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Old 10-09-2010, 11:51 AM   #11
Dinadon
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Thought I understood the Staff/Spear issue, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trachmyr View Post
Can anyone see where I'm reading the rules for Combination Weapons wrong (on pg.214 of Martial Arts)... or tell me if it's been errat'd or clarified in another thread/book/etc.
To be honest, you're not. However I do consider it an over-site. Let's take a jo, a quarterstaff, and a long staff and compare them to a short spear, a spear, and a long spear, respectively. I'll ignore adding a pick head, but will be adding a spear head to each of jo, quarterstaff and long staff using MA's combination rules.

Firstly the jo, adding a spear head makes it cost $10 more, weigh 0.5lbs more and requires +1 ST over the short spear. However, the jo now does thr+2 imp one handed (with staff skill, since no mention is made of using it with a different skill), as well as thr+3 imp two handed. A short spear only does thr+1 imp one handed, so the pros outweigh the cons and you should have a jo with a spear head, not a short spear.

Secondly the quarterstaff, adding a spear head brings it to equal cost, weigh 0.5lbs more, but still only require 1 less ST than a spear. Both can do the same impaling damage, so that's a wash. However, the staff can do a one handed thrust at reach 1 or 2, and it doesn't take a ready maneuver for the staff to change reach*. Of the course the staff can't be thrown, but still the second point goes to the staffs.

Finally the long staff, adding a spear head leaves it at $15 less, weighs 0.5lbs more and requires +1 ST over the long staff. Again, both do the same impaling damage, and at the same reach, but the long staff doesn't require ready maneuvers to change reach*. The long spear's one handed strike has a parry of 0U, compared to the long staff's parry of +2*. Look's like the staff's win three out of three.

To me, the issue itself is caused by calling a staff a hafted weapon. To me, having a haft is synonymous with having a hilt. In other words, having a haft implies there is a head. Staffs don't have heads, so they shouldn't count as a hafted weapon.

*These pieces fall under conjecture as there is nothing explicitly stated about them.
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:25 PM   #12
Trachmyr
 
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Default Re: Thought I understood the Staff/Spear issue, but...

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Originally Posted by Dinadon View Post
To be honest, you're not. However I do consider it an over-site. Let's take a jo, a quarterstaff, and a long staff and compare them to a short spear, a spear, and a long spear, respectively. I'll ignore adding a pick head, but will be adding a spear head to each of jo, quarterstaff and long staff using MA's combination rules.

Firstly the jo, adding a spear head makes it cost $10 more, weigh 0.5lbs more and requires +1 ST over the short spear. However, the jo now does thr+2 imp one handed (with staff skill, since no mention is made of using it with a different skill), as well as thr+3 imp two handed. A short spear only does thr+1 imp one handed, so the pros outweigh the cons and you should have a jo with a spear head, not a short spear.
0.5lbs in this case represents a 25% increase in weight, and +1 ST requirement is both significant (it's a large % increase) and trivial (it affects almost no normal character). Consider the extra .5lbs to be a more significant speartip, doing +1 damage and making the spear unable to be thrown. Personaly I see no problem with this, as the short spear has a pretty small head (same damage as a javelin), I can easily understand getting more damage out of a heftier tip. The reach for the Jo/Spear is also only 1 hex, the oddity is that it seems it can be used 2-handed for better damage. I suspect either the problem is the Jo's weight is too low to begin with or the fact that a shortspear being 4+ feet in lenght SHOULD be able to be used two-handed. I see this as a viable weapon.

Quote:
Secondly the quarterstaff, adding a spear head brings it to equal cost, weigh 0.5lbs more, but still only require 1 less ST than a spear. Both can do the same impaling damage, so that's a wash. However, the staff can do a one handed thrust at reach 1 or 2, and it doesn't take a ready maneuver for the staff to change reach*. Of the course the staff can't be thrown, but still the second point goes to the staffs.
The issue of Reach is based on skill used... if you use a normal spear with staff skill you have better reach options (Kromm has verified this in a post), but you strike with the spearhead at staff-2 skill. In addition the combo staff-spear is heavier, requires more ST and can't be thrown compared to a normal spear... the ONLY benefit is the ability to thrust with the spearhead at full staff skill. The reach issue is skill based not weapon, just as you would still need spear skill to wield the weapon one-handed.

Is it balanced? I think so. But it doesn't play well with the previous assumptions on staff/spear use.

Quote:
Finally the long staff, adding a spear head leaves it at $15 less, weighs 0.5lbs more and requires +1 ST over the long staff. Again, both do the same impaling damage, and at the same reach, but the long staff doesn't require ready maneuvers to change reach*. The long spear's one handed strike has a parry of 0U, compared to the long staff's parry of +2*. Look's like the staff's win three out of three.
Again, reach & parry are issues of skill not weapon. This weapon gains +0.5lbs & +1 ST requirement (making it need ST11, so it does affect many characters) for a Thr+3 imp attack. It doesn't compare well to a Heavy Spear as that spear is heavier (enough that it is unbalanced) and does greater damage than a standard speartip. The Longstaff-Spear combo seems to fall in between the Spear and HeavySpear as far as capabilities.

Quote:
To me, the issue itself is caused by calling a staff a hafted weapon. To me, having a haft is synonymous with having a hilt. In other words, having a haft implies there is a head. Staffs don't have heads, so they shouldn't count as a hafted weapon.
However the staff is one of two weapons (the other being an axe) mentioned by name as a "common hafted weapon" to start the design process with.
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:15 PM   #13
teviet
 
Join Date: May 2005
Default Re: Thought I understood the Staff/Spear issue, but...

I don't have MA, so I hope I'm not diverting the discussion, but I have to say the Staff skill always confused me. Why can't you use Staff skill with a pointed pole? Use the same motions, but now when you thrust your damage is impaling (and maybe gets +1 or +2 penetration, cf. thrusting broadswords).

Maybe the little bit of metal at the end messes up the balance? But wait, the naginata (with a much more serious head) can be used with Staff skill, but (for some incomprehensible reason) you're only allowed to thrust with the blunt end. And somehow this restriction doesn't affect your skill at all!

Now I've never fought with staff, spear, or polearm, so I have no personal basis for a reality check. Does anyone have an explanation for this?

TeV


N.B. Back in Ancient Times (3rd edition) Staff was a Hard skill, and I could reasonably just say that Staff works with any balanced polearm, and the extra difficulty covers your improved handling and parry. But that doesn't apply any more.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:01 PM   #14
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Thought I understood the Staff/Spear issue, but...

I like, I think it was Kromm or Icelander, that came up with making staff do only swing Cr and no bonus to defenses, but with a floating +2 you could add to either one depending on how you wielded it.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:37 PM   #15
Trachmyr
 
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Default Re: Thought I understood the Staff/Spear issue, but...

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Originally Posted by teviet View Post
N.B. Back in Ancient Times (3rd edition) Staff was a Hard skill, and I could reasonably just say that Staff works with any balanced polearm, and the extra difficulty covers your improved handling and parry. But that doesn't apply any more.
I starting to think that the best solution is to allow thrusts with a spear to use staff skill at no penalty (or atleast create an Average Technique or perk to allow this)... but make Spear skill an Easy skill.

This would work very well in a prehistoric game I ran that allowed "Shortsword", "Broadsword", "Axe/Mace", etc. to take the Optional specialty of "Sticks". That would make all of our (our, as in homo sapien) first, and easy to make and use weapons an Easy skill... Knife (which includes "hand axes"), spear, and the "stick" versions of other skills.
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