Weapon Skill consists of five categories: General Weapons, Shields, Armor, Thrown Weapons, and Florentine Weapons (as detailed on the Cost of Weapon Skill table). You allocate the points you have spent on Weapon Skill among these five categories. For each category, you may use any weapon, armor or style in that category whose cost is less than or equal to the number of points you have allocated into that category. Between events, your character can re-train, letting you re-allocate the points among the categories.
For instance, suppose you have spent 12 points on Weapon Skill. At one event, you might choose to allocate 9 points to General Weapons and 3 points into Shields. This would let you use any General Weapon that costs 9 points or less, and any Shield that costs 3 points or less. At another event, you might choose to put all 12 points into General Weapons, or put 6 points into General Weapons and 6 points into Armor, and so on.
Some weapons require you to have passed a safety inspection by a Weapons Marshal before you can use them.
Once you have spent 24 character points on Weapon Skill, you are a Weapons Master, and may use any weapon, armor or style on the list. (You will still need to pass a safety inspection to use a weapon that requires inspection.)
A stabbing tip increases the effective length of a weapon by four inches (except for spears). This may add to the cost of a weapon, since longer weapons require more character points. For example, a 36" sword is ordinarily considered a plain sword (6 points), but if it has a stabbing tip, it is considered a 40" weapon (a long sword) for purposes of cost, and therefore costs 9 character points rather than 6.
The Weapons Manager will determine the cost of any weapon not listed on the Special Weapons table such as mahdu, shotel, bolas, left-handed can-openers, etc.
A shield must be held in the hand by a handle or strap (thus restricting weapons use in that arm). A bracer or wrist-guard is not considered a small shield; it is considered armor.
Blocking Staff (3 points)
Blocking Staff is a defensive Weapon Skill treated as a shield skill. It allows you to use a padded boffer staff, but not to attack–only to parry blows. Its only permissible use is to plant one end of the staff on the ground and swing the staff back and forth to block shots. For rules purposes, it is considered a shield, and it may be combined with another weapon without the Florentine skill. Also, because mages are attuned to staves, they may use this skill without the Battlecast skill and suffer no penalty. This skill costs only 3 points, so it is ideal for mages and/or pacifists who wish to increase their defensibility in melee.
Armor must be a reasonable facsimile to qualify as valid. A cleverly spray-painted T-shirt does not qualify as plate mail or chain mail.
Throw Weapon (4 points)
Throw Weapon gives you the ability to throw weapons. You may throw any weapon that you have purchased the Weapon Skill for and that has been approved for throwing safety (all approved throwing weapons will be labeled with yellow tape).
Florentine Weapons (3 or 5 points)
"Florentine" is the term for using two weapons at the same time, one in each hand. "Short Florentine Weapon" grants you the ability to use a second weapon that costs 3 points or less, while "Long Florentine Weapon" grants you the ability to use a second weapon that costs 6 points or more.
Restrictions: the primary weapon must be no longer than 52" (bastard sword length), and the second weapon must be no longer than 38" (plain sword length). The second weapon may be of any type that you can use as a primary weapon.
Florentine Weapons requires approval by a Weapons Marshal.
Example: you spend 6 points on General Weapons, letting you use weapons such as a "Plain Sword", and you also take "Short Florentine" (for 3 points). You may use a General Weapon that costs 6 points or less as your primary weapon, and a General Weapon that costs 3 points or less as your secondary weapon.