Melee weapons provide the user with bonuses to the stats used in Melee Combat: Force, Finesse, and Agility. These bonuses are only applicable in Melee Combat or when otherwise specifically using the weapon against a target.
Each category of weapon is distinguished by how many total bonus points it provides.
Improvised Weapons provide a maximum of 3 bonus points, distributed between Force, Finesse, and Agility. It's supposedly better than fighting empty-handed.
Simple weapons provide a maximum of 5 bonus points, distributed between Force, Finesse, and Agility.
Martial weapons provide a maximum of 7 bonus points, distributed between Force, Finesse, and Agility.
Most weapons give fairly rational spreads for their nature - a Simple Dagger might have Force +1, a Finesse +2, and an Agility +2, while a Martial 2-Handed Axe might run more +5 Force, +2 Finesse, +0 Agility.
In general, the heavier the weapon, the more Force it will give, and the lower the Agility and Finesse it will gain. Long weapons tend to lose Agility, if held on one end. Staves are an exception, since they are traditionally held from the center, and actually commonly grant a high Agility bonus. Most Martial Weapons have at least one Finesse, though there are exceptions - the Martial version of the 2-Handed Massive War Club and the Headman's Axe have none, traditionally. Below are a short list of weapons that are commonly seen in a game, to give you a feel for what sort of stats you'll see. If a player wants a different spread, a custom version of most weapons can be made to suit a character's desires...assuming they can find a smith or production plant.
|Weapon-type name (simple)||Force||Finesse||Agility||Notes|
|Knife||0||1||2||At least it's light enough to be easy to use. +|
|Branch-cut rod||1||1||1||So, you picked a good sized tree-limb and whittled it into something balanced.|
This could take a finger off...make sure it isn't yours. +
Polearm gardening implements often have similar stats, as do carpentry hammers.
|Found Club||2||0||1||Also called a 2x4 or a chair. This unwieldy bit of lumber is thick enough to take a hit for you, if you can get it in position in time.|
|Biggest Rock you could find||3||0||0||
It's heavy enough for the job of clobbering someone. Hope you can hold on to it.
|Weapon-Type Names (Simple)||Force||Finesse||Agility||Notes|
|1-handed Sword||2||2||1||Most guardsmen would carry this sort of weapon. Most clubs, batons, and small axes use these stats.|
|2-Handed Sword||4||1||0||Well...It'll cut...but it's too heavy and unwieldy to really block with. Simple 2-handed Axes use these stats, too.|
|Dagger||1||2||2||Suitable for any number of jobs, and easy to find. +|
|Whips||0||3||2||Not a great weapon, but not a bad idea if you are desperate (or are trained with one)|
|Sledgehammer||3||1||1||No point, but a good argument.|
|Staff||1||1||3||The old stand-by - strong enough to take a hit and get you on your way, but better for defense than offense.|
|Weapon-Type Names (Martial)||Force||Finesse||Agility||Notes|
|1 Handed Sword||3||2||2||For when you get serious about a campaign.|
|2 Handed Sword||5||1||1||Claymores and the like. Most heavy, 2 handed axes and hammers use these values.|
|Great Oni Hammer||7||0||0||This tapering, spike studded pillar is often as big as a Zillian, and needs at least a force 7 to wield. By which we mean dropped in the general direction of a target. 2 hands needed|
|Headsman's Axe||6||0||1||This weapon is made for executions, not combat. Still, it makes an okay limb remover if your target stands still. Another 2-hander.|
|Military Dagger||2||2||3||A cut above the standard dagger.+|
|Main Gauche||1||2||4||A favorite for dual-wielders.|
|Hookover Dagger||1||1||5||These Daggers have blades that extend over it's wielder's hands, but sacrifice a normal daggers already limited range.|
|Warhammer||4||2||1||The Dwarven standby. most military 1-handed axes also use these numbers.|
|Whip (synthetic/military-grade)||1||4||2||Not the best weapon for damage, but it can dance in the hands of a master, and it's tough enough to not get slashed apart.|
|Light-point Spear||3/1||3/3||1/3||While it lacks the force of a heavier point, this spear's light head means it can also be used as a quarterstaff - a useful trait for certain jobs. It takes 1 SA to switch between the 2 stances.|
+These weapons can be thrown without penalty, as well as used in melee.
Please note - It is absurdly rare to find anything with a 6 in a single stat bonus. There are perhaps 3 or 4 sorts of melee weapons that have a +6-7 Force, for example, and all of them are 2-handed weapons. There are no weapons with better than +5 Agility, and maybe one weapon with a +6 Finesse. In general, most weapons will have at least 1 point in each possible statistic bonus if they are martial - most martial weapons are meant for combat, and not having a point in each strongly suggests that there is something about the weapon that would make it unsuitable for such use.