Slashing Weapon
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Basic Information

Slashing or edged weapons cut things. They combine leverage and a sharp edge to cut into their targets.

Used on a living target they slice through tissue, severing bones and blood vessels creating obvious, immediate damage and incapacitating - if not killing - quickly. Against inanimate objects they are only as effective as their ability to slice bits of them off - which varies - soft targets can be cut up easily, whereas hard ones endanger the cutting edge on the blade and resist the stroke. That said the axe is - and is usually designed to be - highly effective in this role.

Edged weapons tend to be relatively expensive to manufacture - a long, sharp cutting edge requires good quality metal, well worked and anything else is a poor substitute. They are also easily defeated by armour - if they cannot cleave through the material of the armour they tend to lack the mass to deliver much impact damage.

An indicative list of edged weapons includes:

It should be noted that the scythe - occasionally depicted as being used as a slashing weapon in fantasy (and by The Grim Reaper and related characters) is not and never has been a viable weapon against anything much more sophisticated than grasses and small shrubs. Whilst they do have a large, sharp blade which is entirely capable of cutting someone, that blade is faced towards the user and mounted in such a way as to make it effectively impossible to use offensively. When a scythe was used as a weapon, it was done removing the blade, bending it through about ninety degrees and re-mounting it in line on a straight haft to form a weapon similar to a glaive.


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