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How much STR and DEX do you need to use a long spear one-handed?

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Roleplaying in Glorantha p. 219 says that:

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The Lance: A lance can be used in a charge, a straight run of 20 meters or more. If a target is hit during a charge, the damage bonus of the animal ridden is used, not that of the rider. If the adventurer using the lance has had no training in its use, they can use it at 1/2 their normal attack chance with a one-handed spear, unless their Ride skill is below that. It can also be used as a one-handed spear if the adventurer has the necessary STR and DEX to use a long spear one-handed.

How much STR and DEX is that?

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On 5/24/2020 at 8:09 AM, Brootse said:

Roleplaying in Glorantha p. 219 says that:

The Lance: A lance can be used in a charge, a straight run of 20 meters or more. If a target is hit during a charge, the damage bonus of the animal ridden is used, not that of the rider. If the adventurer using the lance has had no training in its use, they can use it at 1/2 their normal attack chance with a one-handed spear, unless their Ride skill is below that. It can also be used as a one-handed spear if the adventurer has the necessary STR and DEX to use a long spear one-handed.

How much STR and DEX is that?

Oh that's a whole can of worms.

On 5/24/2020 at 11:56 AM, soltakss said:

p209 says STR 9 DEX 7 for a Lance and Short Spear or STR 9 DEX 9 for a Javelin.

 

It most certainly does but those are 1H weapons on the table whereas on p211 it says that the "long cavalry lance about 3.5–4.25 meters long, used with both hands"

So we have the lance referred to as a one handed charging weapon that can be used as a 1H long spear when not charging when there is no 1H long spear in the weapons tables, and the lance being described as a 2H weapon, all in the space of 10 pages. I'm a copywriter, I will literally proof RuneQuest stuff for free, just so you know. 😄 

I think the problem is that we have a confusion in the Core Book of the later the 'we have stirrups' 1H lance, that was couched under one arm at the charge and indeed, used as a 1H long spear when not at the charge (don't think of the conical ones with hand guards used for jousting, that was much, much later) with the much earlier 'we do not have stirrups' 2H lance, or more properly the xyston or kontos, getting thoroughly mixed up with each other. Maybe different people worked on different sections? Did I mention I am a copywriter? 😛 

Glorantha canonically has stirrups, and IIRC correctly, everyone is totally aware that this is utterly anachronistic and many are not bothered by it, which I heartily approve of.

So you can choose to have a no stirrups and the lance then HAS to be 2H, and you can just read the line on p209 as saying the lance is 2H, which then makes total sense. Just ignore anything that says otherwise.

Or you can choose to have stirrups and to read the lance as being 1H, like it says in the table. But in that case which case STR 11/DEX 9 might be mores sensible for 1H use, and this would allow a new line for 1H long spear as well, which was definitely a thing.

Or you can have BOTH, and have some cultures using stirrups and others not. But given the rapidity with which horses were adopted by plains Indians along with all their tack, it's hard to see say, Praxians not adopting the stirrup when exposed to it - unless it's associated with horses I guess.

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15 hours ago, Monty Lovering said:

 But in that case which case STR 11/DEX 9 might be mores sensible for 1H use, and this would allow a new line for 1H long spear as well, which was definitely a thing.

Absolutely agree

big issue with the long spear. Another issue is how do you fight with a 4 meters lance in very close combat (versus shortword for example) once your opponent succeeds to approach you.

what about a blade (the effective damage area of the lance) 3 meters far from the opponent ? that is not like a greatsword versus dagger 

 

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I'd rule a certain minimum SIZ as well as just STR and DEX alone.

For comparison, a quarterstaff can just about be used one-handed, but you really do need to be very long-limbed to even try.

A longspear is even longer.

Edited by Julian Lord

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14 minutes ago, Julian Lord said:

I'd rule a certain minimum SIZ as well as just STR and DEX alone.

For comparison, a quarterstaff can just about be used one-handed, but you really do need to be very long-limbed to even try.

A longspear is even longer.

The longer quarterstaves and bo staffs are in the same range as long-spears.

Long spears were historically used usually one-handed, even by militia, so I find it strange that in most RPGs they are only usable with two hands. Perhaps an easy fix would be to model the one-handed long spears after the short spear's rules, so that one-handed long spear would need two points more strength and do one size smaller dice of damage. Like so:

STR/DEX: 11/7

Damage: D8+1

Un-couched lances are imo too long to use one-handed. Couched lance's damage in RQG is a bit iffy too. The size and strength of the mount shouldn't affect the damage, only the mount's speed. Playing RAW, a lancer riding full tilt mounted on a Great Sea Turtle with a movement of 1 would do more damage with a couched lance than a lancer on an average horse.

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33 minutes ago, Brootse said:

Perhaps an easy fix would be to model the one-handed long spears after the short spear's rules, so that one-handed long spear would need two points more strength and do one size smaller dice of damage. Like so:

STR/DEX: 11/7

Damage: D8+1

Darned if I can find my notes now, but I recall that this was essentially the fix I used for my recent cavalry soldier/cattle rustler character.  His lance didn't get any shorter when he dismounted, but was still useful as a long spear, so we bumped up the STR requirement if used one-handed.  It was a glaring, if easily remedied, hole in the core rules, particularly given the prominence of "hoplite" soldiery in the canon.

!i!

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14 hours ago, Brootse said:

The longer quarterstaves and bo staffs are in the same range as long-spears.

Long spears were much longer than quarterstaves, around 8 to 15 feet long.

Very long staves did exist, but they were "longstaves" used principally against mounted opponents, to dismount them for instance, then whack them from a distance ; not quarterstaves, which were used in more close quarter fighting.

I suppose an 8' long quarterstaff is as long as a shorter long spear ; but then a quarterstaff that long and heavy would be hard to use one-handed too, and it's at the extreme of how long a quarterstaff can be (5 to 8 feet).

But the bigger you were, the easier it would be, hence the SIZ proposal.

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11 hours ago, Julian Lord said:

Long spears were much longer than quarterstaves, around 8 to 15 feet long.

Very long staves did exist, but they were "longstaves" used principally against mounted opponents, to dismount them for instance, then whack them from a distance ; not quarterstaves, which were used in more close quarter fighting.

I suppose an 8' long quarterstaff is as long as a shorter long spear ; but then a quarterstaff that long and heavy would be hard to use one-handed too, and it's at the extreme of how long a quarterstaff can be (5 to 8 feet).

But the bigger you were, the easier it would be, hence the SIZ proposal.

RuneQuest long spears top at 3m. Spears longer than that are referred to as lances or pikes.

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Acknowledging that a short long spear may classify with longer short spears, and that longer short spears may classify as shorter long spears, what is the shortest practical "lance" for mounted combat?  Or the shortest practical "pike" for hoplite infantry?  What is the length of spear that Goldilocks would use for both combat on horseback and on foot with a shield after dismounting?  And what would you call it?

!i!

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4 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

Acknowledging that a short long spear may classify with longer short spears, and that longer short spears may classify as shorter long spears, what is the shortest practical "lance" for mounted combat?  Or the shortest practical "pike" for hoplite infantry?  What is the length of spear that Goldilocks would use for both combat on horseback and on foot with a shield after dismounting?  And what would you call it?

!i!

Even thrusting swords were used as "lances" in RL, so there's really no minimum length, except that when you're using a longer weapon you get to strike first. The idea of a "lance" is that if you strike with one in the same direction your mount is moving, the blade will move faster than it would if you were charging on foot. RQG isn't a physics simulator, so only proper lances work in it for the purpose. As for the "pikes", bayoneted muskets were used for the purpose, so a short spear should work too. The required length needs to be long enough to reach the target obliquely from the ground, so the under 3' long Zulu iklwas wouldn't be useful. In RQ3 all spears worked for cavalry and infantry. I'd call the long spear the Goldilocks weapon, eg. the Greek hoplite's Dory was 2-3m, as were the 19th and 20th centuries' cavalry lances.

My group is now playing RAW RQG, but after the first scenario is done, I'll probably pick some houserules from my FrankenQuest, one of which was that charging lancers (or people using other suitable weapons) don't use the mount's damage bonus, but instead their own, and the weapon's basic damage is rolled twice. Iirc, Call of Cthulhu lances used the same rule.

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47 minutes ago, Brootse said:

...I'll probably pick some houserules from my FrankenQuest, one of which was that charging lancers (or people using other suitable weapons) don't use the mount's damage bonus, but instead their own, and the weapon's basic damage is rolled twice. Iirc, Call of Cthulhu lances used the same rule.

I like this, because I've sometimes mused that it doesn't matter so much how strong your mount is in a charge if: a) you're not strong enough to hold onto your lance upon making contact; and/or b) you're not strong enough to hang onto your mount.

!i!

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Yes, i like Ian Absentia's observation.

1 hour ago, Ian Absentia said:

I like this, because I've sometimes mused that it doesn't matter so much how strong your mount is in a charge if: a) you're not strong enough to hold onto your lance upon making contact; and/or b) you're not strong enough to hang onto your mount.

!i!

I recommend two approached to be tried:

A. For mounted: Require a test of the rider's STR against the mount's STR to hold on to the lance after contact.  If the lance impales require the test to be rider's STR against (Mount's STR + target's SIZ). 

B. Infantry attempting to use very long polearms (long spears, pikes, lances) one handed will have their 1H spear chance of hitting halved; and reduced to 1/4 after the first round of melee, when the odds are that the opponent has gotten inside the length of the spear. 

It ought to be hard to "shorten up" on a pike held one handed to get it to 1H spear length.  Just how do you go about that?

 

 

Edited by Squaredeal Sten
spelling

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2 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

I like this, because I've sometimes mused that it doesn't matter so much how strong your mount is in a charge if: a) you're not strong enough to hold onto your lance upon making contact; and/or b) you're not strong enough to hang onto your mount.

Mounted Lance charges are a slightly different beastie, IMHO, than most other combat.

If I'm on foot, in a melee, I need to stay mobile, supple.  Trying to grip my sword/etc with maximum of force at all times is a recipe for exhaustion, an invitation for foes to strike from odd angles & disarm me, etc.

In a Lance charge, I know exactly the direction to force will be coming from, and exactly the moment of the blow.  I can stay relaxed and loose until the the final moments, then lean into the impact with all my ability to brace and strengthen that singular, predictable impact.

I don't think the general-melee rules should apply the same way.  I'm OK with the notion that you can use the mount's DB on a charge.

I'll also point to how devastating a lance-charge was supposed to be.  One hit (without crit'ing) was supposed to be disabling or fatal (unless you caught it on a shield).

YGMobviouslyV!

Edited by g33k
Damn autocorrect
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1 hour ago, g33k said:

Mounted Lance charges are a slightly different beastie, IMHO, than most other combat.

[...snip...]

In a Lance charge, I know exactly the direction to force will be coming from, and exactly the moment of the blow.  I can stay relaxed and loose until the the final moments, then lean into the impact with all my ability to brace and strengthen that singular, predictable impact.

I'm suddenly reminded of the picador in bullfighting. (No lie -- when I was little, we'd sometimes find bullfights on the UHF end of the dial.  That's pre-cable for you young 'uns.  Weird and kind of sickening, but fascinating -- the bullfighting, not UHF broadcast.)  The charge with the lance was usually solidly couched under the arm, but also involved some finesse that definitely relied on the momentum of the horse for impact. Maneuvering and stabby-stabby was the business of the matador and banderilleros -- that was their DB in action.

I might still be inclined as a GM to ask for a Ride roll upon a successful hit with a charging lance, just to see if you dislocate your shoulder or fall off your mount.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia

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I'd have thought charging rules would have gone away in RQG -- no stirrups in the bronze age. You should, at least, need to make an extra ride roll to stay on your horse-- I think RQ3 had that... 

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1 hour ago, Frp said:

...no stirrups in the bronze age... 

Yeah, but which Bronze Age?  The stirrup is a long-accepted feature of Glorantha's.  It does, however, remain a bone of contention among purists.

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19 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

Yeah, but which Bronze Age?  The stirrup is a long-accepted feature of Glorantha's.  It does, however, remain a bone of contention among purists.

 

They've, at least, disappeared from, most of, the art. 

Edited by Frp

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Stirrups?  I think the consensus has settled on:

  • YGWV
  • Some places had stirrups, some didn't
  • There is adequate canon/history/etc to support whichever argument you prefer to be the "winning" argument.
  • OMG, not this flamewar, again...!?!

Use any and all of the above, in preferred measure, for your game and your table.

Don't expect others to abide by your decisions -- or even your criteria -- no matter what they are.

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23 minutes ago, g33k said:

Stirrups?  I think the consensus has settled on:

  • YGWV
  • Some places had stirrups, some didn't
  • There is adequate canon/history/etc to support whichever argument you prefer to be the "winning" argument.
  • OMG, not this flamewar, again...!?!

Use any and all of the above, in preferred measure, for your game and your table.

Don't expect others to abide by your decisions -- or even your criteria -- no matter what they are.

I think I'll avoid searching "stirrups" for my own sanity. 

But I will HR a ride roll is required to stay on your horse after a charge attack. 

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

Stirrups?  I think the consensus has settled on:

  • YGWV
  • Some places had stirrups, some didn't
  • There is adequate canon/history/etc to support whichever argument you prefer to be the "winning" argument.
  • OMG, not this flamewar, again...!?!

Use any and all of the above, in preferred measure, for your game and your table.

Don't expect others to abide by your decisions -- or even your criteria -- no matter what they are.

In other words, these things are not a thing a wise person would stir up.

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Personally I think this is 'over thinking' at its highest. Spear Long (1H) is Lance. I think the issue for me is the description of Lance is wrong (IMG) as it's too long. It's just a big spear. We're not playing Pendragon and practical combat lances were just that.  Drop the Lance to 3m or less and it all works out. Use it one handed and you loose a chunk of base skill as it's unwieldy (base skill is 5 rather than 15). So typically used 2 Handed on foot. Which is how I've always used and fought against larger spears/pole weapons. 

I'll skip over the stirrup argument but note with the appropriate saddle you don't need stirrups to use a lance one handed.

Practical Combat Lances were not that big outside of Jousting. 

image.jpeg.4f4340655912357aa29f81fb7e1425c6.jpeg

 

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8 hours ago, Frp said:

I'd have thought charging rules would have gone away in RQG -- no stirrups in the bronze age. You should, at least, need to make an extra ride roll to stay on your horse-- I think RQ3 had that... 

You don't care for stirrups. Alexander cavalry used xyston for charging, without stirrups. It was used with both hands, for what we know. I know that Gaugameles story has been written by greek victors, but we know for sure that Persian empire was destroyed by Macedonian phalanx and hetairoi charges, and they had no stirrups.

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