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Question about quarterstaves

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I suspect SR is derived simply from weapon length, but the 2m quarterstaff gives it a SR comparable to a lance or pike?

While a quarterstaff is indeed ~2m long, it's REACH IN USE is more like a a typical 1h sword, no?

 

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Depends on technique.

A quarterstaff is essentially a pole weapon without the war-head, and as such it can either thrust for longer distance or it can be swung at somewhat shorter distance.

The rules system ignores this, along with using swords to thrust or cut, feints and a whole lot of other good stuff :)

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You made me curious, so over lunch I looked up some YouTube videos on Quarterstaffs vs. Swords.

It seems as if the staff is often used by holding the back quarter, keeping the reach (which allow more force to be delivered on a swing) or to thrust (to trip, to hit the head). In either case the quarter staff retains a lot of reach and can be shifted to different targets more quickly than a sword.

I'm no expert, and have no interest in defending either staff or sword in this matter... but from what I saw I can certain understand why a quarterstaff might have a quicker SR.

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32 minutes ago, creativehum said:

You made me curious, so over lunch I looked up some YouTube videos on Quarterstaffs vs. Swords.

It seems as if the staff is often used by holding the back quarter, keeping the reach (which allow more force to be delivered on a swing) or to thrust (to trip, to hit the head). In either case the quarter staff retains a lot of reach and can be shifted to different targets more quickly than a sword.

I'm no expert, and have no interest in defending either staff or sword in this matter... but from what I saw I can certain understand why a quarterstaff might have a quicker SR.

Note that's holding it more or less like it's a two handed sword ...

 

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41 minutes ago, Ian_W said:

Note that's holding it more or less like it's a two handed sword ...

 

Yeah, sometimes they do that. Oh, and sometimes people wielding a two handed sword hold it like a staff. 

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1 hour ago, Ian_W said:

Note that's holding it more or less like it's a two handed sword ...

For a full swing, sometimes yes. And yet in the videos below you'll see that it is seldom held like that. The grip between the hands seems to be wider than that found when using a 2H sword. This allows more power to be put into each blow.

But the quarterstaff seems to be more flexible in terms of its maneuvers. See this video from 00:55 to 2:30, where the staff is handled in a manner not at all like as sword:

 

And here is a very earnest video responding to the video series above, which makes the case that quarterstaffs are very deadly and have a very solid reach:

 

And here is a video where the wielder of a quarterstaff uses it more to swing as his opponent. But notice how the sword is often at a disadvantage in terms of length.

 

Finally note that one of these video is a very earnest reply to one of the others. I'm going to guess there's a lot of disagreement in the field of weapon use (like all martial arts, like RPGs, like everything). Again, I'm not stepping into that fray, so no one should be bothering to argue with me about this stuff. I'm simply passing on videos of people who seem to care about this stuff and at least have the surface gloss of knowing what the heck they are talking about.

 

Edited by creativehum

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Seems pretty convincing (and well-referenced) to me, especially after watching the demonstration.  Sword and board might be a bit of a different story, though.  You wouldn't likely find many roamers through Nottinghamshire carrying a shield.

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I studied japanese version of quarterstaff (Bo 150 cm), which is primarily held like a two handed spear. So, thursting motion has good reach and speed. But, fighting against sword japanese actually developed shorter stick. That is called Jo 120 cm. It is much faster, more versatile than bo. It can deliver also long thrust. At the end of thrust holding only by one hand. It works ok with short and longer reach and can be changed constantly from two handed strikes to one handed, and parrying always two handed. But mastering versatile weapon, use of different grips, reaches is far from easy. 

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Techniques for various opponents are the key. Local re-enactment group starts almost everyone off on on staff. For a while I was quite active then work, injuries and age got the better of me. Being a history and militaria nerd i did quite some reading and it was 9is?) still possible to get quite a bit on European staff fighting - quartstaff and single stick - rather sophisticated stuff. Though I / we found out why some stuff isn't seen much in videos or films etc. Being short and square looking at recomended techniques was a priority. The best of these quickly got stopped except in coreographed fights. A hard downward thrust at the foot as the opponents weight shifts is really effective and bloody hard to do without really hurting or doing harm - little bones in feet break when struck at something approaching 90 degrees. Short of C15th articulated plate sorellets these not much protection either.

The separated hands positioning is also very strongly about flexibility and speed of change from offense to defense. The worst move is to swing and not be blocked or contact as this pulls you of balance and you become a semi static target These some good stuff out there on weighted staves for Axe training. Axe work uses a great many of the same grips. Combination spear cut or crush polearms even more so. The objective is to unbalance or "cast" an opponent so a full swing can be made. This emphasises speed and so the thrusts.

There is an old tradition for Saxons, Anglo Danish England and the Norse for "safe" training of axe men called often a "rattle of sticks". In full armour and with "padded" staves (but weighted) large groups fought fairly all in. Safe meant a few handfuls dead in several hundred going at it. The largest I read about were two full houses of Huscarles going at it to settle bad blood very late in Edward the Confessor's reign. From what we can deduce each side at at least 1,000 for a most of the day battle - the record is the winner lost several score dead

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On 6/29/2018 at 2:07 PM, Yelm's Light said:

Seems pretty convincing (and well-referenced) to me, especially after watching the demonstration.  Sword and board might be a bit of a different story, though.  You wouldn't likely find many roamers through Nottinghamshire carrying a shield.

WE have a mistaken view on the level of armament generally carried in medieval England and even more so on the general readiness of all to engage in violence. I'm reading through Richrd Wadge's "Archery in Medieval England: Who were the bowmen of Crecy?" this is an eye opener even for me. Manual farming and harvesting societies have a very much greater threshold of harm and violence than we do. Even in the late 18th century harvesting for a decent sized village involved muliple deaths and multiple criplings every year. Stock were much more dangerous than today so being killed by being kicked or trampled was a real occupational hazard - cattle goads and spears or polearms and there use are clearly related and have use commonalities.

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That's interesting. I have heard similar thing for axe, that it is actually quite good for defense too. As Bo was a part of aikido training, we did not do proper sparring, just kata or kumite and set up pair work. But it is easy to acknowledge, that thrusts to lower feet, knee cap do some harm. I think, that for a swordsman it is a bit easier to close against spear than staff. Spearman usually focuses more rapid thrusts, because he has edged point. But man with staff may change faster stance, guard and use of weapon. More readily push or pin opponent, thrust, swing, sweep, or even choke in close range. What you cannot anticipate strike more often through. While holding staff on guard your body is well covered from legs to head. While it is not so easy to have killing strike, staff's defensive capabilities are actually quite good. Extra % for parrying for staves would do justice to weapon. It can be used equally well at short and long range, therefore closing in melee combat could be a tactic to consider more often, than with other two handed and long reach weapons.

Edited by Jusmak

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51 minutes ago, Jusmak said:

. Extra % for parrying for staves would do justice to weapon. It can be used equally well at short and long range, therefore closing in melee combat could be a tactic to consider more often, than with other two handed and long reach weapons.

Could that be handled by raising the base %

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13 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Could that be handled by raising the base %

I think the suggestion is that successful parries & other defenses, rather than overall base-percent (also raising attack), fit the staff experience.

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5 minutes ago, g33k said:

... other defenses ...

n.b.  it's not limited to staff-work, but "other defenses" can often include a posture that the attacker has tried to penetrate but found  such attempts to be very dangerous -- so they stand off and study and try to figure out how to get through.

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Could that be handled by raising the base %

Well, with RQ3 shields had 05 % base, when attacking and 15 % parrying. Staff experience could be handled by same thinking. Like for 10 % attack and 20 % parry. I think defensive postures, guards, stances are basic knowledge to all, who study fighting arts. So, I see those included in skill%. Because RGQ does not handle attack & parry separately, why not handle it by base%? It is not easy to deliver killing blows with staff, if compared edged weapons, but that is already seen in damage dice. To have some kind of hit landing through because of weapon is versatile could be seen higher attack chance. But also, because it is versatile use of weapon can be  seen harder... There is never easy ways to mastery anyways... Here is clip fighting with shorter Jo-stick, which is brought into sword fight.

 

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It's being suggested that not all weapons are equally-good at attacking and defending, so "base %" models.those weapons poorly.  Just like, for example, not all carts are equally adept at carrying cargo and at moving the driver.

I have every confidence that the RQG design/write team were just as aware of this as anyone else, and deliberately chose to KISS rather than break out specific per-weapon advantages, disadvantages, special effects, etc etc etc... They had Mythras ready to go, if they wanted to.go that way (and there are still plenty of people who are.really peeved that they did not).

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Huh. I can honestly say (as someone still working his way through the rules) the thought of having different %s for attacks and defenses for each weapon is the last thing I'd be looking for. 

After all, we could post videos and quote wise books for endless years and never sort out which weapons are better at one or the other and what those percentages should be.

As far as I can tell the base % reflects how well a person is in using that weapon -- boom, that's it, period. It's how could he'll be using it offensively and defensively and we move on. There are already (as far as I can tell) dozens of fascinating combat and tactical options built into the game, as well as lots of options for character builds and building. 

I understand that other people want even more, and then more, refinement. As g33k says, those games exist right now, and people could even mod RQG to such ends. But it wouldn't be my cup of tea. Fights will clearly be tense and exiting, built with influence from Runes, Passions, and even the seasonal and weekly calendar. I'm content with there being enough going on to keep everyone engaged and busy.

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12 hours ago, Furry Fella said:

WE have a mistaken view on the level of armament generally carried in medieval England and even more so on the general readiness of all to engage in violence. I'm reading through Richrd Wadge's "Archery in Medieval England: Who were the bowmen of Crecy?" this is an eye opener even for me. Manual farming and harvesting societies have a very much greater threshold of harm and violence than we do. Even in the late 18th century harvesting for a decent sized village involved muliple deaths and multiple criplings every year. Stock were much more dangerous than today so being killed by being kicked or trampled was a real occupational hazard - cattle goads and spears or polearms and there use are clearly related and have use commonalities.

I'm not saying they wouldn't be carrying weapons; a staff or spear doubles as a walking stick, more well-to-do types would bear a sword and scabbard, and a bow and quiver could be strung onto one's back.  But a shield was a 'weapon' of war, and damned impractical to carry around in everyday life, even hung on one's back.

(Btw, I never fought in a staff style; I came to weaponry through fencing to medieval reenactment and always fought with sword or sword and board.)

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I am sold on the first video: Swords, axes and knives are more deadly than a staff and while I am in no position to belittle any skilled and experienced quaterstaff fighter the third sparring oversells the quaterstaff with its hitting capacity. Winning is not about hitting but about wounding, disabling and killing the enemy: One hit to the head might give you a headache, a bleeding wound, a fracture and yes - without a helmet - might kill you or knock you out but the smae hit with an instrument of steel is far miore likely to off you or do some serious damage.

Quaterstaff Man: "Haha! I hit you six times already, Sir Knight! I have won!"

Sir Knight: "Ouch ... yeah. But wait ... Here - how about (SLASH!) this ONE hit? What say you, stupid peasant?"

Quaterstaff Man: "You .... wi...." (grrrch)

It is hard to simulate this in sparring. But there must have been a reason at at some point of history people said:

"Gee whizz, General C. Aveman. Blunt and even pointed sticks just don't cut it anymore. Actually, THEY NEVER DID. Let's have us some of these here new-fangled shiny swords and knives. Lookee here: They are really nice and shiny ... (and kill a man!)"

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25 minutes ago, Der Rote Baron said:

I am sold on the first video: Swords, axes and knives are more deadly than a staff and while I am in no position to belittle any skilled and experienced quaterstaff fighter the third sparring oversells the quaterstaff with its hitting capacity. Winning is not about hitting but about wounding, disabling and killing the enemy: One hit to the head might give you a headache, a bleeding wound, a fracture and yes - without a helmet - might kill you or knock you out but the smae hit with an instrument of steel is far miore likely to off you or do some serious damage.

Quaterstaff Man: "Haha! I hit you six times already, Sir Knight! I have won!"

Sir Knight: "Ouch ... yeah. But wait ... Here - how about (SLASH!) this ONE hit? What say you, stupid peasant?"

Quaterstaff Man: "You .... wi...." (grrrch)

It is hard to simulate this in sparring. But there must have been a reason at at some point of history people said:

"Gee whizz, General C. Aveman. Blunt and even pointed sticks just don't cut it anymore. Actually, THEY NEVER DID. Let's have us some of these here new-fangled shiny swords and knives. Lookee here: They are really nice and shiny ... (and kill a man!)"

Well, it isn't about always killing someone with a single blow. In my martial arts training I was taught that getting solid blows in that slow or delay your opponent will mean you can get your next blow in before your opponent can respond. You rattle your opponent a couple of more times and he's down on the ground. 

One crack to the head with a swiftly moving piece of would might not kill your opponent, but it will knock your opponent's noggin around. And that matters. If the staff is faster and can cause the opponent to hesitate and/or need to recover -- even for an instant or a second or two -- it can add up to a defeat for him.

Moreover the third video recounts the number of murders committed by staffs vs. swords according to historical records, with staffs killing a lot more people than swords.

Now you are correct: a sword will do more damage than a staff. And I suspect that the skill required to do that damage is less for a sword than for a quarterstaff -- which is probably what made them more common over the long run. But the HQG rules reflect this: swords do more damage than quarterstaffs. The question from this thread is, which has the lower SR. Given the reading and watching I've done over the last couple of days I'm content to say quarterstaff.

(full disclosure, since we're beginning to pull out our martial arts training now. My class wasn't for weapons. It was hand-to-hand... a kind of mix of boxing and krav maga. It wasn't a sport. It was taught by a an ex-Navy SEAL instructor. We were being taught to drive someone into the ground if a situation came to that. I'm making this clear to be upfront that a) I wasn't using a quarterstaff and never have used one; and b) I was being taught by a guy who taught people how to kill people.)

Edited by creativehum

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To be fair, generally only the well-to-do would be able to afford swords, and the general citizenry would be far more likely to carry a staff, which could impact the interpretation of those death numbers.

Nevertheless, there's an issue of range here.  A sword wielder will generally have a hard time getting within the guard of an experienced staff fighter in order to do that greater damage.

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22 minutes ago, creativehum said:

 The question from this thread is, which has the lower SR. Given the reading and watching I've done over the last couple of days I'm content to say quarterstaff.

Yes, that was the question and I guess I am not the only one who got off the track. I agree: The length  and the way it is or can be used gives the quaterstaff a strike-first advantage.

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10 hours ago, g33k said:

I think the suggestion is that successful parries & other defenses, rather than overall base-percent (also raising attack), fit the staff experience.

Which is hard to do with a combined skill. Okay, I get it now.

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At the certainty of also getting some what off topic, as elegant as the attack / parry game system is we need to not take it literally. The mechanism is modeling the interactions of 12 seconds for an outcome.  In these circumstances I'm fairly sure "parry" is frequently misleading. Here the point made earlier that SR's are ordinal numbers not absolutes is very important. This more so with considering modifiers etc and dynamics. I like movement in combats BUT I have to remain aware that most minor movement is subsumed within the 12 second combat round and resolution. Once viewed from outside perhaps things that could be regarded as combat mods should also encompass SR mods etc? This bit IS divergent - this is perhaps why I conceptually favour RQ2 Defense over RQ3 Dodge?

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