I started watching the new Berserk Golden Age Arc trilogy of movies in anticipation of seeing the new series and I got to wondering what would such a thing look like in GURPS terms? Berserk is an excellent mana and the anime is quite good, but it’s the blackest of dark fantasy and I don’t recommend watching it without a little research – seriously, it’s a gut punch in the worst way at some parts.
That said, how would you construct Gut’s sword – Dragonslayer – from the anime/manga? (Note his “raider sword” that he uses during the Golden Arc, but the giant one from the manga.
Dragonslayer – Giant-sized Zweihänder
So looking at his sword a bit more I think we can calculate it’s approximate weight. Guts is 6’3” and the sword is as big as he is. Since the sword is listed as an inch or so thick in the middle of the blade and most weapons taper out toward the edge we could assume a thickness of 3/4″. The width of the sword is at least 6″ (I’d probably go with about 8″ myself). So the sword is 6 ft (long) x 8 inches (wide) x 1 inch (thick). A cubic meter of steel weighs about 8 or so tons. Assuming a lighter alloy is around 7 tons per cubic meter we get something along the following:
(Note: 1 inch is around 2.54 centimeters and most of the material I could find uses metric numbers so that’s what I’m using.)
182.88 cm (length) x 20.32 cm (wide) x 2.54 (thick) = 9438.948864 cubic centimeters
Since 1 cubic meter is about 1,000,000 cubic centimeters we get 0.0094389489 cubic meters of material. So …
0.0094389489 cubic meters x 7,000 kilograms/cubic meter = 66.07264205 kg or 145.66524134875 lbs. Rounded down Guts sword is around 146 lbs.
Looking at GURPS Fantasy-Tech 1: The Edge of Reality (p. 11) a zweihander weighs 10 lbs., has ST 14†, Reach 1-3 or 3, does swing+6 cutting or thrust+3 impaling, and has a base cost of $1,800. Flipping open GURPS Low-Tech Companion 2: Weapons and Warriors (p. 21) we see that the closest size to Guts sword is SM+3 weapon. So a SM+3 zweihander weighs 122.5 pounds, has ST 49†, Reach 1-7 or 7, does swing+21 cutting or thrust+11 impaling, and has a base cost of $22,050.
He likely has the special grips to reduce the SM by one (+0.5 CF). I’d personally call Dragonslayer a Balanced (+4 CF), Very Fine (+19 CF), Oversized Zweihander for a final cost of $540,225!
This means Guts has a minimum ST of 49 to use it two-handedly – but he uses the freaking thing one-handedly. It also means he suffers a -2 penalty to use it because it’s wrong-sized for his SM. Wielding it one-handed requires that he have a ST of 74, but suffers an unreadiness penalty – which he clearly never does so he has twice the listed ST or 98!
Guts likely doesn’t have an actual ST of 98 or even a Striking ST of 98. Since his sword is kind of his signature item I’d give him something like this to use it:
ST 20 
Striking ST +76 (Specialized, Signature weapon only, -80%) 
Huge Weapons 2 (SM) 
Huge Weapon 2 (ST) 
So for 180 points Guts can wield his massive sword and do a whooping 10d+15 impaling or 12d+25 cutting. Average thrust damage is 50 points, while average swing damage is 67 points. That’s…about right for Guts sword. That thing cleaves people in half. This doesn’t even account for Weapon Master (which raises thrust damage to 70 points and swing damage to 91). Who needs a freaking armor divisor when you do that much damage?
Picking Over the Bones
Huge weapons are one of the things associated with anime along with big eyes and small mouths. Looking at this I think I’d allow something like this in an appropriate game – heck, my Aeon game might have to have some sort of super-swordsman who does crazy things like cut cars in half.