Baldur's Gate

Melee Weapons

Picking the right melee weapon is critical to a character's long-term viability in Baldur's Gate. Not only does a player need to be concerned with class restrictions and an object's base potency, but he must consider of the most powerful variant for end game play. Another consideration is how well the weapon-line scales with game-play - is there large gaps between superior versions becoming available? The guide hopes to help navigate these potential landmines.

Name: Dagger (1d4)
Description: While the dagger may lower damage potential, it is one of the fastest weapons available, and many of them inflict status effects on strikes - making them nice offhand weapons. Note that Dagger proficiency allows the user to use throwing daggers as well.
Top Weapon: Dagger of the Star +5 (1d4+5)
Effects: +5 THACO/Damage 15% chance the wielder will become invisible after a hit, 5% chance to hit for 1-8 fire and 1-8 electrical damage.
Name: Short Sword (1d6)
Description: Short Swords are often used by Rogues or as an off-hand weapon, due to their fast speed, general availability, and the well-balanced power curve. The selection of magical short swords scales nicely with the player and the story progress, making it one of the better spaced weapon-lines.
Top Weapon: Short Sword of the Mask +5 (1d6+5)
Effects: +5 THACO/Damage, 15% chance to drain a level from target, 15% chance the target is entangled the target for 24 seconds on a hit.
Name: Scimitar (1d8)
Description: Scimitars are curved eastern weapons with better damage potential than a Short Sword. They are almost identical to a Long Sword in terms of game mechanics, but are open to Druids, and their proficiency also allows the use of Wakizashi and Ninja-To, adding a large range of weapon choices.
Top Weapon: Spectral Brand +5 (1d8+5)
Effects: +5 THACO/Damage, adds 1d4 cold damage, summon dancing blade once per day, Negative plane protection, Armor Piercing Strike once per day.
Name: Ninja-To (1d8)
Description: Ninja-To are the blades favored by assassins and ninja. Sadly, they offer a rather pathetic selection of magical variants, being rare and well behind the power-curve whenever available. Ninja-To are almost identical to Long Swords in terms of game mechanics, but are open to Druids, and their proficiency allows the use of Scimitars and Wakizashi, which is the only really good point about them.
Top Weapon: Scarlet Ninja-To +3 (1d8+3)
Effects: +3 THACO/Damage, one extra attack per round, 6 poison damage per hit for 2 rounds if the target fails a saving throw versus poison.
Name: Wakizashi (1d8)
Description: Wakizashi are the traditional secondary weapon of dual-wielding Samurai. They are fast, damaging, and have some decent end-game variants. They are however rare and expensive, finding them mid-game can be a problem. Wakizashi are open to Druids, and their proficiency allows the use of Scimitars and Ninja-To, adding value.
Top Weapon: Usuno's blade +4 (1d8+4)
Effects: +4 THACO/Damage, 10% chance to inflict 2d10 electrical damage on the target.
Note: Wakizashi are balanced as an offhand weapon, and their powers reflect this.
Name: Long Sword (1d8)
Description: Long Swords are the traditional mid-evil bladed weapon. They are readily available, scale perfectly with game-difficulty, and have several truly powerful variants to choose from. Their average damage, damage, attack speed, and damage against large creatures is also well scaled, making them a solid weapon choice for any class that can pick them.
Top Weapon: Angurvadal +5 (1d8+5)
Effects: +5 THACO/Damage, adds 1d4+1 additional fire damage, grants the user 22 strength, makes wielder immune to level drains.
Name: Bastard Sword (2d4)
Description: The Bastard Sword, or "Hand and a Half" sword, was designed to be used one or two handed. Occupying a middle ground between Long and a 2-Handed blades, the Bastard Sword surrenders some attack speed for better minimum damage. They are solid weapons in the hands of a Fighter, and can be wielded with or without a shield.
Top Weapon: Foebane +5 (2d4+5)
Effects: +5 THACO/Damage, +6 damage against certain foes, drains 1d4+1 hit points fo the wielder on each successful strike, +1 to saving throws.
Name: Katana (1d10)
Description: The Katana is the finest 1-Handed slasher in the game. Dealing damage comparable to a 2-handed Sword, Katanas are the Munchkin's weapon of choice for dual wielding. However, these swords are RARE, RARE, RARE, and only a small handful of them exist. It will be a long time before a player finds anything but the simple Katana +1 sold by trash vendors, and the top blades, while impressive, have lower bonuses to hit than the other weapon classes, meaning they cannot harm powerful monsters like Demogorgon.
Top Weapon: Celestial Fury +3 (1d10+3)
Effects: +3 THACO/Damage, 5% of +20 electric damage each strike, casts Lightning Strike and Blindness once per day, target must save v.s. spell each blow or be stunned.
Name: 2-Handed Sword (1d10)
Description: 2-Handed Swords are huge weapons capable of cutting jagged swaths of death through enemies. The most powerful item properties are found on these large blades, and the strongest weapon in Baldur's Gate, the Holy Avenger, is a 2-handed Sword. The defensive loss of a shield is rewarded with raw offensive might.
Top Weapon: Carsomyr +6 (1d10+6)
Effects: +6 THACO/Damage, +6 bonus damage to chaotic evil, grants 50% magic resistance, casts dispel magic 3 times per day, dispels magic on the target on hit.
Name: Battle Axe (1d8)
Description: Battle Axes are an excellent alternative to Swords for those needing slash damage. While there are comparatively few magical axes, and their powers somewhat subdued compared to the large swords, axe proficiency allows the user to use throwing axes as well as the melee types - while tanking behind a shield. The ability to Grandmaster one line, and earning a solid ranged attack and a strong melee attack, while keeping a great AC bonus, is a huge boon.
Top Weapon: Axe of the Unyielding +5 (1d8+5)
Effects: +5 THACO/Damage, +1 AC, user regenerate 3 HP/round, +1 constitution, 10% change of decapitating a target per swing.
Name: Club (1d6)
Description: Clubs are the most basic of weapons, and are nothing more than a heavy chunk of wood at their most simple. The main advantage of a club in traditional D&D is the fact that there's always one available and it becomes effectively impossible to disarm a character proficient in club use. No such problem confronts players in Baldur's Gate, and the selection of magical clubs, is, to put it succinctly - shit. Avoid.
Top Weapon: Club of Detonation +5 (1d6+5)
Effects: +5 THACO/Damage, +5 fire damage, 30% chance of +15 of fire damage, 5% chance to cast a 10d6 fireball, harming all in radius.
Name: Mace (1d6+1)
Description: Maces are a type of bludgeoning weapon developed to deal with plate armors in the middle ages. In Baldur's Gate, they are among the limited choices Priests can train in. While Mace damage is average for a melee weapon, there are many maces with useful secondary powers, making them stronger than their base damage would indicate.
Top Weapon: Stormstar +5 (1d6+5)
Effects: +5 THACO/Damage, +1d6 electrical damage, +20% electrical resistance, 5% chance of casting Chain Lighting on the target.
Name: Warhammer (1d4+1)
Description: Warhammers are very unimpressive when taken at their base stats. However, a Dwarf proficient in Warhammer can make use of the Dwarven Thrower +3 and the unquestionably mighty Crom Faeyr +5. Similar to Axes, the player gains a two-fer, earning a strong melee and ranged attack - but this path is ONLY open to dwarves. For non-dwarves, the weapon-class is rather "meh."
Top Weapon: Crom Faeyr +5 (1d4+3)
Effects: +5 THACO, +3 damage, Grants the user 25 Strength, kills Stone Golems, Clay Golems, Ettins, and Trolls instantly.
Name: Morning Star (2d4)
Description: A Morning Star is essentially a Mace with rows of razor sharp spikes covering it's head. It is the most damaging weapon a Priest can train in, but there are very few good magical variants, limiting their end-game utility. Fortunately, Morning Stars share the same proficiency as Flails, making the line more flexible - no pun intended.
Top Weapon: Ice Star +4 (2d4+4)
Effects: +4 THACO/Damage, +1d4 Ice Damage, 29% Fire Resistance.

Name: Flail (2d4+1)
Description: Flails are a series of weighted balls or flanges attached to a handle by chains. Designed to defeat armor, Flails are a hard hitting weapon allowed Priests, although good magical flails are rare. Flail proficiency allows the user to Morning Stars as well, adding value.
Top Weapon: Flail of Ages +5 (2d4+1)
Effects: +5 THACO, +2 acid, +2 fire, +2 cold, +2 poison, and +2 electrical damage. 33% chance target is slowed, grants user free action, 5% MR
Name: Quarterstaff (1d6)
Description: These weapons are heavy oaken rods shod on both ends with metal caps. They are often imbued with the ability to cast spells, making them the preferred choice of Wizards - although a few examples are very powerful 2-handed melee weapons, such as the Staff of Striking or the Staff of the Ram.
Top Weapon: Staff of the Ram +6 (1d6+6)
Effects: +6 THACO/Damage, +1d4 Piercing Damage, 15% chance target is knocked down and stunned for 3 rounds.
Name: Spear (1d6)
Description: Spears inflict lowish damage, and swing slowly. There are only a handful of truly good pikes, leaving players a lack-luster choice compared to other weapons. Unless you are out for flavor, spears make poor weapons.
Top Weapon: Ixil's Spike +6 (1d6+6)
Effects: +6 THACO/Damage, grants the user Free Action, target must save or be rooted for 3 rounds, and taking 1d6+5 damage per round.
Name: Halberd (1d10)
Description: Halberds are essentially huge axes attached to spear-handles. They deal big damage, and some of the end-game models pack major enchantments. The line scales well through the entire game, and enough of the top-end varieties exist to support multiple characters training them.
Top Weapon: Ravager +6 (1d10+6)
Effects: +6 THACO/Damage, target must save or take 3d6 poison damage, 10% chance to instantly kill the target, and may cast Cloak of Fear 3 times per day.