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Old 01-03-2019, 09:04 PM   #1
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Flail or staff?

One of the players that I introduced to DFRPG last year has taken to it and is preparing his own campaign. This is great news because I get the rare opportunity to be a player rather than the GM. I'm working on building a cleric. (Though after my other recent thread, I'm considering morphing into a druid.) I'm torn between a quarterstaff and a shield/flail combo. The former can be a magic staff that extends my reach for spellcasting. It also fits a traditional image of an itinerant traveling priest. The latter is intriguing because I've never had a player use a flail and I've always been curious about how they function in combat. The DB and block from the shield are also helpful, but the staff leaves a hand free for doing other useful things.

I don't care so much about being "optimal," but more about making sure I understand the benefits and costs of each possibility. I'm sure I'll work the role-playing fluff to have a blast either way.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:48 PM   #2
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: Flail or staff?

Shield + Flail
Bene: Hard to defend against. Hard hitting. Good defense. Not an overused trope (for Clerics).

Mala: That good defense is singular, Block, so it's easy to get outnumbered and worn down fast (unless you get a Dwarven Flail, at which point it's the 'best' defense). Ties up both hands*. Higher ST requirement (12 vs 7).

Staff
Bene: Good defense. Good reach. Hardish hitting. Ties up both hands†.

Mala: Overused trope. Weakest damage of the options discussed.

Two-Handed Flail
Bene: Hard to defend against. Hardest hitting. Good reach. Way underused trope (for Clerics). Ties up both hands‡.

Mala: Terrible defense (unless you make it Dwarven, then still worst of the bunch, but not terrible). Requires a higher ST (13).



* It just requires you drop your weapon or shield....
† You can even attack with it one handed and if you pump ST to 14 you can attack one-handed and not lose your Parry.
‡ Pretty much going to lose your Parry if you attack one-handed, but it is still an option.
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Old 01-04-2019, 02:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Flail or staff?

Clerics, relative to DF dedicated combatants, simply aren't very good with weapons, so attacking with whatever weapon you use is likely to be a minor concern; mostly, what you are looking at is 'how good is this thing at preventing me from being killed'.

Looking at your options as a cleric:
Staff-15: You get one parry (at 12), and a second parry (at 8), which is likely no better than your dodge (likely Light encumbrance, so 8). Against ranged attacks, defense is always 8. Your weapon can be a Staff. If you do attack, 1d+5 (2d+1) crush, and it is the only weapon here with reach.
Shield+Flail: assuming a medium shield, you get one block (at 12), one parry (at 11), and then subsequent attacks would be Dodged (likely medium encumbrance, so 9). Against ranged attacks, one parry at 12, one dodge at 9. If your flail is not Dwarven, parrying will prevent attacking. If you do attack, 1d+5 crush.
Shield+Axe/Mace: assuming a medium shield, you get one block (at 12), one parry (at 12), and then subsequent attacks would be Dodged (likely medium encumbrance, so 9). Against ranged attacks, one parry at 12, one dodge at 9. If your axe/mace is not Dwarven, parrying will prevent attacking. If you do attack, 1d+5 crush or 1d+4 cut.
Shield+Broadsword: assuming a medium shield, you get one block (at 12), one parry (at 12), and then subsequent attacks would be Dodged (likely medium encumbrance, so 9). Against ranged attacks, one parry at 12, one dodge at 9. If you attack, a broadsword does 1d+3 cut, but you can also use a short staff one-handed with broadsword skill; damage is lousy (1d+2 crush) but it can be enchanted with Staff.

Shield plus staff (using broadsword skill) would probably be my choice, but all of these options have virtues.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:01 AM   #4
martinl
 
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Default Re: Flail or staff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Clerics, relative to DF dedicated combatants, simply aren't very good with weapons, so attacking with whatever weapon you use is likely to be a minor concern; mostly, what you are looking at is 'how good is this thing at preventing me from being killed'.
This. Sure you can be marginally better or worse at killing mooks in melee, but DFRPG clerics are usually middling combatants.

The exception is if you do a deliberate magically augmented combat build, with most of your spell choices aimed at buffing your combat ability - this is sort of viable but not really optimal in my experience.

In either case go shield and one handed weapon.

The case for staff is mostly flavor.
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Old 01-04-2019, 12:04 PM   #5
Expy
 
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Default Re: Flail or staff?

Hard to go wrong with Heavy (Thing On) Stick either way when it comes to fighting Evil when Evil had a 2x cr vulnerability :)

I love the flail, it's a great weapon. Cheap deceptive attacks with the caveat that you can't turn it off, basically. If you really wanted to try it out and you're not worried about being optimal like you said, I'd dare say take Holy Warrior with Faith Healing and/or Contingency Casting and skip the Cleric business altogether.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:27 PM   #6
Not
 
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Default Re: Flail or staff?

Don't think flail is an option for Holy Warrior.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Flail or staff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Not View Post
Don't think flail is an option for Holy Warrior.
It is.

Two-Handed Flail isn't option for either Clerics or Holy Warriors by RAW... but I'd argue the GM into allowing it if it were me.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:39 PM   #8
Dalin
 
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Default Re: Flail or staff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Expy View Post
If you really wanted to try it out and you're not worried about being optimal like you said, I'd dare say take Holy Warrior with Faith Healing and/or Contingency Casting and skip the Cleric business altogether.
I'm eager to try out a Holy Warrior, too, but I so rarely get to be a player that I'm eager to have a bunch of spells to mess with. I always used to enjoy the strategic and tactical possibilities that a spell list gives you in play.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:39 PM   #9
Dalin
 
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Default Re: Flail or staff?

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Two-Handed Flail isn't option for either Clerics or Holy Warriors by RAW... but I'd argue the GM into allowing it if it were me.
None of us are sticklers for this sort of thing. If you have a backstory that justifies it, it's good.
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Flail or staff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
None of us are sticklers for this sort of thing. If you have a backstory that justifies it, it's good.
Excellent.
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