Almost every culture features warriors who fight for sport and entertainment. While only the most decadent or evil cultures enjoy all-out blood sports in which the combatants fight to the death for the pleasure of the crowd, even the most benign societies enjoy the spectacle of armed conflict. These conflicts often require specialized weapons and training to get the most out of such performance combat.
The following weapons are all performance weapons. Performance is a weapon quality that grants bonuses when using the weapon in performance combat. Performance weapons tend to be the preferred weapons of warriors who fight in the arena or some other forum where showmanship is just as important as scoring a debilitating blow or deadly hit, and these weapons are often well known to the spectators of such events.
There is another way in which a weapon can gain the performance quality. A creature can take the Performance Weapon Mastery feat, which allows any weapon it wields to gain the performance quality.
Special: All of the following weapons have the performance quality, which is described below.
Performance: When wielding this weapon, if an attack or combat maneuver made with this weapon prompts a combat performance check, you gain a +2 bonus on that check.
|Martial||Cost||Dmg (S)||Dmg (M)||Critical||Range||Weight1||Type2||Special|
|Light Melee Weapons|
|Gladius||15 gp||1d4||1d6||19–20/×2||—||3 lbs.||P or S||performance|
|One-Handed Melee Weapons|
|Scizore||20 gp||1d8||1d10||×2||—||3 lbs.||P||performance|
|Amentum||—||1d4||1d6||×2||50 ft.||1 lb.||P||performance|
|Javelin||1 gp||—||—||—||—||2 lbs.||—||—|
|Exotic Weapons||Cost||Dmg (S)||Dmg (M)||Critical||Range||Weight1||Type2||Special|
|Light Melee Weapons|
|Aklys||5 gp||1d6||1d8||×2||20 ft.||2 lbs.||B||performance, trip|
|Knuckle axe||9 gp||1d4||1d6||×3||—||2 lbs.||S||monk, performance|
|Madu, leather||40 gp||1d3||1d4||×2||—||5 lbs.||P||performance|
|Madu, steel||40 gp||1d3||1d4||×2||—||6 lbs.||P||performance|
|Pata||14 gp||1d4||1d6||×3||—||3 lbs.||P||performance|
|Quadrens||8 gp||1d4||1d6||19–20/×2||—||2 lbs.||P||performance|
|Scorpion whip||5 gp||1d3||1d4||×2||—||3 lbs||S||performance|
|Sica||10 gp||1d4||1d6||×2||—||2 lbs.||S||performance|
|One-Handed Melee Weapons|
|Hooked axe||20 gp||1d6||1d8||×3||—||7 lbs.||S||disarm, performance, trip|
|Shotel||30 gp||1d6||1d8||×3||—||3 lbs.||P||performance|
|Two-Handed Melee Weapons|
|Flying blade||40 gp||1d10||1d12||×3||—||12 lbs.||S||performance, reach|
|Throwing shield||+50 gp||1d4||1d6||×2||20 ft.||—||B||performance, trip|
|1 Weight figures are for Medium weapons. A Small weapon weights half as much, and a Large weapon weighs twice as much.|
2 A weapon with two types is either type (wielder's choice) if the entry specifies “or.”
Presented below are descriptions for weapons popular among gladiators, pit fighters, and other such warriors.
Aklys: The aklys is a hooked throwing club with a 20-foot cord; you can retrieve the aklys after throwing it as a move action. The hook allows you to make trip attacks at range. Some aklyses have holes drilled through them and whistle when flung.
Amentum: An amentum is a long leather thong that attaches to a javelin. Before throwing, the amentum is wound about the javelin's shaft. You then throw the javelin while gripping the amentum, imparting spin to the weapon and greatly improving its range. Attaching an amentum to a javelin is a move action, and winding it is a full-round action. Javelins can be stored with amenta already wound about them. A javelin wound with an amentum is considered a martial weapon.
Flying Blade: A flying blade is a large, crescent-shaped blade anchored to a 10-foot chain. You fight with a flying blade by spinning it about your head or by snapping it toward an opponent. The flying blade is a clumsy weapon and receives a –2 penalty on attack rolls, but when you make attacks of opportunity provoked by movement, you receive a +2 bonus on attack rolls instead of the penalty.
Gladius: The gladius is the favorite short sword of gladiators, with a heavier blade than the standard short sword. It serves well as a slashing weapon. Feats and abilities that affect short swords apply to the gladius.
Hooked Axe: The hooked end of this axe's blade can be used to disarm foes or pull them off balance. A hooked axe can be used as a martial weapon (in which case it functions like a battleaxe).
Knuckle Axe: Knuckle axes, usually used in pairs, resemble axe blades mounted on brass knuckles. You may hold, but not wield, a weapon or other object in a hand wearing a knuckle axe. Unlike when wearing brass knuckles, you cannot use a hand wearing a knuckle axe for spellcasting.
Madu: The madu is a round, light shield with two animal horns—usually from an antelope—extending from opposite sides of the shield. If you are proficient with the madu, you may use it to fight defensively with a –2 penalty instead of the normal –4, and your attack penalty for using Combat Expertise improves by +1 (minimum –1 penalty). You cannot hold anything else in the hand that bears a madu. If you are not proficient with the madu, treat it as a light spiked shield.
Pata: An evolution of the punching dagger, the pata is a short sword that ends in a full, fingerless gauntlet hilt. You punch rather than stab with the weapon, allowing you to put more force behind each strike. While wearing a pata, you cannot use that hand for anything else. A pata provides a +10 bonus to your CMD against being disarmed.
Quadrens: A quadrens looks like a dagger, but with four spikes mounted in a square pattern in place of a blade. When you score a critical hit with a quadrens, the resulting gaping wound causes 1 point of bleed damage.
Scizore: The scizore is a hardened tube that fits your forearm, ending in a semicircular blade used for devastating bladed punch attacks. The scizore grants a +1 shield bonus to AC, but if you attack with the blade, you lose the AC bonus that round and take a –1 penalty on attack rolls with the scizore. While wearing a scizore, you cannot use that hand for anything else. A scizore provides a +10 bonus to your CMD against being disarmed of your scizore. Donning a scizore is a full-round action.
Scorpion Whip: This whip has a series of razor-sharp blades and fangs inset along its tip. It deals lethal damage, even to creatures with armor bonuses. If you are proficient with whips, you can use a scorpion whip as a whip.
Shotel: The shotel is a downward-curving sword designed to reach over or around an opponent's shield. You gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls with a shotel against opponents using bucklers, light shields, or heavy shields.
Sica: This blade is a smaller, lighter version of the shotel. You gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls with a sica against opponents using bucklers, light shields, or heavy shields.
Throwing Shield: This shield is designed for throwing and has specially designed straps allowing you to unclasp and throw it as a free action. Tower shields cannot be throwing shields. Neither a shield's enhancement bonus to AC nor its shield spikes apply on your attack or damage rolls.