Medieval Weaponry, Offensive
Crossbow: A weapon for discharging quarrels and stones that consists chiefly of a short bow mounted crosswise near the end of a stock.
Longbow: A hand-drawn wooden bow held vertically and used to launch arrows a great distance when handled correctly. Hard to aim without practice.
Club: A heavy usually tapering staff especially of wood.
Mace: A heavy often spiked staff or club used especially for breaking armor. Strong enough to block a broadsword, usable with one or two hands, and heavy enough to bash right through a shield.
Dagger: A long, sharp pointed knife for stabbing. The dagger is somewhat larger than the knife, giving it solidity to take a sword hit, when braced properly. It's larger surface also makes it an effective shield when laid against the arm. It's short reach makes it hard to use against a warrior with a larger sword, but it's long enough to be inconvenient in close combat.
Knife: A cutting instrument consisting of a sharp blade fastened to a handle.
Spear: A thrusting or throwing weapon with long shaft and sharp head or blade. The spear is the basic thrusting/throwing weapon. Heavy for good penetration when thrown, it isn't too heavy to use close. It has the benefits of both a staff and an edged weapon. This is among the shortest of the polearms, though it can be cut to any length.
Trident: A 3-pronged spear. The trident is about the same length as the spear, but it loses the edged attribute. A good distance thrusting weapon and a good blocking weapon, if skillfully used. It's also useful as a sword breaker, if you're careful and quick.
Staff: A long stick carried in the hand. Can't take too much chopping, but its smooth reversal ability makes it a fluid and versatile weapon when used with skill.
Quarterstaff: A long stout staff wielded with one hand in the middle and the other between the middle and the end.
Bastard Sword: The bastard sword is the best trans-handed sword. Equally functional as a two-handed and a one-handed blade, it is officially a hand-and-a-half weapon. Fast but solid, this is a perennial favorite.
Broadsword: A large heavy sword with a broad blade for cutting rather than thrusting. Lighter than the claymore for use against less heavily armored foes, the broadsword is the most basic medieval blade. It's shorter - three to four feet - and therefore more easily maneuverable. When you're the one in heavy armor, this is a big help. Against heavy armor, this blade will still bash appreciably. An extremely strong warrior can even use this blade one-handed for short periods.
Claymore: The claymore is the mother of all broadswords. It's a huge, two-handed thing. Anywhere from four to six feet long, it's designed for serious armor bashing.
Cutlass: A short curving sword (as seen in pirate movies), not very good for thrusts but a lethal slashing weapon.
Katana: The classic blade from the East, the katana is designed for fast strikes that disable an opponent with one blow. The super-sharp katana can easily slice through leather and bone. Its elongated hilt creates a wide grip that allows precise control. The elongated grip causes problems by forcing the warrior into awkward positions when inverting his blade. This blade is light enough to be used one-handed, though, which makes handling easier.
Longsword (usually referred to as simply "Sword"): The longsword is a thinner sword than the broadsword but has equal reach. This makes it faster without losing the length advantage. As a one-handed blade, though, it won't take the beating that a broadsword can give it.
Machete: A large heavy knife, usually wielded in one hand and used for slashing rather than thrusting (due to the fact that the blade is kinda flimsy).
Rapier: A straight 2-edged sword with a narrow pointed blade, used usually for thrusting as opposed to slashing.
Saber: A light fencing or dueling sword having an arched guard that covers the back of the hand, and a tapering flexible blade with a full cutting edge along one side, and a partial cutting edge on the back at the tip, good for both slashing and thrusting.
Scimitar: A saber having a curved blade with the edge on the convex side. Originally a Middle-Eastern blade, the scimitar's gradual curve makes it a premier slicing weapon. It requires precise control, for its center of gravity is above the blade, creating a lopsided feel. It tends to be rather heavy, making it suitable for use against a broadsword. This is a two-handed weapon, but its great arching style can be adapted to one-handed use.
Short Sword: This blade is extremely fast when wielded properly. Many warriors use two of these at once, or a short sword in combination with a longsword. It's light weight can work against it, though. It takes a more solid hit than with another blade to have effect on your opponent. Also, without a second blade to brace it against, this blade is almost useless for defense. However, a careful and fast warrior often has no need for defense when using this blade.
Sword Cane: A cane in which a sword blade is concealed.
Adze: A cutting tool that has a thin arched blade set at right angles to the handle.
Pick: A heavy wooden-handled iron or steel tool pointed at one or both ends.
Scythe: An implement composed of a long curving blade fastened at an angle to a long handle, hard to dodge due to the wide arc in it's attack range when swung proficiently.
Brass Knuckles: A set of metal finger rings or guards attached to a transverse piece and worn over the front of the doubled fist for use as a weapon.
Garrote: A wire with a handle at each end, used for a quick death by strangulation.
Sledgehammer (AKA "Warhammer"): A large heavy hammer that is wielded with both hands. Can most likely fatally wound an opponent when swung with speed either horizontally or vertically at them.
Sling: An instrument for throwing stones that usually consists of a short strap with strings fastened to its ends.
Slingshot: A small, forked stick with an elastic band attached for shooting small stones.
Talon: A part or object shaped like or suggestive of a heel or claw, usually worn on the hands for slashing.
Whip: An instrument consisting of a handle and lash forming a flexible rod, slung back and snapped forwards for a quick and painful hit.
Medieval Weaponry, Defensive
Chain Mail: Chain mail is heavy, especially relative to leather, but it's more flexible and offers better protection. It cannot be cut through, and if bashed it will stop a lot of the blow without acquiring a permanent dent. It won't stop as much of the blow as scale or plate mail would, but if you can get even a little bit of a block in the way just barely in time, this will keep you whole.
Leather Armor: Leather armor comes in two durabilities: hard and soft. Soft leather will protect against cuts and light taps. That's about all it can take, but it is conversely very flexible and light. You will lose none of your mobility in soft leather. Hardened leather is impervious to cuts and can take a good beating. It will buckle and snap under too much stress, but it will stop at least one good blow before it shatters, which can give you the extra second you need to strike. It is light and can be easily cut to any shape you need, and is therefore highly mobile.
Plate Mail: Plate mail is a steel shell. It involves sheets of steel professionally shaped to your body's contours to cover as much of your body as possible in as few pieces as possible. A full suit of plate mail is flexible only in major joints, and there the flexibility of the mail is less than that of the human body. It is also very heavy, and in even mildly warm weather it is very hot. It can be (and often is) so heavy, in fact, that if you are knocked off your feet, you cannot get back up without help. On the plus side, if you can stay on your feet, you are basically indestructible. To get at a person in plate mail without knocking him down requires that you bash in his armor to the point where he either a) cannot breathe or b) breaks several bones and passes out from pain.
Scale Mail: Scale mail is basically a lot of overlapped steel plates riveted to each other or fastened to a piece of chain mail. It tends to look like a lobster tail. Scale has, like all things, its good points and its bad. On the up side, it is quite flexible yet thicker than chain, and so offers more protection. On the down side, it has two major weaknesses: First, it can be even heaver than plate mail, because it's pieces overlap. Second, its overlapped style is especially vulnerable to an upward cut.
Buckler: This is basically a hand guard without a sword. It can't take a heavy blow, but it's great against lighter weapons or slashers. Its small diameter makes it easy to move around. This shield doesn't follow normal shield discipline, because it's simply too small to do so.
Shield: A broad piece of defensive armor carried on the arm. It has no edges to play with, and isn't all that big. The Viking warrior used it more to bash than to defend, and thus it often featured a spike.
Bracer: An arm or wrist protector.
Gauntlet: A glove worn with armor to protect the hand.
Helmet: A protective head covering made of a hard material to resist impact.
( a good portion of this information was taken from the MBC and M-W OnLine without permission. )
( send all comments, questions, and suggestions to AceStryker@yahoo.com. )