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) Broadsword.png
Name broadsword
Appearance broadsword
Damage vs. small 2d4
Damage vs. large 1d6+1
To-hit bonus +0
Weapon skill broadsword
Size one-handed
Base price 10 zm
Weight 70
Material iron

A broadsword is a kind of melee weapon. For samurai, it is a ninja-to. The elven broadsword and runesword also use the broadsword skill.


Ordinary broadswords make up about 0.8% of randomly generated weapons (on the floor, as death drops, or in shops).

In addition, Yendorian Army lieutenants may be generated with a broadsword.[1] Balrogs are guaranteed to appear with one.[2]

Broadsword skill

Max Role

The following weapons use the broadsword skill:


Generally speaking, there are two reasons to train the broadsword skill: (1) if you are chaotic and plan to get crowned so you can use Stormbringer, or (2) if you can twoweapon and want to use an elven broadsword as your secondary weapon.


The first case applies mainly to Barbarians and Rogues, who are both unrestricted in the broadsword skill, though there are other good artifact weapon options for both roles. These are not the only roles that can receive Stormbringer and wield it, but they are the only ones who start with the broadsword skill (as opposed to having it unrestricted by crowning) and so can train it before they are crowned. Other roles that start with the skill (e.g. Knights) can also receive Stormbringer, but only if they are willing to change their alignment to chaotic.

Broadswords as secondary weapons

Elven broadswords are a popular choice of secondary weapon, as they are easy to find (often generated on most elves) and do respectable damage versus "small" monsters, which includes many late-game targets. However, skill level considerations make them better choices for some roles than for others.

When using two weapons, your to-hit and damage bonus or penalty is determined by the lowest of the three skills involved—your twoweapon skill and the skill levels of each weapon you are wielding. So when choosing a secondary weapon, two-weapon users prefer one that has a skill level no lower than their twoweapon skill.

Knights, Rogues, Samurai, and Valkyries can all use broadswords with Skilled to-hit and damage adjustments. Barbarians and Tourists can use them with Basic adjustments. The broadsword skill is the limiting factor for Rogues, Samurai, and Tourists, so these roles might prefer secondary weapons that let them reach higher skill levels.

For Barbarians, Knights, and Valkyries, broadsword skill is not an obstacle, though there are other options that do better damage versus silver-haters or "large" monsters. See the Twoweapon page for more good choices for each role.


Historically "broadsword" refers to the basket-hilted sword, which has a basket-shaped guard that protects the hand of the wielder. The term "broad" contrasts it with the similar but slender-bladed rapier.

The cross-guard was improved as the development of firearms made many forms of armor (gauntlets and shields) ineffective.

Encyclopaedia entry

Bring me my broadsword
And clear understanding.
Bring me my cross of gold,
As a talisman.
[ "Broadsword" (refrain) by Ian Anderson ]

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