Supposedly there is a school of magic that allows telekinetic manipulation of blood (and only blood).

Your telekinetic powers can not penetrate solids and other liquids (including human skin) so you can not just control the blood inside someone's body. The blood also needs to be very fresh (after leaving the body it can only be used for a second or two, after which it becomes useless).

In a fight against someone who does not have such magic, spilling your opponent's blood is a huge advantage, as you can shape it to form shields or sharp spikes.

The solidified blood is durable enough to stop an incoming blow, but will likely crack in the process. Using your own blood is possible, but in order to make a spike that is thick and durable enough to penetrate a gambeson you would need to inflict quite a nasty wound upon yourself, so this would only be seen as a desperate move.

You can throw solidifed blood, like a throwing weapon, but at about three meters distance you lose control over it and it just flies straight.

The speed at which you can make solidified blood move is comparable to swinging a light sword.

How would you design a sword with the purpose of causing as much bleeding as possible? It does not matter how lethal the wound is, you just want as much blood as possible to come out during the first several seconds after striking.

Weapons need to be crafted by hand. There are no power hammers and plasma cutters.

My thoughts currently include:

  • thin bladed light sabers that deliver superficial cuts but are hard to defend against due to speed advantage
  • possibly serrated blades, but I am not sure serrations would actually cause increased bleeding, especially considering they get easily stuck in cloth becoming near-useless
  • Shurikens/senbon/throwing knives seem like a good idea. You could cause the opponent to bleed a bit even before entering striking range.
  • Thinking of light cutting-oriented weapons, I recalled the falchion.
  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 11:55

15 Answers 15


For a completely different take, consider this:

  • Spilling your opponent's blood is already a goal. Just keep doing what you're doing.
  • Spilling your own blood is bad. Even if you can manipulate it, you're exposing yourself to injuries and infections and the possibility of a stronger haemokinetic using your own blood against you.

What you need, therefore, is a handy supply of someone, or some thing else's blood.

Do you have access to anticoagulants? some, like coumarin are plant based, some like batroxobin are found in venoms delivered by bite, others like hementin are used by blood-drinking animals to stop their meal clotting. Make yourself a little bag, or several little bags, filled with fresh animal blood and a little anticoagulant. The stomach of the animal that provided the blood might be a good material. Throw them as an opening move. The bags should burst against your opponent and give you an excellent opporunity to strike before they can close the distance. Moreover, the blood has some scope to seep through gaps in armour so you can wound even a well-armoured opponent.

In the absense of any good anticoagulants (or opportunity to refresh your increasingly manky blood grenade supplies) you could always consider using small animals. You'd need to be the sort of person who doesn't find little feathery or fluffy things cute. Catapult them at your target, or slice them open and then throw them, your choice. Be very afraid of anyone with a nasty look in their eye, a dagger and a bag of bunnies.

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    $\begingroup$ The blood needs to fresh out of a living thing, but hey, live bunnies would work.... Honestly, I did not expect something like that to come out of this concept, but I have to admit it makes perfect sense. The user would probably use some chemical to keep them sleeping (but still alive) for convenience. Also you can't carry them for too long like that so for long journeys you would either replace them with newly captured or keep a supply of food (for bunnies). Considering the fact that most of it's time the sword spends sheathed, the magicians might even keep these animals as actual pets. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ @MadCake also, the added bonus of travelling with one of these wizards is that you'll often have access to nice fresh meat. Potentially even halal, or its local cultural equivalent, if you're in to that sort of thing. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 15:41
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    $\begingroup$ @MadCake how about chicken, they still can run or move even if you slit or cut their head, it can also give some traumatic feeling being chased by bleeding headless chicken running after you with weaponise blood. $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 1:48
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    $\begingroup$ Also these lizards seem to be very small, so the entire body of the lizard contains only a small amount of blood, and only a small part of that would be used in it's blood squirting attack (some blood must remain in the body for obvious reasons). Edit: scaring the lizard does not kill it though, so it has the benefit of being re-usable. Just keep it in some secure pocket and when the fight starts, literally squeeze the lizard while pointing in opponent's general direction. I can't describe how equally ridiculous and awesome the picture of a mage squeezing a little lizard as a weapon is. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 2:15
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    $\begingroup$ I love this idea of a guild of very dangerous and dark mages, always traveling with cute little pets around. $\endgroup$
    – Jemox
    Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 8:18

I posit that it wouldn't change at all.

It is already desirable to cause copious bleeding with edged and pointed weapons, there are plenty of quite old guides as to where large blood vessels are close to the skin (armpits are a good place, for example) and so people clearly trained and learned with the intent of hitting such places.

There might be a slight bias towards slashing weapons vs stabbing weapons, but realistically the notion that an inch of the tip is worth six of the edge probably won't go away. Pointy weapons are better at penetrating armour and inflicting outright lethal wounds, and crushing-type anti-armour weapons like flanged maces and warhammers are better than any kind of sword against armour.

thin bladed sabers that deliver superficial cuts but are very hard to defend against due to speed advantage

Probably not. They'd be worse against armour, and there's a limit as to how light you can make them before one solid parry bends or breaks them and then you're at a serious disadvantage. They'd also have no real speed advantage over a decent rapier, which would be better against soft and mail armour and a lot more dangerous when used with the intent to kill.

possibly serrated blades, but I am not sure serrations would actually cause increased bleeding, especially considering they get easily stuck in cloth becoming near-useless

Very sharp serrations won't have that problem, but making and maintaining such an edge without modern steels is probably hard work. They might cause a bit more bleeding, but really a good slashing sword will do just as well and will be easier to make and maintain and less prone to the edge being damaged.

Really, the only thing you might consider would be some kind of sidearm or first-strike one-shot weapon designed to hurt and draw blood but little else. The problem with that is it requires you to have a hand free, and that's a hand that would be put to better use holding a shield or weapon. I'd suggest that your haematokinetic trickery would be best used for surprise attacks or organised combat... assassination, bodyguarding, duelling, but not regular combat.

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    $\begingroup$ I think it's going to be a strong bias towards slashing weapons, not a slight one. Thrusting weapons are good at causing internal bleeding, while the blood magic described appears to require external bleeding. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 5:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Oak Half-swording and using the guard as a makeshift hammer doesn't make a sword superior to maces or warhammers against armour, just makes them not-useless. (Depending on armour obviously). $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 9:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Oak monstrously huge swords weren't made to combat armour, and weren't particularly heavy either. They were just slightly heavier than a normal sword because the blade is so much thinner. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 9:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Mark but you don't need blood magic if someone is already bleeding to death on the inside $\endgroup$
    – Erik
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 9:43
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    $\begingroup$ This. Maybe the training would change a bit, since now purely drawing blood (even on extremities) is more valuable than before where drawing blood only had the advantage of weakening the enemy $\endgroup$
    – Hobbamok
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 9:46

I'm going to go against the general direction of the question and answers here:

You need a pointy stick

Pretty good to have extras with it

  • Long stick
  • The point being made well.

Behold, a blood mage (artistic take):

Image of a man with a spear

When it comes to weapons, the spear is pretty good:

  • It is very easy to make (literally a pointy stick)
  • It is easy to use with little training
  • It can cause quite a lot of injuries
  • It can be used more tactically to trip opponents
  • Can be very light, so easy to wield and just carry
  • Most importantly, it keeps you away from harm

Since a blood mage's fight would basically be:

draw blood -> use blood -> repeat but with blood

Then it stands to reason that the mage would want to avoid damage as much as possible. A spear is great at that. A shield can be added for extra protection:

A Lego figure of a soldier holding a spear and a shield

(being made of plastic helps with avoiding injuries but it's not a requirement for the mage)

At any rate, the aim is

  1. Stay safe.
  2. Stab the opponent.
  3. Follow up with blood manipulation.

You can take a stab during the blood magic casting, if possible but not requirement.

Here is a video (14 min) of reenactors trying spears versus swords in different ways (and the longer version (28 minutes) showing more of the actual matches) and spear fares pretty well.

Now a spear is not the ultimate weapon but it's still very good. Most other weapons require a lot more training to get to use well. Especially well enough to fight other people. I posit that a mage who likely hasn't that much of combat experience. At least, probably not as much as somebody who comes at them swinging a sword does. So, a spear has many advantages in being simple, effective, and putting you away from harm's reach.

There are some drawbacks.

Heavier armour would pose a problem. My suggestion is to run. Yeah, an amazing tactic, right? But why not run? Even with a sword or another weapon, you're not going to be a lot more effective against an armoured opponent. The weapons and techniques good against armour put you at a lot more of a risk of injury and death. And weapons like clubs and maces that are decent against armour don't even allow you to use the biggest advantage - blood magic, as they'd cause more internal bleeding than what external, so not usable.

If you really have to face an armoured opponent, then...well, actually a long pointy stick is not even that bad, honestly. You can use a polearm of some sort

The tip of a poleaxe - metal spike going forward with a small axe-like blade on the side

This is a poleaxe. It's also informally known as a "can opener". To be blunt (unlike it) this is because it's quite effective used against heavily armoured opponents. You can use the axe-like blade as a hook to drop a heavily armoured opponent to the ground. Now, they are not quite helpless but certainly a lot more vulnerable than before.

Also worth remembering that you can still have other weapons with the spear. If your mages are really amazing at fighting, then they can still use a sword, or anything else. It's still beneficial to stay away from your opponents at first but you should be able to drop the spear and draw a different weapon, if needed.

Just as a suggestion, a rather gruesome weapon a blood mage might want to use is some version of the katar

A katar - short dagger-like blade with the handle perpendicular to it

It's a type of punching dagger. You grab the handle and the blade is now an extension of your forearm. You can strike with this and it's even rather good at piercing armour. It's also very messy and will leave the victim profusely bleeding. You can get wavy bladed ones that cause even more injuries or...you can get a scissor katar. It generally looks the same as above when folded but you can enable a mechanism that "opens" it and two blades spring to the sides. It looks a bit like this:

A katar weapon with two smaller blades sticking to the left and right of the main one at roughly a 30 degree angle each.

It becomes a way messier weapon. Pulling it out after opening the blades will cause even more damage and very rapid blood loss. Seems fitting for a mage who could use a lot of blood. I imagine the blood mage will use the katar to supply himself with access to a lot of blood to use against others. So it could be a good weapon to start an engagement with but it requires very close proximity. Luckily, it's easy to conceal under a sleeve, so if engaging multiple opponents and the mage has the advantage of surprise, this can work very well - stab one, use the blood of the first victim against the rest.

If the mages are supposed to be really good combatants and you don't want them to use spears, then I can suggest the butterfly swords:

Pair of identical swords - the blade is roughly 30cm/11.5inch long. The handle has a finger guard on the front and a "catch" roughly in-line with the blunt side of the blade. A single scabbard lays next to them

This is a Wing Chun weapon. Two swords supposed to be used as one - some even fitted a single scabbard together (as pictured here) others came with separate scabbards. At any rate, the main idea of Wing Chun is to deflect blows and gradually wear out an opponent through small but repeated counter-attacks. The two swords fit exactly this purpose. The way you're supposed to use them is to swing both blades together in a single direction. You deflect a blow coming to you and use the small opening to nick the opponent's arm. They swing again, you deflect and you nick again. And again. With each successive blow on your part, the opponent feels a little more pain and the cuts make it so their blows are easier to deflect. Which, in turn, gives you better counter-attack opportunities, so you can "move forward" with your cuts.

Having two blades means that you can deflect from either side and you'd always have a free sword to do a quick slash. The catch behind the blade (the bit that sticks out) can be utilised to trap opponent's weapon between it and the backside of your blade. You could just use it to lock the weapon for an extra moment with one hand and attack with the other, or use both swords for a better leverage to disarm an opponent.

So, butterfly swords do take some training to use. However, they are rather effective at defence and drawing blood repeatedly. That is the way you're supposed to use them, after all. Using the butterfly swords also looks really cool (2 min video)

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    $\begingroup$ The spear is a very effective weapon, but not convenient to carry. It might be a better choice against a sword, but for everyday carry you would choose a sword. Butterfly knives on the other hand are quire compact, so it might be a good choice. I don't know much about them so will have to research a bit. Thanks for the idea. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ @MadCake If you want a video to watch, then this one is pretty good, I think - it's about 24 minutes long. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the vid, it was indeed helpful. It sounds like these would be a good self-defense option as they seem more convenient to carry than a longer sword and allow you to use both hands, which is quite an advantage, but I wonder how effective these would be against a more thrust-oriented sword (rapier or sidesword). Alas Lindybeige did not say anything regarding this matchup. I'll post a comment if I find anything. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 17:13
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    $\begingroup$ My guess would be that taking on a spearman would take quite a lot of skill. The problem is (and I'm sure you'd not be very surprised to hear this from me) that spears are just very good. With butterfly swords, you'd likely have to use the catch at the back to block the spear in order to go in closer because you have to be close to be effective. However, spears are pretty good at not making you go closer. Even if you trap the spear with your swords, the sheer length of the spear gives extra leverage so it's easy for the spearman to get the weapon free. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ Spears are actually quite convenient to carry-- they are simply a walking stick when not being wielded. The Huaorani people have no problem trudging through the thick Amazon jungle carrying their hunting/defensive spears. cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/98ffbae85b92f42f040c0e7b7a1679a8 $\endgroup$
    – user151841
    Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 16:55


You want your weapons to cut as un surgically as possible. That means the closer your weapons are to barbed wire, the better. Tearing flesh causes it to bleed more, and more immediately, than sharp cuts, even deep ones.

That said, a sword would probably not be the weapon of choice for such a fighter. Better a flexible weapon like a cat-o-nine-tails with barbed tips that have a good chance to wrap around an opponent's guard and catch on something to rip flesh when withdrawn. Something like a cross between a whip and a quarterstaff would be very effective, as the opponent has to worry about the flying barbed ends in addition to the normal quarterstaff attacks from the front.

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    $\begingroup$ "Superficial" weapons, like barbed whips, would be ineffective against armored opponents. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ A barbed whip onna stick sounds like a good way to hook your own eyes out. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 19:59
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    $\begingroup$ A great deal of skill would certainly be required! Not unlike fighting with a flail, but with less weight in the segmented part $\endgroup$
    – Stephen
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ A barbed flail or whip would get snagged on everything. The first time you use it on someone wearing chainmail, leather, or anything loose like a cloak or tabard, it'll get tangled or caught and give your opponent a chance to wrench it out of their hand - assuming their own movement doesn't do it for them accidentally. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this would increase bleeding rate - the amount of blood going to the area is the same. What this does do is make healing the wound much harder - so if you're injured in battle, your padding can't just soak up the blood and heal the wound as effectively. So this works for long drawn out fights; where people might be able to stop the bleeding; but in any shorter fight it makes no difference. $\endgroup$
    – UKMonkey
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 17:12

A lot would depend on the type of protection that the opponent had access to. Thin sharp snicky snacky blades are all well and good if no one is wearing armour, but even a half decent leather cuirass would offer a high level of protection.

Contrary to popular belief and the way they are inevitably shown on TV and in movies, the katana is designed to be used as a slicing weapon rather than the chopping and severing weapon it usually appears as. I took a training course years ago, and was surprised to learn that a proficient wielder only intends to strike with the top 6" or so of the blade, aiming for vital areas such as the neck waist, collar bone, and stomach. Thus avoiding the risk of the blade becoming stuck in the target, the tip slicing through the targets flesh to devastating effect (Imagine Han Solo's operation on the Tauntaun with Lukes lightsabre as the ideal sort of wound...)

IF the aim is spilling as much blood as possible, then its also about where on the body the weapon can do this. Take for example, the scene in GoT (series 2 or late S1 I believe) where the Nightswatchman explains to the Lannister Knight, while holding a small but sharp knife against the chaps femoral artory how much blood one little nick would produce.

Of course, severing an arm or leg with one blow will spill a ^&%£ tonne of blood, so there's always a heavy talwar or shamshir type curved sword that is less likely to get stuck if it fails to sever the limb.

But, overall, I think the weapon you are looking for exists... it is a full tang (for balance), tempered steel katana. It will cut deep enough to sever arteries with ease, it's not too curved to rule out a good stab, and in the right circumstances can sever. Maybe not as clean as Michone makes it look in The Walking Dead, but the dudes she decapitates are mostly rotten meat to begin with so...

It's also worth mentioning (learned from experience...) that even minor scalp wounds can bleed like a champion.

  • $\begingroup$ I do see how aiming to use only the tip of the blade would make sense, but katana does not seem to be significantly better than a longsword or kriegsmesser. If i recall correctly, katana of the same length tends to be a bit more top-heavy (and thus less maneuverable) than longsword due to longsword having more distal taper and a heavy pommel with thinner tang. I might be incorrect on this though. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ Its due to the slight curve in the blade. Most strikes are aimed at the collar bone or guts, and you can sort of lead with the mid section and I'm probably not explaining this well, but the tip follows the line of the blade and slices really effectcively. $\endgroup$
    – Tommy
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ A full tang katana is well balanced as long as you hold it right, and that is either one or two handed. The most fun fact I learned when I did my lessons was that at the end of each pattern, or form (or Kata) the three moves that follow are a backward step, a swish flick of the blade and a very particular re-sheathing move sliding the back of the blade along the finger and thumb before sliding it back in place. We all thought the back step was some "sign of respect" for your fallen victim but the teacher said, "No, it's so you don't get their blood on your shoes" $\endgroup$
    – Tommy
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 18:12

In the first round, I would not use a sword, but a handfull of needles, or something else I can throw to create little holes.

The moment they penetrate and create a droplet of blood, you can shape it to be a spreader to keep the wound open, use the next drop to increase the wound etc, resulting in the same visual effect as popping a baloon.

Likely their response would be to wear armour. So your needles need to upgrade aswell: Make small, still throwable, czech hedgehogs: czech hedgehogSource: https://www.cgtrader.com/3d-models/military/other/czech-hedgehog-obstacle-wwii

When they walk over these, and their armour gets pierces, pricking their foots, you can perform the tactic from the first part of the answer. At the very least it slows their movement as they have to either walk more carefully of because of heavier armour.

After those steps, close combat becomes more viable, you now need an armour piercing sword, something strong and pointy to stab through armour plates.

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    $\begingroup$ "small throwable czech hedgehogs" are called Caltrops. :) $\endgroup$
    – Ruadhan
    Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 15:15

hmmm......im not sure what design would make more bleeding but in my opinion how about falx ?

enter image description here

theres 2hand and one hand version, it can help in aiming or hooking parts, such as wrist and neck which can create a lot of bleeding, and it do well against shield especially if the shield was strapped shield type, and i believe it can be use to hook enemy armor too.

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falx

Marcus Cornelius Fronto described the large gaping wounds that a falx inflicted, and experiments have shown that a blow from a falx easily penetrated the Romans' lorica segmentata, incapacitating the majority of victims. These experiments also show that the falx was most efficient when targeting the head, shoulders, legs and especially the right (sword) arm, which was generally exposed. A legionary who had lost the use of his right arm became a serious liability to his unit in battle

but if you want to inflict small wound but bleeding more, i suggest wavy type of sword such as flamberge and Kris for example, it shearing more from the cut without stuck on cloth.

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flame-bladed_sword

enter image description here

enter image description here

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris

enter image description here

oh yeah also ad vampire bat saliva in it to make it bleed/flow better due to the anticoagulant. (not sure will this affect your magic or not since logically it wont become hard like you want even if you can control it, but hey its magic)


Vampire bats are sanguivorous or blood-eating bats. When they bite their victim, a protein in their saliva acts as an anticoagulant, which keeps their victim’s blood flowing while they feed. This anticoagulant contains the protein desmoteplase or DSPA, which was given the nickname Draculin. During the blood clotting process, DSPA inhibits Factor X, which is an enzyme involved in the coagulation pathway.


Draculin (named after Count Dracula) is a glycoprotein found in the saliva of vampire bats. It is composed of 411 amino acids, weighing about 88.5kDa. It functions as an anticoagulant, inhibiting coagulation factors IX (IXa) and X (Xa), thus keeping the blood of the bitten victim from clotting while the bat is drinking.

Draculin is a reversible, slow tight binding, noncompetitive inhibitor of FXa. It does not act on thrombin, trypsin or chymotrypsin and does not express fibrinolytic activity. The protein increases the lag phase as well as the height of the peak of thrombin generation when in plasma, leading to prolonged bleeding.

Daily salivation of vampire bats yields a saliva that progressively decreases in anticoagulant activity. However, there is no significant change in overall protein content during this time. After a 4-day period of rest, anticoagulant activity of the saliva is restored. In addition, purified native draculin, obtained from high- and low-activity saliva, shows significant differences in composition of the carbohydrate moiety, and glycosylation pattern. Furthermore, controlled chemical deglycosylation of native draculin progressively leads to complete loss of the biological activity, despite the conditions leaving the polypeptide backbone intact.

Draculin is currently being explored in medicine. The anticoagulant may be useful as a treatment for strokes and heart attacks. It may also be used as a blood thinner for the prevention of heart attacks. The protein has shown promise when treating ischemic strokes, which account for the majority of strokes. It is effective for up to 9 hours. However, since the activity depends heavily on the proper glycosylation of the polypeptide backbone, more research is needed before draculin can become a practical, widely available drug.

it just come into my mind today (iam not sure can this work or not) but how about sharpened pipe, if you want a more bleeding but trust oriented, basically put a hollow tube in the blade this can also work for spear especially spear and throwing needle (just imagine sharpened iron straw, this one may can work for throwing weapon), i dont include other weapon before since you ask specifically about sword (including in your comment), but since other has bring more different type of weapon anyway.

you can make the hollow tube pass through the shaft (literal hollow tube) or handle, or just in the blade with a hole or several hole like lute hole/nanotube kind of hole (give enough gap or not as many hole like literal nanotube, i hope you get what i mean, it just for the location of the hole) to make the blood run through, this may make the material weaker but i believe this can make more blood flow out.

example image to help imagine what sharpened hollow tube like (more for the spear or throwing needle, this not represent sword blade one)


enter image description here

and here to help imagine what i mean with nanotube kind of multiple hole.


enter image description here

also weaponise armor such as blade/spiky armor, i know it have many cons i just want to mention it, since you want to inflict more wound and bleeding to your oponent after all. (since from what i get, your question is more for self defense or duel thing rather than battlefield fighting anyway)

such as from siberian bear hunting armor


enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I did think about applying some kind of substance to the blade that would increase bleeding. The hardening effect has nothing to do with coagulation (coagulated blood is not remotely hard enough to be useful) so it would not be affected. Bat saliva is probably not the best choice though. Coagulation takes time and by the time it starts to matter the fight would be over. You would probably like something that causes inflammation instead, so more blood rushes to the damaged area. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 1:09
  • $\begingroup$ @MadCake well iam not scientist like other so i cant say much about it but if you say so, at least i learn something, but since you say inflammation what about acid such as from orange ? $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 1:19
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    $\begingroup$ I doubt orange acid would do anything. Also now that I think about it, when you start covering your sword with stuff, you could just go for a deadly poison (and something that causes severe inflammation should be considered a poison anyway). $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ @MadCake i ask that because as far as i heard the kris for example dip their blade into small orange/lemon juice (the very sour type i dont know the english name, which make me think thats the reason they do so) outside of other ingredient that can create infection to the wound. $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 2:35
  • $\begingroup$ There are far more effective things you could use for creating infection. Literally taking some dirt from under your feet for example. If you are willing to put up with it, covering the blade in feces (which are not hard to come by) would guarantee a horrible infection. The acidic juice might be able to cause increased pain however, which would be arguably more advantageous. While poison and infection need time to take effect, pain decreases your opponents ability to fight back immediately. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 2:42

The sword would be designed with precision in mind, a light thin blade with an especially sharp tip. Basically, a rapier-type weapon.

Blood flow is partially dependent on the type of weapon, to be sure, but it's also very dependent on where the wound is. If you slash at, say, someone's shoulder or forearm and hit the wrong spot, even if you can draw a line - superficial bleeding. But, if you managed to nick the right spot, like say an artery, than the blood spurts out. Something like the jugular vein on the neck, a subclavian artery, or perhaps a femoral artery would cause far more bleeding than a long but shallow cut somewhere else.

Thus, to maximize bleeding, it's about the right spot. And you'd want a weapon made with that kind of precision in mind, something that can deal swift and deep cuts to the location of your choice. Thus, a rapier. Comabatants would also be trained on dummies with their arteries clearly marked, trained to be able to find and expose them at will. Kind of like doctors who are trained to removed blood. Just a lot more lethal.

  • $\begingroup$ Thing is, that isn't far off what existed anyway, in various shapes and form, at various times, and in various parts of the world. You already want to get all stabby-slashy over the big blood vessels; that's how you weaken or kill someone if you're unable to score an outright lethal hit due to armour or their skill... $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ That's true. This wouldn't change the design, so much as focus it. $\endgroup$
    – Halfthawed
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ Isn’t armor designed to protect those spots? $\endgroup$
    – WGroleau
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ @WGroleau Yes, but no. Armor is designed to protect those spots, but a lot of the ones I mentioned are on parts of the body that are in motion, and thus hard to protect with static pieces of armor. If you placed sheet metal to cover your jugular, than you'd have a problem turning your head in a fight. They typically used chain mail to cover the neck, which is exploitable by a blade thin enough to pop the links - like a rapier. $\endgroup$
    – Halfthawed
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 15:52

Well, it depends upon whether you are going against somebody who is armored or unarmored.

Against an un/lightly armored person the Scourge-type whip is very effective at drawing blood. In fact, if you can use these, you don't even need to worry about blood; they were known for disemboweling people. Now that's a lot of damage.

If you do not want whips, but still allow unarmored opponents, I would suggest a slashing sword like the Kopis. They were surprisingly effective despite their simplistic design. That being said, there are some drawbacks to the Kopis. You see, it was not meant to be a main weapon. As a result, it had a rather short reach. Also, it was not very effective against armor; just because it could stab does not mean that it was good at stabbing. As a result of these factors, I would not recommend it against the heavily armored knights of the middle ages. Seriously, the armor those guys had could stop bullets.

That being said, if you do want your character to be attacking knights, there are a couple options here. If you don't care about having a "Huh?" reaction from your readers, I would suggest a longsword. The result of nearly 3,000 years of constant arms races, it was incredibly good at both doing damage and penetrating armor. Unfortunately, "the best things in life [ aren't ] free;" a good longsword had a pricetag equivalent to that of a Porsche. As a result, nobody but the richest lords could afford one. In addition, they had a steep learning curve; it took decades of training to effectively use one, and even then they were somewhat unwieldy.

Since your character probably does not have $1M + 3 decades on his hands, the best route is probably some sort of barbed spear. A boar spear would probably be best, as they have a special crosspiece on them to keep impaled person(s) from getting close enough to stab you.

Good luck, and much gruesomeness!


The easiest way to draw blood to use in a fight? Draw your own first.

In a lot of historical accounts of battles where medieval weapons were used, deaths from bleeding out and stab/slash wounds were very low. Most of the damage came from getting smacked around by the weapons and wrecking up your insides (some compare the damages to car accidents). Keeping a simple dagger on your belt would allow you to take to the top of your forearm. This blood wouldn't spill so fast as to risk bleeding out, but it would be fast and easy if the advantage is worth it.

If your own blood isn't an option, I would recommend going for the face. The tissue's in the nose and mouth carry a lot of blood and aren't very strong. A bec de corbin (basically a war hammer but very long) or kanabo (big stick, very pointy bits) would be good weapons for delivering crushing blows to the head and neck area.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Do you know what else was common back then? Sepsis. Do you want sepsis? Because that's how you get sepsis. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 10:43

It seems likely that they'd use a dagger.. on themselves. that initial investment would start a chain reaction.


How about a sword derived from the bayonet of the 19th/20th century, which were later forbidden to use? These particular bayonetes were designed to cause a wound, which can't close by itself due to the triagonal shape and therefore never stops bleeding unless medical help arrives quickly.

  • $\begingroup$ Nah, they weren't any better or worse than any other bayonette design. There seems to be some weird legends about them, but they're all baseless. There were other multi-sided bayonette designs out there too, but I guess they didn't have marketing departments who were as good as the 3-sided ones. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ Idk about how nasty the wound would be, but one reason triangular blades were not very popular in rapiers for example, is that you can grab them safely without getting cut. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ Bayonet : "A triangular blade was introduced around 1715 and was stronger than the previous single or double-edged models, creating wounds which were harder to treat due to the propensity of healing scar tissue to pull apart the triangular incision." - if you want them to die from exsanguination, give them wounds that do not heal. $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 4:13
  • $\begingroup$ "According to the Geneva Convention of 1949: That a ban is placed on serrated and angular bayonets, because the wounds left behind place undue suffering that persists even after the conflict has been resolved." source - unverified. $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 4:19

I first thought of tiny throwing needles, but then something else comes to my mind:

You can use your OWN blood as the weapon!

Put a tiny needles somewhere on your armor, and when the fight begins, prick yourself and turn your own blood into thousands of tiny needles and shower him/her with it!

This is way better than common needles because of the simple fact of that "you can control it"!

And the sheer amount of it make the opponent "impossible" the counter!

And once some of it hit the opponent, you can then draw from his/her blood and make more of it!

I would imagine that it would be the end of him/her VERY quick!

But of course, you have to be careful NOT to draw TOO MUCH of your own blood! XP

Or maybe you can prick yourself on another part of your body and "recycle" the blood by sending it back to your body!

Yeah, you might caught a lot of diseases because of that, but at least you won't die of loss of blood! XP


Bring a large animal and cut its throat

You don't want to lose much of your own blood, and your enemy will try to keep you from getting use of his. So bring some from a third party. It needs to be fresh from a living thing? Fine -- keep the blood in the living thing until you need it. The living thing can even transport the blood for you.

What kind of living thing? Something big -- you need lots of blood, so you a gerbil won't do. Something cheap, because it won't survive. Oxen fit the bill quite will, and can also be butchered for the victory feast. They're slow, so if you need to move quickly you might have to sacrifice a horse instead.


Asked by someone who's never been stabbed or cut in a knife fight before. Existing bladed weapons are already designed to cause bleeding. A small switchblade popped into your back a few dozen times before you even realize who's hitting you in the back will drain you before the paramedics arrive with bags of O. Same with a bayonet/spike/pole arm. It's bigger & slower, thus causing gaping wounds that don't close. The point is to drain the core quickly, and cause death. By contrast, efficient knife fighter will slash your arms before you get done reading this sentence. Then it's on to the neck and face. That goal is to draw blood, as a defensive measure, i.e. stay away from me.


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