Besides a few magical weapons, Amtgard only allows non-explosive, non-chemical weapons that might have been in existence before 1650 AD. All weapons can be broken into four parts:
- 1 Strike-Legal: This refers to a portion of the weapon that is at least 2.5 inches in diameter (flat blades require 1.5 inches of foam on a striking surface and may not pass their tip through a 2.25 inch ring) and will not leave marks, bruises, or broken bones when used to hit your opponent. This is the only area of a weapon that counts as a legal blow. Stab-only weapons are still required to have six inches of strike-legal surface on any stabbing end for safety. This must be covered in a durable, opaque cloth.
- 2 Padding: This refers to the portion of the weapon that has at least half an inch of foam over the weapon core and is designed to limit the injuries done from accidental contact with that part of the weapon.
- 3 Handle: Refers to the unpadded part of the weapon where it is held.
- 4 Pommel: Refers to the padded portion of the Weapon below the handle on any weapon where that portion is not meant to be a Strike-Legal. Must be at least 2.5 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches in length.
Below is a list of weapon categories and their construction requirements.
See the Equipment Construction section for more information.
Slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning weapons more than 36 inches up to a maximum of 48 inches. The pommel and handle of the weapon can be no longer than 1/3 of the weapon’s total length. If used to slash or bludgeon, at least 2/3 of its length must be strike legal.
slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning weapons more than 48 inches up to a maximum of 60 inches. The pommel and handle of the weapon can be no longer than 1/3 of the weapon’s total length. If used to slash or bludgeon, at least 2/3 of its length must be Strike-Legal.
With a single articulating (chain-like) head. The chain of a hinged weapon is not a legal striking edge. Chains on these weapons must be wrapped in foam with less than half an inch of the rope exposed at any point. The combined rope and striking edge of a flail may not exceed 18 inches in length and the total length of the weapon may not exceed 36 inches. The top 50% of the non-rope and Strike-Legal portion of the weapon must be padded.
A shield joined to a polearm. The polearm portion of the madu may be shorter than the normal five feet. Only usable if a class can use both a polearm and a shield. If any portion of the weapon is broken, heated, or otherwise rendered unusable, all of it is disabled. Considered wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or affecting monsters. Amtgard magic and abilities that affect any part of the madu, such as Imbue Shield, affect its entirety. Madus may never be considered great weapons. If a madu is built to slash at least 1/3rd of its length (excluding the shield portion) must be strike legal (including the 12 inch minimum for a slashing surface) and the rest must be Courtesy Padding. Any shield with weapons affixed to it in any form is considered a madu and must conform to these rules.
Stabbing-only weapons at least five feet in length and should not be confused with the javelin, which may be thrown (must have padding on upper 1/3 of length). Considered wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or affecting monsters.
Bludgeoning weapon (ends may be used to thrust, but it is a bludgeon attack) of 5 ft to 8 ft that must have legal striking surfaces of at least 1 foot in length on both ends. Each end must be padded at least 1/3rd the total length of the staff. Considered wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or affecting monsters.
At least five feet in length. Includes spears but may also have slashing edges (minimum 1 foot in length for a striking edge, must have padding on upper 1/3 of length). Considered wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or affecting monsters.
Arrows from a bow or crossbow do a base two points of damage. See the Archery section for more complete descriptions. Bows, crossbows, and arrows are considered wooden for purposes of being targeted by spells or affecting monsters. Previous rulebooks differentiated between Short Bows and Long Bows, however this has been replaced by the Longbow trait
A ‘Weapon Effect’ is a descriptor applied to a weapon that explains what it does. It is possible for a weapon to have multiple effects.
A Red weapon, when used to slash or bludgeon, does two points of damage and can be used to destroy a shield in three hits. Great weapons (see below) are automatically red weapons. Magical enchantments and the Berserk ability of barbarians can also make a weapon red. In all cases where a one-handed weapon is red, the weapon or the user must have a red strip to indicate the effect.
If a weapon is five feet or more in length, has a minimum of three feet of contiguous striking surface (staves must have at least two feet at each end), and a minimum diameter of four inches (flat blades require a four inch cross section) over the entire striking surface, then it is considered Great and becomes Red when wielded two-handed in a slashing or bludgeoning manner— Never when used to stab or pierce.