Weapons don’t kill monsters, people do. That’s why weapons in Dungeon World don’t have a listed damage. A weapon is useful primarily for its tags which describe what the weapon is useful for. A dagger is not useful because it does more or less damage than some other blade. It’s useful because it’s small and easy to strike with at close distance. A dagger in the hands of the wizard is not nearly so dangerous as one in the hands of a skilled fighter.
Weapons may have also tags that are primarily there to help you describe them (like Rusty or Glowing) but these tags have a specific, mechanical effect. As with all tags, feel free to create your own.
- n Ammo: It counts as ammunition for appropriate ranged weapons. The number indicated does not represent individual arrows or sling stones, but represents what you have left on hand.
- Forceful: It can knock someone back a pace, maybe even off their feet.
- +n Damage: It is particularly harmful to your enemies. When you deal damage, you add n to it.
- Ignores Armor: Don’t subtract armor from the damage taken.
- Messy: It does damage in a particularly destructive way, ripping people and things apart.
- n Piercing: It goes right through armor. When you deal damage with n piercing, you subtract n from the enemy’s armor for that attack.
- Precise: It rewards careful strikes. You use DEX to hack and slash with this weapon, not STR.
- Reload: After you attack with it, it takes more than a moment to reset for another attack.
- Stun: When you attack with it, it does stun damage instead of normal damage.
- Thrown: Throw it at someone to hurt them. If you volley with this weapon, you can’t choose to mark off ammo on a 7–9; once you throw it, it’s gone until you can recover it.
Weapons have tags to indicate the range at which they are useful. Dungeon World doesn’t inflict penalties or grant bonuses for “optimal range” or the like, but if your weapon says Hand and an enemy is ten yards away, a player would have a hard time justifying using that weapon against him.
- Hand: It’s useful for attacking something within your reach, no further.
- Close: It’s useful for attacking something at arm’s reach plus a foot or two.
- Reach: It’s useful for attacking something that’s several feet away—maybe as far as ten.
- Near: It’s useful for attacking if you can see the whites of their eyes.
- Far: It’s useful for attacking something in shouting distance.
The stats below are for typical items. There are, of course, variations. A dull long sword might be -1 damage instead while a masterwork dagger could be +1 damage. Consider the following to be stats for typical weapons of their type—a specific weapon could have different tags to represent its features.
- Ragged Bow; near, 15 coins, 2 weight
- Fine Bow; near, far, 60 coins, 2 weight
- Hunter’s Bow; near, far, 100 coins, 1 weight
- Crossbow; near, +1 damage, reload, 35 coins, 3 weight
- Bundle of Arrows; 3 ammo, 1 coin, 1 weight
- Elven Arrows; 4 ammo, 20 coins, 1 weight
- Club, Shillelagh; close, 1 coin, 2 weight
- Staff; close, two-handed, 1 coin, 1 weight
- Dagger, Shiv, Knife; hand, 2 coins, 1 weight
- Throwing Dagger; thrown, near, 1 coin, 0 weight
- Short Sword, Axe, Warhammer, Mace; close, 8 coins, 1 weight
- Spear; reach, thrown, near, 5 coins, 1 weight
- Long Sword, Battle Axe, Flail; close, +1 damage, 15 coins, 2 weight
- Halberd; reach, +1 damage, two-handed, 9 coins, 2 weight
- Rapier; close, precise, 25 coins, 1 weight
- Dueling Rapier; close, 1 piercing, precise, 50 coins, 2 weight
In Dungeon World, individual arrows aren't counted. An "ammo" will last indefinitely until it is lost as a consequence to a low Volley roll or some other GM-inspired circumstances.
Signature Weapons are granted to the Fighter class; They cannot be purchased, permanantly lost, given away or sold under nomral circumstances. They are part of the fighter's personal story and may evolve with the fiction itself. Other weapons might have names, histories, tags, etc., and be highly valued to their owners but they are not protected from destruction/loss by the rules the same way as Signature Weapons are.
A masterwork weapon is a finely crafted version of a normal weapon. They are rare and most likely to be purchasable in prosperous cities with a revered guildmaster or two devoted to making them. The GM should decide for themselves if a masterwork weapon is one of the following:
- +1 damage
- +1 piercing
- -1 weight
Magic-enhanced weapons might be acquired by the adventurers as loot from a monster's hoard or a reward from a grateful employeer or ally. They cannot be purchased under normal circumstances. They don't necessarily have better +damage than mundane weapons but generally have 1-3 tags that give a brief detail of what arcane or planar powers they unleash upon enemies or bestow upon their wielders. Some sample magical weapons are listed below.
Magical Metals & Woods (Custom)
GMs may wish to adopt magical metals and woods into the crafting of magical weapons and armor. The following is a list of tags that could be applied to magical weapons. What specific qualities they possess, where they come from, and how they are forged should be elements of the fiction itself. But they should be rare, impossible to purchase and not bestowed upon the adventurer's lightly.
- Alchemical Silver
- Cold Iron
Potions & Scrolls (Custom)
A potion is a magic liquid that produces its effect when imbibed. Magic oils are similar to potions, except that oils are applied externally rather than imbibed.
- Barkskin: After drink you have +2 armor for a minutes.
- Mage Armor: After drink when you wear no armor you get 2 armor for a minutes.
- Darkvision: After drink you have see even in total darkness for a minutes.
- Bull’s strength: After drink you have +2 damage in a Hack and Slash move for a minutes.
- Cat’s Grace: After drink when you defy danger by getting out of the way or acting fast,you have +1 for a minutes.