Defaults: Special

Melee Weapon (DX/Varies) is not one skill, but an entire collection of skills which fall into broad categories on the basis of overall balance and function.

Melee Weapon skills are based on DX, and default to DX-4 if Easy, DX-5 if Average, or DX-6 if Hard.

Parry defense is (skill/2) + 3, rounded down.

Fencing WeaponsEdit

Default: to one another at -3 and other

  • Main-Gauche: Jitte/Sai-4 or Knife-4.
  • Rapier: Broadsword-4.
  • Saber: Broadsword-4 (for cavalry sabers) or Shortsword-4.
  • Smallsword: Shortsword-4


DX/Hard Default: to one another at -3 with other

  • Flail: Axe/Mace-4
  • Two Handed Flail: Kusari-4 or Two-Handed Axe/Mace-4.

Impact WeaponsEdit

Default: to one another at -3 with other

  • Axe/Mace: Flail-4
  • Two-Handed Axe/Mace: Polearm-4 or Two-Handed Flail-4.

Pole WeaponsEdit



DX/Average (except where noted)

  • Broadsword: Force Sword-4, Rapier-4, Saber-4, Shortsword-2, or Two-Handed Sword-4[1]
  • Force Sword: any sword skill at -3[2]
  • Jitte/Sai: Force Sword-4, Main-Gauche-4, or Shortsword-3
  • Knife (DX/Easy): Force Sword-3, Main-Gauche-3, or Shortsword-3.
  • Shortsword: Broadsword-2, Force Sword-4, Jitte/Sai-3, Knife-4, Saber-4, Smallsword-4, or Tonfa-3.
  • Two-Handed Sword: Broadsword-4 or Force Sword-4.


Default: to one another at -3

  • Force Whip (DX/Average)
  • Kusari (DX/Hard): Two-Handed Flail-4.
  • Monowire Whip (DX/Hard)
  • Whip (DX/Average): Any ordinary whip

Other WeaponsEdit

Hand weapons that defy easy classification.

  • Tonfa (DX/Average): Shortsword-3




I believe that the confusion here stems from the fact that "melee weapon" as a term of art is frequently taken to encompass natural weaponry. This is why punches, kicks, teeth, and strikers appear on the Melee Weapon Table (p. B271), and why Melee Attacks (p. B369) states, "You can make a melee attack using any ready melee weapon (including a natural weapon such as a kick, bite, or punch) . . .". That is the sense intended here, anyway. We're using "weapon" in the way that unarmed strikers often speak of knees, elbows, fists, and feet as "weapons."


  1. Sean Punch has commented on Broadsword in the following posts to the SJG GURPS Forums:
    • On an option for a "basic" version of the skill [1]
    • On using it with a cane [2]
  2. 2004 discussion Probably most well known in fiction via Star Wars lightsabres, but it also appears in a variety of other genres, such as Kingdom Hearts II; analysis of improper jedi techniques, focus on Rey