Melee Weapons
10 Votes


Hits: 7077
Comments: 12
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.6
Condition: Normal
ID: 2254


January 19, 2007, 11:32 am

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Cheka Man

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War Forbici


The sight of a war forbici on the battle field makes some laugh, others fearful, and some simply confused.  In well-trained hands, however, it can be a lethal weapon.

Full Item Description

Simply put, a war forbici resembles a very large pair of scissors.  The twin blades are 5-inches wide at the forte and taper to a quarter inch at the feeble.  The blades are metal, usually iron or steel, and are about 3 feet long.  The handles of the weapon are oval-shaped, about 10-inches long, and usually wrapped in leather.  The backs of the handles are much thicker than the grip to act as a counter balance to the blades.  The blades are fastened 6 inches from the grips by a wide bolt; this bolt is often engraved or embellished in a quality pair.  The inner edge of the blades is sharpened, while the outer edge is left dull.


The origins of the war forbici are uncertain.  Many suspect the weapon originated in circuses and coliseums where they were a novelty weapon used by gladiators to entertain the masses.  Trainers in gladiator combat schools probably taught curious nobles on how to properly wield the forbici.

Due to the unusual nature of the weapon, and its difficulty to wield, it is rare among even well-trained warriors.  Most fighters who are at least mildly familiar with the weapon do not bother with it simply because it is impractical in normal situations.  War forbici are heavy and large, requiring impressive strength to wield properly.  They also require a great deal of maintenance, as the blades and bolt joint must be cleaned frequently to prevent jamming.

Despite its drawbacks, the war forbici is a fairly versatile weapon.  Unopened, the forbici can be used as a crushing weapon by swinging the unsharpened outer edge of the blades at an opponent.  The pointed tip also makes for a quality thrusting weapon.  When the blades are opened, the forbici becomes a bladed weapon that is capable of short (albiet somewhat clumsy) slashes.  The most effective use of the blades are to chop and grab, achieved by closing the blades around an opponent.  Above all, the war forbici draws attention wherever it goes, and most warriors do not know how to regard such an unusual weapon.

War forbici aficionados are admittedly rare, but they have produced at least one famous soldier: Prince Kestor le Vesre, former crown regent of Radania.  Prince Kestor was very fond of the forbici after reading about them in weapon enthusiast gazettes.  As a young man, he insisted that his combat teacher, General Doras Muroe, train him in the weapon.  Muroe had been a former gladiator and was familiar enough with the forbici to instruct on it use.  He refused the prince’s request at first, in fear that the king would think him wasting valuable training time on such a ridiculous weapon.  Kestor relented, however, and the general eventually agreed to teach him.  Kestor proved to be a natural for forbici, his strong upper-body well suited to wielding the unusual weapon.  During the Radanian Silver Wars, Prince Kestor led the royal armies to victorious combat, his men inspired by the impressive sight of their regent downing foes with the forbici.  Legend says that the prince ended the life of the enemy army’s leader by beheading him with a sharp stroke of the forbici.  Kestor’s fame led to many copycats who took up the weapon, though most proved to be utter failures in actual use of it.

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Comments ( 12 )
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Voted Scrasamax
January 27, 2006, 8:34
A rather implausable idea - war scissors - presented in an interesting and entirely believable fashion. Both unique and well presented.
Voted MoonHunter
January 27, 2006, 10:57
Well executed. Nicely done. But....

They don't really work as a weapon, as I understand the description. It is just a matter of physics. Sure these will be large and heavy, and this is part of the problem. You can use it as a heaven and earth staff, slashing and trapping. You can't get much of a cut going vs a human scaled target without more leverage or near superstrength. Mashing people over the head will work, but the weapon is not well balanced.

Yes, you can physically make them as a weapon. Yes they will inflict some harm. Yes, I can see them as a novelty weapon in a base gladitorial combat. Being used outside the gladitorial ring? Why? There are weapons that are vastly more efficient, they do as much or more damage, with a faster strike speed, with less weight (thus fatigue).
Voted Cheka Man
January 27, 2006, 12:58
This is the sort of weapon that a Troll or a Giant or an Ogre would use.
Voted Pariah
January 28, 2006, 17:54
Bleh. See Moon's comments.
Voted Murometz
February 24, 2006, 11:21
yes...not practical or plausible at all. BUT, they are fun to visualize, and as Cheka said they work as weapons for impractical trolls and giants, or as Moonhunter said (and Dozus explained) would definitely work in a gladitorial arena, where the spectators are getting bored of the same ol' weapons. So, originality and a good back story, hence 4/5. "realism" in fantasy is a relative term. We could have dragons, demons, trolls, and ogres, but we draw the line at giant scissors...why?
Voted CaptainPenguin
February 25, 2006, 0:46
I agree with Murometz and Scras... I don't really care that they wouldn't work in the real world. That doesn't matter to me. If I cared about that, I wouldn't have magic.
Great idea.

August 23, 2006, 15:39
BUMP. Scissors of DOOM!
Voted Kassy
February 17, 2009, 5:32
Little idea here; takes scissors closes them and proceeds to thrust them into opponents neck, theeafter wrenching them open.

Sick I know but entertaining nontheless.
Voted Grey
February 17, 2009, 12:20
Very impractical, but wonderfully different. I like these a lot, despite how impossible they seem to use.
February 19, 2011, 23:31

Bumping the controversial giant scissors! :)

Voted Moonlake
June 2, 2013, 7:08
The core idea, I don't love it nor hate it, unlike others before me. The write-up is good quality and has added realism and extra spice to an otherwise plain and (to me at least) quite boring write-up of a particular type of weapon (I know there's weapon enthusiasts on this site but I'm just not one of them). So a score of 3.5.
*Commented on for the Commenting Challenge
Voted valadaar
March 17, 2015, 13:44
Hmm, if the outer edges are instead sharpened, this weapon would gain more usability, being usable somewhat conventionally as a normal, if heavy, sword. This is especially important since the mechanical complexity of the blade could fail after a hard parry or the like. Fully open, the blades would cover a wide area and might even serve as a weapon-breaker.

Odd, flamboyant with definite downsides, it still has value.

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       By: MoonHunter

Believable magic, like ordinary physicis, operates according to some invariable laws that always result in some kind of cost or "bounce back". The grater the magic, the more it should cost the character physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Ideas  ( System ) | February 8, 2005 | View | UpVote 1xp

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