MSRD:Simple Melee Weapons

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Simple Melee Weapons

Generally inexpensive and light in weight, simple weapons get the job done nevertheless.

Table: Simple Melee Weapons (require the Simple Weapons Proficiency feat)
Weapon Damage Critical Damage Type Range Increment Size Weight Purchase DC Restriction
Brass knuckles 1 20 Bludgeoning Tiny 1 lb. 5
Cleaver 1d6 19–20 Slashing Small 2 lb. 5
Club 1d6 20 Bludgeoning 10 ft. Med 3 lb. 4
Club, spiked 1d8 20 Bludgeoning, Piercing Med. 8 lb. 5
Dagger, punching 1d4 20/x3 Piercing Tiny 2 lb. 5
Gauntlet * * Bludgeoning * 2 lb. 5
Gauntlet, spiked 1d4 20 Piercing Tiny 2 lb. 6
Ketch-all pole* 1d4* 20 Bludgeoning Large 8 lb. 11
Knife 1d4 19–20 Piercing 10 ft. Tiny 1 lb. 7
Mace, heavy 1d8 20 Bludgeoning Med. 8 lb. 5
Mace, light 1d6 20 Bludgeoning Small 6 lb. 4
Metal baton 1d6 19–20 Bludgeoning Med 2 lb. 8
Pistol whip 1d4 20 Bludgeoning Small
Quarterstaff*‡ 1d6/1d6 20 Bludgeoning Large 4 lb. 3
Rifle butt 1d6 20 Bludgeoning Large
Sap 1d61 20 Bludgeoning Small 3 lb. 2
Shortspear 1d8 20/x3 Piercing 20 ft. Large 5 lb. 5
Sickle 1d6 20 Slashing Small 3 lb. 3
Stun gun1 1d3 20 Electricity Tiny 1 lb. 5
Tonfa1 1d4 20 Bludgeoning Med 2 lb. 6
  1. See the description of this weapon for special rules. Reach weapon. Double weapon.

Weapon Descriptions

Brass Knuckles

These pieces of molded metal fit over the outside of a character’s fingers and allow him or her to deal lethal damage with an unarmed strike instead of nonlethal damage. A strike with brass knuckles is otherwise considered an unarmed attack.

When used by a character with the Brawl feat, brass knuckles increase the base damage dealt by an unarmed strike by +1 and turn the damage into lethal damage.

The cost and weight given are for a single item.


Heavy kitchen knives can be snatched up for use as weapons in homes and restaurants. These weapons are essentially similar to the twin butterfly swords used in some kung fu styles.


Almost anything can be used as a club. This entry represents the wooden nightsticks sometimes carried by police forces.

Club, Spiked

Also called a morningstar, this simple weapon combines the impact of a club with the piercing force of spikes.

Dagger, Punching

Also called a katar, the punching dagger puts the full force of the wielder’s punch behind it, making it capable of deadly strikes.


These metal gloves protect your hands and let you deal lethal damage with unarmed strikes rather than nonlethal damage. A strike with a gauntlet is otherwise considered an unarmed attack. The cost and weight given are for a single gauntlet. Medium and heavy archaic armors (except breastplates) come with gauntlets.

Gauntlet, Spiked

Your opponent cannot use a disarm action to disarm you of spiked gauntlets. The cost and weight given are for a single gauntlet. An attack with a spiked gauntlet is considered an armed attack that deals lethal damage.

Ketch-All Pole

A ketch-all pole is designed to capture opponents with a minimum of harm. A wielder who hits an opponent with a ketchall pole can immediately initiate a grapple (as a free action) without provoking an attack of opportunity. In addition to the normal options available to a grappler, the wielder of a ketchall pole can attempt to pull his target to the ground (the equivalent of a trip attack, though no attack roll is necessary).

The ketch-all pole has reach and cannot be used against adjacent opponents. A ketch-all pole can only be used against opponents within one size category of the wielder.


This category of weapon includes hunting knives, butterfly or “balisong” knives, switchblades, and bayonets (when not attached to rifles). A character can select the Weapon Finesse feat to apply his or her Dexterity modifier instead of Strength modifier to attack rolls with a knife.

Metal Baton

This weapon can be collapsed to reduce its size and increase its concealability. A collapsed baton is Small and can’t be used as a weapon. Extending or collapsing the baton is a free action.

Pistol Whip

Using a pistol as a melee weapon can deal greater damage than attacking unarmed. No weight or purchase DC is given for this weapon, since both vary depending on the pistol used.


You can strike with either end of a quarterstaff, allowing you to take full advantage of openings in your opponent’s defenses. A quarterstaff 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 quarterstaff, can’t use it as a double weapon.

Rifle Butt

The butt of a rifle can be used as an impromptu club.


This weapon, essentially a smaller version of a club, deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage.


A smaller spear that can be thrown.


This weapon is like a farmer’s sickle, but it is strengthened for use as a weapon.

Stun Gun

Although the name suggests a ranged weapon, a stun gun requires physical contact to affect its target. (The taser is a ranged weapon with a similar effect.) On a successful hit, the stun gun deals 1d3 points of electricity damage,(do not add the character’s Str bonus) and the target must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 15) or be paralyzed for 1d6 rounds.


This is the melee weapon carried by most police forces, used to subdue and restrain criminals. A character can deal nonlethal damage with a tonfa without taking the usual –4 penalty.

Back to MSRD > Equipment > Weapons > Melee Weapons.

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