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Old 05-19-2010, 07:20 PM   #11
Kromm
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Default Re: [MA] What's the virtue of using spears with Staff skill?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post

I'm not sure about higher levels but I can tell you there isn't any pugil sticks up to green belt or so.
One of our consultants on MA – and a personal friend – is qualifying for his MCMAP black belt ("for fun"). I'll ask about that.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:13 AM   #12
davidtmoore
 
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Default Re: [MA] What's the virtue of using spears with Staff skill?

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Originally Posted by Maz View Post
As I understand it, here is how it works:

Anyone can use a spear/polearm using Staff skill and instead use Staff stats and get the +2 to parry. It costs a Ready action to change form. And you use your Staff skill to calculate parry and so on.
I agree that it should work like that, but it's not how it works. Look them up on the table. Under "Staff" skill, the spears and polearms list crushing attacks with the side or butt of the spear, but no Parry bonus.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: [MA] What's the virtue of using spears with Staff skill?

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
This isn't any kind of weird mystery . . . it's simply a matter of Staff and Spear being related via Form Mastery, not Weapon Adaptation. Form Mastery reflects real-world styles that use distinct grips that GURPS would call "staff" and "spear" grips. Weapon Adaptation, on the other hand, represents real-world styles that use unorthodox weapons for a particular GURPS skill and never teach what GURPS considers the orthodox skill/weapon matchup. It's a judgment call, and the perks are similar in some ways, but there are both real-world and game-mechanical differences.

Anyway, just about all Spear/Staff styles – and many Polearm/Staff styles, and a few Polearm/Spear styles (the three skills inter-default) – include Form Mastery. It isn't automatic or universal because (1) not everybody who learns to use a weapon one way learns to use it both ways, and (2) even those who learn styles that teach fluid shifts can have preferred modes and/or not be very good at those shifts. Still, the perk is present in most such styles.

MCMAP is an exception because it's an unarmed style, and Spear and Staff are optional skills picked up via training that commonly occurs alongside MCMAP but that isn't part of MCMAP proper. Those skills aren't in fact taught for use with the same weapon. Spear is there for rifles with bayonets. Staff is there for pugil sticks, which "simulate" rifles with bayonets, I guess, but not especially well. There are no fluid shifts.
I get that you don't need WA to use a spear with the staff skill, the way you need WA to use a club with a fencing skill. But then, you could always build a stick style around Shortsword skill and not need it then. The reason to build it around a fencing skill at all is, presumably, because you feel the skill matches the way the style is fought and to get the greater benefits of the skill: retreating parry bonuses and better Rapid Strike penalties.

So it seems to me the reasons to combine Staff and Spear are to get the quick Reach change, to strike with the butt, and to get a better Parry. And that last one demands Weapon Adaptation. So it seems sensible to at least include Weapon Adaptation as an optional perk. Or to relax the rules and allow spears the +2 to parry when parrying with Staff skill.


Anyway, my questions have been answered. The Reach-change is a strong benefit, and the crushing attack would be at least intermittently valuable, so there is clearly some value in using the two skills. I'd still like to let spear-fighters with the Staff skill have a chance at that +2, but I'll have to think of the best way to achieve it.
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Old 05-20-2010, 04:16 AM   #14
Keeh
 
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Default Re: [MA] What's the virtue of using spears with Staff skill?

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Originally Posted by davidtmoore View Post
So it seems to me the reasons to combine Staff and Spear are to get the quick Reach change, to strike with the butt, and to get a better Parry. And that last one demands Weapon Adaptation. So it seems sensible to at least include Weapon Adaptation as an optional perk. Or to relax the rules and allow spears the +2 to parry when parrying with Staff skill.
The perk is required if you can't use the weapon with the Staff skill, which isn't the case with a spear. The example in "Switching Weapon Skills" (MA 104) doesn't mention Weapon Adaptation as a prerequisite to get the +2 to Parry when using a spear with the Staff skill.

Edit: Nevermind, I can't find a spear entry in the Staff tables, so I guess spears are just special weapons, balanced enough to be used as a fully functional quarterstaff/long staff.

Last edited by Keeh; 05-20-2010 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: [MA] What's the virtue of using spears with Staff skill?

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Originally Posted by Keeh View Post
The perk is required if you can't use the weapon with the Staff skill, which isn't the case with a spear. The example in "Switching Weapon Skills" (MA 104) doesn't mention Weapon Adaptation as a prerequisite to get the +2 to Parry when using a spear with the Staff skill.
Interesting. I hadn't read that passage. So we may have an inconsistency?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martial Arts, p. 104
Example: A warrior with a spear can wield it one-handed using Thrown Weapon (Spear), one- or two-handed with Spear, or two-handed with Staff. If he has it ready for throwing in one hand and a foe steps into melee range, he can simply declare he’s using Spear instead of Thrown Weapon at the start of his next turn. If he wants to switch to a two handed Spear grip for better thrusting damage, he’ll need a Ready maneuver. Once his spear is in that grip, he can choose to use it with either Spear or Staff at the start of each turn. Spear allows him to stab with the tip but he must parry using Spear. Staff gives him +2 to Parry but limits him to Staff techniques, crushing damage, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martial Arts, p. 230
Staff
TL Weapon Damage Reach Parry Cost Weight ST Notes
3 Dueling Bill sw+2 cr 1, 2 0U $100 6 9† Blunt pole.
or thr+2 cr 1, 2 0 – – 9† Blunt tip.
I've just realised there are no stats for spears used with Staff skill, but certainly polearms used with Staff skill appear to show in the weapon table that they get no Parry bonus.

Going from p. 104, I'm going to assume that the Staff skill automatically gives you a +2 to Parry with spears and polearms.

In that case, carry on. Nothing more to see here.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:35 AM   #16
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Default Re: [MA] What's the virtue of using spears with Staff skill?

Ok, after looking through the books, reading this thread and making one myself that answered some of my questions this is how I understand things:

Anyone can use a polearm or spear with Staff skill EXCEPT that only weapons that do not become unready can be used with staff skill, which makes sense as staff skill is only for balanced weapons. That is you cant use a weapon with double-daggers (‡) with staff skill.
[Evidence: In basic set the only polearm listed under staff is the naginata, the only polearm in the basic set that is not unready. The same is true in MA, the only polearms listed under staff is the ones without a ‡]

When using a polearm with staff it get the following stat changes:
Damage: Change to sw+2 cr/thr+2 cr. No matter what damage your weapon normally have.
Reach: Change to 1,2 (or 2,3 for polearms that normally have reach 3). The benefit of this is that it doesn't cost an action to change between reach.
Parry: Stays unchanged. You get 0U for swing, and 0 for thrust. YOU DO NOT GET +2.
ST Is unchanged as well.

Spears (unlike polearms) are a special case in that they do indeed get +2 Parry. This is backed up by the "switching skill" box in MA, and the fact that you could simply take a staff (with its +2 parry), and ad a spearpoint using the combination weapons rules, and presto, you got a spear.

---------------------------------------

Now that, that is clear I fail to see what benefit Weapon Adaptation gives using spear or polearm with Staff skill?
[edit]
After some further consideration I'm back to my original thought. That for this combinatino: polearm or spear -> staff skill. the only benefit is you only have to pay for one skill (staff) but can use all the full polearm stats OR use it as a staff.


Form Mastery has clear benefits in that it allow to switch between "staff mode" and "polearm mode" freely. I am however unsure what benefit it has with a Spear. A staff with a spearend on it (re. combination weapons) would still use staff right? just change it's dam to thr+3 imp instead of thr+2 cr? Unless you can't strike with a pointy stick without spear skill, the "switching "skill"
[edit]
Ok, I think the point here is that you simply can't strike for impaling with staff skill, even if it's a combination weapon staff with a pointy end. You HAVE to have spear skill to deal impaling dam with it.

Last edited by Maz; 05-24-2010 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:10 AM   #17
davidtmoore
 
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Default Re: [MA] What's the virtue of using spears with Staff skill?

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Originally Posted by Maz View Post
Now that, that is clear I fail to see what benefit Weapon Adaptation gives using spear or polearm with Staff skill?
The basic answer, as near as I can tell, is you don't use WA with this combination.

WA is generally used where the skills and weapons are similar, but normally the weapon wouldn't be used with the skill. E.g. scimitar with the Saber skill, shortsword with the Smallsword skill.

The write-up of the perk extends to any weapon used with any skill, but also states that most unlikely examples are not only cinematic, but silly.

The main reason to use the perk is where the skill bestows skill-related bonuses that the weapon normally doesn't; basically, it's for using non-fencing sticks and swords with the fencing skills.



WA to use a spear with Staff skill is legal, since the perk is so broad in its scope, but appears not to be counted as a realistic use. For, as near as I can tell, two reasons. First, the weapons are actually used differently. You don't stab with a staff, or fight with it one-handed, or throw it. You don't hold a spear across your body to block or strike with both ends (okay, you actually do, but part of this discussion is the difference, in GURPS terms, between Spear skill and spear-fighting). The second is because you can already use the staff skill to fight with a spear as though it were a staff.

So the first instance (fighting with a staff as though it were a spear) is considered unrealistic and the second instance (fighting with a spear as though it were a staff) doesn't require the perk.

As for the bonus, there appears to be either:

a) an oversight (The spear isn't listed under the Staff skill at all in the Basic Set or in Martial Arts, and it doesn't mention that the +2 is available anywhere except that example on Martial Arts, p. 104. So maybe you were always intended to get the +2, but this was left out.)

or b) an inconsistency or change (Certainly none of the polerarms listed under Staff skill in Martial Arts have the +2 bonus, so either the bonus is only available with the staff or spear, or there is an error on the table).

I have decided that any spear or dueling polearm, used with Staff skill, gains the +2 to Parry.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:33 AM   #18
Maz
 
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Default Re: [MA] What's the virtue of using spears with Staff skill?

Uhm, try to read the Weapon Adaptation skill again. It is allowed in a realistic game for any weapons that default to each other at -4 or less. This clearly include polearm to staff and spear to staff.

So it's all legal, also in a realistic game. The big questio nis, what d oyou get out of it? the biggest quesiton being "do polearms get +2 parry with staff skill", to which I have reached the conclusion, no they do not.

Spears does however. And to say you do not thrust with a staff is obviously wrong both from a realistic-perspective but also from a games-perspective as the staff has a THRUST dam entry.

----


So yeah, something is wonky with this perk, which is why I ask about it.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:45 AM   #19
davidtmoore
 
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Default Re: [MA] What's the virtue of using spears with Staff skill?

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Originally Posted by Maz View Post
Uhm, try to read the Weapon Adaptation skill again. It is allowed in a realistic game for any weapons that default to each other at -4 or less. This clearly include polearm to staff and spear to staff.
Thank you for your tireless pursuit of precision, but I'm talking about what, from the perk's actual use in the MA book, appears to be the intent of the perk more than what the wording of the perk says. Essentially, as near as I can tell, there's no point using the perk for anything other than the fencing skills. Or maybe for using Staff with heavy, unbalanced polearms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maz View Post
So it's all legal, also in a realistic game. The big questio nis, what d oyou get out of it? the biggest quesiton being "do polearms get +2 parry with staff skill", to which I have reached the conclusion, no they do not.

Spears does however. And to say you do not thrust with a staff is obviously wrong both from a realistic-perspective but also from a games-perspective as the staff has a THRUST dam entry.
I said "stab", not "thrust." They may be interchangable in system terms, but we're talking about using systems to reflect real-world use, and there is a difference between stabbing someone with a spear and poking them with a staff. Note that without the WA perk, you can't use Spear to make a thrusting attack with a quarterstaff, even though you can use Staff to make a blunt attack with a spear.
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:40 AM   #20
Maz
 
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Default Re: [MA] What's the virtue of using spears with Staff skill?

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Originally Posted by davidtmoore View Post
Thank you for your tireless pursuit of precision, but I'm talking about what, from the perk's actual use in the MA book, appears to be the intent of the perk more than what the wording of the perk says. Essentially, as near as I can tell, there's no point using the perk for anything other than the fencing skills. Or maybe for using Staff with heavy, unbalanced polearms.
Well you started emplying (intentional or not) that me wanting to use spears/polearms with staff was: "most unlikely examples are not only cinematic, but silly".
I had to correct you as those words are ONLY used for weapons on the other side of -4.

You are reading "it's intended use" from an example and dismissing the rest of the text. If the onyl intention with the skill was to allow to use none-fencing weapons with fencing skill then it wouldn't make sense to include several lines about how it would work with other weapons (silly or not).
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidtmoore View Post
Note that without the WA perk, you can't use Spear to make a thrusting attack with a quarterstaff, even though you can use Staff to make a blunt attack with a spear.
This is not in the rules. True, Staffs are not listed under Spear, but then, neither are Spear listed under staff. you can't just assume one can be used without also assuming it works the other way around.

Last edited by Maz; 05-24-2010 at 04:45 AM.
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