One of the most obvious ways to mark an individual as noteworthy, Badass
, or just apart from the crowd in fiction, especially in video games and action stories, is to make them an Improbable Weapon User
and blademasters often are given truly bizarre melee weapons, notable protagonists in settings with firearms are equipped with unusual and Rare Guns
. The logic behind this is simple but faulty — if a weapon is harder to acquire or more difficult to learn to use, it goes, it must be worth the extra time and effort to acquire one and train with it.
The problem with this is simple: while a sufficiently trained individual can
turn almost any weapon into a lethal tool of destruction, standard-issue weapons are standard-issue because they work
, and work well, with a minimum of training, and are thus more worth the time than the bizarre and the extraordinary. Furthermore, while exotic weapons might give inexperienced people difficulty because of their unfamiliarity with the mechanics of the weapon, the difference is more than made up at higher skill levels, where the limitations of a weapon become much more significant.
A prime Real Life example of this comes with the sword in western society. It was considered a nobleman's weapons for two reasons. Firstly, because they are more expensive to make. And secondly, because while pretty much anyone can pick up an axe or a club and hit someone over the head with it, using a sword effectively requires training that only the wealthy, or at the very least professional soldiers (which there weren't all that many of in ancient times) could afford.
It may have once been that knights were better equipped than the men-at-arms under them, but especially in modern-day stories such notions are mostly out of place. Exotic weapons are, well, exotic, because they aren't practical for mass production or usage. Even if they are an effective weapon, don't expect to see them used properly
Contrast Heroes Prefer Swords
Related tropes include: