If weapons like knives, small guns, and a fist punch are all considered light weapons, why would a player ever pick up a knife if they drop it in a fight (from a bad roll, for instance)?

Sure, they can "do" different things (e.g. a knife cuts; fists don't). But if you spend a round picking it up or just punching with your fist, players start wondering if they really need to care to much about light weapons when they always have a fist.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can't tell for the cypher system, but in real life picking up the knife you dropped actually is often, I dare say usually, a bad idea during a fight. So cool for the Cypher System for reflecting that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Mar 28 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


Assuming that your character is not specifically built for it to matter, it does not matter whether you use the knife or your fists.

In Cypher System, weapons generally only exist as light/medium/heavy and melee/ranged, and within those categories all have the same properties. That means any one light melee weapon is the same 2 damage with an asset on attacks as any other.

There are a handful of situations where the type of weapon does matter, though I'm not going to comb through all of the Cypher System... systems looking for them. I can, however, give the example of Numenera's Glaive Type.

Glaives in Numenera choose a particular type of weapon to gain certain bonuses with as they tier up, beginning with a bonus to damage. In this case, the game gets a little more granular with what that type is, dividing weapons up into light/medium/heavy and bladed/bashing/ranged. So a Glaive could choose to specialize in "light bladed" weapons, getting a +1 to damage with them. In this case, there is an incentive to pick the dagger back up.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +1. Is there any reason to specialize in "light bladed" weapons, then, when a character could instead specialize in "light bashing" weapons and do fistfighting? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    May 3 at 14:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DanB Not off the top of my head, but I can't rule it out as, given how Cypher System character creation works, that would require knowing all the possible abilities for every type/focus. I can say that I don't know of any situation off the top of my head (knowing mostly Numenera) where specifically "light bladed" weapons would be worth specializing in. Cypher is not really interested in being a combat simulator anyways, and so the honest answer would likely just be "character flavor". \$\endgroup\$
    – JMR
    May 3 at 14:47

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