Weapon

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See also: Armor

A weapon, sometimes called an arm or armament, is an instrument used to inflict harm. While some weapons are improvised and others are repurposed from common tools or devices, most are designed to inflict damage to beings and structures.1

Classes of weapons

Weapons can be classified in a number of ways:2

By group

See also: Category:Weapons by group

There are a number of weapon groups that help define weapons with common traits. Many weapons can be classified under multiple groups.34

Group Description
Axes Hafted bladed weapons, including battleaxes, dwarven waraxes, greataxes and orc double axes.
Bombs5 Separated from Thrown weapons, mostly alchemical bombs.
Heavy blades6 Hefty bladed weapons, such as bastard swords, greatswords, longswords, sawtooth sabres, and scythes.
Light blades6 Lightweight bladed weapons, such as daggers, rapiers, short swords, sickles, and starknives.
Bows Manual arrow-firing weapons consisting of a bent frame joined by a tense string.
Brawling5
Close6 Weapons designed for extremely close ranges, such as armor spikes, gauntlets, and stakes.
Clubs5 Separated from Close weapons, such as juggling clubs, frying pans.
Crossbows6 Mechanically triggered weapons that fire arrows or bolts. Subcategory of Bows.
Darts5
Double6 Weapons designed with two or more dangerous ends, such as dwarven urgroshs, gnome hooked hammers, or two-bladed swords.
Firearms Technologically advanced weapons that fire projectiles. Includes all types of guns and beam weapons.
Flails Weapons linked to a handle or another weapon, often by a chain or rope. Includes nunchaku and whips.
Hammers Hafted weapons with a heavy head, often blunt or spiked. Includes clubs, earth breakers and warhammers.
Knives5
Monk6 Weapons designed to complement a monk's fighting style. Includes brass knuckles and temple swords.
Natural6 Parts of one's natural body, including bites, claws, hands, horns, tails, and wings.
Picks5
Polearms Long-shafted weapons, typically ending in a blade; many are designed to be swung. Includes glaives and halberds.
Shields5
Siege engines6 Large weapons of mass destruction, such as ballistas, catapults, and rams.
Slings5
Spears Long-shafted weapons, typically ending in a point; some can also be thrown. Includes lances and tridents.
Swords5
Thrown6 Weapons propelled by manual force, including bolas, darts, and nets. While not strictly thrown, this group also includes blowguns and halfling sling staves.

By range

See also: Category:Weapons by range and Category:Ammunition

Weapons can be designed for up-close melee combat, such as swords and maces; to reach targets within a short range, such as polearms; or to attack targets at a greater distance, such as bows and thrown weapons.7

By required skill

See also: Category:Weapons by skill level

Many weapons can be simple to use, if not master. Some, however, require martial training or extensive perfection of exotic or esoteric techniques.7

By weight and grip

See also: Category:Weapons by grip

Light weapons can be easily wielded, while other one-handed weapons require more concentration, and two-handed weapons work best in the grip of a strong wielder. These scales can be relative to the wielder; a weapon usable in one hand by a human might require two when wielded by a halfling, for example.7

By damage

See also: Category:Weapons by damage type

There are many ways a weapon can harm a target. Bladed weapons cut and slash, pointed weapons pierce, and blunt weapons bludgeon. Many weapons can do some or all of these types of damage depending on how they're wielded, but most are designed to focus on a specific type of harm.7

By scale

See also: Category:Siege engines

Weapons are not limited to what humanoids can hold in their hands. Larger weapons, such as siege engines and cannons, might require crews to operate but can also operate with a greater magnitude of destructive force.8

By technological level

See also: Technology and Category:Technological weapons

In their most basic forms, many weapons are little more than highly refined arrangements of metal, wood, stone, and other simple materials. Others employ more complex mechanical, chemical, electrical, or other technological processes.910

The most prominent example of a technological weapon on Golarion is the firearm, a weapon rarely found outside of Alkenstar that combines mechanics with explosive chemistry to fire projectiles at devastating rates of speed.11 Also, alien technology scattered across Numeria is capable of all manner of strange effects and destructive potential.9

By magical enhancement

A hammer that has been magically enhanced to particularly damage golems.
See also: Magic item and Category:Magic weapons

The vast majority of weapons on Golarion are considered mundane in nature, but a few are persistently enhanced with magic. Whether infused by a spellcaster, a soul, its environment, a deity, or other often strange and unnatural means, even a relatively innocuous type of weapon can become exponentially more effective as a magic weapon.12

By material

See also: Category:Weapons by material

Weapons can be constructed using many materials. Most are made of common, mundane materials, such as wood and steel. Less common are those made of materials with unique or magical properties—such as skymetals, cold iron, and darkwood—or through special techniques, such as fire- and frost-forged metals.13

On Golarion

A sword and shield of an Iomedaen holy warrior.

Golarion has seen tremendous armed conflicts across many millennia, and as a result many of its cultures have developed diverse ways to create and use weapons.

Manufacturing

See also: Category:Weaponsmiths, Category:Weapon shops, and Category:Arms merchants

Many weapons are manufactured by weaponsmiths and sold in weapon shops and by arms merchants. Some of Golarion's most renowned smithies and weapon shops include:

In culture

Weapons fill many roles in Golarion's culture in addition to their more straightforward utility in hunting and combat.

  • In addition to its use in hunting and combat, the Zenj also use iwisas as symbols of authority.19
  • Longswords in Taldor, for example, are objects of fashion and status that often value appearance over function.20

Racial weapons

A dwarven blacksmith works on a warhammer.
See also: Category:Weapons by race

Several of Golarion's races have weapons uniquely suited to their strengths, preferences, or cultural norms.

Ethnic weapons

The many human ethnicities of Golarion also often have weapons uniquely suited to their people or culture.

Regional weapons

A member of the Bright Lions wields a sun sling.

Many regions of Golarion are known for preferring certain weapons and fighting styles.

In history

Weapons have played pivotal roles across Golarion's war-scarred history.

In religion

See also: Category:Weapons by deity

A number of deities feature weapons in their holy symbols, and all deities have a favoured weapon as an element of their faiths.47

References

Paizo published the Weapon Master's Handbook as a major sourcebook about weapons. Adventurer's Armory, Adventurer's Armory 2, and Lost Treasures also include many weapons.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Weapon, Wikipedia.
  2. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 16ff. Paizo Inc., 2012
  3. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 47. Paizo Inc., 2012
  4. Logan Bonner, et al. “6: Equipment” in Core Rulebook, 283. Paizo Inc., 2019
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 This group exists only in Pathfinder Second Edition.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 This group exists only in Pathfinder First Edition.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 6: Equipment” in Core Rulebook, 140–141. Paizo Inc., 2009
  8. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Gamemastering” in Core Rulebook, 434. Paizo Inc., 2009
  9. 9.0 9.1 James Jacobs & Russ Taylor. “Technological Equipment” in Technology Guide, 20. Paizo Inc., 2014
  10. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 3: Mastering Combat” in Ultimate Combat, 135. Paizo Inc., 2011
  11. 11.0 11.1 David N. Ross, et al. “Introduction” in Ranged Tactics Toolbox, 5. Paizo Inc., 2014
  12. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 3: Magic Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 134ff. Paizo Inc., 2012
  13. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 48ff. Paizo Inc., 2012
  14. Stephen S. Greer & Amber E. Scott. “City of Trade” in Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh, 34. Paizo Inc., 2009
  15. Colin McComb, et al. “Gnome Settlements” in Gnomes of Golarion, 18. Paizo Inc., 2010
  16. Judy Bauer, et al. Ilsurian” in Towns of the Inner Sea, 29. Paizo Inc., 2013
  17. Lisa Stevens. Tymon” in Guide to the River Kingdoms, 58. Paizo Inc., 2010
  18. Mike Shel. “Shackles Gazetteer” in Isles of the Shackles, 11. Paizo Inc., 2012
  19. David N. Ross, et al. “Ranged Weapons” in Ranged Tactics Toolbox, 18. Paizo Inc., 2014
  20. Alexander Augunas & David N. Ross. Weapon Master's Handbook, inside front cover. Paizo Inc., 2015
  21. Luis Loza. “Chapter 3: Ancestral Gear” in Ancestry Guide, 138. Paizo Inc., 2021
  22. 22.0 22.1 Benjamin Bruck, et al. “Chapter 4: Racial Options” in Inner Sea Races, 227. Paizo Inc., 2015
  23. 23.0 23.1 Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 27. Paizo Inc., 2012
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 24.6 Benjamin Bruck, et al. “Chapter 4: Racial Options” in Inner Sea Races, 226. Paizo Inc., 2015
  25. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 3: Magic Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 154. Paizo Inc., 2012
  26. James Jacobs. “The Shattered Star” in Shards of Sin, 64. Paizo Inc., 2012
  27. James Jacobs, et al. Classic Horrors Revisited, 8. Paizo Inc., 2010
  28. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 28. Paizo Inc., 2012
  29. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 30. Paizo Inc., 2012
  30. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 26. Paizo Inc., 2012
  31. Nicolas Logue. Crown of the Kobold King, 15. Paizo Inc., 2007
  32. F. Wesley Schneider. Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide, 10. Paizo Inc., 2007
  33. 33.0 33.1 Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 5: The World” in Campaign Setting, 209. Paizo Inc., 2008
  34. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 33. Paizo Inc., 2012
  35. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 34. Paizo Inc., 2012
  36. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 35. Paizo Inc., 2012
  37. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 1: Arms and Armor” in Ultimate Equipment, 28–31. Paizo Inc., 2012
  38. Michael Kortes. “A History of Ashes” in A History of Ashes, 28. Paizo Inc., 2008
  39. F. Wesley Schneider. Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide, 11. Paizo Inc., 2007
  40. James Jacobs & Mike McArtor. Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide, 13. Paizo Inc., 2008
  41. Alexander Augunas & David N. Ross. “Introduction” in Weapon Master's Handbook, 4. Paizo Inc., 2015
  42. Wolfgang Baur, et al. “Ancient Osirion” in Lost Kingdoms, 19. Paizo Inc., 2012
  43. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 56. Paizo Inc., 2008
  44. Greg A. Vaughan. “Spires of Xin-Shalast” in Spires of Xin-Shalast, 50. Paizo Inc., 2008
  45. F. Wesley Schneider. “Lesser Artifacts” in Artifacts & Legends, 60. Paizo Inc., 2012
  46. Jim Groves, et al. “Plots & Perils” in Numeria, Land of Fallen Stars, 41–43. Paizo Inc., 2014
  47. Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Chapter 3: Classes” in Core Rulebook, 39. Paizo Inc., 2009