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SethFahad
2010-03-16, 07:35 AM
What is the best reach weapon? (name and reason)

What do you think?

I say... maybe a weapon that can hit adjacent enemies too... like
whip-dagger (longest reach+trip+adjacent but provokes AoO)

Or a ritiik (hit once, damage twice+trip)

Grumman
2010-03-16, 08:37 AM
The Whip-Dagger does not let you threaten the area you can attack. Calling it the best reach weapon ignores the reason why reach weapons are considered good in the first place.

The Spiked Chain is generally considered the best, since it can hit adjacent enemies and also trip.

The Dwarven Warpike is also good if you trade out the Dwarven Weapon Familiarity with the Urgosh, since it becomes a martial reach weapon that does 2d6 damage and trips.

SethFahad
2010-03-16, 08:50 AM
The Whip-Dagger does not let you threaten the area you can attack.

REALLY???? Damn... SO, you cant make any AoO then... :smalleek:
If that's so, then whip-daggers qualify for the *utter-crap-weapon-award*... :smallfurious:

Hmm, is there a way to change that? via magic or feat or something?

Loren
2010-03-16, 08:54 AM
Of the exotic ones I've tried the Sugliin and the spiked chain.

The Sugliin is too feat intensive to be the best in my opinion (although no that bad for a fighter). You need to have exotic weapon proficiency, close heft, weapon focus, and sugliin mastery to use it effectively. It does impressive damage though, particurally when I'm large sized.

Spiked chain is nice because it can be used up close, the damage is decent (2d4), it can trip, and it is good at disarming (+2 bonus and two handed). However, I've yet to put its special abilities other than the fighting in close to use.

I've also seen the ranseur in use. Again, I haven't seen its special ability being used and a halbard would do slightly more damage (as would the glaive, but the glaive has no special ability).


As an added note, in my opinion reached weapons should be paired with combat reflexes. Because opponents need to exit threated squares to approach you, you should get plenty of AoOs.

Math_Mage
2010-03-16, 09:00 AM
As an added note, in my opinion reached weapons should be paired with combat reflexes. Because opponents need to exit threated squares to approach you you should get plenty of AoOs.

Just as important as quantity is consistency. There are lots of ways to increase your chances of getting an AoO--Karmic Strike, Robilar's Gambit, Defensive Sweep, the Thicket of Blades martial stance, Mageslayer (to stop defensive casting), and so on.

And to pile on the bandwagon, the spiked chain is *conventionally* considered the best reach weapon. I don't know what madness has been produced by CharOp, though.

RandomLunatic
2010-03-16, 09:12 AM
The sugliin is a trap. It takes not one but two feats to even wield properly, and only gets about 1.65 extra damage per hit over a greatsword.

For those keeping score at home, yes, the sugliin is worse than taking WF(Greatsword) and WS(Greatsword).

+1 to the "Spiked Chain is the go-to for reach weaponry".

I also second the Dwarven Warpike as being awesome if you can get it as a martial weapon.

For non-dwarves, the Guisarme is generally considered the best martial reach weapon because it can trip.

sonofzeal
2010-03-16, 09:19 AM
I've never been able to track down the book with Kusari-Gama, but I hear it's fantastic.

Loren
2010-03-16, 09:21 AM
Oh, I forgot to meantion that spiked chains were also finessable, wich makes them good for dexterous combatants

RandomLunatic
2010-03-16, 09:22 AM
I've never been able to track down the book with Kusari-Gama, but I hear it's fantastic.


DMG. It pretty much the spiked chain, but light, so you can TWF it.

Kaiyanwang
2010-03-16, 09:24 AM
I've never been able to track down the book with Kusari-Gama, but I hear it's fantastic.

Kusari Gamma appeared in Oriental Adventures and is in.. the DMG!

Nevertheless, the two versions are quite different (IIRC, the version in OAdv allows TWF, the DMG one is a even-more-dex based weapon.

EDIT: Ninjaed.

There is a Spiked-chain like reach weapon in secrets of Xen'drik, called scorpion chain (slashing).

Finally, there is a TWF-Reach chain in Savage Species, the Chain Lash but is 3.0 (like OAdv) I allow 3.0 weapons in my games but not sure every DM would.

Greenish
2010-03-16, 09:31 AM
Longspear: cheap and simple.

Go go commoner army!

Iku Rex
2010-03-16, 09:35 AM
The spinning sword from Secrets of Sarlona deserves mention. Finesseable one-handed reach weapon, can be used against adjacent opponents, 1d6 19-20/2x.

Khatoblepas
2010-03-16, 09:45 AM
REALLY???? Damn... SO, you cant make any AoO then... :smalleek:
If that's so, then whip-daggers qualify for the *utter-crap-weapon-award*... :smallfurious:

Whip daggers aren't that bad if you consider martial manuevers that require a melee attack (and if you're quite squishy). With that stance that increases your reach by +5ft, a halfling warblade/swordsage can be Insightful Striking, and activating all kinds of nasty things without ever entering melee range. Except, you know, when you get to Gargantuan monsters. Just make sure you don't have to spend a feat on it if you can :P

Could also be good for scouts that don't want to go the two-weapon fighting or archery routes, as neither of these rely on AoOs.

AslanCross
2010-03-16, 09:53 AM
I've also seen the ranseur in use. Again, I haven't seen its special ability being used and a halbard would do slightly more damage (as would the glaive, but the glaive has no special ability).



The halberd is not a reach weapon, however. I really thought it was, but alas, it is not.

Again, the Spiked chain is considered the best. I hear the guisarme mentioned a lot since it can trip due to its curved blade. The glaive deals more damage, though.


Longspear: cheap and simple.

Go go commoner army!

All the other martial reach weapons that deal slightly better damage (2d4) and have abilities on the side. The Ranseur is great at disarming (being 2-handed AND having an additional +2 bonus), while the Guisarme is a tripping weapon.

Greenish
2010-03-16, 10:19 AM
All the other martial reach weapons that deal slightly better damage (2d4) and have abilities on the side.That might be because longspear is a simple weapon (in game terms too).

Commoners can't use martial weapons. :smallwink:

Critical
2010-03-16, 10:24 AM
Spiked Chain, hands down for the exotic.
Guisarme and Ranseur for martial.

Kaiyanwang
2010-03-16, 10:28 AM
The halberd is not a reach weapon, however. I really thought it was, but alas, it is not.


You both, are suffering of the common Halberd Delusion. It happened to me, too, nad has been really painful coming out.


Great the Spinning Sword, i completely missed it. It has bonus for being hidden and disguised, too.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-03-16, 11:14 AM
A Ritiik is not a reach weapon.

Being able to hit adjacent targets is irrelevant if you wear armor spikes.

If I was going to spend a feat on a reach weapon, other than a spiked chain, I'd probably go with a Talenta Sharrash from ECS. It can trip, it gets 1d10 base damage, and its printed critical is 19-20/x4. The errata changed it to only x2, but then they went and reprinted it in another book and corrected it back to x4. Alternatively, find any reach weapon which has a 19-20 or better threat range and get one made from Kaorti Resin (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031014a) for a x4 multiplier.

Kaiyanwang
2010-03-16, 11:22 AM
A Ritiik is not a reach weapon.

Being able to hit adjacent targets is irrelevant if you wear armor spikes.

If I was going to spend a feat on a reach weapon, other than a spiked chain, I'd probably go with a Talenta Sharrash from ECS. It can trip, it gets 1d10 base damage, and its printed critical is 19-20/x4. The errata changed it to only x2, but then they went and reprinted it in another book and corrected it back to x4.

Didn't know the second correction. Do you know the book? It would be great!

jiriku
2010-03-16, 11:22 AM
I am fond of the glaive and the longspear, for the minimal investment necessary to wield them. There's almost always something better to do with your feats than eke out an extra point or two of damage with an exotic weapon, and if you're just trying to stab your opponent with a pointy thing from as far away as possible, these are your go-to weapons.

Killer Angel
2010-03-16, 11:30 AM
For non-fighters, the Guisarme is generally considered the best martial reach weapon because it can trip.

Fixed for you.
While the spiked chain is probably the best reach weapon, you need a feat to use it, the guisarme (still inferior) is only a martial weapon. In some builds, feats aren't abundant (Saph's Horizon Walker), so sparing one slot is good.

SethFahad
2010-03-16, 11:59 AM
A Ritiik is not a reach weapon.

Being able to hit adjacent targets is irrelevant if you wear armor spikes.

If I was going to spend a feat on a reach weapon, other than a spiked chain, I'd probably go with a Talenta Sharrash from ECS. It can trip, it gets 1d10 base damage, and its printed critical is 19-20/x4. The errata changed it to only x2, but then they went and reprinted it in another book and corrected it back to x4. Alternatively, find any reach weapon which has a 19-20 or better threat range and get one made from Kaorti Resin (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031014a) for a x4 multiplier.

You are right! My bad. It's a pole arm but not a reach weapon...

Mauther
2010-03-16, 12:58 PM
Best weapon is the spiek chain hands down, the shear amount of cheese you can bring with it is staggering. Which is shy its essentially banned in our game. Using one is considered gauche.

For style I'd go with the 3.0 duome. It's a long spear with two back point spikes near the head. It gets a +2 when attacking adjacent foes because the spike allow you to attack from the rear while standing in front. Otherwise I do have much love for the common longspear.

Curmudgeon
2010-03-16, 01:22 PM
I say... maybe a weapon that can hit adjacent enemies too... like whip-dagger (longest reach+trip+adjacent but provokes AoO)
A whip dagger isn't actually a reach weapon, which is why it doesn't threaten.
Although you keep it in hand, treat it as a ranged weapon with a maximum range of 15 feet and no range penalties. However, the Ranged Threat feat (Dragon # 350, page 90) will allow you to threaten with a ranged weapon within 15' -- which is perfect for the whip dagger.

Greenish
2010-03-16, 01:28 PM
Best weapon is the spiek chain hands down, the shear amount of cheese you can bring with it is staggering.Yeah, you can trip and disarm. That's bound to break any game!

JaronK
2010-03-16, 01:39 PM
Meteor Hammer or Rope Dagger. Functionally, they're like Spiked Chains except with much lower damage but an extra 5' of reach... which is the important part. There's also Spinning Swords which are one handed but otherwise like Spiked Chains (a bit lower damage there too). Then there's lances... double damage on the charge is yummy.

JaronK

Octopus Jack
2010-03-16, 02:00 PM
I'm a big fan of the glaive but its got nothing special about it and I have no idea of any good combinations to use with it :smallsmile:

Amphetryon
2010-03-16, 02:20 PM
At low levels (1-4), I prefer a Guisarme over the exotic weapons. It allows me to use my feats for Trip/Stand Still/Combat Reflexes more efficiently. By level 6, I want the chains, though.

Keld Denar
2010-03-16, 02:30 PM
If I'm gonna blow a feat on EWP, its gonna be on a Spiked Chain. If I don't want to spend the feat, Glaive or Guisarme are just about the best bang for your martial weapon proficiency. Unless you are focusing on a specific lockdown AoO type build, not being able to strike adacent squares is seldom a game wrecker. A glaive's 1d10 damage is pretty respectable for a martial reach weapon, and a guisarme, even for a non-hyperspecialized tripper is still passing fair. If you are planning on taking something like Short Haft, I ask you this...why not just spend the feat on EWP: Spiked Chain? That way you aren't burning up your swift actions, you don't take penalties, and you don't lose the benefit of reach just because a goblin got inside your swing radius.

Also, any fighter, not just ones with reach weapons, should have armor spikes. A) spikes are cool and intimidating, rawr B) backup weapon you never have to draw, can be used in a grapple or while swallowed whole.

Best 50g you'll ever spend, reach weapon or otherwise.

Amiria
2010-03-16, 02:53 PM
My choice is the Dwarven Warpike from Races of Stone. Better damage than the Spiked Chain and also very versatile (in different ways) without being silly/cheesy.

Greenish
2010-03-16, 02:53 PM
I'm a big fan of the glaive but its got nothing special about it and I have no idea of any good combinations to use with it :smallsmile:Glaive is pretty good for Stand Still crusaders, for example. Strictly worse than chain, of course, but maybe not enough that you'd want to spend a feat.

JaronK
2010-03-16, 02:57 PM
Why would anyone even want a Spiked Chain when a Meteor Hammer or Rope Dart are just plain better? I guess it's because they don't know about the latter two weapons.

Meanwhile, Glaive or Guisarme + Armor Spikes gets the job done quite well without needing feats.

JaronK

Greenish
2010-03-16, 03:06 PM
Why would anyone even want a Spiked Chain when a Meteor Hammer or Rope Dart are just plain better? I guess it's because they don't know about the latter two weapons.Well, Spiked Chain is core, so it'll exist in most games, while Rope Dart/Meteor Hammer are from, eh, I don't even know, Dragon magazine?

Person_Man
2010-03-16, 03:10 PM
My picks:

Longspear: PHB: My weapon of choice if I only have Simple weapon proficiency.
Glaive: PHB: Martial Trip weapon.
Lance: PHB: Double or triple (with Spirited Charge) or quadruple damage (with Riding Boots) on a Charge. Useful to have as a backup weapon even if you're only occasionally mounted.
Kusari-Gama: DMG: One handed reach weapon, useful if you want to go sword and board or use TWF (especially Rogues).
Whip: PHB: Useful if you happen to be a Bard that wants to Disarm your enemy.
Drow Scorpion Chain: Secrets of Xen'drik pg 137: Exactly the same as a normal Spiked Chain, except that if you happen to be a drow (or half drow, which counts), you can take the Drow Skirmisher feat (which grants several proficiencies and minor bonuses) instead of Exotic Weapon Proficiency to get proficiency with it.
Lasso: Book of Exalted Deeds, p. 34: Basically a net with a 30 ft range. I think it might technically be a thrown weapon instead of a reach weapon.
Mancatcher: Complete Warrior: Gives you a free Grapple attempt when you hit your enemy. Also, as long as your enemy canít reach you, they canít attack you or do anything other then attempt to move or escape from the grapple.
Pincer Staff: Underdark: Basically a mancatcher that deals more damage.
Spiked Chain: PHB: Useful if you have a ton of reach and a potent magic weapon with an AoO build. But most of the time you can just use a glaive and a 5 ft step. If you're really in a pinch, use armor spikes.
Spinning Sword: Secrets of Sarlona, pg 136. Basically a Spiked Chain that you can only use with one hand. Superior to the Kusari-Gama, but from a very obscure source.
Yuan-Ti Serpent Bow: Secrets of Xen'drik pg 137: A bow with curved blades at the edges. You can use it as a ranged weapon or as a melee weapon interchangeably, and it is a treated as a double weapon for magical enhancements (you enchant the bow part and the blade part separately). Although this isn't a reach weapon and you can't use it to make AoO at a range, it does let you make a full attack every turn regardless of range without switching weapons.

Greenish
2010-03-16, 03:14 PM
Kusari-Gama: DMG: One handed reach weapon, useful if you want to go sword and board or use TWF (especially Rogues).Wait, I have this image in my head of a sickle with ball-and-chain in the other end. How do you toss/catch that again with just one hand?

Beelzebub1111
2010-03-16, 03:26 PM
There's that eberron halfling one that does 1d10 for a medium creature...but the best part is the 18-20/x4 crit range.

Zombimode
2010-03-16, 03:39 PM
If you are planning on taking something like Short Haft, I ask you this...why not just spend the feat on EWP: Spiked Chain?

No mechanical reason, but some of us just hate the idea, concept, style and visual of the spiked chain.


My picks:

Glaive: PHB: Martial Trip weapon.


How do you trip with a glaive?

gallagher
2010-03-16, 03:43 PM
well if i am TWF'ing, which i do sometimes as a ranger if i roll the right stats, i enjoy going with the Trident/Net build. it is actually alot of fun, and since my DM enjoys making us give character descriptions, i always look like a gladiator.

Volkov
2010-03-16, 03:43 PM
If a long spear is a reach weapon, a pike must be some kind of uber reach weapon (nnot even mentioning the ludicrous 20+ foot long ones.)

Greenish
2010-03-16, 03:44 PM
well if i am TWF'ing, which i do sometimes as a ranger if i roll the right stats, i enjoy going with the Trident/Net build. it is actually alot of fun, and since my DM enjoys making us give character descriptions, i always look like a gladiator.Nice, and isn't there an ACF that gives trident/net as an option for the combat style feats?

[Edit]: To answer my own question, yeah, there is one in Dragon #326 (and Crystal Keep). It swaps TWF/archery line for EWP: Net, Imp. Trip and Imp. Critical.

[2ndEdit]:
If a long spear is a reach weapon, a pike must be some kind of uber reach weapon (nnot even mentioning the ludicrous 20+ foot long ones.)Awl Pike is exotic longspear with 15' reach.

SethFahad
2010-03-16, 05:03 PM
A whip dagger isn't actually a reach weapon, which is why it doesn't threaten. However, the Ranged Threat feat (Dragon # 350, page 90) will allow you to threaten with a ranged weapon within 15' -- which is perfect for the whip dagger.

I LOVE YOU! :smallbiggrin:

AslanCross
2010-03-16, 06:04 PM
There's that eberron halfling one that does 1d10 for a medium creature...but the best part is the 18-20/x4 crit range.

I believe they fixed that in an Errata.


That might be because longspear is a simple weapon (in game terms too).

Commoners can't use martial weapons. :smallwink:

Yeah, but it's the only reach weapon they can use anyway. That doesn't make it automatically good. o_o

arguskos
2010-03-16, 06:15 PM
I'm partial to the Duom (can attack adjacent naturally with a -2 penalty) and the Lucerne Hammer (x4 crit on a 2d4 reach weapon, I only like it because I've had some good times with one, and seen a player use one to crit THREE TIMES IN A ROW in one encounter, with non-proficiency!).

Grumman
2010-03-16, 06:17 PM
Yeah, but it's the only reach weapon they can use anyway. That doesn't make it automatically good. o_o
Not true: it's the only reach weapon they can use without a -4 penalty to hit.

Curmudgeon
2010-03-16, 06:20 PM
I LOVE YOU! :smallbiggrin:
Despite the two feats required? Color me happy, then. :smallsmile: I do enjoy putting together odd combos like this.

Cieyrin
2010-03-16, 06:25 PM
How do you trip with a glaive?

Like you trip with any other weapon not designed for tripping: You don't, at least not without Knockdown.

I believe Person_Man meant Guisarme, anyways.

As for good tripping weapons, I fluff spiked chains as meteor hammers, as the thing is otherwise too stupid to contemplate. I shall have to look up the Real meteor hammers, though, now that I'm aware that they exist.

Also, I love me a Dwarven Warpike, given it's essentially Halberd+. Well worth the trouble without looking dumb.

As for Shorten Grip, just invest in some Armor Spikes and call it good, as you only have to worry about for AoOs when they try to get inside your reach and then you 5 foot and smack the infidel upside the head with the edged side.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot my other favorite, the Longaxe, which conveniently slots into using the Axe Spike style, so those Armor Spikes get used more often, at least when i'm not using the Longaxe for reach. =3

AslanCross
2010-03-16, 06:31 PM
Not true: it's the only reach weapon they can use without a -4 penalty to hit.

Granted, but with their awful BAB and likely average strength, I wouldn't call that "using" a weapon as much as I would call it "waving a big stick ineffectually."

Splendor
2010-03-16, 07:03 PM
If you want to attack adjacent foes with your reach weapon you have only three choices; Chaulaks, Spiked Chain, and the Duom. All other reach weapons don't allow you to attack adjacent foes. Duom is a martial weapon proficiency so you may not have to take an extra feat. WHile the Chaulaks and the spiked chain require an exotic weapon.

If you don't want to take a exotic weapon proficiency you could take the feat Shorten Grip (Allows you to attack adjacent opponents when normally you can't but with a -2). This would allow you to attack adjacent opponents with the Fauchard and the Longspear (both simple weapons), or any number of the martial reach weapons.

All said and done I would take either the Spiked chain because its a finesse weapon and while an exotic weapon you would have a better chance of finding magical versions of it in normal games. OR the Duom since it isn't an exotic weapon and doesn't require an additional feat for martial characters.

Edit: I almost forgot about the simple chain.

Also called the manriki-gusari, this is a simple chain with weighted ends . It can be whirled quickly, striking with hard blows from the weights. One end can also be swung out to entangle an opponent.
The chain can be used either as a double weapon or as a reach weapon. You can fight with it as if fighting with two weapons, incurring all the normal attack penalties as if using a one handed weapon and a light weapon. In this case, you can only strike at an adjacent opponent.
If you use the chain as a reach weapon, you can strike opponents 10 feet away with it. In addition, unlike other weapons with reach, you can use it against an adjacent foe. In this case, you can only use one end of the chain effectively; you cannot use it as a double weapon.
Because the chain can wrap around an enemy's leg or other limb, you can make trip attacks with it . If you are tripped being tripped.
When using a chain, you get a +2 bonus on your opposed attack roll when attempting to disarm an opponent (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if you fail to disarm your opponent).
You can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to attack rolls with a chain.
Damage: d6/d6 Bludgeoning

SethFahad
2010-03-16, 11:56 PM
Despite the two feats required? Color me happy, then. :smallsmile: I do enjoy putting together odd combos like this.

Eeeek! Just saw the prerequisites! 3 feats! One of them is combat reflexes and it becomes useless with the 1 AoO per round restriction (regardless how many you are entitled normaly)...

You didn't warn me, you are a bad person! :smallannoyed:


Why would anyone even want a Spiked Chain when a Meteor Hammer or Rope Dart are just plain better? I guess it's because they don't know about the latter two weapons.
JaronK

*Waves frantically (Elan-like)* Ooh-ooh I'm interested! I'm interested! Where can I find those two???

Knaight
2010-03-17, 01:34 AM
They aren't better. The rope dart needs a feat for AoO, and it is still limited. The meteor hammer is similar.

Curmudgeon
2010-03-17, 02:42 AM
Eeeek! Just saw the prerequisites! 3 feats! Oops! I remembered it as 2, not 3. Mea culpa. But you can make AoOs when flat-footed with Combat Reflexes, so that's not completely useless.

You didn't warn me, you are a bad person! :smallannoyed: Fickle, aren't we? :smallwink:

JaronK
2010-03-17, 02:56 AM
*Waves frantically (Elan-like)* Ooh-ooh I'm interested! I'm interested! Where can I find those two???

Dragon Magazine, IIRC. Both are 15' reach, pathetic damage (1d4, IIRC?), attack adjacent, trip, and can threaten. I could be off though, it's been a while. They're basically the same weapon, but one is bludgeoning and one is piercing.

JaronK

Leon
2010-03-17, 05:18 AM
Ogrun Warcleaver - all 15ft of it.

Person_Man
2010-03-17, 09:12 AM
Wait, I have this image in my head of a sickle with ball-and-chain in the other end. How do you toss/catch that again with just one hand?

Beats me. But the Spiked Chain is pretty ridiculous as well, so it's not like the kusari-gama doesn't have company.

But it's a one handed reach weapon, so it doesn't matter.


How do you trip with a glaive?

My mistake. I meant guisarme.


Also, to those who are whip obsessed, keep in mind that it's not that hard to add reach via a variety of means (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7081777). I have a Knight build with 30ish feet of reach BEFORE using Enlarge Person or Polymorph. There's no particular reason to use a whip unless you happen to be a Bard or Master of Masks.

taltamir
2010-03-17, 09:31 AM
spiked chain isn't just the best reach weapon, it is the best weapon period (best melee weapon that is). No other weapon in DnD is as good. Most reach weapons are only 10 feet and cannot attack a closer enemy. spiked chain is 15 feet reach and CAN attack closer enemies, and trips. AND as a bonus, you can opt to drop it instead of falling if an enemy counter trips you.

Spiked chain threatened anyone 5, 10, or 15 feet away. Can trip anyone 5, 10, or 15 feet away. Is two handed (power attack, etc), and does decent damage of 2d4.
It costs 1 feat to wield properly (or you incur a -4 attack penalty)

unre9istered
2010-03-17, 09:33 AM
Beats me. But the Spiked Chain is pretty ridiculous as well, so it's not like the kusari-gama doesn't have company.


At least the kusari-gama is a real weapon though. As far as I know nothing like the spiked chain was ever used in the real world. All the stuff that's kind of similar exists elsewhere in D&D as far a I know.

Speaking of real world weapons, I looked up a video of the real world version of the Spinning Sword (chattaval) from Secrets of Sarlona. In the real world it's called an Urumi and there's some pretty sweet videos of it in use on youtube. I can't access youtube from this location or I'd post some links.

Greenish
2010-03-17, 10:03 AM
spiked chain isn't just the best reach weapon, it is the best weapon period (best melee weapon that is). No other weapon in DnD is as good. Most reach weapons are only 10 feet and cannot attack a closer enemy. spiked chain is 15 feet reach and CAN attack closer enemies, and trips. AND as a bonus, you can opt to drop it instead of falling if an enemy counter trips you.

Spiked chain threatened anyone 5, 10, or 15 feet away. Can trip anyone 5, 10, or 15 feet away. Is two handed (power attack, etc), and does decent damage of 2d4.
It costs 1 feat to wield properly (or you incur a -4 attack penalty)Spiked Chain has a reach of 10' and requires a feat (or penalty), so I'd hardly call it "the best melee weapon". It's the best core weapon for a tripper build.

Curmudgeon
2010-03-17, 10:34 AM
Spiked Chain has a reach of 10'
I do wish people would stop making this mistake. A whip has a stated reach (15'), but a spiked chain does not. Like most reach weapons it merely doubles a character's natural reach. A Small character with a Small spiked chain can attack at 10' reach. A Tiny character with Monkey Grip and a Small spiked chain still has 0' reach with it.

Ashiel
2010-03-17, 07:23 PM
I disagree with some of the other posters. The spiked chain is definitely not the best melee weapon period. I'm not entirely sure which I would consider to be the best, but the spiked chain isn't it. I'd say it is very good; but not anything near the level of optimization that many have been talking about.

You're effectively spending a feat to avoid a -4 penalty, for what amounts to a +2 bonus on disarm and the ability to trip, and a built-in armor spike or gauntlet. The guisarme and ranseur provide almost the same benefit without costing a feat; and by either taking a 5ft step or merely wearing armor spikes or gauntlets, you can prevent yourself from being left open in close quarters. Given the fact you cannot use such weaponry in a grapple (where you cannot fight with a spiked chain - but a kusari-gama from the 3.5 DMG would work) without special effects like the Wolverine Stance from ToB; this a problem against large grapplers.

Essentially, the majority of the benefits of having a spiked chain and spending a feat on its use are do-able with simple and cheap starting level equipment. Furthermore, most pole-arm style reach weapons sport a x3 critical multiplier over the spiked chain's x2; which provides potential for larger amounts of damage.

I would actually put forward a vote for the Longspear on the grounds that it is probably the absolute best weapon for its category. It's simple, allowing almost everyone to wield one, deals a d8 damage (which is respectable), is a 2 handed weapon (so you can get strength bonuses), is a reach weapon (obviously), has a x3 critical multiplier (which is awesome when it happens), and can be set against a charge.

While it doesn't deal as much damage as a glaive, nor have the special abilities of the Guisarme or Ransuer, it is usable out of the box by most characters; including adepts, bards, clerics, experts, rogues, sorcerers, and so forth. Effectively everyone and their neighbor should be sporting one of these babies.

If you're a martial weapon character, I'd go with one of the upgraded versions of the long-spear (preferably the ranseur or guisarme). Anything that requires you to spend a feat better be getting you to the bank, because that feat tax is a major drawback.

For that very reason, any weapon that requires the EWP feat should be better than things that don't, because that's called "balance". If you're spending a feat to get something that is average, then you're getting screwed and should fix the weapon or remove the feat tax.


Tangent: While I enjoy Pathfinder; I read an excerpt by one of the people behind it which made me horribly question it very early on. I forgot who it was that said it, so I won't name any names for fear of wrongfully accusing somebody - but they were talking about nerfing the spiked chain; and he said just because it takes an exotic weapon proficiency doesn't mean it should be better than other weapons.

Yes it does!! :smallfurious:

HunterOfJello
2010-03-17, 07:24 PM
Best reach weapon is a halfling cohort or animal companion that you throw at enemies.

olentu
2010-03-17, 07:35 PM
I disagree with some of the other posters. The spiked chain is definitely not the best melee weapon period. I'm not entirely sure which I would consider to be the best, but the spiked chain isn't it. I'd say it is very good; but not anything near the level of optimization that many have been talking about.

You're effectively spending a feat to avoid a -4 penalty, for what amounts to a +2 bonus on disarm and the ability to trip, and a built-in armor spike or gauntlet. The guisarme and ranseur provide almost the same benefit without costing a feat; and by either taking a 5ft step or merely wearing armor spikes or gauntlets, you can prevent yourself from being left open in close quarters. Given the fact you cannot use such weaponry in a grapple (where you cannot fight with a spiked chain - but a kusari-gama from the 3.5 DMG would work) without special effects like the Wolverine Stance from ToB; this a problem against large grapplers.

Essentially, the majority of the benefits of having a spiked chain and spending a feat on its use are do-able with simple and cheap starting level equipment. Furthermore, most pole-arm style reach weapons sport a x3 critical multiplier over the spiked chain's x2; which provides potential for larger amounts of damage.

I would actually put forward a vote for the Longspear on the grounds that it is probably the absolute best weapon for its category. It's simple, allowing almost everyone to wield one, deals a d8 damage (which is respectable), is a 2 handed weapon (so you can get strength bonuses), is a reach weapon (obviously), has a x3 critical multiplier (which is awesome when it happens), and can be set against a charge.

While it doesn't deal as much damage as a glaive, nor have the special abilities of the Guisarme or Ransuer, it is usable out of the box by most characters; including adepts, bards, clerics, experts, rogues, sorcerers, and so forth. Effectively everyone and their neighbor should be sporting one of these babies.

If you're a martial weapon character, I'd go with one of the upgraded versions of the long-spear (preferably the ranseur or guisarme). Anything that requires you to spend a feat better be getting you to the bank, because that feat tax is a major drawback.

For that very reason, any weapon that requires the EWP feat should be better than things that don't, because that's called "balance". If you're spending a feat to get something that is average, then you're getting screwed and should fix the weapon or remove the feat tax.


Tangent: While I enjoy Pathfinder; I read an excerpt by one of the people behind it which made me horribly question it very early on. I forgot who it was that said it, so I won't name any names for fear of wrongfully accusing somebody - but they were talking about nerfing the spiked chain; and he said just because it takes an exotic weapon proficiency doesn't mean it should be better than other weapons.

Yes it does!! :smallfurious:

Were you thinking of this.

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/general/archives/spikedChainVsBladedScarf&page=1#17

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-17, 08:05 PM
Question: what happens with a whip or similar weapon when you are large sized? I know spiked chain becomes 20', but what about the meteor hammer/whip?

Dusk Eclipse
2010-03-17, 08:22 PM
When you get larger, you gain natural reach. Reach weapons doubles it, so a large monster treatens a 10 ft radius, a large monster with a reach weapon treatens 20 ft radius

Forget this, I misread the question

JaronK
2010-03-17, 09:25 PM
Question: what happens with a whip or similar weapon when you are large sized? I know spiked chain becomes 20', but what about the meteor hammer/whip?

It's a reach weapon +5'.

And yeah, the Spiked Chain is nowhere near the best weapon. In core it's the best Fighter weapon if you're not mounted, because you've got so many feats to burn and so few places to burn them. But otherwise, it's not great. A Guisarme and Armor Spikes will do the same thing without a feat and those are quite cheap beyond first level or so, and feats are certainly a more important resource than trivial amounts of gold. Lances are of course better for chargers (double damage for such a cheap cost!). Meteor Hammers, Rope Darts, and Awl Pikes have more reach. Spinning Swords are one handed and yet still have reach and, IIRC, can still trip. Dwarven Warpikes can be had without a feat if you're a dwarf and trade your Ungosh proficiency for them (using the Complete Warrior rules for doing that). Kukris are better for crit monkeys.

Basically, for virtually every build there's some weapon better than a Spiked Chain. The SC is overrated.

JaronK

Ashiel
2010-03-17, 09:43 PM
Were you thinking of this.

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/general/archives/spikedChainVsBladedScarf&page=1#17

Why yes; yes I was Olentu. I was thinking it might have been Jason, but I didn't want to name names if I wasn't sure. That's got to be the most back-asswards thinking that a game designer could have.

On a side note, I gained heavy respect for Set (the very next poster) on the Paizo boards a while back. He hasn't posted anything I would consider wrong or even something I would disagree with yet. It's not surprising to see him posting some logic in response to that horrible commentary Jason presented. :smallamused:

Edit: And Disciple of Sakura, who I also found to be a great poster, pulls up right after Set in that thread with more logic. :smallbiggrin:

deuxhero
2010-03-17, 10:10 PM
Wait, I have this image in my head of a sickle with ball-and-chain in the other end. How do you toss/catch that again with just one hand?

You toss it the same way you would a lasso I'd wager.

As for returning, it could require two hands, but not to a level that you couldn't use a shield at the same time (while actual 2 handed weapons require 2 hands to acctualy make the blow).

Eldariel
2010-03-18, 05:18 AM
It's a reach weapon +5'.

And yeah, the Spiked Chain is nowhere near the best weapon. In core it's the best Fighter weapon if you're not mounted, because you've got so many feats to burn and so few places to burn them. But otherwise, it's not great. A Guisarme and Armor Spikes will do the same thing without a feat and those are quite cheap beyond first level or so, and feats are certainly a more important resource than trivial amounts of gold. Lances are of course better for chargers (double damage for such a cheap cost!). Meteor Hammers, Rope Darts, and Awl Pikes have more reach. Spinning Swords are one handed and yet still have reach and, IIRC, can still trip. Dwarven Warpikes can be had without a feat if you're a dwarf and trade your Ungosh proficiency for them (using the Complete Warrior rules for doing that). Kukris are better for crit monkeys.

I don't really agree here; Lance is better for a charger, duh, but for anything else, Spiked Chain offers an unique combination of abilities you won't find in other weapons.

Armor Spikes+Glaive (or whatever) has the issue that as you can't PA with Spikes, and you don't get proper Str added to it, your spikes just don't deal enough damage to be a threat. Yes, they allow you to threaten reach and adjacent, but every single Wizard is gonna be able to make that DC 20 Concentration-check in spite of your Mageslayer, and that DC20 Reflex-save to move in spite of your Stand Still isn't gonna be too difficult either.

Even with Overpowering Attack or something of the sort, DC30s are still eminently doable. As such, it's just not a very functional combination for lockdown even if it does save a feat; Spiked Chain gives you full PA returns and 1.5x Str on both. That's fairly good.


Spinning Sword & Kusari-Gama has the same issue; it just doesn't deal enough damage by default. No light weapon does. It can't use the standard tricks to enhance damage while Chain does it just fine while also playing Lockdown.

Crit monkies obviously don't want to go anywhere near the Chain and its 20/x2, but as critical focus is pretty weak anyways between Fortification-armor, certain spells and creature types with inherent immunities, that's not that big a problem.


And then there's the Awl Pike/Meteor Hammer/Rope Dart, which all fall under the "Dragon Magazine Crap". And I recall they all had a failing or another anyways; at least Awl Pike was unable to threaten adjacent and yeah.

Point being, nothing grants the exact combination Spiked Chain does; two-handed, adjacent+reach and tripping. It's also the best weapon for anyone interested in Finessing since it's a two-handed PAable Finessable weapon.

The martial combinations just don't offer the same efficiency, especially against adjacent adversaries, and the various exotic weapons are different, but rarely better.

taltamir
2010-03-18, 05:20 AM
Spiked Chain has a reach of 10' and requires a feat (or penalty), so I'd hardly call it "the best melee weapon". It's the best core weapon for a tripper build.

I know what happened, I remembered it having a reach of 15 because once enlarged person kicks in thats what you have... but that applies to all reach weapons so this was my mistake.
Still, 1 feat is a fair price to pay for a very good weapon. are there non core weapons that give similar awesomeness? mainly, the exception to the "reach weapons cannot attack adjacent enemies rule"

Hand_of_Vecna
2010-03-18, 09:10 AM
First things first:

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0136.html

A few thoughts if you needed quickdraw for a build anyway couldn't you use the better than +5 reach no threat weapons to good effect, especially if you were allowed the exoticist ACF and switched to spiked chain.

sugliin-could be decent if you got a favorable ruling on using ToB strikes.

Cieyrin
2010-03-18, 04:31 PM
Kukris are better for crit monkeys.

Kukris aren't exotic anymore, they're martial, so that's another thing.

As for the spiked chain, yeah, it has a lot of cool things going for it but that doesn't mean it isn't the stupidest looking weapon ever. How the hell do you even wield the dumb thing without bleeding everywhere? Bloody WotC artists not doing their research....:smallfurious:

Ashiel
2010-03-18, 04:55 PM
Kukris aren't exotic anymore, they're martial, so that's another thing.

As for the spiked chain, yeah, it has a lot of cool things going for it but that doesn't mean it isn't the stupidest looking weapon ever. How the hell do you even wield the dumb thing without bleeding everywhere? Bloody WotC artists not doing their research....:smallfurious:

Personally I always liked the spiked chains that showed up in WotC art that make sense. The PHB artwork for the spiked chain is horrible; but then look at the PHB art for many of their other weapons (I'm looking at you rapier :smallannoyed:). None of that makes sense. A lot of the WotC art plainly sucks; doubly so when it comes to the equipment being wielded.

I prefer these interpretations of the spiked (or in one image, bladed) chain.

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/cw_ag/75468.jpg
This one, if you can get past the slightly jagged looking chain links, is quite awesome - and seems believable to me.
http://cs637.vkontakte.ru/u183500/45537805/x_0fc1aed3.jpg
Getting past the fact the guy looks like an old pirate with a masochistic fetish (eww, old men with nipple rings!), the weapon looks serviceable as chain weapon with some bite.
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ph2_gallery/97166.jpg
This one looks a bit extreme (good god - it's huge on both ends), but it still makes sense from the sense of actually being able to wield it via the chain and hit hard with it.


I really don't find the spiked chain horribly unrealistic. Chains can be very effective as weapons (much like a flail), and can sport impressive reach. The biggest problem with most of the D&D artwork is they links are spiked all the way down the chains which mean you'd injure yourself when drawing your weapon into different lengths. This is not the fault of the spiked chain or its mechanics; but the fault of shoddy artists. :smallannoyed:

---

Back to the original topic; I still vote standard pole-arms because the spiked chain is worth the feat that it takes to wield it. The other weapons are excellent right out of the box and can grant similar benefits. The ability to strike opponents adjacent to you with the chain itself has been in my experiences a rarely used benefit. If you're locking down a caster within your minimum reach, instead of dealing damage with your "inside weapon", it's often more useful to make your opportunity attack a disarm, grapple, sunder, or similar attack. When dealing strait damage, I find it's more effective to simply 5ft step and attack.

It's worth the feat for a spiked chain, but the spiked chain isn't worth a lot without the feat. Now if the spiked chain were a martial weapon; then I'd vote it as the hands down best weapon ever. Since it's not, it deserves to be better due to the feat tax it carries with it.

Greenish
2010-03-18, 04:59 PM
I know what happened, I remembered it having a reach of 15 because once enlarged person kicks in thats what you have... but that applies to all reach weapons so this was my mistake.Enlarged to Large size, you'd have the reach of 20' with standard reach weapons.
Still, 1 feat is a fair price to pay for a very good weapon. are there non core weapons that give similar awesomeness? mainly, the exception to the "reach weapons cannot attack adjacent enemies rule"It is a good feat, yes. There's no reason why it couldn't be one.

And the already mentioned Duom is a martial reach weapon that can also attack adjacent (it even gets a bonus on certain circumstances).

Meteor Hammer and Rope Dart have also been mentioned: both of them have 15' reach for medium-sized creature, can attack adjacent and have the same qualities as Spiked Chain, being able to trip and giving +2 to disarm. The only difference is d4 less damage and better reach. (And Meteor Hammer is bludgeoning instead of piercing.)

One-handed, there are Kusari-Gama (core) and Whirling Sword, both of which have also been mentioned in this thread, and both of which can threaten at range and at melee.


What it comes down to is what you think a feat is worth: I believe that the benefits of a Spiked Chain are well within budget.

mikethepoor
2010-03-18, 05:25 PM
I'm sorry, I'm kinda lost here. I can't seem to find the page of the DMG that the kusari-gama is on. Could someone point it out to me?

Eldariel
2010-03-18, 05:28 PM
I'm sorry, I'm kinda lost here. I can't seem to find the page of the DMG that the kusari-gama is on. Could someone point it out to me?

Page 145..

Set
2010-03-18, 05:42 PM
On a side note, I gained heavy respect for Set (the very next poster) on the Paizo boards a while back.

Set thanks you. :)

And yeah, I love a lot of what Jason has done to touch up the game, but my gosh, he can say some bone-headed things from time to time.

Ashiel
2010-03-18, 11:32 PM
Set thanks you. :)

And yeah, I love a lot of what Jason has done to touch up the game, but my gosh, he can say some bone-headed things from time to time.

Agreed. :smalltongue:

It's good to see you here Set. :smallsmile:

PhoenixRivers
2010-03-19, 03:06 AM
Spiked Chain, if you can spare a feat.

Guisarme, if you can't. The only appreciable difference of note is not threatening adjacent foes.

Just get armor spikes.

Edhelras
2010-03-19, 04:03 AM
I would actually put forward a vote for the Longspear on the grounds that it is probably the absolute best weapon for its category. It's simple, allowing almost everyone to wield one, deals a d8 damage (which is respectable), is a 2 handed weapon (so you can get strength bonuses), is a reach weapon (obviously), has a x3 critical multiplier (which is awesome when it happens), and can be set against a charge.

While it doesn't deal as much damage as a glaive, nor have the special abilities of the Guisarme or Ransuer, it is usable out of the box by most characters; including adepts, bards, clerics, experts, rogues, sorcerers, and so forth. Effectively everyone and their neighbor should be sporting one of these babies.


I completely agree. The Longspear is my favorite, and particularly my Bardess likes to use it. She's not fond of Shields anyway, because of the arcane spell failure chance, so she might as well use a two-handed weapon. Furthermore, it suits her very well to stand 5 ft behind the burly fighter, hitting enemies over is shoulder with her Longspear all the while using her bardic features to support him, while being relatively protected by the fighter.
The possibility to hit enemies from two squares distance is particularly important in cramped dungeon corridors.

I realize there might be more powerful reach weapons out there, but IMO nothing beats the coolness of a slender, yet sturdy Longspear. It's a weapon that makes more "sense" to me than many of the other reach weapons.

Especially for a travelling adventurer, I might add. The more elaborate reach weapons might be all right for a soldier stationed in a barracks or on a wall. But for someone travelling through woods and narrow places, I imagine it would be quite cumbersome with those weapons. The Longspear is rather easy to carry, and can be used as a "walking stick" when travelling in the mountains and such.
It can be used for mundane and special purposes as well, everything from carrying hunting prey to rescuing someone lost in quicksand.

I agree too that the crits you get with a Longspear are somewhat rare, but they're somehow especially satisfying when you get them. I think it makes particularly good sense that you can actually hit someone devastatingly with a spear, more so than with the more technical reach weapons.

taltamir
2010-03-19, 07:19 AM
Enlarged to Large size, you'd have the reach of 20' with standard reach weapons. It is a good feat, yes. There's no reason why it couldn't be one.
Interesting.


And the already mentioned Duom is a martial reach weapon that can also attack adjacent (it even gets a bonus on certain circumstances).

Meteor Hammer and Rope Dart have also been mentioned: both of them have 15' reach for medium-sized creature, can attack adjacent and have the same qualities as Spiked Chain, being able to trip and giving +2 to disarm. The only difference is d4 less damage and better reach. (And Meteor Hammer is bludgeoning instead of piercing.)

One-handed, there are Kusari-Gama (core) and Whirling Sword, both of which have also been mentioned in this thread, and both of which can threaten at range and at melee.

What it comes down to is what you think a feat is worth: I believe that the benefits of a Spiked Chain are well within budget.

very nice list. seems to me like meteor hammer / rope dart would be the best then (ugh, it hurts just say those names... and to imagine what they look like... its a dart, on a rope, ugh).

@ Ashiel: longspear isn't as good if you are a fighter due to its unability to attack adjacent. But its for a simple weapon its the best. Wizards and the like all start with a longspear for me :P get a nice AoO (maybe at double damage) against a melee attacker.

Greenish
2010-03-19, 09:06 AM
very nice list. seems to me like meteor hammer / rope dart would be the best then (ugh, it hurts just say those names... and to imagine what they look like... its a dart, on a rope, ugh).Meteor Hammer is just a weight in the end of a string, and exists in real life, though whether it'd actually be a good weapon for serious fighting in varying situations and locales is questionable. In Rope Dart, the weight has a spike in the end.

Wizards and the like all start with a longspear for me :P get a nice AoO (maybe at double damage) against a melee attacker.Wizards aren't proficient with longspear. :smallamused:

Optimystik
2010-03-19, 09:57 AM
The Atavist PrC (Races of Eberron) makes your unarmed strikes and/or mindblade into reach weapons. They can still attack adjacent targets.

Fawsto
2010-03-19, 12:30 PM
Back in the 3.0 days, the Whipdagger needed a PrC to work. Or even better, the Lasher needed the Whipdagger to work. I mean, dealing 1d4 damage to anything that has not armor is quite lame.

Anyways, they worked pretty well together.