Athas is a wonder of technological advancement. Likewise, there are many ancient weapons still in use.
As mentioned on the Weapons and Armor pages, all weapons and armor have the possibility to be “socketed”. When you purchase a socketed weapon or armor (again, at 10x the base cost), it is considered to have 4 sockets and is a +4 weapon or armor. Weapons and armor higher than +4 must be found/acquired through normal adventuring or awards. In either case, this is how the sockets are handled.
All weapons or armor, regardless of total plus-bonus, will only have 4 sockets. Any of the weapon or armor special abilities, listed on the website can be socketed into the weapon. Each special ability takes up 1 socket, but contributes to the total plus-bonus regardless.
Example: you buy a socketed weapon and it is +4 with 4 sockets. That means you can put in 4 +1 abilities, one for each socket. Put in only one and the weapon will be a +3 with the ability you socketed. Put in two and the weapon will be a +2 with the 2 abilities you socketed, and so on. Or you can put in one +4 ability (if you can afford it) and though you still have 3 slots, the weapon only has that one +4 ability. You can mix and match the sockets, abilities and pluses, but for each plus an ability conveys, it takes away that much from the overall plus-bonus, and the max hit/damage bonus that can apply is +5. So, if you found and/or were awarded a +7 weapon and you only socketed one +1 ability, the weapon will only be +5 and have that one ability. The extra plus would be wasted.
Apart from these rules, all modern weapons (melee included) can use any of the special abilities for their appropriate weapon (i.e. melee abilities for melee weapons and ranged abilities for ranged weapons, firearms included).
A special note however, because of the scarcity of magic, most of these “magic” weapons and abilities are either psionic or “super-science”. They have the same listed affect, but they are not magic in the traditional sense. This does not change how they work, but a detect magic spell will not detect these weapons and armor, but a detect psionics will, even if they’re “super-science”.
Know your rights! The various “Carry” laws are the same on Athas as they are in our world. Below is how each city-state views them. If the Column for the Carry has a “Y”, then it is allowed in that city-state. If it has an “N”, then it is illegal.
|Open Carry||Concealed Carry||Magical Carry|
This means you must carry your weapon openly. This applies to both firearms and melee weapons. Though it is allowed in the above city-states, they still require a permit to do so. If you do not have a permit, then you will be fined up to 1000c (2d10 x 10). On your 3rd offense, you might have up to 4 months in jail (1d4).
Like open carry, but you can conceal your weapon on your person, if possible. Obviously, that two-handed sword is not going to conceal very well, but retractable weapons, and of course, small firearms can be concealed. Also like open carry, you must have a permit in the cities were it is allowed. The same fines and jail times apply if you do not have he permit, or if you’re caught in a city where it is not allowed.
If it’s a magic weapon, it falls under the city’s weapon carry law. If it is a magic item that can cause harm (e.g. it does damage through a cast spell like with a wand or staff), it is considered a weapon and again is beholden to the weapon laws. If it is a magic item with no overt harmful effects, then it is allowed by the Magic Carry law. With Magic Carry it is always “open carry”, but since some objects are actual articles of clothing, or just small, instead you must point out any magic items on your person to the authority in question when they ask.