Welcome to this week’s craft post. For anyone who is new or returning, we are currently going through a gargantuan series on Worldbuilding. To get caught up on all of the sub-series thus far, you can find them under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. To get caught up in our current sub-series on Military and Law Enforcement you can find them here. Today’s post is the Penultimate post of the sub-series, so let’s dive right in.

Last week was all about Warfare. This week is about the weapons used. I am not talking about shields, swords, lance, daggers, spears, etc. I want to talk about the weapons that make your world unique. “Well the story I am going to be writing takes place during the dark ages or middle ages, or whenever swords and armor were the weapons of choice.” That’s nice. I don’t care when the story is taking place, I want to know what kind of weapons make your world unique and different. Let me give you an example.

Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive takes place in a world where warriors have massive swords. You know, the kind of swords way too big for a normal person to be able to hold or use. The kind usually pictured on the cover of a fantasy book cover. Brandon wanted to create the kind of world where you could actually do that. Something that required them to use those weapons but believable. Thus the creation of Shard Blades and Shard Plate Armor.

This is what I am talking about. While it isn’t that different kind of weaponry, it is unique to that world. Even if your world and the time your story is going to take place is going to be during typical medieval times, you should have some kind of weapons that is not from earth. These weapons don’t have to be legendary weapons that only a brave warrior is rewarded or even have special powers. They can be common weapons, something that we haven’t seen before. More specifically, a weapon that changes how a battle is done.

Going back to Stormlight Archive, the world of Roshar has massive caverns and bridge teams are needed to take the armies to battle. The bridge men are the lowest of the low when it comes to soldiers. They are expected to die. They aren’t shielded and men are picked off by enemy troops. This isn’t a weapon, but it is how soldiers and Shardblade wielders get to the battle.

Think of it this way, how would war and battles be fought if antagonist’s forces suddenly showed up to a battle and they all were wielding lightsabers? First off, that battle would be a slaughter and a victory for the bad guys. All other battles from then on would change. Do would the good guys have to change to be able to fight against forces with such a powerful weapon. The answer can’t be magic.

How do you fight against a sword that works just like a normal sword but when your opponent or enemy is pushed back, you can shoot out the blade into a whip form and attack? Or a sword that has a weapon on the other end thus allowing someone to fight against two people or more at a time.

You don’t need to create all new weapons so that you have only weapons that don’t exist in our world. However, there should be unique weapons that exist. They can be the focus around the plot of the story or they can be just one of many weapons soldiers learn. With unique weapons make sure you show what it is capable of or the reader will always wonder and even question its effectiveness against swords, armor, etc.

That leads me to, what can be considered a contradictory point. Don’t have too many unique weapons. Let me say another way. Don’t introduce too many unique weapons at one time. You need to give the reader time to get their heads wrapped around one, but if you have introduced five. That’s going to be too much. I would say three is the most at one time. Especially, if you have a POV… an Important POV (an main character) learning to use that weapon. Then it will be a little easier to deal, as the reader will learn about the weapon with only a specific character. If introduce a weapon and only show it off but don’t tend to show more of it until late in the book or series, that should be okay. Especially if that weapon belongs to your main villain.

The key is moderation. A great author can either pull off introduction multiple unique weapons or styles of combat in a book, but also can mess it up. The keys make sure you know how the weapon works and have the basics figured out before hand.

How to come up with a new or unique weapon? For me, I would probably start with how the weapon works or the way combat would take place. If I wanted something long range or close quarters, then go from there. Once I had how I wanted the style of combat to look, I would then move into what kind of weapon(s) would be able to be used and wouldn’t be able used in it. Or just start drawing doodles and see if get something that looks like a cool or interesting weapon. The sky’s the limit. Study on the development of weapons and see how weapons evolved over the centuries.

A great way to do this is to link a weapon to one of the different races. If you have a race that skin like shells, what kind of weapons would they use?

That’s all I got this week. Check back new week for the final post of Military and Law Enforcement: Treaties and Alliances. I am playing around with a few ideas of where to go next, and I think it may be time to touch upon Magic/Technology. It has been over a year since I talked about magic. I am not sure. I have a week, but we will see.  I am aim to wrap this Worldbuilding Series up in the next month or two. However, I don’t want to leave a topic untouched. Time will tell.

Don’t forget to check back on Monday’s for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up.

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