Combat and Equipment

Combat Styles

Combat Styles will generally be career specific. Career specific styles will include at least two weapons, with a maximum of six or so. Some of these weapons may be very general, such as ‘axe’ or ‘club’, while others may be very specific: ‘bone quad-fauchard’. This is intentional, and reflects the versatility and focuses of a given combat style.

Racial combat styles are also available, but these aren’t limited to only the culture/race the style originated from. Other cultures can be trained in these combat styles given they are able to effectively use them.

Using weapons in combat that a character is untrained in has drawbacks, depending on how different the untrained weapon is from a weapon that character is trained in. Here’s a simple guideline:

  • Substantially different weapons are used at the base Combat Style skill (ie, STR + DEX). Example: A spear and a crossbow.
  • Reasonably different weapons are used two-grades harder than the most similar weapon the character is trained in using. Example: A greatsword and a shortsword.
  • Broadly similar weapons are used one-grade harder than the most similar weapon the character is trained in using. Example: A shortsword and a longsword.
  • Similar weapons are able to be wielded at no penalty to the character’s Combat Style skill. Example: A shortsword and a kukri.

The penalty attained by using untrained weapons cannot reduce the user’s skill below base % (ie, STR + DEX).

If a character uses an unfamiliar weapon in conjunction with a familiar one, all Combat Style rolls with either weapon are one-grade harder than normal.

Career Specific Combat Styles

Balician Legionary

  • Weapons included: Spear, shield, shortsword, javelin
  • Combat Style traits: Balician legionaries gain access to the Formation Fighting trait.

Draj Warrior

  • Weapons included: Macuahuitl, spear/harpoon, dejada, knife
  • Combat Style traits: The harpoon is treated as one step larger than it is when used to impale and drag targets back to the Draj warrior.

Dune Merchant

  • Weapons included: Dagger, shortsword, crossbow
  • Combat Style traits: When openly brandishing a blade, the dune merchant adds 1/10 of his or her Combat Style skill to Influence and Commerce rolls made while engaged in trade or barter.

Judaga Headhunter

  • Weapons included: Falcata, battleaxe, spear, club, bow, shield
  • Combat Style traits: When using a sword or axe against a humanoid creature, the Judaga Headhunter adds +6 to the d20 roll for random hit locations. Whenever a Judaga Headhunter hits the head of a humanoid creature, the ‘maximize damage’ special is in effect. The Judaga Headhunter can choose to forgo this effect if desired.

Silt Pirate

  • Weapons included: Sabre, rapier, knife, crossbow
  • Combat Style traits: Silt pirates take no penalties to Athletics or Evade when crossing ships in combat.

Water Priest

  • Weapons included: Spear, trident, staff, javelin
  • Combat Style traits: Elemental priests of water suffer no Combat Style penalties when fighting underwater. This includes attacking and parrying.

Racial Specific Combat Styles

Ancestral Dwarven Custom

  • Weapons included: Axe, sword, hammer, crossbow, shield
  • Combat Style traits: The dwarf receives a +25% to Evade rolls when fighting giants. While using a trained weapon listed under this combat style, the dwarf also deals an extra +1d4 damage to giants.

Halfling Primeval

  • Weapons included: Spear, javelin, hin fat sword, throwing axe, throwing stones, net, shield
  • Combat Style traits: Halfling Primevals gain access to the Intimidating Scream Combat Style trait.

Sky Singer Dervish

  • Weapons included: Longsword, Scimitar, Bow
  • Combat Style traits: When wielding a longsword or scimitar, the elf can use his or her Dance skill to dodge attacks from missile weapons instead of the Evade skill. When dodging missile attacks in this way, the elf does not land prone. The elf may also use Dance to dodge blows instead of parrying.


RuneQuest 6e covers armor efficiently. However, there are additional armor materials on Athas that are not listed on page 87:

Material ENC modifier Notes
Agafari x1.50 A tree of the Crescent Forest, agafari wood is extremely hard and doesnt fall too far behind metal in that respect. The wood is used to make weapons and shields and is a major trade good of Nibenay. The tree’s bark has a bluish tint. At the top of the tree, which can be over 100 feet tall, the boughs spread out in great, sweeping fans. The enormous heart-shaped leaves are the color of turquoise. These large trees can actually be hollowed out without killing the tree.
Obsidian, blood x0.75 Blood obsidian is an igneous rock found deep beneath the earth near volcanic channels. This material is as hard as iron but lighter and not as durable. Typically, blood obsidian is lighter in color than its lesser counterpart, with slightly transparent red or orange edges. It is a rare material, well sought after by those who desire a sharper blade. Armor made from blood obsidian isn’t as desired since it tends to retain heat. But the edges of the stone can be fashioned into spikes or razor sharp edges.


Athasian weapons are unique to the Dark Sun setting. These weapons are common throughout the tablelands. The weapons presented here do not include every unique weapon found on Athas.

Standard melee weapons can be found on page 94 in the RuneQuest 6e core rulebook.

Athasian weapons are listed as if they were crafted from their typical materials (typically bone, stone, and obsidian), so AP/HP values don’t need to be adjusted as if their default material is iron.

One-handed Melee Weapons

Weapon Damage Size Reach Combat effects ENC AP/HP Traits Cost
Alhulak 1d6 M M Impale, Entangle 1 2/5 Flexible 9 cp
Bragnoggen 1d6 M L Bleed, Stun Location 2 3/5 - 7 cp
Braxat fist 1d4 S S Stun Location 2 3/5 - 1 cp
Bard’s Friend 1d4+1 S S Bleed, Impale - 2/8 Grip 10 cp
Carrikal 1d8+1 M M Bleed 2 3/8 - 8 cp
Ganji song 1d8 M M Bleed 2 4/8 Whistle 8 cp
Hawk hatchet 1d6 M S Bleed, Impale 1 3/5 Disarm 8 cp
Impaler 1d8 M M Impale 2 2/6 - 6 cp
Mace, whistling 1d8 M S Bash, Stun Location 2 4/6 Whistle 10 cp
Mandible sword 1d6 M M Bleed 2 3/4 Disarm 6 cp
Puchik 1d4+1 S S Impale 1 2/6 - 6 cp
Singing stick 1d6 S S Bash 2 3/4 Whistle 1 cp
Talid 1d4+1 S S Bash 1 3/6 - 4 cp
Quabone 1d3 S S Bash 1 3/6 - 1 cp
Whip, flaying 1d6 L VL Bleed 2 2/4 - 5 cp
Whip, master’s 1d6 L VL Impale 2 2/4 Barbed 5 cp
Widow’s knife 1d3+1 S S/10/20/30 Bleed, Impale 1 3/6 5 cp
Wrist Razors 1d4+1 S S Impale 1 3/5 - 10 cp

Two-handed Melee Weapons

Weapon Damage Size Reach Combat effects ENC AP/HP Traits Cost
Betnebbi 1d6 L VL Impale 3 3/8 Grapple 8 cp
Calhulaks 1d8 M L/5/10/20 Impale, Entangle 2 2/5 Flx, Thrw 12 cp
Club, Datchi 2d6+1 H L Bash, Impale, Stun 4 4/10 - 12 cp
Dragon Paw 1d8/1d6 L VL Impale 3 3/10 - 15 cp
Gouge 1d8 L L Bleed, Impale 2 4/8 - 6 cp
Gythka 2d4 M L Impale 2 3/8 - 6 cp
Hin fat sword 1d8+1 M M Bleed 3 4/8 - 10 cp
Lotulis 1d10 L VL Bleed, Impale 3 3/8 - 6 cp
Quad fauchard 1d8 L VL Bleed 3 3/8 SR +1 15 cp
Shulkak 1d6 L VL Impale 3 2/5 Barbed 5 cp
Trikal 1d10+1 L VL Bleed, Impale 3 4/10 - 15 cp
Trikal, twin 1d10+1 L VL Bleed, Impale 3 4/10 Double Wpn 25 cp
Weighted pike 1d8 L VL Bash, Impale 3 3/10 - 8 cp

Ranged Weapons

Weapon Damage Dmg mod Force Range Load Combat effects Impale size ENC AP/HP Cost
Chatkcha 1d4+1 Y M 5/10/20 - Bleed, Returning - -* 2/3 2 cp
Dagger, flying 1d4 Y S 10/20/30 - Impale S -* 3/5 1 cp
Dejada 1d6 Y L 10/20/50 3 Stun Location - 1 2/5 4 cp
Pelota 1d4* Y M 5/10/20** 3 Bleed, Stun Location - 1 2/6 2 cp

Special Ammunition

Arrow, barbed: These arrows have tiny barbs along the edges of the arrowhead. If the arrow impales a creature, removing it causes full damage instead of half.

Arrow, rha’khut: Invented and used by the Silt Stalkers, these barbed arrows release a flesh-eating sa’rikka beetle into the target upon wounding the creature. Initially, for one combat round, the beetle is temporarily stunned from the impact. Thereafter, the victim experiences excruciating pain as the sa’rikka burrows deep into flesh, and must make an Endurance roll every round the beetle remains in the wound. Success indicates that all skills are one grade harder so long as the beetle remains inside of the wound. Failure indicates that all skills are two grades harder until the beetle is removed. Critical failure indicates that the target is incapacitated with pain until the beetle is removed. Every subsequent Endurance roll is one grade harder than the previous one.

Once the victim is incapacitated from the burrowing beetle, he or she takes 1d3 temporary CON damage per round until the beetle is killed or removed. At CON 0, the victim dies.

First Aid checks can remove the arrow and the beetle separately without causing further damage to the victim (see page 63). The arrow causes full damage if it is removed improperly. The beetle can also be removed by force or by attacking it while it’s embedded in the wound, but this also deals damage. Should the sa’rikka remain in the victim for more than 3d6 minutes, the victim will require surgery via a Healing check to remove the deeply burrowed beetle (see page 71).

Because of the somewhat delicate nature of the rha’khut arrow, using one halves the range of the bow being used.

A sa’rikka beetle must be captured or bought from a vendor who sells exotic creatures. The sa’rikka must be stored arrowhead down in a quiver loaded with meat or else it dies after 1d4+1 days from starvation. A rha’khut arrow without a beetle is simply treated as a barbed arrow.

Silt Stalker elves often starve the sa’rikka for a day before they plan to use the arrow, so the beetle eats voraciously. If the beetle is starved in such a manner, a victim hit with a loaded rha’khut arrow only has 2d6 minutes before surgery is required to remove the sa’rikka.

Some Athasian weapons.

More Athasian weapons (some repeats).

3E Weapons Archive

Combat and Equipment

Dark Sun: Grave Burden Psychometron