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Old 12-07-2021, 08:51 AM   #1
Prince Charon
 
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Default [Low-Tech] The Disc Mace

Recently ran across Skallagrim's video on disc maces (a bit over twenty-one minutes long), and found myself wondering how they might be statted (swing/cutting, maybe? some seem sharp enough), and how they'd work in a game.

On a related note, if you don't take the head off (or can't do so conveniently), what is the best way to carry a disc mace (or worse, a spiked mace) while traveling? Over your shoulder, maybe? With the head end in a box attached to your carrying gear (backpack, belt, bandolier, harness, whatever)?
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:17 AM   #2
malloyd
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] The Disc Mace

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
Recently ran across Skallagrim's video on disc maces (a bit over twenty-one minutes long), and found myself wondering how they might be statted (swing/cutting, maybe? some seem sharp enough), and how they'd work in a game.
They don't seem all that sharp, ground stone basically never is. It seems to me that whatever rule you'd use for flanges (for GURPS that's already assumed to be the default for maces) should work OK.

It's basically weighted club with one flange. Yeah it runs all the way around it and is perpendicular to the usual way flanges are placed on cast mace heads, but I don't see that makes a lot of difference.
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:53 AM   #3
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] The Disc Mace

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It seems to me that whatever rule you'd use for flanges (for GURPS that's already assumed to be the default for maces) should work OK.

I.
Flanges are the default. No flanges gives you the +3 swing of the round headed Mace from MA and Low Tech.

From somewhere I recall that stone maces are treated as "normal" for round headed maces. So ths thing is probably +3.

For long distance travel you probably sling the mace from a hook on your saddle. If you're walking you jsut carry it in your hand. The haft is probably too short to make over the shoulder comfortable.
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Old 12-07-2021, 10:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] The Disc Mace

It's likely at most a way to get the effect of a flanged mace with earlier technology. How effective (and durable) it is might be debatable. If truly sharp, you've just got a stone axe with an odd mounting.
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Old 12-07-2021, 01:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] The Disc Mace

It certainly looks possible for a metal version to be sharpened. It should then do cutting damage, but possibly limited by the inherent low depth of penetration.
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Old 12-08-2021, 08:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] The Disc Mace

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It's likely at most a way to get the effect of a flanged mace with earlier technology. How effective (and durable) it is might be debatable. If truly sharp, you've just got a stone axe with an odd mounting.
That seems reasonable. And the tools with a blade at the same kind of angle to the haft are the adze (treated as a hatchet at -2 to hit) and the hoe (much lighter than any "equivalent" weapon on its table, but comparable to a small axe -2 to hit -1 damage). Presumably anything weaponized would be balanced well enough not to take a to hit penalty, so using the statistics for an Axe or Two Handed Axe of similar weight seems precedented too.
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Old 12-08-2021, 08:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] The Disc Mace

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It certainly looks possible for a metal version to be sharpened. It should then do cutting damage, but possibly limited by the inherent low depth of penetration.
That's an axe
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Old 12-08-2021, 09:01 AM   #8
Anders
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] The Disc Mace

Yeah, that's an axe.
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Old 12-08-2021, 06:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] The Disc Mace

I'd start with the stats for a TL0 Small Round Mace, since you're losing mass in favor of having a wider, narrower head. The video presenter gives the mass of one stone head as ~.75 lbs., so add about 1 lb. for a 2.5-3' long haft. That gives it a mass of 2 lbs., so base the rest of the stats on a Hatchet.

The head's shape gives slightly better initial penetration vs. DR, but ultimate penetration depth is limited by its width. For stone weapons, the disc shape makes it slightly less durable. For metal weapons, the weak point becomes the shaft directly below the head and it becomes more efficient to turn the head 90 degrees and turn it into an axe. Its design prevents it from being an effective thrown weapon.

It's clearly a lethal head-smasher, probably more so than a normal round mace, but no more effective than a TL3 flanged or spiked mace would be, and with less efficient performance vs. rigid armor. The flange on the end is just wide enough that it can be used to hook.

Notional statistics:

TL0, Small Disc Mace, Dmg: sw cr, Reach 1, Parry: 0U, $15, Wgt: 2.5 lbs., ST 8

Notes: Can't be thrown. Can Hook. Normally made of stone.

Optionally, does +1 damage vs. flexible DR including skull DR, but only to punch through DR. Might need to roll for breakage if it strikes rigid DR it can't penetrate.

This fits into the gap for Ace/Mace crushing weapons below the Small Round Mace entry.

Expanding the idea:

TL0, Disc Mace, Dmg: sw+1 cr, Reach 1, Parry: 0U, $25, Wgt: 3.5, ST: 10

Can be used with Ace/Mace or Two-Handed Axe/Mace skill. Increase damage by +1 and reduce ST to 9T.

TL0, Heavy Disc Mace, Dmg: sw+2 cr. Reach 1,2, Parry: 0U, $20, Wgt: 4.5 ST: 11T.

Uses Two-Handed Axe/Mace skill.

These all fit into the niche between Round Maces and War Clubs.

As for your second question, carrying unbalanced melee weapons is a bit of a hassle, especially if the heavy end is allowed to swing.

For 1-handed weapons, the simplest method of carrying is to stick the weapon in your belt.

The most comfortable form of long-term carrying is a belt loop or belt sheath like those used to carry folding shovels, with the head of the weapon next to the belt so it doesn't swing. Put a leather bag or purpose-made rigid leather cover over the head of sharp weapon for safety.

Stuffing the weapon into your belt or carrying it in a typical sheath prevents Fast-Draw, however, and requires several seconds of Readying. A fantasy or high-tech breakaway rig would allow Fast-Draw. It might cost 2-3 times the cost of an ordinary weapon sheath.

Small maces, like trench maces, were just attached to the user's hand by a lanyard or allowed to swing from the pommel of a war saddle. In the latter case, the the horse's tack and/or armor protected it from injury. WW1 trench raiders might carry the mace in their off hand, with a pistol in their dominant hand.

Big maces, in so much as they ever existed historically, have to be carried like 2-handed axes.

Last edited by Pursuivant; 12-08-2021 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 12-09-2021, 08:31 AM   #10
Prince Charon
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] The Disc Mace

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
I'd start with the stats for a TL0 Small Round Mace, since you're losing mass in favor of having a wider, narrower head. The video presenter gives the mass of one stone head as ~.75 lbs., so add about 1 lb. for a 2.5-3' long haft. That gives it a mass of 2 lbs., so base the rest of the stats on a Hatchet.

<SNIP for space>
Very detailed and interesting. Thank you.
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