This Blog will be going through a series of several edits as RWBY continues. For now, it is currently in the v2.5 stage.
Hi everyone, Takeshi here just giving my input on a weapon guide. I've been working on this for a few weeks and I think that I have marked down all the basic points. I figured I should give this a shot and try my best to tell you all what I think is important when making a weapon for your OCs here for the RWBY-verse. Enjoy reading and if you want please do give some feedback on it.
When making your character for the RWBY-verse, most of you would think of a combat related person seeing of what’s been going on in the show so far. We have gun scythes, javelin rifles, sniper axes, and even the classic sword and shield; by that logic there’s a plethora of weapons to think of when you use your imagination. Just remember some things when thinking of your character’s weapon of choice. Here are some things in my opinion help when it comes to crafting a basic weapon.
Just what is a weapon?
We all know that they are tools used in battle to either kill and destroy as well as defend, but there is much more to that. These items are not only an extension of your hand, but also of your own personal traits. A weapon is another way of showing what kind of person your character is.
Personality, Appearance, and Background tie into selecting the perfect match for a weapon if you have no idea in mind. For example looking and our RWBY-verse heiress, Weiss Schnee, she was brought up in a rich family and acts in a proper manner, so giving her a rapier compliments her high-class status.
Think back to your character: their likes and dislikes, etc. If they have a destructive nature, give them a nice war hammer or big heavy bazooka. If your character looks like a cowboy, then give him a set of pistols. Think a little logically on what weapon fits more compared to another, rather than what seems like the coolest idea ever.
Also remember, not every weapon has to have some sort of gun function or transformation in RWBY, so don't feel pressured into thinking its a requirement (you'll find transformations and guns won't be talked about much in the rest of this blog, mainly because I'm not an expert in either department). Always good to stick to the basics!
The most fun yet hard part when making a weapon. You see many people using swords, guns, spears, etc. and think, “I wanna be different,” but how much do you think your weapon will stand out? Let me tell you this: anything can be used as a weapon as long as you can make it work: a flute, a belt, deck of cards, and even a yo-yo. It all depends on who your character is and what they do best.
Go ahead and use a sword all you want (you can’t beat the classics), but try to own it. Maybe your Swordsman OC wields his weapon differently compared to a standard fighter, holds it a certain way, etc. A couple of good notable examples are these two characters Yuri Lowell (here) and Ruca Milda (here) from Tales of Vesperia and Tales of Innocence respectively.
With Yuri, he's quite laid back in personality, which is why his sword rests on his shoulder in battles. With quite a few of his moves, he tends to do get a bit flashy and performs a few tricks by flipping his sword or spinning it. Being efficient in using his blade in one hand, he uses his other for punching his foes as well in his combos.
And in comparison to Ruca, he holds his sword below his waist mainly because of his physique and the weight of his broadsword. He has to carry and swing with both hands otherwise it won't really get off the ground now will it?
Since this also ties into originality, it’s good to figure out what your character is like in an actual fight. First ask yourself what their overall class will be: are they a close-ranged or a distant combatant? It can be one or the other, and sometimes even both depending on the weapon they use. And if you are making a whole team for RWBY, think about having different characters balanced out; Monty himself said each member of RWBY has a different role for the team (RPG class-wise).
Mainly I think of archers in this example when coming to any universe. Since they need time to prepare an arrow to fire, it would be best for them to mainly stay at a distance. If a bow is all they use, then it would be pretty hard to go fight with a swordsman up close (A good tip for an archer would be to give them a way to counter against close combat opponents: give them a knife as a Sub weapon so they can defend if the enemy gets too close, make the bow out of a study material, etc.).
Also with how technologically advanced the world of Remant is, your bowman (or woman) doesn't need their weapon to be crafted out of sticks and string. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Serah Farron wields a bowsword made of metal and includes extra strings for a quicker firing rate. Even take it a step further by looking at Vella Moisia, utilizing ammunition instead of arrows.
Gunners also fit this aspect, seeing how they rely solely on their bullets to deal damage. No matter what type of firearm they're using, they still need to gain some distance in battle, especially if they're using a sniper or RPG (don't wanna get caught in the explosion). Being powered by ammo, an OC using guns will have to reload their weapons in battle whenever necessary; there is no such thing as infinite ammo, and reloading makes you a prime target for attacks. If your character already uses a melee-gun hybrid, then your defense should be covered, otherwise a melee sub weapon can work well for this case again.
Remember, there is no "Magic" in RWBY. However, with the usage of Dust and/or the additional Semblance, there can be mage class-like characters in RWBY. We've seen Weiss and Glynda (Cinder as well) use their abilities in ways that can classify them as mages; think of how Glynda tried to take down Roman's jet and same with Weiss and the Nevermore through the usage of their powers.
Dust essentially uses the same effect as Materia from Final Fantasy 7 in a sense (Monty even compared them himself); they both have a common theme of being items in many shops that give the user the ability to cast an elemental attack. Though unlike Materia, Dust is a finite mineral and you'll eventually run out of your own supply. How would the Schnee company profitt if you only had to buy one specific type of Dust once for the rest of your life? Back on point, just remember that when casting a powerful attack most certainly uses a lot of Dust to power it; how much exactly, we're not certain, so it would be good to have your character have an extra inventory of it.
For weapons, note though that the classic magic wand or spellbook does get a bit cliche at times; not saying don't go with them, you could if you want. But look at Jade Curtiss, the mage in the game Tales of the Abyss; he uses a spear for a weapon. When was the last time you saw something like that? By that logic, you could use any sort of weapon for casting Dust-based techniques. If your character soley uses said spellbook, would they be able to defend themselves with that book alone? You could add metal plating to it, but that would hinder your reaction speed for attacking (as well as getting in close to bash someone's head; range is a mage's best friend) and defending.
With that said, it would be best to have a back-up plan in case you run out of Dust on the battlefield, being a back-up weapon. You could use another tool for casting, for a delay tactic and then escaping to a safe place to refuel, or make it a simple melee weapon. Hell, you can go the route of Velvet Scarlatina: a mage who's pretty adept in using martial arts. True this character may be in a team willing to cover for them, but that team may not always be there to help.
Close Combat Fighters
This counts mostly for swordsmen, martial artists, bludgeoners, etc. because they’re the ones who normally dive right into the action. Opposite of rangers, they’re usually the guys who are built to take number of attacks before falling. Since some are all attack, it’s good to have a way for them to defend themselves with a shield or with their own weapons.
Having the biggest and baddest weapon can be cool, but doesn’t have to be done all the time. To be honest, when I think of some characters with huge weapons, they might be trying to make up for something else. Imagine your character’s stats like it were an RPG (Attack, Defense, Speed); are they stronger than average people, faster, slower, or well-balanced in all areas? If they’re fast, a light weapon would be best advised so they can utilize their speed to its full extent in combat. If they’re strong, maybe they can deal out devastating powerful attacks with a more heavier weapon.
Keep in mind that their physical appearance (in muscle mass, weight, and height) also helps determine what your character should use. You don’t want to give an abnormally skinny male a heavy war hammer, because he’ll most likely break his arms lifting it. If your character is a girl with a small body, but is strong enough to carry a war ax, keep in mind her swings might be a bit slow or uncontrollable.
Not only do you need your OC to excel in a certain area, but have a weakness in another. Because of a character's quickness they might not be very armored, meaning they'll take more damage when hit and vice versa. A character well-knowledgable in Dust casting might have low physical strength.
Every person has their limitations, so it’s best not to “Mary Sue”/”Gary Stu” your character up. Note that everyone has some sort of weakness, so think of your own OC's weaknesses as well their strengths.
Coming to Dust
We all know what Dust is, so a detailed explanation is not necessary (if you're suffering from memory loss, refer to the World of Remnant video). Not only is it the main source of energy for literally everything in Remnant, Dust is used for artillery based weapons and even allows people to harness the basic elements of Fire, Water, Lightning, and etc.
It is best to remember that not every character has to use it (unless they use some sort of artillery weapon; Dust is the only known source of ammo as of now). Some of our canon cast members like Pyrrha Nikos and Blake Belladonna don’t rely on it too much (in regards to "magical" properties) and manage to fight just fine. You can even look at Jaune Arc as well, and you'll see he doesn't use Dust at all in combat.
In my honest opinion, it’s just something that could be an extra asset to your own character’s abilities.
Stick with What we Know
Because we know little of what Dust can do, it is advised to limit yourself to what is already known. Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Gravity, and Lightning are all natural elements that can be conjured, and from the World of Remnant video on the topic we learned that Dust can be combined to create new/stronger types.
Unfortunately, we weren't given any real examples of combining Dust together in the video; however, it has been noted of a few pairings that create secondary types such as Water+Wind would be Ice, Fire+Water turning into Steam. We may even come to an agreement that Water+Earth can be Mud or Earth+Fire creates Lava, so there are a variety of combinations that can be done.
I don’t advise branching out and saying that your character has a Dust ability that hasn’t been seen within the series yet (maybe a pure healing property), but if the effect seems plausible then I don’t think it would hurt. Going back to my Final Fantasy comparission, they might have materia for everything (fire, healing, gravity, poison, protective, etc.), though having natural Dust that can produce barriers or control aspects of time are rather OP. I'm not saying those abilities cannot be used at all, though some would fit better as a Semblance.
Because certain types of Dust, lets say a Dark elemental for example, have yet to be confirmed, go and mess around with a canon Dust crystal. Take a Red Dust crystal and turn it into a Garnet one, altering the color of the fire to a darker shade. It seems possible right? If not think about fire in general, we normally see it in a common form of reddish orange, however, the element's color can be changed due to chemical additives. With that knowledge in mind, Red Dust doesn't have to be the only one that gives the element of fire; we could have Azure Dust give an effect of Blue flames, or other types of colorings to give us a yellow, green, carmine, etc. effect. A similar thing can be said about lightning as well, and you're able to add dyes to water to change its color.
However, don't try to create your own branch of "Superior" Dust/Dust-like alternative, being a rare and more powerful source of energy. Not only is this uncannonical, but giving any OC "Super Fire Dust" makes the character more OP, even if they might suck in another aspect. And if your response to this idea is: "But this could be true." "There might be Superior Dust." that doesn't give sufficient evidence to help your case. The WoR video says "stronger types" can be created, though be careful on how powerful you make your character's Dust if you choose to do so.
-Edits being made-
I know you’re thinking about having the best weapon ever invented on this wiki, but don’t go too crazy with the idea. Using a spear that can teleport you anywhere you want, a bazooka with ammo that always has accurate aim, and swords that can cut through diamonds sound awesome, but completely OP just by itself.
You don’t have to take out the teleportation ability (turn it into a Semblance for your OC), but you can tone it down a bit. I know you want your character to go nuts and mess with your opponents, however during an RP that doesn’t sound too fun for the other person.
Everybody gets one
“Mary Sue mastered the art of a sword, has perfect accuracy with a bow and a sniper rifle, can smash your head with a war hammer in one blow, and-“
Stop right there. If that’s what you’re thinking for your character, I suggest you head back to the drawing board. Our cast in the RWBY-verse doesn’t work like that at all; you clearly see they only specialize in one weapon at least (a second one working mostly as a twin weapon, shield, or back-up). A good character normally specializes with one weapon at the most. You don’t want to give them a sword, bow, staff, sniper rifle, and a grenade launcher because nobody is skilled enough to master all of those in a short time/at a young age; in fact how would they carry all that without being a nuisance to their teammates and themselves? A coat of arms would work best with an actual Military Mercenary type OC in my opinion, and that would only consist of different guns, explosives, and a combat knife; they wouldn’t carry them all either, just bring whatever suits the mission (so technically it’s kind of an exception.)
If you want to add another weapon the best ways to go about doing so in my opinion would be one of two things:
Twin weapons- With twin weapons, you basically have two of the same weapon, which revolves around pistols, swords, gauntlets/bracers, etc. The both of them would need to have equal strengths and weaknesses to be an actual pair of twins. With the example of Yang Xiao Long, you can see from her weapons Ember Celica that she utilizes both of them in combat, not one arm more than the other. Both gauntlets are at equal strength and have the same abilities. *Because human twins don’t have to be perfectly identical, your twin weapons don’t have to fully be as well. They could have a similar design, but differ in color or one uses Fire abilities while the other uses Frost.
Main and a Sub-The second way revolves around more of a Main weapon, Sub weapon way of thinking. The main is the one you choose to fight with in normal everyday combat, while the sub can be either a back-up or defensive weapon. A common example would be a Sword and Shield, like Jaune Arc’s weapons of choice. A character’s main is the one they are most experienced using, so you can pretty much use most weapons for that (commonly swords, war hammers).
A Sub, however, should be limited to weapons weaker in power compared to your Main (like a standard pistol, knives, throwing daggers, etc.) and shouldn’t take much expertise to use. Don’t have a sword for a main weapon and then a war hammer for your secondary, because your character would have to master two forms of fighting and normally one is better. In the case of a shield, a Sub can also be used as a means of defense only tactics. The Main/Sub combo is a good idea to consider just in case your OC’s main weapon is knocked across the room. The Sub weapon is really helpful when you need to make a quick comeback in a battle.
Disposable/Copy Weapons- For this category, thing of a multitide of throwing knives or throw-away pistols.
Sometimes your OC might not even need a Sub weapon because the main works just fine when it comes to attacking and defense.
So those are my ideas on what to consider when making a weapon for your character. Hopefully it was explained well, but if not feel free to ask questions. If there is something you think I have missed or should touch up on, then please do tell me. Thanks for reading and have fun crafting a fun weapon!