In a setting where children begin training at a very young age, raised to be powerful warriors, it comes to reason that some weapons are more popular than others. People are trained to be able to fight against a vast variety of monsters (not other people), so obviously they would spend their time training with an actually useful weapon. It's not about the aesthetic appeal (though that's always a plus) but the practicality.

I'm currently equipping all of my characters and am running out of ideas. It's a modern setting, and so guns are available, but not necessarily more efficient since many monsters are either magically armored or invulnerable save for specific weaknesses. Also, since fighting many monsters at once is a common occurrence, they would need to be able to carry enough ammo and reload in seconds.

There is also a magic element (including children of Hephaestus, god of the forge) so it's possible for weapons to be slightly magical/unrealistic. The only other criteria is that the fighter can be versatile, since they fight a vast variety of different magical beasts.

Assuming that every weapon that can feasibly exist is available, and the character is proficient with their weapon/s, what are some unique/likely possibilities and/or combinations? Would swords be the way to go? Is it conceivable that some might fight with chakrams, whips, urumis, maces, etc?

This is my first question on this site, so if I did something wrong please let me know for the future.

Examples of monsters (per request): There's a race that's a mix between octopi and spiders. They're big (size of a horse) and resemble giant spiders in shape and appearance but their legs are malleable and prehensile like octopus tentacles. Their mandibles carry venom and most of their internal organs are located by their underbelly. They fight in hordes.

Another race that's invulnerable, humanoid shaped, commonly 9 ft tall. Their only facial feature is a red string stitched like lips. The only way to defeat them is to tear away the red string, force open it's jaw and destroy its heart, which sits on its tongue.

Monsters that are like living shadows. They are intangible in the dark / dim light except for their teeth and claws, so they can touch you but you can't touch them. In the light, they become tangible. Of course, they only come out at night. Fight in hordes.

A beast with the head and limbs of a panther, and the body of a giant snake. It can fly, whip it's tail faster than a whip, and twirl it's body so quickly it's like a drill. They fight by flailing their bodies / slamming into their enemies, and dive from the air to each strike it's victim or burrow into the ground and emerge beneath its victim's feet. They're scales can't be pierced, but can be loosened / knocked off, revealing the vulnerable flesh underneath. Thus, you need to hit them twice in the same spot, or pierce it's eyes or into its mouth.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ First welcome to the site. Now you will need to define a few things to get answers. First giving the capabilities of the "monsters" is important otherwise the question is to broad and will be closed, this some idea of what the monsters can and cannot do it is impossible to answer. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 22:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Additionally guns are the weapon of choice for killing anything larger than a insect on this planet for a reason So there is no reason the same would not be true of your monsters. The minor disadvantage of reload time and limited shots is completely overcome by range and destructive power. you can specify you do not want to use firearms, but expect some comments along similar lines. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ "require time to reload and can quickly run out of ammo" - you really need to try better than that. Check out Swords more effective than guns $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ Consider reading "Deathworld" by Harry Harrison, a story about humans living on a planet where quite literally EVERYTHING is trying to kill them. Guns aren't the only choice, but they're plenty popular... but it's how they use them, how they modify them, etc. That's what would help you out. That story would give you a wonderful baseline to work with as you develop the rules of your world. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for all the advice guys! John, I added a few examples of the monsters that appear in-world. Obviously there's a lot more to each one but I wrote down what I figured would be most important for this topic. I'm honestly not well versed on firearms so everything you've said is really helpful. Would guns be the practical choice, even when many monsters have very specific characteristics (like the ones I detailed above)? I honestly don't know because, like I said, I know jack about guns and their typical damage abilities. JBH, thanks for the suggestion, I'll totally check it out! $\endgroup$
    – Anna Weiss
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 2:20

6 Answers 6


There's a race that's a mix between octopi and spiders...They fight in hordes.

Chain-fed machineguns.

Monsters that are like living shadows.

UV lights. Note that real-life UV lights of significant intensity require a substantial power source. So, soldiers fighting these might be using vehicles carrying a large Li-ion power supply.

Another race that's invulnerable, humanoid shaped, commonly 9 ft tall... The only way to defeat them is to tear away the red string, force open it's jaw and destroy its heart, which sits on its tongue

Explosives will dislocate the jaws and destroy the hearts. If for some reason they don't also shred the threads, mix in some incendiaries.

A beast with the head and limbs of a panther, and the body of a giant snake... They're scales can't be pierced, but can be loosened / knocked off, revealing the vulnerable flesh underneath.

Explosives again. Grenade launchers sound good for using multiple blasts to concussively remove the scales. A Mk 19, perhaps?

enter image description here


There's one big consideration you haven't named yet: what is your balance between practical and awesome?

If you're going for practical: keep it simple. Traps, nets, ranged weapons and long pointy objects are your friends. Don't mount heroic expeditions with some chosen few. Instead, bring enough force and tools to squash the bugs like it's another day at the office.

Think like the US army: if your monster hunt doesn't involve massive explosions, you're doing it wrong.

When going the awesome-but-impractical route, all bets are off. Here you should treat it as a competition in scoring awesomepoints. Overcomplicated plans, hyper-specialized, and/or ridiculously oversized weapons, and contrived reasons why you can only have six people in your party.

  • $\begingroup$ I was going to post the Combat Basketball as my contribution, but realized that this falls under awesome-but-impractical. OR IS IT.....? $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ Don't let minor details such as practicality stand between you and awesome. $\endgroup$
    – Kargathia
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome and I make Practicality stand by the door and shout her suggestions from there. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 15:03

Have you considered

Polearms or Long weapons?

Like Halberds, Spears, Staves? I think this type of weapon can be effective in battling multiple monsters. If you watch kung-fu movies, you can see many examples of this 1 vs many scenario.

I think swords are too short and will leave a lot of openings on your characters especially fighting hordes. I think Greatswords will also work. Basically, you can go rampage without them coming too close to you.

Just gonna leave Guts here from Berserk

enter image description here

More of his weapon, The Dragonslayer

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ I was considering these, actually. Thanks so much, the pictures really help to give a visual idea too ^.^ $\endgroup$
    – Anna Weiss
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ That dragonslayer looks awfully inconvenient. That must be, what, a hand and a half wide for most of its length, and the better part of a body length long? It might look cool, but all that metal would have a lot of inertia which would make it difficult to use in a fast-paced situation -- and for what purpose? If you want believable weapons, never forget to consider the reason for their existence in the first place. There's a reason why most real-world swords were very thin (while, as illustrated by Thucydides, length varied a fair bit). $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 7:49
  • $\begingroup$ On the contrary in front of several enemies, takes smaller and faster weapon, you will need to be able to return quickly, with a heavy weapon impossible to defend against several attacks $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 7:56
  • $\begingroup$ Incredibly huge swords swung fast enough to be of use are kind of a trope, though. Realism is sometimes voluntarily thrown out of the window, so the answer might be relevant. $\endgroup$
    – Liquid
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 10:39

One of the reason there are so many weapons developed throughout history and across cultures is each weapon is designed to defeat a particular defense.

Consider that European swords in the Middle Ages evolved from arming swords (the sort normally seen in television and movies), to "hand and half" swords to provide extra leverage and striking power as mail armour gradually was supplemented by plate armour, and then into long, stif rapiers to penetrate the gaps in plate armour, since the edged strike with a sword was no longer effective. To deal with plate armour, polearms provided extra leverage while smashing weapons like maces and hammers were developed to supplement or replace swords. Larger swords were developed to cut into pike squares, while the swords of other cultures (like Japanese Katanas) were designed for the particular conditions encountered there.

enter image description here

Arming Sword

enter image description here

Hand and Half sword

enter image description here

Left to right, Longsword, Estoc (heavy thrusting sword) and Rapier

So without knowing what sort of monsters you are fighting, there are very few "generic" choices. Even firearms are designed for particular conditions or targets. Consider that in zombie lore, you need a 12 gage shotgun rather than a 5.56mm M-4 assault rifle, while long range targets need larger calibre weapons, or large and armoured targets need very high energy rounds (.50 cal or "elephant gun" rounds).

I suppose if you are in unknown territory and have only one weapons system to choose from, go for the Winchester Model 1897 "Trench Broom". It is a 12 gage shotgun (use 00 magnum shot for maximum energy transfer), comes with a "sword" bayonet if you have to stab or slash a target, and the weapon is made with hardwood furniture so in a pinch it works as a club.

enter image description here

Winchester Model 1897 Trench Broom

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nitpick: Rapiers were not conceived to fight against plate armour, they're largely civilian duelling weapons (although they were occasionally carried in the field, especially early forms). The sword you're talking about is itself mentioned in your answer: the Estoc. $\endgroup$
    – Pahlavan
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 9:45
  • $\begingroup$ To clarify, Rapiers and Estocs evolved at roughly the same time and were designed to be thrusting weapons when thrusting through armour was about the only way to win a fight using a sword. The rapier was more versatile since it kept an edge as well as a point, and evolved into the "small sword", which was primarily a duelling weapon. Rapiers in their original form are actually quite large and heavy. as I can attest. $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 16:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Rapiers indeed do not weigh less and often more than arming swords (especially once hilts become more complex) and their stances are arguably more exhausting. I was calling into question their use against plate armour, as rapier blades tend to be too thin to be used in that context and your phrasing implied that this was their primary purpose, which I'm rather confident saying wasn't. $\endgroup$
    – Pahlavan
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 18:27

With fighting a monster, the key is to keep the monster away from you. You never want to go toe to toe against something stronger and faster than you.

Traps are the most logical weapon followed by range weapons and then long melee weapons such as pikes. Swords would be a weapon of last resort


Keep it simple use the most deadly weapon in human history.

The spear.

Don't need to be organic material with high technology material it could be possible to have very long spears - or even telescopic spears.

The warrior can anchor it in the ground and let the monster come so the momentum of the charging beast will drive the blade into its belly.

Or with a shorted handle it could be used at close range fighting multiple targets.

Last not least combine the spear with a gun...

HaHa why not take the best from everything - Adeptus Astartes Boltgun + Sword + Mace + Spear = this sketch (1h work)

enter image description here


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .