Weapons in the Heroic Age

Just as the armor available during the Bronze age was limited, so too were the weapons available. Spears were the most common, and usually two handed and about three meters long. When it comes to swords there were many different styles, all made of bronze. The xiphos (pronounced Ksee-fos) was a double-edged one handed short sword. Its blade was leaf shaped which lent itself to cutting and thrusting. This popular design was still used in the classical age, when it was made of iron.

The Rules of Bronze Age Weaponry
Heroes in The Heroic Age wield weapons made of bronze. These weapons are fragile. If an attacker rolls a 1 while attacking with a fragile weapon, the fragile weapon will break. It requires a smith to repair the weapon. The cost of repairing damaged weaponry is half the cost of the weapon. Fragile weaponry is the only type available to starting characters and mortals. Heroes, on the other hand, usually have access to superior weapons made from superior materials.

Weapons Available
Dagger, short sword, long sword, mace, axe, slings, javelin, shortbow, longbow, shortspear, and longspear.

Thoughts on the Fragile House Rule and Limited Arms and Armor
I wanted a way to illustrate the fact that this campaign setting takes place in a less developed world than the one presented in the Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook. I could have had the weapons deal less damage, but I feel like that takes the fun out of it. Instead, this fragility is a rare thematic occurrence, and more interesting than rolling a 1 and stabbing yourself in the foot or dropping your sword. It is also thematic to the stories, take this Critical Hit Hector suffered from Achilles:

“The Rest of Hector’s flesh seemed all encased in armor, burnished brazen-- Achilles’ armor that Hector stripped from strong Patroclus when he killed him-- true, but one spot lay exposed… there as Hector charged in fury brilliant Achilles drove his spear.”

As for the limited weapons, this is also a thematic choice. The DM wants their heroes to fit in thematically with the setting. Allowing the players to wield flails or katanas would be ill suited. Instead, you should encourage your players to stick with the limited weapons list when making their characters. As DM, it is easy to add reskinned weapons as rewards. For example, if a player makes a big deal about wanting a two handed great sword, weapons like that fit in Faerun, they do not fit well in Mycenae. Maybe later in the adventure or campaign they can come across a Cyclops smith who has one of those he built as a prototype lying against the wall. He may be interested in parting with it, in exchange for help with a task. It can even be forged from a unique mythical metal or steel. Surely a fine sword like that would be an important treasure, worth an entire herd of cows!


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