Following these system guidelines, here is a set of balanced, predefined weapons.
2DTH stands for “two dice, take highest” and 2DTL stands for “two dice, take lowest.” 3DTH is “three dice, take highest” and so forth.
- Axe (2DTL, sundering)
- Dagger (2DTL, close)
- Flail (2DTH, dangerous)
- Javelin (2DTL, throwable)
- Mace (2DTL, armor-piercing)
- Spear (2DTL, reach)
- Sword, arming
- Throwing knife (2DTL, throwable)
- Tomahawk (2DTL, throwable)
- War hammer (2DTL, armor-piercing)
- Chain scythe (2DTH, reach, dangerous)
- Halberd (2DTH, long-hafted, sundering)
- Maul (4DTH, heavy, crude)
- Pike (3DTH, long-hafted)
- Pole-flail (3DTH, dangerous)
- Sword, claymore (reach)
- Sword, two-handed (2DTH)
- Sword, zweihander (3DTH, heavy)
- Crossbow, hand (2DTL)
- Sling (slow)
- Bow, short
- Bow, long (2DTH, immobile)
- Crossbow, light (2DTL, armor-piercing)
- Crossbow, heavy (armor-piercing, slow)
The way this works out, the arming sword, two-handed sword, and short bow end up each being the default weapon (the mechanical result of not applying any benefit or flaw) within a larger category, which feels right to me. I am pretty happy with all of these except the long bow. I thought about “heavy,” but that does not quite seem to be an appropriate flaw to balance the higher damage. Something where the long bow could only be used with sufficient area to allow the proper stance would be best, so I invented “immobile,” which means that the wielder cannot both move and take a shot in the same round. It may still be possible to improve on that, however. The limited number of properties, especially per given weapon, seems far more approachable that my previous effort, while also prioritizing fictional logic.
You may note that there are a few different weapons listed that are still mechanically identical (such as javelins, tomahawks, and throwing knives). I do not necessarily see that as a problem, as they may have different tool uses outside of combat as well. I also added a few somewhat absurd items to the list (chain scythe!) because they are fun, and to show how the blending of properties can make stranger weapons both viable and different beyond just literal re-skinning, which I often find unsatisfying as a player.