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 Post subject: Using a 20' long weapon in combat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:26 am 
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First, Eric, this isn't at all trying to nerf anything :) I just need to understand how this is supposed to work for the future.

The Long Spear (Pike) is a weapon that's a 20' long stick with a spearhead. It has 20' Reach. I understand that Reach has disadvantages attacking something closer than it's reach amount. However, I have trouble suspending my disbelief at how it can be moved around in any fashion within an enclosed space and hit targets that aren't side by side.

My question is really this:
1) Do I need to worry about that? Are we to, for the sake of mechanics, assume the pike is like any weapon and just let it be used as written in any situation? (Basically don't add any 'cover' modifiers to people 20' away in the midst of melee combat, etc.)
2) Do we make on the fly rulings that keep things realistic? Does the pike wielder need an amount of space behind him (opposite side of the direction he is attacking) in order to adjust the length for attacking? Do I add 'cover' bonuses for enemies that are in melee with people in between the attacker and the target, etc.?)

I'm okay with either response but it's one of those things that I want to ensure is done as consistently as possible for the player.

Thanks,
John

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 Post subject: Re: Using a 20' long weapon in combat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:24 pm 
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There is a local player who has a pike he likes to use with sweeping strike. No it's not remotely realistic. At the same time it's completely legal under the rules. We tease him some about it. But it's not unbalancing vis a via other options. He plays a Ss'ressen. Talking lizard-men aren't necessarily realistic either...

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 Post subject: Re: Using a 20' long weapon in combat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:52 pm 
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Talking lizards are part of the world. There is always physics and mechanics to deal with even in a fantasy world. Otherwise my pistol bullets could fly forever to hit anything I wanted. I could also run over ceilings if I wanted. Some realism is warranted. The game assigns cover penalties for firing past obstacles and into melee. Would it be appropriate to use that for swinging around a 20' piece of wood amongst a crowded combat in a small space?

John

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 Post subject: Re: Using a 20' long weapon in combat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:12 pm
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Harliquinn wrote:
Talking lizards are part of the world. There is always physics and mechanics to deal with even in a fantasy world. Otherwise my pistol bullets could fly forever to hit anything I wanted. I could also run over ceilings if I wanted. Some realism is warranted. The game assigns cover penalties for firing past obstacles and into melee. Would it be appropriate to use that for swinging around a 20' piece of wood amongst a crowded combat in a small space?


Realistically? Probably.

However, this is a game and I think it's much better simply to treat the long spear like any other melee weapon (eg no cover because it's melee - just the reach penalties if <20' away).

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 Post subject: Re: Using a 20' long weapon in combat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:24 pm 
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wilcoxon wrote:
Harliquinn wrote:
Talking lizards are part of the world. There is always physics and mechanics to deal with even in a fantasy world. Otherwise my pistol bullets could fly forever to hit anything I wanted. I could also run over ceilings if I wanted. Some realism is warranted. The game assigns cover penalties for firing past obstacles and into melee. Would it be appropriate to use that for swinging around a 20' piece of wood amongst a crowded combat in a small space?


Realistically? Probably.

However, this is a game and I think it's much better simply to treat the long spear like any other melee weapon (eg no cover because it's melee - just the reach penalties if <20' away).


I'm fine with that if that's the intent. It does make for some interesting tactics I suppose and if there are no drawbacks to carrying it around, then more power to the pike wielders. It just struck me as very odd.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Using a 20' long weapon in combat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:01 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:45 pm
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Harliquinn wrote:
First, Eric, this isn't at all trying to nerf anything :) I just need to understand how this is supposed to work for the future.


Actually John, you beat me to the punch on this one. I found it hard to justify last night as well. Plus in the confines of a tight fight like we had last night, it is pretty unwieldy to maneuver away from the target to avoid the negatives to hit. A 15' reach or even a 10' reach weapon would be much more useful, but 15' pikes don't exist under current rules. The only 10' reach weapon I can find is the Great Trident which the Coryani don't use. All the other pole arms don't have reach.

Personally I'd like the option of taking a hatchet to my 20' pole and cutting it down a little. But without crafting rules in the Campaign document, and without any support in RAW, I don't see how I can at the moment.

Begging anyone official: Can I PRETTY PLEASE cut my pike down to size?

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 Post subject: Re: Using a 20' long weapon in combat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:43 pm 
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I never looked, but I'm surprised there aren't any spears or weapons with regular 10' reach.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Using a 20' long weapon in combat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:07 pm 

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Yea I just double checked. Only the Great Trident, Long Spear, and Whip (Regular leather kind) have reach. The Long Spear only comes in a 20' reach version. The Great Trident only is a regional weapon for Milandir. The Whip is only a regional weapon for Pirate Isles. The Long Spear is the most common reach weapon as it is regional for : Almeric, Canceri, Coryan, Hinterlands Censure, Milandir, Unsealed Lands : Bastion, and Yamandragore. But the only choices for spear length is the Light spear, which is One Handed, and the Long Spear which is 20'. There is currently no choice for a middle ground in spear length.

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 Post subject: Re: Using a 20' long weapon in combat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:08 pm 

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The only 10' reach weapons are the Great Trident and (sort of) some other weapons that have Long Strike trick (so they're only 5' reach but can get to 10').

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 Post subject: Re: Using a 20' long weapon in combat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:05 pm 
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From my POV, you treat it as is. The rules obviously took into account that it's harder to hit targets under your reach distance. And the fact that the pike is even available for use means that it was intentionally added. The reality that pikes were only used in formation fighting is a point of realism that needs to be abstracted away in order to have the necessary level of playability. (It's the classic battle between playability vs. reality.) If additional special rules are needed in order to balance the pike, they'd either be there or there should be an errata. But since this isn't a case of a weird and wacky interaction between two rules/maneuvers/spells/etc. then I think it needs to be played and assumed that it really works that way. If the pike were unbalanced, I think we'd see much more of them. As it is, aside from the gladiator character that I just made for Josh's contest and Eric's PC referenced by this thread, I've never seen a pike used in this edition of Arcanis.

Scott


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