A short sword, also known as a shortsword, is a light, piercing melee weapon.[1]


In essence, this weapon is a smaller version of the longsword but longer than a dagger or dirk, having many of the same parts including a generally double-edged blade, cross-guard, grip, and pommel. The blade is typically from 12 to 20 in (30 to 50 cm) long with a sharp point. An average short sword costs 10 gp and weighs 2 lb (0.9 kg).[1] First edition D&D defined the short sword as "all pointed cutting & thrusting weapons with blade length between 15 in (38 cm) and 24 in (61 cm)."[4]


Short swords are standard issue to many different types of soldiers. Archers favor this weapon for use when the combat range narrows to a point such that their bows are no longer effective. Many warriors, including fighters, barbarians, paladins, and rangers carry these as a secondary weapon for use in the off-hand.[5] Smaller races will often use short swords as their primary weapon. Light and maneuverable, yet able to provide many different types of attacks, it is arguably the most common weapon on the battlefield. The versatile short sword requires training to use effectively and is therefore classified as a martial weapon.[1] It is light enough to be used with finesse but its smaller size means it deals less damage than a heavier blade. Because it is a light blade, it makes a good choice for the off-hand in two-weapon fighting styles.[6]


These blades are common throughout all parts of Toril, including but not limited to Faerûn, Kara-Tur, and Zakhara. As usual, depending upon what part of Toril you're standing in, they are known by different colloquial names. In Faerûn in addition to being known as a short sword you may also hear the terms gladius or warsword. In the eastern lands of Kara-Tur, they can be found by the names of wakizashi or the exotic butterfly sword. Finally, in the areas of Zakhara they may be referred to as falcata or bast.[citation needed]

Notable short swordsEdit

Azoun I's short sword, lost in 389 DR.
The short sword of Vhaeraun.



External LinksEdit


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.