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    Default Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    In order to support a build similar to this, I'd like to give them the ability to wield a reach weapon one-handed.

    I think a feat is the best way to achieve this, and call it

    Hoplite
    Prerequisites: BAB +1, Shield Wall
    Benefit: You can wield a longspear in one hand when wielding a shield in the other. You cannot also use a shield bash at the same time when you're attacking with your longspear on your turn.



    The idea is mainly to offer mechanical support for low-level NPC hoplites, but of course I have to look at potential abuse by characters, as well.

    While the hoplites can shield-bash or attack with longspear on an AoO, they cannot use two-weapon fighting to attack with longspear and shield bash in a full-attack action.

    My questions:

    Do you see problems with this feat?

    Is there an official or other source for another way to achieve this (without changing size, etc.)?
    Last edited by Malachei; 2012-04-09 at 03:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarissa
    The sheer bulk and size of the spear required the soldiers to wield the spear with both hands, allowing them to carry only a 24 inch shield (pelta) suspended from the neck to cover the left shoulder.[5] Its great length —up to eighteen feet in two lengths joined by a central bronze tube[6]— was an asset against hoplites and other soldiers bearing shorter weapons, because they had to get past the sarissas to engage the phalangites. However, outside the tight formation of the Phalanx the sarissa was useless as a weapon and a hindrance on the march.
    They carried their spears in two hands, and a shield "suspended from the neck to cover the left shoulder". I'd stat this out as a special piece of equipment.

    Feats are for higher-level characters. Rank and file soldiers shouldn't need feats to perform their basic function.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SarissaThey carried their spears in two hands, and a shield "suspended from the neck to cover the left shoulder". I'd stat this out as a special piece of equipment.
    No, as I said I am referring to Hoplites and their Dory (spears).

    Sarissa were 15-18 ft., Dory were 6-10 ft. in length.

    Feats are for higher-level characters. Rank and file soldiers shouldn't need feats to perform their basic function.
    I think we're talking about soldiers especially trained to function in a unit and with specific weaponry, and hence, feats are perfectly fine to represent their training.
    Last edited by Malachei; 2012-04-09 at 04:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    There are a couple of exotic 1 handed reach weapons. So I see no problem with a feat that lets you wield a long spear (or any polearm) as a one handed weapon.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    I've seen some people houserule spears as 2-handed simple weapons, or one-handed martial weapons, in a similar style to how the bastard sword works.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    For a Bastard Sword, you'd need EWP.

    I think having a reach weapon one-handed and a shield in the other hand should prohibit you from full-attacking with spear and shield bash, because that would make sword and board even worse in comparison.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    Quote Originally Posted by Malachei View Post
    For a Bastard Sword, you'd need EWP.
    what I think he meant was that some people house rule it so that if you have simple weapon proficiency for spears you can wield them 2 hand, but if you have the right exotic weapon proficiency for them you can wield them one hand, like how the bastard sword works.
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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    Quote Originally Posted by Togath View Post
    what I think he meant was that some people house rule it so that if you have simple weapon proficiency for spears you can wield them 2 hand, but if you have the right exotic weapon proficiency for them you can wield them one hand, like how the bastard sword works.
    Yes, probably, but that's not the same as "as 2-handed simple weapons, or one-handed martial weapons".

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    I've seen some people houserule spears as 2-handed simple weapons, or one-handed martial weapons, in a similar style to how the bastard sword works.
    Would this perhaps have been simpler to understand if I had not noted the bastard sword analogy?

    What I meant was that if you have SWP, you can use it two-handed; if you have MWP, you can use it one-handed.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    ah, I had misread it
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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    To be honest by the description I would limit it to short spear.

    It depends on your perspective. As a gaming homebrew there is no reason you could not make a feat that allowed them to use anything, But if your going for the 300 effect how practical do you want to make it?

    Here is some food for thought
    Wielding a spear two handed means you have your hands spread out to balance weight of the tip. To do a long thrust your off hand is almost at the balance point of the spear. You move quickly with your primary hand (near the butt of the spear) sliding the shaft like a pool stick over your off hand. At the max thrust you quickly pull back to reclaim balance.

    If your wielding it one handed then you can not slide the shaft back and forth. You hand must remain at the exact balance point of the spear or gravity takes effect. This means your thrusting distance is no better then a sword.

    If you allow long spears then half the shaft is sticking out behind the character, at all times during the battle.

    Its up to you, how real do you want to make it? The thing is, Other then the whip, I cant think of many good reach weapons that can be wielded as a 1 handed weapon. The 300 movie used short spears. Several re-enacting groups have failed repeatedly to wield long spears that way. The bottom line is that this is a fantasy game.
    Last edited by Omegas; 2012-04-09 at 07:31 PM.
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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    There are a couple of exotic 1 handed reach weapons. So I see no problem with a feat that lets you wield a long spear (or any polearm) as a one handed weapon.
    .... I -KNEW- I had a good feeling from this thread! I wanted to play a character with a Reach Weapon in One Hand and a Blade in the other, but didn't think of any such weapons!

    Please tell me where to find One Handed Reach Weapons, even if they require Exotic Proficiency!

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegas View Post
    To be honest by the description I would limit it to short spear.
    Please explain to me what exactly the feat would do if it applied only to short spears. Keep in mind the entire benefit of the feat is to let you wield a weapon that is normally 2 handed in one hand, and a short spear is a one handed weapon.

    Please tell me where to find One Handed Reach Weapons, even if they require Exotic Proficiency!
    Offhand the Kusi-Gama or whatever has flexible reach (ie spiked chain style reach) as a Light Weapon. It can be found in the DMG. There's probably others in some obscure sourcebooks, but there's a good reference point in core.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2012-04-09 at 10:57 PM.
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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Would this perhaps have been simpler to understand if I had not noted the bastard sword analogy?

    What I meant was that if you have SWP, you can use it two-handed; if you have MWP, you can use it one-handed.
    I'm saying this with all modesty of a person seeking advice: I don't think it was hard to understand, I think it was worded imprecisely. Like talking about Sarissa, when I'm talking about Hoplites.

    Also, as mentioned above, I think wielding a reach weapon one-handed without any investment is a bit too easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegas
    But if your going for the 300 effect
    I'm not going for the 300 effect. I'm going for Hoplites, as described in the link I gave in my second post above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegas
    If your wielding it one handed then you can not slide the shaft back and forth. You hand must remain at the exact balance point of the spear or gravity takes effect. This means your thrusting distance is no better then a sword.
    A 6-10 ft. dory spear, wielded one-handed, will still have greater reach than a sword. For game terms, I want this reach to be equal to a reach weapon, in order to replicate the exact advantage Hoplites had in battle: Forming a wall of spears and shields that would be hard to engage, and would mean that before an approaching enemy got a strike at them, he would face their spears.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    For additional defense I believe there's a phalanx fighting feat in complete something that gives bonus AC when fighting next to someone else with a shield. After you get that a tower shield gets even better since you become nigh unhittable even though you lose a little offense. So a foe penetrates the spear wall, takes hits from that, fails to get past the shields, and then they continue to take hits from the neighboring spears. Foe can't do much damage but gets hurt a lot for trying; what a phalanx does. A tower shield is also handy because you can set it for total cover giving immunity to arrows from a specific direction and forcing a melee. A tower shield also makes more sense because hoplites had shields large enough to double as stretchers for the wounded or dead.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2012-04-10 at 02:09 AM.
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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    As written, the Phalanx Fighting feat works with a light weapon and a heavy shield.

    Also, Hoplites' shields were not tower shields (neither was the Roman legionnaries' shield, the Scutum).

    See the link to Hoplites.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    Quote Originally Posted by INoKnowNames View Post
    .... I -KNEW- I had a good feeling from this thread! I wanted to play a character with a Reach Weapon in One Hand and a Blade in the other, but didn't think of any such weapons!

    Please tell me where to find One Handed Reach Weapons, even if they require Exotic Proficiency!
    Kusi-Gama (Dungeon Master's Guide), Spinning Sword (Secrets of Sarlona, pg 136), a lance while mounted and using a shield (Player's Handbook), or a whip (PHB), a whip-dagger (Drow of the Underdark). I've also seen similar weapons and feats in Dragon Magazine, but don't have citations for them.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    You could refluff one of the existing onehanded reach weapons, I recall someone in these forums mentioning renaming EWP: Spiked Chain to Goblin Spear Tactics(or something similar to that atleast). Mechanics would stay the same, only the appearance changes.
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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    Well, Person_Man got what I was going to say, but
    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Kusi-Gama (Dungeon Master's Guide)
    it's Kusari-Gama, not Kusi-Gama.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    Quote Originally Posted by Malachei View Post
    Also, Hoplites' shields were not tower shields (neither was the Roman legionnaries' shield, the Scutum).
    The archetypical Roman shield is a tower shield in everything but name. About the size of a riot shield, perfect for taking cover behind (see half of the pictures on your Wikipedia link), and the first thing that comes to peoples' minds when you say "tower shield".

    That aside, it's among the more common house rules to let people use a spear and/or longspear one-handed (but usually not with another weapon) as a function of Martial or Exotic Weapon Proficiency [substitute whatever feat name you like for EWP]. I don't see any real balance concerns; a longspear with EWP allowed for one-handed use is slightly less useful than a kusari-gama (light, tripping, and disarming is worth a bit more than a die of damage and x3 crit, if other weapons are any judge). At martial proficiency, though, a one-handed longspear or spear would be out of place, comparing to a battleaxe or trident, respectively.
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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    Quote Originally Posted by Siosilvar View Post
    The archetypical Roman shield is a tower shield in everything but name. About the size of a riot shield, perfect for taking cover behind (see half of the pictures on your Wikipedia link), and the first thing that comes to peoples' minds when you say "tower shield".
    Due to limitations of 3.5 simple system, it's a bit hard to say, but probably not really.

    Judging from description in SRD, 'tower shield' is supposed to really represent more of a 'portable wall' 15th century pavises - almost as tall as wielder, can't bash, can't use shield arm for anything else.

    Legionaries shields were rather large, but still perfectly 'personal' shields.
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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    Quote Originally Posted by Siosilvar View Post
    (see half of the pictures on your Wikipedia link)
    First of all, I was looking for Hoplites. Look at the pictures for Hoplites in the link above. No tower shields there.

    Secondly, regarding Roman legionaries, I think it would help not to look at the pictures and then say "this is a tower shield". Actually, and unfortunately, WOTC does not give us specifics on the size of the tower shield, but they do give us some mechanics:

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    You cannot bash with a tower shield, nor can you use your shield hand for anything else. When employing a tower shield in combat, you take a -2 penalty on attack rolls because of the shield’s encumbrance.
    First of all, shield bash was a common tactics both of legionaries and of Hoplites. Secondly, Phalanx fighting (light weapon (i.e. short sword) and heavy shield) is perfectly made for Roman legionaries, and it explicitly refers to heavy shield, not tower shield. Thirdly, taking a -2 to hit would have been a significant disadvantage in combat.

    The Roman legionaries' shields was called Scutum.

    Tower shields were called Pavises and were normally used for protecting archers.

    Also, please look at this thread about Roman legionaries, particularly post #11, which provides additional information, as well, especially in the replies to the original build. Among other factors, a Scutum weighed 10-20 lbs, while a tower shield is given as 45 lbs.
    Last edited by Malachei; 2012-04-10 at 06:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Reach Weapon, One-Handed

    How about Phalanx Soldier Fighter Archetype from Pathfinder?

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