Weapon of Choice
How well do you know your FR Authors? Every Monday you can expect an update to the author roundtable, featuring many of our best Forgotten Realms authorsâ€™ answers to the worldâ€™s most important questions, right here on this blog. Submissions for new questions welcome through private message.Â
READER: Whatâ€™s your weapon of choice?
Ed Greenwood (author of The Sword Never Sleeps): The brain. As in, outwitting foes. However, if my answer has to be a physical weaponâ€¦back when I had knees that worked, I did a fair amount of fencing, both sport and SCA fighting (as well as judo, aikido, and other fashionable ways of maiming oneself at the time), and for me, the sensual tops among weapons is a finely-made, beautifully-balanced longsword. Kiss the gleam, kiss the gleamâ€¦
Philip Athans (author of A Readerâ€™s Guide to R.A. Salvatoreâ€™s Legend of Drizzt): In D&D, the mighty scimitar. In real life, my rapier wit! (Friend Philip)
Richard Baker (author of Avenger): Bastard sword. I need the +3 proficiency bonus, and I love me that big fat d10 for damage. If youâ€™re talking about me and not my character, then Iâ€™ll settle for the M14 7.62mm rifle or a good 12-gauge pump-action shotgun. (Friend Richard)
Rosemary Jones (author of City of the Dead): The one that suits the character. I play a selkie warrier in a current game and she carries a pair of harpoons:Â payback time whale hunters! (Friend Rosemary)
Bruce R. Cordell (author of City of Torment): When it comes to fighting bad guys, you can't beat eye beams. I mean, targeting is a snap. You shoot what you look at. Although, unlike some I could mention, I'd like the ability to turn off my eye beams when I'm done smearing the bad guy into the next panel, please. (Friend Bruce)
James P. Davis (author of Circle of Skulls): Super-sharp, full tang, black-steel wakizashi with a chord-wrapped handle or, as itâ€™s known around the house, the â€śChunk of Steelâ€ť. For practical purposes itâ€™s like the king of all machetes when my wife and I go camping. At home, well, letâ€™s just say carving the turkey at Thanksgiving is an event not to be missed . . . donâ€™t stand too close . . . (Friend James)
Seriously though, as a writer of â€śadventure fiction,â€ť I always give serious consideration to my charactersâ€™ weapons. I do not simply hand the resident warrior a sword or the token bearded warrior an axe. ClichĂ©. I try to make the weapon inherent to both the character and the setting.
For example, in Frostfell, one of the heroes carries an iron rod attached to a braided leather cordâ€”a weapon he can use as both club and flail. I didnâ€™t want to give the storyâ€™s resident warrior a sword, because swordsmanship requires years of training and finesse. This character was born a slave, brought up by â€śbarbarians,â€ť and nothing in his character suggested finesse. A sword wouldâ€™ve been silly. But smashing bones with an iron rod had a cool brutality to it that seemed to fit the character. And since the book was set mostly in the Endless Waste (an area based heavily on Mongolia), I also gave him a bow. But again, since this area isnâ€™t exactly covered in forest, I figured that fine wood would be hard to come by, so I specifically wrote that he carried a horn bow.
In The Fall of Highwatch, many of the resident warriors are not only knights, but knights who ride flying mounts. So again, swords as their primary weapons didnâ€™t make much senseâ€”unless they were knights sworn to slay all swallows and sparrows. So I gave them bows. But since this is D&D, they are enchanted bows, the true nature of which wonâ€™t come out till the next bookâ€”and since the next book is titled Hand of the Hunter, what weapon could possibly be more suited to a hunter than a bow? (My editor nixed the sniper rifleâ€”â€śThis isnâ€™t Gamma World, you twit!â€ť)