalty on attack roll. It takes 2 rounds for a proficient user to fold a net and twice that long for a non-proficient one to do so. Primitive axes were made by lashing wedge shaped vertical blades or round, pointed stones to forked sticks, usually with strips of wood bark or animal hide. Sticks had superior reach, while stones could maximize impact and damage. Thus the stone axe became superior to either the wooden or bone club for the kind of physical trauma it could inflict.

Bow, Primitive (Hunting & Medium)

Both standard primitive bows have similar statistics, with the difference being their range. The Medium bow was about a foot longer than the hunting bow, and was used for warfare more than for capturing food. Although riding horses came much later, both bows are viable for use on horseback, (note the Medium bow would have to be drawn at an angle). Arrows themselves varied from small, sharpened sticks to wooden shafts with various heads attached. Some stone was more brittle than others, and when struck, the flakes could be used to create arrowheads. Bone was also a viable alternative, from long slivers to rounded spikes. Fletching an arrow with ribbon or feathers at the end improved stability in flight, and helped an arrow fly true.

The feathers on an arrow, referred to as the flights, give an arrow its stability. Some cultures skew these guides, so as to give the arrow a spin, which tends to keep the arrow on course. Other cultures did not, but instead practiced arching the shot, so as to gain range. Regardless of the cultural method, the results were the same, accurate shots came from arrows with carefully placed flights. Arrows that are made without flights lose 10 feet from their range increment, and are at an automatic -1 to hit.

Axe, Stone
The stone axe is a one handed weapon. At construction or purchase it must be decided as to whether the axe is a slashing weapon with a wide, vertical head, or a piercing weapon with a conical, round impaling point (like a pick). This is not an aerodynamic weapon, and is not made for throwing.

Adze, Stone
The adze was a variation on the axe, with the wedge blade horizontal, rather than vertical. It was useful for breaking earth, but was equally powerful at cutting flesh. Its use in later times, was more as a farming implement than as a weapon, but this was not necessarily its first purpose. Often those adapted to war had a knee bend a curve in the handle that allowed more impact in a strike. 20


Mace, Stone
Another variation on the axe was the stone mace. Equipped with a stone head, and affixed to a stout length of wood, the stone mace was more damaging than the plain club. One of the advantages of the stone mace over a bladed weapon was its tendency to leave the hide intact. Intact hides required less mending, and were excellent for clothing or dwelling coverings.

Spear, Stone Head

This spear is a weapon, about 45 feet in length, with a sharpened head. It tends to be slightly thicker than the javelin, and does not fly as far. The spear can be readied against a charge, and it may also be used as a double damage weapon when set against a charge. This is a stone headed version of the spear, and is more durable as a result.

21 22 23 24

Key: 19. Stone spear head (close-up); 20. Primitive bow; 21. Wooden arrowhead; 22. Stone arrowhead; 23. Bone arrowhead; 24. Blunt arrowhead


Sticks and Stones

The arrows listed in the weapons tables are indicative of most arrows of this period. Note that their damage threshold is low, and they have relatively little structural rating. Arrows are very likely to break, unless they are carefully removed, and normal maintenance is practiced. Even then, powerful blows or lucky strikes may break them. Although different heads are used in each, it is the wood of the arrow that is most vulnerable. frame. Strikes could be deflected with these, and charges could be diverted. Some peoples decorated their shields with fearsome images, to frighten predators or other tribes. During this age shields were either held by hand or strapped onto the forearm with hide thongs. Often no items could be carried in the shield hand because of this. Bash attacks are possible with shields, and do 1d3 points of damage for small shields and 1d4 points of damage for large and great shields on a successful strike, respectively, with a x2 critical modifier. Adjust the damage downward (1d2 and 1d3) for smaller wielders. Used in this way the shield is a martial bludgeoning weapon. For purposes of attack penalties, treat the shield as a light weapon. If you use a shield as a weapon, you lose its AC bonus until your next action.

Arrows Versus Armor

The wooden arrow does not have the damaging power of the stone or bone headed arrow, and has a -1 to damage when it is applied to armor. Thus, though an arrow might normally inflict, say, 6 points of damage against armor, the wooden arrow only inflicts 5. This may mean the difference between taking armor damage or not. Finally, the blunt arrow is purposely made with a bar or flat stone or bone head. It is used for stunning creatures or doing damage without damaging the hide as much. It is a subdual damage weapon, and is useful when you want to take a target alive or stun a small prey animal like a bird.

The Pack Mentality

Primitive man hunted with a large variety of weapons, and the different weapons developments allowed man to hunt larger game. His use of hides and furs also gave him better defense than he had been born with, and allowed him to be bolder in combat. Man tended to live in clans and tribes, usually bound by family affiliation. These close bonds promoted cultural identity, and enforced group identity in clan or tribal defense. Tactics sprang

Some people, especially those lived close to more aggressive predators or to more warlike tribes of humanity, also learned to extend their defense through shield making. Primitive shields were usually made of bark or hide stretched taut over a wooden



Key: 25a. Hide Shield; 25b. Bark Shield


From Stone to Steel

from mutual trust and dependency. Men of varying ability could hunt together and bring down more animals than a single man alone. This allowed the clan or tribe to eat better, and made life easier. Co-ordination in combat became essential as growing clans and tribes needed more food. Larger prey was desired, and larger prey was more dangerous. Man learned to hunt with pack tactics. He learned the lay of the land he hunted in. He knew where obstacles were, and usually knew where the natural geography made it impossible for prey to flee: Perhaps a ravine with sheer sides, or a cliff face, or a body of water. On the opposite side, Man learned how to take advantage of the terrain to do the damage he could not. For large prey, driving them off of cliffs or into deep water allowed an otherwise imposing foe to be conquered. An animal injured in a fall was slower to flee, if it still could, and was more easily apprehended. If the hunting group knew it was going to drive an animal over a dangerous obstacle, it would often prepare stakes at the bottom, or have large rocks at the top to throw down on the injured animal. An animal in deep water is slowed, and it cannot react as quickly to attack. This could give humans the advantage against aggressive or powerful creatures. Man, hunting in packs, also made up the inherent weakness of individuals. If a hunting party member was injured, the others could distract an animal in order to draw it off of the injured party. As well, large groups could flank prey, and take advantage of openings that an individual could not. The primary advantage to hunting as a pack is in being able to force an individual or smaller group to divide their attentions. When an enemys attention is divided, it cannot attack as effectively as when its attention can focus on an individual. Packs tend to target individuals or small groups. They take advantage of terrain to control the field of battle. They flank opponents, to take advantage of openings. They react to protect their injured while still maintaining a pattern. They understand the value of the individual, so they do not throw themselves away wantonly. Domestication, the taming and inclusion of normally wild animals in human culture, started in this age, and it started with dogs. Wild dogs shared a similar pack structure to man, and were found to be very flexible in how they defined their pack. Dogs could accept a non-dog as pack leader, and were comfortable with sharing a kill. Dogs, as well, had developed rudimentary communications skills, and adapted to directions given by human pack mates. As dogs grew to trust and interact with humans, humans made places for them in camp, and began generations of breeding that have resulted in dogs being the most diverse single species on Earth. The role of the dog in human society, though started with its usefulness in hunting and keeping watch. Most of primitive mankind lived this way. Certain cultures developed unique refinements or different methods. Some cultures even maintained the nomadic, tribal or clan-based lifestyle typical of prehistoric man. Even today, some peoples still live this primal existence, and some, when given the option of living in a more modern world, still choose the way of their traditions. This is not to say that war between tribes or clans did not occur. Mankind has always engaged in war, and more than one archaeological site has uncovered evidence of prehistoric conflict. Low population density and small numbers of people might have prevented some conflicts from escalating, but there has been clear evidence that when war came between peoples, there was rarely any discrimination as to whom was killed. Men, women, children were all killed, and often left where they lay. Taboos against touching the dead were common in ancient cultures, and part of the reason for this was the potential for disease to be spread.

War, Infection, and the Dead

During the Hundred Years war, field physicians and herbalists determined that the best way of dispensing healing salves was to smear them on the swords of the combatants. Thus, the wound was clean, and already possessed the needed medicines to begin healing. Unfortunately, this kind of generosity towards ones enemies in war is nearly unknown. Wounds are a horrible breeding ground for infection. Many germs that live on the skin can be dangerous inside the body, and wounds can force this kind of rough and involuntary relocation. Assume that any wound has a 5% chance of becoming infected (plus 20% per hour untreated). Make a Fortitude roll (DC 20) for any such wound, and if it succeeds the infection is fought off by the characters immune system. Otherwise, the wound is indeed infected. If a wound is infected, instead of healing normally, it will fester. In game terms, each festering wound prevents 1 point of healing. Thus a character with 15 hit points can only heal back to 14 while possessing a festering wound. Worse, if left untreated, it can develop into a variety of diseases of the flesh. If you desire to include more realistic infections, make another Fortitude roll, and on a failure roll percentile and refer below for the possible additional effects:

125 Septicemia
Septicemia is the gradual rotting of flesh, due to infection by the bacteria that usually only set in after death. It requires a 1d3 day incubation period, after which it begins to progressively reduce the constitution score of the victim, one point a day. This damage is considered temporary, and lost constitution can be recovered if the victim is cured. Each week that slow rot is left to spread, 1 point of constitution loss becomes permanent. When the permanent constitution reaches zero, the character dies.


Sticks and Stones

2650 Gangrene
Gangrene has a 1d6 hour incubation period, and is a rapid disease. Wounds so infected tend to turn green after infection. Every minute after infection has set in, roll 1d100. On a 5 or lower infected blood has reached the heart, and the person will die in 1d20 hours. The best mundane way to prevent gangrenous blood from reaching the heart is by amputating the affected area. This stops the rolls. Tying off the infected area of the body tightly can delay the rolling for d100 minutes. Note that sometimes the damage of the amputation has sent a body into shock, and killed the patient anyway. A fortitude save (DC 20 for minor appendages and 25 for major) must be made, or the amputation is still deadly. Amputation usually only works on limbs, as cutting out chunks of torso or head flesh is impractical. If the damage was not specified, roll 1d6 + 1d8 on the following chart to determine location and hit points that will permanently be lost by amputating:

5175 Neural Necrosis

Neural Necrosis has a 1d3 day incubation period, and manifests as a general numbing of the area of the wound, which gradually spreads each day. In essence, the nerves in the region are dying, and thus sensation in the body part is lost. Roll on the gangrene chart if the location of the wound is unknown. That portion of the body is at a -1 to all tasks in general, due to the inability to sensually assess the effect on the body, except for skills that require touch, such as lock picking or pocket picking, which are at -4. Worse, wounds to this portion of the body are unsensed, and can be allowed to bleed freely, or promote new infections. Assume that it takes a week for this infection to spread to all neighboring regions of the body. There is no cure for nerve damage, which, in a mundane world, is unhealable.

76100 Tetanus
Tetanus occurs when a wound is infected with impurities, and the impurities hit the bloodstream. The incubation period for tetanus is 1d6 days, and its results are muscular rigidity, usually in the jaw first. The reason tetanus effects the jaw first is due to deposits of minerals in the muscles of the face. These react to the impurities of the tetanus infection, and cause the jaw muscles to contract uncontrollably, keeping the jaw locked shut. In some cases this can lead to starvation or suffocation, depending on the persons general health. Tetanus is progressive, and could not be cured until the modern period. Older remedies invariably involved the breaking of the jaw, in order to allow nourishment into the body. Living with tetanus is nearly unbearable, as eventually all muscles in the body will seize up, including the heart.

Table 1-1: Amputation

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Right Hand


-5% hit points, possible weapon hand -5% hit points, possible weapon Left Hand hand -7% hit points, possible loss of Lower Right Arm weapon arm -7% hit points, possible loss of Lower Left Arm weapon arm -10% hit points, possible loss of Upper Right Arm weapon arm -10% hit points, possible loss of Upper Left Arm weapon arm -5% hit points, loss of 5 ft of base Right Foot speed and cannot run -5% hit points, loss of 5ft of base Left Foot speed and cannot run -8% hit points, cannot stand without special aid, let alone walk -8% hit points, cannot stand without special aid, let alone walk -15% hit points, cannot stand without special aid, let alone walk -15% hit points, cannot stand without special aid, let alone walk Cannot be amputated. Death is assured in a non-magic using world. Pray.

First Aid & Healing

Fortunately, barring the presence of a cleric, a simple successful first aid attempt after a battle prevents all wounds from disease. If a person with the Heal skill is not available, those with Profession (herbalist) skill can fashion poultices to prevent infection. The DC of the profession check is 15. Poultices may also be purchased or made prior to an arduous event. Wet poultices tend to last about a week before needing to be replaced, while dry poultices can last up to three weeks. Application of poultices after combat boosts the fortitude check against infection by +3 for dry poultices and +6 for wet ones. Salves can also be prepared by herbalists. These oily concoctions, when smeared on wounds, give a +2 to Fortitude saves vs. infection. A canister of salve is usually good for 50 applications, and should be applied to all wounds, but multiple applications are not cumulative. Dead bodies left exposed for too long can be hazardous to your health, as well. Bodies in a water system that people drink out of can transmit gastro-enteritis or cholera, and mishandling corpses and not washing ones hands afterwards can also communicate these diseases when the person eats. Fortitude saves vs DC 25 must be made to avoid contracting such a disease, and 90% of those who do not contract the disease become carriers for 1d3 days. Those who come in contact with a carrier

10. Lower Right Leg

11. Lower Left Leg

12. Upper Right Leg

13. Upper Left Leg

14. Vitals


From Stone to Steel

must also make a Fortitude vs DC 25 roll, or contract the disease. Typical incubation is 1d6 days, and symptoms are extreme diarrhea, cramping, and dehydration. This conveys a temporary loss of 1d6 con, and the infected must make a Fortitude save vs. 20. Failure indicates a more serious case, with an additional loss of 1d20 con, 1d3 of which are permanent. If all Con is lost, the victim dies. Things like this became the origin for legends of a mummies curse or a curse of the dead. In fantasy worlds, magical healing of any stripe also clears out any infections, while cure disease will cure any disease, at any point. But it might be wise to carry poultices or salve, just in case. the Copper Age, having learned the techniques of smelting gold and copper, there was no need for using such metals in weaponry or armor, as they were too pliable, and so these metals were used for ornamentation only. In fact, the only culture to have reached substantially beyond the Stone Age in the New World was the Incas, and they will be discussed more in the next chapter. In the Far North and North West of America, hunting was a way of life, and weapons and armor reflected that. Many tribes in these areas developed specialized harpoons, using stone for points. These points were barbed, allowing the harpoon head to grab and hold, despite the struggles of the animal speared. Darts were also in common use. These darts usually had points made of antler, bone, or ivory, and were sometimes barbed. Both Harpoons and Darts would often have animal bladders attached with a small length of rope to them, so that a harpoon or dart could be tracked, even in the animal attempted to dive out of view. Most items, spears, bows, even shields were often colorfully decorated, sometimes with feathers, tassels, and/or fur trim added. This flair and beauty of workmanship spoke of the importance of the items and of the attention that went into them. The shields, in general, were small, often decorated with local animals, important symbols, talismans, or some personal emblem.

Natural Ingenuity
Different cultures adapted to their own environments, and developed different weapons, armors, and tactics based on their experiences. Some, due to an abundance or shortage of resources, never moved on to metal use or larger cultural organizations. While the weapons above can be found in virtually every culture, those that follow were unique to their peoples.

Native American Developments

In the Americas, few civilizations moved out of the Stone Age before the coming of Europeans. This was due to a variety of reasons. In particularly harsh environments, like the far north, the Western Andes, or the depths of Amazonian jungles, life itself was a struggle, and mineral resources required too much effort to obtain. In these areas, tribes made due with the resources at hand, to varying degrees of success. On the rest of the continent, though, indigenous peoples found themselves with an abundance of resources, and this plenty made it unnecessary to develop metallurgical skills. Although it is arguable that certain Meso-American tribes had reached

Native American Weapons

Harpoon, Stone
The harpoon is a weapon, 5 feet in length, with a barbed, sharpened stone head. It is used like a javelin, but is thicker and heavier, and requires both hands free to throw. It can be used in melee, but since it was not designed for such, all characters are treated as non-proficient, conveying a -4 to all melee rolls. Often these have ropes or bladders attached, to aid in recovery. These are intended to strike creatures in the water.



Key: 26. Stone Harpoon; 27. Bone Dart


Sticks and Stones

28 29




Key: 28. Atatl; 29. Blowgun & Needle; 30. North American Indian Longbow; 31. Cordage Backed bow; 32. Ulu

Dart, Bone
Darts, made with bone or ivory heads, and intended for throwing. Bone darts are simple to make, and usually contain little precious wood.

The damage of the blowgun is negligible, but its use is almost silent, and needles are regularly coated with venom. Blowguns do not take damage from attacking, unlike other weapons. Instead, they only take damage from being attacked. Blowguns usually range from 24 feet in length.

Harpoons and Darts were often thrown with main force of arm strength, but many native tribes also used a device called the atlatl to extend their throwing range and force. The word atlatl is actually Meso-American in origin, and the item itself is a length of wood, usually braced in the hand or along the arm, about two feet in length, with a curve one end. When the thrower wished to cast the harpoon or dart, they would fit it into the curved end of the atlatl, and use it to throw the object. The extra two feet of the atlatls length added to the throwing distance and power of the throw, and could make the weapon soar up to three times its normal range, and have stunning striking power. It was as if the throwers arm was two feet longer! Atlatl are usually held on the arm, and a weapon (dart or spear) is braced on it, in a small groove in the wooden surface. This groove helps to anchor the weapon. Then, when the attacker throws, the atlatl acts as an extension of the arm, greatly increasing the distance of the throw, while also adding slightly to the damage.

Barbs on Weapons
Barbed weapons have a tendency to lodge. Whenever a barbed weapon strikes and greater than half its normal damage is done, the weapon should be considered lodged. Such a weapon cant be removed without a strength check (DC 15) and inflicting the weapons damage on the person again. Players using Heal (DC 15) can try to expose the barbed weapon head through the flesh, which could allow the barbed portion to be cut off, limiting the secondary damage of a barbed weapon to a single point of damage. If the Heal roll fails, it should be assumed that the head cannot be exposed, at which point the strength option remains.

A curving half-moon blade, flaked from antler bone, the Ulu was an Eskimo woman's knife, used to cut skins and to prepare meat. With a handle horizontal to the blade, it had good strength, but little range, and it was a poor hand weapon. Eskimo women were more likely to use a dart or harpoon for protection, in a pinch, since the Ulu had too little range to be effective in combat. Attacks with an Ulu, like those of an unarmed combatant, automatically draw an attack of opportunity.

Blowguns, long tubes sometimes up to 6 feet in length, were common throughout the Americas. Using poisoned needles up to 6 inches in length, these were used to take down larger game, usually from a covered position. The poisons were usually specific to the region, and were rarely very strong, since the meat of the animal still needed to be eaten. During warfare, however, this wasnt always a concern, since not all tribes were cannibals.

Longbow, North American Indian

Like most native peoples, the Northern native used bows ranging from 26 to 72 inches in length. The longest bows were not common, however, due to the strength required to wield them and the difficulty of their use. The North American Indians longbow doesnt have the range of the later Europeans long-


From Stone to Steel

bow, but is otherwise very effective. Up to 6' in length, this bow is not usable while mounted. the North, these weapons were used primarily to take down birds and were flung with the intent that the cord would strike the bird and the rocks would force the cord to bind around the bird, bringing it to the ground. Not only were bolas useful for entangling, but the stones themselves could do damage when they struck flesh. The bola is made of rocks bound by cord, 2 rocks for the North American version, and 3 or 4 for the South American version. It should be considered an exotic weapon. Throw as a normal ranged weapon: If it hits the target (even on the armor), there is a 25% chance the target is entangled. A -2 penalty can be taken to the attack roll to increase the entangle chance to 50%. An entangled creature is a -2 on attack rolls, and a -4 penalty on effective Dexterity. The entangled creature can only move at half speed and cannot charge or run. If an entangled creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 15) or be unable to cast the spell. The entangled creature can escape with an Escape Artist check (DC 15) that is a full-round action. Alternately, they can attack the bola, attempting to cut it apart. Slashing weapons are most effective for this purpose (divide the damage threshold of the bola in half). A bola can be burst with a Strength check (DC 20, also a full-round action). A bola is only useful against creatures between Tiny and Large size, inclusive. It can be used in melee, as a flail-like weapon,

Bow, Cordage Backed

Just because they had little wood, doesnt mean they didnt use it. Eskimo bows were crafted out of just about any wood they could find. They shaped driftwood, and then, to give it strength and prevent breakage, they laminated it with whalebone and bound the bow with a prodigious amount of sinew. This strengthened the wood immeasurably, and lengthened the life of the bow, preventing wood breakage. The knot pattern of the cord bindings was unique to each tribe, and the strength they conferred on the bow made them some of the most powerful bows in the new world. Each cordage backed bow was different, primarily because the wood was generally driftwood, and so wasnt very uniform. Thicker and less elegant than most bows, its unique flair is the knotwork and binding of the sinew that reinforces the bow so solidly. The raw durability of the Cordage Backed bow is unmatched.

Northern Native Americans, like some Southern Native American peoples, used bolas to hunt. Bolas are rocks bound by a cord. In the North these were two rocks, while some South American Tribes would bind three or more rocks in a bola. In

38 35 33a 37





33a. War club; 33b. War club; 34. Bola; 35. Tomahawk; 36. Rabbit Stick; 37. Club, Stone Throwing; 38. Sling & Bullet; 39. Lance, North American Stone


Sticks and Stones

but since it was not designed for such, all characters are treated as non-proficient, conveying a -4 to all melee rolls. sling takes no damage from attacking, but takes double damage from slashing attacks.

Many natives in this region used Tomahawks. Stone axes, usually made with a sharp, wedge-like head, and a longer bar than normal, Tomahawks could be used in close combat, but were intended for throwing. Their weight, length, and blade shape all contributed to its extended use, and it became popular even with European colonists and later settlers. Some Tomahawks had a hollow haft, and also doubled as smoking pipes, although these were rarely as durable as normal Tomahawks. As with many things made by Native Americans, these weapons were often highly decorated.

Lance, North American Stone

Like the northern tribes, most Native North Americans used darts, atlatls, blowguns, and longbows. However, not all Native American weapons were ranged weapons. Even though the American equivalent of the horse was hunted to extinction well before any oral history was maintained, the Native Americans did have lances. Heavier than spears, often 6' in length, these were headed with stone, and used much like later pikes were used, albeit without the range advantage. Stone Lances were sometimes used with charges, but would not see their peak until the coming of Europeans, a time outside the range of this work.

Rabbit Stick
As well, many native tribes used throwing sticks as hunting weapons. Usually thin, often with a single knobby end, these were used for taking down small game, or unarmored opponents. The Hopi tribe called these kinds of weapons Rabbit Sticks. The throwing stick, though, did not gain the popularity in the Americas that it did in Australia. Not a fearsome weapon, this slightly curved thrown stick still has good range and is very light. Since a number of rabbit sticks can be carried at one time, these make a good alternative to more damaging weapons that encumber quickly. It can be used in melee, but since it was not designed for such, all characters are treated as non-proficient, conveying a -4 to all melee rolls.

The Nomadic Plains Indians Fact/Myth

There is a general romantic myth about the nomadic nature of the Native American Plains Indian. Although some tribes did travel with the animals they hunted, the vast majority of Plains Indians had permanent residences, and cultivated food crops and fished or hunted for meat. Even the nomadic tribes had various camps that they occupied for months at a time before moving. It was not until the introduction of the horse in America that truly nomadic Plains Indian cultures flourished. It is for this reason, more than any other, that Nomadic Plains Indian culture was so well developed. In most very nomadic cultures, oral tradition and social traditions develop normally, but the lack of a permanent home or regular resources retards the development of cultural decoration, art, and philosophy. There are always, of course, exceptions. Essentially a powerful, long spear, the North American Stone Lance has reach advantage. It can be used at double damage in a charge, as well. Although Native Americans never used this weapon while mounted, it is particularly suited for this task. As a spear, this weapon can also be readied against a charge.

Club, Stone Throwing

War clubs, as well, were made for throwing. War clubs in the Americas often had centered, oval stone heads, and long hafts than regular clubs. These did not have the range or penetration of Tomahawks, and were often used in hunting, in place of throwing sticks. Clubs used by Northern tribes tended to be decorated with local imagery, symbols important to the region and people. Usually they would depict animals, often war-like in position, and were carved of either wood, bone, or ivory.

Native American Armor

A number of the Northwestern Native American tribes were quite warlike. The Tlingit people, in particular, were known for their fierce fighting acumen, for taking slaves, and for cannibalism. They wore a unique kind of armor made with hard woods and heavy hide. Rods and slats of hard wood (about 1" by 3/8") were bound vertically together with braided sinew and then covered over with thick hide, sometimes a few inches in thickness. These heavy armors were often painted with an owners crest, or with symbolic designs. Capping the Tlingit armor were their renown war helmets. Helmets of hard wood, there were two kinds. The first were helmets in the stylized images of fearsome animals. These were enclosed, and had holes to allow the wearer to see out. The second were helmets carved with grimacing and angry faces. This second type had a visor below the fearsome face, which covered the lower part of the warriors face, and the space between the head and

Slings, often made from elk or dear hide, rounded out the many common weapons of the Native North American. A strip of hide up to 2 feet in length, a rock (or bullet) was usually placed in the center, and then the hide was folded over it, to hold it. The sling could be swung around, over the head or to the side, and then one held edge would be released to allow the stone to fly. This caused the stone to do significantly more damage at greater range.

Bullets: The sling is a simple weapon used by almost every people at different periods of time. Unlike other weapons, the slings damage is based on its ammunition, the bullet. Throwing this ammunition without the sling inflicts no damage. The


From Stone to Steel

visor was the viewing area. These helmets were considered nearly as good as any European equivalent. In the area of what is now Southern Canada and the United States, natives lived in much more abundant circumstances. Great amounts of resources made life easier, and meant less inter-tribal warfare. Armor was not as much of a requirement, and so wasnt as developed as it was in the North West. For protection, simple hides were sufficient for most of the time before the arrival of Europeans, but Plains Indians eventually developed better leatherworking abilities, and developed a kind of leather called buckskin. It required a combination of ashes, hemlock and oak bark, long with boiling water, and took about three months from start to finish. Thin, supple, but durable, buckskin could be worked easily, embroidered, and worn as better protection than mere hides. Some tribes also used wood or bone vests, combined with hides, as armor. A number of tribes wore this kind of slat armor, each with a unique decoration. The helmets, though, were only common in a few tribes who lived in the Northwest. Bone Plate The Eskimo peoples of the far North wore armor into battle as well. Their environment, though, had little wood, and so they had to make do with non-wood materials for much of their weaponry and armor. The armor they wore was fashioned from whale rib bones (usually in lengths from 6 inces to 3 feet), and strung together with sealskin. These long bones proved good deflection from enemy weapons, although not as comprehensive as the hardwood armors of their Southern neighbors.

Shield, Small Wooden

Usually 2 feet in diameter, these shields were usually covered with hide or buckskin and painted with animal or symbolic motifs. Feathers or fir might be added, as decoration, but Native Americans never used spikes.

Slat Armor
Slat armor is very bulky, and not very maneuverable armor, made from rods and slats of wood, braided with sinew and covered by thick hide. Most useful against slashing and bludgeoning weapons, although piercing weapons can be completely blocked if they strike a slat directly.

Buckskin is a marvel of protective ingenuity. Light but surprisingly durable, it surpasses the simple leather armors of Europe. Buckskin is also easier to repair, repairing like cloth rather than



Key: 40a. Tlingit style helmet; 40b. Haida style helmet


Sticks and Stones

41 42

Key: 41. Slat Armor; 42. Bone Plate leather. Obviously, this kind of armor would be popular among fantasy world spell casters.

Breast Plate, Bone Hair Pipe

The Bone Hair Pipe Breast Plate was a ceremonial device, worn over other armor or alone. It has no practical defensive ability, although it may (optionally) deflect a slashing attack 5% of the time. Warriors decorated these items with trophies in order to proclaim their prowess and status to other warriors. A highly decorated Bone Hair Pipe Breast Plate may reduce the morale of opponents. In a fantasy setting this item of armor would likely be enchanted to improve the armor bonus and durability, and any armor bonus of such an enchanted Bone Hair Pipe Breast Plate would be added to any other armor worn.

Meso American Developments

Unlike the North American Natives, Meso American peoples developed more warlike cultures, and eventually began to form large communities. When Europeans came, they found a young empire forming in Central America, with a burgeoning army and an alien, often frightening culture. It has been argued that if the Meso American cultures had been left to themselves for a few hundred more years, they might have developed bronze and iron technologies, and been more of a match for their European conquerors.

The Aztecs
The Aztecs, who dominated the region when the Europeans arrived, were a bloody culture, divided among rival faiths, and split by inter-tribal war. They succeeded numerous other empires, notably the Teotihuacan and Toltecs. As an inheritor Empire, its cuture was bolstered by a variety of religious, social, and military heritages. Though it started off as a relatively democratic affiliation of tribes, it became more and more feudal and totalitarian as its culture became more and more

Wood and Hide Armor

A wood or bone breastplate attached to animal hides. Although surpassed by other kinds of armor, wood and hide armor was the only armor in its region that boasted reasonable durability. Awkward and uncomfortable, armor like this was only worn when going into war.


From Stone to Steel

military centered with promotion often being linked to bravery in battle. There existed a number of prestigious military orders in Aztec society that one could be promoted to. These orders were named for animals, such as the jaguar, eagle, arrow, etc., and usually wore real hides or feathers to indicate their affiliation. Helmets, carved in the shape of the order animal were also worn. Since the Aztecs practiced human sacrifice and slavery, promotion to these special warrior orders usually involved capturing warriors in battle, rather than killing them. Eligibility started with the capture of at least 4 worthy opponents, and rose sharply depending on the order a warrior wished to enter. The Eagle and Jaguar Knights were the pinnacle of achievement for an Aztec Warrior. The Eagle and Jaguar were both warrior-aspected creatures who, in myth, proved their bravery by jumping into the fire after a great hero. The Eagle was granted the aspect of the sun, while the Jaguar was granted the aspect of the moon. So it was in battle. When approaching a city, Eagle Warriors would array at daybreak, and they would chant and dance to show their power and fearsome mien. As night fell, the stealthy Jaguar Warriors would invade the city, and open its defenses. Upon the cry of the Jaguar Warriors, the Eagle Warriors would lead the attack at the defenseless city. In real life, both orders were made up of warriors of great strength and merit, who fought valiantly for their ruler and people. But in a fantasy world, the orders of the Eagle and Jaguar Knights might be something far greater

Eagle Knights (Prestige Class)

Powerful warriors who have already proven their loyalty to the Empire, Eagle Knights are the vanguard warrior of the Aztecs. First to battle, leaders of many, the Eagle Knights were granted more respect than even the Jaguar Knights. Indeed, the Eagle Warriors made up the Kings Royal Bodyguard, and even noble warriors competed for invitation to the Order. Fighters, Clerics, and Rangers are all likely candidates for the Eagle Knights. Paladins are not to be found much in Aztec society, but one willing to leave their religious service might well pursue entrance into the Eagle Knights. Monks, Rogues, Druids, and Sorcerers might be offered entrance if they could meet the steep requirements. But Bards and Barbarians would not have the discipline, and Wizards would likely find it impossible to join unless they were already multi-classed.

Hit Die: d10 Requirements

To qualify to become an Eagle Knight, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any Lawful.


Sticks and Stones

Basic Attack Bonus: +6 Feats: Cleave, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Macahuitl), Power Attack Special: Besides the requirement of capturing 4 worthy opponents alive, a potential Eagle Warrior must commit an unselfish act of heroism or valor without regard to personal safety. It is best if there are many witnesses to this act. This act becomes the basis for nomination to the Order of the Eagle Knights. Heroic Resolve: This is a magical ability granted at 2nd level allows the Eagle Knight to fight past their normal limits. If the hit points of an Eagle Knight drop to zero, he may elect to use his Heroic Resolve to fight on to the point of death. This can be done only once per day, regardless of any subsequent healing. Eagle Visage: At 3rd and 6th level the Eagle Knight gains the visible aspect of his Orders patron. At third level, Eagle Knights tend to look more eagle-like in profile, and carry themselves with noble stature. The Eagle Knight gets a +1 to any social roll, involving skills or interaction, due to the predisposition of others to like the noble warrior. At 6th level the Eagle Warrior can use his presence in battle to confer a +1 morale bonus to all friendly units. This may be stacked with any other effects that influence morale. This may be invoked once per day by a warrior, and requires the Eagle Knight to utter a war cry (in order to draw attention). Suns Flame: At 5th level the Eagle Knight gains the ability to infuse the fire of the sun in a melee weapon strike. The weapon, for that strike, should be considered flaming, and the light it radiates should be considered sunlight for any creatures affected by sunlight. This may be done a number of times equal to the Eagle Knights levels of Eagle Knight. Eagle Shield: At 8th level the Eagle Knight may animate the eagle on his shield, giving it form and life. This Mystic Eagle is an avatar of the Order Patron, and may be directed at any one foe in view. [Stat Ref: The Mystic Eagle is the equivalent of a Giant Eagle, as listed in the Monster Manual and attacks independently from the Eagle Knight.] The Eagle Knight may summon the Mystic Eagle once a day. Suns Aura: At 9th level the Eagle Knights Suns Flame ability develops into a more long lasting ability. The Eagle Knight may invoke the fires of the sun upon his weapon. For the duration of this ability, weapon should be considered flaming, and the light it radiates should be considered sunlight for any creatures effected by sunlight. This effect lasts until the next sunset, and may be cancelled any time. Note that this ability may be invoked after sun fall, and thus last up to 24 hours.

Class Skills
The Eagle Knights class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Swim (Str)

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int Modifier

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Eagle Knight prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Eagle Knights are proficient with all simple weapons, martial weapons, and the Macahuitl, an exotic weapon. They are also proficient with light armors and shields. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Improved Critical (Macahuitl): Whether or not they meet the minimum requirements for this Feat, they gain this feat upon becoming a first level Eagle Knight. Armor Expertise: Starting at first level, and following at 4th, 7th, and 10th, the Eagle Knight is able to improve the way he wears and maneuvers in his armor, boosting his armor bonus on each level. The bonus conferred by Armor Expertise increases the armored AC of the Eagle Warrior, and represents his ability to make the most of his armor and/or shield. Bonus Feat: Eagle Knights get to choose a bonus feat every other level, starting at level 2, from the list in the Fighter Description of the Players Handbook.

Table 1-2: Eagle Knight

Class Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Base Attack Bonus +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 Fort Save +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Ref Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Will Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Special Improved Critical (Macahuitl), Armor Expertise +1 Heroic Resolve, Eagle Visage (+1 to social) Armor Expertise +2 Suns Flame Bonus Feat, Eagle Visage (Rally) Armor Expertise +3 Eagle Shield Suns Aura Armor Expertise +4

From Stone to Steel

Jaguar Knights
Fearsome, stealthy warriors, the Jaguar Knights are the night to the Eagle Knights day. Although not as outright dangerous as the Eagle Knight, the Jaguar Warrior is much feared for the fact that they are the unseen danger, the unperceived threat. Even those who man a citys walls before an attack know that the Jaguar Warriors can pass under their noses unseen, and bring with them death. First inside a city, feared abductors, the Jaguar Knights may not have the respect the Eagle Warriors do, but they have all the fear they could ever want: And with good reason. The ambitious are those to whom the Jaguar Knights may appeal, as well as those of a crafty bent. Any class is open for admission, but the requirements of the Jaguar Knights may be more difficult for those with low intelligence..

Hit Die: d8

To qualify to become an Jaguar Knight, a character fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any Basic Attack Bonus: +6 Feats: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Expertise Skills: Hide +5 Special: Besides the requirement of capturing 4 worthy opponents alive, a potential Jaguar Warrior must capture two more enemies of their own level, or above.

Class Skills
The Jaguar Knights class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str)

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int Modifier

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Jaguar Knight prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Jaguar Knights are proficient with all simple weapons, martial weapons, and the Macahuitl, an exotic weapon. They are also proficient with light armors and shields. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble.


Sticks and Stones

Uncanny Dodge: At 1st level, and then again at 4th, the Jaguar Knights gain uncanny abilities to avoid damage. At 1st level the Jaguar knight is able to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to even be aware of it. At 1st level , the Jaguar Knight retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) regardless of being caught flat footed or struck by an invisible attacker. (He stills loses any Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.
At 4th level the Jaguar Warrior can no longer be flanked, since he can react to opponents on opposite sides of himself as easily as he can react to a single attacker. This defense denies rogues the ability to use flank attacks to sneak attack the Jaguar Knight. The exception to this defense is that a rogue or assassin at least 4 levels higher than the Jaguar Knight can flank him (and thus sneak attack him).

Jaguar Visage: At 2nd and 7th level the Jaguar Knight gains the visible aspect of his Orders patron. At third level, Jaguar Knights tend to look more predatory in profile, and their eyes will glitter in light at night, like those of the Jaguar. The Jaguar Knight may fix a person with their stare and force a willpower roll. Upon failure, such a person is subjected to the effects of a Cause Fear spell, as if cast by a caster of the Jaguar Knights level. This effect may be used once a day per level of the Jaguar Knight prestige class. At 7th level the Jaguar Warrior can use his presence in battle to drive fear into the hearts of his foes. This functions like the spell Fear, as if cast by a caster of the Jaguar Knights level, and only effects his foes. This may be invoked once per day by a warrior, and requires the Jaguar Knight to utter a war cry (in order to draw attention). Winds Key: At 5th level the Jaguar Knight gains the spell-like ability to open locked doors. This functions as per the spell Knock, as if cast by a caster of the Jaguar Knights level. This ability may be used a number of times equal to the Jaguar Knights levels in their prestige class. Wall of Air: At 8th level the Jaguar Knight gains the spell-like ability to create passages through walls as per the Passwall spell. This functions as if cast by a caster of the Jaguar Knights level. This ability may be used a number of times equal to half the Jaguar Knights levels in their prestige class. Jaguars Touch: At 10th level the Jaguar Knights connection with the Jaguar, a most feared hunter, conveys to himself the limited ability to paralyze a victim with fear. A Jaguar Knight may invoke this ability once per day, and it lasts for 1d8x15 minutes. During that time, a Jaguar may touch someone, and force them to make a Willpower save vs. a DC equal to the Jaguar Knights total levels. Failure paralyses the victim for up to 1d6 hours. Often these victims find that when they can move again, they have been bound and are scheduled for sacrifice to the gods

Bonus Feat: Jaguar Knights get to choose a bonus feat every other level, starting at level 2, from the list in the Fighter Description of the Players Handbook. Invisibility: This is a spell-like ability granted at 3rd, 6th, and 9th level allows the Jaguar Knight to become invisible in certain circumstances. All versions of Invisibility can only be used as long as the Jaguar Knight is not moving. As soon as the Jaguar Knight moves, the effect is negated. A Jaguar Knight may use any version of Invisibility a number of times a night as they have levels in the Jaguar Knight prestige class. These Invisibility abilities are not possible during the daytime.
At 3rd level, the Jaguar Knight may become invisible in shadow sufficient to cover his entire body. At 6th level, the Jaguar Knight may become invisible when illuminated only by moonlight. At 9th level the Jaguar Knight may opt to become invisible when illuminated only by firelight. Sunlight will automatically dispel this spell-like ability, as will movement on the part of the Jaguar Knight.

Other Aztec Orders

Other Aztec military orders included the Arrow Warriors, Owl Knights, and Coyote Warriors. The Arrow Warriors were famed

Table 1-3: Jaguar Knight

Class Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Base Attack Bonus +0 +1 +2 +3 +3 +4 +5 +6 +6 +7 Fort Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Ref Save +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Will Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Special Uncanny Dodge (AC to Dex), Skill Expertise (Move Silently) Jaguar Visage (Fear vs. Individual) Invisible in Shadow Uncanny Dodge (no flanking) Winds Key Invisible in Moonlight Jaguar Visage (Fearsome Presence) Wall of Air Invisible in Firelight Jaguars Touch


From Stone to Steel

for their superiority with the bow, and captained troops of archer. The Owl was a symbol of evil and death to the Aztecs, and its order was a hold over from a lost empire. Owls knights were not concerned with capturing opponents alive, and they were usually retained for last-ditch city defense only. The Coyote in Aztec lands was traditionally a protector, a persistent hunter who was willing to delay his own necessities to provide for the pack. Coyote Warriors were generally only found among the Chechimecs, a tribe that serves as mercenaries for the Aztec Empire, and admission to their order was secret and exclusive. However, the Aztec Empire was rich in sources of obsidian, and its usage of obsidian spread to any bladed weapon. Aztecs dominated their region through displays of superior military power, and extraction of tribute from their neighbors. This promoted a sort of indirect empire rule, which allowed specific tribes to maintain their own beliefs and structures, which promoted, in turn, diversity and internecine war. Shared similarities in religion, sacrifice, and sport all tended to bind the region culturally, but leave each tribe somewhat unique. This was far different from the Incan form of Empire, mentioned in the next chapter. In South America the Incas, an ancient empire ruled that over the northern Andes Mountains also maintained imperial hegemony along the western edges of the Amazon. Outside of Inca rule, the tribes of Native Americans lived simply, often poorly. Those that dwelt in the jungle tended to be more isolated, and so only rarely had peaceful contact with each other. Conflict would be carried out with spear and blowgun, although some cultures also developed a kind of lance-like weapon, a spear with a very extended head. Some had one head, and were much like the North American Stone Lance, except made of wood. But some had forked heads. All were hand-carved, often with symbolic forms in the base.

Meso American Weapons

Aztecs used spears, knives, clubs, bows, javelins, darts, atlatl, and slings, as listed above, but they had one very unique weapon, the macahuitl. A club, made of wood, usually plain for common warriors, or carved for officers and chieftains, it had ten projecting slots, five on either side. In those slots were placed flaked blades of obsidian. Obsidian is a metamorphic stone, lava rock turned to glass by the passage of glaciers. Due to its being glass, it is both brittle and sharp. In fact, obsidian can be much sharper even, than steel. Due to its brittle nature, the blades often broke, and so often needed to be replaced.







Key: 43. Macahuitl; 44a. Mayan Stone Club; 44b. Mayan Stone Mace; 45. South American Wooden Lance; 46. Forked South American Wooden Lance; 47. Tepoztopilli


Sticks and Stones



Key: 48. Aztec Cotton Armor; 49. Shield, Small Reed In the plains, east of the Andes and south of the Amazon, many tribes of natives lived like those of North America, using spear, knife, bola, bow, dart, and javelin to hunt. These South American natives also tamed and domesticated the llama, and used it as a herding, pack, and food animal, and would often use its wooly hide to make coats for the cold months. Through domestication of the llama, a creature that is adept to mountain travel, these natives were able to establish trade with tribes in far regions, and even with the dominant Incan Empire. but if the wooden portion of the Tepoztopilli is damaged, the whole weapon must be replaced.

Obsidian is a volcanic stone turned to glass by glacial action. Like all glass, Obsidian is fragile, but it forms dangerously sharp edges with a little coaxing. Blades made with obsidian do +2 damage above whatever normal damage they would do. Thus a dagger of obsidian would do 1d4+2, while an obsidian shortsword or sickle would be 1d6+2. This bonus is to damage only, and the durability of the weapon, no matter what it was, drops to 3S, and the Damage threshold is decreased by 2 as well. The Macahuitl, for example, is a rough equivalent of an obsidian falchion. Glass is lighter than metal, and weight in most items is reduced by .5 to 1lb. Note that the +2 to damage is applied before any damage multiplier, such as are given with charges, readied weapons for a charge, or sneak attacks. Obsidian is particularly vulnerable to hard armors (stone or metal) and its durability drops to 2S vs. stone or armor targets. Assassins, though, may find obsidian a particularly prized material for murder weapons, since armor is rarely a factor for them

The Macahuitl is a fearsome and deadly war club that fights like a slashing sword. Its durability, however, is special. At the beginning the weapon degrades as per the rules for stone weapons. Assume that every time weapon experiences degradation, it destroys one of the 10 obsidian blades. After all 10 obsidian blades are destroyed, the Macahuitl functions as a wooden club, and then damage is applied against the wood durability and degradation. Obsidian blades can be replaced easily (thats the hallmark of the Macahuitl) but if the wooden portion of the Macahuitl is damaged, the whole weapon must be replaced.

Lance, South American Wooden (Standard and The Tepoztopilli was effectively a large, heavy spear, lined with Forked) Tepoztopilli
10 obsidian blades in the same manner as the Macahuitl. At the beginning the weapon degrades as per the rules for stone weapons. Assume that every time weapon takes 2 points of damage it destroys one of the 10 obsidian blades along the spear edge. After all 10 obsidian blades are destroyed, the Tepoztopilli is a top-heavy staff, and then damage is applied against the wood hardness of 3 and wood degradation applies. Obsidian blades can be replaced easily (that's the hallmark of Aztec weaponry)

Essentially a powerful, long spear, the South American Wooden Lances have the reach advantage. They can be used at double damage in a charge, as well. The Forked South American Wooden Lance gives a +2 bonus on your opposed attack rolls when attempting to disarm an opponent (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if you fail to disarm your opponent). Although Native Americans never used this weapon while mounted, the non-forked variant is particularly suited for this


From Stone to Steel

task as well. Like spears, these weapons can also be readied against a charge. durable wooden version of the Chimali, that is identical to the Small Wooden Shield.

Meso American Armor

Most warriors in any army went into battle naked, save a loin cloth. They often painted their weapons and bodies to identify which officer they followed, so as to not be confused in battle. Officers, on the other hand, usually work complex, dress-like cotton armor, usually covered in woven feathers. These were capped by feathered crests and capes, often decorated with honorariums. This armor was remarkably resistant to puncturing by javelins, spears and the local equivalent of swords, due to the tight weave. Even some Spanish adopted this armor while in the New World, as it was strong and light. The Aztec officers also carried wooden or reed shields, called Chimali, decorated with their symbol.

Bamboo is a cylindrical stalked plant that grows best in warmer wet climates. Its wood is particularly lightweight and strong, and unlike most wood, holds and retains an edge. Bamboo can ignore the slashing weapon damage threshold limitation of wood.

Islander Developments
Many islands of the Pacific have people of various Polynesian decent. These people have had to make do on islands with limited resources, and so have developed unique, if limited, weapons strategies. Most pacific islanders use bone to varying effect. Bone from seal, walrus, or even whale are used to make weapons and knives with, and even teeth, especially sharks teeth, are used in weapon and armor construction. Certain islander tribes mounted shark teeth on clubs, sword-like sticks, or arrows, using the superior serrated edges of shark teeth as weapons in combat. Shirts of grasses and reeds, lined with shark teeth have also been used. Excellent proof against weapons, these hard to make but valuable shirts are also dangerous to come in contact with. While most wood cannot hold an edge for long, bamboo is an exception. In places were bamboo flourishes, spears and knives of bamboo could be made that were much more efficient than those of other natural materials. Swords, however, were

Aztec Cotton Armor

More comfortable than equivalent armors, and not as stifling in the heat, the Cotton Armor of the Aztecs was a marvel that even the Spanish appreciated as it was reasonably comfortable, and could be worn on the campaign. This kind of armor was only used in Aztec lands. More elaborate versions, along animal motifs, were worn by officers who were members of the military orders, but these outfits conveyed no further benefit.

Shield, Small Reed (Chimali)

Usually 2 feet in diameter , these shields were called Chimali by the Aztecs, and were usually covered with hide. Those of the officers were painted with animals (if the officers belonged to a military order) or symbolic motifs. There is also a more

53 54a 50 52



Key: 50. Shark Tooth Club; 51. Shark Tooth Sword; 52. Shark Tooth Arrow; 53. Maori Whip; 54a. Bamboo Knife; 54b. Bamboo Spear


Sticks and Stones

55 56

55. Shark Tooth Mail Shirt; 56. Tortoise Breast Plate impractical, as the required a long edge, and were primarily for slashing, while bamboo made an excellent impaling material.

Knife, Bamboo
Otherwise similar to their stone and wooden cousins, the bamboo versions of these weapons are tougher and more long lasting.

Polynesian Weapons
Club, Shark Tooth
A standard club with shark teeth embedded for extra damage.

Spear, Bamboo
Otherwise similar to their stone and wooden cousins, the bamboo versions of these weapons are tougher and more long lasting.

Sword, Shark Tooth

A stick lined with shark teeth and wielded much like a sabre. Powerful for their lightweight, they are, never the less, relatively weak. Those who wield shark tooth weaponry, though, do so for the offensive value of the weapon. Any shark tooth weapon should be considered barbed.

Spear, Stingray Spine

In the Caribbean there were fewer inhabited islands than in Polynesia, and the people who lived on them lived relatively simple lives. Most of these tribes used crude wooden weapons or stone knives, but bones of fish were useful, especially the stingray. Its serrated spine was ideal for hunting and warfare, and spears capped by this kind of head were common. Like the stingray, these kinds of spears can be deadly. They are naturally considered barbed, and the blade is particularly brittle, so if it has been damaged, it tends to break off deep in the wound, increasing the chance of infection (25%).

Arrow, Shark Tooth

In all other respects like bone headed arrows, the shark tooth arrow is naturally considered barbed.

Whip, Maori
This whip, made by the Maori tribe, deals subdual damage only, but also inflicts a great deal of pain. Basically a switch, this weapon was used in endurance rituals. In order to simulate these is to use the following mechanic: Each strike with a whip requires a Fortitude roll (starting at DC 10). Add one to the DC for every point of damage done so far. If this fails, the victim cannot help by cry out with pain. Similar mechanics may be used with any endurance combat. Made from saplings, these whips are merely long, supple sticks, usually with a braided handle.

Polynesian Armor
Mail Shirt, Shark Tooth
Exotic and disturbing in appearance, the Shark Tooth Mail Shirt is an excellent shirt of non-metal armor, light, relatively durable, and not too encumbering. Two things make this shirt notable. Grappling with someone in a Shark Tooth Mail Shirt will inflict an automatic 2d3 damage to an unarmored foe, and will also do automatic damage against soft armors (cord, cloth, leather). Any strength bonuses (from either combatant) increase the automatic


From Stone to Steel

58a 58b 60 61



57. Stingray Spine Spear; 58a. Large Wooden Shield; 58b. Large Grass Shield; 59. Spear Thrower; 60. Tower Hide Shield; 61. Aboriginal Fire Shield damage accordingly. The other detail of note involves damage. If the Shark Tooth Mail Shirt is damaged beyond its structural rating, it rends, as per the rules under metal armor. In this case, shark teeth become lodged in the resulting wound, and must be removed to allow normal healing.

African Developments
Africa was the place where real tool use began, and it was the first to develop most of the general weapons. Some tribes also developed a spear thrower similar to the atlatl. Though not quite as effective in magnifying the distance of the thrower, it none-the-less proved more effective than a strong arm. As well, throwing sticks, identical to the rabbit stick, were also developed and used throughout the continent.

Breast Plate, Tortoise

The Maori tribe are noted for use of large tortoise shells in making breast plates. These breast plates are excellent proof against slashing and bludgeoning weapons, and useful in deflecting some arrows. They are only used in serious warfare, however. When conflict within the tribe occurs, the Maori often arbitrate through ritual use of their whips, making armor use unnecessary. Heavier than the shark tooth mail shirt, but more durable, this breastplate was individually crafted, usually by the wearer, and held on by hide straps.

Spear Thrower
Spear Throwers are usually held on the arm, and a spear is braced on it, in a small groove in the wooden surface. This groove helps to anchor the spear. Then, when the attacker throws, the spear thrower acts as an extension of the arm, greatly increasing the distance of the throw, while also adding slightly to the damage.

Shields, Grass and Wooden

Many islander cultures used larger shields, mostly oval in shape. These were fashioned from materials readily available. Some would be constructed from wood, bark, or bamboo, while other people wove them from wicker or grasses. Cultures that caught fish of the ray family sometimes used ray hide on their shields. Often these shields were decorated with fearsome designs or intricate and meaningful geometric images.

Shield, Tower
Shields of hide and/or wood have always been a part of warfare in Africa, and some of them were quite large, even rivaling the length of tower shields. Sometimes these shields were decorated, but most of the time they were left unadorned. The use of the spear and shield would resonate throughout history.


Sticks and Stones

Tower Shields do not provide an armor bonus, but instead provide cover. The percentage of cover is determined by placement on the field. wooden handle, and the stone head was affixed to it via an antler bone sleeve. Different from the ax used in Spain, Britain, and the Northern areas of Europe, the Celt was more durable and easier to repair. Made for intertribal warfare, the Celt is designed to facilitate repairs. If either the wood or stone portion of the weapon is damaged, it can be removed and replaced without requiring extra fixture time. Cut all repair times in half for this weapon.

European Developments
In certain northern areas of Europe flint was in good supply. In areas where this flint was readily accessible, longer lengths were manufactured into full-fledged swords, stone bladed and wooden handled. These flint swords were fearsome for their potential damage, but like all stone implements, prone to severe breakage. When a flint sword broke, its wielder often found himself at the mercy of those who still possessed workable weapons, and battlefields were littered with the remains of such broken blades. Such blades were never longer than 16 inches in length, as the stone became too brittle beyond that measurement.

Axe, Improved Stone Adze or Stone Battleaxe

Certain Germanic people developed the ability to perforate stone through use of a boring tool. Holes could be put through the stone, to allow a wooden handle to be placed in the stone head. This made the ax or adze manufactured in this way more powerful, as it could convey more force without the loss of strength. This technique allowed the development of improved versions of the stone axe and adze, and for manufacture of stone battleaxes. This battleaxe was either double sided, or constructed with a splayed blade. Each of these improved stone weapons is a marked advance over the previous method of weapon making, and they came to dominate in their region of Europe, although geography prevented further expansion.

Shortsword, Flint
Reaching up to 16 inches in length, the flint shortsword was an extension on the idea of cutting weapons, lengthened for use in inter-tribal warfare.

Celt (Stone Axe)

In Central and Eastern Europe, the adze was the most popular tool and weapon. In most of Western Europe, a local version of the stone axe, called the Celt, was popular. Celts possessed a







62. Improved Stone Axe; 63a. Returning Boomerang; 63b. Kylie; 64. Horn Bow; 65. Composite Bow; 66. Toothed Stone Mace


From Stone to Steel

Other (Australia, Asia, etc.)
In Australia, the Aboriginal peoples had no metallurgical skills and little natural resources. Thus, they made do with that they had. And they did very well. Australian Aboriginal people also carried the usual variety of stone and wooden weapons, although coastal tribes favored the barbed spines of stingrays. Instead of binding spear heads with sinew, strips of hide, or plant fiber, they used resins and wax, which held better, but was prone to melting under heat. As well, their spears were often barbed, usually far up the length of the spear pole, and their shields were tall, thin affairs, useful for guarding a side strike, but not a frontal blow. These shields doubled as fire starters, and hunters who carried spear and shield could start a fire as quickly as any who use a modern flint and steel.

Many archaeologists believed Asia to have been very backward during the stone age, but recent evidence suggests that artisans in Asia may have used advanced African techniques of

Resin, Wax, or Glue can be used as a binder to hold two separate materials together. The strength of the bond is easily equal to that conveyed by sinew or bindings, but the liquid adhesives cant be cut. The weaknesses of these materials are solvents or heat. If heat damage inflicts 2 or more points of damage to the weapon, it should be assumed that the resin, wax, or glue has failed, and the two separate materials fall apart. This may be quite critical in a battle. A long pole is not quite as useful as a spear. As well, when an item takes 2 or more points of damage from acid, assume the resin, wax, or glue has failed, and the separate elements have fallen apart. weapons making. Thus, Asian weapons were easily on par with most of north Africa. In Asia, the major development was the composite or horn bow. In Java the horn bow was common. Made from the antlers of deer, and then strung with sinew, it was surprisingly springy, although it required special treatments to maintain that springiness over a long period of time. Bone could be softened when soaked in water or, preferably, vinegar, and then straightened, but it had to dry for a while to become stiff again. If a horn bow cracked, though, it could not be salvaged. Much of the rest of Asia, though used either the traditional wooden hunting bow, or the composite bow, which had certain advantages, but was more difficult to construct. The composite bow was made primarily of horn and wood, with sinew forming both the draw string and backing. The wood was a compressible material, and allowed the string to give more easily, while the bone acted as a stiffener, and gave it strength. The sinew helped to reinforce the bow, although it was not used nearly as liberally as it was in the cordage backed bow. The composite bow lasted a surprisingly long time, historically, up until the 18th century, in certain parts of the world, and has seen relatively few modifications.

Boomerang, Returning and Kylie

A common theme in Australian Aboriginal weaponry is the throwing stick. The popular and vaunted returning boomerangs were not, actually, common weapons. They were a side-evolution from the kylie, the common non-returning boomerang, which was used for hunting. Each kind of throwing stick is unique. The returning boomerang has the coveted ability to return after being thrown, but only if the weapon misses. The kylie, in turn, has the longest range of this kind of throwing stick, and hits harder than the rabbit stick. The non-returning Kylies were generally about 3 feet long, and had a cord width of 3 to 4 inches, and perhaps a half inch in thickness while the returning boomerangs are somewhat smaller. These sticks were aerodynamic, and flew straight and far, having more force and distance than the rabbit stick.

Boomerang, Fighting
Another offshoot was the fighting boomerang, which had a pick like hook on one end. The hook was intended to strike a shield or weapon held defensively, and allow the fighting boomerang to swing on the hook pivot, to strike the defender anyway. Although this was not always successful, when it was, it could be quite stunning. The fighting boomerang has a 25% chance to ignore any AC bonus of a shield or defensive weapon on any given throw. It does this due to a hook that creates a rotation point on a defensive item, allowing an attack to bypass it. Roll for this before you roll to hit, and if you are successful, ignore the armor bonus of the shield.

Bow, Horn
This kind of bow does not necessarily possess any advantage over the wooden bow, but was used more commonly in the Java region.

Bow, Composite (Short and Medium)

Composite bows mate the mutual strengths of wood, bone, and sinew to make a durable long range weapon. There is some debate as to the exact origin of the composite bow, but it was only used in Asia during the Stone Age, usually in Siberia and Northern China.

Shield, Aboriginal Fire

The Aboriginal Fire Shield is not the most defensive of shields, but it does allow an object (or light weapon) to be carried in the shield hand. As well, it is culturally used for starting fires while on a hunt or march.


Sticks and Stones

Forces of Change
As populations were more successful, they grew, and demanded more permanent lodgings and structure. Developments in agriculture and domestication would eventually lead to the first cities and nations. The presence of larger populations in one area forced man to form social contracts, often to the advantage of the aggressive and strong. This was most evident among societies like the Tlingit or Aztecs, although Germanic, Siberian, African, and Nomadic Middle Eastern tribes also took advantage of these early population centers. toothed stone mace, which appeared to be made explicitly to pierce armor, but this mace required great strength to use, and was not a complete solution.

Leather Armor, Tanned

Tanned Leather Armor is the kind mentioned in the Players Handbook. Appearance is dependant on the animal the hide came from, although generally the color is a deep brown.

Shield, Leather (Small or Large)

Heavier than the hide shields, leather shields were also more durable. Often these were painted with devices, or culturally important symbols.

Another innovation that prompted serious changes in warfare was the development of true leather. Since skins could often become coarse, odorous, and stiff with age, people experimented with various oily substances, rubbing them into the hides to soften them. Eventually it was discovered that certain kinds of tree bark contained tannin a substance we now know as tannic acid. This substance, when spread on hides, made the leather both pliable and durable. Leather was far more effective at preventing damage than plain hides and furs, and could be fashioned into more comfortable and effective garments. The process of manufacturing leather in this was called tanning. With the advent of leather armor, stone weapons like the stone mace were far less effective, and innovations were required to keep weapons at pace with armor. Egyptians developed a

Mace, Toothed Stone

Made first by Egyptians, these heavy maces were designed to pierce leather armor and helms. The toothed mace design became one of the most common variants of mace in history.

The Science of Warfare

Observing that certain stones, when left in fire for long periods, yielded small amounts of metal, people began to experiment. The first few metals found were pretty, but too pliable to use reliably for tools. Copper and Gold became decorations, and though copper was used, for a time, in combat, it would see a relatively short hey day, when the first alloys were made, and this process of subjecting stone to heat to distill metals, smelting, came into its own.

68 67 69


67. Flint Shortsword; 68. Celt in Antler Sleeve; 69. Tanned Leather Armor; 70. Leather Shield


From Stone to Steel

As well, in the growing science of warfare, it became obvious that the more maneuverable an army was, the more effective it was, regardless of numbers. Scouts and lightly armored foot troops became the rule of the day in late Stone Age engagements, but in various cultures a new theory prompted adventurous men to use newly domesticated horses. At first tamed for their strength, horses had been used for a short time in the late Neolithic age as plow animals, along with oxen, and as beasts of burden, like the llama of the New World. But a mounted rider could maneuver more quickly than any footman, and longer weapons could be potent when charging on a horse. As the age of sticks and stones came to an end, it made way for an age of Horses, Bronze, and Armies.

Table 1-4: Stone Age Weapons

Simple Weapons-Melee Weapons Tiny Knife, Bamboo Knife, Rock Short Tusk Spike, Bone Ulu Small Adze, Improved Stone Adze, Stone Mace, Stone Medium-Size Club, Bone Club, Shark Tooth* Macahuitl* Mace, Toothed Stone Stick, Short (Club) Large Long Tusk Spear, Bambooa Spear, Primitive Woodena Spear, Primitive Wooden Hardeneda Spear, Stone Heada Stick, Long (Quarterstaff) Simple Weapons-Ranged Tiny Rock, Throwing Small Dart, Bone Sling Medium-Size Javelin, Primitive Wooden Javelin, Primitive Wooden Hardened Martial Weapons-Melee Small Axe, Improved Stone Axe, Stone Celt Shortsword, Flint Medium-Size Axe, Stone Battle Sword, Shark Tooth* Large Lance, Forked South American Woodena Lance, North American Stonea Cost 8sp ---5sp 2gp 1gp 2gp -6gp 45gp 6gp --2gp --1gp -Damage 1d3 1d3 1d3 1d3 1d3 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d6/1d6 Critical 1920/x2 1920/x2 x2 1920/x2 x2 x3 x3 x2 x2 x3 1920/x2 x2 x2 x2 x3 x3 x3 x3 x2 Range Wgt 1 lbs 1.5 lbs 1.5 lbs 1.5 lbs 1 lbs 5 lbs 5 lbs 6 lbs Type S S P P S P P B M W S B B B WS WS WS H/HP 4/3 3/3 3/5 3/5 3/3 4/17 3/15 3/18 3/5 3/8 3/28 3/24 3/8 3/4 4/12 3/14 4/14 3/16 2/7

2.5 lbs B B 4 lbs B BW 6 lbs S/B SW 12 lbs B & P WS 3 lb B W 2 lbs 5 lbs 7 lbs 7 lbs 8 lbs 2.5 lbs P P P P P B B W W W WS W

20ft 20ft 20ft 20ft

-2sp -6sp 1gp

1d2 1d3 Per Ammunition 1d4 1d4

x2 x2 x2 x2 x2

15ft 20ft 50ft 30ft 30ft

.5 lbs .5 lbs .01 lbs 2 lbs 2 lbs



3/4 2/2 2/1 3/4 4/4

3gp 2gp 2gp 5gp 5gp 50gp 4gp 3gp

1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d6 1d6 1d8

x3 x3 x3 1920/x2 x3 x3 x3 x3

5 lbs S SW 5 lbs S or P WS 3.5 lbs S SBW 3.5 lbs S S 7 lbs 5 lbs 10 lbs 10 lbs S S P P SW BW W WS

4/12 3/10 3/7 3/7 3/14 3/10 3/18 4/20


Sticks and Stones

Table 1-4: Stone Age Weapons
Martial Weapons-Melee Weapons Large Lance, South American Woodena Tepoztopilli* Martial Weapons-Ranged Small Tomahawk* Tomahawk, Peace Pipe* Medium-Size Bow, Composite Medium Bow, Horn Bow, Primitive Hunting Bow, Primitive Medium Bow, Short Composite Club, Throwing Stone Large Bow, Cordage Backed Harpoon, Stone* Longbow, North American Indian Exotic Weapons-Melee Small Rabbit Stick Medium-Size Whip, Maori* Exotic Weapons-Ranged Tiny Blowgun Small Bola, Northern American* Bola, South American* Boomerang, Fighting*# Boomerang, Returning* Kylie* Medium Atlatl* Net, Grass* Spear Thrower* Spear, Stingray Spine* aa Weapons Ranged-Ammunition Arrow, Blunt (20) Arrow, Bone Head (20) Arrow, Shark Tooth (20) Arrow, Stone Head (20) Arrow, Wooden (20) Bullet, Stone (10) Needles (20) Cost 3gp 50gp Damage 1d6 1d8 Critical x3 1920/x2 Range Wgt 9 lbs 13lbs Type P S M W W H/HP 3/18 2/26

4gp 4gp 85gp 20gp 30gp 45gp 75gp 5sp 100gp 5gp 90gp

1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d4 1d8 1d6 1d8

x2 x2 x3 x3 x2 x2 x3 x2 x3 x3 x3

15ft 15ft 90ft 60ft 60ft 70ft 70ft 10ft 80ft 20ft 90ft

3 lbs 2.5 lbs 3 lbs 2 lbs 2 lbs 2 lbs 2 lbs 3 lbs 3.5 lbs 12 lbs 3 lbs

S S Per arrow Per arrow Per arrow Per arrow Per arrow B Per arrow P Per arrow


3/9 2/8 3/9 3/6 3/6 3/6 3/8 3/9 3/11 3/22 3/9

5sp 1sp

1d4 1d3

x2 x2


0.5 lbs 1 lbs



3/4 2/2

1gp 8sp 1gp 2gp 2gp 2gp 8sp 8gp 1gp 15gp 1gp 6sp 2gp 6sp -6cp 1gp

1 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d4 1d6 +1 +1 1d6

x2 x2 1920/x2 x2 x2 x2 x3

20ft 20ft 15ft 15ft 10ft 20ft

2 lbs 2 lbs 3 lbs 3.5 lbs 2 lbs 3 lbs 1 lbs 8 lbs 2 lbs 4.5 lbs 3.5 lbs 2.5 lbs 3 lbs 3 lbs 2 lbs 2 lbs .5 lbs



4/4 3/6 3/9 3/11 2/6 3/9 2/2 2/16 2/4 2/9 1/4 1/3 1/3 1/3 1/2 2/2 1/1

10ft x2 x3 20ft


-1 1d3

* See the description in the text for special rules. Double Weapon Reach Weapon a If you ready an action to set this weapon against a charge you deal double damage. # Shield bypass weapon Subdual damage 33

From Stone to Steel

Table 1-5: Stone Age Armor
Armor Light Armor Aztec Cotton Armor Breast Plate, Tortoise Breast Plate, Bone Hair Pipe Buckskin Furs and Hides Leather Armor, Tanned Mail Shirt, Shark Tooth# Skin Armor Wood and Hide Armor Medium Armor Bone Plate Slat Armor Shields Shield, Aboriginal Fire Shield, Great Bark Shield, Large Bark Shield, Large Grass Shield, Large Hide Shield, Large Leather Shield, Large Wooden Shield, Small Bark Shield, Small Hide Shield, Small Leather Shield, Small Reed Shield, Small Wooden Shield Shield, Tower Hide** Shield, Tower Wooden** Cost 115gp 30gp 2gp 13gp 8gp 10gp 25gp -10gp 15gp 30gp 1gp 12gp 5gp 6gp 5gp 7gp 7gp 1gp 1gp 3gp 8sp 3gp 22gp 30gp Armor Bonus +2 +3 +0 +2 +2 +2 +3 +1 +2 +3 +3 +1 +3 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 * * Max Dex Armor Check Bonus Penalty +5 +5 N/A +6 +5 +6 +4 +6 +4 +4 +4 -2 -2 0 0 -1 0 -1 -1 -2 -3 -3 -1 -3 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -8 -10 Spell Failure 15% 20% 0% 5% 15% 10% 25% 10% 20% 25% 25% 10% 20% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 50% 50% Spd 30'/20' 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft Weight 20lbs 20lbs .5lbs 8lbs 12lbs 15lbs 18lbs 8lbs 18lbs 22lbs 25lbs 3lbs 15lbs 10lbs 7lbs 8lbs 9lbs 10lbs 4lbs 3lbs 4lbs 2lbs 4lbs 21lbs 45lbs M F B BC L L L B L WL BL WL W W W C L L W W L L W W L W H/HP 4/42 4/40 1/1 3/10 2/24 3/32 3/34 1/14 3/36 3/44 4/50 3/6 1/28 1/18 2/14 1/16 3/18 3/20 1/8 1/6 3/8 1/4 3/8 2/42 3/90

# See the text for special rules. * When running in heavy armor you move only triple your speed, not quadruple. ** The tower shields grants you cover. See the description. Hand not free to cast spells. Armor fitted for small characters weighs half as much.

B = Bludgeoning P = Piercing S = Slashing


Chariots of Bronze

Domestication The Riding Skill Table 2-1: Riding Modifiers Copper and Bronze Copper Skittishness CopperArsenic Alloy Bronze The Fertile Crescent: Sumeria Sumerian Tactics Shield Trapping Phalanx tactics Battle Wagons/Onager Babylon North Africa: Egypt Forced Innovation: The Hittites Chariots and Chariot Combat. Iron and the Late Bronze Age Hazards

36 38 38 38 38 38 38 39 39 40 42 43 44 44 44 45 47 47 48

Mishaps Table 2-2: Terrain Table 2-3 Terrain Changes Table 2-4: Driver Mishap Table 2-5: Breakage Charioteer Prestige Class Table 2-6: Charioteer New Feats The Far East China The Divine Mandate The Inca Europe & The Mediterranean The Celts The Minoans The Mycenaens The End of an Age Table 2-7: Bronze Age Weapons Table 2-8: Bronze Age Armor

48 48 48 48 49 49 50 51 52 53 54 54 56 56 56 57 58 59 60


From Stone to Steel

As floorboard rocked, the soldier adjusted his stance, leaning into the turn and eyeing the nail-studded wheel rim flashing on his right. The chariot maintained its grip, however, and now they shot toward the plain of war. The soldier adjusted his grip on his javelin, and inventoried the quiver. Hed have five throws before the chariot would swing to one side, and he and the three other soldiers would disembark and enter the melee. Those five throws had to count.

his arm. The commander, noting the danger approaching, lifted up his shield to ward off a javelin strike, but as the soldier cast his last javelin, it did not fly towards the commander. The chariot driver hauled on the reigns, heaving the horses sharply to the left by their nose-rings. The chariot bumped and careened, going off one wheel briefly, threatening to spill them all out. The soldier turned against the corner, though, watching his javelin cast, hoping his aim was true. The javelin struck the right onager in the neck, causing it to stumble and collapse. The wagon, still traveling forward, suddenly had a burden at yoke, rather than a charging animal. It lurched, and rolled partially up onto the form of the onager, and then the guide-bar snapped. The wagon tipped vertically for a moment and then collapsed backwards, on top of its occupants. It was better than he could have hoped. He shouted in triumph, and the other soldiers cheered his good arm. Without their commander, the Elamites would be fighting a losing battle, dispirited and without new commands. Already figures were running towards the wrecked wagon, to see what had happened. The soldier drew his battleaxe, and looked about for his shield, but it was nowhere to be found. Likely it was back there, in the dirt, where they had made the great turn and fled their dangerous position. He shrugged. It was no matter. The others would cover him in the beginning, and hed claim a shield as soon as an enemy dropped one. This was just one battle in a month of battles, and blessings of Marduk aside, he would have many days of campaign to go.

A brief dip pulled at the pit of his stomach, and he fought the discomfort and the jarring thud of stones under the wheels, then the ride became smoother. The plain was an advantageous field for battle, and he could already see the wagons of the enemy pulling wide in reaction to the chariot rush. The enemys onagers couldnt achieve the speed that horses could, and their four wheeled wagons weighed them down, sacrificing mobility for stability. Hed fought these Elamites before, during a summer raid, and he knew how fortunate it was that this force had been drawn down out of the mountains and onto a fair footing. Soon those wagons would disgorge their own soldiers, and the battle would begin in earnest. Sweat ran along the leather lining of his armor. Already it was growing warm, and before the battle was over he would wish he wasnt wearing it. But its protection was necessary, the Elamite curved swords were deadly against unarmored foes, and their arrows could pierce mere leather. Riding another turn, he raised his javelin, and sighted the enemys wagon drivers. With a heave he cast the bronze capped javelin into the air, and the momentum of the chariot and his own throwing arm gave it a strange, arcing grace, sending it farther than a mortal arm could normally throw. But perhaps Marduk was watching over the Elamite driver, for a brief skid put him out of harms way, and the javelin struck soil behind him, embedding itself. Frustrated, the soldier pulled another javelin from the quiver, and then sighted a second wagon. This flight went true, and soon the second Elamite driver sprouted a javelin from his chest. The life quickly fled his form, and, unguided, the war wagon left its formation. As the soldier drew his third javelin, he noted the warriors in the pilot-less wagon rushing to master the onagers and regain control. Another javelin cast forced them to duck low, but shortly they were out of range. His fourth cast was sent wide by a sudden lurch, as a large rock shook the chariot. He cursed his luck but then spotted the Elamite commanders wagon. Alerting to the driver, he steadied himself, focusing on his target. They altered course. They were now venturing into the Elamites portion of the field. Archer formations, directed by officers, hastily put arrow to bow, and tested range on their chariot. A fellow warrior beside him put up his shield, holding it to guard the thrower from enemy fire. The soldier eyed the commander, and drew back


s the Neolithic Stone Age came to a close, large communities sprang up in static locations, supported by advanced hunting practices, cultivation, and domestication. The first animals to be domesticated were dogs, followed afterwards by cattle, donkeys, and horses. These later domestications were brought about to improve the stable food supply, and to haul loads too heavy for men to carry. Early horses were not as large as todays horses, and they did not have the strength bred into later varieties. Thus, the riding of horses was extremely uncommon. Only in areas like Siberia, or the barbarian regions of China and Mongolia did people ride horses. There religions about the creatures and their place in society sprang up, and it was common for these people to ride horses as part of their nomadic migration. These peoples would someday become the horsebound cultures of the Scythians, Magyars, Huns, Hittites, Medes, and Mongols, and to some degree the practice of horse cavalry is owed to their cultural lineage. Camels, both Bactrian (two humps) and Dromedary (one hump), were not commonly bred in Mesopotamian culture until later, well into the Bronze Age period. An animal with a less pleasant temperament than the horse, the camel was best suited to desert conditions and privation, and as such was bet-


Chariots of Bronze
ter as a nomadic animal in the Middle East. No substantial cavalry was organized around the camel at this time. In India, the only other animal domesticated for work was the elephant, and only certain tribes held this practice. The elephant is an intelligent creature that does not take to captivity willingly. Those peoples who practiced domestication of Elephants developed specific social groups who lived with and cared for such domesticated Elephants, and they were primarily used to aid load hauling and construction. It would be quite some time before the first elephants would be used in war. Oxen, horses, and donkeys were trained to pull. This task allowed farmers to plan their crops, allowing greater yield than a field tilled by hand. With the development of the wheel, these dray animals could also be used to haul large loads. Oxen were strongest, and so used for heavy loads, but horses proved to be the fastest haulers, and so, with training, could be made to haul lighter loads faster and farther than any other dray animal. In time certain cultures would find use for the horses speed in warfare, pulling chariots, but that later development would also require extensive training and conditioning of horses for war. It would be the donkey, domesticated first in Egypt that would take the battlefield first, under the archaic name onager. 1

1. Whip than animals. The whip deals subdual damage, and deals no damage to any creature wearing armor of at least +1 armor bonus, and does no damage to a creature with a +3 natural armor bonus. Although kept in the hand, it is treated as a ranged weapon with a maximum range of 10 feet, and no range penalties. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the whip in order to avoid being tripped. Those using a whip gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. The whip is considered an exotic weapon. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.

The Whip
Made from braided animal hair or woven grasses, the first whips were used as tools in training and controlling wild animals. Made to inflict pain more than actual damage, these first whips were eventually also turned on those treated little better

a. Horse; b. Camels (Dromedary, Bactrian); c. Elephant; d. Ox; e. Donkey


From Stone to Steel

The Riding Skill
One of the first inventions designed to help control a horse was the blinder. Without blinkers horses can easily become distracted by events near them. Blinkers were very important for charioteers in the heat of battle, to prevent horses at the yoke from fighting each other in the heat of the moment. Horses are also sensitive to loud sounds, and will shy away from them instinctively unless desensitized by war training. The specific equipment and training of the horse also has a direct impact on their behavior. The Players Handbook covers Mounted Combat in the Combat Chapter, but it assumes that all horses are properly equipped and have had extensive training, even those not trained for combat. The following modifiers should be considered when making rolls to control non-war trained mounts. Were any of these circumstances to occur, the rider would be required to make a Ride skill check (all penalties cumulative). Riders failing this roll may note behavior such as aggression towards other horses or animals, bolting in fear, following other animals, or rearing. Obviously it is of value to have a well trained horse before going into battle with it. All of these factors contributed to the formation of the Bronze Age armies, and to their general lack of cavalry.

Copper and Bronze

melting, the art of isolating metallic ore from stone, most likely developed with the advent of the oven or kiln. Various cultures experimented with ways of generating a great deal of heat in an enclosed space for cooking. Although wood fires burned hottest, early civilizations discovered that placing stones among the wood in a fire helped the heat remain longer, as stones cooled slower than charcoal. In enclosed spaces, this heat could be maintained for long periods of time, allowing food to be cooked or pottery to be dried in a controlled environment.

Some ingenious soul, when cleaning out one of these ovens, noted that lumps of metal were sometimes found among the ashes and stones. Experimentation revealed that metal could be found within specific stones, and that metal could be refashioned into a great variety of shapes and forms. Soon smelting sprang up throughout civilized regions, and even in the wilder environs where the benefit of metal tools was quickly realized. The first few metals discovered through smelting were gold, silver, and copper. Of the three, only copper was found in sufficient amounts to make good tools from, although it was barely more adequate than gold or silver for the task.

Copper is a soft metal, of rich brown-gold hue. For nearly 4000 years, copper was the only metal used for regular tools. Knives, cooking wear, and armor were all formed of copper, and there was rarely any artistry to its manufacture, since copper implements quickly dulled, dented, and bent. Copper, though, could be repaired, making it highly desirable in items like armor. Although a copper shield could be quickly holed or a copper sword quickly blunted, it could also be beaten out and reforged, so as to be useful again. Still, since copper is so easily warped, the spear, rather than the sword, was the mainstay of the field of war, having reach, strength, and versatility. The sword was purely a backup weapon, only used when army formations broke down and fighting was in close quarters. Combatants fully expected to blunt their swords into clubs by end of battle.

Table 2-1: Riding Modifiers

DC Circumstance -5 The horse is equipped with Blinkers. The horse is guided by a nose-ring, rather than a bit +2 (nose-rings can be more painful to the horse) . +2 The saddle has no stirrups. The horse hears a loud shout from the rider or a footman +3 within 1 foot . +4 The horse is wearing barding it is not trained to use. +5 The horse is within a foot of another horse. +5 The horse is within 6 feet of an unfamiliar animal. There is a shiny object moving within 3 feet of horses +5 head (sword, axe, jewelry). The horse can hear the impact of weapons on armor or +5 shields within 1 foot (usually between riders). The horse has been trained for only one rider (is not +7 familiar with any other rider). +8 The horse is not trained for a rider and is being ridden. An extremely loud sound, like a horn, gong, or explo+10 sion occurs within 2 feet.

CopperArsenic Alloy
Armies in the field, even the smaller, less organized ones of the copper age, required a good deal of food and drink to keep it on its feet. Soldiers often had to boil their water and food to make it potable, during a long campaign. During the copper age it appears to have become a common practice for a soldier to use their helmets as a boiling or cooking pot. The practice became very dangerous when the first bronze alloy, copper arsenic, was adopted to make armor. Small particles of the bronze alloy would inevitably become suspended in the boiling water, and would be consumed. As a molecule, copper arsenic isnt as lethal as pure arsenic, so often the worst results of a single experience might be a belly ache. But arsenic, like lead, is only slowly processed out of the

Horses, by their nature, are skittish. Generally energetic and high-strung, horses do not trust animals they are unfamiliar with, including humans. When wild, horses had to watch for large cats or wolves. Though fast and powerful, horses have deceptively fragile legs. Once broken, they rarely mended right. Thus, horses are quite cautious and require a great deal of training and preparation for use other than dray work.


Chariots of Bronze
body, and it accumulates in the vaious organs. Thus soldiers on campaign would eventually develop debilitating symptoms or even die as the result of gradual poisoning. When the practice of boiling water in helmets was banned, this strange malady of the warfare vanished. The later alloy of copper and tin did not have these properties. There is no simple d20 system mechanic for this. Most characters would not be likely to boil water in their helmets, and gradual poisoning takes time. It may, however, make an interesting and unexpected plot element or method of assassination. Each city revered the gods, and the temples were the center of city life. The priesthood controlled and regulated city growth and resources. In return, the priesthood had the burden of interpreting the whims of the gods. All events were attributed to the actions of the gods, and the priesthood constantly had to reconcile those events with the common people. The religious leaders of a Sumerian city-state were called the Ensi, and they controlled the armed forces of the city-state. These forces were primarily a militia, an army made up of male civilians that had other occupations, but took up weapons in time of trouble. The militia was usually issued weapons and armor, and these were property of the state. Commonly this consisted of leather or wooden shields (although richer cities might afford copper or bronze equivalents), slings, light bows, spears (initially stone bladed), clubs, maces, javelins, and, after the advent of copper or bronze smelting, knives, battleaxes, a sort of pruning hook (bill) polearm, and eventually a curved sword. They would also be given a leather cloak, riveteted with circular patches of copper or bronze, as defensive wear, although eventually they developed the bronze plate shirt. These plates were generally rectangular, circling the shirt and overlapping, and were quite bulky. Armor was only worn in battle, since one became very hot in it quickly, especially during the summer months, when the military was the most active. Other than these, Sumerian militiamen of poor cities might also wield farming implements turned to weapons of war, like the sickle, thresher, scythe, or hayfork. These tools made weapons fared well enough in battle, although they would see rapid development much later in the medieval period. In time, the religious leaders of the Sumerian cities became too greedy and controlling, and the people of Sumeria allied themselves behind wealthy landowners, called lugals. These lugals slowly usurped power from the hands of the Ensi, and began the first rule of kings in Sumeria. For a time each city in Sumeria was ruled by its own king, who raised armies to raid each other and protect themselves from other Sumerian Kings. But armies of civilians were costly, and kept people from producing the necessities that drive civilization. A lot of lesser tribes migrated through the region, either nomadic in nature or displaced by environmental disaster or warfare. Often times men among these nomadic groups would hire themselves out as mercenary soldiers to the local city, offering their service as a full-time sword in exchange for food, shelter, and status. This allowed armies to become independent from the local community, and the practice of maintaining mercenary troops became common among the aggressive cities. This was the origin of the standing army. A young man named Sargon, born of a single mother who gave him into adoption to a fruit merchant, rose to prominence in the non-Sumerian city of Akkad. Playing to the interests and needs of the middle and lower classes, Sargon took control of the city of Akkad, and forged their military aged men into a formidable fighting force. Leading them against the Sumerian cities, he conquered each, one by one, and eventually united all of Sumeria under his own crown. Then he drove his armies westward, and

Bronze was the first major alloy to be invented, and it revolutionized metalworking. What once was a lesser art among many useful crafts came to the forefront of technology. Bronze is made by alloying copper and various other compounds, most notably arsenic and tin. The resulting metal is stronger, more durable, and lighter in color, ranging from a rich gold to a silvery white. It is worth noting that although minor kingdoms were formed during the age of copper, the Bronze Age was the first time period to foster true Empires. Bronze, unlike copper, holds its form longer and more easily, and can be worked more decoratively. This lead to a change in way bronze implements, but most especially arms and armor, were made. Generally things made for the common soldier were simplistic, minimalistic, made quickly and without much attention to fine detail. Soldiers might invest in metal working tools to inscribe their own weapons or decorate them as they pleased, but generally only officers had custom made or decorated items. This generally made it easier to determine order of command, for good or for ill. Bronze work dominated metalworking for a great deal of time, until tin mines in Assyria and other areas began to give out. The local shortage of tin forced people to move away from the exclusive use of bronze or to seek other sources. As iron became more commonly used, bronze became more of an accent to arms and armor, a decoration or minor component.

The Fertile Crescent: Sumeria

umeria is the oldest known civilization. Whether it is truly the oldest civilization or not is up to debate, but it was likely the first transition culture, moving from the stone age to the copper and bronze ages. Sumeria is a good model of how early civilizations were born: Developments in domestication, the invention of the wheel, and breakthroughs in farming (seed use, growing cycles, and the development of the plow) lead to larger social groups, and extensive trade for metals and materials not found in the region. These groups formed internal hierarchies, usually around people who possessed wealth, and eventually they formed communities. These communities grew into city-states in Sumeria, and each city-state was a sovereign region, ruled by the hierarchy. In Sumeria this hierarchy was centered on the church.


From Stone to Steel

5 6a 6b 2 3

7 8

2. Copper Shield; 3. Bronze Shield; 4. Light War Bow; 5. Copper Headed Arrow; 6a. Bronze Headed Arrow; 6b. Bronze Headed Arrow; 7. Copper Bladed Spear; 8. Bronze Tipped Javelin claimed all the land up to the Mediterranean Sea for the Sumerian Empire. Thus, Sargon became the first Emperor of Sumeria. Since the people of Sumeria looked to their leaders for spiritual guidance, Sargon was forced to become the spiritual leader of Sumeria as well. Thus the ruler of Sumeria claimed to rule by Divine mandate, starting a tradition that would return again and again throughout history. Though Akkad would not remain the Sumerian capital for long, and kingdoms would rise up in the non-Sumerian territories, Sargon and Akkad made a deep and permanent mark on the whole region.

Metal shields of this period were often round or rectangular in design, round for warriors expecting to fight singly, and rectangular for warriors fighting together or in formation. The rectangular shield was sometimes bowed, to curve slightly around the defender, and the round shield was often notched to allow room for a wide swing with a weapon, or to give better mobility for the feet. A few shields were made in a teardrop shape, which is best for diverting high body blows. Shields were often left blank, or decorated with the city emblem. Shields were rarely personalized, mainly because they were often the property of the king or army.

Sumerian Tactics
Sumeria should be noted as the first civilization to use the phalanx formation. Soldiers would often pack into tight formations, clustering their spears together to form lethal, nearly impenetrable walls. This formation was highly effective against the generally chaotic rushes of their less organized foes. The King and or General might also ride a Battle Wagon into combat. Drawn by 4 onagers (domesticated donkeys), these proto-chariots allowed Sumerian commanders to advance on the field quickly, in order to get a good perspective on the battle and issue new commands quickly. Often a warrior would accompany them on the wagon, carrying a brace of javelins to throw, using the momentum of the chariot to their advantage. Use of the Battle Wagon was very limited, however, due to poor turning radius and low numbers. True chariot warfare would not be born in Sumeria.

Bow, Light War

Well made, the light war bow is a stout weapon, a strong draw but a short body. The advantage of this bow is that it does not make the archer as prominent a target as a larger bow would, since the draw is accomplished much sooner and the stance required is less dramatic. As with all bows, both hands must be free to use this bow. Optionally, those already proficient with bows may fire this bow as if they had the feat Rapid Shot (although they do not gain the bonus of the pre-requisite Point Blank Shot as well). This bonus does not stack with Rapid Shot if the user already has this feat.

Arrow, Copper & Bronze Headed

Arrows, as always, do damage as per the bow. The shaping of the blade of an arrow was unique to its culture, but usually was


Chariots of Bronze
similar to the shape of the spear-head. Although slightly more durable than stone age arrows, often the only thing retrieved for use after battle were the arrow heads. although some were studded with lumps of metal, meant to give the club more weight and impact. Mace heads of the time were generally round, although some variance was common. Only the Egyptians used toothed maces (as mentioned in the prior chapter), which were not made of metal.

Spears & Javelins

Whether possessing metal heads or capped with metal (either copper or bronze), these weapons became the mainstay of most infantry in the Bronze Age. Possessing decent throwing range and excellent stopping power, both the spear and javelin were culturally and socially associated with warfare. Great figures in legend and history were given spears to denote importance and command, and javelins were often to be found near every campfire when on campaign. Spears used by the Sumerians, and those who traded with them often had forked butts. These were used in conjunction with a leather sling to allow the spear to be thrown farther. Using such a spear with a sling in this manner increases the range increment of the spear by 10 feet. The javelin can be used as a melee weapon, but it was not meant to, and so all characters are treated as non-proficient, conveying a -4 to all melee rolls.

Edged Weapons
The knives, Sumerian battleaxes, and sickle sword are all good examples of the philosophy of the time period. Copper and bronze do not hold points well, but they do hold edges decently. Capitalizing on this strength, single hand weapons of the time focused on chopping and hacking motions, rather than thrusts. The similarities between the sickle sword, the kopesh, and the Canaanite sword all show the strength of the design, which would later influence the many curved blades of the near east.

Pruning Hook
The pruning hook was primarily used in groves to trim hard to reach branches, but it saw extensive use in Sumeria on the battlefield. Resembling a spear with a barb on one side, the pruning hook is a reach weapon, used much like a spear. It can easily be used to attack foes 10 feet away, but is a liability against closer enemies. The protruding hook may be used to make trip attacks and the user, if tripped during the attempt,

Clubs & Maces

Clubs and maces used during this time period were inherently similar. Both used a solid core of hardened wood, supplemented with durable metal. Clubs were primarily wood,





14 15


9. Copper Studded Club; 10. Copper Headed Mace; 11. Bronze Headed Mace; 12. Copper Knife; 13. Bronze Dagger; 14. Sumerian Bronze Axe; 15. Bronze Sickle Sword; 16. Bronze Pruning Hook


From Stone to Steel

may drop the pruning hook to avoid falling. A pruning hook may also be used to trap a shield (see sidebar). higher) opposed by the trappers Strength check. If they succeed, the shield and weapon are no longer locked, and the shield user can again use the armor bonus of the shield. Disengaging is a move-equivalent action. Attempting a shield trap does provoke an attack of opportunity. In order to maintain a shield trap, the trapper may not make any attacks with their trapping weapon, nor may they move beyond the appropriate combat range from an opponent (510 feet in a circle around the trapped opponent, depending on the reach of the weapon).

Shield Trapping
Some weapons possess a hook or feature that is especially useful in trapping a shield. Shield trapping is the process of grappling a shield and making it impossible for an opponent to gain any defensive benefit from it, usually by pinning it to the floor or pulling it out of its proper position. Since most of the weapons that may be used to perform a shield trap are two handed, someone else is usually left to take advantage of this opening. In order to trap a shield, the bearer of the weapon must make a melee touch attack. If the attack succeeds, make a Strength check opposed by the defender's Strength or Dexterity (whichever modifier is higher). If that succeeds, the opponent's shield has become trapped, and it cannot be used as long as it is trapped. All armor bonuses are lost, and the shield cannot be used for any special shield maneuvers or attacks while the shield is trapped. Worse, the victim of a trapped shield cannot move without disengaging or dropping the shield. Each turn the opponent can attempt to disengage his shield by making a Dexterity or Strength check (whichever is

Shield Spikes
Metal spikes may be added to any shield but the Buckler or Tower Shield. These spikes turn the shield into a martial weapon that deals 1d6 points of piercing damage (x2 crit) regardless of the size of the shield. Possessing multiple spikes on a shield does not confer an advantage in battle. Any person with shield proficiency who has a spiked shield may attempt a disarm maneuver with their shield, at a +2 to disarm (including the roll to resist being disarmed if you fail a disarm). This does not provoke an attack of opportunity, unlike a normal disarm. Remember than any off hand penalties apply, if you have attacked with your regular hand weapon during the same turn.







17. Bronze Armored Cloak; 18. Bronze Plated Shirt; 19. Sumerian Helmet; 20. Bone (mandible) Sickle; 21. Bronze Sickle; 22. Thresher


Chariots of Bronze



23. Bronze Scythe; 24. Hayfork

Cloak & Shirt, Bronze

The bronze armored cloak is an unusual form of armor, a leather cloak with bronze disks sewn to it. Meant to deflect chance blows, it contributes little armor value, but can be worn (stacks) with other forms of armor. The bronze plated shirt is a leather vest and skirt with plates of bronze sewn to its surface. These plates are usually rectangular, and about 8 inches in length, rarely overlapping. Not as comprehensive as the more protective banded armors, it still saw common use throughout the region by many of the Semitic tribes who lived or traded with the Sumerians. This is not stackable.

an improvised thrown weapon if so employed. Obviously items like these are not optimal in a combat situation.

Phalanx tactics
Phalanx is a Greek word meaning battle line. It was Phillip II of Macedonia who first perfected the phalanx tactic, but the Romans mastered it. The Sumerians used a basic phalanx tactic of having soldiers stand in formation, shoulder to shoulder, so that the shield of the soldier on the left overlapped the shoulder of the soldier on the right. Each soldier held their spears low and forward, overlapping those held by the men behind them. This process created a nearly seamless shield wall, and a dangerous array of spearheads preceding it. The Sumerian tactic had a few flaws, however. The spears of the Sumerians were rarely longer than 78 feet in length, so the actual array of spear points was relatively shallow. Secondly, this tactic fares best against charging foes, especially cavalry, who might impale themselves against the spears. Since the cavalry of the time was Battle Wagons, there was rarely a time when this tactic was used, and the force of a pair of charging onagers and the Battle Wagon behind them became a liability in the few encounters when someone did charge the battle line with one. Third, the soldiers did not have the kind of training and discipline required to hold their position for long periods of time. Thus an enterprising commander could use the impatience of their enemy to break the phalanx maneuver and open the Sumerian army up to attack. Still, the use of the phalanx maneuver at this time shows how effective it was, even in a time period where it could not see its best application.

Farm Implements (Sickle, Thresher, Scythe, Hayfork)

Sickles are short, crescent-shaped knives with a sharp edge along the inner curve. Used primarily to harvest grasses, they are simple, one-handed weapons not well suited for combat. The thresher was usually a pole with a length of chain attached to the end, used to beat harvested grain, separating the grain from the chaff. Again, it is ill suited to combat, as the chain is not long enough to use in trip attacks, and there is no head weighted at the head is too light. The scythe is a long harvesting tool, with a curved wooden shaft, a handle for both hands, and a long, curved blade, sharpened only on the inside. Carried at the side, and used in large sweeping arcs, its remarkably unsuited to combat, but can cause terrible wounds to an unarmored or unsuspecting foe. Lastly, the hayfork is a twopronged forked pole weapon, no longer than 6 feet in length. Usually made of wood capped with metal, the hayfork is used to manipulate large piles of grain or grass for baling or sorting. It is in no way intended for throwing, and can only be used as

New Feat: Formation Tactics: [General]

You are trained to fight with other soldiers in formation.


From Stone to Steel

Prerequisites: Shield Proficiency Benefit: Any person with the Formation Tactics feat standing shoulder to shoulder to another person who also possesses this feat may confer their armor bonus for the shield upon their fellow combatant as well. This armor bonus stacks with any other armor bonuses that person may have. If a line with multiple ranks is bracing against a charge, first roll to hit for the combatants in front. If the person in front strikes, roll to hit for the person supporting them with Formation Tactics. The support combatant gains a +3 circumstance bonus to successfully strike the charger as well. This is because both weapons are in line with the charge in question. If the person in front misses, the person in the support position may still roll to strike, but without any bonus to hit.

Babylon was one of the cities in the Sumerian region, and, for a time, its scientists, engineers, and lugals made great strides that gained them renown in the region. Already the stage was set for a great leader. And just as other major civilizations were waning (Egypt was in a period of Chaos, Sumeria was experiencing serious internecine warfare, Assyria was being conquered by the Kassites, and the Harappans were disappearing), a man named Hammurabi ascended the throne of Babylon. The presence of the man alone appears to have been immense, and his mind was obviously quite keen. Besides establishing a legal code that would be referenced and built upon for centuries, Hammurabi also distinguished himself on the battlefield, leading armies to victory defending weaker Sumerian cities from ambitious kings. In the end, Hammurabi took it upon himself to conquer the majority of Sumeria and to establish his own nation, with Babylon as its center. Babylon ruled just as much by cultural influence as it did by military force. Indeed, when the armies of the Hittites and the Kassites invaded Babylon and sacked the royal city, the civilians of the respective countries protested and staged costly rebellions against their own governments heavy handedness. One reason for this reaction was the presence of prominent temples in the City of Babylon that were sacked during the raids, another was the reputation of Babylon as a land where even slaves had rights. Babylon, as the inheritor of Sumerias domain, possessed the same technology, but refined it. Babylonian archers favored the medium composite bow, and Babylonian soldiers wore banded armor similar to that of the Egyptians. Combined with their phalanx tactics and chariots, the Babylonians fielded a formidable army.

New Feat: Improved Formation Tactics: [General]

You are trained to fight with other soldiers in formation. Prerequisites: Formation Tactics Benefit: Any person with Improved Formation Tactics also confers a +1 to hit bonus to an ally if both people are threatening the same target and are standing in formation (this is especially effective with reach weapons). This is a free action that does not stack with the aid another combat maneuver. This bonus is lost when formation is broken, even if both combatants remain in their relative positions. Obviously, armies full of soldiers with Improved Formation Tactics can be deadly. Fortunately, most armies of this period didnt have time to spend on this level of training. Later on, the Romans would change that.

Battle Wagons/Onager
As mentioned before, the onager is a donkey domesticated for use as a draft animal. These Battle Wagons were the precursor of the chariot, but they had a few notable differences: Battle Wagons are larger, with four wheels, substituting stability for mobility. Battle Wagons could never reach the speeds or perform the maneuvers chariots could. Battle Wagons often carried 610 soldiers on board, usually well trained and ready to jump off an into battle. This allowed the army to move people into strategic positions in the heat of battle. Battle Wagons used a strong guide-bar and yoke, rather than a guide-bar and lashings. This meant that when an onager died while drawing the wagon, there was no way to quickly release the animals body before it could cause trouble. Despite its limitations, the Battle Wagon was a substantial move towards mobility on the battlefield, and its use by the Sumerians helped them to dominate Mesopotamia over other, lesser tribes.

North Africa: Egypt

nlike Sumeria, in Egypt the role of the priesthood and the king were very separate. The king controlled the armies, and wielded power over the lives of the civilians. The priesthood, on the other hand, studied and worshipped the gods and busied itself on studying the nature of the afterlife. Early in its history, the King of Upper Egypt called together all the men of fitness to fight, lead a campaign against the more technologically advanced people of Lower Egypt, and conquered them. Uniting all of Egypt under his own crown, he forged the beginning of the Egyptian Empire, a completely different type of empire than that of the earlier Sumerians.

Egypts only close neighbors were the various tribes to who lived in the Sinai Peninsula or in the wild lands to the west, and the Nubian Kingdom of Kush, their major enemy to the south. Thus Egypt was surprisingly isolated from most other major cultural centers. As such, it did not require much of a standing army, and so its military was relatively weak during the Bronze Age. The Pharaoh himself did maintain a personal guard and policing force, lightly armed with copper (later bronze) spears, cudgels


Chariots of Bronze




26c 27a


25. Great Egyptian Shield; 26a. Egyptian Bronze Battleaxe; 26b. Bronze Battleaxe; 26c. Bronze Battleaxe; 27a. Bronze Kopesh Sword; 27b. Canannite Sickle Sword (clubs), maces, knives, hunting bows, and long wooden or bronze Sword, Kopesh Bronze shields, but they wore little armor, since the hot weather made The famous Egyptian Kopesh occupies a very small niche in doing so exhausting. It would not be until much later, after the the world of weapons, like the Kris blade of South East Asia, rise of many dynasties that Egyptians would come into contact the kopesh descends from a religious origin, rather than a comwith more aggressive forces, and would be forced to innovate. mon day origin. The kopesh sword was originally used in ferEarly Egyptian weapons included a kind of battleaxe (resembling tility rites, its symbolic form mimicking the common sickle. a slightly offset, large bladed spear), the military version of the The first kopesh swords were made of expensive metals, Kopesh (a sword based on the sickle, and wielded more like an mainly silver and gold, and it was not until many dynasties axe), light composite bows, and a kind of throwing club made of after the unification of Egypt that the kopesh was recast in wood or bone. Light leather garments became common among bronze and used on the field. It seems likely that the kopesh the enlisted, and soldiers and officers wore leather shirts banded was only given to choice elite units at first, due to its religious with bronze and bronze helmets into battle. But the greatest deter- significance, although later it saw more widespread use when rent that Egypt possessed was its large population. Left relatively the design became standardized and mass produced. The alone by other major powers, and existing in a very fertile valley, kopeshs heavy chopping blade (making it more akin to the axe Egypt had more inhabitants than most other major regions. than the sword) could inflict brutal wounds, especially in combat against lightly armored foes. The version listed in the weapons tables reflects the fine manufacture of these special Shields, Egyptian Egyptian shields were typically large and long, being oval or weapons. inverted teardrop shaped. Often painted blue and gold, they might also bear the device of the powerful king the soldier Forced Innovation: The Hittites served under. Personal ornamentation was rarely allowed, since While Sumeria and Egypt were by far the most advanced civilizathe stature and prominence of the commanding officer was tions in their region during the Bronze Age, they were not the more important than personal expression. Bronze shields were only ones. The Kingdom of Nubia, mentioned before, existed farexpensive and prized, and were almost never carried except ther up the Nile than Egypt, and developed a unique culture and during ceremonies or matters of state. architecture. In what would later become Lebanon, the Phoenicians began to ply the sea developing advanced boats and ships and eventually developing the concepts of commerce and curBattleaxe, Egyptian Bronze The Egyptian battleaxe is unusual for the period, resembling a rency. They would found colonies all along the Mediterranean, very heavily bladed spear set off center, with a dipping blade on seeding their culture and religion in various places, spawning one side. Used just as much for thrusting as for chopping, its later civilizations. A variety of Semitic peoples occupied the Holy weight made it unwieldy, but its damage made it fearsome. This Lands, forming small kingdoms, fighting wars, and sometimes battleaxe, despite its similarities to the spear, is not made for facing the might of either giant neighbor. throwing.


From Stone to Steel

The Hittites were a people from outside of the Middle Eastern region, who entered into Anatolia (modern day Turkey) and lived among the similarly named Hatti people. Both peoples intermixed, and the Hittites became dominant, and spread throughout the Hatti lands. The Hittites had two major assets when they finally made war on the major powers in the region: knowledge of horse taming and knowledge of iron smelting. The Hittites developed iron smelting as an alternative to bronze working, probably due to a lack of tin resources in their original region. Early iron was not, despite the simplifications of certain historical references, a substantial advantage over bronze. Iron has a tendency towards being brittle, and is much more likely to break and chip. Thus early iron implements were not widely adopted, although the novelty prompted some trade. It was the knowledge of horse taming that gave the Hittites such a substantial advantage that they could attack and subdue the larger nations of Sumeria and Egypt, although they were never able to hold these regions, preferring to loot them and return home. Generals in both major nations, though, licked their wounds from the various Hittite campaigns, and learned their lessons. War wagons were discarded in favor of faster, lighter chariots, pulled by horses rather than onagers. Egyptians refined the design by developing better yokes that allowed for more maneuverability or the addition of up to 4 horses, while Sumerian states stayed with two horses, but piled up to four specialized chariot warriors in a chariot, as well as the driver. When the Hittites tried to attack again, they found themselves rebuffed, turned back by people who had learned to use their technology and improve upon it. 30 31 28 29



28. Early Iron Sword; 29. Early Iron Battleaxe; 30. Early Iron Spear; 31. Early Iron Spear; 32a. Early Iron Arrowhead; 32b. Early Iron Arrowhead tary defeats. Egyptians developed a kind of armor formed of overlapping bands of bronze that circled the entire torso and was supported by a belted and plated skirt. Unlike the Banded Armor listed in the Players Handbook, this armor did not have chainmail as part of its foundation. This armor was usually backed by a simple leather shirt, and the heat alone could be stifling for a regular or long-term wearer. Restrictive and bulky, it nonetheless protected very effectively and was seen in use by elite troops in the region.

Armor, Banded Bronze

After the invasions of the Hittites, Egypt developed more effective armor and arms, in order to prevent more such mili-

Early Iron Weapons (Sword, Axe, Spear)

These early iron weapons had little to recommend them as being better than their bronze counterparts. They were actually quite brittle, and broke more easily than bronze. However, iron swords could have longer blades than bronze swords, and the Hittite swords were straight, allowing thrusting attacks as well as slashing ones. The spear came in two types, throwing and non-throwing. For ranged attacks, the Hittites used a leaf-bladed throwing spear, lighter and easier to throw than those of their southern opponents. Although still more prone to breakage than bronze spears, it was effective, as were the iron headed arrows they used. Trade for these items was light, as iron was a little used metal commodity. It wouldnt be until after bronze shortages started that iron craft would become popular.



33. Bronze Banded Armor; 34. Shield Spikes


Chariots of Bronze
Iron and the Late Bronze Age
Some iron implements began to be used in the late Bronze Age, but iron was harder to smelt, and was expensive as a result. It was also quite brittle, and this lead to more reluctance in the region for its use. Even well after the Iron Age started, bronze would see a resurgence in popularity as more ore repositories were found and processes to work bronze were refined. Ultimately, the shortage of tin, combined with the innate superiority of iron equipment, would spell the end of the age. Each horse can only travel as fast as the slowest horse. Multiply the speed of the slowest horse by the total number of horses. Then divide that figure by the number of axles on the vehicle + 1. For every two men on a chariot, subtract 5 from the divided movement rate. If the final number is greater than the speed of the slowest horse, then the chariot travels as fast as the slowest horse can move. Example 1: A Sumerian battle wagon, lead by two light warhorses who have a movement rate of 60 ft, is carrying a driver and 3 soldiers. The movement rate of the battle wagon is 30 ft (60 feet (slowest horse) x 2 horses = 120 feet, 120/3 (2 axles + 1) = 40 feet, 40 - 10 (-5 per 2 riders, with 4 riders) = 30 feet.) Example 2: A Babylonian chariot has 1 driver and 5 soldiers, with two light warhorses who have a movement rate of 60 ft. The movement rate of the chariot is 45 feet (60 X 2 = 120, 120/2 = 60, 60 - 15 = 45). If 4 riders jump off, the movement rate of the chariot will rise to 55 feet! Example 3: An Egyptian chariot with 3 riders (archer, warrior, and driver) is lead by a dray workhorse (50 movement) and three light warhorses (60 movement). The total speed of the chariot will be 50 feet (50 (for slowest horse) X 4 horses = 200, 200 / 2 = 100, 100 - 5 = 95, since 95 is faster than the slowest horse the chariot travels at 50.). Even if the archer and warrior leave the chariot, it will travel no faster. However, if they are able to replace the dray workhorse with another light warhorse (60 movement) the speed of the chariot will increase to 60, no matter what. After the first incursions of the Hittites, chariots began to be equipped with nail-studded wheels, which adds +1 to the die roll of a driver.

Chariots and Chariot Combat.

hariots are primarily about maneuverability on the battlefield, and there are a few mechanics that can be used to simulate chariot warfare.

Chariots in the bronze age were lead by war-trained light horses. These horses may have a movement rate of 60 ft, but dragging a chariot or battle wagon significantly reduces their speed. The Sumerian battle wagon was usually lead by two horses, but it had two axles and was usually quite heavy. The Babylonian chariots, two wheeled, with two horses, traveled faster, since the weight was significantly less, although a handful of men did occupy the chariot. The Egyptian chariot usually had a team of 4 horses, and only 3 men in the chariot, an archer, a warrior, and a driver. There can be little surprise that the Egyptian chariot was swift and imposing, since the four horses could share the burden of the chariot quite effectively. In order to determine the exact speed of the chariot or battle wagon, use the following guidelines: 34a


34a. Egyptian chariot; 34b. Greek chariot


From Stone to Steel

Certain situations cause trouble for a chariot driver. Well divide this trouble into three grades: Minor trouble requires a Handle Animal roll against DC 15; Moderate trouble requires a Handle Animal roll against DC 20; Severe trouble requires a Handle Animal roll against DC 25. In addition, for every 20 feet of movement per turn a chariot travels, add one to the DC of any maneuver. Slips, on the other hand, are easier to control. A slip is when a vehicle shifts a column to the left or right but still continues forward. A one-column shift slip requires no roll. two column shifts are a moderate maneuver. Three column shifts are a severe maneuver, since youre allowing the chariot to skid a bit to come to a new position.

With all of this rolling, a driver is bound to fail his Handle Animal skill check at some point. What does that failure indicate? Roll 1d6 and look at the chart below:

Terrain has an impact on driving. Some terrain is easy to travel on, and causes no inherent difficulty. These are roads, grasslands, and plains, whose flat and featureless ground makes charioteering easy. Sand or rolling terrain (such as moorlands) cause minor difficulty, and a chariot driver should roll once to compensate during non-combat situations, or every other turn during combat situations. Rough ground like sparse forest, rocky wasteland, or beaches cause moderate trouble, which requires a skill check every turn. Some other specific features require a roll each time encountered: Simply changing terrain also prompts a skill check, as per table 23 below:

Table 2-4: Driver Mishap

1 2 3 4 5 6 Accelerate/Decelerate Skid Jolt Major Jolt Possible Break Crash

Table 2-2: Terrain

Light slope Steep slope Rocks Tree Shallow water ( up to 6") 6"24" Water Over 24" Water Minor Moderate Moderate Impassable Moderate Severe Impassable

Accelerate/Decelerate: On a roll of 1 the animals ignore the prompting of the driver, and continue in the same direction for the rest of their current movement. Roll 1d6. On an odd number the animals decelerate the vehicle by 10 feet a turn, while on an even number they accelerate. If you are at the maximum speed and you roll an even, ignore the result and just move the full allotment. If you make a terrain change roll appropriately. If you move into an impassible terrain, the chariot crashes. Skid: On a roll of 2 the chariot skids. Treat a skid as an uncontrolled slip. Roll 1d4. On a 1 slip two columns to the left. On a 2 slip 1 column to the left. On a 3 slip one column to the right. On a 4 slip two columns to the right. This slip does not require a roll, and any movement left continues in the same direction. Jolt: On a roll of 3 the chariot experiences a jolt. All occupants of the chariot must make a Balance check, DC 20, to stay in the chariot. If they fail, they fall out, and may attempt to make a soft fall roll (as per Ride rules, except using Tumbling), or they will take 1d6 falling damage. Major Jolt: On a roll of 4 the chariot experiences a major jolt, possibly going up on one wheel. All occupants must make a Balance check, DC 25, to stay in the chariot. If they fail, they fall out, and may attempt to make a soft fall roll (as per Ride

Chariots have a rigid axle and little suspension at best, so it is no exaggeration that chariots have only one direction, forward. Turning at all is difficult, except for the widest and slowest of turns. Movinghalf of the movement forward and half of it at a diagonal (if using a square or hex grid), is a minor maneuver. A move where all of the movement is at a diagonal on a square or hex grid was a moderate maneuver. A Move (turn) where half of the movement is at a diagonal and half at a perpendicular is a severe maneuver.

Table 2-3 Terrain Changes

From To Road Plains / Grassland Sand Rolling Terrain Rough Terrain Beach Road X Minor Minor Minor Moderate Minor Plains/Grassland Minor X Minor Minor Moderate Minor Sand Minor Minor X Minor Moderate Minor Rolling Terrain Minor Minor Minor X Moderate Minor Rough Terrain Minor Minor Moderate Minor X Moderate Beach Minor Minor Minor Minor Moderate X


Chariots of Bronze
rules, except using Tumbling), or they will take 1d6 falling damage. Possible Break: On a roll of 5 the chariot is in precarious danger. The driver must make an unmodified dexterity check vs. DC 20, or the chariot experiences a major accident. If the driver succeeds, let them breath a sigh of relief. Otherwise, roll 1d6 and consult the chart below to see what kind:

Charioteer Prestige Class

Charioteers were an elite set of warriors, trained to ride one of the most dangerous vehicles of any time. Dedicated to fighting and possibly dying from a precarious perch that could throw them at any time, the charioteer had to have a strange combination of traits. All charioteers had to be knowledgeable in general animal handling, but also quick to react and of sound tactical reflexes. Chariots were highly mobile, which meant that the charioteers had to be ready to fight in the thick of battle, or to reinforce weak areas in order to bolster defenses or tip the favor to the side of the offense. Charioteers, most of all, had to think and work well together, as often the survival of the whole relied on the contributions of all individuals.

Table 2-5: Breakage

1 2 3 4 5 6 Cracked Guide-bar Fractured Hub Broken Axle Lost Wheel Broken Guide-bar Horse breaks leg

A cracked guide-bar makes any maneuver one level harder, as does a fractured hub. A broken axle will force the chariot to grind to a halt (decelerating at 20 feet per turn), although riders need only make a jolt roll to remain in the vehicle. A Lost Wheel brings the chariot to a halt (decelerating at 30 feet per turn), and riders must survive a Major Jolt roll to stay on board. The broken guide-bar or death of a horse brings about a crash. Crash: On a roll of a 6 (a bad break), or if you are forced into impassable terrain, you crash. Each occupant must roll a Reflex save vs. DC 25 upon a crash. The ones who succeed will be thrown from the crash, and will only take 1d6 points of falling damage. The ones who fail are the truly unlucky ones. They take 1d6 points of damage for every 10 feet per turn the chariot was traveling when it crashed. Worse still, there is a 25% chance that they are trapped under either debris or a fallen horse, which may or may not continue to cause the person to take damage (DMs option) and either way must be removed to free the victim. Its difficult to survive a crash like this unmaimed.


From Stone to Steel

Teamsters, ambitious soldiers, and agile archers all made good charioteers. It took a certain amount of guts to ride the bone-jarring, oft doomed chariot right into the face of the enemy. A better than average sense of balance helped, as did quick reflexes and a sharp mind. But sometimes even that wasnt enough, and then it took almost suicidal confidence to drive horses into melee, to risk your own neck so that the driver or archer next to you could survive to get you through, or to jump free when there was no other way to survive. The Charioteer Prestige class is somewhat unique in that it does not describe a single path, but rather a more general path to create a variety of charioteers, from drivers to archers to throwers to soldiers. The basic structure allows a great deal of customization, and if a person has the skill requirements necessary to becoming a Charioteer, they can pursue any route of advancement they desire. Hit Die: d8 proficient with light and medium armors and shields. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Charioteers Balance: All charioteers are trained to be able to stand on the floorboard of the chariot while it is in full motion. Akin to sea legs, the balance of a charioteer in his chariot is necessary for him to function on the battlefield. Without this level of balance a person standing in a chariot in motion must make a Balance skill check as if moving at full their full movement rate on a precarious surface every turn they wish to remain standing. With only a primitive suspension, the chariot was a perilous vehicle, inside and out. Bonus Ability/Feat: Starting at second level, and following each level afterwards, the charioteer may opt to gain a charioteer ability or feat from the following list. If that ability or feat has a prerequisite, its requirements must be met before it can be taken. Advanced Chariot Driving: A charioteer with this ability gains a +2 to any special maneuvers requiring a Animal Handling check, and can ignore minor terrain change rolls, such as road to grassland/plains or slopes. Advanced Guard: This is a new feat; see below. Advanced Terrain Control: Requires Advanced Chariot Driving. The charioteer gains an addition +2 to any special maneuvers requiring a skill check, and can ignore any moderate terrain change rolls, such as road to sand, or rocky terrain. Advanced Turn Control: Requires Advanced Chariot Driving. The charioteer gains a +3 to any turn maneuver roll they make, due to extensive training and practice. Brace Javelin: A charioteer has trained to use a javelin as a melee weapon in a pinch, and does not incur the standard -4 unfamiliarity penalty normally incurred from such use. Cut Lashings: Requires Defensive Driving. The charioteer with this skill can attempt the risky maneuver of cutting the lashings from an injured or killed horse, in order to prevent a major crash. This distracts the charioteer, so all other maneu-

To qualify to become a Charioteer, a character must fulfill the following requirements. Attributes: Dexterity of at least 12, Intelligence of at least 12 Skills: Handle Animal 5 ranks, Balance 6 ranks Feats: Iron Will, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Whip)

Class Skills
The Charioteers class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Animal Empathy (Cha), Balance (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Intuit Direction (Wis), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex) Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int Modifier

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Charioteer prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Charioteers are proficient with all simple weapons and martial weapons. They are also

Table 2-6: Charioteer

Class Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Base Attack Bonus +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 Fort Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Ref Save +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Will Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Special Charioteers Balance Bonus Feature/Feat Bonus Feature/Feat Bonus Feature/Feat Bonus Feature/Feat Bonus Feature/Feat Bonus Feature/Feat Bonus Feature/Feat Bonus Feature/Feat Bonus Feature/Feat


Chariots of Bronze
vers during that turn are at -2. The driver must have a slashing weapon in hand, and must make a dexterity check vs. DC 25 + 1 for every 10 feet of current movement. Success indicates the wounded or dead animal has been cut free in the nick of time, and the chariot does not crash. However the chariot looses the speed of the horse (either or of the chariot speed, depending on model), and is hard to control. Thus all maneuvers should be considered one level higher in risk. This makes all simple maneuvers minor risks, all minor risks become moderate risks, etc. Defensive Driving: Requires Advanced Chariot Driving. The charioteer can opt to drive defensively. This reduces the maximum speed of the chariot by 10 while using this maneuver, but adds a +2 armor bonus to either the horses or the passengers, but not both. This is a full round action. Deflect Missiles: This is a new feat; see below. Extended Shot: Requires a charioteer first take Mounted Archery. A charioteer with this ability may throw or fire an arrow in the forward arc farther, by taking advantage of the momentum of the chariot. For each 40 ft. of movement add +10 to the range. Fire from Under Cover: This is a new feat; see below. Impaling Shot: Requires a charioteer have Streaking Shot. A charioteer with this ability throws or fires powerful missiles when using the streaking shot. The impaling throw or shot continues in the same direction, and may hit any other target in an adjacent square provided they are in a direct line from point of origin. A separate to hit roll must be made at -4 to hit. However, if that roll is successful, that person is hit by the throw or shot as well. The damage for this is rolled normally, the streaking shot damage applying to only the first person in line. This ability cannot be used with barbed weapons that lodge or through targets of Large size or greater. Mounted Archery: The Charioteer may take Mounted Archery with no regard to prerequisites. Moving Mount/Dismount: This is a new feat; see below. Offensive Whip Use: The chariot driver with this skill may use their whip to make an attack once a combat round, without sacrificing any driving rolls. Normally using the whip in this manner makes any maneuver a -2 for the combat round. Penetrating Shot: Requires a charioteer have both Extended Shot and Streaking Shot. A charioteer with this ability may add 1 point of bonus damage for every 10 feet of speed a chariot is traveling to all throws or shots in the forward arc (up to a maximum bonus equal to the charioteers class level). This cannot be combined with the streaking shot damage bonus, but can be used on an extended shot. (Example: If the chariot is traveling at 40 feet, the charioteer may add a +4 damage bonus to all shots in the forward arc.) Ride By Attack: The Ride By Attack feat may be taken by a charioteer with no regard to prerequisites. Rope Arrows: This is a new feat; see below. Shield Guard: This is a new feat; see below. Skill Focus (Handle Animal): The charioteer has a +2 bonus on all skill checks using the Handle Animal skill. Spirited Charge: The Spirited Charge may be taken by a charioteer if they have Ride By Attack. Streaking Shot: Requires a charioteer first take Mounted Archery. A charioteer with this ability may fire at a target within their throwing or bow range increment in the forward arc and strike with increased threat range, due to the momentum of the chariot. For every 40 ft. of movement, increase the threat range by one. For example, if moving at 80 ft. per round a weapon that normally has a threat on a roll of 1920 would now have a potential critical on a roll of 1720. This ability can only be used 1 time per day for every 4 levels of the charioteer. Crushing Impact: A charioteer with this ability, using a bludgeoning weapon and mounted on a moving chariot, may add +1 to damage rolls for every 10 ft. of movement (up to a maximum equal to the charioteers class level). Sway: Every passenger with Sway may add a +1 bonus to the Chariot drivers skill roll to perform a risky maneuver or keep the chariot under control. Alternately, the charioteer may add +1 to the difficulty of a driver skill roll. Likely this second would only be used when in an enemy chariot. Tight Turning: Requires Advanced Turn Control. A charioteer with this skill is able to halve all DC for turn rolls. This represents their superior turning skill, and their attunement with their animals.

New Feats
Deflect Missiles [General]
You have trained to deflect missiles with a large or great shield. Benefit: : If a person with this feat forgoes any attacks, they may concentrate on deflecting any incoming missiles they are aware of. This confers a deflection bonus, based on the type of shield wielded, in addition to normal armor bonuses. People with this feat gain a +1 deflection bonus for a buckler, +2 for a small shield, +3 for a large shield, and +4 for a great shield. A person using this feat can take no other action in a combat round.

Fire from Under Cover [General]

You have trained to fire from under the cover of others shield Prerequisites: Point Blank Shot Benefit: A person with this feat may halve the penalty from firing from under the cover of someone elses shield (rounded up). The minimum penalty from firing from under cover is -1.

Improved Shield Guard [General]

You have trained to guard more than one person with your shield Prerequisites: Shield Guard, Shield Proficiency


From Stone to Steel

Benefit: A person with this skill can cover a number of people equal to their Dexterity bonus at one time, as per Shield Guard. All these people must be within the same line of fire. The person with this skill can count themselves as one of the persons Improved Shield Guard covers.

The Far East

cross the Hindu Kush, in the Indus valley, the Harappan civilization briefly flourished. Existing in a fertile valley, they developed a strong agrarian culture, and trading precious stones, copper work, and gold with Sumeria via sea and overland travel to get finely made Sumerian items, including weapons and armor. The Harappans were the first culture to actively practice city planning, designing their walled cities before they were built, practicing paving of roads with brickwork, separating industrial and urban districts, and even developing a prototype sanitation system, which allowed people to have indoor bathrooms.

Moving Mount/Dismount [General]

You are trained to mount or dismount a vehicle or riding animal while it is in motion Prerequisites: Ride 6+ or Handle Animal 6+ Benefit: Any person with the Moving Mount/Dismount feat may attempt to mount or dismount a vehicle or riding animal they are qualified to ride (see Prerequisites) while it is in motion. This requires a standard Ride or Handle Animal Maneuver, as though making a fast mount or dismount. Success indicates the character has safely mounted or dismounted the animal or vehicle in motion. If the character fails they may take an automatic soft fall. Note that this action is effected by the armor check penalty. Normal: Normally this is a highly risky maneuver, requiring a DC 25 roll, not counting the armor check penalty. Failure requires a soft fall maneuver (using the ride skill or handle animal, as appropriate) at +5 DC (DC 20 as found under the Ride skill) to avoid falling damage. Note: This may be used to board unfriendly vehicles or animals, as well, although doing so will provoke an attack of opportunity.

Not long after the rise of Sargon, however, the Harappans began to experience drought. The areas of the Indus Valley they inhabited were drying, and the increased aridity drove them from the cities. By the time of the rise of Babylon they had been driven North and, lacking strong cultural bonds, they eventually merged with the other tribal populations of the region, becoming part of both the mountain tribes of modern day Afghanistan and the plains people of Northern India. Behind them they left cities had at one time sheltered upwards of forty thousand people. The Aryans, an Indo-European civilization, began to enter the Indic region around the time of the decline of the Harappans. Although some suspect that they may have had a hand in the

Lost Civilizations
Throughout history, the victors are the ones who write the history books. This tends to make it hard to discover real information on cultures that did not fare so well. Some cultures become part of myths or legends, like Atlantis. It seems likely that some Mediterranean culture was the basis for this mythical land, but history gives us little to go on. The Harappans, like the Anasazi of the four corners region of the United States, left cultural records, rather than a great deal of historical records, for us to learn about them. We learn a little at a time about their culture by tokens, building methods, and common items we find in those sites. Lost civilizations give the DM an excellent opportunity to introduce uncommon or out of place items into a campaign. Historical lost civilizations can make interesting and unfamiliar settings for semi-historical campaigns. You can revisit the Harappans metropolis, or climb the ladders to the cliff dwellings of the lost Anasazi. Such cultures give you a good degree of flexibility in semi-historical campaigns, and can spice up an adventure. Perhaps characters may become attached to the unique culture they discover, and will seek out ways to prevent their eventual decline. Or perhaps, inadvertently, they will become the reason for the sinking of your own home-grown Atlantis. downfall of the Harappan people, there is no evidence to support that. It is know however, that Aryans did split during their migration, with a portion entering the Hindu Kush and settling there,

Rope Arrows [General]

You have practiced firing arrows that trail a rope line. Prerequisites: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot Benefit: A person with this skill has learned to compensate for the drag a rope attached to an arrow can cause. The maximum range for a rope arrow is the range increment. Normal: A rope creates a lot of drag on an arrow, and effectively reduces the range increment for such an arrow to 10 feet. Thus, every 10 feet afterwards incurs a -1 to hit.

Shield Guard [General]

You are trained to protect others with your shield Prerequisites: Shield proficiency Benefit: Charioteers often had to defend their comrades while under fire. Anyone with shield guard may confer a bonus of partial coverage on anyone within 5 feet of themselves. A small shield confers 10% coverage, a large shield confers 25% coverage, and a great shield confers 50% coverage. Note that coverage can interfere with the attacks of those being shielded, as per the rules of coverage. Someone shield guarding another does not gain the defensive armor bonus of that shield while performing a shield guard. Shield Guarding is a move-equivalent action.


Chariots of Bronze




35. Bronze-Bound Leather Lamellar; 36. Bronze Studded Leather Block Armor; 37. Bronze Ge while another portion entered India and conquered the native tribes. The Aryan culture would dominate for quite a while, and their influence would eventually shape the formation of religion, as well as subsequent cultures in the region. Shang Dynasty does not confirm the existence of the Hsia, but we are still discovering cultures thought mythical, like the following Shang Dynasty, or the City of Troy, so it seems possible that we may eventually find evidence of the Hsia. Tang, a man of reputed virtue, rose up against the decadent emperor Chieh, and ended his reign, establishing the Shang Empire. During this empire the concept of Divine Mandate became established in Chinese culture. It was the mandate of Shang Te, the supreme god, that the King ruled. As in Sumeria, this precedent, once in place, would become justification for a great deal of otherwise irrational behavior. Still, the Shang Empire flourished, and its armies benefited from new developments in bronze working. The soldiers in the Shang army were divided into three segments, the infantry, the archers, and the charioteers. Like the Sumerians, the Shang developed Battle Wagons. In Shang China these were lead by horses, and each wagon contained a driver, an archer, and a soldier armed with a battle-axe. Soldiers wore various kinds of armor, ranging from tanned leather to a kind of leather lamellar to a bronze studded leather patchwork suit. The station of the soldier dictated the amount of money spent on his equipment, and most soldiers were armed with perhaps a spear and a knife. Clubs rounded out the limited armory of a Shang era soldier.

North, across the Himalayas, small tribes lived in the wilds of China. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that these tribes had some bronze working ability, and may have had trade with the Harappans or Sumeria. These tribes, though, left very little record, other than bronze bladed knives and pottery, and it is likely that they were either remnants of the Yang-shao era stoneage tribes of ancient China, or perhaps even independent groups, possibly of Indo-European stock. In the end there eventually absorbed into the larger Chinese culture. In the north of China, the Hsia were said to have ruled since before the rise of Sargon. There are a great number of stories written about the Hsia, however, these stories are generally mythical in nature, involving characters like the Three Cultural Heroes (who taught the Chinese about writing, hunting, trapping, and fishing, agriculture and mercantilism, government and Taoist philosophy, respectively) and the Three Sage Kings who ruled with perfect wisdom, clarity, and virtue. These characters, much like the long list of begats found in the biblical book of Genesis, may not have actually corresponded with individuals as they might have to cultural segments, tribes, or philosophical movements. Archaeological evidence for any culture prior to the


From Stone to Steel

Lamellar, Bronze-Bound Leather
Lamellae is a Latin word, describing the overlapping plate structure of lamellar armor. Lamellar is the precursor to scale armor, and is made up of squares, rectangles, or irregular square or rectangular shaped plates, usually 12 inches wide and 23 inches long, layered over each other to fashion a shirt, usually with sleeves, shoulder pauldrons, and a plated skirt. The bronze in the bronze-bound leather lamellar suit is there to keep the entire suit together, and gives the suit a good deal of its weight. religion and secular power was intended to cement the legitimacy of the regime, and to gather support from the faithful. And this support would be necessary. Just as the Chou came into its own, it would face attacks from the most feared barbarians in history, the Mongols. But this is a story for another time.

Sword, Grain Bronze

The Grain Sword's form descended from a grain-beating stick that was in common use in Asia. Most versions had indentations on the unsharpened edge, slots with small bends in them, which were intended for sword breaking. For information on sword breaking, please refer to the Far East chapter. The grain sword was uncommon in the Shang Dynasty, although it would see greater use in later periods.

Armor, Studded Leather Block Bronze

The Leather Block armor is a somewhat simpler design, where the squares are sewn edge to edge, rather than laced and overlapping. The bronze studs usually cover the lacing holes, and give the whole suite its character. Again, heavier than regular studded leather, it makes up for it with excellent protection for its cost.

Sword, Horse Head Bronze

A heavy, curving, chopping blade, somewhat a cross between a cleaver and a sword, the Horse Head sword was so called because the blade slightly resembled the curve and posture of a horse's head. Most Shang relics of the Horse Head sword have a wide loop hilt, which may have had tassels. The eventual predecessor of the Horse Head sword would be the Dao.

Ge, Bronze
Longer than its counterparts in Sumeria, Babylon, or Egypt, this weapon is an axe on a 4-foot pole, giving it longer reach, but with a simpler, lighter blade. This weapon may be wielded as if fighting with two weapons, a battleaxe and a light staff. If used in this manner, the user incurs all the normal penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, as if you were using a one handed weapon and a light weapon. A creature using a double weapon in one hand cannot use this weapon as a double weapon. Obviously, a soldier trained with the Two Weapon Fighting feat could be quite formidable with this weapon.

Fu, Bronze
A light axe, likely only held by the elite, the Fu was not a weapon of warfare, but one of status. During the Shang Dynasty, many Fu blades were embellished, and were likely held by prominent men and warriors of state. Their bronze blades were sometimes prematurely aged, the green verdegris giving the golden brown metal a kind of stately splendour.

The Divine Mandate

The Shang worshipped their ancestors, and practiced many forms of divination, including astrology and throwing bones. Sacrifices were often made after the death of great personages, and for kings those sacrifices might be human. Princes and other powerful nobles could convene religious ceremonies, since there was no official priesthood. In their place, those who learned to read and write formed almost a scribe class, not unlike that in Egypt, and their study of the stars and letters made them seem altogether mystic in nature. In a fantasy world, Wizards would come from this elite scholar class, while Sorcerers might come from the general populace. And the general populace lived very poorly indeed. Though the nobles lived in luxury, the commoner still lived in caves and farmed with bone tools. When most of the rest of the world was experiencing the Iron revolution, the peasants of Shang China still lived in a barely Neolithic culture, almost separate from their rulers. This disparity probably brought about the next revolution, when the Chou usurped power from the weakened Shang dynasty, and fractured China into various smaller kingdoms, each warring with each other for resources and power. As the Chou dynasty consolidated their power, they redefined the nature of the Divine Mandate, and established the King as intermediary between heaven and earth. Again, the mating of

The Inca
he Inca, like the Aztecs, were empire-builders. But the circumstances and methods were completely different. The Inca had a God-Emperor who was believed to be the avatar of Manco Capac, the first King of the Inca people and God of the Sun. Around the God-Emperor lived an intricate aristocracy of intermarried tribal leaders from the various tribes the Inca subdued. As part of the conquering process, the Inca took family members from the leading families of a people and forced them to marry into the aristocracy, creating blood ties between all members of the Empire, ostensibly to prevent betrayal. Ironically, this actually fostered a great deal of plotting and scheming among the aristocracy, to an almost Byzantine scale.

The Inca had regimented armies. Men marched in formation, and when an army was raised it could number from 200 to 300 thousand men. When on the march the men were severely policed, and not allowed to live off the land, a tactic that will be examined in the next chapter. The men were issued helmets of hard wood and jackets of thick cotton, simpler than Aztec Cotton Armor, and large, rectangular wooden shields. Slings and fire hardened spears were the most common weaponry, followed by copper war bolas, heavy copper maces (similar to the Sumerian


Chariots of Bronze
mace), macanas (a long war club), copper axes, and a kind of copper halberd. Indeed, the only things they lacked were cavalry, and llamas were no good for that use. Besides regimental training, the Inca also used two tactics more common with later civilizations: calculated cruelty and espionage. The Inca frequently murdered important enemies in horrific ways, in order to impress upon witnesses the fierce nature of the Incan Empire. They would often take trophies from their enemies, such as skulls, heads, or skins, and use them to decorate, make drums, or fashion into cups. When targeting a tribe for inclusion in the empire, the Incan Emperor would send trusted close family members to that tribe, to get information on the terrain, number of soldiers, their receptivity and preparedness, and to give bribes to key players, in order to isolate potential victims. These tactics were highly effective, and made them supreme in their region until the coming of the Spanish. Why were the Incas conquered? The Inca were conquered for a variety of reasons. The Spanish had firearms and steel, both superior technologies. In addition, the Spanish had cavalry, where the Inca did not. But perhaps the most important weapons the Spanish had were their diseases. European diseases were unrelated to anything in the New World, and let loose in a land without immunity, those diseases ravaged the people of the Incan Empire more than anything else. It is impossible to raise an army for defense when all of your men are sick. In the end the Incas literally died out.

Armor, Incan Cotton

The Incan Cotton armor was not on the same level of protection as the Aztec armor was. Still, it is sturdy, and the helmet offered superior protection. As an interesting note, all soldiers were issued a sling, and most used the sling as an impromptu head covering to cushion the helmet.

Bola, War Copper

This bola is made of 3 lumps of copper bound by cord. It should be considered an exotic weapon. Make a ranged touch attack. If successful, there is a 25% chance the target is entangled. A -2 penalty can be taken to the attack roll to increase the entangle chance to 50%. An entangled creature is a -2 on attack rolls, and a -4 penalty on effective Dexterity. The entangled creature can only move at half speed and cannot charge or run. If an entangled creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 15) or be unable to cast the spell with a somatic component.

42 39

38 40 43



38. Incan Cotton Armor; 39. Copper War Bola; 40. Copper Incan Handaxe; 41. Copper Incan Halberd; 42. Bronze Fu; 43. Bronze Horse Head Sword; 44. Bronze Grain Sword


From Stone to Steel

Handaxe, Incan Copper
The Incan handaxe was made with a small half-moon blade, and a flanged mace head on the back. The wielder could decide whether to use the axe blade to chop at an enemy, or the mace flanges to bash an enemy. This versatility was unique to the region trade did not stop. Wealth brought tribes into groups, and heredity and burial became important as evidenced by paintings and carvings. The Europeans crafted adzes, axes, swords, spears, sickles, shields, and armor of bronze, and deployed these in inter-tribal warfare. The armor, was of various kinds, ranging from banded armor like that of later Egyptians, to bronze lamellar, and studded leather. European shields sometimes had a raised or spiked boss (central metal plate), which was used to deflect sword blows and protect the hand. Spiking the boss of a shield allowed an experienced soldier to perform a disarming tactic with the shield, as well as making shield bashes more dangerous.

Halberd, Incan Copper

The Incan halberd consisted of an 8-foot spear with an attached axe blade and a rearward facing copper hook. The wielder could use it to thrust, hack, or impale with any of the three damaging surfaces. This weapon was often wielded by elite or royal forces, usually to protect someone of importance.

New Feat: Shield Disarm [General]

You are capable of disarming an opponent using a shield spike. Prerequisites: Shield Proficiency Benefit: Any person with the Shield Disarm who has a spiked shield may attempt a disarm maneuver with their shield, at a +2 to disarm (including the roll to resist being disarmed if you fail a disarm). Unlike a normal disarm maneuver, this does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If your attacker succeeds in disarming you when youve attempted a Shield Disarm, you do not drop your weapon, but, instead, drop your shield. Remember than any off hand penalties apply, if you have attacked with your regular hand weapon during the same turn.

Europe & The Mediterranean

The Celts
In mainland Europe, smelting brought with it a rapid transformation from stone to bronze. Though there were no widespread cultures in the region, the development of weapons, armor, and



Celtic Weapons
46 Like the Adze and Axe of the stone-age period, these weapons still competed for more common use in Europe at this time. Their bronze counterparts were common and readily available. The bronze version of the celt also saw extensive use, and its modular nature allowed it extensive life. The bronze sword of Europe was a straight bladed weapon, with a wide base and tapering point. It was used throughout the northern climes.

Lamellar, Bronze
The Europeans, perhaps due to their milder climate, seemed comfortable using large amounts of metal in their armors. Metal Lamellars started in Eastern Europe, with a bronze suite with rectangular plates.


Leather, Studded Bronze

Softer leather armors were reinforced with bronze studs, in order to maximize protection while still keeping a supple suit of armor.

The Minoans
The Minoans were a polyglot civilization, on the island of Crete, made of many tribes from most civilized regions in the world. Thus their appearance was a general mixture of the regional standards, and they had good ties with most areas. As an island nation, naval technology was important, and the triremes of Minoa were the most powerful ships of their time. The Phoeni-

45. Bronze Adze; 46. Bronze Hand Axe; 47. Bronze Celt; 48. Bronze Sword


Chariots of Bronze
cians may have traveled far and wide, and traded much, but their ships were not as swift or maneuverable. Like their ships, Minoan weaponry was described as elegant and prized for its workmanship as well as its use. If their architecture is any indication, Minoan weaponry was likely decorated with wavy images or fanciful images, likely of the snake or bull, both holy animals. We can guess from murals and pictures on amphorae (urns for holding oil, wine, or other liquids) that the Minoans developed a kind of bronze breastplate, complete with leather studded cap, kilt, and leg greaves. This armor would be repeated in the Mycenaen culture of the mainland Greeks, who were known to have highly admired Minoan civilization, and who took many aspects of it in their own architecture and art. They definitely developed spears, shields, slings, javelins, daggers, clubs, maces, short swords, and even a kind of bronze longsword that was somewhat impractical but unique for its time. time. Well made, these blades were often treasured by those who received them as gifts, and only saw battle when Minoan national interests were at stake.

The Mycenaens
The Mycenaens, unlike the Minoans, made war a way of life, and a right of kings. The Mycenaens could be unfavorably typified by their tendency to prey on their weaker neighbors, and make peace with their stronger neighbors. They were a very clan and tribe oriented people, and each clan and tribe was lead by those with the ambition to lead. All such kings were considered equal in Mycenaen society, although some equals were held in higher regard than others. Generally clans or tribes were left to their own governance, but kings might gather to make war on particularly wealthy states or to come to the common defense. In a way, the Mycenaen Greek State was similar to the Scottish Clan structure of the Middle Ages. Ironically, this culture tended to promote the interests of the individual, unlike many of the larger civilizations of the period. Since kingship often had more to do with actions than with bloodline (in a clan and tribal system bloodlines were often mixed), any person could hope to become prominent. Indeed, the heroic ideal comes from stories of this Mycenaen period, as recorded by the bard Homer. The Illiad and Oddessy, although laced with a great deal of myth, also contain a great deal of history and cultural information. The Iliad, which involves the greatest Greek military campaign of the period, is still easily available today, and is read widely. Many families

Breastplate, Minoan Bronze

Minoan Bronze breastplate armor was not as heavy or protective as Mycenaen Bronze armor, but it was more effective than the lamellar armors of Europe. Well made, with peaked cap to divert sword or axe strikes, it was a durable testament to the capable armies of Minoa.

Longsword, Bronze
Able to craft long blades in fine bronze, the Minoans wielded weapons that were otherwise impossible for the material and 52

51 49


49. Bronze Lamellar; 50. Bronze Studded Leather; 51. Minoan Bronze Breastplate; 52. Bronze Longsword


From Stone to Steel

throughout Europe often tried to trace their bloodlines back to heroes of the Iliad, from either side of the war between Greece and Troy. By the sack of Troy, Mycenaen Greeks had developed a full bronze breastplate armor, complete with conical helm, breastplate, belts, skirt, and greaves. This was the heaviest armor of its time. For lighter infantry they also used linen cuirasses, which were light but protective, and sometimes bore bronze plating. In addition, the Greeks armored their chariot horses with bronze headpieces. Leather armor was also in common use. The Mycenaen chariot was roughly on par with the Babylonian, although there were rarely more than two soldiers in any given chariot. This early armoring would eventually inspire full barding for horses, and acted as blinkers. The Greeks were also known for their innovation with the sling: The sling bullet. Essentially a slug of bronze, this weighty object obviously had more impact than a standard sling stone. Mycenaens used swords, shields, knives, daggers, bows, axes, spears, and javelins, and were also known to use fire as a tactical weapon, lighting arrows or using torches to set critical items ablaze. And, of course, they employed chariots. infantry to move quickly, but still provided protection, while leaving the arms and legs free for movement. These were substantially less expensive to manufacture.

Arrow, Bronze Fire

The fire arrow is used like any normal arrow except that it must be lit in order to gain the fire damage. Although the arrow does have a bronze head and can be fired unlit, it is always at a -2 due to the weight and unwieldy nature of the combustible material. Note that the fire arrow is not capable of flying as far, and is almost certainly destroyed on impact. If lit, it will sufficiently burn out its fuel in 3 rounds, and will no longer be useable after this.

Bronze Horse Headcovering

Not a true armor, the Bronze Headcovering used by the Greeks conveys a +1 armor bonus vs. any strike intended to hit the head of a horse. The main point of interest for this method of armoring is the fact that the headcovering also acts as blinkers for the horse, which may have an impact on any ride skill rolls attempted.

Bullet, Bronze Sling

Made from ingots of bronze, these bullets inflicted painful wounds. Superior to stones, these were only used by armies, as bronze was too expensive to make available for common use.

Breastplate, Mycenaen Bronze

Mycanean Breastplate armor, as described above, was perhaps the pinnacle for armor in its time. Strong, yet allowing good flexibility and mobility for its period, this kind of armor was crafted only for men of station and great wealth.

The End of an Age

Mycenae didnt end with the sack of Troy. Although the battle of Troy depleted the home-front (indeed, many heroes of the sack returned to find their own homes and lands pillaged and destroyed) Mycenaen society flourished for a great period of time, and the Mycenaens eventually landed on Crete after the

Cuirass, Linen & Plated Linen

Made from many layers of cloth glued together, these suits of armor were light and minimally encumbering. They allowed



53. Mycenaen Bronze Breastplate; 54. Bronze Plated Linen Cuirass


Chariots of Bronze
fall of the first Minoan society, and attempted to re-establish Minoan society in the Mycenaen image. Eventually, though, the Mycenaens were attacked and conquered by the Dorians, another Greek people from the north, who plunged Greece into its first Dark Age. But that period, and its recovery, will be covered in the next chapter. As mentioned before, one main reason for the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age was a relative material shortage, especially of tin. Mines in Anatolia began to give out first, followed by mines in Assyria. Without a dependable source of tin for forging bronze, metal-hungry and army-laden nations needed an alternative metal to maintain tools of the war trade. And iron, brittle, expensive, and hard to work, was the answer. This transition from Bronze to Iron was neither universal, nor smooth, as the next chapter explains.

Table 2-7: Bronze Age Weapons

Simple Weapons-Melee Weapons Tiny Dagger, Bronze Dagger, Copper Knife, Bronze Knife, Copper Small Adze, Bronze Sickle, Bone Sickle, Bronze Sickle, Copper Sickle, Stone Sickle Sword, Bronze Thresher (Proto-Flail) Medium-Size Club, Bronze Studded Club, Copper Studded Hayforka Mace, Bronze Headed Mace, Copper Headed Throwing Spear, Early Irona Large Pruning Hook, Bronze*a Pruning Hook, Copper*a Scythe, Bronze Scythe, Copper Simple Weapons-Ranged Medium-Size Javelin, Bronze Tipped Javelin, Copper Tipped Martial Weapons-Melee Small Celt, Bronze Handaxe, Bronze Handaxe, Copper Incan Medium-Size Battleaxe, Early Iron Battleaxe, Egyptian Bronze Battleaxe, Sumerian Bronze Battleaxe, Sumerian Copper Ge, Bronze Fu, Bronze Longsword, Bronze Sword, Bronze Cost 1.4gp 1.2gp 1gp 9sp 4gp 1gp 3gp 2gp 1gp 6gp 3gp 3gp 2gp 2gp 8gp 6gp 8sp 3gp 2gp 13gp 10gp Damage 1d4 1d4 1d4 1d4 1d6 1d4 1d6 1d6 1d4 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d6 1d8 1d8 2d4 2d4 Critical 1920/x2 1920/x2 x2 x2 x3 x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 x3 x3 x3 x4 x4 Range Wgt 1.5 lbs 1.5 lbs 1.5 lbs 1.5 lbs 5.5 lbs 2 lbs 3.5 lbs 3.5 lbs 2.5 lbs 3 lbs 3 lbs 6 lbs 5 lbs 7 lbs 14 lbs 13 lbs 4 lbs 15 lbs 14 lbs 13 lbs 12 lbs Type P P S S S S S S S S B B B P B B P P P S S M M M M M MW B M M S M W MW MW MW MW MW WM MW MW MW MW H/HP 4/6 3/6 4/4 3/4 4/17 2/6 4/11 3/11 2/8 5/9 3/9 4/12 3/10 3/14 4/28 3/26 4/12 4/30 3/28 4/26 3/24


8sp 7sp

1d6 1d6

x2 x2

30ft 30ft

4 lbs 3 lbs



4/12 4/9

4.2gp 4gp 3gp 8gp 7gp 7gp 6gp 8gp 4gp 12gp 7gp

1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d6 1d8 1d6

x3 x3 x3 x3 x3 x3 x3 x3 x3 1920/x2 1920/x2

6 lbs 5.5 lbs 5.5 lbs 8 lbs 9.5 lbs 9 lbs 8 lbs 11 lbs 7 lbs 6 lbs 6 lbs



4/18 4/17 3/17 4/16 4/19 4/18 3/16 4/22 4/14 5/12 4/12


From Stone to Steel

Table 2-7: Bronze Age Weapons
Martial Weapons-Melee Weapons Medium-Size Sword, Early Iron Sword, Grain Bronze Sword, Horse Head Sword, Kopesh Bronze Large Halberd, Incan Coppera Spear, Bladed Bronzea Spear, Bladed Coppera Spear, Early Irona Martial Weapons-Ranged Medium-Size Bow, Light War Exotic Weapons-Ranged Tiny Bola, War Copper* Small Whip, Braided or Hair#* Weapons Ranged-Ammunition Arrow, Bronze Fire* (20) Arrow, Bronze Headed (20) Arrow, Copper Headed (20) Arrow, Early Iron Headed (20) Bullet, Bronze Sling (10) Cost 13gp 9gp 7gp 8gp 8gp 2gp 1.5gp 3.5gp Damage 1d8 1d8 1d6 1d6 1d10 1d8 1d8 1d8 Critical x3 1820/x2 1820/x2 1820/x2 x3 x3 x3 x3 Range Wgt 5 lbs 7 lbs 6 lbs 6 lbs 16 lbs 11 lbs 10 lbs 10 lbs Type P/S Slashing Slashing S P/S P P P M M M M M MW WM WM WM H/HP 4/10 4/14 4/14 5/12 3/32 4/22 4/20 4/20

15ft 15ft





2 lbs

Per arrow



2gp 6sp 20gp 9sp 8sp 1gp 1sp

1d4 1d2 +1/rnd

1920/x2 x2

15ft 10ft -10ft

3.5 lbs 1.5 lbs 3.5 lbs 3 lbs 3 lbs 3 lbs 5.5 lbs

B S P+Fire P P P B


2/11 2/5 1/4 1/3 1/3 1/3 4/6


Table 2-8: Bronze Age Armor

Armor Cost Light Armor Armor, Incan Cotton 9gp Armor, Bronze Studded Leather Block 22gp Lamellar, Bronze-Bound Leather 60gp Leather, Bronze Studded 23gp Cuirass, Linen 14gp Cuirass, Bronze Plated Linen 20gp Medium Armor Breastplate, Minoan Bronze 35gp Breastplate, Mycenaen Bronze 180gp Lamellar, Bronze 30gp Shirt, Bronze Plated 18gp Heavy Armor Armor, Bronze Banded 165gp Shields Shield, Great Bronze 32gp Shield, Great Wooden 18gp Shield, Large Bronze 15gp Shield, Large Copper 14gp Shield, Small Bronze 5gp Shield, Small Copper 4gp Extras Cloak, Bronze Armored 5gp Armor Max Dex Armor Check Spell Bonus Bonus Penalty Failure +2 +3 +3 +3 +2 +3 +4 +5 +4 +3 +5 +3 +3 +2 +2 +1 +1 +1 +6 +5 +5 +4 +5 +5 +5 +2 +3 +3 +4 +1 -1 -1 -2 -1 0 -2 -3 -4 -5 -3 -5 -3 -3 -2 -2 -1 -1 -1 5% 15% 25% 15% 10% 15% 25% 25% 25% 20% 25% 25% 25% 15% 15% 5% 5% 5% Spd 30'/20' 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft*/15ft* Weight M H/HP 20lbs 18lbs 23lbs 15lbs 12lbs 25lbs 30lbs 32lbs 32lbs 22lbs 36lbs 22lbs 13lbs 17lbs 16lbs 5.5lbs 5.5lbs 5lbs F LM LM LM F MF M M M M M M W M M M M LM 4/38 3/36 4/46 4/30 3/24 4/50 4/60 5/64 4/64 4/44 5/70 3/44 3/26 4/34 3/32 4/14 3/14 3/10


Iron and Empire

Iron Rust Faeries Iron The Paradox of Steel Assyria The Assyrian War Machine Slashing Weapons Improvised Weapons Chariot Upgrades Psychological Warfare The Scythians Living off the land The Greeks Greek Fire Comparison: Sparta and Athens

63 63 63 63 63 63 64 64 64 64 65 67 67 68 69 70

Sparta Athens Persia The Greek-Persian Wars Marathon The Second Invasion Rise of Macedonia The March of Alexander Customizing your Fighter Morale Elephants; Sub-Saharan Africa Diffusion of Technology Table 3-1: Iron Age Weapons Table 3-2: Iron Age Armor

70 71 71 72 73 73 73 76 76 77 77 78 78 80 81


From Stone to Steel

He ran, heart pounding in his head, wounds bandaged, his linen cuirass clinging to his skin and slapping against his pumping thighs. His head felt strangely hollow, as if somehow great elation or delirium had taken root. He could hardly believe what his own eyes had seen.

The marauders had come, and stood abreast on the field, colorful robes and bright painted shields, their horses, hundreds upon hundreds, pawing the earth and snorting as if impatient. Before their force the army of Athens seemed so small, even supported by the allies from the neighboring cities, even with Spartan elites among their number. How could they hope to overcome so great a number of Persians? Within in his heart grew fear, and this time the anger over Naxos and Eretria would not clench its cold fingers. If they failed this day, nothing would stand in the way of the Persians marching on Athens. In his heart of fear he saw all of Greece fall, even the warlike Sparta, and the temples of the gods burning and blackening. The blood rushed through his ears, and he could feel every breath as if it were scouring his lungs with sand. There was burning in his muscles, but he pushed himself to keep running. The news had to be spread. They had stood and stared at each other from their ranks. The challenging clamor of spear on shield from the hoplite warriors was quickly answered by trumpets from the ranks of the Persian invaders, and the horses charged forward from the enemy lines, their riders raising longspears, as they thundered across the plain of Marathon towards the Greek alliances ranks. The entire Greek line broke into a trot, a measured pace meant to advance the line of skirmish without tiring the soldiers; they would be death-weary before the day was out. The horses careened towards the right flank, where a large contingent of Spartans, Thebans, and Corinthians prepared. Spears were raised and the line slowed. No one questioned the bravery of the Spartans, but whether it was the spirit of Ares among them or the bravery of the Spartans who fueled them, the Thebans and Corinthians did not break and run either. At the last moments, the soldiers of the right flank halted, bracing themselves behind their shields and readying spears against the charge. With a crack as loud as any bolt of Zeus, the charging Persian cavalry impacted against the implacable wall of Greek soldiers. Spears shattered. Horses and men cried out in pain, agony, run through, pierced from belly to spine, impaled upon iron blade and hardened wood. Then came the Persian arrows, and all able soldiers raised their shields and looked to their own defense. There was no time to dwell on the fate of those who faced the first charge. Blood. There had been much blood. Every mans spear saw use, and many swords as well. Shields and breastplates breached. Helmets cut from their wearers. Pheidippides himself had seen the light of a mans eyes dimmed by his own blade. The Persians seemed to come without end.

Androcles, his friend from youth and fellow phratry member, fell to an arrow from one of those horse archers the Persians prided in. Pheidippides cast his spear at him, but it was lost from his view, and he was forced to fight on, taking each moment as it came, unsure of when his own end would come. Every step now was pain. After a day of battle he had felt his limbs grow heavy from the exertion. But he had tasked himself with this mission, and he could not fail. Indeed, it was as if he could hear the thundering of the cavalry charge echoing in his ears again. He saw the city ahead, and the heads of the skeleton city guard standing on the walls. As he neared he heard shouts, and a trumpet sounded. Men raised spears, uncertain of what omen brought a blood-streaked soldier running from a battlefield more than a days march away. But it was everything for Pheidippedes to keep moving. His bandages were soaked red, and his eyelids felt leaden. He almost feared that he would fall asleep if he were to stop. There had been trumpets on the field. He had been too weary even to understand what they meant. They cried out again and again, and it was only after Pheidippedes could see no more Persians to face them that he understood what the noise was. It was a call to retreat. The Persians were calling for retreat. Somehow, on a field soaked in the blood of battle, strewn with more bodies that Pheidippedes could count, the Persians were fleeing. The gods had been with the Greeks on this day. And a ragged cheer rose up out of the remnants of the Greek army: A cry weary and proud. They had avenged Naxos and Eretria. There was hope. As Pheidippedes bound his wounds he realized how important this news would be to his family, to Athens. He had to go home. He had to tell them. Tell them everything. He was near, now, but his armor dragged at him with every step. He loosened the ties with fatigued fingers and let it slip from his body, running on nearly naked. Men on the walls must have recognized him. A door in the gate opened, and the captain of the wall stepped out, concern etched into every wrinkle of his face. He reached out a hand to Pheidippedes as the young soldier staggered the last few paces to the gate. Clasping the captains hand, Pheidippedes took a deep breath, and choked out Niki! Victory. He tried to draw another deep breath, so he could say more: More about the bravery of the Spartans, Thebans, Corinthians, more about the terrible charge, about the blood and the spears, about Androcles. But the breath never came. He struggled for breath against a weakness he had never known. His eyes fell closed. He wondered at how much less work it was to just not try. His knees buckled, and he tumbled to the ground. And released what breath he still had. Niki. Victory. And now they knew.


Iron and Empire

ith the decline of Bronze, power shifted away from the old kingdoms and towards those fledgling nations and barbarian tribes that had begun to experiment with iron. Iron was not a new metal, nor was it innately superior to bronze. Iron had been discovered and used by the Hittites, for example, while most nations were still using bronze for all metal and armor. Iron was much harder to find than copper, and required more heat to smelt, thus iron was expensive and rare. It was only with the tin shortages, combined with greater demands for weapons and armor, that iron became a preferable substitute.

but they held edges longer, and could make sharper blades. Steel mixes that favored greater amounts of carbon, in turn, were lighter, more flexible, but tended to deteriorate faster. Thus, the variance of the quality of steel throughout the ages and cultures was not so much based on one culture making better steel than another as much as having different processes and different preferences. Toledo steel, for example, was highly flexible and light, while Japanese blades were fearsomely durable and sharp. It would not be until the modern age that more advanced alloys would be able to take advantage of irons rigidity and carbons flexibility equally.

The first and most obvious advantage of iron was its rigidity. Iron held its shape much better than copper or bronze. Sword blades could be longer, and straight bladed swords became more practical, since points did not blunt as easily. Also, once shaped to the desired form, iron was less likely to bend and warp, which made repairing iron armor or implements easier. All of this came with a number of negatives. Iron did not have the flexibility of bronze, and was much more prone to breakage. Iron was brittle, and harder to decorate, due to its inflexibility. Moreover, iron was expensive, even with bronze on the decline, so those nations without iron resources, most notable of which was Egypt, never effectively made the transition. Lastly, bronze may have been prone to verdigris after years of exposure, but iron had a unique problem with rust.

Fey creatures are particularly vulnerable to wounds from iron weapons. Called cold iron by such creatures, all wounds from iron weapons do double damage and ignore any natural damage resistance. Also, a wounded fey loses any magical abilities it may possess for 1 round per point of damage they sustain. Iron armor not only protects the wearer from the blades and arrows of the fey, but can also provide considerable defense against fey magic. As a rule of thumb, for every +1 the armor grants to the wearers armor class naturally (not including magical bonuses from enchantment) he receives 5 Spell Resistance to the spell-like abilities of the fey (so a suit of iron chainmail with a +4 natural bonus would grant a SR of 20 against faean spells and spell-like abilities). Steel, being adulterated, has no special effect against a fey opponent.

Iron may begin to rust if it is not appropriately dried after submersion or soaking. If an iron item is submersed, soaked, or otherwise immersed in water for at least 15 minutes, roll percentile. There is a 15% chance the iron will begin to rust. If rusting iron is not dried properly, it will take 1 point of structural damage the day after contracting rust, although this damage, unlike rotting, is not progressive. Rusting causes the item to permanently grow weaker. Note that the original structural rating is still referred to when calculating deterioration. Correctly coating an iron item with oil or wax will reduce this risk to 1%, and will require reapplication after submersion or 1 month, whichever comes first.

ssyria was a relatively small kingdom that had already seen two peaks in power. Though it was centered around the northern cites of Nineveh, Assur, Nimrud, and Khorssbad, it had controlled Akkad when Sargon conquered and united Sumeria. Akkad then rose to the forefront, cutting off connections with Assyria. Again, when the Arameans began to populate Mesopotamia and the Mediterranian coast, Assyria rose to strike against the Arameans. It was Assyrias attacks, along with the Elamites and Babylonians, that prevented the domination of the region by the Arameans, although the Aramean language remained, becoming the common tongue of the whole region.

The Paradox of Steel

Steel occurs when charcoal is folded into iron during the smithing process. Due to the heat required to make iron pliable, extremely hot fires were required, and the main way to create a hot fire was to use copious amounts of charcoal. Thus, even from the beginning, small amounts of charcoal became part of the iron during its initial shaping. In later times, when smiths began to understand the role of charcoal (carbon) in the steel-making process, smiths began to experiment with the ratio of charcoal to iron. They soon discovered that the mixes that favored iron were heavier and more brittle,

Assyria, though, saw its true rise to power in its last age, when bronze was on the decline. Assyria was one of the regions that mined tin, and they began to stockpile it as the mines began to fail. Thus, Assyria was able to continue to produce bronze items without feeling the pinch of the shortage that other countries felt. In addition, through judicious trade and contact with barbarian tribes more familiar with iron smelting, Assyria was able to shift over to iron weapons more quickly than other nations. Assyrias bronze weapons and armor werent expressly unique, but they were well made. The quality of their craftsmanship was most notable in their increased durability. Late bronze-age


From Stone to Steel

weapons were virtually identical to their earlier counterparts, but with a 5 durability, rather than a 4. As Assyrias strength grew and other nations weakened, a series of great kings came to power, and their new vision of warfare would lead to the conquest of all the lands from the Caspian to Chaldea, Anatolia to Egypt. they even employed siege engines like catapults, battering rams, and siege towers. When one considers that the Assyrian army could muster up to fifty thousand men at short notice (total army strength was closer to two hundred thousand), and move them swiftly, there is little question as to why they were effective.

Chariot Upgrades
The Assyrians and Persians made developments that add new wrinkles to chariot warfare. The Assyrians added a leather running board, rather than the traditional wooden one. This gave their chariots (which were otherwise identical to Babylonian chariots) a smoother ride. All chariots equipped with this kind of leather running board add a +2 circumstance bonus to any balance rolls made while in the chariot. The Persians experimented with putting iron scythe blades on their chariots (which they took from the Assyrians). Any person within 5 feet of the hub side of a chariot wheel equipped with scythe blades is automatically attacked by these blades each round they remain within 5 feet. Roll against their armor with a straight d20. A driver with Advanced Chariot Driving may add his +2 special maneuver bonus to this roll, or he may subtract it (if he does not want the blades to hit the person in question). If the person is hit, resolve damage as if struck by an iron scythe.

Spear, Iron (short and long)

The longspear was developed in the late bronze age in Egypt, and adopted by the Assyrians after they first attacked Egypt. The longspear is a reach weapon, and can be readied against a charge. The Assyrians usually equipped front ranks with longspears, and gave shorter, throwing spears to those closer to the rear. As with the majority of reach weapons, the spear cannot be used against a foe within 10 feet.

Scale Mail, Bronze & Iron

Scale mail was an improvement upon lamellar armors. Scales were better articulated, allowing more flexible joints. Suits of metal armor were expensive, and generally only used by shock troops.

Shield, Iron
Iron shields, regardless of size, were usually only for officers and elite soldiers. The common soldier had to make do with wood or leather equipment.

Dagger or Knife, Iron

Since iron held a better edge, piercing weapons were more effective than their bronze counterparts. Note that the primary difference between a knife and a dagger is that a dagger is double edged, and is better suited to throwing.

The Assyrian War Machine

Assyria set quite a few precedents as it became the first militarily dominant empire in the region. They improved the chariot, making the baseboard of pliable leather, rather than wood, so as to absorb some of the shock of travel. They employed two kinds of chariot: a light chariot with two horses and three men whose sole purpose was to charge into enemy formations and then dismount the warriors into the resulting chaos, and a heavier four horse chariot which held up to six men, and was employed to deliver crack troops where needed. Additionally, familiarity with horse-riding barbarian tribes lead the Assyrians to employ true cavalry. Two thirds of Assyrian cavalry were horse-mounted archers, trained to fire from horseback and flee retribution from enemy archers. The other third carried longspears, a weapon designed in Egypt, but not used on horseback there. These longspears were often referred to as lances, although they could not be properly couched. At first, Assyrians used bronze lamellar and bronze scale armor, adding helmets, greaves, and boots, but later forged suits of iron scale, which became standard issue. Soldiers wielded shields, spears, daggers, iron swords, maces, studded clubs (including a version of the great club), and battleaxes, and were expertly trained. Moreover, the Assyrians paved their roads, had a military corps dedicated to procuring weapons (caches have been found by archaeological digs that have contained 200 tons of iron swords) and horses (up to 3000 a year) all year round, and

Clubs & Maces

Clubs saw a brief renaissance during the Assyrian period, and were carried by a majority of the poorer soldiers, as they were reasonably inexpensive and very effective. Assyrians differentiated the mace, making a lighter version with a wooden handle and a heavier one of solid iron.

Slashing Weapons
Slashing weapons did not see quite the same explosion of development as piercing weapons did in the period, although the shem sharru was the descendant of the sickle sword and precussor for the kopis, the scimitar, the shamsir, and the saber. Instead straight edges (longsword, shortsword) were more common, since a point can focus a great deal of pressure in a single location, often piercing heavy armors.

Improvised Weapons
The scythe was developed first in Babylon, but the Assyrians spread its use, since it was far more efficient for reaping grain than the hand sickle. Still, both weapons were used when, in emergency, there was no other alternative.


Iron and Empire

3 4

2 5 6

1. Chariot wheels with iron scythe blades; 2. Bronze Longspear; 3. Bronze Scale Mail; 4. Large Iron Shield; 5. Iron Short Spear; 6. Iron Dagger; 7. Iron Headed Arrow

Whip (Leather & Bone Scourge)

The standard whip was made from leather, usually strips of scrap or skin that was unusable for larger products. The scourge was first developed in Syria, and was made from various lengths of cord woven onto a wooden handle, with teeth or pieces of sharp bone bound in the cord. Leather whips were primarily used as tools in training and controlling wild animals, although they were also used by various cultures to keep slaves in line. The scourge was a device intended to torture people, and was either used in punishment or in religious ceremonies where pain was intended to expiate a sin. The leather whip deals subdual damage, and both whips deal no damage to any creature wearing armor of at least +1 armor bonus or creatures with a +3 natural armor bonus. Although kept in the hand, the leather whip is treated as a ranged weapon with a maximum range of 10 feet, and no range penalties. The leather whip can be used to wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the leather whip in order to avoid being tripped. Those using a whip gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. Either whip is considered an exotic weapon. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.

Psychological Warfare
One of the greatest innovations the Assyrians employed wasnt a physical asset or new form of training. The Assyrian military used psychological warfare. In short, they used fear. The Assyrians had a sizeable army, and it took a great deal of food to keep that army fed. Even more than the food, though, was the pay and privileges that soldiers required. The kings of this third Assyrian Empire, instead of stripping food stores bare to maintain their army, began the practice of living off the land. Assyrian armies would march through fertile land and take what grain and meat animals were available to supplement their baggage trains. The soldiers were promised the right to keep anything they were willing to march with. Soldiers were encouraged to loot, rape, and plunder during the campaign, and there was general amnesty for soldiers. Officers, who could come from the regular volunteers or from noble families were held to higher standards. A certain portion of their loot was taxed by the King, but in return the officers had status and prestige in Assyrian society. Soldiers were regularly feared and avoided, but officers were revered for their restraint and prowess. The effect of this shift in military attitude was profound. This total war mentality created fearsome civilian casualties, and


From Stone to Steel

could cripple a citys survival chances even if the Assyrians were diverted, because of the loss of food supplies. Many cities opted to present the Assyrian army with tribute when they knew it was coming. They would gather great amounts of food and valuables, and then offer them to the army in hopes that they would be left alone. Sometimes this worked. Sometimes the tribute was rejected, and the cities were sacked and demolished. Either way, conquered cities were absorbed into the empire, and soon it came to span the vast majority of the civilized world. There were definite advantages and drawbacks to this philosophy. While soldiers were on campaign, the level of crime in the city decreased, since most criminals found that the army was a way to get what they wanted without having to break the law. It is no surprise the lock and key were invented by the Assyrians. On the other hand, the enforcement of the law could not be left to the army, so the militia once more grew to prominence. In fact, in conquered cities, it was preferable to leave the local militia relatively intact, in order to allow them to enforce the law effectively. Another advantage was that actual military fatalities were lessened, since many cities eventually opted to pay tribute rather than oppose domination. But with a large standing army that expected some kind of personal indulgence on a regular basis, the Assyrian army was almost always on the move. Without long periods of peace, the populace rarely had an opportunity to recover from war. There were other repercussions to this war intensive focus. For example, the Assyrians practiced forced migration. When conquering another people or nation, they often forced a sizeable portion of that nation to relocate to a radically different part of the Empire. It was hoped that this displacement would reduce the chance of revolt, as people would be preoccupied with learning to cope in the new region. This practice, more than any other, probably contributed to a general reduction of popular support all over the empire. Also, with the military being the central focus of the Assyrian Empire, the military leaders began to demand more and more power, and larger and larger portions of the tribute. The Assyrian Empire walked a precarious path, and one that would lead them to complete dissolution.

12 8 18 9 10

17 20 20 19

11 16 13 14


8. Iron Studded Club; 9. Light Iron Mace; 10. Heavy Iron Mace; 11. Iron Knife; 12. Iron Battleaxe; 13. Shem Sharru; 14. Iron Shortsword; 15. Iron Longsword; 16. Iron Sickle; 17. Iron Scythe; 18. Leather Whip; 19. Bone Scourge Whip; 20. Scythian Iron Lamellar


Iron and Empire

Living off the land
Nations before Assyria usually maintained baggage carts to carry food they would need on the march. The logistics of keeping up the train of food and supplies usually limited the distance an army could march. This is the source of the saying, An army marches on its stomach. Due to the huge size of the Assyrian army, Assyria found it almost impossible to carry more than a 3 pound ration of wheat per soldier. In the climate they marched in, and traveling for 10 hours a day, 3 pounds of wheat fell far short of the required calorie intake necessary just to sustain a healthy soldier. He would need protein, as well, and more than a gallon of water to keep fighting fit. Just to carry 3 pounds per soldier meant the average field army of 50,000 had to carry 150,000 pounds of wheat per day. So the Assyrian army sent out scouts into the lands they were invading, who determined where the best fields and herds were, and the Assyrian army would march through those areas to replenish supplies and maintain stocks. This invariably meant poor harvests and shortages in lands conquered by Assyria, which prompted cities to bring tribute as soon as they heard of the Assyrian army marching on them. usually only worn by those who could afford it, mainly clan leaders.

Ringmail, Greek Bronze

The Greeks developed an armor of interlocking rings, backed by leather. This armor tended to diffuse the impact of bludgeoning weapons and block slashing weapons, as well, but it was ungainly and poorly made. The Scythians preferred to trade for Greek suits, but did construct a bronze version of this armor for themselves. Piercing weapons are particularly effective against this armor, and it only grants a +4 bonus against them.

Armbands were culturally significant for the Scythians, and were often inscribed with holy symbols or personal images. In a fantasy world it is very likely that Scythian Priests would have blessed them, or Scythian mages would have enchanted them. Besides armor enchantments, they might have had enchantments to improve symbiosis between riders and horses (horses being an important part of Scythian religion), or fear, bravery, or strength effects.

The Scythians
During this period, a number of horse-riding cultures came to prominence both in Europe and the Middle East. The Scythians, a culture that lived along the Caucasus Mountain Range, were active in both regions, and were an excellent example of horse-riding tribes of the time. The Scythians used a great variety of materials and equipment, depending on what was available and advantageous in an area. The warriors tended to wear bone, bronze, or iron lamellar armor, although they also were known to use leather armor, bronze scale, iron scale, and a bronze ringmail developed by the Greeks. They used a double recurve bow, which would later be adopted by the Persians. They wore armbands of bronze, iron, or bone, used straight or curved knives, (the latter of a Chinese design), and used shields of leather, wood, or iron. Arrow heads could be of any material, although bone, bronze, and iron were most common. Before the Persians they preferred the spear or iron shortsword, but after the rise of the Persians they adopted the Persian kopis and the bowcase. The Scythians used a great deal of gold and animal motifs in their decoration.

Bow, Double Recurve

The double recurve bow must be wielded with two hands. It is an incredibly powerful bow, and every double recurve bow should be considered the quivalent of a masterwork mighty composite longbow (usually at least +2). The craftsmanship of this Scythian bow made it prized among more civilized nations, and it was often traded for. Both the Persians and the Greeks preferred these for their archers, when possible, and the Scythians became very rich off of their trade.

Knife, Chinese Curved

Curved weapons are intended to be used in a chopping fashion, bringing into contact as much of the blade as possible with the foe. The curved knife they carried appears Chinese in origin, and they likely traded for them with another horse tribe or with Scythian tribes living closer to Chinese society.

The kopis was a Persian blade, based on the Shem Sharru. Usually possessing we call a pistol grip, and wider in the front portion of the blade, the kopis was an excellent weapon for close in fighting and for use from horseback. Later in Persian history it would be replaced by the falcate. The Scythians, again, traded for these.

Lamellar Armor, Bone & Iron

Lamellar was slightly easier to construct than most other armors, and the Scythians were primarily nomadic, so they were unlikely to maintain a camp long enough to develop more complex armor smithing techniques. Bone lamellar was rare, and only worn by Scythians, since many cultures considered it barbarous armor. The iron version was far more effective, but

Barding, Leather and Bronze Plate

The Scythians were also the first to make true barding, armoring their horses in leather and bronze plate. This kind of extravagance would not be embraced by more civilized nations for a great while, but the protection to the horse was substantial, and,


From Stone to Steel



26 24



21. Greek Bronze Ringmail; 22. Scythian Armband; 23. Double Recurve Bow; 24. Chinese Curved Knife; 25. Kopis; 26. Leather and Bronze Plate Barding due to fact that the horse was religiously important in Scythian society, it was a small cost to them for the benefit it provided. The making of barding is an individual affair. One could not make a standard size suit of barding and hope they would fit the horse. Horses would first be brought to have the leather backing of the barding draped over them. The leather would be marked or cut to the horses proportions and then the armorer would bind bronze plates to it. Although conceivably such armor could be bound together with chains, the leather provided a smooth backing to prevent chafing while on a hard ride. This armor, combined with the skill of a good rider, kept the horses that Scythians prized so much alive much longer in a battle. mobility, and bandits and outlaws became rampant in the wilder places, prompting many to move to the cities for protection. Elaborate walls were erected around many major cities, and some of these walls were quite complex, not only encompassing the city proper but extending into the immediate farming countryside, in order to allow farmers to escape in case of surprise attack. These extensions to the walls were often built into hill sides, and required extensive tunneling and bracing. The bracing itself was made so as to be easily destroyed. Thus, if invaders discovered these escape passages, segments could be collapsed to prevent the enemy from bypassing the city walls. Eventually the city-states of Greece threw off the Dorian occupation, and during the following period the power of the cities increased again. With walls comes crowding. And crowding leads to increased problems with crime and sanitation. These pressures, as well as a budding new exuberance about the Greek way of life prompted many cities to establish colonies. Colonists were sent to establish new colonies in Asia Minor, the many islands of the Mediterranian, the Italic peninsula, Iberia, and even portions of Northern Africa, although Carthage tended to dominate north Africa. These colonies increased the spread of Greek

The Greeks
With the invasion of the Dorians, Greece fell into a dark age. A dark age is any period in a region or culture where technology and learning regress substantially. Although the Dorians were smelters of iron, they were otherwise much less advanced than the Mycenaens were, and for a time the Greek peoples lived under their domination. During this time there was very little


Iron and Empire

thought, religion, and culture, and allowed people to develop new cities as they wished. As part of the colonization agreement, the colony cities also manufactured goods for trade in Greek markets. Each city-state was different in organization, although they tended to use the same kinds of weapons. Longspears, bows, slings, javelins, daggers, axes, and straight swords were common, as were round shields, helmets, and greaves. Some shields sported skirts of leather, intended to deflect arrows away from the legs, or to snag low enemy strikes. Lamellar and Scale armor were more common in the Northern cities, while the Southern cities favored much lighter armor, depending, instead, on mobility. There was even a scale version of the linen cuirass. A kind of ringmail, backed with studded leather, was developed and experimented with in a few cities, but never saw widespread use. Only a few cities used breastplate armor like their forebears. It is interesting to note that while iron was the common metal during this period, there was a revival of bronze smithing at one point, and the styles and armors that were forged with this revival bronze indicate a definite nostalgia trend. These revival armors were better made than the older armors they emulated, but were probably only worn and used by nobles and those with a great deal of disposable income. Revival bronze armors would have their durability increased by one (e.g. a 4 durability would be 5, a 5 durability would be 6, etc.). It should be noted that chariots were never used in combat after the end of the Dark Age.

Ringmail, Greek Iron

The Greeks developed an armor of interlocking rings, backed by leather. The rings were usually about 1 to 1 inches in diameter, much larger than the diameter of the later developed chainmail. This armor tended to diffuse the impact of bludgeoning weapons and block slashing weapons, but it was ungainly and poorly made. Greek suits were made of iron rings, but these suits were not commonplace. Piercing weapons are particularly effective against this armor, and it only grants a +4 armor bonus against them.

Leather Shield Skirt

The Greeks often hung a leather skirt from the bottom of their shields. This skirt did not have any backing behind it, but was intended to snag attacks intended for the legs. A shield with a leather skirt will sometimes retard an attack just enough to make it inconsequential. Leather shield skirts can only be mounted on Large or Great shields. Any time a roll exactly equals the number necessary to hit a person wielding a shield with a leather shield skirt, roll any die. On an odd number the strike was blocked by the skirt instead. Apply all damage against the skirt instead of against the shield bearer. As long as the skirt has any hit points it can continue to block attacks in this manner.

Bullet, Lead Sling

With the development of smelting, metals other than iron were discovered. One of these new metals was lead. Lead is a very pliable metal, and mostly worthless in weapon use. Except, of course, as sling bullets. Lead bullets were heavy and damaging, having more impact than stones or bronze bullets. They were also reasonably durable, and therefore more reusable. Lead shot could easily be recast in simple molds, so it was not uncommon for the poor to raid a battlefield and collect shot to sell back to local smiths for a minimal price.

Greek Fire
Greek fire is a flammable composition believed to have consisted of sulfur, naphtha, and quicklime. Its origin is lost to historians, although most records state that the Greeks first developed it in the Classical Age. It was never employed on a large scale during this time period, perhaps mostly being saved for rare sieges or sea warfare, to burn boats or buildings. In a fantasy world, one might make more aggressive use of Greek fire, perhaps as fire bombs or siege defense (like boiling oil). Such firebombs would be used like Grenade-like weapons, similar to alchemist's fire but far more virulent, and would do 2d6 dice of fire damage a turn for 2 minutes (20 rounds), or until doused. It is entirely likely that, should the fire burn for the full duration, the character will keep burning, as per the set on fire rules.

Javelin, Iron Headed

The Javelin was commonly used in Greece, although they generally used a simple wood hardened javelin in sport or hunting. The iron-shod javelin was used only in battle, and was often saved for important attacks, since it was expensive to make and expensive to lose.

Arrow, Iron Fire

The fire arrow is used like any normal arrow except that it must be lit in order to gain the fire damage. Although the arrow does have an iron head and can be fired unlit, such use would be at a -2 due to the weight and unwieldy nature of the fire arrow. Note that the fire arrow is not capable of flying as far as a normal arrow, and is almost certainly destroyed on impact. If lit, it will sufficiently burn out its fuel in 3 rounds, and will no longer be useable after this.

Cuirass, Iron Scaled Linen

Made from many layers of cloth glued together, these suits of armor were light and minimally encumbering. They allowed infantry to move quickly, but still provided protection, while leaving the arms and legs free for movement. These were substantially less expensive to manufacture than full scale mail, even with iron scale work. Of course, they were also easier to damage and destroy.


From Stone to Steel







27. Iron Scaled Linen Cuirass; 28. Greek Iron Ringmail; 29. Leather Shield Skirt; 30. Inscribed Lead Sling Bullet; 31. Iron Headed Javelin; 32. Iron Fire Arrow

Comparison: Sparta and Athens

During different period of the Archaic Age, various cities rose to prominence in Greece. Corinth was the first of this period, but it was swiftly enough supplanted by Sparta and then both by Athens. As each person is different from the next, each citystate was unique, and it is worth noting just how different two cities could be.

work, so women and free non-citizens did most of the other work. Messina, a neighboring region, was defeated and annexed by Sparta at the end of the Dark Age, and the citizens of Messina were made serfs. Called helots, these people spent their days farming and manufacturing for the Spartans. In times of war, the helots were called upon to supply a tithe of infantry for the Spartan ranks, and good service in battle could be grounds for being granted freedom (although not citizenship). Still, a free helots child would be absorbed into Spartan culture, and for some, this was a desirable goal. It is primarily the huge serf class of the helots that forced Sparta into its constant military role, and every year Sparta formally declared war on the helots, although this was rarely an active war. Sparta was ruled by two kings and 5 ephors, as well as a citizens council of elders. Ephors at one time were the servants of kings, but they eventually took on enough power to become civil servants. Ephors could be nominated by a king, but were elected by the citizens council. There was often friction between the two kings, but the system of government balanced

Sparta was a warrior state: This cannot be stressed enough. But rigorous military training was not the norm until the Classical period of Greece. This doesnt mean that Spartan life was simple. At the age of seven freeborn boys were taken from their families and placed in a communal education system. The education they received was harsh, and they lived in these communities until the age of 20, when they were eligible to join a syssita. Syssitas were organizations, somewhat like a club or society that the men would belong to for the rest of their lives. Men, at this point, were allowed to live by themselves, but they ate in their Syssitas and spent much of their lives with their Syssita brethren. Men were forbidden from most forms of


Iron and Empire

itself, and, in times of war a single king would take control (often by election) to lead the military. The military of the Spartans was highly organized. There were five tiers of an army formation, regiments (morae), mora (usually six in a regiment), lochos (4 lochoi made a mora), Pentekostys (2 per lochos), and enomotia (2 per pentekostys). An enomotia consisted of 36 fully armed soldiers standing in 12 ranks. So an average regiment consisted of 3,456 armed soldiers, and any given army had a number of these regiments. Those who showed the most promise were trained to become hoplites, and they had an entire regiment of their own. The king, as well, had his own honor guard, and there is evidence to suggest that his honor guard was mounted. The Spartans used shield, sword, a long thrusting spear, and daggers. Archers wore no armor, while slingers might wear linen cuirass armor at best. Hoplites might wear heavy armors, but the Spartans favored mobility over armor, so they were often the only ones to wear any serious armor. Since the common wear of Sparta was a coarse woolen cloak, their native garb was impossible to wear into battle, so it is no exaggeration to say that many warriors wore no armor. But armor was by no means unused. Spartans favored cuirasses and good shield use. Combat training stressed a series of simple movements and maneuvers intended to favor the spear, with some defensive training with a sword. was quite capable of mobilizing large portions of the male citizenry. Athenian soldiers used sword, spear, and shield, but warriors also wore whatever armor they could afford, and bows, slings, axes, and clubs were carried by those who preferred them. The military organization of the Athenians was limited, but this was not true of their tactics.

bout this time Assyria was going through its death throes. It had reached its final greatness, and now it was being wracked by civil insurrections and aggression from a strengthening Babylonian kingdom to its south and an alliance of the Medes (a horse tribe) and the Persians to its East. While Assyria was grappling with the Elamite threat and civil wars sponsored by Egypt, the Medes and Persians attacked the capital cities of Assyria, and conquered them. Suddenly without leadership, the Assyrian empire crumbled, and Babylon and the Medes divided up the territories they desired, leaving the rest of Mesopotamia to its own devices. But the Medes did not share their new power equally with the Persians, and the Persian king stewed.

Athens, on the other hand, was at first lead by a king, but later replaced by a polemarch. Elected from among the ranks of the council of archons (a group of nine respected men elected to the council by the citizens) by the archons, each polemarch served for a year in their office. Although Solon of Athens did propose the creation of a true democratic state, Athens never truly moved beyond a representative government, although the individual citizen had a much greater say on the laws and structure of Athenian life. Citizens of Athens belonged to a phratry, sort of like a clan or tribe. The phratry one was born into had a heavy influence on ones religion and social standing, but each citizen was eligible for any political position. A phratry usually consisted of one or more genes, a genos (the singular of genes) being a large, extended family group. Not that tribes were negated by the phratry system. Athens was populated by 4 Ionian tribes, although later these tribes were legally split into 10 new tribes. Each of these tribes had a certain stature, and among those tribes there was another layer of hierarchy, based on ones wealth, that helped to influence where in society one existed. Though it was theoretically possible for anyone to be on the council, in practice the richer, more prominent families held those positions, and thus, controlled the election of the polemarch. All men were nominally under duty to the military from the age of 20 to 37. These men had minimal, if any, training, and were usually only drafted in time of war. Still, Athens, during the Archaic period, was able to field an army of 20,000, so it

When a new Median king came to power that was not popular with the aristocracy, Cyrus the Second and the dissenting aristocracy revolted against Median rule. Their army did not have the strength of the Median army, but it was able to hold out long enough for Babylonian allies to make moves of aggression against the capitol of the Medes. Thus the Medes were forced to surrender to Cyrus, and Persia took control of the Median empire. Cyrus, though, was not done. Taking his full armies, he marched through surrounding territories, consolidating his rule in areas like Armenia, Cappodocia, and Cilicia, adding a few Babylonian holdings in the process. Wherever native kings already existed, Cyrus allowed them to remain in power as Satraps. Thus, Cyrus was able to move on quickly, knowing his newly conquered satrapies were well administered. This level of aggression worried western powers, and an alliance of Spartans, Lydians, Egyptians, and Babylonians came together to oppose Persian dominance. At that time, Cyruss general, Hypargus, made the excellent suggestion of putting together a mounted column of Arabian camel riders. These camel riders spooked the Lydian cavalry that lead the alliance armies, and the Persian army was able to take advantage of the cavalry rout to crush the Lydian empire to dust. Lydia, being a Greek kingdom in Asia, was near a number of other Greek city colonies, and so these cities were taken as well, which caused much alarm in Greece, but did not yet prompt war. Cyrus, always the opportunist, turned his eyes on Babylon. One of Babylons generals, Gobryas, was dissatisfied with the king, and offered a place of power if he helped Cyrus conquer Babylon, he agreed. Babylon soon buckled without its military


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support, and Cyrus established Gobryas as its new satrap. Since Babylon was an ancient and revered culture, Cyrus took advantage of his presence there to return lost idols to their temples, in order to legitimize his claim to the Babylonian throne. He also allowed citizens previously displaced by Assyrian conquest to return to their homelands, which gained him a great deal of support from various conquered peoples. Jewish prophets, for example, hailed him as the Lords Anointed. With all of the old Assyrian Empire but Egypt under his control, and with holdings north and east of the previous empires holdings established, Cyrus once more turned his eyes east. Marching over the mountains, Cyrus invaded the Punjab region of India, the lands once held by the ancient Harrapans, and later by the Aryans and various Vedic kingdoms. The Aryan split that had occurred long in the past had sent some people west into the mountains, and some of those Aryan tribes settled in lands that would later become Persia. Thus, the Persians already had some connection to the new people they conquered, and the Satrap of Punjab was established. It should be noted that various kingdoms did spring up in India previous to the Persian invasion, but few were very substantial. Usually these kingdoms consisted of one city and perhaps a few surrounding communities, but there were no large kingdoms in this period. Tempted by the thought of easy conquest, Cyrus again marched east, but was unable to cross the Jaxartes River, destroying most of the Persian army in the attempt, and dying himself. Cyruss son Cambyses, after assassinating his younger brother to prevent rivalry over the throne, raised a new army and marched on Egypt. His army, lead by a mercenary Greek general and aided by Bedouin nomads, was able to conquer Egypt, and take it and Nubia (the kingdom of Kush) as well. Cambyses also considered attacking Carthage, but his Phoenician allies refused, and he could not cross the desert safely. When insurrection threatened at home, Cambyses tried to return, but died en route. It was Darius, one of Cambyses sons, who finally brought peace to Persia, and consolidated the rule of this new Empire. Although he led armies against the Scythians, and established footholds along the northern shore of the Caspian Sea, his main work was in consolidating rule over the Indus Valley and Egypt, and establishing laws. He also standardized a currency system, based on the Lydian bimetallic currency system using silver and gold. He transplanted fruit trees to the east of his empire, and sesame and rice to the west. Then Darius moved on the Scythians again. The Scythians, being nomads burned their fields, destroyed their own lands, and harassed the Persian armies with horse-borne guerilla warfare. Darius, fearful for his own personal safety, left a substantial army in Scythian territories to continue the fight, and returned to Persian land. Again, Darius concentrated on administration, leaving his generals to expand his territories. One general conquered the Lybian desert, while another crossed the Bosporus (the strait between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, and he conquered the Greek cities there, demanding surrender of many Ionian cities as well as Macedonia, a northern Greek kingdom. They did submit, which set the stage for the Greek-Persian wars.

The Greek-Persian Wars

Several of the Ionian Greek cities in Lydia revolted against Persian rule, but were swiftly crushed. Their handsome men were made eunuchs while their beautiful daughters were sent to royal harems. Sensing weakness and lack of unity, the Persians demanded surrender of all of Greece to Persia. Some cities did send signs of submission, but both Athens and Sparta refused. Following the same pattern as previous conquests, Persia moved on Greek cities, and conquered them one by one on the way to the two powerful states. Cities like Naxos and Eretria were conquered, through both military means and subversion of dissidents. But Persia made the fatal error of destroying the temples of both cities and enslaving their people. No Greek would ever tolerate this on their own soil. Athens called up its army, and marched to intercept the Persian army on the plain of Marathon. The Persians there were garbed in cuirasses of iron, iron scale, iron lamellar, and iron plated armor, as well as lighter padded armor. They bore violinshaped large and great shields, and their first ranks all bore wooden tower shields. The Persian army favored a combined weaponry formation, where one soldier bore a large shield, to protect a longspear bearing soldier slightly behind them. But the majority of the Persian armies were archers, also protected by shield bearers. Most shield bearers wore heavier armor, and carried a short spear to defend with, while the archers wore light padded armor and carried composite longbows. Most all soldiers, even the elites and the Immortals, wore robes over their armor, which were usually brightly colored. Besides the long and short spears, Persian soldiers bore straight swords called Akinakes, a curved chopping blade called the Kopis, and axes. The Persians still used Chariots, but they were unable to bring them to Greece. Persian chariots were usually driven by a heavily armored driver, and their wheels had iron scythe blades mounted on the hubs. They were, however, able to bring quite a number of mounted troops, and Athens had no equivalent cavalry. The Greeks, on the other hand, wore revival bronze plated linen cuirasses, iron scaled linen cuirasses, iron scale, Greek ring mail, linen cuirasses, and bronze revival breastplate armor. They carried round large shields, and carried spears, swords, axes, daggers, bows, slings, and clubs. Greek soldiers were not mounted. The Athenians lead the army at Marathon, but a number of Greek cities joined the battle, including Sparta.

The akinakes is Persian broadsword, replete with a blood groove and double edged blade. Used almost as much as the kopis, the akinakes was primarily a piercing weapon, and its heavy blade made it very damaging. Ornamentation was common, and the pommel was split, rather than rounded. This


Iron and Empire

made it less versatile than later swords since it was more difficult to change the manner in which the sword was wielded. spot. This, incidentally, is the origin of the modern Marathon footrace.

Cuirass, Iron
The Iron Cuirass was developed in Greece, and then imported to Persia. Simple versions were relatively featureless, while more expensive suits were shaped to look like a muscular human torso. When backed with leather, the Iron Cuirass was very effective against most attacks, at the sacrifice of some movement.

The Second Invasion

Darius, already encumbered by revolts in Egypt, could not respond to the rout right away, and he died before a second attack was launched. In the intervening time the Greeks were not idle. Sparta stepped up its military training, and Athens pulled together its allies. Eventually the alliance of Athens and a number of northern Greek cities would form the core of the Delian League, but Sparta would never join, suspicious of the intentions of Athens and worried about Athenian domination. When Persia finally regrouped, it found a Greece prepared for war. And war they had. Persia at first seemed successful. Launching an attack with 180,000 men (half of the total Persian Army), Persia set sail in 1200 ships, and landed in the southern portion of Greece. The Spartans made a number of attempts to stop the colossal Persian army, including holding the pass of Thermopylae against the entire army with only 300 soldiers, but those 300 soldiers were finally killed, and the cities of Sparta, Thebes, and eventually even Athens fell to the Persian forces. While the Spartans fielded the best army in Greece, the Athenians ruled the seas. It was Athenian forces at sea that crippled the Persian army, sinking a substantial portion of the Persian fleet, leaving the army without enough support to maintain their holdings. The Persian army was forced to retreat overland, and it eventually lost its main commanders in the attempt. The last battle, at Mycale, destroyed the bulk of the Persian fleet, as well as its army. Thus the second invasion, too, failed. Due to the loss of the sea war, Xerxes, then king of Persia, executed his Phoenician captains and crushed the remnants of the Phoenician cities in Asia. The last stronghold of Phoenician culture was the North African city of Carthage, and even that was conquered by Persia in retaliation, although it was not destroyed. The Greeks rebuilt, and the Delian League was established. Spartans began to parley with North African states of Persia, while the Delian League created an army and declared a crusade to free the Greek cities still under Persian rule. Now on the defensive, Persia found itself trying to hold down a number of revolts while facing a marauding army in poorly held territories. The weakened Persian kingship fought a number of battles over the next 50 years, eventually being forced to grant independence to all asian Greek city-states, as well as recognize the independence of all European holdings. Still the Greeks harried the Persians at sea and plotted with dissatisfied Persian satrapies.

Armor, Persian Charioteer

The Persian Charioteer armor was highly restrictive, made to protect the charioteer but did allow them freedom of movement in their arms. An Iron Cuirass, Iron helmet with iron plated leather face and neck mask, plated sleeves, iron skirt, iron leg braces and iron shod boots, this armor favored protection at the expense of freedom of leg movement. In fact, the charioteer armor was so encumbering that they needed help into the chariot, and could not walk or run very effectively. Any charioteer who survived a crash or being thrown from their chariot was likely to try and strip off the armor as quickly as possible.

Longbow, Composite
The Composite Longbow was developed in Persia, based on the Light war bow of the Assyrians and certain developments by the Scythians. Though not as powerful as the Scythian bow could be, it had impressive range, and was used by military forces up into the 19th century.

Spear, Iron Half

The Iron Half Spear was a short stabbing spear carried by nonfront rank troops in the Persian army. Usually those who carried the halfspear also carried a great or tower shield, and they were trained to protect another warrior in battle, usually an archer or longspearman. Paired defense was the norm in the Persian army, since the majority of Persian soldiers were archers.

The Greek army was able to mobilize fast enough to control the access to the plain of Marathon. A tired Persian army arrived, low on supplies, to find their next target was not what they expected. Instead of finding yet another Greek city hiding behind its walls, the Persians came upon a fresh army, well trained and incensed at the treatment of Naxos and Eretria. There both sides fought a terrible battle, but the Persians, already depleted, could not hope to hold against the Greeks. Their army routed, and fled back to Persian controlled lands. It is said that a soldier named Pheidippides ran from the scene of the battle to Athens, a distance of about 24.8 miles, to deliver the news of victory. Legend says that he uttered the word Niki! which meant victory, and then dropped dead on the

Rise of Macedonia
Macedonia was a kingdom north of Greece. Considered only nominally Greek by the southern cities, it was a tyranny not


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34 33 39 35




33. Akinakes; 34. Iron Cuirass; 35. Persian Charioteer Armor; 36. Composite Longbow; 37. Iron Half Spear; 38. Persian Shield; 39. Sarissa centralized in a single city but over an area of land. When the Greeks forced Persia to return independence to all of European Greece, Macedonia was among those countries no longer beholden to the Persians. As the Delian league and the Spartans busied themselves with the Persians, the Macedonians concentrated on reforming their armies and improving their cavalry. By the time Phillip the Second came to power in Macedonia, Macedonian Cavalry, called the Companions, was the finest in Greece, and it rivaled that of the Persians in skill if not size. A king with a military bent, Phillip focused on reforming the infantry. Phillip still honored the place of the elite Hoplite, but he created a number of new elite soldiers. Phalangites were phalanx troops, well armored and bearing the sarissa, a longspear that was the predecessor of the pike. Hypaspists were lighter armored and armed than the Hoplites and Phalangites, and were primarily reserve troops, meant to shore up weakness in a battle line and support weary soldiers. Archers and Slingers were also used in larger numbers in the Macedonian armies, and the archers favored the double recurve bow of the Scythians. Standard armament for all soldiers were javelins, spears, and swords, either straight edged or the kopis. The armies of Macedonia favored the Greek round shield

Cestrosphendone (kestros)
The Cestrosphendone, or kestros for short, was a small arrow or bolt adapted to be fired from a specialized sling. Adapted long after the collapse of the Empire, it was used primarily in Macedonia, and did not see use in later cultures. It was an oddity, a testament to the Greek fascination with the sling.

Double string sling

The Double stringed sling was an improvement made to accommodate the kestros. Able to sling all common kinds of sling ammunition, it was only used in Greece, and went out of use with the kestros. The sling takes no damage from attacking, but takes double damage from slashing attacks.


Iron and Empire

40. Gastrophetes

The Falcata is a descendant of the kopis, with an even heavier blade. The Macedonians adopted its use for those soldiers who preferred chopping weapons, and the falcate spread from there all over thier conquered lands. The Yataghan, Kukri, Kora, Falchion, and Pata all descend from this weapon.

The gastrophetes was one of the few Greek bow inventions, and possibly the first crossbow invented in Europe. The gastrophetes literally translates to belly-bow, and it was a huge crossbow that had a wide, concave end. When the gastrophetes needed to be reloaded, one merely placed the concave segment against the belly, and grasped the bowstring with both hands, using the full strength of the upper body to pull the bow into place. The gastrophetes had surprising range and draw, and it used a composite longbow as its main bow, but it was an unwieldy weapon. The Romans would later adapt the gastrophetes to a pillar-like stand, and assign two men to load and fire it, making it a multi-man siege weapon, the predecessor to the ballista. The gastrophetes used standard arrows, rather than crossbow quarrels or bolts.

separately. If they strike armor, apply each stones damage separately, since the damage does not stack. If any damage multiplier is in order that multiplier only affects the first die roll. Every roll after that cannot benefit from a multiplier. If there are any targets in any 5 foot space adjacent to the primary target, and any stones have not struck a target, subtract one from the number of stones still unaccounted for (in order to account for the distance) and roll to hit again, with a -5. If there is a success, roll a d10 again to determine the number of bullets that hit that target. Remember the original number of bullets slung and how many have hit you cant hit with more bullets than youve slung. This process can be repeated for all valid targets in a 5 foot radius around the primary target, or until all stones have been accounted for. When slinging with tiny ammunition the same process as above is used, except roll with 1d3 to determine the number of stones that strike. Damage for a tiny stone is 1d4. Damage for a tiny lead bullet is 1d6+1. Damage for a small stone bullet is 1d6. Damage for a small lead bullet (the equivalent of a shot put) is 1d8+1. When used with a single bullet or stone, roll standard to hit, rather than to hit against a 5 foot area. Note that stone ammunition can be heated as per the materials rules, although the weapon will also sustain that heat damage as a consequence.

Pole-mounted sling
The Macedonian military devised a pole-mounted sling, which was used to launch larger stones. A slinger using the polemounted sling could launch up to 10 miniscule stones or bullets, up to 3 tiny stones, or 1 small sized stone of no more than 20 lbs weight. When slinging miniscule ammunition, the to hit roll is applied to a figure in a 5 foot area. If the roll is unsuccessful, roll as per missing with a grenade-like weapon. Otherwise roll 1d10. That many bullets have struck the target. Roll damage for each one

The Sarissa is an extremely longspear (16 feet) with a longer than average spear head. It is an extended reach weapon, and requires 15 feet on a map to be effective. It may be used to attack an opponent 15 feet away if set in the ground at one's feet. If held, the 5 foot square behind the wielder may not be occupied


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42 45 Phillip for peace, proposing that Phillip keep his holdings if he agreed not to march south. This gave Phillip time to administer the cities he captured and recruit more soldiers. Then he marched south anyway, and this time no city or alliance could stop him. Twenty years into his reign Phillip had defeated all of Greece, and accepted the surrender of its major cities. In order to promote solidarity among his conquered lands, he formed the League of Corinth. It performed much as the Delian League did, opposing Persia who watched Phillips campaign with much interest. Heartened by Phillips opposition to Persia, Greece united behind him. Perhaps he would have marched against Persia soon after his conquest. But he never had the chance. At a celebration he was poisoned, and he died soon after, leaving the throne of Macedonia to his son, Alexander.




Customizing your Fighter

The Fighter has a great degree of variance only rivaled by the Rogue. In this chapter three very different soldiers all fall under the Fighter class description. The Scythian horseman is a mounted bowman/warrior. The Persian Immortal is a heavily armed and armored archer. The Greek Hoplite is an elite campaign footman. Yet each of these soldiers is a Fighter, each just pursues a different track. The Scythian Fighter focuses on mounted feats, and builds up his ride skills. The Persian Immortal focuses on archery feats, and concentrates on skills to improve their mobility. The Greek Hoplite is a straight Fighter, focusing on strong attacks and precision. When considering how best to spend new skill points or feats, consider what kind of fighter you envision yourself having. Does he fight from horseback? Does he use a sword or a bow? Does he fight with finesse or brutal strength. The Fighter may seem to be a very basic class with a very limited scope, but it is actually a template towards creating any warrior you can imagine. History records hundreds of times when young kings are handed the reigns of power and fail to perform. It is easy and tempting to sit on the accomplishments of the past, and many rulers do. But not Alexander: Tutored by Aristotle, sired by a warrior king, he had lead the cavalry units in Phillips final battles in Greece, at the ripe age of 18. Now 20 and king, Alexander was about to do something no other man would equal in the span of history. There were a few minor upheavals with the assassination of Phillip, but Alexander was swift to crush a minor Theban rebellion and establish his dominance in Greece. Two years into his kingship he had settled the unrest, and, with an army of 43,000 men and 50 warships he entered Asia. The then king of Persia Darius the Third brought an army to bear quickly, meeting him in Anatolia, but Alexander proved far more of a tactician than Darius expected, and the Persian army was soundly defeated. Alexander marched south through Asia Minor and Lebanon, defeating Persian troops and liberating cities. From time to time he would stop to found new cities, giving them Greek names like Antioch and Thebes, as well as naming some for himself (Alexandria). Marching into Egypt he again faced Dar-


41. Falcata; 42. Cestrosphendone; 43. Double String Sling; 44. Pole-mounted Sling; 45. Paddle Club; 46. Great Wood Shield by an opposed combatant, otherwise the Sarissa is unwieldable. The Sarissa, when held in both hands, must be able to extend up to five feet behind the wielder, and then may only be used against a foe 10 feet away. Any foe within that range may not effectively be attacked by a Sarissa. The precursor of the pike, the Sarissa was used by forward ranks in an army to blunt or stop charges, primarily horse charges. When set against a charge, the Sarissa does triple damage, rather than double damage, against a charging creature or target. Being a large weapon, it must be wielded with two hands. As an alternative method of using the weapon, two soldiers may wield the Sarissa together, each using one hand, and therefore allowing each to wield a shield as well. This may be done only when setting the Sarissa against a charge or when soldiers march in rank. The distance from the rear soldier indicates the reach distance.

The March of Alexander

Forging his infantry into a varied and capable fighting force, Phillip turned his gaze southward to test their mettle. His first campaigns tested his armies and found them wanting, but with refinement the Macedonian force became feared throughout Greece. Before a handful of years were out, Athens petitioned


Iron and Empire

ius, and defeated him, destroying yet another key part of the Persian defense. Egypt was only too happy to see Alexander, and they embraced him, giving him troops and erecting shrines to him. Then Alexander returned to Syria, stopping in temples and shrines along the way to worship, declaring that the local gods were obviously just different faces of the same gods worshipped in his native Greece. Everywhere he went he embraced those who spoke Greek as his fellows, and soon a cult of Greece sprung up in the liberated lands, united behind the credo that any who spoke Greek were equal citizens in Alexanders Greece. When Darius attacked Alexander for a third time, his army was already demoralized, and they routed swiftly. Darius himself fled east, but his own followers captured him and executed him publicly when Alexanders armies approached. lions, plots, and then he married the daughter of a Bactrian nobleman in order to secure peace. The same year Alexander married Roxanne, he decided to march East once again. Crossing again into the Indus, Alexander pushed into India, fighting against many of the kingdoms of the Punjab region. When he at last came to the edge of the Ganges, his men, long afield and disturbed by the alien land they fought in, refused to continue, and so Alexander was forced to change course. Instead he and his men built a fleet of ships, and sailed the Hydaspes south, to conquer the lands of southwest India. In the battle of Multan Alexander was grievously wounded, and it was at this time that he turned west, and decided to cross back into Persia by a more southerly route. This proved to be devastating to his army, which lost half its number traveling through Baluchistan.

Elephants were first domesticated in India. Large, intelligent, and prone to fearsome madness in battle, these unpredictable beasts were highly dangerous and destructive. In some armies a contingent of elephants, usually with gold or silver capped tusks, were kept on one flank, and goaded into a stampede by their handlers. Once loose, elephants were just as likely to hurt ally as they were to hurt foe, so armies using elephants stayed well away from the front they intended to attack with elephants on. Other armies, though, used elephants in a more thoughtful manner. Mounting platforms called howdahs on the backs of elephants, they would place half a dozen archers atop the elephant. The elephants tough skin could keep it from injury, while the archers on its back had an excellent vantage point to strike at unsuspecting targets. Alexander was so impressed with this use that he brought a contingent of elephant soldiers back with him, and elephants became an addition to a number of his armies. At first the Indian elephant was the most common found in post-Alexander armies, but the elephants of Africa were larger, and they were eventually adopted as more preferable mounts. Elephants that are trained to berserk in combat have the added combat ability of rage. Rage (EX): When an elephant that has been trained to berserk receives damage in combat, it flies into berserk fury in the following round, goring and trampling any creature it can see. An enraged elephant gains +4 Strength, +4 Constitution, and -2 AC. The creature cannot end its rage voluntarily. Alexander claimed the throne of Persia just six years after coming to power in Macedonia. He even adopted Persian dress, and viewed all later opposition as rebellion against his righteous rule of Persia. He continued to pursue the remnant forces of Persia throughout the north and east, even crossing the Hindu Kush into the Indus. Then, having disposed of the last resistance, he returned to Susa, which now was the capital of his domain. He spent the next three years putting down rebel-

Morale is a difficult factor to quantify. A highly successful and potent army, the Macedonian forces under Alexander were willing to march with him into the face of a much larger enemy. But eight years later, with a surfeit of victory, a longing for home, and facing a strange and unknown land, his same army almost mutinied. Darius the Third experienced an even worse side of failing morale, when after his third loss and on the run, his own people killed him in order to make peace with Alexander. Morale often has nothing to do with simple things like food or comfort, and everything to do with leadership. Since most d20 situations that involve armies usually involve the head of those armies, a good indication of morale comes from comparing the leadership skill of each leader. In times when the battle is at a critical juncture, it is the leader with the higher leadership score who tends to prevail. An easy way to simplify this is to make an opposed leadership roll between both characters, with the highest score winning the juncture. This still allows enough variance to let an underdog win from time to time, but follows with the heroic aspect of d20 role-playing. When Alexander returned to court he discovered things in disarray. Corruption and disloyalty was rampant in his empire, and he was forced to purge much of the aristocracy he had trusted while he was away. With war in Greece brewing, Alexander forced most of his officers to take Persian wives, in order to solidify their attachment to the conquered land and help him raise Persian soldiers. This caused a mutiny in his army, which he put down mercilessly, but the damage was done. The army looked on Alexander with fear, for they saw a man much changed by his campaigns. He was ruthless and powerful, controlling all the civilized lands he could, and he no longer seemed Greek to his primarily Greek army. Some records suggest that Alexander may have claimed personal divinity. This was an alien concept to Greece, but quite common in the lands Alexander had conquered. There is definite evidence to suggest he had adopted other eastern ruling


From Stone to Steel

methods, and records of his pronouncements used formulaic language that suggested he believed in his own divinity. To his mind he had accomplished tasks only heroes of yore did. But this period was not to last. Alexander, after suffering the loss of a close friend, returned to Susa, and grew ill. Whether this was a natural illness or poison is unknown, but he died at the age of thirty three. His wife, Roxane, was pregnant at his death, and bore him a son, who inherited his kingdom, but his son barely survived long enough to claim rule before he was killed. Thus, Alexanders empire was left without an heir, and no man even tried to rule his land alone. In the end three of his greatest generals divided Alexanders empire in portions. Seleucus, general of Alexanders cavalry, took control of all lands east of the Euphrates. Ptolemy, a distinguished cavalry officer, took control of Egypt. Antigonus, another general, was awarded portions of Asia that are now Afghanistan and Iran. Lysimachus, a bodyguard to Alexander, was given control of Thracia. And Cassander, a son of one of Alexanders generals, was given control of the former Macedonia and Greece. Thus was the world divided up. But peace was not to reign. Within a few years the only surviving kings were Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus, and Greece was once more independent of Macedonia. Ptolemy and Seleucus would eventually found dynasties and fight often over control of Palestine and Syria, while Greece would eventually face defeat from a growing power to its west: Rome.

Sub-Saharan Africa
In the lands south of the Sahara, metalworking probably started much earlier than in other regions, but iron smelting was only common in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Nigeria. It would not be until after the first century A.D. that iron working would be common throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. The inhospitable climate of much of Africa prevented largescale urbanization. Certain cities, like Timbuktu, were established as centers of commerce and trade, but the majority of Sub-Saharan African culture was nomadic. This prevented extensive development of cultures and armies. Weapons and armor in Africa tended to focus on protection of the individual warrior. A few kingdoms of note did spring up before the colonization of Africa. Ethiopia would eventually become a powerful Christian kingdom, opposing Islam but not participating in the Crusades. The Bantu, who were probably once nomadic people from Northern Africa, established a number of kingdoms in the Congo and East African Highlands, and continued to travel south. Wherever they went they imposed their language, but in exchange they brought advanced agriculture and iron working, which improved life in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. Later ages would see the rise of the kingdom of Ghana as well, although Ghana would eventually crumble under the onslaught of Islam. The spear and club were the most common weapons of SubSaharan Africa. Often the clubs had flat, paddle-like striking surfaces, and sometimes a knee-bend in the haft. The knee bend gave strikes extra force. Such clubs were always made of hard wood, and were differently shaped and manufactured by each tribe. The sickle sword or sickle axe was also common in these regions. Often more curved than those of Egypt, these sickle weapons were used to cause grievous wounds to limbs, being ineffective against armor.

Diffusion of Technology
When lands are conquered, any technological advances are usually diffused between the regions. In the Bronze Age the conquests of the Hittites brought chariot technology to the major powers. In the Iron Age the curved swords of the kopis and falcata were shared between Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and India because of the various wars of conquest that spread them around. As weapons like the falcate dispersed, different cultures adapted them to their own uses. In a fantasy world, regardless of what cultures might normally gravitate towards, this same process occurs. If you want to place an exotic culture near your base culture, its only natural that technology will be shared between the two groups, even if only because of warfare.

Club, Paddle
The Paddle club was a common weapon, south of the Sahara, usually used where metal was hard to come by. Something of a hybrid between axe and club, its a close in slashing weapon, often with a knee-bend in the haft.

Sword & Axe, African Sickle Style

Africa developed a number of fearsome curved blades, notably their own unique sickle sword and sickle axe. Both weapons have a thin haft and crescent blade, with the sickle sword having some blade extension down the haft. Neither weapon has a substantial guard so the most common injuries suffered in warfare were to the limbs.


Iron and Empire






47. African Sickle Sword; 48. Sickle Axe; 49a. African Throwing Knife (Zaire); 49b. African Throwing Knife (Central African Empire); 49c. African Throwing Knife (Sudan)

Knife, African Throwing

The most striking weapon of Sub-Saharan Africa was the throwing knife. Fearsome and fanciful in design, these often had two or more abruptly jutting curved blades that were useless for regular striking. Worn into battle in sheathes draped over the neck or on this inside of shields, these were ceremonial weapons, and each tribe had an individual way of manufacturing their knives. Many of those with curved, hooked blades were intended to catch onto shields or parrying weapons and swing over the obstruction to strike at the warrior behind, like the war boomerang of the Aborigines. These weapons were the primary reason that Sub-Saharan Africa developed leg greaves to go with all its armor. The African throwing knife has a variety of shapes, depending on the region of its origin. Some are Y,ew or K shaped, and often with hooked or crescent blades. This design actually makes it more likely that a blade will strike your opponent when you throw it. The hooks on the African throwing k make it a Shield Bypass weapon. The hooked blades create a rotation point on a defensive item, allowing an attack to bypass it.

.African Armor
Warriors in Africa usually wore leather or hide armor, although certain kingdoms also used a light iron scale shirt with leather greaves. Shields were generally large or great, and made of stretched leather (hide) or wood. Metal shields were never used.

Shield, Great Wood

The great wooden shield is an excellent defensive item, but it can be quite weighty. Often these are decorated with appropriate devices.


From Stone to Steel

Table 3-1: Iron Age Weapons
Simple Weapons-Melee Weapons Tiny Dagger, Iron Knife, Chinese Curved Knife, Iron Small Mace, Light Iron Sickle, Iron Medium-Size Club, Iron Studded Club, Paddle Mace, Heavy Iron Spear, Half Irona Large Spear, Short Irona Simple Weapons-Ranged Small Double string sling Medium-Size Gastrophetes* Javelin, Iron Headed Martial Weapons - Melee Small Falcata Kopis Shem Sharru Shortsword, Iron Medium-Size Akinakes Battleaxe, Iron Longsword, Iron Large Club, Great Iron Studded Sarissaa Scythe, Iron Spear, Long Bronzea Spear, Long Irona Martial Weapons-Ranged Large Bow, Double Recurve* Longbow, Composite Exotic Weapons-Melee Small Axe, Sickle Cestrosphendone (kestros) Cost 1.6gp 1.8gp 1.3gp 9gp 4gp 4gp 1gp 10gp 9sp 1.6gp Damage 1d4 1d4 1d4 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d6 1d8 Critical 1920/x2 x3 x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 x3 x3 Range 15ft Wgt 1.5 lbs 1.5 lbs 1.5 lbs 6.5 lbs 3.5 lbs 5 lbs 5 lbs 13 lbs 4 lbs 5 lbs Type P S S B S B B&S B P P M M M M MW M MW M M WM WM H/HP 6/5 6/5 6/5 6/18 6/12 6/10 5/10 6/26 4/8 4/10

20ft 20ft

2gp 45gp 9sp

As per ammo 1d10 1d6

x2 1920/x2 x2

50ft 110ft 30ft

.1 lbs 13lbs 4 lbs

As per ammo P P


2/3 5/39 6/12

13gp 12gp 13gp 9gp 12gp 9gp 13gp 4.5gp 10gp 16gp 3gp 4gp

2d3 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d10 1d10 2d4 1d8 1d8

1820/x2 1820/x2 1820/x2 x3 1920/x2 x3 1920/x2 x3 x3 x4 x3 x3

10.5 lbs 7.5 lbs 5 lbs 3.5 lbs 6 lbs 8 lbs 5 lbs 11 lbs 13 lbs 13 lbs 9 lbs 10 lbs



6/32 6/23 6/15 6/12 6/12 6/16 6/15 6/22 4/26 6/26 4/18 4/20

120gp 100gp

1d8 1d8

x3 x3

100ft 110ft

3 lbs 3 lbs

Per arrow As per arrow


4/9 4/9

8gp 2gp

1d8 1d4

x3 x3


7 lbs 3 lbs



6/21 4/9


Iron and Empire

Table 3-1: Iron Age Weapons
Exotic Weapons-Ranged Weapons Small Knife, African Throwing#* Sword, African Sickle Whip, Bone Scourge#* Whip, Leather#* Large Pole-mounted sling* Weapons Ranged-Ammunition Arrow, Iron Fire* (20) Arrow, Iron Headed (20) Bullet, Lead Sling Cost 4gp 5gp 8sp 1gp 3gp 22gp 1gp 1sp Damage 1d6 1d6 1d2 1d2 As per ammo 1/rnd 1d4 Critical Range x4 x2 x2 x2 x2 15ft Wgt 3 lbs 4 lbs 1.5 lbs 2 lbs 4 lbs 3.5 lbs 4 lbs 6 lbs Type P S S S B P & Fire P B M MW MW CB L WL WM WM M H/HP 6/9 6/12 3/5 4/6 4/13 1/4 1/4 8/6

10ft 60ft -10ft

* See the description in the text for special rules. Double Weapon Reach Weapon a If you ready an action to set this weapon against a charge you deal double damage. # Shield bypass weapon Subdual damage

Table 3-2: Iron Age Armor

Armor Light Armor Armbands Cuirass, Iron Scaled Linen Leather Shield Skirt# Medium Armor Cuirass, Iron Lamellar, Bone Lamellar, Iron Scale Mail, Bronze Scale Mail, Iron Heavy Armor Charioteer Armor, Persian# Ringmail, Greek Bronze Ringmail, Greek Iron Shields Shield, Great Iron Shield, Large Iron Shield, Small Iron Armor Max Dex Armor Check Cost Bonus Bonus Penalty 2gp 50gp 5gp 180gp 33gp 44gp 42gp 45gp 235gp 185gp 190gp 34gp 17gp 6gp Spell Failure Spd 30'/20' Weight M 1lbs 24lbs 1lbs 31lbs 26lbs 31lbs 32lbs 31lbs 42lbs 37lbs 36lbs 26lbs 16lbs 6lbs M MF L M B M M M M M M M M M H/HP 6/2 6/48 4/2 6/62 4/52 6/62 5/64 6/62 6/86 5/52 6/50 6/52 6/32 6/18

4 +.5 5 4 4 4 4 6 5 5 3 2 1




3 3 2 3 3 1 1 1 3 2 1

-3 -4 -5 -4 -4 -9 -6 -6 -3 -2 -1

25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 40% 35% 35% 25% 15% 5%

20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 15ft*/10ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 20ft/15ft Spd 40'/50'/60'

Mount's Gear Medium Barding, Leather and Bronze Plate





ML 5/128

# See the description in the text for special rules. * When running in heavy armor you move only triple your speed, not quadruple. ** The tower shields grants you cover. See the description. Hand not free to cast spells. Armor fitted for small characters weighs half as much.



The Roman Monarchy Nascent Republic The Greek Response The First Punic War Trouble With the Gauls Hannibal Hannibals Downfall The Road to Empire. Roman Weapons & Armor Sparticus Julius Caesar Table 4-1: Legionairre Playing a Legionnaire The Germans German Combined Cavalryman (Prestige Class) Table 4-2:German Combined Cavalryman The Celts of Britain Consolidation Days of Glory Gladiators

84 85 86 87 87 88 89 89 90 91 92 94 95 96 96 97 98 99 101 101

Dog, War Auroch Bull Gazelle Giraffe Hippopotamus Ostrich Gladiator Armor Gladiatoral Weapons Ben Hur Table 4-3: Open Faced Helm Gladiator (Prestige Class) Table 4-4:Gladiator Army Ascendant Gladiators as PCs Days of Decline The Huns The Fall of Rome Table 4-5: Weapons Table 4-6: Armor

102 102 103 103 104 104 105 106 108 108 108 109 110 111 111 112 114 114 115 116


acituss head spun with the blow and he fell to the ground, not quite sure of what just happened. Glancing up he saw the heavy jaw and gap-toothed grin of the trainer. The powerful Thracians head was shaved bald, his scalp marred by burn scars and his face cracked in glee. Turn around you imbecile, and take whats coming to you like a man! he shouted. His Latin was accented with backwoods Greek, its intonation strange and awkward. Tacitus staggered to his feet, his head still ringing from the backhand of the ugly man. Come on, the Thracian growled, raising the flagellum in his other hand. Youll be craving my fists if I give you a taste of this. Raise your sica and dont back away. As Tacitus turned towards his training partner he was cuffed again by the trainer, but this time he managed to keep his feet.

The trainer then turned around to eye the other slaves. Alright, thats it. Go to the posts and then youll have your dinner. More than one future gladiator seemed to let out a sigh of relief. But no one let the relief hit their face. There was no weakness allowed in Ligulas school. Ligula staked his reputation on his training regimen and his gladiators. Tacitus picked himself up off of the ground, and grabbed for his sica and shield. Hed need to rewrap his leather, which hed lost grip on when he fell. No. the trainer said darkly, as he prevented Tacitus from moving to the posts. The other trainees battered at the wooden posts, practicing the eight striking forms, each one in succession. The Egyptian moved with fluid grace, making the others look slow and lame. Youre coming with me, servant. Tacitus felt dread in the pit of his stomach. What did the trainer have in mind? Tacitus never wanted to be a gladiator: the stink, the sweat, the death. Tacitus was not cut out for this. He was a house slave, a changer of linens and floor cleaner. He didnt have the strength or the courage for it. He counted himself proud to even have gone two rounds with the Egyptian. But his master had not been pleased with him. Tacituss habit of taking sips from the masters wine store made him drunk one night, and hed been found sprawled in the garden, drunk. And Tacituss master had sent him into Ligulas school. He had little illusion about what was in store for him. In his dark moments he could only hope to have an experienced foe. Someone who would sever his neck and free him from this life with little pain. He did not relish a maiming. The trainer lead Tacitus into the compound, to a bare closet with a pile of wood in the corner. Get in there, worm, the trainer commanded, his contempt palpable. Select two pieces of wood. Tacitus eyed the wood and picked up the smallest pieces. This was not lost on the trainer. Put one in each hand. Now, hold them out at your sides, with your arms out, even with the floor. Tacitus did this, unsure of the reason. The trainer continued. We get house slaves here from time to time. Fooling around with the Masters mistress or selling his tableware for pocket change at the games. But you are the sorriest specimen Ive ever seen. And you fight like a woman. Tacitus burned, not with anger, but with shame. Worse. Ive seen plenty of women fight better than you, the trainer continued. Ligula will have me flogged if you arent ready for the arena in two weeks. A curious sensation entered Tacituss arms as the trainer continued to berated him: A burning in the shoulders. Somehow these flimsy pieces of wood seemed heavier than he expected. Something must have shown in Tacituss face, because the trainer went thoughtfully quiet. Im going to leave, to get the rest ready for their meal. If I come back, and youve let your arms drop at all The trainer fingered his flagellum thoughtfully. Dont disappoint me. Then the trainer gave him a cruel smile, and closed Tacitus in the closet. In the dark Tacitus felt the burning spreading through his arms and shoulders. His

The trainer could be heard to back away. Alright. Fight, you wretches! Show me why you deserve to be called Thracian warriors in the Arena two weeks from now! The flagellum cracked, but Tacitus only flinched a little at the sound. No one cried out, which was a good thing. If they had, it would be two hours more training, and that meant dinner would be late. Tacitus looked over at the swarthy skinned Egyptian that faced him. Like everyone in Ligulas school, he wore strips of leather wrapped around his arms and clenched at the fists to keep them tight. A heavy wooden shield, slightly larger than a plate, was bound to his left arm and grasped in its hand, while the right held a wooden practice stick, heavily weighted in front. He raised his shield, and eyed the Egyptian. The Egyptian had shown surprising speed and agility, and Tacitus already had a sizeable bruise on his ribs from the last strike. It didnt hurt to breathe, though, so it was possible the bone was still healthy. The Egyptian moved forward aggressively, his eyes slits, focused on Tacitus. His wooden sica swung wide and high, trying to catch Tacitus in the head, a dangerous move for practice, but effective. Tacitus barely ducked below the swing, and too late he realized that he could probably have taken advantage of the Egyptians miss to strike. Did that mean he was learning? Or did that mean that he was just too slow to survive as a gladiator? Still musing, Tacitus almost didnt see the shield moving towards him in time. As he threw his shield up for the block, the Egyptian grinned at Tacituss hasty defense. Why was he smiling? Then Tacitus felt pain blossom in his ribs again as the Egyptians sica took him square in the purpling skin. Red streaked his ribs as his body protested the abuse. The Egyptian, though didnt seem to feel the strike was enough. He battered at Tacituss shield with his own, knocking it aside, and then brought his sica up, aiming to take Tacitus in the jaw. The moment before his jaw was to be broken, Tacitus was flung to the ground by a powerful shove. You! the trainer said, pointing at the Egyptian. Youre good. Get some water and practice on the post. I want you with second weeks tomorrow. Youve had some kind of training.


From Stone to Steel

bruise throbbed almost in time with the pounding of his heart. Which would disappoint him more, Tacitus wondered? If he let his arms fall? Or if he didnt? Tacitus could only hope the trainer returned soon. Please, please return soon. His voice cracked in the silence, as tears formed at his eyes... Rome was a male-dominated society. The power of the king mirrored the power of the father of every household. In early Rome the father could do anything to any member of their household, without question, from selling a member into slavery to outright murder. But generally social expectation and internal family relationships tempered that power. The Latin word for father is Patris, and Roman society was Patriarchal. The Patriarchs of Rome, the leaders of the clans, had greater power than many other leading families did in total monarchies. The Patriarchs could gather in the Senate to advise the king on the views of the people, and often those views helped Roman kings avoid extremely harsh decisions. Beyond the Senate existed another legislative body, the assembly, which consisted of all male citizens who could prove Roman heritage from both parents. The assembly had one power only: they alone chose succession. The Roman monarchy was not hereditary, and when a king died the Senate would convene to determine who would be next king. Then the assembly would decide whether or not to grant this king imperium, or complete power. This decision meant that people from any tribe and tribal origin could be king, ensuring that no single tribe dominated the kingship exclusively, and it gave every male citizen a voice. Unfortunately, Rome was in a difficult position, situated between stronger powers. The early monarchy of Rome spent much of its time defending itself against aggressors from all quarters. Early conflicts between Rome and the nearby Greek colonies eventually lead to a treaty by which Rome and the Greeks agreed to not challenge each others borders. The Samnites in the south made regular raids, although the Romans soon grew adept at driving them off. Initially, the Romans practiced war as the Greeks did, using hoplite soldiers and phalanx ranks, which put them at an advantage against disorganized attackers. Rome expanded its territory, and as it did, it expanded its populace as well. Servius Tullius, a Latin king of Rome, eventually called a census, in order to know the true population of Rome, so as to expand the Legio. By his mandate every man between 17 and 46 who passed a minimum land ownership requirement was available for military service, and every man from 47 to 60 were required by law to stand as the home front militia, should the city of Rome be attacked. This land requirement did limit the total number of soldiers available, but made certain that every soldier was also a citizen. But success always attracts the eyes of those larger, and the Etruscans of the north, seeing growing wealth and prosperity in Rome, raised a large army to challenge Rome. The resulting invasion was devastating, killing the king, destroying most of the army, and placing a new Etruscan king on the throne of Rome. Tarquin Superbus (Tarquin the Great), was the second King Tarquin of Rome, although the first not to be placed in power by the assembly. Ruling with impunity, he ignored the assembly and made light of the Patricians. In the end, his rape of a Patricians wife was the last straw. Angered and incensed at this innate strike at the family, the core institution of Rome,

The Roman Monarchy

bout the time that the Greeks were entering their archaic period, a number of tribes of Sabine, Faliscan, Latin, and Etruscan people lived among seven hills in a rural portion of the Italic peninsula. It is generally believed that one man, Romulus, through strength and ambition, united these various tribes and founded the city which would take his name, Rome. Legend has it that Romulus was one of twin boys (his brothers name was Remus) born to the Trojan warrior Aeneas, and supposedly raised in the wild by wolves. Little of this story can be substantiated, however, though certain truths can be ascertained. There was definitely a small common culture in this region dating back to the Bronze Age, which began to flourish in the Iron Age. And usually disparate tribes are only brought together in one place by people with vision.

The Roman monarchy was absolute, the king having complete power. More than just life or death, the ultimate tool in the Roman kings arsenal was banishment, which meant that a person could no longer enter the lands they called home, nor make any kind of contact with any person in those lands. In a world where ones tribe was extremely important, this kind of exile, called excommunication by the Latins, was worse than death, as an excommunicated Roman would find no comfort in lands abroad, and might often suffer at the hands of those at odds with Rome. In the beginning Rome was small. When the king had need to call up an army, he could count on 3000 men, about 1000 from each founding tribe (the tribes of Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres), as well as 300 men who could fight as cavalry. Because of their proximity to the Greek colonies of Corinth and Thebes, the Romans did use chariots, although only as transportation, not in battle. These 3000 soldiers made up a legion, legio being a Latin word literally meaning the levy. The legion was then divided into units of 100 men. The fact that the Roman term for 100 is a century, eventually lead to the Roman soldiers being called centurions, one of one hundred. The cavalry soldiers were equites, horsemen, from which we get the modern word equestrian. The equites came from the wealthiest families of Rome, those that could afford to feed and maintain horses of war. When considering that Athens could call up an army of 20,000 at this same time, the small army of the Romans seems insignificant. The Romans were a truly minor force in their region at the start, isolated between the Greek colonies, the Samnites to the south, and the strong Etruscan tribes of the north.


the Romans rose up against their Etruscan oppressors and overthrew them. Instead of reinstating the monarchy after the overthrow of Tarquin Superbus, the Roman Senate chose to retain the power of ruling Rome for itself. Without a king there could be no more such atrocities, and the interests of the people, already vested in the Patricians, could be pursued in the Senate. Thus Rome changed from a monarchy to a republic, and the great Republic of Rome was born. Not long after this an army from Gaul, some 30,000 strong, crossed the Appenines and laid siege to the remnant Etruscans. The Gauls were a Celtic tribe that dominated what is today France. Although not quite as aggressive as the Celtic tribes of Brittany and the British Isles, they were proud and dedicated warriors, who brought with them a fantastic innovation in armor: chainmail. Armed with bronze and iron axes, swords, spears, arrows, and daggers, large wooden and leather shields, and medium bows, and wearing the new chainmail, the Gauls were able to crush the Etruscans with ease. Then they marched on Rome. Roman Legions went to meet them at the Allia River. Romes force, strong as it was, could not face the vast numbers of the Gauls, and they were defeated. Rome itself was attacked, and though it held out for 7 long months, it, too, eventually fell to the Gauls. The Gauls were not interested in establishing an empire in foreign lands, and eventually their armies withdrew, but their lesson would not be lost on Rome. Rome had seen the error of depending on their limited levy, and their first duty, once free from the domination of the Gauls was to build a city wall. The Servian Wall would surround the seven hills of Rome: Capitoline, Palatine, Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Viminal, and Quirinal Hills. They tightened their hold on the Latin League, and together they forged a stronger nation than Rome had ever been. With the Legions expanded, and wealthy legionnaires armored in chainmail of bronze or iron, the Romans drove south, taking all of central Italy, and finally defeating and subjugating the Samnites. This extended their borders, and gave them control over a fifth of the Italic Peninsula, and it brought them into direct conflict with the Greek cities of southern Italy. These cities, long established and now well fortified, were anxious about the aggression of their northern neighbor, but their anxiety would not defend them. Roman armies marched on the Magna Graecia, and one by one the old cities fell.

Nascent Republic
n the following years the army of Rome was lead by elected magistrates, who would call up the Legion when there was need, and disband it when the purpose was finished. Eventually the practice was to raise the Legion in the winter, when the harvest was done. Since the membership of the Legion was by levy, different people could be elected from a given sub-section of a tribe, so as to make certain that no one person was unduly burdened by military service. The army was doubled to 6000 men, thanks to an increased population, and the equites grew in number to a respectable 1800 men, the horses of which were provided at public expense. The military began to be subsidized by the state, so that soldiers could still earn a living wage while on campaign, and not leave their families destitute. All of these changes lead to a strong military, and, with time and training, the Romans were able to subdue the stronger elements of the hostile Etruscans, and establish a firm border with the Samnites.

Much as some modern countries tend to rush to recognize emerging nations today, Carthage was one of the first to recognize the new Republic of Rome. Not a year after the Republic was founded, Carthage signed a treaty of friendship, supporting Romes independence from the northern Etruscans, and promoting trade between both nations. Carthage, from its Phoenician heritage, was a merchant state, influencing trade in all civilized regions, if not controlling it. This new trading relationship gave Rome access to foreign resources, and allowed Romans to become prosperous quickly, particularly the senators. Early Senate domination of Rome caused an uprising among the plebians, or common class, and established the office of the Tribune. The office of Tribune allowed common citizens a voice in the Senate, and theoretically allowed a plebian to be elected for offices should they be available, including the office of magistrate of the army. They established a mutual defense league with other Latin tribes in the region, which would eventually be integrated into Romes populace, ensuring a strong Latin cultural dominance. Lastly, Rome established and built up a navy, and with both navy and army was able to besiege and capture the Etruscan city of Veii. The city of Veii was destroyed not long after the capture, but the damage it did to the Etruscan tribes was evident.

Chainmail & Chainmail Shirt

The Gauls wrought tiny links of bronze chain, and then connected those links into tightly laced shirts, or shirts with kilts and sleeves. Chainmail is fashioned by linking metal rings into an interlocking pattern. This pattern diffused the force of blows over a larger area, preventing more direct damage, and often turning slashing or piercing attacks away. Chainmail is light and easy to repair, since only the broken links require replacing, rather than entire plates. The general defensive ability of chainmail in either form, coupled with the fact that chainmail didnt need to be tailored to the wearer made it popular among both the Celts and the Romans. This version, crafted in bronze was used first by Celts and then by Romans, and saw use well into the first century A.D. Later, the Romans would craft their chainmal from iron links until the development of Lorica Hamata.


From Stone to Steel



1a. Chainmail Shirt; 1b. Chainmail detail

The Greek Response

n Greece there was concern about fall of the Magna Graecia, and a Greek general, Phyrrus, raised an army and marched on Rome. Phyrruss army invaded northern Italy, and besieged a number of northern Italic cities controlled by the Latin League. His victories, though, came at a tremendous loss of life on both sides, and usually resulted in croplands being burned and cities being indefensible. These victories served to weaken the forces of Greece so substantially that, by the time Rome redirected its forces to meet him, Phyrruss force was no longer able to face them on the battlefield. The result was a complete defeat of Phyrrus, and the eventual defeat of the remaining Greek Cities. It took only a handful of years for Rome to consolidate its hold on Southern Italy, and turn its eyes to larger conquests.

Phyrric Victories
Phyrrus is one of those people whom history remembers not for their successes but for their failures. Phyrrus was a dedicated, loyal, and capable general in Macedonia, but when fighting the Romans he found himself in an unfamiliar land and against people who were used to fighting less conventional wars. Phyrruss victories in Roman territories were often empty. A city would be taken, but so much of the wall was destroyed and so little grain and supplies might be left that it cost him more to take the city than he would gain from sacking it. Or he might take on a defensive force of 5,000 men holding a city, and lose as many men in his own army taking the city. Such victories, where the success cost as much or more than the failure, have come to be known as Phyrric victories.

Rome grew in strength, on land and on sea. On land it had reformed its tactics, abandoning ancient phalanx tactics in favor of a new system, where by armies were composed of two kinds of infantry, one heavily armored, the other lightly armored but maneuverable. Conflict would be started by the lightly armed leves troops, who would cast their javelins, hoping to embed them in enemy shields. The intent was to remove the defense of the enemy, who would be forced to drop their shields or fight at a disadvantage, with a long and weighty spear lodged in their shield. If the leves were threatened they could drop behind the lines of the more heavily armored main troops, whos ranks would cast heavier javelins and then retire to allow the next rank to throw. Veterans were usually in the third rank, mainly because it was likely they would be the rank casting javelins last when the battle was engaged. Since every unit had a ranged weapon, archers and slingers were not used as extensively in Roman formations.

Javelin, Heavy Iron-tipped

Romes heavy javelins were crafted to take advantage of one of the properties of wood: its tendency to warp. Roman soldiers cast their javelins with the hope that they would embed themselves in their opponents, or, failing this, in their opponents shields. The wood of the Roman heavy javelin was made to bend on impact, to make it difficult and undesirable to throw back. If it did enough damage to embed itself into an enemy shield, it would become a hindrance, adding to the weight of the shield and making it difficult to maneuver. If a heavy javelin hits an enemy shield (by any means, including being deflected by the Feat Deflect Missiles), and does any damage to its HP, the javelin should be considered embedded. The weight of the embedded heavy javelin should be added to the shield weight. Anyone grabbing the javelin can use it to shield trap the shield bearer, without needing to roll the melee touch roll, since the javelin is already embedded in the shield. Since


the javelin may change their encumbrance, and leaves them open to having their shield trapped, many foes opted to drop the shield rather than hold onto it. trap. Disarming was also possible, trapping a blade or pole between two tines and drawing it away, although the weapon only confers +1 bonus to disarm.

The First Punic War

At sea Rome began to actively vie with Carthage for trade triggering a second treaty between the two empires. Through treaty, Carthage hoped to control where Rome could trade. But the Romans did not honor this treaty, and they eventually laid siege to Sicily, the main trading hub of the Western Mediterranian, and an island controlled by Carthage after the fall of the Greek states. This started the First Punic war, during which Rome would develop a sizeable navy. Naval tactics of the time, inherited from those used during the wars between Greece and Persia, involved ramming, shipboard archers, and forced boarding. The Greek and Persian wars had led to a number of developments in the way of grappling devices, both hooks on ropes and hooks on poles. The trident was one such development, although it was the Romans who adapted it most effectively to sea warfare. Though the First Punic war would end after a naval battle in the Aegates Sea, with Rome as the victor, it started a cycle of harassment and conflict that would cost a great many lives on both sides before Carthage would eventually fall to Rome. Not that Carthage was by any means a pushover. They had spent centuries at sea, trading, acting as mercenaries for powers like Greece, Persia, and Egypt, pirating and facing pirates. All of these experiences made them superior at naval conflict. Though the First Punic war, which involved control over Sicily and portions of southern Italy, was fought largely on land, it was the prowess of the Carthaginian fleets that prevented Rome from outright dominating the war. Indeed, the treaty that was signed after the first Punic War secured borders as they were before the war, only granting Rome extended trading freedoms over the previous trade agreement and access to Sicily.

Trouble With the Gauls

After the end of the First Punic war, Rome focussed on restoring order in the Latin League, and securing its new borders. A few border skirmishes with the Gauls who inhabited the lower Alps eventually secured the northern border of Rome. Mercenaries in Sardinia and Corsica lead a revolt and requested the support of Rome. Rome was more than pleased to support the mercenaries, and took control of the two islands swiftly. Then in the year 235 B.C. Rome declared universal peace for the first time in its history. Indeed this peace would last for all of five years before the Gauls would again threaten Rome. Although the Gauls were at first successful, the Romans would stop them at the Po River. However, once distracted by this invasion, they faced an increase in pirate raids by Illyrians, people who lived along the coast if what today is Albania. Rome opted to declare war on the Illyrians after the murder of some of their ambassadors. It seems likely that the increase in Roman trade, coupled with the Roman tendency to ignore the navy in times of peace, lead to the Illyrians harassing merchant ships and taking their rich cargo for themselves. There is also a strong likelihood that Carthage may have given the Illyrians financial incentives to sweeten the pot, and may have provided the Illyrians with ships from time to time. Unable to hold out against land forces, however, Illyria would surrender, and Rome would establish a puppet regime in order to prevent more violence. As Romes sphere of influence grew, they began to be approached by foreign powers interested in forging an alliance with the growing state. The people of Segundo, a city in Iberia, approached Rome and asked for a treaty of friendship. Iberia, the peninsula of modern day Spain, had, until this time, been considered in Carthages influence. With the signing of the Ebro River treaty, Rome found a way to limit that influence, and establish a foothold in Iberia. The Romans agreed to come to the aid of Segundo should it need it, in exchange for access to Segundos ports and trade. This treaty would eventually become the basis for the Second Punic war.

Trident, Iron Headed

The trident, a Greek invention used more actively by Rome, was a multipurpose weapon. The name, trident, meaning three teeth, was apt, as all three teeth of the trident were traditionally barbed. This allowed it to be thrown, or to be used to shield

2. Iron-tipped Heavy Javelin; 3. Iron Headed Trident


From Stone to Steel

But the Gauls were not finished. Emboldened by their brief success against Rome, a greater army would be formed numbering 150,000 soldiers supported by 20,000 horses and chariot units. This great army of the Gauls struck out at Rome from the southern Alps, and were met by half of the Roman army at Telemon, where the Romans engaged in a delaying action long enough for a reserve army stationed in Sardinia to make landfall and flank the Celtic force. The Romans lost 6,000 men in the battle, but managed to kill 40,000 and take 10,000 more as prisoners. Despite the tremendous victory, the Romans realized that as long as the Gauls controlled northern Italy, they could attack again at any time. The Romans resolved to strike deep in to the former stronghold of the Etruscans, in the hopes of crippling the remaining forces and driving them out of the region. Over the next four years, Rome would strike again and again, with highly mobile forces, deep into the Gaul held Alpine region of Northern Italy, conquering cities and dislodging portions of the Celtic armies. The Gauls attempted to resist, but found mob tactics to be less potent than the tactics of the Romans. Eventually they would surrender the region, and Rome would declare the region of Cisalpine Gaul to be a new province. This allowed them access to northern ports like Milan and Genoa, and land access to the region of Illyrium.

annibal was a general of great cunning and bravery. He lead his men well, and had a keen mind for tactics. He favored non-conventional forces, and could actively switch tactics in battle to maximize on opportunities. In short he was one of those rare and ingenious men who seemed born to war. His only flaw was in being born in Carthage, and opposing Rome.

Hannibal was born into a military family. His grandfather, uncles, father, and brothers were all officers in the Carthaginian military, and with Hannibal it was the same. Trained in all manner of warfare, from cavalry to elephants to infantry to negotiations, Hannibal was entrusted with leadership positions within the army in his early twenties. It was Hannibal who went to Antiochus, the Ptolemic King of Egypt, and drummed up support for a Carthaginian war against Iberia. Antiochus was a powerful king, and with his support Hannibal was able to secure many soldiers, armor, and support, which was most important because if Egypt did not support the war, they might well have found the lightly defended Carthage an appealing target. When he felt he had enough men, Hannibal took his army into Iberia, entering through the Carthaginian city of Nova Carthage, and bringing war to the tribes and peoples settled in this region. Hannibal was able to quickly dominate all of Iberia short of Segundo, then, in an attack that would send a serious message to Rome, he attacked and took Segundo, in direct violation of the Ebro River treaty. With his conquests complete, Hannibal rested and the next year raised three armies in the region. One he sent with his brother, to defend Carthage. The other he set to defend Carthages new holdings in Iberia. The third army Hannibal took; their crossing of the Southern Alps is remembered even to this day in jokes and sayings about Hannibal crossing the Alps with Elephants. This feat was no joking matter, however, to a Greek mercenary by name of Hercules who held the pass that Hannibal crossed. His army was completely decimated with inconsequential losses to Hannibals army. Hannibal was a man always considering the possible reactions of his foes. When passing through the newly held northern province of Rome, he faced army after hastily raised army, and routed them routinely. As he marched south, his reputation as being undefeatable grew, and he found what little resistance he ran into unchallenging. Indeed it took him little time to fight his way to the hills surrounding Rome, and all of Rome shuddered in fear of his name. One night Hannibal had little choice but to camp in a narrow defile, which allowed limited access in either direction, but which kept his entire army penned in. Quintus Fabius Maximus, the then leader of the Senate in Rome, took an army and invaded the hills around the defile, setting up an ambush that prevented Hannibals armies from being able to proceed or escape. Or so they thought, Hannibal was intelligent. He had scouts gather cattle from the nearby hills, as if in need of food.

Deception in Combat
Alls fair in love and war is a common saying today. Although later concepts of honor in combat would develop, first among the Goths and then throughout Europe, during this period there was little concern about the method of gaining victory. Hannibals deception with the torches on the steer is a fine example of anticipating your foes expectations and taking advantage of them. It is not often in an rpg that combat can be anticipated. Usually the combat is quickly upon the players, and its everything to just keep from being chopped, burned, or torn to pieces. But if there is an opportunity to study a situation and determine what an enemy group is composed of, proper planning and deception can mean the difference between life and death. For example: Animals set to guard something usually will fight only as long as they think they can win. If faced by something it fears, or if given the proper bait, animals can often be drawn away from whatever they are guarding. Soldiers, on the other hand, may only retreat if they feel outnumbered or outmatched. An Audible Glamour spell combined with a Dancing Lights spell could easily create the impression of many men, bearing torches, heading towards the soldiers. Despite the tendency to look at combat as another way to gain XP, it should be noted that good role-playing should reward those who find a way to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering.


That night he had his men tie torches to the horns of the cattle, and set them alight. The cattle began to wander around, taking the hills, the plains behind, and seeming as though a vast army, many times the size of Hannibals. The Romans were so afraid of the invading force that they never saw Hannibal lead the retreat, escaping the ambush without losing a single life. armies, lead by relatives or foreign generals, to attack Rome. But no commander would ever be successful, and each attack would heap more and more suspicion and hatred upon Hannibal himself. He would end his life fleeing from country to country, seeking asylum and avoiding plots to capture him, steal his wealth, and give him over to Rome. When, at last, he felt he could no longer hide from his persecutors, Hannibal took poison, and killed himself, rather than be killed by any other hand.

Hannibals Downfall
Now mere miles from Rome, Hannibal received a missive from the leadership in Carthage: They wanted him home. His war had taken him much farther than Iberia, which had been the only region they had agreed to go to war in. Also, Antiochus, removed his support, feeling it was no longer needed. But even more pressing to Carthage was the army of Publius Scipio, a Roman general who had been empowered to take an army to Northern Africa. This army had faced the army of Hannibals brother and defeated it, and Carthage was in fear of being invaded, which would negate any gains made in Iberia or Italy. Despite defeating every general sent against him, Hannibal would never again have a chance to attack Rome. He bowed to the orders of his nation, and returned home. Somehow, the man who had bested every general of Rome in Italy was defeated on his home turf, in a battle at Zama. The army of Publius Scipio defeated the Carthaginians, and Hannibal was forced to retreat across harsh desert, nearly 300 miles in two nights and a day. A number of Numidian tribesmen who had been with his army in Zama attempted to capture him during the retreat, intending to hand him over to the Romans as a peace offering. Hannibal was not only able to evade their plot, but he had the plotters put to death, and then raised an army in Hadrumetum, so as to continue with his war. Nevertheless, Publius Scipio took advantage of his victory over Hannibal, and forced Carthage to sign a treaty, returning borders to where they had originally been before Hannibals Iberian Campaign, and giving Iberia to Rome. Hannibal was understandably unwilling to accept this, and he continued to campaign in Africa against the Romans, until Rome forced Carthage to recall him from military service in exchange for the return of prisoners of war. Carthage capitulated, demanding Hannibal come home, but as soon as the prisoners were returned, they elected Hannibal to kingship, as a reward for his service. Hannibal was efficient in his role as monarch, but paranoid of Rome. When Rome sent an envoy to Carthage after the war, Hannibal assumed it was to protest his being given the post of king. Worse, he expected Carthage to concede to supposed Roman demands, and hand him over. Hannibal took as much property and money as he could, and fled in secret to Syria, to live under the protection of the Ptolemies. In Carthage, his people were outraged at his abdication and theft of property, and they confiscated what property he had left behind, razed his house to the ground, and declared him an outlaw. Over the years, Hannibal would attempt again and again to attack Rome. He would secure the support of kings and send

After conquering Macedonia and Greece, Rome went through a period called the Hellenization. It was a time when a great number of Greek philosophers, Greek thought, and Greek culture were imported to Rome. Architecture changed, favoring more Greek columns and flares, and many Greek myths and gods were added to the Roman pantheon. The Hellenization lead to the toga being the common dress of Rome, and actually made it easier for the Romans to interact with and conquer many Greek regions of Asia Minor and the Middle East. Of course, Rome periodically exiled large numbers of Greek philosophers for encouraging thought and movements that did not support Romes policies, so perhaps all of the Hellenization was not to Romes benefit.

The Road to Empire.

hen Hannibal first attacked Rome, he may have been a little lucky. The Illyrians and their supposed puppet government did not play to Romes tune as had been anticipated. Indeed, the king they put in power declared war on Rome, and set their navy against that of Rome. Thus, Rome was distracted while Hannibal invaded. The Romans soundly defeated Illyria, but the puppet king fled to Macedonia, resulting in the Romans declaring war on Macedonia. This war would occupy half of the Roman army, which might explain some of Romes inability to defend against Hannibal.

Regardless, the Romans were triumphant in their war with Macedonia. In a decade all of Macedonia, and, therefore, all of Greece was conquered. This conquest would be short lived, however, as Phillip the Fifth would campaign and gain support against the Romans with the Ptolemic Empire, eventually driving the Romans out. Antiochus, however, would not be an honorable ally, and shortly after driving the Romans out he invaded. This lead to a war of three nations, and eventually Rome would emerge the victor, taking all of Greece, and Asia Minor as well. Later conflicts by the son of Phillip the Fifth, Perseus, would lead to the Romans taking hostages. These hostages were held in Rome, and were used as pawns to threaten Greece, when Greece attempted to revolt again. Carthage would again attack Rome, but by now Romes reach was much greater, and this third and last Punic war ended with the destruction of Carthage, and the annexation of much of Northern Africa as a new province of Rome. By now Rome was the dominant force in the Mediterranian. Its culture, influ-


From Stone to Steel

enced by the Hellenization after the invasion of Greece, became popular, and its military forces, once insignificant, had become for all intents and purposes, world spanning. No single force could oppose the Romans, and nations like Pergamum eventually opted to join Rome, seeing in it their hope for the future. Rome had become a superpower, much like Macedonia, Persia, and Assyria before it. Power grew in Rome, so did the ambition of those who were given its reins. Many consuls, elected to govern Romes Legions, sought to rule as dictators. Many, in fact, did. Their wars made them worshipped in Rome. Although the continued existence of the Senate convinced the people of Rome that it was still a Republic, often consuls dictated policies and laws to the Senate and the Senate would enact them. Military matters, especially, fell to the consuls to govern, and the consuls reformed the military, removing much of the property requirements, forcing the state to pay for the armament of the soldiers, and allowing for career military terms. Soldiers would now spend their whole lives in the military, and could expect to be paid well and to have social influence when they left it. shortswords would be used by non-military people, most notably the pugio. Armor would often consist of chainmail, a heavy iron helmet, and a scutum, a large shield, most commonly of wood, although often lined with iron. The cohort, one tenth of a legion, became the main fighting force, and each cohort would be specialized. The first cohort was usually elite forces, while the others would contain regular troops, engineers, and various lighter fighting forces, including the velites, who would be armed with a small shield and weapons, but no armor. These last were often scouts or light reserve troops, but could also be called upon to harry heavier armored foes, since they could often retreat quickly to avoid casualties.

Pilum, Light & Heavy

Romes pilums were the ultimate end of their javelin strategy. The long, thin piercing head of the javelin was well-crafted iron, however one of the pins by which the head was bound to the shaft was made of wood. This pin was quite easy to break, resulting in the head becoming loose and severely impacting its flight-worthiness. Roman soldiers cast their pilums with the hope that they would embed themselves in their opponents, or, failing this, in their opponents shields. Like the heavy javelin, if it did enough damage to embed itself into an enemy shield, it would become a hindrance, adding to the weight of the shield and making it difficult to maneuver. If a pilum hits an enemy shield (by any means, including being deflected by the Feat Deflect Missiles), and does any damage to its HP, the pilum should be considered embedded. The weight of the embedded heavy pilum should be added to the shield weight. Anyone

Roman Weapons & Armor

Military tactics developed as well. Spear use became particularly key to Roman armies. The pilum was a spear, usually made of new wood, which was intended to be broken. Also, the spanish sword, a short two-edged stabbing sword called the gladius hispanicum was made common issue. The cavalry used a heavier version of this sword, the Spatha. Other varieties of

5a 8 5b 7

4. Pilum; 5a. Gladius; 5b. Gladius Scabard; 6. Spatha; 7. Pugio; 8. Scutum


grabbing the pilum can use it to shield trap the shield bearer, without needing to roll the melee touch roll, since the javelin is already embedded in the shield. Because of this many foes opted to drop the shield rather than hold onto it. Should a pilum take a point of damage or more when thrown, the wooden pin should be considered broken, and the pilum is an automatic -2 to hit with, due to the head being loose. Before, non-citizen groups were expected to provide a levy to the legion, but with that soldier base reduced by the grant of citizenship, the levy of armies grew dependant on roving recruiters, called conquistadores, who would travel through the empire drumming up interest in the military. These recruiters would gain significant political power as Rome grew, and would become players in the games of politics, often serving specific generals and consuls during times of civil war. Civil wars were becoming common. Dictators would claim Rome, and consuls would raise armies to drive them out. This process went back and forth in the last days of the republic, and would plague the Empire that would follow. As Rome was a militant society, the state of the military presaged the state of the nation. In the midst of wars of conquest and society wars (the common term for civil wars), there were periodic slave revolts. Slavery was common in Rome, and slaves were used everywhere, from private homes to entertainment in the gladiatorial rings. One such revolt was the revolt of a gladiator named Spartacus. Spartacus was a former soldier who had deserted and become a brigand. When he was captured, he was forced into slavery, and he opted to join a gladiatorial troupe, rather than be forced to hard labor. Conditions in the troupe were so brutal that the gladiators conspired to revolt and escape. When their plot was discovered, they carried it out faster than they could be stopped, and escaped from their slavery. While fleeing from their captivity, the former gladiators happened upon a caravan of carts carrying gladiatorial weapons. They fell on this convoy and armed themselves. They chose captains for themselves, and Spartacus was one of the three. Then they made their way to Mount Vesuvius, a volcano that was thought to be extinct, and made camp in the caldera. They were eventually attacked by a Roman general with 3,000 men, yet they were able to repulse him, having grown familiar with the terrain. Spartacuss success against Roman forces began to attract new followers, and soon his army numbered in the tens of thousands. With this army, Spartacus set about conquering the whole of northern Italy, and succeeded, despite being challenged by Roman forces. At this point Spartacus had the opportunity to escape to neighboring Thracia, and freedom. But he opted to stay, having grown overconfident from his victories. His army urged him to march south, and he did, defeating yet another general and giving his army such a sense of righteous cause that he could no longer stop the southern march if he wanted to. Though his forces would continue to be successful, attrition and overconfidence would eventually lead them into an indefensible position. He was forced to march around Rome, which was too heavily defended, and eventually ended up in southern Italy, near the coast not far from Sicily. He attempted to negotiate for transport to Sicily, hoping to make a new base there, but was cheated by the ship masters he negotiated with. Then, pinned down by an army supported by the Roman navy, he was forced to retreat. While he was able to fend off his pursuers, his army

Gladius, Spatha & Pugio

The blades of Rome were generally simple, sometimes with an eagle adorning the hilt. The Gladius was the mainstay of the Roman Empire, synonymous with the Roman military. The Spatha was a heavier sword, used primarily for slashing rather than piercing, a progenitor of the longsword. The Pugio was a lesser blade, only a touch longer than a dirk, sometimes worn in a sheath in the armpit. This weapon was easily enough hidden there, and was often used by assassins. The pugio actually does 1d6-1 damage, but the minimum damage is one, rather than zero. Assassins often coated the pugio with poison, so as to make their attacks more deadly.

The Roman Scutum was a curved shield, which protected the left side of the centurions body during battle. Unlike a flat shield, the scutum cannot be used to protect both the wielder and others through the advanced guard feat.

As Rome conquered and subdued a region, it would often establish a provincial governor to overlook the running of the Province, direct the armies, and collect the appropriate tribute. This Provincial system became the backbone of the Empire, making it possible for Rome to grow as large as it did. This province system did not go away after the fall of Rome, though. The concept of provinces as areas of power became embedded in the European mindset, and it was not until late in the 19th century and early 20th century that the provincial system was finally discarded. Even in the High Medieval period and the Renaissance, powers that had imperial tendencies would focus on conquering provinces, usually by subduing the ruling city of the province, and thereby claiming the region. Provinces could be traded back and forth between sovereign nations, either though armed conflict or peaceful negotiations. This lead to most common people thinking about their province loyalties first, and any national loyalties secondarily. The modern adjective provincial comes from this seemingly limited mindset, and today means short sighted or unsophisticated.

During this period a great many tribes that had once been considered lesser members of Rome were granted citizenship. This shift changed the nature of how soldiers were called to service.


From Stone to Steel

became confident that they could defeat the whole of the besieging army, and they charged, to their deaths. Grasping at one last hope, Spartacus attempted to defeat the enemy commander in the battle, but he was surrounded by Roman soldiers and killed. Spartacuss revolt was the only gladiator revolt to last for more than a few days, but other than being mentioned in histories, it had little impact on Romes attitude toward gladiatorial sport. Such sport will be discussed later in this chapter. before he could begin his conquest, but the Helvetti felt honor bound to fulfill his boasts, and they set fire to their villages and took all the food they could carry, and burned the rest. This was done to give them no inclination to return. Then, with their neighbors, who had done the same, they marched on Gaul. One of the routes to Gaul for the Helvetti involved traveling through the Roman controlled province of Provence, which Rome was not about to allow them to do, seeing as the Helvetti supplemented their stores by living off the land. So Julius Caesar marched 5 legions into Provence, and set them up to intercept the marching Helvetti. They briefly fought, but since the Helvetti didnt see any use fighting the Romans, they covertly arranged to march through a neighboring tribes land, and commence the attack. Since a few tribes were close to Rome and had treaties with Rome, they petitioned for Romes support. This was really all Julius Caesar could have hoped for. His first year as Consul of Gaul saw him invade, decimate the Helvetti, and force most of the hostile people of Gaul to give him hostages. When the Helvetti had begun their march, their total numbers were about three hundred and sixty thousand. When they were forced to return to their destroyed homes, they numbered only one hundred and ten thousand, and those numbers included all people of the tribe, from children to elders. The people of Gaul were glad to have been aided by Rome, and they allowed the Roman Legions to winter in their lands.

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar, contrary to modern day myth, was not born of poor station, nor did he move his way up through the ranks of the Roman military to become Emperor. Through both birth and marriage, Gaius Julius Caesar was a man of high station, who distinguished himself during one of the Mithradatic wars in the province of Asia Minor. It was there he uttered the now legendary phrase veni, vidi, vici which translates to I came, I saw, I conquered. Having close ties to the Consul Pompey, Julius Caesar was able to get himself named Proconsul of Illyricum and Gaul. Illyricum, long conquered and now subservient to Rome, was a province of great income, while Gaul was largely self-ruling. After forming an unofficial alliance with Pompey and another prominent Senator, Crassus, they formed a triumvirate of power, aimed at dominating all of Rome, as was the more common tendency of rulers in the Late Republic. Through this alliance, Julius Caesar was able to become a full Consul, which gave him access to the legions of Rome, and full right to deal with Gaul as he wished. And Julius Caesar did. Julius Caesar was not the first Roman general to campaign in Gaul. In the past Roman Generals had fought in Gaul, somewhat in retribution for the many attacks against Rome that Gaul had initiated in ages past, somewhat in the interest of forming new alliances with certain tribes and driving off Germanic invasions that struck from time to time. Not that the Gaul could not defend themselves. The Gaul were one of many Celtic tribes common to Central and Western Europe, and they often found themselves at odds with the more barbaric Germans, even facing invasions by the Cimbri and Teuton peoples. But politics of the region made any alliance between Gaullic tribes rare, and it was this disunity that made it possible for Rome to conquer them. It started with the Helvetti, a people who lived in more rugged territory that would today be the western part of Switzerland. The Helvetti had a rather prominent leader, Orgetorix, who claimed that the Helvetti could conquer all of Gaul, given half a chance, and form a Helvetian Empire there. Orgetorix was one of those people who couldnt help but boast in front of prominent people, and his words began to catch notice in neighboring tribes. When they expressed interest in sharing with the Helvetti in the conquering of Gaul, he made deals with them to form a unified army, and sealed them with arranged marriages with his daughters. Orgetorix, unfortunately, died

Hostage Taking
The practice of taking hostages is age old, and honored. Tribes would often offer hostages to each other as a pledge of faith over an agreement, usually involving traveling through one tribes land or forming a temporary alliance to fight an enemy. The hostages were required to be family members of important people in a tribe, people you didnt want to see dead. As soon as an agreement was concluded the hostages would be released, and things would return to the status quo. However, should one break an agreement, that tribes hostages were likely to be killed, or tortured at the least, to show displeasure. Where such practices were common, Rome was more than happy to take hostages in exchange for agreements. If a tribe that had given Rome hostages broke an agreement, Rome would likely sell their loved ones into slavery. If a tribe became a friend of Rome, but not part of a province of Rome, their hostages were treated as guests of Rome, often staying in a Roman city and being given many of the rights of citizens. If these guests of Rome were ever returned, they were often excellent propaganda for Rome, talking about the wonders of Roman life and bringing Roman ways to their tribes. There are even accounts of hostages returning to live in Roman territories, out of preference. Over that winter the many tribes of Gaul gathered in secret and voted to inform Rome of a little embarrassing secret they had been keeping. They sent ambassadors in secret to Julius Caesar, and asked if he could help them to rid their lands of Germans. As it turned out, the Germans had invaded Gaul a number of


years previously, after being invited in to help one tribe wage war on another. The Germans had been only too happy to agree, as Gaul had by far more fruitful croplands, and when the Germans crossed the Rhine river and entered Gaul they promptly took many hostages from the tribe who invited them in, attacked all the neighboring tribes and forced them to agree to steep tribute. The Gauls, seeing the prowess of the Romans, hoped the Romans could rid them of the German invaders. Again, Julius Caesar could not have hoped for a more advantageous opportunity. He split his forces to hold a highly defensible area, and then advanced on the Germans. Although there were brief negotiations, nothing came of these, and eventually the battle was joined near the Rhine river, where Julius Caesar had learned that the invading German tribe was inviting other tribes from Germany to cross, in order to strengthen their hold on Gaul. The battles were fierce, primarily because the German warriors were strong and brutal on the whole, while the Roman Legionares were a highly disciplined force, trained not only in combat with pilum, gladius, and scutum, but also advanced warfare tactics, like building trenches, fortifications, bridges, and traps. Their speed at such engineering feats was legendary. They were able, for example, to build a bridge across the Rhine in a single day. Whenever they encamped, they would build a wall 12 feet high, and surround it with a trench 18 feet deep. This was after marching many leagues each day. The Roman soldiers worked with precision, and they were masters at delegating tasks to cohorts and accomplishing them in record time.

Roman Legionnaire (Prestige Class)

Roman Legionnaires were a highly disciplined fighting force, honed by battle and expected to be ready to die for their leader at any time. Trained in the finest military traditions of Europe, armored in the most protective armor that still allowed them freedom, and driven by the knowledge that they fought for the greatest nation on Earth, the Roman Legionnaires were a force to be reckoned with, on and off the battlefield. But their training was not simply in sword or shield craft alone. Legionnaires were trained to be brave in the face of danger. While still in training they would be whipped with the flagellum if they showed fear, and given arduous tasks if they shirked their duties. A drilling period of up to three months could be required before a potential legionnaire was allowed to carry bear a gladius and scutum into battle. And though they were foot troops, they were expected to face any force imaginable, on any frontier, and win. Besides mental and physical training, legionnaires were trained to work together, to build military fortifications and equipment, and to perform delicate military maneuvers while in formation. This deep discipline alone could be intimidating to witness, when, at the end of a hard days forced march they could assemble a highly defensible fortification, complete with trenches and palisades in a matter of an hour or two, and have scouts, sentries, and cook fires ready shortly afterward. To many less civilized people it was as if the Romans could do


From Stone to Steel

anything they set their will to, and these feats of discipline did more to spread their reputation than many feats of arms. Young men, citizens of the Empire, were drawn to join the Legions by their reputation, an interest in civil service, the hope for a steady income, or the impassioned words of a conquistadore. Many had no previous experience, and some would be sent away, unfit or incapable of completing the demanding training. But those with the strength, wits, and will to finish the grueling training often found that the life of a Legionnaire was worth the danger, and many opted to remain a legionnaire for life. These grizzled veterans may or may not rise through the ranks of the military hierarchy, but to them the military life was paramount. The Legionnaire Prestige class is unusual in that it is quite possible to join at the first level. However, the Legionnaires are a semi-restricted prestige class. Many opt to raise a few levels in other classes while serving as a legionnaire (such as fighter, ranger, rogue, or Expert (Engineer)), and certain levels have unique requirements beyond experience value in order to gain the next level. Legionnaires are considered to be part of the army, and their time is not wholly their own while they are legionnaires. A Legionnaire may choose to leave the military at any time after their first level, but if they do so, they may never return to the legions, and any possibility of gaining another level in this prestige class is eliminated. Alignment: Any Lawful Alignment. All Legionnaires become lawfully aligned upon completion of their initial training as a legionnaire, unless they were already lawfully aligned. This conveys no direct advantage or disadvantage, although it may cause problems with any action that requires a non-lawful alignment. This alignment change is due to training and strict enforcement, but is not a spiritual change, and will not confer any spiritual benefit, such as allowing atonement for a paladin who would not be eligible for it. Special: Must be a citizen of Rome (or equivalent, if a fantasy world). Must ethically be able to wield any weapon the Legionnaire is trained with (cannot be a pacifist or have a religious limitation on weapons use). Must be willing to go wherever ordered and serve without question while a legionnaire. This class is not exclusive, but one cannot leave the military service and continue to gain levels in the Legionnaire Prestige Class.

Class Skills
The Legionnaires class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Military Engineering) (Int), Profession (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str) Skill: Knowledge (Military Engineering) Military Engineering is a knowledge skill involving construction and manufacture of military defenses or offensive seige devices. This includes such things as trenches, palisades, towers, wooden stakes, battlefield traps, and false blinds (items to hide things from view). This encompasses the methods of construction of seige engines such as catapults, ballistae, and seige towers or ramps, to name a few. From time to time it is necessary to construct certain civil improvements, such as bridges or city walls. Although regular Engineering skill is best for long-term construction of these types of items, Military Engineering can be used to create short-term bridges or patch city walls that have been broken.

Hit Die: d10 Requirements

To qualify to become a Legionnaire, a character must fulfill the following requirements. Attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom must all be 11 or more.

Table 4-1: Legionairre

Class Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Base Attack Bonus +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 Fort Save +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Ref Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Will Save +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Special Formation Tactics Improved Formation Tactics Weapon Focus (Pilum) Requirements: Minimum Dexterity of 12, Minimum Knowledge (Military Engeneering) of 6. Deflect Missiles Point Blank Shot Requirements: Minimum Con of 12, Minimum Strength of 12. Improved Penetration Second Wind, Iron Will Advanced Maneuvers Requirements: Minimum Dexterity of 13.Improved Critical (Pilum), Improved Critical (Gladius) Heroic Demeanor


Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int Modifier armor, and only loses 5 feet of movement if medium sized or 3 feet if small sized for medium armor. Heroic Demeanor: Truly dedicated veteran legionnaires are an inspiration to their compatriots. They may rally troops with a battle cry up to five times a day, giving a +2 vs. fear affects to all allies within 20 feet. Veteran legionnaires can continue to fight past all safe limits. If such a legionnaire is reduced to 0 hit points or lower, he may opt to fight on. He must then make a Fortitude Save vs. DC 15, or fall unconscious. Otherwise he may continue to fight until his hit points reach -10 or below. If they reach this limit he will drop dead.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Legionnaire prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Legionnaires are proficient with all simple weapons and martial weapons. They are also proficient with light and medium armors and shields. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Formation Tactics: As per the Feat mentioned in the Chariots chapter. Improved Formation Tactics: As per the Feat mentioned in the Chariots chapter. Improved Penetration: The Legionnaire has learned how to make his attacks more devastating to armor. The Legionaire receives a +2 competance bonus to any attempt to break an opponents armor, weapon or shield. Also assume that the hardness rating of an item is reduced by 2 for any attempt to damage an item. If you are not using the option materials rules, replace this with Precise Shot. Second Wind: The Legionnaire can push through exhaustion and continue to fight effectively. A legionnaire may ignore the first 2 points of any fatigue modifier. Advanced Maneuvers: The Legionnaire has become more experienced at using his armor and maneuverability to his advantage. He gains a +1 armor bonus while wearing Roman

Playing a Legionnaire
The difficulty of playing a member of the military is that their life is not their own. Often its easier to play something peripheral, like an auxilliary, who might from time to time come into contact with the Legions, but normally spends their time apart. Still, the chance to play an elite member of the military may be a perk for some. Here are a few suggestions as to how to structure adventures or campaigns: Consider one-shot military adventures, where the players play scouts, auxilliaries, and soldiers advancing through an unknown region (like Germany or Britain) and coming into contact with new cultures. These can be intense, with sudden flurries of combat or pantomimed negotiations with people who speak only a smattering of Latin. Perhaps the characters are part of a cohort assigned to hunt down exotic animals for the Arena. Such characters would work as a more intimate group, interact with numerous exotic cultures, and, depending on the fantasy level of your

10a 9 10b 12




9. Heavy Hides; 10a. Dart; 10b. Dart; 11a. Throwing Axe variation; 11b. Throwing Axe variation; 11c. Throwing Axe variation; 12. Dacian Falx


From Stone to Steel

world, spend plenty of time trying to defeat and capture creatures alive. An added perk might be bonus pay for rare creatures. City duty might be appropriate for Legionnaires garrisoning a city against attack or policing a newly captured city. City intrigue can be as gritty as you desire, and characters interested in staying at the city might become part of a permanent guard force. Like a Roman police drama. One final idea is to take a small group and isolate them from the rest of a legion. Forced to fend for themselves and discover where they are, they might be transported to a fantasy world or merely lost in the wilds of Eastern Europe. How they survive and what they encounter would be up to you. Again, depending on the fantasy level of your world, a fantasy Rome might face any number of threats, and as long as there is the Legion, there is potential for adventure. superior protection when compared to other leather items. If fur was left on these hides, they were far more comfortable in cold climates, and can be considered as protective as winter clothing. This armor should be considered the equivalent of the Hide Armor in the Players Handbook.

Dart, Bronze & Iron

Darts were used by both the Germanic tribes and the Gauls. They were easy to make, and were best used from the advantage of height, to extend their range and potential damage. Since objects that fall farther do more damage, they took advantage of cliffs and high walls to increase their impact. This is best simulated by adding falling damage to the dart damage total when there is a significant height difference.

Throwing Axe, Bronze & Iron

Throwing axes were used extensively by the Germanic tribes, usually as a precursor to a charge. Although not barbed, throwing axes that do more than half its base damage should be considered lodged, as per the rules for barbed weapons.

The Germans
The Germans were fierce, strong, and mobile. They wore little metal armor, preferring soft or boiled leather, heavier hide armor, or hides and furs. German warriors generally carried long swords and axes (descended from celts), although they also carried clubs, maces, darts, throwing axes, and spears. A small number carried the dacian falx, a long, single edged curved sword. They generally used the phallanx formation, which was common training throughout most of Europe by now, but they were nowhere near as orderly as the Romans. Indeed, most German warriors would probably be generated as barbarians, using the Players Handbook. The one tactic that made the Germans most feared was their combined cavalry. German cavalry were not trained to fight on horseback well. They didnt carry many weapons that were useful on horseback, and they did not practice charge maneuvers. Rather, the German cavalry was swift, and they trained infantry to run alongside a man on horseback, to turn aside weapons readied against charges, and to make a fighting line wherever the cavalry stopped. Thus German cavalry would advance rapidly, avoid armed defenses, perhaps throw a spear, javelin, or fire arrows, and then the cavalry soldiers would drop to the ground and enemies would be facing a double strong line of infantry ready to fight. If the German cavalry was forced to flee, the man on foot could prevent swift pursuit, which meant that German cavalry attacks were hard to counter. Much later, Julius Caesar would hire German mercenaries to use this tactic against an Iberian attack on Gaul, and the Iberians, who favored regular cavalry charges were unable to adjust to a cavalry resistance that could equal that of an infantry line.

Falx, Dacian
The Dacian Falx was a long curved, one-edged blade with a long and guardless wooden handle. Two handed and wielded like the later zweihander, it was a fearsome blade, but poor for defense. Any defensive maneuver or stance taken with a Falx will add one less point of AC, since the Falx has no guard and leaves the swordsman very exposed.

German Combined Cavalryman (Prestige Class)

More than just horsemen or footmen, every Combined Cavalryman was a powerful and swift fighter in his own right. Trained to ride and run hard, German Combined Cavalrymen were able to perform incredible feats of speed, charging up to an enemy line as swiftly as a horse could run, and still be ready to fight. Men unafraid to rush into the face of danger took the difficult training to become Combined Cavalrymen. Those with the skill to fight when others fell back were the only ones to survive. The Combined Cavalryman is not as heavily armored as a normal German soldier, but their speed becomes an asset unto itself. The discipline of their training made them the recognized experts at Cavalry Warfare at their time. The class below is used for all Combined Cavalrymen, as they often switched off who would ride and who would run.

Hides, Heavy
The heavy hides worn by many Germanic tribes are more sophisticated than the hides of the stone age. Prepared, treated, tanned, these hides could be up to three inches thick, and often were layered. Sometimes lined with fawn, calf, or kid skin inside for comfort, they were usually stiff and bulky, but were

Hit Die: d10 Requirements

To qualify to become a Combined Cavalryman, a character must fulfill the following requirements. Base Attack Bonus: +4


Attributes: Minimum Strength 13, Minimum Dexterity 13 Skills: Ride 6 ranks Feats: Endurance, Dodge, Run Special: Must be at least Medium Sized.

Class Skills
The Cavalrymans class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Animal Empathy (Cha), Balance (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), Tumble (Dex) Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int Modifier Class Features All of the following are class features of the Combined Cavalryman prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Combined Cavalryman are proficient with all simple weapons and the following weapons: the Dacian Falx, the throwing axe, the longsword, and shortbow. They are also proficient with light armor and shields. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Faster Movement I: The German Combined Cavalryman has practiced charging and can move 10 feet faster than their normal movement rate for a number of rounds equal to their class level plus Cha bonus. Running Evasively: The German Combined Cavalryman is able to run and retain half of their Dexterity bonus to their AC, rounded up. This involves a practiced running maneuver that maintains their forward momentum while moving them from side to side to avoid running in a straight line. Faster Movement II: The German Combined Cavalryman has practiced charging and is now able to move at 20 feet faster than their normal movement rate for a number of rounds equal to their class level plus Cha bonus, or double that time at 10 feet faster.

Table 4-2:German Combined Cavalryman

Class Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Base Attack Bonus +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 Fort Save +1 +1 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 Ref Save +1 +1 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 Will Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Special Quick Mount / Dismount, Faster Movement I Point Blank Shot Running Evasively Mounted Combat Faster Movement II Mounted Archery Mobility Spring Attack Shot on the Run Fleet Footed


From Stone to Steel

Fleet Footed: The German Combined Cavalryman can use his entire Dexterity bonus for their AC while running. to make more dangerous turns easier, and allowed him to more directly calm and direct his animals.

The Celts of Britain

Eventually Rome would drive the Germans back across the Rhine, and even invade Germany briefly, in order to scare them into signing treaties with Rome. But by now the people of Gaul were becoming worried about Julius Caesars tendency to winter his troops in Gaul, rather than in Provence, and that Julius Caesar intended to make all of Gaul another province for Rome. They were right. When a number of tribes banded together to harass Rome by sea, they were almost successful. The boats of Gaul were better suited to the harsher waters of the Atlantic, so Rome could not effectively attack them at sea. And if a coastal city of Gaul were attacked, they could load everyone up onto boats, and sail away, making the taking of a city worthless, since those people could be transplanted to any other city on the coast. Eventually the Romans forced a number of tribes to build them several boats like those of Gaulish construction, and Rome took the battle to the sea, fighting at a great disadvantage, where only the discipline of the Roman soldiers lead them to victory. Still, with much of Gaul unable to face Rome in the field or, now, at sea, Julius Caesar felt confident enough to do something no one else in Romes history had ever done. Julius Caesar built a fleet of ships, and sailed for Britain. The Celts of Britain were by no means unknown to Romans. The Gauls often hired British mercenaries, to swell their ranks. The Celtic warriors of Britain were wild men, generally, wielding longswords, spears, daggers, darts, or bows. Sometimes they might wear leather armor, and occasionally chainmail, but often they went into battle unarmored, save perhaps for a shield, trusting the gods to protect them. Covered in wode, a blue powdery material, and chalk, often with their hair glued into spikes with a chalk and urine solution, Celtic warriors were renowned for their fearsome battle cries, and for their chariot driving.

Hands on Chariot Driving

The eager British Celtic driver was often likely to leave the chariot and mount the horses themselves to perform more risky maneuvers. Although difficult, mounting the horses directly allowed a chariot driver to make more dangerous maneuvers safely, reducing the difficulty level of any maneuver by one. Thus he could make better turns, and move between terrains with less risk of a crash, since he was controlling the horses directly from their backs. In order to do this, the driver had to leave the chariot as per a quick dismount, with +5 to any DC roll. If successful, the driver gained the maneuvering benefits mentioned above. The British were actually quite successful at holding the Romans off. After a long pitched battle, Rome was only able to hold a beachhead for two months, and then was forced to return to Gaul to winter. The next year Julius Caesar returned in force, to break the British under his heel. But he found that Britain was difficult to conquer. The wode-covered natives knew their forests well, and could spring out of them at any time, often during the setting up of camp, and then could flee faster than a heavily armored enemy could chase them. These tactics took a terrible toll on the Roman troops, as did the weather, which caused a great many of the ships the Romans had crossed the channel in to be destroyed or damaged while at anchor. Still, Julius Caesar was not a man to give up. Some of his men he appointed to repair the ships, while others he set as scouts to find where the largest number of Celts lived. When he found their encampment along the river Thames, he took the battle to them, and, as became habit by now among the Celtic peoples, the British Celts surrendered, rather than facing Rome in the field. By now Caesars reputation alone could put fear in the hearts of his opponents, and enemies would rather present tribute and hostages than face Roman soldiers in their element. Satisfied, Julius Caesar returned to Gaul, and sent his troops to winter. But in his absence a conspiracy of Gallic tribes had hatched a plan to revolt while the Roman Legions were wintering, when they were least prepared. Since the legions were sent to winter independently, a number of tribes gathered and attacked the legion under Ciceros command, catching them by surprise and forcing them into a defensive position. As soon as they were sure they had the Roman soldiers in one place, they struck their camp with heated clay sling bullets and heated javelins. These set fire to the thatched roofs of the camp buildings, and burnt the buildings, baggage, and supplies to the ground. Still, the Romans fought valiantly, hoping other legions would mobilize to come to their aid.

Wode was a chalk-like blue dye applied to the skin of a Celtic warrior before battle. Meant to create an intimidating appearance, it often startled the Roman soldiers who were unfamiliar with their Celtic opponents. Wode, in a fantasy setting, would be a great manner for Druids to convey enchantments of strength, protection, and fear auras on warriors. The British chariot was a light, low affair, pulled by two horses and holding two men, a warrior and a driver. The warrior would throw spears until he was out, and then drop off the chariot. The driver might also drop off his chariot to help in battle, but he kept near it, so that he could leap back in and charge away swiftly. Celtic chariots had a low railing, which allowed Brittish chariot drivers to perform daring and dangerous feats, climbing the guide pole to the horses, and controlling the horses directly. This tactic allowed a British chariot driver


Bullet, Clay Sling
Crafted of mud and dried until hard, clay bullets might not seem like a good idea, but they had one advantage: they could be easily heated and made to keep that heat a long time. Frequent use of clay bullets lead to slings becoming brittle and breaking, but there ease of manufacture and ability to hold heat for a long time made them effective to use for a people who did not develop the fire arrow. The next year Caesar embarked to put an end to resistance in Gaul, and he hunted the leader of the previous years rebellion, a Gallic chief who was hiding in Germany. Again, Caesar erected a bridge across the Rhine, and crossed, laying waste to German troops and eventually capturing and killing the resistance leader. This, along with favorable tributes from the Germanic people, lead Caesar to retire early, and to assert once more his control over all of Gaul. In the next year Rome issued a new decree that all Italian youths were required to apply for military service. Seeing this as a method of securing his power over all of Gaul, Julius Caesar insisted that this also apply to Provence and the whole of Gaul. Although many tribes hastened to agree, one of their kings, Vercingetorix, opposed this, and refused to pay tribute to Rome. Instead, he raised his own army, and opted to focus on cavalry tactics, rather than infantry. He used his forces for lightning raids, and for breaking up Romes access to crucial food supplies. It was an effective tactic, and would have succeeded, had he been facing any other power but Rome. Caesar pursued the raiders and discovered the high-walled city they were using as their base. Caesar knew he couldnt face the cities defenses without great loss of life. So he camped in the open plain near the city, and built himself a fearsome fortification in a matter of days. First he started with a 20 foot deep trench. 400 feet from that he built two more trenches 14 feet deep, the second filled with water diverted from a local river. Behind that was built a 12 foot high wall, made from wood from local forests, replete with parapets and battlements. The walls he laid with jutting spikes to prevent scaling. He also dug a trench around the whole fortification, 5 feet deep, filled with wooden spikes. 3 foot deep pits were filled with a single spike and trampled clay, and on those spikes were placed hooks of iron. The pits were also filled with twigs, leaves, and grass, in order to camouflage them. In a limited time Caesar transformed an open, indefensible plain into a highly defensible battlefield, with every device ready to repel attackers.

Finally an auxiliary was able to sneak through Gaullic lines and get message to Caesar. Another legion was forced to march the 25 miles to the besieged position that night, and made it nearly the whole distance. This dislodged those besieging Ciceros forces, and a later skirmish with Caesar dispersed the rebelling forces. But the leader of the rebellion went into hiding, and the army, though dispersed, was not destroyed.

It became the practice for Roman conquistadores to drum up interest in the Roman military throughout the provinces. This practice also spilled over into regions where the Legions operated. When a Legion moved into an unconquered area, conquistadores would speak to friendly tribes and convince them to send war-worthy men to aid the Romans in their activities. This increased the number of men the Romans could field, and allowed them to recruit units unique to the region, like the combined cavarly of Germany, or units of archers, which were always in short supply in Roman ranks. These forces were called auxiliaries, and were trained along side the Roman forces, which, over time, tended to make them more disciplined and effective. As history progressed, Rome became more and more dependant on her Auxiliary forces to fight battles and protect frontiers.

Traps of War
Trenches, walls of stakes, spurs, pallisades If the Romans didnt have a favorable environment to fight from, they created it. Setting stakes made it possible to prevent charges, as horses were often unable to stop in time to avoid the danger. Spurs sat close to the ground, hard to see, their metal hooks ready to catch a passing hoof and break the leg it was attached to in a single, sickening snap. Trenches required filling and crossing, which prevented charges, while walls prevented foes from reaching you. And these werent the only traps used. Pit traps could be covered with leaves and branches and filled with stakes. Moats could be made by diverting water, and if the water was stagnant they could be covered over with dirt and debris to make them look like solid ground. In the Eastern Empire, Greek Fire would eventually be remembered, and could be used to make fire on water, or to create flaming trenches. It is not easy, in the heat of the moment, to realize that a shovel is as much a tool of


13. Clay Sling Bullets


From Stone to Steel

war as a sword. Setting up camp isnt just about putting up a tent. Especially in higher level campaigns, where heroes may be pursued by large forces or jealous and vengeful enemies, preparation, traps, snares, trip wires attached to cooking supplies, trenches, walls all make a campsite safer, and can be erected quickly by organized and skilled people. If one is prepared, one can evade a ward spell, but how many people expect trip wires? But it was the final tactic that drove Vercingetorix to attack. Rome entreated certain loyal tribes to approach, as if in support of Vercingetorix. The appearance of reinforcements drew the Gauls out at last, and they rode against the Roman fortifications. Some of the trenches they did manage to fill, but the iron hook traps, called spurs, caught on the legs of charging horses and broke them, often killing or maiming the rider as well. When the Gaullic forces finally came upon the wall, they found the ground before it soft, since the Romans had heavily watered it the night before, and so their ladders sank in, making them nearly useless. As their charge faltered, the loyal tribes entered the city behind them, and closed its gates. They were at the mercy of the Romans, and were slaughtered. The next two years would see minor rebellions, but the Romans constant forceful presence soon made it impossible for Gaul to defend itself, and when Caesar declared all of the region of Gaul as subdued, they had little choice but to agree to become a province of Rome. Julius Caesars ambitions paid off. Unfortunately, trouble at home made this great general unpopular. His informal alliance was endangered as Pompey grew less and less trusting of him, and Pompey used a war with the Parthians (Persians) to take two of Caesars legions, leaving Caesar barely enough to maintain Gaul with. Then a law was passed by the Senate, binding Caesar to Gaul and demanding he disband his armies. Caesar, in response, took his two legions, and raised a large force of auxiliaries. Taking German Combined Cavalry and Gallic and British Warriors, he invaded Rome. Pompey himself attempted to oppose Caesars return, but was defeated in battle at Pharsalus, and fled to Egypt, where he was later killed. With the dissolution of the First Triumvirate, Caesar marched on the capitol itself. Caesar entered


14b 14a


15b 15a



14a. Wall of Stakes; 14b. Trenches; 14c. Palisade; 15a. Spur; 15b. Spurs set in ground; 16. Caltrop; 17. Parthian Iron Scale and Chain Mail; 18. Light Iron Lance


as a hero, his writings about his campaigns being popular among the populace and his fame as a general held in higher regard than his obedience to the Senate. Caesar had himself elected as dictator of Rome, and he ruled Rome for 3 years, dictating policies to the Senate, and campaigning against Republican forces. He eventually defeated them in Iberia, but was later assassinated by the Senate. This treachery would lead to a 14 year war, between those who wanted to establish a dictatorship and those who wanted to preserve the republic. On one side was Mark Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian (the Second Triumvirate), on the other Brutus and Cassius, senators and republicans. The republicans would find themselves less and less potent against the Second Triumvirate, and the Triumvirate members would find themselves constantly trying to maintain popular control of their regions. Eventually Lepidus would be forced to leave the alliance, and tensions between Mark Antony and Octavian would lead to a split. The Senate, seeing dictatorship as inevitable, sided with Octavian, and Octavian was able to meet the forces of Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra at Actium, and in a naval battle he defeated them. Octavian returned to Rome with accolades, and was crowned Emperor of Rome. Octavian took the title of Augustus, and the name of his great uncle Caesar, and announced that his victory would return Rome to the republic. This can only be seen as a compromise to ensure that the Senate would retain prominence. But the Senate, in turn, granted the Emperor the right to propose any law, which would immediately be ratified by the Senate. In effect, the Emperor would have complete power. allowing the cavalry units to kill unprotected defenders quickly and make holes in enemy lines.

Mail, Scale and Chain Iron

Used only on horseback, due to its restrictions on regular mobility, this heavy armor made the cataphracti extremely hard to injure, but very hot. When wearing iron scale and chain mail, running speed is triple the listed movement, not quadruple.

Lance, Light Iron

Finally the horse and lance came together. Looking more like a spear than a lance, the light iron lance made heavy cavalry charges devastating, doing a natural triple damage with a spirited charge. Naturally critical damage with such a charge would be deadly. Lancers were usually called to charge only when enemy forces were in disarray, too worried about other attacks to have time to set a spear against a charge.

ther armors and weapons were taken from surrendered enemies and sent to various gladiatorial schools, where prisoners would learn to fight with them in personal combat. The practice of gladiatorial combat was first introduced at the beginning of the First Punic War, as a way to commemorate the death of prominent citizens with blood sacrifices, and eventually developed into a pastime to occupy the masses.

Days of Glory
For a time it would seem the Empires reign was supreme. The Romans measured themselves against the people they had conquered and prided themselves at their victories. While the army busied itself with the pacification of Britain, Germany, and Parthia, the citizens of Rome began to lose sight of just how momentous and tenuous the Roman Empire was. The common Roman rarely left his home city, and expected that everything would be the same in all lands conquered by Rome. And the city of Rome had grown. During Flavians rule a new wall was built around the city, easily twice the diameter of the early Servian Wall. Perhaps as many as a million people lived in the city of Rome during this time, and many of them lived off of the Roman equivalent of welfare, which required that every citizen be given a minimum amount of resources to survive. This welfare subsidy helped to maintain a large city population, and the poorest citizen still ate better than many non-citizens in other parts of the world. Technology was adapted to Roman use as they discovered it. The cataphract, a heavily armored cavalry unit used by the Parthians, became the model for heavy Roman cavalry. Armored with iron lamellar armor or chain and scale armors, he rode a heavy warhorse, barded in scale, and bore a shield and lance. The lance added a new wrinkle to cavalry charges,

Gladiators were criminals, slaves, or, (rarely) citizens who volunteered to give up their rights, who joined a gladiatorial school and were brutally trained under the close attentions of a Lanista, to fight and die in the arenas. Originally held in an empty portion of the marketplace, Gladiatorial bouts were eventually held in nearly every province, often in a circus or amphitheater. The greatest of these galleries of blood and battle was the Flavian Amphitheater, which we today call the Coliseum. As they developed, any given day at the Games (Ludi) came to traditionally have the same schedule. In the morning there was the Venatones, combat with animals. Then came executions at lunchtime, as a sort of intermission. Then the afternoon would hold the Munera, the gladiatorial combat that would cap the day. Seats were cheap, and the regularly strict Roman schedule of events had no power over secular spectacles, so the games were popularly attended whenever they were held. Gladiators were trained, as mentioned before, in schools. Their training focused them on one of two styles: fighting animals or fighting people. Bestiarii gladiators trained with conquered tribesmen, learning their methods of hunting, stalking, and slaughtering of prey. A Bestiarii might train with a Moorish or Numidian hunter to learn how to kill elephants, training to thrust a spear into the hollow just below the eye. A Bestiarii might also learn from a Parthian how to fight the cunning tiger. Thracians, Germans, or Dacians might teach the gladiator how to fight the bear. Bestiarii generally carried mixed armaments, either a spear


From Stone to Steel

or a shield and gladius, and sometimes wore leather cuirasses. Bestiarii were trained to fight both together and alone. The Venatones first started as menageries, parades of strange and exotic animals to entertain the crowds. But the people of Rome soon became jaded with such sights, and so the slaughter of these exotic animals became a far more popular pastime. Hunters would capture and sell exotic animals to Roman buyers who would ship them back to Rome for the Venatones. A large number of wild animals would be released into the arena, and the Bestiarii, aided by war dogs, were tasked with the slaughter. Aurochs, bears, bulls, great cats, elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotami, and all manner of exotic but less dangerous creatures like gazelles, giraffes, and ostriches would swarm the ring, and it was a great chaotic melee. Many of these creatures can be found in the MM Appendix 1: Animals. Those not listed are detailed on the following pages. Locking Jaw (Ex): If a War Dog does maximum damage with a bite attack, it may opt to lock its jaw. This is the equivalent of an improved grab, and may only be broken by breaking the animals jaw, which requires at least 4 points of damage. The war dog may opt to release at any time. The War Dog may opt to hang from the wound after it has locked its jaw, doing an additional 1d6 damage per round. Skills: *War dogs receive a +4 racial bonus to Wilderness Lore checks when tracking by scent.

Large Animal
Hit Dice: 6d8+18 (45 hp) Initiative: +0 Speed: 40 ft AC: 13 (-1 Size, +4 natural) Attacks: Gore +8 melee Damage: Gore 2d6+6 Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft. Special Attacks: Stampede Special Qualities: Scent Saves: Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 Abilities: Str 18, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 4 Skills: Listen +8, Spot +5 Feat: Spirited Charge Climate/Terrain: Temperate Plains Organization: Solitary, Herd (630) Challenge Rating: 3 Treasure: None Alignment: Always Neutral Advancement: 67 HD (Large) Related to the bison and the modern cow, these impressive creatures were driven to edge of extinction due to their popularity in the Venatones. Large shaggy beasts with great horns

Dog, War
Medium Size Animal
Hit Dice: 2d8+6 (15 hp) Initiative: +1 (Dex) Speed: 40 ft AC: 15 (+1 Dex, +4 natural) Attacks: 1 bite +4 melee Damage: bite 1d6+4 Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft. Special Attacks: Locking Jaw Special Qualities: Scent Saves: Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +0 Abilities: Str 17, Dex 13, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 10 Skills: Listen +5, Spot +5, Swim +5, Feats: Trip Climate/Terrain: Any land Organization: Solitary, War Pack (310 War dogs (1d8+2)) Challenge Rating: Treasure: None Alignment: Always Neutral Advancement: 34 HD (Medium) War Dogs were bred by the Romans to fight along-side them in battle. The modern mastiff descends from this breed of dog. The phrase Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war references these animals.

A war dog is a vicious, opportunistic killer, trained to fight aggressively against men. It prefers to charge into battle, but will back away from a foe that has demonstrated the ability to kill with ease.


that could cause fearsome damage, these lords of the plains were finally hunted to extinction some time in the 17th century. Challenge Rating: 3 Treasure: None Alignment: Always Neutral Advancement: 67 HD (Large) The smaller cousins of the Auroch, these creatures were popular substitutes for the larger beast in the Venatones. Powerful and with strong significance in Greek myth, they were often used in mythical re-enactments as well. Unlike the more eventempered Aurochs, Bulls can fly into a rage when provoked.

An Auroch is a normally passive creature, although the bulls are very territorial and protective of their cows. In the arena Aurochs were often whipped, prodded, or burned in order to drive them into a state of anger. Aurochs prefer to gore enemies on their horns, and will often make charging runs towards any antagonist. Stampede (Ex): A frightened herd of Aurochs flees as a group in a random direction (but always away from the perceived source of danger). They literally run over anything of size Large or smaller that gets in their way, dealing 1d12 points of damage for each five aurochs in the herd. A successful Reflex save (DC 16) halves the damage.

Bulls are very territorial and protective of their cows. In the arena bulls were often whipped, prodded, or burned in order to drive them into a state of anger. Bulls prefer to gore enemies on their horns, and will often make charging runs towards any antagonist. Treat cows as listed above except cows do not have the Rage Attack. Rage (Ex): A bull that takes damage in combat flies into a berserk rage the following round, twisting and lunging madly in an attempt to gore its enemy until either it or its opponent is dead. It gains +4 Strength, +4 Constitution, and -2 AC. The creature cannot end its rage voluntarily. Stampede (Ex): A frightened herd will flee as a group in a random direction (but always away from the perceived source of danger). They literally run over anything of size Large or smaller that gets in their way, dealing 1d12 points of damage for each five bison in the herd. A successful Reflex save (DC 16) halves the damage.

Large Animal
Hit Dice: 4d8+12 (30 hp)

Small Animal
Hit Dice: 1d8 (5 hp) Initiative: +3 (Dex) Speed: 50 ft AC: 16 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +2 natural) Attacks: Gore -1 melee Damage: Gore 1d6-2 Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft. Special Attacks: None Special Qualities: Scent, Low-light vision Saves: Fort +0, Ref +5, Will +1 Abilities: Str 7, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 6 Skills: Listen +9, Spot +8 Feat: Run Climate/Terrain: Warm Plain Organization: Solitary, Mated Pair, Herd (10100) Challenge Rating: 1/4 Treasure: None Alignment: Always Neutral Advancement: 23 HD (Mediumsize), 45 HD (Large)

Initiative: +0 Speed: 40 ft AC: 13 (-1 Size, +4 natural) Attacks: Gore +6 melee Damage: Gore 1d8+6 Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft. Special Attacks: Stampede, Rage Special Qualities: Scent Saves: Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +1 Abilities: Str 18, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 4 Skills: Listen +8, Spot +5 Feats: Spirited Charge Climate/Terrain: Temperate Plains Organization: Solitary, Herd (1 bull and 515 cows)


From Stone to Steel

Lithe and elegant, spare of form and with a graceful curving horn, the gazelle is a gorgeous creature, but not an effective fighter. Organization: Solitary, Pair, Herd (318) Challenge Rating: 2 Treasure: None Alignment: Always Neutral Advancement: 56 HD (Large) These majestic creatures of the plains spend the majority of their time grazing among the trees. Other than their rearward kicks, these animals are not very combat worthy. Giraffes prefer to run from danger, and kick at enemies in pursuit.

Gazelles prefer to flee, rather than fight, and only kick with hind legs. Should the gazelle be surrounded, it will attempt to gore with its horns, but only if flight is not possible. Keen Hearing (EX): This racial ability grants gazelles a +4 to all listen checks.


Huge (Tall) Animal
Hit Dice: 4d8+16 (34 hp) Initiative: +2 Dex Speed: 40 ft AC: 13 (2 size, +2 Dex, +3 natural) Attacks: Kicks +7 melee (females) or Gore +7 melee (males) Damage: Kicks 1d6+4, gore 1d8+4 Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./10 ft. Special Attacks: None Special Qualities: Low-light vision, Scent Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +3 Abilities: Str 22, Dex 14, Con 19, Int 1, Wis 14, Cha 8 Skills: Listen +8, Spot +5 Climate/Terrain: Warm Plains

Huge Animal
Hit Dice: 9d8+54 (95 hp) Initiative: +0 Dex Speed: 15 ft, Swim 20ft AC: 12 (-2 Size, +4 natural) Attacks: Bite +11/+6 melee Damage: Bite 1d10+10 Face/Reach: 10 ft. by 15 ft./10 ft. Special Attacks: None Special Qualities: Low-light vision, Scent Saves: Fort +12, Ref +2, Will +2 Abilities: Str 25, Dex 11, Con 22, Int 1, Wis 10, Cha 6 Skills: Hide -5, Listen +3, Spot +3, Swim +17 Climate/Terrain: Warm Plains Organization: Solitary, Herd (212) Challenge Rating: 5 Treasure: None Alignment: Always Neutral Advancement: 1012HD (Huge)


Massive and lumbering, Hippos are both aggressive and territorial, but generally gives warning before an attack. At home on land and in water, Hippos prefer to work as little as possible. Large flightless birds, the ostrich can reach a height of 7 feet, and bears brown, black, and white plumage. The ostrich was an absurdity to Romans, but like so many other animals it often met its death in the Arena.

Large Animal
Hit Dice: 3d8+9 (23 hp) Initiative: +2 (Dex) Speed: 50 ft AC: 14 -1 size, +2 Dex, +3 natural) Attacks: Bite +5 melee, kick +0 melee Damage: Bite 1d8+4, kick 1d6+4 Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./10 ft. Special Attacks: Trample. Special Qualities: Low-light vision Saves: Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +1 Abilities: Str 18, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 8 Skills: Listen +2, Hide +2, Spot +6 Feat: Run Climate/Terrain: Warm Plains Organization: Solitary, Flock (312) Challenge Rating: 2 Treasure: None Alignment: Always Neutral Advancement: None

If threatened, Ostriches can be quite aggressive, nipping (for negligible damage) and kicking (for very effective damage). Trample (Ex): A Ostrich can trample Medium-size or smaller creatures for 1d4+4 points of automatic slam damage. Opponents who do not make attacks of opportunity against the bird can attempt a Reflex save (DC 15) to halve the damage.

Bestiarii as Rangers
Although certainly not the standard image of the Ranger, the Bestiarii are best generated as having at least one level in the Ranger class, with a favored foe as one of the creatures most commonly faced in combat. This best simulates the specialized training bestiarii went through to become elite animal fighters. Optionally, a Game Master may consider allowing the favored foe to be a specific subgroup of animals, such as big cats, or even something as large as arena animals, which would include all normal animals faced in the arena

Carnivorous animals trained for the arena were actively trained to be man-eaters. Most animals in nature prefer not to eat the flesh of man, as they have learned to fear man (although some overcome that fear). Animals that have learned to be maneaters are rarely driven off by loud noises or fire, and will often stop to devour a kill before attacking another human. The noontime executions were nowhere near as fair, and since most crimes in Rome were capitol crimes, the executions were tasked to go quickly. Most executions were either ad bestium (by animal) or ad flammas (by flames). On certain rare occasions they might have prisoners fight each other, or force them to free wild beasts that would subsequently tear them apart. But there was no freedom for someone slated to die. If, somehow, they survived their method of execution, something more painful and gruesome would be thought up for them. There was no such concept of no cruel or unusual punishment in Rome. Indeed, cruel and unusual was considered an exceptional deterrent. The afternoon Munera was the main event of the day for many, though. Trained Gladiators, tutored by their Lanista and his many trainers, armed in a variety of antiquated and ceremonial armors, would take to the Arena, to fight and possibly die for the entertainment of the masses. And the training they went through was difficult. Practicing with wooden items many times heavier than the weapons they would wield in the ring, Gladiators were trained to increase strength and endurance, and to learn all methods of fighting with the weapons they might use. Their lessons also involved liberal use of the leather whip,


From Stone to Steel

scourge, flagellum, or branding irons, as well as quick and easy access to the best medicine money could buy. Except in the rarest of cases, Gladiatorial bouts were not explicitly to the death. Generally they were held between two combatants, and would be fought until one opponent signaled they gave up. There was even musical accompaniment,. Gladiators were expected to fight bravely and well, and, if necessary, face death without fear. But if a gladiator lost and was judged to have fought with valor, a missus would be allowed, and the losing gladiator would be spared. If, however, the gladiator was not aggressive enough or appeared to be afraid, he could expect to be ordered to die. Then it was his duty to kneel at his opponents feet while his opponent drove a sword blade through their neck. If done right, this was a quick and relatively painless death. Sometimes events were not so straightforward. Sometimes teams would fight together. Or two gladiators would be tied together and forced to fight. Sometimes they would bring in plants and enact myths. Sometimes they would flood the arena or construct a lake to hold naumachie, or naval battles. And rarely the emperor himself might enter the arena. Under a few emperors reigns the Emperor himself fought in the arena, but there is no question that the opponents did not fight back. Being slated to fight the Emperor meant death, pure and simple. No weapon would be raised against him, and no selfrespecting gladiator would flinch from his approach. Slowly, with the growing influence of Christianity, the games would come to an end. But it would take hundreds of years, and the fruits of the arena are still with us today. Usually such a victim is restrained in some fashion, and the heated end is merely pressed against their flesh. The heated end does 1 point of heat damage per round applied, and the heat lasts 1 minute for every 10 it was left in whatever was heating it (up to 3 minutes total). Often these are drawn directly from a fire pit, brazier, or smiths forge, and then placed back in to preserve their effectiveness.

Gladiator Armor
Gladiators sometimes specialized in a specific kind of fighting, or learned a few different types. The most common types were Samnites or Hoplomachi, Secutores, Retiarii, Mymillones (or Galli), Thracians, and Dimachaeri. Other kinds of gladiators did exist, some using bow and arrow, some riding on chariot or horseback, some with helms with no eye holes, and some were true uniques, fighting with individual styles. Also, periodically, there would be freak matches, where dwarves or women might fight. The practice of women entering the gladiatorial arena actually grew over time, until a law was passed preventing this. Each type of fighting style had its own equipment. A Hoplomachi, for example, bore an oblong large shield, a gladius, a galea (an elaborate helmet), greaves, a wide leather belt, and a manica, a scaled leather arm covering for the sword arm. The Secutores carried a great shield, rather than a large one, but had no greaves. The Retiarii, on the other hand, wore no armor

Flagellum & Scourge, Metal

The scourge, as mentioned before, was first developed in Syria, and was made from various lengths of cord woven onto a wooden handle. In Rome pieces of sharp metal were bound in the cord, in order to make it more painful, and to promote long gashes. The scourge was a device intended to torture people, and was either used in punishment or in religious ceremonies where pain was intended to expiate wrong doing. The scourge eventually became the standard for self-mortification among certain extreme Christian sects. The flagellum was simpler than the scourge, a whip of three cords with knots at the end. It was used on gladiators or to flog disobedient soldiers. The Flagellum deals subdual damage, and both whips deal no damage to any creature wearing armor of at least +1 armor bonus or creatures with a +3 natural armor bonus. Either whip is considered an exotic weapon.



Branding Iron
The Branding Iron was a long metal rod or wand that was heated glowing red, and then applied, with fearsome results, to human skin. The damage listed is for a person swinging to injure with the branding iron, although it is not necessary to swing at most people to whom a branding iron is to be applied.


19. Metal Scourge; 20. Flagellum; 21. Branding Iron




23 24 25 22 27


30 26

22. Manica; 23. Galerus; 24. Galea; 25. Girdle; 26. Greave; 27. Leather Arm Wrappings; 28. Open Faced Helm; 29. Retiarii Net; 30. Sica other than a galerus (a kind of armored shoulder piece), and Partial Armor carried a net and trident, capitalizing on mobility and range. In order to determine the maximum dexterity bonus, total the The Myrmillones went the opposite extreme, complete with a number of items above worn and subtract it from 8. Thus a fish-shaped helm, carrying a curved blade (likely a falx, seeing Hoplomachi would have a maximum dexterity bonus of +4, as the Myrmillones were also refered to as Gaullic gladiators). after donning the Manica, Galea, Girdle, and Greave (8 - 4 The Thracian gladiators favored the sica (a scimitar, descended items of armor = 4). Armor check penalty and speed are deterfrom the sickle sword and kopis), a small shield (round or mined by weight, as per the chart below. square), and leather arm wrappings. The Dimachaeri opted for two swords, favoring manica on both arms, and a light helm, similar to that of the Roman soldier, and optionally a greave on either leg. Gladiators never wore breastplates, as this would unnecessarily prolong battles. A great variety of weapons might be used for unique one-off combats, although armor is usually made from the items mentioned below. Gladiator armor was not intended to protect them much. The point of gladiator armor was to give them a slight chance to avoid damage, so that they wouldnt outright flee each other in combat. Half armor bonuses are treated in the following manner: determine the AC without the fraction of the full point. Roll to hit. If the number rolled is the minimum required to successfully injure the foe, roll one die. On an even roll the damage is done to the foe, as normal. On an odd roll, the damage is done to the item of armor that conveys the half armor bonus, instead. If armor damage is not factored, consider the hit a miss. Note: The gladiator armor listed in this section should never be used in conjunction with regular sets of armor. Gladiator armor does not confer any extra armor bonus to a complete set of armor, and the values given above for partial pieces of armor


From Stone to Steel

are purely to construct gladiator armor only. If you are using the optional durability rules, and armor damage is indicated by the effect die, determine which piece of armor is damaged randomly. Gladiatorial armor would never be purchased by anyone other than the owner of a gladiator, or the head of a gladiatorial school (hence the high price). Anyone who wore the above armor outside of the arena likely be considered an escaped slave, and soldiers would be called to capture them.

Gladiatoral Weapons
Net, Retiarii
Made of leather, with lead weights bound in the weave, sometimes slightly barbed, this net was intended to be a means for the Retiarii to manipulate and control his foes. In order to throw it optimally, it must be gathered together carefully, and launched as a ranged touch attack against the target. The nets maximum range is 10 feet, and there is no penalty for trying to strike a target even up to the nets maximum range. If you hit, the target is entangled. An entangled creature is a -2 on attack rolls, and a -4 penalty on effective Dexterity. The entangled creature can only move at half speed and cannot charge or run. Identical to the net in the Players Handbook, it also has a guide rope, which, if an opposed Strength Check is succeeded, can be used to limit the movement of the entangled foe by the length of the rope (10 feet). If an entangled creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 15) or be unable to cast the spell. The entangled creature can escape with an Escape Artist check (DC 20) that is a full-round action. This net has 12 hit points, and a hardness of 3. Once torn, it must be repaired to be used effectively. A grass net can be burst with a Strength check (DC 25, also a full-round action). A net is only useful against creatures between Tiny and Large size, inclusive. The first time a net is thrown in a fight, it must make a normal ranged touch attack. After it has been unfolded, any further attempts suffer a -4 penalty on attack roll. It takes 2 rounds for a proficient user to fold a net and twice that long for a non-proficient one to do so.

The Manica was a scaled leather sleeve only worn on the sword arm, made from boiled leather and intended to block strikes at the sword arm. It was relatively flexible, but tough enough to catch and block a few direct strikes.

The Galerus was a metal shoulder pad, with a few plates intended to protect the upper arm. It could potentially be used to block a blow, but the Retiarii hoped to never have to counter a blow.

The Galea was a heavy helmet, closed faced, with a varying crest. They were heavy, and made it difficult for a gladiator to see, confering a -1 to any perception roll while it was on.

The Girdle was a thick leather belt with metal plating, in a circular, coin-like pattern, sometimes referred to as bezainted. It was meant to catch and deflect blows away from the waistline.

Usually gladiators only wore a greave on the leg that was intended to be forward when entering combat. Thus it could deflect a low strike, but kept weight restrictions to a minimum.

Ben Hur
The popular movie Ben Hur had a segment with a chariot race in the circus, where one of the opponents had chariot wheels with spikes on the hubcaps. This development was Thracian in origin, although not likely to have been used in a Roman chariot race. For all intents and purposes these spiked hubcaps are treated the same as the Persian scythe blades mentioned in the previous chapter. DMs are encouraged to determine the effect, if any, these might have on chariot races.

Leather Arm Wrappings

Leather Arm Wrappings, common to the Dimachaeri, were only minimally protective, meant to deflect a glancing blow without causing a scrape, although not intended to actually withstand many attacks.

Open Faced Helm

The Open Faced Helm mentioned here was actually a modified version of the Legionaires helmet, which does not convey a separate armor bonus when used as part of a suit of armor. Here it is given separate statistics only to illustrate its effect as a part of gladiator armor. Table 4-3: Open Faced Helm Weight Armor Check Penalty 112 lbs 0 1318 lbs -1 1924 lbs -2 25+ lbs -3

The Sica was a weapon finding more and more use in the Easter Empire, a scimitar-like blade excellent for chopping and slashing.

Movement 30ft/15ft 30ft/15ft 30ft/15ft 20ft/15ft

Cestus & Spiked Cestus

The Cestus was an adaptation of the Greek boxers leather wrappings, which wound around the center of the fist quite a few times to make blows more solid. The plain Cestus was a






31. Cestus; 32. Spiked Cestus; 33. Iron Double-Headed Axe leather wrapping, and improved unarmed strikes by one damage level, thus making a medium sized creatures unarmed strike 1d4 subdual damage, and the small creatures unarmed strike 1d3 subdual damage. Some, though were not pleased to keep Cestus combat so non-lethal in the arena, and added spikes and nails to the glove, making it a weapon that inflicted 1d4 normal damage. Life as a Gladiator was harsh, and gladiators had to be, as well. They were taught to be fearless. They were practiced in all aspects of their specialty class. And they were trained to fight for their lives, and not fear death on each others weapons. Whether or not this training was completely successful, the whips and brands enforced some level of learning. And yet there are records of Senators wives who entered gladiator troops and learned to fight in the arena. Criminals, Slaves, and thrill seekers found their way into this class. Anyone could be trained, although the weak were expected to die in combat. Trained in one specific fighting style, the gladiators had to be able to perform for the crowd as well as themselves. In the end the crowd would see a long procession of Hoplomachi, Retiarii, Secutores, Myrmillones, Thracians, Dimachaerie, and unique fighters. If the gladiator wanted to earn at least a missus, they had better make their match exciting and memorable.

Axe, Iron Double Headed Battle

The Double Headed Battleaxe, although not quite a Great Axe as indicated in the Players Handbook, has been found in certain Thracian excavations, although its use in war is not recorded in any documents. A weapon like this would likely have been an interesting alternative to standard gladiatorial armaments. It is, of course, a two handed weapon.

Gladiator (Prestige Class)

Gladiators have a certain mystique today that they may or may not deserve; People who lived a hairs breadth from death; Elite single combat warriors; Men inured to death, competing to live, perhaps to earn glory and freedom in the arena. But this image is not entirely accurate. By the time the Colleseum was built, estimates put the number of free men who voluntarily joined the ranks of the gladiators as 3050% of all gladiators. There was glory to be found, surely, but gladiators were also reviled as criminals, slaves, and worse. They were often those who had been arrested for various crimes, but for one reason or another, werent quite deserving of immediate death. Although they were popular, desired, and skilled at their individual specialty, they were not super soldiers or wronged innocents.

Hit Die: d12 Requirements:

Any character can become a gladiator. However, they must designate a kind of fighting style at the beginning of joining the ranks of gladiators. After that each level gained as a gladiator should be considered a level gained as their specialty, either Hoplomachae, Retiari, Secutor, Mymillone, Thracian, Dimachaeri, or their own unique class. Creating a unique class requires the selection of a weapon combination, either two identical weapons, one two handed weapon, or a weapon and a shield. The unique class then selects from the gladiator armor as many pieces as they desire. Heavier armored gladiators are


From Stone to Steel

harder to hit, but less mobile. Lightly armored gladiators have the advantage of moving faster and being less encumbered. If you choose the wrong combination, youre likely to end up in a gladiators grave, so think about what advantages you would need. Should a gladiator wish to take up a new combat style, they should start back at first level with the new style. Thus a gladiator could be a 3rd level Retiari and a 1st level Dimachaeri. Combat advantages do not stack between different specializations. Note that all gladiators are considered slaves, and must live in their gladiator troops. If a gladiator earns their freedom they may opt to return to the arena to fight, but may live as a free man (or as a citizen, if they were citizens previously).

Class Skills
The Gladiators class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Perform (Cha), Tumble (Dex) Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int Modifier

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Charioteer prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Gladiators are proficient with all simple weapons and their specific class weapons only. They are also proficient with their gladiator specialty armor and shields. Note that armor check penalties for certain armor combinations apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. : Gladiators train extensively with their specialty weapon, and may be considered focused with that weapon. Retiarii focus on the trident, for example. If a unique gladiator carried two different weapons, he may choose one to be his primary weapon.

Table 4-4:Gladiator
Class Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Base Attack Bonus +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 Fort Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Ref Save +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Will Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Special Weapon Focus (Primary Weapon) Combat Advantage Reputation Combat Advantage Preferred Opponent Combat Advantage Reputation Combat Advantage Preferred Opponent Combat Advantage


Combat Advantage: Starting at second level, and following every two levels afterwards, the gladiator gains a +1 bonus to one of the following: AC, To hit, or Damage. This bonus is only conferred while the gladiator is wearing his specialty armor and carrying his specialty weapon. This bonus shows his intimate knowledge of his equipment and its use. He must choose which of the three the bonus applies to when he gains the level, and he may not alter his choice later. Thus, a myrmillone may opt to gain a +1 to hit for his second level Advantage. Later, at fourth level, he may opt to take a +1 to his AC, but he cannot alter his second level selection. Should a gladiator lose a portion of his armor during combat or a weapon, he loses any bonuses gained through this class ability. Reputation: The Gladiator has had enough success to gain a reputation. At third level this doubles the purse he gains from any wins. At seventh level he may add his specialty levels of gladiator to any intimidate roll he attempts. Preferred Opponent: At fifth and ninth level the gladiator must select a specific type of gladiatorial style. The gladiator has become skilled at fighting this kind of gladiator, and gains a +1 bonus to hit and damage rolls against this kind of gladiator.

Gladiators as PCs
It is very likely PCs may be interested in playing gladiators. Usually this is before they realize how limiting this can be. If PCs really want to play a gladiator character, construct them with the Prestige Class rules, and proceed. Usually games are only held every couple of months, so there may not seem like a lot of opportunity for gaining experience. Some Lanistae took their gladiators on tour through different provinces, so one method to give them more exposure would be to put them in a mobile gladiatorial troop. You may wish to increase XP gains for gladiatorial bouts, if you feel they are coming too slowly to have an impact on play. If a character rises to 10th level, it is likely theyve already won their freedom. If they desire to continue rising in ranks as a gladiator, they may either select a new style and advance from level 1, or continue to allow them to rise, as per the progression indicated by the tables, and give them another Combat Advantage every even level. In addition, new gains in reputation might give more money or preferential treatment, and perhaps the gladiator could gain yet another preferred opponent.

Army Ascendant
ith the Emperor holding ultimate power, the military saw greater and greater power during this period. New developments also made them the most efficient army in most

35 34


34. Lorica Segmentata; 35. Lorica Squamata; 36. Lorica Hamata


From Stone to Steel

of their known world. Three new kinds of infantry armor were adapted. Clibanariii, wore scale and plate mail, an incredibly dense and protective armor that made an individual Clibanari like a living tank. Most cavalry of this period carried lances, although the unarmored troops also carried iron javelins, pilum, or light war bows, as well as caltrops, primarily for use against cavalry. Prohibitively heavy, and dangerously unwieldy, those clibanarii who wore these into battle were called oven men, due to the heat that would build up while riding in this armor. Later plate armor developments would prove superior to this design, which never saw use with foot troops.

Lorica Segmentata, Lorica Squamata & Lorica Hamata

Lorica Segmentata was a plated metal breastplate, the first true plate armor, which still allowed arms and legs free for movement and maneuver. Lorica Squamata was a very dense scale mail, each scale being perhaps inch to 2 inches in length. Held together like scale and lamellar, Lorica Squamata was a flexible dense armor that was in many ways superior to Scale. Lorica Hamata was a denser chainmail, under which a subarmalis would be worn. The Subarmalis (under armor, literally) was a padded undershirt. The various forms of Lorica armor were used commonly during the second century A.D., although eventually Lorica Segmentata became too complex and expensive to manufacture, and armies relied more and more heavily on Squamata and Hamata armor. Since, by this time, the army provided soldiers with their armor at public expense, the better kinds of armor were worn by soldiers with higher rank. Thus, the bulk of soldiers wore Hamata, while cohort leaders and standard bearers were more likely to wear squamata, and officers would wear the Segmentata.

Days of Decline
The army became a vehicle to power in the Empire. Although it still focused on putting down rebellion and expanding the power of the Empire, it also began to play the game of Imperial politics as well. Consuls and Proconsuls would engage in civil war to gain power, and more than one Emperor was deposed by a military leader. Indeed, in the second century AD, the Empire of Rome experienced 50 years of anarchy, where up to 30 generals were declared to be Emperors by individual army garrisons. Empire did not bring stability to Rome. It brought weakness, increased factionalism, and ultimately destruction. Rome had grown too much. Diocletian, an emperor of the late second century, realized that no one man could rule the Empire. Increased barbarian attacks made it clear that insurrections in the east could not wait to be discovered by the west before they could be dealt with. Thus Diocletian established the Tetrarchy. Four men were given the power that the Emperor previously wielded. Two co-Emperors ruled over portions of Rome, one in the East, another in the West. In addition, two Consuls were established to control the army, each one region, who could operate independent from the Emperor, and move to deal with insurrection or attacks as they arose. The army began to change roles, from a conquering force to a peacekeeping force. The army no longer journeyed beyond the borders of Rome, but repulsed invaders and fought against revolutionary forces. And the numbers were never enough. Invasions by various Gothic tribes, the Vandals, the Huns, as well as rebellions in Gaul, Parthia, and Thracia left the Roman forces weak. Thus another law was passed that made all free people of Rome, regardless of Province, citizens. This allowed Rome to recruit larger numbers of citizens into the legion, and they could also offer citizenship to neighboring tribes in exchange for recruiting them into the army. Many Germanic tribes readily accepted this offer, and since the Germans were generally larger, stronger, and more imposing than the Romans, they soon became the backbone of the Roman Army. Constantine, one Emperor of the East, made changes that would lead to a great alteration of Europe. Constantine embraced Christianity. Christians had be previously persecuted by Rome, blamed for many crimes (including the burning of Rome during Neros reign) and general weakness. Constantines mother, though, converted to Christianity, and it seems likely his notable tolerance was mainly due to her influence. After campaigning

Mail, Scale and Plate

As the cavalry developed the cataphracti became the only cavalry units in Romes army to wear armor. Later the cataphracti were reduced to chainmail while another type of unit, the



37. Scale and Plate Mail; 38. Steel Plated Leather


against Western Rome, which was floundering in miss management, Constantine put an end to certain elite units in Rome, and remodeled both armies to stress cavalry and recruit auxiliaries for infantry. Later Constantine would declare tolerance of Christianity, and then he would declare Christianity the religion of Rome. Although Constantine did not convert to Christianity himself until he was on his deathbed, the grant of freedom to worship legitimized Christianity, and they began to proselytize actively. Since most religions of the period were not so actively seeking members, Christianity appealed to many as a vibrant religion, and their membership increased rapidly. Christianitys focus on the importance of human life and peace caused a general decline in interest in the infantry, which made the Romans more and more dependant on the Germans. In order to encourage more German immigration, Rome offered Germany land in Gaul. The Germans, who had always had interest in the fertile lands of Gaul, accepted this offer eagerly. Thus Rome itself precipitated the collapse of mainland gaullic society, which fell under wave after wave of Germanic immigrants. Eventually the Franks would become the dominant tribe in Gaul, and it would be the Franks, rather than the Gallic people, who would determine the future of that region. Despite Constantines efforts to strengthen the West, Western Rome would not hold. The Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, and Vandals generally favored iron plated leather armor, large shields, longswords, long lances, and throwing axes. Like Rome they favored cavalry, and fought relentlessly. At various times the Goths would fight Rome together or ally with Rome against the other. Periodically Rome would be forced to pay tribute to Gothic tribes after particularly bad losses, although the Goths were not so interested in taking land.

Leather, Steel Plated

Light, flexible, and with the leather covering the steel plates on both inside and out, this armor still left the Gothic warriors free to move around, although not quite with the flexibility of scale. The weight, though, made this option seem more appealing to the Gothic forces.

Longsword, Early Steel

Potent, more prone to bending but also more flexible than the iron version, this longsword represents some of the early advances in steel alloys. The addition of carbon to the iron mix made these longswords lighter, without sacrificing blade

41 456

40 39




39. Early Steel Longsword; 40. Early Steel Throwing Axe; 41. Hunnic Horse Bow; 42. Sheaf Arrow; 43. Flight Arrow; 44. Hunnic Early Steel Saber; 45. Lariat


From Stone to Steel

strength or damage. Favored by all the Germanic tribes, this became the basis for the modern longsword.

Saber, Hunnic Early Steel

The prototype of the later slavic saber, this saber was slightly shorter and more curved, but effective at slashing strikes. Intended to be used mostly from horseback, it often had embellishment, as Hunnic warriors would inscribe victories, family marks, and decoration of their sword blades in their spare time. A rare number of these sported golden hilts, often made from the many gold tributes the Huns extracted from Rome.

Throwing Axe, Early Steel

Throwing axes were used exclusively by the Germanic tribes, usually as a precursor to a charge. Although not barbed, throwing axes that do more than half base damage should be considered lodged, as per the rules for barbed weapons. The version above was an early steel variant, lighter and more flexible than its precursor.

Effectively a rope used for combat purposes, the lariat was generally 20 feet, although it could be longer. Used to lasso riders and pull them from their mounts, the lariat is an exotic weapon, whose maximum range is its length. If you hit, the target is entangled. An entangled creature is a -2 on attack rolls, and a -4 penalty on effective Dexterity. The entangled creature can only move at half speed and cannot charge or run. If an opposed Strength Check is succeeded, can be used to limit the movement of the entangled foe by the length of the rope. If the opposed Strength Roll is succeeds by 3 or more, you can opt to pull the victim from his horse, inflicting falling damage. If an entangled creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 15) or be unable to cast the spell. The strength of a mount can be added to any opposed strength roll if the rope is attached to the pommel. The entangled creature can escape with an Escape Artist check (DC 20) that is a full-round action. This rope has 3 hit points, and a hardness of 1. The ropes length is shortened by 1d6 feet every time this occurs, but it can be used effectively until it is only 6 feet long. A rope can be burst with a Strength check (DC 25, also a full-round action). A rope is only useful against creatures between Tiny and Large size, inclusive.

The Huns
The Huns were a tribe from the east, having crossed Siberia, the Urals, and Eastern Europe. They were likely related to the Mongols, and wore light leather and leather lamellar armor, and favored a variety of armaments. They carried a unique kind of horse bow, light lances, spears, lariats, curved sabers, stone axes, and leather whips. They also carried three kinds of arrows, based on range. Short Range Arrows were made with lozenge shaped armor piercing heads. Medium Range Arrows were the equivalent of normal arrows. Their long range arrows were thin and extremely long, meant to fly far and to prevent lighter forces from closing quickly. The Huns preferred to keep their enemies in bow range, and to flee to a safe distance if closed with. They also used light chariots, like the Celts. The Huns, like the Goths, extracted a heavy tribute from Rome, and almost sacked the city of Rome before accepting a tribute, supposedly, of a thousand pounds of gold. The leader of the Huns, Atilla, was both respected and feared by the Romans, and he would hold much of Rome hostage, entreating with Popes and Emperors, until assassinated by an ill-chosen wife.

Bow, Hunnic Horse

The Hunnic bow is a relative of the Mongol bow, and is useable from horseback. Made to fire while the horse is in full motion, its lowered grip is intended to make it easier to fire on either side of the rider. The Huns used various kinds of ammunition, including short range sheaf arrows and long range flight arrows.

The Fall of Rome

The final blow to Imperial Rome would not come from an outside invader, but from the very Germans who became the backbone of Romes army. More and more Rome relied on allies to defend itself, and in the end the last Emperor of Rome, Romulus Augustus, was deposed by his own soldiers and allies, who established a German Monarchy in Ravenna to administer what remained of Western Rome. Eastern Rome would try to recover what it could of the West, but the Germans allowed Eastern Rome little success, and the Eastern Empire, based in Constantinople, would eventually survive independently as the Empire of Byzantium. The Roman era ended in the hands of the Germans, left much of Europe unprotected, dominated by various Germanic tribes, and in its own Dark Age.

Arrow, Sheaf
Sheaf arrows are heavier and have an iron head intended to pierce armor. This gives the sheaf arrow a +1 to hit bonus against anyone wearing any kind of armor (the armor is less effective at protecting the wearer). In addition, if the arrow does do damage to the armor, that damage is at a +1, due to its added effectiveness against armor.

Arrow, Flight
The Flight arrow is intended to fly farther, and is lighter and thinner than a standard arrow, but is more fragile and less damaging, doing 1 less point of damage, to a minimum of 1.


Table 4-5: Roman Weapons
Simple Weapons-Melee Weapons Tiny Cestus* Cestus, Spiked* Pugio* Small Branding Iron* Simple Weapons-Ranged Small Dart, Bronze Dart, Iron Medium-Size Javelin, Iron-tipped Heavy Pilum, Heavy* Pilum, Light* Martial Weapons-Melee Small Axe, Throwing Bronze Axe, Throwing Early Steel Axe, Throwing Iron Gladius Lance, Light Irona Medium-Size Longsword, Early Steel Saber, Hunnic Early Steel Sica Spatha Trident, Iron Headeda Large Axe, Iron Double Headed Battle Falx, Dacian* Martial Weapons-Ranged Medium-Size Bow, Hunnic Horse Exotic Weapons-Melee Small Flagellum* Scourge, Metal* Exotic Weapons-Ranged Medium-Size Lariat* Net, Retiarii* Weapons Ranged-Ammunition Arrow, Sheaf Arrow, Flight Bullet, Clay Sling Cost 6sp 1.2gp 1gp 6sp Damage Critical x2 x2 x2 x2 Range Wgt 2.5 lbs 3 lbs 3 lbs 1.5 lbs Type B P P B M L LM M M H/HP 3/8 4/9 6/9 3/5

1d4 1d6-1 1d3+1

3sp 4sp 1gp 7gp 5gp

1d4 1d4 2d3 1d8 1d6

x2 x2 x2 x3 x3

20ft 20ft 30ft 30ft 30ft

1.5 lbs 1.5 lbs 4 lbs 7 lbs 5 lbs



5/5 6/5 6/12 4/19 4/13

6gp 7.5gp 7gp 9gp 5gp 14gp 12gp 13gp 12gp 13gp 16gp 25gp

1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d10 1d12

x2 x2 x2 1920/x2 x3 1920/x2 1820/x2 1820/x2 1920/x2 x2 x3 1920/x2

10ft 10ft 10ft

4.5 lbs 4 lbs 4.5 lbs 4 lbs 5.5 lbs 4 lbs 3 lbs 5 lbs 5 lbs 6 lbs 15 lbs 9 lbs



5/14 7/12 6/14 6/10 6/12 7/8 7/6 6/10 6/10 6/12 6/30 6/18






3 lbs

Per arrow


8gp 1gp

1d2 1d4

x2 x2

1.5 lbs 2 lbs



3/5 3/6

4sp 20gp 2gp 2gp 3cp

20ft 10ft -10ft +10ft --

4 lbs 10 lbs 3.5 lbs 2.5 lbs 3.5 lbs


2/8 3/12 2/4 2/3 2/4

-1 1d3



* See the description in the text for special rules. Double Weapon Reach Weapon a If you ready an action to set this weapon against a charge you deal double damage. # Shield bypass weapon Subdual damage


From Stone to Steel

Table 4-6: Roman Armor
Armor Light Armor Chainmail Shirt, Bronze Chainmail Shirt, Iron Medium Armor Chainmail, Bronze Chainmail, Iron Hides, Heavy Leather, Steel Plated Heavy Armor Lorica Hamata Lorica Segmentata Lorica Squamata Mail, Iron Scale and Chain Mail, Scale and Plate Shields Scutum Gladiator Armor Galea# Galerus# Girdle# Greave# Leather Arm Wrappings# Manica# Open Faced Helm# Cost 80gp 90gp 130gp 140gp 35gp 85gp 170gp 185gp 180gp 190gp 465gp 18gp 60gp 45gp 30gp 20gp 10gp 25gp 35gp Armor Bonus +4 +4 +5 +5 +3 +4 +5 +5 +5 +6 +7 +2 +1 +1 +1 +0.5 +0.5 +1 +1 Max Dex Bonus +4 +4 +2 +2 +4 +2 +2 +3 +3 +0 +0 Armor Check Penalty -2 -2 -5 -5 -3 -4 -5 -4 -5 -7 -8 -2 Spell Failure 20% 20% 30% 30% 20% 25% 30% 30% 30% 35% 40% 15% 0% 15% 0% 0% 15% 20% 0% Spd 30'/20' 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* Weight 27lbs 26lbs 42lbs 41lbs 25lbs 26lbs 41lbs 39lbs 41lbs 39lbs 51lbs 15lbs 10lbs 7lbs 9lbs 3lbs 3lbs 6lbs 6lbs M M M M M L L M M M M M MW M M LM M L L M H/HP 5/54 6/52 5/84 6/82 5/50 7/52 6/82 6/78 6/82 6/78 6/102 6/30 6/20 6/14 5/18 6/6 4/6 5/18 6/12

# See the description in the text for special rules. * When running in heavy armor you move only triple your speed, not quadruple. ** The tower shields grants you cover. See the description. Hand not free to cast spells. Armor fitted for small characters weighs half as much.


The Far East

Ancient China Combat Maneuver: Sword Breaking The Warring States Period Qin Rule & the Steel Era India Alternate Hides The Spread of Buddhism The Han Dynasty Han Expansion Tibet The Red Eyebrows The Turks The Chin Dynasty The Gupta Empire The Fall of the Guptas A Brief Flourishing The Wudan Movement Improvised Weapon Training The Tang Period Conquest The Persians Not Weapons The End of an Era The Great Ride Guns and Reliability

119 121 122 124 126 126 127 128 130 130 131 132 132 132 133 133 135 143 144 145 148 148 148 149 151

Elite Mongol Horsemen (Prestige Class) The Successors The Ming Dynasty Guang Hu Adventurer (Prestige Class) Creating your Guang Hu School Developments in Armor & Weapons Indian Contributions The Moghuls European Colonialism Other Notables Nepal Okinawa Malaysia & Indonesia Weapons Used in Kuanto and Pentjak Tribal and Civil weapons Japan Outside Influences The Samurai System Ninja Ninja (Prestige Class) The Edo Shogunate New Perform Subskills: Samurai (Prestige Class) Table 5-5: Far East Weapons Table 5-6: Far East Armor

153 154 154 155 157 157 158 161 161 161 161 162 162 163 164 166 167 167 171 173 174 175 176 178 184


From Stone to Steel

The abbot has admitted Ta Mo! Wu Zhengde looked up and blinked the water from his eyes. The brush stood stiff as a tree, clamped in his cramped hands. The words still floated in his mind, clouding his thoughts... ...clinging to views, clinging to doctrines, without describing the full understanding of clinging to rules and observances and clinging to a doctrine of self... What? Wu Zhengde stammered. The abbot was up on the wall, talking with Ta Mo again. They spoke for a long time, and then the abbot said to let him in. Wu Zhengde struggled to remember who Ta Mo was. After a few moments it came back to him. Ta Mo: the troublemaker. Ta Mo had come from lands south, from the home of the great Buddha. Wu Zhengde tried to recall Ta Mos true name. Bodhidharma? It sounded right. Ta Mo had come to speak with the Emperor, about the transcription of texts. Word from the capitol was that Ta Mo and the Emperor disagreed on the merit of transcribing the sacred texts, and Ta Mo had been asked to leave the Imperial City. Why he had come to plague this temple was beyond Wu Zhengde to explain. They were a relatively new temple, built on the edge of reforested land, and their work was mainly in copying sacred texts. When Ta Mo had first come, the abbot turned him away. The abbot was concerned that Ta Mo would try and stir up controversy in the temple, as he did in the Emperors Court. But Ta Mo persisted. He returned every day for a week, then he appeared to leave. But Monks sent to gather supplies came back telling tales of Ta Mo living in the area, having taken up residence in a cave. That had been months and months ago. Ta Mo came back? Wu Zhengde asked. Yes, and hes asked to see all the monks. Come quickly. Easy for you to say, Wu Zhengde exhorted the novice. He tried to relax his hand, but it took massaging it to get the fingers to unclamp. Then came the arduous process of leaving his chair, and the painful process of stretching. The halls were empty when he made his way out of copy room and into the main temple proper. In the courtyard the monks were assembled, but the abbot was nowhere to be seen. Someone was speaking loudly in the center of the assemblage. Wu Zhengde moved closer. ...all I see is complacency. The teachings of Buddhism arent merely for the eyes. They must be practiced in all facets of life. What meditations are you currently working on? The voice paused, and Wu Zhengde edged his way into the gathered monks, so he could see the speaker. A short man, with a wide frame and raven hair stood with his back to Wu Zhengde, looking at the passive, speechless monks. I see... Ta Mo nodded, and turned to survey the whole assemblage. So the monks of Shaolin do not even practice the meditations? His eyes finally landed on Wu Zhengde. His eyes were dark and piercing. They burned with intensity, and they seemed to make the air crackle with Ta Mos energy. Wu Zhengde knew instinctively that this man was gazing into his very soul, and perceiving every fault and error. Eyes like his could cut through flesh, and convict the soul. Wu Zhengde now understood how the abbot was convinced to let him in. Eyes that could bore through stone, even. What is your name, father, Ta Mo asked of Wu Zhengde. Wu Zhengde, Master. What do you do here, Father Wu? I am a copyist. I copy the sacred texts. Wu Zhengde smiled, blinking his watery eyes, and doing his best to show the real pride he bore for his sacred works. Is that all? Ta Mo asked. When he was Wu Zhengde falter, he continued. What were you transcribing? On the nature of clinging, Wu Zhengde answered. Fitting, Ta Mo answered, addressing the gathered. What I see here is a monastery clinging to observances, rules, and habits, without honoring them. You have become complacent in your traditions, and it makes you weak, even to neglect the meditations. While I am here, this will change. Through discipline you will find meaning. Ta Mo strode forward, and took Wu Zhengde by the hand. Selecting a larger monk, Ta Mo drew them both into the center. Now, Father Wu, strike your fellow monk. Wu Zhengde was stunned speechless. Strike him. Do not tell me you are afraid you will hurt him. Wu Zhengde saw the smirks in the circle, and steeled his hand. He threw a feeble punch, and barely struck the larger monks torso. No. You put no energy into that. Focus your energy into your fist. Ta Mo showed a fist. Wu Zhengdes second punch was no better than the first. The Ta Mo took a hold of Wu Zhengdes hand. Hold your hand like this. Ta Mos hand curled the aged monks into a fist, and held it together almost impossibly hard. It almost hurt. Now, when you throw your fist, push from here, Ta Mo indicated a muscle on the shoulder, and here, a muscle on the back, and here, a muscle on the leg. Wu Zhengde did not understand, but he tried, clenching his hand even as Ta Mo let go. He pushed with one fluid motion, and for a moment every muscle seemed to contribute to the punch. Wu Zhengde struck his fellow monk, and the larger monk


The Far East

stumbled backwards and landed on his seat. There was a collective gasp of surprise. Ta Mo smiled at Wu Zhengde. Thank you, Father. Never doubt your chi. Then he turned to the assemblage. We will begin a new regimen tomorrow morning. You all have much to learn of being a true monk, and much discipline to learn. There will be meditations, exercises, a strict diet, and less copying. Words are only as important as their practice. I will expect much of you. More, probably, than you expect of yourself. But if you persevere, you will understand the true nature of the teachings of the Buddha, and the temple of Shaolin will stand as a center of true wisdom for all of China. Ta Mo gazed around the gathering, his piercing gaze striking each and every one of the attending. Wu Zhengde still felt the warmth in his hand from the punch he threw. Bowing, he spoke, Welcome to Shaolin Temple, Ta Mo. The others, as if on cue, did likewise. Welcome to Shaolin Temple.
of the Zhou, a frontier tribe lead by a charismatic chieftain. Records make it clear that the Zhou were not considered Chinese by the people who wrote about them, but the fame of their early rule, particularly that of the first two kings, King Wen and King Wu, were considered to be of such great benevolence and wisdom that hundreds of years later they would be held up as paragons of virtue and righteous rulers. The Zhou practiced chariot warfare, much like the Shang before them, and the chariot was the mainstay of the Chinese armies, which were lead and manned by the aristocracy. Evidence suggests that the Zhou probably came from an area similar to where the Hittites originated, and they might have had some relation to the Hittites and Scythians. The Zhou instituted what is often referred to as a Chinese Feudal system. The European Feudal system was typified by granting of fiefdoms to members of aristocracy in order to decentralize governance of a nation, but this does not entirely fit the Zhou form of Feudalism. The Zhou practiced strong intermarriage as a form of creating bonds of loyalty, and required frequent ratification of rulership among the leaders they established. Thus a duke might have the approval of the King, but his chosen heir might lose the kingdom to another upon inheritance. During the period of the Shang the oldest surviving brother of the former ruler inherited lands, but the Zhou changed the inheritance to the eldest son. This alteration angered more Chinese subjects, and lead to some weakening of Zhou rule.

Ancient China

hile Greece was still mired in its dark age, the Shang Dynasty came to a close, ushered out by the rise in power



2b 4a




1a. Ge (closeup); 1b. Ge; 2a. Bronze Jian; 2b. Jian; 3. Chinese Knife; 4a. Bronze Qiang; 4b. Qiang variation; 4c. Qiang variation


From Stone to Steel

While the Shang relied on bronze and stone technology to arm their armies, the Zhou began to experiment with iron. This iron experimentation was loose and rare, and there was often more wrought ironwork and iron in decorations than there were on the battlefield. We cannot be certain how extensive ironwork was during the early or Western period of Zhou rule, mainly because iron does not persist through the ages as well as bronze does. The Zhou used both bronze and iron versions of the Ge, Jian (straight sword), Qiang (spear), Fu (axe), Dao (saber or curved blade), mace, knife, and arrow. Staves of various compositions were common weapons, especially for the commoners. Leather armor and Leather Lamellar were the main forms of armor used by the military well into the 700s CE, as iron armor was expensive and heavy, and armies were so large as to make common usage of iron armor impractical. the Jian, Dao, And Qiang, and was the predecessor of the Fang and the Halberd.

Straight swords in China were usually double edged, and were frequently decorated at the hilt. Oftentimes the hilts and pommels would be made of brass or plated with gold, especially if the wielder owned the sword and had money to spend on such appearances. Carried as often as the Dao, the Jian would see use throughout Chinese history, and most straight double-edged swords would follow this mold.

Chinese Knife
Chinese knives were generally curved, rather than straight, although straight examples can be found. Curved blades are generally easier to unsheathe quickly, since the action of drawing them also helps to ready them. The Chinese knife was an oftentraded item, and most neighboring peoples would possess them, an easy way for modern day archaeologists to track Chinese influence among other ancient peoples.

The Ge made the translation into iron during this period. A thin, dagger-like blade attached near the top of a stick 2 to 4 feet in length, the Ge is close to being a dagger-bladed axe or pick. The Ge was the primary weapon of the Chinese military, followed by





5a. Fu variation; 5b. Fu variation; 5c. Fu; 6. Dao; 7. Iron Grain Sword; 8. Short Staff; 9. Mace Staff; 10. Double Mace


The Far East

The Qiang is a long fighting spear, not intended for throwing. The Qiang was used much like the spears of most other Bronze and Iron Age empires, usually en-mass, set against a charge or leading a formation to prevent attacks and injure the unwary. Although tassels from weapons from this age have long ago rotted away, current practices of the spearhead being ringed with tassels can be seen in diagrams and paintings of the day, suggesting that this practice may have started during this time. A passive sword break is less work for the weapon bearer, but is less likely to occur. A player attempting to passively use the sword break maneuver must elect to fight using a defensive style, either Fighting Defensively or through elective Expertise reductions. If, during the course of combat, your opponent should strike your weapon on the strike chart, the defensive strategy has paid off, and you have caught the attackers blade, may now attempt a sword break as a free maneuver, without prompting an attack of opportunity. Since your opponent has played into your gambit, you need not make the standard opposed strike checks, but simply proceed with the rules for Strike to Break as if you succeeded. Roll damage as normal for both weapons (using the sword breaking weapon's damage roll, rather than your opponent's weapon damage roll), then check to see if the break roll succeeds. Note that the strike to break bonus for sword breaking weapons does not apply to a passive break attempt.

The Fu was not a military weapon. Some Fu were about the length of a hatchet, while others were longer. The Fu was primarily a bodyguards weapon, and a personal guard usually bearing Fu would often accompany nobles and aristocrats. Often the workmanship of these Fu was incredible, with family symbols, elegant forms, and artwork covering the blades. Weapons were far more acceptable in polite society if their design was aesthetically pleasing.

Short Staff and Mace Staff

Short staves, usually two or three feet in length, composed entirely of bronze or iron, were uncommon weapons used during this period. Essentially a metal club, their weight gives them extra strength for blows, and their size allows them to be carried by aristocrats, nobles, and just about anyone who might need a little self protection. A variant of this staff bore a mace head on one end, and the length allowed the maces impact to be improved slightly.

The Dao, or curved saber, is a rather generic sword used in the Chinese military. Dao from this ancient period were generally the same thickness as the Jian, and were one-handed weapons only. Later developments of the Dao would look more like a scimitar or falchion, or would be two handed, but the early Dao was merely a curved version of the straight sword.

Grain Sword
An offshoot of the Dao, the Grain sword took a number of forms, usually with a heavier blade. Some versions had indentations on the unsharpened edge, slots with small bends in them, which were intended for sword breaking. Similar in form to certain threshers, it is this pattern that gives them their name. The stats for the Grain Sword given at the end of this chapter are for the Grain Sword with the sword-breaking indentations. Use of this weapon permits the sword-breaking maneuver.

Double Mace
A strange hybrid of the Mace Staff, this is a two to three foot staff with a mace head at one end, a bound handle in the center of the staff, and another mace head below the handle. The Double Mace was an exotic weapon, rarely used, but effective as both a mace and a brutal punching weapon. The second mace head, as a light weapon, can be used during a grapple or close combat.

Archers Thumb Ring

Not really a weapon, the thumb ring is an item common to archers of this period, usually a loop of bone used to aid in the draw and firing of a bow. Archers who use the thumb ring may ignore the first point of fatigue they accrue, although this only affects their performance while firing a bow. Otherwise all effects of fatigue apply. It was during the late Western Zhou period that the crossbow was also invented. At first machined with bronze parts, it would later be made with more durable iron. China had a love affair with the crossbow that the west never had. Crossbows could be given to anyone, including untrained commoners, and could be fired both accurately and far. Simple, dangerous, easy to use, and requiring little practice, the crossbow fundamentally changed the style of battle in China. As we will see in later periods, the crossbow was the mainstay of any Chinese army, like the spear was in the Bronze Age and the sword in the medieval period.

Combat Maneuver: Sword Breaking

Certain items may be specified as being capable of performing sword breaking maneuvers. Such items are particularly effective at breaking swords and certain bladed non-sword weapons. A good rule of thumb is that if the weapon has 6 or more inches of blade length, and the blade is less than 6 inches in width, the weapon can be damaged by a sword break maneuver. This can include weapons like the naginata, sickle mace, etc. A sword break maneuver may normally be attempted in either an active manner or a passive one. An active sword break is performed as per Striking to Break, (see the durability rules in the appendix), and the sword breaking item gains an automatic +3 to any strikes to break.


From Stone to Steel

Light Crossbow
The first crossbow was likely a bow set on a wooden stock, with an indentation for the thumb or a finger at one end, to allow the bow to be held drawn and fired when needed. The first recorded crossbows of the Zhou period were made with bronze or iron parts, and were designed, so that pressing a trigger released the thring for the shooter. Made to fire metal darts or Quarrels, the crossbow swiftly became the staple of the Chinese military, and every soldier carried one. modified by religion, by social class (as the methods practiced among aristocracy were very different than those practiced among the peasantry), and by social events that would change the focus of martial training. The Martial Arts we know today come from this Wushu tradition, but it is difficult to determine exactly how much of what we have today is what was practiced during the beginning of the tradition. The Warring States period started about 100 years before Alexander would rise to power in Macedonia, when the state of Qi was destroyed by a the Tian clan. This destruction of a major State lead to a power vacuum, and the other states finally officially ignored the Zhou rulers and focused on warring among themselves, in order to make sure that when the dust settled one state would have the advantage over the others. This lead to State leaders taking on the title of King (which previously had been used only for the Zhou emperor), and the seven states (reformed Qi under the power of Tian, Chu, Yan, Hann, Zhao, Wei, and Qin) continued this internecine war. During this period a master smith, Ou Yezi is reputed to have begun development of the Lungchan weapons, named for their region. A number of these weapons would see intermittent military use, although they would eventually become part of the Wudan movement. In the end the state of Qin finally took prominence, just about the time that Rome was consolidating power in the Italic Peninsula.

The Warring States Period

The Zhou spread their influence by marriage and diplomacy across much of Northern China, unifying most of the major warlords and regions under the Zhou king. But the Zhou had trouble from the nomadic horse tribes that lived in the Northern Steppes. The Ronds and the Di enjoyed raiding northern territories, and the beleaguered Zhou found that mountainous terrain was not good for chariot warfare. Thus a transition to infantry style armies began to occur, but not swiftly enough to stop a Rond raid into the heart of Zhou territory. The mounted Ronds were able to strike at the Zhou capitol, and in that raid they killed the Zhou king. His heir was a young boy so a regency was required with the Duke of Zhou, the kings brother, standing as regent until the king was old enough to rule. The capitol of Zhou was then moved farther east, into more civilized lands, so as to prevent another assassination of this kind. The Zhou never recovered their power, and the many regions of China held allegiance to the Zhou in word only. War was fought between regions, and new warlords came to power, declaring themselves rulers of whatever lands they could conquer. During this time, chronicled in a history called the Spring and Autumn Period, the Zhou rule was nominal at best, only effective when a majority of the states believed the matter was important. At one time there were 170 states in the Zhou kingdom, but over time war reduced this number to only seven. These seven states (Qi, Chu, Yan, Hann, Zhao, Wei and Qin) all had unique cultural identities, and they often vied with each other for the most power in the region. As the feudal wars between these nations escalated, China entered the Warring States period, which would see immense change in the practice of warfare in China. As mentioned before, the Aristocracy had previously manned the army. However, this lead to a reduction in the population of the Aristocracy. Other families were recruited to help maintain the states of the Aristocracy, and this second aristocratic class, the Shi, became prominent. Governors, stewards, and members of the bureaucracy, the Shi were often not replaced when a new state took power. Instead they were usually kept in place or shuffled to new areas, thus making many Shi apolitical. Since military prowess was highly celebrated among the Aristocrats, they began to practice the Wushu, or Martial Methods during this period. The Wushu traditions involved weapons practice, martial discipline, hand-to-hand fighting, throws, and physical development. The Wushu traditions would develop throughout history, and would be the core of the Wudan movement. They would be

Sword, Seven Star

Made in the Lungchan region, the Seven Star Sword was named from the seven streams that pass through the valley. A light straight edged sword, this was Ou Yezis ultimate version of the Jian, and it set the standard for straight edged swords for many generations. Owners of a seven star sword took pride in their craftsmanship and design, and kept them in places of honor. Seven star swords often sported tassels.

Zhou as Campaign Setting

The Zhou period is an excellent early period to consider running a Chinese campaign. Choosing some time in the Spring and Autumn period or the Warring States period means that there will be an abundance of small kingdoms, each vying for personal power, and willing to hire heroes to help them establish dominance. Do the heroes wish to support the ineffectual Emperor, and help him restore his rule, bringing back the former glory and beneficent rulership of that bygone era? Or will they gather behind another ruler, and press his claim to the throne? Fighter types will likely be members of the flourishing Wushu movement, stressing perfection in the martial arts, and their constant drive will be to perfect their martial form. Monks may be from the south, Hindus, perhaps, or if it is late enough in the Warring States period, Indian Buddhist Monks out to proselytize China. Clerics are likely not dedicated to gods, since religion during this period was considered the refuge only of the desperate, however they might be members of the ancestor worship cults. Magic Users are likely Daoist scholars, controlling the fluctuating forces shaping reality, learning to manipulate the five elements in their static and


The Far East

dynamic states. This period is unique among ancient settings since, although most societies of this period believed they were at the height of their development, most Chinese of the time believed the golden age had already past,. Good attention to detail could make this highly compelling. The falling numbers of the Aristocracy also promoted reforms in major states, taking the defense of the populace from being a responsibility of the Aristocracy and making it the obligation of the peasant class. This change allowed large armies to be raised, and the focus of warfare shifted from chariots to infantry, with armies during the Warring State Period reaching numbers as high as 600,000 men. This change in emphasis occurred after the failures by Zhou and State forces against the Di and Rond horse tribes, and it lead to consolidation of strength in the states. incurs all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if they were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A variant of the Kwandao, the Bisento, would eventually be developed in Japan, which would not have the secondary spearhead. The Bisento is not a dual weapon.

Sword, Iron Pudao

This two handed chopping swords grip is nearly the same length as the blade. The wide handle allows easy shifting of stances, and the chopping blade can be quite brutal. These weapons were not quite practical for the battlefield, since wielders could not use them in tight formation, due to the required maneuvers. Should an ally pass through the same square or hex of a Pudao wielder during the combat turn, the Pudao wielder incurs a -2 circumstance penalty to their to hit rolls for that round.

Kwandao, Iron
This double weapon bears a rounded chopping blade on one end of a pole, and a spearhead on the other. The Kwandaos blade has a small hooked protuberance on the back of the blade that is intended to facilitate disarms. This hook grants a +1 bonus on the users opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. If used as a double weapon, the wielder

Monks Spade, Iron

This weapon, along with the Monks Cudgel, was developed for monastery defense. The monks spade is a shovel adapted to battle. The shovel blade is flat, rather than curved, and the edge is sharpened. At the other end of the staff is a curved crescent blade, whose midpoint meets the staff. This is a double weapon, and if used this way, the wielder incurs all penalties associated



13 14 15 16 17 18

11. Light Crossbow; 12. Light Crossbow Quarrels; 13. Seven Star Sword; 14. Kwandao; 15. Pudao; 16. Monk's Cudgel; 17. Monk's Spade; 18. Tiger Fork


From Stone to Steel

with fighting with two weapons as if they were using a onehanded weapon and a light weapon. Great Wall of China. Built upon the base of a mountain range separating certain portions of Northern China and Asia from the bulk of more civilized China, the first Great Wall was neither as long nor as tall as the modern version. It was established primarily to stave off tribes like the Ronds and Uighur, who were making frequent raids.

Cudgel, Monks
This weapon is a mace head on the end of a long staff. Usually measuring 4 feet in length, the Monks cudgel is a two handed mace designed to help defend monasteries. Usually held over the head and swung in wide arcs, this weapon gave the aggressive defender a chance to mercilessly pound invaders from atop defensive walls. A version of the Monks Cudgel, called the Tetsubo, was later developed in Japan and was otherwise identical in statistics to the Monks Cudgel.

Li Kwei- Double Axes

Li Kwei was a hero who favored using twin axes. A Wushu adherent and martial artist, Li Kwei also dabbled in smithing, designing the characteristic style of axe that would bear his name for more than two and a half millennia. Many one handed weapons were paired during the Wushu movement, and heroes practiced to become masters of two-weapon combat. If you are considering playing a Chinese Setting or with Chinese heroes, dual weapons should likely be more common, in fitting with the cultural climate.

Tiger Fork, Iron

The Tiger Fork is a trident developed specifically to hunt tigers. Tigers were a constant threat in the forests of southern and western China, and the peasants found that the trident was an apt hunting weapon, since its multiple tines gave a wielder a better chance of catching a tiger in mid-pounce. The side tines of the Tiger Fork are curved slightly outward, so as to better catch an unexpected charge. The Tiger Fork can be set against a charge. A variant of the Tiger Fork incorporates a spearhead onto the other end of the weapon, making it a double weapon. This variant cannot be set against a charge, and if used as a double weapon, you incur all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon.

Steel Fang
Unlike many of the other common weapons of china, the Ge would not last into the steel era. The Fang took the place of the Ge during the Qin period, a superior design that was more effective as a weapon. The Fangs blade is L shaped, with one daggerlike blade pointing outwards from the haft and the other end thrusting up from the end of the haft. Thus the Fang could be like the Ge was, as a chopping piercing weapon, and also like a spear, as a thrusting weapon. The Fang would see regular use until the halberd replaced it.

Tamo, Iron
An excellent hidden weapon, the Tamo appears to be a wooden stick only slightly longer than a foot, capped with metal at both ends. When needed, however, the Tamo user can reveal that the stick is in fact two daggers sheathed together. This excellent dual weapon makes a nasty surprise for those who do not expect the deception, and might well be as useful for a wizard or sorcerer as for a fighter, since the Tamo might well pass for a wand after a brief inspection.


Qin Rule & the Steel Era

The Qin rule was relatively short in comparison to most dynasties. They lasted 14 years, only to be toppled by the Han dynasty. But during Qin rule a number of interesting changes in military practice took place. First, true steel making, using forced air and advanced smithing techniques, was started during this period. The stronger metal, flexible yet durable, gave Chinese forces the most effective weaponry of their period, and Europe would take ages to match this feat. There was also experimentation with alternate forms of armor, made from exotic materials such as paper, cord, and unusual animal hides. Though none of these armors saw extensive use in the military, certain cultural groups and occupations retained their manufacture, which would lead to empowerment of the general populace. This is not to say that most peasants owned or wore armor, but rather that it was often possible for someone not in the military to purchase and use armor, which is not often the case throughout history. Most notable is that the Qin dynasty was responsible for the First 21



19. Tamo; 20. Steel Fang; 21. Chu Ko Nu; 22. Quarrel, Steel;


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23. Chinese Paper Armor; 24. Corded Armor; 25. Rhino Hide Armor

Chu Ko Nu
The Chu Ko Nu was a fascinating development of crossbow technology unique to China. The Chu Ko Nu sported a wooden box over the loading mechanism of the crossbow, and an automatic loading mechanism controlled by a wooden handle at the base of the box. Quarrels were loaded into the Chu Ko Nu, and could be fired as swiftly as the weapons controller could lift and drop the handle. Though the range and accuracy of the Chu Ko Nu left something to be desired, it became the favored weapon for guards at city walls, the Great Wall, and fortifications, since it could be prepared and left ready for an attack, and, when braced, the to hit penalty was negated. Unless the Chu Ko Nu is braced on a rock, wall, or other stable surface, a -2 to hit modifier must be added for each shot. The Chu Ko Nu can fire 2 shots per turn. If a character may normally only make a single attack during a combat round, they can still take the second shot at their Ranged Combat Bonus -5. The Chu Ko Nus ammunition box can hold up to 6 quarrels at a time.

like the linen cuirass of the Greeks, which gained strength from laminating multiple layers together. Paper armor was extremely light and, better than no armor at all, could be very practical to replace after repeated use in combat. Eventually this kind of armor would be adapted by the Koreans and would become the template for Jigap.

Corded Armor
Corded armor is composed of corded rope fiber, wrapped in a laborious pattern into the form of a suit of armor. This process can take months to complete, and the cord must be wound and rewound to give the armor strength. Used primarily in Southern China, corded armor was never used by the military, and was more commonly seen on conscripts, monks, and mercenaries. Due to the expense that metal armor could be, corded armor was often the only alternative for those without wealth who desired more protection than leather would afford.

Paper Armor, Chinese Pirate

Paper armor seems like an impossible concept. How could something made of paper be protective enough to justify its use? To compound this, consider how paper reacts to contact with water, and it seems doubly strange to consider pirates using paper as a defense. But the paper of this period was not the thin, light, fragile paper we use in the modern era. Thicker, with a heavier grain, and glued in many layers, paper armor was much

Hide Armor, Rhino

Another alternate armor was constructed out of Rhinoceros hide. This process, too, was arduous, and required great attention to detail. If properly cured, tanned, and dried, Rhino Hide Armor was a very effective armor, if bulky. But Rhino hide is very thick, and the drying process required exact conditions. Fully 25% of the time a suit of Rhino Hide Armor was made, the curing process failed, and rot set in before it was complete. Rot could invade the inner layers of the armor that the leatherwork-


From Stone to Steel

ing process couldnt treat, and would eventually separate the heavy outer layer from the pliable inner leather layer. The result would often be armor that fell off of the combatant, fequently in the middle of combat, when active movements stressed the armor and promoted tearing and wear. If using the optional materials rules, roll secretly to determine if a given suit has rot, and if it does, reduce the maximum and current Structural Rating by 1 each week. Another important development during the Qin dynasty was the establishment of the Silk Road by the Turks. The Turks were an agglomeration of Turkish Central Asian tribes, commonly considered barbarian tribes, although they practiced a great deal of commerce throughout the region. As trade with Rome and Europe opened up a strong interest in silk, which was only made in China, the Turks saw an opportunity for making great wealth, and they established exclusive caravan routes through the region. China saw an incredible influx of wealth, and cultural exchange, and this allowed Turkish and Central Asian tribes to begin to make inroads among the populations in western China, as well as allowing more regular communication with India, and thus allowing Buddhism more access to China. Although it did not immediately have an effect on the military arts, the Silk Road would become the source of a great deal of conflict, invasion of foreign ideas, and trade and contact with the West. at this time it is assumed that the handle would have been crafted from a hard wood, and the blade from bronze or iron. The Mauryan army also used War Elephants as platforms and as chaotic juggernauts of random violence. A form of barding was even developed, made of leather, studded leather, bezainted leather, or iron lamellar, just for Elephants. Cavalry was not as widely used, although in time this knowledge would be exchanged along the Silk Road.

Alternate Hides
Leather need not be from a cow. Often a culture would endorse one kind of animal for the majority of its hides, like Bison for the Native Americans, or Cattle for Europe. But leather in the Far East could often be taken from tigers, goats, deer, or horses, as well as cattle. In India, where Hindu society prohibited the killing of cows, leather had to come from another source, and besides the animals already mentioned, that leather sometimes came even from elephants. In a fantasy world, these alternate hides and leather armors might well be particularly prone to certain enchantments, such as deer armor with movement enchantments or tiger armor with offensive enchantments.

Bezainted Leather
Bezainted Leather armor is leather with ring-shaped studs. Since the stud is larger, bezainted leather is more effective than regular studded leather at turning blades. Since the stud is ring-shaped, it also has a better chance of halting thrusts and impaling weapons than the standard studded leather. A version of this armor was made for horses and elephants as barding.

fter the coming of Alexander a prominent king, Changdragupta Maurya, saw the potential for Empire in India. Before this time India was ruled by limited sovereign states, which often left cities to determine their own administration, not unlike the situation in Medieval Germany. Changdragupta made war against the strongest Kingdom (the Nandas) left in power after Alexanders invasion in hopes of toppling the Alexanderfriendly regime, and then he targeted Seleucus Nicator, the then viceroy of the Indic holdings of Alexanders Empire. Alexander, already flagging in health and trying to stabilize his unwieldy Empire, could lend Seleucus little aid, and Changdraguptas vision and leadership made him an implacable foe. Seleucus lost battle after battle against Changdraguptas forces, until he was forced to surrender all of the territory he had been given governance over, including much of modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan. This peace offering was sealed with the marriage of Seleucuss daughter to Changdragupta, and the Maurya Empire was born.

The Katar is a Hindu weapon based on an entirely different premise than most daggers. The handle of the Katar is composed of two bars with a horizontal pair of handles between them. This allows the user to grasp the handle in their fist, and thrust with the Katar blade as if punching. Generally the Katar was the length of a short sword, although smaller versions, called punching daggers, were known to exist.

A curved slashing weapon, often referred to as a sickle axe, although it most resembles a curved sword set off from its wooden haft, the Veecharoval is an ancient Indian weapon only found among western tribes. The Veecharoval descends from the sickle, like so many other kinds of swords, but the sharpened edge is on the outside of the curve, rather than the inside. Made of Bronze or Iron, these would have a subtle influence on the two main sword developments of India.

Changdragupta united most of Northern India during his reign. His armies bore the benefits of their contact with Persia and Macedonia, using swords like the kopis and akinakes, battle axes, maces, a kind of sickle, daggers, long spears, tridents, throwing sticks, bows, javelins, leather armor, studded leather and bezainted leather, iron lamellar and small and large shields. Among those armaments would undoubtedly be the katar, a strictly Hindu weapon that is noted to be the oldest weapon in India. No examples of these weapons survive to the present, but

The Hora is a hand weapon used in much the same way as knuckledusters are today. Made from animal horn, the Hora is clutched in the hand, so that a jagged, sharp-edged portion proj-


The Far East

ects from the front of the fist. Like the Katar, the Hora is a weapon used in the same manner that a person punches. A person making an attack with a Hora automatically does normal damage, rather than subdual damage, plus one. Punching with the Hora still promotes an attack of opportunity, like any normal unarmed strike. Should a person armed with the Hora have the Advanced Unarmed Strike Feat, they can use the Hora without attracting an attack of opportunity.

The Spread of Buddhism

Changdraguptas son Asoka completed his fathers empire and brought all of India under one rule. But in his greatest conquest, Asoka was responsible for a blood bath, where more than 100,000 people died in battle (which was extreme, considering the general size of Indian armies), and more than that were taken prisoner. So stricken was Asoka that he embraced Buddhism, and the rest of his reign was shaped by this conversion. A great many laws were enacted to help enforce proper behavior and living, and learning and religion were encouraged and exported, with Buddhist Missionaries traveling throughout Burma and South East Asia, as well as North into China. Buddhisms spread would have a marked effect on much of the region, and would lead to a surprising number of interesting combat developments. In the end the Maurya line lost the power to hold onto conquered lords. The Mauryan Empire fractured and broke up into kingdoms again, but the precedent of a pan-Indian Empire had been set. Later powers would again rule over this land of deep faith and culture, but for the next few hundred years Northern India would be conquered by various powers, from Bactrian Greeks to Parthians (Persians) to long gone cultures like the Shakas and

Elephant Barding
Elephant Barding was common in India, due to the large numbers of elephants used in most Indian militaries. Leather, Studded Leather, Bezainted Leather, and even Iron Lamellar armor were made to be draped over the back of an elephant, so as to cover the majority of the animal. The weight of even a leather suit of Elephant Barding was oppressive, and multiple men might be needed to prepare an elephant for metal armor. If an elephant had particularly rich armor and was killed in battle, scavengers were know to saw off portions of armor and melt them down for the gilt or iron in their weave.

26a 27a


26b 29


26a. Bezainted Leather Armor; 26b. Bezainted Leather Horse Barding; 27a. Katar; 27b. Katar; 28. Veecharoval; 29. Hora


From Stone to Steel

The Han Dynasty
s India was experiencing the full flush of the Mauryan dynasty, the Quin dynasty came to an end, as military leaders finally withdrew their support from the Emperor. The last remaining general assassinated the final Qin Emperor, and for a period of time there was civil war. A number of warlords attempted to claim the throne, but eventually the royal house of Han, not to be confused with the Hann state of the Warring States Period, came into power. They would remain in power (except for a brief period of usurpation lasting from 9-24 AD) from the end of the second century B.C. to the early part of the second century A.D. Han rule experimented with adopting philosophical and spiritual movements in China, reforming the bureaucracy and army, and creating a strong national identity in China. After the Han period, the majority population of Chinese would consider themselves Han, a sign of the indelible impact the Han rule had on society.




By the end of the Qin period, chariot warfare was all but abandoned. Still, the Han had to face raids and opposition from horse-bound tribes that lived in mountainous regions. The Uighor and certain Turks were a constant threat that gave the military incredible prominence in China. Slowly the Chinese military began to adopt cavalry, although it would take many centuries for cavalry troops to become a standard, often because of the lack of stirrups, bits, and pommels. In the meantime, China began to develop halberds to counter charges. The use of lances was also adopted from the raiding tribes, and the Chinese began to experiment with whips. A metal tipped whip proved most useful in warfare, but only when using it to trip other horses or pull riders from their mounts. The whip also entered the civil arena, and experimentation eventually lead to the multisegment chain, which would persist in various forms and lengths through Chinese history. The crossbow was also redesigned, using better machined parts, and both bolts and arrows for Chinese bowmen were commonly poisoned.

Halberd, Chinese
The Chinese Halberd is relatively easy to recognize, due to the nature of the blade. Usually the blade of a Chinese halberd is crescent shaped, with two metal extensions holding it to the pole. The pole itself often had a spearhead, so that the Chinese Halberd could be used for thrusting or chopping, and could be set against a charge. Often tassels would be attached to the halberd, to distract opponents. Like all halberds, the Chinese Halberd may be used to trap a shield and perform trip maneuvers. 30. various Elephant barding Kushians. Western India would take the greatest impact of these invasions, and the multicultural exposure of this region would lead to a great trade of ideas with those nations west of India. These various cultural groups would eventually introduce chainmail to India, but for now Hindu culture retreated to the Deccan region, and chaos seemed to reign in the North.

Lance, Chinese
The Chinese lance is a long, heavy spear, inherited from the Turkic tribes of Central Asia. Usually these lances were carried across the saddle, so as to use the horse to brace the charge. Still, without a guard or brace, the spear was not optimally set, unlike lances of the Late Medieval period. Chinese lances often sported tassels around the spearhead.


The Far East

33 31




36b 35 36c

31. Chinese Halberd; 32. Chinese Lance; 33. Steel Barbed Chinese Whip; 34. Segmented Chain; 35. Modern Chinese. Crossbow; 36. Whistling Arrow

Whip, Steel Barbed Chinese

The Steel Barbed Chinese Whip was a leather whip with a single fearsome barb at the end. This barb made any damage normal damage, rather than subdual damage, although the armor penalties of the whip still made it difficult to damage an armored foe. The whip deals no damage to any creature wearing armor of at least +1 armor bonus, and does no damage to a creature with a +3 natural armor bonus. Although kept in the hand, it is treated as a ranged weapon with a maximum range of 10 feet, and no range penalties. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If an opponent attempts to trip you during your own trip attempt, you can drop the whip to remain standing. Those using a whip gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. This whip is considered an exotic weapon. You may use the Weapon Finess feat to apply the characters Dexter-

ity modifier instead of the Strength modifier to attack rolls with a whip. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.

Chain, Segmented
Generally these chains had a wooden handle, and then a variable number of segments, usually from 6 to 9, each segment consisting of a 3 to 4 inch steel bar linked on either end to a similar length of bar with chain loops. The last chain segment usually ended in a blunt flat tip, often sharpened. The segmented chain does normal damage, and does not have the armor penalties common to most whips. A segmented chain has reach. You can strike opponents 10 feet away with it but, unlike other reach weapons, you can also use it against an adjacent foe. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the chain in order to avoid being tripped. Those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when


From Stone to Steel

attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. The Segmented Chain is considered an exotic weapon. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to use a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a Segmented Chain. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon. be passed down to modern day. The Wushu and later martial arts developments of China would be carried on in Buddhist temples and shrines in Vietnam, further diversifying the eastern martial arts. During this time certain coastal tribes in Korea would begin settling Japan, which would eventually be recorded in early histories as the land of Wa. Small islands in the South China Sea would also see settlement, such as Formosa, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Okinawa. Many of these islands, including Japans main islands, had other native peoples; usually Stone Age societies, and their cultural fusion would later result in alterations of religion, weapons, martial styles, and histories.

Crossbows, Modern Chinese Light and Heavy

During the Han period the mechanisms of the Light and Heavy Crossbows were improved substantially, allowing easier repair of machines parts and better range. The Crossbow was the backbone of the Han Armies, and became ubiquitous in stories, drawings, and accounts of the time period. These crossbows were often imitated by neighboring states, although most horse-bound troops still preferred the regular bow to the crossbow.

Armor, Jigap
An improvement on the original paper armor, Korean Jigap is still used during this day and age. Made with thick paper and layered until it had the tensile strength of corrugated cardboard, Jigap armor also included a treatment process that made the paper more resistant to water damage. Effective and relatively easy to make, (as compared to, say, metal armors) Jigap was a reasonable alternative for non-military personnel, like pirates.

Chu Ko Nu, Improved

The Chu Ko Nu was improved during this time, improving both the amount of Quarrels it could hold and the accuracy of the weapon. Although it still was not as accurate as a regular crossbow, it was still favored for defensive use, since it could put a high volume of quarrels in the air at one time. If you are using the optional equipment damage system, you should note that this improved version is also more difficult to damage. Unless the Improved Chu Ko Nu is braced on a rock, wall, or other stable surface, a -1 to hit modifier must be added for each shot. The Improved Chu Ko Nu can fire 2 shots per turn. If a character may normally only make a single attack during a combat round, they can still take the second shot at their Ranged Combat Bonus -5. The Improved Chu Ko Nus ammunition box can hold up to 8 quarrels at a time.

Chinas enemies also made advances, and new enemies began to surface. The Tartars, Turks, and Xiongnu found that attacks on border settlements could be very profitable, and imperial Chinese often paid tribute rather than fight costly and pointless wars. Tibet, as well, finally came into contact with the southern portion of China, and Tibetan horsemen were the scourge of the southern mountains, wielding compound bows, curved sabers, Indian lamellars, and a variety of Persian and Indian weapons. The Tibetans also had an interesting variant of the bow, the pellet bow, which was likely used only for hunting. It is unclear exactly when this was developed, or whether this invention was originally a Tibetan one, but the Tibetans used it widely, and most of their neighbors tended to use the Tibetan form of this bow. China would later develop a sport crossbow along the same conceptual line. Another bow development that seems to have started or centered around Tibet was the hinged bow. Again, the time of development is indeterminate, and the use of such bows around Tibet is the only strong evidence that the Tibetans may have developed them. Other unique weapons of Tibet included a spiraled spear and an exorcists knife.

Arrow, Whistling
The Whistling Arrow may well be of Hunnic origin. An arrow, designed with a cavity that catches air while in flight and lets out a loud whistling sound, the Whistling Arrow was used for multiple purposes in the Chinese military. Officers who fired a whistling arrow during maneuvers or during battle expected to be obeyed by every man who could hear him. Sometimes preset signals for advance or retreat were linked to a whistling arrow with a specific tone. Whistling arrows were often used during recreational hunting, to give hunters an idea as to where a kill landed by the direction the sound came from. Although the Whistling Arrow may often be broken after firing, there is a 50% chance that the whistling arrowhead is still salvageable, so that a new head does not have to be crafted for a new whistling arrow.

Material: Lacquer
Lacquer is a way to coat and seal wood, so as to make it harder and more resistant to the elements. Any wooden object coated in Lacquer has its hardness increased by one, and is no longer subject to wood rot. Lacquered wood can hold an edge, and is better than normal wooden bladed weapons.

Han Expansion
Han emperors sought to extend the borders of China, as had the Qin before them, reasoning that by conquering more territory there would be less land for their enemies to attack from. Han holdings eventually extended into Korea and as far south as Vietnam, and the cultural influence of that Chinese rule would allow cultural exchange. Korean culture adopted the paper armor of China and developed a more resistant form, Jigap, which would

Bow and Crossbow, Pellet

Found in a general proximity of two hundred miles from ancient Tangut, pellet weapons are generally used for sport hunting. The key difference between a regular bow or crossbow and a pellet equivalent is that there are two drawstrings, rather than one, and


The Far East

between them a small leather pouch is suspended, inside of which rests the clay hunting pellet. The pellet is a bludgeoning weapon that inflicts subdual damage, rather than normal damage. This is the Far Easts response to the sling, as the sling was not regularly used in the Far East. a patient believed to be afflicted by an evil spirit or demon, so as to allow the demon to flee the body. In a fantasy setting, should this weapon be blessed as per the cleric spell, it also temporarily gains the ability to affect the insubstantial, as though it were a magical item with the ghost touch ability. Should a person use a Phurbu to draw blood from a possessed victim, the victim gains an automatic extra will save to resist the possession.

Bow, Short and Long Hinged

Hinged bows were often constructed from old, used bows, or items that made excellent bow material but were not long enough to be a full bow. Hinged at the grip, these bows were far more compact than a normal bow, and could be carried unobtrusively before being set up for firing. Usually a catch helped to keep the hinged bow straight during the draw, however there is a 50% chance that any metal damage breaks the hinge and makes the bow useless until the hinge is replaced.

Armguards, Tangut
The Tangut warriors often sported ornate armguards, leather armbands often plated with iron in intricate patterns. These armguards might make excellent vessels for enchantments improving aim, horsemanship, attacking skills, or weapon damage.

The Red Eyebrows

In the first part of the Han dynasty there was a tendency to reserve high stations in the Imperial Bureaucracy for members of prominent houses. This ostensibly protected the power of the aristocracy and the shi, but lead to families campaigning against each other for key offices, and eventually became so rampant that a former Empress was able to engineer a coup and place her nephew in power. Wang Mang briefly broke the Han dynasty and attempted to establish his own dynasty, called the Hsing. Wang Mangs dynasty was short-lived however, as it was interrupted by a civil revolt, as a peasant army rose up to oppose him.

The Dung
A spear with an ornate spiraled handle and a long double-edged blade, the Dung is a strong, heavy thrusting spear. The spiral pattern made the weapon stronger, and the dung could also be used as a lance in a pinch.

The Phurbu is a unique dagger, intended for exorcisms. Usually used by Tangut shamans, this weapon was used to let blood from




39 41a 41b



37. Jigap; 38. Pellet Crossbow; 39. Hinged Bow; 40. The Dung; 41. Phurbu; 42. Tangut Armguards; 43. Silk Padded Armor


From Stone to Steel

Called the Red Eyebrows, for their tendency to paint the top half of their head read, this revolt broke the power of the Hsing military. It took little for a Han family member to raise a token military force and reinstate the Han Dynasty, which was welcomed back by popular consent, although certain populist leaders were unhappy with the way their revolution was hijacked by the Han. The lessons of the brief usurpation of Wang Mang lead to a reform of the bureaucratic placement procedures, and many of the major offices of the Chinese Imperial Government were awarded to graduates of Chinas extensive and impressive examination system, which conceivably allowed people from any walk in life to enter government service.

The Chin Dynasty

For sixty years the nations of Wei, Shu, and Wu would fight to reunite the Chinese Empire. Eventually, Cao Cao of the Wei nation would bring together an alliance Chinese elite infantry with horsemen and horse archers from neighboring tribes like the Xiongnu, Xiongpei, Wu-huan, and Chiang. This mighty force would conquer the Shu, and their combined forces conquered the Wu, and the most powerful military family elevated their leader as scion of a new Dynasty, the Chin. But the Chin dynasty would fail for the Emperors first act, which was to dissolve that same formidable army that put him in power. Or actually, he attempted to dissolve it. Other families retained control of what military units they could afford to maintain, and some of the other forces became minor powers in their own right, either selling their weapons and armor to the enemies of the state or retaining power in the lands they occupied. The Chins dissolution of their army left them defenseless when the Huns, a newly formed tribe, invaded China. Armed with better weapons than the Turkic tribes and virtually unopposed, the Huns conquered the Chin dynasty nine years after it assumed control. The Huns tried to claim being descendants of the Han, due to intermarriages from decades past, but the claim never took hold, and the Huns never established a Dynasty. Instead, they eventually moved west, and China was left in a shambles.

Padded Armor, Silk

Padded Armor in China came from the common clothing of the people, worn in layers and reinforced with silk. Silk is an extremely strong material, light, and durable. This kind of padded armor was far superior to the padded armor of Europe, and wearers of this padded armor take fatigue from exertion at half the normal rate, due to the excellent ventilation of this armor. Silken Padded Armor is the only armor light and unrestrictive enough to be worn while sleeping without incurring the standard sleeping with armor penalties.

The Turks
The Xiongnu, a turko-mongolian people from whom it is suspected the Huns descended, gained power during the first Han Dynastic period, eventually subsuming the Rond and Di, and subjugating other Turkish tribes. Horsebound, nomadic, wearing leather, and armed with iron sabers, composite bows, and lariats, the Xiongnu were adept horsemen who evaded the slower Chinese armies and made it difficult for Chinese border colonies to prosper. As the second Han Dynasty began to flourish, the Xiongnu were in the midst of an internal split, which members of the tribes comprising the Xiongnu in a furor over succession. The Han, seeing an advantage, pledged financial support of the closer faction, and eventually a civil war erupted, which forced this southern faction to petition for settlement and entry into the Chinese Empire. The Chinese, happy to have border barbarians guard their weak territory, accepted. This agreement later would prove ill advised, as reconciliation eventually lead the Xiongnu in Chinese territory to invite in their former enemies, and China was forced to go to war with the whole of the Turkestan. This war was costly and brutal. The Xiongnu fought fiercely, and other foes of China, the Jurchen of Korea, the Tibetans, various Turkic tribes of Central Asia, and internal insurgency by a growing number of overtaxed peasants severely weakened the Han state. While the Han could and did defeat and drive out invaders from all quarters, it would eventually be most destabilized by another popular revolution, lead by a cabal of civil leaders called the Yellow Turbans. This revolution, combined with the untimely death of an Emperor who had yet to name a successor set the stage for a drama that would be commemorated in the historical fiction story The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

The Gupta Empire

hile many empires take power in war, the Gupta Empire is a notable example of an empire that gained prominence from marriage and politics more than the sword. Not to say the sword was unnecessary. The Gupta family appears to have been a mercantile family that purchased their way into power. Chandra Gupta I was the first leader of the Gupta nation, and he, indeed, brought armies to bear on other northern Indian Kingdoms, eventually conquering the whole of the Ganges Valley. His grandson, who would also bear his name, would campaign against the Chakras, but it would be his marriage to a prominent chieftains daughter, a member of the Satavahana kingdom, which dominated much of Southern India that would bring the Guptas to their greatest power.

But the Gupta dynasty came to power at an importune time. The Roman Empire was fading, and with it the trade along the Silk Road. In addition, turmoil in China cut down on trade, and the Guptas had to strengthen trade with their eastern neighbors. This trade increased the spread of Buddhism and Indian philosophy. This melding of Chinese and Indian influences would greatly shape the weapons development and philosophies of these regions, and would create a number of fascinating offshoots. The common weapons of the Gupta armies included influences from the invaders and barbarian tribes as well as traditional Indian weapons. The kopis was being adapted, and statuettes and drawings show two directions the curved Persian sword was developing. The first was a thicker bladed chopping sword, similar to the


The Far East

scimitar, which shows a great deal of later Persian influence. The second was a thinning of the blade, and a reverse of the curve, the beginning of the Tulwar. To these two weapons was added the Kritant axe, a wide bladed battleaxe that Samudra Gupta, Chandra Gupta Is son, took from a neighboring tribe as the sign of the Right to Kingship. Chainmail began to see use in India, although only with officers, as the hot climate made maintenance an issue, as rust and heat could cripple a soldier as easily as any blade. Finally the horse and lance were becoming common features in Indian Armies, both from Persian and Turkic influence. thinner bladed than the Kritant. The Khond axes came from the same region as the Bullova, but usually had a bifurcated or split head, which made it less likely to lodge in a wound.

Axe, Naga War

The Naga War axe was used primarily in Assam. A large bladed axe on a long pole, this weapon generally bore a tassel on the opposite end, and was used by the primitive Naga people of this region for tribal defense. Older version of this axe had a more traditional rounded head, but more modern Naga War Axes have inverted triangular heads, an improvement that came with steel.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Romance of the Three Kingdoms is perhaps the most popular published book in Asia. Written by Luo Guanzhong during the Ming Dynasty, this book details the struggle between three generals for control over all of China. The story is of epic length, with modern English translations totally 1500 pages. For those interested in playing a low or no magic China setting there can be no better source for heroic adventure ideas and concepts. This work is historical fiction, deeply steeped in the historical events of the time, but written as fiction to bring out the human drama and the character of the three main characters. The power of this story has lead to many computer games based on this novel, some of which are available outside of China.

The Ankus is a descendant of the elephant goad, a small, sharp stick used to control elephants. The Ankus was a later adaptation that developed an entirely new purpose. The Ankus is a short thrusting spear, less than two feet in length, with a sharp thrusting head at the point, and a hook curving out from the base of the spear head. This backwards curving hook was used primarily to shield trap, and since the Ankus was light, it allowed the shield trapper to make an attack with the opposite hand, if the Ankus wielder had a weapon in that hand. Using the Ankus to shield trap still provokes an attack of opportunity, and the lack of mobility that any shield trapping action requires still leaves the Ankus wielder open to danger.

Scimitar, Iron Indian (Ahir)

Heavy of blade, with a thick chopping head, the scimitar would eventually become synonymous with Arabian and Islamic culture. The scimitar, however, was an amalgam of various developments across most of southern Asia, with various experiments involving the curve of the blade, the point (or lack of a point), and the weight of the blade. The scimitar is based on the concept that a heavy blade gives a blow more impact, and the average combatant merely tried to get good momentum behind a blade, with the intent being to let the blade do most of the work. The scimitar variants of this period, like the Ahir, were heavy blades, with a slight curve near the tip, sometimes sporting hand guards.

The Gadha is a great club with a rounded, almost spherical head, which is used in an uniquely Indian martial arts called Kalari Payatt. The gahda, at the base, is about three inches in diameter, but the club widens to nearly eight to twelve inches at the spherical head. It is said that the oldest versions of the Gadha were crafted of iron, although later versions were crafted of hardwood. With a length of 3 to 4 feet, the Gadha is a heavy but damaging weapon.

The Fall of the Guptas

Eventually the Hunas, an alliance of tribes from the Kritantic region struck south and struck down the Gupta reign. Despite the similarity of their names with the Huns, the Hunas were of no relation, and the name comes more from the region they invaded from than from any cultural relation. Indeed, the Hunas were so loosely affiliated that when they conquered the Gupta Empire, they did not even attempt to establish domain in India, and returned with their loot to the mountains they came from. With the royal family destroyed, the Gupta Empire devolved again into various kingdoms, and this left Northern India open to invasion and subjugation by the Persians.

Tulwar, Early Iron (Halab)

The Tulwar is a thin curved blade, good for slicing and defensive maneuvers. The curve of the Tulwar usually came midway down the length of the blade, and this curve made the blade easier to draw and ready, and supported slicing strikes while in close proximity with other friendly combatants. The Tulwars of this period, like the Halab, were not yet truly pointed, usually focusing on slashing attacks. As chainmail became more common a thrusting tip was added.

Axe, Kritant, Bullova, Khond

A variety of axes became common in Indian warfare at this time. The Kritant, as mentioned before, was a wide-bladed axe, often to be seen on the coin of the period, and generally associated with royalty among the Kritantic peoples. The Bullova are actually a number of varieties of axe, usually crescent shaped, and

A Brief Flourishing
China had entered a period of disunity. In the north warlords fought amongst each other, attempting to reassert Empire, while in the south Kingdoms were established in wealthier regions, and these fought games of politics amongst each other while


From Stone to Steel


45 49 50 51






46d 48


44. Iron Indian Scimitar; 45. Early Iron Tulwar; 46a46d Bullova Axe varieties; 46e46f Khond axe varieties; 47. Naga War Axe; 48. Ankus; 49. Long Bar Flail; 50. Chinese Broadsword; 51. Long-Handle Nine Ring Sword opposing the Northern States. Still, in the forge of war steel is Cult of Kali tempered, and eventually a Northern warlord won through and There is no record of when the Cult of Kali was founded, established the Tsui dynasty. As short-lived as the Qin, the Tsui although records first mention them in the 600s. Based on attempted to do too much on an almost non-existent budget. certain revelations, the Cult of Kali was established to fight Rather than consolidating control and establishing effective lines against so called demons that masqueraded as men among of taxation, the Tsui Emperor spent money on battles with the the true chosen people of Kali. Also known as the Thuggees, Jurchen, who had taken the whole of Korea back, as well as they were a cult of murderers who traveled throughout India, building the Great Canal and erecting much of what is todays passing themselves off as regular travelers and waylaying Great Wall. The Great Wall was never an effective deterrent of individuals in large groups, killing those who were considered barbarian aggression, and was primarily built to build up support of the demon race. Their favored method of murder was stranamong the southern states and the shi, who were afraid of bargulation, usually using a strangle cord, often worn as a belt to barian encroachment. With insolvency rampant, the populace disguise its purpose. As soon as the victim was lulled into false revolted against the Tsui, and corruption and assassinations confidence and was unwary, they would be murderer would ended what the peasants could not. slip the cord over their victims head and then draw it tight, asphyxiating their target. The hatchet was also a favored weapon, used to dismember corpses or to take down particularly resistant foes. The Cult of Kali thrived in various forms throughout this period, although during the colonial period no Thuggee ever attacked a British citizen.


The Far East

In a fantasy setting, Kalis domains would likely be Evil, Death, Trickery, and Strength, and her favored weapons would be the Strangle Cord and Hatchet. Kali is a death goddess, whose dancing is said to hasten the end of the world. Goddess of Blood and Cemeteries, her clerics oppose the undead as robbing their Mistress of her due, and they turn undead rather than rebuke them. It is up to the GM to determine what group of people the fantasy Kali cult might target as demons. the Players Handbook is loosely based on these historical Shaolin Monks. The Wudan movement in China was a second flourishing of the Wushu movement, a refinement and emphasis on martial artistry. Today we think of the martial arts as hand-to-hand combat in a ritualistic manner, but in this time period martial arts encompassed the expertise and skill of all aspects of the military or martial tradition. The Wudan period was a watershed time, lasting for nearly 600 years, where a great variety of weapons were developed and included in schools of fighting. Besides the common weapons like sword, axe, or spear, may of these weapons developed from common tools or as variations on already existant weapons of the period, and their use was often limited. Wudan weapons were more about fighting style than about warfare. Still, any Middle Imperial Chinese setting would feel empty without these weapons. In addition to steel versions of the Lungchan weapons, the following weapons were among the more exotic weapons practiced, although common military weapons were also part of this movement.

The Wudan Movement

he Tang Dynasty replaced the Tsui, although not without difficulty. While fighting remnant forces of Tsui loyalists, Li Shimin, the emperor to be of the Tang, was defeated and taken hostage. The fledgling Tang dynasty appealed to the Shaolin monks of the region to send support. Legend says that the Shaolin sent 13 monks to rescue Li Shimin, although some records note that as many as 113 monks were sent. Though they faced nearly 5000 men in mountainous terrain, the Shaolin monks defeated the remnant Tsui forces and recovered Li Shimin. Li Shimin later took the throne and granted the Shaolin monks land and more religious freedoms than Buddhists had ever seen in China to date. The martial arts fighting styles of the Shaolin (Gongfu, called Kung Fu in the West) became more popular, and would eventually spawn the Wudan movement.

Flail, Long bar

The long bar flail (or di sow gee) consists of a four to five foot haft, a short chain, and another foot of wooden pole. An exaggeration of the common grain flail, this weapon is a long range bludgeoning weapon. The long bar flail can be used to make trip attacks, usually through a low, ground-sweeping attack. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the long bar flail in order to avoid being tripped. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.

The story of the Shaolin is a story of cross-cultural influence. Bodhidharma, a Buddhist Priest from India, traveled to China to meet with the Emperor, to talk with him about the Emperors translation of Buddhist texts. On his return trip, Bodhidharma came across the Shaolin temple, and petitioned for entrance, but was denied access to the temple because the abbot distrusted Bodhidharmas intentions. Legend says that Bodhidharma undertook a trial, going to a nearby cave and meditating while staring at the cave wall. It is said that after 9 years Bodhidharmas gaze bored through the cave wall, and the monks of the temple came and asked him to enter, as his discipline and dedication was no longer questioned. When Bodhidharma was admitted it quickly became obvious that the monks of the Shaolin temple were in poor shape. The bulk of the Shaolin monks time was spent transcribing the holy texts, and their hunched figures and weak frames were deemed incapable of performing the traditional Buddhist meditations. Bodhidharma instituted exercise rituals, in order to strengthen the bodies of the monks, so that they might perform their duties more ably, and these exercises included early boxing forms. Eventually these exercises became true martial arts, ritualistic hand combat techniques that stressed body awareness and avoidance of conflict. This fighting style became known as Gongfu, and as the popularity of Shaolin practices increased, more temples would be established, and styles of Gongfu would develop in other regions of China. The Monk class of

Broadsword, Chinese (Nine Ring Broadsword)

The Chinese broadsword is the steel inheritor of the seven star sword legacy. Bearing the same heavy chopping blade, the lighter steel manufacture and changes in weapon weighting eliminated the hoop pommel and improved its balance. A variant of this broadsword, known as the nine-ring broadsword, has a series of nine rings in the back of the blade, and these rings may be used to perform a sword break maneuver.

Sword, Long-Handle Nine Ring

This is actually a pole-arm version of the nine-ring broadsword. The pole is generally 6 feet in length, and the blade of the sword is another three feet long. This heavy weapon can be used to perform the sword break maneuver, like the original broadsword, and is considered a reach weapon. A reach weapon may strike targets ten feet away, but not targets within that range.

Halberd, Double
Also sometimes referred to as the trident halberd, this is a halberd with the traditional Chinese halberd blade on both sides (not ends) of the pole. This allows the wielder some leeway in which direction to attack from, and makes the weapon more versatile, but this version was not quite as common on the battle-


From Stone to Steel

field. Like all halberds, the Double Halberd may be used to trap a shield and perform trip maneuvers. flute was never really intended to be a serious weapon. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a flute.

Spear, Double Headed

The double-headed spear is essentially a staff with a spearhead at either end. Best used against multiple combatants, the doubleheaded spear is not quite as practical in the battlefield as its single headed variant, since the rearward head may cause trouble for allies. Both spearheads are often tasseled, although this does not confer any extra penalty or benefit. This is a double weapon, and if used as a double weapon, you incur all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a onehanded weapon and a light weapon.

Three kinds of canes were popular in the Wudan period of the Wushu movement. The wooden cane, sometimes made of rattan, was the most common, as it could easily be passed as a normal cane, but was solid and useful as a club or a tripping weapon. The Steel cane, being made of steel, was considerably harder and more potent as a weapon. The third kind of cane was actually a sword cane, a sword sheathed in the canes wooden body, and using the canes crook as its handle. This kind of cane could be used as a bludgeoning weapon, or the sword could be drawn and used as a sword. The sword cane could not be used to effectively trip an opponent. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a Cane. A Japanese variant of this weapon, the Shinobi Zue, was used by Ninja, and is identical to the Sword Cane.

Usually crafted from Bamboo, the flute is an instrument first and a weapon second. The flute is an exotic weapon, and is used in a particular dance-like manner, at times looking like fencing; at others like staff work. The flute was never used in a military context, and its use in the Wudan movement is more as an art form than a weapon. Indeed, whenever the flute takes damage it loses its ability to play music normally, a significant indicator that the












52. Double Halberd; 53. Double Headed Spear; 54. Flute; 55a. Wooden Cane; 55b. Sword Cane; 56. Fan; 57. Chinese Hammers; 58. Golden Coin Shovel; 59. Chay Yang Longsword; 60. Moonteeth Shovel; 61. Snake Spear


The Far East

Fans were an ornamental item carried by magistrates and members of the nobility and aristocrats. The adaptation of the fan into the Wudan period required that the fan be made of wood and lacquered, in order to make it hard enough to carry an edge. The fan fighting style involved careful deflection of strikes by catching the enemy weapon at an angle, and use of swift slashes to inflict wounds. The fan could even be thrown. A considerably heavier iron version of the fan was introduced later, and was used in the same manner. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a Fan. A variant of the Fan developed in Japan was called the Gunsen, and both wooden and iron versions of the Gunsen were developed.

Spear, Snake
A spear with a wavy, curved head, the snake spear is essentially a more artistic appearing longspear. The curved blade grants little benefit, although the wounds caused by it tend to be wider than the actual blade width. This spear often sports a tassel behind the head, and generally never saw exposure during wars. A Malaysian variant of this weapon was the Hak, which never sported a tassel, but was otherwise identical, statistically.

Sword, Tigerhead Hook

This sword is a popular flavor weapon for Chinese-themed movies and weapon-oriented action films. A sword with a reversed hook at the end and a halberd-bladed hilt, the Tigerhead Hook sword is exclusively a martial weapon, developed to disarm opponents. The Tigerhead Hook sword can slash with either the blade or the guard, and is often used in pairs. A single Tigerhead Hook sword grants a +2 bonus on the users opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. If using a pair of Tigerhead Hook swords, the disarm attempt is not considered to provoke an attack of opportunity.

Hammer, Chinese
Not a hammer in the European sense, the Chinese Hammer was a large solid round weight on the end of a short pole. Often plated in bronze, the Chinese Hammer was referred to as a Golden Mellon, due to its size and shape. Essentially a very heavy mace, the Chinese hammer was often used in pairs, and the impressive weight of the weapons requires higher than average strength to counteract the weight of the weapon.

Wheel, Wind and Fire

This is an exotic hand weapon, a circular blade with flame-like flanges at three places on the wheel, and a central stabilizing guard over the corded handle. Used in pairs, the Wind and Fire Wheel is a weapon that stresses speed and flexibility. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a Wind and Fire Wheel. A variant of this weapon has a seven wavy blades jutting from the ring at regular intervals, but is otherwise identical in stats and usage.

Shovel, Golden Coin

The Golden Coin Shovel is another weapon ostensibly adapted from a common tool. A long staff with a coin-like circular blade at one end, it is used like a pole arm, and is swung in a slashing motion at enemies. A tassel is often mounted behind the blade, and fancy versions of this weapon have gilding on the blade.

Longsword, Chay Yang

A variant of the Kwandao, this double weapon bears a rounded chopping blade on one end of a pole, and a spearhead on the other. Chays Longsword has a small recessed area on the back of the blade that is intended to allow disarms. This notch grants a +1 bonus on the users opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. If used as a double weapon, you incur all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon.

Meteor Hammer
The only rope double weapon of the Wudan period, the Meteor Hammer is 14 feet of rope with a heavy steel weight on either end. The Meteor Hammer is an exotic weapon that requires training and dedication to use effectively. The Meteor hammer is a reach weapon, but it can also be used on foes within 10 feet. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon in order to avoid being tripped. Those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. If used as a double weapon, you incur all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a Meteor Hammer. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.

Shovel, Moonteeth
Yet another adapted shovel, the Moonteeth shovel is a double weapon with a wide, thick, crescent shaped head on one end of the haft, and a spearhead on the other. The wide blade allows the wielder to control an opponents maneuvering, to keep them constantly in the desirable range of the weapon. If used as a double weapon, you incur all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A variant of this weapon, called the Long Full Moon Blade, does not have the spearhead, and is not considered a double weapon.

Javelin, Rope
Also sometimes referred to as the Flying Dart, the rope javelin is a short, heavy javelin head attached to more than 10 feet of rope.


From Stone to Steel


67 69 62 68a 64 68b

71 70



62. Tigerhead Hook Sword; 63. Wind and Fire Wheel; 64. Meteor Hammer; 65. Javelin Rope; 66. Flying Weight; 67. Emi Piercers; 68a. Iron Balls; 68b. Iron Rings; 69. Heaven and Earth Blade; 70. Iron Claw; 71. Wolf's Teeth Staff Usually the wielder swings the javelin head to build up momentum, and then throws it at its target while maintaining a hold on the rope. Although kept in the hand, it is treated as a ranged weapon with a maximum range of 10 feet, and no range penalties. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon in order to avoid being tripped. Those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon in order to avoid being tripped. Those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.

Emi Piercers
Emi Piercers are finger weapons, used to augment a hand attack. Basically a one foot steel pin attached to the finger by a ring, these are used to stab an opponent. This makes any unarmed attack a normal impaling attack. This weapon was originally invented for underwater combat, where larger weapons might be impractical. Attacking with Emi Piercers provokes an attack of opportunity, just like any other unarmed weapon. Should a person armed with Emi Piercers have the Advanced Unarmed Strike Feat, they can use the Emi Piercers without attracting an attack of opportunity. One Emi Piercer may be used per hand, since they must be grasped in the fist to be used appropriately.

Flying Weight
Similar to the Rope Javelin above, the Flying weight is a squat, conical weight attached to more than 10 feet of rope. Usually the wielder swings the weight to build up momentum, and then throws it at its target while maintaining a hold on the rope. Although kept in the hand, it is treated as a ranged weapon with a maximum range of 10 feet, and no range penalties. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make


The Far East

Balls or Rings, Iron
Although actually crafted from steel, Iron balls are simply what they sound like, balls of solid metal. These are thrown, much like a stone, although a slinger could conceivably use them in a sling. Heavy, these items are intended to distract more than injure, although strong throwers may use them more effectively. Metal rings, also crafted of steel, were a variant throwing weapon, causing little damage but useful for distraction value. like portion of the blade is not sharpened, and acts primarily as a blocking device. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a Mandarin Coin Blade. A variant of this weapon is the Double Snake Ring sword, which has wavy thrusting heads, but is otherwise the same weapon statistically.

Knife, Deer Antler

This exotic hand weapon consists of two opposing crescent blades, with one blade bearing the grip. Used in pairs, these weapons are excellent at deflecting attacks and performing dangerous slashing attacks. A single Deer Antler Knife grants a +2 bonus on the users opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent using a sword, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. If using a pair of Deer Antler Knives, the disarm attempt does not provoke an attack of opportunity. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a Deer Antler Knife. Variants often emphasize a single pair of blades.

Blade, Heaven and Earth

This exotic weapon is a two handed blade staff with halberd blades over the grips. With a slightly curved sickle-like blade on either end, this weapon can be used to stab opponents on either side of the wielder and slash at opponents in front. Wielded somewhat like a quarterstaff, this is a double weapon. If used as a double weapon, you incur all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A variant of this weapon is the Butterfly wing sword, which has heavier chopping blades instead of the sickle blades.

Iron Claw
The Iron Claw is a mace-like weapon shaped in the form of a hand with sharp nails outstretched as if to scratch. The Iron Claw was used as a mace, and could inflict both bludgeoning and scratching strikes. Sometimes the nails of the Iron Claw would be poisoned, to aggravate their wounds.

Hook, Nine Teeth

A weapon looking like nothing more than a combat poker with a serrated handle guard, this weapon never saw battlefield use. The blade and serrated guard can be used to make slashing attacks, while the butt end of the weapon and the point can make impaling strikes. The hook of the weapon allows shield trapping, and grants a +2 bonus on the users opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. The Nine Teeth Hook can be used in pairs, and if using in pairs the disarm attempt is not considered an attack of opportunity. A variant of the Nine Teeth hook is the Double Hook Lain Sword, which replaces the serrated guard with a halberd blade guard, but is otherwise identical in stats and use.

Staff, Wolfs Teeth

The Wolfs Teeth Staff is a polearm with a large, spiked head, not unlike a huge mace. Heavy and unwieldy, it required considerable strength to wield for long. The head of the mace is especially potent against soft armors, and inflicts twice the damage indicated by the dice when damaging soft armors. A variant of the Wolfs Teeth Staff, which bears no spikes and resembles nothing more than a metal football on the end of a pole, has identical stats, but does not inflict the extra damage to soft armors.

Blade, Sun and Moon Spear

A weapon similar to the Mandarin Coin Blade, the Sun and Moon spear has heavier chopping blades and three rays coming from the hand guard. Used to fight opponents coming from front or back, this weapon is easy to change tactics with, and generally used in pairs. The rays on the round portion of the blade act as traps for sword blades, giving a +1 bonus on the users opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent using a sword, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. If using a pair of Sun and Moon Spear Blades, the disarm attempt does not provoke an attack of opportunity. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a Mandarin Coin Blade.

Chain Sword
The Chain Sword is a pair of short, double-edged swords without quillions attached at the hilt by a length of chain. Used like the Nunchaku, the Chain Sword is an exotic weapon that requires training and great dexterity to use effectively. You may use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier to attack rolls with a Chain Sword. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.

Blade, Mandarin Coin

A curious exotic hand weapon, the Mandarin Coin Blade consists of a round protective blade and halberd-blade guard, with two thrusting heads on either side of the handle. Used to fight opponents coming from front or back, this weapon is easy to change tactics with, and generally used in pairs. The round coin-

Razor, Yuen Yang

Also called rooster knives or Mandarin Duck razors, these blades seem to be an experiment in creating an offensive weapon that is truly offensive. Nearly every angle of these weapons has


From Stone to Steel




77 76



78 74


72. Chain Sword; 73. Mandarin Coin Blade; 74. Deer Antler Knife; 75. Nine Teeth Hook; 76. Sun and Moon Spear Blade; 77. Yuen Yang Razor; 78. Unicorn Horn Sword; 79. Hard Whip; 80. Horse Chopping Blade; 81. Ying Yang Dagger Sword an active slashing surface, and foes in front or back can be stabbed with spearheads. The main haft of the weapon is a blade that rides along the length of the arm, with a spearhead forward and a split spike called a chicken claw ending blade that tucks behind the elbow. The actual handle is attached along the side of the haft, and a larger chicken claw extension juts out to connect the handle to the blade. Generally used in pairs, these exotic weapons confer a +1 bonus to the armor class when used together by someone proficient in their use. balanced metal club, this weapon is often used to train a user for more difficult to control weapons. The Hard Whip can duplicate most sword and staff maneuvers, and is likely to be found in many training centers.

Blade, Horse Chopping

A slashing pole weapon that can be used as a double weapon, this item has a chopping sword like blade and two halberd hand guards. The weapon can be used as a standard pole weapon, or can be held at the hand guards to use one end as a slashing weapon and the other as a staff weapon. Since the weapon damage decreases if used as a double weapon, those untrained usually use it as a single weapon. If used as a double weapon, you incur all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon.

Sword, Unicorn Horn

A short sword with a bladed hilt and a slight jutting quillion on the opposite side of the guard, this weapon is often used in pairs. Light, swift, these swords make excellent paired weapons, and are similar enough to regular swords to be considered martial weapons.

Whip, Hard
The hard whip is actually a mace, a hard handle with metal bands spaced periodically along the haft. Essentially a very well

Sword, Ying Yang Dagger

These weapons actually resemble axes with a spearhead at the end of the handle. Compact and maneuverable, these weapons can be used as either slashing weapons or stabbing weapons, and


The Far East

are often used in pairs. Since the damage is different for the slashing and stabbing attacks, a user should declare how they intend to use each weapon before an attack. These weapons may also be thrown, although not for an impaling attack. The Dian Pin Fu is a variant form of this weapon, larger, more traditional appearing, but performing the same functions. a wavy blade jutting from between the blades. This weapon is often used in pairs. The Tian-chi Fay Short can be used as a thrusting or stabbing weapon, and as a chopping axe-like weapon.

Flail, Great
The great flail was used by Shaolin monks, and consisted of a four foot long pole with another foot and a half of chain, and a heavy iron weight at the end. Used to unhorse cavalrymen, or trip opponents, this weapon was feared, but difficult to master. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the chain in order to avoid being tripped. Those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.

A polearm with a central tine and two side tines, one facing forward and the other facing backward, this weapon is a spiritual cousin of the Sai. Used for thrusting attacks, the side tines can be used to attempt shield trapping, and they grant a +2 bonus on the users opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. Adapted from a kind of fishing spear, this was a weapon that was traded with other nations like Korea and Okinawa.

Tian-chi Fay Short

Looking like a short-hafted double halberd, these weapons are a kind of hand axe, usually with a spearhead on the other end, and

Knife, Golden Coin Long

A kind of polearm with a heavy chopping blade and hoop base, this weapon gains its name from the coin design etched into the

89 86






88 90

82. Sabu; 83. Tian-chi Fay Short; 84. Great Flail; 85. Golden Coin Long Knife; 86. Swallow Trident Long Knife; 87. Yeung Guen Long Knife; 88. Nine Teeth Rake; 89. Chinese Throwing Darts; 90. Executioner Sword


From Stone to Steel

Knife, Yeung Guen Long
Another pole arm referred to as a knife, this weapon resembles a thick, tri-bladed spear with a normal spearhead on the other end of the staff. Effective as both a thrusting and chopping weapon, this is a double weapon. The split head grants a +1 bonus on the users opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. If used as a double weapon, you incur all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon.


Rake, Nine Teeth

91 92 The Nine Teeth Rake evolved from the common rake, and it still resembles its forebear enough that few people expect an attack from it. This allows a nine teeth rake wielder to make a surprise attack if he does not otherwise appear to be dangerous. A peasant or monks weapon, this pole arm has a rack with nine sharpened teeth jutting from it, which can cause fearsome gouges in an opponent. Those who are not concerned about the element of surprise often put tassels just below the rack.


Darts, Chinese Throwing

The Chinese throwing dart is a small, flat blade usually in an arrow shape. Grasped between fingers, up to three Chinese darts may be thrown at once, although at a -2 to hit penalty for each extra dart being thrown. If using in conjunction with a sneak attack, only the first dart should be considered a sneak attack.


Sword, Executioner (Tan-Kiev)

A straight sword with a blunt point, the executioner sword was originally used only for executions, but was adapted as a parrying blade in the Wudan movement. Usually used in conjunction with another weapon, this item does reasonable damage, but conveys a +1 armor bonus if used defensively by a person with the Two Weapon Fighting feat. Attacks which fall into this range on a to hit roll will do damage to the sword as per the optional weapon damage rules. Thinner variants like the Tan-Kiev were also common and conveyed the same benefit, although they did less damage.

91. Fong Ting Lance; 92. Two Teeth Fork; 93. Full Moon; 94. Horse Hair Tassel Whip; 95. Combat Shield blade. Similar to the Naginata, its use is primarily defensive, although, unlike many Wudan weapons it is a design more practical for the battlefield.

Lance, Fong Ting

A lance with a halberd blade below the thrusting head, this weapon may be used as a charging weapon, or as a two-handed pole arm with a spearhead and chopping blade. This weapon may be set against a charge. Like halberds, this weapon may be used to trap a shield and perform trip maneuvers.

Knife, Swallow Trident Long

An elaborate knife, with wavy, exaggerated quillions, this weapon is an elaborate Chinese version of the more popular Sai. The quillions are particularly useful for disarm attempts, and those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. Unfortunately, this weapon is almost impossible to conceal, despite its small size, because of the exaggerated quillions, and any attempt to disguise or hide this weapon is subject to a -4 penalty on any concealment attempt relating to the knife.

Fork, Two Teeth

This weapon developed from the hayfork, a two tined fork used throughout the world. A decent thrusting weapon, this item is a sturdy, reliable item common among peasants.


The Far East

Full Moon
This weapon is similar to the Deer Antler Knife, except that one of the crescent blades completes a full circle, with the entire edge sharpened. A single Full Moon grants a +1 bonus on the users opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent using a sword, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. If using a pair of Full Moon, the disarm attempt does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Use a a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a Full Moon. blade, but otherwise may be secreted in most portions of a weapon. The hidden knife stats given are for a generic steel knife. The GM is the final arbiter of whether or not a weapon can bear a hidden knife.

Shield Combat
The shield was often used as a primary weapon during the Wudan period. Used to block and to attack, this style favors diversions, deflecting attacks, and striking with stunning blows. Imagine a dance where the shield shifts from arm to arm, blocking blows, pushing away an attacker, and then being used, one or two handed, to buffet an attacker into submission. Shield proficiency is required to perform effective Shield combat.

Tassels on Weapons
Many of the weapons listings so far have noted if a weapon can have tassels. Weapons with tassels or other distracting embellishments can be used by those with the right expertise, to distract a foe in combat. A person with the appropriate weapon proficiency and the feat Expertise can take a -1 to their to hit rolls, and confer the same penalty on one specific enemy through using the tassels in a distracting manner. If both foes use their tassels in this fashion on each other, these penalties overlap (thus both would have a cumulative -2 to their hit rolls). It should be noted that another important reason tassels were added to weapons was to soak up blood that might otherwise make the weapon slippery and dangerous to the wielder. Take this lesson very seriously, and always make sure your weapons are never left bloody, to avoid accidents

Improvised Weapon Training

For campaigns where cinematic battle scenes or swashbuckling style is preferred, consider the below feat.


Whip, Horse Hair Tassel

A wide, heavy whip, made, unsurprisingly, from the tail of a horse, this item was, like the flute, not a serious weapon, but one to illustrate a technique and focus on elegance and form. The weapon does a minimum of subdual damage, and deals no damage to any creature wearing armor of at least +1 armor bonus, and does no damage to a creature with a +1 natural armor bonus. Although kept in the hand, it is treated as a ranged weapon with a maximum range of 10 feet, and no range penalties. This weapon is incapable of performing disarms or trips. Using this weapon to defeat a foe would be the height of embarrassment and shame for that foe.


Iron Sleeves
A defensive item, iron sleeves were often sewn into the lining of a martial outfit, to allow an unarmed man parry weapon strikes. When fighting defensively or using the Expertise skill with an unarmed weapon or attack, someone with Iron Sleeves may add an additional +1 armor bonus. This bonus does not stack with armors that already have sleeves.


The Hidden Knife

Knives could be hidden in the stock, scabbard, or base of any weapon. Characters who wish to purchase a hidden knife must spend 10 more gold than the item costs, and then they must specify where the knife is hidden. The Knife cannot be part of a

96. Iron Sleeves; 97. Hidden Knives; 98. Beheading Sword


From Stone to Steel

New Feat: Improvised Weapon Training: [General]
You are trained to be able to use any object in your environment in as a weapon. Prerequisites: INT 13+, Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Base Attack bonus of +3 or higher Benefit: Any person with the Improvised Weapon Training feat can use any object in their environment as a weapon. This provides a number of bonuses: If a person with Improvised Weapon Training comes across a weapon they are not proficient with, but similar to weapons that they already have proficiency with, they may wield that weapon with only a -1 penalty on attack rolls. Thus a person with Simple Weapons Proficiency could use a martial weapon like a sword with a -1 penalty (since it is used a lot like a club or sickle), and a person with Martial Weapons Proficiency would be able to use a Kama at a -1 penalty (since they are already familiar with the pick, which is used in a similar fashion). Really unusual weapons, like a spiked chain would only be available at a -1 penalty if that person already had proficiency with other similar weapons like the lariat or whip. If a person with Improvised Weapon Training comes across a weapon they are not proficient with, and its use is unlike any weapon they are trained with, they may use that weapon with a -2 penalty on attack rolls. Thus a person with simple weapons proficiency who attempts to use a longbow will experience the -2 penalty, or a person with martial weapons proficiency will experience the same penalty when trying to use a whip. If a person with Improvised Weapon Training attempts to use a non-weapon as a weapon, and the object can easily be used as such, for example a fireplace poker used as a sword or mace, or a curtain rod as a staff or sword, then the person experiences a -3 penalty on attack rolls with that weapon, and the item does damage determined by the DM (usually one size step lower than the weapon emulated, although certain weapons will do considerably less damage). In this manner a candelabra might be used like a trident, or a flaming brazier like a flail. Note that in this instance fire damage may be appropriate. Finally, a person with Improvised Weapon Training may use any object deemed solid enough to inflict damage as a weapon, with a -4 penalty on attack rolls. These objects are myriad, from things like chairs to beer steins to crystal balls to silverware. Damage for these items should be based on counterparts, where possible, although generally it will range from 1d4 to 1d6 in damage. Obviously more damaging items, like a statue being wielded by a magically strong character might do considerably more damage. The DM is the final arbiter of damage, and may even deem an item non-damaging or only inflicting subdual damage. Whenever there is a question of the damage of an improvised weapon due to its size, remember to consult the weapon size and damage chart. A copy may be found at the end of this book.

Chinese Enchantment
Much of Chinese folklore connects the written word with magic. Certain fictional wizards used written characters to cast spells. If running a Chinese-themed campaign, rather than magical glows, consider the possibility of enchanted objects being ornately inscribed with beautiful calligraphy. Perhaps the blade with Tigers Claw in fine calligraphy turns out to have a keen edge, or one with Roses Thorn is wounding. These thematic touches can really bring a campaign world alive.

Sword, Beheading
Developed during this period, but never used on the battlefield or the Martial community, the Beheading Sword was a true executioners blade, a heavy, two handed sword used to execute criminals. Executioners would often travel between municipalities and earn their pay by cutting off the heads of those sentenced by the local lord. Executions were actually saved until an executioner passed through the area, and then were held as public spectacles.

Scale Armor, Chinese Mountain Pattern

An incredibly hard, dense, and heavy, Chinese Mountain Pattern Armor was worn exclusively by the officers of the military. No copy of this armor is in existence today, and much of what we know about this armor is speculation by modern armor crafters. The name of the armor comes from the fact that the scales of this armor were shaped like the character for the word mountain, which looks something like an inverted Y. This pattern made tightly interlocking plates of scale, as hard as many plated armors, but at the cost of mobility and flexibility. The cost of this kind of armor was incredible, and each suit was painstakingly made on commission, and sized to the wearer. Should a character come across a suit of this armor in a game, it is very unlikely they would be able to wear it.

The Tang Period

The Tang period is often noted as one of the high points in Chinese culture. Tang Emperors ruled by Confucian standards, and the examination system was often the way to the most prestigious offices. But events conspired to muddy this reputation. First the eunuchs plotted and eventually took control of the Dynasty, increasing their power through offers of offices and wealth, as well as assassination. Late in the Tang Period the eunuchs actually consolidated their power and were able to choose successors and even assassinate emperors with impunity. These later emperors began to move away from Confucian standards, and put great restrictions on Buddhism, a popular but foreign religion. At one point a purge of Buddhist temples was authorized, and more than 14,000 temples were closed and 40,000 Buddhist Monks and Nuns were killed. Rebellions became more common. Generals refused to answer Imperial


The Far East




99a. Chinese Mountain Pattern Scale Armorfull suit; 99b. Chinese Mountain Pattern Scale Armorcloseup; 100. Chinese Steel Scalemail summonses, and consolidated their power in border provinces. Eventually a General attempted to free the Palace from eunuch control. General Zhu Quanzong invaded the palace and killed all of the eunuchs, but in the process he also killed the Emperor. Although a popular rebellion attempted to take control of the government, General Zhu Quanzong claimed power and established a short lived Liang dynasty. perhaps your campaign centers on freeing the Empire from the control of the Eunuchs and restoring the glory of the Tang Empire before it is too tarnished to last.

n the north five dynasties rose in fell in fifty years. In the south the various states became ten kingdoms. Barbarians took advantage to reclaim the Silk Road, which was again quite profitable with trade to Persia, Arabia, and certain European mercantile families. In other lands this would bring about an incredible holy war, but in the East this was just business. Eventually the Song Dynasty, a northern dynasty established in the ashes of another failed empire, would arise with aspirations to greater control. The Song built up an effective army and invaded the south of China. Allying with various states against their enemies, the Song conquered the southern Kingdoms, often taking advantage of Tibetan raids to arrive in a devastated region and consolidate power. It took decades for the Song to finally dominate the southern kingdoms, but gradually the Song dynasty conquered and ruled all of civilized China, but did so with a different focus.

Tang as Campaign Setting

The Tang period is one of the most robust periods of Chinese History. And the tension of a game set in this period could be very interesting. Eunuchs control the palace, and in Chinese fantasy many Eunuchs were Sorcerers, controlling dark magic. Shaolin Monks may either be common or rare, depending on the exact time you set the campaign. Fighters might be members of the military, or members of the Wudan schools. Besides venturing against barbarians in the borderlands, adventures might include raiding Qin burial sites filled with stone golems painted like living soldiers, fending off rampaging spirits or monsters in the wild lands of the far south, or perhaps working for a military regent trying to establish an independent state from the Sorcerer-controlled Empire. Or


From Stone to Steel

The Song dynasty worked heavily on infrastructure, building up cities and promoting urbanization, improving roads and transportation, and preventing the power of the military from growing. Having learned from previous dynasties that a strong military might eventually rebel, military officers were restricted from entering public service, and many soldiers were tattooed to prevent them from leaving military service. The aristocracy no longer automatically held officer status in the military, and the Song Dynasty went a long way towards awarding rank to those soldiers whose skills and talents merited it. This lead to the army being a professional army, and civilians could enter the military and expect long-term employment. In addition, refined steel making techniques improved the strength and flexibility of their weapons and armor. The Dao became the standard armament of most of the army, backed by the halberd, the crossbow, and the horse-bound lancer. The development of better armor technology also lead to improvements in military efficiency.

Banded, Breastplate, and Mirror Plated Armor, Chinese

Chinese metal armors were expensive, and were generally only worn by those officers who didnt wear the traditional Mountain Scale. Breastplate armor included arm, head and neck covering. Mirror Plated Armor was generally studded leather with large rectangles or squares of metal forming plates over vital areas. The densest armor used at this time was Banded Armor, which had overlapping plates and bands of metal that kept much of the body encased and protected. Of course, the general drawback of armor was a lack of mobility.

Brigandine, Chinese
One attempt to improve this while still retaining better protection was the use of brigandine. Brigandine consists of metal plates, or sometimes even scales, that are riveted to a layer of leather on either side. This creates a flexible body mesh that still affords significant defense. This kind of armor would be developed by many cultures. For those lords who could afford it, this would eventually replace Scalemail as standard troop armor. As the Song Dynasty began to establish itself, in India war was brewing. India remained a land of kingdoms, the north influenced by the Silk Road and the West, while the south was more and more dominated by The Chola Kingdom. Military developments of this period were few but unique. India developed studded cloth armor, light enough for summer heat but more durable than their heavy padded armor. In the South the Katar was experimented

Scalemail, Chinese Steel

A less restrictive scale mail was developed. Although not as protective as the mountain scale version, this one was easier to make and mass-produce, and was worn by soldiers whose lords could afford the cost.

101b 101a


101a. Chinese Banded Armor; 101b. Mirror Plated Armor; 102. Chinese Brigandine


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103. Studded Cloth Armor; 104. Early Steel Ballam; 105. Early Steel Tschehouta; 106. Closed Hilted Early Steel Katar; 107. Three Bladed Early Steel Katar with, and new variants were created. The metal smiths of India were beginning to perfect woozt steel, the famed Damascus steel, which would see active use in the Crusades. Unfortunately these developments were not enough to combat the Persians. used in Malaysia, called the Tampuling, which is otherwise identical in stats.

Tschehouta, Early Steel

A two headed spear similar to the double spear, this Indian weapon is used in much the same way. This is a double weapon, and if used as a double weapon, you incur all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a onehanded weapon and a light weapon.

Cloth Armors, Heavy and Studded

The hotter climate of India made heavy armor oppressive during the summers. Peasants and poor militia often wore heavy clothing when going into battle. Usually made of many layers of clothing, they were itchy, stifling, but tolerable. Some kinds of cloth armor attempted to augment cloth armor with metal studs, although the benefit was only slight. Heavy cloth armor should be considered the rough equivalent of padded armor from the players handbook.

Katar, Closed Hilted Early Steel

The Katar saw some development during this period. One development was the closed hilted version of the Katar. The katar blade included a locked gauntlet. Any weapon with a locked gauntlet is much harder to disarm, as per the rules in the Players Handbook.

Ballam, Early Steel

A heavy, barbed steel spear, this weapon was more of use against horses and elephants than against men. The wide blade made it perfect for countering a charge, and the barbed head made the wound even more massive when someone attempted to remove the spear. This spear was not a throwable weapon, and was difficult to use when not braced. A similar spear was

Katar, Three Bladed Early Steel

Another departure from the standard Katar included two similar triangular blades on either side of the weapon, facing left and right. This allowed the Katar wielder to strike at opponents to either side equally as well as they could strike forward. This also


From Stone to Steel

conferred a slight deflection bonus, adding a +1 armor bonus to defense for a wielder fighting in a defensive stance.

Plate Armor and Damascened Scale

The scale and plate armor of Persia, which had been adopted by Rome and carried on in the heavy horsemen of Persia, was rarely converted to Damascus steel, but a few suits did exist. The cost for this suit of armor was formidable, and it must be assumed that only great soldiers and nobles ever wore this armor.

Advanced Chinese Steel

The Chinese began to experiment with the early hard steel, attempting to make it more flexible. China would not find an easy way to maintain the hard edge while keeping steel flexible, and this lead to a number of experiments. New inlayed or mixed steel techniques would be created, to meld different strengths of steel together to form a stronger alloy. This often left distinctive marks on the blade of such a weapon. China would never take this practice to its ultimate conclusion. Instead, India and Japan would proceed with this kind of steel in two different directions. India would develop woozt steel, and use it to create potent patterned steel weapons. This Indian style of smithing would migrate to Muslim lands, where it would be known as Damascus steel. The Japanese, on the other hand, would develop their unique folding technique, and, through nearly infinite patience, craft incredibly durable blades.

Not Weapons
Sufi Islam came to India during this invasion, and with it came Fakirs, mystics and wandering mendicants who shared and taught Islamic mysticism. Laws in India, established during the Gupta Empire, forbade holy men to carry weapons, and the Persians did not see fit to change local laws. The Fakirs found themselves under constant threat from bandits and robbers who saw holy men as easy targets, and sought a solution. Their best solution was the development of weapons that werent weapons, items that could be passed off as normal implements but could be used offensively. Two such were the Fakirs Cane and Fakirs Horns. During this time the Maru came into more common use.

The Persians
The Persians invaded not long after the end of the first millennium, and with them they brought Persian culture and Islam. The Persians dominated all of Northern India, and new peoples began to settle more widely in the north, notably the Sikhs and Punjabs. It was through this invasion that Islam would first reach southeastern Asia and China, and it would be through Persia that Damascus steel would become the favored steel of the Islamic nations.

Cane, Fakirs
This cane is, in most respects, used in the same manner as the wooden cane of the Wudan movement. However, the handle of the Fakirs cane sometimes came to a sharp point, so that it could be used like a pick weapon. Besides bludgeoning or stabbing, the Fakirs cane can also be used to trip opponents.

Fakirs Horns
This is a hand weapon, grasped and used to stab. The horns are sharp, and sometimes capped in iron, although usually this capping process attracts attention.

Material Properties: Damascus Steel

Damascus steel is made from Woozt Steel, and is made by combining various hardnesses of steel together with minute quantities of other material to create a strong and flexible material able to deal with the rigors of battle. Weapons made of Damascus steel gain a +1 damage bonus, and any item made of Damascus steel is significantly more wear resistant than regular iron or steel weapons (10 Hardness and +3 to Hit Points). Items made of Damascus Steel cost an additional 400 gp above the normal price for the weapon type.

The Maru is a rare object, a shield with weapons attached. Protecting like a small shield, the Maru also mounts two steel tipped horns at either end. This allows the shield to be used as an offensive stabbing weapon, much like a spear would be used. When used as a weapon, the Maru does not confer any defensive bonuses. The Maru is a double weapon.

Mace, Damascened Ox
The Ox mace is a stylized mace, whose head is shaped like that of an ox. Often these maces had holes in the head to make it whistle when it was swung. This was used to make horses unsteady (-1 to all Ride checks) and to make demoralized troops even more anxious as the screaming maces struck at them. If a foe already has a negative morale modifier do to any effect, using an ox mace around them will only worsen that modifier (Will save DC 12 or add an extra -1). This effect lasts as long as that foe is within hearing distance of the ox mace.

The Tabar is a large, heavy double axe, made entirely of steel. A formidable weapon, this is powerful axe is demanding, and requires great strength to use effectively.

Arrow, Axeblade
A wide bladed arrow, the axe blade delivers a potent slicing blow, rather than an impaling strike. This arrow was very useful for slicing through ropes, inflicting cuts in narrow spaces, and driving animals to fear and flight.

Scale and Banded Armors, Damascened

Armor was rarely made of Damascus steel, mainly due to the cost. They are, in all respects similar to their steel equivalents, except for materials aspects.

The End of an Era

The Persians did not remain in India long. Muslim tribes remained in control of the North, but the Persians faced more


The Far East

conflict in the West, and so left India to its own devices. Eventually Turkish and Afghani chieftains would establish the Delhi Sultanate, which would rule India for most of the Medieval Period. Held off only by strong kingdoms in the South, the print of Islam on India would last until the modern day. Before the Delhi Sultanate was formed the Song dynasty found itself in trouble. Steppe tribes were causing trouble along the borders, with the Jurchen of Korea threatening the Eastern border of China and the Liao people, a descendant tribe of the Xianpei, beginning a war of conquest. The lessened power of the military had kept the nation from a homegrown military coup, but now the military was hard pressed to defeat the Liao, and eventually the Song dynasty had to retreat to the South, giving up control of the North to the Liao and Jurchen, in exchange for peace. Even worse, the Tibetans finally established a firm stronghold along the Silk Road, and declared themselves the Western Xia, demanding tribute for access to southern trade routes. Hedged in on all sides by enemies, the Song tried to stave off invasion and worked to establish new trade routes with their neighbors. And the Song Dynasties plan appeared to work. During this period the merchant class began to develop, a firm middle class between lords and peasants, and the economy of China flourished despite the restrictions. The Liao, having lived near the Chinese region and now inhabiting it, embraced Chinese culture and gave up their nomadic ways, adopting the language and customs of their conquered people. Ironically, this would work against the Liao and the Song when their next enemy was to arrive.

The Great Ride

From Lake Bajkal runs the river Onan, which makes its way through wild lands, between hills and down into the flatlands, where it meets the Herlen and Amur rivers, to join them in their voyage to the Pacific. Along the bank of the Onan was born Temujin, the man who would one day be known in the west as Ghengis Khan, or the Oceanic Khan. Before Temujin there was no Mongolian identity. The Mongolian region was a place where various Turkic tribes lived, some of them preserving blood strains of the Huns. It was a land between the steppes of the north and the mountains of the west, pressed firmly against the Great Wall and the armies of China. Temujin, though, was a man of strength, and of vision. Life in Mongolia was harsh. Most tribes required a child to ride a horse by the age of three, and those unfit to do so were often left to die. If they found a way to survive anyway they might be readmitted to the tribe, but this was not guaranteed. Strength was favored, but not the absolute measure of a man. A strong man


108 109 112 113


108. Damascened Ox Mace; 109. Fakir's Cane; 110. Fakir's Horns; 111. Maru; 112. Tabar; 113. Axeblade Arrow


From Stone to Steel






114. Mongol Lacquered Leather; 115. Mongol Recurve Bow; 116. Chinese Rocket; 117. Spear Gun; 118. Primitive Chinese Gun might be feared, but a man cunning in weapon craft was respected. Some would say the tribes-people of Mongolia were inherently warlike and barbaric, but to them it was the only practical existence when life was hostile and death was near. Temujin rose to power through apprenticeship to Toghrul, a tribal leader given tribute by the Jin to protect their borders. Under Toghruls tutelage Temujin learned the art of negotiation, and the value of organization. Temujin put these lessons, and those of a life in conflict and hardship to good use, conquering neighboring tribes and bringing them under his control. Various Mongolian tribes became part of Temujins horde, and Turk stood beside Kereyit stood beside Merkit stood beside Naiman. Each new tribe gave up autonomy and joined forces with Temujin. We do not have diaries or records written by Temujin himself, but one can only suppose that besides strength what many saw in Temujin was destiny. Temujin sought Empire, but not empire like any other northern tribe sought. Temujin spent time studying warfare, even accepting exile to China after a failed battle, in order to learn the art of war. And then Temujin struck back at his enemies, and crushed and consolidated the Tartars, ancient enemies of both China and Eastern Europe. By this time Temujin and Toghrul had a parting of ways, and they eventually waged war against each other, with Temujin killing the opposing lord and taking power over all of Mongolia and portions of Central Asia for himself. Many warlords would end their conquest there. But Temujin continued. He took the title of Ghengis Khan at this time, choosing water to symbolize the ubiquity of his intended rule. And he set about to make it true. First he struck at the Jin, and crushed their hold on Northeast China and Korea. Then he turned his gaze to Khwarazm. Khwarazm was an empire situated in Afghanistan, Persia, and portions of Central Asia, including modern day Uzbekistan. Once dominated by the Sejulk Turks, Khwarazm had become independent and was a flourishing center for Islamic thought, agriculture, and trade. But news of an attack upon Mongolian merchants drew Temujin from the conquered land of the Jin, and down into the Middle East. Though the Shah of Khwarazm brought 400,000 men to face the Mongols, the Mongols attacked with 90,000 Mongolian Warriors, and defeated the numerically superior force, possibly killing as many as 180,000 men in the battle. The Shah fled the battle, and Temujin followed with 40,000 horsemen split in two groups. Each group traveled through different portions of Persia, and records say whole areas of Persia were depopulated by their passage. The demoralizing effect of the killing and bloodshed made what was left of Khwarazms army too weak to face the Mongol forces, and within a year Khwarazm fell to the Mongols. Temujins armies did not stop in Persia, however, but they skirted the Caspian Sea and raided deep into Russia, looting portions of southern Russia before turning back to return to Mongolia. On the way back, the Mongols conquered Georgia, and then


The Far East

prepared for battle in China. But Temujin died unexpectedly in battle against the Western Xia, and succession was thorny, with multiple sons of Temujin vying for approval as the next Khan. Mongol Warriors of this period wore lacquered leather armor, and carried small leather shields. Their horses were also barded with similar lacquered leather. They carried axes, scimitars, lances, lariats, and their own version of the recurve bow. Arrows were poisoned as often as were not, and the range of the Mongol recurve bow was exceptional. Both the Mongols and the Chinese of this period used guns, which ranged from pots stuffed with gunpowder and short spears to true guns with stone or iron shots. Primitive rockets were also in use. Later Mongol horsemen would adapt chainmail, lamellar, scale, banded armor, brigandine, and various kinds of plate and mail. of the added damage bonus conferred by the spear gun. Any target in a five foot wide path in the third range increment has a chance to be struck by 1 of the remaining spears. Roll an unmodified d20 attack for each such target, until there are no more spears to be accounted for. Any spears not accounted for are considered lost, since they splinter against the ground on impact. The reliability rating for the spear gun is 5. Spear guns can only have a spectacular failure. Ignore the chart and apply the following result upon any failure: the urn explodes, and inflicts 6d6 damage on the wielder, and 3d6 to all beings within 5 feet.

Gun, Primitive Chinese

Essentially a long length of bamboo tightly wrapped and banded for stability and fitted with a priming pan, this gun was the extent of the development of the gun in Chinese history. Neo Confucian thought would prevent new developments in firearms, which would mean firearms in Europe would eventually outstrip those in China. The Primitive Chinese Gun fired shot of both stone and iron. This gun is equivalent to the Primitive Handcannon, and information on reliability, reloading times, and powder usage can be found in the chapter Pageantry, Platemail, and Pistols.

Leather, Lacquered
A weather treated leather worn by the early Mongol forces, Lacquered Leather is only slightly more durable than regular leather, and was often a leather lamellar. Light enough to maneuver in, and easy to repair, this remained the common armor of most Mongol Hordesmen. A barding version of this armor was also common.

Bow, Mongol Recurve

The Mongol Recurve bow descends from both the Hun and Scythian designs, and incorporates much of their innovations. A natural mighty bow, the Mongol Recurve bow had fearsome range and propelled arrows with exceptional force. All Mongol Recurve bows act as Mighty Composite Shortbows (usually +2), and may be used from horseback.

Guns and Reliability

Guns are designed to take incredible punishment from the internal explosions necessary to propel their ammunition towards a target. But sometimes guns fail. Because of this guns have a reliability rating. That rating indicates the rate of failure of the weapon. When the d20 is rolled to determine tohit, should the number rolled be equal to or below the reliability rating, the gun experiences a failure. Roll 1d20 (or use the effect die) to determine what kind: 110Misfire: the gun does not fire, as the powder charge does not catch. There is nothing wrong with the gun, and the wielder may attempt to fire it again the next round. 1115Internal Scoring: the projectile scrapes the inside of the barrel, creating a natural skew. All shots are at a -1 to hit. Each such result is cumulative. This may be fixed as per rules for repair. 1618Jam: the projectile lodges in the gun barrel. This causes scoring (see above), and requires 3d6 rounds to remove. Usually most people opt to drop a jammed gun and fix it after combat. 19Major Failure: A major mechanism on the gun breaks, and the gun cannot be used again until it has been repaired. 20Spectacular Failure: The gun explodes, inflicting maximum damage on the wielder and standard rolled damage on every person within five feet. People at five feet may attempt to avoid this damage by attempting a reflex save.

Rockets, Chinese
The Chinese had the technology of explosives from an early time, and manufactured fireworks for trade and celebration for ages. Eventually some ingenious soul noticed that when certain fireworks did not function as expected, the thrust of the fuel propelled the firework a fair distance before an explosion. This technology was eventually adapted into the Chinese Rocket. A one shot weapon, the Chinese rocket was a length of bamboo filled with a combustible mixture and an explosive head. Once lit, the wielder would attempt to aim it where they intended to strike, and would hold on until the fuel created enough force to propel the rocket forward and explode. Chinese rockets are destroyed during the explosion, and cannot be repaired.

Spear Gun
Effectively an urn packed with explosives and lined with spears, this was a dangerous weapon to everyone on the battlefield. Once lit, a fuse descends into the urn, which detonates the propellant. When the Spear gun fires, it propels a half dozen short spears the listed range. Roll to hit on the target aimed at. If the target is struck, and is in the first range increment, the target is actually struck by 1d3 spears (use the stats for the Steel Qiang), with the added damage bonus conferred by the Spear gun. If the target is in the second range increment, it is struck by 1d2 spears, with half

Gun Damage and Armor (Optional)

Due to the incredible velocity a gun's projectile travels at, guns treat armor differently. When guns miss and strike armor, apply damage to the armor as normal. However, take that same damage roll, and subtract the armor bonus from it. Any


From Stone to Steel

damage left over from this subtraction should be applied to the armor's wearer, as the impact causes bruising (if not broken bones). In this way, armor still acts as a buffer (an impromptu damage resistance). Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Firearms): [General] You are trained to be able to use any firearms. Prerequisites: Base attack bonus of +1 or higher Benefit: You can make attack rolls with any firearm as normal. Normal: Firearms are not inherently more difficult to fire than a crossbow. Any untrained person can fire a loaded gun with a -2 to hit. However, without training, a person will not know the proper reloading techniques, and will be unable to appropriately maintain powder and a weapon. The reliability rating of a gun being handled by an untrained person is doubled, and twice as much powder is used per shot.

Scaled Jack
A coat layered with hexagonal metal plates, the Scaled Jack is an armored jacket, developed after the Mongols moved south into Persia. This armor was surprisingly flexible and protective.

Plated mail, Kolontar

A chainmail and plate armor combination consisting of rectangles of plate covering much of the chest and mid-section. Helm and chain coifs are standard with this kind of plated mail armor. As with all plated mail armors, these afford impressive protection, but are quite heavy.



119. Scaled Jack; 120. Kolontar Plated Mail


The Far East

Elite Mongol Horsemen (Prestige Class)
The Dread of the World. The Force which humbled China and Europe. The Wolves of the Steppes, and the greatest warriors of their time. The Mongols were respected and feared as the best horsemen, horse archers, and the most fearsome footmen of their time. They practically invented modern cavalry tactics, which are used even today in tank warfare. From the age of three a child who could not ride a horse was left by the tribe to die. If the child could survive and catch up with the tribe they would be given a second chance to rejoin, or be killed. The harsh land they came from demanded a people who could move on a moments notice, and though much of their lifestyle might see barbaric and cruel to the modern reader, this was the only life they knew Any Mongol warrior wanted to be one of the elite horsemen. And the membership was not closed. Turks and foreigners of great mettle were often invited to join the Hordes. The requirements were challenging, but anyone who could fill them would be called brother.

Hit Die: d10 Requirements

To qualify to become an Elite Mongol Horseman, a character must fulfill all the following criteria. Basic Attack Bonus: +6 Skills: Ride 6 ranks Feats: Mounted Combat, Any 2 other Mounted Feats, Class Skills The Elite Mongol Horsemans class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), Swim (Str) Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int Modifier

Table 5-1:Elite Mongol Horsemen; Class

Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Attack Bonus +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 Save +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3

Base Fort Ref Will Special Advanced Horsemanship Shoot on the Move Brutal Attack Battle Cry Streaking Shot Brutal Flurry Horse Brother Last Ditch Strike Second Wind Penetrating Shot


From Stone to Steel

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Elite Mongol Horseman prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mongol Horsemen are proficient with all simple weapons and martial weapons. They are also proficient with light, medium, and heavy armors and shields. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Advanced Horsemanship: The Elite Mongol Horseman lives with their mount, and must care for it night and day. They eat while riding and touch ground only to make camp. All ride maneuvers are at a +2 to perform, and any mounted combat maneuver gains a +2 bonus. Shoot on the Move: The Elite Mongol Horseman takes no penalty for firing from horseback, regardless of the speed of the horse. Brutal Attack: An Elite Mongol Horseman may take a standard action to make a melee attack at their standard attack bonus. If they hit, they inflict the maximum damage for the weapon (including their strength bonus). If the hit is a critical hit, they inflict the maximum critical damage for that weapon (including their strength bonus). This ability can only be used once per day. Battle Cry: All allies within 30 feet of an Elite Mongol Horseman using this ability gain a +1 morale bonus, and all enemies receive a -1 moral penalty. This ability can only be used once per day, and lasts a number of rounds equal to their total character levels. Brutal Flurry: At 6th level the Elite Mongol Horseman gains the ability to double their attacks for one round, albeit at a -2 penalty. Thus an Elite Mongol Warrior who attacks with +12/+7/+2 normally would have, for one round, +10/+10/+5/+5/-0/-0. This ability can be used only once per day, and cannot be used in conjunction with a Brutal Attack. Horse Brother: At 7th level the Elite Mongol Horseman may communicate with their mount as if through an Empathic Link. It takes one month to establish an Empathic Link with a mount, and if that mount dies, the Elite Mongol Horseman will be dazed for 1d8 rounds. This Link allows the Elite Mongol Warrior to give more complex commands and provides a +2 willpower bonus to the Horse for resisting Fear effects. Last Ditch Strike: If an Elite Mongol Warrior with this ability is reduced to zero hit points or below, they are given one more combat round to perform any task before succumbing to their wounds. Generally this round is used to make a final strike, but any action may be taken that occurs within the time-span of the round. This ability may only be used once per day. Second Wind: At 9th level the Elite Mongol Warrior may summon deep reserves of strength to push on in battle. A Mongol Warrior may sacrifice 1 temporary point of constitution to remove any negative non-magical physical effects inflicting him, such as poison, fatigue, disease, or moral penalties. This ability can only be used once per day.

The Successors
Eventually succession would be decided, and the Jin would be finally crushed. Then the Mongols would turn west again, and send 150,000 Mongol Horsemen into Russia and Eastern Europe. Russia and all the provinces of the region would fall to the Mongol forces and be incorporated into the Golden Horde. It would not be until the late medieval period that Russia would finally gain freedom from the Mongols again. In Europe Russia would invade Poland and Hungary, taking great portions of land and sacking cities. They would eventually march on Austria, but Temujins heir would die before the Mongols could move farther. The Mongols returned home to fight over the next successor. It is strongly suspected that the Mongols were intent on conquering the whole of Europe and, had it not been for Ogedei Khans death, they likely would have. The next few Khans would be unable to retain their holdings in Hungary and Poland, but would strengthen their grip on Russia and Persia. Eventually it would be Kublai Khan who would return to China and finally topple the Liao and Sung Dynasties after a failed attempt to conquer Japan. Having finally unified China, Kublai Khan would establish himself the first Emperor of the Yuan dynasty. But already the Mongol Empire was in decline. Kublai Khan would see mediocre results in the battlefield after his establishment of the Yuan Dynasty. Another attack on Japan would fail, foiled by the weather as well as Japanese warriors. He would also attack the Champa and Annam, regions of Vietnam, and find only marginal success. A later raid on Java would fail for lack of supplies. The Mongols, never seamen, had found their limit. Slowly the greater empire would crumble, as the Yuan Mongols concentrated on controlling China. They were largely unsuccessful, as they favored non-Han peoples, and promoted a great deal of non-traditional practices. In the other lands the Mongols conquered Turkic and Mongolian tribes would establish Khanates, various Islamic states to control what land they could. The prowess of the Mongolian Warriors would decline under Chinese domination, and in the end it would be the Mongolians who would drive themselves from China, unable to resolve disputes over succession. The remnants of the Yuan dynastic families would retreat to Lake Bajkal to resolve their dispute, but would never return to China. Over the span of a little more than a century and a half the only land that would still pay the Mongols tribute would be Russia. And the Mongol Empire would end up only a short distance from where it began, after briefly becoming the largest land empire in history.

The Ming Dynasty

In the aftermath of the retreat of the Mongols, a Han peasant and former Buddhist monk would establish the Ming Dynasty. Conquered in stages, The Ming Dynasty would attempt to reconcile


The Far East

changes established by the Yuan with the Neo-Confucian thought of the Song Dynasty. For the first century of its existence the Ming Dynasty was the most maritime Chinese Dynasty in history, with Chinese sailors traveling as far as Africa, and possibly even crossing the Pacific, as certain unique parallel developments suggest contact between China and Mesoamerican cultures. But after this first century of expansion China suddenly ceased sending ships so far. Scholars cite many reasons for the change, from moral dilemmas to financial reasons, but there is no definitive answer for this change in policy. Ironically, this would leave China ripe for exploitation during the Opium Trade.

Hit Die: d10 Requirements

To qualify to become a Guang Hu Adventurer, a character must fulfill all the following criteria. Basic Attack Bonus: +4 Feats: Expertise, 1 other combat related Feat

The Guang Hu Setting

The Guang Hu Setting is a fictitious time period sometime in the early Ming Dynasty, after China has returned to self-rulership. It involves something of an extension to the Wudan period, and the rise of a disenfranchised wandering adventurers culture called the Guang Hu. This is the backdrop of many Wuxia movies and fiction, and the contrasted freedom of the Guang Hu adventurers with the stratification of Chinese culture make for an interesting contrast. The Guang Hu culture is not unlike a criminal underworld, where reputation and status is everything, and adventurers are constantly seeking to improve their own reputation by taking down more powerful adventurers. This internal competition is heightened by rivalries between different schools. If the chance to explore a wild world and then return to a highly cultured society appeals to your gaming group, this fictitious campaign setting might just be perfect for your players.

Guang Hu Adventurer (Prestige Class)

The Guang Hu was an underworld of so-called lawless adventurers who wandered China perfecting their skills in combat against each other, or using their martial prowess for their own ends. Some were forces for good, tracking down criminals and safeguarding shipments, while others were evil, striking at the forces of law and taking what they want. To be in the Guang Hu meant to be distrusted by society, but to be free from its strictures as well. Many sought to join the Guang Hu. Some were soldiers who left the military but could no leave a life of conflict. Others were those who sought spiritual enlightenment in the martial discipline and meditation. Some sought to leave family obligations, while others found themselves destitute, with nowhere else to go. Once you entered the Guang Hu, it often became more difficult to completely leave it.


From Stone to Steel

Class Skills
The Guang Hus class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Perform (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Philosophy) (Int), Swim (Str) Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int Modifier Improvised Weapon TrainingThis is as per the Feat in this chapter. Reputation: As the Guang Hu Adventurer journeys, their reputation grows and spreads. At 3rd level there is a 25% chance that a Guang Hu Adventurer will be recognized on sight or by name by another Guang Hu Adventurer. At 6th Level there is a 50% chance that another Guang Hu Adventurer will recognize you, and a 25% that a person from civilized culture will recognize you. At 9th Level there is a 75% chance that another Guang Hu Adventurer will recognize you, and a 50% chance that a person from civilized culture will recognize you. Recognition may have positive or negative consequences, depending on you actions. You may earn respect from your fellow adventurers, or they may wish to prove themselves by challenging you. You may be paid a greater fee because of your fame, or you may be watched by the police while in the city, due to their knowing youre a member of the Guang Hu. Full Membership: At 5th Level a Guang Hu Adventurer becomes a full member of their school, and may have a private room. If they wish, they may invite guests to stay, under their protection. Moreover, they can participate in training classes, and share in the fees collected.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Guang Hu Adventurer prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Guang Hu Adventurers start their first level with proficiency in all simple weapons, 4 martial weapons of their school, and 1 exotic weapon of their school. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Meditation: Guang Hu Adventurers are trained to Meditate. At 1st level a Guang Hu Adventurer may meditate to remove the effects of fatigue. At 4th level a Guang Hu Adventurer may Meditate for Clarity, which gives a +1 to strike for a number of hours equal to the Adventurers total levels divided by two. At 7th Level the Guang Hu Adventurer may Meditate to place their body in a state of suspended animation. This delays poison or prevents hit point loss due to bleeding for a number of hours equal to the Adventurers current levels. At 10th Level the Guang Hu Adventurer may Meditate to neutralize any spell or spells affecting them. This last form of meditation requires one hour to take effect. Two Weapon Fighting: This is the Feat, as listed in the Players Handbook Training: Guang Hu Adventurers may pick one of the following Proficiency with 4 More Martial Weapons of their school Proficiency with 1 More Exotic Weapon of their school Weapon Focus with one known Weapon Weapon Specialization with one known Weapon 1 Guang Hu Martial Technique

Guang Hu Martial Techniques:

A Guang Hu martial artist may perform any combination of known techniques a number of times equal to their Guang Hu class level/2 plus Cha bonus per day. Body Like WaterUnder heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water: This ability allows the Guang Hu Adventurer to halve the damage of a bludgeoning attack once per day per level of Guang Hu Adventurer. Body Like WindThe movement of Heaven is powerfulstrong and untiring: This ability allows a Guang Hu Adventurer to move at their full movement rate over any surface, including vertical walls, bodies of water, or branches of trees. As long as the Adventurer continues to move at their full movement rate each round, they may ignore certain normal physical limitations. As soon as the Adventurer moves less than their full movement

Table 5-2:Guang Hu Adventurer

Class Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Base Attack Bonus +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 Fort Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Ref Save +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Will Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Special Starting Proficiencies, Meditation, Two Weapon Fighting Training Reputation Training, Meditation Full Membership Training, Reputation Meditation Training Reputation Training, Meditation


The Far East

in a turn, they are again subject to normal laws such as gravity, mass, and buoyancy. (This emulates the eerie almost flying scenes from Wuxia movies and fantasy.) Body Like FireThat which is bright rises twicethe image of fire: This ability allows a Guang Hu Adventurer to gain an extra attack at their highest Attack Bonus once per combat. Thus if a Guang Hu Adventurer has Attack Bonuses +9/+4, they can make three attacks +9/+9/+4. Refined DefenseInvincibility is a matter of defense, vulnerability is a matter of attack: The Guang Hu with this ability may add a +4 dexterity bonus to their AC once per day per 2 character levels. Body at PeaceThe Master sees things as they are, and does not try to control them The Master resides in the center of the circle: The Guang Hu with this ability may add a +8 bonus to their Balance Skill for a number of rounds equal to their character level once per day. Combat CalmEmpty yourself of everything. Let the mind be at peace: The Guang Hu Adventurer cannot be effected by any spell or ability that imposes a negative morale penalty while in combat. The meditation and centering techniques of the Guang Hu make him immune while in battle. Japanese blades coveted. Shortly before China gave up seafaring it came into contact with the Portuguese, and gradually European traders would be given access to Shang Hai, which allowed importation of European goods and items, including European plate armor. Though the armor was expensive, suits were purchased and adapted for Chinese tastes. Such armor would supplant mountain pattern armor as the armor of choice for military officers, and it will be discussed in later chapters dealing with European armors.

Saber, Long and Broadsword, Two Handed Chinese

The Long Saber and the two Handed Chinese Broadsword are huge chopping weapons, with blades roughly a yard across. Both weapons require substantial strength to wield appropriately, but do devastating damage in the right hands.

Tachi, Imitation Chinese

The Tachi of the Japanese swords makers was the first sword to be traded with other nations, and the Chinese soon understood that this steel technique was superior to their own. Still, cultural restrictions made it difficult to imitate this process, and Chinese style Tachis did not measure up to the original.

Creating your Guang Hu School

A Guang Hu School trains its students in a subset of the Wudan weapons. Each Guang Hu school chooses its own assortment, and trains members with a certain number, stressing developing expertise in one or a few. To design a Guang Hu School you should select 18 weapons from the Wudan weapons of the Weapons list. Use the following as a guide: Select 24 Pole weapons or Spears Select 35 one-handed weapons Select 35 weapons used in pairs Select 35 common Chinese weaponsJian, Dao, Fu, Knife, Staff, Mace, Crossbow, Bow Select 13 throwing weapons Select up to three exotic items not previously selected. This will give your school a good range of weapons, and make your school more attractive to adventurers. New Adventurers who join this school must pay a fee for their training (up to 5th level, when they become full members). This fee is usually 100 gp per level, although this can be paid in installments. Student Membership also warrants a Guang Hu adventurer a bed in a common barracks, and food a common meal.




Developments in Armor & Weapons

The Ming suffered extensive piracy from Korea and Japan. Japanese developments in armor and weapons were often mimicked in China, and a number of long sabers, chopping broadswords, and two-handed swords became popular in coastal defense. Trade with Japan was light, making the now famed 121a. Two-Handed Chinese Saber; 121b. Two-Handed Chinese Broadsword; 122. Imitation Chinese Tachi


From Stone to Steel

Zhuge Nu
The Zhuge Nu was the ultimate in crossbow technology. Able to hold up to a dozen quarrels in its ammunition box, and firing automatically, like the Chu Ko Nu, the Zhuge Nu was the last word in defense along the Great Wall and in fortified cities. A variant of the Zhuge Nu did not fire automatically, but instead fired two bolts at once. This multishot weapon only requires a single to hit roll, and a successful hit indicates that both bolts strike the target! Unless the Repeater Zhuge Nu is braced on a rock, wall, or other stable surface, a -1 to hit modifier must be added for each shot. The Repeater Zhuge Nu can fire 3 shots per turn. If a character may normally only make a single attack during a combat round, they can still make a second shot at their Ranged Combat Bonus -5. If a character may normally only make two attacks during a combat round, they can still make a third shot at their Lowest Ranged Combat Bonus -5. The Zhuge Nus ammunition box can hold up to 12 bolts at a time. Woozt steel and regular steel, they were durable and artistic. Indian versions of European weapons and armor were being made, including early forms of plated mail armor.

Mace, Quoit, Ghargaz, Sickle, Cumber-Jung

A stylized mace with a head like the Quoit coin, the Quoit mace was just one of a number of new styles of mace. The Ghargaz was another common style, with a flanged, pear shaped head and a guarded hilt. The Sickle mace was a strange departure, placing a sickle blade on the end of a mace haft and hilt. All three maces were constructed in steel, although damascened versions were available. A two-headed flail variant of the Quoit mace was also common, called the Cumber-Jung.

Binnol, Sabar, and Hoolurge

India experimented with the bladed pick, designing various models. Straight spiked blades or curved, the bladed picks of India were usually embellished and solidly made, usually being constructed entirely from steel.

Indian Contributions
In the south the Sultanate of Delhi was now a rich and vibrant culture, adapting Hindu, Sikh, Persian, Afghan, Buddhist, Islamic, and Tangut influences. Even when the Mongols sacked the bulk of Persia, the Sultanate of Delhi was a flourishing example of the kind of cultural fusion found in Eastern Islam. Weapons of the period were excellent and elegant in design. Made of both

Sword, Steel Fish Spine

Fashioned in a stylized pattern, the Fish Spine Sword was a wide and unwieldy weapon whose main advantage was being able to perform the sword break maneuver. There is no record that a damascened version of this blade ever existed.

123 124a 124b 124c 126



123. Multi-shot Zhuge Nu; 124a. Quoit Mace; 124b. Sickle Mace; 124c. Ghargaz Mace; 125a. Indian Bladed Pick; 125b. Indian Bladed Pick; 126. Steel Fish Spine Sword


The Far East


130 129 127a 132




127a. Dual Bladed Katar; 127b. Tri-Bladed Katar; 128. Pata; 129. Steel Bow; 130. Buhj; about the same weapon); 131. Bagh Nakh; 132. Santie; 133. Great Longsword

Katar, Dual Bladed and Tri-Bladed

The Katar went through a few more designs. A version with two thin blades was produced. And a more complex version, with a mechanism in the hilt, called the tri-bladed Katar was developed. This katar appeared to be a single bladed katar until the hilt was squeezed in a specific manner. This triggered a mechanism in the blade to split the main Katar blade into two side blades, revealing a smaller Katar blade within. This tri-bladed katar could cause fearsome damage when opened, and made an excellent nasty surprise.

A very small knife, often hidden in a boot or belt, the buhj was a secret weapon, and is an Indian alternate version of the hidden knife.

Bagh Nakh
The Bagh Nakh is a strange hand weapon. Certain versions were merely a knife blade with a spiked hilt that had individual finger spaces. But variants of the Bagh Nakh sport multiple blades, up to three, and some also feature significant spikes on the grip. The extra blades, however, only make the weapon more complex. The Bagh Nakh listed here sports a single blade and a spiked grip.

The Pata is a Sikh weapon, a longsword with a locked gauntlet on the hilt. This weapon was expensive and usually custom made for the user, although the gauntlet usually fit most users. Any weapon with a locked gauntlet is much harder to disarm, as per the rules in the Players Handbook.

An all steel spear with a handgrip at the center, this halfspear was a thrusting only weapon, and was not thrown.

Bow, Steel
A strange experiment, the Steel Bow of India is the only entirely steel bow in existence. The steel bow is actually a short bow, and its draw is not particularly spectacular, but the material of the bow makes it hard to break. No damascened version of this weapon is known to exist.

Longsword, Great
Called the Mel Puhah Bemol, this incredibly long two handed sword sports a blade nearly 6 feet in length. Complete with a handhold on the blade and incredible balance for its size, it still requires great strength to wield well.


From Stone to Steel







134. Short Sword; 135a. Khanda; 135b. Patisa; 135c. Sosun Pattah; 136a. Bakhteretz Plated Mail; 136b. Sikkim Plated Mail armor bonus, and does no damage to a creature with a +4 natural Shortsword
Various short swords like the Zafar Takieh were smithed during this time period as well. Often these blades were single edged, and sported hand guards or elaborate decoration of the hilt. Some swords in the north of India were straighter, with flat points, resembling the machete.

Patisa, Sapola
Various medium length swords were constructed, most of them chopping blades. Some of them, like the Sapola, had split tips. The Nagan was an interesting variant with a wavy blade, which gave the weapon a sinister appearance and tended to cause wider wounds.

Often refered to as the Whip Sword, the Urumi is an exotic weapon, developed during the medieval period to showcase the mobility focus of the Kalari Payatt school of Indian martial arts. The Urumi consists of a sword hilt attached to roughly 15 feet of paper thin steel, which is often worn as a belt when not in use. When the Urumi is uncoiled, its user must remain in near constant motion to keep the blade in the air. The thinness of the blade makes it very sharp, but since it must constantly stay in motion, the Urumi does not benefit from the strength bonus, as most melee weapons do. It is treated as a ranged weapon with a maximum range of 15 feet and no range penalties. The Urumi deals no damage to any creature wearing armor of at least +2

armor bonus. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. Unlike most trip attacks, if this attack is successful, it also inflicts damage as normal. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the Urumi in order to avoid being tripped. The Urumi is exceptionally difficult to use without training, and it confers an extra -4 penalty to all attacks made with it by one without Exotic weapons proficiency for the Urumi. Due to the nature of the Urumi, it has an exceptional chance of backlash. Should the total attack roll for the user of an Urumi be 4 or less, a new attack roll must be made against the wielder, adding 10 to the wielder's Dexterity bonus as factored after armor penalties. Should this roll hit the wielder, they take damage as normal (unless their armor prevents this). The Urumi is a shield bypass weapon.

Plated Mail, Bakhteretz, Sind, and Sikkim

The Bakhteretz form of Plated mail consisted of rows of thin, tight plate over the chest, and a more extensive coif and conical helmet than Kolontar. Sind Armor was extremely elaborate, with nearly every portion of the chainmail covered in extensive plating, from head to toe. Sikkim plated mail focussed around a mirrored round plate in the center of the chest and back, and two smaller plates under the arms. A girdle of steel finished the ensemble. All three types of mail were stifling and heavy to wear. A barded version of the generic plated mail was also made for both horses and elephants, although the elephant barding required many men to carry and fit.


The Far East

The Moghuls
As Persia recovered from its devastation at the hands of the Mongols certain royals eyed the Sultanate of Delhi with envy. Eventually one family allied with chieftains in Afghanistan, and attacked the Sultanate together, joint forces in joint conquest. Babur, a Prince of Persia, eventually challenged Ibrahim, the Shah of Delhi, in battle, and defeated the sovereign, taking control of the whole Sultanate. Babur established his separate empire in Northern India, the Moghul Empire. Though the Afghans would eventually wrest control from the Persian Emperor for a while, the Persians would regain and hold control of Northern India during this period, and would become a very progressive Muslim nation. Through marriage and war the Moghuls would come to dominate all of India through Mysore, and would go a long distance towards becoming a true multicultural nation, giving Muslim and non-Muslim citizens nearly equal protections under the law. It was during this time period that the Chakram would become a common weapon in India, usually used by the Sikhs. dle classes, shi, and aristocracy would know their government for what it was: an occupation. The Qing would be too worried about internal revolt to see the true nature of the danger that confronted them. As history would show, it would be the West that would lead to the eventual fall of the Qing Dynasty. Trade, missionaries, and Opium would destroy Imperial China from without, but not for ages to come.

Other Notables
Nepal is a small nation north of India, which has often been subject to the fortunes and misfortunes of India. Many of Indias developments would influence Nepal, and steelcraft would come to Nepal during the late medieval period. Two weapons were central to Nepalese culture in the medieval period, notably the Kora and the Ram Dao. Later, after the colonial powers were taking control of India, the Ghurkas would claim control of Nepal and bring with them the kukri, a blade that would see extensive use in the Middle East in the 18th Century.

Chakram were metal rings about 12 to 14 inches in diameter, which were often worn on the hat on the head of a Sikh, the people who invented this weapon. Chakram were generally spun up to speed somewhat like a frisbee on the finger of a wielder before being cast at ones opponent. The Chakrams flight was similar to that of the frisbee, and it had a tendency to embed itself like a barbed weapon.

The Kora is the national weapon of Nepal, a curved chopping sword without a thrusting point. Used to hack at legs, arms, or

European Colonialism
The Moghul Empire would retain control of most of India into the 18th century, until an attack from Persia would destroy Delhi and weaken the Empire, allowing kingdoms to split off again. This would leave India prey to growing European Colonialism, and the Moghuls would be the last major empire born on Indian soil. Indias history, for a time, would not be her own. Late in the 17th Century the Ming Dynasty would find its own fortunes failing. Increased pirate raids, a decadent and inattentive aristocracy, and an alliance of Jurchen and Northern non-Chinese forces would put the Empire in peril. Manchu forces massed on the Chinese border, and Chinese forces, having stagnated after a growing sentiment that China had already achieved its greatest glory and height of culture, could not hold them back. The Manchu attacked and sacked Beijing, and despite the Manchurians being non-Chinese, the peasants accepted them as having the Mandate of Heaven. The Manchurian Dynasty, called the Qing, would be the last Empire of China. The Qing would maintain the same structures that had become a facet of Chinas government: the examination system, the social and scholarly projects, and the maintenance of the Great Wall. But the Qing did not trust the Han Chinese, and would keep them from the highest offices. The Han would be prevented from joining the military, or from intermarriage with the Qing. Though most peasants saw no change in their treatment, the mid139

137 136c


136c. Sind Plated Mail; 137. Chakram; 138. Kora; 139 Urumi


From Stone to Steel

horses, this weapon is highly damaging and easy to use in a single hand.

Ram Dao
The Ram Dao is a sacrificial axe, curved in a sort of sickle shape, with the blade on the outside of the weapon. Used primarily to slaughter animals, this weapon was not used in warfare, except by priests. 143 141

The Ghurkas invented the Kukri, a bent, leaf-bladed one handed chopping sword. Its use became almost universal among native troops during the British Imperial period.

Many of the islands of the Pacific traded with China, so many of the weapons of these islands were similar to Chinese make. In the Philippines the natives used Chinese weapons almost exclusively, except for the Butterfly Knife, Head Axe, and Escrima. On Okinawa a fertile farming culture flourished, but attacks from pirates forced them to adapt certain martial practices of the Chinese mainland to defend themselves. Most notable of these were the Nunchuku, Eku, Sai, Kama, Ji-Kuwa, and Tonfa, as well as the Bo staff, a variant quarterstaff. These Okinawan weapons were later adopted by adopted by the Chinese and Japanese.




Knife, Butterfly
Unlike the modern knife of the same name, the Butterfly Knife of china is a squat looking blade with a guard over one side of the hilt. These weapons are usually used paired, and they are generally used in brief flurries, attempting to slash the enemy a number of times before a solid killing thrust is made. A variant of this weapon is the Bulls Ear sword, which is often mistaken for the Butterfly Knife.

140. Ram Da'o; 141. Kukri; 142. Butterfly Knife; 143. Head Axe; 144. Escrima today. The Ji-Kuwa resembles a short tonfa, and was actually a common kind of hairpin for women. The Tonfa was a rice-beating club. And the Bo was a common staff. All of these items were used extensively in Okinawa and imported to Japan and China, where they entered society in different facets. As a note: the Sai grants a +2 bonus on the users opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. Sai, JiKuwa, and Tonfa are often used paired. A Malaysian variant of the Sai is the Tjabang, which is essentially used in the same manner. Use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier to attack rolls with a Nunchuku. The Nunchuku is a shield bypass weapon.

Axe, Head
The head axe is a large axe with a broad head. Used for day-today cutting, the Head Axe is often planted in the ground when a knife blade is needed, and then the item needing to be cut is run over the exposed blade.

Escrima are essentially lacquered sticks, used in a native martial art. Wielded in pairs, their general use is to bludgeon an opponent with quick and rhythmic strikes, until your enemy cannot defend themselves any more.

Malaysia & Indonesia

The nations of Malaysia and modern day Indonesia, having felt the influences of China and India often but never having been conquered by them, developed a great variety of weapons and unique martial arts. Pentjak Silat is a collection of highly aggressive martial arts native to this region, which stress swift and decisive attacks to disable a foe before they can become a threat. Kuanto, another martial art, stressed careful preparation and

Nunchuku, Eku, Sai, Kama, Ji-Kuwa, Tonfa, Bo

The weapons of Okinawa had to be made from inconspicuous items so as not to arouse the suspicions of occupying forces. The Nunchuku was designed from the grain flail. The Eku was an oar, turned to a bludgeoning weapon. The Sai was a furrowing tool before it became the formidable disarming weapon it is


The Far East

power strikes. The weapons of Malaysia and Indonesia developed with obvious influence from their neighbors, but the more primitive origins and tribal customs of the region, which include headhunting and cannibalism, can often show through in the primal form of some of their older weapons.

Tombak, Kujungi
The knives of Malaysia are rarely as symmetrical as the Tombak. Most of them are like the Kujungi, asymmetrical, flanged, often with random metal hooks or points, and generally dangerous looking.

Weapons Used in Kuanto and Pentjak

Sickle, Arit and Tjaluk
The Arit is a standard sickle, forward curving with a sharpened inner edge. The Tjaluk is a sickle on a reversed handle, so that the sickle blade seems to extend from the end of the hand along the back of the arm. Both weapons are used to inflict painful wounds. A variant of this is the Hui-Tho, which has a sickle blade, but it is attached to a rope, so that the weapon can be used at range.

The Laingtjat looks like two dear antler razors mounted on either end of a staff. This double weapon is a fearsome slashing tool, and it fully earns its fearsome reputation. This is a double weapon, and if used as a double weapon, you incur all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon.

The Paku is a short spike or cylindrical knife, usually thrown at a foe as a surprise attack. The miniscule size of the Paku makes it very easy to conceal (+4 to any conceal attempts), and a Paku can be held in a hand along with a readied weapon. This allows the wielder to carry and throw a weapon while still being prepared for melee.

Hwa-Kek, Sjang Sutai

Both polearms show that not all of Malaysias martial arts require blinding speed. The Hwa-Kek resembles nothing so much as a solid trident. The Sjang Sutai, on the other hand, looks like a chopping sword-headed polearm. Both weapons require substantial strength to use effectively, and stress physical control.

145 152 147 154a 154b 156



146 148 155a 155b

159 149 150 157 158

145. Nunchuku; 146. Eku; 147. Sai; 148. Kama; 149. Ji-Kuwa; 150. Tonfa; 151. Bo; 152. Arit Sickle; 153. Tjaluk Sickle; 154a. HwaKek; 154b. Sjang Sutai; 155a. Tombak; 155b. Kujungi variations; 156. Laingtjat; 157. Paku; 158. Pedang; 159. Pendjepit


From Stone to Steel

Pedang (variant Luris)
The Pedang is a machete like blade, and is indicative of the general make of swords from this region. A variant, the Luris Pedang, is actually two edged, however the general shape of most swords of this region is the one edge variety. The Luris is, in every other aspect, identical to the regular Pedang. chains, the Sa Tjat Koen is used in a similar manner to the Nunchaku, although it generally has longer reach. Use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier to attack rolls with a Sa Tjat Koen. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.

The Siangkam is a one handed weapon that looks like a very short spear. Generally wielded in pairs, they are effective when used in quick thrusting maneuvers. These are identical to the Siangham weapon in the Players Handbook.

The Pendjepit is a particularly exotic weapon, effectively a pair of combat tongs. These spiked grippers are intended to grab a hold of free flesh in order to pull, tear, and grind it. The weapon deals no damage to any creature wearing armor of at least +1 armor bonus, and does no damage to a creature with a +1 natural armor bonus. Attacking with the Pendjepit prompts an attack of opportunity, just like any other unarmed weapon. Should a person armed with the Pendjepit have the Advanced Unarmed Strike Feat, they can use them without attracting an attack of opportunity.

Tribal and Civil weapons

The Kapak is a small, iron throwing axe. Light and short, this was usually flung preceding a full-scale assault.

Karambit (Sabit) Sa Tjat Koen

Known as the three part staff, this weapon is suspected to have originated in Malaysia before being introduced to the rest of the Eastern World. Essentially three 2-foot poles attached by short The Karambit is a very short, hooked dagger usually used for skinning or butchering. A variant, called the Sabit, has a reversed hook but is in all other ways identical, statistic-wise.



163 161








168b 167


160. Sa Tjat Koen; 161. Siangkam; 162. Kapak; 163. Karambit; 164a. Kingfisher Kris; 164b. Kris scabbard; 164c. Kris; 165. Lading; 166. Mancatcher; 167. Paralyser; 168a. Gina Parang; 168b. Latok Parang; 169. Piau; 170. Rante (star and spike)


The Far East

Kris Blades and Black Magic
Many pre-metal cultures find the art of smithing metal to be something disturbing and unwholesome. Many sub-Saharan tribes believes that blacksmiths worked dark magic to fashion metal into blades, and a similar belief was held in Malaysia and its surrounding regions for a time. Thus the Kris blade was automatically seen as dark sorcery, death magic made physical by trapping it in the form of a knife. If playing a primitive culture at the advent of smithing, perhaps metal weapons really are death spells given physical form. This concept could make weapons very dangerous to own, since a cloudkill mace might be very deadly in an enclosed space, or a fireball knife might make a powerful throwing weapon. found, the ladings handle is ample cord to reattach the Lading to a pole to create a spear.

Mancatcher (variant with Spike)

The Mancatcher is one of those rare instances of co-evolution of similar weapons concepts. The Mancatcher, like the lariat, is a weapon that is not designed to inflict damage. A large rattan loop on the end of a wooden pole, this is used much like a net. The loop is dropped around the target by succeeding with a ranged touch attack. A successful hit means that the person is now caught within the loop of the Mancatcher. If an opposed Strength Check is successful, the person wielding the Mancatcher can limit the movement of the entangled foe by the length of the pole (10 feet). This is a reach weapon, and cannot be used on foes within 10 feet. Some versions of the Mancatcher have a spike seated at the base of the loop, where it attaches to the pole, which can be extended to make things more difficult for the captured person. The spike imposes a -4 penalty on the person in the Mancatcher loop when performing the Strength Check. If the person in the Mancatcher succeeds he takes an automatic 1d6 impaling damage from the spike. The captured person may elect to accept the automatic damage and make the Check without the imposed penalty.

The Kris blade is perhaps the best known weapon of Malaysia. An asymmetrical long knife with a wavy blade, the Kris is an old weapon, with great heritage in Malaysia. Every Kris blade is made commission, and is decorated specifically for the wielder by the smith. The shape of each Kris is unique, and the history of the Kris blade is often remembered by the owner. The people of the region often fear this blade, for the important spiritual connotations the weapon conjures.

Fated Items
When a Kris blade was first forged, it was believed that a spirit or magic was trapped inside the blade. The nature of that spirit or magic was unknowable, although using the blade would reveal what kind of magic the Kris possessed. Some Kris blades were highly effective at killing ones opponents, while others might be particularly powerful against animals. But some Kris blades were foul things, murderous weapons that killed relatives or innocents. One could never know what fate a Kris might bear until it was first used. Thus, it was preferred to receive a Kris as a gift from someone who knew how the blade was fated, so that you could avoid discovering your newly commissioned blade was fated to take only your relatives blood. Weapon histories began to be kept so as to keep track of the weapon fate. Fated Weapons make an interesting twist on magical weapons. Some Fates act as banes, making a blade more effective against a specific type of foe. But some may have more extensive enchantments or requirements, like those that require regular sacrifice or that doom you to kill your companions. In a world where metal weapons are rare or scarce, making all metal weapons fated weapons adds a definite amount of danger and prestige to carrying on of them.

The Paralyser is a gruesome weapon, a long, serrated, twoheaded spear. The second head is set slightly below the shaft, and about a foot away from the first spearhead. The concept was that the serrations made it difficult for a person impaled on the spear to back off of it, while the second spear head would prevent an impaled opponent from running up to the wielder to attack them. The Paralyser is a reach weapon, and cannot be used on opponents within 10 feet. Should a Paralyser wielder inflict critical damage, and the victim is still alive after the attack, the victim should be considered impaled on the weapon. Should they attempt to retreat off of the Paralyser, they will inflict the same damage to themselves again extricating themselves. Should they push forward to close on the wielder, they will inflict the same damage on themselves by impaling themselves again on the second spearhead. Most such victims will likely opt to attack the weapon, hoping to chop the Paralyser apart and give themselves an easier freedom. For each round that a victim is trapped on the Paralyser, the wielder can jostle the weapon in the wound, causing an automatic additional 1d6 of damage per round.

Parang (Gina, Latok)

The Parang is a heavier bladed sword, similar in design to the Pedang. Parang is actually a generic term for this kind of blade, which has many variations, such as the Gina Parang or the Latok Parang. Solid and reliable, these weapons were used by natives and foreign explorers who sought to enter the depths of the native jungles.

The lading is a double-edged knife with a fascinating origin: it was originally a spearhead. When spears became broken or useless, the heads were often removed and fashioned into lading, usually temporarily, although sometimes it was not practical to use the lading to create a new spear. Should a suitable shaft be


From Stone to Steel




171. Yoroi armor; 172. Tanko armor; 173. Keiko armor

The Piau is a short throwing knife, shaped somewhat like an axe head. If a person is caught in melee, they can attack with the Piau, grasping it so that they inflict damage as a slashing attack. Attacking with the Piau as a hand weapon prompts an automatic attack of opportunity, just like any other unarmed weapon. Should a person armed with the Piau have the Advanced Unarmed Strike Feat, they can use them without provoking an attack of opportunity.

instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a Rante. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.

No examination of the Far East would be complete without a look at Japan. But Japan, an island nation, has far less interaction with other nations than land-bound nations like India and China. There is archaeological evidence that supports a Stone Age culture (The Jomon) in Japan before the Korean settlers (Yayoi) arrived, and their intermarriage bred the unique culture that is Japan. The Yayoi brought with them a fledgling religion that would become Shinto, and they also brought a clan-centric cultural system that would eventually develop into the prominent uji system. The first armors of Japan were lamellars and cuirasses, the Yoroi and Tanko. These saw use for two hundred years, as well as forms of leather and padded armor. It would not be until the development of the Keiko that Japanese armor would begin to resemble the familiar armor of Japan. Made up at least 7 different sizes of scale, the Keiko armors are essentially a very complex kind of scale work. All of these armors were made of iron.

The Rante is an exotic chain weapon that is commonly used in Malaysia as a weapon. Normally this weapon inflicts damage as a bludgeoning weapon, however there are two variants. One variant, the Star Rante, has a serrated star at one end of the chain, which makes the damage identical but slashing. Another, the Dart Rante, has a sharp spike on the other end, making the damage identical but impaling. Make sure to specify which variant you are purchasing so that your DM will know. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon in order to avoid being tripped. Those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. You may use the Weapon Finess feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier

Yoroi, Tanko, Keiko, Iron

The three early Japanese armors, they are least like the armor stereotypical of Japan. The Yoroi armor was a kind of iron lamellar breastplate, which left the arms and legs free to move. The


The Far East

Tanko was an extension of this same concept, a heavy, metal cuirass without any shoulder protection, but which kept the torso very well protected. The rest of the body was likely covered by leather armor. The Keiko was the first step towards more traditional looking Japanese armor, and it was a complex form of interlocking lamellar. With plates and scales of 6 different sizes, the Keiko was time-consuming to make and expensive. bladed variant of the Yari, whose side tines extended perpendicular to the staff, making it easier for the wielder to hit a foe.

In the early period of Japans warfare development, the Naginata style polearm was as common as the Yari on the battlefield. But the Naginata was relatively light for a polearm, and was eventually relegated to women, who were traditionally left to guard the castle. The Naginata became known as a womens weapon, as was shameful to fight with for men, except in practice.

Outside Influences
Japanese culture began to absorb a great deal of Chinese culture, adopting similar views on aesthetics and good governance, adopting a more Chinese Imperial culture, and similar art. The Japanese practiced spirit worship as well as ancestor reverence at this time, and Shinto was still in its fledgling stages. During the Nara period two key changes would occur. Firstly, Buddhism would merge with Shinto thought, and temples would be established, where monks practiced meditation and a unique form of martial arts. Secondly, Steel would be developed in Japan, and with it new techniques of forging. Early Japanese swords were straight edged, like the Dao. They also had a native staff, shorter than the quarterstaff, called the Jo. Spears, (Yari) were simple, although tassels were added later on for distraction and decorative purposes. Nageyari were the throwing equivalent, and Uichi-ne were darts that looked like short spears and could be used as a stabbing weapon. Where Japan really began to vary with mainland nations was in their early polearms. The Naginata was first developed in the 700s and was used by Bushi (soldiers) and monks alike. Later polearms would include the Bisento, Feruzue, Kama-Yari, Kongo-Zue, Tetsubo, Jumonki-Yari.

A staff weapon resembling the Wolf Tooth Staff, the Feruzue has a nasty surprise. The haft is hollow and contains a striking head attached to a chain within. While the Flail head is locked at the end of the staff, the staff is a normal polearm. But when the flail head is released, it becomes a dangerous reach flail weapon. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb in this state, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon in order to avoid being tripped. Those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. Extreme strength is needed to wield the Feruzue effectively as a flail weapon. When the Feruzue head is released, the Feruzue is a shield bypass weapon.

The Kongo-Zue is a weapon favored by the warrior monks of Japan. A staff with iron rings at either end; this is an exotic double weapon. The rings allow the user to perform swordbreaking maneuvers. This is a double weapon, and if used as a double weapon, you incur all penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon.

Ken, Ama Goi Ken (Short sword)

The Ken was the first sword of Japan. A straight, two-edged sword, like the Jian, this weapon was used like most European swords. A smaller version, the Ama Goi Ken, was used for temple defense, usually by monks, and was not adapted for battle.

The Samurai System

During the Heinan period, the next major development was the Samurai system. Professional mounted soldiers, called servants (in Japanese, Samurai) were under the direct authority of the Emperor, but were spread through the various provinces. Over time these Samurai become loyal to the local aristocracy, who supported and funded their activities. During this period the folding process came into practice, which created ultra-strong blades. The first such blades were straight, but later developments showed that a slightly curved blade was easier to remove from its scabbard, so smiths began to developed curved weapons. The crossbow, called the oyumi in Japan, also began to see common use. As power devolved to the landed aristocracy, certain more prosperous families made alliances and eventually ousted the Emperor. War broke out among the many families and the end result was the re-establishment of the Imperial line and the development of a military dictatorship in the form of the Shogu-

The Jo stick was Japans native staff weapon. A little less than three feet in length, this weapon was used like a club.

Yari, Nageyari, Uichi-ne, Kama-Yari, JumonkiYari

Yari is the Japanese word for spear. The Yari was a longspear, the most commonly used weapon in the early Japanese military, given to nearly every Bushi. The Nageyari was a shorter throwing version of the Yari. The aristocrats, who generally didnt see battle, were still expected to make an appearance, and the Uichi-ne was designed as a nobles weapon. Resembling a short spear, this dart weapon was the defensive weapon of choice by nobles, who were also trained to use them like the Siangkam. The Kama-Yari was a tri-bladed yari with two rearward swept blades and one forward blade. Used to trip opponents and attack horses legs, this Yari was a vicious weapon in the right hands. The Jumonki-Yari was a tri-


From Stone to Steel

nate. During this period the Samurai began to develop codes of conduct that would eventually become published in the Bushido, or way of the Warrior. Eventually the more ornamental o-yoroi armors came into common use, although the more fantastic Kabutos, or helmets, were only worn by prominent warriors. The samurai were also encouraged to become cultured, and to practice meditation and spiritual exercises. They were encouraged to learn the ways of the sword, horsemanship, archery, and hand-to-hand fighting, as well. As the samurai became a ruling class in their own right, ceremony and culture was stressed every bit as much as military prowess. And weapons were developed here and there among the samurai. The Mongols attacked twice during this time. The Mongols were never great at sea, and their first landing on Japanese soil saw their own soldiers too weary from the sea travel to effectively establish a beachhead. Samurai warriors and conscripts drove the Mongols into the sea, and sailors kept them from finding a place to land. The second attack, after Kublai Khan had established the Yuan dynasty, was an equal failure, with more than half of his boats sinking during a terrible tempest (Kamikaze or Divine Wind in Japanese), and the rest, again, being unable to recover well enough to fight the Samurai. Emboldened, it is not so surprising that eventually a Shogun would look to take holdings in the mainland. By the time Shogun Ashikaga Takauji sought to strengthen the power of the Shogunate, the Samurai class was a fixture in Japanese society. The katana was developed, and within a short period the Wakazashi followed, a shorter weapon intended for close fighting indoors. Zen, the tea ceremony, flower arranging, poetry, calligraphy, and gardening were all talents an accomplished Samurai might brag of. The Samurai caste prided itself on being cultured and refined, not the rough and crude blood spillers mainlander soldiers were. As a result, a variety of armors, all variants on the Do-Maru style armor began to develop

Ken and Tachi, Japanese Early Folded

The folding techniques developed in Japan made the sword a more durable weapon, and gave it more effectiveness. The Tachi was the first curved Japanese blade, and was used universally in Japan by Samurai until the invention of the Katana.

A more ornamental armor than the Keiko, the O-yoroi looks more like traditional Samurai armor. Large plates, bound in cord and leather, and layered heavily over the body created fine pro-


175 176 177 178



181 182


174. Ken; 175. Jo; 176. Yari; 177. Nageyari; 178. Uichi-ne; 179. Kama-Yari; 180. Jumonki-Yari; 181. Naginata; 182. Feruzue; 183. Kongo-Zue


The Far East


187 186 184 189a 190



188 184. Tachi; 185. O-yoroi armor; 186. Bokken; 187. Chijirki; 188. Dai-Kyu; 189a. Ornamental Arrowhead; 189b. Piercing Arrowhead; 189c. Forked Arrowhead; 190. Jitte tection at the cost of mobility. Samurai trained to act and react effectively in their heavy armor, but this kind of armor never caught on in the mainland. weapon to be fired from horseback. The Dai-Kyu is powerful, and is often a specialty weapon for certain Samurai.

A wooden practice sword, the Bokken was used to train students in sword technique. Solid enough to cause bruises and break bones, the Bokken could duplicate any maneuver a Tachi could.

Arrows, Armor Piercing and Forked

These arrows are unique designs. The Armor piercing arrow is a specially made impaling arrow that adds +1 to attack rolls against armored foes. The Forked arrow inflicts slashing damage, but was often used to cut things, such as ropes.

A yari with a chain mounted to the opposite end of the staff, this double weapon performed a variety of tasks. Besides the standard thrusting, the Chijiriki could wrap around a leg or other limb to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon in order to avoid being tripped. Those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt.

The Jitte is a parrying weapon designed to capture and disarm swords. The Jitte looks a lot like a Sai with a single tine, usually at a straight angle, rather than a curved one. Those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponents sword, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. The Jitte was often used as an off-hand weapon.

A polearm with a three pronged grappling head, this weapon was designed, much like the first tridents, for use during sea combat. A solid weapon used to grab objects or people and pull them to where you need them, it does minimal damage. A successful hit allows a grapple check. If successful, the person wielding the

A large, asymmetrical bow used by the Samurai, this weapon is nearly six feet long. The grip of this bow is low, allowing this


From Stone to Steel

modifier on attack rolls with a Manriki-gusari. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon. 192

With a regular axe blade on one side and a tapered spike on the other, the Masakari is a weapon made to be used against armored and unarmored foes alike. The Masakari can be used like an axe to do slashing damage, or it can be used like a pick to do impaling damage. This is one of the few axes used in Japan.

196 191 194



The Nagegama is a Kama-like sickle on the end of a Manrikitype chain. Swung in the hand as a Kama, it can also be thrown, like a Rante, to injure an opponent at range. When throwing the Kama portion and retaining the chain, it has reach. You can strike opponents 10 feet away with it but, unlike other reach weapons, you can also use it against an adjacent foe. . Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon in order to avoid being tripped. Those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt.

193 199


191. Kumade; 192. Manriki-gusari; 193. Masakari; 194. Nagegama; 195. Nagimaki; 196. No-Dachi; 197. O-No; 198. Kumade can limit the movement of the entangled foe by the length of the pole (5 feet). A longer, heavier cousin of the naginata, this blade does not have the social stigma of its forebear. Indeed, it was designed to allow men to use the popular womens weapon without ridicule.

Sode Garami; 199. Tonto

A katana-like weapon with a blade six feet long, the No-Dachi is the quintessential two-handed Japanese longsword. Usually worn on the back and drawn over the shoulder, the No-Dachi was a very difficult weapon to manipulate effectively, but was fearsome in the hands of a master.

The Manriki-gusari started out as a simple chain, and eventually two blunt weights were added to give it better throwing range. Designed by a samurai to allow him to disable a foe without killing him, the Manriki-gusari can be used as whip-like weapon. When using it as a melee weapon, the manriki-gusari has reach. You can strike opponents 10 feet away with it but, unlike other reach weapons, you can also use it against an adjacent foe. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon in order to avoid being tripped. Those using a whip gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. When thrown, if it hits the target (even on the armor), there is a 25% chance the target is entangled. A -2 penalty can be taken to the attack roll to increase the entangle chance to 50%. An entangled creature is a -2 on attack rolls, and a -4 penalty on effective Dexterity. The entangled creature can only move at half speed and cannot charge or run. If an entangled creature attempts to cast a spell, it must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 15) or be unable to cast the spell. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength

A six foot staff topped with an axe blade, the O-no was a longrange chopping weapon. Used to attack foes from a wall or to strike at enemies from afar, the O-no was not very popular, due to its unwieldy nature.

Sode Garami
Also known as the sleeve tangler, the Sode Garami is a long pole with many jagged barbs. Used to apprehend thieves or fleeing criminals, a successful hit allows you to make an immediate grapple check. If successful, the person wielding the Sode Garami can limit the movement of the entangled foe by the length of the pole (5 feet).

A short knife, made with folded steel, it was often a side weapon to the Tachi, before the invention of the Wakazashi.


The Far East

Wakazashi is made with the advanced folding techniques of Masamune.

Haramaki Do
200 Some experimentation was made on the Do-Maru. Haramaki Do was a variant identical except for lacing strategy. The Tsuzumi Do was a heavier suit, with thicker plates and a leather covering, making it more protective, but not as flexible. The Tatami Do had a cloth backing for the plates, which made it inherently less durable, although slightly more protective than the Do-Maru in the short run.

During this time the Ninja became a private force for espionage and assassination. Various histories propose that the ninja were in Japan from the earliest times, from the 600s to the 1200s,

Masamunes revolution
Masamune was a legendary smith, the man who took the practice of folding steel and made it an art. Most smiths would fold steel perhaps 35 times before being satisfied with the temper. Masamune would fold no blade less than 10 times, and many blades were folded more, a rare few up to 20 times. This folded steel was highly superior, and weapons made with steel folded this often were far superior to just about anything they would ever come in contact with. Masamune is also credited with crafting the first No-Dachi. Any weapon made in this advanced folding manner is automatically a masterwork weapon, has a hardness of 11,and receives the traditional +1 combat bonus.] and claim that they were everything from people with the right skills to isolated death cultists. Due to the popularization of Ninjas in modern culture and the great wealth of literature by socalled Ninja experts, there is little modern historical information that can clear up the exact origin of the Ninja. Suffice it to say the Ninja became a way for aristocratic families to gain information on their enemies and assassinate them. Ninja trained in hand-to-hand martial arts, and had a wide variety of weapons they could access, depending on their training. The Ninja were generally stigmatized in society, so disguising body wear was adopted to hide their identities, and nothing heavier than padded armor was ever used, since it interfered with stealth.

200. Do_Maru armor

A lighter armor than the O-yoroi, the Do-Maru provides slightly less protection but has more flexible plating. The Do-Maru became the standard armor worn by most Samurai, although some chose heavier armors, for their protection.

The signature weapon of the Samurai, the Katana is the Japanese equivalent of the bastard sword. Although too large to be used in one hand without special training, all Samurai are trained to use the Katana in one hand. The katana was always custom made, and each Katana was made with the advanced folding techniques of Masamune.

A short, straight, single edged blade used by the Ninja, the Ninja-to is an efficient assassination device. A smith belonging to the Ninja Dojo would be the one to craft the Ninja-to, since no regular smith would knowingly make a ninja weapon, for fear of repercussions.

The companion blade to the Katana, this weapon is shorter than the Katana or Tachi, and was intended for indoor use, where the Katana might be too unwieldy. The Wakazashi is worn slightly below the katana, and is a required weapon for the Samurai. The

The traditional throwing star, the Shuriken is too light to allow the addition of the strength modifier to its damage. Grasped between fingers, up to three Shuriken may be thrown at once,


From Stone to Steel



208 213

201 203 212

204 209

210 205 211



201. Ninja-to; 202. Shuriken; 203. Han-Kyu; 204. Garrote; 205. Fukidake; 206. Kyoketsu-Shogi; 207. Nekode; 208. Kawanaga; 209. Katana; 210. Wakazashi; 211. Teppo; 212. Nageteppo; 213. Nunti-Sai; 214. Kusari-gama although at a -1 to hit penalty for each dart being thrown. If using in conjunction with a sneak attack, only the first Shuriken should be considered a sneak attack. any actions as if grappled and fatigued. Every subsequent attack by the Garrote dealer automatically hits, although a die roll is still necessary to determine if critical damage should be applied.

A short bow, the Han-Kyu was used by the Ninja when a target could not be approached easily. Ninja had access to all manner of arrows (any previously mentioned), and often poisoned an arrow, in order to make certain a target was eliminated.

A small blowgun, usually split into 1 foot portions, and made to be reconnected, the Fukidake is used to fire small needles, usually poison tipped. Fukidake do not take damage from attacking, unlike other weapons. Instead, they only take damage from being attacked. The Fukidake is nearly silent, and can be used while hiding and not reveal its source.

A long wire or cord used for strangling. Wrapped about the hands or wrists, and carried in a reverse loop, the Garrote required that the wielder get up behind an opponent and slip the loop over their head swiftly. Then the reversed loop would be tightened, to strangle the victim. Wire versions also cut into the flesh, causing terrible damage to the throat. Some variants of the Garrote had wooden handles, to prevent damage to the hands. A Garrote is only useful as a flanking attack, and is best used when a foe is surprised. The to-hit roll is given a -4 modifier for hit location, and a foe wearing any kind of armor other than soft or none is immune to this attack. Besides the rolled damage, any victim of this attack also suffers from suffocation, and performs

A weapon with a rope attached to the haft and an iron or wooden ring on the other end of the rope, this exotic double weapon has a surprising number of uses. The ring can be thrown for bludgeoning damage, or the like-like weapon can be thrown for slashing damage. The rope itself can be used to attempt disarms or trips. And the ring can be used as a defensive object, conferring a +1 armor bonus in the round it is used in this manner. When throwing either end, it is treated as a ranged weapon with a maximum range of 10 feet, and no range penalties. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip


The Far East

attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the whip in order to avoid being tripped. Those using a Kyoketsu-Shogi gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt.

A grappling hook on a rope, this weapon was used much like the Rante as a bludgeoning weapon by the Ninja. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon in order to avoid being tripped. Those using this weapon gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply a characters Dexterity modifier instead of the Strength modifier on attack rolls with a Nekode. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.

Climbing hooks, which grant a +2 bonus to climbing while worn, these weapons make unarmed strikes normal piercing attacks. The Kawanaga does not change the normal hand attack damage. Attacking with the Kawanaga prompts an automatic attack of opportunity, just like any other unarmed attack. Should a person armed with the Kawanaga have the Advanced Unarmed Strike Feat, they can use them without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Ninja (Prestige Class)

Those without Honor. Those who walk in the Night. The Ninja were feared and reviled for their secretive ways and their rejection of the code of Bushido. The Ninja were assassins and spies, for a cost, although many ninja clans claimed they also performed their duties out of religious conviction.

Table 5-3:Ninja
Class Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Base Attack Bonus +0 +1 +2 +3 +3 +4 +5 +6 +6 +7 Fort Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Ref Save +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Will Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Special Training Sneak Attack +1d6 Training Sneak Attack +2d6 Training Sneak Attack +3d6 Training Sneak Attack +4d6 Training Sneak Attack +5d6


From Stone to Steel

The Ninja were made up of those who did not have a place in the Samurai Hierarchy. Some were Ronin, masterless samurai who turned to a Ninja clan to give them purpose. Many were commoners who could not legally carry weapons or wield power, but who trained to give themselves the power society denied them. Some truly were death monks; warriors who believed that perfection of death dealing would give them final enlightenment. And some Some just did it for the money. Pass In the Shadows: The Ninja learns how to use their dark costume and movements to their advantage while in the dark. This grants a +4 Hide bonus for any attempt to hide in shadow. This ability may be taken multiple times, and bonuses will stack. Metsubishi: The Metsubishi is a small ceramic or shell container with a blowhole and pinhole exit point. This container was usually filled with powdered glass, pepper, or possibly poison. One of the three should be designated in advance when a Ninja intends to use a Metsubishi. The range of the Metsubishi is five feet, but it is rolled as a ranged touch attack to strike. If hit, the target is blinded for 1d3 turns, and is subject to the appropriate secondary penalty: Pepper: Sneezing fits for the next 1d6 turns, inflicting a further 2 to any physical skill rolls or attack rolls. (Ref DC 15 to avoid inhaling pepper) Ground Glass: Intense Irritation. Extend the blinding duration to 1d6 rounds. Roll 1d20. If a 20 is rolled, the blinding effect is permanent.(Ref DC 15 to avert eyes) Poison: Mild Poisoning. The subject is affected by the poison designated, but at half strength. A successful fortitude save negates this entirely. Play Dead: The Ninja has learned how to slow their autonomic functions so as to simulate death. Anyone checking the Ninja for signs of life must make a Heal roll at DC 20 or a Spot Roll at DC 25 to notice the Ninja is still alive. Iron Sleeve Proficiency: The Ninja has learned how to use Iron Sleeves, and has them sewn into their costume. Trackless Running: The Ninja has learned how to run while leaving little sign of their passage. Anyone attempting to track a Ninja with this ability must treat the track as if it was carefully hidden (+5 to DC) Great Leap: The Ninja has practiced using sudden explosive maneuvers to leap far distances. Once per day per Ninja Level, a Ninja may double their Jump distance. When using this ability the size limit does not apply. Poisoning: The Ninja has learned the art of making poison and applying poison to objects, weapons, or foods. Alchemy immediately becomes a class skill.

Hit Die: d8 Requirements

To qualify to become a Ninja, a character must fulfill all the following criteria. Basic Attack Bonus: +4 Feats: Expertise Skills: Move Silently rank 7, Hide rank 7 Special: Must complete one mission successfully to join clan and become a Ninja

Class Skills
The Ninja class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Perform (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex) Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int Modifier

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Ninja prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Ninja start their first level with proficiency in all simple weapons and martial ninja weapons. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. First Level Selection: At first level the new Ninja must select one of the three options given. Sneak Attack: This is the Feat, as listed in the Players Handbook Training: A Ninja may take one option from the following list: Improved Unarmed Strike (If not already possessed) Weapon Focus (Martial Ninja Weapon) Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Exotic Ninja Weapon) 1 Ninja Ability

The Edo Shogunate

Peril came to Japan in three ways. The central government collapsed, leading to a 32 year long war for supremacy. Then a Portuguese ship crashed along Japans coast, bringing with it the matchlock arquebus. Renamed the Teppo by the Japanese, it would revolutionize warfare in Japan. In addition, Christianity would come, bringing instability and change, which the Chinese form of the stable society did not support well. Various generals would rise to power, some seeking to conquer land on the mainland, but it would take one man to unite Japan under a lasting peace: Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Ninja Abilities are the following:

Fumiki Bari: This is the art of spitting poisoned needles. The Ninja learns how to carry and safely place poisoned needles in their mouth to spit at an opponent. Range increment for a needle is 5 feet. If any damage is done to the target the poisons effect should be determined.


The Far East

and people in the blast radius must make a Reflex Save (DC20) to avoid taking half damage. 215b

As the Okinawan weapons were imported to Japan, and as contact with the mainland continued, the Nunti-Sai was invented by combining the Sabus tines with the Sai weapon concept. The result, the Nunti-Sai, is a Sai with no handle, a single tine blade with an s-shaped tine blade intersecting it. Used in pairs, this weapon can be used forward or reversed, and as an effective disarming weapon. The Nunti-Sai grants a +2 bonus on the users opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt.



The Kusari-gama is a Kama blade with a Manriki-gusari chain attached to the head. The blade may be used as a Kama, or the chain may be used to strike like a Rante. When using the chain as a melee weapon, it has reach. You can strike opponents 10 feet away with it but, unlike other reach weapons, you can also use it against an adjacent foe. Because it can wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon in order to avoid being tripped. Those using a kusari-gama gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt.


215a. Hotoke Do; 215b. Mogame Do; 215c. Tatami Do; 215d. Yokinoshita Do The Edo Shogunate would be an end to wars. During this time Tokugawa would establish trade with their island nations and the mainland, but would limit mainlanders and Europeans to trading with Japan only at Nagasaki. This would introduce a number of new weapons into the Japanese arsenal. He would establish the code of Bushido, or the Way of the Warrior, a collection of established practices, beliefs, and rituals that Samurai had come to embody. Between this code and the body of laws Tokugawa would create a lasting peace that would endure into the 19th Century. During this time the Samurai would only ever face forces attacking them from the outside, and with armoring being so much less important with the introduction of the firearm, the incredible armors of Japan would progress no farther.

Tsei gusoku (Modern Armors)

Tosei Gusoku is the term for modern armors: armors made after the Edo Peace. Maru Do is a slightly improved version of DoMaru armor, made in a more efficient modern fashion. Okegawa Do (and the variant Tatahagi Do) is a form of Samurai armor that sports a riveted breastplate, similar to that of European Halfplate. Nuinobe Do is a more elegant looking version of Maru Do, with a slightly better range of movement, while Hotoke Do was a seamless metal cuirass, nearly identical to Okegawa Do, except for its hardness. Yokinoshita Do is also an equivalent armor to Half-plate, with less embellishment than most Samurai armor. Nio Do, on the other hand, is a closer modern equivalent to Tatami Do, but was decorated with the starved chest of a Bud-

The Teppo is a converted Portuguese Common Arbequis. A single shot weapon firing iron shot, the Teppo was mass-produced from a few original weapons, and is slightly less reliable than the original version, having a reliability rating of 3. Information on reloading times and powder usage can be found in the chapter Pageantry, Platemail, and Pistols.

New Perform Subskills:

A number of Japanese cultural skills might fall into the Perform Skill category CalligraphyThe art of careful and precise painting of words Flower ArraigningThe art of careful choice and arrangement of flowers for aesthetic and social reasons. Tea CeremonyThe art of precise and formulaic performance of the Tea Drinking Ceremony GardeningThis is the art of the Zen Garden, which stresses careful placement of plants and objects in a garden to achieve the greatest harmony.

A grenade-like weapon filled with gunpowder, the Nageteppo was used as a last ditch weapon by the Ninja. The Nageteppo must be lit before being thrown, as a standard round action. The explosion causes 2d6 fire damage in the square that it lands in,


From Stone to Steel

dha. Mogame Do was a variant of Okegawa Do that substituted laces for rivets, which made the armor less structurally sound. But the most unusual version was Hatomune Do, which incorporated imported Portuguese Plate armor, with notable success.

Samurai (Prestige Class)

Samurai are those Bushi who take an oath of fealty to a lord in exchange for elevation to the rank of Samurai. The role of the Samurai is of preserver of the peace and loyal servant of his liege lord. The Samurai code is one of dedication to Honor, Duty, and Warcraft. To break the code would be worse than death, and those that perceive they have failed their code are honor bound to commit suicide. The Samurai were fearless warriors, trained in fighting and taught to consider their lives already forfeit, so that they won their lives back every battle they won. Those who sought to become samurai were those drawn to the power and the rigor of the life of a Samurai. Most had to belong to a Samurai family in order to join, although those with honor and dedication could join their ranks if they impressed a lord. This is not to say that those who sought their own power could not be Samurai. They just had to be exceptionally good at obeying their liege lord in the letter of their command.

Hit Die: d10 Requirements

To qualify to become a Samurai, a character must fulfill all the following criteria. Alignment: Any Lawful Basic Attack Bonus: +5 Feats: Expertise, Combat Reflexes Skills: Perform: 5 ranks Special: Must be willing to take an oath with a lord, and that lord must be willing to accept the oath. If the Samurai ever openly disobeys their liege lord, the liege lord can rescind the oath, and the Samurai becomes Ronin, a masterless warrior.

Table 5-4:Samurai
Class Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Base Attack Bonus +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 Fort Save +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Ref Save +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 Will Save +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 Special Training Honor Training Leadership, Honor Training Honor Training Honor Training Honor


The Far East

Ronin will retain any gained abilities, but cannot gain another level of Samurai until taken into the patronage of another Lord. If the disobedience is sufficiently grievous, the Samurai may be commanded to commit seppuku (ritual suicide). If they refuse, they become Ronin, and are hunted by their former fellow Samurai. Optionally, the character must belong to the upper caste.

Zen Awareness:
Body Awareness: The Samurai who learns this awareness is able to maneuver more effectively, regardless of his encumbrance. The Samurai moves as if encumbered by a load one level lighter than their actual load. This does not allow the Samurai to carry more, but merely allows them to move more effectively under their current load. If a Samurai is unencumbered (a light load), they may move at 10 feet faster than their normal movement speed. Blind Fight: The Samurai gains the Feat of this same name. Blind Shot: The Samurai may fire at any opponent they cannot see, as long as they have detected that opponent with another sense. The penalty to do so is half the normal penalty. This can be used to fire through thin materials like paper walls, if an enemy is known to be inside. Advanced Alertness: The Samurai has improved their senses to a nearly supernatural level, and gains a +4 to all spot and listen checks. This bonus supercedes the bonus granted by Alertness. Combat Calm: The Samurai cannot be affected by any spell or ability that imposes a negative morale penalty while in combat. The meditation and centering techniques of the Samurai make him immune while in battle. Envisioned Shot: The Samurai can take a full round to fire a single shot, and add +4 to their to-hit roll. Eagles Vision: The Samurai may double their normal vision range while outside, under normal sunlight. Tracking: The Samurai gains the feat of this same name.

Class Skills
The Samurai class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Perform (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str) Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int Modifier

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Samurai prestige class. Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Samurai start their first level with proficiency in all simple weapons and martial Samurai weapons. They are also proficient with Light, Medium, and Heavy Armor. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. First Level Selection: At first level the new Samurai must select one of the three options given. Low Justice: The Samurai, as part of their oath, gains the power of life and death over all peasants in the region they are assigned to. They are required to adjudicate disputes and meet out appropriate justice. Should a lord disagree with the decision, this may be grounds for becoming Ronin. Honor: A Samurai accrues honor for loyal service. Each level of Honor allows a Samurai to negate one point of fatigue, non-magical morale penalty, ability damage through non-magical poison, or ability damage through non-magical disease. This ability may be used once per day, and the Honor pool is restored to full points each day. Leadership: This is as per the feat of the same name. Training: A Samurai may take one option from the following list: Improved Unarmed Strike (If not already possessed) Weapon Focus (Martial Samurai Weapon) Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Exotic Samurai Weapon) 1 Zen Awareness


From Stone to Steel

Table 5-5: Far East Weapons
Simple Weapons-Melee Weapon Tiny Buhj, Damascened Buhj, Steel Dagger, Punching Bronze Dagger, Punching Damascened Dagger, Punching Iron Dagger, Punching Steel Fakir's Horns Hora* Karambit Knife, Chinese Bronze Knife, Chinese Iron Knife, Chinese Steel Knife, Hidden Steel Kris Kujungi Lading Paku* Phurbu* Piercers, Emi* Tombak Tonto Small Arit Sickle Bagh Nakh, Steel Bagh Nakh, Steel Greater Escrima Iron Claw Jo Tamo, Iron (Note that cost is for two Tamo knives)* Tamo, Steel (Note that cost is for two Tamo Knives)* Tjaluk* Whip, Hard Medium-Size Axe, Head Cane, Fakir's* Cane, Steel Cane, Wooden Ghargaz, Damascened Ghargaz, Steel Mace, Ox Damascened* Mace, Ox Steel Mace, Quoit Damascened Mace, Quoit Steel Mace, Sickle Damascened Mace, Sickle Steel Rake, Nine Teeth* Cost 402gp 2gp 1.3gp 402gp 1.5gp 2gp 5sp 4sp 6sp 2gp 3gp 5gp 1gp 4gp 1.5gp 1.5gp 1gp 6gp 1gp 2gp 1.8gp 5gp 8gp 10gp 2gp 7gp 2gp 4gp 6gp 5gp 5gp Damage 1d4+1 1d4 1d4 1d4+1 1d4 1d4 1d6 1d3+1 1d3 1d4 1d4 1d4 1d3 1d4 1d4 1d4 1d3 1d4 1d3 1d4 1d4 1d6 1d6 2d3 1d4 1d6 1d6 1d4 1d4 1d6 1d6 Critical Range Weight 1920/x2 1920/x2 x3 x3 x3 x3 x3 x2 x3 x2 x2 x2 x3 1920/x2 1920/x2 x3 x3 10 ft. x2 x3 1920/x2 1920/x2 x2 x3 x3 x2 x2 x2 1920/x2 1920/x2 x2 x2 1lbs 1lbs 2.5lbs 2lbs 2.5lbs 2lbs 1.5lbs .5lbs .5lbs 1lbs 1.5lbs 1lbs .5lbs 1.5lbs 1.5lbs 1.5lbs .5lbs 1.5lbs .5lbs 5lbs 1 lb. 3.5lbs 5lbs 7lbs 2lbs 5.5lbs 2lbs 1.5lbs 1lbs 3.5lbs 4lbs 14lbs 4lbs 4lbs 2lbs 12lbs 12lbs 8lbs 8lbs 8lbs 8lbs 10lbs 10lbs 14lbs Type P P P P S P P B S S S S S S S P S P P P P S S S B B&S B P P P B M H/HP Subset

M 10/6 M 9/3 MW 5/8 M 10/9 MW 6/8 M 9/6 B 3/5 B 3/2 M 6/2 M 5/3 M 6/5 M 9/3 M 9/2 M 6/5 M 6/5 M 6/5 M 6/2 M 6/5 M 9/2 M 6/15 M 9/3 M M M W M W M M M M 6/11 9/15 9/21 5/6 9/15 5/8 7/7 9/5 6/11 9/12




12gp 1d10 x3 6gp 1d6 or 1d4 x2 or x3 8gp 1d6 x2 2gp 1d4 x2 412gp 1d8+1 x2 12gp 1d8 x2 408gp 1d8+1 x2 8gp 1d8 x2 408gp 1d8+1 x2 8gp 1d8 x2 412gp 1d6+1 x2 12gp 1d6 x2 15gp 1d8 x2

S MW 6/28 B or P W 6/8 B M 9/8 B W 5/6 B M 10/27 B M 9/24 B M 10/19 B M 10/16 B M 10/19 B M 10/16 S M 10/21 S M 10/18 S M 9/28



The Far East

Table 5-5: Far East Weapons
Simple Weapons-Melee Weapon Medium-Size Santie, Damasceneda Santie, Steela Staff, Mace Bronze Staff, Mace Iron Staff, Mace Steel Staff, Short Bronze Staff, Short Iron Staff, Short Steel Veecharoval, Bronze Veecharoval, Iron Large Bo* Cudgel, Monk's Iron Cudgel, Monk's Steel Fork, Two Teetha Naginata Simple Weapons-Ranged Tiny Ball, Iron Rings, Iron Small Crossbow, Light Bronze Crossbow, Light Iron Crossbow, Light Modern Chinese Crossbow, Light Steel Medium-Size Crossbow, Heavy Modern Chinese Martial Weapons-Melee Small Ama Goi Ken Fu, Bronze Fu, Iron Fu, Steel Hatchet Kapak Shortsword, Damascened Shortsword, Steel Wakazashi Medium-Size Axe, Bullova Axe, Khond Axe, Kritant Binnol, Damascened Binnol, Steel Bokken Broadsword, Chinese Cost 406gp 6gp 9gp 10gp 12gp 5gp 6gp 8gp 7gp 8gp 2gp 10gp 12gp 10gp 10 gp Damage 1d6+1 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d6/1d6 1d10 1d10 1d8 1d10 Critical Range Weight x3 x3 x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 x3 x3 x2 x2 x2 x2 x3 7lbs 7lbs 12lbs 13lbs 12lbs 4lbs 5lbs 4lbs 9lbs 8lbs 4lbs 14lbs 13lbs 10lbs 14lbs Type P P B B B B B B S S B B B S S M M M M M M M M M MW MW W MW M M WM H/HP Subset 10/17 9/14 4/24 6/26 9/24 4/8 6/10 9/8 5/18 6/16 6/8 7/28 9/26 9/18 5/28


6sp 5sp 29gp 32gp 40gp 35gp 50gp

1d3 1d2 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d10

x2 x2 1920/x2 1920/x2 1920/x2 1920/x2

10ft 15ft 80ft 80ft 80ft 80ft

.5lbs .1lbs 8lbs 7lbs 6lbs 6lbs 8lbs

B B As per Quarrel As per Quarrel As per Quarrel As per Quarrel As per Quarrel


9/2 9/1 4/22 6/19 9/18 9/16 9/24


1920/x2 120ft

4gp 3gp 4gp 6gp 5gp 6gp 410gp 10gp 300gp 8gp 8gp 8gp 407gp 7gp 3gp 75gp

1d4 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6+1 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d6+1 1d6 1d4 1d8

1920/x2 x3 x3 x3 x3 x2 1920/x2 1920/x2 1920/x2 x3 x3 x3 1920/x2 1920/x2 x2 1820/x2


3lbs 5.5lbs 5.5lbs 5lbs 7lbs 4lbs 3lbs 3lbs 3lbs 11lbs 10.5lbs 10lbs 10lbs 10lbs 6lbs 6lbs



6/9 4/17 6/17 9/15 6/21 6/12 10/9 9/9 11/11 6/22 6/21 6/20 10/33 9/30 5/10 9/32



From Stone to Steel

Table 5-5: Far East Weapons
Martial Weapons-Melee Weapon Medium-Size Dao, Bronze Dao, Iron Dao, Steel Ge, Iron Jian, Bronze Jian, Iron Jian, Steel Katar, Bronze Katar, Damascened Katar, Iron Katar, Steel Ken Ken, Japanese Early Folded Knife, Butterfly Kora Lance, Chinesea Nagan Parang Patisa Pedang Sabar, Damascened Sabar, Steel Sapola Scimitar, Damascened Scimitar, Iron Indian Sword, Executioner* Sword, Seven Star Sword, Steel Fish Spine* Sword, Unicorn Horn Tachi, Early Folded Tachi, Imitation Chinese Tan-Kiev* Tulwar, Damascened Tulwar, Early Iron Large Axe, Naga War Ballam, Early Steela Broadsword, Two Handed Chinese Dung, Irona Dung, Steela Flail, Long bar* Hoolurge, Damascened Hoolurge, Steel Knife, Golden Coin Longa Lance, Fong Ting*a Longsword, Great Damascened Cost 11gp 12gp 14gp 5gp 12gp 13gp 15gp 5gp 408gp 6gp 8gp 8gp 10gp 25gp 8gp 12gp 20gp 14gp 15gp 7gp 410gp 10gp 20gp 415gp 13gp 9gp 13.5gp 12gp 8gp 15gp 13gp 7gp 412gp 12gp Damage 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d6 1d6+1 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d8 2d3 1d8 1d6 1d8+1 1d8 1d8 1d6+1 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d6 1d6 1d8 1d8 1d6 1d6+1 1d6 Critical 1820/x2 1820/x2 1820/x2 x3 1920/x2 1920/x2 1920/x2 x3 x3 x3 x3 1920/x2 1920/x2 x3 x2 x3 1820/x2 1920/x2 1920/x2 x2 1920/x2 1920/x2 x3 1820/x2 1820/x2 x2 1920/x2 x2 x2 1920/x2 1920/x2 x2 1820/x2 1820/x2 x3 x3 1920/x2 x3 x3 1920/x2 x3 x3 1920/x2 x3 1920/x2 Range Weight 7lbs 6lbs 5lbs 10lbs 6lbs 5lbs 4lbs 4.5lbs 4lbs 4.5lbs 4lbs 5lbs 4lbs 4lbs 4lbs 9lbs 5lbs 5lbs 4lbs 4lbs 10lbs 10lbs 4lbs 5lbs 6lbs 4lbs 6lbs 5lbs 3lbs 4lbs 4lbs 3lbs 4lbs 5lbs 15lbs 9lbs 16lbs 11lbs 10lbs 20lbs 15lbs 15lbs 13lbs 14lbs 16lbs Type S S S S S S S P P P P S S S S P S P S S S S P S S S S S S S S S S S S P S P P B P&S P&S S P or S S M M M M MW M M M MW M MW M M M MW M WM M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M WM WM M MW MW WM M M MW WM M H/HP 4/14 6/12 9/10 6/20 4/12 6/10 9/8 5/14 10/15 6/14 9/12 6/10 9/12 6/28 9/18 5/18 9/10 6/10 9/8 6/8 10/33 9/30 9/8 10/10 6/12 9/8 7/14 9/10 9/6 9/8 9/6 9/6 10/8 6/10 5/30 5/18 9/32 6/22 9/20 5/38 10/33 9/30 9/28 5/24 10/32 Subset


20gp 1d10 8gp 2d4 55gp 2d6 4gp 1d8 6gp 1d8 15gp 1d10 415gp 2d4+1 15gp 2d4 15gp 1d10 20gp 1d8 or 1d10 450gp 2d6+1



The Far East

Table 5-5: Far East Weapons
Martial Weapons-Melee Weapon Large Longsword, Great Steel Nageyaria Nagimakia No-Dachi Qiang, Bronzea Qiang, Irona Qiang, Steela Saber, Long Sabu*a Spear, Snakea Steel Fanga Yaria Martial Weapons-Ranged Medium-Size Bow, Short Hinged* Large Bow, Long Hinged* Exotic Weapons-Melee Tiny Fan, Iron* Fan, Lacquered* Garrote, Cord* Garrote, Wire* Ji-Kuwa* Kukri Strangler's Belt Small Kawanaga (cost per hand)* Nekode* Blade, Mandarin Coin* Blade, Sun and Moon Spear* Cane, Hidden Sword (damage as cane or sword)* Flute* Full Moon* Jitte* Kama Katar, Closed Hilted Early Steel* Katar, Dual Bladed Damascened* Katar, Dual Bladed Steel* Katar, Three Bladed Damascened* Katar, Three Bladed Early Steel* Katar, Three Bladed Steel* Katar, Tri-Bladed Steel* Knife, Deer Antler* Knife, Swallow Trident Long* Kusari-gama*# Cost 50gp 5gp 8 gp 55gp 2gp 3gp 5gp 20gp 12gp 5gp 7gp 6gp Damage 2d6 1d8 2d4 2d6 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d10 1d8 1d8 1d8 1d8 Critical 1920/x2 x3 x3 1920/x2 x3 x3 x3 1920/x2 x3 x3 1920/x2 x3 Range Weight 16lbs 9lbs 15lbs 16lbs 11lbs 10lbs 9lbs 16lbs 14lbs 11lbs 10lbs 11lbs Type S P S S P P P S P P P&S P M M WM MW M MW MW MW M M MW MW WM H/HP Subset 9/32 5/18 5/30 9/34 4/22 6/20 9/18 9/32 9/28 5/22 9/20 5/20




60gp 150gp

1d6 1d8

x3 x3

55ft 90ft

2lbs 3lbs

As per Arrow WM As per Arrow WM

4/6 4/9

2gp 1.5gp --1gp 8gp --

1d4 1d3 1d3* 1d4* 1d2 1d4 1d2

x2 x2 x3 x4 x3 1820/x2 x2

5ft 5ft

1lbs .5lbs 1lb .5lbs .5lbs 1lb 1lbs 1lb 7lbs 3lbs 3.5lbs 3lbs .5lb 2.5lbs 1.5lbs 2lbs 7lbs 5lbs 5lbs 6lbs 9lbs 6lbs 5lbs 2lbs 1lbs 3lbs

S S S* S* P S B P B S S B or P B S P B P P P P P P P S P S/B


6/3 6/2 3/3 9/2 9/2 9/5 2/3


1gp 6gp 1d6 x2 10ft 3gp 1d6 x2 4gp 1d6 x3 10gp 1d4 or 1d6 x2 Or 1920/x2 1gp 1d3 x2 6gp 1d6 1920/x2 5 sp 1d4 x3 2gp 1d6 x2 23gp 1d6 x3 412gp 2d3+1 x3 12gp 2d3 x3 417gp 1d6+1 x3 17gp 1d6 x3 18gp 1d6 x3 20gp 1d6 or 3d3 x3 6gp 1d6 1920/x2 3gp 1d6 x2 10gp 1d6/1d6 x2/x2

M 9/3 M 9/19 M 9/9 M 9/11 M 9/9 W 3/2 M 9/8 M 9/5 WM 5/6 MW 8/21 M 10/15 M 9/15 M 10/18 MW 8/25 M 9/18 M 9/15 M 9/6 M 9/3 M 9/9




From Stone to Steel

Table 5-5: Far East Weapons
Exotic Weapons-Melee Weapon Small Manriki-gusari*# Ninja-to Nunchuku*# Nunti-Sai* Pendjepit* Rante*# Razor, Yuen Yang* Sai* Siangkam* Tian-chi Fay Shorta Tonfa Wheel, Wind and Fire* Medium-Size Broadsword, Nine Ring* Chain, Segmented* Chain Sword* Cumber-Jung, Damascened Cumber-Jung, Steel Quoit Eku Grain Sword, Iron* Grain Sword, Steel* Hammer, Chinese* Hook, Nine Teeth* Katana Kyoketsu-Shogi* Maru* Masakari Nagegama* Pata, Damascened* Pata, Steel* Sa Tjat Koen*# Sword, Tigerhead Hook* Tiger Fork, Iron*a Tiger Fork, Steel*a Urumi**# Large Blade, Heaven and Earth Blade, Horse Choppinga Chijiriki* Feruzue (staff or flail damage)*# Flail, Great*# Gadha, Iron Gadha, Wood Halberd, Double*a Hwa-Keka Jumonki-Yari*a Cost 8gp 10gp 2gp 5gp 4gp 8gp 15gp 3 gp 3gp 15gp 1gp 4gp Damage 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d4 1d4 1d6 1d6 1d4 1d6 1d6 1d6 1d6 Critical x2 1820/x2 x2 x3 x3 x2 x3 x3 x2 x3 x2 x3 1820/x2 x2 1920/x2 X2 x2 x2 1820/x2 1820/x2 x3 x2 1920/x2 1920/x2 / x2 x2 x3 or x4 1920/x2 1920/x2 1920/x2 x2 x2 x2 x2 1920/x3 Range Weight 5lbs 4lbs 2lbs 2lbs 1lb 6.5lbs 4lbs 2lbs 3.5lbs 4lbs 1.5lbs 3.5lbs 16lbs 4.5lbs 5lbs 15lbs 15lbs 5lbs 7lbs 6lbs 14lbs 4lbs 6lbs 8lbs 9lbs 5lbs 8lbs 16lbs 16lbs 4lbs 4lbs 7lbs 5lbs 8lbs 13lbs 16lbs 15lbs 15lbs 20lbs 15lbs 13lbs 15lbs 10lbs 12lbs Type B S B P P S P or S P P P or S B S S S S B B B S S B P or S S S/B P P or S S/B S S B S P P S S S P/B B&P B B B P/S S P or S M M M WC M M M M M M M W M M M M 10M M W M M M M M M WBM M M M M WM M MW MW M M M MW M WM M W MW MW WM H/HP Subset 9/15 9/12 5/6 9/6 6/3 6/20 9/12 9/4 6/11 4/12 5/5 9/11 9/32 9/10 9/15 15/22 9/30 5/10 6/14 9/12 9/28 9/12 11/18 9/16 5/18 9/10 9/16 10/35 9/32 5/8 9/8 7/14 9/10 9/16 9/26 9/32 9/30 6/30 5/40 6/30 6/26 9/30 6/22 5/24 N/S N G/N N



80gp 2d4 20gp 1d6 20gp 1d4/1d4 425gp 2d4+1 25gp 2d4 2gp 1d8 16gp 1d8 20gp 1d8 35gp 2d4 12gp 1d8 400 gp 1d10 12gp 1d6/1d4 7gp 1d6 16gp 1d8 or 1d4 14gp 1d6/1d6 465gp 1d8+1 65gp 1d8 11gp 1d8 12gp 1d8 12gp 1d8 13gp 1d8 30gp 1d6






60gp 1d8/1d8 x2 75gp 1d6/1d10 x2 40gp 1d8/1d6 x3/x2 20gp 1d8 or 1d10 x2 or 1920/x2 25gp 1d12 x2 18gp 1d10 x2 16gp 1d10 x2 60gp 1d10 x3 20gp 2d4 x2 10gp 1d8 x3



The Far East

Table 5-5: Far East Weapons
Exotic Weapons-Melee Weapon Large Kama-Yari*a Knife, Yeung Guen Long*a Kongo-Zue* Kumade* Kwandao, Iron*a Kwandao, Steel*a Laingtjat Longsword, Chay Yanga Mace, Double Bronze Mace, Double Iron Mace, Double Steel Mancatcher* Mancatcher w/ Spike* Meteor Hammer*# Monk's Spade, Iron Monk's Spade, Steel O-No Paralyser*a Pudao, Iron* Pudao, Steel* Ram Da'o Shovel, Golden Coin Shovel, Moonteetha Sjang Sutaia Sode Garami*a Spear, Double Headeda Staff, Wolf's Teeth* Sword, Beheading Sword, Long-Handle Nine Ring Tabar, Damascened Tabar, Steel Tschehouta, Early Steel*a Exotic Weapons-Ranged Tiny Darts, Chinese Throwing* Piau* Shuriken* Uichi-ne Small Chakram, Damascened* Chakram, Steel* Fukidake* Nageteppo* Whip, Horse Hair Tassel* Whip, Steel Barbed Chinese* Cost 10gp 55gp 15gp 14gp 44gp 50gp 25gp 50gp 49gp 51gp 55gp 6gp 11gp 65gp 13gp 15gp 20gp 15gp 65gp 70gp 13gp 20gp 30gp 25gp 14gp 12gp 16gp 40gp 75gp 425gp 25gp 12gp Damage 1d8 1d8/1d6 1d6/1d6 1d4 1d8/1d6 1d8/1d6 1d6/1d6 1d8/1d6 1d8/1d8 1d8/1d8 1d8/1d8 1d4 1d8/1d8 1d8/1d8 1d8/1d8 2d4 2d4 2d6 2d6 1d8 1d8 1d8/1d6 2d4 1d4 1d8/1d8 1d8 2d4 3d3 1d12+1 1d12 1d8/1d8 Critical x3 x3 x2 x2 x3 x3 x3 x3 x2/x2 x2/x2 x2/x2 x2 x2 x2/x2 x2/x2 x3 x3 x3 x3 x2 x3 x3 1920/x2 x2 x3/x3 x2 1820/x2 1920/x2 x3 x3 x3/x3 Range Weight 12lbs 16lbs 9lbs 11lbs 18lbs 15lbs 13lb 15lbs 16lbs 15lbs 14lbs 10lbs 11lbs 14lbs 22lbs 20lbs 14lbs 11lbs 16lbs 15lbs 6lbs 10lbs 16lbs 11lbs 13lbs 10lbs 12lbs 18lbs 20lbs 22lbs 22lbs 10lbs Type P or S P&S B P P&S P&S S P&S B B B P B S S/S B P S S S S P&S S P P/P B&P S S S S P/P M WM MW WM WM MW MW M MW M M M W WM MC MW MW M W MW MW M M MW MW M MW M M M M M MW H/HP Subset 5/24 9/32 5/18 5/22 7/36 9/30 6/26 9/30 4/32 6/30 9/28 5/18 5/20 9/28 7/44 9/40 9/28 5/22 7/32 9/30 9/12 9/20 9/32 6/22 9/26 9/20 9/24 9/34 9/40 10/47 9/44 8/20





6sp 3gp 2gp 6gp 410gp 10gp 1gp 50gp 3gp 6gp

1d3 1d3 1d2 1d4 1d4+1 1d4 1 2d6 1 1d4

x3 x3 x2 x2 x3 x3 x2 x2 x2 x2

10ft 10ft 10ft 20ft 30ft 30ft 10ft 10ft 10ft 10ft

.5lbs 1lbs .1lbs .5lbs 2lbs 2lbs 2lbs 1lb 3lbs 3lbs


10M M M MW

9/2 6/3 9/1 6/2 10/9 9/6 3/6 9/3 2/9 4/9


S M S M As per Needle W N/A M S FW S LM



From Stone to Steel

Table 5-5: Far East Weapons
Exotic Weapons-Ranged Weapon Medium-Size Bow, Mongol Recurve* Bow, Steel Chu Ko Nu* Chu Ko Nu, Improved* Flying Weight* Han-Kyu Javelin, Rope* Spear Gun* Teppo Zhuge Nu, Multishot* Zhuge Nu, Repeater* Large Dai-Kyu Gun, Primitive Chinese Rockets, Chinese* Weapons Ranged-Ammunition Arrow, Axeblade Arrow, Forked Arrow, Steel Armor Piercing* Arrow, Whistling* Bow, Pellet Crossbow, Pellet Pellet, Clay (weight per 30) Quarrel, Bronze (weight per 10) Quarrel, Iron (weight per 10) Quarrel, Steel (weight per 10) Shot, Iron Shot, Stone (weight per 10) Cost Damage Critical Range Weight 4lbs 5lbs 7lbs 7lbs 3lbs 2lbs 2.5lbs 36lbs 10lbs 7lbs 7lbs 3lbs 9lbs 8lbs 3lbs 4lbs 3lbs 3lbs 2lbs 7lbs 2lbs 1.5lb 1.5lbs 1lbs 2.5lbs 2lbs Type Per Arrow As Per Arrow As per Quarrel As per Quarrel B As per arrow P As Steel Qiang As per Shot As per Quarrel As per Quarrel Per Arrow As per shot N/A S S P P As per Pellet As per Pellet B P P P P P D/M W M WM WM MC W MC 2S MW WM WM WC MW W WM WM WM WM W WM S MW MW MW M S H/HP Subset 5/12 9/15 5/21 5/23 9/6 5/6 9/8 2/36 9/30 5/21 5/21 5/11 9/27 3/24 5/3 5/4 5/3 5/3 4/2 5/21 1/2 4/2 6/2 9/1 6/3 4/2

90gp 1d6 x3 110ft 75gp 1d6 x3 60ft 60gp 1d6 1920/x2 60ft 75gp 1d6 1920/x2 70ft 12gp 1d6 x2 10ft 35gp 1d6 x3 60ft 12gp 1d6 x2 10ft 100gp +5* As Steel Qiang 120ft 300gp 1d12 x3 150ft 150gp 1d6/1d6 1920/x2 80ft 175gp 1d8 1920/x2 80ft 80gp 200gp 200gp 2gp 2gp 3gp 2gp 20gp 25sp 3gp 7sp 8sp 1gp 3gp 2gp 1d8 1d10 2d6 x3 x3 x2 90ft 70ft 150ft


1d4 1d4

x2 1920/x2

40ft 60ft

G Indicates a weapon is part of the Guang Hu subset N Indicates a weapon is part of the Ninja subset S Indicates a weapon is part of the Samurai subset * See the description in the text for special rules. Double Weapon Reach Weapon a If you ready an action to set this weapon against a charge you deal double damage. # Shield Bypass Weapon Subdual damage

Table 5-6: Far East Armor

Armor Light Armor Bezainted Leather Cloth Armor, Heavy (Padded) Cloth Armor, Studded Corded Armor Jigap Leather, Lacquered Padded Armor, Silk Paper Armor, Chinese Pirate Scaled Jack Cost 75gp 5gp 13gp 25gp 15gp 45gp 12gp 8gp 85gp Armor Bonus +3 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +1 +1 +4 Max Dex Armor Check Bonus Penalty +5 +8 +5 +6 +7 +5 +9 +7 +4 -3 0 0 -1 0 -1 0 0 -3 Arcane Speed30ft/ Weight Spell 20ft 20% 5% 15% 15% 10% 10% 5% 5% 20% 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 30ft/20ft 23lbs 10lbs 15lbs 14lbs 12lbs 16lbs 8lbs 7lbs 22lbs M LM F FM C F L F F MF H/HP 5/46 2/20 2/30 3/28 3/24 5/32 3/18 2/12 9/44

The Far East

Table 5-6: Far East Armor
Armor Medium Armor Breastplate Armor, Chinese Brigandine, Chinese Hide Armor, Rhino Keiko, Iron Nio Do Plated Armor, Chinese (Mirrors) Scale Armor, Damascened Scalemail, Chinese Steel Tanko Tatami Do Yoroi Heavy Armor Banded Armor, Chinese Banded Armor, Damascened Do-Maru Hatomune Do Hotoke Do Maru Do Mogame Do Nuinobe Do Okegawa Do O-yoroi Plate and Scale Armor, Damascened Plated Mail, Bakhteretz Plated Mail, Kolontar Plated Mail, Sind Scale Armor, Chinese Mountain Pattern Tsuzumi Do Yokinoshita Do Mount's Gear Light Barding, Bezainted Leather Elephant Barding, Bezainted Leather Horse Barding, Lacquered Leather Horse Barding, Leather Elephant Barding, Studded Leather Elephant Medium Barding, Iron Lamellar Elephant Heavy Barding, Plated Mail Elephant Barding, Plated Mail Horse Cost 210gp 340gp 40gp 180gp 205gp 230gp 450gp 55gp 230gp 195gp 45gp 265gp 750gp 255gp 850gp 506gp 260gp 640gp 335gp 510gp 505gp 560gp 205gp 225gp 510gp 225gp 250gp 650gp Armor Max Dex Armor Check Bonus Bonus Penalty +5 +5 +4 +5 +5 +5 +4 +4 +5 +5 +4 +6 +6 +6 +8 +7 +6 +7 +6 +7 +7 +7 +6 +6 +7 +6 +6 +7 +3 +3 +3 +3 +3 +3 +3 +3 +3 +3 +4 +1 +1 +1 +0 +0 +1 +1 +2 +0 +0 +0 +0 +1 +0 +0 +1 +1 -4 -5 -4 -5 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -5 -3 -6 -6 -6 -7 -7 -6 -7 -5 -7 -7 -8 -7 -7 -7 -6 -7 -6 Spell Failure 25% 30% 25% 30% 30% 35% 25% 25% 25% 30% 25% 35% 35% 35% 40% 40% 35% 35% 30% 40% 40% 40% 40% 35% 40% 40% 35% 35% Speed30ft/20ft Weight 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft/15ft 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 20ft*/15ft* 30lbs 41lbs 27lbs 33lbs 34lbs 40lbs 30lbs 30lbs 31lbs 35lbs 28lbs 35lbs 35lbs 45lbs 52lbs 51lbs 44lbs 47lbs 42lbs 53lbs 50lbs 52lbs 49lbs 47lbs 50lbs 45lbs 46lbs 49lbs M H/HP

M 9/60 ML 9/82 L 5/54 M 6/66 M 9/68 M 9/80 M 10/63 M 9/60 M 6/62 MF 9/70 M 6/56 M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M 9/70 10/73 9/90 9/104 9/102 9/88 9/94 9/84 9/106 9/100 10/107 9/98 9/94 9/102 9/90 9/92 9/98

600gp 300gp 180gp 80gp 200gp 362gp 1600gp 800gp

+3 +3 +3 +2 +3 +4 +6 +6

+5 +5 +5 +6 +5 +3 +0 +0

-3 -3 -1 0 -1 -5 -7 -7


40ft/50ft/60ft 40ft/50ft/60ft 40ft/50ft/60ft 40ft/50ft/60ft 40ft/50ft/60ft 30ft/35ft/40ft

69lbs 46lbs 32lbs 45lbs 60lbs 93lbs

LM 5/138 LM 5/92 L 5/64 L 3/90 LM 4/120 M M M 6/186 9/270 9/180

30ft*/35ft*/40ft* 135lbs 30ft*/35ft*/40ft* 90lbs

# See the text for special rules. * When running in heavy armor you move only triple your speed, not quadruple. ** The tower shields grants you cover. See the description. Hand not free to cast spells. Armor fitted for small characters weighs half as much.

A Dark Age, A Golden Age

Barbarians and the Remnants of Rome Goths Vandals Franks Christianity Byzantium The Rise of Islam Lances on Foot Conflict More on Greek Fire Of the British Isles, Arthur, and the Saxon invasion Feudal Europe Charlemagne The Vikings. The Fragmentation of Islam Sources of the Crusades End of an Age The Crusades The First Crusade The Second Crusade Flaming Clothing The Third Crusade The Fourth Crusade The Fifth Crusade The Sixth Crusade A Storm Rises in the East The Seventh Crusade Table 6-1: Dark Age Weapons Table 6-2: Dark Age Armor 188 189 190 190 190 190 192 192 194 194 196 197 201 202 204 205 207 208 208 209 211 211 213 217 217 218 219 221 224


A Dark Age, A Golden Age

I will treat with the Franji King tomorrow. The fever that was upon him appears to have abated at last, although my aides tell me hfe all but rejected my gifts of snow and fruit. There is a mighty spirit in him, which I have seen in battle, and I cannot help but picture him, flushed and shaky, yet mighty-maned and fierce as a lion, craving my gifts but telling himself he cannot take them, on account of his honor. Yet the honor is mine, in the giving, and a worthy foe should be treasured.
I feel for him. He has seen thousands of men die, and he is no closer to his goal than when he arrived here. His task is impossible, and yet, were it merely a matter of willpower, I believe he would batter down the walls of Jerusalem by himself. Ive seen him fall under a horse in battle and come up with sword swinging. When I have brought him to sit with me under the pavilion, his pride preceeds him like an honor guard. Yet I am here, knowing that I will take a meal with him in my tent, show him my hospitality, and make him another offer. An offer he cannot afford to refuse. His forces have withered like grapes left too long on the vine. His victory at Acre, followed by the martyrdom of thousands, will leave him a city too large for its populace. And even I have heard of the doings of his brother in his homeland. If he wishes to have a country to return home to, he will accept my offer. There is a look in the eyes of the Emirs, in the eyes of my Kurdish generals, in the eyes of the Mameluke slaves who are not allowed to believe our faith. They look at me as an instrument of Allah. I have fought the Franji king. I have brought this army against his best and worst, and though we have failed in battle, we have also succeeded. His great horses bore down on my faithful warriors, and yet he could not destroy us. We have reclaimed the holy city of Jerusalem, and he cannot take it from us. We have victory, even before he accepts my offer. And who am I to question them? The prophet himself said that all things happen as Allah wills. We need only look to our prosperity, to our sense of right, to our very lives, to see that we do as Allah desires. And yet it is humbling to see their admiration. I do not wish to be known as anything but an instrument of Allahs will. All the talk, all the admiration can deflect my eyes and heart, if I let it. And this victory is not the end of my work. With a truce signed, I will not be able to reclaim Acre. I will have to return to those for whom this battlefield is a far away place, and try to explain to them how the loss of a city is a victory for Islam. I will return to Damascus, and tell my people that, by the Will of Allah, I have killed their fathers, sons, and brothers so as to secure a tenuous peace with the Franji that still occupy our land. I almost do not wish to return to Damascus. Though I know they have been received into paradise, I cannot help to feel the burden of the death I have wrought upon my own people. There will be peace. Acre will remain in their hands, but Jerusalem will remain in mine. I am even willing to give them access to Jerusalem, if they truly wish to come as pilgrims. Though they will not accept it, we share a God, after all, and I would not want to deny them access to Him. I have studied their customs as best I can, by those few Franji who I was able to capture. I understand their concepts of honor and generosity, so similar to our own. There are the seeds of civilization even within their barbaric culture. As to the particulars, I will have one of my stewards find something we can both eat. I do not think a show of opulence will impress him, so I will have him meet with me in my own tent, and I will, for once, not have to gild it to impress someone. There will be no need for silks, gold, and women. Richard is a warrior born, and he would not appreciate such things as my Emirs feel the need to see. Should I laugh that it is only among my servants and my enemies that I can feel most free to be myself? Let this victory be permanent. May I never have to take the field again to claim that which I should already own. I will leave it to other Sultans, other generals, other faithful men to fight and die for this land of blood. I do not think this will be the last Crusade. The holy men among them cry for blood, and their best warriors still rally to spill it. I can only hope that this journal may convey some of my insight, some seed of our victory, so that those who read it may be better prepared for the next attack. Inshallah.

It is the Will of Allah.

Romes collapse was not total. With the split in the Imperial rulership, steps had been taken to preserve a portion of the Roman Empire from collapse. When Western Rome fell to barbarians, Eastern Rome remained, a stronghold of civilization straddling portions of the Balkans and Asia Minor. In the majority of Europe, barbarian tribes like the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, and remnants of the Huns sought dominion. The Middle East was divided between the Sassanids of Persia, and various minor kingdoms. With those larger powers doing everything they could to merely maintain what power they had, and the barbarians seeking to establish a greater dominion, much of the western world entered a Dark Age. Before Rome fell, the invasion of the Huns set into motion the great roaming barbarian Gothic nations. Actually a conglomeration of Gothic tribes, the Goths were a relatively stable force outside the borders of Rome until the Huns entered the region, driving another tribe of barbarians, the Alans (who were descended from the Scythians), before them. Two waves of attack put the Goths in a precarious position; lacking fertile land, a stable home-front, and security, the Gothic tribes raided across the Danube and moved south, sacking Roman cities. This lead to a favorable settlement and tribute from Rome, weakening an already decaying border defense force, and eventually paving the way for certain Gothic tribes to be approached with an offer. Those tribes that agreed to defend the borders of Rome would be the ones to receive the tribute and distribute it, and they would


From Stone to Steel

be considered citizens of Rome. Most of those tribes that agreed to this offer would eventually become known as the Visigoths. Many of those that did not would eventually become the Ostrogoths. Both of these forces would stand in the battle with the Huns, the Visigoths on the side of Rome, the Ostrogoths with the Huns. Other barbarian tribes, the Vandals, Alans, and Sueves, would travel across Gaul and into Iberia, establishing themselves in Spain. From here the three tribes would draw straws to divide their holdings among themselves, although certain disputes lead to duel by champion to determine the outcome. The Vandals would be allotted Northern Africa, which at this time was cooler and more fertile than it is today. The Alans would come to possess the Iberian lands in the South East, most related to the lands Carthage had dominated. Other minor tribes would split the northern territories, and the Sueves would take the lands closest to the Pyrennes. As the Western Roman Empire folded, the Ostrogoths and Visigoths would split. The Ostrogoths invaded the Italic peninsula and formed a German Kingdom there. The Visigoths spread over southern Gaul and through most of Iberia, eventually driving most other tribes from the land and forcing the Sueves into only the northwesternmost point of Spain. The Franks, descendant German tribes of those who had often sought to invade Gaul, took control of most of the Gallic region, except the small northwestern portion where the Bretons, a Celtic tribe, held dominion. The Vandals, at this point, controlled most of the North African lands that Carthage had controlled, while the Angles and Saxons warred in Northern Germany and Southern Denmark, and made war together against the Celtic British people in the British Isles. The British themselves absorbed the last remnants of the Roman forces that had been in the region and were themselves trying to hold back an invasion of the barbarian Picts at Hadrians Wall. The remnants of the Western Empire encamped along the Dalmatian coast, clinging to the hope that they might regain their lost homeland. They would never return. Byzantium herself was powerful still, holding all of Greece, Thracia, and Moesia, three provinces south of the modern day Ukraine. Her holdings in Asia were even more impressive, controlling all of Asia Minor and Anatolia (modern day Turkey), the Palestinian coast, and Egypt. Their neighbors to the west were the Persians, whose tenacious refusal to fall to Byzantium still resulted in skirmishes along the joint borders from time to time. The western world was in chaos. from Roman designs, with large rectangular or oval shields most common. The general weapons of the barbarian tribes were broadswords, spears, scramsaxes, axes, bows, javelins, darts, throwing clubs, and francisca. The barbarians tended to fight poorly in sieges, through a lack of good siege weaponry and training, and their unwillingness to fight in a skirmish line as the Romans did. Scramsax, Early Steel A thick knife about a foot in length, the scramsax was an eating utensil, a skinning tool, and a backup weapon. The Saxons take their name from this weapon, which they invented, and they trained with its use as children. The scramsax may be used as a dagger by those with only Simple Weapon proficiency, but those with Martial Weapons proficiency may also throw it without penalty. Broadsword, Early Steel Not as long as the longsword, the broadsword is characteristically two to three inches in width. Many early broadwords were tapered, either getting wider or thinner towards the point. Those that grew thinner towards the point had a very wide base, and were better for thrusting with. Those wider at the tip were heavier in the front and did more chopping damage. Most broadswords, though, were of uniform width nearly to the point, and were used in much the same style as the longsword, although without quite the same reach. Optional: Should you opt to have a tapered broadsword, you may elect to make the weapon solely a thrusting (piercing) or chopping (slashing) weapons. Such a decision should be made on purchase. Battleaxe, Early Steel The battleaxe is a generally single edged chopping weapon, and it may either have a half-moon shaped blade, a crescent blade, or flat-topped with a curving blade. Adapted from tree-cutting axes, the battleaxe is not the perfect weapon for combat, since its parrying surface is poor. Still, the battleaxe was a practical weapon, and it does most of its damage from the weight of the blade. Francisca, Early Steel The francisca is a substantial throwing axe. The blade itself is at an awkward angle to use as a chopping axe, but a perfect angle to strike a target the francisca is thrown at. The Francisca is a practical weapon for the Germans, who were used to fighting in dense forests, where the superior range of other missle weapons was moot. A throwing axe might not travel far, but it did so in a straight, vertical manner, and if it struck a tree, the blade was more likely to avoid damage than an arrowhead. Club, Wooden and Early Steel Throwing Commonly used by German tribes, wooden throwing clubs were little better than very heavy sticks, although sometimes these would be lit before being thrown. The later throwing clubs were

Barbarians and the Remnants of Rome

The major barbarian tribes of Europe had a great deal of similarity in their warfare tactics. Most warriors wore leather or chainmail, and wore the spangenhelm, an iron helmet with a chain veil, which sometimes also had a faceguard. Shields were taken


A Dark Age, A Golden Age

5a 5b 3a 1 2a 2b 3b 7 3c 8 4

1. Scramsax; 2a. Broadsword; 2b. Tapered Broadsword; 3a. Battleaxe; 3b. Battleaxe variation; 3c. Battleaxe variation; 4. Francisca; 5a. Wooden Club; 5b. Steel Throwing Club; 6. Byzantine Breastplate and Mail; 7. Byzantine Chainshirt; 8. Byzantine Padded Armor short and metal. These precursors to maces were thrown with the intention of being recovered. Being a ranged bludgeoning weapon, the throwing club was very effective at knocking out enemies unexpectedly, and someone throwing a throwing club may opt to make the damage subdual rather than normal at only a 2 to attack penalty. The sneak attack bonus of rogues can be added to this attack as well. ciful fiction intended to make the Goths seem fearsome and barbaric. One fascinating (and factual) tactic the Goths employed, though, was the wagon ring. After their defeat by Roman forces, the Huns retreated to Eastern Europe. With the questionable wedding night death of Attila and the new strength of the Visigoths, the Huns became marginalized, fighting skirmishes for tribute with both halves of the Empire, but losing as often as they won. Eventually they would disappear, blending into local eastern populations, and most of the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe would inherit their heritage. Magyar legends attest to the relationship between the Slavs and the Huns, and Slavic culture would see re-infusions from later warlike eastern cultures like the Turks and Mongols in later periods. Goth Wagons Goth wagons were large, leather-sided affairs, canopied and drawn in trains. When Goths were traveling or embarking on a raid, they would draw the wagons into as perfect a circle as they could. Then they would move on their target, usually a caravan or encampment, and attack from cover. At the first sign of a

Although the barbarians were often grouped together by more civilized nations, there were differences. Generally the Gothic tribes were considered honorable by those more civilized. They rarely broke treaties and insisted that those they made treaties with held to their word. When they married, they married for life, and remarriage was forbidden. In fact, those who were known to be unchaste were excluded from being able to marry. Since status came from family, this was a particularly cruel punishment. Both Goth men and women fought in battle, and some historians claim that the women often fought bare-chested to distract their opponents. These same historians also claimed that the Goth men fought armored with only a cloak, although archaelogical evidence and other historic accounts suggest this to be a fan-


From Stone to Steel

counter attack from their foes, the Goths would retreat into the circle of wagons, which acted as a makeshift fortress, blocking arrows, spears, and sling stones. The Goths could stand in the breaches and attack from relative safety, throwing their missile weapons until they were exhausted. This tactic was especially effective against the Romans, since the Romans often attacked in a rigid line, men shoulder to shoulder with shields locked, sharing their protection, often carrying an extra shield above their head to protect from missiles. This formation, the Tetsudo or tortoise formation, was extremely effective, and made it impossible for the light Goth forces to make a successful hit. But if the Goths were within their wagon ring, the Romans were forced to fight in a skirmish order. Siege weapons like the catapult were very effective at breaking up wagon rings, but since patrols often didnt have any siege weapons to speak of, this tactic was only effective in a limited capacity. to the whims of the German rulers, and popes and priests were often killed for not conforming to the desires of those who ruled their region. In the former Roman provinces heresies, beliefs that varied strongly from what was considered the universal norm, prospered, like that of the Arians. This lead to various regional churches. The Roman Church maintained communications between itself and the provinces, and used the old Roman system of dividing the empire into parishes and diocese to establish their own internal hierarchy. Roman Catholic Christianity would receive its first major boost when Clovis, King of the Franks, converted to Roman Catholicism, and mandated that his Kingdom become Christian. This not only made the largest contiguous Kingdom in Europe at the time an overlty Christian nation, but it also lent a lot of implied power to the Roman Church. In areas where lesser kingdoms or no one lord ruled, monasteries gradually grew in social power, taking on the spiritual care, and sometimes physical care, of the general populace. This also aided the Roman Church in fighting heresies or reabsorbing groups that had strayed from Church teachings. It should be noted that not all heresies were persecuted, and that some heresies lead to dialog and change within the Roman Church. In Byzantium the Orthodox Church held sway. A doctrinal split early in the history of the Christian church separated the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Patriarchy of the Orthodox Church was based in Constantinople, and the Orthodox church absorbed a great deal of the rich culture of the Eastern Empire. The tense relations between both religions was often lost on the peasantry, but it would lead to a split between most of Europe and those nations that would eventually adopt Orthodoxy, most notably Russia.

The Vandals, on the other hand, were considered impassive and devout. Where the Goths resisted Christianity, the Vandals embraced it. However, the Vandals did not embrace Roman Catholicism, but rather Arian Christianity, a sect that preached the non-divinity of Jesus. As the Vandals conquered lands they imposed their religion on the populace, and treated Roman Catholics harshly. They also rejected the celebrations common to other barbarian peoples, like the Goths. Stern, serious conquerors, they established not only a land empire that spread through most of Northern Africa, but a powerful navy that ranged throughout the Mediterranean. Carthage, Sicily, and most of the western Mediterranean islands were eventually conquered by the Vandals, and this aggression would eventually lead the forces of Byzantium against them.

The Franks, whose land often faced the threat of outside invaders, fought off waves of barbarian tribes, who generally made the crossing over the Danube and into Central and Southern France. The Frankish King allied himself with a number of friendly tribes and brought war to the invaders, driving the Visigoths out of Central and Southern Gaul, and establishing the Frankish state. The king of the Franks, in order to defray the cost of having to defend the whole of Gaul, divided his nation into fiefs, and offered major tribes and families jurisdiction over certain portions of land in exchange for their fealty to himself. This system decentralized power and military control, but made it possible for a number of allied lords to control larger portions of land. This was the beginning of the Feudal system that would dominate Europe during the Medieval period.

Byzantium had been fighting Persia for hundreds of years before Western Rome fell. The Fall of Western Rome left Byzantium without much defense from barbarian tribes, and the Dalmatian Roman forces were entreated to accept Byzantine hegemony, in order to bolster Byzantine defenses. As it was, armies had to be transferred from the Persian front and relegated to Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Asia Minor. But the Persians, under the rule of the Sassanids, were implacable. Relying heavily on their Cataphracts and Archers, the Persians were nearly impossible for the archery light Byzantine armies to defeat, but their siege craft was not perfect. Byzantium established forts and fortified cities, and preferred to fight their wars from behind high walls, sallying forth with their horsemen during lulls in combat. The Byzantine army was made up of heavy cavalry similar to the Cataphracts of Persia, which wore breastplate armor and bore lance and sword (Spathion), Lighter Horse archers garbed in chain shirts and carrying composite bows, soldiers in scale armor and bearing spears, maces, swords (Xiphos or Spathions) and shields, and light troops in either padded or leather armor with spears, slings, bows, and shortswords (Xiphos).

Christianity, despite being the religion of Rome at the end of the Empire, was very weak at the beginning of the Dark Ages. Without the Roman infrastructure the Church became very vulnerable


A Dark Age, A Golden Age

Breastplate and Mail, Byzantine Early Steel The Breastplate and Mail armor of the Byzantines is a historical oddity. Breastplates were phased out of use by the Persians, and the western warriors of the Crusades would only wear chainmail. The basis for this armor came from the lorica segmentata, which became too expensive to produce in the late Roman period, but which, simplified, survived in Byzantium, which also had many Greek roots. The similarity between the Byzantine breastplate and the Greek cuirass was often evident in the design. Chain shirt, Byzantine Early Steel The Byzantines gave professional archers mail shirts, and usually one size fit all. On some the fit was tight, on others the chain hung loose and far down on the chest. This meant that the armor was often less than fully effective, no matter how well made it was. If you wish to simulate this with chain shirts or chain armor in general, consider rolling a d10. On a roll of 1, the mail is too tight, and the armor bonus is 1 versus bludgeoning strikes. On a roll of 10, the mail is too loose, and the armor bonus is 1 versus piercing attacks. European chainmail was used in a similar fashion, although chainmail barding was fitted. Padded Armor, Byzantine Byzantine padded armor evolved from the heavy quilted clothing worn with heavier armors. Usually given to militia and conscripts, padded armor wasnt much to look at or to defend with, but it was better than nothing. A slashing weapon might draw more stuffing than flesh in a quick strike, and in a battle that could mean the difference between disembowlment and living to fight another day. Lance, Byzantine Early Steel The Byzantine lance was often eight feet in length. The lance is considered a reach weapon. The lance can be used in a charge, doing doublee damage (triple with the Spirited Charge feat). Critical damage on a charge would triple that lance damage yet again, often with deadly consequences. Xiphos, Single and Double Edged Early Steel and Spathion, Early Steel The xiphos descended from the kopis, akinakes, and falcata. There were two kinds of xiphos. One was a full length slightly curved thick sword, reminiscent of the scimitar and falchion, without any embellishments. The double-edged xiphos was a shorter sidearm, often carried by those whose main weapon was not a sword. Someone who favored a longer double-edged blade would favor the spathion, which descended from the Roman spatha. When the Vandals took Carthage, it was a blow to Byzantium, who had taken on rulership of the fallen Western Empires holdings. When the Vandals took Sicily, it was an insult. When the Vandals assaulted Rome itself, well after the fall of the Western Empire, it was taken as a declaration of war by the Byzantines. Belisarius, the General of Byzantium at the time, had just finished a military reorganization. One of the most interesting results of this reorganization was not its new formations of warband, brigade, and division, but its careful attention to a nonstandard division of forces.

Comitatus and the Optimati

The Germans used a kind of military unit called the Comitatus during the years that lead to the fall of the Roman Empire. The Comitatus was a gathering of soldiers-at-arms who pledged themselves to a particular tribal chieftain or leader because of their affection or respect for that leader. The Comitatus system established bodyguards of irregular soldiers for major chieftains. The bonds that men formed in the Comitatus were often as strong or stronger than family bonds, since the men in a Comitatus ate, slept, fought, and died together. Later, in the Dark Ages, these groups would attach themselves to beloved nobles, calling themselves Frater Comitatus, Brothers in Commitment. This is the basis for legendary groups of knights like the mythical Round Table of Arthur. The Optimati were a German military force elected by their tribes. Each Optimati warrior was determined by their clans to be the best warriors they had. Optimati received the tribes support and were often assigned assistants, called armati, who were sent to attend to the Optimatis needs and tend to his armor and weapons. The Optimati tradition appears to be a direct progenitor to the later knightly traditions that would become popular with the Feudal System and the Chivalric Movement. The scouting of an enemys army to determine their numbers was an ancient and established practice. Techniques like counting campfires and torchlights had often been used, although this was exploited by Hannibal to great effect. The most common scouting method involved counting marching units. Since most armies were organized in a specific number, knowing how many formations there were and simple arithmetic could determine a roughly accurate number of soldiers. The Byzantine forces, however, were not organized by strict number, and scouts found it much more difficult to get an accurate count of men in the field. Without accurate numbers, their foes often over or underestimated Byzantine forces, and would either fall back too early or stand at a defense that was untenable. Belisarius fell upon the Vandals like an avenging angel. His troops, tempered in battle against Persia and hardened by long marches through Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, easily overwhelmed the Vandal forces in Numidia, and then marched straight into Carthage. During their time in Carthage, and especially after the sack of Rome, the rich living of the Vandals, as well as their poor treatment of the local people made them ripe for slaughter. There was no need to march on Mauritania after the fall of the Vandals. The Vandal king was captured and forced to surrender, and Byzantine rule was established throughout all of Northern Africa. The Vandals, who had never developed any kind of unique artwork or culture that was passed down, faded from the annals of history.


From Stone to Steel

Byzantium once more came under attack by the Persians. At first the Persians struck deep into Syria, and took all of Palestine. But Belisarius and his successor Narsis employed their new tactics with great success. The Byzantines crippled the Persian forces with attacks that struck deep into Persia territory, and the Persians were forced to retreat from much of their initial holdings. Narsis even added a new tactic to the works. During several battles he had heavy cavalrymen dismount and set lances against a charge in a phalanx formation, thus creating a sort of mounted pikeman, which would prove effective against the Persians. Still, possession of Syria and Palestine remained disputed, only to be interrupted by another invasion. formerly kept the clan leaders from action, a systematic persecution began. It started with harassment of Muhammads followers. It was not uncommon for them to be accosted in the streets, and the clan leaders turned a blind eye to beatings or torture. Muhammad during this time, had his first contact with the city of Yathrib, a smaller Arab community to the north of Mecca. After they sent to Mecca for him to adjudicate a conflict between rival tribes, Yathrib invited Muhammad to settle in its territory. As things worsened in Mecca, he sent 70 of his followers to Yathrib, starting the Hijrah. Eventually Muhammad got wind of an assassination plot against him, and he and his closest friend, Abu Bakr, fled Mecca. When the assassins went to Muhammads house that night, they discovered he was not there, and that his cousin Ali was waiting in Muhammads bed. The assassins, incensed, pursued Muhammad, but did not capture him. In Yathrib, Muhammad so impressed the ruling tribes that they pledged support to him. After taking two years to organize his men and the tribes that allied themselves with him, Muhammad brought war to the Meccans. At his first battle, in Badr, he struck against a force three times larger than his own. Muhammads men fought in formation, tightly ranked, most likely using Byzantine or Persian tactics, while the Meccan forces in Badr were mostly loosely confederated horsemen and light infantry. The superior defense and tight fighting techniques of the Muslims routed the Meccans, who were likely unprepared for serious warfare. Following the victory, one of the tribes who allied itself to Muhammad that proved to be un-supportive in the battle of Badr was cast out of the alliance of tribes in Yathrib. This set the requirement of full support for Muhammads tribal allies. Likely it was during this first year that the Constitution of Medina was established, under which the tribes and clans that allied themselves with Muhammad recognized his station as the Prophet of God. The city of Yathrib was renamed Medina, and the structure of lawful society was established as an example of how a Muslim city should be ruled. There was a Jewish community in Medina at that time, and they were declared dhimmis, protected people, due to their worship of One God and their adherence to a book. A tax was established, and all dhimmis were required to conform to the civil laws, while payment of the tax perpetuated religious tolerance. Christians in Islamic cities would also be considered dhimmis, but this status was never conferred to polytheists. War continued with Mecca. The Meccans fought a successful engagement with Muhammads forces at the ridge of Uhud, driving them back into Medina. With an even larger army, the Meccans attacked Medina two years later, laying siege to the city, but experiencing a terrible attrition. Called the Battle of the Trench, Muhammad had had his forces dig a wide, deep trench, so long that the Meccan cavalry could not cross it without exposing their forces to withering archer fire. The Meccans losses were great, and although the Muslims of Medina never made an effective countercharge, the Meccans were forced to withdraw. Muhammads bid to create a new identity for his community and faith was now impossible to stop. It is said that Muhammad even

Lances on Foot
Most lances (except tournament lances) were intended for use both on foot and on horseback. The lance is used much like a longspear when wielded on foot, and can be set against a charge when used in this manner. Most lances are reach weapons, and the penalties for reach weapons should be kept in mind when they are wielded in this manner. The main benefit of using a lance from horseback is the charge multiplier, which can be devastating.

The Rise of Islam

Over the centuries, the Peninsula of Arabia was settled by nomadic Bedouin and Semitic tribes. These Arabs were common in the deserts of Syria and Western Persia, and settlements in Arabia were generally around oases. Arabia was a cultural hub, where Byzantine and Persian cultures met, and Arabs were often to be found fighting as auxiliaries in both Persian and Byzantine armies. Mecca, home of the sacred shrine of the Rock, was also the spiritual center of Arab culture. A great variety of gods were worshipped in Mecca, and bazaars were held at different times where almost anything from most parts of the world could be purchased. Pilgrimages were made to Mecca by many Arabs, usually on a yearly basis, to worship at the Kabah, a holy place for all Arab peoples. While the war between Persia and Byzantium was becoming more active, a man named Muhammad, while in a desert retreat, experienced a number of deep spiritual revelations. Three years after he started to receive these revelations, he began to preach in public in Mecca. If it were not for his family ties and marriage relationships with a high-ranking family in Mecca, he may well have been silenced by the powers that ruled the city. Christianity had already visited the Arab world, and a number of Arab groups were Christian, but the majority of Meccan civilians were polytheistic, and Muhammads preaching was very much against their form of worship. Moreover, he began to gain converts to his new belief system, and city leaders were concerned that he was going to foment a rebellion. Ironically, it would be their own short-sighted actions that brought about what they worst feared. After the death of Muhammads first wife and her uncle, whose family prestige had


A Dark Age, A Golden Age









12 10b 16 13 18a 19

9. Byzantine Lance; 10a. Xiphos shortsword; 10b. Xiphos curved; 11. Spathion; 12. Solenarion; 13. Byzantine and Arab Bow Darts; 14a. Early Longspear Head; 14b. Early Longspear Head; 15. Saxon Shortsword; 16. Sparte; 17. Double Winged Battleaxe; 18a. Heavy war mace; 18b. Heavy war mace; 18c. Ceremonial mace; 19. Morning Star mace wrote to the Emperor of Byzantium, the King of Persia, the Governor of Egypt, and the Negus of Abyssinia, inviting them to submit to Islam. Within a year, Muhammad was able to negotiate his return to Mecca, to that he and his followers could worship at the Kabah. A year after that Muhammad peacefully occupied Mecca, destroyed all the idols in the Kabah, and forbade any polytheistic practice. He also won over two of his greatest enemies, Amr ibn al-As and Khalid ibn al-Walid. The latter of these men would one day hold the title of Sword of God, while the former was the future conqueror of Egypt. This was the climax of Muhammads career. In a few years Muhammad took ill, and died. Abu Bakr inherited the leadership of Islam in a briefly contested succession. Taking the title of Khalifah, or Caliph, as the anglicized version is spelled, Abu Bakr held together the alliance of tribes, and funneled their aggression against the larger powers. Byzantium and Persia saw an increase in skirmishes with more organized Arab forces along their borders, but since they were more concerned with each other, no concerted effort was made to stop the raids. Succeeding Caliphs had greater and greater successes against the greater powers. The Arabs, now awakened and united, began to carve out an empire throughout northern Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. Major cities often held out against Islamic forces, but the lands and people in between were often Arab held and controlled, and Byzantine and Persian forces found it impossible to maintain effective fronts to stop this encroachment. During this time it is likely the Majra was designed by Arab forces, which would eventually lead to the Byzantine Solenarion. Majra/Solenarion The solenarion and the Majra were likely developed in response to each other. The majra was likely developed first, with the solenarion being developed in reaction to this new tactic by Arab and Islamic forces. The majra (or solenarion) is not a weapon in itself, but rather a bow accessory. The majra was a reed or bone


From Stone to Steel

sheath, with a cord attached to one end that was either tied to the bow, the bow wielders wrist, or held in the hand bracing the bow. The majra was then loaded with up to five darts, each usually six inches in length. When the bow was drawn back, the majra would rest like an arrow on the string, holding the darts in place. The archer would fire the majra, and the majra, darts and all, would race forward in the same manner as an arrow, only to be stopped short by the attached cord. The darts, however, would remain on their same trajectory, perhaps only a tad less effective than an equivalent bow shot. This allowed a single archer to deliver a merciless barrage of dart fire. The majra, and the later solenarion, provided a number of other advantages. Darts were small and easy to carry. An archer could carry twenty arrows in a quiver, but forty darts in a quiver half the size. Darts could not be picked up by enemy archers and fired back, unless the enemy also possessed a majra or solenarion. An archer trying to fire a dart from a bow was as likely to strike himself in the bracing hand as hit any target in front of themselves. In game terms the majra or solenarion are identical, and mice (see below) or arab darts can be fired from either. The range increment of darts fired from a bow using a majra or solenarion is reduced by 10 feet, to show the slight loss of range and force. For the first range increment, the damage of a fired dart is +1 damage. Each range increment after that subtracts 1 damage point. Thus, the second range increment does normal damage, while the third does normal damage -1, etc. When firing into a group, roll randomly to see which target(s) might be struck and then make attack rolls against each. If using multiple darts, each has a -2 to attack rolls per extra dart. Thus if two darts are used each has a -2 penalty, if three darts are used each has a -4 penalty, etc. If firing from hiding and a sneak attack is made, only the first dart qualifies for the sneak attack damage bonus. Darts may not target more than one foe. Use of the majra or solenarion requires special training, and are considered an exotic items. The majra and solenarion were regional weapons, and the extensive training bowmen required to use it made its use limited. Western cultures did not have enough exposure to the weapons to adopt them, and the advent of the crossbow would allow large number of untrained conscripts in both Europe and Arabian lands to supercede the use of this fascinating weapon. The majra and solenarion require a full round action to reload. Darts, Byzantine and Arab Bow The darts used by the Arabs and Byzantines were very similar to regular darts. They were about six inches in length, and Byzantine darts had bullet-shaped heads while the Arab darts could be arrow-headed (slashing), bullet shaped (piercing), barbed (piercing w/barbs), or spiked (piercing with +1 damage, but the armor bonus of an enemy wearing medium or heavy armor is +1). The Byzantines often referred to such darts as mice.

Denied of supplies, and unable to reinforce or replace their soldiers, cities like Damascus and Jerusalem eventually fell to Muslim forces. Other cities, where religious differences between Christian sects already had them in turmoil, minority sects would often ally themselves with the Muslims, whose brand of religious tolerance would allow them to finally practice their beliefs openly. Like the tide before a storm, the forces of Islam continued to grow more and more bold and effective. When Byzantine forces stymied them in the North, they moved against the Sassanids, using fast moving light cavalry and unorthodox tactics to subdue and crush the ailing empire, despite the Persian cataphracts and elephant units. With the fall of the Sassanids, Persia lay wide open to Islamic forces. Later conquests over the following decades would consolidate Islams power in Eastern Persia. Under the Caliphate of Uthman, conflict grew up within the burgeoning Islamic world. Uthman consolidated power under his family, in the hope of establishing a dynastic chain. He moved the capitol of Islam to Damascus, where his family held the majority of power. While Libya and Armenia were brought under Islamic rule and a true navy was beginning to develop to counter the Byzantines, Uthman attempted to cement the Umayyadd dynasty, but protests and grievances lodged by other leaders lead to a power struggle within Islam, and the killing of Uthman. The succession from that point was contested. Ali, Muhammads cousin who had stayed in his place to draw the attentions of the assassins, was nominated to succeed Uthman, primarily, it is said, by those who were responsible for Uthmans death. The Umayyadd family, on the other hand, promoted Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, the leader of the new navy, governor of Syria, and the cousin of Uthman. This contested Caliphate spawned two factions within Islam, the Sunnis and the Shiis. Sunnite and Shiite divisions were primarily political, rather than religious in nature, and would eventually lead to inter-islamic conflict. Before the Islamic state was fifty years old, an Islamic army laid siege to Constantinople. By this time it controlled all of the land Byzantium had won back from the Vandals, and all of Syria, Palestine, and Asia Minor (Anatolia or modern day Turkey). The first siege failed, as the Byzantines were able to maintain good supply and cause more casualties than the Muslim siege forces could sustain. Byzantine siege tactics were well refined, and included large siege weapons, use of Greek Fire, and Cavalry sorties.

More on Greek Fire

The Byzantines were the ones to perfect Greek Fire (alchemists fire). Heated in pressurized cauldrons and then sent spewing at ships at sea or cascading down fortification walls, Greek Fire was something of a Dark Ages equivalent to modern napalm. Greek Fire could burn on the surface of water, and the flames of Greek Fire were not doused by submersion. Worse, Greek Fire would cling to skin, and was nearly impossible to wipe off, owing to its dangerous nature. Greek Fire merely had to come in contact with


A Dark Age, A Golden Age

anything on a person. Armor would grow intensely hot, baking the victim within it. Clothing or leather would shortly begin to burn, and needed to quickly be removed if the victim had any hope of surviving. And once it came in contact with skin and flesh, there was rarely hope for the victim, other than complete immersion in sand or a swift amputation, if possible. Greek Fire was not as mysterious or well kept a secret as many historians may make it out to be. The Byzantines were, without a doubt, the most common users of Greek Fire, but the Arabs knew the manner in which to prepare Greek Fire, and documents often speak of naval battles where Byzantine, Arab, and Venetian ships all had pressurized Greek Fire weapons in use. The rarity of Greek Fire is due to the difficulty of acquiring and processing the ingedients, and the skill needed to tend the pressurized cauldron that heated it. If the pressure became too high in the Greek Fire cooker, it had a tendency to explode, which meant death for anyone on the ship or on the portion of city wall that employed the weapon. Greek Fire does not rightly fall under the category of personal weapon or armor, but makes an excellent and fearsome weapon to use in either naval or siege battles, along side such standbys as molten lead, boiling water, and flaming pitch. This did not stop the growing state of Islam. The Arabs continued to push into the interior of Persia, crossing the Hindu Kush and entering portions of western India, while also moving across Mauritania and into Spain. In Cordoba, where the minority Cordoban court held sway, Islam established a Western capitol, a portent of how long a stay Islam would have in Iberia. Islam had finally entered Europe. The Umayyads returned to Byzantium, looking to extend across the Bosporus, but again, the Byzantines proved too expert on siege warfare. With little ground gained, the only front to press was the Spanish front, and that, too, was countered eventually at Tours, where Frankish forces, under the rule of King Charles Martel, countered and turned back the forces of Islam. The Umayyads had reached the limit of their power. They could no longer expand westward, and for the time being they were overextended in Persia. either in and or out, usually by establishing a perimeter that prevented relieving forces from reinforcing the defenders and preventing any supplies from coming in. Often, if a siege was expected, the defenders would stockpile food and water, so blockades could last for months, and possibly years, if a well was located within the city walls. If the defenders felt they were strong enough, they might also attempt sorties, attacks to weaken the besieging force, usually by having heavy cavalry attempt a short charge against whatever they could attack. Sorties might simply be to demoralize the besiegers or they might be coordinated to allow a relieving force into the location under siege. Still, blockades promoted starvation, thirst, disease, and boredom, all of which could lead to the surrender of a target. If you do not believe boredom could be a dangerous condition, consider how lax bored defenders might get on guard duty, or how an anxious gate warden might, through boredom and fear of attack, consider giving the enemy access to the city in exchange for a position in the occupiers forces. Another common tactic was Escalade, the mounting of walls in order to establish a foothold on defensive ground. This required scaling ladders or siege towers, and was highly dangerous, as those climbing ladders could be tipped over, have things poured down on them (such as the aforementioned Greek Fire, molten lead, boiling oil, or flaming pitch), or come under fire from archers on the defending wall. Siege towers were usually very vulnerable to fire hazards, or smoke, which, in the close quarters of a siege tower, could be a deadly weapon, choking those waiting to climb onto the wall. Ditches or moats made use of a siege tower impossible. If the besieging force could successfully mount the enemy walls, though, they could considerably shorten the length of a siege, often establishing control of towers, baileys, or portions of wall to lead attacks from. Some fortresses were built with multiple layers of walls, to limit the benefit of a successful Escalade. Siege forces with the right equipment might attempt to breach a wall, either through use of a bombardment, battering ram, bore, or mouse. Very weak walls might be knocked apart with enough bombarment by a catapult or trebuchet, although this tactic took a great deal of time and effort. Often such bombarding siege weapons were used to attack the interior of a target, to disrupt interior defenses or to simply cause injury and death, often with hopes that this might cause confusion, panic, or disease. Battering rams, usually made from large trees and capped by iron, could be wheeled up to a city gate, and then swung against the gate in an effort to break them. Operators of a ram were vulnerable while close to the wall, though, and defenders could throw down rocks, fire flaming arrows, pour liquids, or generally make it impossible to operate the ram. Thus, palisades, called cats, which were effectively roofed structures to cover the ram and it operators, were often employed. Smaller cats might also conceal a bore, much like a modern drill, which could be used against the city wall, to break up stone and mortar, or a mouse, which was simply a sharpened lever, which was used to scrape the mortar between

Primer on Sieges
It is not in the scope of this work to detail the use of Siege Engines or Large-Scale Battle tactics. Still, the development of weapons, armor, and tactics were certainly shaped by the nature of the siege, which was one of the most common battlefield activities besides the skirmish or full scale battle. A sieges goal is to occupy a fortified location, be it a tower, keep, city, or castle. Often these targets were built on difficult terrain, which made one or more sides of the target location impossible to attack. Those laying siege had a few options when it came to how to take the objective. On a siege where the attackers had no means of breaching the defenses of the location, a blockade was the most common tactic. Blockades involved cutting off any access to the city,


From Stone to Steel

stones away until the stones could be loosened and removed. In this way a wall could be breached, and attackers could enter the target location at will. Another tactic might be mining, which was the process of digging under the foundation of the city walls, in order to weaken them. This required trained miners, who would dig so far, establish braces to keep the tunnel from collapsing, and then move farther. Once the mine extended under the wall foundations, braces would be set up, and then burned, so that miners could back away from where the wall would collapse, and so that, once burned, the wall above would have no support structure. This would cause the wall to fall, creating a breach. If the defenders knew where the enemy miners were digging, they could often countermine, establishing their own mine well before the foundations and then laying in wait for the time the enemy would break through. Then it would fall to tunnel fighting, often with little light and mining equipment. But quite often deceit was the tactic of choice, attempting to bribe, frighten, or otherwise manipulate the defenders into giving the attackers the advantage. Perhaps a captain wanted to control the city after the besiegers left, or simply wanted a portion of the loot. Perhaps a political faction was interested in allowing the besieger to rule, perceiving some advantage. There were often many reasons for why a defender might allow an attacker entrance, but in the end it usually lead to murder, looting, and a change in power. demeanor. Added to this were increasing numbers of Saxons, a northern Germanic tribe hired to deal with the Pictish problem, who came to Briton in increasing numbers and showed no interest in leaving. In fact, when the Picts were driven back, the Saxons saw Briton as an easy conquest. Saxon culture, like many northern Germanic cultures, celebrated warriors. As with most central and northern Germanic cultures, male Saxon children began combat training at a young age, likely age 67, and trained to use the scramsax and dart. Fist fighting was an encouraged sport, as was Greco-Roman wrestling. By the age of ten the child would graduate to spear and sword training, would learn to carry a shield, and would be taught to string and shoot a bow, if they showed promise. Javelin training was briefly touched upon, but it was assumed that someone able to use darts well would adapt to the javelin as quickly. Some Germanic tribes also used slings. At some point a male child needed to go through a rite of passage to attain adulthood. Those who did not undertake this rite of passage were still considered tribe members, but were never considered adults, and could never achieve a position of importance in the tribe. This did not make it impossible to marry or raise children, but it did mean that a man who never undertook the rite of passage would be buried with a childs grave, and would never be considered a true warrior. Those who did complete the rite of passage would be taught to throw the francisca and fight with the battleaxe. Certain strong warriors even favored a double winged battleaxe, for its fearsome appearance and optional two-handed grip. Saxon culture also stressed seamanship, and even organized its military units in keels. The historians of this period note that Saxons were experts at sea-craft, and that they also practiced surviving wrecks and even using deliberate shipwrecks to their advantage. If attacking a village with a limited port, the Saxons often deliberately sunk a hulk or two outside a harbor, to prevent enemy ships from evacuating. A wrecked ship could not be used against the Saxons, and if a wreck was set ablaze it could be a treacherous hazard to other ships at sea. The Saxons began to build up forces in South-Eastern Briton, taking over the provinces of Kent and Anglia, where the bulk of civilized people lived. The Scots north of the Grampians and Hadrians Wall kept the northern Britons from organizing, and the Welsh lands were still primarily ruled by wild Celtic tribes. Still, the man who would be called Arthur raised up forces in the remaining civilized Britons, and fought against the Saxon encroachment. It is likely that Arthurs men were organized as the late Roman forces were, with Heavy Cavalry primary (likely only the nobles, who could afford to maintain horses) and armed infantry second. In the twelve battles Arthur waged against the Saxons, he showed a keen grasp of terrain and tactics, and reputedly suffered few casualties. He fought alongside his men, and records suggest that he became feared among the Saxons for his fearlessness and supposed invulnerability. The popular trappings of the Arthur myth had no deep basis in fact. No true knighthood had been established yet (although knight probably comes from a

Of the British Isles, Arthur, and the Saxon invasion

While barbarian tribes moved across Europe, the British Isles struggled to maintain some of the Roman civilization that had been brought to them. Even when Roman forces left the island, the majority of the civilized lands, the cities in South East England especially, still identified themselves as Roman. A civilized Briton would point to Hadrians Wall, which separated their civilized lands from those of the barbaric Picts, who dyed or tattooed their skin and fought with crude weapons. So when Roman armies withdrew to help fight wars in the southern lands of Rome, the Britons looked on their departure with dread. There is evidence that the political structures and military structures of Rome endured in the aftermath. Civil militia still practiced drill, and elections for local ruling bodies still were held. Bishops from the mainland and Irish monks still arrived to try and evangelize the populace, which was not as open to Roman Catholicism as other areas were. Many diehard Rome supporters likely converted to the Christian religion when Rome made it universal, and it is very likely that the man we know as King Arthur was born into one of these families. By the likely time of Arthurs birth, the situation in Britain was grim. Pict raids had finally breached Hadrians Wall, and without the structure to defend from, the depredations were severe. A tribe of people called the Scots had joined the Picts in the lands above the wall, immigrants from Ireland who had a more warlike


A Dark Age, A Golden Age

Saxon word meaning military servant), there was no Camelot, they likely wore chainmail or old Roman lorica armors, and in the last fateful battle where Arthur fell, it is likely Britons last defenses fell. The Britons were forced to retreat from the Saxon held territories, and live between the Welsh wilds of the West, the Saxon lands of the East, and the Scot lands of the North. The Angles, a Germanic tribe that warred often with the Saxons, saw the wealth of the Saxons increase and approached them during a brief peace. The Saxons invited the Angles to join them in the land of the Britons, and eventually the Jutes and Danes sent token forces to this relatively free region. With them came the Germanic tongue, which blended with the gaelic and latin dialects of Briton and eventually lead to the development of the English language. As time progressed, the Angles and Saxons intermarried in Briton, and their combined forces eventually subjugated all of southern Briton except for the wildest portions of Wales. The name, England, comes from the Frankish name for their landAngle-terre: Land of the Angles. Spear, Early Steel Long The longspear, one of the oldest weapons in history, was used as a common footmans weapon, but also doubled as a makeshift lance for charges. The long spear is a reach weapon, and can be readied against a charge (doing double damage when set). As with the majority of reach weapons, the spear cannot be used against a foe within 10 feet. Sword, Early Steel Short The Saxon shortsword was a development of the scramsax, and was a single sided chopping blade up to two feet in length. The shortsword was the primary weapon of teens and warriors in training, and made a good stepping-stone to larger types of swords, as many of the tactics learned with the shortsword applied to larger variants. Sparte, Early Steel The sparte was a single-bladed battleaxe developed by the Saxons. The sparte had a broad, half-moon shaped blade, and a haft about three feet in length. The sparte was an axe, an adults weapon, and is sometimes found buried by the bodies of warriors fallen in battle. Most of them were unadorned, but those with wealth sometimes had inlays of gold or silver on the blade or haft, as a sign of their wealth and station. Though the amount of gold or silver on the weapon was not enough to improve or decrease its combat effectiveness, it did let ones opponent know exactly who they were facing. Such adorned weapons were likely not used often, if at all. Battleaxe, Early Steel Double Winged Called double winged because of their twin blades, one on either side of the haft, these weapons are quite popular in modern barbarian fantasy, but were only rarely used in battle. The problem with a double-winged axe is that the second blade increases the head weight, requiring more strength for the weapon to be handled effectively, and the second blade cannot be brought to bear against an enemy while the first is striking. The benefit of the double winged axe was one that only the trained fighter could take advantage of. The main defense against a standard axe attack was to simply block the first strike, which would force the axe-wielder to withdraw their weapon and reset their stance. With the second head pointing in the opposite direction of the strike, a deflected slash could be reversed without having to get back into a stance, meaning that an aggressive fighter could keep their foe on the defensive, rather than giving them a chance to take over momentum.

Feudal Europe
Across the Channel the Franks joined together with the Burgundians, the Brettons, the Auvergnes, and the Orleans to unite and drive away foreign powers, and take back all of France for themselves. The Feudal System spread gradually through Europe, and lords took up the protection of their limited fief, extracting taxes and goods from the peasants to feed and clothe the soldiers, and the hierarchy of the feudal system gave nobles and peasants a recourse for judgement of conflicts. The nobles often intermarried to strengthen their ties to each other, so as to promote peace between fiefdoms and to promote their joint well-being. A concern for the purity of bloodlines would only begin to set in when war broke out between feudal states. Conflict between feudal states was a new kind of war, not so much for conquest and subjugation, but more for honor and prestige. Soldiers fought each other more often for the honor of their lord than for the change of a dynasty. Not to say that a noble with aspirations for the crown couldnt fight their way to it, but as European civilization stratified from the feudal system, it became more difficult to win power from strength of arms. Often other nobles were much more likely to oppose a particularly aggressive lord out of the belief that the feudal system was there to protect states from the ambitions of the few. All of this helped to strengthen the power of the higher lords, and conveyed a new kind of security to Europe. While not as enlightened or civil as the Pax Romana, the Feudal systems security came from its obsessive order. Mace, Early Steel Light and Heavy There were a great variety of maces developed during the Dark Ages. The mace became such a prominent symbol of war and military authority that kings began to fashion fancy maces for themselves as a sign of their dominion. These scepters were generally gilt light maces, and were rarely if ever used in combat. Maces came in a variety of styles, from those with a plain ball head to those with triangular jutting blades to those with spikes. This last, called the morning star, has it own unique statistics. Hatchet, Early Steel The hachet, or hand axe, was a common workers tool. Used to break up fallen wood, cut down bushes, or split and hammer board, the hatchet was one item likely to be found in most peas-


From Stone to Steel

Tinting of Metals
Although the Romans discovered the secrets of tinting metals, metal tinting was not actively used until the Dark Ages. Tinting Metal required that, at some point in the forging process, the iron or steel item be exposed to some kind of liquid agent, in order to cause a slight corrosion. This corrosion changed the color of the metal, but imparted a curious and useful trait, namely, it made the item much more corrosion resistant. Blackening of armor or weapons required that, when the steel was hottest, it was subjected to a bath of oil, which caused a slight charring in the metal. Browning armor required using a salted liquid (many kinds were used) at the end of the forging process, and then allowing the item to cool and rust for a few days before scrubbing the item with a chain cloth. Mild acids, used to quench the item during the smithing process, tended to blue the metal, although there was a definite range of blue, which often tended towards black. Extreme heat could also cause the iron or steel to blue, although this required an extremely hot forge. Items that are tinted (blued, blacked, or browned) have their hit points reduced by 1, since they are inherently slightly damaged (although not visibly so), but their likelihood to rust, untreated, after submersion, is only 1%. Mercenaries often used tinted mail, since they were often on the march, since it prevented rust and gave the armor more durability. Militia or guard units might also tint their armor or weapons a specific color in order to appear as a unified group. Feudal warriors often wore chainmail suits, and officers wore patches on their forearms to indicate their family heritage and loyalties. These patches allowed soldiers to recognize friends or foes, and richer feudal lords liveried (or dressed) their soldiers in their house colors. From time to time, if necessary, peasant levies would be called to defend a land, and more often than not these levies carried whatever items they had that could be used as a weapon. This motley assortment included hatchets, sickles, scythes, whips, knives, grain flails, various forks, slings, crooks, staves, smithing or carpentry hammers, masons mauls, or even miners pick axes. Maces, longspears, or shortswords might be provided by a rich lord, should he feel it necessary to arm the conscripts. Armor was often many layers of the heaviest clothing you could afford, if not skins or furs and skins. Again, a wealthy lord might be able to afford leather armor or hide or wooden shields for conscripts, but this was an extreme expense. When Islam invaded Europe these were the armies that stood against it. In truth there is much to be said of King Charles Martels force and strategy, that he was able to weld his fighting men into an army capable of stopping the potent Islamic forces. At Tours he met and turned back an invading army with a cadre of loosely affiliated lords, in a variety of armors, their small body of personal soldiers, and a larger body of green conscripts. It is likely this victory that began to promote the Kingdom mentality of France. ant homes. The hatchet is not aerodynamic, unlike the throwing axe. It can be used as a bludgeoning weapon if the back of the axe head is used as the striking surface, but use of the hatchet in this manner incurs a -4 to hit, due to the weapon not being used in its intended fashion. Axe, Woodcutters The woodcutters axe was also a common item in the peasant community, and was used to fell trees. Often the woodcutters axe has a knee-bend about a third of the way down the haft, that increases the force of a strike and also makes it easier to pull an axe out of wood, as the knee-bend acts as point of torque. The woodcutters axe was not intended for warfare, but peasant brigands were often depicted with such axes waylaying knights or merchants in tapestries or drawings from the Dark Ages. Sickle, Early Steel The sickle was rarely crafted in steel. Often the work involved to craft a steel sickle made it too expensive for the farmers who might want to use it. The only time sickles were crafted in any version of steel was when they were made by a particularly skilled peasant craftsman, and usually items like this were limited to the village that craftsman lived in. The sickle was rarely carried onto the field of battle in this age, and would only have been used in combat in desperate situations. Scythe, Early Steel Like the sickle, the scythe was rarely crafted in steel. The scythe blade was never finely crafted, more of a curved wedge of metal than a weapon of war. A well-made scythe was a rarity, while one made of steel would be even rarer and more precious still. Whip, Bull The bull whip was made from leather, wrapped in a spiral pattern to enhance its strength. Bull whips were primarily used as tools in training and controlling wild animals, although they were also used by various cultures to keep slaves in line. The bull whip deals subdual damage, and no damage to any creature wearing armor of at least +1 armor bonus or creatures with a +3 natural armor bonus. Although kept in the hand, the bull whip is treated as a ranged weapon with a maximum range of 15 feet, and no range penalties. The bull whip can be used to wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the bull whip in order to avoid being tripped. Those using a whip gain a +2 bonus on their opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent, including the roll to keep from being disarmed if they fail their disarm attempt. The whip is considered an exotic weapon. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon. Knife, Early Steel The knife was used primarily for skinning and cutting up kills after a hunt. The knife, in Europe, tended to be straight, and was usually single-edged, although double-edged versions were not


A Dark Age, A Golden Age

20 26

27a 28a 28b 29 33 34


23 27b

24 30 22 25 31


20. Hatchet; 21. Woodcutter's Axe; 22. Sickle; 23. Scythe; 24. Bull Whip; 25. Knife; 26. Grain Flail; 27a. Hayfork; 27b. Pitchfork; 28a. Shepard's Crook; 28b. Crozier; 29. Quarterstaff; 30. Hammer; 31. Maul; 32. Pick Axe; 33. Miner's Axe; 34. European Padded Cloth Armor completely uncommon. The double-edged version is identical in The main difference between a hayfork and a pitchfork is the statistics to the single edged version, although its damage is con- number of tines on each fork: the hayfork has two tines while the sidered piercing. Some knives had a curved hook at the tip of the pitchfork has three. Steel versions of the hay or pitch forks were blade, in order to aid in cutting sinews and separating bones. rare for many of the same reasons that steel sickles or scythes This has no benefit in combat, however. were rare. Still, the forks would inspire the development of certain polearms. Flail, Grain (Plain and Studded) The grain flail consisted of a long pole, a short thong of leather or length of chain, and then a shorter pole. This was used to beat grain off of the stalk, after the grain had been cut in the field. The usefulness of the flail as a war weapon gradually became obvious when conscripts used the weapon for battering opponents at a distance, and for entangling the legs of horses. The grain flail can be used to wrap around a leg or other limb, it may also be used to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the grain flail in order to avoid being tripped. A studded version was developed to inflict more damage upon impact. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon. Hayforks and Pitchforks These were common use weapons kept around the farm for stacking hay, moving compost, or any of a variety of other jobs. Croziers The shepherds crook, or crozier, is an ancient staff, likely as old as sheep herding. The term crook refers to the often bent or curled head at the top of the staff. The shepherds crook was used to defend against wild animal attack, and to guide sheep when the shepherd was moving them. During the Dark Ages the shepherds crook became a symbol of the guiding role of the Christian Church in Europes development, and many higher officials in the church took to carrying a metal, stylized shepherds crook, often with an ornate head, as a sign of their office. Some less scrupulous individuals hid a blade at the end of the weapon, in case of the need for a weapon of last resort. Although in the Dark Ages and Medieval period there was some leeway for clergy of the Christian church to defend themselves with weapons, a concealed weapon in a symbol of their office was considered deceitful. You can fight with the spear-bearing


From Stone to Steel

crozier as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you are using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A creature using a double weapon in one hand, such as a Large creature using a crozier, cannot use it as a double weapon. Quarterstaff The quarterstaff is a simple weapon with a variety of uses. In the hands of the untrained, it is a heavy stick, something to wield like a longsword and club on the heads of attackers. To one of a more martial bent the quarterstaff can be used as a double weapon, using each end of the quarterstaff to attack an opponent while using the center to defend against strikes. The master of the staff, though, knows that the staff can be used effectively in both manners. Quick, swift strikes and blocks are effective against multiple opponents or against a trained opponent who cannot attack swiftly themselves. However, the master also knows how to use the length and flexibility of the staff to attack opponents before they expect it, with swift, crushing blows that stave armor and shatter bones. You can fight with the quarterstaff as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you are using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A creature using a double weapon in one hand, such as a Large creature using a quarterstaff, cannot use it as a double weapon. Hammer The hammer was a multipurpose tool. Many peasants had a hammer for effecting repairs to their homes, which were often wooden framed. Wagon wheels that came loose required being pounded back into place with a hammer, and then having the locking piece hammered in to hold it there. Carpenters, obviously, had an occupational need for the hammer. The word hammer appears to descend from an ancient German word for rock, and most old hammers were simply stone clubs. Hammers with metal heads were introduced during the Dark and Middle Ages, and as they entered conscript armies they came to the attention of the ruling lords. It is said that Charles Martel carried a great hammer and wielded it in battle. The hammer would pave the way for the warhammer and variants like the martel de fer. Maul The maul was the larger cousin of the hammer, and was used for everything from pounding stakes for a fence to breaking rocks in a quarry. The maul was large, heavy, and somewhat clumsy, and required two hands to wield. Still, those brutes strong enough to use the maul without penalty could cause fearsome injuries, and drive men from their feet with a single blow. Metal version of the maul were used almost exclusively by masons. Axe, Pick A popular tool, the pickaxe was a weapon that found its way into mobs and conscript armies. The wound from the pick itself tends to be small, but the small area that the weapon concentrates its force into can make it frightfully damaging. Picks could go right through armor on a square hit, and as soon as this was demonstrated on the battlefield, military commanders began experimenting with the pick, to discover better ways to use it in combat. Axe, Miners Although it is called a miners axe, this weapon did not develop in the mines, among the peasantry. Instead, the miner in the miners axe, refers to those engineers and sappers who practiced the very dangerous and effective siege work of mining. Developed to dig well, cut support timbers quickly, and fight in close quarters, the miners axe was a weapon that was rarely seen above ground, at first. As the art of siege engineering became more prestigious, and as its use became more treasured, the miners axe found its way into the collections of frequent campaigners, who might have it highly decorated or inscribed, or forged with great artistry and flourish. These later versions of miners axes were mostly for show, and would not see the regular scour of soil, splinter of wood, or the splash of blood that their more utilitarian cousins were likely to see. Cloth, European Padded Padded armor developed from the gambeson worn under the heavier forms of armor used in Europe. Quilt stitched, warm, and prone to mold, padded armor tended to stink after a few days of regular use, and required a great deal of boiling to clean. Padded armor was the most common armor given to conscripts, and many archers preferred it to heavier forms of armor that restricted their movement.

When Charlemagne came to rule France, his people were greatly divided, and the static nature of the Feudal system was taking its toll. Lords fought amongst each other for choice land, and the king was often ignored when his commands were unpopular. The military arts were more and more neglected, as the nobles took much of the responsibility of being the elite forces on themselves, leaving their soldiery mostly defensive. Peasants had minimal education, little religion, and very little contact with those outside their local community. Charlemagne sought to change this. Internal dissention in Europe and yet more sectarian conflicts in the Christian church left Rome in peril. The Lombards, yet another Germanic tribe, found the Gothic Kingdom of Italy in shambles, and they quickly conquered the region and began to dispute with the Pope for both temporal and spiritual control of the region. The Frankish powers, who had closely allied themselves to the Pope under the rule of Clovis, were invited by the Pope to come to his aid, and Charlemagne did, destroying the Lombards and establishing much of Italy as a feudal state under the control of the Pope. Called the Papal States, this became the first example of the Roman Catholic church directly administering lands in Europe, although the process, once begun, spread


A Dark Age, A Golden Age

quickly. Local monasteries, parishes, and diocese more and more often held onto lands deeded to the Church by the dying, which originally were turned over to local rulers. This lead to conflict between local feudal rulers and the Roman Catholic church, a pattern that would continue through a great deal of history, as either temporal or spiritual powers vied for domination of the populace of Europe. Europe, and the many states established within the Holy Roman Empire would remain part of the alliance for ages to come. Even when other crowns rose in Europe, the states of the Holy Roman Empire retained their unity, and eventually it became the practice for those Holy Roman Empire states to vote for the Emperor, so that no one crown of Europe would hold complete power over her. While Charlemagne was recreating Europe, a new power began to grow in the North, one which, in its own way, would create sweeping change: The Vikings.

Whats in a name?
Many peoples were often named by others who did not know their lands well. When Charles Martel fought the forces of Islam at Tours, it was recorded that he fought an army of Moors and Saracens, with certain Vandals in their number. The Moors were swarthy, sometimes black skinned African Muslims from the lands of Mauritania, for which they were named (Mauritania shortened to Maur or Moor). The Saracens were considered any of a great number of people who dwelt in the lands of Syria and south of there, of which the Arabs were just one of many (Syria became Saria, or Saracens). Eventually Saracen came to describe any Muslim who was not so dark skinned as a Moor. The Vandals mentioned in their number were likely any number of conquered Germans who had dwelt in Spain before the invasion, who were now conscripted into fighting with the Islamic forces. They were likely to be from one of any number of different Germanic tribes, but Vandals being the most common and most hated, historically, that was the label used. For their part, the Islamic invaders returned to their conquered lands after the battles of Tours with tales of the fearsome and deadly Franji (similar in sound to French or Frank), who had stopped the conquest of all the known world. When the Crusades would begin, generations later, any European on Crusade was often referred to as a Franji. Charlemagne allied himself to the Pope and the Roman Church during his reign, enforcing catechism among his people, and requiring captured lands and peoples to become Christians. He united France under the crown again by declaring war on the barbarous north, on Germany. Charlemagne forged new tactics with his feudal armies, organizing them in heavy cavalry, light scouts, heavy infantry, and conscripts, and he employed both fortifications and siege warfare to great effect. The barbarians had no chance. Charlemagne rolled across Europe, conquering tribes and states, converting them from their pagan or sectarian beliefs, and forcing them to bow to his rule. Even so, this war lasted a punishing 32 years. Germany was not Charlemagnes only field of conflict. Charlemagne attempted to retake parts of Spain from the Moors, but failed miserably, as recounted in the Song of Roland. Charlemagne brought forces against the Slavs, the Magyars, and the Avars (descendants of the Huns) in Eastern Europe, and he made much progress against them, destroying what nascent states had been there, to establish more Feudal structures. By the year 800 A.D. Rome repaid Charlemagne by conferring on him the title of Holy Roman Emperor. The establishment of the Holy Roman Empire cemented the power of the Roman Catholic church over

Material Properties: Pattern Welded Steel

Developed in the Rhineland, the secret of Pattern Welded Steel was kept primarily among a few smiths in that region. Pattern Welding is a process of braiding steel of various strengths, so as to maintain the flexibility of softer steels while retaining the hardness and edge of denser steels. Similar in concept to Damascus steel, it also tends to create a similar visual effect, although the pattern on the blade is not as fine as that of Damascus steel. Blades made of Pattern Welded steel are usually masterwork (and gain a +1 damage bonus), and are generally of Hardness 9. Charlemagne would eventually draft laws forbidding trade in Pattern Welded weapons to such tribes as the Vikings and Avars, but when the Vikings acquired such blades they also learned the technique of Pattern Welding. The Vikings would eventually improve upon these weapons to the degree that each blade be able to bend a full inch to either side and then return to its original state without warping. Such Viking made Pattern Welded blades were a Hardness of 10. At some point during the many wars of Europe, the secret of pattern welding was lost, and when the Vikings eventually began to fade as a world influence, so would the secret of Pattern Welding..

The Vikings.
The Vikings came from the far northern lands of Europe, from high in the fjords, where villages were set in fertile outcrops and ship travel was more efficient than foot travel for trading between villages. Fjord culture developed gradually, with those villages highest up the fjord trading with the lower villages for food and supplies that they could not manufacture or grow on their own. In some fjords this relationship of trade became antagonistic, when the highest villages had nothing to offer the lower villages by means of trade. Then the higher villagers would take up arms and sail down the fjords, raiding the lower villages for what they needed, then rowing back up swiftly enough to evade capture. The higher villages built up wooden forts to oppose attack, and, enriched by this raiding practice, they grew powerful. This practice was called viking in the Nordic lands, and those who practiced it took the name for themselves. Viking culture and religion celebrated the life of the warrior. It was their belief that they practiced in life the ways of the warrior so that, when the end of the world came, they would be able to stand with the Gods in the final battles. Those judged unworthy and unfit were cast out, sometimes literally, and were believed to go to Hel, the land named for the Tricksters fell daughter, a realm of


From Stone to Steel

fire, death, suffering, and hate. There is little surprise that Viking culture became so aggressive and warlike, with their religious motivations. And as they prospered on the wealth and bounty of others, the Vikings multiplied, populating the fjords and spreading out, to create new communities. It started in England. At first sporadic, minor raids, then there came a great raid in the fertile lands around Lindsfarne Monastery. A village was destroyed, the monastery was ransacked, all the grain and livestock were taken or slaughtered, and most items of value were carried away by the great bearded warriors that came on dragon-prowed ships. The Vikings of the time wore leather armor, if they wore any armor at all, although those without still carried a wooden shield, sometimes covered with leather, and all Vikings wore the heavier clothing favored in their mountain climes. Helmets were never horned (despite myth), and were likely similar to those of the Franks, with a conical shape and nose guards. Some rare few might have worn chainmail shirts or byrnies, but most did not. The weapons most commonly in use were spears, bows, long knives like the scramsax, battleaxes, long bearded axes, and a small smattering of pattern welded swords, forged to exacting specifications. Shield, Viking Wooden Small and Large Viking Shields were made to take damage. They were thick, heavy, and hard at the center, with a metal boss that protected the hand. But the Vikings would often soak the outer rim of the shield, or oil it, and refrained from lining the shield with metal to protect its rim. This was because the Vikings used their shields to disarm their foes. The wood at the rim was left soft to catch the blades of swords or axes used to attack them. When an axe strikes a Viking shield with more than half its normal damage, it is considered stuck, and requires an opposed strength roll to determine if the blade is removed. If the axe wielder succeeds in the opposed strength roll by only 1 point, he is unable to remove his axe, but he may use his axe to shield trap the person wielding the Viking shield. Should he succeed by more than 1 point, his axe is free. If a sword strikes the shield for 3 or more points of damage, it is considered stuck, and the Viking shield wielder may, as an attack of opportunity, attempt to make a sword breaking maneuver, if he is eligible. If the Viking shield wielder does not elect or cannot not make such a maneuver, the sword wielder must make an opposed strength roll in the same fashion as the axe wielder above. Spear, Krokaspjt The krokaspjt spear was a spear with a hooked point, somewhat a forbear of the glaive. A reach weapon used for slashing, the krokaspjt was used by Vikings for snagging and cutting rigging, slashing at horses legs, and shield trapping. The krokaspjt, a large two handed weapon, was a forebearer to the halberd, along with the refthi. Refthi The refthi was originally referred to in ancient sagas as a hammer axe weapon. Effectively a polearm with a short hammerhead on one side of the head and an axe blade on the other, the refthi was both a bludgeoning and slashing reach weapon. As time went on the axe head grew more pronounced and the hammer portion was minimized, leading to a very halberd-like design. Axe, Bearded The bearded axe was a mainstay of Viking warfare. A two handed battleaxe with a long, dropping blade, the bearded axe was used for savage attacks. Many stories tell of Vikings cleaving through the wooded shields of their foes with single blows of this axe. Well designed for battle, this was the weapon of choice even for the Danes and Varangians, and saw use from Byzantium to Iceland. Pattern Welded Viking Swords Potent and dangerous blades, these weapons were used by Vikings of all ages, and were more common on the battlefield than in raids. Whether short, long, or two-handed, these Viking blades were coveted throughout Christendom. In Viking tradition, swords were passed down from father to son, and a well kept blade could last generations, and see battles in many hands. Most Viking blades were inlaid with runes, and those runes were believed to confer magical powers on the blades themselves. Byrnie, Chainmail The byrnie was a knee-length chain shirt, backed by leather and topped with a spangenhelm. Where the Chain did not cover on arms or knees, splint armor, usually iron or steel, but sometimes wood or bone, covered. The byrnie was a very protective garment, but it was expensive and time consuming to manufacture. Usually only great warriors or chieftains wore byrnies. Viking raids spread. Ireland, France, and England bore the brunt of the Viking onslaught, but it did not take the Vikings long to attack Spain, to sail down the great rivers of France and England to attack major cities, or to reach the Mediterranian. Once in the Mediterranian the Vikings became a real menace, and no shore seemed safe from their attacks. Their ships could appear at any time, bringing battle hardened warriors intent only to terrorize the populace, take anything they could hold onto, and evade slower moving militia or soldiery when they arrived. With the Viking homeland often well beyond the reach of most naval forces of the age, the Vikings could not be pursued, and their victories stood uncontested. Their land tactics were varied, incorporating shield walls such as the Romans used and wild tactics called boar snout which was a running wedge intended to break through an enemy line and then disperse to flank them. Add to that their use of sword-breaking tactics and their legend as great warriors is well deserved. But the Vikings did not merely seek goods and wealth. They also sought land to settle. Varangians, a Swedish Viking tribe, landed in the cold lands off the Baltic coast, and ventured deep in to Slavic lands. Finding a large number of unaffiliated villages, the Varangians established a kingdom in that land called Rus. At first the Slavs opposed the


A Dark Age, A Golden Age

Vikings and drove them out, but within a decade, having discovered that they could not resolve tribal differences and rule themselves, they invited the Varangians back in, and established the Rus Kingdom with Viking rulers. These landbound Vikings forged an alliance between the Slavic tribes, and lead armies over land to raid northern Byzantine holdings, during a time when the Byzantines were concerned with holding their southern border against the Saracens. Their prowess so impressed the Byzantines that they paid tribute and eventually hired a substantial Varangian mercenary contingent to help in their defense, cementing an alliance between Byzantium and Russia that would promote Orthodox Christianity in that state. Eventually the Kingdom of Rus would be based in the city of Novgorod, and the Russian nation would begin its slow rise, expanding her power as other cities, like Kiev, were founded. Kingdoms were established in many lands. The Kingdom of York was established by Danish Vikings. The Kingdom of Man would be established in Ireland and the wilds of Wales. Vikings would land and establish lands in the north of France, in Normandy, where they would learn the tongue of the Franks and be known as Normans. The drive to expand lead the Vikings to sail west, beyond familiar seas, and to colonize Iceland, Greenland, and even portions of North America, and some speculate possibly as far south as the modern day state of New Jersey. The North American settlements proved too difficult to maintain, however, and eventually they were abandoned.

Runic Inscription and the Naming of Swords and Axes

The Vikings believed that runes held power, and that by inscribing them on sword blades they might confer that power to the weapon. According to Sagas, this kind of power did not require understanding the runes that were inscribed on the blade, and powers could include anything from a sword made to cleave shields in a single blow to a sword made to slay oathbreakers. The runes were inscribed on a blade by the Viking smith, and it was entirely up to the smith as to whether the sword purchaser knew what the enchantment was or not. The runes on a blade rarely had anything to do with the name given it. Axes, which did not regularly sport runic magic, were often given names of giantesses or valkyries from sagas, while swords were given a variety of names. Some bore names like Foot-biter or Leg-biter, likely indicative of the first wound caused by such a blade, while others might be named for their (hoped) effect in melee, like Fierce or Flame of Battle. Still others might confer a kind of spirit, like Gnawer or Viper. Sword names were selected by the first owner of a given blade, and the prestige of a given blade would carry its name with it.

35 40 41



37 36

35. Viking Shield; 36. Krokaspjot Spear; 37. Refthi; 38. Bearded Axe; 39. Pattern Welded Viking Sword; 40. Chainmail Byrnie; 41. Splint Mail


From Stone to Steel

Splint Mail In the later years of the Viking expansion, the byrnie-clad Vikings were joined by Viking warriors wearing splint mail into battle. Made of metal, bone, or wooden splints riveted to a leather backing, splint mail was an oddity, good at deflecting most glancing blows, but sacrificing mobility and ease of repair. Most non-metal versions of splint mail were employed by poor Viking tribes, while the metal versions were prohibitively expensive, although not as expensive as chainmail. Splint mail saw only limited use, failing to develop the popularity of chainmail. The Vikings shook up the established feudal states, attacking Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, France, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugaul, Morocco, Italy, and even Turkey. Their culture further diluted the already varied culture of England, and the eventual Norman invasion of France and England further infused England with Viking culture and gave it claims to land in the north of France, which would spawn quite a few wars in the future. Though eventually Christianized and civilized, the Nordic nations were never as dedicated to Roman Catholicism, and would be among the first nations to embrace the Reformed faiths in later ages. divided by local Caliphs, whose politics often differed with those of other Caliphs. The Tahirids, Saffarids, Samanids, Buwayhids, Ziyarids, and Ghaznavids sprung up in the east, the Hamdanids developed in Syria and northern Mesopotamia, and the Tulunids, Ikhshidids, and Fatimids took hold of Egypt. The Fatamids, for example, who opposed and eventually conquered the Tulun Caliph of Egypt, were more a political movement than a religious one. The Buwayhids, on the other hand, attacked Baghdad, opposing the Abbasids on purely succession-based grounds. These movements were met with outrage, as Muslims were not supposed to bear arms against other Muslims. Independent caliphs often used their power to attack minority groups they personally disliked. Such was the case when the Fatamid Caliph, Al-Hakim ordered the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Even though he would later have it rebuilt, actions like this, as well as other purges of dhimmis in individual cities, often by rogue generals, would have ripples in the European community.

Causes of the Crusades

The coming of the first millennia saw Europe at war. The Normans fought against Frankish forces, which were in retreat having surrendered much of France to the Viking descendants. The Vikings themselves were on the decline, their colonization programs growing too expensive to maintain, and their holdings in Europe dwindling as Germanic nations and the Danes turned against them. Christians in Spain were agitating against the Umayyad government, calling for help from Christian nations. The Italic states were in the midst of a trade war, as mercantile families vied with the hierarchy of the church and local ruling families for control of the economies of Italy, where trade made the nation the only importer of Silk Road goods, a monopoly that could make the right people phenomenally rich. The Sejulk Turks were one of the many Turkish peoples to convert to Islam, but their alliance with Persia made them particularly powerful. The Sejulk-Persian alliance gave both nations substantial power within the Arab community, and the Sejulks maintained strong military forces that could be brought to bear swiftly. The alliance and access to the mountainous regions east of Byzantium meant that the Sejulks were in a prime position to terrorize and debilitate the traditional enemy of the Islamic state. Sejulk raids were particularly costly, and despite reinforcements by Russian troops, Byzantium worried that their borders would not last. In the many Sultanates and caliphates of Islam, Christians were agitating. Although the dhimmi tax was considerably reasonable, many Christian peoples saw it as a form of oppression, and more and more they felt treated as second-class citizens. Christian protests and failure of tax payments were met with a variety of reactions. Some states required conversion for those who refused to pay taxes, while others forced people into exile, or executed troublemakers. Some more extreme leaders used events like this to purge cities of undesirable elements, although this was not in accord with the tenets of Islamic teaching. Word of these purges

The Fragmentation of Islam

Not long after the halting of the Arab expansion at Tours, the Abbasids revolted. The revolt, based on political issues of the succession of Caliphs, eventually cast the Umayyads out of power, and the Umayyads fled to Spain, to establish the separate Umayyad Spain. This would lay the foundation for eventual conflict between the Shiite and Sunni divisions that would form throughout greater Islam. Still, the Abbasid dynasty brought with it an openly acknowledged flourishing of scholarship, culture, trade, and industry. The Arabs had assiduously saved Grecian texts over the generations as Roman civilization decayed, and as Islamic culture spread, they added to their classical knowledge with Indian philosophy and cultural discoveries. Arab philosophy, science, and warfare would make jumps that European civilization would not for many centuries. Arab civilization spread gradually into Central Asia and China, as discussed in previous chapters, but even before the coming of the Vikings, Islam had reached something of a peak. The Abbasid dynasty moved the center of Islam to Mesopotamia, and founded the city of Baghdad. Schools of law were established to explore the nature of justice. An academy, the House of Wisdom, was established, to translate great works from Sanskrit, Greek, Syriac, and Persian into Arabic. And then something changed. Islam had grown large, and governors were needed to control different regions appropriately. These strictly temporal officials were called Sultans, and Sultanates were established as a means to administrate vastly different regions such as Egypt and Persia. After a time the governors took on more power, and new independent regions were born. Slowly Islam found itself partitioned, becoming separate regions, all united by religion but


A Dark Age, A Golden Age

would reach Europe slowly, and among those who most cared, these events would be viewed as reasons to consider war. In 1066, the Normans, under the rule of King William, would invade England. According to legend, William would trip while debarking his ship, something that would certainly have been taken as an ill omen by his men if he was not a quick thinker. But Williams wit was swift, and he placed a kiss upon the shore, telling his men that he wished to embrace the land they were about to conquer. The conquest of England from its AngloSaxon rulers was swift. The Norman soldiers, armed with quality middle-steel blades, were more than a match for the weakened kings of England. Conquest on this scale sent ripples of anxiety through the Feudal states. Warfare in Europe had progressed, and weapons development along with it. The heavy dependance on elite cavalry promoted the introduction of whole regiments of soldiers carrying polearms. The halberd, which descended from the long bearded axe and refthi, became a staple in the Holy Roman Empire, and eventually beyond. New military versions of conscription weapons were being developed, often in two varieties, one for knights on horseback and one for footmen. But the most important development for European combat was the crossbow, which was seeing increased use in the armies of Europe, especially in cavalry charges. Halberd The halberd, an axe blade with a protruding spike and thrusting head, was developed from the influence of the bearded axe, refthi, and the krokaspjt. The halberds original name, halbert, implies that it, at one time, also had a bearded reputation. The Halberd has a variety of uses and attack forms. The Halberd could be used as a slashing axe weapon, a piercing thrusting spear weapon, or as a double weapon, using the piercing spike or the slashing axe as one attack and the butt end of the weapon as a light staff weapon. When using the Halberd as a double weapon you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons as if you are using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A creature using a double weapon in one hand, such as a Large creature using a halberd, cannot use it as a double weapon. The Halberd may also be used for tripping attacks (using either the axe blade or the spike to attempt a trip). If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the Halberd in order to avoid being tripped. Some versions of the Halberd have a metal-capped butt, to increase the impact of a butt-end attack, while others had a short spike, to use as a makeshift spear, in close quarters. The Halberd may be set against a charge. Bill Cousin of the halberd and guisarme, the bill was incredibly common among conscript armies. The name bill comes from the similarity between most bill blades and the bill of a duck or goose, and, indeed, some version of the bill were referred to as duck bills. A slashing reach polearm similar to the krokaspjt, the bill also had thrusting spike and small hook blade that allowed tripping attacks or attacks at horses legs. . If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the bill in order to avoid being tripped. The bill, unlike the halberd, was not appropriately weighted for effective use as a double weapon, but it can still be used as a slashing weapon and a normal bludgeoning pole weapon, with normal two weapon fighting penalties, although it looses the reach attack ability when used in this manner. A creature using a double weapon in one hand, such as a Large creature using a bill, cannot use it as a double weapon. The bill may be set against a charge. The guisarme is statistically the same as the bill, but the hook is not separate on the guisarme, but found at the end of the spear-like blade, and thus may not be set against a charge. Crossbow, (Middle Steel) Light The crossbow was originally a siege weapon, similar to the ballista, in Roman times. Eventually the size of the crossbow was greatly reduced, and a single man could carry and fire it without significant training, which was a great boon for conscript armies. This began a great debate between proponents of the bow and advocates of the crossbow as to which weapon was superior on the field of battle. The crossbow, for its simplicity of use, was often maligned by those who felt that training and status should be the order of the battlefield, while the bow, which required talent and practice, remained a less used and more elite weapon. Despite its lack of appeal among bards as a knightly weapon, many mounted knights would ride into a charge bearing a crossbow first. Then, once the bolt was deployed, the knight would raise his lance and commence his charge in earnest. Crossbow charges, although common, were not a regularly documented tactic. Mace, Footmans and Horsemans The major difference between a footmans weapon and a horsemans weapon was that the horsemans weapon was often shorter and better constructed. A footmans mace had a wooden haft two feet long, and a heavy head, usually with a rounded attack surface, although some had spiked, studded, or toothed heads. The horsemans mace was generally smaller, easier to carry and draw quickly, and the haft was made of steel, not wood. Its entirely possible to use a horsemans mace off of a horse, and there is no penalty for doing so. Pick, Footmans and Horsemans Again, the major difference between a footmans weapon and a horsemans weapon is its make and length. The military version of the pick was designed to puncture armor, and armor is less effective against it. The pick is quite capable of puncturing armor, but the damage it does to armor is very localized, and so (if you are using the option equipment damage rules) any damage by a pick that exceeds the hardness should be halved (rounding up) before being applied to the hit points. The footmans pick often had a short bludgeoning head on the other side of the attack head, which gave it an alternate attack. The horsemans pick did not have this head, was shorter, and was made entirely


From Stone to Steel









43d 44 46a 43c 46b

42a42d. Halberd variations; 43a43d. Bill variations; 44. Light Crossbow; 45a. Footman's Mace; 45b. Horseman's Mace; 46a. Footman's Pick; 46b. Horseman's Pick of steel. Its entirely possible to use a horsemans pick off of a horse, and there is no penalty for doing so. Warhammer, Footmans and Horsemans The warhammer adapted the German hammer to military use. The two versions follow the established pattern between footmans weapons and horsemans weapons, and both weapons feature a spike at the rear of the hammer head, to use as a secondary attack. The spike was designed to puncture armor. Its entirely possible to use a horsemans warhammer off of a horse, and there is no penalty for doing so. Axe, Footmans and Horsemans The axe had long been a part of military warfare. The footmans axe was a battleaxe, usually with a spike or pick on the rear of the blade. The spike was designed to puncture armor. The horsemans axe also sported a short spike, and was made entirely of steel. Its entirely possible to use a horsemans axe off of a horse, and there is no penalty for doing so. The Byzantines used a variant of the footmans axe that also had a thrusting spike at the end of the haft. Martel de Fer, Middle Steel In the tradition of weapons that did double duty, the martel de fer was a warhammer with spike facing rearward. The heavy head of the martel de fer was mallet like, and quite capable of pulverizing bones through light armor. If you are using the optional armor damage rules, when inflicting damage with a martel de fer against light armor, half of any damage that the armor takes from a strike effects the foe as well. The martel de fer does not have a horsemans variant. Flail, Military The military flail was a heavy, two handed flail with three chains connected to round, steel flail heads. The power, and inherent danger, of a military flail is the three striking heads that it puts into play at one time. This weapon is extremely dangerous to use for the untrained, and those without Martial Weapons Proficiency are at a -8 to strike with this weapon. Even should a military flail wielder be trained generally in Martial Weapons, there is a great benefit to focus or specialize in the military flail, as it increases full strikes. Flails grant a +2 bonus to disarm attempts and may be used to make trip attacks. This weapon is a shield bypass weapon.


A Dark Age, A Golden Age

End of an Age
In the nations of Islam the Golden Age was coming to an end. Fragmentation of the Islamic state and heightened hostilities promoted a number of changes. Contact with India brought a slow introduction of the material that would one day be called Damascus steel. It would take time and investments for the legendary Damascus blades to become anywhere near common in the Arab lands, although eventually a contingent of smiths trained in its manufacture would establish a colony in Damascus, explaining the names origin. The shamshir was becoming more common in western Persian lands, and the scimitar was in its early stages of development. The composite bow was in common use, although the crossbow, imported from China, could be found here and there. Arab forces promoted light cavalry, cavalry archers, and heavy infantry. weight to the call for action, and the Papacy also saw a chance to focus the financial concerns of the Italic peninsula onto an action against the Arabs. So in 1095, Pope Urban II called upon the Franks, and all of Christendom, to embark upon a Crusade to the Holy Lands, to liberate the sacred cities from Saracen influence, and to free the Christian peoples oppressed there. His impassioned speech fired the hearts of many knights, but more importantly it also fueled the hopes of thousands of the poor, who would also march on the Arab lands with little more than the clothes on their backs, right into the very heart of battle with seasoned Sejulk and Arab armies.

The Crusades
In the history of Islam the Crusades were really nothing more than yet another barbarian uprising against their rightful rule. Since only the first Crusade was anywhere near organized and effective, Islamic histories only really concern themselves with the first Crusade. In Europe, however, the success and failure of the Crusades as military campaigns would lead to a number of incredible developments, and would catapult Europe towards her own eventual rise.

Optional Flail Mechanics

Multiattack: Normally only a single attack roll is made with a flail regardless of how many heads it actually possesses. Optionally, when attacking with a multiheaded flail, you may make an attack roll for each head. For each additional head apply a cumulative -5 circumstance penalty to attack rolls. Thus, both attack rolls with a two-headed flail would be at a -5 penalty, whereas all three attacks with a triple-headed flail would be at -10. Anyone attempting a multiattack is subject to backlash (see below). Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Flail): If an exotic weapon proficiency feat is used for the flail reduce all multiattack penaltiesto -3 per additional head. Thus, both attack rolls with a two-headed flail would be at a -3 penalty, whereas all three attacks with a triple-headed flail would be at -6. Backlash: During a multiattack, should any flail heads attack roll be a natural 1, backlash occurs. Instead of striking your opponent, that flail head completes its revolution and strikes, instead, at you. The wielder must then make a Reflex save at a DC of 10 + Base Attack Bonus or be struck by his own weapon. Use the backlash rule only if the multiattack option is being used. Shamshir, Early The shamshir is a thicker, slightly curved chopping blade, regularly used by Arab cavalry. The shamshir did not have a covered guard in its early form, and its pommel was usually flat or crested, making it difficult to change stances easily with the blade. Heavier than a scimitar, it was used extensively in Persia, although it would eventually move into certain Central Asian Turkish lands and Northern India. Some rare versions of this early shamshir were damascened. By the end of the first millennium, Byzantium was facing increased attacks from the Sejulks. The Byzantines asked the Papacy to send help. In addition, the Papacy saw increasing strife in Europe, and disunity appeared to be leading towards another time of chaos. Word of the troubles in the holy land gave

The First Crusade

The First Crusade may have been called in 1095, but it took time to muster armies and march across dozens of states, having to pay tolls and taxes, and pledge friendship along the way with any number of feudal lords, in order to arrive at Byzantium. And the first Crusader armies were anything but organized. Each army took on a Lord or Priest at their lead, and could be composed of trained soldiers or peasants with hopes of making their fortune in the Holy Land. One of the first armies to reach the Holy Land, a mostly peasant army under the control of Peter the Hermit, caused nearly as much damage to Byzantium as it did to Islam, raiding and sacking Belgrade, and then later fighting and being routed at Nish. When, at last, Peters army made it to Anatolia, they established a stronghold at Civetot, and struck out to raid the region. Their initial successes were against villages in the region, most of which were Christian, although Peters Crusaders were not very attentive to this. Their attacks eventually faced opposition, when Kilij Arslan, the Sultan of Nicaea, brought his trained soldiers to bear on the rabble of Peter the Hermit, and after a successful ambush, killed them nearly to the man, taking the young men and women in the rabble prisoner and selling them into slavery. Many of the less organized forces met similar fates, if they left Europe at all. A contemporary force of German knights who encamped at the abandoned castle of Xerigordon, around the time that Peters peasant army encamped at Civetot, found themselves swiftly captured and forced to convert or die. Other groups like the Crusades of Gottschalk, Volkmar, and Count Emicho, ended up getting into trouble while trying to cross through Hungary, and eventually their Crusades led to the slaughter of a great number of Jews, all innocent of any crime.


From Stone to Steel

However, not all Crusaders were inept. Godfrey of Bouillon lead a Crusade of trained solders that successfully negotiated Germany, Hungary, and Byzantium, and made it to the Holy Land intact. So did Bohemond of Tarentum and Raymond of Toulouse. Others opted to travel to Italy and then sail for the Holy Land, although naval mishaps often caused great calamity, and not all of those armies successfully arrived. Still, one year after the call for the Crusades began, most of the major players had arrived in the region. The true Crusades started after Byzantium tried and failed to get a pledge from the Crusaders that any lands once held by Byzantium that were reconquered would be turned over to the Emperor. When that failed to be accepted, Byzantium helped the Crusaders on their way, and the wars in Asia Minor began. The first conquest was, of course, Nicaea, but the Byzantines, in hopes of preventing looting, entered the city first, and declared it protected by Byzantium. This worsened the relations they had with the Crusading troops, and the Crusaders refused to cooperate with Byzantine forces after that. Crusading forces spread out. Some marched on Antioch, while others made for Tarsus and Jerusalem. Tarsus fell quickly and was reinforced. Antioch fell only after a long siege and the bribing of a key captain of the watch. But in the fall of Antioch, the Crusaders plundered the city only to find that they, themselves, were besieged by the reinforcements who had been marching to the cities defense. It was only upon the discovery of a spear reputed to be the Spear of Longinus that the Crusaders were able to break the siege of Antioch and take full control of the region. Palestine was held by the Fatamids, who did not post defensive encampments, so the cities of Beirut, Tyre, and Acre were easily taken. Jerusalem, a holy city for both Christianity and Islam, had a strong defensive force, but the Crusaders eventually took it enmass. After the fall of Jerusalem, there was a general slaughter, and both Jews and Muslims were massacred. Though a war started ostensibly in religious fervor and with concern for the innocents, the Crusades would cause greater suffering than they would ever alleviate. After taking Jerusalem, the First Crusade ended, its goal of securing the Church of the Holy Sepulcher attained and a great deal of Arab lands (in the eyes of the West) subdued. The knights who led the first Crusade either returned to Europe with what they could carry or stayed in the Holy Land to administer the new Christian lands. Another wave of Crusaders was launched to provide reinforcements to the new Christian states, but the three armies sent arrived only to discover Antioch had been retaken by the Turks. Poor navigation and constant attack from Turkish and Arab forces would destroy those three armies before they could even reinforce the forces in Palestine. After a time seven knights, under the command of Hughes de Payens, dedicated themselves to the care and protection of all pilgrims to the Holy Lands. Supported by the King of Jerusalem and the local Patriarch, the Poor Knights of the Temple were established. The Knights Templar became the model that other Religious Knightly orders would follow, most notably the Knights Hospitaller and the Teutonic Knights. Bernard de Clairvaux, a contemporary, would help them draft a Rule for their order, and their power, both in the Holy Land and in France, would grow.

The Second Crusade

The Second Crusade started with the pledge of King Louis of France to the Crusading cause. Joined by King Conrad, the current Holy Roman Emperor, it seemed destined to success. The greatest crowns of the age had dedicated themselves to conquest of the Holy Lands. But this wasnt the only Crusade embarked upon. In Southern France the Reconquistadores raised armies to retake Spain from the Infidels. In Germany a Crusade against the Wendish Slavs was declared, due to the Slavs being pagan. The army of King Louis of France was forced to take a circuitous route by sea around Gibraltar, and during the course he was forced to set in at Oporto in Portugal. There they temporarily joined forces with a Frankish lord Henry who was attempting to free Portugal from Muslim control. After helping secure Portugual for the now crowned King Henry, many of King Louiss force decided to remain in Portugal or return home. Still, King Louis and the remnants sailed on to the Holy Land.

The Rule as a Guide for Paladins

The Rule of the Templars is an excellent historical document that tells a story that was unintended by the drafter. It would behoove any player seeking to play a Paladin to read the Rule of the Templars, so as to get into the mindset. Translations can be found both in print and on the internet. The beginning of the rule speaks with great passion about the call to live as a knight for the only king who might be obeyed with all heart, mind, soul, and strengththe knights God. In the first two paragraphs alone it is intended to convert the devout soul, and to convince the reader than anyone strong enough to carry a sword should find it an honor to serve as a Knight Templar. After a good deal on the history of the foundational meeting, the Rule goes into the requirements and obligations of a Knight Templar. Besides matters of religious devotion, it speaks of the required color of dress (white, black, or brown), it prohibits the wearing of pointed shoes, requires brothers to eat in pairs from the same bowl, forbids hunting, and, of course, forbids the embraces of women, among many other requirements and prohibitions. The Rule was a product of its time, inspired by Benedict of Clairvaux, who was a charismatic founder of orders, and it attests to many of the concerns and strange matters the Crusaders had to deal with while on Crusade at the time the Knights Templar were founded. In a fantasy realm it is entirely possible a Rule at least as complex might be created for any religion embracing Holy Knighthood. King Conrad arrived in the region first, and his forces were massacred while watering their horses. His entire force was dispersed, and he was forced to retreat to Christian held lands until he could join up with King Louiss army. King Louis first


A Dark Age, A Golden Age

marched to help Antioch, which had been retaken by Christian Knights, but, rather than striking at Aleppo, as his advisors suggested, King Louis moved south into Palestine, and provided support for the King of Jerusalem and Queen Jocelyn of Edessa. After a time he resolved to march on Damascus, in hopes that taking out the stronghold would weaken the attacks of the Saracens attacking the Holy Land. But King Louiss army could find no safe place to encamp, and Damascus was so strongly held that they were forced to retreat. In the end the Second Crusade militarily netted only Portugal. Road. As the Knights Templar became rich off of the trade, they also began to be persecuted in France, where their holdings were substantial and untaxed, by Papal Writ. Crossbow, Heavy (Early Arbalest) Better metalworking, composite bow technology, and the development of a number of retraction mechanisms allowed the crossbow to have a much greater pull. This made the crossbow charge even more deadly. The most notable addition to the crossbow was the boot stirrup, a sort of metal loop on the end of the crossbow that allowed a soldier to brace the crossbow with their feet while pulling the drawstring back into place. The second most notable advance was the belt hook, which was placed under the drawstring before the soldier stepped into the stirrup, so that the soldiers belt could being the process of bringing the drawstring back into position. Drawing the bowstring without these mechanisms requires the wielder to succeed at a DC 15 Strength test in order to load the weapon in a full combat round. This test may be retried any number of times, although a DM may opt to

A Womans Place in War

Women were generally not allowed to fight in the Dark Ages and the Medieval Period (at least in the West), although strapped townships or villages might allow them to help defend with a peasant militia. Believed to be too weak of constitution for combat and too frail, this was only made worse by the growing popularization by bards of the virtues of Chivalric Love, which stressed the femininity of the gentle woman. But this didnt prevent the popularity of certain fantasy fighting women, like the Fighting Warrior Women of Ireland, the Polyanitzas, and the Amazons. The Irish have a rich oral history of heroes and heroic deeds. Often warrior women featured in these stories would performed incredible feats of dexterity and acrobatics during battle, feats that would not seem out of place in a wuxia film. One warrior woman might leap on top of an opponents upheld shield to strike him, or make a acrobatic spin that disarmed her foes. The Polyanitzas, on the other hand, were a Russian legend based around women who fought along side the men when Russian lands were invaded by the Turks. Wearing chainmail and bearing swords, they were said to have fought every bit as well as the defending men. The Greek legend of the Amazons persisted from Homers time to the Medieval period, warrior women who lived in a Matriarchal society, and whose zealot archers cut off a breast to aid in their bow-womanship. Eleanor, wife of King Louis of France, stood dressed as an Amazon during the ceremony that started the Second Crusade, and it is said that she (symbolically) took the cross at his side. While Eleanor was not allowed to fight during the Crusade, she did remain a powerful political figure during the Second Crusade. But the struggles were not completely a waste. Exposure to military technology in the Holy Lands improved crossbow design, as the composite bows used by the Arabs and Turks became templates for heavier crossbows with stronger pulls. Developments in Wales would eventually lead to the legendary English longbow. In Europe the Chivalric Code began to gain popularity among the nobility, mainly through the agency of the bardic tradition, which sang songs and told stories glorifying it. Trade between the Christian holdings in the Holy Land and Italy increased, and the Knights Templar flourished by acting as a kind of bank, allowing lords and merchants to trade land and capital for an equal amount of currency to trade along the Silk

No philosophical movement had a greater impact on the development of Europe and the ending of the Dark Ages than Chivalry. The Gothic sense of honor would definitely be considered the original wellspring of the Chivalric movement, but a heavy dose of Christianitys best aspects, combined with the growth of the bardic tradition lead to a the social movement of Chivalry. Chivalry is about the behavior and character of knights, and, indirectly, of good Lords. Besides the virtues held dear by Christianity, such as faith, honesty, generosity, purity, and loyalty, Chivalry dictated the virtues of martial prowess, courage, hospitality, and nobility. Knights were expected to act with courtesy, to honor their words, to obey the commands of their liege lord, and to stand firm in the face of certain doom. The knighthood spoken of in the documents on chivalry published during the Medieval period was an idyllic knighthood, a standard that many would consider unreachable. The closer a knight might reach to the ideal, the more honor he was likely to garner for himself. And since most knights were generally only slightly better off than freemen, honor was often a more important currency than coinage, as a knight with honor was more likely to be treated with respect by his liege, and his honor could become the basis for financial credit from his peers. This did not prevent knights or barons from using their power and soldiers to terrorize the peasantry and rob merchants and travelers. Indeed, these raubritter (meaning robber barons in German) were often an excellent way for more honorable knights to test their mettle and courage against their contemporaries. The concept of courtly love, which does not fall into the scope of this work, was also propagated with the Chivalric movement, and the romance of this bardic tradition is often what leads people in the modern day to lament the supposed death of Chivalry.


From Stone to Steel

increase or decrease the difficulty as appropriate. A Medium sized or larger character may shoot (but not load) a crossbow with one hand, incurring a 4 penalty. They may attempt to fire a heavy crossbow from each hand at a 6 penalty, plus the normal 4 penalty for off-handed firing (making it 6/-10). The Two Weapon Fighting feat will not mitigate this penalty, since it is used for melee weapons only. Ambidexterity, however, removes the offhand penalty (making the firing penalty 6/-6). The cranaquin or windlass would go a long way towards overcoming this less than reliable reloading problem. Longbow, Welsh The Welsh developed the longbow that would eventually become the English longbow. The Welsh longbow was about five feet in length, and was used quite effectively against invading English forces. The incredible range and force of the Welsh longbow impressed the English, who adopted and later refined it, making the longbow the national weapon of choice for England. Arrows for a Welsh lLongbow were longer than most traditional arrows were, measuring over two feet in length and bearing 3-4 inch arrow heads.

Flaming Clothing
The Arabs used a very unorthodox tactic when attacking encampments or undefended villages in Christian control with the express intention of disruption. By treating a cloth garment, and then covering it with naphtha, the clothing could be ignited and yet allow the wearer a limited immunity to the flames engulfing them. Once set ablaze, the wearer would run into the camp or village and either strike at flammable supplies or merely grab anyone and everyone they could, in order to set other people ablaze, in an effort to cause wholesale chaos and terror. Usually this attack would last only a few minutes, and then the blazing man would flee back to a designated location where his clothing would be extinguished he could be treated for any burns or injuries. Sometimes the blazing mans fireproofing would not prove adequate, and his clothing would either begin to burn in earnest or he would succumb to heat and exhaustion, collapsing. These unfortunate few would either die of being baked to death, or would be killed by his victims, once their senses were about them. Flaming clothing provides no defensive bonus, other than a limited fire resistance. It does not mitigate heat damage, and the wearer of such clothing, when it is flaming, takes damage as if engulfed in abysmal heat. Worse, the fire proofing may not be fool proof. Roll a d20. Should the result of the roll be a 1, the fire proofing is incomplete, and the wearer will begin to take 1d3 fire damage each combat round after the third combat round. Should the wearer of flaming clothing douse or beat out the flame before the third combat round, this damage does not occur. Still, the person wearing this form of flaming clothing must merely come into contact with a flammable object to set it on fire. Even nonflammable items will burn for 1d3 turns, due to the nature of naphtha, although damage to the object itself will be halved. Usually the naphtha will consume its fuel entirely in 15 minutes, if allowed to burn that long.

Early Tournaments
Martial combat as sport in Europe is nothing new. Trial by combat, feuding, and dueling all come from Germanic traditions, and then there is the example of the Romans to give weight to a European fascination with death and bloodshed. Even after the end of gladiatorial combat, dog and cock fighting was still a rural sport, and bear baiting was popular in much of Northern and Western Europe. But the practice of tournaments began as an extension of the training regimens to train soldiers and knights. Neighboring Lords would bring their fighting men together to have mock battles, often with real weapons, simply for the testing of their training regimens and their tactics. Most such battles shed no blood, but the damage to equipment could be expensive, and some did lead to bloodshed and death. In an effort to control the circumstances in these gatherings, the tournament format was proposed. Lords would agree to the schedule of events, from melees to skills testing (like lance work or feats of arms) to single man combat to duels of honor. Though jousting might be on the agenda for a tournament, it was by no means as popular as it would be in later tournaments, mainly because the lances used were not blunted in any fashion, and death was not infrequent. There were no lists in the early tournaments, and horsemen who fell in combat often took the battle to the ground, drawing melee weapons and attacking their mounted foe. Early tournaments might even be used between two potential foes to test each others forces, and even to settle minor squabbles. Still, the tournament process at the end of the 13th century would set the stage for the rise of the tournament as a sporting event rather than practice for war.

The Third Crusade

The Sack of Jerusalem by Salah al-Din was the impetus for the Third Crusade. The Pope appealed to the French King, who was in the midst of a war with England, to send forces to help the Knights Templar and other forces still in the Christian held lands retake Jerusalem. King Phillip of France made peace with King Henry of England, and both agreed to lead a Crusade, but King Henrys son, Richard of Pitou, started a war in the interim between himself and the Count of Toulouse. When King Henry restricted funding and publicly rebuked his son, Richard switched sides, and, as an agent of France, made war on his father. King Henry died of natural causes during the war, and Richard found himself King of England. So it was that King Richard and King Phillip lead the forces of England and France to the Third Crusade. King Richards Crusade against Salah al-Din, known as Saladin in the west, was rocky from the start. Fredrick Barbarosa (Red Beard), the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, had left more than a year before, and had made inroads in Turkey, but when


A Dark Age, A Golden Age


51 47a 47b 48a 48b 52b 52c


54 49 50

47a. Horseman's Warhammer; 47b. Footman's Warhammer; 48a. Horseman's Axe; 48b. Footman's Axe; 49. Martel de Fer; 50. Military Flail; 51. Shamshir; 52a. Heavy Crossbow; 52b. Crossbow Boot Stirrup; 52c. Crossbow Belt Hook; 53. Welsh Longbow; 54. Falchion trying to cross into Syria Fredrick drowned while fording the time, especially when the city was under the most dire pressure. Cilician River. Without their Emperor to guide them, the German Since it was dangerous to commit all forces to a siege while forces disbanded, and many returned home, while others made there was an active army in the area, the siege of Acre lasted for Antioch. The Kings of England and France took a sea route, longer than expected, but the result was still a loss of the city. sailing from Sicily to Cyprus, a small island that had, until The peace negotiated when the city was surrendered, however, recently, been allied with the Byzantines off the coast of Turkey. was the most devastating portion of the siege. The city agreed to When Richard and Phillip arrived (actually shipwrecked was surrender, give over 2000 prisoners, pay a large ransom, and turn closer to accurate) off of the coast, the current ruler took mem- over the True Cross. bers of one ship prisoner in hopes that this would ensure peace Saladin, the Sultan, was honor bound to fulfill the surrender while Richard and Phillip were in Cyprus. But Richard opted to agreement. The Crusaders encamped in Acre, and during their go to war against the insurgent government, and when the ruler encampment, King Phillip decided to return home. Richard, lost the first few battles against Richards Crusaders the people intent to stay and continue the Crusade, took a large number of of Cyprus overthrew him, and accepted Richard as their King. Muslim civilians hostage. This was intended to ensure payment Richard, rather than taking control of the island for England, of the required settlement. But when Saladin could not turn over would eventually sell it to the Knights Templar. the full amount pledged by the city, nor produce the True Cross, When Richard joined Phillip in the holy land, they immediately Richard slaughtered his prisoners: over 2500 men, women, and moved on Acre. Due to the decline of the Fatamid state and the children. The butchery took all day, and Saladin attempted to rise of independent emirates in the area, Saladin had been forced rescue the prisoners, but could not penetrate the Crusaders to recruit his armies from many Emirs, and to make concessions defenses. Historians condemn Richard for the slaughter, but it to each in the process. Saladin could not afford to focus on one should be noted that Richard did not have the supplies necessary area too long, as the Emirs would take his attention as to feed, clothe, and maintain that many prisoners, and the Musfavoritism, and he could only operate during one season of the lims generally regarded the slaughtered as having died a holy year. Still, he harried the forces in siege of Acre from time to martyrdom. And it was shortly after this affair was completed


From Stone to Steel

that Richard marched south out of Acre, intent on taking Jerusalem. Saladin was a scholar of both Turkish and Arabic tactics. Many times on the southern march Saladin would attack the Crusaders with small numbers of light infantry, armed with composite bows, who would ride swiftly at the army and then retreat after firing off a few volleys. Saladin hoped to draw the Crusaders into a charge against the small units of light infantry, so as to draw them into an ambush where Saladin could bring heavier forces to bear. Though the tactic had worked well with less organized Crusades, Richard did not fall for the maneuver, even though it meant his men had to stop marching and hide behind their shields until the archers retreated. Eventually this practice was too much for the Templars among the Crusaders to stand. Two Templars led a charge despite Richards orders to stand their ground, and soon the whole army followed. Ironically, this sudden change in tactics, backed by a huge force of charging knights, broke Saladins army, and they had a clear march to Jerusalem, while Saladin rushed to reform his forces. Richard would never arrive at Jerusalem. Without Phillip, most of the French contingent disbanded and left, and Richard had to sell the isle of Cyprus to pay the rest of those who stayed with him. With reduced numbers, Richard could not safely approach Jerusalem, whose desert location made it hard to arrive unexpected, and whose fortifications were well manned by Saladins remaining forces. Worse yet, news of his brother, John the Usurpers doings began to arrive, and Richard realized he might not have a Kingdom to return to if he remained on Crusade much longer. After King Conrad, who had vied for the throne of Jerusalem, was killed by the Assassins, Richard was required to witness a marriage and approve the new king of Jerusalem, and in the process mollify a close supporter by arranging for him to rule Cyprus. After this, Richards campaign was one of a delayed retreat. First Richard was forced to give up a siege on Jerusalem. Then he lost Jaffa to Saladins forces, only to regain it in a battle that would nearly destroy his army. At one point they fought behind a wall made of planted shields and lances, their only defense against a force many times their size. Richard had a horse killed from under him, and, in recognition of Richards gallantry Saladin sent him two horses, so that he would not have to fight unmounted. Perhaps this was because Saladin could see that the Crusaders would go no farther. After driving off Saladins forces, Richard fell ill, and Saladin had fresh fruit and snow from far mountaintops sent to him, to ease his discomfort. A month later a treaty would be signed, leaving Jerusalem in Muslim hands, but promising that Christian pilgrims might visit the city free from molestation. Richard attempted to return home. Knowing that he would cross through lands of those he had made enemies of, Richard opted to disguise himself as a Templar, but his disguise would only last until he reached Austria. In an inn in Vienna Richard was recognized and apprehended. Duke Leopold of Austria, during the taking of Acre, had been insulted by English forcesthey had cast his flag into the mud when he attempted to place it in an equal footing with those of England and France. Now he had Englands King in his hands. Eventually he would be forced to give up Richard to Emperor Henry, his rightful lord, but Henry would place a high ransom on his head. In the end, Richard was ransomed and he returned to England to chastise his brother for his excesses in the rule of England. Richard, often called the Lion Hearted, would rule England for about five years before his death. Still, his return, as chronicled in such stories as the Tale of Robin Hood and Ivanhoe, would be regarded as a high point in the era.

The Fourth Crusade

The Fourth Crusade was a travesty. Originally dedicated to recapturing Jerusalem, the Crusaders would eventually end up in Venice, trying to pay for a fleet to take them to Egypt. When they could not come up with the funds, they were convinced to help Venice by recovering territory in Dalmatia, and, while on the march to Dalmatia, they came upon Alexius the Fourth of Constantinople. Byzantine intrigue left his father blind and in prison, and his uncle on the throne, and Alexius requested the Crusaders support in returning him to power in Constantinople. In exchange he offered them the money to pay for the fleet waiting in Venice. After recovering territory in Dalmatia for Venice, the Crusaders moved on Byzantium. In an ironic turn of fate, the Crusaders would accomplish what the Muslims never had: they attacked and conquered Constantinople. But the people of Byzantium would not accept Alexius the Fourth as Emperor, and after the Crusaders established him as Co-Emperor along with his blinded father, another family member rose to claim the crown, and the people revolted. When the Crusaders saw the Emperors murdered and the Empire usurped by Alexius the Fifth, they decided that they should establish an Emperor of their own, so that Byzantium would finally be at peace, and would support the Crusades. The second sack of Constantinople was both a success and failure. It was the richest city in Europe, having stored art and treasures for nearly a millenium. When the Crusaders sacked Constantinople, they took away shiploads of treasure, and left the city weakened, ruled by a weak ruler and unable to support any significant army. Without Constantinople to watch over them, Bulgaria and Serbia began to grow in power, and they would often oppose the rest of Europe. Byzantium would eventually revolt again, returning rule to Byzantine rulers, but it would never reclaim its former glory. And the Fourth Crusade would never so much as set foot in the Middle East. Crusading fervor reached a fever pitch at the beginning of the 13th century. Stories of the valor of Christian Knights and tales of Templar bravery fired the imagination, and the tournament culture helped to make individual knights as popular as modern day sports heroes. Two boys, one in France and one in Germany, were so moved by their Crusade mania that they began to preach a childrens Crusade. Boys as young as six years of age took up the cross and left their homes, eventually raising a childrens


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army of thousands. During their march they were turned back again and again by those that told them a childrens Crusade would never succeed. History does not record if they ever made it to the holy land. It does not record their fate. Many suspect that they were massacred or enslaved. The end result was that thousands of young men and boys set out and few ever returned h