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Old 08-18-2010, 03:12 PM   #11
Ze'Manel Cunha
 
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The 'Jian' in Martial Arts is long enough to get Reach 1,2 on a thrust. That's longer than the vast majority of Jians I've seen or heard about, but I didn't write Martial Arts.
The two-handed jians with 30"-36" blades are clearly long enough for Reach 1,2. The one handed jians with 28"+ blades might also long enough, I'd say the 20"-24" bladed jians are clearly not.

[Edit]
Personally I'd probably say that any sword with a 28"+ blade can be Reach 1,2 if the wielder has a long enough reach.
After all, aren't most katanas under 28" in blade? and they're Reach 1,2 with Broadsword skill.

Last edited by Ze'Manel Cunha; 08-18-2010 at 05:02 PM. Reason: wielder's reach
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
The two-handed jians with 30"-36" blades are clearly long enough for Reach 1,2. The one handed jians with 28"+ blades are also long enough, I'd say the 20"-24" bladed jians are clearly not.

Personally I'd probably say that any sword with a 28"+ blade can be Reach 1,2.
Assuming that Reach doesn't actually vary by the individual*, any weapon capable of attacking at Reach 2 needs to be long enough so that it's blade length + 30"-32" is enough to reach well into said hex.

Remember, punches are Reach C, so the blade really needs to add more than a yard to what a normal punch can reach.

Full-extension lunges or jabs are All-Out Attack (Long) or Extra Effort: Great Lunge.

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
After all, aren't most katanas under 28" in blade? and they're Reach 1,2 with Broadsword skill.
No, they aren't. Most katanas are, in GURPS terms, Late Katana.

The Reach 1,2 example that weights 3.33 lbs. from the Basic Set is a nodachi or something very close to it. 36"+ inches in length.

*i.e. that Reach is listed for an 'average' arm length and significant variation from this is worth points.
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:18 PM   #13
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Assuming that Reach doesn't actually vary by the individual*, any weapon capable of attacking at Reach 2 needs to be long enough so that it's blade length + 30"-32" is enough to reach well into said hex.

Remember, punches are Reach C, so the blade really needs to add more than a yard to what a normal punch can reach.

Full-extension lunges or jabs are All-Out Attack (Long) or Extra Effort: Great Lunge.
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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
No, they aren't. Most katanas are, in GURPS terms, Late Katana.

The Reach 1,2 example that weights 3.33 lbs. from the Basic Set is a nodachi or something very close to it. 36"+ inches in length.
Nodachi isn't a real term for anything, afaik, it's like saying chainmailring armor.

Odachi are two-handed greatswords which aren't balanced one handed weapons, they weigh in at 3.75+ lbs and do have blades that are 36"+, by definition.

Katanas, aka tachis, aka daitos, are paired to the wielder's height, someone below 1.65m (5'5") would wield a 28" katana, which historically was tall in Japan, so most katanas are under 28" in blade length.

A 30" katana would be wielded by someone 6'.

The biggest katanas made were 33"-34" in blade length and meant to be wielded by people over 6'4".


You seem to be confusing the issue and mixing blades meant for taller people vs. normal blades used by average height wielders.
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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Nodachi isn't a real term for anything, afaik, it's like saying chainmailring armor.
I don't speak Japanese, but a field sword in the size and weight range of a Western longsword is a real thing.

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Odachi are two-handed greatswords which aren't balanced one handed weapons, they weigh in at 3.75+ lbs and do have blades that are 36"+, by definition.
Odachi/nodachi are terms so confused by different scholars and competing claims as to be almost unusable.

I find the progression of tanto/shoto/daito logical enough. The famous swords would then be wakizazhi < tachi/katana (depending on how they are carried) < nodachi < odachi. But since this is clean and logical, it is likely to be ahistorical and an invention of latter-day scholars.

No matter.

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
Katanas, aka tachis, aka daitos, are paired to the wielder's height, someone below 1.65m (5'5") would wield a 28" katana, which historically was tall in Japan, so most katanas are under 28" in blade length.

A 30" katana would be wielded by someone 6'.

The biggest katanas made were 33"-34" in blade length and meant to be wielded by people over 6'4".
I know. And this is utterly irrelevant.

A typical GURPS character is not 5'5", he's 5'9". And when he wields a katana, it is Reach 1. That's the game rules and I agree that they represent reality well enough.

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You seem to be confusing the issue and mixing blades meant for taller people vs. normal blades used by average height wielders.
I didn't write the stats for the Katana in GURPS. Nor did I write the explanatory note in MA that clearly states that these stats do not represent a typical historical katana, but instead a blade closer to a two-handed nodachi.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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I didn't write the stats for the Katana in GURPS. Nor did I write the explanatory note in MA that clearly states that these stats do not represent a typical historical katana, but instead a blade closer to a two-handed nodachi.
You made me go back into the playtest notes, the Basic Set Katana is listed at 5 lbs, which is clearly an odachi.

MA decided to go with nodachi because that's become a common term, but the clarification which said "Also called an "odachi," in the Nodachi description got dropped during the weight revision which gave us the "Late Katana" and then made the katana in the Basic Set into an Odachi instead of the clarification that the Basic Set 5 lbs katana weight included a 2 lbs wooden sheath.

Revising what I said earlier, the cut-off for 1,2 should be at 2 yards from tip of weapon to wielder's rear hip.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:21 PM   #16
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
You made me go back into the playtest notes, the Basic Set Katana is listed at 5 lbs, which is clearly an odachi.

MA decided to go with nodachi because that's become a common term, but the clarification which said "Also called an "odachi," in the Nodachi description got dropped during the weight revision which gave us the "Late Katana" and then made the katana in the Basic Set into an Odachi instead of the clarification that the Basic Set 5 lbs katana weight included a 2 lbs wooden sheath.
According to High-Tech, all listed blade weights include a sheath that weights approximately 1/3 of the total weight.

This produces reasonable results for most of the listed weapons, but ironically produces light-ish Japanese swords. It's perfectly reasonable to add up to a pound or so to them without changing the stats any (unless using some very precise rules for the effect of weight, either my house rules or something from CCoI).

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Revising what I said earlier, the cut-off for 1,2 should be at 2 yards from tip of weapon to wielder's rear hip.
While arm length is does not cost points, I think that Reach should be calculated from a hypothetical 'average' combatant. And note that in order to quality for a given Reach, the vast majority of attacks must be possible at that Reach. Simply being able to stick the sword out a given length in full-extension does not imply being able to use it for all full-powered attacks. There are options to represent such a full-extension.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

I can't remember. Are there rules for negative sized weapon wielders adjusting reaches like the page for positive sized guys?
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:36 PM   #18
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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I can't remember. Are there rules for negative sized weapon wielders adjusting reaches like the page for positive sized guys?
Not in Basic.

The various weapon scaling systems, do, of course, make weapons scaled for smaller wielders have shorter Reach.
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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It's intended to co-exist. You may imagine it as a schiavona, for example.

It differs from the Edged Rapier only in that it costs $300 less and has Reach 1 and not Reach 1,2; which is significant in many cases.

From the Jian it differs only by the Reach on a thrust, which for a Jian is 1,2. I'm inclined to say that many (most) Jian are actually Cut-and-Thrust Swords and that the example in MA is one that happens to just peak over a breakpoint for the next hex.

In a game where the difference between Reach 1 and Reach 1,2 never becomes significant, this weapon is utterly pointless. In a game which is likely to use Close-Combat penalties (by RAW, -8 for the Jian and -4 for the Cut-and-Thrust Sword) and/or feature tactical combat where having an extra hex of Reach is a powerful advantage, the choice between one or the other could be the difference between life or death. Or an important characterisation point, of course.
Fair enough- the different reach is a significant stat difference. The 16th and 17th centuries aren't my field, so I can't say whether the difference is really needed. You do already have the three sword types I mentioned, with the Basket Hilt option, to represent a Schiavona though. Edit: Also, a point-savvy fencer would just buy Weapon Adaptation (Thrusting Broadsword with Rapier skill) to get a cheaper, more damaging weapon with the same reach and fencing parry as the Cut-And-Thrust Sword.

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I think you'd be better off denoting what the blade length for your nomenclature is.

After all, if I set schiavona blade lengths as between 36" - 42", one handed jians as 25" - 31", and two-handed jians as 30" - 36" and you have completely different numbers in mind, we'll be talking at cross purposes.
Agreed. I think that should be the first step in any attempt to tighten up the GURPS weapons stats to represent something specifically historical. "A Spear is a weapon 5-7' long with a tapered hardwood shaft and a sharp metal point" for example.

My feeling is that a one-handed weapon becomes Reach 1, 2 around 40`` of total length. Add a few inches for a two-handed weapon.
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Last edited by Polydamas; 08-18-2010 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: On Swords, Blades and the Song of Swords

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Fair enough- the different reach is a significant stat difference. The 16th and 17th centuries aren't my field, so I can't say whether the difference is really needed. You do already have the three sword types I mentioned, with the Basket Hilt option, to represent a Schiavona though.
This is true. However, the average jian, for example, would also have Cut-and-Thrust sword and only the very largest examples would use the stats from MA.

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Edit: Also, a point-savvy fencer would just buy Weapon Adaptation (Thrusting Broadsword with Rapier skill) to get a cheaper, more damaging weapon with the same reach and fencing parry as the Cut-And-Thrust Sword.
Note that I mention the possibility in my house rules. As you'll note in MA, no style includes Weapon Adaptation (Broadsword with Rapier), even though there might be historical evidence for such for some of them.

I think that this is partly realism and partly game balance. Using a weapon in a fencing stance and with a fencing grip probably should not allow for full Broadsword damage. While I allow the aformentioned Weapon Adaptation Perk, I reduce damage for any weapon used in a fencing mode to the maximum base damage of sw cut and thr+1 imp (other bonuses add normally).

So a broadsword used with Weapon Adaptation would actually have the exact same stats as a Cut-and-Thrust Sword. The difference is simply that such a weapon (slightly shorter and broader than the Cut-and-Thrust Sword, by default) could also be used with Broadsword skill for a +1 to damage.

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Agreed. I think that should be the first step in any attempt to tighten up the GURPS weapons stats to represent something specifically historical. "A Spear is a weapon 5-7' long with a tapered hardwood shaft and a sharp metal point" for example.
Spears are a good example of weapons where the listed Reach in GURPS is simply wrong. If a one-handed longsword, jian or Basic Set katana is Reach 1,2; then a one-handed Spear is certainly Reach 1,2*.

I'm hoping CCoI fixes this.

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My feeling is that a one-handed weapon becomes Reach 1, 2 around 40`` of total length. Add a few inches for a two-handed weapon.
It also depends on how it's used. In general, you need only a few inches of blade to make a thrusting attack, but you can't make a full-power swing at full-extension. So a weapon with Reach 1,2 for both the swing and the thrust needs to be longer than a weapon which gets Reach 1,2 only for the thrust and Reach 1 for the swing.
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