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Old 03-11-2022, 03:11 PM   #51
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: [Low-Tech] Smallsword with the Bronze Age 'Rapier?'

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Before this thread vanishes completely I want to pose the question of "What about fencing with shortswords?".
Smallswords were fairly long and narrow blades, unclear how well it would translate to a shorter, thicker blade, but I'd probably just say you can fence with any balanced blade as long as you have 150% of its required ST.
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Old 03-11-2022, 04:31 PM   #52
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: [Low-Tech] Smallsword with the Bronze Age 'Rapier?'

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Before this thread vanishes completely I want to pose the question of "What about fencing with shortswords?".

We'd be talking about TL2 blades with real tangs and pommels being used by adventurous types without heavy armor (to the extent it even existed in the time period) or shields (most of which were quite large and bulky).

This would be the sort of thing you saw in many of the movies of the "sword and sandals" genre of the 60s because the available swordmasters didn't know much outside of western academic fencing.

In favor of the proposition the blades in question were faster and better balanced than later long swords. Smallsword Skill also says "Any light thrusting sword". You would be excluding the heaviest swords of the gladius type (most of them over 2 lbs) and non-thrusting blades like the khopis or falcata.

Other than those I'm not seeing huge arguments agist it.
Well, in GURPS RAW you see if the weapon in question is listed in GURPS Low Tech under the appropriate skill. IIRC, GURPS Martial Arts preferred Shortsword skill for styles like this.

In my proposed house rules, you could try it, but it does not offer good hand protection and lacks length for rules like Contesting Waits and A Matter of Inches (GURPS Martial Arts). And defaults between Melee Weapon skills would be much less punitive anyways (although i think Sword to Fencing is not so harsh).

Realistically, in situations like that you wrapped your cloak around your left arm. Ancient art, biographies, and novels show this.
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Old 03-11-2022, 09:05 PM   #53
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: [Low-Tech] Smallsword with the Bronze Age 'Rapier?'

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
(although i think Sword to Fencing is not so harsh).
Smallsword and Shortsword mutually Default at -4. That's only one better than the Default to Dex.

This might be a decent candidate for a Skill Adaptation Perk.
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Old 03-16-2022, 03:45 AM   #54
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: [Low-Tech] Smallsword with the Bronze Age 'Rapier?'

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Before this thread vanishes completely I want to pose the question of "What about fencing with shortswords?".
Entirely possible, given well-balanced blades and a "refused" blade-forward stance.

As you mention, Hollywood movies of the 1930s to 1960s proved the point (so to speak) that it's possible to use a Shortsword or Broadsword with Saber or Rapier technique.

The only drawbacks are that they're a bit heavy for the purpose and you give up your ability to make devastating swing attacks, since all but the most committed swing attacks from a fencing stance are limited to using the muscles of the shoulder, arm, and wrist.

In GURPS terms, you effectively have -1 or -2 per die of damage with Swinging attacks and Min ST goes up, but you might gain an extra yard of Reach due to change in stance. A non-fencing weapon will be sufficiently awkward that it doesn't get a Fencing parry, but it should get a +1 bonus to Parry other thrusting weapons. Parry modifier vs. Swinging attacks is 0.

As a suggestion:


Saber (Broadsword-4, Shortsword-4)

Weapon Dam Reach Parry Cost Wgt ST
Thrusting Broadsword sw-1 cut 1,2 +1 $600 3 11
thr+2 imp 1,2 +1 - - 11
Shortsword sw-1 cut 1 +1 $400 2 9
thr imp 1 +1 2 - - 9

Last edited by Pursuivant; 03-16-2022 at 04:02 AM.
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