The rod or baton is a bludgeoning weapon, similar to a club but better balanced so that it can be used with more advanced techniques - in some cases so that a sword user can wield it without changing techniques.
These weapons are also found in several martial arts styles, typically as short stick techniques, including those designed for use with walking canes (as in Bartitsu) - Escrima is probably the most famous example of such but the tonfa techniques of several Japanese arts also qualify and are the basis of training for the side handle police baton used in many Western nations.
This is generally considered a less lethal weapon but with less implied brutality than a club.
A rod is generally made of wood, with or without weighting and reinforcing, but can also be made of metal or modern composites.
Game and Story Use
- This should lampshade the fact that a "Gentleman's Walking Cane" is probably one of the most effective weapons that you're still legally allowed to carry in a public place … probably best to be appropriately dressed, but once you are, you "just happen" to be carrying a length of hardwood with a metal ball on the end, with which a competent user can quite easily kill or incapacitate an attacker.