Archaic Weapons are a broad category of non-powered melee and range weapons, ranging from improvised weapons to weapons designed specifically for combat. In a high-tech setting like the Star Frontiers game, it is not unusual to encounter people making use of archaic weapons. Gunmen might be forced to use a piece of furniture or junk to make an improvised club when their ammo runs out, which is a reason to carry a dedicated melee weapon. Some people or worlds might uphold weapon traditions that favor archaic weapons. On unsettled world inhabited by primitive people, the only weapons they have access to are archaic weapons. In that case, they would have a wider variety of archaic weapons, including primitive forms of armor like hide or plant-fiber armor,mail and/or plate to protect themselves from their own primitive weapons.
In all cases, Inertia screens and skeinsuits will halve the damage received from archaic weapons.
Axe: An axe is actually a tool, but it can be used as either a thrown or melee weapon. If used as a thrown weapon, all the usual ranged weapon modifiers apply.
Brass Knuckles: Besides actual brass knuckles, this category includes any improvised weapon that increases the damage caused by someone's fist. Examples are rocks, coin rolls, sword or dagger handles, etc.
Chain/Whip: Besides chains and whips, this category includes any flexible weapon, such as flails, nunchuks, weighted ropes, etc.
Club: Any blunt weapon used like a club is considered a club. This includes chair legs, metal pipes and bottles.
Knife: This category covers any knife that is big enough to fight with. If thrown, the usual ranged combat modifiers apply.
Nightstick: A nightstick is a weighted plastic club. This category also includes improvised weapons that are more effective than simple clubs, like chairs, baseball bats and quarterstaffs.
Polearm: A polearm consists of a long pole with a heavy blade at one end. Typical polearms are halberds, partisans, naginatas and glaives.
Spear - Any pole with a knife-like blade on the end is a spear. Bayonets and pikes are included in this category.
Sword: Any long-bladed, hand-held weapon is a sword. Examples are broadswords, machetes or rapiers.
Bow: For simplicity, all bows (crossbows, long bows, composite bows, etc.) are handled the same. An arrow causes 1d10 points of damage. Readying another arrow takes one full turn.
Musket: Muskets include all muzzle-loading firearms, such as arquebuses, blunderbusses, and flintlock rifles. Muskets use black gunpowder and lead bullets (powder and shot). Loading a musket takes two turns, so a musket can be fired only once every three turns.