Shuriken (throwing star): This small throwing weapon comes in many sizes and shapes.
All shuriken are thrown by hand and have a limited range. They are easily hidden in folds of clothing or tucked into sashes.
Spike shuriken can even be worn in the hair.
Spike shuriken look like large pins, tapering to a sharp point.
Large star shuriken are larger. They may also be gripped in the fist, with one sharpened point projecting between the fingers, and used as a punching weapon.
Small star shuriken have three or more razor-edged points, ensuring that at least one point will strike the opponent (if a successful attack roll is made).
The kaginawa is translated as a hooked rope made from hemp. A hook designed for grappling will be
attached to one end of the kaginawa. This will be used when you happen to have
to scale a rather large wall, or to secure a boat, or to pull tatami mats
up. It can also be used as a weapon by swinging the hook or the weight at an opponent
and the rope can be used to entangle an opponent. This type of weapon is popular with ninja because it has several uses and is easily concealed.
is an ancient kind of trowel, originated
during the TenshÅEera in Japan. It was normally wrought of iron, not steel,
cheaply forged and unpolished. The size of most ranged from 20 cm to
60 cm, with the average at 40 cm. It was used by common
folk as multi-purpose gardening
tools and by workers of stone and masonry. The kunai is not a knife, but something more akin to a crowbar. The blade
was soft iron and unsharpened because the edges were used to smash plaster and
wood, to dig holes and to pry. Normally only the tip would have been sharpened
whch was used to stab opponents in hand to hand combat .
Kunai normally had a
leaf-shaped blade and a handle with a ring on the pommel for attaching a rope. This would allow the
kunai's handle to be wrapped to act as a grip, or when used as a weapon; to be
strapped to a stick as an expedient spear, to be tied to the body for
concealment, or to use as an anchor or piton.
Kumade (rake): This dual-purpose tool consists of a spear-length wooden shaft with a rake head fitted at one end. By setting the rake prongs in a crack, ledge, or sill, a ninja can climb up the shaft. The kumade can also be used as a weapon. Because the kumade has multiple uses and can be carried without arousing suspicion, it is a common item for ninja to use.
Kusari-gama (chain-sickle): This variation on the kama (sickle) was designed specifically for combat. It is a kama with a length of weighted chain attached to the butt end of the handle. The kusari-gama can be used in several ways: The user can attack with the kama in hand, he can club and entangle with the weighted chain, or he can whirl the kama at the end of the chain. This weapon is relatively easy to make and is favored by both peasants and ninja.
Kyogetsu-shoge: This is a simple length of rope with a sharp hooked blade at one end and a heavy iron ring at the other. Its uses are similar to those of a standard chain weapon. The rope can be swung to attack with the blade or weight, snapped around the feet or arms to entangle, thrown to entangle, or held while striking with the blade. Although the rope is far easier to cut or break than a chain, the weapon is often used by ninja because it is almost silent. It is easy to conceal and can be worn as a belt or under a sash.
Manriki-gusari (chain): This simple length of chain with weights at each end can be whirled quickly, striking with hard blows from the weights. One end can be swung out to entangle an opponent, or the entire weapon can be thrown, entangling and causing damage at the same time. The manriki-gusari is popular in areas where the lord has forbidden the use or wearing of other weapons, or when secrecy is required. It can easily be worn as a belt or hidden under a sash. It is often used by ninja because it has a great number of uses.
Nekode (climbing claws): This dual-purpose ninja tool is a pair of straps or gloves fitted with spikes in the palm. By hammering the spikes into cracks in a wall or cliff to give a better grip, the user of nekode climbs wallsl.
Nekode can also be used to claw an opponent for small amounts of damage. While wearing nekode, a character can still wield other weapons without penalty. Nekode are usually worn only when needed, because they easily identify the user as a ninja.
Ninja-to (ninja sword): This is the ninja's standard sword. It is approximately the length of a short sword, making it easier to conceal on the body. The blade of the ninja-to is straight and of lower quality than that of a katana. However, in keeping with the ninja's methods, the sword and scabbard have multiple uses, which vary from ninja to ninja. Some of these uses include secret compartments in the hilt of the sword or tip of the scabbard for carrying powders, poisons, or daggers.
The scabbard is normally longer than the sword and open at both ends, allowing it to serve as a blowgun or breathing tube. The stiff, strong scabbard can also be used as a hanbo or the rung of a ladder. See the blowgun for the cost of this sort of scabbard.
Strong silk cord may be wrapped around the scabbard, to be unwound for climbing. Other devices can be attached or hidden within this weapon .
Metsubushi (blinding powders): A small wooden device, similar to a short blowgun (1-2 feet long), is used to blow a puff of powder into an opponent's face. It has a mouthpiece at one end, a chamber for holding the powder, and a small tube at the other end. The most common powders are peppers, ashes, and dust.
This weapon is often used by ninja for distraction and escape, and by city constables when attempting to capture a criminal.
Arrows: Arrows for use with the daikyu (great bow) or hankyu (half bow) come in a number of different shapes and styles.
Daikyu (great bow): This is the largest type of bow found in an Oriental setting. In some ways, it is similar to the western long bow. It is 7 feet long and bent at the ends for greater power. Unlike most bows, the grip is closer to the bottom, not centered. This allows the bow to be fired from horseback and kneeling positions.
Armor piercer arrows have a narrow spike-head and are designed to punch through different types of armor.
Flight arrows are the most common sort of arrow, with a wedge-shaped head that is useful in both combat and hunting.
Frog crotch arrows have heads that form a V, the inner edge of which is sharp. These arrows are used to cut standards and armor cords, and inflict terrible wounds on anything caught between the jaws. To successfully use the cutting action, the archer must successfully hit a specific point.
Humming bulb arrows are fitted with carved wooden heads that whistle loudly when fired. The sound can be heard up to one mile away. This type of arrow is normally used for signaling, but the bulb can also be fitted with oil-soaked cloth or straw and used as a fire arrow. It also starts fires in flammable materials unless put out quickly.
Sheaf arrows are fitted with broad heads designed to cause great injury. These arrowheads are often carved or pierced with artistic designs, making them works of art.
Axes: Oriental equivalents for the common western battle and hand/throwing axes are readily available.
Blowgun: Many ninja use blowguns, as light weapons or as distractions. Evil ninja may use blowguns as a means to deliver poisons. A blowgun dart is larger and heavier, and does more damage than a blowgun needle. The needle is less expensive but just as good at carrying poisons.
Blowguns can also be used as breathing tubes for swimming underwater.
Special reinforced blowguns are available.
Bo (staff): This Oriental equivalent of the quarterstaff is normally 6-7 feet long. Its hard wood makes it difficult to cut or break.
Bokken (wooden sword): This is a wooden copy of the katana, designed to simulate that sword's weight and other characteristics. It is used to practice swordsmanship since it does not cause cutting injuries. Wielded aggressively, however, it can cause injury from the force of the blow. The bokken requires sword proficiency, not club proficiency; it shares a weapon proficiency with the katana.
Chigiriki (chain spear): A length of weighted chain is added to the butt end of a normal spear. This weapon can be used as a normal spear, or the butt-chain can be swung out, entangling the opponent.
Chopsticks: Chopsticks can be used as a weapon in case of emergency. They are not very effective but are better than nothing, and they are commonly available.
Many ninja like them for their lightness and ease of concealment.
Fukimi-bari (mouth darts): These small darts are held in the mouth and blown into the face of an opponent as a surprise attack. Up to 10 of them can be carried in the mouth. They can be fired singly or all at once.
Obviously, since the darts are carried in the mouth, they cannot be poisoned (unless the ninja is willing to suffer the effects of the poison as well). Furthermore, the darts have a very poor range and are almost never effective against any type of armor; wielders of this weapon suffer a -6 penalty to the attack roll when firing at an armored target. However, these darts do have the advantage of surprise and distraction because they are a hidden weapon.
/ Tessen (war fanj: This iron fan's main use is defensive, counting as a small shield. However, it can also be used to strike blows. It is normally considered a fallback weapon.
Hanbo (half staff): This 2-3 foot stick is used as a weapon; practitioners often carry one in each hand. The statistics for the hanbo are used when a sword sheath is used as a weapon.
Jitte: This tapered iron bar has a short hook projecting near the handle. It is not sharp. The jitte is used to block attacks and catch weapons. It can also be used to strike blows. The jitte shares a weapon proficiency with the sai.
Jo (stickj): This stick weapon is about 4 feet long, between the bo and hanbo in size. It can be used one-handed and in pairs. The jo is a favorite weapon of ninja because it is innocuous; it is also called the shinobi-zue.
Kama (sickle): This straight-bladed sickle is a farmer's tool that can also be used as a weapon to great effect. Ninja like this weapon because it can be carried without arousing suspicion. The damage values given for it are for a freshly sharpened weapon.
Katana (samurai long sword): This single-edged, slightly curved sword ends in a chisel point. It is perhaps one of the finest types of sword made, noted for its superior construction and design. Great care is taken in making the katana, and the forging and construction of it is considered a rare and valuable art. The weaponsmith must labor long hours to achieve the correct temper of the blade. When correctly made, the blade is light, well balanced, strong, flexible, and resilient. The quality of the metal and forging allows the blade to be ground to a razor-sharp edge. In addition, such blades are often beautifully decorated with etched designs, prayers, or family lineages. Equal attention is given to the hilt, guard, and scabbard of the weapon.
Katanas may have individual names, reflecting deeds of glory in which they have been used.
For the samurai character, the katana is more than just a sword. It is part of his honor and the honor of his family. It is his personal weapon, not to be used by others. To touch the scabbard of the sheathed katana is to insult the samurai. To draw the blade without permission is a graver insult. A single katana may have been in the same family for generations, becoming a treasured heirloom. To lose such a weapon is a shameful disgrace that can be swept clean only by the recovery of the weapon and the punishment of those who have taken it. Many samurai have given their lives to recover a family weapon.
The value of a katana can vary greatly depending on the quality of workmanship and the history of the weapon. Others may be of greater or lesser value, depending on the quality and artistic workmanship of the weapon.
Jitte, (whipping chain): This weapon consists of three
to six short iron bars connected by several links of chain. Its origins can be traced to the agricultural flail. Used properly, it can be a deadly weapon; the iron bars can wrap around shields to land crushing blows. However, because it is not as flexible as a normal chain or rope weapon, it cannot be used to make entangling attacks.
Kiseru (pipe): This is a tobacco pipe made of metal. Its innocent appearance disguises its use as a clubbing weapon. It is popular with peasants and monks because it is cheap and easy to make and does not appear to be dangerous. It can also be used for smoking.
Nage teppo (grenades): These small grenadelike weapons are popular with ninja.
Nagamaki (horseman's halberd): This shortened version of the naginata is used primarily by horsemen. It consists of a 4-6 foot shaft capped by a curved swordlike blade.
Naginata (halberd: This lightweight but strong polearm is 6-8 feet long and ends in a curved swordlike blade. It is used as a standard polearm. The naginata is often the preferred weapon of women; many female samurai and ninja become proficient with this weapon.
Needle: Although hardly an effective weapon, needles are occasionally carried by ninja for distraction or surprise. Like the fukimi-bari, they are carried in the mouth and fired by spitting or blowing (using the tongue as a blowpipe). Up to 20 needles can be carried in the mouth. The needles can be fired singly or all at once.
Nodachi (two-handed sword: This is the equivalent of the western two-handed sword. It is constructed more like the katana or ancestral long sword, having a narrow, slightly curved or straight blade and a minimal circular or octagonal guard, but has all the characteristics of its western equivalent.
Nunchaku (threshing flail): This martial arts weapon is derived from the common agricultural flail. It consists of two lengths of hard wood or iron connected by a short chain or cord. The nunchaku can be used to parry attacks, club an opponent, or catch weapons. It is easily concealed.
Sai (short trident): This weapon is almost identical to the jitte, and it is used in the same manner. The only difference between the two weapons is that the sai has two forward-projecting tines instead of one. The sai shares a weapon proficiency with the jitte.
Shakujo yari (staff spear): This is a spear concealed within a sheath to look like a staff. It can be used as a bo when the sheath is in place. The shakujo yari can be carried on secret missions or when the character desires to look relatively defenseless.
Sling: Ordinary and staff slings are available in Oriental settings.
Sode garami (sleeve entangler): This highly specialized weapon is used to catch and entangle an opponent without causing great harm. It is normally made as a pole and crossbar set with a large number of spikes and hooks. On a successful hit, it hooks and catches the clothing of the opponent, who is allowed a saving throw vs. paralyzation to escape. If the saving throw is unsuccessful, the character is entangled. This weapon is often carried by palace guards or city constables.
A Suntetsu is a metal rod/spike about 6 inches in length with a ring attached
to it. The middle finger is inserted into the ring and the Suntetsu rests in the
hand by various grips. Suntetsu are small, easy to conceal and relatively simple
to learn how to use. Suntetsu are used for stabbing, poking, pinching, striking,
smashing, scraping and throwing. You can use a single Suntetsu or a pair.
Tanto (dagger): This dagger is made in the same style as the katana and wakizashi (curved blade, small or nonexistent hand guard). It shares a weapon proficiency with the yoroi-toshi.
Tenouchi sticks go by various
names. Many people call them kubotans
(named for Tak Kubota) or yawara sticks There
is also the koppo, a pocket stick with a loop of cord for the index and
middle fingers. (The concept is similar to that of the suntetsu, a metal pocket stick with a metal or
flexible loop for the middle finger.)
Tetsu-bishi (caltrops): This are small caltrops, not melee or thrown weapons. Each is a ball or four-sided diamond of spikes, designed so that no matter how it lands at least one spike is pointing upward. They are used to stop or slow the movement of men and animals by making the ground extremely dangerous to walk on.
Because of the way tetsu-bishi are designed, they cannot be thrown at an opponent for any good effect. Rather, they are cast on the ground at the feet of an opponent when the wielder is being pursued.
Tetsu-bo (iron staff): This is a bo with at least half its length sheathed in studded iron strips. It is often used by travelers because it can also serve as a walking stick.
Tonfa (handle): This is a hardwood rod with a small handle sticking out off-center from the side. The entire length is about 2-3 feet. It was originally the handle of a millstone. With this weapon, a trained fighter can block, catch weapons, break weapons, and attack effectively. The tonfa is often used in areas where normal weapons are outlawed.
Trident: Oriental versions of the trident are available.
Uchi-ne: This is a short, heavy javelin that looks like an oversized arrow. It can be thrown effectively for short distances or used for thrusting and jabbing. The uchi-ne is often carried by nobles when traveling.
Wakizashi: This is a short sword, similar in design and construction to the katana. Like the katana, the wakizashi may be named for some past deed or event. It holds almost as important a place in the samurai's honor as his katana. Those rules and guidelines concerning the katana and its care also apply to the wakizashi when it is part of a matched set.
The wakizashi and the katana are normally worn as a pair by samurai characters. This pair is known as daisho, or "long and short." In many lands, the two-weapon combination is a sign of samurai status. Anyone other than a samurai who wears the long and short swords together is subject to arrest or immediate execution.
Whip: To inflict damage, the whip must strike exposed or lightly covered flesh. Heavy clothing, thick hair, or fur gives considerable protection until torn away by repeated lashing. The type of armor determines how long it takes the whip to begin doing damage. With heavy clothing, damage begins on the third successful blow; thick hair or fur, on the second; padded armor, on the fourth; leather armor, on the fifth; hide armor, on the sixth. The whip can do no harm through armor heavier than that. Thick hide, such as that of an elephant or rhinoceros, will allow a slight sting at best, with no real damage inflicted.
However, the whip can also be used to entangle a target, and is often more effectively used in this way than for causing damage.
Yari (spear): This is the common Oriental spear, similar to the western spear.
Yoroi-doshi: This weapon is shaped like the tanto but is designed a bit differently. Its tip, rather than blade, is reinforced and sharpened. This makes the weapon good for piercing armor. The yoroi-doshi shares a weapon proficiency with the tanto.