Roman weapons were fairly limited in variety, albeit easily available. Most soldiers and many civilians carried daggers. Clubs were favored for street fights. Spears, knives, javelins, and axes were also available as tools and hunting weapons. Although Romans were not skilled archers, the legions employed foreign auxiliaries skilled in the use of short bows, crossbows, or slings.

Simple Melee Weapons Cost Damage Weight Properties
Cestus 5 st 1d3 bludgeoning Finesse, Light
Club 1 st 1d4 bludgeoning 2 lb Light
Dagger (pugio) 2 dn 1d4 piercing 1 lb Finesse, light, thrown (range 20/60)
Greatclub 2 st 1d8 bludgeoning 10 lb 2h
Handaxe 5 dn 1d6 slashing 2 lb Light, thrown (range 20/60)
Javelin (pilum) 5 st 1d6 piercing 2 Thrown (range 30/120)
Light hammer 2 dn 1d4 bludgeoning 2 Light, thrown (range 20/60)
Mace 5 dn 1d6 bludgeoning 4
Quarterstaff 2 st 1d4 bludgeoning 4 Versatile (1d6)
Sickle (falx) 1 dn 1d4 slashing 2 Light
Spear 1 dn 1d6 piercing 3 Thrown (range 30/120), versatile (1d8)
Simple Ranged Weapons        
Crossbow, light 25 dn 1d8 piercing 5 lb Ammunition (range 80/320), loading, 2h
Dart (plumbata) 5 as 1d4 piercing .5 lb Finesse, Thrown (range 20/60)
Shortbow 25 dn 1d6 piercing 2 lb Ammunition (range 80/320), 2h
Sling 1 st 1d4 bludgeoning Ammunition (range 30/120)
Martial Melee Weapons        
Battleaxe 10 dn 1d8 slashing 4 lb Versatile (1d0)
Greataxe 30 dn 1d12 slashing 7 lb Heavy, 2h
Greatsword 50 dn 2d6 slashing 6 lb Heavy, 2h
Longsword (spatha) 15 dn 1d8 slashing 3 lb Versatile (1d0)
Maul 10 dn 2d6 bludgeoning 10 lb Heavy, 2h
Morningstar 15 dn 1d8 piercing 4 lb
Scimitar 25 dn 1d6 slashing 3 lb Finesse, light
Shortsword (gladius) 10 dn 1d6 piercing 2 lb Finesse, light
Trident (fuxina) 5 dn 1d6 piercing 4 lb Thrown (range 20/60), versatile (1d8)
War pick (dolabra) 5 dn 1d8 piercing 2 lb
Warhammer 15 dn 1d8 bludgeoning 3 lb Versatile (1d10)
Whip 2 dn 1d4 slashing 2 lb Finesse, reach
Martial Ranged Weapons        
Crossbow, hand 75 dn 1d6 piercing 3 lb Ammunition (range 30/120), light, loading
Crossbow, heavy 50 dn 1d10 piercing 18 lb Ammunition (range 100/400), heavy, loading, 2h
Net (iaculum) 1 dn 3 lb Special, thrown (range 5/15)

Cestus: A spiked, sharp-edged fighting glove. Gladiators sometimes wore one on either hand and engaged in a lethal version of boxing. A cestus is classified as a simple weapon but does not require proficiency.

Dolabra: The dolabra is a versatile weapon also used by miners for excavation, a priest's implement for ritual religious slaughtering of animals, and as an entrenching tool in Roman infantry tactics.

Falx: A sickle or any other bladed weapon that is curved on the inside edge. It is the favored weapon of Thracian warriors.

Fuxina: A trident. It is used by the retiarius class of gladiator and by fishermen.

Gladius: A short sword, double-edged and about 18 inches long and two inches wide. The hilt is made of bone, wood, or ivory and a large round ball at the end helped with the balance. It is the standard weapon of Roman legionaries and gladiators.

Hasta: A spear. A common weapon used by third-rank legionaries in the Republic, and by cavalry and hunters.

Iaculum: A gladiator’s net, eight to 12 feet across and weighted for throwing, used by retiarius gladiators. If a gladiator hits with a net, his foe is trapped and cannot move or attack (but the net is now useless). Making an escape attempt takes one round, and the netted character must roll a successful Strength check to free himself.

Pilum: The basic missile weapon of the legionary. It is a heavy javelin with a barbed iron head. The last segment of the pilum’s shaft up to the tip is constructed of soft metal rather than wood. Upon impact, the metal shaft bends. If the pilum sticks in a shield, this makes it hard to pull out, and the pilum’s weight prevents the shield being used. If it misses, the bent shaft still disables the pilum, preventing the enemy throwing the legion’s own volley back at them. After battle, the pilum shafts are easily repaired by the legion’s armorers. If a pilum misses a shielded target by 1 or 2 on a d20, it has stuck in the shield. The shield is rendered useless (ignore its Armor Class bonus) until the pilum is removed. Trying to remove a pilum from a shield requires an action and a successful DC 10 Strength check.

Plumbata: A lead-weighted dart with a barbed head. Legionaries typically carried five of these hurled projectiles in the hollow of their shields.

Pugio: This leaf-shaped blade is used by Roman soldiers as a sidearm. Officials of the empire also take to wearing ornate daggers in the performance of their offices, and some would wear concealed daggers as a defense against contingencies.

Spatha: A long sword used by auxiliary cavalry, gladiators, and the Roman legions. While the infantry version has a long point, versions carried by the cavalry have a rounded tip to prevent accidental stabbing of the cavalryman's own foot or horse.


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