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Old 02-25-2022, 07:43 AM   #1
Captain Joy
 
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Default One-Handed Staff Parry Questions

The 7† ST stat for a Quarterstaff (B273) means a Quarterstaff can be used one-handed with no readiness penalty if the wielder has a ST of 14 (B270).

Question #1: Would a Quarterstaff wielded in this way get the +2 Parry bonus? I.e. when you wield a Quarterstaff one-handed, are you still using the Staff skill to wield it, or does the Staff skill require a two-handed grip?

Question #2: Why does the Naginata (B273) not get a +2 Parry bonus when used with the Staff skill?

Last edited by Captain Joy; 03-03-2022 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Corrected ST stats per Curmudgeons correction two posts down.
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Old 02-25-2022, 08:17 AM   #2
Varyon
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Staff Parry Questions

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Originally Posted by Captain Joy View Post
The 9 ST stat for a Quarterstaff (B273) means a Quarterstaff can be used one-handed with no readiness penalty if the wilder has a ST of 18 (B270).

Question #1: Would a Quarterstaff wielded in this way get the +2 Parry bonus? I.e. when you wield a Quarterstaff one-handed, are you still using the Staff skill to wield it, or does the Staff skill require a two-handed grip?
Staff requires two hands; to use it one-handed, you'd need to use Broadsword or Spear. Personally, I think I'd be fine with just letting you use Staff (but then, I think Staff and Spear should be merged), possibly at a penalty (albeit more Familiarity than Exotic Weapon Training for negating said penalty) but you need the two hands to get the +2 to Parry.

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Question #2: Why does the Naginata (B273) not get a +2 Parry bonus when used with the Staff skill?
Because GURPS hates polearms. From what I understand, realistically, polearms can be used every bit as defensively as staves. Personally, I'm inclined to let fairly balanced ones (like the naginata, and possibly some of the dueling polearms) get the +2, while other polearms would get a +1 instead.
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Old 02-25-2022, 08:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: One-Handed Staff Parry Questions

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Originally Posted by Captain Joy View Post
The 9 ST stat for a Quarterstaff (B273) means a Quarterstaff can be used one-handed with no readiness penalty if the wilder has a ST of 18 (B270).
The ST 9 stat on B273 is for the Naginata, not the Quarterstaff. The corresponding stat for Quarterstaff is ST 7, which would make your wielder's ST 14 as per B270.

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Question #1: Would a Quarterstaff wielded in this way get the +2 Parry bonus? I.e. when you wield a Quarterstaff one-handed, are you still using the Staff skill to wield it, or does the Staff skill require a two-handed grip?
The thrusting damage line for a quarterstaff corresponds to the staff being used for a poke. A poke has the staff held in one hand while the other hand manipulates the staff forward and back, so as per B270, it always requires two hands when used in this mode regardless of ST.

Having seen videos of the quarterstaff being swung in arcs and spun, which would utilize the swing damage line, it is again clear that one hand remains steady as the fulcrum about which the staff is swung and the other hand does the rotating, which again means that as per B270, two hands are required regardless of ST.

I.E., in both instances the Quarterstaff is more like a bow or pump shotgun than not, the damage arises from the manipulation of the rest of the staff as an object moving about the held fulcrum/rest and that always requires the use of two hands regardless of the ST of the wielder.

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Question #2: Why does the Naginata (B273) not get a +2 Parry bonus when used with the Staff skill?
Perhaps the better question is, why can you use a Naginata with staff skill at all? Staff skill under Melee Weapon skill B208 states that Staff skill is for "any long, balanced pole without a striking head" and that the +2 to Parry comes from making good use of the staff's extensive parrying surface. The Naginata has a striking head. It is the Japanese version of a glaive and, as a glaive, properly should be classed as a polearm. While the Polearm skill does not mention the Naginata by name, it does specifically mention the glaive as one of the weapons covered by the skill. One can only assume that the way in which the Naginata is used makes greater use of the haft in parrying than would be the case with Western polearms and hence it is allowed the use of the Staff skill to reflect that, but having a striking head, it is ineligible for the +2 Parry that a true staff would get.
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Old 02-25-2022, 10:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: One-Handed Staff Parry Questions

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
The thrusting damage line for a quarterstaff corresponds to the staff being used for a poke. A poke has the staff held in one hand while the other hand manipulates the staff forward and back, so as per B270, it always requires two hands when used in this mode regardless of ST.
...How are you 'holding it in one hand' while manipulating it longitudinally with the other? I can't picture a geometry for this other than something like a pool cue, which I'm pretty sure is not how you'd actually thrust with a staff.
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Perhaps the better question is, why can you use a Naginata with staff skill at all? Staff skill under Melee Weapon skill B208 states that Staff skill is for "any long, balanced pole without a striking head" and that the +2 to Parry comes from making good use of the staff's extensive parrying surface. The Naginata has a striking head. It is the Japanese version of a glaive and, as a glaive, properly should be classed as a polearm. While the Polearm skill does not mention the Naginata by name, it does specifically mention the glaive as one of the weapons covered by the skill. One can only assume that the way in which the Naginata is used makes greater use of the haft in parrying than would be the case with Western polearms and hence it is allowed the use of the Staff skill to reflect that, but having a striking head, it is ineligible for the +2 Parry that a true staff would get.
What is your reasoning for having a striking head precluding the +2 parry? Yes, you've provided a reason for it precluding using Staff skill at all (a textually fine one, though IMO that's a fault of the text) but not for depriving it of the bonus if you do permit it to be so used.

Martial Arts makes references to using spears as staffs at multiple points, and to staff masters putting a spike on one end of their staff (making it a spear in all but name). For that matter, the standard GURPS quarterstaff has a (blunt) striking head.
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Old 02-25-2022, 11:06 AM   #5
DouglasCole
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Default Re: One-Handed Staff Parry Questions

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
...How are you 'holding it in one hand' while manipulating it longitudinally with the other? I can't picture a geometry for this other than something like a pool cue, which I'm pretty sure is not how you'd actually thrust with a staff.
It can be done that way; it's fast and deceptive, if less powerful than getting your whole body into it. It doesn't give a lot of motion to give you away, can be quite accurate. I've done it in sparring, though not a lot.

Using both hands and combining that with body movement is stronger (obviously) but also more obvious.

All of this is "fluff text" for want combination of various combat options and maneuvers from martial arts and basic are you using, including Deceptive, Defensive, Telegraphic, Committed, All-Out, or throwing in some perks here and there. Obviously not all at once. :-)
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Old 02-25-2022, 12:48 PM   #6
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Staff Parry Questions

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Staff requires two hands; to use it one-handed, you'd need to use Broadsword or Spear.
This agrees with a conversation I had with Kromm long ago. If you were strong enough you could use a two-handed sword in one hand but Skill became Broadsword.

I believe there's text in MA to this effect.
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Old 02-25-2022, 10:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: One-Handed Staff Parry Questions

in the case where you have enough ST to wield a 2H weapon one-handed without penalty, I'd let you get bonuses for using 1H w/ 2H if you used a 2nd hand anyway
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Old 02-25-2022, 11:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: One-Handed Staff Parry Questions

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in the case where you have enough ST to wield a 2H weapon one-handed without penalty, I'd let you get bonuses for using 1H w/ 2H if you used a 2nd hand anyway
Most weapons that have both a 1h and 2h entry are at -1 to damage when used 1h, relative to when used 2h, and I'd be inclined to maintain this when using an exclusively-two-handed weapon with one hand (due to high ST). There are two additional options in Martial Arts that would make using the weapon in two hands preferable. First off, under "A Matter of Inches" (MA110), there's the option for weapons that you have twice the MinST for (necessary to wield one-handed without issues) to get a +2 bonus to make or resist a feint, and to also apply this to offset the iteration penalty for multiple Parries in one turn. A 2h weapon wielded in 1h should be treated (at least for these purposes - I don't think it's appropriate to treat such like this when it comes to determining maximum ST) as having MinST equal to the minimum to wield it 1h without issues, so unless you greatly exceed the weapon's MinST, using it in two hands works better here. The other option, only available for Reach 2+ weapons (but a quarterstaff certainly qualifies), is "Parrying with Two-Handed Weapons" (MA123), which gives slightly improved performance against dual-weapon attacks and also cuts the iteration penalty for multiple Parries in one turn in half. If combining the two options, treat the "halved penalty" as being just like Trained by a Master / Weapon Master - apply the weapon weight-induced reduction first, then halve the result, for -1 per additional Parry.

So, for a Quarterstaff, if you have ST 14, you can:
Wield two-handed with Staff, as normal, and get the +2 to Parry for being a Staff weapon and only suffer a -1 per additional Parry
or
Wield one-handed with an appropriate skill (Staff if the GM allows it, Broadsword or Spear otherwise), be at -1 to damage, Parry at +0, and suffer -4 per additional Parry. Note if using Spear, you probably will lose the option to swing, being restricted to thrust.
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Old 02-26-2022, 02:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: One-Handed Staff Parry Questions

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Originally Posted by Captain Joy View Post
Question #1: Would a Quarterstaff wielded in this way get the +2 Parry bonus? I.e. when you wield a Quarterstaff one-handed, are you still using the Staff skill to wield it, or does the Staff skill require a two-handed grip?
Yes. Because your grip and arm ST is so massive, you can easily keep the weapon from being knocked aside by weapon blows as it parries.

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Question #2: Why does the Naginata (B273) not get a +2 Parry bonus when used with the Staff skill?
Possibly because the bladed end interferes with balance just enough to mess with Parrying.

More likely it seems like an oversight. Any light, relatively balanced pole type weapon should get a bonus to Parry if used with Staff skill using a Defensive Grip.
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Old 03-03-2022, 05:49 PM   #10
Captain Joy
 
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Default Re: One-Handed Staff Parry Questions

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
This agrees with a conversation I had with Kromm long ago. If you were strong enough you could use a two-handed sword in one hand but Skill became Broadsword.

I believe there's text in MA to this effect.
I could not find this in Martial Arts. Anyone else have any luck?
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