Fallout: Wasteland Tales
Melee weapons (i.e. knives and clubs) are often significantly cheaper than ranged weapons, they’re easier to use stealthily, they’re usually much easier to come by, and worries about malfunctions or ammo aren’t applicable to most melee weapons. Most melee weapons can’t be used against opponents more than a yard or two away, and most are highly dependent on the user’s strength to do damage, but melee weapons are a useful addition to any character’s arsenal. Many types of melee weapons exist, each type generally requiring its own specialized skill to use effectively in combat; the five most common types are described below.
The Axe/Mace class of weapons includes a large variety of one and two-handed swung weapons with weighted striking ends which can variously inflict crushing, chopping, or impaling damage on opponents. Varieties include fire axes, tire irons, sledgehammers, rolling pins, baseball bats, nail boards, Super Sledges, hatchets, and a near endless variety of purpose-built and improvised weapons.
Knives are the most convenient class of melee weapon; they’re generally light, compact, and quick to draw. They’re also one of the few types of weapons that can be used effectively in close combat, when a foe is right in your face or engaged in a grapple with you. Varieties include small utility knives, large combat knives, meat cleavers, carving knives, and machetes.
Swords, largely of the two-handed variety, are an uncommon but effective class of melee weapons in the wasteland. Pre-War swords include the captured swords of Chinese officers, often taken back home as war trophies, and antique samurai swords of varying quality kept as collector’s items. Swords have also been fashioned from junk by resourceful wastelanders; the oversized bumper sword is a supermutant favorite, and the shishkebab incorporates a flaming lawnmower blade and fueled by a motorcycle gas tank.
Spears are primarily a tribal weapon, but are also used by hunters on the outskirts of civilization’s influence. Spears are an effective, inexpensive, lightweight, and versatile class of weapon. Their extended reach provides both offensive and defensive benefits, the long shaft can be used like a quarterstaff to effectively parry enemy weapons or crack skulls, and the weapon can be thrown to engage targets at ranges of thirty feet or more.
Unarmed weapons are a class of weapons that augment a user’s unarmed fighting skills, generally by increasing the damage the user can do with a punch. Variations include brass knuckles, spiked knuckles, pneumatic Power Fists, and gauntlets incorporating Deathclaw talons, bear claws, mantis forearms, powered cutting tools, and 12 gauge shotguns.