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Author Topic: Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?  (Read 152 times)

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Offline Doridian

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Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?
« on: November 28, 2017, 08:01:10 AM »
I'm sure it has been asked before, but after searching the site I've not been able to find a topic about it (I've tried something like "spear one handed") apart regarding the RMU.
The question is straightforward: do you allow pole arms one handed?  When I see that a warrior has shield and spear I've always thought that he would eventually throw the spear before actually entering melee (with something else, say a short sword). But I'm sure I've seen some movie where spears were used one handed.
What do you allow? And, above all, do you have characters develop separate skills, one 1H and one 2H (same category, Pole Arms) or just one skill?

Offline Ecthelion

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Re: Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 09:51:24 AM »
We allow the spear and javelin (and the lance, if on horseback) to be used one-handed, just as it was the case in the old MERP rules. The other pole arms get used two-handed. And PCs develop skill only once per weapon. So the spear gets developed only one-handed and the halberd gets developer only for two-handed use.

And, since you mentioned RMU, did you intend to ask on the RMSS/RMFRP forum? My answer at least is based on our group using RMSS.

Offline jdale

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Re: Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 01:48:08 PM »
Javelin is certainly one-handed. In RMU, we give stats for both one-handed and two-handed use of spears. Spears were used both ways.

RMSS/RMFRP doesn't seem to indicate whether spears are one or two handed, but if you compare the Spear table to the Broadsword and Two-Handed Sword table, the Spear is slightly less potent than the Broadsword. As such, I would treat it as a one-handed weapon. In comparison, the Pole Arm table is clearly intended to be a two-handed weapon; it is closer in performance to Two-Handed Sword.

Offline Grinnen Baeritt

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Re: Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 05:05:25 PM »
Historically, Spears were the MAIN melee weapon in early battles... not Swords. Mainly used with shields, so their use one-handed shouldn't really suffer a penalty.... Short stabbing spears are very light and well-balanced, however overly LONG spears/pikes would require "grounding/setting" to be used one-handed without penalty. If movement was required, fighting with them would suffer a penalty..

Offline OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol

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Re: Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2017, 06:24:16 PM »
Technically, throwing spears aren't the same as one-handed short spears that aren't the same than two-handed long spears. There are probably more spear variations than sword variations, and spears were with no doubt more often used in history and on the battlefield than swords. Alas, mayhap because fantasy is more based on the late medieval chilvarious single hero, there's more a focus on swords and their variations than on spears (and other polearms).
Ok, rant done. :p
I personally consider the throwing spear (using the javelin table), the short one-handed spear (using the AL&CL spear table) and the long two-handed spear (using the The Armory heavy spear table) to be three different skills.
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Offline Doridian

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Re: Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 12:18:16 PM »
We allow the spear and javelin (and the lance, if on horseback) to be used one-handed, just as it was the case in the old MERP rules.
 
Alas... I should have checked the MERP rules!
And, since you mentioned RMU, did you intend to ask on the RMSS/RMFRP forum? My answer at least is based on our group using RMSS.
No, I didn't. The question is RMSS based.

Offline Doridian

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Re: Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 12:20:38 PM »
Javelin is certainly one-handed. In RMU, we give stats for both one-handed and two-handed use of spears. Spears were used both ways.
So they could be different skills in RMSS (same category). OLF suggestion seems to fit well in this perspective.

Offline Doridian

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Re: Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 12:21:40 PM »
Thank you all. This forum is always really useful!  :)

Offline jdale

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Re: Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 01:05:55 PM »
Personally, if it is the same weapon, I would treat it as the same skill whether it is used one-handed or two-handed. You use a second hand when it is possible and when it is appropriate. You do not use it when it is not appropriate. As Musashi said,

To hold the long sword in both hands is not the true Way, for if you carry a bow or spear or other arms in your left hand you have only one hand free for the long sword. However, when it is difficult to cut an enemy down with one hand, you must use both hands.

But the rules are silent on this point, and also do not offer any benefit/penalty for using one/two hands, so rule as you see fit.

Offline OLF, i.e. Olf Le Fol

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Re: Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2017, 05:45:48 AM »
…if it is the same weapon…
When it comes to spears, it usually wasn't. People tend to think all spears are the same but they do vary. A lot. You wouldn't want to go into melee with a throwing spear, as they tend to break at impact (and were designed that way, to avoid being thrown back), whereas, whilst you may carry a long spear with one hand for travel, it'd be just too heavy or, well, long to be used on foot with one hand. Others are specifically designed to be used from horseback, or one-handed but together with a shield and only in formations, not individual combat.
In a nutshell, one probably wouldn't use the same spear to throw at enemies, fight from horseback, fight in individual combat, or fight in formations.

Quote
As Musashi said,…
Musashi created the Nitō Ichi sword style, when every single other swordsman was using a katana two-handed, so I wouldn't really quote him in this matter. ;)[/quote]
"Tragic, deceptive, insane, innocent-looking, manipulative, immoral, lonely... it's what makes a girl fascinating and desirable. So lonely and hurt in her heart you absolutely want to comfort her, so insane and immoral you absolutely fear to become close to her, so deceptive and manipulative you wonder whether you're acting out of your free will.
This is what I call 'fascination'. This is what describes my ideal girl."

Offline jdale

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Re: Pole arms (spear, javelin, etc.) one handed?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2017, 11:51:40 AM »
…if it is the same weapon…
When it comes to spears, it usually wasn't. People tend to think all spears are the same but they do vary. A lot. You wouldn't want to go into melee with a throwing spear, as they tend to break at impact (and were designed that way, to avoid being thrown back), whereas, whilst you may carry a long spear with one hand for travel, it'd be just too heavy or, well, long to be used on foot with one hand. Others are specifically designed to be used from horseback, or one-handed but together with a shield and only in formations, not individual combat.
In a nutshell, one probably wouldn't use the same spear to throw at enemies, fight from horseback, fight in individual combat, or fight in formations.

This is fine, if you want to treat them as actually different weapons, but then they ought to have different performance. Unless you use the Armory, there is only one Spear table. It might be appropriate to use the Pole Arm table for two-handed spears (maybe convert all K results to P), or at least use the Spear table with a bonus.

 

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